30 September 2008

For the curious...

and long time followers...shots of the new kitchen (sorry about the odd arrangement, but Blogger's not great on images).

29 September 2008

2008 Week 4 Recap

Eagles at Bears, Sunday, September 28, 2008

In attendance: Shoegal, Chef Spouse, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, and Steelers Transplant

Menu: Chef Spouse's magic guacamole (that seems to have a lost a little of its magical powers), a boatload of Yuengling (thanks to Shoegal), my homemade brownies, and Steelers Transplant's famous slow-smoked, authentically Texan bbq (ribs, pulled pork, homemade sauces, awesome beans, and potato salad). And Ex-Navy Cheesehead brought crudites, because someone has to make sure we get some veg!

Stud of the Week: Omar Gaither, who picked off Kyle Orton in the endzone, keeping the game at least in reach, mid-way through the 3rd. I also have to give a game ball to Buck, for reasons I'll elaborate below.

3:32 to go, down by 4, we need to come up with a big stop, and fast, in order to get the ball back in time to have ANY chance of winning this thing, 2 timeouts left (plus the 2 minute warning)...Wait! I know this tune! It's called: The Philadelphia Eagles Shuffle. As in, we'll be shuffling off the field in defeat in about 15 minutes thanks to our inability to get a defensive stop when we REALLY need one and thanks to our (complete lack of a) two-minute drill.

Of course, that wouldn't have been necessary had we managed to punch it in on 4th-and-inches a few seconds earlier. Here's the thing: it looked to me, at least from the aerial view they showed ONCE, like the ball broke the plane. And the zebra who was on the action side of the play LOOKED TO THE ZEBRA WHOSE VIEW WAS BLOCKED BY THE PILE FOR THE CALL. Isn't the second chapter in Coaching the NFL for Dummies entitled: If You Go For It On 4th And Inches And You Don't Get It, Challenge The Spot? (followed by chapter 3, "Unless Something Really Obvious Happens, Like Your Running Back Gets Dropped In The Backfield," and chapter 4, "And Even Then, You Might Want To Challenge Anyway, Because You Never Know What They Might See On Replay"?) Why did Big Red not challenge? WHY?

Scrapple was calling for the QB sneak on that play, and I'm feelin' him, I really am, but I think the Eagles are trying to, you know, actually get DMac through an entire season for the first time since...2003? It's been awhile. QB sneak? Not part of that game plan.

Who knew Kyle Orton was the answer all this time?

So what else did we learn last night?

Yes, West36 really is THAT critical.

Buck can totally step it up when asked, which probably means we should RUN THE FOOTBALL MORE. He may not be BWest, but he's pretty damn good. And a stud. He got NAILED in the lower back stopping the TD on the McNabb/Jackson miscue early in the 3rd, went to the locker room, and CAME BACK. That's hard core.

The defense needs to show up for the ENTIRE game. If we weren't down by 7 at the half...sure, the offense wasn't able to do much with all the takeaways in the second half, but against Chicago, that's to be expected. They've never won games on the strength of their amazing offense. Dear Defense: Yes, it's important to be fresh at the end of the game. That does not mean you should take off the the entire first half. That is all.

DeSean's great, but he's also a ROOKIE. Which means he's going to make some mistakes, like the muffed punt and running the wrong route, from time to time (no, JMad, McNabb did not throw an errant pass there. EVERYONE, including people in China who don't even WATCH American rules football, knows that Peanut ran the wrong route. Are you an idiot?). And he'll have flashes of brilliance, like most of the rest of his play so far this year. He's going to have to learn to shrug off the mistakes, though, and keep going. And hopefully he will, because he's ridonkulously talented.

Akers is not the kicker he once was. Is it age? Kicker weirdness? Never really getting over that hammie injury in 2005? Cutting Koy broke his heart? I do not know, but I do know that the young kickers these days are reliable at 50 yards. On the up side, he's still a badass. How many other kickers do YOU know who will save the TD by hitting Devin Hester so hard their helmets fly off?

Bad field conditions don't help. How many of our guys ended up on their asses for no particular reason? My friend, Fellow Eagles Maniac, and I were madly texting throughout the game. She observed that our guys were obviously wearing the wrong cleats. So it didn't occur to them to change shoes at the half?

Neither does bad officiating. I realize I may not be 100% up on all the subtlties of NFL rule changes, but doesn't a personal foul for roughing the kicker still trump some bogus 5 yard illegal formation penalty? How did Orton avoid intentional grounding in the 3rd quarter when he was in the pocket and rifled the ball at the feet of his linemen well behind the line of scrimmage? And I'm sorry, but in a game like this one, with two hard-charging defenses, when both offenses have trouble moving the ball, "little" missed calls like that can have a BIG effect.

Ultimately, though, I do think IgglesBlog has it in one: it's not time to panic. Yet.

It's not like we lost to, oh, I don't know, THE CHIEFS or anything.

Speaking of, around the rest of the NFL....

Chiefs over Broncos. "Broncos are headed for the Super Bowl!" Um, no.

Redskins over Cowboys. REDSKINS OVER COWBOYS! It's never a 100% bad day when the Cowboys lose. Also, the Skins are hardcore in the 4th quarter. Which worries me for next week. Also, do you hear that? It's the sound of Captain ME! selling out his team. You know what's amazing? It took over 2 years. Yes, I've been waiting for this since the 2006 offseason. Somehow, I think fragile little Tonyboy is not going to handle this well. HA! Lets see Jerry Jones try to buy his way out of this one.

Bills over Rams. And Scott Linehan is gone. Big shock. Not really. The Rams' fans (or what remains of them anyway) have been calling for this since, um, last season. And they're WAY more forgiving than Phily fans, who call for AR's head after every loss. Also, the Bills are looking like The Team in the AFC East, now that the mighty Pats have fallen. Which makes me happy every day.

Chargers over Raiders. Speaking of another coach who's likely to be out of a job any minute now. The amazing thing is that the Raiders were actually leading at the half. Yeah, Kiffin's out. If not today, then soon.

Titans over Vikings. No one is in a hurry to see Vince Young back. I'm guessing he can take his sweet time rehabbing his knee and his ego.

Bucs over Packers. Hmmm. Maybe the Buccaneers are the real thing. Maybe the Packers really did need Vicodin Boy (OK, maybe not). ARodg got hurt and the Bucs are hanging tough this year. NFC South is looking, well, almost as good as NFC East. Almost.

Jets over Cards. Speaking of Vicodin Boy, everyone's all, "More TDs than Broadway Joe! OOOOO!!!" Um, the Jets let the CARDINALS score 35 POINTS. Not that impressive, despite the win.

