The NFL tries to portray their players on television with an image of being macho, physical, invincible and in your face.
However, come every October the NFL does the right thing by creating awareness for something that has affected almost everyone. Last week, it was nice to see the players, coaches and officials once again wearing pink to support breast cancer awareness in the United States and across North America. This year’s pink campaign is called “A Crucial Catch, annual screening saves lives.”
With the NFL having record number of viewers each week watching games on television, this is one simple way for the league to give back to the community, and bring the awareness of this dreadful disease.
This yearly ritual to wear pink at all NFL games in October, shows it’s not all about the football and making money, but caring about people.
Cancer really hit home within the NFL family last week, especially with the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a form of leukemia that has him fighting for his life.
Not that professional football players need motivation each week to play hard, but from viewing the Colts-Packers’ game and post game, you could tell that the players and coaches were emotionally charged to his medical condition.
The Colts played a game that gave everyone who watched, a big lump in the throat as Indy won in dramatic fashion for their coach, who was lying in a hospital bed getting treatment. Owner Jim Irsay took the game ball down to the hospital after the game. Who said NFL players play just for the money?
Get well soon Coach Pagano.
Stat of the week
For the first time in NFL history, the reigning NFL MVP (Aaron Rodgers) lost to two rookie quarterbacks (Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck) in the same season.
Pet peeve of the week
Houston’s Brian Cushing blowing his knee out from a chop block by the Jets’ Matt Slauson. It looked like a dirty block, and will cost Cushing his season. The NFL always wants to protect their quarterbacks; how about protecting these other players as well?
Coach Parcells’ quote of the week
“Concentration-wise, we're having trouble crossing the line mentally from a toughness standpoint.”
The sure thing
If everything was equal in the football world, the Oakland Raiders would have a chance to beat the Atlanta Falcons. But, as we know, this isn’t true. First of all, Oakland has to make the long trip to the East Coast, they are playing the unbeaten Falcons and the Raiders are not great on the road. So what gives? Nothing, it’s simple – Atlanta wins.
Philly hosts the Lions, who are coming off a bye week. The bye week probably won’t help the Detroit running game, which leaves quarterback Matt Stafford exposed to the Eagles’ big pass rush. This means one thing – big trouble. Eagles beat the Lions.
The winless Browns are due to win a game and have been in every game this season, but this is not the week. Cincinnati laid an egg last week against the Dolphins, and will come back with vengeance on the road. In a close game, the Bengals beat the poor old Browns.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
The Seahawks play tough at home, and the Seattle fans really promote themselves as the 12th man as they host the Patriots. Don’t think the ‘Hawks can match the Patriots point for point, even at home, and Seattle wishes it could have a 12th man on the field to help stop Tom Brady and the Pats. New England wins.
San Fran has put up a pile of points on the board the last two weeks, and is home to the Giants. The 49ers have revenge on their mind for last season’s NFC Championship game loss at Candlestick Park, and will want to inflict some pain on the champs and Eli Manning. New York can score points as well, but the 49ers are the more motivated team in this one. 49ers beat the Giants in another great game, but it’s nine months too late.
The surprising 4-1 Vikings travel to Washington, but have not yet faced a quarterback with the mobility and wheels of RG III. This will cause some defensive problems and breakdowns with the Minnesota D, and will lead to a home win by the Redskins.
The hometown Texans lost one of their best players on defence in Brian Cushing, and now face the surprising 2-3 (won-lost) Packers.
Houston, meanwhile, is cruising along at 5-0.
There is panic and desperation in Cheeseheadville, but The Freak has a feeling Aaron Rodgers will play his best game of the season under an intense Houston pass rush, and will upset the undefeated Texans, which will help right the Packers’ ship.
Last week: 4-for-7.
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to email@example.com.