Friday, December 21, 2012

Week 16 NFL Picks! Plus, A Festivus Airing of Grievances

Instead of my usual cogent football analysis, each of this week's picks will be accompanied by a random observation about life (read: grievances). After an extremely sad and depressing past week and a half, I hope they provide some laughter. Feel free to read this with your inner Seinfeld voice, because "what is the deal with that?" Happy Holidays to all.

Green Bay -13 over Tennessee 
Is every band on the radio Mumford and Sons? Look, they're an ok group, but everyone now sounds like them and I'm sick of it. "And IIIIIIIIIIIIII will take my time...and IIIIIIIIII will sing like this and IIIIII will make all my songs sound the same....sound the same."

Oakland +8.5 over Carolina 
No group of people are more deserving of our scorn than snowboarders. They're the worst. They hog up the slopes, laying about like sea lions on a pier and thinking about their next "big air". Plus, they take up all the room on the chairlift line with that annoying gimp-like waddle they do. They should have their own lifts and their own slopes and separate mountains. And don't get me started on their hats. (shakes fist angrily)

Buffalo +4.5 over Miami 
Ever sneeze into your hand and immediately sniff your hand right after? Why is that smell so enchanting and intoxicating? Would I wear a sneeze-scented perfume? Perhaps not, but I'll take a free sample. This is probably just a guy thing.

Cincy +4 over Pitt
I'm tired of the expression "Too many cooks in the kitchen" and would like to officially propose changing said expression to "Too many dicks on the dance floor." You can use this expression in an office environment nicely: "This project would be done Bob, but there's way too many dicks on the dance floor right now." Hat tip to Flight of the Conchords.

New England -14 over Jacksonville
I hate these. Is it upper case or lower case? Gahhh!
I hate when I have to type letters into one of these security codes to get to my email or some other account. They've made these things so illegible that it takes about 3 tries to get through. I've had it. Stop wasting my time with your indecipherable mind games, Internet!

Indy -6.5 over K.C.
Ever get caught singing way too emphatically and playing kick-ass air guitar while stuck in your car at an intersection. Then you have to play it off like you're talking on a blue tooth that isn't there or adjusting your seatbelt? It happens to me on a semi-weekly basis. This is doubly embarrassing when you're singing No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl,"which I have never done. On an unrelated note, "tinted windows" is on my Christmas list.

Dallas -3 over N. Orleans
When people say a certain type of product, program or system is "integrated" and they're not referring to race, what they are really saying is they have no idea what "integrated" means and they hope you don't either.

Tampa -3 over St. Louis 
I was stuck on an overcrowded train in 100 degree heat in Italy this past summer and there was no A/C (yes, just imagine those smells for a second). As I was contemplating how rich I could become by introducing my new sneeze-scented perfume/deodorant to Europe, I noticed a man eating a block of brie. With nothing else, no bread or cracker, just a hunk of brie straight up. THAT'S INSANE. Brie is way, way down on my list of cheeses I could eat a block of. Now that I think about it, the entire list is: mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, and gouda gets a maybe. I'm not eating a block of anything else.    

This expression sums up the
Lakers season thus far.
Detroit +4 over Atlanta Thursday night football was really terrible this year. Guys limping around, everybody half-assing it, it was like watching a Lakers game (ZING!). But, the only thing more annoying than the terrible games were all the people that complained about it constantly. Move the games one night to Friday. Problem solved, you're welcome.

Giants -2.5 over Baltimore 
Is there a more conflicted feeling than driving through a store parking lot and not finding even one space to park? On one hand you're frustrated, but on the other you're relieved, because it's like, "this task cannot possibly get completed and it's not my fault...I'm not parking down the street like some chump." 

San Fran pick 'em over Seattle 
Have you ever run out of diapers for your baby and wonder what you could use as a makeshift diaper should the emergency strike? "Well, I could fasten a pork pie hat to his booty with a belt-like contraption and he'll just poop into that. Problem solved! Or hey, no one ever uses this crockpot, right? We're not going back to that store with no parking today, not on my watch."

