Friday Firesmith – No Love For The Burmese Python

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One of these days we’ll talk about how to avoid being attacked by a dog, but that isn’t something most dog owners think about very much. I have mutts of some size and I’ve learned, the hard way, to start training puppies when they are still puppies. You can, in point of fact, teach an old dog new tricks, but it is a hell of lot easier to start them out right. And it’s less painful. My youngest dog, Lucas, at three years old and at over one hundred pounds, still has a lot of puppy in him. He’s rough and rambunctious because we play hard at my house. But when I tell him to stop he stops cold. When I tell him to sit he sits and if I tell Lucas to stay he will be right there
when I get back.

In my life I have owned dozens of snakes. I’ve never owned an exotic snake before, and never saw much of a need to go out and get something I couldn’t release back into the wild where I found it. Snakes are cool animals and they are interesting, but they are not pets. Snakes recognize three things in other animals, and three things only; those things that are edible, those things that consider snakes edible, and those things that are breeding material. The very best you can hope for in a snake is that it excludes you from all three categories and you become part of the background noise of the universe.

The problem is snakes are not trainable. No, wait, that is a problem, but the biggest problem is they flat do not give a damn about your life. You live, you die, to the snake it isn’t like he’s losing a pal here. A one hundred pound snake is a creature that is exceedingly dangerous. Not because it is likely to kill you but because it is not likely to care if you’re dead. A one hundred pound Burmese python can kill an adult human being and unless you know what you’re doing and you do it fast, you’re going to be dead.

In snake, no one can hear you scream.

A large constrictor may not view you as food but it may just be trying to get you away from it. It may have a bad day. It may be asleep and you startled it. The point here is there is no reason to keep a python. Sure, there are smaller species that cannot kill you but why? Why devote time to an animal who won’t ever love you when you can rescue a stray and you will be loved for it? Pythons belong in the wild as do all snakes. Dogs belong with someone, and maybe someone like you. The current infestation of Burmese pythons in Florida is a very wicked reminder these animals owe us nothing. I love snakes, really I do. But snakes are not pets, and pythons can be

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Best Laid Plans

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So a friend of mine has a wife that is a nurse, and one of her friends just hit thirty and the biological clock began to tick quite loudly for the woman, who we will refer to as Brenda. As a nurse she works sixty hours a week and does some weekend shifts so her social life consists of
falling asleep with her cat sleeping on top of her. Someone pointed out that one of the guys who works with Brenda, the socially inept Jim the radiologist, who has shown irrational interest in
Brenda from the beginning and is rather an idiot, isn’t a bad looking guy, and the pictures of his young children, well, the little girl looks a lot like Brenda. His ex-wife left him for a member of her own species, but as someone points out to Brenda, Jim has been used to good effect as a sperm donor before. A plan is hatched, no pun intended.

Brenda tells Jim she wants a kid but not him, and he tells her he’s all for it, and so they begin meeting at her place after work for fertilization. She takes a few shots of tequila, thinks about
George Clooney, and prays Jim falls asleep sooner than later, so she can go sleep on the sofa with the cat.

This goes on for the better part of six or seven months with no pregnancy and Brenda is beginning to get used to the idea that Jim is better than nothing, even if he can’t remember to leave the seat down. She actually goes off with him for a weekend of fun and fertilization and her friends rolls their eyes at him, but Brenda is liking the idea of her kids looking like Jim’s kids more and more.

So Brenda is in the ER pulling a shift one day and lo! Jim’s ex comes in with one of the kids, the little girl in fact, who has stepped on a piece of glass and needs a couple of stitches. Brenda, unwilling to tell the woman about the future half brother or sister the little girl might have soon, hopefully, begins to get a complete medical history about the little girl from the mother with sly questions beginning, “Now on her father’s side of the family…” So Brenda begins to learn that Jim comes from a healthy family and in fact, never went to a doctor at all until he had the vasectomy.

Updates as available.

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – The Best Of …

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I remember when I traded some bottom of the barrel dreck I had let my older sister talk me into buying for an eight track tape from Jethro Tull called “The Best of Jethro Tull MU” which later became the “The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol. 1” This came out in 1975 or 1976 and it wasn’t a bad start for a budding Tull fan. Forgive me for saying so, but there wasn’t a whole lot of Tull to get excited about after that. The next two or three albums were okay, and then after that, after “The Best of Volume 2” came out, there was a flurry of “Boxed sets” and “Remastered Hits” and “The Definitive Collection Of Jethro Tull For The Person Who Will Buy Anything With The Right
Name On It”.

