Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 17

The Fickle Field Goal of Fate
With the collapse of the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, the San Diego Chargers controlled their own future. Beat the Chiefs, make the playoffs, lose and the 8-8 Steelers get in. Oh yeah, the Chiefs were also sitting many of their starters.
But that might have actually worked against San Diego, as motivated KC backups, Chase Daniel and Knile Davis, led the Chiefs to a 24-14 4th quarter lead.
The Chargers bounced back from that to tie the game but Daniel led a great drive to get KC into position for a 41-yard field goal attempt from Ryan Succop. A very makeable field goal, with two teams' playoffs hopes on the line.
And he missed.

But here's the rub: the NFL admits the referees missed a penalty on the Chargers on that play. It should have been an illegal procedure penalty for lining up 7 men on one side of the formation.
So they played on and the Chargers starter OT with a 9 and a half minute possession ending in a field goal. The Chiefs couldn't match it and the game was over. But we'll see these two teams again this week.

The Refs Almost Blew This One Too
With the Eagles lead 24-16 and the Cowboys driving to tie it up late in the 4th quarter the refs made an error even more egregious. After a 33-yard catch and run Jason Witten was tackled in the middle of the field, the play clock was somehow only reset to 25 seconds, instead of 40. The Cowboys couldn't get off the play in time and were penalized 15 yards. Thankfully this mistake didn't change the game too much, because the Cowboys scored anyway (on a 4th and 9 play). But they missed the 2-point conversion attempt. hey did get another chance but Kyle Orton did his best Tony Romo impression and threw an interception on the first pass of what could have been the drive to make the playoffs.
So the Eagles go to the playoffs, the Cowboys go home, but this time they don't have Tony Romo to blame. At least not for this loss.

Game of the Week
Green Bay Packers 33 Chicago Bears 28

How did he get so open? That's the question every Bears fan is asking after a sure victory and home playoff game was ripped from their hands. 4th and 8, 46 seconds left, 28-27 lead for the Bears, Aaron Rodgers scrambles, buys some time, and Randall Cobb sneaks away from the Bears secondary, Rodgers fires one, and its a 48-yard touchdown pass for the win.
I actually think there may be some karmic justice in this one as the Bears played horribly at times this season and probably didn't deserve his spot, with the stinker they put up last week in Philadelphia.
The Packers on the other hand were 5-2 when Rodgers got hurt, and went 0-4-1 in the first 5 games without him (including the game he got injured in, because he threw only 2 passes). So I'm a little more excited to watch them, even at 8-7-1 then I would be watching another lackluster Cutler performance.

Game of Next Week
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

All four games this week are actually pretty interesting, but I favor this one because it's a rematch of a Colts blowout win from a weeks ago. I think the Chiefs will get their revenge.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Mike Shanahan deserved to be fired. I don't think he is a horrible coach but I know his son is. Kyle Shanahan's play-calling was a big reason for RGIII's regression this season. And the Redskins weren't only bad on offense.
They gave up 478 points, only Minnesota's 480 was worse. They had a historically bad special teams, 3rd worst in history covering punt returns, and 3 touchdowns among all that return yardage. Plus they turned it over 34 times. Shanahan blamed his poor performance (double digit losses in 3 of 4 seasons) on the salary cap penalties the Redskins were hit with.
Hopefully his replacement will be the beneficiary of salary cap space, a healthy quarterback and a good offensive coordinator.
He will not however reap the benefit of the 2nd pick in the draft which will go to the Rams as part of the RGIII trade.

Black Monday
Four other coaches were fired in the NFL's annual season-ending purge.
Leslie Frazier is a horrible coach but I don't think his team, with those lousy quarterbacks, would have done any better with Vince Lombardi.
Greg Schiano is a college coach whose micro-managing control everything nature was never going to work in the NFL. Jim Schwartz is another moron, but he may have been done in by talented players who just didn't play smart at the key times. Maybe the next coach can reach these guys.
If any fired coach deserved to keep his job it was probably Rob Chudzinski who wasn't given enough time (about 355 days) to build something in Cleveland.
I have no problem with Rex Ryan and Mike Smith keeping their jobs based on past success, but what has Jason Garrett ever done?

