Monthly Archives: December 2012

NFL ‘You’re The Man’ Rankings — Week 17

LOS ANGELES — Apologies for not posting last week, sometimes life gets in the way. I did, however, compile my rankings without recaps; if you’re curious, you can check them out here. As for Week 17, here are some thoughts as we head into the final Sunday of a truly amazing 2012 regular season.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I spent a lot of time flipping channels and watching various holiday programming. In no particular order, here are my Top Christmas Movies of All-Time: Bad Santa, Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Die Hard, Elf and Home Alone.

OK, let’s find out who’s The Man.

32.) Jacksonville Jaguars (record: 2-13) (last week: 32)

31.) Kansas City Chiefs (2-13) (30)

30.) Oakland Raiders (3-12) (31)

29.) Arizona Cardinals (5-10) (29)

28.)New York Jets (6-9) (28)

27.) Philadelphia Eagles (27)

26.) Detroit Lions (4-11) (26)

25.) Tennessee Titans (5-10) (25)

24.) Cleveland Browns (5-10) (22)

23.) Buffalo Bills (5-10) (21)

22.) San Diego Chargers (6-9) (24)

21.) Carolina Panthers (6-9) (23)

20.) St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) (20)

19.) Miami Dolphins (7-8) (19)

18.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) (18) 

17.) New Orleans Saints (7-8) (17) — Can’t believe Sean Payton got a 5-year extension. Would’ve bet he’d been the Cowboys coach next season.

16.) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) (16) — At the beginning of the season I wondered if the Steelers were any good for just decimated by injures; turns out both were right. Not that good and injures took their toll.

15.) Dallas Cowboys (8-7) (15) — Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have carried me to the title game in the only fantasy league I’m alive in, and for some reason plays all 17 weeks. Hoping for another big game from them Sunday night.

14.) New York Giants (8-7) (10) — In a weird way, this Giants team is very similar to last year’s squad that made a Super Bowl run. Go figure.

13.) Chicago Bears (9-6) (14) — I’m guessing the Bears will find a way to sneak into the playoffs, but they can’t suffer any more injuries.

12.) Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) (13) — I’ll be curious to see how the Bengals play against the Ravens this weekend. Do they take it easy or look to build some momentum heading into the playoffs?

11.) Baltimore Ravens (10-5) (12) — Ray Lewis said to be returning for the playoffs; but will it matter?

10.) Minnesota Vikings (9-6) (11) — Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards for the all-time single season rushing record. Eric Dickerson is very worried. Goggles and all.

9.) Indianapolis Colts (10-5) (9) — If you don’t think the Colts aren’t going to play BIG when Chuck Pagano is back on the sideline this weekend, you don’t know sports.

8.) Washington Redskins (9-6) (7) — N0-brainer move of the season flexing this week’s game against the Cowboys to Sunday night; nothing better in the sports than the Win-And-In regular season finale.

7.) San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1) (2) — There’s no shame in getting boatraced by the Seachickens. But this team is slipping.

6.) New England Patriots (11-4) (3) — Is there any Super Bowl contender limping towards the playoffs as badly as the Patriots? They’re like Willem Defoe at the end of “Platoon.” OK, maybe not that bad, but it’s close.

5.) Seattle Seahawks (10-5) (8) — This team can win the Super Bowl and definitely are the 2012 NFL Boat Race Team of the Year (spoiler alert for my NFL Awards column next week).

4.) Green Bay Packers (11-4) (6) — The Packers can win and get the 2 seed, but I’m guessing they’re more concerned with not giving up 200 yards again to Adrian Peterson.

3.) Atlanta Falcons (13-2) (5) — Couple of pretty convincing wins the last two weeks by the Falcons, reminding everyone that the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through the Georgia Dome.

2.) Houston Texans (13-2) (4) — You talk about games that make your butthole pucker up, you got one this weekend at Indianapolis; Texans could either have homefield throughout the playoffs or be the 3 or 4 seed. Crazy.

1.) Denver Broncos (12-3) (1) — Peyton Manning. And Knowshawn Moreno? Wow.

