Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

Football Hiatus and 2009 Superbowl Predictions

OK, I may be looking forward to football a little.  Last year I predicted the winner of the Superbowl before the season even started.  This season I am going to try to do so again.  But this time, I am going to do it much more quickly.  In fact, it is all in this one post.  Not only that, but I am getting bolder this year and putting them in order by probability of winning the Superbowl.  And, just to press my luck, I am going to estimate the final regular season record for each team.

I recommend that you not do the math, I’m pretty sure that the wins and losses don’t add up.

0) Washington Redskins (16-0) – I don’t need a reason.  But, since you asked:  The great Joe Gibbs retired.  If this coming season goes well then nobody will talk about how he did in his second stint.  I can hear the pundits now “The game may have passed him by, but he can still evaluate and develop talent like nobody else.”  This season is for Joe.
1) Detroit Lions (14-2) – Think I’m crazy? Yeah, me too.  But every year there is a sleeper that comes out of nowhere to surprise everyone.  I also think that the AFC Domination is coming to an end, which is why I picked the least likely NFC team as my #2.
2) San Diego Chargers (14-2) – They have trouble in the post season, but they are a talented group.  They have also had the misfortune to be good when the Colts and Patriots are great.  Personally, I think they are due.
3) Minnesota Vikings (13-3) – The return of the Purple People Eaters…but this time, he is running the ball.
4) Indianapolis Colts (13-3) – Sibling rivalry is a big thing.  That that Manning the Younger has a title just like his big brother, Manning the elder needs another one.
5) New England Patriots (11-5) – Surprised at how far down I sent this team after an undefeated season*?  Me too. This is a combination of a “downer” after losing the Superbowl after an Undefeated Season* and the fact that I think the AFC domination is coming to an end.
6) Washington Redskins (11-5) – I know I already put them down as my #0.  But that was my heart speaking.  This is where my head thinks they actually are.
7) St. Louis Rams (10-6) – Chris Long is a Beast and a Leader.  The defense will do well under his guidance.
8 ) New York Jets (10-6) – Good team, lots of talent, especially on the offensive line, good coach.  They showed flashes last year.  And now, they have cheerleaders (sorta)!
9) Cleveland Browns (10-6) – They signed a Bridgewater College, my father’s alma mater, graduate to the team as an undrafted rookie.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – The NFC East is tough.  As a result, the teams in the division end up losing more games because they have to play each other twice a year.  That is one of the reasons that I have the NFC East teams so low on my list.  Each team is essentially stuck at going 3-3 in the division.  The Eagles are in a time of transition, so they probably should not be this high on the list.  But, it is amazing what people can do when they think their job is on the line.
11) San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – They are still playing catch-up.  But they are on their way.
12) Arizona Cardinals (9-7) – They are due, right?
13) Houston Texans (9-7) – Actually, these are the guys that are due.
14) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8 ) – If Rathl-, Rothlis-, Rorog- the guy who plays QB does well, this team could hit a new high…if not, new lows may be in order.  Either way, they should be entertaining to watch.
15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8 ) – I just can not get over the pirate ship at their stadium…that is just awesome.
16) Carolina Panthers (8-8 ) – My new home town team.
17) New Orleans Saints (8-8 ) – Marti Gras! 
18 ) Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) – Have you heard of snow blindness?  Well, their jerseys give me red blindness.
19) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9) – What kind of football team wears Teal?
20) Tennessee Titans (7-9) – Something about Nashville.  I don’t have a joke yet, but I know it is there.
21) Seattle Seahawks (7-9) – There is no such thing as a ‘Seahawk’.
22) Denver Broncos (6-10) – Home of ‘The Ultimate Leader’ who hasn’t made the playoffs in a loooooong time.
23) Chicago Bears (6-10) – They cut Thomas Jones.
24) Buffalo Bills (6-10) – I can’t find anyplace good to have Buffalo Wings in Charlotte.
25) New York Giants (6-10) – The Giants played above themselves last year.  Look for a return to mediocrity this year and for more questions concerning Manning the Younger.  But they know how to win and they know how to win close games.  For that, optimism will surround the team…until their first loss.
25.5) Washington Redskins (5-11) – I know I already put them down as my #0 and #6.  But that was my heart and head speaking.  This is where my pessimism thinks they actually are.
26) Oakland Raiders (5-11) – There is no tomorrow for this team.  Unfortunately, there is no today either.  My brother and I have been calling the Redskins and Raiders “Sister Teams” for the past few years.  Both have enthusiastic fans (to put it mildly).  Both owners will pay anything to win.  Both teams have storied histories but haven’t done much recently.  Those similarities are why I think they will win the Superbowl.
27) Baltimore Ravens (5-11) – Ray Lewis is old. 
28 ) Green Bay Packers (4-12) – They played way above themselves last year.
29)Cincinnati Bengals (4-12) – Who?
30) Atlanta Falcons (2-14) – I Love Dogs.
31) Miami Dolphins (0-16) – Pundits the world round will pick Miami to go to the Superbowl.  Why?  Because it is warm there.  These pundits want to go to the warm Miami beach and write about a team on the verge.  Personally, I think they are more likely to lose every game.
32) Dallas Cowboys (0-16) – I am including them this year, what else do you want from me?

