Dan Dierdorf was uniquely bad last week wasn’t he? Some color announcers are disturbingly hacky in telling us what we already know. I’d long thought, ‘That’s just the job.’ That the Network Color Analyst Manifesto starts: Be sure to let the viewers know that instant replay overturns must be based on irrefutable evidence; then be sure to define irrefutable. But then (thanks to Cheddar Bay) I started watching college football in earnest. There are a lot of good analysts working football games. If you caught the Kent/ArkSt Godaddy Bowl, you might have appreciated Brock Huard (and David Jones adopting just the right play-by-play tenor). They’ll show you a tackle ‘blocking down’ on the edge and a guard busting out to lead a sweep. They’ll identify if that absurd interception from your QB was actually due to a WR cutting off his route. And for the teenager in all of us, telestrator dong is always a possibility.
[ok, that's enough.]
No, what set me off last Saturday was the Asante Samuel tongue bath Dan Dierdorf applied to the Falcons’ CB last week. How in the wide wide world of sports does Asante Samuel continue to get slack on the Byner_fumble/RedRight88 of his generation? I’m sure it has to do with the Pats winning three Super Bowls in like five years preceding this and so the cursed fan-base narrative doesn’t fit. But this Samuel drop was 100% game losing. Hell: on RR88/Drive/Fumble you can say that Hayes/Elway/Castille made plays; this gag is on Samuel and Samuel only.
You know of course what the next play was. → →
But what you didn’t know was that Tyree was Samuel’s responsibility. Go to 2:20 of this clip (sorry, commercial precedes it) and Rodney Harrison walks through that play and that Samuel was supposed to cover Tyree.
How does this tie back to Cleveland? Well first, not everything has to tie back to Cleveland and in fact I didn’t intend for this to have any Cleveland angle. BUT. But it is notable that within 24 hours of Samuel’s free agent availability in the aftermath of his Buckner-esque, Super Bowl losing performance he signed a 6 year/59MM contract with??? That’s right: Joe Banner and the Philadelphia Eagles. The denouement of that deal had Samuel traded to the Falcons for a 7th round pick and the Eagles carrying 1.2MM of dead money against their cap in 2012.
But that’s not the point.
The POINT here is: you WILL have Phil Simms telling you about Asante Samuel’s greatness on Sunday. Take it with a grain of salt.
Back later with a take on the Norv signing. Hint: I will explore the pessimistic/fatalistic/totally-Cleveland angle. (This is one’s for you Pete where ever you are.)
And so Mike Lombardi is named VP-Player Personnel. Welp. Tommy Vardell was 20 years ago. We’ll try to find a fresh look at Lombardi too.
ALSO: note that Cheddar Bay action is now accessed through a link in the header/menu bar.