"I didn't think you could top my suckage, but you came close, bro!"
San Diego +1.5 over Jets
Speaking of what to do with poop, let's talk Jets. The Jets media attention is inversely proportional to how good they are as a team. I wish they would just be allowed to suck in anonymity, but they deserve it because they never shut up. Now they're saying they want to trade Sanchez. Unless there's a new rule where you can trade players to the CFL or the Arena League, I don't think this is happening.

Cleveland +13 over Denver 
Warning...more Jets talk. The Monday night crew were so infuriated with the Jets embarrassing excuse of an offense last Monday that they practically called for Sanchez' and Tony Sparano's head on a stake. This isn't really a grievance, I just found it noteworthy. The veins in Jon Gruden's neck were about to burst and Trent Dilfer and Steve Young looked ready to strangle someone. These guys may to need to take it down a notch.

Chicago -5 over Arizona
I never know what to tip the guy who ties the Christmas tree to the top of the car. I'm assuming it's $5-$10, but it could be more. The service he's providing is arguably more valuable to me than the tree itself. It would take me 'til MLK day to get that tree properly tied to the roof, and I'd rather not have a tree at all than try. He's getting a bigger tip from year. If I remember. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Week 14 Picks: 9-7
Overall record: 84-77-3

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NFL Week 14 Picks ...More Hilarious Limericks!

Oh yes, the limericks are back, mainly because I have very few new ideas, so back off, Jack. We are in the home stretch of the season, and most of the playoffs spots are pretty much decided, but so many questions remain...will Matty Ice finally win a playoff game? Will Big Ben ever return? Will the Cowboys fulfill their annual destiny of collapsing in hilarious fashion? Will the Gronk get back to his old bro' self? What year will Greg McElroy be inducted into the Hall of Fame? And, most importantly, how are those awful shows "Whitney" and "Two Broke Girls" both still on the air? I mean, come on!

The Rams are in a pit of despair.
Buffalo -3 over St. Louis
The Rams are stuck in slow motion
All their fans are losing devotion
They need a quick fix
To get back in the mix
Or else Buffalo Bills will apply the lotion

Jets -2.5 over Jacksonville
Sanchez will return once again to start
But he's at his best when holding a chart
Whatever can we do?
Watch more butts run into? 
Must he linger 'round like a bad fart?

San Diego over Pittsburgh
There once was a "qb" named Batch
Who's passes no one could ever catch
He played for many years
And heard nothing but jeers
It's ineptness Phil Rivers can match.
This is why you don't do Jaeger shots
on the sidelines.

Denver -10 over Oakland
The Raiders continue to disgrace
the game of football at a rapid pace
Carson Palmer has stunk
Janikowski's always drunk
But at least they have a classy fanbase.

Carolina +3.5 over Atlanta
Every week the Falcons squeak by
Their great fortune, no one can deny
But that Michael Turner
Is no longer a burner
I've seen glaciers that were more spry

Detroit +6.5 over Green Bay
This guy Suh likes to make QBs hurt
So Rodgers had better be alert
Protect those jewels
From this cheapshotting tool
Crotch injuries are wise to avert

"I would have given you three
houses at USC."
Seattle -10.5 over Arizona
The Cardinals are under duress
As for talent, they couldn't have less
The Seahawks will destroy
Carroll will jump for joy
And forget he left SC a hot mess

New Orleans +5 over Giants
Why does Coughlin's face get so red?
Is it 'cause all the blood's in his head?
He needs to relax
Or wear looser slacks
Just watching him fills me with dread

Miami +10 over San Fran
To the bench the Niners sent Smith
Who's talent was just a big myth
He just couldn't throw
He will have to go
Hey, Sanchez needs someone to golf with.

