Friday, September 7, 2007

Thursday Tease (The Kurse Strikes Again!)

The Thursday opener is great, but it’s such a tease. Not only did the game not live up to the hype, but how am I supposed to get through Friday and Saturday now that you’ve whet my appetite? Well played, NFL, well played.

Anyway, on to some comments about the game and the much awaited details of “The Kurse” and the damage it’s already done…

First off, in case anyone forgot whose country this is, NBC and the NFL took the liberty of reminding us roughly 10 times before the end of the first half, thanks for that.

Indianapolis Colts 41 – New Orleans Saints 10:
I’m disappointed at how one-sided the game was, but not completely surprised at the outcome. I even mentioned in the pick’em below how there was no good reason to go against the Colts, then went and did it anyway (do as I say, not as I do).

I am surprised at how successful the Colts run defense was. I expected some big plays from Bush and McAllister (both were non factors).

Even the first drive where the Saints were having a bit of success converting 3rd downs, they didn’t look all that impressive and couldn’t find the big play before having to punt.

Sure, Jason David played like Jason David, the Saints dropped a couple passes and Drew Brees made some bad decisions when he felt the game slipping away from him, but all in all, the Colts were just better in every single aspect…A LOT better.

I don’t like to overreact after one game, so I’m not going to talk undefeated season for the Colts, or Reggie being a BUST with the Saints in shambles. Let’s call it what it is, the Super Bowl Champs defending their title and their home turf in true championship fashion.

Now if the Saints struggle at Tampa Bay next week and/or at home under the bright lights of MNF against the Titans…then they may have issues and I can assure you they will be directly related to The Kurse…

If you recall, in the post prior to this one I mentioned the curse of my brother Keith when talking about the Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander. Well, a few people emailed me asking for more details on the Kurse (ok, I made that up, all 3 people that read the blog are friends that already know about the Kurse – but that’s beside the point. It’s fun, so keep reading.)

You see, my brother routinely drafts guys on his fantasy team with high hopes, only to watch them suffer early season ending injuries or underperform to a shocking degree. Even if you don’t play fantasy football, this is too fascinating to ignore, and it could impact your favorite team…

In the interest of time/space I’ll only cover the previous 3 seasons, leading up to the impact Keith has already had on opening night:
2004 – Record was 3-11, last place. Keith drafted Steve Smith. Week one, Steve Smith shatters his leg against the Packers. Season Over. His first round pick that season (4th overall) was Deuce McAllister. McAllister was coming off his best year as a pro (2157 total yards). In the second game of the season, Deuce carried the ball 3 times for 1 yard before leaving with an injury that would cause him to miss the next two games. Deuce struggled the rest of the year having only three games over 78 yards rushing , that is, until Keith was eliminated from playoff contention. At which point, McAllister finished up strong with 523 total yards and 3 TDs in four games (including 268 yards rushing in his last two games). Keith took late round fliers on Charlie Garner (knee injury-played 3 games), Boo Williams (average year, then torn ACL before the ’05 season), and Tyrone Wheatley (played 8 games). None have played in the NFL since.

(I won’t even get into how different Eli Manning’s career could be if Keith, a Giants fan, hadn’t drafted him as a rookie in ’04, again in ’05, and once more in ‘06)

2005: (8-6, fourth place) This was Keith’s best year – but that doesn’t mean it was without its casualties. Priest Holmes’ comeback attempt was over before it started. He was drafted by Keith and had no chance of making it through the season. He played seven games (avg. 73.8 total yards per game). He has not played a down in the NFL since. Lee Suggs was coming off a promising second year campaign (over 900 total yards in just 10 games- 379 yards rushing in the final three games of the ’04 season) and had some serious sleeper/stud potential... He carried the ball just eight times for 15 yards. His career was essentially over (six more rushing attempts in ’06 before being released, hasn’t played since). Marshall Faulk’s final season was also spent playing for Keith before being forced to retire the following off season.

2006: Record 4-10, Last Place. I want to remind you that at the time of the draft, the safest fantasy back in the game was Shaun Alexander. You knew you were getting 1600 total yards and 14 TD’s AT A MINIMUM. He had eclipsed those numbers in each of the previous five years (including his record setting year the previous season - 1958 total yards and 28 TD’s). So Keith, wary of his own history, went with the sure thing and took Alexander #1 overall rather than take a risk on Larry Johnson’s ’05 season being a fluke (he also didn’t really like rooting for LJ to begin with) or Tomlinson who’s numbers were solid, but not as good as Alexander’s. We know how that turned out. LJ had a big year and LDT had a historical one while Alexander struggled and sat on the sidelines for a good portion of the season. I wish that was where it ended, but it’s not. Keith also drafted Domanick Davis (now Domanick Williams). Davis was the Texans all time leading rusher before Keith drafted him. That preseason he went on IR due to a lingering knee injury. He’ll likely never play another down in the NFL.

2007: That brings us to this year. Good news for Giant fans. NO ELI MANNING on his roster (Could signal a breakout year). I’m simply going to post his roster as a warning. If you have any of these players it’s probably in your best interest to try and trade them. The Kurse doesn’t strike everyone, but do you really feel lucky enough to take the chance on keeping someone from this list? And if the evidence from the last three seasons isn’t enough to make you believe, just ask Drew Brees what he thinks about being on Keith’s fantasy team.

**Note: Prior to tonight’s kickoff my brother said “Drew Brees is going to put up so many fantasy points he’s going to break Yahoo’s stat tracker.” You can’t make this stuff up folks. Without further ado...

Keith’s Current Roster:
Drew Brees
Lee Evans
Randy Moss
Shaun Alexander
Travis Henry
Jeremy Shockey
Braylon Edwards
Fred Taylor
Jay Cutler
Deion Branch
Devery Henderson
Jerry Porter
Brian Leonard
Owen Daniels
Michael Pittman
Matt Stover
Denver Defense

Come back for more on Saturday when I'll tackle the Dolphins/Skins preview along with some other NFL stuff and maybe talk a little New York Mets baseball... and remember to always Believe in football - even you Keith.

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