Bill Liesse: A long, slow climb back to break even
At the rate we’re going — 8-6 every week — ITL will be back to .500 sometime after Labor Day 2009.
More hope than the Lions, I guess.
Happy to welcome one of my half-dozen favorite players of all-time, Mike Singletary, into the ranks of head coach. He’s thoughtful, intelligent, even-keeled, open-minded, a great husband and father, a self-made man, a man of prayer, and he should take the franchise forward.
But this endorsement of him is all about race. Right, Rush?
49ERS -5 vs. Seahawks: The Niners, known for unceremonious dismissals of stars as the dynasty waned, took it to sadistic levels with their coach firing. “Here, Mike Nolan, stay on for the Patriots, Eagles and Giants. But that Seneca Wallace visit you were eyeballing? You can’t stay for that.” SAN FRANCISCO.
TITANS -4 vs. Colts: The league’s last unbeaten should destroy Indy’s O-line on defense and run to its heart’s content when it has the ball. And that’s with a doubtful LenDale White — he’s still panting from his 80-yard run last week in KC. TENNESSEE.
JAGUARS -7 vs. Browns: Reacting to the controversy surrounding Kellen Winslow Jr.’s staph infection, Browns staff infection Phil Savage said: “We couldn’t and won’t allow one person to tear down the organization, so we had to do something.” That something is to allow 47 people to tear down the Browns, and they’re called the Jaguars. JACKSONVILLE.
Like ’em, but I’m scared
TEXANS -9 vs. Bengals: Awfully uppity of the Texans to open favored by 10 1/2 against a team they’re fractionally better than, if at all. CINCINNATI.
PANTHERS -4 vs. Cardinals: Behind Kurt Warner and Edgerrin James, the Cardinals must be amazing in Madden 2002. But they’re doing quite well against NFL 2008, thank you. ARIZONA.
PATRIOTS -7 1/2 vs. Rams: OK, Rams, I think you’ve made your point on Scott Linehan’s coaching prowess. NEW ENGLAND.
I’ll know more Monday
RAVENS -7 vs. Raiders: If I respected Baltimore just a little more, this noon, home affair vs. the West Coast’s worst would be a Love ’Em. BALTIMORE.
Bills -1 1/2 at DOLPHINS: Sensing a lull in their return to legitimate NFL franchise after a decade away, the Dolphins have put in a few plays in which they snap the ball directly to Bill Parcells. MIAMI.
EAGLES -9 vs. Falcons: You might rather be Michael Vick this week than Matt Ryan, facing all those Jimmy Johnson blitzes. PHILADELPHIA.
JETS -13 1/2 vs. Chiefs: Herm Edwards’ return to the Meadowlands could include a stint at quarterback. What else can KC do? This train wreck has rushed NFL panic buys Ingle Martin and Quinn Gray onto the roster. Makes us realize there is one thing scarier than having Not Yancey Thigpen at QB, and that’s not having Thigpen. NEW YORK.
CHARGERS -3 vs. Saints: The first ill-conceived NFL game in London, last year, featured 1-15 Miami. A step in the right direction, this one features two teams who are only that bad every other week. SAN DIEGO.
I hate these games
STEELERS -3 vs. Giants: Certainly a misnomer to say I hate this game, because I love this matchup of 5-1s. I just hate trying to figure it out. PITTSBURGH.
Redskins -7 1/2 at LIONS: Feeling burned by the Skins, who refused to cover vs. either Cleveland team, the Rams or Browns. (And the Cleveland Rams reference is too old for even me, but it is where they started.) I just remembered, though — Orlovsky! — so WASHINGTON.
COWBOYS -21/2 vs. Buccaneers: Allow me to be the slowest to accept the Cowboys’ demise. DALLAS.
Last week: 8-6
Bill Liesse is sports editor of the Peoria Journal Star. He can be reached email@example.com (309) 686-3213.