Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 8: It's Nothing of the Sexual Nature, I Assure You

Hello America. I’ve missed you this week like the desert missed the rain. I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been somewhat of an apparition around these parts this week (which probably accounts for this being our single highest traffic week in the history of the site…or was that due to the deadspin link? You decide...), but I have been bonging workahol out of a traffic cone for the last two weeks. (Just ask me about it and I’ll bore you with the exact time I have arrived and left work every day this week like it’s Auschwitz or something.)

On a more serious note, we didn’t get any picks from TJ this week, which unfortunately is not due to work, but instead “play.” Tommy was arrested last night and is still in the drunk tank, from what I can gather. Apparently he stumbled out of the Dubliner around midnight and decided to catch some impromptu shuteye in the lobby fountain of the Cap Hill Hyatt down the street, where he subsequently proceeded to move his bowels and then perform the “ugly woman” dance…and some buzzkill decided to call the local constabulary. So, once Tommy finishes paying his debt to society, he’ll get back to picking the games.

Additionally, Jerry won’t be contributing this week either. He went up to St. Michael’s in Maryland for a quiet weekend away with the new girl he’s seeing. He seems legitimately smitten…and I think we’re all just really happy for him.

Yeah…neither of those is true…but what does it say about our friends that you found the TJ story far more believable than the Jerry tale? TJ and Jerome are both at weddings … somewhere…for some people I don’t know or care about.

So, you may have noticed that I’m 3-17-1 picking against the spread this year. It doesn’t just suck…it’s groundbreakingly bad. I had some thoughts about how to address it. There’s the popular “reverse picks” concept where I pick all the games and then go back and do the opposite. First off, it’s been done. Secondly, it’s gayer than a tennis helmet. I decided, instead, to do “man up” and in a roundabout way take the advice Leon gives Larry below:

So you know what? Fuck it. I’m picking all the games…AND the over/unders. 28 picks. “Geoff was here.” Step out the asshole…and leave that shit open so they know I was there.

Cleveland (- 3) @ ST LOUIS, O/U 44Why’s everyone focusing on how bad the Dolphins are? You could have at least seen that coming. A lot of people had the Rams winning that division...but they suck something fierce. In both fantasy league’s I’m in, Marc Bulger was picked before Tom Brady. Think about that… BROWNS and the OVER

CHICAGO -5 vs. Detroit O/U 43½
- The Lions are worse than you think they are…kind of like genital warts…right Rob? BEARS and the UNDER

CAROLINA - 6½ vs. Indianapolis O/U 44 – Chewbacca? Wookie? Endor? This does not make sense. COLTS and the OVER.

N.Y Giants -10 vs. MIAMI in Europe O/U 48½ - Glad we’re putting our best foot forward in exporting our game to the rest of the world. This game is gonna suck. PHINS cover and the UNDER.

TENNESSEE -7 vs. Oakland O/U 41½ - TITANS and the OVER.

Philadelphia -1 @ MINNESOTA O/U 39½
- If Andy Reid got his stomach stapled and went balder, he’d look remarkably like Brad Childress. And if we were drafting partners for beer pong, I wouldn’t select Tavaris Jackson. Ever. EAGLES and the OVER.

Pittsburgh -3 @CINCINNATI O/U 48½
- I could not have been more shocked at how poorly the Steelers played versus Denver last week. Shocked, I tell you. Like my parents always taught me, I’m taking the darker skinned black coach. STEELERS and the UNDER.

N.Y JETS -3 vs. Buffalo O/U 36½ - It was probably the funniest thing Beano Cook ever said—If this game was being played in my living room, I’d probably get up and to go see what was going on in the kitchen. JETS and the OVER.

TAMPA BAY -4 Jacksonville O/U 32 - Dr. Quinn Gray, Medicine Woman? Really? Seriously? BUCS and the UNDER…Waaaaaaay under.

New Orleans 2½ @ SAN FRANCISCO O/U 41 – No clue. How about SAINTS and the OVER?

NEW ENGLAND -16½ vs. Washington O/U 50 – Two weeks ago I told anyone who would listen (predominantly toll booth collectors and priests giving confession) that the Redskins covering against the Pats in this game was the lead pipe lock of the year. Well, as you may have noticed, I’m an impressive 0-5-1 ATS picking Redskins games this year. But fuck the haters. I’m sticking to my guns. The Redskins will lose this game because they can’t generate a pass rush and their offense is as impotent as Palek on Tell Me You Love Me. But their defense is still one of the league’s best. And good God, bet the kids college fund on the under. Through six games, the average combined total points per games in contest featuring the Skins this year is a paltry 35, with the high water mark being the 24-17 loss to NY. SKINS and the UNDER.

