What bugged me most was how the people who cover the game just went along with it. While the replacement officials were still working, while the fans were enduring one horrible, game-altering call after another, esteemed writers like Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk were saying essentially that it was fortunate that none of the bad calls had directly affected the outcome of any games. Really? So, giving a team an extra 12 yards on a penalty call in overtime because you don’t understand the rules, leading to the “gifted” team kicking the winning field goal is not affecting the outcome of the game? Please. Then, all of a sudden, after the “Golden Taint” incident, everyone’s on the bandwagon to bring back the regular officials. They start talking about the integrity of the game, and how fans might turn their backs on the game.
That’s what really burned me, the idea that I could somehow be seen as turning my back on the game. The last time I checked, a bunch of rich, greedy owners are not the game. The game is the players who go out on the field and do their thing, and the good, hard-working coaches who get them ready to perform at their best (not cheaters like Jim Harbaugh, who would have given the NFL a black eye had anyone bothered to notice or care). The game is as popular as it is because of them, and because of the fans that support the product.
Oh, and more to the point, the game is not the so-called journalists who are supposed to be covering the league, but who, when the game was threatened, proved themselves to be nothing but lackeys, shills, and apologists for the league, choosing their relationships with the league over integrity.
So, I’m back, and I’m drawing a bead on all of these so-called journalists, these succubi who would shrivel up and die without the game. With all of their connections, and all of their resources, they’re not better than me. In fact, I already proved last season that I’m better than them at picking games. They should rightfully recognize me as the best in the world. I beat them all. No more comparing myself to them in an effort to be like them. From now on, I’m going to be like me.
Dolphins at Bengals
I love the Bengals because they keep it simple on offence. Sure, throw in some creative play-calling, but the ethos is very basic: get the ball into the hands of the guys that can make plays. Nothing Dolphins’ head coach “GOB” Philbin does makes much sense. Even if he gets a good effort from his players, he manages to screw it up somehow. Someone needs to tell him that players win games. Winner: Bengals
Ravens at Chiefs
The Ravens would really have to screw up badly to lose this one. The Chiefs have talent, but they’re so inept, it’s ridiculous. Winner: Ravens
Browns at Giants
This Giants team is difficult to read, due to the steady stream of injuries. However, the Browns are so bad, it doesn’t matter. Winner: Giants
Packers at Colts
The Packers must be thinking that someone is out to get them after the past two weeks. That’s just the attitude they need. Extra added bonus: Charles Woodson LOVES to take rookie QBs to school. Winner: Packers
Eagles at Steelers
All I keep hearing is that this is the sort of game that the Steelers don’t lose. The Eagles have been extremely lucky. So naturally I’m picking the Eagles. There’s something about this matchup that seems all wrong for the Steelers. I think the Eagles D forces Big Ben into a couple of turnovers, and that’s the difference. Winner: Eagles
Falcons at Washington
As ridiculously talented as RGIII is, this Falcons’ team is really good. Winner: Falcons
Bears at Jaguars
Still no love for the Bears this week in the polls. Idiots. Like Arizona would have a remote chance of beating Chicago. Which brings us to the Jags. Worse than the Cards. Get the idea? Winner: Bears
Seahawks at Panthers
The Panthers needs to pull their heads out of their arses and figure out some kind of offensive identity. They are regressing, possibly due to the fact that they have an Easter Island statue for a head coach. Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll made a dumb choice for his starting QB. This is not college football. If he wants to play with the big boys, he needs to get Matt Flynn behind centre. Winner: Panthers
Titans at Vikings
I’m liking the energy that I’m seeing in this Vikings team. Against the Titans’ banged-up offence and leaderless defence, well… Winner: Vikings
Broncos at Patriots
It’s amazing how the NFL managed to get this game on the schedule. It’s almost as if there’s some special attraction or matchup that would draw people to tune into this game. At any rate, the Pats beat the snot out of the Broncos twice last season. Apparently, the Broncos have a new QB this season, but he couldn’t possibly be as much of a threat as God’s chosen now, could he? Winner: Patriots
Bills at 49ers
So far, the Bills have been a major disappointment. Bills fans are used to that. The 49ers players should be able to handle things well enough so that their dirty cheater of a head coach doesn’t have to resort to any dirty cheating in order to try to win the game (not that the league gives a rat’s ass, just as long as the players dress properly). Winner: 49ers
Chargers at Saints
Can I just say that I am super-pumped that the Saints are 0-4? They really came off badly during the whole bounty investigation. Even sainted Saint Drew Brees ended up sounding like a complete douchebag. I still contend that the Chargers are no good. Eventually the Saints have to win one, right? Winner: Saints
Texans at Jets
I am going to enjoy watching the Texans fucking destroy the Jets on Monday Night Football. I hope Fireman Ed chokes on a hotdog. Winner: Texans
Oh, and Happy Birthday Chad, the Big Meatball in the Big Apple!