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A Fan's Notes - Week 12

Wise-cracking NFL picks

Soothsayer of the SuperTurf Mark Toft returns next week with a bevy of beautiful predictions (see end of column for this week’s quick picks). Filling in, Maisonneuve publisher/editor-in-chief Derek Webster takes football picks to new literary heights.

Hot on the heeled tarmac of last week’s Japanese football haiku picks, “A Fan’s Notes” flies off to Ireland for an undisclosed quantity of Guinness (“It’s like there’s a party in my mouth, and every last stinking Irish drunk has been invited”) and a bracing shot of limericks. This is what happens when you think hair of the dog will cure you . . . Winners are in CAPS. 

Detroit Lions (3-7) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-4)
There once was a team in Minnesota
Whose Super Bowl hopes were all ovah.
They prepared for Detroit
By getting drunk with A. J. Foyt
Then kicked the Lions all the way to Dakota. 

New Orleans Saints (5-5) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (7-3)
There once was a team in New Orleans
Ogden Nash would have called “appalins!”
The feathers of this dove
Got plucked without love
By Eagles more intense than Henry Rollins. 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-2) at Houston Texans (4-6)
There once was a team in Houston
Called the Oilers--or Texans--or Hard-Ons.
In a political way
The Patriots won the day
In this swamp with more parasites than Rasputin. 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (3-7) at Cleveland Browns (4-6)
The Midwest is the sad heart of the country
Its egos as fragile as Humpty Dumpty
It had a great fall
Got back on the wall
Drank more beer, and to sleep in a foundry. 

San Francisco 49ers (5-5) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-5)
There once was a tale of two cities
One made of cheese, the other of pity.
Like paper rock scissors,
Cheese beats the quivers
And the cold wind shouts, “Tough titties!” 

ST. LOUIS RAMS (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (3-7)
There once was a ram in a stall
Painted blue, gold and white withal.
Old folks patted its head
Whereupon it turned red,
Broke out and proceeded to maul. 

Oakland Raiders (3-7) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-1)|
There was a dark team in Oakland
(aka “silver-screen coke land”)
It played in Missouri
Which made Romanowski surly
And decided to refranchise as a folk band.

Washington Redskins (4-6) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-4)

There once was a coach called Spurrier
With a team like a wife: “I like to hurry her.”
“If she’s thrown a good pass
I say, Get off your ass,
Throw another!
” He’s kind of a worrier. 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-8) at New York Jets (3-7)
There once was a stultifying game
Between the Jets and the Jags. “How lame
Can you get?” asked a fan.
Eating ice cream in Japan
Is more significant than this crying shame. 

Seattle Seahawks (7-3) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-5)
The seahawks did visit the ravens
Like a posse of featherhead mavens.
Much squawking ensued
The blackbirds got their due
And the losers flew home, somewhat chastened. 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-2) at Buffalo Bills (4-6)
There once was a town called Indianapolis,
Not Iqaluit, Leeds or Persepolis.
With Manning manning the helm
It’s like the field’s his realm
And Buffalo bled so, last week in Texas. 

Carolina Panthers (8-2) at DALLAS COWBOYS (7-3)
There once was a star in Dallas
Whose name was not Maria Callas
He answers to Carter
And unlike the Chargers
He sends lightning bolts the length of the palace. 

Chicago Bears (3-7) at DENVER BRONCOS (6-4)
There used to be a team called the Bears
That brokered football like playing stocks and shares.
And then it happened:
The attitude flattened.
Now they’re kicked miles high in the airs. 

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-5) at San Diego Chargers (2-8)
There once was a team in Cincy
Whose uniforms (let’s face it) were kinda chintzy.
They played through the shame
And lived up to their name
Until Flutie wished he were Robert Pinsky. 

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-8)
The Titans, they hailed from Tennessee
A state within states like a sea.
The chicken hawks of Georgia
Hobbled in like Victor Borge
And kissed their asses goodbye---“on ABC.” 

New York Giants (4-6) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-6) on Monday Night Football
There once was a conglomerate of champions
Who played football like a bunch of Jane Campions.
“Too many directors spoil the film,”
Said the coach, Kaiser Wilhelm--
But anyone can beat those Giant strap-ons.


Mark Toft’s quick picks for the week: Minnesota, Philadelphia, New England, Cleveland, Green Bay, St. Louis, Kansas City, Miami, New York Jets, Baltimore, Indy, Carolina, Denver, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Tampa Bay. Stay tuned for his tumescent return next week.

Last week: 10-6 for Derek, 11-4 for Mark (101-58 for the season!).