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Josh
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Yes, and stop calling me Shirely! 

Keeping with a theme that was started here, the great Friday debate will use the comedy of  Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker movies (Airplane, Naked Gun, Top Secret, etc.) to fuel a heated…no…mildly tepid…yeah, that’s more like it...to fuel a mildly tepid debate over the Vikings-Raiders game. 

Sir Dan Brown, recently released from her majesty’s secret service, and still reeling from his Redskins losing to the Eagles, has chosen to argue the side of the Raiders.

While, Professor Josh Harrisking, fresh off teaching a class on “the English language through the eyes of Movies” at the University of Our Lady of the Worthless Miracle, takes the side of the mighty Vikings. 

Join the debate already in progress:

Dan:

"It's a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans!"

-Daunte Culpepper, on his upcoming start against the Vikings 

This is one of the least important games of the season.  It likely won't impact the first couple of picks in the draft, but it definitely won't impact the playoff picture.  It really only matters to two people: Culpepper, and Vikes coach Brad Childress.  They're the two who need every win they can get, or they'll be out of a job before long.  And for one of them, it's a grudge match.

Culpepper's the main reason I think the Raiders will win.  Yeah, he's not good, and the Vikings defense can hold its own.  Unless they're playing Ryan Grant and Brett Favre, but I digress.  The point is, this game means more to Culpepper than anyone else on the field, and he can still play a good game once in a while.  Furthermore, Justin "What The" Fargas has been pretty solid, and I'd take him against the Vikings' D over Chester Taylor against the Raiders'.  

Oh yeah, did I mention that yet?  Adrian Peterson's not playing.  Without him in the game, the Vikings' offense is worth less than a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory.

Then there's the matter of quarterback.  I can imagine Childress' pregame speech: "There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"  Except it's not a plane, it's an offense.  Kind of looks like a big Tylenol.  Nope, the Vikings have been through all their quarterbacks, and none of them can fly that plane.  They flew planes back in college, but those were single-wing fighter planes.  These planes have four engines.  It's an entirely different type of flying altogether.  

ALL (together): "It's an entirely different type of flying."

Sure, Culpepper's no master pilot either, but at least he's flown before.  And sure, he crashed his plane and has been shell-shocked ever since, but he's the best chance either team's got to land this thing.  And at least he didn't have the fish for dinner.  

I'd say, overall, Minnesota has about a 50-50 chance of winning, though there's only a 10 percent chance of that.

Josh:

I don't think Cullpepper will ever get over Macho Grande.... 

You're putting all your faith in Culpepper?  That's the magic ingerdient to this tonic?  Culpepper?  Wow...I guess you ate the fish.

While Culpepper is trying to play for a few dollars...he'll get a job someone regardless of how he does, and he knows that.  6' 4", 260 lb QBs that can chuck the ball 50 yards on a rope, can get a job.  Now, coaches that fail miserably and can't escape from the shadow that they've never been the brains behind a team (See Reid, Andy) are pretty much the same as a test pilot that has lost his nerve...a worthless bum with a drinking problem. 

Yeah, if Brad loses this game, he might as well sign up for the Peace Corp and teach African tribes basketball, cause he's not getting another job in the NFL.  Wait a second...Norv Turner is on his 3rd go round...

"I haven't felt this awful since I saw that Ronald Reagan film." 

Okay, to recap, Culpepper isn't the one with the most at stake. Childress better figure out a way to win this one, or his career goes down the proverbial toilet (isn't it a amazing that if you add proverbial in front of anything it makes the metaphor sound more intelligent?)

With AP out, there are a lot of happy rats...but you forget that Chester Taylor wasn't all that much of a slouch last year.  Yeah, had quite a nice season for himself...you don't think he's dying to get in there and give it another try?  Looks like you picked the wrong week to stop huffing glue, if you forgot Mr. Taylor. 

And since when is flying a plane all that hard?  Flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes...and so is running an offense...except there are not spokes on an offense..and baseball cards would be silly in a football game...but you get the drift...

But Dan, the question I have for you...do you like movies about Gladiators? 

Dan:

Now don't get feisty.  I'm sure that we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. Isn't that right, Mr... Poopy Pants?

You think Culpepper will have a job no matter what he does?  Try telling that to George Zipp... I mean Aaron Brooks.  Furthermore, Culpepper is definitely done after this season in Oakland.  Childress probably has another year, since his team has shown SOME promise.  But the real reason this game means more to Daunte is that it's against his former team and fans, who will likely boo him relentlessly.   

I'm sorry I can't be more optimistic about Chester Taylor.  Sure, he broke 1000 yards last year, but did you see how many carries it took?  It's like having sex [is that gonna get bleeped?]. It's a painstaking and arduous task that seems to go on and on forever, and just when you think things are going your way, nothing happens.  If you can't get 4 yards per carry behind Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, and Byrant McKinnie, you're not a good running back.  And back then, he had a respected veteran throwing the ball in Brad Johnson.  Oakland has a good enough defense to make Taylor a non-factor.  He's basically the same thing as Cedric Benson, without all the fanfare of being a high draft pick, and Oakland held Benson to 2.6 YPC.

