Friday, September 30, 2016

NFL Predictions Week 4: Cratering Their Way to Ignominy

Sometimes people look like they have it together, but under even a little pressure, they "crater." Well, the Miami Dolphins, er, Floppers, or Doll Fins, already look like Crater Lake as far as this season goes. Nothing left to do but fill that crater with melted Velveeta with pizza peppers in it and get out the chips. To celebrate this fact, they busted out their new "Velveeta and Cheese Puffs" uniforms last night in a decisive 22-7 flop of a game against the Bungles, who also show signs of cratering this year.

"I really thought we would have a tough time losing this year," said quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is the teams leading rusher with 178 yards in 4 games, "But these guys have really thrown down the gauntlet and dug a hole you can't see your way out of. I think we are on a run to the Moldy Carpet."

And who else is on the way? Let's spin the frozen turkey, pop a bottle of Jim Beam, and get to some predictions:

Dolphins- 7
Bengals- 22
(OK, the game is already over, but we KNEW that was going to happen. The only surprise of the night was the uniforms.)

Colts- 14
Jaguars- 13
(Yes, the Colts should win, but they are looking very doormaty right now, so who knows?)

Titans- 6
Texans- 7

Browns- 18
Redskins- 33
(Browns on the way to greatness this year.)

Bills- 10
Patriots- 48

Panthers- 21
Falcons- 24
(What, this is a doormat game?)

Lions- 28
Bears- 3
(Lions should finally find a way to win. Bears can't find the way to the end zone. Predictions right now, Doormat Bowl this year is Bears/Browns. Should make a nice pie on that field.)

Broncos- 9
Buccaneers- 0

Rams- 13
(But not so sure. Cards look really bad. Rams look really inconsistent.)

Saints- 36
Chargers- 24

Cowboys- 21
49ers- 12 (TOP, 13 minutes)

Conspicuously missing from Doormat competition:

Gentlemen, make your predictions!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016



AFC               W - L      PF - PA

BROWNS         0 - 3         54  -  84
JAGUARS        0 - 3         54  -  84
TITANICS        1 - 2         42  -  57
BUNGLES        1 - 2         56  -  75
DOLPHINS      1 - 2         64  -  67

NFC              W - L   PF - PA

BEARS              0 - 3       45  -  83
SAINTS             0 - 3       47  -  51
BUCS                 1 - 2      70  -  101
DEADSKINS    1 - 2       68  -  92
49ers                  1 - 2       73  -  83

Week Three has shaken up the Doormat Standings considerably, and with the crucial Week Four battles coming up, some teams had better start losing or give up all hope at the Moldy Carpet.  
There is one team out there that has started well, but it's all a house of cards, and they're going to tank and lose 10 of their last 11.  The question is..WHO?

Coming in solid in the Basement are the Browns, Jags (they're back!), Bears and Saints.  If these four teams can lose again this week, going to 0-4, there will be a lot of exhaling in those locker rooms, and they can relax for the rest of the season, pull down a paycheck, try not to get hurt, and keep your helmet down...especially when a ball is coming your way.  For everybody else, it's kind of a must-lose situation.  2-2 is not an acceptable record if you are going to have even a shred of hope to be the worst team in the league 12 games later.  But it HAS been done. Wasn't that the Bucs that ripped off 10 straight losses 2 years ago after starting 2-0?

A week after their stellar come-from-ahead loss (blown 20 point lead to the Cravens), the Brownies pulled off the Futile Comeback, providing a stirring moment in Miami, only to fade in overtime (hey it was hot and they ran out of Gatorade) and lose to the Floppers 30-24.  The Flops, though promising, have to deal with the Nils and Jets in their own division. Good luck there. If the Blank Helmets can collapse effectively against the Deadskins in D.C. this week (a tough tough TOUGH game yet again), they'll be on their way to possibly the greatest Browns doormat season ever.  Deadskins and Browns both have extremely generous defenses (both giving up over 400 yds a game), so look for another wild one with little regard for actually winning.  My gut tells me the Browns are going to win this one, but they need to lose.  They can coast the next week against the Patriots, and then it's the Titanics and turnover machine Marcus Mariota with the biggest threat to their Moldy Carpet aspirations.  

