Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Body Parts That Don't Belong to Favre

We interrupt the 24-7 news coverage about Favre and his wiener to talk about something that actually matters, and no, we don’t mean the NBA season starting. Everyone knows the NBA season doesn’t really start until after Christmas. Do you really think a veteran Celtics team with Garnett, Allen, Pierce, Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal cares if they win 51 or 65 games? Do they care if they are the #1 seed or the #4 seed?

And I’m not talking about the enormous Big Ten matchup in Madison this weekend between Wisconsin and Ohio State. Wisconsin is going to have to play defense with their offense by playing a little keep-away from Terrell Pryor if they hope to upset the top-ranked Buckeyes. The Badgers have the rushing offense to put points on the board, but the concern is that their defense has more holes than David Arquette’s explanation of his relationship with Jasmine Waltz. Add to that their lack of discipline and poor special teams play, and it could be a scary Saturday for Brett Bielema two weeks before Halloween.

What I actually think are the best events of the weekend are the playoff baseball games. The ALCS and NLCS start on Friday and Saturday night and both series should be extremely entertaining, particularly the opening games. Arguably the four best pitchers in all of baseball have led their teams to the league championship series – Roy Halladay of the Phillies, Tim Lincecum of the Giants, Cliff Lee of the Rangers and C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees. Add in the other premiere starters: Roy Oswalt, Cole Hammels, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and CJ Wilson, and you have yourself the makings of a tremendously pitched series.

The year of the pitcher has continued in the playoffs with amazing performances one after another. Even the teams that lost had stud pitchers that got them there: David Price, Francisco Liriano, Tim Hudson and Johnny Cueto.

I wonder if the Brewers owner and general manager were watching the playoffs? Dear Doug Melvin, I hope you can tell the difference between any pitcher that started a game this post season and pitchers that were on your roster named Bush, Parra, Doug Davis, Suppan, or Randy Wolf. None of those guys would even make the roster of the playoff teams, more less actually see the field. Upgrade the pitching whatever you have to do – and that includes trading Prince. Sincerely, The Sports Addict

So sit back and get ready for some amazing pitching performances in the league championship series. My baseball prognosticating is worse than my football picks (I picked the Mariners as the best odds bet to win the world series before the season…at least I had Cliff Lee right, just on the wrong team?), so I won’t bother trying to convince you who will win.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll take the Rangers over the Yankees in 7 games with Lee winning games 3 and 7. I’ll also take the Giants to beat the Phillies in 6 games, but that might be as much because of my hatred for the Phillies than any sound logic.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Play It Again...

Haven't we seen this act before? Terrible half the game, then rallies the team late. He milks a supposed injury for the cameras a little during the comeback. Then an off-balance, back-foot throw that never should be made for a terrible game icing interception. And at the end of it all, Brett Favre is left with his junk in his hand.......again. At least he's consistent.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Degenerate Friday - Week 5

Have you ever had that moment when you get too lazy to crop dust, so you just let one go in your office? Without fail, the office “talent” always stops by within 30 seconds to show off her new engagement ring to your complete horror and embarrassment. That’s the moment when you realize you stink. Both figuratively and literally. Well, that has to be how Ted Thompson is feeling right now in Green Bay. He stayed in his office instead of making a move for Marshawn Lynch, and then the Vikings stop by to show off their shiny new toy, Randy Moss. Now Teddy is left in his office smelling his own turds.

Last week was a solid 8-6 week, putting me at 32-26-4 on the year. Not spectacular, but good enough to feel better than Ted Thompson.

The standard disclosures apply: for recreational purposes only, lines from the NY Post, home teams in CAPS, etc.

This week the games are broken down by the different stops in Randy Moss’s career.

The Vikings (Part I) Phase

Randy’s first stint in Minnesota was full of ups and downs – setting rookie records for touchdowns and gently tapping a traffic cop with his car. These are the games that have potential to be good games despite having any real power teams involved. And obviously with Randy’s fake moon during this part of his career, there is no question the 49ers game has to be in this category because of Mike Singletary’s allegedly de-pantsing himself at halftime of a game last year.

BROWNS (+3) over Falcons

The Falcons are 3-1, yet without a Garrett Hartley shank and a Nate Clements brain fart, they’d be 1-3. They have not shown the offensive fire power that was expected of them. The Browns have battled to stay close in all of their games, and they may have found a stolen gem in Peyton Hillis. Mangini fights off the sharks for a second straight week.

