Week 6 Fantasy Football Preview by justinwhitaker
October 15, 2010, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Justin Whitaker, NFL, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

by Justin Whitaker

(Puts hand on Bible)

“I, Justin Whitaker, swear to not make any jokes about Ben Roethilsberger’s ‘triumphant’ return or Brett Favre’s package during this fantasy football Week 6 preview even as tempting as it may be to take a shot below the belt.”

The Studs

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers at St. Louis Rams

Because I am a little biased, I am going to limit the times I put Peyton Manning in this slot. If I wasn’t fair then he would be locked as King Stud every week. Instead it’s the NFL leader in yards and touchdowns six weeks into the season who will have another solid game this week. Rivers has thrown over 400 yards twice this season and has had at least two touchdowns in each game. The quarterback’s play is finally starting to catch up with his loud mouth.

Projected Stats: 350 yards, 3 TDs

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Through five weeks, CJ’s performance has seesawed every other week. Two touchdowns and at least 125 yards in weeks 1, 3 and 5. Well it’s Week 6 and it is time for Johnson to bust his trend on Monday Night Football.

Projected Stats: 135 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants versus Detroit Lions

If you ever doubted Nicks’ ability, (I did), then it’s time to wake up. Eli Manning’s No. 1 target had 12 catches for 130 yards and 2 TDs last week against the porous Houston secondary. This week against the Detroit Lions, expect more of the same. This 22-year-old wide receiver is here to stay.

Projected Stats: 7 catches, 120 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Peyton Manning, QB (325 yards, 3 TD), Mark Sanchez, QB (280 yards, 2 TD), Rashad Mendenhall, RB (125 yards, TD), Ray Rice, RB (140 total yards, 2 TD), Miles Austin, WR (8 catches, 125 yards, TD), Malcom Floyd, WR (6 catches, 100 yards, TD)

The Duds

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears versus Seattle Seahawks

The offensive line of the Chicago Bears is weaker than Betty White’s bench press. It’s God-awful how embarrassing they are. How successful will the (probably not) apprehensive gunslinger be returning from a concussion? I would guess not very well, Cutler doesn’t trust his line and I wouldn’t either. Watch to see how he fares in this one before starting him as your No. 1 QB.

Projected Stats: 250 yards, TD, 2 INT

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

After a season-high 15 carries and 109 yards last week one would think the success might continue. Well do not buy into the same hype that so many people believed that the Cowboys were actually good. This team is a mess right now so it’s completely unpredictable on what they will do. This game could either be a high scoring aerial assault or a 4 field goals win the game type of matchup. Either way Jones doesn’t seem to fit into either of those outcomes.

Projected Stats: 9 carries for 32 yards, 2 catches for 12 yards

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars against Tennessee Titans

The fantasy breakout star of 2009 has been extremely disappointing so far in 2010. In three home games this season here is Sims-Walker’s total, 2 catches for 34 yards. In THREE games. This week against the division rival Tennessee Titans don’t be surprised if much like their games in the city of Jacksonville, Sims-Walker is blacked out. It’s probably a good thing Jacksonville fans won’t get to watch this.

Projected Stats: 2 catches for 28 yards

Honorable Mention: Donovan McNabb, QB (200 yards passing, TD, INT),  Arian Foster, RB (12 carries for 44 yards), Knowshon Moreno, RB (15 carries for 46 yards), Johnny Knox, WR (2 catches, 23 yards), Donald Driver, WR (4 catches, 42 yards)

The Sleeper

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus New Orleans Saints

The rookie from Syracuse has caught a touchdown in three of his four games this season and is only owned in 50 percent of all ESPN leagues. While he might have hit his ceiling already, pick him up and give Williams a chance before everyone else in your league catches on.

Projected Stats: 5 catches for 85 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Kevin Kolb, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Ryan Torain, RB (90 yards, 1 TDs), Kenny Britt, WR (4 catches, 75 yards, TD)


Week 5 fantasy football preview by justinwhitaker

By Justin Whitaker

After taking my bye last week, I’m back and ready to help forecast Week 5 of fantasy football in the NFL.

The Studs

Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts versus Kansas City Chiefs

Manning could easily be in this spot every week but this week’s situation makes him King Stud.  The Kansas City secondary ranks 24th in the NFL in passing yards but once Manning gets done with the Chiefs look for them to be even lower. The first quarter of the NFL season’s MVP will continue his hot streak this week.

