Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 3- No where to go but rock bottom

Last Sunday, I suffered a crisis of confidence that shook me to my very foundation. It made me question all things I once held true. The roundness of the Earth. The naturalness of Jimmy Johnson’s hair. The true commitment Jon and Kate have for their children.

It all unraveled for me as I watched my picks, one after the other, go down in flames. Out of the 14 games on Sunday, I got 12 wrong. It was so bad that wining my Sunday and Monday night picks doubled my weekly win total.

It caused me to endure the five stages of loss:

Denial- There is no friggin way the Bengals that I watched on Hard Knocks could beat the Packers. I refused to believe it to the point I attempted to cash my Packers bet at the sports book. It took the casino director 15 minutes to explain that indeed the Cincinnati Bengals scored more points, on the road, against my pick to win the NFC.

Anger- I wailed that this was the stupidest sport ever. With its stupid little odd shaped ball. And with those stupid pads they wear. And the stupid guys wearing black and white shirts with yellow hankies. And the stupid way the Patriots couldn’t score a touchdown against the stupid Jets. This game is just stupid.

Bargaining- I’m sorry football, I really didn’t mean that. You know I love you baby. Com’on. Stop your pouting. I promise to watch you on Sundays and buy into everything you say about how all the players are clean of steroids. Please baby, please just let me win one 3 team parlay.

Depression- I guess this is my fate. I suck at picking football games. How can I look myself in the mirror with my faded Dan Marino jersey on? Sure, technically he was not a winner either, but he looked a hell of a lot better in knee braces than I do. My life could not be any worse unless I was Detroit Lion season ticket holder. Maybe I should just resign myself to betting WNBA pre-season games.

Acceptance- As I stared into the abyss that is my prognosticating life, I heard a voice cry out to me. I did not recognize it at first but soon I realized it was the soothing, loving voice of my dear wife.
“You got only 4 right! Geez, I know nothing about football and I could’ve done better than that. Seriously. Wow you suck.”
With the reality of my situation staring me straight in the face in the form of the most supportive person in my life, I gave in.

“Screw it! If you’re so damn smart, you make the #$@%ing picks,” I ever so calmly retorted.

And thus, this week’s picks are courtesy of a woman who knows absolutely nothing about football. When I asked her what was her reasoning for each of the 16 picks, she simply responded “None.”

I fear with that logic, she is going to do awesome.

Her (and thus my) picks are in bold:

Titans +2.5 at Jets
Jaguars +4 at Texans
Chiefs at Eagles -9.5
Browns +13.5
at Ravens
Giants -7 at Bucs
Redskins at Lions +6.5
Packers at Rams +6.5
49ers at Vikings -7
Falcons +4 at Patriots
Bears at Seahawks +1.5
Saints -5.5
at Bills
Dolphins +6.5 at Chargers
Steelers at Bengals +4.5
Broncos +2
at Raiders
Colts at Cardinals -3
Panthers at Cowboys -9

Last week picks 4-12
Season: 13-19

Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 2- Inside Info

It worked out so well last week with Al Davis, I decided to continue seeking outside help with my picks for the week. Instead of limiting myself to the genius of one person, I sought 16 different people I believe have inside information on each of this week’s games. I am confident this will improve my 9-7 mark from last weekend.

The picks are in bold.

Texans at Titans -6.5
Texans QB Matt Schaub: “I am not "injury prone." That's just bull. Oh god, I just blinked and dislocated by eye ball.”

Patriots -3.5 at Jets
Jet head coach Rex Ryan “We are not intimidated by the Patriots. We are not concerned about how good they are or how they have beaten us 8 times in a row at home. We don’t give a second look to their physically fit bodies. Nor the way the sweat glistens off their muscles. Nor the boyish good looks of their QB. No sir. We will not be intimidated. Have they asked about us?”

Raiders at Chiefs -3
Raiders’ former assistant Randy Hanson:
“Mmmmm. Urgggg, mmmmm (takes sip of pureed lunch through straw) mmmm, grrrr. mm, mmmmmm.”

