Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weekly Picks

We keep moving up the ladder thanks to the dominant performance of the New England Patriots and a mediocre performance picking the rest of the games by me. Eventually the Patriots train is going to derail, but I'm on board for one more week.

tampa bay +2 DETROIT
In games where the spread is less than 3 points I just pick the better team. I ignore the home field, I ignore everything and expect the better team to win. The Buccaneers have some injuries but Garcia has been playing well and I just don't love the Lions.

pittsburgh -3 1/2 DENVER
I think Denver is actually very bad this season. They really haven't played a good game. The Steelers have been excellent this season other than that hiccup against the Cardinals. I don't expect another letdown.

DALLAS -9 1/2 minnesota
The type of game I like. A really good team coming off a really bad game, and a bad team coming off a good game. I'd be shocked if there was an upset here, and based on the way the Cowboys were killing everyone before last week, I expect them to put a ton of points on the board.

CINCINNATI -6 new york jets
The Jets are really bad. They should be able to put up some points on a horrible Bengals defense but this might finally be the week the Bengals score some points, enough to win by a touchdown.

new england -16 1/2 MIAMI
This is the game I was talking about a few weeks ago when I discussed the underdog tax. Based on performance through 6 games this season these teams should be 23 1/2 points apart. But with a spread that big the casinos would never get even action on both sides. So you are actually getting a few points by picking the Pats. But I still smell trouble in this game. The Dolphins could turn in a prideful performance and turn a 30-7 game into a 30-14 game with a late touchdown.

Last week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season so far: 15-15 (17 points)
Best bet: 1-0 (4-2)
Home favorites: 1-1 (6-5)
Home underdogs: 0-0 (2-0)
Road favorites: 2-0 (6-6)
Road underdogs: 0-1 (1-4)

The NFL is Poop - Week 6

Domination
That's what the Patriots did to the Cowboys. I know the Cowboys took a 24-21 lead in the second half, but if you were watching that game it only seemed like a matter of time before the Patriots buried them. Brady was unbelievable, it seemed like he hit every pass in racking up 388 yards and 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. He did fumble which gave the Cowboys a touchdown to the cut the lead to 14-10. If Brady hadn't fumbled the Pats would have scored to make it 21-3. Also the Patriots continued to run Steve Spurrier's late game offense from his Florida days (bring in your backups, let them run the ball and if they score it's the other team's fault). For the second straight week they went for it on 4th down with less than 2 minutes to go.

How Old Is He? Like 45?
Actually Vinny Testaverde is only 43, not quite as old as Jimmy Key. But Testaverde played like a 23 year old, coming in off the streets and leading the Panthers to a 25-10 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Oveall Vinny was 20 for 206 yards and one beautiful 69 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith.

Game of the Week
Minnesota Vikings 34 Chicago Bears 31
You wouldn't expect the Bears defense to be involved in a game like this, huge plays all over the place.
Here are the 8 touchdowns scored in this game:
89 yard punt return by Devin Hester
60 yard catch by Troy Williamson
39 yard catch by Bernard Berrian
67 yard run by Adrian Peterson
73 yard run by Adrian Peterson
35 yard run by Adrian Peterson
33 yard catch by Muhsin Muhammad
81 yard catch by Devin Hester

Adrian Peterson had 3 touchdowns for a total of 175 yards. Devin Hester had 2 TDs for a total of 70 yards.

Here's the most amazing stat as far as I'm concerned. Halfway through the fourth quarter the Bears ran two plays from the red zone. Those were the only two plays snapped from inside the other team's 20 yard line in the whole game. And 65 points were scored. Incredible.

Game of Next Week
Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars
Not a lot of good games on the slate this week, but this should be a good interesting matchup. The Colts are still undefeated though playing under the radar because of the Patriots. The Jaguars are 4-1 and would move into first place in the division with a win here. The Jags have always done well against the Colts by running the ball down their throats. I have a feeling they can do it to them again in this one.

