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NFL Preview – NFC North, NFC West, AFC East, AFC North September 7, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports.
1 comment so far

Well, as some of you may have noticed, I was doing some previews of each NFL division over the past couple of weeks.  And, you also may have noticed that I haven’t posted one in weeks.  Now instead of calling me names like “Slack-ass” and “Stupid piece of crap” maybe you should be happy for the half of the league I did review.  Greedy bastards.  Well, I decided that since the beginning of the season is upon us in just a couple hours, it would be appropriate for me to actually finish my reviews.  For the sake of time though, I’m just going to do a quick recap of each division just so you know what’s going on.  Like I actually know myself.

NFC North– The NFC’s northern division will once again be dominated by the Chicago Bears and their top-notch defense.  I loved the way the Bears approached the draft this year: if they couldn’t get a top notch offensive talent they weren’t going to waste it.  So what did they do?  They drafted almost exclusively defense to make their top-ranked defense even more potent.  Expect a lot of 10-3 games at Solider Field this year.  Next up should be the improving Minnesota Vikings.  After last year’s ‘Sex Boat’ scandal you can expect new coach Brad Childress to install some discipline on this team.  The additions of new RB Chester Taylor and All-Pro Guard Steve Hutchinson should help this team put some points on the board.  Bringing up the rear of the division will be the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.  The Lions have been in complete disarray the past several years under the guidance of GM Matt Millen and the addition of Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz won’t help the situation.  After blowing draft picks on Joey Harrington (traded to Miami), Charles Rogers (cut), and Mike Williams (currently their 5th WR), the Lions have no depth and no direction.  This isn’t the year they turn it around.  As for the Packers, hopefully this is Brett Favre’s swansong.  He came back to a team hurting for talent on both sides of the ball, but like a fat girl at the prom, he’s just happy to be there.  The 2 biggest questions for the Pack will be if Favre throws fewer INTs than TDs this year and if they can win as many games as his jersey number – 4.  For you non-football peeps, that’s not good.

Predicted Records:  Chicago Bears  11-5,  Minnesota Vikings  8-8,  Detroit Lions  5-11,  Green Bay Packers  4-12

NFC West– This is another division that should be dominated again by last year’s division winner.  The Seattle Seahawks made it all the way to the Super Bowl last year, and no one in their division should stand in their way of making the playoffs again this year.  Although the loss of Steve Hutchinson will hurt the offense, the additions of Nate Burleson and 2-time Pro-Bowl LB Julian Peterson should more than make up for that loss on the other side of the ball.  The only team in the NFC West with a chance to unseat the Seahawks is the St. Louis Rams.  Now that the Mike Martz experiment has failed and Martz has been pawned off on Detroit, the Rams should be able to field an extremely talented offense led by the threesome of QB Marc Bulger, RB Steven Jackson, and WR Torry Holt.  If Bulger can get some protection and time to throw the ball and if Jackson can run effectively, the Rams could push the Seahawks in the division and should definitely contend for the Wild card.  Vying for third in the West is the vastly improved Arizona Cardinals.  Behind the guidance of new head coach Dennis Green and with the key addition of All-Pro RB Edgerrin James, the Cardinals’ offense should be one of the best in the league.  Pairing James with WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin has tons of potential, but the question mark will still be on the health of QB Kurt Warner.  A healthy Warner could lead to a wild card berth, but an injury early on will force rookie QB Matt Leinart into action and another sub-par season.  Bringing up the rear of the division, as they have the past 2 years, will be the San Francisco 49ers.  Once one of the top franchises in the league, the 49ers have fallen all the way to the bottom of the league, turning dynasty to disaster.  Without some radical changes, they don’t look to be moving up anytime soon.  The only bright spot for the 49ers should be RB Frank Gore who is finally healthy and looks primed for a breakout season.

Predicted Records:  Seattle Seahawks  12-4,  St. Louis Rams  8-8,  Arizona Cardinals  7-9,  San Francisco 49ers  4-12

AFC East – Now on to the AFC’s eastern division.  This should be a 2-team race between the steady New England Patriots and the upstart Miami Dolphins.  Some of the Patriots losses could have a huge impact on the race though.  Losing PK Adam Vinatieri and LB Willie McGinnist will have a huge impact on the team both on the field and in the locker room.  The holdout of their top WR Deion Branch also doesn’t help the offense, but they still have the best field general in the league when it comes to leading his team to the ultimate prize in February, so my money is still on NE.  Hot on their tails will be the Miami Dolphins who finally realized that incompetence at the QB position does not win championships.  For the first time since Dan Marino retired in 2000, the Dolphins have some talent at QB that will help them win games.  Along with Nick Saban’s coaching talent and the always talented defense, Miami is primed to reappear in the playoff race this year.  Battling to bring up the rear of the division will be the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets — as was the case last year.  Buffalo’s biggest off-season acquisition was none of their own work, but the work of science, as star LB Takeo Spikes comes back from injury to stiffen up their defense.  Their offense is still full of questions, but RB Willis McGahee is showing the speed and burst that he had in Miami before his horrific knee injury in the Orange Bowl.  J P Losman is still a liability at QB, but this is his year to put up or shut up before he finds himself sharing a tent with Ricky Williams in 2007.  The NY Jets have issues on both sides of the ball and after looking closely at their schedule, I only see about 5 games they even have a chance to win.  With their disarray at the QB position and the uncertainty at RB, their offense will be lucky to score 14 pts a game, and they definitely don’t have the defense to stop anyone.  J-E-T-S?  Suck.  Suck.  Suck.

