Assistant Sports Editor
A solid start to the NFL season has fans thanking their lucky stars that the lockout mess was taken care of in time. It would have been selfish and disappointing of the people in power to take away even one quarter of one game’s action from its dedicated fans.
There’s no need to turn the page or stop reading as this isn’t another lockout column, but instead, my quick synopsis of the week that was.
First, on a serious note, the ceremonies all around the league for 9/11 really put things into perspective. As a big sports fan, sometimes we take the game itself a little too seriously, and hearing the stories of how football helped people through a tragic time in their lives really is much more important than a win or loss for your team. And the NFL absolutely got it right having the New York Giants at the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Jets, with the Giants’ coaching staff donning NYPD hats as the Redskins staff showed support to their area with the “Pentagon Police” across the face of their hats. Also, having “America’s team” in New York for the nightcap set up a truly amazing atmosphere for the first Sunday Night Football game of the year, and even non-sports fans could appreciate that.
Moving on to the action on the field, there were a lot of surprises and a lot of huge performances by big-time players. My choice for MVP of week one, however, was Peyton Manning. Just watching the hapless Colts get utterly blasted by the inconsistent Texans really made me realize how Peyton Manning makes that whole team go. People close to the Colts always talk about how Peyton is their MVP, their offensive coordinator and their head coach all in one.
Well, the MVP can’t get on the field anytime soon, so hopefully he fulfills his other two jobs a little better next week. Last thought on the Colts is that the man that is trying to fill Peyton’s shoes (or cleats), Kerry Collins, was laying on his couch eating Cheetos about a month ago, and he sure did look like it on Sunday.
No one will argue that the Carolina Panthers are going to be one of the NFL’s bad teams this year, but I’m sure many people are biting their tongue on the Cam Newton hating. He looked raw, but the talent and size isn’t going away anytime soon. I’ve always been one that believes that Newton and Tim Tebow will be successful NFL quarterbacks; winners always find a way to do one thing – win.
There has got to be something in Tony Romo’s DNA that just doesn’t allow him to succeed in late-game situations. Listen, the man has dated Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood, so clearly he was doing all right for himself. Maybe when those relationships got to the “fourth quarter,” Simpson and Underwood, like all Cowboys fans (myself included), realized they weren’t getting what they saw for the first three. As a Cowboys fan, I apologize to the Patriots fans out there; Romo and company should have taken care of business and beat those Jets.
Lastly, here is a quick no-research Super Bowl prediction, and despite the excuses, you can hold me to it. Green Bay and Atlanta come out of the NFC as Baltimore and New England come out of the AFC. Super Bowl: Baltimore 27, Atlanta 17.
Dylan Tully may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org