Week 13 Quick Six NFL Picks + Six Seattle Songs From Six Different Decades
Seasonal Salutations, Wudder World!
It’s been a minute, two weeks to be precise, since we last chopped it up here.
Life and holidays happen, as do writing assignments for other outlets:
Speaking of, you can peep our latest #WUTANGSGIVING installments for Mass Appeal, or our return to Albumism with a review of Bjork’s latest, and stay tuned for a rare off-season feature for OCNJ Daily coming this holiday season.
But back to your regularly scheduled program.
But we’re back on our grizzy for Week 13 action, with a six-pick of picks.
For an added bonus, as birds take flight in Seattle on Sunday Night, we give you six strong Seattle songs, across six different decades of music in that fine city. We thank its artists for their contribution, while hoping Philly departs tonight with a win.
Detroit Lions at BALTIMORE RAVENS
M&T Bank Stadium, 1 PM Eastern
Line: Ravens by 3
Outlook: To say both these teams leave much to be desired is putting it mildly. Both feature quarterbacks being paid like franchise QB’s that aren’t really that.
Unlike Stafford who's been solid, Joe Flacco has been barely serviceable this season. Or so I’m told, by the NFL pundits, along with all my Baltimore Ravens-watching friends. Since Audubon Green Wave alumnus *South Jersey accent* Jooooe Flaaccoooo has apparently been brutal, I’ve done my best to avert my eyes and watch as little Ravens football as possible.
Some things I’d just rather not see. Including watching a former Super Bowl MVP, with the most authentic South Jersey accent in professional sports, whose grandfather was my old man’s first boss at RCA in Camden, stink up the joint.
I have caught a little bit more of Detroit, including losing a Thanksgiving wager on the Lions/Vikings game to my five-year-old nephew Sammy. More on him later.
Bottom line, the Ravens are still a pretty good home team and the Lions season is over. So I’ll hold my breath and summon up some Charm City karma for this one.
Nostrabomus Pick: The team with the Poe-inspired name plays less poorly.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1 PM Eastern
Line: Vikings by 2 ½
Outlook: I’m gonna just come out and say it. I’m not buying the Vikings. Mostly because I’m not a believer in Case Keenum as a quarterback or leader of a crew. Let’s see what happens when this dude gets down early, in ATL where last year’s league MVP Matty Ice has a pristine record and Julio Jones is gathering steam.
In December, a team’s motivation comes into play. The Vikings are a game back from the Eagles for the NFC’s best record, but they might as well be two back with the tie-breaker. And I’m not sure the Eagles lose two more games, while the Vikes could lose here or next week in Charlotte fairly realistically. They’ll at least drop one of that pair. Might as well start here, with the defending NFC Champion Dirty Birds beginning to hit late season stride, while needing this to stay in the playoff mix, and being a rare home dog for the first time in ages.
Nostrabombus Pick: ATLiens
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets
MetLife Stadium, 1 PM
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Line: Chiefs by 3
Outlook: This game started the week at KC by 5 or 5.5 in places. But much like the Chiefs in these past five weeks, it quickly began sinking like a stone. Yet this is still the Jets were talking about. And Andy Reid isn’t going to lose two games in the same Jersey stadium in a two-week period while his team remains in first place.
And if he does, Big Red better sit Alex Smith and go with the kid.
Note to Andy, you shoulda done what we predicted you’d do, as we stood in the crowd on the Ben Franklin Parkway at the NFL Draft, upon hearing you traded up.
And that was, of course, draft Deshaun Watson. It made way too much sense.
But if Smith struggles in the first half this Sunday against the sorry-ass Jets, then it’s time to pull him for Patrick Mahomes like you once did Doug Pederson-for-Donovan McNabb back in Week 11 of 1999. If nothing else, getting in there will help ready him for next year when you plan to start him from Day One.
Nostrabombus Pick: the Kool-Aid Man with the plan.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Superdome. 4:25 PM Eastern/3:25 PM N’awlins Time
New Orleans, Louisiana
Line: Saints by 6
Outlook: This game opened at 4 and has been a House of Rising Sum since Mon.
The Saints have really turned their season around, which was looking very bleak after the first few weeks. They now stand at 8-3. Out of all potential Eagle playoff opponents, they’re probably the team that currently most scares me.
That being said, the Panthers were the last team the Birds were scheduled to face that I thought had any chance to beat the Eagles, until this weekend.
