Almanac NFL – The Barry Sanders Cup: NFL Week Three


Image: Wikipedia


Greetings Tipsters,

Chicago Bears plumbing new depths of ineptness, Robert Saleh struck dumb while trying to make excuses for his quarterback, Mike McDaniel lacks the killer instinct, Justin Herbert wasted with the Chargers, is Mr Irrelevant really quarterbacking a Superbowl favourite?

49ers v Dolphins is the hot tip this week, battle of the hipster nerd coaches. Who wouldn’t rather see Mike Vrabel’s barrel chest stalking the sideline? Anyway, Kyle’s schemin’ around Brock, Mike’s praying Tua’s jiu-jitsu lessons will pay off, Joe Cool tried to play through a bung leg that got worse.

Cowboys went 70-10 in first two games then got done by Cardinals, a team generally assumed to be tanking. Winning games with journeyman rocket scientist Josh Dobbs under centre isn’t how that’s meant to be done.

He’s doing better than the odious but handsome Zach Wilson, best known for having an affair with his mum’s best mate, or his best mate’s mum, and for blaming his teammates for a putrid performance last season. It was all supposed to be different this year, Jets trading for darkness retreat aficionado and four time MVP Aaron Rodgers, who even took a pay cut to show what a team-first guy he is, then ripped his Achilles tendon four snaps into the season. Now it’s back to Zach and if Coach Saleh had any hair, he’d have torn it out by now. Even Broadway Joe is ripping into the quarterback, who sacked himself last week.

Still, could be worse. Over in the Windy City, QB Justin Fields slagged the coaches, who are doing a terrible job, and half the team are wandering about the field wishing they were somewhere else. In the rarefied air of Colorado, Broncos O-lineman Garrett Bolles said, “I’ve been here seven years and all I’ve done is lost.”

Actually, he said it in Miami after losing 70 to 20. Dolphins had 70 points up after 52 minutes then proceeded to run a bunch of short yard rushing plays and forewent a dead-sure field goal that would have tied for the all-time highest score.

Some call it ‘showing respect’, I call it condescension. Fins fans haven’t had much to cheer about for fifty years, who is Mike McDaniel to deny them the joy of an all-time record? Worth noting here that the Dolphins stadium is aligned in such a way that the oppo sideline is in the glaring sun – so much for sportsmanship.

“I’m talking to America,” said the umpire when Geno Smith interrupted him explaining a decision. Good for you, anonymous officiator!

Nick Chubb’s knee went sideways in Week Two. If you remember Richard Osborne in 1989 or Joel Smith in 1997, it was like that, but worse. The big networks refused to show replays. Nick’s a running back, one of those ‘heart of the team’-type players and Browns need all of that, especially with Sleazy Deshaun Watson on a fully guaranteed $230m and not playing like he deserves it.

American Football is the most brutal of all football codes. Season-ending injuries are expected. The game demands a near-suicidal willingness to give and take hits. Look up a game highlights vid on utb and study the linemen smacking into each other.

It’s also a game of extraordinary finesse. Imagine a 6’5”, 300lb D-lineman doing a practice drill of balletic precision or a linebacker studying film for hours so he knows, to the inch, where his hands and arms ought be.

When the ball is snapped, every one of 22 players on the field has a job to do. I’ve paused replays every quarter second just to study the D alignment and how they attack the pocket, the receivers routes, the safetys coverage, the O line blocking to open a gap for a running back. It is total intensity.

Chess with violence. I love it. It is the football equivalent of the Isle Of Man TT. With a million tales in any given week.

Cheers Tipsters

Brought to you with the assistance of John Coltrane, ‘Live at the Village Vanguard Again’


To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.



About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Great to have you back Earl. Only been 3 years. Did Stop Privatisation of Football Productions get privatised?
    Did Trans Dementia Inc forget the login password? Any updates on Perky Girl? Did the Job Experience girl take that internship at PWC?
    Enough catching up. Jeez your Monaro’s opened the throttle and flattened it all the way down Conrod Straight until just losing a bit of grip rounding Murray’s Corner.
    Don’t know much about NFL but the article’s vibe was great. Keep ’em coming.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter, the NFL Legal Dept would hunt me down like a rabid dog if I wrote under ‘Stop Privatisation Of Footy..’ My counsel, WH Taft, is working on it. Work experience girl Vanessa Nguyen is now at the LHC and assures me that time travel is not possible (nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) Perky Girl is living the good life.
    Monaros give me hope that Detroit Lions can win a playoff this season.

Leave a Comment