Am I Ready for Some Football?

Perhaps you’ve been lamenting the lack of amateur sporting news on The Honestly Blog.  I’m right there with you.  After sitting out the summer season, in which my Goddamnit Gerber brethren ascended to a championship title in the “functionally retarded” division, I was eager to get back to kickball.  However, my repeated rallying cries for fall registration went unanswered.  Yes, people moved, people got new jobs, people got married–but if you ask me, they were just worried about living up to the expectation of cementing a dynasty.  So, no, dear readers, there will be no kickball this fall.  Blame their lazy asses, not me.

With kickball off the menu, and with baseball sadly winding down, I was faced with the prospect of paying active attention to professional football.  Now, it’s not that I don’t like football.  I could get quite into watching my brother play in high school and college.  But NFL games drive me crazy.  Why do they take so long?  How can four fifteen minute quarters be dragged out for three and a half hours?  Yes, baseball games can take hours, but there’s no predetermined time structure in baseball.  It’s supposed to take as long as it can.  Not so in football.

NFL football also has the most obnoxious and irritable on-air commentators.  They’re loud, boorish, self-aggrandizing know-it-alls who each think that individually they’re the greatest analyst in the history of the sports journalism, and that together with their co-hosts, they constitute the greatest comedy team since Rowan and Martin.  Mind you, this is coming from a Yankee fan who thinks that Michael Kay might be the single worst thing about the franchise.

So what to do?  Well, to make things interesting, I spoke to my brother about reviving the family football pool that our dad used to run.  The response from the invitees was overwhelming.  We have nineteen competitors (some people have paired up) all hungry for the prize.  There’s no money involved; just bragging rights.  The rules, if you’re curious, are as follows:

1) Participants choose a winner for each game of each week of the season.  For every correct answer, participants earn a point in the overall standings.
2) The winner(s) of each week will be duly noted, as the number of total weekly wins will be a similarly prized statistic.
3) Picks must be turned in by 11:00 PM on the night before the week’s first game.
4) Failure to report picks by the weekly deadline will result in a participant being given all the home teams as their picks that week.
5) Should any participant fail to report their picks before the deadline more than three times, the next failure to report in a timely fashion will result in that participant being given all the away teams as their picks for that week.  After that, the lateness tally is reset to 0, and a chance for participants to redeem themselves is extended.

Since we are a group of healthy competitors, and as a way for me to keep up with NFL news, I’ve decided to share the weekly developments in the pool standings with you here.  There might not be the same drunken shenanigans as kickball, but there’s already a good deal of trash talk coming in along with the Week 1 selections.  I promise it will be interesting.

In case you were wondering what team I’ll be pulling for this year, I confess that I don’t have particularly strong feelings.  There are family loyalties to both New York area teams.  There’s also that curious allegiance my dad had to the now lamentable Oakland Raiders.  But I think if there’s one team I’ve got to root for, it’s the New York Jets.  Why, you ask?  Mark Sanchez.  Three reasons why: he loves musicals, he sneaks hot dogs on the sidelines, and he spends his off-season doing shit like this.

So game on, gridiron fans!  The season kicks off tomorrow with Drew Brees and the current champion New Orleans Saints taking on Gandalf the Grey and the Minnesota Vikings.  Fire up your George Foremans and enjoy!

I have no idea what half those statistics mean.

~ T

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