Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekly Picks

This is the worst year I've had in several years. Missing tons of best bets which is just inexcusable. And worse yet, I started 5-3 and on best bets and missed 5 of last 6. I just knew Denver would push last week. Not sure why I did that, though I got all the other games wrong too so it wouldn't have mattered.

SAN FRANCISCO -3 pittsburgh
I think the 49ers will bounce back after a tough loss to Arizona.

new orleans -7 MINNESOTA
The Saints are starting to play better, and the Vikings are playing worse.

DENVER +7 1/2 new england
This is not just a Tebow pick, this is a pick against New England. They were terrible against the run last week against the Redskins. If the Broncos use the game plan they used against Kansas City (55 runs, 8 passes), they can move the ball, control the clock, keep Tom Brady off the field, and maybe even win the game.

ny jets +2 1/2 PHILADELPHIA
The Eagles won big last week but are not consistent enough to keep up that effort. The Jets need to keep winning.

baltimore -2 1/2 SAN DIEGO

I kept waiting for the Chargers to make their late-season charge. I don't think that's going to happen. The Ravens have been playing their best ball against their toughest opponents this season.

Last Week: 1-4 (2 points)
Season: 32-38 (30 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (6-8)
Home Favorites: 0-1 (14-17)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (0-2)
Road Favorites: 0-2 (9-10)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (9-9)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Song of the Week

"Let Me Love You Down" - Ready for the World

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The NFL is Poop - Week 14

It's Better To Be Lucky Than Good
The Denver Broncos have won 6 straight games, 7 of 8 since making Tim Tebow the starter. How are they doing it? The easy answer is luck. But to be this lucky, this consistently, you'd have to call it divine intervention.
This latest victory would not have happened without a couple bouts of colossal stupidity. First, Marion Barber ran out of bounds, saving the Broncos 40 seconds. That allowed the Broncos to tie the game. Then he fumbled in overtime allowing the Broncos to win it.

Marion Barber's fumble was the latest divine intervention on behalf of Tim Tebow

But I place even more blame on Bears coach Lovie Smith. For 55 minutes the Bears used their stifling to completely shut down Tebow. At one point he was 3 for 16 passing. Then they went to prevent defense. As we all know, the prevent defense prevents you from winning. And that's exactly what happened.
And this may be where Tebow's good qualities actually contribute to him winning these games. We know he can't throw against normal defenses. But he never gets discouraged. He always keeps his confidence up, and when the game is on the line he feels like he can make the play to win it.

Dear God, please allow my opponent to make some idiotic mistakes so my team can win without me completing a forward pass for 90% of the game

Kicker's Paradise
Denver kicker Matt Prater was the hero of Sunday's game but he got some help from Denver's altitude. He kicked 59 and 51 yarders, and the Bears kicker, Robbie Gould nailed one from 57. Since 1960 18 field goals of longer than 55 yards were made in Denver. The next highest total over that span is Detroit, with 7.

Ain't That a Kick in the Head
For the second straight week Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey missed a key late game field goal. Last week he was iced by his own coach, this time Bailey made the first kick -- which was nullified by Tom Coughlin's timeout -- but the second one was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul. Might be time for Bailey to visit a sports psychologist.

Jason Pierre-Paul blocks a field goal to preserve the Giants 37-34 over the Cowboys

Cardiac Sunday
A record 5 teams bounced back from deficits of at least 12 points to win no Sunday. The Giants trailed the Cowboys 34-22 and won 37-34. The Texans were down by 13 before TJ Yates rallied his team for a 20-19 victory. The Falcons were down 16, but scored 24 points in a row to beat Carolina 31-23. Arizona was losing 19-7 to the 49ers, but earned a 21-19 win. And Jacksonville scored 41 points in a row after the ExpensiveCornPrices jumped out to a 14-0 lead. And that doesn't even count the Broncos overcoming a 10-point deficit.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
I can't even get fired up about these rants anymore. The Redskins lost a game I knew they were going to lose, but actually had a chance to win. The reason, Rex Grossman. His early fumble gave the Patriots a touchdown, and his late interception (not totally his fault) cost us a chance to tie the game. I would go a little easier on him if he hadn't been completely bailed out earlier in the game. He floated a pass into a wide open space and got picked off. But the play was nullified by a bullshit penalty and the Redskins eventually scored on that drive.

Picture of the Week
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder desperately wanted to bring the Army-Navy game to FedEx Field. But I guess they didn't have time to repaint the end zones. They still said Army and Navy. I also like this overhead shot and how it allows you to see the coverage.

If The Super Bowl Were Played Today
Green Bay Packers 35 Pittsburgh Steelers 20

The Packers are just awesome. And Aaron Rodgers is good enough to overcome any deficiencies they may have. But I still do not think they will go undefeated. I don't think they even try. I say Aaron Rodgers plays only the first quarter of Week 17's game against the Lions and the Packers lose.

The Best Verses in Rap History

I love "Headlines" by Drake so much that I not only made it song of the week, I also added its first verse to my list of top 5 verses in rap history. I picked these because they're fun to listen to, but also because they say something. Remember when rap actually used to have meaning? About a social condition, a rapper's life and not just how much money he has (or in most cases pretends to have).