And quietly, the Panthers have clawed their way to 8-3 as well.
Cam Newton is closer to being himself than Drew Brees currently is.
I thought Luke Kuechly might have been done after what Barret Brooks did to him on Thursday Night Football against the Eagles back in October.
Yet he returned a couple weeks later, somehow passing concussion protocol, and last week won the fifth NFC Player of the Week award of his career.
I’m not sure the Panthers win here, but I think they ugly it up and keep it close.
Nostrabombus Pick: Cat Scratch Fever
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field, 8:30 PM Eastern/5:30 Pacific Northwest
Line: Eagles by 4
Outlook: My feelings on this game have vacillated quite a bit this week. The line in Vegas has as well. It started at Eagles by 2 ½ or 3, then eventually climbed up to 5 ½ or 6 late in the week. Then after all the reports came out telling us that number was the most a road team has been favored in Seattle since Russel Wilson was a rookie in 2012, folks hopped off Philly’s love train and took the Hawks. As of early Sunday, it’s settled at 4.
At the beginning of the season, maybe even close to the mid-point, this felt like a scheduled loss in Pacific Northwest land in front of the 12th man. But in Week 13 the Philadelphia Eagles are looking for their 11th win in 12 tries. They're playing a Seattle defense missing Cam Chancellor and Richard Sherman.
The Seahawks just signed former Seahawk Legion of Boom member and Eagle free-agent bust Byron Maxwell off a scrap heap to play corner. 2017 MVP candidate Carson Wentz seeking revenge for the beating he took last season in Seattle. Making the hated and faded Max into the mark might be a good start.
Things are looking up for our Birds, even though Seattle needs this one way more.
Russell Wilson scares me. But nobody else on this offense, especially along the line or in the backfield, really does. And in another Sunday Night Football special, against a secondary that currently isn’t, Carson might put together the kind of signature performance his team will need, since it’s still tough to run on SEA’s D.
Nostrabombus Pick: Fly Eagles Fly, on the road to Vic-to-ry.
I had to check in with my man from Seattle, Nick Scotti, texting live from the beer garden outside the stadium before heading in, his thoughts below in italics:
I'd be a lunatic to think Seattle is going to win tonight. I wouldn't be surprised if SEA gets their tits lit. That said, it's prime time, where Pete and RW3 rarely lose, especially at home. While that used to mean much more before this season, they'll be up for it.
This will be hands down the biggest test yet for Wentz.
#54 (Bobby Wagner) is the best linebacker in the NFL.
Earl is, Earl.
And the defensive front is only matched by the guys they're playing tonight.
Should be low scoring but a lot of fun.
Cheers, hoping for a good game, you guys look like world beaters.
This is their first legit test in two months, outside Carolina if that's in the window. I want Wentz to go at Maxwell early and often.
Maxwell won't be on an island.
The rookie (Shaquill Griffen) might, which sounds backwards.
But kid is a stud, another John Schnieder (SEA GM) gem in the draft (90th overall pick).
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium, 8:30 PM Eastern
Line: Steelers by 5
Outlook: Another week, another unimpressive Monday Night Football match-up. Look at the dreck this league is churning out weekly, on what used to be the biggest evening for this sport. Thinking back to MNF as a flagship franchise feels as far away now as a Bengal playoff win.
Marvin Lewis is still in Cincy, ten years past when he would be anywhere else.
Mike Tomlin has had the Steelers starting to shape up like his hair, though Ben Rapistburglar is now a Jeckyl-and-Hyde-like version of himself.
The Steelers have a chance to drive the dagger through the heart of another non-playoff-game winning Bengals season, while keeping Pitt in the thick of it.
Antonio Brown has been downgraded to questionable, and AJ Green was upgraded to probable. Those two statuses favor the Bengals, just not enough to make us wanna select the Red Rider BB Gun in this one.
Nostrabombus Pick: BlackAndYellowBlackAndYellowBlackAndYellow
Nostrabombus Week 11 Record: 5-1
Nostrabombus Season Record: 30-19
Now onto the musical portion, six strong Seattle artist songs, one from each decade since the sixties.
Jimi Hendrix ‘Little Wing’ (1968)
One of the finest 2 1/2 minutes in music, with a fade-out on the solo that makes you wonder what could've been, like Bo Jackson’s career.
But who’s complaining? What's here is perfect.
And Stevie Ray Vaughn sorta took up the mantle for what he thought happened afterwards, with his instrumental version fifteen years later.
