I know a multitude of people loathe sports. But a multitude also love them. I’m somewhere in the middle, probably leaning more toward love than loathe. I love soccer, have renewed my interest in baseball (more on that soon), and football is something I allow myself to get excited about now and then. Same with basketball. Sports is something Julia and I actually connect on, though I don’t think either of us would be brokenhearted if they all went away forever tomorrow. It’s probably a shared appreciation for an additional opportunity to eat horrible food more than anything else. Still, let’s just say that, outside of big events like major soccer tournaments (World Cup, European Cup, etc.), I generally don’t schedule my life around them.
With the new season of the NFL beginning tonight, I thought I’d throw out my big prediction for how the season will go. I’m not picking division winners, playoff teams, etc. I’m picking one division, the AFC West, because that’s the only one I really care about.
As a fan of the Denver Broncos (card carrying member since about 1976 or so) I’ve weathered the great years (John Elway) and the shitty (pretty much everything since). Last year was fun to make fun of Tim Tebow (“tim tebow naked” being the #1 search phrase to direct people to this blog last year) but I’m glad — ecstatic, in fact — to see him gone. The success of last year was built on two things: a weak schedule and a heapin’ helpin’ of l-u-c-k. A Tebow future would be an obstacle, not an asset.
That said, Julia will attest to the riverdance I did up and down the hallway when it was announced that Peyton Manning would sign with Denver. That bodes well for the next 2-5 years, if all goes well, but it doesn’t translate to an immediate trip to the Super Bowl, even with a down AFC. Denver has a brutal schedule. So this is how I think the AFC West shakes out:
- San Diego Chargers (9-7)
- Denver Broncos (8-8)
- Kansas City Chiefs (6-10)
- Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Like last year, a close finish, but San Diego gets it done (but ultimately crumple in the playoffs and Norv Turner finally loses his job). Denver ends with the same record as last year (given the difficulty of schedule, no small feat) and misses the playoffs. People freak, but 2013 is where it really comes together. I originally had them at 7-9, but gave them one more win (Manning will be fine by mid-season, and if the defense shows improvement they may win 2-4 more games). That Raiders record is probably worse than they’ll end up with, but I hate them so they get no benefit of the doubt. Ever.
So there you have it. You can rest easier at night now, I’m certain. Go Broncos!