Saturday, January 23, 2010

Who is Headed to South Florida for Super Bowl XLIV: Read INSIC's Picks to Find Out

This is going to be the shortest blog entry ever, mainly because our picks were so terrible last week that we almost had to fire Breech. Which really means he almost fired himself.

Last week: 1-3
Overall: 3-5**

** = If Shayne Graham and Nate Kaeding didn't choke worse than drowning victims, the actual record would read 5-3.

3 p.m. N.Y. Jets at Colts: If this was a hot dog eating contest between Rex Ryan and Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Ryan would win by at least 38 hot dogs.
Unfortunately for New York, it's a real football game. What it comes down to is this, if you had to bet your house, your car and three of your children on this game, would you take the Human Taco or would you take Peyton Manning.

That's what I thought.

Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in prison for gambling away your children, you're probably going to lay it all down on Mr. Mastercard commercial.

Prediction: Colts 20, Jets 17

6:40 p.m. Vikings at Saints: For those of you that don't know, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner is God's number one fan, which is amazing if you consider that in the past three years, he has moved ahead of Jesus (the previous number one) and the Pope (who has now fallen to number three).

What's the point here?

If the man upstairs has no problem letting Warner suffer (and Warner did suffer last week), then he is going to have no problem letting a city that was washed away by a hurricane get rolled in the NFC Championship game. That is just the way God works, or at least the vengeful Old Testament God that I grew up learning about.

God also knows that every football fan alive hates Brett Favre, therefore he also knows that a Favre victory would bring humanity the most suffering. You probably see where I'm going with this.

Prediction: Vikings 34, Saints 24

Bengals Celebrate Super Bowl XXIII Anniversary as Only the Bengals Can: By Raising 2010 Ticket Prices

If blogs existed in 1989, our first day here at INSIC would have been January 23. The day after Super Bowl XXIII, it definitely wasn't sunny in Cincinnati.

Every Bengals fan knows the story: Joe Montana hits John Taylor with a 10-yard pass that wins the Super Bowl. The touchdown came with only 34 seconds left in the game. The city of Cincinnati was on suicide watch for the rest of 1989.

Yesterday, the Bengals decided to celebrate the
21st anniversary of the franchise's biggest game in a way that only Mike Brown knows how: by raising ticket prices.

Here's how we imagine the conversation went between Katie Blackburn (Mike's daughter and executive Vice President), Mike Brown and Vince Cicero (Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing).

Brown: You two have eight minutes to tell me how we can make more money next year. And don't give me any of that 'field a good football team' crap, I'm tired of that.

Blackburn: Dad, studies have shown that fans will come to the games if a successful team is on the field.

Brown: Oh really honey, because I did a little study called 'the year 2008.' You remember that. Four wins got us eight home sellouts. You do the math.

Cicero: Uh, Mike, as your director of marketing, I actually did the math. We should have lost our sell out streak last October. But because we bent Kroger over backwards...err... because Kroger stepped up and bought 50,000 tickets this season, we were able to keep the streak alive. That probably won't happen next season, we're going to need a new revenue stream.

Brown: Wait, I've got it, we'll do what the Reds do, we'll charge a premium for better home opponents.

(Cicero and Katie look at each other with their jaws dropped because this is the first time in 11 years that a sensical statement has come out of Mike Brown's mouth)

Blackburn: Alright dad, I like this. I would say the Steelers, Dolphins, Saints and Chargers games could draw some big crowds.

Brown: Perfect, for those four games, $8,000 a ticket.

(After 27 hours of haggling, Katie and Vince are able to talk Mike into a small 1 to 3 dollar price increase, there is only one thing left to decide).

Blackburn: Alright dad, we just got embarrassed in a playoff game, so we need to be sensitive about the timing of this announcement.

Brown: You guys shot down all of my ideas today, I mean I really thought 'buy one beer pay double for a second' was a good one. As such, I and I alone will decide when the announcement will be made.

Blackburn: Dad, I don't think that's such a good idea, as a matter of fact, it's a horrible idea.

Brown: Honey, don't talk to me like that or I will fire you.

(Both laugh at the comment, because both of them know a black person will be elected a KKK grand wizard before Katie would get fired).

