Stewing Over Week 16: Is Kevin a Real Fan?

The NFC Playoff picture was set this week and to no one’s surprise the Lions and Falcons are the two wild card teams. Turns out having a two game lead with two weeks to go is a pretty good spot to be in. The AFC is much more┬ámurky setting up a crucial week 17 for a number of teams. None of us really wanted to talk about the games this week and you’ll see that the conversation quickly breaks down. Please comment and let us all know that Kevin isn’t a “real” fan.

Packers (14-1) def. Bears (7-8) 35-21

Wow, big surprise, the Bears lost at Green Bay. I didn’t see this game because I had no interest in watching the Bears lose. Besides Derrick Rose was busy beating the Lakers on a last second shot. I’m pretty sure the only reason I’m paying attention to football anymore is for this column. That’s a bad sign.

Teams that Locked Up Playoff Spots

Lions (10-5) def. Chargers (7-8) 38-10

The Lions crushed the suddenly resurgent Chargers and won their way into the playoffs. If only Detroit could run the ball I’m sure they’d be a threat to win the Super Bowl. As it stands they still have a decent shot at winning their first playoff game since 1992. On a related note, I miss Wayne Fontes.



Saints (12-3) def. Falcons (9-6) 45-16

Due to the Bears, Seahawks, and Cardinals losses, The Falcons were granted last night’s wild car win regardless of the outcome of this game with the Saints. Drew Breese passes Dan Marino for most passing yards in a single season.

Give Him a Break, Jesus was Busy this Week

Buffalo (6-9) def. Broncos (8-7) 40-14

These last two weeks have really made Tebow and the Broncos look mortal. Can Denver beat Kansas City and make the Playoffs next week? I’m going to leave this question to the Tebow experts.

The Game of the Week if you listen to the Press/ Live on the East Coast

Giants (8-7) def. Jets (8-7) 29-14

I hate both of these teams. I hate Rex Ryan and his stupid foot fetish. I hate having to hear about two crappy New York teams. At least the Jets now might miss the playoffs. Next week it’s the Giants vs. the Cowboys for the last playoff spot. That means wall to wall coverage of this game by ESPN. The rest of us will root for the meteor.

Teams that are still alive

Raiders (8-7) def. Chiefs (6-9 16-13 (OT)

If the Broncos lose next week and the Raiders can beat a San Diego team with nothing to play for they’ll make the playoffs.

Teams Knocked Out of the Playoffs Besides the Bears

49ers (12-3) def. Seahawks (7-8) 19-17

I can’t believe the Seahawks were still in the playoff race.

Eagles (7-8) def. Cowboys (8-7) 20-7

I’m very glad the Cowboys lost and the Eagles can’t make the playoffs. This was really the best case scenario. Despite the Eagles win, the Gaints win means the Eagles are officially done.

Bengals (9-6) def. Cardinals (7-8) 23-16

The Bengals just keep hanging around. Hopefully they can hold off the Jets. I’d much rather root for them than Rex.

Dumbest Win of the Week

Colts (2-13) def. Texans (10-5) 19-16

Improbably the Colts have now won two in a row with a very winnable game against the Jaguars looming in week 17. That means the hapless Rams are still in the Andrew Luck race as they were shut out by the Steelers. So Burner, do the Rams draft luck despite having Bradford?

Burner: Why were all the games on Saturday? Doesn’t the NFL know I’m busy on Christmas Eve and sit around on Christmas? The only game I saw this weekend was the Packers dismantling the Bears. Aaron Rodgers didn’t even play in the 4th quarter. Brutal. All I can say is I’m glad the guy in our fantasy league who had Rodgers was already out of it.

Perhaps my biggest disappointment of the weekend was that I wasn’t able to see the Tebows total collapse against the Bills, who had lost seven in a row. Tebow went 13 for 30 and threw four (4) interceptions, two of which were pick-sixes 17 second apart. Fan-tastic. Next week Kyle Orton and his neck beard will return to Denver with a chance to keep the Broncos out of the playoffs. Will it be the Revenge of Orton? Will Tebow get the magic back at home? I, for one, cannot wait.

The Colts won and the Vikings won which takes the Vikes out of the Andrew Luck Memorial Race to the Bottom. If both the Colts and Rams lose I think the Colts still take it since they’ll end up with the easier strength of schedule. They have a winnable game and the Rams will play a 49ers team looking to lock up a first round bye (The Saints are up 45-13 as I write this). Andrew Luck or Sam Bradford and a bunch of picks? I’m glad I’m not the one who has to decide.

Kevin: The NFL is dead to me. I literally could not care any less about what happens next week or really the entire playoffs. That’s how much the Bears have ruined the 2011-2012 season for me. Bring on Derrick Rose and the 2011-2012 NBA Champion Chicago Bulls. I might be talked into watching the Tebows next week, but even then I know it’ll be 2.5 hours (or more) of boredom before anything fun happens. At this point i’m left to watch games solely to see if the teams I hate most (Pats, Packers) somehow lose in some embarrassing fashion. Remember when the Pats got destroyed at home by the Ravens in 2009? That was fun. That’s all I have now. Thanks Lovie, Mike and Jerry. I hope you all get hit by a truck.

The only NFL related comment I can make is the brief 5 minutes of the New Orleans – Atlanta game I watched. If I were a betting man, I think I’d bet the +500 for NO to win the Superbowl. They look unstoppable on offense. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s the defense doesn’t really matter. It’s all about being able to respond with TD’s.

