The Friday Clock-Watcher's Guide to NFL Week 12
Honestly, is there a more horrendous time of the year to be stuck in the office than the holiday season?
Not only is it dark for approximately 23 hours a day, but you just can't wait to get to Thanksgiving, and then to Christmas, and then to New Year's. All of this waiting makes the clock tick extra slowly.
But fret not, cube monkey. Thanksgiving is now under a week away. And more importantly, there's another holiday coming up this weekend: Week 12 Sunday in the National Football League.
So don't stress over that spreadsheet, and put off that conference call until Monday.
Here is the Friday clock-watcher's guide to NFL Week 12.
Clowning for Clowney
Imagine that you ran a company and under your stewardship, it suffered the worst year out of any comparable company in its field. Chances are, your business would be screwed, right?
Well, it doesn't work that way in the NFL. If you finish with the worst record, you're rewarded with the No. 1 overall pick in the following year's draft, enabling you to choose the best player from college to help your team start winning games.
This creates a strange phenomenon, whereby fans start rooting for their favorite team to lose—or, at least, hope for them to not win enough in order to secure a top pick and the chance to select an outstanding young player.
That brings us to this Sunday's otherwise nondescript slop-fest between the 1-9 Jaguars and 2-8 Texans.
Now, you might be thinking: Those fans are surely starved for victory and want to end the season on a high note, right?!
Wrong. So ridiculously wrong.
If I were a fan of the Jags or Texans, I would be praying for my team to lose. Literally, I would get down on my hands and knees and pray for a loss.
Watch the above video. That man is Jadeveon Clowney, and he is not someone you want to piss off. That poor running back for Michigan literally had no chance, and he's probably still seeing stars.
So, yeah, Jags and Texans fans, I know the temptation is to root for your team. You're tired of losing. You want a winner, damn it!
Well, that winner isn't coming this year, so you might as well start planning for the future. Understand that, at this point, a loss is just as good as a win.
You are officially Clowning for Clowney. And you should absolutely love it.
Jerry Jones Meltdown Potential
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is nothing if not entertaining.
Actually, he's a lot of other things, too, including the worst general manager in sports—but that's a story for another time.
Few things are more entertaining than when Jones completely melts down during and after a loss. We've all seen it happen.
The Cowboys have blown a huge lead, but Tony Romo is leading a comeback charge. Then, the cameras cut to Jones in the owner's booth, and he looks like he's going to chew off all his fingernails. Finally, Romo throws a backbreaking interception, and Jones looks like he just swallowed a lemon.
It's absolutely awesome.
Then, he speaks to the media after the game, which is ridiculous for an owner to do, but I digress. And in this talk with the media, Jones will generally say something wacky that buries one of his coaches or players, and why? Because Jerry Jones can't help himself.
And that's great news for all of us viewers, especially because this Sunday's game at the Giants has significant "Jones meltdown" potential.
Think about it: The Cowboys beat the Giants in Week 1 and watched as their division rival stumbled to an 0-6 record. Now, the Giants are 4-6 and can tie the 5-5 Cowboys with a win on Sunday.
It's going to be a close game, because the Cowboys and Giants always play close games. Can't you just see it in your mind's eye?
Eli Manning will lead the Giants down the field to take a late lead, leaving the game in Romo's hands. The camera will show Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on the sideline looking lost and Jones in the owner's booth looking like he's seen a ghost. With each bad decision by Romo, Jones will further descend into mania, and when the game inevitably ends with a Giants interception, Jones will be catatonic. And then he'll say some wild stuff in locker room afterward.
I can't wait.
Run for Your Life, Ryan!
You know, I generally have a hard time feeling bad for star athletes, particularly those married to smoking-hot women.
It's why I've never understood why fans "feel bad" for players like Mark Sanchez. Sure, Sanchez stinks, and yeah, his career is a joke, but have you SEEN some of the women he's been linked with? I'd take a crappy career and Kate Upton over a great career and no beautiful woman—and any guy that tells you differently is lying.
However, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is in a spot of trouble.
This Sunday in Miami, the Dolphins are hosting the red-hot Carolina Panthers and their ferocious defensive line. You may or may not have heard about some minor, itsy-bitsy situation involving Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Well, that situation has left the team without two of their starting five linemen, and the group wasn't even good to begin with.
Carolina has 31 sacks on the season. Miami has allowed 41.
That means Tannehill is going to be running for his life on Sunday. He is going to be hit early and often, and it's going to be painful to watch.
The natural inclination will be to feel bad for him. It's human nature to feel empathy for a fellow person being under physical duress.
But then, I want you to remember the above picture, and how stupidly hot his wife is. Go ahead and Google Lauren Tannehill if you need more proof. I'll wait.
And then ask yourself this question: Would you willingly be sacked four or five times per week by 300-pound men if you got to come home to her?
Manning vs. Brady. 'Nuff Said
It's not often that you get to see two giants of a particular genre go head-to-head.
Da Vinci never had a paint-off with Michelangelo. Bryan Cranston never had an act-off with Daniel Day-Lewis. Mozart and Beethoven never did an old-school "Battle of the Bands."
But in the NFL, we have the pleasure of watching just that, as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will square off on Sunday Night Football when the Broncos visit the Patriots.
There's nothing better. They're the two best quarterbacks of this generation, and they always entertain.
Doesn't it suck when a game features two awful signal-callers? It ruins everything. This is the total opposite of that.
So when Sunday night rolls around, enjoy Carrie Underwood (I know I will) signing the theme song, and then lock yourself in for three hours of the NFL's version of Masterpiece Theater.
This Week in Gambling
If you're still alive in your suicide pool: congratulations! Seriously, making it to Week 12 is a pretty significant achievement, and you likely owe it to me, since all I do is pick winners.
Last week, I gave you the Arizona Cardinals, who predictably crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was a no-brainer.
This week, the pick is the Detroit Lions.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Their opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have played very well recently and have won two consecutive games.
Don't overthink it.
The Bucs stink. They're 2-8. They're not going into Detroit and beating the Lions.
Take the Lions with confidence, and I'll see you for Week 13.
Now, onto actual gambling.
I told you that the Broncos were a lock last week, and I hope you listened.
This week's lock is the Green Bay Packers.
I know that they've lost three in a row and that their quarterback is Scott Tolzien. It doesn't matter. They're playing Christian Ponder and the god-awful Minnesota Vikings.
Tolzien is going to shred Minnesota's porous defense and the Packers will roll by double digits.
Lay the 4.5 points and thank me on Monday morning.