Scott Feschuk Last week: 6-10 Season: 119-115-6
Scott Reid Last week: 5-11 Season: 119-115-6
Feschuk: After 240 football games, we are both barely above .500 (not surprising, in that we are not good at this) and we have the exact same record (somewhat surprising, in that you had a 10-game lead on me just a few weeks ago – before you went all “Brad Childress” on us).
Given our records, a wager of some sort is clearly in order. And not one of those wussy political wagers where one mayor pledges to send a crate of locally made jerky to the other mayor. I’m talking about a man’s wager – a wager that would make Tom Selleck’s moustache proud.
Loser buys the crantinis?
Reid: Crantinis are sorta girly, no? For the sake of our masculine image, let’s go with Kir Royale. I have to confess, after a fairly respectable season, I’ve been on a spectacular three-week chokefest. I feel about as confident as a piece of pecan pie sitting out on John Goodman’s counter.
Here’s my challenge. The loser must agree to accompany the other on an “extreme” adventure of the other’s choosing. For example, if I win, we would go skydiving this summer. Are you man enough? (Or even Meredith Baxter enough?)
Feschuk: No. But I agree it should be something extreme and potentially fatal. Winner buys Season One of T.J. Hooker on DVD; the loser has to actually watch it.
Indianapolis (plus 7) at Buffalo
Feschuk: If I’ve learned anything from listening to sports talk radio – other than (to judge from the commercials) the fact that 98% of the listening audience has massive credit card debt, big-time IRS troubles and chronic erectile dysfunction (good news, Reid: you’re not alone) – it’s that we all need to have a VERY STRONG OPINION about what Jim Caldwell did last week. He absolutely, positively did THE WRONG THING by pulling his starters – unless he completely and utterly did THE RIGHT THING. Let’s ask Mike from Shreveport what he thinks. Mike, you’re on the air. (In other news, how the hell do you even begin to bet a game like this? Buffalo is terrible. But those scrubs that Caldwell sent in last week looked like they were auditioning for the roles of Spazzes 1 through 22 in the major motion picture Spaz 2: Electric Spazaloo). Pick: Buffalo.
Reid: Well I’m one of those who has a VERY STRONG OPINION on this matter and my opinion is that Jim Caldwell boned football fans everywhere with that move. PLAY TO WIN!! That’s one of two maxims that I live by. (The other? ‘Girls with low self-esteem are bread and butter’). I don’t even buy that it was smart. What was he trying to avoid by not letting the drive for perfection get out of hand? Distraction, that’s what. What has he got from mailing it in last week? Distraction, that’s what. So way to go Einstein. Same outcome but this way you lose a shot at history. Heed my words: this will bite them in the ass. (Like a mad dog or the phrase ‘I think Charlie’s changed his ways and I’m determined to be his wife’). Believe it or not, Indy needs to win this game. Pick: Indianapolis.
Jacksonville (plus 1.5) at Cleveland
Reid: Are the people pulling for Mangini to keep his job the same people who thought Heather Mills would make a great wife? Burn them all, I say. Pick: Cleveland.
Feschuk: Wait – she doesn’t make a great wife? But I just gave her power of attorney and my Kernels card! (The joke will be on her when she figures out I was never actually a backup singer in Wings.) Pick: Jacksonville.
New Orleans (plus 7) at Carolina
Feschuk: What’s up with the Saints? Losing to Tampa Bay?? I haven’t seen a franchise crumble so fast and so far since the third Godfather movie. Still, New Orleans has got the top seed in the NFC locked up, so it’s hard to imagine Sean Payton putting Drew Brees on the field for long given that Julius Peppers has shifted to an all-quarterback diet. Pick: Carolina.
Reid: Top three things I hate about Feschuk: His increasing popularity among university-aged women (and men, too). The way he brags about knowing Paul Wells personally. And his hatred for Sofia Coppola. Look, we’re all acquainted with Paul Wells (although I first got to know him by his Christian name, “Fragile Ego” Wells). And frankly, Sofia Coppola didn’t ruin that movie. Pacino did. His acting was as broad as Janet Jackson. Pick: Carolina.
