Throughout the season my phone rings at all hours. My facebook inbox is full of notes from football heads from all over the globe. But it’s my email that gets hit the hardest. Vicious, drunken utterances on how my picks for the week suck, how I suck, how my girlfriend sucks (I don’t even have a girlfriend), how I don’t know a damn about football, how the Steelers (I’m a Steelers fan) come from some stiff hillbilly state and that if I was a true tree-huggin’ liberal then I’d be a Seahawks fan. Or a Saints fan. Or a Niners fan.

I write them back.

Fuck off, I tell them.

The only thing from Seattle worth my time is Brad.

That I like Reggie Bush, but I like his ex-girlfriend more.

That I would never be a Niners fan because my uncle would turn in his grave or may surge with life, find me chowing down at In-N-Out and do me in mid-bite.

Most of the notes come from old friends. Bastards that feel they can write anything, say anything to me. One of them I call Lips because Lips has no lips. All you see is teeth. He looks like a mummy. He looks like Fire Marshall Bill. He packs my email to the gills.

I grew up with Lips.

He’s knows everything about me.

My mother’s name.

My therapist’s name.

The drugs I did.

The food I like.

He calls me Weed.


I read your latest bullshit on The Nervous Breakdown. Really, loser? The Cowboys? They suck. Tony Homo? He’s a fag. And do you really like Rodgers or are you trying to bang some slut from Wisconsin? He’ll take GB nowhere. The Packers are nothing without Favre. They’re nothing with that old man. Brett needs to go back to the sticks and do whatever it is those people do. You’re wrong about the Bears. Watch. They don’t need Obama. They play in a weak division and will take it easily. The Colts are rebuilding this year. Kind of like your ex-girlfriend with the plastic tits. Ha! I say the Saints and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Fuck your stats, Mexican, the Saints are going back. Mail me some cash and I’ll put in your bets. Later.

That’s how it went.

That’s how it’s still going.

For the bones have been thrown.

The smoke has cleared.

The playoffs, people, are here.

In the NFC the Saints, Seahawks, Eagles, Packers, Bears, and Falcons. This translates into three birds of prey, one pious fucker, a fuzzy mammal, and a…what is a Packer? Well, in this case the name comes from a meat packer. Lovely. Packing meat. Nevermind. In the AFC, the Patriots, Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Chiefs made the grade. Need I translate again? Right.

As I wrote before, you never know how the year is going to pan out. Some folks thought the Cowboys would be in the hunt. Nope. They weren’t. And they’re not. They suck. The Titans, who I thought would be solid this year, were shot out all season long. Same goes for the Chargers and the Vikings both of which were favored to go into the playoffs with the Super Bowl in their sights. No go. It’s a wrap.

The Chargers, who in recent history don’t lose in December and go into the playoffs gunning, got their asses handed to them and now they’re sitting at home watching the playoffs with the rest of us saps. Brett Favre and Vikings? What can you say? Well, you can say that they stunk up the field from coast to coast. Their coach got canned and Brett Favre’s life and his limbs imploded right before our football eyes. He needs to split and leave us and the game of football alone. Please, Brett. I like you, bro, but please go the fuck home and stay there.


There’s no need to mention (but I will) that most of us predicted that the Lions, Panthers, Bills, Cardinals, Browns, Bengals, Niners, etc, would have shitty seasons. We’ve come to expect these atrocities to occur when these horrific teams take the field. And they did. I should mention that the Bills played tough this season and they’re record did not reflect the character of that team. But to hell with the rest of them. They offered nothing to professional football, its fans, and should consider joining a pee-wee league.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

The Wild Card Round

First up was the World Champion Saints against the Seahawks who farted into the playoffs with a 7-9 record. People bitched and complained that a team with a losing record shouldn’t get into the playoffs. But the rules state that the team that wins their division gets a ticket in. Period. So the Seahawks were in and hosting the champs. No one gave Seattle a chance. No one. Not me. No one. I settled in with a carne asada burrito and witnessed Seattle do the unthinkable: They won. It was one of the biggest upsets in playoff history. Matt Hasselbeck played lights out. That bald bastard threw four TD passes to Brees’ two. The Saints made a run, but in the 4th quarter Marshawn Lynch punched and pounded his way for a 67-yard touchdown that buried the Saints for good. It was one hell of a run.

