31 October, 2008


October 31st, 2008

ECCCCHHH! 50% sucks even in handicapping. I can’t believe I went 7-7 last week, and if you’re reading this, I’m surprised you’re back and giving me another chance, which I do appreciate. With this week Pantherless, I’ll certainly give the picks extra clear thought. I will say this though. Even without our Cats playing this week, the week’s contests are important, vitally so to our playoff chase. Isn’t the league far more fun and interesting when WE’RE relavant? With that, I’ll dig right in.

The Texans have managed to get back into playoff contention. The Vikings are in trouble. Even a win for the purple clad-underachievers doesn’t guarantee anything. Couldn’t hurt though. Houston’s run D is suspect, although they are really moving the ball with Matt Schaub back at QB. Still, I like the notion of Adrian Peterson running wild Sunday. The line is at 4 ½, and I think the Vikings should want this more. I lean to the Vikings, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see Houston win.

The Jaggy-whyers really hurt me in my picks last week. With so much at stake in a very winnable home game, a loss really hurt them. A loss to the winless Bungles ends any realistic hopes at the postseason. I get the feeling the Bungles are playing out the string now, and I think Jacksonville plays like they mean it. The talent level, and HEART quotient is so much higher for them. They will win by the 7 ½ points they are favoured by.

The Chef’s game against the BRETS last week surprised me, AND hurt me, too! I never thought they could stay in the game against an offense that was supposedly superior, especially without LJ! Ok, I’m getting the same feeling here, but the Bucs aren’t the Titans, who blew them out at home, gashing them for over 300 yards on the ground. And I didn’t think the Bucs would get their ass handed to them at Dallas- I’m gettin’ weird with the 8 ½ point spread. I know we’d ALL LOVE to see the Bucs get filleted by the Chefs, but I don’t think our karma’s THAT good. Reluctantly, I’ll take the Bucs and the points.

If the Ravens, with a top-level defense and an improving offense, want to make the playoffs, this is the kind of game they MUST win. I’m not really sure how the Brownies managed to thump the G’ints AND the Jagz at their house. I’m not sure about how much juice the Art Modell thing plays into this rivalry. Perhaps they’ve got something for the Ravens- naahhh. Wrong team favoured- Gimme the Ravens and the 1 ½ points.

Ok, this is a team I can’t figger out. They look bad in losing to crOakland, and bad in winning with the Chefs in their house. Buffalo is leading the division, with the Pastry-Rots breathing down their neck. The Bills are hard to beat at home, and they’ll be motivated. I say the struggles of Favre continue. Gimme the Bills and the 5 ½ points.

The Rams stay unshorn for one more week, with a competitive performance in a losing effort against the Patsies last Sunday. Haslett seems to have been the difference in getting these guys believing in themselves again. But these Cardinals are so much better than I gave them credit for. After their game last week, I’m convinced. I think Kurt Warner will be pumped in playing his old team, and I like the Cardy-Noles to win by at least those 3 points. Win three more, Jimmy Haslett, and get your contract. You just ain’t winnin’ THIS week.

Alright, you Lie-uns let me down last week. No more love for you. DaBears are rested, ready, leading the division, and ready to kick the ass of their rival, no doubts about it.
The defense was thoroughly em”bear”essed by the Vikes in their last game, and they should be better on Sunday. The line is 13, and surprisingly not too heavy. Gimme DaBears.

I’ve heard some talking heads calling this a “trap” game for the Titans. Nonsense. Had the Colts game been AFTER this one, then you could call it a trap game. The big, monsterous, HUMONGOUS game was last week, which I CORRECTLY called, BTW. The Packers will not pass or run on this ball-hawking defense. Gimme the home Titans and the 5 ½.

Ok, Miami is so much better than I had thought they would be this year. And Denver’s D is awful this year. Miami loves to run, run, run, and if Denver can’t stop it, Miami could control this game. Denver got thouroughly beaten up by NewEnglandland last week, and hurt Jay Cutler in the process. I don’t think he’ll be 100% in this game, and I’ll take the underdawg Dull-Fins and the 3 points.

I thought the Duckies were punchless on the road this year until they smoked the Tundra outta the Packers. The Schraiders are bad, but they DID beat the BRETS at home. I gotta feelin’ about this one. The Duckies might win, but not by much. I actually like the Schraiders to cover that slim line of 3 points.

If there ever was a game that screamed “blowout”, this is it. The GeeeeeeeMen are in pretty good shape after their tilt with the Squealers last week, and the Cowbabies are still hurting. It’s really not a question in this game if Brad Johnson will succumb to the mighty Giant pass rush, but WHEN. The G’ints really WANT this game, and expect that battering ram of Brandon Jacobs to pound the Cowpuppies into mush. The line is 9, and I think the GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMen blow ‘em out worse than that.

Is there a chance that the Phillies’ championship carries over to the Fleagles? Not even mentioning that Brian Westbrook is back, and Matt Hasselbeck, well it IS his back? I think so. Big win for the Boids and that 6 ½ point spread.

This could be the very last gasp of the once-proud Colts. While they stood tall for almost three quarters against the mighty Titans, I think they could fare a little better against the Pastry-Rots. They haven’t been great at their new home this year, however. They DO get all-pro safety Sanders back, as well as Joseph Addiai. Don’t think THEY won’t make a difference in the struggling Colts. I just don’t like the line. Pretty heavy at 5 ½ points, in my opinion, therefore, as much as I detest doing it, I will take the Patsies to cover in this one.

On the night before Election day, we are treated to a slugfest in the nation's capital. The Foreskins to me are a HUGE surprise based on what we saw in the preseason, and their opening game. The Squealers are a HUGE surprise based on the fact that Roethlesberger is still alive. His line does a crappy job of protecting him, but the defense is the saving grace of this team. I don't suspect that the FredSkins will do much against the D, but I think Big Ben could be pressured and sacked multiple times. The team that controls the ball better offensively has the best chance to win. I think these teams are evenly matched, and I'm just LEANIN' to Pissburgh and the +2 points.

That’s the clairvoyance for the week, Fanz! I’m cautiously confident I’ll do better than-

Last Week- 7-7
Season 45-37

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30 October, 2008


October 30th, 2008

As a fan of BOTH the North CAROLINA Tarheels, and the CAROLINA Panthers, it's occoured to me this week that going into the bye week-

Both teams are 6-2.

Both teams have a bye this weekend.

Both teams are well positioned for postseason play.

Both teams lead their respective leagues in pass defense, the highlight being a hard-hitting secondary.

Both teams feature blue in their colour.

Ok, maybe that's a stretch, like both teams are teamed by male mammals. But the prior four statements have got me thinking-

Perhaps wave after wave of positive karma is falling upon our beloved home state.

See y'all tomorrow with the picks-

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The Cedar Street Seer

27 October, 2008


October 27th, 2008

When I woke up Sunday morning, I was flush with anticipation. I just KNEW this was going to be a happy, awesome day after the joy of the previous day’s sight of my beloved Tar Heels ripping Boston College, and even the joy of seeing the Big Ten’s evil empire of SLO-hio State crushed by Penn State. The air was crisp, but not uncomfortably so. The lot was starting to buzz, and sure enough, Commissioner Cahn showed up to give the PantherFanz party his blessing. A surprise visit by future standout WR Jason Carter and Decori “Cori” Birmingham was mighty cool, too. I hope them two fellas left our lot feelin’ good about the fan base. What surprised me, somewhat, was the lack of noise and energy in the lot by the time noon came around, with the greatest commotion being caused by our Miss October PantherFanz Laura when she did the 50/50 drawing. Even yours truly pleading over the megaphone couldn’t muster up the roar I felt necessary to pluck the Cardy-noles. And this wasn’t my imagination, y’all. As Brain and I and our PantherFanz convoy of Julie and Bud and Ron followed us into the South Gate, the lack of energy and noise was palpable. I could no longer take it. I started raising hell going into the security check points, with the workers joining me in my loud support for the team.

As the defensive players were announced, I became cognizant of the differing levels of cheer for various players. Charles Godfrey barely registered a faint roar, while the ovation for Julius Peppers probably registered on the Richter scale. I’d feel slighted, if I was Charles, and some of the other players on this terrific squad who deserve equal volume. And as the game unfolded, I still felt a serious lack of energy in the stands! And sure enough, it spilled onto the offensive plays of the Panthers in that first half – We could not move the ball on the ground, or the pass, while the defense had its hands full with the Cardy-noles potent offense. Despite increased blitzing and pressure, Kurt Warner was able to get enough passes off to keep drives going. Never mind I counted THREE, at least, incidences of HOLDING on Peppers that were never called! ( I guess all of the momentum tackles out of bounds that weren’t called balanced that out ) And to make the situation even stranger, was the malfunction of the scoreboards and time keeping equipment! All sorts of bizarre karma began to flood in. Was this going to be the start of a trend in our season? One great game, followed by a turd of a game, followed by another great game, followed by a turd, you get the ideal? Were we cursed to be teased like all of the other unfortunate schmo fans of the other bottom feeder teams in the league? Finally, a John Kasay field goal near the end of the half cut the lead to 10-3 in favour of our visitors from the Copper State. I still felt the strange lack of synergy – it was going to be really important for SOMETHING to pull that metaphysical switch that’s so vital to our team’s success. After another impressive drive by the Cards made it a 17-3 game early in the third quarter, it happened.

