Posts Tagged ‘New England Patriots’
Pladow! This week, how great was Cam Newton? Third Voice is rabid Falcons fan Jeanna Thomas from The Falcoholic. What’s Wrong with you Tedy Bruschi? And, once again, for entertainment purposes only, we pick EVERY NFL GAME AGAINST THE SPREADS. Plus twitter shoutouts. Tell yo friends!!!
Download Episode XIV
Also available on iTunes ————> The Voice Of The Fan
This week, well, first of all, everyone should be able to listen, my bad. NFL predictions! What’s Wrong Witchu Rex Grossman? Top 5 running backs of all time, and a whole mess of twitter shoutouts. It’s EXTRA LARGE! Come get some. Tell yo friends.
This week, NFL, NFL and more NFL. Lockout, Free Agency, all that. Plus a DOUBLE shot of What’s Wrong Witchu, Top 5 sports rivalries and twitter shout outs.
College football is the most exciting regular season in American sports. Every single game matters. There is no playoff, and in some seasons, a single loss will take you out of the running for a title.
The NFL is a close second. The difference between teams in the NFL is so close, that frequently, one loss is the difference between getting in the playoffs and going home. Had the New York Giants, for example, beaten the Green Bay Packers last regular season, they, and not the Packers, would have gone to the playoffs. Instead, the Packers went on to win the Super Bowl, despite being the last NFC team to qualify.
In 2010, the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers made the playoffs on the last shot of the last game of the regular season. They went on to win the Eastern Conference Finals.
So why does it grind my gears when people insist on getting worked up about every Phillies loss this year?
Because baseball is different.
There are 162 games in each season, a little over 10 times the number of games in an NFL season. An NFL team is generally considered to have a very good season when it wins 13 or so games. It happens almost every year. In fact, most seasons have teams win 13, 14 even 15 games. Once, the New England Cheaters won all sixteen.
The most wins in baseball history is 116 by the 1906 Cubs (in a 154 game season) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners. This would be like an NFL team going 11-5 or 12-4.
Again, that happens every year in the NFL. It is far, far harder to do in baseball for a number of reasons.
A baseball season is a battle of attrition. It is a grind. Clearly, it is far less physical than football, but the season is also two months longer. While one loss in football is big, one loss in baseball really isn’t in the grand scheme of the season. There are so many games, that everything you can think of will happen to every team in a given season, even the best ones.
They will win some 1-0 games. They will lose some 1-0 games.
They will blow some people out. They will get blown out.
They will lose games that they shouldn’t. They will win games that they shouldn’t.
They will get out hustled sometimes. They will get out coached sometimes. They will just get beaten sometimes. It is impossible to maintain the same level of intensity for 162 games. No one can do it.
The way that teams are successful is by remembering not to get high on any win, and not too low on any loss.
The Phillies know how to do this. They have won four straight NL East titles, two of the last three NL Pennants, and a World Series three seasons ago. They didn’t do this by freaking out when Charlie Manuel pitches Joe Blanton, JC Romero, Kyle Kendrick and Denys Baez in the same game.
He messed up. It happens. It’s going to happen again.
People say that the offense isn’t good enough, the bullpen isn’t good enough. When Chase Utley, Dom Brown and Brad Lidge return, those people will freak about something else. Because when the Phillies are pounding people and winning 3 out of every four games, the game they lose 1-0 when Roy Halladay pitches a gem and loses will be the one they fixate on.
The Phillies are fine. They have the best record in baseball. It’s early in the season. And for those who say every game counts, I offer you this tidbit:
In the last 30 non strike seasons, guess how many times the NL East has been decided by a single game? Go on, guess.
In fact, it has been won by twenty or more games more often than it has been won by one. History, recent included, has shown that the Phillies are much better in the second half of the season. And they have the best record in baseball, with Wilson Valdez starting most nights at second base.
Think about that for a second.
I, personally, am very content with the way they are playing. If nothing changes, and they continues to win at the same pace, they will finish with 107 wins, nine shy of the all time record.
Chase Utley hasn’t played a single inning,
Neither has Dom Brown.
