Hey there, sports fans. I’m back for my second crack at this Tuesday FourCast thing. The other three fellas have kept the column going strong, and I hope to do the same. But definitely let us know your thoughts and comments on how we can improve not only this column, but the blog as a whole in order to serve your sports-thirsty minds. And now, in the words of Kasey Kasem, “On with the countdown.”
#1: Quarterbacks! O Quarterbacks! Wherefore Art Thou, Quarterbacks?
Yeah, that’s right. Who says you can’t mix Shakespeare with sports? In this case, it looks as though every single starting quarterback in the NFL has had a hex placed on his head by the crazy witches from MacBeth. As of this week, 16 teams have played a QB other than the one who was at the top of their depth chart in mid-August. The switches have come as a result of injuries, ineffective play, or management making a last minute cut (sorry, Byron). All of this leads me to believe that the Cardinals two-headed QB strategy from earlier this season just might become more of a norm than most people expect. Unless, of course, you can find a top-notch quarterback who is willing to ride the pine without complaining. If you do, then quickly become his agent.
#2: Can I Crown Their Ass?
As the lone supporter of the New England Patriots on this blog, I do feel the desire, every now and then, to remind my fellow contributors that the Pats are playing unbelievable football. But, the fact of the matter remains that my second favorite NFL squad has only won 5 games and there are 11 games left. Not to mention, the teams who have succumbed to the Pats are the Browns, Bills, Jets, Bengals, and the underachieving Chargers, with a combined record of 5-14. Furthermore, all this attention on the team leaves a very impressive Colts team flying under the radar. While I love rubbing the 5-0 record, the 182 points scored, and the play of Tom Brady in the faces of my colleagues, I refuse to crown this team, or any other, until February 2008.
#3: They Are Who We Thought They Were, Revisited
Boy, ESPN loves to have near-upsets on its Monday Night Football production. Last year, it led to one of the greatest press conferences given by an NFL head coach. Somehow, I doubt we’ll get a sequel to that from Dick Jauron, but it does beg the question, “How good are the Cowboys?” Are they a team that can be dominant against the weak NFC but rather crap-tastic against even the mediocre AFC teams? Yeah, they beat the Dolphins by 17, but I’d like to think the Bills are slightly better than
#4: Walking Away Proud, Walking Away Strong
This NFL season has witnessed countless injuries in just the first five weeks. It all started with the scary sight of Kevin Everett going down in Week 1, which I covered in the first FourCast, and has led to both fans and critics of the game questioning the level of safety for the players. Even I, generally a supporter of the roughness of the game, held my breath for a few seconds when Fred Smoot went down suddenly during the Redskins/Lions game this past Sunday. Fortunately, it was only hand injury combined with Smoot getting the wind knocked out of him. But, the question as to the safety of these gridiron heroes remains.
One stellar athlete has decided that, for him, enough was finally enough. Mack Strong, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, has decided to end his 15-year career due to a spinal cord injury. Strong felt burning sensations in his extremities after providing a block for the Seahawks in their Super Bowl XL rematch against the Steelers on Sunday. Fortunately for Strong, the burning stopped, and it appears as though he will be able to lead a normal life away from football without a need for surgery. This is a case of a player walking away at the right time, able to hold his head up high after a solid career. More importantly, Strong will be able to happily spend the rest of his life with his family. Congrats to Mack on a great career and a great decision.