Week 2 in the NFL and the wheat starts to get separated from the chaff. The wheat appears to be teams like San Francisco. The chaff appears to be teams like the New Orleans Saints. I guess the whole “coach” question is playing out in front of our eyes. Interesting to see the commissioner put the kibosh on a franchise. But I digress. This week it is all about looking at your team and saying “Geez Louise … my team is just so mediocre!” But before I talk about my team, I have to put in the obligatory Survivor loss. I do this every year. This year it is in the second week.
Survivor is such an appealing game. All you have to do is “select” the one NFL team that will win that week. I have learned from the past that it is easier to pick the team that consistently “loses” and just pick their opponent. The problem is that there are overwhelming odds sometimes that you must go with this outcome.
Last week, one such game was the New Orleans Saints against the Washington Redskins and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. That has to be a win for New Orleans, right? They do not lose at home…wrong! This week it was the New England Patriots against the Arizona Cardinals. I chose this game because Arizona does not travel eastward and the Patriots have not lost a home opener since 2001. Wrong! That means I am out of survivor after only the second week. I promise to pick losers next year. I really do! The NFL is filled with 2-0 franchises that are starting to shake themselves out. Every year, I write a “Contenda and Pretenda” article. Early on you learn a lot. I look back on this article every year and sometimes the Contendas make it to the Super Bowl!
2-0 Who Is a Contenda? Who Is a Pretenda?
Teams start out 2-0 and miss the playoffs. Teams start out 0-2 and make the playoffs. It is just how that unusual oblong cowhide covered spheroid bounces on those odd fall days. Ever since Miami went perfect in 1972 to win it all, football fans wonder if it will happen again. This year, there are six teams that are 2-0. Last year there were seven at this time. In the AFC there are only two undefeated teams in Houston and San Diego. I am torn because both have the ability to be a contenda and a pretenda. For that reason I will name them both pretendas. In the NFC there are 4 undefeated teams, the San Francisco 49ers Atlanta Falcons appear to be contendas. The Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles appear to be pretendas. Last year I labeled the New England Patriots a contenda and they made it to the Super Bowl! So sometimes this trend is your friend.
But do not count your chickens until turkey time, folks, so this debate will go on ice until that time. It is just so amazing how anyone can think they know anything about the landscape of professional football yet until a proper trend is established. Once established, the itty-bitty wee melon fills in all the blanks like you knew it all along. But don’t evaluate until turkey time. Now I have visions of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. It is coming and it is lollygagging this year. Oh, what a difference a year makes. Speaking of lollygagging, how did I do this week? Well it all comes down to Roddy White.
You Can Do It Roddy!
That was me on Monday Night Football. All I need is for Roddy White to catch one ball. My opponent and I are tied and all of his team is done playing for the week. All I need is one catch in my points per reception league. And at exactly 9:41 p.m. it happened. I sneak out a victory and I am 1-1, which is better than 0-2. My team is just so awful that it rests on the inability of the New England Patriots to target Wes Welker. Come on! Bill! Where is the love of the Welker man? My diary entry is all about the Boston Red Sox. I do write about them every year at this time. This year is a little bit crestfallen.
I have to mention the Red Sox. I always use this article to reflect on the season and either talk about the playoffs to be or the causes related to the Red Sox not making the playoffs. This year it is going to be very easy for the Red Sox, who are nowhere near making the playoffs in 2012.
The Red Sox used their extremely poor showing in September of 2011 to catapult themselves into a “lost” 2012 year. Now listen to me my friends and hear me loud and hear me clear. These are the Red Sox that I grew up with and became a fan of, a spunky team that tried but didn’t achieve anything let alone the playoffs. This year it was a much larger payroll than my youth and therefore a much larger disappointment. To kick start their offseason, the Red Sox let Theo Epstein and Terry Francona go. This is exactly the definition of the cliche, “To cut off your nose to spite your face.”
Does this sound familiar? Hello Patriots fans … why aren’t they going to Welker?
While the troika of Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and John Henry were salivating over their ability to get an “old school” manager like Bobby Valentine whose baseball IQ is “off the charts,” they never once stopped and thought about what they had in Francona and all the personalities in a $190 million payroll. All teams go through a “rough patch.” The inability to ride the patch with Francona at the helm combined with the decision to steer the ship in a new direction has resulted in a terrible 2012 season from Boston’s hometown team.
I love how everyone appears to know what went wrong. It was lack of pitching. It was all the leaks of information. It was the new management style. It was players under performing. It was the injuries. It was the manger. It was the lack of communication. It was the meeting in July. It was … (insert excuse here).
Or … better yet how about … it was the lack of chicken and beer in the clubhouse! Dear Red Sox management, please bring back the chicken and beer in the clubhouse. We were a 90-win team with this sustenance! Without chicken and beer in the clubhouse, we are 15 games under .500. Right? So I have a little message for all the talking heads. So here I want to say a few words to the prognosticator.
Hi. Hello there Mr. Prognosticator. It just so happens that it came down to the Red Sox losing a lot of games. When you look for reasons for professional baseball team failures, it is inappropriate to use MTV style sound bites to describe the reasoning for the outcome. Professional baseball teams are put together with gallons of effort, and wins and losses are measured in teaspoons. You can quote me on this for it is the truth. Just ask the Baltimore Orioles. They are 27-7 in one-run games. Teaspoons my friends. Teaspoons.
Tim can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.