31 December, 2011


Happy New Year, Fanz! This Saturday morning finds us at the end point of a tumultuous 2011, a vastly entertaining NFL season, and the administrations of quite a few elected officials – it’s an out with the old, in with the new kind of feeling. I’m already excited about the prospect of a significantly better 2012, and it’s in that spirit that I attack the slate of the final games of this season. It’s a Seeding Sunday, with all kinds of playoff scenarios even for those teams already in the dance, and TWO critical contests for playoff survival. And, I’m guaranteed a winning record. I am, after all, The Cedar Street Seer….


With their playoff cancellation determined weeks ago, these two division rivals are left to ruminate on what could have been. With no shot at a Mel-Kiperesque can’t miss draft choice, the Deadskins would surely like to close out the season with a win, but the Iggles, the biggest paper tiger since the 2005 Jets, are SUDDENLY playing inspired football on both sides of the ball, especially with Mike Vick back under center. Even with a depleted secondary, I’d expect those Iggles to get after Wrecks-Gross-man.Those fickle Philthy fans get to close out the season at the Linc with a win, thus giving them despised coach Andy Reid for yet another year. It’s a high line for a divisional game, but I’m inclined to go with the Iggles at home and the -8 ½ points.


It’s incomprehensible how the trendy preseason pick of the Sucky-neers has collapsed like this in a nine-game losing streak – but the culprits; turnovers, lack of team speed, and key injuries have sealed the fate of Tampa for this season. The Duckies can do no better than elevate themselves to a five seed with a victory in this one, but I’d expect that they come out blazing on both sides of the ball, in an attempt to erase the humiliation of the beatdown they got in New Orleans last Monday. This game will be over by half time. Duckies double-digit big…


This is a bona-fide “Suck For Luck” contest. Tied with Indianapolis for the worst record in the league, the Lambs actually have a great draft position should they wind up with the top pick, and if not, they still have an excellent opportunity to improve their statistically worse league standings from this lost season. The Niners, a vastly superior team, particularly defensively, want that playoff bye – they will play like they want it. The Lambs wilted against Pissburgh’s defense last week, and San Francisco’s is BETTER. Even with a depleted wide receiver corps, there’s enough here to avoid letdown. No upsets here, boys and girls. Another game over by halftime – Niners by -10 ½.


It’s an audition game for both of the NFC Norris division also-rans tomorrow. Joe Webb will get the start for the concussed Christian Ponder, and Toby Gerhardt for Adrian Peterson. They looked good last week in the defeat of the Deadskins, and the Vikings defense looked fearsome again with the rejuvenation of Jared Allen. The Bears were scraping the bottom of the quarterback barrel in starting Josh McClown , but he hasn’t looked Grossman awful. Yet. Kahlil Bell gets the start at running back for the Bears. I actually think this could be a high-scoring game. The line is a paltry 1 ½, and I’m leaning to the Vikings.


While not as sexy a matchup as we’d envisioned earlier in the season when both squads were undefeated, it’s still plenty big for Detroit, who are fighting hard for that #5 seed, and the favorable matchup against the floundering NFC Least champion. The Packers have clinched everything they can. While Mike McCarthy hasn’t revealed his plans on resting players, you can’t imagine he’d risk injury to his key players for the second Super Bowl run. Who blinks first? McCarthy does. If you want to see Aaron Rodgers and Clay and Company in this game, you’d better tune in for the first half. You won’t see them again until the second round of the playoffs. And Vegas knows this. The Lions aren’t going to blow this chance to break that 0-20 streak on the Tundra, which is beginning to attain its Pleistocenic allure. I’m all over the Leos as a RARE road favorite at Lambeau, at 3 ½.


All indications are that Sean Payton will be continuing to fling his juggernaut Saints at the suddenly bristling Panthers this Sunday. Sean Payton isn’t Mike McCarthy. He of the Onside Kick to start the second half of the Super Bowl will surely have his players in “urgency” mode for most of the game, but I guarantee he will be scoreboard watching for that Niners-Lambs game, playing at the same time. The Panthers, who are in the NFL’s top five offensive teams in yards AND points will be impossible for the Saints to stop. This game will be an entertaining close to the season for the Panthers, who will keep it close in a shootout, when Payton finally pulls his starters in the fourth quarter. Panthers have been a covering machine lately, and they continue here. Take the ‘Cats and the +8.


On the surface, it’s a game with nothing to play for to the Texans, and EVERYTHING to play for to the Titans, who amazingly enough, are a ROAD FAVORITE at Reliant Stadium. I don’t see it. There’s motivation PLENTY in the Texans locker room. With two consecutive defeats to the Panthers and lowly Colts, and now only TWO Pro Bowl selections, along with the insult by the betting line, I think they are coming out in this game swinging. I’d expect that with the return of All-Pro wideout Andre Johnson, coach Kubiak will want Yates to fling the biscuit regularly in his direction. Arian Foster will be keeping the Titans defense honest, and this outcome will not be in doubt. Texans are going to win this one going away…


Here’s a game with much riding on the outcome – For the Bengals, it’s simple. Win and you clinch the #6 seed, Lose, and you can STILL back into the playoffs with losses by the Jets and Raiders. For the Ravens, it’s the difference between the #1 seed and the #5 seed! It feels like all of the pressure is on the Ravens, and they’ve played vastly different on the road this season. Add some significant injuries to the mix, particularly in the receiving corps, and I’m seeing a favorable outcome for the Bengals. Squeelers? Get set for yet another NFC North Championship. I’m liking the Bengals, with their Ginger Mini-C am, Andy Dalton at QB, leading the charge with that nasty defense behind him, to make the playoffs in an unlikely winning season for the Cincinnati Bengals.


This is a huge game for the Squeelers. The division, the playoff bye all hang in the balance as the team that probably hates them MOST, yes, more than the Ravens, entertain them in the season closer. Pissburgh is banged up like a teenager’s first car, but so are the Browns. I’d anticipate this to be a low-scoring game and I’d think if the score was comfortable enough, that Mike Tomilin would be sitting his starters by the fourth quarter. Vegas agrees, and has given the Men of Squeel a meager -7 point advantage. Take the Browns at your own risk, but rarely does Pissburgh blow this kind of game. I’m on the Squeelers.


Ahhh, the conclusion of the “Suck For Luck” campaign. This no longer looks like a shoo-in for the once-winless Colts. With wins over SUPERIOR divisional foes Tennessee and Houston, this is a chance to end the season on a strong note for Indy. To me, all of the matchups favor a Colts VICTORY! There’s a chance that TE Dallas Clark will be back, and they will be playing to a half-empty stadium in Jacksonville. Oh, how interesting the 2012 draft will be! Wrong team favored! Colts win! But Jim Caldwell’s job may still not be safe as the team looks to rebuild, and perhaps without Peyton Manning next season…


One of the most entertaining rivalries in the league features a noteworthy storyline in the retirement of 15-year veteran LB Jason Taylor, and the desperation shot of making the playoffs for the Jets. Sexy Rexy’s team squandered the chance to control their destiny last week at home, now they get a chance to wilt in the South Florida sun. I think this will be a hard-hitting, low-scoring game. You can never be sure of the outcome of a contest between these two bitter rivals, but I’m sure that the Dolphins would like nothing better than to knock a team out of the playoffs and go into the offseason optimistic about a new season and new coaching staff for 2012. Miami brings a defense on the field that is equal to New York’s, and in games where there’s nothing to play for, Matt Moore tends to excel. Mark it down – Phish win.


With the Pastry-Rots needing a win to lock down the #1 seed in the conference, there’s no better team than the Bills to clinch with – Even though they rallied to beat New Englandgland at home, this is a shell of that team that teased the Upstate with a stellar 3-1 record to start the season. Cheat-a-chek’s proved me wrong in all of the games I’d predicted blowouts in, and last week was no exception. If they DON’T blow out the Bills tomorrow, I’d be greatly surprised! Brady will find his receivers early and often in that soft Buffalo coverage. Pastry-Rots DOUBLE DIGIT big…


For the first time since 2003, the Chargers are looking at a losing record if they drop this contest to a highly motivated Raiders team that has a shot to take the AFC Worst division, if Denver drops their showdown with Kansas Shitty. Sad Diego is wracked with injuries, players nearing the end of their careers, and an erratic Phillip Rivers. Their run defense is poor, and Raiders RB Michael Bush is on a roll. I’m expecting this to become a streetfight by the end of the game, which I think will favor Oakland. Gimme the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAIDAHS and the -3, and the AFC Worst division champeenship!


Aside from the Cowboys-Giants game tomorrow night, this may be the most watched contest of the day! Ahhh, the juicy storylines! Cut QB Orton coming back to Mile High! Teblow! Division championship! Crennell clinching a head coaching job for the Chefs! KC played the Broncoids tough in the matchup at Arrowhead – tomorrow afternoon they have one job – Stop Denver’s top-rated rushing attack. They have played at the top of their games for interim coach Romeo Crennell, and they’ll do it even more so Sunday. It will be Foxball vs. Fundamental Crennell. Won’t be a lot of scoring in this one. The mistakes will be made by Timmy Terrific, and the Chefs have an advantage of Orton having practiced against this defense. Many of us remember what John Fox does in seasons teetering between winning and losing records- this game will be no different. My money’s on the CHEFS- straight up!


Thankfully, none of these two teams are going to the playoffs, but both squads go into the offseason with both questions and optimism. Neither squad wants to lose this game, as the loser gets to travel to North Cam-a-lacky next season to lose to the Cam-a-Lots! Ok, seriously, draft position won’t be impacted, but a non-losing record would be of some solace to teams that started so poorly. Arid-zona is going without Kevin Kolb AND Patrick Peterson, and Seattle’s running game is firing on all pistons with Marshawn Lynch. I’d expect him to be the difference. I like the Seahawsk to cover the +3.


