And so week four is in the books, and there is so much going on off the field, there’s hardly time to even talk football. Here are a few lessons we have learned –
• Never underestimate a quarterback scorned.
• NFL players are as prone to name changes as Prince or P-Diddy.
• Butt fumbles are scientific phenomena that apparently can happen more than once in a lifetime!
• Warm beer and football should not mix, but they will soon.
Now that your curiosity is piqued, put down that People magazine and take it downfield with fans in the know!
Week four came on with a bang…or bangers and mash, for those of you Anglophiles in the group. The NFL is working hard to bring a football team to London and played a game there on Sunday. Now, from a common sense standpoint this may seem less bright than Pauli Shore’s fan base, what with the time change, long flights, and worst of all the warm beer that would inevitably be served at Wembley Stadium. But from a marketing standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world. A whole new fan base to sell jerseys and merchandise to, a new squad of cheerleaders for Prince Harry to date, and zillions of dollars in TV revenue. However, if that team ends up being Jaguars, who can’t even sell tickets with free beer as a carrot, it could end up being Cheerio, yanks. Side note – The show Footballers Wives continues to be the original athlete’s wife/girlfriend (or WAG as the British tabs call them) drama that sets the bar for sleazy TV soaps. Check for the reruns on BBC America!
Like the proverbial stripper putting herself through college, many NFL teams start with the best of intentions but soon become mired in old habits and are left exposed. So maybe that metaphor is a stretch, but when you’re talking about the New York Jets, it applies in every circumstance. We all thought that the franchise had hit rock bottom in the form of Mark Sanchez’ 2012 Butt Fumble, but this week the laws of nature were defied as rookie quarterback Geno Smith unleashed Butt Fumble II on the world. And it was glorious.
49ers safety and known hard-hitting defenseman Donte Whitner was joking about changing his name to Donte Hitner after his latest personal foul and fine. But actually, he is seriously putting in paperwork for this change. This rivals the name change of Chad Ochocinco, formerly Johnson, the Bengals’ #85 who decided to make the carpet match the curtains in terms of name and number. Unfortunately for Chad, it signaled the end of him being taken seriously, and his career petered out shortly afterward. Let’s hope Mr. Hitner does not meet the same fate.
It’s always major news when a franchise quarterback parts ways with his young team, and when it’s done with lots of fireworks and drama, all the more scandalous. The Buccaneers seemed to be an up and comer this year, but have opened the season 0-4, and their coach is already on the hot seat. Worse yet, they just released Josh Freeman, their highly-paid, first-round draft pick QB in his fifth year. He started the year with high hopes, but unraveled quickly, first sleeping through team meetings, then failing to be voted team captain by his peers. On the flipside, the team supposedly “leaked” that Freeman had entered the league’s substance abuse program, and forced him to watch the last game from a suite rather than the sidelines. Where will Freeman end up? Who will take over as field general for the Buccaneers? Most importantly, what will happen to that $6.2 million in salary that he is owed? If I had to guess, I’d look for Mr. Freeman and his agent to make things ugly for the Buccaneers.
Match ups to watch for this week –
Philadelphia at New York – The NFC East is the worst division in football, no contest. Can one of these struggling teams have a statement game and go from worst to first?
New Orleans at Chicago – The Saints’ high-flying offense is once again in sync now that their coach Sean Payton is back. Let’s see how they do against the Bears’ legendary defense. Side note – As a mom, I wonder how this is a lesson to our kids when the coach comes back with a bigger contract and even more admiration after sitting out a year for cheating?
Houston at San Francisco – The Texans blew a big lead last week against the Seahawks. Can they bounce back against another NFC West powerhouse? They’d better hope so, with the surging Titans and Colts right on their tail for AFC South supremacy.
October is when the game really starts getting good. Or brilliant, as we say in England. So keep calm and football on.