(Editor’s note: Mixed into a rambling narrative about the current state of affairs in the NFL loaded with historical and pop culture references, Mr. Brutal makes some football picks. Why…

warof1812(Editor’s note: Mixed into a rambling narrative about the current state of affairs in the NFL loaded with historical and pop culture references, Mr. Brutal makes some football picks. Why does he call it the “War of 1812 Football Prognostication”? He likes history, he’s Canadian, and it probably has something to do with those two facts. That’s all we’ve got.) 

Sunday, December 14, 2014
1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Pittsburgh (-3) @ ATLANTA 51

This could be a shootout, and not just because Georgia literally has no laws that restrict gun ownership or use.

We kinda liked the way the Falcons fought back last week on Monday night in Green Bay. The NFC South is all theirs for the taking. If not this week than next, or the one after that.

Pick: FALCONS (+3)

Washington @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-7) 47

Before last week’s game at home against the Rams, St. Louis fired a shot across the bow during the coin toss. Head Coach Jeff Fisher designated the six players acquired through trade & draft picks in the RG III trade as the temporary Ram captains during the coin toss.

Now, it would be easy to cite this as just yet another example of Jeff Fisher piling on an easy target & picking the scab of that mark that can’t defend itself ( kinda like Jim Rome does pretty much every week ). It would be easy to attribute this to Fisher’s massive ego and equally vast insecurities that frequently result in him behaving like a petty little sadistic prick.

But Diminutive Danny Snyder has made so many enemies since taking over the Washington football franchise in 1999 it is hard to pin this one solely on Fisher.

The mastermind behind this has been narrowed to three people.

Suspect #1. Rams’ Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer:

Brian was the Washington Quarterbacks’ coach in 2001. Rumor had it that he was slated to be the Offensive Coordinator the next year, but Snyder intervened & said no. Brian’s father & head coach Marty Schottenheimer felt undercut, and he complained to Snyder about his authority being usurped on coaching matters. The vertically challenged one then fired the whole Schottenheimer family and coaching staff, despite them going 8-8 with a very mediocre team.

Suspect #2. Rams’ Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams:

Now, “Gregg the Bounty Hunter” has his detractors as a head coach, especially in Buffalo, but he is generally regarded as an excellent defensive coordinator. After being fired as head honcho in Buffalo, Gregg went to Washington as DC in 2004 for several seasons where he got the Rouge Epidermis defense ranked into the top ten three out of four years and as high as third in the league despite playing a lot of minutes thanks to a really poor offense.

This was really an outstanding achievement because Head Coach Joe Gibbs insisted on basically running the same offense he did in the early eighties when he was winning Super Bowls in Washington. Unfortunately in the new millennium, this approach resulted in a zero sum option attack that constantly relied on the offense being bailed out by the defense getting turnovers and obtaining great starting field position for the offense.

When Joe Gibbs was forcibly retired to the NASCAR retirement home in 2007, everyone thought Williams would be the next head coach. Snyder interviewed Williams on four separate occasions over two months, …. and then fired him. Then Headhunter International all star Snyder made a really brave? stupid? and near fatal outside the box choice for his next head coach… Jim Zorn!

3.) Suspect #3. Janek “Spazzo” Jaworski, Rams’ current Gatorade brigade captain & sometimes inspirational speaker.

Earlier in his career he worked for Snyder & the Dead Bounty Trophies as an unpaid intern, personal assistant and fall guy gofer. During his 100 days of Solitude working for Danny Despot he was asked to perform unsavory menial tasks like cleaning his Jacuzzi, fetching his morning latte with low cal soy beverage & Stevia and twice a day feeding the captive animals in his private vermin petting zoo.

He drew the line and quit when he was asked to fire long time employees, cut down Federally protected trees on Snyder’s private estate & draft rough outlines of law suits to initiate legal actions against pensioners who were late paying their personal seat licenses.

Former head of the CIA George Tenet, former Vice President Dick Cheney & former General Michael Hayden have all disputed the recent Senate Committee report on torture. They have categorically denied the CIA ever committed torture and contested that the “enhanced interrogation” methods cited in the report even qualify as torture.

However, when asked about Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin’s practices and marathon video sessions, …. they were noncommittal.

Pick: GIANTS (-7)
Bob: Washington +7

Miami @ NEW ENGLAND (-8) 47.5

Last week during the Patriots’ win in San Diego, sideline microphones caught Golden Boy Tom Brady swearing like a sailor on several occasions. The Boston Globe then ran a headline labeling him “Poor Sportsman of the Year.”

The Patriots & Brady should move to correct the situation, because if there is one thing we know about Boston sports fans, winning championships is always secondary to proper verbal etiquette.

Pick: Dolphins (+8)
Bob: Maimi +8

Oakland @ KANSAS CITY (-10.5) 42

In a repeat of past crime and punishment news, certain Sacramento schools have banned the wearing of Oakland Raiders’ gear due to gang affiliations. A two time violation results in expulsion from the school.

As a corollary, any students caught wearing Jets, Jaguars or Titans’ clothing will have to undergo immediate psychiatric evaluation.

Pick: Raiders (+10.5)
Bob: KC -10.5

Houston @ INDIANAPOLIS (-7) 49

The Great Gazoo Goodell has finally unveiled his new “Code of Conduct” policy to great fanfare & parade. Of course he retained himself as ultimate arbiter & overseer throughout the evaluation and appeal process despite a lot of other people being brought in throughout the digestive progression of the scheme to partially diminish and obscure his role. Interestingly, there was almost no accounting for the criminal courts & the legal process delaying or even minimizing the NFL’s future hasty judgements.

Of course, as usual with big business today, the workers were not consulted on an issue that directly affects them. The NFLPA had no role or consultation in the unveiling of this latest NFL policy because billionaires today are afflicted with collective amnesia when it comes to acknowledging the quaint concept of collective bargaining.

Now everybody wants to see severe consequences for violent behaviour and domestic abuse, but railroading through a solution that only came about after the media shit storm surrounding the Ray Rice & Adrian Peterson internet implosion forced the NFL to respond is never a great idea for the long term. You then only compound it by only consulting certain buddies, political friends, stalking horses, donors & yes men. This is hardly the proper way to address a serious issue.

(Current New York City Police Department Commissioner William Bratton is probably not a reassuring choice as the key consultant on this issue in an optics sense considering the current state of affairs regarding his police & African American relations.)

This latest Goodell Gambit reeks of a political salvo meant to embarrass DeMaurice F. Smith and the Players’ Union, thus scoring points with the owners & public when they are seen to demand input into a policy that seems positive and an issue many fans just want to go away.

Think we are being unfair? Two of the women on the NFL’s little board that will hear cases of domestic abuse are:

1.) Jerry Jones’ daughter

2.) The wife of Brown’s owner Jimmy Haslem

Please, if you want to be taken seriously, don’t put two females on the board who are so directly connected with the NFL ownership. Social workers, minority representation, medical professionals & past victims should all be considered & would all give more credibility to the committee and signal the NFL is really serious about addressing the problem.

This compounds the poor optics of having only four white women form the original panel to explore abuse in September. By only having women, the NFL made it look like it is a women’s issue alone and having no black women appointed in a league where 3/4 of the players are African American speaks for itself.

Placing a child of privilege Texas/Arkansas debutante & the gun moll spouse of a “Roadside Racketeer” owner ( allegedly) on the panel are hardly inspiring choices that show understanding.

Browsing through the policy, there is no word yet as to who will staff the NFL’s new testing & sampling laboratory to deal with recreational & performance enhancing drugs. Extending the NFL’s logic of staffing committees with beyond reproach experts, expect Colts’ owner Jim Irsay and Indianapolis safety LaRon Landry to quietly be appointed in the near future.

Pick: Houston (+7)
Bob: Houston +7

Jacksonville @ BALTIMORE (-14.5) 46

The Ravens had a strong second half last week over the Dolphins. They also benefited from a strange “tuck rule” interpretation. Joe Flacco appeared to fumble the ball in the second half. He dropped the ball like a Victorian era concubine attempts to attract a suitor by losing a grip on her handkerchief through the perpendicular extension of her arm & expressing shock as it flutters to the ground.

But the replay officials ruled it an incomplete pass.

Pick: Jaguars (+14.5)
Bob: Jax +14.5

Green Bay (-7) @ BUFFALO 48.5

This is the Bills’ last shot. If the offense can do half what the Falcons did last Monday, that shot is real because the defense can pressure Aaron Rodgers & is unlikely to have two bad games against the rush in a row.

One Ironclad Prediction: On third or fourth down scrambles, Kyle Orton will not fetal position slide before he hits the first down marker in front of the huge home crowd. That would be unwise.

Pick: BILLS (+7)
Bob: BILLS +7

Tampa Bay @ CAROLINA (-3.5) 43.5

We have always been concerned about Panthers’ QB Cam Newton’s immaturity involving his Superman obsession. His insistence on mock ripping his shirt open after a touchdown in a Man of Steel tribute last week in New Orleans resulted in a brawl that almost brought him grievous bodily harm. Then he crashed his SUV this week while driving to practice. He broke his back in two places, but may be back playing in a couple of weeks.

There is no Superman Cam, and portraying or obsessing about him on a constant basis has brought poor fortune to many people in the past who did.

1.) NBA Centre Dwight Howard has become increasingly unpopular, a major disappointment & part time bust in the ever since he started referring to himself in the third person as “Superman.”

2.) Christopher Reeve, the most famous actor in the role had a terrible horse riding accident that resulted in his paralysis & premature death.

3.) During the Yugoslavian Devolution in the early 1990’s, a charismatic psychopath named Arkan { Zeljko Raznatovic } headed up his own para military group called “Arkan’s Tigers.” They were at the forefront of criminal atrocities, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina and helped define the lovely colloquial expression “Ethnic Cleansing.”

Arkan was charged by the International Court for War Crimes in 1999. He denied any knowledge of massacres or atrocities, avoided prosecution by staying in Serbia & mocked international calls for his arrest. He lived the life of a rock star celebrity, actually married a pop star and often referred to himself as “Superman” because nobody could touch him.


On January 15, 2000, Arkan was assassinated along with several bodyguards in a Belgrade hotel. Much speculation took place that it was a dispute over oil smuggling revenues with the son of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Regardless, he got too big for his britches, was connected to a lot of powerful people and was a real threat to the Serb strongman ( also a War Criminal ).

4.) George Reeves, the original Superman in the 1950’s TV show. George was one of the most beloved heroes with children & women in pop culture in that decade. However, he was poorly paid, type cast so he couldn’t extend his career and suffered from depression.

On June 16, 1959 after a night of heavy drinking he either committed suicide or was murdered in his upstairs bedroom sometime in the wee hours. Several drunken friends & his fiancee were downstairs. Their stories varied, they were too inebriated to give the police a common coherent story and the death has been shrouded in mystery and controversy.

The 2006 movie “Hollywoodland” dealt with this. Since the late Mr. Reeves was generally perceived as a very vanilla and limited actor, for once Ben Affleck was perfectly cast in the leading role.

Cam Newton… drop the Man of Steel act before it is too late.

Pick: Buccaneers (+3.5)
Bob: CAROLINA -3.5

Cincinnati (-1) @ CLEVELAND 45

Cleveland QB Brian Hoyer had one of his best games clobbering the Bengals just a little over a month ago, …. so, ……. this week facing a must win scenario, the Browns are starting rookie and plastic swan fetishist Johnny Manziel.

Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis for the second time this year, blundered through a radio interview that got him in some hot water. Previously, he speculated that a lot of players were milking time off from practice and missing games by exaggerating their concussion symptoms. He said in the old days players seemed to recover a lot faster or just played through their dizziness.

Okay Marvin, I guess you’re probably right.

It’s just too bad Mike Webster, Justin Strzyelczyk, Junior Seau & Andre Waters didn’t attend more acting classes while they were in college, it might have extended their lifespan.

This week, Marvin said that the Bengals wouldn’t specially prepare for Manziel quarterbacking the Browns. He explained that you have to defend the offense not the quarterback, …….. especially if he’s a midget.

Now we’re no fans of oppressive political correctness, especially if there is no intentional slight. Motive does matter.

Many dwarfs, midgets or otherwise exceptionally short adults prefer to be called “Little People.” Technically and medically “midget” refers to a person under 4’10” of normal physical proportions. “Dwarf” refers to a person under 4″10″ with some disproportionate physical proportions.

Since Marvin Lewis has apologized and probably didn’t mean it as a slur against all little people, …. [ except Manziel who at 5’10”- 5″11″ is still at least an inch taller than Marvin Lewis. ] ….. we should just forget this.

No, the only midg—- errr miniature? miniken? Mental midge—-minuscule replica, … ahh ….. “Little Person” in this tempest in a thimble is Lewis and his approach to defense.

You “DO” prepare for the quarterback and not just the offense. Especially if he is shorter than average, elusive & runs like a Tasmanian Devil or Whirling Dervish on PCP, and has a zillion Twitter & Instagram followers who could “Crowd Swarm” your team bus when you arrive at the stadium thanks to your insulting, flippant remarks.

In anticipation of this game, the Browns have booked Vern Troyer for the ceremonial coin toss. The Dog Pound is fashioning vintage P.T. Barnum & Bailey Circus posters with Johnny Manziel’s head photo-shopped over Colonel Tom Thumb’s body & the Cleveland Repertory Theater downtown is running special midnight screenings of Wild, Wild West television episodes featuring the late Michael Dunn.

The spirit of Bill Veeck Jr. lives!

Manziel won’t be the second coming of Tarkenton, Young, Flutie or even the RG III we saw in his rookie year.

In this first start against the Bengals for AFC North bragging rights, Johnny comes up “short.”

Pick: Bengals (-1)
Bob: Bengals -1

4:05 pm Eastern Standard Time

New York J-e-t-s, Jets! Jets! Jets! (-2) @ TENNESSEE 42

This week, Jets’ QB Geno Smith said after watching tape of his play this year that he saw “Flashes of Elite quarterback play.” …

Flashes like how?

1.) Like hot menopausal ones?

2.) Like you see from an initial flash of light from a cerebrovascular accident just before a stroke?

3.) Like the late Richard Pryor witnessed when the ether he was using during the process of free basing cocaine ignited causing an explosion?

4.) Like the penetrating daylight piercing through a curtainless window in a skid row flop house, ….. waking from deep slumber a washed up delusional ex NFL quarterback?

Pick: TITANS (+2)
Bob: Jets -2

Denver (-4.5) @ SAN DIEGO 51

High Noon in Navy Town! Peyton Manning has not played that well lately, but it hasn’t mattered since the Broncos have developed a good running attack in the last couple of games.

Last call for Rivers & the Chargers of the Light Brigade.

Will this result in glorious victory like Orthez, Toulouse or Waterloo? ……… or ignominious decimation like Balaclava?

Pick: CHARGERS (+4.5)
Bob SD +4.5

4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time

Minnesota @ DETROIT (-7.5) 43.5

Are the Lions run by idiots? …… Already they have hinted that they don’t want to max contract resign DT Ndamukong Suh and he has indicated that his agent will decide where he plays next year.

Then this week the Lions appeared to have floated the story that they might resign part time running back Reggie Bush, and not resign WR Calvin Johnson and are secretly exploring trade deals.

So how do you expect to gear fans up for the playoffs when you signal you are willing to get rid of your best offensive & defensive players in the off season, continue to employ a head coach with the offensive imagination of an HMO actuary and pin your future rushing attack on a disgraced scarlet letter Heisman hijacker?

Pick: Vikings (+7.5)
Bob: Minny +7.5

San Francisco @ SEATTLE (-10) 39

The African elephant is on the verge of extinction in the wild.

Thanks mostly to aggressive terrorist funded poachers, and a growing middle class market in Asia wrought with ignorance, indifference and greed, it is estimated that the ivory trade will wipe out the animals in a little over 11 years! …

In other words, there will be no pachyderms roaming the dark continent when Jim Harbaugh next buys a new pair of pants or calls an offensive play that fools a veteran defensive coordinator.

Pick: SEAHAWKS (-10)

8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time

Dallas @ PHILADELPHIA (-3) 56

Philly gets embarrassed at home by Seattle who came to town off ten days’ rest, …… Philly smokes Dallas in Texas on Thanksgiving, but the Cowboys are coming to Philly off ten days rest, bent on revenge.

Progressive pattern logic points to the Cowboys, but the statue of Harold Carmichael on my desk points to an Eagle resting on a tree branch outside the window in my den.

Pick: EAGLES (-3)
Bob: EAGLES -3

Monday, December 15, 2014
8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time

New Orleans (-3) @ CHICAGO 54.5

Good news for the Saints! They have actually won their last two games on the road, in Carolina and Pittsburgh, and the game before that they lost by a single point in Detroit.

Betting on Jay Cutler and the Bears is like flushing your goldfish into the city sewer system, quickly running down to the river and expecting him to jump back into your ever loving arms upon seeing you walking along the shore.

Pick: Saints (-3)
Bob: Saints -3

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