Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Think Of the Panthers

NP- So that was quite an exit the Panthers made out of the playoffs last year.

MR. F- Ugh. Yes. The NFC's Super Bowl berth was theirs to lose, and boy did they ever. Arizona came into their house and just took it to them in every way imaginable, leaving the Panthers looking lethargic and disorganized in a 33-13 beating.

NP- How did Jake Delhomme do in that game, good? He got a big contract extension this offseason so I am assuming he must have done pretty well.

MR. F- Unless you think getting picked off 5 times and coughing up a lost fumble is good.

NP- Can the Panthers ever win a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme as their quarterback?

MR. F- Can I be frank for a moment?

NP- Sure

MR. F- Strangerrrrs in the you. Actually, no, the Panthers will never win a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme as their quarterback.

NP- Is DeAngelo Williams as good as he looked at the end of last season?

MR. F- Williams rushed for over 100 yards in 7 out of the Cats last 9 regular season games, making everyone forget about DeShaun Foster, which is a very good thing. You should forget about DeShaun Foster. More impressive than that, Williams averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season. 5 1/2 yards per carry. I don't think Kyle Orton threw for 5 1/2 yards per completion.

NP- What the hell happened to the Panthers defense last year?

MR. F- They gave up 29 1/2 points per game over their last seven games. The Giants ran for 300 yards against them. They gave up 22 points to the Lions. I mean, my God. They did hold the Broncos to just 10 points though. I'm sure the great Jay Cutler probably wasn't playing that day though. I mean, that's just impossible to hold any team that has the great Jay Cutler at QB to 10 points. This year they have a new defensive coordinator, former Colts DC Ron Meeks. He'll run the Tampa 2, which is probably a good idea with this team because with Julius Peppers on the line you shouldn't have to blitz to generate a pass rush.

NP- Speaking of Julius Peppers, he went from 2 1/2 sacks in 2007 to 14 1/2 in 2008?

MR. F- Yes, he had a nice big bowl of Free Agent Flakes for breakfast every morning last year.

NP- Prediction time..

MR. F- Things tend to be topsy turvy in the NFC South. People throw ducks at balloons and nothing is as it seems. I think the Panthers had a window last year and unfortunately Jake Delhomme threw an interception through that window. They open the season with a home game at Philly then roadies at Atlanta and Dallas. They could conceivably be 0-3 heading into their bye week. Then they've still got road games at Tampa, Arizona, New Orleans, the Jets and Giants, and New England. Their home schedule is kind of bumpy too. The constant churn in the NFC South continues, the Panthers go 7-9 this year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aye Carramba...Mexico Blows Out US In Gold Cup Final

It was not a good day for US Soccer. Yeah, it was probably B team playing against B team, but they were straight up embarrassed by Mexico in the Gold Cup final, getting pasted 5-0 before about 80,000 people at Giants Stadium.

The game was scoreless at the half, but the floodgates opened in the second half. By the end the US was completely broken and the American defense was giving up goals at an alarming rate.

On the other hand, it's been a great week for Mexican futbol. Earlier in the week, Club America beat AC Milan in that exhibition Tri Wizard Tournament of Excellence, or whatever they are calling it, a nice win for the PDM. This followed up by Mexico not only winning on American soil for the first time in a long time, but winning the CONCACAF championship and doing it in blowout fashion means all the momentum it looked like the US had when it beat Spain and had the lead on Brazil in the finals of the Confederations Cup a month ago, has moved south of the border.

The next meeting between these archrivals is a World Cup qualifier in Mexico City on Aug. 12.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What I Think Of the Bills

NP- So JP Losman is set to tear up the UFL then huh?

MR. F- It's looking that way. Can't wait until that big showdown between him and Michael Vick. Jim Fassel is a head coach in that league. The man was head coach of a Super Bowl team in this decade. I dunno, even though this thing has nothing to do with Vince McMahon I just don't see any way I will ever stop thinking this league is XFL Jr.

NP- How long until this team moves to Toronto?

MR. F- As soon as Roger Goodell will let them. Which will be a perfect fit for them, as they are the NFL's version of the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. Really good in the early 90s, then about 15 years of exruciatingly boring mediocrity. They fit right in.

