Thursday, September 29, 2005

CONCERT REVIEW - Q and Not U - Wu Hu!

Last week, Kevin and I made our way out to the Knitting Factory in Tribeca to check out the band Q and not U on their final tour before their announced breakup. Apparently, they have been unable to withstand the incessant media attention that has come with earning a 7.5 on Pitchfork, and I don't blame them; in the indie community, once your record sales hit that sixth figure (known as "going denim") there are fewer people around who can be berated for not having heard of you and thus, your hipster value dries up. This is no reflection on Q and not U's three increasingly pleasant albums, the most recent coming in 2004, and certainly not on their live performances, which Kevin and I were delighted to find are even more be-U-tiful than their records.

The opening band, Super System, was a synth trio in the vein of The Rapture in which every song vaguely resembled The Rapture. That's probably just out of a process of elimination, because only about five synth songs have ever been recorded and they weren't playing "I Just Can't Get Enough" or anything by Kraftwerk named after a somewhat modern appliance. They were an extremely dance-friendly band, but the crowd was in no mood to dance, save the obligatory "I'm hot enough to get away with it" girls sprinkled throughout the pack. I enjoyed Super System, particularly their last couple songs in which the singer on the right kept going wild and screaming his lyrics while his bandmates just sang regularly, leaving us to wonder what the song was about and why it pissed off the guy on the right so much. Turns out, he was ok, and they left the stage to comfortable applause.

Q and Not U came on shortly after for their second show of that evening. The band consisted of two front men and one drummer. The guy on the left, I assume, was Q. I'm not sure what the guy on the right's name was, but I do know what it wasn't. They sprinted right into their first two songs with a pace that was part "let's dance" and part "high schoolers go crazy and mosh," and I'll be damned if the crowd didn't choose the latter. I can't relay all the details of the set, for I kept having people thrown into me while I was trying to nerdily compile info for this review on my adding machine (I was wearing one of those green accountant visors too.) The highlight song, other than their opening one-two punch sturdy enough to knock out Don Flamenco, was their rendition of the second track off "No Kill No Beep Beep" preceded by a synthesizer ditty that closely resembled "Bad to the Bone." The song itself, however, was good to the bone.

My favorite part of the evening was when a twentysomething hipster in a hunting cap and flannel button-down shirt leaped into the middle of an erupting fray and the song ended seconds later, leaving him standing there looking to fight, and he sort of just collected himself and sheepishly returned to the back of the crowd. Part of me wanted to rush outside, purchase a turntable, and run back in just in time to pull the record off the needle in order to hammer his awkwardness home, but I'll leave that for when they make a movie out of this situation. The band wasn't overly theatrical; whereas Iggy Pop may have smeared himself with peanut butter and rolled around on broken glass, most indie bands' idea of a dangerous stunt is setting a water bottle on top of an expensive synthesizer...WHICH THEY DID! Actually, they were quite interactive with the crowd. When someone yelled "what will it take for you to not break up?" the singer responded, "I don't know, a time machine? Maybe if we'd all been born earlier? That's about it." Take that, loyal concert-attending fan!

I won't be broken up when the band members go off on their separate ways, but I won't be happy either. Q is planning to form a tribute band to the Star Trek character of the same name, and his first single "Surprised to See Me, Picard?" should hit the FM airwaves by December. The other singer is starting a band called, simply "Not U," where the band's only gimmick is that whoever is onstage is not you. His album "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZ" should be in stores by February '06. Yeah, the breakup will be hard on all of us, but at least we can take solace in the fact that Q and Not U was on the record label "Dischord," giving this whole situation the aroma of delicious irony that the indie-rock community tresures so deeply.

INJURIES ARE HOT!

Is Favre done? Is Chucky back? Will Cincinnati challenge the Steelers? These are all questions that remain to be answered but there has been one constant of the first three weeks of the 2005 NFL season: Injuries are hot! Fate is often a cruel mistress in the NFL but this past week fate really punched the AFC East square in the dick. Chad Pennington, Rodney Harrison, Takeo Spikes: Out for the season! Did the AFC East walk under a ladder while a black cat crossed its path causing it to drop a mirror made out of the bones of Native American warriors?