RAIDERS (+6) over Chargers

San Diego has feasted on bad teams thus far, and they get another one in the Raiders. Yet something tells me the Raiders will finally show some progress, even with Michael Bush filling in for McFadden. Zach Miller should be able to run wild in the secondary against the Chargers linebackers.

49ERS (-3.5) over Eagles

Is Vegas disrespecting Kevin Kolb that much by making him and the Eagles a 3.5 point dog against the winless Niners? Probably. Is it deserved? Yup. Kolb has looked awful – timid, noodle-armed and overmatched in his limited playing time. Time for SF to get off the winless train at home against the punchless Iggles.

The Oakland Raiders Phase

Disinterested, lazy, distraction, non-factor, irrelevant. All words that can describe Moss’s time in Oakland and these games. Moss is second all-time in receiving TD’s (behind Jerry Rice) and imagine the stats he could have put up if he actually made an attempt to play hard or had an adequate quarterback during the years he wasted in Oakland.

Jaguars (-1) over BILLS

This might be the Bills best chance to avoid coming close to 0-16. Did I mention Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback? It could be a classic letdown game for the Jags after their big win against the Colts, but they still have more playmakers with hyphens than the Bills.

PANTHERS (+2.5) over Bears

Is it really a question whether or not to bet against Todd Collins? The last time he started a game was in 2007, and he was old and washed up then. The Bears have won with smoke and mirrors thus far this season and the wind blew away the smoke and the mirror is one of those “fat mirrors” from the circus.

LIONS (-3) over Rams

The Rams are leading their division and still underdogs against a winless team. Such is life in the NFC West. Lions have been competitive all season and finally break through with a win.

Saints (-6.5) over CARDINALS

The Saints are a lifetime 87-5-1 when playing against a team that cut a former first round quarterback before the season, benched their awful backup, and are starting an undrafted rookie in his first start. That seems like a made up stat that I don’t want to go against.

The Patriots Phase

The resurgent Randy reappears and starts setting records again. Suddenly the locker room cancer that got run out of Minnesota and mercifully traded from Oakland was a great teammate, consummate professional and a key cog on successful teams. Yet that dream didn’t last.

TEXANS (-3) over Giants

Which Giants team will show up? The one that hammered the Panthers? The one that got hammered by the Colts? Or the suffocating defense that destroyed Jay Cutler? Will it be the Texans team that tamed the Colts? Or the team that had to scramble to come from behind against the Redskins? Or the team that got ripped up by the Cowboys? I guess I’ll side with the home team.

Chiefs (+8) over COLTS

Am I really going against a ticked off Colts team at home against a potentially fraudulent 3-0 young Chiefs team? Yup, 8 points is too much for a team that can’t stop the run against a team that has a potent running attack with Thomas Jones & Jamaal Charles.

Vikings (+4) over JETS

While there is no doubt that Tom Brady throws a better deep ball than Brett Favre, and Moss is not as adept at the jump ball as he once was, Randy will still make a difference and be an outlet for the wiener-sexting old gunslinger. There is the possibility that Moss catches 2 TDs and Favre throws 4 interceptions in every game. The inspiration of thir new acquisition will be enough to overcome the loud-talking Jets on Monday night.

The Minnesota (Part II) Phase

This is either going to be boom or bust. It’s either going to be like Marisa Miller or it’s going to be current Madonna. There will be no in between. These games could be gems like the Halladay no-hitter or the Lincecum 2-hitter (which by the way, I might argue that Big Time Timmy Jam’s game was more impressive as it came in a 1-0 game and he had 14 K’s – a MLB postseason debut record) Or these games could end up a complete disaster, like a James Shields start for the Rays.

BENGALS (-6.5) over Buccaneers

This seems like quite a bit of points to lay against a 2-1 team coming off a bye week by a team that just lost to the Browns. Yet the Bengals play much better at home and the 2-1 team is the Bucs. Case closed.

Packers (-2.5) over REDSKINS

This is my least confident pick of the week. The Packers lost another safety and linebacker Nick Barnett to season-ending injuries this week. Add that to the emotional let down of not picking up a key running back and knowing they have the least intimidating running game in the league. Yet the Redskins do not have the playmakers to take advantage of the huge holes that will be in the Dom Capers defense.

RAVENS (-7) over Broncos

Baltimore’s offense seems to be finding a little bit of rhythm and it will be much easier against the Broncos than it was against the Steelers. The Broncos definitely won the Cutler-Orton trade, but they won’t win in Baltimore.