That offensive play that Miami is making trendy this year, “The Wildcat”, was put to use by the team that started it two seasons ago at Atlanta, with the same fulcrum point, DeAngelo Williams. Consecutive plays gained some thirty odd yards, and then, the running game gave us our first points- DeAngelo took a more traditional handoff 18 yards into the endzone, and the October 27, 2008 Bank of America Energy Crisis began to turn around as the stadium, AND the malfunctioning scoreboard, ROARED back to life! Score NOW at 17-10, and we were back in the game, and then, it was the defense’s turn! Maake Kemoeautu stripped the ball from Edgerin James’ grasp as Thomas Davis made the recovery DEEP in Cardy-nole territory in the very next series! Next play, touchdown pass to Smitty, tie score, and the Energy Crisis was abated.

All kinds of feelings of relief and joy spread through the stadium as the Panthers began to control the game. And interestingly enough, the plays called were not so much the Foxball I remember. I think as the season goes on, it seems to me that Jeff Davidson is being given more latitude in the play calling, as it appears to be more and more creative. However, the challenge from the very inspired Cardy-noles was not finished – Warner drove his team down the field for a go-ahead touchdown – BUT!!! The odd karma of the first half seemed to totally swing to The Panthers as they BOTCHED THE EXTRA POINT ATTEMPT! On the next series, you all saw the awesome TD to Smith that put us ahead for good. The Energy Crisis became the Energy Surplus as the crowd, still in their seats, began to attain indigent life form status –

I’m fixing to digress into a really geeky allusion that only Marc could understand. Well, maybe Brain could. And most of you Microsoft dudes. In Star Trek, The Motion Picture, a collection of mechanical intelligence attains a kind of consciousness that Mr. Spock acknowledges as a child at birth, just learning its’ way. I wasn’t thinking of that as the crowd INEXPLICABLY DOES THE F**^_(*^$%#*&%@+ING WAVE while the DAMN OFFENSE IS ON THE FIELD!!! Is it possible that our collective fanbase is still in the infancy throes? One that obviously COULDN’T READ – even as the message board IMPLORED FOR QUIET!!??? I’ve never been so enraged at our fans- our offense was going down the field, gashing the Cardy-nole defense in huge yardage chunks, and I felt the distraction was going to affect the offensive performance. Sure enough, we had to settle for a Kasay field goal. WHAT THE HELL WERE THE CONSESSIONAIRES SERVING!!?? Extra DUMBASS with the nachos? Did Dominos’ include MORON in the pizza toppings???!! COME ON, PANTHERFANS!!! And note I didn’t say PantherFANZ- we’re far too advanced and savy to fall for that. So, at that moment, our chances for victory were being buffeted much like the mechanical intelligence buffeted the Starship Enterprise. In the movie, Dr. McCoy suggested that “The Child” was having a “Temper Tantrum”, and that we “spank it!”! I sure felt like spanking our childish crowd. So, our Energy Crisis became an Energy Surplus, and then morphed into the crowd as an ENERGY EXCESS.

Thankfully, the excess energy seemed to channel into the defense, which now began to assert itself on the line, and in the secondary. Warner began to throw his passes erratically, missing his receivers, and badly. The last scoring threat of the Cardy-noles ended up in the arms of Jon BEASTon, and that was the end of Arid-zona for this day. How joyous it was to see THIS offense, OUR offense, grind the clock out for the final five minutes with punishing running by DeAngelo, and crisp passing by Jake. Three HUGE first downs did it, and how about that?

We’re 6-2 at the midway point of the season. If we do that again in the second half of the season, that makes us 12-4, you can do the math, and you know the result of that kind of record. Now, having watched this game and other games that have been played this year so far, I have made this observation, and I’m certain many of y’all who really appreciate the game have made the same observation.

The Arizona Cardinals are good. Really good. They have a terrific offense, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald. Come on, you gotta admit you were impressed by the way he caught Warner’s missiles. As a matter of fact, Arizona has an outstanding corps of receivers. I promise you, they will be a factor in the postseason. They do have to learn how to win on the road, and they came close yesterday, but what overshadows that for me is another observation-

The Panthers are learning how to come from behind and win. On the road, and at home. We’ve done it three times this year, y’all! The opener in Sad Diego, at home against DaBears, and yesterday! The maturation of this team is a pleasure to experience, and I no longer have any doubt that this team will make us happy this year. The stink of last season is long gone, and great days are ahead of us as long as the injury bug is sufficiently kept at bay. Arizona and New Orleans are the best offenses we will face this season – and we handled them. Who’s left? The Duckies maybe? Beaten them already. Packers? Don’t think so. Broncoids? Fading. Bucs and Saints? Done ‘em. The G-men may be a challenge, but all of a sudden, with the season half over, nothing seems impossible for the Carolina Panthers. This has been the best start since the ’03 season, I’m sure y’all agree. Instead of a rollercoaster ride, this has been, well, to use the StarTrek metaphor –


So, as the Starship Panther collects supplies and refuels for the conclusion of this mission in two weeks, we await for Admiral Jerry to turn to Captain Fox and summon the order-


This is gonna be special. I’m thrilled to be taking this ride with you, The PantherFanZ tribe…

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24 October, 2008


October 24th, 2008

Welllll, THAT’s a little more like it! Going 8-5 sure beats the hell out of going 6-7! As we approach the mid-point of the season, there’s three kinds of clubs out there- the serious contenders, the hopeless, and the clubs fighting to survive. Here’s my breakdown of the week’s contests-

What a piece of crap the Schraiders forced the Brets to play last week! I doubt they will be able to do that against a stout Ravens defense that made my pick against them look foolish last week. I think the offense will do enough to move the chains, and score enough against the CableGuys to win. At 3-3, they’ve got a puncher’s chance to stay in the playoff race, and that should motivate them against an inferior team. The line’s a bit heavy at 7, but I’ll lean to Ball-tea-moore in this one. But I quothe no further love for them, nevermore, my friends.

Who’s the Einstein that thought international games were a good ideer? A novelty at best, to countries that go far wilder over, ECHHHH! – soccer! (no offense to you soccer dads out there) You’re dealing with far different time zones, climates, food, fans, etc, that puts both teams at a disadvantage. Now, add to this that both teams are truly beaten up after dismal defeats last weekend. The Charger’s defense is depleted, the Saints never had one, and THEY are without Reggie Bush, possibly their best playmaker. Looks like it could be a shootout. Both teams are in DESPARATE need of a win, but The Saints are moreso. And at times, I suspect they’ll play like it.
The Chargers are favored by 3 points, and I’m takin’ it. The loser’s postseason chances after this one are probably shot.

I feel really bad for this franchise. The once-proud Chefs are now as bad as any NFL team I’ve ever seen. Yes, they are in re-building mode, but I don’t see how Herm Edwards’ job survives this season. There is no energy, no will to win, no quality player at any skill position, and now, no Larry Johnson. As much as I hate to say it, this is a day for Brett Favre to cavre up this moribound team. A heavy, heavy, line at 13, but hey, this is a matchup MADE for that diva Favre to succeed. Take the Bretts, who live to fight for the postseason for another week.

Ok, I guess the league is starting to figger out Tony Sorpano’s screwy but simple “Wildcat” play that the Dull-phins wowed the league with early. The Beel’s stout D will handle the Fhish, yes, even in that hot South Florida sun. Trent Edwards is proving to be a genuine leader at quarterback for this team The line is 1 ½, and I like the Beels to continue to keep their lead on the Pastry-Rots.

Ohhh, you know all possible eyes in the NFL and even the casual fan will be looking at this game, anticipating the train wreck that is to come. This is a contest between a team that really isn’t, but is populated by WAYYYYYYYY superior talent, save one position, against a team that IS a team. This is a statement game, for both teams. The Bucs NEED this game to stay with the Panthers, and the Cowbabies MUST win this game JUST to stay relevant in the league. The division may already be out of reach for them. If they cannot realize any success in the ground attack with Marion Barberian, the game will be lost. The Bucs will probably have no problem scoring, and their former QB now playing for Dallas, Brad “Old Man” Johnson, will have a BIG problem penetrating the Bucs D. I kinda doubt offensive dude Jason Garrett will have an answer for the Bucs this weekend. I’ll take the Bucs, as much as it hurts, and it hurts, and the 2 ½ points they’re getting as an underdawg.

The Fleagles have been given new life with the Cowbabies’ struggles, and a really needed bye. Getting Brian Westbrook back is HUGE, and I don’t think Matt Ryan is ready for the INTENSE blitzing Jimmy Johnson’s boys will be throwing at these Duckies. If Turner the Burner can’t get his yards, it will be a long day. That line is large, large, large, but if the Boids’ D plays like it has, I don’t see why they don’t beat the Duckies by the 9 points they’re favoured by. The Duckies come back to earth.

For one week, and one week only, the St. Looey LAMBS have now matured into RAMS.
Coach Haslett has done a fine job in getting this team competitive again. The Pasties looked really good carving up the hapless Broncoids last week, and I’m wondering if the Rams are catching the Pastry-Rots at a too-comfortable over-confident state. Loosing Rodney Harrison doesn’t help them, and if Steven Jackson can get the running game going, they may yet have ONE MORE competitive game in them. The Pastry-Rots are favoured by 7, and I like the Rams to cover. Should the Rams win, they will put unexpected pressure on the Cardy-Noles’ playoff express. A loss for the Pastry-Rots will pretty much end the division hopes but the wildcard is still possible.

