29 November, 2009


For those who don't know what this substance is, it's an ammino acid, prevelant in turkey most notably, that's sleep inducing. For the fifteen years that I've followed this team -

Today was the first time that watching the Panthers had the same effect as eating a plateful of the aforementioned fowl. As the game progressed, I made little vocalizing, except for the occasional "Billick, shut up, you suck!" And looking over to the couch, I see that Lauren was in full effect mode of the football Tryptophan. By the fourth quarter, I found myself hyptontized by the wretched offensive play, the porous defensive play, and I zoned out on the game, with nary a beverage drunk.
I awoke to Joke Delhomme's FIFTH interception, and began wanting to see another game.
I went into this game hopeful, but not really expecting much, so the loss and the manner of the loss doesn't hurt much. I'll wake up tomorrow morning, get out of bed, get ready for work, maybe listen to a bit of Chris MacClain, but I'm pretty much over with the season. I've got a 25-year old marriage to celebrate, a hobby that fufills me, and other sports that I'm passionate about. Go Tar Heels, go Saints.

Go Mrs. Woods.

The current state of the Panthers is pretty much what I thought when I wrote the rant titled "THAT'S NO MOON". I predicted a 6-10 season. We're right on track for it, and we could possibly LOSE to the Suckaneers, who pushed the Duckies for all they were worth in THEIR house! There are five games to go, and like the other goobers I've wrote about weeks ago, math is really the only thing that's our ally. And I just gotta say, that's not much to get excited about.

So, what do myself, and the rest of PantherFanZ and PantherNation want to see for the rest of the year? I want Jake Delhomme benched. I just refuse to believe that Matt Moore is THAT bad in practice that Foxy won't give him a chance. The injuries to the offensive line we can't help, but Delhomme was playing this bad WITH Jordan Gross in there. The defense is playing ok, but I'd like to see more of the younger dudes given a chance. I want the team to play for their jobs, because you know what's coming down the pike -

The headline in the sports section. The breaking news on ESPN.

John Fox Fired. Marty Hurney Fired. Jeff Davidson Fired.

And I would expect one of the first things the new Bossman does is let Delhomme go.
He has to.

And now I'm wondering, who IS the new bossman? What hire will Big Cat make? Is it Cowher? Schottenheimer? Holmgren? Whoever it is, and whatever he does, he's going to have to make some serious changes in personnel and fundamental philosiphy as to not produce Tryptophan-like effects on the fan base.

Like this afternoon.

And I hope the Ravens and Steelers don't put me down tonight as well.

I'd imagine a quiet lot next Sunday, but I'll be there.

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26 November, 2009


A very happy Thanksgiving to you all, FanZ and FoeZ alike -

This is my VERY truncated handicap as the turkey's in the oven, and I'm two hours away from all family breaking loose in the Casa De Seer. Limited commentary, just add more of your own, and we'll see you in the lot against the Suckaneers -


Without Stafford and his heroics, I like for the Packers to blow out a close game -
Packers by -11.


Dallas' offensive shortcomings MUST be corrected today. The AfRaiders are a good team to get well on. Cowbabies big, by -13 1/2


G'ints up, Broncoids down. Kinda like Custer's last stand and we all know what happened to o'l George. G'ints by -6 1/2.


Another last stand game, but with a different outcome. Texans to cover +3.


The Brownies are NOT beating the Bungles in this final "Battle of Ohio" for the season. Bungles by -14, and they need this to stay ahead of the Squeelers.


Could be a shootout game. Gotta feelin' about dis one. Bears to cover the +10 1/2.


A game the Iggles have to have, and the Deadskins on their benchwarmer RB. Iggles by double digits.


A game I'd expect the Dullphins to win. By -3.


The line is off, but the Cardynoles have been terrific on the road. Not bucking that trend.


Uggh. A game between two of the worst under acheiving teams in the league. No Bulger, and I think the misery continues for the Lambs. 'Hawks by -3.


Duckies by -12 1/2, come on, it's the Suckaneers, and it's at the Georgia Dome.


Gotta feelin' about this one. Cats happy to cover, +3.


Could be a terrific game between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Jaggy-whyers don't do particularly well on the Left Coast. Gimme Samauri's boys and the -3.


Last week was the Charger's big divisional statement game, and they don't really need this game, especially if the Broncoids continue their swoon. But the Chefs are really playing decent and having fun and I think this is the lock of the week. Chefs to cover the 13 1/2.


Another body-bag game, not for the faint of heart. A low scorer, with a wounded Ben WorthlessBerger, and NO Polumalu. No line, but ahhhh, hell, gimme the Quothers.


For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I'm going to cheer with all of my heart for the Saints. The crowd will be in full Cresent City howl, and I'd imagine Tommy Terrific will have a hard time with his signal calling. How's this-

The Saints cover the -3, and possibly kick the hell out of the Pastry Rots -

Thanks again for tuning in, FanZ, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Last Week - 8-8

Season - 80-78

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24 November, 2009


Too Hard.

It's the title of the rant I saw in my head as Dano flitted around the lot last Thursday like a RC helo on 'roids. And the rest of the Pantherfanz going the extra mile to make a great party like this one. And I would go on to observe that despite the loss, many members of the team work very hard.

It's a noble charachter trait that's worth favorable comment.

But like I did when I showed up later than I wanted to, I've been working more than I anticipated this month. And the work's piling up. With a 25th anniversary (Thank you Kathie!!!) to celebrate and loads of family coming up, and an avalanche of orders to process -

This is the end of my very, very, short rant. I'm not terribly upset about the loss -
The Dolphins are a pretty good team, possibly a mirror of our own. With the exception of the Michigan Man at QB. The party was good, the weather outstanding (again!)and Dano's dry rub ribs were killer.

