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Until Thanksgiving, few phrases seemed more ridiculous than "A fate worse than death."

Seriously, what could be worse than death?

Chronic head lice? Itchy, but no. Being forced to listen to the entire Ke$ha album? That may be a fate worse than being deaf, but I think I'd still prefer breathing. How about dropping a game-winning touchdown pass? Embarrassing sure, but I'm still thinking no. For an expert opinion, go ahead and ask Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson.

Nope, there pretty much wasn't anything worthy of that phrase. But I will tell you from excruciating experience that being almost too sick to eat turkey on Turkey Day is pretty awful.

I'll avoid going into the gory details, but know I proved my mettle by eating through the sickness. And because I showed such grit, I can verify that even Aunt Gina's pumpkin pie doesn't taste as good going in when you know something that looks very much like it will be coming out in a matter of minutes.

While you stew on that for a moment, I'll tell you about my interesting meeting with the one and only Everette Carr on Monday before my lifting session at the new and improved Gaffney gym.

It was pretty epic. He laughed (mostly at the thought of me lifting weights). I cried (mostly at the thought of me lifting weights). And we both chatted about the upcoming Fort Meade Patriots men's basketball season. Between my main man T.J. Gist coming back from an injury and Llewellyn Smalley's jump shot, Coach Ronnie Cunningham's crew should have a legit shot at regaining the WAMAC title.

Everette also brought up an interesting point when he said, "Chad, I think you need to do an NFL midseason redo because your preseason overview was ate up like a soup sandwich."

I know it seems like Mr. Carr called this Michigan man a "Bama." But since smart men don't argue with Everette, and Dallas has about as much of a chance at winning the Super Bowl as I do, here you go.

In the NFC, outside of the aforementioned Cowboys, my division winners (Green Bay, San Fran and New Orleans) are still going strong. Not to mention my wild card selections (Atlanta and NYG are solid). So my only real changes are the Bears will win the North, Eagles will win the East and Atlanta, and NO will swap in the South. Atlanta hosts the Saints on Dec. 27. If Chicago holds on in the North, then the final wild card spot won't be decided until the Giants visit Green Bay on Dec. 26. Oh yeah, and per my prediction, the Vikings did fall flat on their faces, and the 49ers will win the West with an 8-8 record.

Things are a little messier in the AFC. While New England, Baltimore and Indianapolis are tied for first place in their divisions, Oakland -- and even Indy -- are in real trouble. Plus, both my wild-card teams (Tennessee and Cincinnati) are more ate up than Everette claimed I was. So, I'm sticking with the Ravens and the Pats. Both of whom are hosting their division rivals this week - Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday while the Jets come to New England on Monday night.

In the South, it's hard to bet against Peyton Manning. But right now, their passing game isn't as good as Jacksonville's complete game, so I'm going with the Jags. San Diego will win the West again. As for the wild card, I'm going with the easy picks, Pittsburgh and the Jets, but beware of the Chiefs. Jamal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel are legit and their schedule is darn near perfect. They only play two teams with a winning record, and three of their last five games are at Arrowhead.

Like I said, Ryan Mathews wouldn't be all he was cracked up to be and Baltimore is still in line to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Who are they going to be playing Feb. 6 in Jerryworld now that the Cowboys are done? I really like what the Bears are doing. If Jay Cutler continues to throw to his players instead of his opponents, then the Bears are the most complete team in the conference and will lose to the Ravens on Super Sunday.

I can hear our friend, post historian and resident Bears fan Bob Johnson, cheering now. But beware, Bob. Because another answer to the question -- what's a fate worse than death? -- may be me picking your team to win the Super Bowl.

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones@us.army.mil or you can find me on the Fort Meade Web log at http://meadetv.wordpress.com/ under the Jibber Jabber link.

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