Archive for September, 2010

Is the Tea Party Racist?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Racist Tea Party SignYou’re rolling your eyes right now. This is old news. And you’re probably right. Those on the left decided long ago that the Tea Partiers are a bunch of racists and radicals. If you watch CNN, MSNBC or follow any of the leftwing media, they’ve done a great job of displaying the racism that exists within the movement. Matter of fact, that’s been the overriding theme of most of the media. If MSNBC is your only news source, you would think that only a few dozen people show up at the Tea Party rallies, and that they all carry signs denigrating blacks and President Obama for being black. On the other side, Fox News shows thousands at the Tea Party rallies, and rarely shows a negative moment.

The truth? As usual, it’s somewhere in-between.

Before I get into the surveys, I guess I should share my pre-conceived opinion about the Tea Party. I have said for months that the left has failed to understand the Tea Party movement, and to this day they are still confused by it. The core belief of the Tea Party revolves around fiscal conservatism — smaller government and lower taxes. They believe in the Constitution, and self-reliance. My personal reservation about the Tea Party is the number of social conservatives that are involved, and the overriding religious theme that always seems to show up with social conservatives. My personal assumption, and I guess my personal bias, is that while the Tea Party itself is not about racism, there’s certainly a racist element within the party. And that it was possibly more pervasive in the party than in the country at large.

The bottom line is that if you put one hundred random white people in a room, several are going to be racists. It’s a sad and simple truth. So is the Tea Party racist? That depends on two things. One, is racism a core belief of the Tea Party itself? My feeling on this has always been no, that the Tea Party is about fiscal conservatism. And two, if it’s not the party’s platform, is racism MORE prevalent in the Tea Party than the general population?

Aaaahhh, now THAT’S the important question.

And the Survey Says
There were a couple polls that came out earlier this year that certainly seemed to suggest that racism  is prevalent in the Tea Party. One was from CBS/New York Times, and the other from the University of Washington. I would suggest reading both of these as there’s a number of interesting things you’ll learn from them.

The problem with these two polls? They didn’t do a very good job of comparing their findings on the Tea Party to the white population at large. And without this comparison, the data is incomplete. It wasn’t until this week that I found this look at the data provided by Real Clear Politics. This is also worth reading. Here’s a piece of the article from RCP:

In a article titled “The Tea Partiers’ racial paranoia,” editor Joan Walsh notes that in the University of Washington poll, only 35% of pro-Tea Party whites regarded blacks as “hard-working,” 45% as “intelligent,” and 41% as “trustworthy.” Walsh scoffs, “And Tea Party supporters don’t like it when anyone notices the racists in their midst?”

Not so fast. The respondents in the UW poll were asked to rate on a 1-7 scale how intelligent, hardworking, and trustworthy they perceived “almost all” blacks (and, in separate questions, whites, Latinos, and Asians) to be. Whether the findings expose Tea Party bigotry hinges on two things: how the “Tea Partiers'” opinions of blacks compare to their views of other groups, and how their answers compare to those of other, non-Tea-Partying Americans.

The UW researchers’ initial analysis compared only whites who were strongly pro-Tea Party and strongly anti-Tea Party, concluding that the latter held a much more positive view of blacks. These data are no longer on the UW website; instead, there are tables for other race-related questions (such as “Over the past few years blacks have gotten less than they deserve”), with separate results for whites who were either neutral toward the Tea Party movement or had never heard of it, as well as for all whites.

But what about the racial stereotyping items? The lead investigator, political science professor Christopher Parker, graciously provided me with the fuller data — which strongly contradict the notion of the Tea Parties as a unique hotbed of racism.

Thus, while only 35% of strong Tea Party supporters rated blacks as hardworking, only 49% described whites as such. While the gap is evident, these responses are close to those for all whites (blacks are rated as “hardworking” by 40%, whites by 52%). While whites who are strongly anti-Tea Party seem free of bias on this item — blacks and whites are rated as “hardworking” by 55% and 56%, respectively – this is not true for intelligence and trustworthiness. Whites in every group are less likely to rate blacks than whites as “intelligent” by similar margins: 14 points for Tea Party supporters (45% vs. 59%), 13 points for all whites (49% vs. 62%), 10 points for Tea Party opponents (59% vs. 69%). On “trustworthy,” the gap is smaller in the pro-Tea Party group (41% vs. 49%) than in the anti-Tea Party group (57% vs. 72%). One could write headlines about the “racial paranoia” of white liberals who consider blacks less trustworthy than whites!

