Chat with Stephania Bell and D'Arcy Maine
Stephania Bell (6:37 PM)
Greetings from New Orleans everyone and welcome to the chat! The excitement is incredible here and the whole town has shut down early in anticipation of the big event. I'm in the Superdome where it is already getting loud in advance of the game. How excited is everyone about the official start of the NFL season??
Greg, Mississippi [via mobile]
Ladies night at the Worldwide Leader, huh? What's the energy like in New Orleans today?
Stephania Bell (6:40 PM)
Hi Greg: Great question to start off with...and I guess you could say it's Ladies Night at the Superdome since that's where Darcy and I are...Energy is fantastic. Some guy stood on the street corner outside my hotel beating a drum saying "Who dat" for several hours today and fans responded with car horns, etc. A woman bought my coffee this morning just to show me how nice people in New Orleans could be. Everyone is excited and upbeat!
Houston,Texas [via mobile]
Is Brett Favre able to start tonight's game?
Stephania Bell (6:41 PM)
Houston...There is no problem. He is listed as Probable and you can bet he'll start. Question is will he finish?
Mark G Lincoln IL [via mobile]
do you think that the Saints my be going into this game with too much confidence?
AJ [via mobile]
Hey ladies! Big fan of both of you. Stephania, what is the latest with Percy Harvin? Do you think he can play a full season? Is there a cure for migraines?
Stephania Bell (6:45 PM)
Thanks AJ: I certainly hope that he can. Right now there is no reason to think that he couldn't, but the problem is the unpredictable nature of his condition and there is no cure. Migraines can come without much warning and we've seen how severe his are. The goal is to try to identify what triggers them and avoid that. But at least for tonight he's not on the injury report and is expected to return kicks as well as perform WR duties.
Dunn, San Diego [via mobile]
Who's the starting running back for the Saints? and does Brees have a new pre-game chant/ritual
Stephania Bell (6:47 PM)
Dunn: There's Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas who should both see lots of action tonight. I don't know about "new" but I do know that Brees plans to involve all the fans in a huge stadium chant of "Who Dat" right before kickoff...
Debordeshane@yahoo.com [via mobile]
Is colston good two go four me
Stephania Bell (6:48 PM)
Debordeshane: Should be. He was listed as Probable following the bruised kidney and practiced all week.
Kindelle Va Beacv Va [via mobile]
I've got Visante Shicanoe in two leagues and Jeremy Shockey in one, who's the better pick?
Stephania Bell (6:50 PM)
Kindelle: Now being from the U, I am a huge Shockey fan. But the issue for the Saints is that they have so many receiving weapons, of which Shockey is just one. In Minnesota, Favre is hurting in the receiver department and he has already shown that he likes to throw to Shiancoe...so he would be my pick.
Bill Castorena El Paso, Tx [via mobile]
Do you think Brett Favre will be as effective this year as last?
Stephania Bell (6:53 PM)
Bill - hope you're not a VIkings fan cuz you won't like my answer, but the answer is no. The scenario is not as good this year as it was last. First, there's the issue with his ankle. It's not 100 percent nor will it be...so it's a matter of how well it holds up. He's lost Sidney Rice for extended time and Berrian hasn't been spectacular in the preseason. Sooooo...stacked against him I think.
Ryan, Baltimore [via mobile]
Can the Saints repeat this season?
Stephania Bell (6:54 PM)
Ryan: I think it's not impossible, but it's not likely. The stats just don't support champions repeating, very hard to do. The Saints have gone to great lengths to try to ensure that they stay fresh and don't get complacent. But I still picked the Niners to win the Super Bowl. I know, crazy homer talk. But I think they could.
gregg portland or [via mobile]
will ap hold on to the ball tonight?
Stephania Bell (6:56 PM)
Gregg: My guess is that everyone is wondering the same thing. I have been reading about the things AP has been working on to try to decrease his fumbling tendencies. I guess we'll find out very soon just how well that's working.
