Here at Suburbanunderground, we do not think of ourselves as religious people. But we know that, in times of hardship and struggle, of seemingly impossible dreams, people may turn to a higher power, to the figure they believe watches over them. Week 8 is such a time, as even the league's best teams are heavy with the knowledge that their near-perfect records are all too easily blemished. Who do football teams turn to at such a time?
Their mascots. Not the spirited fellows who lead cheers from inside their furry, abnormally-proportioned costumes, but their emblematic creatures--Cardinals, Texans, Packers--which hold the history, the essence, the soul of the teams they represent. In Week 8, the teams with the strongest mascots will have the spirit of heart they need to overcome their opponents. How will these match-ups play out? Find out in Suburbanunderground's Week 8 Picks: Mascot Face-Off.
|Chicago (3-3) at Detroit (3-3)
Both the Bears and the Lions enter Week 8 after eking out meager Week 7 victories. With Joey Harrington consigned once again to the sidelines after a string of uninspiring performances, Lions' backup Jeff Garcia will try to wrest the control of the NFC North from the Bears. Who will emerge victorious? To decide, we have consulted the scientists at Animal Face-Off, the deeply troubling new show in which scientists and engineers use animatronics to simulate a fight between two unlikely animal adversaries (e.g. hippo vs. shark). According to experts, lions have powerful forelimbs designed to take out medium- to large-sized animals (just like bears)! While a bear can apparently "kill a cow with a single blow," bears are slower than lions and lack the visual acuity and killer instinct of their maned opponents.
SU Pick: Detroit
|Jacksonville (4-2) at St. Louis (3-4)
The Rams are licking their wounds this week, with coach Mike Martz officially out for the rest of the season and quarterback Marc Bulger questionable for Sunday's game. The Jaguars, fresh off a bye week, will be more than happy to prey on the Rams' weakness. Drawing inspiration from the elegant predators for which they are named, the Jaguars will attack without compassion or pity for their victims. Yet viewers will not turn away: the sleek sinews and silent footfalls of the Jaguars mark them as beautiful beasts. The clumsy, knobby-horned Rams will try to head-butt their way to victory with a strong passing game, but the Jaguars' strength and speed on the ground will overtake them.
SU Pick: Jacksonville
|Philadelphia (4-2) at Denver (5-2)
The bronco: a creature of power. Masculine, charging, rough mannered, formidablable by any measure.
The eagle: clever, more clever perhaps than its heavy-footed competitor. When the bronco runs, the eagle glides; when the bronco bucks, the eagle soars. When the bronco turns on its rushing attack, the eagle shuts it down. With its finely-honed arsenal, the eagle overcomes the brute force of the bronco.
SU Pick: Philadelphia
|Buffalo (3-4) at New England (3-3)
Who was Buffalo Bill? One of the most colorful characters of the Old West, William Frederick Cody received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his work as a prairie scout for the U.S. Army. He worked stints as a Pony Express rider, a hotel manager, a trapper, and a wagonmaster. He kept Kansas Pacific Railroad workers in buffalo meat, earning the nickname by which he would be remembered for generations to come. He gained international celebrity as part of the Wild West show, which toured the United States and Europe.
Now, who is a patriot? This is a more difficult question, one that cannot be answered by simple googling. Are you a patriot? Am I? The answer is subjective, ephemeral. It changes with the generations. Yet the idea of the patriot endures. In this match-up, we must place our bets with the idea rather than the man, for ideas outlive even the individuals who birthed them.
SU Pick: New England