NFL ‘You’re The Man’ Rankings — Week 15

[editors note: honestly, after what happened Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, I couldn’t bring myself to finish the column this week. What I have done is what I have done. My apologies, but there some things more important than football and the last few weeks have illustrated that more than ever.]

LOS ANGELES — There’s been so much chatter in the last few weeks about the end-of-the-year awards and who’s in the lead for what. On the Dan Patrick Show Thursday morning, Rich Eisen said he couldn’t vote for Adrian Peterson for MVP because the Vikings aren’t going to make the playoffs; Comeback Player of the Year, yes, and even Offensive Player of the Year, but not MVP. Being a Tom Brady guy, naturally, you’d assume I’d pull for #12, however, if Peterson gets to 2,000 yards, I’d be in the AD camp for MVP. I’m more for the Peyton Manning for Comeback Player since he literally missed an entire season AND had 4 neck surgeries – that’s not normal – where as Peterson got injured in Week 16 last year. Brady is having another magnificent season (currently with a 29-4 TD-INT ratio) but it’s a lot like Brett Favre in 2007, a year ironically that Brady won MVP. If you remember, Favre was legit that year for the Packers (4,155 yds, 28 TD, 15 INT) but Brady went for 50 TD and the Patriots were unbeaten. So, with 3 weeks to go, I’m riding with AD for MVP and Peyton for Comeback, gimme Brady Offensive POY and My Good Friend Robert (Griffin III) as Offensive Rookie of the Year (my reasoning on that next week.)

Let’s find out who’s the Man.

32.) Arizona Cardinals (4-9) (32) — There are 58 reasons why the Cardinals are  bringing up the rear in these rankings. And if those aren’t enough, I got 9 more.

31.) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) (31) — #FreeMJD.

30.) Oakland Raiders (3-10) (30) — I’m pretty sure I met a girl last weekend who said she was a Raiders fan, which would be a first. I’ll have to double check but we also we were talking about throwing things on people from the balcony we were on. Yup, definitely a Raiders fan.

29.) Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) (28) —

28.) Philadelphia Eagles (4-9) (29) — #FreeAndyReid

27.) Tennessee Titans (4-9) (26) —

26.) Carolina Panthers (4-9) (27) —

25.) Detroit Lions (4-9) (22) —

24.) San Diego Chargers (5-8) (25) — How pissed are Chargers fans gonna be when they win out and Norv saves his job but only A.J. Smith gets fired? Like fat guy at the donut shop realizing they’re out of bear claws, pissed? Or like Mel Gibson on a Friday night in Malibu talking politics, pissed?

23.) New York Jets (6-7) (24) — #FreeTebow.

22.) Cleveland Browns (5-8) (23) — 

21.) St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) (21) —

20.) Miami Dolphins (5-8) (20) —

19.) Buffalo Bills (5-8) (19) — We did a Top 12 players to wear #12 countdown at work this week in honor of 12/12/12 and does anyone else feel like when we talk about the great QBs in NFL history we often overlook Jim Kelly?  The Machine Gun took the Bills to 4. Straight. Super. Bowls. I think that goes often overlooked.

18.) New Orleans Saints (5-8) (17) —

17.) Dallas Cowboys (7-6) (16) — The Cowboys and the Jets are basically the same team. They’re hot garbage but just cool enough to win a couple late games so the national media has to keep talking about their outside playoff chances when they as good of a chance to make the postseason as I do of staring in the next “Air Bud” sequel. As the dog.

16.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) (15) —

15.) Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) (14) —

14.) Minnesota Vikings (7-6) (18) — My buddy, Jimmy, quoted “Godfather 3 last weekend: “I thought I was out, but they pulled me back in!” Only not in the Silvio Dante voice. I think.

13.) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) (13) — Congrats to my Sunday editor (and gigantic Steelers fan) Jantzen and his wife on the birth of their first child this week! No doubt that baby came out angrier than James Harrison that Mike Wallace has dropped so many passes this year.

