Some Thoughts on Peyton and Being a Fan

When I heard the news that Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos, my first thought was “I guess I’m a Broncos fan now.”  This was immediately followed by an overwhelming feeling of revulsion.  I’m not a Broncos fan.  I can never be a Broncos fan.  Though I am no longer a Chiefs fan as I was in my youth, some of the old prejudices are still there, and I have no desire to change them.

It did get me thinking about what kind of fan I am.  I am sure many would all me fickle, as I have changed teams in several sports, some more than once.  I don’t think I am, though.  I have been a fan of the Missouri Tigers (I don’t want to talk about that) for more than ten years.  No matter how many times I get my heart torn out, I always come back.  Maybe the shift to the SEC, a move I am not a huge fan of, will change that but I doubt it.  Even if I stay away for the next year or two, I’ll be back loving every win and dying with every loss.  But as a professional sports fan, I haven’t really had a team I stuck with yet.

Take the NFL.  I was a Chiefs fan as a kid, won over by the combination of proximity, I grew up about 75 miles from KC, and the fact that I first became aware of football about the time they signed Joe Montana.  Sure, my dad would grouse about how they were using him incorrectly, but he was already a legend.  Every Sunday after Church we got to watch Joe Montana play football.  Then Montana retired, and I was still a big Chiefs fan.  They had Neil Smith and Derrick Thomas, who cared about QB Steve Bono.  It wasn’t until years later that I lost faith in Arrowhead.  That was the QB controversy between stat machine and choker Elvis Grbac and gutsy winner Rich Gannon.  When Gannon played the Chiefs won.  That was all that mattered to me.  When the Chiefs decided to go with Grbac over Gannon for the future, I was outraged.  When Gannon signed with the Raiders, I gleefully rooted for the Raiders.  At least for the next 5 or 6 years. Rich Gannon was my favorite player for a long time.  When his glory years in Oakland ended, I realized that I was never really a Raiders fan; I was a Rich Gannon fan and a disgruntled Chiefs fan.  After Gannon was done with the Raiders, I didn’t really want to go back to being a Chiefs fan.  The divorce was final, at least in my 13 year old mind.

So I looked around the league.  I still hated most of the Chiefs rivals, the Chargers and Broncos, and was at best indifferent to the Raiders.  Outside of that, I hated the New England Patriots for their absolutely fraudulent victory over Oakland in the 2001 playoffs (the tuck rule).  The closest thing NE had to a rival was the Indianapolis Colts, a team I already kind of liked since I had lots of family in Indy who were fans.  So I started watching Colts games and soon realized I had found my team.  I loved Peyton Manning, as well as the rest of the team.  For most of the last 10 years I have been a big Colts fan.  But this off-season they blew up the entire organization.

Assuming Peyton plays at anywhere near his old level for the next few years, they really cocked it up.  Peyton, though probably diminished from his best, is still a top 5 QB.  Sure the Colts can draft Andrew Luck with the first pick, but how many sure thing first picks have not turned out as well as expected?  Almost all of them.  Manning has been a glorious exception.  At best I would say the Colts have a 50/50 chance of Luck being a success.  And I like Andrew Luck and expect him to be a good player, but I liked Joey Harrington and David Carr.  Look at what Washington had to give up to get the 2nd pick and imagine what the Colts could have got for the first pick.  They could have rebuilt without losing Manning and since they had Manning would have remained a viable threat in the AFC.  Colts owner Jim Irsay said it wasn’t about the money, which everyone knows is complete bullshit.  The money is the only reason to get rid of him.  With Manning I would have expected the Colts to win at least 10 games, without him I’d be surprised by 6 wins.

Conversely John Elway, as much as I hate old horseface, was kind of brilliant this off-season.  Landing Peyton not only got him a hall of famer with presumably several years of life left in him, it also let him extricate himself and his team from the Tim Tebow mess.  As I said when he was drafted, I really want to be a fan of Tim Tebow.  Last season was magical.  But he is not ready to be a full-time NFL starter.  He has guts and determination and those intangibles that scouts are always talking about before the draft, but he doesn’t currently have the throwing skills necessary to play the position in the NFL.  Not that I do not believe that he can learn those skills. He has the talent and the work ethic.  His stats weren’t too much worse than Steve Young’s were early in his career.   However, if I was an NFL general manager, I would not want to be putting all my faith in a QB who often can’t make basic throws.  Tebow still needs time to develop.  Last year he seemingly played on a lark, an attempt by Elway and Coach John Fox to prove he wasn’t ready, only to have it blow up in their faces.  The only way Elway could not go forward with Tebow, a player he had no faith in, was to bring in someone whom no one could object to being placed above him.  Peyton Manning was Elway’s only hope.  Now he’s the Broncos QB and Elway has shipped Tebow to New York to be someone else’s gamble.  And the Broncos are better for it.