The endurance of racial stereotypes in this day and age is disturbing; but Tea Party supporters differ little in this regard from mainstream Americans.

There is no room for racism in our country, and it should ALWAYS be condemned. The Tea Party was slow to condemn the fringe, racial element within their movement, and it’s hurt their reputation. But this is a young and fledgling movement with no central control. And the data does not suggest that the Tea Party is any more or less racist than the country itself. The left can continue to call them racists and radicals, but it’s not working. The country isn’t buying it. Believing in a smaller, less intrusive government is not a radical idea. Unless you’re on the left.

Chiefs Host 49ers

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Kansas City ChiefsWeek three in the NFL, and our Chiefs are attempting to go 3-0. Who would have thought that?

Today the Chiefs face the 49ers, my pick to win the NFC West. The 49ers find themselves 0-2 after getting blown out by the Seahawks in week one, and losing a close game on Monday Night Football to the Saints in week two. I watched the 49ers play against the Saints. They’re a good team. Probably farther along in their development than the Chiefs. A win today for the 49ers and they’re still in decent shape in their division.

The 49ers have some interesting ties to the Chiefs. Their offensive coordinator is Jimmy Raye, who was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator under Marty Schottenheimer and Gunther Cunningham from 1998-2000. Their defensive coordinator is Greg Manusky, who played linebacker for the Chiefs and was a star on special teams. Joining them is Kurt Schottenheimer as special teams coordinator, Marty’s brother who also coached for the Chiefs under both Marty and Gunther, and Mike Solari, a fine offensive line coach for the Chiefs for many years who struggled as offensive coordinator under Herm. Whew. People talk about Kansas City becoming the Patriots of the Midwest. It appears that head coach Mike Singletary has taken the coaching staff from the Chiefs in the ’90s and reassembled them on the west coast.

Manusky has the 49ers defense playing pretty well. They make plays, but appear vulnerable against the pass. The Chiefs have not shown enough in the passing game this year to look like they can take advantage of these deficiencies. You would expect that the Chiefs will give the 49ers a heavy dose of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Matt Cassel looked like he was getting some rhythm in the passing game in the second half against Cleveland last week. I expect the Chiefs to work hard on their passing game today. Don’t be surprised if Cassel has a good day throwing the ball.

49ers Running Back Frank GoreOn offense, the 49ers have a good running back in Frank Gore, and an excellent tight end in Vernon Davis. The Chiefs are selling out against the run this year, which has left some big plays open against their secondary. Expect more of rookie safety Eric Berry up in the box in run support. The Chiefs have been gambling a lot to stop the run, and overall it’s working for them. They’ve given up a few big plays in the passing game, but not enough to kill them.

While this is a big game for the 49ers who need a win badly to get their season turned around, the Chiefs will be equally motivated today. They’re at home, and really want to develop a home field advantage again. They have a bye next week, and would love to start the season 3-0. After the bye the Chiefs are faced with two tough rough games against the Colts and the Texans — neither of which they’re likely to win.

The 49ers are faced with a tough task today. They’re 0-2, and on the road following a short week and a loss on Monday Night Football. I picked against the Chiefs last week because they were on the road after a short week. So I’m picking against the 49ers for the same reason. We’ll see today if Arrowhead Magic has returned to Kansas City. If the Chiefs give the fans anything to cheer about, the house should be a rockin’!

Prediction: Chiefs 20, 49ers 17

Solving the Bush Tax Cuts

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

As you know, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year, and it doesn’t appear that Congress is in any hurry to bring this to a vote. Why? Because Pelosi and Reid don’t have enough votes to achieve their desired outcome — increasing taxes on the rich. What’s most disappointing is that this is really an opportunity for Congress to do something right, and they’re not going to do it.