John Green Bay, Wisconsin [via mobile]
I gotta say that the vikes will win over the saints and Peterson will run for more than 200 yards. I have good hopes for the Vikes still even though they are banged up
Stephania Bell (6:57 PM)
John: It's good to have faith in your team. I happen to disagree with you, but I like your belief.
jose . dallas tx [via mobile]
Hi ladies... Who do think is going to throw for more yards tonite. Brees / brett
Stephania Bell (6:59 PM)
Jose: I think it's Brees and I don't think it's close. When Darcy jumps on board in a few you can ask her if she agrees, but I think Brees is younger and healthier and has more weapons.
dallas tx [via mobile]
Can I see the game on local channels?
Stephania Bell (7:00 PM)
Should be able to see everywhere. It's on NBC.
Rhonezone Boston ma [via mobile]
Will the 49ers ever get a new stadium?
Stephania Bell (7:02 PM)
Rhonezone: I think they will get one in Santa Clara and they'll end up moving there. Which makes me sad b/c the thought of the Niners not being at Candlestick is almost too much to bear. I feel like we (49ers fans) have a love/hate relationship with the Stick. Always the potential to freeze your tail off while attending a game but it's the tradition of it...
Ronald abilene tx [via mobile]
how are you doing stephania im ronald i just wanted to ask you if you think the cowboys have a chance to get to the super bowl and if they do will they win it
Stephania Bell (7:04 PM)
Ronald: Why thank you, I'm doing great. Lucky to be here in the Big Easy for the Big Event...Right now the Cowboys do not look like a team that could get to the Super Bowl, but in fairness one should not judge too much by preseason. That said, a lot would have to happen between the way they played just two weeks ago and now in order for them to start winning. I hope they can get it together because let's face it, Dallas keeps it interesting so it's good to have them in the mix throughout the season. Don't want them to be out of contention before everything gets going. But they have a ways to go.
D.Christian Orlando,Fl [via mobile]
Love U ladies... So does Minnesota have any shot to win their division, let alone make it to Super Bowl this year??
Stephania Bell (7:06 PM)
We love the love...sure, they have a shot to win their division if things break their way. But I'm not sure they're the odds on favorite. Even if they capture the division I do not think they make it to the big dance though...too many obstacles.
Dunn, San Diego [via mobile]
Since you're an injury analyst, on your expert opinion, how many weeks does Favre's ankle hold up? and any other significant players on the injury list?
Stephania Bell (7:09 PM)
Dunn: Well, I do injury analysis...but prediction of breakdown with a timetable requires a crystal ball, which I do not have...there are so many variables in play that could affect how well he holds up that predicting would be impossible. As will be the case throughout the entire football season, there are a number of players on the injury report (first official NFL one came out Weds) and you've given me a great chance to plug my blog where I tell you what I think about all those injuries in detail (first one for NFL season out today on ESPN.com)
Bo new orleans [via mobile]
Do you think Tracy porter and Jabari Greer are the best cornerback tandem in the NFC south?
Stephania Bell (7:11 PM)
Bo: you could certainly make the argument...Interestingly, Porter was limited with a knee issue and there has been some concern this week as to his availability. He was listed as Probable on the injury report yesterday so I expect him to play but it will be interesting to see how he looks on the field.
Cheryl Juneau, Alaska [via mobile]
What time is kick-off. Thanx Cheryl
Stephania Bell (7:12 PM)
Cheryl: 8:30 EST, and I have to admit, I'm not sure what that is in Juneau, but I bet it's still light out...
ben,el paso tx [via mobile]
What do u guys think of the broncos
Stephania Bell (7:14 PM)
Ben: Well, I can tell you what I think...and they have some big gaps. They're a team that I find hard to define b/c there have been so many changes since McDaniels entered the picture. Some of them may be very good changes but they still need to play themselves out. I'm concerned about the health of their running backs. And we'll see about their defense...
chris o las cruces, nm [via mobile]
I have to disagree with who's gonna have to pass for more yards. U said brees and I say brett. Reason being with all those weapons in the receiving postion for the saints and favre only having 3 reliable recievers he doubled brees passing yards and frankly brees recievers are better. So the vikings being down 1 reciever wouldn't make much of a difference in my eyes. Favre can put the ball anywhere he wants and make it happen. Greg lewis proved that during the SF game last year
Stephania Bell (7:17 PM)
Chris: You of course are entitled to your opinion, but the argument doesn't win it for me. Favre's end zone pass to beat my Niners was impressive, but Brees is known for being the most accurate passer in the league (look at his stats) so that's the guy who can put it anywhere. Favre got some great yards after the catch last year too and so far his go-to guy, Berrian has a very low ypc average. After hamstring issues last year (and now being asked to return punts to start this year?), he could be at risk for more breakdown.
