Saturday, December 5, 2009

16 comments A Little NFL Jousting with Bill Simmons

It's Saturday and I after my little moral rebuttal about Tiger Woods with Jay Mariotti, I am ready for something a little bit lighter. Fortunately Bill Simmons has an NFL power poll up. That's exactly what I need. Unfortunately, the title is, "Time To Tempt The Football Gods." I am not pleased with any discussion of "football gods" in regards to the NFL. One ESPN writer talking about football gods is enough for me.

Back in Week 4, my top two teams were (gulp) Baltimore and (severe double-gulp) the New York Football Giants. Now? Different. To say the least.

Which is exactly why I have a tag that says, "power polls are useless" because they are useless. They are fun to put together, but don't end up meaning a whole lot in the end and a couple weeks down the road you regret doing it in the first place and feel stupid because you realize you are pathetic. Sort of like dating a college freshman when you are a senior in college just to say you dated a college freshman. Then after you quit seeing each other you find out she is friends with a new girl you want to date, but you can't date the new girl because she wouldn't want to date her friend's ex. You can't explain that it wasn't serious dating, you just wanted to date a freshman, but can't explain that because it makes you sound like an asshole and would ruin any chances you had with the new girl, so you give up completely.

Same thing with a power poll. A writer gets bored and puts one up early in the season with a team like the Broncos at #5 and then two months down the road you are making fun of the Broncos and someone points out you put them as the 5th best team in the NFL a couple months ago, so you are a dumbass. You can't explain the power poll meant nothing, you were just bored, but you can't because the it sounds like you are making excuses for putting the Broncos at #5 and your friends couldn't believe any of your predictions down the road. So you give up and swear never to do a power poll again.

First, the Cavs choke in the 2009 playoffs. Second, the best two starters on the 2008 Indians start Game 1 of the 2009 World Series for two teams not named "Cleveland."

This week a Cleveland Indians fan wrote into the Sports Illustrated letters section and bitterly wrote how it stunk to watch CC Sabathia post a 8.00+ ERA with Cleveland in the playoffs and then become an ace with the Yankees. It just reminded me of how incredibly brutal the World Series must have been for Indians fans this year. I forgive any bitterness the Cleveland fans may have.

30. St. Louis

E-mails you send as the 2009 Patriots' season is melting into bubbly acid on national TV: "Steven Jackson looks like Laurence Maroney. They wear the same number, similar bodies and dreads. They even have similar running styles, except for the part where Jackson holds on to the football and makes tacklers miss. What if we paid Jackson $10 million in January to borrow him for the 2009 playoffs in Maroney's place? Nobody would have to know. We'd just have to convince Maroney to go along with it, and Jackson would have to wear a dark face shield. This could work."

What a brilliant idea and they do look alike except for the fact Laurence Maroney is 5-foot-11 inches and 220 pounds, while Steven Jackson is 6-foot-2-inches and 236 pounds. Other than 16 pounds and three inches they are the same player. Sort of like how Steven Jackson and Randy Moss are the exact same player. The only difference is 2 inches and 26 pounds!

I guess the writer of this email thinks all minorities with dreadlocks look alike. He would have been really confused watching "The Wire."

26. Chicago

Would you rather not be a Bears fan, Panthers fan or Knicks fan right now?

I would rather be a Bears or a Panthers fan than a Knicks fan any day of the week. The Bears and the Panthers both have talent on their team right now and just need to make a few skill position adjustments and they will be fine.

No hope, no first-round pick, lots of season left … what do you do? And the answer is …

I have a feeling he is going to put one right in my wheel house.

25. Carolina

You would not want to be a Panthers fan. At least the Knicks can hold on to the thin hope of a LeBron era. At least Bears fans can talk themselves into comeback years for Cutler, Forte and Urlacher.

Translation: Let's choose the smaller market team because we know the teams from Chicago and New York will bounce back.