Projected Stats: 335 yards, 3 TDs

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills

While MJD started off slow, the bowling ball is slowly but surely on the rise. Look for MJD to be a strike this week as he rolls over the dreadful Bills defense who give up a league worst 31.2 points per game.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions versus St. Louis Rams

As evident by the fact that Shaun Hill is throwing him the ball, Kent Sterling or myself could be throwing him the ball and he would be having an All-Pro season. If Johnson had an elite QB, his statistics would be the best in the league year in and year out. Due to St. Louis’ lack of corners expect a big day out of the Georgia Tech product.

Projected Stats: 9 catches, 120 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Matt Schuab, QB (300 yards, 3 TD), Matt Ryan, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Arian Foster, RB (115 yards, 2 TD), Jahvid Best, RB (150 total yards, TD), Roddy White, WR (7 catches, 115 yards, TD), Reggie Wayne, WR (8 catches, 110 yards, TD)

The Duds

Gotham City's former DA and Joe Flacco's alter-ego, Two-Face.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens versus Denver Broncos

Thus far Flacco’s season has mirrored Batman villain Two-Face. One half of it has been really good (Week 3, 262 yds and 3 TDs) and the other has been dreadful (Week 2, 154 yds and 4 INTs). Champ Bailey does a great job limiting a team’s No. 1 receiver so look for Anquan Boldin to struggle in this game also. Flacco will be Harvey Dent’s bad side in this game, stay away.

Projected Stats: 220 yards, TD, INT

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers against Oakland Raiders

After all the preseason hype and SI.com’s Peter King stating, “Take Mathews in the first round, he’s worth it.” Well sorry to burst your preseason bubble Mr. King, but Mathews has played more like a waiver wire drop. He’s 100% owned in all ESPN league but 100% a bust up until now. Sure it’s only Week 5 and he’s been banged up, but 156 yards and a TD is something he should’ve had in a game, not three. Plus look for Mike Tolbert to steal a lot of carries since he’s actually playing well

Projected Stats: 10 carries for 42 yards, 2 catches for 15 yards

Anyone seen Marques Colston?

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

Whenever you are shopping at your local Marsh, Kroger, look at the back of a milk carton. If Colston isn’t there, no one knows where he is. He’s had no game with over 5 catches or 67 yards and no touchdowns. It’s not like the Drew Brees in the Saints suddenly starting running the Maryland I. Something is off sync here, but up to now, Colston has been a huge disappointment.

Projected Stats: 4 catches for 38 yards

Honorable Mention: Matt Cassel, QB (250 yards passing, TD, 2 INT),  Beanie Wells, RB (15 carries for 54 yards), Joseph Addai, RB (12 carries for 36 yards), Braylon Edwards, WR (3 catches, 40 yards), Dez Bryant, WR (4 catches, 27 yards)

The Sleeper

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns versus Atlanta Falcons

Having back-to-back games of over 100 yards and a score in every game doesn’t make you a sleeper, but playing for the Cleveland Browns does. With all of Hillis’ success this season, no one is really noticing because of the team he’s on and the rarity of the success of a white running back. But jump on the bandwagon now, he’s getting all of the carries in Cleveland and has been successful so far. Just hope the bandwagon doesn’t break down before everyone else jumps on.

Projected Stats: 115 yards rushing, TD

Honorable Mention: Carson Palmer, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (105 yards, 1 TDs), Jeremy Maclin, WR (6 catches, 100 yards, TD)

Fantasy Football has completely changed my sunday allegiances by matthudson14
September 24, 2010, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Matt Hudson, NFL | Tags:

By Matt Hudson

Last summer, when I was interning at ESPN Radio, the topic of fantasy football was broached while on the air.  I didn’t have very strong feelings about it, having never played it, and not really knowing anyone that was too serious about it.  Yet from observing from afar, it kind of felt like Guitar Hero originally felt to me – something for wannabes to do to make them feel like they were a part of something greater.  

When we talked about it on the air, one of our producers made the mistake of saying that fantasy football was for losers.  The dozens of people who called in soon thereafter could not have disagreed more.  Yet their passion for “Dungeons and Dragons for jocks” was still not enough to get me interested. 

This year, I still had reservations about it, because I wasn’t sure I would want to take any time setting up, and then following a team.  Then came the draft, complete with rookies, sleepers, and Ben Roethlisberger in the later rounds, and I actually started to care.  Now, I’m addicted.  And the strange part about it all is that it has completely altered the way I watch football on Sundays.  Normally, I watch the entire Colts game, bits and pieces of others, and highlights on NFL Network or ESPN. 

