Pardon the Interruption
As a tribute to PTI disappearing from our screens in the same way as over 3,000 NASN subscriptions have in the past week alone, the title of this column remains the same. Unless someone can come up with a better one of course. My NASN subscription went this week and I'm suffering withdrawl symptoms already. Thank heaven for the Pontel DVDs having NFL Prime Time at the end of each Buccaneer game.

Winning in New Orleans was of course expected on paper but the Saints allegedly play on grass. In muddy Baton Rouge, Tampa Bay did enough to win which seems to be the motto of this season. 8-4 now and the eight letter word "playoffs" can be used in general conversation. Whether it will still be used after trips to Carolina and New England is another matter, but the Bucs avoided the banana skin in the Bayou and continue on their surprising way to a winning season.

Ah Carolina - which means fellow columnist Lee "dodgy knee" Bromfield will be filling his weekly piece with rants about how much he hates the Panthers. I have to admit that I don't actually dislike any other NFL team intently. OK, so I hate the Amber Scum in non-league football with a passion (clue - they beat Coventry in the 1987/88 FA Cup) but none of the other 31 NFL franchises really wind me up. No matter what the logo, if a team has a decent fantasy player worth signing and he's on my roster, then I'll root for him.

Fantasy Football is really quite wonderful right now. Because if you checked the scores on the front page this week, you will have noticed that The Borg completed a season sweep of the Pee Jays Pirates meaning Phil Jones has to return The Tossers' Trophy to its rightful home down South. All the big rivalries in the FFL take place in Weeks 10 and 13, and the banter and general abuse between the owners has gone to new heights in the last few days. Marvellous stuff.

Although Gary Botteley won his rivalry game against John Davies, he didn't win the Nearest-the-pin contest at the Bucs UK Golf Day. He walked off the 16th green at Ansty GC firmly believing he was in the driving seat only for yours truly to bin an eight-iron to within two feet of the pin. The next contest is to work out how long I will be reminding him about it - the over/under is about six years.

Aside from the whole golf day and club meal being a fantastic success, the incredible amout of prizes I returned home with from the likes of Mark & Jayne Woollard, Tim Lewis, Gary Botteley and most prominently John & Alison Davies, was quite staggering. Basically, I need to get a new competition box to store them all in. Awesome gestures by one and all this season and it really means a lot to myself and Phil that people will go to such extents.

And finally, a prediction. The Bucs to win in Carolina this weekend. All year, we have been surprised at the performances of this team, winning games they shouldn't and losing ones they shouldn't either. So I'm going out on a limb and predicting 20-13 Tampa this Sunday. And also wild celebrations in the Bromfield household if that actually transpires.

7 December 2005