Saturday, January 3, 2015

Nurse the Hate: WIld Card Weekend

This is without question my favorite NFL weekend of the year, Wild Card Weekend.  Each year I host a party where many of my degenerate friends come over to drink heavily and gamble on games that will ultimately mean nothing when the victors are destroyed next week by vastly superior teams.  My guest list is not complete today as there is one gaping hole for me personally.  No matter.  I will persevere.  Today in the immortal words of Bill Walton we watch “men battle for the ultimate prize”.  (Bill Walton also once said “he’s riding the quasar!!!”, and I don’t know what it means beyond being very, very excited about something that someone had just done.  I’ve never “ridden the quasar”, but maybe one day I will…  Frankly, if ever there was a guy that could identify someone that just “rode the quasar” it’s Bill Walton.  He did a bunch of acid with the Grateful Dead at the Great Pyramids for God’s sake! You think he doesn’t know about “riding a quasar”?)

Arizona heads into Carolina for the first game, and even hardcore NFL fans will have difficulty identifying more than two players on the field between those lackluster teams.  Neither one of these teams has any chance whatsoever at winning the Super Bowl.  This is a game to identify someone for Seattle to kick the fuck out of next week. Here are your options…  1)  Take Arizona with the injury depleted defense and third string QB on the road or 2) take Carolina at home despite their losing record and hope that them winning their last four games against shitty teams means “they’re hot”.  This is sort of like betting on Boston College vs Pitt.  It’s understanding that they are both sorta crappy teams and talking yourself into one side despite having no real concrete reasons.

I’m taking Carolina.  My thought is that it’s tough to run on Carolina, and I can’t see AZ quarterback Charles Nelson Riley going in there and throwing the ball around.  Carolina has outgained their opponents in their last 6 games, and won the last 4.  Meanwhile the wheels have come off for Arizona after Palmer got hurt, going 2-4 in their last 6.  I have little confidence taking Carolina -6.

The Baltimore at Pittsburgh game is a Wilderness of Mirrors.  Nine of the last 13 games between these two teams have been decided by three points or less.  With the way these teams have played down the stretch, the knee jerk reaction is to take Pittsburgh.  However, will Playoff Joe Flacco take the field for Baltimore and somehow enable this shitty team with the long legacy of carpet bagging, putting up statues of murderers (allegedly) and wife beaters (now I saw that video, that’s not allegedly) to go on a run?  I hope not.  I prefer Throw The Ball All Over The Field Joe Flacco and watching those ugly purple uniforms pack it in.

Le’Veon (is that a real name?) Bell is out for Pittsburgh with a hyper extended knee, which means he will never walk normally again so Pittsburgh signed malcontent backup running back Ben Tate.  Could that guy have possibly learned the offense in the 20 minutes he’s been a Steeler?  The good news for Pittsburgh is that no one on Baltimore can cover Antonio Brown, who has run up 234 yards against the Ravens in two games.  The even better news for Pittsburgh are the guys that couldn’t cover Brown before are hurt, and the guys that weren’t as good as the hurt guys will now have to try and cover him.  One more thing, Road team has only covered 12 of the last 33 meetings of these teams.  Good enough for me.  Pittsburgh -3.

Bonus:  Only 4 of the last 23 Balt/Pitt games have combined for more than 43 points.  It’s supposed to be rainy and crappy weather in Pittsburgh too.  UNDER 43.5.


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