I was at New Orleans Saints practice on the first day everyone walked in to see the billboard-sized image featured above in the indoor practice facility.
It was huge. Larger than life. An obvious symbol of the larger-than-life presence that Saints head coach Sean Payton represented within the organization.
As we reach into our minds and think about our preseason expectations for the NFL's 2012 season, there are some surprises: some with distinct indicators, some with larger-than-life indicators that should never, looking back, have been ignored.
That is hindsight, though, the most worthless use of 20/20 vision in human history. This is the present, and you have six games left in your fantasy league's regular season.
If you're 2-5 or 1-6, believe it or not, you're still in it. I've made playoff runs from 1-6; it is possible. If you are 7-0, congratulations. You are no lock for a first-round bye at this time, however, and while I have never seen a 7-0 team miss the playoffs, I have seen 6-1 teams do so, miserably and brutally.
My mantra is "no swindles."
Basically, no weird deals, no snake-jobs and no suckouts. All we can do through this playoff stretch is keep our heads down and avoid the little "surprises" the fantasy gods may bring our way, and in the best case, be on the right side of them.