For as much as I bag on Thursday football, I wanted to use this opportunity to talk about someone who probably doesn’t get very much attention: Dallas Long-Snapper LP (Louis-Philippe) Ladouceur.
You’d have to say that Ladouceur was a long-shot to make the NFL. He grew up in Montreal. After receiving scholarship offers from a number of US colleges, he went to UC, Berkeley. After playing on Special Teams as a LS for his tenure there, he went undrafted in 2005, eventually signing with New Orleans, which promptly cut him. No one picked him up.
Due to back-to-back games in the Bay Area against San Fran and Oakland in Weeks 3 and 4, Dallas decided to stay in California. They were having problems with their rookie LS, so they decided to give Ladouceur (who lived in the Bay Area) a tryout, and he made his debut against Oakland. He played well that game, and for the rest of the season, and he’s kept the job ever since.
This is Ladouceur’s 15th season. He is 38, has never missed a game, and he is set to become Dallas’s all-time Iron Man. Anyone who knows football knows how important a position LS is, and to stay in the league that long, and with one team, is a tribute to consistency.
After a 6-year wait, Ladouceur finally became a US citizen in September of this year.
Congratulations, LP Ladouceur!
OK, enough with the touchy-feely stuff.
Here are the leaders (plus a few notable challengers) for each division through Week 13:
AFC East: New England 10-2 (Buffalo 9-3)
AFC North: Baltimore 10-2
AFC South: Houston 8-4 (Tennessee 7-5)
AFC West: KC 8-4
NFC North: Green Bay 9-3 (Minnesota 8-4)
NFC South: New Orleans 10-2
NFC West: Seattle 10-2 (San Fran 10-2)
Wait… I forgot about the NFC East’s scintillating race between Dallas and Philly:
Dallas at Chicago
It’s somehow fitting that these two teams are playing their second straight Thursday games, because these two teams ARE Thursday football. I shouldn’t be talking about Thursday football, and I really shouldn’t be talking about these two teams. The only reason Dallas is relevant is because they play in the dumpster-fire-awful NFC East, which they lead at 6-6. Chicago isn’t relevant at all. The league is going to promote this game as a good matchup, but it really isn’t. Dallas, for all their struggles, has a pretty good team, at least on paper. Whatever you might think about their loss to Buffalo last week, or whatever the idiots who cover the NFL tell you, Dallas simply got dominated by a much better team. As much as the league is going to try to sell Chicago as a team like Buffalo, let me tell you, Chicago ain’t Buffalo. Besides the fact that Buffalo has a much better offence than Chicago in every aspect, Buffalo’s defence is better too. I would be very surprised if Dallas doesn’t beat Chicago by a wide margin. However, this is Thursday, so who knows?