|ESPN.com: Page 2||[Print without images]|
Let me be honest with you for a moment: I am not an expert on all 32 NFL teams. Maybe 29 or 30 of them, but not all 32.
So instead of me previewing the 2008 season, I thought I'd save myself some work and ask players, coaches, celebrity fans, etc. to discuss their teams' outlooks for the new season. Luckily for you, my Rolodex is quite impressive.
|Hard to believe Warner's starting over Leinart, isn't it?|
Whisenhunt's prediction: 10-6
ATLANTA FALCONS (by Bobby Petrino, head coach, Arkansas Razorbacks)
Wow. This team stinks. I don't even know where to begin. Let me start on the offensive side of the ball, my specialty. Matt Ryan has a lot of potential, but he is a rookie, and
(DJ Gallo note: My apologies. Bobby Petrino quit halfway through this to accept a position analyzing another team.)
Gallo prediction: 2-14
BALTIMORE RAVENS (by Joe Flacco's unibrow)
People say this team can't win behind a rookie quarterback from Delaware who is used to playing against the likes of James Madison and Richmond. Well, I disagree. Joe Flacco is someone you can rely on. I remember when he went to a salon to get a haircut before his junior prom. The doubters/hairstylists were saying: "You need to trim that off. Your date will never hook up with you with that thing on your face." Well, he stuck with me. And let me tell you, a few of my hairs came loose that night in the backseat, if you know what I'm saying. And I remember when Joe played his first college game. The sun was hot that day. But did he shave me off to cool his face? No. He stuck with me and used me like eye-black, keeping his vision straight and true. All this is to say, stick with Joe Flacco, Ravens fans. He will stick with you.
Unibrow's pick: 4-12
BUFFALO BILLS (by David Miller, mayor of Toronto)
This is not a very good team. The Patriots still rule the AFC East. The Jets and Dolphins are improved. The Bills? It's debatable. I know that in the poor American economy, with the dollar so weak, Buffalo residents should by no means feel compelled to buy tickets to watch this team play. In fact, maybe Buffalo should just get rid of the Bills completely. Whaddaya say? Why don't you let us baby-sit the team one Sunday, just to see how it feels? Yes? You will do it? Ha-ha! Fooled you! We are never giving them back! (Evil, maniacal laughter.)
Miller's prediction: 7-9
CAROLINA PANTHERS (by Steve Smith, wide receiver, Panthers)
I am so sick of seeing the so-called experts on TV saying the Saints are going to win the NFC South. Where is the respect for the Carolina Panthers? Well, mark my words -- by midseason, I bet I don't see anyone picking the Saints. Because we will be in first place. Or I will have punched out all my televisions by then.
Smith's prediction: 14-2
CHICAGO BEARS (by Rex Ortman, quarterback, Bears)
It is time to lift the curtain. Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton are not different people. True, "Rex Grossman" often appears in public clean-shaven and defiant, while "Kyle Orton" appears neck-bearded and fun-loving. But on the field we are -- er, I am -- the same person, the same quarterback. And I, Rex Ortman, have literally hundreds of pictures of Lovie Smith naked.
Ortman's prediction: I don't know. Probably the same as whatever our record was last year.
|Who is this man, Chad Johnson or Chad Ocho Cinco?|
Ocho Cinco's prediction: 10-6
CLEVELAND BROWNS (by Brady Quinn's tights)
This team is a lot like me. We may be mocked and ridiculed by ignorant fans, but we are ready to explode onto the scene. To explain my metaphor further: The Cleveland Browns are no longer ballerina tights. Now we are compression pants, made of a high-tech fabric that allows muscles to perform at their peak. Soon everyone will come around to this new reality. At least I hope so, or it's back to the Cleveland Ballet for me.
Tights' prediction: 10-6
DALLAS COWBOYS (by Joe Simpson, celebrity father)
Being born and raised in Texas, I have always been a Cowboys fan. This team has always been like family, but now more than ever. I see my family in this team. Tony Romo is like my Jessica -- he may not come across as the brightest bulb, but he means well -- and he's further proof that you can become famous in this country even if you've never tasted the success of a single playoff victory or a single No. 1 hit. And in Terrell Owens and Adam "Pacman" Jones I see my Ashlee. Once quite unattractive, they have been massively reconstructed. You know, I couldn't be prouder of this team if they were my daughter's breasts.
Simpson's prediction: 13-3
DENVER BRONCOS (by Mike Shanahan's skin)
We are feeling good. Things are good. Jay Cutler is ready to break out. He is going to form a dynamic duo with Brandon Marshall. Tony Scheffler is ready to emerge at tight end, too. And, of course, our running game is always productive. On defense, John Lynch is gone, but that's a positive -- we are now younger and faster. This team is getting better. We are excited. So much so, in fact, that we have taken on a natural glow of excitement, allowing Mike to skip his daily 8:30 a.m. tanning appointment. Now he just has three daily appointments instead of the usual four -- meaning more time for football! A win-win!
