T.G.I.'Friday' Wudder Sports Wild Card Weekend Celebration
We took Week 17 off from the prediction business.
It seemed like the prudent thing to do.
Some teams taking the field on the NFL's final full Sunday, seemed to feel the same way.
But we're back, bringing in the first weekend of 2018 in style, with the start of NFL postseason Saturday and Sunday, followed closely by the end of college football season Monday night.
In anticipation of our sports-viewing good fortune, Nostrabombus returns to the business of fortune-telling.
While doing so paying tribute to one of the greatest comedic masterpieces ever made, 1995's Friday.
Welcome to the next episode, the T.G.I.Friday Wudder Sports Wild Card Weekend Celebration.
You got knocked the fuck out, man! Give me my goddamn money...Payback's a motherfucker, ain't it?
Messy Marv and the Red Rifle
Few Head Coach/Quarterback combinations have been bigger whipping boys this decade than Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton.
Of course, there's good reason for that, since despite five playoff appearances since 2011, they've accumulated zero playoff W's.
But revenge, even in a lost football season, is a dish best served in the cold.
In front of 75,000 freezing, stunned and bitterly disappointed Ravens Fans, Baltimore watched a division rival, led by the defensive coordinator of their first Super Bowl (Lewis), coaching in what was said to be his last game collect an improbable W-into-a-contract-extension, after a thought-to-be-released-QB (Dalton) converted a 4th-and-12 from midfield that ended their squad's season.
I got mind control over Deebo. He be like "shut the fuck up." I be quiet. But when he leave, I be talking again.
Speaking of lost seasons, the 2017 Cleveland Browns took the concept to its apocalyptic conclusion, finishing 0-16.
"I don't think anybody else could've done this job" said Hue Jackson, following his team's sixteenth and final loss.
You lost every game that your squad played this season, my dude.
That means literally anyone could've done this job while finishing with an equal, or better, result.
Every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen. In the goddamn refrigerator. Eatin' up all the food. All the chitlins... All the pigs' feet... All the collard greens... All the hog maws. I wanna eat them chitlins... I like pigs' feet.
No active coach not named Bill Belichick is more tenured, or has won more playoff games, than our old friend Andy Reid.
To say Big Red remains hungry would seem to be a huge understatement, on multiple levels.
You can expect the CHIEFS (-9) to feast on the Titans of Tennessee, Saturday at Arrowhead.
He gonna cry in the car.
Look man, nobody wants the #1 overall pick in the 2017 draft to be good more than me.
Well, maybe Jerry and Bryan Colangelo, or Markelle's momma, but that's about it.
And yes, despite the gnawing feeling Lil' C must have, that Celtics GM Danny Ainge Deebo-d him for two first-rounders, plus his grandmomma's chain, all to take a player at #3 (Jason Tatum) he was gonna select anyway?
We hold out hope that when Fultz hits the court, he'll give the Sixers something they lack:
A guard that can get, take and make their own shot.
But it's a bit sad that good news is now considered having a slight chance to see action by Super Bowl Sunday.
Meanwhile even this week's encouraging sign of actually practicing, was slightly marred by him looking like Red running off to cry in his car.
Look, fellas. I asked nicely, but now I'm getting really irritated! For the last time, can you stay off my...frigging grass! Please?!
The Los Angeles Rams' Home Field Advantage at the L.A. Coliseum
Look, I love Los Angeles. It was my chosen home of 13 years until 2017, it may be home again one day in the future.
No disrespect to my season-ticket-holder friends (whattup, VVT and Dub Cee!) who welcomed football back this year with open arms.
But Rams Fans aren't Raider Fans. Or even Trojan Fans.
Maybe they will be one day, making LA a tough place to play, once they move to a stadium built for them next year.
Their return to the city at least makes more sense than whatever it is the Chargers are doing in Carson.
But if you give me nearly a TD, with the defending NFC champs, playing in the Coliseum against an exciting but inexperienced young team?
I'm taking Matty, Julio & the Dirty Birds (+5.5) in LA, then seeing if Jared Goff doesn't Stanley stumble off, while trying to get away.
Smokey, you know I ain't the smartest man in the world, but, from back here it look like you're takin a shit.
I caught a lot of heat from fellow Birds Fans back in 2013, for stating what I thought was obvious to most reasonable people with eyes:
Nick Foles, in the midst of the Biggest Statistical Anomaly Season in the History of Pro Sports, was a mirage.
By 2014, we'd seen how that turned out, as it became painfully clear he'd been a charmed cog in Chip Kelly's lightning-in-a-bottle, one-trick-pony NFL coaching career.
It only got worse for him from there, when he got sent to join Jeff Fisher and the Rams.
But with the arrival of the best young QB the Eagles ever had, MVP candidate Carson Wentz, Foles was quickly forgotten, and all was forgiven.
It was even a fun, quaint reminder when Foles, back in Philly in 2017 as a backup, would come in at the end of blowouts this season, like a Human Victory Cigar.
