Saturday, October 22, 2011

Countdown to NFL Week 7: The NFC East and Chris Cooley's Frustrations

By Finesse

[We're counting down to Week 7 with analysis of some of the league's biggest stories. In Part 1, we covered The Carson Palmer Hypothetical; in Part 2 we looked at the Donovan McNabb trade; and in Part 3 we surveyed the AFC playoff picture.]

The NFC East

A common theme you've heard this year is that the NFC East is down.  At least two problems with that theory:

1) It implies that the NFC East is usually "up" which is odd because the Cowboys have won one postseason game since the 1990's (which was followed by a 30-point loss), the Redskins aren't half as relevant on a national stage as they think they are, the Giants are one lucky helmet catch away from being a footnote to history, and the Eagles annually find creative ways to pour gasoline on their fans and set them ablaze.

"I told you! I want to use all my timeouts in the third quarter!"
2) This season, the NFC East is actually NOT down -- it's the same as it always is.  Technically, this depends on whether you think the Eagles can turn it around because if they can, then you have four teams that are each tough: the Skins and Cowboys have strong defenses, the Giants can run the ball, and the Eagles are as explosive as anyone when Michael Vick isn't getting concussed.  Though the anti-east-coast-bias'ers may want to bury the NFC East, the fact is that there is only one team in the entire NFC -- Green Bay -- that is definitively and unquestionably better than every team in the NFC East.

Staying in the NFC East: Chris Cooley is Frustrated

You may remember his brother Tanner -- yes, he's named after an adjective and has a Twitter account dedicated to being the parrot on his big brother's shoulder who chirps back at people who critique Chris  -- as the guy who blogged in February of 2009 that he saw Sidney Crosby "cry like a 7 year old who got beat up by the school yard bully" and that the Penguins wouldn't make the playoffs.

Chris, the Redskins' backup tight end, is out indefinitely with a hand injury and he feels "frustrated."  He has vowed to come back at a higher level than before, which presumably means he will go from definitely being a non-threat to probably being a non-threat.

Contrast his current disappointment with the delight he felt a few weeks ago when Tony Romo was throwing unlimited interceptions.  Here's some of what he wrote at the time:
And as a player who has decided to share my real personality with the fan base, I make a clear choice with expressing my political incorrectness as an entertaining attempt to engage as a real person. I will not apologize if my sense of humor and hint of sarcasm is difficult to ascertain by the more serious NFL supporters.
Just as Cooley was delighted about Romo's failures, we're delighted by his rapid skill-decline.  We will not apologize to our less serious readers for the fact that we aren't trying to be funny or sarcastic about that -- we're genuinely delighted.

This occurred while the 10-1 Steelers were defeating the 3-8 Redskins in 2004.
Look, we don't really know whether Cooley is on the decline because he's not good enough to be on anyone's fantasy team so no one really cares.  But what we do know is that if you ever find yourself in a position of trying to explain to people that you have a sense of humor, you've done something wrong.  Likewise, if you're an overpaid and injury prone tight end who had 8 catches this season before your injury, and your backup is probably going to make the Pro Bowl, you should rent, not buy.  We don't know whether he's washed up.  But it sounds like the water is running.

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