Hot Routes: Week Fourteen

30 Nov

Editor’s Note:  This is the Swanky roundup of our top picks and songs of the week, running every week of the 2012 Year of Football.  For a primer, check out the Introduction.

Week Fourteen


Oklahoma (9-2) at TCU (7-4)

The pick: Oklahoma (-6)

The track:  Come To The City by The War On Drugs

Many of tracks by The War on Drugs are akin to the feeling of walking into a smoke-choked room during a packed and noisy house party.  There’s a haze in the air, resulting from both the literal smoke and the much more figurative effects of drinking in a humid house with hormonally-charged strangers.  Everything kind of swirls around, feeling vaguely compelling, so that you are moved to stick around for a while.  And the more you stick around, beginning to get adjusted to the haze, you start to catch on to something in the room – a cohering thread that you can grab on to, and which eventually delivers in an emotional and consistent payoff that made the trip upstairs worth it.  “Whoo-hoo.”


Alabama (11-1) at Georgia (11-1)

The pick:  Georgia (+7.5)

The track:  Twenty Eight (Ianborg & Bronze Whale Bootleg) by The Weeknd

In the game that will decide who gets to beat the wildly overrated team from South Bend, Alabama is the better team.  They’ve got line advantages on both sides of the ball, and Alabama’s D in particular will be poised to take advantage of any and all Georgia mistakes.  Georgia is going to come correct though, and in a game that will be played in their backyard, they should be able to ride some charged motivation on the way to getting within a touchdown.  They just may not get farther than that.


Texas (8-3) at Kansas State (10-1)

The pick:  Kansas State (-10.5)

The track:  No Fun by The Stooges

Kansas State got embarrassed by Baylor in their last game, and as a result, they were kicked to the curb in the National Title race.  The Wildcats will have a pretty big chip on their shoulder coming into this regular season finale, and when that’s paired with Texas’ often porous defense having to matchup with a volatile offense, things do not look good for Mack Brown & Co.


San Francisco (8-2) at St. Louis (4-6)

The pick:  St. Louis (+7.5)

The track:  Take, Take, Take by The White Stripes

One of the many great things about Jack White as a songwriter is that he consistently refuses to take himself too seriously.  Amongst his various bands and solo efforts, there are plenty of straightforward tunes in which the emotions are just as deep as the blues licks being laid down.  Amongst these ‘serious’ songs, however, Mr. White will sprinkle tunes imbued with a sly, winking sense of humor, often relating surreal and esoteric little stories whose meanings, if those exist, are not readily available.  “Take, Take, Take” is such track, from The White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan, and it concerns an excellent re-telling of what seems like an actual dream dreamt by Jack himself.  Jack White could, and should, release an album in which he just puts all of his dream recollections to music.


Minnesota (6-5) at Green Bay (7-4)

The pick:  Green Bay (-8)

The track:  And I Say (Xinobi Edit) by Nicolas Jaar

Green Bay and the moustachioed Aaron Rodgers got their shit handed to them by the Giants last week, so they’ve got something to prove on their return home.  The potential return of Greg Jennings could add another dangerous weapon to Rodgers’ arsenal, and they’ll come out swinging against their division rival.


New England (8-3) at Miami (5-6)

The pick:  Miami (+9)

The track:  Bad Girls (Verdine Version) by Solange

Solange, aka Little Beyonce, dropped a short album this week, True, that solidifies her rep as the cool indie sister of the family.  The album feels somewhat lightweight on the surface, populated with spare beats seemingly culled from vintage Madonna outtakes providing a stark background for Solange’s powerful voice.  As the songs go on, however, the simplicity of the production shines through as a unique strength.  The open air between the drum beats, laid-back bass lines and keyboard flourishes is a perfect complement to Solange’s vocals; the singer explores the open spaces with her twisting vocal runs, wrapping her voice around the melodies with a sense of enjoyment that’s contagious.

Last Week’s Record:  4-2

Overall Record:  39-31


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