Posted on: November 3, 2009 7:39 pm

AFC vs. NFC 2009

In recent years the AFC has been noticeably superior to its NFC counterparts.


While the American Football Conference hasn’t come close to achieving the level of dominance that the NFC enjoyed throughout the eighties and better part of the nineties (15 out of 16 titles), they have certainly put together their own impressive streak that started with the John Elway led Broncos in the late nineties (AFC teams are 9-3 during that span).


Has this recent trend of AFC superiority carried over to this season?


So far this season the NFC has held it’s own.  And for the first time in several years the NFC has several teams that could be considered favorites if they make it to the big game.


Before I studied the numbers I was of the opinion that the NFC might actually be superior this season.  While the numbers don’t support this theory, they do show that the NFC has pulled even with its rival conference.


At roughly the midway point of the season the AFC and NFC have played themselves to a 16-16 tie.


The NFC holds nine teams with winning records while the AFC has eight.


The big difference between this year and recent years is that the AFC’s best teams don’t appear to be decidedly better than the leading NFC teams.


The AFC still has the traditional powers in Indy, Pittsburg, and New England.  But of the three only the Colts have looked great at 7-0.  The Steelers and Patriots still look very good, but at 5-2 both clubs have shown signs of vulnerability.


Denver may be the surprise team of the conference at 6-1.  But I don’t know many people who would view them as dominant.


In the NFC, New Orleans and Minnesota have been very impressive.  The two are a combined 14-1 and both have the swagger of a legitimate title contender.


The NFC East also has three very good teams in New York, Dallas, and Philadelphia.  These three all have their faults, but easily fall into the same category as Pittsburg and New England.


If you break down the records of winning teams in inter-conference play the AFC has a slight advantage.  Among winning teams the AFC is 12-3 against the NFC, while the NFC is 15-7. 


The NFL season has a long way to go, and the AFC could still regain their recent dominance over the NFC.


But if this season continues the way it has gone so far this could be one of the most evenly matched Super Bowls in a while.


Heck, the NFC might even be favored this year.

Posted on: October 30, 2009 9:37 pm

Are words stronger than actions? NFL thinks so

Professional sports organizations are without a doubt the most blatantly homophobic organizations (with the exception of the Republican Party).

Yet after repeatedly abusing women and publicly humiliating his coach it is Johnson's homophobic remarks that have caused him to be suspended by the NFL and publicly villified.

Don't get me wrong.  Johnson is a punk.  But if I were to make a list of his public screw ups starting with the most serious and detrimental to the football community, assaulting a woman comes first, followed by publicly insulting your coach.  Gay slurs would rank a distant third.

Homophobic remarks are not right, but I am looking at this situation from a pro football perspective.  As far as I can tell, the NFL is not high on GLAAD's list of empathetic organizations.  Let's not forget that no pro football player has ever played as an open homosexual.  Players are scared enough to wait until after retirement to come out of the closet.

Maybe this was just the straw that broke the camel's back.  Johnson certainly has run out of chances.  But if three seperate arrests for assaulting women didn't get him banned I didn't think that spouting a gay slur on a twitter account would be the NFL's breaking point.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 29, 2009 8:06 pm

Banned in D.C.: No Signs Allowed!

Apparently sticks and stones do break bones but words will hurt Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato just as badly.


Word came down from Redskin management yesterday that fans will no longer be allowed to bring signs or placards into Fed Ex Field.


The timing of this announcement sends a clear message to everyone that The Redskins owner is well aware of fan sentiment.  But instead of making positive changes to improve his team he has decided to subscribe to the philosophy that if you don’t see it and can’t read it then it doesn’t really exist.


This is an unprecedented move of cowardice from an owner who is making decisions with his heart in a league that has its success when emotions are left at the door.


Many teams have had poor management and poor performances in this league for a lot longer than the Redskins.


Detroit set the standard for mismanagement during the Matt Millen era.  But did Millen ever stoop to banning fan signs?  Of course not.  In many cases during his tenure an original sign was the only Detroit highlight that was played on Sportcenter.