COWBOYS (-6.5) over Titans

Tennessee continues to struggle establishing the run and they don’t have a legit passing game to fall back on. As a result, the Cowboys can get back to .500 and right back in the hunt to win their extremely average division. After the game, Jeff Fisher might put on a Tony Romo jersey, since if the Cowboys falter this year, Wade Phillips will be fired and Jeff Fisher will be the top target for Jerry Jones.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend Hangover: Love/Hate


- Has there ever been a more ridiculous ending to a college football game than the LSU-Tennessee game this weekend? LSU got down to the 3 yard line with under 30 seconds left and was completely confused and out of sorts trying to call a final play. With the clock about to run out, the center snapped the ball past the quarterback who fell on the ball to seemingly give the Vols the win. Only during the confusion of LSU substituting players and not knowing what play to call, the Vols were flagged for having 13 guys on the field. LSU got another chance and punched it in for the game winning touchdown with no time on the clock. A finish that was more unbelievable than Cristina Del Basso of Big Brother in Italy. Rumor has it that she is another of Tiger’s birdies. Wow.

- I love all the overdone hype surrounding the picture of Gisele at some European event and possibly kissing a dude that isn’t Tom Brady. There are so many possibilities and explanations that don’t involve a scandal or anything illicit. I mean, Gisele is Brazilian and they are all about kisses on the cheek for greetings and departures. Is it really a stretch to think that the guy just pulled a middle-school trick and turned his face at the last minute so she planted one on his lips? My brother asked me the most pertinent question that can be applied to this situation or the Dez Bryant dropping 55k on dinner: Wouldn’t you? If you were that guy and got that close to Gisele or if you were Dez Bryant and could afford to take an entire football team out to a steak dinner, wouldn’t you?

- That sound you heard on Sunday was the Vick hype train jumping the rails and going down in flames faster than Mel Gibson’s career. I haven’t seen how long Vick will be out, but the Eagles definitely need him. Kevin Kolb looked scared and weak-armed as he took over the Eagles and couldn’t lead them back against McNabb and the Redskins. The other lesson learned from this game: The NFC East is wide open because all of the teams suck. The Eagles were feeling good because they beat the Lions and the Jaguars. This week showed their defense is awful. The Redskins have two wins within the division, but have lost their two games outside the division.

- I love the slobber-fest that continues over Denard Robinson. Yes, he put up more video-game-like stats this week and just looking at the stats, he has to be the Heisman front-runner. Yet if you watch the game, he is not a very good passer and Michigan struggled to put away a poor Indiana team. Read the post game summaries and they talk about how he “heaved a high-arching pass to Hemmingway” for 42 yards which set up the game-winning touchdown. The reality is that he threw a terrible jump ball and Junior Hemmingway made a spectacular play to outjump and come down with the pass. At the end of the day, all that matters is that the Wolverines remained unbeaten after a win on the road, but at some point Michigan is going to play some competent defensive teams and when they do, it will be interesting to see how Robinson plays.


- Dear Ted Thompson, congratulations on building a championship contender in Green Bay. You have a top 5 quarterback, top 5 tight end, top 5 wide receiver, top 5 cornerback, top 5 linebacker, and adequate offensive and defensive lines. However you have a glaring hole at running back that needs to be addressed if this team is going to win a championship. I know you love draft picks more than I love Kelly Brook in a low-cut shirt, but this should be an easy decision. Give a call to Buffalo and see what draft pick they want for Marshawn Lynch. A 5th rounder? Sure. A 4th rounder? Sure. The lack of running game leaves the defense on the field for too much time, which tires out our talented veterans like Charles Woodson and Cullen Jenkins. Swallow your pride and fix the problem you created by not having more than Brandon Jackson behind Ryan Grant at the beginning of the year. This isn’t hard, Ted. You messed up when you didn’t get Randy Moss, so don’t be an ass-hat on this one. Make the call and make the deal. Sincerely, Trent

- Another big game for a Bielema-coached Wisconsin team, and another disappointment. Coach Alvarez used to excel at getting his teams up for the biggest games and they would come out with focus and energy in all of their toughest road games and difficult opponents. Coach Bielema just doesn’t seem to get the best out of his teams. He has an unbelievable amount of talent with studs like James White, Lance Kendricks, JJ Watt and he can’t seem to put it all together to get the most out of his teams. On Saturday, Michigan State beat the Badgers by doing exactly what the Badgers used to do with teams: pound them with the run game which opens things up for the passing game.

