Category Archives: Snap *censored* Pop Culture

Coco: A Dia de Los Muertos Tradition

Introduction

Ever since the first time I saw Coco, I loved the movie. The story and music both brought me great joy. So, it was only a matter of time until my family and I decided to make it a cheesy family tradition to watch it on the day after Halloween.

The Tradition

Like Frozen before it (and yes, I understand that it is not technically a Christmas move), the tradition started innocently enough. Two years ago, I suggested the movie for a pick me up during a particularly long and difficult Covid year. November 1st was a Sunday, so we all faced some bastardization of remote and hybrid learning.

Then, we watched it again last year. Because nothing actually happens unless social media knows about it, I posted something on Instagram about it. Several people reached out to say what a great tradition we started and that cemented it for years to come.

At the end of last year, I bought a record player for myself. Liam found out about it and thought it was a Christmas present for him. So, I repurposed it into a family gift and bought him Abbey Road in tandem. Earlier in the month, I saw that Wal*Mart had the Coco soundtrack LP. So, I picked it up.

Epilogue

As soon as Christine saw the record, she said, “I knew it.” I listened to the thing three times in the first day. Ever since, I looked forward to this day to be able to watch the movie again. Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane for me. Come back later in the week for our opening celebration of “Thankful for Gaming”.

Hellraiser 2022: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

In my last review, I mentioned that I only consider Halloween and Scream to be worthy horror franchises. Two things as a follow up. First, I looked at Hellraiser 2022 several times in the queue before finally firing it up to watch it. When Christine found out that’s what I was watching she said, “I don’t remember if I ever saw Hellraiser.” I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure myself. I might have watched it. Maybe I just absorbed the basic plot points from years of seeing clips on television and the internet.

Second, Christine finally admitted that she hated the new Halloween. Okay, that’s not entirely correct. She said it took her a week, but she decided that she didn’t like it. After a week myself, the thing that bothers me most is that Michael went from an unstoppable murder machine at the end of Kills to a murder hobo living in a sewer pipe without proper explanation. Otherwise, I’m okay with what I said last week.

The Decent: A Good Start

As an introduction to the Hellraiser universe, this movie fills that role nicely. I know that Hellraiser generally has a different vibe from other horror movies. It plays up the sadism much more than this movie does. However, we live in a different time now and I don’t think that many people are as enamored with watching sexual abuse play out on screen as maybe they were in the past. Sure, call me a melting snowflake who is woke (more on that in a bit), but I’m okay with the implication of the act without witnessing it firsthand. Besides, isn’t that supposed to make it scarier?

The Good: It’s Not Hellraiser from the Early 2000s

Again, having not watched the original Hellraiser (at least that I can remember), I never knew what I missed from the series. Like any of these franchises, though, it suffered some lean times towards the end of the initial popularity that got even leaner as they milked the cash cow for all it’s worth. So, I consider myself lucky that I came into the series during the trip back up to prominence.

The Great: Try Something New

Like Halloween Ends, this movie went in a different direction. Other than tone down the ultraviolence, a woman plays Pinhead in this iteration. Again, I’m sure some basement dwelling cave troll immediately went to some message board to scream about how Hellraiser is somehow now woke, but as usual I don’t see a problem here. I thought she brought a cool energy to the role and hope they do make more movies.

The Verdict

If they make another one, as tends to happen with these things, they will probably push the envelope a bit more. Perhaps, then we can see what people’s appetite is for the horrific “pleasures” normally dished out by the Cenobites. Until then, let them wallow in their misery. I, for one, enjoyed Hellraiser 2022.

Halloween Ends: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

I don’t mind going into a movie with spoilers. What I generally try to avoid before watching a movie is reviews. So, it surprised me a bit when Aiden mentioned that one of his friends rated Halloween Ends 4 out of 10. So, while watching the movie, I looked up some reviews and found them to be…mixed at best. Horror movies often receive poor critical acclaim, so no surprise there. However, fans, in somewhat shocking amounts, crapped on the movie, too.

