(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.”)
MR. BRUTAL LAST WEEK: 8-8
BOB LAST WEEK: 11-5
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Washington @ NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (-3) 44
….. The Thursday Night Football Games on CBS have been roundly criticized for valid reasons. The short week’s rest leads to sloppy play & probably more injuries. The lineup of games is only slightly above the calibre of the Monday Night ESPN table scraps. [ That’s what happens when your financial offering of beneficence to the NFL puts you low man on the Television Network bidding process totem pole ].
…… The Thursday ratings are weak to medium-weak by NFL standards, and the ratings amongst the group most desirable to advertisers is much lower than on Sundays & Mondays. On Thursday nights it appears, Millennials would rather spend evenings sifting through Snapchat, Grinder, Dumpster Diving Divas & a million overpriced/under-delivering apps than watch the Tiffany Network’s sports offering.
….. Many casual NFL fans cannot adjust their habits and weekend oriented bio-rhythms to remember that these late week games are even on free TV.
…….. Even eternally adolescent Fantasy League addicts have their viewing pleasure disrupted and frequently tune out early when they realize early in the third quarter that they have failed yet again & mom is screaming from the top of the stairs:
“Daniel Sonntag! ….. Come up to bed! …. This is a school night! ….. If you don’t come up right this instant, no more “Price is Right” privileges for three weeks!”
….. For a start, these CBS broadcasts could spruce up their programme’s framework graphics, theme music & on-air personalities.
….. For decades now, CBS has used the same insipid, anesthetizing instrumental theme music. It opens the broadcast, it accompanies every graphic overlay and plays just before they cut to every bloody commercial. They do this dozens of times a game, and after so many years it has bored its way into the listener’s brain like a malignant tapeworm.
….. A very annoying melody snippet, ….. an over-produced concoction predisposing fabricated suspense. …. It was originally composed by some Los Angeles based electronic group pompously called E.S. Posthumus, a creation of the Vonlichten brothers, Franz & Helmut. Every few years, they add some cosmetic modification to the theme, but that hardly constitutes genius or creativity along the lines Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
….. These guys have become millionaires off the royalties from this marathon run and it is time to change the tune on the juke box. Maybe in the coming weeks we’ll run down some alternative musical suggestions.
….. Speaking of beating a dead horse after a long run, Phil Simms will once again be doing colour commentary on this telecast. Phil will undoubtedly deliver his patented solicitor meets barrister version of non-committal prattle that masquerades as relevant analysis.
….. The man never appears to be truly enjoying his job or the actual game of football. Anxiety always lurks beneath the surface of his voice. He may run out of time to make just one more meaningless point that will be remembered by nobody.
…… We were treated this preseason to Phil going off on an emotional rant ( for automatons anyway ) regarding the longer extra point and how it will ruin the traditions of the game & affect NFL kicking records ( we are serious ).
…… So this is the kind of thing that gets Preppy Phil excited. … sigh, … We also learned he was still against the introduction of the two point conversion, the moving of the goal posts ten yards behind the goal line and the recent declaration of the world scientific community that the earth is indeed still round.
…….. Tired theme music, coupled with the nagging blond gnat espousing the eternal sluggard doctrine of bureaucratic doublespeak are just two of the peripheral reasons that ensure hope is lost for more a more entertaining show.
….. The status quo ensure that dull Thursday night games will remain dull Thursday night games with stagnant ratings and no ancillary drama to entice new viewers.
….. But no such lack of drama in this game! ….. so no more whining about the lousy Thursday Night CBS lineup. The winner of this clash of division rivals could be the NFC East Champion.
….. This is because even though the Dallas Cowboys are 2-0, they have lost their starting quarterback & best wide receiver for the bulk of the year and their starting Pro Bowl tight end for who knows how long. They also no longer have “All World” running back DeMarco Murray who is with the Eagles.
….. Speaking of the 0-2 Eagles, the Chip Kelly laboratory has suffered some sort of contamination and the entire experiment has been risk assessed up to Defcon Three. The Eagles have somehow lost or misplaced RB DeMarco Murray. He is officially on the roster, but has run for only 11 yards on 13 carries in two games. On top of that, as we foresaw, QB Sam Bradford is ill suited to whatever you want to call the Chip Kelly approach to offense and is so far, certainly not an improvement on Nick Foles.
…..The Washington football team won last week in a game that we could never have really bet big money on. We backed the Rams reluctantly, but the Jeff Fishers came up short yet again when coming off a big win as a slight road favourite. Some things never change.
….. Washington has benefited from the surprisingly dominant two pronged running attack of Alfred Morris & Matt Jones. This has allowed them to stay conservative on the ground and avoid relying on the erratic aerial skills of QB Kirk Cousins. The footballs he throws often take erratic flight paths.
…… like delirium tremens afflicted Cirque du Soleil acrobats attempting to twerk while gliding between trapezes.
…. So the continued absence of WR DeSean Jackson isn’t that much of a factor, since Jay Gruden prefers Kirk Cousins handing off the ball 80% of the time and against his better judgement; …… throwing safe screens & short crossing routes when down and distance dictate.
……. It is only a matter of time before that soap opera generates into chaos again with Diminutive Danny Snyder forcing Jay Gruden to start Robert Griffin the Third. We have little faith in the long term prospects for the 2015 version of the Washington Native American Involuntary Blood Donors.
….. However, the possible combined internal combustion of the Cowboys, Eagles & Giants means a 7-9 or 8-8 Washington team could proudly win the NFC East.
….. The Giants have only lost their two games by a grand total of five points. They have led in both, and thrown them away with Pee Wee Hermann-like antics in the red zone in the fourth quarter. The Giants have been excellent against the run in their games against Dallas and Atlanta. If they can stuff the run again & force the game into Kirk Cousins’ arm on third and long, …… they should win this game.
….. WR Odell Beckham catches a few deep balls & Eli Manning proves he is still marginally more valuable than his fading to AARP spokesman brother Peyton. The Giants need this one a lot more than the Beltway Malfunctionals.
……. also, pay attention to Phil Simms’ barely concealed contempt for the abilities of Eli Manning. It is truly amusing listening to him clench his teeth while being forced to praise positive plays by the Giants’ QB. Phil’s quest to quietly rewrite history in the viewers’ minds that he, Phil Simms was the greatest Giant signal caller of all time & not Eli without saying it out loud is priceless.
….. So relax & rejoice in the exceptional cornucopia of violent sports entertainment presented to you by CBS and the NFL on Thursday night.
….. The day of the week named after “Thor.” The Norse God of lightning, thunder, strength, oak trees and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Pick: GIANTS (-3)
Bob: GIANTS -3