I had worked partially on last week’s NFLuminati Index but then didn’t finish it because I was prepping shit for an art show, but I’m probably going to co-opt as much as possible since I am basically just wasting my life at work and it is more enjoyable to truly waste your life by not doing new things but rehashing old things. So take this following intro and just add a week to whatever is out of context now that is seven days later:
“When you break the NFL season down into four quarters, this is the week we enter the fourth quarter. Teams are either battling for/jostling in/coasting towards the playoffs, or they are playing out their season. The NFL and its talking pointed up commentators will push how for those 13 teams essentially out of it, they are still playing for pride or next year or whatever, but it’s just not true. And after this weekend, you’ll start to have a couple teams locked up in their playoff spots at the top, so they’ll slow down the pace as well. What I’m telling you is this is not going to be the most wonderful next couple of weeks of football, which makes sense because it’s been a pretty lackluster year. There are no clearly great teams, the NFL foisting Thursday Night Football upon us all has created a Mid-American Conference feel to parts of the league, and the golden goose – which will still be laying golden eggs for years to come – is showing her first noticeable signs of internal sickness. But nonetheless, it is American football, and much like American exceptionalism itself, we are loathe to admit how much we have fallen from grace until it has become painfully obvious to everybody around us, and even then we’ll deny it for another four to eight years. Still though, I do these things, so as Montell Jordan used to sang it, this is how we do it…”
#1: HOUSTON TEXANS (11-2; same as last week) – Last week for these guys I wrote, “The Texans have solidified themselves as the top team in the league by NFLuminati Index standards, and even a loss at the Patriots won’t knock them out. Still though, I don’t feel like they are legit as a potential Super Bowl champion. This has that NFL sports entertainment engineering feel of elaborately validating Peyton Manning in the playoffs, where Manning and Broncos beat the Texans and former Broncos QB now head coach Gary Kubiak, and you have the storyline of Manning, Kubiak, John Elway sitting in the executive box, all those things to give Peyton that push into the stratosphere of psychic consumption by the masses. And oddly enough, I don’t think a team whose major star player is a wacky poet vegan is going to get the sky-high American consumption push. You may think all this type of talk is nonsense, and that’s fine, you’ll probably sleep easier than I do at night. Actually I sleep really well – I look forward to the coming economic apocalypse and the decline of the American Empire built upon falsehoods and subliminal suggestions.”
I have to admit though something shifted in my thinking in the past two weeks. I mean, I still think the Texans have a 0% chance of winning the Super Bowl. However, I used to think they had a 0% chance of even going. And normal power rankings knee-jerkisms would move them down after losing at the Patriots, using college football rankings mentality. But this is the NFL, where everybody is going to lose a few games. And as an NFL power, you should own your home, and steal the road. It’s that simple. So it makes sense the Patriots – perhaps the most dynastic team in the NFL right now – owned their home. In fact, my metasciences are built so that a loss by the Patriots would have been far more damaging than a loss by the Texans, hence them still at #1. But what I’ve noticed is, as fucked up as this sounds, Houston rappers talking about the Texans on Twitter. This is a cultural indicator that the Texans are now established at home, that they own that shit, to an extent. And to back that, they did win a home playoff game last year. So I expect them to do that this year. They’ve actually built some good shit there. That’s pretty big, because since 9/11 changed everything, only two franchises have won their first Super Bowl ever (Saints in 2010, Buccaneers in 2003), even though nearly half (14 teams) of the NFL has yet to win a Super Bowl. This is a huge psychic burden to overcome, a vastly larger force than simple quality of football team in any given year. The Texans are actually building up to that better than any other team in the NFL that has yet to win a Lombardi Trophy. I wouldn’t have said that a few weeks ago.
#2: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-3-1; up one from last week) – The 49ers are the team to beat in the NFC at this point, even with their QB issues. I’m not convinced this is the perfect time to have a double-QB system, but QBs are such moody bitches they don’t like to roll like that. Alpha dudes are always afraid of the MMF threesome. I’m not sure why that is, perhaps fear it will unlock some inner-bisexuality they are worried will turn them full gay. But it’s okay for a QB to share the snaps from under center in 2012. You’d think San Francisco would be more open to that than anywhere else. I guess the old saying is true: Open-minded people are as much as asshole as anybody else.
