Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekly Picks

The only thing I had success with last week is picking against Dallas in December so we will try that again this week.

NEW ORLEANS -7 1/2 dallas
I think the Saints are going to go strong to the wire and I think Dallas is going to fade. Plus the Saints technically need one more win to clinch home field.

atlanta +4 NEW YORK JETS
This seems just about the right time for the Jets to start breaking their fans' hearts. Not sure what the weather will bring for this one. The snow is supposed to have stopped by now but it could be cold and windy. Sanchez will probably start so maybe the wind could blow the ball to his own receivers for a change.

oakland +14 DENVER
Too many points here. The Raiders are actually pretty good when Jamarcus Russell is not starting. I think the spread would be 7 if Bruce Gradkowski were playing, so we'll see what happens with Charlie Frye but I think as long as Russell doesn't toucht the ball the Raiders will keep it close.

ARIZONA -12 1/2 detroit
The Cardinals will bounce back from a 7 turnover performance and put a hurting on the Lions then rest Kurt Warner for two weeks in lieu of competing for the 3rd playoff spot over the 4th.

green bay +2 [corrected] PITTSBURGH

The old trap game where the handicappers trap you into picking one side by making the spread so ridiculously wrong. I always lose these games but the Steelers have recently lost to the Browns, Chiefs and Raiders, how can they beat the Packers who are playing great defense lately? Not sure, but I have a bad feeling we might found out.

Last week: 2-3 (3 points)
Season: 30-40 (30 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (7-7)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (7-9)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (14-13)
Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-15)
Road Pickem: 0-0 (0-1)

Happy Hanukah From Your Favorite Mormon Senator

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is known for two things in his personal life: he's a Mormon and he's a song-writer. After years of writing Christian songs someone joked that he should write one for Hanukah. 10 years later Hatch finally did and collaborated with a Jewish singer to record it. And now "Eight Days of Hanukah" is an internet hit.

Hatch tells Imus the story of the song.

I hope everyone had a happy and joyous Hanukah.

Time's Running Out

College football bowl season snuck up on me this year and I forgot to set up our group for ESPN's bowl mania. Look for the group called "The Poop" and get your picks in today before the first game is played. You'll still be able to get your picks in after the first few games but they'll saddle you with losses.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Just Jlearyed/TallSkotted an Old Lady

I was standing in line in the bakery with the rest of the Jews preparing to make my Shabbos order: two challot and two large black and white cookies. But I noticed they only had small ones. While I was contemplating their relative circumfrences to determine whether I should order 8 or 10 the old lady in front of me ordered 8, making my decision obvious.

I ordered 9.

And I had the audacity to type this post while standing next to her. Oooh the effrontery!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of the Good Ones

Through my job I've gotten to meet a good number of celebrities and an even greater number of people who thought they were celebrities when they really weren't.

Here's how you tell the good ones from the bad ones:

When you meet a celebrity extend your hand and offer your name. If they reply with their own name as if you'd never heard of them before, that's good. Sure you know their name and they know you know their name, but if they just say hi, they're probably an arrogant pompous jerk.

This morning I met Steve Schirripa aka Bobby Bacala. I stood up and as I was being introduced to him I said "I'm Paul, pleased to meet you.". He said "Steve. Nice to meet you too."

He's one of the good ones.

During this time our teleprompter also wanted to meet him too but she was prompting. I said "Michelle wants to meet you too but you can't distract her while she's prompting."

So Steve proceeds to tickle her.

He did other friendly and courteous things during the five minutes I saw him including posing for pictures.

Note: I considered asking him to take a picture with me but I always think that's cheesy and unprofessional and maybe a little gay when you're talking about two dudes.

It's nice when you see someone on TV and develop a theory about them (in this case I thought he was a struggling actor who never got jobs because he was too fat until his big break after which he got a lot of success but never became spoiled by it) and he turns out to be just as nice and funny as you expected. Or more.

AutoTuning Kanye, Charlie and Balloon Boy

Some of the best videos in the history of the internet (not sure about the banana one) redone in newest fad, autotune.

What the Mets Should Do This Off-Season

1) Forget Matt Holliday. Never has an offensive player left Colorado (even in the humidor era) and continued to produce on a level commensurate with his performance there. He was horrible with Oakland and had one ridiculous month batting behind the Mangnanimous Pooh Holes before coming back down to earth. He's terrible on defense (see NLDS Game 2) and wants Mark Teixeira money. He's not worth it.

2) Sign Jason Bay. I know I'm against the big splash but I don't really consider him in that category, the one that will win over angry fans newspapers. He's a good solid .900 OPS guy who could easily bat 5th in this lineup. At 5-years $80 million, sign him today.