So much wrong here.
Houston +4 over New England
Let's not make fun of Tom Brady
Because he has hair like a lady
It's his love of sheep
like Little Bo Peep
That I find totally shady

Washington -2.5 over Baltimore
What's up with these cheap shots from Reed?
He's getting fined, Goodell has decreed
It's cool to late hit
'Til they notice it
And you're making Tom Brady bleed

Cincy -3 over Dallas
Jerry Jones has had some work done
His face now resembles turkey bacon
These Bengals can play
Dalton will have his day
Upsetting the Cowboys owner/goblin

The rest of the picks (which I couldn't find rhymes for):
Cleveland -5.5 over KC
Philly +7.5 over Tampa Bay
Indy -5.5 over Tennessee
Chicago -2.5 over Minnesota

Last week's record: 10-5-1
Overall: 75-70-3

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Greatest Rock Video Ever? Plus, Week 13 NFL Picks

A little over 20 years ago Guns N' Roses released the Use Your Illusion albums. There were a lot of good songs contained on those two records, and several atrocious ones (hello, My World), but  one of my personal favorites is "Estranged." This is mainly because it spawned one of the most over-the-top, ridiculous music videos of all time. It's a video that involves Axl Rose jumping off of an aircraft carrier, Slash soloing in front of an ocean full of dolphins and a plot more intricate than "Trapped in the Closet."

This was the video where the boys from GNR said, "we are on top of the world, let's burn this mother down." Frankly, I think it deserves further exploration and dissection with a Deep Dish video breakdown. We did this last year with Soundgarden's awful "Black Hole Sun" to great acclaim. So put on your flannel and come back with me to the year 1993...

00-0:30: This first thirty seconds of the video really sets the tone for what we're about to receive. First, a definition of the word "illusion." Thank you, it's about damn time someone explained it. Consider the stage officially set! Next, hey a tire swing and a swingset....but no one is on it. Innocence has clearly been lost. But who's? Everyone's, that's who.

0:30-1:25: Have you ever seen a SWAT team that also doubles as an EMT unit? Well, you have now, thanks to Rock! By the way, the production value here is just top notch. It's like a Michael Bay movie, or an episode of CSI, everything's all blue and green and flashlights abound. That dinosaur's shadow also had me scared for a second there. What a sneaky metal band they were. Hey, there's Axl curled up in the fetal position, he's not in good shape. Again. We may have to get the straight jacket and go all "Welcome to the Jungle" on him again.

The models are not impressed.
1:25-2:20: We interrrupt this police raid for standard concert footage. Have to admit, even though it's cliche, watching a stadium fill up with people thru time-lapse photography gets me everytime. It's like PEOPLE HAVE ARRIVED, RAISE YOUR GOBLET TO ROCK.

2:20-2:55: The plot thickens, one of Axl's illegitimate children make an appearance. And of course models watch the concert and nod condescendingly, comfortably aloof from the proceedings. The strobe lights are not appreciated and may send me into a coma at any moment.

"No one understands my rock problems."
2:56-3:55: The band finishes the concert, but they appear tired, because the road is a bitch, you know? And here we go, Axl has left his sleeping body behind and is drifting like a spirit. Because really, who needs this business? It's supposed to be ABOUT THE MUSIC. He returns to the fetal position in the shower, and then a girl who may or may not represent a young Slash slides down a pole for no apparent reason. Say what you will about this video, but these Slash solos are still epic.

3:56:-5:20: Ah yes, Axl's mansion in the hills. The perils of rock and roll decadence on full display. Is it a mansion though, or the world's most expensive daycare/insane asylum? Lots of kids trotting about and people that look like nurses. We then get a much needed definition of Estranged with a bonus meaning! I think Webster's got a kickback on this video. And everything is white - white outfits, white limos, white walls, white dogs, but then... a black elephant. Oh, what does it all mean? Other than the obvious conclusion that Axl is pretty much racist. But that's too easy.

5:20-5:30 Don't you hate it when a dolphin emerges from the tour plane? This is what happens when you hire Jacques Cousteau as your stagehand because you're kajillionaires. Mo aquatic special effects, mo problems. This song still has over 4 minutes left, don't go anywhere.