Brown (In his head to himself): Announcement of ticket price increase plus anniversary of Bengals Super Bowl loss equals public relations gold. How did I get so smart?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Does INSIC Like More: Avatar or Shayne Graham?

(Every so often at INSIC, we do a movie review. You can read old ones here and here. Today we do Avatar.)

Dear James Cameron,

We saw the movie Avatar 10 years ago, except then, it was called the Matrix.

For the 14 people out there that haven't seen the movie yet, here's a brief synopsis: Neo gets hooked up to a machine, two hours pass, Neo saves the human race from imminent disaster. Wait, sorry, that's the plot of the Matrix.

In Avatar, a marine named Jake Sully gets hooked up to a machine, the machine allows him to mentally take over an 'Avatar.' The Avatar in this case being a skinny blue alien. If you don't know what the skinny blue alien looks like, you haven't turned on your TV once in the past three months because there have been about 9,000 Avatar previews a day since November.

What happens after Jake takes over his Avatar? Two hours of plot that is more predictable than Shayne Graham missing a field goal in a clutch situation.

OK, we're already bored writing about this, so let's boil this movie down to one paragraph:

In The Matrix, Neo saves humans from machines. The plot for Avatar? Insert Jake Sully where we wrote Neo, skinny blue aliens where we wrote humans and humans where we wrote machines. Wa-la, sorry for spoiling the movie.

We paid $14 to see the movie, it's worth 11.

Why is it worth 11?

Because 3-D technology is the best invention ever. The movie could have been Gary Coleman and Dustin Diamond eating poop off the carcass of a dead animal and it still would have been worth $11, everything in 3-D is that awesome. Except for Snookie of course. Snookie should never be in 3-D, she shouldn't even be in 2-D. But that's another blog post.

Oh, and just so you know, if this technology had been around in 1992, Fern Gully: the Last Rain Forest would have won seven oscars and made 12 times more money.

Bottom line: If you have a 3-D theater around you, see the movie. However, we must warn you that once the 3-D novelty wears off (this will take about 90 minutes) the movie starts to crawl slower than a baby with its ankles handcuffed together.

P.S.: When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, it was the most amazing movie ever. Mainly because real looking dinosaurs are awesome. In 1998, Roland Emmerich ruined awesome dinosaur technology for everyone when he directed the second worst movie ever: Godzilla (Worst movie ever: Deathbed: The Bed that Eats People). In five years, everyone will be using 3-D technology, someone will make a crappy 3-D movie and that will be that.

Remember, if you're short on money this month, rent the Matrix, it's the same thing.

Final Grade: B (Plot gets a D, special affects get an A+)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NFL Divisional Playoffs: Who's Going to Suck More Than the Bengals This Week, Read Our Picks

If you want to read about the Bengals, read our mailbag from Monday. It's depressing, it will make you hate Shayne Graham.

However, as the Choctaw, Cherokee and Seminole did in the 1830's while walking the Trail of Tears, we must reluctantly move forward. (And yes, every so often we have to pander to our intelligent readers). Although we will admit that we don't have union soldiers following us threatening to kill us if we slow down, something the Indians had to deal with.

What are we moving forward to you ask, how about this week's picks.

Last week Breech went 2-2 with his picks. 3-1 would have been possible if Shayne Graham didn't turn into a red headed version of Ray Finkle.

4: 30 p.m. Cardinals at Saints: There are only three people I hate picking against: Kurt Warner, God and Justin Bieber. In case you haven't heard of any of these people: Bieber is a 14-year-old singer that has already been laid more than Justin Timberlake, Pablo Escobar and Wilt Chamberlain combined. God is the entity that all Christians believe in and Kurt Warner is the quarterback for the Cardinals and God's number one fan. What does all of this mean? It means Bieber is getting laid tonight, Kurt Warner is going to church tomorrow and the Cardinals are going to win. Yes, you read that right, the Cardinals are going to win.

Sure, God has some sympathy for Drew Brees because the Saints QB has single-handedly rebuilt New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But God is a Cardinals fan, he proved that last year.

