Tuesday, September 22nd
As the city basks in the glow of the Bears, its time to talk NFL. Fans are into the NFL for different reasons. Among them are: gambling, tradition, city pride and more gambling! Lets not kid ourselves, in this country, the NFL rules because of the action, and the ACTION! Office confidence pools and fantasy football are all the rage now. Thank you, internet! The ability to win either of these depends on two things: LUCK and information. From having, or not, these two things, we can impress others accordingly. As your resident bartender, Ive been witness to more braggadocio about football than any other sport. Thank-you, alcohol!
As for knowledge about football, we wont talk about luck, because I have none. I know just enough to be dangerous; for me and anyone who would care to listen. Since I am behind a bar just about every Sunday of my adult life, Ive watched a little bit of football. I also meet fans of teams from all over the country, and others who are interested about teams from all over the country, (wonder why that is??) who want to talk football 247. I guess they figure all that time Ive spent behind a bar has taught me something. Well... they are right!
One thing Ive learned is preseason football means absolutely nothing as far as how to predict how a season will go. How did that 4-0 preseason record work out for Detroit last year? The point is, some coaches want to win and some could care less. And if youre a veteran who has the team made, dont get hurt because the regular season is when you get paid! Thats why I think predictions based off the preseason are fairly useless. Have you ever gone over some of the expert predictions after the year? They were throwing darts at a board! This leads me to my fearless predictions for the 2009 season. I think that after two games some trends are very obvious, while some others will need more time to play out. Still its the perfect time for the guy-in-a-red-bow-tie to offer his humble assessments. Besides which, due to the frenetic pace of my domestic life, its the first chance Ive had to get to my computer since the season started! Here we go.
1) New England: Is Brady still Brady? You bet! Seymour trade is a curious one. Does 4 RBS = Any RBS?
2) NY Jets: Rex Ryan doesnt fall far from the tree. It will be a fun team to watch. Leon Washington is electric.
3) Buffalo: I like Dick Jauron. He is a kind, thoughtful, intelligent person. And he agreed to T. O.??? Good luck!
4) Miami: Lets see how a roster with mediocre talent does with a 1st place schedule. I see a lot of low scores in their future.
1) Pittsburgh: Repeat? Four games against Cincinnati and Cleveland help vault them to the playoffs. If healthy, no less than final four.
2) Baltimore: Defense a year older and without the 2nd mentor of the Lewis Era. They will go as far as Flacco will take them.
3) Cincinnati: Really? Their chances? Child, please!
4) Cleveland: Man-genius? Seems to be in a little over his head. This could get ugly.
1) Indy: New coach? Same old Manning. Smartest player in the league is the
ultimate on-field leader, has the best commercials too.
2) Houston: My surprise team of the year. They give Indy a run and get in as
a wild-card. Andre Johnson is a beast!
3) Tennessee: Good defense and ground game. Can you consistently win in this league if you cant throw the ball?
4) Jacksonville: Love Jones-Drew, not much else. And Im not the only one: 17,000 unsold tickets? At least the home town doesnt have to watch this mess.
1) San Diego: Rulers of the worst division in football. Make the playoffs as usual, then what? Is this finally the year?
2) Denver: Orton move was shocking. What they needed to shock was the defense. Team unity is shown on offense: They all have neck-beards!
3) K.C.: Fantasy owners will love this offense. Cassel will get a chance to air it out.
4) Oakland: Honestly? Team Psycho? They dont look so bad early, but give it time. Enjoy the side-show and the losses.
1) Eagles: Vick is always the first thing Im asked about. No. 2 is this: Will this FINALLY be the year to end all of the endless suffering?!! (Sorry, I get carried away sometimes.)
2) NY Giants: The best combo of offensive and defensive lines in pro football. That will be good enough to finish 2nd.
3) Dallas: Tons of talent with no results. The lights are on, but nobodys home!
4) Washington: As far as under-achievers go, theyre Phi Beta Kappa!
1) Green Bay: Dom Capers taking over the defense is huge. Fast and aggressive, they rule the division.
2) Minnesota: Cant wait to see how Favre implodes another teams season. Three different teams in three consecutive years? This I have to watch!
3) Bears: One word: Defense. Do they have one? Need to move last years 30th against the pass into the top 10 to have a shot. Plus, more KNOX!
4) Detroit: Ouch! Ill go out on a limb and say that theyll win two games!
1) Atlanta: Good young team. Ryan is the real deal. Gonzalez move was brilliant.
2) New Orleans: Score 500- give up 500 = .500? If this team can stop a good offense, theyre scary.
3) Carolina: Ultimate fluke team of last year crashes with a thud!
4) Tampa: I dont think so!
1) San Francisco: How can you not root for Singletary? I want winners! Surprise team uses easy schedule to get to the playoffs.
2) Seattle: With Hasselbeck: over .500. Without?: Way, way under.
3) Arizona: Remember, even though this team was one play from being the champs last year, they were 9-7. Pete Rozelles dream come true!
4) St. Louis: Thanks for playing; we have some lovely parting gifts. Besides, have you ever met a Rams fan? I havent, everyone in that town is rooting for the Cardinals.
In the postseason, I have:
New England over Houston
Atlanta over Minn
Jets over Indy
NYG over SanFran
Then,Then,San Diego over Jets
Phil. over Atl.
Pitt. over N.E.
NYG over G.B.
Then,Then,S.D. over Pitt.
Phil over NYG
Then, drum roll please,
The Eagles over the Chargers in Super Bowl XLIII!!
Of course, my second week predictions end up like a lot of preseason ones: worthless, so I might as well get to type that once! Check back to see how I did. If I do well and you mention it to me at the bar, Im sure there will be a beer in your future. Otherwise, just hit delete!