Archive for September 7th, 2009

NFL Preview Bonanza: AFC East

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Last Season: 11-5

This Season: 11-5, AFC #3

They’re not going to go 16-0, if only because no team has ever gone undefeated without having a running back. At the same time, they get Tom Brady back, and last I checked, that guy’s pretty good. Do I need to keep going? You know this team is good, and nobody else in the division is even close.

Tim’s favorite player in New England Patriot history is…: I mean, it’s kind of hard not to like Troy Brown, right? He was so small! If Troy Brown were white, a lot worse, and with a tendency toward concussions, he would have been Wayne Chrebet.

A Great and Recent Patriot Game: It seems tough to overstate the significance of this game in retrospect, considering the subsequent directions of these two teams.

Wasn’t that fun to watch? No, because I fell asleep at halftime with a severe case of sinusitis. It sucked.

If the Patriots were a character on The Wire, they would be: The Greek. They control everything.

Did you know?: The Patriots officially have the league’s coolest retro logo with Pat the Patriot.

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NFL Preview Bonanza: The Coolest Head Coaches

The NFL Season kicks off on Thursday night with the Steelers hosting the Titans. To prepare for what is already being dubbed the most anticipated season since the fifth installment of The Wire, we’ll be doing a full-blown (and probably overwrought) NFL Preview Bonanza, including looks at each division, predictions for every team (that actually add up), and, in true NPI fashion, rankings.

A common thread in sports discussion is the significance of a coach. Most people downplay the role of a manager in baseball, except when it’s Joe Torre or Bobby Cox. Most people downplay the role of a coach in basketball, except when it’s Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. And don’t even get me started on hockey, where I’m pretty sure the longest-tenured head coach was hired last summer.*

*I mean, teams ROUTINELY win the Stanley Cup after making midseason coaching changes. ROUTINELY.

Nobody downplays the role of the football coach, though. Football is the sport where the importance of the coach is never overlooked; some of the sports’ greatest legends—men like Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, and now Bill Belichick—never strayed from the sidelines.

But what makes a good coach? A football coach has to embody that Machiavellian intersection of fear and respect. A football coach has to be cool.

What is cool? Not even Miles Davis could articulate it. No, coolness is more like obscenity: You know it when you see it.

The following is a ranking of the 32 NFL coaches in ascending order of coolness. Explanations, when necessary, are attempted. By the way, the picture up top is of Hank Stram, undoubtedly the coolest coach in NFL history. If you didn’t know that, don’t bother asking why.

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Monday Medley

What we read while looking for work as an offensive coordinator:

  • And this might be why. Come on, emotional infidelity? Way to make marriage sound even worse.