If you think political talk radio is a brutal place, you should try sports talk radio. In the world of news talk, you have a biased hosed with a political agenda attempting to spin current events to make you see them his way. In the world of sports talk, you largely have a field of minds so jammed with statistics and dates that they are unable to form a point of view on anything other than a simple Vegas line, let alone manage to try to find a way to spin the event for the mindless masses who tune it. This can make listening to channels like Mad Dog Radio on Sirius and XM Radio an exercise in frustration. Yet it is an exercise that I perform almost daily, and occasionally I call in to try to straighten some of these guys out. My latest beef? The New York Knicks.
If you are wondering why I care about a National Championship game that did not involve my Miami Hurricanes, I can give you two good reasons. First, my girl is an Auburn fan, so I was pulling for them there. I'll explain that further in a minute. Second, I hate Nick Saban, so as an extension of that emotion I must also hate the Alabama Crimson Tide. This hatred was easy to pick up. After all, you're looking at a team named after a phytoplankton with an elephant for a mascot. They are also represented by a roll of toilet paper followed by a bottle of laundry soap. I hate laundry, and I'm not a big fan of human excrement either. Thus, everything came together quite nicely to make me an (almost) Auburn fan.
Now, back to my girl. Typically, I will not become the fan of a team simply because someone I am in a relationship with likes them. In fact, it is the exact opposite. I, after all, am a man. And as a man, I am a bigger sports fan than a woman. Hence, she is required to dump her team for mine, and I will then actively route against her former team just to make sure there is no negative reaction that would signify dissension in the ranks. But the lovely Ramona isn't a typical girl, so she is not treated typically, so I have allowed her Tigers into the fold, and I will deal with the conflict of interest whenever a match-up with my Hurricanes arises.
But as for now, all is good in the Parry house. So congratulations to the Auburn Tigers on their National Championship, congrats to Ramona on her team, and may the misery be felt for the entire year in Bama nation as they hear "Defending Champs" attached to their hated rival's name. Yes, victory is sweet. I'm sure Bama made it to a bowl of some sort this year, so they probably understand where I am coming from. I doubt it was a significant one, but it was probably still a bowl game. Perhaps they got to match up against Danville Area Community College in the Malt-O-Meal bowl or something. Perhaps they even won the Marshmallow Matey's Trophy or whatever the heck they give out. I'm sure it will look nice in the trophy case over there at the second best school in Alabama. Now, on to the NFL.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
First, let me say that the Ravens seem to have cleaned up their act quite a bit since the departure of Brian Billick. My disgust for them isn't nearly what it used to be, and they have a pretty impressive team this year. Impressive enough to go on the road and take out a rested Steelers team? Probably not. But it should be a close game and a good defensive battle. But in the end, I have to believe that the black and gold are up to the challenge. Pittsburgh 20 Baltimore 16.
Green Bay @ Atlanta
Yes, I was shocked that the Packers upset the Eagles. But I was even more shocked to hear how many "experts" are now calling them the team to beat. Seriously? What changed? The short answer would be the running game. Impressive job against Philadelphia. Yet they still needed 2 missed field goals by a 6 time all pro kicker to win the game. Props for the past, but reality for the future please? Atlanta is good, and they are at home. Green Bay will give them a run, but they will fall short. Atlanta 35 Green Bay 27.
Seattle @ Chicago
I know the Seabiscuits just took out the Aint's, but Chicago's defense will not be nearly as bad as New Orleans was on Saturday. In fact, most Powder Puff defenses won't be nearly as bad as the Saint's. I would love to pick the Hawks in this one, just for the potential irony of an NFC Championship game in Seattle, but reality is still ruling the day here. I know that Seattle beat the Bears earlier this year, but this lightning won't strike twice. Chicago 41 Seattle 13.
New York @ New England
I tossed this one around in my head a good bit. I was looking for a reason to pick the Jets, and I couldn't find it. I don't think that New England is a lock like many do, but they do have the home field advantage. Also, they do know how to win. That having been said, this Patriot's defense isn't nearly as good as many give it credit for. And their running hyphen back not only has a stupid name, but he is on the down side of average. Look for New England to struggle trying to run, and the Jets to struggle to shut Brady down. But in the end, I did find my one reason to pick the Jets. It's not a fair week if you don't pick at least one upset, right? New York 29 New England 24.
As always, you can feel free to bet on my picks the same way I feel free not to. This is for entertainment purposes only, but it is entertaining when I get hate mail from someone who lost on my picks.