Columbus ohio [via mobile]
How is Robert meachum's toe looking tonight?
Stephania Bell (7:18 PM)
Hello in Columbus: Meachem is not on the injury report and will play. I think the toe is giving him a bit more trouble than he lets on; if nothing else he still has a ways to go to get back into football shape just coming off the PUP list a couple of weeks ago. But every time he's out there it's progress.
kc [via mobile]
Did u ride the bull at the burbon cowboy?
Stephania Bell (7:20 PM)
kc: No, I did not. Otherwise I might be on the injury report. But walking back from dinner I did indeed see someone riding the bull. She stayed on from what I could tell - at least as long as it took for me to walk by.
Keith (Winston, NC) [via mobile]
How's the 41 year old QB's arm strength?
Stephania Bell (7:21 PM)
Keith: Actually his arm strength is the one thing that doesn't seem to be fading. He can still launch impressive downfield throws. Just not sure the rest of his body can keep up with it.
Zach, Lawrence KS [via mobile]
After the questionable hits the Saints put on Favre in the NFC Championship game, do you think the Vikings will be head-hunting tonight, and will the Madden Curse make it worse?
Stephania Bell (7:23 PM)
Zach: First of all, shout out to Lawrence. Love that town. I'm not sure the Vikings are looking to hurt Brees...but I do think they are definitely looking to do a better job of protecting Brett. I forgot Brees was on the Madden cover this year. Now I will be nail-biting throughout the game. Actually, I don't really believe in the curse. But since I cover injuries I do know that guys are more likely to get hurt at some point in the season than not...making it easy for anyone to succumb to the curse.
Buffalo Grove, IL [via mobile]
Do you think pierre thomas is a good play as a fantasy starter tonight given the vikings' run defense and all the saints' offensive weapons
Stephania Bell (7:25 PM)
It all depends on what your options are. I love Pierre Thomas and I think he's ready for a big year. But when deciding who to start in my fantasy team if I have multiple options at the position, I look at matchups.
zach (waterloo, iowa) [via mobile]
Why is no one giving the vikings much of a chance? Their WR and CBs are a weak spot but still one of the best Ds, QB, and RB
Stephania Bell (7:28 PM)
Zach: because they have injury concerns (including their QB), they lost their 3rd down back in Chester Taylor who was a huge first down converter and there's really no one to replace him, they'll be playing in an INSANELY loud hostile dome and, ahem, last time here they lost (ok - just barely but they lost). I do think they have a solid run defense but that won't be enough.
chris monroe la [via mobile]
Stephania, would u start robert meachem tonight or boldin against jets?
Stephania Bell (7:31 PM)
Chris: Tough call. Wish I knew where the Jets were putting Revis. If they put Revis on Mason (which is actually what I suspect), I might go Boldin. I like Meachem's deep threat ability, just not convinced he gets used a ton tonight...but he's always (as are most Saints receivers) a threat to score. Think Boldin gets more catches, maybe more total yards, not sure he gets in the end zone. tricky
PF from Queens [via mobile]
Hey everyone..first off I think the saint will win this one rather easily their offense is just too good. But my questions are 1. I think the Giants are poised for a huge season that will largely go under the radar, as under the radar ny teams go, mainly because of the Jet hype. 2. Who do u think will have had the better "year 2" Sanchez or Eli? Thanks ladies
Stephania Bell (7:34 PM)
Hey PF: I think the Giants could have a strong season, but they also strike me as a team that if some things don't break their way it could get ugly quickly. They've already had a couple big injury losses and had a scare with Eli. But if they start well, that's a good sign. And I think Eli has the better year, just think he's better.
josh lebanon tn [via mobile]
do you think percy harvin will have an impact on tonights game
Stephania Bell (7:36 PM)
Josh: I think he could actually have an electric kickoff return for a TD...very dangerous.
