October 31, 2009

NFL's Most Annoying Fans - NFC South

This is the third in a running feature at ECB. We'll be rating NFL Fanbases by annoyingness and picking a winner for each division. After that, we'll select wild card teams, and have ourselves a little playoff. If you have suggestions for upcoming divisions or wildcard selections, send them to [email protected]. This is thehe latest in our review of the worst fans of each division. So far we have given you the AFC West, the NFC West, and the AFC South. Who will join the Raiders, Cardinals, and Jaguars fans as the most annoying fans in their division? This week we present the NFC South.

New Orleans Saints

Quick Reaction:
Next time you watch a Saints game on TV, look at those folks in the upper deck at the Superdome? They're probably spending almost all of their discretionary income on Saints tickets given how depressed the New Orleans economy has been since Katrina. Still, to these people, season tickets to the Saints = love for their city. These folks are probably among the NFL's best fans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quick Reaction:
My friends who have visited games in Tampa tell me that the Buccaneers easily must have one of the highest quotas of hot female fans of any team in the NFL. I couldn't find a picture through Google Images to do justice. But I have on good authority that the article of clothing of choice of many female Buccaneers fan is a halter top jersey. I also have on good authority that most Bucs fans don't come into Raymond James until at least midway through the first quarter. Factors agaisnt most annoying fans, factors for least annoying fans. A toss-up.

Carolina Panthers

Quick Reaction:
Unlike Bucs fans, the redneck quotient of Carolina Panthers fans is one of the highest in the NFL. These fans have run like rats from a sinking ship from their team since recent failure after a trip to the Super Bowl just five years ago. North Carolina is a NASCAR state and a college basketball state. About the only college football team that is very well supported by fans native to the state is NC State. The Panthers are largely ignored now.

Atlanta Falcons

Quick Reaction:
Falcons fans have not truly been tested since the Vick incident, as the team was fortunate enough to stumble upon Matt Ryan. Atlanta fans continue to make the Georgia Dome one of the loudest venues for NFL football and continue to support their team, even buying new jerseys every two years because that's about the schedule the Falcons have seemed to adopt for rolling out new duds. I wish I could fault them for their love of Jerry Glanville and having Hammer on the sidelines back in the 1991 playoffs, but I think the statute of limitations has tolled on that one.

The Big Winner
Carolina Panthers - proving, like Jacksonville, that Paul Tagliabue picked the totally wrong markets to expand into back in the 1990s. Not even two of their cheerleaders being busted for having hot lesbian sex in a bathroom can save the Panthers fans from the dubious honor of being the most annoying fans in the AFC South.

October 30, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 8

Before we get to our normal picks post, we'd like to give a huge MAZEL TOV (well, at least that comes from Jeremy, the resident member of the Tribe), to Brien, whose wife gave birth to son #2 on Wednesday, October 28. We do note with sadness that Brien did not follow our advice and name his second son "Comcast" or "Curley" which would have been the natural progression for him. Brien... seven boys more and you have your own baseball team. And to our readers... please click on our advertising links on the side, as Brien really needs some diaper money now.

On to the picks!!!

Brien (21-13-1)
Excused absence this week.
Update 7:25AM Sunday: I'll get my quick picks in, just so no one questions my victory later for skipping a week. Without too much analysis, I'm just going to take the tried and true strategy of picking with Denver (6-0 ATS) and against St. Louis (2-5), Miami (2-4), Carolina (1-5), and Tennessee (1-5)

Denver (+3) over BALTIMORE
DETROIT (-4) over St. Louis
NY JETS (-3) over Miami
ARIZONA (-10) over Carolina
Jacksonville (+3) over TENNESSEE

Jason (17-18-0)

Wait, Lisa was pregnant? She sure didn't look pregnant last football sea.....oh.

Miami (+3.5) over NY JETS - I thought Miami was going to come back strong after being the forgotten team early. Being unable to hold back the Saints does not make me wrong.

ARIZONA (-10) over Carolina - With a mid-game QB change.

Oakland (+16.5) over SAN DIEGO - Phillip Rivers. 16.5 points.

NEW ORLEANS (-10) Atlanta - I think Atlanta will hang in for the first half before it slips away.

INDIANAPOLIS (-12) San Francisco - There's a reason Alex Smith has never stayed the starter long.

Jeremy (14-21-0)
At this point a blind man online playing Texas Hold Em with the volume turned off would have better luck than I have had picking games this year.

Denver (+3.5) over BALTIMORE - They're unbeaten and getting points. I can't pick against Denver in this scenario, even on the road.

Minnesota (+3) over GREEN BAY - The WTF line of the week. The fans at Lambeau really, really want this win. Unfortunately the Packer's O-line isn't good enough to give Aaron Rodgers enough time to make it happen.

ARIZONA (-10) over Carolina - You think Vegas is pissed off about losing money? If Vegas hadn't been bleeding money this season, this line would be about -7 or -8. Even so, I'm taking the Cardinals at home. And time for one of our reader researchers - Panthers have two points at halftime in two games already this year. When was the last time a team had scored two points at halftime twice in a season?

