First open NFL thread of 2012-2013

I want to start with talking trash about how good the Raiders are going to be.  Then I just can’t bring myself to be that dishonest.

Then I want to talk about how there’s a real chance they’ll make the playoffs this year.  Ditto.

There’s so much turmoil and a new, untested head coach in Dennis Allen, not to mention Jacoby Ford hobbling around in crutches after the preseason loss to Arizona.  Darren McFadden (or, as he’s commonly called in the NFL, “please don’t run the fuck over me”) is a beast when he’s healthy, so maybe he can play a whole season without getting sidelined with an injury.  And maybe Tim Tebow will play nude.

So let’s talk about two teams I’ll be rooting hard for this year that I ordinarily wouldn’t care about: Cincinnati and Detroit.  Both are perpetual losers, and I love rooting for an underdog.  But in a league full of underdogs, why root for these two?  Because they both might be good this year.  Both Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford showed a lot of promise last year and have the pieces in place to score a lot of points if their defenses can hold up.

Likewise, I have to root against Dallas (which shouldn’t be hard this year, though I’d love to see Felix Jones have a good year) and Pittsburgh.  I get so tired of hearing their fans.  You know where you find Cincy fans?  Around Cincinnati.  You know where you find Colts fans?  Indiana.  You know where you find Cowboys and Steelers fans?  Fucking everywhere, because they were good a decade ago (or, in Pittsburgh’s case, they’re still good).  The tribes of bandwagon fans of the 80s and 90s drive me nuts, and so I must yearn for their teams to taste defeat.  (If you’re from around Dallas or Pittsburgh, you get a pass, but I still hope your teams get clobbered)

I also don’t envy Michaelyn.  She’s a fan of the Jets who conspicuously picked up quarterback wannabe (and Jesus wannabe), Tim Tebow.  I want to cheer for my darling’s team, but can’t bring myself to do it.  Michaelyn and I even have a bet.  I’m betting that Tim Tebow will start a game over Sanchez, not due to injury or any extraneous circumstances, but because the coaching staff will elect to start him.  At that point, we can take a pool on how any picks he’ll throw while masquerading as an NFL QB.  Who do you think is the sucker in this bet?

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • sarahm

    Cleveland Browns! Wooooooo!*

    *cognitive dissonance

    • senor

      Living in the Northern VA area, I still see a fair number of fellow Browns fans. We just share a forlorn glance and look sadly into our beers until the game is done. I think I’m just picking a random team from a hat (minus the AFC North, Broncos, and Cowboys) to root for this year.

  • Victoria

    I don’t follow NFL football as much as college football, but being a Michigan girl born and raised I always support my lions. I’d love to see us do well this year!

    • paladin1969

      Always loved Barry Sanders since his days at OSU, never a huge Detroit fan but was so glad they booted Millen out so you all could have a chance at winning.

  • paladin1969

    My beloved Chefs may be 1-1, but I have hope this season will be much improved. If nothing else I love Romeo Crennel’s attitude and work ethic.

  • otocump

    Silly ‘murikans, we’ve been playing football for almost 2 months up in the Great White North! Remember, our balls (and field) are bigger ;)

    Ah but aside from that jab, GO STEELERS.

    • paladin1969

      Ah the CFL – where NFL players go to retire :)

      • otocump

        Retire? Thats giving em even more credit! If we could have wash-ups instead of wash-outs we’d have an even better league! I ain’t kidding myself here, I know where the talent level lies. I still enjoy the game though, considering I’m a league statistician.

  • Keith

    I root every year for the Buffalo Bills, perpetual underdogs who really don’t have a chance. Although I have moved away, they are my original home town team.

    It was really great back in the early 90s when they made their Superbowl runs, of course that too has become a dubious distinction with 4 straight losses.


  • Laen

    To hell with Detroit! Go Bears. Ravens and Raiders are the other two teams I tend to root for. I don’t really dislike the Lions, I always liked Barry Sanders, but it’s hard to develop a dislike for a team that never matters. Now…the dead wings from the same town on the other hand, I hate. With a deep passion.

  • ButchKitties

    I live five miles down the street from Lucas Oil Stadium, so I’m geographically obligated to be a Colts fan. Really hoping that Luck at least partially lives up to expectations. Last seasons was brutal. I live with a Bengals fan and I’m not used to him having a better year than me.

    Also hoping that the Giants have a good year. Eli is and has always been my favorite Manning.