* Excluding the Superbowl

Now, for giggles and grins, I have decided to see what would happen if I applied the Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate to the entire season.
This is from Tuesday Morning Quarterback from 2/15/2008): Best Record Wins; If Records Equal, Home Team Wins.

Here is what I came up with:

1) Baltimore (16/0)
2) New Orleans (16/0)
3) Buffalo (15/1)
4) Green Bay (15/1)
5) Philadelphia (15/1)
6) San Diego (15/1)
7) Tennessee (14/2)
8 ) NY Giants (13/3)
9) New England (12/4)
10) San Francisco (12/4)
11) Atlanta (11/5)
12) Jacksonville (11/5)
13) Carolina (9/7)
14) Indianapolis (9/7)
15) Miami (9/7)
16) Washington (9/7)
17) Cleveland (7/9)
18 ) Oakland (7/9)
19) Chicago (6/10)
20) Dallas (6/10)
21) NY Jets (6/10)
22) Minnesota (5/11)
23) Seattle (5/11)
24) Kansas City (4/12)
25) Pittsburgh (3/13)
26) Houston (2/14)
27) St. Louis (2/14)
28 ) Denver (1/15)
29) Detroit (1/15)
30) Arizona (0/16)
31) Cincinnati (0/16)
32) Tampa Bay (0/16)

It will be interesting to see if the simple algorithm is closer to reality than I am.

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May 1, 2008 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | 5 Comments

I said it all along…

I am now 100% sure that I picked the Superbowl champ back in the offseason.

You see, back then I picked all but one team to win the Superbowl.  The only team I didn’t choose happened to be the top seed in the NFC.  So, I was concerned.

Now that the Giants have knocked them off, I feel better.

So, here are my predictions for the Superbowl:

The Packers will win

Unless the Giants win it.

Or the Bolts win it.

Then again, maybe the Pats will finish their undefeated season.

With the Cowboys eliminated, the only thing I am rooting for is a loss for the Pats in the Superbowl. 

January 14, 2008 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | 3 Comments

Redskins in the Playoffs

I’m not sure if you have noticed or not, but I can be pretty pessimistic about the Redskins.  Granted, I did pick them to win the Superbowl in the off-season, but I picked (almost) everybody to win the Superbowl in the off-season.

Ironically, the one team I didn’t pick to win the Superbowl in the off-season, the name that can not be spoken, is the top seed in the NFC.  Who could have guessed that?  My pessimistic nature lends me to believe that I should have guessed that.

The ‘skins are running an emotional roller coaster right now.  They have a great deal of momentum going in to the playoffs.  But in order to make it to the Superbowl, they will have to win every game on the road.  That would be At Seattle (a 6 hour flight), at Dallas and probably at Lambeau Field in Green Bay (not exactly the most hospitable place in late January).  JMU did win four games in post season on the Road to win their first ever national championship in 2004.

If you read the Washington Post, it almost sounds like the players and coaches think that the ghost of Sean Taylor is out on the field with them.  I just hope that if they lose, they don’t get too depressed about losing the game “for Sean”.

Ironically, if we do assume the Redskins make it to the Superbowl, and the currently undefeated Patriots make it to the Superbowl, it will be a bit of history repeating.  The 1972 Dolphins won the Superbowl against the Redskins 14-7.  They had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown, otherwise the final score would have been 17-0…the same as their record.

Another Ironic thought, the Patriots could win two more games, and lose the Superbowl.  That would make their final record 18-1.  That would be a record for the most wins in a season, but would let the 1972 Dolphins remain the only undefeated team in history.  Personally, this is what I am rooting for.  Not only because the NFC has been woeful in the Superbowl the last few years.  Not even because the Patriots have been a dynasty for long enough…with no signs of slowing down and I like to root for the underdog.  It’s because the Patriots ran up the score on my beloved Redskins.  Ruining their ride and forcing them to put an asterisk on their “undefeated season” would be sweet justice in my mind.

