(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…

(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. We used to spend a long time editing these things. This year, you’re getting them raw… so enjoy the Canadian “flavour.”)


…… More bad news in the aging world of Rock n’ Roll this week.

….. Seventy year old singer Don McLean was arrested this week for domestic assault. Now we have zero tolerance for cowards who beat up women. After looking at the circumstances of this case, it appears that this may have been ( hopefully) an exceptional one-time unfortunate incident. The Maine police charged him with the least serious version of the offense. This will allow him to leave the state to continue his touring schedule and will likely result in a small fine and probation. His spouse apparently is in agreement.
…… That being said, we are curious to know if this unpropitious aggression may have been triggered by Mr. McLean having accidentally being exposed to a recording of Madonna’s year 2000 complete butchering of his 1971 classic “American Pie.”
…. Eagles’ guitarist Glenn Frey passed away this week at the age of 67 from complications from various ailments. We know some people who were there when this band launched and took off for fame. In and out Eagle Don Felder is still a close friend of an ex partner who knew him in the poor days before the Eagles really started making coin. We liked some of their early stuff and always respected their seamless harmonies.

…… As a solo artist, Frey’s “Smuggler’s Blues” was the song & video we most appreciated. Although somewhat overproduced like most of the work of the Eagles’ group or individual band member solo recordings, the song covered subject material that could only have been brought to the MTV & FM mainstream by an artist deemed acceptable and safe by the corporate braintrusts.

…… Frey had acted in the “Miami Vice” series, garnering everyone involved exposure and comfort. When he wrote, recorded and acted in the “Smuggler’s Blues” it was a mini landmark event. It was the first commercial music video representation of the drug world that wasn’t completely ridiculous.

[ Quite an accomplishment considering it appeared within the framework of Miami Vice. A TV show that suspended your belief to new levels each week. Super Narcs Crockett & Tubbs would continually bust psychopathic Cuban and Colombian drug dealers each episode, cruising around Miami in their low profile Ferrari without any of these astute cocaine entrepreneurs catching on as to the culprits who were responsible for their chronic product distribution disruptions.]
…… Even so, to get played on TV, it had to end with a phony Hayes Code compliant conclusion where all the backsliding recreants seem to get their comeuppance, ….. even though the code had been non legally binding since the late 60’s. Ironically for a long time, this video has also not been available on You Tube because the Eagles, their record company, publishing & composer concerns ( led by Don Henley & Glenn Frey ) have been extra vigilant in preventing even trickles of unaccounted for revenue escaping them. So if this video isn’t available here to promote their work, well, so it goes.

…. We offer an alternative source of the video that hopefully will still be downloadable by press time.

Glenn Frey – Smuggler`s Blues Video (1985) from MTVClassic1 on Vimeo.

…… The best song of all time that put contraband smuggling into the mainstream was from folk icon Arlo Guthrie. The longtime activist, hippy and counterculture artist still performs his music all over the world. He also quite effectively continues defining the spirit, legacy, principles and music of his legendary father, Woody Guthrie.

….. Arlo gave us the longest single hit in history in 1967, the 18 minute and 34 second “Alice’s Restaurant” { a length that Arlo pointed out was exactly the same as the infamous gap in the Nixon White House tapes. He theorized that Richard Millhouse Nixon was a big closet fan of the anti-establishment anthem but could not politically afford to let anybody know that he was }.

…. Arlo had his biggest hit with the moving “City of New Orleans” in 1972, but we like another of his songs even more. Performing at Woodstock in 1969, he unveiled “Coming into Los Angeles.”

….. Arlo explained that returning from London, England he boarded a very long flight that flew over the Arctic heading for Los Angeles. During the flight, they experienced the worst long flight turbulence he had ever encountered. Luggage continually jumped out of the overhead compartments, stewardesses were falling down the aisles with the chicken dinners they were carrying flying through the air to the back of the plane. The passengers were terrified, people were screaming, saying prayers, throwing up and gripping their seats with GI Joe death grips.