12.) Seattle Seahawks (8-5) (12) — So it wasn’t bad enough that my opponent in the ROFFL playoffs had Marshawn Lynch but he also had the Seattle Defense. He had BOTH. My 50-point lead heading into the afternoon games last Sunday disappeared quicker than stuff that disappears fast in the presence of people who like that stuff! AAAARRRGGHHH. So frustrating. Just wasn’t meant to be. In my defense, his team has been a juggernaut. After losing the first 3 weeks, he’s now won the last 11.

11.) Washington Redskins (7-6) (11) — I don’t know how My Good Friend Robert’s leg stayed attached to his body and neither do you and neither does he. I can’t watch it. But I believe 100% that he’s gonna play this week at Cleveland. The Redskins have to win out to give them the most optimal chance of making the playoffs and let’s be real, #10 gives them the best chance of doing that. Reckless play or not.

10.) Chicago Bears (8-5) (8) — Did you see that Charlie Brown Christmas tree Brandon Marshall touted out at his press conference this week? Thing was epic … -ly bad. Then he compared the tree to the Bears season right now. Then he trashed talked the Packers. This isn’t going to end well for Chicago. Like, gonna-miss-the-playoffs-after-starting-7-and-1 not going to end well.

9.) Baltimore Ravens (9-4) (10) —

8.) New York Giants (8-5) (9) —

7.) Indianapolis Colts (9-4) (7) — Man, week-in and-out this team just finds a way to win. It’s beyond impressive at this point, I just expect it now. Andrew Luck leads the league in turnovers, but who cares. How many other QBs hands in the league do you want the ball in with the clock ticking down in a close game? Not many. Not many. Unbelievable when you think about it.

6.) Atlanta Falcons (11-2) (3) — Well, the Falcons didn’t do much to quiet the haters who were spouting before the game the fraduent rhetoric that seems to be haunting this team recently. I guess peeps won’t truly quiet until the Matt Ryan and Mike Smith win a playoff game. Well, they’re going to get a home game this postseason. No Excuses.

5.) Green Bay Packers (9-4) (6) — So, you know, I lost in the first round of the ROFFL playoffs. In a way I’m glad, that way I don’t have to be let down by Jermichael Finley in the Finals. Because you know that was happening. Down 5.5 in the fourth quarter. My opponent is done, but I have Finley left and he throws up a classic stinkbomb, including dropping a TD pass that would’ve won me my first title. Ugh.

4.) San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) (5) —

3.) Houston Texans (11-2) lost (1) — So in their two nationally televised to all the football-viewing homes in the country, the Texans have given up an AVERAGE of 42 points per game. An average. That is all.

2.) Denver Broncos (10-3) (4) — The Broncos three losses are to the Patriots, Texans and Falcons all before Peyton Manning really knew what he was doing or had with this offense. Since then, well, ho, hum, 7 straight wins. And Von Miller and his 16 sacks and 6 forced fumbles, if ya need him.

1.) New England Patriots (10-3) (2) — Am I a Tom Brady homer? Yes. Is it easy get lost in his eyes? Yes. Do I freakin’ love it when Tom scrambles for a meaningless first down late in a blowout and then stand up and violently point and gesture and scream is head off? You bet your ass I do.

‘Bo’ Doc Stirs Up Memories

LOS ANGELES — I collected posters as a kid. I did a lot of things as a kid, but posters were my thing (and baseball/basketball cards; remember those days?). Whenever my family would head out to K-Mart or Roses or any place I knew sold them, the rack was the first place I went. I’d flip past at rocket speed until something caught my eye and stopped me dead in my tracks; usually it was a fast-looking car or a girl in a bikini but if there was one of Michael Jordan or Ken Griffey, Jr. they’d get my admiration, too. But hands down my favorite poster of all-time is of Bo Jackson.

You know the one. Bo standing there in a blue and black locker room. It’s just him surrounded by his equipment: helmet, bat, shoulder pads, glove, cleats, balls, jackets. There’s even a guitar and hockey stick, leftover from the Nike “Bo Knows” commercial, no doubt. It’s dark, there’s some smoke at the bottom and just the perfect amount of light shining on his Adonis physique. “BLACK & BLUE” the title read. I still have it at my mom’s house. Somewhere. Packed away. Of another generation, it seems. Much like Bo’s playing days.