An abbreviated picks post should be here Wednesday evening.

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19 November, 2009


A pleasant Wednesday evening to you all, NFL fans- With the league starting play here on out on Thursdays, I gotta get the picks in fairly quick! With my record hovering just over .500, I’m hoping to trend up just like our KittyCats – This is the first full week since Week 4. Now everyone’s had their bye, so say bye-bye to the bye, until the playoffs, and here comes the last 7 games!

And with that –


This game seems more compelling that it did a few weeks ago – look at the similarities for one – Both teams started 0-3, then got back into contention with some key wins – Both teams lean HEAVILY on the running game, both teams have some hard-hitting beasts on defense. And both teams are 4-5, with a chance to start making hay with what’s left of the season. Here’s another angle –

Dan Henning.

The architect of the “Wildcat” that was REALLY unveiled with OUR Panthers, with DeAngelo as the fulcrum of that attack. Henning took an awful lot of heat for the team’s offensive inadequacies back in ’07, and was dismissed, and in aftersight, unfairly. Think he wants to stick it to Foxy after that indignity?
The bad news is, he will be WITHOUT his big back, Ronnie Brown. But more bad news for us –No Gross.
It will be a hard-hitting but entertaining contest. If the defense slows down Ricky Williams, the OTHER Williams should get his yards. But there’s that revenge angle, which HAS been relevant this season, and Carolina’s TERRIBLE home record against the spread – I’m not bucking the trend. Underdog Miami to cover the +3.

Now to Sunday’s action.


When, oh when, would the loveable loser Leos be FAVORED in a game? When the worst team that’s taken the field in years comes to your house – The buzzard-breath balls-out-bad Browns. I forced myself to watch last Monday’s game against the Ravens because of fantasy implications for me, as I had Balty-Moore elements on my teams. The Browns bring sucking to a new art form. And still, every time I take the Leos they lose. One more chance, Motor City Kitties. Unleash Calvin Johnson on them and cover your -3 ½ points.


The first coaching casualty of the season has fallen upon Dickie Jauron. I can’t say I’m surprised. The team had truly underperformed the past two seasons, and they lack solid leadership. That old axiom about “surrounding the wagons”? Forget it. The Jaggy-wyers are on a roll, and if they are going to have any chance at a wild card (because they are NOT catching the Colts!) they need to win these kind of games. They will put they Bills away early. Take the Jags and the -8 ½.


I think the worst thing for the Chefs was the Squeelers losing to the Bungles at home last week. Boy, are they going to be PISSED!!! If you’ve got any of the big boys like WorthlessBerger or Hines Ward or Mendenhall on your fantasy team –


Squeelers by double digits.


Do the bookies know something the rest of the world doesn’t? How is it that the UNDEFEATED COLTS, at 9-0, are a ONE POINT UNDERDOG? Never mind they’re at Balty-moore, the Ravens just aren’t playing up to last years standards. I think it will be close, but Peyton Prevails.

Here’s a pair of 5-4 teams with seasons on the brink. Both of them have porous defenses, hamstrung rushing attacks, and one of them has a QB teetering on a crisis of confidence. And it ain’t Brotha Manning. The line is off, but the G’ints really need this game, and they will take it.


Last week was a statement game for the Packers, and it was a pickoff fest for the Niners as Cutler tossed 5 picks in his very best Joke Delhomme imitation. Rodgers won’t do that here. But I’d expect a tough contest. I think Samurai’s boys hold their own on the Tundra – and cover the +6 ½.


I believe I mentioned in a post prior to this one that math was the only ally left for Seattle.

See ya, Math. Favres by double digits. One more week for the old man to stay upright.


You’ve heard the old axiom that says “throw the record books out when these two get together” –

Don’t bother. Even with last week’s surprise win over the Broncoids (Come on, Chris Sims is NOT an NFL quarterback!) Tony Romo would have to peel off his face, revealing Jake Delhomme for the Cowpuppies to lose this game. They are the far superior team across the board and are NOT losing this game. Bet the barn and the bass boat on the ‘Babies. By double digits.


Don’t let the records fool you. This is a division game, and if last week’s clunker against the Lambs can teach the Saints anything, it’s that you CANNOT take ANY team in this league for granted, if you don’t stay focused and on your game. Josh Freeman gave the Dolphins a test last week, expect more of the same for this contest. Except the Saints pass with flying colours. Saints big, by double digits.


The Cardy-noles have been terrific on the road this season. This Sunday will be more of the same against the division doormats. The line is a wimpy -9 for Arid-Zona, and I think they will win by double digits.


I would expect Dr Evil-Chek to concoct a virulent hoo-doo against their division rivals, especially after the embarrassment of “FourthDownGate”. Except the Jets, I believe, are going to fight, if not for their playoff lives, for pride. Which is pretty big after Rexy gave a tearful, emotion speech to his charges this week. The Brady Bunch will score, no doubt, but I think the return of Jericho Cotchery helps Marky Sanchez out enough to keep ‘em in the game. Gimme the J*E*T*S and the +10 ½.


Bungles, DO NOT follow your glowing performance at Squeeler Field with a clunker at the Black Hole. And I can see it happening. Prove me wrong, Marvin. That’s a pretty weeny line there, at -9 ½ for the visitors. If Cincinatti wants to go far in the postseason, this is where you have got to make hay. I say they DON’T stumble, and win by double digits.