….. Arlo said that he was not half as worried as many of the others since he had flown a lot before and due to the fact he was still quite sedated from various drugs he had ingested earlier that day partying with his English friends. The psychotropics were still having a positive effect, despite the events on the plane.

……. Then he discovered something that changed that mood.

…… During a respite in the turbulence, while retrieving his carry on luggage from its dislocation down the aisle floor, he repacked some of the loose items that had become dislodged and then discovered a large amount of cocaine packed tight in the bottom of his bag. This present from his British acquaintances was quite a surprise. Just as he had repacked the bag, the turbulence started up again & he had to sit tight with the bag. He was contemplating getting to the bathroom during the next break in the high altitude tumult to dump the contraband when just as he rose, the stewardess came from behind him, pulled the bag from his hands and said that all the luggage that had become dislodged would be kept under a strap in a locked compartment at the front of the plane and would be returned at the end of the flight.

……. Now Arlo started to get a little bit anxious, but still calmly thought that if they survived this flight he had the makings of a great folk anthem flowing through his head. His stoned state had him altering between paranoia and creativity. The flight continued its rough ride till they landed in Los Angeles. Arlo figured that he would just leave the bag, quickly exit the plane and hope that he was correct in his recollection that there were no items with his ID in the bag and that the stewardess might not remember whose bag it was after such a long eventful flight.

…… Then just as Arlo was exiting the plane, the same stewardess thrust his bag into his hands, “Sir you almost forgot this.” Now he had to descend the stairs from the plane, walk to the gate, descend the escalator to customs. With security all over the place there was nowhere to ditch the bag till he cleared customs. To make it worse, a woman several people in front of him in the queue was suspected of smuggling and roughly taken aside by the stoic Customs’ officers.

…… Now the paranoia really seated itself in his mind, because several minutes later and still partially high from the long lasting psychedelics he would be facing the brush cut wearing sadists who had the power to ruin his life. This was the late sixties and long haired Arlo looked like what he was, the ultimate flower power hippy. The human manifestation of the Peace Movement, Free Love & LSD seemed the perfect victim for any Customs’ cop wannabees.

….. In a numb state, Arlo went to the customs counter, said he had nothing to declare, ……. and ………

…… Absolutely nothing happened, ……..

……. Arlo took a deep breath, left the airport, went to his hotel and wrote this song. Arlo said he figured that the Customs’ Guards must have met their quota by busting the woman in front of him. He said at first he was really angry at his English friends for the “present” until he found out later that these stoners never got searched going through English Customs when they returned from abroad so they figured that it was the same in America.

…. Arlo explained that that he took some liberty with the amount of cocaine mentioned in the lyrics of the song. He said there weren’t a couple of keys (kilograms) in his bag, probably only about 15-20 ounces, but that is still way more than enough to put him away for life! The lyrics were just easier to rhyme with “Los Angeleeeeze” using “keys” instead of “ounces.”

…. Also, showing the disconnect between authorities and the drug culture, many future DEA, FBI and various other law enforcement agencies referenced the song “Coming into Los Angeles”
as evidence of the existence of a well used drug culture code where “chicken” referred to cocaine. Arlo thought this was hilarious as it only truly was about chicken dinners spilling all over the plane and not a wild cocaine snorting party taking place amongst the passengers and crew.

….. Of course the song was banned by about half of American radio stations and many others only gave it minimal play, terrified to upset the FCC and the politicians. Still, it was a landmark song, honest, of its time and capturing a counterculture vibe that an inauthentic iconoclast could never have written.

…… A few years ago Arlo Guthrie recalled going through customs at Logan International Airport in Boston. He still looked like the same 1960’s hippy that he was and is.

…….. As he approached the customs, they all started to focus on him as the line got shorter and he started to become concerned. This was shortly after 911, Arlo was pretty sure he wasn’t carrying anything but wasn’t completely sure.

….. When he got to the counter, they sternly asked him to go to the private room. Arlo was nervous because as he explained it; “People of my tribe who look like me naturally get anxious around the tribe of uniformed law enforcement thugs who look like them and vice versa I’m sure.”

….. When he was seated, the head officer looked at his passport and slowly looked up, paused, stone stared him in the face and then asked:

“Mr. Guthrie, I have one question for you. …… Are you carrying a couple of keys?”
…… then he laughed and asked Arlo for his autograph. Arlo said he was truly relieved. As Arlo explained later, I was really nervous with this guy, what a great actor, he should have been a drug smuggler, … but boy how times change.”

….. an authentic song about defining life during an iconic era. A song that future Eagle Joe Walsh said helped inspire him to write “Life’s Been Good” on one of his solo records.

…… Speaking of Joe Walsh, we have always been big fans of the enigmatic guitarist dating back to his early 70’s James Gang days.

….. and speaking of the James Gang, they hailed from Cleveland, Ohio. We all know that it is the home of the “Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Let’s be clear: “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” is 80% Bullshit.
…. Most serious Rock fans have despised this institution since its opening, but not for the original overriding principle of the undertaking.

…… This distaste in the mouths of millions of fans is mostly attributable to the fact that it has been organized/sponsored/manipulated by the slippery chameleons of pseudo music journalism; Publisher Jann Wenner and his staff at Rolling Stone Magazine.

…. Now don’t get us wrong, we appreciate a lot of that magazines’ editorial, feature & political writing. In a world where the media is mostly bought and paid for, editorially controlled to espouse corporate political bias & terrified to take on any issue that might be controversial, Rolling Stone is a daisy amongst the dandelions.

…… Our problem is that the topic that they started covering to establish themselves in publishing, …… music, ……. has long been something that they forsook to be used mostly to promote compromised commercial considerations, an arrogant preoccupation of their own self awareness and an egomaniacal obsession with defining, deifying & establishing what music and artists are “In Style.”

……. That and to give podium to a host of pretentious critics who have manipulated, misrepresented or deliberately steered the music narrative at the mercy of honesty, reason and common sense. Many of these critics & writers ended up dominating the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee. Most of these narcissists have egos larger than Donald “Make America Hate Again” Trump.

….. Now a review of Rolling Stone & its inconsistent/bias/irresponsibility/ignorance when it comes to music would take a very, very, very large book to cover in its entirety. These self appointed experts’ viewpoints concerning what is hip, meaningful and/or relevant in the world of music would be laughable if it also wasn’t so damaging. This slanted, unbalanced, historically perverted version of rock and roll does unfortunately alter the actual perception of history.

…… Unsuspecting, unknowing, impressionable young people, casual listeners and wannabe musicians who would like to really learn about the origins of modern music are done a disservice by the Hall’s continual ignoring of progressive, hard rock, heavy metal, fusion and long running album acts that they have never considered worthy of their blessing.

….. The irony of never actually adequately defining the term “Rock n’ Roll” before setting out on the journey of building a shrine to it seems to have conveniently escaped the logic section of the collective Rolling Stone braintrust. They also never bothered to consider that they have from the outset treated it like it was the “American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” and minimized the contributions, sales & influence of International artists. { Except for the biggest, most obvious commercial exceptions }

…… So it was predictable that Rolling Stone from the outset would use the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame to sell magazines, merchandise, concerts, etc. to justify their editorial board’s personal tastes, rewrite rock and roll history from their Greenwich Village perspective and to propagate their overall brand.

…. They have also always been more concerned with ratings for their yearly televised/taped induction ceremonies and concerts than the integrity of the Hall of Fame itself.
…. All that is to be expected, but the manner in which they have done it is a joke. First of all, we realize that you cannot put all the deserving artists in at the first inauguration or over even the first decade. However, almost immediately after the first couple of years, they subsequently started peppering the Hall with Pop Artists who wouldn’t know rock and roll if it bit them in the ass, but guaranteed big television ratings.

…… They also started selecting pretentious obscure picks from the early days who might deserve mention in a builders or history section but not as full patch members over much more deserving candidates.

…. As early as 1993, when this thing got off the ground, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner publicly lamented that New York City hadn’t put up the money to build the Hall.

….. Because of course, New York City doesn’t have enough museums, activities, wonders or tourist attractions and hates ceding anything to “The Great Flyover” portion of the country between them and Los Angeles.

…. As a result, his attitude spread to many of the critics and many of the big artists who were nominated. It seems they didn’t want to make the terribly difficult one hour flight from New York City to Cleveland for the ceremonies & show because it was inconvenient to their schedules and of course because it was Cleveland.
……. As a result they started holding the induction ceremonies and concert in New York City at Radio City Music Hall to appease these snobs who couldn’t care enough to make that short flight to the southern shore of Lake Erie.

….. Eventually after scathing criticism from many quarters, they started to rotate the ceremonies between New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles and anywhere else that they choose to either make more money or temporarily dissuade criticism.

…. In next week’s Super Bowl column we’ll review some of the positive changes the Rock n’ Roll Hall and Rolling Stone finally undertook and look at this year’s inductees and hope for the future.

Sunday, January 24, 2016
3:05 pm Eastern Standard Time
New England (-3.5) @ DENVER 44
…. The Battle of the top two Republican Quarterbacks in the NFL.

…… Peyton “Papa John ‘Death to Universal Healthcare’ Schnatter” Manning vs. Tom “Trump seems like a great, regular type guy to me” Brady.

….. What do we know about the Patriots? …. Well as usual, the “Master of Deceit” Bill Belichik ran perfect interference in the week leading up to the game with the Chiefs.

……. Looking like a 1960’s Tareyton Cigarette model sporting an almost too perfect black eye at all the press conferences during that week and refusing to answer any questions about it was a typical brilliant Belichikian-Machiavellian maneuver. It successfully distracted from the fact that wide receivers Edelman and Amendola were 98% healthy and had been strategically sandbagged till their release upon the unsuspecting Chiefs.

…… Like the corporate motto of that now semi-defunct brand of legal cancerous mouth accessories, Belichik would rather resist than entertain any temptation to change his behaviour to become more civilized when it comes to dealing with the media.

…… Belichick in a shallow stab at levity, tediously commented that he didn’t think coaches should be part of the team injury report. No they probably shouldn’t Bill, but what difference would it make if they were? The way Belichik produces vague, contemptible injury status lists that are longer than the Warren Commission Report, you have a better chance of deciphering the Voynich Manuscript than uncovering the actual cause of his periorbital hematoma.

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…… We also learned last week that Rob “Rampaging Polish Sasquatch” Gronkowski loves doing what it takes to play as much as WR Phil Elliott in “North Dallas Forty.” The Nick Nolte character in the cult classic film loved needles and famously announced after taking another one for the team:

“Better Football through Chemistry!”
….. So how do we take the Denver Broncos here? …… Well Belichik & Brady are 2-6 in Mile High City all time. Peyton “The Rusting Android” Manning against Tom “Holistic Miracles” Brady hasn’t done quite that well, going 5-11. The real key match-up here is Patriot QB Golden Boy Tom Trump against Bronco DC Wade “Son of Bum” Phillips.

…… At home in the 5,280 foot altitude of Colorado, the number one overall defense in football is bound to get more pressure on Brady than the Chiefs did last week in New England. We also don’t expect the Patriots to run much more than they did last week and the Broncos also have the number one pass defense in the NFL. They will need it to stop the patented Brady to Edelman/Amendola short slant routes to set up the stampeding Gronk down the seam kill-shots.

…… Phillips, the former Bills’ Head Coach has a lousy 2-7 record against the Belichik led Patriots so he knows what he is preparing for. A lot of those teams that lost had lousy offenses. Good news on the weather front. The game time temperature in Denver is forecast to be 10 degrees Fahrenheit above freezing with little wind. The NFC Championship game in Charlotte is going to actually be colder.

….. This means that the lube in Peyton’s joints will remain viscous and his arms and legs will not seize up like Ferrari pistons during February in Fargo. The lack of significant wind is also good news for the Broncos. Last week the wind was slight to medium with the Chinooks blowing across the stadium. They affected Manning’s throws far more than the strong armed Roethlisberger.

……. Yes, Denver had a record number of drops, but Peyton’s short passes resembled the trajectory of wounded mini Hindenburgs fluttering, then quickly accelerating to the earth in terminal death spirals. His long passes were almost all along the sideline, and almost all of them went wide and out of bounds due to the wind conditions & the lack of arm strength that comes from age/wear/injury and the inability of HGH to restore everything to 100% original condition.
….. Well, things can only be better for Mandroid in this game. It might be his final one, and he will game manage it with the precious occasion status it deserves. Getting points with the home team, also with the best defense in football means that we ride the wild Broncos and hope to stay on for eight seconds. We know we won’t win this rodeo on style points.

…… Besides we have it on good authority that Belichik has been abnormally nervous & apprehensive about this week’s match-up for quite some time. In fact he anticipated the easy victory over the Chiefs and the Broncos’ victory over Pittsburgh. He dreaded this game in Denver. His uncharacteristically elevated level of agitation and antisocial behaviour even led to him being punched in the left eye on three separate occasions by his personal “Life” coach, his “Serenity Now” trainer and his “Hot Yoga” instructor.

…… and unless the New England Head Honcho Sideline General drops the Calvin Coolidge act and clarifies otherwise to the cause of his facial injuries, …….. we will cling to this flimsy premise as plausible, accountable reasoning in justifying our backing of the hometown Broncos.

My Top Sportsbooks is giving 3 points on the spread to the Denver Broncos as the underdog this weekend against the Patriots on their predictions.

Pick: BRONCOS (+3.5)
Bob: New England -3.5

6:40 pm Eastern Standard Time
Arizona @ CAROLINA (-3.5) 47
…… Carolina has only one new injury coming out of the almost Biblical proportions big lead blown nail biter against Seattle. Panther DE Jared “Frank Buck” Allen is likely gone for the playoffs. We are told this is the result from an injury in last week’s playoff game and not a flaming recurrence of an old injury he received from wrestling a Musk Ox to the death in the Yukon in 2005.

…… Panthers’ Head Coach Ron Rivera isn’t taking any chances with his relatively healthy squad. He has gone old school by banning the use of hoverboards by the team. Apparently the players have taken to cruising up and down the corridors of their practice facility in wagered contests regarding who can go furthest & fastest. A couple of 320 lb linemen wiping out on over waxed floors is a preventable disaster that Rivera will not tolerate.

….. Big Ron is also aware that these crappily constructed, under-wheeled, handle-less, wannabee Segways are a fire hazard. Rivera lost his entire house to an accidental house fire exactly one year ago, and he isn’t taking any chances this deep into the playoffs.

….. Also, if he didn’t ban the damn things, it would just be a matter of time before Cam Newton incorporated some sort of high risk, twisted “Charge of the Light Brigade” tribute into his ever expanding repertoire of football celebrations. The MVP flying around the stadium aboard a hoverboard is a disaster in the making.

……. We’ll take Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, Bruce Arians and the transplanted Cardinals. If they win and go on to win the Super Bowl, the City of Saint Louis can receive some respite from the loss of their Rams back to Los Angeles in the knowledge that they will have another champion in the form of the linear Cardinals to go along with the Rams’ 1999 Championship.

…… We’ll admit it here. We have a bias because of the remaining four teams left in this tournament, the Cardinals are the only one that we don’t have a palpable dislike towards.

…… Watching MVP Cam Newton and the dull, docile Panthers play against either the Evil Empire of New England or the HGH Automaton led Mile High Palominos is a Super Bowl that we would never like to witness.

Pick: Cardinals (+3.5)
Bob: Cards +3.5


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