Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blood on the Solstice: The 21 December Massacre

by Hugo Ursine Vanderbilt
Special to Seth Curry Saves Duke!

WASHINGTON - Yesterday evening, as the shortest day of the year wound to a close, more than 22 natives were slaughtered on the fields of America's capital city. The unexpected attack came three hours after sunset, when invaders from New York stormed the Washington defenses. The first offensive wave proved too intense for the locals to withstand, and as their lines broke, any chance of victory vanished into the cold night air.

It was the second clash between forces from Washington and New York in the ongoing American Civil Conflict, and this latest defeat is a devastating blow to the District's morale. Despite a year of ongoing failure, recent results had infused their ranks with hope; a successful defense against an invading force from Denver was followed by near victories against armies from Dallas, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. But as the winter solstice crawled toward midnight, the capital streets ran with the red blood of its long-suffering denizens, and even the state-run propaganda machine pronounced the clash a definitive slaughter.

Impatience with the Washington leadership has peaked and possibly crested among the furious citizenry, and it's likely that General Zorn will be relieved of duties at some point in the next month. As of press time, he did not immediately return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, General Coughlin's New York regulars had only a day to enjoy the pillaging pleasures, as they were called back to Manhattan amid rumors of an advancing battalion from Carolina. Much-lauded First Corporal Eli Manning acknowledged his pleasure after an evening of conquest, and took with him a gaggle of concubines in what has become a victory tradition. He and Coughlin refused to comment on the widespread speculation that their resurgence indicates ambitions beyond the northeast, perhaps extending as far as Miami. "We are New Yorkers," said a circumspect Manning. "New York shall ever be the homeland."

As a result of the stunning vanquishment, Michael Bloomberg has become the 44th President of the United States.

Thank you, Hugo! Solstice Massacre indeed; that game was immensely satisfying. Despite Washington's poor play and abysmal record, I still consider this a quality win. As mentioned in the dispatch above, the Redskins beat Denver and Oakland in the last month, and came a hair's breadth from taking down Dallas, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. They've been playing well, and we showed them up at home.

So the situation remains the same; with two weeks to play, the Giants are a game behind the Packers and Cowboys for the final wild card spot. We'd need to beat Green Bay outright, but we only need to tie Dallas since the tiebreaker falls our way. Next week is Carolina at home, and then a trip to the freefalling Vikes in week 17. I still like our chances, though it would be wonderful to control our destiny...maybe next week.

Other quick notes about the game:

*Jason Campbell is like a friggin' martyr. At one point, while he lay crumpled on the ground, I texted my friend Kyle that I actually felt bad for him. And that was in the second quarter. He was removed shortly after due to injury, but apparently begged Zorn to come back for the second half. And then he suffered some more.

*Eli Manning is absolutely on fire this past month.

*Hakeem Nicks is a future #1 receiver. He has all the goods (except, occasionally, the goods required to catch a football).

*We should have pulled the reins near the end and let the Redskins come back to within striking distance so they could carry some confidence and momentum into next week's Dallas game. Not really, but come on Redskins, please step up. Just one friggin' time. Please.

Last thing for today will be installment #2 of my Bowl Games Prediction Extravaganza. You can read the intro two posts down, but the basic gist is that there are 34 bowl games, and I'm trying to meet the following goals:

25-9 Straight Up
20-14 Against the Spread

Currently: 1-2 straight, 1-2 ATS

Tonight's game: #18 Oregon State (-2.5) vs. #14 BYU, 8pm

Despite the lower ranking, Oregon State is the favorite here. And with good reason, I think. But I'm still a little confused; inevitably, one conference every year turns out to be really awesome, and one conference tanks. Last year, the Pac-10 was great (5-0), while the Big 10 and Big 12 stunk (1-6 and 4-3, with 3 of the supposedly top-tier Big 12 schools losing). I have a feeling the Pac-10 will repeat as the awesome conference, and I'm riding them hard in my bowl pool. OSU is coming off a tough season-ending loss to Rose Bowl-bound rival Oregon, and their other 3 losses were all close affairs to quality opponents (Cincinnati, Arizona, USC). Also, their D got stronger as the year went on, excluding the 37 points given up to Oregon. Everyone knows about BYU's big win over Oklahoma to start the year, but the Sooners ended up not being that great, and BYU got trounced by FSU and TCU. I'm sensing a blow out, to be quite honest.

I Like: Oregon State straight up and with the spread.

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