Super Bowl LIII Picks

Los Angeles Rams v New England Patriots

Super Bowl Sunday. America’s favorite party and the last football game for seven months. A great day if you’re a casual fan or a neutral observer, the longest day of the year if your team is playing. Trust me, I know from experience. Time never moves quite as slowly as it does on Super Bowl day. If you’re not like me and don’t suffer from crippling anxiety about an inconsequential event I have absolutely no control over, you can probably get a lot done during the day. The morning never ends and the afternoon lasts forever. 4:30-6:15 is four separate eternities. And then the game starts, and, if you have a rooting interest, it’s the longest four hours in history. The day is mostly agony, broken only by the cosmic coin flip that is the final result. But, again, that’s only if you’re like me.

If you’re not like me you’re probably going to a party with a bunch of people you either like or are tangentially connected to where you’ll spend a few hours eating food and having rote, boring, uninformed conversations about football and commercials and hear such gems as “Tom Brady’s a cheater,” or “I’m so sick of the Patriots,” or “you know, this should really be the Saints. Did you folks see what happened to them?” Sounds like hell to me. I’ll be in my apartment, alone, breaking down film in real time. That’s what a true expert does. That’s why you’re reading my thoughts on the Super Bowl and not your friend Doug’s. Doug thinks he’s the first person to come up with a Sean McVay coaching tree joke. He’s not, trust me. Super Bowl parties also leave too much to chance, mostly food related. What if you get there and there are no wings? Or no pizza? Or weird chips or a weird dip you don’t want but your friend’s girlfriend made it so you have to try it? Pass. Let me provide my own spread. It’s better that way.

Onto the game itself.

New England Patriots (-3) vs Los Angeles Rams

Did you know these two teams played 17 years ago in the Super Bowl, kicking off the Patriots Dynasty? Bet you didn’t. In a weird way, the roles are kind of reversed this time around. The Patriots as the established powerhouse with the championship pedigree against the young coach-QB combo that has aspirations of something greater. But it’s far from apples to apples. For starters, the Pats are only 3 point favorites as opposed to 14 point favorites (which, game-that-shall-not-be-named notwithstanding, I don’t think will ever happen again in a Super Bowl). There’s also no pressure on the Pats. What’s their penalty for losing? Brady and Belichick are suddenly not the best ever? The key players of the Patriots’ run get nothing out of this game either way. It’s all on the Rams. They’re the ones with the revolutionary coach that will undoubtedly see 31 of his former assistants as head coaches within the next five years. They’re the ones that went all-in on free agency and have the hopes and dreams of every single NFL player who wants both money and success riding on them. They’re the ones who have to carry the flame for the NFL’s entertainment-focused agendas. They’re the ones who, most likely, will be set up as the next team to kind of run the league for a few years if they win. And they very well might win. They have the firepower offensively and the beasts on defense. They won 13 games for a reason. In an alternate reality where the Chiefs won last week, I’d be rooting for the Rams. It’s in the league’s best interest for McVay to win. I like a lot of their players. Love Jared Goff. Aaron Donald is one of the five best NFL players I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been a big Ndamokung Suh guy despite the…antics. Aqib Talib is a former Patriot great. But they’re not going to win. The Pats are too smart, too tough, too experienced. This game is going to come down to the wire. Would you rather be the team with comically clutch quarterback and the coach who’s prepared for everything or the first time coach and QB with the injured kicker? I’ll hang up and listen. Sorry, America. Pats win again.

Just kidding. I’m not sorry.

Pick: Patriots

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NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

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Prop Bet Special (via Bovada)

  • Coin Toss- Heads -105
  • National Anthem Over/Under 1:49 (Gladys Knight)- Over -145
  • Will Any Scoring Drive Take Less Time Than Anthem?- Yes -145
  • Over/Under Tony Romo Correct Pre-Play Predictions 7.5- Under -135
  • Aaron Donald QB Hits Over/Under 2.5- Under -135
  • How Many Times Will Ted Rath (Sean McVay’s get-back coach) Be Mentioned O/U 3.5- Under -400
  • O/U Sean McVay’s Age Mentioned 1.5- Over -270
  • O/U Total Net Yards 824.5- Under -140
  • What Color Liquid Dumped On Coach? Orange +450
  • Who Will MVP Mention First in Speech? Teammates +160
  • First Song Performed by Maroon 5? “Moves Like Jagger” +600
  • Predominant Color of Adam Levine’s Shirt? Other Color Than Black EVEN
  • Will Puppy Bowl MVP Be Pure Breed or Mixed? Mixed -800
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I’m Sick of Everyone Talking About How Hot Ted Bundy Was

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Folks, if you spend enough time on the Internet, you’ll run into dozens of troublesome trends. Crazes or ideas that make you question not only why you waste time online, but why you waste time with the human race, in general. Recently, a new wave has washed over the world wide web, and it’s a real doozy: people calling Ted Bundy, noted rapist and serial killer, hot. Go on Twitter and search “Ted Bundy hot” and you’ll find tweet after tweet from misguided souls who find this manipulative sociopath attractive. So much so, in fact, that Netflix, who sparked the craze with their new Ted Bundy documentary (along with the release of the trailer for Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile) released the following statement:

(I’m staying extremely woke on all this, by the way. After finding out Netflix likely started the Bird Box memes themselves, I am fully ready to accept that the thousands of people tweeting about the Ted Bundy doc are either shell accounts or being paid by Netflix, who was facing so much “pressure” by sane people that they just had to release a statement talking about their new show everyone’s watching. Funny how that works out.)

Like this is really where we’re at as a society now? We’re calling Ted Bundy daddy? I feel like I’m completely out of touch with reality. We’ve lost our way, and I don’t think I can stand it anymore. Because there’s one thing I know for certain: Ted Bundy was not hot.

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Ted gets this great rep as the Hot Serial Killer and it’s completely unjustified. He gets to run around wearing his “Smartest Preschooler” badge because this is the rest of the competition:

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(There are people out there that got roped into a cult/murdered by a cult that was lead by a 5’2″ guy. Think about that. Just think about that for a second. Imagine a 5’2″ man killing you. I can’t. I hate to say everyone involved got what they deserved, but I mean…)

Ted Bundy’s “hot” because his contemporaries are the literal inspirations behind every serial killer/pedophile stereotype out there. He’s not actually hot. Zac Efron is hot. He’s too hot to be playing Ted Bundy, even if there is a weird resemblance. Ted Bundy was like a 6 or 7. He should be played by an 8, max. Efron is a 9 on his worst day. It’s too big a glow up.

The bottom line is this- I know for a fact I’m objectively more handsome than Ted Bundy. This means his title as Hot Serial Killer is moot. I am not hot. Therefore someone less attractive than me is, by default, also not hot. It’s basic math. Ted Bundy succeeded because he had a broken brain that gave him unwarranted self-confidence and could overpower young women, not because he was hot. Because he wasn’t hot. He had a unibrow.

Ted Bundy can’t be the hottest serial killer. And if he is, good for him. But does that mean he’s real-life hot? Would you call Kevin Durant one of the great sportswriters in the world because his Player’s Tribune article got a lot of clicks? Probably not. Would you say “move over Wolfgang Puck!” if Kevin Hart looked up how to make a blueberry gastrique and didn’t mess it up? I’m guessing no. We need to add a tiny bit of perspective into things. Ted Bundy isn’t a revolting creep with a bad mustache and thick glasses. That doesn’t make him hot.

In review- Hot serial killer:

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Not hot but looks great compared to John Wayne Gacy:

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This Is Arguably the Most Important Week in Human History

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Folks, every so often the planets align and a series of events so monumental, so important to the future of mankind all occur in the span of one seven day stretch. This is one such time. Years from now, historians will look back on January 28th, 2019 through February 3rd, 2019 as the new cutoff point for calendars. This is the new year one. Get used to it.

