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    Fallen heroes, Jinximus Maximus Mortimus, and some quick football thoughts ...

    1) How sad is this photo below? Charles Rogers was a former star Michigan State wide receiver and a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions just a few years ago. Like most of the Lions picks over the past decade, Rogers was an unmitigated disaster; doing very little on the field except suffering season-ending injury after season-ending injury. He was quickly out of the league, and apparently has since experienced only trouble. His latest arrest was for violating probation stemming from an assault and battery case in September. He also is apparently addicted to pain medicine, which may be why he looks so unhealthy in the picture.

    For me, star athletes who fall from grace are among the saddest stories out there. They are feted and celebrated their entire lives, repeatedly told how special they are, used and abused in a college sports program that offers them nothing but a half-assed education that is a very distant priority at best. As one who believes ultimate responsibility lies with the self, I'm not excusing the behavior of fallen heroes or absolving them from blame for their own predicaments. But I don't see how one can't feel tremendous sadness over their tragic stories, and wonder about the ways we put flawed young men and women up on pedestals because of some innate physical ability they may possess (and then eagerly tear them down when they don't live up to the hype).

    2) I'd say that Mortimus jinxed his Jets with that pro-Jet post he did a couple of weeks ago, now that the team has followed up on two impressive wins against the Patriots and Titans with stinkers against the Broncos and 49ers, but how can you jinx an already jinxed franchise. I'd also normally say - as someone who likes tweaking the giant green Mort-dog and as a Rams fan who would love the company of misery - that the Jets recent skid has gladdened me, but I actually have found myself liking this Jets team and rooting for them.

    Also, while i agree colts/ravens right now look like the two most likely AFC wildcard teams, I still say the Dolphins make the playoffs, something Mortimus said he would take any odds wouldn't happen.

    3) So my alma mater Northwestern is going to play my hometown college team the Mizzou Tigers in the Alamo Bowl in a few weeks ... who the hell am I going to root for? Who should I root for? I rooted my entire childhood for the Tigers, which aside from occasional basketball successes was a mostly depressing exercise, but I'm leaning toward cheering for my alma mater. That's mainly because the 1996 football season and my senior year - in which the perennial Big Ten doormat beat Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State en route to the Rose Bowl - remains one of my top five sports experiences.

    4) One of my two fantasy football teams barely snuck into the playoffs and trails by 15 points going into tonight's game. My opponent has Steve Smith left, I have DeAngelo and either one of the two QBs (Garica and Delhomme are both on my roster). Do I protect myself by playing Delhomme (who's at home against a tough TB defense), basically negating Steve Smith's points and hope that DeAneglo makes up the difference or do I start Garcia (who's on the road but playing a less-impressive Panther pass def and also likely to get some running yardage points). It's a point-per-reception league. Any thoughts? (I'm well aware that the vast majority of you reading this now have glazed eyes).



    My post was about "cashing in early," and like the seasoned Jet fan I am I timed my glorious exit with pinpoint precision. My 2X inverse short position in NYJ has tripled in two weeks time. As you said, the Jets are unjinxable. They are a cursed entity from another Milkier Way - if a mortal Jinx were to even look at the Jets roster it would dissolve into salt in presence of something far more potent and poisonous than Mr. Jinx himself.

    Oh i know the main point of your post was to express a skepticism about your current euphoria and a nod to the fact that you fully knew the good times wouldn't last, but there was also a slight undercurrent of 'this time, it just may different'

    at any rate, i'm now eagerly looking forward to week 17 when miami and pennington plays the jets and favre. winner wins the AFC East, loser misses the playoffs and goes home for the holidays. unless of course, that bastard belichick wins the damn thing again. have you looked at tiebreaking scenarios already?

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