Seasons End New Year’s Trash

Happy New Year folks! As we celebrate the start of the new year of 2012, we also today reach the end of the NFL regular season, and there are some big games on tap. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Also, ring in the new year with a little Jerry Jeff Walker. Don’t hear to much about Jerry Jeff anymore, but hot damn, he was, and is, really good.

No game is, nor could ever be, as big as the Tebowl between Baby Jesus and the man who wrongfully had Baby Jesus’ position at the start of the season, Kyle Orton. Really, the entire game is only between Tebow and Orton, or so it seems from the week’w worth of blather at ESPN. In all seriousness though, it truly is pretty compelling theater. The Chefs can play, as they demonstrated by rolling the Pack in the only loss for the Cheese of the year. And you know Orton would love to pound the Donkos and keep them and Baby Jesus out of the playoffs. For Denver, if they win they are in; if they lose they are not (well, unless Oakland loses to the Bolts, in which case the Donks would still win the division with a lousy 8-8 record). Simple. I would take the Chefs pretty easily here, but the game is at Mile High, and that matters. Still gonna go with the KC BBQ, but Tebow will play his heart out; Baby Jesus is nothing if not a gamer. That leaves the AFC West division championship, and its playoff berth up to the Rayduhs and Bolts game, where the edge has to ride with Carson Palmer and the ghost of Al Davis, in the Black Hole, over the Bolt who are just done (as is Norval, finally, it would appear).

The other win or go home game that is must see theater is the ‘Boys at the Gents in the NBC Sunday Night finale. Winner takes the NFC East and moves on to the playoffs, loser is toast. Here, too, the game is a tale of two quarterbacks Good/Bad Eli and Tony Romeo. They are both like Gump’s damn box of chocolates, you never know what your are gonna get; consistently inconsistent and all over the road. Romo does have a bruised up hand from the Eagles game, but no way he does not play, and a pretty fair bet he plays well. Everything points to the Giants here, including them playing at home, but I am going with a ‘Boys upset.

Ray Lewis and the Ravens are in Cincy for a key game for both teams. The Ravens lock up their division with a win, and a first round home game (and homefield throughout if the Pats lose to the Bills) in the process, which is key because the Ravens have been a bad road team this year. The Bengals, on the other hand are young and hungry for a wildcard spot, which they would nail down with a win. This could be a great game, no idea who wins it, but either way it is hard to see the Patsies losing to Buffalo when the number one seed is still on the line.

Then we have the “lose or go home” game. Colts at Jags. Both these teams have been woeful for the season, although the Not-Peytons have a shocking two game winning streak going. The problem for the Colts is, of course, a win against the Jags might well put them out of Luck. Andrew Luck that is. Thing is, Jags may well want another QB in the draft and have nothing to gain with a win either. Jacksonville has already fired its coach, Jack Del Rio, and the franchise was just sold. In short, they are a mess. This will be a really interesting game to see who loses the best and how.

The last of the killer klashes this week is another Black and Blue grudge match, this time between the Kitties and the Cheese. The Pack has nothing to play for having already wrapped up the NFC top seed and home field throughout the playoffs. If Rodgers plays at all, it will likely not be much. Look for Matt Flynn to get most of the time behind center, with Graham Harrell getting a little game experience too. The Kitties, however, need to win to keep the fifth seed, which could mean the difference between playing the Giants/Cowboys winner or the Saints. That is healthy motivation. Lions should win this one, but if they do, it will be their first win on the Frozen Tundra in 20 years.

Titans at the Texans also has some playoff implication, but not many. Titans slim hopes for making the postseason show depend on a win against the Texans, and a LOT of help. Texans get Andre Johnson back and that is good because they need to get some game chemistry between him and young TJ Yeats before the playoffs begin. I rate this as a toss-up. The rest of the teams are pretty much just playing out the string.

We will either update or, more likely, just put up a new thread for all the college bowl extravaganza starting Monday. So, let us all take a Tee Bow, and raise a frosty. Commence trashing!

