(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.”)


Thursday, October 15, 2015

8:25 pm Atlanta (-3) @ NEW ORLEANS 51

….. Atlanta WR Julio Jones is doubtful, after limping through that very lucky win over Washington last week. Matt Ryan took a lot of punishment, but the Falcons got a lucky break from a pick six in Overtime that was due to either:

a.) a bad pass route run by Washington wide receiver Ryan Grant.

b.) a great adjustment by Atlanta CB Robert Alford who had done his homework on QB Kirk Cousins’ sloth paced three step drop, anticipated the pass, intercepted it & won the game by heading to the end zone.

c.) another unfortunate/untimely/lacking in velocity sub par throw from Daniel Snyder’s second favourite quarterback in the Nation’s Capital.

…… Likely 10% a., …… 10% b., …. and 80% c.

……. The Saints packed it in last week in the second half, both on defense and offense. New Orleans is an older team led by an aging quarterback in Drew Brees & a coach who has overstayed his welcome in Mardi Gras Ville in the person of Sean Payton.

…. There is no doubt that Payton, Brees & the Saints are past their prime. History however, is full of examples of “Past their Prime” performers who delivered in the twilight of their professional careers.

1.) Clint Eastwood Oscar winner for Best Director in 2004 for “Million Dollar Baby.”

…… The film also won “Best Picture” and although maybe it is not his best film, it made him the oldest winner for director @ 74 years of age. However, the lifelong Republican courted political controversy with many in his party by dealing with the contentious issue of “Mercy Killing” in an intelligent, mature manner that started many a conversation at the office water-cooler.

…. However, many people, especially the “Teabagger” faction of the GOP and your typically intolerant Christians were outraged by Clint’s character’s behaviour in the movie ( he also acted in his film). Clint playing boxing trainer Frankie Dunn figuratively pulled the plug on actress Hilary Swank who played a badly beaten boxer. This simultaneously ended her suffering & granted her last wishes. In fact more outrageous than that to the God fearing logic remedials, Clint’s character didn’t actually just pull the actual plug on someone who was brain dead, but played Dr. Kevorkian and God simultaneously and administered the lethal injection himself.
….. But there was a limit to Clint Eastwood’s positive senior accomplishments.

…… Eventually the Flat Earther Luddites of the Republican Party forgave Saint Clint for forcing them to confront the issue of euthanasia. Desperate for young celebrities to endorse the super charismatic GOP ticket of Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan at the 2012 Republican Convention, …… the party publicized the appearance of an unannounced “Mystery Guest.”

……. This came in the form of 82 year old Clint Eastwood. Clint went on stage without a script and performed an infamous disjointed, strange and ultimately very sad senior moment pantomime with an empty chair.

……. The routine revealed both emerging senility in the actor & the capacity of the Simple Simon right wing audience to hallucinate when fed partisan gibberish. The crowd in the Tampa Convention Centre thought Clint “Nailed It” with his childish cliches, predictable movie quote one-liners & pointless verbal meanderings. People who witnessed the video around the world felt mostly just pity for Mr. Eastwood.

….. This also proves that you can never underestimate the ability of your typical self-absorbed American Cryptozoic-Fascist to believe any negative claim against President Obama no matter how grandiose, nonsensical or delusional.

2.) Roberto Duran’s 1983 knockout victory over Davey Moore for the WBA Light middleweight title at 32 years of age.

…… Now, 32 may not seem that old, but the tough Panamanian was about 62 in boxer years. He had fought more rounds than any other champion of the same age, many tough rounds against bigger, stronger boxers with sizable reach advantages.

…… Roberto had been fighting professionally since 1968 as a Lightweight, so when he took to the ring in 1980 to fight media sweetheart Sugar Ray Leonard, the 32 year old WBA Lightweight Champion already had an incredible record of 71-1. Duran then won a convincing 15 round unanimous decision over Leonard to take the WBC Welterweight title. Then five months later he fought a rematch that he famously walked out on in the eighth round to protest Leonard’s “chicken shit” evasive tactic of running backwards and avoiding meaningful exchanges.