Predicted Records:  New England Patriots  11-5,  Miami Dolphins  10-6,  Buffalo Bills  5-11,  New York Jets  5-11

AFC North – And finally on to the division with our defending Super Bowl champion.  Pittsburgh should still be solid, but the health of both QB Ben Rothlisberger and WR Hines Ward will have a huge effect on their offense.  Their defense should still be solid, but I don’t know if that will be enough to hold off the extremely talented squad from Cincinnati.  With QB Carson Palmer looking healthy and a receiving corps that is loaded from top to bottom – both on and off the field – the Bengals will be a tough team to beat if than can keep themselves out of the big house.  One question for the Bengals though: with such a defensive minded head coach in Marvin Lewis, why hasn’t the defense shown up yet?  Maybe this will be the year.  As far as the rest of the division, count me as one that thinks the Steve McNair pick-up by the Baltimore Ravens was like using a band-aid to fix a severed leg.  I don’t see anyway that even a healthy McNair can lead this offense to a winning record, and healty is a big “if” for Air McNair.  Plus on defense, S Ed Reed is still a monster in the middle, but LB Ray Lewis looks to be a step slower and they just aren’t the powerhouse they were when the won the Super Bowl 5 years ago.  Bringing up the rear of the division this year will bethe Cleveland Browns.  With Charlie Frye at QB – Who?!? – Reuben Droughns at RB, oft-injured Kellen Winslow Jr. at TE and Braylon Edwards at WR, the Browns have some talent on offense, but I just don’t see one stand-out player on that offense that puts any fear into a defense.  LB Willie McGinnist will help on defense, but he’s only one out of eleven, so I wouldn’t count on a big change.

Predicted Records:  Cincinnati Bengals  12-4,  Pittsburgh Steelers  11-5,  Baltimore Ravens  7-9,  Cleveland Browns  6-10


Fat Feats – Top Ten Sports Fat Asses August 28, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Sports.

There are a million Top 10 lists out there, but those have all been for athletes and athletic accomplishments that we couch potatoes could never achieve.  Well, that needs to change.  There need to be lists out there of things we can accomplish.  So to kick off this phenomenon, I’m doing my own list, a list of fat bastards who still made significant achievements in the sporting world. 

11. (Honorable Mention) – Phil “Bitch-tits” Mickelson– 6′-2″, 190 lb – 225 lb – Now I know I said this was a top 10 list, but I thought this was the perfect spot for Phil.  His weight has fluctuated up and down the past several years bringing him in and out of contention for a spot on this list.  Currently he sits on the outside looking in, but last year when he won the Masters he had a full set of D cups bouncing around.  Once known as the “best golfer not to have won a major”, Phil finally won his first major in 47 tries by winning the 2004 Masters.  He followed that up with victories at the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2006 Masters.  Phil – leave the gym and eat a chili cheese dog.  We want you back.

10. William “Refrigerator” Perry – 6′-2″, 370 lb – The nickname alone tells you that this former Chicago Bears defensive tackle was one huge guy.  Looking more like ‘Fat Bastard’ from Austin Powers than a football player, Perry is known mainly for scoring a touchdown as a rookie in Super Bowl XX and for the gap in his teeth that you could fit a hamburger through.  After his Super Bowl success, Perry really made it big by having a GI Joe action figure designed after him.  The remainder of Perry’s career was relatively quiet as he played in just 138 games over an 11 year career in the NFL.  The Fridge was a beast and paved the way for future great fat asses to show up at training camp 95 pounds overweight.  (e.g. Larry Allen, #8 below).

9.  Sebastian “Fat-foot” Janikowski – 6’2″, 250 lb– The Polish Pork-chop has been a fixture on the Oakland Raiders the past 5 seasons as their place kicker and resident jailbird.  Having been arrested multiple times for offenses such as assault, bribery of a cop, and possession of GHB Seabass’ off-the-field record has overshadowed his on-the-field performance.  Janikowski was the nation’s top kicker in his final 2 seasons at Florida State and has ranked in the top half of the league his entire career in the NFL — except of course when he was sidelined in 2001 for “cellulitis of the foot”!  Fat-Foot?!?!  Who knew that was even real until that ran on the NFL injury reports.  Janikowski makes me proud of my Polish roots.  A lesser fat ass would have been deported by now.

8.  Larry Allen – 6′-3″, 325 – 360 lbs– Allen was an anchor of the Dallas Cowboy’s offensive line for the past 12 years before leaving in free agency to join the San Francisco 49ers this past off-season.  Known for his enormous size and strength (he has benched 700 lbs, squatted 900 lbs, and is the reigning Strongman champion in the NFL), Allen is also well-known for his enormous appetite (he has been known to eat an entire large pizza and drink a 2-liter of cola before games) and sweat stains (thanks to John Madden’s telestrator).  His appetite and excessive sweating ability hasn’t kept him from succeeding though as he’s been to 10 Pro Bowls and been voted All-Pro 8 times.  He should have retired as a Cowboy, but I’m not telling him that to his face unless I’m armed with a giant bucket of chicken and a liter ‘o cola.

7.  Cecil “Big Daddy” Fielder – 6′-3″, 240 lb – 270 lb– A power hitter in the ‘deadball’ era, Fielder hit 51 home-runs in 1990 becoming, at the time, only the 11th player to hit over 50 home runs in a season and only the 2nd in the past 25 years to accomplish that feat.  Never a slim man, Fielder’s weight fluctuated throughout his career, but he reached his peak fighting weight as he helped the New York Yankees reach and win the World Series in 1996.  A 3-time All-Star, Fielder gets bonus points for having a son (Prince Fielder) who weighs close to 3 bills and is the starting first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers.  God bless the American League’s designated hitter for paving the way for fat asses like Cecil and Big Papi Ortiz.

6.  David “Boomer” Wells – 6′-3″, 230 lb – 260 lb – Wells, who currently pitches for the Boston Red Sox, has bounced around the league bringing his unique personality and drinking prowess to each team he’s been to.  Wells has pitched for 18 seasons, accumulating 227 wins, 3 All Star selections, and was the MVP of the 1998 ALCS.  He is probably best known for wearing an actual Babe Ruth hat when he pitched his perfect game in 1998.  It has also been told that he drank a pitcher of beer in between each inning of that game too.  God I hope that’s true.  I try to replicate that feat every time I watch an Astros game.

5.  Shaquille O’Neal – 7′-1″, 315 lb – 345 lb – A 4-time NBA Champion with the LA Lakers and Miami Heat, O’Neal has been a beast in the middle for the past decade.  As the 1st pick overall in the 1992 NBA draft out of LSU, O’Neal was barely pushing 300 lbs but as his weight has grown, so have the accolades.  A 3-time Finals MVP with the Lakers, O’Neal was the 1999 League MVP, 12 time All-Star, and voted one of the Top 50 players in the NBA.  He’s also broadened his career with his rapper alias ‘Shaq Diesel’ and the classic film ‘Kazaam’.  Lately Shaq has even begun taking the beginnings of seasons off to get in shape so that he has to work as little as possible but can still excel during the playoffs.  We can all hope that one day we’re in a position to negotiate a contract allowing us to skip the first third of the work day so we don’t have to strain ourselves later.

4.  George Foreman – 6′-3″, 217 lb – 250 lb – The weight change in George Foreman didn’t just take place over a couple years, but over the 20 years in between the 2 times he held the boxing Heavyweight title.  Originally a gold medalist in the 1968 Olympics, Foreman first won the title in 1973 over Joe Frazier.  He didn’t win it again until 1994 when at age 45 he was outboxed for 10 rounds until he connected with a devastating right hook and knocked out Michael Moorer.  Now more well-known for selling tires and electric grills, the robust Foreman hasn’t missed many meals since his career started almost 40 years ago.  He is a fatty helping average joes meet their full-fat potential.  You already had several ways to cook a burger (your grill or frying pan, etc…), but Foreman found a way to do it faster.  That extra minute you stand around waiting for the other side of the burger to brown is a minute of calorie absorption wasted.

3.    Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” Barkley – Listed @ 6′-6″, 250 lb, Closer to 6′-4″, 300lb – One of the best power forwards to play the game, Barkley earned a reputation for saying and doing whatever he wanted on and off the court.  A tireless worker on the court, he didn’t have the best work ethic off of it, resulting in his ballooning at the end of his career.  A 2 time gold medalist, member of the NBA top 50 players and MVP of the 1993 NBA season, Barkley was never one to turn away from a microphone with classics like:

“I don’t care what people think.  People are stupid.”

Charles Barkley: “I’m so sick of fat people.”
Kenny Smith: “Why? You can’t live with yourself?”
Barkley: “First of all, they killed Oreos.  You know they can’t make the Double-Stuff Oreos anymore because fat people can’t keep their mouths shut.  Now they’re killing the McDonald’s super-size.  Can you believe that?  Just because fat people are lazy and don’t work out and can’t keep their mouths shut, they have to ruin it for everybody.  They’ll probably kill ice cream next! Is that my fault they can’t stop eating?  I’m so sick of these fat people suing these companies.  Stop eating!”

and my personal favorite:

Greg Gumbel: ” Happy St Patrick’s Day”.
Barkley: “Great. Another reason for the Irish to go out and drink.”

I can’t wait to vote for him for President.

2.  “Big” John Daly – 5′-11″, 220 lb – 250 lb – Known as one of the longest drivers on tour for the past 15 years, Daly has earned a reputation for living life fast and hard in every sense of the word.  A 2-time major winner, Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991, his rookie season, and followed that up with a British Open Championship in 1995 at St. Andrews.  Since then, his life has been full of ups and downs, mostly downs though with excessive gambling, drinking, smoking, and mullet-wearing.  He admits to losing over $50 million gambling and only puts his cigarettes down to tee off.  Daly is everything sports shouldn’t be, and we love him for it.

1.  George “Babe” Ruth – 6′-2″, 215 lb – 270 lb –  Arguably the greatest baseball player of all time, he was the 1st player in baseball history to hit 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 home-runs.  He also set the home-run record at 60 home-runs, which stood for 34 years until it was broken by Roger Maris in 1961.  But, some of his greatest feats took place, not on the playing field, but at the local diner.  Ruth was once said to have eaten 24 hot dogs in one sitting, and that was between the 2 games of a double header.  He was also said to have gone to Coney Island one morning and eaten 4 Porterhouse steaks, 8 hot dogs, and drank 8 sodas just as a pregame snack.  With those eating skills and hitting his last home run at a stout 270 lbs, Ruth reigns supreme of Fat Athletes.


NFL Preview – AFC West August 23, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports.
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So it’s back to NFL previews, and this week we are starting with the AFC West.  Full of teams with plenty of potential, the AFC West has 3 teams that could potentially win the division and one team that is in line to have the first choice in the Brady Quinn / Adrian Peterson sweepstakes.

AFC West Review (Ranked by Predicted Record)

1.  Denver Broncos –(Predicted: 11-5) – After a season where they made it to the AFC Championship game on the arm of Jake Plummer and the legs of Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne, the Broncos look to make it to the Super Bowl this year, again relying on the arm of Plummer and on the legs of Bell.  However, this time it might not be Tatum Bell, the 2nd round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, but undrafted rookie Mike Bell out of the University of Arizona.  As the newly appointed starter, Mike Bell looks to be the next in a long line of 1,000-yard rushers in the Denver backfield and carry the Broncos to the next level.  It is still questionable whether Mike Bell will remain the starting RB in Denver.  With competition from Tatum Bell and former Heisman trophy winner Ron Dayne, he might not be able to hold on to the top spot.  The Denver running game has long been the staple for their success, but the addition of former Pro-Bowl WR Javon Walker will add to their passing offense.  It’s also questionable if Denver’s defense (who made no major additions in the off-season) will be able to stop anyone come January.  You can depend on the frequent snowstorms at your stadium and score 50 points a game, but it doesn’t matter when your opponents score 51. 

2.  Kansas City Chiefs – (Predicted: 9-7) – We all know that KC can run the ball.  In the recent past the’ve featured prolific ball carriers Priest Holmes and last year’s surprise star Larry Johnson, but can they do anything else?  Even with the loss of OT Willie Roaf, Larry Johnson should still be a fantasy and rushing stud as he’ll push the 2,000-yard mark for the next several seasons.  The Cheifs have struggled through on the other side of the ball.  Will the addition of defensive minded head coach Herm Edwards help a defense that has ranked in the bottom third of the league the past 4 years running?  In addition to the new blood at the helm, the Chiefs also added star CB Ty Law to play along 2nd-year LB Derrick Johnson, so their defense should be on the upswing, but with no major additions on offense, I don’t see the Chiefs overtaking the Broncos this year.

3.  San Diego Chargers – (Predicted: 9-7) – On a team that finished 9-7 last year, but finished 1-3 in their last 4 games, what do you think the best move would be?  Release your Pro-Bowl QB in exchange for a 3rd year QB who has only thrown 30 passes in the NFL?  I didn’t think so, but that is exactly what this team, formerly on the cusp, did.  Philip Rivers may turn out to be a Pro-Bowler in his own right, but besides the money factor I don’t understand how you just let a solid QB like Drew Brees walk away.  I guess Marty Schottenheimer knows a lot more than I do.  Actually who doesn’t?  Anyway, the Chargers still have offensive stars in Ladanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, but the void of experience at QB scares me.  I don’t think they get over the playoff hump this year.

4.  Oakland Raiders – (Predicted: 3-13) – I don’t know how a team could go from making the Super Bowl in 2002 to only winning 14 games over the last 4 years.  And no, that isn’t a typo.  The Raiders have only won 14 games over the last 4 years — less than the Houston Texans, less than the 49ers, and even less than that garbage in Cleveland.  Will they turn it around this year?  Hell no.  If Al Davis is constructing this team, he must have gone completely senile several years ago.  Their best free agent pickup this year….Aaron Brooks.  Now the only reason you might know who Aaron Brooks is, is because he’s well known in fantasy football circles for having decent season stats that are loaded with 2 or 3 game amazing performances and 13 to 14 games of stinkers.  Is that who you want leading your team into the season?  Of course not, but on the plus side, they do have a cocky receiver in Randy Moss, and they released their best cover cornerback, Charles Woodson.  Oh, those aren’t good things.  Hello Raiders, you are currently on the clock for the 1st draft pick of 2007.


NFL Preview – NFC South August 16, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports.
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So, as we march on through the NFL preseason, I am marching on through my review of all of the NFL divisions.  Last week I went through the AFC South and NFC East, and this week I’m starting off with the NFC South.  Several teams in this division are on the rise, but will they just end up beating each other up?  On a side note for you fellow fantasy football addicts, my review on the NFC East could be way off if Clinton Portis’ injury from last night keeps him out of any games this season.  Injuries like that — he was tackling a defensive back returning an INT — on a meaning less play could make a huge impact on the upcoming season.  Hopefully he comes back in the next couple of weeks.

NFC South Review (Ranked by Predicted Record)

1.  Carolina Panthers – (Predicted: 12-4) – After losing in the NFC Championship game last year to the Seattle Seahawks and losing by a field goal to the Patriots 3 years ago, the Panthers should be up to the challenge of making it to the big game this year.  By adding a key-possession WR in the form of Keyshawn Johnson to play with All-World WR Steve Smith, the Panthers hope to improve their offense from the bottom half of the league last year.  Another improvement they made to the offense was adding rookie RB DeAngelo Williams out of the University of Memphis who led the nation in rushing last season with nearly 2,000 yards.  Now with an improved offense to mirror their third-ranked defense, the Panthers should be able to control the NFC South and power into the playoffs. 

2.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – (Predicted: 9-7) – With a youth movement driving the offense but an aging defense, the Bucs are at a crossroads as they try to remain among the elite in their conference.  With an 11-5 record last year including a healthy 5-1 record in their division, the Bucs had a successful season.  But, when your best defenders (Simeon Rice, Derrick Brooks, Anthony “Booger” McFarland, and Ronde Barber) have played a total of 41 seasons in the league you know your defense is on it’s last legs.  By drafting 3 offensive players with their first 3 picks, their defense definitely didn’t get any younger, but with a rejuvenated offense with young stars at all key offensive positions (QB – Chris Simms, RB – Cadillac Williams, & WR – Michael Clayton), the Bucs are buoying their time on top.  After winning the Super Bowl in the 2002 season, the Bucs missed the playoffs two straight years before winning the division last year, so which team will show up this year?  As always, the health of key starters (Clayton and Williams both missed games last year) will play the key role in the Buccaneers success this year.

3.  Atlanta Falcons – (Predicted: 8-8) – For a team that finished last season 2-6 following a promising 6-2 start, the Falcons made too few changes in their roster to expect any significant improvement.  The Falcons have consistently relied on their power running game and an above-average defense, and they will again have to once again depend on these assets this year.  By not bringing in any new help for Michael Vick and the 27th ranked passing offense in the league, it looks like the Falcons will once again have to rely on his play-making ability to move the ball.  There are a few notable additions: the Falcons brought in veterans John Abraham and Lawyer Milloy who along defensive standouts CB DeAngelo Hall and DE Patrick Kerney will definitely solidify their defense.  Will this be enough to make them competitive with the top-tier teams in the league, much less their division?  My guess is no.

4.  New Orleans Saints – (Predicted: 6-10) – After hovering around 8 and 9 wins for several years, the Saints plummeted to the bottom of the league with a 3-13 record last season.  Of course, we all remember the pictures from Hurricane Katrina and the hardships that entire region went through in the last 12 months, so never being able to play at home, much less spend a night in your own bed all season had a dramatic effect on the team.  Now the team is armed with the #2 overall pick in the draft, uber-back Reggie Bush.  When you throw newcomer QB Drew Brees and a healthy Deuce McAllister into the mix, they are definitely on the road back to respectability.  With a team that mirrors a city in rebuilding mode they are putting the pieces in place to be able to have a very competitive team in the near future, just not this year.


NFL Preview – NFC East August 11, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports.

Next up on the preview trail is probably the toughest division in the NFL this season, the NFC East.  In a division that is loaded with talent and new faces, the team that comes out on top of this division will definitely be battle tested.  Not only will the division winner make the playoffs, I think both Wild Card teams will come out of this division too.

NFC East Review (Ranked by predicted record)

1.  Washington Redskins (Prediction: 12-4) – The Redskins finished the 2005 season on a huge roll by winning their last 5 straight games and look to continue this success in the 2006 season.  With the additions of WRs Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El, the Redskins should be able to stretch the field more for star RB Clinton Portis who finished last season with 7 straight 100 yd rushing performances.  But the biggest addition to the Redskins offense will never see the field in 2006: offensive guru / coach Al Saunders.  Saunders previously coached some of the most explosive rushing attacks in the league at Kansas City and will surely bring this successful system to Washington.  Along with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams the Redskins will be tough to stop on both sides of the field.

2.  New York Giants (Prediction: 11-5) – Last year’s division champs will follow up their 11-5 record last year with…an 11-5 record.  Their offense is downright scary with a maturing Eli Manning, a stud RB in Tiki Barber (not in a fantasy sense though, he just doesn’t score enough TDs and will probably score even fewer this year), one of the top 3 TEs in the league with resident loud-mouth Jeremy Shockey, and a great one-two punch of WRs with Plaxico Burress and the aging Amani Toomer.  I wonder how well this offense will play when on the field though.  With one of the 3 hardest schedules in the league, the Giants’ offense missed a chance to gain some chemistry this past summer when Shockey and Plaxico opted to work out on their own in Miami instead of working in camp with Manning and the rest of the team.  Will this have an effect on timing routes and the offense?  Only time will tell.  On the defensive side they made huge improvements.  By adding LaVar Arrington and Sam Madison to a group that already included Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Antonio Pierce, the Giants could have 5 Pro Bowlers on that side of the ball. 

3.  Dallas Cowboys (Prediction: 10-6) – Bill Parcells has only himself to live up to this season since he has been to the Super Bowl in his 4th season at a team every time he has coached somewhere that long.  Along with the addition of resident QB-basher Terrell Owens, the Cowboys added one of the best kickers in the league in Mike Vanderjagt (although one of the least clutch) and OT Jason Fabini.  Expectations in Big D are extremely high this year, but I’m not sure if I agree with those sentiments.  Although Owens was a huge acquisition and a possibly huge headache to boot, I don’t think he is that significant an upgrade over Keyshawn Johnson.  He is definitely a game breaker, but I’m not sure if the headaches will be worth it and he still doesn’t provide them with any more depth than they had last year.  Behind Owens and Glenn, the remaining WRs only have a total of 38 catches.  But, if TO is on his best behavior, he could bring a swagger that they’ve been lacking in Big D for years.  The question still remains if Julius Jones can stay healthy and if their defense can stop some people this year.

4.  Philadelphia Eagles (Prediction: 7-9) – Well, no matter how their season finishes this year, I think Donovan McNabb will have a lot less stress on him.  In a TO-free season, Donovan will look to prove that he can once again lead the Eagles into playoffs as he had the four seasons prior to last year.  The problem is though, his best receiver is probably 2nd year veteran Reggie Brown who is just one among the cast of characters competing for catches.  The best receiver on the team may very well not even be a receiver but a running back.  Brian Westbrook will once again be the focal point of the offense, but the question, as always, will be if he can carry the load of a full season.  Westbrook has never completed a full season in his 4 year career and is backed up by oft-injured Correll Buckhalter and inexperienced Ryan Moats so depth at running back is definitely a concern for head coach Andy Reid.  Their defense, led by Jevon Kearse and Jeremiah Trotter, will be stout as always, but in such a difficult division, will they be able to hold down the fort the entire season?  My money says no.



NFL Preview – AFC South August 8, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports.

With the first preseason game held this past weekend, I think it’s time for my first annual NFL preview.  I’m going to review all of the teams division by division, starting with the AFC South since that’s where my hometown team resides.  So if you are looking for another see-thru dress from Jessica Simpson or another Tara Reid nip-slip, you’ll have to wait a couple days but, if you need a little football fix, here you go.

AFC South Review (Ranked by predicted record)

1.  Indianapolis Colts – (Prediction: 12-4) – Indianapolis is still the cream of the crop of the AFC’s southern division.  Having finished 14-2 last season and having won the division the past 3 years, the Colts have had a stranglehold on the division crown, but with the loss of star running back Edgerrin James and defensive standouts David Thorton and Larry Tripplett, the Colts might fall back to the pack some this year.  But anytime you can line up all-world QB Peyton Manning with Pro-Bowl WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne you will always have one of the most explosive offenses in the league.  One area they did improve upon was special teams.  They added one of the most clutch players in NFL history, kicker Adam Vinatieri, and by doing so weakened one of their closest rivals, the New England Patriots.  One of the biggest questions coming into camp is competition for Edgerrin James vacated starting RB spot.  Former 1,000 yard rusher Dominic Rhodes seems to be the early leader, but injuries and inconsistency have derailed him in the past.  Pushing him hard is LSU rookie Joseph Addai who has shown an excellent work ethic and polished blocking skills early in camp.  This is the key position battle for fantasy footballers to watch because the Colts, as always, will put a ton of points up on the scoreboard.  My bet is Rhodes starts the season, but Addai takes over after their bye week in week 7 against the Redskins at home.  Even with all of the personnel changes, the Colts should still cruise to their 4th straight division title and a bye in the 1st round of the playoffs.

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – (Prediction: 9-7) – Jacksonville finished a close second to the Colts last year with a record of 12-4 but will have a significant drop-off this year and most likely miss the playoffs.  Jacksonville benefited from an easy schedule last year that ended with 4 out of 5 games against cellar-dwellers Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston, and Tennessee.  Jacksonville also had a knack for staying in and winning close games last year, winning 8 games by 7 points or less.  That isn’t much room for error in a division where the bottom teams have made significant strides to be more competitive.  This year, their schedule is brutal, starting with Pittsburgh, Dallas, Indianapolis and Washington.  The Jags will be lucky to start 2-2 but 1-3 is much more likely and that would be a difficult hole to climb out of so early in the season.  Some reasons for hope for Jacksonville fans are the reported health of RB “Fragile” Freddy Taylor who reported to camp in great shape and 10 lbs under his weight from last year , but he promptly tweaked his hamstring and sat out of practice.  The big question mark for the Jaguar offense this season is at receiver.  With the retirement of All-Pro Jimmy Smith, the Jags are left with youngsters Matt Jones, Ernest Willford and Reggie Williams to fight for the #1 spot.  The problem is though, they are all #3 receivers, not #1’s, so the offense could struggle.  But as always, their young, hard-hitting defense will keep them in games and keep the games close. 

3.  Houston Texans – (Prediction: 6-10) – The Texans are coming off their worst season in franchise history, finishing 2-14 and getting the first pick in the NFL draft.  The Texans then departed from conventional logic and picked DE Mario Williams with the first pick, passing up the human highlight reel, Reggie Bush and hometown hero Vince Young.  New coach Gary Kubiak and GM Rick Smith are both counting on Williams’ impact on a defense that ranked near or at the bottom of the league in almost every category last year.  They are also hoping to get help from the additions of free agents Anthony Weaver and ND Kalu as well as from 2nd round pick DeMeco Ryans.  They also bolstered their beleaguered offensive line that gave up 68 sacks last season with the additions of free agent Mike Flanagan and 3rd round picks Eric Winston and Charles Spencer.  By passing up on Young and resigning David Carr to a 3-year extension, we will see if former NFL QB Gary Kubiak can bring some confidence and swagger to Carr who hasn’t done much in his NFL career besides being a well paid tackling dummy.  Will Kubiak’s zone run blocking along with the addition of WR Eric Moulds make this a competitive team?  I think it will and I expect a big season from David Carr and from WR Andre Johnson who will return to Pro Bowl form with a legitimate threat on the other side.  The big question in my mind is at RB where starter Domanick Davis continues to get nicked up and has not practiced yet this preseason.  If the Texans can run-block like the Broncos, whose system they are implementing this season, their offense should continue to click on all cylinders, and I think they will definitely surprise some teams this year.

4.  Tennessee Titans – (Prediction: 4-12) – After a disappointing season last year, in which they finished 4-12 and received the 3rd pick in the NFL draft, the Titans are looking to rebound this year and once again become one of the top teams in the AFC.  However, the problem is that they did next to nothing in the off-season to help this.  Yes, they did draft star QB Vince Young and a RB with a twinkie problem in LenDale White, but at the end of last season, those weren’t their ‘need’ positions.  They ended the year last year with RBs Chris Brown and Travis Henry and QB Steve McNair who, although is injury prone, is only 2 years removed from being the MVP of the league.  The Titans would have been better served working to improve a defense who gave up the 3rd most points in the league instead of drafting flashy additions to their offense.  that might fill the seats, but it won’t fill the trophy case.  And to top it off, the Titans released / traded McNair to the Ravens this past June.  This is where you seriously start to question who is running this team.  It seems Bud Adams, in his attempts to stick it to his former home of Houston, has forgotten the steps he took with the Oilers to make Steve McNair the All-Pro he was: he gave him a good mentor and let him sit on the bench and learn.  Vince Young could have used that same philosophy and learned from a great QB with a similar style in McNair and would have been much better off.  But in a push to have Young starting by the time Tennessee plays Houston in December he’s being pushed into the starting role much too early and this will sink their season.  I don’t care how good a QB is in college there is a learning curve in the pros and it will take Young a while to adjust to the complexity and speed at the pro level.  The truly bad part of the whole situation is that the decision to rush Young will not only cost them their season but will most likely cost one of the best coaches in the game, Jeff Fisher, his job.  Well done Bud, well done.

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Are you ready for some football, San Diego? July 28, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Football, Sports, Terrell Owens.

As you may or may not know, the NFL football season is right around the corner and that means it is truly time to rejoice.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good game of stickball as much as the next guy, but football has become the new ”America’s Pastime”’.  Baseball may have history on its side, but football has the stars now.  Most people couldn’t pick Roy Halladay or Albert Poo-hole out of a line-up, but I almost guarantee that you’d be hard pressed to find a man or woman who doesn’t know who Tom Brady is.  So, in the form created by one of my favorite current sports writers, Bill “The Sports Guy” Simmons, I’m going to review the upcoming NFL season using quotes from one of the funniest movies ever, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, to describe some of the top stories around the league.  I’ll start off with a combo quote for probably the biggest ongoing story in the NFL the last couple of years. 

1.  Ron Burgundy (to Baxter) “You’re so wise.  You’re like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair”. 


Ron Burgundy: “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m a big deal.” 

Veronica Corningstone: “Really?” 

RB: “People know me.” 

VC: “Well, I’m very happy for you.” 

RB: “I’m very important.  I have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” 

And so goes the Terrell Owens saga.  T.O. would want you to believe that he has many “leather bound books” written about him, but actually he only has 2 books about him, and he had to write them himself.  We’ll see if the “miniature Buddha” himself, Bill Parcells, can tame the locker-room cancer.  Keeping T.O. quiet though is like keeping Star Jones away from the buffet table, but if there’s any coach in the league who can do it, I’d put my money on Parcells, who’s successfully dealt with tough athletes like Keyshawn Johnson and Lawrence Taylor.  I still think Parcells will have to pull a rabbit out of his ass to tame Owens.   

2.  Ron Burgundy: “Everyone just relax, all right?  Believe me, if there’s one thing Ron Burgundy knows, it’s women.”

Brian Fantana: “I don’t know Ron.”

RB: “Guess what, I do.  I know that one day Veronica and I are gonna get married on top of a mountain, and there’s going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs.  And we will dance till the sun rises.  And then our children will form a family band.  And we will tour the countryside and you won’t be invited.” 

This classic quote about Ron’s perfect world could be about the Steelers’ perfect world after winning the Super Bowl last year.  But that perfect world was shaken this summer when QB Ben Rothlisberger’s face lost a game of  dodge-car, just as Ron’s world was turned upside down when Baxter was kicked off the bridge by Jack Black’s crazy biker character.  There are so many questions about the Steelers that won’t be answered until the season starts.  Can the Steelers repeat?  In a conference with the great squads like the Patriots, Colts and Broncos, the Steelers will have a tough road just to make it out of the playoffs and into the Super Bowl.  How will Big Ben play after his accident?  Will his confidence be shaken at all?  He doesn’t even look like himself, but that might not be a bad thing. 

3.  Veronica Cornerstone: “My God, what is that smell?  Oh.”

Brian Fantana: “That’s the smell of desire my lady.”

VC: “God no, it smells like, like a used diaper…filled with…Indian food.  Oh, excuse me.”

BF: “You know, desire smells like that to some people.”

Garth Holliday: “What is that?  Smells like a turd covered in burnt hair.”

News Station Employee: “Smells like Bigfoot’s dick.” 

Desire.  That’s what drives Peyton Manning every year. Not to smell like a turd covered in burnt hair or Bigfoot’s dick, but the desire to still put up gaudy numbers AND win the big game.  Most players have to choose between being an individual star and winning as a team, but Peyton hasn’t figured that out yet.  And with the loss of Edgerrin James in free agency, even more pressure will be on Peyton to pass, pass, and pass some more.  Will Peyton be able to get over the proverbial hump to beat the Patriots and make it to the Super Bowl?  After going 14-2 and clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Colts lost on the errant foot of Mike Vanderjagt, but he has been replaced by Adam Vinatieri.  Will he be the difference?  The Colts hope so, but the Pats hope not, and that brings me to my next quote… 

4.  Champ Kind: “The bottom line is you’ve been spending a lot of time with this lady, Ron.  You’re a member of the Channel Four News Team.”

Ron Burgundy: “That’s a given.”

CK:”We need you.  Hell I need you.  I’m a mess without you.  I miss you so damn much.  I miss being with you, I miss being near you.  I miss your laugh.  I miss your scent; I miss your musk.  When this all gets sorted out, I think you and me should get an apartment together.”

Brian Fantana: “Take it easy Champ.  Why don’t you stop talking for a while.” 

The New England Patriots are hoping they don’t  feel this same type of pain deep inside over the loss of Adam Vinatieri.  The Patriots have succeeded all of these years because they were strong as a team.  Compounded with the loss of defensive standout Willie McGinnist, they could be hurting this year.  Each of the 3 Super Bowls that the Pats have won in the last 4 years have been by a single field goal, so why did they let Vinatieri go?  Was he stealing Brady’s chicks?  Doubtful.  No one can respect a kicker.  Having the most clutch kicker in NFL history has always been an ace in the hole for the Patriots, and this year he’ll suit up for one of their chief competitors, the Indianapolis Colts.  So the question is, will the Patriots be able to climb back up the mountain to be one of the NFL’s elite?   

5.  Ron Burgundy: “Let’s go to Brian Fantana who’s live on the scene with a Channel 4 News exclusive, Brian?

Brian Fantana: “Panda Watch.  The mood is tense; I have been on some serious, serious reports but nothing quite like this.  I uh…Ching…King is inside right now.  I tried to get an interview with him, but they said no, you can’t do that he’s a live bear, he will literally rip your face off.”

BF (to the panda): “Hey, you’re making me look stupid.  Get out here, Panda Jerk.” 

Will Reggie Bush make the Houston Texans look like jerks for not drafting him?  In passing up on Reggie Bush and hometown icon Vince Young, the Texans took a huge gamble in selecting Mario Williams with the first selection in the draft.  Williams may turn out to be a star defensive end, a la Julius Peppers, but he will always be compared to the two players drafted after him.  Every time Reggie makes a highlight reel run, that will be shown over and over on ESPN, but they won’t show Mario stuffing the run for an entire game.  Every time VY makes an amazing touchdown pass, that too will be shown all over TV, but they won’t show Mario taking up 2 blockers while the rest of the line makes some stops.  The Texans along with new coach Gary Kubiak chose this suicide mission though by resigning former tackling dummy David Carr.  Will they regret passing on Reggie and Vince?  Only time will tell, but how much time they will have is the real question. 

6.  Ron Burgundy: “Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it
San Diego, which of course in German means whale’s vagina.”

Veronica Corningstone: “No, there’s no way that’s correct.”

RB: “I’m sorry; I was trying to impress you.  I don’t know what it means.  I’ll be honest; I don’t think anyone knows what it means anymore.  Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.”

VC: “Doesn’t it mean Saint Diego.”

RB: “No.  No.”

VC: “No, that’s – that’s what it means.  Really.”

RB: “Agree to disagree.” 

Along those same lines is the ongoing story of Reggie in New Orleans.  He’s tried hard to impress the city by donating money from his jersey sales just like Ron trying to impress Veronica on their first date,  but currently Reggie is holding out for a contract worth at least $1 more than the first pick in the draft, Mario Williams.  Will Reggie’s good will be brushed under the table if he ends up entangled in a long contract holdout?  The Saints are said to not want to upset the balance in the NFL by paying Bush more money than a player drafted in front of him, and Reggie’s agent has said that he has already made close to 5 million dollars in endorsements and would reenter the draft if he needed to.  So the question comes down to who will blink first, I just wonder how long the city of New Orleans will continue their love affair with Reggie if he’s not playing. 

