Tag Archives: Football

Super Bowl Post Mortem

Introduction

I spent the better part of two weeks convincing people (and maybe even myself) that I wasn’t going to watch the Super Bowl this year. A�I haven’t watched an entire Super Bowl (not even when the Steelers were in it) in over a decade, so why start this year. A�Then, I was actually invited to a Super Bowl party. A�It wasn’t one of those, “maybe” invites either. A�It was from the same friend that I’ve made a tradition of watching the CFP Championship with and might even try to make some time this year to watch some of the March Madness tournament.

We said yes. A�I say “we” because our wives are friends, too, and Aiden expressed interest in watching the game this year. A�We were going to make a family event of it. A�Liam was a bit upset that we weren’t going to do our annual movie marathon, but everyone else seemed to be on board. A�Then, the big day came, and some of our family wasn’t feeling well, so we didn’t want to spread germs. A�Cue up “Night at the Museum” trilogy!

I did watch the Gamecast at the end of the first half and then the end of the game. A�Because, let’s be fair. A�The NFL (and college to some extent) has become a league where you don’t actually have to watch the whole game. A�If something exciting is going to happen, it’s going to be in the last few minutes of either half. A�Sure enough, that’s exactly how this game went down. A�Well, in conversation with Chris, he said it was a good game, but I’m okay being in the dark except for highlights.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I work nights at a school and it gets spooky as heck in the dark.

What Exactly Are We Watching?

NFL ratings have been down. A�I’m sure you’ve heard that at least once during the season. A�Everyone has a theory as to why. A�People are disrespecting the flag and the anthem! A�The product is too diluted by being on so many times during the week! A�Parents are horrified to let their kids watch what ultimately is the slow suicide of 106 large men who crash into each other at full speed!

I think that what many people are not considering is that ratings everywhere are going down. A�As more and more realize that everything is much better on demand and often sports are much better consumed as highlights, the old model of television is becoming obsolete. A�Sure cable companies are holding on for dear life, bolstered primarily by ESPN’s Disney money, but the end is extremely effing nigh as 28 Day Later told us.

I would, for a moment, like to return to the concussion issue. A�The flag and anthem are non starters for me, so don’t even start. A�If you want to have an intelligent discussion about it, fine. A�As I said in a previous article, if you want to shout generalities and memes at me, I’m just going to conclude that you don’t have the intellectual capacity to hold a conversation and I’m going to walk away. A�However, after listening to Hang Up and Listen this week, I do think there might be something to the concussion theory.

Football good. Concussion bad.

They were talking about how Patriots super tight end (yikes, those words in that order sound really weird) Rob Gronkowski, referred semi-affectionately by me as “Gronkenstein”, sounded almost contemplative during his post game interview. A�I was intrigued by this because (a) I just assumed that Gronk would Gronk as long as his body allowed him to Gronk and (b) he’s not exactly the most contemplative individual. A�It was a bit of a shock to hear that Gronk maybe didn’t want to Gronk as hard and maybe not at all anymore.

Sure, there have been other players who have decided that the game wasn’t for them and have retired early. A�Especially as more evidence is coming out that the NFL kept research from the public and, more importantly, the players, some guy are deciding that going on playing a game that might leave them so brain damaged as to eventually hurt somebody else or themselves might not be the best idea. A�Gronkenstein is the perfect specimen for playing football. A�It’s like he was selected by a casting director for a football movie. A�Hearing that even he was considering his own mortality has me a bit shook.

“I’m Rooting for the Meteor”

In spite of my insistence that I wasn’t watching the game (at this point because I was convinced more than ever that it would just be another typical Patriots victory), I kept getting drawn into conversations about the game.A� I finally just responded to one conversation with Craig (the guy who I was supposed to be ignoring the game at his Super Bowl party), “I’m rooting for the meteor.”A� I also said to Chris after the game, “Know that this is one of the few ways that the Patriots would lose the Super Bowl and I wouldn’t be dancing on their graves.”A� For a Steelers fan, this game was a lose-lose proposition.

Did the meteor win?

If I Had Any Money, I’d Probably Develop a Gambling Problem

During one of my conversations with Craig, he mentioned that he bought one of those squares for the game this year.A� That got me thinking, so I went and I checked out some betting sites to see what odds you could have gotten on various scenarios.A� The Eagles won, which was unexpected, and Nick Foles won MVP, which was very unlikely.A� I figured that if you were going to bet one then you’d probably have taken the other, so I figured out parlay odds for those things happening.A� It was over 10 to 1.A� I also figured that if you hedged with Tom Brady as MVP, you’d only have lost only 10 dollars on that hedge.A� I ended several conversations with the conclusion that I’d have to put some money away so that I could throw it at Vegas next year.

Sorry, Kids, you can’t go to college. Daddy really liked Jimmy G-sus and the 49ers to win Super Bowl LIII.

Wither Defense in the NFL?

Chris insists that this was an exciting game.A� I have heard that assessment from others as well.A� I was riveted by the last 5 minutes or so as I watched the GameCast on NFL.com.A� I asked him if the defenses were as bad as they seemed or if it was just an illusion of the high scoring game.A� He replied, “Oh, no.A� It wasn’t an illusion. The defenses were that bad.”A� So, I checked out the highlights and all I can say is, “Wow.”A� It wasn’t a surprise that the Patriots defense was terrible, they’ve been suspect all year.A� The Eagles, on the other hand, were supposed to live on defense this year.A� This is not my father’s NFL.

Some people complain about college football and the fact that many teams don’t bother with defense much other than maybe Alabama.A� On the other hand, I enjoy the college game and the quick strike offenses that rule the day there.A� It seems as if some of the more progressive coaches in the NFL (maybe spearheaded by Chip Kelly’s somewhat failed experiment) have noticed that if they want to win, they might have to go the college route.A� Then again, perhaps this game is an aberration and we’ll be back to ugly 3 and out football next season.

Perhaps it won’t be as bad as this, but NFL coaches too often coach not to lose instead of coaching to win.

“Inch by Inch”

Perhaps influenced by the Madden video game series and their hero worship of players, I didn’t give much thought to coaching in the NFL.A� Sure, people make the argument that a good coach makes a difference, but really, how much of a difference?A� These are grown men who have fought tooth and nail all of their lives to rise to the epitome of their profession.A� And, they need a guy to motivate them to do well at that profession?A� It’s an absurd proposition.

Well, I’m here to say that I was wrong about all of that.A� One of the main reasons that Philadelphia made it to the Super Bowl is that they have a good coach who is willing to do what it takes to win the game.A� Most of the time, when faced with the Patriots “unbeatable aura”, coaches and teams shrink.A� Not so with the Eagles in this game.A� They stood toe to toe with the Pats and barely blinked.