Picture of the Week
San Francisco 49ers linebakcer Dan Skuta rips off Andre Ellington's shoe and sock while trying to make a tackle.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Denver Broncos 34 Seattle Seahawks 21

After everything has shaken out during the regular season these two teams are clearly the best.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Love is Blind

Brought together by a mutual love of education former Phoenix Suns point guard and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is married to Michelle Rhee, the former head of Washington DC public schools.

Snap, Crackle, Pop

We've been chronicling gruesome sports injuries (that's your hint squeamish Poopheads) for many years here at the Poop and nothing may ever top the Kevin Ware injury in terms of national scope because it occurred in the NCAA Tournament with millions of people watching.
But, in terms of stature of athlete, Anderson Silva, unquestionably the greatest fighter in UFC history, is the biggest star we've ever cataloged in this space.
In his rematch fight with Chris Weidman, in an effort to regain the middleweight title he gave away in March by hot-dogging, Silva, lost the first round, and then early in the second round threw a leg kick. Weidman, who ate several leg kicks in the first fight, check the kick with his shin, and Silva's leg fractured.

Here's the moment of impact:

Here you can see the bone flopping around in his leg:

Immediately Silva went down in agony:

Immediately this was compared to the Corey Hill injury because it happened in exactly the same way, but in that fight, Hill was hopping around and Joe Rogan was screaming "STOP THE FIGHT!!!"

And again, this happened to a huge star in a title fight on a PPV bought by a million people.

Silva broke his fibula and tibia and immediately had them both surgically repaired. He's 38 and will be 39 (April 14) by the time he'll be healthy enough to fight again. I fully expect him to come back, fight once more next summer/fall and rematch Weidman about a year from now. But I wouldn't be shocked if the last image of this great champion is him lying on the mat screaming in agony as his lower leg hung loosely inside his skin. But it would be very sad.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekly Picks

My hot streak continues, 14-6 in the last 4 weeks, unfortunately missed the last two best bets. Some interesting games here, as I am always suspicious of the team that needs the win vs. the team that has nothing to play for. Desire doesn't always translate.

carolina -6 1/2 ATLANTA
The Panthers should be motivated to try here and even if they don't they should still beat the Falcons by a TD.

jacksonville +11 1/2 INDIANAPOLIS
Colts can potentially improve their playoff position with a win here, but the Jags have been frisky and I think this spread should be pretty easy to cover.

NEW ORLEANS -12 1/2 tampa bay
The Saints lost last week in a tough one to the Panthers and now they are coming home. Also they need to win to keep the Cardinals out of the playoffs and I just know that is going to happen.

kansas city +9 1/2 SAN DIEGO
The Chiefs are the only team that is locked into its seed right now. They have nothing to play for and the Chargers do have an outside shot. But the Chiefs don't want to limp in the playoffs after two straight blowouts and Andy Reid is just stupid enough to play his best players for a good portion of the game.

TENNESSEE -6 houston

Not sure why I am doing this except that I actually think the most predictable games are the ones with two teams that have nothing to play for. I figure it should be also easy to predict how Houston will play since they've been horrible even when they have been trying.

Last Week: 4-1 (3 points)
Season: 41-39 (32 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-11)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (18-17)
Home Underdogs: 1-0 (2-1)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (11-10)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (10-11)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Christmas Spirit

WestJet Airlines decided to do something really nice for some of their passengers this holiday season. They set up a booth in the Toronto and Hamilton airports, and when their passengers checked in, they told Santa what they wanted for Christmas.
While the flights were in the air, WestJet employees went shopping and bought the presents that were requested, and when the passengers arrived in Calgary their gifts were on the conveyor belt.

Believe it or not some people are actually complaining about this video saying that this was all a publicity stunt by the airline, or that this just feeds into the naked consumerism that has overtaken the holiday.
If this video brought either one of those thoughts to your head, before it brought a smile to your face or a tear to your eye, then you are way more cynical, and much more in need of holiday spirit than the people at WestJet.

