Shut the hell up about Ebola. The new, trendy, let’s all freak out disease like SARS, or Swine Flu, or Bird Flu, or whatever Gwyneth Paltrow infected everyone with in Contagion isn’t going to get you sick. Sorry, but you’re much more likely to win the lotto than have to deal with that disease. We really are an odd people with what we let kill us.
Things that are far more likely to kill you, right now today, than Ebola:
Yet we’re all worried about Ebola. Why? Because we’re all crazy and the news cycle is making us that way. A bunch of over-caffeinated, click- and hype-addicted producers and writers–just like me!–know that this will draw interest, eat up minutes and get eyeballs on the screens that float our collective boats. You’re being fleeced. And it works because you fall for it.
Speaking of that, hey it’s time to talk NFL football!
Giants at Cowboys (TV: FOX, 4:25 P.M. ET)
How bout those Cowboys? Let the hype begin, oh wait it never left. This is a glance game because it is one that, given the history of these two teams, the Giants could totally win and Dallas could totally lose. Dallas is coming off the BIG TIME WIN at Seattle and the Giants just got curb-stomped by Philadelphia. The Giants are always obnoxiously competent and Dallas always does stupid things. Is this the year that changes? I think we’ll learn more about Dallas this week than we learned last week. But there are much more important places to invest your time this week. This is the Ebola of hyped games.
Saints at Lions (TV: FOX, 1 P.M. ET)
A game more hateable than one involving the Cowboys? It’s true! Damn these two teams for being so disappointing this year. Rooting for the Saints is like rooting for America and they have just been all sorts of rough. Detroit now has no Megatron, which is playing havoc with fantasy leagues across the country (particularly my team, which was having a tough slog as it stood already, thank you). These two teams have so much talent on paper that it’s so disappointing when they aren’t fun. The Saints need this game to get to .500 but are utter garbage on the road thus far, confirming the meme because they are garbage on the road every year, and Detroit, while less stupid than years past, still does lots of stupid things. You can find plenty to frustrate and hate about this game and you don’t even have to try very hard. Which, I did not.
Bengals at Colts (TV: CBS, 1:00 P.M. ET)
I’ve said this before, but could you imagine Andrew Luck with Andy Dalton’s weapons? God, that team would be phenomenal. But the salary cap gods shall deny us that potential dream team until the Colts can figure out how to build up some weapons through the draft. These are two middleweight AFC teams with some recent playoff history that probably keeps Dalton awake on top his pile of fake money at night. All of that makes this game one to savor.
Panthers at Packers (TV: CBS, 1:00 P.M. ET)
Aaron Rodgers is really letting himself down if he can’t find a way to monetize his infamous “Relax” message to Packers fans that he has since backed up with personal late-game heroics. I mean, the dude has monetized a touchdown dance. A quote of that import, backed up by great play, is just begging for some Don Draper type to make an awesome ad out of it. Meanwhile, Cam Newton and the Panthers are keeping their head above water in an increasingly messy NFC South. I wonder what Casino Joe is gonna say about this game? Because I wouldn’t bet on it with his money.
49ers at Broncos (TV: NBC, 8:30 P.M. ET)
The other television networks must absolutely despise NBC for their amazing NFL package. I mean, just total Mean Girls-level hate. I’ve written about it in the past, but the Peacock having the ability to flex games after the first few weeks of the season is just utterly brilliant television programming and good for the consumer. This game has an odd undertone to it as a batch of random and anonymous coaches claim they’d rather face Peyton than Kaepernick. Maybe they’re just so used to Manning taking their lunch money that it causes them less distress. Maybe it’s because the formula to beat Manning is not difficult to scheme–just hit him a bunch and he gets happy feet–but very difficult to execute and for coaches, that’s all they care about in terms of their analysis. Maybe it’s because those 12 coaches polled all work for New England or Seattle. I don’t know who has the easier week of preparation among these two staffs, but I know that you should be grabbing your adult beverages and strapping in for this game.
Random Aaron Sorkinism Of The Moment
Bartlet: “And how do we make the American dream of opportunity a reality for all? I came to this hallowed chamber one year ago” – and I see we’re spelling ‘hallowed’ with a pound sign in the middle of it.
Sam: We’ll fix that.
Bartlet: The pound sign’s silent?
Leo: Move on, Mr. President.
Bartlet: “I came to this hallowed chamber one year ago on a mission: to restore the American dream for all our people, as we gaze at the vast horizon of possibilities open to us in the 321st century.” – Wow, that was ambitious of me, wasn’t it?
Leo: Let’s take a break.
Bartlet: We meant ‘stronger’ here, right?
Sam: What’s it say?
Bartlet: “I’m proud to report our country’s stranger than it was a year ago?”
Sam: That’s a typo.
Bartlet: Could go either way.
Enjoy the weekend and the games, everyone. And ignore the stuff about Ebola.