Big Games and the End of the Hokey Pokey Era Trash Talk

My my, there is a lot going on in the sporting world this weekend, so let’s take a look at some of the more interesting bits and pieces. First off there was some big news in Ann Arbor yesterday that pretty much answers the burning question from last weeks trash talk, namely who will scuttle their flailing football coach sooner, Michigan or Florida? The answer is in, and it is the Michigan Men! Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon has resigned effective immediately, and that will almost certainly spell the end of the Brady Hokey era for the Wolverweenies.

There are a couple of updates to items on the Docket Report. First, there was a hearing in EDVA on the appeal lawsuit of the Washington Redskins from the negative trademark decision in the administrative patent court system. The hearing was on a motion to dismiss and the early reports are the court was dubious about the dismissal effort and seemed inclined to retain jurisdiction. If so, that probably favors Dan Snyder and the Skins, because it will allow additional evidence to supplement the narrow and limited administrative record. It will be interesting to see what the decision is here. Secondly, the Ray Rice appeal hearing is set for next Wednesday, and the hearing officer, Judge Barbara Jones, has ordered Roger Goodell to testify. Some people are discussing a settlement, but I would be surprised. This could be fascinating seeing good attorneys cross-examine Goodell.

Then there are the games. The World Series is over, and congratulations to the San Francisco Giants who won a compelling series over the Kansas City Royals. The Cicago Cubs have hired Joe Maddon as their new manager after he quite suddenly up and left the Tampa Bay Rays. That is a great move for the Cubs, but the Cubbies are career killers for managers. RIP Joe Maddon. And the NBA season has started, so there is that. But we are really about football here, so let’s get to it, and there are a lot of big match ups on tap.

You would think that there is no way possible that the biggest game is not Peyton versus Brady and the Broncos at Patriots in the quarterback battle of the ages. Nope, that ain’t it. No, the biggest game this weekend is the Cardinals at Jerryworld to take on the Cowboys. The Cards, along with the aforementioned Broncos, have the best record in the NFL to date with only one loss on the season. The Cowboys were up there too before last week’s close loss to an inspired Redskins squad. This really shapes up as a great game. The Cowboys Demarco Murray has passed Jim Brown with eight straight games over 100 yards to open a season. But the Cards have perhaps the leagues best run defense. The Cowboys can be thrown on, and Carson Palmer has finally got Larry Fitzgerald untracked. Tony Romo is hurting and has not practiced all week. Oh, and by the way, the Honey Badger is back. All the factors point to the Cardinals having the edge. So I am picking the ‘Boys on the basis that they are home, and pissed about their performance against the Skins.

The other big game is of course Broncos at Patriots. Both Brady and Manning are playing lights out currently, and the Pats are on a bit of a roll. Any matchup between these two quarterbacks is an instant classic candidate, and this one is no different. I am going to assume ‘Ole Noodle Arm Manning and Brady cancel each other out. once you get past that, and even understanding Gronk is really rounding into the old Gronk, the Broncos simply have more and better weapons on offense. The Broncos also have a better defense, and they get the pick here. The only other really interesting game on the NFL schedule is Ravens at Steelers. Oddsmakers have it a draw right now, but I think Big Ben and the Stillers have found a groove and pull out the home win at the Big Catsup Bottle.

In college, the unquestioned game of the week is number 3 Auburn at number 4 ‘Ole Miss. After today, one of the teams will be done for the playoff discussion. The Rebels are favored by two at home, and that sounds about right to me. The other really good match ups are in the Pac-12, which has provided every bit as much excitement and compelling football this year as the SEC. Stanford is at Oregon, and the Trees have a history of manhandling the Ducks and giving them fits. Stanford is having an off year, but seemed to find an offensive groove last week. Still, I think the Quackers have the edge. Number 12 Arizona is at number 22 UCLA and I smell an upset here. Lastly, in a night game, number 17 Utah is at number 14 ASU. Utah is always superbly coached by Kyle Willingham and is consistently a better team than people give them credit for. But ASU has some momentum and, as long as they don’t get caught looking forward to next week’s tilt with Notre Dame, should take care of business in Sun Devil Stadium, though I expect a tight game.

