Thursday, December 28, 2006

Goodbye to 2006 and Week 17 Picks

As we come to the end of 2006, I just have one thing to say, “Good-Bye! You don’t have to go home, but you got to get the hell out of here!”

I never liked you 2006. You were annoying, conceited, prickly and an overall pain in my sphincter.

You rewarded jerks like Terrell Owens and Barry Bonds with new contracts and Bobby Knight with the all time wins record.

You laughed your ass off as we had to witness the worst officiated Super Bowl in history.

I bet you thought you were being cute when you had us endure a World Series in which pitchers (the very position that require throwing the ball straight) couldn’t throw the ball to first base. Mind you, these are men who are paid for their ability TO THROW THE BALL.

You teased us with the return of hockey but then you forgot to give us back a little thing called “checking”. We might as well have Michelle Kwan on a line with Nancy Kerrigan and the “Enforcer” Brian Boitano. (However, Tonya Harding in this league would bring back the “goon” factor).

You made the NBA clean up its players’ appearance. Thanks for nothing. Now where are the suburban white kids supposed to go for the latest in hip-hop fashion advice? You are denying an entire generation the joy of wearing purple suits and belt buckles around their knees.

And most of all, 2006, you are the most ungrateful, unpatriotic year I have ever known (including 1979). Look how you treated America, the country that has given you so much. In every major international competition, you allowed the rest of the world to slap us and call us “Susan”. The United States got its collective lunch served to them in the following sports: baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, curling, and counter insurgent urban warfare. Worse of all, no American currently holds a major heavyweight boxing title. Ali is spinning in his grave!

The only sports Uncle Sam dominated was snowboarding (which we invented just so we can win gold medals) and football (which no one else plays).

This year, I am not going to assume 2006’s replacement will know what to do. I have come up with five things I would like to see before I have to go to my next lame, company sponsored, holiday party.

Barry Bonds gets to 754 home runs and the next day his indictment for tax evasion comes down.

Terrell Owens signs an incentive laden contract with the Toronto Argonauts.

A 16 seed gets to the Final Four, thus allowing Alice, the cat loving, cardigan wearing secretary who once took a sewing class at Hampton to take down the office pool.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals, and, in a nod to the original six, they play without helmets, facemasks, and false teeth.

The Chicago Cubs get to the World Series, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion in Game 7. Watching the Cubs is like watching a car chase on TV. You say you don’t want it to end bad, but deep inside, in a place you won’t admit to, you are begging for that crash.

So as 2006 flees town, I am sitting at the Greyhound station in North Hollywood, eagerly waiting for 2007 to arrive. Oh, and here he comes now. Or is that a she? Oh god, I think 2007 is that tranny with the sequin pumps that just got off the bus from Seattle!

I can’t wait for 2008.

As for those pesky football picks, I have been the ultimate C student this year. I’m the classmate everyone likes because I don’t screw up the grading curve for everyone else. Last week I went 8-8 and 2-3 on my star picks, so for the year I am 114-111-6 and 33-34-1 on my star picks. I’ve got one last chance to make my final record look good for all those tout services looking for new prospects next season.

With each pick, here are my New Years wishes for each team

NY Giants –2.5 at Washington: For the Giants, a weekly appointment with Dr. Melfi after Tony sees her. For the Redskins, more hefty signing bonuses for free agents who had one good year.

Buffalo +9.5 at Baltimore: For the Bills, relocation to L.A. For the Ravens, just don’t make Ray Lewis mad, especially near sharp objects

Green Bay at Chicago –3: For the Packers, a strong heart as they wait for the annual Favre decision. For the Bears, Brian Greise keeping warmed up on the sidelines.

*Pittsburgh +6 at Cincinnati: For the Steelers, an oxygenated plastic bubble to keep Ben in for the off-season. For the Bengals, bail money. Plenty of bail money.

Detroit +13 at Dallas: For the Lions, another year of Matt Millen just to see how he can screw things up this time. For the Cowboys, post traumatic stress counseling after Terrell cleans out his locker.

Cleveland +4 at Houston: For the Browns, a team with as much heart as their fans. For the Texans, a time machine to take them back to draft day 2006.

Miami +8.5 at Indianapolis: For the Dolphins, a QB with lateral movement and accuracy past the line of scrimmage. For the Colts, a run defense that is slightly stiffer than balsa wood.

*Jacksonville at Kansas City –2.5: For the Jaguars, one victory outside the state of Florida. For the Chiefs, move out of the division with the Broncos and Chargers.

