Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Week 13- Thursday Night Special

The NFL is killing me with these Thursday games. How can I be expected to apply my patented 451-point system for picking winners in only half a week’s time? Damn it, I have a day job!

The only good thing is that it won’t interfere with my Thursday TV viewing habits, because I CAN’T WATCH IT! Time Warner Cable, in their infinite and infantile wisdom, has decided that we don’t need the NFL Network, but we DO need 17 channels on home improvement, cooking, and how the Mayans were really a brilliant civilization. You know how much crap I give about that? Zero! (Okay Mayans, thanks for that one.)

I want to see grotesquely large men slam into each other at high rates of speed while carrying an inflated piece of animal hide. Why is that so hard to understand?

Well, I guess I’ll just have to pick this game using only 5 of my 451 points.

1. The forecast is for rain and Baltimore has the look of a team that likes to play in the mud.
2. Cincinnati will be looking past this game to their easy victory next week against the Raiders.
3. I have it from a inside source that Chad Johnson is a HUGE, John Stamos fan and it will be hard for him to stay focused knowing he is missing “ER”. (Yeah, Stamos is on ER, who knew?)
4. It will be “Parole Officer Appreciation” night at Paul Brown Stadium and too many Bengal players will be, shall we say, a little nervous.
5. Baltimore is the better team.

Therefore, my dead solid, lock pick is
Baltimore +3 at Cincinnati
Bonus Pick: Take under 43

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Week 12 Football Picks

It’s that time of the year when we take pause from our hectic schedules to give thanks for all the blessings we have received.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m a traditionalist. Imitating those brave pioneers of yore, I share in a bountiful feast with my Native American brethren while enjoying games and songs.

The only difference is that the festival takes place at the Pechanga Indian Casino, the feast is the $7.99 all you eat buffet and dessert bar, the games are Pai Gow Poker, and the music is provided by the Wu Ling Band who do a surprisingly good cover of Earth, Wind and Fire despite the fact they all hail from Vietnam. Unfortunately, in my re-enactment of the European settler experience, the Indians end up taking my home and fortune leaving me destitute and forced onto my own “Trail of Tears” of moving back with the parents.

But I digress. This is also the time of year I reflect on the things I appreciate about being a sports fan. So before I get to my picks, here are some of the things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my fellow Dolphins fans. When I look into their eyes after another disappointing season, I see reflected back the same hurt, desperation, and hopelessness I feel in my heart. And I know I am not alone and a suffering shared is a suffering less painful.

I am thankful for sports talk radio. Whenever I think about how pathetic I am to write the previous comment, I listen to the radio. There I can hear some complete lunatic call in and equate the joy he felt in the New York Rangers winning the cup with the birth of his first child. Then I don’t feel so pathetic, although I do feel sad for the child of that guy. “Daddy, why did you name me Matteau? The kids won’t stop teasing me.”

I am thankful for celebrity visits to the announcers’ booth. Nothing adds to the coverage of a sporting event more than a celebrity joining the commentators during live action. Oh, it is too much fun to hear them discuss 1) why they are such a big sports fan, 2) how being an athlete is similar to being a TV star, and 3) a review of their upcoming projects. I especially enjoy it when this witty banter occurs simultaneously with a crucial third down play that will probably determine the outcome of the game. “So Patrick, Grey’s Anatomy is on Thursday night and , oh Harrington is picked off and it’s returned for a touchdown. Back to you, how do get yourself to cry on cue?”

I am thankful for TV timeouts. A team scores a touchdown. We go to a 3-4 minute commercial break. They comeback for the ensuing kickoff, which takes about 6 seconds and it's immediately back to a 3-4 minute commercial break. Why am I thankful for this? Because I am comfortably at home watching this, instead of enduring it in a cramped seat in a freezing stadium. Instead of spending a good 1/3 of the 3 hour event watching players mull about like cattle on a prairie, I can spend this time channel surfing over to shows like TV Land’s “A-Team” marathon. What ever happens to that BA Baracus anyway? I always felt they should give him his own self help show.