Most people have already written the Jets off for the year. The Bills are in a transition year while they try to develop young quarterback J.P. Losman but Spikes is the defensive leader. The Patriots have a very irritating habit of excelling when faced with adversity but the Harrison loss is unlike any they’ve had to deal with. Who’s going to illegally tackle receivers and talk shit now? The most bizarre circumstance of this situation is that the Miami Dolphins remain intact. Not for long. They will lose a key player sometime within the next few weeks if for nothing other than the fact that they’re the fucking Miami Dolphins. So which Dolphin will go down for the season?

Get ready to hear the Dolphins cry.

There's bad news and good news. Well actually it's all bad news for the Dolphins. Zach Thomas blows his knee sometime within the next 3 weeks. This leaves the Dolphins' strength, their defense, with a gaping hole in the middle. Thomas had 17 tackles against the Panthers last week. That is outstanding. Too bad the AFC East decided to go to Egypt and pillage a pharoah's tomb in the offseason. The common theme is that not only are these injuries season ending, but they effect the most crucial components of your team.

The Dolphins will also lose David Boston. This has nothing to do with that time the AFC East ran over a gypsy with their car. Boston has made a career out of injuries. Following break out seasons in 2000 and 2001 with Arizona, Boston decided to devote himself to getting ridiculously jacked and permanently injured. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Boston revealed that he has modeled his workout regiment after the Batman supervillain Bane. Boston plans to have tubes inserted into the back of his neck which will pump his body full of the super steroid Venom. Many are skeptical of his plan and feel that there's been an inverse relatioship between the increase in Boston's muscle mass and his ability to perform on the field.

First year coach Nick Saban has been supportive of Boston's plans saying, "Hey, if thats what it takes to get him off of roster then I'll hook up those tubes myself." Boston has insisted this process will be effective and will enhance his level of play and help him achieve his ultimate goal, "killing Batman."






David Boston by November

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

WEEK THREE DRUNKPIX

Decent week for us with the picks. Though we made our picks independently of one another, we only differed on two games; for the second straight week, Kevin's faith in the Saints was tested, as their ability to warm the nation's hearts continued to exceed their ability to put a defense on the field. Dan picked Green Bay for the third straight week, thinking for the third time, each in increasing loudness, "they can't be that bad!" We also both had Arizona upsetting Seattle, because we agree that Seattle is inconsistent and overrated, but it turns out, Arizona is accurately rated and that rating is "shitty." Regardless, we both pulled out 9-5 weeks, so we're keeping pace with the ESPN bigwigs (their wigs are big).

Sean Salisbury: 30-15
Merrill Hoge: 28-17
DAN: 27-19
Ron Jaworski: 25-20
Marcus Allen: 23-22
Chris Mortensen: 23-22
Mike Golic: 22-23
KEVIN: 22-24

(Everyone on ESPN has one fewer pick than the number of games played. I don't know why, I thought we were the comedy makers!!!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NFL WEEK 2 HEADLINES

Everything's Lovie in ChiTown – Lovie Smith and the Bears are thinking playoffs after knocking off the Lions to shake up the NFC North

Bengals Would Like Some Fresh Ground Culpepper – The Bengals intercepted the Vikings’ QB five times en route to their second-straight blowout victory

Anthony Wrong as Baltimore’s Offense Balti-Less – The Ravens mustered only ten points in their embarrassing road loss to the Titans

Not Enough Leftwich In the Tank – The Jaguars’ fourth quarter comeback came up short as they fell in Indianapolis, 10-3

McNabb Makes All the Right Reids – The Eagles QB threw for 342 yards in the Eagles’ runaway victory over the 49ers

Cadillac Hits Buffalo – Carnell “Cadillac” Williams rushed for 129 yards in Tampa Bay’s convincing 19-3 victory over the Bills

Belichick Out Those Panthers! – The Panthers got some revenge for Superbowl XXXVIII by defeating the Patriots 27-17

Parker Does Mess With Texans – Rookie Willie Parker rushed for 111 yards in the Steelers’ 27-7 rout of the Texans

Dennis Green With Envy as Cardinals Lose Again – Former Ram Kurt Warner and the Cardinals have stumbled to an 0-2 start after losing at home to St. Louis, 17-12

Caw Caw! Hawks Beak Falcons in Battle of the Birds – The Seahawks avoided an 0-2 start by upsetting Atlanta, 21-18, in Seattle

Schot Through the Heart and the Broncos are to Blame – A Jason Elam field goal in the final five seconds gave Denver a victory and dropped Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers to 0-2

Romeo Kills Packers Instead of Self; Earns First Victory – Romeo Crennel won his first NFL game as a head coach as the Browns beat the Packers in Green Bay

