Friday, December 20, 2013

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Bowl Mockery Begins This Week Edition

Yes, it's a cherished holiday tradition, in which I, the Benster, choose to mock and ridicule some crappy bowl games.

What could be more festive?

I've covered the tree with garland and HYYYYYYYPPPPPE! and now it's time to look at a real beauty of a game. Watch me work!

A streetcar nobody desires
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl -- Tulane Green Wave (-2.5) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, in New Orleans, apparently. Hey old dude, what's not to love about this classic matchup, sponsored by a long-haul trucking company, in which the opponents are both very short hauls from the bowl site. What is this -- a traditional non-conference game, or worse? It would be like scheduling a bowl game between Bethel and Minnesota-Morris and holding it in the Metrodome, as long as you could get it done before they deflate the thing. I swear, this must be the laziest bowl matchup I have ever seen. It's tougher to set up a neighborhood poker game than to invite these two marginal programs to a bowl game, and they don't even get to travel! Lafayette is 136 miles from New Orleans, more or less, assuming you can avoid the random alligator or enraged East Coast reporters trying to chase down the latest philosophical crap of Duck Dynasty social sage Phil Robertson. As for the game, I've never watched these teams play, although I do know that Tulane once was very good and they get a home game for a bowl game. I guess that means they might win. Tulane 22, Louisiana-Lafayette 21.

Max McGee used to play for Tulane back in the 50s. He wouldn't approve of this game. Tulane 28, UL-L 17.

Idaho Potato Bowl -- Buffalo Bulls (pick) vs. San Diego State Aztecs, on the Smurf Turf, in Boise. Time to cue the Skynyrd, kids:

Actually, the game is at 4:30 in Boise, Idaho, and doesn't likely involve a one-night stand. However, if you decide to tune this one in, you might feel, well, I'll let you supply your own punchline. Once again, I have no knowledge of teams that play in bad bowl games. This game would have a difficult time getting on television in September, but now these ancient rivals (as far as I can tell, they've never met before) tee it up in a classic example of why there are too many bowl games. I'm sorry kids, the game got cancelled.

Actually, they are going to play and you can feel the excitement all the way out to Pocatello.

Okay, I'll pick the score. Buffalo 25, SDSU 0.

There have been times when San Diego State was pretty good in football. They actually have a decent history and gave the Packers one of their best players in the 1970s, cornerback Willie Buchanon. Unfortunately, it's now 2013 and no one cares about this one. I guess it's marginally better programming that having ESPN run Skip Bayless valentines to Tim Tebow on an endless loop. Of course, that might be wrong, too. San Diego State 31, Buffalo 20.

Okay, that's enough of that. On to the pros, where the games actually matter!

Minnesota Vikings (+7) vs. Cincinnati Bengals. The Vikings surprised me last week with the ease in which they dispatched the Eagles, who are supposed to be a playoff team. Now they travel to Cincinnati to play another supposed playoff team, the Bengals, who are stumbling towards the finish line, as always wearing their awful ugly tiger print uniforms. However, even if the Vikings get Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart back this week, it's gonna be difficult. The Bengals need this one, as the Ravens are breathing down their necks, and while the Vikings are definitely showing signs of improvement, this is too big a challenge. Bengals 31, Vikings 24.

Actually, I think the Vikings are going to win. I have no real reason for believing this, but why not? Matt Asiata will score twice and then stroll down to Skyline for a big bowl of chili for the flight home. Vikings 27, Bengals 24.

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles. It's once again time for the "desperate team at home" section of our picks. I have trademarked this, because it so often comes true. The Eagles can control their destiny if they beat da Bearz, who have squandered their opportunity to have things locked up in the division. Da Bearz are still in control of things, but the one thing they can't control is the line of scrimmage, especially on defense. Allow me to introduce you to Philadelphia Eagle running back Shady McCoy:

The weather forecast for Philadelphia this weekend does not call for another blizzard, but da Bearz will be preparing for a major winter storm when they hit the field on Sunday. Philly 47, da Bearz 10.

Uh, Benster? Did you see the weather forecast for Philly for Sunday? Check it out!

You cannot be serious!
That's right. Seventy freaking degrees, and rain! I don't think the snow will be much of a factor in this one. Having said that, I do agree that the Eagles are going to win this one. Philadelphia 31, Chicago 27.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. No Aaron Rodgers? No problem! The Packers have won two straight games in stirring comeback fashion, with much-maligned Matt Flynn at the helm. I almost gave up on the Packers at halftime last week, when they were down 26-3, but somehow, some way, they rallied and beat the Cowboahs 37-36. Now they return to Lambeau to face the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time since Super Bowl XLV. Oh, I remember that one a little:

I never get tired of watching that video. Things have changed some since that glorious evening; the Packers are still not able to get Rodgers past the medical staff hurdle, while the Steelers are looking at a rare losing season under coach Mike "Trip" Tomlin, last seen scampering out of the way of Jacoby Jones and opening his wallet for Roger Goodell, who hit him for 100K. The point is, we're again dealing with the Desperate Team at Home theory and, I expect the Packers not to stumble out of the gate this time. Packers 45, Steelers 17.

Oh, I think the Packers can beat the Steelers, who are as injury-ravaged as the Packers are. But it won't be easy. I expect a slugfest. Packers 24, Steelers 21.

I expect to see that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will be heading for Chicago next week. Will Aaron Rodgers be playing? Who knows? But once again, the Bears do not want to play this Packer team in a high-pressure game. Ben out!


R.A. Crankbait said...

Will the real Slim Shady please show up, please show up.

Brad Carlson said...

I expect to see that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will be heading for Chicago next week.

Only if they're spectators. There's no Sunday Night Football in Week 17

Mr. D said...

Only if they're spectators. There's no Sunday Night Football in Week 17.

Then I guess I'm confused about why NBC spent so much time talking about their impending trip to Dallas after halftime of the Bears game.