Saints over 49ers. Well, duh.

Jags over Texans. Barely. AFC South is a tough division, too. Right now, it's the Titans' to lose, but we are only a month into the season. On a serious note, our thoughts go out to Richard Collier and his family at this very difficult time.

Browns over Bengals. THE SUCK! IT BURNS!

Panthers over Falcons. OK, Matt Ryan can look at hot at home against pushover teams. The Panthers, on the other hand, are the real deal. Told ya!

Well, dinner's ready (risotto and broccoli), and the Steelers/Ravens game is about to start. I love football season!

Personal Note

Happy Birthday, You-Two-Calm-Down-or-I'm-Turning-Off-the-TV Dad! Too bad our Iggles couldn't swing a win for you....

25 September 2008

2008 Week 4 Picks

Eagles/Bears: Whew! I sure am looking forward to October, when our schedule gets a little easier. Who would've thought a Bears team captained by Kyle Orton would seem like an obstacle? But there you have it - the resurgent Bears look pretty good this year. If we have Westy and they don't have Hester, it's in the bag. The reverse? A little more dicey. I believe we're about the enter the portion of the season known as, "Brian Westbrook, who was a game time decision, didn't practice once all week and then TORE UP on the field Sunday." In other words, another normal season for the Eagles. McNabb is apparently still sore, too, but plans to play. Because, you know, he plays with a broken ankle. Or a sports hernia. Or a barely healed ACL tear. Unlike some Peyton Mannings I could name who look like shit now that they've actually had to deal with an injury in their careers.

Chef Spouse was heard to wonder why on earth, given last year, the Eagles/Bears matchup would've merited the Sunday Night Football spot. Who knows, but now it's looking like genius.

We've shown that we can stand up to a hot offense. We've shown that we can put points up on a tough defense. Sav Rocca's turning out to be a REALLY good bet. Even if Hester's back, Sav might be able to handle him. And if our O gets our game on, there won't be punts anyway. And Akers will just kick through the end zone.

Do you feel that, Eagles fans? It's called hope. Which is dangerous. Particularly in Philly sports (I write, as the Phillies have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Mets going into the final series of the regular season). But I think our boys will be able to stay focused, not least because they need to keep pace with the Cowboys and Giants. I'm thinking we win our second prime time matchup of the 2008 season, and the few doubters who remain have to admit that the Eagles are back.

Falcons/Panthers: Must win game for both teams. Despite their loss last week to the Vikings, I'm picking the Panthers. Steve Smith is back, and that has to mean something, right?

Browns/Bengals: Another must win game for both teams. How can it not be the Browns? I don't know, but the Bengals did almost knock off the Giants last week (who, I think, are a much weaker team than their 3-0 record would indicate). Both of these teams are desperate for a win, and man, have the Browns been a disappointment so far. Look for a Browns win, or a major team overhaul.

Texans/Jaguars: You know, the Texans are not a bad team this year. Much like the Redskins, they're just suffering from playing in a tough division. Put them somewhere else, like either conference's West division, and it would be a COMPLETELY different story. Jags.

Broncos/Chiefs: This is going to be ugly. The real question is: will the Broncos score 40 points in the first quarter? The other big question is: how long will Mike Shanahan go before he takes Jay Cutler out in favor of...Patrick Ramsey (had to look that up). Broncos.

49ers/Saints: The Saints need to get their season back on track. Fortunately, that should be pretty easy to do against the 49ers. Saints.

Cardinals/Jets: The Cardinals have been looking OK so far this year. Hell, they're on top of the NFC West. And Vicodin Boy rolled his ankle losing to the Chargers on Monday and might not play, leaving the Jets with...Kellen Clemens. (Really? Kellen Clemens? Oy.) Yep, Jets.

Packers/Buccaneers: This should be a good game. My gut says Bucs, so...Bucs. But ARodg could pull this one out. It will be harder without Al Harris. What is with the spleen problems? First Chris Simms, now Al. Feel better soon, man!

Vikings/Titans: Titans. Bet Jeff Fox is in NO hurry to get Mr. Whiny Pants back.

Chargers/Raiders: The Chargers extend their winning streak to 2!

Bills/Rams: The Bills extend theirs to 4!

Skins/Cowboys: As much as I would love to see someone beat the Cowboys, it ain't gonna be this week. Sigh. Cowboys. But good luck, Skins! PLEASE prove me wrong!

Ravens/Steelers: MNF, baby, and this is going to be a GOOD game. I think the Steelers rebound from their loss to us and pull this one out, but it's not going to be an easy win. Make sure you tune in to Chicks Talkin' Trash before the game.

Byes: Colts, Pats, Dolphins, Giants, Lions, and Seahawks.

Sunday Schedule September 28, 2008

For my local peeps:

Game schedule for Sunday, September 28 will be:

1 pm - Probably Falcons/Panthers, but I'm willing to entertain requests.
4 pm - Skins/Cowboys all the way. Go Skins! Cause I love two teams: the Eagles and whoever's playing Dallas.
8 pm - Eagles/Bears, baby!

Menu: Steelers Transplant is taking over the kitchen and will be providing us a bounty of BBQ: pulled pork, ribs, beans, homemade BBQ sauce, and potato salad. Bring something to go with (like maybe a green vegetable...? Or beer! Beer goes with everything!)

24 September 2008

Chicks Talkin' Trash

Chicks in the Huddle starts a Monday night Internet radio call in show THIS COMING MONDAY, September 29, at 6:30 pm EDT. Yes, the Snark will be participating. More info (including the call in number - 718.305.6491) is available at the Chicks site, or you can click on the image above to go right there.

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ESPN Week 4 Power Rankings Are Out...

And we're #3! (And ranked ahead of three 3-0 teams.)

Who beats us out?

Only the Cowboys (grumble grumble) and the Giants (looking forward to seeing you boys in a few weeks).

Oh yeah, the NFC East rocks it out hard every day, and twice on Sundays.

22 September 2008

2008 Week 3 Recap

Eagles versus Steelers, Sunday, September 21, 2008

In attendance: Chef Spouse, Shoegal, Steelers Transplant, Tall Drink of Water Cousin, and a new addition: Limin' ABD, a good friend of mine from grad school who's just moved back to DC.

Menu: guacamole, four cheese pasta, salad, and dessert, courtesy of Shoegal, of peach pie and ice cream.

Stud of the Week: The entire Eagles defense, represented for us by Wolverine, Weapon X, Mr. B-Dawk, who may not do so well covering the speedy receivers downfield, but can still stuff the run and more importantly make QBs pay. (I was trying to find a photo of that pretty, pretty flying forced fumble and recovery he pulled late in the game on Big Ben, but no luck.)

