Well, lemme get my NFL picks in, although for obvious reasons (i.e., Giants 21, Cowboys 17) my heart just isn't in it this week for the first time since the season started. A humiliating, nightmarish, season-ending loss to your hated division rivals will have that effect.

Late game first: Giants -- the hated division rivals in question -- visit frigid Lambeau Field to take on hometown Pack. Temps expected to drop below zero. I think the Giants string of road wins ends today at 9 games in a row; they run out of steam in the second half and I expect a big Green Bay win. Seriously big win. The score that keeps popping into my head is 49-10, so I may as well go with that.

The Giants' banged-up secondary is gonna cover that fleet of fleet wideouts? I don't think so; even in the cold snow last week, the Pack's passing game didn't miss a beat. And with RB Ryan Grant's continuing emergence, I don't see many punts today for the Green & Gold.

The Giants' offensive attack last week was indeed offensive in the second half, gaining a total of just 56 yards against the Cowboys. I don't see a whole lot more out of that bunch this week.

It's not that I like Green Bay as a Cowboys fan, I really can't stand Brett Favre if the truth be told, as blasphemous as that sounds. I don't like the Packers, but I hate the Giants with the intensity of a thousand suns. So I will hold my nose and root for Green Bay today, but then root against them next week. Unless of course they are playing the Patriots. My hatred of other NFL teams is a complicated thing... For instance, I know my boy Gatt down in FLA is a long-time Packers fan, but then again my bro Jimi the Greek bleeds Giant Blue.

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The first championship game today, between undefeated New England and a banged-up but hot San Diego Chargers team, is foolishly slated to start late afternoon instead of the traditional for a damn good reason start time of 1:00, consecrated as such by the football gods -- who know best about such matters.

Looks like Phil Rivers is out at QB, which may be a good thing, then Billy Volek steps up; I've always liked Volek back to his days with ... well, whoever he used to be with. Tennessee most recently. He can play a little bit, as college coaches like to say. He's also not a bad Thrower of the Football, which is the latest cliche you hear being uttered by blowhards like Mike Francesa.

Wouldn't it be sweet if those same football gods picked today to dethrone the anointed Patriots from their league-sanctioned mission? Wouldn't it be so fucking sweet to see Tom Brady stalking off the field after the game, refusing to shake any hands, that trademark smirk wiped off his face? Yeah, I know, he'd still be a multimillionaire fucking a hot supermodel, but still...

Alas, that scenario appears unlikely, and since we're concerned first and foremost with the accurate prognostication of the game, put me down for Patriots 34, Chargerinos 23, in a game that's closer than the final score indicates, if that makes any sense. And at the end of the day it's poor Norv Turner forced to cross the field and seek out Bill Belichick's hand to shake.

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