Logic+Emotion=Best Sports Fan

There’s sports fans everywhere.  Wanna know why? Unlike real news — tragic story followed by some blood and violence — sports are lighthearted, fun, and easy to watch. But real sports fans know why sports make the news in the first place. It is news.  What our favorite teams and players do on a day-to-day basis matters to us.  With the popularity of fantasy sports increasing every year, we’re only going to care more and more about sports.

There’s a lot of sports fans out there, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably in that vast majority of people.  Which type of fan are you?

The Nonsensical Asshole

This guy’s a total prick. It doesn’t matter what the score is, where his team in the standings are, or what you have to say. His team is the best, and that’s all that f*ckin matters (bro). When his friends bring up statistics and last week’s game he merely flashes his middle fingers, says, “What the fuck do you know, bro?” then he grabs your beer and dumps it all over your head.  Every one hates this guy, but he still manages to have friends (His dad scores box tickets a lot, or he has a really nice TV set up, probably).  Unlike a lot of sports fans who don’t let their passion for their team into their everyday life, this guy reflects assholeism everywhere he goes.

  • When he orders food at McDonals, “You mother f*ckers wanna go any slower?! F*ckin’ retards.”
  • When he’s at the movies, “I”ll already bootlegged this sh*t. That bitch gets cheated on, that mother f*cker dies, then that b*tch cries about it even though that dude just got his d*ck sucked. Haha what a c*nt right?”
  • When he goes to your parents’ house for dinner, “Yo no offense, but this food f*ckin sucks.  I’ve had better sh*t from the retards at McDonalds.”

This guy sucks, and everybody — but him —knows it.  Here’s how to figure out if you’re this guy….

  • Do you consistently try to beat your friends up when they badmouth your team?
  • Does half your wardrobe boast your team’s favorite logos on it?
  • Are your favorite teams The Lakers, Cowboys, Yankees, and whoever is dominating NCAA football that season?
  • Do you often call males “pussies” and females “c*nts?”
  • Are you slightly overweight because you “Party harder than any mother f*cker you ever saw?  No seriously, bro somebody said they could out drink me one time?  Wanna know where they are?  They’re in a  f*ckin grave because they’re f*ckin dead, bro.”
  • Do you think you’re The Man?

If this is you, I really can’t help. You were born this way, and you should probably just embrace it.

The Pussy

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Any time anybody ever says anything about The Pussy’s team, he’s okay with it. He doesn’t know enough or care enough about sports to argue one way or the other, but he loves the idea of male camaraderie, so he takes the verbal abuse with an open mind and askewed glasses. Similar to The Asshole, The Pussy lets his pussyness out for everybody to take note of.  He’ll prepare snacks, order food, and always be the DD because he “just wants the fellas to have fun.” Selfless? No.  Just a stinkin pussy all the time.

  • Buying Beer, “Maybe I’ll grab a sixer of the non-alcoholic stuff.  All the perks of fitting in, with none of the throw-up afterwards! …. Is there fruity, non-alcoholic beer at this store?”
  • Watching the game, “You guys see who got voted off Dancing with the stars last night? What? It’s not gay. Emmit Smith was on that show” (The asshole actually agrees with pussy on this subject here).
  • When he makes mistakes, “You’re right, I should’ve caught the nachos when you dropped them in the kitchen despite me being in the living room. I should’ve been there for you, and been a better friend. My bad fellas.”

Are you The Pussy?  Maybe……

  • Do you pick your favorite team based on your friends’ choices or because you like their uniforms?
  • Do you always have to buy rounds and the bars and have the PPV events at your place?
  • Do you wonder about the rules in some of the sports you watch with your guys?
  • Do you ever think you and your friends “Are your own team, but your sport is having fun!”
  • Do you wish your dad cared more about sports and less about teaching you the flute?

If you’re this guy, don’t worry. Yes you should probably grow a pair of balls, but at least you’re not an asshole. You’re sensible, and that’s a plus. Try this, head down to a strip club (even if you’ve never been there; it’s a growing process), fold a $100 bill in half (hot-dog style), lean your head back, place the folded bill over your nose, and exclaim, ‘WHO’S GOING TO VACCUM THIS SUCKER UP WITH THEIR PUSSY?” The moment that stripper’s pussy graces your face, your problems will be gone and your balls will be there.

