Sunday, January 19, 2014

Championship Weekend Picks

It's Championship Weekend! We are down to the Final Four and a mere two weeks until Super Bowl XLVIII.  We get Brady vs. Manning 15 and The Young Guns 2 - Kaepernick vs. Wilson.  These should be two really good games. Yet, I'm having a hard time rooting for anybody.  It is no secret that I have no love for Brady and the Pats, but I always liked Peyton Manning until he became a Bronco, and therefore, public enemy #1.  Kaepernick is captaining the team that use to be my favorite team, but I don't really care for him nor his coach.  Then, there are the Seahawks. I'm beginning to hate everything about this team-Their logo, their uniforms, their coach, their quarterback, their corners, their rabid fans.  Granted, Russell Wilson has done nothing really for me to dislike him, nor has Colin Kaepernick, but there is something, I can't put my finger on it, that makes me think they are a little sketch. Maybe, it's the hater in me, but, yeah...not fond of them.

Three more teams, not Cleveland, finally have head coaches. Jim Caldwell replaces Jim Schwartz in Detroit, Ken Wisenhunt for Mike Munchak, and Jay Gruden for Mike Shanahan.  Good luck, gents! Speaking of the Redskins, what did you guys think about RGIII's Facebook response to fans.  He complains that he doesn't want publicity as he garners more publicity with this response.  I think he has been spending too much time perusing through the Kanye West playbook on how to handle the media. 

So, last week was the first week in a long time that I didn't mention the now former tight end of the Atlanta Falcons. Well, that's to The Big Lead, there are rumors going around that my favorite player of all time is in discussion to work at either at CBS or FOX.  Word on the street is that CBS wants to shakeup their cast on the NFL on CBS.  Let me digress for a moment here. I use to be a fan of the NFL on CBS, but with James Brown inanely yelling "Shay-non," every single time he had to address  Shannon Sharpe (whose speech has not gotten better), Dan Marino mannequinesque demeanor, and Boomer Esaison's apparent exclusion in all things, I changed the channel. I went to ESPN, but seriously, it's like watching a Football version of Grumpy Old Men. I watch GameDay morning on NFL Network, but seriously, my pregame favorite is the NFL on FOX.  Now, while the NFL on FOX doesn't want to mess with the chemistry on their show, and CBS is interested in possibly replacing Shannon Sharpe.  I want to go on record saying I like the choices here:  FOX which would give me a daily dose of Tony Gonzalez or CBS which is a weekly dose-win-win.

Last week, I was 3-1 thanks to the Panthers dropping the ball. Last pick before the Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

The 49ers handled the Panthers on the Panthers home field, and they have had the hot hand like New York a couple of years ago.  The Seahawks looked a little sketch even at home last week against the Saints. I'm not going to even start with Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham. It's hard to go against Seattle in the Emerald City with the 12th man riding shotgun, but I'm going with my old favorite-49ers.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

In the two teams I dislike the most bowl, we see Tom Brady and Peyton Manny meeting for the 15th time.  Tom Brady has the most victories in this rivalry with 10. It's...yeah, you have heard all of the rhetoric this week about these two...blahdy-blahdy-blah-Broncos.  Man up, Manning.

Well, that's that...Happy 205th Birthday to Edgar Allan Poe, "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Divisional Playoff Weekend Picks

I am thoroughly depressed. I realize that it has been over a week since Wildcard Weekend, but I'm still bitter about the Chiefs loss to the Colts.  The Chiefs' bad omens began in the first half when they loss running back Jamaal Charles to a concussion.  Most people, including myself, now saw 1/3 of the Chief offense sitting on the bench, but Alex Smith didn't see it that way and gave every Chiefs fan a false sense of hope by jumping out to a 38-10 lead. Chiefs' fans were ecstatic!  We were 30 minutes away from seeing our beloved Chiefs end a 20 year playoff drought, but alas, it was not to be.  The 28 point lead disappeared along with injuries to five more players.  Andrew Luck and the Colts stabbed Chiefs fans in the heart with a one point 44-45 victory.  Sickening...just...sickening.

The other games provided just as much excitement, not San Diego and Cincinnati, but the Saints, Chargers, and 49ers are now moving on to the Divisional rounds to take on the teams who were relaxing during their bye weeks.  My picks were a mediocre 2-2 thanks to Kansas City and Green Bay where the wheels fell off of the band wagons...