NP- Now that TO is on the Bills, does he become the biggest throbbing member ever to play for this team?

MR. F- No, but only because this is the team OJ played most of his career with. That can never be topped. Unless Leonard Little ends up signing with the Bills someday. Because while we only kind of know OJ killed a woman, we know for SURE that Leonard Little killed a woman while drunk driving, then got arrested for drunk driving AGAIN after that.

NP- Will TO have the same affect on the Bills as Randy Moss did on the Patriots two years ago?

MR. F- There seem to be parallels. If you'll remember, people thought Randy Moss was pretty much finished when he left the Raiders. He proved that he was so not finished. Some people are feeling the same way about TO, and this will be his last chance to prove them wrong.

I guess it all depends on what you think about Tony Romo. If you think TO made Romo look better than he is, than TO will make Senator Trent Edwards look better than he is too. If you think Romo is legit, than TO probably won't make Edwards all that much better, and put up pedestrian numbers.

One thing I will say about TO's situation in Buffalo, he has a better receiver lined up opposite him than he did in Dallas. Lee Evans is a pretty good receiver in his own right. If Edwards can't succeed with these two guys to throw to, he won't succeed ever.

NP- The Bills had a pretty high draft pick didn't they?

MR. F- Yes, they drafted a pass rush specialist, Aaron Maybin from Penn State, with the 11th pick in the draft. A lot of draftbots said he was a late first round talent.

NP- Does the 11th pick qualify as late first round?

MR. F- Probably not.

NP- What can the Bills do to improve this year?

MR. F- Stop wearing those Montreal Alouettes monochromes and stick with the Cookie Gilchrist era throwbacks.

NP- Prediction time...

MR. F- The AFC East is going to be pretty unforgiving this year. In fact, the only forgiveness will come to teams that are not the Bills when they get to play the Bills. 5-11 and so long TO and Dick Jauron after this year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What I Think Of the Ravens

NP- How wonderful of a season was it for Cameron Cameron?

MR.F- It was very wonderful. He proved to us all that his 1-15 faceplant as head coach of the Dolphins in 2007 was just an elaborate ruse enabling him to come again in glory as a mastermind offensive coordinator, building an offense around a rookie quarterback from the University of Delaware and harnessing his powerful arm to build a playoff-worthy offense. We never should have doubted him. He is, after all, a genius.

NP- What about the way the seemingly aging Ravens defense defied nature to stop what looked like a slow, inevitable decline, to pull off a late career Mark McGwire esque renaissance to once again become the dominant unit they were 8 years ago?

MR. F- Un-BOLI-vable!

NP- Bart Scott was kind of a big name free agent on that defense who left to sign with the Jets, how much will the Ravens miss him?

MR. F- Not that much, Scott had a career year in 2006 and hasn't done a whole heck of a lot since then. The best player on that linebacking group now is Terrell Suggs, and they just resigned him, if they would have lost Suggs I would have said hmm maybe there's a problem there, but he's back so I see no issue.

NP- Jim Harbaugh had a great rookie year as an NFL head coach didn't he?

MR. F- I think their coach is John Harbaugh.

NP- No I'm pretty sure it's Jim Harbaugh.

MR. F- I think you might be wrong about that.

NP- Wait until we start trying to distinguish between Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan. Who's better of the 2 magically enchanted rookie QBs from last year, Flacco or Matt Ryan?

MR. F- Ryan. Not even close. Flacco succeeded last year kind of the same way Kyle Orton succeeded in 2005. His job was not to mess up and he didn't. The wrinkle is Flacco's job was to run play action and throw the ball long when he did throw it. He's got the arm for that. He was kind of a specialist. All around though, Ryan is and will continue to be a much better QB.

NP- Prediction time...