Dolphins Dive, Jets Soar – The Jets made up for their Week 1 debacle by handing Nick Saban his first loss as Miami’s head coach

Oakland's Black Hole Devoid of Victories – The Raiders lost to the Chiefs at home, 23-17, and fell to 0-2

Giants Don't Coughlin Up Another Lead – New York led from their first possession on, giving the Saints no relief in a 27-10 blowout

United Parcells Service Doesn't Deliver Monday Night – The Redskins scored twice in the final four minutes to defeat the Cowboys in Dallas on Monday night

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

NEW FEATURE - DRUNKPIX

We've started a new feature here at Internet Follies (increasing our total number of regular features to 2, the other being not writing shit) where every weekend, we'll make picks for the NFL week on either Friday or Saturday night after 4 am, and compare those to the picks of ESPN's square squad.

Here's how we've fared the first two weeks:

Merrill Hodge: 19-13
DAN: 18-14
Chris Mortensen: 18-14
Sean Salisbury: 18-14
Ron Jaworski: 15-17
Marcus Allen: 15-17
Mike Golic: 14-18
KEVIN: 13-19

Looking through these picks, it is clear who is the drunkest of the bunch. Mike Golic, however, remains far and away the fattest.

Keep reading the blog! Music posts to arrive shortly! And how about some comments, people? Never hurt anyone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

ILL - FATED AD CAMPAIGNS

American Express launched an extensive advertising bombardment during this year’s US Open featuring an exaggeratedly flustered Andy Roddick and the tagline “Have you seen Andy’s mojo?” Unfortunately, Roddick then lost in the first round of the Open to some guy named Gilles Muller from some country named Luxembourg, turning the cute catchphrase into ironic foreshadowing. It was terrible to watch the rest of the Open and continue to see “Andy’s mojo” commercials, a once tongue-in-cheek endeavor unintentionally turned grim reminder, but we went ahead and did some research on precedent for this topic and found that the Roddick ad campaign wasn’t the first to take an awkward turn for the worse. Recall:

Coca-Cola’s 1988 campaign, “Daryl Strawberry can’t get enough coke!”

Staples’ 2002 “Back to school” sale featuring Willis McGahee, Mike Williams, Carmelo Anthony, and Maurice Clarrett

Rafael Palmiero for Flintstones Vitamins, “10 million strong and growing” (2001)

Schick’s 1996 campaign featuring Michael Westbrook: “I can’t get cut while I’m shaving with Schick!”

Boston Market’s 1986 campaign, “I’m Bill Buckner and I eat at Boston Market.”

Coca-Cola’s 1989 campaign, “Lawrence Taylor can’t get enough coke!”

Mitch Williams for Capital One Savings, declaring “Of course we'll save it, why wouldn't we?” (1992)

Kobe Bryant for Tag Body Spray: “Consider yourself warned” (2003)

Snuggle fabric softener’s 1999 campaign, “Snuggle with Rae Carruth” [arguably, this was ill-fated even before the incident]

American Express’ 1909 campaign, “Have you seen the Cubs’ mojo?”

Friday, September 09, 2005

NFC EAST: Once the most dominant division in football but could now be renamed, "What Week Will the Eagles Clinch the Title This Year?"




Kevin "He Likes Picking Teams So Much You Might As Well Call Him Pickles" suplexes the NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles
Following their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, the Eagles had to overcome a few minor distractions. Can you believe Brian Westbrook holding out for so long? Then there was the loss of Todd Pinkston, both a decent #3 receiver and an enormous pussy. Correll "Even I have no idea why people actually think I'll play in the regular season" Buckhalter should be traded to a team in the NFC North. Fredex was overnighted out of Philly in a box filled with his funny hats and the fact that he looks like a grandmom. Corey Simon refused a franchise contract and was released, but should return to the Eagles in three years to accept the league's veteran minimum. Veteran Hugh Douglas was also released. The Eagles have somehow formed a microcosm of the Industrial Revolution and Social Darwinism; Andy Reid actually carries a shotgun in case any of his players get injured and he needs to "put them down." Drafting wisely, the Eagles still boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, featuring Lito Sheppard and Brian Dawkins in the secondary and Jeremiah Trotter in the middle. McNabb is still the third best quarterback in the NFL behind Brady and Manning. And finally, there's TO. Owens has taken on some kind of Voldemort mystique where I don't want to mention him out of fear of fucking everything up. Distraction, smistraction. Ben Franklin might just be cumming cheese wiz while getting fellated by Betsy Ross as he signs the Constitution and lacks a subway system because this is it for my boys. This is their year. E-A-Sorry, I got too annoyed typing this. Super Bowl victory.




