Maybe it’s because I lived in Chicago too long. I’ve been around Cubs fans and Bear fans enough to know they hedge their hearts with a lot of “they’ll find a way to lose” thoughts. Maybe it’s so they won’t be so disappointed at the end result – but they usually are just that – disappointed. This weekend will be no different.
Pittsburgh Bests Baltimore
Maybe I’m hedging my heart here, I’m sure Pittsburgh will find a way to … wait a minute, I don’t live in Chicago anymore! Pittsburgh will win this slugfest. I love these games. In the last three years, they’ve met eight times (Steelers on top 5-2). The average margin of victory in these contests? 3.5 points.
For me to say whoever can turn over the ball less wins, well – that’s pretty simple. Talk is that Joe Flacco has more freedoms in this year’s offense. For the Ravens, they’ll need him to be fantastic to get his first win against a Big Ben-led Steelers team.
When it comes to trash-talking organizations, the two NFL teams who would be considered polar-opposites would be two teams matched up in the NFL Divisional Playoff Game this very weekend: The New York Jets and The New England Patriots.
New York Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan, is not one to shy away from mugging for the camera. He’s not at all afraid of offering sports fans a consistently high level of jackassery with some trash talking remark for his opponents (and his detractors). On trash talking, Rex Ryan says:
“I just build our guys up. If it’s trash talking that I believe in our football team, then, yes, I agree with that statement. I’m the biggest trash talker there is. I don’t disrespect anybody else. I just have confidence in our football team. I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all to opponents.”
Conversely, Bill Belichick is the antithesis of the trash-talking head coach. The stone-faced crypt-keeper with the wood-chipper style hoodie speaks in one tone – that’s monotone. Everyone is always on the injury report. All teams are worthy opponents. Cut it, print it, ship it – we’re done here.
Make no mistake about it, New York Jets fans, your coach is about one thing, and one thing only: F**king winning. Don’t believe me? Just watch the video from last night’s debut of HBO’s Hard Knocks. PFT has a nice little transcript of Rex’s carpet f-bombing.
It would make Richard Pryor proud:
1. On Darrelle Revis, “He’s pretty f–king good.”
2. “It’s about leading the league in f–king wins.”
3. “If we play at our best, we will beat every team in this f–king league playing at their best.”
4. “Last year, hey, we were under the radar, that’s a good place to be. F–k that!”
5. “We know we’re better than you. We don’t give a f–k if you know it or not.”
6. “We’re gonna beat the f–k out of you.”
Now, the real question is, now that the Jets have clearly embraced their hype, are they going to fizzle out in grand fashion or will they make Rex Ryan look like a f**king genius? Can/will Mark Sanchize (12 TDs, 20 INTs last season) lead the team past the AFC Championship? Or was last year a flash in the pan? If the Jets are truly committed to playing without Darrelle Revis — something I find hard to f**king believe — will they even be able to at least repeat last year’s moderate regular season success?