Red’s Superb Owl Predictions 2022

Well fans, another NFL season comes to a close on Sunday with Superb Owl 56. Curious thing about the SB is that the average fan treats it as if there were no NFL champions prior that fateful day in January of 1967 when the Packers stomped the AFL Champion Chiefs in the “NFL-AFL World Championship Game.” So technically, the Packers were already the NFL Champions before the game began. That game was also played in Los Angeles at the venerable Coliseum. Although it drew a very respectable TV audience of 60 million, the stands were about half empty with fans being put off by the exorbitant $12 ticket price. The game was broadcast on CBS and NBC as networks for the two competing leagues. The game itself was competitive until halftime but a total snooze in the second half as the Chiefs looked overmatched. Rarely used Packers wideout Max McGee (who by his own admission was badly hungover from a night on the town) was the true star of the game catching 7 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. McGee had caught only 14 passes all season as the backup to Bowd Dowler. And it was not until Superb Owl 3 that the game took on that official moniker. But it is as if NFL Championships before the 1966 are discounted. There is no denying that the SB put the NFL on the road to the sports dominance that it enjoys today in the US (with a big assist of late from fantasy football), but do we really want to forget the hard earned championships of the Akron Pros (1920), Canton Bulldogs ((1922-23, Frankfort Yellow Jackets (1926) or Providence Steam Roller (1928) or the dominance of the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s – not to mention the 3 championships won by the Detroit Lions. Well, perhaps we do. Red for one has always found the very name Super Bowl to be more than just a little stupid but Red has been out of touch with popular opinion since Carter was president.

On to the game at hand:

Rams over Bengals.

Red doesn’t like this pick one bit, but he is of the mind that there will be a home-field advantage of sorts for the Rams. Realistically these days probably 80% of the crowd are corporate bigwigs, NFL hangers-on and other high muckety-mucks with the actual fans of the teams getting squeezed out or priced out. Note: tickets on the resale market are topping $50,000 in some cases. But being at home all week and playing in your home stadium has a plus. Not that the Rams have been all that great at home (5-3). And 4 of their 5 wins were against Jacksonville, Detroit, Seattle and Chicago. The only playoff team they beat in LA was the Bucs. In fact, during the regular season the Rams only beat two playoff teams – the Bucs again and the division rival Cardinals. And the Rams had a relatively easy playoff schedule with the sagging Cardinals, the overrated Bucs and the overachieving Niners. Red thinks the Rams chance rest entirely in the hands of the league’s best receiver this season – the incredible Cooper Kupp. If Kupp is over 110 yards receiving, the Bengals are in trouble. The smart money says that the Rams will make the Bengals account for the run and that will be the key. Red thinks that the Rams will throw early and often and use that to open up the running game if they get the lead. The Bengals should be able to contain the Rams running game unless they have to chase Kupp & Co. all over the field.

Meanwhile in Ohio, the Bengals were up an down in 2021 – putting together one 3 game win streak all season long – a convenient 3 game winning streak to end the season. They had 4 wins over playoff teams – Stealers twice, Raiders and Chiefs. Their path to the SB was considerably more difficult having to best the No. 1 and 2 seeds on the road. The Bengals have a much more balanced offense with a dynamic running game. Joe Mixon is far and away the best running back on the field on Sunday. JaMarr Chase isn’t Kupp but he can match him on a good day. If the Bengals can run and keep Stafford off the field, they certainly have a chance.

As far as the defenses go, there is no question that LA is the superior unit. Defense wins championships – except when it doesn’t. Although Red has tried mightily to talk himself out of this one, the Rams’ defense and home field advantage carry the day.

As for betting, excluding SB Uno in which there is no record O/U available, the betting boys tell us that to this point the O/U is 27 -27. Talk about your toss up. The last 3 games have all fallen short of the line (including the Patriots 13-3 stinker over the Rams in 2019 – please God, spare us from a repeat of that punt fest). The latest O/U is 48.5. Red is totally ambivalent about that number but if he had Kyle Rittenhouse pointing an assault rifle at him he would take the over (and then try to kick that little piece of shit’s ass). The Rams are a 3.5 favorite as Red writes. Red thinks this is a 3 point type of game either way. If this season’s playoff history holds true – one team is kicking a game winning field goal as time expires. Red’s call is Los Angeles 27 Cincinnati 24.

