Saturday, December 31, 2011

NFL Week 17 Picks! Plus, Blog post of the year

Santiago Casilla: AKA, the Human Rain Delay
Since the end of the year is all about airing re-runs, I thought I would link to my favorite blog post of the year: How Santiago Casilla Ruined My ESPN Streak for the Cash, which happened to win Fan Post of the Year on the San Francisco Giants blog, McCovey Chronicles. That's right, you are now reading an award-winning blogger! The post is a retelling of what's known as the classic "bad beat" in gambling, and it's also a testament to how wagering on a game (even with no money involved) makes it infinitely more interesting. It's a lesson for the kids out there. Speaking of wagering, let's get to the picks:

Tampa Bay +11.5 at Atlanta
Good God, Tampa is horrible. They've lost 9 straight and lost their last four by a combined 94 points. That's what's known as coming to the wire like a thouroughbred. I'm sure they will totally try for their last game. Atlanta 31 Tampa 10 
"This playbook, it's hilarious, come check it out!"

San Fran -10.5 at St. Louis
A perfect storm for a blowout here, as St. Louis has nothing but draft postioning to play for and the Niners are playing for a first round bye. 49ers 30 St. Louis 13

Minnesota -1.5 vs. Chicago 
In a word...blechhhhh. Vikings 20 Bears 17.

Broncos -3 vs. K.C.
Wow, this line is really low considering the Chiefs have nothing to play for. The Tebow bandwagon has plenty of empty seats once again. You might say Buffalo smoted him last week. Or did they smite him? I never know what tense to use on that word. But, as I predicted, his comeuppance was right around the corner, and it was kind of delightful to watch. Now Kyle Orton is poised to deliver the ultimate revenge by knocking the Broncos out of the playoffs. If this were a movie, who is really the hero? The QB who was cut and banished off to another city, only to return; or the golden child QB everyone loves, but who is also possibly a fraud of a QB. I'm going with the upset. Chiefs 23 Broncos 20

Giants -3 vs. Dallas

Romo may play with oven mitts on Sunday.

The game of the week. It's a shame one of these teams will win, because it feels like both should lose somehow.Tony Romo's hand is pretty banged up, it looks like he has one of those Hamburger Helper type of hands. His professional hand modeling career is in jeopardy. It's also safe to say he's not "master of his domain." Meanwhile, the Giants are wishing they could play against Mark Sanchez every week. Giants 28 Dallas 24.

Jets +3 at Miami
Here lie the 2011 Jets. Their time on earth was short, but also painful. Like other Jet teams past they infuriated and tortured their fans, but also teased them by providing false hope. To their credit, they did find new and innovative ways to disappoint, including giving up 99 yard touchdowns and losing to Tim Tebow. Also, they refused to ever use their most explosive player Joe McKnight because their offensive coordinator is a dolt. They won't be missed by many. Miami 27 Jets 17

New England -10.5 vs. Buffalo
It seems like years ago, but the Bills actually beat New England in week 5 of the season. They should have just quit playing after that game, and walked off into the sunset. Sure it would have been confusing, but it also would have been MYSTERIOUS. Even Toronto doesn't want this team anymore, they've asked for a pony instead. New England 33 Buffalo 20

John Beck, supposed NFL QB/janitor.
Washington +8.5 at Philly
The poor Eagles, they just showed up a little late to the party this year. You have to sympathize, but then you remember that Eagles fans are also Phillies fans, so screw em. The Redskins most likely regret giving 4 starts in the middle of the year to John Beck, who as it turns out, was a janitor employed by the team. It was a classic paperwork mishap the Redskins are famous for.
Philly 28 Wash 14

San Diego +3 at Oakland
If Norv Turner isn't fired immediately after the end of this game he must have some incriminating photos of the San Diego owners. There's no other explanation. Oakland 28 San Diego 20

Jacksonville -3.5 vs. Indy
"Hey, did you hear about this?
 Jay Leno is a no-talent, backstabbing, ass clown."
They aren't really bothering to play this game are they? Let's just assume it's a sick joke and doesn't exist. That's what I do with Jay Leno. Jags 21 Colts 12

Arizona -3 vs. Seattle
Someone should really call the United Nations, these last two games are a crime against humanity. Arizona 16 Seattle 14.

New Orleans -8 vs. Carolina
Cam Newton is wrapping up one of the best seasons ever for a rookie QB, while Drew Brees is wrapping up one of the best season's ever, period. Just sit back and enjoy this one. Saints 34 Carolina 31.

Tennessee -1.5 at Houston
So the Tennessee Titans are going to be in the playoffs with a win? With Chris Johnson taking half of the year off and killing fantasy teams everywhere? And with their best wide receiver being hurt? Really? Seriously, my Jets couldn't be better than even this team? I guess the lesson is, don't try. Titans 26 Texans 21

Happy New Year Everyone!
Overall record: 99-74-8
Last week: 7-5-1

Friday, December 23, 2011

Week 16 NFL Picks! Plus, It's Clipper Time!

"Guys, we're only playing the Lakers, so don't go all out."
I've lived in Los Angeles for 11 years now, and over that time I've come to dislike the Los Angeles Lakers a tad. Okay, dislike is perhaps not a strong enough word. I loathe them. They are truly the Yankees of the West Coast right down to the legendary history, tons of championships, hall of fame players, iconic coaches, annoying owners, etc. Like a corrupt English lord, they also pilfer players away from small market teams (Shaq, Gasol) just as the Yankees have done for years. If you're not a fan, it's unbearable. And just like with the Yankees fan base, there's a sense of entitlement and "we're better than you" that permeates. Not to stereotype, but 100 percent of Laker fans are jerks and can bite me. Except for my Facebook friends that like the Lakers, you're all still cool. Well, except you Neil.

The one good thing about all this is when the Lakers aren't good, the rest of us indulge in delicious shadenfreude. And, guess what? Rejoice, non-Laker fans, because they are done. Even after being dominated and swept in embarrassing fashion by the Dallas Mavericks last year, there was a chance the Lakers could come back this year for one more run. A shortened season could have helped their aging vets with their creaky knees and octogenarian fingers.

Artest should have changed his name to "Misses Wide Open 3s".
But, as soon as NBA dictator David "Kim Jong" Stern put the hammer down on the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers, all hope was lost. Lamar Odom, their most versatile player and best defender (sorry, Metta World Peace) wanted out. So sensitive, that Lamar. He was given away for virtually nothing to the Mavs. Now news has come out that Kobe has been stepping out on his wife for about 10 years. Let's file that under "least shocking news ever." Regardless, a polarizing player has found a way to become more unlikable. Good luck on the divorce settlement, Kobe.

Then, the unbelievable happened, the best point guard on the planet was traded to the Clippers. The price was steep: emerging shooting guard Eric Gordon, plus a 1st round pick, two promising youngsters and goofy center/turnover machine Chris Kaman. No matter though, because the Clips are now relevant and their is a real buzz about them in LA. They added proven vets Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups and are now one of the deepest teams in the league. It's only preseason, but the Clips handily embarrassed the Lakers two games in a row this week, and more impressively, they acted like they expected it.

