Happy Thanksgiving I guess. I don’t really care. At some point Thanksgiving and football became nearly inseparable from one another. When did this happen? I don’t know, and I don’t feel like checking so in the meantime why don’t you go ahead and look that up while I go outside and smoke a cigarette. *smokes cigarette, looks cool as hell doing it and everybody knows it* Annnnnd we’re back! Find anything out? No? Well what the fuck good are you then?
Thanksgiving football is typically shitty, since the Cowboys and Lions have to play every year and they’ve been floating between mediocre and awful for almost two decades now. Last year we actually got entertaining games, but that was surely a fluke that will be remedied this year, because Matt Flynn, Matt McGloin, the Steelers, and the Ravens are prominently involved. Maybe I’m being too cynical though, because last week we got some pretty good games. Pats/Broncos lived up to the hype even though the game was sloppy and the ending was a little anti-climactic, and Cowboys/Giants wasn’t as terrible as expected. There was even a tie! Aw who the fuck am I kidding?
This year still sucks. But shitty football isn’t what this holiday is about! It’s about gluttony and the slaughter of indigenous peoples! Well ok, it’s about being thankful that we as a nation have the money to be gluttonous and the military power to slaughter indigenous peoples. USA! USA! In the spirit of the holiday, I will be highlighting parts of the game that either I am thankful for, or the teams and players involved should be thankful for. Break out your most worn-in pair of sweatpants, because it’s on to the picks. Last week’s picks went 6-7-1, and as always, the home team is in caps.
DETROIT -6.5 vs. Green Bay
Okay, I know, I know. Detroit has been killing me, and they’ve been doing it in horrible fashion for the past three weeks. I KNOW THIS. But come on… Matt Flynn? Detroit should be thankful that the rest of their division has been sitting on their own dicks as badly as they have over the past few weeks. If they can’t pull it together and handily win a division home game against a back-up quarterback then Jim Schwartz should be forced to roam the streets of Detroit with the packs of wild dogs that currently make up most of the city’s bureaucracy.
Oakland +8.5 vs. DALLAS
Oakland’s been playing some pretty weak opposition lately, but this seems like way too many points for a Jekyll and Hyde Dallas team that takes great pleasure in barely surviving games like this or even outright blowing them. Tony Romo and Jason Garrett should be thankful that they continue to do just enough to make everyone think “hey maybe they’ll finally get it together” so that they don’t get run out of town, even though this is the same script they’ve been following for what seems like a thousand years. When your owner has to come out every November and assure the media that Tony Romo and Jason Garrett’s jobs are safe, that means it isn’t working. This is essentially a prolonged hostage situation and the hostages are Dallas Cowboy fans and for that I am thankful because fuck those people.
BALTIMORE -2.5 vs. Pittsburgh
GUHHHHHHHH FUCK THIS MATCH-UP I WILL BE THANKFUL IF HELLFIRE RAINS DOWN ONTO THE STADIUM AND SCORCHES THE EARTH SO BADLY THAT NO STADIUM SHALL EVER GROW THERE AGAIN TO HO– USE THIS BULLSHIT FOOTBALL TEAM. Also Ben Roethlisberger will be dead too so that would be cool.
Tennessee +4 vs. INDIANAPOLIS
Fuck you Indy, you were supposed to be good. How do you beat the top two teams in the NFC West and then get absolutely annihilated by the mediocre ones? The Colts should be thankful that Gary Kubiak and Matt Schaub ran the Texans into the ground this season so they could sneak into the playoffs with probably a 9-7 record at this point. You guys were way cooler when your coach had cancer.
Denver -5.5 vs. KANSAS CITY
Both of these teams are coming off of crushing losses, and KC’s top pass rushers are going to be missing or limited, so I trust Peyton Manning to get his frustrations out far more than Alex Smith. Thanksgiving is actually Andy Reid’s least favorite holiday because every year he prepares what would be a normal meal for himself and his stupid family comes over and steals parts of it and he gets real sad. Or maybe he’s sad because it’s a family holiday and his son died tragically. I don’t know. I can’t read the guy’s mind.
Jacksonville +7 vs. CLEVELAND
Jesus Christ, do they even have to play this game? I am thankful that I don’t have to watch it. Browns games are so depressing, and it’s awful to see the fans get sucked into what looked like maybe it could have been a successful season and then be crushed again by fragile quarterback after fragile quarterback. Instead of putting the teams on the field they should just put twenty-two puppies from a local shelter out there, and then everyone can watch the puppies run around and forget about football and the fact that they live in Cleveland and experience three hours of joy for once.
Tampa Bay +7.5 vs. CAROLINA
I am thankful for every day that the Greg Schiano era in Tampa is extended. This team is rolling, and I have to think it’s because they’ve finally come around to the idea of being treated like children by an incompetent sociopath. I believe in this team, and with apologies to Cam Newton, I’m just not ready for the magic to end.
