Oct 14, 2010
On Leave with Chris Hanson, a Very Special Bears Fan, the Magical Hoodie, Nostradamus T. Funkington, Wrangler Shorts and not Hannah Montana's Boobs
So it’s a bye week for the hometown underachieving jungle cats, a perfect time for me to give the gift of brevity with regards to this week’s post. That’s probably for the best since I find myself in the middle of a week where I’m completely obsessing over the residue of the penultimate episode of Mad Men and jonesing for the season finale, anxious to get out and see Jackass 3D and Due Date, falling in love all over again with Jimmy John’s sub sandwiches, and wondering where in the world Marisa Miller has been all of my life. More on those topics and a whole lot more next week. Yes, that’s a threat and a promise.
But first, before we get to the Week 6 matchups, I feel inclined to answer an email which I received from a reader the other day who goes by the name of Matty O. Matty writes, “Dude, I like when you post pictures of hot chicks. I also like the pictures of food. Especially when I’m hungry. I see ‘em and I’m like, whoa, I’ve gotta get me something to eat and a girlfriend. Cause like, I’m hungry and all pent up & stuff. I also like it when you’re funny. But I didn’t like it when you made fun of Keanu Reeves. Neo was the man! Anyway, I see that the Bengals have a bye week next week. I was wondering, where did that come from? That word- bye. Why is it a “bye week”? If you know, please tell me. I’m including my phone number in case you want to call and tell me or if you maybe want to go shoot pool sometime. Thanks, Matty O.”
Well, why is it called a “bye week”? Is it derived from the word “goodbye”, as in “Goodbye, see you on the field next week” ? Well, a quick search brought me to this slightly less than rock solid explanation… Bye- In sporting use, a variant of by (prep). Originally in cricket, “a run scored on a ball that is missed by the wicket-keeper”; later, in other sports, “position of one who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs.” Cricket? Really? Now do we really want for our tough, rugged, skeleton-rattling American Football to keep using a term which is derived from a sport where grown men are encouraged to dress like this?
Plus, the definition above doesn’t even fit. I mean, there aren’t an odd number of teams in the NFL so no one team is really left without a potential competitor each week. If they wanted to, they could find a matchup for every team, every week, no problem. So by definition, it’s not really so much of a bye week as it is a recovery week, a rest week, a week off, a week to regroup, a week to relax, a week to reflect, a little bit of “us time”, if you will. It’s a short break, a breather, a hiatus, a sabbatical, a time-out. Actually, to use yet another military term in this sport, why don’t we just say that they’re “on leave”? There’s already “aerial assaults”, “battles in the trenches”, “marching down the field” and all the parallels ingeniously pointed out by George Carlin (God rest his hilariously pessimistic soul) years ago, so why not one more. The Bengals, Panthers, Cardinals and Bills aren’t all on a bye this week. Nope, they’re on leave. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to meet Matty O. for some PBRs and a few games of 9-ball. Feel free to keep reading about the teams that are not on leave this week.
Now, on with the matchups….
Falcons at Eagles-
It sure would be nice if Mike Vick was healthy enough this week to take on the team he once led way back in his dog torturing days. Instead, it looks as if Kevin Kolb will get the start since apparently Vick is still experiencing pain from sustaining some cartilage damage in his ribs a couple weeks ago. Hmmm…. You know, if one of Vick’s dogs (assuming dogs could talk because they can) had told him back in the day that he couldn’t get in the pit because his ribs were sore, what do you think the reaction would’ve been? Zzzzzztttt!!!!
Pick: Falcons, 23-20
Chiefs at Texans-
That increasingly loud whistling sound you hear is the Chiefs free-falling back down to earth. And just to be safe, you may want to move a couple steps to your left. There ya go.
Pick: Texans, 31-20
Browns at Steelers-
Big Ben returns from his suspension to face a long-time division rival. You know, just a thought here but wouldn’t it be great if when his name is announced, he runs out of the tunnel and onto the field to nothing but silence and Chris Hanson waiting for him at midfield? “So, are you excited? It looks like you had a big afternoon planned, huh?”