Jason Bay should be the Mets top priority

3) Sign a good pitcher to a short contract. I like Joel Piniero but I wouldn't give him 4 years. Even 3 year contracts can seem like forever (see Perez, Oliver). I really like the idea of Jason Marquis as a hometown (nice, Jewish) boy makes good story. Give him 2 years at 10 million per (that's what Randy Wolf got per year) and maybe a club option for 2012. There are several good pitchers scheduled to hit the market after this season. Even if Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee sign extensions, Brandon Webb, Josh Beckett, Matt Cain and Javier Vazquez could be available maybe as early as July for Webb.

4) Hope. If Santana is healthy and they import a serviceable number two, only one of Pelfrey, Maine and Perez needs to step up to make it a solid trio at the top of the rotation. I think they have to put Perez in the rotation as the 5th starter. He has too much ability and too much money coming to him to just give up on him. Maybe he's like a worse Bret Saberhagen. Instead of one good year, one bad year he does one good, two bad.

let's hope Oliver Perez rebounds Saberhagen-style

5) Don't give Bengie Molina three years. I'd want him for one maybe two but he's a free swinger who doesn't get on base enough. Other catchers can nearly equate his production without standing in the doorway for Josh Thole.

6) Give up on giving up on Luis Castillo. A year ago at this time the Mets passed Orlando Hudson because they didn't want to dump Castillo. Then the guy has a great year reaching base -- getting on 38.7% of the time (though his dropped popup is one of the more infamous plays in Mets history) and they want to dump him as if he's Tiger Woods and they're a sponsor. (Note: I hate jokes like that when people on a completely different topic throw in a jab or weak analogy just to seem like they're hip to what's happening in the world. I only did it to prove how stupid and cheesy it is to do that.). Let the guy bat second behind a healthy Reyes and in front of a healthy Beltran and he'll be the least of our worries. I hate Castillo too but Master Bates convinced me the upgrade from him to Hudson is so small it doesn't even rank among the Mets top 5 priorities.

despite his one horrible moment 2009 was actually a great season for Luis Castillo

7) Let Daniel Murphy play first and bat 8th. He was horribly miscast last year as a run producer. He should hit line drives and get on base. He was learning a new position as well and seemed to show flashes. I do not want Carlos Delgado back striking out all the time and I don't want to make a long term commitment to someone else because Ike Davis is supposedly the real deal and coming in 2011.

2010 Mets lineup
Jose Reyes
Luis Castillo
Carlos Beltran
David Wright
Jason Bay
Jeff Francouer
Bengie Molina
Daniel Murphy

Starting Rotation
Johan Santana
Jason Marquis
Mike Pelfrey
John Maine
Oliver Perez

Frankie Rodriguez
Bobby Parnell
Pedro Feliciano
Sean Green
Brian Stokes

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Graveyard Dead Maam

I've heard a lot of 911 calls in my time but few are as dramatic as the one Donna Jackson of Oklahoma made when someone was trying to break into her house.

Here's a more detailed transcript of the call which shows that not only did the 911 operator not tell Jackson not to kill the intruder, she advised Jackson that she was within her rights to do so.

Jackson will not be charged with a crime because Oklahoma has a "stand your ground" law. I do however wish she had shouted to the intruder "go away, I have a gun, I will shoot you" and maybe even fired a warning shot.

Why The Mets Will Always Suck

Every off-season you can count on two things, the Mets will be coming off a disappointing season and the newspapers, talk show hosts and fans will want them to make a big trade or big free agent signing.

The Daily News contributes to the Mets problem by exploiting a small child

And if there were a third certainty of baseball's hot stove season it would be me using this space to preach a more prudent approach.

I think I am going to punch the next person who says the Mets need to make a "big splash" to win back their fans. As stupid as Mets fans are, they want a winning team. I don't think any of them are going to games thinking "I owe the Wilpons my ticket money because they made a big splash signing some past-his-prime veteran who is now on the disabled list." And if they put some good young players on the field no one is going to stay home due to the lack of the big splash.

The other fallacy we need to address is that the "big splash" wins. It's a hard argument to make right now because the Yankees became World Champs by signing everyone in sight. But Mets fans need to face facts, we can never, should never and will never spend as the Yankees do. But we don't have to. Look down the list of World Series winners before 2009, other than Manny Ramirez twice, few of those teams made a big splash, and it took the Sox five years and a lot of young players for that to happen.

Remember the Yankees kissed a lot of toads (Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi) before they found CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. And let's review the Mets recent history with the big splash: Pedro Martinez (one of the worst free agent signings in history), Carlos Beltran (I'm one of very few Mets fans who still likes this deal) and Johan Santana (they wasted two prime years already with no playoff appearances).

The Mets still have a good, young nucleus to build around (Reyes, Wright) and some good veterans who still have some years left (Beltran, Santana) so I preach measured patience.

