Opening weekend log:
I made the seamless transition from Madden to Collinsworth. Madden may be a broadcasting legend and all, but Collinsworth gave me what I needed as a viewer without too much clutter. BOOM! Having Roethlisberger, Holmes, and Ward starting throughout my fantasy teams and a nice Titans +6 play to boot made for a very contented feeling to start the season.
8:50 am After double checking my lineups for the 5th time, I leave my office and join my wife in the living room for her customary hour of game-day face-time. The wife decides to play the "if you'll go to the store for me, I'll give you the remote" card. I chuckle. Oh no. "The remote will be mine regardless." At that point she makes some sort of veiled threat about hiding the remote, which I remind her would be a violation of our marriage, similar to me calling her the "C" word in a crowd. But she knew that going in. Just trying to salvage some dignity in the closing moments before my mistress moved in for the next 5 months.
9:00 I went to the store.
10:29 Adam Schefter appears with Mort on the set of ESPN. Big time. Adam, I'm happy for you that you got the new gig, but do you really want to try to upstage Mort with the pimp pinstripe? The first day? Bold move, especially for a white boy. A few minutes later Mort drops the bomb that Shanahan was prepared to ditch Brandon Marshall before he got ditched, and had told Cutler of his ditching plans. There, take that "pinstripe."
10:32 I turn to see what is going on at NFL Network, just in time to see Michael Irvin assure viewers that Braylon Edwards is going to have a huge year. Surprisingly, Irvin is NOT rocking the pinstripe. Wow. What is this, bizarro world?
10:36 News breaks that Matt Cassel will not start. Brodie Croyle will. My lack of excitement about starting Dwayne Bowe in 3 leagues turns to morbid depression. Off to the kitchen I go to check the fill level on that bottle of Chivas.
10:37 As replays of Brodie Croyle's past performances dance through my mind intertwined with visions of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, I decide that maybe 13 1/2 points isn't so much to give up against the Chiefs after all. I make a phone call. Looks like I picked the wrong opening day to give up gambling...
12:00 Finally, kickoff! I apologize to my remote control for what is about to happen, reassuringly glancing at my end table with a fresh pack of remote batteries sitting next to the Chivas. I'm ready.
12:40 Anthony Gonzales leaves the game injured and not under his own power. And so it begins. I have him on three teams. Three goose-eggs for the day. Ouch. "Honey, where is the shot glass?"
(Right about here things got a little fuzzy)
3:00 Baltimore scores a completely unnecessary last second touchdown pushing the spread to 14 after it looked for all the world like my Baltimore play was dead. I won! Holy crap! I guess good things DO happen to bad people after all.
7:15 I'm flush with cash from the NFL day so far, so I press my luck. All my winnings on Green Bay -5 and the under 47. All or nothing baby!
7:24 Al Michaels does the lead-in for Sunday Night Football. I am trying to decide who is trying more desperately to hold on to the illusion that they have hair, Al Michaels or Chris Berman. Really too close to call. But just for a moment, I am at peace with myself, in the knowledge that my own hair loss is not being witnessed by a whole nation of people, including balding smart-ass writers with nothing better to do than make stupid jokes about it.
8:00 Aaron Rodgers overthrows a wide open Donald Driver, for what would have been the first score of the game. That reminds me, I heard Driver on a national sports talk radio show last week, and he was asked what his favorite chain restaurant burger was. Fat burger? Whattaburger? No.
Multi-millionaire Donald Driver said he was a McDonalds man. As a person without money, I find that offensive. I mean, there may be a lot of reasons to eat at McDonalds. Poverty. Extreme convenience. It's the only restaurant in town and you are diabetic and about to keel over. Insanity. All good reasons to eat at Mickey D's. But the taste? Not to mention the nutritional value. There was more nutritional value in the steering wheels of those cars Driver stole as a youth than in the average quarter pounder he proclaims to love.
Maybe it's karma. Maybe all those crimes he was forced to commit as an impoverished youth cost him his sense of taste. That is the only possible explanation...
8:07 Driver drops his second pass of the night. Hmmm. Maybe the karma from pimping poison on the radio has made his football skill erode. Probably not. He probably just had a couple of Quarter Pounders for lunch and has that "brick in the stomach" feeling. This shall pass. Eventually.
10:05 Lovie Smith must sense my gambling day about to go down the toilet and runs the fake punt play in his own end up by 2. (okay, I know the long snapper called the play- but Lovie set the parameters by which he did so)
10:32 Greg Jennings catches the long TD pass with a minute and change on the clock! Unreal. Now all the Packers have to do is kick the extra point and I still win half the parlay....wait a minute.. why is Aaron Rodgers holding up two fingers...what the hell? Oh no...it can't be...they wouldn't...