Man, if we could get last week's offense and this week's defense playing together in the same game, we'd be unstoppable. Big Ben is going to have nightmares featuring Juqua Thomas, Trent Cole, and Omar Gaither for a long, long time. He spent more of that game on his ass than in any other position. Including standing on the sidelines. And the Steelers had 27+ minutes time of possession. Of which Big Ben spent 97.32% on his ass. This was a defensive battle on both sides, only our D was better, and, as long as D-Mac stays healthy, you CANNOT shut down our offense. Not completely, anyway.

Speaking of, D-Mac spent a significant amount of time running for his life, too. How freaked out were you when he wasn't on the field after the half? How much more freaked out were you when Kolb threw that pick about two seconds into the second half? And how weird was it to see him throw a pick? We really are spoiled, you know. And West36 messed up his right ankle - how seriously remains to be seen - trying not to stomp on a fellow Eagle. Which was nice and all, but for realz, dude: if he's not wearing #5, go ahead and step on him. Possibly a costly victory. Scrapple has a good point, though - we're now past the tough part of our early schedule and go into a slightly easier few weeks (Bears, Skins, 49ers, Bye, Falcons, and Seahawks before we see the Giants in the second week of November). Hopefully that will allow us time to get a few key players (oh, I don't know, BRIAN WESTBROOK) completely healthy before things get tough again in week 10 (after which we get the Bengals, Ravens, and Cardinals before we see the Giants again).

goeagles99 says it best, I think. I was too nervous to enjoy the game much. And unlike the Cowboys' shoot-out last week, it wasn't a thrill ride of scoring that left me loving it until the last hill. No, this was the edge-of-the-seat game where we all knew that one big mistake would be the end of it for either team. But our D totally elevated their game, particularly towards the end of the game, when it was clear they were getting tired, and JJ often makes the mistake of switching to a "prevent" defense, which never, ever works for us.

Speaking of elevating your game, how about our punter? Last year, the Sav Rocca experiment was looking like a boneheaded move. This year? Genius. Pure genius. At some point this season, Sav's gonna HAVE to be Stud of the Week. Now that he's figuring out American rules footie, he's rockin' it HARD. EVERY week. He's been helped by Quintin Demps' AWESOME special teams play, of course, which clearly means Mr. Demps will have to have his week in the sun, too.

We all noted the long hug between D-Mac and Big Ben at the end of the game. Tall Drink of Water Cuz noted: "I played a lot of sports in high school and college and I never got that close to another guy." Me: "They're not hugging. They're both about to fall down and they're propping each other up until the TV cameras move on."

Two more notes:

Reggie Brown, you're on notice. It's hit it or quit it this season. We need to see a breakout year, or he needs to go.

Did you notice that the NFC East teams combined have the best possible record at this point? Have you noticed that we're the only division in the entire NFL with 4 teams with winning records? Oh yeah. We're bad.

Finally, check Inside the Iggles for a nice highlight video.

Around the rest of the NFL....

Falcons over Chiefs. Well, duh. I believe someone recently described the Chiefs, in print, as "rancid." That's probably an insult to rancid things. Can we go 1-15? I think we can!

Bills over Raiders: My Secret Sportswriter Boyfriend puts it best: Raiders snatch ax from the jaws of victory. Also, with the Bills as their best team, I can state with some degree of confidence, that the AFC East truly sucks. Particularly without the Pats. Because....

Dolphins over Pats. DAY-UM. Maybe this was the week the wheels came off the Pats' season. Also, the Dolphins might want to look at playing Ronnie Brown at QB. He has better stats than Chad Pennington at this point.

Bucs over Bears. In OT. Sorry, Jeff. Brian Griese may have the hold on the starting job - at least for now. How long is Devin Hester out? Hopefully for at least one more week....

Vikings over Panthers. Hm. That was surprising. Apparently Gus Frerotte still has some legs. I need to see what happened. Think this game will make NFL Replay this week? Yeah, probably not.

Giants over Bengals. Barely. Um, I'm not feeling so worried about the Giants. Yeah, they've won three games. Against the Skins (barely), the Rams (uh - EVERYONE should beat the Rams), and the Bengals (barely - and EVERYONE should ALSO beat the Bengals).

Titans over Texans. Also, with the duh. AFC South is fairly surprising so far.

Skins over Cardinals. OK, the Cardinals were undefeated. But they're in the NFC West. Which is the JV division. So it doesn't count. Too bad for the Skins that they play in the NFC East. Otherwise, they might be at the top of their division. As it is, the NFC East is going to supply both the NFC wildcard team this year, and the Skins won't be one of them. You heard it here first.

Broncos over Saints. Damn. Sorry Saints. But the Broncos are putting up a crazy amount of points this year. They are some hard mo-fos to beat. Is this Jay Cutlers break-out year? Maybe....

49ers over Lions. Yuck. Can you believe the 49ers are 2-1? Like I said, NFC West.

Seahawks over Rams. Like I was saying...

Ravens over Browns. I was right (calling the Ravens). Also, I was wrong (calling the Browns to win the division. Yep, I'm giving up on them. Call it! 8:44 pm)

Jags over Colts. OK, my divisional pick is showing some life! Of course, as long as the Titans can keep Vince Young off the field, it may not matter. And what's up with the Colts this year? Anyway, at least they won a game, so they aren't dead yet.

Cowboys over Packers. Crap. The Pack did hit Romo, and the Cowboys didn't look good, and they still managed to win. The Pack shut down TO. Unfortunately, they couldn't shut down ANYONE else. Including some second-third year guy named Miles Austin I'd never heard of. And the Cowboys managed to win. And Al Harris is seriously hurt and may lose his spleen. So not a good night for the Pack.

In the meantime, end of the first quarter in Jets/Chargers, and the Chargers are up by 3. Did I mention that the Chargers HAVE to win this game to save their seaon? Yes, it's already that bad. Wouldn't it be interesting if the Super Bowl this year were Eagles/Chargers? Two teams that should've won a Super Bowl at least a few years ago? Oh - and Vicodin Boy just got picked off again, for another Chargers TD. Consecutive games and most TDs? Whatevs. Most picks? HA!...And huge Jets run back. And Jets TD. And the Jets try an on-side kick (and fail). This is shaping up to be a wild game.

19 September 2008

2008 Week 3 Picks

Keystone Bowl week!

Eagles/Steelers: I really don't have a good sense of how this game is going to go. I'm confident that our offense can put up points, even against the Steelers' stout defense. But what's our D going to do? We completely shut down the Rams, but that was the Rams. We completely did NOT shut down the Cowboys. But they have a HIGHLY ranked offense, so most teams don't have a lot of luck shutting them down. They scored more points on us than they did the Browns, but then again, we scored WAY more points on them than the Browns did.

