Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sports Illustrated's Predictions for the coming 2009 NFL Season

So, I subscribed to Sports Illustrated for the first time in my life just recently. To be honest with you, the only reason I subscribed is because the offered me both the John Madden DVD (I would have much preferred a Blu-Ray) and they gave me Madden Football 10 for the PS3. I could not resist that temptation at $49. That is cheaper than you can buy the game on line. Forget about the SI issues and the John Madden video. WOW!

So here comes my first issue, and it is the NFL Preview! Perfect! That was very nice timing indeed. Of course, I found this in my mailbox as I arrived home from work. I needed to take a fat crap at the end of the day, and SI always used to make the very best toilet literature. What splendid timing! So I took my seat on the throne and enjoyed my first NFL Preview issue in probably 20 or 22 years.

I must admit that I was a bit contemptuous as I opened these pages. I was not expecting anything edifying. SI is notorious for big pictures and thin analysis. They go more for a human story than for anything approaching solid football analysis.

Surprise! What a rush of nostalgia! I felt it all coming back to me. I grew up with Sports Illustrated. I think we all did. I used to sit in the school library reading back issues and present issues of Sports Illustrated when I was supposed to be doing my reading assignments. I did this in Junior High and High School. They didn't give me much meat about the 3-4 defense vs. the 4-3 defense. They certainly never understood what Walsh was doing during the 1981 season. Still, I loved them passionately as a kid. It was a my one life-line to Football during the off season. We had no NFL Network. ESPN didn't come along until 1983 in my hood. We could not buy NFL films. I didn't have any VHS tapes with the sport I could enjoy.

Just as the romance was starting to flame up again, and I was about to experience the sweet surrender... BAMB! SLAM! DAMN! The divisional predictions went and fucked it all to hell. What a devastating collapse...

Folks I am not going to candy-coat this for you. What I found there were nothing short of the biggest crack-pot predictions of the season so far. We only saw eye-to-eye on one set of predictions: The NFC East. Everything else is fucked up.

Take the AFC South for instance: Texans #1, Colts #2, Titans #3. There are those who truly believe that the Titans experienced the ultimate fluke season last year. Without Haynesworth, many believe they will collapse. I am not exactly one of them. I think the Colts will regain their post atop the division. The Titans will be in the playoffs. I would not pick the Texans to surpass the Colts. You must not have seen any pre-season games. The Colts starters look yoked and ready for war. SI needs to work harder on drug testing and compliance within their walls. It takes about 10,000 pounds of collective brain damage to put this prediction in print.

Take the NFC West: Seahawks #1, Cardinals #2, 49ers #3, Rams #4. Oh bouy! Now I know you are smoking Sherms. Folks, I see absolutely no reason to believe the Seahawks are improving. I see almost every reason to believe they are on the decent phase of rebuilding. If you think they are going to defeat an improved Cardinal team, I think you are experiancing a prolonged phase of grossly disoriented schizophrenia, psychosis and death. This is what happens when you roll tobacco and weed in a fatty, then dip it in PCP and embalming fluid before smoking it down. This is how you reach your goal of 10,000 pounds of collective brain damage at SI.

There are other crass jokes besides these. Still, this is the SI I remember. Peter King is often wrong. He is better at coverage than prediction.