Kobe will be a bit lighter in the wallet soon.
In today's NBA a good point guard means everything. Last year, Chris Paul took the New Orleans Hornets to a game 6 against the Lakers playing with 4 guys that I think now play at my local YMCA. They had nothing, but Paul made everyone around him better. Combine a talented point with incredibly athletic players like Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan and you have the makings of a new Showtime era in Los Angeles. A historic turnaround is coming. Jason Kidd did the same thing with the Nets almost a decade ago. It is a great time to be a Clipper fan in Los Angeles. And it'll be no surprise to see many a Laker fan jumping ship. As an objective observer, I say to all Clipper fans, don't throw them a life-preserver.

Let's get to the week 16 picks in a lightning round format, since I have some coal to put in some stockings:

Kansas City -2 vs. Oakland 
Oakland needs this one more. Oakland 23 - K.C. 17
Denver -3 at Buffalo 
I'm not going against Tebow on Christmas Eve. Denver 20 Buffalo 13 
Jacksonville +7.5 at Tennessee 
The Insignificance Bowl, brought to you by People Who Don't Care. Tennessee 21 Jax 20 
Arizona +4 at Cincinnati 
The Cardinals take to cold weather like fish take to land. Bengals 27 Cards 14 (lock of week)
Miami +10 at New England 
Hide your sheep and goats, because the Patriots will have home field advantage through the playoffs.
Cleveland +13 at Baltimore 
If you enjoy zero offense and punts, you'll enjoy this one. Baltimore 17 Cleveland 3
NYG +3 at Jets 
This has all the makings of a tie, so both fan bases will remain depressed as required. Giants 20 Jets 20. 
Minnesota +6 at Washington
The only thing more unnecessary than this game are bank tellers. Redskins 28 Vikings 20
Bears +13 at Green Bay 
Say hello to the CFL, Caleb Hanie.
Caleb Heinous may literally be the worst QB in modern history. Green Bay 27 Bears 10
San Diego +2.5 at Detroit 
It's Christmas, which means it's time for Norv Turner to crush the dreams of Chargers fans once again.  Lions 34 Chargers 30
Dallas -1.5 over Eagles
The Eagles hit the snooze button on their alarm until Week lazy. Cowboys 30 Eagles 28
Tampa Bay +7.5 at Carolina
No one is happier about the Colts last 2 wins than Tampa, who still have a shot at Luck. Carolina 31 Tampa 17
San Fran -2 at Seattle 
Alex Smith in the NFL's most hostile environment. Seahawks 21 San Fran 17.   
New Orleans -6.5 over Atlanta
A good game on a Monday's a Christmas miracle, God Bless us, everyone! Saints 31 Falcons 27

Have a Merry Christmas and great holiday, everyone! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 15 NFL Picks! Please sir, can I have some more Tebow?

FYI, this is what happens when you bet against Tim Tebow.
We are in the home stretch of the 2011 season and this is clearly one of the most memorable seasons since at least last year, as our entire short-term memory nation would surely agree.

Denver +6.5 vs. New England 
Let's get the weekly Tebow rant out of the way first. I'll admit, I'm still in the anti-Tebow camp. I think he's terrible, yet unfathomably lucky. It's very lonely here in Anti-Tebow Camp, there's not many of us left. It's the winter of our discontent. Starvation and frostbite has set in. It looks a lot like this (fast forward to 5:09).

I do understand the Tebow-mania. Last week's comeback was scintillating, heart-stopping football. I was rooting for him, while simultaneously being repulsed by his throwing motion and knuckleballs, and by the Bears choke job. When athletes succeed in spite of huge talent deficiencies it makes us all feel good - like we could do it, too. Yet, it's not like Tebow is that bad. He won a Heisman and was a 1st round pick. He's supposed to be decent. The fact that media makes him out to be this Tiny Tim that just dropped his crutches and starting playing is what's so annoying about him.

And the religious factor takes it to another level. Marion Barber did not run out of bounds by himself. He was pushed by the hands of destiny. And those same hands made him fumble in overtime, helped Prater kick a 59-yard field goal and made the Bears retreat into a prevent defense. Such busy hands.

"Hmm, maybe I'm really right-handed?"
Yet, the fact remains, Tebow's team has been outscored overall in his career starts. What this means is he is playing WAY above his head. He is the lucky craps shooter on a terrific run, but sooner or later he will roll cold, and the chips will dwindle. And he doesn't have the luxury of walking away with house money in his pocket. He has to continue playing. Okay, I'm out of gambling analogies. But, the interceptions will come. Bad bounces and penalties will come. I'm not sure it's possible to throw more poor passes, but if anyone can do it, it's Timmy. Defenses will step up in crunch time rather than Te-bowing before him. My guess is that the luck runs out this week against New England and then again in the first round of the playoffs vs. the Steelers or Ravens.

Do you know how many other quarterbacks managed to courageously score 13 points last weekend? NEARLY ALL OF THEM. 26 of the 32 quarterbacks in action got 13 points or more (without the help of overtime and 120 yards worth of field goals). WHERE IS THEIR PARADE?  It doesn't take away the fact that Tebow has been amazing for fans to watch. But, it does bring us back to reality a little. HE WILL FALTER, YOU'LL SEE!
New England 27 Denver 17 

                                                                                          Dallas -7 at Tampa 
Who doesn't dream of one day playing in the Idaho Potato Bowl?
The NFL throws us a bone here with the rare Saturday game. They do this because college football is over, and Saturday is the first day of Bowl season, which means only the worst bowl games are defiling our airwaves. Who am I kidding, I'm very interested in the Idaho Potato Bowl. Notice they don't even have the right team photos up on their own web site? That's dedication. Regardless, When Ohio and Utah State meet, you can really throw out the records. Dallas 28 Tampa 17

Washington +6.5 at NYG Rex Grossman playing in windy conditions? As my 2-year old says, "no, no, no, no, noooooooooooo." Giants 31 Skins 13

Philly -3 over the Jets 
On the Red Zone Channel last week there were two close games that ended simultaneously and you could tell Andrew Siciliano was euphoric. "THIS IS WHY YOU WATCH THE RED ZONE CHANNEL! YOU SEE IT ALL HERE!" he exclaimed. He's right, but he doesn't have to be so smug about it. Not a good matchup for the Jets here. They seem to win when I pick against them, so:
Eagles 28 Jets 27 

Tennessee -6.5 at Indy 
There really should be one for "confusion."
Here it is, the Colts last chance at a win. I've said that about six times already this year. They've already got the #1 pick locked up, so I say they get this thing done. And the victory will inspire Jim Caldwell to blink, and say "beep bop beep, winning score does not compute. Error. Error. Caldwell-Bot 3000 must now self-destruct..."  Indy 20 Tennessee 17

Green Bay -14 at KC 
The Chiefs just gave up 37 points to a Jets offense that normally takes 10 minutes to drive down the field and kick field goals. Logic dictates the Packer will score 1,270 points on Sunday. It's just math, folks. But the Pack are missing Greg Jennings, and KC wisely fired their angry bearded head coach, so let's be generous to the Chiefs here. Green Bay 45 KC 10

Cincinnati -6.5 at St. Louis
Hey, ex-Jet Kellen Clemens will be quarterbacking for St. Louis this weekend. Last week, St. Louis played a one-legged Sam Bradford instead of Clemens, so they are clearly quite confident in his abilities. Bengals 21 Rams 9 (lock of the week)