I am also thankful for the following:
Walk-off home runs, Hail Mary passes, buzzer beaters, overtime playoff hockey, championship rounds, the crack of the bat, the ding of a puck off the post, miked up linebackers, three pointers from way beyond the arc, over the shoulder catches, no look passes, college rivalries, player-coach blowups, Vin Scully on the Radio, Bill Murray on the course, the imaginary yellow first down line, Sundays in Fall, Baseball in October, Hockey in May, Madness in March, hot chicken wings, cold beer, seven layer dip, and, most of all, enjoying it all with you guys. Amen.

Last week I went 7-8-1, but a winning 2-1-1 on my star picks. So for the year I am 71-74-6 and 20-22-1 on my star picks.

Here are my picks for this week, along with what I am thankful for in each game.

My picks are in bold.

Miami at Detroit +2.5: Thankful Matt Millen is still the GM because he’s such an inspiration to all us fantasy league owners. “Hey, I can screw up a team just like the pros!” L

Tampa Bay at Dallas –11: Thankful for Bill Parcell’s frequent mood swings which some in the medical community have cited as proof that men can go through menopause too. W

*Denver at Kansas City Even: Thankful for the predictability of Jake Plummer. The Sun will rise in the East, there will be traffic on the 405, and Jake will throw a pick at the goal line. L

*Jax -3 at Buffalo: Thankful that I don’t live in Buffalo. L

Houston at NY Jets –5.5: Thankful for Jets fans who are among the most level headed, poised, and articulate people you will ever meet. If you were meeting people at an Eagles’ home game. W

Pittsburgh +3 at Baltimore: Thankful I will always be able to remember Lynn Swann as a great wide receiver and not a terrible governor of Pennsylvania. L

*Cincinnati -3
at Cleveland: Thankful for our slow moving judicial system that allows the Bengals to field a team. W

Arizona at Minnesota –6: Thankful for Brad Johnson’s elbow pads. As a fellow klutz, I appreciate a man who’s not too proud to look foolish for the sake of precaution. L

*San Fran +6 at St Louis: Thankful for Georgia Frontiere. Her moving the Rams makes it so much easier on football fans in LA. No worries about blackouts, stadium traffic, or being forced to watch the Rams. W

New Orleans +3 at Atlanta: Thankful for Saints fans who bring parasols to the game. I’ve always said there should be more parasols in football. W

*Carolina –4.5 at Washington: Thankful for Daniel Snyder who shows us that even rich people can be just as dumb as us poor folk. L

Chicago at New England –3: Thankful for hooded sweatshirts. If it weren’t that, Bill Belichick would have nothing to wear. I would not be thankful to see Bill Belichick with nothing to wear. W

Phil at Ind –9: Thankful for our society’s growth. We’ve grown as a people to the point that we no longer prejudge someone based on their sexual orientation. It’s gotten to the point that no one even bats an eye when a homosexual plays QB in the NFL. What? He’s not? He has a hot girl? Oh, wow my bad. It’s just that lisp… W

NY Giants at Tennessee +3.5: Thankful for the New York media who turn every Giants lose into a sign of the apocalypse. W

Oakland at San Diego –13: Thankful for Art Shell. He is the epitome of the strong, silent type. He’s genius. Keep your mouth shut and make people believe you know what you are doing, rather than opening it up and proving them wrong. L

Green Bay at Seattle -9: Thankful for irony. Brett Favre’s consecutive games streak looked like it would end at 231 games. Instead, it will continue, while the young Aaron Rodger’s consecutive game streak ends at 30 minutes. W

Record 9-7
Star Picks 2-3

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week 11 Football Picks

After three losing weeks in row, I bounced back last week like a Shaq foul shot off the rim. I want to thank you all for sticking with me during this down time in my picking prowess, but I learned that, like most things, it really wasn’t my fault.

See, Mercury has been in retrograde for the past few weeks and as you know that screws up a myriad of things including our ability to communicate, study, and predict National Football League games. It’s an astrological fact. I can’t fight it. As a matter of fact, I think it was a Herculean feat to overcome this celestial obstacle and pull out a winning week for you. But I do it because I care. I care about you and your financial well-being. I care that maybe you will make lots of money and then buy me dinner or take me bowling or something. Hey, I beat Mercury Retrograde for you, what are you going to do for me!

