After a brief hiatus, Good Men Picks is back with the hardest decision of our short history. We’re taking on the Ravens and Steelers, two of the worst teams in the NFL (according to the unofficial, completely subjective Good Men Picks rankings).
Good Men Picks Record: We’re on a lukewarm streak after picking the Rangers over the Rays and bumping our record up to 2-3.
We’ve featured these guys before. They earn big points for Joe Flacco (first QB in league history to win two playoff games) and having the guts to name their team after a poem, but there’s something we didn’t mention last time: the Ravens have a Japanese guy on the team.
Yes, you read that right—a Japanese guy in the NFL. Well, he’s second-generation Japanese, but both of Haruki Nakamura’s parents were born in Japan. His athleticism comes from his mother and father, fourth- and eighth-degree black belts, respectively. Nakamura’s father died of lung cancer when he was five, and despite growing up in a one-parent house, he parlayed his ability into a football scholarship at the University of Cincinnati. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Ravens and has contributed as a backup defensive back ever since. Nakamura’s road to the NFL was a unique one, and he’s a guy we can’t help but root for.
No need to rehash it all again. Ray Lewis, the leader of the Ravens, was arrested for murder. His charges were dropped when he testified against his co-defendants. Their best player was arrested for murder. Enough said.
So that should all but seal it for the Steelers, right? Not so fast.
We love Mike Tomlin. He’s the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl, taking home the 2009 championship at the ripe old age of 36. Despite being relatively young, he’s a classic old-school coach. He doesn’t take shit from any of his players, and he’s one of the best man-managers in the league. He’s just a great leader. Oh, and he’s not bad on the football side either.
And we love Troy Polamalu. First, his hair is perfect. An entire section of his Wikipedia page is dedicated to it. Be honest: a lot of you older guys are jealous. On top of a gorgeous mane, he’s just a really good player. He’s plays hard, and will probably go down as one of the best safeties ever to play the game. And he prays after every single play. Regardless of your religious views, that’s impressive.
Ben Roethlisberger—or “Ben” as every TV personality calls him—has his own special Wikipedia section too: “Sexual Assault Allegations.”
After a civil suit alleging sexual assault was filed against Roethlisberger in 2009, this past summer, a college student in Georgia alleged that Roethlisberger raped her in the bathroom of a local bar. The charges were suspiciously dropped after not enough evidence was found. Yet, Tomlin and Steelers owner Art Rooney II were both outraged, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still suspended him for four games. It’s tough to believe that both of these women were just out to get him.
This is a tough one. A good man should never be forced to choose between rape and murder. I want to take a pass here, but thankfully I’ve got James Harrison to break the tie. After the NFL instituted a stricter policy concerning dangerous hits, Harrison has earned $145,000 in fines. And his recent comments summed up a lot of what’s with wrong with the NFL:
I don’t want to injure anybody. There’s a big difference between being hurt and being injured. You get hurt; you shake it off and come back the next series or the next game. I try to hurt people.
Well there you have it. Thanks for bailing me out, James. Readers, if you have a heart, you’ll be rooting for the Ravens on Sunday night.