Stephania Bell (7:37 PM)
OK gang...turning the chat controls over to my friend Darcy. I'm sure she'll have plenty of opinions on your questions. Have fun tonight!
D'Arcy Maine (7:41 PM)
Hey everyone! Thanks for joining us tonight.
Rob Grove, Ok [via mobile]
Good evening ladies, are yall hauing fun yet? Both of you are awesome and i am a big fan of both. Whats the chances my Vikings getting out of there with a W tonite?
D'Arcy Maine (7:45 PM)
Thanks, Rob! I think it's hard not to have a good time in New Orleans. The fans here are one of a kind. I'm leaning towards a Saints W tonight. The emotion and energy in here tonight alone have to be pretty daunting for the Vikes. I'm sure they (and by that, I really mean Favre) have a chip on their shoulder after last season's NFC Championship game loss but I'm going with Vegas and taking the Saints.
TT Ohio [via mobile]
Would you take the over or the under on both teams breaking 31 points? That's at least 4 touchdowns for both teams.
D'Arcy Maine (7:48 PM)
I'm sure you're not using this information for betting or anything, TT. Because we all know that's illegal and no one would ever do that... That said, the Saints and Vikings were the top two scoring teams in the league in 2009 so it's certainly very possible. I would take it.
Carol Ohio [via mobile]
Although I really don't like Farve, I don't think this game is as entertaining without him. What do you think?
D'Arcy Maine (7:52 PM)
Carol, it pains me to say this from the depths of my soul as Grandpa Favre has single-handedly ruined my last three summers but, sigh, I agree with you. The Favre element adds a certain amount of drama that someone like Tavaris Jackson wouldn't have brought. One thing is always for certain about No. 4, he plays his heart out and is determined for revenge. I would bet this game alone played a role in Favre's decision to come back. I'll be interested to see how he performs.
julius miami [via mobile]
I'm in vegas fot a trip its legal here.
D'Arcy Maine (7:53 PM)
Then bet for us all, Julius. Take the over.
rcbasu Sacramento, CA [via mobile]
What are your honest thoughts about the Raiders? I feel that they can win the AFC West (as watered down as the division is) & win the close games they couldn't with JaMarcus Russell @ QB.
D'Arcy Maine (7:57 PM)
I actually kind of like the Raiders this season. I think Jason Campbell didn't get a fair chance in Washington and has the potential to shine in Oakland. I don't think he'll ever be a franchise QB but he certainly could be an efficient leader given the right tools. I also like Bush and McFadden in the backfield and am interested to see how the team fares in the AFC West this season. Could see them finishing second in the division behind the Chargers.
Jas (New Awlins) [via mobile]
Start of who-dat-nysty tonight
D'Arcy Maine (7:58 PM)
Clever, Jas. I'm more partial to the 'Two Dat' title though myself.
manup: Kansaqs City, MO [via mobile]
Anyway Chase sees some mop-up action this year for the Saints?
D'Arcy Maine (8:00 PM)
It's possible but Drew Brees has managed to stay pretty healthy and there seem to be no concerns in that department. Hard to imagine the Saints would use the inexperienced Chase Daniel unless they had a fairly large lead or were in desperation mode. He just hasn't had the chance to prove himself at this level at this point.
D'Arcy Maine (8:02 PM)
However, in the NFL, anything is possible. One day you could be bagging groceries and the next day you could be a starting QB. Right, Kurt Warner?
baton rouge louisiana [via mobile]
what channel is the game coming on
D'Arcy Maine (8:03 PM)
A number of you have asked this so I guess I better answer. It's on NBC and starts at 8:30 PM EST. Although coverage has already started. Not that you should switch over from ESPN just yet.
ecerett,washington [via mobile]
With harvin not be at 100% who will be filling his spot also who plans on returning kicks
D'Arcy Maine (8:07 PM)
Unlike a typical ankle injury or what have you, there is no way to know in advance when Harvin will experience a migraine so it's definitely possible he could start and play in every game with no symptoms. All systems go for tonight anyways. I think with Harvin, the Vikings are taking it week-to-week and just hoping Harvin is asymptomatic on Sundays and the occasional Monday.
