Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A group of people who we did not grow up like.

As a fourth grade teacher I had a realization while sitting at lunch this week. This group of kids has NEVER had to deal with a crappy sports team. They have never had a team succeed then fall from grace. They have never seen a Sox team win only 79 games. They have never seen the Pats finish worse than 10-6. They have never seen a hockey game, right? Do they still play that sport. They can recall at least 4 championships.

There is another group that is quite the opposite. A group of kids who are Yankee fans. I must admit my thoughts and views of young Yankee fans has changed. They are the ones who have been disappointed. They are the ones rooting for the team who cannot win. They are the ones who have A-Rod on their team.

Ten years ago the kids wearing the "B" on their hat were the lovable losers. They were the brave ones. The Yankee fans were the ones who jumped ship in Boston. They quit, they were front runners. They were the weak ones. Now the Sox fans are seen as the spoiled ones. The young Yankee fans are the ones with pain.
It's that time again...

This postseason could be the change, the Yankee fans could be back on top. Then again, maybe those random Angel fans we know will end their long 7 year draught. Think about that, the Angels have a more recent World Series than the Yankees.

All I know is, playoff baseball is upon us. Late nights, bleary eyes, and lots of coffee. One of my favorite times of the year. Every pitch holds so much weight, every hit, every run, every annoying Derek Jeter fist pump. I hope they still mic the bases and the walls in the New Yankee Stadium, I hope Josh Beckett's back is okay, I hope the ghost of David Ortiz shows up, just one last time. I hope...the Sox can put it all together... I want those young Sox fans to be spoiled for as long as possible, because that means that I still get spoiled...

Monday, September 21, 2009

2-4? Really? Yes, really...

This week I have been talking myself into the earliness of the year. The Pats are an interesting team for this one reason. Their best player on offense and defense are both hurt/recovering (A lot of good tams are hurting right now though...). Brady and Mayo are the two guys that will make this team tick. Mayo is a stud linebacker who needs to get back quickly.

Watching Tom Brady is funny now. I find myself nervous for him out there. I wonder if someone will take him down too hard. I wonder if someone is going to just fall on him wrong. I wonder if he wonders the same things. Brady's pocket presence is still there. He still slides in the pocket, he still makes the right reads. However, he is not as accurate. Will that come? I hope so.
Telegram for Matt Light:
Keep this guy away from Brady please?

Brady's offensive line has a lot of pressure on it. Teams will be coming after Brady, especially when the Pats choose to throw the ball. The offense is slowly reminding me of the Eagles offense of a few years ago, when they have some talent however, they had no balance. Making them easy to defend and making it hard for them to win, especially from November and December.

The Falcons are not a great run defense. Fred Taylor needs a big game, and the offensive line needs the running game to help with their pass protection. If the Falcons can come full speed ahead Brady is in trouble. John Abraham has given Matt Light problems before when he played on the Jets.

This is a big week for the Pats. They face the Ravens, Broncos (road), and Titans in the next three weeks. The Pats could be looking at a really horrific start. 2-4 is not out of the question...

Week 2 Fandom.

Right now there are four types of fans in the NFL. Call it the Week 2 rule:

Fan #1 - Your team is 2-0.

You are feeling good. Teams that are 2-0 have played at least one good game.
Maybe in the other game you got a lucky brake (Broncos I am looking right at you).
Maybe you played a crappy team (Falcons).
Maybe your team has a geriatric QB AND you played a crappy team. (Yes Minnesota I am talking to you).
Maybe your team has an electric offense that scores a TON of points (New Orleans). As a Pats fan I know these teams can flame out...
Maybe your team surprised everyone (San Francisco...)
Throwing touchdowns has been a Brees...

Fan #2 - Your team is 1-1 and you are loving it.
Your team probably entered Week 2 0-1.
Your QB might have thrown 4 picks in Week 1 and you might have lost a talented Linebacker (Sorry Bear fans).
Arizona fans are also feeling good, Oakland fans are loving life after a tough loss to San Diego in Week 1...Cincy fans are feeling good after a crappy loss in Week 1.
Bills fans should be feeling good after a tough Week 1 loss there offense scored 33 more points and Frank Jackson is now no longer on the waiver of any Fantasy League....
Black Hole Fans are feelin' good!

Fan #3
Your team is 1-1 and you are a bit nervous...
Your team probably entered Week 2 1-0. You are dealing with a loss where your teams weaknesses were exposed (Pats, San Deigo, Green Bay, Dallas).
These fans are the ones talking themselves into the fact that it is in fact only September. Some might say they are the ones with the most perspective because they simply don't care, because if they did care it would bother them a little too much and Sunday is just too far away right now.
A sight I would rather no longer see...

Fan #4
You are feeling hopeless. The odds of an 0-2 team making the playoffs is tiny. It is truly remarkable, I believe between 5-10 have ever done it. Not good times for the 0-2 teams.
Your team most likely has had two poorly played games where the little things are not going your way and you are already looking to your fantasy team for solice...

If you are a fan of an AFC team that is 0-2 you might have a chance (Tennessee and Jacksonville, win your division games and one of you might survive, but probably not.)

Where are you right now? Week 3 could change everything...just remember that...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week 1 Whoa...

Well Week 1 of the NFL season is over and I just caught my breath. The Steelers and Titans kicked off the week with a smash-mouth game that included a lot of nerves and one big injury to Troy Palamalu that might slow down the defending champs for a while.

Sunday saw some surprises, like the Broncos Immaculate Deflection to kick off Josh McDaniels' head coaching career and Drew Brees flinging 6 TD passes against the hapless Detriot Lions. The NY Jets looked good against the Texans and the Brett Favre era in Minny started with a win.

Monday night was no different, its official, this year's NFL season is going to be amazing.

The Patriots played a lackluster game for 55 minutes of football. They were a little shaky on offense, Welker, Moss, and Watson all dropping passes.

I was shocked to see Welker not even turn for a ball on third and 3 when even I knew the ball was going his direction. Brady looked frustrated with his receivers and he was probably nervous about his knee. He had not been in a game in 12 months, he had played in barely a half of football in the past 18 months. THAT is the most shocking thing. People forget how long it truly has been since Brady played. He threw the ball 11 times last year. So his last full game was the Super Bowl in February 2008, that should put things into perspective. in case you forgot....

Speaking of the Super Bowl, as I was watching last night I kept having to remind myself that last season actually happened. There was something in my head that kept going back to the Super Bowl. Somthing in my head that just skipped over last year and last year's team completely.

When the Pats scored the go-ahead touchdown I looked at the clock. "Too much time," I muttered to myself. I was waiting for that big play from T.O. I was waiting for some new linebacker to lose his coverage and allow the Bills to get into field goal range. I was waiting. And instead, the Pats were aggressive. They sacked Edwards, who played a very solid game to keep the Bills in the game all night.

As the game looked like it was going to slip from the Pats, especially when the Bills were marching down the field to grab an 11 point lead I had to keep telling myself that it is only week 1. The Pats lost to the Bills 31-0 before winning every other game that year to win the Super Bowl. Week 1 in the NFL is full of surprises.

There are the surprises that shock us in the moment. Brandon Stockley's crazy catch, the Eagles looking fantastic, Jay Cutler throwing 37 interceptions in one game, the Cardinals losing to the 49ers, and the Raiders and Bills pushing the Chargers and Patriots to the limit.
Once the season is over and we look back we might see other instances from this past week as surprises. What will they be? Its a surprise...its the NFL...