There ain’t gonna be no rematch.

I’m Impressed By Philadelphia’s Marbles

Speaking of coaching, not only did Philly not blink, but they took it right to the Patriots.A� They went for it on fourth down more than once.A� One time, they went for it on 4th and goal from the Patriots 1 and showed them how a trick play throw to your quarterback is supposed to work.A� I was impressed and jealous all at once.A� Both Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher have withered in the face of the great Belichick and Brady in the playoffs.A� I want a coach that will throw the hammer down on the accelerator and never let up.

Granted, they played a little too safe at the end of the game and I was convinced that it would come back to bite them eventually.A� They gave Brady way too many chances.A� If we’ve learned one thing it is that you do not give Tom Brady any chance at the end of the game.A� I guess I can understand them becoming a bit more conservative at the end of the game because you don’t want to happen to you what happened to Brady.A� I didn’t like it, though.

Tanaka approves of those huge marbles, Philadelphia.

That Old Patriots Magic

Right up until the end of the game, I was convinced that the Patriots will win.A� Heck, even about a week later, I’m convinced that the NFL will somehow review the tape of the failed Hail Mary and determine that the pass was actually complete and then the Patriots used some obscure rule to complete a three point conversion so that they actually won the game.A� The Patriots winning close Super Bowls, sometimes in unexpected fashion has become a part of the NFL mythos.A� Years later, we are going to tell our grandkids about 28-3 and the Tuck Rule just the same as our parents and grandparents told us about the Heidi game and the Immaculate Reception.

Nearly everyone I have spoken to agrees with me.A� They are astounded that the Patriots did not win the game.A� Not only did they not win the game, but they were scrambling at the end in much the same way that other teams do against them.A� On the first potential game winning drive, Brady was stripped of the ball while being sacked.A� Then, when Philly went a bit conservative as I mentioned above, he still had a chance to potentially tie it with the Hail Mary that harmlessly fell to the ground.A� In any other normal Super Bowl, the first drive would have ended in a touchdown and then the following drive, the Patriots would have stripped Foles of the ball and won the game.A� That didn’t happen this time.A� Is that old Patriots magic dead at last?A� Did it just take an evil of equal magnitude to end their reign?A� Only time will tell.

Either way, ding dong mofos…

The Last Word

It all hit me yesterday afternoon as I listened to the final Simmons and Sal podcast of the NFL season.A� It’s all over.A� I’m not as big a fan of football as I once was, but I’ve grown fond of my little rituals during the season.A� I paid attention to and cared a little bit about the Super Bowl for the first time in years.A� I don’t know how long this will last or if it will grow into a new fandom in my later years, but it is possible.

At the very least, writing for the web page will keep me interested.A� A couple of years ago, I did a preview with plans of doing picks every week and keeping track like the talking heads do.A� This was a weird season, though, as evidenced by my 5-6 record in the playoffs and the Patriots losing the Super Bowl in a way that they normally win them, so who knows.A� If it goes back to being the No Fun League again next year, I could quickly lose interest.

Though, evidence is starting to mount that we collided with an alternate timeline like in The Cloverfield Paradox and things will only get weirder.

NFL Conference Championships Post Mortem

Introduction

We are in that weird time in the NFL season where they inexplicably take a week off between their conference championships and the Super Bowl. A�At least they haven’t gotten as crazy as the NCAA who has a month in between the final games of the season and their National Championship game. A�Also, they got smart a few years ago and put the Pro Bowl on this weekend. A�So, there is at least football happening. A�It’s an exhibition game, but still fun to watch. A�The added benefit is that because the Patriots almost always make the Super Bowl, I don’t have to watch any of them in the Pro Bowl. A�I have to find the positive of the Patriots always making the Super Bowl.

Vikings/Eagles

There isn’t much to say about this game. A�I got it completely wrong. A�First, I thought the Vikings would win. A�Nope. A�Second, I thought it would at least be a close game. A�Nope. A�I honestly don’t know what happened or how the Eagles blew them out because I was so burned out on football after watching the latest episode of “Tom Brady Hulks Out” that I paid absolutely no attention to this game.

I was listening to Simmons and Sal this morning for during my commute and they talked a little bit about how the Viking could have won the game if only a few things had gone differently. A�I know that sounds weird with the final score as lopsided as it was, but if you watch sports, you understand. A�I used to have a Steelers web page and for every game recap I had a section called “5 big plays” in which I highlighted the plays that I thought contributed to the outcome of the game. A�Apparently, Simmons and Sal studied my old web page while putting together their notes for this show.

I will try not to break my hand.

I will just chalk this one up to recency bias. A�I hadn’t watched a single Vikings game all year and then I watched the first half of their playoff game against the Saints. A�I had also heard most of the year how dominant their defense was this year. A�I put those things together along with Nick Foles instead of Carson Wentz as the Eagle quarterback and I came up with a Viking win. A�Hey, I do promise that these things are done out of complete ignorance.

Truth be told, the Eagles might have been worse off with Wentz at QB. A�I know that he’s not strictly a rookie, but he might as well have been. A�The playoffs traditionally (as long as you aren’t playing an overconfident Steelers or Saints team) don’t favor inexperienced quarterbacks, so who knows what would have happened if Wentz hadn’t gotten hurt. A�I think we all know that the one constant is that the Philly fans would have rioted.

A Note About “Eff the Pats”

I was talking to a colleague yesterday afternoon in between classes. A�We got on the topic of football and she mentioned how much she liked to watch it on television. A�I hedged a bit because I do live in New England, they just won a big game, everyone is happy, and I am most certainly not. A�So, I said, “I like to watch college.” A�She replied, “I like to watch any football, but there is one team that I absolutely will not watch.” A�Oh boy, I thought, she’s going to get me to admit that I hate the Patriots and this conversation will end awkwardly.

More at 11…

I took a deep breath and jumped right in. A�”Me, too,” I said, “and the problem is that I just happen to live right in the middle of where they are located.” A�Her eyes narrowed. A�”Wait, do you not like the Patriots?” A�I shrugged. A�Here it goes. A�”Nope.” A�She held out a hand and I flinched because I thought she might pretend to slap me. A�When I recovered, she was still holding her hand up. A�It all clicked. A�She wanted me to high five her. A�She was in the same boat as I was.