Cleveland +6 at Arizona 
Yuck. Top five things I'd rather watch than this game: 5.) an episode of Whitney 4.) an episode of Broke Girls 3.) A Kate Hudson movie 2.) The View 1.) Jose Reyes hitting a triple in a Marlins uniform (sheds tear). Arizona 23 Browns 16

 New Orleans -6 at Minnesota
WANTED for Killing an HBO Series: Steve Zahn
I think there should be more movies that take place in New Orleans. I've never been disappointed in a movie that takes place in that city. "The Big Easy", "Skeleton Key", "Tightrope", "In the Electric Mist", "Storyville" and "Miller's Crossing" are all really good. Even "Heaven's Prisoners" had its moments. I guess my point is...what the hell happened with "Treme"? My theory is Steve Zahn was just too damn annoying.
New Orleans 34 Minny 24

Seattle +3.5 at Chicago
Can the Bears recover from last week's Tea-bagging? Whoops, I mean Tebowing. Not if Caleb Heinous remains their QB. I know Donovan McNabb is washed up, but he'd be a huge upgrade over Heinous (as he should and must be called). The Seahawks will just not go away, no matter how much we want them to. You could have made a lot of money if you had bet at the beginning of the year that Marshawn Lynch would be showered with Skittles after touchdowns. Astronomical odds on that. Seattle 13 Bears 12 (upset special)

Baltimore -2 at San Diego 
San Diego is making their late season run that causes people to forget that Norv Turner is the reason they were 4-7. Baltimore looks better without Ray Lewis, and every announcer is scared to mention that. It's like they think Ray Ray will pull up to their house in a limo. Yeah, can't blame them.
Chargers 23 Ravens 20

Detroit -1 at Oakland 
Expect a big game from Bo this weekend.
To help predict this game I dusted off the old Nintendo and simulated a Detroit-Oakland game on SuperTecmo Bowl. Hey, I've got time. So, here's what's gonna happen this weekend: Bo Jackson will run for 193 yards, Barry Sanders will run for 220 yards and Jay Schroeder will throw 3 interceptions. Rodney Peete will run several weird bootlegs to the right. And Jason Hanson will kick a field goal, like he's done for the last 23 years.
Detroit 31 Oakland 21

Carolina +6.5 at Houston
TJ Yates continues to impress, despite no one knowing who the hell he is while Cam Newton alternates between Superman and Blankman on a weekly basis. Blankman has had some control issues, but take the points here. Houston 24 Carolina 20

Jacksonville +13.5 at Atlanta 
This guy owns the Jaguars. No, seriously.
Holy cripes, Jacksonville is on prime time again? For the love of Tebow, what did we do to deserve this? It's like the NFL is showcasing the Jags so another city will step in and take them away: "Hey there Los Angeles, here's Maurice know you like him, you know you want him...he can be yours...tonight! And he'll give you a lap dance!" Unfortunately, Blaine Gabbert is not sold separately, he's part of the package. Atlanta 30 Jax 20 

Overall Record: 84-64
Last week: 5-5

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NFL Picks Week 14! A Salute to "Role Models"

In this week's column I'm going with a gimmick that, admittedly, has been done before. But, it's never been done with the greatest comedy movie of the last 5 years (high praise!). That movie is of course Role Models, starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott. The story of two screwed up guys and the two kids they must mentor. It possesses all the attributes a good comedy must have: great one liners, funny actors, decent storyline, brief nudity, a fun montage and a bit of heart.

We will dedicate certain quotes from the movie to the NFL team that it applies. Some of these will indeed be a stretch, and you may even be annoyed by how much of a stretch. Just enjoy the quotes. 

Gayle Sweeny: You know what I used to have for breakfast? Cocaine. Know what I had for lunch? Cocaine.
Wheeler: What did you have for dinner?
Danny: Was it cocaine?
This classic quote goes out to the Washington Redskins who lost 2 players this week to a drug suspension, including Fred Davis, their only decent receiver. Sad times in Washington. Now they get the Patriot and their goat show coming to town this week. You can pretty much guarantee the Redskins will acquire Peyton Manning in the off-season for about 30 million, and Peyton will play half a season before his neck falls off and he retires.
The Pick: New England -8 over Washington

Danny: Pick us up in two hours.
Ronnie Shields: F--- you, Miss Daisy.
To the Arizona Cardinals, who foolishly hoped Kevin Kolb would drive them to the NFC West title. See how I made that work? As last week's drubbing in San Fran showed, Arizona is in some trouble, with or without Kolb playing. At least the Cards didn't give up a pro bowl defensive back and millions for Kolb...oh, wait, they did. 
The Pick:  San Fran -3.5 over Arizona

Gayle Sweeny: Well, well, well. If it isn't Mr. Bullshit and Dr. I'm-full-of-shit?
Wheeler: In what way are we full of shit?
Danny: Which one of us has the Ph.D? 
My favorite quote of the movie goes out to the Eagles, who duped everyone into thinking they were good, when the signs were there all along (i.e. weak linebackers, no offensive line, no defensive line). It's been great fun to watch their demise, though I know they will somehow manage to knock my Jets out of the playoffs next week. It's gonna happen.
The Pick: Miami -3 over the Eagles

"Love take me down to the streets."
Duane: We are gonna make s'mores with white chocolate.
Martin Gary: Oh-ho, I don't know if I agree with that.

This borderline racist quote goes out to Jordy Nelson of the Packers who is playing so well, that articles have surfaced wondering how a white receiver could be this good, and insinuating that he's good because he's white and is getting underestimated. I don't know about all that, but the guy can fly and run over people. By the way, the Martin Gary character in this movie is awesome. I like to think of him as the brother of Kenneth from 30 Rock.
The Pick: Green Bay -11.5 over Raiders  

Danny: No, I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

This sounds a lot like the Jets offense, conservative and boring 97% of the time, and only interesting when they actually need it. It's a shame, because the one thing Sanchez does well is throw the deep ball. If Brian Schottenheimer played blackjack, I bet he'd be one of those guys that stays on 15 and 16 every single time no matter what. I hate those blackjack players.
The Pick: Jets -10 over K.C. 

Kids, remember, don't b.s. a b.s.'er
Gayle Sweeny: Oh, and F.Y.I., you're playing on this girl's court now, okay? So you're playing by her rules.
Wheeler: Are you the coach?
Gayle Sweeny: I am the coach. I'm the coach and I'm the point guard, I'm the two forwards, the center, and I'm the other guard. I'm the entire organization.

Who else could this go out to but TIM TEBOW. He is everyone and everything. He is the quarterback and the running back, the ying and the yang, the moon and the stars, the feng and the shui. You cannot avoid him! The Broncos have had some unbelievable luck working this year, and this week they get the Bears without their starting QB and running back. Next week is the Pats...hmm, I sure hope nothing happens to Tom Brady or Wes Welker (maniacal laugh...maniacal laugh).
The Pick: Denver -3 over Chicago

Wheeler: This may be a stupid question. The Get Out of Jail Free Card: Is that real?
Beth: That's not a stupid question.
Danny: It's real in the game of Monopoly.
Wheeler: But Monopoly is based on true events.

