The Weekly Tail ‘Gater: Winners, Losers, and Dopes from Week One

Mike Nanna

As ninety-eight percent of the Colgate male population ceased to be productive while essentially spending an entire Sunday watching the National Football League, our beloved obsession did not disappoint. The opening week was full of joy, heartbreak and drama, along with some interesting winners and losers. Let’s look at who was celebrating, who was crying and who was just plain awful from Week One.

Winners

Tony Romo: What happens when you blow a playoff game for your team, have the entire offseason to think about it and come into the new season under scrutiny on primetime Sunday Night Football? Chances are that you are not throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for another. Then again, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has defied the odds for quite some time, so Sunday night’s domination of the pathetic Giants defense was not all that surprising.

Cheeseheads: Your very own football Jesus gets sacked four times, throws an interception and had no passing touchdowns, while your rookie running back rushes for just 40 yards and your top receiver has one catch for fourteen yards. If you escape Week One with a victory after putting up those numbers, you should consider yourself lucky. Happy Birthday Packer fans!

Randy Moss: I could choose to put him in the “Dopes” category following his “game-show” comments, but lets stick to the football side of things. Moss was in vintage form Sunday, torching the Jets secondary like it was 1998. The 30-year old Patriots wide receiver was so good against my favorite team that I was almost glad that we only get Bills games in Central New York. Something tells me that hearing it on the radio wasn’t quite as painful.

Big Ben: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a classic “kick-to-the-nuts” year in 2006 Everything that could have plausibly gone wrong, went wrong. That’s why you had to feel good about him coming back and throwing for four scores in his team’s opening game against the Cleveland Browns. He will always be a little overrated because of his rookie Super Bowl win, but this kind of perseverance deserves respect.

The Rookies: Bills running back Marshawn Lynch, Lions wideout Calvin Johnson, Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson and even Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell all had stellar showings this weekend. Lynch dropped 90 yards and a score on a strong Denver defense; Johnson flashed his big-play ability with 70 yards and a touchdown, while Peterson showed the freakish physical skills that made him the center of attention since his freshman year at Oklahoma. Not to be forgotten, Russell had the best day of all, netting a $68 million contract with over $30 million guaranteed. Get some kid.

Super Mario: After all the heat the Texans took last year for passing on Reggie Bush and selecting Mario Williams number one overall in the draft, he finally displayed his immense potential in the Texans 20-3 trouncing of the Chiefs. Two sacks, one fumble recovery and a touchdown to go along with five tackles will go a long way towards building the confidence of a player that should be the cornerstone of the Houston defense for years to come.

Losers

Reggie Bush: Bush has redefined the meaning of hype thus far in his NFL career and, despite living up to his billing at times, remains inconsistent. Last Thursday night, the Saints tailback was dismal, rushing for just 38 yards to go along with seven yards receiving. If Bush is going to be the face of the NFL someday, he’s going to have to produce a little more than that.

Lil’ Joey: Former third-overall selection and Atlanta Falcons signal-caller Joey Harrington is simply the worst.

The Giants Training Staff: Someone needs to be fired when you lose your starting quarterback, running back and defensive end in the first game. As if Giants fans didn’t have enough to worry about with Tiki Barber taking potshots every other week at the current team, now they may well be watching the Pillsbury Throwboy on Sundays. That is humor my friends.

Jets Fans: This story will sum up what it is like being a Jets fan. Tom “Your Baby Daddy” Brady drives down the field and scores before halftime to put the Pats up by a touchdown. You go into the break knowing that if you can get a stop right after half, you’ll have a chance to tie things up. Then, Mike Nugent nails a sure touchback into the back of the endzone only to have it returned 108 yards by Ellis Hobbs for the longest return touchdown in history. I hate life sometimes.

Dopes

Bill Belichick and the Patriots Staff: You have three Super Bowl rings, your team clearly can outmatch any other squad in the league and yet you still feel the need to send some dope to the sidelines with a video camera to steal signals. This is not even the first time they have been caught before (Green Bay in 2006). The league will probably keep this as hush-hush as possible to avoid credibility issues, but this just isn’t right. Why in the world do you need to cheat and steal the Jets signals? What kind of jerks are you? You remind me of the guys who always win in poker because they are better than anyone else but cheat whenever they get the chance just to get that extra edge. Real classy, Bill.