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by | October 7, 2013 · 10:33 pm

The Goddamn Patriots are Going to the Super Bowl Again

Get used to this shit.

Get used to this shit.

Watching the New England Patriots dominate the Houston Texans, I realized: The Goddamn Patriots are going to the Super Bowl again. Sorry haters, it’s not their fault that your team can’t beat them. New England’s last two appearances have been terribly disappointing anyway.

Right now, the Texans and Falcons have the best records in the NFL. The Falcons are an NFC team, but they’re not going to the Super Bowl either (it’ll be the Packers). Anything can still happen. I will not edit this should the following predictions go horribly wrong. Opinions are based largely on hunches and favorite colors.

Let’s run down both conferences after this healthy dose of perspective:

AFC-Super-Bowl-Infographic

AFC

BRONCOS: Oh sweet irony! The Broncos will lose in their first game to the Colts or Tim Tebow (Mark Sanchez) and the New York Jets…in a long shot (Would it be more ironic if the Colts lost to the Peyton Manning-led Broncos?) Truth be told, I’m an AFC West rival fan so my personal bias may be getting the best of me. If the Patriots don’t make the Super Bowl, the Broncos will win it all and I will hate it.

COLTS: Like I said, they beat the Broncos in the first round, but are done in the second, probably against the Texans. It’ll be exciting. After sandbagging last season to get Andrew Luck, they will win 2 more Super Bowls this decade.

RAVENS: They looked unstoppable pre-injuries. Ray Lewis in the twilight of his career is even turning his image into a gentle giant, kind of a “Mean Joe” Green for the 2010s. Now he’ll be back just in time for the playoffs. They’ll stick around for sure. If they can beat the Texans, we’ll see them in the AFC title game.

TEXANS: I love Arian Foster. He’s a fascinating human being. He has dapper style. He hikes in the desert and yells at “The Universe”. I’d love to see Houston make the Super Bowl. I’d love to go hiking with Arian. They had such promising (Oiler) teams in the 90s only to lose in some real stunners. They beat the Bears at their own game – a sloppy turf war. Then they whipped the Ravens, but this week, though, they looked too human against the Patriots. You’ll them in the AFC Championship, but it doesn’t matter because:

The Goddamn PATRIOTS are going to the Super Bowl again: I don’t even care that they lost to the Cardinals in week 1 and then the Ravens. It’s probably some diabolical Belichick plan to create drama. The Patriots are on fire now and the rest of the league is out of water. They utterly dismantled the (arguably) best team in the AFC this week. If it were in Houston, I think New England STILL would have won. They have that “je ne sais quoi” (French for “X-Factor”) of a champion. Am I a Patriots fan? Nope. They’re going to the Super Bowl again and will win it this time. Just accept it.

BENGALS (or STEELERS…or if the Mayan calendar proves true, the JETS): One and done. I’m glad my Pittsburgh family doesn’t read this blog.
NFC

BEARS: They’re 0-3 vs. other teams in this list and have been outscored by those teams 68-23. Playoffs, yes. One and done.

49ers: They’ll win a playoff game, but not two.

FALCONS: I want the Falcons to win. I’m on their bandwagon because my team (the Chiefs) stinks and I’m a big Tony Gonzalez. I have actually directed the guy for television (have I mentioned that before?) and really like him, both personally and for the KC nostalgia he represents. I even have a Falcons HAT. They’ve only lost two games this year, both to bad teams in their division. I take division losses lightly because anything can happen in those games. Still, I think they’ll get knocked out in a tragic NFC title game vs. the Packers. Maybe it’s my cynicism as a Chiefs fan. I hope I’m wrong. If they beat the Giants this week, we’ll talk.

PACKERS: They’re going to the Super Bowl. Unless…

GIANTS: If they beat the Falcons this week…next week’s blog will be titled “The Goddamn Giants are going to win the Super Bowl…again”. Even if they win just ONE of their next three games, don’t be surprised when they make an “unlikely run” through the playoffs, quietly picking off opponents like the Dark Knight hiding in shadows. They’re the Giants; a C+ season and strong playoff run is how they do.

SEAHAWKS: Will lose to the Packers in the playoffs. The football gods will see to it. It’s too bad, their uniforms – not surprisingly – are becoming the NFL’s own University of Oregon.

VIKINGS (or REDSKINS): One-and-done.

That’s it. That’s what’s happening. I’d love to see a Ravens / Falcons Super Bowl. Defense vs. Offense. Two veterans in their last chance at glory. Instead, the Patriots will beat the Packers in the Super Bowl and score more combined points than any Super Bowl in history. Most of us are probably bored at the idea already. Deal with it. Find a good party and watch the Patriots win the Goddamn Super Bowl again.

