Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Thanksgiving Day Extravaganza Edition

You know it's that time of year when we bust out this image, Old Dude! That's right, it's Thanksgiving HYYYYYYYYPPPPPPPPPEE! First off, let me thank everyone for wishing me a happy birthday earlier this week. I'm another year older and am still waiting for the Geritol Fan to let me drive his Buick Roadmaster.

You may be waiting a while, young fella.

Yes, I know, I still have to take the driver's ed course and pass the tests, but it's going to happen soon enough. But that's not why you're here. You've come for my mad game picking skillz. Watch me work!

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-6) vs. Detroit Lions. This might be the first time that one of these games has mattered since 1962. Do you want to know how long ago 1962 was? Get this -- Decrepit wasn't even born yet! My goodness, that's a long time ago! The Lions looked like a team that was going to challenge for a playoff spot this year and they still might make it, but lately they've been a little shaky. Matthew Stafford has been erratic and the Lions defense has been giving up touchdown passes lately. That's not a good formula for success against the Packers, who score more points than I do with the ladies. Okay, that's not a fair comparison; maybe I should strike that line from the record. Naah, we'll let it stand. Anyway, back to my expert analysis. We'll be seeing the Lions again on New Years Day at Lambeau, so this one is probably going to decide the division. If the Packers win tomorrow, the Lions are toast. Or stuffing. Or giblets or something. Packers 35, Lions 31.

The funny thing is this -- the Packers actually like this Thanksgiving Day thing. Mike McCarthy said as much this week. I'm not sure the immediate experience is going to be pleasant, though. Josh Sitton has been playing hurt all season and that's not a good thing when you are lined up against Ndamakong Suh. If the Packers keep the Lions out of Aaron Rodgers's face, the Packers will win. But it's gonna be tough. Packers 28, Lions 24.

Minnesota Ponders (+9 1/2) vs. Hotlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, we have the Vikings, who are contemplating a full Les Steckel experience this season. You remember Les Steckel, right? Well, I don't, because he was the coach about 11 years before I was born. But I've heard the stories about his reign of error. This team looks pretty dismal right now, especially if Adrian Peterson can't play. I'd heard that Christian Ponder wanted to be an NFL quarterback in the worst way. He's getting his wish -- bad receivers, bad offensive line, no stud running back and an opponent that really needs to win. Ooh, this won't be good. Dirty Birds 70, Fire Leslie Frazier 0.

Wow, the Leslie Frazier watch is already on? Mrs. D won't be amused by that call, Seabiscuit. I get where you're going, though -- the Vikings are looking worse by the week and there's no evidence that they will be able to right the ship. I'll bet Zygi Wilf really enjoys the excellent PR work his team is doing right now. The question is: would L.A. want this collection? Atlanta 27, Vikings 13.

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+3 1/2) vs. Oakland Raiduhs. Hello, Caleb Hanie. Welcome to Oakland. Watch as the Raider defensive line decides to Occupy Hanie. Do you see what I did there? Fresh as today's headlines. Anyway, things got a lot tougher for those Bears this week as we've learned that Jay Cutler has a broken thumb and won't be able to play for at least a few weeks. I'll give you this -- Cutler got hurt on a play that should put to rest the snickering about his courage once and for all. We've been tough on Cutler here, but he deserves a lot of respect for what he's done this season. The problem is, he might be done doing what he does. And that leaves us with Caleb Hanie, who channels the best attributes of former Bears greats Bobby Douglass and Peter Tom Willis, with maybe a dose of Steve Stenstrom thrown in. The problem is, da Bearz need something better than that. Wouldn't it be wild if we see the return of Brent "Don't Text Me Bro" Perve in a Bearz uniform? He wouldn't do that, now would he? Or would he? In fact, I think he is. Raiduhs 17, da Bearz 10.

