Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Picks

A disappointing week, because I am mad at myself for ignoring my rules, in both the San Francisco-Seattle and San Diego-Philadelphia games I ignored the fact that teams just don't seem to play the same way every single week. I will keep that in mind this week.

NEW ENGLAND -7 tampa bay
The Patriots had two narrow wins against bad teams. This is their third bad opponent in a row and this time I would expect them to deliver the beatdown they are known to lay on inferior opponents like the ExpensiveCornPrices.

new york giants -1 CAROLINA
The Giants two losses thus far have been the product of 10 turnovers. They will get that corrected and the Panthers who played well in a loss last week will revert back to playing like shit.

buffalo +2 NEW YORK JETS
The Jets stink and the Bills are actually pretty good.

jacksonville +19 SEATTLE
A huge spread for the Seahawks coming off a ridiculously huge week.


All the Bears have to do is beat a pretty pathetic Pittsburgh team. But I could be ignoring my bad performance corollary again.

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Do You Give Me For? Kate Upton and the Grand Theft Auto V Girl

It looks like Grand Theft Auto V clearly copied Kate Upton's body (I'd recognize those tits anywhere) for this character, but it appears the face was drawn based on a model they actually hired.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm Not a Doctor

Matt Harvey has a torn ligament in his elbow. Tommy John surgery is the usual avenue to repair such an injury, but since it is only a partial tear, Harvey has decided to try to rehab it, instead of opting for Tommy John surgery.
This totally sucks. And we want to kick ourselves in the asses and say "typical Mets, cursed franchise" and I might agree with that. We have had Tom Seaver who was great. Gooden who was great and derailed his career with drugs, and now Matt Harvey.
Of course the fear is that he will struggle through one or more injury-plagued seasons before needing the surgery anyway, so why not just have it now?
I guess the thinking is that he can strengthen the muscles around the ligament to prevent a tear. And even if a tear is inevitable, maybe putting it off, would allow a couple more good years before Tommy John surgery and maybe lengthen his career at the back end was well.
And since Dr. James Andrews signed off on this, I'm willing to try this approach. The fear of course is that he will rehab and then tear it sometime next season, costing him 2014 and 2015.
There is a strong reason to believe Harvey will never be the same again, but there are also many examples of guys who came back as good or better.
Adam Wainwright and Steven Strasburg both had the operation in 2011. Chris Carpenter had it in 2007 and came back strong for 3 seasons before getting hurt again. AJ Burnett, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano are other pitcher who have had success post-Tommy John.

Harvey does not seem to be handling the injury, and the scrutiny over his personal medical decision, very well. Here's his curt interview with Dan Patrick.

I'm very familiar with these type of interviews and the arrangement is exactly how Dan Patrick described it. In this case Qualcomm pays Matt Harvey to be its spokesman. Matt Harvey does interviews to promote the product, but the agreement (and usually it's unspoken, as the producer explained) is that the player will do a real interview about all reasonable topics and the last question or two will be about what is being promoted.
Dan Patrick handled it well, Matt Harvey did not. He later apologized on Twitter as he realized his behavior did damage to himself and to Qualcomm.
I'm sure Harvey's image can recover from this, but can his elbow?

Breaking Bad: "Ozymandias"

Once again Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad team got the characters out of a situation in a logical reasonable way. Almost, I do think it was a little implausible that Jesse could have been hiding under the car and they would not have noticed him. But the fact that they did choose to let him live in order to cook makes a little sense. Though $68-$69 million dollars, even split 10 ways or so, is a pretty good reason not to cook meth.

Seems a little greedy, which by the way was very funny about Uncle Jack stealing the money basically from Walt, and then calling the other guys greedy for not wanting to leave him a barrel. And then him telling Walt he needs to know that they are "square" or else he will kill him. I guess he believes there is honor among thieves. But it remains to be seen if Walt has just written off that much money.

Hank and Gomey had to die. Once they took us down that road, that was the only viable off-ramp. I don't understand why Walt begged so hard for Hank to live, yet he turned on Jesse so quickly, even twisting the dagger with that Jane comment.

I guess because Hank is family. And the whole show is about the lengths Walt will go to in order to protect his family.

I think this episode was when he finally realized that as a direct result of the actions he took to protect his family, he lost his family.

That's why his final desperate act as Walter White, was to kidnap Holly, dump her at a fire station and make the call to Skylar. He knew the cops would be listening and he wanted to make it seem that he acted alone, and Skylar had nothing to do with it.

Now we have two episodes to find out if Walt really goes to New Hampshire (the next episode is entitled "The Granite State") or if he was just given a New Hampshire ID. We will see if Jesse teaches Todd to cook, or if he blows him up or does some other Walter-esque scheme to get himself out of there. And we may finally learn who the ricin is for, and Jesse is looking like a much more likely target.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Song the Week

"Only You Babe" - Curtis Mayfield
Curtis Mayfield, the legend, the best that's ever done it, in one of his lesser known songs. He's known for his political messages, but this one is a love/lust tune with his great falsetto.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 2

Thunder and Lightning
A strange, sloppy game between the 49ers and the Seahawks, with a result I certainly did not see coming. I love Colin Kaepernick, but the Seahawks defense rattled him into the worst game he's ever played. And because the defense was so dominant it allowed the offense to keep pounding with Marshawn Lynch until that worked, which opened things up for Russell Wilson who was horrible early but good enough late to rout the 49ers and make a big statement in the division and in fact, the conference.
I am not usually a proponent of home-field advantage. I know it exists, but I think it's importance is heavily overstated. But if ever a crowd and a field can make a significant impact on the game, it is this Seattle atmosphere right now.

