Ladies and Degenerates, welcome to the 2010 football season. Yes, nothing makes me feel quite as alive as hearing that theme music before the first game. A hint of fall in the air. The breaking out of the jersey I only allow myself to wear around the house on football days. The morbid faces of my loved ones as they bid me and their “big TV priority rights” farewell for six months. Good times. Good times.
The owners want to start the season two weeks earlier. I am against that just as much as my grumpy family huddled together in front of the little TV. More is not better. We have a perfect league. Why would we want to water it down with even more meaningless games at the end of the season?
Do we really want to draft fantasy teams knowing Peyton Manning will be playing half games the last month because he already has the division wrapped up? Do we really need to add two more weeks of misery to a Buffalo Bills fan’s life? Do we really want to virtually assure there will never again be an undefeated or winless team?
No. We just want to make money. We want to make money so much that we are willing to kill the golden goose this time next year if we can’t agree on how to divvy up the eggs. Note to the NFL. I was the biggest baseball fan on the planet before 1993. But my life-long love affair came to an abrupt and stunning end. The passion just drained from my body like a 12 pack of beer on a hot summer day on the river. It’s been 17 years since the World Series was cancelled and I still have no problem filling my summer with alternate activities. I found out I could live without baseball. They haven’t got a dime from me since. I’m just saying…
But enough gloom, for today we celebrate. We celebrate the new and the old. We celebrate the Bengals and their two diva wide receivers. Carson Palmer certainly has some big mouths to feed.
We celebrate the holy wars. Tony Dungy vs. that potty-mouthed Rex Ryan. We celebrate the jack-ass wars. The greedy A.J Smith vs. the delusional Vincent Jackson.
We celebrate the Favre wars. He still can’t defeat that little voice inside him that tells him enough is enough. While all the while his body is planning a mutiny, and the people that used to root for him dread the annual bile inducing soap opera that he has become.
We celebrate the relative calm in the war of attrition which rears its ugly head every preseason. Michael Bush, Sidney Rice and Donnie Avery took the bullets. Sorry early drafters.
We celebrate the idiots who didn’t hear about Donnie Avery’s season ending injury because their research consisted of checking the cheat sheets from magazine printed in May, and they probably thought they got the bargains of the draft in round 8 when they took Rice, and round 9 when they took Avery. Sometimes the fish jump right in the boat. Thanks for the entry fee Gomer.
We celebrate the drunk that accidentally drafted Rob Gronkowski in the 8th round then spent the rest of the draft telling us how his Patriots kicker was going to kick our kickers ass. Thanks for the entry fee Otis Campbell. You’ve got no kicker for week one. Sleep that one off.
We celebrate the schemer that took Rodgers and Brees at the first turn, because he thinks that its just a matter of time before you come crawling to him for a quarterback, and trade him all your studs. You won’t. Great work there Barney Fife. You will lead the Mayberry League in bench points and Santana Moss is your WR1.
We celebrate the fantasy drafters that still have the balls to get worked up over drafting a Lions player, even though deep down they know those balls are destined for blue.
We celebrate the fact that Jerry Jones is about to cut 16 checks about 16 times too big to one of his wide receivers.
We celebrate Daniel Snyder, who finally got the right head coach on his 7th try. Unfortunately the head coach will have to deal with mostly the wrong players just like the 6 unfortunates before him, and Danny boy will yet again de-stucco the ceiling on the floor below his owners box.
We celebrate whatever technical advancement was made to helmet’s that make them fly off players heads at an alarming rate. Because a skull busted open on the field is so much more palatable than a concussion.
We celebrate the fact that outside of the beltway, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser will not be anywhere near a booth for another season. And as such, the existence of a God becomes almost undeniable. UPDATE: Joe Theismann will be back in the broadcast booth as part of NFL Network's Thursday night telecasts, the league announced on Monday.
Hmm. So maybe there is a God but he just hates me. Why do you hate me God? Is it because I watch football instead of going to Church? Because if Theismann is the punishment I'm open to negotiation. I can do Easter, Christmas, and the Sunday before football season. (assuming I have no drafts that day) Theismann's laryngitis beginning in late October and lasting through January will signify your acceptance of my proposal.
10) Cardinals: How does a playoff team end up in the preseason Misery Index? Replace the Hall of Fame caliber quarterback with one that the Cleveland Browns found unacceptable. Ditch a tough as nails receiver, and gut your run defense by losing your star linebacker to the clutches of Parcells. On the bright side we can all look forward to our wives telling us about how on “Dancing With the Stars” this crazy lady came out of the audience and attacked the judges after unflattering comments were made about her husband‘s performance.
