Tim Marcin’s: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

By Tim Marcin
Elm Staff Writer

The Good
This season has been dubbed “The Year of the Pitcher” in baseball, and the postseason is surely living up to that nickname. The pitching in the playoffs may even exceed the expectations that arose after such a fantastic regular season. After Roy Halladay’s no hitter, and Tim Lincecum’s 14 strikeout performances, one thought the best pitching had to be over. Then Cliff Lee comes and proves once again that he is likely the best big game pitcher in the league.

Lee is the Yankees’ kryptonite. He continually has success against the boys from the Bronx, bringing the “Evil Empire” to its knees. Lee went eight innings, allowing no runs and only two hits in a 8-0 Texas Rangers win. The performance was the only time the Yankees have ever been blanked in the playoffs under the helm of manager Joe Girardi. This big win put the Rangers ahead 2-1 in the series, comfortably in the driver’s seat. Lee also recorded 13 strikeouts while lowering his ERA to an outrageous 0.75 in the playoffs. This is better than his already sparkling career postseason ERA of 1.26. Teammate Ian Kinsler put it best, describing Lee’s performance as, “absolute dominance”. Cliff Lee always seems to be his best when it matters most, and any team taking him on in the playoffs (even the high-powered Yankees) can only hope he suddenly forgets how good he really is.

The Bad
The Dallas Cowboys dug themselves into quite a hole on Sunday. In a game dubbed “The Panic Bowl” against the Vikings, the Cowboys lost out. It was called this because both teams needed a win to not start 1-4, when both were considered top teams at the beginning of the year. Minnesota escaped with a 24-21 win, largely due to the Cowboy’s lack of discipline.

They committed a ridiculous 11 penalties for 91 yards, including an excessive celebration call, after they suffered a crushing excessive celebration penalty the week before. This is not a new trend for the Cowboys. Dallas averages 9.8 penalties a game, which is second to only the Detroit Lions. Tony Romo also threw two interceptions to Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson that resulted in 10 points. The Cowboys are now in last place in the NFC East, after being considered the favorite at the start of the year. It is now officially panic mode in Dallas. Can they turn it around? Only time will tell, but if they keep averaging 10 penalties a game, it hard to believe that they will right the sinking ship.

The Ugly
Brett Favre has once again tried his hand at a comeback. He once again had a faux-retirement. He once again shocked no one when he came back. He has however, been largely unsuccessful in his return to the NFL this year, unlike many years past. The Vikings are 2-3 and struggling. If not playing a Dallas team that gave away the game, they would likely be 1-4. Favre is having a forgettable year on the field, his struggles mirroring the team’s. He has already thrown 7 interceptions and has a QB rating of 72.1. Last year he threw 7 interceptions the whole year and had a QB rating of 107.2.

Favre has also had off the field issues. He is under investigation from the league after allegations arose about sexual harassment. He allegedly acted inappropriately toward a New York Jets employee back when he played for them.

Favre had a great year in 2009, and perhaps he should have ended it there. It was an amazing feat that he was able to lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship game at that age and was playing on bad elbow and ankle. The fact that it ended poorly was too much for Favre. He needed to win that game and a Superbowl. He is seemingly obsessed with leaving a great legacy. He wants to be undoubtedly the greatest quarterback of all time. Unless he turns things around, he is has only tarnished that legacy by coming back in 2010.

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