Last Sunday I did not think about football.
After packing for my trip and writing my Week 10 column, I had caught a bus, a train, and a flight to Barcelona, Spain. There were beaches. There were beers. There were pictures of me and my friends throwing up the ROC for my tumblr and plenty of general debauchery. I was living in the moment and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and gambling could not have been further from my mind.
Was this due to temporary transcendence? Had my soul gotten in tune with the universe and freed me from my absurd weekly devotion to following point spreads and fantasy production?
Maybe, but I think it had more to do with the lack of Wifi. There was no Wifi anywhere in Barcelona.
On Monday I caught a taxi, a flight, a tram, a train and a subway and made it back to London. I had Wifi again, and I checked the scores of the games. As I glanced at the numbers, I couldn’t remember my picks, but I had a sense that I had done pretty well. Then I opened another tab and brought up my article, and all of a sudden a wave of emotions began that can be best described through .gifs, like this one:
I was 4-0 on my picks, with the Bucs still needing to cover against the Dolphins on MNF in order to ensure the perfect week. The joy hit me so quickly. I hadn’t been watching the scores all day, knowing this was a possibility. To me, it happened all at once.
Fourteen hours later, Monday Night was upon us, and I was all like…
We did it guys.
5-0. The perfect week.
I can’t believe it. I never thought I would be so blessed. I have so many people to thank. Bill Simmons, for inspiring me to write a weekly gambling column. My mother and father, for always believing in me and teaching me to believe in myself. Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien, and really the whole of the Packers organization. Most importantly, I want to thank you, the reader. We are in this together.
I couldn’t have done it without you.
This week, I have no trip to pack for, no Sunday existentialism planned to take my mind off football. But I have a newfound faith that this is not the silliest thing I have ever done.
Home teams get the asterisk.
Before we get to the picks, let me restate that I did not think about football once on Sunday. Because of this, I have only the vaguest sense of what happened last week. I know that Seneca Wallace got hurt, Nick Foles looked good, and the Ravens game had a wild ending. That’s about it.
In lieu of any hard analysis, I am including my favorite celebration .gif of each team I pick, as I assume that the rest of the NFL is as excited as I am about my recent success and I have been enjoying them thus far.
Here’s to hoping lightning strikes twice.
Eagles* (-3.5) over Redskins
Does anyone else want to get back on the Chip Kelly bandwagon? What’s that? You never got off? Oh, me neither. Yeah, I’ve totally been here the whole time.
With that out of the way, I really want the Birds to win here.
We They haven’t won in Philadelphia since before the Mayan apocalypse, and the Redskins are lame. Do it for Rocky. He beat Drago. You can at least beat RGouchmyknee.
Chiefs (+8) over Broncos*
This is an easy one. I didn’t think twice, even though I am breaking the coveted “don’t bet against Peyton Manning in a night game” rule. The reason is a stat that every Eagles fan knows and should hold dear to their heart.
Andy Reid does not lose after the bye week.
It was always a sure bet. He was undefeated his first 13 years at the helm of the Eagles, with his only blemish coming in last years descent into madness. This is what Andy Reid does. He wins after the bye week.
Sometimes things don’t make sense.
Saints* (-3) over 49ers
It’s possible that the 49ers aren’t that great. They’re a playoff team, but at this point I would be pretty shocked if they were representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. That is a spot that belongs to the Seahawks or Saints. Further, isn’t it fun when the Saints win big games at home? Don’t you want more fun?
I know I do.
Panthers* (-2.5) over Patriots
After picking the two biggest games of the week, I decided I might as well go for the trifecta because YOLO. This could totally backfire. The Panthers could start being the Panthers again and the Patriots could start being the Patriots again and everything could go to shit.
But maybe not.
Maybe we get more pictures of frustrated Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and maybe this whole “Riverboat” Ron thing goes to a whole other level. Maybe the Panthers are awesome and fun and a real playoff team.
And what did we just say about fun?
Seahawks* (-12.5) over Vikings
I made a promise to the one and only RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON last week, and I intend to keep it. Sure, last week we saw two double digit dogs win outright. But these are the Seahawks we’re talking about.
I’m not one to fix what ain’t broke.
Last Week: 5-0 (FIVE AND OH-MY-GOD)