The Friday Clock-Watcher's Guide to NFL Week 2
It’s been another long week at the office, but fear not, as the Week 2 NFL Sunday is nearly at hand.
As is the case every Friday, I present to you the "Clock-Watchers Guide" to Week 2, in an effort to get you excited for the weekend and forget about the drudgery at the office.
So put down the pen, close out the spreadsheet, forward your phone to voice-mail, and feast your eyes on what you should be looking forward to this upcoming Sunday:
The Eagles New-Look, Up-Tempo Offense
If you’re like me and watched the dizzying and dazzling debut of Eagles coach Chip Kelly’s offense this past Monday night, chances are you’re still catching your breath. I was getting tired just watching the Redskins defenders trying to keep up.
This Sunday, the Eagles host the San Diego Chargers and their new head coach, Mike McCoy. McCoy performed an incredible impression of old San Diego coach Norv Turner this past Monday night, presiding over an epic second-half collapse on the way to a soul-crushing defeat at the hands of the Houston Texans.
McCoy’s reward for that misery is a date with Kelly’s high-octane offense this week. This would be akin to screwing up a major work order and then being presented with an even tougher one as you’re still reeling from failure.
Forget about “Stay classy, San Diego;” how about “Stay hydrated, San Diego?”
Just for today, try and work with the efficiency that Kelly demands. Don't stare at the clock; rather, find tasks to keep yourself occupied. You must be fast, quick and decisive.
Before you know it, the day will be over, and you'll be one step closer to a glorious NFL Sunday.
And you'll owe it all to Kelly.
The Manning Bowl
Whether or not you have a sibling, you can relate to the sheer awesomeness of the “Manning Bowl”, as few players inspire such a wide range of differing emotions like Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Peyton is the dude in your office who aces every assignment with flair. He’s in complete command of every aspect of the job, and he makes sure that those around him are performing up to snuff. He inspires a bevy of confidence.
On the other hand, Eli often resembles an extra from The Walking Dead—mouth slightly agape, head tilted askew, leaving you not quite sure of his mental aptitude. Like a zombie, he’ll sometimes sleepwalk through the vast majority of the assignment, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, he snaps into life and gets the job done, leaving those around him wondering how the heck it happened.
On Sunday, the two engage in the third edition of the “Manning Bowl,” and big brother Peyton has emerged victorious in the first two. Last week, Peyton tied the NFL single-game record with seven touchdown passes, while Eli threw three interceptions in a hideous Giants loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The stage is set for a good old-fashioned family drama.
If that doesn’t get your heart racing and move the clock a little faster, perhaps you should start watching sailing instead.
This Week in Gambling
Let’s start off with survivor pools. Chances are, unless you picked the Steelers or Buccaneers, you’ve made it to Week 2.
Congratulations on this not-so-impressive achievement!
Remember, the primary objective of any survivor pool is to—believe it or not—survive. That means you shouldn’t get cute with your picks. Take the team that is most likely to win and don’t worry about next week.
Taking a flier on a team you “think” might win is ridiculously stupid. Don’t be that moron in the office who takes the Raiders over the Jaguars because you’re going “outside the box.” Stay inside that damn box, and don’t leave until you get kicked out.
This week, you should be taking either Baltimore (over Cleveland) or Houston (over Tennessee). Those are the two best options. Don’t deviate from the plan.
OK, now onto actual gambling.
I want you to remember this axiom and reference it early and often this NFL season: people make dumb decisions in groups, and the casinos in Las Vegas didn’t build themselves.
It means that when the public is so strongly behind a team, chances are, that team will not cover the spread.
Take last week’s game between the Dolphins and Browns in Cleveland as a perfect example. Miami was favored for much of the offseason, but last week, a groundswell started to emerge for the Browns. This should always serve as a warning because, again, people make dumb decisions in groups, and the casinos in Las Vegas didn’t build themselves.
By Sunday, the Browns were 2.5-point favorites, meaning the line had swung over three points. That means that the public basically gave anyone who wanted to wager on the Dolphins a free field goal. If you saw that line, you should have pounced all over the Dolphins. In a related story, Miami won the game by 13 points.
So, if you’re the gambling type, I urge you to go against the grain, even if everyone around you thinks differently.
The next time you see the iconic water fountain outside the Bellagio, you’ll smile and thank me.
After all, it didn’t build itself.
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman and the Curious Case of the Company Photo
Imagine you’re a bit player on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You’re so excited to have made the team that you’re just about ready to burst. The day has come for the team photo, and you’re so damn jacked up that you’re going to be a part of it.
You make sure that your hair looks perfect, and you do a hundred push-ups in the morning to look a little extra yoked. You can’t wait to be a part of the picture, as it’s something that you’ll one day show your grandkids and be insanely proud of.
You arrive at the photo location, and your eyes dart back and forth, surveying the scene. There’s head coach Greg Schiano, looking huff and gruff. There’s running back Doug Martin, muscles on top of muscles. And there’s quarterback Josh Freeman…wait; where’s Josh?
As you continue to look around, you notice that Freeman isn’t there. The quarterback of the team, the most important player in the organization, has overslept and missed the team photo.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty disappointed in my quarterback.
The workplace company photo isn’t the be-all, end-all of things, and in fact, it’s probably more annoying than anything else, particularly when co-workers dress for it like they’re attending the Academy Awards.
But, it’s important to show that you’re there for your co-workers.
Freeman failed to do so when he overslept last week.
Missing the team photo serves as a microcosm for Freeman’s current situation in Tampa, and he needs to play well in Sunday’s game against the Saints in order to quell the calls for his job.
As a result, Sunday’s game against New Orleans is now a lot juicier.
Robert Griffin III Attempts to Return to Form
It was painful watching Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III this past Monday night.
Griffin reminded me of someone in the office who’s been out sick for a while and tries to come back too early. Hell, I’ve been guilty of it myself.
We all know the feeling. You’ve been out of the office for a while, and you want to get back in order to pull your weight and show your boss and co-workers that you’re fine and capable of getting the job done.
But all you end up doing is coughing and sneezing and generally aggravating anyone within a 10-foot radius. There’s nothing that angers people more in the workplace than someone who tries to work through an illness.
While Griffin’s teammates surely appreciated his efforts on Monday night, the man known as “RG3” must prove that he can play with the same efficiency he exhibited in his sparkling neophyte campaign a season ago.
Carrie Underwood’s Daisy Dukes Lead into an Epic Sunday Night Football Showdown
I’ll be the first to admit that I was underwhelmed by Carrie Underwood’s performance on the new Sunday Night Football theme song last week. It was a little too “country” for my taste, and it didn’t sound nearly as good as the offerings presented by the great Faith Hill. (Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments below.)
But there’s one thing we can all agree on: the girl looks phenomenal in a pair of Daisy Dukes.
This week, Underwood’s scantily-clad offering leads into my most anticipated game of this young season: the San Francisco 49ers at the Seattle Seahawks.
I know that work sucks, and that the clock is moving at a snail’s pace, but as time winds down on the work week, let the images of Underwood, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson dance through your head.
Sunday is almost here.
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