Welp, that is it for this week. Rock on. This week’s music by Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Doc Severinsen and the Cincinnati Pops with Duke Ellington’s classic “Take the A’Train”.

The Conference Championships Trash Talk

Sadly, this is our penultimate weekend of football here at the Wheelhouse. Down to two games, San Francisco versus Seattle and New England versus Denver. And, really, it is fitting, as these were probably the two best teams in their respective conferences when the season started, were throughout, and are now. So, we are where we are supposed to be.

Patriots at Broncos: While the NFC Championship features two new school mobile kids on the block, the AFC features two of the classic, and classiest, traditional pocket passers in NFL history. Any discussion of best ever quarterbacks has Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in it, irrespective of who you put at the top of the list. Personally, I have Joe Montana still at the top and think some older players, to wit Otto Graham and Bart Starr, are given far too short a shrift. But Brady and Manning have earned their spot in the discussion, and this is a real treat to be able to see them face off, yet again, in such an important playoff game.

The Patriots seem to have stabilized on defense, the Broncos seem to still be reeling from the loss of Von Miller. On paper, Denver has a significantly better defense, both against the pass and the rush. But paper doesn’t count for this game, and I think it is a draw on the D side of the ball. On the offensive side, both teams have been known to rely on their quarterbacks too much. But both have recently found, and relied on, their running game. LeGarrette Blount was a monster for the Pats last week, and Knowshon Moreno ate the Pats up earlier this year. You already know about the QB’s; they are a wash. There is one area where there is a difference though. Receivers. Bill Bel and Brady have been geniuses with what they have gotten out of rooks and scrubs, but Denver has serious ballers in Welker, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. That is a real edge. Then give the coaching edge to Bill Bel….and you end up with a pick em.

49ers at Seahawks: They may be newfangled, but both QB’s in the NFC Championship are superb, and, apparently, evenly matched too. But not so fast. Kaepernick has been rediscovering his groove down the stretch, and Russell Wilson has been looking a little shaky in the confidence (and performance) category. Edge to Kap. Niners also have far better receivers, with Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Crabtee, than do the Squawks. Percy Harvin would have helped level that playing field, but he won’t be playing. Gore and Lynch are both studs, and thus a wash, but the QB and receivers are a huge plus for SF.

The defensive paper actually seems to favor the Niners but, again, toss the paper out the window. Seattle’s defense is bad ass, and they will have the 12th Man noise that comes with their home field. That is an edge. Coaching is a wash between Harbaugh and Carroll, but man do they completely dislike each other. The game is really probably another pick em, to slight favorite for the Niners; however, I am going to take a flyer on the Squawks. I don’t feel good about it, but there you have it.

Penalty Flag Department: Yeah, the hanky has to be thrown on Peyton Manning. Really? Bud Light? Get the fuck out! And, big ups to the Colorado craft brewers for calling him out on it.

Music is by by It’s A Beautiful Day, featuring Pattie Santos and David LaFlamme. A completely killer band out of the 60’s heyday of San Francisco. Shame they never hit it bigger and are mostly forgotten now, because they were really good. And to tie it all together, this song, White Bird, is a song about some melancholy times LaFlamme and his wife spent in Seattle. See, it all ties together for the NFC Championship Game!

The Quarterback With The Golden Gun Trash Talk

For all the yammering about nuclear options and assassination anniversaries and other wild news, this weekend there is only one big bang. The big guns are being positioned on the battlefield.

Brady v. Manning. Manning v. Brady. Mano a mano. Bieber versus Sourface. The battle of the soon to be middle age bulges. Broncos and Pats at the Big Razor in Foxboro. Or is it Foxborough? I am liable to use either one, so watch out. Same joint.

But let’s not dawdle, this is all about The Man With The Golden Gun; i.e. Peyton Manning. Yes yes, I know some lady who won’t send me a rhubarb pie will be along to talk about how Tom Brady is a pron god and Peyton is a sucky face, and all, but here in this post Peyton, and his golden gun, rulz! This careful salting of trash talk aside, the Donkos could easily get Lectric Shaved in the Big Razor. It really is maybe the most compelling game on the NFL season to date.

