(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.”)
Seattle (-5) @ SAN FRANCISCO 41.5
LAST WEEK: Mr. Brutal 9-41, Bob 3-10-1
Incredible Developments & Realizations during this past week.
1.) The salary cap trough hog known as Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knickerbockers has announced to the fan base that he now wants to be held personally accountable for his play and the teams’ fortunes. He also said he would invoke his no trade clause and nix any attempt to dump him & his salary on another delusional NBA team that thinks they can just “tinker” with his game a little bit to make him a team player.
…. This all because he wants to win a championship in New York!
…… Thanks “Mello!” ….. After 12 years of your 5 possession pattern of:
…. 1. “Shoot, …. Miss,” 2. “Shoot, …. Hit!” 3. “Shoot, …. Miss,” 4. “Shoot, …. Miss,” 5. “Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, Dribble, …. Pass to teammate with 2 seconds left in the shot clock, …. Shoot, ….. Miss Badly, ….. and play nonchalant, non-contact defense coming back into the back-court on 4 of those 5 possessions.
…… we are sure that your new found salvation on the road to Damascus will lead to success.
….. we are also sure that:
……. leopards really can change their spots, they just don’t feel like it.
……… no Televangelist will ever again mislead their flock regarding the actual use & destination of their financial donations. If one of them happens to claim God told them to buy that new Learjet Gulfstream with the deluxe luxury Louis Vuitton interior package, ….. well, you can be assured that they are telling the truth and God thinks this is the best way for the humble preacher to facilitate the salvation of the great unwashed.
…. and …..
…… no more male, virulently anti-gay, right wing politicians will ever again be caught in the following scenario: ……. Accused or arrested involving incidents of inappropriate co-mingling with male teenage pages, interns or rent boys in Capitol Hill bathrooms, public parks or donor paid condominiums.
2.) After years of declining circulation and sales, Playboy magazine will no longer print pictures of totally naked women in their publication. Yes, we realize why this is happening. On the one hand, the total nudity prevents people from accessing the web version of the magazine at work or libraries, further reducing readership.
…… On the other hand, the explicit pornography on the rest of the internet has made their product antiquated, quaint, obsolete & popular only with a diminishing demographic that is dying off ( kind of like the Republican Party except for the use of the word quaint as an adjective).
…… The problem is that if you want to take Playboy into the visual realm of the super soft porn, adolescent male spank-bank universe of Maxim & FHM, et. al. …. you will also take the literary element of the product into that shallow wading pool.
…. The audience for those type of fluff mags don’t care about reading real articles of length by top writers, ….and that is reflected by their litany of second hand tabloid captions, columns & softball Larry King/Barbara Walters/Regis Philbin style interviews. The few originally construed stories are predominantly vapid drivel written mostly by “Temp” journalists.
…… Sadly, the magazine that pioneered quality literature/articles written by respected book authors & gave us the in-depth long form interview appears to be dead. We’re pretty sure the new version will no longer be emphasizing belletristic & varied offerings the likes of Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Roald Dahl, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Ian Fleming or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
3.) The Seattle Seahawks have only 10 weeks left to get their ass in gear & play like an NFL football team.
…. Seattle blew another fourth quarter lead last Sunday in losing to the Carolina Panthers & Cam Newton ( who should really lose the immature, unoriginal, copyright infringing & generally stupid “Superman” touchdown celebration ) .
….. The Seahawks are also dealing with rumours that the University of Southern California is apparently willing to float a bond issue to bring hyper human life coach & current Seahawks’ head football coach Pete Carroll back to Southern California to coach the Trojans.
…… This would hopefully bring back the days of wine, roses, winning football games & free million dollar house rentals for Reggie Bush’s parents.
…. This is all because the Trojans fired head coach Steve Sarkisian due to alcohol issues. Athletic Director Pat Haden claims he did due diligence on the hiring of fellow alum Sarkisian two years ago & had no idea that his indulgence of alcohol was a problem. This despite the fact everyone in his uncle around the University Park campus of South Central had a Sark drinking binge story from the four year period he was a Pete Carroll assistant.
…… Even stranger, it was an open secret that during Steve’s four year tenure as head coach of the Washington Huskies in Seattle that he could habitually be found in the wee hours at several local watering holes much the worse for wear. Then this year, he had a much publicized drunken episode at a USC team sponsored banquet in the pre-season.
….. Now, we would like to wish Sarkisian the best of luck in getting help and following the road to recovery. At first it appeared so did USC. After the bad prime time Thursday night 17-12 loss two weeks ago in Los Angeles to his old employer, the Washington Huskies, Sark went on a weekend bender. He apparently showed up on Sunday to a team practice either drunk or so hungover that he might as well have been.