So despite fighting against the heavens, I was able to go 9-7 last week and 2-2 on my star picks. That leaves me with a record of 64-66-5 and 18-21 on my star picks.

Now that I know I can blame something outside of my control for my failures, I will not only predict the outcome of each game, but tell you who I am going to blame if I should get it wrong.

My picks are in bold.

Ind –1.5 at Dallas: Jerry Jones’ face. It scares me. It’s pulled back tighter than my wallet at a strip club. I mean the man has millions of dollars. Couldn’t he have paid just one person to tell him that this was not a good idea? L

*Cinn at New Orleans –3.5: Voodoo. I once met a voodoo princess who was posing as a drugged out prostitute. She was spinning around a street post when she stopped suddenly, looked me dead in the eyes and said “I guess being poor is the best way of life.” If I lose this game it’s because of that curse she put on me. And because of all those Katrina jokes I told. L

Oakland at KC –10: Damon Huard. If KC loses, it’s because Trent Green is rusty. They wouldn’t have had to use him if Huard played better last week. I also blame Huard for not stepping up and replacing Marino like he should have when Dan retired, leaving us with Jay Fiedler and an array of other offensively challenged QBs. It always comes back to the Dolphins doesn’t? L

Pittsburgh at Cleveland +3.5: Motorcycles. Kellen Winslow Jr. Ben Roethlisberger. Evil Knievel. These mechanized two-wheeled monsters need to be stopped. I saw a kid the other day on a bicycle. I immediately ran over and knocked him down. I yelled at him that first it’s Big Wheels, then Huffys, then 10-speeds, which inevitably spirals downward until you are cruising on Harleys and risking a $30 million sports contract. When the kid told me he had no athletic ability, I apologized, said it was all right for him to ride and bought him a moped. L

Tenn +13 at Phil: Philly fan. Even the ones that look normal, hold a job, and walk upright, still give me pause. Because below the surface is a maniac that would brain you if he thought it would make keep Correll Buckhalter from fumbling. W

Atl +4.5 at Balt: Earnest Byner. If he doesn’t fumble the ball on the goal line in the 1988 AFC Championship, the Browns go to the Super Bowl. They take that momentum to a victory. The euphoria stays with the team for years, keeping them from moving to Baltimore. In which case, the Ravens never exists, Trent Dilfer doesn’t get a Super Bowl ring, and I win this pick because even Michael Vick could cover the spread against nobody. L

*St.Louis at Carolina –7: The NFL Steroid Policy. It seems that half the Panthers were on the juice when they went to the Super Bowl a few years ago. Hell, even their punter was taking the needle to the gluteus. That’s total team commitment! But, the wusses at the league office had to start cracking down just because it’s “illegal”, it “sets a bad example” and it leads to “early death”. Seriously, when did we start caring about athletes after their playing careers? W

Buffalo +2.5 at Houston: CBS. I blame CBS for televising this game, even if it’s just to the Houston and Buffalo markets. It is just encouraging kids to go out there and play bad football. Oh sure, the network will say it’s the parents responsibility to control what their kids watch, but what’s a dad to do when he’s got a nickel on the Bills? W

NE –6 at Green Bay: Geritol. Or whatever old person vitamins Brett Favre is taking. Favre was the starting QB when they played in the Super Bowl 10 years ago. And here he is, still plugging along, making games close, always giving his team a chance to win… or lose because of a last minute interception. Can somebody buy him into a condo in Boca already? W

*Wash at Tampa Bay –3: The Mid Term Elections. If Republicans stayed in power, they would be the ones buying up the tickets and supporting the Redskins. They were great at enabling failed leadership and horrendous performance. Now with the Democrats in charge, they’ll want all kinds of investigations and expect a semblance of an offensive game plan. T

