Scott Feschuk Last week: 6-7 Season: 61-50-6
Scott Reid Last week: 8-5 Season: 54-57-6
Did you catch Scott Reid among the crowd at last week’s 49ers game in London? If not, don’t think any less of yourself – he was a little hard to pick out.
Let’s get picking in Week 9 of the National (dramatic pause) Football (dramaticer pause) Leeeeeeeeeeeague…
Chicago (minus 3) at Buffalo (at the Rogers Centre, Toronto)
Feschuk: Only this blog has the exclusive transcript of the Buffalo Bills braintrust deliberating whether to claim Randy Moss and/or Shawne Merriman off waivers…
Coach Chan Gailey So I guess what it comes down to is if we’ll be competitive enough in the future to justify the salaries that Moss or Merriman will–
GM Buddy Nix Is it warm in here? It feels warm in here. I’m warm.
Owner Ralph Wilson Eggs! I like ’em.
Chan Eggs are delicious, Mr. Wilson. But if we could just focus on whether–
Buddy So, so warm.
(he removes his shirt)
Chan … if we could just turn our attention to–
Ralph PLEASE SPEAK DIRECTLY INTO MY EAR TRUMPET!
Chan … IF WE TURN OUR–
Buddy So that’s where you’ve been hiding, Mr. Belly Button! (phones wife) Found it!
Ralph (standing up) So it’s decided: we’ll sign this Bronko Nagurski dynamo.
Buddy (pokes finger in belly hole) Boop!
(Chan Gailey shoots self with cannon)
Reid: Contents of Jay Cutler’s travel kit to Canada:
- Passport (issued by the island nation of Interceptia)
- Metric for Dummies
- Satellite cell phone
- Three Downs Will Do Ya: The Dieter Brock Story
- Snow chains
- Fodor’s map to childhod home of Wolverine
- Ten cartons of KOOL menthols for new Mayor Rob Ford
Miami (plus 5.5) at Baltimore
Reid: We’ve reached the mid-point of the season and it’s become increasingly clear that I know nothing about football, small appliance repair or how to please a woman. I’m so depressed. And I can’t even make toast. After struggling to barely nip Buffalo, Baltimore could use a show of force at home against the Dolphins. Chad Henne is earning respect with his workmanlike 200 yards a week and somnambulistic game management. Not from me. To me, he commits the ultimate sin in today’s NFL. He’s boring. Dead-ass Cameron Diaz, Tony Danza, the cardboard cut-out who plays the new Steve McGarrett-boring. Give me Jay Cutler and his unapologetic interceptions any day of the week. Boring-ass Dolphins. You will lose big-time. Pick: Baltimore.
Feschuk: The Dolphins make the Houston Texans and Phil Collins’ solo career look consistent. But here’s one thing you can rely on: If I pick them to lose, they’re going to play as though they were led by Vincent Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers. If I pick them to win, they’re going to play as though they were led by Vincent Barbarino of Mr. Kotter’s class. Govern yourself accordingly. Pick: Miami.
San Diego (minus 1) at Houston
Feschuk: So apparently the Chargers are crediting their win last week to an impassioned and “very emotional” halftime speech delivered by Norv Turner. Wait til they find out he was actually talking to a bag of Fritos he couldn’t get open. “Now you listen and you listen good: You are going to do what I say! You are going to give me everything you’ve got in there or I’m going to get Mr. Scissors AND THEN WE’LL BOTH BE SORRY!” (seven minutes of gentle whimpering ensue) Pick: Houston.
Reid: Arian Foster is second in the NFL in rushing yards – but first when it comes to not poisoning Gary Kubiak’s bacon-burger for sticking with the pass. Even Helen Keller could see they should double Foster’s touches. As for San Diego, I really doubt that story about Norv Turner giving an inspired speech. I’ve seen no indication that he even possesses the power of speech – or sentient thought for that matter. Maybe he’s like Jodie Foster in Nell – he’s invented his own language, living isolated from civilization and spending a lot of time in the nude. Metaphorically speaking, of course. You could see how that might get a team all roused up. Pick: San Diego.
New England (minus 5.5) at Cleveland
Reid: I wish I loved a group of guys as much as Randy Moss apparently loves the fellows in New England. I’m talking about a pee-all-over-Minnesota kind of love. A ‘you goddamned people here can’t even make me a proper meal’ kind of love. The kind of love I assume Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise share – except for the forcible confinement and psycho-emotional reconstruction. (God, I wish she’d treat him better). And why not? They’re winning in spite of expectations. Tom Brady’s hair has a Cher-like winning bounce to it. And Bill Belichick was recently nominated by the Guardians of Oa as this galaxy’s next Green Lantern. All in all, they’ve got it going. Which makes this a classic trap game. They’re on the road with high expectations against a weak team and everyone assumes they will romp away with it. Normally, I’d take the underdog. But Belichick can do nearly anything with that ring. Except make Randy play hard, evidently. Pick: New England.