Really, now. How many times can the band’s close- to–  breaking- into- the- mainstream–  hit, “Aqualung” be put on a CD and someone buy it? I’m willing to be there could be an entire CD with nothing on it but the same old Aqualung song, but taken from the different collections. It’s the same old song, but toss it in with the other five or six well known tracks and three or four slightly less known tracks, and call it a collection.

“Best of” is usually a death knell for a band or an artist. This isn’t always true, but look at where Sheryl Crow has gone since her first “Best Of” collection. The next step in the career of a band or artist is the coffin called “The Boxed Set” which is usually two or three of the great albums, one or two minor works, and then the Best Of Series and an unplugged version of their greatest hit(s). This is normally packaged in some cardboard box that looks like an amp or a speaker, or maybe a musical instrument, but inside is everything you already own, or did before you traded up for something new. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the band Motorhead, their boxed set will cost you six hundred bucks.

Alanis Morissette re-released her “Jagged Little Pill” CD as an acoustic attempt and it was the equivalent of someone going after the pennies tossed into a fountain. There wasn’t anything new there and most of the songs, which were ten years old by that time, sounded less alive when sang by a woman desperately trying not to slip into total obscurity. She is one of my favorite singers, by the way, but that doesn’t mean she’ll make a living redoing what she has already done before.

Don McLean, was still touring the last time I checked, as are many of the once famous one hits wonders, and aging rockers. They started out small, grew large, and now, like McLean, they’re loading a guitar in the back of a rented car and going from small college to small college for a couple of hundred bucks a night, to relive the legend.

Rock and roll is a fickle thing. Fame is even worse. But fans will still pay to see the past, and to listen to it, so there will always be some balding and gimpy rocker taking the stage for a pittance, and for those who really have to hear “Aqualung” one more time… the band is one tour again.

So, fess up…who is your favorite dead in the water band you’d still pay to go listen to, even if they are lip synching and wearing sequined Depends?

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith on Sunday Morning

Daylight-savings-time-2009When you woke up this morning you were an hour late. We have time pieces now that are accurate to a rate that we can time just how little we have to do by inventing timepieces to time it. Okay, that aside, we’re now playing with the clock in the manner in which we are, because of a man who once lived in a time when a letter, an important letter, let’s say, a letter that could have stopped the Battle Of New Orleans, didn’t make it to where it was going for over six weeks. And it arrived quickly by the standards of the time.

Once was, if someone in England wanted to declare peace across the Atlantic, more than a month or two might go by. If the ship sank, or was blown off course, then the message might have to be late, declared really late, someone would send a message asking if the war was over, it would take two months to get there, two months would go by before there was an answer, and if there was a storm…

These days you can send the message, “peace is gr8 lol” in less time than it takes to figure out text speak.

Less and less we are a people ruled by time in the manner in which we once were. There are fewer people whose life depends on the light of day. There are fewer people who care if it is night. There is an overabundance of artificial light all the damn time so it doesn’t really matter what time it is. Yet here we are. It’s Sunday morning and Benjamin Franklin’s ghost haunts us still.

“Spring Forward” is here, and come Monday morning, this is really going to suck.

I live with the better part of three hundred pounds of tame wolf. “Domesticated” is a relative term. These are three dogs I have trained to go to bed at a certain time and to wake up at a certain time. Now, I have to explain to them time has changed. Oh, and it is damn near a full moon. The dogs drink in moonlight like it’s water and they go a little wooly when the moon is up.

So Monday morning when I should be asleep the alarm clock will go off, startling the mutts into a frenzy. Anything new is something to get excited about, and what was once our normal time to arise is now about the time I’ll be heading to work. The dogs, in their confusion will want to confer with me on the matter, which means while I am trying to get ready to go to work, they’ll be underfoot. People going to work will be weird because they will be late. People at work will be snarky. I’ll get home an hour early and find the dogs cooking up meth in preparation for the full moon howlings. Or at least I’ve always suspected they do this. In the meanwhile, there will not be more sunlight, or less sunlight than there was the day before, or the day after, except that which occurs naturally, as it has since the beginning of time.

The dogs are in tune with this. Is there any reason we can’t be without playing with the clock?