Ahhh, what a game to end the season! I’m not sure, in a season that doesn’t have the Panthers in the playoffs, if it gets better than this. Winner’s in. Loser’s out. And this is a game the Cowboys tend to choke on. And I think it will happen. I will elaborate. Dallas’ aging offensive line has left Tony Romo open to the pass rush. Injuries to the running backs have left the ground attack, uh, hamstrung. Meanwhile, the Cowboys defense has not been able to get to the passer as of late. Against Eli Manning, that will be a problem. Also, with the running game resurgent for the Guys from Gotham, it will be hard to keep the Geeemen from moving the chains. I like the Giants – BIG.

There you go, Fanz! My final prognostication of the regular season! I hope you win lots of bucks and beers this weekend! And have a safe, SAFE , SAFE New Year. I’ll be back next week with the final rant of the year, and hopefully not as maudlin.

Last week – 9-7
Season – 131-101

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26 December, 2011


I’ve been looking at a blank screen for about 5 minutes now, trying to recover the overflow of thoughts, impressions, and feelings I had, not only as a Panther Fan, but as someone called to replace a legend, as I’m trying to rant about what we saw from our Panthers on Saturday, Christmas Eve. All of the tired old adjectives and metaphors about Christmas presents, giant monsters with cool superpowers, and other hokey notions, I have been rejecting. I found myself coming again and again to someone I’ve thought a lot about lately –

I found myself thinking about Marc “the JoKer” Stanton, who wrote about the team AND our party from a vastly entertaining and wholly different angle for years before The Cedar Street Seer took the keyboard. One of the highlights of my gameday week was to read about Marc’s view of the game, or the game that was upcoming. And of course, a larger than life presence at our now league-famous party, thanks to the tireless work of Dano, James, and all of the rest of you who picked up the club, who show up early on Sunday mornings to make a pregame experience that’s second to none. I would imagine many of you who regularly read the “Rantz of the Week” know who I’m talking about. And with the holidays in full swing, I thought, in a Dickesonian way, the ghosts of Panthers past, present, and Panthers Yet To Come and how in not a dreadful sort of way, but in a melancholy, yet warmly sentimental way, he personifies the spirit of PantherFandom.

Yes, I thought a lot about Marc the past week or so. I thought about the inconcievable sadness we felt on that tailgate morning, back in December 2006, trying to carry on, and the five year anniversary of that tradgedy. I thought about the family he left behind, and how his Pantherfanz family rallied for them. I thought about the dubious task I had in succeeding his website “voice”. But most of all, I thought about the pure, honest PASSION Marc had for these Carolina Panthers. I thought about how savagely he critized the team when we sucked, and how fired up he got when things were going great. I took a moment at our last tailgate party of the year, and reflected on the vibe that I felt, the anticipation of not just a good game, but a GREAT game to send us off into the offseason, full of anticipation for greatness to come. And I appreciated the stark contrast, five years later, that THIS tailgate party, even without Dano and his thundering sound system, and his boisterous entrites to get us fired up, was a joyous celebration of the passion we all shared with Marc. I saw Marc’s Jeep parked in the spot he always had on gameday, the rear door opened, and a familiar archaic olive drab device beckoned to me. I picked up Marc’s old hand-operated WWII air raid siren that Brian thought enough of to bring, and let ‘er rip – and, you know –

It almost felt like Marc’s hand grabbed mine from the eternal beyond, and enthusiatically gave me extra assistance in blowing out the eardrums of Rusty, one of our Korean War veteran guests. It felt good (but not the part about giving you discomfort, Rusty, sorry dude!). And among our many party participants, the mood was one of tingling anticipation, that this would be a game to remember as the familiar whine reverberated through our tailgate party. I know that I personally, had no doubt about the outcome, only by how much we would thump this dissappointingly underachieving Bucs team, a team that was still very much our rival when Marc would write about the highly entertaining contests the two teams would have twice a year. Only now, I really haven’t thought of them so much as a rival, not as I would view the Saints or Duckies.

I would be hard-pressed, I think, to find any of you out there who would really care about that notion.

But all of these things did I bring to the forefront of my mind as what seemed to be an endless supply of homemade hooch in Mason jars found its way to my lips on that near perfect December football morning…

I truly apologize for being so maudlin on what is supposed to be a victorious “rant”; only I have nothing to rant about. It should be a RAVE – only once has this Panthers team scored more points than this – a 52 point obliteration of the Bungles back in 2002. But it’s a reserved rave. We really had no expectations coming in the season. The focus of the media is on all of the playoff participants, and it sucks to be out of that party, once again. A big win is a nice diversion from the unpleasantries of life as it is, but when the game has gone into last weeks’ fading storylines, we are once again reunited with what torments us.

But ohhhh, what we saw on Saturday! But for a legitimate defense, would we have been in that conversation! And if we are to truly be worthy of the providence of what could be in the years to come, we could see this point total in MANY games! What, I ask of you readers, who dare to dream, who shared Marc’s passion, could you see, even for next year? And unlike Scrooge’s fear of that ghost of Things to Come, THIS Panthers of The Future is gladly welcomed, and could bring for 2012 –

-Three or more primetime games, with the pregame parties of the century?
-More record setting performances by an offense that’s only NOW starting to realize its scoring prowess?
-A bona fide HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE, where the league can least expect a road win?
-A stadium bowl devoid of the fans of the other teams, as the home fans throw their support to the Panthers, at last?
-A playoff appearance, and a shot at a return to The Super Bowl?

Ohhhhh, all of this and MORE! What might be lost on the average fan is that opposed to the incredible yardage Cam threw in the first few games of the season, he threw a simply efficient 172 yards! Most of our yardage came on rushing plays, and half our touchdowns were made on the ground! With a defense to go with this powerful attack, there is no NFL team we cannot just beat, but blow out, week after week!

And, at last, the maturation of the PantherFans in Bank of America Stadium was realized, when the Wave was started in earnest, when the VISITOR had the ball! I would just ask that all of you stay long enough for the playing of “Sweet Caroline” to really make the gameday experience complete. You know you want to go “BomBomBom” when the good times feel so good – Which is what I’m forcasting in the short, and long term future of the team.

And how good it will be for me, as part of Marc Stanton’s legacy, to be able to pound out not rant after rant, but RAVE after RAVE when the dwindling trickle of Squeelers, Packers, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Duckies fans leave our stadium having had their teams’ fannies beat while we vociferously exclaim our victory as they once did here. If the performance we saw on Christmas Eve is an indication, the legacy left by Marc 5 years ago is in very, very good hands. I thank you all for your readership, and most of all, for living IN that legacy, whether you knew Marc or not….

This has turned out to be much a different report than I had anticipated when I left the Stadium with my sobbing daughter, but yet, a joy.

One more game before the season, for us, fades into the dusty archives of yesteryear. A happy holiday and safe and healthy new year to you all.

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22 December, 2011


Good Thursday to you all, Fanz! It’s time once again for your weekly prognostitive entertainment, provided this season WITHOUT FAIL by your dedicated Cedar Street Seer. But this is no ordinary week of pics – This is CRITICAL Week 16, with most of the games being played on Saturday Christmas Eve, and postseason placement hangs in the balance – And I’m ready to let ‘er rip –

Clairvoyance gland, don’t fail me now…


The Colts felt the soothing relief of a victory last week, but the fact remains. This is not a very good football team by any measure, at any position, and it mystifies me that ONE player, removed from the lineup, can result in such a dreadful year. Houston IS a good team, despite the letdown to the Cam-a-Lots, and that will certainly play itself out tonight. TJ Yates is not making the mistakes he made last Sunday. Take the Texans and the -6.


Again, when you manage to beat a team like the Packers, you get your correct city and team name back. The Chiefs played their heart out for Romeo Crennel, and they’ll do the same on Saturday. The Raiders are battling a late season inconsistency, and I think the raucous Arrowhead crowd will help carry the hometeam through. I’m feelin’ the Chiefs and the -1 ½.


TebowMania took a break last week, but it promises to resume at Ralph Wilson Stadium this weekend. The Broncoids are still playing inspired ball defensively, and the Bills sure ain’t Brady’s Bunch. One win, and Denver’s in. This is the win. By -3.


The Titans got to be the team to lose to the 13-loss team last week. Chris Johnson is hobbled, as is Matt Hasslebeck, and with their playoffs on feeble math support, a win realistically, won’t help much. They had a hard time stopping a pair of unheralded fullbacks, and Maurice Jones-Drew is still quite the force in Jacksonville’s offensive backfield. I think this game will be closer than the line. I’m on the Jaggy-Whyers and the +7 ½.


It took a spirited fourth quarter and overtime for Johnny Skelton and his Cardy-noles to overcome a struggling Clevelandland team AT UOP last week. The Bengals will be that much tougher, and Arid-Zona traditionally has a tough time travelling east. Cincinnati’s got a shot at a wild card slot, and the defenses will set the tone, but the men in the cool striped unis will prevail, and cover the -4.


This is a game Bill Cheat-a-Chek doesn’t lose. Period. The Broncoids “D” is much stouter than that of the Phish, and Brady’s Bunch will penetrate them again and again. Take the Pastry-Rots and the -9 ½.


The Brownies’ defense is keeping the team respectable, and the Ravens dropped an inexplicable pterodactyl egg in San Diego last Sunday Night. Under normal circumstances I would take the Browns and the +13 points, but I made a vow not to take them again. And I’m not. But take the Ravens at your own risk with that hefty line.


Funny, this is an “away” game for the GeeeeMen at their OWN stadium, that they share with the other Guys from Gotham. And both teams are reeling from REALLY bad losses. This is a very tough game to call for me – I love the Jets’ defense, but they looked TERRIBLE against the Iggles, and the Giants’ offense has looked incredible as of late, but looked like a bunch of fat hobbits against the Deadskins – AT HOME.
Both teams MUST WIN this game to stay in the playoff chase, and it will be played like it. But I like the Jets’ D to make the play that changes the game. Jets by -3.