*St. Louis +2 at Minnesota: For the Rams, Marc Bulger questions the hearts of his teammates a little sooner. For the Vikings, a thicker skin for coach Brad Childress.

Carolina at New Orleans +3: For the Panthers, that no one picks them to win the Super Bowl. For the Saints, a contract extension for the voodoo princess they hired for player personnel and spiritual oversight.

Oakland +11 at NY Jets: For the Raiders, Al Davis gets sent to a cozy studio at the Stoneybrook assisted living facility. For the Jets, moving a few steps out of the shadow of the Giants.

*Atlanta at Philadelphia –7.5: For the Falcons, the University of Washington seeking a new coach. For the Eagles, Donovan McNabb to get hurt a little bit earlier in the season so they have a shot at home field advantage.

Seattle +3 at Tampa Bay: For the Seahawks, receivers with functional use of their hands. For the Buccaneers, keep reminding their fans “Hey, only four years ago we won the Super Bowl, what else do you want?”

*New England at Tennessee –3: For the Patriots, Bill Belichick getting caught in the act in an episode of “Cheaters”. For the Titans, hold on to “Yoda” Norm Chow for one more year so he can complete the “Young” Jedi training.

San Francisco +10.5 at Denver: For the Niners, a couple of bounces the right way so they can play next January. For the Broncos, good sportsmanship training for their offensive line.

Arizona +13.5 at San Diego: For the Cardinals, an offense that plays like the Colts instead of just looking like them. For the Chargers, better masking agents for their players to take.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Forgiveness and Week 16 Picks

They say the holiday season is a time for forgiveness. Most of the year, we crush our fellow man with guilt, retribution, and revenge. But for this one week every December, we set aside our pride and open our hearts and arms to those people who we really want to stab with a spork.

There was no more touching example of this than D’Angelo Hall’s forgiveness of Terrell Owens. As everyone from CNN to Al Jazzera reported last week, Owens spit in the face of Hall, admitted to it, retracted the admission, and ultimately got hit with a $35,000 fine. The Prince of Peace himself, Deion Sanders, brought the two together but incessantly calling them until they agreed to talk to each other. The two finally succumbed to Deion’s demands and, after talking, agreed to put the incident behind them. They also immediately changed their cell phone numbers so Deion can never call them again.
“Damn, Deion use to be all cool and stuff, now he’s as annoying as my step-brother hitting me up to borrow my Hummer.”

Also this week, the Chicago Bears showed they have the heart of a bear when they agreed not to release defensive end Tank Johnson after his 3rd arrest in 18 months. They decided to teach Tank a lesson by suspending him for their game against the Canadian Football League’s Detroit Lions. Now, the cynic might say Chicago was not as compassionate as they were scared to death of losing their best pass rusher for the playoffs. I say “bah- humbug.” It’s not like Tank’s actions got anybody killed or anything.
What’s that? Someone did? Really?
Oh, but a Super Bowl ring would totally compensate for someone’s death.
(see Ravens, Baltimore and Lewis, Ray)

Another example of the season’s compassion hits a little closer to home for me. As you can tell from my picks, I haven’t had “the best” year in my prognosticating. This has caused me to build up quite a tab with my bookie. Any other time of the year, my bookie would break both my legs and my arms for being in such deep arrears. But, after watching “Miracle on 34th Street” (the Natalie Wood version not that crappy Mara Wilson one), he can’t stay angry. He gets moved to tears when all those letters show up at the end to save Santa Clause from prison. So, because little Natalie would want it this way, he decided to only break my nose, dislocate one shoulder, and crack only three left ribs. He is such a softly because he knows I sleep on my right side. So, thanks Frankie the Finger, I owe. Seriously, I know I owe you and I’ll get you that cash as soon as the Giants cover this weekend.

So, my loyal readers, remember to take the time this week to reach out to at least one person you have held in contempt all year. Walk up to that person, stick out your hand, and say, “Let’s forget the past and build a bright future together.”

I guarantee you will make that person feel better. And just think of the joy you will experience when, the following week, you push them face first into a puddle of mud. They will never see that coming. “Hey, buddy, Christmas was last week. It’s back on, mo-fo!”

Now, here are my latest picks. Last week, I was average as average can be at 8-8, but I was a stellar 4-1 on my star picks. For the season I am 106-103-6 and 31-31-1 on my star picks.