Even clichés agree this is the Eagles' year.






2. Dallas Cowboys
America's team. Everyone from the easiest team to hate in the '90s has either retired (Aikman, Irving, etc.) or become fossilized in amber (Emmitt Smith). So what did they do? They brought in coaching legend Bill Parcells a few years ago. Promising at first, Parcells brought in Vinny fucking Testaverde to, I don't know, throw interceptions and get sacked? Well he's done it again this year by bringing in Drew Bledsoe, the difference is Bledsoe will throw interceptions more accurately. Parcells needs to realize this is the NFL and not "On The Waterfront," he doesn't have to prove anything. He's won Superbowls. Luckily, Bledsoe can hand the ball off to Julius Jones until he gets injured. Their receivers would have been intimidating five years ago, but Keyshawn Johnson is a bitch and Terry Glenn has creepy hair (honestly, dude looks like Flat Top from Dick Tracy if he were a No Limit Solider). The most reliable receiver will be TE Jason Witten. Defensively, the Cowboys were a major disappointment last season. Parcells has decided to switch to a 3-4 scheme featuring young defensive ends including the recovering Marcus Spears. The Cowboys have an Asian middle linebacker in Dat Nguyen. Don't forget about Roy "The Dream Crusher" Williams. Though no longer a powerhouse, expect improvement from the Cowboys this season.




Parcells will start Roger Staubach before the end of the season.







3. New York Giants
Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Giants fans hope Eli Manning can create the "living up to the hype and winning games" gin. Entering his second year, the entire franchise hinges on the success of their young quarterback. They went ahead and signed inconsistent playmaker Plaxico Burress from Pittsburgh to give Manning another target. They still have Jeremy Shockey whose mouth continues to write checks that his play on the field cannot cash. But it's cool, he'll probably just get interviewed by Stuff and say he "likes tits." They still have one of the top running backs in Tiki Barber. The Giants should be commended for legitimately attempting to improve their roster and fill needs. They don't have enough to put them over the top, though. They still have more gaps to fill than Michael Strahan's mouth. (hiyooo!) Coach Tom Coughlin is also a jerkoff. This isn't the Navy SEALS, it's a professional football team. You almost got the Jags into the Superbowl but that was when Mark Brunell was actually intimidating (Yea, that long ago). And back to Eli. Will he live up to the hype? No. Even with the most hickish name I've ever heard, this good ol' boy will not get the job done. Here comes Tim Hasselbeck!






Eli (center) at Manning family reunion










4. Washington Redskins
The return of Joe Gibbs was not triumphant. This is a man who won a Superbowl with Doug Williams and fucking Mark Rypien, the only two non-Caucausian quarterbacks ever to win the big game. The man is a legend. He returned to Washington last year and was given a team that boasted a very solid RB in Clinton Portis and a disaster worse than when the power went out in Jurassic Park at the quarterback position. Ramsey or Brunell? It's a lose-lose situation. At least bring back Danny Wuerffel to make losing funny. Wuerfell falls into the Jason White category of "How the fuck can you justify giving him a Heisman in retrospect?" Good news is they may have a future quarterback in Auburn rookie Jason Campbell, so the writing appears to be on the wall for end of the reign of Ramsey in Washington. Their biggest off-season move was trading someone for themself. Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss are clearly the same person. Somehow, Laveranues Coles, or Santana Moss or whatever his real name is, has secured contracts with the Redskins and Jets. Good thing the two teams don't play one another because Santana Coles would have to keep running back and forth between teams like Jack Tripper from "Three's Company" (Gibbs is totally Furley). Oh yeah, they still have a really good defense. LaVar Arrington should just put himself on injured reserve and get traded. Basically, they're the poor man's Ravens.





Gibbs is shocked when he realizes that Coles/Moss is the same person

AFC EAST: What does New England have in common with Johnny Tremain? They’re patriots who will overcome injuries to triumph in the East.