Despite a bump on the noggin triggering NFL concussion protocols, Wes Welker looks determined to try to give Bill Belichick hell. Ad who can blame him for that? Donks TE Julius Thomas is banged up and “questionable”with a knee strain. But that still leaves Peyton and his Golden Gun with Wes Welker, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Not to mention Knowshon Moreno. Sorry, that beats the Pats Gronk and Riddler. Even if he is healthy, Aqib Talib can’t cover all the Bronco’s threats, ergo advantage Donks. On defense, NEVER count out a Belichick designed scheme; however, on talent the matchup is again not in the Pat’s favor. But Denver is starting to gel with Von Miller starting to settle back in to an already competent group. Bottom line is, the facts favor Denver all the way here, but it is in Foxboro and Pats have been inconsistent lately. Precisely when Belichick and Brady strike. So, it is a pick em, and worthy of all the build up.

Other pro jobs worth working are Cowboys at Gents. Shockingly, as lemon faced sucky as Eli and the Giants have been, if they beat the ‘Boys, they will pull even with Philadelphia and Dallas in the loss column (hey, Skins ain’t gonna beat the Niners). That is just stupid enough to mean it WILL happen, Eli and the Giants make a move. I’ll be hoping for a third win in a row for the Bucs against the Lions, but won’t hold my breath on that. Jets at Ravens could be a bruiser. Lastly, the real barnburner of the week may be Colts at the Cards in the Big Toaster. Colts are 7-3, but seemingly not invincible lately, and the Cards 6-4, but very tough at home. This really has the makings of a superb game. My better instincts say Colts, but gonna go with the heart here and take Spidey Fitzgerald and the Cards.

Turns out that not ALL football this weekend involves Manning and Brady. No, there are student athletes playing ball as well. BCS busters Northern Illinois and University of Central Florida have both already won solidly. Which is very cool. A lot of people will say Texas A+M at LSU in baton rouge is the big game. They may be right. Johnny Football is playing for the Heisman, and has a chip on his shoulder. He will play like it and down the Tigers in a huge win.

But the biggest game in these here parts is the ASU Sun Devils versus the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. Huge game, and I thought about going. Probably should have done so. Both teams are 8-2, but the Devils have only one conference loss so far to the Bruins’ two. Simple enough: Devils win, they almost certainly go to the Pac-12 conference championship game, lose and they almost certainly do not. Big stakes. ASU is hard to figure out this year; sometimes they look really good, sometimes not so much and only lucky. Hard to read. Honestly, they outplayed Notre Dame, and should have won that game and been 9-1 now. but they did not. Still not sure they are that good though. This game will tell whether they belong or not.

There you have it. Roll this joint people.

Gronks and Donks Trash Talk Bonanza!

Been a huge week of activity, from the shutdown/default can down the road kicking, to new FISC apologia, to the stunning announcement of a new media venture. So, a lot of stuff, so to speak. Also, my retained palm tree trimmers think my palm trees are too unruly and nasty for their “talents”. Say what you will, the last item is really troubling.

Anyhoo, I hear there are sports afoot this weekend. Let us start with the lead on the title of this post, the Gronk. The Gronk is back baybee! And that means we must celebrate the return of the Gronk jesus. Since those nasty Patriots up and cut Baby Jesus. Brady has basically been pulling shit out of his ass with Julian Edelman and a cast of nobodies. Smurf Amendola still out and proving exactly how valuable Wes Welker really was (hey, even Giselle must want him back by now), but with Gronk back, maybe, just maybe, the Pats can still take the Jets, Jets, Jets. I think they can make Rex suck on Gronk’s toes!

Okay. On to the other NFL games and things of note. Apparently Adrian Foster of the hapless Houston Texans has decided NOW is the time to market his football career via an IPO stock offering. Gosh, I am no Goldman Scrotum Sacks level genius business expert, but maybe when your team sucks ass so bad you are turning to, effectively, your taxi squad quarterback, and the local fans think that is the only possible excitement in sight…maybe you are not an IPO genius. Just saying. And i say this with all love and due respect for our long time friend and matey, teh Gulf Coast Pirate. Arrrrrr, don’t but that there stock matey!