Merry Christmas To All

Except the Jews, who should just enjoy the Chinese food and stay away from "Grudge Match" it looks horrible.

I doubt this is authentic, but it's a funny joke either way.

Song of the Week

"Jesus" - Kem featuring Patti LaBelle and Ron Isley
Three of my favorite singers singing about one of my favorite guys.
Occasionally I struggle with gospel music because I don't know whether the song is about a cute boy, or about Jesus. I think this one is pretty clear.

The NFL is Poop - Week 16

Peyton Manning broke one of the most important single-season records for a quarterback by hitting Julius Thomas for his 51st touchdown of the year. This week he can, if he plays enough, pass Drew Brees for the single-season yardage record as well, he only needs 267 yards.
I know Manning is a product of his system, they let him throw, a lot. But he isn't David Klingler at the University of Houston. Manning is leading a great NFL team, a leading Super Bowl contender, winning games first, and putting up gaudy passing numbers while doing it. The fact that he is 37, after a major injury and a team change, makes what he is doing even more remarkable. I've often criticized him for his frequent failures in the playoffs, but no matter what happens this year we all have to be in awe of how great a quarterback he is this year, and for all the seasons before.

He'll Break Your Heart
Matthew Stafford is one of those quarterbacks (Jay Cutler and Tony Romo also come to mind) who has great talent and often uses it to make great plays and win games. But seemingly just as often, his mistakes lead to his team's ruin. This time Detroit led the lowly Giants 20-13 with 5 minutes left. A win would have given the Lions a chance to play the Vikings with a win giving them the division title (though they didn't know that at the time). In need of a first down Stafford threw a bad pass (maybe the decision wasn't as bad as the execution) and it was returned for a touchdown to tie the game.
The Giants won on a field goal in overtime to eliminate the Lions.
The Lions lost 5 of their last six games despite holding fourth quarter leads in all of them. Surely the blame can be spread around (even the great Calvin Johnson dropped passes), but I'm not really sure Matthew Stafford will ever be able to lead a team deep into the playoffs.

What a Difference a Year Makes
Last year the Arizona Cardinals went into Seattle and suffered the worst shutout defeat in NFL history, 58-0. They turned the ball over 8 times and allowed two 100-yard rushers. Russell Wilson completed only 7 passes for 148 yards, and barely played. This year, in a full game, Wilson got even fewer yards, 108, as the Cardinals beat the seemingly invincible-at-home Seahawks 17-10, despite 4 interceptions by Carson Palmer. Seattle got nothing done against the Cardinals defense and certainly cast doubt on their ability to run through the NFC playoffs, simply by dominating on their home field.
But someone else will likely have to be the ones to follow the Cardinals blueprint for success in Seattle, because the Cards need to beat San Francisco at home, and have the Saints lose to the ExpensiveCornPrices, in New Orleans.
Not likely, so it is a shame such a good team will likely miss the playoffs while the dreck in the other two NFC divisions will make it in.

Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers 38 Green Bay Packers 31

This game featured one of the weirdest plays I've ever seen. A blocked field goal, touched by about four Steelers before being knocked out of bounds was given back to the Packers at the 2 yard line setting up a touchdown. I think Ryan Clark did actually possess the ball, so it was a bad call, but he was an idiot for trying to lateral in that situation.

But the fun didn't end there, not by a long shot.
The Steelers did not let that play hurt them though, Roethlisberger drove right down the field for a TD, and the Packers next play from scrimmage was a Matt Flynn pick-6. Steelers up 31-21 entering the 4th quarter.
After the Packers tied the game on their next two possessions and had the ball again, but Matt Flynn fumbled, setting up a short field goal attempt by the Steelers. But the Packers were offside, giving the Steelers the chance to score a touchdown, and kill more time.
No way the Packers could come back from this, right? But they almost did, thanks to a 70-yard kick return. But this time it was on offside penalty (on the 1!!!!!) that cost them 5 yards, and 10 seconds. For some reason Matt Flynn did not get the play off fast enough (he blames the official, wasting 7 seconds, and giving them only one chance from the 6, which they didn't convert.
The win kept the Steelers playoff hopes alive (though they need a lot of help), and it didn't hurt the Packers who just need to win to get in.

