There’s a vision I have of Vegas, but to be quite honest I’m somewhat scared of actually going to Vegas in the sense that I might shatter it. Let’s not get off on the wrong foot here and give this impression that I think that Vegas is good or ideal. I suppose my fear is finding out that Vegas isn’t the cesspool I dream of.
As the world cooks and arctic ice vanishes, the real degenerate places on our planet are being replaced by banal vices. I fear—and it’s a small one next to everything else that’s being swallowed up in this vast empire of terror—that the Vegas of Hunter S. Thompson or Martin Scorsese is no longer with us. After all, Vegas is big business now, and that sort of desperation and the degeneracy is simply too much for Protestant America. And so it’s all been replaced by a Disney World for sweaty Midwestern uncles, a dying breed of snowbird that has taken everything else from my generation and left my friends and I with the bill. That’s fine; I’ve come to accept that’s the way this century is going to play out.
I’d love to go to Vegas, but why go when it’s just going to be a tourist trap, a series of lines and waits and carefully manicured, coordinated sets of spectacles? Whatever romantic vision there was has probably been obliterated, sanitized and paved over with a parking lot and a Penn Jillette dinner show.
Maybe I’ll still go, one day. I’m sorry, this was really soppy. Let’s pick the games.
Current record: 35-39-1
Chicago +4.5 vs. Green Bay
The game is going to be mind-numbingly cold, which seems to be a point of pride for Midwestern dunce-walkers. I don’t like cold weather football. No one does. That generation of chest-thumping over the privilege of getting frostbite really struggles to pass on its heritage when tickets cost as much as they do now; not even mentioning that the athletes are probably in even more danger from the cold than your drunk ass.
Cincinnati +3 vs. Pittsburgh
Home dog, and the Steelers don’t seem to travel too well as of late. This all smacks of some weird late season AFC North shenanigans that will just make things far more complicated for the Steelers heading towards the playoffs than they need to be.
Houston -3.5 vs. Jacksonville
Buffalo -10 vs. Cleveland
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cleveland Browns and what an 0-16 season might mean. While I’m saving my thoughts for the occasion itself, it is remarkable in many ways how the Browns got to this position. The NFL is built on a sort of enforced parity, both on the field and off, in rules of play and in rules of transactions and organization and drafting. The Browns have somehow managed to beat every last safeguard in their quest for nihilism. How do they even crawl back from this? This isn’t just a couple of bad years, but a succession that’s just not supposed to happen. It’s really dangerous waters for the league.
Anyway laying ten points is trash but what can you do.
Detroit +4 at Giants
I really have a bad feeling about this game and I made my pick but the Giants play close games, like the Lions, so I’ll just take the points and hope for the best.
Tennessee +6 at Kansas City
Special teams and turnovers still have kept the Chiefs alive. I’ll be wary and collect on the Titans.
Indianapolis +5 at Minnesota
The return of Adrian Peterson is probably not enough to save the Vikings. The Colts are bad but the Vikings are just, to use a scientific term, janky. Can’t trust them, grab the points.
Arizona -3 vs. New Orleans
New Orleans is trash. I thought the Lions domination over the Saints was a feather in the cap, but it turned out that this offense is just really bad.
Denver +3 vs. New England
Home dog points and a good matchup against New England gives me hope here. I think there’s certainly weaknesses against this Patriots team and the Broncos are stacked up well enough to take advantage of it.
Oakland -2.5 at San Diego
Two teams that probably won’t play in their respective cities next year. God bless the NFL for embodying the American values of blinding greed.
Tampa Bay +7.5 at Dallas
The Bucs have been hot and they’re picking up the hook. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Dallas but this is a game I’m sure Lions fans will keep an eye on.
Washington -7 vs. Carolina
Carolina? Basura. Get them out of here.