Dan "The Guru Doctor" horsecollars the AFC East:

1. New England Patriots
 
New England doesn't deserve this team. Yeah, I voted Kerry, but I can't stand that culture of blue-blooded Bostonians slapping Pats stickers all over their minivan-bandwagons, blithely shelling out for the league's most expensive ticket so they can go to a game with their 24-year-old son who can't pronounce Rs and his pink-Red-Sox-hat-wearing girlfriend who thinks she understands the game because she can name a player who isn't Tom Brady (i.e., Adam Vinatieri). You already got your goddamn Red Sox World Series, New England, so stop making us hear about how selfless and talentless your players are. Just because they're not Lawrence Taylor doesn't mean they're all shining bastions of gamesmanship. Yes, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have earned most of the superlatives that sports reporters ejaculate onto them, but enough is enough, and I really hope this is the year someone beats these motherfuckers. They lost their offensive and defensive coordinators, they're without Ty Law, Teddi Bruschi, Ted Johnson, and Roman Phifer on defense, but until New England's season officially ends, they are unquestionably the team to beat in the NFL. Deion Branch turned into Altered Beast in the playoffs last year; if he plays like that all season, this will be one of the league's deadliest offenses. For those of you, like me, that can't wait to see this team go down, don't hold your breath.






Tom Brady is a dreamboat







2. New York Jets

I expect the Jets to take a turn for the worse every year, but Herman Edwards, the dancing skeleton that coaches this team, always points these guys into the playoffs. They're one of the toughest teams in football, a cliché usually reserved for NFL Films about some white linebacker in the 60s who took cheap shots at people, but these Jets really do always hang in games. However, the appendages of Chad Pennington and Ty Law will be of great concern as the season wears, plus I really do believe Curtis Martin will stumble a little this year, so I'm going to go against my intellect and pick the Jets to miss the playoffs. Laveraneus Coles usually produces more stats than substance, plus Justin McCareins is... some guy, so a quizzical task awaits Mike Heimerdinger, the Jets' new offensive coordinator and former German U-Boat captain. All I do know is, the AFC is crowded, and I have to make at least one slightly ballsy pick, so whatever, the Jets are getting slapped by my balls.




The Jets' Mike Heimerdinger: "Ich bin ein coordinator!"







3. Buffalo Bills

J.P. Losman? More like J.P. Loss-Man. Not necessarily, but felt an obligation to get that joke in. The first-year-starter at QB offers a more mobile alternative to the tungsten-footed Drew Bledsoe, who has moved to Dallas to complete the decline of his underwhelming career. Willis McGahee is a top-flight running back, but a fruitless offseason has turned the question marks on the Bills' offensive line into question marks with exclamation points after them. Coach Mike Mularkey, grandson of renowned circus promoter Thatsabuncha Mularkey, hopes to build off a 2004 season in which Bledsoe and Co. squandered more than a couple fine outings by the defense. The anchor on D is Takeo Spikes, a fearsome, mobile linebacker capable of killing Nintendo characters if they touch him, with Lawyer Milloy and Troy Vincent rounding out a superb unit of guys who you forgot aren't on their old teams anymore. If they can get over that Jets hump this season, the Bills could be playoff bound, earning the Loss-Man the title of Boss-Man and therefore making him also able to kill Nintendo characters by touching them.





Mike Mularkey (right) with his grandfather Thatsabuncha, 1937








4. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins signed Gus Frerotte to be their starting quarterback, but it's likely we'll see A.J. Fiedler in there at some point (does it really matter which?) Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will share the carries at running back, which should be an upgrade over whoever the hell their leading rusher was last year. Zach Thomas? Some dude from the Rams? Don't remember, don't care to look it up. Sure, Thomas and Junior Seau can still make some plays, but like all humans outside Narnia, they're not getting any younger, plus they lost their entire secondary in the offseason, so every passing play will result in a Jason Taylor sack or an automatic touchdown. Rookie head coach Nick Saban is reputed as a stern, old-school disciplinarian, but we have yet to see how NFL players will react to having their fingers slapped with a ruler whenever they improperly diagram sentences. The Dolphins will be better this year, but if they manage a seven-win season out of the AFC East, expect their fans to be singing "Buenvenidos a Mee-ami!"





Junior Seau is running out of time to win a Superbowl

NFC SOUTH: We're going to Disney World! Cause we're all geographically very close to it.