#3: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3; up one from last week) – Patriots gonna be Patriots. They don’t have to win shit because basically at this point Belichick and Brady shine up the postseason with future-HOFer status and make it all seem legit as fuck. They don’t need to win a damn thing to prove anything, so them losing to others makes the others seem more Hall of Fame-like. It’s an old carnival trick. Stop pretending.
#4: ATLANTA FALCONS (11-2; down two from last week) – The Falcons, even with home field advantage, have no chance of winning the Super Bowl. They have no chance of getting to the Super Bowl. Any NFC team hoping to make the playoffs that has to go on the road, if they could pick who to go play, they all would pick the Falcons, over every other team. Over the Seahawks, over the Bears, over the fucking Redskins. Nobody is afraid of the Falcons. At this point, the Falcons just have to focus on winning a single playoff game to justify their continued promotion as an actual “good” football team, and to try to not become the new San Diego Chargers. By the way, Mike Smith and Matt Ryan have won as many playoff games as my football-playing goats have.
#5: GREEN BAY PACKERS (9-4; same as last week) – Beginning of the season, everybody was putting them out of greatness, but they were still pretty high on this list. Now look, they’re right back where you thought they were gonna be. Stop doing the won-loss reaction thing during the regular season. The Packers will be a factor in the playoffs, and being the NFC is a sort of crapshoot amongst about three teams (49ers/Giants/Packers) as to who is hottest in January, they might make the Super Bowl, or might not even make the NFC Championship. But they will be notable as fuck. And goddamn, stop the onslaught of insurance double check commercials. Please. I mute commercials and still am sick of that shit.
#6: BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-4; same as last week) – Are we calling him “Pretty” Flacco yet? Because we should be. Here is my playoff predictions for the Ravens: they will win every home game possible, and then lose every road game. That’s an easy prediction because that’s basically how they play football, for the past few years.
#7: DENVER BRONCOS (10-3; up two from last week) – The Broncos level of victory and competition has been lackluster, so though most power lists are fellating the greatness of Peyton Manning and putting them in the top 3, let me be clear and warn you that these guys are still second-tier. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, as it’ll make for compelling sports entertainment in the playoffs: potential Peyton/Brady showdowns, potential Broncos/Colts games, the constant unrealized tease of a Manning/Manning Super Bowl. But let’s be real, these guys ain’t going to no fucking Super Bowl.
#8: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5; up three from last week) – Beast Mode is a psychological virus that has apparently affected Russell Wilson and is spreading throughout the Pacific Northwest. Though I’m not entirely convinced this is an engineered push to make Nike uniforms seem more great amongst us stupid masses, I will never not once complain about Marshawn Lynch having a larger platform upon which to Beast Mode the Earth.
#9: NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5; up one from last week) – Who the fuck knows with the Giants? They will either play amazingly well and Tom Coughlin will look all grumpy happy on the sideline, or they will look like an AFC West team and Coughlin will look perplexed like a dog you are jingling a chew toy at but not throwing. I know this much though: I dislike Eli Manning very strongly.
#10: CHICAGO BEARS (8-5; down three from last week) – The Bears are coming apart at the seams man. A team that a few weeks ago was sitting in the NFC North driver’s seat now has a very tenuous hold on the last wild card spot. I know when things get tough and it is getting down to crunch time where shit has to be precision greatness without mistakes, there’s not a QB/WR pairing I’d trust more than Jay Cutler/Brandon Marshall. They both have long personal histories of stability and consistency, and that’s really going to pay off in these coming three weeks.