Feschuk: Once again, I find myself of the belief that Cleveland will hold a superior team close, or even manage to beat them outright. HOW? I do not know. WHY? I cannot say. WHAT? I’m not sure what you’re asking. WHEN? Just now – that question you just asked. WHERE? What? Forget it. Pick: Cleveland.
New Orleans (minus 7) at Carolina
Feschuk: It’s been a tough week for Carolina QB Matt Moore. Not only did he toss up three more interceptions against the Rams, he went a dismal 23-118 with the candy bars on Halloween. And now one poor kid is questionable for Christmas after taking a Snickers to the head. In other news, time for a pop quiz:
Cheerleaders at the Halloween night New Orleans game or the contents of Charlie Sheen’s closet? Pick: New Orleans.
Reid: Why do the Panthers get to say they’re from ‘Carolina’ when there’s no such place. There’s North Carolina – where the Panthers play. And there’s South Carolina – where they don’t play. It’s a separate state altogether and a blatant attempt to fool people with no attachment to your team into buying your tickets and jerseys. You don’t hear Drew Brees saying that he’s from Orleans in a deliberate attempt to gain a fan base in Louisiana, Northern France and the east end of Ottawa. This team is going nowhere until they start telling the truth – to their fans AND themselves. Pick: New Orleans.
New York Giants (minus 5.5) at Seattle
Reid: Seattle kind of pisses me off. One week they play competitive football, even gaining first downs and scoring occasionally. They bat their eyes at you. Laugh at your stories. Let you buy them a drink. You are such a bad boy. And this is headed in just the right direction. Why not take a tumble? Who’s to know? Maybe there are no sure things but this feels pretty fine. Fast forward and they can barely muster three points against Oakland. Oakland! Let this be a lesson. Beware painted ladies and teams coached by Pete Carroll. They’ll just take your money and break your heart. Pick: New York.
Feschuk: Sure, their team’s abysmal performance against the Raiders was a bit of a letdown. But it’s good to see Pete Carroll turn lemons into lemonade by using the moment to have the coaching staff do a photo shoot for Calvin Klein new fashion line, Dejection for Men.
Arizona (plus 9) at Minnesota
Feschuk: Another business-as-usual week for the Vikings, who released their most talented receiver because he didn’t finish his lunch. In other news, I went to a Halloween party last Saturday and at the last minute decided to go as Charlie Sheen’s hotel room. I ripped up some jeans, covered myself in flour (cocaine) and drew a closet door on my shirt pocket, inside which I placed a photograph of a cowering porn star. It came together nicely enough – but that wasn’t my original plan. My intention was to dress as Brad Childress, but the costume store had run out of moustaches and incompetence. Pick: Minnesota.
Reid: It will be interesting to see what fresh bit of shrewd decision-making Brad Childress has planned for this week. Will he hand over a prized draft pick for the rights to Plaxico Burress? Name Adrian Peterson the team’s new place-kicker? Lend money to Randy and Evi Quaid? Of all the people in the NFL having a bad year, Childress deserves to be their Mayor. Even Obama must be thinking: Sucks to be me but at least I’m looking better than that sorry sonofabitch, Chili. He even has to take his marching orders from a guy who sends out pictures of his Jolly Roger. It’s not the most humilating thing in the world. But not everyone can be Charlie Sheen. Pick: Minnesota.
K.C. (plus 2.5) at Oakland
Reid: After his team lost to San Francisco earlier this month, Oakland owner Al Davis obviously found an ancient lamp in a cave somewhere. Two inexplicably overwhelming wins in a row means he’s got just one wish left. Smart money says he’ll use it to return life to the one thing he loves even more than the Raiders:
Feschuk: K.C. coach Todd Haley is a lot like Josh McDaniels – with the slight exception that he has ability, promise, common sense and a future in this league that extends more than 30 seconds after the season comes to an end. Haley has his Chiefs in a good position to finish first in the AFC West. Granted, that would be like finishing first in a sober contest with the Rat Pack, but still. One obstacle remains: they need to prove they can play well on the road. I say they can do it. I also say that when they do the inevitable Golden Girls reboot, they should pursue a degree of continuity by ensuring the horndog Rue McClanahan character is played by Kim Cattrall and the male Bea Arthur character is played by Rosie O’Donnell. Pick: K.C.
Tampa Bay (plus 8.5) at Atlanta
Feschuk: I know we’re supposed to believe the Bucs are legit – but in the words of Ochocinco and, in a very different context, Jerry Lee Lewis: “Child, please.” The only way this game could be any less exciting is if it featured a victory speech by Rand Paul. So let’s talk about the Redskins instead. Imagine you’re Donovan McNabb. Let us itemize all that happened to you during a brief span on Sunday afternoon:
- Replaced by Rex Grossman? Check.
- Replaced by Rex Grossman because coach thinks Grossman is your intellectual superior? Check.
