Aug 20, 2007

Truth or Dare

*This was written right after the Super Bowl, on February 7, 2007. I'm posting this not out of laziness, but because my official 2007 NFL preview is coming tomorrow. I wholeheartedly stand by everything I said. Unless I was wrong.*

With the Soul Bowl behind us, and the NBA not even at the All-Star break, this marks the beginning of Dark Period in sports. This mark times when sports are still present, just not as much fun or interesting as they’ve been recently. Look at your upcoming sports schedule after rivalry week, highlighted by Duke v. UNC. You can look forward to the Pro Bowl, where no one has cared since…well ever. You can look forward to All-Star weekend, where the dunk contest was won by a member of the lollipop guild, who was given over 20 attempts at the winning dunk. Meanwhile, my boy AI the 2nd nailed two dunks that had never been seen before ANYWHERE. I’m openly still bitter. Then, you get to watch elite teams coast the final 30 or so games, while a bunch of mediocre teams lobby for playoff position. But there’s always the NHL…just kidding.

Looking back at the Soul Bowl, I was wrong. I nailed the pick, I always do that, but I was wrong in thinking that Lovie Smith would stay with the girl who took him to the dance, the running game. But, as Grossman’s second interception floated to the ground like the first leaf off a tree in the fall, I realized who the MVP should be. Obviously, Peyton was going to win it, since we had all endured 2 weeks about how his family has never won anything, except for any drinking competition Cooper was entered in. But, based upon the effect that a player had on the game, the MVP should have gone to any one of these players: Joseph Addai/Dominck Rhodes, who played keep away with the football, running and catching effectively enough to keep moving the chains, Bob Sanders, whose very presence energized a defense with something to prove, or Rex Grossman, for a litany of reasons. The stat that mattered most in this game was the score, but the second most important stat was time of possession: IND: 38:04 CHI: Too little for their offense to make a difference. It felt like Indy stole Chicago’s game plan of keep the ball as long as possible, and it was the running backs and defense who did that. All Peyton really did was back away slowly from Addai’s fumble, too afraid to be hurt in the scrum.

Since the year’s biggest event is behind us, I’ve been hearing a lot of so-called truths about next year’s NFL. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to poke some holes in some of the more popular ones.

Oakland has a chance to be .500 next year
This is one that is just oh-so-sad. These poor fans get their hopes up every year, and every year they end up making claims like this. People who are fond of this love to claim they had the league’s best pass defense this past year. What they neglect to mention is that teams don’t usually pass when ahead. Which is where Oakland’s opponents generally were in every game last year. Plus, the ‘coach’ is approximately 14 years old, and will command no respect with a notoriously lawless franchise.

New Orleans will match this years success
Now, I am human, and I have a working, beating, heart, so of course I was touched by the story that was the Saints this year. But, I am also in possession of a working brain, and that brain tells me that the Saints play in the most competitive division in the NFL. Disagree? Since realignment, exactly one division has had each of its four teams reach a conference championship game. Any guesses on which one? Plus, you’ve got a hungry (healthy?) Panthers squad, a Buccaneers team which could reload that defense this draft, and a Falcons squad with Michael Vick close to the edge. He’s trying not to lose his head.

Rex Grossman will be the starting quarterback in Chicago next year
Hahahahahahaha, did you see the Super Bowl? Seriously, I don’t think Billy King or Isaiah Thomas is running the Bears yet, so he will be replaced. This claim must have come from a drunken Bears fan, which should be any Bears fan, as he has most certainly driven them to drink. More.

LaDainian Tomlinson should be called LT
There is one LT. He did blow before games, gave opposing players nightmares, and broke people’s legs. Does Mr. Tomlinson do any of these things? No? Then he’s LDT. End of story.

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