Chris Simms took all of the snaps in practice this week. Uh –Oh. This is where the collapse of ’09 begins for the Broncoids. The line is off, but the Chargers are gonna bust the Broncoids like a beer bottle in a bar fight ….


After some wretched games by these two last week, it feels like the season is getting away from them. Except it feels like it’s going away for Da Bears on greased rails. I think Philthy blitzes Chicago into submission. They are favoured by -3, and I’d certainly think they’d cover.


THANK GOD for a decent matchup for Monday night after last week’s abortion! Tennessee is starting to play more like it’s old self, as Vinnie Young is beginning to resurrect his career. But Houston is working on a special season. They may have gotten Mr. Hyde outta their system, and I think The Dr. Jekylls come through in a really entertaining show. Take the home Texans and the -4 ½.

There we are Fanz, the quickest the weekly clairvoyance has hit the web.

Enjoy the games, see you in the lot!

Last week –
Season – 72-70

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17 November, 2009


Dang, I’m a week late with this, but bear with me. It’s been a busy month. The shape of the NFL season is taking a different form now – teams that appeared to be invulnerable just a few weeks ago now find their seasons on the brink – the season is now past the halfway mark, and there’s seven games left to play, and even though ten teams have no realistic shot whatsoever for postseason play, we can begin to see trends in the other twenty four.

Let’s annie-lies them, huh?

The Belichek-induced blunder of the most arrogant proportions still doesn’t puncture the prospects of yet another division title for the Pastry-Rots. While a first-round bye may not be happening, this New Englandland offense will be sure to create many an exciting contest in the weeks to come. Too bad the defense isn’t up to par with Brady and his FCD’s. I’m wondering now, WHO on the schedule is going to challenge Older Brotha Manning and his Colts? All of a sudden, the Ravens now look ordinary, so next week’s contest doesn’t look so daunting. Speaking of the Ravens, and their division mates the Squeelers, both are looking up, incredulously enough, at the AMAZING BUNGLES!!! Can you belive THAT??? And they’re doin’ it with DEFENSE. If Cincy continues to trend this way, I think Marvin Lewis should absolutely get Coach of the Year, over Jimmy Caldwell OR Sean Peyton.Trending WAY up are the resurgent Chargers, and trending DOWN are the Broncoids, who now may have lost Kyle –Orton ‘eers a ‘OO. Not good, for a team that started 6-0, now in danger of once again surrendering a huge division lead to, again, The San Diego Chargers. And what’s the marquis game of next week? These Broncoids, in a now-desparation game against these Chargers. Get your popcorn ready.


Of these teams, only the Squeelers have a realistic shot at winning their division, but because of the sweep by Cincinnati, a tie does Pissburgh no good, and very bad news indeed, is they will be without backfield madman Polomalu for the foreseeable future. Trending up are AFC South teams Jacksonville and Houston, but trending down are Balty-Moore and the Jets. Miami is hot-and-cold, and their schedule is going to be tough. Tennessee is regaining its football prowess after a horrendous 0-6 start, but it’s realistically too late for a chance at a wild card spot. But with Vince Young’s career possibly saved, I DEFINITELY think that the Titans get a few opportunities to play spoiler. Mathematics is the only hope Buffalo has, and with each passing week, will ebb and they get to join the next group, by the time I post the 3rd quarter report…


Even though I DESPISE the overrated independent from South Bend, IN, I think Jimmy Claussen is going to be the #1 quarterback prospect of the 2010 draft. And the team that needs him the worst is the wretched AfRaiders. What a shame. And they could be the head of a really bad group of teams that are setting records for wretchedness, even moreso than my wretched use of that word and it’s derivative THREE times in the same paragraph. Hey, it’s not cutting edge journalism, y’all. Kansas City is playing the best of these three, and may actually win another game or two before the regular season’s over.


The amazing run of the New Orleans Saints is bound to run right up to the NFC Championship game, no doubt. There is virtually no weakness in their game right now. And right behind them, the Mini-Soda Favres, although I’m still expecting Mr. Franchise to break down any week now. Dallas has about as good a chance of winning their division as they’ve ever had, as the G’ints and Fleeguls have been exposed. But the improved Cowbabies have problems of their own, as demonstrated by their failure last week at the vulnerable Packers. I still think Romo the Homo is Jake Delhomme in a Cowbabies uniform. As long as Kurt Warner can find his FCD’s, a return trip to the playoffs could be a certainty for the Cardy-noles.


You could make a case for half of these teams finding their way to the postseason. And you could make a case against it for any of them. The Iggles and GeeeMen have serious flaws in their execution that could jeopardize their playoff status. And of course, the Cowbabies could have their now-annual December collapse and open the door for one of these Megapolis teams. Matt-Ice-Ryan’s long gone past the melting point, and the sophomore slump I predicted this summer is coming to pass. Michael Turner is hurt, and there’s no way they are catching the Saints. They will have to fix what’s wrong fairly quickly, because the team that’s trending up in the conference is amazingly enough, the Carolina Panthers. Because other than the top four teams, most of the remainder of the conference has just a little more than math on their side. The Panther Defense is starting to get Ron Meek’s scheme, and that’s always something that makes a perfect fit to that resurgent rushing attack, the ideal traveling game in December. There’s a pretty nice story going on in San Francisco, where Samurai’s boys have still got something to say about the division. Chicago had better hope Cutler regains his “Franchise” form. There’s pretty much no chance, barring an inexplicable collapse by the Favres, for Da Bears OR Packers to catch them. I still like Rodgers and his FDC’s to make the dance. As with Buffalo and Tennesee, Seattle and Warshingtoon have only math as their friend, and a fickle one at that. They will join the dregs of the following list in the weeks to come –


Eeeechhhh. Of these three, I could only imagine the Leos winning more than one or possibly two games, although the Suckaneers are starting to get some inspired play by their first round choice Josh Freeman. But this is a team sport, and these three are at least a draft away from regaining competitive form. And Detroit doesn’t need a franchise QB.