Bengals at Packers -9
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis: “The way our luck is running it is as if the entire team is dating Jessica Simpson. What? She’s not dating Romo anymore? I’ve got to call a team meeting.”

Vikings -9.5 at Lions
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson: “I love Brett Favre, but if he starts throwing INTs again, I’ll slap him like he was a DB.”

Saints at Eagles PK
Eagles QB Donovan McNabb: “No. I don’t feel threatened by them bringing in Garcia. No, Vick being activated early didn’t bother. I’m not one to feel threatened by any one. I am very confident. Why are you looking at me like that? Is it my hair? You don’t like this shirt? I’ll change it if you like.”

Panthers +6.5 at Falcons
Panthers QB Jake Delhomme: “In the same way the Mario Mendoza created The Mendoza Line, I have created a new term – The Delhomme Bottom to replace rock bottom.”

Rams at Redskins -10
Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder: “Since really the Rams are just spectators for this game, can I get away with charging them admission?”

Cardinals at Jaguars -3
Cardinals Safety Adrian Wilson: “I can’t believe they were booing us last week. For 60 years, this team won nothing. I know. I feel like I’ve been here for all of those years. We finally get to a Super Bowl and nearly won it and they got the balls to boo us. Screw them. I got no problem going back to sucking. We’ve had plenty of practice.”

Seahawks +1.5 at 49ers
49ers Head coach Mike Singletary: “Since I dropped my pants last year, we have a winning record. I hate to brag, but I have the most inspirational ass since Betty Grable.”

Bucs +4.5 at Bills
Bills kick returner Leodis McKelvin: “If I had a chance, I’d do it the same way again. Seriously, I would take the ball out of the end zone and proceed to fumble it away. Look, I’ve gotten more notoriety in the last 5 days than in my entire life. My PR advisor, TO, told me any press is good press. He can't be wrong.”

Browns at Broncos -3
Broncos WR Brandon Stokley: “Even if I catch a ball in the first quarter, I am going to try to run out the clock. Seriously, for the fans’ sake, I want to cut as much time as possible out of this game.”

Ravens at Chargers -3
Charger Running Back Ladianian Tomlinson: “Why yes, it is my goal to destroy as many fantasy football teams as possible. I’m in a battle with Carson Palmer.”

Steelers -3 at Bears
Bears QB Jay Cutler: “Yeah, well the economy sucks, but I’m not worried. There’s another 16 decades left in this country and we’ll bounce back. Industry just needs to get on the same page. I’m not concerned about getting into any more sub-prime mortgages or anything.”

Giants +2.5 at Cowboys
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones: “That is categorically untrue. The size of my new stadium is not over compensating for any physical shortcomings.”

Colts -3 at Dolphins
Colts QB Peyton Manning: “That’s a good question. Let me think about that… Crack. I’d have to say crack is the only thing I can think that I would not do a commercial for. Wait, if they got my brother and father to be in the spot, maybe.”

Last week 9-7
Season: 9-7

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week One- What's Old is Old Again

Special treat this week. I had the great fortune of contacting Oakland Raiders’ owner and puppet master Al Davis. In a very candid interview, he has provided me with his predictions for this week’s game. I will of course adopt all his suggestions as my own because if Al Davis knows one thing, it’s how to pick real “winners” in football.

Editor’s Note: We did not actually interview the person of Al Davis but rather his spirit. We channeled him in a séance involving wearing a silver and black sweat suit, large rim glasses with a chain hanging on them and greasing our hair back with motor oil.

Al’s picks are in bold.

Dolphins +4 at Falcons
“I really like what Shula has done with that team. Great running game. Warfield gives them a vertical attack. I love vertical attacks. I also love verticals. Would you like to see what I’ve done with my sliding glass door?”

Chiefs + 12.5 at Ravens
“I don’t like birds. Never have. I drafted a pigeon in the late 70s to replace Dave Casper. Rozelle, that bastard, annulled the pick. He probably saved me because I think pigeons are soft going across the middle.”

Eagles -1 at Panthers
“I love birds. Always have. I drafted a crow in the late 70s to replace Dave Casper. Rozelle, that bastard, annulled the pick. He probably would have led us to 3 more Super Bowls with the way he could flap and caw. ”

Broncos +4 at Bengals
“In 1982, I ordered Flores to replace the entire secondary with Sherpas when we played at Denver. They handled the altitude like champs. Unfortunately, the fact they had never played a down of football hurt their coverage skills.”

Vikings -4 at Browns
“I always wanted Tarkenton to play for us. With his scrambling, I would have used only 3 offensive linemen and sent 7 receivers out. It’s all about the vertical game. Verticals, baby! Have you seen my sliding glass door?”

Jets at Texans -4.5
“I’ve never head of the Texans. Are they in the WFL?”

Jaguars at Colts -7
“Baltimore is a great city. Love those crab cakes. And that town sure loves them Colts. I can’t imagine that city without them.”

Lions at Saints -13
“Pssst. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Pope John Paul II called me two days before he died to say I was up for sainthood. Yeah. Saint Al. All I had to do was one more miracle. I’m thinking about walking across San Francisco Bay, and then relocating the team to Alcatraz. If only I can get them to build me a stadium.”

Cowboys – 5.5 at Buccaneers
“Damn Jon Gruden. I swear to god, if I ever get my hands on him, I’ll rip out his heart. You hear me Jon! What’s that? They fired him? He’s available to hire? I’ve got a phone call to make.”

49ers +6.5 at Cardinals
“I don’t like birds. Never have. I interviewed a parakeet in the late 70s to replace John Madden. Almost hired him, but something about those beady little eyes told me not to trust him. Plus he pooped in my office. Just like Lane Kiffen did.”

Redskins +6.5 at Giants
“I find Washington’s mascot to be very offensive. I am a fair skinned gentleman and when I spend an afternoon watching my Raiders, the few parts of my skin not covered by the sweat suit turn a light shade of red. So as a Redskin, I demand they change the name or they must forfeit to us a draft pick. I will then trade that pick to the Giants to get the rights to Lawrence Taylor.”

Rams at Seahawks -8
“In my book, Merlin Olsen is the greatest American born actor of the 20th century. With Bubba Smith a very close second.”

Bears at Packers -3.5
“I remember being at the very first Bears/Packers game. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I do remember that game.”

Bills at Patriots -10.5
“Ever since Bob Craft came up with those compromising photos of me with Adrienne Barbeau and Herve Villechaize, I’ve had to do some terrible things. Seriously, is there any other explanation for me to trade Randy Moss for a 4th round pick and trade a 1st round pick for Richard Seymour.”

Chargers -9.5 at Raiders
The Raiders are a team of excellence. With me as their leader, we are dedicated to winning and championships. Everything I do is toward that end. Oh, I see the sun is coming up. I’ve got to get to bed. I hate being awake during the day because I keep getting these calls from Tom Cable about what to do. Doesn’t he get the notes I send by carrier pigeon. By the way, did I ever tell you how much I love birds?

So far this season 0-1

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Five things about tonight’s Titans/Steelers Game

1. Lendale White claims he stopped drinking tequila this off season in order to get in shape. I liked my sports heroes better when getting drunk was part of their “in-season conditioning” (see Mantle, Ruth, Wells, Strawberry). Although being drunk would explain a lot about some of his past actions, especially running right into the ground on the infamous 4 and 1 against Texas in the Rose Bowl.

2. James Harrison did not go to the White House with the rest of the team this year because, and I quote, “This is how I feel -- if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl. As far as I'm concerned, he [Obama] would've invited Arizona if they had won." Think about a man whose brain could come up with the logic. Now think of that man in the general population without football as an outlet. Thank god for the NFL.