!!!! WARNING !!! DOING THIS STUNT MORE THAN TWICE IN YOUR LIFE WARRANTS THE PRECAUTION OF BECOMING THE ASSHOLE, WHO IS ETERNALLY WORSE THAN THE PUSSY.

The Front-Runner

(I don’t have any funny or relevant picture ideas for this)

There’s a real possibility this guy could be your best friend. He has some douchey tendencies, but so does everybody. It’s the imperfections that make us all perfect anyways, right? It annoys you that he doesn’t have a real team that he’s serious about, but he tends to make legit excuses as to why he’s rooting for that team; such as..

  • “Dude, he’s got dreadlocks. You know I like dreadlocks. That’s the only reason I like them as a team.”
  • “Dude, two guys on that team have dreadlocks.  You know I love dreadlocks.”
  • “#11 is sick. That was my number, that’s why I like them. (Every team has every #)”
  • “I love their new unis.”
  • “How could you not like a team who’s coach has a mustache like that? Come on dude, you probably even like them.”

This guy is the best of the bunch so far. He knows a lot about sports, he’s generally pretty funny, and he’s a realist. If the No. 1 team he’s rooting for gets upset, he’ll be the first to sulk over it (before the next poll comes out and he’s got a new favorite team).  How to tell if you’re the front-runner…

  • Do you “respect” good teams so much that you quickly become a fan?
  • You don’t have a college football team, but you  root for the SEC.
  • You don’t like the MLB because you don’t want to choose between the Yankees and Red Sox, so instead of choosing the only relevant teams, you just say, “baseball is gay.”
  • Whoever the best team in Madden is that year will be “your team” until they are no longer undefeated.
  • You own a million shirt jerseys to represent your team’s pride, but zero actual jerseys because they are too expensive for a team you’re only going to support for a week.

If you’re this guy, you’re fine.  You’re probably satisfied by your sports teams because they’re always at the top. You won’t feel the raw emotion that some sports fans get when their team succeeds, because your team always succeeds.  But just as you can’t feel as happy when they win, you’re not as sad when they lose.

One bad note about the front-runner, you’re probably going to consistently struggle with relationships throughout your life.  You’ll always be looking for something better, or who ever is at the top of the proverbial AP poll.

The Degenerate Gambler

No matter what happens to this guy’s thumbs, he’s fun to have around. Ever wonder what’s on TV? Ask this guy!  He knows every sporting event, when it’s airing, what channell its on, and how much of a “lock it is is if you’re interested.”  This guy doesn’t like to watch sports without “a little action.” He will go through some hot streaks when he’s eagerly buying everything for his friends, but also some ridiculous cold streaks when he becomes the cheapest bastard you ever met. He says things like…

  • “It’ll make the game more exciting…”
  • “Have you ever seen Southern Methodist? They score like 50 points a game!”
  • “Bro, do you have a couple of bucks.  It’s kind of serious…..”

Are you a degenerate gambler?

  • Do you spend more time looking at sports score & lines than porn?
  • Is any team that won you the most money that week your favorite team ever?
  • Have you watched the movie “Hardball” and actually wondered if you should stop soon?
  • Are you the MLB’s all-time hit leader?

The degenerate gambler is only so much fun.  When things get too serious, and he starts betting it all, it only becomes more and more fun.  True story: My buddy Josh and I were driving home from the Thousand Islands and we saw a billboard that had a guy who looked really upset with a caption that said “OH NO!  How am I going to explain to my kids that I lost their college tuition betting on sports?”

We both thought it was hilarious.  Just remember…

The Best: Logic+Emotion

I'm a lot of fun, but I can be serious when I need to

This guy’s got it all.  He’s got favorite teams in every sport, and he supports them with all his heart.  He gets genuinely upset when they lose and really excited when they win.  If his team beats yours, he’ll make jokes about it all night.  If your team beats his, he’ll sit their quietly and take it all in, but he’ll be mad as hell.  He’s probably a competitive guy by nature, but he also realizes that sports aren’t everything. He’s opinionated, but never comes on too strong.  Are you the best kind of sports fan?  Let’s see…

  • Are you willing to admit you were wrong?
  • Do you hate seeing your team’s rival win any game?
  • Do you not like a lot of toppings on your pizza?
  • Do some of your favorite sports teams have similar colors in their uniforms?
  • Does your Fantasy Football team underachieve every year, but you blame it on bad luck?