A game for draft positioning. Peterson says he’ll play, and this is too late for Wrecks-Grossman to audition for next year. Something tells me that the Vikings cover this one, and the Deadskins flub up offensively. Northmen and the +6 ½.


It’s a hallmark of inspired coaching when a team out of the playoffs continues to “swing their sword” as Foxy used to say. The Panthers are setting the tone for next season for Ron Rivera, and the Sucky-Neers are playing out theirs. There are some players who are vocally behind embattled Bucs coach Raheem Morris, but I don’t think there’s enough of them. There’s been some positive tutelage of Cam Newton by his teammates, and I think it will show itself on the field. A happy day for Pantherfanz. ‘Cats by -7 ½.


Even without Worthlessberger, I don’t think the Lambs can do much at Heinz Field with so much at stake for the Men of Squeel. The line’s off, but the clacking done by the universe and the space –time continuum may be too much to overcome if the Squeelers lose this one. There’s no way, but I would join the heavenly chorus of clackers if they do. But they won’t.


With one win, the once laughable Detroit Lions secure their first playoff berth in decades. They will do it on Saturday, but the Chargers manage to get up for the big teams at the right time. It’s just the sucky ones they falter with, and it will cost Turner his job. But this contest will be hard fought. Matthew Stafford will find Calvatron and his Decepticons enough times to get that victory. Phillip Rivers will do enough stupid things to cost the Chargers theirs.


The Niners can clinch a #2 seed with a victory over suddenly scrappy Seattle. It’s always tough to play in Quest Field, and I think this weekend will be no exception. I’m feelin’ the Seadogs and the +2 ½.


The Iggles embarrassed the Cowboys on their last trip to the Linc. I don’t like the revenge angle, especially when there’s so much at stake. The Cowboys have traditionally choked in this situation, and I don’t think it changes here. Mike Vick’s playing well in his return, and they’ll be tough to stop. I like the Iggles to continue to put the late season tease on for the frustrated Philthy fans and win!


Perhaps the best thing to happen to the Packers in their second championship quest was to be humbled by the Chiefs last week. They certainly get a chance to redeem themselves against their archrival from the Windy City, but Josh McClown is an upgrade from Mr. Hanie like Kim-Jong-Un is an upgrade from Kim Jong-Il. The Chiefs defense showed how to harass Aaron Rodgers through that now battered offensive line, and the Bears will do the same. 13 points is a heavy line, and I like the Bears to cover.


One win for the Duckies, and they’re back in the playoffs. If it’s THIS win, they still have a chance to win the division. But with Dan Marino’s record, and the #2 seed on the line for the Saints, they have too much motivation to let the Duckies run all over them. These two teams traditionally play tough, but when Drew Brees has something this significant to play for, he’s unstoppable. I’m all over the Saints and the 6 ½.

Another nice week for the Seer last week –
Season – 123-96

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21 December, 2011


Spending all GameDay Sunday of a PIVOTAL Week 15 at my favorite watering hole, Fourty Rod Roadhouse and Grill in Mint Hill watching at least 6 or 7 critical games was probably some of the best bar time I’ve had in quite a while. And as the games unfolded, I ruminated, off and on, as the Panthers/Texans game ebbed into the annals of tomorrow’s media guide, of how this most unusual of NFL seasons was drawing to a close, and I realized that my prediction of a most exciting finish was being realized. No more were the expected championships of an elite group. All of a sudden, new teams were making proud statements, if not playoff pushes, and those teams that were the “anointed” found themselves in seasons of mediocrity, or worse. I had felt that with the lack of the now all-important offseason training activities (the oft-mentioned OTA’s), that teams with a strong start had an opportunity to make the playoffs despite a possible late-season fade.

Perfect example.

The Detroit Lions, who I, like many others, predicted to have a breakout season, are one win away from their first playoff appearance since 1998! Their game with the Raiders was in my opinion, the best of the day, and if you didn’t have Sunday Ticket or a seat at a bar with this program, you were stuck watching Timmy Terrific getting schooled by Brady’s Bunch. And while the loss severely crippled the Raider’s playoff chances, they went down swinging, which makes me believe the Hue Jackson era for Oakland will be an exciting one, if not consistently successful. The Cincinnati Bengals also took a strong start to challenge for a playoff spot, although the two losses to Pissburgh hurt.

Detroit, along with Houston and San Francisco, are refreshing new (and returning after a long absence) playoff contestants that will make January football worth watching, and for me, a delightful diversion from the absolute bummer of life these days.

I had also predicted that it wouldn’t be until Week 8 that some of your perennial postseason contestants got things together. Exhibit A- The Iggles, Jets, Seahawks, and Chargers all have mounted too-little-too-late drives, but to the leagues benefit, and to that of the networks broadcasting these final games, have made these two weeks possibly the VERY BEST FOOTBALL VIEWING in decades! And teams with nothing to play for have also hit the “turbo” switch – The Panthers victory over Houston is a perfect example. Although the Chefs have faint and I MEAN FAINT, playoff hopes, they came together in a HUGE fan-satisfying way to destroy the Packers’ perfect undefeated season.

Making a huge contribution to the intense air of urgency to these final games is the inexplicable COLLAPSES the so-called “playoff caliber” teams are suffering. Did you think that the DeadSkins would rip the britches off of the Giants and whap that fanny red? I would have never bet on it. Did you think that the Jets’ vaunted defense would wither like cut flowers on an August sidewalk to the suddenly surging Iggles? I thought not. And some of those teams already IN the playoffs aren’t gaining momentum going into January – The Ravens looked AWFUL in San Diego Sunday night, the Squeelers took a DELIGHTFUL tumble Monday Night to the Niners, who are truly boasting a February defense. The Texans’ league leading “D” could not blunt the power of the Carolina Cam-a-Lots. But most inexplicably, is the sudden vulnerability of the once-invincible Packers. All of a sudden, the NFC teams on a serious roll, like the Niners and Saints, look like they could come to The Tundra and simply blow away the media’s Super Bowl darling.

And, for you traditionalists, those teams you’re USED to seeing in the postseason, to your relief, are there for your viewing pleasure, like your Pastry Rots, and the afore-mentioned Saints, along with your all-of-a-sudden stumbling Packers, Squeelers, and Ravens. The distinct possibility of Dallas getting to the playoffs make this stretch run perfect, if not for the simultaneously annoying and amusing cacophony of the legions of under-educated Cowboy fans who’ve not been within 500 miles of Big D.

And I would be remiss to ignore the continued white-hot hyper-hype on TebowMania. Although the Broncoids were thoroughly undressed by New EnglandGland, Denver’s still very much alive for a MUCH unexpected playoff berth. You have GOT to believe that media executives are turning to Tebows’ sponsoring deity in frantic prayer that his Broncoids make the postseason, so that they can charge Anheiuser-Busch and Miller record rates for advertising during the broadcast!

I’ve not been this excited about the end of football season since ’08, when our Panthers were 10-4 and closing out the year as a top seed. Unfortunately, that feels like it was in ’98! But watching OUR future playoff contestant grow and progress has made the league feel enjoyable again, as we take our position of relevance when the franchises are evaluated.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the Week 16 prognostications…

See you all in the lot to close out our too-short season of tailgating!

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19 December, 2011


The world of the TRUE sports fan does not unfold, day after day, year after year, like that of those directly involved with the object of adoration, be it a team or individual. When a coach fails in producing a winner, he’s fired. When a manager fails to stock a team with good, contributing players, he’s let go. When an athlete does not perform in the field of play, he’s cut. When an individual finishes in the lower end of the standings, be it tennis, golf or racing, he loses sponsors, prestige, and eventually fades into that cursed obscurity where few bother plumbing it to retrieve their memory. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past, for today’s sports-o-sphere tends to eschew loyalty.


For those impassioned followers, plays from yesteryear can be recalled with giga-pixel resolution. It’s what kept fans of the Boston Red Sox, the Detroit Lions, Notre Dame, Tiger Woods, Michael Waltrip to name but a few, engaged, hopeful, and reverent when remembering the sports that got their adrenaline running, that gave life an extra fire, and made every gameday a holiday. While a loser, The Warshingtoon Deadskins STILL have a devoted following even though a winning season seams to be light years away, and the waiting list continues to be agonizingly long. But the fans are patient. They are hardy. And they wait. Much like Charlie Brown waited for his hero, Joe Schlobotink, to FINALLY get a base hit. And if he never does, at least Chuckie gave his whole heart to an athlete he unequivocally believed in.

Some of us are rewarded for our passion sooner. Keeping the big picture in mind, I am transported back to 1988. On November 3rd, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina entered the national sports media stage by fielding its first bona fide professional franchise, The Hornets. I didn’t recall a SOUL who wasn’t AT LEAST interested in how they played the night before, when they were going to play, how many points did Dell Curry score, how many rebounds did Kurt Rambis snag, and if Kelly Tripucka cried like a whiny baby after the game. I followed this team with a fervor that bordered on religion. I listed to every game I could on the radio when games were not televised, and watched every game I could, and attended every game I could get tickets for. Our first season brought 20 wins, and with it, the hope of a draft pick to elevate our game. The next season brought 19 wins, and dismissal of coach Dick Harter. But the next coach, Gene Littles, brought 26 wins. As a fan, gradual but tangible improvement was all I could ask for, and the following season brought 31 wins. Continued improvement keep fans like me going through the turnstiles, buying Hornets merchandise, and completely engaged in what the club was doing. Once Alonzo Mourning was added to the roster in ’92, the playoffs became a realistic goal, year after year. But to the Charlotte sports fans’ discredit, we collectively are a fickle bunch. When the postseason never got past the second round, and owner George Shinn developed a insatiable taste for HoneyBees, the town soured on the team, and unfairly so. Combine that with a contentious dissatisfaction with a perfectly serviceable Coliseum off Tyvola Road, and a Mexican standoff executed with the skill of a writhing decapitated barnyard fowl by Rey Woolridge, my sports heart was CRUSHED when this team, my very first sports marriage, took off for New Orleans. Most of you already know the story. The city and the region then flung their total energies to the Panthers, whose arrival was made possible by the fervor generated by these Hornets.