This is as close as we get to a shocker so far this year.  The Gags are supposed to have risen to mediocre and be solidly in the Parity Division, but now, having rocketed out to an 0-3 start, we have to take these guys seriously.  QB Blake Bortles is turning the ball over at an Doormat All-Star pace (3 INTs on Sunday) and the Jags combined this with zero running game in losing to the Cravens 19-17.  The Cravens are definitely one of the worst 3-0 teams I've ever seen, and have been scraping past Doormat teams for the first three weeks (Bills, Browns, Jags).  Still, the Poe-Ravens have a defense, and no matter how much they screw up on offense, they...they could totally be the team that loses the next 8.
The BIG DOORMAT GAME IN LONDON is this week, with our guys, the GAGUARS, facing off against Doormat upstart Indianapolis. Jags should completely tank this one, but...Colts defense could make Bortles look good. Grab a flight now, and start drinking as soon as you get off the plane.  

Hard to get on the losing bandwagon with any team that has Drew Brees slinging.  Still, they have the #31 defense in the league, so here's yet another team that is going to score and give up an avalanche of points.  Up next: San Diego on the shores of the Pacific.  Saints score 40 and win.

BEARS  0-3
Now HERE'S a team that cannot score, no matter how much you threaten them.  Averaging barely 15 points a game, they're handing over 27.7.  Brian Hoyer is their QB, for God's sake.  And he's the good news.   This week, the Lions show up in Chi-town, and they have no problem scoring, but they just can't stop anybody (this year's theme).  daBares can stop themselves, thank you.  Bears go 0-4 and the Lions have to suck it up and accept the 2-2 Parity record. 

Other Hopefuls:

As noted above, Marcus Mariota has become an expert marksman while shooting at his own foot.  2 INTs and a fumble by the big guy vs. the Raiders on Sunday, and he's doing it every week.  8 penalties for 70 yards doesn't look like much (especially early in the season where some teams can crack the 140-yd barrier), but they are doing them on 2nd and 3rd down and just digging holes. Up next are the Houston Toxins (no J.J. Watt), who have no idea how to score.  Mariota plugs the leak, doesn't have Watt clocking him, and the Titanics soundly beat the Toxins in Houston.  Parity here we come.

Boy did they look sharp in Week 1 didn't they?  Didn't they?  Say, they really looked sharp in Week 1.
Since then, holy mother of god these guys mean business.  They gave up only 418 yards while losing to the Seahags (6 in a row! What a rivalry!), which is a 100 yard improvement from last week.  Still, the Whines, with QB Plain Gabbert just being himself, had a mesmerizing 5 first downs when garbage time started in the 4th and ruined everything. Colin Kaepernick still not getting off the bench or his knee. Watch him go on the IR with a swollen knee. I support his cause 100%, but this is the 49ers we're talking about, and don't be surprised if it really happens.  Up next: DALLAS.  This should be just a godawful game.  Doormat Gold.   Niners...are in danger of winning this one, and boy they sure don't deserve that fate.  

Let's be realistic.  These three teams could all go 2-14 if they weren't in the same division with each other.  The Bills fired the offensive coordinator already, which resulted in a preposterous 33 points, and something bordering on hope up on Lake Erie. But, somebody has to win- and lose- all those divisional games, so none of these teams are going to end up with only 2 victories.  The Jets piled up EIGHT turnovers on Sunday, with Ryan "Watch This!" Fitzpatrick throwing 6 INTs (4 of them in the end zone while trying to score!). My money's still on Buffalo, but, really, pick 'em.

These guys still have promise.  They could keep the losing streak alive to their division rivals (it's over 10 games), and just tank tank tank.  Up next:  New Orleans.  Chagrins lose again!

If you can lose to the Rams, you can lose to anybody.  Up next: DENVER.  Bucs won't score a touchdown.  Jameis Winston returns to the 4 turnover showcase.  

Hey, they're 1-2.  I get to list them.  They got their lunch handed to them by the Vikings.  Vikings aren't THAT good. Or maybe they are.  Don't get my Viking hopes up.  Just don't.

The slide could start this weekend.  Epic slide. I can feel the earth move...

aaaaaAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!!



Browns still the best
Apologies for getting this out so late, but I blacked out for a whole day, my car was stolen (the Titanic may have finally sunk for the last time), there was a tornado, my wife appeared, I found out I have a job, and a dog followed me home.