"I'll ice my own kicker...checkmate, biatch."
One of the movie's silliest exchanges goes to Dallas coach Jason Garrett who amazingly iced his own kicker last week. I think it was an homage to Norv Turner. When will coaches learn 50-yard field goals aren't sure things? Probably never.
The Pick: Giants +3.5 over Dallas 

Danny: Do you like coke?
Augie Farks: I like the idea of it more than I actually like it.

Similarly, I like the idea of the Atlanta Falcons more than I like them. They should be better than they are, they are loaded offensively, and pretty solid on D, but every week it's a struggle, and last week they lost to T.J. freakin' Yates. This week they get Cam Newton who is starting to dominate.  
The Pick: Carolina +3 over Atlanta 

Barista: A venti is a large coffee.
Danny: Really? Says who? Fellini? Do you accept lira or is it all euros now?

Norv Turner wondering if he should punt, or...punt.
Danny's meltdown at Starbucks relates to two disappointing teams, the Chargers and Bills, who play each other this week. Remember when the Bills were the story of the year? Yeah, me neither. And how is Norv Turner still coaching? If you came in to work today, punched your boss and then went to sleep on the floor, you'd be better at your job than Norv Turner.
The Pick: San Diego -7 over Buffalo 

Gayle Sweeny: I know why you are here, so don't BS a BSer, Ok? Your "Presence" here, is court ordered.
Danny: Why did you put presence in quotes? Are you implying that we aren't here?

To the Colts, because the guy who hasn't been "present" on the field, Peyton Manning, may be coming back. He's still rehabbing, but he wants to play when ready. Two starts out of him could ruin Indy's chances at Andrew Luck. That's the only thing that's interesting about the 0-12 Colts right now. And, I agree, this is the worst reach of all the quotes. Enjoy the games!
The Pick: Indy +16.5 over Baltimore 

Last weeks picks: 4-10 (whoopsie!)
Overall record: 79-59 (still respectable!)

Underrated band of the week, BRMC:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Shutupskis Part 2! Plus, Week 13 NFL Picks

Yesterday we discussed five of the worst play-by-play announcers in the business. It was tremendous fun for all. Today, we'll take a look at the worst in-game analysts. I have to admit, it's tough keeping this list to five, there's so many worthy candidates. A great analyst is one who knows the game inside and out, but also doesn't feel the need to point it out to the viewer. They don't have to comment on every damn play (ahem, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden), they pick their spots. They are witty and engaging, but also are not afraid to call a player or referee or coach out when necessary. They're not afraid to say things like, "Norv Turner is the dumbest man to ever put on pants by himself." Or, "Herm Edwards has the same clock management skills as a  newborn baby." Or, "Tom Coughlin's red face is looking like it may finally burst tonight, stay tuned folks!" Those comments are ENTERTAINING AND INFORMATIVE!

One of the best analysts working today in college basketball is Bill Raftery. He's funny, passionate, knows the game well, and doesn't take things too seriously. This is all we really want from our analysts. The following Shutupski winners have none of those qualities. They are the anti-Rafterys, completely lacking in "onions":

Yes-man Troy Aikman, seen here in mid-nod.
The Ed McMahon "You Are Correct, Sir" Award goes to:
Troy Aikman: The consummate "yes" man analyst. Aikman is a nice enough guy, but all he ever does is agree with his partner (and fellow Shutupski winner!) Joe Buck on every single point. "You're right about that Joe" ..."that's a great point, Joe" .... "Have to agree with ya there, Joe" are just a few of the pearls of wisdom that one gets while watching Aikman. He's also highly inquisitive and will throw in the occasional "I don't know about that call there, Joe". In his defense, he did suffer multiple concussions during his playing days.

Another die-hard McCarver fan.
The "Thanks, Captain Obvious" Award goes to:
Tim McCarver: Hey, another partner of Joe Buck, coincidence? I THINK NOT. It's a contagion that's spreading. There was a time when McCarver was considered interesting. That time passed long ago. It all started to go downhill for Tim when Deon Sanders drenched him with champagne and ice during a pennant clinching celebration. I think Tim suffered hypothermia and was never the same. Some McCarver-isms include:"statistics only tell you so much" and "they may hit and run here... or they might not." That is going out on a limb! He also truly enjoys Joe Buck's attempts at wit, and that earns him further disdain.

Merchant, most likely relieving himself.
The "Oh My God, This Guy Belongs in a Home" Award goes to: 
Larry Merchant: He's an icon in boxing broadcasting, yet lately, Merchant's post-fight interviews provide a glimpse at a man's descent into dementia. While that might be scientifically interesting, it's not great television. In his last interview with Floyd Mayweather, he threatened to kick his ass. During an actual match, Merchant's comments range from the delusional to an angry old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn. He yearns for a return to the days when bear-fisted fighters like Jack Johnson fought 78 rounds or until someone died, and in that respect, I kind of agree with him.

"Guys, I'm on the field, I'm on the field!"
The "There is No Need For You" Award goes to: 
Tony Siragusa: Every weekend, this football "analyst" provides zero useful information, except to say things like, "I'm down here on the field and these guys are really hitting! I can hear it!" The geniuses at Fox knew the massive Siragusa would probably not fit in a normal booth, so he is allowed to patrol the sidelines unfettered and contribute various insights about the day's weather. It's awkward for everyone.

Joe Morgan, seen here devaluing the Emmy Award by 1000%
The "Everything You Say I Want to Un-hear" Award goes to: 
Joe Morgan: The broadcaster so abhorrent he was the first to have a website dedicated to his firing. Thankfully, the mission was accomplished and Morgan no longer calls Sunday Night Baseball. Joe's major offenses were that he was a pompous d-wad that would never admit a mistake (when there were countless) and he refused to acknowledge statistics had any place in evaluating players. He believed all that should matter is heart and intangibles and what his brilliant eyes saw. No one can understand the game like him BECAUSE HE PLAYED IT. Worst of all, he loved sacrifice bunts. Bunts are surrender. Bunts are France. Bunts are laying up on a Par 5 when you can get there in 2. Bunts are stupid.

Honorable Mentions: Phil Simms, Dick Vitale, Mark May, Jon Gruden, Dan Dierdorf 

NFL Week 13 Quick Picks:
Buffalo -1.5 over Tennessee
Oakland +3 over Miami
Chicago -7.5 over Kansas City 
Baltimore -6.5 over Cleveland (lock of the week)
Washington +3 over the Jets
Atlanta -3 over Houston
Tampa -3 over Carolina
Minny -1.5 over Denver
St. Louis +13.5 over San Francisco
Detroit +9 over New Orleans
Dallas -4.5 over Arizona
Giants +7 over Green Bay
Indy +20.5 over New England
San Diego -3 over Jacksonville

Last Week 7-6-1
Overall: 75-49-7

 Enjoy the games, I leave you with an underrated Frank Black song:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Shutupskis: First Annual Worst Sports Broadcaster Awards

Some would say it's a golden age for sports announcers right now. Those people would be wrong. Yes we still have the old pros like Al Michaels, Marv Albert, Jim "hello friends" Nantz, Brent Musberger and Bob Costas - guys that have been doing it for years, and eerily, don't seem to age. We'll give these guys a pass, as they are like our old friends that never go away no matter how many times we change our phone numbers. They will be broadcasting the galactic Olympics in 2613 as floating heads when we are all dead and buried. They are cyborgs (except for Costas, who's clearly a leprechaun).

