If you thought that some of our Premier League footballers have been behaving badly a minority of NFL players have out-stripped them over their close season. Misdemeanours have included drug and alcohol abuse; domestic violence; sexual harassment; and, this being America, firearms offences.
Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers' double Super Bowl-winning quarter-back has been the highest profile offender and now serves a four-game suspension for general louche behaviour despite not being been found guilty of any offence.
Back to the new season, last year's Super Bowl winners the New Orleans Saints looked strong in beating the Vikings 14-9 in the opening game. Brett Favre, out of retirement yet again, will make or break Minnesota, the latter being more likely. It will be a testing season for those veteran quarter-backs who achieved less than they should have – Donovan McNabb at Washington, Jake Delhomme at Cleveland – and for younger players who have yet to deliver, such as Tony Romo (Dallas) Phillip Rivers (Chargers) and Vince Young (Titans).
The most likely candidates to step up are Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers and the Baltimore Ravens' Joe Flacco – so £10 each-way goes on their teams for the Super Bowl, at 10-1 (Betfred) and 12-1 (William Hill) respectively. Best outsiders may be the Houston Texans, £5 each-way at 40-1 (Stan James), while best fun will come watching Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco sharing egos at the Bengals. My usual Steelers bet must wait four games.