Lastly — from me — fantasy football is all luck.  That’s all I have to say.

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Braylon Edwards Apologizes to Fantasy Owners

An open letter from Braylon Edwards to all of his fantasy football owners….

“Dear ya’ll,

Let me star off with the obvious; my bad.  For real though, my bad.  I f*cked up.  I shouldn’t have driven drunk, and I shouldn’t have drank as much as I did.  I know I f*cked up.  It’s because I love to party.

ap images

"THIS BEARD IS THE SH*T THOUGH FOR REAL!"

You drafted me for your fantasy football team expecting me to produce, and that’s what I want to do for ya’ll.  I know I haven’t been that “productive,” whatever the f*ck that means, in the last few years, but lately I’ve been focusin’ on two things and two things only.  Being the first wide-receiver to catch a million balls, and grow out the meanest, dirtiest beard in the history of sport.  With the help and support from you guys, my fantasy owners, I know I can achieve these lofty goals.

I know what my status is in Fantasy football.  I had that one good year and since then I’ve been overrated.  So if I’m on your fantasy team this season, after all my sh*t, then it’s probably because I was on your team for my good season and you’ve been thinking I could do that again every year since.  Well I haven’t, and for that I’m sorry.  But that was a real good year ya’ll, like too nice of a year for me to try to replicate though.

But that’s no excuse!  Hard work is going to bring me back on top, not endless shots of tequila and bong hits in NYC (BUT I DO LOVE THIS CITY’S NIGHTLIFE YESSIR LOL!!!!!!!) But I’ll be working very hard on, and off the field, to improve my performance for every fantasy football owner out there that still believes in me.

Thank you, God bless

Braylon”

Who’s going to win the Ryder Cup?

Matt Leinart Wants Heisman from 2005

Matt Driffill

Satire

The storm is over; Reggie Bush will forfeit his 2005 Heisman Trophy.  Subsequently, the media frenzy that followed the situation has passed as well.  Vince Young, the former Texas quarterback who came in second that year in voting has said he wouldn’t accept the award just because Bush forfeited it.

“I would not want to have it,” Young said.  “Like I’ve said before, Reggie Bush is the 2005 Heisman winner.  He was the most outstanding player in college football that year, not me.  Why would I want it if I didn’t earn it?”

While Young has taken the high road on the situation, the player who came in third place thinks he’s the rightful recipient of the award.

“It just makes sense that the trophy goes to me,” said former USC quarterback Matt Leinart.  “My man Reggie got it taken from him, Vince clearly doesn’t want it.  But guess what?  I do want that fuckin thing.  Give it here.”

Leinart came in a distant third place for Heisman voting in 2005, well behind Bush (the landslide victor) and far behind Young for second place.

“I’m serious about this shit playa,” Leinart said.  ‘I will be protesting, I will be fighting, and I will be begging for that trophy.  It’s rightfully mine dog, kinda.”

Leinart had a tumultuous offseason.  After Kurt Warner retired, it appeared that Leinart was the heir apparent for the high-octane Arizona offense.  But after a slow showing at training camp, and an unsuccessful pre-season, Cardinals’ coach Ken Wisenhunt made the decision to promote backup Derek Anderson to the starting job, and he let Leinart go.

“Yeah that guy’s a piece of shit,” Leinart said of Wisenhunt.  “He was all like ‘you f*cked my daughter.  There’s no chance you start for this football team.’  And I was all like, “who’s your daughter, oh wait, is this your daughter?’  Then I pulled my phone out and showed that fool his daughter’s sugar tits.  Haha that was classic.  But then he cut me.”

Leinart signed with the Houston Texans, and is slated as Matt Schaub’s backup for an offense that could lead the league in scoring.  But regardless of what happens for Leinart in the NFL season of 2010, he still thinks there’s unfinished business about his final season at USC in 2005.