Full disclosure: Halloween (and Scream) are the only two horror franchises worth watching in my opinion. I liked the first two movies in this series and thought they went a long way to reinventing the saga while staying true to the roots. So, if you are looking for another hate watch of the movie, go somewhere else. In addition to being so overwhelmingly positive of creative projects that I needed to change my format (also, the old format referenced a 60 year old movie), I genuinely enjoyed watching this movie with Aiden and Christine.

The Decent: The Story

Having grown up with Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street (though I liked reading the novelization of that one because it went into more detail on Freddy’s background), I laugh when people talk about the story of horror movies as a reason for their negative review. And, yet, here I am mentioning story as my first reason. Was it the best story? No, of course not.

But, both Aiden and I agreed that they made these movies because it means that I never have to watch the Rob Zombie version of Halloween ever again. You want to talk about garbage? Those movies are the epitome of terrible story and unnecessary ultra violence. We also both convinced ourselves that Halloween Ends was only a portal into another reboot on the 50th anniversary. They made the story so compelling, in my opinion, that I even searched on Google to see if they put a hold on a Halloween Begins web page. For the record, I didn’t find any evidence.

That doesn’t mean it’s not still possible.

The Good: Connections

One thing these movies always do well is connecting the new to the old. This one went especially out of its way to put references into the other movies. More than once, I found myself doing the Leonardo DiCaprio meme to the television. Once, I shouted, “They’re going to do it! They’re going to do the kill from the first movie!”

And, they did…

The Great: The Theme Song

Just kidding. But, on the real, when the credits finally rolled and the song started playing, I said, “This is the best theme song ever. It fits the movies so well.” The actual great is Jamie Lee Curtis. People say that they come to these movies for the killing, but we all know we are there to see how Laurie is adapting to the latest horrors thrust upon her by her psychotic brother.

Curtis again masterfully plays the part of grieving mother and pissed of survivor in equal parts. We watch as she feels the spirit of Michael in Corey and the corrupting influence spreading to her granddaughter, Allyson. Like I said in the “Decent” section, Aiden and I both wanted this to end up leading into the next generation of Halloween. For some of the movie, we both said, “Is this is going to be a tandem going forward?” Unfortunately, not, but they kept us going for a while and I still can’t wait until 2028 when “Halloween Begins” hits theaters.

The Verdict

Of the three of these movies, Halloween Ends is by far the weakest. I still prefer it to the Rob Zombie fiasco. I will watch all three of them annually until the next set of movies in 6 years. Be on the lookout for them. Even if they don’t actually happen, I’ll spend some time writing them.

Bad Moon Rising Chapter 2

Introduction

I posted chapter 1 last week. I wrote part of a new short story based on a character I created in Dark Sun 30 years ago and then adapted her to Ravenloft. Hopefully, that’s coming next week on Wednesday. This week, I bring Bad Moon Rising Chapter 2.

-2-

Her heart raced. She attempted to will it to slow down. She tried to do the same for her heavy breathing. None of it mattered. They’d hear her no matter what. At this point, her death was a foregone conclusion. She prayed to a God who, if he existed, was not listening. Not on Halloween.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

His voice. The voice she fell for almost immediately. So silky smooth. So gentle. Even now. As he and his friends–his pack he called them–chased her through the halls of the school Hunted her.

Never trust a boy who talks that pretty.

Her mother’s warning. As with most of them, she ignored it. What does she know? With her life experience and wisdom brought on by age. How could she be so stupid?

“I’m sorry, Momma.”

Momma couldn’t hear. But he did. He made sure she knew he did, too.

“I know where you are, Beth. I’m coming to get you. You have five minutes.”

Five minutes. How far could she get in five minutes? They expected her to go from class on one end of the school to the other in two minutes or suffer the consequences of a tardy. She laughed bitterly. Won’t have to worry about that anymore. Jesus, Beth, focus. She mapped the school in her head. This bathroom was in the senior hallway. As a sophomore, she spent very little time here. Even so, for the most part all of the walls were set up the same. Once she got her bearings, maybe she could get her odds of survival to 50/50. He’d never allow that, of course. Unless–

Leaving the stall, she crawled across the dark floor and pushed open the door.