- I’m going to miss Mike Singletary’s post games quotes. Wait, he hasn’t been fired yet? Give it time, as there is no way he makes it through the rest of this season. He tried to deflect the shots by firing Jimmy Raye before this week, but now the scopes are set on the legendary linebacker. His press conferences are awesomely intense and his quotes are memorable, but unfortunately it has not translated to any on-field success.

- It sure seems like the Oregon Ducks should be considered for a spot in the national championship game if they continue to play the way they’re playing currently. At least I think so, but it’s hard to tell because I couldn’t watch the Oregon-Stanford game even if I wanted to because of the ridiculous television programming decisions made by Time Warner and ABC. Instead of watching a match up of two top-ten teams in prime time in one of the loudest stadiums in the country, ABC decided that the northeast would rather watch an awful Notre Dame team against an even-worse Boston College team. Are you friggin’ kidding me? Do you want to know why there is an east coast bias by voters? They can’t actually see the best teams because of the morons at ABC who still can’t get it through their heads that Notre Dame hasn’t been relevant in 15 years and NO ONE CARES about them. I don’t need to see another Notre Dame game for the next 5 years and I guarantee I won’t miss anything of importance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Hangover - Love/Hate


- Finally, the dumbest “strategy” move by a football coach backfired and cost his team the game. I abhor when coaches call a timeout one second before the snap for a game-winning field goal and make the team kick it twice. It’s a bulls#it move that shouldn’t be allowed. So it was great to see Sean Payton try that move against Atlanta only to negate a blocked field goal that would have prevented the Falcons from winning. After getting a second shot, Matt Bryant nailed the kick and the Falcons stole a game in New Orleans. Calling that timeout is like when you were a little kid and you shook hands on something but then yelled “it doesn’t count because I had my fingers crossed behind my back!!” And how long can Garrett Hartley’s NFC Championship heroics buy him in New Orleans? The Saints won in week 1 despite his missed kicks and he missed another short kick in overtime this week. If I were Hartley, I’d start boxing up the house, just in case.

- Does anyone know that baseball season is still going on? Oh, and NBA training camps are about to start. No one seems to notice or care about either sport when it’s football season. We wasted more time this week hearing about Braylon Edwards than about the pennant races. Lost in all the news this week was an incredible feat by Ichiro in Seattle – his 10th 200-hit season. When you realize that he played his first 7 professional seasons in Japan, the streak is even more impressive. Had he played those years in the US, he might have a legit shot at Pete Rose’s all-time hit list. His ability at the plate is almost as impressive as George Clooney’s girlfriend in a bikini.

- Is there a better advertising campaign out there than the E*Trade baby? The latest commercial has him in time-out because riding the dog like a horse is frowned up – awesome. Those commercials are as good as the Redskins yellow mustard pants, and definitely better than those nasty neon orange jerseys in Miami.


- Can we finally put to rest any thoughts that Notre Dame is a legit college football team? It is blatantly obvious that the Irish are not on the level with any of the mid-level teams in the country, so why do teams get a boost in the rankings for beating them? Stanford is the latest team to dismiss the Irish with ease and were rewarded with a jump from #16 to the top 10. How does that math work? You do what you’re supposed to do – beat a vastly inferior team - and jump over other teams that did what they were supposed to do (aka Wisconsin)? It’s like the receivers that dance after a 7 yard catch – that’s your job, so stop celebrating what you’re supposed to do. That has less logic than Lindsay Lohan remaining out of prison.

- After watching Ryan Mallett flush his Heisman hopes, and Arkansas’s conference title hopes down the toilet on Saturday afternoon, two thoughts came to mind: (1) It’s been confirmed – NEVER trust a guy with a chin-strap beard, and (2) Mallett might be the next Ryan Leaf. He is a big, strong-armed guy who can throw it all over the field. Unfortunately, he is not clutch, and not very bright. If he gets angry with the media and develops an addiction to oxycontin, he could actually become Ryan Leaf. Beware Buffalo Bills – Jake Locker might not be the answer, but Mallett doesn’t look to be the solution either.