DENVER – 3 vs. Green Bay O/U 42 – I have nothing to say that is either relevant or true. BRONCOS and the OVER.

SAN DIEGO -11.5 vs. Houston O/U 45 – When was the last time the NFL had a week with two games being played at neutral sites? That’s the burning ques…oh…I mean Hot Topi…eh…no…speculation is spreading like wild….no….no… Let’s move on. TEXANS and the UNDER.


This organization is functioning as effectively as a cactus condom, both on the scoreboard and in the pre-game meetings. Since I’m not really sure which games I’m supposed to be prognosticating, I’m just picking three and letting it fly.

Washington (+16.5) @ New England (o/u 48) – All the tea leaves, coyote entrails, and mediocre football scribes point to a Redskins victory in this one. And by victory, we of course mean that the Skins will stay within two touchdowns of the Patriots. The Washington defense is the best Tom Brady has faced all season. New England’s bound to be looking ahead to next week’s tilt with the Colts. The Pats can’t keep treating the entire league like Schillinger did Beecher. And so on.

We’re not buying it. The Patriots are freaking cyborgs. Normal psychological failings don’t happen to them. The Colts aren’t even on their radar screen until they complete they crush their burgundy and gold enemies and hear the lamentations of their women. Patriots cover the number and the game goes way over the posted mark.

Buges has been prank calling Gino Capelletti all week, pretending to be Sam Huff. Fortunately for Buges, Capelletti’s nearly as clueless as he is and can’t figure out how to work the Caller ID machine.

Carolina (+6.5) @ Indianapolis – See above. The Colts won’t be looking ahead, either, and they face a much less sturdy opponent than do the Patriots. Indy was really impressive on both sides of the ball against Jacksonville, and David Carr isn’t much of a step up from Quinn Gray. Colts cover the spread and get a little hop in their step before getting mashed into the turf next weekend.

Houston (NL) @ San Diego? – How the heck do I know? I don’t even know where this game’s being played. Can I play a hand of Texas Hold ‘em instead? I’ll take the Santa Ana winds and give the points. And pray for the poor folks in SoCal.


Carolina (+6½) vs. Indianapolis
This line is a head-scratcher to me, but not nearly so much as it was when I looked at Danny Sheridan's odds on On that site, it said -- and still says -- that the Panthers are favored by 6.5. Can I get that bet from any bookie? I mean, with that kind of line, even I would have a shot of getting my picks right.

Obviously a 13-point swing makes it more reasonable, but still . . . here's what we know:
- The Colts are 6-0 and a close second to the Pats as best team in the league.
- The Panthers are 4-2, albeit against teams with a combined 13-28 record. The teams they beat are 5-22, the teams they lost to are 7-7.
- The Panthers are 0-2 at home.
- The Colts gain 80 more yards a game and allow 60 fewer than the Panthers.
- The Colts are averaging 9 more points a game.
- The Panthers are starting either David Carr or Vinny Testaverde at QB.
- It's not supposed to rain on Sunday in Charlotte.

- Mayflower Van Lines was so vilified for aiding the 1984 Irsay abandonment that the branch in Baltimore was run into the ground and like the Colts, they left town. (As my old Baltimorean bartender in DC once proudly told me.)

Doesn't this all reek of a 2-3 touchdown margin? Of course, "any given Sunday," blah blah blah. The only shot the Panthers have in this game is Indy looking ahead to the showdown a week later against NE. Even if they do, though, they win by a TD. Colts.

Washington (+16½) @ New England (O/U: 50)
Now this line is more like it. I guess New England is that much better than the Colts, or maybe Washington's 4-2 isn't as impressive as Carolina's, or perhaps home-field advantage is worth 10 points these days. The Skins face the same "only shot is them looking ahead" quandary, but it's a lot easier to get within 17 than 7. And the Redskins are a better team right now than the Panthers, especially on defense. And so I'm taking the Patriots. Huh?

Here's the deal. The Pats are a machine, not susceptible to emotional letdowns or "looking ahead." They may have a field day with the Washington OL. And they may be that much better than Indianapolis. (After all, the Mel Gibson vehicle "The Patriot" is immensely more powerful than the Dodge vehicle "The Colt.") And finally, my gut tells me that the Redskins may make
this game interesting, and I've been wrong for four or five weeks in a row. Gonna take a page from Geoff's reverse psychology. Patriots.

I also like the under. The Over.


