In honor of that great holiday tradition, the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story, here are a few of the film's memorable quotes jiggered just slightly to help us put Sunday's New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game into perspective.
"In the heat of battle Tom Coughlin wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."
"Matt Dodge lay there like a slug; it was his only defense."
"Michael Vick created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat."
"Only one thing in the world could have dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window, and that was the Giants defense suffering a historic collapse."
"I have since heard of New York Giants under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues."
"Only Tom Coughlin didn't say, ‘Fudge.' He said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the ‘F-dash-dash-dash' word."
"DeSean Jackson! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There he stood, between us and a win. DeSean Jackson staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So help me God, yellow eyes!"
"Now, I had heard that word at least 10 times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But, I chickened out and said the first name that came to mind. Vick!"
"The Eagles will shoot your eye out, kid."
And now on to the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports.
The Ghost of Joe Pisarcik: As soon as the game ended, I muttered to myself, "That's the worse loss in . . ." And then my six-year-old daughter helped me finish my sentence: "The history of the world?" Yes, that's it! It was the worst loss in the history of the world. We'll let the Giant players and coaches take it from here. Tom Coughlin: "I've never been around anything like this in my life. It's about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there." Kevin Boss: "I'm in disbelief . . .I'm in shock." Barry Cofield: "Disgusted and devasted." Eli Manning: "Just shock. Just unbelievable. Just kind of how did that happen?" But if the Giants win on Sunday, they clinch a playoff berth. We'll see if Manning's rousing speech on Monday did the trick. And how come every time the Giants lose a game, Bill Cowher, Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber crawl out of the woodwork?
F-E-E-T, Feet! Feet! Feet! The New York Jets' world was filled with inspirational speeches and You Tube videos this week. Mark Sanchez gave a speech to his teammates on Monday, and Rex Ryan cried again, while motivating his team on Saturday night. He didn't ask the team to win one for the Gipper, but instead to win one for his wife's feet. But the speeches worked like a charm, as the Jets won at Pittsburgh for the first time ever. The victory was impressive anyway you look at it, with all phases chipping in. Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer had strong games. Sanchez's bootleg touchdown was a gutsy call, and the players executed it to perfection. Special teams got the ball rolling, with Brad Smith's game-opening kickoff return touchdown, which was the third of his career. And the defense came through, with Jason Taylor's clutch safety and the big stop at the end, when Marquice Cole broke up the final pass of the game. It was a thrilling, nerve-wracking finish, as Dustin Keller noted, "You didn't know whether to be excited or throw up. You were somewhere in the middle." Like the Giants, a win this Sunday clinches a playoff spot for Gang Green, though they may have to do it without Sanchez. But after the week Ryan just had, does anybody even remember any of that happening?
The Dream (Week) Is Over: The New York Knicks closed out Dream Week last Friday with a loss to the Miami Heat. Only LeBron James and his new role as NBA villain can make $100-million man Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knicks look like gritty, blue-collar underdogs. There was one good thing that came from that loss: Spike Lee didn't get a chance to run around celebrating on the court like a wild man. The week took its toll on the players as they fell in overtime to the LeBron-less Cavaliers the following night. But on Wednesday, after a refreshing three days of rest and relaxation, they got back on the right track with an impressive win over Oklahoma City.
Two Out of Four Ain't Bad: Amid a whirl of Carmelo Anthony rumors, the New Jersey Nets had to play four games this week, and they fared fairly well, winning two of them. After losing to Toronto, 98-92, on Friday, they came out victorious two games in a row, defeating the Hawks on Sunday, with a big contribution from their bench, and beating the Grizzlies, 101-94, on Tuesday. They fell to New Orleans on Wednesday, though. Sasha Vujacic has been a nice shot in the arm for the team, complementing Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. They may just win more than 12 games this year after all. Unless LeBron James has them contracted before they get a chance.
Red Hot: The New York Islanders are absolutely on fire. They're 3-0-1 in their last four games. Mike Mottau is out for the season and Rick DiPietro is on injured reserve once again, but Josh Bailey is back up from the minors and he made his presence felt by scoring two goals and adding an assist in the team's decimation of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. John Tavares was the hero in Wednesday's overtime win over Tampa Bay. They've passed the Devils in the standings, and there's no stopping them now.
Goodbye John, Welcome Back Jacques: Lou Lamoriello just couldn't take it anymore, and fired another coach. John MacLean now joins the ranks of Bryan Trottier as local heroes who just couldn't cut it as coach for even a full season. And as Lamoriello usually does, he brought back an ex-Devil coach yet again. Welcome back, Jacques Lemaire, we hardly had a chance to miss you. Oh yeah, New Jersey lost about nine games this past week
One Malik Short: It was a quiet week for the New York Rangers. They lost on Sunday to Philadelphia, and fell short in a marathon shootout to Tampa Bay on Thursday. Derek Stepan came up with a huge third-period goal to get the game to overtime. Marian Gaborik was out with a groin injury, though, and was replaced by diminutive Norwegian Mats Zuccarello, who put the puck in the back of the net in the third round of the shootout after playing a strong game. Unfortunately, it took the Blueshirts 11 rounds to finally lose. Where's Marek Malik when you need him?
The Bionic Arm: Perpetual Pedro Feliciano moved across town and signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the New York Yankees. He set a new Met record for appearances almost every year he pitched, along with leading the league the last three seasons, and he didn't even beat up the grandfather of his children, which is rare for a New York Met reliever.
(For in-depth analysis and discussion of the Jets, Giants, Yankees, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders and Devils, go to SB Nation's Gang Green Nation, Big Blue View, Pinstripe Alley, Posting and Toasting, NetsDaily, Blueshirt Banter, Lighthouse Hockey and In Lou We Trust, respectively.)