Red’s NFL Picks – Conference Championships

Last week Red was 2-2 on straight up picks and hit big on his number 1 pick of the over in the Chiefs/Bills barnburner. That was a weekend of football that will not soon be forgotten. Unfortunately for Red, he missed most of it for various reasons but did get to see the possible end of Tom Brady’s career. On to a short version of this week’s matchups.

Chiefs over Bengals. The Bengals are the best story of the year. Very few prognosticators – including Red – game them a chance of making the playoffs much less winning their division and very much less making it to the AFC title game. But all good stories must end and in playoff football all but one story ends with a loss. As tremendous as the Bills/Chiefs game was last week, this one could top it. You have two offenses running at peak efficiency with the best older young QB and the best young young QB going toe to toe in nuclear combat. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes and Burrow combine to throw for over 850 yards on Sunday. And the Dutchman – God rest his soul – will be wondering if his all time single game passing record could be in jeopardy if this one goes to OT. The Bengals have to stop Travis Kelce who has been all but unstoppable of late. He might tie Jerry Rice’s record of 8 playoff games with more than 100 yards receiving unless the Bengals hogtie him. Meanwhile the Chiefs have to find a way to hold down Jamar Chase – something almost no team has done this season. No matter what it is, take the Over in this one. Kansas City 49 Cincinnati 43.

Rams over 49ers. Red just wasn’t at all on form with the Rams this season. Or the 49ers for that matter. But then Red just looked back and realized he forgot to post his picks for the NFC West at the beginning of the season. Red will be honest here and claim that he had the Cardinals winning the division and the Rams as an outside shot at the playoffs. Reverse that and Red is a fricking genius. It is worth noting – but not of particular importance here – that the 49ers have dominated the Rams in recent years winning 6 straight games. If the Rams have a chance on Sunday it will be because of their surprisingly effective defense getting to and pummeling Matt Stafford – not the most mobile of QBs. The Rams vaunted offensive line has been battered of late, but if all-World LT Andrew Whitworth plays to form they just might survive the coming onslaught. The Rams cannot afford to get way behind as they did in both games against the 49ers this season. In Week 18 they managed to stage a comeback, but that is not something you want to do with the Superb Owl on the line. Rams have to count on Jimmy G. to throw up a couple of ducks and their defense to hold the Niners to under 21 points. Don’t look for a high scoring game. But stay away from the O/U in these most unpredictable of playoff times with two top-tier defenses. Red does think the Niners can cover a 3.5 spread but he wouldn’t bet the F-150 on it. Los Angeles 23 San Francisco 20.

Red’s NFL Playoff Picks – Week 2

For the Wildcard Weekend, Red was 4-2 correctly picking the Bengals, Bills, Bucs and Chiefs and missing out on the Rams and 49ers wins. Red was happy to have missed out on the 49ers whomping of the Cowboys. Red also can’t say he is surprised by the continuing late-season swoon of the Cardinals who were never in the game and need to seriously think about moving on from the Kingsbury experiment. KK probably should be coaching at the Division II level where he could win national championships.

The only real surprise of the weekend was the tortured ending of the Niners-Cowboys game. A quarterback draw with only 14 seconds on the clock was an incredibly risky maneuver. Especially if your team is not familiar with the rule that requires the Umpire to set the ball for play. With 17 seconds on the clock, the play probably works. But the Cowboys did not deserve to win the game anyway and set a new NFL record of 11 playoff appearances in row without reaching the conference championship game. With a 4-11 playoff record since the last NFL championship in 1995, Red continues to wonder why this franchise gets such favorable TV scheduling and fan interest. The Cowboys have been a low-mediocre franchise for 26 years and counting.