What’s next?  Will fans be removed from the stadium for wearing bags on their heads with the eyes cut out?


Snyder and Cerrato must grow a thicker skin and realize the reality of the NFL’s appeal.  Fans attend games for entertainment.


If the team is not providing that entertainment the fans must find new reasons to attend games.  Whether a sign or a costume hurts a player or owner’s feelings or not it is fun for the fans.  It lets them vent their frustration in a non violent way and gives them a reason to go to a game that they know will likely end in an embarrassing Redskins loss.


This move may make Snyder feel better on game day, but it is only hurting his much maligned reputation.  No good will come of this!


Daniel Snyder needs to man up and solve this problem instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist.


Instead of coming down on the fans, Snyder needs to come to terms with why the fans are disgruntled and take measures to regain their enthusiasm.


I know that this will be hard to accomplish this season.  But until changes can effectively be made the ownership needs to accept fan reaction for what it is: a desperate attempt from a loyal fan base to display its displeasure.


I guarantee that if Snyder can build a team next year that plays hard, shows some skill, and wins at least 7 or 8 games the signs will disappear without having to ban them.

Posted on: October 27, 2009 3:15 am

Skins fan = battered wife

Whenever I used to see an episode of Oprah or Dr. Phil and they had on battered wives who would not leave their abusive husbands I felt little pity for them.


I used to think that they were partially responsible for staying in this abusive situation.  I vowed that I would never allow myself to stay in a relationship that caused me daily emotional pain.


Recently I have gradually woken up to the reality that I am just as guilty as these battered spouses by continuing my daily relationship with the Washington Redskins.


The parallels are eerily similar.


Both the abused spouse and the abused fan put up with the current situation by remembering the wonderful things that made us fall in love with them in the first place.


Doug Williams.  John Riggins.  Counter- trey.  The Posse.  Darryl Green.  Joe Gibbs.


These are wonderful memories.  But the reality has been terrible for the majority of my adult life.


Every off-season I wait in anticipation that this year it will be different.  Every week I am hurt by the disgraceful performance of my favorite team.  Yet it is my fault for putting myself through this abuse.


Many of us football fans have grown up loving one team.  We stick with them through many trials and tribulations.  We scoff at those people who can switch teams according to their level of success.  We even have a derisive name for these people.


Fair weather fans.


But maybe these people are the emotionally mature fans.  They stay in a relationship with a team when everything is good and get out of it when things go bad.  They seem to enjoy football, and I have never seen these fans scream at a TV or break something out of frustration.


I have never missed watching a Redskin game in my life.  Until today.


I had been invited to watch the game with several friends at a local bar.  I knew what would happen, but I made plans to go anyway.


Three hours before kickoff I came down with an upset stomach.  As I lay on the couch I started to think rationally.


If I go watch this game I will get upset.  I will keep my daughter up past her bedtime.  My stomach ache will get worse and I will regret watching the game.


I had finally had enough.  I didn’t go and watch the game.  And for the first time in ages I didn’t get nervous or angry over a Redskin game.  I felt good.


I did check on the game online a few times.  I thought (like a battered spouse) that the team might respond positively if I wasn’t there to support their pathetic behavior.


The score was 17-7.  I was impressed that the Skins actually scored a touchdown in the first half, so I followed a series online.


The Redskins stifled the Eagles and forced them into a three and out.  I started to get excited.  I thought that if they can put together a drive before half they will be in good shape.


The very next play Randle-El muffed the punt return and the Eagles recovered on the 23 yard line.  I went to a different website.


I returned late in the third quarter.  The Redskins were down 27-10, but they had just forced the Eagles to punt.  The punt was shanked and the Skins got the ball on the Eagles’ 32 yard line.


On the first play Portis ran four yards to the 28.  I thought that at the very least they could get three points.  On second down Campbell threw an incomplete pass.  On third down he was sacked for an 8 yard loss, putting them out of field goal range.


I felt like the wife who had given her husband one last chance.


Overall though, I felt much better than if I had actually watched the game.  My only sadness occurred when I read that Chris Cooley was hurt and would miss the rest of the season.


