The Sports Guy’s Thursday NFL Pick
Seahawks (+7) over 49ERS
I’ve been mangling the meaning of “irony” since the eighth grade, so tell me if this scenario qualifies
A writer recklessly picks the 2012 Seahawks to win the NFC because he likes their charismatic QB, then pushes it over the top by commissioning an illustration of the QB hovering over a group of deliriously happy fans as if he’s a religious figure. What happens? The Seahawks lose to a seemingly-at-the-time-terrible Cardinals team in Week 1
and the rookie QB couldn’t look more like a rookie. The writer’s readers gleefully mock the writer while also wondering if he has finally lost his marbles. The writer grimly carries on and keeps picking the Seahawks.
They crush Dallas at home in Week 2, squeeze past Green Bay in Week 3 (with a controversial Hail Mary that ended the referee lockout), then stumble to a disjointed defeat in St. Louis in Week 4. During a similarly ugly Week 5 effort in Carolina, the writer tweets after an awful TAINT that “the Russell Wilson bandwagon’s gas tank is flashing ‘E’ right now.” Seattle fends off the crappy Panthers, but things look bleak for the rookie QB: He has played five full games without topping 900 total passing yards, and in his last two starts, he’s thrown one touchdown and five picks. The writer worries that he hasn’t been this blatantly wrong about someone’s breakout year since Amber Heard.
Seattle’s Week 6 home game looms as a do-or-die start for the rookie QB; you can practically see Matt Flynn’s breath on his neck. And for the sixth straight week, the writer picks Seattle only this time, he’s picking against his favorite team. And, of course, the rookie QB finally breaks out: He throws for 293 yards and three scores, repeatedly keeps drives alive with his legs, brings Seattle back from 13 down in the final quarter, and becomes the first rookie QB since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to throw game-winning touchdowns in the final two minutes of two different games. He also ruins the writer’s Sunday, provokes 345 F-bombs, exposes the gaping holes in the writer’s favorite team that had been sitting there all along, and forces the writer to steer clear of Twitter because he’s afraid of coming off like a lunatic. Four days later, the rookie QB travels to San Francisco for a Thursday-night war against his team’s biggest divisional rival. That seven-point spread seems a little high for a home team that has a slumping kicker and won’t be able to throw the ball against Seattle’s hard-hitting secondary, especially if the game turns into a defensive slugfest. And that’s why the writer will be grabbing the seven points.
Which leads me to my question
If the rookie QB stinks tonight and burns me twice in 100 hours, that would be ironic, right? Either way, Seattle — you’ve been sprayed.
The pick: Seahawks 20, 49ers 17
Wednesday/Thursday Nights: 2-4
Last Week: 7-8
Filed Under: NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks
More from Bill Simmons
Complete Column Archives: Grantland Edition
‘Bill Don’t Lie’ Podcast: Tom Haberstroh on the Cavs, Blake Griffin, and the Future of the Miami Heat
‘B.S. Report’: Chuck Klosterman on the NFL Draft, Hack-a-DeAndre, and ‘Mad Men’
The Tim Duncan Question
‘B.S. Report’: Jimmy Kimmel, Cousin Sal, and Bryan Curtis on Mayweather-Pacquiao
NFL Week 8 Picks: The Weight of the Interim Label
Spirit of St. Louis: Todd Gurley Is Giving the Rams a Chance to Take Flight
‘The Grantland NFL Podcast’: Week 7 Review Part 2
The Legacy of the NFL Sin-Eaters
The Eagles on the Brink
More The Triangle
We Went There: Clippers-Mavs and DeAndre Jordan Night in Los Angeles
No Messi, No Problem: Neymar Becomes a Superstar
World Series Weekend: Five Questions for Three (or Two) Royals-Mets Games
NBA Overnight: Where Was the Spark?
NHL Grab Bag: Let’s Get Spooky