Archive for September, 2007
After week 3, there are only 5 remaining unbeaten teams in the league. Let’s examine them all, and then I’d like to hear your opinion on who you think has the best chance of actually finishing the season… 16-0. I know, very tough to accomplish, but its fun to wonder.
1) NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: This team has no holes. A great defense, and possibly one of the most balanced offenses we’ve seen in years. On every play, you have absolutely no idea what they are going to do. Trust me, I know this, I own Laurence Maroney on my fantasy team. And even though he is their featured back, and even though he’s the one that marched them down the field, and even though it would only be fair to all of his fantasy owners to give him the ball at the goal line and let him run it in for the touchdown, I know they won’t. Why? Becauase you never know what the Patriots are gonna do. They might hand it off to back-up running back, Sammy Morris. Or back-up to the back-up running back, Kevin Faulk. Or maybe they’ll hand it off to Defensive Back Junior Seau, and let him pick up the TD. Or maybe Bill Bellicek himself will take the handoff from Tom Brady, and jump over the middle for the score. They’re so unpredicatable, making it very difficult for any defense to prepare for them. On Yahoo Sports, Laurence Maroney mentioned, that “he’s not worried about all the other backs. He’s sure he will get a plenty of touchdowns and still become, as promised, an offensive force”. This led me to believe that Laurence Maroney writes for Yahoo Sports.
2) INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Their defense looks pretty strong, and their offense, well, you know their offense. Peyton Manning no longer has anything to prove, which is seemingly resulting in a more laid back style of play. This is always good for a team aspiring to go 16-0. They’re not demolishing opponents like the Patriots, but they do whatever it takes to win the game. Also, isn’t it time for Nike, Reebok, or Gatorade to produce a series of commercials featuring Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It would be like those Michael Jordan/Larry Bird ads from the 90s where they called their shots (Remember — “off the building, through the senior-care center, off the backboard, etc…”) Maybe Brady and Manning could battle in pithy competitive contests, like playing chutes and ladders or SORRY!, all leading up to their week 9 showdown. C’mon, this is a great idea. I’m positive about this.3) PITTSBURGH STEELERS: They clobbered the Browns in Week 1, struggled a bit on offense in Week 2, then manhandled the 49ers this week. Their defense is stellar, and their offense knows how to comfortably move the ball down the field and the eat the clock; a key component to winning games. Their running back, Willie Parker, went undrafted and STILL plays with something to prove — EVEN THOUGH HE ALREADY LED THEM TO A SUPER BOWL VICTORY!! When you have a guy like that on your team, your chances of 16-0 significantly improve. However, Roethlisberger is injury prone, and when your back-up QB is Charlie Batch, your chances of 16-0 significantly decrease.4) DALLAS COWBOYS: Their offense is seriously putting up some points, and they even dissected that wall of a Bears defense last night on NBC. Their defense is certainly beatable, as their secondary (meaning the guys who stop receivers from catching the ball) is abysmal. However, as the Colts teams of the first part of this decade proved — you can give up a lot points, just make sure you score a lot more. These guys are now definitely the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Then again, Joey Harrington threw for over 300 yards this week, so you neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever know. And, my fantasy team would have won this week if we had only, only played the Cowboys D not the 49ers defense….so very sad for us.5) GREEN BAY PACKERS: The underdog of the bunch. Most people were sticking a fork in the Packers, awaiting the inevitable and long overdue Brett Favre retirement. But these guys have become fighters. It’s like they want to prove everyone wrong. They have Willie Parker-itis. All the sudden, the franchise you love to hate (due to their NFC dominance in the late 90s) has become the team… well… the team, um… you kinda wanna see win. Everybody senses this is Favre’s last year, and there is a kind of feeling in the air that you REALLY want to see him go out on top. Like Super Bowl really. Like 16-0 really. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, they hate McNabb if he loses; they want him off the field. They couldn’t care less that he brought them to 3 consecutive NFC title games and a Super Bowl. He’s gotta go, no allegiences in Philly. And the sad truth is even though he helped score over 50 points this week against Detroit, this only buys 6 days of ‘no-booing’. And what if he set a precedent? What if he has to score over 50 points every week to be even mildly appreciated in Philly. This would be extremely frustrating. Can you imagine those same expectations at your job? Man…Watercooler Discussion: Who has the best chance of actually going 16-0. Also, take note, the 5 currently undefeated teams are also 5 of the NFL’s biggest and most historic franchises. I can’t put my finger on it now, but trust me, this is interesting in some way… right?No comments