Doormat Division Standings  Week 2

AFC               W - L      PF - PA

BROWNS         0 - 2         30  -  54
JAGUARS        0 - 2         37  -  66
BILLS               0 - 2         38  -  50
DOLPHINS      0 - 2         34  -  43
COLTS              0 - 2        55  -   73

NFC              W - L   PF - PA

BEARS              0 - 2       28  -  52
DEADSKINS    0 - 2       39  -  65
SAINTS             0 - 2       47  -  51
SEAHAWKS    1 - 1        15  -  19
RAMS               1 - 1        9   -   31  


Leading 20-2 after one quarter, the Brown-outs staged the Comeback Loss of the Week.  They did it carefully, methodically, and with all facets of the game plied to best advantage. But most of all, they coasted the remainder of the game after the victory celebrations at the end of the first quarter.  And they did for the home opener.  Extra Brownie Points.  Super tough game in Miami this week for the Browns.  Gonna take some total Blank Helmet Football to nab that loss.

Maybe, finally, Jay Cutler gets to play for a team that is truly, completely, all in on getting that Moldy Carpet Trophy.  Another team makes Carson Wentz look great. 

BILLS 31,  JETS 37
Easily the craziest game of the week.  See our write up a couple posts ago.  Bills look very promising. 

Staging a stirring home opener loss at the Kat Box, the Kittens somehow manage to get under the Titanic, which, if you think about, is really amazing.  This was mostly achieved by going backwards and digging into the deep kitty litter: 17 penalties for 138 yards!  Titanics now in must-lose game next week at home against the Raiders.  Detroit travels to Green Bay to help the Packers get well.

STIFF OF THE WEEK. The Seahags keep making noises like maybe they're a bad team.  15 points in two games is looking like they've got something going on.  The Lambs still haven't scored a touchdown this season, but they have a WIN.  In a game like this, you are glad you are in a stadium (Los Angeles Coliseum) that puts the fans as far from the action as possible.

The Blowout of the Week was a work of art.  Bootineer QB Jameis Winston came in with purpose-  4 picks (one pick-six) and a fumble.  5 turnovers is plenty!  The Boots defense did the rest.

The Floppers should have won this game, if they were thinking that way.  

Two losses to open the season, and suddenly the Clots look promising. Keep an eye on these guys.

If they Chagrins were thinking they could just waltz into Doormat contention, they got a serious education from one of our stalwarts.  The Gags took it to them with no defense, 3 turnovers and 13 penalties.  Pow! Blam!  Bumble!!

Giants - parity!  Ain'ts-  maybe just plain bad!!

Well, after this flailing exhibit, I'd say the Eagles will clinch the NFC East in Week 8.

Even with Cam Newton gift wrapping four turnovers, the Niners still had just two scoring drives over more than 11 yards.  Whiner defense gives up a spectacular 529 yards.  

Don't give up on the Black Hole just yet-  the Raiders don't have a defense (528 yds allowed!)


Points:            Seahawks     3
First downs:    Chiefs          14
Total Yards:    Packers        263
Rush yds:       Vikings         30
Pass yds:        Colts            170
Yards Allowed:  Niners     529  (Raiders 528)
Turnovers:      Bucs             5
Punts:            Bengals         9
Total Punts:   Cin-Pitt         17
Penalties:      Lions             17-138  

aaaAAAAAnd That's the View From the Basement!!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

1963 Bills-Jets AFL Game Shows Up in 2016!


Bills 31, Jets 37

Now, this- THIS- is what I'm talking a-bout!  Last night in Buffalo, New York, they played an old AFL game for your viewing astonishment.  Was this a Doormat Game?  Who cares!!

Here in the Basement, this game was so entertaining, we stopped drinking beer and building our pizza box fort for a while. We haven't seen this many long bombs since Jack Kemp and Joe Namath were chucking the pigskin into the ether without so much as a prayer and a middling-tall receiver.  These two teams didn't seem to care- at all. You actually had to watch every play, because...there goes another one!!