December 31, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports, SuperBowl | 1 Comment

Part 31 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Washington Redskins

All right, you had to know it was coming.  My final prediction for the 2008 Superbowl is the Redskins.  But I feel the need to provide more than one reason.  So, here it is:

Top 10 Reasons for the Redskins to win the Superbowl

10) Darrell Green – OK, he may not technically be on the squad any more, but he embodies all that is good about football.  A player that worked hard, he was quite and effective.  He cared as much about the community he played in as the result of the games.

9) A few years ago I went to the final regular season game against the Tampa Bay Bucs.  The skins won after it started snowing in the fourth quarter (though only those of us in the upper deck could tell).  On the way to the stadium the Redskins Chief said “Marry Christmas” to me.

8) Little Gary Clark from Little JMU.  OK, he isn’t on the team any more either, but maybe he should be.  I am more than a little disappointed that he isn’t even being considered for the Hall of Fame.

7) They are Due.

6) Joe Gibbs.  He is a good coach.  He will figure out how to pull it together.

5) Fed-Ex field will no longer be referred to as “Fed Up Field”

4) The Redskinettes.

3) They are my team.

2) They are my team.

1) I may not be Daniel Snyder, but they are my team.

June 22, 2007 Posted by | Football, Redskins, Sports, SuperBowl | 2 Comments

Part 30 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – New York Giants

As with the Saints, there are many reasons off the football field to pick the Giants this season.  But New York no longer elicits that kind of sympathy in the public’s mind…though I don’t know why.

The Giants have a long and storied history.  So in that respect I will provide the following reason:

The team with the real “LT”

June 12, 2007 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment

Part 29 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Philadelphia Eagles

In one of my previous posts I said that I have a reason for wanting the rest of the teams to win.  The reason is simple…they are all in the NFC East.  But because that is equally true between the Giants and Eagles (no, I won’t mention those star people), I thought I would distinguish between them in some way.  So here is why I would choose the Eagles:

I like green better than blue.

June 11, 2007 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment

Part 28 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Carolina Panthers

I now live in Charlotte, NC.  It is a great place to live and when the Panthers are doing well it is just that much better.

June 6, 2007 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment

Part 27 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – St. Louis Rams

OK, pretty much from here on out I have a reason for wanting each of my Superbowl picks to win…except for the Rams.

They are pretty much a team that I know nothing about.

So, here is my reasoning:

Before Dante was born my wife and I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas.  One last fling before we became parents.  We left from a small airport in Weyer’s Cave, VA.  An hour long flight took us to Pittsburgh where we missed our connecting flight (still havn’t forgiven US Air for this).

They gave us some meal vouchers and a flight to another city that left in 5 hours.

So…we waited.  The Pittsburgh airport is a nice airport, complete with a mall.  But it is still difficult to spend 5 hours in an airport…with a pregnant wife.

Finally we got on our plane and went to the layover city where we had to spend three hours.  By the time we got there though all the food places were closed and we were starving.

Finally we got a first class flight to Las Vegas…but no dinner was served on the flight.  When we finally got to the hotel we had been traveling for 24 hours (on the nose) and they only had a smoking room available.  My bride was queasy from all the flying and had an intolerance to smoke from the day she was born, but the pregnancy made it that much worse.  But hunger finally won out.  We got the smoking room, ordered room service and went to bed.  We got a non-smoking room the next day, but pretty much our luck was consistently bad the entire weekend.

The city where our layover was: St. Louis.  I even got to see the Gateway Arch when we took off.

As my father used to say… I spent an weekend in St. Louis one afternoon.

And that is why they will win the Superbowl.

June 5, 2007 Posted by | Football, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment

Part 26 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Atlanta Falcons

I was going to make an ill-conceived joke about the allegations of Vick conducting Dog Fights at his Virginia Home. 

Instead I will single Vick out as a Virginia Tech grad.  I could make an argument due to the recent events on the campus of VaTech, and being an alumnus of JMU (a short 133 miles away)…but instead will point out that VATech beat JMU on their road to the National Championship while Vick was the QB of said University…and I will leave it at that.

June 4, 2007 Posted by | Football, JMU, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment

Part 25 of 31 – Superbowl Pick – Seattle Seahawks

There is no such thing as a “Seahawk”.  Any team that has a mythical mascot is OK in my book.

June 1, 2007 Posted by | Football, Random Thoughts, Sports, SuperBowl | Leave a comment