You’ll have to excuse me this week as I’m a little out of sorts. You see, for the first time in 8 years I won’t be attending the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. I’m more than a little bummed about this. Of course, I’ll be sure to make up for it by drinking myself into a stupor over each of the next couple of nights. The last time I missed the cocktail party I ended up challenging my friend Dave to a fight, losing my phone and getting kicked out of a cab (you know I was drunk if I called a cab) all before midnight on Saturday. I’m gonna try and knock out that trifecta by sundown this time around. Well, either that or I’m gonna find Vodka guy and take him up on those Vicodins he offered us last year. Keep our fingers crossed.

Jacksonville @ TAMPA BAY (NL): After completely fumbling away what should have been a win in Detroit, Tampa comes home to face a Jacksonville team who fell apart on Monday night once they lost David Garrard to injury early in the 1st quarter. Can you blame them? I’m pretty sure John Henderson was as surprised as me to find out that Quinn Gray was not only a real person, but also the Jaguars’ backup QB. While I’m sure Jaguars fans will complain about their offense not being at full strength without Garrard, lets be honest. That offense was shit on a stick anyway. Outside of Maurice Jones-Drew their whole philosophy revolves around throwing the ball up for their pack of enormous, overrated wide receivers. As an aside, how come nobody gives the Jacksonville management shit for drafting stiffs like Matt Jones and Reggie Williams in the 1st round? I don’t know. I’ll tell you what I do know though, my hangover is not easing up anytime soon. I guess I’ll listen to my pounding head and go with a McGriddle over the Egg McMuffin. Oh, and Tampa in a low scoring affair, 16-9.

Philadelphia @ MINNESOTA (-1.5) O/U: 38: Does anybody without a mustache care about this game? Yes. Those people who own Adrian Peterson in their fantasy leagues do. However, those people are going to end up awfully pissed off come Sunday when Brad Childress outfoxes his former mentor by using Peterson as a decoy and unleashing the talents of Tavaris Jackson on the unsuspecting (and increasingly porous) Eagles secondary. What’s that you say? Jackson couldn’t start on half the teams in the SEC? Yeah you’re right. If I was Brad Childress I’d just line up Peterson in the Wildcat package all day and force Philly to try and stop him 40 times. Can you honestly tell me that’s a worse strategy than having Tavaris Jackson launching passes downfield to the likes of Troy Williamson, Bobby Wade and Travis Taylor 25 times a game? Of course you can’t. That’s because you apply things like logic and reasoning when making decisions. Andy Reid and Brad Childress laugh at your simple, unmustachioed ways. Take the under.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


As we gear up for yet another loaded weekend of college football (kicking off tonight with a Boston College loss in Blacksburg, and it wont be close), that features no less than 5 matchups between ranked teams, I figured a few trivia questions might whet everyone's appetite for the weekend.

(1) Which former national power is 12-13 in their last 25 games?

(2) Which school that once dominated its conference for more than a decade has now compiled a record of 4-10 in its last 14 conference games?

(3) Who is the only player in the nation this year to have at least one run of 12 yards in every game so far this season?

(4) Who has the longest active streak of rushing TDs (8 games) in college football?

The answers to questions 1 & 2 are Florida State University. The answers for both questions 3 & 4 are non other than the baby rhinocerous himself, Tim Tebow.

The mention of Tebow brings to mind something that occurred to me last night. Tim Tebow and Josh Beckett are a lot alike. Not in their physical characteristics (though Tebow was a pretty good high school pitcher) but in their mental makeup. After Beckett absolutely blew away the side in the first inning of last nights game, I ventured over to Misery Loves Company (where I was all by my lonesome) and wrote simply, "BECKETT SMASH!!" in the comments section. It was at that moment that I realized that guys like Josh Beckett and Tim Tebow are rare. Not just because of their otherworldly talents but because they have a level of competitiveness and yearning to excel at the highest levels and within the biggest moments that most players simply cannot fathom. Sure, they're both physical freaks blessed with gifts and talent that the average man simply can't comprehend, but they are hardly the only athletes walking through the current sports landscape who can boast of this. What separates them, and what has always separated truly great athletes is an inner fire, an innate desire to transcend the playing field they reside upon and make the most of the precious few "special" moments that they are afforded the chance to be a part of. It's why Beckett has been untouchable for most of his playoff career and its why Tebow was running the ball on 4th and 1 late in the 4th quarter in Knoxville last year as a true freshman quarterback. (Think about that for a second. Its stunning to imagine a coach calling a true freshman QB's number in that situation. However, I dont think a single Florida player, coach or fan flinched when that scenario reared its head last September).