Chicago +1 vs. MINNESOTA
Another hideous matchup that disgraces the game of football as we know it. Christian Ponder should be thankful that due to all of the injuries and general messiness of this division people around the country have stopped talking about what a shitty quarterback he is for five minutes. It’s like he disappears from consciousness for six days and then on Sunday everyone is like “Oh yeah, that guy. Gross.” It was fitting that he led his team to a valiant tie against their greatest rivals, because Christian Ponder is just exciting enough to not win games.
Arizona +3 vs. PHILADELPHIA
Wow I’m taking a lot of road teams, and that is generally a horrible mistake and I am sure my record this week will reflect that. I am thankful that I lack respect and a reputation as a reliable source of NFL information because after this week if any existed I am sure it would be trampled like all those poor simple women will be on Friday. Anyway, Arizona’s defense is pretty excellent, and I don’t expect Nick Foles to keep this up. I said last week that you couldn’t make the playoffs with Carson Palmer, and now I’m going to look pretty foolish when they’re beating whatever trash escapes the NFC North or East in a divisional game. Thanks a lot Carson, way to have my back. Asshole.
Miami +2.5 vs. NY JETS
Another road game! Great job Rich you’re doing really well and this isn’t going to go poorly at all you motherfucker. Geno Smith should be thankful that Mark Sanchez set expectations for Jets quarterbacks so low that he still has a job in the NFL. I mean, Christ, at least Sanchez looked competent 15-20% of the time. Smith has all of the horrible decision making skills that Sanchez had, only none of the self-awareness to know his decisions are bad and learn from his mistakes. As a Patriots fan I am thrilled by these developments. This is another shitty game, but Miami still has playoff aspirations so they need this win which means they will probably fuck it up and I won’t even be able to bring myself to care. The 2013 NFL Season: Get Apathetic.
BUFFALO -3.5 vs. Atlanta
Buffalo plays well at home and Atlanta is just going through the motions. Mike Smith should be thankful that he can blame injuries for what happened to this season and nobody focuses on the fact that he’s kind of a bad coach. Several other teams (Chicago, New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego) have dealt with numerous injuries to key players and have remained competitive due to good coaching and personnel moves. As soon as Atlanta lost a few guys they were toast because they never even thought a backup plan was necessary. And next year they’ll be rewarded with a top draft pick and all of their players back, and Mike Smith will be hailed as a genius when they “bounce back” to 11-5. Fuck you Mike Smith.
SAN FRANCISCO -8 vs. St. Louis
San Francisco should be thankful that Bobby Griffiths Jr. out-sucked Kaepernick on Monday night, because it looked like the competition was going to be strong until BGamma Part Deux took his shittiness to the next level. Kaep needs a game to get himself some confidence back, and even though St. Louis’ D has been a very tough out in a lot of games this season, I think Harbaugh comes up with a game plan to roll them. Also, I bet the Harbaugh Thanksgiving dinner is a lot like the gimp scene in Pulp Fiction.
New England -7 vs. HOUSTON
I am ever so thankful for the 2013 Houston Texas. They have been my rock. My lighthouse in this sea of gambling madness. What is the opposite of a horse? A goldfish maybe? A loaf of bread? That’s what the Texans have been for me this year, and in a season like this I could not appreciate it more. Will they go an entire season without covering a spread? Only time will tell, but I’m not getting off this train until it gets to the station or derails. *cut to me and Gary Kubiak clasping hands and driving off a cliff*
SAN DIEGO pk vs. Cincinnati
Phillip Rivers is thankful that corporations are finally doing the right thing and trying to block women’s access to birth control. Andy Dalton’s stupid hair and face are their own natural form of birth control. San Diego will win this game and I won’t care. Can’t get brilliant analysis like that anywhere else, folks.
NY Giants -1 vs. WASHINGTON
FUCK YOU NBC FOR NOT FLEXING THIS GAME JUST BECA– USE OF THE MEDIA MARKETS INVOLVED. IT IS GOING TO BE A MISERABLE, SHITTY, AND UNBEARABLE GAME AND I AM THANKFUL THAT YOU STOPPED AIRING GOOD SHOWS TO FOCUS ON BROADCASTING ABSOLUTE GARBAGE BECA– USE THAT MEANS YOU WILL ALL LOSE YOUR JOBS AND KILL YOURSELVES IN SHAME. Anyway, Washington looks like it’s about ready to implode, and there would be no better time for the demise of this team than Thanksgiving weekend, when all of the horrible things their name and logo stand for are celebrated. Also, speaking of red skin, Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan are going to look like chimps ripped their skin off this weekend so avoid this game in HD.
SEATTLE -4 vs. New Orleans
Seattle got lucky last time by covering the spread, so Pete Carroll should be thankful that I didn’t mail him that box of poisonous snakes but he should also know that it’s NOT because I don’t know how to acquire poisonous snakes. I have a snake guy. I trust Seattle to cover less than a touchdown at home, and smart money always rides the West Coast team vs. East/Central time zone teams on Monday Night Football. Jon Gruden has spent all week watching film of these two teams, then afterwards pushing his two TVs together to make Russell Wilson and Drew Brees kiss. Watch this game on mute.