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Mike’s Movie Review – Cowboys and Aliens


Firesmith Movie ReviewSomewhere in Hollywood, some guys for together and pooled up enough money to get both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the same movie, and offer them both enough so neither would ask what the movie was about. Then these guys called a bunch of other actors, none of them particularly well known, and asked them if they would like to be in a movie with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Of course, the only catch was they all had to wait until they signed a contract
before they found out what the movie was about…

“Cowboys and Aliens”

Wait, wait, hear me out, please, come back, no, really, I wasn’t kidding, no, really.

Imagine the Terminator saying, “Happy trails to you.”

The last western I saw and liked was “The Quick and the Dead” but only because I once thought Sharon Stone was beautiful and not a bad actress all. Then I saw “The Muse” and that ruined Stone for me, forever and ever. On the other hand, give me a movie with an alien and I’m pretty much hooked. I like Sci-fi. And really, if you are ever going to sit down and watch a movie and have some pretty low expectations, “Cowboys and Aliens” will pretty much fill that space in a hurry.

The story is set in the old west, post Mexican War, and there is a dying little town with a petty cattle baron running it. A mysterious stranger shows up with an odd bracelet he can’t take off, and the two forces collide. Just as the battle is about to begin, Aliens show up with lassos and all hell breaks loose.

Don’t worry about any spoilers because this is “Cowboys and “Aliens”.

Harrison Ford seems lost in the movie. He never truly steps into his character and he would have been a good match for the part. But his acting isn’t what it could be, and that’s a shame, because believe it or not, the movie isn’t half bad.

Daniel Craig plays his character wonderfully, as much as he can, and Olivia Wilde of “House” proves she can step away from 13 and play with the big boys. These two have some chemistry, and there is a dog and a kid. You can’t go wrong with a dog and a kid, usually, and somehow, you always expect the dog to be an alien, but that never happens, and I thought that was clever.

“Cowboys and Aliens” is a gutsy attempt at the juxtaposition of Wild West and Sci-fi that hasn’t been tried since “Serenity” came to the scene, and that in fact was a good movie, in my opinion. But this took us back to the west, not forward in time, and at one point, after a chase scene that bordered on the truly absurd, Craig’s character says, “We were flying!” and you remember that we humans didn’t start that until much later and that also, was a nice touch.

Generally speaking, interaction with Aliens capable of intergalactic travel will not look like “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” or anything else we imagine it will, and it will very likely look like all of that, too. “Cowboys and Aliens” is a fun little movie for those of us who like this sort of thing, and I’m betting most people will like it a lot more than they will admit to. Craig carries the film, but Wilde is more than just a pretty face, and the Aliens look scary as hell, kinda, sorta, okay. Cowboys and Aliens delivers above the expectations, not that you would be surprised either way.

Oh, and Wilde in a prairie dress with a six gun strapped to her hip? Priceless.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Lid Up, Lid Down – The Real Story

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Many years ago I made the mistake of letting my younger sister and her husband move in with me. It was one of those conditional things where they were looking for a place to live, and they just needed to stay awhile, but it turned into one of those things where everyone just forgets it’s supposed to be temporary. The fact that my sister is one hell of a cook didn’t hurt at all, but at the same time, I had never lived with a couple before. When three people live together and two of them are a couple then the unmarried person is going to lose a lot of three ways votes. When three people are living together and two of them are siblings then the non-family person is going
to lose a lot of votes. Finally, when there is one woman in the house and any number of men live there, the men, no matter how many there might be, are outnumbered.

Because my brother in law was as whipped as a dog with a drinking problem and a small bladder, there was a lot of things going on I didn’t really care for. We watched all of the chick movies when we watched movies. We watched all the chick shows on television when we all sat down and watched television. There were certain items of décor that found themselves in my bedroom, like the cubic beer can pyramid, which I still claim was one of the greatest works of art, ever, until we needed beer money and took them all to the recycle center. It was Summer in South Georgia, the smell became a little too much.

All bets were off during college football season and the three way vote took a turn for the curse because both my brother in law and myself loved football. And we both loved beer. My sister would fly into a rage because she would go visit a friend on Saturday afternoon and when she got back we would still be watching football and we would be hammered, too. Worse yet, when there was late game on we could be up until midnight watching a game, and loving it too.

Now, as fate would have it, we all lived in a giant apartment but it had only one bathroom which adjoined both bedrooms. My sister went to bed late one Saturday, truly angry that a game we had started watching did not come on until nine at night ( love those west coast teams, you hear me?) So after one warning we were making too much noise, there was an interception, a touchdown, and a very small but very loud woman. We turned down the volume, giggled like little girls, and my brother in law had to pee. We went through my bedroom so he didn’t have to face his wife, and then he didn’t flush the toilet just in case she was asleep.

In the third quarter there was a touchdown followed by cheer from the drunks in the living room, high fives, and cursing the likes no man has ever heard before on this earth. Okay, we woke her up, is that such a big deal? But the noise grew in volume and my brother in law got up to see what was the matter. As he approached their bedroom the door was flung open and he got flogged, flogged I tell you, again and again, and out of the bedroom my nearly naked sister emerged and flogged him with what looked like towel at first.

He fell down trying to escape and alas! I was far too eager to accept his sacrifice and flee the scene, go down to the local pub, and drink beer with loud people watching football secure in the knowledge my sister was not going nude in public and if she did, I could outrun her.

Far after midnight I crept back in, and slept soundly, with the doors locked, and the window cracked open, even if it was a cool night.

When I got up the next morning my sister had already left, in a huff, and I discovered what was left of my brother in law on the sofa, something I had missed the night before. It was there he had slept during the night because right before the flogging, and directly before the cursing, my sister had gotten up to use the bathroom. She didn’t want to turn on the light because that would mean she was awake and she didn’t want us to think we could be loud. She sat down and lo, the toilet lid was up so she sat down hard in a very watery place. The water was cold, and we can be ever so grateful for this, you know we can, but the shock of the coldness sent her straight up so fast she lost her footing and down again she sat in the toilet. She stripped of her soaked nightgown and went hunting.

Lid down.

This is why.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Take it off ladies, Take it all off

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If they put me in charge of everything the first thing I would get rid of is make-up. That may sound odd coming from that 50% of the population who has never had mascara run during a Meg Ryan movie, but the simple truth is this; women ought to look like what they really look like. So let me see if I get the script right; a woman likes a guy but she can’t ask him out because that’s too forward. She can try to look her best, and even beyond that, paint her face to look as if she’s some sort of actress in a play, and if you’ve dated much you realize how much ritual does take place in dating.

So now she’s got these long lashes on her eye lids. Okay guys, show of hands here: Who has ever dumped a woman over her eye lashes? No? Okay, how many times as a man have you sat around with other men and talked about eye lash length? None?

Okay, women, that’s one thing you really do not have to worry about so let’s move on.

Now, the last time I checked the color that would best describe the color of a woman’s lips is, hmmm, lip colored? Why paint them bright red when no one on earth ever had lips that looked like that? I mean, short of clowns, and yes, dating can be like the circus, true, but still.

Lipstick…lose it ladies.

I had two sisters growing up so I got in on the bottom of the make-up evolution and watched it turn into a horror show. There is this stuff called “Base” which is basically full face paint. Then there is this stuff to make it look like she’s blushing. Then there is eye liner which makes the eyes appear to be bigger, and I am here to tell you, the number of times me and the guys have been sitting around saying that size really matters when it comes to a woman’s eyes, yeah!

Have you seen some of these Hollywood stars sans war paint? Oh dear dog they look scary. But they look scary because we’re used to seeing some made up story that isn’t real. It’s like meeting a woman and hoping she’ll say, “Well, I’m a virgin but I’ve been studying porn films and pole dancing and the Karma Sutra, as well as country cooking and whiskey making when I’m not watching the Packers with my season tickets with my girlfriend.” How many of us really want a woman to say that. Okay, all of us, but we don’t really think it is ever going to happen. We men like the idea of a fantasy woman but what we truly want and need is someone to bring us to reality.

When it gets right down to it, sooner or later, you are going to wake up with a woman who isn’t wearing make-up. If she’s had children her body isn’t going to look like that same girl you talked into getting into your backseat twenty years ago. Chances are, however, considering how you look, you’re getting a much better bargain than she is. You haven’t worn any make up around her and she is still willing to be seen in public with you. If she can take you as is, I’m willing to wager it can work in reverse.

The reason movie stars marry movie stars is there simply isn’t a cultural point of reference between their lives and ours.

If this sounds like you’re settling for less what it actually means is you are settling for reality.

Women have a lower center of gravity. Once they have a kid or two they have to develop some muscle mass to take care of the kids. They lose that wide eyed wonder once they realize that one night without protection turned into a two year old puking green stuff for three days. The diapers smell of the Satan, and sex is something that she can do between the last kid going to sleep and the first one waking up. And while she is still awake.

I heard a woman tell a man one time, “Not only are you not as good as my vibrator it doesn’t owe me any child support.”

Time to punt, Guy, really.

