I can’t figure out whether or not the Foo Fighters are playing that to me, or if Dave Grohl is singing it for me. It’s something that is ambiguous and beautiful about “The Pretender”; also, it’s so amazing that the drummer of Nirvana became such a song writer.

It defines the term: An artist.

Week 17 in the NFL is the same way. I feel like screaming at certain teams, calling them Pretenders. They’re trying to defend themselves from what they are this week, and my picks reflect that.

By the powers that be for the holiday based around the birth of Jesus, the people that run this time of year are the receivers: Something which I’ll never be, for I’m an enteral giver.

That being said, my manic mind forgot to post the numbers for last week’s column, probably a thing happened subconsciously because I forgot the Thursday Night Football contest that included a team from Philly, where I normally reside. Not this week, however.

10-5-1; 4-1. Those were last week’s stats from yours truly. Yearly tallies are 114-116-6 and 45-32-3, so let’s stop the excuses and get back to the business side of the National Football League: Gambling…

Oakland @ San Diego (pk). This must be some kind of sick joke from the NFL, but this one sets up well for a football fan. Not Raider fans however, for they’re not going to like this one. I don’t have the slightest clue what Oakland will look like in this one, but every way you slice it, this contest doesn’t look good for the other team by the bay. The Lightning Bolts beat the Silver & Black in Week One to open the season on Monday Night Football, and even though the score was relatively close (22-14), this time I’d be amazed if San Diego only drops 20-something on the Raiders’ defense. Sorry folks, but this looks like 41-21 at best. Next…

Philadelphia (+7) @ New York Giants. Take it from an expert on mental illness; the only reason for my expertise, however, is that I suffer from said illness. The G-Men are schizophrenic. The Eggles are bad, yet with people playing for contracts and not their season like the Giants, the little ole team from the City of Brotherly Love has beaten the better team from New York (check Week Four; PHI 19/NYG 17), so they’ll do it again because they can. Plus, the Philadelphia Eagles can knock the New York Football Giants out of the playoffs—officially—by themselves. All of these reasons point to taking the points, for this one will be close; it doesn’t matter who wins when you take the points. Remember that gamblers.

Cleveland (pk) @ Pittsburgh. Look back at Week 12; it matters. The Browns took out the Steelers in this exact same scenario—point spread at the same number, yet this one’s in PA—to the tune of 20-14. The Steelers have nothing to play for; they just want to forget this year ever happened; Pittsburgh needs the offseason to start so they can game plan for 2013-14. All signs point to the Browns. I know that sound like a punch line to a bad joke, but this one stinks all the way around, so find a silver lining and bet on Cleveland.

St. Louis @ Seattle (-10 ½). Out of all the divisional matchups (other than the pick that follows) I like this one the most. The Seahawks are on fire, especially in their building, where they’re downright unbeatable. In reverse order, over the last three games, the ‘Hawks have posted 42, 50 and 58. Not only that, but they’ve outscored their opposition over that stretch 150-30. I hope I don’t have to break down the game too much more after saying all that. Seattle Big. Thank the Twelfth Man for this one.

Dallas @ Washington (-3). This is the game o’ th’ week. And thank heavens we can finally say goodbye to Big D; it’s about time. The Cowboys are the Ultimate Pretenders of 2011-12, because their record does not reflect their actual ability. The ‘Skins, however, are a legitimate football team—and that’s with rookies galore and the right head coach to mold them in the coming years. This one may cause you to sweat if you beat it, but, in the end, the team from our Nation’s Capital will make their home crowd proud…By making the Playoffs.


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