Monday, January 7, 2008

Department of Why Do I Care?

Specifically during the course of the basketball season, The Dalembert Report is seen primarily as a haven for a plethora of information regarding Sixers Basketball, the various exploits of Slammin' Sammy the Haitian Sensation and the forum for which it's contributing writers can exorcise some of our many inner demons, to varying degrees of success. From a general perspective, the DR represents all things Philly, sports and beyond. This certainly includes football. Taking nothing away from any of my other local squads, for whom I devote plenty of love, if my heart was represented as a whole chicken at a table of the four major Philly teams, the Eagles would be the father to whom the big piece is awarded. That's word to Chris Rock.

As everyone knows, the Eagles did not make the playoffs this year. As if that intense psychological pain wasn't enough, we also got to receive a steel-toed boot kick to the groin by being the only team in the NFC East that didn't make it. Then, as if lying in the fetal position on the ground in severe mental anguish with a badly injured groin wasn't torturous enough, a shadowy figure stood over us and began hurling awful insults with the announcement Sunday that the Giants would face the Cowboys in the divisional playoff game.

There was a time when the Eagles and playoff football were all but synonymous, and while I won't lament those days too much, as I genuinely feel that they are not a thing of the past but rather a few key players away from being a reality again, I must take issue with the thought that I might not have to put up with this coming Sunday's debacle were the Birds slightly more capable than they were this past season. At the end of the day though, I suppose there really is no use crying over dead cows, or however the saying goes. So, considering that I hate both the Giants and the Cowboys fairly equally, I figured that I was just as qualified as any other "unbiased" reporter to take out some aggression and do some pre-game analysis, and as such I present to you the keys to the Battle of Who Cares:

Key Offensive Player Comparison

QB: Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo

With a different last name, Eli Manning is the Gatorade boy for the Dolphins. With a different first letter to his last name, Tony Romo's name becomes a hilariously (assuming a juvenile sense of humor like mine, of course) accurate description of the man. That being said, and as much as I hate to admit it, Jessica Simpson's shopping pal and gossip buddy seems to suck slightly less than Peyton's extra-chromosome-afflicted little bro. One thing though, I strongly urge unbiased NFL officials to closely inspect any game balls that Dallas keeps on its sidelines that may be placed into play when they are on offense. I strongly suspect that in the same vein as Lamar Latrell's javelin in Revenge of the Nerds, the Cowboys have a master of aerodynamics on staff that has engineered the footballs to complement Romo's limp-wristed throwing style. Just a thought.

Advantage: Tony "Does this shirt bring out my eyes" Romo

WR: Plaxico Burress vs. Terrell Owens

On one side, you have a tall, skinny WR that is constantly whining about not getting the ball, and genuinely thinks that a defensive back looking at him for too long should draw a penalty, and looks like he quite possibly is the result of an alien abduction. On the other side, you have the antichrist, who coincidentally also perpetually complains about the lack of ball reception (insert obvious joke here)

Advantage: T.O. is coming off of an injury and is more likely to be double and triple teamed (joke time), but despite what some of these 'experts' may tell you, Burress is a bum. As with this entire article, I am forced to swallow my pride, and give the nod to T.O.

RB: Brandon Jacobs vs. Marion Barber/Julius Jones

Jacobs is as big as a linebacker with the speed of a back, but only if he can bust through the middle. However, if the Cowboys can contain him (which isn't hard, as despite his freakish appearance, he's just not that good at busting through) inside and force him outside, he should almost be a non factor, seeing as – to paraphrase a comment from a TV announcer over the weekend – he turns corners like a SEPTA bus. Julius Jones has never really impressed me, unlike Marion Barber who has scared me every time he's lined up against the Birds. Luckily for the Giants, the geniuses running Dallas' offense are either too stubborn or too daft to recognize this and split the carries, generally in favor of Jones. Unless they switch up and give Barber AT LEAST 2/3 of the carries, I'm willing to call the running game almost a non-factor. I'm also calling this the only remotely serious comparison I'll make today.

Advantage: See above. Depends on Dallas' run defense, and their offensive play calling. Why am I doing this to myself? I'm becoming everything I hate...

TE: Shockey's Crappy Rookie Replacements vs. Jason Witten

Easiest call of the day. Witten is the only Cowboy I actually have real respect for (and is the reason that I keep my pimp hand strong, because the day I run across the genius in the Eagles organization who decided to draft LJ Smith over Witten, they're getting a backhand from the ankle), and the other guy(s) is/are Shockey's crappy rookie replacement(s).

Advantage: Duh.

Key Match Up of the Game

NY's Defensive Line vs. Dallas's Offensive Line

This might be the biggest match up of the day. Led by grumpy old man Michael Strahan and Nigerian bul Osi Umenyiora, the Giants D-Line has the potential to make any QB's day completely suck. Add to the problem that Tony Romo welcomes male contact, and the Cowboy's O-Line is going to be busier than a smack dealer during the apocalypse. Luckily for Dallas, the O-Line allowed only 24 sacks of Romo this year, which is only double the amount of times the Giants sacked McNabb in one friggin game, and the line is largely unaffected by injury going into Sunday's matchup but will certainly have their hands full. If they can contain the rush and make room for RBs to break through, it might be damn near impossible for the Giants to keep them from racking up points. Conversely, if the Giants D-Line can shred the Cowboy's front five, kill the run and chase Romo out of the pocket with some type of regularity, that will certainly change the game, as it's a pretty safe bet that with the stakes this high, Romo will self-destruct under the pressure. Again.


Most normal game analysts use this part of the article to make their prediction on the numerical outcome of the game, picking a winner, etc. Considering the nature of this game, it is only appropriate to pick the loser. That would be me. And you. Regardless of which team comes out the victor, the entire city of Philly takes the L on principle. Chances are that Dallas will probably win this game – which, incidentally I have dubbed "The Massengill Bowl" - but it really doesn't matter, considering Brett Favre and the Packers (I mean, I guess the Seahawks could win, but c'mon) are gonna go old school on their asses in the Championship game.


Oh, and Indy is taking New England out in two weeks, but we can save that thought until next time…..


  1. A bevy of homosexual jokes keeps this DR reader happy. On the positive side, at least we don't have to see Bill Parcell's FUPA this year.

  2. It's a gift and a curse. If there were FUPA jokes to be made, the post would easily have been three times longer.

    And, to avoid charges of slander, I categorically deny that I directly referred to anyone as a homosexual. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  3. I meant libel, for any of you law school jerkoffs who know you were about to correct me. Joe.