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4th and Krol: NFL Picks Week Five

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Week Five: So ALIVE! Yeah, you think of a new one each week, tough guy...

Week Five: So ALIVE!
Yeah, you think of a new one each week, tough guy…

D.T.: We always thought it would be the Jaguars who’d be left in London after one of their snooze-fest International Series appearances. Turns out it’s Joe Philbin of the Miami Dolphins, and deservedly so. The Dolphins jettisoned their head coach (and allegedly their defensive coordinator) after a brutal loss to the Jets on Sunday morning. And that’s not even the biggest scandal of this week! No, the professional, paid-to-know-the-rules NFL referees once again fucked up a Seattle game, in Seattle, IN THE SAME END ZONE. I’ve taken to calling the illegal batting foul “Batgate” and have trademarked the term.

Batman

ESPN and Facebook both already owe me $4 quadzillion dollars, and it’s only been a couple of days. But, until that check comes in, we gotta keep cranking this beast of a column out in hopes that someone besides my dad will see it and make us famous. Because fuck knows our scam to use insider information to score big on DraftKings isn’t going to pan out.
BMK: The Seahawks. Why is it always the goddamn Seahawks.

This is not a good team. By all rights they should be 1-3 and heading into the Queen City, ready for the Ginger of Doom to carve them up. But no. They’re 2-2, still alive in the division, and now I have to hear about how great they are and how wonderful Russell Wilson is.  That guy really grinds my gears.

Anyway…on to the picks!

———-

COLTS at TEXANS

D.T.: We’re starting the week off with a real head-scratcher. The Colts are a real mess, and their only saving grace hasn’t been playing his best football. With him out last week against the Jaguars, the result was a slog of a game that ended with a three-point win over Jacksonville. Luck is supposed to be back under center this week against the Texans, but we’ll see how effective he is. Meanwhile, the Texans were absolutely spanked by the Falcons. Both of these teams are in real trouble, and the fact that it’s a divisional game makes it all the more hard to read.

A poorly-functioning offense with talent and a marquee player leading it vs. a poorly-functioning defense with talent and a marquee player leading it. This one is seriously up for grabs, but I guess I’ll go with Indy.

COLTS

BMK: I’m writing this on Thursday and word has gotten out that Luck isn’t playing and Hassleback might not be playing. So I’m taking the Texans.

Here’s a bit of insider information: DT wrote his portion on Wednesday, so he thought either Luck or Hassleback might be playing QB. A fair man would let him change his pick, but I am a small man. A small and petty man.

TEXANS

This hotdog represents the Colts season. And your penis, according to Freud, but who cares what he thinks since he was a cokehead.

This hotdog represents the Colts season. And your penis, according to Freud. But who cares what he thinks since he was a cokehead. Freud that is, not Jim Irsay. Or, rather, not Irsay this time. Though I’m not sure why anyone would care what Jim Irsay thinks, unless you’re on the Colts payroll, and probably not even then…

Update: I’m finishing this Saturday morning and the Colts won. Goddamn it…

———-

BEARS at CHIEFS

D.T.: There’s several coaches I think are in the hot seat going into week 5, and Chicago’s John Fox is one of them. The man has pretty well proven himself ineffectual unless he’s got a highly-motivated quarterback making him look good. And Cutler ain’t highly motivated.

Seen here, trying to put his helmet on without using his hands.

Seen here, trying to put his helmet on without using his hands.

It’s going to be another bad day for the Bears. Arrowhead is tough to play in for teams that actually communicate on a base level. The mess that is Chicago will barely be able to tell which endzone they’re headed for.

CHIEFS

BMK: I’m not impressed with the Chiefs.  They’re the perfect Andy Reid team: good, not great. That said, Chicago is garbage.  Even with Jay Cutler.

CHIEFS

———-

SEAHAWKS at BENGALS

D.T.: Seattle’s officially on the decline. They barely – barely – eked out a win last week against a Detroit team that’s more deflated than your average Foxborough football. And they even managed to fuck that up at the last second, but got really lucky. Their offensive line is in shambles, and Russell Wilson is going to get himself killed having to compensate.

Nah, it's cool bro! I've got a new-new drink that has no-pain-bubbles. It's called morphine!

Nah, it’s cool bro! I’ve got a new-new drink that has no-pain-bubbles. It’s called morphine!