Back to me, I’m still a Colts fan.  It isn’t the organization that I fell in love with, but they are still my team.  I am prepared to face years of mediocrity if this Luck gamble doesn’t work out, but I’m sticking with my team.  I’m also still a Peyton Manning fan.  If he play against the Colts, I’m not sure who I’ll root for.  Probably the Colts, because I still hate the Broncos.

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NFL Week 17

Lazy because New Years, just picks.

 

Lions at Packers:  Packers

49ers at Rams:  49ers

Jets at Dolphins:  Jets

Bears at Vikings:  Bears

Bills at Patriots:  Patriots

Panthers at Saints:  Saints

Redskins at Eagles: Redskins

Colts at Jaguars:  Colts

Titans at Texans:  Titans

Buccaneers at Falcons:  Falcons

Ravens at Bengals:  Bengals

Steelers at Browns:  Steelers

Chiefs at Broncos:  Broncos

Chargers at Raiders:  Raiders

Seahawks at Cardinals:  Seahawks

Cowboys at Giants:  Giants

Last Week:  13-3

Total:  158-82

NFL Week 16

This didn’t post the day I had it scheduled to. Rest assured, everybody that was waiting for my picks, here they are. I absolutely made this picks before the games were played.

Texans at Colts: Colts
Broncos at Bills: Broncos
Cardinals at Bengals: Bengals
Jaguars at Titans: Titans
Raiders at Chiefs: Raiders
Dolphins at Patriots: Patriots
Giants at Jets: Giants
Rams at Steelers: Steelers
Vikings at Redskins: Redskins
Buccaneers at Panthers: Panthers
Browns at Ravens: Ravens
Chargers at Lions: Lions
Eagles at Cowboys: Cowboys
49ers at Seahawks: 49ers
Bears at Packers: Packers

Last Week: 7-9
Total: 145-79

NFL Week 15

Colts are going to win one eventually, and the Titans look likely. Tebow-mania continues. And the Steelers at the 49ers should be a good game, but I’m taking the Steelers, who still have some pressure on them. The 49ers have already made the playoffs.

Jaguars at Falcons: Falcons
Cowboys at Buccaneers: Cowboys
Dolphins at Bills: Bills
Seahawks at Bears: Seahawks
Titans at Colts: Colts
Packers at Chiefs: Packers
Bengals at Rams: Bengals
Saints at Vikings: Saints
Giants at Redskins: Giants
Panthers at Texans: Texans
Lions at Raiders: Raiders
Patriots at Broncos: Broncos
Jets at Eagles: Jets
Browns at Cardinals: Cardinals
Ravens at Chargers: Ravens
Steelers at 49ers: Steelers

Last Week: 13-3
Total: 138-70

NFL Week 14

I did not do so good last week. Some of my picks (Jags over Chargers) were more wishful thinking than what I actually thought would happen. At least the Giants gave the Packers as good of a game as they have had all season. Every game that was a toss up went the other way. Too bad. I don’t see a lot that is interesting this weekend. None of the games really pop out at me.

Browns at Steelers: Steelers (Thurs)
Texans at Bengals: Bengals
Vikings at Lions: Lions
Saints at Titans: Saints
Eagles at Dolphins: Dolphins
Chiefs at Jets: Jets
Patriots at Redskins: Patriots
Falcons at Panthers: Falcons
Buccaneers at Jaguars: Jaguars
Colts at Ravens: Ravens
Bears at Broncos: Broncos
49ers at Cardinals: 49ers
Raiders at Packers: Packers
Bills at Chargers: Bills
Giants at Cowboys: Giants
Rams at Seahawks: Seahawks
Last Week: 7-9
Total: 125-67

NFL Picks Week 13 (And Last Week)

So last week I failed to get my picks posted. I did make picks, but what with Thanksgiving and having family around for the holidays I didn’t manage to get them up before the games. So I decided to just wait until this week to put up last weeks picks. Sure, I could have changed my picks, but since this is just for my own amusement there is no reason for me to cheat.

For last week:

Packers at Lions: Packers
Dolphins at Cowboys: Cowboys
49ers at Ravens: 49ers
Vikings at Falcons: Falcons
Browns at Bengals: Bengals
Buccaneers at Titans: Buccaneers
Panthers at Colts: Colts
Cardinals at Rams: Rams
Bills at Jets: Jets
Texans at Jaguars: Texans
Bears at Raiders: Raiders
Redskins at Seahawks: Seahawks
Patriots at Eagles: Patriots
Broncos at Chargers: Broncos
Steelers at Chiefs: Steelers
Giants at Saints: Saints

This week, I’m taking the upset special of Giants over Packers. The Packers are cruising, the Giants are desperate. I’ll roll the dice on desperate. Other than that I wanted to be crazy and pick the Colts over the Pats, but while I think the Colts will win at least one, it isn’t this one. I am going to ride the Tebow train.