We commiserated about our Patriots hatred and how it was all so misunderstood by the Patriots “fans” in our lives. A�”Oh, you’re so bitter because they just win everything.” A�”You’re just jealous because they always beat your team.” And, my favorite, “You hate us because you ain’t us.” A�Yes, that must be it. A�Hey, if you want to have a valid conversation about why I hate the Patriots, then we can. A�If you are going to reply to me with generalities and memes in any conversation, I’m going to assume you don’t have the necessary brain functions to hold a conversation and I’m just going to walk away.

As the picture above (which, yes, is a meme, so just walk away) indicates, I have always hated the Patriots. A�The seed for my hatred might be a bit silly and I’ve never been able to properly explain it especially to Patriots fans, but who knows what causes something to lock into the brain of a slightly sports obsessed preteen boy. A�Heck, I remember praying to a God that I didn’t believe to help the Michigan Fab Five win a college basketball game. A�If you are really concerned about my Patriots hatred, the seed is this storyA�that I read one night from the Football Hall of Shame.

It’s a good book and there are some funny stories, but the dark nature of that particular event has just stayed with me for 30+ years.

As I said to Chris (an actual Patriots fan and one of the few people that I feel bad about expressing my hatred around) today, the universe just has a sense of humor. A�It has seen fit to drop me in the middle of Patriots country during their rise to power. A�It makes me look like one of the bitter Steelers fans. A�I am, to some extent, but I’m also a complex person. A�I’ve seen the Steelers go to 3 Super Bowls and win 2. A�I’ve seen Antonio Brown channel Lynn Swann. A�Don’t worry about me. A�I’m good. A�This isn’t about some silly “rivalry”. A�This hate flows deep and long. A�That’s what she said.

Jaguars/Patriots

Patriots fans: A�What suspense! A�What drama!

Me: A�What suspense? A�What drama?

Right after the game, I texted my friend Craig, “It’s always the same script. A�Seriously, how does anyone root for this stupid team.” A�He tried to get me going because that’s what he does, but I just shut him down with, “I’m done with this sham of a league.” A�Because, seriously, did anyone really think this game was going to end any differently?

How many of these “once in a lifetime” comebacks do you have to see before you know the ending, Patriots fans? A�Chris, making fun of me, texted, “Hmm Ia��ll write it for you, they cheat, deflate footballs, Bill is Emperor Palpatine, ..etc. lol sound about right?” A�I replied, “I don’t write for ESPN.”

I already used my hack Star Wars metaphor for Alabama.

Besides, the Patriots saga is more like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. A�Now, I haven’t watched a minute of Game of Thrones and I stopped watching The Walking Dead years ago. A�However, I keep my finger on the pulse of pop culture just enough to understand the basic plot of these two shows. A�They manipulate their viewers to start to think that their favorite characters maybe, just maybe, will survive the latest onslaught, only to pull the rug out from under them at the end of the episode with “the most thrilling ending ever!” A�”You just have to see this! A�Don’t let social media spoil this for you!” A�The Patriots do the exact same damn thing every single game. A�I don’t hate them for this. A�I just find it boring.

One last point. A�During my conversation yesterday, the topic of “tin foil hat conspiracy theories” came up. A�I’m not going to go too Cigarette Smoking Man on you right now. A�I’m going to save that for after the Super Bowl. A�Inspired by one of my conversations with Chris, I have a story that I went full X-Files with. A�I want to flesh it out a bit and have some fun with it. A�Look for it in a couple of weeks.

But, if you read it, we may have to kill you.

Because I don’t have television and I’m not going to go out of my way to get consistently punched in the gut until I become immune to it, I didn’t actually watch the Jaguars/Patriots game. A�I kept an eye on it via GameCenter. A�At no point did I ever think the Jaguars would win the game. A�Even as Chris was admitting to being a bit nervous because the Jags were up 10, I knew the Patriots would come back. A�There’s no way the NFL would allow the Jags in the Super Bowl. A�That just wouldn’t happen.

And here’s where I start to get fitted for my tin foil hat and I start to sound like the “hate us because you ain’t us” crowd. A�I’m not going to accuse the NFL of a conspiracy (except, you know, I just kind of did), but I find it odd. A�I did watch the entire second half of the Steelers game and watched an injured Antonio Brown make a circus catch because one of the Jaguars was draped all over him like a cape. A�Brown scored the TD, so it didn’t matter, but as we’ve seen time and time again, games change on pass interference calls. A�It changed the tide of Saints/Vikings.

Look I get that the referees didn’t give up 42 points to the Jags. A�The referees didn’t overlook an inferior team. A�I just find it odd. A�A team that only received A�3 penalties for 40 yards against the Steelers suddenly imploded against the Patriots and got 98 penalty yards on 6 penalties. A�Meanwhile, the Steelers got 3 penalties for 25 yards (so comparable), while the Patriots committed only 1 penalty for 10 yards. A�It’s just odd.

NFL! Goodell! Kraft! Brady! Trump! Putin! RUSSIA!

Because I’m bound by an imaginary contract (that I wrote, amended, and signed), I will do a Super Bowl spectacular next week. A�I’m not in the least bit excited about it. A�As a Steelers fan and a lifelong Patriots hater, choosing which team I want to win is like deciding whether to saw off my leg and bleed to death or let the rot slowly spread to infect my entire body.

Patriots? A�Eagles? A�Eff this Super Bowl.

Sure, let’s go with that…

Completely Ignorant NFL Championship Preview

Post Mortem on the Divisional Round (and the elephant in the room that is my Steelers)

Not much to say about the Patriots game.A� I was 100% correct on that one.A� I was about 50% correct on the Eagles vs. Falcons game as that game was more or less a toss up during the Falcons last possession of the game.A� I was dead wrong about the Steelers game and I don’t even know how to score the Vikings game since they went from about a 22% chance to win to over 98% chance to win after that touchdown.A� What it all boils down to is a 2-2 record in the divisional round and overall 4-4 for the playoffs.

Okay, let’s talk about my Steelers.A� I tuned the game out at halftime and then we went over to visit Christine’s parents.A� My father in law said to me as I walked into the house, “Tie game.”A� I responded with the appropriate shocked reaction and then learned that the Steelers were actually down by 7 points.A� Well, that was enough to hook me for the rest of the game.A� I’m sorry that I did.A� That was a pathetic display against what we were told by all of the experts was an inferior team led by a subpar quarterback.A� I can accept being beaten by the Patriots (no, I can’t), but to continually lose every year with the amount of talent they have is unacceptable.

I was texting with Chris during the game and my assessment was, “I like Tomlin, but that game was an abomination.A� It might be time to start talking about him going.”A� It was in the heat of the moment and I’ve had some time to cool off.A� I don’t feel any different.A� I know that nothing will come of it, but maybe they will at least make an example out of Haley?A� Who am I kidding?A� I’ll meet you back here next year, just as dejected as I am right now.

