As we proceed through the painful last quarter of what watered down variety of professional football the NFL is calling itself king about this final month of the 2010 year of our fake lord, this week I have decided to go ahead and project 8 teams into the playoffs, and blurb about them something half proper, and then in a few weeks if one of them crumbles and chokes it away, hopefully someone will have read this enough to at least make a comment and be like, “Hey, Raven Mack, you fucking dumb piece of shit. You totally got this one thing wrong of about 23 words you wrote out of the like 20,000 you wrote this year. What the fuck is your problem? You are a disgrace to the internet.”
But no one will…
Look, I am in a funk. I am almost 50 days into quitting drinking, broke, hate my job, have trouble navigating my insane family when not drunk, and yesterday was standing in the cold walking from one place to another when the railroad crossing started ding ding dinging at me, so I stopped and watched a coal train go by, and those empty spots on one end or the other looked awfully inviting. I mean really, fuck it, you know. I am in a dark place, irregardless of the Christmas lights all around, and dark answers seem to pop in front of my stream of thought every second. (I know that “irregardless” is technically considered not a word, but pretentious fuckers who are all like, “using that word is a sign of one’s ignorance because it’s just stupid,” really piss me off, and if you know what the word is trying to say, then it’s a word, even if not recognized by the proper authorities. Mostly, I like to use it to try and kick some pretentious fucker’s ass, but not really, just make them feel uncomfortable as they want to grammatically correct a giant hillbilly bearded man with tons of bottled anger that’s been fermenting for years but I had been masking with daily alcohol abuse, SO FUCKING STEP UP MOTHERFUCKER!
So probably the best thing for me to do would be to pop half a hydrocodone, drink me a nice warm cup of homemade chai tea from the pot of it on the stove (fake god bless my loving family), and go for a walk in the intense cold for about twenty minutes, soak in the moonlit sky with the cloud cover rolling that will mean snow tomorrow, wake up my pigs (who I need to buy a bale of straw for in the morning, badly) and jostle around in the darkness with them until the milligrams start to weight down my brain. Then I’ll walk back to the house, smoke billowing up from the chimney – for real old farmhouse is how I live, front part built in 1905, additional parts built in additional times – and on that 125 yard walk back, I will conjure up the proper metasciences calculations to word out in regards to the eight teams bound for the playoffs, and most of them highly prominent on the current NFLuminati Index. So after the ellipsis, that’s what you’ll get…
#1: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-2, 1st overall) – Really, nothing suggests a behind-the-scenes engineering of successes in the NFL as in my NFLuminati Index more than the Patriots. Every year, they are at least semi-great, and every draft they have like 13 picks. Every year. There are only so many Al Davises, Dan Snyders, and Jerry Joneses available to fleece. They are somehow the one team that can convince other teams to trade a higher draft pick than anybody else would for a waning veteran player. They are the only team that does things that are not noticed until someone else does it, as in lining up coaches on punt returns or filming practices or really probably like 1200 other things. The Bill Belichick sway over the NFL is so much like Bill Walsh’s sway in the ‘90s, it is ridiculous. Tom Brady is this generation’s Joe Montana, just prettier. It is disgusting to me as a fan of what I thought was actual competitive football. Why did my favorite team get booked to have a heel owner who runs the thing into the ground for a mad fist clutch of profits?
Anyways, as the season winds down, luckily most all the divisions and conference leaders are within a game of each other, so we might actually have star players playing into the final week for once. But they probably engineered that as well to help force an 18-game schedule on the players, so no one could obviously be like, “Hey, more games would suck because we already are having a couple of weeks of meaningless games for the most part. This will only add to the problem.” This year, they wanted to make it seem like EVERY GAME COUNTS ALL THE WAY UNTIL THE END! The fucking NFL man, it’s still the best team sport in America, but really, I do not know why it is mimicking the NBA’s engineering of its styles. I would say if ever there was a chance for an outlaw pro league to siphon off a niche of NFL fans, the coming year would be it. Not some bullshit, low rent NFL B-league like whatever the UFL is, but something that was like, “Haha, fuck the NFL’s dumb shit. We are football, and not fucking gay.” In fact, that should be their slogan.
#2: ATLANTA FALCONS (11-2, 2nd overall) – The Falcons are awfully anonymous to be the best team in the NFC, which usually is how teams do to get home field advantage and then lose in the conference championship game. These are occurrences that repeat themselves over and over – the Packers in 2008, the Eagles in 2004 and 2003, the Vikings in 1999, the 49ers in 1998. Some teams are just not designed to go to the Super Bowl, although the NFC in recent years has been able to produce one-hit wonders to go to the big game and be fodder for the other league – the Cardinals two years ago, the Bears two before that, and the Seahawks before the Bears. And even as you look at this NFLuminati Index, the Falcons are the only NFC team in the top 5. I am not one to buy into that “the NFC is so much weaker than the AFC” because if you look at records and inter-conference records, that’s just not the case. But the NFC lacks a certain booking power in the minds of the masses that certain AFC teams have right now. And the Falcons are not a team to break that psychic opinion, especially since those mass opinions are usually strategically engineered by the football media and the games themselves to create purchasing patterns around Christmas time. Arthur Blank knows this machine well, and is in the inner-circles of a few corporate cabals. Do not think for one second the redemption of Michael Vick this year and the ownership of the Atlanta Falcons by Arthur Blank is a coincidence, nor is Vick being out for their game earlier this year. If you do not think a prominent January barrage of stories about Vick returning to Atlanta, and pictures post-game of Mr. Blank and Mr. Vick greeting each other on the field of battle afterwards will play big going into whichever team is chosen to do the job on the big stage, then you are a fucking mark.
