NFL Picks Week 3

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

In a weird way, it’s comforting that in this ever-changing world, Titans-Jags still play on Thursday night and the games always suck. The entire game was an abomination. Derrick Henry and Gardner Minshew were the only offensive players doing anything, and all of their good plays were negated by penalty or drop. Good defense and all that, but it was just a classic Thursday night game that makes you question why you’ve dedicated your life to having any interest in this awful sport. Anyway, I got Pizza Hut for the first time in a while last night (go my Instagram for the reason), and what’s up with the new pie? New crust, felt thinned out, not remotely the same texture. What gives? I noticed in the ordering process that there was the standard crust and original pan was $2 extra. Why should I have to pay a premium to get what should be the default option? And why is there a $20 delivery minimum? It wasn’t one of the few times a year where I’m craving Pizza Hut, but I was still ready to have a few cold slices of Hut this morning. What I got was a Domino’s pizza in an NFL themed box. Not an anti-Domino’s stance, either, but if I wanted Domino’s I’d just get Domino’s. Get it together. On to the games, this week STINKS. All lines from Bovada.

Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts (-1)

Listen, I know he’s everyone’s favorite boy, but Carson Wentz is ass and the Falcons almost blew the game against him and a high school JV receiving corps. Jacoby Brissett hasn’t exactly been lighting it up so far, but Marlon Mack has. Big time. Plus, this an Adam Vinatieri Revenge Game (against the construct of time), and there’s an ironclad mandate that every Falcons primetime win must be followed by a Sunday afternoon loss. Whatever, this game sucks, I don’t care how bad this segment was.

Pick: Colts -1

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (-6)

Now we’re talking. Lamar vs. Mahomes. Harbaugh vs. Reid. A fun team putting up huge stats in garbage time vs. the team up 40 because they scored 63 points in the first half. It’s got everything, including what is sure to be a thrilling backdoor attempt in the waning seconds. I don’t trust the Chiefs defense to do much, but I do expect them to hold on for dear life just long enough.

Pick: Chiefs -6

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills (-6)

Bengals legitimately have the worst defense I have ever seen in my life. I could make a few guys miss and pick up a decent chunk of yards against them, and they’re scheduled to face real-life NFL players this week. And every week after. I’m not a Dalton hater, but every single Bengals road game is an auto-pick, regardless of opponent. Josh Allen gets 250 yards rushing.

Pick: Bills -6

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

This game makes me want to puke, but just think about this for a second: what if Green Bay was called Red Bay or something. Or something non-color related. Would the Packers still wear green? Or would they go even heavier into yellow? Without the shackles of the name Green Bay, would be they be avant-garde with their jersey color? Taupe jerseys? Crazy. Not quite as crazy as Kirk Cousins going 8-10 for 98 yards anyone thinking Joe Flacco can go on the road against a good defense and get anything positive out of it, but still crazy.

Pick: Packers

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-6)

Couldn’t pick the Lions fast enough. I know everyone crushes Matt Patricia, whatever. Not everyone can appreciate slovenly exPatriots who routinely make questionable coaching decisions, but I do. Guy was a rocket scientist, you know. Lions D is legit, and Carson Wentz SUCKS. I don’t care if I’m the only guy on this island. He’s so inconsistent, and when he’s bad there’s only two or three guys that consistently make worse throws (Matt Ryan, Ryan Fitzpatrick, maybe Flacco), he’s hurt every two seconds, and the team always gets better when he’s out. They literally won the Super Bowl without the presumptive MVP. He’s trash, and every receiver on the roster is hurt. Eagles suck. Stay tuned for Undisputed, next on FS1.

Pick: Lions +6

Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (-23.5)

Alright, come on, man. This is getting ridiculous. I know they’re one of the best teams in Sun Belt history, but the Dolphins don’t deserve this much respect.

Pick: Cowboys -23.5

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-23)

I’m legitimately upset that they think Luke Falk coming into Foxborough is a half-point better than anyone ever. More Pats disrespect. These massive lines are just taunting me and I have no choice but to take them.