#11: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-4; up one from last week) – Colts going to the playoffs makes me want to make a vanilla joke but you know what? Vanilla is actually pretty tasty. Like for real vanilla, not the imitation extract bullshit. And true to life vanilla beans, cooked into desserts? Man, that’s some really great stuff. So yes, the Colts will be boring football for boring Indiana people in January, but it’s not fair to real vanilla to call them or Andrew Luck vanilla. Also of note, I do not give a fuck if a cheerleader shaves her head. It would be more notable if she did not shave her vagina. In fact, I am starting a charitable movement right now where women stop shaving their vaginas to help raise cancer awareness. I have an awareness fetish.
#12: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-6; down four from last week) – The Steelers seem to play a lot better this year in those honeybee uniforms. Bring that beat back. Also I am not worried about Roethlisberger. Like any good lumbering drunkard ninja piece of human brilliance, it takes a week or two to get back up to 100% awesome level.
#13: WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-6; same as last week) – One thing I’ve learned this year is that Redskins fans are the fucking worst, at least when you limit yourself to following the Skins online. White people with the internet are really horrible people. I realize most of you are probably, statistically speaking, white people with the internet, so allow me to just say fuck you, you are probably horrible in real life. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy each other’s pretend company in cyberland, but if we were to sit at a table in real life together while playing dominoes or eyeballs, I would probably end up wanting to smash your skull, although I’m a totally chill dude, so I wouldn’t, I would just blow it off and then never fucking deal with you again. Ultimately that is the failure of the internet, not being able to get a true gauge of whether someone is a decent human being or not.
The one thing that has drawn me back into the Redskins this year, and continues to give me faith, is old black guys who like the Redskins. They are great. I just got on an elevator where it was only me and an old black dude who was carrying a Redskins lunch bag. We exchanged our excitement about if they make the playoffs, and how we hope RG3 “gets his knee right.” It made me feel okay about it all – about the Redskins, about being a white people with the internet, about the future of this team, my fandom, and mankind as well. It’s all going to be okay, because once the power goes out and the batteries die, there won’t be white people with internet no more.
#14: ST. LOUIS RAMS (6-6-1; same as last week) – The great thing about NFL games ending in ties is that every team has played an odd number of games and yet the Rams are at a perfectly even .500. I like that. It makes me think of real football, and World Cup qualifying, and how great it would be if pro football in America was more robust and vibrant like real football. Like what if you got five points for winning a game from the first quarter, four if you took the lead in the 2nd, three for in the 3rd, and two points if you won the game in the 4th quarter, and you got one point for a tie, and there were no overtimes? And then the top scoring teams went to the playoffs. That would be great. Or what if it was a triangular field kind of, and there were three teams so two were on defense at all times, like six players each, while the team on offense played twelve, and you were sort of playing two teams at once? This is the type of shit I think up constantly. I am very disappointed that I do not have a larger forum for my philosophical ideas in relation to sports entertainment. Ultimately, I’ve put it out there; it’s you guys who haven’t spread the word.
#15: NEW YORK JETS (6-7; up one from last week) – The real question is whether Rex Ryan’s sexual perversions have corrupted Tim Tebow or not. Mark Sanchez we already know is better than some but not cream of the crop, and probably not even mediocre a lot of times, but hey, who cares, it’s not QB is the one missing piece. Mostly I want to know about Tebow’s continued Christianity in NYC, and whether his rib injury is actually what I’ve heard about being related to the creation of a new Eve.
#16: DALLAS COWBOYS (7-6; up five from last week) – You know what the NFL and in fact all “free rides if you are drunk” programs should do to actually make an honest effort to cut down on drinking and driving? Instead of just a bullshit ride home, have the ride home also involve a totally chill extra dude who could drive your shit back to your house with the ride. The real cause for drinking and driving usually is not the fact people don’t give a fuck about people, it’s because how the fuck are you gonna get your car the next day? Why would you leave it in the scummy ass place you parked it until after the sun comes up, when you can see how sketchy it really is? Especially if you’ve got a nice ass ride in a drinking district, you don’t want that thing sitting there overnight, because when I used to be a drunk fuck looking for rides to break into at four in the morning, that’s exactly where I looked. This is not a cultural problem so much as a “don’t want to have my car get fucked up” problem. I mean, I get the fact people die, like that Cowboys dude, and that’s sad. I lost a couple of friends to drinking and driving over the years. But the actual statistics of how often you drink and drive to how often you kill people is way lower than they’d have you believe. The odds of your car getting fucked up if you left it somewhere are way higher than the chances of you killing somebody. Let’s think about this realistically, and make actual change for the better, that people can live with. Not just the dead from drunk drivers people can live with but actual drunks and people who have nice rims on SUVs and normal dudes like you and me can live with as well.