Game of Next Week
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

I know both teams are pretty bad/inconsistent but one of them is going to host a playoff game. No Tony Romo, but I wouldn't write off the Cowboys just yet. Though, if the Eagles can capture any of what they had against the Bears, they will run through Dallas like a hot knife through butter, and could be a scary team in the playoffs.

Picture of the Week
Houston Texans Cheerleaders dressed up for Christmas. I suppose you would call this look "Naughty Santa." What can I say, I'm a sucker for cheerleaders in costume.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
2 starts for Kirk Cousins, 2 1-point losses. It's not his fault the defense absolutely sucks and can't contain Tony Romo or cover the Dallas receivers, once Romo starts to scramble. There's no excuse for allowing two long 4th down conversions on that final drive.
But there's also no excuse for the pitiful 4 plays the Redskins ran when they had a chance, and a little bit of time, to kick a field goal for the win, but those 4 plays were as bad as I've seen. And Kyle Shanahan deserves the blame, and he will get it, as he will surely be fired on December 30th.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Denver Broncos 37 Arizona Cardinals 13

If the Cardinals can go into Seattle and win they can beat any NFC team, anywhere, right now. But they likely won't get the chance to show what they can do.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

If You Had the Bears and 42 Points...YOU LOST!

2013 was a great year in the life of The Poop especially as it regards all the awesome sporting events I went to. There was the Rangers game in the amazing seats, the Jon Jones title fight, the Home Run Derby, the field passes at CitiField, Chase's first Knicks game, the last appearance by Syracuse in the Big East Tournament, and of course the Final Four in Atlanta, which I went to with my best friend Billy. A fitting way to end the year was enjoying a game in style. Since Billy is a bigwig at a company with a suite he asked for the tickets to the Bears game.
He donned his Walter Payton jersey, and I wore a Bears shirt to support my buddy and we entered into enemy territory.

It's a good picture, but a little too much light behind us darkened our faces.

Note: While Eagles fans get a bad rep, and they may have been tailgating all day, we didn't get hassled at all for wearing Bears gear. Obviously no one in the corporate suite is going to do that, and we didn't go to the concourse or hang out in the parking lot, but we saw a lot of other Bears fans in full regalia and Eagles fans said nothing. Not to say it never happens, but the idea that I heard from many people that if I wear a Bears shirt, I'm going to get attacked by an angry mob, is totally untrue.

The suite was really nice, you walk in and there's hot food on the right and snacks and stuff on the right and seats in front. 2 rows of 6 seats and then some high tables that you can also sit at and watch the game.

Had it been cold, the suite would have provided a little respite from the weather but not too much. But it was a very comfortable 50-something degree night. I didn't even wear a jacket.

Note: we felt very VIP with our laminated tickets.

Let's start with the food, I started with a cheesesteak (the meat, onions and cheese are in separate compartments and you cobble together your own sandwich) because when in Rome...

Then I had the paella.

The fridge was fully stocked. And they actually brought the champagne around towards the end of the game.

There were soft pretzels.

And popcorn. I took the bucket, but don't worry I left those cups for other people.

And for dessert there were gingerbread men and a yule log. Pretty cool.

At the end of the game there was still an entire tray of gingerbread men still left so I took a couple home. The suite attendant offered to give us any other leftover food because otherwise she'd have to throw it away. She was literally thinking "what am I going to do with all this paella?"

The food was great, but then the game started. From the 30-yard line, we had a great view of one of the worst ass-kickings I've ever seen. The Bears couldn't move the ball, and every time the Eagles had the ball, they scored. There seemed a moment where the game could have turned, down 24-3 the Bears forced a Lesean McCoy fumble and recovered near midfield. A touchdown there would have at least made it a game, but it was overturned on replay.

