You know you’re at the top of the NFL when the only thing people can say to deign you is that “Randy Moss is your number one wide out!” or “you knew defensive signals!” That was how Tom Brady lived life as pro football’s Golden Boy, up until eight minutes into the 2008 season.
Who’s that team now? Not the New England Patriots, considering that Matt Cassel is far worse than average, and it shows (lack of effort, defense on the field more than often). Not the Dallas Cowboys, considering they haven’t even won a playoff game in 12 seasons. Not the Indianapolis Colts, considering that Peyton Manning is only a shell of what he used to be in his prime (his age has been showing, and maybe you can argue otherwise, but I’m sticking to what I think here). There’s no team in the NFL that is the that team right now.
The 1999 season is here all over again — except the St. Louis Rams aren’t going to go 13-3, and there’s no surprises so far, except the Miami Dolphins 38-13 over the Patriots last Sunday, along with Ronnie Brown’s five touchdown (four rushing, and one — surprisingly — passing) performance.
So, there’s no that team and there’s no golden boy. The NFL is as freelance as possible right now. You don’t have the same guys dominating. J.T. (John Thomas — I looked it up) O’Sullivan is quarterback’ing the San Francisco 49ers. The Seattle Seahawks may be in jeopardy of losing their crown as the NFC West champions. The 2008 St. Louis Rams may be the worst team in NFL history. The only thing I know that hasn’t changed is Al Davis, as he’s still the senile prick that we have all come to know and hate (“Commitment to Excellence”? I say Commitment to Debauchery, because firing head coach after head coach is not a way to work magic).
The Atlanta Falcons are 2-1, but that’s not going last. They will falter. Matt Ryan has a lot of faults, but Mike Smith — who I think is a better coach than what he’s being acredited for — is using him to his talents, allowing him to throw the deep bomb to guys like Roddy White.
Aaron Rodgers’ great play also won’t last, unfortuantely (I’m really rooting for the guy to play well in Green Bay, all because of my disdain for Brett Favre’s decision to return to football), because this is only his first year starting, and you don’t see a Kurt Warner every day (but like I said, this is like the 1999 season all over again, and that was Kurt Warner’s leap to NFL greatness).
It also could be the year of the apocalypse. There’s a receiver who talks trash for the Cincinnati Bengals (that’s not a surprise) who changed his last name to Ocho Cinco (the surprise). A attention-vying move, perhaps a message to the Bengals, who refused to trade him. Let’s hope he’s traded sometime, and that he lands on a team having to wear a number other than Eighty Five.
Is this the year of the “What The Hell Is Going On?” You tell me.