Red’s 2017 NFL Predictions – the Annual Bitch Portion Thereof

Well it’s time for Red’s Annual Bitch about the favorable TV treatment afforded the Hated Arlington Cowboys franchise.  Hang on to your Stetsons.

 If for some unfathomable reason you are a Cowboys fan, most Sundays you can sleep late, linger over brunch, get in 18 holes, have an under-the-covers nap (aka siesta tradicional) and still be back in the recliner with nachos in hand in time for kickoff. It’s even better this season than usual for all you HAC fans.  All Red can say is – at least your team made the playoffs last season  and there is some slight justification for having a reasonable share of games on National TV – but nothing justifies this:

Week 1       Giants Sunday Night Game

Week 2       At Broncos Sunday Late Game

Week 3       At Cardinals Monday Night Game

Week 5       Packers Sunday Late Game

Week 7       At 49ers Sunday Late Game

Week 8       At Redskins Sunday Late Game

Week 9       Chiefs Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Falcons Sunday Late Game

Week 11     Eagles Sunday Night Game

Week 12     Chargers Thanksgiving Late Game

Week 13     Redskins Thursday Night Game

Week 14     At Giants Sunday Late Game

Week 15     At Raiders Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Seahawks Sunday Late Game

So adding it all up, the Cowboys get:

3 Sunday Night games

8 Sunday Late Games with only 49ers and Broncos as time zone related

1 Monday Night Game

1 Thursday Night Game (mandatory)

And the traditional Thanksgiving game

For a grand total of 14 national TV appearances. That is well above the standard 11 national TV appearances that the league regularly doles out to America’s Team.

And if you are a fan of the hapless Texans (who have actually won more playoff games in the time of their miserable existence than the Cowboys have during that period) you had better plan ahead and expect that the games will totally mess up your Sunday afternoon plans.

Week 2       At Bengals Thursday Night Game

Week 5       Chiefs Sunday Night Game

Week 8       At Seahawks Sunday Late Game

Week 10     At Rams Sunday Late Game

Week 12     At Ravens Sunday Night Game

Week 16     Stealers Sunday Late Game

That’s 6 national TV appearances which is better than the usual schedule but only because of 2 west coast games against the Seahawks and Rams and the mandatory Thursday night game.

Red calls Bullshit.

 

Red’s 2017 NFL Picks – AFC East

As long time readers know (and Red hopes they are both awake and not too terribly hung-over this morning), this part of the annual predictions is where Red always writes that it is “cowardly and spineless to pick the Patriots year after year” and then confirms his cowardice and utter lack of vertebral support by picking the Patriots anyway.

In fairness to Red, look at this division.

Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs in 17 years – the longest active post-season drought in the NFL (yes – worse than Cleveland even). Do they deserve a second look in 2017?  Emphatically not!

The Jets have been a reality TV show for the last several seasons – and a really bad reality TV show at that.  What is going on with that franchise.  Go to their official website – they don’t even have a depth chart posted!  Maybe when your choices for starting quarterback are the appropriately named Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty it’s just as well to keep everyone in the dark.

The Dolphins at least went 10-6 and with some help made the playoffs last year. But against the Pats, they were behind 31-3 in week 3 before rallying to lose by only 7 and then were blown out 35-14 in week 17.  In the playoffs the Stealers pushed them aside like a Latvian President and that was it for the Fish.  Red holds out some hope for the Dolphins in 2017.  He also still plays the lottery.

Red has finally come to terms with the fact that Brady and Bellicheat long ago made a pact with the Dark Lord and while their souls may be damned for all eternity to the lake of fire at least they will both end up in the Hall of Fame – which may not be an altogether bad trade-off. Realistically, Red thinks this may be the season where Tom Brady finally looks tired and old and Bellicheat gets his playbook stolen by Russian hackers.  Quit kidding yourself Red, you know you have no balls when it comes to this division.  Save your foolishness for the NFC West. Who on the schedule can beat the Pats even on a bad hair day for Tom?  Maybe the Chiefs, Raiders, Falcons and Stealers?  “Maybe” being the operative word here.

New England breezes to a 13-3 record.  Red hates himself today.

Red’s 2017 NFL Picks

Rather than swamp readers with the whole shebang of NFL picks in one post, this season Red will pick each division over the next week or so and then wrap up before the season starts with his post-season picks and award winners.  But first the bad news.

2016 Season Recap

Red’s NFC division champions were the Giants, Panthers, Cardinals and Vikings. Wild cards were the Buccaneers and Packers.  Of that motley crew only the Packers and Giants were playing in January.  2 out of 6 in the playoffs.  Ugh!

Red’s AFC division champions were the Patriots, Raiders, Jaguars (Ha!), and Bengals.  Wild cards were the Jets (spit take) and Broncos.  Patriots and Raiders came through for another 2 out of 6 in the playoffs. Barf!

Red’s 4 out of 12 is his worst season ever. That’s at least 10 Hail Marys, alms to the poor and giving up Diet Dr. Pepper for the season.

Red did pick Khalil Mack as Defensive Player of the Year – but how hard was that?

First up this season – the AFC East.

Quote for the Day

“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Robert Jeffress, Trump Supporter, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and Confidant of God.

Red for one  is glad that Jeffress is here to tell us what God thinks.  We would be lost without his intercession and misconstruing all that wimpy stuff Jesus said about forgiveness, turning the other cheek and making friends of your enemies.   And since he also knows that God placed Trump in the White House, it is unsurprising that RJ has now established a holy hot line with the almighty to help Trump justify whatever it is he wants to do – Constitution be damned.  So when Trump decides to nuke the hell out of millions of North Koreans, take solace that God is smiling and approving because he wanted Trump to condemn those men, women and children to burn in the lake of blessed nuclear fire.