It's like that moment in Top Secret, where Dr. Flammond tells Nick about his machine to extract salt from sea water by the tons - "Can you imagine what that would mean to the hungry people of the world?"  "Wow.  They'd have enough salt to last them forever."  Sure, they've got Taylor.  But Taylor is best used as a seasoning; if you're expecting to make a full meal of him, you're not only going to be hungry, but all the salt is going to dehydrate you.   

I'll tell you what.  We'll settle this the old Navy way.  The first guy to die, LOSES! 

Josh:

Aaron Brooks is not the same as Culpepper...here's what I said...

"6' 4", 260 lb QBs that can chuck the ball 50 yards on a rope, can get a job." 

Here's what I didn't say...

"6' 4", 260 lb QBs that could hit water if they fell out of a boat, can get a job" 

Daunte can hit an open WR...and understands the basics of an offense...Brooks understands that he can throw the ball really far...and that's about it.  Let's not compare those 2, okay?

What promise has Childress shown?  Dan, I've tried everything: the embassy, the German government, the consulate. I even talked to the U.N. ambassador. It's no use, I just can't find the promise that Childress has displayed.  His defense has been tough...but he wasn't hired for that...his offense...well, if it wasn't for AP, it would have regerssed from last year.  It's by far the weak link on his team...and that was supposed to be his strong suit. 

And while we're on the subject of not comparing things...don't compare Taylor and Benson. Benson is terrible...my dad says he doesn't work hard enough on offense.  And he says that lots of times, he doesn't even run down hill.  And that he doesn't really try...except during the playoffs.  While Taylor on the other hand, well...he's had more than just last year to prove that he is a servicable back.  Is he in AP's class?  Not on your life.  But he's better than Benson.

Hold on, I've got a call...What is the condition of Coach Childress?...Very well, let me know if there is any change in his condition....He's dead. 

Yep, Childress is the one playing for his life.

You forget, the Vikings D isn't bad itself...and Mr. Culpepper likes to throw some balls up for grabs...which worked when he had Moss...but now just...well...the phrase "phony dog poo" comes to mind.  If Moss was there, I would be right there with you, but he was one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape in a balloon during the Jimmy Carter presidency. No, Raiders won't be able to do anything on offense either... 

This game will come down to FGs (come on, we're on a roll in that department) and the home crowd...

Dan, I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you. 

Dan:

Randy Moss, Randy Moss.  That name always reminded me of him.

So let me get this straight - here are some things I think you just said. 

1) Daunte Culpepper IS a serviceable quarterback.

2) Brad Childress is one of the most useless coaches in the league. 

All else being equal - average running back vs. average running back; solid defense vs. solid defense; wouldn't you take Culpepper over Bollinger and Kiffin over Childress? 

Minnesota has won three games this year.  In one, they were playing Atlanta.  In the other two, Adrian Peterson gained over 300 yards.  Every other week, they've lost and failed to put up even 20 points.   

And don't forget weapon X - the guy the Raiders have that the Vikings don't.  Be prepared for... Ronald Curry!  Did you know he's racked up 418 yards thus far?  That puts him on track for NEARLY 800.  I'd like to see you say the same about the Vikings' top receiver - Bobby Wade's 313 yards are even fewer than the Raiders' second-best guy.  So you see, the Raiders' passing offense is in much better shape than the Vikes'.  We're talking #29 in the league, whereas the Vikings are a pitiful #31!  Mmm...Baskin-Robbins.

All right, so whichever quarterback is going to pull out a win is going to have to stay on his toes, like a midget at a urinal.  And the trash talk after the game will go something like this: 

"Hey! You call this slop? Real slop has got chunks in it! This is more like gruel!" 

That's right, the Raiders will play some good, chunky slop football, which will be enough to beat the Vikings' gruel, home field or no.

But hey, do not take it so hard, Josh.  Life is filled with its little miseries.  Each of us, in his own way, must learn to deal with adversity in a mature and adult fashion.

Josh:

You’re way over thinking this Dan…

Victory and Culpepper don’t mix anymore…it's like eating a spoonful of Drano, sure it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside.  The Raiders are hollow on the inside right now, they don’t have that leader, that person to put them over the top…and Daunte is not that guy.

And yes, I’ve been very outspoken on the whole “Childress is a bumbling idiot” issue…and I’m not going to change my tune here…

But look at the Raiders…they haven’t exactly been a well oiled machine.  And just cause Daunte is in there, doesn’t mean that changes anything.

Dan, can I be frank for a moment?  It's fourth and fifteen and you're looking at a full-court press.  This is not the time to put all your eggs in the Culpepper basket.

Nope, the Vikes take advantage of the home field, and the underestimation of the offense.  They’ll win this one, or my name isn’t Lt Frank Drebin…wait a tic…

I’d wager my life on the fact the Vikings will win this game…but that’s not a way to die…A parachute not opening... that's a way to die. Getting caught in the gears of a combine... having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go.

I’m off to find a Laplander, just in case I’m wrong.

And there you have it folks.  The insane ramblings of two gentleman that have free time on their hands, and lots to say about whatever shiny object happens to be in front of their face at the time…gotta go, some one is shinning a flashlight at the wall!

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