Posts Tagged ‘tom coughlin’

Unabated to the QB, Week 14: Identity Crises

“There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral: namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them. One has to pay something.”

–Albert Camus

In my predictions at the beginning of the season, I refrained from picking a Super Bowl matchup. Part of this is because predicting the playoffs at the start of the season seems superfluous: So much depends on matchups that are unlikely to come to fruition, and it’s almost contradictory to predict an upset within the context of my own hypothetical playoffs.* The other part was superstition: I was afraid of the ramifications of picking the Giants.

*This is to say, why would I think a team that I predicted would only go 10-6 would beat a team that I predicted would finish 13-3?

I can’t say my Super Bowl forecast—Giants and Patriots—was unique. It was hard to find anyone who wasn’t picking the Giants to represent the NFC, and most experts had the AFC coming down to the Pats and Chargers.

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Unabated to the QB, Week 9: The Halftime Report

Every time it seems to me that I’ve grasped the deep meaning of the world, it is its simplicity that always overwhelms me…. Everything simple is beyond us. What is blue, and how do we think “blue”?

—Albert Camus

Three seasons ago, the NFL peaked in terms of its own scheduling. Every team had enjoyed its bye week by Week 9 (hehe), meaning that there was a distinct midway point of the season by which everyone had played eight games.

The NFL, for some unknown reason, tinkered with its bye scheduling in the subsequent years, pushing some byes back later in the schedule. Thus, this year, while 30 of the 32 teams have already had their bye and have played eight games and can be totally compared at a kind of midway point, the Giants and Texans are 5-4 heading into their byes.

This does not, however, mean that we can’t still consider this halftime of the 2009 NFL season and the perfect time to look back at what I thought was going to happen, and what subsequently did not happen. We’ll hand out awards amidst some “Pats on the Back” and several “Yeah, about that…”s.

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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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