My phone was ringing off the hook as the Saints were marching out.

Seahawks fly into Chicago.

Next up was the main event: The Colts against the Jets. This one had people talking. Peyton against Fat Ryan and his Jets. I’m no fan of either of these teams, but I like Manning and because of Jabba Ryan and his obese macho talk I now loathe the Jets the way I loathe T.O. So, I was pulling for the Colts. C’mon, Manning! C’mon, baby!

But it didn’t happen.

It was a slow-moving game. Both teams couldn’t move the ball. Good game for true football fans, but a bore to those who want to see some action. The Colts had the game wrapped up, but Blair White—a rookie out of Michigan State—couldn’t hold onto a Manning pass that would have pushed the clock down to a nub for Vinatieri to kick in the winning field goal. But it didn’t happen that way. White dropped the ball, the Jets got it back, and Sanchez and his crew marched down the field and won by one point.

Dead Colts.

Jets board their plane and head into Patriotville.


I was 0-2.

On Sunday I opened the day with a three-mile jog in the freezing desert morning. I was chugging like Rocky determined to redeem myself after being blasted with emails and phone calls on how much my Saturday picks came up lame. I lost an Andy Jackson in the Colt game to a running buddy of mine. He hates football, thinks it’s for jerk-offs. He bet me because he wanted to prove his point that anybody can win a football bet whether you know anything about football or not.

“You have a fifty-percent chance,” he said confidently. “I’ll take the Jets. I like their helmets.”

“Helmets. Great. You’re on.”

I handed over the cheddar pissed.

The Ravens took the field against the Chiefs. I wanted the Chiefs to win, but I knew the Ravens would take it. But what I didn’t know was that they were going to dismantle the Chiefs to the tune of 30-7. I didn’t pay attention to Kansas City this year so I didn’t know what they did or how they did it. Apparently, they had a great running game all season long. Apparently, it wasn’t enough to beat the Ravens. Their running backs did look impressive at the beginning of the game. Fast strong fuckers hitting the holes like missiles. But then the Chiefs turned the ball over five times and watched the game turn into an ugly movie. Now they’re at home eating BBQ.

The game of the day was the Packers against the Eagles. Mr. Rodgers against Michael Vick, aka, Ron Mexico. I picked Green Bay to have a great season. I think Rodgers is a fantastic QB and if the Packers front office makes the right decisions they have a QB that could bring them the Lombardi. I also picked the Eagles to have a horrible season. I didn’t see Vick coming off the bench and having a good year. He was headline news all season long especially after his historic performance on Monday Night Football where he single-handedly beat the Baby Jesus out of the Redskins. Anyhow, these two teams took the field in Philly. I wanted the Pack and after the smoke cleared Green Bay was moving on and the Eagles weren’t.

Cheeseheads unite.

Mr. Mexico has left the building.

So now that’s left us with the Ravens/Steelers, Jets/Pats, Packers/Falcons, and the Seahawks/Bears. One of these teams will hoist the Lombardi. That is a sure bet. The Saturday games start with the Steelers/Ravens. I’m a Steelers fan so you know who I’m pulling for. I don’t like the Ravens. Not many people do. These two teams hate each other and this will be yet another ugly fight. A brutal yet beautiful way to open the weekend. Can’t wait. Pack/Falcons is the late game. Falcons have a great record at home and I picked them to make a serious Super Bowl run this year. I nailed it and here they are with home-field advantage. So what. I’ll take the Pack. Rodgers. Rodgers. Rodgers.