10:33 Jennings catches the two point conversion in the end zone. I finally exhale. My expensive TV is spared the embarrassment of having a nearly empty bottle of Chivas hurled through it. I pause from celebrating my gambling victory for a moment to celebrate the fact that I have Jennings on my WCOFF team, then go back to celebrating my gambling victory.
10:45 I climb into bed, the wife is already asleep. I am so flush over my triumphant Sunday that I consider pushing my luck and waking the wife for a little "us-time." But then I remember. Waking up wifie for nookie after hogging the TV all day watching football is in the same class of marital sin as that "remote control extortion on football day" trick she threatened one clock ago. I carefully draw the covers, and drift into a fitful sleep, dreaming of the day when I win all my bets, AND none of my starters are seriously injured. Ahh, per chance to dream...
10) Broncos: While the city of Denver was in the midst of hating Josh McDaniels more every minute in the final quarter, divine intervention seemingly stepped in and spatula'd his charred ass off the griddle. Coach, that was not divine intervention. That was the Bengals. You only play them once. Put some salve on and brace yourself for the next 16 weeks.
9) Bills: If you would have told me that the Bills would have had the Patriots by the throat late in the game, and some fool trying to be a hero would screw it up for them, I would have never believed it would be someone other than T.O. Sorry, no mistakes allowed against that bunch. Good teams find a way to win. Bad teams find a way to lose. And here you are.
8) Chiefs: As a Chiefs fan, I am inclined to think that maybe this team will be better than we thought. But the realist in me says the Ravens just had an "off day." And still won by 14...
7) Cardinals: It's the same old story. Super Bowl losers usually hit the skids and it doesn't get much more Hanes skid-mark than losing to the 49ers at home. I sensed while watching the game that Warner had aged about 5 years during the off-season. At this moment in time I am borderline giddy that I do not have one Cardinal player on any of my rosters to go down with Old Man River.
6) Browns: Browns fans get real nasty when you leave their team out of the Index. Hey, this isn't a right. It is a privilege. There are plenty of crappy teams in the league. You think you are special? Just because you haven't won anything since grandma and grandpa were going missionary style every Saturday night after a twelve-pack of Falstaff doesn't automatically put you in the Index. And losing to a quality team like the Vikings doesn't necessarily qualify you either. But since you are going to Denver next week, and could possibly win, I will go ahead and give you a spot this week so I don't take a chance on having dog pound bitches gnawing on me for 3 weeks in a row.
5) Texans: Here we go again. We bought in. I bought in. You bought in. The national media bought in. Then, they let a rookie QB with one year of college starter experience under his belt pull a Tom Brady on them. Buying into the Texans is about as safe as buying into Bernie Madoff.
4) Bears: The Chicago faithful were so optimistic less than 48 hours ago. Before they lost Urlacher, and they thought they had a young version of Elway in their grasp. But so far, all they have is an angrier, cockier, hardy partier version of Rex Grossman.
3) Lions: Hey, so you let Drew Brees throw 6 TD passes against you. It could have been worse...I mean, at least you shut down the running game... wait a minute...the third string running back racked up a buck forty on you? Well, at least Matt Stafford got some reps. 37 attempts in his first NFL start. Let's see, how many completions...uh, 16. That's about 43%. And 3 interceptions. Well, at least there are only 15 more games left now. There, I knew I'd find a silver lining in that blue cloud.
2) Raiders: I can't wait until Al completely loses it and starts riding around the facility on one of those little 49cc bikes. In his Evel Knievel suit. Cane jutting out from the handle bars. Drool flowing in the breeze. His assistant riding on a matching bike (minus all the chrome and sissy bar) trying feverishly to take dictation, while propping up Al when he wobbles. Man that would be great. Come on Al, make that happen for me. You know you want to.
1a) Panthers: I hate to expand the Index, there is just too much putrid to go around after week one. We can't leave the Panthers out. As much as I would like to excuse their performance against the Eagles (at home) as simply being over-matched by a superior opponent, I can't help but think about those 9 interceptions Delhomme has gacked up over the last two home games. I think I can see it. I think you can see it. Hell, maybe even the Panthers can see it now. Delhomme is in serious need of a new nickname Clipboard Cajun. Or how about the Waterboy. "Mama says you shouldn't play foosball no more Mr. Delhomme."
1) Rams: Last week we heard rumors (or rumours if you will) that a London group is interested in buying the Rams. Oh bloody 'ell. Are you blokes daft? You need this bunch of wankers like you need your flippin' bum buggered by the rubbish collector at tea-time. Blimey!