The Iggles will ride Nick Foles again with Michael Vick on the injury bench. Foles was down in the hated Old Pueblo of the Arizona Wildcats for 2.5 years, so I know him well. Kid has a great arm, and lots of natural talent. Never read off coverages so good, and is nowhere near the “mobile” quarterback Chip Kelly relishes. That said, he may well have NFL level talent, but as far as I have ever seen, it is as more of a classic drop back QB. We shall see. I actually think Matt Barkley is a better leader, but who knows what Kelly will do in Philly. If you ask me, Kelly’s QB is not yet on the Eagles.

In memoriam, last rites must be given to Bad Eli and the Lost Gents of The Meadowlands. On a far happier note, HUGE congratulations to our good friend Pachacutec who was able to finally get married thanks to the rapidly un-bigoting of these here United States. I have never been more happy for a betrothed couple. Salute! Unfortunately, the Giants will still suck this year; though there may be a wedding wedding gift from the Vikings if Adrian Peterson is not so pissed and charged up he rambles for 350 yards.

Oh yeah, Gronks at Jets is actually a game. I know the Mistress of the Distressed Song will be along to carp about how Pretty Tom and his band of Edelmans can not POSSIBLY beat Rex Toesuck and the Jets, but I don’t buy it. The Tom and Gronk Show is more fabulous. In other Big Mitten news, the Kittehs should put the Bungles in the litter. Browns are a semi-real deal, but not in Lambeau. Bears and Skins are a pick em. Chefs look to have home cooking. Oh, yeah, about those Donkos in the title of this post. Peyton going back to Indianapolis. Irsay trying to get in Peyton’s giant head. Who will win that? Um, think I will take Peyton’s big head and the Donkos over Irsay’s idiocy. Luck is a keeper, but not this time. Enjoy the Donkos (okay jackasses) in the Canyon music attached hereto.

In the Semi-Pro league, Florida State versus Clemson is by far the class of the offering. Game is prime time and in Clemson’s Death Valley home. Still, I am hard pressed to not pick the Seminoles and their wonder child QB Jamels Winston in an upset. Really tough call; Tajh Boyd is pretty much the match, more experienced, and at home. I have bad misgivings about this, but have a hunch the ‘Noles are on a roll. The Washington huskies are going to be the final straw for the ASU Sun Devils. Game is at Frank Kush Field, but i won’t be there. Huskies are good; Sun Devils an anomaly. Pick em.

As I write and post this, it looks like the Cardinals are cleaning out the Bums, 6-0 in the 5th. for good in Busch Stadium. Bye bye Bums, that pissing in the DBack’s pool was bad karma for you. Who couldda knowd? The Sawx are up 3-2, and have the last two games of the ALCS at home in Fenway. Still, the Tiger’s pitching is a problem. Tigers are coming with Scherzer and Verlander in games 6 and 7. Bad ass stuff there. Sawx counter with Buchholz and Lackey respectively. Not the star glitz of the Tigers’ pitching aces, but not bad at all. In Fenway, if the Sawx can’t win one of the two, they don’t deserve the pennant.

There you go. Let your hair down and trash this post with all your swerve and verve.

Real Fast & Legitimate Trash Talk!

I feel confident you were all as traumatized as I was by the counterfeit Trash Talk appearing recently on these hallowed threads! Apparently, simply because this blog is named “Emptywheel”, people named Emptywheel think they can just stroll in and post up trash. Madness, I tell you, madness!

Hmmmm, speaking of Madness, turns out it is March, and we haz some going on with the student athletes of the roundball variety. Yesterday, not one, BUT TWO, second seeded teams were upset by 15 seeds. Tiny Norfolk State, appropriately led by Kevin O’Quinn on the eve of St. Patricks Day, took out the well regarded Missouri Tigers. Then joy in the hearts of haters everywhere was ignited by Lehigh crushing the Dookies.

For the women, hate to say it, but Obama is right, Brittney Griner and Baylor look unstoppable, though I have a sentimental hope for Pat Summitt. My sleeper to watch are the Delaware Blue Hens, led by maybe the real story of the year, Elena Delle Donne. If you don’t know the story of Elena, you should. The Hens have a shot.

