The Heart Attack Grill

This place looks absolutely incredible…except for one thing. I SEE NO EVIDENCE OF BACON. How can that be?

EDIT:  Thanks to my pals at The Hungover Gourmet for two things:

Whew! Crisis averted!  But HOLY COW, take note of this special offer.

NFL Playoff Predictons, Part II: The NFC

Happy new year! After a week of my life doing all it can to get in the way of progress (New Year’s Eve festivities, my car apparently having been stolen, yadda yadda yadda), it occurred to me that the first round of the NFL playoffs gets started in less than an hour…so without further delay, I’ll finish my playoff predictions by finally looking at the situation in the league’s  older conference…

NFL WILD CARD ROUND

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals:  As I’ve harped about previously (see my comments about the Indianapolis Colts in my AFC playoff predictions), momentum is probably the most powerful advantage you can have in the playoffs, and the Falcons have that on their side, having won three straight, five of their last six, seven of their last nine, nine of their last 12. In fact, they haven’t lost two straight games all season long.  As the season progressed, Atlanta got better and better at beating the good teams as well as the weak ones, and that has prepared them well for the tast ahead.  Arizona, meanwhile, has lost most of the fire that propelled them to a 7-3 start, and they’ve had trouble getting past most of their strongest opponents.  I see no change in either team’s fortunes as they meet in this round of the playoffs.  Falcons 28, Cardinals 13.

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings:  When the Eagles are hot, they’re unstoppable.  When they’re cold, I could beat them singlehandedly.  Either version of that team could show up on any given Sunday, so this game could be the hardest one to predict.  The Eagles have a definite edge at quarterback and Brian Westbrook is one of the league’s most dangerous multipurpose weapons, but the Vikings are more consistent, and their losses have been against quality opponents.  I could easily be wrong about this outcome.  Vikings 27, Eagles 26.

NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants:  When you looked at the state of things in the preseason, the Falcons were never supposed to get this far, but the Giants were.  The Giants became a different team when they nearly ruined the Patriots’ perfect season in Week 17 last year, and they haven’t let up since.  The loss of Plaxico Burress hasn’t mattered much (he hasn’t led a game in receiving yards since Week 9 anyway), the three-headed rushing attack of Jacobs-Ward-Bradshaw can’t be worn down, and Eli Manning has a firm grip on the steering wheel.  And oh yeah, the Giants have a very decent defense  as well.  Atlanta got this far as a surprise this year; next year, they’ll be more than surprising.  Giants 34, Falcons 24.

Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers:  Remember what I said about the Vikings having only lost against quality opponents?  Well, the Panthers can say that, too.  They can also boast one of the best wide receivers in the game in Steve Smith.  They can also boast about a seasoned, experienced quarterback who can do more than just manage a game.  And they may not have Adrian Peterson, but they have a tandem of backs that can bury their opponent’s run defense.  Panthers 31, Minnesota 14.

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Carolina Panthers at New York Giants:  I think we’ve gotten a little too used to seeing at least one surprise team in every conference championship game.  Once in a while, things do work out the way you logically think they will….and in this case, I’m not just talking about who’s playing this game, but also who’s winning it.   This game will be as hard-fought as the last time we saw these two teams in Giants Stadium (Week 16), and I think we’ll see the same sort of result.  Giants 27, Carolina 24.

If my playoff predictions for both conferences pan out correctly, we’ll be hearing the media gush about a Manning Bowl for two straight weeks as the Colts face the defending Super Bowl champions.  As much as I fear that volcano of hype, it’d certainly be a great matchup…but I won’t go as far as to predict what would happen.  I’m going to sit back and enjoy three weekends of playoffs, then offer my last forecast when we know the participants of the final game.

NFL Playoff Predictons, Part I: The AFC

Now that my Denver Broncos are out of the running (no pun intended, even though they lost SEVEN RUNNING BACKS to injured reserve this season), I can step back and look at the 12 teams that get to continue playing.