Pick: -23

Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (-9)

I think canned drinks should be more available for individual sale. I get the cap increases the longevity of a beverage, but when I go into a corner store I’m not looking to nurse a deliciously refreshing Sprite lemon-lime soda all day. I’m looking to crush it in one sitting, possibly even in the period of time it takes me to get from the aforementioned store back to my house. Cans are just more satisfying. Popping the tab is half the fun, and you can’t tell me they don’t get colder than plastic bottles. I just want to be able to buy one can of non-alcoholic drink, I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I don’t want six, I want one. And more drinks should be canned. Canned water? Sure. Canned Gatorade? Why not? Canned Glaceau vitaminwater Ice? Hell yeah. They’re eco-friendly and make for a better drinking experience. Give me more cans and fewer games where Derek Carr faces Kirk Cousins.

Pick: Raiders +9

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)

Uh-oh, that’s Kyle Allen’s music! He’s looking to raise some hell! He’s looking to put together a video package of him and Kyler together at Texas A&M from before Kyler transferred that they play three separate times during the game! Someone stop this man! (disregard if Cam Newton plays for some reason)

Pick: Cardinals -2.5

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Bucs (-6)

Has anyone made this joke yet? Yes? Oh, okay. Nevermind then. Bucs passing game is itching to finally do something and facing the Giants is the perfect medicine. Not-at-all-salty take on Eli: if having two great four-game stretches in an otherwise piece of shit career is enough to get you into the Hall of Fame, someone get Ryan Fitzpatrick’s bust ready ASAP.

Pick: Bucs -6

Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)

Honest question and I’m not trying to troll: if the Chargers just weren’t in the league, would anyone notice? I’m not sure I would. The games are always close, but in that “man, I forgot about that game two seconds later” kind of way. All their playoff moments are embarrassing losses. Phil Rivers is just nondescriptly very good. Even the Texans are more of a compelling franchise. Chargers still win, though, and maybe by a lot. Hate, hate, hate the Texans’ offensive line.

Pick: Chargers -3

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)

You’re lucky I’m the Seahawks Whisperer because this is some pretty tricky terrain to navigate. On one hand, you have the Seahawks’ incurable addiction to scoring the bare minimum amount of points to win a game. On the other hand, you have a backup QB leading a limited offense against a pretty good defense in one of the toughest places to play in the league. This could go in either direction. But, really, there’s only one way this game will go. First drive of the game, Teddy Ballgame comes out firing. Kamara’s catching the ball, he’s running the ball. Michael Thomas is killing the defense with 12-yard games. Easy touchdown off play-action to Josh Hill for some reason. Then they don’t score the rest of the game.

Pick: Seahawks -4.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers (-7)

Will Mason Rudolph let it rock or will Jimmy G break out the soprano sax and lull the defense to sleep? Probably the latter, because the Steelers’ season is OVER. But this is the year they’ll beat the Pats in the playoffs, though.

Pick: 49ers -7

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

It’s the first Sunday night game in Cleveland since the last Sunday night game in Cleveland, and the energy will be at an all-time high. Too bad that won’t be enough to stop Aaron Donald from getting 700 tackles for loss. Gonna be a tough night for Baker and his army of imaginary haters. What’s up with these Rams lines so far? Did they forget they semi-revolutionized the league last year?

Pick: Rams -3.5

Chicago Bears (-4) at Washington Redskins

This is just an insult.

Pick: Bears -4

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NFL Picks Week 2

Buccaneers Panthers Football

Folks, I’m battling right now. I’m scratching and clawing for every breath I take, fighting tooth and nail for every step. I’m sick, and it’s no fun. It’s compounded when games like the one that took place last night are thrust upon me. Both those teams stink out loud. After his first few carries, I was ready to dedicate this section to proclaiming Christian McCaffery the best white running back of all time (still may be true), but then he got like three yards the rest of the game. Cam looks, umm… let’s just move on from that before the snipers the NFL hired get loose fingers. The Bucs are just always slightly less enjoyable to watch than you’d think they’d be. Maybe they just haven’t meshed with Bruce Arians yet or something. I don’t know. Another thing, why does the NFL insist on scheduling games in hurricane/tropical storm areas during hurricane/tropical storm season? Particularly in NFC South stadiums that don’t have roofs. Every game gets delayed because-surprise!-there’s always inclement weather. Whatever. Week 2’s got some real duds and some potentially good games that will likely become duds. Let’s get into it. All lines from Bovada.