Jimi Hendrix, nearly fifty years since his death, remains arguably the benchmark for both rock guitarists and Seattle artists, despite having just over three years of recording under his own name. That’s insane.
Heart ‘Straight On’ (1978)
The Wilson Sisters may not be the Williams Sisters in terms of legacy or impact, but they’re Hall of Famers in the sport they play just the same.
And this little rocker is a bit funkier, less Zeppelin-y, plus played less incessantly, on classic-rock radio, than “Barracuda”, “Crazy on You”, or “Magic Man”.
Ann & Nancy’s harmonies are perfect and the driving guitar lick throughout sounds a bit like Steely Dan’s on “Josie”. Both dropped in ’78, so who knows, or cares, which band got to it first. In either case, it works.
Sir-Mix-a-Lot ‘My Posse’s On Broadway’ (1988)
An early Yo! MTV Raps staple, and America’s introduction to Seattle hip-hop, back when the mainstream had no earthly idea what hip-hop was yet.
“Baby Got Back” a few years later became a far bigger hit.
But for a 12-year-old who had Swass on cassette, “Posse On Broadway” will forever remain the Sir-Mix-a-Lot sweet spot.
I still break into the iconic “me and Kid Sensation, at home away from home, in the black Benz limo with the cellular phone” opening line on occasion.
Nirvana ‘Scentless Apprentice' on MTV Live & Loud (1993)
I remember where I was when I watched this performance live on MTV on a family vacation on New Year’s Eve, after my parents and little sister had gone to bed, much in the same fashion of the Thanksgiving night I first saw “Teen Spirit”.
New Year’s Eve in Seattle at a venue called Pier 48 was a quadruple-turned-triple-bill, with The Breeders up first, followed by Cypress Hill, and then an extended headlining set by Nirvana, after Eddie Vedder bowed out of Pearl Jam’s set last-minute with the flu.
Full disclosure, I never dug Pat Smear of The Germs as Nirvana’s second-guitarist.
Kurt loved looking out to get older, lesser known artists a check off his fame (see: Meat Puppets, The Raincoats, The Vaselines, Daniel Johnston, The Melvins, etc).
Which is admirable.
But Smear was primarily there to fill in gaps for Cobain. Because by that time he was too out of his brain to sing, plus play rhythm and lead guitar, for full shows.
The biggest exception where the Smear addition worked was this performance.
“Scentless Apprentice” sent adolescent me to Borders Books, to buy Patrick Süskind’s Perfume that year, after Cobain claimed its lyrics were inspired by it.
This version hits harder than any other I’ve heard before or since.
An engaged and in good spirits Cobain locks in with Smear and Chris Novoselic, while Dave Grohl pummels his drum kit.
This was the last show in Seattle before leaving for an ill-fated European tour that would result in Cobain OD-ing in Rome, surviving, finishing the tour, returning to the U.S. in March, going to rehab in LA, breaking out, then returning to Seattle solo and being dead by April.
Modest Mouse ‘Parting of the Sensory’ (2007)
On the heels of their biggest-selling and cheeriest album (Good News For People Who Love Bad News), Seattle-now-turned-Portland-based Modest Mouse followed with a decidedly darker album (We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank) some found beguiling. But while the album is inconsistent, it features at least four or five of their best songs ever to me.
“Parting of the Sensory” is definitely included in that.
Front man Isaac Brock is at his most cynically poetic, and unflinchingly realistic.
Almost every multi-layer, life-surmising lyric is a quotable:
A lifelong walk to the same exact spot
Someday you will die and somehow something's gonna steal your carbon
Aw, fuck it, I guess we lost
All the while tension builds, before unleashing a madcap left-turn coda.
Freeway & Jake One ‘Escalators’
Were you expecting Macklemore?
If we’re selecting a white Seattle-based hip-hop artist, we ride in a white van with Jake-One.
To round out the Seattle/Philly action, we highlight his decade-long musical relationship with Philadelphia's own Freeway, of Roc-a-fella fame.
Their synergy is reminiscent of a North West/North East version of Run The Jewels North East/South East, tho with less buzz or tour revenue.
Thanks for reading, hope everybody is having a great first weekend of December.
Stay tuned all month for our annual wrap-ups (Top 17 Albums & Singles of 2017, Year's Best/Worst, The Wudder's 5 Most Clicked, etc.) to go along with additional sports, music, story time and more.
Much Love. Go Birds.