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NFL Picks Week 3: Futile Prog-Rock Concept Album Explication Edition

Week 3's NFL Picks Column is explicated by a well-meaning prog fan on Songmeanings. For a full set of comprehensible NFL picks, visit SB Nation, and for last week's episode, click here.

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A while ago SB Nation suggested I start doing an NFL picks column. "Sure thing!" I said. "But I only write in exotic time signatures for guitars tinged with the soft focus of high fantasy now, the dueling basslines of my prose (and my 14-minute symphonic sci-fi St. Louis Rams epic, Steven Jacks In) undulating as if to draw with their waveforms the soft breasts of an innocent young maiden in the mountain village Ramsika, about to be corrupted by the evil dragon—"

They hung up then, probably because innocent young maidens didn't have telephones (or breasts? I haven't really done any research past looking at the awesome mural this dude painted at Sub Shop), and with that implicit cry for verisimilitude burning in my ears like the rebuking flames of the dragon Regression, I wrote my picks column as a series of lyric ballads for zither, 12-string guitar, and Casio keyboard demo.

Because of the Prose Clause in my contract, then, I offer NFL Picks Week 3: Prog Rock Explications from SongMeanings Edition. 

Baltimore Ravens 14 at St. Louis Rams 38: "The Throng Arrives (Regression's Bounty) (Ramsika March)"

I love those police sirens at the beginning, because even in the past, like, the police are in control. But then that wall of guitars comes in and it's pretty obvious that those strings breaking on the last album were just a red herring, because, like, it's bad at first but you can just buy more strings, right? Which represents the St. Louis Rams' terrible mental errors in Week 2.

Fumbling punts and muffing laterals and dropping passes, those are all pretty bad things, but in the grand scheme of the Ramsika Epic it's not nearly as important as the way Sam Bradford's command of Josh McDaniels's offense looked almost unstoppable sometimes, which is why the tempo gets really fast in the middle of this one until the guy dressed up as Neil Peart pretends to get a leg cramp and falls down and they have to stop the song. 

San Francisco 49ers 21 at Cincinnati Bengals 6: "Birdsong Echoes (In The Valley Of Ramsika)" 

Okay, so the guitar is, like, Carson Palmer, how it ducks all over the place and you can never rely on it, even when the drums are really going—man, that drum solo—and the couplet "From the mists of Drafterburg!! / A warrior arrives!!!!" is clearly about Andy Dalton, who's been totally solid in spite of all that.

But, like, then there's that shift from major to minor to major and then all that dissonance and under the synths you can hear the words "I don't believe I don't believe I don't be leave" backmasked, which is super cool, and that's clearly about Cedric Benson, who kind of sucks and he'll probably suck more now that "Regression's scales balance / for every man and none," which is a super cool double meaning thing, because he has scales.

Arizona Cardinals 14 at Seattle Seahawks 3: "The Kolbler's Lament (Ramsika's Decision [The Decisive Action {The Cost of Indecision}] )"

The two awful swordsmen who are fighting in the tableaux at the center of the liner notes are Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, clearly, and the fog and the lightning all around them is a comment on how futile it is to have to bring these two uninspiring mercenaries in to fight the battles of the corrupt and decadent Setalia and Phoenix (that one just kind of works) tribes. 

But Taarvax the Unpleasant is even worse than The Kolbler, which is pretty obvious once he "thrusts and parries / and falls!!!! / upon the rocks!!!!!!!" And the rocks are Charlie Whitehurst, somehow? It's really not worth trying to understand the strange machinations of the Setalia people, not even in fanfiction. Especially not in fanfiction.