On A Wing And A Prayer The NFL Season Opens Up To The Usual Hype
I cannot deny that the opening game of the NFL ____ season prove to be something of a disappointment but it was to expected as is so often the case when one has two teams that met in a championship game. The New Orleans Saints as NFL Superbowl champions hosted the Minnesota Vikings at the New Orleans Superdome in front of 70,000 ravenous fans eager to make their hometown heroes welcome. So much so that the fans themselves don’t seem to have come down from the euphoria of seeing the team coached by Sean Payton come down from their historic win. ‘The Who Dat Boys’ and their fans and the residents of the Crescent City are still riding high and will do so for the remainder of the season .
The re-emergence of Brett Favre to lead the Vikings wasn’t at all unexpected, given the fact that the offseason for the player in recent years has resembled something of a complete circus act of which he seems to orchestrate and play all of the pivotal roles imaginable. From ringmaster to circus clown and high wire act . And yet the fans first are force fed this garbage all for the sake of the player’s ego and immaturity. In the midst of it all the Vikings’ organization come across looking like a bunch of bumbling oafs. Now should the team be able to parlay this all into a Superbowl win at the culmination of their regular season then all will be forgotten. On the other hand should it all peter out into another meltdown of monumental proportions then blame will be apportioned not only upon Favre’s shoulders but also upon the coach Brad Childress. And there’s every reason to believe that should that scenario arise ,then Childress will be politely given his marching orders along with a number of players on this team who the front office will deem expendable.
Slide-show for your perusal .
MVP Superbowl winner Drew Brees now seen as the city’s chosen son doesn’t seem to have skipped a heartbeat and as the vocal and spiritual leader of this team a great deal is expected of him and his teammates this upcoming season. And as difficult as we know it is to defend as Superbowl champions nothing less is expected of the team from their fans. It remains to be seen whether or not the Saints can join the New England Patriots as the most recent team to successfully defend a Superbowl. But this much we do know if they’re to beaten then they’re now the target with a bulls-eye on their back and all the remaining 31 teams in the NFL are taking aim to knock them off their pedestal.
From my own perspective I fully expect the Saints to have a successful regular season but as pointed out earlier to repeat as champions is such a difficult task and it takes a great team and a good deal of luck to so. If there are to be any serious challengers looking to usurp the Saints particularly within the NFC then look at such teams as the Vikings , Green Bay Packers , __ New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys , particularly if Tony Romo has got his head screwed on straight and Wade Phillips doesn’t feel the wrath of owner Jerry Jones’ anger. I would also include amongst those teams within the NFC the Atlanta Falcons whose steady progression under Matt Ryan seems to coming to fruition. But a great deal will come down to Ryan’s play and that of the decisions made by the coaching staff led by Mike Smith as the team’s coach.
In the AFC there appears to the feeling the Baltimore Ravens are a team that everyone should be looking at with a great deal of trepidation. John Harbaugh seems to have all the tools in place to make last season’s improbable run all the more of a certainty that his team this around they could make it all the way to Cowboys Stadium this upcoming February. However the Patriots alongside the Indianapolis Colts ___ San Diego Chargers , Cincinnati Bengals and quite possibly a reinvigorated Oakland Raiders team will be looking to upset the apple cart. And even if the teams mentioned aren’t within the mix at some time in the season then look for others to quite possibly to step up to the plate. As and when that might happen will be all down to how those teams react to their ongoing situations.
I’m not about to procrastinate and make big announcements about who I see making it to the game’s showcase event as more often than not the regular season indicator tends to stymie what we tend to see arise once the postseason comes around . But this much is certain teams that’ve hit a rich vein of form in the runup to the playoffs and who are without injuries tend to parlay it all into a successful run , as was the case with New Orleans Saints this past season. That to me is more of an indicator than anything else and that of the pundits making their picks only to back down once they’re upended for whatever reason. And while a great deal of focus will be upon the Saints and in particular Favre and his comeback let’s not forget about the teams who are in the midst of some major changes for one reason or another.
I’m not about to suggest that the ongoing situation between Mike Shanahan and Redskins’ defensive player Albert Haynesworth has become a farce. But clearly this organization under the charge of Daniel Snyder forever finds ways of keeping itself in the public spotlight and that of the nation’s papers far more than any politician up on Capitol Hill. Haynesworth and Shanahan are proving to be out as communicative in their exchanges as the Democrats and Republicans are in both legislative chambers of Congress. So much so that if either ex President Jimmy Carter were called into mediate, he in the end would more likely than not say to them both “fu_k it I’m out of here “! The two have been at each others’ throats like two pitbulls n a cage fighting . And speaking of pitbulls , can anyone actually imagine Michael Vick actually having a productive season with the Philadelphia Eagles this year even if his role is as a backup to Kevin Kolb ? Vick is clearly past his prime and what might be even more disturbing is the very fact that Andy Reid chose to retain the player on the roster. That situation could very well come to an end this season should the team not fare well at all under the coach’s regime. But it’d appear the owner Jeff Lurie still has implicit faith in Reid’s skills as a coach.
For Commissioner Roger Goodell this season will prove to be a fateful one as he embarks on trying to stave off a labor dispute with the NFLPA (union) . In an uncapped season and ith so much at stake it’s understandable to see why a successful agreement has to be reached as a labor stoppage and lockout would have serious ramifications not only for the league but also for the game itself. There’s no chance of replacement players being called in to embark upon a season wherein the fans would feel betrayed and at the same time tens of millions of dollars would be at stake. But clearly both Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith are playing cat and mouse ? while trying to give the appearance that the situation isn’t as grave as we all know it to be. It’s somewhat asinine to see multi-millionaire owners and players trying to plead poverty when their industry is a $7 billion a year business enterprise and they seemingly each want a bigger slice of that pie. But yet they expect the fans and public alike to understand their situation ? Isn’t that akin to a thief trying to explain to his victim that he’ll be unable to return the victim’s belongings because somehow along the way he seems to have lost it somewhere ? When in truth we know that he was able to profit from his crime and was able to garner himself fruitfully of his labors .
The league has now become a sham and the owners and players are equally at fault.They no longer live in the world of reality and for them greed is the principle that matters. You get the feeling that because each party can seemingly do as they wish because in the end it is usually the fans that tend to end up paying the price. And clearly it has now come down to a situation where the fans will ultimately have to make the choice as to whether or not they can go on supporting the NFL without getting anything tangible in return. If anything the fans may well look elsewhere for their entertainment and discretionary spending. The economic climate at present makes it so and is liable to do so for the foreseeable future.
Picture gallery for your perusal.
What thoughts if any do you have on the upcoming season ? And how do you see your teams panning out through the season ? With the possibility of a labor stoppage on the horizon do you think that Goodell and the NFLPA will come to an amicable agreement that will be equitable for all ? Or do you somehow see there being a prolonged stoppage that will have serious ramifications for the league for an indeterminate period ? Chime on with a comment as you deem fit .
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Actress and dancer Elise Neal . Giddy up now . You need to be this “high” to be a rider on this particular ride !
R Kelly ……..” Ignition”