Ah, the bye week, or as The Simpsons calls it, "a harrowing bye week, which no one enjoys." But really, a bye week can be enjoyable: without the stress of your favorite team's game, you can relax and just watch football. But the bye (and grading papers) has my mind scattered, so expect this National Friday League installment to be more pointless and rambling than usual.
Let's go ahead and look at the NFL's standings for a few amusing bits of nothing through four weeks.
The Cowboys have scored 151 points (37.75 pg), the Patriots 148 (37 pg), and the Colts 131 (32.75 pg). The Cowboys and Patriots have 19 TDs each, the Colts 15. Serious question, and keep in mind all of these totals include any defensive scores: which do you think is the best offense? I don't know: they're each uber-talented, and they can each beat a defense pretty much every way possible.
ADDENDUM: Football Outsiders looks at the numbers by down and suggests Dallas can't sustain this current level of success.
But this is more impressive: the Patriots have scored 100 points more than their opponents. And how early are they going to clinch their division? I'm hoping the Colts' make a home field advantage fight of it, because my Hazelweird team is counting on Bill Belichick saving Laurence Maroney for the cold weather games of November and December.
In my composition classes, I include a unit on analyzing advertisements, because I think it is useful in a lot of ways. So I typically pay closer attention to commercials than most people (sometimes I'll start ranting about what I'm seeing on a commercial, and my wife will just look at me flummoxed, thinking I'm just pulling some subject out of nowhere and making absurd references. Last night I saw a commercial telling me sugar has 15 calories per teaspoon. "Pshaw," I said. "How much is a teaspoon, anyway?" Unsure how to answer this since she wasn't watching the commercial, she cried out "What are you talking about?" I suppose: how, out of nowhere, are you supposed to just explain how much a teaspoon is? In a related anecdote, I was in a grocery store on Tuesday--October 2nd-- and a man asked me when Halloween was. I just looked at him. "When is Halloween?" he repeated. "October 31st?" I said, thinking I was being set up for some sort of joke by a lonely old man. "No, when is it in relation to now?" he asked. He wanted to know how far away Halloween was--or as I would have framed it, "How long until Halloween?"; he didn't know the current date, and didn't want to forget to get candy and get "caught empty handed." Anyway, I have a serious, serious problem with parentheses. It seems I'll just put anything into parentheses. If I read a student's paper with parentheticals like I use, I would be incredulous. This is so uneven. Seriously, when you get out of this parenthetical, you're not going to remember exactly what I was originally talking about. It was advertisements. I'll get out now). But this year's NFL commercials are just boring. There just aren't very many creative or amusing ads at all. Are there any ads that anybody has particularly enjoyed?
The Peyton Manning Fantasy Experiment
Remember how in the Ghosts of Wayne Fontes' fantasy league, which features 14 teams, I took Peyton Manning 6th overall? I was the only person not to take a RB in the first round. Through four weeks, I'm 4-0 and leading in total points. I'm not writing this to brag (sort of), but to reiterate a fantasy football principle: if you are in a deep league, you want to get a guaranteed fantasy producer with your first pick. Obviously it took other good picks (Plaxico Burress, Roy Williams, Dallas Clark) to build a competitive team, but Manning is a guaranteed fantasy producer, and I passed on risky RBs in order to get him. So far, anyway, it appears it was the right move.
I'm intrigued by several of week 5's matchups. I'm not as thrilled with what games the networks are allowing me to watch: I just want to watch my own fantasy players. What pleasure am I supposed to derive out of watching the Giants and Jets? I'm also not entirely sure I'll be able to stomach watching the Sunday night Bears-Packers game--I'd actually rather grade papers. That's senseless.
Go look at the photo accompanying this Mark Craig article. Are there words for this image? I'm a bit horrified by it, and I'm not entirely sure why.
Adrian Peterson: rookie of the month, shameless self-promoter (Pioneer Press).
Viking Update points out the projected difficulty of the Vikings' schedule has been flipped up.
The Ragnarok and Daily Norseman are thrilled with Sidney Rice.
Football Outsiders finds that Devin Hester's TD return rate makes him arguably the greatest return man in NFL history. It's fun to see the other names on the list: Gale Sayers is right behind him, and Ollie Matson is just a bit further down. Fun players.
Joe Sports Fan looks at some ridiculous quotes about Brett Favre (via Fanhouse).
Enjoy the weekend everybody. Except Packer fans.