These are ideal conditions for electric guitar.
5:31-7:00: Now we're on the Sunset Strip, after an apparent flood. The crowd of people outside the Rainbow sure seem ambivalent about Slash rocking out a solo on the freaking sidewalk like a boss. C'mon people, it's Slash, not C.C. DeVille. Slash could've thrown his hat down and made at least $50 bucks here. Opportunity missed. I think that's Matt Dillon from "Singles" smoking a cigarette at the 6:43 mark.

7:01-8:30: Here's the part of the song where we jump off of ships! Luckily, a random bandmate is aboard swabbing the deck and throws Axl a lifeline. Is that Izzy, Gilby or Dizzy? Or Daffy? It doesn't matter, Mr. Rose has no need for your flotation devices today, good sir. He has his dolphin friends to help him, and they ask nothing in return. Slash rises from the depths to take his 8th face-melting solo on a 9-minute song. It's not overdoing it though, because this one is a sunset solo and includes dolphin noises, so it's way different than the others.

8:31-9:00: Duff McKagan makes a cameo appearance and is all "hey, remember me? I'm still in this band, too, wait don't go, I'm more than a bassist, remember the first chords of 'It's So Easy'? All my idea...noooo!"

9:01-9:30: The real star of this video is that Charles Manson shirt. What a great Christmas gift idea..."I saw that shirt and I thought of you, honey! Let's listen to the White album." There's no way that shirt smells good. If you can't find a shirt that says "I'm drunk on fame and going insane," I guess you buy that Manson shirt instead.

This dolphin sadly died 12 seconds later.
9:30-9:51: We wrap it up with a final definition of "disillusion." I'm super prepared for those SATs now. Axl's Converse drifts to the ocean bottom and we finish with him sitting on a couch with a dolphin, smirking like, "yup, can you believe you just saw that?" And the dolphin is wearing a flannel shirt, because why not. Rock masterpiece complete. Fin (Word play!)  

Week 13 NFL Picks 
Atlanta -3.5 over N. Orleans
Chicago -3.5 over Seattle
Minny +9 over Green Bay
San Fran -7 over St. Louis
Arizona +4.5 over Jets
Carolina -2.5 over KC
Indy +4.5 over Detroit
Buff -6 over Jacksonville
Miami +7.5 over N. England
Cincy -1.5 over San Diego
Houston -5.5 over Tenn
Tampa +7 over Denver
Dallas -10 over Philly
Washington +2.5 over Giants
Balt. -5 over Pitt
Cleve +2 over Oak

Week 11 Record: 9-4 (week 12 was my bye week)
Overall record: 65-65-2 (Back to .500!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NFL Week 11 Picks, Plus Favorite Quotes from "Revolution" That Were Never Actually Said

So, there's this new show on NBC called Revolution. If you've heard of it, please excuse this brief description: the power went out all over the world and SHIT GOT REAL. Many of our East Coast friends can more than relate to this right now. On "Revolution," no one knows how or why the power went out, but the world becomes an apocalyptic wasteland over the course of 15 years and grass grows really high, because lawn care was the first thing to go.

I've only seen one episode (as far as you know), and was unimpressed with this fairly obvious attempt to rip off elements of "The Hunger Games" and "Lost." Not that I'm fan of "Lost" - those last couple of seasons were an abomination. Hey, let's spin a big wheel and move the island! Brilliant!

Anyway, this particular episode revolved around a group of misfits with surprisingly stylish hair saving a Peter Pan like crew of kid rebels. It was all very "A-Team." The lead actress, Tracy Spiridakos, is hilarious. She walks around with a bow and arrow that should say "Katniss" on it and acts every scene with her eyes (clearly a graduate of the esteemed Tyra Banks drama academy).