Of course, certain factors make such a wild evening possible, and they often need this guy in there:

Good Ol' Rob Ryan, who I believe gets hired because he LOOKS like somebody John Madden would drink beer with, and while back-slappingly drunk hire to coach his defense. The Nils, a team that got its defense dangerously close to respectable last year (19th) has, in just one preseason and two games, tanked to 31st in the league.  You can't get that kind of production without the right guy at the helm, and what better insurance than getting your picturesque twin brother into the fold for the job. Blitzing on 3rd down in your own red zone 100% of the time is somewhat predictable, but what do I know.

For the Jets, this means turnover magnet QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gets to complete passes down the field non-stop all night long. He doesn't need a whole lot of encouragement, it's true, but wowee. There were plays where EVERY receiver was open, with guys waving their hands "hey I'm open, I'm o- never mind."  Bills defensive backs threw hissy fits after they got their asses beat in an attempt to throw shade on somebody, anybody, maybe the grass. The Jets probably should have won this game 48-3, except the Bills had 3 plays that worked out of a total of 50.  One long-bomb, one scramble-bomb, and one fumble return (thanks Fitz!) for a TD.  That's 21 points in about 30 seconds of playing time. Other than that, the Bills didn't get into the red zone until there was 1:44 seconds left on the clock.  
They nearly got under the golden 20:00 of possession time (20:48). 

So the Bills are terrible, but man are they entertaining.  Improbably up 24-20 in the 3rd quarter, while barely holding the ball for any length of time, the Bills still pulled off the loss, and with more flair than anybody else in the Doormat.  And lets give the Jets some credit, going on an implosion run in the 3rd quarter that would make the Los Angeles Rams envious.

But YES!!  Thank, you, AFL Throwback Thursday.  That was fun.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

NFL Week 2 Doormat Predictions

Oddsmakers in Vegas are paying attention to the bottom of the pile. After all, a bet is a bet and sometimes predicting the loser is easier than the winner. Losers are more consistent.

And speaking of consistent, the Oracle sucked it last week. Man, I had the Brownies in the W column. What was I drinking?

Hopefully in week 2 this Oracle will come down to earth like Josh McCown's face sliding into the Tartan Turf during a dandy sack and fumble for 6.

Buffalo- 10
NY Jets- 13

Tennessee- 6
Detroit- 24

Baltimore- 17
Cleveland- 0

Dallas- 10
Washington- 30

San Francisco- 9
Carolina- 52

Miami- 7
New England- 28

Seattle- 42
Los Angeles- 2

Tampa Bay- 17
Arizona- 23

Jacksonville- 10
San Diego- 21

Gentlemen, make your predictions!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monday Night Doormat Lights Out!!


Holy Toledo!  The Los Angeles Lambs wrapped up their season last night.  All done...except for 15 more games.  Mere formality.  

If there was any doubt about that, all you had to do was drink in the long shots of glum Ram fans, glumming out in a glum private fog, deftly bluffing the knowledge that their gloom was being broadcast to all football humans in the football universe.  Glom on that, blue and gold! The Lambs are back in LA!  

WOWEE.  Every Ram possession either ended in a punt, an interception, or loss of downs.  There AREN'T any other possessions, except for end of game.   10 punts! 10 first downs (shoulda been 7), 10 penalties for 102 yards, 3-15 on 3rd down, 185 total yards, 2 interceptions, chaotic defense, chippiness devolving into personal fouls, more chaos, your star defensive player being ejected, a quarterback who looked like he was playing with a broken thumb (but wasn't) and a coach who needs to get 10 losses to be the losingest NFL coach of all time. The only way coach Fisher won't get there is that he'll be fired in 3 games if this keeps up, which would be a shame, because this team could go 0-16.  Look out, Browns, there's a new kid on the block.  

As we pointed out in the last week's preview, Chip Kelly offenses, if you aren't a prepared, quick team in decent shape, will blow you off the field in the first half, and then, when they're just as tired in the 2nd half, try to hold on and win.  This isn't going to work against any actually good NFL teams, so DO try to temper your Niner enthusiasm. Blaine Gabbert, Carlos Hyde and their band of non-famous players strutted some serious mediocrity in the second half, and don't you forget it.  Carlos Hyde, should he stay healthy, is a great running back. Gabbert, if he keeps running around like that, will be on the IR in two weeks. Hello, Colin Kaeperkneel (who, by the way, has actually had a positive effect on his team, the opposite of what was predicted).   