Now, every game that a player of mine is involved in, I’m watching as intently as a virgin watches his computer screen on a Saturday night.  Michael Vick may have been exciting before, but try watching him when your fantasy livelihood is on the line.  And even though fantasy football has increased my interest in NFL games I would normally be indifferent to, part of it bothers me – the part that has me rooting for players on San Diego and New England.  

I tried my best to avoid picking players on teams that I hate, but could I really pass up Ryan Mathews in the 5th round?  Looking back, I wish I had.  But in fantasy football, you have to be objective, not only picking players for teams that you like, but also teams that you despise. 

The good news is, I didn’t draft anyone on the Jets, so I can continue hating them.  It really is awkward though.  Like last weekend, I picked up New England’s defense because I figured after week one, Mark Sanchez was good for at least three interceptions.  So in a game in which I would normally be rooting for a tie, I was rooting my ass off for New England, a team that I’ve hated without reservation for a decade.  And not only did New England not win, but their defense got me one freakin’ point.  I should have known never to root for the Patriots. 

And as much as I’ve hated the Chargers, Jets, Steelers, and New England over the course of the years, I have found myself hating Jahvid Best, C.J. Spiller, and the Falcons’ medical staff more than any of those teams in the past couple weeks.

As much as it bothers me rooting for teams that I don’t like, the added advantage of fantasy football is that if your favorite football team loses that week, your fantasy team can still be your saving grace.  I couldn’t have been more pissed off about how the Colts game went in week one, yet, my fantasy team won, so my weekend wasn’t a total loss.  Is that bad? 

Is it bad that I want to see a convicted felon put up better numbers than Peyton Manning?  Is it bad that I was a little bit happy to see Hakeem Nicks score at the end of the Colts game?  Is it bad that I’d rather hang out with Matthew Berry than Halle Berry?  6 weeks ago, I would have said yes to all of those.  But now, I have a league to win. 

Maybe my observations are five years late.  Maybe everyone already knew everything I just said.  Maybe you already hate Jahvid Best as much as I do.  But ultimately, it’s just a game, and at the end of the day, we still go back to rooting for our favorite team over our fantasy team.  Right?

Week 3 Fantasy Football preview by justinwhitaker
September 23, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Justin Whitaker, NFL

By Justin Whitaker

As we enter into the football season, the fog is starting to clear on who is for real and who isn’t. There have been some surprises, disappointments and everything in between so let me help you forecast for this week’s round of games.

But first, let’s take a look at some of my picks from last week.

For last week’s studs, Peyton Manning had a solid game, but when a team only plays with two defensive tackles on their roster, then that might change the gameplan a little. Steven Jackson had 130 yards last week as I predicted, but it was combining rushing and passing yards. Anquan Boldin did not have a great game last week but you might be able to contribute that to his quarterback’s 23.8 rating.

For the duds of last week, Michael Vick played like one of his old dogs, like his life depended on it. Don’t expect that every week, the average at best Vick will be back soon. The usual superstar Chris Johnson only had 34 yards rushing last week so hopefully you listened to me and started someone else. Michael Crabtree also was a nonfactor as I projected last week. He had only one catch for 32 yards. As Chad Ochocinco would say, “Child, please.”

Kyle Orton surprised me last week, even exceeding what I projected for him (250 yards, 2 TDs). He ended up with 307 yards and 2 TDs. The former Purdue quarterback is a solid middle of the pack fantasy QB who will give solid performances with rare treats of breakout games.

Now let’s look at Week 3’s matchups!

The Studs

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots versus Buffalo Bills

After losing a tough game against the division rival New York Jets last week, Brady will look to take their frustration out on the lowly Bills. The loss will motivate the Patriots much like Katy Perry appearing on Sesame Street motivates me to watch Elmo and Co. more often.

Projected Stats: 345 yards, 3 TDs

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens versus Cleveland Browns

Ready to see if Rice was worth your first round selection? This is the week to finally see if it pays off. Against the Browns, Rice should be extremely successful. This is make or break game after a pretty tough beginning of the season. If he does well then his owners are finally happy, if he falls on his face then look for the Ray Rice bandwagon at the bottom of the White River. You didn’t read it here who drove it in though.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans

Dallas’ only star from their 0-2 start is their superstar receiver Austin. He has opened the season with 10 catches and over 140 yards receiving in each game. Why would his production stop against a Houston secondary that allowed Donovan McNabb to throw over 400 yards last week? Start him and if you don’t have him try to get him.

