November 2011

Vince Young enjoyed a brief moment of redemption Sunday night as he led the slumping Philadelphia Eagles to a big win against the division rival New York Giants. Young, who the Tennessee Titans gave up on, signed as a backup with the Eagles, who had installed Michael Vick as their starter. Since winning the National Championship at Texas, Young had not really set the NFL on fire despite a glowing winning percentage and a proven track record of effectiveness in the fourth quarter.

Against the Giants, Young started slowly, throwing 3 interceptions, but with the score tied at 10 in the fourth quarter, Young led the Eagles on a marathon 8:51 drive to a touchdown that put the game away. On the drive, the Eagles converted 6 third downs. Young finished 23-36 for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It might not yet be a quarterback controversy, but perhaps the Eagles should give Vick some extra time to heal and let the man who dubbed Philadelphia “The Dream Team” a chance to show he is a front-line NFL QB.



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Kanata, ON — It was an unseasonably warm but gloomy day at historic Entrust Cryptography Field as the Irish Stout faced off against their bitter rivals, Peter’s Pirates. Both teams were without key players, the Stout were missing All-OFL slotback Kirk Ireland and the Pirates were without their rangy safety Carlos Nahas. The Stout still lined up multiple superstars led by their record-setting QB Paul McRae, lumbering tight end Bevan Watkiss, smooth striding end James Muir and lightening fast Ron Burman. The Pirates countered with seasoned QB Peter Arseneau and his trio of rookies, Liang Yao, Andrew Sung, and Tong Jia.

The game began in predictable fashion as the Stout scored quickly on a pass from McRae to the streaking Burman. “Hey, put your clothes back on!” screamed the assembled players, partially in jest. Watkiss followed this up with a catch for the PAT and just like that, it was 7-0 Stout. Then things entered the Twilight Zone. Uncharacteristically, McRae threw interceptions on consecutive drives, both deep in Pirate territory. However, despite the Stout opening the door a crack, the Pirates could not take advantage. McRae hit Watkiss at midfield on a crossing pattern and you could imagine the ghost of Roger Patterson recording the run as Watkiss sauntered into the endzone unmolested. A PAT to Muir boosted the Stout lead to 14-0. Muir scored another TD to increase the margin to 20-0 before the Pirates Hail Mary prayer was answered by Tong Jia, whose numerous short receptions were clearly a clever deception to draw in Burman so Arseneau could burn him on a long bomb, narrowing the gap to 20-6.

Watkiss again displayed some heretofore undiscovered athletic ability as he took another short pass on the sideline and tightroped into the endzone to make the score 26-6. Now late in the game, the Stout defense stopped the Pirates near the Pirate goal line as they were forced to gamble on fourth down. McRae drew up a play that was supposed to free up Watkiss on the right side, but Liang would have none of it, positioning himself between the passer and receiver. However, a high throw over Liang’s outstretched arms nestled into the waiting paws of Watkiss for the score as he came down right on the back line of the endzone. Not be deterred, Liang proceeded to intercept the PAT attempt, but it was too little, too late, as the final score ended up 32-6.

“I’m glad we showed we could win without Ireland,” said head coach McRae at the post-game press conference, “but we have to stop those interceptions! We need more Ken Dorsey and less Jacory Harris out there.” The assembled press corps immediately started googling on their phones to decipher the coach’s comments.

The Stout improved their record to 6-1 while the Pirates fell to 1-6.

November 16, 2011
Irish Stout 32, Peter's Pirates 6

McRae      5 TD, 2 PAT, 3 INT
Arseneau   1 TD

Watkiss    3 TD, 1 PAT
Muir       1 TD. 1 PAT
Burman     1 TD
Jia        1 TD

Yao        2 INT
Sung       1 INT

When his career is over, perhaps followed by a trip to Canton, the enduring question that will inevitably be associated with the Chicago Bears Devin Hester is “Why did anyone EVER kick to him?” He now has 17 kick or punt return touchdowns, the latest coming in the second quarter of the Bears game against the Detroit Lions when he picked up a bobble punt and raced up the left sideline for an 82 yard touchdown to put the Bears up 20-0 in a game they would eventually win 37-13.

Hester has been doing this ever since his time at the University of Miami.