Late November, Bo Jackson turned 50-years old. He last tore up the gridiron with his God-like power and speed nearly 22 years ago. People I work with don’t remember ever watching him play, only knowing him from throwback Tecmo Bowl games and stories of his freak-like strength and power. A super hero for the 8-bit generation. Last Friday, ESPN aired its latest “30 for 30” and profiled the man, myth and legend that was Bo Jackson. The athlete and the human, and it did not disappoint. For me, it was an amazing trip down memory lane. A time when I still viewed athletes as mythical beings who could do no wrong; statues of muscle and brawn who mashed home runs and scored touchdowns with ease, men who I wanted to be and replicated their every movements in my back yard.

“You Don’t Know Bo” starts from the beginning, at Bo’s home in Bessemer, Alabama and continues chronologically from high school, through Auburn and to the Royals and Raiders, his tragic hip injury, the comeback and then skips to now, with Bo in his man cave making arrows (like for a compound bow) and showing off his big game taxidermy.

The hour-long doc was filled with people from Bo’s past telling stories about what they remembered about him, from his high school football and baseball coaches, former Auburn head coach Pat Dye, Royals teammates George Brett and Mark Gubicza, Raiders teammate Howie Long and various sports journalists, including pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman. Of course, Jackson himself was prevalent in the doc, recalling the moments as they were presented.

A few of my favorite stories in no particular order: Bo saying as a kid he used to have crab apple fights with the other children in his neighborhood and he always won, even one time throwing the apples through screen doors at kids who thought just because they went inside the house they were safe from his wrath; Bo’s high school football coach on the day he was hired asking about the “maintenance man” by the field who turned out to be Bo; him choosing to go to Auburn because Dye went himself rather than sending his assistants and called him Vincent; his college baseball coach talking about hitting a ball over the center field green monster and to the base of a building 150 feet away; Bo recalling why exactly he ran into the tunnel at the Kingdome after his 91-yd touchdown run (he didn’t want to pull a hamstring trying to stop before the wall); Bo’s lead-off homerun in the 1989 All-Star Game and the great footage of him running up the wall and breaking a bat over his knee; remembering all the Nike commercials and, of course, the Tecmo Bowl montage.

I was so jacked up for the Bo doc last week, I nearly bought a pair of his old cross trainers on eBay, except I’m probably the only person in 2012 who has never used the other-people’s-trash collecting site so I wasn’t quite sure how to procure them. It also got me thinking about the time when I was 10-years old, paying something like $12 for the Score baseball card of Bo shirtless wearing shoulder pads and a baseball bat. It was one of my most prized sports card possessions back in the day. I think it’s worth 75 cents now.

Alas, the most interesting part of the doc turned out to be the conclusion most of the journalists made that Bo is the ultimate “What If?” athlete. It’s a tough notion to argue with. Can you think of anyone who had more natural ability than Bo? More strength? More speed? He ran a 4.12 40-yard dash at the Combine!!?! Do you know how incredibly fast that is? He legged out singles on balls hit a couple steps to the left of the 2nd baseman. He tracked down balls in the outfield with ease. He’s the only player in NFL history with two touchdown runs of 90-plus yards. He once said that anything he did outside of baseball season was a hobby; meaning, his entire football career was a HOBBY. What kind of hobbies do you have? Knitting? Stamp collecting? Halo?

It’s crazy to think what could have been for him. His 162-game averages of 33 homers, 97 RBI and 19 steals suggest an outside Hall of Fame career stretched out over 15-plus seasons; though his .250 average and 196 strikeout pace might say otherwise. But Bo never played more than 135 games (in 1989) in his brief 8-year career. His NFL numbers are even more suggestive, especially his 5.4 career yards-per-carry average, which is better than Barry Sanders (5.0), Adrian Peterson (5.0), Tony Dorsett (4.3), Emmitt Smith (4.2) and the man he replaced in Oakland, Marcus Allen (4.1), to name a few. However, Bo’s career high in games played is only 11 in 1989; hey, he had a good year.