…. Pat Haden decided he had no choice but to suspend Sark and give a touching speech about standing by him & his family and helping him get the help he needs during his “Indefinite leave of absence.”
….. “Indefinite leave of absence” as it turns out means exactly 24 hours. Pat Haden announced the next day he was firing Sark immediately & he would have to pay for his own rehab. No real detailed explanation followed as he quickly exited the very short press conference.
…. Journalists speculated that the University was pulling a typical corporate move, more centred around ridding themselves of Sarkisian’s huge contract than exhibiting any real, human compassion. By cutting their ties instantly, they are likely preparing to fight Sark over millions of potential dollars down the road by claiming to be the wronged party. USC may even attempt to sue him, claiming he was negligent in carrying out his duties and/or guilty possibly of other criminal transgressions.
….. The pressure though, also seems to be getting to Haden, or maybe it is an attack of conscience. Before last Saturday’s game in South Bend Indiana against Notre Dame, ( another loss ) Haden collapsed as he walked across the field.
…. The University of Southern California flew him home immediately & announced this week that everything is fine. Well maybe with Pat Haden’s health, but not the Trojans. For a Rhodes Scholar, Pat Haden has not really behaved like an intelligent Athletic Director.
….. He has had numerous scandals and bad hires, including the USC basketball programme. He also been fined large amounts of money by the PAC 12 for some of his actions during football games and trying to unduly influence game officials. He did get rid of the disastrous Lane Kiffin as football coach, who he inherited, but when popular, blue collar interim coach Ed Orgeron rallied the team in 2013 he balked at hiring him as permanent replacement. He was forced to resign before their Bowl game appearance against Fresno State.
…… Haden listened to the rich boosters & brass who wanted a more glamorous hire and/or alumni who really suited the LA media machine, the Hollywood mystique and the cocktail party circuit of the well heeled.
…. So Haden hired booster favourite, ex USC assistant coach & University alumnus Steve Sarkisian.
… One & half years later, …… How did that work out?
….. Now it appears that USC has learned nothing from the past and is trying to hire the biggest USC alum they can find or barring that, the highest profile, big splash celebrity name they can find. This includes Jack del Rio of the Oakland Raiders, Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles or preferably rehiring ex Trojan head coach Pete Caroll of the Seattle Seahawks.
…. Pete Caroll this week announced that this was all just talk and he would be staying in Seattle. Of course he could be pulling a Nick Saban. Floating your name via your agent as being considered for every high profile job is a sure way to extort more money from your present employer.
….. Someone during a question & answer session this week asked Pete directly: “Are you pulling a Saban?”
…. He laughed & walked off with a smile.
…. This week, Pete Caroll better pull a “Buddy Ryan” or “Dick LeBeau” and get his Seahawk defence in shape. Last week they choked away a home game to the Carolina Panthers as we predicted.
…… Miscommunication of coverages, penalties & missed tackles have been a staple of this team this year. Big contracts mean big contentment in some NFL players and the 12th Man in Seattle sensed this last week with some of the Seattle characters and actually started booing them.
….. The Seahawk Offense has actually started to produce with TE Jimmy Graham finally settling in to the fact he is never going to be targeted as often as he was in New Orleans and the team continues to put him in motion or line him up in the slot.
….. This is because he will never be anything other than a blue, grey & day-glow green clothed human turnstile when he is asked to line up at the end of the line and block.
….. As long as Russell Wilson can keep running away from his Offensive Line’s missed blocking assignments on every other passing down, the Seahawks have a chance.
…… The Niners won over the fading Ravens last week in San Fran in their best performance this year. Now with the short week, and staying at home, one might be tempted to take the Forty Niners and the 5 points you’re getting.
….. Not us. Let’s keep it simple. The Seahawks are the far better team & their offence has started to gel. The defence has too much talent to continue playing with such mediocrity. The Forty Niners have simple offensive game plans that the Seahawks have seen & conquered before.
…… and Colin Kaepernick isn’t Cam Newton. Last week’s victory over Baltimore says more about John Harbaugh’s Ravens than it does about Coach Jim Harbaugh’s replacement who we and nobody else can remember what his name is and the San Francisco Forty Niners.
….. Short week and pre-marital celibacy be damned. We trust Saint Russell Wilson to lead the Seahawks to a convincing victory in prime time.
Pick: Seahawks (-5)
Bob: Seattle -5