Kevin "He Likes Picking Teams So Much You Might As Well Call Him Pickles" cannonballs the NFC South

1. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers finished 7-9 last season following their Super Bowl loss in 2004. Poised to return to excellence, this team could legitimately dethrone the Eagles as NFC Champions IF they can remain healthy. Currently, the panther has replaced the sea snake/water moccasin as my pick for world's scariest animal. This is good for Carolina. These human panthers are a lot scarier this year following the return of running back Stephen Davis, DT Kris Jenkins and WR Steve Smith. Look for QB Jake Delhomme to have a solid season. Hailing from the movie Deliverance, Delhomme is another quarterback in the line of stereotypical white Southerners. The Browns will actually be starting Southern-Bot Hitch Lee, who is to be formed from grits and threads from the Confederate flag. Quick note: Backup QB Chris Weinke is 33 years old. The Panthers also bring back backup running back and special teams superstar HeHateMe. Panthers fans don't hate the fact that their defense also features Julius Peppers, Dan Morgan, and Chris Gamble. Even though their ability to avoid injuries is crucial, they're my pick to take the NFC South if for nothing other than the fact that I had their Starter Jacket in 7 th grade and it was really awesome.





Take that Charlotte Hornets jacket







2. Atlanta Falcons
Under first year coach Jim Mora Jr., the Falcons were able to reach the NFC Championship game last season. Can they defeat the Eagles and make it to Detroit this year? No, they don't have the quarterback to get them there. Michael Vick is terribly overrated. Yea I get it; he's so fucking "athletic." This isn't Bill Walsh College Football, you can't just drop back and scramble for 30 yards every play. Vick will actually get decapitated this year. He completed more commercials last season than passes over 10 yards. If we've learned anything from his commercials, Vick's accuracy is questionable but he can literally throw a mile, like out of the stadium and into outer space, I've seen the video. Michael Vick is not Donovan McNabb. Hell, he isn't even Paul Blake (Vick couldn't hit that scarecrow with that degree of consistency). They released Peerless Price in large part due to his lack of productivity. The problem is that Vick seems unable to complete a pass to anybody not named Alge Crumpler. Good thing that the Falcons also have an overrated, undersized starting RB in Warrick Dunn. The Falcons return with an above-average defense featuring stalwart middle linebacker Keith Brooking, standout DE Pat Kierney, rookie DE Derrick Johnson, and Eugene Robinson at Strong Solicitor. Robinson isn't actually on the Falcons roster but can be found paying for sex outside the stadium every Sunday. The NFC West will come down to the Falcons and the Panthers. I'm going with the Panthers.




Blakes's totally getting laid tonight





3. New Orleans Saints
This post is about football, nothing else. That being said, the Saints are perpetually a touchdown or turnover out of the playoffs, will this be their year? The Saints have made an art of underachieving and not in a cool "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" type of way but more like a kid with a 1300 in his SAT's going to community college. This team defines the cliché "great on paper." Yea, they have a talented roster, but pieces of paper don't turn the ball over at inopportune times, humans do. As soon as these Saints start marching, they always seem to trip over each other before the grand finale. The Saints' entire season can be encapsulated in a NFL Film featuring Coach Jim Haslett dropping his headset in defeat, sighing and clearly thinking internally, "I can't believe we managed to fuck up again." Schizophrenic QB Aaron Brooks needs to be consistent and make the right decisions. The jury is still out where Brooks stands on the ROYGBIV, somewhere between Donovan McNabb and Charlie Batch. With a solid receiving corps the Saints will contend for the NFC South like they do every year. The biggest problem entering the 2005 season is that the Saints will sorely miss Willie Roaf and his hilarious name, that sounds like olive loaf.

Blakes's totally getting laid




Willie Olive Roaf






4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
How do you avoid a fourth straight losing season following a Super Bowl appearance? The Bucs apparently have no idea because they're bringing back Brian Griese as their starter. The jig was up for Griese in Denver after a few seasons but he's managed to pull the wool over Gruden's eyes for at least a few games this season. Well at least there's Luke McCown and Chris Simms if Griese doesn't work out…..Well, they can always turn to their running game. Oh fuck, it's still Pittman? But hey, what about Cadillac? Cadillac's gonna turn it around, right? That question is rhetorical. They should probably just return to those flamboyant orange and white uniforms to let the rest of the league know that they're self aware of the fact that they suck. Brooks, Spires, Rice and the rest of the defense will lose another year of their lives. But fuck 'em, they won a Super Bowl 4 years ago and they have a pirate ship in their stadium.

Mike Alstott






Mike Alstott

Thursday, September 08, 2005

AFC SOUTH: Enthralling quarterbacks and poor geography highlight a division of southern-fried excitement smothered in the gravy of unpredictability.