You see, the difference between good players and great players doesn't often reside in numbers we can quantify but instead in words that come off as cliche'. Words like "heart" and "desire". These are the things that allow players to forge legends and build upon them again and again. Does it help to be able to run over linebackers or throw a 97 mph fastball on the outside corner of the plate when the situation demands this level of execution? Of course it does. Can a player consistently achieve this level of excellence without possessing intangibles that can't be measured by legions of scouts and the latest technologies? Not a chance.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Did I say she's the Bee's Knees? I meant to say the Cat's Pajamas...

As I wrote in a column last week, I turned 30 last Wednesday. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me and, consequently I wasn’t expecting much of a big deal to be made of it. My girlfriend and I went out to dinner, had a few drinks and she got me some great presents. That was it for Wednesday . By the time I had a few postgame drinks with the guys from my basketball team on Thursday night I pretty much figured the fanfare was over. And I was fine with that. Fast forward to last Saturday. My Dad called me early in the afternoon and asked me if I wanted to grab a few beers during the first half of the Kentucky-LSU game. Never one to turn down football or beer, I gladly accepted. We met up at a local bar and watched what we both guessed (in the middle of the 2nd quarter) would be a game firmly in LSU’s control by midway through the second half (until UK scored that late first half TD). At halftime, I said goodbye to my Dad and headed home as my girlfriend and I were going to be meeting some friends out for more drinks later in the evening (or so I thought). About five minutes later I turned onto my street to see a line of cars leading up to my house. As I thought to myself, “What the hell is going on?”, I quickly realized that my driveway was filled with over 40 of my friends and family. It seems my girlfriend had planned a surprise party for my birthday. Everyone was there (save for some friends from out of town) old college roommates, my sisters and their kids (and my parents), the guys I play basketball with and a bunch of other friends. It was a pretty humbling experience, to see all these people come out to celebrate my birthday with me. What followed was a full night of great food, better friends and plenty of alcohol. All of which was organized over the better part of two months by my girlfriend. It was, in short, the sweetest, most thoughtful thing that anybody has ever done for me.

I don’t want to bore you with all the details as nobody really cares to hear stories about parties that don’t end in puking, bathroom sex or arrest through the use of a taser. However, it was a fantastic time. As most of the people I know are well aware of my drinking problem, I received an ungodly amount of liquor (seven bottles of Jager for starters) and numerous other thoughtful gifts (Mmmm, cash). Rest assured that my freezer is now fully stocked with all types of sauce for my consumption. Vodka, Rum, Cognac, Jager, Crown, Tequila, etc. Its like looking at my own little ABC every time I open the freezer door.

I can’t even tell you how much fun I had. Hell, it was so much fun that I didn’t even mind the fact that my Dad walked up on a conversation about the enormous bar fight I got into on the night of last year’s Auburn game. I wasn’t exactly jazzed to see my Dad standing behind me as my friend Kurt recounted the tale of me breaking a Heineken bottle over some rednecks head but, what can you do? It’s not like my Dad never got into a bar fight when he was young. At least I hope he did. As you can imagine, being the guest of honor also required me to do a ridiculous number of “birthday shots” with everyone from my oldest sister to my asshole friend who bought me a fake lottery ticket and waited until I was drunk to give it to me. I, of course, fell for the fake lottery ticket and was, momentarily, under the impression I’d won $20,000. (Which would come in awfully handy now that I’ve discovered my car needs $1500 in repairs). The party was a complete success. Everyone had a great time (Even the two pregnant ladies who were undoubtedly the only sober people in attendance.) and LSU and Kentucky even cooperated by supplying the party with, possibly, the game of the year in college football. By the time regulation was nearing an end, nearly every guy at the party was sitting/standing in my living room with their eyes glued to the screen and everyone of those guys were rooting for Kentucky. Of course, Kentucky was victorious and the crowd was in an even better mood than when the night began.

The party would go on for a few more hours and, it seemed, a good time was had by all in attendance, especially me. I discovered that it’s nice to have a big fuss made over you every now and then. I also realized there’s no way in hell that I’ll be able to match the level of time, effort and love that my girlfriend put into celebrating my 30th birthday. Which, is kind of a pisser since she turns 30 on New Year’s Eve. Short of getting her a guest spot on MTV’s New Year’s Eve celebration broadcast, I’d say I’m pretty much screwed here. I would honestly look into this if it wasn’t for that unfortunate incident back in 1999 when Ed Lover and I got drunk and ended up pissing in the water bottles in Carson Daly’s dressing room.

So, to sum up: Great Party, tremendous friends and a perfect girlfriend. However, lest you think this gesture has made me soft and looking toward marriage anytime in the near future, I direct you to this email I received from my friend Calvin yesterday afternoon:

So my boss offers me one (1) ticket, free of charge, for what could be the series clinching game for the Indians Thursday night. One hang up, its my 4th anniversary. So I turn it down b/c I was trying to not be a dick. So I get home last night and tell my wife that I turned down this ticket so I can spend the evening with her. She asks me why and tells me I'm dumb for turning down a chance to go to the game. This of course leads to me telling her she should show a little gratitude and that the next time I have a conflict like that I'll just take the ticket. I was not too happy.