This is false. So Bill is basing this opinion on the fact LeBron may pull the Knicks up to a 41 win team? They still don't have much future prospects if they can't put anyone else around LeBron. I have no qualms with the Bears and I can see them bouncing back. The Panthers have a much, much brighter future than the New York Knicks. In the NBA, not having a 1st round choice is a much bigger deal than in the NFL because the NFL has more than 2 rounds in their draft. It's just different.

What do you do if you're a Panthers fan? What's keeping you sane?

I am glad Bill asked this.

What's keeping Panthers fans sane is a top 5 running back, a top 5 wide receiver (he needs a QB people), an offensive line where 4/5 of the line is under the age of 30 and under contract until 2011. A defense that is playing very well and currently only starting two players over the age of 30 years old. The entire problem with the current Panthers team is their quarterback. Just having an average quarterback would put this team at .500 and possibly right in the middle of the playoff hunt. That's an AVERAGE quarterback that would turn this team around and the defense is still pretty good, so I wouldn't say the Panthers are in a shit hole for the future necessarily. Look, I am just telling everyone this "average quarterback would make them a good team" fact because it's true. We'll see for sure if they ever find an average quarterback.

How do you handle it when John Clayton writes on Monday morning …

"[Jake] Delhomme threw four more picks to bring his season total to 18. The Panthers quarterback's career is at the crisis stage. He's 34 years old and his confidence is fragile."

… and you're thinking, "The crisis stage? THE CRISIS STAGE? THAT WAS 10 MONTHS AGO, CLAYTON!!!"

Absolutely incorrect. There was absolutely no way anyone could have known that Delhomme's career was going to nose dive this badly during this season. He has never been a great quarterback. but he has never had the problems he is having this year before. Knowing what we know now, yes last summer would have been a great time to get rid of Delhomme, but there was no way anyone could have known his career would nose dive as it has. There was a one game warning sign in the playoffs. If a bad playoff game was a warning sign for future suckiness the Packers would have gotten rid of Brett Favre 10 years before last season.

Even worse, you can't start talking yourself into the Locker/Bradford/Clausen era, because, again, you don't have a first-round pick. I would be going nuts.

Of course Bill would be going nuts. He is the type of fan who over reacts and makes everything his team does wrong be the most dramatic event in the history that franchise. He thinks the Patriots-Belichick era is drawing to a close and his teams are one wrong move from going in the shitter again. He is a complete panic case when it comes to his teams and thinks everyone else should be as well.

The Panthers and Bears currently have a much brighter future than the New York Knicks. The Knicks haven't been a competitive team in years and they aren't even close to being competitive now. I would rather be a Bears or Panthers fan at this point than a Knicks fan. Bill just takes a look at the Panthers quarterback situation and just blindly assumes the entire team is fucked, which isn't entirely true. I'm not being a blind homer, I am just telling it like I see it. I would love to bury the Panthers, but I know Knicks fans, and I would much, much rather be a Panthers fan.
(I could be just really over-optimistic at this point to the point of insanity. It's always a possibility, but I don't think this is true. I have a friend, he and his wife have season tickets to the Panthers games this year and I get to go to the game on Sunday because she doesn't want to waste energy while she is pregnant going to the game. They named their dog after Jake there is a 10% chance I am the last one off this bandwagon.)

20. Houston

They're that useless. Either Gary Kubiak needs to go or Matt Schaub needs to go. You can't have your coach and your quarterback with dueling "Oh crap, it's gonna happen again; we're gonna mess this up, aren't we?" looks on their faces.

If it comes down to Kubiak or Matt Schaub, isn't that an easy decision. I proudly can say I had the Texans in the playoffs this year. I am not giving up quite yet, though it would be nice if they could win another game this year and Owen Daniels had not gotten injured. You don't give up a quarterback like Matt Schaub because the defense starts giving up points at the end of the game, that's on the defense and coaching staff. Sure, the offense could score again, but I don't see how the blame falls directly on Schaub and Kubiak.

What is up with the Texans? How come they can't win games when they are ahead? Are they completely incapable of running the ball and controlling the clock? I wish I could explain what is happening to them better, but I can't.