Annnnnnnnnnnd- SPEAKING of those Cardy-noles, who have the league’s #2 passing offense – please meet the NFL’s #2 passing DEFENSE. Last week they PUNISHED the leagues’ NUMBER ONE offense. I imagine they will do the same this week. Meanwhile, enough Foxball will be played to keep the game tight, and in favour of the ‘Cats. The Panthers have been AWESOME at home this year, and I believe the trend continues. While a loss hurts both of these teams, it will not greatly diminish postseason chances for either team. The Panthers need this more, and they will be motivated. Take the Panthers and the four points.

The Lie-uns have actually started to fight a little bit, keeping things close with the Vikings and Texans at THEIR houses- The FredSkins didn’t impress me much with their home victory over the Brownies. The Lie-uns are NOT without weapons on the skill positions, and they may make this a contest at the Stadium that Ford built. The DreadSkins will win, but I like the Lie-uns to cover that 7 ½ point spread.

After a much-needed bye, the Jag-you-whyers get a much-underwhelming opponent in the Brownies, who I’d suspect will have a tough time puncturing the Jag’s D. Meanwhile, the stout running game will control the clock, and the acutely accurate David Garrard will fire darts into the Brownie D. The Jags, while realistically out of contention for the division, can still fight for the wildcard. Should the Brownies lose, they are done. Consider them done. Jag-you-whyers and 7.

Considered by many to be the game of the week in the NFL, possibly a Super Bowl preview, this contest features two of the very best defenses in the league. Where they are NOT evenly matched, however, are the offensive lines. The Squealers’ line has surrendered 15 sacks this year, or something like that, and the G’ints? 6. The G’ints are going to hit BigBen early, and often. The Pissburgh D will wear down by the fourth quarter, giving Eli the chance he needs to get his team in scoring range. That will be the difference, and as much as it hurts the Panthers, I’m picking the GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEmen, not just to cover, but to WIN. Like the Panthers and Cards, a loss doesn’t devastate postseason chances for either team, even moreso, given that both teams are 5-1.

I’m sure most of you remember those INTENSE glaring eyes of Samurai Mike Singletary as he led one of the most fearsome defenses in NFL history. It was an indelible impression, at least on me, that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The Phoney-Niners after 1999? Can’t remember much. They’ve been pretty much irrelevant in the league for the past ten years. I’m not sure I like the new coaching combination of mad genius Mike Martz and the relative “whippersnapper” Singletary, whose intense glare will have ZERO impact on this outcome. Here’s a clue, Samurai- Hand off the ball early and often to Frank Gore, and “Gore” the hapless SeaDogs, who by the way, have NO HOPE for the postseason, and have made one of the most meteoric and precipitous tumbles from the NFL’s elite in recent memory. They were AWFUL last week in Tampa, and even coming back to the Worst Coast, they will play this game without Hasslebeck, which will doom them. I really hate, hate, hate, HATE LIKE HELL to give the Phoney-Niners any love, and anymore space in this paragraph about this stinker of a game, but I’ll take the home favorite and that fat, huge, corpulent line of 5 points.

The Bungles. Uggghchh. Is it possible they could be worse that the Chefs? The Texans may just have the chance to prove it. A win this Sunday gives the Texans a chance at the wildcard. I don’t see how a resurgent Matt Schaub and his improving Texans don’t fling the biscuit all over those hapless Bungles. And he’d better- I’m starting him over Jake Delhomme this week! I will gladly take that minute, tiny sliver of a microscopic line that favours the home Texans by 9 ½ points.

Playing largely under the radar and well outside of the glare of the Cowpuppies’ impending and inevitable meltdown, at last, the Titans get the nation’s attention on Monday night. The once-mighty Colts have suffered some serious injuries, no longer run the ball; no longer STOP the run, a disastrous combination for a team looking to get back to the postseason. And Tennessee LEADS the NFL in rushing. Uh, oh, Colts fans. I doubt that punctured offensive line for Indy can hold off the relentless Titan rush all night – Peyton won’t be able to do enough for his team against these guys. While it’s said, and annoyingly so sometimes, “to never underestimate the heart of a champion”, this season looks like it will soon be a lost one for the Colts. Gimme the Titan juggernaut and that 4 point spread that’s so small, you need an electron microscope to find it.

There ya go, Fanz- This really feels like a good pickin’ week! It’s startin’ to feel good to be the Cedar Street Seer again!

Last week - 8-5

Season - 38-30

See y’all Sunday.

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23 October, 2008


October 23, 2008

This Sunday we will “entertain” a franchise from a city that’s only had pro football for twenty years. Although that’s a few more than we’ve enjoyed, I thought I’d dig around and find out a little more about these Arid-Zona Cardy-noles.


That the Cardinals are the OLDEST chartered team in the NFL? And they are older even still than the league itself! In 1898, they were formed in Chicago as the Morgan Athletic Club. When they moved to Racine in 1901, their uniforms were some used maroon togs from the University of Chicago, faded so much, that the players complained they were CARDINAL red-

Hence the name.

In 1920, the team, along with the Decatur Staleys and Green Bay Packers, became the first charter members of the American Professional Football League, which two years later became the NFL. Scratchin’ yer head about the Decatur Staleys? Heard the name before? You should have- They became the Chicago Bears! In their 40 years in the Windy City, the Cardy-noles only won 2 NFL championships, and one, won in 1925, was won by default! In 1932, the team was purchased by a Dr. Bidwell, and has been in this family ever since, also making them the NFL team owned the longest by a SINGLE ENTITY. After WWII, the game became more popular than ever, and expansion sent the team to St. Louis in 1960, the same year the Dallas Cowbabies joined the league, with the noble Tom Landry as their coach. The Cardy-noles had a largely unspectacular history in the Gateway City, making the playoffs (YES, Coach Mora, I’m talkin’ PLAYOFFS, ‘cause I’m talkin’ about history!) only three times, and never winning a game. They DID have their share of decent years with Neil Lomax and Roy Green, Jim Hart and Otis Anderson. Many of you remember Bidwell’s move to Phoenix in 1988, and the years of suckage they’ve had out in the desert. Actually, many fans of the franchise will remember DECADES of suckage due to the Bidwell’s notorious reluctance to open the checkbooks to pay players and coaches. Some of you may remember Arid-zona’s lone trip to the posteason in 1998, when Jake Plummer and his boys whooped on the Cowbabies for their ONLY PLAYOFF WIN in their 100 year history! So, we fast forward to now.

Today, the Cardy-Noles are a surprising 4-2, a commanding lead over the other three teams in the division. They’re winning games largely through a prolific and aggressive passing attack with the ancient Kurt Warner (‘memba HIM??) at the controls. The biscuit is generally flung at Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin, when healthy. He’s not, at this posting. Here’s something else you may not know- Ken Whisenhunt, the head coach? 12-10 since he got there last year. After 100 years, who knows, maybe they’re putting something together really special there! One thing though- This team SUCKS on the East Coast, and after looking at this team objectively, I’m more confident in victory than I was immediately following our dismantling of the Saints last week. I’ll tell you this- The Cardy-Nole “D” is MUCH tougher than the Saints, and we will really have to nut it up to score on these guys. I suspect it will be much like the Bears game, when we put ‘em away in the 4th quarter. Where the Panthers have the distinct advantage is, however, is OUR VASTLY superior defense, #2 in the league against the pass, and you can imagine that the scoring result for the Cards will be much like the Saints last week. The score wouldn’t surprise me to be something like 21-10 or something like that. I’m anticipating MUCH more Foxball this weekend than last Sunday.

So Fanz, when you’re looking at the red and white adorned team from Arid-zona, take a moment to reflect on the history of this perennially bad but improving franchise, and put out of your mind the notion that they’re due a great road win on the East Coast. Because it’s not happenin’ this Sunday.

See y’all tomorrow with the picks.

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20 October, 2008


October 20, 2008

I kind of over-libated myself with Redbreast upon returning home and never got to the keyboard to start pounding out my post-game rant. But never fear, I’m back at it this afternoon. First of all, let me say that as fans, we’ve experienced one of the best gamedays since ’96. Seriously. From the weather to the food, to the game itself, it was absolutely fantastic. Second of all, let me say-


I had correctly predicted this outcome by examining the “reverse karma” of the past three weeks involving crappy AFC Worst teams, and the NFC South. I woke up Sunday Morning feeling completely confident, and Dano himself can recall our Saturday conversation to this regard. Sure, you can go over X’s and O’s all you want, and listen to the endless blather of the so-called-experts, who, by the way, cant WAIT to bury their once-beloved anointed Cowbabies, but there’s no getting in the way of that most powerful karma.

Ok, what did we see? I’m sober and reflecting on the contest. The all-powerful Saints offense DID move the ball- but not in the huge chunks that so characterizes their attack. I’m really trying NOT to give Turkey-Vac too much love, and I’m reserving judgment on him until the seasons’ complete, but this was a BEAUTIFUL defensive effort! Never mind the mercurial effectiveness of the offense, and I’ll get to that later, but WITHOUT a judicious amount of blitzing, they STILL held the NFL’s #2 offense to 7 measly points! John Kasay could have kicked two field goals, and the defense generates a safety, and that would have been enough to win! This is what I THINK I saw through the buzz- With mainly a four-man rush, the linebackers and the VERY UNDERRATED secondary played a contain and cover game, keeping the play in front of them at ALL TIMES. The coverage began to throw Brees off, and the resulting chaos on the front lines became the perfect environment for pass pressure-

Enter Julius Peppers.

