September 9, 2008
Back again today with the same cast. Evan, Ahad, and Matt join me for a look at the topics on our mind from the first week of the NFL season.
Evan: I enjoyed seeing the Eagles score. I would have enjoyed it more had I been able to watch the game.
Ahad: Who would have thought that Greg Lewis would have 100 yards receiving? The true question is, are the Rams really this bad? My biggest concern is now we have to hear how great the fans think the Eagles are and how the Super Bowl is ours to lose. Letâ€™s keep everything in perspective.
Matt: I didn’t get to see any of the Eagles game (had to put up with the lame Seahawks effort), but they looked impressive from the highlights and stats. If your statement is true about the fans, let’s temper their enthusiasm until they pass their true litmus test next Monday night. I felt that the Cowboys were just as impressive against a better Cleveland team.
Mike: Itâ€™s too early to put too much on one game. I expect some huge swings the first few weeks. Last year the Cowboys won big in the first matchup but in the second game the Eagles shut down the Cowboys O in Dallas. So I would not be shocked by what looks like a dominating effort by the Cowboys at home. I would say expect the Eagles to win Week 17, but that game might not matter for one or both teams. I think it will be close, I’m just saying I wouldn’t be shocked if the Cowboys got out quickly.
Brady & the Pats
Evan: Really glad I didn’t get pinned with Brady in fantasy. I think Buffalo wins the AFC East and the Jets win the wild card.
Ahad: Do the Patriots bring in Daunte Cullpepper? That would make for an interesting story.
Matt: I did get pinned with Brady in fantasy, and I have been scrambling today for a new QB (although I do already have Favre). Looks like Culpepper retired a few days too soon. In addition, I heard some people talk about how as an NFL fan, you should feel bad or upset about the loss of Brady. Quite frankly, I could care less (aside from the state of my fantasy team). Sure, it is not going to be the same in the AFC without Brady. Perhaps, whoever comes out of the AFC or AFC East for that matter will require an asterisk denoting sans Brady. But the Patriots got what was coming to them. Their luck and good fortunate, in my opinion, had to come to an end.
Mike: Brady isnâ€™t the whole team. Moss and Welker didnâ€™t get hurt. We have no idea what to expect out of Cassel, but he has been on the team for the past three seasons. While heâ€™s gotten little playing time, he knows the system. Brady wasnâ€™t expected to do anything when Bledsoe went down. One other point: I donâ€™t see how anyone calls that a cheap hit. Belichick doesnâ€™t want people to like him does he? When asked if it was a cheap hit all he said was that his players are told to hit above the knee.
Adding Games to the Season/Shortening the Pre-Season
Mike: Peter King says there should not be extra games because it would lead to too many more injuries. No extra games because of too many injuries?? Why not shorten the season back to 14 games if that is a concern? What kind of reasoning is that? How about this â€¦ try and figure out why so many people are getting injured and then figure out how to protect them. If the QB has to come out in some sort of Pillow Suit, so be it. The owners arenâ€™t thinking about the injuries. Itâ€™s the revenue. If they add two games to the season they can buy new limbs for the extra 4 guys on their team that will get hurt.
Evan:Â I am in favor of adding a couple of more games to the season for two reasons:
1) The Super Bowl can be pushed back a couple of weeks to the 3rd Sunday in Feb, that way the the Monday after the Super Bowl will be President’s Day, which most people have off of work.
2) It shortens the break between when football ends and baseball begins
Ahad: I am in favor of shortening the preseason. Most of your starters donâ€™t play in the last preseason game anyway. I understand that the preseason is used to evaluate your depth (rookies, free agents, veterans that havenâ€™t played much), but that can still be accomplished with fewer preseason games. Another factor into this is the cost.Â It is my understanding that preseason games cost just much as the regular season. I may be wrong, it happens very once in awhile.
Matt: I expressed my opinion on this one yesterday. To follow up on what Ahad said, I have read that the preseason games cost no different than the regular season. It is an issue because most fans pay to see their team’s star players, and that often doesn’t happen in the preseason. So not as many fans are attending the preseason games anymore, so that equals less revenue. Adding more regular season games would counter their losses. Anyways, my vote would be for maintaining the regular season as is, and shortening the preseason by a game or two.