- Replaced by Rex Grossman because coach thinks you’re a fatty? Check.
There hasn’t been a prominent figure so thoroughly humiliated since the video for Rock Me Tonight.
Oh, Billy Squier: The satin sheets? The floor writhing? THE FLOUNCY PRANCING??! It’s as though you recorded your video in Tom Cruise’s imagination. Pick: Atlanta.
Reid: How stark-raving mad must I be to actually buy into the Tampa Bay hype in this matchup? Well, a friend snapped this picture of me recently – and if it wasn’t for the super clean tongue, you would almost mistake me for that nice Wicca lady who ran for the U.S. Senate.
Pick: Tampa Bay.
Indianapolis (plus 1) at Philadelphia
Reid: After throwing two interceptions and doodling “I ? Kenny Brit” all over the front of his playbook, Kevin Kolb appears to have lost the confidence (again) of Eagles coach Andy Reid. So once more the team turns to a no-longer injured (but still canine murderous) Michael Vick to lead their offence. With Philly changing its quarterback more times than Victor Newman has changed wives, it’s hard to really know what to expect from the Eagles offense. Deep threat DeSean Jackson is also back after being concussed so hard he nearly changed his name to Cigarette Ash. But this game comes down to whether the Eagles defense can scheme its way to destablizing Peyton Manning. Rotsa ruck, Shaggy. Pick: Indianapolis.
Feschuk: I’m not sure this feeling has a name, but it should – I’m talking about the feeling you get just before kickoff when you glance at the team you’ve picked to cover and think to yourself, “Sweet bearded Jesus, I would give ANYTHING to flip that pick.” Had that feeling Monday night the moment I saw the crowd in Indy, the fire in Manning’s eyes and the look on Matt Shaub’s face. An artist’s impression:
New York Jets (minus 4) at Detroit
Feschuk: Most teams come off their bye week feeling as pent-up and feisty as Brett Favre in a pair of Crocs. But facing the Packers in a marquee matchup, the Jets managed to score exactly zero points against the league’s No. 26 defence. Rex Ryan was so distraught he could barely eat the game ball. Pick: Detroit.
Reid: Detroit is full of confidence. Rex Ryan is full of sweetbreads and busted stomach staples. Something’s gotta give. One is tempted to wager with Detroit here because they’re at home, playing much better and have nothing to fear (except for snakes – only idiots and Houngans aren’t afraid of snakes). But since I feel the need to change my losing ways, I’m going to opt for the team that is superior in every dimension except understanding how to really talk to women.
Pick: New York.
Dallas (plus 8) at Green Bay, Sunday night
Feschuk: I’ve read some articles where people are mocking NBC for being stuck with the woeful Cowboys in prime time. Are you kidding? I can’t wait to watch this game. For pure entertainment value, nothing beats those cutaways to Jerry Jones being restrained from plunging a steak knife into his own face and Wade Phillips looking as though he’s just been robbed by the Hamburglar.
There’s been talk in Minnesota that Brad Childress has lost the locker room. The same is true for Phillips – but literally. He literally can’t find the locker room. If only he’d left a trail of those magic beans that he got as part of the Roy Williams trade. Say, where’d them beans get to anyway?
/beanstalk shoots up out of Wade’s mouth
Pick: Green Bay.
Reid: It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Jerry Jones is Yul Brynner. In the sense that Yul Brynner played the role of Ramses II. And in the sense that God beat Ramses II about the head with one plague after another until the Pharaoh (read: majority owner) finally capitulated and did the right thing. I’m not saying that the rivers of Texas will flow red with blood until Wade Phillips finally gets the heave-ho. But I’m not saying they won’t either. Through intermediaries, Jones mutters about off-season labour uncertainty and the lack of a suitable interim candidate as reasons for hanging onto Phillips. OK, be like that. Go ahead. By my calculation you’ve suffered through losses to Jacksonville and Jon Kitna’s glacial throwing motion. That leaves eight more plagues. Pick: Green Bay.
Pittsburgh (minus 4.5) at Cincinnati, Monday night
Reid: Reasons that Carson Palmer is so bad:
- Bedbugs. They’re everywhere, you know.
- He hit his head and now believes that he’s actually Arnold Palmer. Can’t throw worth shit, but put him next to Gary Player and watch the bugger go.
- Every time he drops back to throw, this image pops into his head and he becomes flustered, distracted and a little closer to eternal damnation.
Feschuk: I get very few things right when it comes to forecasting the outcome of football games or the effects of my Legolas the Elf outfit on pretty ladies in bars, so it’s a little bit nifty to see my Super Bowl picks doing well (Baltimore and Atlanta are both 5-2) and Cincinnati doing every bit as god-awful as I imagined. Will Pittsburgh easily handle the Bengals? It all comes down to the critical question of whether they are able to locate the correct stadium, and arrive no later than the second quarter. Pick: Pittsburgh.