In recent weeks, Sum and Armin have done laps around me with creative and catchy FourCasts. I have to admit, I've done a little too much ranting - which is always much better suited for "InClement Weather" - and haven't been able to leave the kiddie pool creativity-wise.
That needs to change...I'm just not sure if I can do it today.
I'll try a theme, but as usual it's going to be a little too self-serving, cliched, and gimmicky.
Hey, it's all I can do!!!
I know...let's butcher a classic (holiday) Christmas song!!!
1) On the 1st Day of Christmas...
You know the rest. Basically, the "mother partridge" feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings. Sounds a lot like Bill Parcells with (last year's 1-15) Miami Dolphins to me. During the offseason he set his claws into the organization and did a few things many didn't agree with: hire Tony Sporano, trade Jason Taylor, give big money to Ernest Wilford, and bring over ex-Cowboys like Anthony Fasano/Jason Ferguson. Well, all of the above worked except choice C. Nevertheless, the team is 10-5 and in total control of its playoff destiny. Parcells also had the foresight to keep Chad Pennington in the AFC East with a very manageable 2-year contract. It's been a quiet year for Parcells in Miami only in front of the microphone. His impact has been felt like an after shock on the field.
2) On the 3rd Day of Christmas...
Three turtle doves. Home Alone 2 didn't get it right; instead, it's the three theological virtues. In reference (sorta), what three NFL stars got by on their virtues - instead of their performance - to make the Pro Bowl?
A) Brett Favre had no business being invited to Honolulu, especially after the past month. Despite his team being 6-8, Phillip Rivers leads the NFL in touchdown passes AND Matt Cassell has only struggled in Blitzburgh (who hasn't?) leading his team to 10-5 with a surprisingly deft touch and quicker feet.
B) Clinton Portis was my NFL MVP two months ago and has played as bruised and battered as any back I can remember in recent memory. Nevertheless, Brandon Jacobs - despite missing two weeks - is the heart and soul of the best team in the NFL. While I love Eli, we saw what the Giants were sans-B Jacobs the past two weeks. Insert him this past week into the starting lineup and you notice how much free space Jacobs softens up for Derrick Ward (200+ yards!) in the second half and OT. DeAngelo Williams fans (20 TDs!) might have a legitimate beef too. Portis was a little too irrelevant the past five or six weeks on a team that rode him to 6-2 and then collapsed. While you can blame most of that on Zorn & Campbell, I'll take Jacobs in the Pro Bowl over Portis. This is gonna cause some HEAT!
C) John Abraham needs to be a Pro Bowler. He's stayed healthy (somehow) and has piled up 16.5 sacks and forced 4 fumbles. He is the havoc causer on an emerging Atlanta D. While it's tough to argue with the DEs taken before him, I might cost-cut Jared Allen or even Julius Peppers in exchange for the less talent-surrounded Abraham. He's done more with much less. That means Honolulu for me in a close DE-race.
3) On the 6th Day of Christmas...
The six days of creation of the world. Got it. The first six picks of the recent NFL Draft have had relatively quiet seasons. Almost too quiet. #1 overall pick Jake Long was 50/50 with Dolphin fans on draft day, yet has been a steady contributor and should be for the next 5-6 years (or more, let's not guarantee 10 yet). 2nd overall pick Chris Long has been quieted by a 2-13 team; however, has shown promise and potential at the defensive end position (played in all 15 games, 4 sacks). 3rd pick Matt Ryan - the exception to my rule and my emerging man crush - has the Falcons - yes, the Atlanta Falcons - in the NFL playoffs and somehow eligible for the NFC South division title and maybe even a first-round bye. I don't want to hear any CRAP about the first-to-worst rule in that division either. Many thought this team would struggle for decades after the Vick-debacle (like me!). Fourth pick Darren "Run DMC" McFadden has shown two things: A) An ability to play throw pain B) The need to be in a platoon or at least 2-back system. Of course, he is a RAIDER, so his career may be over with before his rookie contract ends. Fifth pick Glenn Dorsey was considered an absolute steal 24 hours after the draft; yet - especially with the trading of Jared Allen - he is all alone on a relatively talentless KC defensive front. He has 1 sack, but it isn't fair to label him after one season. Vernon Gholston came in with HUGE question marks and has struggled mightily in the Jet 3-4 system (12 tackles and 0 sacks ALL YEAR). He is quickly being labeled a bust, yet has gotten praise from LT (the real one) and will need an offseason or two before he's out of New York and a draft-day villain.
4) On the 10th Day of Christmas...
Ten Lords-a leaping. I almost forgot it was in reference to the 10 Commandments. Sounds like a good basis for fantasy football banter.
A) If Kurt Warner got you to your fantasy championship game, he sure didn't win it for you.
B) If you had a non-Ray Rice Raven RB starting, you sure loved that 4th quarter in Big D.
C) Chad Ocho Cinco better hope his name change gets him drafted next year in the first 8 rounds of most leagues.
D) Michael Turner is gonna be a top 5 pick.
E) Matt Forte is gonna be a first-round pick.
F) What in the world will people do with Steve Slaton and Chris Johnson?
G) Any chance Matt Cassell will go before/in the same round as Tom Brady?
H) Who you got: Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson?
I) Will the Charger D be a force again with the return of Merriman?
J) Which rookie - come on Armin, help us out - will be a first 5-round pick?
I hope you enjoyed the ride. Enjoy the holidays!!!