NFL Championship Weekend

Now, for this weekend.A� I’m going to do things a little bit differently here.A� (a) Because I’m a math nerd and I have to get my brain ready for the new semester, (b) because sometimes I just like to switch things up every now and then, and (c) we all know that the Patriots are going to repeat as champions this year, so why not have some fun this weekend.A� I’ve looked up the probabilities for each team to make the Super Bowl atA�Playoff StatusA�and used those to figure out the probabilities of each match up for the Super Bowl.A� I will analyze each of those from least to most likely and then make my pick at the end.A� Hope this works!

Least Likely MatchupA�(10.35%) – Jaguars vs. Vikings

The Jaguars are massive underdogs to the Patriots this week and the Vikings are just below a coin toss at the Eagles.A� I’m rooting for the Jags for two reasons.A� First, eff the Pats.A� Second, long ago my dad instilled in me that you want to root for the team that beat you because then you can soothe your wounds by saying at least you lost to the champs.A� When the Pats usually beat the Steelers, these two are at odds with one another.A� Not so far this year.A� Watching the Vikings dismantle Drew Brees and the Saints for a half after watching the debacle that was my Steelers makes them my new favorite team.A�A�Verdict: I guess you could say that my heart wishes for this one.

Only Slightly More Likely (12.65%) – Jaguars vs. Eagles

Considering I never thought either of these two teams would even sniff the conference championships, you could say that I’m surprised that this is even a possibility, let alone the fact that it happens in about 1/8 universes that are currently in existence.A� The schadenfreude in me wants to see exactly what they’d talk about in the 2 weeks leading to the game and then in the 12 hours of pregame on the actual day of the game.A� Nevermind, I know.A� It would be all about Blake Bortles, World Beater.A� Get in line, hosers, he got me a championship first.A�A�Verdict:A� Nobody wishes for this horror show of a game.

Happens In Over a Third of Possible Universes (34.65%) – Patriots vs. Vikings

After my Steelers lost, I was in quite the tizzy.A� I went from wanting to see Brady vs. Brees to wanting to see Minnesota’s defense against Brady.A� I may have settled on that last one.A� I don’t want Tom Brady anywhere near the Super Bowl again, but if Minnesota can do to Brady for the whole game what they did to Brees for a half, sign me up for that.A� It would almost be worth it to listen to WEEI for a week or two and hear all of the Southies lose their crap.A�A�Verdict:A� This is the game that I really want to see.

Most Likely Scenario (42.35%) – Patriots vs Eagles

Brady vs. Foles.A� Really?A� I mean, we’ve heard that the Eagles have just as good a defense as the Vikings and they sort of proved it by shutting down Atlanta for the whole game instead of just a half.A� I’m just not as excited about the possibility of Nick Foles being in the Super Bowl as not only did I become a fan of the Vikings defense, but I think I might have a slight man crush on Case Keenum now.A�A�Verdict:A�Other than Pats fans who just want that ring (baby!), does anyone really want to see this game happen?

My Pick

I already told you that I want Pats and Vikes.A� I also think that this is the game that is likely to happen.A� First, Nick Foles is not Drew Brees.A� I’m pretty sure that Minnesota can shut him down for an entire game instead of just the half.A� Also, as Bill Simmons mentioned in his emergency podast to discuss the past weekend games, the Vikings have the stink of destiny on them.A� They won that Saints game in impossible fashion.A� They could become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.A� It just feels right.A� You may notice that I didn’t even mention the Pats/Jags game.A� In spite of his shredding of my woefully unprepared Steelers team, Blake Bortles isn’t doing the same to a Bill Belichick prepared team.

Completely Ignorant NFL Divisional Round Preview

A Note about the CFP Championship Game:A� I watched the first half and part of the second half (right up until when Alabama’s freshman quarterback threw his interception) with a friend before proclaiming the game over after that interception.A� I thought I was going to go home to get some sleep because I had a substitute job the next day.A� Instead, I laid on the couch for about a half an hour or so until I tuned back into the game to see it tied.A� I then watched the missed FG and overtime.

The final play of the game got me off of my couch and cheering.A� I was excited both for the freshman QB from Hawai’i (I apologize for not writing his name, but I don’t even know how to spell it and I want to be intellectually honest about it) and that our pick was correct.A� I texted my friend asking how he felt about it.A� He remains bitter about Nick Saban, so we had a bit of a back and forth about referees and how that is always the lament of the loser (my response).A� He accused me of being an Alabama fan due to my excitement about the win.A� Hey, I’m just happy that I got something right in football after doing rather poorly in the Wild Card round and CFP semifinals.A� Can’t wait until next year and the Return of the Jedi.

Introduction

You will just have to trust me that I wrote this last night and only got around to typing it today.A� It might looks a bit suspicious when I go 4-0.A� I went 2-2 last week.A� I got the Jaguars and Saints right, but missed on the Rams and Chiefs.A� George went 3-1, kind of lending some credibility to my habit of calling it coin flip weekend.A� He only missed on the Panthers, but they almost came back.A� We are going to retire George for the rest of the season since this is when things start to go more according to expectations.A� We might bring him back to see his famous cousin star in the Super Bowl and hopefully this is the season that we both lose a ton of money and respect by picking every single game during the season.

The Picks

Titans at Patriots (Saturday at 8:15 pm):A� Andy Reid Andy Reided all over the Tennessee/Kansas City game last week and one team that would seem to have no business in the playoffs advanced to play New England this weekend.A� Chris and I were texting and, in our not so professional opinion, Tennessee has absolutely no chance of winning this game.A� now that there is this stupid ESPN article about the Patriots in fighting over Jimmy G-sus (thanks Cousin Sal!) is out, they are going to most likely be in full “Eff you” mode.A� I already thought they would win the Super Bowl again this year, but now it is virtually certain.A� Dammit.A� Alabama and New England in the same year?

Jaguars at Steelers (Sunday at 1:05 pm):A� Buffalo was only in the playoffs because the NFL decided that six teams is the right number for their playoff format.A� Jacksonville was only in the playoffs because there has to be a winner in each of the 4 divisions in the playoffs.A� They showed last week that they are quite possibly the 2 least qualified playoff teams in recent memory.A� Chris and I give them a marginally better chance than Tennessee only because they beat the Steelers in September, which is little more than extended preseason.A� I get to watch the Steelers get blown out by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game again.A� Yay for me.

