Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekly Picks

Let's just get on with it. I am tired of reliving my misery each week. Don't understand how I am 22-22 in all other games, and 6-20 when picking home favorites.

ATLANTA -2 new york giants
I have pretty much gotten wrong every Giants game I have picked this season but I will try one more time because Atlanta lost last week and the Giants scored 52. Should regress to the mean this week.

detroit -6 1/2 ARIZONA
Rarely do you get a chance to give up this many points on the road with a team as bad as the Lions. But the Cardinals are so miserable right now it seems like a good deal.

OAKLAND -3 kansas city
I still believe the Chiefs are putrid and both their wins occurred under usual circumstances (Saints collapse, Belcher's death). This week should be normal and by normal I mean KC getting blown out again.

NEW ENGLAND -4 san francisco
I don't like to do this because the Pats played so well last week, it will be hard to replicate that against an even better defense, but the Patriots have a history of pounding people for weeks at a time.

TENNESSEE -2 new york jets

I hate to get carried away seeing as how bad I have been, but this is the most confidence I've had in a best bet all season. The Jets are terrible. They have only won 2 in a row because their competition has been so weak. I can't believe people are seriously talking playoffs about this horrible team. Maybe this will be the week Mark Sanchez has a good game. But I wouldn't bet on it. Would rather bet against it.

Last Week: 1-4 (0 point)
Season: 28-42 (20 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (3-11)
Home Favorites: 1-2 (6-20)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (6-4)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (9-11)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (7-7)

Let's Hope His Suspension Ends Before Conference Play Starts

Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams was detained at the mall, Destiny USA (I guess that's what used to be the Carousel Center) for shoplifting for Lord & Taylor. He put a bathrobe and gloves into his backpack in a fitting room.
Carter-Williams says the whole thing was a misunderstanding and evidently paid a $500 fine on his credit card and walked out of the store without police involvement.
The whole thing was caught on the security camera. Which shows he's so dumb he doesn't realize that every shoplifter tries to steal stuff while in the changing room, and thusly stores have cameras there.
He was stupid to try to steal the stuff in the first place, especially because with the way he has been playing he was a very big contract waiting for him next year.
Kids do stupid stuff, and in the grand scheme of things this is very minor.
But I hope people don't turn this into an argument in favor of paying college athletes. There is no way to ever pay them enough to satisfy them (even the pros complain and often go broke). I hope we don't hear that poor Michael Carter-Williams couldn't even buy his family Christmas gifts, so he had to steal them.
Big-time college athletes live the life. Everything they want, food, tutoring, respect, attention, girls, is available to them. And they do get a stipend, albeit small, but it is something.
This incident may remind some of you of Peter Warrick and Laverneus Coles getting busted for shop-lifting from Dillard's. Bobby Bowden more harshly punished Coles because Warrick was the better player. And maybe not coincidentally, Coles went on to become a much better pro.
Hopefully Carter-Williams will learn a serious lesson, sit out a game or two, and fly straight until such time as he gets drafted and signs a contract that will preclude him from ever stealing anything even again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Best 5 Minutes of a 6-Hour Concert

The best part of the 12/12/12 concert other than the name (I love that date) and the money it raised for victims of Superstorm Sandy was this bit by Adam Sandler:

"The Mets have sucked since 86 Isiah tried to ruin the Knicks..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The NFL is Poop - Week 14

An Old-Fashioned Ass-Kicking
The Arizona Cardinals received the opening kickoff in their game against the Seattle Seahawks, gained 41 yards on 4 plays and were facing a 3rd and 2 from the Seahawks 37. John Skelton threw an interception and it was all downhill from there. The Seahawks eventually won 58-0. What would have happened if Skelton hadn't thrown an interception and the Cardinals scored a touchdown? The final score would have been 58-7.
That is an adaption of a line from Sammy Baugh after the 1940 NFL Championship Game, the Bears beat the Redskins 73-0. That is still the worst shutout in history. There were 2 59-0 games, including the Patriots over the Titans a couple years ago.
Pete Carroll pulled starting QB Russell Wilson with 25 minutes left, but he let backup Matt Flynn throw the ball, to get him some reps supposedly. Now people are angry at the Seahawks for running up the score. I'm sick of this. This is the NFL, players get paid. This is not Pop Warner with kids' fragile psyches at stake. You don't like them running up the score, "stop them."

Where Did They Come From?
All of the sudden the Cleveland Browns are a hot team. After an 0-5 start they have won 5 of 8, the last 3 in a row. The befuddlement that marred the beginning of Brandon Weeden's rookie season seems to have cleared. He's had 4 straight games with a 78+ passer rating (average or better) and thrown 4 TDs and 3 INTs over that time. His fellow rookie Trent Richardson has also been effective, despite a low yards per carry average, he's run for 199 yards and 4 TDs during this short winning streak. The Browns are getting hot just in time to host the Redskins.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins It's nice to have a kicker who can actually make kicks, unlike Billy Cundiff. It's nice to have a backup quarterback who can come in and make plays, unlike Rex Grossman. It's nice to have a kick returner who can break one every once in a while, unlike Brandon Banks.
And it is great to have a quarterback like Robert Griffin III. Hopefully his knee injury is mild enough that he can play this weekend.
The Redskins got very lucky on a review, after Niles Paul fumbled, the Ravens recovered it cleanly, then lost it, and in the process of regaining it, touched out of bounds. On review it was overturned, the Redskins got the ball and on that drive scored the 8 game-tying points.

