New York Jets (plus 3) at St. Louis
Scott Feschuk: The New York Jets have done the impossible: they’ve made me feel sorry for Tim Tebow. Here we have a team that’s 3-6 – a team that over the past two weeks has been blown out by Seattle and Miami… a team that stops the run about as well as Kevin James stops at eating just a couple of your fries… a team that insists on starting a quarterback who plays like a kid dressed up for Halloween as an NFL quarterback – and all week this team devoted its energy to debating whether its backup QB, who hardly ever plays, is or is not “terrible?” Here’s the hard truth: the Jets have tuned out Rex Ryan. They need to make a change. You know who should coach this team? That Jill Kelley lady from the David Petraeus sex scandal.
She seems to be able to make grown men do anything. Within minutes of meeting her, FBI agents are ripping off their shirts and army generals are sending off lewd email messages about their four-star boners. Surely, if anyone could get Mark Sanchez to throw the ball in the general direction of someone – anyone – in green, it’d be her. Pick: St. Louis.
Scott Reid: Pro-tip for you buddy – it’s not all that difficult to get army generals talking about their boners. In fact, military men can be included in a rather exclusive list of male-dominated professions that can be easily coaxed into talking online about their wood. This group includes, but is not necessarily limited to: doctors, lawyers, door-to-door salesmen, pastry chefs, magazine editors, cabinet ministers, air conditioner repairmen, director Kevin Smith, certified management accountants, video game designers (especially video game designers!), piano instructors, hot air balloonists, dairy farmers, astronauts, union leaders, clergymen, tutorial assistants, pipe fitters (no surprise there), air traffic controllers, official team mascots, building inspectors, glass blowers, financial regulators and whatever the hell it is that you call what we two do for a living. The real trick, in fact, is to get us men NOT to talk about our boners. How? Actually that was a ruse. There is no way to get us not to talk about our boners. But the wise among us do know better than to do it via email with chicks who suffer from “f-ing crazy big-eyes syndrome.”
Of course, none of these human failings afflict Tim “Mr. Vanilla” Tebow. You know, maybe a little dirty-talk over the interweb would help Tim straighten out his skinny post (and yes, I’m speaking metaphorically). Pick: St. Louis.
Chicago (plus 5) at San Francisco
Reid: Look, I like Lawrence Gowan as much as the next guy. But when I want to hear some Queen, it’s Freddie Mercury I’m jonesing for. I’ve had this night circled on my calendar for a couple months. And, it was Jay Cutler I wanted to see beat like a drum by Justin Smith. Now I’ve got to watch Jason Campbell versus Colin Kaepernick in the Sammy Hagar Bowl. Who will win? Well, we can say only three things with utter certainty. First, Urlacher is a beast. Second, Willis is a beast. And third, even if that dude that Elmo shagged admits he wasn’t a minor when the sex happened, it’s still kind of a creepy story.
I just hope to goodness Cookie Monster hasn’t been up to anything with that Jill Kelley woman. Pick: Chicago.
Feschuk: I applaud the NFL for using its brand platform to promote breast cancer research (during October) and to honour those who serve in America’s military (during November). But does that mean December is still up for grabs? If so, I’d like to request that the National Football League pay tribute to an issue that’s of importance to all of us: Me. Navy blue is my favourite colour, so everyone will have to dress all in navy blue. Sure, this will make the games confusing but that’s a small price to pay to venerate someone who is – and let’s not overlook this fact – me. Also, we’re going to need about 500 “slave Princess Leia” outfits for the cheerleaders. Pick: San Francisco.
Jacksonville (plus 16) at Houston
Feschuk: Sure, on one hand, the Jaguars are 1-8, they’ve given up a league-worst 119 more points than they’ve scored and not one player on the entire squad has a clue how Cadbury gets the soft, creamy caramel inside the chocolatey pockets of the Caramilk bar. But on the other hand: long, awkward silence. Pick: Houston.
Reid: First of all, everyone knows the Caramilk secret is that the creamy caramel was born there, perfect and immaculate – like the Baby Jesus. Second, I find Houston the most tedious good team in the NFL. Workmanlike offense. Reliably excellent defense. They’re all so inoffensive and boring. You know who’s not boring? MATT Houston, that’s who!