What we see are three positions on the Bush Tax Cuts. The administration and the left would like to extend the tax cuts except at the highest tax rates, ultimately increasing taxes on the “rich” now. (I love the rebranding, where Pelosi is calling this the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts.) The moderate democrats, who ultimately would also like to increase taxes on the rich, understand that increasing taxes on anybody during a down economy is a bad idea. They would like to postpone the higher tax rates on the rich until the economy is back on its feat. And of course the right will fight all tax increases.

Treasury Secretary Tim GeithnerLet’s start with a couple of quotes from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who has attempted to make the case that a failure to raise taxes on the rich now will harm economic growth.

In a speech to the Center for American Progress: “Others have suggested we delay, by extending all Bush tax cuts temporarily, for a year or two. But the world is likely to view any temporary extension of the income tax cuts for the top two percent as a prelude to a long term or permanent extension.  That would hurt economic recovery by undermining confidence that we are prepared to make a commitment today to bring down our future deficits.”

On “This Week” on ABC, he said, “We think that’s the responsible thing to do (letting tax cuts expire on the highest income brackets) because we need to make sure we can show the world” that America is “willing as a country now to start to make some progress bringing down our long-term deficits.” Mr. Geithner added, “I do not believe it will affect growth.”

Let me say this very simply so that even Mr. Geithner can understand: Raising taxes will NEVER benefit the economy, and WILL negatively affect growth.

Uncertainty is the Problem
What Geithner fails to understand is the real problem — uncertainty. Consumers do not like uncertainty. Business people do not like uncertainty. The markets do not like uncertainty. And the economy does not like uncertainty. What do we have right now? A whole bunch of uncertainty.

What is creating the uncertainty? Huge budget deficits as far as the eye can see, and a ballooning national debt. The economy understands that if the federal government fails to control its spending, there is only one solution — massive tax increases on everybody. You cannot tax the rich enough to solve this problem. You cannot tax businesses enough to solve this problem. And when you tax businesses, it’s ultimately the consumers that bare the financial burden anyway. Taxing business IS a tax on all Americans, rich and poor alike.

So how do you solve the problem of uncertainty? Show that you’re willing to make the tough budget choices that will limit government growth, and create fiscal discipline.

Just Stop It
I’m tired of the right pretending that tax cuts are the panacea to all of our problems. What makes 35% the magic tax rate and everything higher is wrong? And I’m tired of the left playing class warfare and their soak the rich mentality. They say that the only way to fix our budget shortcomings is to raise taxes. Well I have a simple suggestion for you: CUT SPENDING!

The Art of Negotiation
Here is where I say that Congress has an opportunity to do what’s right for the American people, and our economy. There’s a solution to all of this. And it’s really not that hard to understand.

1. To get the moderate democrats onboard, what you do is ask for a slow escalation of the top tax rates. For instance, leave the tax rate as is in 2011, and then increase the top bracket by a small amount each year over the next five years until you reach 39.6%. And then make them all permanent. By doing this, you have removed one piece of uncertainty. Businesses can now make long-term plans because they understand what their tax consequences will be. But this is not enough to create a more stable future.

2. If you want to get republicans onboard, and decrease economic uncertainty, you must cut spending. This is called “compromise”. Candidate Obama said that he would cut spending on government programs that don’t work. Well it’s time for some cuts. They’ve had a year and a half to evaluate these programs. As a first step, the administration and Congress must identify several dozen programs that do not deserve federal funding. And during this same time period where we’re slowly escalating the tax rate on the highest tax bracket, we reduce funding to these ineffective programs by 20% per year, until all funding is cut to these programs. And the goal needs to be significant, such as $500 billion in cuts per year.

Now you’ve shown the economy that you’re truly interested in fixing our budget problems.

The Tax System and Budgets
Now let me also explain that all of this is still only a band-aid. And it’s not the long-term solution we need. But it’s a step in the right direction. Manipulations of our current tax code is like attempting to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. We need a COMPLETE overhaul of our tax system. And a COMPLETE overhaul of our budget. But these solutions will need to wait for another day. Today, let’s just do what’s right.

