What's Gonna Happen: Week 16

Ah, holiday rivals. Good cheer, and, yes, cheers! And then may your team beat up on their team.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer; Walking home from our house Christmas Eve; You can say there's no such thing as Santa; But as for me and Grandpa, we believe...
  - Elmo & Patsy

So the voices in my head, during a network commercial break, were trying to sing politically correct carols about Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or a Chainsaw Massacre To Remember. But this year the chorus became convoluted, like listening to Tony Siragusa, and the next thing I knew they were all singing, 'Are you ready for some football?'

But I digress. So let me continue. This week the Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears and if you think there is a rivalry in sports better than those, you must live in the Middle East rather than the Middle West. Ah, the holidays -- a time for rivals to eat each other's hearts for dinner while smiling at the applesauce. Isn't it quaint and beautiful? Yes, rivalries are gifts.

And speaking of gifts, I robbed two banks and a liquor store so that I could get you a present. But then, listen, because of orders by a particular voice not to mention salary cap rules, I was forced to spend the money on chocolate donuts and, you know, carbonated things, so umm, like the song says, you can tell everybody that this is your column. Or there's that other song, you know, how you can't always get what you want - you hear that one, Texans fans? Many are singing along. Do you hear what I hear?


COWBOYS AT PANTHERS -- Bill Parcells was so upset after last week's loss to the Redskins, I heard him talking about a great spot on his roof to hunt reindeer. And yet venison at the training table does not help protect Drew Bledsoe. Panthers 29, Cowboys 17

BILLS AT BENGALS -- Kelly Holcomb gets a Kelly Holcomb jersey for Christmas, but he hurts himself putting it on. Bengals 31, Bills 10

STEELERS AT BROWNS -- Once a long time ago, a defensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns named Joe "Turkey" Jones picked up Terry Bradshaw, turned him upside down, and then slammed his head into the ground. Yes, it's Christmas and my heart gets all warm and fuzzy with that memory. Now watch Reuben Droughns do the same thing to the Steelers defense. Why? Because it's all that I want for Christmas. Well, that and world peace. Browns 28, Steelers 13

JAGUARS AT TEXANS - The rumor that federal agents kidnapped Reggie Bush and are currently holding him under a Christmas tree in Houston is not completely false. Jaguars 24, Texans 14

CHARGERS AT CHIEFS -- Even though the Chargers may actually be the best team in football, Marty Schottenheimer is their coach and you can't tell me that he hasn't been cursed by Babe Ruth. Seriously, I can build a case -- let's start with Kevin Bacon. Chiefs 29, Chargers 27

TITANS AT DOLPHINS -- Larry Csonka walks into the locker room with a bottle of champagne and a big cigar in his mouth and he wishes the Dolphins a Merry Christas. An old janitor says, 'He does this every year, sometimes in October.' Dolphins 24, Titans 17

LIONS AT SAINTS -- Matt Millen has perfected the art of being rewarded for failure and for that he is an American icon. In fact, the Matt Millen poster is the hottest must-have gift for kids who get Fs. So you want to know why I am picking the Lions to win? It's Christmas and I want a poster! Lions 25, Saints 10

49ERS AT RAMS -- Okay, the real Christmas we all want is a battle next week between the 49ers and Texans -- loser take all of Reggie Bush. That's why. Rams 30, 49ers 6

FALCONS AT BUCCANEERS -- I've got this great idea for a reality TV show. Give Jon Gruden a New England Patriots hat for Christmas and then ask him to smile at the camera and say "zero." I'm thinking the Falcons don't find the Buccaneers in a gift-giving mood two weeks in a row. Buccaneers 29, Falcons 21

GIANTS AT REDSKINS -- Psst. Don't tell anyone, but I just found out about this guy that plays for the Giants named Tiki Barber. I think he's pretty good, but it's our secret because nobody knows about him. At the end, Jay Feely continues a city's exploration of his psyche. Giants 23, Redskins 21

EAGLES AT CARDINALS -- Sure it's on the schedule but still, for gosh sake, why? Cardinals 20, Eagles 19

RAIDERS AT BRONCOS -- Norv Turner tries to pump up the team by telling them that the Raiders have cool uniforms and Randy Moss says, "Yeah, I saw Snoop wearing one once!" That's right, laid back, got your mind on your money and your money on your mind. Football? What? Broncos 40, Raiders 7

COLTS AT SEAHAWKS -- Can someone explain why the NFL scheduled an exhibition game at this time of year? Colts 29, Seahawks 10

BEARS AT PACKERS -- On the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field the stout Bears defense visits trying to put an end to the career of the aging legend at quarterback (Please use John Facenda voice as you read), but on this cold bitter day the football gods are contrarians as the old quarterback once again rises to meet the epic challenge. Packers 23, Bears 10

VIKINGS AT RAVENS -- Ray Lewis is invited to go on a boat cruise in Minnesota, but he decides it would be morally wrong so he feeds homeless people instead but no one told him that he wasn't supposed to feed the homeless people to other people and so another volunteer, O.J. Simpson, mistakenly puts Ray into the homeless stew. How is that for a happy holiday wish from these two cheerful teams? Vikings 30, Ravens 23

PATRIOTS AT JETS -- During halftime, Tom Brady announces an exploratory committee to run for president. He doesn't join either party but rather forms the Tom Brady Party. Somehow, it all works. Patriots 39, Jets 12


So whatever it is that you wish each other this time of year, I hope you have a merry or happy one. I wish you health and happiness and love and wealth and adventure, but most of all I wish that the Browns beat the Steelers. Merry Christmas!

This column is sponsored by lame smiles claiming to "love it."

Brian Tarcy lives in Falmouth, MA. www.briantarcy.com

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