Prediction: Cardinals 38, Saints 30

8:15 p.m. Ravens at Colts: The Ravens are seven point underdogs here. Do you want to know how many games the Ravens lost by seven or more points this season? TWO. Do you want to know how many points Indy won by when these two teams played in November? TWO. Even Justin Bieber knows this is not going to be a blowout. I really want to pick the Ravens, but the chances of two big underdogs winning on the same day are about the same as Wesley Snipes paying his taxes this year, it's just not going to happen.

Prediction: Colts 23, Ravens 20

1 p.m. Cowboys at Vikings: I went to Minnesota this year, the crowd noise is overrated. I would bet $500 that Justin Bieber concerts are louder. I don't know how much Tony Romo sold his soul for and I don't want to know, but he's been unstoppable for the past month. Although I'm picking the Cowboys, I have to admit that I want the Vikings to win because we all know if they lose, the Brett Favre retirement rumors will start nine seconds after the game ends.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Vikings 27

4:40 p.m. Jets at Chargers: Well, the human taco did it, he willed his team to round two of the NFL playoffs with a gutsy performance that involved him throwing exactly TWO passes over 11 yards. Great job Sanchez, you're awesome. By the way, please enjoy the picture of the Human Taco Mark Sanchez at the top of the page. The picture is courtesy of Taco Bell (I don't know if that's really Sanchez in the costume, but I'm going to pretend it is).

Now for the pick. First, I need to point out that this pick was easy to make because I only have one rule when I pick NFL playoff games: if a team beats the Bengals, I pick against them every week for two years. So I apologize in advance Jets fans, I can't pick you to win anything until 2012 and since the world is suppose to end then, lets just both agree not to hold any grudges.

Prediction: Chargers 27, Jets 20

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy 28th Birthday to INSIC Founder John Breech

In his family, John is known as the selfish bastard that had to be born 11 days before Super Bowl XVI. You're probably wondering, 'How can a newborn baby be labeled a selfish bastard?'

Here's the story:

John's dad is Bengals all-time leading scorer Jim Breech (pictured with John). Mrs. Breech had to miss the Super Bowl because John didn't leave the vaginal canal in time, as far as selfish babies go, it doesn't get much worse than that.

On the other hand, Jim Breech had to miss John's birth because then Bengals Coach Forest Gregg said that Super Bowls are more important than babies. Which to an extent is true, actually, it's not true. What Gregg should have said is, 'Super Bowl WINS are more important than babies.' We think Child Services could get behind that statement.

Oh and now that we've had time to think about it, John actually did his mom a favor. Super Bowl XVI was held in Detroit. The city is the murder capital of the country, it smells like a diaper and at the time it led the world in baby kidnappings. Plus, the average temperature during Super Bowl week was three degrees, breast milk freezes in that kind of weather, baby John would have starved to death. If baby John had starved, this site wouldn't exist.

And yes, It's Never Sunny in Detroit will be up and running next week. Actually, that's a complete lie.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bengals-Jets: INSIC Presents the Post Playoff Mailbag

Like naked pictures of Tiger Woods' mistresses, mailbags have taken over the internet. INSIC's never done one and we figure that now's a good time to start. Here's the official post playoff mailbag.

Q: Dear INSIC, can we blame this playoff loss on one person and if so, can that person be Shayne Graham?

INSIC: As most men know, there are only three certainties in life: death, your ex-girlfriend missing her period two weeks after you break up and Shayne Graham choking in the clutch. When he missed the 35-yarder in the third quarter, someone inside of INSIC headquarters threw a ninja turtles action figure at the plasma TV. We didn't know what was more shocking: that someone still plays with ninja turtles or that the Bengals were losing to the Jets. All was not lost though as it was still a 7-point game after the miss.

Fast forward to the fourth quarter, Bengals trail 24-14 with 3:54 left and three timeouts. Graham lines up for a 28-yarder. At this exact instant, INSIC Founder John Breech told his girlfriend, "If he misses this, I am burning the cat alive, going to bed and then telling the police that everything was your fault." Moral of the story: cats do not willingly go in fires.

We've been defending Graham since he choked against the Steelers in the 2006 season finale, but now, it's like defending O.J. Simpson, you can say whatever you want, but everyone thinks your stupid.

Bottom line: Putting Shayne Graham in a clutch situation is like quitting your job and telling your wife that the family could make more money if she was a prostitute: it's not a good idea.