Or Brad Lidge.
And they have the best record in baseball, on pace for a team record 107 wins.
Get a grip, people. Seriously.
First, a couple of notes for my six regular readers.
One, you’ve probably heard this story, but it was requested in blog form from the teeming masses on Twitter (read: two people).
Two, I am typing and posting this from my phone. That is INSANE.
In 2005, the Eagles went to the Super Bowl in Jacksonville where they lost to the New England Lying Cheating Scumbags. But that’s not what this is about. It’s about my nephew, James.
The world’s greatest Cowboys fan.
James and I made the trip to Jacksonville on Friday night. Since Jacksonville has approximately 5 hotels, we stayed in Savannah, GA, a two hour drive from the game. But we didn’t care.
We were going to the Super Bowl.
James was 15 at the time and a die hard Cowboys fan. He knows his stuff and is realistic about his team.
But for 72 glorious hours, he was one of us.
Oh, he’ll deny it. But everything that follows is true.
There was an Eagles pep rally on Saturday at a place called Jacksonville Landing. It’s designed to hold about 500 people, so, naturally, it was chosen, by some genius, as the site to inflame the passions of Philadelphia Eagles fans.
There were about 3000 of us jammed into this spot. I was wearing a McNabb jersey. James was wearing a Westbrook jersey.
The rally was scheduled to start at 7:30. We got there around 4:00. The place was packed by 5:00. Filled with bars, there were 3000 drunken Birds fans working themselves into a frenzy.
Inevitably the “Dallas Sucks” chants start. I asked the guy next to me why we were chanting “Dallas Sucks” if we were playing New England.
Filled with rage, he replied, “BECAUSE THEY DO! DALLAS SUCKS! DALLAS SUCKS!”
Laughing, I turned to James and nearly choked on my 23rd beer.
Because he’s chanting “DALLAS SUCKS! DALLAS SUCKS!”
I check to make sure he hasn’t been sneaking beer while I wasn’t looking.
Incredulously, I ask him, “Why are you chanting ‘Dallas Sucks?'”
“Do I look stupid? DALLAS SUCKS!”
It gets better.
Later, some moron tries to make his way through the crowd wearing a Tom Brady jersey.
Of course, he was immediately serenaded with chants of “(SEVEN LETTER WORD THAT RHYMES WITH GLASS BOWL), (SEVEN LETTER WORD THAT RHYMES WITH GLASS BOWL)!”
In classic Philly style, this was done with the guy’s 2 year old son on his shoulders.
In a little Brady jersey.
What happened next was not chronicled anywhere but here. But it belongs in the same legendary pantheon as booing Santa, the now-Governor/then city councilman throwing iceballs at Jimmy Johnson, vomiting on a little girl, stealing an opposing reporters license plate and “Don’t taze me, bro.”
I turn to the same guy as before and say, “Come on, man, he’s got his kid with him.”
Even drunker, and, if possible, angrier, he says, I swear to God, “HE NEEDS TO LEARN EARLY! LITTLE (SEVEN LETTER WORD THAT RHYMES WITH GLASS BOWL)! LITTLE (SEVEN LETTER WORD THAT RHYMES WITH GLASS BOWL)!”
So I joined him. As did James. And the rest of the crowd.
At full throat.
For a full ten minutes.
I have rarely been prouder to be an Eagles fan.
Now, look, I’m not necessarily a “blame the victim” kinda dude. But why – WHY – would you bring you kid into a situation like that?
Anyway, at the game, James wore the McNabb jersey and I wore a Cunningham jersey, and, of course, the cheesesteak hat. The guy behind asked me to take it off so he could see, but I just laughed at him. And of course, every time the Birds scored a touchdown, we all sang “Fly, Eagles, Fly.”
Including James, who, for 72 hours, was one of us. If you had cut him that weekend, he would have bled midnight green.
Which makes him the greatest Cowboys fan ever.
I am already on record predicting the Eagles to win Super Bowl XLIV. Since that prediction, the Eagles have lost Jim Johnson, Stewart Bradley and Cornelius Ingram. They have added Michael Vick, and may be starting a rookie at free safety.