Projected Stats: 11 catches, 130 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Phillip Rivers, QB (325 yards, 3 TD), Donovan McNabb, QB (300 yards, 2 TD), Frank Gore, RB (135 yards, 2 TD), LeSean McCoy, RB (115 yards, TD), Randy Moss, WR (8 catches, 120 yards, TD), Greg Jennings, WR (6 catches, 110 yards, TD)

The Duds

Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Old man time might have finally caught up to the 55-year-old Favre. But just as easily Favre could break out and throw for 350 yards and 4 TDs, but I highly doubt that will happen. The young Lions are on the way up and the old Favre is just stuck going nowhere fast without any healthy receivers.

Projected Stats: 200 yards, TD, INT

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears against Green Bay Packers

With the exception of his 89-yard receiving touchdown in Week 1, Forte has been pretty quiet. The Mike Martz-led offense of the Bears would rather have Jay Cutler throw 70 times then give Forte 20 carries. Due to his lack of productivity on the ground from the Bears atrocious O-line look elsewhere if possible. He could maybe break a catch lose, but that is a maybe.

Projected Stats: 13 carries for 45 yards, 4 catches for 32 yards

Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers against Cincinnati Bengals

Jimmy Clausen will be this week’s NFL version of Lindsey Lohan with Smith playing the role of alcohol, cocaine, etc.. With Clausen making his NFL starting debut this week, do like Lohan should and stay as far away from the (alcohol, cocaine) Panthers receiver as possible. I have never been a Clausen fan since he douchely arrived on Notre Dame’s campus in the stretch hummer. Much like David Hasselhoff on Dancing with the Stars , this debut will just be a mess.

Projected Stats: 3 catches for 25 yards

Honorable Mention: Matt Ryan, QB (200 yards passing, TD, 2 INT),  Knowshown Moreno, RB (17 carries for 67 yards), Clinton Portis, RB (15 carries for 55 yards), Jeremy Maclin, WR (4 catches, 35 yards), Percy Harvin, WR (3 catches, 288 yards)

The Sleeper

Tim Hightower, RB, Arizona Cardinals versus Oakland Raiders

This hinges on if Beanie Wells plays or not for Arizona, if he does then Hightower’s production will be cut. But looking back at his 115 rushing yards and touchdown from last week, Hightower has the ability to produce good fantasy numbers against the Raiders if he is given the chance.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, TD

Honorable Mention: Sam Bradford, QB (225 yards, 2 TD), Joseph Addai, RB (90 yards, 2 TDs), Kevin Walter, WR (5 catches, 105 yards, TD)

Why Do Professional Athletes Get Arrested So Often? by dustinlytle
September 22, 2010, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Dustin Lytle, NFL, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

By Dustin Lytle

Is it really that difficult to stay out of trouble with the law?

Professional Athletes making millions of dollars a year should not be getting DUI’s. With the amount of resources available to themincluding former police officers, team officials and friends they always have a ride. The one phrase I always hear people saying is “They could always take a cab”. That is bullshit. Professional athletes, especially big name players cannot and will not take taxis. The reason that many of these players get DUI’s is because they are driving nice cars, are young and want to flaunt it. They also feel invincible. How else can you explain four NFL players driving around New York City at 5 in the morning drunk on a Monday.

It is evident that these players need mentors. By that, I am not inferring that they have not received mentoring or a father-like presence. Rather, I mean that they need to hear it from former stars themselves, Someone like Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Darrell Green, etc. People who “had it all” and didn’t go around getting DUI’s, hitting their girlfriends and/or smoking pot. This will help some players get a perspective on being a young star and how to behave.

The common person doesn’t get arrested for Domestic Violence, Drugs and DUI’s, why do professional athletes?

As much as many would like, it is really not fair to compare these players to the common citizen and saying “It’s not difficult for me to refrain from these things”. Yeah, and you are also not 25 years old making 6 million dollars a year. You haven’t had everything you wanted since you were 16 years old. You haven’t had girls flocking to you for your money, kids and grown men alike chasing you around asking you to sign a piece of paper, and hanging out with a group of 53 other men around the same age who have the same ego. Players are bound to get into bad situations. People stand to make too much money off their mere presence for them not to. It is what they learn from these situations and how they react to them that really matters. Most players tend to make sensible choices, while others seem to flock to wrong decisions.

