Last week: 5-9
Last week: 9-5
Reid: Let’s say I’m TV’s Dexter Morgan. And let’s say I’m looking to cruelly and horribly execute a person of irredeemable character. Would I search the police database for a suitable guilty victim?
No. I would dial up ESPN.com and I would read the story about Mike Martz calling a dive on the final play of the San Francisco game Monday night because he “thought” the ball was on the one yard line. Thought?! You thought?! Get the knives and plastic wrap ready. Give me a syringe and some duct tape. We’re going to cut more than this dude’s hair!
Martz went on to explain that things were really confusing at the end of the game. Gosh. Tough titty said the lion to the kitty. Martz actually claimed he didn’t realize until the next day when he was speaking with Mike Nolan (umm, you mean fired ex-coach Mike Nolan?) that the ball was actually on the three and a half yard line. Wrong again! It was on the two and a half yard line. Yep – the next day he still didn’t know where the damn spot was. And for Pete’s sake, you’re running a multi-million-dollar offence. What’s the head set for? Or is that just a flat iron you freaking dandy goofball? You blew my victory!
I waited a long long time to see the Niners compete and win a Monday Night game. And you blew it. Slice and dice him, I say. Dexter only punishes the guilty. And Mike Martz you are soooooo guilty.
Feschuk: Sadly, article 742.6 of the United Nations Convention on Common Sense Abuses prohibits signatories to the Removal of Head from Ass Framework from ever again having a rooting interest in the San Francisco 49ers. You just broke international law, slapdick.
The more important lesson to take from Monday Night Football is that we were all too hard on Joe Theismann when he was doing the Sunday night game at ESPN. Compared to the infuriatingly annoying Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann is Al Michaels, Edward R. Murrow and Han Solo rolled into one. I wonder what Joe’s doing these days? Probably some colour commentary on the activity of the wait staff down at the local Applebee’s:
Joe: “Did you see that?! Did you see her balance that plate of pecan pie on her forearm while also carrying that tray of entrees and beverages?! She’s really giving 110%!”
Joe’s wife: “Can we go home now?”
Whatever the case, come back Joe! All is forgiven!!
Now, on to this week’s futility…
New York Jets (plus 3) at New England Patriots (Thursday night)
Feschuk: When you follow a sport closely enough, and do it for long enough, you begin to acquire a sixth sense about certain things. You can just tell when something is going to happen. For instance, when a team with a small lead plays it safe too early or drops into the prevent – you can sometimes just feel that it’s going to backfire. Or when a team drafts Ryan Leaf, you can just feel that the guy’s going to be a complete asshat. Brett Favre comes into this game on fire and supremely confident. All his crazy toss-it-up passes are landing in the right hands. So you can just feel that this is the week he’s going to hurl at least three interceptions. Pick: New England.
Reid: I share your asshat theory on life. I had a similar feeling about the Liberal Party of Canada for the past few years. I think we’ll see the Brett Favre of old – that is to say a hopped-up, overthrowing crazy man who will throw the ball miles over the heads of his receivers. The latest Man-gini vs Beli-chickie battle will be all chick. Pick: New England
New Orleans (minus 5) at K.C.
Reid: Jeremy Shockey doesn’t have a friend on Earth. If he showed up right now in a poor African village with a million dollars and built a fresh water well with his bare hands, I’m pretty sure someone would call out, “There’s no ‘I’ in team, you preening selfish jackass.” Drew Brees bitched out Shockey something hard on the sidelines last week – and across America, there were cheers. Kansas City looked like they might pull out a win last Sunday – but Herm Edwards saw to it that didn’t happen. Pick: K.C.
Feschuk: Listen – I’m no NFL coach. But if I were Herm Edwards, and I kept seeing my receivers drop catchable ball after catchable ball, I would give serious thought to discontinuing the sideline rib buffet. Pick: New Orleans.
Chicago (plus 3.5) at Green Bay
Feschuk: Chicago can’t stop the pass. Green Bay can’t stop the run. The Village People can’t stop the music. These three factors will come together Sunday to create a high-scoring affair in which everyone looks faaaaaaaah-bulous! Pick: Green Bay.
Reid: That would make Ted Thompson the funeral home director – a lesser known member of the glam gay band. His decision to trade away Favre has turned out to be the equivalent of embalming the Packers. Come game’s end, Rex Grossman will be in the navy (don’t ask me what that means). Pick: Chicago
Philadelphia (minus 9) at Cincinnati
Feschuk: The Bengals are riding a one-game winning streak – and I for one fear for the integrity of the space-time continuum if a team this bad actually wins another game. Surely such an improbable development will force the universe to collapse in upon itself, compressing all matter into a tiny rock, which Chris Henry will promptly fumble. On the other hand, it’s a home game for Cinci and the Bengals will want to perform well in front of their parole officers. Pick: Philly.