And just to show you I am one who practices what he preaches, I will tell you who I forgive for each game.

*Kansas City –6.5 at Oakland- I forgive Arizona and Pittsburgh for being the only two teams to lose to the Raiders. If it wasn’t for them, we could be talking about one of the greatest feats of incompetence in sports history. This is a hard one to forgive because there is a beauty in perfect ineptitude and these two teams stole that from us.

Tennessee +4.5 at Buffalo- I forgive Wonderlic, Inc. for making me think passing their test has anything to do with being a good quarterback. I took the test, got a high score, went out and played QB in a flag football game, and threw 4 Ints and fumbled 3 times (without getting hit). On the plus side, I did correct the referee’s grammar.

New Orleans at NY Giants –3: I forgive Drew Brees for going to the Saints instead of the Dolphins. Yes, I know Miami rejected you, but that should never have stopped you. You have to force yourself, ignore their rejections and “restraining orders”, and made them fall in love with you. All this advice can be found in “The Stalker’s Guide to Love”

*Carolina at Atlanta –6: I forgive Jim Mora for his comments about wanting to coach at University of Washington. I knew it was a joke because Ty Willingham is already coach there and no sane program would fire him without giving him a chance to prove himself.

Washington at St. Louis –2: I forgive Daniel Snyder for making George Steinbrenner look like a fiscally sane individual.

Indianapolis -9 at Houston: I forgive Charlie Casserly for passing on Reggie Bush, Vince Young, and Matt Leinart. Clearly, I didn’t see the genius of the move at the time. Committing the single greatest bone-headed move in sports history will keep any team from offering him another GM job, thus there is no way he can be tempted away from that cushy CBS guest analyst job. Bill Parcels could learn a lot from you.

*Baltimore at Pittsburgh –3: I forgive Todd Heap for permanently being listed as “questionable”, causing me to freak out over whether I should pull him from my fantasy roster. The crazy thing is that it’s always for a different injury. I swear he is trying to make sure every muscle on his body suffers a deep tissue bruise.

*Tampa Bay at Cleveland –3: I forgive the odds makers for even posting a line on this game and making me give it even a second of thought. 3-11 vs. 4-10. How is this not on Monday Night?

*Chicago –4.5 at Detroit: I forgive all those fans that participate in the “walk out” during the 2nd quarter of this game to protest the sorry state of the Detroit Lions. I do not, however, forgive the Lions who “walked out” since week one.

New England +3 at Jacksonville: I forgive Bridgett Moynahan for ending her relationship with Tom Brady. This break-up has clearly distracted him since he has only thrown for over 3000 yards and 22 TDs with the worse receiving corps in football. Now, if Bridge can catch a 15-yard out, their love could be rekindled.

Arizona at San Francisco –4: I forgive the entire Arizona Cardinals organization for making me believe for the 7th consecutive year that they will be surprisingly good, only to end up predictably bad. Fool me 7 times shame on you, fool my 8 times…oh hell, I’m picking them to win the NFC next year.

Cincinnati +3 at Denver: I forgive the 45 players on the Bengals who did not get arrested this year for making the 8 players who did get arrested feel like outsiders by not joining in their criminal escapades. I hope you learn the meaning of teammate in 2007.

San Diego at Seattle +5: I forgive Shawne Merriman for taking steroids and for making me question if every tackle and sack he ever made was as “clean” as every other player in football.

Philadelphia +7 at Dallas: I forgive Drew Bledsoe for making me think all he needed was good receivers and a quality running game to be great again.

NY Jets at Miami –2: I forgive Miami ahead of time for making me regurgitate my Christmas dinner when they blow a 10 point fourth quarter lead.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Week 16- Thursday Night Special

For the third consecutive year, Brett Favre will be playing his last game at Lambeau Field. I still think he’s got at least two more “last games at Lambeau” in him.

Across the field, Minnesota will have Tarvaris Jackson at QB, who will be making his first career start. I admit I didn’t know much about Tarvaris so I set out to do some research, but I got side tracked scanning videos of soccer bloopers on You Tube. So, my educated guess is he is the Jackson that Tito and Jermaine made fun because he was the only Jackson who couldn’t moon walk and who threw like a man.

Who ever you are Tarvaris, this is a hell of a spot the Vikings have put you in. While playing without elbow pads makes you look cooler than Brad Johnson, I think the results are going to be the same, a Viking loss.