- Carmelo Anthony as the center piece of the “new” Nets under the Russian billionaire? There is a 4-team trade that may happen that would send Anthony to the Nets, assuming the Nuggets don’t get cold feet and the Nets can sign Anthony to a long-term contract. It would definitely be a shot across the bow of their neighbor Knicks if the Nets can land Anthony as their centerpiece when they move into Brooklyn in two years. If the Nets can come up with a new color scheme, new uniforms and a new name, they could actually have a shot to become the most popular team in the New York metro area. Getting Anthony would also go a long way towards improving upon their 12 wins last season.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Degenerate Friday - Week 3

Computer issues saved you from losing money with my 8-8 picks last week, so you’re welcome for that. Now we’re on to the next week, where teams find themselves on the verge of losing their seasons before they hit the one quarter mark of the season. Are we ready to make conclusions about teams? Probably not. Remember last year when Josh McDaniels and the Broncos started 6-0 before the bottom fell out? So let’s not get too ahead of ourselves after just a few weeks and then be surprised when the truth comes out. Kind of like the categories for the games this week….celebrity surprises during the past couple weeks.

Standard disclosures apply: Picks are for recreational purposes only, spreads from the NY Post, and home teams in CAPS.

The Paris Hilton Tier

Paris was rejected from Japan this week. Not a major surprise, but then again, it was surprising that she was wearing clothes and wasn’t on a boat.

PATRIOTS (-14) over Bills

What happened to that dynamic CJ Spiller guy who was wearing a Bills jersey in the preseason? The Bills offense has been absolutely horrendous, so while this is a ton of points to lay, it may only take three scores by the Patriots to cover. So when Chan Gailey says that he doesn’t see much difference between Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick, is that an insult to both of them?

Raiders (+4) over CARDINALS

I have been playing the Raiders all season and they’ve yet to pay off. Is this the week with Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback? Considering he’s up against the worst quarterback in the league outside of Buffalo in Derek Anderson, I think it is. Is Larry Fitzgerald going to snap after yet another pass sails 5 yards over his head?

SEAHAWKS (+5.5) over Chargers

Chargers laid the lumber last week to Jacksonville and their offense seemed to find the rhythm they couldn’t find in the rain in Kansas City in week 1. So laying 5.5 against a Seattle team that lost to Denver last week shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. Just like Paris Hilton, when the light is shined on them at the right angle (on the road in Seattle), the Chargers have some significant flaws and will be missing Ryan Matthews who has a banged up ankle.

Colts (-5.5) over BRONCOS

Peyton Manning will let you know when it’s safe to bet against the Colts, and after last week’s dismantling of his little brother, the Colts look ready to roll. Add to that the emotional week the Broncos have just had with the death of one of their wide receivers, and Denver could not have found a worse opponent.

The Demi Moore Tier

Ashton Kutcher was busted for cheating on Moore with an extremely average looking girl. Are we surprised that Kutcher is an idiot? He made his career by acting like an idiot on That 70’s Show, acting like an idiot on Punk’d, and being a cougar-hunting idiot. Maybe he was just never acting….

Lions (+11) over VIKINGS

Let me get this straight. The Lions have lost on a terrible call to the Bears and by 3 to the Eagles, and they’re suddenly giving double digits to an 0-2 team that has scored 19 TOTAL points in two weeks? There is a reason the casinos are so big in Vegas, but this is not one of them. The Old Gunslinger hasn’t found a WR he can trust and the difference of philosophy between him and Coach Childress continues to widen.

RAVENS (-10.5) over Browns

Despite the Ravens offensive woes to start the season, the best medicine is playing against the woeful Browns. The Ravens have gone up against the tough Jets defense and the underrated Bengals defense, so their struggles have been blown out of proportion. And I didn’t even have to mention that Seneca Wallace is starting again for the Browns.

Bengals (-3) over PANTHERS

Welcome to the NFL, Jimmy Clausen by taking on a Bengals defense that ate pre-season darling Joe Flacco’s lunch last week. Clausen struggling in his debut is less surprising than J-Woww posing in Playboy. Doesn’t it seem like Hugh is overpaying for her pictures? Would it really take more than a bottle of booze and a couple of compliments whispered in her ear?

Eagles (-3) over JAGUARS

Michael Vick is the Boston Cream donut in the Eagles locker room and Andy Reid can’t get enough. He’s so in love with his Boston Cream that he has smashed the chocolate sprinkles donut that he’s been telling everyone he loves for the past 6 months. And that came after he dumped his first love – the Long John donut because it kept making him choke. Maybe Reid just likes donuts.

Redskins (-3.5) over RAMS

So do we look at the Redskins team that build a 17 point lead against the dangerous Texans or do we look at the Redskins team that blew a 17 point lead against the dangerous Texans? I don’t know, nor do I care. What I do care about is that a spread of barely over a field goal against one of the worst teams in the league should be covered.