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
124 replies
  1. nomolos says:

    Romeo Crennel, who may well be The Coach when Bill retires, is going to have his team ready to send baby jesu and his acolytes packing. Orton is three times the QB the pretender will ever be. KC has now got two QBs that are going to have one heck of a battle next year for the starting spot.

    In the most important game the Pats need to whup the Buffaloes to keep home field “advantage” in the up coming season.

    Thanks for the Jerry Jeff, long time since I have heard him…very enjoyable.

    Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh to everyone in the land of Emptywheel

  2. scribe says:

    Interesting, the Owboys’ D Coach Ryan, who looks like the crazy cat lady from The Simpsons, saw fit to open his mouth and spew trash at the Elis.

    His brother and the Giants’ response to him and his behavior showed last week that fat, loud and stupid is not the way to go through life. You’d think it would have been a topic of conversation during Christmas dinner atop the reinforced floor joists at the Ryan household. If it was, Ryan The Longhair wasn’t listening.

    It would please me no end for the Giants to knock the Owboys out of the playoffs – the way to start the year off right.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    In the beginning God created the AFC and NFC
    with six seeds.

    Trash Talks Trajectories:

    First Seeders, NE and Green Bay
    Second Seeders, Baltimore and Frisco
    Third Seeders, Houston and New Orleans
    Fourth Seeders, Oakland and NYGiants
    Fifth Seeders, Pittsburgh and Atlanta
    Sixth Seeders, Detroit and Tennessee

  4. GulfCoastPirate says:

    You a JJW fan? He’s still around. In fact, we’re going to see him next Saturday night at the Opera House in Galveston. We were talking about it last night – everyone is getting pumped up.

    If you like JJW you may like this guy. Roger Creager is the name and he does a great job on LA Freeway. Check out some of his other stuff also – I’ve Got The Guns, Having Fun All Wrong, etc.

    I’m wondering if Jerry Jone’s head is going to explode if the Cowboys lose tonight. Talk about blowing a division …………

    Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Years. Make sure you don’t do anything to give Obama a reason to ‘off’ you now that he’s got the power. Some of EW’s writings on this subject lately are mind numbing.

  5. Jim White says:

    Wait. Was there a New Year’s resolution to produce trash early this year?

    Checks time stamp again, thinks about time zones.

    Oh yeah, just working off a bit of the bubbly after ringing the year in. Probably sleeping very soundly now.

    Happy New Year to one and all. Today is the day on which The Anointed One moves on to the next level and sends Mr. O back to KC for more barbecue. I suggest Hayward’s. I also will enjoy watching the Owboys get eliminated should Good Eli make an appearance.

  6. emptywheel says:


    You’ve picked the games as I’d like them to turn out. But I’ve got nowhere near your confidence in the Chiefs and Bungles.

  7. Jim White says:

    @P J Evans: Well now, that’s the nature of prophecy, isn’t it? Does “next level” refer to the playoffs or to moving to another dimension of existence? Does “Mr. O” refer to Kyle Orton with Tebow proving quarterback dominance or to Barack Obama and a move into politics?

  8. emptywheel says:

    Adam Shefter tells me Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want to face stomping Suh at all without a completely healthy O Line:

    Aaron Rodgers is inactive; Matt Flynn starts at QB for the Packers.

  9. 4jkb4ia says:

    It says everything that the Jets and the Dolphins were simply ignored from this whole post. (About hoping for a miracle, that is. I should post a psalm.)

    No rant are you guys getting from me, because of this— 105 songs I have never heard before and will never hear again, because it is New Year’s Day and traditions going back to KSHE and the Greatest 95 must be observed. I missed out because of Shabbos the last two years and I cannot believe that it is making me this happy.
    The core of what I was going to say is that I am thankful for EW for being here practically every day, even if it was just on Twitter and the post I was up to was 100 years old, to say, “Look around, and try to be part of the public realm. [As a takeoff from Straczsynski] What that means is changing every day. You can choose to witness that change, or help that change, or not.”

