For the second straight week Football Friday has landed on a holiday, and for the second straight week you've showed your odd sense of loyalty and lack of direction by visiting the Grill Room.
If you brought the new year in right, chances are you are moving rather slowly today. Well, take a load off while we recommend a Bloody Mary (heavy on the horseradish) to go with our usual Friday fare.
We've kept the menu rather light today because we know you've got a big day of college football ahead of you. Just make sure you are both clever and polite while evading any and all family obligations.
Dive in, drink up, and grab the remote and a generous chunk of the couch. Why should this year be any different than the others, right?
Happy New Year and prost!
Take your pick
For informational purposes only...some picks for Week 17 action around the NFL brought to you by folks who most likely know as much about the game as you do:
Well, despite our late-season woes-woes-woes around here, we did come through on Christmas when we gave you the Chargers over the Titans all wrapped in swaddling and what-not.
So why not bring the new year in with a bang, right? Heck, if we keep this up, this might become a go-to place for you come playoff time. And, yes, despite the fact our service has been about as organized and dependable as the Giants defense lately, we will be around for the playoffs, unlike those impostors in blue.
Unfortunately, the final Sunday of the season is the most dangerous day of the year for the astute handicapper. Lucky for us, then, that nobody will dare accuse us of being very astute.
Anyway, it's impossible to tell which teams have packed it away for the year, which teams will pack it away for a week to ready themselves for the playoffs, and which teams are still oddly motivated despite having nothing to play for.
We'll dive into that final odd category to tap this week's selection...
For about the last 11 weeks or so, we've been hearing about how motivated the Falcons are to have their first back-to-back winning seasons...ever.
Seriously, the team's been in Atlanta 44 years and has never put two winning seasons together. Where's Sherman when you need him?
With all that rotten history on the line, the 8-7 Falcons will be in Tampa Bay Sunday and playing a Bucs team that lately has been doing its best to blow a golden opportunity to land Bill Cowher as its next coach by playing too hard for this dude named Raheem Morris.
Well, we say that Tampa Bay will wake up, smell the coffee and finally quit appropriately on their hard-working, under-qualified coach. Meantime, the Falcons will play like the dickens to get that winning season that means so much to them and them only.
Take the Falcons and lay the 1.5.
See you next week. Yes, that is a threat.
(Season record: 7-10)
Tape it upWant to know the status of the nicked-up players around the league? Then go here.
If you can't stop by the Grill Room, here's the college and pro football fare that's cooking on the tube this holiday week:
(For our U.S. military viewers and their families overseas, the American Forces Network will be televising every bowl game. The NFL games that will be televised are in bold.)
Friday, Jan. 1
Auburn vs. Northwestern Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla., 11 a.m., ESPN
Penn State vs. LSU in Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla., 1 p.m., ABC
West Virginia vs. Florida State in Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., 1 p.m., CBS
Ohio State vs. Oregon in Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif., 5 p.m., ABC
Florida vs. Cincinnati in Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m., FOX
Saturday, Jan. 2
South Florida vs. Northern Illinois in International Bowl at Toronto, Noon, ESPN2
Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi in Cotton Bowl at Arlington, Texas, 2 p.m., FOX
Connecticut vs. South Carolina in PapaJohns.com Bowl at Birmingham, Ala., 2 p.m., ESPN
East Carolina vs. Arkansas in Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn., 5:30 p.m. ESPN2
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech in Alamo Bowl at San Antonio, 9 p.m., ESPN
Monday, Jan. 4
Boise State vs. TCU in Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Ariz., 8 p.m., FOX
Tuesday, Jan. 5
Georgia Tech vs. Iowa in Orange Bowl at Miami, 8 p.m., FOX
Wednesday, Jan. 6
Troy vs. Central Michigan in GMAC Bowl at Mobile, Ala., 7 p.m., ESPN
Thursday, Jan. 7
Alabama vs. Texas in BCS Championship at Pasadena, Calif., 8 p.m., ABC
Sunday, Jan. 3
Indianapolis at Buffalo 1 p.m., CBS
New Orleans at Carolina 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville at Cleveland 1 p.m., CBS
Chicago at Detroit 1 p.m., FOX
New England at Houston 1 p.m., CBS
Pittsburgh at Miami 1 p.m., CBS
N.Y. Giants at Minnesota 1 p.m., FOX
San Francisco at St. Louis 1 p.m., FOX
Atlanta at Tampa Bay 1 p.m., FOX
Green Bay at Arizona 4:15 p.m., FOX
Kansas City at Denver 4:15 p.m., CBS
Baltimore at Oakland 4:15 p.m., CBS
Washington at San Diego 4:15 p.m., FOX
Tennessee at Seattle 4:15 p.m., CBS
Philadelphia at Dallas 4:15 p.m., FOX
Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets 8:15 p.m., NBC
(All times EST)