“Kurt.” Then louder. “Kurt.”

No response. Wait, was he actually giving her a chance? Five minutes? Five minutes for what? And why? She pushed the door open more. It creaked. She froze. Still no response. A faint glimmer of hope flared in her mind’s eye. She pushed the door open more. Something slammed against it, closing it on her finger. Tears welled in her eyes and she fought the urge to swear out loud.

“Now, now, Seth. I told you. What fun is the hunt if we don’t give her a chance?”

God, that voice. Even under these circumstances, it melted her heart. How many girls had he trapped? Had he killed many before? How many would he after? Seth snarled a response.

“What if she gets away?”

Kurt barked a laugh.

“She won’t.”

With that, the hall fell silent again. How many of the five minutes were left? Had the counter reset? In any case, she was wasting time. She either died here or risked a chance at escaping. 50/50? She laughed bitterly.

“Fuck it.”

She stood up, pushed open the door, and stepped defiantly into the hallway. Neither Kurt nor Seth waited there. Slowly at first, but gradually increasing her pace, she walked in as straight a line as she could muster. The hallway met another at a “T”. Everything was still dark, but her vision adjusted. If she was correct, she needed to turn right and follow that hall to the door to outside. Sure, there was one to the left, too, but this one was closer. Also, it looked like there might be a light at the end of the hall. Maybe that light meant salvation. She walked quickly to that light.

“Time’s up.”

No longer the voice that melted her. This one froze her in her tracks. She slowly turned around. Kurt stood halfway down the hall. Directly behind him was Seth. Two others she knew were named Eddie and Nate flanked him on the left and right respectively. She didn’t wait another second. Turning to run the opposite way down the hall, she heard them in pursuit. It would not take them long to close the distance. She’d never make it to the outside door. She would have to take her chances with the door with the light on. Just a few more feet. A hand firmly grasped her wrist, twisting her. She spun with her momentum, kicking wildly. Her foot connected solidly with Seth’s ribs and he let her go, grunting in pain. Eddie caught her leg mid air and she nearly lost her balance. Eddie’s hand slipped and his grip loosened. She wasted no time, turning and trying to open the door. Much to her surprise, it yielded. Slamming it shut, it stuck on something. Eddie howled in pain and pulled his hand free. The door clicked closed. She locked it and leaned against it briefly to catch her breath. The four of them banged against the door, shaking it in its frame. It would only be a matter of time before they broke it down. She looked at the windows on the far side of the room. Not only were they on the second floor, but they were too small for her to fit. Maybe she could use them as a diversion, though. Moving over there, she opened two of them. She ripped her shirt and hung it from the latch to make it look like she lost it in an escape. The banging on the door ceased, frightening her even more. Her diversion in place, she crawled into one of the cabinets under the desks. This plan had almost no chance of success, but maybe God was finally listening.

“Idiots.” Kurt snarled.

Placing a key into the lock, he unlocked and pushed open the door. Eddie entered first. He owed her for his fingers. Seth and Nate followed and then Kurt. Eddie went to the window and swore.

“Idiot.” Kurt laughed. “Do you really think she squeezed through that window and jumped?”

Eddie shrugged.

“No she’s in here. Can’t you smell her?”

The other three shook their heads. The overwhelming smell of chemicals used in the lab threw off their senses of smell. Kurt, more senior and practiced in the hunt, sniffed.

“No, she’s in here somewhere. We just need to find her.”

They split up, making a huge show out of their search. Slamming cabinet doors, knocking over supplies, and sniffing loudly to try to discern her location. One opened the cabinet across from her. She tried one last thing. Bursting from her hiding spot, she stood in the middle of the room. All of them except for Kurt stared at each other dumbfounded. None of them believed that she was actually there.

“Boys,” she said seductively, “I have a proposal.”