But the Lambs had them so outclassed it was no contest.  

Lambs QB Case Keenum, looking beyond overmatched for an NFL game, is only there to keep the seat warm, and take all the punishment, until golden boy Jared Goff finally gets fitted with some shoulder pads.  Look for that to happen a LOT sooner in La-La in 2 weeks.


Points:   0           Lambs
Punts:   10          Lambs
First Downs: 10   Lambs
Penalties: 14/141- Rrraiders (wow)

Total Yards:  160      Bills
Rush:     22/52yds     Cardinals
Pass:    95                 Bils
Yards Allowed:  435   Washington

Sacked:    7/42          Bengals
Turnovers: 3        Broncos (2 int/ 1 fum)
Third down efficiency:  20%  2-10 Browns; 3-15  Rams
Time of Poss:  20:40  BROWNS  (so close to under 20!)

aaaAnd That's the View from the Basement!


Monday, September 12, 2016



Browns attempt to win their first Doormat Division Title EVER.  This is the year. 






I'm NOT listing 16 teams that all lost.  And, besides, the Lambs, Whiners and the Deadskins all gotta play tonight.  MNF has their West Coast game as a Doormat Special.  We've come so far.  The perfect game for those back east who plan to spend the night in the Barcalounger.  

Here we go, Doormat Denizens.  Our glorious teams, flaming out in ways we can easily imagine, but who still manage to make our jaws drop in awe, are back in action.  And maybe, just maybe, one of them will crawl out of the Basement and clock one of those snot-nosed winners at least ONCE this year.  


Carson Wentz is a god!  He's the second coming!  The Eagles will win their first championship since 1960!  Will everybody please calm down?  Eagles QB Carson Wentz played the BROWNS yesterday.
And they, the BROWNS,  took care of business, and stand at 0-1.  15 to go.  Stay focused, team.  Lock in.  

Yes, Wentz is that #2 pick the Browns traded away for...well, for ensuring they lost this game.  They have this planned out so many moves ahead of the rest of the pack, don't even try. Good luck to the rest of the Doormat AFC.

The Comeback Loss of the Week goes to San Diego, building a 24-3 bubble that burst like 40 sticks of bubble gum all over a Philip Rivers Chargers jersey.  As our Commissioner DT said last week,  "the Chargers are the only team that could be up 24-7 at the half and lose 28-27 consistently."  And that's why he's the Commish.   Chagrins look like it's shoulder shruggin' Philip Rivers and bunch of guys again.  Kablooey!  Chagrins maintain 11 game loss streak to AFC West opponents.

The Titans defense of their Moldy Carpet 2016 crown began with dramatic flair.  Inching out to a 10-0 lead against the Vikings and 78-year-old QB Shaun Hill, the Titans slam it into reverse in the second half with a pick-six and a fumble return for the Vikes, both courtesy of the running-for-his-life Marcus Mariota.  Look out, Browns, the Titans are as bad as ever.

 Stiff of the Week.  It seems like Miami and Buffalo are always duking it out for who has the least first downs, and the Nils tied them again, with a very respectable Doormat number of 11.   7 punts, 3-13 on 3rd down, 8 penalties for 89 yards, 160 total yards, but no turnovers, so they have some work to do.  Still, the Cravens nearly got their first loss, anyway.  Nils look solid.  Frozen, even.

This was definitely a critical first game for both of these teams, a crucial opportunity to define just WHO isn't some pretender for Doormat membership.  Coming off their phenomenal playoff loss back in January, the Toxins looked like the early choice, but Jay Cutler and the Bears offense shut off the taps in the 2nd half, and let the defense take it from there- resulting in a couple field goals and a TD for the Texans and that's all they needed.  Bears could go far.

Another game with huge implications, and the Falcons take round 1.  Lots of offense, no defense, and a wild game from slingin' Doormat teams.  For now.

What a ghastly game this was, and the entire west coast had to watch it...if for some reason you were paralyzed from drinking too many kava-kava smoothies and couldn't even crawl to the fridge.  Only the hardiest of Doormat fans stuck it out through this one.  And misguided Washingtonians. Washatonions...WaWa ton-onions....Walla Walla Onions....forget it.


