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

Rex Ryan cries over football team’s transgressions

Earlier today, Jets coach Rex Ryan told his football team to stop embarrassing the franchise. Reports have since surfaced that shortly after Ryan delivered his message to the team, the lovable coach was seen in his office talking to himself.

An eye witness reports that Ryan stared at his reflection in a nearby mirror while reminding himself to defend the team “at all costs.”

Ryan reportedly shouted, “They’re my children, my life. I have to protect them from the media.” The coach’s pitched changed throughout and he went into a quiet, soft-spoken soliloquy about the need to defend his football team’s off-field antics while also appearing to be a disciplinarian.

The anonymous witness then reported that Ryan began to cry before hugging the mirror and his reflection.

When asked about the reports, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, the source of the latest embarrassment, said he felt truly moved by Ryan’s devotion to the team.

He went on to say, “It means a lot, it means a whole lot. We know coach has our back. I could probably kill a man and coach will cry for me. I bet he cried when Ray [Lewis] killed that man back in Baltimore. Hell, I bet Mark [Sanchez] could rape a few girls and he’d be starting next game. That’s how much coach loves us. Speaking of rape, you seen that Mexican bitch around here again?”

Ryan was seen leaving the team’s practice facility shortly after lunch rejecting questions from the surrounding reporters. “This is my team and they’re good guys,” he shouted before entering a black SUV. The vehicle left the premises and the reporters vanquished to search out their next victim.

Report: NFL awards 2014 Superbowl based on global warming

Speaking anonymously late Tuesday night, a source close to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL owners were pushed to vote for the New York/New Jersey joint bid for the 2014 Superbowl based upon global warming.

At the spring meetings in Irving, Texas, home to the 2011 Superbowl in nearby Arlington at the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, owners were presented with a ten-slide powerpoint highlighting the reasons why a Superbowl could be played in a cold weather environment.

Site of the 2014 Superbowl

The anonymous source went on to say that the main selling point included the following information, “Humans have come a long way in destroying the environment in the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution. Just think what we can do in another four years.”

The slide show also stated, “The commissioner’s office has also approved a massive influx in advertising budgets in an effort to increase the already packed NFL stadiums. One side effect will be increased pollution and increased climate change.”

The unidentified person also said that the buzz among the NFL owners included talks of impending nuclear warfare between North Korea and South Korea which “would be sure to increase global temperatures.” One NFL owner even went as far as to say, “Maybe we can incite the long stand-off between India and Pakistan. If one nuclear war is good for 2014, imagine how good two will be.”

No other inside information was presented on the decision, but when asked by EJSIC investigative reporters whether or not the NFL planned to increase lobbying efforts with anti-climate change groups, the informant responded with the standard “no comment.” However, he did add a wink and a half-smile.

If the anti-climate change lobby groups are able to gain the pockets of the U.S. Congress, it appears any new legislation regulating emissions and developing alternative energy sources would be squashed for the foreseeable future. One pundit estimates at least five years.

It appears the NFL is complacent to sit back and fuel the global warming debates without taking any new steps to remedy the problem. Also of note, NOAA, commonly known as the National Weather Service, released a projection for the 2014 Superbowl. The high temperature is supposed to be a balmy 62 degrees. Who needs Miami? Answer: Not the NFL.

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 2

Yesterday, we previewed the NFC playoff picture and the various implications of week 17. Now, we will take a look at the AFC which is far more complicated with seven teams still alive for the two wild card slots.

1. Indianapolis Colts 14-1 (clinched home field)
2. San Diego Chargers 12-3 (clinched first round bye)
3. New England Patriots 10-5 (clinched AFC East)
4. Cincinnati Bengals 10-5 (clinched AFC North)
5. New York Jets 8-7
6. Baltimore Ravens 8-7
7. Denver Broncos 8-7
8. Houston Texans 8-7
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 8-7
10. Miami Dolphins 7-8
11. Jacksonville Jaguars 7-8

Teams 5 through 11 are all still alive for slots 5 and 6. The Jets and Ravens hold the inside advantage on the two wild card spots. If they win Sunday, they are in no matter what.

However, we shall start with the Indianapolis Cunts. The organization decided resting starters for the playoffs, which has yet to work for this particular franchise in recent history, was far more important than going for the undefeated season. Sunday they play Buffalo which means fans will be treated to the probable MVP Peyton Manning playing one drive in order to keep his consecutive starts streak in tact. After that, he’ll freeze his nards on the sidelines of Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The San Diego “Super” Chargers are arguably the hottest team in football. They’ve won about 100 straight games (or so it seems) and Phillip Rivers has transformed into one of the elite QBs in the league. And perhaps most importantly, San Diego is 4-1 in its last 5 games against the Colts including eliminating Indy from the playoffs each of the last two seasons. They play the horrible Washington Redskins on Sunday.

