They have arrived. The NFL playoffs. Back in September, thirty-two teams had their football eyes on the prize. High hopes. Expectations. Experts making predictions. Boneheaded waiters and balding fathers playing football prophet and talking shit.

The Eagles will take the NFC East.

This is the year the Ravens will put it all together.

The Raiders will suck ass.

The Pack will repeat and Favre will hang himself from a sycamore tree.

Blah, blah, blah.

It’s now come down to twelve teams. The talk is over. In the AFC, the Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Texans, Steelers, and Broncos will be taking the field. In the NFC, the Packers, 49ers, Lions, Saints, Falcons, and Giants will be in the hunt for the Lombardi.

It’s a thing of pure beauty.

Almost more beautiful than Tamron Hall.


Let’s see what’s doing.



The Moody Coach and Mountain Jesus: The AFC

The AFC had a crazy year.

The Bills started off the season winning and had their fans forgetting Scott Norwood. But then the Bills remembered that they’re the Bills and began losing—badly. Their fans quickly remembered Norwood and started choking on chicken wings en masse.

Al Davis took a dirt nap and, surprisingly, Raiders fans didn’t tag and burn the country to a crisp.

The Jets and their fat coach stunk up the field and the world was a better place for it.

The Colts slowly died, week after week, and finally disappeared with a whimper.

Three of the six teams playing in the tournament weren’t considered contenders at the beginning of the year. The Bengals? Most people didn’t even know Cincinnati had a football team. The Texans? For years people have been picking them to finally sink the Colts and take the AFC South, and for years they sucked dog ass and ended up watching the playoffs from their couches like the rest of us poor saps. The Broncos? Good, god. John Fox is as dull as a pair of house slippers and coaches the most boring game of football in the league’s history.  I bet he only fucks in the missionary position.

Most football junkies picked the Patriots, Ravens, and Steelers to make the playoffs. They are who they are, and it is what it is. Solid players. Great coaching. No mystery. One of these teams will be in the Super Bowl.

Wildcard weekend will see the Bengals take on the Texans and Pittsburgh travel to Denver. I like the Bengals’ story. They played tough all year, and we saw promising rookie QB Andy Dalton make a name for himself. He very well could be one of the league’s premier quarterbacks of the future, football smart, with a rifle for an arm. Going on the road and winning in the playoffs is a tall order. Especially with a young team that has no post-season experience. But I like Cincinnati and see them squeaking out a victory. The Texans are good, no doubt. They have a good defense. But they’re injured and don’t have any character. This is not a winning recipe. Sure, they might take this game, but it will end for them soon after that.

Pittsburgh and the Broncos. The story here is about Tebow and his Jesus-ness. He loves Jesus. Carries him in his backpack. Takes him to McDonald’s. Tebow’s positive god light has the whole team reading sappy Hallmark affirmations and running to confession. It’s a lame story that has the ESPN gang and everyone and their mother saying stupid things like “divine intervention.” And that the Donkeys are winning because of Tebow’s heavenly ways and have made the playoffs because “something else is at work.” It is, by far, some of the most ridiculous crap I’ve heard, in or out of sports, in my lifetime. The truth is, Tebow sucks as a QB, the teams he beat were shit or gave the game away, the Broncos made the playoffs because the AFC West is pathetic. End of story. The Steelers are beat up but should win the game easily and end the Second Coming.  Thank god.

Finally, the Patriots and Ravens, the conference’s one and two seeds.  They have a bye this week and await the winners of the wild card round.  Brady and his receivers are flying high on offense, but they have a pitiful defense and this is why they’ll eventually lose. There’s nothing that their moody coach, Bill Belichick, and his massive football brain can do about it.  Prediction:  The Ravens—with Ray Lewis’ big mouth and Terrell Suggs’ piranha teeth—will go to the Super Bowl.  A nasty, swarming defense and an effective running game.  That’s the recipe.


Packing Heat and Killing Marino: The NFC

The NFC playoff picture is loaded with surprises. Who thought the 49ers, with their obnoxious coach, would be a second seed? No one. The Lions? Most of us thought that bloated pig Matt Millen had ruined the team for good. Guess not. The Giants? Hey, they’re a good squad, but the Eagles with their “dream team” roster were supposed to eat up the NFC East. Didn’t happen. The Falcons?  Well, that’s not too much of a stretch, but their spot was reserved for the Cowboys. And speaking of the Cowboys: I think it’s about time we bury these amateurs for good, or pray that their rich, hillbilly owner either splits or joins Al Davis. He’s looking more and more like good ol’ Al everyday. And that, my friends, is not a good thing.