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Space Aliens Agree: Utah Hornets & New Orleans Jazz

neworleanshornets Unknown

New Orleans and Salt Lake City need to trade NBA team nicknames giving us the New Orleans Jazz and the Utah Hornets. If you came from another planet and were given a list of facts about each city and team nickname this is how you’d pair them up. Why? Let’s start with the obvious:

The Jazz, and their Mardi Gras inspired color scheme originally moved from New Orleans to Utah, where – the movie “Baseketball” claims – “They don’t allow music”. That’s a little harsh, but musically: Utah gave us the Osmonds (“a little bit country” and “a little bit rock and roll” = 0% jazz) and Mormon Tabernacle Choir – both quality in their own right. New Orleans, however, gave us Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton and…I guess the Neville Brothers. New Orleans is SO into jazz they actually have a jazz trumpet on their 2nd logo!

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We’d all be cool with them switching. The Jazz and Hornets are just stuck in the status quo like two coworkers with massive crushes on each other afraid to make the first move. Maybe what they both need is a drink.

Hey, let’s talk about alcohol! Utah is the home to notoriously conservative liquor laws. Jazz music gained popularity through illegal speakeasies during prohibition. Drugs and alcohol dance hand and hand with jazz. Though, Utah’s prohibition-inspired liquor laws are as close as you can get to the “Jazz Age” in modern America. This one’s a wash.

On the flip side, Utah is the BEEHIVE STATE. They have a beehive on the flag! Look!

sealLarge

There’s some story about Mormon pioneers traveling with a shit ton of bees on their way to Salt Lake City and they like their industriousness. So, what is a hornet but a bee that’s become more and more pissed off over millennia of evolution. The hornet is vaguely cultural and speaks to their religious heritage. Call the stadium the “HIVE” and have “SWARMS” of fans. Let the team ride in on covered wagons even. You’d have to call them the “Joseph Smiths” to be any more perfect! You may be thinking “But a hornet is technically a WASP, not a “bee”. To that point: 1. Congratulations on splitting hairs. 2. Here is a density map of Americans who claim English heritage. Add to that: The state is 95% white and 64% Mormon and you’ll notice a remarkably high concentration of WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) in Utah. So yeah, science.

Americans claiming English descent.  Dark red/brown being the highest percentage.

FIG. 1.a — Americans claiming English descent. Dark red/brown being the highest percentage.

Final note: Be careful with your football team, New Orleans. Utah is also home to the world headquarters of the Latter Day Saints and the original state nickname “Land of the Saints”.

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Annoying Fan Results (Updated 11/12/12)

Teams not listed have 1 or less votes.

Early results are in and apparently: It’s good to be nominated.  With the exception of the Oakland Raiders (more on that in a minute) every team here has a winning record over the last decade – many by a WIDE margin.  Over the history of the entire league, the Raiders have a solid tradition of winning, and pissing people off doing it.  Of  these teams, only the Philadelphia Eagles do NOT have a lifetime winning record (.485).  If your team is “annoying” they’re probably “winning”.  Haters be jealous. (continued below)

I’d like to apologize to the Oakland Raiders for skewed results.  A lot of this is my fault.  There was a high percentage of respondents who either cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs or live in Los Angeles (where a lot of Raider fans still live) after growing up somewhere else.  Somewhat ironically, I fall into both of these categories but voted for the Denver Broncos.

I had suspected a strong bias against the Raiders and division rivals in general, that’s why I asked for home towns and current zip codes.  Washington Redskins fans turned out to hate on the Dallas Cowboys.  The Patriots and Packers drew ire from the NFL fan population in general (good work!), many of who claimed no allegiance.

Keep voting, these results will surely change.  I feel like the Patriots and Steelers could eclipse the Raiders for annoying-ness if they really focus.

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Raider Nation!

What college-educated man would agree to this?  At least they correctly dressed the sausage with mustard and not ketchup. #Respect20121030-160444.jpg

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by | October 30, 2012 · 4:04 pm

The Twitter Delusion

Richard Sherman is great at playing cornerback and yelling at people.  Tom Brady wins Super Bowls.  Last week, Sherman had a great game in a competitive sport where guys yell rude things at each other for several hours.  He apparently picked on Tom Brady all day, and eventually picked off one of his passes.  Then got all up in his business about it, looking like one of those fans who points to his hat, or holds out the logo on his shirt.  I felt it was a very Twitter-in-real-life confrontation.

Well, that’s just not nice.

Both are “celebrities”, but Tom Brady – like him or not – is a Wheaties box, GQ cover guy while Sherman – talented in his own right – is more likely to show up in a coupon flyer for your Seattle area Safeway.  This is not Muhammad Ali taunting Joe Frazier.  That perspective is not to take away Sherman’s great game.  For the day he was a very relevant player in Tom Brady’s life, but it is likely the two will never play each other again.

