Good afternoon fellow NFL fans. Yes, you read that correctly -- this is my last column for Big Blue View. Sometimes we have demanding day jobs that require much of our time and energy, and that is what is happening for me -- although it's my own business that is demanding. It's a blessing and a curse, I suppose. But that has also made it more difficult to commit to Big Blue View at a time when it is growing rapidly. And thankfully this is made easier by the fact that Ed has some extremely talented writers on staff now in Kelsey and Jesse. So anyway, enough with the sad notes...let's see what is happening in the NFL this week....
You can't talk about Week 17 without mentioning Chuck Pagano and his return to the Indianapolis Colts, three months after being diagnosed with leukemia. Now, getting to see how strong Chuckstrong is for the Colts is icing on the cake, because just the fact that Pagano is back on the sidelines this soon is the best story of the season.
Sometimes Packers' coach Mike McCarthy is blunt to the point of hilarity. Here is what he said to a reporter who asked if Randall Cobb would continue to play on special teams--"I'll be honest with you: I don't have a really high tolerance for this (line of questioning) because I don't understand how you play scared in the game of football. I don't get that," McCarthy said sternly. "I think it's convenient questioning. I understand the risk involved in every single play. Some plays are higher risk than others, and I'm fully aware of that. But you can't sit here and say special teams is important if you don't put a guy like Randall Cobb out there as a returner."
Was there ever any doubt that Sean Payton would only use interest from other teams as a bargaining chip? Come to think of it, the 0-4 start to this season was the biggest bargaining chip of all.
You want great NFL theater? Look no further than the 49ers/Seahawks and a suddenly awesome rivalry. It gets better because Peter Carroll and Jim Harbaugh were pitted against each other when coaching USC and Stanford, respectively. And Carroll was bitter that Harbaugh ran up the score in one game. So last Sunday, Carroll wanted badly to hang 50 on the Niners, and his Seahawks almost did. And then there was the incident that may or may not have happened-- Harbaugh honking his car horn at the Seahawks' team bus after beating Seattle in October.
Rex Ryan continues to be a walking headline.
I was bummed to hear that Mario Manningham is out for the season (read: postseason) with the Niners, with both ACL and PCL tears. Yikes. Let's just hope he's back in time for the 2013 season.
With Adrian Peterson having an outside shot (extremely outside) of surpassing Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing mark of 2105 yards, Dickerson has turned into the '72 Dolphins. I'm sorry Mister Dickerson, but if a gimpy AP can hang with your record, it's just a matter of time before a healthy AP shatters it.
The Browns are starting a guy named Thad Lewis at quarterback this Sunday. I have this running joke with myself that I don't trust guys named Chad (apologies to you Chads out there). But Thad? Even more distrust!
You like numbers, you say? How about this dude from New Zealand with his advanced NFL ranking formula? I skimmed the article and aside from seeing a crazy mathematical formula, it just reeked of NHL and the NHL's crazy points system that spews out records like 17-11-3-5. Say what? You don't remember the NHL?
This article in the New Yorker talks about the NFL and how it thrives with chaos. But it's really more about the fact that there is never a shortage of headline-grabbing stories.
And what better way to end this column than to bring up a story about which coaches are likely to be fired after Sunday. It's hard to disagree with those first five, but then Jason Cole lists eight more teams that may be thinking about a change. If even two of those happen in addition to the five most likely ones, it will be a very Black Monday indeed.
Fellas, it's been an absolute pleasure. I want to thank Ed Valentine for giving me the opportunity to write for such a quality site as Big Blue View, and the chance to share my views with all of you while having some fun in the process. I also want to thank all of you for reading my material these last couple of years. And no, I won't be a stranger. I will see you guys on the game threads and comments for sure.
Now, let's get a win on Sunday. Go Big Blue!