Volume 1, Number 4 -- November, 1996

The Professor - Mid-Season Report

Before I begin my column, I'd like to address a few remarks to some of the non-football fans out there (i.e.: Heathens). If any of you football faithful out there know any Heathens, go to them now and recite the following words:

"If you don't like football, stay the hell out of sports bars on Monday nights!"

Honestly, there is nothing more annoying to a football fan (including forced rectal invasion) than going to a sports bar, our haven, our place of worship, to enjoy a bit of violence and mayhem on a Monday night, only to have to endure a couple of noisy, irritating, cackling hens sitting at the adjacent table nattering away about how stupid the beer commercials are and how women don't really look like that and didja hear, Martha's having her gallbladder removed and on and on and on.

I mean, really! If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Ladies, there are times when you're presence is appreciated (When we're horny, when we're hungry, etc.) and there are times when we simply don't want you the hell around (Football season). Just because we allow you to drag us into shopping malls and delivery rooms does NOT mean we want you to invade our most sacred bastion of manhood (Well, actually that would be strip clubs, but sports bars has to rank at least second, don't you think?).

Anyway, that's not what I came here to tell you. I'm here to talk about my awards for the first half of the 1996 football season and, since I wasted so much time setting the ladyfolk straight, I'll just cut right to the chase.


MVP (AFC) - John Elway, Denver. This one is a no brainer. Denver has been the AFC's top team and Elway IS the Broncos.

MVP (NFC) - Terry Allen, Washington. While I wait for all the Brett Favre fans to quit screaming, let me point out that Terry Allen is on pace for a 26-TD/ 1500-yard season. With the REDSKINS! That's all, feel free to continue your screaming.

ROOKIE (AFC) - Eddie George, Houston. The kid's on pace to challenge Earl Campbell's rookie rushing record, and that's some name to be mentioned with.

ROOKIE (NFC) - Tony Banks, Rams. Tough call on this one. Tim Biakabutuka was the early front-runner, but got hurt. Chris T. Jones of the Eagles has also looked good, but Banks has taken over the QB position on a bad team and performed admirably.

COACH (AFC) - -Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh. Could have been Houston's Jeff Fisher, if he could have held off the 'Niners, but Cowher has managed to keep his team focused and sharp despite the losses of last year's QB Neil O'Donnell and All-Everything linebacker Greg Lloyd.

COACH (NFC) - Ray Rhodes, Philadelphia. A strong argument can be made for Norv Turner in Washington, but Philly's played a tougher schedule and survived the loss of starting QB Rodney Peete.

TEAM TO WATCH IN SECOND HALF (AFC) - Seattle. The Seahawks have posted back to back impressive wins over Miami and Houston and appear poised to go on a second half tear.

TEAM TO WATCH IN SECOND HALF (AFC) - Atlanta. Finally got in the win column after giving Dallas and Pittsburgh fits. Still a team loaded with offensive weapons, watch out for 3rd year back Jamal Anderson.

And now for the "Thumbs down" section of our column.

LEAST VALUABLE PLAYER (AFC) - Jim Kelly, Buffalo. While the Broncos win because of their QB, the Bills have won in spite of their QB. Kelly's performance has ranged from bad to truly horrible in the first half of 1996.

LEAST VALUABLE PLAYER (NFC) - Jeff George, Atlanta. The man who was supposed to be the Falcon's savior turned out instead to be their albatross. George is out, Hebert is in, the Falcons are 1-8. Need we say more?

ROOKIE BUST (AFC) - Rickey Dudley, Oakland. You hate to be overly critical of rookies, so bear in mind this merely reflects the non-fulfillment of other people's expectations. That being said, Rickey Dudley has dropped a LOT of balls.

ROOKIE BUST (NFC) - Lawrence Phillips, Rams. Never before has a player's inability to produce been the source of such rejoicing among the female population.

WORST COACH (AFC) - (TIE) Dave Shula, Cincinnati / Rich Kotite, New York Jets. Two teams, two unimaginably bad coaches, one has been fired, one will soon be fired, both not nearly soon enough.

WORST COACH (NFC) - Wayne Fontes, Detroit. Barry Sanders, Herman Moore, Brett Perriman, etc., and STILL you're only 11th in the league in offense?

TEAM NOT TO WATCH IN SECOND HALF (AFC) - New York Jets. Of their final seven opponents, only Miami has a losing record (4-5). Can you say "Peyton Manning"?

TEAM NOT TO WATCH IN SECOND HALF (NFC) - Minnesota. They lost Robert Smith, Warren Moon is hurt, and they still have upcoming dates against Denver and a revenge-minded Green Bay on their dance card. But that's enough of that. Back to football. Anyone seen my remote?

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