As I watched this new show, I kept hoping for certain lines of dialogue to be said, and they were not. This disappoints me to no end. There were some great one-liners that were out there ready for the taking, and they just drifted away into the dark, dark world. I've done this once before with Hawaii 5-0, and I will do it again here. Here are some great lines that should be said in "Revolution," but most probably won't ever be, and that is a tragedy:

"Well, of coursed I'm pissed, I haven't listened to my Ipod in 15 years!"
"It may be dark around the world, but I see a light in your eyes, girl."
"Just look at all those Pop Tarts...and not a working toaster to be found."
"I knew my degree in candle-making would pay off someday."
"You hated me on Lost. Hate me again
on this show."
"Hey honey, I'm home from hunting, what's on TV tonight...dammit, I keep forgetting!"
"Man, I sure wish people in the 2000s had conserved energy better. Those bastards."
"I used to love the sunset. Not anymore"....(sheds tear)

"Let me go, and I'll give you my DVD
"I so wish I could tweet what an A-hole you're being right now."

"Look, we can either make out or join the revolution,
we can't do both."
"Listen kid, there was this thing called Pandora and you could listen to all this music online, but then this other thing called Spotify came along and...ahh forget it, it's not gonna make sense."

"No, I'm Rizzoli, she's Isles, get it straight!" (crossover episode)

"Looks like (removes sunglasses)...someone dimmed his lights for good." (special guest appearance by David Caruso).

Week 11 NFL Picks
Buffalo -2 over Miami
Washington -3.5 over Philly
Green Bay -3.5 over Detroit
Arizona +10 over Atlanta
Tampa -1.5 over Carolina
Cleveland +7.5 over Dallas
Saint Louis -3 over Jets
Indy +9.5 over New England
Cincy -3 over K.C.
Oak +5 over N. Orleans
San Diego +7.5 over Denver
Baltimore -3.5 over Pitt
San Fran over Chicago

Last week: 5-8
Season: 56-61-2

Friday, November 9, 2012

Week 9 NFL Picks!

What a triumphant week for America. Yes we can! What I'm obviously referring to is that the New York Mets released Jason Bay on Wednesday. A former slugger, Bay hit 26 homers for the Mets in three seasons while batting .234. He was actually even worse than those numbers appear. He batted .165 last year. Half of the Mets pitching staff had a higher batting avg. than him. He never got a hit in a big spot, and he never adjusted to what pitchers were throwing him. He wasn't much of a fielder either.

Jason Bay's Met career in summary.
But, it's hard not to feel bad for him. He always played hard, and said the right things, and by all acounts he was a good teammate. He just happened to lose all his skills practically overnight. Suffering two concussions certainly didn't help, nor did getting booed regularly. How can you not feel bad for him? But, then I remember he's already earned over $40 million from the Mets, and will earn $17 million this year sitting at home on the couch. It is doubtful he ever plays again in the majors. That adds up to about $55,000 per Cheeto he will eat next summer. Now I'm just jealous. And kind of hungry. Vaya con Dios, Jason Bay.

On to the picks:

Buffalo +11 over New England
Get this man the ball, Buffalo!
The Bills don't give CJ Spiller the ball 25 times a game, because, well they're the Bills, and aren't great at the whole talent evaluation thing. Tom Brady rocked an interesting tweed coat to an Aerosmith concert this week, apparently with no shirt underneath. I mean, WTF? What a d-bag move. The collection of his embarrassing photos continues to grow with each passsing day. Plus, who the hell goes to Aerosmith concerts anymore? Most overrated band in rock history.

Giants -4 over Cincy
I'm a big fan of this Eli Manning Looks at Things Tumblr. How about one of him looking at Tom Brady in that dumb tweed coat? Too much to ask?

Tampa -3 over San Diego
Doug Martin will set another record and have 400 yards rushing this week. ON ONE PLAY. On the flip side, Norv Turner will also set a record by punting on 4th and short 38 times.

Detroit -2 over Minnesota
What is up with Calvin Johnson? Only 1 TD catch so far this year. Well, for one, he's getting sextuple teamed...and not in the good way (said in a Rodney Dangerfield voice). Stafford needs to realize everyone else is wide open for TDs galore.