Falcons at Eagles (Saturday at 4:35 pm):A� There is no love lost between me and Philadelphia.A� However, even I’m a bit sad at how their season played out.A� If not for the Wentz injury, I’d probably have them as the favorite.A� Playing Nick Foles in a playoff game is not anyone’s idea of a winning strategy.A� Earlier in the week, I figured Atlanta might just blow them out.A� However, I’ve been convinced by more recent arguments that Philadelphia might be able to hang.A� I don’t think they win, but it should be a good game, at least.

Saints at Vikings (Sunday at 4:40 pm):A� I said last week that I’d have liked to have seen Panthers/Saints as an NFC Championship game.A� We now have a good possibility of two NFC South teams making it.A� The Vikings are good but they, too, are starting a backup quarterback in the playoffs.A� I’m less confident in Case Keenum than I am in Nick Foles.A� He’s played more this season and Minnesota has a great defense, though, and a decent running game, so I’m more confident to pick them to win.

Wrap Up

More and more likely it is looking like we will see a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl again this year.A� Many people are actually calling for it.A� Granted, it might be a compelling game for most, but I have no interest in watching it.A� Then again, I won’t watch it at all as we will have our annual Lucas-Mullen No Super Bowl Watch Party, so I guess let NFL fans eat their cake.

Completely Ignorant CFP Championship Preview

Introduction

I am not as adverse to college football as to the NFL.A� While the NFL has become a predictable mess of “follow the leader” college is almost 40 worthless bowl games between teams that have almost nothing in common.A� College football is wearing blue and gold because you spent half a semester skipping classes at Pitt 25 years ago.A� College football is selling out a 100,000+ seat stadium for a game between two barely .500 teams in the middle of a December snow storm simply because it is rivalry week.

Sure, there are just as many concussions as in the NFL, the players aren’t compensated, and 90+% of them won’t see the money that the NFL promises, but let’s not talk too much about that.A� Instead, let’s revel for one last game, the national championship which features two schools that Google Maps tells me are less than 300 miles apart.A� That’s a bit like the World Series between two teams in the USA.A� Okay, enough snark.

As of that was even possible.

Alabama

Alabama is in the unfamiliar position of coming into this game as the lower ranked team.A� I doubt that necessarily makes them the underdog though.A� Sure, their road to this game was not as Alabama like as previous seasons.A� They only lost one game, their last one against Auburn.A� that was enough to keep them out of the SEC Championship and my friend wrongly hoped, the CFP.A� I played along with his silly delusion.A� Ultimately, I knew the voters would never keep Alabama out if they could help it.

And, sure enough, there they were at #4.A� This time it was my turn to suffer silly delusions.A� I thought that the injuries and inconsistencies might finally catch up to them and Clemson would roll the Tide.A� I forgot about the fact that Nick Saban had a month to prepare for this game.A� I wrote that the NFL is boring and college offers some entertainment.A� That’s only during the regular and toilet bowl seasons.A� Once you get to the playoffs, Bama is New England and every one else is fighting for runner up.

Eff the Pats.

What Does Alabama Bring to the Game?

So, of course, the Tide were the ones who rolled.A� They dominated Clemson in a way that only a Nick Saban led team can.A� Their defense smothered Clemson’s potentially dangerous offense and they did just enough themselves on offense not to sabotage the clear victory.A� Alabama is in the title game for the 3rd straight time and 6th overall.A� The BCS championship game has only been in existence for 11 years.A� Ugh.

While last year’s team offered 8 All Americans, only 3 Crimson Tide players were named this year.A� Even so, they found a way to scrape together a season in which they only lost one game, put together one of the most unpredictable blowouts of the semifinal round in recent history, and they’ve only lost 2 out of their last 40 games or something like that.A� Alabama is a machine.A� It’s just that this year they needed a bit more from the oil can.

Eff the Tide? Nah, just eff this guy.

Georgia

Alabama and Clemson have become such staples in the National Championship picture that I wrote Clemson up there and had to delete it to write Georgia.A� I have a Facebook friend that I met in World of Warcraft many years ago who is a Georgia alum.A� Unlike me, who barely remembers my time at UMass, that seems like a big deal to him.A� He’s always posting about the games, including pictures of his family attending and this year was no different.A� Since my childhood team of Pitt seems content to be an academic school with a mid-major mindset regarding athletics, it has been fun to live vicariously through him.

Georgia’s path to the big game seems to have gone more smoothly than Alabama’s.A� Admittedly, I hate watch Alabama weekly and only get my UGA news from that friend.A� Sure, I could do research, but I’ll leave that to the “experts”.A� Instead, I will stick with my gut feeling.A� Ah, hell, now I feel guilty.A� I looked up their schedule.A� It definitely looked like an easier road for Georgia.

What Does Georgia Bring to the Game?

Like Alabama, Georgia only lost one game against Auburn.A� Unlike Alabama, they got a chance for revenge in the SEC Championship.A� Like Alabama, I thought that Georgia would get beaten handily by Oklahoma.A� I got to look like a genius for about a half.A� Then, some crazy stuff happened, followed by some crazier stuff, and culminating in an insane comeback win for the Dawgs.

Georgia had two players named to the AP All American team.A� I only know the names of the running backs and that’s just because I learned them while glancing at the ESPN GameCenter every few minutes in their game against Oklahoma.A� In my “research” of glancing at their schedule for a minute or two, I saw a lot of high point spreads for many of the games.A� They might be playing the scrappy underdog to Alabama’s juggernaut.A� But, they are no slouch of a team.

Is that Jake from State Farm?

The Pick

I lamented last year that it seemed like a year for evil to win.A� After heartwarming stories in the NHL, NBA, and MLB, there was the election and later the Patriots (they were still a month away, but virtually inevitable).A� I figured that Alabama would just ride that wave to a repeat win.A� Obviously, that didn’t happen.A� Clemson gave us a new hope.

Continuing with the obvious metaphor, that makes this the year that The Empire Strikes Back and an Alabama win.A� Honestly, though, independent of last week’s results, I might have been persuaded to pick Georgia and prolong the Alabama miser one more year.A� However, after “watching” last week’s games, I just think that even in this down year, Alabama is still the team to beat.A� Georgia doesn’t look like the team to be able to do it.A� In addition, similar to Bill Belichick, no former Nick Saban assistant has returned to beat “the man”.

And, to be the man…

Completely Ignorant NFL Conference Championship Edition

(Editor’s Note: A�Well, those of you waiting for us to fall of the wagon, get your Nelson Muntz “Ha ha” finger pointing and “told you so”s out of the way. A�We have some football games to get wrong!)

