Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week 10 wrap

If it wasn't enough with the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, the John Madden's Football cover curse and the Campbell Soup pitchmen jinx (as well as no guaranteed contracts and greatly reduced life-expectancies) NFLers now have a brand new jinx to worry about.

The jsb jinx. Whenever I have featured an individual player in my Tuesday wrap up post, they have faltered badly. It started in week one when I complimented the wiles of journeyman
Brad Johnson. I don't think anyone would disagree that Brad Johnson is now terrible and has been since about week two.

In separate posts I was able to curse two of the stars of the '06 draft,
Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. The league caught up with them right after I predicted they would each remain ahead of the curve. Vince Young, you can find my email on this site and I will shoot you back my postal address.

But the coup de grace came few weeks ago when I successfully took out
Tom Brady -- previously believed to be unflappable.

The jinx doesn't just work on individual players. Ever since I argued
kickers needed a pay raise, all they've done is get their kicks blocked in pressure situations and been on the wrong end of slow-developing ten point swings.

The only player I've wrote about who hasn't deteriorated is
Brett Favre. Of course I recommended he should hang it up. Now he is back to his Hall-of-Fame form.

This week, I'd like to sing the praises of some of my favorite players in the NFC who don't happen to wear green on Sundays:

Eli Manning: Proof the QB rating system is meaningless. Uber-cool under pressure, Eli doesn't have to spend all week preparing like his wonkish older brother does. Eli doesn't even have to look at his receivers when he throws the ball! When all is said and done, he will go down as the greatest Manning.

Tony Romo: He's like a cross between Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman -- and he's dating Jessica Simpson. But what really amazes me is the bond the career back-up from The University of Eastern Illinois has developed with the mercurial T.O. It seems like they have been playing together forever, and have the kind of chemistry that will get them through the bad times.

Brain Urlacher: In the prime of his career American legend Babe Ruth lost most of a year to a "stomach ache" that many speculated he caught during his famous late night activities. Yet Brain Urlacher can do whatever and whoever he wants and he never gets sick. Urlacher: Like the Babe -- only better.

Shaun Alexander/Matt Hasselback: I'd be worried if my all-pro quarterback and MVP running back went down to injuries. Unless I was a Seahawk fan that is. With help from God and the healing powers of the damp Pacific Northwest, Alexander and Hasselback should be back on the field in no time.

Steve Smith: Whenever he launches off the line of scrimmage I think to myself: That man has the best hamstrings in all of professional sports.

Michael Vick: . . . he's really fast?

Picks -- I'm pretty close to going opposite day with my picks too: 7 - 9 for the week, 56-68-4 for the year. There is something truly counter intuitive going on this year with NFL handicapping -- it has a lot to do with good teams rarely covering the spread. According to Bill Simmons, "it's a financial catastrophe. It's a gambling quagmire." He explains his lousy picks (and mine) here.

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