I say bet the Neverland Ranch on Green Bay minus the three points.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Week 15 Picks and Musings

Okay football fans, we’re at the most important time of the NFL season. The time when every play is crucial, every call vital, every pass has us on the edge of our seat. It’s playoff time!

I know the “real” playoffs don’t start for another three weeks. No, I’m talking about the “fantasy” playoffs. The one real football geeks care about.

Admittedly, I was a late-comer to the whole fantasy football craze. I always found the guys who were into it to be eerily similar to that group in high school that would huddle in the back of the cafeteria to play D&D. I thought it was crazy to spend all that time preparing a mock draft, tracking stats, and setting line-ups. To me, it was for people so miserable in their own lives, they needed to concoct an alternate reality that allows them to be Giants GM Ernie Accorsi, including the bad toupee.

This all changed for me when my friend Nick got me to sign up last season. It was like taking the red pill from Morpheus. The matrix came down and the whole world became clearer. I realized two huge things. First, watching football on Sundays is incredibly more fun when you care about so many games and players. And second, my life is indeed miserable.

My Sundays are frantic as I channel surf from game to game while clicking through stats online. I don’t care if the Ravens win or lose, I’m just screaming for McNair to throw the ball to Heap. I’m pleading for the Jaguars to settle for a field goal because I have Josh Scobee. I am praying Hasselbeck throws a TD but not to Jackson because my opponent has him. I am hooked, with line and sinker.

I’m far from alone in this crazy, carpel tunnel inducing behavior. A whopping 20 million other Americans share this passion. It’s comforting to know that you are not on your own in your lunacy. I now know the camaraderie Trekkies feel.

But just like other compulsive additions, the jones I get from Sunday is no longer enough to sustain my high. The Thursday night game is just a tease. I need more hits from the fantasy pipe. Nino Brown, help me! I need my fantasy football crack!

Well the answer to my prayers comes from a most unlikely source, soap opera fans. Specifically, SOAPnet, the 24 hour channel dedicated to all things soap opera. They have come up with the Fantasy Soap League . The league is just like fantasy football, but instead of drafting players, you draft characters and soap opera moments. You get points if your character says certain lines or gets in certain “soapy situations.” Examples of point scoring moments are getting amnesia, getting stood up at the altar, or discovering you have an evil twin who fathered your wife’s baby while framing you for the serial murders that have killed off half the cast. That last example is the equivalent of your defensive back getting a sack, causing a fumble, recovering that fumble, and returning it for a TD all in one play.

While I’m not a fan of these shows, it dawned on me that football is sort of a soap opera. It has farfetched story lines, over the top characters, and plenty of crying (especially for us Dolphin fans).

So just like the brilliant scientists who invented peanut butter cups, I thought “hey, these are two great obsessions that would taste great together.” So I propose a brand new fantasy football league, the Fantasy Off-field and Off-season League aka F.O.O.L. This league covers all the things that happen between the actual games. You draft players, coaches and teams and get points every time they say or do certain things.

Here are a few examples of how some of the scoring could occur:

You get points if a coach or players says the following:

“We are going to give it 110%.” = 2 points
“They just out played/out coached us.” = 5 points
“We came to play.” = 7 points
“No one respected us.” = 10 points
“I thank God for the win.” = 12 points
“I’m not blaming the officiating but…” = 15 points
“I know I’ll get fined for saying this but…” = 20 points
“I’m not one to point fingers but….” = 35 points
“We are not taking the Raiders lightly.” = 50 points
“We suck.” = 75 points
“Tom Coughlin is a jerk.” = 100 points (only 2 points if said by a Giant player)

You can score points if a player or coach has the following happen:

Gets a DUI = 5 points
Fails a drug test = 10 points
Blames a failed drug test on asthma medicine = 15 points
Gets arrested = 20 points (extra 10 points for felonies)
Gets in a fight = 25 point
Gets in a fight with a teammate = 35 points
Tries to pass a gun through airport security = 50 points
Gets a girl pregnant that’s not his wife = 100 points
Get a teammate’s girlfriend pregnant = 300 points
Gets the coach’s daughter pregnant = 500 points
Botches a fake suicide attempt = 1000 points

I calculated the scoring based on this criteria and concluded that the Cincinnati Bengals would be the LaDainian Tomlinson of this league.

You might think I’m off my rocker with this idea, but mark my blog, you will be playing it by the start of next season. And while you will be tempted to draft Terrell Owens, go with my sleeper pick, Peyton Manning. After one more season of blowing it in the playoffs, he’s going to go off like Joan Crawford in a closet full of wire hangers.