NFC Conference Championship

The Falcons destroyed the Seahawks in a game that I was actually grateful to get wrong last week. A�I’m already sick of the Seachickens and their budding cross conference rivalry with the Patsies. A�Aaron Rodgers’ team won in the closing seconds against the Pokes and set up a dream matchup for me, even though I had the exact opposite teams in my picks. A�This is probably the hardest game for me to pick. A�I’m leaning Atlanta because they are playing at home, Matt Ryan is the pick for MVP because the other players in the running are either a rookie or missed 4 games for various reasons, and it is just a more fun story for the Falcons to finally make it to the Super Bowl. A�However, Aaron Rodgers’ team is hot right now, just knocked off one of the leading contenders to win the Super Bowl in their home, and I don’t know if you heard, but they have Aaron Rodgers on their team. A�I am genuinely split on this one, but I will take the Falcons in a high scoring affair, 35-30.

AFC Conference Championship

I was deathly afraid of the Chefs last week and it turns out that there was some basis for that fear. A�The Steelers squeaked out a win over the Chefs with one of the oddest football scores I’ve seen in a while. A�They didn’t look overly impressive in the game, only managed field goals as scores, and gave me no reason to be positive going into this week’s game against the Pats. A�I didn’t see the Pats beat the Texans as the only game that I got right last week, but I heard that they weren’t that impressive even though they won by such a large margin. A�As a Steelers fan, I feel like I’ve seen this same stupid game against the Patriots five times before and it always ends in a 34-14 score. A�I have no reason to believe that this time will be any different, so there you have it.

The Super Bowl, which will again be shunned in favor of the annual Lucas-Mullen film festival is going to be the Patriots against the Falcons. A�Look for our hastily written preview only hours before the game.

My Completely Ignorant 2017 NFL Divisional Round Picks

(Note: A�Some of you might point out that this is the second time we’ve been late on a publishing deadline. A�Some of you might not have known that until I just pointed it out. A�Well, yes, this is our second time and we promised not to make it a habit. A�But, in our defense, once is a mistake, twice is a coincidence. A�So, we have one more chance to prove ourselves.)

CFP Chamionship Game Recap

We expanded our sports related ignorance into college football earlier in the week when we picked the Championship Game. A�We really wanted to be the ones that went out on a limb and pick Clemson. A�However, the recent rise of authoritarianism and hard line politics across the world scared us off. A�If ever there was a right time for an evil empire to squash a plucky band of rebels, this is the time. A�Then again, if I had thought about it a bit more, it seems as if sports has been immune to this phenomenon and feel good stories abound. Perhaps I was too hasty in my flippant assessment that sports can cure society’s ills. A�Maybe I can explore that another day. A�For today, I was not only wrong about the game, but I was wrong about betting the under with my fake dime. A�I guess I need to be a little less ignorant about things before writing articles about them.

NFL Divisional RoundA�

Then again, I was 3-1 in my coin flip picks last weekend and I basically just troll picked the Giants for all of my Patriots fans. A�I didn’t see the Packers blowing out the Giants, but they’ve been hot recently and I thought they’d win. A� Therefore, I was more or less 4-0 with an asterisk. A�In the interest of time, and to avoid any further asterisks, I will forgo the usual nonsense and just make my picks.

The Picks: A�Pats, Chefs, Pokes, and SeaChickens. A�See you next week for the Conference Championships.

Last Minute (But No Less Ignorant) CFP Preview

(Editor’s Note: A�We may be last minute on this preview, but we promise that it won’t be any less ignorant than our NFL coverage. A�Plus, this is 4 articles that we’re on deadline for and that’s gotta be some kind of record!)

In spite of the fact that I tried to swear off football, I have a friend that has become a bro date for much of the college football season. A�Like many of you, we had a bit of a falling out at the end of last year. A�I will spare you the details, but I’m sure you can fill in the blanks. A�It’s only relevant because of the college football playoff championship game tonight. A�Relax, I’m not going to talk about the healing power of sports. A�We just want to expand our influence this year and I figured college football would be the easiest since I’ve watched so much over the last few years.

Granted, it was sports that finally broke the ice again. A�He texted me about some daily fantasy contest he got entered into for winning his season long fantasy league. A�I got a similar invitation last year, but I bombed out of the daily contest and I haven’t tried since. A�I barely tolerate the week to week tinkering. A�I could never draft a new team and keep track of them weekly.

But, I digress. A�the point is that apparently football, not time, heals all wounds. A�At least, college football does. A�The NFL is mediocre at best and usually just boring. A�Yet another reason not to play daily fantasy football. A�Egad, my digressing has led to another digression. A�Stop me before I digress again!

Okay, enough of that stupidity. A�Notice that I did say “that”. A�If that’s your thing, relax. A�I’m sure there will be plenty of other stupidity. A�Before that happens, though, let’s see if we can’t approximate some serious analysis. A�After all, if we’re known for anything around here, it is taking silly games seriously.

Clemson

I have, inexplicably, been a fan of Clemson since I starting paying attention to college football in high school. A�I have no specific ties to the school or state. A�Heck, I spent the first few months thinking they were in California or Nevada because their stadium is in Death Valley. A�Maybe it was a color scheme thing that attracted me.

I do know that part of the reason I started following “the U” was their color scheme. A�Since there are so many colleges in the country, it offers a wider variety of colors, mascots, and uniforms. A�The internet was still a few years from being widely available to the public, so UniWatch wasn’t a thing. A�Damn, another missed opportunity. A�Oh, well.

Also, Under Armour wasn’t yet a thing, so uniforms hadn’t gone Oregon bananas yet. A�All he budding uniform nerds had was the occasional Hurricane “mascot” or weird orange based color scheme. A�Miami had the added bonus of having started to push the envelope a bit with their uniforms by changing up the block numbers to a more sleek design and adding stripes to their jerseys. A�I may be remembering this wrong and giving them more credit for being more pioneering than they actually were.

That was the other reason that teenage me found a kinship with Miami. A�They had personality. A�They had swagger. A�They had cocaine fueled parties with guns and other questionably legal activities. A�Okay, maybe that last one wasn’t great. A�But, the rest of it spoke to a renegade spirit that tried my hardest to rebel against the rebel my father claimed could not be done. A�Turns out, in many cases, that was true. A�But, I still had Miami.

So, what does any of this have to do with Clemson? A�Who knows? A�What does any of my ramblings have to do with anything? A�Well, I don’t remember Clemson being overly swagtastic, so it must have just been the orange and purple. A�Hey, who knows what lights up the pleasure center in a teenage boy’s brain. A�I mean, other than the obvious.