Skin's prediction: 8-8
DETROIT LIONS (by Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit)
Look at my outgoing text messages from today. "U r so hot." "I want to be with u." "U make me feel good." "Let's do it." I sent all of those to the Detroit Lions. This team is ready to grab front-page headlines here in Detroit. At least I hope so.
Kilpatrick's prediction: 10-6
GREEN BAY PACKERS (by Ted Thompson, general manager, Packers)
I am happy about the team we have built here in Green Bay, and I believe we will have a very good team this year. No disrespect to Brett Favre and all he has accomplished, but with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, I think we can be even better than we were last year. This is a young, talented team, and Aaron Rodgers is the right young, talented quarterback to lead it. At least I hope so. In case he isn't, let it be known I HAVE INSTALLED A $1.3 MILLION SECURITY SYSTEM AT MY HOUSE! YOU HEAR THAT, YOU ANIMALS?
Thompson's prediction: 11-5
HOUSTON TEXANS (by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas)
For too long this division has been controlled by two teams. Well, now is the time for us to stand up and fight to get what is owed us! The NFL ripped a team away from us before, and they will do it again if we are not vigilant. By using sound fiscal policy we can grow and maintain our stable of individual talents -- men like Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub -- while at the same time improving our defense. Also, we must trim our massive bureaucracy. Twenty-five coaches? That makes no sense.
Paul's prediction: 9-7
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (by Peyton Manning's infected bursa sac)
Hi. I am Peyton Manning's bursa sac. Well, I was, at least. Then my former owner had me taken out 10 days before training camp -- after 32 years together! I get a little infection, and he gets rid of me. No medication, no lancing -- nope, just chopped me right out. Now, after missing almost all of camp, he claims he is 100 percent and ready to go. Pfft. Yeah, right. You think he was immobile before? Wait until you see him without me cushioning his left knee joint. I may be stuck in a pile of decomposing medical waste, but at least I'm not stuck in denial. Peyton Manning's best years are over.
Sac's prediction: 11-5
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (by Mike Tice, assistant head coach/tight ends, Jaguars)
Remember me, America? Well, get ready to hear a whole bunch more about me, because the Jaguars are winning the Super Bowl this year. I think we can be that good. But don't expect any scandal about me scalping Super Bowl tickets -- I'm keeping them this year, because we're playing in it. Woo! (I can get you some regular-season Jaguars tickets if you're interested, however. Call me.)
Tice's prediction: 12-4
|Simon Cowell = not a Chiefs fan.|
Cook's prediction: 6-10
MIAMI DOLPHINS (by Tony Sparano, head coach, Dolphins)
Bill Parcells is telling me to say that the team is making improvements. Bill Parcells is now telling me to say that we still have a long way to go to get to where we want to be. Bill Parcells is now telling me that I should not make it obvious that he is controlling everything I say. Crap!
Sparano's prediction (Really Bill Parcells' prediction): 6-10
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (by Prince, recording artist)
Eeeee! A-dri-an Peter-son Cream! Don't you stop. Cream. Sh-boogie bop. Tar-var-is Jack-son this is what it sounds like when doves cry. Weee-hee-hee.
Prince's prediction: Woo-ooo-hoo
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (by [name redacted], Nick Kaczur's DEA contact)
You wouldn't believe the stuff I've heard on Nick Kaczur's wire since training camp opened. That sideline taping stuff they did last year? Pfft. Child's play compared to what Bill Belichick has planned for 2008. Unmanned stealth drones. High-tech, invisible listening devices. Nano-robots embedded in their opponents that will allow the Patriots to control their actions. Body recognition software that scans the crowd and finds and rates suburban housewives. And for reasons I don't quite understand yet: a fleet of nuclear subs. I have a friend at the NSA, and he says they haven't even deployed most of this yet. I'm scared. But I am also very confident the Patriots will regroup quite nicely from their Super Bowl loss.
[Redacted]'s prediction: 19-0
NEW YORK JETS (by Kellen Clemens, quarterback, Jets)
We are a team on the rise. Our offensive line is solid. We have a young and improving defense. And we are better on offense at the skill positions. If we aren't ready to contend for the division title this year, then we definitely will be in four to five years when Brett Favre retires, wavers, then hints at unretiring, then officially unretires, and then gets unceremoniously removed from the team, much to the chagrin of our fans -- at which time I will be ceded the starting job.
Clemens' prediction: 9-7
NEW YORK GIANTS (by Tiki Barber, former Giant)
Will the Giants win the Super Bowl again? I wouldn't bet on it. But it's possible, I suppose. The thing you have to remember is, winning the Super Bowl is not the only way to measure success. Many teams have good seasons, but only one team can win a ring. But some people are all about rings. Medals, too.
