Thursday, August 25, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
I had a telecon with someone from Wild Blue (an internet company) on Sunday afternoon (sorry I didn’t get his name) and out of the blue he asked what was my opinion of the Oakland Raiders. That was an easy answer since I have never picked the Raiders as a team of choice.
I immediately thought back to the days of DeGaulle in France when some correspondent asked what he thought of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and without hesitating, president DeGaulle issued his one syllable answer: “Yuk”! Not being a student of the French language I can’t say exactly what that means but somehow I don’t believe it equates to praise. For years that quote was a favorite of military compadres when they were wont to show displeasure.
After learning that the Raiders were no longer a favorite of his, I softened the blow a little by stating that they were breaking in a new coach. I don’t have a lot of wiggle room since I have yet to pick my favorite for the season (or next three). Oakland has lost both of its exhibition games, dropping the second one to San Francisco on Saturday.
Over the years I have stated that the pre-season slate of games can’t really be indelible registers for where a team will eventually win, place or show. Going into Sunday there were 11 teams who were still sporting goose eggs in the win columns. In the AFC West there was nary a one with a win. There were a half dozen teams who had not suffered a defeat. The surprise in that grouping was Houston. The Texans had finished 6-10 the year before. Joining Houston at the 6-10 station were the Vikings, Redskins, Cowboys, 49ers, Lions and the Titans. A pair of teams were at 5-11 (Arizona and Cleveland), two more at 4-12 (Broncos and Bills) and one 2-14 (Carolina).
A lot seems to be resting on the shoulders of the quarterbacks this season. The Colts are 0-2 for exhibition and Peyton Manning is still not expected to suit up before it is over. When you look at the stats in this QB’s resume, you are going to find that Manning has started almost 330 consecutive games and led the Colts to nine straight playoffs. I have to believe that he is going to find a way to start the regular season.
While he is rehabbing, brother Eli is being compared to Tom Brady by some media persons. Not in his and the Giants’ favor is the meltdown last season in game 14. They were outgunned in the fourth quarter and gave up a 21-point lead. They missed the playoffs in the tiebreaker, being stumped by guess who, the eventual champion Green Bay Packers.
You know, I have decided just this moment to defy convention and pick my new team from the one which finishes the pre-season without a loss.
Please don’t let it be Houston or New England.
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