Would you like to be dealt a blackjack hand by Drew Brees? Watch Reggie Bush spin the roulette wheel or have Jimmy Graham pass you the craps dice? Just visit the New Orleans Harrah’s on a Sunday during football season; casino employees are allowed to wear NFL jerseys, a policy 95 percent take advantage of. Starting on Saturday night and going through Sunday, the casino floor turns into the stands at the Superdome. All but one of the participating employees I saw last weekend chose a Saints jersey — there was a 3-Card Poker dealer wearing a Mike Wallace (Steelers) jersey. Most of them chose some variation of a Brees jersey — home, away, Pro Bowl, pink, Super Bowl patch, “Cool Brees.” The best I saw was a senior woman dealing blackjack with an Archie Manning jersey.
Continue reading New Orleans Loves the Saints
The regular NFL referees were welcomed back this past weekend. “Just found out Ed Hochuli an the boys are back! Glad u all reached a deal,” tweeted San Francisco wide receiver Randy Moss, whose excitement—or, better yet, relief—was shared by NFL players and fans alike. But let’s not act like these guys are national heroes. We could have done without the chest-bumping or the Monday Night Football-style introductions. Soak it up, boys, because we will turn on you.
Year of the Bird
For the first time all season, the Falcons trailed on Sunday before pulling out a miraculous victory to stay undefeated. The Cardinals hadn’t lost until last night and are in first place in the NFC West. The Eagles and Ravens are both 3-1 and atop their respective divisions. Yes, 2012 is shaping up to be the Year of the Bird. It looks like my All-Avian preseason Super Bowl prediction is looking pretty good right now.
Continue reading Refs Return, Jets Struggle, and Legatron
Green Bay Packers fans won’t see it this way, but we can look back at The Inaccurate Reception as the play that forced Roger Goodell and the NFL to come to an agreement with the locked-out referees, who will return to the field tonight. There are three photos that sum up the madness that was the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game in Seattle.
The first shows Tate with, at best, one hand on the football (that white thing next to Wilson’s stats is my attempt at an asterisk):
Continue reading NFL Week 4: The Inaccurate Reception
Last week I didn’t mention the passing of an NFL icon—Art Modell—because when I reached out to people to get their thoughts, the replies were mostly negative. Not unprintable, per se, but in poor taste considering the man was dead. The reactions to Steve Sabol’s death were the opposite: the NFL Films president was beloved.
Sabol and his father, the founder of NFL Films, are largely responsible for so many football-viewing aspects we take for granted today: slow-motion and reverse angle replays, setting highlights to music, microphones on the field, blooper reels, and more. You didn’t need to see the television to know it was an NFL Films production. The music was powerful and recognizable enough. Sabol won 35 Emmys and is regarded as the greatest storyteller in NFL history. He died on Tuesday after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. He was 69.
Continue reading NFL Week 3 Preview
There’s nothing like the mainstream media’s overreaction to Week 1 of the NFL season. It started on Thursday night, when Giants fans were told their team had no shot of repeating as champs. By Sunday night, Saints and Packers fans were doomed. Andrew Luck is a bust. RG3 is a god. The Jets have the best offense in football. The Panthers have the worst. And on and on. You won’t find any overreaction here at andrewjkahn.com, though I will remind you that my Baltimore over Atlanta Super Bowl pick looks pretty good right now…
Hey, mom, I’m done with my segment!
How could I start off with anything but this:
Tell me that’s not the best “This is SportsCenter” commercial in years. You can’t.
Continue reading NFL Week 2 Preview
The NFL is the most popular sport in America for a lot of reasons, but one of them is chaos. It is hard to rule out more than a few teams when making your preseason playoff predictions. This just isn’t true in other sports. In what NFL city aren’t fans saying, “This could be our year!” (OK, maybe not in Cleveland, Minnesota, Jacksonville, or Indianapolis.)
For the past nine seasons and 11 of the last 12, a team has gone from worst to first within its division. In each season since 1996, at least five teams made the playoffs that didn’t qualify the previous year. The average playoff turnover rate over that span is 50 percent (six teams)!
Continue reading NFL Preview 2012