I hear voices in my head telling me what to do. My name is Bud Lite (he/him/party!), and I work in the just-woke-up marketing department of this 2023 NFL Season Picks column. I am now very woke, because of the voices. Namaste baby!
The rumors, in fact, are true. I have been diagnosed with “woke mind virus” by my primary care physician, Dr. Rhonda Santis, who is also a popular drag queen. Rhonda Santis is trying to get me fired – making some kind of outrageous claim that the only reason I got this job is crony favoritism, just because I know the complete idiot who writes this column.
My job is to help the idiot. I am trying to say that I am, in fact, the one who came up with these NFL season picks. Well, me and the voices.
Anyway, I have a great idea this year!
So this year – hear me out – I am thinking outside of the traditional box. Way outside the box. I am, in fact, doing the work. The woke work.
Every year, you know, in the Super Bowl you get your New England Patriots or your Kansas City Chiefs and such versus your San Francisco 49ers or your Philadelphia Eagles and such and, well, you get the point. A bunch of teams have made it to the Super Bowl over and over for decades. Year after year, the NFL offers up pretty much the same thing. Right? Tradition, you know? Like hot babes in a beer commercial. We know what to expect.
But other teams are, well, underrepresented. For decades certain teams have been completely ignored during Super Bowl week.
Well not this year. This year, as I may have said, I am woke. This year, I am going to show empathy – that’s right, empathy! – for two teams that have never previously been celebrated.
Thus, this column’s Super Bowl week social media influencers will be the teams of very underrepresented minorities during Super Bowl week: the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns.
Surprise: those two teams exist too!
I am suggesting that the Lions and Browns get the equivalent of one 48-second instagram ad in the span of several decades of nationally broadcast television commercials – one Super Bowl between them.
Is that too much to ask? Oh it is?
You say you are offended. You say, how dare I be nice be nice to two teams that you’d like to pretend don’t exist? Not only that, you say, but showing empathy makes me somehow a “beta.”
Gosh, that was quick. I did not realize you were such a snowflake.
Wait, where are you going?
Hey! This was once the most popular NFL picks column in the in the known world. Now look at me. I am just another whiny victim of cancel culture.
So instead of worldwide popularity, I now sit sadly in a dark room all by myself drinking a Bud Lite, wearing my Cleveland Browns hat and wondering how it all went wrong.
Go woke, go broke, you said to me. But ha, the jokes on you. I was already broke. So there!
That’s probably what’s gonna happen.
DOLPHINS – Small Tua Tagovailoa throwing to small Jaylen Waddle and small Tyreek Hill will be video game good as long as all three stay healthy. It’s a big ask, not a small one. 12-5
JETS – The upcoming Aaron Rodgers drama is made for for Broadway, but not in a Broadway Joe reboot kind of way. More like a tragedy where it ends bad. Jets 11-6
BILLS – Inaccurate Josh Allen from Wyoming shows up this year in Buffalo. 8-9
PATRIOTS – Mac Jones starts out the season hot. But by halftime of the first game, things start to go wrong. In the movie, “Watch What You Wish For,” Bailey Zappe is unable to come to the rescue. Bill Belichick begins to curse the spirit of Don Shula, which can be heard laughing. 6-11
BROWNS – Deshaun Watson has an MVP season but gets zero MVP votes. Jimmy Haslam’s billionaire grin is that of narcissistic charming psychopath who has gotten away with a crime, while Browns fans consciously and collectively go down to the metaphorical crossroads and sell their souls for a Super Bowl win. 17-0
BENGALS – Joe Burrow is the second best quarterback in the AFC, behind Deshaun Watson – who Burrow loses to twice. 15-2
RAVENS – Lamar Jackson gets a letter from OBJ’s father, which is never a good sign. 9-8
STEELERS – Kenny Pickett is just like Terry Bradshaw, early in Bradshaw’s career when Bradshaw famously “couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c ‘and the ‘a’.” Google it. 7-10
JAGUARS – Trevor Lawrence is betting, in a metaphorical way, that Calvin Ridley is going to be good. 11-6
TITANS – Almost. Almost good enough. Almost have one quarterback, instead of three guys. Almost make the playoffs. 10-7
TEXANS – CJ Stroud plays like a rookie quarterback from Ohio State – never a good thing. But luckily Davis Mills plays like a mediocre veteran to save the team from last place. 6-10
COLTS – Jim Irsay buys all of the contents of the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame because it detracts from the fact that Anthony Richardson is not ready for prime time. 3-13
CHIEFS – Patrick Mahomes gets a side gig as a magician. 14-3
CHARGERS – Justin Herbert does a lot of things. But he does not do the playoffs. Not his thing.10-7
RAIDERS – Jimmy Garrapolo’s Boy-In-The-Bubble body is a bad bet in Las Vegas this year.9-8
BRONCOS – Somehow, Sean Payton has managed to make himself as unlikeable as Russell Wilson has been able to do for himself. Bad karma all around. 5-12
EAGLES – The Eagles were so tantalizingly close to winning the Super Bowl last year, and the regular season seems to bode for better things. But not this year, not these playoffs. 13-4
GIANTS – The overachieving Giants do it again this year, especially in the first half of the season when insanity of two winning teams in New York overtakes the city. But they play .500 in the second half of the season. 11-6
COWBOYS – Dak Prescott wishes he worked for a team not owned by Jerry Jones and not coached by Mike McCarthy. Dak is like Cowboys fans in that way. 10-7
COMMANDERS – Fans, finally free of the stench of Snyder, rejoice at quarterback Sam Howell’s uncanny ability to secure a high draft pick for the team next year. 3-14
LIONS – The team is loaded and motivated by crazy break-some-kneecaps Dan Campbell and can go as far as Jared Goff can bring them. He reminds everyone he has already brought one team to a Super Bowl. 13-4
VIKINGS – Steady Kurt Cousins is always good and almost great except when the playoffs start and then he plays like everyone expects. You can count on him. 12-5
BEARS – Justin Fields continues to get better if only the Bears would give him time. They probably won’t. 8-9
PACKERS – Jordan Love has everyone in Green Bay forgetting that the last two quarterbacks were Hall of Famers, and more remembering the days of David Whitehurst and Randy Wright. 5-12
SAINTS – Derek Carr finally has the season everyone expected him to have in Oakland/Las Vegas. 12-5
BUCCANEERS – No one confuses low-ceiling Baker Mayfield for Tom Brady. 8-9
PANTHERS – Bryce Young reminds everyone not to draft a small quarterback in the first round. Ever. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, the only good small quarterbacks, were not first round picks. 5-11
FALCONS – Desmond Ritter dreams of one day leading a Super Bowl 28-3. That day is not this year. 2-15
49ers – Brock Hurdy is Joe Montana crossed with Tom Brady. 13-4
RAMS – When Matthew Stafford gets hurt halfway through the season, Stetson Bennett comes on and does his best Brock Hurdy impression. 11-6
SEAHAWKS – Gino Smith was a nice placeholder for Pete Carroll. 9-8
CARDINALS – Colt Noodle-Arm McCoy is a wily veteran who will win a few with his wits. A few. 6-10
LIONS OVER 49ers
BROWNS OVER CHIEFS
BROWNS OVER LIONS
This column is sponsored by the Prison Cell Painting Company, Specializing In Gold Leaf