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

1 comment:

Hanibal Smith said...

mr mascot...you used to live in Miami, and didn't have to endure the cold during tv timeouts :P

Mr. T was last seen opening a can of whoop-ass on the TBN network