Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pick Em Week 17

(For Pick Em Standings -- week-by-week and YTD -- click here.)


Not much more needs to be said heading into this week.  Stupid, stupid Forty  Ah well, there's always next year, right?  One swing game this week, and that's me in the Cincy/Baltimore game.  I honestly think that Cincy is going to choke after knocking us out of the playoffs as well as get cocky after reaching the post-season two years in a row for the first time in 30 years.  Which really puts things in perspective.  I gave that a lot of thought after spending the holidays in Eagles country and came to a conclusion:

Steelers fans are really, really spoiled.

The Bungles are jumping for joy after getting there two years in a row.  The Eagles fans have been enduring years of up and down torment.  Some fans support a team that's never even gone to the Super Bowl.  Yet, we in Steelers country - who rarely have to endure two years in a row not going to the post season - are crying in our beers after this bummer of a season.  I've even heard people calling for Tomlin to get fired.

Calm down, people.  It's not the end of the world - it just feels like it right now.  Simply take this feeling, put it in a box, look at it for a moment - realizing that this is how Cleveland fans feel all the time - and just hold on to the fact that Power season is right around the corner.


Lock of the Week (Keller): San Francisco over Arizona (I think that this one could get ugly, with Jim Harbaugh running up the score to impress the poll voters, so take the points and the over): 42-14. 

Jim Harbaugh is mad that his team got smoked in Seattle last week and the 49ers will have a shot at the #2 seed in the NFC.  They kick off at the same time as the Packers, but Harbaugh will make sure that there is no scoreboard watching.  He knows that he can win some points in the coach's poll and improve his BCS ranking with a big win on Sunday.

Seriously, though, San Francisco will play angry and Steelers West has nothing left to play for, which means BIG advantage 49ers.

Lock of the Week (Weidman): San Fran over Arizona (Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, yeah, Points and Over):  
Holy baked beans with marshmallows, 16.5 favorites?  How can I not take that line?  AZ is basically the Honey Badger right now, and not in a good way.  This is the point where they return to the days of old where they aren't even aware that the league ever expanded to a 16 game season.  Nothing to play for, nothing left in the tank, and not an ounce of give-a-f-   Er, I'm saying they are out of it.  Meanwhile, they're playing against someone who likes to run up the score.  Also, #StupidForty.

Lock of the Week (Forty): Denver over Kansas City 28-10 (The Broncos are favored by 17, that's just crazy. However, I it's in the realm of possibility and with a spread that high you probably want to take the 42 over.)

I hate to take the same Lock team two weeks in a row, but Denver is the best team with something left to play for against the worst opponent. If Denver wins, they get the number two playoff spot. If they win and Houston loses to the Colts (very possible) the Broncos get the top playoff seed. There's a big difference between a week of rest and two games at home compared to no rest and possibly having to win two on the road to get to the Super Bowl. Denver's going to play everybody and open a huge lead, then coast in the second half. The Chiefs will let them, because what do they have to play for? Pride is even out the door for them at this woeful point. Might as well go all in on getting the top draft pick.

Meet the "Experts":

Brad "QBERT" Keller is the inventor and sole proprietor of the QBERT (Quantitative BERT jones is awesome) system for rating quarterbacks. Using this innovative approach and working tirelessly part time breaking down film and finding angles inside the angles, he has mastered the art of picking and handicapping NFL games. With an expanded playing field this season, he's anxious to defend his title against a formidable group of experts that... hey, you know what? He can beat these two jokers, right? No problem. Because he has a foolproof system.

"Arena" Weidman's prime qualification for this contest is that he's spent more than a decade watching Steelers games with Keller while drinking. Because of this, most of his picks might seem like they were done while drunk, but that's just a facet of how he gets into "recall mode."  A devoted follower of the Arena Football League, Weidman's NFL world view is colored through this lens. Because of this, he possesses strong opinions on why more people should go to Power games and how the the Cardinals should really be using the Rattlers as a farm team.  Mainly, he just has trouble with the field being way too big.

Leonard "Forty" Hayhurst earned his nickname for his ability to grow the facial hair of a 40-year-old man at the age of 16, not his ability to pound 40s of King Cobra, but there's that too. He owns the largest collection of Drew Bledsoe memorabilia in the world (five items would be the largest, right?). He feels for Cleveland Browns fans because when he started rooting for a 2-14 club in the New England Patriots, they eventually won three Super Bowls. Then Steelers fans brag about how they have six Super Bowl wins, to which Leonard says they would have had eight if the Patriots hadn't beaten them twice in the AFC Championship game. They then mumble something about Franco Harris and walk away.

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