So why do professional athletes, especially NFL players get arrested so frequently?

Every day, millions of Americans go about their day obeying the law, excluding speed limits. It seems that every day a professional athlete gets arrested. The rate of player incident seems so much higher than the general public. However, according to a report from April 2009 by the San Diego Union Tribune, NFL players are arrested less frequently than the average citizen. One in 47 players were arrested from 2000-spring 2009. Common citizens were arrested at a rate of one arrest per 21 people per year in that same time-span. Not only does this make you stand back and wonder how the hell people get arrested that much, but the fact that NFL players really are behaving better than the common citizen is kind of mind-boggling. It is especially surprising when you account for the fame, fortune and all the temptations that come with being an NFL player.

So what is there to learn from this?

Athletes are held to higher standards than common citizens. This is common knowledge. These are young men who have been given a lot of money and even more choices. The NFL needs to improve its mentor program as it is evident the current system is not working. However, there will always be players who break the law and will not listen when mentored. In the same fashion, there will always be common citizens who break laws repeatedly and won’t learn a lesson. For every Braylon Edwards, there are 200,000 other people being arrested for the same thing around the same time. I am not making excuses, but rather suggesting we take into perspective what we hear as “news” from ESPN and other sports outlets.

Jets Receiver Braylon Edwards Arrested for DUI by kentsterling
September 21, 2010, 11:05 am
Filed under: Kent Sterling, NFL | Tags: , , ,

by Kent Sterling

What the hell is a grown man doing out on the roads drunk at 5:15 a.m. on a Tuesday?  Braylon Edwards has unbelievable skills as an NFL receiver, and the physical tools to be one of the top guys in the league.

Edwards blew a .16 on a breathalyzer after being pulled over for driving a Range Rover with tinted windows darker than the law allows.

A man making $6.05 (I include the “.05” because in my world .05 million bucks – $50,000 – is a shitload of money) million dollars per year should never drive his own car under any circumstance, but calling a limo service should be a must-do for anyone who has the means after a couple of drinks.

The Jets have taken some shots for signing players like Edwards who aren’t exactly boy scouts, and traded for Edwards less than a year ago only days after being arrested for punching a friend of LeBron James outside a Cleveland bar.

Without consequences, there is no learning, and the consequence is likely going to have to come from the legal system and not the Jets or NFL.  The first DUI episode is not subject to suspension – only a fine of up to $50,000, which is likely to be seen by Edwards as 1/121 of his gross for 2010.  For a person making $100,000, that fine proportionally would amount to $826,45.

The Jets, who also signed four-game suspendee Santonio Holmes, know that there are two kinds of teams fans like to watch – teams full of great citizens who win, and team full of criminals who win.  The Jets are about winning games, not humanitarian awards.

No doubt, coach Rex Ryan will find his way to a covey of microphones and blast Edwards for continuing to make selfish and potentially dangerous decisions that don’t reflect a dedication to the success of the team.  Then on Sunday in Miami, he’ll get giddy as quarterback Mark Sanchez finds the lanky receiver with the bloodshot eyes on a fade in the corner of the endzone.

Of course, it’s shameful to drive after drinking anytime, but to be out at 5:15 a.m. is stupid under any circumstance. To have millions in the banks and not call a car to haul your ass to and from a party is shameful, stupid, selfish, and patently irresponsible.  Until someone in government takes this seriously, it will happen again and again and again.

Donte Stallworth was convicted of second degree manslaughter for killing Mario Reyes while driving drunk.  Stallworth served 24 days in jail, is currently in the middle of two years of house arrest, and will perform 1,000 hours of community service.  The only difference between the Stallworth and Edwards episodes is the good fortune that a construction worker didn’t bolt in front of Edwards car while trying to catch a bus after his shift.

Not sure why the penalty would be different.

Indianapolis Colts Start Season a Week Late – Thoughts About Manning Bowl II by kentsterling

by Kent Sterling

One thing is for sure.  It’s unlikely the Colts will either look as good again as they did last night, or as bad as they did against the Texans in week one.

  • Kevin Gilbride Is a Moron

Whether the season is a success or not will depend upon which level of effort they can bring more often.  Too bad the Colts only get to face a Kevin Gilbride offense once every four years.  Buddy Ryan tried to wise him up more than a decade ago with a straight right hand, but he’s still just as dumb as ever.