Now, on to the picks. Last week, I started strong but faded in the backstretch to finish 10-6 and 2-3 on my star picks. For the season I am 98-95-6 and 27-30-1 on my star picks.

Here are my picks and my predictions on how points will be scored in my new FOOL league.

*Dallas -3 at Atlanta: 10 points by Bill Parcells for telling reporters “I wish I had 53 Terrell Owens on my team,.. along with 53 snitches to watch him”

Miami at Buffalo –1: 75 points by the Dolphins for admitting to bugging telephone calls between J.P. Losman and his therapist.

Tampa Bay at Chicago –13.5: 10 points by Lovie Smith for saying “I’m sticking with Rex Grossman until the end” with a straight face.

New York Jets at Minnesota –3: 100 points by Minnesota Viking players for getting arrested for assault while attending the team sponsored Fight Against Abuse charity auction.

Cleveland at Baltimore –11: 35 points by Kellen Winslow Jr. for wrecking on his stationary bike.

Houston +11 at New England: 75 points by Bill Belichick for talking for 15 straight minutes without making one coherent point.

*Pittsburgh –2.5 at Carolina: 15 points by Joey Porter for making Steve Smith cry by calling him a racially insensitive term for Swedes. No, Smith is not Swedish, he’s just very found of their meatballs.

*Washington at New Orleans –9.5: 1 point by Drew Brees for dedicating the Saints win to the people of New Orleans. (I think they would take a Saints losing streak if they got electricity in return.)

Jacksonville at Tennessee +4: -5 points for any Jaguar player who fails to say at least once this week “every one is disrespecting us.”

Philadelphia at NY Giants –5.5: 7 points by Tom Coughlin for blaming Eli Manning for losing the opening coin toss. “Why would you call tails in that situation?”

*Detroit at Green Bay –5: 25 points by Brett Favre for saying “ I feel like a rookie out there!” This will follow a 4 Int game in which he played like a rookie.

Denver at Arizona +3: 5 points by Jake Plummer for every time he says this week “It’ll be great to be back in Arizona. Think they'll let me stay?"

*St. Louis +2.5 at Oakland: 100 points by Randy Moss for booking 13 tee times for the off season before the end of the first quarter.

Kansas City at San Diego –9: 95 points by Shawne Merriman for testing positive for steroids again. Bonus 50 points for blaming it on bad lettuce at Taco Bell.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis –3: 20 points for the Cincinnati player who gets arrested this week. A 10-point deduction when it turns out it was only for misdemeanor shoplifting.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Week 15- Thursday Night Special

Here’s a news flash…tonight... it is going to rain in Seattle. This is breaking news. I repeat, “It will rain…in Seattle.” This happens only 226 days a year so you might want to watch just for the novelty of it all.

Here are some other reasons you should watch:

If the Seahawks win, instead of Gatorade, Mike Holmgren will get doused with a bucket full of Mocha Frappacino.

Not only will coach Mike Nolan dress like an old time coach, he will have his players go old school too. In a nod to the past, all Niners will play with leather helmets and no facemasks.

There will be a halftime tribute to Grunge music with performances by John Cougar Mellencamp, Kelly Clarkson, and Burt Bacharach.

Or you could just ignore the game like most of us who can’t watch it because of crappy cable systems.

Just take my word for it…it’ll be close in the first half, something like 13-10 or 10-7. But then Seattle will go in for their halftime “double red eye with extra sugar” and open it up in the second half. Seattle not only wins, they cover the 9.5 point spread. It’s as certain as the sun rising…and being blocked out by cloud cover.

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Friday, December 8, 2006

Week 14 Football Picks

It’s that most wonderful time of the year. The time for glad tidings, holiday parties, and most of all, stressing to the point of nausea over what gifts to get people. We stress out to find the perfect gift. When that fails, you get them whatever is on sale.

That’s why I do all my holiday shopping at Wal-Mart. It’s cheap. It’s convenient. It’s got everything …that can be made by 13 year old Chinese women. This year, most of my family and friends with be getting tube socks and a 5 pound container of chocolate pudding, because who doesn’t need socks and you can never have enough chocolate pudding.

But this is also the time to turn our thoughts toward those less fortunate in our society. Of course, I am talking about NFL head coaches. Is there any group more deserving of our sympathy? Each weekend, we see these poor bastards wander aimlessly up and down a white chalk line. They are often seen screaming, scratching, pleading, and scowling. They remind us of that guy reeking of urine at the bus depot who is yelling at the vending machine for allowing Nixon to get involved in Cambodia.