Their star running back is fighting injury and would rather watch games from a booth instead of the sideline. The Bengals, however, are playing their best football. They look legitimately good, and they’re a great home team. The Bengals are gonna get a nice, huge confidence boost this week and come out 5-0.

BENGALS

BMK: Ugh. Someday this team will get its comeuppance. Seriously, like I mentioned in this week’s podcast (did ya listen? Huh?  Did ya?), this team is 2-0 when the refs are fucking idiots. By all rights, the Seahawks should be 1-3 and on their way to imploding, but nooooooo, the refs had to not know a rule.  And before any of you chuckleheads are like, “Yeah, Krol, like you knew the illegal bat rule,” let me point out a couple of things:

  • You’re an idiot
  • I’m NOT GETTING PAID TO REFEREE FOOTBALL GAMES!

The people in charge should know the rules and should apply them fairly. I get that there are subjective calls (and this aint one of them, hairlip), but the people in charge of the games should know them. Argh!  Good God this team pisses me off. They’re like the Homer Simpson to my Frank Grimes.  Someday…someday they’ll get what’s coming to them.

I hope it’s this Sunday.

BENGALS

Pictured: The Author

Pictured: The Author

———-

REDSKINS at FALCONS

D.T.: Devonta Freeman is just fucking dominating. I was singing his praises last week, and here he comes again with a three touchdown performance against the Texans. The kid is on a mission, and he currently leads the league in touchdowns. The Falcons are hosting their second home game in a row, and unless Matty Ice and the rest of the Dirty Birds are sitting on their laurels and thinking this is an easy match, the Redskins likely don’t stand a chance here.

FALCONS

BMK: The Falcons are surprising me. And after working at Ren Faires for the majority of my adult life, son, I have seen it all.

Anyway, the Redskins suck, so they should lose. Unless something stupid happens.

FALCONS

———-

JAGUARS at BUCCANEERS

D.T.: Yawn. The Jaguars are showing signs of pulling themselves out of that dumpster, but I don’t think Blake Bortles and… whoever else is on that offense… will overcome the Buccaneers defense (which, shockingly, is currently ranked in the top 10). Writing this part of the column, I think this must be how Jay Cutler feels, getting out of bed every day. I just don’t care.

BUCCANEERS

BMK: It’s too early in the goddamn morning to trouble my beautiful mind with this garbage.

JAGUARS

———-

SAINTS at EAGLES

D.T.: Okay, this one does a little something for me. The Saints got that desperately-needed first win of the season, and fought hard for it. Drew Brees hit CJ Spiller with an overtime touchdown pass to put their game against the Cowboys to bed. And that pass happened to be his 400th… AND Brees reached 400 touchdown passes faster than anyone in league history.

AND the motherfucker is Iron Man, and he married Cinderella. Come the fuck on.

AND the motherfucker is Iron Man, and he married Cinderella. Come the fuck on.

It was just as much a moral win as a physical one, and they had to fight both Dallas and themselves to get it. Both the Eagles and Saints are fighting internal battles this season, and that makes this game truly interesting (and probably painful to watch). I expect another very close game with lots of mental errors on both sides, and a struggle until a final field goal in the 4th seals the deal. But who scores that field goal? I think the Saints continue their rebound.

SAINTS

BMK: Our regular reader of this column could tell you that if there’s one thing I hate, it’s the Seahawks. But if I had to choose another thing, it would be conventional wisdom in sports (note: this is tied with Burger King’s Chicken Fries, and just ahead of Climate Change and the Gotham TV show).

This preseason, everyone was going crazy about Chip Kelly. Makes sense I guess. Chip Kelly went all HAM on his team, jettisoning anyone with serious talent while keeping uber douches like Riley Cooper. After all that nonsense, they were successful in the preseason. Which totally violated what was expected, and this caused the Hot Take Express to declare the Eagles THE TEAM TO BEAT in the NFC East. Some dorks actually put them in the Superbowl this year.  But to anyone really paying attention, there was no way this team as constituted were going to beat the Cowboys to win in the NFC East, and if they couldn’t beat the Cowboys, they weren’t going to beat the Packers in the NFC Championship (you know, the actual sane NFC Super Bowl pick).

So where am I going with this?  Shut up, that’s where!

