Vote For Flacco, Fed Ex “Air” Player Of Week

     The NFL announced that quarterbacks Drew Brees (New Orleans), Joe Flacco (Baltimore) and Tony Romo (Dallas)  are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on September 10-14, while running backs Julius Jones (Seattle) Thomas Jones (NY Jets) and Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.

     Fans can vote for one player in each category here from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through noon EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday evening on NFL.com.

     Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program, FedEx continues its support of Safe Kids USA — a national non-profit organization that works to prevent accidental injury among children — by making weekly $1,000 donations in the winning players’ names. The funding, allocated to local Safe Kids coalitions in that team’s city, is used for pedestrian safety improvements throughout the year, from upgraded crosswalks and street signage to traffic barriers and educational training.

     For a second season, fans can tune into the “FedEx Air & Ground Lowdown” posted exclusively on NFL.com/FedEx starting Wednesday mornings. The show examines the nominees in the Air & Ground categories through exclusive video highlights and expert analysis. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen and Marshall Faulk host the weekly five-minute show.

     As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx understands the need for a winning game plan, and created the Air & Ground program to highlight superior on-field performance while delivering safe kids off the field. Because FedEx has thousands of delivery trucks out on the roads each day, the company is committed to funding pedestrian safety improvements through its 10-year partnership with Safe Kids USA.

Contents from press release

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NFL Most Popular Sport

     Here are some interesting stats speaking to the NFL’s dominance (from Ravens press release):

     For more than four decades, according to the Harris Poll, the NFL has been the most popular sport in America.  In its most recent survey (released January, 2009), Harris –the pioneer in market research– reveals that pro football is the favorite sport of more people (31%) than the combined total of the next three professional sports – baseball (16), auto racing (8) and men’s pro basketball. 

      In addition, professional football has gained in popularity more than any other sport since 1985 with a 7 percent increase in popularity over those 2 decades (from 24 to 31 percent). Pro football moved ahead of baseball as the fans’ favorite for the 1st time in 1965.

     The NFL has been acknowledged as America’s most popular sport for the past 44 years, rated No. 1 by fans in the Harris Poll since 1965. In fact, for the 6th consecutive year, nearly twice as many people name professional football (31 percent) as their favorite sport over baseball (16 percent).

     NFL popularity can be measured in other ways as well. For instance:

  • 225 million Americans watched NFL games during the 2008 regular season – nearly 100 million more than the record number of Americans who voted in the 2008 presidential election (131.2 million).
  • Super Bowl XLIII was watched by 38.3 million women – the most watched show among women in 15 years (38.6 million watched the 1994 Winter Olympic figure skating competition featuring Nancy Kerrigan on Feb. 25, 1994).
  • The NFL accounts for 7 of the 10 most-popular teams in terms of sports merchandise owned in the U.S

The Most Wonderful Time Of Year

     Week One as we know it in the 2009 NFL campaign is upon us, players.  Can you stand it?   A big, fat delicious smorgasbord of games come Sunday and Monday. 

     So I picked up my USA Today paper to get the “official”  lines for (one of) the pool/s I’m in.  It’s Friday and its PURPLE and pouring down rain but man what an incredible day to be mulling over some football picks. Tell me this isn’t as good as Christmas morning, I dare you!

     USA Today sports guru, Danny Sheridan has the line on the Ravens winning the dance: 25 to 1.  Those sound like good odds?  Whatev, Danny boy.  I’m okay with that.  The defending champs, Pittsburgh is set at 7 to 1.  The top dog, of course, the New England Patriots- 4 to1.  And with Tom Brady back it comes as no surprise.  

     That’s the thing about prognostication in the NFL, besides being so damn fun, the league has helped itself as far as giving all teams the same chance for a shot (MLB please take note).  Unless your team is the Detroit Lions, 1,000,000 to 1, sorry Lions fans but…you never know~ do you? (sometimes you just know)

     Anyway, I’m guessing millions of fanatics pour over the NFL games each and every week, researching and studying trying to come up with the sweetest of sweets- the upset special.  With the right mix of ‘knowledge’ and luck you could pick it- each week seems to have at least one upset special, right? 

     We are inundated with stats and info and we still can’t get enough.  We love this game.  How many people play fantasy football now?  How many off-the-record pools go on?  Survivor leagues?  The NFL is definitely ripe fruit for the prognosticating. 

     But at the end of the day, these guys are all ballers for a reason.  Once they step on that field,  who knows how things will shake out.  That’s why they call them upsets and why they play the game.  Certainly why we tune in.    

      So take a deep look into those enchanting games- all of them… pontificate.  They’re back, baby.  Celebrate.  And come Sunday, bring your ‘A’ game, Ravens fans.  2009 is going to be even better than 2008.  I got a good feeling about this.