 

The NFL Dead Man of the Year Award

Before every season, Red selects one unlucky soul as “Dead Man of the Year” for the previous season. The DMOTY goes every season to the player who Red reckons went from being an important cog in his team’s machinery to a completely useless tool sitting on the sidelines scratching his balls. That is, it recognizes the player who benefitted his team just about the same as would have a “Dead Man.”

And while injury alone cannot get you a DMOTY plaque to hang in your mancave, not being able to reclaim your job when healthy will factor into Red’s consideration. So as with last year, there really wasn’t much serious competition among the dead wannabes in 2016.  JJ Watt is not in the running because he had a season-ending injury.  Brock Osweiler lost his job in week 14, was on life support until Tom Savage went down and then he actually guided his team to a playoff win (albeit against the rudderless Raiders). Darrell Revis got scorched early and often but did make some plays. Cam Newton set a nearly impossible standard to match in 2015 and so his mediocre 2016 (behind a truly horrid offensive line) looks worse than it should.  Flacco Joe has been waiting in the wings for a DMOTY for almost decade – he was close in 2016 but his time will come.

And while there may never be another player as worthy of the DMOTY award as Johnny Football in 2015, Red is proud -mind you – proud to present the 2016 Dead Man of the Year Award to none other than Tony Romo.

The longtime Cowboys’ quarterback was injured in the pre-season and unavailable for much of the season. But despite his impressive career over parts of 10 seasons and the old adage that you don’t lose your job because of injury, TR was unable to get back in the lineup to replace a rookie until he played a series in the Cowboys meaningless last game against the hapless Eagles.  To give TR credit, he led his team on a 6 play scoring drive ending with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams.  Other than that – bupkis – as rookie Dak Prescott stole the ever pliable hearts of dedicated Cowboys fans – at least until the playoff game against the Packers when he did a reasonable “Tony Romo in the Playoffs” impersonation until a wild 4th quarter.  And even if it bends the rules just a bit, Red is more than happy to do so to name Tony as the 2016 DMOTY.  As it turns out, the 2016 DMOTY award may be the final trophy on the Romo family shelf – unless the dedicated golfer makes it to the Senior Tour.  Straight and long, Tony.

200 Days Done – 1261 To Go – How Low Can He Go (cont.)?

Two hundred days into the Reality TV Show that is the Trump Presidency and the news could hardly be worse for the adulation-seeking President.  It turns out that people just don’t like him.  That would be bad enough, but Americans are also questioning Trump’s honesty, leadership and skills.

Red just can’t understand why people don’t understand what Trump is up to.  He has a job that he never really wanted.  He has to actually work at shit he knows very little about.  And he is continually criticized from all sides.  When Charles Krauthammer thinks a Republican President is a complete tool – well, chances are good that he is a complete tool.  One thing Trump does understand is marketing himself.  He wasn’t so good at football, casinos, wine, ties, steaks, airlines, “universities” and the list goes on,  but he does know how to package, promote and sell himself.  It’s really the only product any politician has.  And what does America like?  A come from behind last-minute unexpected win.  Well if Trump wins re-election, it certainly looks like it will fulfill all those criteria and a good segment of the population will have a rooting interest in that narrative.  Red won’t bet against Trump for re-election until the final vote has been counted.

Meanwhile, as Trump looks for his Pro-V1 in the rough (and uses the leather wedge to improve his lie), the pollsters have been hard at work.  The Week has the latest on Trump’s dismal poll numbers.

Only 30 percent of respondents said they admire Trump, 34 percent said they are proud to have him as president, and 55 percent said he has lowered the stature of the presidency. Regarding Trump’s Twitter use, 71 percent agreed it’s an effective way for him to reach his supporters, but 70 percent said Trump tweets too often in response to TV news, 71 percent said it was a risky way to communicate, and 63 percent said his tweets turn out to be misleading too often. Overall, only 36 percent of respondents found Trump honest and trustworthy, versus 60 percent who say he isn’t, and 24 percent said they trust most or all of what they hear in official communications from the Trump White House, versus 30 percent who say they believe none of it.

TV’s Big Bang Comes to Texas – Sort of

Image result for young sheldon show

Young Sheldon the spin-off of the megahit sitcom The Big Bang Theory will, of course, be set in Texas.  In TBBT, Jim Parsons, a Houston native, plays social misfit genius Sheldon Cooper who was fictionally raised in east Texas in a  bible-thumping, sports and gun loving family.  The show has played off of that aspect of his character rather brilliantly – especially with crackerjack actress Laurie Metcalf in a recurring role as Sheldon’s  mother Mary.  Every episode with Metcalf is a real joy to watch as she totally invades the stage with her understated performance as Sheldon’s doting but often cynical mother.  Young Sheldon will start with seven-year old Sheldon already in high school and feature interaction with his family who do not know quite what to make of the young prodigy.

MySA reports that Metcalf’s daughter Zoe Perry will play the same role as her mother in the new show and one can only hope that she carries on like mom.  In any event, Red is always pleased to see another TV show set in Texas (with the notable exception of Walker – Texas Moron) even if filming takes place in Burbank. Hopefully, there will be some notable Texas exteriors if the show takes off.  Red is skeptical, but then he also thought Frazier would probably bomb.

Young Sheldon is set for a special Monday night premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, after the season opener of The Big Bang Theory.   The regular time slot will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays beginning in November with the TBBT as a lead-in.