NEW YORK, NY – That loud hissing sound you’re hearing is all the air being let out of the “Holiday Season” balloon. Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Years, whatever. To paraphrase Billy Shakespeare: Now is the winter of our discontent. Here in the Northeast, and particularly in New York, the next couple of months are nothing but gray skies, bitter cold, and winds that cut through you like an icy buzzsaw. The Giants are out of their misery, the Jets are who we thought they were (™Dennis Green), and there’s truly nothing to look forward to until April, and that’s only if you’re a lousy front-running pinstriped palooka Yankees fan. For the rest of us REAL people, it’s a heaping helping of suffering soufflé. But, not to worry, I’m here today to write, write, and write some more. I’m gonna write so much you’re gonna have to take a whole bunch of bathroom breaks. You think it’s tough getting through some lousy 500-word piece on rugby in Papua New Guinea? You ain’t seen nothing yet (™Bachman-Turner Overdrive). Buckle up, dummies. I’m going for the MTM Guinness World Record.
NFL Playoffs. The NFL playoffs start this next weekend and feature a bunch of crappy teams that have no shot at winning the Super Bowl and maybe a couple that have a prayer. Anyway, here’s a quick look at who’s in and what to expect.
Buffalo Bills. Once every 20 years or so Western New York feels hope. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those years. But still, in Buffalo, just getting into the playoffs is like getting into the Homecoming Queen’s pants. Enjoy!
Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are awful. Trust me. Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian is a USC loser who has absolutely cut the balls off Julio Jones and Co.
Tennessee Titans. Please.
Carolina Panthers. With owner Jerry Richardson on the way out, how far will the battle cry “Win one for the racist” go in this locker room.
Kansas City Chiefs. A potentially high-octane offense in the hands of the most vanilla quarterback since Wade Wilson and a ham-fisted head coach. Sure, this will work.
New Orleans Saints. Who Dat? The Saints lost their final game to Tampa Bay. That’s who dat.
Jacksonville Jaguars. Tom Coughlin is back in the playoffs. Jacksonville vs. Buffalo wildcard weekend should garner lower ratings than “Who’s the Boss” reruns in Togo.
Los Angeles Rams. Doogie Howser fixing the Rams is one helluva Hollywood script.
Pittsburgh Steelers. Watch out for the Steelers… and not just because their QB is a rapist.
Minnesota Vikings. This is the year. Just ask my friend JG Clancy. This will be the year that the Vikings absolutely top themselves when it comes to torturing their long-long-long-suffering fans. Whether it’s early or hosting the Super Bowl, the Vikes will outdo themselves when it comes to doing something “so Vikings.” I don’t know what it will be but, rest assured, this will be their crowning achievement. Also, they WILL win the Super Bowl next year.
New England Patriots. Trust me, Belichick almost wants Brady to get hurt so he can show everyone how he can win a SB with Brian Hoyer.
Philadelphia Eagles. If Nick Foles wins a championship this year, we’ll know for sure that is was Joe Pendleton (look it up) in his body making all the plays.
…here’s some more stuff
Matt Harvey. Ran into a neighbor of mine on the elevator, who happens to be a Mets fan. He asked me how I thought they would do this year. I said, “lousy.” I don’t like to mince words in the elevator. He brought up Matt Harvey’s name and we both agreed that he’s nothing more than Yankees trash masquerading as a Met. He needs to get healthy, have a decent year, and then get traded the hell out of Flushing. Of course, it won’t happen like this because, y’know, it’s the Mets. Still, the sooner Harvey is somewhere else, the better. That guy who used to play third base (don’t say his name, it’s like summoning Candyman!) needs to call it a career as well.
Harbaugh Feeling Blue. Congrats to jerk-face Jim Harbaugh for leading his alma mater Michigan Wolverines to the only Bowl loss for the Big Ten this year. Gotta be proud. Undoubtedly, Harbaugh is blaming everyone but himself and already looking for another place to land. Maybe not. But there’s a whole hell of a lot of NFL coaching jobs opening and I could see him taking his dockers back to the pros, where he can annoy people on a larger scale, and sometimes even on Thursday nights.
No Mas Cheesecake. Look, I’m the first to admit that I (mostly) shirk responsibilities when it comes to supplying images and video for my posts on this site. But, even when I do, “Management” usually finds a way to include photos of scantily-clad cheerleaders or ice girls or other young beauties. I like beautiful women in suggestive poses as much as the next aging well-under-the-radar sports blogger, but think we can stand to take the foot off the gas when it comes to these photos. This isn’t so much in response to the #metoo movement as it is to years of being told to take it easy on the language here. It’s about consistency and moderation. Whoa, I’m getting dizzy up on this soapbox. Lemme down.
New York Rangers. Ha! You thought I was gonna write about the Rangers? C’mon, that is strictly Different Matt’s territory. Tune in every other Saturday, will ya?
Odd Couple and Honeymooners. It gets overlooked, maybe because it’s strictly a NYC thing, but The Odd Couple and Honeymooners marathons that run starting New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day are as good a holiday-viewing tradition as 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS and TNT.
College Football Playoffs. Wow, that Georgia/Oklahoma Rose Bowl game, right? How about Alabama/Clemson? Georgia vs. Alabama for the College Football Championship. It’s a veritable Red State college pigskin orgy. Take that, Liberal Elites!
The NBA is NOT Fantastic. Basketball fans, you are being scammed. Like every other sport, it’s all about “the merch,” but devoting months and money to watching teams that have no chance to win anything is a sucker’s bet. I know this applies to other sports as well, but basketball isn’t an exactly “any given Sunday” type experience. The season is long. The tickets are expensive. The playoffs are not “one and done.” There’s around 5 or 6 teams with a chance. Figure out who they are. Then figure out if you’re being fleeced.
2018 is Gonna Suck. Trust me. But just keep on keepin’ on.
Predictions. Sports Illustrated made a meal out of the fact that they “predicted” the Houston Astros would win the 2017 World Series. Our own DJ Eberle makes predictions at such a breakneck pace that he can’t help but crow when the Cavaliers win a NBA title or the Bills make the playoffs. Never mind when your success percentage hovers around 13 percent, just keep predicting. When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Here we go… Russia will win ZERO gold medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics. I will be working for Deadspin by the end of the year, making less than I do here. Laurie Metcalf will win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Lady Bird. There will be a Meet The Matts holiday party. The Meet the Matts Holiday Party will be at Bourbon Street on 46th Street in NYC. DJ Eberle will comment on this post. Cheesy Bruin will bail on the Dallas Cowboys and become a Detroit Lions fan. The New York Giants will hire Jim Schwartz, who will win just enough games to coach another horrible year. Bitcoin will replace tickets at Chuck E. Cheese. It’s gonna be cold tomorrow.
I don’t want to end it here, but I have to leave the bar sufficiently low to, eventually, top myself. Hope this finds everyone living both the best of times and the blurst* of times (*see The Simpsons). Buddy Diaz will be back tomorrow to make you believe that the Eagles and Knicks are gonna be alright, and other magic sh!t like that.