On to this weeks picks:

Titans over Bengals. Not since the days of the Boomer and Icky had the Bengals tasted playoff victory. That record setting drought is over and seems unlikely to be repeated with Burrow and company running a potent offense. But the elation in the Queen City will be short-lived. The Bengals last playoff victory before Saturday was against this franchise in the 1990 playoffs when the Bengals topped the then Houston Oilers – who were unceremoniously run out of town by Bob Lanier so that one of his buddies could get a new Houston franchise – something which Red has never really gotten over. Suffice it to say that Red has a soft spot in his otherwise hard cold heart for the Titans who should have never been forced out of Houston. More than Red’s emotions are at play here because the Titans are getting All-World running back Derrick Henry back in the line up – and presumably healthy after being out for 10 weeks after suffering a serious foot injury in the Week 8 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Notably, Henry still ranks in the top ten for rushing yards even though he hasn’t played since October. The extra week of rest means the Titans are as about as healthy as they’ve been since training camp after an injury-plagued season. The Bengals barely escaped with their lives against a fairly mediocre Raiders team. That won’t work against the Titans who beat 8 teams with a winning record this season (an NFL record) all while using 91 different players (another record). The Titans are formidable and if Tannehill doesn’t make mistakes and it is hard to seem them losing. The Bengals real hope is that offensive line can give Burrow enough time to make big plays. That is a tall order against a very good Titans defense. The 3.5 line doesn’t particularly excite Red, but he likes the over at 47 if the weather cooperates. This could be the second highest scoring playoff game of this season – even if it doesn’t come close to the 96 point overtime barnburner (more on that later) between the Cardinals and Packers in 2009. Or it could be a Titans blowout. In Vrabel’s four years of leading the Titans, the team has gone 4-0 coming off of a bye and won those four games by an average of just over 20 points per game. The Titans won’t win by 20 as the Bengals make a furious rally but fall short. Tennessee 41 Cincinnati 34.

Packers over 49ers. Nothing like a Saturday night game in the frozen north. At least the Packers have had the good sense to heat the playing surface at Lambeau Field since 1967 when the franchise installed electric coils underneath the playing surface to keep the ground soft in frigid conditions. That was true during the “The Ice Bowl” – 1967 NFL Championship game between the Packers and Cowboys – but the sub-zero temperatures overwhelmed the recently installed heating system. Since 1997 a network of underground pipes filled with antifreeze has kept the turf soft and playable even in the worst conditions. But it will still be cold (by some accounts at least 10 degrees colder than its ever been in San Francisco) and that of course favors the Packers. All credit to the Niners for making the best Cowboys team in quite some time look like a bunch of also-rans on Sunday. That’s much more credit to the Niners than Dak gave in his press conference to the Cowboys “faithful” in Arlington who pelted the Refs (and some Cowboy players) with trash after the game. But the Niners played about the best possible game they could play and still almost lost. Meanwhile up north, Green Bay is notorious for folding like a card table in the playoffs. Edging up on the Cowboys, the Giants have made 7 playoff appearances without reaching the Superb Owl since 2010. Notably, the Niners took them out in 2012 and 2019 – a meaningless stat in the fast-changing world of professional football. Green Bay won’t be giving up sacks or handing out penalty first downs like the Cowboys. That is Green Bay won’t beat themselves like the team from North Texas. Take the Packers giving up 5.5. Green Bay 24 San Francisco 17.

Rams over Buccaneers. Now that Matthew Stafford has the playoff hex off his back he can turn to beating a real team. In sunny Florida, the Bucs haven’t beaten a real team since knocking of the Bills in Week 14. And they lost to the Rams in LA early on. The Bucs have had inexplicable let downs at times this season and are pretty beat up. The Rams probably have the best defense left standing and a good enough offense to win a close game. Red thinks this one won’t be that close as the Rams are the team with the best chance to beat the Bucs out of any team left. Their defense is formidable. The Rams will shut down Mike Evans leaving Brady to rely on Gronk – but there isn’t enough magic left there. Remember how the Bucs blitzed on every down against the Chiefs in the Superb Owl. If the Rams are sending 5 or 6 on every other play their defensive coordinator should be fired. Throw in a combined 6 sacks by Aaron Donald, Von Miller and crew against a beat-up Bucs offensive line and Brady will be lucky if he isn’t carried off the field in a basket. Los Angeles 31 Tampa Bay 19.

Chiefs over Bills. Talk about a tough call. The Bills are more than capable of winning this game if they play like they did against the Patriots. Seven drives with seven touchdowns will win you the game almost every time if you can put 11 defenders on the field. Some have called it the most perfect offensive game in NFL history. With accolades like that confidence is high (and should be) in Buffalo – that is, until you think about having scored all of 6 points against the Jaguars – 6 points – the Jaguars – really? Which Bills team shows up on Sunday night? Red thinks Josh Allen has rounded to form and can handle whatever the Chiefs defense throws at him. Meanwhile back in Kansas City we have a team that beat six playoff teams, but was also awful early on and later masterful in closing out the season on a 9-1 run. The vaunted Chiefs offense just bizarrely disappears at times – like in the first 20 minutes of the Stealers game. The Chiefs first 5 possessions were – punt, punt, interception, punt and a fumble resulting in Stealers touchdown. But after that – touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown – capped off with a punt when the game was firmly in hand. That kind of opening won’t work against the Bills. The Chiefs can’t fall behind by 24 (like they did against the Texans in 2019) – the Bills are not the Texans. No team is really the Texans – not even the Texans. If the Titans and Bengals don’t put on a barnburner (there’s an interesting origin story there – but perhaps for another time), it seems likely that – weather permitting – these two teams will. Hold on to something. The over seems pretty steep at 54.5, but Red thinks 60 is a more realistic number given the capability of these two offenses. Kansas City 41 Buffalo 38.

Trump Begs – Red Translates

Red gets crap all the time from the political begging class. But there is no beggar out there that compares to the Defeated and Twice-Impeached Former President. This latest one beggars the imagination. It is pretty clear to anyone with half a brain that Trump’s political operation is nothing more than a thin veneer over his attempt to enrich himself at the expense of the gullible. How stupid do you have to be to fall for this kind of naked conman BS.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 1 MORE DAY (or until Trump can suck the last dime out of your pocket you incredible dupe)

BREAKING: FIRST TRUMP CASH BLITZ DAY OF 2022 (Cash blitz indeed – Why wouldn’t TrumpI use every tool in my power to fleece the rubes. Notice how we don’t hide it anymore.)

CLAIM 10X-IMPACT >> ​​​​​​
The big day came and went. (And Trump didn’t get con you for near enough of your hard-earned cash) 

My father LOVED our FIRST Trump Cash Blitz Day of the year (he loves taking money from folks who can’t afford it), so he decided to EXTEND your 10X-IMPACT offer for ONE MORE DAY(or however long it takes to satisfy his insatiable need for money – which will be until the day we plant him in the Mausoleum at Bedminster next to the 18th Fairway). He even asked me (please love me Daddy) to personally reach out to YOU to make sure you knew about it.

All you have to do is donate ANY AMOUNT (but make it a big any amount) before MIDNIGHT TONIGHT and your gift will instantly receive a TRUMP CASH BLITZ DAY 10X-IMPACT. (Of course, we can’t tell you where the 10X impact is coming from because it doesn’t exist. It sure aint coming out of any Trumps’ pockets).

This offer will NOT be extended again, Friend (ignore what we said the first time). You need to act NOW before it’s too late. (How often do you get a chance to be conned like this. Well, pretty regularly it turns out.)

Donald Trump, Jr. (President in waiting)

The Defeated Former President Speaks – Red Translates

Former US President Trump gave an interview this week with NPR’s Steve Inskeep but cut it short when getting asked tough questions. Red translates the following excerpt for you.

SI: Why is it that you think that the vast majority of your allies in the United States Senate are not standing behind you? We did have that statement by Mike Rounds.

DFP: Because Mitch McConnell is a loser (like me). And frankly, Mitch McConnell, if he were on the other side (you know the Commies) and if Schumer were put in his position, he would have been fighting this like you’ve never seen before (and fighting dirty like I do). He would have been fighting this, because when you look at it, and this is long — is a long way from over (even though its clearly over). You take a look at what’s going on now in Pennsylvania (don’t ask me what it is just take a look). Take a look at what’s going on in Wisconsin (because I have no clue). You just take a look.