For the past few weeks, a serious Romulan mind control tactic had affected his play, but I’ve learned that a bold countermeasure by some of StarFleet’s finest para-physcholgical warfare experts from the future managed to free Julius’ football mind to set straight the timeline that is meant to be, one of many Panthers victories for this season, so that there is no future paradoxes that rupture the space-time continuum. And while that may not necessarily be so, that sounded so delightfully geeky to say in a classic Marc Stanton way. But you get it. A maddeningly INCONSISTENT #90 unleashed DOES make a game-changing impact on the way we attack, and the way our opponent counters. The Saints simply had NO ANSWER for our defense, and now, the rest of the league will be examining the film from yesterday, hoping to duplicate that success. I counted at least three times when Julius was held, and not called by the Hoculis. And when he was double teamed, his linemates were sure to make a play. I can’t say enough about the fourth down stands made TWICE and defended successfully. This was an incredible defensive effort that we’ve not seen in years. And you can’t count the games against creampuffs like the Chefs and the Duckies. This was a SERIOUSLY good offense, shut down. Turkey-Vac? I’m proud for you TODAY. AND THAT’S IT! Game plan effectively for the Cardy-noles coming up this Sunday, and I’ll add that to my Turkey-Vac love bank.

Now, for the offense. There was really no HUGE offensive plays made, but it wasn’t necessary! The one thing I particularly notice was the tremendous amount of balance between run and pass, both very effective. I think we had ONE 3-and-out series. I must give serious props to the O-line for holding things together while Otah and Kalil heal. Jake was BARELY TOUCHED on Sunday! No turnovers tossed by our Cajun Cannon, but what was wonderful to see was how ACCURATE he was! On the TD pass to Smith in the third quarter, it first appeared to be a lucky ballsy pass in Jake’s usual “gunslinger” mode. Oh no, my friends, upon Wildman’s astute examination of the replay on those tremonsterous scoreboard screens, JAKE LAID THAT BALL RIGHT ON HIS CHEST! Stupendous play. While Stewilliams never had any of those magnificent breakaway runs, they managed to crank out some 140 yards of good, bruising offense. But the best part of our offense yesterday was something we haven’t seen in possibly THE ENTIRE JOHN FOX ERA. Killer instinct. Never, did I feel Foxball was being played as a strategic feature yesterday. The plays were called with daring, for example, the “flea flicker” from Stewart to Jake in the second quarter, and CONSISTENTLY taking a chance with the pass in the second half, keeping drives going, and keeping the Saints from getting the ball and thus getting a chance to get back in the game. Essentially, we laid the proverbial “foot on the neck”, and never let up. Never before have I seen a John Fox team play this way at home, and it was as wonderful to see as the first time you saw your wife naked. (well, at least MINE!) Really. The sound of the crowd as we exited the stadium was as such that I’ve not heard since beating Dallas in the, ehh, that thing that starts with “P”. It was as majestic as any anthem Beethoven ever wrote. At this point I’d have to say that the few Saints fans that were there were well behaved and not obnoxious pieces of s**t that Cowbaby, Eagle and Squealer fans are, and in no way made an impact on the mood of the game. Saints and Bucs fans, you’re welcome in the lot anytime with us.

Ok, we had a magnificent experience yesterday. So how does this game stack up in the great ledger of Panther wins?


Foxy and staff MUST follow up this masterpiece with one similar to it this Sunday against the Cardy-noles. Without a repeat performance against a team that has a similar offensive philosophy, and a slightly BETTER defense, this past game will only be a footnote, instead of another brick in a foundation of success this season. As it is with Fox fashion, he must not let these guys get too high again, as they were just before Tampa. I’d outlaw reading all of the gushy love over the ‘net and papers until the seasons’ over. Don’t think Arid-zona couldn’t beat us, ‘cause they could. Unless the team goes into this game with the same laser focus they had for the Saints. And it’s absolutely VITAL. After this game is the bye. Then, the second half of our season begins, albeit with a pair of patsies in the Schraiders and Lie-uns. We had BETTER be 8-2 at that point, because the next six games are against teams that right now all have winning records, with a real chance at the postseason. (Relax, Coach Mora, I didn’t say IT---) Ok, the Saints are 3-4. For now. Lets see, here they are, and in this order- AT the Duckies, AT the Packers, HOME against the Bucs, HOME against the Broncoids, then AT the G’ints, and finished at The Superdome against a team that would LOVE to get back at us. That crucible stretch of six games will define this season, and how great it would be to have the same kind of play we had yesterday. Foxy- Turkey-Vac- you fellas have your mandate.

Make it happen. For us, the loyal fan, if not for your jobs.

I’ll be back with a quasi-scouting report on our opponent in a couple of days.

In the meantime, relish this wonderful win until Thursday, Friday at the very latest, because the hard road comes in full force in less than five weeks.
Then, it’s six weeks of NFL battling at it’s best. And I’m confident we’ll come out on top.

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17 October, 2008


October 17th, 2008

Carnage. Pure, unadulterated Carnage, to use a phrase from my last rant.
6-7. Again. And truth be told, I’m not feeling very good this week. After last week’s brutal thumping, I’m not seeing clearly. I didn’t see Bal-tea-moore absolutely inept against the Colts. I CERTAINLY didn’t see The Lambs smackin’ the DeadSkins at home. And I REALLY didn’t give the Brownies a chance against the G’ints. Come on- DID YOU!!?? Well, arrrgh, excuses are for losers. I have to gut this out. With that said, I limp into the week’s contests.

Ok, this is the kind of game that almost feels like a trap after last week. But Jeff Fisher is a different kind of coach, and the Titans are a different kind of team. Kerry Collins doesn’t win this game, the defense does. And a deflated Tony Gonzales won’t be a difference maker in this game. If the Chefs thought Carolina was tough- Whoa. The Titans will make ‘em see stars. So I think. The lines’ at 8, and this might be the safest pick of the day. Take the UNDEFEATED TITANS to stay that way, by yes, the 8 points. (UPDATE-as of this morning, Larry Johnson is suspended for this game for team discipline and will not play, line's gone to 9. Won't matter.)

Big, BIG win for the ‘Bolts last week. One they HAD to have. And Beefalo’s rested, and boy, did they need it. Trent Edwards is back, and somehow, I’m not feelin’ the urgency from the Beels this week. The only realistic push in their division is from the Bretts, come on, the Dull-fins are a season away from contending, and the Pastry-rots have to wait ‘til Tommy comes back, and perhaps even beyond that. A good game, potentially, and it’s a pick’em. The ‘Bolts are hot, and I’ll pick the Chargers.

Another team with a VITAL need of a bye. How The Squealers have maintained a 4-1 record has me convinced someone in that organization has sold their soul.
The Bungles are hurtin’ just as bad as the Squealers, and the Squealers may get Willie Parker back. I just don’t see how the Bungles get enough points to cover this spread, but stranger things have happened… Errrrrrrrrggghghh… Oh, I can’t do it. I can’t give any love to the Bungles, much as I want to. The line is 9 ½ for the Squealers, and I say take it.

After last week, when do you think I’ll be qouthing love for the Ravens? Nevermore, my friends, NEVERMORE. The Dull-fins are actually competitive this season, and Tony Sorpano is up for an Emm-, uh no, not THAT dude, Coach of the year, IMO. I think the Ravens wilt much like the Panthers did in that hot South Florida sun. The Fish are favoured, and I like the call. Take Tuna’s Team and those 3 points.

Ok, bad mis-pro. Dallas is anything but dull, with all of the attention swirling around their injury report, insanely bad free-agent acquisition of Roy Williams, and the suspension of Adam Jones. The Lambs are coming off of a HUGE confidence boosting-win over the FredSkins last week, and don’t think that doesn’t count for something. There’s something BIG wrong with the Cowpuppies, and that may not manifest itself this week, well, maybe it will. This might be the wrong call, but this either feels like a rallying point for the Cowgirls, or further implosion. Make no mistake, they’re a better team than the Lambs, but you don’t win on talent alone. I think The Lambs are ready to rally too. This could be the kind of game Steven Jackson rumbles through on, and they’ll make it close. The CowPatties are favoured by 7, but I like the Lambs to cover.

The Vikings BEARLY (pun intended) survived the Ly-uns AT HOME last week, and DaBears are a squbb kick away from being 4-2. This game could be a blowout. DaBears are at home, and I like ‘em BIG. Ahhh, dere’s a soiten team from DaWindy City dat’s gotta tree points ovah da Vikings- and dat team is….
Da Bears. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa- Bears.

I’ve ranted about the karma of this game earlier. The NFC South has all of a sudden become a crucible, if but for a short period. I’ve looked ahead at all of the schedules for the four teams in this division, and while I expect the Duckies to fade, the other three, ESPECIALLY the Buck-an-ears, are going to be in this thing right up to Week 17. Week 5, Saints bite the wax tadpole at home; Cats flay the Chefs, an AFC Worst team. Week 6, Saints flay the Schraiders, another awful AFCWorst team; Panthers lose a road division game. I don’t want to call this a must-win game, because there’s plenty of season left, but this is a game that the Panthers really need to make a statement on. This is a different Panthers team from last year, and despite the offensive prowess of the Saints, I believe the Panthers rally. It will be tough, very tough, but we’ve beaten these guys before. Panthers by 3.

Ok, I’m hesitating here. Last Monday, G-men, bad team, big point spread, G-men lose. Sure, some elements have changed in this game here, but some have remained the same. G-men, bad team, big point spread. The Phoney-Niners actually hung with a desparate Iggles team last week, and I’m wondering if they can hang with the GEEEEEEEEEEmen this week. They’re away from home, and the G’ints are on a short week. There’s no question that the G’ints win here, I’m just questioning the line- it’s 10 ½ right now, and I don’t really want to, but I’m thinking the Niners cover. If they fail, I’m not givin’ them any more love this season.

Houston, you HAD a problem. With Matt Schaub back, and brimming with confidence, you should have no problem with the Motor City Misfits. They looked great against a suddenly good Miami team. The line is 8 ½, and I’m comfortable with that.

Can we get rid of those hideous NY Titans unies now? Please? As of this posting, Brett Favre is 2-0 in ‘em, so take the nasty togs away, and there’s an equalizing factor…

Ok, maybe not. These are two teams going in opposite directions. But I can’t throw a bunch of love at these Brets yet. Favre is due for a stinker, and I think it’s this weekend in the Black Hole of crOakland. Yeah, the Schraiders suck on ice, but they DO have some talent in some postitons, and they’re at home. I like the Schraiders to cover that 3 points the B*R*E*T*S BRETS BRETS BRETS are favoured by.

Ok, THIS is the game that spooks me. Which Brownie team shows up Sunday? Which SchredSkins team shows up Sunday? How many times do you think Romeo C. and his staff have dissected the game film from the Lambs game? The Brownies just dispatched what was arguably the NFL’s top team, and do you think they don’t believe they could punish the ForeSkins? The NedSkins are favoured by a touchdown. I don’t like it, and I think the Brownies cover.

Problem for Packer Nation is, the tundra is not frozen yet, and therefore powerless. Another problem. Peyton is back. I mean, REALLY back. The Colts are beginning to resemble the juggernaut they have been for the past few seasons, and I don’t think the Packers’ injury-riddled defense is stopping them. Aaron Rogers showed a lot of heart in thumping a really bad Seadogs team, but this ‘aint the Seadogs, Aaron. Indy’s favoured by 1, and you can multiply that number a few times. Forget the tundra today, friends.

And SPEAKING of the Seadogs, after getting absolutely bitch-slapped by the Men Of The Tundra, get a rejuvenated Buck-an-ears team. The Seadogs, unlike ClevelandLand, are really, really bad. Yet, this is a team of professionals, just like the rest of the league. I never would have DREAMED that the Lambs would go to Warshingtoon and thump the ‘Skins. Never. So, how I’d love for Holmgren to take his sucky Northwestern team of losers and thump those Bucs. Not gonna happen. I’d be happy as hell if he did, though. Line is 10 ½ for them Bucs, and I’m inclined to take it, much as it kills me.

Oh, boy, here’s another land mine. On one hand, there’s the offensive juggernaut that is the Broncoids. On the other, is the wounded but desparate Pastry-Rots. Let’s look at this game from another perspective. For two years, maybe more, the Evil-checks have dominated the league, and now- it’s payback. And Shanahan is another one of those humorless, Billy-Bad-ass coaches. Think he’d like to trim Dr. EvilCheck in HIS house? I’m feeling the motivating factors going to the Broncoids. The Patsies are favoured by 3, but I’m leanin’ to the Broncoids.

There it is, Fanz. My hopes are riding on going 8-5 at best. Please God; don’t let me go 6-7 again…

Last week, (WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAACHHHHHHHHH)(the sound of regurgitation) 6-7

Season 30-25

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15 October, 2008


October 15th, 2008

There’s a really worn-out axiom that says, “Misery loves company”. And I certainly hate to drag out a really worn-out axiom, but for this week, that certainly applies to practically most of the NFL’s front runners’ fans. (as well as the CSS’s picks) Think you’re feeling alone in your angst, PantherFanz?

Naaaaaaaaaaah Ah!

Yep, we got our ass handed to us by a determined Bucs team. It happens. When the dust settled, and the disappointment began to wane, I realized that MOST NFL teams that got to the championship games and ultimately The Super Bowl had a stinker in their regular season. (Except the Pastry-Rots last year- remember what happened to THEM!!??) And boy, was there some stinkers this week!

Even without Tommy B, the Patsies were supposedly good enough to get back to the playo- OOPS! Sorry Coach Mora, I almost did it. The Chargers exposed them, period. Their defense is old, the secondary suspect, and Matt Cassle is just an average quarterback. Denver, at home, got fanny-paddled by the Jag-you-whyers. The supposedly unstoppable offense got stopped. And in miserable fashion. The Vikings, could BARELY beat a MISERABLE Ly-uns team. If Orlashavsky, or whatever his name is, doesn’t run out of the endzone early in the game, perhaps the Ly-uns get their first win. And ohhhhhhhhhhhhh-

The mighty NFC “Beast”-


Publicly humiliated.

The DeadSkins, anointed as the challenger to the NooYawk GEEEEEEEEEmen- Beaten, AT HOME, by the WINLESS LAMBS! The GEEEEEEEEEmen- got enmasculated by the ClevelandLand BROWNIES! The G’ints game was dormant on a national stage, on both sides of the ball. And ohhhh- the sweetest misery of all, SQUARELY on…. ***AHEM*** ****KOFF**** ***KOFF****

“Americas’ Team”

The Dallas Cowbabies.

They were outplayed for most of the game by the Cardy-noles, and exposed on top of that. Add to that, the loss of Romo The Homo, Felix Jones, and Matt McBriar, the suspension of Adam Jones, and you’ve got all the ingredients of an implosion.

So, PantherFanz-

You still feel terrible?

I’m not like James, who swore he wasn’t listening to the radio after that abomination of a game. I wanted to hear EVERYTHING. Out of all of the haterade being spewed this week, who’s getting the biggest glass? Sure ‘aint us. What I’m seeing and hearing about OUR game is how good the Bucs played. That victory isn’t registering around the league like that misery that’s piling on the Cowpuppies. Or the surprise of the GEEEEEEEEEmen’s defeat. Where’s the love for the resurgent Colts?

The teams in the NFC “BEAST” are getting practically ALL of the attention, which, frankly, most of us would agree, is the way we’d want it.

We’re back out of the spotlight, where we tend to excel, until Coach Mora lets us talk about, well, you know…..

Now, if we blow it against the Saints this Sunday, and that’s a distinct possibility, all bets are off. But let’s go back to the “Champions playing a stinker” angle again- As it applies to the Panthers- Our Super Bowl season? Thumped at home by the Titans. And beaten by the Duckies. Our ’05 season? Clocked by DaBears. I’m confident that last Sunday was just that. Come out and play, James- it’s safe to come outside, and cheer the ‘Cats.

The rest of the lot is.

Back on Friday, with, ehhhhhhhhherrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhhhhhhhh!

The picks.


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12 October, 2008


October 12th, 2008

UGGHHH! Call this abomination whatever explicative you wish. It’s a good thing the lot lizards from your Cedar Street tailgating home were entertaining kids as well as the grownup PantherFanz, or there would have been much cussing, breaking of things, and loud gnashing of body parts. I did NOT see this spanking coming. This performance by the Panthers, overall, was reminiscent of the lackadaisical floundering of last seasons’ abortion of a team. It was clear, from the first possession of the game, which ended in a blocked punt returned for a TD by Chucky’s boys, that this was going to be a tough, hard fought game. But it was tough only for the blue-jerseyed Cats. Hard fought only by the Buccaneers. I’m sure many of our fans are wondering---

What happened to the Panthers?

On a metaphysical level, perhaps the fact we’d been discovered by the media, anxious to anoint another NFL team after the Cowpatties have stumbled. The Panthers always perform better when they’re under the radar. Well, start 4-1, and you’re getting noticed in this league. Perhaps they started reading the press clippings again and believing all of the love showered upon this team. Well, let me remind the players AND their fans, it’s never mattered less what the damned writers say about your team. It matters what you do on the field. The Panthers had “superior” personnel at practically EVERY position. But from the beginning, they were out- executed, out hit, out physicaled, and yes, Foxy- OUTCOACHED. Foxball was a miserable failure today. Hell, ANY ball Foxy called to be played today was a miserable failure. Instead of bemoaning the multitude of mistakes made by EVERY PLAYER WEARING A PANTHER UNIFORM, I’m going to recant the conversation I had with a former Philthydelphia Iggles offensive lineman. I can’t recall his first name, but his last name was Darby. Perhaps one of you Yankees can recall him. He played in the late nineties, but wrecked his knee in his second season and turned his earnings into a bachelor of nursing degree, and gained a position at CMC. He was in my shop buying scrubs, and I marveled at the size differential between his britches (xl) and his shirt (4xl). Fitting him was tough, and when he responded to my question about where he played his football, as it was obvious by his physique, the conversation just flowed.