Chicago at NYJ +7: My brother in law. He has this system that if the spread is over 7 bet the favorite. If it’s under 7 bet the underdog. What the hell do I do if it is 7! He says take the square root of the favorite’s average weight and multiply it by Pi. If that number is greater than the underdogs average yards per field goal try, then you should…aw hell I’ll take the stinking Jets. Hope I lose. L

Minn +3.5 at Miami: Loyalty. Yes, I love the Dolphins. Of course, I want them to win. But ever since I started picking against them, they haven’t lost. Bad luck, don’t fail me now. Granted this is the first time they are favorites, so this could be a win/win. But that’s just greedy. L

Detroit at Arizona –2.5: Mary Kay Cosmetics. Detroit is 0-4 as a road underdog. Arizona is 0-2 as a home favorite. This game needs a ton of make-up and accessories to even pass as watchable. I bet a Mary Kay representative gives both teams a nice but subtle foundation, a little eye liner, and a pep talk before the game. W

Seattle at San Fran +6.5: Nancy Pelosi. I am afraid now that their liberal representative is leader of the House, those hippy Niners will slip back to their pot-smoking, tree-hugging, afraid tackling hurts the poor, “government will come up with a offensive game plan so we can live off our welfare check” ways. W

San Diego at Denver –2.5: Rev. Ted Haggard. I don’t blame him for being a drug taking, lying, closeted homosexual homophobe. Who among us isn’t that? I blame him for diverting the attentions of Coloradoans from the real fiend among them, Jake Plummer. His interceptions tests the faith of the people way more than a man of God who tokes meth off the belly button of his beefcake personal trainer. Jake, repent your wicked ways! Hand the damn ball off! L

*NY Giants at Jax –3: The Minuteman Project. This game is going to be decided by a field goal. And that kicker is going to be American born. But isn’t football less exciting without the immigrant kicker. The little guy with the unpronounceable name, wearing the single bar face mask. He would sprightly skip onto the field and play the most crucial role in a game he had no idea about. Ever since this whole border protection crap started, football has lost out on one of its more entertaining and comical elements. “Why ball shaped like yam?” W

Record 7-8-1

Star Picks 2-1-1

Monday, November 13, 2006

Week 10 Football Picks

I did it! What a fantastic weekend I had last week! My followers went 12-2 (if you went against my picks) and 4-1 in the Star picks (again, if you went the opposite of me). I bet there isn’t another prognosticator who can guarantee results like that. I mean you would think a blind monkey could pick at least 4 games right.

Well sir, this monkey here has eyes! And these eyes see nothing but green, the color of money! Also it’s the color my cheap brand of solution turns my contacts, so that also attributes to the whole seeing green thing. But I saved 50 cents. And thank god I did, because I am going to parlay that 50 cents into 500 cents with my picks this week.

So after last week, I am now 55-59-2 for the year, and 16-19 on my star picks. But just like my Republican brethren, I am looking for the silver lining in an otherwise humiliating defeat. And that lining is that, “it can’t get much worse”, which I think will be their slogan in 2008.

This week, I, unlike my president, will be ignoring what my gut tells me and I will be using other parts of my body to pick games. Each game a different part. The one area I won’t use is the anatomical part our previous president used when making those difficult decisions as head of state.

So light up those cigars, because we all are going to be winners with these picks (especially if you go the opposite way)

*KC –1 at Miami: My heart. Last week was the first time I picked against my beloved Fins. And they won. If that’s what it takes for them to win, I’ll do it. Besides, the Chiefs will be starting a former Dolphin at QB whose heart was broken when they did pick him to replace Marino. Hell hath not fury like a backup QB scorned. L

Houston at Jax –10.5: My ankle. Just like Leftwich, I too have a bum ankle that keeps me from playing on Sundays. The bad ankle coupled with the minor fact that I have no discernable athletic ability has really hampered by professional sports career. L

San Diego -1 at Cinn: My tongue. I wish I could talk like Chad Johnson at my job like he does at his. “Look here, I guarantee I will turn in my budget reports, process invoices, and change the water bottle in the break room. You write that down. If I don’t, I’ll shave the back of my neck.” W

