My Wife’s New NFL Team Update #2: We Have A Winner

I have been stumped for the past nine days.  In the last phase of this search for a new NFL team for my wife to cheer for, I’ve been trying to weigh the appropriate pros and cons of the final four teams in order to come to an informed and guilt-free decision.

The Packers, while mostly harmless, have been successful as of late.  So, there is a legit tendency to want to avoid bandwagonry at all costs. And Brett Favre played for them for half a century or something.  So, it’s tough to love them.  Then again, they were jilted by number 4. But, as has been stated, their fans wear cheese hats. So, who knows?

The Jets are still tempting.  Mostly, because each time I mention them as a possibility around here, another of my Patriot-fan friend’s head explodes.  Which is really, really fun to watch.  However, Brett Favre played for them for half an hour or something.  So, it’s tough to love them.

The Seattle Seahawks are still a great choice.  But, the geography just doesn’t help.  Are they even ON television outside of the Pacific Northwest?  Would it be worse than being a fan of her native Rams? So many questions.

The Minnesota Vikings wear purple, which is a stupid, stupid color for a sports team. I generally like every person I have ever met from Minnesota, so, I could see my wife becoming one of those very nice people.  But, Brett Favre played for them for a couple of seasons…so, man…how did I end up letting THREE teams that Favre played for make the final cut?  See. This is why I shouldn’t be entrusted to such decisions.

Which is why I decided that I am not going to make this decision.  I am turning to a higher power: our 11 month-old son. Continue reading

My Wife Needs A New NFL Team

There were 2 minutes left in Friday night’s preseason football game.  My once-beloved Kansas City Chiefs were losing 4,000a to 0 and my wife casually uttered the most horrific thing I’ve heard, to date, in our marriage: “I think someday, maybe, I might end up having to root for the Patriots.”

A little bit of background here.  We live in Boston, but are both transplants.  I’m originally from Kansas City; she’s from St. Louis.  Her primary allegiance is to hockey and the Blues, but we have both been able to root for the Bruins.  The Celtics were also an easy adoption for us since neither home city has an NBA team (stupid Kings).  The Red Sox are tolerated and generally well-wished in our household, but will never be our primary team.

Then, there’s the Patriots.

I abhor the Patriots.  To quote Dr. Perry Cox from TV’s Scrubs: I “megaloathe” them. I hate their sense of entitlement.  I hate their mumbling, hoodie-wearing coach.  I hate their pretty boy quarterback.  But, most of all, I hate their fans.  There’s a fine line between Pats fans and, say, Sox fans or Bruins fans – since it’s mostly the same group of people – but, I don’t have the energy to try to make sense of that for you right here and now. You just have to trust me that there is a difference.

Yeah. That about sums it up.

So, in her earnest attempt to reconnect to a sport she genuinely enjoys – and despite the unfortunate scenario of being a Rams fan in Massachusetts – my lovely wife audibly contemplated the unthinkable.

Now, she has given me the charge to wade through the remaining NFL teams to find her a suitable team to root for.  This will start with a trial, one-season fandom.  After which, she is free to continue or abandon as she deems fit.  What follows is my initial reaction to each team.  A final decision will be made prior to the beginning of the season.

Let’s get to it. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Weekend

The NFL begins its 12 team, 5 week, single-elimination tournament to crown a champion (hint, hint, NCAA) on Saturday. Four games will be played this weekend with three of them being repeats of Week 17. In fact, in all three of those repeat match-ups, the team that won in week 17 won rather easily. The playoff rematches should make for more competitive games (hopefully).

Saturday, 4:30 PM (EST) on NBC: New York Jets (9-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

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The AFC North champion Bengals look to rebound after a horrid performance in the Meadowlands last week. Much has been made of the J-E-T-S waltzing into the playoffs with Indianapolis and Cincinnati not playing their starters a full 60 minutes. The Bengals will also welcome the return of Cedric Benson in the backfield. New York boasts the league’s best defense, but they also have a rookie QB. The playoffs are about experience which favors the Bengals.

Saturday, 8:00 PM (EST) on NBC: Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

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The ‘Boys claimed the NFC East title last week while also exacting revenge for the beat down they endured in week 17 a year ago. Dallas comes off of two straight shutouts over the rival Redskins and Eagles. Meanwhile, Philly was perhaps the hottest team in the NFL prior to week 17. Dallas is 2-0 versus Philadelphia this season, but the last time the Cowboys went for a 3 game sweep of a divisional opponent, they lost to the Giants in the 2nd round of the playoffs in 2008. This game will be much closer than a week ago.

