Friday, December 7, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters XXIII

Hi. No time for anything up front this week, except that after ruminating about sports and tragedy I'm very excited to get back to writing terrible jokes.

Your questions:

Who's the favorite in the NFL?

The NFL is pretty wide open right now. The best team in the NFC record-wise, the Falcons, has played the easiest schedule by far and just squeaked by. The Packers are the only team to beat the Texans, throttling them in prime time, but they got blown out by the Giants and 49ers, who lost to the Redskins and Rams respectively last week. I think if the Packers can avoid the Giants, they're the favorites out of the NFC, whether they get home-field advantage or not. The 49ers started off really hot, but I have a lot less faith in them at this point in the season than I did a month ago.

In the AFC, there are 4 top teams: Patriots, Texans, Ravens, and Broncos. The Patriots have an almost historically great offense, but a mediocre defense. The Texans play very well in both aspects. The Ravens are hurt and are only really above average in special teams (where according to Football Outsiders, they are the best team since 1991). The Broncos looked awful against good teams and look great against bad teams. Again, no clear favorite, although I think the Patriots and Texans are a step above the others.

I can't remember a year where there isn't at least one truly dominant team. I wish I could wait until after this week's MNF game between New England and Houston to make a decision, but I'd take Houston with home-field advantage coming out of the AFC, and I think they're the favorites to win the Super Bowl. I'm trying not to let my rooting interest in the Packers cloud my judgment, but I really feel like they have a great chance too, and should be the favorite coming out of the NFC.


What's your take on the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation? Was the coach correct in switching mid-season from an effective quarterback to a barely proven but potentially star quarterback? I'm also interested in the situations in Philadelphia and New York.
It was a bold move, sort of akin to the Celtics trading Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green while still chasing a title, in that the team was doing really well with Smith at the helm (he actually leads the league in completion percentage). It's hard to risk blowing everything up when your team still has Super Bowl potential, but I think that Harbaugh saw that the potential ceiling for Kaepernick was much higher than Smith and it was worth the risk. If Kaepernick implodes during a game in the playoffs, then Harbaugh will get excoriated because Smith, for all his faults, never blew up (to be fair, this was true in either direction). For now, I say it's a good decision, and also a testament to how great a coach Harbaugh is that people were so upset he benched Alex Smith. That Alex Smith.

New York is just sad. They have three bad quarterbacks, and it's going to be really hard to cut ties with Sanchez because they owe him almost $9 million next year guaranteed. Truthfully, Sanchez hasn't looked that much worse this year, at least statistically. It's just that he looks rattled. Incredibly, this isn't the most pathetic QB controversy in the league, which is taking place in Arizona, where Kevin Kolb may legitimately be the best option.

Philly isn't so much a controversy because, according to reports, Michael Vick couldn't drive for about two weeks he was so woozy from all the concussions. As if we needed more reminders of how brutal football is. I'm sad that Andy Reid is finally getting fired, though, because of all the comedy he provided. LONG LIVE THE WALRUS. I pray Mike McCarthy doesn't take his place as the token coach who bungles everything while getting fatter by the day.

If you could be on the cover of any magazine, what magazine would you be on the cover of?

Jugs. Well, probably GQ.

Will David Beckham's six years with the L.A. Galaxy, which recently ended with a league championship, have any lasting effect on Major League Soccer or U.S. soccer in general?

I don't think Beckham will be the tipping point for the MLS or soccer in general, but I think success on the world stage for our national teams will. Plus, access to the games online at least has made high-level soccer much easier to follow. I love soccer but I've never watched an MLS game because it bills itself as fully professional, and thus doesn't have the charm, to me at least, of a minor league baseball game. I don't see the product improving enough to merit my attention, but I think soccer will continue to gain in popularity.

Your Suicide Pool picks demonstrate the unpredicability of football. But the Wisconsin Badgers scoring 70 points against then 14th-ranked Nebraska on Saturday? Nobody saw that coming. What the hell happened?

It may just demonstrate that I suck at picking football games. Shit happens. I don't know what to tell you. By the way, I have no problem with Bret Bielema going to Arkansas or even announcing it now. He would have been at a significant disadvantage for new positions had he waited until after the Rose Bowl and he can go to the SEC, which has won the past 6 BCS titles. I also have no problem with Barry Alvarez coaching the team in Bielema's place. 