But, on the whole, sports broadcasting has evolved to a point where they are all the same. These condescending robots spout the same cliches, tell you what you already know and try to make it sound transcendent, get all moralistic and rarely add anything to the enjoyment of watching a game. Something needs to be done. It might be time to clone Vin Scully and Keith Jackson and wake up Harry Caray (he's not dead, he's just extremely drunk and sleeping it off).

Without further ado, here are the five winners of the first annual Shutupski Awards.

5) Bob Carpenter: If you've never watched a Washington Nationals game (and really, why would you?), there's a chance you've never heard of Bob Carpenter. Count your lucky stars. When he's not complaining about how "his" team never gets a call, he's waxing poetic and trying to make horrible players like Rich Ankiel and Adam LaRoche out to be possible hall of famers. Carpenter is the ultimate homer, always saying things like "we need runs" and "we won!" He also has one of those fake announcer voices that cannot possibly be his natural voice. His trademark home run call is "See ... You ... Later". Later doesn't work for me, Bob. How... about... never?

4) Thom Brennaman: Brennaman once said during a college football game, "If you have the chance to spend 15 minutes alone with Tim Tebow, your life is better for it." Hey now! A classic broadcasting crutch is to mention how you sat down with a certain player during the week and how delightful he is. Thanks for that fascinating nugget, Thom, tell us more about your brunches with the stars! WERE THERE CREPES? For that Tebow comment alone, Brennaman could qualify for this list, but he's also terrible in every other facet. Our lives our not better for listening to this blowhard. And I don't care for that spelling of "Thom" either.

3) Chip Caray: Grandson of legendary Haray Caray, the apple fell far from the tree with this clown. It fell into a different orchard of unimaginable hell. Why must all sons of broadcasters try and become broadcasters? What is this, NASCAR? If you're looking for a broadcaster that reacts to infield pop ups as if they were Ruthian home runs, or has no sense of the moment, or understanding of the game whatsoever, Chip is your man.

2) Joe Buck: Also known as Prince Valium, Joe Buck has never gotten excited by anything. EVER.  Another son of a legend, he's even been quoted as saying he doesn't enjoy calling certain sports. THEN QUIT, JERK. He's like brussels sprouts - it's hard to find anyone who likes him. Spectacular plays bore him. Exciting games are tedious. Buck couldn't even bring himself to get excited over one of the most amazing plays of the decade. He called Tyree's catch like he was watching a bocce ball match at a home for the elderly. Now look at how Marv Albert called the same play. The difference there is night and day. Biting fetish or not, Marv Albert rules. Justin Timberlake hilariously made fun of Joe Buck during last year's All Star Game with subtle sarcasm. When an announcer can make you appreciate the comedic chops of Justin Timberlake, you know he's bad.

1) Chris Berman: Thankfully, this raving asshat isn't allowed to call many games anymore. It's rumored ESPN keeps him locked up in a rubber room deep in the bowels of its Bristol, CT headquarters. But, he'll occasionally be unleashed without fair warning for an ESPN baseball game, or to anchor SportsCenter and it's infuriating. Forced nicknames (like Tom "Heard it thru the" Glavine), inane stories with no point, clich├ęs and self-promotion – he's a quadruple threat. He's also a mainstay at the annual Home Run Derby, where his "back, back, back, back" calls (that were stupid 20 years ago) drive every viewer to the mute button... or to homicide. Feel free to retire anytime, Chris. We'll be okay, really.

Honorable mentions for people that almost made this list: Michael Kay (Yankees), Susan Waldman (Yankees), John Sterling (Yankees). I sense a theme here ...

Coming tomorrow...the five worst analysts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Worst Song Ever...Plus Week 12 NFL Picks!

Recently a song came on the radio that made me want to take a pair of pliers to my ears and rip them out. The crazy thing is, the song was a huge hit once upon a time. It could be argued that it was one of the biggest hits of the 90s, and it was indeed performed by one of the better bands of the 90s. It remains a minor tragedy that this song is a big part of the band's legacy. I would say almost everyone I've discussed this song with also hates it. But, someone out there likes it. So, I decided to try and listen to the whole song, and see if there was something I was missing lo these many years since it was omnipresent on the airwaves. The song I'm talking about is an abomination called "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden. Here it is once again, a five-minute and twenty-one second nightmarish assault upon our senses and all that we hold dear:

Let's break down the video and song section by section to see if there's anything at all redeeming. I hate this song with the white hot intensity of a 10,000 Black Hole Suns (whatever those are), so I'm not sure I'm going to make all the way through, but for the purposes of this post, I must endure:

00:00 - 00:17: I immediately regret this decision. Okay, well here's some nice scenery and some absurdly shaped hills that don't really exist, and the sky looks a bit ominous and apocalyptic. Was that in the forecast this week?  Overall though, it's not so bad...yet. A guitar whines like a dying puppy in the background, a little annoying, but trying to ignore it... 

00:17-00:45: Oh dear Lord, here come the lyrics. "In my eyes, indisposed..." I think your were indisposed while writing this song, Mr. Cornell. Like the tripping on mescaline and angel dust type of indisposed. We are 20 seconds in and I already need to hit the stop button. Some crazy man mows the lawn while 4 weirdly dressed men prance about, and act like they are in a Talking Heads video, but not ironically, in a blatant rip-off way. Get me out of here.

00:45-:1:30: A lady fondles a fish and a man feeds a baby goat what appears to be goat milk. That's just cruel. Don't show this to Tom Brady, it'd be like porn for him. And, yes, we get it, everyone smiles crazily in this video. Next, an old woman brandishes a chainsaw. I submit that no idea that was brought up was turned down during the making of this video. "Hey how about we throw in a weight lifter here, boss?" ..."Yes, he'll be doing push-ups...done!"

1:30-2:00: At the 1:32 mark you can tell that lead guitarist Kim Thayil does not want to be here. He knows this songs sucks, I truly believe that. That look is like, "I'm sorry folks, I didn't write this, I wrote 'Outshined', that was good, wasn't it?" He wants out of this hellish dreamscape where clouds travel way too fast. We all do, Kim. We all do.

2:00-2:45: Good God, we are only at the 2 minute mark? The wind seems to be picking up, there's a plethora of bugs, and a girl grills a Barbie doll on the barbecue. Get it? Barbie on the bar-b? It's a little on the nose for such a deep and profound video. I think what Soundgarden is really trying to say is that we are all barbie dolls being grilled by the little girl that is this song. Or perhaps, the grilled barbie is inside of us all, if we'd only have the courage look. This will make for some great discussions during Thanksgiving dinner, feel free to bring it up as you pass the grilled Barbies and mashed Kens.

2:45-3:20: The girl by the pool that appeared to be quite cute has a lizard tongue. Isn't that always the way? A face-melting solo by Kim sweeps a large portion of the world into the black-hole, while Cornell plays some disinterested rhythm guitar. If it meant I could make the song stop and never hear it again, I'd happily leap into that black hole, too. But nope, we have another verse. Screw water-boarding, we should use this song for interrogating terrorists.