Barber's prediction: 10-6
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (by Jeremy Shockey, tight end, Saints)
This is going to be an amazing year in New Orleans. I don't even know where to begin. It's like nothing I've seen before. I thought I had it good in New York, but this? Oh, man. You can party all night long. Just loads of hot chicks who want to get crazy. Anything you want here, you can get. I don't know if the Giants will miss me, but I know I won't miss them.
Shockey's prediction: Loads of awesomeness
OAKLAND RAIDERS (by the autumn wind)
I always hear about how I am a Raider, and how I'm "pillaging just for fun." Well, that's not true. And that's a hurtful stereotype. I am, indeed, a Raider. But there is nothing fun about it of late. If I could, I'd blow some better players to Oakland. Darren McFadden is a start, but there's a long way to go. And I'm definitely not "pillaging." I'm merely poking around, looking through the scrap heaps of other teams for players who can help us get better, OK? Now let me move on. I am needed to clear a smell from around Al Davis.
Wind's prediction: 4-12
|Maybe Santa really is an Eagles fan?|
Claus' prediction: 19-0 (in Philadelphia prison); 9-7 (after release from Philadelphia prison)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (by the Rooney family)
"We are going to be good this year."
"No, we are going to be great this year."
"Would you two stop arguing? It's semantics. Just shut up."
"Why don't you shut up, huh? No one cares what you think."
"Oh, really? Well, Roger Goodell cares what I think. Wait until I tell him what you said."
"You were always a tattletale. I never loved you. Mom told me you were adopted."
Rooneys prediction: Mixed
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (by Kendra Wilkinson, Playboy bunny, "The Girls Next Door")
(Burp) OK, so, like, the Chargers are dope. (Passes gas) I love them sooooo much! (Belch) Shawne Merriman is my favorite player! Maybe someday Shawne Merriman will be Shawne, my marryin' man. (Laughs annoyingly for 20 seconds. No one else laughs) Shawne is playin' through pain, you know? Doin' it for our D. Deeeeeeeeee! (Jumps up and down pumping her fists. Passes gas each time her feet hit the ground) And I can identify with that. Like how I once did a photo shoot even though I was all up in the bathroom with the runs, yo! (Vomits) As for coaching, we got Norv Turner. He's like our Hef. He's old and ugly, but I'd still get with him 'cause he makes mad money! He could pay my automo-bills! (Annoyingly laughs to herself again. Messes pants) And to top it off, the Super Chargers be the best team because we've got the most explosive offense! (Passes gas again. And this time lights it on fire)
Wilkinson's prediction: 1,000,000,000-0
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (by J.T. O'Sullivan, quarterback, 49ers)
I know I am a surprise choice to take over at quarterback for the 49ers. I know the team has quite a lineage at the position. But just as Steve Young was able to successfully walk in Joe Montana's large footprints, I am confident I can successfully fill Alex Smith's tiny handprints.
O'Sullivan's prediction: 5-11
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (by God)
I have always been a Seahawks fan. There, I said it. Teams and players always say I'm helping them, but no. For one, that's not how I roll. I like people to control their own destiny. And two, I'm a Seahawks fan. I can't say why for sure. I guess I just always liked their colors. Anyway, I think they will have a pretty good team this year. (I could tell you exactly how good if I chose to rack that part of my brain.) All I know is that I'm going to miss having Mike Holmgren as coach after this year. Now there's a guy who knows a lot about football. He's probably the only guy I could have an intelligent conversation about the game with. (Yes, that's right -- I just ended a sentence with a preposition. It's OK, humanity. It's natural.)
God's prediction: The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.
ST. LOUIS RAMS (by Saint Louis IX)
This is a veteran team, but as recent seasons have shown, age does not equal success. Look at me. I became King of France when I was 11 and went on to be canonized. Not too shabby, right? An NFC all-pro nod or two is not sainthood, Marc Bulger. And until you stay healthy and get this team back to the playoffs, I'll be on a crusade to find your replacement.
Louis IX's prediction: 9-7
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (by Jon Gruden, head coach, Buccaneers)
I haven't been home in two weeks due to working on this preview. I sleep on the couch in my office if I sleep at all. That's how much effort I have put into this. I bet all these other guys didn't work as hard as me, right? (Makes intense, scrunchy face.) So here it is. Write this down: We will be competitive this year. That's all I got so far.
Gruden's prediction: 9-7
|Can't wait to see Jason Taylor's sack dances this season.|
Young's prediction: 13-3
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (by Jason Taylor, defensive end, Redskins)
I never thought I would be playing anywhere but Miami. For me, that thought was like the Lambada -- the forbidden dance. But then the Redskins and I began the cheeky, flirtatious Cha Cha. From there we became as one with the Mambo, and now I am intensely anticipating the season, as though it were the Paso Doble. If we form a great partnership, I could see us winning the Mirror Ball Trophy. (Or whatever the NFL equivalent is.)
Taylor's prediction: 10-6
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.