Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekly Picks

Another promising week where I missed my best bet and the Monday Night game. I will try to get both right again this week.

chicago +1/2 WASHINGTON
I hate doing this, but if it were any other team I would make this my best bet. There is no way the Redskins win this game. They're so awful in every phase, and even if RGIII figures it out, the defense still sucks.

st. louis +7 CAROLINA
This is just too many points to get from a bad team like the Panthers. I know they've looked better, but maybe that's just to sucker us in.

new england -3 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
I've had good luck picking New England, but the Jets are a little harder to figure. Because the spread is relatively small, I'll hope for some more Brady magic.

NEW YORK GIANTS -3 1/2 minnesota
Giants have been taking steps since the back to back blowouts against Carolina and Kansas City. Now it finally pays off in the first win off the season. It helps to be playing a quarterback who will throw more interceptions than Eli.

san francisco -3 1/2 TENNESSEE

I don't quite know why I feel so confident about this one. The Niners seem to be playing better, something that usually scares me away. But once again spread is somewhat small, so a win should be good enough here.

Last Week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 13-17 (11 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (2-4)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (5-5)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 0-1 (3-5)
Road Underdogs: 2-0 (5-6)

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's Not Free Stuff, It's Stealing

A problem with the backup system that controls the payments for EBT cards forced the entire system to crash over the weekend. That meant in 17 states people could not use their food stamp debit cards to buy food.
In most stores, they simply declined to accept EBT cards while the system was not functioning. In two Wal-Marts in Louisiana, store management (apparently with the approval of Wal-Mart corporate) continued to accept EBT cards as payment, even though the system was unable to debit users' accounts.
When word of this got around, people flocked to the stores and filled their carts up with anything they could find knowing the stuff would be free for them.
Cops had to be called to control the crowds, and eventually the system started to work again and debit customer accounts for their purchases.
Since they didn't have enough money on their EBT cards or any money of their own, these "shoppers" just abandoned their full shopping carts and walked out of the store. One woman tried to buy $700 worth of food and other items, with only 49 cents on her card.
Here is what the aftermath of this incident looked like:

Store employees were forced to clean up and restock as much as they could. But much of the food couldn't be put back, so it had to be discarded.

Customers who actually wanted to pay for their food couldn't shop there the next day because the shelves were wiped clean.

Wal-Mart chose not to prosecute in this incident, saying it would basically take the loss on all stolen and damaged items. So why did Wal-Mart give the go-ahead to let these people "buy" the stuff even though the EBT cards weren't working? Because they wanted to make sure people could get food to feed their families.

Note: Wal-Mart is an evil giant corporation that doesn't care about its customers and exploits its employees.

Many people are excusing this "looting" saying it's human nature to take as much as you can get it.

But in truth, it's stealing. Taking something that doesn't belong to you and not paying for it is stealing. Even if there is no mechanism to ever catch you.

This gets back to a larger point I have about the decline of American society. A certain segment of the population is economically worse off than others. We have taught these people that they are poor because others are rich, and they always be poor because the rich will always be rich. That general philosophy leads to incidents like this when people feel they are entitled to things, and they are not stealing, they are taking from an evil big corporation which has subjugated them in the first place.

But nothing has done more to keep poor people in poverty than the attitude that they will always be in poverty.

Note: Did you notice anything strange about that video? At about 15 seconds in you can see carts packed full of stuff, and in the background, a perfectly unmolested display of bananas. Even when they are free no one wants bananas.

What Do You Give Me For? Sen. Patty Murray and The West Wing's Mrs. Landingham

What do you give me for Sen. Patty Murray and Pres. Bartlett's sharp-tongued ("your immature attitude towards vegetables is not very Presidential") secretary, Mrs. Landingham.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hail to the Native Americans

I root for the Washington Redskins. I harbor no ill will to Native Americans. I sympathize with their plight, but a team nickname is the least of their problems.
I'm not sure what sparked this latest and most powerful round of outrage but I'm quite certain it wasn't Native Americans, but more likely people who felt guilty about the horrible treatment of the American Indians throughout the years and think the Redskins team name is the latest slight to a downtrodden people.
It's offensive they say. That word is thrown around a lot and I think we need to be very careful in how we interpret it so that we don't get hijacked by the political correctness police.
In order to determine if something is offensive you need to look at the person saying it.
Forget what happened 200 years ago and the historical etymology of the word. Do you think for a minute that any Redskins fan or anyone involved with the team harbors any ill-will, scorn or hatred towards Native Americans? And are any of those people perpetuating the name or the likenesses that go with it as a means of insulting those people in order to economically and socially oppress them?
Of course not.

