by Mr. Brutal, Special to Buffalo Sports Page

…… Sunday, December 24, 2017  ……

………. 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time …………

  Cleveland @ CHICAGO (-6.5)  38.5

Can’t trust em, …. can’t win with em, …. don’t want to coach em.  To paraphrase the great, intense Mike Singletary, that quote pretty well sums up both of these teams’ seasons.

Brutal:  Browns +6.5

  Bob: Browns +6.5

  Detroit (-4) @ CINCINNATI  43 

We’ve had the Bengals pretty much figured all year, but this game concerns us.  The Lions have no running game and the Bengals’ secondary returns a few starters to thwart the Detroit passing game and the 100 million dollar arm of Matt Stafford.  This is more than likely head coach Marvin Lewis’ last game in Cincinnati and despite his milquetoast results, the players generally love him.

Detroit as more than a field goal favourite here on the road is a red flag.

  Brutal:  BENGALS (+4)

  Bob: Bengals +4

  Los Angeles Rams (-7) @ TENNESSEE  48.5 

This game could be the season for the Titans, playing in the Jeff Fisher Bowl.  The battle is between the two teams that the former coach ran into the ground. Octogenarian Dick LeBeau’s defense is good, but it can’t play 50 minutes a game.

However, they need this game and we can’t see them having two blowout road games in a row.  Titans pull off an upset or the Jim Morrison and the Doors’ Backdoor Man cover.

  Brutal:  TITANS +7

  Bob:  Rams -7

Miami @ KANSAS CITY (-10)  43.5 

Who owns the Chiefs?  Who ownz, …….. ownnnzzz! ownzzzz! the Chiefs asked French Canadian goalie Dennis Lemieux ( Yvon Barrette ) in the cult classic movie ‘Slapshot.’  Reggie Dunlop ( Paul Newman ) didn’t have the answer at that point in the film, but eventually he would find out that the Charlestown Chiefs were owned by a widow who used them as a tax write-off.

In the case of the Kansas City variety, the Hunt family ownnzzz the Chiefs.  The Miami Dolphins have been a big write-off this year and neither they nor their mercurial quarterback will possess the likely AFC West Champions in this game.

Jay Cutler didn’t do much in the cold in Buffalo last week.  We sure as hell don’t expect him to do anymore here in freezing Missouri now that the season is over and his placeholder year-tour of duty is over.

  Brutal: CHIEFS -10

  Bob:  Dolphins +10

Buffalo @ NEW ENGLAND (-12.5)  47 

Well it was bound to happen.  A major conflict has taken root in Patriotville regarding the activities of Tom Brady’s trainer, life coach, hand holding guru, dietician, personal body coach, best friend, unaffiliated alternative medicine doctor, business partner & locker room ambulance chaser.

Bill Belichik has banned Alex Guerrero from the team plane and walking the sidelines, although he maintains his private office at Patriot headquarters.  Rumours are swirling about what exactly this is all about, but it must be serious for Coach Hoody Torquemada to risk disrupting the zeitgeist of his team this close to the playoffs.

Now lots of famous people had “private” physicians to facilitate vitamin regimens, dietary rules & special “energy” injections to help their patients get through it all:

1.)  Dr. Eugene Landy

This bona fide sleazebag quack became the principal overseer minding the medical, mental health & legal affairs for the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.  For well over a decade, this Hollywood celebrity doctor convinced the eccentric, reclusive, melancholy genius that only he could heal him by adopting his bizarre form of 24 hour, live-in therapy.  He had him eating strange things, taking stranger drugs and handing over his Power of Attorney to the good doctor.  In the process, Landy almost broke every ethical protocol known to slate in the medical profession.

He controlled all access to Wilson, shutting him off from the rest of his family, friends or seeking any sane second opinion.  This relationship is the subject of many books and movies.  The most recent is the touching film, ‘Love & Mercy,’ starring John Cusack, Elizabeth Banks & Paul Giamatti.