Brief Rant About the Redskins
Once again another horrible loss to prevent them from getting over the hump. So instead of being 4-1 and second in the conference, they're now 3-2 and stuck right in the middle of the pack. They had a 4-7 lead in this game until the end of the third quarter. After a Redskins 3 and out the Packers put together a long drive for a field goal. On the Redskins second play after the field goal Santana Moss fumbled and the Packers returned it for a touchdown to make it 17-14. The next 3 drives were 4 plays and out, 3 and out, and a Portis fumble on first down. A sack and a missed field goal saved the Redskins from a bigger hole. On the next drive Gibbs passed on a 50 yard game tying field goal attempt and went for it on 4th down but came up short on a screen pass to Ladell Betts. But even so, all was not lost. A Sean Taylor interception gave them the ball back. Campbell muffed the snap on first down, Portis lost 4 on second down and Campbell was sacked for a loss of 3 on third down. On 4th and 22 Gibbs elected to punt with 3 minutes to go. But the defense forced a 3 and out and the offense got the ball back. An incomplete pass, a sack, a penalty and two more incompletes ended the game. Two drives down a field goal, and the Redskins lost 15 yards. Horrible.

Cheerleader of the Week
Brita of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
The Vikings, like the Buffalo Jills, have a horrible cheerleader website. Cheerleader photos are only available in a slideshow so I can't save them and post them here. I like that Brita's parents named her after a water filtration system. She has 2 dogs, a great dane and a shepherd mix, and they both have really weird names (Mr. Vincenzo and Pacino Wolfgang Amadeus).

If The Super Bowl Were Played Today
New England Patriots 48 Dallas Cowboys 27
I think we saw why. I also still think the Cowboys are the best team in the NFC.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My New Favorite Person

The best part of the baseball playoffs this year has been meeting Jackson Holliday, the 3-year old son of Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

Jackson is known for taking batting practice off his father and for doing batting stance imitations of some major leaguers.

Now Jackson will be known for his performance on Best Damn. Jackson was playing in the background during Matt's interview and was called on to say something very funny. Watch the clip, but advance to 2:50 seconds in.

two men should not kiss on the lips, not even father and son
Jackson gets ready for batting practice

Pumpin For Thursday

Because Pride Pageantry Derek has essentially given up on another blog to chase cyber bitches on MySpace (2 posts on The Pride and the Pageantry since 9/24), and because tonight's Thursday night game is a huge Big East title, and because Derek's picks suck anyway, and because I have a strong feeling about this game, I'm going to offer my two cents.

south florida (-2) at RUTGERS, over/under 52
Vegas Algebra Says: South Florida 27 Rutgers 25
Every year there's a Cinderella, in fact last year that team was Rutgers. Every year that team gets knocked off. And this season in college football has been particularly full of upheaval. Rutgers will win this game outright by running the ball and killing the clock while not making turnovers. So take Rutgers and the under.

Boeheim's Power Play

Syracuse University guaranteed that when Coach Jim Boeheim retires, whenever that is, Mike Hopkins will be his successor.
No time frame was given.
This deal doesn't seem to work out for anyone, except maybe Boeheim.
It doesn't work out for the University because it's not like they should be afraid to lose such a great young coaching talent. What if a great proven coach is available when Boeheim retires? SU has given it's word that it will hand the reins to Hopkins.
This does work out pretty well for Hopkins, he gets to coach at his alma mater, a top school in a top conference and never has to pay his dues in the Southland Conference. But with this open ended committment, he may be passing up the chance to be a head coach someplace else and prove himself. Also, I'm assuming that when he does take over it may be a down time for the program. If he takes over after a couple bad recruiting years, then has a few bad seasons, he might be set up for failure.
The only person in a no lose situation is Boeheim. He can keep coaching until whenever he wants then pass the team off to his hand picked successor. He looks like a hero, and there's no downside for him. But this is for everyone else involved, especially the fans.
All of that said I am acknowledging that this could work out. Hopefully this will soothe the fears of recruits who fear Boeheim will retire. At least they'll be some continuity. Maybe Boeheim leaves Hopkins with a great recruiting class and some new blood rejuvenates the program. I hope all that happens. But most of all I hope that when Hopkins takes over, whenever that is, he drops the 2-3 zone, not completely, but at least in the second half of games Syracuse is losing by 20.

Jewhaha

Our shul, Fair Lawn Jewish Center is involved in an ugly dispute with residents who live near the center.
The problem started when the Center began to rent out its gym to basketball leagues. Neighbors complained about the noise resulting from games that sometimes went until 10 at night. Fair Lawn Police staged an investigation including setting up a seatbelt checkpoint, a ticket blitz and using road flares, on the streets which lead to the Center. This was disconcerting to some congregants who thought maybe an accident had taken place.
Other than an abundance of cars parked on the street 3 days a year (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur), I believed that those who lived near the shul find it to be a good neighbor, a belief backed up by some of those very same residents.
The problem it seems wasn't a matter of religion, it is a matter of race. Turns out the organization renting out the gym is from nearby Patterson which has a mostly black population.
Neighbors complained that cars were vandalized (including a footprint on the roof) and one neighbor said a crazed man stood on his lawn and threatened him with a gun.
Seems to me the noise complaints are not the issue, the neighbors are mad about the unsavory element being brought into our town to play basketball.