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Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens finally got the monkey off their back by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, 23-20. It was a typical Steelers/Ravens game, with hard hits (both Ryan Clark and Ray Lewis were fined by the league) and a tense finish. After Ben Roethlisberger put the Steelers ahead with a 25 yard pass to Mike Wallace, Flacco and the Ravens started their do-or-die drive at their own 8 yard line with 2:17 left in the game. Despite a couple of drops by his receivers, Flacco remained focused and continued to move the ball down the field. On 3rd down at the Pittsburgh 26, Flacco broke the Steelers’ fans hearts with a strike to Torrey Smith. The Ravens defeated the Steelers for the second time this season and took a stranglehold on the AFC North.

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Kanata, ON — Fear not, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow as the Irish Stout returned to their winning ways after a monumental upset loss to Peter’s Pirates earlier this week. After delivering an effort on par with the 1968 New York Jets or the 2007 New York Giants, the Pirates faced the Stout for a second time this week. Following their bitter defeat, the Stout were in an ornery mood, but that did not prevent both teams from putting on an exciting display at legendary Entrust Cryptography Field.

The Stout were at full strength for this matchup, with their signal caller, Paul “The Increasingly Mad Bomber” McRae more or less fully recovered from his back injury, James “Bulletin Board Material” Muir, Kirk “They Only Lose When I Don’t Play” Ireland, Bevan “Throw It At My Head” Watkiss, and Ron “Polar Fleece” Burman all ready to play. The Pirates countered with Peter “Joe Namath” Arseneau, Carlos “David Tyree” Nahas, Andrew “Plaxico Burress” Sung, Tong “Don Maynard” Jia, and Liang “Johnny Sample” Yao.

After failing to score on their first possession, the Pirates turned the ball over to the Stout, who proceeded to execute a lightening fast hurry-up play to Burman for a quick 6-0 lead on a long throw from McRae. Nahas snuffed out the conversion attempt with an interception. After another scoreless Pirate drive, Muir scored on another McRae bomb for a 12-0 lead, which extended to 13-0 when Burman caught the PAT. “Oh, yeah, we’re bringing it,” said Muir, “I mean that in the most polite context possible.”

This would not become a Stout rout, however, as the plucky Pirates fought back. Arseneau passed to Nahas and converted to Sung to trim the Stout lead to 13-7. The Stout responded with a long Ireland TD to go ahead 19-7, but Nahas scored again to make it 19-13. The Stout were forced into their only punt of the day, but Ireland intercepted Arseneau on the goal line to set up a McRae to Burman connection and a 25-13 lead. Muir intercepted the Pirate pivot on the next possession and then hauled in a perfectly thrown McRae toss for a 31-13 lead, which became 32-13 after the Watkiss conversion.

Just when the Stout were asserting themselves and threatening to blow out the Pirates, Liang Yao intercepted McRae deep in the Pirate end of the field and scooted the length of the gridiron for touchdown to make the score 32-19. Not to be denied this day, McRae kept heaving long bombs at the Pirate defense with success, hitting Ireland in stride for a 38-19 lead. Despite time running out, Arseneau moved his team down the field and used his rookie slotbacks to score a TD to Sung and a PAT to Jia.

The contest now stood with the Stout ahead 38-26, but whatever flickering hope of another historic upset by the Pirates was extinguished by a Watkiss TD from McRae on the flag pattern. A Burman conversion on a nice dipsy doodle move ended the Stout scoring with them ahead 45-26. A late TD from Nahas and conversion by Sung made the final 45-33 in one of the highest scoring games in league history.

“Just win, baby!” said McRae, echoing the words of the late Al Davis. The Stout now lead the OFL at 5-1, while the Pirates are at 1-5.

November 4, 2011
Irish Stout 45 Peter's Pirates 33

McRae      7 TD, 3 PAT, 2 INT
Arseneau   4 TD, 3 PAT, 2 INT

Nahas      3 TD
Burman     2 TD, 2 PAT
Ireland    2 TD
Muir       2 TD
Sung       1 TD, 1 PAT
Watkiss    1 TD, 1 PAT
Jia        1 PAT

Yao        1 INT (TD ret)
Ireland    1 INT
Muir       1 INT
Nahas      1 INT

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