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NFL Preview #3 – The Teams You Need to Know  Share

 31 Aug 2010

The third installment of the NFL preview series brings us to talk about a few teams.  Next week, I’ll get into my Super Bowl picks.  This week, I’ll talk about some teams that will be in the news, regardless of, or because of, how they perform.  Some of the 32 teams in the league are as exciting as re-runs of The View.  Others can’t help but bring excitement every week. 
New Orleans Saints
The Saints are first up because they won the Super Bowl last year. Star players include quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush.  The Saints have a pretty good team and are on most analysts’ short list to go to the Super Bowl this season.  Their victory was especially poignant because it symbolized the comeback of the city from Hurricane Katrina.  Although much of New Orleans is far from recovered, it gave the city something to be proud of in the face of so much disaster.  The year after the hurricane hit, there was serious talk of the Saints moving out of the city to San Antonio or Los Angeles.  That talk has ended and the Saints are going to stay put.  Saints fans love to shout “Who Dat?” playing off of the typical southern Louisiana accent.  Others remember the early 80s where fans wore paper bags over their heads with the “Aints” written on the bags in embarrassment of their team.  This year – they’ll be a top tier team and everybody will watch to see if they can make it back to the Super Bowl.
New York Jets
The Jets are in the news mostly because they are featured on an HBO series called Hard Knocks, a show about the Jets during the off-season.  In the show, cameras are given unprecedented access to players and facilities during the off-season.  It’s the perfect combo for Americans:  football and reality TV.  The Jets are coached by Rex Ryan who is known for squeezing more f-bombs in a sentence than Joe Pesci and Samuel L. Jackson in a Tarantino monologue.  The Jets also spent big bucks in the off-season to get some big time players like linebacker Jason Taylor and running back LaDainian Tomlinson.  What will be most interesting about the team this year is how many times Coach Ryan has to be bleeped out on after game interviews.

Indianapolis Colts
The Colts lost the Super Bowl last year to the Saints.  They have been a stellar team for several years now and their quarterback, Peyton Manning, is often considered the best quarterback in the league.  Most coaches describe him as a coach on the field.  He has an unmatched grasp of the game and how to call plays on each down.  His brain coupled with his God given talent will get him in the Hall of Fame.  He’s got genetics on his side as well.  His father, Archie Manning, was a successful quarterback for 10 seasons and his brother, Eli, is currently the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.  As long as the Colts have Peyton as their quarterback, they are a dangerous team and could very well make it back to the Super Bowl again this year.


Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are always in the news.  In recent years, they have been a competitive team, but just can’t get to the Super Bowl.  Their owner, Jerry Jones, is constantly up in the coach’s chili and it drives everybody crazy.  Last year, Dallas started play in a new stadium, jokingly nicknamed “Jerry’s House.”  The world’s largest domed stadium has been called the 8th wonder of the world, with a 60-yard long HDTV that stretches down the middle of the field between the 20-yard lines.  The stadium boasts a hole in the roof (just like the old stadium) so that, “God can watch his team,” or so Dallas fans boast.  They also nicknamed their team “America’s Team,” which makes just about every fan of every other team throw up in their own mouth.  Time is ticking on their current coach, Wade Phillips.  If he doesn’t deliver this year, he’ll likely be looking for a job in December.  Its also important to mention two of their best players, quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Miles Austin.  A couple years back when Romo was dating Jessica Simpson, he was frequently distracted during big games by her presence (or so the excuse goes that Cowboys fans use – this was during Jessica’s Dukes of Hazzard days, not the jeans pulled up to her shoulders phase).  Miles Austin is now dating Kim Kardashian, and one could imagine how she could get distracting.  If Austin can keep his mind on catching the ball and off the post game festivities, he’ll go a long ways to helping the team win some games.
Detroit Lions
Bottom line:  they suck.  In the 2008 season, they didn’t win a single game.  They only won 2 games last year and have lost 20 straight away from Detroit.  Fans aren’t really going to games.  In 5 of the last 6 home games in 2008, the games were “blacked out.”  Blacking out is what the NFL does to try to ensure that fans go to the games rather than watching them on TV.  Essentially, if a home game isn’t sold out within 72 hours of kick-off, it can’t be broadcast on local TV.  You’re screwed unless you have NFL Sunday Ticket, a service that allows viewers to watch every NFL game every Sunday.  In the past several years, the Lions have blown their draft picks on big name wide receivers that have turned out to be flops.  Recently, they picked up a quality quarterback in Matthew Stafford and a wide receiver that is performing named Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.  Things are looking better because of some new coaches and players that seem to be turning the team around.  We have seen promise in this team before, but only time will tell and Lions fans aren’t holding their breath.  You shouldn’t either.
One Liner:  “Maybe the Lions should just move to the CFL.” Referring to how bad the Detroit Lions are, suggesting that they should be in the much inferior Canadian Football League (CFL).

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