Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Picks

Another frustrating 2 point week because I know how difficult it is to get more than 50% of your picks right. Frustrating I keep picking the wrong ones to be my best bets. Especially because the Giants game ended as a push. Proud of myself for picking Arizona. A lot of underdogs come up early in the season as lines adjust to who is actually good, as opposed to who we think is good.

detroit -4 TENNESSEE
The Lions can put up points quickly. The Titans cannot. Simple as that.

NEW ORLEANS -7 1/2 kansas city
This is when we really find out about New Orleans. Are they really going to crash and burn like this just because they don't have Sean Payton? This game should be a blowout but that pesky half-point could cost me again.

INDIANAPOLIS -3 jacksonville
I really like what I am seeing out of Andrew Luck. Hate what I see from Blaine Gabbert. He's been terrible and hasn't even thrown an interception yet. He'll throw two this week.

OAKLAND +3 1/2 pittsburgh
I've had some good luck with home dogs so far this year and the Steelers are missing a couple key defensive players.

green bay -3 1/2 SEATTLE

Glad Seattle beat a lifeless Cowboys team so I could continue betting against them for a few more weeks before people realize how overrated they are.

Last Week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 6-4 (4 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (0-2)
Home Favorites: 1-2 (1-3)
Home Underdogs: 1-0 (2-0)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (2-0)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Francesa Fights Back

I was driving home the day after the Mike Francesa sleeping incident hit it big and I decided to eschew my usual afternoon soul jams in favor of hoping to hear Francesa address his on-air nap. And I was not disappointed. A caller made a vague reference to it and Francesa got angry. He asked the guy (keeping him on the line but not letting him talk) "how long have I been doing this? 25 years. And how many hours a day? 5 and a half. Add that up. You can't because you don't have a brain in your head. People are jealous and they want to attack me. They can't attack the ratings. Can't attack the performance. So they attack me over 12 seconds. It didn't affect anyone, no one knew about it. Its 12 seconds in 25 years."

Note: that is not an exact quote, but it's pretty close.

Well that wasn't the end of the prank calls and it wasn't the end of Francesa's tirades.

Suggested by Master Bates

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Best Part of Being Sick

As an adult sick days suck. It's not even nice to get a day off of work, and being home is no fun. But as a kid, sick days were joyous. No school, and you could lay in bed watching TV. You could watch shows you had never seen before (remember, we didn't have DVRs back then), if a aired weekdays at 10am, you never ever saw it. I remember watching Press Your Luck on sick days. And I remember, once we got cable, watching ESPN. This was in the early days when monster truck shows and CBA replays littered the airwaves. ESPN also aired classic NFL Films Presents. The man behind those shows (which continue to this day, a great piece on John Amos, the actor, aired recently) is Steve Sabol, who started the company with his father, took over and then hosted the shows until an illness forced him out of that duty two years ago. Steve Sabol died this week.
Sabol played an essential role in the NFL's popularity with NFL Films. It was a great showcase for the game and for the players, as they pioneered the now common practice of miking up players and coaches during games. The music, of course, the music. He used to bring in an actual orchestra to NFL Films to record the music. The voice-overs from John Facenda. All that stuff made NFL Films great and Steve Sabol a legend.

Here is my favorite NFL Films segment: a poetic recap of the 1968 New York Jets Super Bowl championship season. It was called "Joe and the Magic Bean" and it was voiced by Sterling Holloway, who was also the voiced of Winnie the Pooh.

If you prefer a more serious approach. Here is Orson Welles's narration of the same clip:

It's Becoming a Thing

I have been known on Facebook to punctuate particularly fun days with a status update reading "I didn't even have to use my AK," one of the final lines from Ice Cube's classic "It was a Good Day."
Turns out I am not the only one to use this song to express a particular feeling or emotion. Superhot SI Swimsuit model Ariel Meredith did it on twitter. And responded to me reply:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The NFL is Poop - Week 2

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Josh Morgan is a fuckin moron. He knew Cortland Finnegan is the type of player who tries to get under your skin and draw penalties. And he gave in to him at the worst possible time. And the funny thing is, I was watching "Sound FX: Mike Singletary" on the NFL Network and there are a couple spots devoted to Morgan, a referee telling Singletary to tell #84 to cut it out, and another after Morgan drops a pass. He's clearly an attitude problem, another wide receiver diva, except he isn't even that good. I would cut him right away, to send a message.
Shanahan says he would have gone for it instead of kicking a 47-yard field goal, though I doubt he actually would have taken such a foolish chance.
Another good performance from RGIII. Not as good as last week, and too much running for my liking but he was effective again. It was the defense that stunk (though it got two big fumbles). And now things will probably get even worse from there since Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker are out for the season.
But I am still targeting the 2014 season after the salary cap sanctions expire and RGIII has had more time to develop.

Victory Formation
Bush league play by Rutgers, I mean Tampa Bay ExpensiveCornPrices coach Greg Schiano, sending his players charging into the Giants formation when the game was already over. I understand about playing hard until the end of the game, but there are generally accepted practices in the NFL and even if the chance of injury was very minimal, it was still a damn stupid thing to do. I'm glad Tom Coughlin gave him a piece of his mind after the game.

The Best Team So Far
In my preseason and Week 1 predictions I suggested the 49ers were due for a falloff after their unexpected 13-3 season last year. So far they are looking to top last year's record. They beat an good Lions team at home and a very good Packers on the road. And they did it with a good combination of offense and defense. They can run the ball and pass it. They have a very weak division and half already knocked off what figures to be two of their toughest opponents.

The Only 0-2 Team in the NFC
I usually don't ascribe much value to coaching, and even less to intangible made-up terms like distraction. I heard going into Week 1 that the Redskins were in trouble because the Saints were going to be "angry." Now I hear they are "distracted." Maybe an incident like what happened to the Saints distracts some teams, angers others, and some are unaffected. Or maybe it's completely meaningless and the Saints are just having a bad year. And they do miss Sean Payton a little. Very tricky situation with them and I would avoid betting on them all season.

Game of the Week
Arizona 20 New England 18

I won't say I knew this was going to happen, because I didn't. But I will say that I felt sufficiently concerned that I picked Arizona to cover the spread. And I did not pick the Patriots in's eliminator pool (I picked the Giants and became one of 122,000 to advance to Week 3, about 30% of the starting field). But I still don't know how they lost. They couldn't score a touchdown at home against a good but not great Cardinals defense. And then when the game was almost gifted to them, they missed a game-winning field goal. Those kinds of things don't happen to the Patriots.

Game of Next Week
Atlanta at San Diego

The Falcons look really great on offense so far and the Chargers just look really great. I really believe in San Diego though they have had great starts before and folded down the stretch. But so far so good this season for the Chargers.

Weekly Ref Update
The absence of regular referees became a much bigger problem in Week 1 than Week 2. I still suspect the strike will be settled soon, possibly before Week 3. The NFL just needs to pony up extra money to keep their principle (no defined benefit retirement plans). Not that the regular refs are so great, but even the perception that the game is being compromised by replacements should be enough to get the NFL to cough up the small amount (to them) of dough needed to get the deal done.

Picture of the Week
Clay Matthews poses after making a play against the Chicago Bears.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
San Francisco 24 San Diego 17

The 49ers look awesome and the Chargers are off to a good start as well. Though I am worried about San Diego carrying this through until December. The 49ers look like the most complete team in the NFL. They have a running game, a passing game and an unspectacular defense that plays with solid fundamentals and sure tackling.

Song of the Week

"Fish Ain't Bitin" - Lamont Dozier
Evidently he wasn't a big fan of Pres. Nixon. But I still enjoy this soul classic.