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(By Gerry Wang)

by Gerry Wang

    Besides Christmas time and late June, one of my favorite times of the year is the start of the football season. That's when you know autumn is here, and school's starting soon, to your dismay. But there is something about college football, as well as NFL football, that invigorates the sense of dedication and pride you have in your favorite team(s).

    There's nothing rowdier than a college football stadium. No one is more fierce in their fanatical loyalty than college football fans. Similarly in the NFL, where people go to games buck-naked in snowy blizzards with their team colors painted on their beer bellies. Yes, pigskin is America's pastime. Football, to the rest of the world, is soccer, the lamest sport ever created (Yes, even behind synchronized swimming).

    Only in football do you get bone-crunching violence. Only in football is it legal to smash someone as hard as you can wearing full protection and using lethal weapons such as a helmet. Groin-kicking is legal. Eye-gouging is dirty, but legal. If you come out of a game w/o blood on your uniform, it means you suck. Football is the ultimate primeval activity. It's in our blood to war over precious territory. Mere yards are our land. The end zone is our capital. We dare you to invade our capital. We'll die stopping you.

    But football is also a thing of beauty. There are few beautiful things in sports. A perfectly executed fast break, a hole in one, a home run.............. those are beautiful, but don't even compare to a long touchdown bomb or a Barry Sanders 75-yard dash or a kick return touchdown. Precise execution and anticipation is necessary to make these plays. It requires a team effort. Barry Sanders ain't going nowhere if his o-line doesn't bust a gap for him. Brett Favre ain't gonna look good if he doesn't have protection or a psychic connection with his receiver. Special teams touchdowns.......... well that's self-explanatory. Everyone better block his man.
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    It's safe to say that no one can hate football. There's always action going on. If the offense is struggling, it's because the defense is too strong. And vice versa. In fact, a 0-0 game is much more suspenseful in football, because you got placekickers who can bomb 61-yarders like John Kasay, and every game counts. There's only 16 of them. The scoring system of football demands strategy and decision making. Do you go for the 2-point conversion? Do you kick the FG or go for the end zone? How do you manage the clock?

    This is why football is great. It's truly a war between two armies, with two generals complete w/ sergeants. The linemen are the infantry, the linebackers the artillery. The secondary is the cavalry. All must work in synch to defeat the enemy. Those who win the most battles wins the war-- The Super Bowl.

    Alright, enough w/ this gay metaphor and lame attempts at melodrama. Let's get onto the meat of this article. I'll try to predict the final standings for each division, then predict the postseason. Along the way I'll give you some insights on every team, like what their strengths and weaknesses are, and which players you should watch for. I'll also highlight any significant offseason transactions.

    Oh yeah, all the artwork you see is original........ ok, I didn't draw it, but I spent a long time creating the backgrounds. Some genius at NFL.COM decided to make his backgrounds transparent gifs. So I had to take a bunch of time making them un-transparent and I had to cut a lot of stuff out, then repaste. Damn NFL.COM