But this rant’s not about the Hornets, or basketball. It’s about fan perseverance, the virtue that I remembered that I had, and sometimes I feel that I lack now when it comes to my current relationship with the Carolina Panthers, the team that put the PSL ring on my finger. The fickle attitudes of the Charlotte fan in general continue to drive the attitudes of those who fail to see beyond the mistakes of a Rae Carruth, the primal, uncontrolled anger of a Steve Smith, and as of late, the seemingly (and unsubstantiated) lurid pay-for-play rap that Cam Newton got. I remember hearing a casual fan saying “If the Panthers draft Cam Newton, I will NEVER pull for them again!” Fine. You go on pulling for your Colts. See where that gets you.

I began to think about this perseverance as Lauren , Ron and I sat in our favorite bar watching (as your Cedar Street Seer predicted) a highly entertaining game against the formerly #1 AFC seed Houston Texans. With this victory, we continued to increase our win total from last year, and the visible improvement that kept me going as a Hornets fan has re-energized my Panther Passion like PantherFanz’ Panther Potion produces a perfunctory buzz! And actually, this is the kind of victory, against a playoff-bound opponent that still has a stake in each additional win that is the measuring stick of our progress! And it was a pleasure to see, as we watched other contestants in the playoff sweepstakes flop like a harpooned mudcat. How do you feel today if you’re a Giants fan? A Jets fan? A Ravens fan? Or worse – the sputtering performance by the Green Bay Packers that exposed their weakness for the whole league to see! I feel better, as a Panther fan, going into the offseason than I do for any of these teams going into the playoff chase. It’s all about getting better –

And these Panthers are getting better. Take a look at Cam’s stats yesterday. 150 yards passing. Pedestrian by any standard. But NO mistakes. 53 yards rushing. Not particularly stellar. But what WAS significant was the way the offense kept a balanced attack collecting first downs, both by running, and by the pass. Even MORE significant was the way the defense played. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the OUTSTANDING linebacker play yesterday, particularly by practice-squadder Jordan Senn, that product of the prominent linebacker school, Boise State. The tackles that replaced Fua and McClain are not embarrassing themselves, although, as I had predicted, Arian Foster DID get his yards and a touchdown. Our defense is a work in progress, but the operative word, and for this rant, is PROGRESS. It’s vital to keep the fires of the fan aflame.

One of my favorite creature features of my youth was a Japanese import called “War of the Monsters”, in which a smuggled opal from New Guinea reveals itself to actually be an egg, and hatches a beast called Bauragon in Osaka Harbor. The monster, of course grows to full size, and has all kinds of cool capabilities that it demonstrates as the film goes on. I can’t help but come back to this giant Japanese monster metaphor after seeing Chudzinkys’ latest weapon reveal – what I’M calling the “Brockelrooskie”. The media, as of this writing, is positively in LOVE with this play, and for the time being, has elevated itself to a mid-story, behind the national salivating over the Brady-Bash of Timmy Terrific, the puncture of the Packers, and the Colts’ escape from the indignity of 0-16. Tell me that you, as a Panther fan, did not squeal with approval and amazement at the iron balls it took for Chudz and Ron to call that play, which worked to laser-precise perfection! 40-Rod Roadhouse erupted in cheers when that play developed on the big screen, and claws were passed around to all! Again, another example that the status quo has slipped into the past, and Foxball is a plague only to be suffered in Denver, and never again in Carolina.


And the team, including the coaching staff, is continuing to learn from the errors of games past this year. When the Texans began to claw (or hoof,as it were) back from that 21 point deficit in the third quarter, I, along with the rest of Panther Nation, were only too aware of the 13 games we frittered leads away- well, so were the Panthers. Chudz did what he SHOULD have done last week, and unleashed the stallion-like running of Newton on third and short /medium situations, and collected enough first downs to prevent another comeback by the valiant TJ Yates and his Texans. Winning is infectious, and when this team learns to consistently make the plays they have to in the games waning minutes, the victories, the confidence, and the swagger will increase. And those of us who stuck around for the wretchingly awful end of the Seifert area, the even WORSE end of the Foxball era, and the occasionally painful labor and birth of these NEW Panthers, watching this NFL monster grow, and grow, and grow, revealing new and devastating weapons of NFL destruction season after season will be a joy indeed, and keep those fires of fandom flickering for years to come.

Which leads me to my ONE most URGENT CHRISTMAS WISH as it comes to these Panthers.


Whatever it is that Uncle Jerry has to do, it’s IPERATIVE that he does, to keep this brilliant offensive mind employed and scheming for our team. I hate to sound all Deir-dorfy on y’all but I really feel that this part of our coaching staff is vital to our success for the short term, until Cam matures into the beast that he’s destined to become.

And with that, I end this rant of love for my team, hope for the future, peace in the knowledge that this team is going in the right direction, and joy at being a Panther Fan.

I have some more league ruminations that I’m hoping to blog about in the next day or so, and there’s the weekly picks coming to you Thursday morning –

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15 December, 2011


Another winning week gets me somewhat anxious to pound out another batch of winners for your speculative pleasure. And well in time for this evening malodorous offering by the NFL Network – read on!


Ahhh, but what thirty minutes hath wrought for the Duckies, coming back from certain doom to the Cam-A-Lots! They can strengthen their playoff positioning tonight with an easy win over the newly acquired Jaggy-Whyers. I will tune in to get the score only. Really no reason to watch unless you happen to be a fan or a fantasy owner. Duckies by -11 ½.


Doing all the little things badly is what’s handicapped the Cowboys this season. Although JJ has gone on the record for publicly supporting his head coach, his tune would undoubtedly change if they were to drop this one – Look at it this way – if Carolina and Jacksonville bombed on these guys like they have in the past two weeks, can you imagine what a talented squad like Dallas would do? If they start doing the little things right – Tampa is doing ALL things badly, and it will reflect in the score. Dallas by -7.


After that shellacking the GeeeeeeeeeeeeeMen took in New Orleans three weeks ago, Manning and Co. have played as well as anyone in the league as of late. This is when they typically turn on the jets, if you’ll pardon the expression. I find it odd and mildly fascinating that the vastly underperforming teams with no shot at the postseason start playing for their jobs at this stage of the season, and it appeared as if the DeadSkins were doing the same against New EnglandGland last week. Even if they do the same, it won’t be enough. The Giants have a chance to keep their hold on the division and their only shot at the playoffs, and they win. By a touch.


Trap game? Hmmm. This would be the upset of the year. How will the Chefs respond to Romeo Crenell’s leadership? I’ve got this feelin’ that release from Todd Haley’s quirky dictatorship will be motivating. I’ve got a hunch they keep this interesting! Chefs to cover the 14!


Dome team in a dome against a sucky opponent playing for pride only. The Saints are playing for records, and seeding. Saints by -7.


How things have fallen apart (as I predicted, BTW,) for the Bears! With the loss of Forte and Cutler, the offensive output has plummeted! The loss to the Tebows has seriously punctured Chicago’s playoff balloon. And here comes suddenly relevant Seattle with resurgent Marshawn Lynch! I would expect them to run him till that overrated Bears Defense could stop him. They can only hope to contain him. Seahawsks to cover the +3 ½.


Ok, the Matt Moore express has come to a screeching halt for the Dull-Phins. And the early season hope for the Bills has turned into the perennial December Dissapointment once again. A game for the savory only. The line is still off, but I like the Bills at home, to give an early holiday gift to the faithful.


Early in the season, I would have certainly put this in the “L” column. It’s still not a bad bet, but the Carolina offense is CERTAINLY putting up numbers, if sporadically, against ALL defenses this year and Houston’s got one of the best. But they haven’t seen Cam yet. With a playoff spot secured, the pressure is off the Texans, but seeding’s stll at stake. The excessively perforated Panther Defense will see a heavy dose of Foster and Bell all day, and it will be the difference. But the Panthers will play. I like ‘em to cover the +6 ½.


The Titans still have a shrinking chance at a playoff spot, and they are the better team. The Colts are in a malfeacently unfamiliar position as a team with NO wins going into the second week in December. How bad do they want ONE win, and over a familiar opponent in Tennessee? I DO think they want it bad enough, but Dan Orvolosky isn’t going to help them bring it. I like the losing to continue for Indy, who won’t even cover the spread of +6 ½.


Same story as above, but even less pressure on the Lambs, who DO have a pair of wins, and a high draft choice for next year locked up, and almost zero motivation to fight the vastly superior Bengals, who maintain their flickering playoff hopes with a road win by -6.


Desperation time for both teams as they fight to keep postseason possibilities alive. The Leos get DonkeyKong Suh back after two weeks in the naughty boy box, and I have a feeling the Raiders will pay for his pent-up anger. They have been disconnected offensively for the past three weeks, which is actually a surprise to me. If they can’t get things to go this week, I’m almost prepared to say the Carson Palmer experiment may have failed. Granted, they’ve lost some punch in the backfield, but other players needed to pick up the slack, which they’ve not done enough of. It will be hard to stop a motivated Leos team who clinch at least a winning record for the first time since last century – which they will.







This has been the most hyped up game since Ali-Frazier II, but this is what Cheat-A-Chek does best, putting an up-and-coming team in their place, and the buzz and energy will be short lived. Tebow Time? Bronco Time? BRADY BUNCH TIME. The Pastry-Rots will play this rope-a-dope game with the Broncoids for a half, and pull away in the second. The TeBlow express comes to a screeching halt for a week, and the Pastry-Rots POUND Denver at home. And Timmy Terrific gives thanks for the opportunity.


