NEW YORK, NY – The NFL regular season has finally come to a less-than-merciful end, at least for a Vikings fan like me. Not only did my team play awful enough to conjure up fond memories of the Les Steckel Era, they also played just well enough (3-13) to remove themselves from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. On top of this, Adrian Peterson’s knee now resembles some ill-conceived Lady Gaga meat frock. On the plus side, the NFL’s answer to Groucho Marx, Zygi Wilf, hasn’t moved the team to LA… yet. Now I know how Rams fans feel when they think about their prospects for the upcoming season. Eh, what’s the use? Let’s take a look at this weekend’s playoff games.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans. Two of the crummiest cities in America square off in the battle to decide which is better: a team led by a third-string quarterback or one with a red-haired signal caller. Other story-lines to watch in this game include: Will Andre Johnson’s hamstrings survive the walk from his sideline craftmatic adjustable bed to the huddle? Can Cedric Benson stay out of jail until Saturday? And, is “Houston Texans” the most unimaginative team name in all of professional sports? (Perhaps we should start calling the Giants and Jets, the New Jersey New Yorkers?) Anyway, who wins this contest in anybody’s guess. But guesswork sounds like work, and we hate work, so we’ll pass on this one.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints. Vegas oddsmakers have set the over/under for this game at 203 1/2 points, with the over/under for Ndamukong Suh personal foul penalties just a hair lower. Just when you thought that Drew Brees couldn’t play any better, he faces a defense that made someone named Matt Flynn look like Slingin’ Johnny Elway Unitas Marinoshaw. On the other side of the ball, Saints defenders have agreed to spot Calvin Johnson five touchdowns, just so long as they don’t have to cover him. This one has all the markings of one of those contests decided by the team that scores last, but we think it will be won by the team that scores most. Heart pick: Lions. Head pick: Saints.
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants. The Giants game plan is simple, have Tom Coughlin angrily stare at Falcon’s quarterback Matt Ryan until it conjures images of that curmudgeonly old man who found 9-year-old Matty Ice’s football in his flower bed and wouldn’t give it back. Failing that, the G-Men will simply make believe they are playing one of the Ryan brothers and keep feeding the ball to Victor “Salsa Superman” Cruz, as he continues his unlikely assault on Anthony Munoz’s longstanding record as the greatest Latino football player in the universe; Falcs tight end Tony Gonzalez long having given up his pursuit. We’re not sure if Atlanta rookie wideout Quintorris Lopez “Julio” Jones is Hispanic, but he sure sounds like a contender for that title as well. Pick: Giants.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos.With the Steelers defense planning to hump him up, down, and every which way all over the field, Sunday could be the day that Timmy Tebow finally loses his cherry. Tebow Time and touchdown-genuflecting will instead be replaced by a classy post-coital cigarette. (Do people still do this? Who came up with the idea of sparking up a cancer stick as a way to punctuate a good f**k session anyway? Why not split a meatball sub or something?) Speaking of forced intercourse, Pittsburgh’s resident rape artist Ben Roethlisberger has already booked the Kobe Bryant Suite at the opulent Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle County Colorado, so lock up your 19-year-old hotel employees, folks. Pick: Steelers.
See ya next week… maybe. Check out Lori Levine tomorrow!