Senate OKs $30 Billion Loan Fund

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Oh it’s funny how things change in politics. The Senate recently passed The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 by a vote of 61 to 38. The democrats received help from two republicans to pass the bill — George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida. The bill will likely pass the House soon. This is the type of bill that would typically receive republican support — tax cuts and help for small businesses. However, this is a strange year for politics, and most republicans fought against this bill. (Read the specifics of the bill in the piece in the NYTimes.)

Bank Loan CartoonWhile the bill includes a few targeted tax breaks for small businesses, the emphasis of the bill is to provide funding to help the SBA and community banks make loans to small businesses. In theory I think this bill is fine, and well intentioned. In practicality, I’m not sure it will do much.

Why? Because this assumes that the banks don’t have money to loan. Yet when I see bankers interviewed, and having talked to bankers in my own community, the problem is not the availability of funds. The problem is finding borrowers who are stable enough to repay loans. In other words, the banks are attempting to avoid lending money to people who may not be able to repay it. They’re avoiding “risky” loans.

For  the last 15-20 years, banks have been encouraged by our government (even rewarded by our government) to lend money to families and businesses who in the past may not have been able to qualify for loans. But once the financial industry started falling apart, the government demonized the banks for providing these risky loans. So what did the banks do? They stopped providing risky loans. Now the government is urging the banks to loan money, even if it means providing higher-risk loans again.

Isn’t that what got us in trouble in the first place?

In this bill, the government is providing a 90% guarantee to the SBA for their most popular loans. The are taking the “risk” out of the loan for the SBA, which ultimately means that when these loans default, the taxpayer will again be left holding the bag.

Chiefs to Face Browns in their Home Opener

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Kansas City ChiefsThe Chiefs travel to Cleveland tomorrow to face the Browns in their home opener. Though the Browns lost last weekend, they’ll have confidence facing the Chiefs. They beat the Chiefs last December 41 to 34 in Kansas City. And in doing so, embarrassed our defense by rushing for 351 yards as a team. I guarantee you that they’re licking their chops in anticipation of facing the Chiefs again.

This just has all the feelings of a trap game to me. The Chiefs are coming off a huge emotional win Monday night (or Tuesday morning) against their division rivals San Diego. This gives them a short week of preparation, and they have to travel to Cleveland to play the Browns in their home opener. I don’t have the numbers, but I suspect that the travel team during a short week is likely to lose.

This becomes a truly interesting test for the Chiefs. I do believe that the Chiefs are better than the Browns. The final score may not show it.

Prediction: Browns 24, Chiefs 20

Thoughts on the San Diego Win
Wow, now THAT was a great win for the Chiefs. Just a few thoughts about the game.

1. The rookies showed up big with contributions from Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Moeaki and Lewis. I don’t recall a rookie class for any team ever having as much impact as this group in just one game. The future looks bright for this draft class.

2. The defensive line showed real flashes of ability. I thought Dorsey looked like a playmaker out there. And it looked like Jackson, Edwards and Smith were playing well. This is a good sign for the Chiefs who got little production out of their defensive line last year.

3. Congrats to Todd Haley, who coached by far the most conservative game of his career. The Chiefs got up 21-7, and Haley decided that punts were safer than potential first downs. And it worked. It wasn’t pretty. But it worked. Many are wondering if this is an indication that Haley and Weis have lost faith in quarterback Matt Cassel. I wouldn’t read too much into any of this. The conditions of the game were atrocious. And Haley made a calculated decision on the team’s best chances to win the game. Just imagine the outcry from fans if Cassel had been sacked and stripped of the ball, and the Chargers had won the game on the turnover.

4. The special teams are special. Last year the Chiefs did a good job in covering kicks and punts. And now they’ve added two fantastic returners to the team with Arenas and McCluster. Wow! All you need to do is win two of three phases of the game, and it looks like on most Sundays that the Chiefs are going to win on special teams.

Can the Chiefs Win the Division?
There’s a very interesting article from Martin Manley, who is a blogger for the Star, that you need to read. Here’s a link. And here are a few highlights from the article.

