This is my favorite time of the year...when I get anxious to send out my first football e-mail to a group of buddies who took my money last year, after having me take it from them the year before (who knows what this season will bring?); when the optimism surrounding Detroit Lions training camp is almost worth buying into (I know I shouldn't say this, because I say it every year, but...they could really be on to something this year!); and when you just never know which team will emerge, Saints-like, and be the big surprise of the league.
As the pre-pre-season gets underway, here are a few early thoughts that have been rolling around in my head as I wait for the kickoff of the regular season:
- Go Lions!!
- I realize that Joe Thomas is supposed to be the greatest thing to come out of college since sliced bread (which earned an MFA in yeast at High-Rise University), and I'm happy for the whole Wisconsin-boy-makes-good story, but more than FORTY-TWO million over five years?? With 22 or 23 million guaranteed? Two words...Tony. Mandarich.
- Joey Harrington just can't seem to find a clipboard to hold anywhere these days. After being shown the door in Detroit, he went to Miami where he expected to back up Daunte Culpepper. Instead...he started 11 games, performing well in about two and a half quarters of those games. Sent packing again, he signed with Atlanta, securing a position on the sidelines behind Michael Vick. (has anyone heard anything about him these days?) With Vick appearing to have other plans for about the next, oh, six years or so...Harrington once again finds himself a starter.
- Uhh...Go Lions!!
- Randy Moss will have a spectacular season, and will catch many, many touchdowns. Terrell Owens will be boorish, obnoxious, attention-starved, and will be outplayed by teammate Terry Glenn. (A couple of the football magazines I paged through have the Cowboys pegged as the runner-up in the Super Bowl. Am I missing something? With Wade Phillips as coach??)
- In an attempt to instill more confidence in the locker room, Lions signal-caller Jon Kitna has been spouting to the media that his team will win 10-plus games this season. And wide receiver Mike Furrey is echoing those statements, saying "on paper, we should win 10, 11 games, easy." (Umm...you don't put on pads and helmets and cleats to go and play pro football games on paper, Mr. Furrey.) Kitna also has been throwing around a crazy number when asked about the potential of his wide receiving corps this year, with Furrey, Roy Williams and draft-day stud, Calvin Johnson...saying he might throw 50 touchdowns this season. (Peyton Manning's single-sesaon record is 49. Last I checked, Jon Kitna is no Peyton Manning.)
- So...Go Lions! Yeah, go away from all those microphones and stop talking like fuckin' idiots, and concentrate instead on a nice, respectable 9-7 record, which just might get you into the playoffs in the NFC.
"The place where
optimism flourishes most
is in the lunatic asylum."