“I’m not being selfish, I’m not being conceited, I’m not being anything like that,” he said.  I just want what’s rightfully mine.  Not counting the other two guys, I was the most outstanding player in college football that season and I deserve the trophy.  Plus, if the Heisman comes home with me, I’d be the second player ever to win two Heismans!  Then people start throwing my name around when they talk about football’s all-time greats.  I’d score some major hottie ass.”

My Real Writing…

Haven’t been updating for awhile because I’ve been getting paid to write elsewhere.  Is it as fun and x-rated?  No, but it’s what I’m doing.  Through two weeks I think things have gone well and I anticipate it will only get easier.  But I’ve wasted no time trying to emulate my two favorite sports writers, DJ Gallo, and Bill Simmons.  I began writing a mailbag column, and an NFL Hangover weekly.  If I’m ever a tenth as good as they are then I’ll know I did okay.  But alas, here they are.

The Mailbag 9/15/10

NFL Hangover Week 1

Enjoy!

Aaron Rodgers vs Brett Favre: The Tale of Two Quarterbacks

One’s a legend.  The other an up-and-comer.  One’s cemented his legacy in football history.  The other is still looking to cement his legacy in his city.  One’s going to lead his team to the NFC North title, and the other isn’t.

Brett Favre vs Aaron Rodgers.  Even if it’s not being touted as a rivalry yet, it certainly is one.  Favre’s Packers drafted Rodgers with the 24th pick in the 2005 draft, and after that draft pick it was like Favre’s loyalties to Green Bay — the city that loved him, embraced him, and idolized him —  seemed to have disappeared.

Why?  Nobody knows.  Favre was aging, his numbers were down, and he was hinting at retirement year after year.  Of course the Packers needed to draft somebody. And who better than Rodgers?  Coming off of a spectacular season at Cal, it was debated that he could have gone #1 overall instead of Alex Smith (and looking back, he probably should have), so Rodgers sitting there in the Packers’ lap at No. 24 was a steal for them.  So they pulled the trigger.

It was still Favre’s team at that point.  Hell, it was more than that; Green Bay was Favre’s city.  Every 4-year old dawned his jersey, every restaurant boasted his pictures, and every Packers fan thought of him as super-human.  No quarterback has meant more to his team or city than how much Brett Favre meant to Green Bay from 1992-2007.

In 2005, Rodgers’ first year as Brett’s backup, the Packers struggled.  They finished 4-12, and Favre recorded the worst QB rating in his career with 70.9, good for 31st in the league.  After the down-year, analysts speculated that Favre would retire and move out of the way for the young QB to take over.  But Favre announced that he would return for 2006 and Rodgers would have to watch another year from the sidelines.

2006 would be Mike McCarthy’s first year as Green Bay’s head coach and he helped improve the Packers from 4-12. to 8-8.  However they failed to make the playoffs, and Favre finished the season with a career low 56% completion percentage.  Following the season there was more speculation that Favre would retire, but like every other year since, he would return.  But unlike the past two seasons, the Packers were starting to accumulate talent at every position, setting Green Bay up for what was expected to be a successful 2007.

After two down years in a row, Favre posted a great season with more than 4,100 yards passing and 28 TD’s.  More importantly, the Packers went 13-3 and advanced to the NFC Championship where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants.  Although Favre wanted to win one more Super Bowl before he called it quits, it appeared that the NFC championship game was good enough.  All the while, Rodgers was waiting patiently for his chance to prove what he could do.

On March 8th, 2008 Favre officially announced his retirement, for the first time.  But as we know all too well, he would be back.  He wanted to come back to the Packers, but it was apparent that Coach McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson ready to move on with  Aaron Rodgers as the team’s future.  Favre asked to be released so he could sign with another team, but the Packers refused.  Not because they didn’t want Favre to play, but because they knew he was interested in signing with a team in the NFC North.

Favre was bitter that the team that he loved so much had turned their back on him.  He wanted to play the Packers twice a year.  He wanted them to know that they made a mistake when they let him go.  He wanted to beat them.  He wanted everybody to see him beat them/

The Packers obviously weren’t interested in playing Favre twice a year so they traded him out of conference to the Jets.  After a respectable 2008 season in New York, Favre retired, again.  The Jets then made their move early in the NFL draft that year drafting QB Mark Sanchez, released Favre, and he was supposed to wait in the wind until his name was called for the Hall of Fame.