Carolina +4 over Denver
Carolina has looked better in recent weeks, and Denver is due for a hiccup.

"I'll stop this train...I mean land this plane!"
Miami -6 over Tennessee
I watched the movie "Flight" this past week, and I now never want to step on a plane again. Thanks, Hollywood. I enjoy how Denzyl Washington is slowly working his way through the transportation industry with devastating effects. Last year was the runaway train in "Unstoppable," a couple of years before that was the ferry destruction in "Deja Vu"... I'm not sure what his next move could be, he's running out of modes of transport. My hope is some sort of runaway Segway. He could just be on it the whole time with his feet tied to it or something, going "Okay...Alright...let's go!"

New Orleans +2 over Atlanta
A strangely low line that seems to be going with the logic that the Falcons have to lose sometime.

Jets +6 over Seattle
Tony Sparano and Mark Sanchez in a hostile environment...yikes, get the adult diapers ready. The Jets won't win this game, but Seattle doesn't blow anyone out. Seahawks have protected the diminutive Russell Wilson nicely by attempting the fewest amount of passing plays in the league, but the Jets are solid against the run and should be able to slow down Lynch. Seahawks win in a close one. Look for Tebow to play, celebrate wildly on 3 yard runs and thoroughly screw up any momentum the Jets have. Like always.

Oakland +8 over Baltimore
This one looks too easy, so I'm going opposite.

Dallas -2 over Philly

"I'm reading Clock Management for Dummies,
I'll give it to you when I'm done."
Philly is toast. Repeat toast. This could be Andy Reid's last game. It could also be Jason Garrett's last game. It's a total COACH OFF. They should just settle things with a pre-game tractor race, Footloose style.

Houston +1 over Chicago
JJ Watt against Jay Cutler. Wouldn't be surprised to see Cutler come up with a little case of this this Sunday.

Two games I don't care about:
San Francisco -11.5 over St. Louis
Pitt -12.5 over K.C.

Last week: 7-6
Overall record: 51-53-2

Friday, November 2, 2012

Week 9 NFL Picks, Plus Mid-Season Awards

We've come to the midpoint of another NFL season, so it's time for some reflection and review of the most valuable and least valuable players so far. There's nothing more cliche than doling out mid-season awards, but it's either this or review the Jets' trainwreck, and I'm not going down that road, it's too depressing.

AFC Half Season MVP Offense: Peyton Manning, Broncos
"Utah, get me two!"
There are some other fine candidates here, including Big Ben, Arian Foster and the scarf-loving, sheep-courting Tom Brady. But for me, it's Manning or GTFO. The man is playing on a spindly neck that's supporting a giant head that's barely attached to his spine and still getting it done despite a weaker arm. Meanwhile, I'm subjected to watching strongnecked Mark Sanchez fire balls into opposing D-lineman every week.

AFC Half Season LVP Offense: Shonne Greene, Jets
What a worthless running back. Greene runs with a refrigerator repair store on his back. He couldn't gain you a yard if you spotted him 2.9 feet. Of course he put together one great game against a terrible team to fool people into thinking he's still decent. I AM NOT IMPRESSED, SHONNE!

J.J. Watt was built by Cyberdyne Systems in the year 2088.
AFC Half-Season MVP Defense: J.J. Watt, Texans
J.J. Watt is possibly not born of this earth. Perhaps he was chiseled from a meteorite and fused with scalding hot magma. Or maybe he was sent from the future for the sole purpose of spiking quarterback's heads into the field turf and swatting their passes into the ionosphere (way higher than stratosphere). The Looper of defensive ends. Regardless, the fact is, he can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel pity remorse or fear. And he absolutely will not stop UNTIL QBs ARE DEAD....this scouting report is brought to you by Kyle Reese.