Game of the Week
Dallas Cowboys 20 Cincinnati Bengals 19

Amazing comeback by the Cowboys scoring 10 points in the 4th quarter and kicking the game-winning field goal with no time remaining. But amazingly for the second straight week a team won a day after an active player died in horrible circumstances. I don't know if it was emotion or coincidence, but it is pretty impressive how both teams pulled off these victories when it might have been easier to be emotionally detached from the game. I normally don't buy into the importance of emotion or other external motivators, but if this happens a third time, I will start to believe. And I will take that team as my best bet.

Picture of the Week
David Wilson does a backflip after each of his 3 touchdowns.

Game of Next Week
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots

This may very well be a matchup of the league's best defense and it's best offense.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
New England Patriots 31 San Francisco 49ers 23

No one believes in the Falcons or Texans right now. Even though they both have the best records in their conferences, New England completely dismantled Houston and Atlanta lost to Carolina. The Falcons at least had lack of motivation on their side, but they better pick it up if they want to avoid a trip to San Francisco in the conference title game.

Song of the Week

"Little Saint Nick" - The Beach Boys

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bad Rappers for $100 Alex

We know that the quality of rap music has gone downhill recently. So I hate pretty much everything that comes out nowadays (and gets major radio airplay). But of all the bad things I've heard, nothing bothers me more when rappers describe the colors of their cars with a description no one would ever use.

For instance, the horrible Nikki Minaj defiled the remix of one of my favorite songs (Hold You by Gyptian, Song of the Week, 5/19/10) with "Got a new Benz the color of bacon bits." What color are bacon bits? Would anyone ever get a car in that color?

I hate mayonnaise. Why would anyone want a car that color? Is it white, off-white. Makes me sick just thinking about it. So why would 2 Chainz say "coupe the color of mayonnaise" in "Mercy" by Kanye West.

I expect those things from people like Nikki Minaj and 2 Chainz. But I expected better from Jadakiss. He's a rapper from my generation. And he's actually quite good. Except for that "Made You Look" remix with Nas, when he said "comin through the hood in the Aston Vanquish the color of dandruff." At least I know that's white.

90% of Success is Showing Up

I am against the wussification of America. I disagree with the notion that the only way to raise happy, well-adjusted children is to shield them from every possible negative occurrence until they are 18 years old. I am against the abolition of dodgeball. I am against games where everyone wins and no one loses. And I am against participation trophies. Until Chase played youth soccer.

Soccer, as it's played by the top professional in the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga is called "The Beautiful Game." It is the ultimate team game with 11 men working in unison, passing it to one another with such precision until one man has the tiniest opening to attempt to kick the ball past a goaltender who has cat-like reflexes.

When 5-year-olds play soccer, it bears no resemblance to that at all. The ball is kicked and all 10 (or 12 or 14) plays swarm around it. They kick at it until it squirts free or someone gets hurt (it's not an accident that they say shin guards are a requirement). There is no passing, just a lot of scrums and the occasional run where one player dribbles with everyone else, including his own teammates, trying to get the ball from him.

The first four weeks of the 8-week program were for training. The last four weeks they played games, if you can call them games. Chase was terrible. His skills were about average, again, only one or two kids per team actually know how to play. He was terrible because he was hardly paying attention. He was talking to someone, kicking the dirt, staring at a friend on another field. And when he did get in the game he acted as a personal bodyguard for the kid with the ball, running behind him, doing nothing.

One day when Mrs. Poop was at the game and I was home, she messaged me to tell me Chase was not even paying attention and that soccer for him at this age was a waste of time and money. Seconds later she said "never mind, he scored a goal."

As best as I can reconstruct it, Elliott "passed" him the ball and he booted it right past the goalie. He was thrilled. He told everyone. He was so proud.

And at the end of the season he got this trophy.

I understand everything you are thinking. There are no participation trophies in life. When everybody wins, nobody wins. Participation trophies breed and even celebrate mediocrity. I've said it all myself, and I still believe it.

But maybe we should put an age limit on tough love. At age 5 kids need encouragement. It's too early to separate the winners from the losers because of all the valuable things children can learn from participating in sports. Not just the development (work ethic, teamwork, socialization) but also in this age of obesity kids need exercise.

The trophy has provided Chase with pride. It made him feel like he accomplished something. And most importantly it's part of the reason he is so excited to start soccer again next fall. Plus the soccer ball on it actually spins.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Brotherly Love

Mrs. Poop did a pre-picture day photo shoot. The results are cute, and fairly typical. They wouldn't look or smile at the camera, and it ended with someone in tears.