#3: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-3, 3rd overall) – Oddly enough, you still hear murmurs of haterisms towards Ben Roethlisberger for his offseason peniscapades, which I find stupid. I mean, this Roger Goodie Goodie Goodell NFL goes against the basic nature of football players. It’s like trying to make feral children sleep in orphanage beds – they will just bounce on the sheets and cuddle underneath the bed until you turn off the lights when they will smash out a window and once again run free with the wolves. Oh to be a feral child again… I do not like how I’ve been shaped sometimes. I mean I really enjoy writing the words like I do for this blog and at other places and in my own journals that I keep obsessively. But sometimes at night, I roll close to the window to where I can feel the draft coming in underneath the bottom of the old frame, or through the edges of the ragged panes badly in need of reglazing, and I will feel the outdoors inside of me again, and hear a dog barking far off in the distance, and it makes me sad for what I’ve become. I am sure Ben Roethlisberger feels that way. If you are a filthy rich superstar quarterback and you are not trying to get away with fucking drunk sluts in the back rooms or dark corridors of small clubs, then you are not doing it right, at least not according to the traditional ways. This modern clean NFL, it is a sad thing. But hey, I guess they sell more pink jerseys now than ever, especially during their strategic yearly breast cancer awareness gimmick.
Ben Roethlisberger, I am with you bro. Fuck these drunk bitches, and fuck Roger Goodell. I know you can’t say that and all you can do is do you, so do it to it big bro. I wish you well on your future endeavors as this game becomes less dependent upon a real man like you and more dependent upon referees and weasel pseudo-genius coaches and shit like that.
#4: BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-4, 4th overall) – I watched the Ravens game the other night with my holmes who is a Ravens fan, and it was a thing to behold. I was secretly getting caught up in rooting for the Texans, although we both agreed that Matt Schaub certainly looks like a first class asshole type. He was sure they would blow it, and by the end of the fourth quarter, I was sure as well. Still though, they held on, and won in dramatic fashion, almost as if it had been scripted.
The one thing I always think when I watch a Baltimore Ravens game is how Joe Flacco must be the King of Delmarva, having played college ball at Delaware, then going straight to the Ravens where he has done well enough. I bet he can Roethlisberger chicks from Hagerstown to Dover, and is two or three bad seasons away from anybody caring.
#5: NEW YORK JETS (9-4, 5th overall) – The thing about being a veteran team built for success is once it goes bad, it has gone bad. Sour milk don’t go fresh. That Monday night showdown against the Patriots was when the spirit was crushed, and no amount of goofy Rex Ryanisms is going to refresh that spirit. I do appreciate Darrelle Revis’s black hobo look though, although I’m always a fan of that look. No one can top Ed Reed’s twinkly yet bug-eyed hobo style though. He looks like he would be running a prison outreach program where dudes learn to write poetry. Revis just looks like he’d be carrying an empty container of antifreeze asking for $3 to get some gas outside the Wawa.
#6: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-4, 6th overall) – The NFC is a little tougher to project, because the Eagles and Giants are tied and really, if the Giants win this weekend, the Eagles are in the passenger seat on that ride. But it just feels like so much press has been given to the Eagles and Michael Vick that it would be impossible for them to not get a wild card berth into the playoffs at the very least. And they’re not QBed by Donovan McNabb this year, so they don’t have to worry about blowing the big game to get in anymore. The NFL schedule makers were cracked out this year, because the Giants/Redskins and Eagles/Cowboys both play twice in the last month or so of the season. It seems odd to stack that shit up like that, especially considering one of the great parts of a division rivalry is it being split into two parts of the season to have a completely different outlook on things. After going to the New Meadowlands in New Jeru this weekend, the Eagles close out at home in front of their drunken degenerate fanbase with games against the Vikings and Cowboys, neither of whom will really give a fuck by that point. So I project the Eagles to win the NFC East, with 82% of precincts reporting.
#7: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-3, 7th overall) – The Saints have also been rather quietly doing consistently well this year, considering they are defending Super Bowl champs, and have already hit double digits in wins. The thing about them in the playoffs is, if they can make it to Atlanta, it’s a dome game, which benefits the Saints more than the Falcons. You gotta figure the Saints will be a wild card team at the least, and that means a road trip the first weekend of the playoffs, to whatever scrub ass team ends up winning the NFC West by default. That will most likely be your late Saturday afternoon game, unless the NFL is like, “Haha, fuck you NBC, you get the Saints and the shitty NFC West champs on Saturday night for your last game of the year.”
#8: CHICAGO BEARS (9-4, 11th overall) – If you notice the overall rankings, the Bears are the only one on this list not at the top of the NFLuminati Index. They are also the team I am most uncomfortable putting on this list, but I had to put a 4th NFC team on it, and with Aaron Rodgers looking shaky at best, I couldn’t go with the Packers like I would’ve was he unconcussed. The Bears look like they forgot to plug in their Madden controller against the Patriots, and the big problem with Jay Cutler is there’s a Cinderella factor to him doing so well lately and the clock might strike midnight and he’ll throw like 4 interceptions including two pick-6s all of a sudden. Still though, there has to be an 8th team on this week’s list, so they are the ones. It means nothing though, because I’m just some dude far on the outside of the NFL’s secret planning committees. So don’t get yourself geeked or nothing.