17. New York Giants

Glass-half-full Giants fan: "We lost to five playoff teams in our last six games. If we can beat Dallas and Philly at home, we have the Skins and Panthers, then we play Minnesota's backups in Week 17. We can still pull this off! It's like 2007 all over again! Regardless, I don't care because I am 10 times more excited about 'Jersey Shore' on MTV."

I picked the Giants to beat the Cowboys this week and I have no idea why I did this. There is no quality explanation from me. Perhaps this is why I am losing to both Peter King and Bill Simmons in the NFL Pick 'Em leagues. (If you notice, I am making a slight comeback right now against Bill, it's going to happen I can feel it, but I don't want to talk about it out of parenthesis.)

Speaking of "Jersey Shore," if there was a way to measure my excitement for this show, it would be in the negative numbers. I would put it as I am -35% looking forward to this show. Sadly, it will probably do well. I enjoyed drunken, irresponsible, self-centered, 'roided up early 20-somethings beating and screwing the shit out of each other the first 20 times I saw it on "The Real World," "Road Rules," and "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," so I am about done with any type of show that features the same thing every episode.

It's really going to be a boring show, we know what will happen on each episode. It's like "Full House" except in the place of love, caring and eventual understanding through parent-to-child heart-to-heart talks that never occur in a healthy household environment, we have anger, resentment, racism, screwing, and misunderstandings through the overconsumption of alcohol. I know I sound like an old man saying this, but it's predictable and boring, and causes me to think the world ending soon wouldn't be such a bad thing. Now get off my lawn!

(Here's the point: We might have a chance to wager against Alex Smith in a home playoff game. Keep your fingers crossed.)

I actually had a reasonable discussion yesterday about whether the Panthers would be better or worse off with Alex Smith at quarterback next year. At this point any person with football experience and an arm that can throw a ball further than 20 yards is being considered to replace Jake Delhomme. It's like having a really likeable and previously successful JaMarcus Russell on your team. You don't want to make too much fun of him because he is really nice, but he also really, really sucks.

Jaguars (6-5): The only reason they'd make for an interesting wild card? To see whether they could become the first NFL team to have a home playoff game blacked out.

I think Los Angeles is going to really enjoy having another NFL team. I just don't know how I feel about the name Los Angeles Jaguars. It sounds like an Arena League team.

Steelers (6-5): Favorable schedule (Oakland, at Cleveland, Green Bay, Baltimore, at Miami) coupled with a tough defense, a good coach, a solid running game and a proven quarterback. They have all the makings of "The Team That Might Peak At The Perfect Time." As a Pats fan, I do not want to see these guys coming to Foxborough in January as a 5-seed.

(Was that enough of a reverse jinx for you? Should I keep going? Screw it.)

Have I ever shared with everyone how much I hate reverse jinxes? Ok, I really hate reverse jinxes. The reason is the person making the reverse jinx can just say he/she was being serious about the prediction and be right...or he/she can say it was a reverse jinx and they have special, magical powers to reverse jinx teams. I am getting a headache just explaining my hatred for them.

9. New England

A few of my Pats friends reprimanded me for playing the "It's over!" card. As Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders points out, the 2008 Cards were in a much lower place after their Thanksgiving shellacking in Philly than the Pats after Brees annihilated them … and the Cards nearly won the Super Bowl two months later.

What did I say earlier? Bill is a panic case when it comes to his teams. Every big loss means it is over and every big win is an epic victory that can only mean great things in the future. The Pats ran into a great New Orleans team, which if I am not wrong, has played every game at home so far this year. Ok, maybe not, but it just feels that way. Let's see the road/home games they have played or will play this year (not including division games):

Home games: New England, New York Giants, Dallas, Detroit, New York Jets

Road games: Philadelphia, Buffalo, St. Louis, Washington, Miami

Ok, maybe they have just had nearly every meaningful game played at home this year. Yes, I am on a "I hate the New Orleans Saints because they are so good" rampage this year and no one can stop me. It's not their fault they have played most of their tough non-division games at home, it just worked out that way, but it doesn't mean I can't bring it up.