I would like to say that this experience has taught me a valuable lesson, and I won’t put myself back into a no win relationship.


But now that I understand how similar I am to a battered wife I know that despite my best intentions I may return to be abused by this team again.


I just wish that someone ran a battered fan shelter.  Then I could feel safe along with other fans who love the Browns, Bills, Bucs, Chiefs and Lions.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 20, 2009 12:43 am

Prisco should give 0's in his weekly grades

When I was in school I didn't like to do homework.  I always scored A's on in class tests and assignments, but those zero's for not doing homework really wrecked my GPA.

In most schools you can do your work in Clingon dialect or make patterns with your scantron sheets and end up with an F that at least will give you a 50%.

If you don't even attempt to do the work you get a zero, which can turn an A average into a C- very quickly.

If Prisco is going to grade these games according to true academic standards he should award zeros.  Certainly Washington and Tennessee deserved zeros this week.  Giving these teams an F curves the grading scale and really isn't fair to teams like the Eagles, who tried hard but failed miserably.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 19, 2009 12:39 am


In case you missed the title of this article let me state it again: Pa-Thetic.


The Washington Redskins proved today beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have an offense that can not play on an NFL level by losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 14-6.


That’s the Chiefs that hadn’t won a game in nine previous attempts.


That’s the Chiefs that came into this game with the worst defensive unit in the entire NFL statistically.


That’s the Chiefs that lost AT HOME to JaMarcus Russell and the Oakland Raiders.


That’s the Chiefs that made Kevin Kolb look like Donovan McNabb.


That’s the Chiefs that made Miles Austin look like Jerry Rice.


That’s the Chiefs that were the last team to have the ineptitude to lose to the Detroit Lions (that is, until, you know, the Redskins lost to them this year).


That’s the Chiefs that……………well, you get the picture.


I am going through such pains to remind people who this team that the Redskins lost to actually is because their defense didn’t look like Kansas City today.  They looked like an all star team comprised of players from the ’85 Bears and the 2000 Ravens.


Please don’t be angry Chief fans.  I am just stating facts.  I will not write the pathetic line that I have heard over and over from the Redskin locker room that we lost to a team that we should have beaten.


That is a lie and a cop out.  The truth is that the Chiefs deserved to win that game and at this point are a better team.  The Chiefs dominated the Washington offense and deserved to win the game.


Read what I have written carefully.  It is the truth.  The Redskins’ current offensive lineup is not capable of exposing the worst defense in the league.


The sad thing is that a very good defense is going to waste in Washington.  I truly believe that the Washington defensive unit could take at least ten teams in this league to the Super Bowl.  Any team that could score 20 points on a regular basis would win 12-14 games with this defense.


Word came down after the game today that Jim Zorn has been relieved of his play calling duties.  While I am glad that some form of reprimand was carried out somewhere on this team I have little faith that it will make a difference.


At this point there are too many areas to point fingers at.  The Head Coach is probably the right place to start, but anyone who thinks that the problems end there is delusional.


I really considered going down the entire Redskins organization from the owner, personnel, coaching staff, roster to the practice squad and listing who I would get rid of and why.


I still may at some point this year, but for now let me state the obvious.


The season is over and the time to rebuild the offense is upon us.


Yes we are 2-4.  Yes we have a long season in front of us.  Yes miracles do happen every day on the lifetime network.


Get real people.  This offensive unit peaked in 2005, had a slight rebound in 2007, and had a total meltdown in 2008.  This unit is not one piece away.  Its best players are entering the twilight of their career.  Two of them may already never play again in Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas.


If this team wants to do anything productive to build towards future success it will go young and bench the veterans.  Who cares if it looks ugly?  How much worse could this offense do than six points against the Chiefs?


If Colt Brennan hadn’t been put on IR and Chase Daniels hadn’t left I would say go with one of them.  As it is we might as well play Campbell, because Todd Collins is not the future and proved today that he has lost so much mobility and arm strength that he can’t physically make 35% of the plays that most QB’s are required to make.


