THE SKINNY POST: Weak 17
With the regular season over, its only a month til the Lingerie Bowl!:
The cliche goes, ‘that’s why they play the games’.
My question: in week 17, the end of the regular season, do you have to? Fantasy leagues are over, most teams will play their scrubs or perennial backups (see Sorgi, Jim) and Vegas basically shrugs, puts its hands up and says ‘mheh’.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS v BUFFALO BILLS
Emperor Belicheck using his Sith powers to telepathically strangle you:
New England are probably the best coached team in the NFL, even if that coach may be a grumpy taciturn cheat.
Bill Belicheck is that guy at work who never seems to come in to the office, forgets your name, and still destroys everybody with his monthly sales figures. Years later it turns out he was buying it all himself, and keeping it in his garage.Creepiness aside, the Patriots will beat the shambolic Bills by a lot, have a stellar 11-5 record and not make the postseason unless the Jets win (see below) or the Ravens lose (unlikely). While that’s very unfair, its also kind of ok. Its the Patriots. It should be harder for them.
DALLAS COWBOYS v PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Dallas have to win and have a whole bunch of other stuff happen to get in to the postseason. If they don’t, I honestly don’t know what could happen in Dallas, but Jerry Jones doing a Bad Santa (Covina edition) probably isn’t out of the question. They are just not a clutch team.
It’s hard to tell if its a coaching issue or selfish players who lack the killer instinct. Actually I think its both.
Jerry Jones couldn’t cope with the success Jimmy Johnson brought him in the ’90s so pushed him out, and he did the same with Bill Parcells who had Dallas on the brink of something good two years ago. JJ likes a coach he can kick around. In this business that’s not usually a winning plan. In the NFL discipline is everything, and it takes a strong personality to cower 400 pound linebackers and manage screw loose receivers.
This will then be 12 years since the Cowboys mattered. With Houston also barely legitimate its not a good time for pro football in Texas.
On the other side of the ball rejuvenated QB Donovan McNabb and doughboy coach Andy Reid are playing to a) crush Dallas b) possibly make the playoffs if God himself intervenes, and c) the right to drive Eagles fans batshit crazy again next season. I can see them now, meeting up and giggling about teasing the fans with a few good wins, then turning to crap to kill almost all playoff hopes, then suddenly putting a run of wins together to stop them getting fired.
It happens too often to be an accident.
FOR GOD’S SAKE PHILLY, STOP THE MADNESS NOW!
So, in this week’s game you throw 4 interceptions ok?
Ok coach. What about a fumble?
Yeah yeah, you’re right. Shit, I’m such an idiot. Let’s have one of those on the goaline in the 4th.
Cool coach. Then I’ll do one of my childish ‘ain’t football a goofy game?’ grins afterward. That really winds them up.
BOSTON CELTICS v LOS ANGELES LAKERS
LA is really a basketball town. It has two pro teams for chrissakes. (Ok, 1 &1/2 pro teams)
Which if you caught the epic slugfest that was this game on Christmas Day, and saw 20,000 Lakers fans tear the roof off the Staples Center for the game’s last 10 minutes you’d understand.
It must be VERY good to be Pau Gasol on the Sunset Strip right now.
The reason LA doesn’t have a pro football team is not because of the Dodgers, USC, or a lack of a venue. Its because of the Lakers. Half the city has its car flags ready now for the playoffs.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS v DENVER BRONCOS
Mr Jay Cutler and two of his suspiciously similiar exes:
The ‘He Hate Me’ bowl.
Quite good Denver QB Jay Cutler and quite annoying San Diego QB Philip Rivers really seem to loath each other. This would be great if this was a prizefight or even if football players still played both ways.
As it is, it means they trade insults at the team handshakes. Big whoop.
I have a small amount of affection for SD’s coach Norv Turner.
Has any man managed to look so completely self loathing and incompetent while holding down a string of jobs that pay several million a year? I say no.
Do he, Ray Liotta and Tommy Lee Jones get together to discuss overcoming phenomenal acne? I say yes.
MIAMI DOLPHINS v NEW YORK JETS
Wow. Noodle-armed QB Chad Pennington against the team that dumped him like a bad bonk for macho icon Brett Favre.
Football god Bill Parcells with the team he rebuilt from 1-15 scrap in a single year (Dolphins) against the team he screwed over a decade ago (Jets).
Favre playing for some sort of decent exit on a career he has now sullied terribly.
Jets coach Mangini play-calling for his job. Miami dumping their most celebrated player from ’07 (Jason Taylor) and improving 1000% (see Theory, Ewing).
Rookie Miami coach Tony Sparano (yes, he’s from Jersey) in a tight race with Atlanta’s Mike Smith as the best new coach in the NFL.
Innovative, exciting play (Miami re-introduced the long lost Wildcat, where the ball is direct snapped to the running back) vs the Human Interception Machine (TM) Brett Favre and a bunch of short-armed receivers.
Miami helping to eliminate the rival Patriots from the playoffs.
I say (hope?) Miami stomp on the Jets until they are only flecks of white in the turf.
Speaking of Miami, Dan Marino’s yardage in a season record from 1984 is under threat this year from New Orleans’ Drew Brees. Brees needs 402 yards in this last game to do it. That’s a lot, but not impossible against a Carolina team already looking to the postseason. It’s a great accomplishment if he does it but few will be rooting for him. Drew is a really nice guy, but not worthy to carry Dan’s probably huge jockstrap.
Most football fans think fondly of Dan, the goofy kid from Pennsylvania with the rocket arm who morphed into the embodiment of perma-tan Miami at its Miami Vice peak. He never won a Superbowl, but the guy was genuinely great, and carried Miami through a lot of lean years. He only ever played for the Dolphins, turning down an offer from the Vikings to come back in 2000.
What I can assure you, is that Dan’s probably not going to take it well. This is him at his broadcast desk when Favre broke his TD record:
This time if it happens Dan, punch somebody. Go on.
– Mark Tierney