If you want to impress a woman with two small kids then show up with a stack of grocery coupons. Entertain her kids while she takes an hour long bath followed by a nap. Tell her she looks hot in sweats with her hair in a ponytail.

If you feel like anything less than Kate Upton is somewhat of a disappointment go take a look at what the top one percent of who women consider to be hot looks like then step back and compare. Uh-huh, you know, going to a gym for a week two years ago has sort of worn off, hasn’t it? Pulling your clothes out of the dryer with a dryer sheet stuck to your back isn’t really the cutting edge of fashion here. Socks, while hidden away from public view, still emit a sort of aroma suggesting you spent your male formative years playing video games in your mother’s basement. Men can get ready for a date in less than fifteen minutes and it usually shows. That’s a double standard that women, accept for some reason.

Some men think they’re making a real effort if they can leave the house without a dryer sheet stuck to their pants cuff. Meanwhile, your ideal woman is supposed to look like she spent two hours in front of a mirror putting stuff on her face that have colors I can’t pronounce or identify.

Take off the paint. Take away the Hollywood ex-expectations. Find someone you can have a decent conversation with over a meal and call it a date.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – If Jesus Loves You Why Did He Make You Stupid?

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If Jesus Loves You Why Did He Make you Stupid?

I don’t like religious people. Most people do not like religious people unless they’re just like them, and because there are so few people who really want to put that much effort into a super charged Santa Claus religious people are forced to go out and try to convert people who usually just want to be left the hell alone.

I swear to dog, every time I hear the phrase, “Jesus is my personal savior” I get the image of a vibrator in my mind. So if this is a personal thing why are you walking around talking about it to people who did not ask you about your vibrator, your savior, or your past drug addictions? There are a lot of former druggies who are now Jesus Junkies. That suggest anything in particular to you?

I have some issues with the clergy. As far as I can tell they’re professional parasites. They produce nothing and they eat a lot. Most of them talk far too much. Here in South Georgia you’ll hear one thing at a funeral no matter who dies. Some preacher will stand up before a crowd of people, and say, “The person you dearly love is in heaven and if you don’t get saved you will never see that person again.”

That’s despicable. It’s spiritual extortion of the lowest order. It’s mean.

Let me tell you a few things I know to be true.

1. Short of you performing some miracle right before my eyes, I don’t give a damn what you feel, or believe, or think you know. Either show me an alien or stop telling me you’ve seen one. Either walk on water or swim for your life, but don’t tell me what you believe, unless I ask.
2. I’m a writer. When I want fiction I will write it. Keep your literature to yourself.
3. Praying is like oral sex; don’t ask someone to do it, or offer to do it for someone, unless there is some sort of agreement before hand, not that hands have anything to do with either. Either way you wind up on your knees, true, but if you think a conversation about oral sex is offensive, hey! That’s how I feel about you offering to pray for me.

I know where god is. The Okefenokee Swamp is full of god. The love of a good woman is totally made of the god, or goddess, and I am not talking about sex. Dogs are constructed of unconditional love and that is god or nothing is. The sunset is god. The idea that men and women can live free and wear a uniform to protect freedom is given by god. I get grief from the godless about that last part, but they too can play a part in this.

They too?

I can’t tell you what I feel because only I feel it. I can’t explain what I believe because only I believe it. I can’t tell you what god has said to me because only I heard it.

If he told you he didn’t exist would you believe it?

The idea that any one person or any group of people has it right or any better than anyone else is laughable, except wars get fought over it. Lives are ruined by religion. People con other people into voting for them because they know what to say about religion and they know people will listen.

Think for yourself. Believe for yourself. Leave other people alone.

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – In Their Defense…reflections from the Superbowls

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If you watch the NFL long enough you will notice a love affair between the fans, the media, the general public, and the position of quarterback. Now, if you are a fan of the game and not a team or some individual player, you have to notice there have been some of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game that never won the Superbowl.

Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, and Dan Fouts come to mind.

Kelly and Tarkenton were a combined 0-8 in the Superbowl.

I think quarterbacks are overrated, over paid, and over protected. Put the same rules in effect that protect the quarterback but give them to an outside linebacker and you’ll have games ruled by defense. But the game is not about the game anymore it’s about selling television rights and profits for the owners of the game. People like to see some highly paid superstar slinging the
ball downfield so the rest of the members of the team are often forgotten unless they make some mistake that loses the game.