Stripping off the rest of her clothes, she climbed up onto the table. Nate and Seth exchanged knowing glances. Eddie looked like he was trying to decide if he should get revenge for his finger or have sex with her first. Kurt smiled. She knew that smile. She had him. Or, so she thought.

“Oh, sweetie, you watch too many movies.” He said.

All four of them pounced on top of her. She screamed.

To be continued?

I hope you enjoyed this installment of Bad Moon Rising Chapter 2. The rest will be available next October. Thanks for reading and if you see fit, check out my other collection of short stories, From Shadows.

New Look for Spooktober 2022

Introduction

Welcome to the beginning of our new look for Spooktober 2022. As promised, I’ve started the overhaul of the web page today. Yes, I only changed the color scheme. But, considering the day I had today, that’s pretty dang good. But, now, I have to change the banner image.

Quite the Undertaking

Sure, I blamed the lack of updates today on my crazy day. Truth be told, the thought of changing the banner makes me cringe a little bit.

I created this and it has been our banner for most of our time online.

I don’t have any ideas for a new banner right now. What I want is for it to be versatile for different themes. October/November for Halloween/Thanksgiving. December/January/February for Christmas/New Year’s and Valentines. March/April/May for spring. June/July/August for summer. Finally September for back to school

But, I commit again to making this work, even if only me, half a dozen actual humans, and 25 Russian bots care. This is the still only the first phase in making that happen. I need to remind myself of that as much as possible over the next month.

The Verdict

I have only changed the color scheme in our new look for Spooktober 2022. But, hopefully, over the next couple of days I can put together a new banner for the page, too. The main problem is that I don’t have any ideas of what to do with the new banner right now. I need to take some time, clear my head, and start tinkering with some ideas. Eventually, a new banner will manifest.

Bad Moon Rising

A couple to a few years ago, I got an idea for a collection of short stories or novellas. While that by itself is not unusual because I often get ideas for writing. What is odd is that the idea persisted over the years to the point that I wrote more this summer. Unfortunately, my plan to finish the stories by both last and this Halloween failed. And, so, I reset the deadline once again. This time, though, I can actually see the finish line of Bad Moon Rising on the horizon.

Yes, as with many of my short stories, a song inspired this one. Obviously, Bad Moon Rising my CCR in this case. Also, I approach this deadline with a renewed vigor for writing, both for the web page and for these stories. It remains to be seen if I can keep that vigor going through the winter months and into the traditional fury of spring and summer. If so, then look for Monsters Attack! An Homage to Classic Movie Monsters next Halloween. If not, then enjoy this sampling on our first official celebration of Spooktober.

-1-

Halloween, 2020 (Saturday)

Clint sighed as he turned the key to unlock the door This has already been one hell of a year. A novel coronavirus caused a worldwide pandemic that shut everything down for a few months. Due to an obstinate population, that dragged through the entire summer in most states. Even after a select few showed that it could easily be contained with minimal precautions (wear your fucking mask, social distance when possible), hot spots continued to be reported daily.

Even now, in Massachusetts–one of those states able to contain it–school still have contingencies for red and yellow days. So far, he knocked on the wood of Mrs. Tyler’s door for good luck, they had not needed to enact them. However, winter and the colder weather beckoned. Even with the most stringent of measures, everyone cooped up inside together meant most germs would have a damn field day. Hell, even when not in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, schools were a breeding ground for disease.

In other summer news, protests started off contentious and violent, then faded. Periodically, they flared again. A statue defaced or torn down, molotov cocktails thrown into a department store or chain restaurant window. He admired their tenacity. Things were changing. Slowly, of course, but things he never though possible suddenly became plausible and even likely. Police departments restructured. Long time government officials exposed and likely to lose.

Along those lines, the election loomed. The current president dialed the crazy up to 11 and finally it looked like more people than not saw through his ruse. That’s not the say that Clint thought for a moment that he’d lose. The man proved to have more lives than a damn cat. But, at least, it looked possible.

He sighed again as he reached the custodial closet. The sad truth behind this whole thought process was to distract him from tonight. Yeah, these are the distractions.