Gene Upshaw Patch
Mike:Could it be any larger? As Kornheiser said last night, he made the players a ton of money. So while I may not know enough about him, the players are in favor of honoring him the entire season. Patches are getting out of hand. The Rams had two on their jerseys (the other was for their former owner). If there arenâ€™t any limits set on this teams are going to wind up not wanting to offend anyone and everyone will get a patch. If all patches are only worn for one game I think that makes it special for that one day.
Evan: Patches?Â We don’t need no stinkin’ patches.Â Seriously, 1 game, 1 patch, then end it.
Ahad: Patches should be worn for one game only.Â Isnâ€™t the giant logo on the field enough?
Matt: Just for my own clarification, the patches were intended to only be worn this past weekend, correct? And the logo stays on the fields all season? A question I have is how is it decided to put a patch on a jersey or a number on a helmet? I would have thought that the helmet is a team only thing, but I recall last year everyone had the #21 for Sean Taylor on the back of their helmets.
Update (9/9): According to this on nfl.com the patches will be on the jerseys for the entire season and the field logo was only for Week 1. -Mike
Mike: The Eagles/Rams game was lucky enough to have Siragusa as the sideline reporter. Not a good start to any season. Next week the Eagles are on MNF, but if they wind up winning a few that might mean more Buck/Aikman coverage. There really is no winning as an NFC team. Are things better on CBS?
Ahad: Goose is brutal.Â I put him on the same level as the Sarge on the Phillies broadcasts. You think he could have something insightful to say, but then he opens his mouth and it is all over. Did anyone see him after the promo for the new show â€œHole in the wallâ€ or whatever it is called? Watching him try and contort his body to match that tape outline was ridiculous. That is 30 seconds of life I will never have back.
Matt: I would take Siragusa on the sideline over a game covered by Andre Ware and/or Pam Ward anyday.
MNF Score Bug
Mike: Iâ€™m very particular when it comes to my score bugs. It seems so simple but every channel tries too hard and it winds up taking away from the game. Last year, MNFâ€™s was simple. Just the needed facts at the bottom, in the center of the screen. This year they decided to just cover up the bottom 20% of the screen with solid colors. The sides of this strip are never used. So itâ€™s just blocking the screen for no particular reason.
Evan: The score bug has no effect on me. I know Mike has always gotten his panties in a twist over the score bug, but I never pay attention to it.
Ahad: I understand where Mike is coming from. He sprung for the big HDTV and wants to get the most bang for his buck. I notice it, but it doesnâ€™t bother me as much. I care more about announcers than the score bug.
Matt: I didn’t really notice it myself. I will have to pay more attention this weekend. It has never really been an issue with me.
Aaron Rodgers Lambeau Leap
Mike: Weak effort. The crowd didnâ€™t seem to be clamoring for it, although that may have been from the sound I heard during the broadcast. When he jumped, he barely got up into the crowd. This should be his focus in practice this week.
Evan: I thought it was appropriate. If he didn’t do it after his first TD, the question would be when he would do it.Â He would then have to come up with some kind of rationale as to why he decided to do the Leap after that particular TD as opposed to any of his previous ones. It’s about setting a precedent.
Ahad: I didnâ€™t see it. From what I hear it was sub-par. If you are going to be the leader of your team, it applies to every aspect of the team. Time for him to step it up.
Matt: I was more impressed with the ferocity with which he spiked the ball. I felt that it was also appropriate, a sort of proper vindication for him. I do feel the Lambeau Leap is more appropriate for longer touchdowns though. It kind of seemed awkward after a half yard QB sneak.
Matt: Under some of the rules, couldn’t the Lambeau Leap be considered excessive celebration? TO was flagged for briefly touching his knee to the ground during his ‘sprinter’ celebration. What about when a player drops to his knee in prayer following a touchdown? I need some clarification!