So, I’m listening to Mike Missanelli yesterday. It’s one of his worst shows in recent memory. He’s talking about why Eagles fans still hate the Cowboys and why they shouldn’t because the franchise is no longer “viable.” He said “viable” at least 3,000 times over the course of a few hours. It was a mind-numbing exercise. I’m not sure why I didn’t change the channel. But, in all this discussion over Cowboys hate, the notion of Dallas being America’s team came up several times. All this Cowboy hate allegedly wasn’t rooted in the present, but in the glory days of the past where Dallas was the only team you could watch on TV and they piled up Super Bowls.
I’ve always hated the notion of an America’s team. First, because it is always the team itself assigning the moniker. The Cowboys. The Atlanta Braves. It’s the laziest and most self-absorbed team slogan of all-time. Secondly, the team is essentially recruiting bandwagon jumpers. Don’t like your own team? Come over to America’s team. It’s safe here. The entire fan base is populated by frauds. And to that point, if I was a die-hard member of one of these fan bases, I’d hate the idea of being America’s team. If I’ve lived in Dallas my whole life and rooted for the Cowboys, I don’t want some mutt in Jersey standing up to take ownership as well just because he feels included. That’s crap.
The idea is also incredibly antiquated. Maybe, back in the 1960s or something you could have made the case for Notre Dame being a true “America’s Team,” at least in the sense that most people use the term. But, this is 2011. No one has to watch Dallas every week by default. In fact, today’s coverage in most cases should make your tastes more local. Unless you have the NFL ticket, the Eagles are the only team you can watch here every single week. And as unfortunate as that may be, it doesn’t mean you should jump ship to Dallas or whatever flavor of the month you desire.
A new poll crowns Green Bay the most popular team in the country by a wide margin. Huge surprise there. 13-1. Defending Super Bowl Champs. Does this make them the new America’s Team? If I was a true Packers fan it wouldn’t be a moniker I was in any hurry to adopt.
Contraction Special: Vikings @ Redskins.
The Redskins are in spoiler mode, but the only thing they could spoil for Minnesota is a shot at the #1 pick. So, I wouldn’t expect many fireworks from the nation’s capital. Or, should I say, America’s City? Anyway, the Vikings have managed to go 2-12, annoy their star RB, and run through a QB carousel that has included Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder and Joe Webb. There’s no room for Andrew Luck at that Inn. Has McNabb signed anywhere by the way? There’s also just something about the Redskins. Even when they are playing a decent game it leaves this horrid taste in your mouth. Grossman stinks, you’re baffled that Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney are the starting wideouts, Shannahan’s always getting way too much credit. If you hadn’t noticed, I really, really hate the Redskins. This game is terrible.
The AFC Special: Raiders @ Chiefs.
This game has playoff implications. How sad is that? It’s hard to keep track of which division in the NFL is the most embarrassing. The NFC West appears to be off the hook. Now, you’ve got the AFC West and NFC East trying to figure out how to get a team to 9 wins. It’s not that the Chiefs and Raiders are the dregs of the league, it’s that at this point in the season they shouldn’t be playing a big game. Two .500 baseball teams don’t play epic weekend sets in Mid-September. Bonus points here for the QB match-up. You’ve got one guy that started the season out of the league and another that started the season on another team in the division. It’s a cold existence in Tebow’s shadow. This game? Also terrible.
Game of the Week: Giants vs. Jets @ Each Other.
I actually think the best game of the week could be San Diego and Detroit. The Chargers are hot and did you see Megatron last week? But, that game just loses out to the storylines in this New Jersey clash. So, you’ve got a Jets crowd, but the Giants are playing on their home field as well. What does that do to home field advantage? And, which of these teams comes into the game in worse shape? The Jets got exposed and throttled by the Eagles last week. The Giants laid a timely turd against Washington. Let’s shelve the Eli Hall of Fame ballots for one more week. Neither team can afford to lose this game. Several other teams have their own playoff hopes tied to the outcome. You’ve got the Giants receivers talking junk at Revis and last but not least it’s Sanchez vs. Eli Manning. Should be a classic.
Fantasy Busts for Week 16:
I think last week was my worst week of the year for fantasy advice. Just in time for the playoffs! Well, you get what you pay for. Hey, I was right about Matt Stafford–kind of. The problem is, I try to get too cute. Anyone can say don’t start Mendenhall against the 49ers. That’s not helpful. I’m going to continue to be cute. Your championship depends on it.
- C.J. Spiller
- Carson Palmer
- Adrian Peterson
- Dez Bryant
- Beanie Wells
Over/Under Lock of the Week (Record, 7-4…hey now): Tampa/Carolina over 47.5