yes - RESPECT…

Playing in south Alaska does not help you get recognition or respect. Being an expansion team that has never grown into a perennial SB contender hasn't help that cause either. We were always that blip at the top left corner of the map.

After a breakout year last year we were suddenly on everyone’s map and ranked in the top 5 by every pundit in the land. With great expectations come attention, scrutiny and the pressure to live up to it or fail.

Atlanta was ranked at the top by many, so were Houston and Washington. The Rams were supposed to be the dark horse, the Giants and Pittsburg were supposed to be good as always. All those teams have so far failed to meet the lofty expectations and are deemed to have failed this year.

Reading many posts and articles this week it seems that another team has failed to be the contender everyone has predicted it to be. The common view is that this team is fundamentally flawed on many aspects of its game. The offense line is poor at pass protection at its best and with mounting key injuries it cannot perform at the level needed to be a contender in this league. The defense has been found to have a serious fundamental problem with stopping the run game and cannot be counted on to keep the team winning.

It happened to the other above mentioned teams and adding one more is just part of what makes the NFL so interesting.

What sets apart this last failure from the others is that team’s current record. While the others are all sub .500 teams, this new failure is actually at 8-1. This is not the first time that a team starts strong and loses traction during the year. Houston did it last year and Green Bay may do it this year with Rodgers injured. The unique element here is that this latest disappointment happened before they actually failed.

The blame for all those teams predicted to do well and failing is of course on their shoulders. The experts and analysts did their work, they went over the numbers and they cam up with an educated estimation. It's the teams that failed.

On the morning of October 28th, after winning 6 of their first 7 games this team was ranked 2nd against the run in the NFL. 2nd after 7 games!!!.

On the morning of Nov 4th, a mere week later and after winning 2 more games, the competition started. Who’s going to be the first to declare that they are not a true contender anymore. Backhanded compliments were expressed in condescending manner regarding its record comeback victory but the writing was on wall. They can’t protect the QB, they can’t stop the run and they are seriously flawed. Lip service was duly paid to their 8-1 record but everyone was running to pick new SB candidates.

When it came time to predict the outcome of the next game you could feel the wind changing. More and more future tellers adopted the narrative that this flawed team will run of luck this week.

It may all be true. It may be the beginning of the end for this once heralded contender found to be lacking. They may indeed prove to be "just lucky" and you can’t keep fooling everyone week after week.

If you learn international relationships you will come across a famous idiom - "How do you call an 8 feet tall 5 feet wide gorilla?", "You call it – Sir". Or in one word – RESPECT.

The offensive line may be shredded and hopeless or it may be improving with key players due back imminently to upgrade it just in time. The defense may be lost against the run or it just had 2 off games and will return to its former (2 weeks ago) glory. We may lose in Atlanta, have more injuries and fall apart in the 2nd half of the season or we may not lose even one more game this season.

The same people that heralded ATL,HOU,WAS, NYG and WAS just 2 months ago should show some RESPECT and have the common sense if not the common manners to start digging the grave after the deceased has actually passed away. When you talk about an 8-1 team you damn better call it Sir.

I don’t think we are dead and done for. That’s my personal opinion as a fan not a know it all. I can read the number of yards as good as anyone else and I did watch every game. I could write the following on Monday – Thomas intercepted the ball during the 2nd scoring drive. Had the zebra called it right they don't score the 2nd TD, Krease doesn't try too much on the return of a kick that would not have been kicked. There is no fumble and no 3rd TD and that game ends 27-10. The zebra got it wrong at the cost of 14 points. We got the ball back, rammed it down their throats and won it anyway. 8-1 Sir.

I may of course be a dumb fan who believes his beloved team can do no wrong. I may be burying my head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge what is so easy for all to see. My mind may be made up and I won’t let the facts confuse me. It’s my prerogative as a fan.

I acknowledge that there are many others who do not see it that way. It’s up to them to speak their mind but until we go down from the field defeated – I DEMAND MY 8-1 RESPECT.

I just hope the players read all those doubts about their validity as true SB contenders. It will make for an interesting and pleasing Sunday is they do.


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