I list them in no particular order:
Headlines - Drake

"I might be too strung out on compliments
Overdosed on confidence
Started not to give a fuck and stopped fearing the consequence
Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments
Faded way too long I'm floating in and out of consciousness
And they sayin' I'm back, I'd agree with that
I just take my time with all this shit, I still believe in that
I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that
And they wanna see me pick back up, well where'd I leave it at
I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that
Tuck my napkin in my shirt, cause I'm just mobbin' like that
You know good and well that you don't want a problem like that
You gon' make someone around me touch a body like that
No, don't do it, please don't do it,
Cause one of us goes in and we all go through it
Drizzy got the money, so Drizzy gonna pay it
Those my brothers, I ain't even gotta say it
That's just something they know"

It's a little superficial but not bad compared to most of what's out there today. He explains how the haters motivate, that he still loves to rap and how he hasn't forgotten his old friends. I like the napkin in the shirt thing, if its a reference to how mobsters are always depicted in movies.

I tuck my napkin in my shirt cuz I'm just mobbin like that

Spottieottiedopaliscious - Outkast

"When I first met my Spottieottiedopaliscious Angel
I can remember that damn thing like yesterday
The way she moved reminded me of a Brown Stallion horse with skates on
Smooth like a hot comb on nappy ass hair
I walked up on her & was almost paralyzed
Her neck was smelling sweeter
Than a plate of yams with extra syrup
Eyes beaming like four karats apiece just blindin' a nigga
Felt like I chiefed a whole O of that Presidential
My heart was beating so damn fast
Never knowing this moment
Would bring another life into this world
Funny how shit come together sometimes [ya dig]
One moment you frequent the booty clubs &
The next four years you & somebody's daughter raisin' y'all own young'n
Now that's a beautiful thang
That's if you're on top of your game
And man enough to handle real life situations [that is]
Can't gamble feeding baby on that dope money
Might not always be sufficient
But the United Parcel Service & the people at the Post Office
Didn't call you back because you had cloudy piss
So now you back in the trap just that, trapped
Go on and marinate on that for a minute"

This song might have the best music (yes, music, those are real trumpets) of any rap ever. But even if you divorce the lyrics from the melody this one still has a lot of meaning. It's the age old story of boy meets girl, which quickly accelerates into boy has a hard time leaving behind his old lifestyle to find a legitimate source of income for girl and their new baby.

It Was a Good Day - Ice Cube

"Left my homeez house paid
Picked up a girl been tryin to fuck since the twelfth grade
It's ironic, I had the blunt she had the chronic
The Lakers beat the Supersonics
I felt on the big fat fanny
Pulled out the jammy, and killed the punanny
And my dick runs deep, so deep, so deep
put her ass to sleep
Woke her up around one
she didn't hesitate, to call Ice Cube the top gun
Drove her to the pad and I'm coasting
Took another sip of the potion hit the three-wheel motion
I was glad everything had worked out
Dropped her ass off, and then chirped out
Today was like one of those fly dreams
Didn't even see a berry flashing those high beams
No helicopter looking for a murder
Two in the morning got the Fatburger
Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
And it read Ice Cube's a pimp
Drunk as hell but no throwing up
Half way home and my pager still blowing up
Today I didn't even have to use my A.K.
I got to say it was a good day."

Ok, so a little frivolous, no deep social issues explored, no dark inner feelings exposed. But it's got to be one of the most fun songs ever. And in defense of its meaningfulness, it does illustrate his dream. This could be a creative writing assignment "write about your perfect day." And the fact that he ends it with the classic "I didn't even have to use my AK" just clinches it for me.

Juicy - Notorious B.I.G.

"I made the change from a common thief
To up close and personal with Robin Leach
And I'm far from cheap I smoke stuff with my peeps all day
Spread love it's the Brooklyn way
The Moet and Alize keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters cuz they miss me
I never thought it could happen
This rappin stuff
I was too used to packin Gats and stuff
Now honeys play me close like butta play toast
From the Mississippi down to the East Coast
Condos in Queens
Indo for weeks
Sold-out seats to hear Biggie Smalls speak
Living life without fear
Putting five carats in my baby girl's ear
Lunches, brunches, interviews by the pool
Considered a fool
Cuz I dropped out of high school
Stereotypes of a black male misunderstood
And it's still all good"

The gold standard of songs about coming from nothing and turning oneself into something. At the time Biggie was compelling because he was a former drug dealer who got "rescued" by rap. He was also a fat guy, who at this point was getting laid a lot. I could have easily chosen the next verse from this song, but the Robin Leach line really clinches this one for me. If this was the only thing you ever heard about Biggie you would have a pretty good understanding of his life story.

Til I Collapse - Eminem

"Music is like magic there’s a certain feeling you get when you're real
And you spit and people are feeling your shit.
This is your moment and every single minute you spend
Trying to hold onto it 'cause you may never get it again.
So while you’re in it try to get as much shit as you can
And when your run is over just admit when it's at its end.
Cause I'm at the end of my wits with half this shit that gets in.
I got a list here's the order of my list that it's in.
It goes, Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie,
Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.
But in this industry I'm the cause of a lot of envy,
So when I’m not put on this list the shit does not offend me.
That's why you see me walk around like nothing's bothering me.
Even though half you people got a fucking problem with me.
You hate it but you know respect you’ve got to give me
The press's wet dream like Bobby and Whitney. Nate hit me."

I think it might be a surprise to many of you to see Eminem on my list. But maybe this is why I am so hard on Eminem. Like the child who gets an A on one test and gets Cs the rest of the time, his parents know what he is capable of. Though I disagree with his list of greatest emcees (though not by all that much) it's the first part that gets me. It really makes you understand what he feels when he's on stage. Why he loves music so much. Probably a lot of people feel this way. When he's on stage performing, and people are cheering and screaming, he feels loved. He feels appreciated. He feels validated. All the things people want to feel on an everyday basis, he gets those feelings through his music and his performances. You can feel that from this song, which is why it's on my list.