Just win, baby.

The Lions are heading into New Orleans to get a beatdown like they’ve never experienced. It’s going to be ugly. The Saints have a lousy defense, but they have Brees and that ass-whooping offense. They’re deadly. They’re cool. They’re tenacious. Brees is a badass and I was thrilled to no end to see him squash Dan Marino’s single-season passing record. I don’t like Marino, just like I don’t like Mercury Morris, just like I don’t like Don Shula’s nose, just like I don’t like Miami’s pansy colors, just like I don’t like Miami, just like I don’t like the Heat and loved it when they got their asses handed to them in the NBA finals.

Shoo fly.

The Falcons are going into New York, where they’re going to get slapped around. The Giants are playing solid football coming off a perfect dismantling of the Cowboys last week. Watch out for the Giants. They can play spoiler.

I don’t have much to say about the 49ers. I can’t buy into them. I see a so-so QB in Smith, a good defense, and a cocky P.E. teacher for a coach. That being said, they’re not a second seed for no reason. But I’ll be smiling when they leave the field crestfallen. Especially Harbaugh.

The Packers are the Packers. They’re good. Real good. But like the Saints and the Patriots, they have a weak defense. I see them getting into a shootout or two. Probably not the way you want things to go (especially, against gunslingers like Brees and Eli Manning). But Rodgers is a pure killer and I see him taking the Pack to the Super Bowl where they’ll play the Ravens, win another championship, and Brett Favre will either be found dead or pack up his Wranglers and play in the CFL.

Let the games begin.


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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]oo.com.

26 responses to “Be Aggressive, B-E Agressive: The NFL Playoffs”

  1. pixy says:

    hey now, I knew that cincinnati had a footbal team. those bengals have been the bane of my sports-loving (from afar) existence since boomer left them all those years ago.
    i’m glad i get to see some bengal action. FINALLY!

    and John Fox is as dull as a pair of house slippers and coaches the most boring game of football in the league’s history. I bet he only fucks in the missionary position.
    he probably couldn’t get a lady ready enough for even that. i bet he has a helper (NSFW?).

  2. Darian says:

    Don’t bother practicing your smile. 🙂

  3. New Orleans Lady says:

    Oh. My. Fucking. God!
    First of all, ugh!

    Also, I believe I mentioned that both the Bengals and the Ravens would make it to playoffs in the beginning of the season. I saw something there. I called it early. Gold star.

    Here we go, MY predictions. The Bengals are going to take the Texans. No doubt. If the Steelers can get their shit together, they’ll take Broncos. Frankly, both teams have lacked in consistency so really, it’s anyone’s game. But it doesn’t matter because the Pats will beat whoever comes knocking. I agree that the Raven’s will kick Bengal ass and will be left to duke it out with the Patriots for the AFC Title and a trip to the Super Bowl. Here’s the thing, I’m not sure the Ravens will be able to handle the pressure and they’ll drop the ball, so to speak, and LOSE! Yep, I said it. The Pats are going to Superbowl.

    As for the NFC… Here Kitty Kitty… The SAINTS are hunting Lions and let’s face it, they won’t make it out of the Big Easy alive. The Falcons MAY take the Giants but it doesn’t matter bc Green Bay will take it in the end. After the SAINTS take the Lions we’re headed to San Fran and there’s no way their D can stop our offense. It just won’t happen. At this point, my beloved SAINTS will be one game away from taking the NFC Title and another shot at the Lombardi. Do you really think there is someone out there that can stop Breesus from achieving that goal? C’mon, Man! No way. It won’t happen. Not now. Not this team. (Oh, and lousy defense?! Ugh.) So, the Saints are going to go hard. Announcers, players, coaches, and refs will all complain about the aggressive play but we won’t care. This is the NFL, not school yard ball. Go hard or go home. And they will. Green bay will lose in the end and the SAINTS will be on their way to Superbowl. Again.

    So there you have it, Patriots vs. Saints in a fight for the Lombardi.
    …and I’m sure you know my pick for THAT game.

    Who motherfuckin Dat!