In the end, Landy was fired in the late 1980’s and barred from further contact with Wilson in 1992.  He had his medical license revoked due to a multitude of ethical violations and unprecedented gross misconduct.  He died at the age of 71 in 2006.  Brian Wilson is still with us, he went back to playing in public and has been performing for decades.  Somewhat surprisingly, Brian has also outlived all of his brothers and other founding members of the Beach Boys.

2.)  Max Jacobson

President John F. Kennedy regularly used Max Jacobson, a German born doctor who was well versed in the use of amphetamines, stimulants and painkillers.  He was well know as “Dr. Feelgood” & “Miracle Max.”  This type of pill pusher/needle hound is not unknown in the political or entertainment world.  In Hollywood and Rock & Roll, there are no shortage of doctors who will do whatever is required to keep their client happy.

Michael Jackson had Dr. Conrad Murray, who regularly gave him extremely potent anesthetics just to sleep.  Motley Crue sang ‘Doctor Feelgood’ and Blue Oyster Cult wrote &played ‘Doctor Music,’ two songs that dealt with the rock and roll world aspect of this issue directly.

In Kennedy’s case, the late president suffered from Addison’s disease & had chronic back pain.  He didn’t believe he was very long for this planet ( he was right, unfortunately it wasn’t illness that ended his run on this mortal coil ).  As a result, he threw caution to the wind to find the stamina and energy required to perform the most difficult job in the world.   Kennedy became dependent on his daily injections and couldn’t get by without them.  Despite opposition from the official White House doctor and others, he refused to stop giving Jacobson full access to his inner circle.

Speaking of Germans, Adolph Hitler also had a doctor that he wouldn’t give up using, despite opposition from his own inner circle, the SS, the Gestapo and many of his Generals.  Theodor Morell, had the invincible, racially superior Fuhrer on a strict regimen of vegetables, abstinence and every narcotic know to modern German science known to science at that time.

This turned out to be quite good for the Allies in the war effort.

Recent documents show that British & American Intelligence had some evidence of Hitler’s medical situation for years.  As a result, they decided not to pursue any more covert assassination attempts in the final years of World War II.  The Austrian lance corporal saw himself as a military mastermind, so he was also essentially Commander In Chief, Field Marshall and Chief Strategist for all German operations involving the armed forces.  His strategic decisions & tactical choices were unpredictable, erratic, ill conceived and almost all disastrous as the War waged on.  Keeping him alive was advantageous and likely shortened the War by months or even years.

Now we’re not saying Alex Guerrero is anything like that ( big of us, faint praise to say he isn’t as unethical & debauched as Hitler’s personal enabler ).  In fact he may be an asset.  God knows you can’t trust the “team” physicians employed in the NFL to put your health and long term prospects forth as a priority ( they aren’t called “player” doctors ).

Maybe some of Brady’s teammates were getting better results from his advice, better than being injected with cortisone or being recklessly handed plastic bottles every day filled with Vicodin, Percodan, Oxycodone, Demerol & various other opiate based pain killers just to get them through the next game.

This may all be a case of the Patriots taking a legal stand, not wishing to be seen as enablers or party to his advice if lawsuits are ever filed for some reason or other.  We don’t know the whole story, but it must be important if Belichik & Company are taking a stand this late in the year.

The Bills may be out head-hunting or looking to apply IRA style knee-capping to Gronkasaurus Erectus in this game for his cheap shot on Buffalo DB Tre’Davious White several weeks ago, but we don’t think so.  The Bills are in the playoff hunt, and although the Patriots won relatively easily a few weeks ago in Western New York, the tea leaves tell us this one will be closer and that Buffalo will backdoor this game at the minimum.

  Brutal:  Bills +12.5 

  Bob: Pats -12.5

Atlanta @ NEW ORLEANS (-5.5) 

This it for the Falcons.  Last years’ Super Bowl choke artists have been bravely holding on this year, clinging to life, grinding out games to stay in the hunt.  The truth is, they just aren’t the same since their offensive coordinator left for San Francisco to wear flowers in his hair and take over the Forty Niners..

It isn’t just all about the loss of Kyle Shanahan though, injuries have decimated the Falcons and their star wide receiver Julio Jones has been playing hurt all year and is out for this showdown.

Brutal:  SAINTS -5.5

  Bob: Saints -5.5

  San Diego (-6.5) @ NEW YORK J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!  42.5 

Taking the game off two weeks ago against actually paid dividends for New York.  They played pretty well last week in New Orleans and covered the monster spread.  That means they’ll be taking this week off against Phillip “Eight Is Enough” Rivers and the Chargers.  We don’t trust the Orange County Chargers and neither should you.  However, we don’t trust the Jets either.

Brutal:  Chargers -6.5

  Bob: Jets +6.5

Denver @ WASHINGTON (-3.5)  41

Kirk Cousins is playing for Matt Stafford-Joe Flacco money in this game.  Based on only great play between the 20 yard lines, the likely soon to be free agent might even deserve to be as overpaid as those two based on the current standard.  He won’t need a great performance in this game to attain the jackpot.  He may even be auditioning for John Elway and the team he is facing.

Sticking Brock “Bunyan” Osweiller back in the quarterback position has paid dividends for the Broncos in the three way fight for that job, so he might want to really play well too, hoping that he’ll keep the job for next year.

Wanting, needing & hoping are all very different desires.  Just ask ‘Little Danny Snyder,’ owner of the Washington football club and pint sized ally of Jerry Jones.  The intrepid twosome have failed so far in their Gulliver’s Travels quest to usurp NFL Commissioner Goodell and de-legitimatize his A-Rod contract of Brobdingnagian proportions.

  Brutal:  SANGUINE NATIVE AMERICAN BOUNTIES -3.5

  Bob: Redskins -3.5

 

Tampa Bay @ CAROLINA (-10)  46.5

The only ex-player to own an NFL team is on his way out.  Amidst the current climate of sexual harassment & behavioral misconduct, word comes that Jerry Richardson will be selling the Carolina Panthers at the end of the season.  Roger Goodell and the Park Avenue damage control specialists have really expedited this optics nightmare.  They don’t want any more details of the civil suit settlements in this case to be released.

Still, who knew that Jerry Richardson harbored the same Antebellum fantasies of master & servitude that pastry chef Paula Dean did?

The latest rumors have the no-talent, riff stealing, over-sampled music producer & entrepreneur Do Wah Diddy?  Puff Combs?  Sean Puffy? whatever, ….. lining up an ownership group to buy the Panthers.  The conservative, greedy ownership mindset of the rest of the NFL owners will likely not welcome this news.

The NFL needs to appeal to a younger demographic over the long term, so bringing an African American owner into their King Midas Country Club might be a wise strategic move.

We have almost zero respect for Mr. Combs, his loathsome pop drivel makes us nauseous.  We have also always been perplexed by the scores of people who tune into social media daily to listen to him espouse inane platitudes and life lessons while he makes toast or brushes his teeth.  That being said, he has more integrity than most of the the current group of entitled by divinity, inherited wealth, tax dodgers that act like only they can run the league.

Everybody will be on the Panthers here.  Their win over Green Bay last week coupled with Tampa Bay’s stumbling effort on Monday night against the Falcons is obvious evidence to make that conclusion.

We also can’t wait for the post game press conference when Cam Newton will be wearing an outfit that combines the space age modern vibe of an astronaut uniform with the dark ages nostalgia, mysterious and exotic look of a burka.

 Brutal:  PANTHERS -10

 Bob: Panthers -10

……………. 4:05 pm – 4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time ……..

Jacksonville (-4.5) @ SAN FRANCISCO  42.5

This could be the game of the week.  Blake Bortles ( the highest rated QB over the last three weeks in the NFL, for real! ) against Jimmy ( don’t call me Scott Mitchell ) Garoppolo.  Everybody talks about the Jaguar defense, but their offense has been the best in the league over the last month.  Bortles has been doing it with rookie wide receivers too, due to multiple injuries.

Jimmy Garoppolo has rejuvenated the Forty Niners.  He now owns the City, has become Godfather of the Lanza Crime Family and will soon be the only quarterback revered in the entire Bay Area after the Raiders limp off from Oakland to Las Vegas after the season.  More importantly, after  he signs his next contract, he may even be able to afford a house in the city.

However, his winning streak comes to an end on Sunday.

Once again the Jaguars cover a spread that in any other time continuum, logic would tell us to do otherwise.

  Brutal:  Jaguars -4.5
 
   Bob: Jaguars -4.5

  Seattle @ DALLAS (-5)  47

The Seahawks are injured, cracking at the seams and now paying for years of bad drafting on offense.  On defense, the ‘Legion of Boom’ is no more and after their antics in the last few weeks, they have lost any moral authority they may have had in the NFL.

Dallas gets back suspended RB Ezekial Elliott for this game.  After witnessing his press conference this week and his complete indifference over a promotional video made on his behalf to salvage his image, …. it appears, …… that from this ordeal, ……. he has learned absolutely nothing!

For the second week in a row, logic tells us we have to back the Cowgirls.  As well, it looks like they’ll be going to the playoffs.

Where is a spittoon when you need one?

Brutal:  COWBOYS -5

  Bob: Cowboys -5

New York Football Giants @ ARIZONA (-4)  40

The Cardinals had their chance to make the playoffs, but blew it in Washington last week.  The New York Football Giants had their chance to have a decent season, but blew it when they waited 15 weeks too late to fire head coach Ben McAdoo.

  Brutal:  CARDINALS -4

  Bob: Cardinal -4

 

……….. Monday, December 25, 2017 ……………….

…………… 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ………..

 Pittsburgh (-9.5) @ HOUSTON  44 

This week the Center for Disease Control had a directive leaked where it explained that several words & terms including “science based” are to be banned from any official reports or documents issued by employees.

Sigh, if this was any other previous year in American History, nobody would have believed that this type of Kafkaesque development would be taking place.  Rumors abound that soon the CDC will also blame AIDS on witchcraft, teenage acne on masturbation and the next six hurricanes to hit North America on gay marriage.

Rumors also abound that Houston head coach Bill O’Brien is about to get the axe at the end of this disastrous season.  It can’t come soon enough for our liking.

The Steelers were screwed last week by yet another legal interpretation of the inane Calvin Johnson/Dred Scott precedent from several years ago.  We won’t rehash the rescinding of that obvious touchdown catch controversy.  We really weren’t that upset.  We had no skin in that game.  We have no love for the Steelers, but we hate the Patriots and the evil spawn of followers  fans they have cultivated even more.

Pittsburgh’s star receiver is out, but with or without WR Antonio Brown, the Steelers have enough firepower to but a road beating on these Texans like the Rams did to the Seahawks in Seattle last week.

  Brutal:  Steelers -9.5 

  Bob: Steelers -9.5

……………. 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time ………….

 Oakland @ PHILADELPHIA (-9)  47.5

Is there a coach in a better bargaining position for a monumental new contract than Eagles wizard Doug Pederson?  He’s going to get it too, especially if he keeps winning with his backup quarterback.  Nick Foles is no slouch, but he looked more than magnificent in the last two games.  He is no after market, generic knockoff.  He slotted into this sophisticated and balanced offense like an original replacement factory fuel injection system on a Ferrari Testarossa.

He only has to be average this week to beat the fading into the Black Hole Raiders.  Last week they likely lost the game when the referee produced a golf score card and declared that since he couldn’t fit it between the ball and the yard marker that the Cowboys had the first down that prevented the Raiders from winning.  The NFL has since declared that this practice will no longer be performed and is inadequate.

No kidding?

The Raiders still had a shot in that game, but QB Derek Carr decided to try to extend the ball over the goal line, but lost control and….. you know the rest.

We don’t think of head coach Jack Del Know-it-all Rio has much of a master motivator, so this result seems preordained as the Raiders play out the string till Las Vegas.

  Brutal:  EAGLES (-9)

  Bob: Eagles -9

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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