Sunday, 1:00 PM (EST) on CBS: Baltimore Ravens (9-7) at New England Patriots (10-6)

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New England begins life without chain-moving WR Wes Welker Sunday in a home playoff game with the hard-to-judge Baltimore Ravens. At times, Baltimore plays like a truly elite team only to look downright horrible at other times. The Patriots weakness all season has been the defense. Can either team overcome their season-long struggles to win when it matters the most?

Sunday, 4:40 PM (EST) on FOX: Green Bay Packers (11-5) at Arizona Cardinals (10-6)

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I just mentioned how difficult it is to gauge the Ravens. It’s even more difficult to predict which Arizona team shows up from a week to week basis. If Kurt Warner is on his game and they balance the offense with a good ground game, the Cardinals are tough to beat. But, they don’t always play like that. Plus, Green Bay thrashed them a week ago in Arizona. Warner didn’t play much last week which will change on Sunday, but the Pack has been on a roll over the last two months of the season.

The NFL Playoffs Part 1

If anything, we here at EJSIC have slightly ignored America’s favorite sport, but, admittedly, we’re working out the kinks still. Plus, with ESPN’s ad nauseum coverage of the sport, it’s hard for the little guy to get in. However, I refuse to allow the Worldwide Leader to squeeze us out. Today, we’ll start with the NFC.

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1. Saints 13-2 (clinched home field throughout)

2. Eagles 11-4 (clinched playoff spot)

3. Vikings 11-4 (clinched NFC North)

4. Cardinals 10-5 (clinched NFC West)

5. Packers 10-5 (clinched playoff spot)

6. Cowboys 10-5 (clinched playoff spot)

By virtue of the Vikings loss last night, the Saints have secured all home games in the playoffs. The rest of the NFC is wide open however. The Eagles, Vikings, Cardinals, and Cowboys could all achieve the 2nd seed and a first round bye.

The Saints visit the Panthers which amounts to a meaningless game in terms of seeding; however, the once 13-0 pride of New Orleans has lost back-to-back home games to the Cowboys and the lowly Buccaneers. A third straight loss entering the playoffs could spell an early exit for the NFC’s top team.

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The Eagles have vaulted up the standings with good play as of late and the struggles of Minnesota. Still, Philly has work to do. They travel to Dallas on Sunday in what is perhaps the marquee game of the week in which the winner takes the NFC East crown and possibly as high as the 2nd seed.

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The Vikings seemed as every bit as good as the Saints for much of the season starting out at 10-1, but now have faded to 11-4. Two of the three recent losses came at the hands of non-playoff bound teams in the Panthers and Bears. Now, they need a win Sunday and a loss by Philadelphia to retake the number two seed.

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Defending NFC champion Arizona is back in the playoffs easily, partially because of the weak NFC West and partially because they are a good football team; helter-skelter at times, but still a solid football team. Arizona plays Green Bay this weekend and not much is on the line in terms of seeding; however both teams could meet again the next week in first round of the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how much each coaching staff is willing to show this week knowing a rematch is very likely.

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Green Bay has been one of the hottest teams in all of the NFL over the last two months. Aaron Rodgers is proving the Brett Favre decision to be a smart one. The Pack can not advance its slotting in the NFC, but they can lose the 5 seed with a loss and a Dallas win coupled with a Philly loss.

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Dallas currently sits sixth in the NFC and has played remarkably well in the second half of December. Romo has one interception over the last two months. Now, they host division rival Philadelphia. Last season, Dallas traveled to the city of brotherly love (yeah right) in week 17 needing a win to secure a playoff spot only to be thoroughly embarrassed 44 to 6. Now, the ‘Boys are in no matter what, but could still possibly advance their seed as high as number two and get a first round bye.

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Tomorrow, we preview the AFC playoff picture and the craziness of week 17.

Samurai Of The Week ~ November 1

The Sensei's Samurai of the WeekThe best part of watching sports are the rare moments when you’re just sitting on the couch with some friends watching a random game… and then something amazing happens and everyone immediately shouts “HOLY FUCK”, puts their computer or unpaid bills or math homework down, and leans forward to wait for the replay.

Then the replay appears, everyone watches in awe, says “holy fuck” a couple more times, looks around the room, and shares a bonding moment with everyone else.

This happened to The Sensei and his friends during today’s Vikings @ Packers game, and the video below shows why Percy Harvin is the Samurai Of The Week.