  4. The Man from Michigan says:

    How about this prediction: God’s other Son will throw more interceptions than completions. Seriously, that could very well happen. Polamalu, Harrison, and their gang of terrorists and devil worshipers will show our friend Tebow why the Dark Side might just be the ticket!

    As for my beloved Lions: WHY YOU GOTTA BE SUCH A HATER?? I’m kidding, of course. Here in the ‘D’, everyone has went fanatical, thinking the Lions have a legitimate shot. Anyone with common sense knows the Saints will probably win by at least 2 touchdowns. The Saints are undefeated at home, and are facing a defense that just gave up 500 passing yards to Green Bay’s backup QB. The Lions are doomed. Unfortunately, the road for the Saints is unpleasant, having to travel to the Beautiful Bay, and, if they advance, to Carrhart Bay the following week. Good luck with that, Saints.

    Reno, you keep doing what you do, and I’ll pay for your plane ticket to Detroit next year to see a Lions game with me if the Lions win tomorrow. Bank on it, baby!

  5. Reno Romero says:

    pixy: good morning, pixy. yeah, there are folk who knew all along that bengals were still around. i remember boomer. he was a good QB. and they had ickey (UNLV alum with yours truly)! it would be very interesting to see the bengals make a run. i hope they beat houston who is as bland as a rice cake. oh, and john fox! your ink nailed it. it was a lovely thing to see first thing in the morning. thanks. ok, pixy, thanks for reading. happy football.

  6. Reno Romero says:

    darian: okie doke.

  7. Reno Romero says:

    breesy: heh. you know, breesy, you’re awesome. i love chatting football with you. always have. ok, so let’s do this. i love your saints, brees is a glorious QB and a pretty swell dude. so don’t get all ruffled. as you know, the playoffs are all about home field advantage. sometimes this matters and sometimes it doesn’t. n this case it does. i just can’t see an indoor team (really, any team for that matter) going into GB and winning. just can’t. rodgers is a killer, a punk, and he knows how to win. so: SB they go. N.O can’t stop him. not in his back yard. if they went to N.O the outcome could be different. but it’s not so….

    real quick, breesy: the ravens couldn’t give two shits about the brady and the moody coach. they beat the shit out of them in N.E a couple of yrs ago and can do it again. run rice. run rice. keep handsome off the field. flacco sucks boner but he can manage the gme with a solid running game. the pats can’t stop a pee wee team. i’ve spoken.

    ok, breesy, let the games begin. wait! i hope your team plays clean today. nothing worse than a cheap shot team!

    • New Orleans Lady says:

      Dammit, Reno, you just had to go there… There are no cheap shots taken by the Saints. None. We both know that you haven’t seen an entire Saints game this season so there’s no way you can tell me what they can and can’t do. They play clean but their tough. It’s not their fault the NFL is turning into a bunch of pussies. Yes, I said it.

      As for your man, Rodgers…
      Ugh… Ok, he’s good. He’s a fair decision maker and pretty good in the pocket. But, you know what his problem is? He’s not Drew Brees. If you would have watched full Saints game this season, you would know that there’s just something about them this year that feels unstoppable. There’s an energy around them that everyone can feel.

      And you partially right about home field advantage, Especially when we’re talking Green Bay, but here’s the deal…what the saints lack bc of not being home, they make up with heart. The saints this year are all heart and determination and with their fearless leader, they’re going all the way. Rodgers won’t know what hit him but I bet he’ll hug my Brees at the end of that game and feel honored to have played with greatness.

      • Reno Romero says:

        nola: ph, here we go with the “heart” argument. a friggin’ dung beetle has a heart. hell, i even have a heart! heart doesn’t mean shit! this ain’t a marriage woman! the saints need to produce on the road period. i love brees. you know this. i never ripped on him because there’s nothing to rip on. but GB at home? can they get beat? you bet. but are they with the SB in their grip? nope. not this year.

        yes, cheap shot! ok, i must admit that i on;y saw a clip or two on their shenanigans but it’s all about riling you up. deal. saw the highlights of the game. that the lord above there’s four quarters. if i was you i’d be a bit nervous. just saying. peace out.


  8. Reno Romero says:

    lyons the dirty michigan dog: heh. awesome comment. it would be awesome sitting down and watching a game or two with breesy above. she’s a tough fucker. well, i like the lions but they blew it. them heading into breesy’s saints is simply not good. but again one never knows. really. i mean who thought the chiefs would have taken out the pack? you know the deal with this one. brees. brees. brees.

    i’ll take you up on your offer. always. ok, buddy thanks for chiming in. happy playoffs!