Eagles at Seahawks: Eagles
Titans at Bills: Bills
Chiefs at Bears: Bears
Raiders at Dolphins: Raiders
Broncos at Vikings: Broncos
Colts at Patriots: Patriots
Bengals at Steelers: Steelers
Panthers at Buccaneers: Buccaneers
Jets at Redskins: Jets
Falcons at Texans: Falcons
Ravens at Browns: Ravens
Packers at Giants: Giants
Cowboys at Cardinals: Cowboys
Rams at 49ers: 49ers
Lions at Saints: Saints
Chargers at Jaguars: Jaguars

Week 11 results: 10-4
Week 12 results: 11-5

Total: 118-58

NFL Picks Week 11

I’m sick and for behind on NaNoWriMo. So again just lazy picks. Though I do want to note that I am loving Tim Tebow. I won’t try to convince anyone that I picked the Broncos Thurs, I didn’t, but I love what he’s doing. Sure, he’s getting a lot of help from a suddenly competent Defense, but he makes plays in the clutch an doesn’t turn the ball over. I would absolutely love it if they made the playoffs. I want to hear more analysts cry over how “bad” he is. It fills me with joy.

Jets at Broncos: Jets
Jaguars at Browns: Jaguars
Panthers at Lions: Lions
Buccaneers at Packers: Packers
Bills at Dolphins: Bills
Raiders at Vikings: Raiders
Cowboys at Redskins: Cowboys
Bengals at Ravens: Ravens
Seahawks at Rams: Seahawks
Cardinals at 49ers: 49ers
Titans at Falcons: Falcons
Chargers at Bears: Bears
Eagles at Giants: Giants
Chiefs at Patriots: Patriots

Last Week: 7-9
Season: 97-47

NFL Picks Week 10

I went 9-5 last week.  That’s solid.  Still no time for half-baked analysis, just picks.

Will everyone believe that I picked the Raiders on Thursday?  I forgot there was Thursday game, but I totally picked the Raiders over the Chargers.

Raiders at Chargers: Raiders

Saints at Falcons: Falcons
Steelers at Bengals: Steelers
Browns at Rams: Browns
Bills at Cowboys: Bills
Jaguars at Colts: Colts
Broncos at Chiefs: Broncos
Redskins at Dolphins: Dolphins
Cardinals at Eagles: Eagles
Texans at Buccaneers: Texans
Titans at Panthers: Panthers
Ravens at Seahawks: Ravens
Lions at Chicago: Bears
Giants at 49ers: Giants
Patriots at Jets: Jets
Vikings at Packers: Packers

Last Week:  9-5

Season:  90-40

NFL Picks Week 9

Sorry for the lack of commentary, I’m doing NaNoWriMo and I have little time for blogging. Also, this will be a slow month on the blog in general. Picks:

Jets at Bills: Jets
Chiefs at Dolphins: Chiefs (I so want to pick Dolphins)
Seahawks at Cowboys: Cowboys
Falcons at Colts: Falcons
Buccanneers at Saints: Saints
49ers at Redskins: 49ers
Browns at Texans: Texans
Bengals at Titans: Bengals
Broncos at Raiders: Raiders
Giants at Patriots: Patriots
Rams at Cardinals: Rams
Packers at Chargers: Packers
Ravens at Steelers: Steelers
Bears at Eagles: Eagles

Last Week: 10-3
Season: 81-35

NFL Picks Week 8

My picks were awful last week, with me going 7-6. Some were obviously bad, like Titans over Texans, but some were complete surprises, like Jags over Ravens. Hopefully this is a blip on my otherwise solid prediction season.

This week is cowards week for me. I want to pick several upsets, but since I kind of want to pick so many, I am going to pick none. I want to pick the Colts over the Titans. Yeah, the Colt were Godawful last week, but they will win a game or two. I want to pick the Vikings over the Panthers, but despite some baffling hype Ponder was worse that McNabb has been all season. I want to ride the Tebow train over the Lions, but I think the Lions are legitimately too good. And I want to pick the Chiefs over the Chargers, but both of these teams are frauds. The Chiefs only beat the Raiders because they had the worst QB play I’ve seen in years and didn‘t have McFadden for most of the game. Palmer had a very good excuse, not knowing the playbook because he had been there all of 4 days; Boller was just sad. I think he played himself out of any sort of permanent roster spot. The Chargers are just as bad as the Chiefs. I still think the Raiders win that division, but he Chargers win this game.

Colts at Titans: Titans
Saints at Rams: Saints
Dolphins at Giants: Giants
Vikings at Panthers: Panthers
Cardinals at Ravens: Ravens
Jaguars at Texans: Texans
Redskins at Bills: Bills
Lions at Broncos: Lions
Patriots at Steelers: Steelers
Browns at 49ers: 49ers
Bengals at Seahawks: Bengals
Cowboys at Eagles: Eagles
Chargers at Chiefs: Chargers

Last Week: 7-6

Season: 71-32