3:20-4:30: More lyrics, "snakes in my shoes...a walking sleep...hang my head, drown my fear, till you all just disappear." You should hang your head Chris, you really should. Next up, a dalmatian bathes with a lady while a guy that looks like Chris Cornell's brother preens in the mirror. DON'T QUESTION IT, IT'S ART! Enjoy that bath while you can little doggie and perverted lady, because the black hole sun is coming to kill you. It's coming for us all.

4:30-5:10: Sometimes repeating the chorus 94 times in a row is not the best way to end a song....and finally, mercifully, it is over. Conclusions? Well for one, I'm never doing that again. Secondly, the sun was clearly coming all along for him, there was no need to ask "won't you come" so many times. It was a tad desperate. And finally, we've learned that during any impending solar apocalypse, it's a great idea to take care of some yard work, bathe with canines and smile.

Now, let's all wash away this pain and get on to the NFL picks in a lightning round Jeopardy Q and A format:

Answer: Game you have a great interest in because you enjoy pain, failure and shattering disappointment.
Question: What is any game played by the Jets and Bills, Alex?
Alex: that is correct, and take the Bills to cover the 8.

Answer: The games you aren't going to watch, unless forced to at gunpoint.
Question: What are Tampa +3.5 at Tennessee; Washington +3.5 at Seattle and Cleveland +7.5 at Cincinnati because they make my eyes bleed, Alex?
Alex: Correct! Take the favorites in all three games.

Answer: The games you will sneak off and watch every minute of instead of helping out on Thanksgiving, because you're a bad person.
Question: What are Detroit +6 at Green Bay, San Fran +3.5 at Balt., Miami +7 at Dallas?
Alex: Righto! Take Detroit, Balt and Miami and now please tell me a useless anecdote about yourself that totally disrupts the flow of the game... 

Answer: Games you're only interested about for fantasy reasons, and will therefore refresh your computer screen 48 times a minute while watching other games, you cyber nerd.
Question: What are Carolina -3.5 at Indy, Minny +9 at Atlanta, Chicago +5 at Oakland, Pittsburgh -10.5 at K.C.?
Alex: You're on fire, plus take Carolina, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh and did you know I'm Canadian?

Answer: Games you will watch because you also like to look at car crashes on the side of the road, sicko
Question: What are Arizona +3 at St. Louis & Houston -3.5 at Jacksonville?
Alex: Oui, Oui! Did you know I speak French and love to show it off? Take St. Louis and Houston and drive on by, rubbernecker.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Overall record: 68-43-6
Last week: 6-6-2 (hello, mediocrity!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week 11 NFL Picks - All Tebow, All The Time

In Tebow we trust to never see a forward pass again. 
Jets -6.5 at Denver 
Hold on to your bibles and rosaries because the Tim Tebow show goes national tonight! Hand-off after exciting hand-off, and the thrills of the triple option await! And when you become bored with that (ha, not possible)? LOOK OUT, QB sneak! Praise jeebus! The Broncos ran the ball 680 times last week and completed 2 forward passes. This isn't even a joke. If leadership and intangibles were visible to the naked eye, Tebow would surely blind us all with his brilliance. How else are they winning, if not divine intervention? Perhaps because 2 of his 3 wins are against the Dolphins and Chiefs, you say? Wrong, Heathen! YOU SHALL BE SMOTE! By the way, Tebow does not approve of the rowdy friends you may have over to watch this game. He also frowns upon your unholy chips and dips selection. What, no hummus? Jets 20 Broncos 17.

Tampa Bay +14 at Green Bay
Jason Bay fondly remembers his 1 home run last year.
There's nothing better than a vintage "Battle of the Bays" to get the blood flowing. Sadly, BP settled the debate once and for all regarding which bay is better able to sustain marine life. If only the Bay of Fundy had an NFL team. Now that's a nice looking bay. In contrast, here's a terrible looking Bay.  Green Bay 28 Tampa 10

San Diego +3.5 at Chicago 
Impressive showing by the Bears last week in drubbing the Lions. The much softer Chargers come into town with something to prove - whether they are a 7 or 8 win team this year. I think it's 7. Bears 31 Chargers 24.

McCoy is hoping a new 'stache will distract people from his horrid play.
Cleveland PK vs. Jacksonville 
A classic pick-em game if there ever was one. It's an easily movable object vs. a very resistible force. Who knows which of these teams decides to show up and try in this one? Trying is hard and often not worth it. Quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Blaine Gabbert's cool sounding names are inversely proportional to how talented they are. Cleveland 20 Jacksonville 14 

Arizona +9.5 at San Fran 
Well it's official, the 49ers are really good. I'm as angry as you are about it, trust me. However, I still maintain they are lucky the Giants were stupid enough to keep running the ball last week when Eli was carving them up through the air. You know the bar is set low when Alex Smith throws for 200 yards for about the first time in his career and he's treated like a conquering god. 49ers 17 Cards 10

Watch out Bengals, Flacco is furious.
Cincy +7 at Baltimore 
The Ravens are sure to be angry over last week's defeat to the lowly Seahawks. And you won't like them when they're angry, because Joe Flacco's infuriated eyebrows unite to form a Unibrow of Terror. Baltimore 27 Cincy 23

Dallas -7.5 at Washington 
The Beck-Grossman QB controversy rages on, as each man continues to out-suck the other. Another candidate is needed desperately. It's not unlike the GOP race. ZING! That's right, I just went political up in here. Also, Miles Austin has the hamstrings of an octogenarian. Cowboys 27 Redskins 12

Oakland -1.5 at Minnesota  and Seattle +1 at St. Louis
Run, don't walk away from these games, it'll be ugly.....
What are you still doing here? I said run, this isn't a drill people! Oakland 21 Minny 16; St. Louis 9 Seattle 6
Chris Johnson likes running here.
Tennessee +6 at Atlanta 
Atlanta seemed to have turned a corner, until last week's 4th down debacle in OT. Perhaps the street they turned onto was Elm Street or a dead end? I think it was the right decision, but the wrong play call. NFL teams convert 4th and inches over 80 pct. of the time when they quarterback sneak it. The odds are lowered when you just hand off, which is what they chose to do. So called experts get all up in arms over calls like these, and it's quite silly. If Atlanta had converted and gone on to win those same idiots would have proclaimed it "the greatest call ever". Lawyered. Atlanta 24 Tennessee 16

Giants -4.5 vs. Eagles 
Vince Young may get to play a little bit for his "nightmare team" this week, as Mike Vick's ribs have been pummeled into a fine powder once again. He may as well get those things removed, supermodel style. Now is about the time the Giants start their annual 2nd half collapse so I'm calling the upset here: Eagles 30 Giants 26.