So how do you see the playoffs shaking out, Mr. Cedar Street Seer?

In the AFC, the top two seeds are going to be Indy (no DUH!!!) who will have the home field, and yes, THE BUNGLES! The Pastry-Rots will entertain Houston, and San Diego will host the Squeelers. And out of this six, you know you would have to like Manning’s chances.

In the NFC, The Saints will take the #1 seed, and the Favre’s will take the #2, but barely, because The Favre will no longer be in playing shape. The Iggles wind up winning the division, because I’m counting on a Cowpuppy December swoon. They will host the Packers, while Arid-zona will host their division rivals San Francisco. And there’s no way I’m picking against the Saints in this contest. And for once, we will have a REAL Super Bowl with the very top seeds represented. I’m pretty confident about that!

Thanks for indulging my fascination with the league and reading my tripe. I’ll be back tomorrow with the VERY early handicap.


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16 November, 2009


It should only be fitting to title this post, not so much a rant, but an observation.

At 9.28, I pulled onto 1-77 from Johnny Belk, and realized,

I’D FORGOTTEN MY TICKETS. First time since Jerry invaded Klimpsun. Instead of berating me, my loyal wingman, Clarence the Wildman was perfectly cool, and we continued our lively conversation through the extra 40 minutes added to our wait to party. Which wasn’t a big problem. Ironically, Dano snagged the WRONG tickets for the day, as well. As fate would have it, this game fell on Veterans Day weekend, and I know many of us have served our country faithfully, and we were pleased to see many well – dressed servicemen attending the party.

There’s something special in hosting these brave men and women, who are willing to give their all so that you and I are free to live the lives we live, free from tyranny, free from outrageous taxation, and despite the designs of a malevolent and dangerous minority, free from attack. And we can thank not the politicians who pose and preen and verbalize, but THESE individuals who get it done, on the front lines, on the supply lines, wherever their sacrifice is needed. And I am so proud to be a part of PantherFanZ’s offering of THIS sign of respect – a party for these Wounded, but Wonderful, Warriors.

I was also uplifted by the revelation by a feller who we’ll call - STEVE – Who regularly goes by the name of - STEVE, that my weekly rants and prognostications are read by more people than I figured. A very nice sign of respect from my lot buddy, who turned me on, via his son Chris, to a SERIOUS Hungarian Hooch that was the perfect elixir for the day. So, with the party joined, our regular Duckie fans also in company, we proceeded to get a happy buzz on a remarkably delightful and benign November day.
But the signs of respect were only beginning on this day – As we got to our seats, we were pleasantly serenaded by the MOST EXCELLENT Providence High School choir singing our beloved national anthem, and buzzed as I was, found myself MOVED emotionally by the fly-over of T-6 Texans, (I originally thought they were P-51’s) thinking about the patriots who flew such aircraft in the War to End Global Tyranny. And another surprise show of respect by the attendees of this game – The sound of Jake Delhomme’s introduction was curiously devoid of the “OOOO” sound, as in BOOO. I knew the difference because the sound of describing a bovine creature’s guttural emoting greeted MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOShin MOOOOOOOOOOOhammad….

A terrible event that silenced the crowd for what felt like an hour also elicited a strong show of respect from Panther and Falcon alike. When our arguably MOST VALUABLE Big Nasty, Jordan Gross, broke his ankle in the first half, a gathering of black AND white clad participants gave their concerning respect. As did I, for the first time in years, in referring to THAT team from Atlanta by their REAL name in this paragraph. Don’t worry – it won’t happen again for quite a while. And deserving of all of our respect, despite the high maintenance diva act of the past month? Our own Steve Smith, who took a savage shot to the ribs that put him down for a while, found the inner strength to come back and contribute to this all – important win.

With FOUR touchdowns scored, the opportunity to do my now "infamous" C*A*T*S cheer presented itself, with not a single mention from stadium staff. In fact, our lovely neighbors sitting next to us were COUNTING on me to do the 'ol routine - And for one of the BEST signs of respect from the day? None other than John Ross, the youngster who had me tossed in the preseason, acknowleging my work with an approving wave, knowing MY section was well under control, and the fans happy and cheering, yet well behaved.

While the game played was far from perfect, our team returned to respectability with the victory. But the problems remain. The Duckies gashed us for WAY too many yards on the ground, and we had virtually no pass rush. We are going to be missing the speed and power of Tommy Davis, and now, we are going to be missing the stellar blocking and occasional false start (!) of Jordan Gross. But the rest of the league is struggling with hurting bodies now. We cannot feel badly for ourselves. There’s seven more games to play, with a chance, yes, a chance, for a respectable season. All of a sudden, the Dullphins and Jets don’t look so formidable. Nor do the Gint’s, or even the Pastry-Rots or Vikings.

And the good feeling followed us to the lot for a long, enjoyable post-game celebration. I’m hoping that our last four parties are going be riding shotgun to respect-building victories like this one –

Starting this Thursday….

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12 November, 2009




Well, I've done it, FanZ –


I've achieved the sister kissin' .500 season aggregate for the season. What SHOULD have materialized went terribly wrong for exactly HALF of all the games I handicapped. Uggh. Just like the rant that preceeded this post, I know what's coming, and I've become indifferent. I'd better hurry – The NFL Network is fixin' to air the Bears/Niners game – so….




