Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NFL Picks Week Twelve: In Which I Eat Turkey

Last year I discovered something magical, which is that I absolutely, positively, completely, entirely, 100 % hate when the Giants play on Thanksgiving. Now, I love watching the Giants play, so why would I not want to combine that with what is, easily, my absolutely favorite holiday?

Well, last year, I learned the reason was pretty simple.

The Giants played in the final matchup of the NFL's annual Turkey Day triple-header with a visit to Denver against the Broncos. What resulted is that Big Blue, in the midst of the playoff race, laid an absolutely massive egg at Invesco Field, accelerating the downfall of a once promising season that started 5-0 and ended 8-8.

And perhaps worst of all: it ruined my fucking day.

Thanksgiving, you see, for me is an amazing 24 hours. You have very few requirements for Thanksgiving and they're almost all related to sitting on a couch, eating and watching football. What the hell else could be better? Now, I will admit, of the various types of meat or fowl available, turkey is hardly my favorite. Unless it's cooked by someone exceptionally talented, there is a tendency for the bird to wind up dry and unsatisfying, but fortunately, there are newer, more exciting remedies for that if the usual pooling of gravy doesn't do the job.

But by and large the combination of food, family, friends and football all seem to add up to the absolute greatest holiday an American can experience, and I generally love every minute of it. Last year, however, Big Blue's embarrassing display took my favorite day of the year and soured it to almost absurd lengths. No food, family, friend or other football game could have made that fun. And so this season, when the schedule came out and I saw that the Giants were nowhere to be found on the third Thursday of November I was as relieved as can be.

Patriots-Lions, Saints-Cowboys, Bengals-Jets. Several exciting teams, no particular allegiances other than "anyone who plays the Cowboys" and nine hours of pure food and enjoyment. And maybe a distraction from the Giants frustration "Slide rule" loss.

On with the picks.

Last week: 11-4-1
Season: 79-72-9

New England (-7) over DETROIT
New Orleans (-4) over DALLAS
NY JETS (-9) over Cincinnati
NY GIANTS (-8) over Jacksonville
Green Bay (+2) over ATLANTA
Pittsburgh (-7) over BUFFALO
CLEVELAND (even) over Carolina
Minnesota (+2) over WASHINGTON
HOUSTON (even) over Tennessee
OAKLAND (even) over Miami
Kansas City (+1) over SEATTLE
CHICAGO (+4) over Philadelphia
St. Louis (+4) over DENVER
BALTIMORE (-8) over Tampa Bay
INDIANAPOLIS (-3) over San Diego
San Francisco (+1) over ARIZONA

That's all for this week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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