Marcellus' mysterious neck wound still bugs me.
Buffalo +2.5 at Miami
Two teams going in opposite directions, but Buffalo's season is on the line, while Miami is only playing for pride. And remember what the wise philosopher Marcellus Wallace said about pride? He got a little graphic about it, yes, but he's right. Did we ever figure out why he had that band aid on his neck? Was he hurt shaving? Was he missing a vital neck bone and that's what was in the case? It's been 17 years, can't Quentin let us know on that one? Buffalo 30 Miami 20

Kansas City +14.5 at New England 
2 more innocent victims of Tom Brady's goat trafficking ring came forward this week.
Another Monday night beauty is surely on the way. Rumor has it that Tom Brady once tried to pass his disturbing goat fetish onto Matt Cassel while Cassel was playing with the Pats. Brady went so far as to ask Cassel to go halvsies on his South American goat farm. TRUE STORY, but the lame stream media won't tell you about it.  Patriots 34 Chiefs 17

Carolina +7 at Detroit
The one good thing about the NBA strike? The PA announcer who says "DEEE-TROIT BASKET-BALL" is out of a job. That's sweet justice. God, I hated that guy. Detroit 27 Carolina 21

Overall Record 62-37-4
Last week: 6-7  (I'm human)

"I thought I told you to shut uh uh up...."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 10 NFL Picks! Where Philip Rivers enjoys cheese with his whine.

Philip Rivers blames the sun for his poor performance.
It's Week 10, which means Thursday Night football is back! It's better than Monday Night football, because it's closer to the weekend (it's okay to drink!), and doesn't include Ron Jaworski and John Gruden shouting at you. Sadly, I was a little late on that, so I didn't get my pick in on last night's game. Let's assume I was going to pick the Raiders. Philip Rivers continues to disappoint, and Norv Turner's play-calling continues to have less backbone than a bowl of jello. Rivers is easily the biggest whiner in sports since Danny Ainge. He's the only QB I've ever seen that will still cry and moan even after throwing a TD. I bet he sends his meals back at restaurants constantly for being over- or undercooked. He's the NFL's Goldilocks, what a pleasure he must have been to raise.

Cleveland -3 vs. St. Louis 
Oh, sweet baby Jesus, no, don't let these two "football teams" meet. This week has been tough enough. No need to analyze this one, so let's move on to other items. Whatever happened to the uncatchable call on pass interference penalties? It's never called anymore, and it used to be with some frequency. Remember how you'd be really angry when your team would be flagged for a PI, but then out of nowhere the ref would do that signal of waving his arm over his head, which looked like he was telling you how tall he wanted to be? The ruling signified the pass couldn't be caught by any human being alive, so there was no flag on the play. And you'd thank your lucky stars your QB had an arm like Olive Oil (looking at you, Chad Pennington). It was a glorious call, like being pardoned by the Governor. I miss that call. Are we now supposed to believe that a receiver can leap 8 stories high, and bend backwards on a dime like a cross between Spiderman and Neo from the Matrix ? Sorry, no one in the known Universe is catching some of these passes from Colt McCoy. I DON'T BUY THAT NFL, AND YOU SHOULDN'T BE SELLING IT! St. Louis 17 Cleveland 14

Giants +3.5 at 49ers 
Coughlin surprisingly shanked Belichick in the gut during this post-game greeting.
The Giants just made Tom Brady wish he had retired to his baby goat farm permanently, you think Alex Smith will fare better? Also, Tom Coughlin has a got a little surprise for Jim Harbaugh for the post-game coaches "hand shake". He's planning a post-game drop kick, followed by nunchucks to the groin and a trident through the heart. He's taking it up a notch. Lock of the Week: Giants 24 49ers 17 

Carolina -3.5 vs. Tennessee 
Hoooo doggie, when these bitter Southern rivals meet, you best throw out the records, and put the grits on the grill, Daddy-o! Or, you can keep the records and decide Tennessee looks done. Let's do that. But, it's fun talking like a Southerner every now and again, I reckon. Carolina 34 Tennessee 14.

Washington +4 at Miami 
Miami finally got on the board with a W last week, and Vegas has overreacted about as badly as that Double Rainbow guy. Yes, Washington is terrible, but a 1-win team should not be a 4-point favorite in November. Miami 21 Skins 20

Minnesota +13.5 at Green Bay 
These numbers for Rogers should all read "infinity".
Running out of words to describe Aaron Rodgers. I already said he went from ludicrous to plaid a couple weeks ago. When a player in a video game was unstoppable (like Bo Jackson or Lawrence Taylor in Super Tecmo Bowl) we used to call them "ridiculi," because they were beyond ridiculous and unfairly good. That's what Rodgers is right now, ridiculi and also in "Excellent" condition. A deadly combination. Green Bay 38 Minny 21

Let's hope Cutler's head stops growing.

Chicago +3 vs. Detroit 
Jay Cutler's head is getting really fat, and no one wants to discuss it. The rest of his body seems okay, but his head seems to be expanding, and it's a bit alarming.  Maybe he's storing acorns in those chubby cheeks for the winter, who knows? Detroit 28 Chicago 27

Pittsburgh -3 at Cincy 
The Bengals have had some fun this year with their easy schedule, but the bill comes due this week as big bad Pitt comes to town. There's been some rumors that ginger-haired Andy Dalton may put black streaks into his hair, so that his head would resemble the actual Bengal helmet. I speak for everyone when I say, AWESOME, LET THY WILL BE DONE, ANDY. Steelers 27 Cincy 17

Jets -1.5 vs. Pats 
Dare I say the game of the week, or perhaps game of the Millennium? I'm so fired up for this one I just tackled a stranger on the sidewalk. Sorry little old lady, but not in my house, you gotta bring it stronger than that on 4th and 1! And, here's your walker back, my bad. Complete homer pick: Jets 30 Pats 27

Jacksonville -3 at Indy 
The Colts new defensive strategy on display.
This may be the last chance for Indy to get a win this year. The Colts should redesign their helmet to incorporate a raised white flag. Jacksonville 24 Indy 20

New Orleans -1 at Atlanta
I think the Saints will pull this out, but it won't be easy. It'll have to get done Cajun style. New Orleans 33 - Atlanta 31

Bonus College Pick! 
Oregon +3.5 at Stanford
I nailed last week's college pick, so let's let it ride on this great matchup between top 10 teams. Speaking of college, Penn State's rioting students reminded everyone this week that college students are idiots and will literally take to the streets for anything, no matter how ill-advised. I don't even believe they were all protesting for Paterno. Most were just procrastinating from their papers, looking for free beer, and hoping for a passionate, riot-inspired hook-up. "It's us against the world, baby, but we've got tonight." It's a classic college move. Stanford 45 Oregon 38.

                                                                         Baltimore -7 at Seattle 
Ray Lewis shows off his bug-stomping technique.
Can any road team cover the spread in Seattle this year? Will Ray Lewis ever not celebrate every single play he makes or doesn't make? Which Marshawn Lynch will show up? The guy who runs over 8 players for 150 yards, or the Lynch we all know that runs like he's carrying his 10 kids on his back? Are these questions all rhetorical? Perhaps? Baltimore 20 Seattle 6

Arizona vs. Philly (off the board) 
I'm not sure exactly why this off the board, but my sources tell me it's because Andy Reid ate the spread.

Houston -3 at Tampa 
The winner of this can claim Gulf Coast Supremacy, which really means everything to two teams that never win anything. Houston 27 Tampa 20.

Enjoy the games!  

Last Week: 11-3
Overall Record: 56-30-4 (it's a gift)
Locks of the week: 6-2

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 9 NFL Picks! We Got a Shooter With Shoes!

