Time For Some NFL Name Changes


It’s time for some NFL owners to update the names or their teams, so I thought I’d get the football rolling:

Washington Lobbyists.  Alternative names: Filibusters, Obstructionists

New England Lobsters – Pat Patriot is a little dated.  Alternate names:  Academicians, Clam Chowder, Progressives

Tennessee Creationists

Arizona Thirst

Miami Swordfish – one bad_ _ _ fish and would look great on a helmet.

Houston Sprockets.

San Francisco Trippers – throwback to the 60’s.

Kansas City Ribs

Seattle Hipsters

Buffalo Loggers – Do they log in Buffalo?…I don’t know.

Carolina Moonshiners

Denver “Mile High” Stoners

Cleveland Smokestacks – in honor of that one I saw in Toledo.  Alternative name:  Squirrels

Philadelphia Freedom

Detroit Sturgeon

Jacksonville Bass. Alternative:  Anglers, Sprawl

Chicago Wind – although Syracuse and Buffalo are windier.  Alternate names:  Architects, Ferris Wheels

New Orleans Alligator Gar – would look sharp on a helmet!

Shut Up and Play Ball Y’all

Randy Moss said after the Patriots open day win that he doesn’t feel appreciated.  This whine came on the heels of Tom Brady’s big contract deal which makes him the highest paid quarterback in the game.  But Randy Moss is appreciated.  His teammates love him.  Tom Brady has nothing but high praise for him.  The fans love him.  His coach Bill Belichick loves him and says he’s a good player, which is about the biggest complement one could hope to get from the cerebral and ever stoic Wesleyan grad.

So what’s all the fuss?  It’s not about appreciation or love really.  It’s about business.  Moss said so himself.  As a fan, however, I don’t care about the business side of it.  I want the players to talk about the game during the press conference.  If asked about a contract, the player should offer no comment.  Instead, many chose to air out their business and try to negotiate through the public.

I would like for Randy Moss to stick around and play for the Patriots for a few more years.  And I hope he gets a fair contract, I do, but I don’t want to hear about his contract until the end of the season.  To all you disgruntled players out there, you are under contract, so just shut up and do your job.  Play ball y’all.

The Colts Surrendered

The Jets beat the undefeated Colts.  Can you believe it?  While the victory keeps the Jets in the playoff hunt, it was not an impressive win – certainly nothing at all like their 1969 Superbowl III thrashing of the Colts.  In my view, it was an embarrassing win.  True, the Jets had a lot on the line and played with a purpose.  However, the Colts had very little to lose, except Peyton Manning.  Yes, the players wanted to stay undefeated and accomplish what few teams have ever done before, but the coaching staff apparently did not share the same goal.  Did you see Peyton Manning’s face?  He looked incredulous at being pulled out of the game and looked on in utter disgust as his offense sputtered without him.  In fact, I will go on record, for whatever it is worth, and I suspect not much, that the coaching staff wanted the Colts to lose the game.  I think they feared that the team would become overconfident and lose in the playoffs or as happened with the Patriots, lose in the Superbowl.   They wanted to humble the players.  And I guess they worried that Peyton might get hurt.   And watching the backup quarterback play, I can understand their concerns.

If the Jets beat the Bengals next week, they’ll make the playoffs, but it must come as a big disappointment to them to know that Indianapolis surrendered the game in the third quarter by pulling some of their starters including one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game.   The NFL ought to fine the Colts and give a refund to all the fans who attended the game.

High Octane Offense

Have you noticed that there have been a lot of points put up in NFL games lately?   I was just looking at the Sports section of the Monday paper and was surprised to see so many 40+ games.   The Patriots scored 48 in a win over the Dolphins.  The Bills scorched the Chiefs for 54 points.  Atlanta scored 45 on Carolina.  On Monday night, New Orleans crushed the Packers 54 – 29.   I’ve been watching the NFL since the AFL days, and can’t remember a season with as many high scores.  So I decided to test my hunch and here’s what I found courtesy of  Pro Football Reference: jim-brown

So far this year, the average number of points scored by a team in the league per game is 22.5.  I had to go back to 1965 when Jim Brown was the star of the NFL to find a higher average – 23.1 points per team.  It may surprise you to know that the 8 team AFL in 1961 had the most prolific offenses – 24.5 points per game, the year George Blanda won the MVP.

1926 was the best year on record for defense.  Teams like the Dayton Triangles and the Duluth Eskimos put up a mere 7.6 points per game.  The struggling Triangles scored only 15 points the whole season.

Dayton Triangles

Dayton Triangles

Duluth Eskimos

Duluth Eskimos

T is for Team, not Tom

If you are a Patriots fan, like me, you have to be a little worried, if not downright panicky over the loss of Tom Brady.  Do you feel like withdrawing your emotional investment in this team?  Comfortable with the thought of Sarah Palin at the helm, I mean Matt Cassel at the helm?  Well, I’m not, but time will tell.  I have not been terribly impressed with his performance so far, but the Patriots are 2-0.  Cassel has looked tentative at times; lost at others.   He doesn’t appear very athletic, though he moves better than Brady.  He lacks the patience and confidence in the pocket and the accuracy to throw on the run like say a Brett Farve.  However, Cassel seems to be gaining confidence as a leader.  While I don’t know what his teammates really think of him, he does have the unwavering support of the coaching staff.  I still think they should go after a veteran quarterback, but Belichick could very well be trying to make a point that the T is for Team, not Tom.

Relax.  Don’t sell your season tickets just yet.  Here are some numbers that might make you feel better.    The Pat’s defense is ranked 1st in rushing touchdowns (0); 3rd in fewest points allowed (20) and 5th in first downs (26).  On the offensive side, Matt Cassel, believe it or not, has a QB rating of 101.4 completing 70.7% of his passes with 0 interceptions.  On the downside, he’s only thrown 1 TD pass and passed for a mere 317 total yards in 2 games.   Not Bradylike numbers, but he’s gotten the job done, and not by throwing to Randy Moss who has caught only 8 passes on the year.  See Patriots Statistics for more details.

The Pats should be competitive the whole year, even with an average QB because of their strong defense.  Cassel has not been asked to do much and certainly has not been given the keys to the full repetroire of offensive plays.  If the Pats can get the running game going with Sammy Morris, Marshall Falk, Lamont Jordan, Laurence Maroney and Heath Evans, the pressure will be off Cassel.  T is for Team, not Tom.