Of the ten teams in the last seven years that have won 13 games, they averaged winning 7.8 the following season. That’s exactly 40% drop in wins. Only one team of the ten had double-digit wins the following season.

Over the last seven seasons, there have been 15 times when a team went from last in their division to first the following year. Since there have been 56 division seasons since 2002, that means 27% of the time a team went from last (or tied for last) to first (or tied for first).

The bottom line here is that based upon history, the odds of the last place team winning the division are better than a 13-win team winning it the following season.

Chiefs Host Chargers on MNF

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Kansas City ChiefsI am pumped for tonight’s game. And there are many reasons to believe that a win is possible for the Chiefs tonight.

1. The Chargers are without their best wide receiver Vincent Jackson who is holding out for a new contract. The loss of Jackson takes away a lot of the team’s potency in the passing game.

2. The Chargers are without left tackle Marcus McNeill who is holding out for a new contract. Look for the Chiefs to bring pressure often against the left side of San Diego’s line.

3. The Chargers have been notoriously slow starters under head coach Norv Turner.

4. The Chargers will be integrating a number of new players into their lineup tonight, many of them not as talented as the players they’re replacing.

5. Is tonight the night that Arrowhead Magic returns? It’s been a long time since the Chiefs played on Monday night. The crowd will be electric as long as the Chiefs give them something to cheer about.

Ryan Mathews, Chargers Running BackBut having said all of that, the Chargers are still the most talented team in the division. And until somebody knocks them off their perch, they’re top dog around here. I expect Rivers, Gates and Mathews (who I’m predicting to win the offensive rookie of the year) to have big nights against our defense. And my expectation is that the Chiefs will be a better team later in the season that they will be tonight.

The media is making a big deal about this game. They’re setting the stage that if the Chiefs win, it could really catapult them into a good season. And that a loss would be devastating. They’re right that if the Chiefs win it means a lot, but a loss is still only one loss for a team that’s not likely to win the division anyway. The Chiefs need to be competitive tonight, win or lose. If the Chiefs win 7 or 8 games this year, as a Chiefs fan we should all feel good that the team is moving in the right direction, despite what happens tonight. The Chiefs might start the season 3-5 over the first half and that’s OK. Their record over their last eight games is more meaningful to me than their record over the first eight games. The Chiefs will be playing a lot of young players this season, and are going to make some mistakes. And let’s not forget that the Chiefs have two new coordinators who have brought their own systems to KC. Don’t jump off the bandwagon if the Chiefs lose.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Chiefs 13

Fiscal Ideals and the Role of Government

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

CongressA few years ago I was exchanging emails with a friend who is a devout liberal. He wrote a very eloquent paragraph about liberalism and what being a liberal meant to him. I wish I had saved it. The paragraph described him well. It also described me well except for one sentence, and I remember it well: “We want to empower the government to help the people.” This is really the core difference between fiscal liberals and fiscal conservatives. For me, I would rewrite this to be: “I want to empower the people to help themselves.”

Strip away the politics. Strip away the political party rhetoric. Strip away the name calling and the finger pointing. What really separates fiscal conservatives, moderates and liberals? Their ideals for the size and role of government.

So how do we measure how conservative, moderate or liberal our government is? By how fast our government is growing. The faster our government grows, the more power they wield. The more control they wield. The more they regulate. The more they redistribute our collective money through social programs. The more they impose their will on our economy. The more liberal they become.

And who controls government growth? Not the President. I have said for years that the President gets too much praise when things go well, and too much criticism when they don’t. Congress is the one who writes our laws and sets our budgets, not the President.

It’s interesting that in just the last fifteen years, we’ve been able to witness three pretty distinct fiscal groups controlling Congress. The fiscal conservatives controlled Congress from the 1994 election through the end of the ’90s. Congress become more moderate from about 2000 until the democrats took over in 2006. And since then a liberal Congress has dramatically increased the size of the federal government.