Pick: Steelers, 20-10
Seahawks at Bears-
Neither one of these teams is allowing much against them on the ground. And neither is exactly setting the world on fire on offense. My advice: Take the Under, whatever it is. And if this guy invites you over to watch the game with him, politely refuse and back away slowly…
Pick: Bears, 16-10
Lions at Giants-
It’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Giants, 21-14
Ravens at Patriots-
Strength vs Strength. The Pats have scored the most points in the league thus far and are facing off in Foxboro against the Ravens and their #3-ranked defense. Normally I would take defense over offense but up in New England the weather’s starting to get nipply enough to break out the wicked awesome hoodies. And I’m telling you, there’s something magical about Billy B’s hoodie. I don’t know what he’s hiding in that hood and pouch but I’m pretty sure that at the very least it includes rosemary, thyme, some seaweed extract, a jar of frog warts, and a vial or two of marrow from the bones of various black cats. And some peanut M&M’s. Don’t forget the peanut M&Ms.
Pick: Patriots, 19-17
Chargers at Rams-
The Bolts have the league’s #1-ranked offense and the #2-ranked defense. Their record is 2-3.
The Rams have the league’s 20th-ranked offense and the 20th-ranked defense. Their record is 2-3.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about strength of schedule, they have played three common opponents already (Arizona, Oakland, Seattle). The only difference is that the Chargers have played Kansas City and Jacksonville while the Rams instead faced the Redskins and the Lions. So, have the Chargers been underachieving (again) or have the Rams been overachieving? Um, yes. So will this trend reverse itself this Sunday or will it continue? I don’t know, who am I, Nostradamus? You must be confusing me with my former protégé, Nostradamus T. Funkington. He’s currently the lead bass in a Funk-Ska fusion band playing around the greater Topeka area.
Pick: Chargers, 28-16
Dolphins at Packers-
What do you get when you get fish and cheese together? That’s right, FISH LOGS!!!!
And you also get two teams trying not to let their season get flushed down the toilet. Ooh, that reminds me of what happens about an hour after you get fish and cheese together.
Pick: Packers, 24-17
Saints at Buccaneers-
You know how in teen movies there’s sometimes that one dorky guy who’s tricked into believing that one of the school cheerleaders is interested in him? And just as he’s feeling pretty darn good about himself, some of the cheerleader’s jock guy pals sneak up on him and hit him with eggs, slushies, feces, and/or a trash can full of all of the above? Yeah, well the Buccaneers are that guy. And this is that girl….
Pick: Saints, 27-17
Jets at Broncos-
sniff….sniff…. Hey, uh, what’s that smell? It smells like either a half-eaten turkey & cheese sandwich that my daughter hid under the couch or it’s an upset baking in the oven. The Jets had a Monday night fight in the middle of a monsoon and are now facing a short week with a trip across country to play in high altitudes, and they very well may be without Darrelle Revis as they go up against one of the top passing teams in the league, a team who just so happens to be coming off of an impressive road win. You set the table, I’ll check the oven.
Pick: Broncos, 19-14
Raiders at Niners-
When people in the Bay area look back upon this season, and they will, they’ll get a faraway look in their eyes and start to well-up. And make no mistake; these will not be happy tears. They will be sad tears, very sad tears because these two teams are horsecrap. As a matter of fact just to save Bay area football fans some grief, I propose that the losers of this game get onboard a trolley car, take it off the rails (is that even possible? Oh sure, why not) and over to the streets of Oakland while donning the colors of a rival gang and alternating singing show tunes from Rogers & Hammerstein and classics from Kenny Roger’s The Gambler.
Pick: Niners, 24-13
Cowboys at Vikings-
At 1-3 and 1-4 respectively, one of these teams is about to be buried deeper than a crew of Chilean miners. Too soon? Come on, they got out, right?
Okay well, the only thing buried deeper than the loser’s long-term future is the long-term future of the Favre’s marriage. What?! Also too soon? Come on, the man sent that chick pictures of his wiener. From inside his Wranglers.
Pick: Cowboys, 24-17
Colts at Redskins-
Mr. Manning and his Colts to Washington trying to find their first road win of the season. If they can't it will be the first time that Indy was at .500 or worse this deep into a season in a long time. Exactly how long? I don't know, I'm not going to look it up because frankly it's not going to happen. Manning and the Colts with three straight road losses and a 3-3 record would be like Don Draper cutting back on his drinking and quitting tobacco. Oh, that's right. Hmmm.
Pick: Redskins, 31-27
Titans at Jaguars-
The Jags get a Monday Night game? That’s like making Hannah Montana the headliner of a two-day, outdoor, fourteen band, summer rock show. The Jags were borderline terrible last season with no reason to believe they’d be any better this season, they have horrible fan support, and other than MJD they have no marquee players. It’s ridiculous. What’s that? Who? Who’s Miley? Oh, Hannah Montana. She got a what job? Is that even legal to think about? Okay, never mind.
Not Hannah Montana. And you’re welcome.
Pick: Titans, 21-13
Posted by Smitty