SAINTS

———-

BROWNS at RAVENS

D.T.: The Ravens struggled in Pittsburgh last week, even with Big Ben on the bench. Shit, both teams struggled heavily, and if it weren’t for Josh Scobee being a terrible kicker, the Steelers would have won. Seriously, even Snoop Dogg took to the internet and called Scobee out. I haven’t heard language like that come out Snoop Dogg since the 90s. The dude hangs out with fuckin’ Willie Nelson these days, and Josh Scobee brought the gangster out of him again. Has anyone even heard from Scobee since he was fired? He might be dead.

"I ain't sayin' the mofucka's dead, but... mofucka's dead."

“I ain’t sayin’ the mofucka’s dead, but… mofucka’s dead.”

The Ravens will win, by the way.

RAVENS

BMK: Flacco vs McCown? Baltimore vs Cleveland? Ugh. Someone pass me the goddamn whiskley…

RAVENS

———-

RAMS at PACKERS

D.T.: The Rams are so fucking good at playing the upsetters in divisional games, and struggling everywhere else. How they can switch between beating the Cardinals and Seahawks, then losing to the Redskins is perplexing. They even managed to injure Roethlisberger, and still couldn’t close the deal against the Steelers.

"It was like prom, all over again."

“It was like prom, all over again.”

I’m sure Green Bay’s main priority is protecting Rodgers, and rightfully so, and they’ll need to be careful against that hard-hitting St. Louis defense. Those guys don’t fuck around, and we might even see an end to Rodgers’ no-interception streak at Lambeau. The Pack will come out with the win this week, though. The Rams defense is scary as shit, and Todd Gurley looks to be the real deal, but Green Bay is the better team, and a dynamite home team.

PACKERS

BMK: Okay, this game actually interests me. The Rams are enigmatic, in that they win NFC West games but lose to everyone else.  Personally, I blame Nick Foles. Look at DT’s picture up there. He’s dead behind the eyes.

The Rams have some weapons on offense, and their defense is formidable.  But they need to start winning games to get any serious respect in the league. I don’t expect them to win this game.   The Rams needed the Cardinals to cough the ball up three times to win, and the last time Aaron Rodgers threw an interception at home Jeff Freakin Saturday was the center. That said, I’ll be interested to see how the Rams defense handles Rodgers.

RAMS
———-

BILLS at TITANS

D.T.: I’m still not convinced the Bills are a decent team, yet. They’ve shown some fire, but I think they’re running on pure bravado and enthusiasm (with a little help from an okay quarterback in Tyrod Taylor).

"Actually D.T., we're running on pure fuck you."

“Actually D.T., we’re running on pure fuck you.”

They had that devastating win against the Dolphins, but that’s shown to be not that impressive a feat. No, they still have a long ways to go before they can be called legitimately good, and last week’s loss against the Giants in rather unceremonious fashion proved that. But, the Titans aren’t really any good, either. I think the Bills’ aggression wins out, and they pressure Mariota into mistakes that cost the Titans.

BILLS

BMK: When the whole foot fetish thing exploded on Rex Ryan, do you think Quentin Tarantino sent him a kind note in solidarity?

That’s all I got for this game.

BILLS

DON’T drag me into your sewer, Krol.

DON’T drag me into your sewer, Krol.

———-

CARDINALS at LIONS

D.T.: The Lions are a good home team. That’s pretty much all that keeps their coaching staff from being fired, and the team itself from imploding. Last week’s showing against the Seahawks was laughable. The defense managed to sack Russell Wilson a good number of times, but whenever he’d manage to scramble away, he’d find all of his receivers wide open. Why? Because the Lions’ defensive backs had already stopped moving and were standing still. Every time. The Lions offense is struggling, Calvin Johnson isn’t making the comeback we thought he would, and their defense was effective against a Seattle offensive line that’s in shambles.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a solid offensive line that’s getting even better with the return of Mike Iupati. Their defense is playing lights out, and the lethargic Lions aren’t going to be able to match the energy on either side of the ball.

CARDINALS
BMK: The Lions are one of those teams that’s mired in mediocrity. They have Calvin Johnson and Safford, who is not a bad QB by any stretch of the imagination.  But their time passed. I expect the Cardinals to take care of business this week, especially after the Rams cleaning their collective clocks last week.