Q: Dear INSIC, how come Carson Palmer sucks?

INSIC: People who say this or think this are stupid.

Yes Carson played the game like he bet his first, second and third born children on the Jets. But you have to look deeper than that. The Jets defense was the number one in the NFL. Carson led two touchdown drives and two 'field goal' drives (We have to put field goals in quotations, because Shayne Graham is our kicker and we didn't actually score). That is theoretically 20 points he led the Bengals too. Do you know who didn't score 20 points on the Jets this season? Let's see: Colts, Falcons, Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Raiders, Titans, Patriots, Texans. Oh and the Saints only scored 24.

Bottom line: Carson needs to have surgery on about 17 parts of his body, when this is taken care of, he will be good. Oh and there wouldn't have been a playoff game Saturday in Cincinnati if Palmer wasn't on the team. It would have been in Baltimore or Pittsburgh because the Bengals would not have even made the playoffs, they would have finished in the Cleveland portion of the AFC North.

Q: Dear INSIC, that $28 million we gave to Laveranues Coles, is there any way to get that back?

INSIC: The person who pissed us off the most Saturday (who's name was not Shayne Graham) was Coles. Fourteen seconds into the game, Bernard Scott made every fan forget about the Sunday night 37-0 ass-whipping. Scott returned the opening kickoff 57 yards. What happened after that: on a third down play, Coles gets stripped, but really, replays show he didn't even get stripped, he just fumbled the ball and for all we know, it might have been on purpose because he did spend seven seasons with the Jets.

Bottom Line: As you read this, Coles and Shayne Graham are probably on the same flight out of Cincinnati and chances are, neither plans to return... ever.

Q: Dear INSIC, what's worse: that there is an audience for Carrot Top or that Marvin Lewis doesn't understand the NFL's Challenge system?

INSIC: One of the most overlooked aspects of this game is Marvin Lewis and the challenge. In the NFL, you get TWO challenges, if you win both of them, you get a third. Marvin decided to waste all of his challenges in the first quarter.

Let's put this in perspective for you: if you were in Vegas with some buddies, and everyone agreed to only hit on two girls all night, this would be like going to a fat girl strip club and hitting on the first two fat strippers you see knowing that A. no one wants to sleep with a fat girl B. strippers won't go home with you anyway and C. you'll be hanging out with hot chicks later. You just blew it. This is what Marvin did.

There were two plays in the second half that could have gone the Bengals way if Lewis had any challenges. There is a Jets touchdown that could have been overturned. Good God, save your challenges.

Bottom Line: An unwritten rule of the NFL is this: if your coach doesn't understand the challenge system, you will never win a Super Bowl. Don't believe us? Ask Eagles fans or Bears fans. Philadelphia coach Andy Reid is the president of the 'what is a challenge and when do I use it' club. Marvin has just been promoted to VP of 'Clock management is overrated.'

Q: Dear INSIC, I watched the game at home, and I have three questions: was that a female announcer I heard, did NBC hire hockey announcers for the game and why did the two old guys have on more makeup than my teenage sister?

INSIC: Great question. First, that woman you heard was former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. He hasn't announced a game on TV since 1993, since this was just a preseason game, NBC thought they would give him a try.

Wait, what? It was a playoff game that over 17 million people watched. All we can say is this: these are the same people that put Jay Leno on at 10 p.m.

The other two guys were Joe Theismann and Tom Hammond. If you were at the game, you didn't have to listen to them. In case you're wondering though, thanks to Hammond and Theismann, the audio on the TV was like listening to the Macho Man Randy Savage have a threesome with Fran Drescher and an elephant.

As for the makeup thing, it was gross, Hammond and Gibbs looked like the lost uncles of Chucky. If you don't know who Chucky is, watch Child's play 1, 2 or 3.

Bottom Line: Unless you're watching the Olympics, it's usually a good idea to just never turn NBC on.

Packers-Cardinals Officials Are Almost More Pathetic Than Shayne Graham

Hi, my name is Aaron Rodgers (or as most of you might know me as, the guy who told Favre to get the F#ck out of Green Bay).