The New England Patriots have won three straight games and clinched the AFC East this past Sunday. Now, they play the still-alive Houston Texans and I am betting on Belichick’s boys to not let the Texans have a free win like the Cunts would do. The Pats don’t have much to gain in this game except for keeping the integrity of the game which would be ironic given “spygate” a few seasons back.

No longer the “bungles,” Cincinnati has claimed the AFC North and is set to host a home playoff game. Their fans are hoping to avoid the ills of their last playoff game which saw star QB Carson Palmer taken out of the game on the first snap. This Sunday they play the Jets in New York. Will they pull an Indy and give Rex Ryan’s team two straight free victories?

Speaking of Rex Ryan and the J-E-T-S, the coach considered his team dead two weeks ago. Now they sit in the driver seat for a wild card spot. As previously stated, they host Cincinnati Sunday who has nothing to play for. The Jets could be a very dangerous team in the playoffs with their staunch defense. What holds them back is the often-times erratic play of rookie QB and So-Cal heart throb, Mark Sanchez.

Despite losing to division rival Pittsburgh last week, the Ravens still control their own destiny. They travel cross-country to play the Oakland Raiders which looks really good on paper except for Oakland has pulled off a few upsets already this season. With that said, if the Ravens don’t shoot themselves in the foot like they did Sunday, they should be in.

Denver is in the midst of another late season collapse. There’s numerous ways they can make the playoffs, but all the team needs to be concerned with is winning its own game first. They play division rival Kansas City who would like for nothing more than to spoil the Broncos playoff chances.

Houston looked dead a few weeks back, but thanks to an anti-Denver run, the Texans are in the middle of it going into the last week. Admittedly, they need a lot of help, but it is the NFL and anything can happen. They host New England which gives them some advantage playing at home. Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league and will provide a mismatch against the weak New England secondary. They can pull the upset, but anyone who has followed this team the last few years knows that staying over the .500 hump has been a problem for the Texans.

It’s slightly amazing that a team which endured a 5 game losing streak in October and November is still alive for a playoff spot, but that is the AFC wild card race. The defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers need quite a bit of help. They’re the last of the 8-7 teams by virtue of the NFL’s tie-breaker rules. They travel to south Florida and play the clinging-to-life-support Miami Dolphins. Can they sneak in?

Speaking of Miami, Tony Sparano’s team has looked great at times this season and not so good at others. Miami really hurt any realistic chance this past Sunday with a flat first half against the Texans. They need to concentrate on winning and then praying like a death row inmate after their game is over.

Another team on life support is the 7-8 Jacksonville Jaguars. Basically, they get into the playoffs if they win and every other team ahead of them finishes with an 8-8 record. Then, the Jags own the tie-breaker over all of them by virtue of in-conference record. They also need to do a lot of praying.

Confused? It’s really not all that complicated and I tried to spare some of the excruciating circumstances that could take place. All of this should provide some great football to watch, though. You can guarantee the teams in the hunt will be playing all out for their shot at the playoffs.

Mark Sanchez is Filthy

Mark Sanchez is DirtyNew York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, a rookie out of USC, is 3-0 in the NFL.  He must take some measure of pride in proving all his doubters wrong, including former coach Pete Carroll (who would surely love to have the reliable Sanchez back in his stable for his senior year).

Sanchez has been marvelous:  poised, calm, mature.  In defeating Houston, New England, and Houston again (er, Tennessee dressed as the Oilers – was Haywood Jeffires playing?), he has been tremendous.  In the process, he’s made Jets management look like geniuses for putting their eggs in his basket after Old Man Quitter left them high and dry last season.

So if you haven’t had a chance to watch Sanchez, make time.  You won’t regret it.  He’s filthy.   Some might think we’re calling Sanchez dirty.  Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  He’s not dirty.  Let me repeat: Sanchez is not dirty.  Dirty and Sanchez don’t even belong in the same sentence.

So glad we’ve cleared that up.

Jets Coach Accidentally Invites Entire Fanbase To His House

William Perlman/The Star-Ledger

NY Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan - Photo: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger

New York Jets head coach, Rex Ryan, accidentally invited every Jets season-ticket holder over to his house for appetizers and bad TV Thursday morning.

On the heels of sending a mass voicemail message Wednesday to the franchise’s faithful legion of fans requesting their help in this weekend’s upcoming game against the New England Patriots,  Ryan apparently just “hit redial” when attempting to contact a friend to invite him over for an evening of “hanging out.”

The following message was then sent out to the thousands of season-ticket holders this morning:

“Hey, this is Rex.  I’m having some people over tonight to hang out, eat wings and watch ‘Vampire Diaries.’  If you want to join us, stop on by.  And if you wouldn’t mind bringing some beer, that would be great. Ok, bye.”

Word on whether or not Ryan will open his home in light of the error was not available.