For starters, tonight is media night for the Super Bowl. Crazy hijinks, wacky questions, Rams players talking about how much they hate the Patriots and that they totally, 100% AREN’T intimidated by them whatsoever. It’s always a great time. This will set the stage for one of the great triumphs in Western History.

Kingdom Hearts III comes out tomorrow. I’ll say that again in case you didn’t hear: Kingdom Hearts III comes out tomorrow. This is simply preposterous to me. I literally cannot believe it. Kingdom Hearts II came out fourteen years ago. 2005! I’m old and washed up and the gap in between the two main titles of one of my favorite game franchises ever has been over half my life. And tomorrow I’m going to be holding a real-life copy of Kingdom Hearts III. I don’t know how I’m going to react yet. There might be tears, I won’t rule it out.

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I’ve been frantically reading Wikipedia entries. I’ve been watching 45-minute plot compilation videos on YouTube. I’ve come as close as any one man can come to fully understanding the Kingdom Hearts storyline. My body is ready. It’s a matter of if my fragile psyche is.

Wednesday I will be playing Kingdom Hearts III all day. I want the history books to know this, too.

I’ll also be working on my next big project, and I assure you, it’s big. Huge, even. Will totally revolutionize what you think a good time really is. I can’t say anything else without risking unveiling Blayze on the Beach before it’s ready. Oops, did I say that out loud? Silly me.

Thursday is my dad’s birthday. Shoutout to my dad.

Friday my Super Bowl picks come out. Obviously a pretty big deal. Special prop bets included.

Saturday is a day of rest and probably the like, third longest day of the year. Super Bowl Saturday is bruuuuuutal. It’s so boring. It takes three lifetimes to end. But there’s always Kingdom Hearts III.

Sunday, needless to say, will rewrite American history. I don’t want to step on my picks too much, but let’s just say a certain coach-QB combo will win their sixth Super Bowl together. Sixth! And there’s going to be some terrible CBS show premiering afterwards. I’ll have more on this day as the week progresses, but it’s gonna be good. Get your spread locked down now. The last thing you want to do is leave shopping until Saturday.

This is totally the last week of eating like crap before I start working out and eating better. For real this time, I swear.

What a week. What a week. I don’t even know if I’ve done it justice with this description. But those of you who know, know. The world is about to change, and it all starts tonight.

The Best Active Fast Food Item

For those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram, my life is dedicated to trying the newest fast food and junk food items and reviewing them. It’s my raison d’être if you will. It keeps me going. Well, today I dragged myself to Burger King to try the “new” Big King XL, the second iteration of BK’s shameless, disgusting knockoff of the fast food godfather the Big Mac. My thoughts:


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#fastfoodreview for the Burger King big king xl. Sry I’m loyal to the 🐐 Big Mac #food #foodreview #burgerking #fraud

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A bald, cowardly imposter coming for the crown. While mentally comparing the two sandwiches, I knew the Big Mac was a 10 and the Big King would have to be judged accordingly. That got the old gears turning, so I decided to compile a list of current fast food items that get a 10 on the Brian’s Den scoring meter. This is fast food only, so no fast casual. Five Guys’ fries are a clear 10, but Five Guys is fast casual. Sorry. Also, this only includes national chains. So while I’m sure Double-Doubles and Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits are legitimate 10s, I don’t like being punished for being born in the wrong place. If you have any problems with this list, just know that I’m the one with the food reviews, not you and my palate is much, much more refined than yours.

Active Fast Food 10s

McDonald’s

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Big Mac– The burger that launched a thousand imitators. Hopefully this is self-explanatory, but when the greatest fast food empire in history is built on the back of a single menu item, you’d better believe it’s a 10.

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Fries– The GOAT of GOATs.

Honorable Mention (a.k.a. 9s)- McNuggets, Sweet & Sour Sauce, McFlurry, McDouble (the best McDoubles are 10s but you can get some bad ones if you go at the wrong time), Apple Pie

Taco Bell

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Cheesy Gordita Crunch– Taco Bell’s strength is its deep roster of 8s and 9s, but the CGC is the superstar leading the team and taking the shots in crunch time (pun not intended but intended). The CGC is arguably the greatest fast food innovation of the 21st century.

