I haven’t done this in a damn month. It’s no wonder no one will pay me any real money. Right now I’m running on a cool 4 hour’s sleep after driving 13 straight hours from San Francisco to Olympia with no real break. When we left San Francisco it was 72 degrees and sunny. As soon as we got to Mt. Shasta we were covered in a blanket of thick fog that stayed with us for the whole rest of the trip. That’s 473 miles of relentless fog that surely stretched from the tops of the mountains to Hawaii.
But hey, now it’s December 1st and it’s actually shaping up to be a beautiful day here in Oly. Actually it’s been gorgeous lately. Maybe that’s why I’ve slacked off this football blog for 4 weeks. Maybe. Or maybe it’s because I’m lazy and there’s no real reason to do this other than to amuse myself when I’m all hopped up on coffee between the hours of 10:30am and 2:00pm. In the end it doesn’t matter. I’m a grown man and I’ll do whatever I want with my life.
I’d like to say the same for the Seattle Seahawks. Wow, what a team of losers. I won’t lie to you. I’ve never liked Seattle. I moved to Olympia 9 years ago in the waning months of the Clinton administration. I got here just in time to see Nu Metal emerge and disappear as the appropriately shortest fad in mainstream culture history. I saw the resurgence of pro wrestling. I saw women wearing jeans underneath hippie skirts which was the ugliest trend in women’s fashion since the lip-liner craze of the mid 90s and the giant shoulder pad craze of the 1980s. I saw my first Pacific Northwest winter wherein it rained for 90 straight days without a break. Yes, the first decade of this new millenium has been long, dark, and confusing.
For the record Olympia is not Seattle. It’s 58 miles south of Seattle and a world apart. I’d been in Olympia for one week before I went to Seattle for the first time. That means I had been away from Los Angeles seven days before I set foot in Seattle. I was excited. There was a myriad of reasons I left LA, and a big one was the endless snootiness and bad attitude. There’s a lot of uppity fucks in Los Angeles that try to prove how cool they are by looking down at you. There are a whole lot of assholes in LA that think they’re hot shit. They have slick expensive haircuts, wear cologne, drive flashy new cars, wear expensive clothes, and treat you like you’re a piece of shit if you don’t look and act like you’re rich. Those people are a big chunk of the many reasons I left Los Angeles. So imagine my surprise when I went to Seattle for the first time and met… you guessed it… even more of those people! Way more than I ever had to deal with in LA! Only it was worse because their fashion wasn’t as good, they’re fancy shit wasn’t as fancy, and their city wasn’t nearly as cool. That’s the thing. At least the assholes that acted like they were hot shit because they were from Los Angeles had Los Angeles to back them up. What does Seattle have? Pearl Jam? Frasier? Anything at all?
In the 9 years I’ve spent in Washington I’ve tried to get over it. I’ve told myself, “Seattle’s cool. I should give it another shot.” And I kept trying. For 9 years. But the thing is every time I go to Seattle I feel agitated, ostracized, and unwelcome. There is a deep river of antagonism that flows through that city like a sewer. It makes the populace mean and snooty. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I’ve given up. I just don’t like Seattle.
The funny thing is, neither does anyone else outside of Seattle. I’ve been all over this country and everywhere else sees Seattle as a pathetic joke. This is especially true in California where even the mention of Seattle triggers instant mocking laughter. This is probably the root of Seattle’s problem. The city of Seattle behaves like a 13 year old boy that is trying to hang out with his 16 year old brother and all his friends. He tries to impress them by acting tougher and cooler than he is. He makes up stories that are obvious lies to try to prove how cool he is. He ends up looking like a fool and embarrassing himself because all he ever had to do to be cool in the first place is just be himself. The city of Seattle is that 13 year old boy. Seattle has a lot of cool things in its favor, and if it would just “be itself” Seattle actually would be one of the coolest cities in the country. Instead it puffs up its chest, acts tough, and lies. In the end Seattle makes a fool of itself and the Seahawks are the proof in the pudding.
They’re horrible and they shouldn’t be. The Seattle Seahawks roster is nearly the same as it was three years ago when they went to the Super Bowl and severely outplayed the Pittsburgh Steelers in the most brazenly fixed sporting event I’ve ever seen in my life. The Seahawks were a whole lot of people’s Super Bowl pick before the season started, that list includes Chris Berman from ESPN. Why then are the Seahawks 2 – 10 in a race with the St. Louis Rams for the bottom of the worst division in the NFL? Some fans will say it’s because they were plagued by injury… which is true. At least two key starters have been on the injured list every week of this season. Both Deion Branch and Bobby Engram were out for the first three weeks of the season. Since then Matt Hasselbeck, and even Seneca Wallace their backup QB have been out. Their whole offensive line is beat up and the rest of their offense has been playing on crutches.