7.  Ron Burgundy (to Baxter): “What?  You pooped in the refrigerator?  And you ate the whole…wheel of cheese?  How’d you do that?  Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.  How ‘bout we get you in your p.j.’s and we hit the hay.”

That’s exactly how Donavan McNabb feels these days.  He doesn’t care if you poop in the fridge or make fun of his mom on the Campbell’s Chunky soup commercials.  He doesn’t have to look at Terrell Owens anymore and that has to make him a happy man.  They did make the Super Bowl with T.O., but before that they had made it to 3 straight NFC Championship games with the likes of Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell.  Reportedly, McNabb is in great shape and great spirits this year.  Last year had to be a bear on McNabb, so it will be interesting to see how he plays this year and making the task even tougher is that the NFC East is arguably the best division in football. 

8.  Veronica Corningstone: “Mr. Burgundy, you are acting like a baby.”

Ron Burgundy: “I’m not a baby, I’m a man.  I am an anchorman.”

VC: “You are not a man.  You are a big fat joke.”

RB: “I’m a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn.  That’s what kind of man I am.  You’re just a woman with a small brain.  With a brain a third the size of us.  It’s science.”

VC: “I will have you know that I have more talent and more intelligence in my little finger than you do in your entire body, sir.”

RB: “You are a smelly pirate hooker.” 

If Ron’s “science” is right, the Titans must be women with small brains for letting Steve “Air” McNair go to the Ravens.  That situation was set up perfectly for McNair to mentor their incoming 1st round draft pick, Vince Young.  Vince is not your prototypical pocket passing quarterback, so it would have made perfect sense for McNair, also not a pocket passer, to mentor him.  And, they already knew each other with Young flying to Nashville to workout with McNair last year, so why did the Titans screw this relationship up?  Who knows, but I’m sure it has something to do with Bud Adams and his un-ending desire to stick it to his hometown of Houston.  Maybe Bud should worry more about turning around a 4-12 team from last year than sticking it to a town he owned a team in over a decade ago.  They’ve moved on, maybe he should too. 

9.  Ron Burgundy: “The only way to bag a classy lady is to giver her two tickets to the gun show…”

RB: “and see if she likes the goods.” 

Head coach Marvin Lewis must feel like his invitation to the “gun show” was lost in the mail, but the rest of the team received theirs.  The Cincinnati Bengals have become the NFL version of the Portland Trailblazers with half a dozen off the field incidents with the authorities this off-season.  Starting with Chris Henry and his 3 arrests since December to the most recent incident with defensive end Matthias Askew who was ticketed for a parking violation but ended up on the ground on the wrong end of a taser!  A taser for a parking ticket?  What would they need if he was being charged with assault, the SWAT team?  Who is this guy, the Incredible Hulk?  Marvin Lewis has a lot on his plate this year with the high expectations from the city to make a playoff run, a quarterback who shredded his knee in their last game last season, and team with more convicts than Paul Crewe’s team in “The Longest Yard.” 

10.  Ron Burgundy: “Ladies and gentleman, can I please have your attention.  I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story.  I need all of you, to stop what you’re doing and listen.  Cannonball.”

Well, I’m ready to make a splash and make my predictions for the upcoming season.Division Winners:

NFC East:  Washington Redskins      AFC East:  New England Patriots

NFC South:  Carolina Panthers         AFC South:  Indianapolis Colts

NFC North:  Chicago Bears              AFC North:  Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC West:  Seattle Seahawks           AFC West:  Denver Broncos

NFC Wild Cards:  Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants

AFC Wild Cards:  Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins

NFC Champion:  Carolina Panthers

AFC Champion:  Indianapolis Colts

Super Bowl XLI – Carolina 32  Indianapolis 30 

We’ll see how it all pans out.  You stay classy San Diego.  

Terrell Owens is a Dirty Liar July 17, 2006

Posted by holdencaulfield in Entertainment, Football, Sports, Tara Reid, Terrell Owens.
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In a story out of Dallas, Terrell Owens claims to have been misquoted in his new biography, T.O.  In the book, he describes firsthand how he came back so quickly from a leg fracture at the end of the 2004 football season to play in the Super Bowl, “If you’ll forgive me for saying so … nothing short of heroic.”  He’s now claiming that that T.O. co-author Jason Rosenhaus came up with the phrase himself.  The best part of this story isn’t that he was misquoted in his own book (which obviously he took the time to read before hand), it’s his quote at the front of the book “These are my words, straight from me to you” on the book’s second page.  Let’s ignore the fact that Owens is publishing his second biography in less than 20 months (honestly, who’s going to read it besides his mom?!?), and get to the obvious – that this is just another attempt by the media-whore Owens to get back in the public spotlight. 

The main reason I bring all this up is because it’s the only news-worthy football story that has come out in the past several months (besides Rothlisburger attempting to use his head and pole vault over a moving car), so I had to write about it.  You see, football – not futbol – is the greatest sport in all of the land.  It is a game played by lightning quick cats from the African safari, pirates that plundered the seas, and airplanes that fly out of New York City? and August through February it in the Caulfield household.  Anyway, Terrell Owens is starting his sideshow early this year, which is actually pretty surprising.  He usually waits until he’s actually played on the field for his new team to start this garbage but I guess as he gets older, he just keeps finding new ways to reinvent himself.  TO is one of those “special” players that for some reason thinks he’s more important than the other 52 players on his team yet there always seems to be some team willing to dish out the big bucks (i.e. Jerry Jones and his army of plastic surgeons and the Dallas Cowboys). 

Just a couple of boob-relatedthings I wanted to note, if anyone is in Miami right now or planning to be in Miami in the next couple days, Tara Reid is there right now so at least you know you are only 4 drinks away from getting laid.  That’s always a nice feeling.  And if anyone is in a limo right now, look to the back and see if Mischa Barton is in there.  If so, you are in luck, her nip popped out.

Tara in Miami and Mischa in a limo

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