Sunday opens up with the Seahawks/Bears game. The Bears should take this one. They’re at home and I don’t see Seattle pulling out another miracle win. But one never knows. They took out the Saints and they can take out Da Bears which really would be fine with me because that means I don’t have to see and listen to Mike Ditka’s Eddie Munster hair and stupid dog eyes yapping it up in some mob suit. Next up is the Jets/Pats game. Geezus. I already told you how I feel about the Jets and their bloated coach. Fuck him and fuck them. Go Patriots. Brady, don’t let me down you handsome prick! Kick their ass! Period. I’ll be watching this one with a pile of chicken wings on my lap.

I might even ditch my root beer for a bottle of hooch for this one.

Well, that’s it. Four games of pure football heaven. I’m drooling and you should be too. So, order your submarine sandwiches. Fill up your coolers with beer and Sprite. Fire up the grill and let the games begin.

Cheers, folks.

Have a good one.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RENO J. ROMERO was born in the badlands of El Sereno, California. A bona fide Las Vegan, he also lived in the dirty South for three miserable years, where he was introduced to depression, grits, humidity, and sweet tea. A graduate of UNLV, the Southern Nevada Writing Project, and seedy bars, he enjoys Chinese food, Tamron Hall, the Trickster, and football. He currently writes poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction from the California desert, living among rattlesnakes, old bones, and biker speed. He's been published in various publications including Falling From the Sky (short story anthology), Celebrity Poets, and Central Speak. He can be reached at [email protected]

30 responses to “Diary of a Pigskin”

  1. Rex Ryan's feet says:

    You know Reno, I love feet, but I think Tom Brady is gonna stomp all over mine this weekend.
    Rex Ryan’s smelly feet.

    • Reno J. Romero says:

      Rex Ryan’s Feet:

      Hello, Feet. I bet it must be tough holding up all that weight. My heart goes out to you. Now here’s the deal, Feet: I do wish you well this weekend. I realize all the shit talking is not your doing. But unfortunately you’re connected to mess. Guilty by association. Not fair? You bet, Feet. Not fair at all. But that’s the way it goes. I always wanted to be tall, black, and a jazz musician. But no. I came out brown, short, and a heavy metal musician. It’s a cruel world and that’s why I’m godless. But that’s a whole other story, Feet. I’m sure you understand. I hope you get beat down, eaten, and blown the hell up this weekend. It’s nothing personal. It’s football business. Ciao.

      Reno Romero

  2. New Orleans Lady says:

    Obviously, shitty season for my boys and I’ll admit I was heartbroken.
    Still heartbroken. Fuckin’ Lynch, man! fuck me!

    Anyway, like you, I’m a football fan so I’ll be watching the rest of the playoffs with minimal stress and lot’s of excitement. My picks? Well, I’m an emotional picker so keep that in mind…

    For personal reasons, I like the Steelers. I always pull for them unless they are playing my beloved Saints and in that case, fuck them. But this week, they are playing the Ravens. Like most red blooded americans, I hate the Ravens. I think it will be a great game and the birds are going down.

    Pats have to win!! The damned Jets shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. God damned Jets! Ugh!

    Packers/Falcons. I hate no other team more than I hate the Falcons but I think they may win this game. Wamp wamp! I will be screaming and rooting for the Packers but at the end of they day, the dirty birds will take the win. Yuck.

    This is where all the football loving boys are going to tell me to take my Saints-loving ass back to the kitchen. I think the Seahawks are going to win. The Bears haven’t impressed me this year but more than that, I think the Seachickens (for you, Moose) want it more. Seriously. Only time will tell.

    For now, let me get a moment of silence for my boys in black and gold. whodat.

    • Reno J. Romero says:


      Hello there, NOL. First, I’m so sorry about your boys. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. But like I wrote before, the odds said they weren’t going to repeat. Hell the odds said there was a good chance they weren’t even going to make the playoffs. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter now. Next year, NOL. There’s always next year.

      The Steelers are going to have their hands full. The Ravens in many ways have their number. As you know this is going to be a brutal game. Blood. Man sweat. Cussing. People calling out other people’s mamas. Not nice. Four quarters of not being nice. Be there, NOL!