Don't even suggest something that terrible, youngblood. Hanie is a good athlete and can run well. He may have to. I think the Bears defense holds up well and keeps them from falling out of the race, but it's going to be tough to keep pace. I expect a lot of Matt Forte for now. Bears 21, Raiders 16.

Illinois Fighting Zooks (-10 1/2) vs. Minnesota Golden Road Kill. If you're a Gopher fan, at least you've got this much going for you -- your coach will be back next year. As for Illinois, maybe not so much. Ron Zook is cooked, I think, and he won't coach at the D-1 level for a while. The Illini started the season well, but they could end up 6-6 after a 6-0 start and get to go to the ever-popular Little Caesar's Bowl, where they will be playing a bucket of chicken wings. The early line on that game is that the bucket of chicken wings is a 3 1/2 point favorite over the Illini. Meanwhile, our Gophers are trying to improve and they've shown a few signs of progress, but Jerry Kill was right -- this is a big rebuilding job. Gophers 50, You're Fired, Ron Zook 0.

Wow. Just wow. I agree, Zook is in a lot of trouble, but I don't see that sort of faceplant happening on Saturday. I also think that the Illini pull one out because they like their embattled coach. Won't save him, though. And Vegas is probably right about the chicken wings beating the Illini, especially on a neutral field. Illinois 24, Gophers 17.

Penn State Media Circus (+16) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers. I still don't want to talk about Penn State right now, but professional duties require that I must, so let me tell you this. The Nittany Lions can play some defense, but they are offensively challenged, because they have two quarterbacks. And when you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. Will Montee Ball get two more touchdowns? Heck, I think he'll set the national record. If he gets 3 touchdowns per game through this one, the Big Ten championship game and the Rose Bowl, he'll do it. Let's call this foreshadowing, but Montee Ball will win the Heisman, because he's had a much better season than anyone in the country. Wisconsin 83, Penn State 0.

I looked this up. The last time the Nittany Lions came to Madison was 2008, they killed the Badgers. The final score was 48-7. I suspect Bucky will turn the tables. No mercy this time. Wisconsin 48, Penn State 7.

Arkansas Razorblades (+14) vs. LSU Bayou Bengals. And now, a rant. Ahem. I watched the Game of the Century a few weeks back and it was the worst game that weekend. LSU/Alabama was BORING! A snoozefest! It was DULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! And now comes Arkansas, who is somehow 3rd in the country? No! Enough of this SEC bias, and enough of the BCS! I've always called the BCS a cartel. What's worse is that they combine two things that are really tough to take: corruption and boredom! I still don't forget how the Badgers got screwed in 2006 and how various teams have been getting screwed each year (Houston Cougars, I'm looking at you!) In fact, do you want to know the truth about the SEC? They don't have the courage to play actual teams! I had to listen to to all the sneering from the SEC types about Big Ten non-conference schedules, but I've noticed Georgia Southern, Western Kentucky and Northwestern State on SEC schedules recently. I guess the game with Lakeland Dental Academy must have been postponed. I have to pick a winner and LSU didn't impress me one little bit. Razorbacks 17, LSU 10.

I hope you're right. What I'd like to see is this: Arkansas wins this game, Alabama loses to Auburn and then the Razorbacks lose to Georgia in the SEC championship game. Then let's see how the BCS cabal can wedge two SEC teams into the BCS championship game. It would be amusing. Arkansas 24, LSU 17.

Man, all that ranting tires a guy out! Well, at least we'll get some tasty turkey tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving -- Ben out!


Gino said...

the Bears, and by this i mean the players and writers, seem confident in hanie. i'm hopeful, as well.

we have the easy half of our schedule coming up, so things shouldnt be as ominous.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

The Bears are a pretty resilient lot and I think they'll be able to win some games without Cutler. Will it be enough? Well, they've got a one game lead and a tie breaker on Atlanta. That helps. And the Giants have got a pretty tough schedule. They're dangerous enough that I'd love for them to miss the boat.

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