When Brett Favre and his balky ankle take the field Thursday night with his Minnesota Vikings to take on Drew Brees and his defending champion New Orleans Saints, it will mark the official beginning of the 2010 NFL season.
I love this time of year. Every team is 0-0 and fans of each franchise are convinced that this is the year their team takes the big step to raise the Lombardi trophy in February. It’s a time of optimism and hope — and, yeah, a little bit of dreaming, as well, for some organizations.
At the dawn of every NFL season I write a column giving my predictions for the year ahead. Last year’s slate included a Super Bowl pitting the Pittsburgh Steelers (didn’t make the playoffs) against the Green Bay Packers (lost in the first round of the playoffs). My MVP selection was Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (did not win), my rookie of the year was Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (did not win) and my coach of the year was Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy (did not win).
Are we noticing a trend?
The dominant notion you should take from my picks is that you should not risk your hard-earned money following my lead. I am to predictions what BP is to the environment. Proceed with caution.
For the record, I’m going with the Indianapolis Colts to play the Green Bay Packers (there they are again) in the Super Bowl. Adrian Peterson for MVP, Ryan Mathews for rookie of the year and McCarthy again for coach of the year. I do honestly feel like my beloved Baltimore Ravens could compete for the Super Bowl this year, but I’m still a little sketchy on the right side of the offensive line and their pass coverage.
And now for the fun stuff.
See, I just gave a brief rundown on my predictions for glory this year, as opposed to a more convoluted effort of justifying my inane picks. This year, I decided to do something a little different.
I’m going to pick the worst of the league.
For instance, since football is undeniably a team sport where individual success is more dependent on teammates and schemes than any of the other big American sports, we’ll start this out with my selection as the worst team in the NFL in 2010.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the St. Louis Rams.
A rookie quarterback, less-than-stellar offensive line, the worst group of receivers in the NFL, a defense that has more holes than Paris Hilton’s story on her recent drug charges and a recent history that suggests this team can capably steal defeat from the jaws of victory adds up to about 2-14. Yeah, they stink. And, let me tell you something — I know about “stink.” I’ve been faithfully watching the Baltimore Orioles for my entire life, and they have stunk for the past decade-plus more than ...
But I digress.
The easy pick for worst quarterback of the season is the aformentioned rookie quarterback for the Rams, Sam Bradford. But I actually think he’s going to be pretty good. He just has nothing to work with to help him through the tough times. Therefore, I’m going with Arizona’s Derek Anderson for the worst quarterback award. He has talent around him and a good coaching staff, but he’s still going to stink.
That’s true stink.
Also, on our stink radar, the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Bucs, Cleveland Browns and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets.
Let the games begin! And let’s hope they don’t stink.