Some may have dismissed Lee Horsley as a poor man’s Tom Selleck but he’d add a little spice to a team that, let’s face it, is a poor man’s Oilers. Pick: Jacksonville.
Cincinnati (minus 3.5) at K.C.
Reid: Is there a more interesting team in the NFL than the Cincinnati Bengals? About 29 of them, actually. But man-oh-man, did they ever put the hurt on the Giants last week. Two picks. Two fumbles. Held Eli to a 56.0 QBR and ran up 31 points against the feared NYG defence. For those of you who are dedicated Canadian politics fans this is the rough equivalent of Jonathan Mousley out-fundraising Justin Trudeau (for those of you who just discovered you’re not as dedicated in your fan-nishness of politics as you might have thought Jonathan Mousley is a government economist who has declared his intention to compete for the federal Liberal leadership. He’s a nice guy. I went to university with him. And I don’t think I’m shocking anyone by observing that he’s ummm, not as good at politics as Justin). The Chiefs used to be the kind of team you never would bet against at home. Now you just don’t want to bet on them at all. Pick: Cincinnati.
Feschuk: How can you think about football at a time like this? HOSTESS IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. This is the end for the company responsible for Twinkies, Ho-Hos and 83% of my overweightness. Sure, some people say there’s no reason to worry because the right to manufacture Twinkies will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. But what if the highest bidder is Mitt Romney? If anyone can screw up an iconic snack cake, it’s Romney. It’s just a matter of time until he caves to the far right and changes the design of the Twinkie because its vaguely phallic shape is corrupting young minds and making Paul Ryan all nervous and sweaty. And just wait until Nate Silver has the Twinkie down three points in Ohio. Cue the $50-million attack-ad campaign against M&Ms: “Some have peanuts and some don’t? Make up your mind, commies.” The whole sorry exercise will end with a defiant Karl Rove appearing on Fox News to dispute the decision desk’s call that the Twinkie is filled with empty calories. “MY SOURCES ON THE GROUND SAY THIS THING IS BASICALLY AN APPLE IN CAKE FORM.” Pick: K.C.
Philadelphia (plus 3.5) at Washington
Feschuk: You know what’s in even worse shape than the Philadelphia Eagles’ season, John Travolta’s career and me? The gossip industry. I happened to find myself at www.usmagazine.com for completely legitimate, non-loser-based reasons (I was looking for Nick Nolte’s advice on how to accessorize my cashmere tank top) and these were the top stories of the day:
- Jennie Garth, Peter Facinelli Splitting Holidays With Daughters!
- Lea Michele: I Accidentally Served Cory Monteith Raw Eggs for Breakfast!
- Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie’s Kids “Jump On Tables, Throw Food” at Missouri Pizza Parlor!
Seriously? Are we absolutely certain that these are the top stories involving famous celebrities? Are we sure that Cuba Gooding Jr. wasn’t seen walking his wiener dog or that Rob Schneider didn’t get a parking ticket? DIG FOR THE JUICY STUFF, US MAGAZINE! Honestly, what is wrong with celebrities today? Why can’t they drive drunk, utter racist epithets and get their heads shaved clean in public like their forebears? Pick: Philadelphia.
Reid: I may not know much, but I know this: If I was one of Brangelina’s blessed offspring, I’d throw food, curse at bellhops and order everyone I meet to shield their unattractive features from my perfectly formed eyes (even Uncle George).
What is the point of being rich, famous and unblemished if you don’t lord it over others? In our increasingly class-less society, the art of snobbery is in distinct danger of becoming lost to memory and Merchant Ivory films. I beseech the Brangelina clan to rally to their proper station in life and remind the rest of us how inferior we are. And why not start with Eagles fans? Which reminds me: What’s got two thumbs and is leaving town?
