I'm feeling the way Tom Brady is looking in the picture at the side. He looks like he is saying, "Why am I doing this?"
It is a couple of months before the 2009 NFL Draft, which is in April.
It is a couple of weeks before Free Agents can be dealt for or signed or whatever happens to Free Agents. These folks become "free" in mid-February.
It is several months before pre-season, which is when some promising starters become injured, and some are traded or waived. Pre-season was when the Jets traded for Favre, then released Pennington who joined Miami's training camp after a week or so of what used to be called the "exhibition" game season.
Most pre-season predictions had the Jets making the playoffs because of Favre. How many pre-season predictions had the Dolphins making the playoffs because of Pennington?
It is also months before "it happens": accidental deaths, serious non-football-related injuries, unexpected retirements, and other random events that could affect a team's final season standings.
We writers here know all this. Still, some of us have already made earlier than early 2009 NFL Season predictions! WHY?
When they first started appearing here a week or so ago, I couldn't believe it! Some even made predictions on which teams would improve or which teams would disappoint. Just based on what happened later in the 2008 season, or what happened in the playoffs, can anyone really actually predict what will happen in 2009?
Usually, it seems to me, this sort of thing is either wishful thinking or too much time on one's hands or "NFL withdrawal!"
As some examples of what I think is the folly of this, I am aware on other sports blogs that some folks picked the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC North in 2008 based solely on their 10-6 improvement in 2007. I bet these folks were surprised when, mid-season, the Browns were practically winless!
I bet these folks were dismayed when it looked like the Dallas Cowboys were, again, going to screw up in December. I bet these folks were really unhinged when Tom Brady was out for the season after a few minutes of game one. Can you count on one hand the number of people in the US who picked the Dolphins to win the AFC East? I know I can't!
I am not going to make any 2009 season predictions, at least not in any articles. I might make some comments inclined to sound like I think so-and-so will win such-and-such division. At least not until the season is about to begin, that is.
Still, who would have predicted Miami's division title, or Carolina's, or Arizona's, or Tennesee's? Who would have predicted that Arizona would be in the Super Bowl?
I'm not going to say don't make predictions. But for those of the writing community here that do make pre-season predictions this early, it'll be VERY INTERESTING to see how many of these predictions work out.
Then again, maybe 2009 won't be as "unpredictable" as 2008.