Sep 6, 2010
Don Draper, The Situation, Mel Gibson, Bill Clinton, Betty White, Bills Fans Anonymous, Crab Rangoon and a Tailgate Branding
Coming up, we’ll learn how to make a delicious seafood gumbo by using just a can of Manhattan Chowder and a few common goldfish. But first, some stuff about football….
So I’m watching Mad Men last week and about midway through, Don Draper wakes up to a phone call from his icy ex-wife, who starts laying into him about being late to pick up the kids for the day. Coming to through an obvious hangover cloud, he tells her that he’s not supposed to pick them up until Sunday. “It is Sunday!”, she screams. Crap. Don then slowly realizes that he’s been drunk for two days straight and also has an unknown (and far-from-attractive) diner waitress laying his bed. He used to score beautiful, classy women at will while keeping the booze under control. Now he’s lumbering through a lost weekend with a chick who apparently seduced him with a butter face and four plates of cheese fries. Jesus, when did Don Draper turn into The Situation? All that was missing was a nightclub scene with Don in an Ed Hardy t-shirt doing a fist-pumping beat-the-beat dance and a cameo from Snooki in sitting on his couch with a sequined trucker hat and eating a huge bowl of Life cereal while the diner waitress scampered out the door. He’s now hit bottom, right? Maybe? Um, and what does this have to do with football? Uh… oh yeah, well Don was completely wasted and shocked to find out it was Sunday, and I am planning to get mildly wasted later tonight and currently find myself shocked to realize that the NFL season starts this Sunday. Thursday, whatever. Actually, that’s an insincere stretch. I just really like Mad Men and The Jersey Shore, for entirely different reasons, and wanted to make sure I put them together right outta the gate, kinda like cocaine and waffles . Or is that peanut butter and ladies? I just watched part of Talladega Nights again on satellite this morning so my IQ level is still trying to rally back. Let’s give it a minute while taking a look at some of the things that have transpired on and off of the gridiron and around our world since the Saints celebrated in Miami last winter.
Shannahan and McNabb both arrived in DC via separate planes to try and turn things around for the Skins. As they were coming in the front door, Jason Campbell went out the back door to Oakland. Speaking of doors, Big Ben locked a bathroom door and got in a WHOLE LOT of trouble. Lindsay Lohan went to jail, Paris Hilton got arrested (again), Simon Cowell quit American Idol, Steven Tyler joined American Idol while America collectively yawned. Bristol Palin got engaged, then unengaged. Sarah Palin had a fling with Don Draper. Or maybe I dreamt that one? Kurt Warner retired, Brett Favre didn’t. Darelle Reveis held out. Pete Carroll left USC for the Seahawks right before they went on probation for the Reggie Bush stuff. Kim Kardashian left Reggie Bush for other stuff. Lebron James decided to take his talents to South Beach. Jake Delhomme decided to take his talents to Cleveland. Betty White decided to take her talents everywhere. Merlin Olsen died, Jack Tatum died, John Wooden died, Art Linkletter died, Corey Haim died, Mel Gibson’s career died. The Sam Bradford Era has begun in St. Louis, the Tim Tebow Era has begun in Denver, Anquan Boldin moved to Baltimore, T.O. moved to Cincinnati, and Chad Ochocinco learned how to dance and found love. Twice. Now, as a drunken Don Draper would say, “You smell good. Whaddya say we get out of here and do some real celebrating?” On with the Week One matchups….
Vikings at Saints-
What a way to kick off the season! Where do you want to start with this one? The Saints hanging their Super Bowl Championship banner in front of their fans who have suffered through so much in the past years (Hurricane Katrina and the Saints ineptitude for decades); Brett Favre coming back for yet another season and extending his consecutive games played streak on a gimpy ankle; The rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game; the Madden Curse; Jared Allen trying to play for the first time without his world-class mullet. This game should have more subplots and threats of violence than a Mel Gibson phone call.
Browns at Buccaneers-
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the first Don Criqui Game of the Week for 2010!