The Steelers are 2-0. They dominated the Texans, and, while they didn't exactly dominate the Browns, the outcome of the game was never really in question. Does the old AFC/NFC rule come into play? I'm not so sure - many, myself included, think the NFC East has regained our rightful place as the toughest division in football.

I don't want to go 1-2. Not that it's the ruination of our season or anything, but I don't want to drop that far behind the rest of the NFC East pack, as at least the Giants and Skins will win this week. We'll need to bring our A game, but I suspect that's just what we're going to do. I'm calling Eagles, but that's more hope than certainty.

Chiefs/Falcons: The Falcons opener may have been luck and Lord knows they looked pretty poor against the Bucs last week. But the Chiefs lost to the Raiders. THE RAIDERS. Falcons (sorry, Herm).

Raiders/Bills: And the Raiders' streak ends at 1! (Have they had a longer winning streak than 1 in the last 10 years?) Bills.

Bucs/Bears: Griese. Orton. Not exactly the Clash of the Titans (that's below). And Devin Hester may or may not be hurt. The one thing they do have in common - other than kinda crappy QBs - is losing to the NFC South (Saints and Panthers, respectively). I don't know what that means. Probably nothing. I'm picking Bears. Unless Hester's out. Then it's anyone's guess.

Panthers/Vikings: My NFC North pick is not getting off to a good start, and it's not going to get any better for them this week, Gus Frerotte or no Gus Frerotte. Gus is going to become the new Vinny Testaverde, ifBrett Favre doesn't beat him to it. But I digress. Panthers.

Dolphins/Pats: The wheels might be about to come off the Pats season, but not this week. The Dolphins don't even know where their wheels ARE. I'm not even sure they ever had any wheels. Pats.

Bengals/Giants: How do the defending champs get to play the Bengals? That just seems unfair. And by unfair, I mean mostly to us, because that gives them a leg up in the division. Damn. Giants.

Texans/Titans: Titans. Not that this will be a big clash either, but Titans.

Cardinals/Skins: Skins. Zorn's having a little trouble adjusting to his new job, but not that hard. The Cards are just not good.

Saints/Broncos: Is Ed Hochuli refereeing this game? Because if not, the Saints might manage to pull off a win. If he is, they're screwed. Saints.

Lions/49ers: Worst Game of the Week.

Rams/Seahawks: Wait! THIS is the Worst Game of the Week. Notice the common thread? Yes, it would be the NFC WEST (well, and the Lions).

Browns/Ravens: Man, are my picks letting me down. Sigh. The Ravens have had an unintentionally long rest (like the Texans and thanks to Hurricane Ike). I don't think they would've needed it, but they got it. Ryan's rookie outing may have been a fluke. We'll see about Flacco on Sunday, but I have a good feeling. Ravens.

Jaguars/Colts: Jags, if you're going to right the ship, this is the time. You go down to the Colts and go to 0-3, it might be curtains for your season. Your division is too tough. You know, it's really tough to get anywhere without a solid O-line. Which the Jags do not have. The Colts have been struggling so far, too, but I think they're about to right their season. This is what I get for trying to be clever with my picks. Colts.

Cowboys/Packers: Before the season, I would've said no way Rookie Rodgers and the Brett-bereft Packers had a chance. Now? I'm calling Packers in an upset, particularly since they're playing at Lambeau. Remember guys, if you can hit Tonyboy a few times, it will turn into a pick-a-palooza. Have fun!

Jets/Chargers: Who's more desperate at this point? I'm going with Chargers, both for the desperation and for the win.

18 September 2008

Sunday Schedule September 21, 2008

For my local peeps:

Game schedule for Sunday, September 21 will be:

1 pm game - Redskins/Cardinals and Giants/Bengals (probably also keeping an eye on Bucs/Bears and Panthers/Vikings - so I'll be switching channels like an ADD 5 year old who's off her Ritalin)
4 pm game - Eagles/Steelers - facing each other for the first time since 1997! Welcome to the Linc, Steelers.
8 pm game - Cowboys/Packers

Menu for Sunday: TBA. Need to chat with Chef Spouse...

16 September 2008

2008 Week 2 Recap

Eagles at Cowboys, Monday, September 15, 2008

In attendance: Even though it was a Monday night, we had a full house - Chef Spouse and I hosted Shoegal, Ex-Navy Cheesehead, and Steelers Transplant.

Menu: Steaks, Steerlers Transplant's killer mashed potatoes, broccoli, homemade strawberry shortcake. Shoegal contributed some very nice wines, and Ex-Navy Cheesehead brought along a great bottle of tequila we'll be enjoying all season.

Stud of the Game: My boy D-Mac, who passed Jaws on the all time TD list and had a great game (aside from the muffed handoff to West36).

OK, first of all, I'm going out on a limb: BEST. GAME. OF. THE. YEAR. I'm hoarse today, and the whole crew stayed until the game was over, at midnight ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. I don't even know how long it took me to fall asleep after.

Secondly, what Scrapple said. D-Mac looked great. D-Fense looked like ass. Is it over for Dawkins? Well, let's just say I'm glad I got Chef Spouse his Wolverine jersey for Christmas last yaer, since I'm not sure how much longer they'll be available.

The thing is, neither defense could stop the other team, right up until our last two drives, anyway. What was the most inexplicable to me, though, was JJ's defensive schemes. Why did we not pressure Tonyboy more? The few times we did he, predictably, lost it and made his usual completely dumb-ass mistakes. I believe I even saw him wiping his eyes on the sideline after the boneheaded fumble in the endzone. Just dust, I'm sure.

And what was the story with the coverage, or rather lack thereof, of Captain ME!? How do you let TO get behind you? Seriously. That should NEVER happen. Also, dear Asante Samuel: we paid you, like, twelve billion dollars. One INT? I'm expecting WAY more, buddy.

Speaking of WAY more, West36 is officially my Secret Running Back Boyfriend. Could he be any more awesome? How does someone who's like 5' 6" leap the entire pile for the TD? I do not know, but I'd even waive my "you must be this tall to ride this ride" rule for him.

One thing I was really pleased about was how clean a game we played. In case you hadn't noticed, we occasionally shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties. OK, more than occasionally. OK, most weeks. Not last night. Only 5 penalties for only 44 yards (and one of them was a BS 15 yard personal foul when the Cowboys had a major false start and Trent Cole came across and ran into Tony Curtis). The officiating was not brilliant, but, as the Chargers would attest, it could've been worse. At least the officiating errors last night didn't directly cost us the game.

