Headbanger Ball

Jonathan Smyth, Ramblings and Rants

A few years ago, a friend posed the following question to me: “If you had to live without music or sports, which would it be?” This was very difficult for me to answer because I love both. I don’t remember how I answered then, but now I say, “Why choose?”

Here’s a look at Sunday’s action inspired by the world of heavy metal and hard rock.

Attack of the Killer B’s – Anthrax

Anthrax released this collection of previously unreleased B-sides in 1991, coinciding with the last time the Bills were relevant. The entire Bills team could be described as a “collection of B-sides,” unrecognizable names not deemed worthy enough to be high draft picks or NFL starters. But the Bills no-name defense definitely brought the noise against the Redskins on Sunday. The Bills sacked John Beck nine times, picked off two passes and handed Mike Shanahan the first shutout of his career. The win put the Bills at 5-2 and kept them in the mix for the AFC East lead.

Money Talks – AC/DC 

“Come on, come on, love me for the money
Come on, come on, listen to the money talk”

A lot free agents listened to the money talk this offseason in Philadelphia. The Eagles stockpiled talent (Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins) and re-signed quarterback Michael Vick to an expensive contract. The media loved the Eagles offseason moves and many predicted them to reach the Super Bowl. Philly then started the season 1-4 and all that money seemed wasted. But the Eagles are back on track and look like the team everyone predicted, dangerous on offense and just good enough on defense to get the job done.

Sleeping Giant – Mastodon

“Infinite path carved with unrivaled skill”

Sleep. That’s exactly what the Giants did for most of the game. Why do the G-men always play down to their competition? In Week 5, the Giants were unable to mount a comeback against the Seahawks and lost a game they were expected to win. On Sunday the Giants faced the winless Dolphins and a 17-10 deficit going into the fourth quarter. After cutting Miami’s lead to four with a field goal, Eli Manning hooked up with his new favorite receiving threat, Victor Cruz, for the go-ahead score. The Giants pulled out a win out on Sunday, but their “unrivaled skill” won’t take them far if they don’t start playing more consistent football.

No Excuses – Alice in Chains

“Find me sittin’ by myself, no excuses that I know”

That’s where Olindo Mare probably found himself sitting after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, by himself. Mare missed a 31-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter that would have tied the game. Since 1996, kickers are 130-for-137 (94.9%) from 31-yards out and 11-for-12 (91.7%) this season. The lone miss for 2011 was by Mare. The snap might have been high, but there were no excuses for missing that kick with the game on the line.

Battering Ram – Black Label Society

“You know my name, yeah you know who I am
Frustrated turmoil again and again”

The Rams have had a frustrating season so far. St. Louis was thought to be a team-to-watch after a 7-9 record and a promising start by rookie QB Sam Bradford in 2010. Instead the Rams sat at a disappointing 0-6 record and Bradford sat on the bench with an injured ankle in Week 8 against the Saints. But have no fear, the “battering ram,” Steven Jackson, is here! Jackson put the Rams on his back and rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, giving St. Louis their first win of the season.

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