If Eagles don’t win it all, fans will trash new stadium
Well, the two big things in the news this week are Mars, and The Kiss. That Madonna — who’s she going to smooch next? I didn’t see the video awards show in question, but I just thank the stars that Bea Arthur wasn’t on stage.
It’s unclear whether more people viewed The Kiss than viewed Mars last week, or whether either event will occur again within the next 60,000 years. Just to be safe, I’m buying a telescope.
But it’s September, darn it, and that means it’s time for our big annual NFL Preview Column.
Do the Buccaneers have what it takes to repeat as World Champions?* Are the Rams back? Can the poor, deluded Cowboys unseat the mighty and powerful Eagles in the NFC East? (Oops, we may have given that one away).
Come with us now as the secrets of the NFL season unfold before your eyes — or, if someone is reading this column to you, your ears. Our crack staff here in this column has picked every division, with each team in order of finish. I have collected all the ballots, considered them carefully and tossed them in the dumpster out back, using my own picks which I filled out last month. Instead of listing teams by division, I have devised power rankings – listing all teams from 1 (the best) to 32 (the Arizona Ca6rdinals).
1. Philadelphia Eagles: They have a new stadium, and if Philadelphia fans aren’t given a Super Bowl trophy this year, they may dismantle it.
2. Oakland Raiders: Rich Gannon needs to stay healthy for Oakland to make their second straight run at second place. As the Buffalo Bills were to the 1980s, the Raiders are to this decade.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Most of the key guys are back, but don’t you get the feeling that last season was a fluke? Kind of like the Baltimore Ravens, or George W. Bush?
4. Tennessee Titans: How does Nashville have an NFL franchise, and all Los Angeles has for fall entertainment is the Kobe trial?
5. New England Patriots: Bill Belichick cut Lawyer Malloy and the entire eastern seaboard is buzzing about it a-¦ man, they need another power outage to give them something to do.
6. Green Bay Packers: With no competition in their own division, Brett Favre could conceivably be rested until the first round of the playoffs.
7. Indianapolis Colts: Edgerrin James back, which means the Colts will lose games 42-35, instead of 42-10.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tommy Maddox takes over, and this team may pass on every down. They may have to use four quarterbacks, using them like a baseball team sets up a pitching rotation.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Dennis Erickson says he’s ready for the first game – but what about games 2 through 16?
10. Miami Dolphins: Things were going great until December rolled around (at New England, Philadelphia, at Buffalo, New York Jets). Then, depression set in.
11. St. Louis Rams: Kurt Warner is healthy! The Rams should ride his arm to … oops, he’s hurt again. Never mind.
12. Buffalo Bills: Any way you look at them, they’re 8-8. Go ahead, turn this page upside down. See?
13. Denver Broncos: Is Jake Plummer the answer? Well, it depends on what the question was.
14. New York Giants: The motto on the front cover of the Giants’ press guide, frankly, inspires no confidence at all: “All The Fumbles Should Be Interesting.”
15. Atlanta Falcons: Have you seen the new uniforms? The “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” team are itching to get at them.
16. Kansas City Chiefs: Most prognosticators have the Chiefs higher, but then, can most prognosticators do this? (columnists twirls football on nose).
17. Seattle Seahawks: How many clipboards will new defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes shatter? The over-under is 16.
18. New Orleans Saints: The main goal this season is to make opponents stop referring to the Saints defense as The Big Easy.
19. Cleveland Browns: All the little chicks with the crimson lips say Cleveland rocks. Noting that Kelly Holcomb is the quarterback, we say they suck.
20. Minnesota Vikings: Daunte Culpepper has thrown fewer TD passes in the past two years combined (32) than he did in 2000 alone (33). What that means, we have no idea.
21. Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore fans are confident that their defense can carry them to a division title. Also, last night I’m pretty sure I saw a UFO.
22. San Diego Chargers: David Boston, the 260-pound wide receiver. Sounds like a Disney movie.
23. Carolina Panthers: Introducing your starting quarterback, Rodney Peete. What century is this?
24. New York Jets: The big decision right now is whether to place Chad Pennington on the sidelines or in the coaches booth. Crikey.
25. Washington Redskins: We polled the entire nation, and running back Trung Canidate didn’t get chosen in a single fantasy football pool.
26. Cincinnati Bengals. Much like actual Bengal tigers in the wild, Marvin Lewis’ team is suffering from lack of habitat and the encroachment of humans.
27. Dallas Cowboys: It will take Bill Parcells one or two seasons to get the Cowboys to the point where Jerry Jones and can ruin them again.
28. Chicago Bears. Mike Ditka would be rolling over in his grave, if her were dead.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: The meeting of the Byron Leftwich Fan Club will now come to order. Any new business?
30. Detroit Lions: Steve Mariucci is biding his time until son Tyler is ready for the NFL Draft in 2008.
31. Dallas Texans: We have one important question here: Can Yao Ming play football? David Carr will again be the Texans’ QB (in lieu of flowers, please send cash donations to your favorite charity).
32. Arizona Cardinals. They’re calling the Cardinals road schedule “The Trail of Tears.” It’s time to give St. Louis their name back and call the whole thing off.
— Rick Chandler’s interactive sports column, Capacity Crowd, can be found at NBCSports.com. Contact him at RickChand@earthlink.net.