Shootout in the Fantasy Factory, Part III,
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor
PHILADELPHIA (BASN – STR/ITR): In our third installment we are expounding on a premise first established by former NFL player Bernie Parrish, who stated in his 1971 book, “They Call It a Game” that some NFL games were fixed; and championships may have been more of a WWE – style production than a true contest of Team A vs. Team B for the title…
We now elaborate on how the National Football Conference is looking to script their preferred opponent for Super Bowl XLVIII going into the final week of the regular season:
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) @ Dallas Cowboys (8-7): Win and In – that’s it; but with the ‘only one can go’ result – the possibility Cowboys QB Tony Romo may not go due to back issues has belied the fact Dallas has been in this position three years in a row.
Meanwhile, Philly has transitioned from Mike Vick to Nick Foles as the starter under center. Foles has played exceptionally at times in coach Chip Kelly’s offense, and the offensive line has blocked far better for Foles as they have for Vick at any time – and yes I said it – because it’s true.
From an officiating standpoint, this may carry further favor with the referees because Foles may get the benefit of the doubt on contact plays against the QB. With his recent cover – boy status on Sports Illustrated, the wheels may be set in motion for The Iggles to be someone’s playoff spoiler.
There is also the home game as the #3 seed against the sixth seed; and after several consecutive losses at home, Eagles have started to develop a home field presence at Lincoln Financial Field with a small win streak.
The Cowboys are always a draw because you either love them or hate them, and we know Romo’s chokin’ ass will have a sufficient alibi should he not be able to play in the nationally televised game this Sunday evening.
Jerry Jones may well be the kinder, gentler version of Al Davis, but even his high-profile won’t have sufficient chance to influence the outcome if Philly plays as they did in their 54 – 11 shellacking of Da Bears. Stay tuned; the media whores and Mouse Minions will run this storyline into the ground!
Priority Levels: For Philly, High (especially if Foles is starting – much lower if somehow Vick starts because the League does not want his Black ass to succeed on the biggest stage they have to offer; for Dallas: Low if Orton pulls out a win; if somehow Romo plays and wins, let the Legend Lies begin – and priority levels skyrocket!)
NFC North: Green Bay Packers (7-7-1) at Chicago Bears (8-7): Most “experts” believed Chicago was coming out of Philly with a win; but the Eagles whupped dat ass and trick – bagged Chi – town into a similar play and win season – ender against The Pack.
Outside of the two winning tickets for the $600 million – plus Mega Lottery winners, the luckiest cat in the NFL has to be Matt Flynn, who has cashed in multiple guaranteed bonus situations before being tossed back to Green Bay after flopping in Seattle, Oakland, and Buffalo – all within two years!
But the comeback against Dallas’ awful defense raised the specter of starting QB Aaron Rodgers expediting his comeback – now that a shot at post – season ball may be a reality.
But Flynn resorted back to scrub type after a last – second loss to Pittsburgh (Steelers are barely in the playoff mix due to some dominoes falling last week) and with the possible additional loss of hard – running rookie tailback Eddie Lacy, the Pack is definitely up against it…
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the Bears and their high – powered offense now have to regroup. Starting QB Jay Cutler returned from injury to regain his spot and cash in on his Joe Flacco – like gambit to earn his mega dollar contract as one the League’s best (not!) but the offense with WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, TE Marcellus Bennett and RBs Matt Forte and Michael Bush provide the kind of Fantasy Stat Bullshit this League is now powered by.
While Cutler was on the shelf, career backup Josh McCown held serve; and while some in the League made a fuss about how great he was playing, I’ll simply say what I have known to be truth throughout my experience in football – the throw means nothing without The Catch – Marshall and Jeffrey were exceptional in bailing out McCown by snagging jump balls during the Bears’ five-game hiatus without Cutler.
With Detroit and the very overrated Matthew Stafford choking once again, the only question remaining in the minds of the NFL Puppet Masters is – will Rodgers make like Captain Freedom in “The Running Man” and save the day for Green Bay – or will he do a “Discount Daable Check” on his career because he already has a Super Bowl ring (and may know more about the process than we think?)
Priority Levels: If Chicago wins, High – a Midwest market victory media – wise; and Cutler will be expecting his Flacco – sized check; If Green Bay wins – it will all depend on who’s starting, but higher if Rodgers makes it.
NFC South: Carolina Panthers 11-4 @ Atlanta Falcons (already clinched)
The unspoken rule in the South is everyone takes turns kickin’ each other’s ass – or so it was until Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints rode the Katrina Scenario (remember this is with Bernie’s hypothesis in mind) to a Super Bowl title…
But three years after drafting him, Panthers QB Cam Newton (hereafter referred to by this columnist as “Gen. Newton” due to his field promotion into the post – season) has followed through on the premise…of his promise.
He improved in wins each year (from 6 to 7 to possibly 12!) and overcame tremendous pressure to succeed where others lusted for him to fail. As with Gen. Russell Wilson (we’ll get to him later), you knew Newton was making headway the more they spoke of Carolina’s defense being so great instead of Gen. Newton’s perseverance…
Newton has guided Carolina to four fourth quarter comebacks (including last Sunday vs. Brees and his Saints). Given he may be without his prime target in WR Steve Smith, Ted Ginn, Jr. (who has had a mild revival as a Panther in overall performance as a receiver and special – teamer) will be an X – factor in how far Carolina goes when they do have to go to the air.
Oh, and this just in – Nolan Nawrocki, you detestable piece of Nigger Shit – fuck you.