Honorable Mention– Baja Blast (like the McDouble, can be a 10 but can also be way lower if the fountain is off. Also lost serious points when it started showing up in stores), Beefy Fritos Burrito, Doritos Locos Taco (all flavors), Crunchwrap (regular and breakfast), Shredded Chicken Burrito, Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller, all iterations of Quesadilla

Burger King

None

Honorable Mention– Bring back the $1 Rodeo Cheeseburger you idiots

Wendy’s

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Baconator– Improbably on of the more influential burgers of the last decade or so, the Baconator birthed numerous copycats, including, you’ll never believe this, one from Burger King. I like bacon, wouldn’t call myself a true bacon guy or anything, but the Baconator is just great. Maybe it’s just Wendy’s beef.

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Double Stack– Wendy’s is the only fast food place to have consistently mastered the art of the value menu burger. The Double Stack is like the McDouble’s rich brother that is also really philanthropic.

Honorable Mention– Fries, Chicken Nuggets, Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Chick-fil-A

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Original Chicken Sandwich– If there was an 11, this would be it.

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Spicy Chicken Sandwich– If there was an 11, this would be it.

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Chicken Nuggets– If there was an 11, this would be it.

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Chick-fil-A Sauce– The GOAT dipping sauce. If I could shower in CFAS, I would.

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Polynesian Sauce– I think Chick-fil-A has this industry figured out.

Honorable Mention– Fries, Chicken Biscuit, Spicy Chicken Biscuit

Popeye’s

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Biscuits– I will neither confirm nor deny reports that I get at least two extra biscuits every time I go to Popeye’s. Better than KFC’s biscuits, if only slightly, and there’s only room for one 10 biscuit.

Honorable Mention– Spicy Chicken, Mashed Potatoes

KFC

None

Honorable Mention– Biscuits, Extra Crispy Chicken, Popcorn Chicken, Potato Wedges, Mashed Potatoes

Dairy Queen

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Chocolate Dipped Cone– People forget Dairy Queen is technically a fast food place. People also forget the regular cholate dipped cone is the best fast food desert in the game.

Honorable Mention– Most Blizzards, none of the actual food because I’m not a crazy person

Checkers

None

Honorable Mention– Fries, Fry Lover’s Burger, Cheese Double

White Castle

None normally

Honorable Mention– Literally everything if you really, really want it

Dunkin’ Donuts

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Strawberry Frosted Donut– I lost track of how many of these I’ve eaten about 15 years ago. Sure, you can go to “fancy” donut places and get similar or “superior” versions of this, but this man will never say there’s a better donut to be had.

Honorable Mention– Blueberry Cake Donut

Krispy Kreme

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Original Glazed– When they’re hot they’re the best thing you’ve ever eaten.

Honorable Mention– Why would you get anything else?

Sonic

None

Honorable Mention– Tots, Chili Cheese Coney, Breakfast Toaster, French Toast Sticks, Asian Sweet Chili Boneless Wings, Shakes, Sonic Blasts

Arby’s

None

Honorable Mention– None

What the Hell is Going on With John Cena’s Instagram?

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A yearly tradition is mine is to, once the NFC and AFC Championship games finish, remember that it’s time for the Royal Rumble and frantically google it to be sure I didn’t miss it. As usual, I didn’t- it’s this Sunday. But when I saw the results page this time around, I was met by a cursed image: John Cena has hair now. Naturally, I then googled John Cena to try and get more information about this shocking transformation. I clicked on his Instagram feed, thinking I would be able to see a nice progression from highway cop to overworked father of three, but instead I got the weirdest social media page I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never been, it’s a collection of random memes and photoshops with no context given whatsoever. Apparently, I’ve been following him for years, which was a surprise to me. Guess I just never saw them (oh!).


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What is this? Is this a human egg?


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Ahh, yes, classic meme.