Scott Norwood sent Jim Kelly’s dreams down in flames in 1991, the first of four loses in the Big One. No Good Norwood, as he was labeled after that, got one shot to win a game, which is an unfair way of looking at an event that lasted sixty minutes. Why had Kelly not gotten the team closer? Why were they going for a field goal from that distance to begin with? The answer lay not in the Buffalo offence but in the New York defense, who kept their team in the game all night long.

Eli Manning isn’t a great quarterback, but then again, he isn’t trying to be, either. He’s got one of the strangest coach’s known to football on the sideline in Tom Coughlin, who is somewhat of a dinosaur. Coughlin is the oldest man ever to coach a winning Superbowl team, and he’s a throwback from when coaches ran the team like the captain of a Spartan Death Squad. Twice since 2008, Coughlin has taken his team into the playoffs as underdogs, as a team who wasn’t expected to advance, and taken his team on the road against teams expected to play for the title. Twice, Coughlin and Manning have taken on teams who scored more points and more often, and won. They didn’t do it by lighting up the scoreboard but rather with defensive schemes that were as solid as they were frightening. Aaron Rodgers may have won his first Superbowl last year but this year at home he faced a Giants defense that pursued and confused him, and intimidated his receivers into six dropped passes.

Tom Brady has three rings, more money than god, and a super model wife. Once again he was to lead his team against Coughlin’s Giants, and behind Brady was the defensive genius Coach Bill Belichick. On paper it wasn’t much of a match. The Patriots were again favored and once again, I picked the Giants to win.

Football is a team effort. If you have a Joe Montana and a Jerry Rice, well hell yeah, that’s going to mean a lot. How’s your defense? Can they stop the run? Can they pressure that highly paid genius in the backfield into making mistakes? Can they hit him hard enough and often enough to rattle his cage? Can your safeties hit the receivers hard enough so that at least once, someone will duck when they ought to be catching the ball? Can you make the quarterback think twice about holding on to the ball long enough for a long play to develop?

Eli Manning didn’t win the Superbowl last Sunday. All he did was all he had to do, and that is not lose it. He didn’t throw bad passes and he didn’t fumble it away trying to make something happen. He let his defense do what they had to do and he played within that. Coughlin’s plan seemed suicidal; make Tom Brady win the Superbowl. But playing against one player is much easier than playing against a whole team.

And playing to win with an entire team rather than depending on one player seemed to be working for the Giants.

It’s ironic that Manning was named MVP when the defense is what won the game, but the defense is accustomed to such slights. They live in the shadows of the limelight, rarely enjoying the attention or money given to the highly protected Golden Boys who marry supermodels and do television commercials. No, their glory stays on the field with them, and they are rewarded with mud, blood, pain, and obscurity.

Those are the real heroes of the game, and the real winners. They silenced the dreams of such gods as Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, and Dan Fouts.

Can you name more?

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith on Sunday – Giants Win

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When it gets right down to it, and it always does, the better team does not always win. I remember Wade Phillips saying that after the Cowboys lost the infamous, “Jessica Simpson Bowl” That was the game played a week after the Cowboy’s Tony Romo was filmed cavorting in the surf with tuna aficionado Jessica Simpson. I doubt she had any effect on Romo, at least not nearly as much as the Giant’s defense, but damage done. What Phillips didn’t mean to say was, “We got outcoached” but that was what happened to him, and Romo, and the Dallas

Giant’s coach Tom Coughlin is a lot of things but he isn’t flashy. Bill Belichick of the Patriots is a much more loved and has more Superbowl rings than Coughlin, but the first, last and only time Coughlin went to the Superbowl he beat Belichick. People distract from this by pointing out the margin of victory was only three points but clearly they are not Superbowl historians.

Tom Brady is a much better quarterback than Eli Manning but I don’t think quarterbacks matter
as much as other people think they do. Yes, yes, yes, I know the list of famous quarterbacks who
won the Big One but there is a longer list of those who did not, and lesser quarterbacks who have won. Manning is sufficient in what he is required to do when he is required to do it. He can be brilliant but that isn’t his job. Without Manning the Giants can still win. If Brady goes the Pats go with him.

The Giants are not an overpowering team in that they do not put up a lot of points but they pound
the living hell out of everyone every play. They are a very large very tough very physical team who has been slated to lose their last three games and have won all three impressively. The Giants pounded a very good Atlanta team. They went into Lambeau Field against one of the highest scoring offenses in the league and won by double digits. They went into San Fran and beat one of the best defenses alive.

The Patriots won their playoff game in OT by a field goal and they were lucky to escape with their lives and they know it. (Don’t bring up Denver and I won’t either).

Take Care,



Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.