STEVE-O morristown Tennessee [via mobile]
I have brees on my fantasy but I hope the vikes win. What's ur odds of saints making it back to the super bowl? if not them, who do you think?
D'Arcy Maine (8:10 PM)
Good question, Steve-0. I have Reggie Bush on my fantasy team. Not quite the same as Brees... History is working against the Saints as just one team in the last 10 seasons reached the Super Bowl the year after winning it all. It certainly isn't easy. I think they'll win the division but remaining focused and not getting swept up in their own hype might make it difficult.
RJ Nashville [via mobile]
How deep is Farve's support? He's practically a homeboy himself.
D'Arcy Maine (8:13 PM)
I saw eight Favre jerseys on my flight from Charlotte to New Orleans this morning. In fact, and I'm not making this up, the guy in front of me wearing a purple No. 4 embraced his inner Favre and changed his drink order three times. That said, there is a handful of Vikes fans here but they will be hard to spot and impossible to hear in this Saints-fanatic environment.
joel, columbian oh [via mobile]
Hi girls! What kind of improvement do you expect from my Browns?
D'Arcy Maine (8:17 PM)
Hi boy! Unfortunately, Joel, I'm not expecting much improvement this season. I don't see Mangini even lasting the whole season. A happy (and paid) Josh Cribbs is certainly helpful but unfortunately the Browns specialists are probably the most talented guys on the team. Including this season, the Browns will have used nine different opening-day starting QBs in the last 11 seasons. Not a good sign but pretty much sums up the situation in Cleveland. At least you've still got LeBron. Whoops.
D'Arcy Maine (8:18 PM)
I will say, however, that Colt McCoy has potential but the Browns have no plans to play him much this season. He could be a major factor in the team's eventual improvement though.
chris J-town PA [via mobile]
What do the two of u ladies think Adrian Peterson's play will b like this evening do u think after that big loss in the NFC championship game he can hold onto the ball this eve?
D'Arcy Maine (8:23 PM)
I think every Vikings fan has to hope AP can hold onto the ball tonight and all season. He's rushed for more yards than any other RB in the last three seasons but he's also had more fumbles than anyone else. That's a troubling stat. He claims to have spent the offseason working on changing his technique to protect the ball but we'll have to wait and see how that works out for him.
Tanner (Denver CO [via mobile]
D'arcy, are you psyched for your post game exclusive with Brett?
D'Arcy Maine (8:25 PM)
I really have no journalistic integrity left. So here it goes, I would rather walk back to NYC than talk to Brett "I like ruining summers for people who work in sports media" Favre.
D'Arcy Maine (8:26 PM)
And that probably just ended my writing career.
D'Arcy Maine (8:27 PM)
Is anyone watching the Dave Matthews Band perform "Burning Down The House?". One of my favorite Talking Heads songs right there. Dave Matthews just scored some major cool points with me. Now back to football...
phoenix az [via mobile]
Do you think everyone is leaving the redskins out.I think they are a playoff team and could go to super bowl
D'Arcy Maine (8:32 PM)
I think the Redskins going to the SB might be a little extreme but I think McNabb still has a lot left and actually think they change of scenery will be good for him. Addition of a proven winner like Mike Mike Shanahan could mean big things in DC. Certainly will be vastly better team than last season.
drew [via mobile]
yep i saw dave. it was cool! talking heads! Marry me?
D'Arcy Maine (8:36 PM)
What the heck. Sure. And with that, football fans, it's time to say farewell. I'll be blogging from the game right here on Mobile though so I hope you'll join me there! And,huge thanks to Stephania Bell for joining us tonight. Her insight is quite frankly much more valuable than mine. Enjoy the game!