Highway To Ham: Playoff Picks Edition


Before the season started, I developed this theory known as the “Fab Four.” Basically, since 2000 there have been 28 teams that have made the playoffs despite having a losing record the previous season. In fact, since 2000, four teams a year have made the playoffs despite a losing record the prior season, except for 2001 (3 teams) and 2002 (5 teams). It’s pretty much a given that four playoff teams each year will make the playoffs despite a losing record the season beforehand. However, there was a caveat to this year. In 2006 there were only 12 teams with a losing record. Thus, I believed that it was less likely the “Fab Four” would happen this year and modified my theory to predict 3 teams with losing records in 2006 would make the playoffs this year. I chose Tampa Bay, Houston, and San Francisco to accomplish this feat.

I bring this up because, as you can see, I was 1 for 3. This level of Prognostication Proficiency is about how well I did on the Highway to Ham. For the newer readers, the Highway to Ham is a group of about two dozen of us at work who compete in a weekly not-for-profit football poll where the cumulative results are tallied at the end of the season and the victor is awarded a trophy in the form of a Jack Ham rookie card. Needless to say, if you bet your college education funds according to my picks, I hope you enjoy your upcoming semester at Allegheny Community College.

Still, since the Steelers have lamentably been bounced from the post season tournament, I figured I might as well chip in with a few picks for this week’s Divisional Playoff games.

Patriots over Jaguars The Jags were exposed more last week than Britney’s crotch was in 2007. Jacksonville is a great running team with a mediocre quarterback and suspect secondary. Not exactly the recipe for beating the Patriots. Bill Belichick’s deal with Satan ensures them at least a shot at 18-0 next week.

Colts over Chargers I’m tempted to take the Bolts here since Peyton Manning has a history of struggling in first-round playoff games and the team has to shake off the rust of not playing any meaningful football for almost three weeks. However, I just can’t ride with Phillip Rivers, who’s only consistency is his tendency to be wildly inconsistent. Where would San Diego be if they had taken Ben Roethlisberger or decided to keep Drew Brees?

Packers over Seapigeons – You see, Bret Farve is the greatest player ever in the history of football, sports, pretty much any athletic competition there is, was, or ever will be. Bah gawd, Brett Farve will chuck that pigskin because if anyone could make a pass like that, it is the one and only Bret Farve. Did I mention that Bret Farve is the greatest quarterback ever and he, and only he alone, is capable of going out there with his gunslinger mentality and firing footballs into itty bitty spaces where other knock-kneed quarterbacks fear to tread? Plus, he’ll being throwing these passes at Lambeau Field, the greatest stadium ever, so it is inevitable his passes will be complete and go for many many touchdowns!

Just getting you warmed up for what you should expect to hear from the announcers this weekend. Verbally fellating Bret Favre has become our new national pastime.

New York Football Giants over Cowboys – Dallas QB Tony Romo made news this week for vacationing in Mexico with girlfriend Jessica Simpson. I think because of those two large yet perky distractions, the G-Men will be able to pull off the upset. Plus, Dallas has already beaten the Giants twice this year. Call it a case of tit for tat.