Reid: As every fan of the original Star Trek knows (the one where the men had balls) there is only one sure-fire way to determine if the space-time continuum has been altered and you’ve been flung into a parallel universe – are all the men suddenly wearing silver sashes and sporting Fu Manchu beards? If the Bengals beat Philly, cover the spread or even crack the red-zone you can bet that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be looking a lot like Evil Spock. Pick: Philly
Detroit (plus 14) at Carolina
Reid: Delhomme threw 47 interceptions, walked under a ladder and whispered “bloody Mary” three times while staring in a mirror last week and still managed to win the game. The Panthers should win this game too. But they won’t. That’s right. I’m saying this is the week the Lions shake the losing monkey off their backs. Daunte Culpepper will fling his way to a victory. I should know. It takes a loser to know a loser. Pick: Detroit.
Feschuk: How do you motivate your team to play the Lions? I mean, you could try the ol’ “records can be deceiving, yada, yada” bit. That probably won’t work, so you move on to the “This team is dangerous because it’s desperate” angle. A good point, but still not enough, which is why on Sunday afternoon John Fox may have to trot out the rarely used “There’s always the chance their players may have been replaced by robot replicants, identical in every way except stronger, faster and much more fearsome; it happened in KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park – it could happen to us.” That oughta at least convince the Panthers not to play the game in street clothes. Pick: Carolina.
Denver (plus 6) at Atlanta
Feschuk: Every pool enthusiast has his or her nemesis – the team that plays Darth Vader to his Luke Skywalker, Khan to his Kirk, Cuba Gooding Jr. to his quality American cinema; the team that simply defies successful prognostication, that covers the spread when you pick against it and plays like a squad of inebriated high-school flutists when you pick it. Perhaps the Jags are your nemesis this season. Or maybe it’s the Bills. This year, mine is Atlanta. I’m telling you: if I were to wager with actual money, I would avoid Falcons games like any new CD bearing the two words “Duran” and “Duran.” Pick: Denver.
Reid: The operative word in that final sentence being ‘new’ – because every time your doorbell rings Girls on Film greets the entire neighbourhood. I’m taking Atlanta just for the pure joy of watching your head explode if they win. Pick: Atlanta
Minnesota (plus 3.5) at Tampa Bay
Reid: Tampa has lost a step. Sort of like Sarah Palin. They’re still fun to watch but they seem to think their future is brighter than the rest of us. If Gus Frerotte could remember to only pass to members of his own team, big things might happen. Pick: Minnesota
Feschuk: Tampa is the only NFL team that will receive a bye this week. They will receive it from the mouth of Adrian Peterson as he speeds through their secondary early in the first quarter and utters a cheery, “Bye!” Pick: Minnesota
Oakland (plus 10.5) at Miami
Feschuk: There are teams with worse records, but I’m not sure any of them has been as entertainingly awful this season as the Raiders. This is a team that knows how to underachieve with style, what with the coaching changes, the random cutting of guys, the internal bickering, the play-calling disorganization, the reliance on a quarterback (Andrew Walter) with two first names – a condition that has been cursed since the days of Jeff George – and the eccentric owner who, to judge from his physical appearance, spends most days adding yet another layer of papier mâché to his body. The whole thing is such a colossal train wreck that sometimes it’s hard to tell whether this is a football team or a marriage to Kim Basinger. Pick: Miami.
Reid: Wow. Are you ever cup half empty. Personally, I would count a failed marriage to Kim Basinger as a ridiculous triumph. You know why? Cause if you marry her you get to see her naked. I know it seems vulgar and obvious. But that would be soooooo right on. Sadly for Tom Cable, he’s married to Al Davis. And if you follow my earlier logic you’ll start to understand why winning football games ranks seems to be such a low priority on his list these days (as say, compared to rinsing his eyes with hydrochloric acid). Pick: Miami
St. Louis (plus 6.5) at San Francisco
Reid: Provided Mike Martz and Mike Nolan aren’t involved in deciding where the football is spotted, Mike Singletary should have this game fully in hand. St. Louis is so bad they make Chinese Democracy look like a winner. Expect Gore to run and run and run. Expect Bulger to bleed and bleed and bleed. Pick: San Francisco.
Feschuk: Forget the outcome – can you imagine having to actually watch this game between these NFC West 2-7 nobodies? To simulate the ordeal, here’s all you need to do: 1. Attach one handcuff to your right wrist. 2. Attach other handcuff to left wrist of Geraldo Rivera. 3. Swallow key. Pick: San Francisco.
Baltimore (plus 6.5) at New York Giants
Feschuk: The Ravens have surprised a lot of people by starting the season 6-3. (After frequently wagering against Baltimore, I’d like to think I surprised some people too when my bookie’s henchmen arrived at the door to collect and I mussed up my hair, put a black comb across my lip to simulate a moustache and said, “Feschuk? No, he no live here no more. Heh, heh.” Alas, my shattered femur suggests otherwise.) Anyhoo, the truth is that the Ravens have yet to defeat a marquee team – they’re just 1-3 against clubs with a winning record. Joe Flacco, prepare to feel a slight pain in your torso – and the trainer attempts to reinsert your spleen. Pick: New York.