Pick: Browns, 20-13
Dolphins at Bills-
Gametime is Sunday at 1:00pm EDT. The first Bills Fans Anonymous self-help session is scheduled for Sunday at 4:30pm EDT. There will be complimentary hot wings and iced tea. We ask that you bring your own wet wipes and leave all items which could be construed as a weapon at the door. Also, please refrain from taking more sugar or sugar substitute packets as are reasonably necessary. Yes, Andy K., we’re talking to you.
Pick: Dolphins, 24-13
Bengals at Patriots-
Ochocinco, T.O., Benson, Gresham, Shipley, B-Scott….that’s a lot of weapons on the field. I dig Carson Palmer but anyone who watched him as he was consistently inconsistent last year has to wonder if his arm is alright. If not, it could be like handing over a Formula One car to an elderly Asian lady with outdated eyewear. And if Carson ever gets injured and they have to turn to the other Palmer or a rookie who only worked out of the shotgun in college, well, just imagine that same lady only with no arms, two clubbed feet, driving with her teeth after polishing off a bottle of sake to ease the pain. But if Carson’s alright, things should be fine, maybe even really good, just not this week. Giving Belichick several months to prepare for a game is dangerous and it’s overkill. It’s like giving Bill Clinton several months to prepare to go to a swingers party. As they say in Arkansas, he done been ready.
Pick: Pats, 23-17
Colts at Texans-
Everyone’s wondering, is this the year that they finally replace the Colts at the top of the AFC South. Yes, I’m here to tell you that this is the year that the Titans replace the Colts at the top of their division. What, the Texans? Oh no, that’s just too obvious to become reality. Reggie Wayne is waning, not to jinx him but Manning is waaaay overdue for an injury-riddled season, Matt Schaub still hasn’t met a tight game that hasn’t caused him to crap down his leg, and you all should know by now to never, ever underestimate the mystical power of Jeff Fisher’s cookie duster.
Pick: Colts, 30-24
Raiders at Titans-
Speaking of the Titans, they should have an easy time of it in Week One, right? The Raiders have been terrible for a few years now and worse than terrible on the road. Although they do finally have a somewhat reputable quarterback now with the addition of Jason Campbell. When a team has a crap quarterback like the Raiders have had in the recent past, it tends to make the entire team look worse than they are while also sucking out their collective will to live. It’s like putting a scoop of dog crap on top of an ice cream cone. The rest of the cone might’ve been fantastic, but with the dog crap on top, you’ll never know. Now that the dog crap is gone, we’ll soon find out if the rest of the ice cream is good or not. Did I just use a metaphor to compare a human being to a scoop of dog crap? Yes I did. And am I now craving an ice cream cone? Yes I am. Two scoops of black raspberry chip in a waffle cone, por favor.
Pick: Titans, 24-13
Broncos at Jaguars-
It’s Cheerleader Posedown time!
Pick: Jaguars, 20-17
Packers at Eagles-
Ahh, Week One in Philly. The smell of cheeseteaks in the parking lot, the sight of the always robust Eagles Cheerleaders gracing the sidelines, and the sounds of hecklers, wanna-be gangsters and recently released parolees in the stands yelling horrifying things about the opposing team’s mothers. Speaking of mothers, now that Donovan McNabb and Chunky Soup-toting mother have moved on to D.C., I wonder what the new postgame meal is going to be for the Eagles. What? Oh, well there you go.
Pick: Packers, 27-17
Falcons at Steelers-
Pick: Falcons, 20-16
Panthers at Giants-
You know how you feel when an unseemly rash finally clears up. You know, one in a very delicate place. One that itches and burns so bad that it makes it nearly impossible to do or even think about anything else? No? Me neither but my friend Johnny says that it really sucks. But he also said that when that morning comes when you realize that it’s finally gone, it’s an amazingly liberating experience. I’d imagine that’s exactly how the Carolina Panthers feel now that Jake Delhomme has taken his world renowned right arm, er, Interception Machine out of the building and up to Cleveland. Now it’s Matt Moore’s turn at the wheel, flanked by a terrific running game featuring DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. As for the G-Men. Eh… It feels to me like they’ve turned the corner. And ran into something.
