Tuesday, September 20, 2005

It's Been A Busy Week

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in - especially if by chance you happen to be person for whom this page is named (whistling innocently). This week has been pretty damn busy, which is why I haven't gotten on much - I had thought about logging in to post "Songs of the Day" to mark Hazel's first year at NESN...but the days just kept getting away from me.

Tonight's entry is brought to you by the letter "F" and the number 3/4 - as the week in sports could be summed up with both...well in a pro-line sort of way. I couldn't buy a winning pro-line ticket this week, 3/4 - 2/3 - 4/5...with plenty of late game heroics to screw me over this week. So you can well imagine the urge to utter the F-bomb was contstant. To add insult to injury, not only did I get my can kicked in this week's "Spreads" pool...I picked the Cowboys as my suicide pick for the week...freakin' Bledsoe threw two INTs that led to 14 points for the 49ers (one INT for a touchdown)...Cowboys won on a late touchdown, but they didn't cover the 6.5 and I'm out. While I was seething at Bledsoe today - even grumbling that the Hazel Karma didn't rub off on him (Hazel interviewed Bledsoe before training camp)...but given that he has engineered two late game winning drives in three weeks, I guess it has. Hazel, couldn't you have done something about that line today? I really could have used your help today, can we send out good thoughts to try to limit Bledsoe's blunders?

In the non-spreads pool, I had a pretty good week I guess - I have 62 points going into tonight's Chargers/Giants (Chargers 12 points) game and the Chiefs/Broncos (Chiefs 3 points) game. The suicide pick was Indy...who I thought would be a gimme game this afternoon...but I guess Romeo Crennel still knows how to mess with Manning.

Speaking of Manning - Indianapolis has been less than overwhelming this year...could it be that Tony Dungy has finally rubbed off on his team and they have become as dull as he appears to be? I don't see how this team is going to get through the AFC...I have never thought much of them, but now...now I really think that the league is catching on - they are studying what the Patriots have been able to do to Manning and the Colts.

Speaking of Patriots, Hazel had to be smiling today with that last second field goal by Vinatieri. I can't stand the Steelers, I can't stand Cowher and that scowl of his (too much of a high school jock look) and I can't stand Roethlisberger - so to see them smiling and celebrating when the tied the game up today (did anyone see Ben pounding his chest at the Patriots bench?) - to see the "iso" on Roethlisberger when Vinatieri hit the FG...nice. Brady...simply the best.

Three weeks into the NFL season and here is what I have gotten so far -

1) The NFL method of scheduling (the higher you finish...the tougher your schedule) keeps things interesting by making "so-called experts" look foolish. Case in point, the San Diego Chargers...last year's feel good story - this year's hard luck chumps. Teams who are playing tougher schedules, based on last year's records are taking a step back. Houston who were thought to be ready to move to the next level are looking like an expansion team a couple of years removed...very beatable - though they have had to play a Bills team with a tough D and the Steelers.

The Giants, the Redskins the Bucs...all look a lot better than they really are - thanks to their "last place" schedule. As I type this...the Giants are getting their cans kicked by the Chargers...go figure. Are the Chargers that good? The Giants that bad? or somewhere in between?

Note: Hazel's Chiefs look like a pretty good bet to take the AFC West this year...now if Trent Green and Gonzalez would just start getting me some points in my fantasy football league - they aren't doing Hazel Mae's Cowboys any favours this year.

2) The NFC is going to Mexico...Ron Mexico that is. In a lot of respects, the NFC is wide open; the Conference is up for grabs. The Eagles (aka the new generation Buffalo Bills) will not win the Conference this year, for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that they have lost some key people on defence, and the Terrell Owens/Donovan McNabb saga is starting to wear on that team. If you are on the Eagles (player or mgmt) do you really think you can trust Terrell? Do you think Donovan trusts Terrell? Michael Vick looks like he can singlehandedly (double-footedly) win that Conference for the Falcons. There was a lot of talk about Buffalo's D - Vick made them look very ordinary today...VERY ordinary.

With any luck, I think the Cowboys can make some noise...that defence is good enough to do some damage if Bledsoe "manages" the game the way the Tuna wants him to.

3) Tom Brady is the best player in the NFL. Yes, the BEST player in the NFL. He doesn't get the credit he deserves - for being a leader and a winner. The talk in New England is always about Belichek's defence...how great of a coach he is - and I'm not going to doubt that for a second. But Brady just makes everybody around him so much better - he makes his O-line look good by making quick reads and getting rid of the ball quickly; he makes good receivers look great and average receivers look very good by distributing the ball to anyone and everyone on the field - defences can't focus on one receiver...he makes his running game so much better because of how much of a threat he is to throw the ball. Brady's game reminds me a lot of Troy Aikman - the best QB of the 90's...much like Aikman, Brady will never get all the credit he deserves.

The most overated player in the league is Daunte Culpepper. I said before the season started that the Vikings would regret losing Moss...Culpepper has looked very ordinary without Moss; actually he has been awful. The Vikings beat the Saints today - but the Saints are dealing with more important things than football "games". The Vikings will benefit from getting to play the "gawd-awful" Packers twice, getting a Bears team with an anemic offence and a Lions team that looks confused under Harrington...if they were in a half-decent division, the Vikes would be no more than a .500 team. Long season for Culpepper and the Vikes. Honourable mention goes to Jake Plummer, who has started out the season playing like a plumber.

The most over-hyped first year player/starter - this may relate more to where we live and the NFL coverage we get in Ontario - but the Buffalo Bills J.P. Losman looks to be way overmatched. The Bills got rid of Bledsoe (thank you Buffalo) because they thought Bledsoe was done, Bledsoe was too slow, Bledsoe was indecisive and took too many sacks...I saw Losman getting manhandled by the Falcons today...much like he did against the Bucs. I feel sorry for Buffalo fans; putting their faith in Losman is going to make for a very disappointing season (I can almost hear Bills fans screaming for Flutie).

Carson Palmer, currently a bench QB for Hazel Mae's Cowboys (but future starter if Trent doesn't pick it up soon) is going to have a monster year - he is off to a great start...but he is going to get better. I watched him against the Bears today...mid-way through the game, he was having a hard time with the Bears - then the light went off, and he turns it around with a couple of long throws...the guy finally gets it.

Impact Rookie of the Year - toss-up DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys and Cadillac Williams of the Bucs.

Ware, WOW...this guy imposes his will on a game. He makes rookie mistakes; but he is solid and he IS a playmaker. More to come on DeMarcus this year. Williams, takes over a game with his spirit. The guy is a fighter, he just keeps pounding and pounding until he breaks one. Reminds me of the way Emmitt Smith used to run when he joined the Cowboys.

That's about it for tonight...just some thoughts on the NFL after three weeks...I wonder how Hazel feels about the start of this season...more to come this week - the latest installment of Sox - Yanks will feature prominently tomorrow...the NHL starts to get coverage this week too.

It's nice to be back.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps ... in keeping with the one year at NESN for Hazel...

Fall to Pieces - Velvet Revolver.

"Been a long year,
Since you've been gone.
Been a long year,
I've grown old..."

Congrats again Hazel...hope all is groovy in your world...

Peesth out.


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