MR. F- The Ravens have a pretty soft home schedule, I can see them going 7-1 at home with the only loss coming to either Indianapolis or Pittsburgh. Their road schedule is murder though. Week 2 at San Diego is a loss, Week 4 at New England is a loss, Week 6 at Minnesota is a loss, they should be able to get a win in either Week 9 or 10 against one of the Ohio Suck Squads, then they have to go to Lambeau and Heinz Field before wrapping up the season at Oakland. So looks to me like they've got only 2 wins on the road. Still, that's 9-7, and that could be good enough to make the playoffs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MLS Refs Suck

So I'm totally into this preseason tourney with Inter, AC Milan, Club America and Chelsea. I'll be at the Chelsea/Inter match. So I'm watching Inter play CA and BOY DO MLS REFS SUCK. For a preseason, check it:

1) About 10 yellow cards
2) 2 red cards
3) One pk called back

It was so retarded that after the Inter goalie blocked a pk but then had to retake because of the SHITTY MLS REF calling it back, Jose Mourinho comes on the field and asks to take a pk because the refs are a joke. As you all know, I'm a Club America fan but both reds were retarded and calling that pk back was just shit. The MLS should be embarrassed about their refs. For YEARS MLS teams have complained about the quality of MLS refs falling on deaf ears. WELL SOMEHOW THEY FUCKED UP FRIENDLIES. Here is my email to the MLS:

Dear MLS:

Just watched Inter vs. Club America reffed by one of your world renown reffing crews. I must say that I have never been more embarrassed to be an American.

Please feel free to import your refs from other leagues so that Jose Mourinho doesn't have to embarrass your league, your refs, and all Americans by asking to take a Penalty Kick because your reffing crew is a joke.

With love,

Patrick N

Watched the Sounders vs. Chelsea match and them Seattle fans are REALLY REALLY good soccer fans. They were singing ALL match and have great songs. I think I'm switching from Galaxy to Seattle. Consider the Sonics forgotten. Fuck the NBA.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I Think Of the Falcons

NP- What was the biggest kick in the nuts of the 2008 football season?

MR. F- That's easy, if you are a Bears fan. Without a doubt it was the game where the Bears played the Falcons in Atlanta, and managed to take the lead in a game with 8 seconds left and still lose it. I don't think even the Cubs wearing football helmets could do that.

NP- It was that kind of season for the Falcons though right?

MR. F- Oh yes, it was a magical ride to the moon on a licorice whip.

NP- And how did that happen for a team that was so awful in 2007?

MR. F- Everything that their new GM, Tom Dimitroff, did in the offseason turned out to be a home run. Signing Michael Turner, a guy who was a good backup but had never started? He carries 376 times for 1699 yards. Draft a rookie quarterback with the 3rd overall pick AND start him from day 1? That's crazy...even Troy Aikman went 1-15 or something as a wait Steve Walsh was QB for that "1"...he went 0 and whatever. No problem for the Falcons though, Ryan is awesome all year. Everything went right.

NP- Will Matt Ryan be as good in his sophomore season?

MR. F- They are going to lean on him a lot more than they did last year. Michael Turner cannot carry the ball 376 times this year, unless he wants to be Eddie George's backcourt mate in wheelchair basketball next year. So the Falcons are going to throw the ball more. They recognize that though, and got Ryan another weapon, a very good weapon, a Hall of Fame weapon in tight end Tony Gonzalez.

NP- So the Chiefs spend all this money on Matt Cassel, and then take away what would have been his #1 receiver, trading him for a second round draft pick?

MR. F- That's why they are the Chiefs.

NP- Who's a fantasy sleeper on this team?

MR. F- I don't think you can call Roddy White a sleeper any more. He's a legit star. Michael Turner is going to need someone to be for him this year what he was to LaDanian Tomlinson in San Diego, meaning somebody who can carry the ball 10-15 times a game to lighten the load on the top guy. Jerrious Norwood is that guy, and he always has been able to break a big run here and there. He might be worth taking a flyer on, especially since there's a good chance Turner could be hurt for a portion of this season given the workload he had last year.

NP- The Falcons have a special player on the defensive side of the ball too don't they?

MR. F- Oh yes. John Abraham had 16 1/2 sacks last year. He'll have to be that good again this year because the Falcons lost their best corner, Dominique Foxworth, to free agency. You know Foxworth is good because he signed with the Ravens and if the Ravens think he's good enough to play on their defense than he is good. So the Falcons are going to be vulnerable in the secondary, which means that the pass rush is going to have to get to the QB before he can have a chance to attack that secondary.

NP- Prediction time...