A rookie may be replacing Brian Dawkins.
So, naturally, I will not be cutting them an inch of slack. I will not be changing my prediction. Super Bowl or bust.
SI’s Don Banks disagrees. He thinks the Eagles will miss the playoffs. But he is a mook, who cares what he thinks?
I believe that the Eagles are a top five team. Here, in order, are the four teams I believe pose the greatest threat to the Eagles Super Bowl chances.
1. New York Giants
The Giants are not the best team in the NFL. But they may be the best team in the NFC, and they are in the same division as the Eagles, making them the biggest threat.
They have a great defense, a great running game and a Manning at quarterback. (Yeah, I know its the wrong Manning, so what?) They have championship experience. They know how to win. They will not have the Plaxico Burress issue distracting them this season.
In fact, I think that it is highly likely that they will win the division with the Eagles getting in as a wild card.
But the Giants have not beaten the Eagles in the playoffs since Bill Clinton was in office. The Eagles are 2-0 versus the Giants in the playoffs, having beaten them at the Linc in 2006 and in the Meadowlands last year. Since 2001, including the playoffs, the Eagles are 12-6 versus the Giants.
They also lost their defensive coordinator. All Pro DE Osi Umenyiora recently walked out of camp for a day because he felt that new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan was disrespecting him. How long until Tom Coughlin goes off on somebody for showing up five minutes early for a meeting instead of ten minutes early?
The Giants are a great team. They may have a better regular season than the Eagles. But the Eagles will beat them in the playoffs. Again.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
The defending champs are still the best team in football. They return intact, plus get Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall for the entire season. They should avoid the slow start they had last year. This is a ridiculously good football team.
They are well coached. They are battle tested, having won two of the last four Super Bowls. They have the most clutch quarterback in football not named Tom Brady, and an otherworldly great defense.
For some reason, the Eagles own them. The Birds are 46-27-3 all time versus the Steelers. They even won the only postseason meeting between the two. (OK, it was in 1947. I’m just sayin’.) They are 2-1 versus the Steelers since 2000.
I’m not saying the Eagles are better. I’m saying the Eagles can beat them. If they meet in Super Bowl XLIV, they will.
3. New England Patriots
The most analyzed knee in the NFL is back to wreak havoc on the league. Tom Brady’s return makes the Patriots a Super Bowl threat. They have the best coach in the NFL over the last decade in Bill Belichick. They have the best receiving corps in football outside of Arizona. And their defense is always tough.
Granted they have questions at running back, but they always have questions at running back. Laurence Maroney is listed as the starter, but BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Fred Taylor will see time there as well. Brady’s knee was shredded less than 12 months ago, and as of now they have only undrafted rookie Brian Hoyer as a backup. They are rumored to be looking at AJ Feeley, but ESPN”S Adam Schefter reports that deal is unlikely to happen.
If Brady’s knee holds up, they will be dangerous. If not, they will be beatable. Either way, in the tougher AFC, they will be battered and bruised by the time they get to play the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
4. Baltimore Ravens
They have their usual ferocious defense, and Joe Flacco now has a year under his belt at QB. They are very well coached and well assembled by GM Ozzie Newsome. The offensive line may be one of the league’s best. Did I mention the defense? It’s pretty good.
But they have major questions at RB and WR. Derrick Mason changed his mind about retirement, but one has to wonder how enthusiastic he’ll be by, say, week eight. The defense is good enough to win a lot of games by itself, but can that propel them to the Super Bowl? They did it before in 2000, but this defense is not as good as that one, which was arguably the best ever. This offense is better than that one also. Do they have enough to get by the Steelers and Patriots? Maybe. Do they have enough to win it all? I think not.
Green Bay and Minnesota are sexy picks this year. San Diego and Indianapolis are always in the mix, and should be this year as well. But all four are all in the next tier of teams behind the four mentioned above.
My official prediction? In a game for the ages, the Eagles beat the Steelers, 20-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
Stone Cold Lead Pipe Lock(tm).