Dan "The Guru Doctor" notorizes the AFC South:

1. Indianapolis Colts

Already the crème de la AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts picked up Corey Simon during the preseason, but it's unclear where they'll use him in their offense, at least until they've decided which offensive position Dwight Freeney is going to be converted to. Tony Dungy also plans on using nine-receiver formations and dealing with the constant irreversible penalties that will result, or, alternatively, Dungy may just start receivers on the offensive line in case any balls get tipped in their direction. Reggie Wayne took off last year and may even surpass Marvin Harrison this season, plus with the improving Dallas Clark at tight end and the inexplicably unwanted 1500-yard monster Edgerrin James in a contract year, the Colts will continue to make NFL defenses look like they belong in the WAC Conference. The Colts are a lock to make the playoffs, but until Peyton Manning shoots a commercial which somehow defeats the Patriots, the Colts will continue to spend Superbowl Sunday in their respective living rooms, racking up hundreds of offensive yards catching passes from their other family members.





The Colts' third down receiver package





2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Every four years or so, the NFL's salary cap bends a franchise over and just relentlessly reams it, leaving that team to stagger away weary and bleeding into three seasons of high draft picks. By 2004, the Jaguars' sphincter had finally recovered, and in '05, they hope to be the ones doing the reaming to the rest of the NFL. QB Byron Leftwich is considered an extremely athletic quarterback, a euphemism so transparent, the media might as well just call him "urban." Fred Taylor can still be a threat in the open field, but he just got hurt twice as I was typing this sentence, I think my words scarred cartilage in his knee. Yes, Jimmy Smith is back, but he was there and not 40 when this team went 14-2 in 1999 and they still didn't get to the Superbowl. Jack Del Rio's new-era Jaguars are tougher and more balanced than the Coughlin/Brunell teams who consistently collapsed under the weight of their own gaudy stats once the playoffs came. This year, if Reggie Williams bursts out as a legit deep threat, the Jags could scrape another win out of their schedule, reach the playoffs, and Del Rio will be dancing in the sand.

The cover of Fred Taylor's playbook



The cover of Fred Taylor's playbook





3. Houston Texans

Now that they're in their fourth season, if the Texans are unable to post a winning record, expect Dom Capers to be fired and to lobby the NFL to add another expansion team so that he can land another coaching job ("I'm serious - the Portland Tealsharks! It rolls of the tongue!") Evaluating the Texans' club is tricky, as most of their players haven't gone through puberty yet, but if QB David Carr realizes there are other receivers on his team other than the act of getting sacked, this offense could take a Texas-sized leap forward. Running back Domanick Davis... or Andre Davis? Andre Johnson. Domanick Johnson? Anyway, running back Johnsonson Davis is an up-and-comer, and former first-round-pick Davejons Andre is blossoming as one of the NFL's premier deep threats, while just plain Andre is still a seal. I don't think this team has the personnel to hit the playoffs, though, partly because adding Phillip Buchanon doesn't address their weaknesses on their defensive front, but mostly because I still cannot fathom that this is an actual, viable NFL franchise. What is that logo? They're the Texans! Are they saying that the residents of Texas are bulls with stars for their eyes?

This team doesn't exist yet, but Dom Capers is in line to be their first head coach


This team doesn't exist yet, but Dom Capers will be their first head coach.





4. Tennessee Titans

Steve McNair's injury-riddled body may resemble the gameboard from "Operation," but the Titans have to overcome bigger problems this season than butterflies and wishbones. With Derrick Mason gone, Tennessee's receiving duo of Drew "Garbage Yards" Bennett and Youngie McDraftpick is probably the league's weakest, except for whoever the 49ers have. (Maybe Irving Fryar? What ever happened to Tai Streets?) The Titans do have some building blocks: the running back tandem of Chris Brown and Travis Henry will adequately overcompensate for the 1.3 yards per carry that Eddie George supplied his last couple seasons, and rookie Adam "Pac Man" Jones is the team's most intriguing defensive playmaker since Samari "Dig Dug" Rolle and Jevon "Ship From Galaga" Kearse. The youngsters are in good hands with Jeff Fisher, now in his 12th season, and first-year offensive coordinator Norman Chow from USC, but it might be another year before the Titans can chow down on a playoff spot. This year, they'll have to chow down on some rebuilding sandwiches, which should still taste better than the everyone’s-injured salads this team had to eat in 2004.

Steve McNair has been medically cleared to start the Titans' opener.


