Yes, as you can see it has taken me a long while to get around to doing this week’s weekly NFLuminati rankings. There’s a very solid reason for this – about this time of year, once we are down to the final quarter of possible teams left in the NFL season, that’s usually when my “NFL 2010 is like WWF 1980” internal meme kicks into overdrive. I mean, it’s so obviously engineered, just not admitted, and eventually at some point, probably a few commissioners down the road, they’ll have to admit that it’s just sports entertainment meant to entertain you and cause you to watch commercials and not an actual contest per se. I mean, a lot of the game probably are, for the most part, and it’s not like it’s choreographed to where they get a script and go through every single play during the week. But between key players, shot callers, and refs, the thing is very clearly engineered. So let’s go through what’s left of this sham of a sport’s season…
#1: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-2, 1st overall) – The Patriots are obviously considered the best team in the playoffs, and best team in the NFL, with the best coach and best QB and blah blah blah. But it’s harder to figure how the NFL is approaching this Jets/Pats game. They certainly ratcheted up the sports entertainment style of pre-game promos this week, with players talking trash. However the last time they met, the Pats spanked the Jets. I do know that they are explained to me by all visible football talking faces as an unstoppable force. We are also starting to hit the tail end of the era created by a questionable refereeing call of the tuck rule that launched the Brady star against the Raiders years ago (in fact, it’s odd how the Raiders have been hand-in-hand with the Patriots in so many activities over their current dynasty, as if the Pats are the ‘00s version of the ‘70s Raiders, and that is reinforced through interesting behind-closed-door dealings), and this star will have to fade out eventually, although it seems the Peyton Manning star is being sacrificed first. Irregardless (I know that’s not technically a word, but fuck those people who make dictionary rules, and fuck assholes who are like, “that’s not a word and it shows your own ignorance” because you know what the fuck I’m saying motherfucker, and that’s what words are for is to relay a goddamned message), the Patriots are pushed the fuck down your throat, my throat, all of our throats, and they are God’s gift to the game of Football. But I don’t believe in your fake gods, including football gods, so fuck the Patriots.
#2: BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-4, 2nd overall) – I have been watching Ravens games with my buddy, and they are a solid team that is not a top team because they lack the knockout punch. They win on judge’s decisions, but not on knockouts. At this time of year, you need to knock somebody out. This is shocking with their defense led by the mongoloid misdemeanor Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. I love Ed Reed – he’s so cuddly and twinkly-eyed, yet so thuggish looking, like that type of homeless dude who wants to borrow $2 for gas because his wife needs to get to her cancer appointment at like 10:30 at night, but when you are like, “yeah, whatever cracky” he laughs and you end up buying both you and him a 40 as you sit at the bus stop talking about how Sylvester Stallone would’ve beat Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ass back in the day. (At times you are uncomfortable about repeating how he says Arnold’s name for fear of sounding racist. White people can’t say “Schwarzenegger” the same way black people can.)
#3: ATLANTA FALCONS (13-3, 3rd overall) – The Falcons are the most anonymous #1 seed in recent memory, a classic NFC jobber team. They will not win a Super Bowl, this year or anyone in the near future. They are the Falcons. They have the primetime game tonight, against the Ready-for-Primetime Packers, and will probably lose then, and by tomorrow afternoon, a great and wonderful season will be over and have nothing to show for it. I think that’s gonna be Matt Ryan’s legacy. He’s like the new Carson Palmer.
#4: NEW YORK JETS (12-5, 4th overall) – I rather enjoy all the Jets trash talking and Rex Ryan encouraging his team to be dickhead assholes about everything. It makes them the heels against the Patriots, in an old school wrestling sense. The problem is, they got blowed out last time, so there’s little compelling storyline to this game because the Patriot defense can be, “Uhh… did you see the film of the last game?” Meanwhile the Jets are blathering and shouting about how much they hate the Patriots, making it less a wrestling-style battle between good guy and bad guy and more like an abused child being really vocally angry with his abusive step-father as he’s starting to gain some adolescent confidence. But the Jets have not grown up enough to kick their step-dad’s ass. In fact, that game might be over quickly, which would blow the whole season’s worth of development of the Jets as this outlaw character. But it will give this second week of the NFL playoff season a marquee grudge match to close out the weekend with.
#5: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-4, 5th overall) – The Steelers just keep on being the Steelers – always relevant, always about to punch you in the fucking face on defense, and always having a bunch of white people waving around yellow towels at them. I cannot fault the Steelers for their successes, and do not hate upon them. In fact, I think because of my malcontent contrarian nature and Ben Roethlisberger’s offseason antics, I actually like them more this year. I fully support his actions, and think he’s a shining example of an NFL QB, and I think the league needs more Roethlisbergers and Michael Vicks and less of these commercial-ready shitheads like Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. I want drunken date-raping galavanters to live vicariously through on Sundays (as well as Saturdays this time of year), not guys with good images who are nice guys and save cancer babies in ghettos with the United Way. What would you rather do today – hang out with cancer babies who floated off during Hurricane Katrina, or fuck some drunk chick at the club? Of course. Steelers might stumble, but they still won’t lose.
#6: GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-6, 6th overall) – Beginning of the year when I did these things, I prognosticated it all out, using NFLuminati theory, and it came out as the Packers vs. the Steelers. I do not think the Steelers will hold form, but even though they will have to do it on the road the whole way, I do not see anyone stopping the Packers. They are dialed in on defense, and the offense is good enough to beat anything between now and Dallas.
#7: CHICAGO BEARS (11-5, 7th overall) – The Bears are not so great. Yet here they are hosting a playoff game as the #2 seed in the NFC. It’s very reminiscent of their Super Bowl run with Rex Grossman as QB a few years back. In fact, Jay Cutler is pretty much a Rex Grossman type, just with a higher high end and not so comedic a low end. But make no mistake about it, Cutler has it in him to toss four INTs all of a sudden for no real reason. And that is the problem with building a team around a guy like Cutler, even with Super-Genius Mike Martz in-house to coach him up beyond his potential. There is no slow development then slow decline that you can foresee like a normal QB; he may develop into the greatest QB ever for three weeks, then regress into a classic piece of shit the next, all of a sudden. Hosting a playoff game in front of their retard fans in the cold January air against the oddly finesse Seahawks, it probably means they will win one this week. But regardless of who they face next week, or even if they make the Super Bowl, I just cannot imagine Jay Cutler not blowing up at some point before this season is done, and ending their season. Lovie Smith probably does not care though because he’s bought himself another year or two now in his impressive quest to become the black Norv Turner.
#8: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-9, 19th overall) – What is there to say about the Seahawks? They were Kings of the worst division, which is fine, and Matt Hasselbeck returned suddenly to portray this year’s Ol’ Gunslinger character, and knockout the Saints. Marshawn Lynch finally had a play that lived up to his hype coming out of college, after like six years, and the Seahawks are the best L.A. team that never played in L.A., ever. Yet they are still pretty low on the NFLuminati totem pole (not even in the top half of the league according to my metascientific calculations), and now have to go on the road. Still though, if Hasselbeck catches fire, Marshawn Lynch is halfway competent, and Jay Cutler turns into Jay Cutler Negative Mode, it’s not unreasonable to expect the Seahawks to steal a win tomorrow afternoon. It’s not like the Chicago Bears are a devastating steamroller of a professional football team or anything. Lofa Tatupu potentially not being cleared to play is pretty much the gamebreaker for them. No Lofa, no peace. I would expect the Bears to be the shittiest team left playing football come next Sunday.