Hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day. Was a quiet news day compared to the last few days. Not sure if it's the calm before the storm, or if the Rams are done making moves with their first game just five days away.
In other news, the NFL season starts TOMORROW! Cowboys at the Super Bowl Champion Giants. Kickoff is at 8:30. If you remember the end of last year's regular season, the Cowboys had a 12 point lead in the fourth quarter of week 14 against the Giants in a game that would have all but eliminated the Giants from playoff contention. The Cowboys coughed up that lead, then got blown out in week 17 by the Giants, allowing New York to scoot into the playoffs at 9-7. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Now, these two teams meet in the first Wednesday game in more than 60 years. This will be their third meeting in their last five regular season games. It's not our beloved Rams, but, by gawd, NFL football is back!
Alright, on to the news and notes of the day
The New York Times previews the Rams season - Andy Benoit clearly did a ton of research for this highly in-depth preview. He can see the talent for the future, but thinks the Rams finish this season in the basement of the NFC West.
Greg Salas spoke to Boston.com - As a site that covers the Patriots, they were clearly glowing in their praise for young Mr. Salas. Although they may overplay his rookie season a bit, (did anyone think he was on his way to a "sparkling rookie season" before he broke his leg?) it does seem like he will be a natural fit for the Patriots if he is willing to work hard at learning the offense and the way Hoodie and Brady want it to be run.
Howard Balzer addresses the challenges facing the Rams offensive line and their coach Paul Boudreau - I was very optimistic about the Rams chances on Sunday. Not to win, but to keep the game close, and prove to be more of a challenge to the Lions than most would expect. I feel far less confident after reading this piece. Therefore, I must tag this one with a ***PESSIMISM WARNING***.
Other NFL News
Peter King describes a situation where a replacement ref was intimidated by a head coach into picking up a flag - I normally try to find columns that aren't as popular as Mr. King's to link to, but this story CAN'T be missed. A referee threw a flag a head coach disagreed with. The head coach yelled at the ref. The ref agreed to pick the flag up. This is going to be such a mega-disaster. This is going to make the sloppy play of last year's first couple weeks look like nothing. The story can be seen about one-third of the way down the page, under "Now For The News Of The Week".
The Rams aren't the only team with offensive line problems - I can't be the only one that thinks that JPP and Osi are going to have a field day with this thrown-together Cowboys offensive line. Here's hoping the big game on Wednesday is close past half time.
Is the NFL on "the edge of losing fans' admiration"? - In my life, and talking to other fans, I don't see it. The concussion issue sucks, and needs to be dealt with, but it's not like the steroids issue in baseball, where the officials closed their eyes, stuck their fingers in their ears, and claimed not to hear everyone telling them that Barry Bonds' head now had it's own gravitational pull. Things are being done about the concussion issue, and we are certainly at a saturation point on concussion stories in the media, and yet, the NFL preseason won the youth viewership battle last week. The regular season will come with just as much, or more, viewership as it normally does, and the hype for kickoff is at an all time high. Perhaps this "edge" is a cliff that we are headed towards, but I just don't see it.
Normally, I like to give you an article about some crazy thing that's coming to end the world as we know it. This week, I present to you nothing more than a picture. Shall we call it a LiRaffe? A Girion? WHAT DO WE CALL IT?!
Whatever we decide to call it, the Rams are in deep trouble this week if the Lions have some of those on their side.
Alright folks, thanks for the read, as always, and have a Ramtastic day!