3. In the upcoming season of House, Mike Tomlin will guest star as Dr. Foreman’s (Omar Epps) twin brother. He visits the hospital to rub in the fact that flunking out of med school and becoming a pro football coach was the best thing that ever happened to him. Things take a turn for the worse though, when Tomlin contracts a rare yet deadly disease caused by blending Gatorade with the material found in a parka. He lives after House recalls treating Mike Holmgren for the same thing several years earlier.

4. Vince Young claims he will be the next black quarterback to win the Super Bowl. He also claims he will be the next black quarterback to land on the moon, the next black quarterback to become President of the United States, and the next black quarterback to win the Pulitzer Prize. Unfortunately for him, he will not be the next black quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

5. Since the NFL scheduled the Super Bowl champs to host the opening Thursday night game, the defending champs have yet to lose (5-0). Who am I to buck a trend? The Steelers will win and cover the 6 point spread.

Monday, September 7, 2009

All Bets are Off!

The NFL is back and this season is shaping up to be one of the craziest ever. I mean bat-shit, who took the medication away from the emo chick and got her drunk, kind of crazy.

The season has not even started yet and we have seen:

Franchised QBs talk themselves out of town,
Offensive coordinators get fired for losing practice games
Head coaches breaking assistant’s faces
Receivers becoming kickers
Dog fighters becoming Quarterbacks
Linebackers becoming assaulters
Retirees becoming starters
The guy who made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history becoming unemployed

All this and we haven’t had our first blown instant replay call of the regular season.

I am literally scared about what the season could bring. I might have to watch every Sunday with the lights on and a blanket wrapped around me. I plan on watch the Saw film anthology just to get me to relax after a weekend of games.

Clouded by this uncertainty, I will persevere and make my annual bold predictions for the season. While in past years, I urged people to bet their mortgage on my picks, this year I am not making such a claim. Really, who has a mortgage any more?

Last year, I correctly predicted that the Steelers would win the Super Bowl. This year, I can’t even guarantee there will be a Super Bowl. At the rate players are getting suspended, teams may not have enough to field a team.

There is no safer bet than the San Diego Chargers winning their division. There is also no safer bet than they will lose a winnable playoff game by blowing a 4th quarter lead.

Bill Belichick will check himself into rehab for a gambling addiction. There is no other explanation for him cutting every experienced back up QB on his roster. Cutting his experienced backups even after watching Haynesworth crush Brady is like doubling down on 20 in blackjack.

The Lions will have more wins than last year. There, I said it. Who’s joining me out here on the limb?

The Ravens will win less games than they did last year. Joe Flacco meets the sophomore slump. Plus Rex Ryan leaving is going to take some sharpness from that defense. Speaking of sharpness, Ray Ray put down that knife. I promise I didn’t mean any of this prediction.

Brett Favre will make 5 unbelievably great “I can’t believe what I just saw” plays this season.

Brett Favre will make 15 unbelievably terrible “What the hell was he thinking” plays this season.

(These two predictions are verbatim from last year. I stand by them again this year.)

After being arrested for assault, Tom Cable will immediately be given a contract extension by the Raiders.

Michael Vick will throw for as many TD passes this year and Scooby Doo.

Jeff Garcia will finally find a team that will let him start…in the UFL.

Tony Dungy will take on the case of rehabilitating Bernie Madoff, Gov. Mark Sanford, and Tom Sizemore.

I will witness a grown man wearing a Jets’ jersey cry like a baby because he lost his 5 team teaser when the Cardinals take a knee instead of going for the cover.

The NFL Network will launch a second channel dedicated to airing Peyton and Eli Manning commercials 24 hours a day.

No team whose mascot name starts with the letter B will make the playoffs.

These teams that will make the playoffs are:
Patriots, Steelers, Chargers, Colts, Titans and Jaguars
Giants, Packers, Seahawks, Eagles, Vikings and Saints

The teams that will play in the Super Bowl are:
Patriots and Packers

The Pats will get their revenge from Super Bowl XXXI

Are you ready for some football?