NFL Conference Championship: Send In The Clowns Edition

Image result for nfl conference championship

Well *yawn* another sweep. I haven’t done any year-end totals yet but my unofficial scratchpad math has us somewhere in the neighborhood of 52-26, 4 out of 5 on futures and props, and $347 to Save the Hampton House. We mostly do self-deprecation around here but if another handicapper has a comparable record – free or paid touts – I’d love to see it so I can shake his or her hand. Just as soon as I’m done counting my money. Which might take a while, of course *rimshot*. That said, there is a whole Murphy’s Law (not that Murphy’s Law) angle to the whole thing. Go figure, just as soon as I actually get good at this, I’m all out of good jokes.

In all seriousness, we are coming to the end of the season, and outside of the annual coaching shuffle there isn’t a great deal of football news to discuss, especially since the Astros scandal took up most of the sports section and cost my Mets our new manager. Thanks a million, you dicks. If you’re going to steal signs, just do it from the bullpen like anyone else. Though I do love how they created an intricate system involving an outfield camera, several players and employees, perhaps even more remote tech, and the last step required some jughead banging on a trash can like a deranged homeless person.

Regardless, since we’re at the end of the season, I need to start cleaning out my inbox. I have a few unanswered emails with good or at least interesting questions and we try to be accessible around here. I’m skipping those of you who asked game-specific questions because it’s not like I have any great inside information and those games are already in the books anyway. I’m also ignoring all of the “you suck! Fuck you!” missives because my mom sent most all of those and we just spoke on Tuesday. So here goes:

“I thought you were done bashing Trump, Asshole. Nobody gives a single fuck about your lib bullshit.”

Image result for trump clown


Yeah, no. There was less Trump content this season because in all honestly it gets tough to make those jokes after a while. I have arrived at the conclusion that 30-35% of the country is going to support him no matter what, and I’m fairly certain that come November everyone else who realizes what a tragic era this has been for the country will vote accordingly. Hence, if literally nothing else, he will open the door to the election of the country’s first Democratic Socialist president, because in a two-party system, the democrats could run a toddler or a dog and it would still drive people to the polls, motivated by a glorious return to sense of normalcy if nothing else. After all, even if you’re a pro-life senior citizen from Tuscaloosa, it’s kind of embarrassing that Iran has been a more rational actor in the last few weeks, to use but one example.

Also I’m not a “lib.” That word is so corny that I don’t even like using it ironically, e.g. “get a load of these TPUSA jerkoffs pissing their pants to own the libs.” It’s funny how the word lib is much like the word queer, inasmuch as both were supposed to marginalze people until they were recontextualized by cool people, now it’s used in an entirely different way, despite being a relatively new word to the language. Even if that phenomenon comes at the cost of almost no one really knowing what the word means without additional context.

Also also, Asshole is not capitalized like that, as it is not a proper name, but now it feels like I’m shooting a deer in a cage, so never mind. Moving on…

Don’t it seem strange that we still don’t have any female announcers? Won’t they be an added attraction for men who are watching? There’s a female coach now and it seems like we are skipping a step.

Image result for female sportscasters


Long overdue, and the answer is yes. I’m assuming he’s referring to Katie Sowers, who is the first full-time assistant NFL coach and will be on the 49ers sideline this Sunday, though there have been other women in different roles, including a Queens-born Iranian strength coach for the Buccaneers.

This might not be the answer you want to hear, but… these things take time. I understand that women are still vastly underrepresented, but we’re talking about a league that took until about five months ago to figure out that punting on 4th and 1 from your opponent’s 40-yard-line was a statistically stupid idea. As was the case with Bear Bryant and Ernie Davis and all the rest of it, if someone is going to help a team win, someone will be smart enough to hire them. Network TV people, however, are a different story.

I’d also like to think that women who gut out J school and put up with years of corporate bullshit to get an on-camera role have more value that being an “added attraction” for male viewers. They’re not filming Laugh In for Christ’s sake. That said, the diffidence of the network brass isn’t inexplicable. Beth Mowins does a great job with the 12:00 NCAA games on ESPN but God help you on you search her name on Twitter while she’s on the air. And, of course, everyone remembers what happened to Erin Andrews. Some guys are just really pathetic. Someone should do a parody of those old Beatles/Monkees videos where the band runs away from a pack of screaming girls and they chop all the footage together and speed it up x100. But they should reverse the genders and just hound female broadcasters just trying to do their jobs while fleeing a bunch of Twitter reply guys as they try to make their escape.

Since you live in Queens do you think [Tekashi 69] will get murked in your neighborhood?

Image result for Tekashi 69]


Yeesh I hope not. Hadn’t really thought about it. Pretty sure he’s from Brooklyn, though, not that it matters. Given that I live further than 12 steps from MDCBK, I don’t foresee any complications, as he’ll probably be killed after taking ten or twelve steps in the sunlight, not that I would wish that upon him or anyone else.

After I read Ronin Ro’s incredible Have Gun WIll Travel: The Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records I became very worried about the deification of Tupac Shakur. It’s obviously not my place to debate the inspirational qualities of his artistry with the black community, but the guy seemed like a real dick without a microphone in his hand. Even if you subtract all of the non-performative stuff- assaulting recording engineers, manipulating women, etc. – he still made about the dumbest move one could make in his position. Here’s a performing arts high school kid, having fallen ass backward into a major label deal back when that meant something, and he decides to pretend to be a street gang member as a marketing ploy, inspiring God knows how many impressionable fans to go out and do the same thing. Fans like Tekashi 69 apparently, nee Daniel Hernandez, 24 years old, the son of dream-seeking immigrant parents, who is about to slide home after running the same exact basepath. It’s a real shame, too. Some of those songs were kind of cool.