Pick: Panthers, 24-16
Lions at Bears-
Give the Lions some credit. They’re two years into their recovery from the Matt Millen plague and they’ve got a capable head coach (Jim Swartz), a franchise quarterback on the rise (Matthew Stafford), a game-changing wide receiver (Calvin Johnson), a quality offensive coordinator (Scott Lenihan), an improving defense with a beast in the middle (Ndamukong Suh), and a home run hitter at tailback (Jhavid Best). Contrast that with the Bears who have a head coach looking over his shoulder, a high-powered interception machine with a burdensome cap number at quarterback, and an injury-prone aging middle linebacker with a burdensome cap number. This game should serve as a passing of the key to the NFC Central basement.
Pick: Lions, 24-17
Cardinals at Rams-
It’s the new Cardinals at the old Cardinals. Or is it old Cardinals at new Cardinals? Whatev. What it is, is the old act of Derek Anderson versus the new act of Sam Bradford. It’s gonna be more than a little discouraging for Bradford when he realizes about midway through the second quarter that when he drops back to pass, the best receivers on the field are the Cards’ defensive backs. Now that Donny Avery is out for the season, the Rams stable of wideouts consists of Laurent Robinson, Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Mardy Gilyard and Keenan Burton. If I were Bradford, I’d audible every play and hand off to Stephen Jackson. Then I’d shower, dress, go home, create new receivers for myself on Madden, order in some egg rolls, some crab Rangoon, and live out the dream.
Pick: Cardinals, 21-9
Niners at Seahawks-
This matchup begs the question, “Will there be a game amongst NFC West teams this season that we’ll honestly be able to call a ‘big game’?” Honestly, the fact that one of those teams has to be granted a spot in the playoffs at the end of the regular season is like if Hollywood had to give and Emmy to one of the shows on the Lifetime Network.
Pick: Niners, 20-13
Cowboys at Redskins-
Same old, same old in Dallas. Wade Phillips still carrying out Jerry Jones’ wishes on the sidelines, Romo still doing his best Bret Favre imitation, Jason Witten still the go-to guy, and the team roster (including the cheerleaders) is still very talented. In Washington however, big changes since last winter. Gone is Jim Zorn, in is Mike Shannahan. Gone is Jason Campbell, in is Donovan McNabb. Gone is happy & motivated Albert Haynesworth, in is disgruntled and out of shape Albert Haynesworth. Which brings us to this week’s pop quiz….
According to his journal, which of the following was a typical breakfast for Albert Haynesworth during the offseason?
a) A dozen pancakes with butter and maple syrup
b) A dozen sausage links wrapped in bacon
c) Three bowls of Cocoa Pebbles in milk drizzled with chocolate syrup
d) Four bowls of grits with extra butter and cinnamon
e) Two slices of plain whole wheat toast and a glass of tomato juice
Answer: e). Although a) through d) was what he typically had for brunch.
Pick: Cowboys, 24-14
Ravens at Jets-
Well would you look at what we have here. The two sexy picks for who will represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLV. They both look good from across the bar but it’s not until you get ‘em home with the sunlight shining through the window the next morning that you notice the slight lip fuzz, the back acne and a mysterious and quite hideous extra toe. The Jets had major trouble scoring points last season and if it hadn’t been for the Colts & Bengals rolling over for them in Weeks 16 and 17, it was a problem that would have cost them a playoff berth. It’s unrealistic to think that one offseason and the addition of Santonio Holmes is going to magically cure that problem. As for the Ravens, they were solid yet again last season but not even the addition of Anquan Boldin can overshadow the issues they currently have in their secondary. Ed Reed and Dominique Foxworth are out, so Chris Carr and Fabian Washington are their starting corners with Tom Zbikowski and Dawan Landry starting at the safety spots. Do me a favor, remind me of the last team to go deep into the playoffs with a weak secondary.
Pick: Ravens, 17-16
Chargers at Chiefs-
I was going to go into a long paragraph about the Chargers typically starting slow and how I think the Chiefs could be somewhat dangerous on offense this season but, to hell with all that- this dude GOT BRANDED AT A TAILGATE PARTY!!!
Pick: Chiefs, 24-21
Posted by Smitty