Can you think of any current head of state anywhere in the world who could beat President Obama in one-on-one basketball? Maybe "Bad" Vlad Putin, because he'd call a lot of unnecessary fouls on Obama. (Among all U.S. presidents, I think only Abe Lincoln and Gerald Ford would have stood a chance against the Big O-bama.)

Have you SEEN the Angela Merkel crossover? She acts like she's going left, building the confidence of teammates who think she'll get the ball to them, and then at the last minute shifts back hard right and tries freelancing, and is usually successful. She's Iverson is what I'm saying, but no way she's taking Obama to the hole. (NOTE: In trying to answer this question, I realize how few heads of state I know of non-European countries. It's pretty pathetic.)

Stephen Harper, Premier of Canada, is the tallest world leader according to my quick Google search (with Obama a close second). Look at him though. TOO WHITE. 

Uhhhh.... Derp?

In a game against historical presidents, I think Lincoln and Ford are good choices to hold their own against Obama because of height and athleticism. If this were team basketball, I'd watch out for Monroe; he really knows how to set up a defensive zone and keep people out of the paint.


Which athlete's race is most unclear?

It was Tiger Woods until he was taken in the racial draft.


Can I submit Sam Cassell as part alien?



Again, I submit: What's the best kind of tape?

Just how many times have you submitted this question? Duct is the answer, by the way, although I do love the smell of masking tape. I don't really want to think about why.

Top 5 office supplies


I can tell you what it's not: staple removers. I always think, "oh I need to remove a staple but don't want to accidentally prick my finger so I should probably use a staple remover because that will be less work." And then it either gets caught on the staple or it rips the paper or some form of CALUMNY goes down and it all ends with me crying in the corner with the copier, which is of no help because it's not a sentient being and doesn't understand my pain. ALL YOU CAN DO IS DUPLICATE BUT WHAT ABOUT MY FEEEEELINGS?

A quick Top 5 (and I realize these aren't all "supplies" but more things that are in some offices):
1. That 90-degree blade thing that lets you slice huge stacks of paper in one insanely satisfying motion
2. Legal pads
3. Shredder
4. Really saturated red pens, for when you want editing to feel like BLOODY MURDER
5. Those sticker things that go around torn hole-punchings for binders. I always had to buy them for school and never once used them, except to wear on my face.

What does it say about the ego of an owner that they want to be shown constantly on TV reacting to their teams? Additionally, doesn't this just show an abundance of dipshitty heirs, trophy wives, and old guy booger digging/crotch scratching that is always embarrassing? How can these people who are smart enough to make tons of money, or maybe just won the gene lottery, do something so personally embarrassing?

I think of it like used car salesmen who make terrible ads and probably think they're great and put their nephews in them. I always hope that's like a birthday present from the cheapskate. Guess what, Timmy! You get to star in a terrible commercial and none of your friends will laugh at all!

Whatever level of fame you're at, you want people to know how great you are and you're insulated enough that no one will tell you otherwise.

Ahmad Bradshaw screamed at Tom Coughlin and slapped Victor Cruz on the head earlier this year, and commentators lauded him as being a fiery emotional player. Then some guys like Jay Cutler or Phillip Rivers do it and they are seen as malcontents and immature leaders not fit to take a team to the Super Bowl. This makes no sense right?

That's gotta be racist, right? Wait, we hate on the white guys? I'm confused.


Your one and only 9 year old reader has another question: Do you watch Honey Boo-Boo, and if you do, what do you think of her show?

I don't watch the show, or any reality shows truth be told. I watch 30 Rock, Parks and Rec and Chopped consistently and a few shows that are on hiatus (Mad Men and Archer are two). I couldn't pick Honey Boo Boo out of a lineup so I have no place to talk, but I feel like she's being exploited in a way that would make me uncomfortable - like William Hung on American Idol - but maybe I'm wrong. Go ahead and watch, though. Who am I to judge?

When are you going to start watching "Trailer Park Boys"?

Soon, I promise. ENOUGH WITH THE PEER PRESSURE.

Do you have any kind of freaky twin-bond with your brother? For example, can you feel his pain, or vice-versa? 

I know that he feels that this has gone on long enough, so I'll stop now. We do have a secret language together but if we told you we'd have to kill you. Did I mention we used to be quadruplets?

Send questions to Sean, who may or may not have time to do this next week.

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