NFL Week 16: Why Is This Man Not Laughing Edition

I have a legitimate theory that sounds sort of crackpot-adjacent, but everything lines up upon close examination, and I am going to share it with you now:

Miley Cyrus ended the U.S. occupation of Syria.

No no no wait wait wait it’s a really good theory, for real.   It all makes sense and checks out and everything.  Ready… Here goes.

I think Individual 1 was hate-watching Saturday Night Live last weekend, as he does every weekend, because even though they make him look like the total asshole he is, they are still talking about him, right?  So, he can’t resist.

Anyway, Miley Cyrus was the musical guest. She was there to promote a new single, which was announced via another video, even though it sounds like something Emmylou Harris did 30 years ago. Whatever, the quality of the Miley Cyrus output really is not the point.

So, the second song, performed between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m., was a cover of John Lennon and the Yoko Ono Happy Xmas (War is Over). It also featured Mark Ronson for some odd reason. As almost everyone knows, the countermelody at the end of the song contains the words war is over if you want it. That phrase was also used in the marketing when the song was originally released, including a famous billboard in Times Square.

I say as almost everyone knows, because I could very easily believe that Donald Trump has never heard a song in his life, and certainly not one performed by John Lennon. Yes, it is ubiquitous. As it happens I am writing this on December 22, 2018, and thus there is a decent chance that you can hear that song right now, and you might even be enraged by it because you hear it all the time.

So could it really be possible that he hass never heard Happy Xmas (War is Over)? It seems unlikely, but consider that James Comey, an insufferable no-horseplay-in-the-pool-type who would narc on his own prom date for smoking weed out of some warped sense of honesty, said that Trump never laughed. And there is but one two-second clip of him actually doing so, when (what else) some cement-head yelled Hillary during one of his Up With Fascism traveling road shows.


Even weirder is his whole concept of pets. As pointed out by Keith Olbermann (save it, do not care) the man not only doesn’t have a pet, as is tradition, but he seems to have never even interacted with a dog. That is why he talks about dogs getting fired, or begging for money, or cheating on Robert Pattinson.


So if a man has been raised in such self-conscious and cowardly privilege that he has never been around dogs, and only been seen to laugh once, possibly performatively, I think it is entirely possible that he had never heard that song before last Saturday night.  Given his professed preferences, and the Miley Cyrus past marketing decisions, I think it is also more likely than not that he would have watched her performance on SNL. At that point I believe that he heard the countermelody and unilaterally decided that the U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war was indeed over, because he wanted it.

To quote another John Lennon song, strange days indeed. HEY LOOK FOOTBALL!

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JACKSONVILLE v. MIAMI -3.5

The Dolphins are still technically alive, and the Jags are not.  That is the basis for what I think looks like a pretty easy decision here.  Jacksonville has nothing to play for, and Miami gets a winnable game at home for a chance to get within one of New England and root against the rest of the AFC East.

Not that it would particularly matter even if the Jags were especially motivated. Miami is 6-1 at home while the Jags are 1-5 on the road. Jacksonville is 1-9 in their last ten. Since Brack Bubbles got benched for Cody Kessler and tenuously-current OC Scott Milanovich replaced Nathanial Hackett, the Jags have scored one offensive touchdown and put 28 points on the board.  Not an average of 28 points, mind you. They have scored 28 points in three weeks, maxing out at a whopping 13 last week at home against Washington.

The Dolphins also get Xavien Howard back from I-R, and even though the Miami rushing defense is atrocious, Leonard Fournette is not a miracle worker.  I suppose he is the reason that this has moved to 3.5 after opening at 4, but their negligence is our reward. Take the points and pretend that Miami is a viable playoff team for three hours.

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GREEN BAY -3 v. NEW YORK JETS

I know it has been a disappointing season in Wisconsin, but this line is a bit dramatic. Granted, the Packers have had their own coaching drama and they have nothing to play for either, but at least Joe Philbin has looked relatively competent since taking the interim role, leading the team to a home win against Atlanta before predictably dropping last weeks game to the divisional rival Bears.

There has been some improvement from Sam Darnold since returning from a foot strain in Week 14. Since coming back he has picked up 423 passing yards and amassed a 3/1 split while completing 65%, something he attributes to watching Josh McCown. I think he might be being polite, as hes been teammates with McCown since the day after the draft and had countless opportunities to watch him run the offense, but whatever.

Darnold is not the problem, though. Neither is McCown for that matter. But local reports say that the team hates OC Jeremy Bates and it’s easy to see why. Embracing the run game for drives but then abandoning it in the red zone, not working with Darnold to read more and spread the ball around, take your pick. But averaging 16 total points over the last eight games regardless of who was behind center isn’t a good look, and Bates is smart enough to know that he is the third guy to hold his job in the past three years.

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t lost three games in December since 2008, and I don’t see it happening against a team with a 4-10 record. For those of you justifiably concerned about my better half’s rage issues, we have family staying over for the holidays and she wants a top-tier draft pick. Lay the points and contemplate the oddity of a three-point line in this game in December 2018.

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CHICAGO -4.5 v. SAN FRANCISCO

The Bears clinched with the last week win over Green Bay, but they could still get a first-round bye, especially since the Chargers just lost to the Ravens. As of press time, they are tied, but if I’m Chicago, I’m far more confident in a win this week as opposed to next weekend closer in Minnesota, so I don’t anticipate any post-clinch hangover here.

I gave some lip to Nick You Suffer Mullens back in Week 14 and he took our money, having since beaten the Broncos and Seahawks in close games. I will also acknowledge that the 49ers are a much better team at home, where all four of their wins have come. All of that said, these Bears are a class above those opponents.

The Chicago defense leads the league in takeaways, interception percentage, and first downs allowed. They are second in rushing yards allowed, and third in total yards allowed and points against. A motivated version of this unit portends some issues for a last-resort feel-good story QB, even one who invented grindcore. Lay the favorite and hope Trubisky keeps the mojo he showed last week.

And there it is, gang. I rode the Miley Cyrus thing a bit hard, but only because the latter half of this past week was just one gut-punch after another in terms of world affairs, and you don’t want to read that any more than I want to write it during the holidays. Just fuck them and Fuck HIM, especially. Tune it all out and try to pick up some last-minute gift money. If you are already caught up on presents, maybe help this dude build a giant escalator over the as of now still-imaginary border wall.  Happy Holidays and…

Good luck!

About J.J. Duquesne

J.J. is an attorney in New York City. He loves NFL Football...a LOT.