      Pats better win or it’s all your fault.

      Falcons will lose. Wamp, wamp.

      I would love to see the Seahawks win. Trust it’s not like I like them. For years I forgot they even played in the league. But I hate Mike Ditka. I hate his face, his clothes, his mustache. A lose would shut him up. Sure, he gets to yap up the other games, but would tame his ass down a bit.


      Well, NOL, see you around the bend. grab some wings. Some Sprite. Some rum. Whatever. And Watch it go down. I’ll be the ghost on your sofa.

      Eatin’ Oysters,
      The Moose

    • Matt says:

      I was sitting in a pretty crowded alehouse for the last bit of that game. I saw genuine tears afterwards. People here still hold Brees in pretty high regard.

      With the Chargers out and the Saints out, I don’t really have a dog in the fight anymore. Not sure I’ll even watch the Superbowl. My eyes are already starting to turn to the upcoming baseball season…

  3. Trish says:

    Reno, brilliant as always! Lets hope this weekend pans out a smidge better. Poor Saints, who saw that one coming?!!

    • Reno J. Romero says:


      Saints? Geezus. People are still reeling. And they don’t even play for the team. Could you imagine how Brees feels this purdy Thursday? Yikes. Thanks for reading, Trish. Here’s to you…

      Do It,
      Reno Romero

  4. Amanda says:

    Heh…imagine what they’d be saying if you DID have a girlfriend, if she’s already getting that many insults and doesn’t even exist. People can be so cruel.

    ; )

    • Reno J. Romero says:


      Right!?! Could you imagine? I don’t even want to think about it. Fuckers. Doesn’t anyone believe in sweet talk anymore? C’mon, Amanda, puleez tell me that folk still engage in a lil’ sweet talk…

      Thanks for reading. Take care out there.

      Reno Romero

  5. Irene Zion says:

    This is sports again.
    You know how I feel about sports.
    I love you, though.

    • Reno J. Romero says:


      I’m sorry, Irene. But tis the season. I love you, too. Have a great weekend. Drink whiskey and have a Nathan’s hot dog.

      A Brown Moment Indeed,
      Reno Romero

  6. Greg Olear says:

    I was 0-for-4 in playoff picks last week. Ugh.

    This week I have the home teams advancing. No upsets. Unless the Bears winning qualifies.

  7. Reno J. Romero says:


    ‘Unless the Bears winning qualifies.’

    Heh. That’s great. Too funny. I sucked last weekend but am looking to nail it this weekend. Hell, at least 500! Take care, sir, and thanks for your time.


  8. J.E. Fishman says:

    Steelers-Ravens has the potential to be one helluva game. Hard hitting in the biting cold. I don’t know who will win, but it’s safe to predict that snot will flow.

    • Reno Romero says:

      J.E Fishman:

      Oh, you know the Steelers/Ravens game is going to be a bloodfest. AND snot will flow. Can’t wait, bro. These teams, as you know, hate each other which translates to good ugly football for you and me. Cheers and thanks for reading.


  9. I swear Reno you are the only person who’s terrific writing could ever, ever, *ever* lure me to read something about football. My husband and daughter want to shake your hand. Probably my dad too.

    • Reno Romero says:


      Ah, thank you kindly, Cynthia. Yeah, when I write these posts I know they’ll only be of some interest to some if any at all. But I love football and it gets worse every year. It’s like a drug. It’s definitely a disease…

      Tell your husband and your daughter I’d shake their hand any day. It would be a pleasure. Same goes for your pop. Okay, you and your family have a great playoff weekend and take care. Thanks again for taking out the time to read my stuff. Ciao.

      Hut One,

  10. jmblaine says:

    Wait a minute?
    Is that women
    playing football
    in their drawers?

  11. Zara Potts says:


    Why do you not have your own TV show?

    You make football fun.

    Hut one, hut two, I’m ready to hike,

    P.S Are shoulder pads really necessary?

