Friday, January 18, 2013

The Official NFL Conference Championships Drinking Game

Last year we introduced the official Super Bowl drinking game, and now it's time to unveil the Conference Championships Drinking Game. Totally different rules and twice the drinking! Fun for the whole family! (Stomach pump sold seperately.)

Update: Actually, after just reviewing the rules below and consulting my attorney, I don't recommend anyone play this game ever. Even Winston Churchill would pass out playing this game, and he downed a decanter of bourbon with a Guinness chaser before eating a vodka-oatmeal breakfast every day. And that's true, I saw it on the BBC channel. I do my fact-checking here at the Deep Dish, we're not having a Manti Te'o situation, not on my watch.

Without further adieu, as Richard Dawson says in The Running Man, "Let's Play the Feud!"

"Not the elbow, bro, no bro, no, bro-uch!"
Patriots -9 vs. Ravens

Drink 1 drink when:
  • Ray Lewis dances
  • Rob Gronkowski's elbow is mentioned
  • Tom Brady is mentioned in the same sentence with the word "precision" and "masterful" or "questionable wardrobe" and "lady-like" 
  • Ray Lewis prays to the Lord
  • Bill Bellichick frowns or appears to mutters something under his breath
  • Ray Lewis misses a tackle 
  • Joe Flacco overthrows a receiver and then directs the receiver to run faster

Disdain for headsets runs in the family.
Drink 2 drinks when: 
  • An announcer praises Ray Lewis' leadership/and or character
  • When the Patriots many "weapons" are discussed
  • When the possibility of a "Harbaugh Bowl" is brought up
  • A Masters preview is showed and the words "A tradition unlike any other" are mentioned
  • Tom Brady complains about being touched by a defender 
  • Wes Welker dives to the ground to avoid getting hit after a catch
Down your drink when: 
  • Ray Rice does something silly like convert a 4th and 19. You'll know when to do it. 
  • Either QB throws a pick and the announcers promptly blame the receiver 
  • A pass interference call is reversed because the pass was uncatchable (this never happens, btw) 
  • Bill Bellichick smiles 
  • Brady dons one of those ski caps with the puffy ball on top
  • A Ravens receiver drops the game-winning catch
  • You find something at all redeeming or likable about the Patriots 

Prediction: Patriots 34 Ravens 21

Atlanta +4 vs. San Francisco 

Take 1 drink when:
  • Someone mentions doing the "dirty bird" or Jamaal Anderson
  • Any old clip of MC Hammer or Deion Sanders is shown 
  • Whenever the camera shows Jim Harbaugh screaming (warning: this could be dangerous) 
  • Matt Ryan's impressive home record or unimpressive playoff record is mentioned

"Can I play the Packers every week?"
Take 2 drinks when:
  • Colin Kaepernick runs for a 70+ yard touchdown while momentarily taking flight 
  • Fox shows a promo for that new Kevin Bacon show The Following
  • Troy Aikman says the phrase "You're right, Joe..."
  • Eugene Robinson's Super Bowl XXXIII weekend is mentioned (the XXX is fitting)
  • Anyone mentions Brett Favre was once drafted by the Falcons
Down your drink when:
  • Harbaugh throws a challenge flag at a referee's head
  • Whenever Joe Buck says the name "Babineaux!"
  • If a referee utters the phrase "unabated to the quarterback"
  • Everytime the camera pans to Alex Smith looking sad
  • Anyone says "Tebow!"
Prediction: Falcons 23 49ers 20

Enjoy the games!

Friday, January 11, 2013

NFL Divisional Round Picks!

Worst. Wildcard. Round. Ever. You know it's bad when the highlight of the weekend is watching Mike Shanahan attempt to turn his QB's knee into Hamburger Helper. However, there are four outstanding games this weekend, so no time to dilly or even dally. A Manning-Brady showdown looms, so Lord help us all.