Come on, y’all. That victory over Miami away from home means nothing. The Iggles are still a dysfunctional group even WITH Michael Vick. And the Jets are gaining momentum. I’d expect it to continue this Sunday. Wrong team favoured. Take the JETS and the +3 points. Sexy Rexy’s not screwin’ this up this late in the season –


Man, I did NOT see that upset coming last week! The Cardy-noles put on their man-pants in defeating the Niners, and they are going to continue their late season gasp, futile as it might seem, against a really bad, and now highly scrutinized Browns team. Think they’ll take an extra look at Seneca Wallace if his bell gets rung like McCoy’s did by James Harrison? Gimme the Cardys and the -7.


This game could be one of the most entertaining of the day – The Ravens really NEED this one for seeding, and keeping up with the Squeelers. The Chargers are, as usual, bringing too little, too late to change their playoff fate, but they’ll certainly fight. But the Quothers prevail, ending whatever tease San Diego brought, and further sealing Norv Turner’s destiny.


Ahhh, at LAST a Monday Night game worth viewing start to finish! A pair of 10-3 teams fighting for playoff seeding, and they’ll hit like it! The disadvantage for the Squeelers is the injury to WorthlessBerger and his banged-up O line. This is bound to be one of those field goal games, which I’m expecting the Niners to win. No line on this one, but I feel good about a San Francisco victory.

There you go, fans! Another winning slate of picks, and some against the line sure get the holiday cash a jinglin’…

See you with the post game rant on Monday.

Last week – 11-5
Season- 113-90

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12 December, 2011


I’m going confess –

When I’m watching a really boring game on TV, regardless if it’s football, basketball, NASCAR, whatever-
I’ll often find an alternate channel to switch to when the “action” or significant lack of it, really starts to ebb –

And more often than not, I’m switching to nature shows, like those on the National Geographic Channels, or Animal Planet, Discovery, PBS, etc…

I’m thinking about this as our franchise Superman used the “safari” metaphor to describe his role with the Panthers likening himself to that “lord of the jungle”, Felis Leo, the African Lion, in an much dissected and scrutinized interview he gave to ESPN about four weeks ago, in which he remarked he would leave the “safari” if the culture of losing didn’t change -

Ok, Cam – Do you know which gender generally does all the work? It’s the females, bro. The ones that get little of the attention, who have to make room for the fully-maned males to get their “lion’s share” of the kill. And so often, in the kill-or-be-killed arena of the grasslands and jungles, the hunt fails, for reasons that have had miles and miles of footage displayed on our favorite cable or satellite channels. The pride goes hungry; the cubs starve and die, until fortune provides the lions with an easy kill. Life is often tough for those at the top of the food chain; you have to compete with other desperate, hungry elements in the ecosystem for either rare, formidable or elusive resources. I wonder if Cam thought about that – Leaving the “Safari” if you’re a lion means certain death. Learn your metaphors well before you emote, Cameron – This ain’t Lion King, where the tormented young heir to the throne of the pride gets to the happy ending, and the “circle of life” goes on in it’s eternal rotation…

And while you’re at it, learn how to eat the ball when there’s no positive offensive options.

I’m pretty disgusted at the results of yesterday’s game. I’m not going to comment on those who want to lose for draft position, I’ve made my thoughts clear on that view a rant or so ago. The fact that it was the Duckies made it even worse. How, oh, how, do we SQUANDER a 16 point lead in the second half? Let me count the ways –

1) INTERCEPTIONS – This one’s on YOU, Cam. You got no business flingin’ a weak left handed pass to a back that’s not expecting it. You’ll never run down impala playin’ like that, Felis Newtonia –You’d more likely be hyena chow, to maintain the “safari” metaphor – And you have got to grow up, Cam. When you fail on the field, you have to have the emotional fortitude to shake it off. You are not going to be killed for making an error, as Roman Gladiators were. You have the opportunity to make GREAT plays, but the valleys you plunge yourself into after you (or a teammate) screw up prohibit you from doing this, in my opinion. Stop the Mr. Mopeyhead act. Make it an offseason priority, as well as finding ways to improve your passing accuracy and decision making. The picks you threw were more than 50% of the malfeasance that denied victory for your fans that are STARVED for it!
2) DEFENSE – No pressure up front, abysmal coverage in the secondary. Yes, there’s injuries, but that’s what depth is for. But we knew the defense sucked, and was going to remain bad for the remainder of the season. When this is the best effort we can get from this group, it’s time for wholesale personnel changes. And while I’m at it –

3) SCOUTING – our draft selections, for the most part, have simply not panned out as of late. Who, on the defensive side of the ball short of James Anderson or Charles Johnson, has been a bona-fide force that was drafted in the past three or four seasons?

4) COACHING – This one’s on YOU – Ronnie. How do you not keep the foot on the Duckie’s neck while you have them down? And this one’s for YOU, Chudz – How do you NOT elect to have your MOST DYNAMIC RUNNER take off with the ball when it’s 3rd and short? Not the Duckies, the Bears, The Ravens, whoever, are going to stop Cam Newton consistently when he’s out of the pocket and running – there were at least four instances when I turned to Kathie in the second half and said – “Watch this – Cam’s going to take off” – only to have an errant pass fall to the BOFA turf, when Cams’ long athletic legs would have likely generated a first down - Chudzinsky – FAIL. ON YOU.

5) KICKING – Hoooooooooh Boy. Kickers kick. They are paid to a) kick the ball from a tee as deep as possible to avoid long return yardage. b) to kick the ball from a punting formation to accomplish a similar goal and c) to put the ball through the uprights for field goals and extra points. Now, I’m not of the mentality that a kicker wins or loses a game for a football team. They’re a contributing factor, but in the grand scheme of things, they are more a tactical element, than strategic. You don’t game plan around kickers, unless you are likely to call “time out” at the end of a half to screw with one. If you have fine tanks and artillery, you are likely to win the battle in warfare, if used correctly, but again, these are tactical weapons. Olindo Mare missing yet another clutch field goal belies a short-circuit in his emotional capabilities when it comes to git-er-done time. I see young kickers all over the league consistently making field goals considerably longer than the relative chip-shots missed by John Kasay’s replacement. I really hate to spend so much page on this subject, but after all the calls and post-game commentary I’ve heard crucifying this man for the loss, I felt it necessary. Again, he’s a contributing factor, but he didn’t turn the ball over, TWICE, or failed to cover the wide receivers making catch after drive-sustaining catch. Ok, I’m done with this topic.

And all in all, it’s big picture stuff. When your car’s not running right, you’ve got to identify the parts of the machinery that’s prohibiting optimal performance. And sad to say, this is what the prime focus of this organization has become in the twilight stages of the season. I have a feeling that more than a few familiar faces and names will be finding themselves searching for another place to play when the season’s over. All in all, the season hasn’t been the disgusting, unwatchable mess that was last season. As I had predicted, the games have been vastly more entertaining, although many of them have been gut-wrenching disappointments, much like yesterday. And it’s increasingly hard to write about if I don’t have an interesting metaphor to jump-start me – like the Japanese monster angle, or the struggling pride of lions.

I will end my rant by congratulating the fans – for the most part I saw MOSTLY Panther fans in the seats yesterday, and the smattering of Duckies fans were vocal, proud, and polite. Not a one did I find offensive, or in-your-face when their victory was no longer in question. The Panther fans were loud, noisy, and most of ‘em stayed right up til the last Panther possession, which, BTW, was another miscarriage of offensive playcalling. The lone exception was the fat asshole sitting in Section 137, Row 18, seat 23, yeah, I’m calling you out, for telling me, The CLAW MAN, to get out of his face and not return what is now the prime congratulatory gesture in our section! I sure am hoping you’re not buying Dan’s PSL’S…. because if you do, you are going to have a BIG problem with me, bigger than the blob of goo you have encircling your waist and likely ruining every aspect of your life, so don’t you take it out on a happy and passionate fan. That actually had a SLING on, indicating physical injury! Asshole. Remember, John’s got my back – and if you’re there next season, you are gonna deal with me. If this is what you bring to the stadium, we don’t want you. Keep your corpulent ass on your massively dented couch and watch whatever you watch away from fans who love to cheer, and claw, and high five. Actually, if you do show up again, I’ll simply ignore you. You are not obliged to return any congratulatory gestures to me or anyone else. But you, like all of the other stuffed shirts that feel that the price of the ticket they paid for gives them the right to sit on their hands and expect entertainment, miss out on the real fun of attending a home NFL game.

Actually, a post-post script. I notice that my surgically repaired left arm has no discomfort whatsoever after an hour of pounding out this rant. A positive sign indeed. I hope it continues throughout the months to come, not only for me, not only for the Panthers organization, but for you, Readers of the Rantz.

I’ll be back hopefully before Thursday afternoon with the picks for what is shaping up to be yet another vastly entertaining and exciting stretch run in this unprecedented football season…

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08 December, 2011


Here we go into the stretch run, Fanz! And I’m fightin’ the clock to get this done before kickoff of the Pissburgh-Clevelandland game –

And I’m gettin’ right to it!


I made a vow not to take the Brownies again this season, and I’m holdin’ to it. This for all the world looks like a blowout to me, so I would take the Squeelers and the -14 points at Heinz Field. This is when the Men of Squeel usually make hay, with the playoffs and the division at stake.


I don’t know HOW the Pastry-rots let a team like the Colts come back on them last week – especially given Cheat-a-chek’s proclivity to turn the phasers to “kill”. Harbaugh won’t make that mistake on Sunday – Quothers say – “home team by -16”… and the Colts are three games away from making legions of Detroit fans go “CLACK CLACK CLACK!!!!”


A CRITICAL road game for the Texans, a MUST WIN for the Bengals - This should be a defensive Schlobberknocker on the level of Squeelers-Ravens! I’m leaning to the Texans, with the better run game-


The Tundra should be close to frozen by now, and the Packers are well aware of their spot in history at this stage of the season. It’s more of a MUST WIN for the Raiders, but as of late, they have not been up to the challenge of taking control of their division. Like I illuminated in the quarterly report, the Packers can be had through the air, but the Raiders passing attack is erratic. Packers win this one going away…


This is where the Jets can help themselves. The Chefs offense should splash against the Jets’ D like the Atlantic caresses the rocky New Englandgland coast – Jets by -9.

Another game where the home team MUST make hay. The line is off, but the Leos feast on the suffering Vikings.


The Titans have to have this game to hold on to flickering playoff hopes, but the Saints are on a roll. I don’t believe the Titans can fully stop the offensive attack of Brees & co. Saints by -3 ½.


It would have been unthinkable two months ago, but Miami is actually favoured in this game. The Feeguls have completely come apart, and nothing Mike Vick can do will save their lost season. Matt Moore is playing like he did for the ’09 Panthers, and that’s like a mirage for the Dullphins, but they’re playing inspired football against all opponents these days. I like the Phish and a field goal.


I wonder what the postgame locker room at Gillette Stadium was like when Cheat-a-Chek brought his stony face in – or- has Bill gone soft on us in his advanced age? I kinda doubt it. The Pastry-Rots are gonna scald the Red off of these Skins. By at least -8.

Last week, a superior defense shut Michael Turner and the Duckies down. Last week, a pair of defensive tackles that were previously on practice squads shut down Legarrette Blount and the Sucky-neers. Ok, it’s not a good comparison. As much as I’d love to see it, the Panthers are NOT going to stop Turner this week. Duckies survive, but the -2 ½ line surprises me.


Ughh. Two teams that are in the toilet, and Vegas has apparently ignored this one. The line’s still off, and I’m reluctantly leanin’ to the Sucky-neers.


The Cardy-noles showed an awful lot of fight against the Cowboys last week, and I think they’ll do the same this week, but the Niners are on a mission. I don’t think the other Harbaugh will dial down his phaser strength, and they’ll pull away in the second half. Niners by -4.


The Bears are getting the Broncoids at a terrible time. Forte out, Hanie playing like he’s still in Hooterville, and Denver one of the hottest teams this side of a frozen tundra or murky bayou, or California suspension bridge. The Te-Blow sniffers will be throwing their hands up in glorious praise…Broncoids by 3 ½.


Too little, far too late for the Chargers to save their season, but they’ll have enough for the Bills. Bolts by -7.

THIS will be a vastly entertaining shootout! At last, a game worthy of prime time! I believe that lovers of offense should tune into this game by all means! I think that the Giants have just a bit more, and pull into a tie with the Cowboys by evening’s end. Wrong team favored – Giants to win the game!


A Monday night for West Coasters, and I couldn’t care less. The line is off, and I’ll take the home Seadogs.

There! Just in time for kickoff!
See you in the lot!

Last week – 10-6
Season – 102-85


As I’ve bemoaned in the past couple of weeks, it feels as if this NFL season has flown by – we’re now in the stretch run and as I’d anticipated when the lockout lifted, and the league play commenced in a never-before seen haste, we’d be in store for quite an exciting league finish. Here’s my view of the league after a fully completed three quarters of play this season.

In the AFC, while no team has clinched a playoff spot – four are damned close. Five teams have a puncher’s chance, and FIVE teams cling to math support. Two are in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes, but really, you know which team is SOLIDLY in the lead. Here’s the breakdown –



It appears that the Pastry-Rots and Ravens could lock up their divisions – A tough game against the Broncoids defense and the Te-Blow mystique await New Englandgland, but that two-game lead on the Jets looks secure to me. The Quothers need to keep pace with the Squeelers – a season ender against the Bungles could be the deciding factor, and they MUST keep their foot on the pedal against the lesser teams they will be playing. The Texans are on tenuous ground – a gauntlet of Cincinnati, Cam Newton, and arch-rival Tennessee await, with a “gimme” against the Colts stands between them and their first division championship. They MUST win two of those, particularly the season ender against the Titans to accomplish that. To their favor, they have a December-ready running game and defense for that task.
I’m not going to devote a lot of keyboard time breaking down the Broncoids. I am suffering from Te-Blow over-exposure, and the Broncoid defense doesn’t get enough credit. But it sure looks like they are set to overtake the Raiders, and snag a MUCH improbable division championship. Good job, Foxy! In three years Colorado will be sick of Foxball…



Of these five, the only sure thing you could count on is the Squeelers making it into the postseason, if not wresting the Norris division outright from the Ravens. As for the remainder, a case could be made for a 9-7 finish, or worse. Multiple tie-breakers would come into play, ESPECIALLY if the teams in the next grouping manage to parlay their mathematical lifeline into an honest-to-God .500 record, or better.
This will be a most exciting finish for the conference playoff participants, which couldn’t be better for the league.



Improbable, daunting, monumental, insurmountable, and yet, mathematically possible for ONE of these teams to miraculously reach the final wild card spot – Don’t count on it. There is less than a 97% chance for ‘em, and the proton torpedo hits the exhaust tube only in the Star Wars movies, and Luke Skywalker has to be the one doing it. Disappointing and underachieving finishes will likely doom the tenures of Norv Turner and Tony Sorpano, but I believe that Chan Gailiey and Todd Haley will survive. First year coach Pat Shurmur will also get a pass.



Much will be written in the months to come over this incredible collapse of the once-proud Colts franchise, who, after the loss of Peyton Manning, failed to field a team even remotely capable of competing. I would even hold future Hall-of-Fame executive Bill Polian responsible, Jim Caldwell will surely not survive the wreckage that a virtually certain 0-16 season will yield. The Jaggy-Whyers have already begun their purge, but really have no shot at the Colts’ futility, which gives them the right to draft the over-hyped, neck-bearded phenom from Stanford University.

The NFC has just a tightly-packed race for the finish, but two of the playoff participants have already been cast, with one more to be set this weekend. Here’s my breakdown-



The Packers and Niners have punched their tickets – the only question for the Packers is-
Will they finish undefeated? I’ve analyzed the technical readout provided to me by my R-2 unit, and I’ve discovered a weakness in their defense. An ordinary collection of defensive backs can be penetrated by a precise passing attack, however unlikely. This offense reminds me much like New Englandgland’s back in ’08. We all know what happened in that “Perfect” season – All the Niners have to do is keep the foot on the pedal, and avoid a letdown. The Saints are in great shape to finish the season and possibly secure the #2 seed. A victory over the Titans this weekend will do it. They finish the season at home, against the Duckies and Panthers. Dallas is reeling, and has a pair of season-deciding games against the Giants, and Jason Garrett’s employment with Lord Jerry hangs in the balance.



Even at the mark of 6-6, the GeeeeeMen have a legitimate shot at the NFC LEAST division, and because of the apparent ineptitude of the Cowboys, so do the Feeguls and DeadSkins! As I had pointed out above, two defining games with those Cowboys remain for Gotham, must see sports, indeed. The Duckies are sputtering, and a loss to the emergent Panthers will certainly doom them. The loss of Matt Forte and the “stellar” play of Caleb Hanie pretty much doom the Bears as well. The fade I’d predicted for them is ON, baby… The Lions will need to win three of their last four to guarantee their first playoff appearance since last century – The Vikings, Raiders, Chargers could accommodate that before a chance to SPOIL the Packers perfect record – on the frozen Tundra…



Just as I had written about the clump of AFC mathematical clingers, the fate of this sextet is assuredly sealed, but just the barest of chances is enough to keep a healthy part of the fan base interested. Realistically, ruining playoff runs of their opponents is the very best fans can expect. Whatever happens in the next four weeks is likely too little, and far too late for the futures of Andy Reid, Mike Shanahan, and Raheem Morris. Pete Carrol will certainly survive, as will Ken Weisenhut, and Ron Rivera will be given every opportunity next season.


MINI-SODA (2-10) SAD LOOEY (2-10)

Even more ignaminous than the sucky record, and the potential of finishing with a meager two wins, is the fact that the Colts have likely locked up that #1 pick. Vikings – Lambs – here’s your consolation –
Super stud cornerback Morris Claiborne from the Bayou Bengals! You don’t need no stinkin’ quarterback anyway!

As for the postseason, I would forecast the seeding in the AFC to go-


I would also forecast the Texans to overcome the Jets, and Denver’s defense to be a worthy match to the Squeelers, and the Te-Blow story survives another week, but will not withstand the Quothers. And the feel-good Texans story -----


As TJ Yates does enough to keep his Texans in the game in Foxboro, and Dr. Cheat-a-chek again experiences the January Swoon of his Pastry-Rots. But the Ravens prevail in the championship game.

In the NFC, I would forecast the seeding to go like this -


The woefully decimated Giants make a quick exit against the Duckies, and the Niners subtract the Lions. The Duckies get a rematch of last year’s debacle, this time, on the tundra! And in one of the sweetest games in the rivalry, the Saints CRUSH the Niners in the dome to set up a division championship sure to be salivated on by all red-blooded fans of the game –

Which I’d love to see the Saints win –

Which they can –


And the comparisons to that dude that wore #4 will sadly continue for Aaron Rogers, and the Saints go on to have a memorable match with the Balty-Moore Ravens for Super Bowl XLVI!

There you go fans, your most entertaining analysis for your lunchtime reading – what a great four weeks this is going to be!

See you later this afternoon with the picks –

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05 December, 2011


I pondered what I would rant about after seeing the Panthers double their win total from last year.

I’m of a similar feeling from last week. Tampa Bay is a team that is spiraling downward, and without their starting quarterback, this is a team we should handle, and easily. So, while the game was impressive from an offensive standpoint primarily, it was largely expected from me. I just don’t want to get too fired up from this, a second consecutive road victory over an inferior opponent.