  • feralboy12

    From The Onion: Ground Emerges as Tim Tebow’s Favorite Target.
    The AFC West looks wide open this year; I think anybody could win it, even the Raiders. A lot might depend on Peyton Manning’s neck problem (I think the problem is that he has a neck; not a desirable trait in a football player).
    As for the Lions, they’re in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category and have been the entire 40+ years I’ve been watching this game. The Bengals? Possibly good, but I still worry about Andy Dalton. Specifically, I worry that with so much on his mind he might have a mental lapse and take the field without his helmet.
    And no one will notice.
    I’m a Chiefs fan. Unfortunately, they’re also in the “believe it when I see it” group.

  • Verimius

    Although I’m an atheist myself, I still find it pretty funny to read a bunch of other atheists expressing preferences for sports teams.

    How much of your preference for one team or another is based on logic and reason, and how much on faith?

    Why do you care if team A plays team B, and one or the other wins, loses, (or even exists)?

    • senor

      The entertainment provided by watching sports and/or of falling in with the regional tribalism of our birthplace or adopted cities? What would acceptable atheist entertainment be to you?

  • sisu

    The only way Tebow’s starting a game is if Sanchez is injured. He’s just awful. Sorry Michaelyn!

    As for me, just hoping for a 6-10 season here. Not even going to pretend the playoffs are in the picture this year.

    Skoal Vikings!

  • eric

    I don’t need a Raiders superbowl to be happy. Just keep getting better guys.

    5-11 (2009), 8-8 (2010), 8-8 (2011). Let’s see 9-7 or 10-6 in 2012.

    And for heavens’ sake, find a quarterback you can stick with more than a year or two.

  • John Hong

    I always root for Detroit, unless they’re against New Orleans.

    I bet the Saints make it to at least the NFC Championship this year. Heard it here first.

  • dpearson

    I’ve been a long time Broncos fan and was so glad when they got rid of Tebow. Sorry Michaelyn. GO BRONCOS!

  • Wes

    Go Eagles!

  • Jennifer, Uppity Bitch and General Malcontent

    See, I want to love Detroit because Ndamokung Suh is a brilliant player and Stafford is very talented, but then I remember that Schwartz is a thug who runs an undisciplined team that can’t hold it together for long enough not to stomp on other people. (Cough Suh cough.) That scuffle with Harbaugh last year showed a lot about his character, and I can’t stand him now.

    I love Troy Polamalu and Mike Tomlin and want to root for the Steelers so bad, but I can’t watch them without hoping that Ben Roethlisberger has someone spike him because he’s such a vile piece of shit. So, go Troy, sorry, Tomlin.

    Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Watch them this year. Cammy Cam is going to be beginning to really shine, and RG3, who hails from Baylor, which isn’t far from where I’m from as these things go (Denton) is a joy and a half to watch.

    Also, my gentleman caller is a TCU graduate and I got to go to a bunch of games fronted by Andy Dalton, and they were fucking glorious, y’all. He’s never going to be elite, but he is going to be a good, sturdy midsized family sedan that can carry the right team through playoffs and a Superbowl if the Bungles play their cards right for once. I want to see how Casey Pachall performs (TCU’s current), because I think he has a ton of promise, but he’s also kind of a fucking idiot, so there’s that.

    I have no real team loyalty; I have loyalty to certain players and coaches (just in case this isn’t clear), and I love Jim Harbaugh. I love watching a killer defense, and I want to see what the 49ers do this year, although it’ll be tough to top last year. Same goes for the elder Harbaugh brother and his fabulous safety-centered defense.

    Moar safeties. Moar multipurpose runningbacks. Moar running quarterbacks.

    Mark Sanchez will throw a lot of picks and Tebow will fade into the obscurity that he deserves. The Jets have their share of sexist douchers, but I’m sure every team does; it’s just, they got caught.

    I am fucking pumped this year.

  • fastlane

    My wife’s teams:
    - Steelers
    - Raiders
    - Giants (she really likes both Mannings)
    - Ravens

    …and some others she’s a bit hot and cold. She picks based on uniforms (yes, I know…) and the personalities of the players/coaches. That’s why she’s such a big Steelers fan: Coach Cowar (Cower?).

    Me, I’m a Cowboys fan (although constantly annoyed at them for something or other…), and have been since I started playing/watching football when I was 8, back in the days of Staubach, and Tom Landry.

    I also cheer for the Lions, to honor the memory of my late step father, who was always a Lions fan, no matter what. Green bay has always been my mom’s team (so there were a lot of interesting sundays at their house….).

    We both loath the KC Chiefs. I’ve never liked them, and after living in that shithole state for 7 long, painful years, my wife hates them now too.

    We live in the PNW now, and we’re going to try to be Seahawk fans this year…might even go to a game.