War or 1812 Football Prognostications
by Mr. Brutal, Special to Buffalo Sports Page
…. Sunday, October 29, 2017 ……
Bye: Green Bay, Tennessee, Los Angeles Rams, New York Football Giants, Arizona, Jacksonville.
……. 9:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ……
Minnesota -9.5 @ CLEVELAND 38
(Twickenham Stadium, London, England )
For years, the NFL sent the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars to Great Britain as some sort of post Bicentennial Revenge for the Boston Massacre. Now that the Jaguars are decent, the NFL continues on their petulant quest to subject the mother country to torture by booking more games and sending more teams like the Cleveland Browns to get blown out in them.
Offensive Tackle Joe Thomas tore his triceps last week ending his career of never missing a start at his left tackle front row seat watching the relentless parade of 87 different quarterbacks take snaps for this cursed franchise.
If this was any other team than the Browns, we wouldn’t like Minnesota to cover this many points. However, we think this will be the first successful Viking invasion of England in almost a millennium. The Vikings will emerge from this Rugby Union stadium triumphant (and with the cover).
This will end the almost thousand year drought for Scandinavian victories in Britain. Mike Zimmer and his team win big, finally avenging Harold Hardrada’s Norwegian loss to Harold Godwin & his Anglo Saxons at Stamford Bridge in 1066.
Brutal: Vikings -9.5
Bob: Browns +9.5
.…… 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time …….
Oakland @ BUFFALO -3 45.5
The ‘Good Ship Raider’ sort of got back on course last week and beat the suddenly mortal Chiefs by a single point on Thursday night. Ten days’ rest might favor Oakland, but home field, fickle winds, the best tailgating experience in the known universe and the Bills’ Mafia are worth a field goal every day of the week.
Brutal: BILLS -3
Bob: BILLS -3
Indianapolis @ CINCINNATI -10 42
Ten points is an outrageous spread for the endangered, largest species of big cat on the planet to cover. However, when has a herd of skittish horses owned by a ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ space cadet ever come out alive after colliding with a Mongol Horde of striped kittens led by a Super Nova Alpha Carnivore named Vontaze Burfict?
Last week the Horseshoes were shut out at home, 27-0, by the Panthera onca species of gridiron pussy from Jacksonville. If the Colts can quit at home against the largest species of feline in the New World, the tea leaves say they will meet a worse fate on the road in Cincinnati against the biggest species on the planet in the manner of Panthera tigris.
Reluctantly, we agree, …… we see the Bengals winning big, covering the spread as well as Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett laying on the turf for the second week in a row as the sacrificial lamb & communal meal for a group of aggressive cats. This is Darwin’s principle at work. The weak shall perish so the rest of the herd can survive (until Andrew Luck takes back his rightful place riding point and leading the Colts into the predictable, pathetic, perpetual, post-Peyton period of mediocrity).
Brutal: BENGALS -10
Bob: Colts +10
Los Angeles Chargers @ NEW ENGLAND -7.5 48.5
You got to love the pluck and resolve of those Anaheim Chargers. Last week they overcame a sea of orange, thousands of loud, nasty Denver Broncos’ fans who made the football playing environment just a little more hostile than a normal road contest.
This is because the game was a home game in Los Angeles. Being outnumbered by your opponents’ supporters yet once again, the Chargers had their most balanced effort of the year so far in shutting out the Broncos 21-0.
This week the Chargers are heading in to New England, which is nobody’s favorite place to visit. The stadium food sucks, the traffic situation on the roads in, out & around Foxboro is pathetic, and the whiny Patriots always cheat.
Somehow, San Diego, errr, Orange county, errr, Los Angeles will not find the experience as taxing as playing in their “Home” stadium.
Brutal: Chargers +7.5
Bob: Chargers +7.5
San Francisco @ Philadelphia -12.5
All not perfect for Eagles fans. Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks were lost for the year in their victory over Washington last week. The last time the Eagles were this good was 2004. That season did end with a Super Bowl appearance. Eagles fans don’t have fond memories of this game. You may remember the slowest two minute drill ever performed by any QB in the history of football. Not to mention the team being ripped apart by their star player (TO) ripping QB (McNabb) for the slowest hurry up offense in the history of modern football. Eagles still roll against one of worst teams in football.
Brutal: Philadelphia -12.5
Bob: Philly -12.5
Chicago @ NEW ORLEANS -9 48
Steve Goodman wrote the ‘City of New Orleans,’ a timeless classic veiled in melancholy about a beloved train. It was a huge hit for Arlo Guthrie in 1972. The ode was about a train that ran through the state of Illinois by a man from Chicago. The song was also nostalgic, hinting at better days from a romanticized past, delivered through a wistful, romanticized ode about those halcyon days of travel that preceded it.
Last week, in another romanticized ode, this time surrounding football nostalgia, Chicago starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky went 4/7 for the entire game!
The Bears still won 17-3 over the lifeless Panthers, on two long touchdowns over 75 yards scored by safety Eddie Jackson on a fumble and interception return. There was no scoring or other meaningful developments in the second half of this game, so fans could get a jump on the traffic.
Chicago has always favored defense over offense, overcompensating for the nasty Chicago weather at their draft table, year after year after year, ….. but this training wheels game plan for their quarterback is ridiculous. Trubisky’s play-script was certainly nostalgic, much like Steve Goodman’s classic song, but it didn’t bring back fond memories of Sid Luckman and Jim McMahon. No, it brought back visions of the nightmare decades of signal callers’ past, one-time saviors like Mike Tomczak, Cade McNown, Rex Grossman & Craig Krenzel.
This week, ‘The City of New Orleans’ provides inspiration only for its namesake.
Brutal: SAINTS -9
Bob: SAINTS -9
Atlanta -5 @ NEW YORK J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 46.5
Hard to lay money on the first half only Falcons. On the other hand, the Jets knocked out starting quarterback Jay Cutler last week in Miami and then promptly fell apart, blew their lead and ushered in an unexpected comeback helmed by journeyman Matt Moore who ended up costing us a lot of money with an inspired 31-28 win.
(The Dolphins were so inspired by the comeback, they went to Baltimore Thursday night and were shut out 40-0 by the Ravens despite the beheading of their starting quarterback & human ATM, Joe Flacco by guided missile and headhunter Kiki Alonso.)
Brutal: Falcons -5
Bob: Falcons -5
Carolina @ TAMPA BAY -2.5 44.5
A strange game between two teams in the NFC South who were both expected to do better this year. Cam Newton continues to behave like the petulant child he truly is. The Panthers’ quarterback walked out of another press conference this week like he was the President of the United States and he continued to treat the Fifth Estate like the Commander and Chief too.
We’ve given him a hard time over the years for his fashion sense, because the outfits he wears for his sponsors at these weekly gatherings are hilarious. None of that would matter if he had his own sense of humor and some scintilla of self deprecation. Unfortunately his skin is just about as wafer thin as Trump, so we can forget about that.
Maybe the problem is that ridiculous squared off chin beard in the style of an Egyptian Pharaoh he has been sporting over the last month. Maybe he thinks he actually is a king, a ruler or dictator. Cam, you’re not the actual President, because you are obligated to speak to the press, the seas won’t part when you open your mouth, the reporters won’t scramble to the exits in fear of being blackballed by you, …. and some sportswriters will still do their job by asking you the tough questions that need to be asked, … especially after losing so pathetically to the Chicago Bears, 17-3 last week.
Tampa came up short in Buffalo last week, barely! At least they showed some effort and Buccaneer quarterback Jameis Winston is more mature, barely! Tampa wins barely!
Brutal: BUCCANEERS -2.5
Bob: Bucs -2.5
…….. 4:05 – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time …….
Houston @ SEATTLE -5.5 46
Upset that the Astros are getting more headlines in Houston than his football team, owner Bob McNair chose to use the opportunity to invent his own mixed metaphor cliche. He declared at a private owner’s meeting that “We can’t have the inmates running the prison!” Of course he was commenting on the anthem protests, or maybe he was trying to compete for headlines with his competing Texas media whore owner, Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.
Now, we can give him the generous benefit of the doubt. We can accept that he probably didn’t mean the insult in its most extreme social interpretation as to how it pertains to penology or post Antebellum plantation politics, but it certainly reinforced the perceived mindset of people of privilege by the players.
On the other hand we can invent our own mixed metaphor of cliche and truth.
“The football team owners have no clothes.”
Brutal: SEAHAWKS -5.5
Bob: Texans +5.5
Dallas -2 @ WASHINGTON 48
Wasn’t it great to see Washington strength and conditioning coach ‘Deuce’ Gruden on camera Monday night, posing & showing off his biceps for the television audience? The World Power-lifting Champion looked very Gruden-like patrolling the sidelines. Proud papa Jon even took some time off from his regular color analyst duties of saying next to nothing of opinion or consequence for three plus hours, …… to share photographs of his son with the television audience.
Deuce is only 23, but working for head coach Uncle Jay as the weightlifting expert for the franchise with the unmentionable name is a job he looks suited for and quite comfortable with. He looks really comfortable with it. Any success he achieves can only expand his reputation and help self promote his personal brand for future employment opportunities.
In fact, visual evidence alone suggests he might have just what it takes to line up a future job with the Russian & Bulgarian weightlifting teams to “advise them” on the latest holistic vitamin regimens & “other” “science through better chemistry” training techniques as well as strategies to deal with any new regulations in WADA’s new policies regarding testing for the upcoming Olympics.
Brutal: Cowgirls -2
Bob: Dallas -2
………. 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time …………….
Pittsburgh -3 @ DETROIT 45
The Steelers aren’t the only ones visiting the state shaped like a mitten this week. The First Lady of the United States was in Michigan too. Yes, Melania Trump was touring schools in the Wolverine State promoting her campaign against bullying through a very basic strategy.
“Just don’t do it kids!”
Wow, we sure hope it works. The last time a simple, commonsense campaign like this with just about zero funding behind it was brought to the youth of America by a Presidential wife, the results were overwhelming.
Nancy Reagan in the 1980’s urged children to “Just Say No To Drugs!” The campaign was even given a big send-off at the White House and everything. She gave a brilliant, nuanced speech with dozens of clueless children standing around her like ‘Children of the Corn’ prop mannequins holding balloons. That Rose Garden launch devoured about half the budget for the campaign, but surprisingly it wasn’t needed as the problem of illicit drug use virtually vaporized in America during the two terms of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
We fully expect after Melania Trump visits every state in the nation, kids will stop having their bra straps pulled. They will also cease to be pantzed, hazed, wedgied, and victimized by every form of Cyber-Bullying currently known to social science. All of this will become obsolete through social shunning, peer pressure & reverse slut shaming.
The future is certain with just such an undertaking. Skies will always be blue, the birds will always sing and people will come together in all the schools of the land and sing Kumbaya on their lunch breaks.
Of course, there might be a certain obvious irony to Melania Trump championing a campaign against bullying, but maybe we’re all wrong in that assumption and lacking in imagination. Who would know the dangers inherent with a problem and witness the condition on a daily basis better than people like her who are that close to it.
It would be no more abnormal in form than the ghost of Jeffery Dahmer being brought back via hologram to promote a public service campaign promoting the health advantages to eating vegan, ….
….. or, …. a prominent university hiring Harvey Weinstein to teach the post grad course: “Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem & Naomi Wolfe, the Three Titans of Post Modernistic Feminism.”
….. or, …. asking Steelers’ WR Martavis Bryant to give a pre-game locker room pep talk about sacrificing individual statistical accomplishments in the pursuit of team unity & winning games through football egalitarianism.
Everybody likes the Steelers after a couple of wins, but we’ll take the Lions to cover after getting the Bye.
Brutal: LIONS +3
Bob: Lions +3
…….. Monday, October 30, 2017 …………….
Denver @ KANSAS CITY -7 43
Regarding the Denver Broncos; in the words of the immortal Michael Ray Richardson of the New York Knicks:
“The ship she be sinking.”
Brutal: CHIEFS -7
Bob: Chiefs -7