The great thing about the NFL is that it maintains it’s mystique every Sunday. You’re just as excited for Week 2 as you were for Week 1. Why? (1) You get to find out if your fantasy team is ‘that good’ 🙂 or ‘that bad’ 🙁 (2) You get to see all the commercials you liked from the first week again. (3) You get to see all the commercials you hated from the first week again. But you can complain to your friends about how much you hated those commercials. Something funny is usually said during this discourse, and laughing is good for your mental health and also burns calories so that’s good. (4) You continue to be shocked and surprised, which is great for your blood pressure (Note: This is true. I learned said fact from a Discovery Channel special on rollercoasters. And said Discovery Channel special aired after an in-flight movie: DREAMGIRLS) Anyway, it feels great to be shocked. And thus, here were some notable shocking events from Week 2:
1) The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals put up a total of 96 points in one of the highest scoring games in NFL history. Carson Palmer threw for 6 touchdowns while Derek Anderson, in a game where his job was on the line, threw for 5 touchdowns and 300 yards. Can’t do much better than that under pressure. Anyway, congratulations to the cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati, as this high-scoring affair has completely rejuvenated the 59th most exciting rivalry in sports. (Cleveland 51, Cincinnati 45)
2)THE HOUSTON TEXANS ARE 2-0. WE REPEAT: HOUSTON… IS 2-0!! I’d say these guys are going undefeated if they weren’t playing Indianapolis next week. So next Sunday we can scream from our windowsills, “HOUSTON IS 2-1. WE REPEAT: HOUSTON… IS 2-1!!!”… which is still good. (Houston 34, Carolina 21)
3) In an extremely shocking surprise, the Baltimore Ravens let Kyle Boller on the field. Their 4-year project quarterback who has continuously been the centerpiece to their putrid offense, failing them repeatedly. To give you an idea of how baffling this is, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine that you’re having a big dinner party, and your 8-yr-old greets each guest by kicking them in the shin. Of course, you’re furious, and you send your kid immediately to his/her room. “Stay there!!!”, you say. Then, somehow, your 8-yr-old sneaks out of his room, runs out to your dinner party, jumps on the table, and starts singing Britney Spears songs in their entirety as you chase him/her around the kitchen red-faced. Frustrated as can be, you send your 8-yr-old back to their room. Then, after the party, you let your kid out of their room, fix them an ice cream sundae with caramel, hot fudge, and sprinkles, then take them to Toys R’ Us to buy an XBOX. Does this make sense? No. What’s the reward for? However, the analogy isn’t perfect. You eventually reconcile things with your kid because you love them. Nobody in Baltimore loves Kyle Boller. (Baltimore 20, NY Jets 13 — Yes, they won, but fans who talk themselves into Kyle Boller will inevitably be disappointed. I feel sorry for you already)
4) The Bears look like a tight team. And running-Back Cedric Benson has successfully changed his reputation in Chicago from “terrible” to “reasonable”. Kudos to Cedric and his family. (Chicago 20, Kansas City 10)
5) Atlanta has progressed from an abysmal 3-point showing last week to an abysmal 7-point showing this week. Progress is progress is progress (Jacksonville 13, Atlanta 7)
6) The NBC Sunday night game between San Diego and New England was supposed to be a classic football showdown. But the Patriots were FAR superior. They do NOTHING wrong. Their offense, a juggernaut. Their defense: impenetrable. At this point, they have to be everybody’s Super Bowl pick. If someone asks you, “Who do you think will win the Super Bowl?”, you say, “The Patriots” because you will be right. And it’s nice to be right about things. Wouldn’t it be great if our own lives were this easy to predict?No comments
Sundays between football seasons are… what is that word… oh yeah,’productive’. We do stuff. We get things done. Even small tasks like going to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a better, more vibrant garbage can for the bathroom. But once Sundays become consumed by the NFL, we do nothing. Or at least convince ourselves that we don’t ‘have to’ do anything because “Sunday = Football, and that’s that.” It’s forced, acceptable laziness recognized by our entire nation; a bulletproof excuse for all things you don’t feel like doing. And with that being said — here are the Top 5 Notable Events from Sunday’s Games that kept people from getting out of the house (in descending order):
5) Two Words: Randy Moss. He was like the Randy Moss of old. The ‘I’m-going-to-gain-183-receiving-yards-and-one-TD-if-I-feel-like-it’ Randy Moss all-star that we remember. And, coincidentally, those were his exact stats! And, can we talk about Moss’ quarterback, Tom Brady? Wow, these Guys looked poised for the Super Bowl. (New England Patriots dominated the New York Jets 38-14)
4) In a surprise, it looks like Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson is going to be an absolute force in the NFL, finishing with 163 all purpose yards and 1 TD — IN HIS FIRST NFL GAME! However, the real shock was that the Falcons were able to score 3 points!!! This is amazing considering they played the entire game without a quarterback — something that has never been done in NFL history. Kudos to the Falcons. (Minnesota Vikings 24, Atlanta Falcons 3)
