NFL Week 4: Crazy, but that's how it goes
by Ernie Williams

Rituals. Superstitions. You know you've got 'em. Every football fan has 'em. Every football fan has some kind of weird thing that they do that they are certain can help their team to win. Whether you want to admit it or not, if you're a football fan, you have a crazy belief that whatever that particular thing is, it will help to bring your team a victory. So you might as well just admit it.football2.jpg

It might be a small thing, like maybe wearing an old ball-cap with your team's logo on it, because every time you do, good things seem to happen on the field. Or maybe it's an all-consuming, borderline unhealthy, ocd-like obsession that drives you to follow an insane set of rules that you are convinced will have an effect on you team's ability to win.

You are the 12th Man. You are the fan. And call me crazy, but get enough fans thinking together and acting together on the same wavelength, and we can have an effect on games, whether you're wearing your ball cap, or making your entire family, except for your Wife, who refuses to go along with this nonsense, wear a team jersey on game

So, what are your game-day rituals and superstitions?

sock1.jpgHere are a few of mine, and just so you know, they are not made up just to make you laugh. These are all real and I believe in all of them, crazy as it may be, I believe in all of them.

Now, before I even begin to write these, I will tell you that my rational side is reminding me that none of this matters and it's all a bunch of BS. But, my Pats fan side (the crazy side) is reminding my rational side that The Pats did not score a touchdown in last weeks
game until after I got out the Lucky Patriots Beer Mug, so how do you explain that Mister Smarty-Pants?

See what you're in for? Here we go.

- The sock factor: I truly believe that my Patriots socks are a very important factor in the outcome of every Pats game. They have the Patriots logo on the side and in case you are wondering, they are very cool looking and also quite comfy. My Wife likes to try and throw them out because they get a lot of wear, and thus the bottoms tend to become a bit see-through after a while.

'I'm throwing these ratty things out. I can see the bottom of your foot right through them!' she scolds.

'Don't you dare. Not 'till the seasons over and not unless you've got a replacement pair lined up and ready to go.'

I have 5 pairs of Patriots socks, and I make sure that I wear each one of them in the days leading up to the games. That means that they all need to be washed by Wednesday, at the latest, much to my Wife's chagrin. 'Your damn socks have nothing to do with the Patriots game,' she tells me with disdain.


- Lucky Patriots Beer Mug Factor: The Lucky Patriots Beer Mug must have a beer present and accounted for, ready to consume by the start of the game. I have found that the luck in this object generally seems to work best if there is minimum of one beer consumed from the Mug per quarter during the game. More than one beer per
quarter is ok, but no less than one per quarter. This can require a certain amount of pacing at times.

Interestingly, I have found that the placement of the mug in the room can also be very important from game to game.

For example, two weeks ago, my team was playing the Jets. For the majority of the game, I had the Lucky Beer Mug up on the fireplace mantle in my living-room as The Pats built up a sizable lead in the game. Then at half-time, I took the mug down and put it on an end table next to the couch.

Big mistake.

The Jets started to make a come back and nearly managed to erase a 24 point Patriots lead in the game. Thankfully, I realized that the Lucky Patriots Mug was out of position and put it back up on the mantle.

Almost immediately, The Patriots defense started to play better and the team hung on for the win. Whew. Caught that one just in time.
A few other factors that I have noticed can affect the outcome of the game:

The Nap Factor: I've noticed the team seems to do better if my wife takes a nap during the game, so I encourage her to relax and read a magazine when the game is on. Maybe put her feet up. Get comfortable. Maybe get under this nice warm Patriots Fleece Blanket...

Unfortunately, the Nap Factor has been negated quite a bit of late. As my Wife rolls her eyes and remarks, 'How am I supposed to take a nap with all this nonsense going on. The kids are screaming, you're screaming... You're all jumping up and down and running around the house like maniacs, yelling touchdown or defense some other thing... and you expect me to sleep?'

Personally I don't see what the problem is.

Left side of the couch vs. the right side of the couch: My couch definitely has a lucky, and an unlucky side. The luck is on the left hand side so I make sure to always sit on the left hand side.