But we also have to consider those who claim to be offended. Are they seriously hurt by the use of the word and the imagery? I sincerely doubt this. Maybe some do, but there is also a huge portion of the population, according to polls who are honored by the team nicknames. Redskins, Chiefs, Braves were also chosen because they invoke images of proud warriors.

I actually think it would be a shame if this part of Native American culture were wiped out of the public consciousness by some well-meaning and misguided people who think they're helping and by some desperate, helpless Native Americans who want to feel powerful.
So I stand with Dan Snyder and hope he has the will to resist these forces calling for a name change.
I am a Redskins fan, and I am proud of it. Just as Native Americans should be proud of their heritage and the fact that millions of fans each Sunday choose to honor their past by rooting for the Redskins!

Song of the Week

"The Past" - Shaliek
The singing is great, the lyrics tell a story and the musical composition is fantastic. A near-perfect song.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 6

Game of the Week
New England Patriots 30 New Orleans Saints 27

I gave up on this game when Tom Brady threw an interception with 2:16 left, giving the Saints the ball and a 4-point lead.
The Patriots were able to stop the Saints, use their remaining timeout plus the 2-minute warning, to force the Saints to punt. New England got the ball at their own 30 with a minute 13 left.
He masterfully ran the two minute drill converting on a 4th down, and then dropped a perfect pass in to Kenbrell Thompkins, who didn't drop it.

I know I shouldn't be, but I'm absolutely amazed Brady won this game. He is a great late-game performer, he's quick but doesn't hurry and he makes the right decisions.
But he got a big assist from the Saints who elected to go into "play not to lose mode" and of course, they lost.

What's Wrong With the Broncos?
Something happened on the way to being the most dominant team ever. The Broncos turned in two less than stellar performances in a row. They almost lost to the Cowboys, and they didn't slaughter the Jaguars which is probably even more embarrassing. I'm actually not surprised that they had a small letdown against the Jags, but I didn't expect it to affect Manning who threw only 2 touchdowns, as well as a pick-6 that really helped the Jags stay in it.
I'm being slightly facetious of course, because I believe Denver's offense can score pretty much whenever it wants against pretty much any defense in the league.
But there are some concerns about Denver's defense which will surely be tested in a huge matchup this week against the Colts.

Don't Sleep on the Chiefs
If the Colts do manage to pull off that upset of the Broncos, the Chiefs will be the NFL's lone remaining unbeaten (unless they somehow lose to the horrible Texans this week). I was skeptical about how good Kansas City could be this season. I have little respect for Andy Reid as a head coach. He may well be an offensive genius, but his in-game decision making often leaves a lot to be desired.
But the Chiefs have a good ball-hawking defense, a quarterback who doesn't throw picks, and a good running game lead by Jamaal Charles.
Those do seem like the elements of a team that can go deep in the playoffs.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
This was the best game RGIII played so far this season. He was back to his old self running the ball, feeling free to take off with it, and actually being able to outrun some defenders but his accuracy was bad and his decision-making was worse. He threw several passes up for grabs, luckily only one was intercepted. He also was stripped of the ball, his 18th fumble in the NFL, though only the 4th he lost.

If Griffin doesn't start passing better, the Redskins are doomed to finish no better than 4-12.

Goat of the Week
Redskins special teams coach Keith Burns
The punt coverage team allowed returns of 86 and 90 yards, setting up two Dallas touchdowns. The first one was the worst because it came on a rekick after an illegal motion penalty. And while watching his unit get burned, Burns got in the official's way and drew a 15-yard penalty.

Picture of the Week
Larry Fitzgerald would have to be 15 feet tall to catch this pass.

Game of Next Week
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts

I know a lot will be made of this one because Peyton Manning is going back to Indianapolis but this should also be a pretty good football game. These two teams are among the best in the AFC but both need to bounce back from less than stellar performances last week.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Denver Broncos 35 Seattle Seahawks 21

The holds these two teams have on these spots in quite tenuous. I still like the Saints but they really blew a huge chance in New England. And of course I love the Broncos and I'm not downgrading them based on performance against Jacksonville. But due to schedule alone, they may be more likely to lose soon than Kansas City.

