The NFL Bandwagons: Week 1 Edition
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 00:09
All of my life, I have despised sports fans that hop on the bandwagon.
I cringe every time I see a kid in a Yankees hat, knowing the chances that he could spit out five players on the team is less than the chances of Bobby Valentine winning the Manager of the Year Award this season. It kills me when I hear guys say they are “diehard Lakers fans” or that they “live and die with Kentucky basketball,” as I am fully aware the only reason they sport Kobe jerseys or rock the unibrow is because both of these teams win, and win often. And the great LeBron James, who will end up being one of the best players to ever step onto the court, may in fact be the greatest bandwagoner of all-time for joining the Miami Heat.
All of my life, I have been one of those sports fans that hop on the bandwagon.
Put simply, I do not like Derrick Rose. Rose beat UConn while at Memphis, he never took the SATs, and I think that freakish athleticism of his is a bit overrated. However, none of these things stopped me from getting a Chicago Bulls snapback, his Bulls jersey and a pair of his Adidas kicks. In addition to a Rose jersey, others in my closet include LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo, Marion Barber and Clinton Portis. And if you feel like you barely saw me on Sundays last fall, it’s because I was on the road driving the Tim Tebow bandwagon. What can I say? When it comes to being a frontrunner, I’m just as bad as the rest of them.
While I may or may not hate myself for admitting that, I have decided to go ahead and start up a new wave of bandwagons for this year’s NFL season. If I think a player or team is about to take over the league, I will urge you to quickly buy your ticket and hop on the bandwagon as soon as you can. If I’m a bit suspect about someone but I still like them, I recommend reserving a seat but knowing where your emergency exits are. And if I feel like a guy is about to drop off the face of the earth à la JaMarcus Russell, you better tell the leader of the bandwagon to let you off at the nearest stop.
Buckle up and secure your little ones because, even though Jason Kidd is not driving, this NFL bandwagon trip is about to be a bumpy ride!
Hop on the Bandwagon, Quickly
1. Alfred Morris: Ask Redskins RB Alfred Morris, and he might not even know what a bandwagon is. Morris played his college ball at Florida Atlantic (1-11 last season), had just 37 combined rushing yards in blowout losses to Florida and Michigan State last year, and was drafted in the sixth-round this past April. Figuring to sit behind Roy Helu and Evan Royster, ALF shocked the fantasy football world when he was announced as the Week 1 starting running back by head-coach Mike Shanahan. In his NFL debut, the rookie went for 96 yards on the ground and two scores. I’m in love, and you should be too.
2. 49ers: For whatever reason, San Francisco was a trendy pick to be a total bust this season after a dreamlike 2011 campaign that culminated in an NFC Championship appearance. Just like they silenced the doubters who picked the Saints in the playoffs, however, the 49ers let their defensive play do the talking in a 30-22 win over Green Bay. Even more impressive: San Fran’s explosive new offense. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss suddenly look focused and rejuvenated, Vernon Davis and Mario Manningham are consistent producers, and their running back hierarchy is deeper than the Atlantic Ocean. Do I even need to mention David Akers?
3. Matt Ryan/Julio Jones: I am thoroughly convinced that this is the year Falcons QB Matt Ryan finally breaks through, puts up Fantasy-MVP-worthy stats, and wins his first ever playoff game. I am also starting to believe that Ryan and Julio Jones (108 yards, two TD’s on Sunday) is as sexy a combination as Stafford-Calvin, Brees-Graham and Brady-Gronk. One thing I cannot even fathom is the results of Atlanta’s first eight drives against the Chiefs: TD, FG (field goal), TD, FG, TD, TD, FG, FG. Is that good?
Be Aware of the Nearest Emergency Exit
1. Ravens: Yes, despite a good bar night, I did see Baltimore pour it on the Bengals to the tune of 44-13 on Monday. And yes, I will admit that Joe Flacco looked excellent and Ray Lewis is truly an ageless wonder. That being said, what if I told you that I’m only complimenting Mr. Lewis because he scares the crap out of me? In addition, let me inform you that out of the Ravens’ next six games, they play the Eagles, Patriots, Cowboys, and Texans. Do not fall for this team just yet.