The Bears are who we thought they were! THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! THAT'S WHY THE NINERS ARE GONNA TAKE THE FIELD! AND CROWN THEIR ASS! Both teams are reeling from beatdowns at crucial junctures of their seasons. The loser will pretty much have to start thinking about the draft. Sorry, Bears. Niners by three.




Jacksonville barely escaped the Chefs last week, and this weekend, will have to go to play a rested Jets team that has to make a statement. Even without Kris Jenkins they should be able to squelch the Jaggy-wyers ground game, which should do it. Jets by -7




The Broncoids have dropped two in a row, albeit to good teams, and Pissburgh is now starting to come into their formidable selves. And the DeadSkins are reeling. Even with the short week, Orton and Co. should be able to handle these guys. Never fear, the cover is here. -3 ½ for the Broncoids.




And SPEAKING of the Squeelers, a revenge game awaits – Don't think they've forgotten the loss early in the season in Cincy-

They will play like it. I don't expect a huge blowout, but I DO expect the Bungles to come up short. Pissburgh by -7.




I did not see the rejuvenation of Vince Young coming down the pike. Not many folks did, including the ones with great hair and $10,000 suits. And Chris Johnson is back to being Chris Johnson. How does that bode for the visiting Bills, who now have the whiny T.O.'s widdle hip hurtin? Not too good. Don't like the Bills at all. Take the Titans, the re-energized Titans, and the – 6 ½.




Like I said before, every time I take the Leos against the spread, they lose. Like last week. And like this week. Vikings big. -16 ½ big.




If there was ever a time for the Saints to take a break, it's now. I know the Lambs are bad. Dead Dog's Breath bad. But I just don't see the urgency of the team going into the Lamb's dome and - ahhhh I ain't gonna do it. Saints cover the -13 ½.




Running game? Check. Vastly improving defense? Check. Passing game?


Uh Oh.


The failure of Jake Delhome becomes more magnified with each successive game. And we will need a decent passing game to beat these guys, who by the way, have a pedestrian pass defense. It's like having a date with the hottest SI model and having erectile disfunction. It's not rocket science, y'all. Eight, even nine defenders takes care of Stewilliams. Ball game. The line is a weenie 1 ½, and I'm convinced this is another day for the Duckies. Who I still HATE with a WHITE-HOT PASSION…




Too bad the Battle of Florida doesn't have more juice. Even the Suckaneer's beatdown of the Packers last week doesn't sweeten this matchup. I think the Michigan Man and his fishies take care of the Sucs handily. -10 handily.




I realize AGAIN that I 've taken every favorite so far – Not this time – The Chefs have actually been in most of the games they've played as of late. The AfRaiders have not. Too bad the game's not at Arrowhead. Chefs STRAIGHT UP!




Funny, this year, the Cardy-noles have been great on the road, and sucky at home. Trend changes this weekend. The Seadogs, despite the Detroit beatdown last week, are mediocre, borderline bad. This is a statement game for the RedBoids, who take care of the -8 ½ points.




What a monstrous win for the Bolts last week! And a crushing loss for the Iggles! A loss in this game really cripples the division hopes for the loser. Philthy's no easy out, nor are the Chargers. I would expect Rivers to be able to beat that Iggle blitz most of the time, while the rejuvenated Charger D should be able to pressure McSnabb and Co. I like the Bolts and -2.




Before last week, I thought there was no way the Cowpuppies were coming to The Tundra and melting the Cheese. AFTER last week, they had better. I can't believe I'm sayin' this, but Dallas is the better team. All the way around. And I think they'll blister the hapless offensive line that's simply offensive. Which means Rogers has a long day. Too bad. Cowbabies, BIG.




What more could I add to this? Without Bob Sanders, the Colt defense is ordinary. And it takes an extraordinary defense to corral this NewEnglandland juggernaut. It's perfectly reasonable to favour the Colts – but I think the Pastry-Rots win this one. I've become a believer in the importance of that dominating safety, which Indy's just lost.




How'd we get THIS matchup for Monday night? Uggh. It's imperative for the Ravens to put the Brownies away if they are going to have any chance at playing for a wild card spot, because catching the Bungles or Squeelers is going to be tough, if not impossible. And the return of Brady Quinn makes absolutely NO difference.

Quothers by -11, no problem.


What a wimpy forecast. I went against the spread only twice this week. Let's see where that gets me.

Meanwhile, I'll see yers at the lot.


Last week – 7-6 (half point saved me from total doom)

Season 65-63 BARELY above Sister Kissin'!


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As we sat and watched the Panthers rocket out to a 17-3 halftime lead, my mind began to race with the possibilities-

What IF we had managed to pull of the upset of the week, possibly the first half of the season – The Suckaneers had already bashed the Packers at home (as well as my Week 9 handicap!) What if we really DID have the Saint’s number, even with our halfbacks missing? I tried to imagine the rant I would write, and surely, the inevitable Saints comeback materialized, and a new, matter-of-fact rant formented. Only it didn’t pop in. It came with the speed of a PC with 50KB of RAM. And while Jessie’s schoolwork commandeered the computer, I came to realize –

I didn’t have the urgency to write. I didn’t have the desire to hear Chris MacClain’s/Frank Garcia’s/Mark Packers’ endless blather about the game, and what the Panthers need to do. I usually spend hours and hours on end listening to WFNZ on the streaming at work, and this week,

I just didn’t have it.

I find myself feeling indifferent. Knowing what’s coming and not really caring.

I know what’s wrong with the Panthers. You know what’s wrong with the Panthers. EVERYONE with football sense knows what’s wrong with the Panthers.