Another wild Parity League shootout from two teams that have absolutely no chance to do anything except provide a crazy plate of diversion every Sunday until January.  Can either of these guys get to 10 losses?  Of course!  898 yards of total offense.  NO DEFENSE.  None.  Bombs Away!!

No self-respecting Doormat team scores in the last minute and then GOES for the two point conversion for the win, and CONVERTS.  This was old-fashioned Raider gambling, and Kenny Stabler and Al Davis, up in Raider heaven, were lovin' it.  


Are the 49ers really really as bad as everybody hopes?  Will someone step up and punch out a 90-year old granny holding a fuzzy kitten? Can Rams coach Jeff Fisher lose 10 more games and become the losingest NFL coach of all time? Tune in tonight for the kickoff at the RED HOLE in Santa Clara!  It's all about just how porous these defenses really are, and if 49er QB Blaine  "Dirt Ball" Gabbert can function after being pressured, or heavens, knocked down.  It'll be hard to tell, because they are playing each other, so could be wild.  These two finished off last season with a brutal game in a seemingly meaningless contest, so watch out for some whalin' and flailin'.   


We are going to wait until AFTER tonight's GAMES, so just hold your horses.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Let's Roll, It's Doormat Time!

Well, well, well, the NFL season started on a Thursday--which I don't like--and it was a rematch of the Super Bowl. Denver wins with a new relatively unknown quarterback and looked pretty darn good!

But the rest of the following pile does not. As this Reg will attest:

So it's time to spin the bottle and get ready for the first Sunday in the basement. Doormat fans have their Velveeta and pizza peppers "nacho" melts ready, the chips are piled on the couch, and there are 40 pounds of hot dogs in the fridge. Fire up the Hibachi, guys!

And here are the Oracle's first predictions of the season. Included here are every team with a ranking below negative ranking at the start of the season or are one of the Doormat owners' teams. For some great metrics and rankings, visit Team Rankings.

But we know who the teams to beat, er lose, are.


(Reality sets in with Bradford, a true doormat QB, at the helm).

(Browns win only game of the year)

JETS-- 10

(Are bad boy shootout best game of the week)









RAMS- 10
49ERS- 3

Gentelmen, make your predictions!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DOORMAT PREVIEW 2016- The Race to the Moldy Carpet



Here is our Doormat Preview for the year, and it's just dirt simple, folks.  Ask the bookies in Vegas, and they put into stark relief the preposterous false hopes you may be harboring about your team, and just how proud you can be of how bad they are:

Here is a handy link to some Vegas oddsmaking, but if you lazy like me, just look at our list:

CLEVELAND          200-1
TENNESSEE           100-1
PHILADEPHIA       100-1
DETROIT                100-1
LOS ANGELES       80-1
CHICAGO                80-1
TAMPA BAY            75-1
SAN DIEGO             75-1
MIAMI                      75-1
BUFFALO                75-1
ATLANTA                75-1
NEW ORLEANS      65-1
WASHINGTON        50-1
BALTIMORE            40-1
HOUSTON               35-1
OAKLAND              30-1
DALLAS                  30-1
NY GIANTS            25-1
MINNESOTA          20-1
KANSAS CITY       20-1
CINCINNATI          20-1
DENVER                 17-1
ARIZONA               12-1
PITTSBURGH        10-1
CAROLINA            10-1
SEATTLE                8-1
GREEN BAY          8-1

Okay, so what does this mean?  Most important, at 200-1, the Browns enter a season as the huge favorite to at least win the AFC Doormat- in a walk.  They could, for the first time EVER, win the Doormat Moldy Carpet Trophy.  It would be like the Cubs the winning the World Series! 

The Titans, as ever, pose the biggest challenge to the Browns, and have every chance of blowing up from Week 1 right on down the line, but Mariota, if he gets any kind of protection, may win them a couple games they have no business pulling out.  The Browns have no such QB.  The Browns are a-MAZ-ing.

In the NFC, the Niners as the odds-on fave is a tough one, because Chip Kelly offenses, even if led by a Doormat All-Star like Blaine "Dirt Ball" Gabbert, and with defenses totally knowing what they are going to do, and with all the other phenomenal B.S. swirling around that team, will win 4 games no matter how hard they try to screw it up.  And even though the Eagles and Lions are right on the Niners heels, the really intriguing choice has to be the Bears, who have every chance of imploding and never looking back.  The Doormat Division, by consensus, likes the Bears.  I have thrown my lot in the with 49ers, because I have to, but daBares look like the team to beat...lose know what I mean.

