LOMBARDI’S WAY: ENDLESS SUMMER

Lombardi's Way LOMBARDI’S WAY: ENDLESS SUMMER

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It’s interesting how “lists” seem to pop up during this time of year.  CBS Sportsline.com has their Top 50 NFL Players list.  ESPN’s KC Joyner has his positional list of most overrated and underrated players (which by the way includes Ed Reed in the most overrated category).  The Baltimore Examiner has their list of the best players that played in and/or were born in the Baltimore area. Then there’s the list of the toughest NFL schedules and the preseason power rankings, etc, etc. 
 
The “list” goes on and on.
 
These lists probably are born out of boredom.  Let’s face it, baseball is boring, particularly when your hometown team is 15 games back at the All-Star break, one game off their losing pace from a year ago.  And by no stretch of the imagination is it a sufficient diversion from the NFL or college sports.
 
I had to laugh the other day while driving as I heard one of the ESPN Radio guys recite player stats up to the break – the traditional MLB seasonal halfway point aka the All-Star break.
 
“Only halfway done?” I thought. 
 
Yawn.
 
Thank God it’s summer time and I guess the silver lining in the Orioles’ 10 year drought is that they certainly help to give us all summers that are seemingly endless.  Apathy has its rewards. 
 
On the other hand, good seasons can speed up time.  Think back to how quickly the Fall of ’06 sped by while the Ravens paced their way through a 13-3 season.  September became October and suddenly Thanksgiving Dinner was being served followed quickly thereafter by the perpetual sounds of Christmas songs and unnecessary spending. 
 
And then the season ended abruptly with the loss to the Colts.
 
The arrival of credit card bills only added insult to injury.
 
Soon the Ravens will get it in gear at McDaniel College preparing for the ’07 season – in 3 weeks to be exact.  Then the fun begins and we’ll follow their progress into scrimmages and through preseason games.  In just 35 days we’ll all convene at The Vault when the Ravens play host to the Eagles on August 13.
 
So relax while you can.  The pace will hasten before you know it.
 
Until then, how about another list? 
 
This one is my list of early predictions for the 2007 NFL Season:
  1. Brady Quinn will be the Browns starter by Week 10 after a 3-6 start and a comfortable grip on fourth place in the AFC North.
  2. The Browns will finish at 5-11 while competing well at the end but it won’t be enough to save Romeo Crennel.  Phil Savage will then serenade Rex Ryan and attempt to lure the Ravens DC into a cesspool of staph infection.
  3. The Steelers will be spoilers in December and be a very tough team after they adjust to new philosophies on both sides of the ball.  Best to play them in September.
  4. Randy Moss will prove to the world that he is no longer the Randy Moss of old…he’s just an old Randy Moss.
  5. If the Panthers fail to finish above .500, The Chin will be manning the Carolina sideline in ’08.
  6. The lightning bolts, despite a wealth of talent, won’t be the San Diego Superchargers in ’07.  A new head coach with new coordinators will make it difficult to repeat the ’06 performance but they’ll still win the division and once again be one and done in the post season.  LT will blame Bill Belichick.
  7. Fantasy musings…Brandon Jacobs will be a beast in the Big Apple during the first half of the season but he’ll wear down significantly down the homestretch…Larry Johnson will struggle in KC and Frank Gore will not post numbers in ’07 the way he did last season; steer clear of both early in your drafts…Trent Green will be a bust in Miami while Jeff Garcia might do fairly well during the second half as he develops within Gruden’s version of the west coast offense…Steven Jackson opponents – LOOK OUT!
  8. ESPN will still be looking for the right mix of talent in the Monday Night Football booth by the end of the season.  Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser will go together like mayonnaise on a ball park frank. 
  9. Look for a 1,000 yard season from Mark Clayton…Yamon Figurs will have Ravens fans chanting, “Yah Mon!”…expect a rebound performance from Samari Rolle and an emerging force on the Ravens defense in Antwan Barnes.
  10. Willis McGahee will convince those who thought the price to obtain him was too high that maybe they were high contemplating such thoughts.  McGahee will change the way the Ravens attack offensively and it will bring a balance to the Ravens never before seen.  The prize will be a successful trip to Arizona in February.
Enjoy your summer!
 
The fall looks promising…

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts "The Fanimal" also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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