Thursday, December 14, 2006

Football vent

It was decided around October that this football season never happened. It's been and absolutely BRUTAL year in every regard. Seriously, nothing has made sense to me and nothing has gone right. Actually, very little in this season has made sense to ANYONE this year.

We'll start with the big: the anomalies that are just terrorizing fans everywhere. It has never been this difficult to pick winners. Usually, if you pick the favorites, you're going to get 12 of the 16 games right on the weekend. If you get lucky and pick the right upsets, you win the office pool. This year, forget it. Of the weeks I've been paying attention to such things, there have been 2 where the Underdogs have won more games than the favorites including last week where the dogs won - outright - 10 of the 16 games on the schedule. THAT'S SICK!!! You remember the scene in Back to the Future 2 where Marty buys the sports almanac in the future and intends on using it to get rich in the present? Well, all he'd have to do is wait for a weekend like this past one, and he'd clear over $50,000 EASY by risking less than $5,000 on very reasonable bets. No red flags there. Just a guy getting lucky on deciding that this was the weekend he was going to throw a bunch of money on the underdogs. Parlay the money lines on all the dogs on the board and you're done. Easy money.

The stupid thing about all of these dogs winning is that there's only one team currently leading their division where, at the start of the season, every expert in football would have called you insane for picking them: New Orleans. That's it. The only other team leading their division that was a loser last year is Baltimore, but they were everyone's dark horse darling in the AFC because they improved an already good defense and got a good QB with something to prove. And really, the only 2 teams that a majority of people felt would contend this year that are stinking up the joint are the Steelers and Dolphins. Of course, those are my 2 favorite teams, but more on that later. So, with few surprises at the very top, that means when 2 garbage teams are playing, just bet the dog. Odds are pretty good you're going to win. In fact, if a decent team is a big favorite over a garbage team, it probably makes sense to bet the dog there, too. The only 2 teams that you have to stay away from in all scenarios this year are Tampa and Detroit. Otherwise, any team is a good bet.

Now, a review of my REAL football teams: they both stink. The Steelers are finally coming around, but they could have very easily been 11-2 right now. In fact, given their level of play during 90% of every game, it would hard to believe that they'd be anything worse than 9-4. That is, if you covered up all statistics related to turnovers. Once you see that, well, it becomes easy to see this team sitting at 6-7. The only 2 games the Steelers offense did not out-perform their opponent were Jacksonville and Baltimore. They were man handled in both of those games. Under no circumstances were they going to win those 2. But in every other game, you take out one of their multiple TO's, and the Steelers' likely win. You take out TWO of them (leaving them with still more than 1 in each and every case), and they definitely win. It wouldn't even be close. They've killed themselves all year by stupidity. I'm not sure if I should be hopeful in thinking that stupidity passes and they'll be better next year or mad that they blew a good chance to put forth a solid title defense. At the very least, I am definitely looking forward to their cake schedule next year. They'll probably only have one prime-time scheduled game, but whatever.

As for the Dolphins, well, they were just plain bad. Their offense was terrible. The defense was beatable. They've come on of late, but way too little way way too late. There's no way any one should look at the end of this season and say it bodes well for next season. That rationale was what caused people to be excited in the first place.

And lastly, the part that everyone will skip, my Fantasy teams. They were all worse than my real life teams. I had my worst season EVER. I had a monumentally bad season. I can't even begin to describe my disappointment. Fantasy Football is something I look forward to each and every year. This year, my hopes and dreams were summarily crushed. Last year, I was in 5 leagues and made the playoffs in 4 of them. The year before, I was in 6 and made it through to 3 playoffs (winning 1). This year? 0-5! YIKES!!! Very depressing. The Fantasy Football subplot is what really ruined this season for me. It was an on-going issue from the start of the season on and it never let up. The only thing that kept me even remotely interested in this year was the chance to go over to Eddie's and watch games with him. Who knows what I would have done if it were another season of watching the games solo. It's safe to assume that Jenn would have had very little problem getting me to go out somewhere on the weekends.

So, the season is coming to a merciful close. I have no idea what to expect from next year. Am I going to be as excited for the start of the season as I usually am? Probably. But I will definitely be a little bit more on the defensive. I'll certainly have my guard up. And I'm DEFINITELY going to do a lot more homework for the Fantasy Football.


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