The Lochdown – Week 0 – Why the Hell Am I Writing This?

So it’s late at night. I’m in a hotel room. I have a drink next to the keyboard and silence all around. Much like a media room when everyone else is away, there are these blessed moments of silence in which we can reflect on the things we’ve been meaning to say.


Week 0 in the NFL is what I’d like to think of as the summation of preseason. Now to be honest, I cannot recall much of what teams-at-large in the NFL did during this particular preseason. The news (at least for us Vikings fans) was so shocking that it literally sucked weeks from our lives in trepidation, speculation and now reconciliation.


Who Fed It, Who Ate It


For the most part, as I just said, I don’t know.  I know Romo went down with another back injury. Seriously, that guy needs to consider either pulling the transmission out of an ED-209 to replace his spinal column, or he needs to consider whether he wants to walk again.  I know guys with back injuries. I know a couple guys who’ve had 2.  Romo is shooting for the Guinness Book of World Records with his continued attempts.


(side note… ever wonder why world records are universally hallmarked by Guinness?  It might be illustrative of the sheer power of the phrase “Hey, hold my beer and watch this.”)


I know Kraeper… Kyuper… Kanoodler… ya know what, we know who he is so let’s agree on the right spelling… Douchenick. I know he took a knee in a brave stand that will last 2 weeks of TV time until the bobbleheads fixate on something else. To be sure it’s generated more money in clickbait than a paparazzi shot of Britney Spears getting out of a car without undies, but it’s still a meaningless gesture. Why is it meaningless? We’re still talking about Douchenick, not what he was supposedly bringing awareness to. (something about cold pizza?  Sorry no, was it the catering? Crap no that was Moss. Harambe! Was it Harambe?) Unfortunately his particular version of click-news-herpes has spread like a really bad scene from Spinal Tap. Expect to see more of it, and sportscasters to again bravely straddle the line of declaring themselves really for realzies this time investigative journalists and not just bobbleheads regurgitating the same ol’ crap… ernick.


Finally, the part we dreaded talking about. The part we still dread after going through the 5 stages about 8 times each as Vikings fans, then adding a few other stages in just to make sure our bases were covered.  Teddy’s knee. Can we say Kneegate? I always wanted to make a whatevergate-type reference but I’m way too slow for real news.


So Teddy dislocates a knee and tears an ACL. The real-world version of Cimmeria is once again plunged into darkness. We all start forging swords and marrying oddly hot blonde chicks… We’ve seen the movie, we know Thulsa Doom will come wreck our shiz, and the new Conan is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Forge swords, my friends… forge really awesome swords.


Winter (in September) is at its bitterest in our hearts and souls. Nothing seems like it did in those halcyon days of a week or so ago. But lo, what shines upon yon far bank? Well that would be your computer screen bringing out the news that the Vikings acquired Sam Bradford in trade! Now you may not be me. I know some days I’m not.  But what I knew of Sam Bradford was he was always injured, and he was the ultimate pervert on good old ‘s “Quarterbacks on Facebook” feature. (genius stuff, but do NOT let your kids see it… think South Park without a filter).


So I learn we traded a 1st and 4th round (conditionally-ish-thing… moves up if he wins us a ring) pick… and I have the same kind of sticker shock that Ted Nugent would get learning that he could buy a turkey at Wal-Mart for less than the price of the ammo he used to shoot one. Hey it’s a normal reaction. Sticker shock hits us all like that. Add in taxes, fees, and you-don’t-have-a-quarterback-not-named-Shaun-Hill and suddenly a Big Mac requires a down payment.


But thanks to the <cheapplug> genius posters and staff at </cheapplug> with some time and reading and researching and fact checking, I got over my sticker shock. Again, like Ted Nugent realizing that maybe he doesn’t need uranium tipped hollowpoints to bring down a turkey… no matter how badass they get when angry. Bradpool’s stats (he totally looks like Ryan Reynolds, lucky bastard, who plays Deadpool… so I’m forcing this one) are roughly equivalent to Teddy’s. Reports are he’s a checkdown-type QB. His long balls are better. His intermediates are a little worse. In all he fits a Norv Turner (or Stick, trainer of Daredevil, if we wanna keep comic memes going) offense. The worst he can do is equal Teddy’s stats but with a better long ball which opens up the field for AD. The worst he can do is… well… I’m really trying to think of the last QB I saw throw for less than 14 TD’s in a season as the starter… while playing 15 games… I’m not gonna roll black & white film to find out.


Anyways… the point is that the trade for Bradpool made sense. Yeah we give up a 1st, but we got what, 12 others starting with us now? Damn… maybe we can relax for 1 pick eh? Hell, Bradpool himself was a 1st… so maybe it’s a retroactive 1st. Like if Bill and Ted went back in time and told Bradpool to sign with the Rams and get all his injuries out of the way because in 2016 he’d win the Vikings a superbowl. Right?  Riiiiiight……………?


The Lochdowns for Week 1


Yeah you can skip over this if you are in any way sensible. My record in 2015 was bad. Literally, it just said BAD under my score when I tallied up my prediction results. I was using Windows Calculator at the time. I turned my screen upside down just to make sure I wasn’t seeing numbers wrong like when as kids we spelled out BOOBS on a calculator. I wasn’t. Apparently my picks were awful enough to merit a Windows error.


That said, here’s your guaranteed Lochdown picks for week 1!!


The Broncos will win by 1!  (okay yeah that was cheap and I’m kidding)


The Texans will rustle the Bears because cattle ranching is not tough enough. Now to be a cowboy (cowherd? GDI is every western term now co-opted by a team or coach we all don’t like?) you have to wrangle you up some bears.  Honestly, anyone who could herd and drive bears would be the most powerful man on earth. Nobody would stand before a large herd of bears. Well, except if  it was the Bears football team. The Texans will stand before them… a number of high school teams could stand before those bears.


The Chiefs will <insert indian stereotype verb> the Chargers. Really, I can’t come up with something clever for this one without making someone take a knee. Suffice to say, the Chiefs will run roughshod over the Chargers who are brimming with weapons like… uh… you know that one guy… and that Rivers guy, he can throw to um….the other guy.


The Seachickens will make extra-dolphin tuna out of the … Dolphins. It sounded *so* much better in my head. Regardless, Seattle is playing like they’re in the playoffs already, cheap shots and braggadocious stupidity included. Miami is playing like a team that still misses Dan Marino. It won’t end well, especially with Bea Arthur directing the Seachicken players on how best to mask a cheap shot.


Finally… the Vikes.


We play Tennessee.  They have Marcus Mariota, which would be a completely awesome name to have if you were in a Fantasy Godfather Series league. To be honest, the kid may make a future in the NFL, be it in TN or elsewhere… but it won’t be this week.


I won’t even begin to predict who starts at QB for the Vikings. (though I suspect his name will start with S) Regardless of who starts, the Vikings running game and defense will combine like 2/5th of Voltron and spell the defeat of the Titans.


Titans… Tennessee… was there a neoclassical revolution in Tennessee arts?  Titans… hrmmm. Maybe we should be glad they didn’t follow Green Bay’s mode of thought and call themselves the “Pluckers” or “Underachieving Music Artists” or somesuch.


In any case, Vikes win by a score of 24-28 (depends who starts at QB) to 17 (garbage time points).


Stay frosty, my mugs!