I’m just tired of hearing about it, thinking about it, and writing about it.

I’ve never been more convinced. It’s the quarterback. It’s the coaching staff’s titanic blunder in putting all the confidence and money in someone who is rapidly sliding down to the end of his serviceable playing career. The rest of the team’s fine. And because of that, I will still look forward to game day, but goodness gracious –

The play of Jake Delhomme, the play calling of Jeff Foxidson hamstring any chances of us to have a respectable season! Don’t get me wrong, I still love this game! I’m not planning on selling my tickets or doing anything drastic.

You know why?
There’s a new day dawning for Panther Nation. A day that won’t have John Fox in the coaches’ office. A day that will see a smiling, happy Jake Delhomme tending his prized horses in Beaux Bridge in September. A day that sees us with a fresh start, and new hopes.

Until then, I have a life to live. A hobby that excites me. Daughters to nuture and rebuild relationships with. The rebuilt Tar Heel basketball team to cheer for. And PantherFanz tailgate party, for five more times this season.

Picks next. Hoo boy.

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06 November, 2009


Happy Friday to you all, and we’re just getting to the halfway point of the season. Some things are trending up, some are trending down, and some things just defy explanation. One of which is my weekly misfiring. That blasted last-second field goal Monday night once again kept my Aunt Rachel smoochless.
Not that I wanted to be in that condition mind you, but I’m determined to see this through. Thanks for being there too, so with that I tear into this week’s next-to-last-bye – truncated games.


Several malevolent factors are starting to circulate here – One, the unfair heat Larry Johnson is taking for using a word ALL OF US flung around as casually as we would any other tame epithet. That’s MY opinion. At any rate, the embattled running back isn’t playing this weekend. The other negative karma is one of the league’s worst attendance figures for the Jaggy-whyers. Losing to previously winless Tennessee sure doesn’t help generate excitement in a region that’s geeked up about the other professional team in the area – The Florida Gators. I still think the Jags are the better team, and Del Rio really NEEDS to keep his team improving to keep his job. I think the home team wins comfortably. Jags and -6 ½.


Don’t think the Ravens have forgotten about the Week 5 loss at home to these Bungles. Last week’s game was another of those “finding your manhood” games, and I think it carries into this week, and beyond. The Bungle defense is much improved, but the Ravens are on a mission. They’ll get after Palmer, Benson, OchoCinco and company, all right. And I think the big hogs on the Ravens’ O line keep the Bungle rush off long enough for Flacco to do his stuf. I really like the Ravens and the -3 over the Bungles, with MONSTER games coming up with the Squeelers.


Has Peyton Manning ever been flat for big, huge, divisional games? Nope, I didn’t think so. Even though Houston has been coming on lately, I don’t think they match up well with the AFC’s version of the Saints.
And Bob Sanders is back, and getting his legs back. I like Manning’s boys and the -9.


Is this the time to be getting the Duckies? After a Monday Night fanny-whackin? And if you’re the downtrodden DeadSkins? With even grizzled, loyal alumni like Sam Huff and Sonny J, and now, Riggo, piling onto the ownership and front office, it just doesn’t seem the team can do anything right. And that starts filtering into the team. Only the most delusional of fans, and the Redskins themselves believe they have a chance in the Georgia Dome this Sunday. I don’t. Duckies by -10.


I have just realized that I’ve gone with the favorite in the past four capsules. Wouldn’t you? The slate of games this week involve such poor teams, the number of which hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.
This is another one. The Suckaneers are one of the very worst. If the Packers have problems with Tampa, then they REALLY have problems. Packers by double digits.


Thank you, Bears, for FINALLY handling a wretched opponent. Now, show us what you do with a GOOD team! The Panthers showed how to beat them last week, so use Force Forte to soften up that angry defense, and get after Warner like the Kitty Cats did. I don’t think the Bears have the defense Carolina displayed last week, nor do they have the rushing attack. For once today, I’m going with an underdog. I’m leaning to the Cardy-noles and the +3.


And here’s my second consecutive leap on an underdog – I think the Dolphins creative approach to both offense and defense always give them a chance no matter WHO they play. And their special team is playing lights out right now! They aren’t intimidated a bit by the Pastry-Rots. I think this will be one of the most entertaining games of the day. Bring it on, Brady! Tuna’s boys are ready for you. I like the ‘Fins to cover the +10 ½, if not win outright.


Yes, the Saints are a different team this season, and so is Carolina. But I’m hearkening back to last year, when we played BOTH the Saints and Cardy-noles in consecutive games when BOTH teams were having great offensive starts. And BOTH times the Panthers shut them down.


The Panthers just may be finding their football legs right now. Or we may have just witnessed an aberration on the way to Fox’s final year. I gotta feeling . The heftiest line of the day is a ridiculous one.
I would have jumped all over the Saints two weeks ago, now I’m sure the Panthers will cover. Come on, it’s 13 ½ points! I doubt the Panthers forget their manhood after so gloriously trotting it out for 7 % of the national market to see while the rest of the country was watching Brett Favre get his rocks off on Tundra.


Almost every time I take the Leos, they lose. Not going against the percentages. Seadogs by -10.


Oh so close, were we, Samurai? You sure did give Peyton a fight last week. I’m sure, that despite what Chris Johnson says, that The Titans will NOT be going 9-0 for the next nine games. The new losing streak starts here. Niners by -4.