Incidentally, I want my credit from the boss. I edited the email and otherwise avoided the “proper” spelling of 6ix9nine, which would have caused both WordPress and Goat’s head to explode, perhaps simultaneously. Employee of the Month, five months and running, Baby! [EDITOR’S NOTE: Right! Not to mention every apostrophe, ellipse, quote and link I have to redo because I suspect you are using a TandyEX computer and a 1991 version of WordPerfect]

We probably should reign in some of the younger rappers’ names though. In my day, they just joked about too many people having the word Ice in their name. These days, if you search Soundcloud long enough you’re almost certainly gonna find a filthy XXX-rated kid from Miami named something like Burt SplackYoRack. C’mon guys, do better.

[813 words about how the good that Justin Trudeau has apparently done should serve as a barrier to criticism despite his apparent propensity for doing blackface. Yes, someone actually sent me this.]

Image result for trudeau doing blackface


Dude, I don’t fucking know. People shouldn’t do blackface. People also probably shouldn’t move at hyper speed to judge things people did many years ago based upon current cultural standards. I’m not even sure about how much “good” Trudeau has actually done though. I mean, he seems smart and composed in contrast to Trump, but big fucking deal. I am in prime athletic condition if I get to be compared to Pig Champion.

Pretty sure that this is a question best suited for P&P David. The only real insight I have is that someday I really want a media outlet to come across pics of a public figure in Scandanavian black metal corpse paint and jump to a completely uninformed conclusion but I guess that’s kind of a weird thing to pine for. HEY LOOK FOOTBALL!

Image result for nfl conference championship


GREEN BAY +7.5 v. SAN FRANCISCO

Last week, as Green Bay was toying with the Seahawks by yo-yoing them ever closer to a comeback that was never gonna come, they cut to a crying Jimmy Johnson in the Fox NFL Sunday Studio presented by USAA – USAA: the perfect auto insurance if you are both a veteran and somehow only five years older than your teenage daughter. Anyway, after they showed Johnson crying due to his Hall of Fame nomination, they cut to Troy Aikman, who was also crying because he was watching Jimmy Johnson crying. Look, paragon of masculinity though I may be, I am not bothered by men crying. I am not afraid of the expression of emotion. It was a playoff football game, though. If I wanted to hear former Cowboys weeping, I’d go visit the probably-railroaded Sam Hurd in prison.

So here’s the deal: this is too many points. I understand that San Francisco put a beating on Green Bay back in November, but the dynamics are far different now. For one thing, Aaron Rodgers had an uncharacteristically terrible day, collecting only 104 yards despite going 20 of 33. For another, Aaron Jones, who had not yet hit his current stride, ran for 38 yards on 13 carries. I can’t see either of those performances repeating.

I’m willing to listen if you think you can thread the needle and take the points while looking to future the 49ers on the Super Bowl moneyline, currently in the +165 neighborhood. But after last Sunday, I just have to take the points. Aaron Rodgers was stellar and he and Davante Adams were borderline telepathic. As for San Francisco, George Kittle was clearly playing through an injury and Garoppalo chucked a couple of passes directly at the Vikings defense. He plays worse when rushed, and Za’Darius Smith was all over the highlight reel. Take the dog and settle in for a potential classic.

Image result for titans v chiefs


TENNESSEE v. KANSAS CITY -7

Rare that a game of this magnitude boils down to a single issue so quickly, but here we are. In a short amount of time we will see if the Chiefs can stop, or at least contain, Derrick Henry. If so, they’re going to Miami Gardens. If not, they’re probably still going to Miami Gardens, but we’ll be out a unit because they didn’t win by seven.

Here again, a rematch of regular season foes that saw the dog win the first round, and you can’t argue that Patrick Mahomes was rusty despite coming back from his mid-season vacation as he had a 3-0 split during a 446 yard afternoon. He also averaged over 10 adjusted yards per attempt. So why bet against him here?

Because he is the de facto defense that will stop Derrick Henry. More specifically, he will take the ball out of Henry’s hands by forcing the Titans to pass to play catch-up. Since the last meeting, KC has scored an average of 31 PPG and Mahomes has an average QBR of 97.3, including a 134.6 last weekend. He’s also not going to gift Tennessee the turnovers that cost Lamar Jackson so dearly.

The over opened and stayed at 52 all week for a reason. Everyone is expecting a ton of offense here, and with good reason. But Henry isn’t going to rout the Chiefs like he did last time, and the Legion of Zoom are just a little too fast for the Titans secondary. I know it’s an enormous line for a conference title game, but I’m willing to lay it. Home favorite covers.

That will have to do for this week, folks. Keep those fingers crossed tight. And if I didn’t get to your email, please don’t send another email asking why I didn’t answer the prior email. I’m doing everything that I can after all. Hopefully in two weeks’ time we’ll be so loaded that all of our concerns will be a thing of the past anyway.

Good luck!

About J.J. Duquesne

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