And, yet, I can’t help but be optimistic after what I saw yesterday. A metaphor that came to mind was one of those irresistibly hokey Japanese monster man-in-suit movies that features an embryonic creature that grows and exhibits more and more powerful and destructive features as the film proceeds to its finish. A play that personified this perfectly was the ingenious call made by Chudzinski to have Newton pass to Nanee, who in turn passed BACK to Newton, who deftly, and seemingly in slow, dramatic motion, moved the ball to scoring position. BRILLIANT! And so, another weapon in the fearsome creature known as the Rivera-led Carolina Panthers is revealed to an amazed legion of fans.

Which brings me to a larger scope.

The growth of this team is apparent. While the nature of the NFL in these days is favorable to rapid improvement, it’s STILL a process, one which takes sometimes two or more seasons, much as it had happened to the Detroit Lions. For some, like the Duckies, it can be quicker. It takes dynamic players and personnel, and we have one of the best that’s come along in quite some time. I’ve already forecast the brilliant future ahead of us in earlier, headier rants, I won’t replay them here. But like the building of a grand structure, we can see the beams and shape of the franchise to come beginning to take shape, and it’s quite encouraging. For once, there’s more than one playmaker in the receiver corps. The notion of a three- headed battering ram to defend against on our team is a delight to contemplate.

And, again, then there’s Cam.

From someone who was ridiculed by the media in an awkward interview by “Chucky” Gruden on ESPN, to a professional NFL quarterback who ABSOLUTELY GETS IT! Gets his role, gets his limitations, gets the growth process, and gets who he is without the dramatic diva antics. Case in point – a ball he held in scoring the touchdown that broke Steve Grogan’s single-season record would have been tightly retained by most NFL players. Instead, he graciously gave it to a young female fan in the front row at Raymond James Stadium. To me, that said volumes about where Cam is. He’s not thinking about NOW. He knows there’s so much more to do, so much more to accomplish than to be focused on an individual feat such as Grogan’s record. Detractors who deride Cam for his choice in sideline head adornment need to look again at this gesture before continuing to criticize him.

The season, as playoff aspirations go, is pretty much over. Mathematically, we’re not dead, but I refuse to believe that every team that’s 7-5 in our conference would lose their next four games, while we win our last four, propelling us into the playoff picture. Not happening. BUT! We could surely get started with the Duckies coming up! How good that would be, beating a team, A PRIME NEMESIS in our division, fighting for a playoff spot, and DENYING them that! It would arguably be the highlight of the season! This late in the season, most of what we’ve hoped for from these Carolina Panthers has been realized in a competitive, entertaining team that will roll over for no one. We had the predicted stinker against Tennessee, and for a half against Detroit, but we’ve fought for the entire season, which is a quantum step from where we were last season. After the disappointment of those losses has worn off, I can’t help but again be drawn to the big picture. To an offseason of serious building to a winner. If the defense can add a dynamo like Newton, we’ll be well on the way.

And like one of those iconic Japanese monsters, we can fly away (or whatever Godzilla does) at the end of the seasons to come, only to return to raze, like Tokyo, the league again and again to a fixated and ecstatic fan base…

I’ll be back soon with the final quarterly report…

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01 December, 2011


Good Thursday to you, Fanz –

I’m buoyed by not only the fact the Panthers have exceeded their win total from last year, not only that I can actually type for two minutes without significant discomfort, but the fact I went 11-5 in picking last week. I look to duplicate or exceed that this week in this stretch run of a too-fast season that feels like it had just started – This week features the whole gamut – garbage games, division games, desperate, MUST WIN games, and making hay games –

Let’s get started while my arm lets me do this –


This game now falls under the category of “Garbage”. At 4-7, neither of these teams can be realistically expected to make a playoff run. Now that the pressure’s off, I’d expect the Iggles to perform better, even without Michael Vick at the controls. The Seadogs are coming off a miserable performance against a dreadful DeadSkins team, and have little to play for. I like the embattled Andy Reid to unleash his rushing attack supplemented by another rushing QB, Vinnie Young. Take the Iggles and the -3.


Game grade – “DESPERATION”- The Bills have lost 4 straight, and are no longer a credible playoff contestant – The Titans have gotten what could be a BIG break in Houston’s emergent QB troubles – Both teams NEED this game – but the Titans now have a re-energized Chris Johnson-led rushing attack that knows no home field advantage, plus, they are now motivated by the realistic shot at the once uncatchable Texans – wrong team favoured here – I like the Titans straight up!


Game grade – “Making Hay” – Even though both teams are on virtually unknown backup QB’s, Mr. Hanie has a much better supporting cast than the Chefs, and the Bears are making a sham of my fourth place prediction to start the season. This is a game the Bears SHOULD win – and they will. Take the Bears and the -7.


Game grade – “Making Hay”- Even though Miami has shown some fight as of late, the Raiders have put on a bona-fide playoff push, thanks in large part to a productive rushing attack and a resurgent Carson Palmer. Wrong team favoured here. Take the Raiders straight up!


Game grade- “Divisional Schlobberknocker”- a loss isn’t necessarily fatal to playoff hopes for either team. The Bengals have played the Squeelers very well as of late, and are in no way intimidated by so called “Blitzburgh”. I think this turns into a field goal game, which the Bengals cover. Take Cincy and the +6 ½.


Game grade – “Making Hay” – The Quothers keep pace with their conference-leading competitors. I refuse to take the Brownies. Ravens big.


Game grade – “Garbage” - A victory over the Seadogs doesn’t do much for me. I like the J*E*T*S to win yet another defensive field goal game to sustain their flickering playoff hopes.


Game grade – “DESPERATE Schlobberknocker”- The Duckies have to have this game to remain in the playoff chase – The Texans have to have this game to preserve their psyche after losing TWO of their quarterbacks – Fortunately for Houston, TJ Yates is a professional grade quarterback that knows how to manage himself through adversity, as evidenced through his remarkable performance last year as a Tar Heel. And his supporting cast in Space City is far superior to his team from Chapel Hill. I think the Texans defense rattle the Duckies all day. Wrong team favoured here. Houston wins, straight up!


Game grade – “Divisional Garbage” - Tampa’s collapse from the power rankings is unexpected, but welcome for Panther Nation. As of this writing, their defense is statistically WORSE than the Panthers, if you can believe that! Which means the Cam-a-Lots should have a great day for fantasy owners everywhere. I like the Panthers straight up in this one –Not only for a honest-to-goodness win streak, but on the ROAD, no less!


Game grade – “Making Hay” – A humbled Leo’s defense now has to face a team with an equal offensive force to that of the Packers team that smoked ‘em for Thanksgiving! And without their defensive cornerstone, DonkeyKong Suh, I’d expect the results to be the same. Bears and Duckies and Cowboys and Giants are pulling for the Saints. So am I.


Game grade – “Desperation” – At 6-5, the Broncoids now are buying into this “Divine Te-Bowship” that has supposedly propelled them to a possible playoff berth. I ain’t buyin’ it. Te-Blow sucks as an NFL quarterback, but this Broncoid defense has bought, lock, stock, and barrel, FOXBALL. And THAT’s the crux of Denver’s success as of late. Jake Delhomme could be on this team and they’d still be 6-5. And the Vikings are bad. Wrong team favoured here. DESPITE Te-Blowmania, Broncoids win.


Game grade – “Making Hay” – At 9-2, the Niners can clinch their first playoff spot in a decade by decking a divisional opponent that’s pretty much done. 13 points is a lot, but they’re at home, and they’ll be motivated. Take the surging Niners.


Game Grade – “Making Desperate Hay” – For the first time in years, the Cowboys control their divisional fate. First, they must defeat a Cardy-noles team that DOES have some bona-fide playmakers on it. They will have to account for rookie phenom Patrick Peterson, and Kevin Kolb returns at QB. Second, The Cowboys are still trying to cement their 2011 offensive identity, but Romo The Not-Homo is starting to play up to expectations. It will be exciting, and close, but I think Dallas gets it done. Take the Cowboys and the -4 ½.


Game Grade – “Making Hay” – FOR THE PACKERS – it’s beyond desperation for the Giants, who were so exposed against the Saints – The Packers are a similar team in so many ways to the Saints, and will have no problem with the quickly fading Gi-AINTS.


I thought the new “Flex Scheduling “the league implemented was supposed to fix this –
Instead of Detroit-New Orleans, Pissburgh-Cincy, or even Dallas-Arid-Zona, we get


If freshman Chef Rivera carved up the Colts with his Cam Newton Ginsu blade, and you imagine what Billy Cheat-a-Chek will do with Tommy Terrific and his Brady Bunch against his former nemesis? It will be like Gordon Ramsey at a Denny’s. Unwatchable unless you’re a Pastry-Rots sniffer. The line’s at 20. Can you imagine it being less?


Like the game above – “GARBAGE”. Sad Diego has plummeted like available dates for Herman Cain. Phillip Rivers has become inexplicably inept, and the Jaggy-Whyers, well, they’re the Jaggy-Whyers, now with an interim head coach, and new owner, and a half-empty stadium. Like this Monday night. The Chargers have more “playmakers” if you can call it that, and I will lean to them.

There you go Fanz – I make more hay with these picks –

See you after the games with my Sucky-Neers rant –

Last week - 11-5

Season - 92-79

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28 November, 2011


I’m going to admit.

I had two pre-determined actions to the outcome of yesterday’s games.

One, for a loss ---

SHUTDOWN. There is NO WAY a supposedly “up and coming” team can lose to a 0-10 team with nothing to play for except MAYBE pride or a paycheck. It would have been an embarrassment from which this season, what’s left of it, could not have recovered. And I would have locked down the rant for the remainder of the season as well, unless the muse moved me. And the eyes of serious doubt would have been cast upon the Rivera regime from yesterday going forward.

I for one, am mighty glad I didn’t have to do it.