MR. F- The cruel wheel of NFL fate is going to cut the Falcons down to size this year. Meaning the schedule. They've got road games at New England, SF, Dallas, New Orleans, Carolina, both New York teams, and Tampa. I don't see any easy wins there and I don't see more than 2 or 3 wins total. They are going to have to be close to perfect at home to make the playoffs, and that's going to be difficult when their status as an NFC South member means that Tampa, Carolina, and New Orleans all come into the Georgia Dome. Not to mention the incomparable Jay Cutler and the Bears, who will go 16-0 this year due to Cutler's greatness. I say 8-8 for the Falcons. No playoffs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What I Think Of the Cardinals

OK so training camp is mere weeks away. I know because I've been waking up with hard nipples a lot lately. In the days leading up to training camp, I think it is important that you and I and everybody know where every team stands with me. I see no better way to do this than to take each team in alphabetical order and to give you a short, concise, interview with myself on how I feel about each of them. So I give you the first in what may or may not be a series of 32 interviews between Nicky P and his alter ego, Mr. Football.

NP- So the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl last year?

Mr.F- Yes, I'm pretty sure they did. Which is amazing. This is a team that headed into Week 17 of the regular season having lost 4 out of 5 games. And they lost them spectacularly. 35-14 to the Vikings, 47-7 to New England in a game that could have been 400-7, 48-20 to the Eagles. They were terrible.

NP- So how did they get to the Super Bowl?

Mr. F- Larry Fitzgerald turned into the best player in the NFL for a month, and basically would not be denied. You saw it in the Super Bowl, when he caught that pass over the middle from Kurt Warner and just pulled away from everyone to put this shitty Cardinals team ahead late in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. When you always always always have the best player on the field, you are always going to have a chance to win against anyone, and as mediocre as the NFL was last year, that was enough to almost get them a Lombardi trophy.

NP- Will they be back in the Super Bowl this year?

Mr. F- No.

NP- What are the areas of concern?

Mr. F- Anquan Boldin has been unhappy with his contract for the better part of 2 years, but he seems to set that aside on the field. A bigger concern is that the Cardinals have both new offensive and defensive coordinators this year, which is strange for a team coming off a Super Bowl run.

NP- Who's the fantasy sleeper on this team?

Mr. F- It shouldn't take long for Beanie Wells to take the starting job away from Tim Hightower. Unless Beanie Wells turns into the next Maurice Clarett. I'm struggling to think of the last Ohio St. running back to be any good in the NFL...Eddie George? Is he the last one? Hmmm. We're also talking about a team here that has struggled mightily to run the football competently since 1930. So, on second thought, stay away from Beanie Wells. Just load up on Cardinal receivers. Steve Breaston always makes a nice stocking stuffer.

NP- If you're coaching against the Cardinals, how do you beat them?

Mr. F- Play nickel or dime defense all day and dare them to run the ball. Turn loose your passing game because they don't rush the passer very well and their secondary is very mediocre.

NP- Is Kurt Warner a future Hall of Famer?

Mr. F- Absolutely.

NP- Will Matt Leinart ever be any good?

Mr. F- If Fitzgerald is still on the Cardinals after Warner retires, sure, he'll be fine. It's hard for a QB not to do well when you have a receiver like that.

NP- Prediction for the Cardinals...

Mr. F- Their schedule outside the division is tough this year, and the Seahawks, Rams and Niners all should be a little they won't go 6-0 in the NFC West again. The Cardinals may be a better team than last year, but go 7-9. One of those kind of things. That's the NFL for ya.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Donovan and Beckham are bitches

So Landon "Bitchtits" Donovan decided to talk shit on Beckham in some new book that no one cares about saying Becks was a poor leader and that he gave up after one year full of injuries and the next year leading the team to not make the playoffs. By the way, that is all true. Becks ran to AC Milan, which makes sense because the Galaxy were sucking and he was still good. Plus you get to play next to Kaka, Ronaldinho, and Pato, so screw it, right? But then Becks started to cry, "I WANT TO STAY HERE I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE GALAXY." This is probably the proper idea, but the way he cried about it was kind of lame. This made Captain Crybaby Donovan cry in a book. And now Beckham, the example of a gentleman, responds to Donovan in the media:

"It's unprofessional," Beckham blasted on his return to the USA. "In 17 years, I have played with the biggest teams in the world and the biggest players and not once been criticised for my professionalism."