The thing I’m going to remember most of all from that conversation by the very friendly Mr. Darby, is according to him, what happens from the opening snap on the very first series. As a lineman, the game boils down to you, and the man you are to block. Period. On that first play, SOMEONE is getting knocked on their ass, or lose ground. If it’s YOU that winds up on your ass on that play, you are DONE for the day. Your opponent has you beat. But if it’s YOU that’s holding ground over your opponent, victory is yours. If your other teammates on the line are doing the same, odds are you are winning the game. Of course, unless your skill players are making boneheaded mistakes and turnovers.

In the very best Maddenism, THIS IS FOOTBALL. And the Panthers are the ones who got knocked on their ass today. And this had better be one of the last times this happens this year, if the event with the “P” word is to be experienced. Fortunately, the NFL stands for NOT FOR LONG, and we had better not dwell on this loss. As Foxy goes, he never gets too up, or too down. I believe James had quoted him as saying “You’re never as good as you think you are, or as bad as they say you are”. Pretty even keeled. But even keeled hasn’t been as good for us as we’d like to be! Ok, you know what, yeah, this was a BAD LOSS to a GOOD TEAM. Yeah, it’s a division game, I know this. But we have FOUR MORE to play. Anyone panicking right now after this loss is a fool. Wanna feel better?

Be a DeadSkins fan. Know what happened to THEM today? Got beat- AT HOME by a Saint Looey Lambs team that had NO BUSINESS being in that game, but the FredSkins got fat and happy with their four-game winning streak. The impact of this game was as thunderous as if WE had been beaten by the Chefs last week. Moreso. The Lambs were winless. THEIR loss was a BAD LOSS to a BAD TEAM. Be a Vikings Fan. Your team, after trimming the Saints IN THEIR HOUSE had to rally to squeak by a DREADFUL Ly-uns team. Be a Seadogs fan. The Favreless Packers, struggling, came to YOUR HOUSE and beat your ass. Be a Cowbaby fan. Your MIGHTY COWBABIES, anointed by every sportswriter to be this years Super Bowl champion, got whupped by the lowly Cardy-Noles. At a stadium in Arid-zona that was 50% Cowpuppy fans! (this is actually a situation that really pisses me off, BTW)(more on this another time) Yeah, and be a NewEnglandland fan. Your Pastry-Rots are getting another thumping at the hands of the Chargers. So, cheer up, PantherFanz. Think OUR loss is the big story this week? No way, baby. But the heat on us gets turned up on us exponentially now, like the steam that thrust it’s melting jets on us in Tampa today. You know, I felt uncomfortable just watching this contest in my matching blue HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOver jersey. This coming Sunday, we are getting the offensive juggernaut that is New Orleans. Who, similar to us last week, dispatched a weak and struggling AFC Worst opponent in the Schraiders in a dramaless blowout THIS week. And similar to us THIS week, are going to play a road division game NEXT week. Are you following the karma?

One thing I’m feeling good about would be the trends this year as opposed to the last two years. We are doing a MUCH better job playing at home. Yeah, we lost to tough road games against decent opponents, and WON one against an even tougher one in the Chargers. But we’ve protected the house so far. I’m confident we make a better showing against a Saints team with a BETTER OFFENSE than the Bucs, but a far inferior DEFENSIVE opponent. And one thing’s for sure, Foxy had BETTER prepare this team better than he did for this Tampa game.

And let’s not forget-

We DO get a rematch with these Pirates of the Pewter Pants – In our house, Monday night, December. Be there. I’m sure the Panthers will be.

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I would be amiss, before I let loose my Sunday evening rant, If I did not post this wonderful prose from our Panther Bro Peter, written upon his return to The Great White North.

Read and enjoy.

Canadian Pantherfanz 2008

From the north, the horde they came,
Clubs in hand, and shirted same,
To help their Cats protect their park,
And on their arms, a salute to Marc.

In Charlotte, at the Garden Inn,
Is where their quest would sure begin.
A night spent quiet, to review the plan,
And mugs of mead for every man.

And in the morn, as heads, they healed,
In groups of four they took the field.
Their clubs unsheathed, they rang like chimes,
The flags were captured, eighteen times.

And in the eve, allies were met,
And stomachs filled, and lips made wet.
Fish was prepared, and likewise cattle,
To steel them all, for the next day’s battle.

And maidens fair, too, joined the feast,
And late it was, when the drinking ceased.
On Sunday morn, the horde made ready,
Although same hands were quite unsteady.

Some northern drink, brought by the horde,
Was offered up to maid and lord.
And exotic foods, cooked by the hosts,
Was gobbled down, between the toasts.

And then the battle, twas over quick,
We had our way, pass, run, or kick.
The horde, they cheered, in cloud-clear weather,
As the field, it filled, with Chieftain feather.

For a few more days, the horde, they stayed,
And friends came out, and drank and played.
But then was time, to head back home,
And to their friends, they said shalom.

But remember from afar we cheer,
And dream about our trip next year.

10 October, 2008


October 10th, 2008

AHHHH, THAT’S a little more like it! A 9-5 week will get a seer like me a bit chippier. I won’t be happy this year unless I’m at least at 70%. So with no further blathering, I go to the week’s contests.

The Saints did a great job last Monday giving a VITAL game away to the visiting Vikings- I’m certain they WON’T do it again against a rudderless Schraider team. CrOakland’s overmatched, at least offensively, against the Saints attack. The line is at 7 ½. I’m going with the home team in this contest.

The resurgent Ravens have had two really TOUGH games to play the past weeks. But for a play or two, we would be talking about a 4-0 team, and not one looking up at the amazingly lucky Squealers. The Colts are winning with miracles here lately, it seems. Home ain’t so sweet to these guys, and I’m thinking that “Raven-ous D” shuts down the Manning Machine enough in Peyton’s Place to keep this close, and perhaps even win. The line is 5 ½, and I’m thinking the Ravens cover.

Boy, was I wrong about the Bungles last week! More about this when I handicap the Cowboys- But I have this feeling the Bungles may have “shot their wad” last week. Favre seems to have his better games against inferior opponents, and that will be certainly the case this Sunday. The line is 6 for the home team, and I like the BRETS in this game.

Ok, I spoke about this game in my last rant. The Panthers are superior in every phase of the game, except perhaps the O line which could be missing its best two players for the second week. If the defense plays like it’s capable of doing, that will offset any drop off offensively, and the Bucs, who are favored by only 1 point, could wilt in its own stadium. Carolina’s a great road team, and I think they win here. Take the Cats.

WHOA- I just got a look at the line- A whopping 13 ½ for the Vikings! After seeing what DaBears had done to them AT THEIR HOUSE last week, I’m not feelin’ much love for the Ly-uns. But this line seems excessive. Ok, I’ll bite. After watching the Vikings edge the Saints on the road last Monday under the influence of Keller’s Rusty Nails, I’m leaning to the Vikings, and I’ll be pissed if I’m wrong. Take the Vikings and the doo-doo load of points if you dare.

The line started at 2 ½ for the Monsters of the Midway, and has gone up to 3 in some books. Yeah, DaBears are playin’ great ball so far this year. But it KILLS me, JUST KILLS me to say that the $%^&#@^**@# Duckies aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they’d be. They have played their best ball at home, and I don’t see a part of DaBears game that overpowers the Duckies – There will be plenty of running in this one, I and I wouldn’t be surprised to see our hated rivals win this one. I’m leaning to the Duckies to not only cover, but win the game. DAMN, that hurts to say!

Ohhhhh, Houston, you have a problem. I had no ideal Sage Rosenfels was starting last week. I think he starts this week again. I felt that last week was a game that the Texans HAD to win. I think the vortex of despair starts to pull them down. The Dullfins are gettin’ it done somehow with fundamentally sound football and a surprisingly good running game, as long as Ricky Willams doesn’t think about weed. Wrong team favored- Take the Dullfins getting 3 points in this one. And to think I predicted the Texans would be good enough for ….. the “P” word, which Coach Mora admonishes me NOT to say…

On paper this seems like an absolute AZZZZZ whoopin. Ok, I’m sayin’ it. It IS going to be an AZZZZ whoopin! Remember last week’s drop kickin’ of Herm Edward’s Chihuahua? Happens here. Take the ShreadSkins and that meager 13 ½ points. Not even new head coach Jim Haslett can stop this onslaught this week. He’ll get ‘em marginally better, but not this week.

Jag-you-whyers, you really pissed me off last week. You had the Squealers, your most fierce conference rival on the ropes, and you let ‘em off the hook. You ain’t as ferocious as I thought, and after the Broncoids managed to bounce a better Bucs squad last week, I think they’re game for the Jag-you-whyers. I like the Broncoids getting 3 ½ points on the road.

The line opened at 5 and has now gone down to 4 ½. I guess Brian Westbrooks’ injury is worse than feared. The Fleagles are really getting beat up way too early this season. Their backs are against the wall, and they really should have beaten the DeadSkins last week. If they lose this game, it’s probably over for any chance at that event that causes Coach Mora to spew, and it starts with a “P”… While the Phoney-Niners DO need this game to keep up with the, **AHEM** Mighty Cardy-noles, it won’t be devastating for them to lose this game because the division is simply that bad. The Boids are desperate. The Fleagle “D” will be enough to handle the Niners. Take the Boids and the 4 ½.

How in the hell do the supposedly UNBEATABLE CowBabies let the Cincinattah BUNGLES hang around in THEIR HOUSE!!?? HUH? HUH? HUH? Five weeks into the season, and they are winning with OFFENSE only. It takes defense to win championships, and theirs isn’t gelling. What’s worse, is that poisonous diva Terrell Owens is starting to whine again. A game in the desert isn’t the place to get well against the **GULP** DIVISION LEADING CARDY-NOLES??? Say it ain’t so. Dallas is favoured by 5, and believe it or not, I’m leanin’ to the Cards to cover. Whine on,T.O.