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)

I don’t want to pat myself too hard on the back for correctly predicting what would happen for the league’s two most predictable teams, but man did I nail these two picks. Steelers are just as cowardly and inept as always, and the Seahawks are completely incapable of playing in a game decided by more than one score. So where does that leave them this week? Well, if there’s anything Mike Tomlin is known for, it’s making savvy adjustments on the fly, so I’m sure he’ll have something cooked up. Or they’ll just do what they did last week and completely play into Seattle’s hands.

Pick: Seahawks +4

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)

Know what I’m already sick of? Hearing that Kirk Cousins went 8-10 for 98 yards last week. Hey, want to know Kirk Cousins’ stat line from last week? He went 8-10 for 98 yards. How about that? Pretty crazy. Almost as crazy as Kirk Cousins going 8-10 for 98 yards. Know what else is crazy? Aaron Rodgers has a defense now. He doesn’t have do it all on his own (“it” in this case being relentlessly throwing the ball out of bounds, losing before they’re supposed to in the playoffs, and alienating his family and “friends”). Talk about a wild development. Not quite as wild as Kirk Cousins going 8-10 for 98 yards. Something about NFC North storylines really gets under my skin.

Pick: Vikings +3

New England Patriots (-19.5) at Miami Dolphins

This might be the highest line I’ve ever seen in the NFL, but that’s what happens when the Super Bowl champions beat a team by 30 then face a team that was already considered the worst in the league coming into the season before losing by 49 points in week one. Now, I’ve never picked against the Pats here, and I’m not about to start now. But it’s established canon that the Pats struggle in Miami, and I refuse to believe that the Dolphins are really some JV squad with no hope against anyone. Pats losing a Miami game is becoming the new “Pressure Brady Up The Middle,” though, and it’s making me think the Pats win by 50. Going out on a limb, I know. Also, needless to say, the Pats news from last week got a lot less fun in the last few days.

Pick: Pats -19.5

Dallas Cowboys (-6) at Washington Redskins

Is Dak now the best QB in the league? It’s hard to say, but probably not. But he’ll get to put up some more big stats this week because the Redskins stink. Cowboys hype will soon reach critical mass.

Pick: Cowboys -6

San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5)

Here’s a rarity: two of the top five in the official Brian’s Den Helmet Rankings facing off (1. Bengals 2. Rams 3. 49ers 4. Raiders 5. Steelers 6. Chiefs 7. Chargers 8. Cowboys 9. Browns 10. Packers) (Notice my lack of bias. If it was still Pat Patriot this ranking would be much different, though). Andy Dalton is currently on pace for 6,600 yards. Will he reach it? Who could say???

Pick: Bengals -1.5

Los Angeles Chargers -3 at Detroit Lions

Wouldn’t it be weird if the Lions ever made the Super Bowl? Like there’s a lot of teams where it’d be weird to see them playing for a title. Chargers, for instance. But it’d be Weird to see the Lions. Just some food for thought. Kind of love them this week, though. You don’t bring the West Coast Cali Brah mentality into the Motor City and come out with a win, even if Matt Patricia is the opposing coach. You get some Little Caesars and Coney Dogs in big Phil’s system and anything could happen.

Pick: Lions +3

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-3)

I realize I should probably update the Titans’ color but there’s more than enough navy colored teams already. They can stay light blue for posterity’s sake. No one had to be happier that Andrew Luck retired than the Titans, who went 0-11(!) against him. They’ll celebrate their newfound freedom buy losing to the Colts.

Pick: Colts +3

Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13)

The “look at all these fools who said Lamar Jackson should play receiver” straw man argument is so convincing that now I’m thinking that there really was a huge group of people saying that he should change position and not just one old clueless guy who’s been wrong about almost everything for a decade and a half. But yeah, turns out the guy who’s been good at playing QB at every level can have good games at QB. Crazy. Not quite as crazy as Kirk Cousins going 8-10 for 98 yards, but still crazy. They always say when it comes to the truly great ones, you know right away. And I can confidently say that after one week, Kyler Murray is a GREAT backdoor cover guy.