Most games, Colts fans watch their team to gauge their effort and energy.  Last night, the Giants first offensive play was an end around.  Ask any second-grader at Fishers Elementary what the Colts defense is built upon and the response from the little imps will be “Speed!”  Gilbride decided to fire his first salvo directly at the Colts strength.

Predictably, the result of the play was failure, and that set the tone for the game.  The Colts gave up one meaningful positive play to the Giants, and the offense looked as poorly directed as it executed.  It’s hard to tell – even in watching the game again – whether the Colts were great, the Giants sucked, or if it was a combination of both.  The Colts were light years better than the Giants, and they definitely have the right Manning brother.

Gilbride is to offensive coordinators what Jimmy Carter was to U.S. presidents

  • Which Colts Team Is Real?

Two weeks in, the Colts are the least consistent team in the NFL.  Which team shows up in Denver will likely be the group that fans see throughout the rest of the season.  No one should expect Mike Pollard to roll over the top of DTs through an entire game again as the Colts roll to 124 first half rushing yards, but the Colts are not nearly the team who rolled over late against the Texans.

  • Mathis Is a Monster

Robert Mathis was a beast last night, and there are going to be tackles that he owns.  He is the most disruptive second best pass rusher on any team in the NFL, and he is obviously closing the gap between his talent and Dwight Freeney’s.  If Mathis is still 1B, it’s not by much.

  • Peyton Manning – a Savant?

The one guy for the Colts who is there week in and week out is #18.  I’m not sure in what state the non-football areas of Peyton’s life are, but most people I’ve known who are unbelievable good at one thing, suck at everything else.  Manning’s work ethic is beyond question, and he is always prepared to compete against every team the Colts face.  That takes time, focus, and diligence.

Choosing to dedicate time to one thing inevitably robs it from another.  Life is all about choices, and Manning has consistently chosen football first, branding second, and whatever is third has to suffer greatly.  Devoting all of your energy to everything is impossible, so if one area gets great energy, the others cannot.

Manning has been brilliantly successful at keeping the public away from his personal life.  We know virtually nothing about Manning’s life off the field, and the rumors spread very quietly and slowly.  He is the guy we love to watch play, but really don’t care about otherwise.  Striking that balance might be Manning’s greatest feat.

I live in Indianapolis, and talk to people who should know what Manning does in his spare time.  I can count the number of weird stories on one hand.  He’s been here more than 12 years.  There are almost constant rumors about he and Ashley divorcing, but they keep showing up together at charitable events.

  • Jim Caldwell’s Eyes Are the Driest Surfaces on Earth

It’s rained less than an inch at my house since the end of July.  The grass that used to be so green is now totally brown.  It is still comparatively moist compared to Jim Caldwell’s irises.  He never blinks – never.

At the press conference that announced him as the guy who would replace Tony Dungy as the coach of the Colts, he spoke for 20 minutes.  No blinks.  It took me three or four minutes to realize that he hadn’t yet blinked, so I started to pay close attention.  Never blinked – not once.

I’ve spoken to him at length, only because I wanted to see if he ever blinks.  I stared at him and prattled on and on about nothing as he waited to be interviewed by Dan Dakich on 1070 – The Fan.

For seven minutes I spoke to Caldwell, and paid almost no attention to what I was saying because I was waiting for him to blink.  God knows whether I made any sense because my brain was entirely tuned to Caldwell’s eyes, and I didn’t blink either because I sure wasn’t going to blink and miss his simultaneous blink.

I finally ran out of gas, and ended my monologue.  Caldwell wore me out.  I still have yet to see him blink, as I wait for proof of eyelids.

  • Wade Phillips Is the Most Successful Failure in NFL Coaching History

Without looking at the paragraph following this one, guess how many times in eight previous seasons as a head coach Wade Phillips’ teams posted a winning record.

The answer is seven.  I was shocked when I saw that.  How could a coach with an 81-56 career record be viewed by experts and fans everywhere as a failure?  He’s 1-5 in the postseason without a single trip to a conference championship game, but now with his fifth team as a head coach (two of those were quicky interim deals with the Falcons and Saints) he has had only one losing season – 7-9 with the 1994 Denver Broncos.

Yet, when people talk about Phillips, whose almost constant look of bamboozlement on the sidelines doesn’t help his image, it’s usually in terms reserved for resolute losers like Rich Kotite.  Phillips is in his fourth season at the helm for the Cowboys, and after an 0-2 start, people are calling for his head.  The record of his previous three seasons with the Cowboys?  13-3, 9-7, 11-5.  So after an 0-2 start, Phillips has to go?