By: Bob George/BosSports.net
November 20, 2007

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You perhaps never heard of an old kicker named Sam Baker. He kicked for 15 NFL seasons, beginning in 1953 and ever year from 1956 to 1969. He spent the last six of his playing years in Philadelphia, kicking for some mediocre teams who were a far cry from the 1960 champs. He hit 80 out of 153 field goals during his Eagle tenure. And except for his final season, doubled as the Eagle punter. He boots one to about the ten-yard line, and we are under way.

Everyone in Indianapolis is sitting quietly, biding their time. They are hoping beyond hope that their Colts get to go to Foxborough in January and the Patriots are 17-0 when that happens.

Because even without Dwight Freeney, they are the one team that not only could ruin the Patriots' quest for a perfect season, but even worse, keep them out of the Super Bowl.

That is, unless they play Denver in the Divisional round (Denver could still win the AFC West). That would be the other team who could be Patriot pulverizers.

Pittsburgh is so not an elite team.

Green Bay and Detroit. Finally, a Turkey Day game in Motown that is actually worth watching.

Speaking of turkeys, that was a neat shot of a turkey barn on Sunday night's telecast, with John Madden saying "That's not who you want to be this time of year!"

Marvin Lewis may get canned at season's end, and that would be a shame.

Geek of the week: How could Jim Saraceno (the back judge in the Baltimore-Cleveland game) not see that ball hit the back support of the upright after it went through? Talk about the biggest one-man opening-a-can-of-worms act in recent NFL history.

That was one crappy way for Baltimore to lose the game. Brian Billick has every right in the world to vent whatever is on his mind, though the right call won out.

Boy, was it nice to see Kevin Everett address the fans at Buffalo Sunday night. Continued best wishes for his full recovery.

That said, if it could have been done, you might have thought Bill Belichick would have kept his Patriot players in the locker room and not see that heartfelt tribute. We still need to win the game, thinks the coach.

Of course, in the end, it didn't matter one hoot.

Ahem. If the draft were tomorrow, the Patriots would be picking second. Thanks, 49ers, and keep on losing.

By the way, was it that long ago that Rams-49ers was the marquee matchup in the NFL?

The only thing wrong with Arizona's Antrel Rolle's two interceptions against Cincinnati is that NBC's Keith Olbermann thought Esther Rolle was Florence the maid on The Jeffersons, when in fact she was Florida Evans on Maude and Good Times. Last we checked, Florida and her family never did "move on up to the east side", but her family sure was "Dy-no-mite!!!"

If you really want something "dy-no-mite", put ESPN back on Sunday games, ABC back on Monday games, and send all those NBC quacks off to Saturday Night at the Improv.

Back to school: Here's to Tom Brady's old college coach, Lloyd Carr, who should be remembered more for that 1997 national title and being a great coach of young men than anything else. If everyone keeps bringing up Appalachian State instead, Carr could move to Idaho and become next door neighbors with Bill Buckner.

Ralph Wilson and Marv Levy, two of the grand old men of the AFL/AFC, didn't deserve to have to sit there and watch the Patriots smack their team around for 56 points.

Especially Wilson. He's the last original AFL guy still with the same team he began with.

Yes, Adam Vinatieri hit the game winner, but there is a little bit of consternation in Indianapolis over the two that he missed, not to mention the big miss the week before in San Diego.

Looks like Tony Romo wants to show everyone in Big D that he was worth that financial leap of faith.

The Buffalo Bills/Minnesota Vikings of Major League Soccer? We got 'em, the other tenants of Gillette Stadium. That's now 0-4 in MLS Cup games for the Revs.

Dallas and Green Bay in a few weeks will make a terrific game. It won't have the hype of New England-Indianapolis, but it will be just as compelling. Must-see? Yep.

In 1998, the Cardinals did the unthinkable and won a playoff game at Dallas. Don't bet against them doing something similar this year.

Is John Beck the new Miami saviour? Go back to your Ricky Williams dreams, Fish Nation.

Remember him: Before you had the leaping ability of Randy Moss, you had a tall guy for Philadelphia named Harold Carmichael. At six-foot-eight, Carmichael was a unique wide receiver with leaping abilities much like a basketball player. He spent 13 seasons as an Eagle (and one final season in Dallas) and had three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving. He made four Pro Bowls and played in one Super Bowl (XV). He set an NFL record for catching a pass in 127 straight games. Carmichael might be thought of by some as worthy of enshrinement into Canton, though those doors have not yet opened for this tall and talented receiver.

If Denver should somehow win the AFC West, pray that they don't get to come to Foxborough in the Divisional round. On Monday night they showed that they could once again play the Patriots tough if they met in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Vince Young still looks like a guy who one of these days will nail this NFL gig. It's just that one of those days isn't here yet.

Wonder if Madden will sit down Thursday to one of his "turduckens", a turkey stuffed with a duck, and the duck stuffed with a chicken. He gave a demonstration on one of those a few years ago. He even showed you how to cook them.

At the George household, we'll keep it to just turkey, ham, stuffing, rolls, cranberry, veggies, pumpkin pie, some relatives and lots of football.

And sometime during the day, the family will also celebrate the birthday of this author. It's that "once every six years" deal this time. One more to go until the big 5-0.

I'd prefer to concentrate on giving thanks. Thanks for family, thanks for great teams to root for, and thanks for great people who call PatsFans.com a regular Internet hangout.

Thanks.


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