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It's the QB, Stupid

Years ago, political pundits raised the battle cry, "It's the economy stupid!" That was their way of saying that it should be obvious that the economy is the most important subject on most voters' minds. Similarly, it should be obvious that the best opportunity for a team to get to the Super Bowl and to winconsistently, is to have an elite quarterback. There are, of course, exceptions. The Tampa Bay Bucs, the Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos in 2016, and other teams have won the Super Bowl without elite quarterbacks.

NFL LATEST MUSINGS

The NFL pre-season is finally upon us. The New England Patriots will have to do without QB Tom Brady for four games due to his suspension for the deflategate fiasco. The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without their star receiver Martavius Bryant all year because of his repeated drug violations. Moreover, Leveon Bell will probably be suspended for four games due to his failure to show up for drug tests. There are other NFL athletes facing drug suspensions as well.

It all makes one wonder. These athletes are not living their dreams.

FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER

The football season has been over for some time now. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning has officially retired. Now, many football fans will turn their attention to the upcoming draft and free agency. These days, there is always something to keep the interest of football fans all throughout the year.

It will be interesting to see what teams will do. Most fans want their favorite teams to pursue players in free agency. However, not all teams have enough money to do so, and some teams just do not put much emphasis on free agency.

NEW CHALLENGES IN THE NFL

The playoff race in the NFL has just become stranger. The Pittsburgh Steelers were supposed to cruise into the playoffs against supposedly inferior competition, even though said competition was within its division. But the Baltimore Ravens shocked the Steelers in the biggest regular-season upset in Steelers history. The Steelers were favored to win by 11.5 points over the Ravens, who have more players on injured reserve than any other team, and who started a fourth-string quarterback in Ryan Mallet.

THE PLAYOFFS ARE APPROACHING

This has been a great year for the NFL for those that love parity (or as those that hate it call it, mediocrity.) In the NFL "Least," the only team that probably has no chance to make the playoffs is Dallas. Cincinnati lost their star quarterback, Andy Dalton, and the inexperienced AJ McCarron will have to take up the slack. Denver must also depend upon their backup quarterback with Peyton Manning still out with an injury. However, Manning had been struggling, anyway. If the New York Jets can win out, they will make the playoffs, as will Kansas City.

The Plot Thickens in the NFL

Just when you think you have the NFL all figured out, everything changes. Some people love parity, and others hate it. Count me among the former group.

It seems like yesterday that everyone was saying that the Patriots were finished, the Seahawks were destined to repeat as league champions, the Bills would inevitably wind up in last place, the Cowboys would stomp unimpeded into the playoffs, etc.

Now, many believe that the Patriots are the team to beat; and the Seahawks look sluggish, have lost their "swag," and are intimidating no one.

NFL UPDATE

It is week three of the NFL, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the NFL is still a league of parity. To some, this means mediocre teams. To others, it means non-stop excitement and possibilities. All but the very worst teams can dream of the playoffs and even the Super Bowl.

The Buffalo Bills looked like world beaters until they were humbled by the San Diego Chargers, 22-10, in week three. The Seattle Seahawks looked as though their "legion of doom" was impenetrable until it was humbled by the same Chargers in week two.

It's Another New Football Season!

The 2014 NFL regular season is finally upon us. The real bullets started flying with the Seattle Seahawks crushing the Green Bay Packers. Some fans believe that Seattle will repeat as Super Bowl champs. However, in this day and age, repeating is incredibly difficult. No team has repeated since the New England Patriots 10 years ago. Only one dynasty - my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers - has ever repeated twice. In any event, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has won more games in his first two years than any quarterback in NFL history.

Writing Tip Number 8: Communicate Respectfully

Email, texting and social media have become perhaps the most popular forms of communication in many parts of the world. However, many people express themselves via these outlets in ways they would never do over the phone or speaking face-to-face. Many people using these vehicles of communication are curt, disrespectful, vulgar, etc., especially if they believe they can be so in anonymity. However, the writers come off as rude, unprofessional, petty, ignorant, inhumane, etc.

In an organizational setting, disrespectful emails can ultimately destroy morale and even bring down the entire organization.

Writing Tip Number 7: Strive for Consistency

Many writers are unsure of themselves and for that reason lack consistency. For example, within the same article, essay or book, they might spell words or use punctuation in different ways. They might spell a name "Terri" on one page, while referring to the same person as "Terry" on another. Or they might use a period outside of quotation marks in one sentence and use it within quotation marks in another instance.

Even if a writer is not certain how to spell a word, use punctuation, etc. she should be consistent. The words should be spelled the same throughout the work, and the punctuation should be the same when the same circumstances apply. It drives editors, proofreaders, and worst of all readers crazy when trying to figure out how a word should be spelled, how the writer wants to use punctuation, etc. At least if a writer is consistent, those reading, editing or proofreading her work will be better able to figure out the intent of the writer, and if necessary, how to correct her writing.