Pick: Cardinals +13

Buffalo Bills (-1.5) at New York Giants

Can I make a weird admission? I kind of love foot cramps. I don’t know what it says about me and I’m not too keen on finding out, but that pain you get when your foot just gets stuck in a ball? I live for that.

Pick: Bills -1.5

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-8.5)

I’m so ready for the Gardner Minshew era. Need a Mike Leach QB to excel in the league like I need air to breathe. If only he wasn’t on the Jaguars and didn’t play with a roster of 52 other players who completely lose their composure at the slightest hint of adversity. But hey, they were in the AFC Championship game that one time. I know the Texans are pretty good, but they shouldn’t be favored by 8.5 against anyone. Especially not during the great Minshew-Watson duel of 2019.

Pick: Jags +8.5

Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5) at Oakland Raiders

Are the Raiders back? If they lose this game by less than 40, the answer may be yes.

Pick: Chiefs -7.5

Chicago Bears (-3) at Denver Broncos

Pass.

Pick: Bears -3

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-2)

Remember the last time these two played? Pretty quiet, uneventful game, particularly the end. I’m so out on whiny Saints fans, and it’s different than being bitter about the league railroading the Pats at every turn because it was just a blown call. Like, your team still could have won the game afterward. The league didn’t force Drew Brees to throw a pick in overtime. Get over it. Rams by a thousand.

Pick: Rams -2

Philadelphia Eagles (-2) at Atlanta Falcons

Why is this matchup always in primetime? Feel like it’s been a night game every time it happens. And this isn’t gonna be a good game. Eagles are way better. So much so that I feel like I’m missing something with this -2. It’s like stealing. Whatever, I’ll take the bait. Falcons o-line and defense are swiss cheese.

Pick: Eagles -2

Cleveland Browns (-7) at New York Jets

Earlier in the week, this would have been the biggest lock Jets win of all time, but now Trevor Siemien is starting and Le’veon Bell is kind of hurt. Browns completely fell apart last week, but so much so that you can almost flush it and call it an aberration (almost. It’s still the Browns). Baker and his imaginary haters will have the boys fired up to play on Monday night. Not even the Browns can blow this, right? Right???

Pick: Browns -7

NFL Week 1 Picks

Packers Bears Football

Ahh, football. That most aesthetically pleasing of all sports. Nothing quite like the first game of the new season. Dusting off the football viewing seating arrangements, dipping your toes back into the endless sea of snacks and drinks that accompany primetime games, basking in the glow of the new season and the return of high flying football action. At least, that’s what I assume last night was like. I chose to #boycott the game to show solidarity with the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, who were robbed of yet another opportunity to kick the season off in style because of the petty grudge Roger Goodell holds against them. Will the slights ever end? If any other team wins the title, they get to play on the opening Thursday night and get their banner and rings in everyone’s face. But not the Pats. They win their 10,000th Super Bowl and they get thrown to the side because, stop me if you’ve heard this before, everyone is so desperate to get rid of them and crown the new Team. Guess what, folks. It’s never gonna happen. Especially if the two putrid teams that took the field last night are the supposed measuring sticks of the NFC. But keep telling me about how the Packers defense is the best unit in football history and that Aaron Rodgers finally has help now (insert fart noise and extended eye roll here) while pretending you’ve never followed an NFL season and think that the season ends after week 1. That’s not to say week 1 is useless. On the contrary, the bad teams are almost always bad from the start. And, uhh, yeah. Bears might be toast already. That’s your hot new coach? I’ll keep my crusty old man that everyone hates, thank you very much. How many times during the last 20 years have we done “here’s the hot young coach/QB, how many titles will they win?” thing? A million? More? What’s the success rate on them? 0%? I’m sorry, that was mean to Andrew Luck. He retired on his own terms, we all can understand that’s as good as a championship. Why do we even have a championship anymore? It’s just another way to dehumanize the athletes and boil their careers down to accomplishments and accolades they earn through their work. What a cruel society we live in. I’m fired up today, might as well get to the picks. All lines from Bovada unless otherwise noted.

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-4)

Listen, if I know anything at all, I know this: the Vikings are going to STINK this year. The wheels might come off the Cousins-mobile sooner rather than later, and starting the season off against a good team (also known as Kirk Cousins’ weakness) means they’re starting 0-1. I sort of like the Falcons this year and I think they might win by a lot. Cousins 21-39, 278 yd, 1 TD-3INT game incoming. Expect boos.