Oh, and DeSean? I'm guessing you're going to have a rough week, rookie. Can you spell "hazing"? I think you can. You're the hotness, but don't let it go to your head there, homes.

One more interesting idea: is Shawn Andrews the key to the Eagles' offense (shout out to Eaglesville)? Not only did the 'Boys D get to D-Mac a lot more in the second half (after The Big Kid went out with back spasms) (and thank God Big 5 has his mobility back), we scored 30 points in the first half and only 7 in the second. That looks pretty key to me.

Also, what was the deal with that hook-and-ladder ridiculousness? Marty, that only works in high school and football movies. This is REALITY, dude. It's called send a receiver out 20 and let D-Mac get the ball to him. Hook and ladder? Give me a break, man.

Finally, the pundits are summarizing it well: the Eagles perpetual problem is staying healthy. The Cowboys perpetual problem is arrogance. And my Secret Sportswriter Boyfriend lays out why y'all should be on The Big Green Bandwagon, even after last night. We might've lost, but it's ON in the NFC East this season, baby!

Around the rest of the NFL...

Panthers over Bears - I'm sorry I missed this game, but my damn expensive Sunday Ticket Super Fan Package couldn't pull in the HD signal, so I recorded three hours of "Searching For Signal." Think it will be on NFL Replay?

Titans over Bengals - Um, duh. I could QB the Titans and they'd probably still beat the Bengals. Chad, Chad, Chad: wouldn't you like to play in Philly? C'mon, baby.

Packers over Lions - The surprising thing is that the Lions managed to hang in there for three quarters. And then the Packers scored 24 points in the final quarter, many off stupid turnovers. The Lions are pathetic. Also, they may have a little problem with focus.

Bills over Jaguars - I'm starting to regret picking the Jags for AFC South. Of course, the Bills are looking pretty decent, too. But still, Jags, the only reason I'm staying with you is the Colts look bad, too, and I don't think the Titans have it in them. Vince Young's too busy navel-gazing to play football.

Raiders over Chiefs - Whatevs. Hey, at least the Raiders won a game!

Colts over Vikings - And it's Colts, with the suck. What is wrong with Peyton? Why did I pick the Vikings to win the NFC North? Anyone? Anyone?

Giants over Rams - Yeah, well, we beat them EVEN WORSE than you did, so there!

Redskins over Saints - I know exactly what happened in this game. It was a BILLION degrees in DC Sunday, and if you look at the time of possession, you will notice that the Saints are lucky their D didn't SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST on the field in the fourth quarter.

49ers over Seahawks - Have I mentioned lately how bad the NFC West sucks? Who's QBing in San Fran these days? Who the hell is JT O'Sullivan anyway?

Bucs over Falcons - OK, maybe last week was a fluke for Matt Ryan. Hope Jeff Garcia gets to start again, but since Brian Griese won, who knows?

Cardinals over Dolphins - Y'all lost to the CARDINALS? Oh right - it's the Dolphins. Yeah, the Tuna has a lot of work to do down there. How does burning it all to the ground and salting the earth sound to you? Thursday? Thursday's good for me. I'll bring the lighter fluid.

Broncos over Chargers - Everyone is giving Ed Hochuli shit for that disastrous call at the end of the game. Well, I'm piling on, too. Bad officiating happens all the time, but rarely does it DIRECTLY and OBVIOUSLY cost a team the game. And in the post-game, Mike Shanahan was all, "bad officiating happens and you have to find a way to win anyway." Whatever, dude. Your team did NOT deserve to win that game and Eddie Guns handed you a victory. On a platter. With a side of fries. Be grateful, because it gets harder from here.

Pats over Jets - Ah, the reapperance of Bad Brett. Just in time to NOT topple the hobbled Pats. Bugger.

Steelers over Browns - That was not exactly an offensive battle razzle-dazzle game. Next Sunday is going to be interesting. I have to confess that I did actually fall asleep on the couch during the fourth quarter. Hey, the Sunday crowd (Steelers Transplant and California Football nOOb) had gone home and nothing was happening.


I hate the Cowboys.

(You do, too, otherwise you'd be reading this blog instead of Snarkin')

I hate them so much....

I hope they spill red wine on their new white couch.

I hope the dog barfs on their expensive carpets.

I hope they all get paper cuts and/or hangnails.

I hope their moms forget their birthdays.

I hope the drycleaner ruins their favorite shirts.

I hope they get there 5 minutes AFTER the meter reader.

I hope they all get flat tires on the way to work. In the rain.

I hope the grocery store is out of their favorite ice cream.

I hope somebody else gets the last popsicle.

I hope someone coming out of the theater tells them how the movie ends AFTER they've already bought their tickets.

That's all right - they won round one, we'll get 'em in December.

Week 2 recaps go up this evening...

13 September 2008

Dear TO

"Dear TO,

We've been struggling to find the words for some time now. 2 1/2 years in fact. The thing is, we just weren't right for each other. We don't want to get into assigning blame. No one wins that game. This relationship was just doomed from the start. And it's over now. And can't be repaired. You have to let it go.

I know you and Tony don't have the fun times together we shared. No Monday Night Football parties. No Madden tournaments. No bye week Meg Ryan rom-com film fests. But he seems like a nice guy, and I'm sure things are going to work out great for you there in Big D, or somewhere else. The Right One is out there for you somewhere, we're sure. You're a special, special guy, really. You'll find The One for you someday.

Wherever your future takes you, we wish you well. But you really need to get over us and move on.

the Philadelphia Eagles"

(cue the violins and Celine!)

"...Your heart will go ooooonnnnn......."

Shout out to Romance.com for the help on composing a "Dear John" letter.

12 September 2008

2008 Week 2 Picks

Eagles/Cowboys: This is going to be a bellweather game. Don't kid yourself. All the hype? Not nearly enough hype. Most of the sports bloviators are calling the NFC to go Eagles, Cowboys, or Saints. The Eagles looked smokin' hot against the Rams. But the Rams suck. Mark Bulger played like he'd taken a double hit of Xanax. The Cowboys looked good against the Browns, who I called to win the tough AFC North (in retrospect, that may have been a mistake). This game could go either way, and either way, it's going to tell us a lot about how the NFC will shake out this year. For once, the schedulers have done a great job, putting a hot game in the prime MNF timeslot. I'm calling Eagles, but I'm betting I'm going to be on the edge of my seat the whole night. This game is going to be so good, Chef Spouse is coming home early from a guys' camping weekend to see it.

Packers/Lions: Aaron Rodgers, World's Oldest Rookie, looked pretty good in his first start. Week 1 was a good week for all the rookies for that matter. And much as I like Jon Kitna, the Lions are just not good. Packers.

Giants/Rams: And the Rams go to 0-2. Giants.

Saints/Redskins: The Saints are without the services of Marques Colston, which is a problem, I'll admit. But I still think they can take the Skins. Saints.

Bills/Jaguars: If the Bills can put up an effort like they did last week, Bills. But I did call the Jags to win AFC South, which is a much tougher division. Oy. In retrospect, some of my divisional picks are already looking pretty damn stupid. Oh well, too late for that now. I guess I need to pick the Jags, but it's not easy.

Titans/Bengals: Did I mention lately that Vince Young is a big baby? And Kerry Collins sucks? And Chris Simms has been a Titan for, like, 2 seconds. Won't matter. Sorry Ocho Cinco, I'm calling the Titans.

Raiders/Chiefs: Ouch. Chiefs. Yes, the Raiders are really that bad. Still.

Colts/Vikings: Yeah, I might've been wrong in picking the Vikings to win NFC North. On the other hand, Tavaris Jackson looked pretty decent, if his receivers could just start actually, you know, catching the ball. But still, Colts. Even without Jeff Saturday and with Peyton Manning looking really damn shaky on Sunday night..

Bears/Panthers: Hmmm. This could be quite a good game. The Panthers shocked the Chargers last week, while the Bears shocked the Colts. I'm going with the Panthers, but this one could go either way.

Falcons/Buccaneers: This could also be quite a good game. Matt Ryan had a hell of a debut, but I think the Bucs will pull this one out.

49ers/Seahawks: Have I mentioned lately that the Seahawks should thank The Powers That Be (aka Roger Goodall) on their knees every day that they play in the NFC West? Seahawks.

Chargers/Broncos: Man, before the season started, I would've said Chargers no doubt. Now, I'm not so sure. On the other hand, the Broncos looked great AGAINST THE RAIDERS. Yeah, Chargers.

Patriots/Jets: Jets. Time to pay the piper.

Dolphins/Cardinals: Oy. Worst Game of the Week.

Ravens/Texans: Talk about another hot rookie! Can Joe Flacco make it two? Yes, I think he can. Ravens.

Steelers/Browns: I did call the Browns to win the division. Sigh. Did I mention that some of my divisional picks are already looking insane? I think this might be the earliest ever in a season I've thought about abandoning picks. I'm going with the Browns, but if y'all screw up again, you're dead to me.

11 September 2008

Sunday Schedule: September 14, 2008

For my local peeps:

Game schedule for Sunday, September 14, 2008 will be:

1 pm game - Saints/Skins
4 pm game - Falcons/Bucs (but I could probably be persuaded to switch to Pats/Jets pretty frequently)
8 pm game - Steelers/Browns

Menu for Sunday: Chef Spouse will be on a boys' camping weekend, and I'm planning to make lasgana and garlic bread. Bring something to go with!

10 September 2008

Vince Young...

Is a big, whiny baby.

D-Mac is not.

So you threw an interception and the fans booed? You're supposed to be an adult - and a professional. As my friend C the Lawyer Lady is fond of saying, "Put on your big girl panties and deal."

Let me quote the AP article from this morning:

Felicia Young [Vince's mommy] said in Wednesday editions of The Tennessean that her son is tired of all the negativity he's faced after being booed during a 17-10 win Sunday over Jacksonville. On Monday, Titans coach Jeff Fisher called police to help find him.

"What would you think, if you were tired of being ridiculed and persecuted and talked about and not being treated very well, what would you do? What kind of decision would you make?"

I can't even believe the ridiculousness. And people boo McNabb, who has the best TD/INT ratio in the history of the NFL. People have been booing him since he was 21 and was the Eagles top draft pick. The Times is right - we are crazy.

And Vince Young needs to grow the hell up.

09 September 2008

Just Show the Game Already!

My Secret Sportswriter Boyfriend says it way better than I could, but if, like me, you spent Monday nights last fall yelling, "Stop with the damn celebrity interviews!" at ESPN, you'll be very pleased with the new format. The anguished cries of the football viewing public have been heard. ESPN has switched over to focusing on showing the game, the Wisdom of Jaws, and keeping Tony K on a short leash. Also? No sideline reporters. And no celebrities.

'Bout damn time.

08 September 2008

2008 Week 1 Recap

Eagles v. Rams, Sunday, September 7, 2008

In attendance: Just Shoegal, Chef Spouse, and me. Ex-Navy Cheesehead was visiting his pops, Steeley McMeow moved back to Blitzburgh over the summer, and Steelers Transplant was at the Steelers/Texans game.

Menu: chips, the Famous Guac, salsa, fajitas and, of course, BEER! And shots of good bourbon to celebrate our first win of 2008 (because it is National Bourbon Heritage Month, so drink up, people!). Quote from Chef Spouse: "The new kitchen is fabulous!" Also, "I'm rooting for Aaron Rodgers." So much for my Vikings pick (and I will post some photos of the new cucina shortly).

Yes, our first win. And boy, was it pretty. I know, before we get all excited (Mr. Tiki Barber, I'm looking at you re: DeSean Jackson and Rookie of the Year), the Rams barely even resemble an actual football team. Mark Bulger didn't seem to realize that the SEASON STARTED. YESTERDAY. Yo, dude, catch up!

But I really can't even snark our team this week. They played just about perfect on all fronts. McNabb (barring something amazing in the MNF double header) threw for the most yards of any QB in week 1, taking the lead in the TD/INT ratio. And he didn't even play for most of the 4th quarter! Three Eagles receivers (Hank Baskett, DeSean Jackson, and Greg Lewis) went over 100 yards in one game for the first time since Tommy McDonald was playing. The D stopped the Rams 11 times on 3rd down. The Rams only put up 3 points, and that not until the 4th quarter. Because we, you know, felt sorry for them. The only thing that was missing was some defensive take-aways. But give Asante a little time...like 8 days.

So let's talk about Mr. Jackson for a moment. First rookie WR to start for the Eagles on opening day since Buddy Ryan. He was definitely still thinking "college ball" on the kickoff and punt returns for the first half. Of course, he was still leagues better than JR Reed. But he figured it out amazingly fast. And let's talk hands! At least two AMAZING catches where the defender had hands between DeSean's chest and the ball, and DeSean HELD ONTO BOTH. Um, Eagles receivers. Y'all have been put on notice.

But the real early season test comes next Monday night, when we face the Cowboys, who looked damn good against the Browns(who, you'll recall, I picked to win the AFC North), at Texas Stadium.