Things swing fast in the NFL, and the Pats have a cream-puff schedule the rest of the way. Don't rule out the No. 2 seed for them. So let's just go with the "Wow, this does not look good right now!" card.

There is a little positivity from Bill. It won't last long.

How is Bill Belichick, the same guy who once figured out how to win a Super Bowl with Troy Brown as a nickelback, now completely ill-equipped to come up with any semblance of a game plan to stop good quarterbacks from throwing on him?

This is the part where Bill continues to over react and becomed a panic when it comes to the Patriots. The Patriots were beaten by Peyton Manning and Drew Brees lately. It's not like there are nobodies throwing for major yardage against the Patriots from week-to-week.

Sorry I have to go all-caps on you, but this is THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE MASTERMIND IN THE HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. I knew the Belichick-Brady Gravy Train couldn't last forever, and I knew Belichick would get old eventually, but overnight?

Simmer. Down. Now.

(Just so you don't think I am overreacting,

I will still think Bill is overreacting no matter what he says next.

in the team-by-team updates section of Wednesday's USA Today, here's what they had for my beloved Patriots: "The Patriots allowed 480 yards on 50 plays Monday night in New Orleans, with 312 yards coming on eight plays. Said coach Bill Belichick, 'Anytime you give up that much yardage on a handful of plays, it's bad.'" It's bad? It's bad? YOU ARE THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE MASTERMIND IN THE HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL! Let's move on before I punch something.

I am sure Belichick was a little more stern with his team when discussing this issue. Again, it was one game and it was a game against a team that pulled out all the stops to score points.

Hey, here's an idea: Once you get a concussion, you can't play for eight quarters (not including overtime). If you get two concussions in one season, you're out for that season. Done and done. Any objections? I didn't think so. Why not just put that in the rule book starting today?

It's not a bad idea but I really think the harder the NFL cracks down on players with concussions, the more teams are going to try and cover up whether players have gotten a concussion or not. Maybe I sound like a crazy person and it may not happen the first couple of years as the NFL really pays attention to head injuries, but after a few years I can easily see concussion cover-ups happening.

5. Dallas

Last five games for the 8-3 Cowboys: at Giants, San Diego, at New Orleans, at Washington, Philly. Brutal. They have the biggest ceiling/basement of any 2009 team right now except for the Vikings. Too early to say where this goes.

Right now every Cowboys fan in the United States reading this just thought, "we'll probably hit the basement." Combine Tony Romo, Wade Phillips, and the Cowboys recent December history together and there is no way Cowboys fans aren't thinking the Cowboys will hit the basement. I have no proof of this and I don't speak for Cowboys fans, but it's an educated guess this is what they are thinking.

As I said earlier in the year, I think the Cowboys make the playoffs and win a playoff game this year. Call me an optimist but I am going with the ceiling here. The Cowboys will lose to the Giants and Saints, and beat San Diego, Washington, and Philly. They will end the year 11-5 and win a first round playoff game sending Cowboys fans in North Carolina into a frenzy and set the record for "most times a fan of a team out of the area he lives calls up a sports-talk radio station in his local area to not talk about his favorite team's next game, but to talk about how bad the local team sucks by bragging how well his team is doing."

4. San Diego

Interesting but true fact: The Chargers haven't yet played any of the other top-10 teams on this list.

I really think bad sportswriters share notes. Either Gregg Easterbrook or Peter King brought up earlier this week the point the Chargers haven't played any "good" teams yet this year.

Back to what we started in Green Bay's section: I hate to use the word "victim" with sports, because after all, it's just sports. It's the playground of life. But considering how much Favre meant to everyone in Wisconsin, what happened this season was borderline cruel. He's playing out of his mind. He's an MVP candidate. He's playing so well that I am getting impassioned e-mails from Packers fans pointing out that if an aging, past-his-prime, 40-year-old pitcher were suddenly 19-2 in late August with 225 K's (the baseball equivalent to what Favre has done so far), the HGH jokes and rumors would be flying, but with Favre, the consensus seems to be, "He's having fun out there!"