Now, we had a lot of cases where the judges wouldn’t hear him (because they want something called evidence – would you believe it?). We had a case in Nevada that was so good (but again that darn evidence thing). You read the papers (because I sure don’t look at those Commie rags). It’s impossible. The judge refused to even listen to it (what is it with this evidence?). We had many cases. In fact, they say, and I can’t testify because it’s been through a lot of systems, a lot of different systems (and I am the king of perjury so forget me testifying). But they say, and they say very strongly, the judges just — nobody’s really gotten a chance to look (except for the 60 lawsuits I lost). Look at the United States Supreme Court. They refused to hear the case. And you had, I guess, 19 states suing —

SI: They said, there was no standing to give the case. That’s correct. Can I just ask —

DFP: Well, yeah, no standing, I know, no standing (whatever the hell that means – ask that idiot Guiliani). And the president of the United States supposedly didn’t have standing, either. So I wanted to file it myself. They said, “Sir, you don’t have standing.” I said, wait a minute. I’m the president of the United States. (I’ll get indicted if I can’t steal this election) They just rigged an election. Hundreds of thousands of votes in different states (notice how I avoid giving any actual facts). They just rigged an election. We got — we got a number of votes that, I think you’ll agree — no sitting president has ever gotten the number of votes that I got. No sitting president has ever gotten —

SI: Lot of votes. That’s true. In — lot of — lot of — you —

No sitting president. Do you — I — nobody believes. (Nobody believes except the 80 million who voted for that old creep).You think Biden got 80 million votes? Because I don’t believe it. (and if I don’t believe it – it isn’t true – and I gotta go because Rudy is calling about his bill again).

NFL Wild Card Weekend Predictions

Red has been missing in action all season – much to the disappointment of his 3 regular followers. Fear not, Red is back in time for the mostly exciting, sometimes excruciatingly boring NFL playoffs. Red will go over his preseason picks another time.

After the first-ever 17 game NFL season, the final playoff spots went down to the wire on Sunday night. If the Chargers don’t attempt to exact revenge next season against division-rival the Raiders who could have taken a knee and still made the playoffs, then you don’t know much about the NFL. A tie would have sent both teams to the playoffs and ousted the Stealers. The main problem was that the Raiders had something to play for in winning. The win means they face the Bengals and not the Chiefs. Red isn’t saying the Bengals are a pushover, but they haven’t won a playoff game in 31 years as opposed to a very playoff-experienced Chiefs squad.

On to the fun:

Bengals over Raiders. Lest Red sound repetitive, the Bengals have not won a playoff game smacking the then division-rival Oilers in 1991 during the “run and shoot” era. Led by the Boomer, the Bengals drubbed the Oilers with Cody Carlson at the helm (Warren Moon being injured). The next week the Raiders held the Bengals to 182 yards of offense in a game that was more lopsided than the 20-10 score. That began the Bengals 7 straight playoff game losing streak including 2 games to the Texans. The Raiders have their own sad playoff saga having not won a playoff game since their last Superb Owl appearance in 2002. And in those 20 years have made one playoff appearance in 2017 against the Texans. The game was predictable in that the Raiders were down to 4th string [?] QB Connor Cook who was playing in his first and last ever NFL game.

But enough ancient history. Red likes the Bengals with Joe Burrow peaking backed by an impressive running game. Burrow threw for almost 1000 yards in Weeks 16 and 17 when it counted. That the Raiders made it to the playoffs with the turmoil of losing their coach (to being an asshat) and their top receiver (to being a criminal asshat) and some other obstacles along the way is something of a testament to some inner team fortitude. Then there is the problem of Derek Carr and cold weather. Carr’s cold game record stinks (2-8) and the two wins were against bad teams. And the Raiders are on the short week with double inverse time zone demi-hex. But the Bengals are the ones on the hot seat on Saturday. This is probably a close one, but Red believes the Bengals have too much firepower. Notably, this is the crappy time spot that the Texans always get when making the playoffs (but at least it always got Red home in time for dinner). For the betting folks, Red likes the Bengals to cover 6.5 and a close call on the O/U at 48.5. Cincinnati 31 Las Vegas 23.