This line opened at 3 and has plummeted to 2. Both of these teams are smarting from bad, BAD losses last week. It’s possible the loser of this game goes to bad team jail for the rest of the season. The SeaDogs are at home, and I’m not sure that means much. On paper, the defense is SO much better than the Packers’, but they as of yet have not put together a strong effort this year. Now is the time Mike Holmgren, and Son Of Jim. HEEEEEEEEEEEEESHHH! This is a stinker game to call. I’m leanin’ to the SeaDogs, ‘cause the Power Of Tundra has left the team whose fans wear fake foam cheese on their heads.

Well, so far, The Pastry-Rots have survived Life Without Tom. Good for you, Dr. EvilCheck. You get another bonus road trip on the primetime stage. Good news for you, is that the Chargers are banged up enough that you MIGHT actually have a chance. They’re tough at home, but not impossible to take, just ask a guy that’s been tough on you every time you’ve played him- You might see him on a Bojangles commercial. While the Patsies were able to handle the Phoney-Niners at the Stick last week, QualCom might be a harder house to humble. The line opened at 6, and has gone down to 5 ½. I like the Pastry-Rots to cover.

Ughh. What a stinker of a game for Monday night. I saw these two in preseason, and it looked like there was only one set of starters in the first half. You’ll see Brady Quinn under center by the end of the game, I guarantee it. And it won’t make a difference. G’ints stay unbeaten, and will CERTAINLY beat the Brownie-drawers by MORE than the 8 points they are favoured by in most books, and I have seen the line at 9. Don’t matter. GeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeMen BIG!

I’m feelin’ good after last week in which I went 9-5.

For the season I’ve shot up to 24-18.

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09 October, 2008


October 9th, 2008

I just found out from multiple media sources that Our VERY OWN DAN ORTEL will be putting on shoulder pads and playing offensive tackle for Our Cats against Tampa Bay-

Alright, I didn't believe that either.

But THIS is no bull- Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah BOTH practiced today with the team and now appear likely for the game this Sunday. HOW GOOD IS THAT???!!!

In geek speak, that's like standing on the collapsing platform with the Queen Bitch Alien coming up the elevator to get you, and the android Bishop comes just in time in the drop ship to save you. It's like John McClain (not the candidate, the Die Hard charachter) about to be blasted out by the terrorist, when the genteel LA fat cop gets him right between the eyes. It's like TIE fighters closing in on you when your pal Wedge Antillies zooms in and splashes them non chalantly, and you can continue your assult on the Death Star.

We need Kalil back, but seems like Jake feels comfortable enough with Hangartner that that doesn't seem to be an issue. Prepare for a serious attack by Stewilliams on Sunday! And if we blitz, Chucky'll wish he had Chris Simms back! Hell, he'll wish he had PHIL Simms!

Rejoice PantherFanz. The weekend is nigh, the Race is Saturday, College football is Saturday, and we're the best team on the ticket for Sunday.

Picks tomorrow-

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08 October, 2008


October 8th, 2008

After seemingly endless pops of great Canadian beer and some pretty extraordinary golf (!) and some seriously drunken fellowship I can finally put some thoughts together, starting with Sunday’s game.

Before I do, I’ve GOT to shout out to the Canadian group who once again came down and helped us put on one of the best parties we’ve had as a group. I hated to miss the restaurant jaunt, but the Monday golf outing and afternoon and evening ruckus could only have been beaten if the Swedish Bikini Team had joined us. But, back to my thoughts about the game.

Good on you, Foxy.

You managed to coach up the players to FOCUS on this game, if you can call it that. I’m trying to find the right metaphor to describe it. It’s like watching Pea-Dad drop-kick a yapping Chihuahua. It’s entertaining for a few times, and then you start feeling bad for the Chihuahua. Only, the Chefs never yapped. They took their punishment stoically, and quietly. I was actually flabbergasted to see the stats accumulate on the scoreboard. For the Panthers, it was like a record snowfall in Suck-ra-kewz. For the Chefs, it was like deep winter in Jacksonville, where snowfall is measured in microns.
I never disliked the Chiefs team, and could usually find myself pulling for them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to win, and it’s great to blow someone out, but for goodness sake-

This was a BAD football team!

Wouldn’t you rather do this against, say, THE DUCKIES? Or The Squealers? Or another division foe like, uhhhm,

The Tampa Bay Buck-an-ears?

And if you do, boy, have I got news for you- We get our chance this Sunday! Only I think the Bucs have something to say about that. Everything went right for us last week, even when it went wrong- we can credit the defense for that, really. And I swear, I didn’t see a blitz, not once. Ok, maybe that shadow of the goal post attack where Peppers and Johnson pummeled Huard into the turf. (See Turkey-Vac? THIS is what happens when you BLITZ, you %^@#_(*^%$&^@%*#$^!!!!) This is going to be imperative to execute in Tampa on Sunday. Here’s my keys to the game – The absolute CRUX of our success will be the play of our offensive line. Controlling the line of scrimmage against the strongest part of the Buccaneer game is of utmost importance if a victory is the Panther’s goal (and what a moronic suggestion that it would be ANYTHING ELSE!). If Jordan and Jeff are not available, their backups had BETTER BE READY TO PLAY- I’m thinking that the backs and receivers are going to have to stay home to block a bit in the beginning to get the offense going. Those corners of the Bucs are going to be hitting a lot harder than the corners we’ve been facing for the past few weeks. I’m thinking the Buccaneer game plan is to double-team Smitty. So SOMEONE on offense will have to make a play, and we may have to ride someone like Moose or Dante extra-hard. If Jake is sacked more than three times, we are going to lose. UNLESS- The defense makes the kind of plays we’ve been making for MOST of the season. Which is my second key to the contest. I’m thinking if we really get after Garcia-Greasy, whoever’s under center, we will control this game. The Buccaneer running game does NOT scare me at all. Yeah, I know Warrick Dunn can make plays, but our trend this season, now five games old against the best backs in the game, leads me to think that MOST teams are going to have to beat us through the air. So, bring it on, Chucky.

I’m gonna have to be honest with y’all.

Tampa doesn’t scare me. We’ve won five of the last seven times we’ve gone down there. We have a winning record all-time against them. Jake is really familiar with everything they do, and I firmly believe we are superior at every position. So, what would keep us from victory? Poor execution. Continued false start penalties and sloppy tackling. And this is part of the motivating process, my THIRD key to this game. If I’m Foxy, I’m letting my players know how hungry the Bucs are- How talented and ferocious they are- how capable they are of beating us. God knows that Chucky’s doin’ it! Tampa doesn’t need a lot of motivation to get up for playing US! As a matter of fact, if the wins continue to come, NO team we play this year, (and the next) will have any problem getting up to play us. So, as the pleasant memory of the metaphysical drop-kicking of Pea-Dad’s Chihuahua recedes into the past, let’s take care of Tampa, and come home to face an ANGRY Naw’lins Saints team, who will unleash their powerful offense on us. THAT could be a scorefest come October 19th. And then it’s Arid-Zona at home and not a complete pushover. But that bye couldn’t come at a more perfect time in the schedule. It almost feels like karma, of the best kind. After the bye? The Schraiders, the Lions. Two of the leagues WORST teams. And then, the season hangs in the balance with tough, TOUGH games against the Duckies in their place, where they’re decent, AT the Packers, although they seem to be fading, Bucs at home, At the GEEEEEEEE Men, and THAT could be a battle for home field advantage, Broncoids at home, and then AT the Saints, who’d LOVE to spoil our season if they could. It’s vital for the Panther’s success to make hay NOW while the schedule affords it. Going 6-2 before the bye would be awesome. Going 7-1 would be better. Starting the second half with a pair of wins puts us in a nice position to take control of the division, which all of a sudden, looks a bit tougher than it did at the start of the season. Because friends- I guarantee you, we are NOT going 8-0 in the second half of the season. Someone is beating us, and maybe more than once.

I just got a bit of a rush-

WHAT IF I'm wrong, and we go 15 and-

I’m stopping now. I can’t go there yet.

I’ll be back with the weekly handicap Friday. Some of you I’ll see Sunday.

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02 October, 2008


October 3rd, 2008

Now I’m hurtin’, yall. 6-7 last week. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I am NOT sucking that bad this week!!! Now I’m really gonna stress that clairvoyance gland! I know you suffered bad in the wallet taking my picks last week, but trust me this one more time to let me get my good graces back… here we go…

The Texans were OHHHHHHH so close last week, and finally, they’re at home after the Ike disaster. That’s GOTTA count for something, but the Colts are starting to get some valuable pieces back together, particularly, center Jeff Saturday and Dallas Clark. The Colts have seemed discombobulated for the most part of the season, but I’m inclined to think that they, like the team they are going to play, are really close to getting it going. The line is the visitor by 3- I’m leaning to the Colts in this one.

A titanic clash of the NFL’s mightiest defenses. This could wind up being a 6-9 game. Joey Flacco looked really poised for the most part against the Squealers, and might be prepared mentally to stand tall against another smothering “D”. But I think the Titans have the better offense. I don’t think QB Collins makes the mistakes that characterized his younger days. Another 3 pointer for the visitor, and again, I’m leaning to the Titans in this one.