Pick: Falcons +4

Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Miami Dolphins

Allow me to be the 40,000th person to say the Dolphins are likely the worst team in the league. Jury’s still out on if they’ll be fun bad or depressing bad. Wait, who am I kidding? Fitzmagic is starting week 1! I can’t believe everyone’s burying the ‘Phins during the first three weeks. This game won’t really say much about the Ravens, they’re just getting caught in the “Fitzpatrick’s first start with a new team” wave. Don’t let your heads drop too far.

Pick: Dolphins +7

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-3)

There’s some sneaky, super-under-the-radar, if-we-don’t-talk-about-it-maybe-it’ll-go-away hype surrounding the Jets this year. Fancy new jerseys, plenty of Sam Darnold buzz, they acquired a former Steelers superstar who isn’t insane, good draft. Things are looking up in the Meadowlands for the first time in years. That means they’ll lose this game. Sorry, but the only person who knows Jets life more than hardened Jets fans is someone who’s spent a lifetime laughing at their expense. They might finish strong, but a week 1 loss is written in the stars.

Pick: Bills +3

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars

This game has been canceled. In its stead, both teams will meet at midfield and see who can complain about the Patriots beating them cleanly in the AFC Championship game louder. I feel like I’m extra salty about Pats sour grapes h8rs today, maybe I should take a deep breath or something. Also not to be this guy but the Chiefs just extended Tyreek Hill so I think karma is probably on the Jags’ side. I’m also anticipating a bit of a bounce-back in Jacksonville.

Pick: Jags +4

Los Angeles Rams (-2) at Carolina Panthers

I don’t know, man. If Cam’s super hurt (which it appears he is), I don’t know if I want him going out there to get mauled by Aaron Donald all day. Every year I have a gut feeling that it’s the Panthers year but then I think about it for like three seconds and I’m out. I think this one gets ugly and another lost season (due to never-ending injury) for Cam.

Pick: Rams -2

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-6)

When trying to predict the fate of the year’s most hyped team, there are two ways week 1 can go: crushing loss that leaves everyone wondering what we were thinking (anytime the Jets have the lowest level of raised expectations possible), or they win big, sending everyone into a fever pitch, only to come crashing down later. The Browns would typically fall into the first category, since they’re the Browns and all, but they’ve gone so far over the top this offseason that they’ve put themselves in the not-sad-sack-organization group, meaning they’ll win this week by a million and put the hype train into overdrive. And still be 2-5 after seven games, because they’re still the Browns. Titans stink.

Pick: Browns -6

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-10)

Eagles good. Redkins bad.

Pick: Eagles -10

Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)

If the Seahawks weren’t the Seahawks, they’d win this game by a thousand. But since they’re the Seahawks playing at 4pm, this game will inevitably finish 17-14 after a last-second Russell Wilson TD pass.

Pick: Bengals +9.5

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)

Might have been a good game three weeks ago, but it no longer is. Two dead teams, one murdered by Andrew Luck, the other by the Patriots, meet in the least relevant NFL stadium in history. Should be great! But hey, this is the Chargers’ year, believe me. Brissett MVP.

Pick: Colts +6.5

Detroit Lions (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray’s first game. Yeah.

Pick: Cardinals

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7.5)

Wait, hold on. This game isn’t on primetime. This is an outrage! How dare the NFL deprive us of yet another NFC East division game on Sunday night? What am I supposed to do without a boring 24-14 game where nothing happens except one tiny coaching mistake/bad call that leads to a completely manufactured controversy? Why is the NFL choosing to highlight good teams instead of teams in big markets? What the hell?

Pick: Cowboys -7.5

San Fransisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)

My sources are confirming that this is, in fact, a professional football game being played under National Football League regulations. Strange.

Pick: Bucs -1

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6)

Sorry, everyone. Pats are better this year than they were last year. Josh Gordon’s back. The defense is stacked. A thousand good running backs. Best coach ever. Best QB ever. And they get to open the season against their eternal whipping boys. Yes, please. H8rs look away.