Who says Black Cats are bad luck? Maybe the Media Gods – who don’t wanna see “Superman” make it across that end zone.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints (10 – 5), are a couple years removed from Super Bowls and scandals. For now, Brees and the Saints have to cross their Rubicon into the playoffs against a Tampa Bay Buccaneer team playing for their head coach’s job – and we all know taking out an in – house rival is more difficult no matter what the record.
While they will be at home and afforded every opportunity to take control of the game, Saints must go full guns – or get squeezed out of the playoffs altogether – a whole lotta Who Dats would get major pissed behind that!
Given the injuries to Rodgers, Romo, and Cutler, Brees is the last NFC QB the Scenario Gods would find favor with, so it’s Ball – or So Long, Y’all – and for the second consecutive season, a double – digit winning team will get eliminated from the playoff equation (somewhere Lovie Smith is smiling).
Priority Levels: For Carolina – Low, Gen. Newton is seen as Vick without the conviction; while Brees is The Little Engine That Could – and did; they won’t say it out loud, but The Super Bowl is No Blacks Allowed in a starring role – ask Dexter Jackson about who made the “I’m going to Disney World!” commercial the year he was the Most Valuable Player. For Nawlins – Very High)
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers 11-4 (already clinched) @ Arizona Cardinals 10-5: If there is one thing most of the experts did get right it’s that the NFC West would emerge as the strongest division in the conference. What they didn’t say was that the division would also pose the greatest problem in orchestrating a palatable NFC opposing quarterback.
It wasn’t that long ago that the League was in an uproar because Gen. Colin Kaepernick had emerged as the leader of the ‘Niners – at the expense of Alex Smith, who was coddled by head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Every misstep was magnified as Smith and Kansas City breezed through the first half of their season, while Kaepernick – was the victim of a “hit” when Packer LB Clay Matthews launched himself at the QB during a 49ers victory early in the season (where Kaepernick destroyed them from the pocket) and hit him out of bounds with a flying “clothesline.”
Given the supposed crackdown on hits (especially on QBs) and the fact Matthews was at least four inches shorter than Kaepernick, you would’ve thought Matthews would’ve been kicked out of the game right then and there – but nothing happened. In fact, it wasn’t until constant replays and some very mild protest did the League fine Matthews a paltry $15,000 – no suspension.
Hell, you get fined five grand if the buttcrack’s too defined on your ass in this League!
That said, ‘Niners were outta sync for a little while as Kaepernick lost his ace WR Michael Crabtree; but they are now hitting their stride and face a Cardinals team that in spite of nonpareil WR Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. and a good supporting cast would be a bust in a Super Bowl because of their scrub QB Carson Palmer, who embodies what the League wants their de facto CEO to look like, but knows he has to “manage” his way through the defense – because he doesn’t have a leadership bone in his body.
Doesn’t matter to the Scenario Gods, though – as long as he looks the part of the conquering hero in the Disney commercial…
Which brings us back briefly to Kaepernick, who was salaciously ripped by some punk – ass reporter who never interviewed him directly, but decided his tattoos (which were later discovered to be Bible verses) deemed him more suitable for “Lockup” than “NFL Matchup.”
Clearly, the learning curve for adjusting and utilizing multiple offensive approaches hasn’t adversely affected Kaepernick; but think about what damage Arizona could do if they had a real leader under center?
The game matters because ‘Frisco can steal a number one seed if somehow the Seahawks lose to St. Louis Sunday; but Arizona will be a double – digit victim if they don’t win – and the Cards will be on the outside looking in.
Priority Levels: for San Francisco, the League won’t mind – especially if Kansas City is the match up; for Arizona – Low – win or lose, and Palmer is the main reason…
The Seattle Seahawks 12 – 3, (already clinched) have been the best team in football all season – with arguably the best young leader in the game in Gen. Russell Wilson; and the League is pissed!
Wilson has led the Seahawks to a 6 – 2 road record, the best in their history; and did it while under siege by the League. Seattle played most of their road games at 1:00 pm, which had them on a 10 am body clock while playing opponents in the NFC East and AFC South; but thanks to Wilson and their defense, the ‘Hawks haven’t been blown out of any game this year.
In addition, Wilson lost both starting tackles and his center – but continued to win. As the defense was being credited for Seattle’s progress, what they haven’t said is that Wilson consistently outworks and out – prepares every one of his opponents. He has the arm, the smarts, skill sets – and he’s not supposed to do this well this quickly.
The pass that led to the “interception” this past Sunday against Arizona had hit the ground – clearly (in my humble) but the refs didn’t hesitate in awarding Arizona the ball. This highlights the major problem Seattle will have going forward.
I said this in the beginning of the season and haven’t changed my mind; the NFL does not want a stronghold in the Pacific Northwest, and the more Wilson looks like the franchise QB Seattle has long sought, the more agitated they get.
If Seattle handles their business Sunday in St. Louis, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Seattle…let the fucked – up calls begin.
Priority: Moderate to Low – Seattle will have to play at a level which keeps the refs out the game in order to hold serve. With a potential regular season record of 24 – 8 in his first two seasons, they can say all they want about Andrew Luck or Andy Dalton or Robert Griffin III or Brees – Gen. Wilson is a difference maker who will not fail come Money Time; which makes him and the ‘Hawks prime candidates – for a screw job.
Next time: The playoffs.
To be continued…
Always outnumbered…never outgunned.
Copyright © Michael – Louis Ingram 2013: all rights reserved.