Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are You Ready...?

For school, winter, universal health care in the US, the double-dip recession, the coming currency war and food shortages? With fake Labo(u)r Day now past, it's time to get ready for all these things. But the really important question tonight is, "Are you ready for some football?!" That's right, the NFL season kicks off tonight with the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tennessee Titans. So, what should we look for this season? Some fearless and not so fearless predictions for y'all.

The Detroit Lions will improve over last year. Not hard considering the fact that last year's model was a bigger clunker than the Edsel, having a worse year than the motor city itself, becoming the first team in history to go winless the entire year, 0-16. However, since the NFL went to the current eight division format, at least one team has managed to go from last to first in their division, 10 teams total in six seasons. The Dolphins did it last year, the Buccaneers the year before, and the Eagles and Saints the year before that. But before you get too excited about those 100 to 1 Vegas odds on the Lions winning the Super Bowl this year, they won't be that much better. A tough division and a rookie quarterback in the person of #1 pick Matthew Stafford who will start week 1 point to a 4-12 season.

This year's offensive rookie of the year will probably have a weird first name - Beanie, Knowshon or LeSean. OK, so rookie Arizona Cardinal running back Beanie Wells' real first name is Chris, but most sites list his name as Beanie. He'll also be starting behind Tim Hightower in the desert, but will wrestle the starting job away by mid-season giving him a chance to win. Denver Bronco running back Knowshon Moreno (NO-shon Mor-EE-no) could walk away with the award too as he'll be given every chance to be the workhorse for the team, but what's up with that name and how is it that there seems to be more confusion about how to pronounce Moreno among Bronco fans? Here's a little taste. Finally, LeSean McCoy will start off the year backing up Brian Westbrook in Philadelphia, but with the wear and tear building up on Westbrook, who's on the wrong side of 30, and 4 capital letters to his name, LeSean could find himself starting at running back in Super Bowl XLIV. Hmmm, guess Donald Brown could win the award too if Joseph Addai goes down in Indy, that's not a weird name at all, but Percy Harvin is kinda strange...

The NFL will continue to have problems with players getting into off the field trouble. No, I'm not gonna talk about Michel Vick, well, OK, a little. The Eagles might not have gained any friends in PETA when they decided to take a risk on Vick, but as a football move it was a no-brainer. Problem is, it's just another example of a guy being excused for being an awful human being because he has talent on the field. Worse yet, things seem to be spiraling out of control with NFL players. Where to start after Vick and his dogfighting, bankruptcy, prison time leading to being signed by the Eagles and receiving a standing ovation during his first exhibition game? How about 2-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger accused of assaulting a casino hostess in Lake Tahoe. What's worse? Shooting yourself in the leg while illegally carrying a handgun into a disco or killing a pedestrian while driving drunk and high? Apparently shooting yourself as Plaxico Burress received a prison sentence 30 times longer that Donte Stallworth. Speaking of receivers, was I the only one who thought the reason Marvin Harrison was done in the NFL was that he was old? Apparently he may have shot a couple of people and may have put a hit on one of his victims who had brought a civil suit against him. And what's the deal with the Steve McNair story? Married, father of four, killed by his 20-year-old mistress who then killed herself. And to cap off the off-season we have Charger linebacker Shawne Merriman accused of battery and false imprisonment, bad enough in itself, but even worse seeing as it's giving Tila Tequila free publicity. If you want to keep up to date on the ongoing NFL crime saga, bookmark this site.

And Brett Favre? Well he'll retire and un-retire at least 3 more times before next year.

Oh yeah, and the football season...Let's see now, the division winners could be:

AFC East
- New England Patriots. How could they not win? Tom Brady is back and last time he was at the helm for the season they went 16-0.
AFC North - Pittsburgh Steelers. Again, the Ravens will challenge, but the Steelers D kept more of the pieces from last year and will prevail again.
AFC South - Houston Texans. Yes, my surprise pick after a couple of safe ones. Matt Schaub stays healthy, Andre Johnson leads the league in receiving while Mario Williams is the Defensive Player of the Year.
AFC West - San Diego Chargers. No need to win more than 8 games to win the weakest division in football, but they do thanks to the usual suspects (LT, Rivers and Gates) along with an emergent Vincent Jackson and defense.
Wild Cards - Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens. Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis, what else can you say?
NFC East - Philadelphia Eagles. Solid team picked up some good looking rookies at WR and RB to go along with the Michael Vick circus is enough to hold off my self-destructing Cowboys.
NFC North - Green Bay Packers. Should be the most competitive division in football as the Bears and Viking give Aaron Rodgers and the new 3-4 defense of the Packers a run for their money.
NFC South - Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and Roddy White welcome Tony Gonzalez to their offense and hold off the Saints.
NFC West Seattle Seahawks. Did I just pick the Shithawks? Apparently I did. Hasselback is healthy again and he's got Houshmandzadeh to throw to this year.
Wild Cards - Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. Cutler makes enough of a difference and the Cowboys scrape in.

And the Super Bowl you ask? Well, I won't pick one, but 4. I like the Patriots or the Chargers from the AFC and the Eagles or the Falcons for some reason in the NFC.

Well, the national anthem was just sung by Harry Connick Jr., guess it's time for some football.