Two, for a victory –

Quiet acknowledgement. This is a team YOU ARE SUPPOSED to beat. The parts that we have expected to work well, did. Great. The parts we have accepted as sucking, did. Only The Carolina Panther defense could have allowed the Mighty Colts to notch one of their most productive offensive outputs of the season. But to Coach Chudz’ credit, he had a sound game plan offensively to absolutely leave no doubt of the outcome –

Pound the rock. When any football team can run the ball for 200 yards or more, you can pretty much expect victory. And against a significantly inferior opponent, you are virtually assured. Done. I’m pretty sure it was Woody Hayes of Suck-eyes fame that said –

“Three things happen when you throw the ball, and two of ‘ems BAD!”

So, an “up and coming” coaching staff did what they had to do to ensure victory, and a better season than last year. Again, great. Everyone’s happy.

We suck less. It’s a somewhat self-derisive chant I’ve taken to make on exiting the Pasture of Disasture in our all-too-frequent offseasons.

Less than….???

Certainly less than the team we just beat -

Definitely less than the Lambs, at 2-9-

Without AP, we suck less than the 2-9 Vikings, although they’ve beaten us this year –
Because of our excitement generating offense, we suck less than the 3-8 Dullfins and Jaggy-whyers –

There are 8 teams with 4-7 records just above us. Can you, with a straight face, tell me that the DeadSkins, Seadogs, Chefs, Chargers, Iggles, Browns, and Cardy-noles are significantly LOWER on the sucky-ness meter than US??? The Mighty Cam-a-lots? Make that argument to me! And this coming Sunday, we have a real opportunity TO PUT A TEAM IN OUR DIVISION IN LAST PLACE! Against a mightily struggling Sucky-neers team in Tampa, not only can we go on an honest-to-goodness winning streak, but we can DOUBLE our victory totals from our history-making monumental season of misery last year!

Our defense, of course, will be our ever-present albatross around our necks in that venture, but if we can keep moving the ball like we have, who knows? Tampa certainly doesn’t have a Calva-tron in that offense, so….

I don’t wanna get too pumped about this – After all, we just knocked around that little snot-nosed kid, and just barely got him on the ground, but we gotta start somewhere. Advancing in power positions is a very positive indicator of the direction of our team. The notion of sucking for a great draft pick is one that has forever been repugnant to me. I, like the professionals I pay dearly in real money to see and support,




Though not likely, an 8-8 finish would validate in the most convincing manner, the sky-high hopes we have for this team going forward into seasons to come. Hell, a 6-10finish would STILL guarantee high drafting position for the 7 rounds of Chef Rivera’s dash into the NFL Mega-Mart!

I end my rant with a heartfelt thanks to James, Tina and family for hosting the away-game watching party this week, and having some exciting NEW BUS CONVERSION planning! Yes, that’s right.

A new party bus for our new team….

That despite everything we seen that sucks this season, I’m still convinced will suck less, and one day,

Will not suck ----


See you Thursday with the picks.

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23 November, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving week, Fanz –

The holiday brings its usual conflagration of families long not seen, mounds of food for those fortunate enough to have it, and the delightful distraction of the games, three of them this year, one courtesy of the NFL Network.

And I’m thankful to have posted a winning slate of picks last week.

My recovering hand is still prohibiting productive striking of the keyboard, so I am keeping my commentary on my picks brief, once again.

Here we go, starting with the Thanksgiving Day Games –


Here’s the game many of us have salivated over since both teams started the season 5-0. The Leos tailed off a bit, but are still very much in the playoff picture. Coming back from 17 points down to the Panthers is no monumental task, but does show how much fight’s in Detroit. And they’re at home. The Packers will have to get a test SOMETIME this season, and tomorrow will be the day. Take the Leos and the +7.


The Cowboys have a chance to take command of the division – and they won’t blow it. I like ‘em big over an overachieving Phish.


For the first time in NFL history, a game featuring BROTHER head coaches takes place, and lucky for us, the teams don’t suck! I think there’s more urgency on the Ravens side of the ball, as the Niners should actually clinch a playoff spot with their next win. Just won’t be this week. Quothers by -3.


Uggh. Someone has to win this game. The line is off, and I’m sensing a Cardy-Nole special teams play (Mr. Patterson?) to win it -


Like I said, I’m not taking the Browns again this year. Bungles big.


No AP? Big problem. Duckies waste the Vikings as they fight for their playoff lives.


Mediocre teams fighting for relevancy. I’m feelin’ the Sucky-neers to cover the +3.


If the Panthers lose this game, whatever’s left of the excitement bubble of Cam-waggoning will disintegrate for the reminder of the season. And it won’t be pretty. And it won’t happen. There’s too much offense on the ‘Cats for that to happen. Panthers by -4.


This is when the Texans have to establish their hold onto the division, and throttle a vastly inferior team. And I think they do it convincingly. By at least the -4.


For these AFC East foes, the season is on the brink. To lose to Denver and Miami respectively is unacceptable for teams fighting for playoff positioning. As has been the case all season, the Jets defense has game-changing capabilities, and will be the difference. The Bills are fading altogether. Take the J*E*T*S and the -8 at home.


Hello, Mr. Haney! The Raiders ain’t a customer in Hooterville to hustle – Welcome to your first NFL start! SOMEONE has to separate themselves from the rest of the morass that is the AFC Worst – I like the Raiders and the -4.


These guys get paid, too. The Deadskins play their best against the Cowboys. I’m sensing a three-pick game outta Gross-Man. Seadogs by -3 ½.


The effort displayed by the Iggles last week was nowhere near enough to save their season, although their beleaguered offense may be able to puncture the Pastry-Rots defense. But then there’s the Brady Bunch. The line is off, but I like New EnglandGland.


I REFUSE to get pulled into Te-blow mania. Its’ the DEFENSE that’s carrying the Broncoids, and Timmy just happens to be along for the ride. The Chargers haven’t dominated anyone all year, and it’s not starting Sunday. Denver hangs with them, but no Te-blow heroics this time. But they cover.


I don’t get how such a crappy team gets TWO consecutive primetime games! Won’t happen again. This is a game the Squeelers usually dominate, and I don’t see anything changing. Men of Squeel by -11.


I remember a Sunday night game in the 90’s at the Superdome that the Saints had in hand, and Lawrence Taylor, separated shoulder non-withstanding, WILLED the Geee-men to victory, never mind that Morten Andersen’s kick was GOOD! ( %&*#^%$#%#refs….) This game doesn’t feature any kind of fearsome Giants linebackers, much less defense. The Saints DO have Bobby Hebert calling the color analysis on the radio, though…. Saints smoke the Giants, who let a vastly inferior Iggles team escape last week…

I'll be more thankful when my arm heals...

Last week - 8-5

Season - 81-74

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20 November, 2011


As in the Panthers cannot.

Cam Newton may have not hit the wall...

But I have, for the day.

End of rant.

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17 November, 2011



5 and freakin’ 11!!!

Add that on top of the fact I had to write the forecast one-handed, and the suckage we endured on Sunday, I’m pretty Cammed out right now. I’m going to sulk until I get this right. I know my Gatorade towel’s around here somewhere…

The throbbing has gone down somewhat, and I’m gonna give this another go. I apologize for the brevity, and I’m going to go for one-liners for every contest to save my arm.


Sanchez more overrated than TeBlow? Uh-unh. Jets over by -6.


Duckies got more than Titans can handle. Duckies by -6.


This is where we find out about the Bengals. They cover the +7.


I cannot take the Browns again this season, and not in a pick-‘em. Take the Jagz.


It’s a point, and I think the Raiders are the better team.


We find out if Newton’s hit the proverbial rookie wall. I say no, but Leos cover the -7.


Feelgood time for the 'Phish ends here. I'm on the Bills.


Not this week. Pack by two touches.


‘Skins done, Cowboys not. AT LEAST a touchdown.


Trap game? Nope. Niners by niner.


Seadogs better.


Thought I’d never say it this season, but Da Bears have gotten on a roll. Chargers fading. Bears by -3 ½.


Iggles are done, GeeeMen not. G’ints by 3 ½.


The Chefs have shot their wad, and return to Blowout Shitty. A two-touch yawner…

Whew! Got through that. Gotta be better than last week.

See you next week with the rant –

Last week - 5-11
Season – 73-69

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Here's the Wikkipaedia definition -

In grammar, the superlative is the form of an adjective (or adverb) that indicates that the person or thing (or action) modified has the quality of the adjective (or adverb) to a degree greater than that of anything it is being compared to in a given context. English superlatives are typically formed with the suffix -est (e.g. healthiest, weakest) or the word most (most recent, most interesting).

I struggled to find the right word to summon my feelings for last week’s abortion of a game.

I didn’t want to use an ordinary malodorous adjective – SUPERLATIVE seemed to fit my sensibilities.

Using the definition above, we can apply this to the Panthers –

The WORST special teams in the league.

The WORST run defense, possibly the WORST overall defense in the league.

The WORST possible result of bye-week production and preparation possible.

Possibly (in my opinion) the hokiest, over-produced pre-game activity I’ve seen to date, and much apologies to our veterans...

The UNFAIREST use of pyrotechnics in player introductions – EVER. Where was the smoke and fire for everyone else (not that they deserved it, after the fact…)???

The WORST game I’ve ever taken my pops to –

The WORST game we’ve had since, uh, LAST YEAR, opening up some serious malicious karma.

The WORST waste of ticket money we’ve had since, uh, LAST YEAR.

And it also applies to PantherFanz –

The BEST tailgate party, bar none.

The COOLEST Tailgate vehicle, bar none.

The BEST guests, (Joe Cahn, CatMan, Danny Morrison, Top Cats, Sir Purr VIP Tour, Canadian PantherFanz, Ravens Nest 1, The Owner, The FANBULANCE, shall I go on?)

The TASTIEST tailgate food –

The MOST scrumptious desserts – Pea Dad…

The MOST wasted I've ever seen BLu...

The MOST POTENT of tailgate elixirs – Panther Potion

The MOST CONVINCING of reasons to renew your tickets, year after year.

And, at this point, my throbbing left forearm will not let me continue. I’ve got a reason to underperform this week.

Carolina Panthers -----

Where’s YOURS!!!???

I’m out.

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