SIMON’S PICKS – Championship Weekend

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wow… after going 0-4 on Wild Card weekend, I went 3-1 last week! And that one loss makes me SO SAD! Poor Cam! Poor Panthers! My hometown kitties put in a great fight, but it just wasn’t enough to beat the 49ers! Come to my house Cam… I’ll comfort you! Anyway, here are the picks for CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND! 


New England at Denver: Well, well… here’s another round of Brady vs, Manning! This game should be AWESOME! Now, conventional wisdom says that the Broncos should win this game. And they may very well do that. But you can’t ever underestimate the Patriots! Here’s something to think about: as of now, the Patriots are 4½ point underdogs in this game. Not including this game, the Pats have been 4+ points underdogs only 7 times since 2002… and they’re 5-2 in those games (and one of those losses happened in 2009 against Houston, when the Pats had already secured a spot in the playoffs and Belichick rested most of the starters). So, really, the Pats are 5-1 in games in which they are 4+ point dogs, and the one loss was against the Raiders all the way back in 2002. Sure, the Broncos might seem unbeatable at times. But the Chargers took them to the brink. This will be a close game, but I think the Patriots will win. And Tom Terrific will look fabulous doing so! Right, ladies?  

San Francisco at Seattle: Simon just doesn’t know what to think about this game. You’d think he’d pull for the 49ers (Goooooooo boyyyyssss!). But he just doesn’t like that big ol’ doofus Colin Kaepernick (learn how to wear a hat properly, dummy!) And, of course, The Simon is not a big fan of Seattle, whose fans are STILL wining about the officiating in Super Bowl XL. So what to do? The line is anywhere from 2½ to 3½ in favor of Seattle, mostly because they’re the home team, and damn if that’s a hard place to play. I expect the home crowd to be JACKED UP for the game, and I think that will be Seattle’s (tiny) edge. It will be close. It’ll be very close. But I think the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl!

Green Tabasco

From the “Holy Crap… I meant to post this four months ago!” Department:

Life is full of little mysteries, like where lost socks go, or what happened to those car keys I lost back in 1993. Some times the mysteries remain unsolved. But some times you actually get answers!

Back in the early 90s, the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco sauce, released their first new sauce in what was then the 122 year history of the company. It was a green sauce, made from jalapeno peppers, and it was delicious! I bought a couple bottles, but the sauce then disappeared from store shelves. I kind of forgot about it for a time, then saw it again at my local Publix:


But it seemed different somehow. To me, it lacked some of the “kick” I remembered. And for the life of me, I could swear that the bottle originally said “jalapeno sauce” instead of “green pepper sauce”.

Alas, no one else seemed to remember (or care) if the sauce had changed. Every so often I’d think of it, and do a Google search for “Tabasco Jalapeno sauce”. But Tabasco Jalapeno sauce came out a few years before the Internet, so I never really found anything about it. That is, until this past September. I once again did a Google search, only this time I found a picture of one of the original bottles:


But why the name change? And did the company just change the name? Did they change the recipe, too? I sent the company a comment via their website, and then almost immediately forgot about it. I mean, how often do you leave a company a comment and never hear anything in return?

So I was surprised when Shane K. Bernard, the “Historian & Curator” of the McIlhenny Company (cool job!), emailed me a few days later. According to Bernard, former president and CEO Paul McIlhenny told him that the company did focus group testing on the new sauce and found that the public believed that “Tabasco jalapeno sauce” must be very hot, even hotter than original Tabasco sauce. Which was actually the exact opposite of what the company intended: a sauce milder than original Tabasco. So the company changed the name to make it seem less hot to the public.

But what about the recipe? According to Bernard:

“As for the taste, it should not have changed, since I believe it was still the same sauce, just re-branded.”

So… there ya go. Mystery solved!

Quote of the Day

“He had no teeth, and he was slobbering all over himself. I’m thinking, ‘You can have your money back, just get me out of here. Let me go be an accountant.’ I can’t tell you how badly I wanted out of there.”

– John Elway, on Jack Lambert, after Lambert
knocked Elway out of his first game in 1983.


SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wellllll… do I have egg on my face or what? The Simon went 0-4 on Wild Card weekend… I haven’t been shut out like that since one time I went to a biker bar!

Let’s see if ol’ Simon can do better this weekend! 


New Orleans at Seattle: Simon was sure that New Orleans would stink it up on the road… and – of course – they played like champs! Not sure about this weekend, though. The Saints still aren’t a good road team, and they’re headed into one of the toughest venues in all of football. And they’re gonna have to go against that handsome Russell Wilson, too! Eeeek! The Simon thinks the Seahawks will win, but it’ll be close.

Indianapolis at New England: I keep thinking about how weak this Patriots team looks, but they just keep winning and winning! And no one in football knows how to win big games better than Tom Terrific and Emperor Palpatine Bill Belichick. The Colts might make it a game, but I think the Patriots win in the end.

San Francisco at Carolina: OMG, girl! Are you excited? I KNOW I am! My HOMETOWN Carolina Kitties are gonna take on the 49ers and that big doofus Colin Kaepernick… and win! At least I hope so. The Cardiac Cats beat them once already this season, and knowing them it’ll come down to the last minute. But I hope, hope, hope my main man Cam is able to pull out a win for the Panthers! Y’all know I’ll be drinking a cup of steamin’ hot chocolate in his honor this Sunday!

San Diego at Denver: Y’all wanna know something amazing? These two teams have played each other over a hundred times… but have never faced each other in the playoffs! That’s wild! We all know the Broncos can be vulnerable, but I think Mr Forehead Pey Pey will lead the team to victory this week, setting up another Manning-Brady rematch for the ages! So take the Broncos to win this one, baby!

Fingers crossed I do better this week! Love y’all!


– The Simon


SimonHey, y’all! Sorry these picks are so late! I’ve been busy, busy the past few days napping and well… you know how it is! Simon knocked it out of the park last week, going 14-2. That’s 162-93 for the season, which isn’t too shabby! But Wildcard Weekend is upon us, and with how WILD the NFL has been this season, who knows? I’ll do my best to pick those winners, however! Enjoy the picks!


Kansas City at Indianapolis: Well, this one is confusing! Both teams ended the regular season at 11-5, and in The Simon’s opinion, Kansas City has looked better overall than the Colts. And the Chiefs even almost beat the Chargers last week with mostly second and third stringers. But while I’m wanting to pick Kansas City, I can’t help but remember that the Chiefs also went 1-5 against teams with winning records this year. WHAT DO I DO? I think I’ll pick a team based on how fabulous their uniforms are. BUT DANGIT… they’re both so boring! Kansas City… red and boring. Indianapolis… blue and boring. So let’s decide the game based on who has the cutest quarterback! Andrew Luck sure can be cute at times… but can also look like a dumb jock, too. Alex Smith is also a dumb jock, but is slightly more handsome. So I’m picking the Chiefs!

New Orleans at Philadelphia: OK, this one’s a little bit easier. If the Saints were playing at home, it would be a no-brainer to pick them to win. But while the Saints were a perfect 8-0 at home this year, they were also a middling 3-5 on the road. And the Saints are a dome team… playing in 20F weather! There will be an estimated two to three million pounds of snow at the Linc before the game. Sure, Drew Brees is handsome, and has plenty of experience in winning the big games… but I just think Mother Nature (and Nick Foles) will lead the Eagles to victory. But it could be close.

San Diego at Cincinnati: This will be the least interesting game of the playoffs. Sure, Philip Rivers knows how to win, and the Chargers have won four in a row. But the Bengals just have too much talent overall, especially on defense. I think this is the closest thing to a “lock” in the playoffs!

San Francisco at Green Bay: Now THIS should be a game, girls! Sunday’s high temperature is expected to be 3F in Green Bay, and by kickoff, the mercury should be at a bitterly cold -2F… and that’s not including wind chill! The Packers will be handing out free handwarmers and will be giving away free coffee and hot chocolate during the game… but boy will it be HOT on the field! That handsome Aaron Rodgers is back, baby, and he’s playing on his own turf. Most money is on San Francisco in this game, but I think the Packers will win by virtue of surviving in Green Bay.

Enjoy the picks, y’all! See ya next week!


– The Simon