None of that, however, explains why their defense has been so utterly useless. When they “played” against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day it was like they weren’t even trying. Dallas effortlessly moved the ball across the field scoring on almost every possession. It was as if the Seahawks defense was made of foam… only a mild distraction while the Cowboys walked the ball down toward the goalline smiling and waving at the crowd.
Yes, Seattle is a city of losers. The only professional Seattle sports team to ever win a championship was the Seattle Supersonics. They did it once way back in 1979. Now they don’t even exist. The team was bought out and moved to Oklahoma City because of poor attendance due directly to a lack of winning. Seattle sports have never been good. Sure they’ve come close a few times, but in the end they always choke. They choke because, like the city itself, deep down they know they don’t have what it takes to truly win.
As a gambler this is very good for me. Even now, as bad as the Seahawks are, I can still find native Washingtonians and lifelong fans that are rube enough to bet on them. I can’t believe it. I would say it’s like picking fruit from a tree, but it’s easier than that. It’s more like having a fruit basket delivered to your house and its contents fed to you by a beautiful topless woman. It’s easy money.
It’s not just the Seahawks that stank it up this weekend, though. Every single game on Thanksgiving Day was a lopsided blowout. The Lions against the Titans? Are you kidding me? What a waste of time. I heard rumor that there is talk in the league of taking the Lions’ traditional Thanksgiving slot away from them. Not only do I agree, I think they should take it a step further and take the Lions’ place in the league and standing as a professional team away from them. Watching them play football against the Titans on Thursday was like watching a cat try to swim. It was painful for everybody and they were embarrassed before it was even over. Tennessee overwhelmed them like the Nazis overwhelmed Poland in 1939. The game was over before the half.
Then, to top it all off, Philadelphia stomped Arizona into the ground making them look like the team I always knew they were. It felt right to see their ugly red and white uniforms moving backwards and giving away the ball. The way the Cardinals played last Thursday is the way I always remember them. Bad. Luckily for me everyone was drunk and willing to make crazy bets. Toward the end of the third quarter I gave Arizona 10 points while they were down by 13 with possession. Then, about two minutes later when they gave up the ball and Philly scored another touchdown I gave 14 points. Then, after bumbling a punt return and starting a drive on their own 10 yard line, I bet $20 that they wouldn’t score on that drive. As soon as the deal was finalized they ran their first play, fumbled, and gave the ball away to Philly who quickly put another 7 points on the scoreboard.
Yes, this crazy season is starting to make sense. Division leaders are mostly established and the playoff picture is looking reasonably predictable. Now that Tony Romo’s back my preseason pick of Dallas winning the Superbowl doesn’t look that far off. They’re a few games behind the seemingly unstoppable Giants, but they look as good as they did early in the season and the Giants lost to the Browns. We’ll see.
Week 14 Picks
Oakland @ San Diego
If you’ve ever read this blog then you know that I hate Oakland and the Raiders. You also know that I think the San Diego Chargers are a joke. Early in the season people thought they would be good, but look at them now. 4 – 8. Losing 2 out of 3. No chance in hell at a playoff slot. Not even mathematically. Still, they’re in second place in their division right on top of the Oakland Raiders. Chargers by 6
Jacksonville @ Chicago
Jacksonville was another one of those teams that people mistakenly thought was good. Once again I was right and they were wrong. Jacksonville is flimsy, like paper. They can have a freak game and win once in a while, but not enough to be consistent or even taken seriously. Chicago, on the other hand is a different story. They got stomped by the Vikings yesterday, but anyone that knows anything about the NFC North knows that the Vikings, the Bears, and the Packers will always be evenly matched with each other when squaring off. The Bears lost to the Vikings and lost their hold on the division, but they’re still the best team in the NFC North and despite their unimpressive 6 – 6 record they’re still a contender for the title. Maybe not a serious one, but a contender none the less. They might even knock a cocky team out of the playoffs. The Bears’ll getcha. Bears by 3
Minnesota @ Detroit
It must be nice for the Vikings to win a tough game at home then get a freebie the next week. Detroit may not win game one this season. Even if they do it won’t be against the Vikings. Vikings by 8
Houston @ Green Bay
Finally the Packers get a break. Their schedule has been relentlessly tough this year. Dallas, Tennessee, Tampa, Indy, Atlanta, Carolina… and those are the non-division games. I see the defending Super Bowl Champs playing easier teams. 5 of the Giants’ 1st 6 games were against St. Louis, Seattle, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Where’s the justice? It’s no wonder they’re 10 – 1 (having lost to the Browns) while the poor Packers are 5 – 7. It just isn’t fair. Well here you go Green Bay. Have a free win on Houston’s tab. You’ve earned it. Packers by 7