#17: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-6; up three from last week) – I don’t know man, I just don’t even think about the Vikings. I’ve read enough Scandinavian mythology that the fact there’s even a team called “the Vikings” sort of upsets. Odin didn’t hang from Yggdrasil for this bullshit.
#18: MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-8; down three from last week) – There is nothing finer than the jiggle of feminine ass. That’s all I can think about at this moment. Perhaps that is in relation to Miami, I don’t know. But it’s what I’m thinking about. A lot.
#19: TENNESSEE TITANS (4-9; same as last week) – I’ve been listening to a lot of old evil sounding Triple 6 Mafia lately. Makes me think the Titans need an alternate jersey that is black. Makes me think Tennessee needs an alternate flag that has a skull on it too.
#20: DETROIT LIONS (4-9; up two from last week) – Last week in my unfinished thing I wrote, “Well Lions fans who patronize the ACLB site with regularity, I am saddened to say it was this precise past week that the Lions NFLuminati psychic power matched their on-field performance. Up until the end of that Colts game, there was a chance to play good football, right the wronged ship, and turn this thing around. But in those crumbling moments, they became the Lions again. If you do not think a coaching change is necessary, you are fooling yourself. Ultimately, this is almost EXACTLY like when the Jaguars – a known loser – had started to taste success but also off-field issues under Jack Del Rio early on. They chose to ignore the obvious and keep Del Rio around long beyond his usefulness in building an actual winning franchise, and look at where that’s gotten them. The bottom of the NFL, in a state of rebuilding that might need rebuilding from. Keeping Schwartz will get you that. I think at this point the question is not so much about whether to keep him or not, but whether to keep him until the end of the season. It might be worth throwing him under the bus now to try and see what is salvageable from this roster for the next few weeks. Of course, the Ford family – as proven with the name “Matt Millen” – is not one too quick to throw someone under the bus for the better of the franchise. So I would expect Jim Schwartz to stay put, and the Lions to stay bad. Sorry friends.”
All of that I stand by, but I also want to say to you Lions fans who are the most loyal readers of all here at Armchair Linebacker that you should hold your head up. The Lions are not as bad as their record suggests. By NFLuminati standards, you guys could just as easily be 6-7 or 7-6. It’s been some bad breaks for you this year. You should open your hearts to coaching changes, but also keep your heart open to accepting you had bad mojo this year. Burn some sage around the periphery of Detroit. Send the whole defensive line off to Nebraska for a sweat lodge ceremony. Shit man, they should have weekly sweat lodge ceremonies to keep them purified and full of spirit. So much potential for spirit warrior status on this team.
I hate to say this too, as I love you all, but Matthew Stafford, there may be some damage to his goods, on the inside of the skull tip, if you know what I mean. Keep your eye on him. He needs to be surrounded by Spirit Warriors, as he cannot be one himself. Weak men can be lifted to greatness, but they cannot get there on their own. He is a weak man. You can see it in his eyeballs.
#21: BUFFALO BILLS (5-8; down four from last week) – I have a friend who is a Bills fan, and his favorite player ever in the history of mankind existing on Earth is Marshawn Lynch. This weekend the Seahawks play the Bills and it has left him feeling conflicted, and ultimately sad that the Bills are never able to shift into Beast Mode as a franchise. I feel for him. It seemed like there was a chance for some Beast Modeliness with Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson and man the potential of C.J. Spiller, but it’s lost that shine, hasn’t it? Poor Bills fans. I feel for you. You will forever be known as the team that always lost the Super Bowl and whose best player ever stabbed motherfuckers.