When I first saw the Giants this year, I was surprised at how HUMAN Brandon Jacobs appeared. As a matter of fact, the NY rushing attack hasn’t been ANYTHING like it was last year, and despite the emergence of a couple of talented receivers, there’s no one on the team that Brotha Manning truly has that mojo with. And now, the QB’s continuing to deal with plantar fasciitis. This is a game that the Chargers can take, with the G’ints reeling. Might be a field goal game, but it’s more likely to be a heave-it-and-go game. I like the ‘Bolts to cover the +4 points.


If I’m motivating the Cowpuppies this weekend, I’m reminding them of what happened to end the season last year – I wonder if Son of Bum is that smart. Nothing motivates the Iggles, however, like smackin’ around the team with the star on their helmets. I don’t think Romo the Homo beats the Philthy blitz ALL day – I don’t think this one’s close. A lotta hype by the football talking heads, and a big “PLOP”.
Iggles big.


Ahhh, the ESPN folks must be ecstatic about the intriguing games they’re getting this season! And this one, looking anemic earlier, now has more juice than your Harris Teeter! Denver has the defense to go toe-to-toe with Worthless Berger, especially in the rarified air of the Mile-High-Metropolis. But Denver will rarely see a defense of Pissburgh’s caliber this season. Another body bag game involving that team from the Three Rivers area. Low scoring, hard-hitting, and victorious for the Squeelers, who win by +3.
At least.

I’m feelin’ purty good about this week. I’m quite certain I finally rise above the doldrums I’ve been in all year, just like our Panthers. Some of you I’ll see at Cheesmo’s. The rest of you will read my rant Sunday Night. With all teams in the league completing their halfway mark by the end of Monday Night, the Quarterly Report will be out next week.

Last week -6-7

Season – 58-57 DANGEROUSLY close to slobbering over my Aunt Rachel…

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05 November, 2009


Back in the Sixties, My best friend from my elementary school days, Ricky Elliott, had taught me how to box, play football, and find fossils in the Alabama piedmont rocks. And the team he loved was The Dallas Cowboys. And I, in turn, cheered for the team, through Staubach, Bob Hayes, The Doomsday Defense, and Tony Dorsett. In 1986, the monolithic Tom Landry benched my hero, Danny White, in favour of some goober quarterback whose name I’m vaguely recalling. Was it Garry Hogeboom? It doesn’t matter. My Cowboy heart broke, and the NFL passion of my youth dispersed. The Dallas Cowboys no longer thrilled my Sundays, no longer created a week’s worth of anticipation; much less beat the hated Deadskins. I flirted with the Raiders and Patriots, but the team I fell in love with in the waning days of the ’86 season was the New Orleans Saints. I’d always liked the team, liked the colours, loved the logo, as I recall the bed of my toddler years being adorned with the Fleur-di-Lis. And Archie Manning was an easy guy to cheer for. I liked Bum Phillips a great deal, but when the new owner of the team hired Jim Mora –

I knew the Saints had picked a winner, and they’d be getting it together very soon. So when I made a bold prediction back in ’87 that the ‘Aints would be playoff bound, I was roundly scoffed at. But the success of the season shut my detractors up, and by the time Sam Mills stuffed the goal line thrust of the Pissburgh Squeelers, my football love affair was in full bloom. The Dome Patrol unit of linebackers were a quartet of heroes that fired me up every Sunday. An eighties version of Jake Delhomme, the Cajun Cannon, Bobby Hebert, captained an offense that was very similar to the Panthers in their heyday. The names of the players I cheered at full throat for I still recall – Ruben Mayes, Dalton Hilliard, Eric Martin, Ironhead Heyward – I knew I had found a team to call my own, not just my third grade best friend’s team.

In a perspective only this closet romantic could view, I’ve increasingly compared my passion for my teams like that for my women.

Watching a ball game involving my Saints was intoxicating, like watching the bouncing wave of blond hair rushing down the hallway to meet me – A touchdown was as exhilarating as a soft, but passionate smooch – And victory? As satisfying as sex, and possibly moreso. Did you ever know there was such a thing as bad sex? Neither did I. And there’s no such thing as a bad victory! I would spend hundreds of dollars ordering tickets over the phone, and sometimes, unsuccessfully, to the old Fulton County Stadium to see them once a year, and twice, made the trek to Naw’lins to experience the SuperDome. It was an affair to remember, and warmly, even though the relationship never produced a playoff WIN. But a growing relationship requires give and take, and real growth. The inability to advance farther than the first round of the playoffs was disheartening. To make things worse, my heroes Hebert, Pat Swilling and worst of all, Morten Andersen, all departed – Hebert and Morten to the HATED DUCKIES!!! And in 1993, well, a suitor came to pull me away from the love of my football life, as he did yours.

I bought the ring.

And to sweeten the deal, who comes to play for my brand-new football fiancĂ©? None other than Sam Mills and Brett Maxie, two defensive stalwarts of my soon-to-be jilted football girlfriend. We were married for keeps in 1996. And me and Brother Serge invented “The Claw” instead of hi-fives. And “Gimme some Claw” was born!

Forgive me if I’m getting sappy on y’all, but once in a while, I get sentimental about the Panthers-Saints game, and this upcoming contest feels particularly poignant, with my former NFL love doing so well, and my current one under siege. I actually put on my old Dalton Hiliard jersey and doffed a Fluer-di-Lis hat and headed out to Hickory Tavern to watch the Saints-Duckies game just like old times this week. I actually pulled out my harmonica to toot Louis Armstrong’s classic after every touchdown to the delight of the Saints fans catching a buzz there. Fun, but not the same. I still love the Saints, but not like I used to. My ex-wife is still hot, but I’d never entertain the notion of a reunion.