The moral of the story is that if I had taken the ticket, she would have been pissed and she was trying to be cool after the fact. Women are stupid. Its better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

So there you go. That’s all the encouragement I need to keep living in sin.

One last thing: This will be the last of these “personal life” entries for a while. I’m sure you’re tired of reading them so I’ll get back to writing about booze, sports and poop jokes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Week 6: Stop Searching the Web for Shirtless Athletes and ending Up Here America

Why only one picture with this week's picks? Well, maybe it's because I feel strongly that we really "brought it" with our collective prosaic efforts this week and I'd rather not detract from it with some sophomoric internet shot of Romeo Crennell eating a banana split. Or maybe it's some long sob story about how "busy" I've been at work turning old socks into little sheep for the children of our nation to play with and giggle about. Or maybe it's because I feel like all of you out there haven't really done your part. That's right...I'm looking at you Chip, Greg, Carter, Aaron, Clark, "Mayhugh", Rezvan, "Dennis", Smint, etc. What have you homos ever done for me? I'll tell you what. A big steaming pile of nothing. Oh I have to hear about Chip's political frustrations and secret desire to wax Tom Brady's nether regions, Greg's drinking exploits and general ribaldry, Carter and Aaron's homoerotic love for each other as they struggle with the thoughts of leaving their wives to move to Vermont together and make both cheese and sweet sweet manlove together, Clark's buying and selling of websites, men and small island nations all for the profit of Scientology, Mayhugh's tales of aggressively bedding the women of Buffalo Wing University and telling unsuspecting co-eds that he's such a classy lawyer they'll contract lobster from his loins as opposed to mere crabs, Rezvan calling me out for my unsubstantiated manlove for Randy Thomas, Dennis whining about his trick knee and endless tales of Swint's fears of dying alone in his apartment with his stable of cats named after characters from Aaron Spelling hour long dramas. I'm sick of it. When will it be about me?

Oh yeah, the above screed can best be summarized by this picture:

Yep...I got into the syrup last night. On to my picks...


Washington (+3.5) @ Green Bay -
I may be oversimplifying this, but the Packers match up against the Redskins in very much the same way the Giants do. Their offense is pass heavy and they have a dominant defensive line. I expect a low scoring game with Mason Crosby and Shaun Suisham being the standout fantasy stars. Get excited about that. There's a decent chance Antwaan Randle-El, Marcus Washington and Phillip "the "D" is for Doubtful" Daniels won't go for the Burgundy and Gold and Jason Campbell thought Green Bay was in the Gulf of Mexico. PACK and the UNDER.

Jacksonville (-6.5) @ Houston -
Stubbornly, I refuse to believe that David Garrard is any good. Maybe it's because his penis is (allegedly) bigger than mine...or maybe it's because I've never really liked anyone who went to East Carolina. Or maybe it's because he sucks and no one will believe it until the Jags finish 7-9 this year and Jack Del Rio gets fired. This "We have slow receivers but at least our QB is below average" plan he's put together down at the lab isn't really working out. I also think he should be fired for what he's done to Maurice Jones Drew. I mean sure, he didn't force me to draft MJD in the second round of the fantasy draft, but he also didn't warn me not to. Ah that I've lulled you to sleep, this seems like a good time to tell you that I went 0-3 last week, bringing my season record to 2-12-1. I scoured the ebays and I can't find one professional, semi-pro or amateur prognosticator with a worse record. I tried to pick a zit last night and it lost to Northwestern by 40. I also tried to come up with a new show that could rival America's Next Top Pirate and Are you Stronger than a Dog? What about this: "Dancing with Lavars"? Levar Burton, Lavar Arrington...and some other guys...dancing with...petrified old white women...or something... Maybe not. Texans.


Rams (+9.5/37.5) at Ravens – For the record, I'm starting Brandon Jacobs and Brian Leonard in one of my fantasy leagues this week and I've already got wood. Worst game of the week right here. Ravens might start punting on 3rd down if they get a lead. Take the UNDER.

Bengals (-3) at Chiefs – Two flat-out classy coaches who can flat-out coach in this league. We were talking to Herm Edwards last night and lemme tell ya, this guy is intense and he flat-out wants to win football games. Herm was telling us that we've gotta get back to playing sharp football and the biggest thing was for his Chiefs was to get their mojo back.

