Mid-season football ramblings

Here at Daddy’s Sugar Ball we take our football very seriously … so at the mid-point of the NFL season I wanted to take a few moments to share some rambling thoughts with our readership.

Coach of the Year
With the resurgence of many bottom-feeders from a year ago, the list of viable winners is pretty long. John Harbaugh (Baltimore) and Tony Sparano (Miami) just missed my top five, but both deserve consideration pending the second-half of the season.
5. Jeff Fisher (Tennessee) – It seems every button that he’s pushed this year was right on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerry Jones fires Wade Phillips after the season and goes Ron Jeremy-hard after Fisher.
4. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh) – The Steelers look like the triage unit at the 4077th (by the way, Hawkeye’s dog tags and boots are now available for that someone special in your life) … yet every week they personify their head coach and leave everything they have out on the field. If it wasn’t for an anemic O-line performance in Philly and a fill-in long snapper sculling a wedge shot over the punter against the Giants, they would be undefeated. How Tomlin finds the time while co-starring on House is beyond me.
3. Tom Coughlin (Giants) – One of the toughest things to do (and get recognition for) in sports is to win when it is expected. The bulls-eye has been on the G-Men since last Super Bowl and they have responded better than anyone could have hoped. Coughlin deserves credit for reevaluating his personality and relationships and appears to have begun a late-career renaissance.
2. Mike Smith (Atlanta) – Like Amy Winehouse sizing up a big weekend, Atlanta’s 2007 season was in shambles before it even started thanks to Ron Mexico. Then it got worse (just like Winehouse) when Bobby Petrino acted like he hit the whiffle-ball into the tree and asked for a do-over. I thought the only thing owner Arthur Blank had going for him was his ability to work his creepy mustache, but it appears he actually made the right hire in Smith.
1. Lane Kiffin (formerly of Oakland) – He’s getting $2 million this year for going home and getting away from the second-worst situation in the NFL (sorry about that, Detroit). Yet his reputation doesn’t appear to be sullied at all as he’s regularly mentioned for the numerous open head coaching positions in college football. Rumor also has it that he was able to get away before owner Al Davis managed to sink his teeth into Kiffin’s neck. But the real reason that Kiffin is my #1 is that he pulled his finest Costanza-trying-to-get-fired-in-a-body-suit-dragging-the-championship-trophy moment when he sent Sebastian Janikowski out to attempt a 76-yard FG.

Trivia Question (keep reading for the answer)
Name the top two quarterbacks with the highest career completion rate (through the 2007 season with a minimum 1500 attempts).

Must we really hand out an MVP Award this year?
Unlike in baseball where playing for a playoff team seems to be a prerequisite for consideration, perusing the list of past MVPs clearly shows a preference in awarding for the best statistical seasons. However, there isn’t anyone who is putting up the kind of numbers that Tom Brady or LaDainian Tomlinson has the past couple of years. So where does that leave us this year? I honestly have no idea ... here's one man’s current opinion:
5. Joey Porter – He has backed up that huge mouth of his with a league-leading 11.5 sacks this year and given the Dolphins a much-needed attitude adjustment. Porter also happens to own my second favorite pet(s). It’s a distant second though to this guy’s.
4. Drew BreesBrees is basically a one man show in the Big Easy this season throwing for a league-leading 2,563 yards to a no-name receiver corp. But I have two questions for Purdue Drew … exactly how much money must you make before you get that thing on your face surgically removed? And what the hell happened between your mother and you? You guys don’t even put the fun in dysfunctional.
3. Clinton PortisPortis leads the league in rushing and I believe has made Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn look better than what they really are. However, Portis has clearly hurt his chances of grabbing my top spot by not bringing back Coach Janky Spanky, Dolemite Jenkins, or any of the others to his press conferences.
2. Kurt Warner – Keep reading below for more on God's favorite quarterback.
1. Dave Stewart, Jake Scott, Kevin Mawae, Eugene Amano, Michael Roos (Tennessee O-Line) - In a year when there is no clear-cut leader, thinking outside of the box may be the way to go. The Titans have allowed only three sacks in 8 games protecting a virtually statue-like Kerry Collins. And their running game has consisted of the solid 1-2 punch of Chris Johnson (715 yards and 5 TDs) and LenDale White (404 yards and a league-leading 10 TDs). This unit has also started all 8 games together and I believe is the key to the Titans undefeated season so far.

Where have you gone Lester Hayes? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you ...
With most teams having played 8 games (and some 9), there are six players who are tied for the league lead with four interceptions. Four!?! The record for a single season is Dick “Night Train” Lane’s 14 in his 1952 rookie season. Did I mention 1952 was a 12-game season? At this rate it would take a 28-game schedule to equal the record.

How can this be the case in a league where the likes of Dan Orlovsky, Ryan Fitzpatrick, the corpse formerly-known as Brad Johnson, and Seneca Wallace all started last week? There’s an old saying that defensive backs are just frustrated wide receivers that can’t catch. Never has that been more apparent than this year.

Trivia Answer
The top two quarterbacks with the highest career completion rate are:
1. Chad Pennington 65.61%
2. Kurt Warner 65.09%

That's right ... the weak-armed Jets' castoff and the former supermarket-bagger are the two most accurate passers in the HISTORY OF THE NFL!!! And guess what? Both of these guys are moving those numbers up as this season goes on.

Warner has both held off Nick Lachey’s boyfriend as starter and guided The Buzzsaw to become the clear frontrunner in the NFC West. This two-time MVP is once again throwing his hat into the ring for consideration this year as the #2-rated QB in the league with 2,431 yards and a 69.9% completion rate. I’m sure this is all part of God’s master plan … or at least Warner would have you believe that.

Pennington has a 67.4% completion rate and is on pace to fall just 18 yards short of 4,000 yards. Pennington's previous best yardage output was 3,352 in 2006 when he won the Comeback Player of the Year. Hey Jets' fans - do you think your brain trust made the right choice? If you set aside Favre's career best six-TD game against the Arizona Cardinals, he has thrown nine touchdowns and 11 INTs. But no worries, during their recent bye week Mangini sat him down and told him he needs to take care of the ball better. I'm sure after an 18-year pro career and every announcer wanting to suck him off for "being a gunslinger," he'll change in time for your playoff push.

~ Max Power

Other than a future posting on the Rookie of the Year race, I’m done with football for awhile … look out for something new and completely different this weekend.

Thanks for coming and suckling Daddy’s Sugar Ball

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