Nov 5, 2009
My nephews, my Magic 8 Ball, Led Zeppelin II, a fortune cookie, Salma Hayek's, plus an exploding two liter and Keith Obermann in a cabbage bikini
So here we are at the midpoint of the 2009 NFL regular season. Man, that went fast, didn’t it? We’ve seen two teams maneuver through without a loss, one team still looking for their first victory, a couple of records have been broken, a couple quarterbacks have been benched, there’s been a Mile High surprise, a Music City meltdown, a broken jaw in Oakland, the rejuvenation of Cedric Benson, the emergence of Miles Austin, the vengeance of Brett Favre, the degeneration of Jake Delhomme, the disappearance of parity, and some pretty hideous throwback unis. A lot of things have become very clear, not the least of which is the revelation that my selection of the Redskins as a sleeper team likely qualifies me for a free psychiatric review courtesy of the state. Also very clear is that nobody saw the Broncos coming, or the Titans (or the Chargers, or now maybe the Giants) leaving. We know more now than we did before Week 1 but there’s still a lot more to be learned. I have questions. I need answers. And I’ve found that when I seek the answers to life’s more minor questions, there are three places I turn to: 1) the honest, un-jaded, unfiltered voice of youth…. 2) my Magic 8 Ball…. and 3) Led Zeppelin II playing backwards at 45rpm on an old turntable.
To assist me in my quest for answers, I solicited the help of two of my nephews, Brandon and Blake. I would’ve included my own spawn as well but the baby is too young to speak and my six year old was being mind controlled by some Nickelodeon program. So it was me, the nephews, the trusty Magic 8 Ball, Led Zeppelin II, two Capri Sun pouches, some brownies, a bag of Doritos, and a couple ice cold Miller High Lifes down in the man cave in search of the truth. I had a baker’s dozen worth of question s and approximately a half hour to work with. Here were my questions and the astonishing answers I came away with….
1) What are the exact terms of Kyle Orton’s deal with the devil?
Nephews: “Who’s Kyle Orton?”
(after a brief explanation) “Oh, yeah, he has to give up his soul and half of his Wii games and the devil will let him win the championship. And a date with one of the cheerleaders.”
Led Zeppelin II: Vul yimwoo bowla frosted flakesin frzt sunna foo fight face annugmy vulattal
Magic 8 Ball: “Ask again later”
2) Now that he’s done exacting vengeance on the Packers, will Brett Favre come back down to earth?
Nephews: “Brett Favre is awesome. Wait, he plays for the Packers. Right? Ask that question again.”
Led Zeppelin II: Nomel yim awers favruh yee bab yeem favruh nomel yim purple jeezis
Magic 8 Ball: “Cannot predict now”
3) Other than Josh Cribbs, will anyone on the Browns score another touchdown this season?
Nephews: “Uh, no. Wait, …yes. They’ll score a bunch of them against the Bengals. Do they play the Bengals?”
(Note: It was at this moment that my eldest nephew, Brandon, was removed from the proceedings)
Led Zep II: Rerkyabradee quinn iz oomgaylord zeeblezif zeeblequiff manjeenis manjeenis
Magic 8 Ball: “Reply hazy, try again”
4) Why does the best drama on television make its home on a channel that doesn’t offer HD?
Nephew: “He left his Capri Sun, can I have it?”
(after a repeat of the question) “What’s a drama? You mean like drama queen? My favorite show is Clone Wars.”
Led Zep II: Nivol nivil nekkidbetty nekkidjone nivol nivil redhedniplz needtoosee
Magic 8 Ball: “Concentrate and ask again”
5) Will Jim Zorn last the rest of the season in Washington?
Nephew: “Who’s Jim Zorn?”
(after a brief explanation) “Oh. Well, if they suck that bad, why don’t they get new players?”
Led Zep II: na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye
Magic 8 Ball: “Outlook good”
6) Will the Saints go 16-0?
Nephew: “Is that the team with the funny flower on their helmets? Who’s their quarterback? ….Oh yeah, he’s good. Um, I think they’ll only lose one game.”
Led Zep II: finnishdemoff dat fluerdelis hoodat da sprat hoodatdrubreez hoo whattagonnadid
Magic 8 Ball: “Better not tell you now”
7) Will the Bucs go 0-16?