Jeremy Schapp brought up an interesting idea late in the doc, and in a way, he’s right. What if (there’s that statement again) Bo had came around 10-12 years later, looking like he did, hitting home runs like he did, running over Brian Bosworth like he did? What would we all be thinking? Naturally, we’d assume Bo was taking something to enhance his performance. No one is that big, that strong and that fast. But Bo was. He was country strong and he did everything with such ease that if it were during another era the cloud of suspicion would hang over him.

Thankfully, that’s not the case. Sure, we only got to enjoy Bo for really 3-4 years but those were pretty freakin’ awesome.

I do know that.

NFL “You’re The Man” Rankings — Week 14

LOS ANGELES — Week 13 was the wildest we’ve had this season and in quite some time.

Let’s find out who’s the Man.

32.) Arizona Cardinals (record: 4-8) (last week: 31) — That’s eight straight losses, if you’re scoring at home, for the Cardinals. And in the last three games Larry Fitzgerald has 5 catches for 65 yards and probably single handily killing fantasy teams across America. #FreeFitz

31.) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) (26) — Of course Rex Ryan went with Mark Sanchez as his starter this week. He has 8.5 million reasons as to why he did this. And as if things can’t get any worse for Jacksonville, guess who’s coming to town in Week 14? Mr. Timothy Tebow and his two cracked ribs! Will he be active? Will he get more than 2 plays? Will the Jets score more than 6 points? So many questions. #FreeTebow

30.) Oakland Raiders (3-9) (28) — Remember 6 weeks ago or something when I said the Raiders were “close.” Well, I want to explain what I meant by that. I meant Oakland was close to securing the Top Pick in the 2013 NFL Draft which they will undoubtedly take on whomever runs the fastest 40 at the Combine.

29.) Philadelphia Eagles (3-9) (30) — As you watched the Sunday night game, was there at least a part of you that hoped Nick Foles would somehow engineer an upset win over the Cowboys and give Andy Reid something to smile about? Part of you?

28.) Kansas City Chiefs (2-10) (32) — There’s not much I can or want to add to the story surrounding the Chiefs. I’m glad they played and I’m glad they won. I hope everyone can heal and find some peace and find a way to move forward. It’s just terrible.

27.) Carolina Panthers (3-9) (25) — This team is not good and it’s not good for my fantasy team that I was forced to start DeAngelo Williams. But he did have 67 rushing yards. So thanks for the 4.5 points.

26.) Tennessee Titans (4-8) (24) — I don’t really have anything to say about the Titans so allow me to gripe about my DirecTV DVR for a second. I haven’t been on board with this season of “Boardwalk Empire” but I still recorded them, same with this season of “Homeland,” which I’ve never seen but heard is quite good. However, I just realized that my DVR has only saved the most recent 5 episodes. Apparently, that’s the default setting when you record a series. Talk about a wicked bummer.

25.) San Diego Chargers (4-8) (22) — Hey, remember when the Chargers were 3-1? Nope, me neither. They were actually 3.5-1 if you count them being up 24-0 on Peyton Manning and the Broncos (I just instinctively wrote “Colts” just now)? Well since then they’ve lost 7-of-8. Who hires Norv Turner next year? And has anyone seen Philip Rivers?

24.) New York Jets (5-7) (29) — I’m not gonna say I enjoyed what went down Sunday at the Meadowlands but it was pretty hilarious. Mark Sanchez getting benched has been on the verge of going down for weeks and it took three 1st half interceptions for Rex Ryan to pull the trigger. It’s only too bad that Tim Tebow was inactive. That would’ve been something and it would’ve been interesting to see how Jets fans reacted.

23.) Cleveland Browns (4-8) (27) — Rookie quarterbacks had a great Week 13 and that includes Brandon Weeden, who went into the Black Hole and threw for 364 yards and a TD (2INT) in a 20-17 win. Don’t look now, but the Browns have won 2 in a row. OK, you can look now.

