Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.
It was a good week for ...
It was a bad week for ...
1. Ray Rice: He got fired by his team, suspended by the league and turned into the face of domestic violence in America. Not good.
2. The Shield: Remember the ghostly demon cloud that hovered over Manhattan in Ghostbusters? Yeah, it's kind of like that right now.
What the What?
You just got ... ICE'D UP! (sorry)
Is there a more emasculating play in football than being on the hammer end of an open-field stiff arm that sends you tumbling to the turf?
In honor of Smith Sr., let's just call this type of play an Ice Up. As in ...
Me: "Did you see Steve Smith Sr. ice up Pacman Jones on Sunday?
Friend: "Wait, who's Steve Smith Sr.?"
Me: "Um, the famous wide receiver. He added the 'Sr.' part after his son was born."
Friend: "Really? Steve Smith's dad has to be, like, 70. That's old for professional football, no?"
Me: "You're stupid and I don't think we should hang out anymore."
Welcome to my madness
Every season, there's one commercial that you make a binding, non-verbal, unconscious agreement to watch 35,000 times in exchange for free football on your TV. Who can forget -- seriously, can you tell me how to forget -- last year, when Sara Bareilles repeatedly demanded, "HONESTLY, I WANT TO SEE YOU BE BRAVE."
The new ubiquitous commercial (above) has one detail that stands a good chance of driving me into therapy by December. So, the emotionally detached man at the picnic daydreams of shedding numerous Jets defenders on the way to a glorious touchdown for the Patriots. Then we see him get snapped out of his daydream as he watches a Jets-Pats game on his phone with an officially licensed Jets football in his possession.
Is it possible that Emotionally Detached Picnic Guy roots for the Jets publicly, but secretly pulls for -- even fantasizes about -- the Patriots? If so, how did he get this way? Why has he chosen to live his life as a lie? Should more Jets fans do this? Was this simply a logic gaffe by the commercial's director?
Please tell me I'm not alone in this glass house of insanity.
Tweet of the week
The best part of this story is Antonio Brown telling reporters that he and Browns punter Spencer Lanning spoke after the game, a conversation that Lanning says never happened. I like to imagine Brown (now eight grand lighter in the pocket) profusely apologizing to a wildly confused stadium employee who's too uncomfortable to stop him.
This is one of the best throws I've ever seen
Not nearly enough was made of Matthew Stafford's second touchdown against the Giants on Monday night. I'm actually mad that our video editing team gave the clip a Calvin Johnson slant. Sure, it was a great catch, but the throw -- the throw -- was a piece of art. I wrote about it earlier in the week. And now I'm writing about it again. During an unpleasant time for football, this is the stuff to hold on to.
Quote of the Week, Part I
"The 20-cent tip was more of just a statement."
I'm torn on this story. On one hand, I can see McCoy's point if his server was being "rude and disrespectful," as the Eagles star claimed. On the other hand, a 20-year-old Dan Hanzus -- the guy who spent a summer during college wearing flair and suspenders at TGI Friday's -- knows the waves of rage and frustration that wash over you when you get stiffed on a tip.
Ultimately, McCoy picked the wrong battle, because nobody is going to side with the pro athlete signed to a $45 million contract. If McCoy feels compelled to make a similar "statement" in the future, he should pay in cash.
And finally, this week's Sit A Couple Plays Out Award goes to ...
Predictably, Fitz Jr. shot down his dad's comments. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall during that Skype call?
Until next time ...