Overall, these numbers mean that all the teams up to the Jaguars have a legitimate shot at losing more games than anybody else, possibly even with few injuries to the starting squad.  Everybody above the 65-1 line, up to 30-1, all they need to is to lose their QB (why Dallas is only 30-1 I do not know, there's your dark horse, as far as these odds are concerned), or a couple offensive line stalwarts, and anything is possible.  

The team I don't get is Minnesota, at 20-1.  They had to get Sam Bradford, a solid Doormat QB, to fill in for the whole season for Terry Bridgewater.  Look for this team to tank hard at some point in the season.  Early or late is your challenge.  I'd put them at 80-1. 

Indianapolis is another team that only needs to lose Andrew Luck for just half the season, and they could be right in the thick of the hunt.  But, you can't go on what ifs and start praying for someone to go down.  It's a huge risk.  Only if their O-line protection bites, then you might take a chance on them getting so beat up, they just give it up at some point, and make an extended trip to the IR. 

Any team with a solid defense from last year (and few changes) is not a good bet, as they will turn in some of the biggest Stiff of the Week games, but will be forced to kick a field goal in the 4th quarter and win without any intention of doing so.  This is why Jacksonville, and maybe Oakland, are heading away from the Basement- very very slowly, mind you, but definitely receding in the rear-view mirror.

Well, let the games begin, and may the first team to 14 losses take all.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Yimminy, that Was Some Doormat Bowl, Eh?

The Doormat draft starts tonight, so let's wrap the sandwich from last year.

After watching a classic debacle in Doormat Bowl 2015 in frigid Minneapolis, Minnesota--Tampa Bay edged Tennessee to take the loss--this reporter stumbled into the nearest warm place that served Spanish Coffees on Sunday. That's where I met some guy named Guy who said he was looking for a missing woman by the name of Sven. "Isn't that a guy name?" I asked Guy. "Have ya looked at yer watch lately?" he answered. "It's 2015, Mack. Nowadays, any stiff gets any name they want, any gender they want, and they can use any bathroom they want, eh?"

I watched as the bartender swirled flaming rum around the sugar coated edge of the Spanish Coffee glass. "So, Sven is a girl who is a guy?" 

Guy snorted his shot of whiskey. "Nah."

"Sven is a guy who is a girl?"


"So what is Sven?"

"Sven is a missing woman and I'm lookin' for her, OK?"

"Did you try the bathroom?"

"Oh, yer a wise guy, eh?"

The bartender slid the drink to me, hot and potent. I took a swig and scalded my lips.

"Jeez, buddy," she said. "That's molten sugar there, take it easy, eh?"

"Yah, yah," Guy added. "C'mon, let's go." He plunked two ice cubes in my drink and slugged it down, wiped his lips, and ushered me out into the frozen Minneapolis night. My pants felt like stove pipes as I walked. 

That's when a Viking woman dressed in a leather tunic with a broadsword at her hip stepped from behind an old El Camino. Guy seemed unfazed, so I guessed this was a common occurrence in Minneapolis. 

"I am Ingrid. You look for Sven?" she said. We both nodded yes. "I take you to Sven."

She picked us up and tossed us in the back of the El Camino. "Hold tight." She said. 

Frozen and shivering, we arrived 30 minutes later at a dark warehouse along the Mississippi river. It's strange to think Minnesotans with nordic accents live along the Mississippi. What was even stranger was the scene inside the warehouse. A gigantic above-ground pool was in the center with two small Viking ships bobbing around, one with a crew of 11, the other with just 8. Around the pool were bleachers packed with men and women drinking ale from cow horns and screaming. They rocked back and forth to the sound of great skin drums, like tall corn in a stiff, swirling wind. 

Ingrid hoisted a horn of ale, quaffed it, wiped her face with the back of her sleeve, and then pointed to one of the ships. "Sven," she said, and signaled us to follow her.

As we toddled along behind the striding woman, I mumbled to Guy, "So, why are you looking for Sven?"

"I didn't say," he answered.

"Well, you found Sven, so she isn't missing anymore."

"We gotta get her home, kid."

