Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sunday night is the new Monday night 

I say that because, with the new NFL season only a couple hours away, the new broadcast booth for the ESPN Monday Night telecasts includes Tony Kornheiser and Joe Theisman. Why don't I just stab myself in the ear? Sunday night, conversely, has Al Michaels. He is, of course, the best.

Not so much about football, now, and more about the tragic death of the Crocodile Hunter. I suppose there isn't much left to say about it other than, "damn." The way in which I found out was pretty novel, though. It may very well stand out as one of those "you remember where you were when it happened" situations. Out at a bar on Sunday night, this pretty well-put-together girl -- total stranger -- pulls me aside and gasps, "Look at what my friend just texted me!" She shoves the display on her phone in my face and, sure enough, it's Steve Irwin's obit. 44 years-old, killed by a sting ray. I was shocked and caught completely off-guard. We grieved together for about two seconds before she scampered off with friends to a photo booth. Bizarre.

I know it's coming up, but please, I beg all of you, give the bashing of 9/11 a rest. Yes, it's the 5-year anniversary on Monday. Yes, we're reminded of it on a pretty regular basis. Yes, it is sensationalized more and more with each passing year by the networks. But please just accept it. That day will live on forever. I don't see how getting upset at the attention it'll receive from network news helps at all. Unless you're just happier that way.

Another reason why the NFL has it in spades over college football: Cal and Miami -- two strong programs with big expectations this season -- are already out of the picture for the national championship. There has been exactly one game played. Additionally, the loser of Ohio State v Texas this Saturday (the second game of the season) -- the top two teams in the country according to the polls -- will also have pretty much nothing left to play for. And no, just because the Gator Bowl or whatever is played on New Year's Day, does not mean that it matters. At all.

Futbol. I watched some yesterday. Went to Ye Olde King's Head Pub (love it there) to catch the European qualifiers. England struggled to overcome Macedonia 1-0. Nightmare start for the World Champion Italians. Held to a draw on Saturday by little Lithuania, then getting romped 3-1 to the hated French.

Tonight, I predict, will involve some sort of drinking.

Two For The Money is not a particularly interesting film, no matter how much Al Pacino Pacinoes it. But I've got nothing against it, even if it doesn't end up being about one protagonist, but rather the addiction of gambling. Also, I want to gamble more on football. I know, that was not the point of the movie. I don't care too much.

Right, so the NFL. Crapshoot this season, I'd say. Starting with week one (the biggest football gambling crap shoot of them all), it's tough to predict this year if any team(s) truly stand out from the rest. Parity could be at an all-time high this season. It's debatable whether or not that is necessarily a good thing. Week one. Crapshoot. Every year. Why not pick Oakland at home on Monday night against a seemingly superior San Diego team? Philip Rivers is a virtual rookie and Tomlinson didn't play a down all of preseason. Who say Seattle is going to continue the Superbowl-runners up jinx? They've got Detroit on Sunday! Carolina may not have Steve Smith and they can probably still take Atlanta. Baltimore's new (iffy) offense on the road against Tampa Bay's D? Why not? Everyone likes Dallas with Terrell Owens, this year, but I'll take the Jaguars at home, thank you. I'm also going with New England, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Arizona, KC, Denver, New Orleans (here comes Reggie Bush!) Minnesota, Eli in the "Manning Bowl" over Peyton, and in tonight's game, Miami upsets the defending Superbowl champs who will be without Big Ben Motorcycle and Hines Ward.

Here's how I see it all unfolding:

AFC East
1. New England x
2. Miami x
3. Buffalo
4. NY Jets

AFC North
1. Pittsburgh x
2. Baltimore x
3. Cincy
4. Cleveland

AFC South
1. Indy x
2. Jacksonville
3. Tennessee
4. Houston

AFC West
1. Kansas City x
2. San Diego
3. Oakland
4. Denver (call me crazy, but I've got a hunch the Raiders finish ahead of Denver. Don't know why or how.)

AFC Championship: New England over Pittsburgh

NFC East (best division this season)
1. NY Giants x
2. Philadelphia (yup, they're back) x
3. Dallas
4. Washington

NFC North (worst division in football)
1. Minnesota (you'd be surprised what no Mike Tice can do for a team) x
2. Chicago
3. Green Bay
4. Detroit

NFC South
1. Carolina x
2. Atlanta x
3. Tampa Bay
4. N'Orleans

NFC West
1. Seattle x
2. Arizona
3. St. Louis
4. San Francisco

NFC Championship: Carolina over New York

Superbowl: (like 2003) New England over Carolina

Neil Young says, "Keep on rocking in the free world." Sounds good.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?