On Friday, I hugged my daughter, who is home from university for the holidays, and told her I loved her, with just a little bit of extra emphasis. I sent my other daughter, who works in Alberta, a message telling her I loved her and that I am grateful that she is alive and well.
I’m still a bit raw, hurt, and angry, as I imagine a lot of people are. But, damn it all to hell, I am going to enjoy some football this week. Life is for the living to enjoy.
That doesn’t mean that I have to forget, though.
Vikings at Rams
The Adrian Peterson express is coming to town. Opposing teams know he’s getting the ball, but still he runs wild on them. Between that, and Jared Allen chasing Sam Bradford around, it’ll be a long day for the Rams. Winner: Vikings
On January 7th, 2010, a man carrying an AK-47, handguns, and a shotgun, killed three people, injured five others, and committed suicide at the ABB Power Plant in St. Louis.
Buccaneers at Saints
Apparently, the way to beat the Bucs is to throw, throw, throw. That’s your cue, Drew. Winner: Saints
On April 14th, 2003, two men armed with an AK-47, and a semi-automatic pistol, shot and killed a 15-year-old and wounded three others at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans.
Giants at Falcons
I’ve seen this game before. The all-guts Giants vs. the gutless Falcons. The Giants, when the season is on the line, usually play like it. Winner: Giants
After bludgeoning his wife and children to death the night before, on July 27, 1999, a man went to his workplace at an investment house in Atlanta, pulled out two pistols, and killed four people. He then walked to another building and killed five more. He committed suicide before police could apprehend him.
Packers at Bears
Chicago, sadly, is running out of gas. Their defence, ravaged by injuries, can’t hang in for 60 minutes against a good offence, while the lack of protection for Jay Cutler is wearing him down. Green Bay’s season has been similar, but somehow they seem to make it work. Having the best QB in the game can do that. Winner: Packers
In Chicago, which of late has resembled a war zone, 19 people were shot overnight on August 23/24, 2012.
Washington (D.C.) at Browns
No RGIII, plus a tough Browns defence, equals a, low-scoring battle. Winner: Browns
On October 10th, 2007, a 14-year-old student of Success Tech Academy in Cleveland entered the school with two handguns, shot two students and two teachers, then committed suicide.
Colts at Texans
The Colts are better than anyone thought they would be this season, but they’re still not good enough to beat a Texans team that will be looking to re-assert themselves after they were treated so roughly by those nasty Pats on Monday night. Winner: Texans
On March 30th, 2011, at a girls’ football game at Worthing High School in Houston, two men shot and killed a man and wounded five others.
Broncos at Ravens
This Ravens team just isn’t that good. The Broncos are, better than the Ravens on offence and defence. Winner: Broncos
On July 27, 2012, Baltimore police, acting on a tip that a man calling himself “joker” had threatened to blow everybody up at his former workplace, went to the man’s home, where they discovered 15 firearms and several thousand rounds of ammunition. Police admitted that they were suspicious because of the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado. (Score one for the good guys)
Jaguars at Dolphins
This will be Jags’ QB Chad Henne’s triumphant return to Miami, which should inspire him to turn the ball over at least thrice, for old time’s sake. True to form, the Dolphins will convert these gifts into FGs. The extra boost should be enough. Winner: Dolphins
On March 31st, 2012, gunmen killed two and wounded 14 mourners outside a Miami funeral home.
Lions at Cardinals
I’m not saying that the Lions aren’t dumb, poorly-coached, and undisciplined, but they’d have to sink to unimaginable levels to lose to this Cards team. Winner: Lions
On May 2nd, 2012, in Greater Metropolitan Phoenix, a man shot and killed his 47-year-old girlfriend, her 23-year-old daughter, and the daughter’s fiancée and 15-month-old daughter, then committed suicide.
Panthers at Chargers
I’m still a bit dumbfounded that the Chargers were able to beat Pittsburgh so handily last week. I’m calling it a fluke. Cam Newton, who all of a sudden is good again in the eyes of the attention-span-of-a-gnat sports media (I kept the faith, Cam), will give the Bolts all they can handle this week. Winner: Panthers
On January 1st, 2012, in San Diego, a Navy pilot shot and killed his friend, the friend’s sister, and another man, then committed suicide.
Seahawks at Bills (kind of)
This one’s indoors in Toronto, as opposed to frigid Buffalo, which should suit Seattle just fine. All the Seahawks have to do is not let CJ Spiller kill them. Winner: Seahawks
On July 16th, in Toronto, two people were shot dead and another 23 were wounded at a neighbourhood barbecue.(Canada’s not immune to the madness, folks)
Steelers at Cowboys
A battle between two desperate teams. Pittsburgh needs the win, knowing that the Bengals held serve on Thursday, while Dallas may have a fairly good idea of the Giants/Falcons outcome by kickoff. I’d like the Cowboys’ chances a lot better if Dez Bryant was 100%. Winner: Steelers
On Christmas Day, 2011, in a Dallas suburb, a man dressed as Santa and armed with two handguns, killed his wife, daughter, son, and his wife’s sister, brother-in-law, and niece, then committed suicide.
Chiefs at Raiders
Both of these teams are out of the playoff hunt, but at least Oakland will start a competent QB. Winner: Raiders
On April 2nd, 2012, a former student at Oikos University in Oakland entered a classroom armed with a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, lined students against the wall, and fired, killing seven and wounding three.
49ers at Patriots
The Pats are playing the game of the week, at night, against one of the top teams in the league, just like last week. Their opponent has a top-notch defence, and a balanced offence paced by an effective running game, just like last week. Guess what else is going to be like last week? Winner: Patriots
On August 12th, 2012, in a Boston suburb, four women were shot as they sat in a parked car. Three died.
Jets at Titans
Bleh. Winner: Titans
On Saturday, December 15th, 2012, just one day after the horrible tragedy in Connecticut, two police officers in Memphis were shot while executing a search warrant. One officer died.
And on it goes.