Both of these teams got a HUGE boost in their last games. I think Miami’s was bigger, but the Chargers are just better. Miami’s day will come, Tuna will see to that. Just not today. Take the Chargers and the 6 ½.

I spoke of this game in a rant or two ago- The Panthers have been really good at stopping marquis running backs, and I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t do the same to The Chef’s LJ. The true strength of our defense, the linebackers and secondary, will keep any damage via the passing game to a minimum, and the ‘Cats should be able to puncture the young and inexperienced Chefs “D”. Yeah, I know that Foxy’ll play this one close as always, but they should be pulling away by the fourth quarter. The Panthers are giving 9 ½. I’m confident that they cover. Take the ‘Cats.

HUGE Game of the Week in the NFL. Many of us are surprised that the DeadSkins aren’t the train wreck we thought they were after the GEEEEEEE Men slapped ‘em silly in Week 1. The Boids are battered, but they get Brian Westbrook back, and don’t think THAT doesn’t mean something. I think the Fleegulls will win, but as a 5 ½ point dog, I think the FredSkins cover, seeing that the road doesn’t intimidate them. If you’re not watching our beloved Panthers, this would be the game to watch this Sunday.

DaBears showed a lot of fortitude stopping the Fleeguls last week- The Ly-uns showed they were sick of Matt Millen. It’s a start. Will that fire up the team? Do they respond as professionals? I would think that those guys would like to win- short week for DaBears, spent emotionally and physically from that tough match- It wouldn’t surprise me to see Detroit win- but I don’t think it’s happening. The defense is playing well, and I’ve never seen Orton-‘eers-a-‘OO play better. The Bears are favored by 3 ½, and I’m leanin’ that way.

At this time the line is off the board. The Duckies have played great at home, on the artificial turf, and crappy on the road, where they played on natural grass, open air stadiums. Expect the trend to continue up in Wish-conshun. Never, EVER- underestimate the POWER OF TUNDRA. I like the Packers.

So, the Seadogz are getting some of their wideouts back. Super. And Mike Holmgren says that Keary Colbert is as good as Jerry Rice – Insert your laugh track here- The G’ints have been off for a week, and even without Plaxico, I think they are more than a match for them. They’ll hold off those Jerry Rice-like receivers all right. Take the GEEEEEEEEEEEmen and the 7 points.

Ok, this game could go either way. Yeah, yeah, the Bucs are playin’ some good ball, and playin’ some good “D”. They’ve probably studied the game tape from Kansas City, but somethin’s tellin’ me that Mile-High air will be tough for them Tampainaians to play through. Although there’s no Hockker Hoculi to help them Broncoids, they’re awful tough at home. They’ll be scored on by the Bucs, but I feel pretty good about the Denver offense at home. I like the Broncoids by 3.

Hard to believe that Dr. Evilchek at 2-1 has his back against the wall, but he does. The Beefalo Beels are gonna be tough to catch, and with Jacksonville and Ball-tea-moore playing like they are, the wild card may already be out of reach. The Patsies are going to have to put together a winning streak to get the stink of the whitewashing they took from the Dull-phins off of them. They won’t do it with offense this week- it will have to be the defense. The Niners will be game, but I’m leaning to the visitor in this one. Take the Patsies and the 3 points.

Vegas must think the Bills are a mirage. The MIGHTY Cardy-noles are actually favored by ONE! They must think those perpetually frostbitten Beefalonians will wilt in the desert. I don’t think so. Take the Beels to win!

Well, I said that the Cowpuppies were due for a stinker- I didn’t know that it would be LAST week! If the Pups struggle against THIS team, WITHOUT Carson Palmer, there is definitely more to this TO thing than’s let on. Ain’t happenin’. No way, No how. Those 17 points the Cowpatties are favored by are a mercy killin’. Lead pipe lock. Blowout. Bungles are done on this day.

No Willie Parker, no Mendenhall, key O lineman out, no pass protection for Big Ben- Big wreck for the Squealers. Oh, there’ll be hitting and hitting and hitting and hitting and hitting and when that hitting and hitting and hitting and hitting is done- those 4 points that the Jag-you-whyers are favoured by might as well be multiplied by 4. I think the Jags are gonna wear the Squealers out.

Two dome teams with a contentious history. Saints “O” is playin’ great, Vike’s “D” is playin’ great. Somethin’s gotta give. Somethin’ tells me AP is gonna be hard for these guys to stop. I like the road dog in this one. Take the Vikings and the 3 points.

I’m feelin’ good about this week, boyz and girlz- cause it sure can’t get worse-
Last week- ECCCCHHHH! 6-7
Season BLECCCHHH 15-13

See yers in the lot!

01 October, 2008


October 1st, 2008

Well, Fanz, the NFL’s made it through the first quarter of the season. While some say it’s too early to note some trends, it might be cool to go ahead and forecast the rest of the season based on what we’ve seen so far. So, armed with my bruised but still functional clairvoyance gland, I’ll go through the entire league and give you my outlook-

Beefalo Beels, Tennessee Titans, NooYawk GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Men

There’s no way, no how, any of these teams go through the season unbeaten. Ain’t happenin. But I feel really, really, good about all three of these teams winning their division. The way they are playing right now, I just don’t see anyone challenging The Titans or Bills. The G’ints will have a harder time in their very tough division.

Tampa Bay Bucs, Carolina Panthers, Warshingtoon DeadSkins, Dallas Cowpuppies, Denver Broncoids, Pissburgh Squealers

The teams that should be in good shape are the Panthers, the Cowbabies, and believe it or not, the DEADSKINS, yes, THE DEADSKINS! The Cowpups, however, need to really improve that defense if they’re thinking Tampa. Speaking of Tampa, the Bucs DO have a puncher’s chance in the division, but the situation at QB and RB are not as favorable as their rival in Carolina. The Broncoids are a mirage, and since KC showed the league how to beat them, expect it to be duplicated at least eight more times. The Squealers are dead. With their O Line punctured and BOTH backs out- they may not even win the division, much less make the wild card.

NooYawk BRETTS, Jacksonville Jaggie-whyers, SanDiego Chargers, Philthydelphia Iggles, DaBears, Green Bay Packers, The DUCKIES, Nawlin’s Saints, Arid-zona Cardi-noles SadFrancisco Phoney-Niners

You could make a case for a playoff (PLAYOFFS!!?? DON’T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!!??) spot for most of these teams, but I would feel best about the Chargers, Bears and Jag-you-whyers. Kyle Orton has REALLY surprised me with his maturity in the past few games, and it’s possible DaBears could actually challenge in their weak division. Jack DelRio has also impressed me with the way he’s gotten the Jags to play despite debilitating injuries. The Chargers just got off to a bad start, and also, there’s NOONE in that division to challenge them. The best the BRETTS and Saints could hope for is a wild card spot. Green Bay is getting hurt in the wrong places, especially with Aaron Rogers. Uh-oh. The Cardy-noles and Phoney-Niners could actually win their division. But that’s what it will take for them to make it. The West is just so, so, weak. Duckies-
You’ve got some nice pieces to start, but get through this year. If you win six games you should consider the season a success. The Boids are already in a hole, but the season’s young, and the four powerful teams in the NFC BEAST are just now starting to play each other. It’s possible that the G’ints or Cowpuppies wind up in last place, so I wouldn’t bury Th’ Boids yet.

Minnie-Soda Vikings, Kansas City Chefs, crOAKLAND Schraiders, ClevelandLand Brownies

Of these teams, only the Vikings could hope for the playoffs. The Chefs are too young, the Schraiders too bad, the same could be said for the Brownies. The division will just be too tough for them. The Chefs, Browns and Schraiders couldn’t even hope to play spoiler.

Cincinattah Bungles, Houston Texans, Dee-troy-it Lyuns, St. Looey Lambs

One of my good friends, the eccentric sculptor Charlie McGrady often quips for many situations- “Abandon all hope”. Save for the Texans, that goes for these guys. I still feel good about the Texans winning some games, but the other three are really, really bad, and might lose to the Chefs, Browns, and Schraiders should they be on their schedule. (the Bungles already have)

THE INCOMPLETES(teams that have had a bye)
Seattle Seadogs, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dull-fins, NewEnglandLand Pastry-Rots, Ball-tea-more Ravens

The only team I feel really good about in this group are the Ravens. The game I saw them play against Pissburgh made a believer out of me. Joey Flacco has got to be the most poised rookie I’ve seen in many years at this position, even moreso that Peyton Manning. The Dull-phins had a great game against the Patsies, but they need another draft, and we’ll give ‘em some love next year. As for the Patsies- Their aging defense will have to carry them for the rest of this year, and I don’t see it happenin’ for them. The Colts are still trying to find their footing , and I just don’t see them able to challenge the Titans or Jags, and they’ve already lost to DelRio’s boys- IN THEIR HOUSE. Get well, Manning and co., and we’ll see ya next year. Seattle, whoo, you guys are in a fight. There’s NOONE in your division that’s clearly better than the other. I could see the SeaDogs not making it this year. BUT- any of these teams are in a great spot to play spoiler.

There ya go, Fanz- there’s my very first quarterly report on the league for the young season. Ain’t quite like my original prognostication, but besides Beefalo and Tennessee, I’m still right there…

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