The Randy Quaid Tier

Did you see the story where Randy and his wife were arrested for squatting in a house they used to own? Uncle Eddie has definitely fallen on some tough times and he sure looks like it’s been a long, strange journey.

CHIEFS (+2.5) over 49ers

The 49ers are coming off a game in which they played very well against the Saints, but playing in Kansas City is a different story. While Matt Cassel has played awful, the Chiefs will need to rely on their special teams and running game to generate points.

Titans (+3) over GIANTS

Lost in all the attention that the Jets have generated the past few weeks is that the Giants are not very good. They were able to beat a terrible Panthers team despite turning the ball over more times than Lindsay Lohan returns to rehab. Then they got splattered by the Colts. The Titans crushed the Raiders and then were shut down by what has thus far been the best defense in the league, the Steelers. Look for Chris Johnson to get back much closer to his 2500 yard pace.

Steelers (-2.5) over BUCCANEERS

It doesn’t matter who the Steelers start at quarterback as long as their defense remains as good as they have been. The Josh Freeman leading the young Tampa squad is a nice story, but beating Carolina and Cleveland hardly gives them a boost in the BCS standings.

Jets (+2) over DOLPHINS

This might be the toughest game of the week to pick. The Jets are kind of like Randy Quaid, highly entertaining, but you have to wonder if there are some serious problems behind the outward shell. The Dolphins are 2-0 and can build themselves a nice little lead in the division with a win over the Jets, but they have feasted on a poor Bills offense and a struggling Vikings offense.

The Kelly McGillis Tier

This was the shocker of the week. Kelly was everyone’s favorite military flight instructor in the 80’s blockbuster, Top Gun, and she got married this week…to a woman. I mean, it really kind of changes all the news you have heard recently about “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

SAINTS (-6) over Falcons

Even without Reggie Bush, the Saints offense has a ton of weapons. The Falcons hammered the Cardinals last week and they are at home, but I think the Saints will have recovered from their trip out west in time.

TEXANS (-3) over Cowboys

I really can’t imagine the Cowboys starting the year 0-3. Then again, I never imagined Kelly McGillis playing for the other team – not that there’s anything wrong with that. The Texans have won their first two games, first with a dominant running game and then with a dominant passing game. Look for them to light up the Cowboys in Houston.

Packers (-3) over BEARS

The Bears have proven to be legit thus far, and winning at Dallas last week was impressive. Yet it’s starting to be apparent that the Cowboys may not be as good as we expected, so it does come with a grain of salt. And the Bears should have lost in week 1 to Detroit. If the Packers can generate any kind of running game to keep the Bears defense honest, expect Green Bay to blow them out. Will Ted Thompson finally make a trade for a running back? Here’s a great read about his failed attempts to get Randy Moss a few years back, which makes you think that TT may not be able to trade for Marshawn Lynch like he should.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NFL Power Rankings - Week 1

Riding the subway in New York is brutal in the summer because if the air underground isn’t disgusting and stale to begin with, the heat adds an extra layer of stank to it. On top of that, you add the overcrowded nature of rush hour and sprinkle in a solid mix of homeless people and you have a pretty nasty cocktail. The other day I’m minding my own business on my way home, listening to my iPod when I catch this mangy dude stumbling through the train and I assume he’s begging for change. I typically enjoy hearing some of the more creative signs and requests from the panhandlers, like outside of dinner last night when a guy said he needed 50 cents to fix the rotary engine on his helicopter. That’s a good effort. The guy on the subway wasn’t actually begging, but instead he was hoping to sell something: Batteries. He’s walking through the train with an open package of batteries yelling “Double-A’s, triple-A’s, C’s & D’s – I got your batteries right here - $1 for a battery.” Who needs batteries while they’re on the subway? Not to mention they likely are used/dead batteries that he’s selling. Everyone on the train is using an iPod, iPhone, blackberry, kindle or reading the paper. None of those activities require Duracells.

So how does this relate to the NFL Power Rankings after the opening weekend? It probably doesn’t, but it made me think that while I don’t want to overreact to week 1 results, I have to stay with the times and not continue to proclaim that the teams at the top will remain at the top. It also reminded me of the days back when people used to use those big clunky Discman to play CD’s while working out and you had to be careful not to make the CD skip constantly. Well the Discman was released in 1984, so this week’s rankings are broken out by some of the top movies from that year.

The Terminator

1 – New Orleans

The Saints are the kings until someone knocks them off. They proved that they could win a game on defense by handling the Vikings when their offense wasn’t clicking. They have a very tough road test on Monday night to maintain the top spot.