When Jay Cutler got picked off and it was returned for a touchdown to make it 47-11 with 8 minutes left we decided to bail out. As soon as we left the stadium we heard a roar, the Eagles had scored again to make it 54-11. I hate to leave early but it was late and I had a long drive ahead of me.

On that drive home I heard an old DMX song, with a line I had never quite understood. It refers to a very popular line of Reeboks, which I later learned had been commonly referred to by the price they cost, after tax. The shoes sold for 49.99, when you added New York's old 8.25% tax rate ($4.12) you got...54-11.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Weekly Picks

A garbage touchdown by the Jets cost me a perfect 6 and a winning record for the season. Look how close to .500 I am all across the board, all types of bets.

indianapolis +7 1/2 KANSAS CITY
The Chiefs have been on fire. The Colts are very questionable but they have performed much better against good teams than bad ones.

denver -10 1/2 HOUSTON
The Broncos still need this game for homefield so they will come out guns blazing, except Welker.

CINCINNATI -7 1/2 minnesota
The Bengals look horrible in losing to Pittsburgh on Sunday Night. The Vikings looked great in scoring 48 points against the Eagles.

JACKSONVILLE +5 tennessee
The Jags are actually playing much better lately. And I have only picked 2 home dogs all season.

dallas -2 1/2 WASHINGTON

I hate doing this but Dallas has been embarrassed all week, and they need this game and the Redskins are just sooooooo bad, the spread is so small and Shanahan doesn't even seem like he wants to win. The only wild card here is Kirk Cousins. If he has a great game against a shitty defense, that's the only way the Redskins can win.

Last Week: 4-1 (3 points)
Season: 37-38 (32 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (5-10)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (17-17)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Favorites: 2-0 (10-9)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (9-11)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ship the Cheese

The Poop is poker's newest thousandaire.

Here's the explanation: holiday promotion by Ultimate Poker. A nightly $1 buy-in tournament, with $1000 guaranteed for first place. They call it the Thousandaire!
Not only did I win the tournament I did it while fighting with Julian to eat dinner, then putting them to bed, including pajamas and teeth-brushing (no story, though). I even had Chase reading my cards to me and pressing fold while I wiped Julian's ass.
I did get lucky in some spots (bottom set vs top 2 and top-top was the hand that really propelled me) but I never had a blatant suckout, and during heads up (with a $967 pay jump) I played great, pounding on my opponent until I got him down 2 to 1 and finally put him away with 8s vs 7s.

This means a lot to me because I can now play cash games and tournaments without really worrying about what it will do to my bankroll. It also feels great because I have tried really hard at poker for a long time and never had any major success. Now I am surely a lifetime winner at poker and hopefully better things lay ahead.
But more importantly I set a great example for my children (Chase is gonna love it), that if you want to be good at something you work hard, you believe in yourself and you can accomplish great things!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 15

Who Wants It?
After an entire season of Denver and New England going back and forth at the top of the AFC, both teams have hit the skids recently. The Broncos turned in a prime time stinker against the Chargers and the Patriots needed a miracle to beat the Browns but lost Rob Gronkowski which proved to be a huge loss when the Patriots followed that up by losing to the Dolphins. That loss opened the door for the Bengals...who got smoked by the Steelers. The Colts are 9-5 but maddeningly inconsistent, so it would be hard to pick them to win the AFC. That leaves one team, with the best record in the conference, the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes they had a 3 game losing streak, but two of those losses were to Denver, and they have rebounded nicely by scoring 101 points in two games. They went from sleeper, to pretender, to serious threat, in the span of a month.

Home is Where the Heart Is
Meanwhile in the NFC, there are two top contenders, Seattle and New Orleans, that are completely different teams. They share one thing in common, they are both dominant at home and iffy on the road. I can't believe New Orleans dropped that stinker in St. Louis, and though the Seahawks dominated the Giants, I'm not sure how much that tells us. At this point it would be very har to pick anyone else to win the NFC besides Seattle.

