Sunday, September 10, 2006

Opinions equal facts, right?

On ESPN's Web site this afternoon, fans were asked the choose one of five responses to "My favorite NFL team will ________." Here's how to interpret the nearly 88,000 results that had been tallied as of about 2 p.m. EST Sunday:

Michigan (Home to the Detroit Lions): The only state in which the bulk of the fans voted "Probably done by Week 4." You know your team has been a disappointment if your fans have absolutely no faith before the season even starts. Like Kevin Federline at the Teen Choice Awards, you knew it would bad before the show started.

Louisiana (Home to the New Orleans Saints): The only state in which most of the fans responded with "Not embarrass me completely." Last year's frustrating year was compounded by Hurricane Katrina slamming the Gulf Coast, forcing the Saints to play "home" games as far away as Giants Stadium. (Totally fair!) But at least this year, they have Reggie Bush -- the NFL's most exciting college draft pick since, uh, ever -- so he'll be fun to watch, at least.

Wisconsin (Home to the Green Bay Packers): A tie between "Hopefully will make the playoffs!" and "Not embarrass me completely." In other words, a tie between fans who remember who Brett Favre used to be, and the fans who remember who Brett Favre is now.

Missouri (Home to the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs), Minnesota (Home to the Minnesota Vikings) and North Dakota (Home to... uh... snow): "Hopefully will make the playoffs!" I actually think North Dakota's snow has a better shot of making the playoffs than the Green Bay Packers.

26 states (Home to a lot of teams) and non-US voters (Home to a lot of political animosity toward the United States): "At least will make the playoffs!" This is probably the healthiest attitude going into a season. Moderate expectations, meaning fewer boos per home game than a Barry Bonds away game.

18 states (Home to some teams): "Will win the Super Bowl!" Wow, 17 states are in for a real shocker. I'm looking in your direction, New Mexico.

Hawaii (Home to a bizarre season of "The Real World"): A tie between "Will win the Super Bowl!" and "At least make the playoffs!" If I lived in Hawaii, the last thing I'd be thinking about is football. Mmm... Hawaii.