My Hero

For years I have complained about the douches that sit behind home plate at baseball game and flinch every time a ball is fouled back, even though there is a screen in front of them. Finally, we have found a man who was able to control his urges and sit perfectly still as a batted ball flew in his direction.

Watch the guy in the black shirt above the EI in Budweiser:

Now go back and watch all the people around him, they scatter, but our hero sits still, unflinching in the face of danger.

Adrian Peterson is the Jacksonville Jaguars of Fathers

Adrian Peterson is a hell of a football player. But he's a shitty man. And a worse father.
In case you don't know (Mrs. Poop, Razor, Di10 perhaps), Adrian Peterson is the star running back for the Minnesota Vikings. He's one of the best players in football.
On Thursday his 2-year-old son was severely beaten, allegedly by the mother's new boyfriend. On Friday the child died. On Sunday Adrian Peterson played a football game.
Before during and after the game, writers who wanted to seem nice, praised Peterson for playing through his grief.
Only one problem: Peterson wasn't grieving.
The facts of the matter are likely something like this:
Nearly 3 years ago Peterson fucked a woman he probably never saw before or since.
That encounter led to a baby. It's not clear who, if anyone, knew for certain the baby's paternity. But Adrian Peterson didn't. It wasn't until 3 months ago that he found out the baby was his, that's when the baby's mama finally contacted him (maybe she didn't even know) and told him a paternity test for her boyfriend, the man she was presumably with at the time of her tryst with Peterson, came back negative.
Peterson had three months in which to arrange a visit from Minnesota to South Dakota (neighboring states) to see his child. He didn't. Why? He didn't care.
He didn't even see the baby for the first time until the child was on life support, being kept alive by machines.
That's why he thought nothing about playing in a football game two days after his nominal child died, in a horrible grisly fashion.
Please don't tell me about all the people who played after losing a parent or a sibling, or coaches who coached after grown children were killed. This is a small child, murdered in the most horrific way possible. The least he could have done was honor this child's memory by pretending to care enough about him to take a day off of work.
And I don't want to hear the crap about everyone grieving differently. He wasn't grieving. He has as much emotional connection to this child as you or I.
Any real parent who loves their children can tell you there is no way they would go to work, or play a game, or even leave their bedroom if this happened to their kid.
His callousness towards his own flesh and blood is disgusting enough, I just wish I didn't have to read about how great he is for being that way.

Note: Adrian Peterson has two other kids with two other women. He has a son named Adrian Jr. whom he actually seems to care about.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekly Picks

Got off to a pretty good start last week, won my first three games and Denver, my best bet, had a 15-point lead in the second half of their game. And it all went downhill from there. Going with some risky bets this week. We'll see how they pay off.

NEW ENGLAND -1 1/2 new Orleans
I like the Patriots to bounce back here. Horrible game last week, they will recover. And figure out how to stop, or slow the Saints.

indianapolis -1 1/2 SAN DIEGO
I hate picking a team coming off a huge victory but I have a lot of confidence in the Colts and very little in the Chargers.

jacksonville +26 1/2 DENVER
Smart money always comes in late on the big underdogs. Denver is not going to be motivated to keep their best players in the game, and to keep throwing the ball, probably after the 10 minute mark of the third quarter. Even if it's 35-3 at that point, I would expect the Jags to be about to lose this game by 42-17 or something like that. Also, I was in a restaurant last night at some loudmouth at the next table was saying there was no way Denver doesn't win by at least 30. That pushed me over the top on this one.

tennessee +13 SEATTLE
A lot is being made out of Seattle's home-field advantage, something I normally find to be incredibly overrated. 13 points is way too much to be giving to a pretty decent team like the Titans.

HOUSTON -7 1/2 st. Louis

It's always darkest before dawn. This is basically a bet that although Matt Schaub is bad, bordering on horrible, he can't stink this much every week. And if he does, and gets yanked for TJ Yates or whomever, the Texans should still be able to cover this.

Last Week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 10-15 (9 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (2-3)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (4-4)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (0-1)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (3-4)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (3-6)