22.) Detroit Lions (4-8) (19) — Back at the beginning of the year, I predicted Matthew Stafford would lead the league in passing yards. After 13 weeks, look who’s sitting atop the standings: Mr. Stafford at 3,742 passing yards. He has a 68-yard lead on Drew Brees. I feel proud of this because I picked Darren McFadden for the rushing title (currently 30th) and Lovie Smith for Coach of the Year (Bears fading).

21.) St. Louis Rams (5-6-1) (21) — Looked at the NFL standings today and did you know the Rams are currently unbeaten in the NFC West at 4-0-1? How in Sam Bradford’s bad hair did that happen? If they win out, they’ll win the division and make the playoffs. At least it’s better than the time they nearly made it with a losing record. Or did Seattle make it that year at 7-9? Man, the NFC West sucks.

20.) Miami Dolphins (5-7) (20) — OK, Dolphins. You’ve been my punching bag all season and now I turn to you. This week. Week 14. ROFFL Playoffs. One time. Let’s do this. See, there’s no chance I’m playing the Texans Defense against the Patriots this week so with the slim pickens on the free agents list, I went with the Dolphins at the 49ers this week, figuring (hoping) Colin Kaepernick struggles for the second straight game and throws the ball around the yard and takes some sacks. Either way, gonna take a Herculean effort from the Mammals. I believe in you.

19.Buffalo Bills (5-7) (23) — This literally has nothing to do with Buffalo, since I’m guessing he’s never been to the All-American City, but did you see that video of Jay-Z riding the subway to his 8th and final Barclay Center opening concert next to that old lady who didn’t know who he was? It was pretty awesome and and Jay-Z came off as cool as you’d expect him to handle a situation like that. Whether that was staged or not, it makes him look like a down-to-earth dude, which he has every right not to be. Well done.

18.) Minnesota Vikings (6-6) (17) — Adrian Peterson is not human, contrary to what he told Rich Eisen on his Thanksgiving Special, and is making a real threat to 2,000 yards rushing this season. With just 4 games remaining, he needs to average 138 per to to become AD2K. And big ups to Christian Ponder, who announced he’s engaged to ESPN personality Samantha Steele. #PodcastBump

17.) New Orleans Saints (5-7) (15) — This season can’t get over fast enough for the Saints, though they think they probably still have a shot at the playoffs; which they don’t. It’s o-v-a. Which makes this weekend’s game against the Giants interesting. They have traditionally struggled on the road and the giants can’t beat anybody at home.

16.) Dallas Cowboys (6-6) (18) — The Cowboys are so bad they barely beat the carcass Eagles on national television. If Nick Foles was anyone other than Nick Foles the Eagles would’ve won that game and then maybe kept Andy Reid’s job hopes alive. But man, can Dez Bryant ball out when he wants to or when his knucklehead isn’t in the way.

15.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) (11) — I’ll admit to being semi-wrong about this Bucs team. Sure, there’s a chance they win out and make the playoffs, but it seems unlikely. I thought for sure they’d be the 6th seed in the NFC, but it seems like that’ll be reserved for the 12th man. In other news, I have some conflicts with Doug Martin this weekend. Playing against him in ROFFL but have him in a 4-letter league. Let’s hope he throws up a 12-carry, 35-yard crapfest.

14.) Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) (16) — Here’s how this is gonna play out: the Bengals are going to rally to beat Dallas this week when they should beat them by 2 scores because the Cowboys aren’t any good. That sets up Week 16’s cage fight against the Steelers; winner takes the last AFC playoff spot.

13.) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) (14) — Mike Tomlin announced Thursday Ben Roethlisberger is starting against San Diego, which is both shocking and not surprising at all. Roethlisberger had potential life-threatening injuries a mere 3 weeks ago and is now going back out to the field where he is most likely to get hit again in the same manner which levied the previous injuries. Only this time he’ll be wearing a Kevlar chest sleeve of some sort. Like anyone on Chargers cares. Wait, he’ll be fine. The Chargers haven’t hit anyone in weeks.

12.) Seattle Seahawks (7-5) (13) — Just when you think they’re out, Russell Wilson pulls you back in. It’s amazing, but Wilson not only has the Seahawks locked into the 6th seed in the NFC right now, but has vaulted himself into the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Coming into the season, it seemed like a two-man race, so that there’s even a debate on a third is impressive. Speaking of impressive, we uncovered the song Deion Sanders is referencing when he sings for RW. Enjoy.

11.) Washington Redskins (6-6) (12) — Mike Shanahan should declare the season over more often. All that’s happened since is My Good Friend Robert has beaten in succession the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants and gotten the Redskins back into the playoff picture. He’s the toast of D.C. He could run for president and win. He can balance the budget and avoid the cliff. I’m not changing the channel when he has the ball and I’d still rather have Andrew Luck.

10.) Baltimore Ravens (9-3) (7) — I said this a couple weeks ago and I’m going to repeat it: Wild Card loss to Indianapolis. There’s a small chance that the winner of Bengals/Steelers in Week 16 will win the AFC North. Baltimore is primed to blow it.

9.) New York Giants (7-5) (8) — It’s December, this means the Giants aren’t supposed to lose. This means they should be ramping up and hitting their stride. This means. They aren’t supposed to lose division games, especially to second-tier teams like the Redskins. Maybe these Giants aren’t on the same path as their predecessors.

8.) Chicago Bears (8-4) (6) — So the Bears lost a December game at home? There’s a very good chance that this team collapses and misses the playoffs. I think Chi-town should be prepared for this. Brian Urlacher is out for the season, too, doesn’t help that defense which has been killing it.

7.) Indianapolis Colts (8-4) (10) — Nothing that Andrew Luck does anymore surprises me. Nothing. Dude is a baller.

6.) Green Bay Packers (8-4) (9) — I hope you’re all prepared for a ESS-LOAD of chatter in the coming weeks about the screw job in Seattle from the Replacement Ref Era, because it’s coming. And it may end up costing the Packers a home playoff game.

5.) San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1) (4) — OK, so maybe benching Alex Smith wasn’t the best idea. Actually, it still was. Colin Kaepernick will be better for the 49ers in the long run.

4.) Denver Broncos (9-3) (5) — Is Denver the best team in the league? I don’t know. Is Peyton Manning the MVP? Yes. Can the Broncos win the Super Bowl? If Von Miller is playing out of his mind still through the playoffs? Yes. Will that be absolutely insane considering

3.) Atlanta Falcons (11-1) (3) — The most disrespected 11-1 team in NFL history? Very likely.

2.) New England Patriots (9-3) (2) — Caught some of Aqib Talib’s locker room comments this week about the Texans; consider me still worried about the Patriots secondary. They’re going to give up a big play that’s going to cost them a game. Big time. Seattle redux.

1.) Houston Texans (11-1) (1) — Monday night is going to be a badass game. But until the Texans lose, they are the Man.

The Crossover Ep. 27 — ROFFL Playoff Preview

photo (47)

LOS ANGELES — It’s that time of the year, people: Fantasy Football Playoffs. I don’t know about you, but of all the league’s I’m in (that would be one, two, three, four, FIVE), there’s only one that I really care about and pay attention to 24/7: The Retired Orangemen Fantasy Football League.

This season is our 11th and it’s just as competitive as Season 1. It’s also been a wild one for the Colt .45 Hollywood Bandits. Started out hot, winning the first 3 weeks, then lost the next two, before climbing to 6-3. But a three-game losing streak had me wondering if the playoffs were a pipe dream. But a Week 13 win had me again in the tournament, which is where you want to be. The closest I’ve come to winning was a year ago. I fell to Drew Brees and his owner, Parker Deay, in the finals. A finals that seemed out of reach when I began the year 0-4, but nonetheless I reached after upsetting a pair of higher seeds in the first two rounds.

This season, I’m again the 7th seed and Parker, a two-time champion, is again No. 1, so I had to get him over to Trojan Manor to chat about the season and the upcoming ROFFL Playoffs, which begin this Thursday with the Broncos at Raiders on Thursday Night Football.

Enjoy the banter, boys!