Cincinnati @ Indianapolis
At least Cincinnati tied someone this year. Colts by 10
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Drew Brees and the Saints had their best game ever two weeks ago against my beloved Green Bay Packers. All of a sudden everyone thinks they’re good again. They’re not and their 6 – 6 record shows it. At best they’re alright. But Atlanta’s not that different. They’ve got a surprisingly good record this year having shaken off the Michael Vick ugliness with grace and poise. Still, I think their a little big for their britches and New Orleans if hot right now. Saints by 2
Philadelphia @ New York Giants
Philly looked good against the Cardinals this last week. Real good. They looked like the contender they’re supposed to be. The thing is, the Giants look that good every week. Better in fact. They almost look unbeatable even without Plexiglass and his dumb ass getting shot. What an asshole. Giants by 3
Cleveland @ Tennessee
The Cleveland Browns are not as bad as they seem, and the Tennessee Titans are not as good as they seem. But the Cleveland Browns are still bad, and the Titans are still good. Titans by 5
Miami @ Buffalo
Who, after last season, would have thought Miami would actually be tied with the Patriots and a contender for the AFC East division title? Who, after week 5, would have thought Buffalo would be in last place 2 games behind Miami? It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Dolphins by 3
Kansas City @ Denver
The Chiefs beat the Raiders yesterday but who cares? Denver crushed the Jets, but it doesn’t matter. They’re still stupid and their uniforms are still the ugliest in the league. They’ll win their division all right, but it’s a weak division and they’ll lose their first playoff game to a wild card team. Probably Baltimore. Broncos by 9
New York Jets @ San Francisco
The Jets got spanked by the Broncos, but they’re still the top seat of the AFC East. They’ll surely add another notch to the win column when Brett Favre throws 16 touchdowns and they outscore the pathetic 49ers by 100 points. Jets by 12
New England @ Seattle
The Patriots will be right on the heels of Brett Favre and the slammin Jets with an easy win over the Seahawks who might as well lose every game for the rest of the season just to get a better draft pick. Patriots by 8
St. Louis @ Arizona
Arizona played like shit last week. They looked stupid and they are stupid. Kurt Warner is a washed up has-been Jesus-head loser just like Vinny Testaverde. He’ll be forgotten about and will probably die without anyone noticing. But the Rams are even worse. They are a horrible football team and are racing the Seahawks for a draft pick when they should all just give up and have a draught beer. Cardinals by 6
Dallas @ Pittsburgh
Finally a good game. These are two real contenders duking it out for everything. Both teams are win machines. Both teams have a shot at the title. Both teams are coming off big wins. Both teams have a lot at stake. Both teams know it. This may be a preview of the Super Bowl. I’m picking Dallas simply because Pittsburgh hasn’t figured out that they should drop Ben Roethlisberger into the river and start Byron Leftwich who is a better quarterback in every way possible. Roethlisberger is a toad and a bonehead. He is a neanderthal with sausage for brains. He’s as worthless as a sackfull of pennies. If the Steelers were smart they would put him up on the auction block and get themselves a whole mess of draft picks. But the Steelers have never been known for their brains. They are known for their brute force which is always hard to overcome. They will be a challenge, but Dallas is up to it. Cowboys by 2
Washington @ Baltimore
This is another great matchup and a crucial game for both teams. Neither of these teams has a chance at their division, but both are in a desperate race for a wild card slot. Baltimore is racing Indianapolis who will surely win against the lowly Bengals this week. That’s not to mention the Patriots and the Dolphins who are hot on their heels for a slot. Washington, if they are to stay alive in the merciless and brutal NFC, CANNOT LOSE THIS GAME. They’ve got Dallas, Carolina, Tampa, Atlanta, Chicago, and Minnesota to contend with and they’re all dangerous threats. I’m sorry to say it, but the Redskins are done for. Ravens by 1
Tampa Bay @ Carolina
Monday Night Football will finally be what it is supposed to be: a cutthroat battle of powerhouses with everything at stake. Carolina and Tampa are tied for the top seat of the NFC South with impressive 9 – 3 records. Both teams are proven and consistent winners. Tampa Bay has been the most profitable team for me this year. I’ve consistently bet on them, and they’ve consistently won. They are a strong and solid team with experience and a lust for winning. Carolina is all of those things as well, but I see a weakness in them… a fear. They don’t have the guts to be true champions and at this stage in the game that means everything. I will once again bet on Tampa Bay and they will once again make me money. Buccaneers by 1