Sub-question: did people ever like, literally, clean clocks?

CARDINALS
———-

PATRIOTS at COWBOYS

D.T.: Oh, fuck. Patriots, by at least two touchdowns.

PATRIOTS
BMK: I concur.

PATRIOTS
———-

BRONCOS at RAIDERS

D.T.: One of the great, all-time rivalries in Football. Or at least it was, 20 years ago. However, the Raiders are doing sort of okay, and this might be the first interesting match-up these two teams have had in years. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are the best thing the Raiders have had going in who can remember how long. But, despite the efforts of Khalil Mack, the Oakland defense is still one of the worst in the NFL, and they’re likely to struggle even against Peyton’s tired arm and a Denver running game dealing with injury. It’s the Broncos with the win, and they’ll achieve a somewhat perplexing 5-0 record this week.

BRONCOS

BMK: This game is happening at the wrong time. People out here in the East Bay are excited about the Raiders, and now it’ll set me back 90 clams just to get in the door to see this game. Last year at this time, a sandwich or some meth would get you field level 50 yard line tickets. Looks like I’m hosed.

Anyway, I don’t think the Raiders are good enough to handle the Denver defense, and the Raiders are too young of a team to handle Manning’s cerebral approach to football. When you play a cat like that, you need to have your shit wired tight. These guys aint there yet. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised at an upset, either. The Del Raiders are heading in the right direction.

Get it? Del Raiders? Cause their coach is Jack Del Rio and the Raiders are his…

“Don’t, Krol.”

“Don’t, Krol.”

Okay, okay…

BRONCOS

———-

NINERS at GIANTS

D.T.: I just feel bad for Kaepernick. I dislike the Niners as much as the next non-Niners fan (or after last week, the next Niners fan), but ol’ Kaep went from being the big man on campus to being the awkward guy all the football players pick on. It’s one thing for guys like Clay Matthews to knock you around on the field, but to start getting teased with no recourse is just depressing as hell to watch. The schadenfreude has turned into… dare I say, sympathy at this point.

Guy on the left fell asleep trying to figure out what schadenfreude means. Guy on the left is calling mom to say he'll be late for dinner because he has to stab me.

Guy on the left fell asleep trying to figure out what schadenfreude means. Guy on the left is calling mom to say he’ll be late for dinner because he has to stab me.

The Giants are still iffy, but not nearly as iffy as the mess San Francisco has become. They’re in for a nice home win this week, and maybe Eli will actually smile and look like anything other than an 8 year old who just woke up from a nap.

GIANTS

BMK: This is my hate watch of the week. The Giants are irritating and the 49ers are irritating.  Whoever wins this game, their season is still over. Next year Bicep Boy will be a backup in Oakland and Tomsula will be in over his head somewhere else. And the decades long rebuilding process will continue until Jed York finds something else to do or is lynched.

GIANTS

———-

STEELERS at CHARGERS

D.T.: A dud of a week ends with a real dud of a Monday Night game.

"..."

“…”

The Roethlisless Steelers take on the Chargers in San Diego, who herald the return of Antonio Gates. Philip Rivers is quietly having a successful season, despite the Chargers being 2-2, and the return of his BFF will only work to boost his effectiveness. There’s not really much else to say about this game — and I imagine Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico won’t have much, either. Expect lots of speculation on Mike Vick, more talk about what a great athlete he is as he gets sacked because he has no pocket awareness, and how he’s turned his life around. Blah, blah, blah.

Make the game more interesting and enjoyable by drinking every time Gruden says ‘Scuse me, Mike.

BMK: I’m taking the Chargers. Fuck Vick.

—–

D.T.: And there you have it! We managed to squeeze a halfway decent column out of a terrible week of football. Next week, is… oh, holy shit. Texans at Jaguars? Dolphins at Titans? Bears at Lions?! Who the fuck designs these schedules, and when did they completely give up? Krol, we’re writing next week’s column while high on some of Russell Wilson’s morphine drink.

 

"It's super sweet, dudes! I lost to the Rams, and the next day I felt fine!"

“It’s super sweet, dudes! I lost to the Rams, and the next day I felt fine!”