But this is Brett Favre we’re talking about.  He retired not because he didn’t want to play anymore, but because he wanted to play elsewhere.  In that same off-season the Chicago Bears traded for QB Jay Cutler, the Lions drafted QB Matt Stafford, and the Packers had Rodgers. Every team in the NFC North had their quarterback except the Minnesota Vikings.

So Favre got his wish.  He signed with the Vikings, a team loaded with talent everywhere but QB, and got to play the Packers twice a year.  Favre and the Vikings won the NFC North in ’09, beat the Packers twice, and had one of the best seasons of his career with over 4,200 yards and 33 TD’s.  So Favre showed the Packers who was boss. but  would fall short of his goal of winning another Super Bowl.  In the NFC Championship game, it was #4 who threw the game-losing interception.  A terrible pass across the field that was intercepted and put the Saints in position to beat them and advance to the Super Bowl.

So after one more retirement, and one more painful off-season loaded with a Favre media  frenzy, we’re back to the NFL season.  Except this could be the year when the teacher becomes the student.  This could be the season when Rodgers finally emerges out of Favre’s shadow and puts himself above him and his retirement antics.  And if the Packers win the NFC North, and Favre is forced to watch his former back-up celebrate his first division title, then it might finally be time to call it quits for the ol’ gunslinger.

Unless you are Steve Young, replacing a legend is no easy task.  Jay Fiedler couldn’t match Dan Marino’s success in Miami.  Brian Griese could only be described as a failure after John Elway in Denver.  And you could probably bet that the guy that replaces Peyton Manning down the road won’t be able to do what he did.  It’s never easy, and that’s why Rodgers’ should be applauded for his efforts on the field, and not making charades off of it.  He deserves all of the success that comes his way, and at this rate, there should be plenty of success for the young QB.

2010 NFL Preview

Everybody loves the NFL:  Everybody.  And as a writer it has become super easy & fun to write a “NFL Preview” full of hilarious jokes, bold predictions, and whole lot of bias!  Let’s get started.

AFC East

1. New York Jets (11-5)

The Jets have been the talk of the off-season after they went all the way to the conference championship last year.  After the loss, coach Rex Ryan and the Jets went out and acquired as much talent as they could; LT, Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, and Jason Taylor amongst others.  It’ll be interesting to see if the collection of superstars will create animosity in the locker room, but if you watch “Hardknocks” on HBO it appears that everybody on the roster is buying into Rex’s philosophy and it’s Super Bowl or bust for the Jets this season.

2. New England Patriots (10-6)

The Patriots aren’t considered the team-to-beat in the AFC East heading into a season for the first time in almost a decade.  But any team that is led by Tom Brady, and coached by Bill Belichick should not be counted out.  Edelman should do a suitable job filling in for Wes Welker while he rehabs from his knee surgery, and the return of Jerod Mayo, their best defensive player, should boost a Patriots defense that ranked 26th in the league last year.

3. Miami Dolphins (8-8)

In any other division, the Dolphins could win 10-12 games probably.  They do have a lot of talent and it appears that Chad Henne is ready to be “the guy.”  The offseason acquisition of playmaker WR Brandon Marshall will certainly help the young quarterback’s development, but in such a tough division the Dolphins will struggle to make the playoffs, and will likely sit around .500 by the season’s end.

4. Buffalo Bills (5-11)

The Bills, much to the displeasure of a lot of readers, are bad.  They are amongst the least talented teams to be assembled in this decade of the National Football League.  Seriously, their two best players are probably their punter and a running back who is yet to play a down in a real NFL game.  That said, expect more life out of the Bills’ offense under Chan Gailey than Dick Jauron, if that’s worth anything.