AFC WILD CARD ROUND

Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers:  It is always said–and rightly so–that the teams that are hottest in December are the most dangerous ones in the playoffs.  “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”  No team is hotter than the Colts, riding into the playoffs on a nine-game winning streak.  If it weren’t for the fact that Peyton Manning began the season cold and unprimed, they’d probably have a bye in this round of the playoffs.  The Chargers are fired up by winning a division championship after being pronounced dead a few weeks ago, but we’ve seen so many times how Norv Turner doesn’t have the mettle to lead a team to a Super Bowl, and the Colts are too experienced, too unflappable, and too much to handle.  Colts 41, Chargers 16.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins:  This is a matchup the media will surely enjoy.  Two teams that engineered spectacular turnarounds from losing seasons, led by two rookie head coaches, with new quarterbacks at both helms, and each with a formidable two-headed running attack.  Here, I think the team with more experience and passion will be the winner. Ravens 23, Dolphins 17.

AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND

Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers:  This could be the best playoff matchup in either conference.  The Steelers will be praying that Ben Roethlisberger is fully recovered from the concussion he sustained in the season finale; without him, they’re goners.  If he’s in, the formidable  Steelers defense will have the opportunity to give the Colts a run for their money…but by this point, the Colts have completely forgotten what it’s like to lose.  Assuming Big Ben is okay…Colts 20, Steelers 17.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans:  For a long time, it was hard to believe that the Titans were really this good, and that’s a familiar story for the Ravens…not only because of their surprising success this season, but also because that was the story of their 2000 Super Bowl season.  Baltimore has the better quarterback, but Tennessee has the better rushing tandem, so that’s a wash.  This leaves me with two defenses to compare, and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed impress me more than Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch do.  Ravens 20, Titans 13.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Baltimore Colts at Indianapolis Colts:  And so we end up with two wild card teams, both on fire…and it just happens to be another installment of the “Baltimore’s Old Team Versus Baltimore’s New Team” rivalry.  Let’s see, what happened last time they met?  The Colts, still not quite consistently in sync from a preseason without Manning, destroyed the Ravens, wrapping up the day fast with a 24-0 halftime lead.   Hmm, how about the last time these two teams met in the playoffs?  That was two years ago, when the Colts beat the Ravens 15-6 in a battle of field goals, on their way to the first Super Bowl championship for the city of Indianapolis.  Both of these games will weigh heavily on the minds of the Ravens, and they won’t go down easily…but the Colts have experience, temperment, and leadership on both sides of the ball (Manning on offense, Bob Sanders on defense) that will make the difference.  Colts 27, Ravens 21.

And so, according to my crystal ball (which carries no warranties or guarantees), the Colts will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for the second time in three years.  Who will they face?  I’ll try to figure that out in a day or two, in Part II.

Spam…Now, More Than Ever.

It turns out that a bad economy is good for Spam.

I wish that meant me, but it doesn’t.  The canned meat everyone loves to hate–and similarly disrespected foods, such as Velveeta and instant potatoes–are experiencing a renaissance of sorts.

The New York Times has more about this. 

Allen Brisson-Smith for The New York Times

Makes me wonder if I should finally break down and give this a try…

Baconland

 

My Kind of Store!, originally uploaded by The Goat Whisperer.

Wow. Just wow. A big yummy wow.

Wakin’ to Bacon!

This holiday season, if you want to give me something you know I will need and will use, this is your best bet.

You know I love bacon.

You know I have trouble waking up.

Behold Wake n’ Bacon, the alarm clock that wakes you up with freshly cooked bacon.

Click the beautiful picture below for details from Matty Sallin.

OMG Bacon Vending Machine

Thanks to Mona for finding this one. She loves bacon too, maybe as much as I do. One day I will marry that woman.

“Say what you will about the Japanese; we submit that they are brilliant.”

Source: It’s All About the Bacon