#22: CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-6; down four from last week) – Redheaded dudes are already assholes, why would you make one wear an orange football jersey? That’s just asking for trouble.
#23: ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-9; up one from last week) – Somehow the Cardinals moved up one spot even though they got ass-kicked in ridiculous fashion. Congratulations Detroit Lions fans, you get to pla the Cardinals. Also sorry Detroit Lions fans, just as soon as you relegate yourself to thinking about draft position, the Lions will go on a tear. That’s called “sucks so bad they can’t even suck right,” although I guess 2008 proved they can suck right.
#24: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-8; up one from last week) – Haha Drew Brees playing the Brooklyn Brawler glorified jobber role this season, where the NFL falsely punished dudes for a Bountygate that never happened. Shit is so fucking fake they’re having a hard time keeping it straight now. And like Neil and I have said time and again, including very much in-depth in the football metaphysics book, the Bountygate punishments weren’t about somebody doing this or that so much as it was setting a newsworthy legal precedent where the NFL seemed to be caring about player safety in a dramatic perhaps over-bearing way. The NFL does not give a fuck about player safety – college football will continue to feed them meat. What the NFL cares about is legal liability, and if they establish that as soon as they were made aware of issues they were proactive, in fact over-reactive, to player safety issues, they establish they are not liable for the piles of twisted, maimed lives left behind their billion-dollar path towards success. That’s all it’s about. To think anything else is naïve.
#25: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-8; up two from last week) – In a perfect world, Norv Turner never existed. Neither did Philip Rivers.
#26: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-7; down three from last week) – Remember when I was telling you the Bucs weren’t that good and overrated in most power polls due to their inflated record? Now look at them, moving down everywhere else, but pretty much right where they always were here. That’s the different between actual science and just guessing about shit you are overreacting to from one weekend. As I’ve always said, Bucs are a bad football team with great fantasy team feeders.
#27: CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-8; down one from last week) – Little known facts about Brandon Weeden: 1) He played Triple-A baseball for the Chicago Cubs. 2) His great great uncle was a German chemist who was smuggled out of Nazi Germany to South America in Operation Paperclip. 3) He sometimes logs into his wife’s Pinterest account to look at things. 4) He calls marijuana “marijuana” which is always funny to hear somebody say. 5) I don’t know, make up some funny shit, I need to wrap this up because my work day is almost done.
#28: CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9; up two from last week) – My favorite thing about the Panthers is that little kid in the Play 60 commercial. I prefer to Play 69 personally. Because 69 is a number that represents the sexual position where a man and a woman have their heads at each other’s sexual organ. You get it? Then we play 69. But only with a woman. Not a dude. I’m not Jared Allen.
#29: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-9; same as last week) – Andy Reid and the Eagles, contrarian as fuck, winning win all hope is lost. I love Andy Reid. I hope that fucker is coaching the Bears next year, and wins a Super Bowl. Andy Reid and his big mustache would be perfect in Chicago. As for the Eagles, I don’t know man, my main question is will somebody give Mike Vick another chance to start? It’s gonna be pretty low in the NFL hierarchy if they do, or he can make the transition to high-profile back-up for questionable starter who is apt to get injured, like in Seattle or Denver or something. Or Mike Vick on the Patriots, man, can you imagine that, running the wildcat for Tom Brady?
#30: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-11; down two from last week) – I am so upset that my man Cecil Shorts got himself concussed because I was counting on that dude in fantasy foozball playoffs. I could really give a fuck about anything else related to the Jaguars. But props to them for being in the thick of the hunt for the number one pick in the draft, which doesn’t have the same luster as it did last year. Still though, the economy’s not that bad, I’m sure they can find something nice.
#31: OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-10; same as last week) – The Raiders are still the next to worst team in the NFL.
#32: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-11; same as last week) – The Chiefs are still the worst team. And now they play each other. CLASSIC RIVALRY!