San Diego (plus 7.5) at Denver
Reid: I am going to hate myself for this pick. Peyton has it in high gear. The Bronco’s D is barely giving up 200 yards per game through the air. And Mile High is a tough place to win even when the team stinks. On top of that every bet I’ve ever made on Norv Turner has come back to haunt me like a jealous biographer (with unnaturally toned arms). But this spread is so huge and you just have to know that a hiccup is headed Denver’s way soon. So I’m giving the game to the Chargers. As a special bonus addition, it’s time for reader mail bag. A lot of folks write wanting to know more about Feschuk and myself – what do we like to do in our spare time, who is our favourite Osmond, what do we look like. That sort of thing. Well, ask and ye shall receive (even if no one really asked). Feschuk collects Royal Doulton figures, I am a free diving enthusiast. We both adore Jimmy. And, well…here’s a picture taken of us together just last week at the art gallery.
Pick: San Diego.
Feschuk: I’m not sure I like how you’re focusing on japes and frivolity when we are confronted with a serious crisis: if the Chargers lose big to the Broncos, it could mean the firing of Norv Turner – and the firing of Norv Turner could mean THE END OF NORV TURNER JOKES. This is a major concern in that, on an average week, 103% of the jokes in this column are Norv Turner jokes. Couple the firing of Norv with the all-but-certain ouster of Andy Reid – and the departure in recent years of Wade Phillips, Art Shell, Jim Zorn, Dick Jauron, Mike Tice, Josh McDaniels and everyone who’s ever coached the Cleveland Browns – and we are running dangerously low on the sort of coach who exudes incompetence, stares vacantly into space thinking about beach volleyball in times of crisis and always appears to have his sideline headset tuned to the SiriusXM show tunes channel. NFL owners, I beseech you: One of you needs to find Mike Singletary, pull up his pants and put him in charge of your team, pronto. Pick: Denver.
New Orleans (minus 4.5) at Oakland
Feschuk: Veterans’ Day in the U.S. is always an emotional time – so kudos to the NFL for paying tribute with its Salute to Service, which included on-field recognition, a financial contribution to several veterans’ charities and a solemn reminder that over decades and through generations, countless selfless men and women have put themselves in harm’s way and paid the ultimately price so that, back home, attractive young women can totally skank up the Army uniform for the benefit of beer-swilling horndogs from coast to coast. U! S! A! U! S! A!
Reid: I have to say, I saw what you just did there. And I don’t much like it. To avoid talking about a boring matchup you exploited the respect and admiration we all hold for those who serve in uniform to provoke a cheap, titillating laugh substituting a photo of scantily clad cheerleaders. Can we please class this column up a notch or two? In an effort to effect some measure of correction, allow me to dedicate my pick for this game to a soldier who has sincerely put themselves in harm’s way in defense of our freedoms. On behalf of us all, allow me to say thank you Private Nikki:
Pick: New Orleans
Green Bay (minus 3.5) at Detroit
Reid: I know that Calvin Johnson currently leads all receivers with 974 yards. I know that he’s already caught 60 passes. And I know that pimply losers on the Internet cowed Michael Bay into hiring Mark Wahlberg to star in Transformers 4 – which not only gives Megatron a new lease on life but creates hopes for a grisly onscreen death for Shia Lebeouf.
Until this past Sunday though, Megatron hadn’t scored a touchdown since the weather was warm. For the entire season he’s snagged only two majors and his team is back prowling the NFC North’s cellar. The Lion’s outlook couldn’t be more gloomy if they were named Jelena. Pick: Green Bay.
Feschuk: I have to admit: I didn’t get that reference and had to look it up. Is that the term that people actually use to refer to Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez? Jelena? It sounds like a board game or some newfangled flavour of sherbet. As for the fourth Transformers, I wonder if the future of earth as we know it and all of humankind will be in peril? And if so, I wonder of those two things will ultimately be saved in a heroic manner that involves gun play, close calls and wisecracks. I guess only time will tell. Pick: Green Bay.
Other games and whatnot:
Arizona (plus 10) at Atlanta
Tampa Bay (minus 1.5) at Carolina
Cleveland (plus 7.5) at Dallas
Indianapolis (plus 9.5) at New England
Baltimore (plus 3.5) at Pittsburgh
Twitter: @scottfeschuk @_scottreid