  10. 4jkb4ia says:

    fat, loud and stupid is not the way to go through life

    No, a so-called rivalry game is not the place to run your mouth.

  11. bmaz says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: Oh, I knew Jerry Jeff was still around, and my guess is he is still quite good to see live. Always was. I first saw him at a cowboy joint on Route 66 in Flagstaff called The Museum Club in the late 70’s, liked him a lot ever since. By the way, you would love the Museum Club; place has been there forever and was built around and over trees that are still in the floor. Completely wild ass cowboy joint.

  12. bmaz says:

    Why the fuck are CBS and Fox giving me Panthers/Saints and Jets/Dolphins for early games? This shit is unacceptably fucked up and bullshit. Seriously, come on man.

  13. bmaz says:

    Whoa, the Texans may have lost another quarterback. TJ Yeats into the locker room with a head injury. Jake Delhomme in at QB for Texans. Brett has powered up his iPhone and is waiting for Gary Kubiak’s call!

  14. Bob Schacht says:

    @bmaz: I’m in the same bag. I’m watching the Saints-Panthers, which looks to be high scoring– both teams have scored TDs on their possessions. This Cam Newton guy looks to be a keeper. When his passing skills develop more, he’s going to be one of the elite QBs. But meanwhile Drew Brees is shredding the Panther defense.

    Bob in AZ

  15. scribe says:

    @bmaz: I thought he had a red one with a single button where the dial should be, that would light up and beep, right next to the bust of Shakespeare.

  16. Bob Schacht says:

    Fox announcer (Panthers-Saints game): “New England has the worst defense for a playoff-caliber team.” How’s that for trash talk?

    Panthers robbed of a TD by a lousy non-call of interference (Saints defender holding back the arm of Panther receiver in the end zone, preventing the catch.)

    Bob in AZ

  17. emptywheel says:

    Ferfuckssake. The Kitties, apparently, could only manage to keep penalties under wraps for one game.

  18. emptywheel says:

    @Bay State Librul: Somebody’s gonna have to tell the Patsies that giving the O line the entire first quarter off every game is not gonna work out so well in the playoffs, wherever they’re seated.

  19. scribe says:

    Bieber gives up a pick with 0:51 in the half and got the pile-driver from a Buffalo DB during the runback. Bills to kick FG annnnnd it’s wide left. 21-14 Bills.

  20. emptywheel says:

    Well, bc Fox didn’t have the right camera angle on the LAST challenge, the Kitties will be robbed of a TD.

  21. Bay State Librul says:


    Agreed, but they exploded today.
    I’m toasting with a Sierra Nevada Porter, and hoping that they develop
    the big D in two weeks?

    Cincinnati will lose, Tennessee will squeak in, to the sweet 12?
    Jets are fucking done….

  22. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bmaz: Sounds and looks like the perfect place for a JJW show. He’s slowing down a little but he’s still getting around.

  23. Bay State Librul says:


    Yup, two point conversion that went airy?

    A tie would have killed the Titans, but Houston had to go for it.

    Will the Colts re-sign Peyton now?

  24. Petrocelli says:

    wOOt … Niners are 13-3 !

    Another great day for Drew Fookin’ Brees !

    Happy New Year to the Wheelers and fellow WheelHeads !

  25. jo6pac says:

    @Petrocelli: Yep but can the 9ers play at the level NO? I’m 9er fan but unless they can score, score, and score nothing but touchdowns we’re dust. Then again 13-3 amazing

  26. jo6pac says:

    @emptywheel: Yep but when the 9ers won the SB they were #1 in offense and either #2/3 in defense. Out to the BBQ and a glass of wine. I hope this only come up once, something happened to the first one.

  27. Phoenix Woman says:

    @emptywheel: And when the #1 AFC team stomped Denver and its primo defense (and mascot QB) into the dirt, we had an object lesson in the true value of defense.

    Though honestly, at least in Green Bay’s case, the defense stats are somewhat misleading as while they give up lotsa yards, they also do lotsa picks, often for six.