Also, as I am wont to do, each game breakdown will be accompanied by a limerick:

Both of these guys need to improve their game-face.
Denver -9.5 over Baltimore
What a snoozefest between the Colts and Ravens last week. It was visual Ambien. The Broncos went into Baltimore a few weeks ago and basically tap-danced on the Ravens' heads. Now they get them at their own stadium. But, that was while Ray Lewis was out and before he announced his retirement, which begat his tearfell farewell tour that has inspired a nation to dance like idiots. EVERYTHING'S CHANGED.

What else can be said about Peyton Manning? He does funny commercials, was a surprisingly good SNL host, and is the first QB to play with a replacement neck. The Ravens simply don't have enough fire power to keep up with Denver, and this feels like another blow out.

Ol' Ray Ray gets to play another week
So annoying, of phonyness he does reek
He will do his dance
And then get de-pantsed
By Mr. Manning, that neckless freak

Broncos 31 Ravens 13

"Here's the run towards the bench,
then sit there for about 3 hours."
Green Bay +3 over San Francisco
This game is very similar to last year's playoff game between the Saints and 49ers - a high scoring, pass-heavy team meets the best defense in the NFL. The Saints lost that game largely due to two kick return fumbles, and Alex Smith playing the first good game of his career. This Packer team has a much better defense and more weapons at WR. Hasn't San Francisco won enough lately? How much happiness do these hipster doofuses deserve? No more, I say.

Will the Niners be able to win?
I wouldn't bet it on Harbaugh's chin
Rodgers is gettin hot
Receivers? They have a lot
This'll be over before it begins

That was dumb, let's try another one:

There was a QB named Kaepernick
He could throw and boy was he quick
But the Pack can sure score
It'll be over before
You can say "discount double-chick"

Close enough.
Green Bay 27 Niners 20

Atlanta -2 over Seattle
Here is the MRI of RG3's knee
after Sunday's game.
If the Falcons putz around and try to win this game on the ground with Michael Turner, the Seahawks will beat them. If they open it up and keep throwing to Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, they should win. If Matt Ryan loses this game, he may as well pack his bags and change his last name to Romo. No pressure.

The Seahawks should say "thanks" to Shanahan
Hey, leave in your QB, what a great plan
It's just a little limp
He's not yet a gimp
Who cares if he never plays again?

Falcons 31 Seahawks 27

"Forget about Brady, ladies, and take a gander
at me, the Schaub-inator."
Houston +9.5 over New England
It's been 7 years since Brady and the evil, hooded, cheating, homewrecking coach have won a Super Bowl. I have no follow-up point to that, but I enjoy saying it. It must be tough being Wes Welker. He was once the "little scrappy guy that could," and of course, he bravely broke the NFL's troll barrier. But, then along comes Danny Woodhead, a shorter, scrappier troll. There's got to be some resentment there.

The Pats did give the Texans a beating a few weeks back, but expect a closer game this time around. Just look at Matty Schaub above. Is that not the face of confidence?

There once was a mean coach named Bill
It was said he smelled like a dunghill
He's a devilish rake
And a slimy snake
Fitting, because he's pure evil

Pats 34 Texans 30

Enjoy the games!

Last week: 2-2
Overall record: 92-87-3

Friday, January 4, 2013

NFL Wild Card Picks!

"Karate here...not here, Daniel-son!"

Is there a more depressing moment than throwing out your Christmas tree? It's so sad, like walking the Green Mile. "You've brought us great joy sweet tree, but you see... we don't need you anymore, and you're shedding and hogging up space, SO EAT SOME CURB!" It's another reason to dislike the month of January. The holidays are over, and it's back to the old grind and short winter days. But, the next three weekends also provide what Don King likes to call the "splendiforous resplenditude of NFL fabulousity."

Some rules to remember for the Wild Card round: at least one road team will win, at least one home will win in a blow-out and one team that everyone loves will come out and stink. On to the picks...

