By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — For some people, the epicenter of the annual sports calendar is the Super Bowl. For others, it may be MLB’s Opening Day. For still more, it’s the first day of March Madness.READ MORE: Phil Saviano, Clergy Sex Abuse Survivor And Whistleblower, Dies At 69
No matter what you may consider to be the biggest sports day of the year, you are 100 percent dead wrong unless you say it is Jags-Titans Color Rush™ on Thursday Night Football®.
Here are two facts: One, words can’t do this event justice. Two, pictures are worth a thousand words. So here are several thousand words to capture the thrill ride that is on tap for Thursday evening:
Hey! How’d that tweet get in there! Does anyone know how to delete a tweet out of a story? Oh, phooey! That’s not funny — Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football is not a topic worthy of mocking!
The best part about Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football is that nobody even knows who won last year. It doesn’t matter! It’s all about the community and the shared experience of being a part of Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football. Technically, all of us won.
Another fun fact of Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football is that last year it allowed us to learn that Jacksonsville’s stadium actually has lights. Considering they never play prime-time games, that was kind of a cool revelation.
If you don’t think Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football is a big deal, then answer this question, hot shot: Why is the World Series scheduled for a night off on Thursday? Huh? Yeah. That’s what I though.
Quick intermission for all of us to do some Jaguaring:
And that’s Jaguaring.
Last year, Marcus Mariota and Blake Bortles got sacked four times apiece, and Bortles lost a fumble and threw an interception. There were nine punts. Oh yeah, baby!
This year’s Jags-Titans Color Rush Thursday Night Football game stands to be even better. Bortles is coming off a 23-for-43, two-interception day against the Raiders. The 3-4 Titans are fresh off a fourth-quarter loss at home against the Colts. Two Jags players were ejected in the fourth quarter last week.
This is the Jags-Titans Color Rush Thursday Night Football showdown to end all Jags-Titans Color Rush Thursday Night Football showdowns. I am rip-roaring mad that this game doesn’t happen every week, but I’m channeling that energy into a frenetic ball of excitement for this one glorious three-hour (hopefully four-hour) window of my life. I trust that you’ll do the same.
Some folks say that NFL ratings are down this year because the product is being diluted, that there are too many bad teams and bad quarterbacks and there’s too much sloppy football and the officials stink and the commercial breaks are obnoxious and the commentators are annoying and there are too many prime-time games or that games shouldn’t be played on Thursdays because there’s not enough time to practice or heal from Sunday’s game.
These folks — if you’ll pardon my French — are a bunch of knuckleheads. Buffoons. Imbecilic dumbos, if you will.
And these folks ought to tune in to Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football. They will see the light — and, more importantly, the COLORS.
Let’s make some picks!
(Wednesday lines; home team in CAPS.)
TENNESSEE (-3.5) over Jacksonville
For all that I’ve said above about Jags-Titans Color Rush on Thursday Night Football, there is also this: Both teams stink. But the Jaguars stink the most. Color Rush!
Washington (+3) over Cincinnati (in London)
I have no idea what to expect out of either of these teams in England so I’ll take the points, but I hope some chaps across the pond see “Redskins” on the ticket and say “hey wait what?”
Kansas City (-2.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
“The heap of criticism that has fallen on Ryan Grigson, it is so unjust,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said this week. “No one bothers to see what the accomplishments have been the first five years.”
I, for one, hope this man owns the Colts for many, many years to come. Any Indianapolis fans who enjoy banners hung to celebrate games which the team has lost by 38 points should agree.
Detroit (+2.5) over HOUSTON
I’m jumping off the train of letting last week’s results impact this week’s picks too much, but in the case of Brock Osweiler playing historically terrible on national TV, I just don’t see how he or that bad football team recovers on a short week.
New England (-6.5) over BUFFALO
I’d just like to extend my thanks to the Patriots’ coaching staff and to Jacoby Brissett for really laying an egg vs. Buffalo a few weeks ago, thereby keeping this line low and making this an easy, easy pick.
Oakland (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY
Hadn’t you heard? The Oakland Raiders own the East Coast. They’re 2-0 in 1 p.m. games in the Eastern time zone. They haven’t done that since 1995. For some perspective on how long ago 1995 was, a Clinton was in the White House and the Cleveland Indians were in the World Series. My, how things change!
CLEVELAND (+3.5) over New York Jets
I knew that Ryan Fitzpatrick was smart (the broadcasters really never mention his alma mater often enough), but I didn’t know he was a huge baby. The guy threw six interceptions in one game. He threw 10 picks in four games. And he had the nerve to try to demonize his bosses for taking him off the field, despite the obvious fact that he was killing his team’s chances of winning.
The Jets are a mess. They’re going to give the Browns their first win. It’s going to be a spectacular scene.
Seattle (-3) over NEW ORLEANS
Some people watched Sunday night’s tie and considered it to be atrocious football. Not me, folks. Not your friend Mike. I saw some ferocious defense being played by the Seattle Seahawks. Provided the kicker can maybe hit a layup every once in a while, I believe that team will be able to win a few ballgames with that defense.
CAROLINA (-2.5) over Arizona
The Panthers are going to win again, right? They have to. They won 15 football games last year. They have to win again, and you figure coming off a bye against a team that hasn’t played well in Carolina since Kurt Warner was in the league would be a good time, right? RIGHT?!
DENVER (-5) over San Diego
Denver’s figuring it out. And it’s still a tough place to play. Strip away the Color Rush excitement (and the 3,000 fumbles) from a few weeks ago, and the Broncos should be able to remind the Chargers which is the better team.
ATLANTA (-2.5) over Green Bay
The Packers aren’t good anymore!
Minnesota (-5.5) over CHICAGO
If there’s one thing the NFL loves to do in 2016, it’s putting the Chicago Bears on prime time. I had to double-check to make sure I had this one right, because even as someone who knew the Bears had a lot of national TV games, this one still felt like overkill.
How could it be possible that the dreadful Bears, the terrible Bears, the 1-6 Bears are going to be on my TV in prime time for the fourth time in the past seven weeks?
How is this possible? Who thought this was a good idea? How has Obama not intervened? This is a national embarrassment.
If only the NFL could figure out what is at the root of its ratings dip. It must be the election. Yeah, that’s it.
Last week: 10-5