How fucked up is that?

Everyone in town knew the story. He heard about it firsthand from the previous night custodian when he took the job. 38 years ago, four boys from the high school trapped a girl in the biology lab, raped her, and killed her. More like eviscerated her.

Ever since, every year a group of seniors recreates the scene. Every year, the recreation becomes more gruesome and lifelike. Every year, he wishes it would end.

With that thought, the distractions dissolved. He prepared to face whatever horrors awaited him. Nothing to prepare him for those that did.

How fucked up indeed.

To Be Continued

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Bad Moon Rising. I will be back next week with another installment. Thanks for reading and if you see fit, check out my other collection of short stories, From Shadows.

Introducing Spooktober 2022

Introduction

Our better half got married last night. I served as the best man and had to give my second speech of the year. I also spoke at the graduation for my school at the beginning of summer. As someone who doesn’t like public speaking (yeah, weird for a teacher to say), that’s a new record. During the speech, I used the introduction of the page. And, now, I’m back with our Introducing Spooktober 2022 post.

Introducing Spooktober 2022?

Ever since I started the page, I wanted to do theme months. Spooktober goes all the way back to the start of the page. I might have even done a post like this all the way back then and never followed up on it. I’m took lazy to check right now. Okay, my curiosity is stronger than my laziness. I found no evidence of Spooktober 8 years ago during the month of October, but I found my old Zombie Mill Deck post.

So, now, kids older, working less than I ever have (even if I have taken on a ridiculous amount of stipends this year), I feel ready to unleash the magic of Spooktober onto the page. It will start with a redesign, including new graphics and a new color scheme at some point over the next week. It will continue throughout the month with themed posts, including my first foray into DMing my middle school D&D group through the Curse of Strahd module.

He awaits…

Quinn and I still have to play the ghost pirates adventure that I wrote over the summer. I have one horror novella that I wrote and I can pepper in some teasers from that and also planned on writing some Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering fan fiction.

The Verdict.

I have plenty of content planned for the month. Who knows, maybe I will come up with more and try to expand into YouTube or TikTok videos to help expand our reach. As I also said in my speech last night, things happen in their own time. Stay tuned.

2022 NFL Conference Championships: Good, Better, Best

Introduction

Finally, we arrived at the 2022 NFl Conference Championships. This last week felt like it took forever. I covered that already in my last post. I want to use this one to celebrat two posts in two days. The only problem is that, unless I write much faster than my usual pace, this post will go live after at least the Chiefs/Bungs start. All I can do is promise that (even though I have fake money on the games), I will keep from watching the games if I intend to make predictions.

Generally, I don’t make predictions, though. It’s a bit of a miracle that I put even fake money on the games. Dad always said don’t bet on a game where the ball bounces funny. But, I suppose I’ve been listening to too much Simmons and especially Sal and they influenced me. But, I made 2000 fake dollars last week, so maybe I fly to Vegas for the Super Bowl.

2022 NFL Conference Championships (The Mahomes Scale)

A few years ago, I put together a Mahomes scale. I think either it was a modification of the Brady scale or the Brady scale was a modification of the Mahomes scale. In either case, whenever we get to the conference Championships, I rank each matchup by how excited I am to watch them. Obviously, you want more Mahomes (and, by extension less Brady) because he’s quite possibly the most exciting player in the league right now.

Author’s Note: The Chiefs automatically rank as 7 Mahomes. After last week, the Bills get 5 as well. So, a perfect rank on the Mahomes scale is 12 now instead of 10. If Josh Allen improves anymore, we might have to adjust the scale accordingly.

I would watch the f**k out of this

Super Bowl LVI: Cincinnati/San Francisco (0 Mahomes)

I can’t think of a more boring game that this one. Sure, Joe Burrow can be exciting, but the 49ers defense would most likely smother the Cincy offense. I see this one being 13-9 or something along those lines and Bosa becoming only the second defensive player to win MVP. Hold on, let me check those odds. Okay, I’m back. Put 10 bucks to win over 4000 just for giggles. Also, I’m worried because several have made the point that the first Cincy/SF Super Bowl was Madden’s first and he just died. The NFL loves that sentimental bullshit.