In NFL news and notes, the Arizona Cardinals are left at the altar again. We went through this with Joe Montana, and now again with freaking Peyton. Marcy’s anti-Peyton rap all these years was clearly spot on the money. But, hey, we get to keep Kevin Kolb. Yay. Looked like the Donkos were in the lead, then the Titans, and now the 49ers have pulled even. Who knows. I am probably joining Steve Young and leaning SF because that is the best overall chance for a championship fast, and Peyton needs to catch up to Little Bro. The Bolts have had a decent off season, but losing Vincent Jackson is tough. I still believe Matt Flynn can be a very quality starting QB, and still think he joins his old OC from the Pack, Joe Philbin, at the Fish, but the Squawks are in play. Talk amongst yourselves about all the rest of the ongoing free agency and draft news.

We all wait on pins and needles for Intrepid Emptywheel Roving Reporter Rosalind’s horse racing updates. Assuming she doesn’t get tipsy from St. Paddy’s Day, reportage on the baby shower for Zenyatta’s baby colt and the racing debut of Zenyatta’s little sister, Eblouissante is in the offing.

Of course, the real sports news this weekend is the opening of the 2012 Circus – The Formula One season! We again start down under in Oz, and both the track and the weather have been perfect and hot n’ fast so far. There are six – count em SIX – World Champions in this year’s field and on the grid in Melbourne. They all look fast too, even Michael Schumacher, who has been beleaguered by bad equipment since his comeback. Schuey came up a fast fourth in the factory Mercedes, and will be starting from the second row. McLaren owns the front row, with Lewis Hamilton looking killer on pole and Jenson Button right beside him. Seriously, and uncharacteristically, off the pace are the Red Bull boys back in the third row, Webber in P5 and Vettel in P6. As was, sadly, predicted over the winter, Ferrari is in trouble. Alonso went driveabout in the kitty litter, and bombed out in Q2; Fernando will start from P12. Felipe Massa is even worse, and is all the way back in P16. Best line, by a mile, I have heard of the new Circus season so far:

Two seasons of crashing rally cars has had no adverse impact on [Kimi Räikkönen’s] ability to speak Morse code.

If you have ever watched the Flighty Finn in a press conference, you know how spot on that is. Jeebus, I about keeled over laughing in the middle of a courtroom yesterday when I read that.

The official F1 site is here and has boatloads of great stories and helpful coverage, including live scoring if you sign in. It is worth joining for the live scoring. Old friend Brad Spurgeon has moved from the NYT to their international effort, the IHT (International Herald Tribune), but continues with his excellent on scene reportage.

The Australian Grand Prix goes off early Sunday morning/late Saturday night with coverage on Speed Channel starting at 1:30 am EST and 10:30 pm PST.

Music by The Faces. Rod is a little long in the tooth these days, but make no mistake, he, Ronnie Wood and Ian McLagan could really bring it in the day. Lite this joint up people, let there be Trash!

Emptywheel’s Gigantic Patriotic Bad Ass Mega Super Bowl Trash Talk Houseparty

It is SuperBowl weekend and the biggest story in Indianapolis is Peyton Manning. Probably not fair to Peyton, Indianapolis or the Giants and Pats, but such is how it seems to be playing out. The melodrama has served as a reminder that the Colts are still an Irsay family enterprise and the main difference between Robert “Midnight Mayflower” Irsay and his gabby son Jim is that Jim stumbled into Peyton Manning. Who knew all these years we have been facetiously calling them the “Indianapolis Peytons”, it was pretty much accurate?

Irsay has made almost as much of a hash of things the last couple of weeks as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is saying something. I wonder if Ari Fleischer is helping the Colts too? Remember, Ari “helped” the Packers with the Brett Favre separation too, and the end of the Peyton era in Indy is turning every bit as ugly. Manning claims to be cleared to play and is intent on resuming his career; clearly it looks to be in another city though. Hmmm, wonder if Larry Fitzgerald has been in touch?