And boy was I impressed with Marvin Lewis. This is a guy who knows what he wants to do on a football field. He said the Bengals need to get off to fast start and play with swagger for a full 60 minutes. He's got a tight group of guys who play for each other and lace'em up and bring their lunch pails to work every day. His keys to the game were making explosive plays and cutting down on mistakes. Most of all, he wants his guys to be sharp and play with a snarl on their faces. Both these teams will be giving 110% and we're gonna have a heckuva battle out here. I'm taking the Bengals 'cause they've flat-out got something to prove.

Giants (-3) at Falcons – Same thing I said last week. Atlanta is a pants side. LT Wayne Gandy is out. RT Todd Weiner is probably out. And channeling Kornheiser here, "His name is Weiner? Can you believe it? Weiner is out!!!!" (everybody laughs). I might have to rig up some kind of radio-based audio system for this one.

Bonus pick: Louisville goes into the Queen City and takes back the Keg 'o Nails. +340 on the money line.


Oakland @ San Diego (-10): It’s the battle of the most beautiful city in California versus the most run down, decrepit city in California. Who ya got? I’ll take San Diego as a city over Oakland any day but I’m gonna have to see more than a blowout of a soft and overrated Denver squad before I’m willing to believe in Norv Vision 3.0. Everybody says that the Chargers are back. I say the Raiders have the most underrated linebacking corps in the NFL and a friskier offense than they’ve been given credit for. Oakland covers.

Carolina @ Arizona (40): Does anybody care about this game? Arizonans (Arizonites?) have playoff fever (or a new strain of Chlamydia) so I can’t even see them selling out the Pink Taco and fans in Carolina have already mentally moved onto to the opening of college basketball practice this weekend. Hell, even David Carr is thinking about his audition next week to become the new host of Milf Island. Unless, Antrell Rolle starts mocking Steve Smith’s version of “Da U” I can’t see how the Panthers score more than 13 points. That means we’re taking the under.

Tennessee @ Tampa Bay (-3): I’ve got a bad feeling about this game. Tennessee plays the run exceptionally well and the Bucs are down to exactly two serviceable running backs. Well, thats if you consider Earnest Graham and Ken Darby serviceable. I’d be willing to bet that Vince Young outrushes the Tampa tailbacks this Sunday. I’m also going to bet that the Titans win. You know why? Earlier this week, Emmitt Smith informed me that “All Vince Young does is win football games.” When a football savant like Emmitt Smith gives you gold like that you’re well advised to shutup, listen and go to the closet and dust off the money counting machine. It’s right behind my autographed David Boston home GHB kit. Yeah, yeah, just to the right. Titans win. 24-13.


Miami (+5) @ Cleveland -
I'm trying really hard to convince myself that Miami will sneak into Cleveland and win this one outright, but when it comes down to it, that's just the Vodka and Red Bull talking. Though it is possible the homefield crowd may be a bit distracted by the ALCS - Clevelanders really aren't all that bright. Browns.

New England (-4.5) @ Dallas -
Y'all think the 'Boys may have been looking ahead to this one on Monday night? Until someone stays within two time zones of the Patriots, there's no sense betting against them. Pats.

Washington (+3) @ Green Bay (o/u - 41) -
This one's like the old "retro" rule in the beer pong games Whit and I used to play with Wiley, Gutschow and the boys way back in the day, when the rest of you were trying to get to second base with little Jenny Rottencrotch. If you didn't validate your game-winning toss with another, the game continued. I think. It was a long time ago. And we were generally drunk. Because that was the point of the game. And, frankly, it was a really stupid rule to begin with. Which brings me all the way around the barn to my point, that the Skins need to back up last week's terrific effort against the Lions if they want to be taken seriously. It says here that they'll beat the 3-point spread and the Washington defense will stand up again and keep the game below the number.

And because I know you're wondering, Buges has spent the entire week frantically scouring his apartment (don't you get the sense Buges lives by himself in a cramped second-floor walkup in Sterling somewhere?) for the betting slips from the first 2 Super Bowls so he can collect from Paul Hornung when the team heads to Wisconsin this week.


