How will this football season shake out?
Only Neil Diamond knows.
I've taken ten of his greatest songs and given them an NFL spin ahead of Sunday's games.
The Player: Kevin Kolb
The Song: Forever in Blue Jeans
The Applicable Lyrics: Money talks/But it don't sing and dance/and it don't walk
The Translation: As an untested backup, Kolb cashed in with a five-year contract worth $65 million. The Cardinals got...maximum suckitude. So maximum, in fact, that John Skelton supplanted Kolb as the starter. It'll be a saga out west with these two, but it sounds like Skelton's the guy. Kolb is just...overpaid...and he'll be standing on the sidelines. Probably not in blue jeans, though.
The Team: Houston Texans
The Song: Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon
The Applicable Lyrics: It's up to you/Girl, you'll be a woman soon
The Translation: It's time for our annual installment of put up or shut up for the Houston Texans. They're loaded with talent, they play in a weak division, and the Mighty Colts are no longer the Mighty Colts. There are no excuses for the Texans. Stop being the whiny little girl who wants to be good and become the woman you're supposed to be. Okay, that was awkward.
The Player: Tim Tebow
The Song: Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show
The Applicable Lyrics: Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies/And everyone goes 'cause everyone knows Brother Love's Show
The Translation: The football may not be much fun to watch at MetLife stadium, but the ongoing saga of Tebow-Mania and how it affects/distracts/destroys Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan should have a little something for everyone.
The Team: New York Giants
The Song: Song Sung Blue
The Applicable Lyrics: Song sung blue/Everybody knows one/Song sung blue/Every garden grows one
The Translation: It's one game. It's okay. So you won't go undefeated. New England went undefeated that one season...and then you stopped that. You played with house money last year. Everyone loses sometime. Chin up, chin up, Defending Super Bowl Champions.
The Player: Robert Griffin III
The Song: He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother
The Applicable Lyrics:And the load/Doesn't weigh me down at all/He ain't heavy, he's my brother
The Translation: RG3 will put the Washington Redskins on his shoulders, bringing a jaw-dropping skill set and incredible athleticism to DC. He'll do it with a smile. He won't let the burden of resurrecting this proud franchise get him down.
The Player: Alex Smith
The Song: Love on the Rocks
The Applicable Lyrics: Love on the rocks, ain't no big surprise/Just pour me a drink and I'll tell you some lies
The Translation: Fans and pundits will continue to haunt Alex Smith, who could throw for 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns and STILL be considered a failure. His team even entered the Manning Sweepstakes before begrudgingly signing Smith to a new deal. He'll be on the rocks all year.
The Team: Green Bay Packers
The Song: Sweet Caroline
The Applicable Lyrics: Good times never seemed so good/I've been inclined/To believe they never would
The Translation: The Packers can score, but can their defense do enough? We know their offense is a finely tuned machine. Basically, they should win the whole thing.
The Player: Tom Brady
The Song: Red, Red Wine
The Applicable Lyrics: Red, red wine/Go to my head/Make me forget that I/
Still need her so
The Translation: Tom Brady would like to forget the Super Bowl when Peyton Manning's little brother kept him from winning yet another Lombardi Trophy (on Peyton's turf, mind you, in the House that Peyton Built). Who am I kidding, though? Tom Terrific won't let that whole Super Bowl letdown thing get to him.
The Player: Andrew Luck
The Song: I'm a Believer
The Applicable Lyrics: Then I saw him play/Now I'm a believer*
The Translation: Someone had to replace Peyton Manning, and that someone is Andrew Luck. He has the unenviable task of trying to fill the shoes of the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. Skepticism abounded when the Colts went 2-14 and fans learned that Peyton wouldn't be coming back. Now, there's a buzz around the team...and it's because Luck has looked very impressive, turning some of us into believers. We'll just have to see if that will hold for the regular season.
*lyrics altered because "Then I saw her face" would imply that Andrew Luck is a girl and that his neckbeard inspired confidence when it's his play that gives me some hope
The Player: Peyton Manning
The Song: Yesterday's Songs
The Applicable Lyrics: Yesterday's songs/Don't stay around long/Not much anymore
The Translation: We had some good times, Peyton. I'll never forget them. I didn't cry when the Colts let you go. You didn't cry either. Jim Irsay didn't cry. NO ONE CRIED, OKAY? Can we all agree on that? So weird to see you in orange. We hope you do well. We'll still have those good times, right? Like when you beat Brady in the AFC Championship Game or that time no one tackled Marvin and he ran all the way for a touchdown. What about that Sprint commercial with the fake mustache? That time you danced on Saturday Night Live? We'll still have those, right? RIGHT?
And that lame man, he's gonna fly") or Heartlight ("Come back again/I want you to stay next time/Cause sometimes the world ain't kind/When people get lost like you and me") or...hey, look...a Buick! And DirecTV!"