Sports

Gahnta dah Supah Bahl: Monday night madness

How did we find a way to monopolize Monday night?

Two games on a Monday night ruins the whole novelty of Garfield’s least favorite weekday. Disney didn’t just stiff-arm its way into the NFL network to get more games for ABC — it’s also using its newfound glory to create the “Toy Story Football Funday.” If you ever wanted to see Trevor Lawrence animated as Woody slinging dimes downfield, you’ve got some disturbing dreams. Nonetheless, your prayer to whatever Disney deity you believe in has been answered. You can thank the company for finding innovative ways to take the prime out of primetime football. What’s the point in having a 7:15 p.m. game if you’re just going to crowd it out with the true primetime 8:15 p.m. slot anyway? Not like that 7:15 p.m. game should have reached human eyes anyway.

A Saints vs. Panthers game is like watching paint dry during an 8 a.m. class. It’s mind numbing. David Tepper, owner of the Panthers, needs to attend his own classes, because my limited Principles of Microeconomics experience would lead me to believe the socially optimal quantity of putrid football is not this high. And to the Saints: how do you have such an underrated receiving core that still manages to be a snoozefest every week? Derek Carr is playing like checks notes Derek Carr. All New Orleans did was move him from gambling to gumbo, and just like any good car, he is still middle-of-the-road.

Oh… it’s time to talk about the Steelers, huh. Y’know, it’s bizarre that the NFL gave them a bye week this early. While I was peacefully asleep, I had a horrifying nightmare that the Steelers played the Browns in a game so unrealistically awful, it has to be something my head conjured up with terrible football fresh on my mind.

In the first 15 minutes, I had to watch Nick Chubb’s knee snap like a slam poetry crowd, absolutely murdering the Browns’ slow, static offense. We still got mercilessly cooked by their backup, but no amount of phenomenal running backs can change that 230-million-dollar stain on the human population not knowing how to make decisions in the pocket. Deshaun Watson has more sexual assault charges than completions. No, I’m not joking.

Thank you, Steelers, for defeating such a villain. The only problem is that it’s like every superhero movie ever: they destroyed an entire city of Yinzers in the process. I’m no gridiron guru, but maybe the alt-right has a point — some books need to be burned, starting and ending with Matt Canada’s terrible playbook. Kenny is not the Benny of old. In fact, Big Ben and his arthritic, women-respecting shoulder were less likely to underthrow 15 yard passes, but I like to think Pickett would be a teensy bit more successful if he wasn’t told to throw the ball backwards every time we needed 10 yards.

We keep getting smoked behind the line of scrimmage, so the perfectly sane option that has worked oh-so-well is to make sure the receiver gets the ball there every time. Najee runs like he wants to lose exactly one yard on every play. Oh, and you know the guy literally nicknamed NFL Youngboy because he treats cornerbacks like beanbags, makes impossible catches regardless of whether they count or not, and is in general a menace to society every time he steps on a football field? Realizing the solution was simply “screw it, just give it to George” was like cracking a one-letter coding error. That’s all it took… and then Matt Canada forgot how to program the “Hello World” equivalent of an offense and we had to witness this monstrosity.

Our defense scored more points than our offense. Alex Highsmith tossed for more touchdowns than Kenny with a pick six on the very first snap of the game, and a forced fumble so clean it might as well have been a dime straight to TJ Watt for another six. While the run defense got slightly torched, the rest of the unit sure did teach Watson a lesson about unwanted touching by sacking him a whopping six times and forcing two fumbles. Seriously, it was like a game of baseball — magic happens when the defense has the ball.

Due to a glitch in the system, the Steelers are somehow listed at 1-1 now. They must’ve forgotten to broadcast that game or something, but with a score like 26-22, I’m sure it was a great one. Such a shame no one saw it happen.