Philadelphia (plus 3) at Dallas
Reid: When the Cowboys beat Philadelphia this weekend, Dallas fans will go bananas at the prospect of winning their first playoff game in 15 years. Asked this week what concerns him at this sensitive time of the year, Wade Phillips replied: “Why can’t they sell eggnog year round?” Pick: Dallas.
Feschuk: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. I do the ‘Wade Phillips is thick’ jokes around here. You do the ‘Jim Zorn is incompetent’ jokes. And we both do the ‘Andy Reid is fat’ jokes. Watching you try to follow the terms of our contract is like watching Wade Phillips read the instructions for shampoo. Wet hair then lather? You win again, Mr. Sassoon! Pick: Philadelphia.
Washington (plus 3.5) at San Diego
Feschuk: I loved the Jim Zorn press conference this week, where the guy who’s barely coaching the Washington Redskins started given advice to the guy who’s actually coaching the San Diego Chargers – saying if he were Norv Turner, he wouldn’t play his starters for long this week. In a related story, if Jim Zorn were Norv Turner he’d be able to get a boat loan because the bank would know he’s going to have a job on Monday morning. Pick: Washington.
Reid: What’s next for Jim Zorn? Life as a cat lady? Drinking from the toilet bowl? The poor bastard has been so stripped of his dignity he’s going to have to legally change his name to Levi Johnston. San Diego should hold back their starters after a while. But Washington’s players clearly thought the season ended around the second week of December. Pick: San Diego.
Cincinnati (plus 10) at New York Jets
Reid: Rex Ryan declared his team dead two weeks ago and they responded with a late season rally into contention. Personally, I think New York has as much going for it as Charlie Sheen’s denials (dude has an open pocket knife in his bag but tells the police that his wife’s allegation he threatened her with a knife is baseless – uh huh). Pick: Cincinnati
Feschuk: Cinci has nothing to gain from playing hard – and they may play the Jets again in the playoffs, so they have nothing to gain from being creative on either side of the ball. Of course, there’s always the possibility that some of the Bengals starters will insist on playing, if only to get away from Chad Ochocinco blathering to them on the sideline. Pick: Cincinnati.
New York Giants (plus 8.5) at Minnesota
Feschuk: What the hell happened to the Giants last week? Their defence made Carolina’s Matt Moore look less like the second coming of Joe Montana and more like the actual Second Coming – the Jesus one. Fishes, loaves, touchdowns: everything was being multiplied. Meanwhile, the Vikings lost again, this time to the Bears, and suddenly that big mid-season contract extension for Brad Childress is starting to look like the sketchiest decision since the Bond people cast Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist. (In one scene, Richards had to say a line that included the word “plutonium.” The movie came out in 1999, but she just finally finished saying her line last week.) Pick: New York.
Reid: If Brett Favre was a breakfast menu, I think Jon Gruden would have ordered two of everything on Monday. He called the Vikings QB ‘the legend’ so many times I thought Favre was going to try to pull Excalibur from Mike Tirico’s ridiculous hat. What can you say about the Giants that hasn’t already been said about the French in the Second World War? Pick: Minnesota.
New England (plus 8) at Houston
Reid: New England has been losing road games this year when it mattered, so this one should be like falling off a log. Plus, it’s in their strategic interest to see Houston succeed. Just like it’s in my strategic interest to let you get close on the yearly picks before destroying your hopes in this last week of the season. Pick: Houston
Feschuk: I don’t want to see Houston in the playoffs. They’re not a marquee team, so I don’t care about them. They’re not a cold-weather team, so they can’t even offer me the potential of a home game featuring shirtless fat guys enduring subzero temperatures. And they don’t have Brett Favre as quarterback, so they can’t offer Jon Gruden a mental image to masturbate to. Pick: Houston.