SEA -6.5 vs. New Orleans (o/u 42 ½) -
Here we have two teams currently proceeding from apex to nadir, but one's a bit further along than the other. The 'hawks are just a couple of years removed from a Super Bowl run, but you get the sense that it's going to get a lot worse before they get anywhere near one again. Shaun Alexander is looking less and less like a premier back, the receiving corps gets more depleted by the day, and each time out there's a little less fire in Mike Holmgren's eyes, and a few more crumbs in his moustache. Propped up by a division of papier-mâché foes, they'll hang around the playoff picture until Thanksgiving, maybe even the first Santa Stumble, then be cast aside like yesterday's cole slaw.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints supplanted the star-wearing felchers from Irving as "America's Team" last year, but the air is out of that balloon. Hurricane Katrina had the country sending money, lending hands, and rooting like all get-out for the plucky Saints last fall. The American bandwagon, however, is not unlike a big-city tour bus; not too long in one place, on to the next overhyped stop, with the previous visits quickly forgotten and not to be remembered until miles down the road. Next stop, SuccessTech Academy. The Crescent City still struggles mightily, but it's no longer en vogue to give a damn about it. The Saints, meanwhile, are in full-ebb now, plummeting back to the laughable losers they've been for most of their existence. It actually suits them a lot more nicely.

Seahawks at home, fired up after last week's smoking, muster just enough in a dog of a game dressed up in an enjoyable match-up's clothing. Seahawks 27, Saints 14 (giving the nod to the under as well).

Washington (+3) @ Green Bay -
Well, I used my allotted word count up above, so I'll just go ahead and say what everyone's thinking: The Washington Redskins don't have anyone who was in one of the Top 25 big-screen comedies ever filmed. (No, Fred Smoot was not in "Pootie Tang," as several of you have suggested.) Packers by 6.


Philly -3 @ NYJ (41) -
The Jets are 29th in the league in points allowed. AND they score less often than Marty McFly. A dreadful combination, Coy and Vance terrible. As far as I know, Chad Pennington is still starting this week, and I believe Brain Westbrook is back in for the Eagles, so huge personnel advantage Philadelphia. This week might finally end the Chad Era in NY, after he throws 2 more lollipop interceptions with that paper mache arm of his. Donovan McNabb is going to have a field day Sunday. My only hesitation in picking Philly is they have to play in the Meadowlands, but it’s not like McNabb isn’t used to 70,000 drunken New Yorkers telling him they’ve porked his mom (while downing a can of Chunky…horrible visual I know). Final note: I read this morning that the Iggles are 8-0 after the bye under Andy Reid. Eagles.

CHI -5 vs. Minny (37 ½) - If this game were in the Metrodome, I might seriously consider taking the Vikings. But it's in the land of SCTV and Perfect Strangers, so I'm taking the Bears, even if Brian Griese is about as confidence-inspiring as Cousin Larry. Even in victory, this might be the week Cedric Benson gets benched for the other Adrian Peterson, which will be fun, since the GOOD version of Adrian Peterson will be standing on the opposite sideline. For some reason people still think the Bears have a good defense...injuries have seen to it that they do not. And the Vikings defense is vastly overrated. Points will be scored gentlemen. With six teams on bye this week, the mediocre prognosticators of this elite group (me and Burr) are only taking two games, but I'll give you two winners here, the Bears and the over.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm a Man! I'm 30!!

Before I get too far into my day and my hangover dissipates too much I figured I’d let everybody know that yesterday was my birthday. And it was kind of a big one. I turned 30. It hasn’t had much of an effect on me (at least to this point) but it did bring home the point that I…am old. Not like can’t play sports anymore old, or wake up early on the weekends when I have nothing to do old (Fucking take me out back and shoot me if I ever start waking up @ 8:30 am for no good reason.) but old enough that the kids who work at the mall will feel like they should call me "Sir" when they’re waiting on me. (Which is fine…totally fine) Old enough that I can call collegiate athletes “kids” without coming off as extremely condescending and douchey. Well, at least anymore condescending and douchey than I normally am.

If anything, turning 30 has allowed me to look back on my 20s and realize that I had a pretty solid run for somebody with a proclivity for strong to quite strong alcoholism, inappropriate jokes about mental retardation and a suspect work ethic. Honestly, its been a pretty good ride thus far. I mean, my life doesn’t inspire constant fellatio from others like this guy, but I’m also not nearly the trainwreck that this guy has become (Give me time).

I’m assuming that most people take stock of their lives at this age and decide that they need to shape up and make some changes. Me? Well, I guess I’m not one of those people. I’m pretty good with everything going on in my life right now and I still have a few more years (fingers crossed) before my body betrays me and I have to take up golf and buy pedialyte by the case to sooth my 48 hour hangovers. Finally, two more things:

- If you haven’t been reading Rod Benson’s blog. Well, you should be. He’s in training camp with the Nets right now. He’s a pretty good writer and funny guy on top of that. He had a blog on the NBDL website last year (which was lovely). Hopefully he’ll make the Nets (who could always use an athletic big man) and keep his blog going all season long. Read the post where he talks about the two sides of Jamaal Malgoire if you want a good laugh. Oh yeah, his birthday is the same as mine so that makes him a pretty awesome dude too. (Both those other guys I linked to share a birthday with me too).

