What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Whose family did “game night” when they were kids? My family did. There was nothing quite like those board and card games for either starting fights (who didn’t get one of those red Monopoly hotels thrown at their face?) or serving as the perfect analogy for some of the NFL coaches whose impending demises I’ve been following. To paraphrase former NFL star Alex Karras in his shining movie moment as Mongo from “Blazing Saddles,” let’s see who going to end up being only a pawn in game of the game of life.
1) Mike Pettine ↔
Speaking of the game of Life, if you remember it, the idea was to move your little plastic car around the board acquiring money, a spouse, and a bunch of kids. At the end, you got paid for how much stuff you piled up; the winner being the guy who ended up with the most stuff. If Mike Pettine were playing Life, he would somehow end up at the end of the game alone in not only just the car, but his car would be like the one Sheriff Buford T. Justice wrecked piece-by-piece in “Smokey and the Bandit.”
The rumor this week is the Browns ownership and front office held a “super secret” meeting, meaning Pettine wasn’t invited. That’s never a good sign. It usually means there’s a power struggle within the organization, and teh guy who doesn’t get invited to the meeting is the guy about to take the pipe. That’s Mike Pettine’s situation in a nutshell. It’ pretty obvious Pettine wants nothing to do with Johnny Manziel, but his boss and the guy who signs the paychecks do. It doesn’t take the FBI crime lab to figure out how that is going to end.
2) Chuck Pagano ↑3
Anyone who saw Pagano’s last 2 press conferences knows he sees the writing on the wall. He’s taken to walking around with poker chips in his pocket and using the “all chips on the table” cliché. Whenever you see a guy taking stuff straight out of one of those management books, you know he’s finished. Pa-gone-o is the sitting in a casino at 4 a.m. trying to figure out how much he needs to win back so he doesn’t have to tell his wife he lost the mortgage payment again.
After back-to-back blowouts, including being the first team in history to get 50 points hung on them by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pagano has hit rock bottom. All his stuff in at the pawn shop, the title loan from his car is gone, and the bank is going foreclose on his house any day. Meanwhile, Pagano is hitting more busted flushes than third-world plumbing.
You’ve got to know when to fold ’em, Chuck.
3) Jeff Fisher ↓1
The Rams are on a two-game winning streak. They’ve beat Lions and followed that with a victory over the returning-to-earth Buccaneers on Thursday. This is like when the adults are playing a game and there’s always the little kid who wants to play and won’t go to bed until he gets his way. So they play a “fake” round so they can let him win and get rid of his ass. As soon as the last game is played, the adults are going to send Fisher to bed.
4) Jim Caldwell *NEW*
Jimmy makes his return to this list thanks to the Lions’ run of cheap wins coming to an end. There’s a perfect way to explain this, but I’ll probably need to explain it a bit. If you don’t live in Indiana, you may not be familiar with the card game Euchre. Hoosiers are pretty much born knowing how to play it. Think of it it as an Indiana version of Spades.
If that doesn’t help, it works like this. The game is played to 10, and in Jimmy’s case, he was down 8-1. Then all of a sudden the cards change and he starts winning (you know, the scenario that keeps Chuck Pagano slowly bleeding to death at the poker table). Now its 8-5 and he’s thinking “so you’re telling me there’s a chance.” Then he get an “all red” hand and the other team calls clubs as trump. That’s exactly what happened to Caldwell. Insert “Price is Right” losing horn sound here.
He had a short resurgence, and for a while it looked like he might actually survive this mess. But in the end his luck ran out, and he and Jeff Fisher will likely be reunited when they’re standing together in the unemployment line.
5) Bill O’Brien *NEW*
I have mixed feelings about putting O’Brien back on the list. The poor guy is playing Monopoly and he has about $62 to his name and he is coming around the board towards Boardwalk. Naturally, there’s a hotel on it. He has no quarterback, no running back, his offensive line is atrocious, the sole dominant defensive player he has breaks his hand, and he has the fresh-off-a-two-game-losing-streak Patriots coming to town.
Here’s the sure sign he’s desperate. He was running the Wildcat. Not just once…he actually tried this four times. That’s the move of a guy who just landed on Hotel Boardwalk, and he’s trying to to make $62, a mortgaged Railroad, and selling St. Charles Place add up to two grand. It isn’t going to happen, but what else can a guy do?
If Bill O’Brien is 5, McCoy is 5A. The Chargers could not have screwed themselves any worse at the end of their game in Kansas City. They have six seconds left in the 4th quarter, they have the ball within sneaking distance from the goal line, and a touchdown ties the game. What do the Chargers do? They get a delay of game penalty coming out of a timeout, don’t score, and lose. It’s like Mike McCoy had a “phone a friend” card and he called Rex Ryan.
I know this one will raise some eyebrows, but it needs to be mentioned. If you ever played chess, you know there is the option of “resigning.” This is when a player is down to two pawns, a rook and a king, and rather than wait for the bitter end, he tips the king on it’s side, stands up and gets a cup of coffee. The buzz in the street is that Payton may want out of New Orleans, which shouldn’t be surprising considering he’s got a team with an aging Hall-of-Fame quarterback and precious little else. The Saints are also in salary cap hell, which means the situation in the Superdome isn’t going to get better any time soon. If one has the choice, isn’t it better to lay down your king and get a new set of pieces somewhere else rather then to wait for the axe?
To see how this all might end come “Black Monday,” imagine all these guys siting around a blackjack table. Chuck Pagano is trying to get the house to take his watch in exchange for $100 worth of chips, Bill O’Brien doubles down on 9. Jeff Fisher calls O’Brien a “fucking cocksucker” for “taking my goddamn card.” Jim Caldwell sits on 16 with a face card showing for the dealer. Mike Pettine chucks his cards and heads for the slot machines. Sean Payton folds as well, but he’s speed-dialing his agent before his ass is off the chair. Lastly, Mike McCoy hits an ace, then promptly shits his pants.
How many Monopoly boards get flipped come “Black Monday?” Only time will tell.
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