New Year's NFL resolutions

Jason Cole
Yahoo! Sports

My top resolution for 2007 came true, so I no longer have to hope that Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning will win a Super Bowl. That's good because I don't want anyone to think I regularly cheer for a particular team or individual. Last year was just one of those human moments for me – don't worry, those moments don't occur that often – when I couldn't help myself.

With that in mind, here are some resolutions to consider for the new year. These are the football ones. I'll leave off the personal ones, such as the promise to actually go on a diet so I won't look like mini-Ted Washington anymore:

I will continue to patiently explain to readers that I am not a Miami Dolphins fan. Yes, I covered the team for 15 years. No, I have nothing against the good people who work there and I hope the team can improve for their sake. But that doesn't make me a Dolphins fan. Please, dear readers: Don't keep assuming what I like or dislike.

I will hope that Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis learn from teams like the New England Patriots, who put a high value on character when drafting and acquiring players.


College basketball and football

* Fantasy football

Major League Baseball

Mixed Martial Arts





I will hope that other media organizations can avoid stupid story angles such as: "Can Terrell Owens really go an entire season without incident?" It's not news if something doesn't happen.

I will hope that the administration of commissioner Roger Goodell lasts longer than predecessor Paul Tagliabue's. Goodell's good will and personable nature are a welcome relief after 17 years of what can be termed as the NFL's Cold War. Beyond that, his strong stance on player conduct has worked effectively, particularly in contrast to Tagliabue's wait-and-see-what-the-judicial-system-does approach.

I will promise to stop chuckling to myself every time the NFL claims that big cable companies like Time Warner, Comcast and Cablevision "have refused to negotiate." That latest gem came from NFL Network president and CEO Steve Bornstein on Wednesday when the NFL Network had to give the Saturday night New York Giants-New England game away for free to NBC and CBS. What Bornstein is saying is simply not true. What's true is that the cable companies refuse to negotiate on the NFL's terms.

I will hope that NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw can see that his approach with retired and disabled players has been far too abrasive. Likewise, I hope those disabled players find better leadership than the likes of Mike Ditka and Joe DeLamielleure, who really don't know what they're talking about and unfairly attack Upshaw.

I will continue to hope that NFL coaches and executives see the bigger picture and don't increasingly cut off access. Sure, the Patriots continue to control the media and win, but that style isn't helping teams like the New York Jets or Dolphins, who continue to limit access but have little to show for it.

I will hope that more general managers have the guts to follow their instincts, like Packers GM Ted Thompson, rather than bow to public pressure. Thompson went against the grain to hire Mike McCarthy, who was coming off a poor season as offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, and didn't trade for Randy Moss. While Moss has been great, so have the Packers after three consecutive top drafts by Thompson.

I will hope San Francisco coach Mike Nolan and top personnel man Scot McCloughan realize that wide receivers are more important than they have to this point. If Nolan wants to have a modern offense and repair his relationship with quarterback Alex Smith, he needs to get some real weapons at wide receiver. Arnaz Battle and Darrell Jackson don't suffice.

I won't let the small-but-loud group of obnoxious Patriots fans who don't read the entire column bother me.

I will admit that Randy Moss is more talented than Jerry Rice, but continue to argue that Rice is the greatest NFL player ever.

I will continue to rip coaches like Bobby Petrino when they lie so openly.

I will try to figure out what bothers me so much about athletes such as Tom Brady, Matt Leinart, Ricky Williams and Brian Urlacher being so irresponsible about fatherhood.

I will separate those feelings from how I admire Brady and Urlacher as being the best at what they do, particularly Brady.

I will hope that Zach Thomas, one of the all-time good guys of this sport and a great player, either quits now or is lucky enough to make it through the rest of his career without another concussion. Your wife, and hopefully one day your kids, deserve all of you, not just a shell.