3) The Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins gave us a nail-biter of a game. An action-packed, lead-changing contest that even went into overtime!!!! I have never been this excited watching a game between two teams that will come absolutely nowhere near making the playoffs. (Redskins 16, Dolphins 13)
2) The Pittsburgh Steelers looked like a Super Bowl contender again, as they beat one of Ohio’s best High-School football teams (we’re talking of course of the disastrous Cleveland Browns) 34-7. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 4 Touchdowns in this remarkable victory. (Pittsburgh Steelers trounced Cleveland Browns 34-7)
1) Green Bay won their first season opener since… well, since the last time they won their first season opener. Trust me, people — it’s been awhile. For the last 4 seasons, FOX has featured the Green Bay Packers as their opening game, and I never understood why. And they always advertise it the same way: “Can the mighty Brett Favre lead the Packers to the Super Bowl one last time?! Then we watch the Packers go 1-4 over their first 5 games while the announcers redundantly talk about Favre’s possible retirement (Note: this has happened the last 4 seasons). But yesterday, they won. Not convincingly, but they won. So now we know two things for sure: (1) the results of the Packers next 4 games, and (2) what the announcers will talk about. (Green Bay Packers 16, Philadelphia Eagles 13)
And I eagerly await more football tonight because “Monday = Football, and that’s that.” I also look forward to the closing weeks of the season when “Thursday = Football, and that’s that”, and “Saturday = Football and that’s that.” The NFL makes life a lot less stressful… don’t ya think.
Watercooler Discussion: Who looks better after week 1, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts?No comments
The first day of school, terrible. First day of a new job, frustrating. First day of a serious/committed/he’s-mine-and-only-mine-so-why-is-he-still-talking-to-his-
ex-girlfriend-Kristen-Chambers-between-3rd-and-4th-period when-he-promised-he-wasn’t-going-to-talk-to-her-anymore High School relationship, terrifying. The point is: First Days Are Difficult.
And this is the exact reason why the NFL kicks-off they very first game of a long, exciting season… at night. Can’t take any chances. And this year, they couldn’t have picked a better matchup. The defending Super Bowl champs, The Indianapolis Colts, take on everybody’s favorite underdog, The New Orleans Saints. Many experts have picked The Saints for the Super Bowl this year, namely because of their marquee, endorsement friendly running back, Reggie Bush. If you can’t put a face to Reggie Bush, his picture is above and he’s the guy who played football with the Diet Pepsi machine from last year’s intelligent commercials. He’s also rumored to be dating Kim Kardashian (famous for being the daughter of OJ Simpson’s defense lawyer and for a leaked sex video with her boyfriend). But don’t hold that against him, for he will need all your support in Thursday night’s offensive shootout with Colts’ Peyton Manning and arch-nemesis, fellow second-year running back, Joesph Addai. This game might even be bigger than the Super Bowl, which ironically… could be the very same game.6 comments
Of course there is other very exciting sports news filling the airwaves right now (Pedro Martinez season debut with the Mets and striking out his 3002 batter (only the 15th player to do so and certainly a boost to the Mets as they eye the post season) for example, but for me it’s all about fantasy football right now.
For those that are unfamiliar with fantasy football, the beauty of the game is that you pretend you are an NFL coach and you draft your own team of players (from all 32 teams in the League). The draft takes place before the start of the season (which is Thursday, September 6th this year).
My draft is Tuesday, September 4th. Our League will gather in a conference room in New York where the winning team from last year (unfortunately not us) will provide pizza and drinks and we’ll spend the better part of 3 hours drafting what each of us thinks will be the winning combination of players. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, 15 million Americans play fantasy sports and 90 percent play fantasy football. Most of these players will have spent the last few months sifting through magazines, newspapers and sports web sites attempting to have a leg up on who might be the “sleeper” of the season. Of course this is a great strategy, but just to play devils’ advocate, the best year our team ever had, we went into the draft completely unprepared. With the first pick of the draft we spent over half of our money on a superstar running back and then picked up our remaining team with whatever money we had left. We won the League that year. I’d love to say we played brilliantly, but in all honesty, we simply got lucky, didn’t have any significant injuries and had great matchups. So with that said, maybe we’ll wing it again this year and see what happens. In any case, we are guaranteed to be brilliant for at least a few days (until Thursday night at least when the NFL season officially begins).
And speaking of Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints vs. last years’ Super Bowl champs, the Indianapolis Colts. What a way to start the season….stay tuned for our preview and how to talk the talk Thursday night.
Watercooler Discussion: If you play fantasy football or would like to, whom would you draft with your first pick?1 comment