my more depressing entries, but the good news is that since today happens to be my half-birthday -- at 25 1/2 I'm pretty ancient now -- you still have the time to buy me a present. It's the least you can do after all the trouble I've gone to to bore all of you for the past 12 months.
One might say I already got a present yesterday when Cam Newton announced he was entering the NFL Draft (what, he didn't think he'd be eligible at Auburn next year?), but if none of you can find it in your hearts to be so generous, however, I'll manage to be ok because I got a gift of sorts already this week in the form of my tickets to next month's Knicks-76ers game in Philadelphia, a venture that will knock Team No. 38 off the list and get me one step closer to that ultimate goal of way too many stadiums than the average person should see -- though considering the Sixers and Flyers both play at the Wells Fargo Center, I guess I've actually seen this arena already.
Regardless, Feb. 4th in Philadelphia should be an exciting day, if for no other reason than the fact that the Knicks, by some remarkable mystery, continue to to be good and this will mark the third city I've seen them in outside of New York. And considering how mediocre the Sixers have been this season, I've managed to snag rather decent seats at a stiff discount from the face value price.
Of course, I've had some difficulty actually seeing the new tickets with all of the egg on my face from last Saturday, and if you're wondering what egg I'm talking about you either didn't read my entry on picks last week (extremely likely) or didn't watch the Seahawks stunning upset win over the Saints last weekend (let's be honest, you just didn't read my blog entry). But the long and short of it was, I think the Seahawks are a terrible football team. Still do, actually. And yet they knocked off the defending-champion New Orleans Saints in a first-round playoff upset that is, well, really pretty damn remarkable.
nearly beat the Patriots in the final week of the regular season.
While the Seahawks were home and the Saints were flying across the country and were battling injuries, there was never an indication that Seattle with its 28th-ranked offense was capable of outscoring one of the top offenses in the League. And that's because, and last Saturday aside, I will stand by this, the Seattle Seahawks are a terrible football team. Seriously. They are terrible.
How terrible are we talking? Well, according the editor of FiveThirtyEight.com and general statistics wiz Nate Silver, the Seahawks are the worst NFL team to ever make the postseason in a non-strike year, and might possibly be the second worst playoff team in the history of professional sports. God bless the 1952-53 Baltimore Bullets. To put an even finer point on it -- possibly the finest point -- one analysis in Silver's article showed these Seahawks would be just three-point favorites over the 2008 Detroit Lions. And if you need any refresher on that team, they were pretty horrendous.
say the Seahawks would win against New Orleans last week. The details beneath the heading are just fine print. You don't need to read those.
Besides, y'all can give me credit for correctly tabbing the other three games last weekend, including wins by two six-seeds, right? Or at least I can distract you with this excellent representation of Marshawn Lynch's game-sealing touchdown run, which just might be the greatest in NFL postseason history.
In any event, you're not here to read my rambles. You're here to see some picks. Picks that will probably be wrong. Heaven forbid I keep you from that. So here we go.
(1) Atlanta over (6) Green Bay
Does anyone else think it's almost unfair that these two teams have to face each other while the Bears and Seahawks try not to cross swords in the powder puff bowl? Probably. I really won't be surprised if either team wins this game, but the Falcons and Matty Ice are nearly unbeatable at the Georgia Dome so I'll give them the nod. Either way, I expect whomever takes this one to be representing the NFC in Dallas next month.
(2) Chicago over (4) Seattle
This just has disaster written all over it, doesn't it? I could feel like I'm falling into the trap on this one by relying on the truth that the Seahawks are not good at football. After all, who else could inspire multiple Mario Bros.-themed Youtube mashups? But come on. I'm not stupid. The Bears may be one of the weaker No. 2 seeds we've seen in a while, but they're better than Seattle. Go ahead. Prove me wrong again.
Yeah, I know, this one is ballsy. But have you seen today's New York Post? Really. Have you seen it? These people have outdone themselves in a way I never thought possible. And if this brilliant piece of, yes, art, doesn't tell you that the force is, in fact, with the Jets, then you either don't have faith in upsets or haven't noticed how amazingly close this back page comes to duplicating all three Star Wars special edition movie posters while taking in elements from nearly each film. Seriously. Somehow this has topped both Hothlanta, and the latest Death Star trench run. Somehow this has actually made me almost forget about Antonio Cromartie's all-too-honest assessment of Tom Brady, or Wes Welker's rather clever press conference from earlier this week. So yeah, let's go with the Jets, I guess. Why not?
(2) Pittsburgh over (5) Baltimore
It's kind of remarkable that with two great teams facing off who also happen to hate each other, no one really seems to have noticed that this game is being played. Sure Sportscenter gives it five or so minutes every hour, but come on. This is probably the best matchup of the weekend and it's almost as if it isn't happening. Well, maybe that's an exagerration, but it is happening, and I really have no idea who'll win, but I'm still bitter at Baltimore for some football game that happened like a decade ago, so... I'll go with the Stillers.
I bet five people at most got through that whole screed. No matter. The fewer of you that know I was wrong on Monday morning the better. Happy football everyone.