1) You just blasted Donovan for the same shit you just did with your blast;
2) You were professional in those other 17 years, but you were not professional towards the Galaxy when your loan was supposed to be up at AC Milan.

Look, I get it. The Galaxy is that girlfriend you need until you get a real girlfriend. Real Madrid was about to dump you, so you dumped her first to make her feel bad. Then you humped the Galaxy's brains out until you built enough self esteem to find a better girlfriend. I get it. And break ups aren't clean. So you bang AC Milan, and she wants you to move in but you can't because you have another mistress. So you come back to her and, even though it is your fault, you blame the Galaxy (or in this case, Donovan, but he's just verbalizing what everyone at the Galaxy feels). It's the oldest guy trick in the book. You always blame the person you cheated on for you cheating. It's cool. I get it.

Just be prepared to be shot and left in a hotel to die.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Steve McNair Shot Dead

Former Titans and Ravens QB Steve McNair found dead from a shot to the head next to a female. They have no suspects and don't know the circumstances of the shooting.

His last year was 2007 and here is a list of his accomplishments:

• Honored as three-time Pro Bowler
• Shared league's MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2003
• Led Tennessee to Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999, the only such appearance in franchise history, where the Titans lost to the Rams 23-16
• Joined Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young as the only players to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 3,500 yards


McNair put the Titans on the map. Didn't know if the guy was a nice guy or what he was into. All I know is that he really wasn't controvercial and was a solid QB. Bummer of a summer.

Friday, July 3, 2009

UFL Will Consider Vick

You don't know what the United Football League is? It's a league owned by some rich guys that will have 8 teams - 6 established now.

Las Vegas (Coach, Jim Fassell)
New York
Orlando (Coach, Jim Haslett)
San Francisco (Coach, Dennis "THEY WERE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE" Green coaches them)
Los Angeles

You'll be able to see it on Versus this year in October. Yes, I know. It's pretty stupid to have a league the runs the same time as the NFL. Why not run it in the summer when there's shitty baseball and MLS to compete with? Ah well. Here is the current roster for four of the teams.

Well the league, of course, is ready to snatch up Ron Mexico which will make the league high profile immediately. I'd watch it. I admit it. And you would too. I'm actually excited about the UFL because there will be "pro" football in LA now. SET SET HIKE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brazil Wins Confederations Cup, 2010 World Cup Could Be Gigantic Clustermess

Ok so this is old news by now, but as I'm sure you already know, Brazil came back from a 2-0 deficit to nip the plucky US side 3-2, and win the Confederations Cup, considered to be the closest thing you are gonna get to a World Cup Preview.

There were 2 main stories of this tournament, one, of course, was the surprising finals appearance of the US team. Surprising mainly because they managed to even qualify for the semifinals after getting pounded in their first two matches, and then they jumped up and bit a Spanish side which was considered the best soccer team in the world.

The other main story was how bad of an idea it might be to hold the World Cup in the Republic of South Africa next year. Most of this tournament was played in half empty stadiums. South Africa has a 23.5% unemployment rate, along with a murder and rape rate that are near tops in the world. And that doesn't even count the carjackings and Pulp Fiction-esque restaurant robberies that are common there. That and it's really not easy to get to from anywhere in the world. I understand FIFA wanting to recognize the importance of African football, as the continent has a lively football scene and has provided some of the top players in the world, but this thing has potential to be a huge disaster next year. We'll see. Hope I'm wrong.

- Back in the relatively crime-free world of American football (Bwahahahaha), you can stop caring about where Plaxico Burress is going to end up this year, because most likely he'll be watching football on his couch, hopefully without a gun tucked into his sweatpants. Roger Goodell is said to be considering an "indefinite" suspension for him, so my guess is he won't be playing anywhere in 2009.

- And I'll leave you today with this discussion question, as it caused quite a lively drunken debate between me and my father at my brother's bachelor party this weekend; which NFC North QB will play in a Super Bowl first, Jay Cutler, or Aaron Rodgers? Anyone who reads this regularly knows where I stand on this, what do you think?