By Julie Buehler

The memory is clear and colorful. I was 8, rocking some sweet pigtails and enjoying a day at the state fair with family.

We came upon an odd looking ride and my uncle asked if I’d like to hop on the carousel. I tilted my head, watched for a moment, trying to decide what the goal of this thing might be.

“It just goes in a circle?” I squeaked in my blond pigtails.


“Well, the whole thing does, but your chair goes up and down too…” I stopped listening to my uncle because even as an 8-year-old I deduced the senselessness of such a ride.

“Nah, let’s jump in the tea cups.”

Little did I know I’d dedicate my career to an $11 billion dollar carousel.

Only this one is infinitely more fun.

Here are some of the ups and downs of this NFL season:

The Patriots’ season began with a thud. Losing their opener, and beginning 2-2. That second loss came on Monday Night Football at the heavy hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. Reporters asked head coach Bill Belichick if all-time great quarterback Tom Brady needed to be replaced. He scoffed. And the team hasn’t lost since.

The Green Bay Packers started 1-2, losing badly to the Seahawks and getting stuffed by division rival Detroit. Well, those games happened on the road. The Packers at home are laying new ink in record books. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 322 consecutive passes at home without throwing a pick. That’s an NFL record. He’s also tossed 29 consecutive touchdown passes without a pick. Also an NFL record. They haven’t lost at Lambeau. When he told fans to relax early in the year, what he was was really saying: “Stay on the ride folks, the next go around will look a little different.”

You want “ups and downs?”

How bout the best team in the NFL right now? No team has lost more games through NFL history than the Arizona Cardinals (706) and currently, no team has won more games this season.

This is a franchise that dates back to 1920, and has enjoyed only 7 of its 83 seasons with double-digit wins totals. It’s one win away from logging the first back-to-back 10-win seasons since the Nixon administration (which does include Ford’s presidency as he took over once ‘ol Dick resigned and all).

The Cards are on their second signal caller, had to replace their best linebacker in Daryl Washington and longest-tenured defensive lineman in Darnell Docket, but they have the smoothest head coach in all the land, making them an easy team to root for.

Consider THIS carousel: The Cards just beat the Lions in Arizona. Well, the Lions beat the Vikings who beat the Rams who took down the Seahawks to pounded the Panthers who beat the Bears who axed the Niners who grounded the Eagles who cut down the Giants who lassoed the Texans who beat the Bills who hooked the Dolphins who, well, beat the Bills, who also crashed the Jets who sunk the Steelers who corralled the Colts who blew out the Bengals who swept the Ravens who finished the Falcons who outlasted the Saints who plastered the Packers who swept the Bears this year. The Bears beat the Buccaneers who vetoed Washington who banished the Cowboys to London where they beat the Jaguars who burned the Browns who torched the Titans who clipped the Chiefs who embarrassed the Patriots who did the same to the Broncos who are the only team to beat the Cardinals who beat the Chargers who became one of 10 teams to leave the Raiders winless and the first team to be eliminated from the playoffs. (Generally first place gets a gold star, but for this honor, lets hand out silver stars.)

After 11 weeks of NFL action, we have an entire division (the AFC North) with every team owning a winning record AND an entire division (the NFC South) without a single team with a winning record. Yet both divisions are sure to earn their top teams a home playoff game.

You know, perhaps while I was that spunky, blond, pigtailed, 8-year-old, I didn’t understand the purpose of a carousel, but I still enjoyed getting dizzy. And like those teacups, the NFL always delivers.

Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She can also be seen every morning between 6-7am on KMIR sharing the coolest stories in sports. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at or watch “Buehler’s Day Off” on Ustream and for her sports reports.