I hate to copy and paste everything Bill has written here, but I completely agree with what he is saying. I think he and I would really get along during a "Let's talk about how bad it must be to be a Packers fan with Favre doing so well" Summit. In fact, when Duke lost to Wisconsin on Wednesday, I almost didn't want to punch a wall because I knew the Wisconsin area needed some good victories right now. I didn't end up punching a wall but I was extremely disappointed to see Duke lose to a team with two players who had a mohawk and a flat top.

(Note: I don't agree with this. I think that Minnesota has just had an extraordinarily easy schedule and that Favre has more offensive weapons than he's ever had at any point in his career. But whatever.)

Just don't tell Peter King or any other Favre-loving sportswriter this is true. They will stab you in the heart just for suggesting it. Now my question/comment is this...Brett Favre switched teams this offseason after struggling a little bit last year with the Jets. He got an easier schedule and better teammates, so how the hell does this make him the MVP this year? Nothing has changed except he went to a weaker conference, a weaker divsion and got better teammates...and he deserves to be considered the Most Valuable Player for this?

2. Indianapolis

Could you even play horseshoes with the giant horseshoe that lives up the butt of the 2009 Colts? How would you even throw it? Teams play them and do the dumbest things at the worst possible times. The Colts get three officiating gifts per game. They get every bounce and every break.

The Colts have been getting a lot of breaks this year. Whether it is teams melting down the stretch of games, fishy official calls or several other breaks, they have been getting most of them. How are they doing this? Is it because they make their own luck and put themselves in position to take advantage of opponent's mistakes or are they really that lucky? I think it is a little of both, but I haven't seen this many teams melt down playing a certain team in a long while.

One more thing: Manning is my MVP pick through 12 weeks. Yes, I know Favre has a better statistical case. Yes, I know Brees has played at a consistently higher level. But let's say you switched any of those three guys with Schaub or Flacco. The Vikes would be 10-1 or 9-2 because of their schedule and playmakers... Where would the Colts be? Would they be 3-8? 4-7? 2-9?

Me agreeing with Bill Simmons is getting a bit old at this point, but yet again I agree with him. The Vikings were a good team without Favre last year and Brees has some good players around him. The Colts would be a mediocre team without Peyton Manning. I don't like to make blanket statements but how can anyone argue with this?

Here's a different thought: Put Peyton Manning on the Vikings or the Saints. I would say both teams are still perfect. Put Favre on the Saints or the Colts, I say the Saints are 9-2 right now and the Colts are 7-4 (no running game). Put Brees on the Colts or the Vikings right now and I think Brees would be 9-2 with the Colts and the Vikings would probably be perfect. How is Manning not the MVP?

You know what their biggest obstacle is? 19-0. We saw how that constant pressure and attention wore down a great Patriots team in 2007. Wouldn't that also happen to the Saints? Incredibly, it's Week 13, and we have two teams dealing with that pressure. How will this play out? What if they make it all the way to Miami with dueling 18-0 records?

If this happened and the Colts and Saints met in the Super Bowl with perfect records I don't think I could handle it. Here are the following storylines that would be rammed down our throats by the media:

Peyton Manning is a great quarterback.
Drew Brees is a great quarterback.
Reggie Bush is finally earning his standing as a #2 pick.
The Saints defense is underrated and finally showing it can stop teams.
Jeremy Shockey getting revenge on the Giants for trading him because he has matured.
Sean Payton is a genius play caller.
Gregg Williams should get a head coaching job somewhere (since it worked out well last time).
Peyton Manning is a great quarterback.
Who are these receivers for the Colts?
Who is this defense for the Colts?
The Colts are doing all of this without Bob Sanders!
Peyton Manning is a great quarterback.
Jim Caldwell is doing a great job in place of Tony Dungy. Who the hell is he?

