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2012 NFL Season Preview: Bachelor Pad Style

September 5, 2012

ImageThe past few seasons I’ve watched the Bachelor and the Bachelorette with my wife. Every guy who decides to make fun of that sentence either isn’t married or hasn’t had a serious girlfriend as every guy inevitably gets pulled into some show to “share” with their woman. All I can say in my defense is that the Bachelor is a heck of a lot better than Real Housewives of Atlanta or some of the other trash on t.v. so I’ll continue watching the Bachelor while eating pizza and drinking wine every Monday night. Yet this year we dove into the Bachelor Pad and that is a show I might adopt on my own as it’s pretty fun. It’s Survivor style voting with team challenges as well but the twist is that it has all of the rejects from previous Bachelor (ette) seasons so you already know most of their back stories and it guarantees a lot of hookups and drunken mayhem which of course leads to drama. So Bill Simmons style I decided to do the 2012 NFL Season Preview, Bachelor Pad Style.

The Favorite: Aaron Rodgers=Michael Stagliano. Can there be any other choice from the NFL or the Bachelor Pad? Halfway through the season Michael had such a dominant hand in all affairs and an alliance that was 1 vote away from being impervious that it was just assumed he would be in the final 3 at minimum. The show in fact was starting to get boring which is why I think the producers went with the twist that whichever girl goes home gets to send a boy home too. In the end Michael’s perfect scheme to get out of the crosshairs from being “the favorite” blew up in his face yet anyone who watched the show knows that he played the game the best and just got unlucky. Aaron Rodgers was the same way as his team went 15-1, he had a +120 QB Rating which was the greatest of all time, he won the NFL MVP Award, and yet his team didn’t even win a playoff game last year. It’s an unlucky year for the best player in football and it’s no surprise that 90% of Super Bowl picks have the Packers playing someone in the big game. As the favorite they will have a bull’s eye on their back yet I still doubt it makes much of a difference. Going into the Bachelor Pad Michael had already won the thing the year before yet somehow almost won it again despite all logic pointing to everyone ganging up against him. What can I say other than ‘the cream rises to the top,” and I think it will again. Packers/Rodgers/Michael equals most talented. They might not win it every year but they definitely will be my favorite every year.

Retire old man: Did you know there have been 17 seasons of the Bachelor (ette)? That’s shocking to me. Did you know that Peyton Manning is going into his 15th season in the NFL? That’s not shocking to me as he looks, moves, and acts old. Anyone who thinks their cool doing a Buick commercial is old. Anyone who has the inability to completely turn their neck is old. Anyone who was drafted in the 1990’s is old. Peyton Manning is old and quite a few people are discounting him because of that yet Ed was old too and he was one unlikely vote last Monday away from being in the finals as the favorite to win it all. Ed was from Season 5 (aka old) and his quest for the money on Bachelor Pad didn’t start too promisingly when he got hilariously drunk on the first night and left a Chris Harris speech to go cannonball in the pool. Yet by season’s end he rounded into form and was in the mix. I could see the same thing occurring with Peyton as he has new receivers, a new offense, and an iffy neck to deal with but if things fall right for him he’ll have the most talented defense he’s ever been coupled with and will inevitably score enough points to keep the Broncos dynamic on offense. I’m not aggreeing with Peter King that they will win the Super Bowl but AFC West Champs and 2nd or 3rd round loss seems about right in my mind.

Who the hell are you? There is always a group of “fillers” in every show and this season it was Nick Peterson, Ryan Hoag, and Tony Pieper. I didn’t know 2 of them and I only knew Tony since he was the guy who “always talked about his stupid kid.” No one comes to watch the show for these guys and 99% of the time they go home early and empty handed so we’re all happy. Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams I’m talking to you. You have no chance, no one likes you, you’re all threatening to leave your city so you can get a new city to pay for your empty seats so you can stay financially viable and, sorry Adrian Peterson but you’re coming off an ACL tear, you have no star power at all. Go away and never come back.