Twitter gives us a direct line to people we see on TV and has fed all of us the delusion that we are relevant to celebrities.  We can – right there in public – add an “@” before their name and send a message right to them! Occasionally, they even write back.  The Fonz tweeted to me once and it was magical. Twitter doesn’t put us on the same social level as celebrities but essentially puts us ALL in the front row.  There’s a chance we’ll interact with our heroes, and maybe bring that unsavory internet-comment behavior with us.

Richard Sherman is a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks.  Tom Brady is Tom Brady.  Hey, we’re ALL a little jealous of Tom Brady.  He’s the face of a franchise.  He’s won 3 Super Bowls to Sherman’s 0, has been NFL MVP twice and makes about 20x Sherman’s salary*.  Also, he gets to play QB.  He’s not sweating it.

Hostetler and Uncle Brett

Like Twitter, a football field is a great equalizer, if only the illusion of it.  My uncle Brett played high school football against eventual New York Giants Super Bowl winner Jeff Hostetler (most Western PA guys have that same mustache) and apparently sacked him once or twice.  As a 13-year-old this led me to believe he would have been BETTER than Jeff Hostetler if not for the tragic fact that my uncle did not go to college.  As a 35-year-old I know that there is a difference between BEING a quarterback and TACKLING (or in Sherman’s case, intercepting) a quarterback.  There are exceptions: Joe Theismann and Lawrence Taylor come to mind.

In addition to position, accomplishments and money, there are several gaps between these two players: Half a generation – Sherman is 24 and Brady is 35.  Sherman “Tweets” to about 21,000 followers.  Brady isn’t even ON Twitter but has about 21,000 fake accounts dedicated to his name.  Experience – Brady has been playing football since Sherman was in jr. high school.  All players are important, but in some ways, Richard Sherman is as far from Tom Brady as Regular Joe fans are from Richard Sherman who SEEMS like your average Twitter follower.  We’re all Richard Shermans.

I get it, Richard.  Patriots fans aside, most of us probably cheered against Tom Brady in his last 3 or 4 appearances.  Yeah, it’s great for Sherman.  He is clearly enjoying his moment.  It’s a funny scene, but history’s probably gonna look at that photo and say, “Who’s that guy yelling at Tom Brady?”

*Tom Brady had his salary restructured this year to help the Patriots stay under their salary cap.  He knocked his base salary down to $950,000 but gets a $10.8 MILLION signing bonus. And who-knows-what for endorsements.

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Now Flo is just picking on me.

Again, logging onto my fantasy football page.  A smaller man would be insulted.

Even Fantasy Football Guys Deserve Insurance

I write for a sizable TV network.  In my younger days, writing for a local TV station, one of my responsibilities was to write those words the announcer says during the credits.  You know, “What’s that smell?  It’s trash day in Spin City! Check it out tonight at 10!”  My crowning achievement was sneaking “Toss your salad” into Frasier promos (twice!) that ran during the credits of the Wayan’s Brothers.  Usually, we’d try to be topical and current – on Sundays for example, we’d usually reference that weeks Chiefs game.  On election day 2000, I wrote, “Unless you’re stupid, don’t forget to vote!”  It did not go over well (and a quick trip through the Yahoo or YouTube comments section should prove that my advice went unheeded).

My boss called me into his office about 22 seconds after it went on the air (because HIS boss called him from HER office about 6 seconds after).  My defense was, “I didn’t call anyone stupid, I was just saying if your ARE stupid, you shouldn’t vote.”  I figured the entire audience would feel “in” on the joke.  He told me that some people might not consider themselves very smart and others might consider that a very pompous statement on our station’s behalf, as if WE know better than our dumb ol’ audience members (Especially folks watching “Judge Mathis” at 3pm on a weekday).  Point taken.  Don’t insult your audience.

That was only 12 years ago, so maybe things are different now.  I work in kids TV, so my rules are a little different.  That was the “Pre 9/11 World” after all.  Maybe we’re edgier, more experimental and breaking new ground.  How about one of these instead:

– Our discounts go deep!
– Your backup QB since 1937. (Progressive skews a little younger, focusing on discounts so I can’t totally picture them doing a legacy sell.)
– ADD: Sensational Coverage DROP: About 30%.  You guys know what I’m talkin’ about.
– Protecting your blindside (Admittedly more of an Allstate line)
– Covering you like Ed Reed.
– Because you drafted the Saints defense…
– First down, you! (Classic goofy Flo line, come on.)

Those aren’t all game-winning lines, but hey, we don’t judge in brainstorming.  The whole Progressive fantasy football campaign wouldn’t stop me from buying their insurance, but I think they can do better.

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