Due to time contraints we move ahead in this week’s NFL coverage:
ATLANTA FALCONS v PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Falcons are very good, and look to go a lot further than Atlanta’s baseball team managed. The Eagles will still be a Vick-less wonder, but are at home.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v CHICAGO BEARS
Both of these teams can be terrific, or utterly, completely awful. However Chicago look like they’re beginning to gel. I hate Jake Cutler with every fibre of my being: he seems smarmy, whiny and full of himself. But he’s seeing the field the way co-ordinator Mike Martz wants him to and you will see a monster game from him at some point this season. This may well be it. Pete Carroll’s doing a very good job with Seattle, but he’s a long way from finished yet. Continue reading
Usually I write this column on a Tuesday. The reason being I like to be ahead of the other 9,000 people making picks for the weekend, and its the day I usually make my bets. I bet early because the odds are usually so much better if you do what I do, which is bet favourites. Lines on favourites tend to tighten closer to the weekend in the NFL, as exposure to 400 hours of various forms of NFL Countdown tends to convince people that potential upsets are possible. When Keyshawn Johnson tells you that there’s no way 2010 Tampa Bay win more than 4 games this year (they’re 2-0 right now) people rightly tend to herd in the other direction.
“and who else has an injury? Peterson? Who does he play for?”
My strategy is even worse – in fact its actually anathema to the spirit of gambling.
I only bet likely blowouts. Continue reading
– I put in ‘sexy Kansas City Chiefs fan’ this is what I got –
Well well well, one week into the new season and here’s what we know:
Elite: NEW ENGLAND (yet again), NEW ORLEANS
As Good As We Knew They Were: BALTIMORE, GREEN BAY
Surprisingly good: SEATTLE (Pete Carroll is back baby!), KANSAS CITY, HOUSTON, DETROIT, TENNESSEE
Surprisingly awful: SAN FRANCISCO, NEW JERSEY (Rex Ryan, um, baby!), WASHINGTON, PHILADELPHIA, DALLAS
As Awful As We Knew They Were: ST LOUIS, OAKLAND, JACKSONVILLE
Hanging On By Reputation Only: INDIANAPOLIS, SAN DIEGO
Desperately Aiming For A Winning Season: MIAMI, ATLANTA
And they say its only College Football that has a meaningful regular season.
The surprise that shouldn’t have been was Kansas City. That’s what comes of being a small-market team in a fly-over state with an awful record the last 10 years.
Factoid: Kansas is technically flatter than a pancake. And it feels it. It’s just wheat and corn 6 feet high the size of the North Island. There’s a reason Dorothy left.
The total clusterf*ck that was the Herm Edwards tenure still sullies the KC reputation 2 years after his ouster. Herm is now like the PE teacher from hell stuffed into a loud suit on TV, with a nice line in yelling over his fellow commentators. But it boggles my mind that he not only was an NFL Head Coach, but for TWO teams. Only now, 6 years down the line are the Jets finally being rebuilt and rebranded, and the new coaching staff installed in KC this offseason is also paying immediate dividends.
Charlie Weis, who flamed out spectacularly as a Head Coach at Notre Dame, and Romeo Crenell (ditto with the Browns) are now running the KC Offence and Defence respectively. With ex-Patriot QB Matt Cassell at QB, this is New England West. That’s not a bad template. Continue reading
Tony Romo? Really? The power of being a Cowboy people.
After an offseason that seemed only slightly less than a decade long, the NFL is back and so am I.
Did the Saints really win the Superbowl only in February? Did I really lose a packet on Peyton Manning’s 4th quarter meltdown? That was THIS YEAR? Not 2005? Hawking is right in his new book: time as we understand it is meaningless outside of our perception of it, and we create our version of history as our brains only experience time sequentially (NB: may not actually be the point he’s trying to make).
The last few years it has been fashionable to claim that the NFL runs all year, thanks to the Draft and constant offseason drama. Except for this year. The Draft? Meh. Ndamukong Suh was easily the best player (a massive and quick defensive tackle taken by the Detroit Lions, he can start on his Hall of Fame speech now) and he was still beaten out by a QB who I like (Sam Bradford, about to meat tenderised in St Louis) but who has the charisma of 4 day old bread.
4 day old white bread.
Off-season drama? Brett Favre un-retired again after being fellated by 3 players in a private jet (NB: metaphorically people!), and Ben Roethlisberger made an unwelcome sperm deposit on a woman in a nightclub bathroom while an off-duty cop watched the door. Continue reading
In our ‘fallow period’ you missed a bunch of great Tierney. Go here to catch up.
Kim K. She’ll be behind Reggie Bush. And then later, he’ll be behind her.
High Noon At The Superdome.
Or Battle Of The Gunslingers.
Or any other ESPN-like sobriquet. I feel like Colin Cowherd right now (and kudos to him for having a media career with a name like that. The only people cool enough to get away with a name like Colin are drunken Irishmen and Barbasian cricketers).
There are two games this weekend, but while both have points to recommend them, its the NFC Championship game between the Vikings and the Saints that has story lines that transcend the NFL.
40 year old Brett Favre vs reborn gunslinger 30 year old Drew Brees.
Running backs Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush both trying to live up to frustratingly unrealised potential.
A team that mortgaged its soul for a shot at the SuperBowl(see BrettFavre/Vikings above) vs a team that have NEVER been there. Continue reading
New Orleans is a great place.
Beads, Mardi Gras, Coeds, Seafood!
Now, I haven’t been there since Katrina hit, but I’m pretty sure the bits that count (bars, titty bars, blues bars, irish bars, cajun bars, um, bar bars) are still there. They probably still have too many crap blues (is there actually anything worse? Even bad country music is more tolerable) and not enough good blues, and sadly definitely not enough people who talk like John Candy in JFK. Continue reading
This week two of the biggest Wide Receiver controversies in the NFL were resolved.
A different pair of controversies
Perennial pain in the ass Cleveland Brown Braylon Edwards punched a friend of LeBron James outside a nightclub last Saturday, so 10 minutes later he was traded out of town. Wow, LeBron is REALLY the Man in Cleveland. He can get guys cut who aren’t even in his sport. Is it worth pointing out he was the most talented guy on the team? Edwards has gone to the excellent Jets, so it’s even a major bonus for him. We’re all happy now, yes? Continue reading