One final note on our game: it's the 2-minute warning. Kevin Kolb's been playing for most of the 4th quarter, along with the rest of the second team offense. And defense. We're still moving the ball well, and stopping the Rams effectively. We're in possession inside the Rams' 15. And we knee it out. Pure class. We already beat you like a redheaded stepchild. We're not going to rub salt in the wounds, unlike some (Belechick) teams (Patriots) I could mention. More on that later.

Around the rest of the NFL....

Giants over Redskins. The Skins looked BAD. Does Zorn realize he's HEAD COACH? He might want to, you know, pay attention or something. They were terrible. The Giants weren't much better. I've been lurking on some Giants boards, and the fans are all "oh, they were being nice because they felt bad for the Redskins, who were having a rough night." RIGHT. After the first drive - which did look good - the Giants CHOSE not to get in the end zone for the rest of the game. SURE. It was INTENTIONAL. Because they're such UPSTANDING YOUNG MEN. Sorry, not buying it. Not even it it's on sale.

Bills over Seahakws. Um, now that Rocks Brady appears to be out for the season, the AFC East is wide open. And the Bills looked pretty damn good yesterday.

Jets over Dolphins. So did the Brett Favres. Oh wait, I mean the Jets. Because there are FIFTY TWO OTHER PLAYERS, YOU KNOW. And they were playing the Dolphins. Who will not win the division. You heard it here first.

Steelers over Texans. The Texans have been the pundits' sexy pick. Hmmmm...told you so. (Shut up about the Browns, aight? It was ONE game.)

Saints over Bucs. As I called it, and as I pointed out, God owed them one. But that was a MUCH closer game than I expected. $10 says it's on NFL Replay this week. Any takers?

Falcons over Lions. DAY-UM. Look who found themselves a QB! So the Falcons problem was Mike Vick all these years. You might as well stay in jail, homes, because no one is going to want you. Also? First pass in the NFL is a TD? Crazy.

Titans over Jags. Hm. Well, the AFC South is a tough division. But the Titans lost Vince Young in the win. Then again, they might not be that upset about it.

Ravens over Bengals. Look who ELSE found themselves a QB! Also, the Bengals are in chaos. Like normal. Maybe I should only mention them when things are NOT in chaos? But then I'd never be able to talk about the Bengals and, my favorite, Chad Ocho Cinco.

Pats over Chiefs. Pyrrhic victory (look it up). Belechick: knock, knock. Who's there? Satan. And he's looking to collect. Let's see how you do with an injured starting QB. Also, let's see how well Rocks Brady is able to recover from his first major injury. Also, Super Bowl losers' curse. Also: HA! Yes, I'm a bad person. Yes, I'm probably going to hell. I DON'T CARE.

Cardinals over 49ers. Whatever. Could the NFC West suck any more? The Seahawks looked terrible against the Bills, and they'll STILL win the division.

Panthers over Chargers. Jake Delhomme is BACK, baby. Also, MY sexy pick is looking pretty damn sexy, isn't it? How you like me NOW?

Cowboys over Browns. Oy. I really don't want the Cowboys to be good this year. Or any year. With a little luck, we'll crush their dreams next week. And then again during the holidays. And Tonyboy will cry. Because that's my FAVORITE.

Bears over Colts. Also, shocker of the week. Even J.Mad. was stunned. Sure, Peyton missed the entire off-season due to injury. But losing to the Bears? To Kyle Orton? When Devin Hester wasn't really a factor? Maybe the Colts' long day in the sun is coming to an end. Or Peyton could pull it back together next week. You never know.

Vikings/Packers. I'm posting this before the end of the game (obvs.), but Aaron Rodgers is looking like vintage, um, Brett Favre. That first TD pass was vintage Favre. VINTAGE. In the bad way.

Broncos/Raiders. I could pretend that I'm going to stay up to see this, but really, I'm not. In my defense, I have to present on social networking and HR policy at a 7:30 am breakfast meeting tomorrow. But also, the Raiders suck. And the Broncos aren't much better.

Edited Monday, September 8, 2008 at 10:05 pm to add: Chef Spouse pointed out that I should add a feature: Stud of the Week. Every week, on Monday (or Tuesday) morning, I go through the snaps of the game on the Eagles web site and pick the best shot I can find of the player I think was the biggest stand out of the week, who's then featured as my desktop wallpaper for the week. Stud of Week 1: DeSean Jackson. Of course! Enjoy!

Jacked UP!

06 September 2008


05 September 2008


04 September 2008


Sunday Schedule: September 7, 2008

For my local peeps:

Game schedule for Sunday, September 7, 2008 will be:

1 pm game - Eagles/Rams
4 pm game - Cowboys/Browns
8 pm game - Bears/Colts

Menu for Sunday: Tex-Mex. Chef Spouse and I will make guacamole and fajitas. Bring something to go with!

03 September 2008


2008 Week 1 Picks

The first week of the season is tough. It's hard to make predictions, because all I have to go on is the preseason, where even if you can see the games (thanks a lot, super expensive Sunday Ticket! Where my pre-season games at, you punks?), when the first team plays, they're playing at half speed, and most of the time it's a competition between the practice squads.

But I'm still going to make predictions, because that's what I do.

Eagles/Rams: OK, we almost never win the first game of the season. 2007? Loss to the Packers. 2006? Win, but it was over the Texans. 2005? Loss to the Falcons. 2004? We beat the Giants, but we also went 13-3 and to the Super Bowl that year. 2003? Loss to the Buccaneers. In the first game in our new stadium. The first game of the season is not kind to us. But the Rams are not a good team. Eagles.

Redskins/Giants: The Giants are missing Osi and Michael and Jeremy (although I'm not really sure that last one hurts them). The Skins survived the preseason mostly unscathed. I predicted that the Giants won't repeat this year - not even a playoff appearance. Guess what? The Giants are still winning this game.

Seahawks/Bills: The best team in a bad NFC division and the third best team in a bad AFC division. Tough call. I'll go with the Seahawks, but it's a weak buy recommendation.

Texans/Steelers: The Texans have slowly been getting better, and they are hampered by playing in a strong division. But they aren't that much better. Steelers.

Bucs/Saints: Saints. I did pick them to win the division, and God owes them after this week.

Lions/Falcons: The Lions suck, but they are at least recognizably a football team. Lions. Also, the Worst Game of the Week.

Jags/Titans: This, on the other hand, is probably the best game of the week. Or at least in the top 5. I'm picking Jags, also because I picked them to win their division, but this one should be fun to watch.

Jets/Dolphins: Please, God, tell me that these two teams have gotten at least somewhat better in the off-season. At least Chad Pennington landed on his feet, and I'm guessing he'll want payback after being unceremoniously dumped in favor of Vicodin Boy. I'm calling Dolphins, in an upset pick, mostly because I don't think Brett knows the Jets offense yet and I suspect Chad's pretty pissed off at this point.