- Finally, I don’t mention my girlfriend on the blog often because I don’t figure anybody wants to read about how much I love her or how we’re redecorating our extra bedroom. Shit, I don’t even want to read about that crap. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what she got me for my birthday: A bottle of Patron, a bottle of Jager and a tattoo appointment to get my sleeve finished/started on my left arm. That, my friends, is why she is truly the bee’s knees.

(Fuck, I just used bee’s knees correctly. Maybe I really am getting old.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Did you miss me?

I assure you that I’ve been super, duper busy these past few days at work. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I was busy yesterday and half of Friday and the early part of today. Besides that, well, I was doing all kinds of useless shit around the house for most of last week since my office was closed due to a massive construction and renovation project that is still ongoing. As in, right this very second. I wish I was joking about this. At any given moment there are all types of drills and hammers and such making ungodly noises within my previously quiet office building. Have I mentioned that everything is covered in dust and half my shit is sitting in a POD outside in the parking lot? No. Well, yeah, that too. Needless to say, its not the most comfortable work environment I’ve ever been a part of. (And I used to do collections for a glorified loan shark in the ghetto. Seriously.) However, if this is the sacrifice I have to make for 4.5 days of free vacation…well, I say we tear this mother down and start from the ground up. Basically, this intro is just another in a long line of excuses from me on why I haven’t written in a while. I was going to write a post about the LSU game this weekend but the loss was still too fresh and too painful on Monday morning to dive right back into an in-depth analysis. Whatever. You all saw it. Florida played well. Les Miles coached like he was playing a game of Madden (Five fucking 4th down conversions). The defense tired out and couldn’t make one more play to seal the victory (which there were numerous opportunities to do) and eventually LSU’s experience and homefield advantage won out. I’d say LSU didn’t deserve the victory, but that is horseshit. Hell, Florida probably didn’t deserve to win a couple of games last year but none of that mattered when they were hoisting the National Championship trophy in January. College Football is about one thing: Survive and Advance. That maxim applies this year, maybe more than any in recent memory. One more thing: Last year I coined a nickname for TB Kestahn Moore (there are many inside nicknames that have been concocted between myself and the two guys I watch most Florida games with, Vitas and Sink) that has withstood the test of time. Sadly, in the midst of his finest game as a Gator, his nickname once again proved its genius and staying power. The nickname? Smiley McFumbles. I’m sure you can guess where the last name comes from. As for the first, well:

Let’s just move on before I get all pissed off again.

In the history of fantasy football, I don’t think anybody has ever had a worse day by both of his QBs than I did on Sunday. After weeks of seeing Jon Kitna put up obscene numbers I finally broke down and started him. He responded by posting a whopping 11 pts. Of course, the guy I benched in favor of Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck dropped an identical number. I could’ve started Cleo Lemon and ended up with more points on Sunday.

I know a lot of people who claim to root for all the Florida teams in college football so long as the game doesn’t affect their team in any specific way. These people are a bunch of soulless assholes. I root for Miami to lose every time they play. Florida State could be playing the 1972 USSR Olympic Basketball team (Why are they playing football? Because I’m stoned like I’ve been doing gravity bong hits with Michael and Marcus Vick, that’s why) and I’d openly root for the commies to blow out FSU and break Bobby Bowden’s kneecaps. I didn’t used to feel this way about South Florida. In fact, I always rooted for them. Their ascendance was a sign of the undeniable level of gridiron talent throughout the state of Florida.

That is, until people started talking as though they were a legit national title contender. So, you can imagine my excitement on Saturday as I watched the new darlings of the sports media struggling with the Fighting Schnellenbergers of Florida Atlantic in what looked like my high school’s stadium. South Florida would eventually go on to win but not before the Mighty Owls (that’s their real nickname) shot a shit ton of holes in the “South Florida is the best team in Florida” theory that’s been working its way through the media lately. South Florida is a good team with a very underrated defense and a QB who should be playing at an SEC school. They are not, however, anywhere near as good as they are being made out to be. When they lose to Rutgers in two weeks and you make a ton of money taking Rutgers and the points you can send me a thank you note. And by “thank you note”, I mean a bottle of Jager. Of course.

Finally, before I finish up I’d like to ask each of you to pour a little liquor out tonight for the greatest name in the history of the fullback position, Mack Strong. May you have a long and fruitful career working with Mr. Marcus and Byron Long at your new production company in Van Nuys, CA. You’ve earned it Mack, you’ve earned it.

The cover to Mack's first feature: Pro Balls: Hawaiian Style