Of this group, there are some who are in an even more desperate state. They are the coaches commonly referred to as “on the hot seat”. They are easy to identify because management just gave them a vote of confidence. Well, I am taking it upon myself to help these pitiful souls. In the spirit of the holiday season, here are the gifts I am giving these coaches. Of course, all items can be found at Wal-Mart. I may be thoughtful, but I am still cheap.

Dennis Green- “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire”. Look, there is no way he is going to save his job, why not let him get a jump on his relocation plans. Ironically, Arizona is one the top 5 havens for retirees so maybe he can re-gift this to Larry Coker.

Art Shell- Razor E150 electric Scooter. If you watch Art during a game, it looks like he barely has the energy to chew gum much less walk the sidelines. Not only will the electric scooter make it easier for him to get up and down the sidelines, it will make it easier for him to get away from Randy Moss when he comes asking about a trade.

Jim Mora, Jr- X-Box with Madden ’07. Michael Vick might be a coach killer in real life, but in the virtual world, Jim can finally win that playoff game that eluded his father.

Tom Coughlin- Hudson 1-gallon Weed ‘n Bugger Eliminator Spray. The adjustable flex nozzle will make it easy for him to kill that bug up his ass.

Romeo Crennel- “You on a Diet- The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management”. There are a lot of overweight coaches in football, but Romeo is to the point he gets winded walking to mid-field for the post game handshake. If he wants to move on to a coveted college-coaching gig, he is going to have to slim down to Charlie Weiss size, without the life threatening surgery.

Matt Millen (GM)- Canon ZR500 MiniDV Camcorder. I know he’s not a coach, but his seat has got to be scorching. The only way he keeps his job is to use this camera to catch William Clay Ford in an inappropriate act with an underage penguin, or worse, driving a Toyota.

Now, here are my fearless predictions. Last week I was exceptionally average. Not good. Not bad. Just 8-8, but 3-2 on my star picks. This makes me 88-89-6 and 25-27-1 on my star picks.

My picks are in bold:

*Oakland at Cincinnati -10.5: Warren Sapp still holds a grudge against the Bengals for pulling a contract off the table at the last minute in 2004, leading him to go to Oakland. You know who else is still upset about that? The Raiders. W

Minnesota +2 at Detroit: Everything is in Detroit’s favor this week. They are playing at home. They played better last week. Minnesota is playing lousy and has a ton of injuries. This only means one thing for the Lions. A double-digit loss. W

Baltimore +3 at Kansas City: Vegas makes KC the favorite even though the Ravens are obviously the better team. Most betters see this, and think oh Vegas wants me to bet the Ravens, I’m not falling into that trap; I’ll go with KC. Well, I’m not falling into that reverse trap, I’ll take my chances with the original trap. I just got a migraine coming up with that logic. W

New England -3.5 at Miami: Alabama’s wooing of Nick Saban is sort of like a guy at a wedding hitting on the bride. It’s obvious she just made a “commitment” with some one else, but Alabama was hoping Nick’s first dance with his groom, Dante Culpepper, would make him realize he is in for a long and loveless marriage. L

*Atlanta -3 at Tampa Bay: This week, Jim Mora Sr. was forced to resign his job at Fox Sports Radio. Michael Vick has moved up from coach killer to “sports talk radio host” killer. He would stop until he brings down Madden! W

Philadelphia -1 at Washington: The Redskins will be playing at home for the third straight game which means they have now spent more time in Washington than any senator. W

NY Giants +3.5 at Carolina: This is a “do or die” game for the Giants. So far, New York is 0-4 in “do or die” games this year. They have more lives Jason Voorhees, and the same psychological condition. W

Indianapolis -1 at Jacksonville: Indianapolis is really conscious of their reputation as playoff time chokers. This year, they are bucking that trend by beginning to play lousy before the playoffs start thus lowering expectations. When they eventually lose in the first round, it'll be an easier blow for their fans to take. Tony Dungy is such a considerate guy. L

Tennessee +2 at Houston: It's the old Oilers vs. the new Oilers. In tribute to the past, both head coaches will wear ten gallon hats, Earl Campbell will do the coin toss, and then the old Pittsburgh Steelers will come out and beat up on both teams. W