Nephew: “They’re the ones with the pirate flags on their helmets? ….They’ll probably win half. Can you open the Doritos?”
Led Zep: Deyarrrdawerst grooden missin nooguy raheemishittee
Magic 8 Ball: “My reply is no”
8) Does Applebees not want my business anymore?
Nephew: “I hate Applebee’s. Every time we go there Mom drinks too much and starts yelling at people. One time she threw a ketchup bottle at the waitress and called her a trailer tramp. Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing.”
Led Zep II: maykim goway maykim goway jakhole wizzle comover punchizfase punchizfase
Magic 8 Ball: “It is decidedly so”
9) Will this year’s NFC West champion have a losing record?
Nephew: “I don’t know. Hey, can I have a sip of your beer?”
Led Zep II: Nipsuhyees nipsey russell cardsinniners ninerniner damnda niners damdemtoome
Magic 8 Ball: “Reply hazy, try again”
10) Will the AFC North get three teams into the playoffs?
Nephew: “No, they’ll get two. No, wait…four. No, two.” …. “Can I have another sip?”
Led Zep II: Marmelmayterizzle watchfer hoostin watchfer hoostin
Magic 8 Ball: “Very doubtful”
11) Will the Ryan brothers (Rex and Rob) surpass Spencer & Heidi as the most obnoxious couple in America?
Nephew: “I don’t know who they are.”
(after showing him a brief clip) “I like the one guy’s hair. The other dude is kinda fat and sounds like a butt.” *BURP*
Led Zep II: Kannastandim fertalknshiz juz la daddy juz la daddy
Magic 8 Ball: “My sources say no”
12. Are we again destined for a Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game?
Nephew: “No, Steelers and Ravens.”
(Note: It was at this moment that my other nephew, Blake, was removed from the proceedings)
Led Zep II: Pleez allow me to intradoos myself, Iams Tombradee hopeyagessd ma name
Magic 8 Ball: “Cannot predict now”
13. Is Stuart Scott a drone programmed to annoy white people and embarrass black people?
Led Zep II: zizzlefactajack booya booya finkledinkle lazy I booya booya
Magic 8 Ball: “Outlook not so good”
So now you know what I know. The triumvirate has spoken. Decipher the results as you will but for me it’s all now very, very clear. My sister is failing with my nephews, my Magic 8 Ball is all out of magic, and the devil’s clearly no longer speaking through Robert Plant. Next time I’ll have to ask my nieces, some tarot cards, and channel the ghost of Jimmy the Greek.
Now, on with the matchups…. (new & improved with predictions!)
Ravens at Bengals-
Baltimore comes calling with a little payback on their minds. Whatev. I don’t think the Bengals are scared of their defense anymore. Okay, maybe Ed Reed, but not Ray-Ray and the rest. I think they’re more concerned with the Ravens offense, namely Flacco & Rice. That sounds like a Mexican dish. Or maybe something at a Chinese takeout. I’ll have the Flacco & Rice with dim sum sauce, a couple crab rangoons and a fortune cookie.
Pick: Bengals, 21 - 20
Dolphins at Patriots-
The Wildcat offense vs the WildPat defense. Miami’s tied for 2nd in the league with twelve rushing touchdowns while the Pats D so far has allowed just one on the ground against them. Should be interesting. Also interesting is why a team named after a fish would name their offense after a cat. Wildfish would’ve been better, right?
Pick: Pats, 30 – 16
Cardinals at Bears-
A must-win for Chicago. They likely won’t catch the Vikes in the division and the NFC wildcard list is long with contenders. You gotta figure it’s going to take at least ten wins to snag a wildcard spot this season, so falling to .500 at the midpoint with a tough second half schedule would likely be a killer for them.
For Arizona, also sitting at 4-3, the situation’s not quite as dire because their division stinks. What is dire, however, is their running game. For the Cardinals to use the phrase “rushing offense” is more than just a bit of an insult to the word “rush”. Word on the street is that Geddy Lee’s prepared to sue them for slander should they use the word “rush” in any of their programs or publications. The Cards have zero rushes of over 20 yards this season. Ze-ro. And yes, that’s obviously worst in the league.
Pick: Cards 27 – 23
Skins at Shirts (Falcons)-
Redskins defensive players have got to be fuming. As a unit, they’re tied for fourth-best overall, ranked #2 against the pass, and are allowing less than 18 points per game. I’m guessing that lately their team meetings probably go a little something like this….
Defense: “You guys suck!”
Offense: “Shut up!”
Defense: “No, you guys really suck.”Offense: “Shut up.”
Defense: “Seriously, you guys are the suckiest sucks who ever sucked.”
Offense: “Please stop.”
Defense: “Why, are you going to cry?”
Defense: “You are, you’re crying!”
Offense: “No we’re not.”
Defense: “Look, we were just kidding. Don’t cry. You guys will turn it around.”
Offense: “Really? You think so?”
Defense: “No, you suck!!”
Offense: “We hate you.”
Pick: Falcons, 21 - 16
Packers at Buccaneers-
Chris Berman used to refer to this game as The Bay of Pigs. Of course that was back when he was still developing original material and both of these teams stunk like his stagnant bath water. No Berman’s a lazy pig in love with making his voice sound like he’s gargling gravel and only one of these teams stinks. (Hint: it’s the team with the head coach whose name sounds like a Muslim commercial feline.)
Pick: Packers, 27-13
Texans at Colts-
Yee-haw! It’s an old school shootout ‘tween the horseshoes n’ the cattle skulls! Neither team can run very well but, Hoo-weee, they sure can toss it around! Git yerself a sasparilly and some jerky, kick yer boots off and enjoy this’n.
Pick: Colts, 30 – 28
Chiefs at Jaguars-
sniff…. sniff…. I think I smell Don Criqui.
Nope, just an old piece of cheese and the distinct hint of despair.
Pick: Jags, 27 – 17
Panthers at Saints-
You know how sometimes two things come together and it’s like KABLAMM!!!???
Like when you mix vinegar with water & baking soda. Like when hydrogen peroxide meets sulfuric acid. Like when you drop Mentos into a 2-litre of Diet Coke.
Yeah, well there’s likely to be a similar reaction this Sunday in the Superdome when Jake “The Interception Machine” Delhomme (15 picks so far) meets the Saints defense and their league-leading 16 interceptions. It’s gonna be exciting, explosive, and probably a bit sticky. Unless, of course, Carolina keeps it on the ground and pounds away at the body.
Pick: Panthers, 27 – 20
Lions at Seahawks-
Oh sweet Lord. This matchup’s uglier than Keith Olbermann wearing a cabbage bikini & applying calamine lotion to a full-body ivy rash.
Pick: Seahawks, 27 – 20
Titans at Niners-
Vince Young’s back, playing the humbled hot-shot who’s getting another chance to fulfill his potential. Opposite him is Alex Smith, also playing a humbled hot-shot who’s getting another chance to fulfill his potential. It’s set in San Francisco and features a less-than-stellar supporting cast. I like the plot idea but I’ve heard that its running time is a little over three hours. Unless there’s a surprise guest appearance by Salma Hayek displaying her bare Mexi-cans, I’m gonna have to pass.
Pick: Niners, 20 – 16
Chargers at Giants-
It’s a long trip from the 619 to Jersey. I hope the Chargers remember to pack a new running game. And a new run defense. And a jacket ‘cause it’s supposed to drop down into the 40’s on Sunday when the sun goes down. And it also probably wouldn’t hurt if Coach Turner missed the flight. I’m just sayin’.
Pick: Giants, 24 - 21
Cowboys at Eagles-
The ‘Boys have won 3 straight, Romo’s been hot, the defense is bending but not breaking, and there’s no off-the-field drama for the first time in years. Philly’s won their last two convincingly, McNabb had his sharpest game in years last week, Maclin and McCoy are emerging, and the defense has cracked the top ten. Basically it’s two teams tied for first place & feeling pretty good about themselves . And one of them is about to get their feelings hurt. It reminds me of a story back when-- Yeah, yeah, whatever… It’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Iggles, 27 - 24
Steelers at Broncos-
You know that feeling you get at the Blackjack table where you were on a hot streak and now the cards have just started falling against you? You’re not sure if they’ve gone cold but you’re just starting to wonder. I’m afraid that’s where the Broncos will be by the time they drive home on Monday night. Then again, maybe Elvis Dumervil will fly in around the corner on Big Ben and scramble his eggs a little bit. Either way, I think 21 wins this one.
Pick: Steelers, 21 - 16
Posted by Smitty