Whatever the reason, fandom of both Miami and Clemson have paid off recently. A�With the team of the college of my birth city (Pitt, to put it more simply) moving to the ACC, I can now claim both schools as home conference schools. A�While Miami has only flirted with their former greatness, Clemson has been consistently at the top of the polls for the past few years.

So, what does Clemson bring to the game? A�Clemson isn’t quite the machine of Alabama. A�Other than a loss against Pitt, they had close games against Troy and NC State. A�The game against the Wolfpack even went into overtime. A�But, they did win them and 9 others and the ACC championship to impress the committee enough for a number 3 ranking.

Well, they absolutely destroyed Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl to advance. A�They only lost that one game (to my wildly inconsistent Panthers, I feel compelled to mention again) all season, have a Heisman trophy candidate at quarterback, 6 All Americans on offense, 2 on defense, and are all orange for the game. A�Hey, as we’ve seen, uniforms matter.

Alabama

I’ve also been a big fan of Alabama. A�Hey, cut and paste that for future blackmail. A�Taken in context, it is damning enough. A�Taken out of context and I might lose my dirty stinking hippie liberal membership. A�Oh well, that’s a chance I will have to take to make my art.

After my explanation of my fandom of Clemson and Miami, it might even be more inexplicable why I’d be drawn to a team like Alabama. A�They are the team of solid color uniforms, always block numbers, tradition, jerk coaches, run oriented offenses, and everything antithetical to what Miami represented at the time. A�I even rooted for them in the Sugar Bowl against Miami in 1993. A�Hey, what can I say, I’m a complicated individual.

I will say that I’m no longer a fan of Alabama and it is only for one of those reasons above. A�Well, more accurately, I’m a fan of Alabama as a college football team. A�I am not a fan of Nick Saban as a college football coach. A�During this time when it felt like progressive ideas were taking over society and even starting to seep into the cathedral of college football, Nick Saban represents the old school methods that just need to go extinct already. A�That they still work so well represents an anathema to me and much of what I hold dear, especially as an aging dirty stinking hippie. A�And, yes, that is pretty much a metaphor for everything else, too. A�Hashtag, Snowflake.

So, what does Alabama bring to the game? A�Alabama is a machine. A�They churn out draft picks, All Americans, wins, national championships, and pretty much anything else you might equate with success in college football. A�Not many of their players are household names, at least not in my household, but they’ve won 26 games in a row. A�Like I said earlier, I may not like him, but he somehow gets results.

They are the defending national champions. A�They defeated Clemson in last year’s national championship game. A�They also have 8 All Americans on the team this year. A�It’s cliche to say, but also true. A�Note: A�I saw that statement recently and hated it so much that I just repeated it in a mocking tone. A�This is Alabama. A�They’re the best team in the country and it isn’t even close.

The pick: A�Everything says that I should pick Alabama and I think I’m going to have to do it even though it pains me to do so. A�I’m rooting for Clemson with every fiber of my being and it feels like they could be the kind of team that comes back to win the next year after losing barely the year before. A�However, this is not the time for such optimism. A�This is the age of crushing defeats and near hopelessness. A�The rebels might eventually win. A�For now, though, the empire rules with an iron fist.

 

My Completely Ignorant NFL Coin Flip Weekend Preview

(Editor’s Note: A�Look for a detailed analysis of the season preview after Super Bowl weekend. A�Also, we hope to expand our reach of ignorant sports coverage into college with a preview of the BCS Championship game before Monday. A�Holy cow, this is an actual editor’s note and not an attempted joke. A�We’re either losing our edge or attempting to go legit or both. A�Personally, I hope it’s neither.)

A couple of years ago, I had the idea to pick the NFL playoffs. A�I went 9-2, missing the Broncos/Indianapolis game and getting within a Beastmode touchdown of getting the Super Bowl right as a preseason pick. A�I took that success and was going to pick the games for last season (or this or both) against a coin and compare those records to “experts”. A�Why a coin, you may ask.

Well, I’m glad you asked. A�When faced with the prospect of picking Wild Card games in those playoffs, I made the offhand remark that the teams were so close that you might as well just flip a coin. A�This year seems less random, which is always dangerous, especially when discussing the NFL. A�As most games are decided by one score or less, there is no such thing as a sure thing. A�Except, eff the Patriots. A�I can guarantee that. A�100%. A�Every time.

Oakland @ Houston (-3.5)

This game has the potential to be the worst playoff game in the history of the league. A�Look, I get that we live in a time when everything is either the best or the worst ever and there is no room for nuance. A�However, I’m not one for hyperbole. A�Let’s look at the evidence.

Oakland is a surprise team by making the playoffs after a fairly significant drought. A�That rarely ends well for a team. A�Their quarterback–a big reason that they are relevant again–got injured and they’re now relying on a far inferior back up. A�About the only team that can (and has) survived such a tragedy is New England. A�Eff the Pats.

Houston is the perpetually underperforming team that they always are. A�It’s just that this year, Indianapolis decided to give in to peer pressure and stink like the rest of the division. A�Houston didn’t lose their starting quarterback, but they might as well have with Brock Osweiler under center. A�They did, however, lose JJ Watt and I’ve heard less imaginative people call him the quarterback of their defense.

When you take all of that into consideration, I see no compelling reason to watch this game. A�Heck, I’m having trouble focusing enough to pick it.

My pick: A�What to you mean I have to pick it? A�Does that mean I have to watch it? A�Dear God, I hope not. A�Okay, I pick the Texans to get annihilated by the Pats round 2. A�Eff the Pats.

Detroit @ Seatttle (-8)

This game promises to be bad, but in an entirely different way. A�Then again, maybe it will have some of the same awfulness. A�Detroit somehow made the playoffs, even though they stink like the Raiders. A�Okay, I guess that’s only one similarity. A�It still promises a terrible game.

Seattle is one of the elite teams of the last 5 years. A�Detroits bores us to death every Thanksgiving Day for some reason. A�Seattle has a Super Bowl winning quarterback. A�Detroit has…a quarterback, I assume. A�I mean, they have to have at least one on the roster, right? A�Seattle has a home field advantage that is so notorious that people think a 7-1 year is akin to 5-3. A�Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch. A�I know of one person (Cousin Sal) that made that calculus, but quoting “people that know things” is part of this post fact world.

My pick: A�No matter how much of an exaggeration that last “fact” is, Seattle should roll in this game.

Miami @ Pittsburgh (-10)

I usually spare you my pictures with witty captions in these sports article. I’m also not much of a selfie guy. However, this picture approximates my face when I saw that line for the Steelers.

Okay, Pittsburgh is my team. A�I know these guys and their tendencies because I watch them and pay attention. A�You’d think so, right? A�Nope. A�Similar to a trip to Pats (Eff the Pats) training camp a few years ago, I can only name 3 players on the team and one of them only because he inexplicably still plays for them (James Harrison). A�I’ve watched more college than NFL again this year and I was more excited about Pitt’s annual appearance in the Toilet Bowl than the Steelers making the playoffs.

However I did watch the “Christmas Day miracle” against the Rats. A�I kept saying during the game that they’d either lose that one and be eliminated or get destroyed by the Pats (Eff the Pats) in the AFC Championship. A�Recent events have diminished some of that optimism, but Vegas really likes the Steelers and other fans are afraid of them for some reason. A�I think it is all Antonio Brown and his fantasy prowess.

Okay, enough about the Steelers. A�The Dolphins are in the same situation as the Raiders with their starting quarterback. A�The only difference is that their starter is only minimally better than their backup. A�Also, they have the dirtiest player in the game, Ndamukong (I had to Google his name twice to spell it right) Suh. A�Okay, enough about the Dolphins.

My pick: A�I still think the Steelers will win this game, maybe even convincingly, but I’m much more worried about the Chefs round 2 than I was the Raiders 2 weeks ago.

New York Giants at Green Bay (-4.5)

Now we’re talking! A�This is a game that people are excited to watch. A�Not me, of course, but I’ve heard people say that it is the best game of the weekend. A�Eh, who knows. A�Maybe the social media hype will get me and I’ll pay attention to the game.

Chris and I were talking a few weeks ago and I said that it would be funny to see the Giants run the table again so that I could watch Pats fans poop their pants over losing to Eli once again because eff the Pats. A�He isn’t convinced that the Giants will make it that far, but I hold out hope. A�Apparently, the big news for the Giants this week is that Odell Beckham went to Miami or something? A�I have no idea. A�That’s all I could make out from captioned ESPN while I rode a stationary bike at the YMCA the other day.

As far as Green Bay is concerned, they have Aaron Rogers. A�He seems to have taken Peyton Manning’s place as the other guy to Tom Brady’s golden boy. A�He makes a ton of commercials and is still one of the best. A�Um, unlike Peyton, though, Rogers! seems to be doing it with duct tape and paper clips, MacGyver style. A�Other than Rogers!, I can’t name another player on the team, except for “blonde guy on defense who thinks he is Hulk Hogan, but isn’t Kevin Greene”.

My pick: A�I think I’ve picked all home teams, so I will pick this one as my odd ball. A�Giants in a close one. A�Start pooping, Pats fans.

My Completely Ignorant NFL ~3/4 Season Report

(Editor’s Note: A�Who the hell does an NFL 3/4 season report? A�Well, we’re notorious for doing things differently around here. A�Plus, I’m perpetually late on even self imposed deadlines, so here it is.)

AFC EastA�(I picked: Pats, Dolphins, Jets, Bills)

Well, I only flipped the Jets and the Bills in my preseason picks, but I was terribly wrong about the Bills. A�Either that, or the NFL is just terrible this year and the both the Dolphins and Bills are taking advantage of that and making things interesting by hovering around .500 and threatening to make the playoffs. A�I only thought that the Dolphins might be decent enough to make some noise. A�My exact quote was that I wanted to relegate the other teams to a lesser league like the premier league. A�That still applies to the Jets.

AFC West (I picked KC, SD, Denver, Oakland)

I was way wrong here. A�I mean, the Chiefs are only a game out of first, but I thought that this was going to be another dumpster fire of a division and again, 3 out of the 4 teams are over .500 and by 2 games or more. A�Oakland is one game off from Dallas for the best record in the league and San Diego is chilling in the basement while their city decides if they even want to keep the team.

AFC North (I picked Cincy, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Browns)

This used to be my home division back when I followed football more closely, so you think that I’d have a better handle on it than the rest of the league. A�Nope. A�2016 has just been the horrible, terrible, very bad year and it extends to my picks this year. A�Oh well, I guess that’s what we get for living to see the Red Sox, White Sox, and Cubs win a World Series. A�The universe is exacting karmic retribution. A�Only good thing I can say is that my Steelers are leading the division (by default, but I’ll take it) and the Browns haven’t won a game just like I said they wouldn’t.

AFC South (I picked Colts, Texans, Titans, Jags)

Flip flopped–fitting in an election year–the top two teams, but to be fair, I think I said that I was sick of picking Houston as my “it” team and having them poop in their pants. A�Well, to be fair, they are still pooping, just not completely in their pants this year. A�The Titans eat their boogers and the Jaguars are still smelly fart butts. A�Sorry, due to time constraints, I commissioned this part of the article to my 5 year old. A�But, I’m back. A�At least we can always count on the AFC South to always stink.

NFC East (I picked Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Racist Owners)

Not only was I wrong about the order, but I was wrong about the division completely. A�The NFC East is back and now we have to listen to all the talking heads wax poetic about how it is the best division in football, the rivalry games are so intense, and generally do a boring job of the only thing that they’re being paid to do. A�Dammit, this was supposed to be the year that progress marched forward all over the sins of the past, and here we are.

NFC West (I picked Cardinals, Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams)

If any team is indicative of the NFL this year, it is the Rams. A�They are a terrible team, nobody in the city cares that they exist, but a few people pretend to pay attention and think that it is an entertaining product because of misplaced nostalgia. A�Somehow, they are just good enough to keep those people coming back. A�Yeah, I got this one pretty wrong, too.

NFC North (I picked Packers, Viking, Bears, Lions)

I need to pick an “expert” to compare my picks with next year. A�Hopefully, he will do worse than I have so that I can point my finger and laugh that the guy doing this for fun performed better than the guy getting paid to do it. A�Because, it is getting boring for me to keep saying that I was wrong and I’m sure it is equally, if not more so, for you to keep reading it. A�Then again, maybe you’re laughing at the guy who took time out of his busy schedule to not only write a preview of a league that he barely even watches anymore, but came back 3 months to revisit those predictions and learn that maybe if you’re going to write about something, you should know a bit about it, Dummy. A�If so, I’ll take it. A�If you can’t be right, at least be entertaining.

NFC South (I picked Panthers, Bucs, Saints, and Falcons)

We have mercifully reached the end of the article and can put this poor thing out of its misery. A�As one last hope (no, it hasn’t been completely smothered under the weight of all this greatness yet), I will say that I’ve only flipped the first and the last team in this division, there are 6 games left in the season, and only 2 games separate those two teams, so there is still a chance for Carolina to get hot. A�With our luck this year, that hotness will cause them to catch fire and burn down both Southern divisions. A�Then again, maybe that will be a good thing and it will improve the quality of the league.