Game of the Week
Green Bay Packers 37 Dallas Cowboys 36

An epic collapse has sent the entire franchise into disarray. Jerry Jones blaming Jason Garrett. Jason Garrett blaming Bill Callahan and Tony Romo. And everyone pointing the finger at Dez Bryant. But I want to talk about Tony Romo. This is the second game this season (the 51-48 loss to Denver was the first), when he had an amazing game, but made one big mistake late that hurt the team. But we shouldn't let it overshadow the amazing comeback by the Packers, with Matt Flynn leading them to 5 touchdowns in the second half. Flynn is another mystery/enigma we can deal with another time.

Crybaby? More like Lie-Baby
Dez Bryant walked off the field late in that game, but before time had officially run out. I don't buy that it sends the message that he is walking out on his team, but I also don't buy his excuse that he went inside the locker room to cry where no one could see him. What it does tell me, is that he a selfish guy who cares very little about anyone but himself. He didn't care about anyone or anything when he took improper benefits from Deion Sanders, or when he lied to the NCAA investigators about it or when he screamed at his teammates on the sidelines.
Randy Moss had similar attitude problems, and even did the same walk off early thing, and had similar tremendous physical gifts and he had a very successful career. Bryant is so good, and so troublesome, his career will likely trace a similar arc.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
This team is in a pickle. It's not just the injury, Robert Griffin III played horribly. At his best RGIII is miles ahead of Cousins at his best. But what if RGIII is never at his best again? I don't think you can trade Cousins in the offseason because you need some insurance, and even if he plays 3 good games, you won't get much back for him. Better to just keep him.
But definitely fire Mike Shanahan.
He should have played for overtime.

Game of Next Week
Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs.

There are a few good ones this week including New England at Baltimore, but I am anxious to see if one of these teams assert themselves as a real contender in the AFC. This is also a possible first round preview.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Seattle Seahawks 21 Kansas City Chiefs 17
We've spent most of the column addressing this already, but I have doubts about Denver and New England, and Kansas City has looked amazing in the past two weeks. No way anyone goes into Seattle and beats the Seahawks. I just don't see it happening.

The Orange Will Be Well-Represented at the Texas Bowl

I have often criticized Sean Keeley, author of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician (the blog of record for Syracuse University sports) as having gotten too big for his britches. And I still may be correct on that one, but I have to give him credit for an awesome idea of his that really took off.
Keeley posted that since many SU fans would not be able to get to the Texas Bowl in Houston to see the Orange play Minnesota, they should donate some money, and if he could raise $10,000, the money could send roughly 200 kids from local youth organizations to the game to cheer in our stead.
Like I said, the idea really took off, donations are close to $20,000 and Texas Bowl organizers lowered the ticket price to $20 from $50, meaning sending 1,000 kids, giving them SU shirts, and hot dogs and drinks, is now a reasonable goal.
The only problem is finding enough kids.

Song of the Week

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - Mary J Blige

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Don't Remember Getting Older, When Did They?

The producers of "Girl Meets World" posted this picture, the "Boy Meets World" cast then (1996) and now, 17 years later.

First thing that jumps out is that Mr. Turner is not there. He's not dead. He's just not relevant to this spinoff and probably wasn't willing to be in the picture and go home without getting paid. Other things I noticed: Topanga looks great. Shawn and Eric look like brothers. Feeny looks very old. Amy hasn't aged a bit. What the fuck is on Alan's head? It looks like he took Turner's mullet and bleached it then slapped it on his head.

Monday, December 16, 2013

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Hockey can be a dangerous game. There are angry guys with sticks shooting frozen rubber discs at up to 100 miles an hour. And oh yeah, they are wearing very sharp skates on their feet.
Every once in a while one of those skates cuts someone.
That's what happened to Sebastian Courcelles during a Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey (LNAH) game in Quebec.

Warning: if you have a vagina you will probably not want to see this picture.

But don't worry, 50 stitches later, they fixed Courcelles up real nice, you can hardly tell.

