What's Gonna Happen: Week 17

<B>(Home of a Letter to Santa)</B><BR><BR>Brian Tarcy looks back to this morning's unwrapping of presents and forward to next weekend's games. He can do that sort of thing. He's a columnist.<BR><I>This week's column sponsored by dead mistletoe</I>

(Home of A Note to Santa Claus)

Thanks for the present Santa Claus, but next year could you go easy on the eggnog until you get past my house? I mean, look at this present – a 4-11 record! I wanted a Super Bowl, not coal - you fat, waste of an icon.

I wanted a 4-11 record like I wanted this Cliff Huxtable sweater. Golly, I hope the next box is full of ties, not pies. Ho! Ho! Ho! More like Ha! Ha! Ha! You and Rudolph must have quite a giggle delivering my present. You give me a 4-11 record and you had the gall to wrap it in a bow. Plus you trashed my chimney, and you left empties everywhere. Man! Did you know the cops were out last night?

Four wins, and 11 losses? Santa, don't you get my letters? I have been writing daily and sometimes hourly letters to the North Pole since late August and you give me a defense that gives up 500 yards in two games to a Raven?

What are you thinking, Santa? Or are you even thinking? Someone must be held accountable for this mess and I believe you have lost your ability to feel empathy except, as shown by your bizarre gifts to Art Modell, all that empathy for the devil.

And you give me this offensive-offensive line? You give me four wins in 15 weeks? Santa, I don't believe in you at all and neither do you. I think you made yourself up. 

Still, next year you owe me. I want a Super Bowl. And pie.

BILLS AT PATRIOTS – NFL Films is titling this one, "The Joy of Revenge". Patriots 50, Bills 0.

SEAHAWKS AT 49ERS – 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson used to coach the Seahawks so that means he gets to decide who wins the game. He picks: Seahawks 30, 49ers 25.

EAGLES AT REDSKINS – The Redskins have forfeited. Eagles 11, Redskins 0.

JAGUARS AT FALCONSMichael Vick gives everyone one more warning about what's coming next year. Falcons 30, Jaguars 17.

BROWNS AT BENGALS – The Browns try hard every other game. That's my new theory and I'm sticking to it until this season is over. And then I am going swimming in beer until I forget this season ever existed. Yes, I have a beer pool. Don't all Browns' fans? Browns 27, Bengals 21.

RAMS AT LIONS – Lions players leave at halftime, each telling reporters, "I've got better things to do right now." Rams 31, Lions 13.

COLTS AT TEXANSPeyton Manning has already had career games this year. He gets another one. Colts 36, Texans 10.

BEARS AT CHIEFS – The Chiefs defense has acted like it was the Browns against Jamal Lewis. Well, okay, not that bad. But, you know, bad. Bad like the Bears. Chiefs 39, Bears 27.

JETS AT DOLPHINS – Fifty thousand drunk guys at the last Jets game wanted to kiss Suzy Kolber, but somehow Joe Namath gets all the blame. Jets 24, Dolphins 20.

COWBOYS AT SAINTS – It's only an EXTRA point. It doesn't mean a lot. It's just like power windows on a touchdown. Who needs it? Not the Saints who, er, tried to phone it in. This week, the phone is on the bench. Cowboys 28, Saints 27.

BUCCANEERS AT TITANS – The Buccaneers will play with passion of a team that can't wait to get the hell off the field and go golfing. Titans 29, Buccaneers 3.

VIKINGS AT CARDINALS – Because the NFL likes to mess with you, the Cardinals will win. Cardinals 20, Vikings 17.

PANTHERS AT GIANTS – At halftime, with the Giants winning 14-0, Jim Fassell screams at his players, "You wouldn't try for me all year, now you try?" He always was a good motivator, sometimes. Panthers 21, Giants 14.

BRONCOS AT PACKERSBrett Favre proves he can motivate himself under trying circumstances two weeks in a row. Packers 26, Broncos 20.

RAIDERS AT CHARGERS – This game has been cancelled. What fans see is really being played on Madden 2004. Raiders 28, Chargers 10.

STEELERS AT RAVENS – The Ravens celebrating getting into the playoffs is bad to see. But at least they get to do it at the Steelers' expense. Ravens 18, Steelers 6.

A wise man once said you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find that you get what you need.

I wanted a Super Bowl.

I got a new perspective. It's not a 4-11 record for the team I have followed since childhood. It's an amusing diversion with a few absurd victories. It depends on how you wrap the package. The bow, in fact, made all the difference.

So thanks Santa. I mean it. And merry Christmas everyone. I'm going for a swim.

This column is sponsored by dead mistletoe. 


Brian Tarcy collaborated with Joe Theismann on the Complete Idiot's Guide to Football. He also wrote The Adventure of Leadership  with Hap Klopp, who founded The North Face.

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