Archive for January, 2011

OK, so I could probably use a shorter title.

This NFL playoff season has me way too flummoxed. And yes, that’s probably not even the right word. But hey, if Snooki can have an NYT best-seller, then I can butcher the English language throughout this entirety post!! (see, that wasn’t so bad) Anyway, I foolishly went with the home teams during last weekend’s games, which really can’t be that much of a surprise (from me) when you consider the fact that I’ve predicted consecutive 10-2 seasons for the Gamecock football team.

And oh by the way, I’m still somehow tied with my fiancee in this NFL pick challenge. She somehow shrewdly took the Jets at the 11th hour (what does that even mean), meaning that…well, hell, I don’t know what it means. We’re tied. So in an effort to break this gridlock, I really have been all over the map in trying to find something that will stick out about each game. And of course, I found nothing. The entire world is so certain of a Steelers-Packers Super Bowl (although I’m sadly looking forward to people saying “Stillers” for two weeks). Of course, this plays into my number one theory about sports: GREAT HYPE FALLS HARD!!!!

BEARS (+3.5) over Packers
Let me go ahead and just throw it out there: Should the Packers win this game, I’m going to sell out emphatically and adopt them as a favorite team of mine. I won’t even feel bad about it. They do have the hot

Rodgers is pointing the Packers toward a Super Bowl. This is what they called "writing to picture." I think.

QB and a receiver who may have been named after yours truly. They’re also publicly owned, and one of the most recognized franchises in all of sports. So, I would be pretty excited about getting on that bandwagon.

There’s one problem here: I don’t think they’re going to win this game. While this post is supposed to be more about the spread than the actual winner, I do actually think the Bears will win. (Now, even if the game is 23-21, or 24-21 Green Bay, I’m still good!) The Packers struggle on special teams (If you do a Google search for “big Patriot lineman almost running a kickoff for a touchdown,” I’m almost certain that the Packers

Yeeeaaaaa I got out of crappy Charlotte just in time to look like a winner on the Bears!

will be involved) and have thrown some clunkers in this year (a 7-3 loss to…the Lions?). Also, the Bears(!!) made a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman!!!!!!! REX GROSSMAN. The same guy who inspired this, um, personal journal. Jay Cutler is better than that, right? I’m not going to try and throw in a desperate “SEC vs. Pac-10” QB argument, (Cutler went to Vandy; Rodgers is from Cal) but I will throw in a shameless tweet (or seven) about that fact if things are going the way I think they will Sunday.

What you want to say is:Really? The Bears(!)?? Did you see how the Packers mauled the Falcons? And how Jay Cutler almost threw a pick near the end zone?!!? Aaron Rodgers is the next greatest QB to walk the face of the earth? YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO GO WITH THE BETTER QUARTERBACK!!

My response to that argument is:I don’t really have one. But then again…dare I use the example of Super Bowl 44? Wouldn’t most people have taken Peyton Manning over Drew Brees? Can someone remind me how that game turned out?

Not that this will be right, but I’m still going to give a score:Bears 30, Packers 28

Jets (+3) over STEELERS
Two things:
1. You may be familiar with the fact that the Jets were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks during training camp. Their mantra was to “win every fucking game.” So OK, that didn’t happen. But that’s the goal you must have. Seriously, why are you playing if you’re not trying to win each time? (You can question in-game coaching decisions when it comes to trying to win each one, but then you’re just getting cute) The Jets have

Can we just all go ahead and agree that Sex Ryan is a top five coach in the league now?

been in the business to win the Super Bowl. Obviously, that may be the goal of many teams in the NFL, but they are the only team that is comfortable with being open about it. I really think that having a championship mentality can be nothing but a good thing.

2. You may also be familiar with Ben Roethlisberger’s…um, exploits. Yes, I know that he has been punished by the NFL, and he was never found guilty of any of the accusations against him. I’m not really here to talk about that. Here’s my beef: Given his history, is fate really OK with giving the Super Bowl to the Steelers when their QB who was twice accused of sexual assault has a super creepy beard? Is that petty? Absolutely. But when you’ve looked at all the stats, history, and gotten alcohol poisoning from taking a drink each time someone uses the word “physical” during a football game, you have to look at the little things. This very little thing matters.

What you want to say is:HOW DARE YOU PICK AGAINST THE STEELERS!!! THEY ARE THE GREATEST FRANCHISE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS EARTH. SIX TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, THIS WILL BE NUMBER SEVEN WON BY QB #7!!! THIS MAKES ME ANGRY THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER PICK AGAINST MY FOOTBALL TEAM!!!

My response to that would be:Hey bro, lay off the Five Hour Energy. I know that I typed up a bunch of hyperbole about the Jets having a “winning mentality,” and the Steelers being doomed by Big Ben’s beard, but this game also falls under the “great hype falls hard!” theory. Seriously, that’s really what this comes down to for me. Too many people are way too excited about a Packers-Steelers Super Bowl. As great as this would be, there’s still one more game to play before that.

Not that this will be right, but I’ll give a score anyway:Jets 24, Steelers 20

We will be back next week with a look back at all of the dumb stuff I said about the NFL this season. Also, the annual “I Played The Super Bowl on Madden, So I Know Who Will Win FOR SURE” moment will probably warrant its own post. Enjoy the games!