This list shows the yearly increase in federal expenditures (size of government) calculated in current dollars:

1995: 3.7%
1996: 2.9%
1997: 2.6%
1998: 3.2%
1999: 3%
2000: 5.1%
2001: 4.1%
2002: 7.9%
2003: 7.4%
2004: 6.2%
2005: 7.8%
2006: 7.4%
2007: 2.8%
2008: 9.3%
2009: 17.9%

Before I calculated these numbers, I suspected that this was about what I’d find. I would designate anything less than 4% growth as fiscally conservative. Would probably lump 4-8% growth as moderate. And anything above 8% as fairly rapid government expansion. The only number that really sticks out is the 2007 number, but keep in mind that we were beginning to suspect that a recession was coming, and the 2007 budget was written by the 2006 Congress BEFORE the democrats took control following that year’s mid-term election.

Now nothing exists in a vacuum. During this time we’ve had two recessions, 9/11 and two subsequent wars. But do you know that in the last 40 years, the only years we’ve had a budget surplus were from 1998-2001? The economy was strong, unemployment was low, and government growth had been constrained by a fiscally conservative Congress and President Clinton. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

It’s no coincidence that our largest budget deficits coincide with the rapid expansion of our federal government. And it’s no coincidence that this rapid expansion of our federal government is continuing to stifle our economy.

Empower the government or empower the people? I will trust empowering the people every time.

Note: Information about federal outlays provided by the Tax Policy Center.

KU’s Loss to NDSU is a Game Changer

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Kansas JayhawksLuckily I was out of town this last weekend enjoying some family time in Branson. I’m glad we didn’t go to the game.

How Many Wins?
Originally I had guessed KU would win four, maybe five games this year. Possibly even six if everything had gone well, though that was probably never realistic with a new staff and the losses of Reesing, Meier and Sharp. But with the loss to NDSU, what are realistic expectations now? Hard to guess what to expect at this point. With head coach Turner Gill already pulling the trigger on a quarterback change, it’s difficult to have much faith in his leadership and decision making. What if Webb struggles this week? Will he flip again?

The most winnable game remaining on the schedule is at home against New Mexico State. After that? I can’t imagine that the Jayhawks will be favored in any of their games unless the team proves that NDSU was no more than a blip.

NDSU Coach Rips KU
Did you see the quotes from NDSU head coach Craig Bohl? Yowza. Read this in the LJWorld! Pretty rare to find a coach rip an opponent like this.

Gill on the Hot Seat?
My first thought when I heard that athletic director Lew Perkins was gone was this: Will Turner Gill be the head coach beyond this season? It certainly would be uncommon for a school to fire a head coach after only one year, and KU would be on the hook for a lot of money to Gill. But athletic directors like to hire their own guys, and KU will soon have a new athletic director. And if KU remains this bad this year, what AD wants to be stuck with him?

NFL Predictions 2010

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

NFL logoI love this time of year. And I love the NFL!

AFC West
Because I follow the Chiefs and the AFC West the most, I’ll spend a little extra time here in this division.

San Diego Chargers: I remain unconvinced that Norv Turner will ever take a team to the Super Bowl as their head coach. And I think the window that Marty created in San Diego is slowly closing. The Chargers have the most talent in the division, but are headed back to the pack. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if running back Ryan Matthews doesn’t win offensive rookie of the year. Record: 11-5.

Kansas City Chiefs: I hope I’m not just being a homer, but I really think that Haley and Pioli have this team headed in the right direction. I love the new coordinators. They’ve added weapons on offense. Have improved their offensive line. And their defense is flying around and making a few plays. Safety Eric Berry will be in the running for defensive rookie of the year. Still some concerns about the front seven stopping the run. Don’t jump off the bandwagon if they lose a few games early. They’ll be better in the second half of the season. Record: 7-9.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders won five games last year despite some of the worst quarterback play I’ve ever seen. Jason Campbell will help settle down the Raider’s offense. But still think this team has some issues. They really need running back Darren McFadden to step up and become a force for this offense.  Record: 6-10.

Denver Broncos: Injuries. Loss of talent. This team is headed in the wrong direction fast. Record: 5-11.

AFC East: I’m not convinced that the Jets are for real. Want to see them do it again before I jump on-board. I’ll go with the Patriots winning this division.

