Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yes, indeed! It is time to open up the old mailbag once again. And since it has been so long since the last time we opened her up, there is a rather large amount of mail to get to. Now, that being said, we’re gonna try and keep it current, so any Olympic related questions (yes even those involving the steeple chase), and other less current mail, will have to take a back seat. So, away we go:

Matt C, from Foxborough or Foxboro, MA asks, Are the Patriots Super Bowl chances all but dashed with pretty boy Brady out for the season? I mean thought Matt "Sand" Cassel loked pretty decent against the Jets.

Decent is good,but it is not the stuff Super Bowls rings are built on. Although Trent Dilfer has one, so who knows. (On a side note, do you think Trent Dilfer is honored or offended that his name is the one that almost always pops up when downplaying the equivalent of winning a Super Bowl with being a great quarterback?) I would say the Patriots will definitely find a way to make the playoffs one way or another. Now I know some are pointing the semi-similar situation that occurred in 2001 when Tom Brady took over. Now, both Cassel and Brady were thrust into the QB1 role due to an injury, but that is where the similarities stop. But, much like they did with Brady in ’01, the Patriots will simplify the game plan for Cassel, as evidenced Sunday in the Meadowlands. There’s also the fact that Cassel has been with the team a lot longer than Brady had been before he came into his first game. I don’t think the Pats will win the Super Bowl, but with the odds against them, might not be a bad idea to throw some money down. (Bitterness in no way, shape or form endorses any illegal gambling of any kind.)

Flipper A., of Los Angeles,CA inquires, Are the Rams the worst team in football right now?


Ned Y. from Wilwaukee, WI is curious about managerial firings: What's the deal with firing a manager in the heat of a playoff race, with a mere twelve games to go? If teams continue to fall apart in September, when do they start looking at the players?

Well Neddy, all I can tell you is if the players don't generally take to manager, and they're not playing well, that's a sure fire way to be handed a one way ticket out of town. But, you're right Willie Randolph's team came apart at the seems last year, came into this season with lofty expectations, didn't perform close to those lofty expectations, and Willie is gone mid-season. When the initial change was made the Mets got hot, but are now, much like last year, stumbling down the home stretch, clinging to playoff life. So I ask, how much of this has to do with the manager, and how much has to do with the players? In the case of the Brewers, players were pushing for a change, but this is not something you should do when you are right in a playoff race with just a fortnight of regular season baseball to go. I mean, this can't be an epiphany by the players. One giant light bulb couldn't have turned on over the entire clubhouse and they were like, "Shoot! We're struggling now, cuz we dun don't like our manager!" Well, now it's put up or shut up time for the players, with their "excuse" gone.

Rick S. of the Windy City writes, "Is this finally the year for the Cubbies? I mean, wouldn't just be absolutely fitting for them to win on the 100th anniversary of their last World Series win? And what do you think would be the most watched World Series pairing?

Wow, Rick, good stuff. The Cubs have always been by second favorite team behind the BoSox, and I was pumped at the possibility of a Cubs-Sox series in '03. Of course we all know how that turned out. The Cubbies definitely have a great chance. They should be able to at least, win the National League Pennant, but from there it's a bit more dicey. The Angels are scary good, and we all know the Red Sox are a tough draw in October, but I would say they could hang with any of the possible AL reps. Even though the Red Sox have ditched their curse and heartbreaking ways, I still think a Cubs-Red Sox World Series would give the best ratings. After that a Windy City series could be good, but maybe just slightly more intriguing than the Subway Series. I would personally hate a Rays-Cubs series, just because I'd have to be cheering for the Cubs, but you gotta like the feisty Rays. I think if the Cubs are in it, you are bound to have a lot of viewers, watching to see of the Cubbies can, in fact "Reverse the Curse".