Steve McNair has been medically cleared to start the Titans' opener.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

NFC NORTH: Lions, Packers, Vikings and Bears! Oh my, they suck!





Kevin "He Likes Picking Teams So Much You Might As Well Call Him Pickles" goes down on the NFC North:

1. Minnesota Vikings
The class (?) of the North. Mike "Donkey Kong" Tice returns as head coach; I'd say the man had a lobotomy, but that would be inferring that he had a frontal lobe to begin with. The Vikings were fortunate that their starters made it out of camp uninjured, for Tice often throws barrels at people when he's hungry. The Vikings are the only team in the division to improve a glaring weakness: Defense! Following the acquisition of players like Fred Smoot and rookie Erasmus James, the defense is remarkably stronger but again, what about the offense? Is there life after Moss? Can Daunte "He really is that fucking big" Culpepper continue to dominate in Moss' absence? Within the paltry NFC North, yes. Coupled with Michael Bennett, the Vikings' offense will steamroll its way to the NFC North title. Then they'll be forced to play real football teams in games that matter, and that’s where this story will end. Minnesota will lose in either the second round or the NFC Championship.





Tice wants meat







2. Green Bay Packers
Brett Favre's swan song? Once the most dominant quarterback to line up behind center is now an interception machine! Some say that Favre's fairy tale career began to go downhill when the Eagles completed that miracle 4th and 26, and I'll wholeheartedly agree. Favre should probably start grooming Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers is an adult and I'm sure he knows how to wash/dress himself. Ahman Green, Javon Walker, Bubba Franks, Donald Driver, need I say more? Favre has an astounding supporting cast to over/under throw on crucial plays. Playing at Lambeau Field used to strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but now opposing quarterbacks can expect to throw anywhere from 900 (if you're someone like AJ Feeley) to upwards of 1,000,000 yards (Matt Hasselback) against the Green Bay secondary. Scientists haven't made a number high enough to equate how much Manning would put up against them. Just think of an infinite plane of existence, like a Virtual Boy without the lame factor. Expect the Packers to abandon their secondary and instead start Favre as their entire defensive backfield. They’re planning on having Favre throw footballs at opposing receivers to distract them, plus his accuracy should be considerably higher because they're not wearing Packers jerseys.




Virtual Yoshi is less likely to get a penalty than Al Harris





3. Detroit Lions
The Super Bowl will be held in Detroit this year, and it’s too bad Detroit's young rising stars have absolutely no chance of playing in it. The Lions are considering forfeiting the season so they can secure the #1 draft pick to select another receiver. Though currently healthy, I'd suggest we start counting down the days until Charles Rogers breaks his clavicle for the third season in a row. They’re still stuck with Joey Harrington at quarterback, who’s more inconsistent than my ability to withstand from ejaculating; don't expect a breakthrough back-against-the-wall season out of Harrington like Drew Brees' performance last year. Kevin Jones is not LaDanian Thomlinson and I still deeply dislike him for faking injuries in high school and throwing a shot-put effortlessly much further than me in eighth grade. I also don't think he’s durable enough. I think Detroit still attempts to put a defense on the field too. All kidding aside, they have a dude named Boss playing linebacker. That's pretty fucking badass.




Luckily Jones didn't have to break 800 on the SAT's to get into the NFL





4. Chicago Bears
The NFC North should be renamed the NFC Inevitably of Young Offensive Stars Ending Their Season Prematurely or the NFC IOYOSETSP. Like Charles Rogers, Rex Grossman has made a career of getting injured. Grossman has a bonus structure built into his contract that depends on the severity and inconvenience of his injuries. The more "season ending", the better. He already fulfilled his contractual obligation by breaking his ankle in the preseason. Chicago allegedly intends to start rookie Kyle Orton out of Purdue, but expect him to be completely unprepared to handle a starting role. Good thing they signed Mushin Mohammed because he'll have either Mark Rypien or Charlie Ward throwing interceptions out of the Bears backfield by Week 3. Cedric Benson finally signed just in time to get injured; look for a standout year from Kijana Carter. And look at the bright side, there's always Brian Urlacher………I'll now refer to the '85 Bears Defense for no apparent reason. They existed and were good. Can you believe Jim McMahon's brother stabbed him in the eye with a fork?

Johnny Be Good starring Anthony Michael Hall and Jim McMahon.




"Johnny Be Good" starring Anthony Michael Hall and Jim McMahon