Ladies, I expect that based on my last article, you have done your homework, picked your favorite players and learned some of the NFL lingo this season. But in case you haven’t become a football junkie yet, let’s do a mid-season recap and see what’s happening around the league. Take the time to revel in the intense competition, surprises and disappointments and amazing match ups that make up November in the NFL.
Have you seen the commercial for NFL Network where the formerly geeky girl/guy slowly learns the game and is suddenly talking like a commentator, screaming about great plays before running smack into Clay Matthews or Drew Brees? Well this is what I dream about for you, my football friends…keep learning, keep watching and soon you will blossom into the queen of the water cooler or office pool. In the meantime, here are the hot mid-season topics that you can touch upon during your next deep and serious conversation with the football fan in your life…
Even Steven – Holy COW is the NFL amazing this year! You see, people, the secret to the success of the NFL is a little word called parity. Or perhaps you’ve heard it explained as “on any given Sunday, any given team can beat any other team.” So, ok, now it’s Sunday and Monday and Thursday (thank you Lord!) but this is holding true this season big time.
Out of the 32 NFL teams, only 13 have a winning record so far, and the jury is completely out on who has the inside line to the playoffs. If you are an Atlanta or Houston fan, you are probably sitting pretty for a January berth. Everyone else is on the edge of our seats, as it should be.
Referee-k-out!! – Unless you live under a rock, you know that replacement refs caused a big kerfuffle early in the season, starting with a few questionable judgments and culminating with a blown call that cost the Green Bay Packers a game against Seattle. And based on the outcry, you would have thought thousands of innocent fans had been brutally tortured at that game. Seriously, people…it’s football. Is this really a front page story or something that needs to take up Today Show time that should be devoted to building your trendy Fall wardrobe for less? The good news, is, the labor dispute ended and most fans are back to just hating the real refs.
New Kids On The Block - Rookies are owning the day this year, from RGIII, the cool Redskins QB with the cooler name who can scramble and score to #1 draft pick Andrew Luck, who has a winning record despite his young supporting cast. So many rookies are having a tremendous year, but why is this so shocking? The main reason is that the speed and complexity of the NFL game usually takes players a few years to adjust to. So does this year represent a paradigm shift or an outlier? Use those exact terms to debate the issue with your dad…he will marvel that he has raised a gal with smarts and sports savvy.
Where There’s Smoke, They're Fired - Now is the time of year where we guess which coaches are on the hot seat. It’s a brutal game, knowing that just a few losses could mean the end for head coaches and all of their minions. If you ask me, it’s unfair how quickly coaches are asked to turn around struggling teams, put in new systems and develop young players. Fans are hungry for immediate success these days and often it’s the coach who becomes the fall guy. Norv Turner, Ron Rivera, Romeo Crennel, it was probably nice knowing ya and we hope you find a nice cushy coordinator job somewhere next season.
Comeback Kids– Football is a game of redemption, and we are love seeing our favorite players battle back from injury or personal problems to get to top form.
Chicago’s defense has been much maligned the last few years, but so far this season, they’re playing insanely, on pace to score almost as many touchdowns as their offense. I knew when Brian Urlacher broke up with Jenny McCarthy that he would be laser-focused on knocking around opponents rather than just, um…knockers.
And Peyton Manning is back in a big way, with his mammoth-sized head and ‘aww shucks’ attitude making the Broncos one of the AFC favorites. If you don’t believe this is a game driven by elite players, look no further than the Broncos and their strong play against a very tough schedule so far this season.
On to the important stuff – Which players are looking finest on the field this year? Victor Cruz and his sexy end-zone salsa dance should make the league drop their excessive celebration penalty and encourage a free-for-all bump and grind. Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu are both USC alums, but their strongest bond is the Adonis-like hair they sport. It flows from under their helmet like a stream of caramel and chocolate joy. It gives them their strength. If I were their opponent, I would sneak into their room at night and chop it off. And Tony Gonzalez, in the last year of his brilliant career, still has the best dimples in football.
So there you have it. What other reasons do you need to fall in love with American’s greatest sport? Hop your booty onto the couch, crack open a beer (or, ok, a glass of Pinot Grigio) and drink it all in. The playoffs will be here before you know it!