COLUMN: The NFL is back, as well as some college football

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     It was so refreshing to sit back and take in an actual televised football game. By now I would have watched a couple of Hawkeye games and perhaps a few miscellaneous college football games too. I did watch the second half of the ISU game and as much as I try to support the other state college, I’ll be honest, with the Hawkeyes not playing, and being mad about it, I found myself rooting for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Of course, this was more out of jealousy.

     Getting back to the NFL, Thursday night was enjoyable, watching the Chiefs defend their title and actually seeing a few fans in their stands. I didn’t pay much attention to what other teams did as far as letting in fans. I know the Vikings did not let their fans in and I am sure it played a big part in the Packers ability to run their offense in relative quietness. I do not think home field advantage will be as big of a deal this season.

     The Tampa Bay Tom Brady era opened this weekend against a tough opponent, the New Orleans Saints. I’ve never been a Tom Brady fan because I’ve put the Patriots at the top of my least favorite NFL team list. Yesterday I found myself cheering for Brady and the Buccaneers. The Saints ruined his debut.

     I joined a public online Fantasy Football league this season and that makes me pay more attention to other teams, not just my favorite team, the 1-0 Green Bay Packers. The Packers have struggled over the years going up to Minnesota so I was ecstatic to see a Packer win. The Monday night game between the Steelers and Giants will determine my fantasy football victory or defeat. I have a running back for the Giants still left and my opponent has the Steelers defense, I’m ahead in points 122-120 and am projected to win. A Steeler shutout would negate any chance I have.

     I’m cheering on the Giants, my fifth most hated NFL team. In case you are wondering, here is the order: Bears, Vikings, Patriots, Seahawks and a tie between the Cowboys and Giants. My favorite list: Packers, Browns, Chiefs and Ravens.

     Speaking of Cowboys, last night’s game ended with a controversial call: offensive pass interference. The call kept the Cowboys from kicking a game tying field goal. The call was probably correct by rule but if it happened to my team, I would have been upset! I’m not so sure I like that rule anyway but it definitely has changed the way a game is both played and called by the refs.

     Here are my thoughts on the NFL playoffs: AFC division winners will be the Patriots, Ravens, Titans and Chiefs. The wildcard will be the Steelers and Bills. The Chiefs return to the Super Bowl.

     NFC division winners will be Cowboys, Packers, Saints and Seahawks. The two wildcard picks are the Bears and 49ers. The Saints take on the Chiefs in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs defending their title.




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