Egad! That almost looks worse.

Kind of makes players who don't want to wear visors seem pretty dumb. Even though it might not necessarily have helped in this particular case.

Story found by Billy

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Remember This Name

One year ago today a lunatic went into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut shot 26 people, 20 of them small children, before killing himself.
I'm sure all or most of you remember his name.

But I remember a different name. I remember Chase Kowalski. He shares the same name as my son. And every day I thank God, the Universe, Jesus, Mohammed and several idols, that it wasn't my Chase's school, his kindergarten class that became the site of one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history. And every time I call him by his name, I think about the poor Kowalskis who don't have their Chase anymore. When someone sings "all the other boys, try to chaaaaaase me" they don't laugh, they cry. So I will always remember Chase Kowalski.

Or maybe you have a daughter named Olivia. Like Olivia Engel. And maybe your Olivia, or whatever child you have, had a favorite toy, a stuffed animal he or she will never let go, like Olivia's stuffed lamb. So when your child squeezes that stuffed bear or lamb or dolphin tightly, squeeze your child tightly, because Olivia's parents can't. And remember Olivia Engel.

Or maybe you are a Giants fan like Jack Pinto. And maybe you love Victor Cruz like Jack did. And every time Cruz scores a touchdown, you get up and salsa dance. Jack Pinto can't do that. He was buried in a Victor Cruz jersey. I'll remember Jack Pinto's name.

Or maybe you have a child with sparkling blue eyes like Noah Pozner's. I know I do. Maybe the child you love is Jewish, like Noah. And you know the excitement of a child on Hanukkah, each night unwrapping a new gift. Except Noah didn't get to open all his presents. He was killed on the 6th day of Hanukkah. He didn't get to light all the candles. And his parents will never look into his blue eyes again. So when I look at Julian, and I give my own kids Hanukkah presents, I will remember Noah Pozner.

Maybe you are a teacher, or you know a teacher, a teacher like Victoria Soto. She literally threw herself in front of her students to save them. It didn't work, but several others who remained hidden in a closet are alive today because of Victoria Soto. And whatever those kids do in their lives, they will remember Victoria Soto. And so will I.

That's only 5. There are 21 other names we all need to learn and remember before we give another thought to the sick bastard who did this.

Weekly Picks

Two best bets in a row, it's a Christmas miracle.

arizona -2 1/2 TENNESSEE
I can't help it, I love the Cardinals.

seattle -6 1/2 NEW YORK GIANTS
Although I have major doubts about Seattle on the road, I am confident that they will bounce back strong after losing a tough one last week.

INDIANAPOLIS -5 1/2 houston
The Texans might be the second worst team in the league, but the Colts can't get their shit together.

baltimore +5 1/2 DETROIT
I don't trust the Lions and I think the Ravens are going to go down fighting. They are in playoff position right now, but have 3 very tough games left. If they can beat the Lions though they still have a good chance to make the playoffs.

CAROLINA -11 new york jets

Carolina coming off a bad loss. The Jets coming off a win, this one could get ugly.

Last Week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season: 33-37 (29 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (5-9)
Home Favorites: 2-1 (16-16)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (8-9)
Road Underdogs: 0-1 (8-11)

Friday, December 13, 2013

3000 Words

Maria Kang, MILF, pissed off a lot of mommies with her in-your-face boobies, abs and slogan.

Digger Phelps plays Mother Ginger in "The Nutcracker." This is the 6th year he's done this.

Is Matt Harvey picking Anne V's nose?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Song of the Week

"The One" - Tamar Braxton
There's three things I'm a sucker for in music: a male/female duet, a clear story in the lyrics, and excellent use of a sample.
There's no man here, the lyrics are scattered but it's one of the best samples ever.
"It was all a dream!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 14

Let It Snow
A beautiful to cuddle up someplace warm and watch NFL football on a high-definition screen. Snow falling all over the east coast as game in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington and especially Philadelphia provided a beautiful winter tableau. But far from what you would expect, we had a scoring outburst, that helped set an NFL single-day record for touchdowns with 88. Those 4 games featured 30 touchdowns, and the overall point totals were 54, 55, 55 and 62.