*Seattle -3.5 at Arizona: In the last two weeks, Seattle has pretty much taken off the first half and yet still won the game. Against Arizona, the Seahawks are not planning to show up to the stadium until the 2 minute warning of the 4th quarter. That’s plenty of time for Arizona to turn it over 4 times and miss a last chance field goal. L

*Green Bay at San Francisco -4.5: Green Bay was completely humiliated by the Jets last week. On offense, defense, and special teams. It was embarrassing. Although, I thought it was a bit much when the Jets gave Brett Favre an atomic wedgie and threw him into the girls’ locker room. L

*Buffalo at NY Jets -3.5: Buffalo fans like to call this game “The Battle of New York”. The problem is 7 out of 10 Americans don’t know Buffalo is in New York. To further complicate matters, those 9 out of 10 said they didn’t know Buffalo still had a football team. L

Denver at San Diego -7.5: When is Denver going to finally pull Plummer and put in Jay Culter?! Plummer was pathetic last week. Failing to move the offense. Throwing too many picks. Looking absolutely clueless. What are they waiting for…what’s that? They already made the switch. That was Jay Culter last week? Seriously? That sure looked like Plummer. You sure? Okay. When the hell are they going to pull Cutler and put in Plummer?! W

New Orleans at Dallas -7: This love affair ESPN has with Tony Romo is getting a bit out of hand. Michael Irvin got a “Romo” tattoo on his left butt cheek. Sean Salisbury designated Tony as his proxy in his Living Will, and Rachel Nichols got impregnated just by interviewing him. L

Chicago -6.5 at St. Louis: Let’s all stop criticizing Rex Grossman for throwing those interceptions and instead heap praise on the defensive backs getting those interceptions. They say the hardest ball to catch is the one thrown right at you. W

Record 10-6
Star picks 2-3

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Week 14- Thursday Night Special

So far this season, there have been 4 Thursday games (not counting the opener). In those games, the home team has won and covered in 3 of the 4. The only home team to lose was the Detroit Lions but I’m not counting CFL teams.

Also, Pittsburgh has beaten Cleveland 11 out of the last 12 times, winning the last six in a row, and more importantly to us degenerate gambler types, the Steelers covered in all those games.

Cleveland is probably starting Derek Anderson at quarterback. Raise you hand if you ever heard of Derek Anderson before last weekend.

Okay three people just raised their hand. One was Drew Carey. The second was Derek Anderson’s mom (but she still doesn’t understand exactly what he does for a living). And three was a guy who mistook him for Derek Anderson, the backup point guard for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Now granted, Pittsburgh is out of the playoff hunt. Bill Cowher is already borrowing Hines Ward’s truck to haul furniture to his new house in North Carolina. And they are so short handed at safety and wide receiver that Donnie Shell and John Stallworth have been spotted at the Steelers training facility.

In spite of all that, there are just too many things going in the Steelers favorite for them to screw it up. The biggest advantage will be a home crowd hopped up on Iron City Beer that will work them into a frenzy while at the same time dull their collective pain brought on by knowing the Pirates play ball in only four months.

So, take the Steelers –7. I feel so confident in this pick that I would be willing to bet all of your money on it.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Week 13 Football Picks

Long before “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, the commonly held sports credo was “What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room…until 10 years after you retire, then you can write about it in a tell all book with a 6 figure advance.”

But that was then, and this is now. Lately, players have been blabbing about what goes on behind the scenes like a drunk girl telling her guy about all her ex-boyfriends. If you ask the guy, he’ll say “Yeah, baby, I want you to feel comfortable about sharing everything.” But secretly ladies, we really wish you would have the common decency to allow us our self-delusion that we’re the only man you’ve ever been with.

It’s the same thing with our sports heroes. I want to believe that everything is great, that all the players get along and that they’re all working really hard to achieve MY goal of winning a championship. I don’t want to hear about all the in fighting, name-calling, second-guessing, and general bitching and moaning. I spend over 45 hours a week in an office. I get that in spades everyday. When I turn on ESPN, the last thing I want to think is, “Boy Shockey sure sounds like the secretary down the hall who’s pissed off at the new guy in HR.”

Also, I don’t want to hear anything bad about a player. When did we get so high and mighty? Some guys have a hard time operating a motor vehicle after drinking a six-pack. Who cares?! Some guys like to use their middle finger to show they’re number one. So what! Some guys like to participate in the interstate distribution of illegal narcotics. Who doesn’t?! So long as they protect my QB’s blind side, don’t fumble on the goal line, and, most importantly, put up over 20 points for my fantasy team, I don’t care. Give me the days of yore when Mickey Mantle’s pre-game hurling because of an all-night bender was reported as a mild touch of the flu.