….. It looked like Duran would never live down the image of being a quitter.

…. He took some time off, but came back, moved up in weight and started fighting the next year as a junior middleweight. He lost consecutive decisions to Wilfrid Benitez & Kirkland Laing. Most thought Duran was done. It wasn’t just the losses, it was the new, slower way he now had to fight at the higher weight, partly the consequences of advancing age and partly the consequences of living his Bacchanalian lifestyle.

…… Roberto Duran has the natural frame and bone structure of a lightweight, so increased weight didn’t carry well on him as he moved up in class. He was much slower, flat footed and appeared much smaller, slower & outreached by these naturally bigger opponents.

… But Duran kept fighting, including a listless decision win over Brit Jimmy Batten & a 4th round knockout of former Lightweight Champ Pipino Cuevas. Cuevas however, had already lost his title after being knocked senseless by Thomas Hearns in a couple of rounds. He lost his title to the towering Hearns in a fight that looked like Wilt Chamberlain toying with Spud Webb. So after beating Pipino, nobody thought that Duran had any upside and that he should really quit boxing, although nobody believed he would.

… Duran took some time off, and followed his usual between fight eating & drinking regimen that ballooned him up to 200 pounds. Then fate intervened.

….. Undefeated World Light Middleweight Champion Davey Moore of New York had a big payday title fight scheduled with Tony Ayala Jr., pending some court case issues. Unfortunately those didn’t end well and Ayala was sentenced to 35 years on rape and burglary charges. With everything set for the fight in a month, a replacement had to be found. Duran got the gig. Roberto went into crash dieting & training to somehow meet the 154 pound weight limit and hyped the fight like he thought he could actually win it.

….. Duran trash talked Moore in Spanish in such an obscene manner that several translators at press conferences refused to translate or just quit.

Moore took the bait, declared Duran a fat, short has-been who would be lucky to escape alive. He said the “Hands of Stone” were now the “Hands of Jello” and that he would walk through Duran’s defence like week old Saran Wrap.

{ Hey, nobody said Moore was Muhammad Ali in the Trash Talk department. }

…… The trap was set, when the fight came around, Moore wanted to destroy Roberto Duran & knock him out early. He abandoned all thoughts of fighting him from outside and winning by decision if necessary. This played right into the now old & flatfooted Panamanian street fighter’s hands. What followed was one of the most brutal boxing upsets of all time. Duran battered Moore for 8 long rounds, shutting his eye, cutting him badly and causing his face to swell enormously. He schooled Moore like a rookie.

… Mercifully, in the eighth round the ref/corner stopped the fight after Moore kissed the canvas for the last time.

… The “Manos de Piedra” had returned, making many speculate that Duran actually had real rocks in his gloves.
….. Davey Moore was never the same. The beating he took that night altered his abilities permanently. His behaviour outside the ring also deteriorated. He continued to fight, but four years later he was killed when his car rolled down the driveway at home. He attempted to stop it, slipped under the vehicle and was crushed to death.

….. Unfortunately, Duran didn’t stop there. He continued to fight for another two decades, winning, losing, gaining massive weight but also taking Marvin Hagler to a 15 round decision loss that 2/3 judges actually had Duran winning after 12 rounds. He also got knocked out badly by Thomas Hearns. Duran even won another title at the age of 50. He fought in 5 different decades & held over a dozen titles.

….. Officially, finally, hopefully retiring for good in 2002 at the age of 51.

3.) Field Marshall Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher helps the
Duke of Wellington defeat Napoleon and the French in 1815 at Waterloo at the age of 73.

….. Blucher was tough. His long military career was marked with disciplinary measures for insubordination, fighting & excessive drinking ( so you know it must have been bad if you were nailed for that in the Prussian army ). He was often demoted and later reinstated thanks to family connections.

….. When the first wars with Napoleon took place, the French generally conquered all of continental Europe. Blucher led cavalry divisions in many battles, but generally lost to the disciplined French. He surrendered or was captured on several occasions. He was generally seen as lacking in tactics but not in balls.