BMK: DT’s right, this week’s games stink. But you know what doesn’t stink? The 4th and Krol Podcast! Check it out at BMichaelKrol.com. The ONLY website you’ll ever need…if you need infrequently updated snark and the occasional sports take…

 

Your weekly dose of Kat Dennings

Your weekly dose of Kat Dennings

This post was written and compiled while listening to One Hot Minute by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the new David Gilmore Album, because I hate myself.

The Plague Dogs, Grant Morrison, We3 and All-Star Superman: Rambling Thoughts Ahead!

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This morning, delirious from lack of sleep and caffeine (I don’t do well with either), I decided to investigate the book The Plague Dogs.  Specifically, I started to watch clips from the movie version on YouTube.   Let me tell you: that was a great decision.

For those of you who don’t know, The Plague Dogs is a story about two dogs, Rowf and Snitter, who escape from an English animal testing facility. They are chased not only by the English military, but also by the general public, after the testing facility leaks information to the press that the dogs are carrying the plague.  As you can probably guess from the set-up, hilarity ensues, culminating at the end when the dogs are chased out to see to drown, swimming for an imaginary island that Snitter sees.

Another light moment in the Plague Dogs: Snitter swimming to an imaginary island.

Being a dog owner and an animal lover, you can probably guess how I reacted to the this good-time romp.

But  it got me thinking.  Not necessarily about animal testing (something that I’m against unless there is absolutely no alternative), but about another work that is very similar to The Plague Dogs that I discovered earlier this year.   It’s called We3, and it was written by Grant Morrison, who is one of the greatest comic writers the genre ever produced.

Similar to The Plague Dogs, We3 is about three animals — a dog, cat and a rabbit — who were modified by the US Military to be assassins.  The animals are encased in armor and are capable of rudimentary speech.  At the start of the book, the program is shut down and the animals are to be destroyed, however, they are set loose by a scientist in the program.  The animals then search for a place to call home.  The military is after them and intends to kill them.  As you can probably guess from the set-up, hilarity ensues.

For animal lovers, this comic, now collected in a handy single volume, is an absolutely harrowing read.  I know people who couldn’t make it past the first three pages  — it’s that intense.  I, however, have read it several times.   Reading We3 that often is equivalent to sticking my genitals into an electric socket.  And yet I do it over and over again.  I’m not sure why.  Masochistic, I guess.

Of course, it could be that Grant Morrison is just one hell of a writer, and I that I enjoy his work.  In fact, this is guy that finally made Superman interesting to me.  No small feat.

More hilarity from We3: the Dog begging for his life.

I’ve often considered Superman one of the most boring characters out there.  At least, as written.  The problem with Superman is that he’s literally capable of anything, so ordinary obstacles don’t apply to him, and comic writers don’t handle him well because of that.

However, after reading All-Star Superman, I’m  now convinced that, in the hands of the right writer, Superman can be every bit as complex and interesting of a character that you could name.  Maybe even rivaling Vinnie Chase in Entourage for depth. (In fact, did you see this week’s episode of Entourage?  This week, Vinnie got a hair cut without asking permission first! Now that’s storytelling! Eat your heart out Joyce Carol Oates!)

Superman has no limits.  There is nothing beyond his grasp. He could rule the Earth like a King (or at least, like P. Diddy), but he chooses not to, and actually chooses to be our protector.    Because of that self-administered limitation, he’s a much more deep character than a character like Batman, who’s about as one-note as you can get.  After reading All-Star Superman, it was apparent to me that Superman is boring because of poor writing, not because of any inherent limitations in the character.

All-Star Superman was a 12 issue limited series that featured a lot of great moments and, frankly, pure whimsy.  The best issue, in my mind, was #10. Not only was it the best issue in such a strong series,  I’d argue that All-Star Superman #10 is the best comic ever written. In that issue, Morrison reminds us what a superhero actually is, and why some of us like reading about them.   In essence, a superhero has to accomplish what we cannot do for ourselves.  He or she has to transcend our human limitations and beat an obstacle that normal humans cannot.  That’s a tall order, and one that is beyond the adolescent rage fantasies in Batman, or the persecution complex that typifies most X-Men books.

One of my favorite moments from All-Star Superman #10.

Anyway, that’s my rambling thought process for the day.  I probably should go and do other work.  In conclusion, I like Grant Morrison very, very , very, very, very much.

Written by B. Michael Krol

July 13, 2010 at 4:32 pm