(Speaking of Tony Dungy...he has coached two teams in the NFL. The Bucs and the Colts. He got fired/quit the Bucs in Winter 2002 and they went on to win the Super Bowl the next year. Dungy retired from the Colts last year and the Colts have started the year 11-0. I am not saying Dungy was overrated as a coach, I just think this is very interesting to think about. His teams have initially done very well after he left coaching each team.)

It would be incredibly tiresome and I don't know if I could handle it all. I think Peter King would have a heart attack from pure excitement. We would have hourly updates on what Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are doing, thinking, or eating from Peter. It would be horrible.

As a reminder, I have set up a College Bowl Pick 'Em league. If you care to join the league ID is: 3711 and the password is: "jamarcus."


RuleBook said...

- Hey, here's an idea: Once you get a concussion, you can't play for eight quarters (not including overtime). If you get two concussions in one season, you're out for that season. Done and done. Any objections? I didn't think so. Why not just put that in the rule book starting today?

What an awful idea. Let me get this straight...if you get a concussion in the 2nd quarter, then you can't come back until the 3rd quarter of the game 2 games later? Sure, you haven't played a game in 14 days, but you need to have those extra 2 hours in order to be safe to play. How could anyone think this is a good idea?

- Right now every Cowboys fan in the United States reading this just thought, "we'll probably hit the basement." Combine Tony Romo, Wade Phillips, and the Cowboys recent December history together and there is no way Cowboys fans aren't thinking the Cowboys will hit the basement.

Exactly. As the resident Cowboys fan, before the season, I thought we'd start 9-2, yet finish 10-6 or 11-5. Now, we started 8-3, and I wouldn't be surprised if we finish the season 9-7 and miss the playoffs. This team just isn't that good, and it certainly doesn't feel like they are on a 6-1 run. I am prepared for the collapse, and so is any other Cowboys fan that knows anything about football.

- I love your headlines for super bowl week.

RuleBook said...

Oh, one other thing. If Ndamakong Suh doesn't win the Heisman, it is a travesty.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, according to Bill those two extra quarters would make a difference in whether a player gets another concussion or not. I didn't read that carefully enough, good catch on that one. I don't have a problem with keeping a player out for the season with two concussions but the 8 quarters thing is bizarre.

I am glad I got the Cowboys fans mindset right, I didn't want to speak for you but I know enough Cowboys fans to predict what they are thinking.

As far as Suh goes, I am not saying I have or have not done this, but his Heisman consideration would have gone a lot better if someone had thrown a song together to the tune of the Gin Blossoms, "I Found Out About You" but it should be "I Found Out About Suh." He won win if he had a tune. It goes to the best player in college football, he is that guy, so he should win.

brent daniels said...

I think if the media had pushed Suh at an earlier time in the season he would have a better chance. All year long we have had Tebow and McCoy shoved down our throats and the media hates to admit they are wrong. So expect McCoy or Ingram(who wouldn't be a bad choice) to walk up and accept the award. If Tebow wins it will just go to show how stupid this award is, and how little it really means. Also as a college football fan living in Cincinnati, its a real shame Gilyard isn't even gonna get an invite to New York. He has been amazing all year on an undefeated team and has been huge in almost all of their big games.

KentAllard said...

Is Simmons the archetype of the bad sports fan? He gloats when his team wins and does everything he can to rub it in to any other team that dares to challenge them, then breaks speed records in leaping off the bandwagon the first time they fall out of first place. He should grow a pair.

brent daniels said...

Then he rips on Giants fans saying how quickly they give up on there team and then every time the Patriots lose he cries how tortured he is, and how much it sucks not having a dynasty going at all times.

Fred Trigger said...

(keep in mind I'm a little drunk)

I can kind of understand why Simmons would say he is a tortured pats fan. Lets not forget: before 2001, they were basically the Lions/Chiefs/Rams of the NFL (with the exception of that 96 superbowl where the man who likes to have fun and just likes to throw the football beat them, even though Desmond Howard pretty much single handedly rocked their world).

