Thursday, November 8, 2007

Week 10 - Asterisks

Click here to listen to an audio version of the entry.

Asterisk (definition from dictionary): a small star-like symbol (*), used in writing and printing as a reference mark or to indicate omission, doubtful matter, etc.

If 2007 is known for anything, it will be known as the year of the asterisk. From Barry Bonds’ enlarged head to a corrupt ref calling the Spurs - Suns pivotal game 5 to the Patriots moonlighting as freelance filmmakers, many of this year’s achievements in sports are being looked at with a lazy eye.

It has really called into question my devotion and love for sports. If all that is great in the game is accomplished under false pretense, then what am I to believe? Sports fans embrace the touchdown, the home run, the breakaway goal for the apparent greatness we are witnessing and because we believe in the integrity of the achievement. We get lied to plenty every the store..on TV…in the bedroom. Look, I understand my “achievement” during moments of intimacy has a 50/50 chance of being misleading or chemically enhanced. But the climax I reach upon a team winning a championship should not have to be au natural.

I wish I had Doc Brown’s DeLorean that could take me back to the good old days of sports, when I knew everything was done the right way and on the up and up.

Take me back to…

A time when heroes like Mays and Mantle hit their home runs using only good old fashioned hard work and amphetamines.

To 1996, when the great Yankees won their first series in 18 years with a plucky young shortstop and an even pluckier young kid in the right field stands pulling fly balls in for home runs.

To 1951, when the NY Giants refused to quit and made that miracle comeback against the Dodgers using timely hitting, clutch pitching and astute signal stealing from a spy in centerfield.

When biting, gouging eyes, and grabbing testicles in a pile during a football game was called being tough and not flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct.

Oh, those were the days.

So when a team or player does accomplish something under dubious manner, we speak about putting the dreaded star-like scarlet letter next to their name. I believe athletes hate the asterisk above all else, more than any fine or suspension or court order paternity payments. That is the reason why I believe in using it. It might be the only stick we non-athletically inclined people have in keeping our misguided heroes in place. It might make them think twice about visiting that dentist prescribing them HGH for an overbite.

The record books and hall of fame and spineless sportswriters might be afraid of affixing the mighty asterisk, but Don Shula and I are not. So I hereby declare that the entire year of 2007 receive the unsightly asterisk tattoo placed right on the small of her back, so everytime she bends over, the whole world, whether they want to or not, can see it.

And I am not doing this as a bitter fan whose every favorite team has failed miserably this year, nor as a poor gambling loser whose picks have been putrid this year. I do this for the integrity of sport, for an example for future generations of fans, and because, dammit, there is no way the Dolphins can be this bad without someone cheating.

Last week I went 6-8 and 2-2 on my asterisk picks. Overall I am 59-63-7 and 13-17-2. My picks are in bold and that funny star indicates I feel so strong about this pick I already have an accusation of cheating prepared in case I get it wrong.

Jacksonville +3.5 at Tennessee - I took the Jag plus the 3.5 on the road last week and got creamed. So what do I do, the exact same thing. My head is thicker that the Great Wall of China

Denver at Kansas City –4.5 – The Broncos get blown out. The Rockies get swept. Seven people are shot in the LoDo district. If you think black holes are just theoretical, visit Denver.

*Buffalo –3 at Miami – I circled this match-up at the beginning of the year as a battle for last place in the AFC East. Well, Buffalo, Miami lived up to their end of the bargain.

Cleveland +9 at Pittsburgh – If the Browns win, they will be tied for first place. Nothing funny here, just thought it should be noted the Browns are playing for first place and not the first pick in the draft.

St. Louis +12 and New Orleans – It is insulting to be a more than 10-point underdog to any team in pro football not called New England.

*Atlanta at Carolina –4.5 – Because of Vinnie’s resurgence, Stallone is thinking about doing Rocky XII. All means must be used to stop Testeverde before this project get greenlit.

*Philadelphia at Washington –3 – My prediction of the Eagles going to the Super Bowl looks so stupid now, my high school called to ask for my diploma back and the local library suspended by borrowing privileges.

Minnesota +6.5 at Green Bay – The Vikings literally have no QB. And this would usually be bad but in this case it will actually help them because now they have no excuse not to just snap the ball directly to Adrian Petersen.

(P.S. Raise you hand if you got all excited because your fantasy football team had Adrian Petersen on it, until you realized it was the one from Chicago. They should have the same rules as SAG and make players change their name or add at least add a middle initial to help us ill-informed fans out.)

Cincinnati +6.5 at Baltimore – I loved Ray Lewis crowing about the fact they held Pittsburgh to only 3 points in the second half on Monday night. It takes a tough guy to do an interview with a concussion.

Chicago at Oakland +3.5 – This is an example of a screw you pick. I know the Bears are better and it is just plain silly to pick the Raiders, but the Bears have cost me so much this year, I am picking against them out of petty spite, and that’s the best kind of spite there is.

*Dallas PK at NY Giants –The G-Men are on a roll. The last 4 teams they have beat have a combined record of 5-28. I didn’t think it was possible to score that easily without visiting the Chicken Ranch with a fist full of fifties.

*Detroit +1 at Arizona – Detroit, by way of Kitna, has God on their side. Arizona plays in the land of the Sun Devil. Something’s got to give. While the Devil is strong against the run, God has a wickedly deceptive play action pass and has the arm to go deep. I like God over the Devil in this game because of a no time on the clock, game ending smiting.

Indianapolis at San Diego +3.5 – Not sure how the Colts can come down from playing in the game of the century to playing in merely the game of the week. Also, after getting literally rolled over last week by the Vikings, Charger defenders are being treated for Porphyrophobia ( fear of the color purple).

San Francisco +10 at Seattle – this game is going to be so bad, I hear ESPN is moving it to ESPNU and instead will be airing the Division III Women’s College Basketball Preview show.

No comments: