(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.”)
…. Sunday, December 27th, 2015 …..
1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
San Francisco @ DETROIT (-10) 43
…. Ninety year old Detroit Lions’ owner Martha “The Guillotine” Ford was thrilled with their victory last Monday Night in New Orleans. HC Jim Caldwell is off the hot seat till the end of the season and Martha has temporarily shelved her “Senior Moment” brainstorm of bringing back Wayne Fontes to captain the good ship Leo.
Pick: Forty Niners (+10)
Bob: Niners +10
Pittsburgh (-11) @ BALTIMORE 47.5
….. It is too bad that the NFL Season doesn’t end before Jan 1st. If it did, the Baltimore Ravens could fly to St. John’s Newfoundland to celebrate the New Year. That way they could get a head start on everybody else going into the off-season after a year where they were playing catch-up all year.
…… The United States time zones end with the Eastern Time Zone in Maine. Canada has the Atlantic Time Zone in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, which is one hour ahead of the Eastern zone. Then there is Newfoundland & Labrador who have their own “Newfoundland” Time Zone which is a half hour ahead of the Atlantic.
….. So when you party “On the Rock” on December 31st, New Years’ arrives a half hour early and leaves you half in the bag.
….. As good as Pittsburgh looks and the fact Kansas City easily covered 7.5 last week in Baltimore, ……. we still can’t back a road fave to the tune of 11 points.
Pick: RAVENS (+11)
Bob: Ravens +11
Dallas @ BUFFALO (-6) 42.5
….. The best Christmas Song & Video to capture the spirit of some of the typical Buffalo Bills’ tailgating activities, especially for this Sunday during the Holiday season.
……. Dysfunctional Dallas vs. the Bickering Bills, …. who to take?
…. Well the weather forecast calls for light rain, and the Cowboys traditionally don’t like moisture on their stetsons.
Pick: BILLS (-6)
Bob: Bills -6
Chicago @ TAMPA BAY (-3) 46
…….. Rain in Florida means only the hardcore fans will come out to see this final game of the Buccaneer season along with die hard mid-west Chicago transplants. Jameis “Seafood” Winston has had a pretty good rookie year and he will want this game more than the mediocre Bears and Jay Cutler.
……. Also, Tampa HC Lovie Smith would really like to stick it to his former employer.
Pick: BUCCANEERS (-3)
Bob: Bucs -3
Carolina (-7.5) @ ATLANTA 47.5
….. Only two games left for the Carolina Panthers to achieve perfection after that wild melee with the New York Giants last week.
…… One wonders how they can concentrate on the task at hand after the difficult news that came out of the Carolinas this week.
…… That’s right, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham decided that his closeted campaign for the Presidency would be “suspended.”
( What exactly is the point of using that euphemism? Does anybody believe that Graham will resurrect his exciting crusade at the Republican Convention in time to break an impasse and become the Great Henry Clay Compromiser candidate who will heal the party and take the White House?)
……. Of course not, because Graham was just a well funded stocking horse whose backers didn’t care that he polled at 0% for months. ……
…….. Who were those backers? …. why, …. the Military Industrial Complex. The people Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about when he left office in 1960.
…. This is no conspiracy theory. Every election cycle, defence contractors & various other associated companies back a candidate in the Republican party runoff. The purpose is for this candidate to beat the war drum throughout the campaign, causing fear, tilting the floor, guiding the debate and forcing the other candidates to move to the right on the issue of increased Defense spending, foreign interventions and outright war.
…… You couldn’t have had a better shill than Graham. He has always been in the back pocket of these people. For years he has lobbied for a huge new war with Iran, backed an increased military presence in the rest of the Middle East & for increased Defence Budgets.
….. During the campaign, these issues were pretty much all he talked about. Recent terrorist events in Paris & San Bernadino combined with his constant South Carolina style Chicken Little-Foghorn Leghorn panic blathering worked. A lot of the focus of the Republican campaign has switched to war/terrorist/defence budget issues.
….. Mission Accomplished, …… time to stop spending money that is no longer necessary with a candidate who had done the job but still rounded down to 0% in party support.
…… The Military Industrial Complex ( for want of a better word ) doesn’t expect their candidate to win the actual nomination, but sometimes they luck out. Back in 2008 they backed Graham’s Senate tag team partner John McCain, and he actually won the nomination to face Barack Obama.
…… Still it is a sad day in the Carolinas as a native son is forced to withdraw his name from the most sacred pursuit in the country. The greatest concern for most good Republicans is the mental health issues that might affect his supporters in the wake of this shocking announcement.
…… and how the authorities will find the health funds to help 0% of the population.
….. The last two months of the Falcons 2015 season has been a disaster far worse than Graham’s campaign which at least fullfilled a purpose to justify its existence.
Pick: Panthers (-7.5)
Bob: Atlanta +7.5
Indianapolis @ MIAMI (Even) 44
……. Recently, a Florida police officer was honoured by the MADD organization for making 100 DUI arrests. At the ceremony to accept the award, the recently promoted to detective officer showed up “staggeringly drunk.” He was found wandering the halls in his underwear at the Hotel where the ceremony was held.
…… When other police prevented him from entering the ballroom in this state and tried to take him to his room, he claimed he had only had a couple of drinks. Later it also became evident that he had driven himself across the state to the banquet in this inebriated state. He also skipped out on the taxpayer funded DUI training that was part of the weekend conference to go get drunk yet again, …… and he had been belligerent with dozens of other police and hotel guests throughout his stay.
….. He officially stated that the DUI training was skipped because it was irrelevant in his new job as a detective investigating child crime. He said that his promotion from street officer also made his heavy drinking a non issue since he would no longer be pulling people over on traffic stops, so he wasn’t being a hypocrite when he decided to get wasted.
…… The only punishment new Detective Michael Szeliga received was a one day suspension without pay.
….. Ahhh Florida, the only state where weird is an inadequate adjective to apply to its state of being according to native humourist Dave Barry.
….. The Dolphins’ season also defies adequate adjectives, but one thing is likely, ……. at the end of the season, Head Coach “Caveman” Dan Campbell will be off the job for more than one day without pay.
…. Last week Indianapolis third string QB “Clipboard Jesus” Charlie Whitehurst briefly got into the game when Matt Hasselbeck’s body betrayed him. “Clipboard” played okay and they’ll probably need his contributions again this week, as Hasselbeck is being kept together with baling wire, various support braces & Geritol.
….. It should be enough.
Pick: Colts (Even)
Bob: Colts Even
New England (-4) @ NEW YORK JETS 46
…… Jets need to win, Jets must win, Jets probably won’t win. However, they might cover in their desperate attempt to get in the playoffs.
Pick JETS (+4)
Bob: New England -4
Houston (-5) @ TENNESSEE 42
Both teams come in to the game with quarterback issues. The Texans come in with Brian Hoyer back after two concussions in five weeks. If he can’t go, Brandon Weeden will play. According to Cowboys’ Owner, General Manager, Talent Scout, Shadow Coach & Football Dalai Lama, Jerry Jones:
“He throws the best ball since Johnny Unitas.”
….. The Titans are missing promising rookie QB Marcus Mariota, who is gone for the year. They will likely start Zach Mettenburger, a former starter with potential but who unfortunately throws like a drunken knife thrower when the pressure mounts.
Pick: Texans (-5)
Bob: TN +5
Cleveland @ KANSAS CITY (-14) 43
…. Johnny Heisman Manziel gave it a good go last week in Seattle, but the Cleveland Defense capitulated to the surging Seahawks like the Hessian forces did to George Washington and the Revolutionaries at the Battle of Trenton.
…. This week the Chiefs are playing to go to the playoffs and should win. However, once again that spread is awfully big.
…… The little bar hopping ruffian finds a way to cover again.
Pick: Browns (+14)
Bob: Browns +14
4:05 pm Eastern Standard Time
Jacksonville @ NEW ORLEANS (-3) 51.5
…… Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans with the help of local citizens, militia and privateer Jean Lafitte. The only blemish on the victory was that the Battle took place weeks after the War of 1812 had actually been settled by the Treaty of Ghent.
….. The city of his namesake will not win in New Orleans this time.
Pick: SAINTS (-3)
Bob: Saints -3
4:25 pm Eastern Standard Time
Green Bay @ ARIZONA (-4.5) 49.5
…. The Packers could still lose the NFC North to the hated Vikings. People are worried in the Cheese Head State. Paranoia & Consternation rule the day. The fan base is nervous.
…. Recently a Brown Deer, Wisconsin woman called the police to report on naughty neighbours in her apartment building. She claimed that there were terrorists living next to her bedroom wall. She told the cops that during sex a woman would continually yell out “ISIS is Good! ISIS is Great!”
…… The investigating police dismissed the complaint after a brief interview with the woman. Now to be fair, the woman was 82 years old and her hearing was probably going. On the other hand, she was a devout Packers fan.
Pick: CARDINALS (-4.5)
Bob: Cards -4.5
St. Louis @ SEATTLE (-14) 44
…….. We hope Jeff Fisher is fired at the end of the year as head coach of the Rams. On the other hand, since we are disgusted with the mass exodus of teams to Locust Land on the Left Coast, maybe a mediocre Los Angeles Rams Redux team led by Mr. Fisher is what that front-runner city & the league deserves.
…… Cleveland gave Seattle trouble last week in Seattle, …. for the first half anyway. The injuries to Seattle skill players have to be a factor sooner or later in slowing down their juggernaut which is trying to go to their third straight Super Bowl after clinching a playoff berth.
…… The Rams have a better pass rush than the Browns and relish playing as a big underdog when they have no pressure on them or chance of post season play.
…… So this two touchdown spread is tailor-made for the Rams to at least cover.
Pick: Rams (+14)
Bob: Rams +14
8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time
New York Giants @ MINNESOTA (-6) 45.5
….. The media sure went after Giants’ WR Odell Beckham Jr. after that personal donnybrook he had last week with CB Josh Norman of the Panthers.
…… They seemed oblivious to the issue of Carolina’s taunting in the pre-game warm-ups with their stupid Buford Pusser baseball bat toting intimidation act. This was coupled with the alleged homophobic slurs directed towards Beckham that in this case, helped to poison the waters heading into the contest.
…… Beckham was pretty much solely singled out for responsibility in the ongoing sparring and cheap shots that took place in this game, mostly between himself and Norman.
….. Both were fined, but Beckham also got suspended (deservedly so) for one game because he committed the worst acts of violence during the game and is a repeat offender.
…. Far be it from us to defend another emotionally unstable prima donna wideout like Odell Beckham for his reckless actions, but there is a need for perspective.
….. There is also the matter of Cam Newton’s numerous dance routines. The man celebrates on the field after touchdowns, first downs, great catches, great runs or spotting clouds in the sky that resemble dollar signs. Now that he is in the serious running for League MVP, he puts on a display for the cameras, the fans & the awards voters that is nauseating in its entirety.
…. The poseur routine where he retrieves every ball after a Panther touchdown ( not just his own ), and delivers it to a young fan reeks of contrivance & self serving expediency.
……. Unfortunately, the media is now in a period of guilt where they feel they have to jump on the Panthers’ bandwagon of potential undefeated season triumph & Newton’s accomplishments to make up for ignoring them most of the year.
…… So at this point they are loathe to criticize anything about them or their annoying quarterback.
…… However, when Cam “Superman” Newton started to irritate some Giants with his non-stop prancing about the field during the game, criticism was not forthcoming. At least not from the “Ace” number one Fox broadcast crew of Joe “HBO Talk Show” Buck and Troy “Theoretical Physicist” Aikman.
….. They stated that the Giants were all just being bad losers when they took exception to Newton’s antics:
“He’s just having a good time, nothing he is doing while celebrating is out of line, he’s not taunting anybody.”
…. Wow! Really? …..What a couple of gutless shills trying to compensate for coming to the party a little late as usual.
….. The Giants rallied in that game and could have beat the Panthers. Unfortunately the emotional letdown of that 38-35 defeat and losing Beckham for this game with Minnesota do not portend positive conditions for victory.
…. We have backed the Vikings most of the year. Their dominant 38-17 win over the Bears last week means they still have a chance to win the NFC Central division. The Giants likely blew the chance to win theirs last week.
Pick: VIKINGS (-6)
Bob: Vikes -6
Monday, December 28, 2015
Cincinnati @ DENVER (-4) 41
…… Bengals’ QB AJ McCarron broke the curse last week by being the first Alabama QB in 27 years to start and win an NFL game. However, that was against the Forty Niners. The Broncos are a much better team, at least on defense.
…… The only concern watching AJ play quarterback is that he has a propensity to bail too early when he feels pressure from the pass rush. The method he uses is reminiscent of Los Angeles Rams’ era Joe Namath. When Joe felt the pressure, he quickly dove to the ground to rendezvous with the earthworms.
….. The difference is that Joe was old and possessed zero knee cartilage while AJ McCarron is a second year player who appears to think that if he doesn’t receive the same pass protection he received in Tuscaloosa that he is entitled to go Bert Lahr and hit the dirt mattress.
….. He better watch out, if this continues, he will forever be known as the Cowardly Bengal Tiger.
….. Brock Bunyan will start again for the Broncos, who finally showed some offence last week, well at least in the first half anyway. They ended up getting beaten 34-27 in Pittsburgh, but at least the clamor for Peyton Android to return has calmed for now.
…… This could be the game of the week, as both teams want to clinch their divisions. Let’s call it a field goal victory either way which means we take our “Team of Destiny” yet again.
Pick: Bengals (+4)
Bob: Denver -4