Now, after they are successful, they are about to have what was "rightfully theirs" taken away from them by the colts, who are their most hated rivals. Eh, what do I know? Christ, I used a beer bottle as my mic while singing "Dont Stop Believing" at the company christmas party. Also, before people rip me, notice the quotes around "rightfully theirs". I do agree it gets ridiculous, and thats why I participate in the fun with ripping NE fans.

Bengoodfella said...

Brent, I don't take a whole lot of stock in postseason awards anyway, so I don't worry about Suh not getting Heisman recognition. It is a little irritating though. But I am not going to freak out if a guy like McCoy or Ingram gets it. Tebow is a different story because I don't think he is the best college football player in the nation. Good luck with Gilyard getting any recognition. He plays WR and that's not a position that will get consideration this year...especially when being from Cincy. There are a lot of players who deserve consideration who won't get a sniff.

Kent, he might be. He does gloat and all of that when his team wins but tends to whine when the littlest thing goes wrong. Me personally, I just expect everything to go wrong for my teams anyway, so with those lowered expectations I try not to get too worked up. What gets the me the most is that any loss is the end of the Belichick era in NE. He even said on Twitter he wants Weis back as OC. It's just his personality I guess.

Fred, you aren't getting sympathy from me b/c the Pats are going to whip the Panthers next weekend, so I am going to be mean to you this week in preparation for the beatdown. The Pats were a bad team for a long time but it's not like they had a ton of bad breaks go their way, they drafted Bledsoe over Mirer and the losing was a product of just not having a good team. That may be under the definition of tortured like Lions fans are tortured I guess.

The Pats beat up on the Colts so much it is probably hard to see the Colts still doing well and the Pats "only" having a winning record this year. It's rightfully theirs because they are used to their team being the best.

No singing at Xmas parties. It's a strict rule I try to stick to.

Fred Trigger said...

(throwing gloves off)

dont make me put up a post about how I came to be a pats fan (even though I spent most of my life in NY), I'll do it, damn you, even if it means me being banished to the basement again!


when do bad breaks go a teams way? Being so shitty that you had the number one pick in the draft is not having a bad break going your way, that just means your shitty.

this is of course all in good nature. Live blog between the two people who write on this blog grudge mathch? I'm down. I say bring it, beeyotch!

I wish I would've abided by your rules before attending the party. Not that it would have stopped me.

Fred Trigger said...

shit, in my drunken ignorance I forgot J.S. writes here, too. Your welcom to join as well, J.S.

brent daniels said...

I hate the idea of the tortured fan, just like I hate the idea of the loveable loser. I have been a Cubs fan my whole life and their major problems are that they didn't spend any money for a long time and they have a crappy farm system. Now they spend money but throw it at average players. Its not bad luck that keeps the Cubs bad, its bad decisions.

Bengoodfella said...

You can put a post up about that if you would like, I don't mind at all. I will never banish you to the basement again, I can promise you.

I meant bad breaks that a team had to deal with, not go their way, but my point was that being tortured was mostly not having a very good team. I don't know if I like the tortured fan thing really, but I think most sports fans feel tortured sometimes when their teams don't do well. It's really not true, it is mostly not having good players.

I have learned my lessons about not singing in public before, so I am sure that is actually someone else's rule they taught me after I made an ass of myself.

Brent, it's good to hear all Cubs fans don't like the "Loveable Loser" moniker. I feel tortured but I know my teams really aren't tortured. Mostly you are right and it is just bad personnel decisions.

Once the Cubs fans win the World Series, I am afraid they are going to get like the Red Sox and Yankees are perceived now and then everyone will hate them. Of course I am sure that is a risk you are willing to take.

ivn said...

"The Bears and the Panthers both have talent on their team right now"

the Bears have talent? I call bullshit on that. they're going to be in Lions/Bucs/Browns territory within the next two or three years. I mean, look at their last three or four drafts; the Bears have gotten jack shit out of them and they're going to pay the price. all they need is a new GM, a new coaching staff, a new offensive line, a new defensive line, a good linebacker, and a new secondary and then they'll be fine. all things considered I'd much rather be a Panthers fan.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I think the Bears do have talent on their roster right now. You are right that I didn't do a great job of looking into the future for them. They still will have talent, but some of the talent is getting older. I don't share your opinion that they may be in Browns/Lions territory simply because they have Matt Forte and Cutler on offense and Urlacher will have a couple of years left and I don't think the defense will completely nose dive while he is there.