The Peyton Place soap opera has sapped some of the attention off of the Pats and Giants over the runup to the big game. The New Yawkers have been running their yaps about how awesome they are now and, while still the slight underdog, everybody seems to think the Giants are the team to beat. All of this likely suits Bill Belichick just fine. It is no longer possible to discount Tom Coughlin as a coach, but give Belichick two weeks and sell him short, and you are asking for trouble. It took until the AFC Championship game, but the New England defense finely gelled. Getting linebacker Brandon Spikes and safety Patrick Chung back, along with the sudden awesomeness of Vince Wilfork, has really made a difference. Julius Edelman is the weak link, but Belichick may be able to scheme around him.

The national media has focused on the health of Gronk, and he will play, but the Pats have Aaron Hernandez too. Almost have to wonder if there is not a stealth plan to spread the field vertically with Ochocinco. Heck, might as well give it a try, no one will expect it after him being in the witness protection program all year.

As for the Gents, well, Bad Eli seems to be but a distant memory and the New York offense really is clicking on all cylinders. Victor Cruz is simply an animal, and now Mario Manningham is back. Coupled with the two headed monster of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, there really is no weakness. Actually, the same can be said about the Giants defense too, led by Jean Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck. The weakness is the secondary, where the Giants lost enough corners and safeties this year to stock a couple of teams. The situation improved over the year, but if the Pats O-line gives Brady any time at all, he ought to be able to carve em up.

So, what gives? Every factor seems to favor the Giants. There is simply no way to add up all the respective factors and do anything but predict a Giants win. So, I am going to go out on a limb and jinx Marcy. Patriots win on the foot of Stephen Gostkowski. Not to mention Bill Bel just doesn’t lose to a team twice in the same year.

For some strange reason, the NFL picked Madonna for the halftime snoozapalooza. I guess Rosemary Clooney wasn’t available, so they got the next oldest dame they could find. She sure ain’t no virgin anymore. Bleech. As the game is thankfully not in Michigan, at least we don’t have to suffer through Nicleback. So we got that going for us I guess.

So, at least here in this post, we are gonna have some better music. Both cities/teams are represented. For New England, it is the Bad Boys of Beantown, the one and only J. Geils Band, with the classic “Houseparty”. And for New York, it is, of course, They Might Be Giants with the oh so appropo “Take Out The Trash”.

That is the rundown for Super Bowl XLVI. We have a lot of time for pre-game trashin, so what you got and why do you got it? This is the last football of the season, so get down and dirty and let fly the dogs of trash!

Emptywheel’s Famous Trash Talk: Es Caballos de los Muertos Edition

Hey there sports fans, I love ya! Y’all got your swerve on? Because we have week three of the NFL on tap, not to mention the end of the MLB season and, if you are talking the biggest event worldwide, the Singapore Grand Prix. so there is some meat on the table.

If the F1 Driver’s Championship was not already effectively in the capable hands of Sebastian Vettel, and the Constructor’s Championship again to Red Bull, I would surely open with the F1 Circus. But, both of those are true, so we shall begin with NFL fuutball. There are just a slew of great games this week but, really, how could you start anywhere other than with the greatest rivalry in the history of pro football?

That would, of course, be the Packers and Bears. The Cheeseheads return to Soldier Field where they won the NFC Championship last year. Expect the action to pick up where it left off. The Bears can’t protect Jay Cutler for shit, but when he has time, dude can throw the ball. Matt Forte is way underrated, he is an elite back in the league. And Brian Urlacher and the D always comes to play. The loss of Nick Collins, the Pack’s star safety, will really hurt an already porous secondary. It is tempting to take Da Bears for the upset. But I can’t do it.

Another legendary rivalry on tap is the Cowboys and Redskins. Skins are surprisingly solid with Sexy Rexy Grossman at QB and former Cardinal Tim Hightower slamming the run. But if Tony Romo and his ribs can stay on the field, the ‘Boys also have a running game with Felix Jones and that should be enough to win a close one on Monday night. Giants and Eagles is yet another rivalry game, and has many of the same considerations in that the outcome may depend on Mike Vick staying on the field. If he does, it is hard to see how the Gents win.

