Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 NFL Wildcard Weekend Picks

I carried a reputation from childhood into adulthood as a 'picky eater,' because I am a picky eater. For three years, I promised to try lobster on the yearly week-long trip to Wildwood, NJ. Every spring, I announced my intention to NOT try lobster. One year, I made the announcement on my old podcast. My late brother used to bribe me with a quarter so I'd eat my personal pan pizza or any other meal I had (the personal pan pizza stands out in my memory). My other brother pleaded with me to branch out and try new things. One summer evening in NYC, I tried Thai food. By try, I nibbled and then my dad took me over to Pizza Box for a couple of slices. Friends would concoct a plan to get me to a restaurant where I'd have to eat something I wouldn't normally eat.

So, last Friday, I ordered Fried Green Beans with cucumber-wasabi sauce at the awful TGI Friday's. A new year approached. I vowed that 2013 would be a good year, full of change and personal growth, and so I decided to dip a fried green bean in the cucumber-wasabi sauce. The taste hit my tongue. I enjoyed it, had more, and sat back satisfied (well, as I satisfied as any person can dining in at TGI Friday's). I paid for my choice to branch out and try new things. The night went on. I had trouble talking. I struggled to swallow. I burped all night. I felt like utter shit from 10:30PM until 7PM Saturday night. The backlash seemed to end Sunday. Of course, I got SICK. Coughing fits started to occur, my throat was sore, and my nose intermittently ran. I blamed the wasabi sauce the entire team, regardless if I actually got sick from leaving an overheated Electric Factory to stand idly while a friend and lady friend smoked while a cold, sharp rain fell and a man's wind blew. Whenever I'm asked to try something, I'll refer to the wasabi night and follow that with "THIS happened." This being what happened night of and day after, and my lingering sickness.

Anyway, it's playoff time. I beat Dunk in regular season picks. I finished week 17 13-3, the closest I got to perfection all season. Alas, perfection eludes me. The goal for the playoffs is a perfect overall record, which never happens for me. I'm being foolish with wildcard weekend. See, I'm backing ALL home teams.

Houston over Cincinnati

-I read a piece about the Eagles allowing the most points off of turnovers. I learned the Bengals rank in the bottom five of that category. A team's biggest weakness tends to show up at the worst possible moment in the post-season. Houston's defense is opportunistic, and the way Watt jumps at the snap could cause Dalton to throw a costly pick. Houston beat Cincy last January with TJ Yates starting. Cincy has played really well for two months, but the regular season's a horrible thing to go by when picking playoff games. I picked Cincy last year and Yates made me look like a fool. Cincy's front seven is great. Their offense complements the defense. They're capable of beating Houston. The Texans shouldn't get dismissed because of the overtime games against Jacksonville and Detroit or the way they ended the season. A couple weeks ago they beat Indy convincingly. The Texans finally have Matt Schuab for a playoff game, a solid defense, and a monster receiver. They're not going to blow this. Cincy's one-and-done again.

Green Bay over Minnesota

-Green Bay is the 3 seed because of the loss to Seattle, but they're the 3 seed because they also lost to the Vikings on Sunday and started the season poorly. The Packers were in control of their playoff road and got beat. The conversation surrounding the Packers' seeding reminds me of a passage in William Shakespeare's King Lear:

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
 when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit
of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star! My
father compounded with my mother under the
dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa
major; so that it follows, I am rough and
lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am,
had the maidenliest star in the firmament
twinkled on my bastardizing. 

Aaron Rodgers should've uttered that monologue in his post-game press conference. Sports writers would've LOVED that. Seriously, a bad call affected a game but it's not the lone bad call that affected a game's outcome this season. We just don't notice the other times it happens, because it happens in the middle of a quarter of the first half, and then we forget by the last two minutes of the quarter (NFL games are terribly long). Green Bay will win because Rodgers is better than Ponder. The Associated Press can't convince me the Vikings will walk into Lambeau and leave with a victory. Mike Vick broke the Lambeau playoff myth in 2001(or 2?) and Eli destroyed it in 2007. The AP published pieces about Ponder being the REAL reason the Vikings are a playoff team. Today, The AP published a piece on the Vikings offensive coordinator's inventiveness. The Vikings' success is amazing; I agree. Rodgers has reliable receivers to throw to. Ponder doesn't.

Baltimore over Indianapolis

-Experienced team versus inexperienced team; experienced team usually wins. The Colts' story has been great, and folk want a Hollywood ending for it. Of course, Hollywood's in the business of escapism. If movies were truly like real life, people wouldn't watch movies. Life is unfair, often shitty, and totally confusing. This is a Colts team whose defense was praised despite allowing 200 yards on the ground a couple weeks ago and it was because they had scrappers and undrafted free agents on the field. If Peter King had control of the playoffs, the Colts would win in the most boring and predictable way possible, like a final seconds Hail Mary throw to Peyton Manning who'd just flown in and signed on as a wide receiver. Besides Luck and Wayne, the Colts aren't great. If Baltimore hits Luck and shuts down Wayne, it'll be tough for them to win.

Washington over Seattle

-The pick isn't so stupid when one considers Washington's a playoff team, too, but one without a great defense; however, Griffin III is better than Wilson, but Lynch is better than Morris. The Rams slowed the Seahawks down on Sunday, but the Rams slow every NFC West team down. Seattle bulldozes the 49ers and Cardinals and other non-NFC West teams. Washington's defense is set up to be scored upon early and often. They're not dynamic and won't create chaos for Wilson. I suppose I'm thinking the home field will push the Redskins over, and that RG3's knee will have healed enough for him to make dazzling plays that leaves Pete Carroll's mouth hanging wide open.

Overall Playoff Record: 0-0
Regular Season Record: 152-103


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.