The beefs -- from more than 2,000 e-mails and 17 calls I got, and from the Twitter chatter I've monitored since Monday -- seem to center on four big things:
• I ranked the Steelers too low, at two.
• I ranked the Bears too high, at four.
• I ranked the Saints too low, at 24.
• I ranked the Lions too high, at 31.
Let's start with the Steelers being behind the Patriots.
What would you say, Abdul, if I told you recent history tells us there's a 12-percent chance the Steelers will repeat? Let's look at the Super Bowl winners this decade, and what happened the following year:
One for 8. One Super Bowl winner. One conference champion.
That's my point: History says Pittsburgh's got a steep hill to climb here, and the Steelers may well do it. But the more I watch this game, the more I realize there's a reason teams don't repeat. I love the Steelers, I love everything about the
Now onto your e-mails, which will have much of the protests of the rankings in there:
Afraid not. Every year I like to pick one team to make an illogical jump because one or two teams always do. The Bears are my team this year. I think their defense is good enough and
Cliff, it's an interesting concept you raise. But let me ask you this: Right now, at this point in May, would you rather have a schedule that LOOKED the way Pittsburgh's looked last year (with New England, the Giants and Indianapolis), or would you rather have the schedule Pittsburgh has for 2009 (with Detroit, Kansas City and Oakland)? You never know how the situation is going to play out with the schedule, but looking at it now, you know the Pittsburgh slate this year looks a lot easier than a year ago.
I respect your opinion, Matt, but I think if your owner places a phone call to you, you should respond. I also think players are not the people who run the team; owners, coaches and GMs are. And there's no reason, just because Josh McDaniels didn't tell Cutler categorically that he would never be traded, that Cutler should stage a wildcat strike from the team with three years left on an existing contract.
We'll see. For an average quarterback, there sure were a lot of teams falling all over themselves trying to get Cutler. You make some valid points, because he hasn't played well late in seasons early in his career. But let's not kill Cutler because the Denver defense gave up 30, 30 and 52 points, respectively, in the last three games last year.
A lot of it's the pass-rush (I don't see one), and some of it is the schedule (at Philly, at Buffalo, Jets, Giants, at Miami, Atlanta in Weeks 2-7) early. We'll see. As I told one Saintaholic this morning: "They, and every other team, will have ample chance to prove me wrong.
Not really a slam of Buffett. Just a point that it's pretty desperate when you tie your marketing fate to him. Just thought it was odd, and I will be surprised if it sells many tickets.
Point taken. Thanks.
Thanks, Nestor. That just about says it all.