Two words for last week’s picks: Ug-Lee. Week 9 had a lot of underdogs winning, and a lot of overdogs either choking or deciding to win their games by razor thin margins. Hey, Eli Manning–Plaxico’s not on the field; try throwing a pass that’s not 11 feet in the air. And see if you can beat the fucking Texans by more than four points. Asshole.
The tallies for week 9: win/loss 7-7; points, 5-9. That brings the season’s grand total to:
So for the first time this year, I’ve fallen below .500. I would blame my guest picker, but he had a hard enough week as it is. I tried to get now-ex-Senator George Allen to contribute, but he’s a tad bitter about pigskin right now; carrying a football around to every damn campaign stop did him no apparent good. So instead, I turn to ex-Monday Night Football commentator/right-wing radio yakker/acceptable drug addict Rush Limbaugh.
Buffalo at Indianapolis: I admire Peyton Manning’s commitment to excellence almost as much as I do his commitment to free enterprise. He’s set to break Tiki Barber’s all-time season record for commercial endorsements. If you remember that DirecTV ad where he tells the viewer to turn over to another, more interesting game, I think this contest will resemble that spot. Indianapolis by 8.
San Francisco at Detroit: A bet for the 49ers on the road is a bet for Nancy Pelosi and her San Francisco values! Detroit by 6.
San Diego at Cincinnati: With the Democrats back in power, expect to see a return to the revolving-door justice system of years past. For a preview of this grim new world, just look at the incarcer-rific Bengals, who’ve logged more trips to the pokey than offensive yards. The Chargers will be more than a match for this band of convicts, even without Shawne Merriman, a talented young man who got a bit too zealous in his self-medication regimen. Look, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? San Diego by 5.
Baltimore at Tennessee: This week’s Sports Illustrated would have you believe that once-accused murderer Ray Lewis is now a force for good, that he’s turned his life over to a Higher Power. Color me suspicious. However, I think the Titans will be more in need of help from above than the Ravens. Baltimore by 6.
Cleveland at Atlanta: The liberal establishment would have you believe we are all the same, but as a conservative, I dispute this. Some people are simply better at certain things than others. We should celebrate excellence and accept our limitations. Michael Vick, you are not a passer. Accept it. Your legs will carry you victory this week. Atlanta by 7.
Washington at Philadelphia: I got into some trouble a few years ago for comments I made about Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. So how about this: Mark Brunnell sucks. He
sucks a lot. The fact that the man continues to have a job as a starting quarterback means he must have some incriminating, J. Edgar Hoover-level 8×10 glossies of Joe Gibbs somewhere. There, does make it all better? Philadelphia by 6.
Green Bay at Minnesota: I don’t know what’s a worse omen for the Vikings–the fact that Minnesota just became the first state to elect a Muslim to Congress, or the fact that they only scraped together 3 points in San Francisco. Green Bay by 4.
Jets at New England: Ah, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Twin beacons of excellence amidst a sea of appeasement-mad hippies and dope-smoking ice cream barons. If only the rest of New England could take a page from your book and commit itself to traditional American values. You’ll deserve a win this week, even if your geographical region doesn’t. New England by 6.
Kansas City at Miami: Consider–an underperformer at home versus an overachiever on the road. Consider–the team that just knocked off an undefeated squad versus the team with an imminent quarterback controversy. Further consider–Nick Saban versus Herm Edwards. I think the choice becomes clear. Miami by 3.
Houston at Jacksonville: The people have spoken, Byron Leftwich, and they prefer David Garrard at quarterback. In a democracy, we must yield to people’s will, no matter how ill-informed and idiotic it may seem. No, no matter how much they’ll come to regret it when they’re paying higher taxes and forced to drive hybrid vehicles and speak Arabic in public schools, we must abide by their choice. Idiots. Jacksonville by 8.
Denver at Oakland: On Monday, Andrew Walters took a beating that even Alberto Gonzalez couldn’t sanction. I’d say they shouldn’t even broadcast this game, if I didn’t think the pics would get leaked to Seymour Hersh anyway. Denver by 9.
St. Louis at Seattle: Shaun Alexander–MVP one year, hobbled the next. The mighty can be toppled awful quickly. Some idiot Senator from Virginia lets loose with a vague racial epithet, and the next thing you know we’re all celebrating Kwanzaa! Don’t think it won’t happen, folks! Barney Frank’s coming for your kids! What, the game? Jesus, the Seahwaks, of course. Seattle by 4.
Dallas at Arizona: I don’t approve of Bill Parcells’ QB move–you don’t change horses in the middle of the race, folks! I mean, you think John Kerry and Harry Reid are gonna get us out of Iraq? Hell no. You need mean, ornery sons of bitches to do the job right, not some mamby-pamby pacifists who want to give all the poor terrorists a lollipop and a Montessori education. This kind of flip-flopping would be enough to make me pick against America’s Team, if they weren’t playing the Cardinals. Dallas by 5.
New Orleans at Pittsburgh: Look, the Steelers suck right now, but no one’s trying to take away their Super Bowl title. They won that trophy fair and square (shut up, Holmgren), so you can’t start crying that they don’t deserve it one year later. That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? Do you understand my metaphor now, or do I have to dumb it down a bit more, you morons?! Christ, it’s enough to make a man abuse prescription drugs yet not go to jail somehow. New Orleans by 3.
Chicago at Giants: The game we’ve all been waiting for. The Big Fight. The Main Event. This game’s been circled on the calendar for a while, kinda like everyone was waiting for Election Tuesday to get here. Now all we’re left with are smashed hopes and dreams, and terrorist training camps opening up in your neighborhood. DON’T THINK IT WON’T HAPPEN! Lotsa injuries for both teams, a tad more for the Jints than Da Bears. Without Michael Strahan, it’ll be hard for New York’s defense to pressure Rex Grossman, and who knows if Plaxico Burress will be back to snag Eli’s mile-high passes? Then again, if Miami could rattle the Bears–in Chicago, no less–there’s a good chance the Giants can do the same at home. Still, this should be a good one. Enjoy it before the liberals ban football, mom, and apple pie. Giants by 1.
Tampa Bay at Carolina (Monday): Boy, when are those lousy liberals gonna get us out of that quagmire in Iraq? They’ve been in power for several hours now, and already they’ve made a mess of things in the Middle East. Support our troops–bring them home! I tell you what, this total morass wouldn’t have happened if the Republicans were ruling, I can guarantee you that! Take the Panthers. Carolina by 7.