With another 3-1 (against the spread) weekend, I'm now 6-2 with my NFL playoff picks and 7-1, straight up! And, my friend Joe wrote ANOTHER wonderful post on the Academy Awards! Read it several times or as often as it takes to remove the taste of an 0-4 against-the-spread weekend from Joe's mouth.
Green Bay at Seattle (-7.5)
Joe: It's tough not to simply remember back to September, when the Seahawks creamed the Packers on opening day, and it looked like these two were in completely different classes. And the Packers have looked shockingly vulnerable at times this season, or do I have to remind you all yet again about a little team called the BUFFALO BILLS? Anyway, what kind of non-football comparison can I make to help me with my decision? Green Bay is too small to be the setting for any TV shows. No wrestlers hail from there. Food, I guess? Seattle is famous for its commercial-chain coffee (by far preferred by me over that pungent brew known as actual coffee) and for its fish markets. All that gets stacked up against ... cheese. Delicious, life-giving, artery-clogging cheese. Salty, creamy, spreadable, edible, ideal for parties both casual and fancy, pairs as well with wine as it does saltines. Can't f*ck with cheese. Cheese covers. Seahawks 26, Packers 23
Aaron: Well played, Joe. You get cheese AND knowingly back me into an infinitely dorkier corner. *sigh* You sonofbitch. Anyways...as Joe damn well KNOWS...there IS a pro wrestler who hails from Green...Bay...Wisconsin. He performed in WWE at the same time as Joe's BFF Buffalonian Beth Phoenix. JOE KNOWS THIS. And, since we're down the faux sport rabbit hole, the obvious Seahawks proxy is Seattle's own Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. The Hammer won often, won ugly, and was one of the best dressed competitors in the circuit. See? Just LIKE the Seahawks! Similarly, The Hammer's breakthrough as part of a team came when he aligned himself with a flamboyant pretty boy. Russell Wilson IS Brutus Beefcake, people! See what happens when Joe gets to the good analogies before me? SEE?! Seahawks 23, Packers 20
Indianapolis at New England (-7)
Joe: Gahhhhh we were so close last week. Damn it, Joe Flacco. But I knew it was too much to hope that the Ravens would cut this Patriots season short. Now we have to put all our hopes in the hands of Andrew Luck and whatever folks he happened to load onto the plane with him from Indianapolis. I'll say one thing for that Ravens game: it got us to the Brag Point in New England. That fanbase is so superstitious and so in love with tragedy that, Patriots fans especially, they get cagey when they think their team is good. But inside, there's a braggy Masshole just waiting to bust out. And when that finally happens, when the team starts winning enough that New Englanders start to feel like their team is jinx-proof, the resulting boastfulness is so good. Because now they have someplace to fall. (See: both Giants Super Bowls; that time the Jets beat them in the playoffs.) So did the Ravens game push Pats fans past the bragging point? Uhhh, not sure. Did it? Patriots 31, Colts 20
Aaron: It's inevitable. You can't escape it, America. The Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl. Six months of personal investment in the NFL season...for this. Did you know that Tom Brady is married to a supermodel? Did you know that Rob Gronkowski is a free spirit? Did you know that Bill Belichick is a grumpy, monosyllabic sourpuss? Well get ready to learn it all over again! And, who'll be the first sports journalist with the hard-hitting "From Super Bowl to The Hole" piece on Aaron Hernandez? Hahaha...just kidding. We all know it'll be Jeremy Schaap. And speaking of ESPN...at least we all have something that we collectively root for: the post-Super Bowl Patriots loss Bill Simmons post. Unfortunately, that means two weeks of podcasts and columns with Bill, his dad, Jacko, House, Ralph Malph and the rest of the Little Rascals. Cracked eggs & omelettes, y'all. Patriots 44, Colts 14