Reid: Joe Flacco is a stunning story. This guy spent the past four years playing quarterback at a Montessori school somewhere in the centre of who-the-hell-cares. And now he’s commanding a winning NFL team with poise and calm. But the Giants are the real deal. They’ll run the gut on the Ravens aging defense, causing fatigue and opening up the occasional quick strike. And Flacco has yet to see a D-line like the one that is about to spend Sunday helping him separate him from his teeth. Pick: New York
Arizona (minus 3) at Seattle
Reid: Two things you need to know about this game: Matt Hasselbeck is back and Matt Hasselbeck blows. Arizona will continue their phony march toward credibility and Seattle will continue their entirely genuine march toward total disaster. Pick: Arizona
Feschuk: Put yourself for a moment in the shoes of Mike Holmgren, coach of the 2-7 Seahawks. You’re the guy who coached the Green Bay Pa — hey, wait a minute, what are you doing? Why are you getting into a car? Why are you driving it toward that bridge? Why are you getting out of the car and standing on the edge of the bridge and staring way down into the water as though you are going to — Hey wait! Better take yourself out of Mike Holmgren’s shoes! Pick: Arizona.
Houston (plus 8) at Indianapolis
Feschuk: For a while there, this Indy team had the feel of the ninth season of Happy Days, when Henry Winkler looked around and found that suddenly it was just him, Ted McGinley and a pile of rejected jokes from Laverne & Shirley. But the Colts have come on strong. The Texans, meanwhile, gave up 41 points to the Baltimore Ravens, which translates to giving up 585 points against an actual offence. Plus Houston can’t seem to score. Let the nostalgia for David Carr commence! Pick: Indy.
Reid: When Ted McGinley and the pine-crusted remodeling of Arnolds occurred, I felt that “my” Happy Days had passed forever. The days of Pinky and Leather Tuscadaro were and remain forever gone. The Texans never flew so close to the sun but they’ve already lost altitude. Like Potsie, they’ll hang around til the bitter end. But they’re done. Pick: Indy
San Diego (plus 4.5) at Pittsburgh
Reid: I wonder – when Norv Turner gets dressed in the morning, does he immediately step into the shower and start shampooing his hair? Cause I honestly don’t think the guy knows how to do anything right. If he can nearly lose to Kansas City, what possible chance does he have against Pittsburgh? Logic dictates, none. But stupid as I am, I have a feeling the Bolts are about to go on a run. And it starts in three rivers. Pick: San Diego
Feschuk: Are you for real? First the Lions and now Norv Turner?? To go on a run, the Chargers would need to fall back on LaDainian Tomlinson. Sadly, even this metaphorical body contact would knock the fragile running back out of action for four to six weeks. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Tennessee (minus 3) at Jacksonville
Feschuk: I totally stand by my prediction – this Jags team is going to have a championship season. Unfortunately, that season will be 2018-2019, when the current roster reunites to contend for the championship of the Recreational Touch Football League of Greater Sarasota. Non-contact football will better suit a team that shies away from physical contact the way Nicole Richie avoids a carbohydrate. Pick: Tennessee.
Reid’s pick: Tennessee.
Dallas (minus 1.5) at Washington
Feschuk: You can make fun of the Cowboys, and I will, in fact I’ll do it right after the next comma, when I quip that during their last loss Wade Phillips looked so close to tears that I thought he’d skinned his knee riding his Big Wheel, but they’re a better, more confident and less geriatric team with Tony Romo at quarterback. Are they good enough to warrant being favoured on the road against the Redskins? Beats me – due to the economic downturn, I’ve been forced to enter into a GlaxoSmithKline clinical trial for a drug that takes any feelings of foresight and uses them to make a boner. Pick: Dallas.
Reid: Other than naked women who slowly turn into sugared donuts, what do you suppose passes through Wade Phillips’ mind as he stands on the sideline watching his team take stupid penalties and fail miserably? Here’s one thing that should occur to him: if you lose this weekend, you’re fired fatboy. And don’t doubt it. With Romo back the time for excuses is past. The Cowboys are tied for last place in the NFC East. Lose to Washington and the cellar is all theirs! That happens, don’t doubt for a moment that Jones will throw
Phillips under a bus. (And then he’ll have to buy someone a new bus to replace the one that was crushed by Phillips enormous ass). Pick: Washington
Cleveland (plus 5) at Buffalo
Reid: Buffalo has lost three games in a row and four out of the last five. And you know who their biggest fattest and most Ukrainian fan is? Give you a clue: rhymes with Snotschuk. As for the Browns, they looked a lot better last week with Brady Quinn at the controls. Va Va Voom! What a looker he is! Pick: Cleveland.
Feschuk: It’s true: my Bills keep finding new ways to break my heart. Way No. 1: Losing four straight Super Bowls. Way No. 2: This current losing streak. Way No. 3: Trent Edwards refusing to acknowledge the dozen red roses I send him every Monday morning. Pick: Buffalo.