Thursday, September 06, 2012

09/07 (Week 1) Quickie

In a Quickie tradition, NFL Week 1 picks below...

It's been just about exactly one year since my family and I relocated from Brooklyn to DC. There have been a handful of sports highlights: I was at Verizon Center when my Wizards got their best win of the past half-decade, beating the Thunder. I took my kids to their first hockey game. I have totally embraced the Nats, made much more fun by being up close. The Redskins traded up for RG3 (I'm not even a Redskins fan, and it has me excited). My Wizards drafted Bradley Beal, the player I desperately wanted them to get.

But the best thing, by far, was moving from Time Warner to Verizon FIOS, because a year ago this weekend, I got my first taste of Red Zone Channel, and it was the single-greatest media or fan experience of my life. Gabe and I turned it on at 1, then sat slack-jawed for the next seven hours, mesmerized by what we were witnessing. It turned Gabe into an NFL nut. It made me love watching the NFL on Sundays again, after years of being bored by being forced to watch the Giants and Jets.

And so we will welcome Red Zone Channel host Scott Hanson back into our house this Sunday, like a favorite friend coming back after being gone for the past 9 months, from 1 p.m. kickoff until the signature game-ending "Touchdown Montage" -- or, should I say, "Touchdown Massage," which is what Gabe called it, which I then tweeted to Hanson, who then used it the next week.

Game day is back.

CFB Saturday: It's a snoozer of a week -- I'm picking all ranked teams to win, including Florida beating Texas A&M in the Aggies' SEC opener. (Famous last words...)

CFB Viewing Guide:
Noon: UCF at Ohio State (ESPN2), Penn State at Virginia (ABC), Auburn at Mississippi St (ESPN)
3:30: Florida at Texas A&M (ESPN), 7:00: Washington at LSU (ESPN)
8:00 Vandy at Northwestern (Big Ten Net)

NFL Week 1: My favorite storylines
*Can Peyton Manning make it through a game?
*The NFL debuts of RG3 and Andrew Luck.
*The debut of Tim Tebow in the Jets offense.
*Game of the Week: Packers-49ers. Whammo.
*Cam Newton: That's all. Just watching Cam Newton.

NFL Picks: Bears over Colts, Eagles over Browns, Pats over Titans, Chiefs over Falcons, Vikings over Jaguars, Saints over Redskins, Jets over Bills, Lions over Rams, Texans over Dolphins, Packers over 49ers, Seahawks over Cardinals, Panthers over Bucs, Broncos over Steelers, Ravens over Bengals, Chargers over Raiders. (Season to date: 0-1)

RIP Art Modell: Cleveland fans might loathe him, but he was instrumental in bringing the NFL to a national TV audience. And bringing football back to Baltimore. Seattle basketball fans would love to find an owner like Modell.

MLB: Back in March, anyone have "Yankees-Orioles" as the biggest baseball series of the weekend of September 6-9? Hell, it might be the biggest single baseball series of the year.

Book rec: "Soldiers First," by three-time Varsity Letters contributor Joe Drape, who spent a season inside Army football. Excerpt here, Amazon link here.

Must-See: The new "This Is SportsCenter" featuring John Clayton is the best one in the series in years -- it's an instant classic. Check it out here.

This is rooting for the home team, but offered earnestly: If you haven't given Sports On Earth a try yet, head over and check out some of the great work they've produced this week, only their second.

Yes, I bought a new Nike Jets Tebow jersey.

-- D.S.

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