…. When the war eventually turned against Napoleon, he was promoted and led huge armies into France, beating back the outnumbered French. He wanted to burn Paris to the ground, but was prevented by the British & the other allies.

….. During the 100 days of Napoleon’s exile, he was frustrated back in Prussia that so many gave him so little credit. Beating back reduced French armies was not seen as a great accomplishment by his peers.

… When Napoleon was back from Elba leading the French into Belgium, the Prussians quickly joined with the British & others to meet him in a final showdown. At the Battle of Ligny, the French won Napoleon’s final victory of any sort over Blucher and the Prussians. However, it ended up being a tactical victory, yet a strategic loss.

… There was much confusion and complexity in the battle. At one point, Field Marshall Blucher had his horse shot during a charge and ended up unconscious laying pinned under it for more than an hour. His aide de camp eventually rescued him and took him back to camp where he was out of commission for several hours.

… While he was gone, Prussian General August von Gneisenau took command and was credited with regrouping the Germans in an orderly fashion and saving them from annihilation through an organized retreat.

…. The right wing of the French army under Marshall Grouchy were convinced that they had decisively beaten the Prussians and separated them effectively from ever joining the British at Waterloo. Thus Grouchy thought he had met the intention of his orders from Napoleon.

….. But such was not the case. When Blucher returned to command, he had cracked ribs, a concussion, many bleeding wounds and had only been revived by taking a lengthy bath in brandy. General Gneisenau & the rest of the field high command wanted to withdrawal into Germany, but Blucher would have none of it.

….. He ordered several corps to immediately take the high road to join the British at Waterloo while he took the rest of the Prussian Army on the low road to Waterloo directly into Napoleon’s right flank, ten miles away. Many of the Prussian officers thought Blucher was mad. They thought his concussion was doing the talking and his ego was bruised because Gneisenau was getting all the credit for saving the army from total defeat while Blucher was missing.

….. Blucher said that Wellington was a man of his word, and so was he, and that he would not betray him. He had promised Wellington that he would bring whatever was left of the Prussian Army to Waterloo.

…. The Prussian generals thought Blucher was a fool to trust Wellington and the English, believing that they had probably already fled from Waterloo and that the Prussians would be marching alone into certain defeat against the greater bulk of Napoleon’s whole army.

….. They also were German and knew that it would be foolish to disobey orders fro their superior officer. So they undertook the task at hand.

…… Right under the nose of Marshall Grouchy, the Prussian army split into two and marched to Waterloo. Grouchy continued to slowly pursue & fight a small retreating Prussian force, believing it was the rearguard of the entire Prussian Army backing into Germany. When some of his other generals told Grouchy they had reports of huge numbers of Prussians heading to Waterloo, Grouchy dismissed them and refused to divide his force by providing them any troops.
…… The rest is history. Blucher arrived in the late afternoon, and slammed into Napoleon’s right flank to the disbelief of the French high command. For more than half an hour before they clashed, the French believed through their telescopes that the black Prussian uniforms appearing out of the distant forests had to be the navy blue of Marshall Grouchy’s forces. They celebrated & of course committed no forces to the right, believing in a matter of minutes they would have the overwhelming numbers to assault Wellington’s centre.

… Eventually Napoleon had to commit all his reserves to his right flank in futility to stop Blucher. At that point the British moved down the hill and crushed the thin lines of the French.

….. As Blucher led the cavalry charge into the French, he yelled. “No Prisoners! No Prisoners! I will personally kill any man who shows mercy! Slice the French till they bleed snails and frog legs!” ( It sounded much more menacing in German).
…… Blucher only lived another few years dying at age 76 in 1819. He finally got the accolades he craved in the last years of his life & a giant statue of him was eventually resurrected in his hometown of Rostock.

…. Only three days rest for the Falcons coming into New Orleans. The past their prime Saints summon the spirit of Eastwood, Duran & Blucher with one more victory ( or cover ) before they fade away.

Pick: SAINTS (+3)
Bob: Atlanta -3

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