A few quick hits this morning -- on what ails the Vikings, on the fans' anger in Indianapolis, on the Sunday night Bengals-Jets choice by the NFL, and on the prescience of
Part of the reason is the run-blitzing and Double-A-gap blitzing. (Great story, by the way, by
Two: The secondary is mediocre. I looked on ruefully as one of my all-decade corners,
Finally, the Vikings have lost the ability to be a big-play defense. In their four-game slide, they've allowed 25.5 points a game and 12 touchdowns.
I spoke with Minnesota wide receiver
"The fans felt cheated on a chance for history,'' White said. "What struck me is that numerous callers said they work two jobs, and the second job was to help them pay for season tickets. What's also become apparent here in recent years is Indiana and Indianapolis have officially become a football town and football state. The love the Colts. They wanted their team to make history. I think they would have accepted losing 31-30 on a great throw by
As I said Monday, we knew this was coming. The reaction is understandable because of the perfect-season aspect, and I still don't understand taking out an ironman quarterback who knows better than any other player in football how not to take sacks and not to get hurt. In my relationship with Polian over the years, I've heard him talk about his respect for the game many times; no executive appreciates the history of football and the Hall of Fame and the place of football in society more. It's odd to me that he's so adamant about 16-0 meaning nothing. I certainly don't think it's nothing.
It's arguable, certainly, and many of you did argue with me about it, but I picked the 2007 Patriots as the team of the decade, even though they lost the Super Bowl ... because there'd never been a 16-0 team, and I thought from start to finish of the season that New England team was the best. Now it'll be interesting to see how the fans react when the Colts open their playoff season at home on the weekend of Jan. 16-17. How will they react? Will they boo? I doubt it, but it bears watching.
Here's my point: No matter what game the NFL moved to Sunday night, it would affect the playoffs. There's no guarantee the Jets-Bengals would have been played at 1 p.m. had it not been moved to nighttime; if the league did that, then the New York TV market would have been robbed of the Dallas-Philadelphia late game because the Giants and Vikings would have had to be moved to the late-afternoon slot, and the FOX rating would have been splintered and lessened there.
"It's impossible to stay away from factors like that,'' league scheduling czar
By the way, my guess is if New England wins early,
Two notes about the MMQB book deal I offered: I've gotten notes that approximately 175 to 200 books never arrived after being mailed out from SI. That seems high. We're going to try to figure out a fair way to handle this. I haven't done that yet, but it's going to be problematic, because I've sent out all the books that were sent to me. So let me think about that for a while, and I'll let you know how we'll handle it.
Also, I don't have plans to do any more signing now. Thanks for your enthusiasm and your support of the book. But this was a one-time deal, for the holidays this year, and the mailing costs and the fact that I'm not in my New York office with any regularity make it difficult.
Now for your e-mail ... and Green's foresight:
Right you are -- and there are actually three who are close.
Which brings me to Trent Green's
Sorry. This was done with regard to only one factor -- making sure the Colts had less exposure to injury than if they'd played starters the entire game.
Interesting question. I do believe NFL owners feel a little bulletproof, seeing every networks' ratings climbing every year (ESPN and NBC both have ratings increases north of 15 percent over last year), and it'll be interesting to see if that confidence in the product makes owners drive a harder deal in negotiations with players.
I agree with you. Christmas football makes me uncomfortable. I liked what