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Phil Anselmo Reveals His NFL Predictions

Gary Wolstenholme, Redferns

Former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo is a die-hard football fan. He enjoyed watching his beloved New Orleans Saints topple the Indianapolis Colts in last February’s Super Bowl. In addition to Anselmo’s love for the Saints, his near-encyclopedic knowledge of the sport is staggering. His brain is like a veritable database of players — he knows the the right tackles, the owners and free safeties on most teams. Needless to say, Noisecreep polled the man on his predictions for his eagerly anticipated NFL season which kicks off in just a few short weeks.

“It’s tough to say,” Anselmo told Noisecreep. “Football is crazy, and last year a lot of those stray balls that can bounce either direction bounced in [the Saints'] direction a lot of times. The season is long.”

Anselmo continued, “The Saints are having a massive insanely intense awesome training camp right now, so it’s tough not to talk about them. They are relatively healthy, have a lot of depth at every position — except at QB, but we have [Drew] Brees. But if Brees goes down, the ship sinks. Reggie [Bush] is completely healthy, and he will have his breakout season. Pierre Thomas can run the ball and is an awesome talent.”

Beyond his home team, Anselmo sounded off on the AFC. “I like the Houston Texans. And while most people don’t like Brian Cushing with the steroids and suspensions, that does not do them any good. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year. The team reminds me of the Saints of ’07 and ’08, where they had all the offensive weapons but not all the pieces. I like them.”

As for the Jets, who’ve stocked the team with big names like LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie, Anselmo said, “They are going to be tough, since they are a really good team. People say the Ravens will be tough, but I am not so sold old them. I am not too sold on the Steelers. Vikings, especially with all the drama with Brett Favre, I could care less. Just put him on the field on game one in September.” He did predict that Favre won’t retire this season, either. And recent events make it look like Anselmo’s prediction will be vindicated.

Regarding the NFC and the Saints’ competition, Anselmo said, “The Redskins have a whole different complexion, since they’ve built a good team and have a good coach. I still say it’s going to be a tough year, but this is a Saints team that is hard to beat. … Our wide receivers are great. Our running game is insane. The [offensive line] is All Pro, and the defense is young and vicious.”

Young and vicious — sort of live ‘Cowboys From Hell’-era Pantera. “You know, [Saints linebacker Scott Shanle] told me that their motto is ‘yesterday don’t mean s—,’” Anselmo said, which refers to a song from Pantera’s final album, ‘Reinventing the Steel.’ Anselmo joked about the young linebacker, saying, “He is ripping off my look. He’s got a shaved head, goatee. I said, ‘You’re ripping me off!” He says, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Phil who rips off Shanle,’ We go back and forth. He’s a 30-year-old whippersnapper.”

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