Pick: Pats -6

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (-7)

I’m out on the Saints. Drew Brees is done. Their collective spirit is broken after back-to-back devastating playoff losses. They secretly don’t have more than two reliable offensive weapons. Saints stink again. Texans are the same harmless 10-win team they always are.

Pick: Texans +7

Denver Broncos (-1.5) at Oakland Raiders

Hey, it’s me from right before training camp started. Did you see that the Raiders traded for Antonio Brown? What a move! Can’t see this backfiring on them in any way. Raiders to the moon!

Pick: Raiders +1.5

A Short Break

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Folks, as I’m sure you’ve noticed (well, hopefully noticed), I’ve been a little absent from the internet lately. Not many posts or tweets or videos or anything. As much as I’d love to say it was because I was working on some important project or I have an entirely new identity now or that I decided to prioritize my health and backpacking through Europe, the reality is I was just kind of being lazy. I was working on my book, sure, but not in a “this-thing’s-almost-done-and-I’ve-got-publishers-beating-down-my-door” kind of way. Started thinking about a vacation next year. Got really into oatmeal raisin cookies (so underrated). Played an obscene amount of Fire Emblem Three Houses (switch over to my gaming site ledbacklitmonsterenergyrefrigeratorinthecorner.com for my 50,000 word breakdown about why Sylvain is actually the best character in the game). A lot of stuff going on in my life. Listen, it was summer and there wasn’t much interesting news I cared about and I couldn’t watch a lot of baseball until recently and it was just kind of like I didn’t have any time to come up with the level of posts I’m happy with. Or, more likely, I chose not to make time. But, if you really concentrate, you can start smelling football in the air again. Hell, college has been going for a couple weeks now. So, at the very least, I’ll go back to picking games. I like it too much and I’m too good at it to give it up, even if I know no one’s reading. Anything more than that? We’ll see. Unplugged life was good, and I’ll leave it at that. briansden69.com may start to operate on a per diem basis.

But, naturally, there were two stories that nearly dragged me back to the site. The first, of course, was the great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019. Popeyes introduced a new chicken sandwich. It was very good and sold out everywhere instantly. It’s still not as good as Chick-fil-A’s. That’s the take.

The second was the Andrew Luck shock retirement. And I don’t really have a take about Luck, more about the discussion about Luck, which I fully admit is just feeding directly into the cycle of event-backlash-backlashtothebacklash-outrage-forgetiteverhappened that dominates social media, more specifically Twitter, which is easily the worst website in the world but I can’t stop myself from spending all day on it. Anyway, yeah, Luck retired. Crazy. Who knows what he’s going through, so if his body’s saying no, it’s time to get out. Football’s not a game you can be kind of committed to. If you don’t want to take the pain anymore, no shame in walking away. I’m sad to see him go, if only because he was 0-6 against the Pats and always lost by 10,000. But when the Indy fans booed as he left the field (the story leaking mid-game is one of the weirdest things about it), predictably, it quickly became a 2019 sports story. You had to either become “shut up and play, think about the coal miners” guy or one of the nameless, faceless members of the Twitter mob that think if you’re nice to the athletes they’ll become friends with you or something. Like if hell exists, Andrew Luck’s not gonna wind up there because he retired earlier than you wanted him to. But he’s also not a conquering hero, either. It’s his life and he should do with it what he pleases, but let’s not act like it’s out of line for Colts fans to be upset. Their star QB retired two seconds before the season! They can’t be pissed about that? Not even a little? I understand they shouldn’t have booed. I wouldn’t have, were I in the same position (I would never be in that position, though, because that would involve attending a preseason NFL game). But he really screwed the Colts over with this. Unless you want to get woke and say Jim Irsay knew Luck was on the way out but told him to keep it quiet so they could sell season tickets, but even then the fans are really getting the shaft. But hey, it’s 2019 and the fans don’t matter because a couple lunatics were mean to some athletes on Twitter and now if you even insinuate that a player isn’t the best all-time in their sport you’re a reckless hater and deserve to be canceled. This story is why I liked being offline. You check back in briefly and it’s just as bad and eye-roll-inducing as it was when you left. Luck’s not a spoiled millennial who doesn’t care about the little guy and he’s not a brave trailblazer who should be endlessly praised for accomplishing nothing in the league and walking away under his own power. He’s just a really talented guy who’s body said enough, that’s it. But we can’t do “that’s it” in 2019, can we?