But alas, this is the era where we have to know everything. Everyone has to “share” his feelings. Athletes go on sports talk radio and just “tell it like it is” because they “got to keep it real.” No you don’t. You can keep it “fake”. It works for our government. What? Acting like the leader of the free world isn’t good enough for you? Will it cost you street cred?

Although, I have to say I do admire the players who have the guts to claim they were misquoted despite that fact they were just broadcast live to over 20 million people. You must have no smaller than size XXXL cojones to try to pull that off. I’m not sure how such a person can even walk.

So thanks to this new era of Glasnost, this week we learned that:
The NY Giants are as dysfunctional as a Jackson family reunion.
Troy Williamson of the Vikings can take a punch but can’t run a 15-yard out.
Art Shell (aka Capt. Queeg) thinks there is a traitor in his mist.
Football players find slavery to be a better source of humor than the Polish.
and, most importantly, Tony Romo is not dating Jessica Simpson.

Is it any wonder that Sports Illustrated and People Magazine are owned by the same parent company?

Last week I went 9-7 on my picks and 2-3 on my star picks. For the season, I am just below the water line at 80-81-6 and 22-25-1 on my star picks.

Here are the picks for this week, with a little clubhouse secret that you’ll only get from me. My picks are in bold.

San Diego –6 at Buffalo: LaDainian Tomilson is still not satisfied with his role on the team. He was overheard lobbying the coaching staff to let him play free safety, kick field goals, and choreograph the cheerleading squad. L

Minnesota at Chicago –9: It’s not all Rex’s fault. Brian Urlacher has been secretly encouraging Grossman to throw more picks. It seems Brian gets a $200,000 bonus if he leads the league in tackles. W

Kansas City at Cleveland +5.5: Larry Johnson considers Herm Edwards a father figure. So much so that he hates Herm for never being there for him when he was young and blames him for his issues with commitment. W

NY Jets at Green Bay +1.5: Feeling ignored by the media, the Jets are game planning to blow a fourth quarter lead so they can grab the back pages from the Giants. In New York, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s who gets the wittiest headlines. L

Indianapolis –7.5 at Tennessee: Jeff Fisher is telling friends that this is a “make or break” game for him. If the Titans pull out another upset victory, he fears he’ll be offered a contract extension keeping him from that job in Arizona. L

*Arizona at St. Louis –6.5: Cardinal players are concerned Dennis Green has given up on the season. One sign might be that instead of listening to his coordinators during the game, Green has piped into his headset Jay-Z’s new album. L

Detroit +13.5 at New England: To prove that he is the greatest defensive genius in NFL history, Belichick will try to win this game without fielding an offense. Keeping John Kitna on the field might be the best way for the Patriots to run up the score anyway. W

*San Francisco at New Orleans –7: The Niners were left heart broken over their last minute loss to the Rams. There were reports of a locker room littered with used Kleenexes, empty ice cream and bon-bon boxes, and a copy of “Waiting to Exhale” in the team DVD player. W

*Atlanta +1.5 at Washington: Michael Vick was so hurt by comments calling him a “coach killer” that he has decided to donate the league imposed $10,000 penalty to the “Jim Mora Jr. Future Unemployment Fund.” W

*Houston at Oakland –3: While supporters insist Art Shell is not paranoid about players and staff talking behind his back, word is Shell just hired as his new head of security John Ashcroft. L

Jacksonville +2 at Miami: Since they are undefeated when I do, the Dolphins are now paying me Dante Culpepper’s salary to pick against them. W

Dallas –3.5 at NY Giants: In a incredibly generous gesture on the eve of such a big game, Terrell Owens has offered to give the Giants a pep talk on team chemistry. L

*Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh –7: After last week’s nine sack beating at the hands of the Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger relaxed and enjoyed his off day by taking headers off his Suzuki.W

Seattle at Denver –3: My sources tell me it wasn’t all the interceptions and general ineptitude that cost Jake Plummer his job. It was the fact he didn’t buy his new Silverado from John Elway Chervolet. L

Carolina at Philadelphia +3: In a powerful sign of solidarity after the season ending injury to McNabb, the entire Eagle team has unified and agreed to rally around blaming Jeff Garcia for all future losses. W

Record 8-8
Star Picks 3-2