Aaron R., of Green Bay is sick of Favre: When are we gonna hear the end of Brett Favre and his magical, gunslinging ways? I mean I haven't seen anything special thus far with the Jets. One of those brilliant Favre balls that was just lobbed up there and caught in Miami, is probably an interception against half the teams in the league. He's had a great career, but let's cut the cord people! His replacement in Green Bay, who he kept sidelined longer than hoped or expected, is putting up better numbers and has a better record!

Jeez Aaron, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel. But seriously, I could not agree more. I mean are we supposed to be amazed that he managed to beat a Dolphins team that has won one game in its last 20 tries, including being thumped in Zona? The best was Phil Simms singing his praises and making excuses for Favre, like it's too hot for the old man. Than Phil Simms actually says, "I'm not overstating here." Actually Phil you are. Can someone get Mr.Simms a Dictionary? It was also mentioned in the pregame that there were rumblings around the Meadowlands and New York about a Super Bowl run. Really? Based on escaping Miami with a win? By that rationale, better start the Super Bowl talk in Arizona, Baltimore and Atlanta. I used to be a huge Favre fan, but his offseason antics have grown tired and he needs to just fade off into the sunset, like any old gunslinger.

Norv T. of San Diego, CA is none to pleased with the way things went down in Denver on Sunday. He writes, Have you ever seen such poor officiating? How do the Chargers rebound from this?

Well, the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl comes to mind, and I'm sure there are others. Some people have brought up the fact that although the call was missed, the Chargers still had to merely stop the Broncos. They didn't, and gave up not only the touchdown, but also the winning 2-point conversion. But really Denver shouldn't have had that opportunity and that's the bottom line. If I'm San Diego I'd be more concerned with the fact that there stellar defense has been lit up by both the Panthers and the Broncos. The Chargers have to put these first two weeks behind them and focus on the next 15 and beyond. They are still a playoff contender and need to start playing like it!

Roscoe P. from Lockwood, NY inquires, Even though the season's only two weeks deep, have you changed any of your preseason predictions? Perhaps with the Bills as a playoff team?

Well, as a matter of fact I have. I am now thoroughly convinced that the Vikings will not be a playoff team. This happens every time I pick the Vikings to do something, they stink up the joint. And yes, even with Gus Frerotte at the helm I think the Vikes are not playoff bound. I also fell into the trap of thinking the Browns could live up to the hype. They're the classic "it" team that gets so close one year, an then falls off the table the next, when they can no longer take anyone by surprise. The there's the Jaguars. They still could be good, if they ever get their offensive line back. The Bills are definitely playoff material. (Loud sound of simultaneous knocking on wood by every single Bills fan reading this. Yes all three of them.) They play solid defense and great special teams, plus they've already beaten the supposed "Best of the NFC West" in the Seahawks. Which means they still have the Niners, Cardinals and Rams to go. Plus they also have Oakland and Kansas City and then Miami twice. Now that should be a good seven wins right there. Which means they really only need like 2 or 3 wins from there other seven games. Now it's hard to dismiss what a great job they are doing in Buffalo, but that'll beg the question, who have they really played? Especially if the Jags and 'Hawks continue to struggle I mean seven of their wins will be against the dregs of the NFL. But, all that'll matter come playoff time is the record, and just try arguing with a Bills fans about how good they really are. Go ahead, I dare you. You'd have better luck debating evolution with the Catholic church.

Alright last one(s). Several mailers wanted to know how my fantasy football squads are looking.

Well, I am in a 16 team league. That's right, 16. Now I was able to grab Tom Brady with my first pick (passing TDs are scored the same as every other TD in this league) and was happy. But I'm not stupid, or so it might seem, I knew that I would need a solid backup, if only for Brady's bye week. So I drafted Jeff Garcia in the later rounds. But, as you know, come week 2, neither one was starting, which left me without a QB. So to answer your questions about my fantasy chances, I give you this: Sunday morning I was actually trying to choose a starting QB from the likes of Kerry Collins, Damon Huard and Brian Griese. So you tell me how my fantasy team is looking. Of course this Sunday I will more than likely throw Gus Frerotte into that debate. Awesome.

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