Last week I spoke of the importance of finishing strong. This was of course, after putting off publishing my picks until mere minutes before kickoff on Sunday, and relying on an admittedly less-than-great gimmick of embedding my tweets within the article.
You can knock the execution, but not the results. I went 4-1 in my Week 14 picks, and could’ve gone 5-0 for the second time this season if I had only remembered how evil Evil Peyton Manning could truly be. There was an entire week of national coverage dedicated to how Manning was unable to play in the snow, so of course Evil Peyton Manning would be looking to slaughter the Titans last Sunday. And he did. And I should have known that he would.
But in this anecdote lies one more real-life lesson I want to express through this Hypothetical column: Don’t let your mistakes get you down.
During my time in London I have made mistakes. Loads of them. And these mistakes have been harder to bear than usual because their finality is so definite. In one of my first weeks here I didn’t splurge on a trip to Oktoberfest and now it is quite possible that I will never go to Germany in my life. On a later date, I turned down a trip to Oxford in order to watch football on Sunday. I am aware that these are “first world problems” and I am uber-aware that I am absolutely blessed to be here at all. But no matter what your circumstances, whether they be crazy high or way down low, sometimes you know that you messed up and if you had the opportunity to go back and change things, you would. Because you should’ve known better.
I say fuck that noise.
Live the life that you were meant to live, which only exists in the present. I didn’t go to Oktoberfest. I didn’t go to Oxford and stayed home to watch football instead. I bet against Evil Peyton Manning.
I am Tyler Lauletta, and I conquered London in exactly the way God intended me to.
I only have three days left in London. This is the last column that I will post on the Interwebs from this side of the Atlantic. All of my finals are completed and the only things I have left to do before my triumphant return to America are:
Attend the Tottenham game Thursday(cross that one off, see here)
- Buy London tchotchkes for friends and family back home
- One more Full English Breakfast
I’m going to get those three things done and enjoy whatever happens in between.
I’m going continue finishing strong, and do so with no regrets.
Here’s the Week 15 slate, minus Evil Peyton Manning regressing back to regular Peyton Manning last night. Home teams get the asterisk.
Oh man. I can’t wait until next week when I will actually know things about football again.
Dolphins* (+2.5) over Patriots
As @jonbois (writer of the absolutely brilliant “Breaking Madden” columns I am now obsessed with) has told us numerous times on Twitter, never count out Touchdown Tom:
Bois is a Patriots fan, and as much as I enjoy his columns, his Twitter feed has become simultaneously fascinating and increasingly annoying as his insistence on not counting out Touchdown Tom is proven again and again and again.
So why am I counting out Touchdown Tom?
Around this time of the season, motivation becomes a large factor with regard to picking teams against the spread. Sometimes lines will appear way too high or low, simply because a far superior team has little to play for, or a sloppy team is desperate for a playoff spot. Both of these concepts are in play here, and I like the Dolphins. The past three weeks the Patriots have only looked like a decent football team when they were mounting an epic fourth quarter comeback. With Gronk out and their spot in the playoffs fairly secure (they will most likely be the 2-seed) I see little reason for Brady and company to stress themselves.
Why not just enjoy a week in Miami?
Eagles (-5) over Vikings*
Check out how good Nick Foles looks on the cover of Sports Illustrated. LOOK AT IT.
Okay, now logic.
This is another play based on the relative motivations of each team. The Eagles are now in pole position in the NFC East, “controlling their own destiny” as pundits would put it. Also, check out this Chip Kelly quote:
“We’re just a one-week operation, so I literally was thinking about the Vikings game running off the field (last) Sunday,” coach Chip Kelly said. “It’s, ‘What’s our next opportunity to go out and see where we are as a team?’ and that’s what this deal is all about. The teams that are mentally tough can work their way through it, and I think we have a mentally tough group.”
I love this dude.
Meanwhile, the Vikings remain sucky. The game day status of Adrian Peterson is still unknown, but the Vikes have no reason to risk the health of the best player on their team by 11 “overall” points in Madden for some throwaway game that they will probably lose anyways. They are better off continuing to remind their fans that they have a dope new stadium coming in 2016 and losing out the remainder of the season for the purposes of acquiring Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Football.
Colts* (-5.5) over Texans
The Texans should be actively throwing this game so they can get Jadeveon Clowney in the first round next year. Together, he and J.J. Watt will be the most terrifying 1-2 defensive punch in, I don’t know, history? Then the 2014 Texans can be the team that talking heads pick as a “sleeper pick” for the playoffs, and everyone will pretend to be impressed with their “bold” claim.
They will probably still find a way to go 8-8.
Jaguars* (+2.5) over Bills
Home dogs getting less than a field goal? The Jaguars attempting to win four straight games for the first time since 2007? More Chad Henne?
SOUNDS EXCITING LEGGGOOOO.
Seahawks (-7) over Giants*
This week in RUSSELL WILSON news (1): He attended a Macklemore concert. I bet he had a dope time, but that he made sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour because he knew he had a football team to lead to victory.
This week in RUSSELL WILSON news (2): The Texas Rangers want to bring the HUSTLE to the baseball diamond, and claimed his rights during the Rule 5 draft during Winter Meetings. I have no idea what the Rule 5 draft is, but it is now my favorite baseball draft. And the Rangers might now be my favorite baseball team in the AL. I have respect for anyone who sees as much greatness in RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON as I do.
Now with regard to the pick, there have been few easier for me to make this season. I have taken the Seahawks almost every week, and have bet against the Giants whenever the opportunity presented itself. I predict RUSSELL finishes with 329 yards, 3 TDs, 5 RBIs, and a 1.12 WHIP.
Same goes for you RUSSELL. Same goes for you.
Last Week: 4-1