9) Broncos: Remember the scene in “Jaws” where Brody realizes they are in big trouble, and tries to call for help on the radio, and then Captain Quint takes notice and smashes the radio with a baseball bat? Well, Captain McDaniels smashed the radio and took a jack-hammer to the hull in Denver. Broncos fans are not amused with his machismo. McDaniel’s apparently saw the writing on the wall in April, and spent 3 draft picks to move up and get Tim Tebow. Yes Coach, Tebow is tight with God and all that, but you are already halfway down the sharks gullet. Even Timmy’s hotline to Heaven won’t save you now. Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies / Farewell and adieu you ladies of Spain. / For we received orders for to sail back to Boston / And soon never more will we see you again.
8) Seahawks: Mike Williams, Mike Williams, Mike Williams. Just in case you haven’t heard, former Lions first round bust and a main contributor to the corporate wealth of Krispy Kreme is reunited with his old coach. Pete Carroll isn’t shy. I’ll give him that. Carroll, a two time loser previously in the NFL came in guns a blazin’. Coach brought in his former college star, much to the guffaws and disbelief of the league and the fantasy brethren, rid himself of guys he considered Houshbags, and voila! Mike Williams makes a meteoric rise from punch-line to the hottest sleeper in fantasy football, and the #1 receiver on the Seahawks depth chart. So it is clear. Carroll is in charge. Great. Now let’s see if he can win with a team that may have a lower payroll than the one he just left.
7) Buccaneers: Mike William, Mike Williams, Mike Williams. This version is the one that has not yet been a colossal bust. Unfortunately his team is probably as bad as the other Mike Williams team. But thanks to the Williams boys, now fantasy leaguers will be compelled to watch the games of both of these likely Misery Index darlings. Thanks a lot Mike and Mike. Let’s hope the preseason wasn’t a Psyche and Psyche. One thing is for sure, this team’s defense will likely test the abilities of its offense on a regular basis.
6) Bears: Mike Martz and Lovie Smith together again. Gee, it seems like all the pieces are in place for the Greatest Show on Turf part deux . Except there is no astro-turf. The team plays outdoors in the elements 13-14 games a year. Matt Forte is no Marshall Faulk. Devin Hester is no Isaac Bruce. Johnny Knox probably ain’t no Torry Holt. And Jay Cutler sure as hell ain’t no Kurt Warner. Folks, we might well see the interception record broken. George Blanda owns that dubious distinction with 42. The Grand Old Man probably hasn’t been this excited since Jeff George.
5) Raiders: When Jason Campbell is being hailed as the savior of your organization your sins must run very, very deep.
4) Browns: So, we hire a new GM. Okay, that’s probably a good idea. Who did we get? Mike Holmgren. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that Holmgren is far more effective as a coach than a GM. Less than half of the ‘05 Superbowl team starters were acquired by Chumley, and he left the cupboards fairly empty for Pete Carroll. But then again, it’s all relative. Given the horrific recent history of the Browns, Jake Delhomme and Mike Holmgren represent an upgrade. They have both at least been in a Superbowl. And unlike Lebron James, they will inspire far more anger with their presence than their departure. So there is that.
3) Lions: Can you feel it? Optimism. It has replaced morbid depression as the over-riding sentiment in Lions football circles. I would like to buy in. But I have been down that road too many times before. If you wander into a bad neighborhood and get your head busted, you stop going to that neighborhood eventually. I got careless last year and strolled in like I owned the place, grabbed me a second round handful of Calvin Johnson. By December my team was on I.R. and I was bleeding from both ears. Yeah, I know. CJ and your fancy new quarterback will both stay healthy this year. Suh will straighten out your fetal position defense. Your new stud running back will light Detroit on fire like the last time the Pistons won the title. This year, things will be different. Yes they will. Your inevitable misery and disappointment will not affect me whatsoever this season. I dropped Scheffler from my dynasty team when he set foot in the Motor City, and during my drafts jabbed my thigh with a fork anytime I felt tempted by anyone on the roster.
2) Bills: C.J. Spiller hasn’t been on a losing team since at least 2002, which by coincidence is the last time the Bills were not a losing team. Here’s hoping his coping skills are as impressive as his athletic skills.
1) Rams: How to ruin a quarterback prospect. Step 1: Draft him over a slam-dunk can’t miss, once in a decade defensive player. Step 2: Start him from day one even though the lack of talent on the team almost assures he will fail miserably and/or be beaten to a pulp. Step 3: Rinse and repeat.