Manny Ramirez, Sage Philosopher

Manny Ramirez thinks his Boston Red Sox are going to come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. But if "it doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world."
Everyone is going nuts over those remarks and ignoring the fact that Ramirez is showing remarkable perspective. It isn't the end of the world, it's just a game, it's just sports. No one dies. I'm only two and a half weeks into mourning the lost season of 2007 for the Mets, but even I know, there will be next year and the world won't end before then, and if it does, it won't be because of the Mets.
So then what's the big deal? People perceive Manny's comments to mean he doesn't want to win, or doesn't care if the Sox don't win. First of all, athletes will never care as much about winning as the fans. It's too much of a business for them.
Second, Ramirez is performing incredibly well. He's batting .462 in this series, .429 in this postseason and he has 24 homers in the playoffs (88 games), the most of anyone, ever. Maybe it's this attitude that allows him to produce under all that pressure. He's like the anti-A-Rod. Don't you think A-Rod's postseason performance would improve if he stopped looking at every at bat as life or death?

As for the other Manny controversy, his showboating after a home run cut the Indians leads to 7-3. Under normal circumstances that's totally uncool to celebrate like that while losing. But you have to remember that it's Manny Ramirez. I'm not even sure he knew what the score was. He knew the Indians had just scored a lot of runs, but maybe he thought he'd made the score, 4-3 or 5-3. I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Manny being Manny man

Joe Goes

I'm glad Joe Torre told Steinbrenner basically "take this job and shove it."
Torre was offered a one year contract for $5 million (he earned $7.5 million in 2007). He would get a $3 million bonus for winning the World Series and if the Yankees made the World Series he would have gotten 2009 guaranteed.
But Steinbrenner has treated him so shoddily, with no respect, over the past few years that Joe was right to walk away with some shred of dignity.
It will be interesting to see if Rivera, Posada and A-Rod let this effect their contract negotiations with the Yankees. I think they'll just take the most money and not care who the manager is.
So long Joe

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Poop Taking Care of Business Week - Day 3

10:00 - Wake up. Chase was tired from the previous day of not sleeping so he slept until 8, which allowed me to sleep until 10.

12:00 - One of Mrs. Poop's friends came by for a visit.

12:30 - Diesel and I take a walk for about an hour and a half. We walk an extra 15 minutes to hear Mike Tirico's interview with Les Miles. No mention of his parents poor grammar.

2:00 - Lunch at Panera Bread. I had the baked potato soup in the bread bowl. And since it was before the mid-afternoon rush, they still had the bread bowls.

4:00 - Started playing some online poker. I finished second in a super satellite, qualifying me to play again later tonight. More on that later.

5:30 - Mrs. Poop feeds Chase and goes for a mani/pedi.

6:00 - Take a crying Chase for a walk to stall him until Mommy comes home with the milk.

10:05 - Start Round 2 of my poker tournament. 2244 players. I was short stacked early but I won 2 big hands, first with ace-king vs. king-5, then 2 hands later I hit a set with pockets 4s. I started doing really well through the first 100 hands but I went completely card dead when the blinds went up. I went all in with A-J vs. 8-7 after a Q-8-3 flop. I caught an ace on the turn to stay alive. I went all in with Q-4 from the big blind on a Q-J-3 flop. I got called by pocket aces and hit a 4 on the river to win the pot. But later I got rivered, I had K-J with J-6-5 flop, vs A-Q and an ace came on the river. I got back in it with pocket aces when my opponent hit runner-runner straight he put me all in and I doubled up. I just couldn't get ahead though. I lost about 12,000 with A-6 against A-7. Finally busted out in 38th place after playing for 3 and a half hours. After making about 6 of these tournaments and not being able to play in them I was glad to get the chance to at least play.

It's Been a Year But It Seems Like Yesterday

Dennis Green's famous "Crown Their Ass" speech is a year old. But I say it never gets old. I'm glad Coors Light finally started using it in their ad campaign.