The Ravens need a big game
from Flacco this week.
Indy +6.5 over Baltimore 
So Ray Lewis is retiring? I don't buy it, this guy will play til he's 50 and will retire and un-retire 8 more times. Like TNT, he knows drama. Lewis hasn't really been good in four years, but he does lead the league in a stat called A.T. (almost tackles). No one is better at the almost tackle than ol' Ray. Troy Polamalu is second. The entire Jets team is tied for third. Anyway, prepare for roughly 1,000 close ups of Lewis screaming at his teammates and most likely openly weeping after Baltimore wins this game. In other words, just like every Ravens game for the last 17 years. Hooray for us all.

Part of me thinks the Colts can win this game because Andrew Luck is already better than Joe Flacco. However, he's got a long way to go to match his eyebrow prowess, or eyebrowess as I call it. I'm taking the points, but I think Baltimore advances by an eyelas- I mean eyebrow hair. T.Y. Hilton will score a TD in this game or his name isn't T.Y. Hilton.
Ravens 23 Indy 20

Green Bay -7.5 over Minnesota 

Betting against this man is unwise.
Let's face it, this is really A.P. vs. Rodgers. They may as well clear everyone off the field and just let these guys go one-on-one. I'm not sure how that would work in football. Peterson would first run over Rodgers, then Rodgers would get up and throw a football as far as he could to no one. Riveting television. It's a good thing I'm not allowed to make up the rules.

I love Peterson, and he is the MVP hands-down, but you can't take Christian Ponder on the road and I mean that literally. He gets home-sick and calls his mommy and insists on taking his blanky with him everywhere. It's sorta cute. Plus, the Packers have all four of their starting receivers back, and they seem to have found a real-life running back in Dujuan Harris. And let's not forget about that frozen tundra. That's worth a touchdown against the spread in January.
Green Bay 34 Minnesota 20

Houston -4.5 over Cincy 
Ahh, here's the one game in four that's not really must-see TV and it's tucked away nicely on Saturday afternoon, like it's saying, "don't look at me, nothing to see here!"

Marvin Lewis, instilling confindence.
Houston's been stumbling down the stretch, while Cincy's been surging behind a defense that has quietly been one of the best in the league. J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster are too damn good to lose this game. Also, betting on Marvin Lewis in a big game is just not a good idea. Even he can't believe he's still coaching the Bengals.
Texans 27 Bengals 13

Washington +3 over Seattle
Who will be the next Mark Sanchez? Dare to dream, fellas.
RG3 vs. lil' Russell Wilson is easily the best game of the weekend. Wilson's 100 QB rating would be a rookie record, if not for Griffin, who's at 102.4. Interestingly, the last rookie to win two playoff games in a season is Mark Sanchez. Just thought I'd mention that for no reason. Sanchez' NFL career is over, but his Saskatchewan Roughriders career is just getting started! Seattle looks like an unstoppable train and everyone loves them as a Super Bowl dark horse, but they struggled to beat a crappy Rams team at home last week. Wilson was also sacked 6 times. Sometimes teams peak too soon.

Seattle's weakness is their O-line and Washington will blitz the hell out of them this week, just like they did Romo last week. Wilson is roughly 200 times more elusive than Romo, but he also is not the same QB on the road (8 interceptions). If Griffin were healthy I think Washington wins, but he's not, so Seattle squeaks this one out in what should be a great game and moves on to Atlanta next week.
Seahawks 24 Skins 23.

Bonus National Title Game Pick:
Notre Dame +9 over Alabama
Two great defenses could lead to one of the least entertaining National Title games since, well, last year when 'Bama and LSU held that field goal suck-fest that everyone has tried to erase from their memories. It's a shame because there really have not been any good BCS games yet. Thanks again, BCS! At least we get to see Johnny Football vs. the Sooners tonight in a game that means nothing. I digress. I think the Irish have just enough to hang around and keep this game close..notice I said "close" and not "interesting." Bring on the playoff system please.
'Bama 16 N.D. 14

Overall record: 90-85-3