Super Bowl LVI: Cincinnati/Los Angeles Rams (3 Mahomes)

If you told me two years ago that Matt Stafford would rank 3 on the Mahomes scale, I’d have either (a) figured that 90% of the league folded or (b) found a way to put a futures bet in for the Lions to win the Super Bowl this year. Maybe both. But, and I reserve the right to change my mind at any point about this, I like Rams Matt Stafford. He’s certainly come a long way from being the butt of my “he’s still in the league” jokes from a few years ago. That’s for sure.

Super Bowl LVI: Kansas City/San Francisco (7 Mahomes)

Okay, now we’re talking. We get Mahomes. We get a rematch from 2 Super Bowls ago. The Frisco defense might be able to keep Mahomes in check, but he always finds a way. Dr. Ian Malcolm warned us. Now we live with the consequences. At least they are mostly positive consequences, like his ultimate “Forgot About Dre” game last week.

Super Bowl LVI: Kansas City/Los Angeles Rams (10 Mahomes)

Aside from the dream match up of watching Mahomes and Allen go at it for 7 games (heck, I’d even settle for 5) and a grand total of 84 (or 60) Mahomes, this is the next best thing. Of the two quarterbacks left in the NFC, the only one I see hanging with Mahomes is Stafford. If the football gods are listening, please make this happen.

The Verdict

The only matchup I hate and never want to see is Cincinnati/San Francisco. Though, I will say, if that parlay hits, I win 2000 fake collars. So, that along with being one of the only games where I cheer for the Bengals almost makes it worth maybe 1 Mahomes in retrospect I’ll take that into consideration and maybe adjust accordingly.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

NFL Divisional Round 2022: Good, Better, Best

Introduction

Welcome to our NFL Divisional Round 2022 reaction post. It’s been a while before since we did one of these. I intended to write this post earlier in the week. I should just name this page “I intended to…” since that’s how most posts begin lately Then, I spend some time explaining why I never wrote the post. It almost always boils down to being busy at school. So, if you’ve heard it all before, feel free to skip to the actual post.

This week grades closed. I needed to grade, try to inspire kids to get caught up, and still advance my lessons. In addition, I promised to go see a boy’s basketball game, a girl’s basketball game (I missed this one because of car difficulties), a girl’s hockey game, a UMass hockey game, and a boy’s hockey game (it got cancelled because of the snow today). As my Facebook memory said, “Being a teacher who gives a shit is exhausting.”

But, I finally get to give my thoughts on the games from last weekend. I apologize in advance because I can’t describe these games without cursing. Let this be your only warning.

Liberal use of the “F” word coming up.

Fucking Aaron Rodgers/Fucking Jimmy G

As one of my students put it, Jimmy G is the luckiest quarterback in the league. As several of the hosts on the podcast I listen to put it, Jimmy G is the most mediocre quarterback since Eli Manning to be this close to going to a second Super Bowl. As I put it in a text to Chris, I guess Jimmy G has part of Brady’s golden horseshoe shoved up his ass. Whatever the case, it’s dumb that I am going to have to mention his name tomorrow in my preview post.

What can I cay about Aaron Rodgers? Keep it simple, Stupid. I replied to a friend from Chicago on Instagram. “Aaron Rodgers is a bum.” Seriously, I fell for the narrative about him being better than Brady, but stuck on less talented teams. He fell far this year, not only on the field, but as a person, too. His goofy gold old boy image melted into that of an out of touch boomer.

Fucking Joe Burrow

It made no difference to me who won this game. I said several times over the week that Bills/Chiefs looked like the AFC Championship. So, I defaulted to rooting against the Titans simply because Matt Tannehill (stupid joke between me and Chris) insults football fans by being a starting quarterback. I hate him almost as much as Jimmy G. I regret that a bit now because the Bungles are one miracle game away from infesting the Super Bowl. C’mon Chiefs.