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

Baltimore’s key acquisition in the offseason was WR Anquan Boldin.  Boldin is an athletic, physical receiver that gives QB Joe Flacco a legitimate target to throw to.  If Flacco can continue to improve, and Ray Rice can reproduce his success from last season, then the Ravens are a threat to contend for the Super Bowl this year.  Some of the guys on the defensive side are aging, but that didn’t stop them from being the 3rd ranked defense in ’09, and the defense won’t disappoint in 2010 either.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)

In 2009 the Bengals went 6-0 in their division, ultimately landing them 1st place in the AFC north.  To improve their offense they signed free agent WR Terrell Owens.  TO had one of his worst seasons ever last year, only catching 47 balls, the worst since his rookie.  However a lot of the blame for his lack of production last fall can be attributed to the Bills’ dysfunctional offense.  Despite his age, 36, Owens is in remarkable shape and can feasibly catch 90+ balls for 1,200+ yards.  Cedric Benson has created a powerful rushing attack in Cincinnati, and Chad Ochocinco will ensure a lot of 1 on 1 coverages for Owens.  If QB Carson Palmer can stay healthy and productive, the Bengals should have another good year in 2010.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9)

Big Ben was able to reduce his suspension from 6 games to 4, but with Byron Leftwich expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL, unproved QB Denis Dixon will have to carry the Steelers for a quarter of the NFL season.  Coach Mike Tomlin has done a commendable job of motivating players in his short career, but in a tough division like the AFC north, the Steelers will probably miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

4. Cleveland Browns (3-13)

2010 marks the first year of the “Mike Holmgren” era in Cleveland.  Although they drafted QB Colt McCoy, he is not expected to start.  Instead, noodle-arm Jake Delhomme is expected to take the snaps when the Browns meet the Giants in week one.  It is never good when a team’s starting quarterback is Jake Delhomme.  The noodleness of his arm cannot be stressed enough.  He’s so noodly.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts (13-3) Z

Peyton Manning, arguably the best quarterback ever, ended his MVP season last year by tossing the game-losing interception in the Super Bowl.  In his commercials and interviews Manning seems like a very friendly and funny guy, and he probably is.  But he’s also hyper-competitive and prepares better than any signal caller who’s ever taken a snap.  He’s been thinking about that pick-6 that cost him his second Super Bowl ring ever since it happened, and that kind of motivation turns great players into legendary ones. Manning and the Colts will come out sharper than ever this year and won’t miss a beat until the playoffs; where they know all too well, anything can happen.

2. Houston Texans (9-7)

The Texans have still never made the playoffs since their inception in 2002, but this could be the year.  WR Andre Johnson has had 100+ catches and 1500+ yards in each of the last two seasons.  The emergence of RB Arian Foster balances out an offense that could lead the NFL in scoring.  But Houston has to be more consistent this season.  In 2009, six of their seven losses were decided by 7 points or less.  In the NFL, the real contenders always manage to win the close ones.

3. Tennessee Titans (7-9)

A Titans preview could have two impressive leads.  A) Tennessee started 0-6 last season and fought all the way back to finish 8-8; a remarkable run down the stretch.  And speaking of remarkable runs, B) RB Chris Johnson compiled 2,509 yards from scrimmage last season; a new NFL record.  After a short hold-out Johnson signed a one-year contract.  Why?  The Titans told him “You had an amazing year and we want to give you a huge contract, but we want to see you do it one more time.  One more great season and you’re rich.”  Then Chris Johnson said, “Sounds good.”  At least that’s how I envision it.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

Jaguars fans might be a little emotional when their hometown boy Tim Tebow comes into town week one.  Unfortunately, he’ll be playing for the other team.  Jacksonville is the only team in the NFL that can’t consistently sell-out their stadium (even the Bills do that), and if they drafted Tebow they could have had a marketing giant.  Instead, they drafted Tyson Alualu, a defensive tackle from California.  Unless Maurice Jones-Drew can save this franchise, they will be the first team to move if and when Los Angeles gets a team again.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (11-5)

The Chargers appear to be the class of the AFC West, again.  The departure of long-time Charger RB LaDainian Tomlinson was probably harder for the organization than the team.  LT’s numbers are down, and rookie Ryan Matthews is the heir apparent in San Diego.  Running back Darren Sproles will also get some carries off the bench as a change of pace back.

