My pal Mark knows “absolutely nothing about (NFL) players’ skills, team stats, or Vegas spreads,” but he’s well-versed in the world of spirit animals. That knowledge guided his picks in this week’s playoff games. My picks follow his.
BENGALS VS. TEXANS
Mark: I realize everything is bigger in Texas, but a face full of tiger teeth? Come on. And how could a team’s mascot be a regular old state citizen? It’s like saying, “Beware of the mighty Delawarians.” Not happening, Texans.
Me: I’ll take the Bengals as well, but not because of tiger teeth. The fact that Taylor Jonathan Yates prefers to go by the acronym “T.J.” bugs me. That bad judgement will rear its ugly head early in this game.
LIONS VS. SAINTS
Mark: Virtually the same argument. A Lion would OWN a Saint. A Saint would be like, here’s a snack big kitty … *Face eat* … Better luck next week, Saints.
Me: I must have forgotten to tell Mark that we’re in the playoffs now, so there is no “next week.” Either way, the Saints will stomp the Lions, and someone on the Lions will cry at some point.
FALCONS VS. GIANTS
Mark: Based on my nerd-fueled love of birds, especially those of prey, this game goes to the Falcons. Under the influence of my own homebrew mascot symbology, a Falcon could mess up a Giant. Talons, sharp-ass beak, eyes like binoculars? Don’t even front, Giants.
Me: I love the word “talon,” but I’m not buying the Falcons. There’s not one single thing interesting about that team, so I avoid them as much as possible. The Giants will win on a late-game drive by Eli.
STEELERS VS. BRONCOS
Mark: Steelers just minding their blue-collar factory business, stamping out sheet metal. Broncos come blasting through the warehouse trampling dudes to death. How you gonna mess with a big ass horse? Broncos win.
Me: I don’t expect a warehouse trampling, but I do think the Broncos can win this game. Tebow over Roethlisberger is just what the doctor ordered at this point. Also, speaking of doctors, the Steelers have been decimated by injuries. Couple that with the thin Denver air and what you have are some exhausted Steelers.
Sidenote: Are residents of Denver automatic members of the Mile High Club?