Song of the Week

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
I have an affinity for male/female duets and in the history of the world no one did them better than Marvin and Tammi.
I do however wish the song hadn't become so overplayed in movies like its trite usage in "Remember the Titans."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Carry, A Travel and a Flagrant Foul

LeBron James gets two steals on this play, the ball, and a theft of a couple french fries from a kid in a Kevin Durant jersey.
Steal of the Night indeed.

Note: this video encapsulates a new problem I'm facing. Do I post the user-friendl youtube videos or take them directly from the source and make Poopheads sit through an ad. I decided to go with the version because I think it's the honest thing to do, plus it won't get taken down in a few hours. I like having these videos for posterity and for the Poopheads who only check the blog once a week or less. If you are a daily reader who hates sitting through 30 second ads to watch a 20 second video, blame the idiots who refuse to check this blog everyday.

Gossip Girl: Staten Island

Saturday Night Live jumps on the recent wave of anti-guido sentiment with a kind of funny skit called "Gossip Girl: Staten Island." The incredibly hot Blake Lively saves the sketch.

Proper Train/Subway Ettiquette

Any of you who take mass transportation to work might have noticed that some riders view finding a newspaper on a seat akin to finding buried treasure.
Many days I bring a paper with me to leaf through and to do the crossword puzzle. I don't like to leave my mess for other people to clean up and I like to make sure my newspaper ends up in the proper recycling bin, so I always take it with me and dispose of it on the platform.
But every night I ride in with a guy named Jose who scours the cars looking for a free paper. Would I be a more courteous train rider if I left my New York Post on the train for someone else to read?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Hanukah

Happy Hanukah from the Poops

Tim Tebow is Too Good to Be True

With the upsetting story of Tiger Woods shaking everyone's faith in mankind (except for skeptics like me who expect this behavior from everyone) many are now questioning whether there are any true heroes left in the sports world or otherwise.
You need to listen to this story about Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow walked the red carpet before Thursday night's Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show with Kelly Faughnan on his arm, creating quite a stir.
Faughnan, 20, lives in Clifton, Va., was diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Thanksgiving in 2008. Her tumor was removed just before Christmas and before her surgery Kelly asked if she could go to Disney World afterwards. She also asked to go to a college football awards show to see Tebow this year.
The players were at a function on Wednesday in Disney and Tebow spotted her wearing a "I love Timmy button." An ESPN producer saw her, talked to her and asked if she would like to meet him. He ended up spending 45 minutes with her and then invited Kelly to attend the show with him.
"He truly is making a great impact on many people's lives, and I can say first hand, on Kelly's life," Jim Faughnan said.
Since he had a date on his arm, Tebow couldn't sign autographs when he walked through the pre-show on ESPNU, especially not since Kelly's gait is still affected and she shudders when she walks. Rather than go inside the building, he turned around and went back and walked through the crowd a second time by himself, so he could sign autographs for anyone who wanted one.

Tim Tebow and his date Kelly Faughnan

There are a lot of Tim Tebow haters out there, mostly anti-religious zealots. Tebow's father is a religious zealot and he reportedly preaches a literal interpretation of the Bible, which means a condemnation of gays as well as other things some find distasteful.

While religion causes a lot of trouble in the world, there is also this good side. Those true believers, those who practice what they (or their fathers) preach, live their lives by a code and practice kindness and charity.

Tebow is well-known for his missions to the Phillipines where he helps perform medical operations (including circumcisions), and of course his pledge and his 2 national titles and his Heisman Trophy make him too good to be true.

I have my doubts about Tebow, including his claims of virginity (I mean how does he put his hands on this girl and not take her up to his room and rip that bikini off?) and his pro potential. But I'm a total believer in Tebow the person and think we'll never find him in a hotel with cocaine and hookers or in a smashed-up Escalade at 2:30 am.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Picks

The worst season of my life. Not sure why things are going so badly but I have to keep trying.

new york jets -3 TAMPA BAY
I don't mind missing Mark Sanchez here. The guy has been terrible and with Clemens they can rely on the run exclusively which they should be able to do against the Bucs. Plus this is the game the Jets always win to get their fans' hopes up before they dash them.

NEW ENGLAND -13 carolina
The Patriots only win in New Engladn and England. I see a domination here.

cincinnati +6 1/2 MINNESOTA
The Bengals have played a lot of close games and I have a weird feeling Favre may be hitting the 40-year old's wall.

arizona -3 1/2 SAN FRANCISCO
The Cardinals look really good right now, not only Kurt Warner and his wide receivers but on defense too.

san diego +3 DALLAS

The Chargers are 15-0 in their last 15 December games. The Cowboys are a bad December team with that choke artist Tony Romo.

Last week: 1-4 (0 points)
Season: 28-37 (27 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-7)
Home Favorites: 0-0 (7-8)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-2)
Road Favorites: 1-2 (13-12)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (7-14)
Road Pickem: 0-1 (0-1)