JUDGE DREDD: NFL kickoff brings hope, reality
It’s a date that real men don’t need to mark on their calendars, because every year the internal alarm clock goes off and announces the arrival of football season.
On Sunday, men across the country will gather in sports bars and in front of their newly purchased, high-definition LCD TVs for one reason and one reason only. On the surface, it may seem like it’s just about sharing some good times with friends while watching the NFL season kick off. Dig a little deeper, though.
Deep down, the reason why guys across America set their alarms for 11 a.m. even though they know they’re going to have a hangover from Saturday night’s partying is the same reason why the church-goers abruptly switch from attending 11 o’clock service to early morning service.
It’s for the greater good. At the beginning of the season, every team has a chance. Who cares what the analysts say? Even the realists draw out the inner kid inside them, the kid that believes it’s his team’s time to make that Super Bowl run.
That feeling will subside for most in a matter of three or four weeks. Witnessing New England quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss take away your secondary’s innocence can be an eye-opening kick in the grapefruits.
But until that day of recognition comes, men across the country share one thing – hope.
So, while I still have some hope to cling on to, here’s a prediction for the 2008-09, previously 1-15, Jason Taylor-less, Zach Thomas-less and pothead Ricky Williams-endowed Miami Dolphins – my team.
The Dolphins will finish the regular season with a 10-6 record and win one wild card game.
Some might ask, "What about that, ‘All men have hope for a Super Bowl run crap’, you were talking about earlier?"
Well, that didn’t technically apply to Dolphins fans. For a team that finished 1-15 last season and hasn’t been to the playoffs since a guy named Jay Fiedler was under center, finishing the season at 11-6 is like going to the Super Bowl.
Others might say, "Why should I care or read about some guy’s Dolphins fantasy when I live in Houston?"
During Miami’s proposed 11-6 season, their week 6 matchup will be against the Texans in Houston, and one of those 11 victories – unfortunately for Texans fans – will result in a scratch in the loss column for the Gary Kubiak’s home team squad.
Now, if you’re done snickering, here are five reasons why the Dolphins will beat the Texans for the first time in franchise history.
Reason No. 1: The Tuna. Bill Parcells has been known to make grown men tinkle in their jock straps. This is particularly true when it comes to the younger guys in the NFL. During the pre-game ceremonies at Reliant Stadium, he will conveniently intimidate the Texans’ young offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who will pee his pants in front of both teams’ coaching staffs.
The 28-year-old prodigy will be so distraught, he will force Texans quarterback Matt Schaub to run option plays for the first two quarters before snapping back into reality.
Reason No. 2: Running back Ronnie Brown is the man. Before he injured himself trying to make a take on an interception of Jacksonville quarterback Cleo "Freakin" Lemon, Brown led the NFL in yards from scrimmage and was a fantasy football owner’s dream come true. He’s back and ready to pick up where he left off.
Reason No. 3: Running back Williams may be a pothead, but he’s a pothead that can be unstoppable at times on the field. This is the same guy who rushed for over 1800 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2002. Also, he hasn’t had that much wear and tear on his body since he’s been out of the NFL for two and a half years serving substance abuse suspensions.
Reason No. 4: Cam Cameron is not Miami’s coach any more.
Reason No. 5: The law of averages. It’s never been proven to equate in football, but if it does, 2008 seems like a nice year for the Dolphins to start leveling out the series.
So what if Texans defensive end Mario Williams could eat Dolphins wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. for breakfast before the game if he felt like it?
When it comes down to it, Super Mario probably won’t feel like eating Ginn for breakfast. And even if he did, Williams would have to get in his Lamborghini to catch the Dolphins’ wideout, and there’s no guarantee that he will even be able to do that.
All jokes aside, the Texans will be one of the Dolphins’ casualties in 2008, and Ginn can outrun Williams’ Lamborghini.
At least that’s my story right now. Who knows? By week five, this columnist could be found at Buffalo Wild Wings with his head on the counter, wishing the game between the Chargers and his 0-3 Dolphins would just end. But until that happens, playoffs here I come.