We came up to the edge of the pool, Ingrid drew her sword and banged the side of one of the ships. "Sven!" she bellowed. A sturdy, wide, person who looked a lot like Ernest Borgnine looked down from the ship. "Ingrid!" she shouted. "You made it!"

Ingrid waved us to follow and we all three came aboard. Sven handed me and Guy each a horn of ale. "Drink," she said. 

I turned to Guy. "I don't think this is going to be my cup of tea." 

"Yah, eh? You are getting it in barrels, kid," he answered. 

We drank. Ingrid slapped us both on the back. "We get you gear," she said. "Now we are 11."

At that moment the crowd exploded into roars of anticipation. Drums beat again, and crews slowly turned the ships to the center of the pool. Sven climbed half way up the mast and addressed the crew. "No quarter!" she cried. "It's victory or Valhalla for us now!"

The ships picked up speed as we were handed helmets and swords. I peered through the lights in the stands. Did I see TV cameras? Was this ESPN?

Too late to answer that one. The ships collided at mid-pool, we were thrown forward and the crowd roared louder than Seahawks fans at a 49ers game. Berserk Vikings, men and women, surged over the railing of our ship, swinging axes and swords. I noticed Ingrid seemed to be handy with hers, so I got in behind her and followed her lead. A hulking, horned-helmet moose of a man knocked her back and came straight for me. I fell on my back and waved my arms like a beetle. "I don't want to die!" I screamed. The man paused, bewildered by my response, which gave Ingrid time to hack him down. "Good ruse," she said to me. "You are smart, and brave."

Well, at least I was alive. I stayed close to Ingrid the rest of the battle, chopping at anyone who came at her from behind, and finding lots of opportunities to beg for mercy, and I somehow survived it, Guy too. Our team was ultimately victorious, and the stomping crowd chanted their approval. 

"Where is this place?" I asked Guy. "It's Minneapolis, kid," he answered, finishing off a horn of ale. "Every day."

Now, you might think that is the end of the story. But it is not; though I have run out of time to tell it. I will conclude with a quick summary. Guy had found Sven, and got her and his client connected again. Not sure why anyone wanted to be connected to Sven, but she was a winner, I guess. Ingrid said to me, "You come home with Ingrid." I enthusiastically said yes, expecting a hero's reward. What I did not know was that Ingrid lived in Russia. I protested at first, but I got the reward right away, and there was definitely the likelihood of a lot more, so I decided, what the heck, let's go to Russia.

We spent one glorious year in Norilsk, Russia, the furthest north city in the country. It was below zero almost all of the time, so we had to stay home, drink mead, and keep warm; which was fine with me.

Then I heard that Doormat Bowl 2016 was to be played in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ingrid had never seen a real American football game and wanted to go. I told her she still would not be seeing a real American football game, but it would be in the neighborhood of one. So we took the Trans Siberian Railroad to St. Petes, and enjoyed a true stinker of a game between the Doormat champions of 2015/16 season, Dallas and Tennessee. This was Tennessee's second consecutive appearance in the Doormat Bowl. They accidentally won in the last seconds of that game, failing to lose to the impossible to lose to Tampa Bay Bootineers.

There were over 500 rowdy Russians at this game, which was played Feb. 20 on an old soccer field with the temperature hovering around 2 degree Fahrenheit. Tennessee got off to a rocky start, scoring a field goal in the first and second quarters, taking a 6-0 lead into the 4th quarter. Finally, Mariotta engineered and excellent negative drive and, on his own 5 yard line, he tossed an interception and Dallas had the ball on the 23. Three plays later it was Dallas on the 29, but still in field goal range. Tennessee then pulled a trick play and deflected the field goal, recovered it on the 4, took a hit at the 5, fumbled it into the end zone, and Dallas fell on it for a TD. It was 6-6. Dallas expertly missed the field goal and the game went into triple overtime.

Finally, Dallas was forced to kick a field goal, handing a well-deserved loss to Tennessee, 9-6. Tennessee had prevailed in one of the worst games ever played (there was a total of 148 yrds of offense in the game and 8 punts, 8 turnovers, and 200 yards in penalties. Not to mention three shanked punts).

And that was Doormat Bowl 2016.

Looking forward to a great 2016/17 season in the basement!