Proving once and for all there was not a single shred of doubt the NFL and it’s players would return to cash checks with plenty of zeroes on them for the 2011 season, we are now faced with much tougher questions than the negotiations themselves.
Q: “Who won?”
Lawyers. Investment brokers. Lawyers. Agents. TV Networks. Lawyers. Gamblers. Fantasy football web sites. Did I say lawyers?
The real winner here is as obvious as the absence of an engagement ring on the left hand of Kristin Cavallari.
While many point to the fan as emerging victorious here, still being fed their weekly diet of statistical minutiae, glove compartment gun excuses and pseudo-experts claiming to know the difference between “Cover 2” and “Row 2”, they are in reality an after thought.
The true victor in this battle is the entity that makes not only the legs of professional football run here in America, but is responsible for the betterment of entire communities. The gathering of concerned, caring and considerate individuals without whom the NFL would be fighting professional soccer for dominance in the USA. A very select organization that toils endlessly to provide exactly what is demanded by true football fanatics, making their average lives just a tad more tolerable, their family life that much more enjoyable, and insuring the workforce machine that makes this Nation great suffers not even one hitch on the road to economic freedom and dominating world leadership.
NFL owners? Hardly. NFL players? Have you been paying attention?
Bookies, casinos, and anyone who will take a bet, legal or illegal, on the NFL.
No one had more to lose if the 2011 season went south. No sports-related group has a greater effect on our economy. The take on NFL wagers alone for legal betting parlors, casinos, online gambling and the illegal kind, which I am certain none of my readers would ever even consider taking part in, accounts for some $500B worldwide.
No misprint. “B” as in “billion”.
Well placed sources indicate the entire State of Nevada was preparing to shut down. Several hotels had plans to tear down their sports books and replace them with the only other thing that might generate enough cash flow to cover the deficit. Pay per play “World of Warcraft” video game consoles housed in a room decorated as a tasteful parental basement with bottomless buckets of “Skittles” at every station. Additional revenue was already in the works with the entire section and ten floors of each hotel sponsored by “Clearasil”.
Government officials were also preparing for the worst, planning to divert funds for national defense to the hiring of several thousand trained psychologists to deal with a disaster of potential Biblical proportions. Fantasy football players staring into blank screens, muttering incoherently to themselves, unable to work and unwilling to socialize with friends and family.
Debt ceiling crisis? It is to laugh.
Q: “Which team will be foolish enough to fall for the ‘he still has plenty of life left in that arm’ theory regarding Brett Favre?”
There are at present at least four teams in need of a starting QB. Miami, San Francisco, Tennessee and Seattle spring to mind immediately with a few more stragglers on the periphery. To even consider signing Favre after his pathetic performance for the Vikings in 2010 would not be mere folly, but would qualify the team executive giving it serious thought for a role in the new series of Prozac commercials. Not only have his skills deteriorated to the point of being considered for a starting QB role only in the Playstation NFL version, but his contract demand to have Jenn Sterger personally be in charge of his Twitter account could prove to be a sticking point.
Q: ”Will Plaxico Burress be the shot in the leg a franchise needs to become a contender?”
There is no doubt Burress is a pistol of a player. The manner in which his talent is discharged onto the field, seemingly squeezing the trigger every time he touches the football with the distinct possibility of hitting the goal line target is thrilling just at the mere thought. Already several teams are considering at least 40 plays out of the shotgun of a caliber perfectly fitting his singular aim of firing on all cylinders.
Every report thus far in the offseason indicates his willingness to load every chamber of his body with a renewed passion for snaring every projectile blasted in his direction. There is absolutely no chance Burress will go half-cocked into this season, nor with a sawed-off disposition. A return to football greatness is most definitely in his crosshairs, and the safety is off on what promises a year of double-barreled excitement for the team that puts the hammer down on signing him to a well-oiled contract.
Q: “Out of the various players arrested for legal infractions since the lockout began, which player obviously received far too many hits to the head with an unbuckled chin strap?
I will not, repeat, NOT be suckered into the easy trap of uttering the syllables that make up “He Who Shall Not Be Named”, if only because it’s just much too easy. Putting the NFL’s chronic and pathetic loser at the top of this list would be easier than seeking an Order of Protection against anyone with young children that leaves “Jersey Shore” playing in the background during the kid’s formative years.
Oakland receiver Louis Murphy warrants consideration after an officer pulled his car over, discovered unlabeled Viagra pills, and then argued about it enough to be charged with resisting arrest. Apparently Murphy was late for an extended workout session.
Jason Peter of the Eagles was busted for violating the loud music policy in Shreveport, LA. A fine was paid and Peters agreed to never again have his Mantovani turned up so loud while within city limits.
Packers defensive tackle Johnny Jolly was already doing NFL suspension time for an earlier charge and had the entire 2010 season to get a clue. Still searching, as he was nailed for possessing 600 grams of codeine syrup in his SUV following a traffic stop. Authorities didn’t buy his excuse that no one was around to sell him enough oxycodone to cure a bad case of the sniffles.
The winner here has to be Buffalo receiver Paul Hubbard. Seeking to make a name for himself after pulling in a whopping one catch last season, Howard waited until a few days before the new deal was announced before getting drunk. Then getting into his car. Then hitting a pedestrian. One wearing a uniform. A police uniform. The officer was treated and released from a local hospital. Howard has since started training for his new job as a human traffic cone in downtown Buffalo.
Q: “Who will be the first Head Coach fired in the 2011 season?”
Actually, the better question should be which owner deserves to sack himself after making a complete mess of what was once a proud (in most cases this applies but for some it becomes hyperbole at it’s finest) franchise.
Tough not to go with Ralph Wilson and the way he has managed to turn the Buffalo Bills into something resembling an emaciated goat. The Bills have one winning season since losing in the 1999 AFC Wild Card playoffs, and the best they can do for those loyal and freezing fans is to announce new uniforms for the 2011 season. Actually, that might be huge news considering Wilson has yet to order a Canadian Maple Leaf infused logo. Yes, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated more than once how confident he is the Bills will remain in Buffalo for “as long as the wheat grows and Niagara Falls continues it’s majestic descent into Lake Ontario”. OK, I made that last one up, but you do have to admit it sounded like every other death knell we’ve heard over the years just before a franchise up and skedaddled out of town.
Wilson has already slapped the fans by taking one home game every year to the Rogers Centre in Toronto as part money-grab and part showcase to keep the relocation plans moving forward, just in case. He claims the move was made to “keep the franchise in Buffalo”. Of course, it did very little to instill confidence in long-suffering Bills fans. Especially when it was announced Bob & Doug McKenzie would be singing both National Anthems at all home games.
Q: “Who will win the 2012 Super Bowl?”
After much deep thought, weeks of painstaking research, hours spent on the phone with various GM’s and anonymous team sources, numerous consultations with psychics and examination of every minute statistical detail, I have made what in my mind is the only selection possible. In an homage to my good friend David Chase, creator of the legendary TV series, “The Sopranos”, I am supremely confident in announcing the winner of the 2012 Super Bowl will be