Archives For NFL

After a tough loss to the Jazz last night, I think all Laker fans could use a bit of a distraction. Luckily, today offers one as the NFL’s biggest game of the year is set to kick off this afternoon.

I don’t have a horse in this race but since I root for a team that calls the NY Giants a rival, I can’t bring myself to cheer for them. Meanwhile the Patriots are this era’s premier franchise and rooting for them solely for that reason kind of rubs me the wrong way (no one likes a bandwagon Laker fan, so I can’t be that guy for the Patriots).

So, I remain neutral and root for a good, close game – something that the Super Bowl has actually provided several times in the past few years. Meanwhile, I’m getting my indoor grill ready to fire up some burgers and find some relaxation and distraction from the craziness of this NBA season.

We’ll be back talking hoops tomorrow with Philly waiting and the Lakers hoping to get back on to their winning ways on this roadie. But today, it’s about the big game, good food, and a comfortable seat on my couch. Enjoy the Super Bowl, everyone.

The other day I wrote about the quest for parity, using a comparison between franchise quarterbacks in the NFL and the super elite basketball players in the NBA. It’s a comparison that doesn’t come without caveats as the difference between the sports and roles players take on for their teams can sometimes be major. You’ll have to indulge me again as the NFL is on my mind again today (and not just because the season kicks off tonight).

I bring up the NFL today because another bit of news from the grid iron caught my eye as it was announced that perennial MVP candidate Peyton Manning underwent neck surgery and will miss at least 2-3 months with the potential to miss the entire season. As a football fan in general and a person that appreciates the best players in the game from any sport, this saddened me.

But it also got me thinking about injuries and how easily a team’s chances can be derailed by an unforeseen ailment. Manning is the engine that powers the Colts franchise and without him they’re likely sunk, competing for a top draft pick next April rather than a playoff berth this winter. Suddenly the Colts have gone from championship contender to also ran. Such is the reality of losing your best player.

This is especially pertinent to me because as a Laker fan I too worry about a closing championship window and how fragile that can be. This past spring the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs in large part because their top players didn’t perform up to standard, but when looking closer injuries surely played a role in their demise. Kobe nursed a knee injury early in the season, an ankle injury towards the end of the year, and sat out most practices to rest aging legs. Pau Gasol came out of the gates as strong as ever, announcing himself as an early season MVP candidate before wearing down physically and mentally after playing heavy minutes without another viable Center on the roster to curb his minutes in the pivot.

Moving into this next season Kobe’s gone to Germany for a knee procedure that he hopes will help him practice more while still having fresh legs during the season but that’s by no means a guarantee. Gasol’s looking to recharge and reestablish his place amongst the league’s best by wearing his national team’s colors this summer but that’s no guarantee against past seasons’ hamstring issues cropping up again. Meanwhile Andrew Bynum hasn’t played a full season in 4 years and as he takes on more responsibility with this team his value and importance to its success only goes up.

Sometimes it’s the things you can’t control that impact your season the most. A lesson that the Colts learned the hard way this morning. For a fan of the Lakers, this serves as a sobering reminder. Here’s hoping the Lakers have a bit more luck in this area next season.

           

NEW ORLEANS - AUGUST 27: Drew Brees  of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass against the San Diego Chargers at the Louisiana Superdome on August 27, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tonight marks the beginning of the NFL season. I know all of us are huge hoops fans, but I like to delve into the other sports as well and I’ve been waiting for the football season to begin for an awfully long time. The Saints joined the Lakers in the immortal champion fraternity after beating the Colts in last season’s Super Bowl and kick off the season tonight against the Vikings.

Are there any teams you guys are excited about? Any early predictions about how this season might end. Just excited for some football. Let us know how you guys will be spending the NFL kick off.

Earlier today, Team USA took a step closer to the FIBA World Championships Title Game with a win over the Russians. Kevin Durant paced everyone with a very efficient 33 points while Lamar Odom helped out by chipping in six points and 12 rebounds. They will play Lithuania next.