Burner: I think Kevin’s response here highlights an interesting difference between the two of us. He is a Bears fan and I am a Rams fan. BUT I am also a football fan. I personally cannot wait for the playoffs to start. Playoff Football is the apex of sport. If I threw a Micklesque hissy every time the Rams failed in an embarrassing and spectacular fashion, I would have to stop paying attention to football around week 5 of every single season since 2003. To Kevin, I say “Suck it up! You root for a team that has been largely successful over the past decade, your team plays great defense and has a top 5 QB and RB. They had a lot of injuries and not enough depth, which puts you together with, oh only 50% of the league. Count your blessings, sit back, and enjoy the best sport in the world being played at its highest level for a full fucking month. The playoffs are almost here! It’s time to get PUMPED bitchboy!”

Kevin: We can debate later this supposed “success” of my favorite franchise over the last decade (defined by luck, and really nothing to be overly excited about for a franchise with endless money supplies and the best fans in the league). Sorry, i’m just not excited about it, and yes, that’s partly because of the Bears. But even if the Bears were still in this thing I still wouldn’t have watched a single football game on Saturday. Did you see the NBA line-up? Knicks-Celtics, Heat-Mavs (ended up being an awful game, but still), Bulls-Lakers, Lob City-The Currys. Boom, 8-9 hours of awesomeness that were SO much better than that absolute crap schedule the NFL had to offer. The NBA has become more compelling for me as a fan. I care about other story lines throughout the league, more so than just how Rose/the Bulls are doing. I don’t have the same interest with the NFL this year.

I’m quite sure i’ll watch the conference finals and Superbowl, as everyone else will. But is there really any team to root for? I think NO and SF are about the only teams I can stand to see winning. If Tebow gets in that’ll be a good “Fuck you, Elway!” storyline, but what else? I hate the two favorites, GB and NE. I have no interest in watching Steelers/Ravens for the 15th time. Sorry, the Bears were the tipping point. I’m giving this NFL season a big MEH.

Dave, you of all people should be backing me here. What do you think?

Dave: I just find it ironic that after all the shit you give me for being a fair weather fan it turns out you’re the exact same way. I’m much more interested in Indiana basketball and the Bulls right now as well. But I thought that was because I was “fair weather.” I didn’t know that all I had to do was claim I was mad at the ownership and that gave me a free pass.

Really what I think we need to do is the same thing every other red blooded American male does. Start betting on the games. I guarantee if you have $100 on those first round games all of a sudden you’d be a lot more interested in the outcome.

Kevin: Well now wait, there’s a difference between not caring as much about the sport generally if your team isn’t in the playoffs vs. not watching any game when you know your team will suck. I watched every Bears game up until this weekend. I watched a shit-ton of White Sox gamest his last season despite knowing they would suck. I watched the Bulls in the post-Jordan era. And I continue to watch every single Illini game even in this shitty period they’ve been in the last few years. Not caring about the NFL generally as much as I normally do does not equate to being a fair weather fan.

And yes, I would agree betting would help. Maybe we should start.

Dave: I’m sure our wives would love that we’re going to start betting on football.

The only team you listed there that truly sucked were the Bulls post Jordan. The Bears were making the playoffs and close to .500 every year, the White Sox were at least in the race for the playoffs, and I wouldn’t call this a shitty Illini period. Sure they haven’t made it very far in the tournament but they’re still winning 20 games a season. As you said you watched the Bears until this weekend which happens to correspondence to the point at which they were eliminated from the playoffs. Thus, a fair weather fan.

Burner: In the last 10 years the Bears have 6 .500 or better seasons, that’s 95 wins to go with 81 losses, four trips to the playoffs, and three playoff victories including a trip to the Super Bowl. In a league dominated by parity, that is largely successful. In the same time period the Rams are 70-106, and I still watch faithfully every week. even the most mediocre of NFL games is more interesting than an NBA game. This is a 100% true fact: I have never watched an NBA game without falling asleep. I know its utter cliche at this point but in any week any NFL team can win and can change the course of a teams season. The Bulls are unlikely to drop a game to the Timberwolves and even if they do it’ll happen while no one is watching in early March and will comprise only 1% of the two teams schedules and have little impact on the season. Meanwhile in the NFL the surging Broncos just dropped a game to a crummy Bills team who was missing their best player and now the Broncos chances of making the playoffs (a near certainty two weeks ago) are now in doubt. The NFL is the best and is about to enter the best part of its year. Yeah it’s a bummer for you that the Bears are out but you should still be excited to see the best game be played at the best level, not kicking rocks and muttering about Jerry Angelos and Lovie Smith.

Kevin: I sat through the KC game, the Tebow game and the Seattle game, knowing that after that KC game they were done. Watching 14 of 16 games is perfectly acceptable.

Burner: No I think you’ve been perfectly fine as a Bears fan, I just think you should be more excited for the freakin’ PLAYOFFS!! I just want you to share my excitement that’s all.

Dave: The point is that they were very good and then still in the playoffs during the 14 of 16 games. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem with not watching. I’m not watching the Bears at this point. BUT, you’re a fair weather fan as much as I am. On a side note, I hate that argument. Who is out there defining who real fans and fair weather fans are? That’s the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard of. Just because I don’t want to waste a perfectly good three hours of my Sunday watching my crappy team means I’m fair weather? I still follow what’s happening and keep up with the team. I’m just far less invested then when they’re winning. If that makes me fair weather so be it. It also means I’m not wasting my precious free time.

And really, I’d guess the majority of adults watch sports in the same way. Prove me right readers!

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