Bills over Patriots. Brrr. Forecast for 15F at kickoff but sadly no snow. Red never discounts Bill Bellicheat’s ability to win a playoff game. But he has never won a playoff game with a rookie quarterback – and rookie quarterbacks don’t win a lot of playoff games. But the Bills have been strangely inconsistent this season. It looked grim at 7-6 for the Bills with an inexplicable 9-6 loss the Jaguars, but they righted the ship against inferior competition and the Patriots for a 4-0 finish averaging 30 points per game in the process. The Bills have all the tools to win this game – but will they? Meanwhile in Foxboro, the Pats had a shaky 2-4 start followed by a 7 game win streak and an even shakier 1-3 finish with the sole win being a complete drubbing of the aforementioned Jaguars. Which team shows up on Saturday is anybody’s guess. Both teams have 2 wins over playoff squads and more or less feasted on the weak sisters. Red would put his bucks on Josh Allen over the rookie Mac Jones. Red doesn’t particularly like the odds on this one, but in the unlikely event of snow or lake force winds (Please God make it snow) he might consider the under at 43.5. Buffalo 24 New England 14.

Buccaneers over Eagles. No need to miss a late brunch for this one. The Eagles did well to make the playoffs with a week to spare, but knocking off the defending champs is a big ask. It’s not impossible as they only lost 28-22 in the regular season match up. But the Eagles are 0-6 against playoff teams this season. Can they beat a team that doesn’t suck? Red just doesn’t see how the Eagles can score enough to keep up with the Bucs offensive juggernaut. But this one may be a lot closer than expected. Red thinks the Eagles just might cover 8.5, but just might doesn’t cut. He does like the over at 49. Tampa Bay 35 Philadelphia 29.

Cowboys over 49ers. Talk about your storied playoff rivalries. Red – who in a former life was a Cowboys fan (more on that some other time but BARRY SWITZER!!!) – still remembers “The Catch” Much as Red loathes making this pick, he has to go with the hated evil empire from North Texas. Red does note that other than beating the division-rival Eagles twice (once in Week 2 when the Eagles were lost and again in Week 18 when the Eagles sat their starters), the Cowboys have one quality win this season against a Patriots team who blew it in OT. The Boys were a perfect 6-0 against the NFC East and 6-5 against everyone else. That cannot inspire too much confidence. Still it is hard to discount yet another offensive juggernaut in a playoff game at home in perfect conditions with a rabid crowd consisting largely of members of the Trump Personality Cult (that’s an insult Dallas fans if you’re keeping track). That’s not to say that the 49ers are a pushover. They beat two playoff teams in OT (Bengals and Rams) and only lost by more than one score once all season (Cardinals). But turmoil has been the watchword with questions at QB and coaching spots. Again this one might be closer than expected and Red is sure hoping he is wrong. No bets here. Dallas 31 San Francisco 23.

Chiefs over Stealers. The Chiefs should still be smarting from getting butt whipped in the Superb Owl and have been waiting for the opportunity to show that it was a mere aberration in the long-running Andy Reid show featuring the amazing arm of Pat Mahomes, the consistency of Travis Kelce and the flashing speed of a host of other established and up and coming stars. Without a doubt, the Chiefs are the most battle-hardened team left standing right now. They faced 9 playoff teams and went 6-3 beating the Eagles, Packers, Raiders (2), Cowboys and Stealers while losing to the Bills, Titans and Bengals. Too bad they aren’t in the NFC playoffs. Big Ben’s last hurrah is a nice story and Red would never right off the Stealers chance of winning a tough playoff game. It took a major miracle for the Stealers to make the playoffs, so who knows? And the Stealers did beat the Bills and the Titans, but Red cannot see the Stealers keeping pace with a healthy Chiefs team unless there are a lot of turnovers and favorable bounces. 12.5 points are a lot to cover, so hold your powder dry on that one. The O/U looks suspiciously low at 46.5. Red likes the over here. Kansas City 33 Pittsburgh 20.

