Philadelphia Eagles locker room. Halftime. Sunday.
Quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur: "Donovan, come here for a minute. I have some news that may surprise you: You're being benched. Kevin Kolb is starting the second half."
McNabb: "I've never been benched. I never even knew that was in the rule book."
Shurmur: "Well, yes, it's in the rule book that a quarterback can be replaced during the game."
McNabb: "It's part of the rules and we have to go with it."
Shurmur: "That's a very mature way to handle it."
McNabb: "I was looking forward to the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game."
Shurmur: "I'm sure you were."
McNabb: "In college I never got benched. Not in high school or in Pop Warner, either. I never knew that in the professional ranks it could end that way."
Shurmur: "I'm sorry, but your day is ending this way. The decision has been made."
McNabb: "I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs."
Shurmur: "I don't think we have to worry about that."
McNabb: "Whew! Well, that's good news."
Week in Photos
Quote of the Week
- "I'm sure people are going to say we were overrated, and not that good after all. I know that's coming. But that's fine. It's all a great setup for us, actually. I think it's a blessing that we lost. I really do."
-- Chris Hope, safety, Tennessee Titans
I don't think anyone is going to say the Titans are overrated. Not when they can play the disrespect card so well. That is the true mark of all the most annoying champions.
Stat of the Week
415: Matt Cassel's passing yards against the Dolphins. He is the first Patriots quarterback to throw for 400-plus yards in back-to-back games.
Cassel is 26, healthy, playing well, improving and enjoying his first opportunity to start since high school. Tom Brady is 31, injured, likely has his best football behind him, won't be completely healthy until 2010 when he is 33 and has stated in numerous interviews in recent years that he has interests in life outside football.
Could Bill Belichick look to keep Cassel as the starter long-term in hopes it will push Brady into early retirement? You know the thought has at least crossed his mind/circuit board.
Horrible Fantasy Team That Crushed Your Team This Week
Trent Edwards, QB, Bills: 273 passing yards, 2 TD, 38 rushing yards, 2 TD
Kevin Faulk, RB, Patriots: 105 total yards, TD
Leon Washington, RB, Jets: 8 carries, 82 yards, TD
Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons: 92 receiving yards, 1 rushing TD, 1 punt return TD
Ashley Lelie, WR, Raiders: 4 catches, 92 yards, TD
Derek Schouman, TE, Bills: 3 catches, 25 yards, TD
10 Things A Thinker Would Think to Think When Thinking
1. The now 0-11 Detroit Lions might have had their last best chance for a win slip through their hands Sunday, blowing a 17-0 second-quarter lead at home. Their remaining schedule is tough. Let's take a look and see what they must do to win:
Nov. 27 vs. 10-1 Titans: Follow the Jets' game plan from Sunday. And also place turkeys in the Tennessee locker room that have tryptophan levels 100 to 200 times above normal.
Dec. 10 vs. 6-5 Vikings: Don't let the Vikings' offense control the clock. And don't let the official scorer control the scoreboard.
Dec. 14 at 7-4 Colts: Put pressure on Peyton Manning. Specifically, in the neck area.
Dec. 21 vs. 5-5 Saints: Exploit the Saints' secondary. Exploit the Saints' sense of charity and mercy.
Dec. 28 at 5-5 Packers: Hope the Packers are resting their first through fourth string for the playoffs. Then do the opposite of everything they've done all season.
2. I did think it was rude of the Buccaneers to let the Lions take a 17-0 lead and then almost instantly wipe it all away and blow them out. That was unnecessarily cruel. The Buccaneers were probably the type of guys in high school who would invite the unpopular kids to parties, get the nerds' hopes up that they were finally accepted and then just make fun of them in front of everyone at the party, crushing their spirits and sending them on the path of being an obscure online sports-satire columnist. Or something like that.
3. I e-mailed Browns GM Phil Savage Sunday night, and this is what I got back:
"Phil Savage is currently out of the office. If you need immediate profanity, please contact Romeo Crennel at: email@example.com."
4. Did the Dolphins' coaches think Bill Belichick and the Patriots wouldn't be ready for the Wildcat formation this time? Miami needed to add a new wrinkle to it. Running the same exact thing was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Or, as Joey Porter might say, like bringing a cocker spaniel to a pit bull fight.
5. There weren't any particularly awful calls this week, nor were there any calls that affected point spreads. Clearly the massive gambling windfall that officials made last week on the Steelers-Chargers game allowed them all to finally purchase glasses, after years of fans imploring them to do so.
6. Braylon Edwards is killing the Browns with all his drops. He needs to concentrate and look the ball into his paddles.
7. The Broncos fell to 6-5 with their loss at home to the Raiders, yet maintained a two-game lead over the Chargers in the AFC West. Their remaining schedule is at the Jets, at home against Kansas City, at Carolina, at home against the Bills and at the Chargers. It's very possible they could go 1-4 down the stretch, finish 7-9 and still win the division and get to host a first-round playoff game. If the AFC West could be bottled, it would look like this.
8. Some people are saying it's good for the Titans that they lost. I've never understood that. How do you learn more from a loss than from a win? Wouldn't that make teams like the Lions and Rams a bunch of geniuses? Here are teams that never win, play with no expectations, always are at home by the end of December and get paid the same as players on winning teams. Hey, wait a minute
9. The Super Bowl is more than two months away, but there was plenty of exciting football action of consequence outside the NFL. In Canada, the Calgary Stampeders won the Grey Cup -- the Daytona 500 of Canadian football. And in California, the Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup -- the WNBA Finals of U.S. professional soccer. Congratulations to both teams.
10. Dear Tony Romo:
Please stop making it so hard to root against the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. You are ruining a time-honored American pastime.
I mean, what's the deal with all the good deeds? Taking a homeless man to see a movie? This just a few months after you stopped along the highway to help a stranded elderly couple change a flat tire? Come on! At least if you're going to do all this good-deed-ery, follow the example of your supposed role model and hold a press conference or text-message your pals in the football media when you do anything mildly commendable in order to let the world know what a swell guy you are. But you seem to insist on doing these acts of kindness anonymously, and for no other reason than to help your fellow man. Yuck. Who knows how many good deeds you've done that have never made it into the media? The mind shudders to think.
What's next -- you'll tell us you love Jessica Simpson for her beautiful personality first, then her talent and then her body a distant third? Have some dignity, man!
Your begrudging fan,
P.S.: Please kick a puppy or something so I can get past these feelings.
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.
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