  9. Brad Listi says:

    As a Packers fan, I gotta say I’m scared of the Giants, dude. I might fear them more than I fear the Saints. I remember what the G-men did to us back in 2007, in subzero temperatures, at Lambeau. But of course we had a different guy under center back then.

    Giants can rush the passer and run the ball, and Eli is a big game QB. Our defense is going to have to really show up.

    If we win the first one, I don’t think there’s any stopping us. But that first one is going to be tough.

  10. Reno Romero says:

    mr. listi:

    good morning, sir. i totally agree with you. the giants are an odd team. up and down. so what team will show? who friggin’ knows. but if they do show they can beat anybody. it’s all about that D line. they won the SB and they can make that happen again. you can argue that they handled GB a few weeks back. their lose was considered a victory. but they lost. period. and they lost because of rodgers. he’s a sniper. he’s as mean as a gaboon viper. it’s in the fucker’s eyes. i see GB having a kickass game next week and it catapulting them into the big game where they will win. oh, and let’s not forget their coach. this is the time that pancake face dude starts swinging his best stuff. okie doke, take care out there, brad. hope you and your family are doing well. hut, hut.

    • New Orleans Lady says:

      Ugh…Rodger’s is not ALL that.
      What is with you people.

      • Richard Cox says:

        Eli is not a big game QB. Almost every one of his signature completions is a toss-up under pressure in which the receiver saves him. The Tyree catch being the most egregious.

        The Giants D line will have the biggest outcome on the game, but I don’t see the Giants posing any threat to GB whatsoever.

        • Reno Romero says:

          you’re right eli is not a big game QB. but he’s not an idiot and does go on some hot streaks. that’s all mr. aw shucks needs. i don’t see any team going into GB and winning. nope.

  11. jmblaine says:

    A buddy of mine was talking about this the other day
    & I told him that just to keep things interesting,
    they should swap everybody’s sport for a season.
    Make the NBA guys play MLB
    & the NFL guys switch to NHL.
    Or maybe they play football on ice skates.

    Sports needs to be more avant-garde.

    So if the Mighty Ducks were subbing
    for the Bucs, who would win the Super Bowl?

    (answer: Bud Light)

    • New Orleans Lady says:

      Ha! Your Bud Light comment made me lol.

    • Reno Romero says:

      11: if i had to i’d have to go NBA. it would tough and downright depressing (go figure: i was a 3 yr letterman in b-ball in high skool). i can’t do baseball. i get the whole strategery of the game, but it’s slow. my father tried to turn me into a baseball fan. but i just wanted to play football and look as anna hernandez’s cute buns.

  12. Tom Hansen says:

    Rene buddy, you have any thoughts on yesterdays Pitt-Den game? I hate both but watched anyway, being a Seattle guy, just in case the Stealers lost–I and most of my town are still not over the Super Bowl ripoff job. I thoroughly enjoyed the Jesus Freak doing them in

  13. Reno Romero says:

    tom: yesterday’s den/pitt game was the worst. i’m a life-long steeler and i’m sick. hey, the donkeys deserved the win. they WON. but i talked a lot of shit about teboner and now i have to eat crow. in fact, i’ve been since last night. it’s palpable. kinda. i remember the seachickens/steelers game. there were some curious calls in that one. but look at it this way: seattle has Brad and pittsburgh has a football team.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I’ve had to become a part-time Steelers fan due to my new lady’s devotion to them, which hurts bad enough as it is, but since I also think Tebow is the biggest joke in the NFL since Ryan Leaf, I was all in for a Steelers’ dismantling of the Broncos. So for the Broncos to not only win, but do it with Tebow’s John 3:16 yards passing, I don’t think this NFL season could be any more of a personal disappointment.

      At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Tebow takes the Broncos to the Super Bowl and throws for 316 yards in every game.

      Fuck Jesus and fuck the NFL.

  14. Reno Romero says:

    mr. cox: dude, you’re so damn hilarious. i’m so tired of the whole tebow thing. yet, there i am like a prick right in the mix. he’s hijacked football. he owns us. i’m sick.

    but i give up. i’m with you. fine, i hope that fucker wins every game for the rest of his damn career! may be walked around with 7 chamionship rings! i can give two shit! btw: i saw leaf play. i was one of three hundred. later, man.

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