Quarterback Phillip Rivers is a top-5 fantasy guy, but much like coach Norv Turner, is yet to have post-season success.  The holdout of WR Vincent Jackson is troubling, but in a division where no other team is expected to contend, the Chargers should take the AFC West for the 5th time in a row.

2. Denver Broncos (7-9)

Coach Josh McDaniels and the Broncos exceeded expectations last season when a team with 4-12 talent went 8-8.  McDaniels continued to stress in the importance of quality character guys this offseason.  The Broncos traded disgruntled WR Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins, passed on the unanimous #1 WR in this year’s draft, Dez Bryant, because of his off-the-field issues, and Denver drafted QB Tim Tebow in the 1st round of the draft.

The selection of Tebow has officially tied the two fates of McDaniels and the former Heisman winner.  There is a three year cap for Tebow’s development, and if McDaniels can’t get him to be a productive QB in that time, then they’ll both be looked at as failures.  However, if the young coach can transform Tebow into a solid NFL quarterback, and does find success, then their legacies will be forever linked.

Lastly, the news broke today…. Elvis Dumervil will not be playing for the Broncos in 2010. =(  That hurts.

3. Oakland Raiders (5-11)

The addition of Jason Campbell will improve the offense right away.  Campbell’s not a Hall-of-Famer, but he’s probably the best Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon.  Seriously. On defense the Raiders grabbed the best linebacker of the ’10 draft with Rolando McClain.  It was kind of weird to watch Al Davis and the Raiders have a productive offseason;  football fans aren’t used to logical personnel decisions in Oakland.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)

Head coach Todd Haley enters his second season and the Chiefs are still rebuilding.  They had a decent offseason that included the acquisition of Thomas Jones, but ultimately there isn’t enough talent or depth for Kansas City to seriously contend to the division title.  They should be better than last year, but if the offensive line can’t protect QB Matt Cassell it’ll be another long year for the Chefs.  And no, that’s not a typo.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

The NFC East’s defending champs are the division’s favorite in 2010 as well.  They return almost everybody from last year’s team, except for Flozell Adams.  Adams has started a left tackle for a few years now, and now a former right tackle, Doug Free, moves over to cover Tony Romo’s blindside.  If the Cowboys can play well in December than the NFC East, the toughest division in football, will be theirs.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

Donovan McNabb is out, Kevin Kolb is in.  It’s a newer, younger Eagles team led by DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.  Philadelphia also parted ways with long-time running back Brian Westbrook who was released.  Kolb’s inexperience scares a lot of analysts into thinking the Eagles will underachieve in 2010, but in his only two career starts he threw for over 300 yards both times.  Like so many other teams in the NFL, the Eagle’s record will depend on how the quarterback plays.

3. Washington Redskins (7-9)

New coach, new quarterback, new expectations.  Mike Shanahan’s offense is productive no matter who he plugs in at any position.  He even turned Jake Plummer into a Pro-Bowler.  The former Denver coach struck gold with Donovan McNabb, who’s mobility fits Shanhan’s roll-out offense perfectly.  McNabb’s also going to have some extra motivation to succeed after being traded in-division from the Eagles after 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

4. New York Giants (7-9)

The NFC East is so tight that the Giants could end up winning the division and nobody would be surprised.  Their defense was terrible last year, allowing more than 26 points per game.  But defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are healthy and prepared to return to top-form.  The Giants upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII for two reasons.  1) Luck.  2) Great defensive pressure up front.  Tom Brady has never been hassled like he was that night and if the G-Men can get big sack numbers from their big sack getters, the Giants will be fine.

NFC North

1.  Green Bay Packers (12-4)

The Vikings-Packers chase for the NFC North will be one the most exciting story lines of the 2010 season.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are ready to take the throne from Favre and the Vikings.  The Packers’ biggest issue in ’09 was their offensive line and they addressed that when they drafted left tackle Bryan Baluga.  Rodgers is an elite quarterback, one of the top-5 in the league for sure, but he knows he has to beat Brett Favre for a division title to officially make Green Bay his town.

2. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)

Last year’s NFC North champions improved in the defensive backfield by bringing in cornerback Lito Sheppard.  But Brett Favre is one year older and playing on an ankle that had surgery on it in May.  If he can stay healthy throughout the whole season than the Vikings are a playoff team for sure and a contender for the Super Bowl.  If Tavaris Jackson is taking the snaps then Minnesota will be lucky to get the wild card.  Sidney Rice is out for at least six games and Percy Harvin is dealing with migraine issues.  Basically the Vikings are a question mark, but a question mark that could win the Super Bowl.

3. Chicago Bears (8-8)

The Bears are like a friends’ lame party.  There’s better parties in the neighborhood for sure (Vikings & Packers) but also parties that are really busted (Lions).  So you stay at your friends party.  You know when Monday comes around everybody else is going to be talking about all the great times at the great parties, but you stayed at your friends’ mediocre party and had a mediocre time.  But hey, at least you had a better time than the people who went to the Lions’ party.

4. Detroit Lions (5-11)

Laugh all you want but the Lions are making strides every year.  Rookie RB Javhid Best looks like he can be the real deal, and if Calvin Johnson can stay healthy than Matt Stafford has one of the most talented wide receivers in the league to throw to.  Maybe this is an exaggeration, or just wishful thinking for a franchise that has been shit on for too long, but maybe Stafford, Johnson, and Best could be this generation’s Aikman, Irvin, Smith.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (11-5)

So many analysts are predicting a down season for the Saints, but there’s really no reason for that.  Greg Williams is amongst the best defensive coordinators in football and Drew Brees is the best quarterback in the league.  He has that title after he outplayed Manning in the Super Bowl in February.  There’s too many weapons on offense, great defensive schemes and the best home-field advantage in the NFC.  The Saints will be fine.

2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)

Michael Turner was battling injuries for most of last season which hurt the Falcons and Matt Ryan’s development in his second year.  But if the running game can produce and Ryan makes smart decisions with the football then Atlanta will make a wild-card push.  Plus they get to play the Bucs twice a year, every team in this division is given a head start.

3. Carolina Panthers (5-11)

Matt Moore will start the season at quarterback, but rookie Jimmy Claussen could be taking the snaps by the end of the year.  Whoever’s at QB will matter little as the Panthers are the epitome of a “run-first” team.  The duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart is one of the most formidable running back tandems in the NFL.  There’s a chance both of these guys could run for over 1000 yards this season.  But as a team, the Panthers are a few years away from returning to their playoff form.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)

The Bucs are looking to keep one of the weirdest streaks in sports alive this season.  Eight years in a row, the team that finished last in the NFC South has made the playoffs the following season.  But Bucs fans shouldn’t be that hopeful.  Second year quarterback Josh Freeman will improve and Cadillac Williams is still trying to solidify himself as a productive back.  The Bucs are young, and 2010 is another rebuilding year for them.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)

This division is wide open.  Whoever ends up being crowned NFC West champion is going to be the team that pulls out 2-3 close games because no team is really that good.  The 49ers have a strong young nucleus with Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and Alex Smith.  Linebacker Patrick Willis is hands down the best defensive player in the league.  It’s not an opinion either, sorry Revis.

2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)

It’s never a good sign when Derek Anderson wins the starting quarterback spot.  As Cardinal fans will probably learn, the post-Kurt Warner era is going to be a struggle.  The departure of Anquan Boldin hurts, but second-year running back Chris “Beanie” Wells came on strong at the end of the year (averaging 4.5 ypc), and will improve an abysmal Arizona rushing attack that finished 28th in the league last year.

3. Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

Pete Carroll jumped ship from USC back to the pros when he took the Seattle job.  Maybe he wanted to just get back to the NFL, or maybe he was just trying to dodge the penalties that USC was facing.  Regardless, he’s in charge of a team that needs to rebuild.  Fortunately for Ol’ Pete, the Seahawks play in a division that Brockport could contend for.

4. St. Louis Rams (2-14)

You know why the NFC West really sucks?  I make jokes about the team predicted to come in 3rd place.  I won’t even poke fun at the Rams because I do like them.  Stephen Jackson is a work horse, coach Steve Spagnola was key in the Giants’ Super Bowl upset of the Patriots, and Sam Bradford has a surgically repaired (bionic) arm.  The Rams are a project, but at least they’re a project that hasn’t been scraped.