And like my second marriage, there’s really no regret about embracing the Carolina Panthers as my football wife. Yeah, we’ve hit some bad spots, and I guarantee you I don’t berate Kathie’s pot roast as I would the Panther’s Defense, but overall, the experience of being a fan, and the experience of belonging to a woman you find beautiful and comforting are two big things that make life worth living. A kiss is a good as a touchdown, and victories come more often than sex, but it’s still a good life. And this year, I realized I was probably going to grow old and meet my eternal reward as Kathie’s husband. And I fully expect, through Dom Capers to John Fox to whoever roams the sideline in years to come, from Jerry to Mark, from Jake to that undrafted cannon that’s still in middle school, from Salt N Pepper TO just Peppers to the Hall-Of-Fame reincarnation of Lawrence Taylor in Silver, Blue and Black –

I will grow old and die –

A Panthers Fan.

And our children, God Willing –

Will do the same.


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03 November, 2009


A scriptwriter in Hollywood couldn’t script this event better. Before this contest, I had dismissed the ridiculous notion of revenge, vindication, exorcizing demons, and on and on and on with the hyperbole. All I wanted to do was to chill and watch some football with my PantherFanz pals and catch a little buzz. (Thanks so much Brain and Julie for having us! And thanks so much to the other PantherFanZ that joined us!) I gave the Puddycats little chance of even making this interesting.

How wrong I was! How wrong the rest of you were! No one short of Redd Foxx was going to entertain retribution for a horrid harbinger of malevolent football karma, but there it was. That old axiom about the heart of a champion held true on this day. To a man, the Panthers simply nutted up, and played the game of their vision. A “manhood” game, I said, several times during our afternoon.

Which left me gladdened when the game clock read 00:00, but simultaneously miffed.


This was the game that was supposed to be played back in January! This is what we were supposed to see happen when we kicked off against the Fleeguls back in September! To have to wait an agonizing eight weeks to see this team certainly dims the shine of our sparkling desert triumph to me. Perhaps it’s a character flaw of not only me, but many Pantherfans to want our team to start fast, continue strong, and finish first, and not consider the circumstances. I have bitched endlessly about the defense, especially Julius Peppers. It’s possible that the defensive players have finally bought into Ron Meek’s schemes. I know Tommy Davis has. Sherrod Martin apparently has – and how about this –

Julius Peppers, at last, has.

When any defense plays like this against the top teams in the league, there’s always a chance. That’s all most of us have asked to see. When the defense makes the field short for the offense, there’s always a chance. When your star receiver stops whining about his status as an ass-set and makes key blocks in the passing attack, there’s always a chance. And when the embattled quarterback only needs to pass for 90yards while your running game GASHES the league’s NUMBER ONE RUSHING DEFENSE – without turning the ball over -

That’s a recipe for victory, friends.

While I think this performance is late, it’s refreshing to see. Even though Monday morning was drizzly and dreary, I felt brighter. Happier. Proud. For once this season, we are talking about a near-perfect execution of FoxBall, and not the bumbling coaching misfires, the multiplying malfunctions of the quarterback. If you think about it, I’d bet you yourselves were feeling the same cheerful sprit after this victory. And oh, by the way, another mighty NFC standard is now under the white hot glare of unhappy fans. With the struggles of the GeeMen, Duckies, Packers and Niners, all of a sudden, even at 3-4, unlikely as it is, we can begin to think about “what ifs”.

I just hope that’s not a one-game aberration.

If we play like this next week, and the absurd notion of being that team that hands the invincible Saints it's first loss of the year actually comes to fruit- there’s no telling what this team could achieve. And yet – there’s the Jake question.

Like I said in opening my rant, you could NOT script this. The downtrodden Delhomme embraces his good friend and former NFL Europe teammate Kurt Warner. AND THE NEARLY IDENTICAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE PLAYOFF DEBACLE transfers, in true Star Trekkie fashion, from Delhomme to Warner, much like the demon jumped from person to person in the “Jack the Ripper” episode. I’m not buyin’ it. I stand by my lack of confidence in Jake Delhomme. If he has to throw the ball for us to win, we simply are not. At one time, I thought Jake to be Favre “Light”. He’s not even close. I seem to recall another embattled QB, Trent Dilfer, he of the miserable Suckaneers, becoming a game manager for the Balty-Moore Ravens, and winning a ring back in 2000. In order for the Carolina Panthers to become even a middle-of-the-pack team, Delhomme is going to have to be that game manager. He is going to have to learn how to throw the ball away when there’s nothing open. He his going to have to realize his weakness, and play in spite of them. With a resurgent defense behind him, and a magnificent backfield and offensive line, he owes them that, if not us, the fans.

And yet, I remember how I felt when my hero, Rocky Balboa, took the beating of his life from Clubber Lang. I felt miserable for him, and for me. And you knew he was going to get another chance, but his training went poorly until a certain spark deep inside of the South Philly pugilist ignited, and he got a chance at vindication by knocking out his adversary at the end of the movie. Just a movie, yes, but this contest felt a lot like “Rocky III” to me. Could have been better timed, but the season’s still young. Irony and karma and impossible circumstance are alive and well in the NFL! While it’s our optimistic nature to see Sunday’s game as a turning point, the realist in me is holding judgment until I see more.

Until I see this same effort duplicated against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday afternoon.

And then I’ll have more to rant about. This is one nice victory in an otherwise disappointing season so far. I’m not getting too upbeat about this. Now, if this is the beginning of a trend, I am going to have to eat a lot of critical verbiage I’ve spewed on this blog. I won’t mind. Dano’s awesome pork goes great with anything…

I’m ranted out for now.

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