Rather than tease the possibilities and build the suspense – plus to cater to the sensibilities of the burgeoning Twitterverse, which prefers instant 140-character-or-less gratification – Couch Slouch will cut to the chase and introduce this season’s NFL Teams of Destiny odd couple:
The Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs.
For those of you unfamiliar with the somewhat checkered Team of Destiny program, this is where I pick a team or teams that have been mired in serial failure and project them to make the Super Bowl. Sadly, as my marital record has improved in recent autumns, my Team of Destiny record has imploded.
More than anything, my Cowboys-Chiefs selections are a show of support for two of my favorite beleaguered people in the NFL, Tony Romo and Andy Reid.
What’s not to like about Tony Romo?
He looks as if he’s having fun playing the game and he owns up to his mistakes, then he goes home and, in all likelihood, gazes into the mirror and tells himself, “I’m great-looking and I’ve got a great-looking wife.” It’s a pretty good life, especially if he ignores the baying wolves on his front lawn criticizing his every flaw.
What’s not to like about Andy Reid?
He wins a lot more than he loses, handles himself in a classy fashion and has a terrific upper lip. He’s a cold-weather coach with a cold-weather ’stache who braves the elements stoically.
Anyway, the Cowboys and the Chiefs have a lot of recent futility in common.
The Cowboys have one playoff victory in the last 16 seasons and have lost seven of their last eight postseason games; the Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game in 20 seasons, losing eight in a row. The Cowboys – 6-10, 8-8 and 8-8 from 2010 to 2012 – have missed the playoffs three straight seasons; the Chiefs – 2-14 last year – have had a losing record five of the past six seasons and missed the playoffs 12 times in 15 years.
(Column Intermission: This is the senior season at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Md., for my stepson, 6-foot-5 two-sport standout Isaiah Eisendorf. Note to all recruiters: We will accept no under-the-table payments; all financial offers should be made out in the open, and cash is preferred. Isaiah is an outstanding wide receiver in football and small forward in basketball, and, frankly, I’d love to see him leave the area, or at least the house.)
But that was then and this is Team of Destiny time, my friends.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones looks better than ever – he’s 70 going on 39 ways to youthify his appearance – and he just got a little richer this offseason by turning Cowboys Stadium into AT&T Stadium.
Cowboys quarterback Romo is happily married – I can tell because he’s always humming “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” on his drive home from practice – and poised for a stop-picking-on-me-sports-radio breakout postseason.
And Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has handed the play-calling over to assistant Bill Callahan; this will free him up to take in-game calls and texts from Jones, which, in turn, will prevent the ageless monarch from having to bound down onto the field late in every game with instructions.
Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Reid – criticized, pilloried and disparaged – is about to deliver a season of redemption. In Philadelphia, he had a 130-93-1 record in 14 years, with four straight NFC championship game appearances, but was run out of town on a behind-schedule Amtrak rail.
Another Chief on the road to redemption will be former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Under Jim Harbaugh, he was 19-5-1 as a starter with a 104.1 passer rating last season – and was benched. Forget the road to redemption, this fella drove all the way from San Francisco to Kansas City WITH ROAD RAGE.
Of course, the 49ers made the Super Bowl once Smith was sidelined, but I will not allow those type of trifling details to derail my prognosticating genius.
Reid and Smith will be ably assisted by a cast of fine players you’ve never heard of, like Dwayne Bowe, Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Justin Houston, Eric Berry and Tamba Hali.
Why have I heard of them? Because I am Couch Slouch, and it’s my job to keep my loyal readers in the loop.
Super Bowl 48: Cowboys-Chiefs.
Pay The Man, Shirley.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Was the whole Johnny Manziel autograph brouhaha a taste of impropriety or a waste of time? (David Goodman; Louisville, Ky.)
A. I hate to quibble with Texas A&M’s decision, but I looked at the same evidence and I would’ve suspended Johnny Football for the second half – not the first half – of the season opener.
Q. What exactly do you do on vacation? (Peter Beck; Albany, N.Y.)
A. I don’t know – just sit around watching games on TV and stuff.
Q. If I am watching poker on ESPN and I see a player commit a rules violation, should I call you? (Don Pollins; Takoma Park, Md.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.