Manning Bowl
Peyton Manning is now on pace for only 72 touchdowns this season. And the New York Giants are on pace to make 80 turnovers. There's a pretty good chance the Broncos will be able to keep this up and dominate offensively most of the season.
The Giants will not continue to turn the ball over like this. Eli Manning has gone through stretches like this before, and even won the Super Bowl in those same seasons. He will eventually figure it out, because luck plays a big part in turnovers. And since the NFC East is down this year, I still think the Giants have a decent chance to make the playoffs.

1-Point Wins
Buffalo 24 Carolina 23

Beautiful last-second game-winning touchdown pass by EJ Manuel. Obviously the Panthers blew the coverage, but the play was designed to make that happen. A lot of sports is luck and timing but eventually sometimes you just need to make a play. EJ Manuel did that, several of them really, and that bodes well for long-suffering Bills fans like Damino.

Chicago 31 Minnesota 30
The last-second throw by Jay Cutler may have been even better, hitting Martellus Bennett, against much better coverage. The Bears have survived two very close games and are now one of only three 2--0 in the NFC.

Kansas City 17 Dallas 16
This one wasn't as exciting as the other two but it was still an exciting and interesting game. Everyone was going nuts about the Kansas City Chiefs before the season and now that they've gone 2-0 everyone thinks their suspicions were realized. Sure the Chiefs are improved, but they are still far from playoff caliber. And if they do end up shocking me and making the playoffs, Alex Smith will be a much bigger, well not bigger, a much more important reason, than Andy Reid.

Game of the Week
Houston 30 Tennessee 24

This overtime game was exciting enough to earn this spot on its own merits, but what really put it over the top was a crazy sequence late in the fourth quarter.
4th down and 9, Houston as the ball at the Tennessee 33 as time is winding down.
Randy Bullock hits a 51-yard field goal.
BUT WAIT...Titans coach Mike Munchak called time.
Randy Bullock misses a 51-yard field goal.
BUT WAIT...the Titans were offsides.
Randy Bullock misses a 46-yard field goal.
BUT WAIT...Munchak called time out again.
Randy Bullock misses a 46-yard field goal.
So he got 4 tries, hit the first, and missed the next 3 sending the game into overtime.
The Texans won the coin toss and won the game by scoring a touchdown. They can say they did it because of the new overtime rules requiring each team to get a possession unless the first team scores a touchdown. But we know they did it because they didn't want to have to rely on Randy Bullock again.

Game of Next Week
Green Bay at Cincinnati

Ok, so this doesn't have any divisional or conference implications but I like this game for two reasons: both teams are really good on offense, and both teams need this game. They both lost tough games in week 1 and they are both playoff and Super Bowl contenders but one of them will be 1-2 after this.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
If the first half against the Eagles and the first half against the Packers were combined into one game the Redskins would have lost it 50-7 and allowed almost 700 yards of offense. That they scored 40 second half points in these two games is only a product of how badly they played and how far behind they were.
There is little hope they can suddenly turn this season around, for one simple reason: Robert Griffin III is not healthy.

They aren't even trying running plays. And without the threat of him keeping it in the pistol formation, Alfred Morris can't run.
And without any running game the Redskins pass. And without making any first downs, the defense is constantly on the field, and it's bad to begin with.
And that is how you have two of the worst games any team could ever possibly play, back-to-back to open the season.

Picture of the Week
Falcons safety William Moore makes an unorthodox tackles on the Rams Mike McNeil.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Denver Broncos 27 Seattle Seahawks 13

Denver has looked dominant in two games and even though the Pats are too, you can't even imagine New England beating Denver right now. A closer race in the NFC as the Seahawks are the clear choice but the Bears and Saints have been impressive too. And Seattle barely beat Carolina, so who knows. It's still early.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Picks

A pretty lucky opening weekend, or unlucky depending on your point of view. Four of the games I picked were very close, one ended as a push, but the biggie, my best bet was pushed over the top by a late field goal.

PHILADELPHIA -7 san diego
I really think the Eagles are on to something, at least at early before other teams have a chance to figure it out. They thoroughly dominated the Redskins and nothing that happened in the 4th quarter makes any difference when indicating how well the Eagles will play this week. I do hate that I am picking a Monday Night winner vs. a Monday night loser, but I think the Eagles performance actually looked worse than it was and the Chargers actually looked better than it was, simply because they held it close.

buffalo +3 CAROLINA
I was very impressed with the way the Bills played against New England last week. I think EJ Manuel has a chance to be pretty good. And I am growing increasingly sure that Cam Newton's rookie season was a mirage and he actually sucks.

st. Louis +6 1/2 ATLANTA
I'm still happy with the Rams even though they didn't cover in Week 1. The Falcons are good but this spread is a little too big.

dallas +3 KANSAS CITY
I think we are all getting a little too ahead of ourselves with the Chiefs. They looked great, but they were playing the Jaguars. I refuse to believe Alex Smith is great and Andy Reid is smart, just because of one week.

san Francisco +3 SEATTLE

My preseason predictions centered around two things: the 49ers would be even better this year, and the Seahawks would be worse. Nothing I saw in Week 1 is leading me to change my mind. I love Kaepernick and think Russell Wilson is very overrated. But turnovers will matter here, and that has a lot to do with luck. I rarely take this many underdogs, especially as my best bet, but I just have a feeling.

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