David Wingate | Brown University

What really is a ‘catch’ in the NFL? According to the rulebook, “A player must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete.” Seems simple enough, but after yet another controversial ending due to the incompletion rule, Steelers fans have to be scratching their heads over how Jesse James didn’t score the game winner, and Patriots fans are probably having their blood cleansed by leeches or whatever they do in their spare time.

But apologies, I’m rambling again. You, dear reader, aren’t here for real-time analysis, or a college take on national sports news. That would be ridiculous. So without further ado, here’s part two of Fantasy Football, extra fantasy on the side.

NFC West: 49ers, Rams, Seahawks, Cardinals

Yikes. Not exactly an exciting division for literal interpretation, but I guess we’ll work with what we’ve got. To start with, our battle of the birds is going to be more massacre than contest. As pretty as Cardinals are, and as much as I like a flash of avian red, I don’t see our cute little backyard birds having much luck against a marine bird of prey. Seahawks, or ospreys to our wannabe Audobons out there, are pretty badass raptors, so I’d wager that they’ll win this aeriel matchup. However, that’s as far as they’ll get even in this weak division. Sure, sheep may be stupid, and wool might not even be your fabric of choice (that being said it’s an incredible natural insulator and is excellent sock material, so maybe reconsider that fabric of choice ya dingus), but a full grown ram is nothing to mess with. Those horns ought to make short work of the less than five pound Seahawk, especially if they’re doing they’re typical mountain hopping routine. Still, I’m banking on the human in this scenario. 49ers, named for the gold rush of 1849, were typically poor, dirty, and not all that good at finding precious metals. But that also means that they are hungry. Looks like mutton’s back on the menu boys! Winner: 49ers

NFC North: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

Now this is a match-up. Leave it to the good ole NFC North, home of frigid stadiums, girthy fans, and storied franchises to deliver some prime time fantasy. In an early twist, I expect our perpetual real-life winners, the Packers, to go down early. Unless their packing forte is to sequester live apex predators into cardboard boxes, I don’t see Green Bay doing much damage in this division. Even if they are union. Our most exciting match-up has to be Lions taking on Bears. And even though my childhood icon was Mufasa, historical data from Ancient Romans that pitted Lions, Tigers and Bears together is relatively clear on the matter: don’t fuck with mama bear. Plus, I’m getting tired of humans winning every division, and I’m unrepentantly biased towards my own school’s mascot, so I picture the Bears making a feast out of Lions and Vikings alike. And then settling down to hibernate, probably wearing a cute little santa hat or whatever bears do in the winter (don’t ask me, I’m a social scientist not a hard scientist). Winner: Bears

NFC South: Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers

The best division in actual football right now also yields a pretty entertaining fantasy match up. In our initial humanoid match-up, one would expect the Saints to do their best to convert the Buccaneers to a life of chastity and humility. It doesn’t go so well for them, and our lovable band of pirates makes off with a whole bunch of New Orleans booty (and maybe Pirates’ booty too if they can convince mom to stop by Trader Joes on the way home). On the animalistic side, I don’t care if there’s 28 Falcons and only 3 Panthers, I don’t see the big cat losing, even if the Falcons can pull in some artificial bird noises to try and spook ‘em. For the sake of this argument, I’m going to assume that the Bucs are either intoxicated, have scurvy, have really pissed off some supernatural sea-god (I’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean, I know how this shit goes down), or some combination of the three. Making them easy pickings for some lean, mean, fighting ma-cat-chines. Winner: Panthers

NFC East: Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins

Taking a step back from the more ridiculous nature of this article, the very idea of using an ethnic group as a mascot is disturbing, outdated, and offensive. Thus, Dan Snyder is an asshat and Washington is eliminated.

Leaving us with a primo match-up of Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants. Cattle-driving is a hard business. You’re in the saddle all day, and all you can see is the endless herd of ungulates, a hard, unrelenting sun, and no end in sight. You signed up for lassos and adventure, but all you got was cow shit. But at the very least, once day is done and the cattle have been put to rest for the night, you camp underneath the big Western sky, with the constellations to soothe your weary bones. The campfire is crackling, your mate strums his guitar, all is well….UNTIL EAGLES RIP YOUR EYES OUT OF YOUR SKULL JESUS CHRIST THEY’RE EVERYWHERE AAAAAACCCHHH. So that’s a dub for the Eagles (take that Jerry Jones). But as any unbiased New York based columnist would tell you, no bird of prey, no matter how patriotic, is a match for a 20 foot tall manbeast, probably with a tree club to boot. Eli Manning, destroyer of worlds, is taller than the clouds, and there’s fire in his eyes. He came to this division to eat paste and win games.

And he’s all out of paste. Winner: Giants

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