Prater the Greater
An even longer standing and more impressive record was broken when Denver's Matt Prater kicked a 63-yard field goal. The record famously was set by Tom Dempsey in 1970, famous because he had no toes and was kicking with a stump. The record also belonged to Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos, not a coincidence that those two kickers were able to kick such long field goals in the thin air of Denver. But this is not track and field and wind-aided kicks count just the same as any other kick. So Matt Prater is your new all-time longest field goal record holder.

Game of the Week
Baltimore Ravens 29 Minnesota Vikings 26

This game was 12-7 right before the 2-minute warning. Then:
Baltimore scored on 4th and goal. Toby Gerhart ran for a 61-yard touchdown. Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff four a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patteron scores on a 79-yard screen pass. Joe Flacco hits Marlon Brown for a touchdown. Five touchdowns, 4 extra points, 1 2-point conversion, 36 points in 2 minutes and 1 second. In the snow! One of the craziest most exciting finishes there could ever be.

A Few Inches From Surpassing the Ravens-Vikings Game
The Steelers trailed the Dolphins by 6 points, and had one play and 74 yards to go. They were able to run it out to the right and reverse field to the left (though Roethlisberger's lateral may have been forward and get Antonio Brown streaking down the sideline, and he just barely stepped out of bounds at the 12.

The sad thing is, if he could have controlled his momentum, he probably had enough room to stay in bounds and still get around the tackler.
And where was Mike Tomlin to push him back in bounds?

Poor Gronk
Rob Gronkowski suffering another unfortunate injury, costing him the rest of the season, after a broken arm cost him the beginning of it. Who knows when Gronk will be able to play again after tearing the ACL and MCL in his knee. Now we have a bunch of defensive players saying they will have to go for players' knees because there are so many flags being thrown for hitting players in the head and shoulders area.
I'd rather have a guy get a knee injury than a head injury. Not being callous, just accepting that football is a violent sport. When someone gets a knee injury, they recover, and if it leads to long-term problems maybe worst case is being confined to a wheelchair. If you sustain a head injury the potential damage is much much worse. So if we have to choose a body part to injure, I'll take knee over head any day for the long term. Though short-sighted people would say you can come back a week later from a concussion but an ACL takes a year.

Gronk's injury cast a pall on what otherwise would have been a monumental comeback victory for the Patriots. Tom Brady led a long drive ending in a touchdown, then the Patriots got the onside kick and scored quickly thanks to a dubious pass interference call, giving them 13 points in a minute to beat the Browns by 1.

Game of Next Week
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions

One of very few games this week between two teams in playoff contention. But both teams really could use a win to hold off some teams coming up behind them.

Picture of the Week
San Diego Chargers fans still haven't gotten over being spurned by Eli Manning.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Denver Broncos 31 Seattle Seahawks 17

I can't put New England here without Gronk. I can't put the Saints here after they got destroyed by Seattle. The Seahawks will probably get the chance to defend home field in the NFC playoffs. But on a neutral site, Peyton Manning vs. Russell Wilson.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Billy's Second Favorite Team

During the amazing run of Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16, the only person more caught up in the excitement than I, was Billy.

He loved the style of play, Dunk City

He loved Coach Andy Enfield's free-throw percentage in college (92.5)

And he loved the coach's hot wife, Amanda Marcum Enfield

Now that the Enfields have moved to USC, they are doing even more things to make Billy love them. Like visiting fraternity and sorority houses to drum up support for the team.

Note: Mrs. Enfield (seated on her husband's right, is still hotter than 90% of these chicks, despite being twice their age)

But that all pails in comparison to who Coach Enfield put on his staff. Former Syracuse point guard Jason Hart

and former Syracuse shooting guard, Tony Bland.

Hart and Bland are both L.A. natives and their goal is to get the best players from the area to choose USC over UCLA.