Well those are just a few of my issues, er, I mean rituals. Beliefs...


Hey, I would not believe in these things if I had not witnessed their effects with my own two eyes. All I know is, sit on one side of the couch, bad things happen. Move over to the other side, all of a sudden The Pats are scoring TD's. Some things you just don't fuck around with.

You know you do it too, so don't make fun.

Now, let's check out some games:

Indy at NY J-E-T-S - I'll actually be rooting for The Jets in this game, which is a rare event, but I think Indy will win this one, unfortunately.

On a side note, can somebody explain to me why every single ad during a game seems to feature Peyton Manning? What has he done, huh? Please, tell me what he has done to have garnered such non-stop attention. It can't be his impressive 3-6 post-season record, so what is it? He practically had a trip to the Superbowl handed to him last year and he still blew it... Phht. Whatever. Rant over.

peyton-manning.jpgNew Orleans at Carolina - New Orleans is one of the nice surprises in the league so far, sitting at 3-0. How about that? I like it. I always like the underdog teams to do well, so I'll take The Saints.

San Diego at Baltimore - This is a good matchup. San Diego has a very good offense, Baltimore has a very good defense. Hmmm. I'll take The Chargers.

Minnesota at Buffalo - These two teams were projected to do nothing this year, but they have both come out and beaten some teams that were expected to be Superbowl contenders. Buffalo is 1-2 but they gave The Pats and The Jets all they could handle in their games. The Vikes are a dome team playing outdoors in Buffalo. I'll take The Bills.

Dallas at Tennessee - This game is only interesting because everyone wants to see what happens next in the train wreck that is The Terrell Owens saga. I'll take Dallas.

Cleveland at Oakland - Both of these teams are winless. Normally I would not be that interested in 2 winless teams, except that The Browns are one of my backup teams and they happen to be playing Oakland, who I always root against, no matter what. Cleveland rocks.

New England at Cincy - New England is coming off of a bitter loss to Denver and this week will face another very difficult opponent in the Cincinnati Bengals. Coming into this game, New England still has an impressive streak going. They have gone 52 games without losing back-to-back games. You know who I'll be rooting for... Next...

Seattle at Chicago - This should be an exciting game between two, high-powered, 3-0 teams. I like Chicago but I'm going to take Seattle in this one.

Green Bay at Philly - It's The Pack vs. The Eagles on Monday night. This game could go either way. It would be fun to see Brett Far-vre put on a show and get into a passing shootout with Donovan McNabb, but it's hard to pick against The Eagles at home over the struggling Packers. Sorry Far-vre fans.

Enjoy the games today everybody!

Ernie writes daily about football and other stuff at Mr. B and W. You should check it out.


It's always an exciting night when the Birds and the Pack square off. My housemate is a big Packers fan and we all know how I feel about the Iggles.

There's no way Favre is going to look as good as Donovan. Our offense looks fantastic. It's just the second half defense I'm more than a little worried about.


Tough game against Cincy today... I have my Patriots hat, Samuel Adams Beer and Troy Brown jersey!


I used to have a lucky bra.

It failed me the last time the Pack went to the superbowl.

I burned it.

I would make a bet with finn on tomorrrow night's game, but I'm not that big of an idiot.


A lucky bra, that is cool. Did it have Jets logos on it?

Now, as far as the bet goes, come on. Don't be a wuss. Besides, your poetry is so... poetic! (Yes I am instigating, haha.)


Even if you made it, I couldn't take it. It'd be like shooting a kid for a lollipop. Completely unnecessary and over the top.

That said, look for the Pack to do some serious scoring in the fourth quarter.


//Tough game against Cincy today...//

Even though I hope they will suck today, it's good to see Cincy's team resurrected...


Damn Jets. I only root for those guys like twice a year. Too bad they could not hold that lead against Indy. Dammit.

Kali's Ravens are looking scary good. I am impressed!!


Damn Jets, indeed.

They are way ahead of the disappointment schedule now.


Yeah, too bad. I thought that last ditch lateral thing was going to work for a second. Looked more like a rugby game than a football game there at the end. Dang.


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