Bengals/Ravens: Injured Ocho Cinco versus complete lack of QB. Hmmmm.....this could be one low scoring game. I'll go Ravens in a nod to my many Ravens-fan friends, but this is another case where it's likely to come down to Bad versus Worse.

Chiefs/Patriots: Patriots. Even if Tom Brady doesn't play and Belechick has to QB the team himself.

Cardinals/49ers: Oy. Cardinals.

Panthers/Chargers: Chargers. But I don't think the Panthers will go down without a fight.

Cowboys/Browns: Probably Cowboys, but I'm pulling for/calling the Browns (particularly since I think they're going to win their division). Think Tonyboy will cry this early in the season, or do you think he's saving it for the playoffs?

Bears/Colts: Colts. Please.

MNF - OK, I know this is my East Coast bias showing, but Monday night double headers kill me! Some of us have to go to work in the morning!

Vikings/Packers: Vikings. But good luck, Aaron. I'm glad you're finally getting to play. As perhaps the oldest rookie QB in the history of football, but still.

Broncos/Raiders: Broncos.

Or, you could go to the experts at ESPN. Many of whom agree with me. But then again, any given game with any given expert has a 50/50 chance, so that's not really saying much.

Get your prognostications here!

The Philly sportswriters have weighed in, and as usual, show little love for the Eagles. Maybe they're just bitter because they couldn't make it in the NYC media market?

Michael Wilbon, on the other hand, has love for the Eagles, also as usual.

And My Secret Sportswriter Boyfriend is hard at work with his picks, too. So far, he's hit NFC West, AFC West, and NFC South. Takin' it down to the wire, there, King!

02 September 2008

01 September 2008

2008 Divisional Picks

I missed watching our practice squad lose to the Jets' practice squad on Thursday because, thanks to Cool Web Dude and Hottie Web Chick, I was at FedEx field watching the Redskins lose to the Jags and reflecting on the differences between Skins fans and Eagles fans. The Skins win two preseason games and their fans are all, "We're going to win the Super Bowl this year!" Eagles fans, ever alert for signs of bad luck, get nervous when we win two preseason games. AR has never cared about the preseason. Winning games can only be a harbinger of impending doom.

After their awful outing against the Panthers, New Skins head coach Jim Zorn made the first team offense play the first quarter of their final preseason game in punishment. Not that it mattered. I don't think we have much to worry about from the Skins this year. (Zorn agrees with me. He made his own season predictions in the September issue of Washingtonian and picked the Skins to lose both their games with us. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Coach!)

Anyway, it's time for my annual Post That Will Cause a Walk of Shame in January, aka my divisional picks.

AFC East: Patriots
I'm finally picking the Pats to win the East, after trying pretty much every other possible team in the past several years. Yes, I know the Pats just lost the Super Bowl and should suffer The Curse, and Rocks Brady has been on the injury list and didn't play at all in the preseason. But seriously, who else is going to win this division? The Jets, with Methuselah at QB and little else to recommend them? The Dolphins? That would be the biggest turn around in history. The Bills? Don't make me laugh. Even if the Pats do suffer the Super Bowl Losers' Curse, it shouldn't matter, because they play in the worst division in football. They could probably take the division at 8-8.

AFC North: Browns
Have I mentioned that I have a LOT of friends that are Steelers fans? And so picking against them comes at not-inconsequential personal risk? But the Browns are one of only 3 non-expansion teams that's never been to the Super Bowl, the rest of the once fearsome AFC North is, um, not so much any more (no offense, Ocho Cinco), and I just have a hunch that it's the Browns turn.

AFC South: Jaguars
Another wild pick, I know, but Peyton's also been injured for the first time in his career and with a ring in his dresser, he just doesn't seem as hungry anymore. The Jags have been solid for the last several years (2007: 11-5 2006: 8-8 2005: 12-4), and again, I think that, under Jack DelRio's leadership, this just might be their year. Although I am a little worried that, at least at the moment, they only have Cleo Lemon backing up David Garrard. That could be a mistake. Maybe they're hoping to pick up someone else now that the final roster cuts have been made? There are some decent number twos available now.

AFC West: Chargers
As long as Phillip Rivers can keep it together and LT has another hot season, this could be the year that the Chargers get over the hump and win it all. Also? Another weak division.

NFC East: Eagles
The only team I don't think we have to worry about at all is the Skins (see above), but I still think we can take the Giants, because it's really hard to repeat and I think last year's playoff run took a lot out of the team, and the Cowboys, because Tonyboy is arrogant and mentally weak, and the rest of the team takes its cues from him.

NFC North: Vikings
This pick is more about why the other teams WON'T win. The Packers have a new QB for the first time in 16 years. Aaron Rodgers could be the second coming of Dan Marino, but this is still his rookie year for all intents and purposes. And the hapless Bears still have no QB to speak of. Devin Hester can't win enough games single-handedly to get them the division. And the Lions? Don't make me laugh. The Lions are the Dolphins of the NFC North.

NFC South: Saints
Last year was an aberration. I believe. I also don't believe any of the other teams are any good. Well, OK, the Panthers aren't bad. And the Bucs did win the division last year. Of course, I can't remember the last time an NFC South team repeated as divisional winner, so they're out. And the Falcons are barely a team at this point. SI thinks they're going to win two games. I think that's really optimistic.

NFC West: Seahawks
Mostly because this is the worst division in football. The Seahawks wouldn't even be competitive in NFC East or most of the AFC. And yet they, like the Pats, win their division year after year on the strength of craptacular opponents. Unlike the Pats, though, that's pretty much the end of it for them. As it will be this year.

Tired of my dumb ideas yet? Check out what the experts have to say:
  • SI official picks: Shit, man, all I have to say is that if we face the damn Pats in the Super Bowl again, we better win this time.
  • Additional SI picks. Hey! We agree on 3 of the AFC and 3 of the NFC picks. Sorry you're going to end up being so very, very wrong SI.
  • ESPN picks. Nice chart that lines 'em all up. ESPN thinks the Super Bowl is going to come down to Chargers/Cowboys.
  • My Secret Sportswriter Boyfried King Kaufman is on vacation and won't be posting his picks until later this week.
So sports fans, what do you think? Who will we see in January this year?

Edited Tuesday, September 2 to add: Chef Spouse reminded me that I should've included my wildcard picks. AFC: Colts and Steelers (and/or Colts and Steelers win their respective divisions and the Jags and Browns are the AFC Wildcards). NFC: Cowboys and Panthers (and/or the Panthers win their division and the Saints are the other NFC Wildcard. Because there's no way the 'Boys get past us this year. No way.)