  28. jo6pac says:

    @emptywheel: I know but it still worries me, I’m just that way. They really needed todays win for that week off to get healthy. I was hoping when Jim H. came on he would play west coast like he did at Stanford. I think the team of the future is Detroit because of Big Mike as GM and a coach that is playing pure west coast. Watch out next yr. Back to BBQ.

  29. Jim White says:

    Tebow’s just saving those miracles for the playoffs. Bolts back to a 12 point lead over the Evil Ones with just under seven minutes to go.

  30. RAM says:

    And DOWN goes Tebow! Of course, Oakland is sucking big time, so barring a Tebow-like miracle, Denver still goes to the playoffs. At least the tension over my Bears making fools of themselves in the playoffs is well behind us.

  31. scribe says:

    @bmaz: You should know better than to poke at him with a pointed stick like you’re doing. And you as a lawyer should know better than to call him a “criminal” “thug” when he has never been charged, let alone convicted, of anything and he keeps his violence inside the lines.

    The fact of the matter is that he plays defense and gets fined and suspended for playing defense because King Roger the Clown is intent on turning football into passing practice for pretty boys who, and storylines that, appeal to the chick market because the No Fun League has captured as much of the male demographic as it ever will.

    I think you’re just jealous of that dinner photo I sent you in the background.

  32. Jason Leopold says:

    Sadly, I only comment on the music selection in the Trash posts, but Mr. Bojangles, Jerry Jeff Walker, is another damn excellent choice. Circus Maximus, the folk-rock band he played guitar and sang in during the 60s is an album that needs to be in your collection.

  33. scribe says:

    What a surprise: J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS WR Santonio Holmes was benched today mid-game b/c he quit on his team and teammates.

    People wondered why the Stillers got rid of him, after getting rid of Plexglas Burris (bad character, police trouble) and Antwan Randle-El (showboating bad character, minor case of T.O.-ism). Anyone still wondering why?

  34. Bob Schacht says:

    Is there a Cowboys Curse? If so, it looks like they’ve got it. They might as well put in their second string QB with all fingers operational.

    Bob in AZ

  35. scribe says:

    So far today, another pretty good day on my likes:
    Stillers: win
    Who’s playing Dallas: win
    Who’s playing Patsies: loss
    Iggles: win
    Giants: win
    Who’s playing J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS: win

    5/6 ain’t too bad. The only thing that would have made it even better would have been a Ravens loss.

    Heh. But Romo gets to go to Cabo, Sanchez back to his sushi restaurants and now-over-18 girlfriends, and both Ryan brothers to the reinforced floor joists and noise walls at Casa Ryan’s Buffet. LMAO.

  36. joberly says:

    Bmaz–I notice that today’s Rose and Fiesta bowls are on ESPN and not available over-the-air. For that matter, all the BCS games are on ESPN. When did that happen?

  37. Peterr says:


    When they successfully moved Monday Night Football to ESPN, it paved the way for the BCS bowls to do the same. ESPN said to the BCS “Hey, you want a load of cash? Let us put your bowls on our sports-only network, and you can pull your Brinks truck right up to our loading dock in Bristol.”

    BCS: Benjamins Collection Service.

  38. Jim White says:

    Jeebus, but Will Muschamp’s clusterfuck clock management at the end of the first half is enough to get him fired without his other colossal fuckups for the year.

    Gator sack of OSU QB on third down with 50 sec left forced long field goal attempt. Did not use time out. Got ball with about 10 secs left. THEN called time out. THEN got delay of game penalty. THEN took a knee.

    Yes, I’m mad at him.

  39. joberly says:

    @Peterr: Understood, Peterr. But Walt Disney owns both ABC and ESPN as part of its television holdings. Why doesn’t Disney put the BCS on ABC over-the-air? Couldn’t Disney sell ads at a greater rate on ABC than on ESPN, assuming a larger potential audience? In Louisiana, less than 70% of the households have cable. Where will those cable-less Tiger fans go to see the rematch against ‘Bama?