Okay, mom made me promise to do a couple of things and, really, it will be a pleasure. First the Read more

Championship Sunday Trash

There are two faces to Championship Sunday, the four best teams battling for the two slots in the SuperBowl, back to back games making for one great day of football. But it also means that football is nearly done for the year, and that is depressing. It was already a tough Saturday here with no football save for an uninteresting East West Shrine game. But today is huge, so lets get to it:

On tap first is the J E T S Jets Jets Jets visiting the lay down artists formerly known as the Colts. In my opinion, Indianapolis should have been disqualified from the playoffs for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the league. Instead, after defrauding paying fans for the last two games of the regular season, they will likely earn their way to the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning is going to score points; as good as the Chargers were supposed to be, Manning simply cannot be shut down like the Jets did to San Diego. The question then becomes can the Jets score enough to keep up and pull out another win over the Colts now that the real Colts will be on the field? It is hard to see how, although with Bob Sanders out for the season, the Colts can be run on and the Jets do that well. The Jets are game, but the Colts win. Renaming Manhattan “Revis Island” may have been a bit premature.

The late game is the much awaited Vikings at the home of the N’awlins Saints. Grizzly Old Man River and Drew Fookin Brees. Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson. Darren Sharper and Jared Allen. The edge has to go to the Saints because of the home dome noise factor and their more solid across the board defense. But if the Vikes play with the same intensity and composure they exhibited last week against the Cowboys, all bets are off. Percy Harvin is a game time decision due to debilitating migraines. Sharper and Shockey for the Saints have minor issues, but should both be good to go.

If The Vikes defense plays to their potential, like last week, and Favre and the offense can overcome the crowd noise and play in synch, the Vikes win the game; if either factor comes up short in any degree, they lose. That is a lot to ask against a Saints team that just seems a little more solid and consistent on both sides of the ball. This pains me greatly, but the Saints make their first Super Bowl.

Hope y’all enjoy the nice little video attached hereto; it was Marcy’s idea!

Divisional Playoffs Weekend Trash Talk

Last weekend was supposed to be the big great weekend of exciting and wacky wildcard playoff games. With the exception of the Cardinals Packers Roaster in the Toaster game, they were all duds. This Saturday and Sunday we have another full slate of games, let’s hope they are better games that last weekend; I think they will be. Let em roll!

First up is the winner of that last, great, shootout last Sunday the Arizona Cardinals versus Drew Fookin Brees and da Who Dats. Both Kurt Warner and Captain Creole are gunslingers of the highest order. Honestly, Warner has had a better run in the last few games; but that shouldn’t mean much in this game, they will both come to play. The game is going to boil down to Arizona’s offensive line and defensive backfield; if both come up big, they can and will win. If not, the Saints win. The Cards will suck and the Saints will Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez.

The late game Saturday is the Colts and Ravens. After all these years, it is still Ray Lewis versus Peyton Manning and both are among the very best who ever have or ever will play their position. The Ravens look pretty fierce lately and are the sexy pick among many to knock off the well rested Colts. Peyton Manning is going to score some points, you just know that. But without Bob Sanders on the Colts playoff roster, the Ravens should be able to get at least a little scoring done too. It is going to come down to Terrel Suggs getting at Peyton Manning. My heart wants the Ravens to win and take out the the lay down artists; my wallet will go with the dive artists formerly known as the Colts.

The early game Sunday is ‘Boys at Vikes. Tony Romo and the Old Man River Geezer. This game is totally dependent on the ability of the Vikings defense to match the intensity and performance of the Dallas D. If the Vikes come up big on D, they will win in the dome; if not, they won’t. The other factor is the Minnesota offensive line, which was great at the start of the year, but has really fallen off. As quick a release as Favre has, he needs time for the vertical passes they have been relying on lately. This one kills me, but I think the ‘Boys come out with the win.

Last game is the J E T S Jets Jets Jets at the Bolts. You have to take Phil Rivers over Mark Sanchez, and quite frankly the San Diego receivers are better too. LT has been resurgent and Sroules can cause havoc. The Jets defense is better than the Chargers defense by a wide margin though. Even if the Gang Green can keep it close, it just seems like Rivers and the boys can score enough to win. That is if the Jets can even keep it close. Plus RanDiego has been on a roll. Bolts win.

There is your lineup folks, time to work up a Number Six!