AFC North: I’ll root for the Steelers, but the Ravens appear to be the team that’s ready to step forward in this division. I like what they’re doing and think they’ll win the division.

AFC South: Pretty hard to pick anybody other than the Colts. So long as Manning is healthy, this machine just keeps on rolling.

NFC East: Possibly the hardest division to pick. Eagles have a new quarterback. Cowboys still have Tony Romo. Redskins are just in their first year with new head coach Mike Shanahan. Look for Eli and the Giants to bounce back and win this division.

NFC North: The Vikings might have Farve, but I really like the Packers here. They’ve been doing a great job of drafting and developing young players.

NFC South: Love Drew Brees and don’t see anybody else here who will challenge them.

NFC West: The worst division in football. The 49ers win here by default.

AFC Title Game: How about the Colts vs the Ravens, with the Ravens advancing to the Super Bowl.

NFC Title Game: Packers lose on the road to the Saints.

Super Bowl: Drew Brees makes it two in a row as the Saints beat the Ravens! People start talking about Brees in the hall of fame. Surpasses Manning as the best quarterback in the NFL.

Chiefs Final 53 for 2010

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Kansas City ChiefsI had planned to provide my predictions for the Chiefs 53 man roster, but time has been short. Adam Teicher at the Star made his predictions a few days ago, and his are very close to mine anyway. There are just a few interesting decisions to be made. Though here are a few comments I would add to Adam’s article.

Quarterbacks: I’ve been unimpressed with Tyler Palko. Would not be surprised to see the Chiefs scan the waiver wire and pick somebody up in the next couple of days to replace Palko on the final roster.

Running Backs and Wide Receivers: I’ve got the Chiefs keeping ten players between these two positions, though I lean towards FB Mike Cox over WR Terrance Copper compared to Adam’s prediction. Both are good special teams players, but it would be easier to work Cox into the offense. Copper won’t get on the field as a wide receiver. It could sure go either way. I really like the upgrades this team has made at WR compared to last year’s team with Chambers, McCluster, Horne and Urban. The running back that I really like who looks destined to be cut is Javarris Williams. I think he’s got potential. Just no room for him with how Jackie Battle has played this preseason.

Offensive Line: Adam has the team keeping nine lineman, which is about right. And it’s easy for me to say this now, but I had guard Darryl Harris over Ikechuku Ndukwe, who was just released. Harris started training camp running with the first team while Brian Waters was held out of practice. Seemed pretty clear that they like Harris better than Ndukwe. What I don’t know for sure is the severity of Harris’ injury. A couple of lineman with potential are going to get cut. I hate seeing the Chiefs cut Colin Brown, but don’t see any room for him on the roster. Hopefully they can get him on the practice squad.

Defensive Line: Adam has predicted that Alex Magee, who was a third round draft pick last year, will be cut. I think it’s more likely they keep Magee as the seventh defensive lineman, and go lighter somewhere else. Though Magee is obviously on the bubble.

Linebackers: Will the Chiefs keep eight or nine here? The first eight appear to be locks. Adam has predicted they keep David Herron for his special teams play as the ninth linebacker. For my roster, Herron might be the guy I cut to keep Magee. Another thought is undrafted rookie Cory Greenwood, who seems to make a play every time he’s on the field. My prediction is Greenwood over Herron here. Though they could probably get Greenwood onto the practice squad.

Defensive Backs: Adam has the team keeping ten defensive backs, which is a lot. I think eight or nine is more likely here. And going lighter here will allow the team to keep Magee and possibly a ninth linebacker. Or even one more offensive lineman. With safety Jarrad Page finally signing his tender, this will get even more interesting.

Final Thoughts: The team clearly has more talent than last year’s team. And while the ’09 draft class remains unimpressive, the ’10 draft class looks like it could become one of the Chiefs’ best draft classes in many years. Many of these guys will be contributing right away (Berry, McCluster, Arenas, Moeaki and Lewis), and a few more look like they’ll get the chance eventually (Asamoah and Sheffield). And then add to that two undrafted rookies who might make the team in Horne and possibly Greenwood, and that’s quite a group of rookies.