Saturday, December 07, 2013

Weekly Picks

Thanks to the official's review I finally got a best bet right. Will try to make it two in a row this week.

kansas city -3 WASHINGTON
There's nothing better for a struggling team than a game against the horrible Redskins.

NEW ORLEANS -3 carolina
The Panthers streak has to end some time and the Saints coming off a horrible loss are just the team to end it.

dallas +1/2 CHICAGO
I'm sick of picking the Bears and watching them suck.

SAN FRANCISCO -2 1/2 seattle
Seahawks looked great last week and in the first game against the Niners.

ARIZONA -6 1/2 st. Louis

If the Cardinals are for real they will bounce back strong from that loss to the Eagles.

Last Week: 3-2 (4 points)
Season: 30-35 (25 points)
Best Bets: 1-0 (4-9)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (14-15)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (7-9)
Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-10)

They Will Never Learn

Here are the reasons why signing Curtis Granderson for 4 years and 60 million is a bad deal:
1) Too many years. The Mets are buying Granderson's age 33 to age 36 seasons. The age at which most players start to decline is around 32. The best we can expect from Granderson is two decent years when the Mets suck, and when they start to be good (maybe), he will be a salary albatross and he will be taking at bats away from young players trying to develop.
2) CitiField is not Yankee Stadium. According to FanGraphs, Yankee Stadium inflates home runs by lefties by 14%, while CitiField is roughly league average in that regard. Granderson doesn't have drastic home road splits from his years with the Yankees but I feel guys hitting well at home tend to carry that confidence to the road, whereas guys from difficult home ballparks pack their struggles on road trips. Unscientific, but that's my impression.
3) The Mets are on the wrong side of the win curve. Unfortunately, with the injury to Harvey the Mets look like a 75-80 win team at best. Even 3 or 4 extra wins provided solely by Granderson will do nothing to help the Mets make the playoffs and likely add very little extra revenue, despite all the exhortations from the talk radio crowd that the Mets needed to do something to show their fans they're serious about building a winning team.

This deal is worse than the Jason Bay deal in several ways: Granderson is older than Bay was, is coming off an injury and the Mets are worse now than they were then.

Just because they don't have better options doesn't making doing the wrong thing right.

The Mets have decided to do the same thing they always do, and hope it works out better this time.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Week 13

Best of the West
As expected the Denver Broncos dispatched the Chiefs, in Kansas City, sending the once 9-0 darlings to a 3-game losing streak. A streak which will end this week when the Chiefs play the Redskins (more on them in a moment). But significant questions about the Chiefs defense remain. After they got pounded by Philip Rivers, Manning lit them up for 400 yards and 5 TDs.

Not Enough
Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 for being on the field and likely interfering with a Jacoby Jones kick return. I think the referees should have awarded the Ravens a touchdown on the spot (they can do that!). But since they didn't, I think this merited something more like $250,000 and a 1-game suspension. He's not even supposed to be on the white line during a play, never mind the field. I don't think Tomlin did this in order to interfere, or to feign interference, but nonetheless his punishment should have been much more severe. If the Steelers had won this game, the outcry over this play would have been even louder.

A few weeks ago the Jets were 5-4 and were looking at a big slate of winnable games. Then they collapse. 20 points in those 3 games, almost no chance at the playoffs, and worse their quarterback of the present does not look like the quarterback of the future. It's hard to spend a high draft pick on a QB, give him playing time under bad circumstances and immediately right him off and draft someone else. But I don't see how anyone, including Geno himself, can have any confidence that he will turn into a productive NFL quarterback.

Let's Do It Again
Amazing feat by Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, 498 yards receiving on 24 catches in the past two weeks. That's nearly 200 catches and 4000 yards over 16 games. Yes, the Browns get behind and have to pass a lot, but that's still pretty impressive.

Do Not Touch the Referee
Cordarrelle Patterson catches a touchdown then tries to high five the referee. After initially leaving him hanging the ref finally relents and high fives Patterson. Looks like Christian Ponder has a different kind of celebration in mind.

Contact with the official didn't work out so well for Patterson's teammate Chris Cook who after getting beat by Alshon Jeffrey on a ridiculous touchdown catch...

...grabbed the referee's shirt and got himself ejected.

Game of the Week
Minnesota Vikings 23 Chicago Bears 20

Aside from those dramatics this game was actually very exciting as the Bears really needed a win and the Vikings wanted to avoid their second straight sister-kisser. Adrian Peterson ran for 211 yards. When if ever do you see a 200 yard rusher and a 200 yard receiver in the same game?
But the excitement really started in overtime when Blair Walsh made a field goal, then had it nullified by a face mask and missed the re-kick.
And then the Bears reliable kicker missed a 47 yard field goal on second down. The Bears definitely should have tried for at least a few more yards on second down, I could see kicking on 3rd down. Or if the kick were 25 - 30 yards, but to go for a 47 yarder on 2nd down. Foolish. And it ended up costing the Bears the game.

Game of Next Week
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Just kidding, this is the worst game of the season. Only real NFL junkies, fantasy owners and degenerate gamblers will watch this crap. Which means it'll do 5 million for the NFL Network.

Game of Next Week
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

The Saints got their asses handed to them in Seattle. But this game is in the Superdome where they haven't lost yet this year. This game is a huge test for the Panthers who have won 8 in a row but still don't have the full confidence of NFL insiders.

Picture of the Week
Members of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders show off their hair extensions.