Cooper Fucking Kupp

We now move to the positive. You can tell it’s now positive because I moved the expletive to the middle. That’s my way to show respect instead of derision. It’s also the first of three texts I sent to Chris throughout the day on Sunday. It followed, “I don’t want to say this too loud, but it looks like no Super Bowl for Brady this year” and “Holy shit, Brady still has part of that golden horseshoe after all.” Author’s Note: I just got news that Brady retired. As I wrote on Instagram, I had fun hating you for 22 years. Enjoy retirement, old man.

Josh FUCKING ALLEN!!!

As you guessed, the second of three texts sent to Chris on Sunday. What an end to that game. Allen secures himself as a top notch quarterback and gets one up on Mahomes. Better luck next year, Patrick. It’s just the Bills year. What’s this? There’s 13 seconds left? I watched the live odds on Fanduel all game and right about now, I saw the Chiefs at +188. I heard they got to 16 to 1, but I never saw that. Honestly, if I did, I’d have figured out a way to put my mortgage on the line at those odds. As weird as it sounds, I knew Mahomes would pull out the win. 13 seconds is too much time.

Patrick Fucking Mahomes

And, just like that, we get more of this game. Really, just more of the Chiefs. Honestly, just more of Mahomes. So high off the end of this game, I text to Chris, “Cincy won’t stay within 3 TDs of KC.” He agrees. Luckily, the students bring me back down to earth on Monday. “They beat KC a couple weeks ago.” Good point.

Also, people both complaining about the overtime rules and telling Buffalo to just stop someone. I see the argument about defense being part of the game and I wanted to see more of that, too. However, if they used college rules, as I (yes, again) texted Chris, “…they’d still be playing.” My original man crush is back and fucking Joe Burrow better not fuck this up for me.

The Verdict

Some said the NFL Divisional Round 2022 was the best weekend of playoff football, maybe ever. I hate when we fall into recency bias like that. I also hate nostalgia bias. What I will say is that Chiefs/Bills game was the most fun I had watching football in a long time. I posted the following picture on my Instagram and I meant it.

I would watch the fuck out of this.

Instead we get the possibility that the Bungs bungle their way in and the 49ers carry Jimmy G’s corpse into the Super Bowl. If that happens, it just follows the crappy narratives of the last two years. But, it has to change eventually, right? Maybe LA and KC are just what we need to exorcise all of these demons. As the NFL Divisional Round 2022 showed us, faith is sometimes rewarded.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

2021 NFC Preview: An NFL Love Story

Introduction

And, now, time for the 2 Guys Gaming 2021 NFC Preview. I got back to writing for the page after an extended absence and, frankly, a bit of an identity crisis. However, as I said to a friend the other day, I like to write and this page (and my http://www.2guysgaming.net/outdoorsother page) are the only sources of inspiration for that creative outlet right now. And, so, here I am typing once again into the void.

If you’re a regular to the page, you know my story with the NFC. If not, let me take this paragraph to explain. I grew up in Pennsylvania. Born in Pittsburgh, then moved to Erie while still in elementary school, I defaulted to being a Steelers fan. As a result, I paid little to no attention to the NFC other than watching with chagrin as they pummeled the shit out of my AFC teams in the Super Bowl. The Bears gave me one year of respite in 1985 and I watchd with glee that year as they absolutely destroyed the Pats.

LOUISIANA, NO – JANUARY 26: William Perry #72 celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots during Superbowl XX at the Louisiana Superdome January 26, 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Bears won the Super Bowl 46-10. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Yes, it’s true. I have been an anti-fan of the Patriots longer than most people. Their most recent run of success with Belichick and Tom “Terrific” “Golden Boy” Brady only fueled that hatred and crystalized it into the unhealthy obsession you see today. Hell. You might be thinking, “He’s talking about this team in the NFC preview even though they sucked last year and Brady is at Tampa.” Trust me. We’ll get to that.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (6-10, 3rd place in 2020): I want to like Dak. I understand that, as a Steelers fan, I am legally bound to despise the Cowboys and all they stand for. However, I’ve mentioned before, I’m far less of a Steelers fan these days. Hell, I even rode Dak a couple of years ago in fantasy football. I combo’d him with Amari Cooper. What can I say? I’m a master on the waiver wire.

