Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh yeah. Football. 

In an effort to get more excited about the upcoming football season, I think I'll try talking about it a little. Or at least touching upon my teams. I mean, at this rate, American football doesn't have a chance at rivaling my interest in the English Premier League. We'll see what happens when games get underway. I'm sure there'll be an uptick. College ball starts this weekend, the NFL in nine days. We'll proceed in that order:

College. Bear Down, sons of bitches! Lots of tantalizing matchups this weekend (FSU v Miami, Notre Dame v Georgia Tech, Cal v Tennessee, etc). Personally, (even though I'll be at a wedding and likely miss it) I'm most looking forward to BYU vs Arizona. Yeah, it's because I'm a Wildcat alum, but also because this is supposedly the year that Mike Stoops gets the program to turn a corner. I want to believe that last year's blowout upset victory over UCLA was a sign of things to come. I doubt the Cats will be as ferocious as that, this season, but a finish in the top half of the Pac 10 (which would make them bowl eligible) is within our grasp. Pac 10 will be tough this year and hopefully Arizona will be partially responsible for that. USC is a national contender, obviously, but you've also got a very strong Cal team, as well as stiff challengers in Oregon and UCLA. Keep an eye on Washington State, too. The Cougars could surprise a lot of people this season. They open at Auburn.

Pros. The Raiders are unbeaten in the preseason. While everyone knows that the preseason counts for absolutely zero, it's been a good omen through the years if a team goes undefeated in exhibition (it usually means that the playoffs are in their immediate future) and with the AFC West looking pretty open this year, at least to me, who knows what could happen? That being said, this is probably still a 6-8 win team. There are still holes galore, as well as inexperience, on defense. Most troubling news yesterday: we signed freaking Jeff George. Excuse me while I slit my wrists. As of right now, today, Aaron Brooks is the best QB on the roster and, yes, he is a definite improvement over Kerry Collins. He's not the man for the job in the long term, but as a stop-gap, Brooks fits. Andrew Walter is the future (I hope) and ideally (only "ideally" if we're 2-12 in a few months) will be playing regularly by season's end. Tui, if anyone, is the guy who just hasn't worked out since we drafted him. The improvement just isn't there. I freaking hate Jeff George and have half a mind to fly up to Oakland and murder Al Davis myself if it'll mean the Raiders don't look like the asshole of the NFL. But if George was signed to give anyone competition, it's Tui. Hopefully, though, this is just a test-run and George doesn't make the final roster. Unfortunately, I've been hearing today that George is being brought in because Walter is battling tendinitis in his shoulder and elbow and they aren't sure how healthy he is going to be going into the season. Well damn it all to hell! Jeff George hasn't thrown a football in five years and he's a locker-room cancer. WTF?! Anyway... looks like a pretty tricky schedule this year. Start the season on Monday night against San Diego (gotta like primetime) and in late October, I believe, we've got back-to-back games against Seattle and Pittsburgh (you know, the two teams who made the Superbowl last year). Talk about scheduling quirks...

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