Pittsburgh (minus 3) at Miami
Feschuk: Pittsburgh’s got a shot at the playoffs but they need Houston to lose AND the Ravens or the Jets to lose OR the Ravens, the Jets and the Broncos to lose OR Dr. House to get fired and then Mike Tomlin takes over. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins are still technically alive but there’s not much realistic hope for them – they’re the football equivalent of Ashton Kutcher’s movie career. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Reid: What’s up with Ashton Kutcher and Bruce Willis? It’s BS right? Years of being all palsy walsy and then bango, one day they’ll find Kutcher beaten to death in a dumpster with a handwritten sign on his chest that says, “Punk This, Grade Schooler.” Chad Henne knows the feeling. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Atlanta (minus 2.5) at Tampa Bay
Reid: Rumours are swirling that Bill Cowher will return to coaching in Tampa this off-season. Expect the Raheem Morris era to come to the bloodiest end since John Dillinger went to the movies. Pick: Atlanta
Feschuk: The thing about all the big fancy NFL analysts on TV is that they say stuff with such authority and gravitas that it tends to sound true – until and unless you actually think about it. This past week I heard one of them say that Tampa is “leaning toward” keeping Raheem Morris as coach – and dropping out of the market for Bill Cowher – because the Bucs beat New Orleans. Riiiiiiight. That’s like dropping out of the market for Jaclyn Smith because Bea Arthur flashed you a boob. Pick: Atlanta.
San Francisco (minus 7.5) at St. Louis
Feschuk: Imagine trying to scalp tickets to this one – it’d be easier to find takers to Kiss My Open Sore night at Tommy Lee’s house. Pick: St. Louis.
Reid: Betting on St. Louis is like placing aluminum foil in your underpants: It makes no sense at all, especially the second time. Pick: San Francisco.
Green Bay (plus 3.5) at Arizona
Reid: Arizona should be going all out in the hopes of securing a first round bye. Green Bay should be resting its players. And Elizabeth Banks should be laying nude in a bearskin rug in front of my fireplace with a ‘gotta get me some fat boy’ look in her eyes. If I pick the Cards, do I get Elizabeth Banks? Pick: Arizona
Feschuk: No, but Agent Cody Banks is waiting there for you – and he has a few questions about how that bear became a rug. Pick: Arizona.
Baltimore (minus 10.5) at Oakland
Feschuk: Raiders coach Tom Cable was quoted this week as saying that only JaMarcus Russell’s play at quarterback prevented his team from making the post-season this year. He was subsequently quoted as saying that only the clogging of his basilar artery is preventing the oxygen from making it to his brain. Pick: Baltimore.
Reid: Gosh. I hope this won’t blemish the prospects for my planned new book, The Words and Wisdom of Tom Cable. He’s a big fat dumb dumb bully. Pick: Baltimore.
K.C. (plus 13) at Denver
Reid: Denver helps itself a lot with a win. But seriously, who gives an ugly rat’s ass? Pick: Denver
Feschuk: I’m not sure I understand your analysis of the ramifications of this game. Is it the rat’s ass that’s ugly? Or is the rat ugly on the whole, with its ass defined as the least desirable anatomical aspect thereof? Jimmy the Greek never left room for this kind of confusion. Pick: K.C.
Chicago (minus 3) at Detroit
Feschuk: Because this game deserves to be ignored, let’s talk more about Charlie Sheen. He got arrested over the holidays after a fight with his wife – but there are subtle differences in their statements to police. Brooke Mueller Sheen said her husband straddled her, placed a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her, saying he knows ex-police officers who can “get the job done and they won’t leave any trace.” Sheen, meanwhile, said that what actually happened was that he grabbed a pair of his wife’s eyeglasses and snapped them in half. Sheen’s lawyer has advised him to ask producers of Two and a Half Men if he can use their laugh track when he tells that story in court. Pick: Chicago.
Reid: I wish Charlie Sheen would get married to Jay Cutler. Pick: Chicago
Tennessee (minus 4.5) at Seattle
Reid: Elizabeth Hasselbeck is an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-coherence, untalented plank of faux-blond chipboard and possibly the only person on the planet who ever made me cheer for Rosie O’Donnell. She is also Matt Hasselbeck’s sister-in-law and No. 13 on my top 25 reasons I loathe the Seahawks. Pick: Tennessee.
Feschuk: Remember when Star Jones left The View and everyone was worried they’d never be able to find anyone quite as stupid to replace her? Sherri Shepherd = problem solved. When not expressing uncertainty over whether the earth is flat (she hedged for a bit before caving to the relentless sphere lobby), Sherri gained fame – or, rather, fame’s retarded cousin, infamy – for insisting on the show that Christianity pre-dated ancient Greece. Apparently it’s all there in the Old Testament – right on the page where it talks about the dinosaurs being Catholic. Pick: Seattle.