N.(F.)L. State of Mind: Football Picks for Week One

Hello baby birds, you look hungry for some NFL knowledge. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you right up with some yummy, regurgitated goodness. It’s my gift to you. So strap in, strap up and strap on — it’s time for my week 1 NFL picks, guaranteed to win you something. Or maybe lose. Probably a little of both.

Key: Treat of the Week. Snoozefest. Winner. Upset winner.

Tennessee @ PittsburghThat was an overreaction.
Remember last season? When Tennessee towel stomped all over the terrible towel following a regular season win? Remember when the Titans had the best record at 13-3? Remember when the Titans won the Super Bowl? Oh, right. This is just another classic example of “I celebrated far too early in the season and now I look like an idiot”, and it’s an illness that runs rampant throughout the NFL, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Dont tread on me.

Don't tread on me.

Preseason is the perfect example. It’s the third quarter, the starters are long gone, and some nobody who’s buried at the end of the depth chart makes a decent play. I didn’t say great, I said decent. Then — pow — he’s dancing his ass off like a man who’s auditioning for America’s Got Talent, and he looks like a total ass clown.

Now I’m not against celebration, and don’t let anybody tell you any different. If players could choreograph interpretive dances to their touchdowns then by all means, strap on a leotard and knock out some plies. However, a preseason TFL by a 4th string defensive tackle? That should never be celebrated. Game winning touchdowns, game changing plays and when the game is in hand — those are cause for celebration. Cheer responsibly, alright guys?

Miami @ Atlanta – This is going to play out just like high school, except with less backne.
As men (or boys — really, what’s the difference these days?) We all remember that one girl in high school that transformed overnight from an ugly duckling into a beautiful white (or some sort of Spanish, maybe a little Asian) swan. I’m not talking about the girls in high school whole came in freshman year, all awkward-looking and in braces and such, that eventually matured into fine young women senior year. I’m talking about the girl that one summer, one makeover went from band geek to bombshell. I’m looking at you, Miami Dolphins … or Atlanta Falcons.

Yeah, you both had significant turnarounds last season. And just like that hot girl, people started really noticing you. They started day dreaming about you, wondering what position you would be in when it’s all said and done. But then something happens to that hot girl that’s going to happen to one (or both of you): people are going to realize you’re actually not hot.

Sometime within the year, you’ll noticed that that hot girl is the same ugo as before, just in different packaging. She wears push-up bras instead of sports bras, daisy dukes instead of gym shorts, make-up instead of … I don’t know … not make-up. And at first, it’s deceiving, but eventually the shine wears off, and the aura of hotness that was surrounding said girl is gone.

Miami, Atlanta — A lot of people thought you were hot last year, but I can see that you just wore your jeans lower so your thong would peek out. One of you will stumble — hard — this year, and I can’t wait to mock at the scores of men who lined up to woo you.

Denver @ Cincinnati – “Child, please”
The ‘Nati is going to be good this year, even with the injury suffered to their first-round crybaby. Chris Henry, you beautiful son of a bitch, is going to have a serious year — similar to Brandon Stokely did in Indy with Marvin and Reggie at the No. 1 and 2 — and I tried as hard as I could to get you in fantasy football this year but it didn’t happen. You were my one that got away.

We all know what it feels like to watch the one get away. Even worse when the one that got away ends up being wildly successful, which leads to you sitting in a bar, drunk off your fifth cranberry and vodka shouting at the TV, “I never loved you anyway! You were a crazy bitch!” and then yarfing on the bar. Classy. Some other ones that got away from you and your fantasy team: LeSean McCoy, Donald Brown, Greg Olsen, Darren McFadden. You wanted those players … don’t lie. But you didn’t get them, either opting for more “sure things” (yeah, Joseph Addai way to hitch your wagon to that beat down mule) or unwilling to spend a high pick on them. But you’ll miss them, and at three in the morning you’ll be drunk, checking their facebook fan page, wondering who that guy is that keeps posting on their wall so much.

Minnesota @ Cleveland

Now Im done ... being a back up.

Now I'm done ... being a backup.

Brady Quinn, known as “BQ Stacker” around these parts, better start 16 games this season. You hear me Eric Mangini?! Put the sandwich down and listen for a second! I’m tired of former Notre Dame football players doing squat in the pros. There aren’t enough former Domers running around being all awesome and such. You’ve got Ryan Grant, Ryan Harris, Justin Tuck, Hunter Smith (is he still good?), John Carlson and Anthony Fasano doing good things, maybe some other random linemen. But come on! Hopefully, the youngsters playing now — Jimmy Clausen, Michael Floyd, Golden Tate, Kyle Rudolph — will all become forces to reckon with in the pros.

Oh, and Minnesota wins.

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
One question: How on God’s green Earth does Eli Manning make more money than Peyton Manning? That is un-American. I’m serious, America hates less-talented younger siblings (Aaron Carter, one of those Baldwins, those Kardashian whores, etc.) and Eli Manning is making more money than Peyton? What is wrong with America?

Oh, and if you drafted Maurice Jones-Drew with one of the top picks in your draft — you’re an idiot. You should have picked Tom Brady or Randy Moss or Larry Fitzgerald like an adult. “But Andy, Mo-Jo catches the ball alot!” Shut up, whiny voice I made up just to prove you wrong. He’s not going to work out, just you wait and see.

Detroit @ New Orleans
Detroit is as good at football as New Orleans is as good at disaster relief. It’s OK, Katrina was like 10 years ago, you’re allowed to laugh.

Dallas @ Tampa Bay
Sure, Tampa doesn’t have a quarterback. And Monte Kiffin left. And they are breaking in a new head coach. And nobody really knows what Derrick Ward is capable outside of New York. But fuck Dallas, you know?

Philadelphia @ Carolina

Kansas City @ Baltimore – Welcome to Bodymore, Murdaland
Baltimore is the Chicago Bears of the AFC. Just like New Orleans is the Cincinnati of the NFC. Or Oakland is the Detroit of the AFC. Actually, on that last one, I’m not really sure who should be more insulted. On the one hand, Oakland does have a long, storied history, filled with John Madden and a living Al Davis and Andy Paschen’s 8th cousin Jeff Hostetler (come get some!). On the other hand, Detroit’s owner is alive and actually makes drafts picks according to who might be good at football, not who would win in the 100 yard dash.

Also, Chaz Schilens — that’s the Raiders No. 1 WR, I bet you didn’t know that — I drafted you this year in Fantasy Football, so I better see some production out of you. Or else I will dump you for a three-name Oakland receiver faster than a Appalachian hick dumps his girlfriend for his sister. See? Because she probably has a three-name name too. Like Betty Sue Johnston, or Mary Jane Watson. Like Johnnie Lee Higgins, or Darius Heyward-Bey. [Danny: That better be in another league, because I’ve been on the Johnnie Lee Higgins bandwagon for over a year now – that man is the truth. And JLH is a proud member of the Fightin’ Quantrills already. FACE.]

NY Jets @ Houston – The Dirtiest of Sanchezes
To borrow from Ichiro: If I saw myself saying that I liked Matt Sanchez I would have to punch myself in the face, because I’d be lying.

I can’t stand you Matt Sanchez. I hate you. I can’t even explain it. I just want to see you fail, like Matt Leinart did. Maybe it’s because I hate USC so much, or maybe it’s because I think you, like Matt Leinart, are overrated and were surrounded by more talent at USC than Matt Stafford has this year. I don’t know, take your pick.

Washington @ NY Giants

San Francisco @ Arizona – Remember when rape was funny? You don’t?
Going off tangent, I’d like to talk about an unwritten rule that many people apparently can’t figure out. If you want to crack jokes off-color, tasteless jokes … go right ahead. In fact, I’m probably right in line behind you, ready to toss out a few inappropriate comments myself. HOWEVA, (to quote the wordsmith Steven A. Smith) don’t joke about a woman getting raped. It never works out. Ever. Even stand-up comedians won’t touch that one.

That being said, it’s probably not a good idea to write and entire sports column about what a girl who was captured and raped for 18 years missed in the world of sports.

I’m haven’t boned up on Emily Post’s latest manual of etiquette, but after reading possibly the single worst column in the entire world (you’re off the hook Jay Mariotti) I’m fairly certain you are not supposed to do that. Ever. It’s not a hard rule to follow. It’s three words. No rape jokes. No rape puns. No humorous rape anecdotes. OK that last one was four, but the point remains. [Danny: The best part (which is by far the worst part): he did the same damn thing before. And he still doesn’t think he made an egregious mistake. Yet I can’t get a job as a writer. The world works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?]

We live in a society where you can get away with a lot and it’s fine. Just watch an episode of Family Guy, they literally do whatever they want with no repercussions. So Mark Whicker, all I really have left to say to you is … that was dumb. Enjoy your severance package. I can’t wait to read your next column, when you talk to the ghosts of 9/11 and tell them about all the great movies they’ve missed.

St. Louis @ Seattle – Why would I want to talk about this game, nobody’s going to punch anyone out.
I have nothing to say about this game except I hope it ends quickly. But I will use its allotted space to discuss an important cultural phenomenon — Bitch-Ass-Ness.

I happened to be out of town last Thursday, so I wasn’t able to witness the shenanigans that transpired at the end of the game between the Oregon Quack-Quacks and the Boise St. Smurfs. Thanks to YouTube, I discovered that some dude named Byron (Boise St.) was jibber-jabberin’ at starting running back/one bad mother-fucker LeGarrette Blount (Oregon) and Mr. Blount decided his fist needed to make a proper introduction to Byron’s jaw.

Treated. And, of course, the announcers chime in with their, “We’re morally outraged!” and “There’s no place for this in football!” pre-written schpiel (Schpeel? Chosen people, help me out with my Yiddish) that I despise for one major reason. There absolutely is a place in major athletics for bouts of hyper-masculine violence! Are you kidding me? Punching is as American as apple pie, and it is always the cherry on top of a good sports game.

And to tell me that there’s no place for a strong hook to the jaw in a game where people have cheered life threatening injuries (I’m looking at you Philly) and players try to rip each others’ spines out through their anuses. Now there are some places that are actually no place face-punching, such as:

  • The Disney movie Finding Nemo (They don’t even have fists)
  • Miss America pageant (Slapping is always encouraged though)
  • Disagreements between the elderly or infirmed (all disagreements should be settled with an impromptu wheel chair race, regardless of age or disability)

And of course …

  • My face

Sunday Night:
@ Green Bay If erection lasts more than four quarters, please consult a physician.
Let’s get a few things straight around these parts. The Bears-Packers rivalry is the Red Sox-Yankees, UNC-Duke, Lakers-Celtics of the NFL. Period. It is the best rivalry in the land, and that’s why this game has gotten me stiffer than Johnny Unitas’ arm after retirement.

This is the game that really can set the tone for both of these teams. Obviously, I’m picking Chicago despite the fact that the game is being played in Lambeau. That’s all well and good, except for the part where Lovie Smith is 7-3 against the pack and 4-1 in Lambeau. Pwnage. But what specifically about this game am I most excited for? I’m glad you asked.



I have a theory, it’s called the Wide Receivers Ceiling Theory, and it goes like this. Wide receivers can only be as great as their quarterback allows them to be, not the other way around. For example: Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, David Aromashadou, Joaquin Iglesias, Johnny Knox, etc. have the potential to become far better receivers with Jay Cutler throwing them the ball. Leaps and bounds better. Turning-coal-into-diamonds better.

On the flipside, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal only have the power to make Kyle Orton marginally better. Quarterbacks make or break receivers, not the other way around. That’s why Randy Moss blew in Oakland and became a god in New England. And that’s why Terrell Owens didn’t make Tony Romo any better than he’s going to end up.

So when I hear members of the media tell me that the Bears can’t go very far because they don’t have the receivers, I want to punch them in the throat. If the Bears flounder this year, all signs point to mangled, woeful secondary. Remember that.

[Danny: I wanted to respond immediately to the shenanigary you put forth as to the winner of Sunday night’s game, but I agree with your Ceiling Theory, so I let you speak. But I can’t let that analysis stand. It’s a trave-sham-ockery. That’s right, I said it.

First, I’ll channel my inner roided-out Mark McGwire and say that we’re not hear to talk about the past. But if we are, we’ll talk recent past, like Green Bay’s 37-3 win over the Bears at Lambeau last year.

Second, you are severely underestimating the Packers. I understand that is your prerogative as a Bears fan, but it’s dangerous territory. The defense is vastly improved, latching onto the new 3-4 scheme and healthy (well, at least until B.J. Raji got hurt the other day). Aaron Rodgers will be the newest Packers quarterback to anally pillage the Bears for at least a decade. And I’ll laugh every single time it happens. Like Sunday night. I completely expect a rebuttal if I do the picks in Week 14 when these two teams face off again, but at least I know I’m right. Fin.]

Buffalo @ New England – Tawm Brady! Fack!
That being said, if anyone thinks New England isn’t the team to beat with Tom Brady back and Fred Taylor in the mix, they must be shrooming. As much as I hate every human being that cheers for any professional Boston sports team, and wish them major trauma due to a constant beating with a blunt object, I am not dumb enough to stare facts in the face and ignore them.

I can ignore a lot of things: John and Kate and their eight future train wrecks, American Idol, anything on the Bravo! channel, Kings of Leon, the rest of the MLB season, etc., but I am not going to ignore the fact that New England is the team to beat. Pittsburgh? I don’t think so, not with that walking caveman behind center. Puh-leeze.

San Diego @ Oakland
Let’s ask Charles Barkley what he thinks about the Oakland Raiders:

“Oakland is just turrible.”

Thank you Charles Barkley!

That’s it for this week’s edition, enjoy the games.

Next week: Power Rankings! Rap albums! More picks! Bears analysis! College football! Beets! Battlestar Galactica!


1 Comment

Filed under Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers

One response to “N.(F.)L. State of Mind: Football Picks for Week One

  1. Klos

    sometimes i read these and get happy because i get most of the inside jokes, and when you talk about fantasy, again, i know what youre talking about. then i smile.

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