    • Reno Romero says:


      Hello there. Yeah, I should have my own show, but you know what, Z? I’m simply talking a lot of football shit talk. You can hear this type of junk at Any Bar, USA. I’m a boring American that way. But maybe I can have a show in your land? Do you think I’d get jumped in streets? Are there any Chicanos over there? How about Mexican restaurants where I can devour a delish chimichanga? Anyhow, Z, we’ll chat about it. Thanks for reading.

      Beans and Tons O’l Love,
      Reno Romero

  12. Jessica Blau says:

    Okay, you make me actually INTERESTED in football!

    I was out running errands today and noticed that EVERYONE (old, young and in-between) was wearing purple, even a few people in purple wigs. Eventually, I bashfully asked some nice-looking woman in a RAVENS shirt why today was such a purple day and she told me everyone’s dressed up for tomorrow’s game. It was so fun seeing all these purple people that I just might turn on the game.

    • Reno Romero says:


      Well, good morning! I didn’t know you lives in Ravens Land. You know you have a pretty darn good team lurking around there. Tough defense. Ray Lewis. Hell, they won a Super Bowl a few years back. So, yeah, check out the game. It’s going to be a serious battle. Bye, Jessica, and thanks for reading.


  13. Simon Smithson says:


    Your latest picks suck.

  14. You football people are crazy. I’ve only ever had a handful of pigskin-lovin’ friends in my life and they are the nicest, most decent folks… until it comes to football. Then out comes the shit-talking. Out comes the racism. Out come the nasty words I’ve never even heard of! I wonder if I’m missing out on something. It must be a pretty awesome sport to drive people so crazy.

    • Reno J. Romero says:


      hey, sir. good to see you here. well, you nailed it. football folk are fucking nuts. always have been, always will be. the shit-talking is part of the game. and the racism, i’m sad to say, is alive and well unfortunately. now are you missing out on something? depends. i love football and have it bad. way bad. but there’s folk out there that live perfectly pleasant lives without it. that’s not too bad. okay, sir, thanks for reading. take care out there.


  15. Richard Cox says:

    Okay, man. I didn’t see the Jets beating the Patriots. I didn’t want the Patriots winning any more Super Bowls, but I thought they would wipe the floor with the Jets. And I can’t have the Steelers getting seven. Just can’t have it. So suddenly I’m a Jets fan. I don’t like Ryan. Fuck that guy. And now his twin brother is gonna be the Cowboys’ DC.

    Rodgers is playing well. It’s hard to pick against him. And even though I’m not a huge fan of Jay Cutler, I’m happy to see him doing well in Chicago after McDaniels decided to let him go. Josh McDaniels is an arrogant, immature prick who destroyed the Broncos and honestly should never again be a head coach in the NFL. Ha.

  16. Reno J. Romero says:

    mr. cox:

    hey, man. i understand you (and many others) not wanting to see another pats championship. for me to see them win another doesn’t mean much. i don’t pull for the pats or root against them. i like brady, love his fire, and have no problem seeing him raising yet another trophy. but like i’ve said before i love football more than i do any team.

    but fuck ryan. i think he’s a good coach but his yapping is lame, boneheaded, and childish. i couldn’t play for a guy like that. i couldn’t take him seriously. he’s a silly fat guy. period.

    i’m all for the steelers. i know, being a dallas fan, can’t stand them. i don’t blame you. i was raised to be a dallas hater. but i’ll tell you what. when i passed by their old stadium i was, uh, starstruck. i was thinking: this is the house where newhouse barreled over people. this is the house dorsett glided down the field. this is the house pearson did his thing…

    i’m all about rodgers, cox. he’s a badass and i hope by the time he calls it a day he has a few (or at least one) championship ring. he’s playing out and so is the pack. watch out for these fuckers. da bears better be fucking ready.

    and yes: to hell with mcdaniels. he’s everything you said and more. okay, my good man, do take care. thanks for your time.


  17. […] ironic that our man in Vegas would be named Reno), which means he’s money.  He’s also our resident football writer and pigskin prophet.  Reno is a Man of Action.  Join him as […]

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