Hurley’s Picks: A Nihilistic Approach To An Increasingly Meaningless Practice

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — It’s a bit of a tumultuous time for the National Football League. The President of the United States said this week that the league “has to change” or else “their business is going to go to hell.”

Heck yeah, baby.

That’s what I’m talking about.

It makes you wonder: If the NFL does indeed go to hell, how many of us will one day head down the same path? You can’t really know.

Partly inspired by the leader of the free world waging war on the sports league, but mostly inspired by my wretched record of picking these games over the first three weeks, I’ve decided to go all in on this idea for this week’s column. My picks have already gone to hell, so what do I have to lose? A start this horrific, and I’m left with few options.

So I’m just going with a nihilistic view on every game.

Hope it helps you feel great!

(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)

GREEN BAY (-7) over Chicago
When I’m lying on my deathbed — hopefully many years from now, but who can ever really know? — among the things I will regret most about my time on earth will be the many hours I spent watching the 2014 and 2015 Red Sox, the many hours I spent watching the 2013-14 Celtics, and most of all the many hours I spent watching NFL games on Thursday nights.

Yeah, last week’s was worthwhile. But ’twas but a fleeting moment in an otherwise meaningless endeavor.

Color rush? To that I say: What’s the rush? We’re all going to end up in the ground one day anyway.

Miami (+3) over New Orleans (in London)
Spreading the game to another continent? What’s the point? Have we solved all of our own problems here that we can try to go and conquer the world? One thing at a time. That’s what I always say.

Jacksonville (-3) over NEW YORK JETS
The whole point of being a team in the NFL is to win a Super Bowl. The Jets have not won a Super Bowl since the final days of Lyndon B. Johnson administration. The Jaguars have never won a Super Bowl in their 20 some-odd years of existence. Historically speaking, this might be the least significant matchup of all time. Sounds like the highlight of my week.

CLEVELAND (+3.5) over Cincinnati
I rescind my previous statement. This game right here is The Nihilist Bowl. It shouldn’t even be televised. It shouldn’t even happen, come to think of it.

Would the world even notice?

Pittsburgh (-2.5) over BALTIMORE
Whenever any sportscaster talks about the Ravens, he’ll always throw in a “nevermore” reference. Find some new material.

Also, that “poem” is far too long. It’s more like a book. Get to the point, Edgar. The clock on my life is tick-tick-ticking away. I can’t spend this much time reading your “poem” when there are so many tweets I haven’t read yet.

ATLANTA (-8.5) over Buffalo
People around the country continue to pile on with the “28-3” stuff. To the Falcons, I say this: It’s not a big deal. The scoring system in football is arbitrary anyway. This play’s worth one point, that one’s worth two, another one is worth three, and, wait, that one’s worth six? What kind of idiot designed this system? I much prefer the scoring of tennis.

HOUSTON (+1.5) over Tennessee
The Titans got into some fights last week when Richard Sherman incensed them. Calm down, fellas. The threat of international nuclear war, combined with the distinct possibility of developing a degenerative disease, is much more frightening than anything that takes place on the field.

Los Angeles Rams (+7) over DALLAS
You know, the people aren’t attending games in Los Angeles. They’re not showing up. Fans out there have the right idea. Why dedicate six hours of a Sunday to getting to a stadium and watching a game when you could instead be bathing yourselves in the works of Nietzsche?

NEW ENGLAND (-9) over Carolina
There’s always this big debate. Who’s the greatest of all time? Some people say it’s Tom Brady. Like it matters. As if somewhere down the line, in order to gain access to Shangri-La, an all-powerful deity will ask you this question in order to gain entry to an eternal utopia. As if, when the Reaper makes his call, it will matter at all who threw the tightest spiral. It won’t.

San Francisco (+7) over ARIZONA
You know, some fella predicted that the world was going to end last Saturday. He was incorrect. But to castigate him and treat him as a failure is to accept the idea that we’re actually living in the first place. How can anyone be sure of that?

It’s not logically possible.

Philadelphia (Pick ’em) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
The Chargers went through the hassle of relocating their entire franchise, just to be 100 miles to the north in a miniature stadium where people don’t care about them, just to start the year 0-3.

It just goes to show that my mantra holds true: Don’t bother doing anything, ever. It’s never worth it.

New York Giants (+3) over TAMPA BAY
There’s a lot of panic in New York City regarding the 0-3 New York Giants. To anybody worried, I’d gently remind them that the past three weeks represent 0.000028 percent* of humanity’s time on earth. It represents 0.073 percent of your lifetime if you’re lucky enough to live to be 79 years old, which is the average life span of an American.

An average, of course, means that roughly half of the population is not quite as lucky, so there’s a strong chance the percentage drops for you anyway.

Makes you wonder why you’re so torn up over what’s taken place over the last three weeks, doesn’t it?

DENVER (-2.5) over Oakland
Have you ever seen the movie “San Andreas,” which stared Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and an inspired Paul Giamatti playing a frazzled scientist who presaged the end of humanity? So many people die in that movie. I mean, so many people die in that movie. It might have set the record for movie deaths.

I’ve always thought that it might be the record, but this week, I Googled it. Turns out, there’s a YouTube video dedicated to counting all of the deaths. The video creator came up with roughly 52,460 on-screen deaths in the movie, which runs less than two hours.

That’s a lot of deaths.

Broncos win.

Indianapolis (+13) over SEATTLE
People used to say that Andrew Luck was the sure thing, the real deal, the heir apparent to the QB throne co-occupied by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for so long. But now, Luck is 28 years old, and Sunday will be the 14th game he’ll have missed out of a possible 32 games since the middle of the 2015 season.

It’s a lesson the world should learn about putting the pressure of the world on any one person’s shoulders. Especially if that person has problematic shoulders, structurally speaking.

Washington (+7) over KANSAS CITY
Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play.

You know where else is a tough place to play?

Earth. Tougher than you realize.

Good luck out there, people.

Last week: 6-10
Season: 16-30-1, but why even keep a record? It’s just a way for us to feel as though we made a mark in the world, as if we really matter. But 200 years from now, the world will only remember maybe .000001 percent* of those alive today. And that’s only if the word still exists 200 years from now.

*Some of the math here might be up for debate to a certain degree. I can assure you this: It doesn’t matter.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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