Cleve +8.5 at Atlanta: My frontal lobe. I figured my problem in picking games is that I over think it. So for this game, I wrote each team’s name on separate post-it notes, turned them upside and slammed the front of my head onto the desk. When I awoke, the post it still stuck to my head read “Browns”. I think it read Browns. I haven’t really had clear vision since I did this. W

*Balt –7.5 at Tenn: My sternum. A couple of years ago, McNair got knocked out for a long time with a severely bruised sternum. I want you to think about that. I bet you felt a phantom pain in your chest just thinking about it. And he came back to play. Got to go with that kind of heart…or at least heart protector. L

Buffalo at Ind –12.5: My pinky toe. Buffalo is your pinky toe. It’s a tiny, insignificant team, which you really could live without. But if you lose it or lose to it, you and your record will look horribly disfigured. L

New Orleans at Pittsburgh –4: My left nostril. Every morning, I awake to a stuffed up left nostril. Never my right, always my left. I’ve tried nasal spray, those breath rights, humidifiers. But every morning, I’m breathing out of one nose hole. How does this relate? I keep picking the Steelers and they keep shoving it up my nose. Looks like Monday morning will be no different. W

*Wash at Phil –7: My middle finger. This will be the finger that Philly fans will use to indicate that their team is number one. This will also be the same finger they will use to point out any personal defects you may possess and it will also be the finger they shove up your nose and the end of the game. W

*Chicago +2 at NY Giants: My ear drums. Can you imagine the kind of trash talking that will go on between these two proudly vulgar cities? Can you imagine understanding a single word coming out of their mouth beside mother f&*%er? W

Green Bay at Minn –5.5: My liver. Having been addicted to pain meds like Brett Favre, my liver is a mess. Also eating those Johnsonville Brats from Wisconsin has added a few scars to liver. And the amount of alcohol I will be forced to consume because Favre will throw a garbage time TD to cover will be the death knell. Tuesday morning, I’ll be sending that “seeking donor liver” email out. Please edit your Spam filters accordingly. L

NY Jets +11 at New England: My love handles. My wife makes fun of the extra weight I carry around the waist these days. “Those aren’t handles, they’re more like the whole bike.” She laughs. I smile, go upstairs, and cry, muffling the sounds by burying my face in the pillow. I want to get rid of my non-alcoholic beer gut like I want to get rid of both these teams. But, they’ll always but there, the object of my pain. W

San Fran +6 at Detroit: My appendix. It’s a useless organ. We’re not even sure why we have one, yet there it is. All ready to get inflamed so we can be rushed to the hospital to have it removed. Like this game. Do we really need San Fran v. Detroit? Don’t you feel the inflammation coming on just thinking about these teams playing? But there it is. And we’ll watch it, of course. W

Denver at Oak +9.5: My lungs. What could I be smoking to pick the Raiders? I am smoking a special brand of tobacco sent by Al Davis makes me wear white jump suits, hire ex-cons, and sue the NFL. Also, I spent last weekend in Denver and I think I’m still suffering from altitude sickness. W

St Louis +4 at Seattle: My Anterior Crucial Ligament. Seattle has ended my fantasy football season with all the injuries they suffered. It’s like I made a bad cut on the old Kingdom turf and blew out my knee. Now, I face 12 months of intense rehab so I can come back and get clobbered next season. W

Dallas at Arizona +7: My dimples. Not only do Matt Leinart and I share the same dimples, but also a fondness for female basketball players. (Don’t deny me Rebecca Lobo!). Also, he went to a school whose mascot was The Trojans and in college I once stole a pack of Trojans because I was too embarrassed to buy them. So there. With all this in common, how come Matt never returns my calls? Leaves me tickets at the gate? Sings me love songs? I will not be ignored! L

Tampa Bay +9.5 at Carolina: My neck. It’s not because I am sticking my neck out by picking the Bucs. It is because my Tampa residing sister and brother in law will strangle me if I pick against them. Oh and she’ll do it too. Fear is a powerful tool in prognosticating. L

Record 9-7

Star Picks 2-2