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Quick Inside Slant: Week 17

Impressions of the 2012 NFL Season as perceived by a Creative Writing graduate student, part-time amateur stand-up comedian and collegiate intramural flag football legend.

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Will Dez Bryant continue his hot streak and lead the Cowboys to a victory over the Redskins and into the playoffs with an NFC East Divisional Crown or will he just drop the egg that he is due for and cost a lot of people their jobs?

Will Dez Bryant continue his hot streak and lead the Cowboys to a victory over the Redskins and into the playoffs with an NFC East Divisional Crown or will he just drop the egg that he is due for and cost a lot of people their jobs?

And then there was one…

The last week of the season is upon us and boy, are there a lot of unwatchable games on the docket. Five games are being played between two non-playoff teams. And that doesn’t even count the Giants/Eagles game. The Giants technically have a chance in the same way that Llyod has a chance with Lauren Holly. And there are another three games involving teams that don’t care one way or another if they win because they’re playoff position is already locked in. Basically, think back to the fourth week of the pre-season. That’s what this week is going to look like. Until the Sunday night game.

A seemingly unusually small amount of teams still have a chance at the post-season this year. ALL of the AFC teams are locked in, though there can be a little jockeying for position and four of the five NFC teams are in. Only five teams remain with a chance at those last two spots. I will go through team by team to determine which of them should make the post-season strictly for the humor value.

Controlling Thine Own Destiny

Before I begin, I wanted to touch on the phrase that people (Bob Costas) get all gung ho about this time of year. It is common to hear the phrase “The Cowboys control their own destiny” with regard to their playoff hopes. Bob Costas for some reason has decided to take a very vocal and definite stand against this terminology. “How can anyone control their own destiny?” the tiny Bob Costas in my head would inquire.

Because it’s a saying, Bob. Much like how people don’t actually eat horses, freeze their nuts off or shake sticks at things, people don’t actually control their own destinies. This, of course, presumes first of all that there is such a thing as destiny that one has. Before my train of thought gets completely derailed, I’ll come back to say that it just means the teams can get in if they win their game(s). They don’t have to sit around and hope Detroit beat these guys or the Redskins beat those guys. They just have to win, which they really only have about 50% control over from a technical standpoint. Bob, you’re one of the good ones. Please let this go. Thank you.

Cowboys: (Win the NFC East with a win) Sure, they’ve won five of their last seven games, but so have almost all playoff teams. This is a bungling team with an offensive line made out of construction paper and a quarterback who looks more like he’s on the ass end of a whack-a-mole game than playing football on most days. They’ve got Dez Bryant’s inability to read a defense and his wacky mom claiming he hit her with a hat. Then there’s of course Tony’s hot wife, who I’m sure will get a lot of screen time, despite the game being in D.C. (Maryland). But mostly, if they win, we will see Tony’s botched extra point hold against the Seahawks about 187 times a day until they play each other next week. And making fun of Tony Romo never gets old. Prognosis: IN

Vikings: (Get the last wild card spot with a win over Green Bay) These guys are the ninjas of the NFL. How the hell do they control their own destiny? I barely even heard about them this year except to hear that Adrian Peterson is a demigod with tendons of steel. I didn’t know they were actually winning games too. Considering A.D.’s surgically repaired knee, they were a longshot to even equal the three victories from their 2011 season, let alone triple that number. But here they are, knocking on the door of the playoffs. A feelgood story? Of course. Potential for humor? Very low. Prognosis: OUT

Redskins: (Win the NFC East with a win or tie against Dallas; win wild card berth with loss and losses by Minnesota and Chicago) RG3 is a marketing wet dream. Andrew Luck may turn out to be the better quarterback in the long run, if you can measure such things, but RG3 can sell some jerseys. And hope. The Skins have only won three more games than they did last year with John Beck and Rex Grossman, but they project the persona of a winner. Which is why it would be hilarious if they did all this work so far this season and had nothing to show for it. Suckers! Prognosis: OUT

Bears: (Win last wild card spot with win over Detroit AND Minnesota loss) If I were a betting man, this would be my wild card pick, despite the fact that they don’t control their own destiny. I would also bet that they will lose handily to either Green Bay, San Fran or Seattle the following week. That said, with Cutler at the helm and his big mouth in front of many big microphones and cameras, it would make for a much more amusing week leading up to the game. They’ve lost five of their last seven games and even Brian Urlacher is telling the media and whatever remaining fans they have to shut up. Yeah, this would make for much better TV. Prognosis: IN

Giants: (Win last wild card spot with win over Philly AND losses by Minnesota, Chicago, Washington, and a partridge in a pear tree) Sheer mathematics alone would make this near impossibility humorous to see come to fruition over the course of an entire day. But I’d hate to see them get in the playoffs again and accidentally fall ass backwards into a four-game win streak and win another title. It’s not worth the risk to the rest of the world. Prognosis: OUT

New Orleans: Yes, they have been technically eliminated. BUT, wouldn’t it be awesome if they somehow appealed to Paul Tagliabue and he upheld it and they had to let them in the playoffs? Of course it would. Good luck, guys! I have faith.

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Dustin Fisher is an amateur standup comedian, storyteller, freelance writer, and stay-at-home dad, all of which are just better ways of saying “unemployed.” He worked in the area of collegiate recreation for the previous 14 years at UMBC, Miami University and the University of Baltimore. There, he became somewhat of a folk legend on the flag football field and actually got paid to play fantasy football. Dustin is currently in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore seeking a Masters degree in Creative Writing. He has made contributions to various publications including The Good Men Project and the Baltimore Fishbowl. For more about Dustin, check out his stay-at-home dad website, Daddy Needs a Nap. Dustin lives with his wife and daughter in New Carrollton, MD in a house surrounded by too many trees to get the Dish Network.

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