Football’s back, hooray.

There’s a New Bad Boy of YouTube

If you’re anything like me, you’re a massive fan of the official Brian’s Den YouTube account. And, as we approach Independence Day, perhaps you wanted to look back at one of the great athletic achievements of all time. So, you fire up the ol’ Tube and search your favorite video when, all of a sudden, you find out that it’s blocked. For what reason? Violence? Problematic content? Toxic comment section? No, something even worse: music copyright infringement.

Unlicensed use of everyone’s favorite ’70s soft rock group Chicago’s music is usually enough to receive the death penalty, so I consider myself lucky I got by only getting my video blocked. I can still watch it, mind you. But the rest of you can’t. Yet another reason why being me really is the greatest gift you can receive.

I won’t lie, I woke up feeling a little different this morning. I’ve got some more confidence and I can tell people on the street are looking at me through a new lens. That’s what happens when you’ve got an edge. When you’re the new bad boy on the block. When you become the guy parents point out to their kids and say “stay away from him, he used a Chicago song on a stupid video without acquiring the rights from Warner Music Group.” Listen, I’m a rebel and a bit of a villain. What are you gonna do about it? Fight me? Please. I’ve been in the mud with the WMG, you think anything you throw at me is gonna faze me? You’d better think again.

The only question is what does one even do when the laws of society no longer apply? I’ve been permanently branded as a troublemaker. Following established conventions and courtesies would just confuse people. I need to pick up a leather jacket, I guess. Start smoking cigs. Never speak; only communicate in sultry and pouty facial expressions. Always wear pants, even when it’s like 1,000 degrees outside. Buy some pre-weathered converse or vans or, better yet, boots that are inappropriate for nearly every occasion. I’m surprised these things didn’t just show up at my doorstep overnight. How else is the world supposed to know the terrible things I’ve done? The kind of mischief I’ve gotten into after school (that I didn’t go to, obvi) and all the loitering I do? Maybe my new attitude will be enough. After all, I’m a bad boy, now. And bad boy life continues no matter what you’re wearing.

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NBA Draft Guide 2019

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Folks,,, it’s draft night. I love both the NFL and NBA drafts, but the NBA draft is probably the higher quality entertainment. Whereas the NFL draft is a war of attrition against the weak minded “fans” who can’t last all seven rounds over three days, the NBA draft is an efficient sprint to the finish line. I take pride in my NFL draft commitment, but yeah. Give me one three- or four-hour block of drafting. NFL draft is more conducive to eating way too much food, but don’t underestimate the satisfaction of some good pizza (we call it za in the biz) or wings while watching some roundball highlight packages. Everyone’s scrambling over themselves to declare this draft worthless after the first three picks, but the lack of sure things only opens the door for crazy reaches and funny second round foreign guys who even Fran Fraschilla has never heard of with preposterous workout videos. The various injuries and Anthony Davis trade have taken some steam out of the extracurricular aspects of tonight’s draft, but I think we’re still in store for something good. If only everyone still wore XXXXXXXXL suits. Let’s break down everything you need to know about the 2019 NBA draft class.

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Reasons Why I WOULDN’T Take Zion Williamson Number One…

  • None

Do You Say Zi-ON or Zi-EN

  • I’m becoming a Zi-EN guy. Think it just kind of sounds funny.

Good Players in This Draft

  • Zion Williamson
  • Ja Morant
  • Bol Bol, but only in 2K

Bad Players in This Draft

  • Pretty much everyone else?
  • Maybe not De’Andre Hunter?

Guys I Want the Celtics to Draft

  • One of the Good Players
  • Anyone not named Kyrie Irving

Biggest Storylines

  • Does Zion get put in the Hall of Fame tonight?
  • Is anyone else any good?
  • Will Cam Reddish bother showing up? Because he didn’t at Duke.
  • Will anyone break from the monopoly of blue/black/gray tailored suits?
  • How many highlight videos will include warm-ups/empty gyms?
  • Are we positive anyone besides Zion’s getting drafted tonight?

Zion?

  • Zion

I Just Said This Was Going to be a Fun Draft, But It’s Going to be Pretty Boring, Huh?

  • Yeah