What to write................
(Taps his fingers)
What could I possibly say that I haven't already?
I've got to be careful, even more careful than usual. I'm going to avoid acronyms like a hot tin frying pan and I'm going to evade the temptation to indulge my penchant for mixing my metaphors for fear of upsetting those folks at the E.S.U. (English Speaking Union, just so we're clear on that ;)) Aubreyisms can be useful however, not least of which when it comes to cautioning people as to the ambition of their expectations.
Going into the season, I was convinced that whilst we had enough about us to post what would be a respectable record and vindicate the choice of Linehan as our head coach, we wouldn't be breaking out the dusters in anticipation of another trophy to shine. I thought, and still do that whilst we may well be loaded at the offensive skill positions a quick glance across the roster would underline what many around the league, not swayed by partisan fever could have told us. We just don't have enough to get it done.
I set my stall out accordingly at the start of the season, knowing as I did so that the weekly swings and roundabouts of the NFL would test that commitment to an almost inhuman degree. And it has.
A defensive performance against the Broncos that had the most passionate of us acclaiming our new unit as one of perhaps the best Rams units ever and a rash of turnovers that saw us leap to a respectable 4-1 camouflaged our most glaring weaknesses to a degree, but there were many amongst us who were far from convinced. Winning helps to assuage concern but it doesn't wipe it out.
Concern made real when we embarked on our five game skid. No surprise really, not if we were being completely honest with ourselves. The fragile nature of our early season success would have indicated that we weren't so far away from 1-4. A couple of fortunate bounces of an ovoid pigskin saw that we weren't and whilst fortune smiles on the brave she's also a fickle, capricious mistress with a taste for irony.
So, here we are. A last minute win against a willing, if mediocre whiners team and there are again rumblings of playoffs, our chances of making it, prognostications of how the NFL jamboree might unfold over the next five weeks. Sorry people, but I'm just not going to entertain it. My advice would be to forget it and instead cast your minds, as many have already done to what lies beyond this years playoffs. Sensible in my view as it recognises what I feel to be a self evident truth, which is that our team, as much as we imbue them with a hope beyond reasonable expectation, isn't good enough to lift anything other than our hearts. Trophies, such as they are, just aren't coming to a place near us anytime soon.
I don't understand the fixation with the playoffs to be honest. They are not an end in themselves and as much as I understand the allure of the wild-card superbowl winner, I would defy anyone to state that they see us adorning ourselves with that accolade. For every Hawks triumph, there's an Atlanta debacle, and I'm not sure, give the reaction that I witnessed over the course of our five game losing streak, that it would be healthy for our board to witness it.
We haven't shown the kind of domination in the course of any of our wins that would suggest anything other than an ignominious first round exit at the hands of a team who won't go all the way themselves. Whilst I don't subscribe to losing for the sake of a higher draft position and expect the team to fight every inch of the way, I feel it's unreasonable to expect anything more than 8-8 or 9-7 from this group and furthermore that a resounding bouncing in the playoffs may not be the best thing for us. I would furthermore state that, should we get to 8-8 or 9-7 that it would reflect a qualitative as well as quantitative improvement and demonstrate that better times lie ahead.
Linehan isn't the problem.
Our expectations, given the strength of our roster, most definately maybe ;).
As thoey, very astutely pointed out, we're not as good as our performance against the Broncos but not as bad as our performance against the whiners at Monster Park. The truth as ever lies somewhere in between.
I'm optimistic but I like to think that I'm realistic too. I don't reserve such positions for myself, but for me and many others there's an element to some of the expectation I see occasionally that just sets my teeth on edge.
Many opinions out there, this just happens to be mine.
Lets not count our chickens before they're in the pudding.
Or some thing like that anyway.
Re: Eggs, chickens
Who is the "Aubrey" of your "isms"?
Re: Eggs, chickens
Jack Aubrey of 'Master and Commander' fame. Always used to mix up his metaphors.
Patrick O'Brian books.........outstanding if you've never read them.
Re: Eggs, chickens
Thank you, Fat "Dennis Miller" Pang! :)