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As if this football season could not get any more zany, my brilliant plan to prove that my fiancée (Boom! don’t get to use that much) was better at NFL picks than yours truly…actually worked. Who knew, right?? Even with the “help” of Football Outsiders, Scouts Inc., Bill Simmons, Chad Millman, my Magic 8 ball, and the Football Gods, I still tied The Lady in total picks correct with 123 (Which is an average of, gulp, 7.4 over 17 weeks. We’d win the NFC West, suckas!!). Of course, this revelation makes my mini celebration seem…false. I think The Lady sums it up best:

I’m actually really surprised I’m even writing this, because Jordy had pretty much claimed victory this past weekend. Even though I had bitterly accepted my defeat, I decided to log on to see how bad my loss was. And we were tied!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOM. I know very little about football. I was halfway through high school before I realized that they switched sides of the field that they ran towards. And I was in marching band, so I had to sit through a lot of games. So, yeah. I don’t necessarily think I’ll win, but my mini-victory dance upon tying him provides me with enough satisfaction… for now.

As a result, we are in sudden death (in memory of the simple days of NFL overtime rules) mode. Whoever gets more picks right this week will win the dinner date. If we tie, then…it’s on to the next round. I’m sure the Football Gods want us to be battling up to the Super Bowl in some weird test of our love. Anyway, I’ll give my picks below, with The Lady’s takes right below each of mine (because after all, this is still a man’s world). So, here we go…again!

SEAHAWKS (+10.5) over Saints
Dammit, I’m driving this Seattle bus into the GROUND, (probably) but I’m gonna DRIVE IT. Qwest Field is tough. Yes, the Saints are the defending champs, but haven’t we seen them all have a violent crash and burn at some point? Guess who was second in the league in interceptions thrown this year? Drew Brees! Guess who plays surprisingly well against the big blitz (something the Saints love to do)? Matt Hasselbeck! Honestly, I don’t even consider this an upset. These birds will at least cover.

The Lady’s Take: Saints (-10.5). It’s almost always been my rule to pick against any spread that’s over 10 points, but I’ll go against that this time. I’m not sure how good they are this season, but I think God might still owe New Orleans a big one for the whole Hurricane Katrina thing. Also, if I remember correctly, Frasier’s dad frequently complained about the Seahawks sucking. Obviously, television is the true mirror of reality.

COLTS (-3) over Jets
The “Peyton Playing in Primetime” theory burned me badly when the Colts hosted the Chargers earlier in the season (and with this theme song, how could I ever pick against the Chargers??). But the Colts started stopping the other team from running the ball, and Peyton Manning will “get his.” (What the hell does that mean anyway?) As for the Jets, I’m done with them. I definitely just made this up, but I think that both “New York” (THEY PLAY IN NEW JERSEY) teams will be plagued by the Jersey Shore Curse. As long as that show stays relevant, neither the Giants nor Jets will win a title. Take it to the bank. And, if I’m wrong…uh, don’t take it to the bank.

The Lady’s Take: Jets (+3). Rex Ryan is awesome (foot fetish or no), and they were on a tv show this year, which means they’re cool. I really liked it when he yelled at them for ten minutes, and then suggested they go get snacks. That is the stuff winners are made of, or at least that’s what my dog Daisy would say, if she could talk. Also, the Mannings kind of annoy me. Ever since NPR did a story about some children’s book they all wrote, they just seem “holier than thou” to me.

Ravens (-2.5) over CHIEFS
I really went back and forth here. As much as I thought that KAN-SAS City(!!) had a great chance to win this game, (they average nearly a yard more per rush than the Ravens) I realized:
1. The Chiefs looked really bad Sunday.
2. Todd Haley is, um, not the “best” coach (maybe just the opinion of one…but whatever)
3. Have you checked the recent (there’s not much, but still) playoff history of the Chiefs? Not good!
I also have an affinity for teams that wear black pants. The Ravens do that for all their road games. Say what you want, but it’s important to try to look good when you’re on the field. At least that’s what I tell myself. And, uh, I don’t actually play on the field. Once again, great insight from yours truly!!!

The Lady’s Take: Ravens (-2.5). I have no clue, but naming a team the Chiefs sounds kind of racist. Ravens are cool I guess.

Packers (+2.5) over EAGLES
So, Andy Reid trades away Donovan McNabb, throws Kevin Kolb (the heir apparent) under the proverbial bus, and Vick Doggy Dogg is the guy that leads Philly to a title? I mean, really? I just can’t accept this fate!!! I

No matter what he does, this will be my endearing image of Andy Reid

don’t really believe in the Packers. However, I think they’re better than the Eagles. And, um, that’s what matters, right? The Philly fans will check out as soon as the Eagles even show a hint of looking tight. And they have a really good team! And someone wrote that this Michael Vick Experience just could not actually end well. I think he really needs to be right about something. But hey, what do I know?

The Lady’s Take: EAGLES (-2.5). I’ve heard Michael Vick’s name dropped a lot. And I’m pretty sure Barack Obama said something about him, or at least that’s what the Yahoo! news headline looked like. I didn’t actually read the story.

So, there you have it. It’s obvious that we have very different views, so this picks challenge will finally get to the climax this weekend. It’s been a lot of fun pretending to actually offer insight on the NFL in picking these games, and even if I win or lose, I’m committing to offering plenty of commentary throughout the playoffs. OK, I hope to offer commentary.