Making Amends
Juice was right to call me out for not including a picture of Selena Gomez performing at halftime of the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
The referees fucked up but they did not cost the Redskins the game. A predictable offensive gameplan and a horribly inaccurate quarterback turned a 14-0 lead into a 24-17 loss. They stink.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Seattle Seahawks 34 New England Patriots 31

The Seahawks look dominant at home but there are still doubts about how they would play on the road, and perhaps on a neutral site. The Patriots didn't look great in a narrow victory over the Texans but they're still dining out on last week's win over Denver.

The Best Game of Our Time

Alabama vs. Auburn, the Iron Bowl of 2013 is the best college football game I have ever seen. And it certainly has its place among the greatest games of all time, and maybe the best ending. Sure, The Play ("the band is on the field, the band is on the field!") was more unusual and novel and crazy, but the game was meaningless.
This was #1, defending national champ Alabama vs. #4 Auburn, in one of the most heated rivalries, with huge stakes, a chance at the title game, perhaps for both teams.
And what ensued was one of the craziest, most dramatic, exciting, unpredictable and downright amazing games any of us will ever see.
By now you've all heard or seen what happened (and if you didn't you don't care), the 99-yard touchdown, the late-game comeback TD by Auburn and of course the field goal return.
But I want to talk about Nick Saban, the arrogant jerk whose pride cost his team the game. Saban thinks he walks on water (and he has the results to back it up) and that anything he does is right. And if you buy into this way of doing things you will win. He thinks the success he's had is because of him, and not his players. Which is why he failed in the NFL (and hated it), because he couldn't relate to players who had their own proven track records. It's also why he threw his kickers under the bus after the game.
My big problem with Saban comes when he went for on 4th and 1 with about 5 minutes left, instead of trying a 30-yard field goal. I know his kicker had already missed 2, but a 30-yarder is probably a pretty good bet, for even a bad kicker, and it would have given the Tide a 2-score lead. But in Saban's world he can't envision how his team won't get 1 yard on 4th down, and if they do, it is the players' fault.
That of course set up the blown coverage on the Auburn touchdown pass which set up Saban's fatal mistake. Many people are saying "if his kicker is so bad, why attempt a 57-yarder?" I'm going to give him a pass on this one. Even a bad kicker should make 57-yarders way more often than a player should return a miss 108 yards. The problem with Saban here is he didn't seem to have the right personnel on the field to defend a potential return, and he didn't seem to have them prepared for it. Though in his classy post-game press conference he said he warned the players and told them to fan out, but damn kids didn't listen.

It's a good thing a game like this happened now, because next year, it won't be as exciting. With a 4-team playoff, Alabama would likely make it anyway, so even if they didn't rest players, which top teams probably will, the urgency will be gone and the stakes greatly reduced. And this has been my main objection to a playoff for as long as the debate has raged on: college football has the most special regular season of all sports, and a playoff system, of 16 or 8 or even 4 teams would take a lot of that away.

Song of the Week

"Happy Frappy" - Guster
Master Bates used to listen to this song a lot, maybe he would like to hear it again on his birthday.
"Not much of this makes sense to me..."

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Let's Remember to Take Him On All Family Trips

A while back Mrs. Poop let Chase watch "Home Alone" for the first time. And the worst thing that happened was he came back saying "hell" as in "why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?"

Other than that, we thought it was mostly harmless fun, until I read this article which asked a doctor diagnose the injuries Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) would have sustained had those attacks been real.

For instance, getting smashed in the face with an iron could "fracture the bones surrounding the eyes. This is also known as a 'blowout fracture,' and can lead to serious disfigurement and debilitating double vision if not repaired properly."

How about walking barefoot on Christmas ornaments?

"Walking on ornaments seems pretty insignificant compared to everything else...If I [were] Marv, I'd be more concerned about my facial fractures."

And then there's Joe Pesci who touched a burning doorknob.

If this doorknob is glowing visibly red in the dark, it has been heated to about 751 degrees Fahrenheit, and Harry gives it a nice, strong, one- to two-second grip. By comparison, one second of contact with 155 degree water is enough to cause third degree burns. The temperature of that doorknob is not quite hot enough to cause Harry's hand to burst into flames, but it is not that far off... Assuming Harry doesn't lose the hand completely, he will almost certainly have other serious complications, including a high risk for infection and 'contracture' in which resulting scar tissue seriously limits the flexibility and movement of the hand, rendering it less than 100 percent useful. Kevin has moved from 'defending his house' into sheer malice, in my opinion."

And my personal favorite, the blowtorch to the scalp.

Harry has an interesting reaction to having a lit blowtorch aimed directly at his scalp. Rather than remove himself from danger, he keeps the top of his skull directly in the line of fire for about seven seconds. What was likely a simple second-degree skin burn is now a full thickness burn likely to cause necrosis of the calavarium (skull bone)." That means the skin and bone tissue on Harry's skull will be so damaged and rotted that his skull bone is essentially dying and will likely require a transplant.

On second thought, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to show Chase this movie.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Weekly Picks

denver -5 KANSAS CITY
I think the Broncos will make a comeback. Two weeks ago I wasn't so sure but then I saw the Chargers light up this Chiefs defense.

CAROLINA -7 1/2 tampa bay
I'm a believer in the Panthers. And I don't think the ECPs are going from 0-8 to 8-8.

chicago +1 MINNESOTA
I don't know why I keep falling for the Bears.

NEW YORK JETS -3 miami
Whenever we count the Jets out, they come back with a good performance.

arizona +3 1/2 (corrected via Papa Poop) PHILADELPHIA

I love the Cardinals right now. Picking the hot team goes against what I stand for, but I just love the way Carson Palmer is playing lately and he is clearly the weak link on this team.

Last Week: 1-4 (0 points)
Season: 27-33 (21 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (3-9)
Home Favorites: 1-2 (13-14)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1)
Road Favorites: 0-2 (6-9)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (7-9)