Thursday, November 25, 2010
NFL 2010: Week 12 -- Turkeys and Rare Birds
Here it is, Thanksgiving. We gather with our families where the women gather in the kitchen giggling and complaining about the men while cooking up enough turkey dinner to feed a small army. Some old uncle in a horrible button-up sweater will gather some of the young people in the gathering and share with them, “This is American History, this is important,” and BS the kids about how the poor Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts and after their first harvest in 1621, the Massachusetts colonists celebrated the first Thanksgiving. They were so faithful to God and so patriotic, they gathered with the native Americans in the area who helped the discover some of the great edibles of North America, and thus a great tradition began. They feasted together and within years, the colonists more than paid off their hosts by slaughtering them soon thereafter. All the wonderful things the Native Americans or Indians did for the people who conquered their land even helping them learn the joys of really violent sports like lacrosse, but how are they thanked? The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have traditionally hosted football games not the Kansas City Chiefs of the Washington Redskins. However, the Thanksgiving NFL tradition does bear some resemblance to the native’s plight. The Detroit Lions, the home team, are routinely slaughtered on Thanksgiving on their home field. This year, how ironic, the New England Patriots, whose home in Foxboro, MA is near the Pilgrims’ settlement, get to conduct the slaughter.
Around the conclusion of the first game, the ladies will expect the men to come to the table and gorge on turkey, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, some casserole with green beans, pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, and a lot of beer. However, this will not be easy when the second game, New Orleans, the defending champs, visit Dallas who suddenly looks empowered after firing the couch who sort of met the description of the boring old uncle described above. New Orleans needs this game to stay on a hot playoff pace. They should beat Dallas, but Dallas is full of surprises under their new leadership.
The night concludes with the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the New York Jets in what should be the trash talk bowl given the likes of Ochocinco and T.O. for Cincinnati and Coach Rex Ryan and a bevy of his players doing the same for the Jets.
So let’s look at this week’s game and she who the rare birds and turkeys are.
New England (-6 ½) @ Detroit
Dress that lion up in the turkey costume.
New Orleans (-3 ½) @ Dallas
Edge goes to the Saints.
Cincinnati @ New York Jets (-9)
The Jets need to obliterate the Bengals to show they are real champ material and not the “Not Yets.”
Minnesota @ Washington (-2 ½)
Here are two teams in turmoil in part because the coaches have made some really weird decisions. Well, Chili’s gone but will Minnesota turn hot? Unlikely! The Brett Favre “wear out your welcome” tour marches on.
Green Bay @ Atlanta (-2 ½)
The Falcons should be rare birds and prevail over the Packers. Winning games like this will help them prove they are for real.
Jacksonville @ New York Giants (-7)
The Giants need a good strong win to help them stop an embarrassing midyear slide.
Pittsburgh (-6 ½) @ Buffalo
On the shores of Lake Erie, the scene will be dreary for the Bills.
Carolina @ Cleveland (-10)
How bad are things for the Panthers (Carolina Wild Turkey), when’s the last time the Cleveland Browns were given a ten point spread?
Tampa Bay @ Baltimore (-8)
Save some crab dip from the Thanksgiving munchies. While both teams have 7-3 records, Tampa has beat up on chumps. They’re in crab town now and plenty of Baltimore fans will be belching hot gas vapors from the residual effects of that good old sauerkraut Marylanders enjoy with their Thanksgiving Turkey. The Ravens will munch on the Bucs like a big crab cake.
Philadelphia (-3 ½) at Chicago
Philadelphia should win this one but this is one of the week’s toughest picks.
Tennessee @ Houston (-6 ½)
So can new Houston beat old Houston? The Texans who had their sites set so high have been a miserable pick this year, but the former Oilers are in disarray after a Vince Young meltdown and apparent season ending injury. The owner’s dabbling in Jeff Fisher’s need to manage the QB situation is not welcome.
Kansas City (-1 ½) @ Seattle
If KC is a true contender this year, they must do better than the dinky little point spread granted them.
Miami @ Oakland (-3)
Miami’s pretty beat up and Oakland can play tough enough to get the job done.
St. Louis @ Denver (-4)
Denver cannot afford to lose a game like this. While their playoff hopes are all but erased, they need to prove they still have stuff to work with.
San Diego @ Indianapolis (-3)
San Diego is like a fine wine that improves with age and they are getting better as the season gets deeper. The also have a history of messing with the Colts who are still a hurting team. Still, Payton Manning…. Enough said.
San Francisco (-1) @ Arizona
What did the turkey carcass look like after Thanksgiving dinner – something like the 2010 Cardinals – dead birds stripped to the bare bones and totally cooked?