According to the dictionary, hate is defined as a feeling of intense or passionate (like Schuster's passion for men) dislike for someone. This is called hate week: hate like the feeling when American Idol cuts into a sporting event. The type of hate you felt when you were back in Kuwait, being threatened by a size 13 boot that supposedly was about to be shoved up your third point of contact. Or hate like when the planes would not fly us home in time for Thanksgiving because the travel of Americans within the United States was far more important . . . that kind of hate. That is exactly what we have going on this week; it is HATE WEEK.
First, let us discuss last week's game. Poor Walter watched his kicker line up for what would be the winning kick, just to watch it get blocked and cost him yet another win. His Mutinous Apes lost by less than a point. Every other game was pretty lopsided and were not even close. This week not only do we have Rivalry week going, but some rivals will knock each other out of playoff contention this week.
[Note: For Rivalry Week, the home team is determined by who won the previous season's regular season matchup. For an explanation of Rivalry Week pairings, click here.]
#14 Cocks at #8 Sawtooths
The Cocks come in as an overwhelming underdog this week, however, all of that goes out the window when it comes to Rivalry Week. With that being said, the Sawtooths offense is way to powerful to trip up this week. They will finish the year with momentum going into the off season by winning two in a row.
#3 War Pony at #9 Hooligans
Well, if there ever was a marriage made in heaven, it wasn't this former Command Team. This match up is the Tide Uniform Match Up of the Week. However, this rivalry is ugly. These two are looking forward to pushing each other around the field this week. However, the War Pony has won two straight and so have the Hooligans. The War Pony come in with playoff hopes, while the Hooligans are mathematically eliminated. War Pony is a six-point favorite, but I think the Hooligans have a real shot to win this game. I like them in this one to retain home field advantage for the Rivalry Game next year.
#4 Doughboys at #12 Hillier
The Doughboys lost last week, but they come into this game as a ten point favorite and are also in the playoff hunt. In fact they have but all locked up a playoff spot. Hillier has had an up-and-down year and no shot at the playoffs. The Doughboys are a 10point favorite and I expect them to win by more than that in this match up.
#11 Mutinous Apes at #10 Warm Bodies
Both teams are out of the playoff race; in fact I believe this game is of no importance other than trash talking purposes. The Warm Bodies have had a rough year and the Mutinous Apes have been on the wrong end of bad luck throughout the year. However, that will change. I like the Mutinous Apes this week and these two will end the year with the same record.
#1 Steel Reign at #6 Brewmasters
Steel Reign is the only team to have locked up a playoff spot as of late. And of course, Mark Fitzgerald was sure to let the editor of this article know who was in the playoffs. With a win this week he will secure a first-round bye; that is something most definitely worth playing for. If the Brewmasters lose this week, they could be out of the playoff race. This game is of great importance to both teams. However, Steel Reign has won four in a row and the Brewmasters are coming off a loss last week. I like the Brewmasters in this one, securing a playoff spot as possibly the fifth or sixth seed.
#7 Rebel Alliance at #5 Redlegs
The Rebel Alliance has been as impressive as anyone in the second part of the season. The Redlegs have a weird stat: they have been outscored by 50 points this year but still boast a winning record. If the Rebel Alliance is able to jump out to a big lead this could spell disaster for the Redlegs. The Rebels are a nine-point favorite in this game. I believe they win this one, and that will leave the Redlegs hoping for a Brewmaster loss to be able to squeak into the playoffs on point total. This game will determine the final playoff spot.
#2 Vultures at #13 Negligent Discharges
The Vultures are in (they haven't clinched, but they're definitely going to be in the playoffs); they are just playing for a first round bye at this point. The Negligent Discharges are playing for pride. The Vultures are favored but not by very much, which means this game is pretty much a push. I like the Vultures in this one but the NDs are always looking to ruin someone's weekend and this could be another way of Schuster doing just that.