The National Football League begins its 87th season this Thursday, September 7!
There’s nothing like the NFL, where a season can begin in 90 degree weather and end with snow flying accompanied by sub-zero temperatures.
With every new NFL season comes the somewhat tedious efforts to figure out what players have gone where. Inevitably, each year starts with the quarterback carousel.
Here’s how the ride goes.
Daunte Culpepper replaced Gus Frerotte who now backs up Marc Bulger who, a few years ago, replaced Kurt Warner who now has competition from Matt Leinart who took over QB at USC upon the graduation of Carson Palmer who replaced Jon Kitna who mercifully knocked out Joey Harrington who now backs up Culpepper.
That mind-dizzying ride is enough to make one queasy.
You could also come up with a plethora of QBs who have backed up Brett Favre or dated actress Tara Reid.
But, that’s another game for another day.
Welcome to the 2006 NFL season, Week 1!!
In 2005, I didn’t start this little charade until Week 10. Including the NFL postseason, I finished with a record of 69-62-6 against the point spread.
The goal for this year is to maintain an above .500 record in ’06 for the entire 17 weeks, plus postseason.
Be advised that the following picks against the point spread are for parody purposes only.
Dolphins (+1) at Steelers: Part of Dolphins QB Daunte Culpepper’s rehab regimen from three torn knee ligaments was running in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In an attempt to get healthy from a hamstring injury, Steelers WR Hines Ward will do sprints at the local Piggly Wiggly.
Broncos (-4) at Rams: Tatum Bell, John Bell and Mike Bell. Two of those guys are Broncos running backs and one is my mailman.
Jets (+2 ½) at Titans: When I think head coaches, I think of the old crotchety guys like Bud Grant, Weeb Ewbank or Vince Lombardi. If I didn’t feel old before I certainly do now upon learning Jets head man Eric Mangini is two years my junior.
Bills (+9) at Patriots: The over/under for this game is 41. That indicates the total number of points scored by both teams for the game and the combined words uttered by bland coaches Dick Jauron and Bill Belichick.
Ravens (+3) at Buccaneers: The over/under for this game is 34. That indicates the total number of points scored by both teams for the game and combined curse words uttered by fiery coaches Brian Billick and Jon Gruden---in the first quarter!
Bengals (+2 ½) at Chiefs: Bengals WR Chris Henry has had several run-ins with the law over the past nine months. Given the fact he’s spent a fair amount of time in a prison jump suit his wardrobe transition to Cincy’s awful orange uniforms won’t be difficult.
Seahawks (-6) at Lions: The Seahawks franchise was sued by Texas A&M University last year for using the “12th Man” moniker to describe their fans. After incessant bellyaching over their Super Bowl XL loss (ironically at Ford Field, where they’ll be this weekend), Seattle is now being sued by Napa Valley for becoming the new “whine country.”
Falcons (+6) at Panthers: The Panthers have wide receivers Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson on their roster this season. There is isn’t as much trash near the Jersey turnpike as what those two guys can talk.
Eagles (-4) at Texans: Eagles QB Donovan McNabb proclaims his team a Super Bowl contender. Man, a guy goes on a hot streak on Madden 2007 and look what happens.
Saints (+3) at Browns: With an appearance this Sunday, Browns TE Kellen Winslow will be halfway to his personal best of consecutive games played----TWO!
Cowboys (+2 ½) at Jaguars: This week, Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt was cited for a parking violation. You guessed it: He was “wide right”.
Bears (-3 ½) at Packers: Packers QB Brett Favre recently said he is “99.9% sure” he will retire a Packer. You all can be 100% sure he’ll throw more interceptions than touchdowns this season.
49ers (+7 ½) at Cardinals: William Shakespeare once said “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” He must have been a 49ers fan.
Colts (-3 ½) at Giants: Here it is: The Sibling Rivalry. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will face the Giants lead by his brother, QB Eli Manning. Hopefully this game will garner more intrigue than a matchup of the kicking Gramaticas.
Vikings (+5) at Redskins: To ensure injured RB Clinton Portis will not get hurt making another tackle, the Redskins equipment guy will outfit Portis’ helmet with a single-bar face mask. That is a cue to run directly to the sidelines, away from the action.
Chargers (-3) at Raiders: After hearing the sad account of Chargers LB Steve Foley being shot, I couldn’t help but think of former Viking (and current Raiders assistant coach) Keith Millard. In the 80s, Millard (in a drunken stupor) once told arresting officers “My arms are stronger than your guns!”