Song of The Week

"Lover" - Devendra Banhart and the Spiritual Boner
From the looks of these guys I would never think they would sing a song like this, and they definitely don't look like a group I would like.
But the style of music is very contrary to their appearance.
The song sounds like a cross between a 1950s doo-wop song and a Hawaiian island jam.
The lyrics are a little indistinct and I can't find them on the internet so I'm not sure if the parts about the milk and the pear tree are sexual metaphors. But even if they're not, I still like the song.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Poop Taking Care of Business Week - Day 2

11:00 - Take Chase to the pediatrician. He weighed in at lean mean 11 lbs. (25th percentile), measured at a rough, tough 23 inches (50th), with a round mound head circumfrence of 41 cm (50th). Then he had to get his shots, 3 total (2 in the right thigh, one in the left), plus one oral vaccine. Who the hell gets pertussis? But at least now he is immunized. Doctor tells us that we should be on the lookout for Chase's first smile any day now.

12:00 - Mrs. Poop does everything she can think of to get the kid to smile. Nothing works.

1:00 - Mow the lawn.

1:15 - UPS deliveryman comes to pick up a package that was sent to us by mistake. Unfortunately, the package was meant for us and sent to a different address by mistake. Evidently, three calls to UPS weren't enough to make them understand that.

1:30 - Postal carrier comes, one of Chase's birth announcements got mangled in the mail and was returned to us in pieces.

2:00 - Finished the yardwork, decided to leave the pruning of zee hedges to another day.

4:00 - I break into the Halloween candy.

4:05 - Mrs. Poop complains that the Sour Patch kids are too sour.

6:30 - We decide to take Chase for a walk because he has been fussy/uncomfortable since the shots. This actually worked for about half an hour but it started to get dark so we had to bring him in.

8:00 - Watched Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry buys his dad a Happy Ending. Larry inadvertently calls Tim Meadows a cock sucker in sign language. I'm pretty sure had we been looking at Chase, we would have noticed his first smile.

10:00 - I read Chase "If I Ran the Zoo" by Dr. Seuss.

10:30 - Mrs. Poops reads Chase "The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss, then says "I think Dr. Seuss must have been on drugs."

Poop Taking Care of Business Week - Day 1

You may remember back in August I took a week off from work to get the house ready for Chase, who at the time was known as Baby Poop. Instead of cleaning out my closet like I was supposed to, I wrote this post. The next morning Chase was born and we got almost nothing accomplished. Well, now's the time to make up for that. I have the next two weeks off and a lot of things to do. Not on that list is writing this blog. So I probably won't have that many posts but I'll try to update you on my daily activities so you at least have something to read.

Note: Times not exact

9:00 - Regis and Kelly discuss aubergine, a fancy word for eggplant.

9:30 - Regis and Kelly have on the winners of the cat show.

11:15 - Arrive in Staten Island for my dentist's appointment. Still no cavities, but I am encountering a problem with my gums. But my new regimen of daily flossing and a special mouthwash will once again give me perfect dentition.

12:30 - Lunch at Bario's. The food was good. The people were typical Staten Island.

1:00 - Decide to make Chase wait to eat until we get to Target back in New Jersey.

1:30 - Stop for gas.

1:31 - Chase cries.

1:40 - Finally get to Target after Chase and Mrs. Poop nearly meltdown.

2:15 - Sitting in the car feeding Chase. A woman a row over has a Toyota Sienna with an automatic rear door. But she has too much shit in the back. The door slowly goes down, she's in the car, but the door can't close. So it opens again. She gets out, moves some stuff around, tries to shut the door and gets back in the car. The door opens again, but she starts driving away. She sees the door is open, stops her car gets out, does a major restructuring and finally creates enough room for the door to close.

2:30 - Target popcorn!

4:00 - Costco parking lot is a complete mess and no one has the patience to let a couple cars go to clear it out. So everyone just pulls as close as they can to get the car in front of them, and backs up when someone in a spot needs to get out.

5:00 - Finally get home, unload all our stuff. Diesel knocked over our salmon, thankfully it didn't open.

6:00 - Take the kids for a walk.

7:15 - Finally come home as a worried Mrs. Poop is looking out the door to see if we got lost. Chase was being good so I just decided to give Mrs. Poop sometime to relax in the house without her 3 boys bothering her.

7:30 - Salmon for dinner. Mrs. Poop makes sauteed squash. Disgusting.

8:30 - Watch How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement.

10:00 - Watch Monday Night Football, ALCS, NLCS.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Drunk TON

Special Mets beers that we were supposed to be enjoying during the playoffs

See more pictures from Ton and Special K's visit on Chase's blog.