New York Giants (6-10, 2nd place in 2020): Okay, now that I got rid of about 90% of you and will get rid of the remaining 10% now that I’m talking about the Giants, I can put my secret to a long and healthy life in this paragraph and nobody will ever know it. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1, 4th place in 2020): Remember when the NFC used to be the “best division in football”? Yeah, that’s not true anymore. At least it wasn’t last year. Admittedly, I don’t pay a ton of attention to the offseason. Nevertheless, I don’t see that changing this year.

Washington Football Team (7-9 , 1st place in 2020): The only thing I ever have to say about this team until it changes is, “Dan Snyder is a dick.”

NFC West

Arizona (?) Cardinals (8-8, 3rd place in 2020): Are they still in Arizona? I feel like they moved last year. This is the team that should be in Vegas, not the Raiders. Oh well, neither here nor there. I like their quarterback and I accidentally noticed while visiting family in Pennsylvania that they made some moves. Might be able to sneak in past the overachieving Rams.

Los Angeles Rams (10-6, 2nd place in 2020): Speaking of the Rams, I have nothing else to say. Once upon a time I really liked Sean McVay. Now that I realize he’s just another con in the long history of this country, he offends me to my very core.

San Francisco 49ers (6-10, 4th place in 2020): God, there are a lot of bad teams in this league. Other than the possibility of Trey Lance, I have nothing good to say about the 49ers, either.

Seattle Seahawks (12-4, 1st place in 2020): Thankfully the Seahawks are not one of those terrible teams because, otherwise, one of those terrible teams might win this lousy division just like the Washingtons are the shit that rose to the top in the East. Here’s to you, Seahawks. Thanks for keeping Jimmy G and Jared Goff out of the playoffs.

NFC North

Chicago Bears (8-8, 2nd place in 2020): I think the Mitch Trubisky experiment is over in Chicago. Yes, a quick Google search confirms that. Too bad because I liked Mitch. But, I’m also ready to see what Fields can do once Andy Dalton and Nick Foles both go down with an injury.

Detroit Lions (5-11, 4th place in 2020): You could tell me literally anything about the Lions and I’d believe you. I have paid no attention to the Lions other than the fact that they are on in the background for 3 hours on Thanksgiving every year.

Green Bay Packers (13-3, 1st place in 2020): I sold out completely in rooting for Green Bay/Kansas City in the Super Bowl last year that when the Packers lost to Tompa, I all but gave up on the season. Given the Chiefs injuries, Green Bay probably would have rolled them, too. But, at least I wouldn’t have had to watch Tom Brady win another damn Super Bowl.

Minnesota Vikings (7-9, 3rd place in 2020): The Vikings defense was almost historic a couple of years ago. This year, I only heard about them because their quarterback is an idiot anti-vaxxer. So, should be a good year for them, right?

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (4-12, 4th place in 2020): For a few years there, I wanted to ship the entire NFC South (and AFC South) to Europe as my plan to expand into that market. Glad to see the Falcons are still upholding that fine tradition.

Carolina Panthers (5-11, 3rd place in 2020): I had two different layovers in Carolina cities this summer. Also, my wife wants to visit the Outer Banks. None of that, obviously, is relevant. The same can be said for the Panthers recently.

New Orleans Saints (12-4, 1st place in 2020): Before Aaron Rodgers, I wanted Drew Brees and the Saints to end Tompa’s inevitability. Obviously, that did not happen. Now, Brees is retired and Jameis Winston is the quarterback. If nothing else, the Saints will be exciting this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5, 2nd place in 2020): Eff the Bucs.

The Verdict

Other than a few noted exceptions, I can go back to my childhood habit of ignoring the NFC until they break my heart in the Super Bowl.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).