  40. emptywheel says:

    In a somewhat unexpected move, Jim Irsay has fired the Polians.

    Jim Irsay hired Bill Polian day after earning 1st pick in ’98 draft. Jim Irsay fired Bill Polian day after earning 1st pick in ’12 draft.

  41. Bob Schacht says:

    In the case of Steve Spurrier vs. the Big 10.2, after an equal first half until the last 30 sec., Spurrier’s army is dismantling Nebraska, starting with a last-minute Hail Mary pass that resulted in a So.Carolina TD. But two NFL prospects, a Georgia receiver (Jeffried, IIRC, the guy who caught the Hail Mary pass) and a highly-rated Nebraska cornerback/safety, were both ejected from the game for fighting. I’m switching to the Outback bowl, which is finally getting interesting.

    Bob in AZ

  42. emptywheel says:

    @Bob Schacht: For the record, IL won their bowl game. So now TWO 10.2 teams have won–about the norm.

    Though MSU did it in excellent, come from behind fashion. Even if neither of those teams seemed to want to win in overtime.

  43. bmaz says:

    OUCH! That decision by Montee Ball to hurdle the Quacker defensive guy looked ill advised. Note to self, when hurdling defenders, make sure certain sensitive regions of the body clear defender’s helmet.

  44. Bob Schacht says:

    @bmaz: Yeah, that deserves a place in the season’s best highlight reels, right next to the one showing the clean somersault at the goal line over the outstretched body of the defender.

    So, on to today’s biggest game: Stanford-OK State. I protest the announcer’s stupid defense of the OKS defender who speared the Stanford receiver, with helmet to helmet contact that knocked the receiver’s helmet off. It’s lucky that the receiver didn’t get a broken neck from that collision. I am getting tired of violence being glorified as being “physical.”

    Bob in AZ

  45. Bob Schacht says:

    @rosalind: Yeah that was pretty good. Apparently a simple vocal communication, accompanied by an arm gesture, was insufficient. Not to mention standing right in front of him, and facing him, rather than facing the on-rushing tacklers. Some people just can’t take “no” for an answer.

    Sanford – OKState first half has been an interesting game.

    Bob in AZ

  46. rosalind says:

    i totally predicted that one. do not like david shaw’s play calling, they should’ve gone for the TD.


  47. bmaz says:

    Oh, TREEEEES what have you done?!?!

    I had a baaad feeling when they showed the Tree kicker Tebowing during the last series.

  48. rosalind says:

    shaw’s conservative play calling has killed andrew all year. they should’ve gone for the TD a couple of more times instead of burning off time for the field goal attempt.

  49. bmaz says:

    @Bob Schacht: That Weeden is good, and one cool customer. He is not a kid either, he has the maturity to step in and help an NFL team now. He could be a steal in the draft.

    And Justin Blackmon confirms he is going to the pros.

  50. Bay State Librul says:


    Pittsburg beats Denver
    Houston beats Cinci
    NE beats Pittsburg
    Baltimore beats Houston
    NE beats Baltimore

    Hotlanta beats Giants
    Detroit beat NO
    Detroit beats SF
    Green Bay beats Atlanta
    Detroit beats Green Bay

    See you in Indy

    Disclaimer: Void where prohibited. Your results may vary. Don’t rely on this analysis for your predictions, I’m not sanctioned by The SEC, Fannie or Freddy, Standard and Poors, or the NFL. I voted for Obama in 2008 and will again in 2012. I made the picks under the influence of BillyBel

  51. bmaz says:


    Neil has come home!!! Yea!

    Frank Beamer is tough. And he had Michael Vick, so he knows all about the Denard Robinsons of the world. so, I dunno.

  52. Bob Schacht says:

    @bmaz: It will be Bradley Hoke’s coming out party: if Michigan wins, he will be the victor, and will be given a long leash for a few years. I think he knows what a microscope he will be under.

    Bob in AZ

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