I was the victim of an egregious face mask on the final play of yesterday's game. Somehow, all seven officials on the field managed to miss this. Arizona then took the ball from me and scored the winning touchdown in overtime. The first question is: why do I always look like I'm drunk? The second question: which official should I kill first?

INSIC SAYS: We picked the Packers to win by six. If the refs call the face mask above, the Packers win and we look like geniuses. We vow to help Aaron hunt down every official from the game (Although he'll have to pull the trigger because here at INSIC, we are anti-murder).

Friday, January 8, 2010

NFL Wildcard Weekend: Call Your Bookie, Here Are INSIC's Playoff Picks

In case you haven't noticed, there are only two cool things to do this week: see Avatar and make NFL playoff picks. Here at INSIC, we haven't done either... until now that is. After we finish picking our playoff games, we're going to watch our illegally bootlegged version of James Cameron's movie about giant smurfs.

For our playoff picks, we bring in our secret weapon: John Breech. He never misses. If you check out the picture below (you might have to click on it), you'll see that he nailed 180 out 256 NFL games this year. ESPN pays their merry group of NFL morons millions of dollars to analyze games, not one of them out picked Breech. Hell, the dead nazi shark from Deadspin out picked half of ESPN's experts. One of James Cameron's giant smurfs probably could have out picked Mike Ditka.

Anyway, lets get to Breech's picks.

4:30 p.m. Jets at Bengals: I would let Charles Manson plan my nephew's birthday party before I would let Mark Sanchez quarterback my team in a playoff game. Sanchez threw 20 interceptions this year. TWENTY. In case you skipped second grade and didn't learn about simple division, that's more than one interception a game.

Does anyone else think that Marvin Lewis' pregame speech Sunday went something like this: "OK guys, the starters are going to play so it looks like we're trying, but in fact, I don't want anyone to try at all. I will fine your ass at least $25,000 if I see any one of you putting forth any effort."

You did notice that there were no fines in Cincinnati this week.

Seriously, the Bengals played like they WANTED to play the Jets in the playoffs. That's the irony in this whole thing. For 60 minutes at the Meadowlands, Marvin Lewis stood on the sideline thinking, "holy ball sweat, they just put Brad Smith in the Wildcat, they're showing us everything they have. Zimmer, are you watching this? Next week we're going to treat their offense like a female praying mantis treats her mate after a night of hot sex."

Prediction: Bengals 20, Jets 13

8 p.m. Eagles at Cowboys: Unlike the Bengals, Philly had something to play for last week. If the Eagles had beaten the Cowboys, they would be sitting at home with a bye probably wondering why their city is such a piece of trash (like all NFL cities in Pennsylvania).

However, the Eagles lost and they lost bad. There are bongs in college apartments that don't get as many hits as the Cowboy D-line got on Donovan McNabb. That is a tough problem to fix in one week. However, it's probably worth pointing out that in the month of December, the Eagles went 4-0 and scored 34, 45, 27 and 30 points. That tells me one thing: they're not getting shutout Saturday night.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Eagles 20


1 p.m. Ravens at Patriots: Here's the problem for the Patriots, Wes Welker isn't playing. This would be like the doctor telling you two days before your honeymoon that one of your testicles needs to be surgically removed.

Am I saying that Wes Welker is just as important to Brady as your testicles are to you? I'm not sure, but I am saying that I'll take the Ravens.

Prediction: Ravens 20, Patriots 17

4:40 p.m. Packers at Cardinals: I hate picking Cardinals games. It's like trying to pick the winner of a Marco Polo game being played by four deaf kids and a blind child. There's no science involved.

Aaron Rodgers hasn't played a bad game since Halloween and Kurt Warner is streakier than a fourth graders underwear.

Prediction: Packers 33, Cardinals 27

Monday, January 4, 2010

NFL Wildcard Weekend: History On Bengals Side for Playoff Opener

By the time 10:30 p.m. rolled around Sunday night, most Bengals fans were stuck with three choices: overdose on Ambien and hope for death, watch Battlefield Earth (which is almost the same as overdosing on Ambien) or keep the game on.

We at INSIC gave this decision much consideration, but since we were out of Ambien, we decided to watch the rest of the game.

So what does Sunday's 37-0 loss to the Jets mean? Good question, glad you asked.

Since 1990, when the NFL expanded the playoffs to its current 12-team format, there have been nine occasions where two teams matched up in the final game of the season went on to meet again in the first round of the playoffs.

The good news for the Bengals: The team that loses the regular season game has a 5-4 record in the playoff game.

Even better, there have only been two teams since 1990 involved in the exact same scenario as the Bengals, that being, you go on the road to face an opponent in the regular season finale and then turn around and host that same opponent in the first round of the playoffs. So lets take a closer look at those two teams.

Regular Season

December 27, 1992: Buffalo at Houston

In the final week of the 1992 season, the Bills had everything to play for. With a win, they would clinch the AFC East and a first round bye in the playoffs. With a loss, they would be stuck playing Houston in the Wildcard game the following week.

For the Oilers it was simple: win and you're in (Sound familiar Jets fans). Even though they were playing to win and AFC East title, the Bills, playing all of their starters, came out and laid an egg. Quarterback Frank Reich threw for only 99 yards to go along with two interceptions. The Bills were down 20-3 at halftime.

Houston would clinch a playoff berth with a 27-3 win over Buffalo.

The Rematch in the Playoffs

January 3, 1993 Houston at Buffalo (The Famous Bills Comeback)

After treating the Bills like Charlie Sheen treats his ex-wives, the Oilers were cocky and confident going into the rematch. Even with Buffalo's starters playing, Houston had dominated the week before. The first 33 minutes of the playoff game looked to be the same as Houston jumped out to a 35-3 lead. Yes, you read that correctly, it was 35-3 in the third quarter.

So how is this good for Bengals fans, weren't the Bengals and Bills in the same position? Lets cue, Frank Reich, the Buffalo offense and the best comeback in NFL history. Over the next nine minutes, Reich throws four touchdown passes (three of them to Andre Reed) and combined with a 1-yard Kenneth Davis TD run, Buffalo actually took the lead in the fourth quarter. The game would go to overtime, but we wouldn't be telling this story if the Bills lost.

Bills kicker Steve Christie hits a 32-yard field goal in the extra period and Buffalo rides the unbelievable 41-38 win all the way to the Super Bowl.

Example Two

Regular Season

January 2, 2005 Indianapolis at Denver

For Denver it was simple: win and you're in (Sound familiar Jets fans). For the Colts it was also simple: do whatever the hell you want. The Colts knew that if they lost, they would definitely play Denver. They also knew that if they won, Denver would be eliminated and they would face a Jaguars team that had already beat them this season. (The Bengals knew if they won, they would play a Texans team that had already beaten them handily, when they were actually TRYING).

Lets make a long story short, Peyton Manning sat, all other starters played at least a half, but the Broncos qualified for the playoffs by beating the Colts 33-14.

The Rematch in the Playoffs

January 9, 2005, Denver at Indianapolis

In the first round of the playoffs the Broncos got an unhealthy dose of Peyton Manning. Everyone's favorite commercial star threw four touchdown passes and it was 35-3 Colts by halftime. After trashing Indy one week earlier, the Broncos all of the sudden looked like a blind kid trying to take a written version of the SAT, they had no answers as the Colts rolled to a 49-24 win.

So what does of all of this mean? Well, on one hand it means absolutely nothing.

However, on the other hand, we're merely pointing out that no team has ever won a playoff rematch on the road after winning the regular season game at home a week earlier.

For your reading pleasure, here are the results of all nine match-ups involving teams playing in consecutive weeks since 1990. Regular season game in orange, playoff game in black.

Chiefs 27, Raiders 21
Chiefs 10, Raiders 6

Oilers 27, Bills 3
Bills 41, Oilers 38 Overtime

1993 (Two Examples)
Lions 30, Packers 20
Packers 28, Lions 24

Raiders 33, Broncos 30 Overtime

Raiders 42, Broncos 24

Patriots 14, Dolphins 12 Patriots 17, Dolphins 3

Rams 26, Saints 21 Saints 31, Rams 28

2001 (Two Examples)
Jets 24, Raiders 22
Raiders 38, Jets 24

Eagles 17, Buccaneers 13

Eagles 31, Buccaneers 9

Broncos 33, Colts 14 Colts 49, Broncos 24