Forgive me if this is a mumbling, disjointed mess. Check that... if this is a column not quite up to its piercing penetration, and uh... folks, it is late at night and I just did the 30-mile number from Giants Stadium west on Route 3, thence US 80, Cherry Hill Road, Rte. 46 and Lakewood Drive, where a candle and holly wreath were waiting in the window. Oh yes, got stopped on good old Rte. 46 in Wayne.
"Do you know why I stopped you?"
"No, sir." (I bestowed knighthood immediately.)
"Failure to maintain proper lane control." In other words, weaving a bit.
I had shown my license at this point and was searching for the other documents, which Linda had hidden somewhere in the forests of the glove compartment. Finally I stopped scratching about, faced up to the young Jersey state trooper and decided to throw myself on the mercy of the court.
"Look, I'm a writer," I said, "and I just covered the Giants-Redskins, and they've got construction going on there and I had to walk about half a mile under the stadium to get to the lot where I'd parked. I'm awfully tired." All of this was absolutely true.
"How was the game?"
"Not good. One team played hard, the other was just going through the motions."
"I guess you're not a Giants fan."
"No, sir, I'm not."
"You don't have to show any more documents. Just drive home safely."
And that's why you won't hear me ever saying any bad things about Jersey state cops. They listen to reason, once they've established that you're not reeking of alcohol and representing an accident just waiting to happen.
• Which leads me to question numero uno, which is, well, what was my take on the game, and the questioner is
I wanted to know about the last 6:12 of the game, a moment of truth of sorts. The score was 16-7. Washington got the ball on its own 10. It had run only 34 plays for the entire night up to this point. The Giant defense was as fresh as anyone could have been in that muggy, humid night. There was no sense of urgency in the Redskins' operation, no feeling the offense had to score twice within six minutes. They ran
OK, run the ball once, as a change of pace, but this fooled nobody. The passing was of the take-what-they-give-us, under the zone variety. There was no hustling in and out of the huddle, no spikes to stop the clock, nothing really deep downfield. A dull blah of an offense, in crunch time, and this was not the Zorn I remembered.
They ran 10 plays, gained 58 yards, took 4:10 off the clock and gave the ball back to the Giants with 2:02 left, having used only one of their three timeouts. People were heading for the exits. The 'Skins had done the Giants clock-killing job for them.
"Honestly, I don't know what they were doing," said Hall of Fame QB
"First game as head coach," Kendall said. "Give him a break."
"We were starting to move the ball," Zorn said when I caught up to him. "We picked up some yards on the ground. I thought if we could have scored, and then gotten the ball back with more than two minutes left, and held them, and..."
I told him that the old Jim Zorn would have gotten them in and out of the huddle in a hurry, would have called two plays at the line, killed the clock, whatever it took.
"Jim Zorn called his own plays," he said. "
"OK, we could have gotten in and out of the huddle faster, I'll give you that. Sense of urgency? Yeah, I guess that was lacking. The truth is that I'll have to sit down and go over this game pretty carefully."
I guarantee the films will be painful for him. He's in a tough spot. Sure, I still root for him. And on to the rest of the mailbag we go...
Which reminds me of a story.
The Patriots, the No. 1 team in its division, faces the No. 1 North team (Pittsburgh) and the top club in the South (Indy). That's 23 combined wins last year. Buffalo, the No. 2 team, picked up a pair of deuces, Jax and Cleveland (21 wins). The Jets got the threes, Cincy and Tennessee (20) and Miami got the bottom clubs, Houston and Baltimore (13). (
• Nice compliment from
At the league meetings in Phoenix one year, we were entertaining my wife's older brother and his wife at one of the parties. Jerry Jones came by and went out of his way to be particularly friendly to my brother in law. I can't think of another owner who would even have thought of it. I don't forget stuff like that. Nope, I like Jerry. Made the Redhead happy, made her family happy, made me happy.
• This is a tough one, from someone who signs it "
• Some very nice sentiments from
• My old TV partner,
For those of you who vainly seek