Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NFL Picks Week Thirteen: Let's Light Some Turkey Candles!

Alright, folks, so remember all that talk I gave last week about how I was starting to believe in the Giants? That was fun, right? I know I had a good time with it because, after all, who doesn't love a little dreaming. Evidently, though, as I found, dreaming is really quite silly. I didn't understand that at the time naturally, but as I watched Dez Bryant slice and dice the Giants' secondary late Sunday night (or more accurately, followed in on my phone because I was not near a functioning TV), it became clear that dreaming is stupid.

And lo and behold, so it was.

It's ok. I have grown to accept that the Giants, amazingly, can't win the Super Bowl every year. After all, what fun would that be? (Answer: A lot of fun.) But even if I can't appreciate seeing Big Blue hoist Lombardi every February, there is something that will distract me this week from my football-centric misery (because let's not even talk about Northwestern right now), and that is turkey. Lots and lots of turkey.

Now, to be honest, I don't particularly like turkey if we're talking about fowl or white meats. It tends to be pretty dry if it's overcooked and that tryptophan, well, it packs a wallop. Perhaps too much of a wallop. But Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday because if we overlook the coma-inducing nature of the meat itself or it's dryness (though my stepmother, who is cooking this year, actually makes a pretty juicy turkey), the rest of the food and accoutrements are just as tasty. And let us not forget that, if you haven't heard, on this day they play football. A lot of it.

I will be watching four football games over the course of the holiday this year, ranging from my old high school football team to NFL teams that are playing like they're in high school at the moment such as the Green Bay Packers or Oakland Raiders. Now, while I hope things turn out better for my high school than they did last year, I'll still find a way to enjoy the holiday because, hell, it's Thanksgiving. Food, drinks, football. Oh, and I guess family.

Basically, there's no way to make this holiday better, though this year it seems people are finding a way. That's because everyone seems up in arms about this whole "Thanksgivukkah" nonsense, which is caused by a quirk in the calendar in which Thanksgiving and the first day of Chanukah coincide for what will be the last time in more than 70,000 years. This has been touted as a "once-in-a-lifetime" event even though Thanksgiving has only existed for 150 years, but hey, I'm sure people 70,000 years in the future will eagerly be marking the holiday down with their astroturkeys.

I have only one problem with all this hysteria in that it's more than a bit misleading. The first day of Chanukah may indeed fall on the same days Thanksgiving this year, but as any Jew knows, that isn't really when Chanukah starts. Chanukah begins the night before. I will be lighting candles this evening after I return home from the Devils-Hurricanes game, and so the festival of lights will begin. By the time I'm eating turkey, the anticipation of Chanukah's beginning will be as long gone as the Giants' playoff hopes, and the synergy of these two holidays will seem, well, quaintly silly.

Or maybe I'll be too busy eating and watching football to thin analytically about this whole portmanteau. I'd say that's probably more likely. Speaking of football, let's get to the picks so I can go get ready to light some candles.

Last week: 2-12-0 (I'm pretty sure this is the worst week of football picks I've had since I started trying)
Season: 78-93-5

DETROIT (-6) over Green Bay
Oakland (+9.5) over DALLAS
Pittsburgh (+3) over BALTIMORE
CLEVELAND (-7) over Jacksonville
INDIANAPOLIS (-4.5) over Tennessee
Chicago (+1) over MINNESOTA
NY JETS (-1.5) over Miami
Arizona (+3) over PHILADELPHIA
CAROLINA (-8.5) over Tampa Bay
New England (-7.5) over HOUSTON
BUFFALO (-3.5) over Atlanta
SAN FRANCISCO (-8.5) over St. Louis
Denver (-4.5) over KANSAS CITY
Cincinnati (+1) over SAN DIEGO
NY Giants (-1.5) over WASHINGTON
SEATTLE (-5.5) over New Orleans

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