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There is a better place for those thumbs than ESPN's Page 2

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Bill Simmons aka The Sport's Guy aka the last guy still watching Flava of Love, released his NFL preview today. It's not really my brand of Football commentary, as Simmons' screwy but self aware thin-deep coverage leaves much to be desired from people like me who often times take football too seriously. Actually I can appreciate some Football levity as much as the next guy... up until that moment you trash my Redskins.

His preview is broken down into a series of "thumbs", some up; some down. He's sounding off on all the serious Football stories such as the bizarre Arizona Cardinals Pink Tacogate (thumbs up) or the Seattle Seahawks battling both the Madden curse and the Superbowl Slump (thumbs down). For the most part his trivial commentary bothers me not; frankly I don't care what the Cardinals call their stadium. But I do care what he has to say for your Washington Redskins who he predicted as cellar dwellers of a weak NFC East division. Let me tell you where to put those thumbs, Bill.

Numero Uno:

To the dumbest plan of the year: the Redskins investing in two free agent receivers (Antwan Randle-El and Brandon Lloyd) and an expensive offensive coordinator (Al Saunders) to go with their expensive gamebreakers (Clinton Portis and Santana Moss) ... only they're going with a washed-up Mark Brunell at QB again. How does that make sense? Does Joe Gibbs do this with NASCAR, too? Does he spend a ton of money on his cars and pit crews, then find the most mediocre drivers possible?

That same "washed up" Mark Brunell had one of the best year's of his career throwing for more touchdowns at 35 than he had at any point earlier in his career. He did this with only one underpaid superstar wide receiving threat and was only a few good receivers short of a Superbowl, which is exactly why Joe Gibbs went out and acquired some offensive players and a playcaller to bolster what was already the 11th best offense in the league last year. I'd remind Bill that Peyton Mannings don't grow on trees and acquiring a marquee veteran to lead your offense isn't nearly as easy as giving your current one (coming off one of his best seasons ever) the tools to have an even better 2006. Especially since you already have a QB of the future in Jason Campbell.

As for the NASCAR reference, the only thing Joe Gibbs Racing has done is win 3 of the past 6 NASCAR Championships. It seems like every where this guy goes, winning happens. What's up with that?

But Bill Simmons doesn't like Mark Brunell and that's fine. I cannot wait to see the old lefty prove him wrong. And he doesn't seem to like the Redskins much either, which is also fine. I can't wait for Gibbs to prove him wrong there as well.

But his next thumbs down is downright confusing:

To everyone who keeps pushing the whole "there's no division tougher than the NFC East" crap. Dallas is stuck with Drew Bledsoe for another season (to the point that the phrases "QB controversy" and "Tony Romo" came into play last month), as well as mediocre running backs and the inevitable T.O.-Parcells / Vanderjagt-Parcells soap operas. The Skins went 0-4 in the preseason and looked like they were filming scenes for "The Replacements 2." Everyone seems to forget that (A) the Giants completely rolled over and quit on their coach at home in the playoffs last season; (B) Eli had the full-fledged Manning Face from Halloween through the New Year; and (C) their big free agent move was LaVar Arrington (who's good for 6-7 games this season). I don't get it. What's so great about the NFC East?

Presumably by the NFC as a tough division "crap" he's referring to that frequently recognized fact found here and here and here and here and here and... I could go on. My feeling is that this "crap" might be based off the fact that the NFC East had 2 postseason contenders last year, they had more wins than any other division in football in 2005 and also it doesn't hurt when they are the best coached division in the league: Andy Reid, Tom Coughlin, future HOFer Bill Parcells, and current HOFer Joe Gibbs. Yes, this is what makes for a tough division.

With his rosey NFC East summary in mind I can't wait to see how bad he hammers the entire division in his official W/L predictions! Let us have it, Bill!

Er... he then picks Philly to win the the NFC Championship and Dallas as the number 1 Wild Card. He also predicts a combined 37 wins coming out of the NFC East, more than any other division. So for all his useless bloviating about how overhyped the East is, he contributes to it by predicting the NFC East as the best division in Football. What's all this NFC East is tough "crap" about?

You tell me, Bill.