Plus they play in the same division as the Lions. I don't like the fact they don't have a lot of draft picks and they are old on the offensive line. I don't share quite your negative sentiment on them, but I can see where it comes from. Maybe I should have been a little harsher on the Bears future than I was.

Jeremy Conlin said...

Surprise, surprise, I'm going to defend Simmons on his section on the Pats.

I've always been a Pats fan (lived in Boston during my formative years), and I can attest to the Browns/Lions parallels of the Patriots before they started to turn things around in the late 90s. Things peaked with the 2001 Super Bowl, which doubled as a blessing and a curse. The Patriots had finally climbed the Mountain, only everyone acted like it was some sort of mistake that was never corrected. Patriots fans felt cheated when everyone called it a fluke. That's part of the reason why Pats/Boston fans became so insufferable after the 2nd and 3rd Super Bowls, as well as the Red Sox world series wins. After all the crap they/we (I'm not exactly a Red Sox fan) had taken from everyone else, they/we felt that we/they had a right to shove everything in everyone's face all the time.

Fast-forward to 2009. The Red Sox are wildly overrated and have no players that really, truly resonate with fans the way Ortiz/Manny/Pedro did. The Patriots, whether we want to admit it or not, aren't the same team they were 5 years ago. Throw in the fact that the Yankees just won a World Series, and their fans are acting like everything that happened from 2004-2008 was a fluke and everything has been corrected in the Universe. Also, what should have been the Patriots coronation as The Greatest Team of All Time, the 2007 Super Bowl, was an out-and-out disaster on every level.

Now Patriots/Red Sox fans are panicking. They don't want to go back to the perennial losers. They've done that one before. It isn't fun. They clawed and fought their way to the top, only now some people are trying to take that away from them. They don't want to give it up. Only they don't have control over that. Their spot at the top of the mountain is being forcibly taken from them. So what do they do? They over-react to everything (see: 2009 Red Sox, 2008, 2009 Patriots). They're afraid that every little slip up is the beginning of the end. Can you blame them? All of my family back home is having a collective heart attack about the Red Sox and Patriots right now. They just assumed that Brady and Belichick would last forever, or that Ortiz and Manny would last forever. Now Manny is gone and Ortiz is washed up, Brady is past his prime and Belichick may or may not be losing his marbles.

In his basketball book, Simmons made the comparison to flying first-class. Fans of crappy teams don't know what it's like to be where Boston fans were from '01-'08, just like average folk don't know what it's like to sit in first class. But imagine what it would be like to sit in first class for 7 years, then get stuck back in coach. The entire time you'd be thinking "wow, this sucks," not "well, at least I sat in first-class for 7 years." It's human nature. Once you reach the top, you don't want to give it up. Only, like I said, it isn't up to the fans to decide when their team stops being good. So they counter-act that by overreacting to everything, so that when their team eventually DOES fall, they can say they saw it coming. It's like a defense mechanism.

So, as a Patriots fan, I agree with Bill. This team is NOT a Super Bowl contender with the way their defense is playing. They might turn it around over the next 4 weeks, but I doubt it. Boston fans will have to adjust to a world where the Yankees and Colts are the best teams and the Red Sox and Patriots have to play second fiddle. And they aren't happy about it. And they have a right not to be.

P.S. My apologies for the length of this reply. I probably should just write a book.

FJ said...

surfed on in today looking for an unrelated article. i'm a long time simmons fan but always use it as more "junk" sportswriting to pass the day, and because he used to be a lot better as just another homer writing for digital city boston in the old AOL days. anyway just wanted to say that i've read a few of your articles - two on simmons, one on king - and love what you're doing with dissecting the writing and picking it apart. good work! you have a new fan.