The Reuters global sports blog
from Photographers' Blog:
By Suzanne Plunkett
British sports fans are a serious bunch. When it comes to football (they never call it soccer), many would rather lose their home than miss their team score a winning goal. Club allegiance is often demonstrated with tribal passion - influencing tattoos, clothing and even choice of marital partners.
When American football makes a rare appearance in London, it's somewhat of a surprise to see the seriousness of the sport replaced with a more frivolous obsession: cheerleaders.
That's not to say British fans have no interest in the sport. When the Chicago Bears took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a showcase game at Wembley Stadium in October, I spoke to plenty of Brits among the American expats paying homage to their national sport. Many professed as much fanaticism as the American supporters who had traveled from the States specifically to see their team.
But as a photographer who had covered both kinds of football matches on either side of the Atlantic and grown to love both sports, it's hard to ignore a few major differences in the fan experience.
That was more like it, a very solid 5-1 effort in Week 6 after a very tough month of average results.
Could we be perfect in lucky Week 7? Feels good.
Record: 19-17. Last week 5-1
Pick of the Week: 5-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
Green Bay Packers (6-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
(Lines Packers minus-8.5)
Doesn’t it seem a long time ago that Brett Favre was the only storyline that matter in this NFC North rivalry?
That was another great football weekend made all the more exciting for the Lineman by going a very respectable 3-1. Only two games this week and both look like crackers. Enjoy.
Playoffs: 5-3. Pick of the Week 1-1.
Last week: 3-1
Regular Season Record: 53-49
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Green Bay Packers (12-6) at Chicago Bears (12-5) (Line Packers minus-3.5): I backed the Pack to get to the Super Bowl when the season started and there is no reason to slip off the Green Bay bandwagon now.
The Lineman is only sure of one thing this weekend and that is that football fans are in for a real treat with all four games shaping up as potential classics.
It was a rough ride for home teams last weekend with only the Seattle Seahawks surviving and who says you need an elite quarterback to win in the playoffs.
That was a hard earned 3-3 in Week Two that could have very easily been 5-1. Really, it could have. The Eagles failing to cover by .5 and the Raiders happy to give up a score at the death against St. Louis were gut-wrenchers. But then the Texans did come back from the brink to beat the Redskins so, I guess it all evens out in the end. Sort of.
Record: 7-5. Last week 3-3
Pick of the Week: 1-1
PICK OF THE WEEK
Green Bay Packers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (2-0) (Line Packers minus-2.5)
Well, here we are at the end of the regular season staring at a .500 record. Let’s go out with a bang.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Chicago Bears (6-9) at Detroit Lions (2-13) (Line Bears minus 2 1/2)
End of season games between two teams with nothing to play for are always tricky but I can’t imagine the Bears losing this one to their NFC North rivals.
Could see the blitz coming last week but just could not stop it. The Lineman’s Spider sense told him something just felt wrong but ignored the danger and well…the end result was a crushing 1-5 Week 13.
But we have followed up disappointing weeks with big ones all season and we are still hanging just above .500 so bounce back week is in order.
Ouch, the Lineman took a couple of hard hits last week but is still narrowly about 50-50 so still standing. A win by the Colts over the Phish on Monday saved the day but better to come this week – gulp.
Record: 7-5; Last week 3-3; Pick of the Week: 1-1
PICK OF THE WEEK: Chicago Bears (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1) (Line Bears minus-2) Fragile Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is out with a broken rib and Chicago QB Jay Cutler started to look comfortable leading da Bears to nice win over the Steelers last week. Bears are learning to live without linebacker and defensive leader Brian Urlacher while the Seahawks are are already looking beat up.