Sunday, December 16, 2018

The FGR's Week 15 NFL Picks

I don't know what you would call this form of writing but I guess something along the lines of snarky sports commentary would be appropriate. I think it's what Rick Reilly used to do before he became insufferable and I know it's what Bill Simmons used to do before he also became insufferable. Maybe you need that sense of struggle to stave-off the complacency of success that seems to sand the edges off of writers who morph from word surgeons into word churners when they attain a cozy lifestyle. 

Tony Kornheiser talks openly about how he quit writing when he realized he couldn't bring it anymore and he deserves credit for recognizing that his future was in television, radio and now podcast instead of print. And who could blame him? Why would you continue banging your head on a desk trying to get the right words to fall-out when you can just go on TV or the radio and blurt whatever comes to mind for ten times the money? 

So inevitably the torch gets passed and, in my opinion, the current best in the business (besides me) is Drew Magary who writes for Deadspin and GQ. During football season he writes a weekly column called Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo where he intersperses football stuff with personal anecdotes, pop culture opinions, food recommendations, etc. Suffice it to say, the concept speaks to me and part of the reason that I tend to drag my picks into the weekend aside from laziness is that I'm, waiting to read what he writes on Thursday because it helps unclog all of the real world stuff that jams-up my creative thinking. Have you ever read a ninety page construction contract in an attempt to discern all of the ways the other party is trying to ream you and then tried to write something funny? Well don't. You'll fucking hurt yourself. 

Why am I bringing this up now? Well I went looking for Drew's Dick Joke Jamboroo last week and it wasn't there which was weird because he's a professional which means he actually has to meet deadlines. Then on Monday Deadspin editor Megan Greenwell posted something called A Note on Drew where she explained that he had been in some type of accident and used words like "best possible care" and "surrounded by family and friends." So for what it's worth, this week's FGR picks are dedicated to Drew with wishes for a speedy recovery and, in honor of the Dick Joke Jamboroo, every pick will get its own Simpsons quote. (Also it's Sunday morning and I'm under the gun so I needed gimmick because this thing wasn't writing itself).    

Seattle by 3.5 at San Fran: The Pick - Seahawks

"I work like I drink: alone, or with a monkey watching." - Krusty the Clown

An appropriate way to get this thing rolling as I sit by myself in the kitchen grinding this shit out with a red wine hangover that would make a chimpanzee fall out of a tree. 

"Rise Up"? Ha! How
about "At Least Try"?
Atlanta by 9 over Arizona: The Pick - Cardinals 

“If you don't like your job, you don't strike.  You go in every day and do it really half-assed.  That's the American way.” – Homer 

That appears to currently be the Falcons way as they've lost five straight since I declared that they would find another gear and be the team that no one wanted to see in the playoffs. Apparently no one will. 

Buffalo by 2 over Detroit: The Pick - Lions

“I didn’t think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows.” - Bart 

In honor of the worst game of the weekend. Enough said about that.  

Indy by 3 over Dallas: The Pick - Colts 

“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter?  Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home wine-making course, and I forgot how to drive?” - Homer

That one is for Jason Garrett who will almost surely abandon the running game that got the Cowboys back on track this season now that he thinks Amari Cooper will turn them into the 1981 San Diego Chargers.   

Chicago by 5 over Green Bay: The Pick -  Bears 

“Ironic, isn’t it, Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election. And yet, if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.” - Mr. Burns

Football traditionalists lost their shit when the Packers went ahead and made the move that everyone knew was coming anyway and fired Mike McCarthy before the end of the season. At this point it looks like the Packers will miss the playoffs by a half game so one more win could have made the difference. You know like maybe that one they should have had at home against the Cardinals in McCarthy's last game.   

Baltimore by 7.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Ravens 

“You couldn't fool your own mother on the foolingest day of your life with an electrified fooling machine!” – Homer 

Did we ever get a real diagnosis on Joe Flacco's injury that paved the way for Lamar Jackson to take over or are we just supposed to accept that he had "a hip"?  

Cincinnati by 3 over Oakland: The Pick - Bengals 

"Take that haters!!!"
“Yes, but I’d trade it all for a little more.” - Mr. Burns

In honor of Jon Gruden who traded away arguably the best defensive player in the league and a receiver who's been averaging a touchdown per game with his new team. When the coach you just committed a bazillion dollars to over the next ten years celebrates his team's third win in the 14th week of the season with the jubilance of a Super Bowl victory, you gotta wonder.   

N.Y. Giants by 2 over Tennessee: The Pick - Titans 

“Weaseling out of things is important to learn.  It's what separates us from the animals... except the weasel.” – Homer

That quote really has nothing to do with this game but I got nothing here other than really needing Saquon to get me one step closer to the promised land this week. Go Jerkstore! 

Minnesota by 7.5 over Miami: The Pick - Dolphins 

“People, please. We’re all frightened and horny, but we can’t let some killer dolphins keep us from living and scoring!” - Mayor Quimby

Whatever Kirk Cousins' horrible record against teams with winning records was before last week was . . . it's now one game worse. 

Jacksonville by 7 over Washington: The Pick - Jags 

“A philanthropist. A humanitarian. A man of peace. These are just a few of the men who have come to spit on Montgomery Burns’ grave.” - Kent Brockman

This one's for Dan Snyder. At this point it seems inevitable that the Redskins will fire Jay Gruden because that's just what they do which means that they will be in the market for a new head coach to basically pull a Sully Sullenberger and keep a team with no future quarterback plan from crashing nose first into the Potomac. We already know that they will be competing with the Packers and the Browns along with at least three other teams if history is a reliable indicator (probably the Jets, Bengals and either the Bucs or the Falcons). That means that they will be a distant sixth on any prospective coach's wish list so the next coach of the Washington Redskins will be someone that the Browns, Bengals and Jets didn't want to hire. Let that one soak-in for a minute.  

New England by 2 at Pittsburgh: The Pick - Patriots 

“Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace ‘accidentally’ with ‘repeatedly,’ and replace ‘dog’ with ‘son.’” - Lionel Hutz

You know those self-righteous pricks Belichik and Brady are going to be all pissed-off going into Pittsburgh today after the way that Dolphins' game ended. Let's hope they funnel that indignation into a win. I'm going to need a HAZMAT shower after three plus hours of rooting for the Patriots today.  

L.A. Rams by 10 over Philly: The Pick - Rams 

“Ladies and gentlemen, what you are seeing is a total disregard for the things St. Patrick’s Day stand for. All this drinking, violence, destruction of property. Are these the things we think of when we think of the Irish?” - Kent Brockman

For the Eagles fans who are already getting cranky before the championship is even one year old. I fully expect them to boo the shit out of Santa Claus as they're losing to the Texans at home next week. 

New Orleans by 6 at Carolina: The Pick - Saints 

“You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head.” – Marge Simpson

This one is for Riverboat Ron who decided to go for 2 against the Lions, failed, and built the foundation for what has now become a five game losing streak. In a related story, it's becoming increasingly clear that Cam Newton is not the guy you want with the ball in his hands when you really need to complete a short pass under pressure. Not the best attribute for someone who gets paid to be a football thrower.  

Last Week's Record: 10-5 . . . Overall Record: 49-44-3

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