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Huh?


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I don’t think I know the significance of any piece of this image.


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He has like a billion random Stone Cold memes.


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Hell yeah, I actually had some of these.


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This is that wholesome content I crave from John Cena.


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But did Han shoot first John?


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You leave Tom out of this, John.


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I don’t understand this and I don’t know how to change that.


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What are we, the public, supposed to do with this?

It just goes on and on like this. He’s always online and always posting weird ass pictures with no captions. What happened to the guy that lives for Make-A-Wish kids? Where are the hustle, loyalty, or respect on this page? What do any of these posts mean? I actually think it’s better not knowing. John Cena’s just a weird dude who posts weird memes. Finding out what they all mean would kind of ruin the fun.

Anyway, yeah, Royal Rumble. Should be a good time.

NFL Conference Championship Picks

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Here at the end of all things, it’s easy to forget how we got here. Easy to forget the Miami Miracles and the few weeks Khalil Mack was MVP and that the Lions actually played this season and that George Kittle quietly set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end and that the Chiefs-Rams game was supposed to be in Mexico City. It’s easy to forget that everyone (myself included) really did bury the Pats and call them done and question whether they’d even win 10 games and are now covering their tracks and calling the Patriots delusional and stupid for trying to use that narrative in their favor because the national media conversation about the Pats is primarily driven by spite, jealousy, and hatred. It’s easy to forget that the Saints were completely dominated at home by the Cowboys, whom the Rams just beat in a game whose final score belied the true margin of victory. It’s easy to forget that for all the grief the Chiefs’ defense has taken for being one of the worst in history, they’re much stouter at home and have a terrifying pass rush. It’s easy to forget that Sean McVay has spent more time in Sean McVay’s presence than anyone. All these forgotten things help paint the picture of the 2018 NFL season. They make up the background and the small details that make the piece beautiful. But the main subjects in the foreground? They’re about to be painted this weekend. This is Championship Sunday, the most important week of the season.

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)

It’s just different in the ‘Dome. That’s what they always say, at least. And I think it’s true, at least in this case: home teams have a massive advantage in Conference Championship games (no road team has won a CCG since 2012) and this game is in the Superdome. Pound-for-pound, I think these two rosters are pretty much even. It’s just those few differences that set them apart. The Rams secondary is pretty decent, but if Marcus Peters starts covering Michael Thomas? Uh oh. Aaron Donald is the best player in the league. But if Kamara gets past him and is up against the questionable linebackers? Uh oh. I just can’t see the Rams stopping the Saints. Drew Brees appears to have escaped the weird late-season slump he was in and is back to slinging the ball around at will. Saints defense is good, too. One of the best run defenses in the league, and if they do even a slightly better job at stopping Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson than the Cowboys did it’ll throw off the Rams’ offensive attack. Jared Goff is good. I don’t think he’s at “win the NFC Conference Championship Game singlehandedly” level yet. This has Saints written all over it, and it could get ugly.

Pick: Saints

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New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)

It’s impossible for me to talk about this game without slipping into Pats Fan mode, so I’m not even going to try to avoid it. Listen, the Pats are winning this game. They just are. And they are underdogs, whether the poopy-pants talking heads and columnists want to admit it or not, and for good reason. The Chiefs were the best team all year. Best offense since the 2013 Broncos. They’ve got the league MVP, the best receiving tight end in the game, and one of the fastest players in league history. They’re at home, and we’ve already established that home teams don’t lose in the Conference Championships. But this arctic blast has to throw everything out of whack. Sure, the cataclysmic weather that was originally scheduled to hit Arrowhead likely won’t occur, but still. Gonna be freezing. Might have some snow. Might be a classic low-possession, low-margin-of-error game that the Patriots feast on. The number will always favor the Chiefs, which is why this isn’t about numbers. It’s about grit. It’s about balls. It’s about the best coach of all time and the best quarterback of all time taking the greatest franchise of all time out for one last ride. Soak it in, folks. These next three weeks could be it.

Pick: Patriots

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