New York Giants (pk) over PHILADELPHIA - I was not impressed with the way Philly played on Monday night in DC at all. A short week to prepare for a good Giants team and the possibility of no Westbrook makes me less impressed.

CHICAGO (-13) over Cleveland - If any team in the league has given up worse than the 'Skins, it's the Cleveland Browns.

And your bonus pick.... Bye (pk) over WASHINGTON - There's nothing more I can say.

Magic 8 Ball (11-24-0)

BALTIMORE (+3.5) over Denver - "Yes." (Ravens will beat the spread)
GREEN BAY (-3) over Minnesota - "Signs point to yes." (Packers will beat the spread)
Carolina (+10) over ARIZONA - "Don't count on it." (Cardinals won't beat the spread)
PHILADELPHIA (pk) over New York Giants - "Yes." (Eagles will beat the spread)
Cleveland (+13) over CHICAGO - "No." (Bears won't beat the spread)

Russell (18-16-1)
I clearly need to keep better track of things. Maybe I should start looking at Facebook so I know when my friends are having children. Or maybe this is what happens when you're trying to finish your dissertation. Goodbye, friends and social life.

NY Giants (pk) over PHILADELPHIA - The last weeks of Iggle football have been a loss to the Raiders, and a victory over the hapless Skins in which Philly did not run a single play in the red zone, and went 3-and-out twice on Skins turnovers deep in Washington territory. Plus Westbrook has a concussion. Meanwhile, the Giants pounded Oakland, and lost to the defending NFC Champs (even if they are the Cards).

Minnesota (+3) over GREEN BAY - Favre is giving points at Lambeau?? Green Bay has looked better since the bye week, but their opponents were Detroit and Cleveland. Let's keep things in perspective.

Jax (+3) over TENNESSEE - Has anyone looked worse than the Titans this year? Starting Vince isn't going to help.

ARIZONA (-10) over Carolina - With Jake averaging 3+ turnovers per game, you have to like Arizona at home.

NEW ORLEANS (-10) over Atlanta - The Saints in the Superdome are a lot better than the Saints on the road.

Russell: ARI, NYG, JAX, MIN, NO

October 28, 2009

College Football Picks - Week 9

Last week, I guess I was just hoping for excitement and picked a bunch of underdogs to keep things close or give us some upsets. Instead, I got a 1-6 week for my trouble. So I'm back to .500, and refocusing for better results. Too bad the slate of games this week is pretty poor again...

West Virginia (-3) over SOUTH FLORIDA - USF is still overrated from their victory over FSU. FSU just isn't very good on a consistent basis, and we saw that Cincinnati was fully capable of beating USF soundly in Florida. I don't see why WVU can't do the same.

UCONN (-7.5) over Rutgers - I'm sticking with the "Rutgers is terrible" line whenever they play decent teams.

Cincinnati (-14.5) over SYRACUSE - Paulus and a new coach have not made the Orange an overnight powerhouse, even in the Big East. I still have the Bearcats in the BCS.

Georgia Tech (-11.5) over VANDERBILT - The Commodores went to OT with Army. The Jackets should roll with no problem.

Georgia (+15) over FLORIDA - The Gators have not been impressive enough lately to merit this large a spread at the Cocktail Party.

NAVY (-6.5) over Temple - I know Temple is better than they have been, but Navy beat an ACC team last week. The Owls aren't that good.

Michigan (-7) over ILLINOIS - The Illini barely squeaked past Indiana, but they're still no good.

Texas (-9) over OKLA ST - The Cowboys just aren't the same without Bryant, their best player. Texas will be focused, knowing this is their last tough game until the Big 12 championship... Wait, who's winning the Big 12 North? Last tough game until the National Championship.

OREGON (+3.5) over Usc - In a huge game in the Pac-10, with implications for the national title picture, I like the Ducks in Autzen to confuse and rattle Barkley. USC's "big" victories this year have been over teams that aren't as good as they looked or were ranked (Ohio St, Cal, ND). The Ducks have figured things out since starting slow.

Last week: 1-6
Season: 28-28

October 26, 2009

Redskins Head Coach Zorn Is Demoralized and Must Be Fired

I don't think Jim Zorn reacted the way Vinny Cerrato, Danny Snyder and the Redskins had hoped. The team said all the right things after Zorn was named the "head coach for this year, maybe longer", but his demeanor reveals that his reprieve is not appreciated.

In tonight's game against Philadelphia, Zorn spent most of the game looking defeated. He moped a bit. Major game-changing events like penalties assessed against the wrong team and turnovers did not seem to faze him. Perhaps he was staying medium, but realistically Zorn has checked out.

The Washington Post said it best. If the Skins turn it around, people will give credit to the new playcaller. If the Skins continue to fail, they'll blame Zorn and not the offensive line. There is no scenario in which the Redskins can improve as the season progresses and Zorn can take some credit in it. He's a lame duck, and Portis and crew know it.

They've lost Portis, as evidenced by his body language tonight. They'll lose the rest soon.

And Jon Gruden should be corrected on air for these two comments:

"Randle-El is one of the more sure-handed punt returners in the league."

"There's no question Fred Davis is an outstanding pass receiver."