2 – New England

The Patriots were the cold, destroying terminators in week 1, laying the smack down on the Bengals. They scored the most points in the league and despite the final score, their young defense shut down the Bengals early. Tom Brady had a helluva ride last week, getting in a significant car accident but escaping injury, signing a huge contract extension, lighting up the Bengals and all the while getting to come home to Gisele every night. I’d say that’s winning at life.

3 – Green Bay

Losing Ryan Grant is a significant blow for the Packers, and if GM Ted Thompson wasn’t so opposed to free agency or trades, they may have been able to add someone like Laurence Maroney (only cost the Broncos a 4th rounder), Marshawn Lynch, or Willie Parker. Instead they signed someone off a practice squad. If the running game struggles, you will see a return of the “Ted Thompson Ruined My Christmas” t-shirts.

4 – Baltimore

Ray Lewis remains the baddest terminator in the league. That hit he laid on Dustin Keller was textbook and I’m pretty sure if he hit me like that, I would be dead. Not in the figurative sense – they would have to peel me off the turf and just take me right to the cemetery. The Ravens difficult schedule continues with another road game, this time at Cincinnatti where Palmer, Ochocinco and Owens will test their banged up secondary more than Mark Sanchez did.

5 – Pittsburgh

Don’t look now, but if Troy Palomalu stays healthy, the Steelers defense could return to its dominant form and it won’t matter who lines up under center.

Ghost Busters

6 – Houston

The Texans were finally able to rid themselves of their own personal Slimer – the ghost of the Indianapolis Colts. They also could have quoted Bill Murray’s Dr. Venkman character: “We came. We saw. We kicked it’s @ss!!” Unfortunately all a week 1 win does is secure they won’t have a winless season. The Texans haven’t had problems early in the season as much as they have had problems when they really have to win. But for now, they have a dominant running game, a passing game that wasn’t needed, and an aggressive defense. That’s enough for a top 6 position to me.

7 – Indianapolis

On the other end of the spectrum are the Colts. With their defense suddenly looking like more of a liability than planned and Bob Sanders likely out for the year, there are some real concerns in Indy. I’m not sure a visit from the underachieving but talented Giants running game is the cure.

The Natural

8 – Tennessee

Chris Johnson is a natural when it comes to running the football. I saw on halftime of the Monday night game that they clocked him at 22 mph during his 76 yard touchdown on Sunday. Like Robert Redford knocked the cover off the ball, Johnson can run the cleats off his shoes.

Romancing the Stone

9 – Minnesota

Brett Favre and Brad Childress are about as annoying as Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. In reality, since this is their second act together, maybe they should be connected to the sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, but that movie came out in 1985. While losing to the Saints isn’t a disgrace, the lack of passion, energy and life from Old Man Favre is a definite concern.

10 – New York Giants

There’s just something about Big Blue that I can’t get behind this year. They are about as exciting as a stone. Good enough to beat the bad teams (like Carolina) but will struggle against better competition (like Indy this week).

Beverly Hills Cop

11 – New York Jets

This whole tier of teams fits into the Eddie Murphy quote: “You arresting me for getting thrown out a window?” And while the media gnashes its teeth about the way the team treated Ines Sainz, the team should be spending more time trying to figure out how wonderboy Mark Sanchez went from looking as good as Ms. Sainz to looking like George Lopez during the off-season.

12 – Dallas

The Cowboys offense struggled mightily despite the presence of all those weapons. Is that a credit to Washington’s defense? Possibly. But more likely, the Cowboys have to put it all together, shore up their offensive line play and only then can they even imagine playing a home game in the Super Bowl.

13 – San Diego

While not part of the movie, it seems like San Diego used another Eddie Murphy line from his stand up routine: “I’ll take the zero” (look up the routine about having a boner in class and getting called upon to come to the front of the class). The Chargers took the zero in the rain against a young and feisty Chiefs team.

14 – Atlanta

Maybe the Falcons aren’t ready for prime time after all. I do believe that the Steelers defense can be an elite unit, but to only manage field goals is unacceptable from an offense with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. So I am arresting them for falling out the window.

15 – Cincinnati

The Bengals got thrown out the window by the Patriots and they have the foot prints on their rear ends to prove it. They better buckle down at home against the Ravens or the season could disintegrate quickly.

Karate Kid

16 – Washington

I’m not sure how long the Redskins will stay in the upper half of the league, but after beating the Cowboys, they’ve earned this spot. They are the upstart who beat the fancy dressed, fancy trained rich kids with a controlled and disciplined game.

17 – Seattle

The Seahawks bought into Pete Carroll and Cheerleader Carroll used “the Crane” to kick the snot out of the 49ers in week one. I fear that his act grows thin quickly, but for now, they deserve this ranking, probably 10 spots higher than I would have had them before the season started.


18 – Philadelphia

Andy Reid had his nice fuzzy little mogwai in Kevin Kolb, but unfortunately he exposed him to water (aka the Packers defense) and it spawned a gremlin of a quarterback controversy. Michael Vick looked back to his old speed against Green Bay and after he leads the Eagles to a victory over the Lions, the team is going to have a hard time stomaching a move back to Kolb. Kolb looked timid, weak-armed and scared before Clay Matthews knocked him out of the game.

19 – Arizona

Kurt Warner’s retirement spawned a whole mess of gremlins in the desert, first with Matt Leinart and now with Derek Anderson. While Anderson’s numbers looked respectable at the end of the game, he still has accuracy problems and the Cards barely held off the lowly Rams. This may be the highest the Cards get ranked all season.

Sixteen Candles

20 – Kansas City

The Chiefs pulled off a great upset against the Chargers riding the youth movement with rookies Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki and young running back Jamaal Charles. They came of age a little in the Monday night game, so I guess that makes Matt Cassell equal to Molly Ringwald?


21 – San Francisco

Not only did the 49ers make a terrible splash with their pathetic performance at Seattle, they also have a lot in common with Darryl Hannah. Both were huge in the 80’s and both are liked for some strange reason I can’t understand. No matter how intense Coach Singletary stares at his players, the 49ers cannot be successful with the poor communication between their offensive coordinator and the quarterback that plagued them in week 1.

Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom

22 – Miami

The Dolphins get credit for winning, but there is doom ahead because their offense was stagnant against a poor Bills defense. That huge stone that is chasing Indiana Jones – that’s the Patriots about to run down the Dolphins.

23 – Jacksonville

This is another team that won, but in unconvincing fashion against an inferior opponent.

24 – Carolina

Boy am I glad that Carolina got rid of that turnover machine in Jake Delhomme and got a conservative game manager like Matt Moore because he won’t turn the ball over……wait, nevermind. Moore basically melted in the bad weather and Giants pressure like the bad guy’s faces at the end of Indiana Jones.

25 – Oakland

Oakland reminds me of the scene in the movie where the bad guy stops Indiana Jones in the market and starts to wave his big sword all over the place in a huge display of power. Indy calmly pulls out his pistol and shoots the guy. Well the Raiders had me convinced with their big sword trade of Jason Campbell and maturing wide receivers. The Titans pulled out the pistol in week 1.

26 – Detroit

No need to rehash it – the Lions were robbed by a terrible rule. And that’s why they are ranked higher than the Bears despite losing to them. Even though they lost Mattew Stafford and will likely plummet after this week, they get a bump for the effort in week 1.

Nightmare on Elm Street

27 – Chicago

Yes, Jay Cutler threw for a lot of yards, but he’s still a turnover machine and will be a nightmare for Chicago’s playoff chances.

28 – Denver

What was more overhyped? Tim Tebow’s debut or the ridiculous Bachelor spin-off, Bachelor Pad? Tebow was a non-factor and Bachelor Pad was just a pairing up of sluts with meatheats.

29 – Tampa Bay

They are the second team in this tier that won last week, but the team they beat was barely better than Notre Dame. Raheem Morris has some potential on this team, but Bucs fans wish they could just sleep away the season.

30 – St. Louis

The Rams showed a considerable amount of spunk against the Cardinals and Sam Bradford looks like he has the skills to be a franchise QB. Unfortunately they will not win many games if they have to throw it 55 times a game and only give Steven Jackson 22 carries.

31 – Cleveland

Well that didn’t last long. Did we really expect the Jake Delhomme experiment to work with the Browns? Do you really expect Jennifer Lopez to be anything other than a monster pain in the ass as a judge on American Idol? Do you really expect Jenn Brown to be famous for her sideline reporting or her looks?

32 – Buffalo

If Packers GM Ted Thompson wasn’t so opposed to trading, the smart move would be to tell Buffalo RB Marshawn Lynch to bring a few extra bags with him to Green Bay this weekend. Instead Lynch will have to continue to suffer through a rough season while his former Cal teammate quarterbacks a contender without much of a running game.