The O-line is already playing the young guys due to injury, so not much change will happen there.


Santana Moss is one of my favorite players.  But he is getting older and is not a part of a successful future for this team.  Bench him and Randle-El and play the young guys.  At least then they can be evaluated and we can see if they should be part of this rebuilding phase or not.


Chris Cooley is still young and can be a part of this team’s future.  Keep him in.  But also give Fred Davis a chance to show what he can do (besides fumble).


Clinton Portis has been the heart and soul of this team for six years.  This isn’t really his fault.  He is still the best option the Redskins have.  But he is getting older and will not be around long enough to endure a two-three year overhaul.


Therefore, he must sit down next to Ladell Betts and let Marcus Mason and Aldridge show if they should be considered as part of the future of this franchise. 


As far as Rock Cartwright is concerned, I would release him tomorrow.  He will never be a vital player and his on field strutting and off field comments are not needed in any way.  The Skins should cut him so that they don’t have to keep releasing Renaldo Wynn every week to make room for a substitute punter.


I know it hurts, but Redskin fans have to look at this situation objectively.


Will a coaching change during this season turn this team around?


Are Portis, Moss, Randle-El, Collins, Betts, Samuels, Thomas, and Cartwright players that are young enough to endure a rebuilding process or good enough to change the direction of this season.


The answer of course is no.


The season is lost.  It’s evaluation time.  Let’s find out who has a future and who doesn’t.


P.S.-If I were Dan Snyder and I really loved the Redskins I would sell the team immediately and try to buy a rival franchise.  With one move he could help the Redskins and destroy a rival team at the same time.  Jerry Jones seems to be doing that already in Dallas, so Snyder should focus on acquiring either the Giants or the Eagles.

Posted on: October 17, 2009 1:44 pm

Is a change of style needed at UNC?

This may be the year that we can see how good of a coach Roy is.

The best coaches mold their strategies to fit the strengths of their players.  All of Roy's previous teams have had high motor guards who can push the tempo and the depth to stay fresh in a run and gun style.

While this UNC team is still very deep there is a noticeable lack of depth and experience when it comes to ball handling.

The decision Roy must make early in the season is whether he would be better served to stay with his current style or slow his tempo up to help minimize ball handling issues and maximize the huge advantage his front court has over virtually every other school.

A switch in philosophy would limit exposing the weaknesses of the guards.  But it could be a detriment on the defensive end of the floor.  Having a slower tempo means relying more on sound defense.  If the defense isn't good it will give teams more opportunities to stay in the game and have a chance to win at the end.

Roy needs to study this team very thoroughly in his early practices.  If the guards are progressing slowly and the defense looks sharp then he may want to seriously consider slowing his game pacing.  If the young guards are quick studies or their defense is suspect it may make more sense to keep running and gunning and hope that they learn with experience.

Only time will tell which philosophy will work better.  I just hope that Roy stays open minded and remains willing to make adjustments to give this UNC team the best chance of cutting down the nets next April.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: September 29, 2009 9:55 pm

Redskin fans must be realistic

Every fan in Redskin nation had every right to want every coach and player fired, the team sold, relocated, and renamed, and FedEx Field burned to the ground last Sunday.

But now that we have had a chance to cool off a little let's honestly look at our choices.

No interim coach has ever made a deep playoff run in the NFL.  I'm not sure if any have even made the playoffs (let me know if one has).

On the opposite note, there have been many coaches that have lost two out of their first three games and went on to turn their season around and win a Superbowl.  The most recent example is Tom Coughlin and the Giants two years ago.  He was just as ridiculed and despised by Giants fans early in that season as Zorn is this year by Redskins fans.

Now he has a key to the city.

I'm not saying that Zorn is likely to turn this team around, I'm just reminding people of the reality of the Redskins' situation.  If you are going to fire someone you better have a better person waiting to replace him.

Firing Zorn would effectively kill the season.  Let's not be too hasty.  After the next three weeks we will all see if Zorn should be fired or not.  Until then keep your expectations low but hold on to what is left of your optimism.
Category: NFL
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