Saturday, January 11
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
In a rematch of their Week 13 meeting, the Saints travel to Seattle to try to avenge the 34-7 drumming at the hands of the Saints.  I want to pick the Saints, but I think Russell Wilson and the 12th man will be too much-Seahawks

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
This is the only game in which the teams did not play this year.  Me thinks young Mr. Luck's fortunes may not fall his way today at Gillette-Patriots

Sunday, January 12
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers
Young guns Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton will battle for the second time this season.  The week 10 game saw the Panthers topping the 49er at Candlestick. I'm looking for a repeat of that game (hopefully with a better score)-Panthers
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Philip Rivers and the Bolos, I mean, the Bolts are traveling back to Denver for a third meeting with the Broncos. The Chargers and Broncos split the season series with the Chargers winning the last match up at Mile High. The Chargers are on a roll, but I'm going to have to go with Pey-Pey-Broncos.

This is one of those weekends where I almost hope I go 0-4. I really don't care for a single team I picked, but alas, they are the stronger teams going in.  Enjoy your Divisional Playoff Weekend!

Until next time, good luck to your teams and "May the odds be ever in your favor!"-Suzanne Collins.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wild Card Weekend Picks

It's Wild Card Weekend, everybody!!!! The playoffs are upon us!!! We had to wave good-bye to 20 NFL teams last weekend who packed their bags for an early off season.  We also saw the ax fall upon the jobs of 5 coaches-Rob Chudzinski (Cleveland), Mike Shanahan (Washington), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota), Jim Schwartz (Detroit), and Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay). On a positive note, Lovie Smith was hired to replace Schiano in Tampa Bay.

My back-up Chiefs almost beat the 1st string San Diego Chargers.  Had it not been for the refs messing up, Ryan Succop may have gotten a second chance to make that field goal which would have eliminated San Diego and launched Pittsburgh into the playoffs.

The NFL said goodbye to two tremendous competitors this past weekend as well-London Fletcher and Tony Gonzalez. Sadly, both were on teams who ended their nightmarish seasons with a loss. Both of these guys deserved a better end to their great careers. I have a feeling one or both will still grace our television screens when football season returns, and Tony Gonzalez, most definitely, will be entering the hall in a few short years. For my money, London Fletcher should, too.

At the beginning of the season, I made my annual "Predictions sure to go wrong." I didn't fair too badly...

My Pick
Actual Winner
AFC East
New England
New England
AFC North
AFC South
AFC West
Kansas City
Wild cards
Kansas City/San Diego
NFC East
NFC North
Green Bay
Green Bay
NFC South
NFC West
San Francisco
Wild cards
Seattle/New Orleans
San Francisco/New Orleans

I did manage to pick 8 of the 12 playoff teams. Who really saw Atlanta and New Orleans dropping to Carolina?  My Chiefs Pick was more wishful thinking, but for one bright shining moment, it was almost the truth. The AFC West is sending 3 teams to the playoffs. Now, did any of us see that coming?  Seattle and San Francisco were more or less a given.  Houston and Washington, wow...those teams were just a mess.  Now, Denver, New England, Seattle, and Carolina get to sit back, watch, and wait to see who their opponents will be next week.

Last week was one of my best pick weeks of the year with a 11-5 tally.  My end of the year tally was 143-109 not a bad record.  Now for my wild card picks...

Saturday, January 4
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
It seems as if every time the Chiefs make the playoffs their opponent is the Colts. Four of the Chiefs last six playoff appearances have been against the Indianapolis Colts.  The Chiefs have lost all four. The last time the Chiefs won a playoff game was January 16, 1994. Joe Montana was quarterback, Marcus Allen was running back, Tony Gonzalez was a senior in high school, Bill Clinton was president, and Miley Cyrus was a one year old named Destiny Hope. It has been, a long, long, long time since the Chiefs won a playoff game. Twenty years!!! I'm picking my Chiefs and let the chips fall where they may.  Go Chiefs!!!!

New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham are amazing. They do amazing things when they connect with one another.  However, it seems as though, things do not always fall their way on the road.  Philadelphia did not begin the year looking like a playoff team, but boy did they end it looking like one. This is going to be a tough game especially in the bad weather headed that way, but I'm picking the Saints, because I'm a homer.  Geaux Saints!!!

Sunday, January 5
San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Let's preface this by saying that I have little faith in either of these teams. San Diego almost lost to the Chiefs second string last week, and Cincinnati has been up in down all season.  Cincinnati won the last time they played in December. I'm flipping a coin.  San Diego.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
This will be a tough game. San Francisco's defense vs. Aaron Rodger's offense.  No, I have not forgotten about Colin Kaepernick.  I have no horse in this race, but I find it very hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers at home.  Green Bay.

Alright everybody, I will probably be 0-4 next week, but that's the way it goes. Until next week I leave you with one of my favorite Jim Mora quotes, "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I'm just hoping we can win a game, another game."