You’re still around? Yet once in awhile a “filler” through pure chance falls ass backwards into the final. Nick Peterson, if you win Bachelor Pad it will be the single luckiest event in American pop culture history. It will be the thing that finally trumps Kim Kardashian getting peed on in a home made porno and somehow turning that event into fame and fortune (currently Forbes pegs her as being worth $38 million). Nick never won a contest (until Monday night), was regularly not voted off due to the strategy of “he’s safe, look at him, he has no chance in this thing. We’ll vote him off later but let’s get this guy first,” has a strangely red face that makes it appear like Bachelor Pad is constantly being filmed without air conditioning, and is the only guy in the final 10 who wasn’t hooking up with his partner by then. In fact his latest partner, Rachel, was so distraught about exchanging Michael for Nick that she was almost inconsolable. The opposite happened this offseason when Brandon Lloyd went from the Rams (2-14 last season) to the Patriots (13-3 last season) and it was hard to really blame Rachel at the time as a union with Nick seemed like a guaranteed loss. Yet last Monday Nick changed everything about himself and became a confident, smart, savvy player not just winning the challenge but voting off Rachel’s friends (Ed & Jaclyn) knowing that the only way they would win is if they put themselves up against the most hated team in the house (Chris & Sara). It was right out of the Michael Stagliano playbook and gives hope to all of those bottom feeding NFL teams. Nick in the finals is like the 1999 Rams going from 4-12 the year before to Super Bowl Champs as there is not one person on the planet who saw this coming. It’s like if Blaine Gabbert goes from the 3rd worst completion percentage of any quarterback in the past 15 years to NFL MVP. It just isn’t supposed to work out that way. I still think the Dolphins, Vikings, Jaguars, and Rams have no chance to even contend at 8-8 this season but after watching Nick sing his heart out on the last challenge and do a 180 I have to say that there just might be a chance. A very very very small Dumb and Dumber style “chance.”

Drama Queen: Erica Rose’s speech to Michael as she took him out in revenge for him trying to kick her out was one for the ages. It’s so good in fact that I wanted to post the whole thing but couldn’t find it on the internet. I might just have to go home and transcribe it from my TIVO-it’s that funny! Yet in the end anyone who knew about Erica understood that her finale on reality t.v. would be a crash and burn style ending. She’s the former Bachelor contestant who wore a tiara and called herself a princess throughout her season. She’s the fake breasted, odd shaped faced (definitely some work done there) woman who can’t even finish a sentence correctly yet had her parents pay for her to go to law school. Law School! In the end it worked out exactly as everyone expected: BAD, and it’s exactly how the New York Jets will end this season. Whether you go with Boomer Esiason’s belief that Tim Tebow will create a QB controversy and implode the team from within or you go with my belief that they’re just not that talented to begin with and their tough schedule makes a 1-4 or 2-3 start very likely, with the implosion then occurring from within from any number of sources (Sanchez-Tebow, Holmes, Cromartie, Rex Ryan, etc.), doesn’t matter as we all know this won’t be ending well. The Jets will own the NY newspapers this season yet it will be for all of the wrong reasons as they will go 8-8 and have a very interesting and controversial offseason next spring.

Wild Card: About a month ago I wrote an article detailing how the Saints were going to take a huge step back and miss the playoffs this year. I thought it was rather controversial yet after Peter King and a number of other writers predicted the same thing it became rather blase. Yet even though I’m still predicting the Saints to miss the playoffs it still wouldn’t shock me if they made it. They’re a total wild card as their experience is completely new and therefore impossible to predict. They’re the Kalon McMahon of the NFL as when he joined the Bachelor Pad I was talking myself into him being kicked off first due to his cockiness rubbing people the wrong way. Later I was talking myself into him being a favorite as “he’s so good at lying” yet finally he shocked everyone by falling in love with Lindzi and becoming a well liked person on the show. Who saw that coming? The Saints could have a major injury to one of two people (Drew Brees or Jimmy Graham) early in the season and go 5-11 or a federal judge could spit in Goodell’s face by immediately reinstating the coaches and players from the Bountygate and propel them to 14-2. Neither would surprise me and that’s why I loved Kalon this season as he was so unpredictable. Yet I’m in the predictions business so I still say the Saints go 9-7 and miss the playoffs.

Conclusion: If the Bachelor Pad taught me one thing it was “don’t have plastic surgery on your face.” There were a couple of weird looking faces on that show and I still am having trouble sleeping at night yet if it taught me another thing is that everything can change at any moment. Just when Michael became the clear front runner and it seemed like it was all but wrapped up he was kicked off the show. Just when sleaze bag Chris was dead man walking he wins 2 competitions and is propelled into the finals. Just when Nick became a punch line for my wife and I about “how the hell is he still on this show” he wins a competition and is in the finals. It all was so unpredictable yet so was the NFL last season. The Packers were 12-0 and looked unbeatable while the Giants were 6-6 and on the verge of collapse going into Week 14 yet then all hell broke loose and 2 months later the Giants were being crowned Super Bowl champions while the rest of the NFL was muttering how they really weren’t that good. Any given Sunday is a phrase that has claimed new meaning and I’m excited to see what new surprises will be in store for fans this season as every year is different. My prediction for the NFC playoffs is the Packers and Falcons as 1st round byes, the 49ers and Giants as division winners, and the Cowboys and Bears as the wild cards. My prediction for the AFC playoffs is the Patriots and Texans as 1st round byes, the Ravens and Broncos as division winners, and the Chargers and Bills as the wild cards. The Packers will beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship to go on to face the Texans who beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship. In the end the Packers star power of Aaron Rodgers will outperform the more talented roster of the Houston Texans to lead the Packers to their 2nd NFL Championship in 3 years. 

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