Monday, December 29, 2008

The Reveal

How'd I do, you ask?

On Thursday September 4, 2008, the NFL season started. And I put myself out on a ledge with trying to predict the order of finish of the 8 divisions.

Well, here are my predictions, with the predicted order on the left, and the actual final standing on the right.

NFC East
1. Cowboys. 3
2. Eagles. 2
3. Giants. 1
4. Redskins. 4

NFC North
1. Vikings. 1
2. Packers. 3
3. Bears. 2
4. Lions. 4

NFC South
1. Saints. 4
2. Panthers. 1
3. Buccaneers. 3
4. Falcons. 2

NFC West
1. Seahawks. 3
2. Cardinals. 1
3. Forty-niners. 2
4. Rams. 4

AFC East
1. Patriots. 2
2. Jets. 3
3. Bills. 4
4. Dolphins. 1

AFC North
1. Browns. 4
2. Steelers. 1
3. Bengals. 3
4. Ravens. 2

AFC South
1. Colts. 2
2. Jaguars. 4
3. Titans. 1
4. Texans. 3

AFC West
1. Chargers. 1
2. Raiders. 3
3. Broncos. 2
4. Chiefs. 4

So, I got 9 right out of 32. And I completely misfired on Cleveland, Miami and New Orleans. I did get at least one team right in every division in the NFC.

Okay, you can let me have it now, but not too harshly, in the comments.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

NFL Week 17

Last week finished at 7-7, but the Bears are still alive, so it wasn't too bad of a week. My overall record is 151-85-1. I would have been 2-1 in the games I missed posting. ESPN experts here and here.

Everyone knows the big story this Sunday, and I've spent a season of posts building up to this. There's no sense rehashing what's at stake. This countdown started way back in September. The post of 9/21/08, to be exact, was the first mention of a winless Lions season by me. Now, three months and a week later, we're on the verge of what seemed impossible then.

For some humor, read this article. It contains the single greatest quote of the NFL year.

Lions cornerback Travis Fisher is quoted as saying:
"I think we're going to shock a lot of people with a great game. I feel like we're going to win," he said. "Not to take anything away from Green Bay, but we're a great football team. I know the record doesn't show it, but I'm going to say it.

With this as evidence, I think we can all conclude that football players are truly delusional.

If by great, Travis, you mean that you're on the verge of the single greatest losing season in NFL history, then, yes, you are a great football team.

If by great, you mean great in a spectacularly bad way, then, yes, you are a great football team.

And, if by great, you mean a team that will stand in the record books for all eternity, then yes, you are great.

By the way, did I mention that I think it is entirely possible, even plausible, that Detroit may win today?

New England.
Green Bay.
New Orleans.
Tampa Bay.
San Francisco.
San Diego.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Grand Christmas

I really made a haul this year. Here's what I got. Hope your take was as bountiful.

- The popular CD "Led Zeppelin On The Pipe Organ." I gotta tell ya, 'Stairway' sounds awesome.

- I received a shipment of two tons of printer paper from recycled sources. Mine came with a certificate claiming my paper originated from all those World Series tickets the Cubs had printed. I shall gleefully print everything I possibly can this year.

- Since my favorite books are "pop-ups", I was glad to see I received Chef Gordon Ramsey's "Another Kitchen Nightmares Pop-up and Scratch-n-Sniff Book". Watch out for the slime mold that jumps out from under the stove surface. I almost gagged.

- A year's subscription to my favorite magazine, "Blogger Fancy".

- In keeping with the blogging theme, I got bobbleheads of all my favorite bloggers, including Lucy, Angus, TK, Barb, Rick, MarieN, Dan at NR, and DanUp. Now, whenever I read your posts, I'll just reach over and tap your head and watch it bobble if I like what you say. Don't worry, the guy I bought them from swore there was no voodoo involved.

- I received the rare and hard to find "Issues, Etc." home game. Which is great, because I always wanted to pretend I was Jeff.

- Although I didn't get "Treasury of Daily Prayer," I did get an anonymous gift- "The Rod Blagojevich Study Bible". However, I kind of found it offensive, actually, as it is littered with a healthy diet of F-bombs in the footnotes. But I do recognize there are a lot of people who find this way of speaking natural, so perhaps it will help clarify some things for them.

- I got the "Russian Roulette Travel Mug." This thing has 6 holes at the top, and you have to spin the opening to get it to work each time you want a sip. Trouble is, you don't know which hole works. If you guess wrong, it gets really quite messy. I've got coffee stains all over my new shirt. I'll have to start drinking more water in the morning.

Anyone get anything better than this?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

NFL Week 16

Last week I was 11-5, bringing my overall record to 144-78-1. ESPN experts here and here.

I missed officially picking the Thursday night and Saturday night games, which is okay, because I would have picked Indianapolis and Dallas. Thus, I would have ended up splitting the two games anyway. That's three games this year I did not pick, which I think is some sort of record. I would have won the first game I missed, so I would have been 2-1 in the games I didn't pick.

Fortunately, there are no more Thursday or Saturday games for me to forget. I remember growing up they used to start Saturday afternoon games in the NFL right after the college season ended. I miss those games. I always associated those games with Christmas trees and songs, because they always came in December.

The Bears are hanging by a thread. In order to make the playoffs, they have to win their two remaining games. Then, either Atlanta or Tampa Bay must lose their remaining two games and Philadelphia must lose one, or Minnesota must lose their two remaining games.

We're entering historical territory this week. Never in the history of the NFL has a team taken the field with an 0-14 record on the line. The Lions will be making history, no matter the outcome of today's game, just for that record.

No one knows how they'll defend that record today. Will they come out flat and put up an early lead? Will the pressure of a potentially spotless record finally get to them, so that they cough up a win? No one knows.

Will they choke at the end, and let a deficit get away from them, thereby eking out a victory? No one knows.

This I do know, however. If they win today, or worse, win next week if they're 0-15, you may never hear from me again. I don't know if I could ever recover from the trauma.

I fear the Saints today. They have nothing left to play for, since they are eliminated from the playoffs. Detroit has everything to play for, a perfect 0-16 season, and I fear they may choke under the pressure and actually win this game.

A perfect 0-16 is something I've wanted to see since 1978, when the 16 game season started. Despite many pretenders, no one has gotten this close of a look at it.

Since we all saw a team go 16-0 last year, this would be the perfect antidote to that anomaly. Anti-perfection.

Hey, Superman has Bizarro. Matter has anti-matter. Yin has its Yang. Why can't the 2007 Patriots have their 2008 Lions?

San Francisco.
New Orleans.
New England.
Tampa Bay.
Chicago- Monday.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NFL Week 15

Last week's 13-3 record and Thursday night's victory have left me at 134-73-1. ESPN experts here and here.

I can't believe we're at week 15 and Detroit still hasn't won. Way back in the first month of the season, when there were still a lot of winless teams, I thought St. Louis and Kansas City were far more creditable for running the table in reverse than Detroit was. But thanks to the always unforeseen injury bug, we're here where we are. Doesn't it feel great?!!!

There's no chance of a Lions win this week, so I can relax. However, the two most important weeks on the schedule remain a challenge to my nearly sane state of mind. I still think next week is the real danger left on the schedule. New Orleans, out of the playoff picture now with nothing to play for, must travel to Detroit, who has everything to play for. Folks, the more I think about it, the scared-er I get, so let's just drop the subject, okay?

I've got something to get off my chest- is there a worse, or more pretentious, show on TV than "Football Night In America"? It has all the smarmy charm of a cocktail party you really don't want to be at because you can't stand anyone in attendance. What has happened to Bob Costas? Yuck. Keith Olbermann. Yuck. Tiki Barber. Yuck. The more I think about it, the nauseated-er I get, so let's just drop the subject, okay?

San Diego.
New England.
Philadelphia- Monday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Nomination

If we have to support the auto industry now, too, then we ought to get to choose who gets to hold the position of "Car Czar."

In my opinion, there is only one solution. Oversight of the entire American car industry can only be done by those who know how to talk cars.

That's right, I'm talking about...

Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.

Call your Congressman and Senator today to support Tom and Ray.

Thursday Night Football Pick


Sunday, December 07, 2008

NFL Week 14

Another week of 10-6 and a win Thursday makes me 121-70-1. ESPN experts here and here.

Let's hope the Vikings don't let us all down in the pursuit of the perfect season for the Lions. What else does Detroit have to play for? Nothing. They just need to finish this thing.

If they survive today, then they reach 0-13, which is exactly where Miami stood at this point last season. That team then got a home game against a mediocre opponent and ripped our collective guts out with an OT win to ruin what would have been the first 0-16 year.

Fortunately, if today plays out the way it should, the Lions get the Colts next week, which means they'll be the first team to reach 0-14 since the expansion year Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976.

We would then enter unchartered waters the following week, which is I think the most dangerous game left on Detroit's schedule. A home game against the also-ran New Orleans Saints. Two weeks from now I may lock myself in the basement from anxiety and not come out until that game is in the books. I don't think I could stand the suspense of the continual game scores scrolled across the regional game I would be watching.

Green Bay.
New Orleans.
New England.
Carolina- Monday.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I've Seen This Post Before

Sorry, but every single "expert" is just on such a Florida and Oklahoma bandwagon, I felt it necessary to repeat this post, with just a slight edit or two.

I just have to do it.

I love swimming upstream.

It would be so wrong to do otherwise.

I'll probably hate myself Sunday, but it's who I am, so why fight it?

Sure, it would be safer the other way, but what fun would there be in caution?

So I'm going out on the ledge and doing what comes naturally.

I've got the Tide. And the Tigers.

A little "T. 'n' T.", if you will forgive me.

Let the beratement begin.

Fun Football Saturday

If you like college football, today is your kind of day. And not just for the SEC and Big 12 championsip games.

It's the day of the Army-Navy game. Which goes a little beyond just a football game- it's an emotional event steeped in a deeper meaning than just a simple game.

Hat tip to Drudge for linking to this cool video.

Official disclaimer- don't try this at home.

Thursday, December 04, 2008