Cardinals over Rams. Red has thought that the Rams were imposters all season but they won a tough division due to the late season swoon of the Cardinals. The Rams beat one playoff team (an impressive win over the Bucs) other than the Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Cardinals seemed determined to throw their season away after a 10-2 start. They salvaged the season with a 25-22 win over the Cowboys in Week 17 but couldn’t beat a mediocre Seahawks squad to win the division. So what to think? This is the biggest toss up of Wildcard Week. Red doesn’t really have a clue. Kyler Murray is making his first playoff appearance – not usually a recipe for success. Maybe long-suffering Matthew Stafford is finally due a playoff win. If that doesn’t happen, he will join the ignoble company of Andy Dalton and Y.A. Tittle as the only QB’s to lose their first 4 playoff games. No bets on this nailbiter. Arizona 17 Los Angeles 16.

Quote for the Day

Gator Bowl I 1945 I Jacksonville | Taxslayer, Gator bowl ...

It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team.”

Jimbo FIsher, Texas A&M Head Football Coach explaining why the Aggies are withdrawing from the Gator Bowl game scheduled for December 31.

Perhaps Greg Abbott will call a special session to pass legislation forcing Texas teams to play in college football bowl games to which they have been invited. Or better yet, to force teams to allow players who have tested positive for COVID to play.

Red’s 2021 NFL Predictions – NFC North

NFC North

Red hates this division.  Red got chased through the bus station in Detroit by an angry man after a nice young lady changed her seat because he was being so nasty to her.  Red got food poisoning in Chicago.  Minneapolis was never the same after Lou Grant decamped for LA and while he has never been to Green Bay he wonders why he would ever go other than to see a Packers game.

And because Red hates this division so much he may just find something to talk about this year other than the actual football teams. 

Green Bay (13-4).  Red still sympathizes with the good citizens of Milwaukee who haven’t seen a home game played in their fair city since 1994.  For decades the Packers played 3 home games in Milwaukee. And believe it or not, the Packers actually won an NFL Championship at State Fair Park in Milwaukee in 1939 crushing the New York Giants 27-0.  They also won a playoff game beating the Rams 28-7 at Milwaukee County Stadium in 1967 on their way to the first ever Superb Owl win (not called that at the time).  Alas, on December 18, 1994, the Packers dispatched the Falcons 21-17 and left Milwaukee forever – or at least until now.  The Packers did do the Milwaukee fans a solid offering them the “Gold” season ticket package (2nd and 5th home games and one preseason game).  The home town Packer fans got the “Green” package (the remaining 6 home games and a preseason test).    As for actual football, Red believes that Aaron Rodgers will go out in a blaze of glory in his final season before he takes over for a couple of years in San Francisco.  Either that or they ride him out of town on a rail. 

Chicago (10-7)  Perhaps it just seems like the Bears have been playing at Soldier Field forever.  In truth, the Bears played at Wrigley Field for 50 years winning 8 NFL Championships while there.  The Bears did not move to Soldier Field until 1971.  So as of this season, the Bears will have played at Soldier Field for as long as at “The Friendly Confines.”  Soldier Field has not been as kind as the Bears have only one Superb Owl win and but two appearances since the shift.  Not much changes this year with the Red Rifle at the helm.  Still a very good defense might just have them in the playoffs as the last wild card.  Or maybe not. 

Minnesota (10-7)  The Vikings played their last game at Metropolitan Stadium on December 20, 1981 against the Chiefs.  Surprise it was snowing.  After that it fell into disrepair and was torn down to build the Mall of America.  As with the Bears, the Vikings only era of glory (sort of) was winning 4 NFC crowns while putting up four of the most pathetic Superb Owl performances ever in the 1970s.  This year Red is decidedly unexcited about the prospects of the Vikings, but they just might sneak in as the last wild card if the Bears don’t.

Detroit  (2-15)  The last game the Lions played in Tiger Stadium was a 31-27 loss to the Broncos on Thanksgiving Day in 1974.  It was also the game that ended 1969 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens’ career when his cleats got caught in the turf right as he got blindsided.  The Lions have never been the same since leaving Tiger Stadium.  The only glory years in Lions’ history were in that era with NFL Championship in 1952, 1953 and 1957.  But this year, the Lions will be serious contenders along with the Texans, Eagles and Jets for the 1st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.  Sis Boom Bah.