Then, ironically playing against the team they'd traded Foles, Wentz went down for the season on December 10th, shifting a season's fortunes irrevocably.
Suddenly, after a deceptively strong statistical day while eking out victory over a 2-win Giants team in Week 15, we're back to counting on, and arguing over, Nick Foles.
There's few things I might enjoy more than being right, but one of them, very high atop that list, is seeing the Eagles win a Super Bowl before leaving earth.
Sadly, with Taint Nick under center, it looks like we're again stuck on the outside trying to get in, like Smoke Dawg in an emergency.
So you can consider this paragraph, or December 12th's The Unbearable Flightness of Eagleing, as Nostrabombus' Ezel yell.
First of all, don't be callin' here like you some straight up "G", 'cause I'll cut your balls off and hand 'em to you, partner. I had to warn you too many times about my money, Smokey. You see, it's the principle of the whole thing. There's principalities in this.
The Buffalo Bills are probably one of the worst playoff teams in the field in quite some time.
But I'll be damned if they're bad enough to take Blake Bortles in a playoff game, laying nine.
Tyrod Taylor is a better QB, as is every starter in the playoffs, aside from possibly Nick Foles.
A banged-up Shady McCoy might take a horse-tranquilizer, or deer-antler spray, in order to be able to play in his first postseason game since Chip Kelly sent him up to NFL Siberia, as Buffalo makes its first playoff appearance since losing the Music City Miracle in 2000.
If the Bills manage to grab an early lead, and Bortles goes Bortles, they can win outright, let alone cover a nearly double-digit spread.
Older the berry, the sweeter the juice.
The two best quarterbacks in the NFC and AFC, respectively, are Drew Brees (who turns 39 in ten days) and Tom Brady.
Sure, that's more than likely because the Eagles' would-be MVP Carson Wentz is out, while Tom Brady along with his recently-banned-from-team-planes-guru/Cocoon-tonic-dealing-personal-trainer keep plugging along in a weak AFC, the fact remains: established vets win in the playoffs.
Cam Newton may not exactly a wet-behind-the-ears kid anymore.
But we'll take the SAINTS (-6) over the Panthers in the Superdome on Sunday, while Carolina's strategy of loading up to stop New Orleans' suddenly robust running game will backfire, in the form of forcing Brees to fire all over their somewhat overrated secondary.
Excuse me brother, what we call drugs at the 74th Street Baptist Church, we call a sinny sin sin.
We can't be sure what set Attorney General Jeff Sessions off this week, leading to his federal mandate rolling back state-voted legal marijuana laws. But here's guessing Sessions hearing former Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson broke ground on a Marijuana Ranch couldn't have helped.
We thought this guy was for state's rights?!? If the people of California say it's cool, we say let Kid Dynamite build his cannabith garden.
That's the beauty of it! I grab a dog, and I choke him, and I kick the shit out of him!
All day long, my foot up a dog's ass! Just bang-bang-bang up his ass! That's my pleasure.
Some things just aren't that complicated.
Head Coach Nick Saban has made mince-meat out of the Georgia Bulldogs in two different SEC stops, first as coach of LSU and more recently (seen above) at Alabama.
In that time he's also gone undefeated against his old assistants, winning five national titles, while Georgia hasn't sniffed the big prize since when Herschel Walker was hunting down the Heisman.
The Crimson Tide team face off against longtime-assistant-now-Georgia-head-coach Kirby Smart, with Jalen Hurts (24-2 as a starter at BAMA) pitted against freshman Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm.
The DAWGS winning their first national title since the Jimmy Carter Administration, in the state where the 93-year-old 39th President's family peanut farm was based, would make for a nice story.
But under the foot of an elephant, a bulldog might very well be stomped upon like a discarded shell.
We'll take BAMA (-3.5) over UGA, even in ATL.
Keep Their Heads Ringin'
The soundtrack cut Smokey memorably bangs in his hooptie in Friday en route to the store is "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" by Dr. Dre.
Monday's National Title halftime features a performance by another Compton-legend-in-the-making, Dr. Dre protégé Kendrick Lamar.
So stick around after the second quarter gun sounds, because you never know when Kung Fu Kenny might next go viral.
Speaking of soundtracks, Marvel announced this week that Kendrick & TDE will be curating the upcoming Black Panther soundtrack, out 2/16.
The top album artist of 2017 looks to be keeping their heads ringing, and coming out swinging, in 2018.
"I Got Five On It" Wild Card Weekend five-game prediction re-cap:
CHIEFS (-9) over Titans
Falcons (+5.5) over RAMS
Bills (+9) over JAGS
SAINTS (-6.5) over Panthers
BAMA (-3.5) over GEORGIA
Nostrabombus Regular Season Record: 36 Wins, 25 Losses
Finally, we can't have a TGIF Wudder Sports without saluting 2016 Hall of Famer, and City Line Avenue T.G.I.Friday's Legend, Allen Iverson.
Have a good weekend, everybody, it's Wild Card Weekend. Hope you find somewhere to raise a glass and scarf down half-price apps.