Red Stripe + plantains = undefeated.
We've reached the mid-point of the season, and my picks are getting so good that I may have to purchase some gold chains and start unbuttoning my shirts down to the navel like the real sharks do. Two weeks ago I went 9-4. Last week, even though I was in a different country, I overcame third world odds and went 5-0. I am undefeated when picking games in the Caribbean. My secret.... Red Stripe with a side of fried plantains. Take it to your grave, gents.

This doofus went 4-9 last week.
It's true I didn't pick every game, but I was on island time, mon, don't get all crazy baldhead on me. Meanwhile, supposed "experts" like Bill Simmons went 4-9. How about a 30 for 30 episode on how my picks kick your Boston ass, Billy boy? Full disclosure, even though I went 5-0, I somehow lost money on the actual bets I made (legal bets all, I assure you). That takes a special kind of skill. It also takes Philip Rivers forgetting how to handle a routine snap with his freakishly tiny carny hands. Let's get to the picks:

New England -9 vs Giants 
The mighty Patsies are showing some chinks the armor right now. Big Ben treated them like one his southern girls last week, and the Giants could have similar success with their Hicks, Manningham and Cruz trifecta. This spread is too high. The Giants pass rush is good enough to disrupt Brady's precious hair a little bit. He may have to wear a bonnet under his helmet this week. I don't put it past him. New England 30 Giants 24 (Lock of the week)

Oakland -7.5 vs. Team Tebow
It's like his right hand is trying to tell him, "stop, please don't throw this!"
Wow, did the Tebow express derail last week in horrific fashion. I wish I watched it. I ran an offense during my 4th grade recess that was more complex than what the Broncos do right now. It's 5 days later and Tebow is still trying to throw that last pass attempt of the game against the Lions, let's give him a few more seconds....good god, that delivery that can be measured with a sun dial.........and we're back. Was it completed? Cheerleaders catching the pass don't count. Raiders/Autumn Wind 20 Broncos 9

Miami +4 at K.C. 
Every week I think this will be the game the Dolphins get their first win, but they just excel at being terrible. And they lose in epic fashion each week, it's really magnificent. Perhaps inspired by his ex Kim Kardashian's divorce, Reggie Bush regained some of his Heisman form last week, breaking the 100 yard barrier. That should surely makes up for 5 disappointing seasons. Miami 24 - Kansas City 17

Bonus College pick!
The benefits of an SEC education on display.
Alabama -5 vs. LSU
It's number 1 vs. number 2, so you are required by law to watch this, despite having no real rooting interest whatsoever. I've never been to Alabama, and that's not by accident. I once traveled from Georgia to Mississippi via medieval catapult just to avoid 'Bama. And I also had to consult a map to make sure that previous sentence was geographically correct (it is!). It's kind of annoying that both these colleges' fan bases and SEC zealots are already arguing that whoever loses this game should still have a chance at the national title game. There's only about 19 other undefeated teams still, so I say that's crap. To the future losers of this game: YOU HAD YOUR CHANCE AND YOU BLEW IT! Take the points in this one, the team that's #1 always has more pressure on them: Alabama 27 - LSU 23

Jets +2 at Buffalo
Recent history shows the Jets have owned Buffalo, winning 5 of their last 6 against their neighbors to the north. Fun fact: Did you know that the sentence "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is considered a valid sentence? Check here for an explanation (and to have your mind blown!). Is that not the funnest fact you have ever read in your life? Work that tidbit in with the boss this week, and you're looking at a raise! Jets 23 Bills 21

The 49ers new wide receiver is 350 pounds of sweetness.
San Francisco -3.5 at Washington 
It's unsettling that this very average 49ers team has one of the best records in the league, and it speaks to the importance of a cake schedule. Teams ride easy schedules to the playoffs all the time. The Jets had a system of doing that every other year. Then they get crushed when it counts. I never do this, but I'm taking the Skins this week. Washington 24 San Fran 14

Cleve +10.5 at Houston 
The Peyton Hillis saga drags into its 8th week. First there was his strep throat, then contract squabbles, then a bad hammy, and last week he got married. It must be sweeps week. It's a storyline that at least 4 people in the world are following. Does the Madden cover jinx explain it all? Perhaps, but the Madden cover never featured someone this average and meat-headed before, so it's hard to tell. Houston 31 Cleveland 17

"I'm counting my money, baby."
Cincinnati +3 at Tennessee 
Despite these teams decent records, this will be an eyesore of a game featuring -1 and -2 yard runs into a cloud of dust (mostly by Chris Johnson, of course). I should have known that when I met Chris Johnson at a club in Vegas during the off-season a couple years ago that he would eventually ruin my 2011 fantasy team. THE SIGNS WERE THERE IN HIS BLOODSHOT EYES. Whoever goes backward the least shall win. I say Cincy wins by 2 safeties. Bengals 16 Tennessee 12

Seattle +11.5 at Dallas 
I've given Seattle no quarter all year, and I'll be damned if I'm going to start now. The plastic face of Jerry Jones will come as close as it possibly can to smiling this week. Dallas 33 Seattle 14.

Baltimore +3.5 at Pitt
Warning: this man is about to annoy you.
Damn, didn't these teams play on like Tuesday? Are they courting? Perhaps an announcement of impending nuptuals is in order. Prepare to hear lots more stuff from Chris effing Berman about their bitter rivalry, and how Ray Lewis has still got it, and the Steelers are now a passing team, blah, blah, blah. The AFC North is a cold sore that will never go away, just like the Swame. Baltimore 13 Pitt 10 (upset special!)

Philly -8 vs. Chicago
Remember when Mike Ditka traded his entire draft for Ricky Williams? Of course you do, because that's all people talk about when Ditka is mentioned now. He also caught 58 passes his rookie year after catching 12 passes his senior year in college. THAT'S A DRAFT STEAL, PLEASE HIRE THAT PRESCIENT SCOUT, JETS. Ditka also chewed gum ferociously, spat whenever he talked, and had an enjoyable turn in Will Ferrell's "Kicking and Screaming" but sadly, no one remembers any of that. Eagles 30 Bears 23

Green Bay -5.5 at San Diego
I'm not sure Rivers tiny hands can handle this tough task. The Gaslamp area better prepare for an infusion of Cheeseheads this weekend. The wholesome and portly Midwest meets Southern Cal debauchery. I don't like where this might lead. Green Bay 38 Chargers 31.

St. Louis +2.5 vs. Arizona 
Not worth anyone's time to break this one down: Arizona 28 St. Louis 21

Even refugees would prefer to avoid the RCA Dome.
Atlanta -7 at Indy
There's nothing like a classic battle between two underachieving dome teams - the fans in the stands at the RCA Dome this week may actually be real refugees from foreign countries that were duped into attending with the promise of food and shelter. Atlanta is coming off a nice win at Detroit, another dome team. Cabin fever may be setting in for the Falcons, that's the only concern for them in this one. For the Colts, it's pretty outrageous that they could get Andrew Luck after 13 years of Peyton Manning. Only Shirley Jackson could appreciate that kind of sick lottery system. Atlanta 27 Indy 16

Last week: 5-0
Overall: 45-27-4
Locks of the week: 5-2
Enjoy the games! This song is worth it for the solo at the 3 minute mark alone: