Everyone remembers the unforgettable “Celebrity Jeopardy” performances on SNL. There’s a “sword” comment one way or another in any conversation involving Sean Connery, it’s undeniable. My personal favorite was the skit where “Months That End In ‘tober'” is answered with a buzz and on cue “FEBTOBER!!!” delivered by Darell Hammond as the bearded Connery. Some of you may remember me starting writing about the 2009 MLB season way back in early February, and that got me thinking…
Febtober is the perfect way to describe a truly avid baseball fan’s passion for watching every pitch, agonizing over every box score, and blowing every loss out of proportion. While the casual sports’ fans were watching the NFL draft, we were watching pitch counts. When you were watching the Los Angeles Kobes, we were scrutinizing slugging percentages. And while you were debating whether Rafael Nadal would look better with a shorter haircut, we were debating whether or not Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay would make the better late season pitching acquisition.
So for you, my friends, those who know there is only one Febtober. This is our payoff. One month of the purest thing that God has ever bestowed upon this earth: postseason baseball. And just for that, I’m giving you the top 50 reasons to watch Febtober/early November unravel.
50. A one game playoff to decide the final playoff team.
49. The possibility of Joe Torre getting to extract his revenge on the Yankees in the World Series.
48. Brad Lidge either lighting it up, or getting lit up. Seriously, this guy is on the borderline of AA/HOF pitcher.
47. Manny Ramirez’ postseason magic either continuing, or being proved to be just a pregnancy mood swing.
46. The Rockies making another improbable World Series run, even after I called them a “gutless organization.”
45. Finding yourself watching ANOTHER Angels/Red Sox ALDS and not wanting to watch it, but not being able to turn it off.
44. The thought of hearing “Pujols” every other day for the next month.
43. CC Sabathia, the A-Rod of pitchers?
42. Seeing if David Ortiz secretly saved it all for one month.
41. The Angels rallying behind the death of one of their own.
40. Ryan Howard Subway commercials.
39. Alex Rodriguez fading… fading… fading…
38. Whoever comes out of the Central (game is still on right now while I’m writing this).
37. Mark Teixeira’s undeniable facial comparison to a chipmunk.
36. Could there really be a repeat?
35. Being reminded daily of why you hate Joe Buck so much.
34. A possible Red Sox/Yankees ALCS for the first time in five years. And not having it be overkill for the first time since then.
33. On that note: Curt Shilling using an in-game interview as a political platform to become the next Kennedy.
32. Completely uncalled for acts singing the National Anthem. Past gems include Scott Stapp and Los Lonely Boys (aka: The Lonely Boys).
31. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times Derek Jeter being referred to as a “warrior.”
30. The Dodgers having all that hype and end up with nothing.
29. The possibility of being able to have Red Sox and Yankees fans collectively shut up, at least for a few hours.
28. A mid-west World Series, come on Minnesota and St. Louis!!!
27. Seriously, being reminded daily of why you hate Joe Buck so much.
26. Pedro Martinez pitching in October, where he belongs.
25. Clutch hits from Troy Tulowitzki.
24. Wondering why Kevin Youkilis seems to be a hairy guy, except for his head.
23. The Cardinals’ murders’ row pitching staff.
22. Having a season come down to one, single, pitch.
21. MLB catering start times to the West Coast, again.
20. Go away, Joe Buck.
19. Jonathan Papelbon riverdancing.
18. Playoff baseball in the House That New York Tax Payers Built. Not the same feel. Glad the old one is gone, but this place is not the same.
17. Colorado’s rabid fans.
16. Setting the over/under on how many Philadelphia fans will be arrested before the end of the night of a win.
15.Torii Hunter roaming the outfield, no one plays it better. Not even the sprinkler that tripped up Manny.
14. Is Jason Bay the second coming?
13. No trendy Tampa Bay fans this year.
12. Waiting til midnight or later to watch extra innings baseball, it’s draining and beautiful.
11. A full month of even more incoherent ranting from McBournie and me on the SAAAAWWWWWWXXXXX!!!
10. Joe, you, me, outside, now.
9. Admit it, you want a Red Sox/Yankees series.
8.Admit it, you want ESPN to start covering games simply because they know what they’re talking about.
7. Game 7. It is the best thing in sports.
6. Guessing how many times you’ll hear “Know Your Enemy” played during a postseason video montage.
5. Joe Torre in October, it’s as consistent of a thing as you’ll ever find.
4. A postseason tribute to Nick Adenhart.
3. Boston baseball in October. Even if you don’t like it, you have to watch it.
2. Calling me out for saying the Cubs would be in the Series.
1. It’s baseball, and you’ve been watching this all Febtober, enjoy the icing on the cake.
Top five games you can bet on this week
5. Cleveland Browns (+6) over Buffalo Bills
The Bills are turning out to be a mess even without TO blowing off the hinges.
4. Carolina Panthers (-3.5) over Washington Redskins
Carolina is due, and Washington is terrible.
3. New York Jets (-1.5) over Miami Dolphins
Rex Ryan’s squad should bounce back pretty nicely over the fishes.
2. Denver Broncos (+3) over New England Patriots
Denver’s defense is for real. And for some reason, Kyle Orton just wins, baby.
1. Seattle Seahawks (+3) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags should never be a road favorite, ever.
Last week: 2-3
The season: 9-6
Change you can believe in
We’ll be back next week due to technical difficulties stemming from my XBOX having an overload from the Lions winning multiple games.
5. Denver Broncos (4-0)
Whether Dallas is overrated or not is irrelevant. The Broncos showed up in a statement game, period.
4. Indianapolis Colts (4-0)
Apparently Peyton Manning is still as good at football as he is at making commercials.
3. Minnesota Vikings (4-0)
Congratulations Brett Favre, you’re the MVP of the Super Grudge Bowl! What are you going to do next?
2. New Orleans Saints (4-0)
Wait a minute, what? New Orleans has a defense? Oh boy.
1. New York Giants (4-0)
Better hope that foot heals, Eli.