AFC Half-Season LVP Defense: Mario Williams, Bills
Williams makes a bejillion dollars and has three sacks and 13 tackles in 7 games and is terrible against the run. He's also Buffalo's best player. Well done, Bills. Runner up for this award? Any Jets linebacker.

NFC Half Season MVP Offense: Adrian Peterson, Vikings
Tempted to give this to Matt Ryan, because the Falcons are undefeated and he's got no running game, but he does have outstanding receivers. So we go with Peterson, who's come back from a serious knee injury to lead the league in rushing. The dude is a beast.

"Go free ball, you're better off without me carrying you."
NFC Half Season LVP Offense: Michael Turner, Falcons
There are beached whales and there is Michael Turner. Beached whales have a better chance at gaining 3 yards a carry even with no opposable thumbs. This is the first year I've had Michael Turner on my fantasy team, because I am brilliant. He's had about 100 rushing attempts inside the 10 yard line this year and only scored 3 touchdowns. How efficient! Runner up: Michael Vick (and it was very close).

NFC Half Season MVP Defense: Tim Jennings, Bears
Jennings already has 6 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He would have 21 interceptions if he got to face Jay Cutler every week. There's nothing like a shutdown corner. He makes me weep for my old friend Revis. Runner ups: Charles Tillman, Bears and Chad Greenway, Vikings, a tackling machine.

DeAngelo Hall leads the league
 in Ghost Tackles.
NFC Half-Season LVP Defense: DeAngelo Hall and the Redskins secondary Hall has always been one of the more overrated players in the league, but he's taken it to new heights this year, getting toasted enough times to make a Pop Tart envious. The Redskins secondary is on pace to give up more than 5,000 yards receiving.

Week 9 Picks:
Denver -3.5 over Cincy
Green Bay -11 over Arizona
Miami -2 over Indy
Cleveland +3.5 over Baltimore
Buffalo +10.5 over Houston
Carolina +3.5 over Washington
Detroit -4 over Jacksonville
Chicago -3.5 over Tennessee
Seattle -4.5 over Minnesota
Tampa +1.5 over Oakland
Dallas +4 over Atlanta
NYG -3.5 over Pittsburgh
Philly +3.5 over New Orleans

Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Sleep on Brooklyn, Plus NFL Week 8 Picks

America's favorite NBA team, the New Jersey Nets, have moved to the great borough of Brooklyn, and I for one couldn't be happier. Okay, maybe they aren't the nation's favorite team, but they're in the top 30. Since the departure of Jason Kidd, the Nets have been a floundering franchise, finishing below .500 for the past five seasons. The bottom really fell out when they went an abysmal 12-70 in the '09-'10 season. The last three seasons have seen them go from historically suck-tastic to abhorrent to mildly objectionable.

But, this season things are changing, baby! This is largely thanks to their crazy Russian billionaire owner who just spent 2 million on Dom Perignon, guns and fog machines at a club in Ibiza in the time it took me to type this sentence. The guy knows how to party. Anyway, even though they embarrassingly missed out on trading for Dwight Howard, who needs him? He's got a bad back and he hasn't improved his post game or free throw shooting in 6 years. The Nets have still managed to quietly stockpile a deep and talented team. Their starting 5 is as follows:

PG: Deron Williams
SG: Joe Johnson
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: Kris Kardashian Humphries
C: Brook Lopez

"After I finish my wine, I vill break you." 
Three of these players have been all stars and each one is above average to excellent for their positions. It could be argued Gerald Wallace is wildly overpaid and a bit over the hill, and sure he possesses one of the uglier jumpers in the game, but he can still rebound and defend. Though he gets more press for his ex-wife, and gets mercilessly booed in opposing arenas, Humphries (14 pts, 11 rbs per game last year) is actually an underrated power forward. Lopez is the question mark. He can be a 20-10 guy but he often avoids rebounds as if he'll catch herpes from them.

By contrast, let's look at the Knicks starting five:

PG: Ray Felton
SG: J.R. Smith
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Amare Stoudemire
C: Tyson Chandler

The Knicks have talent, but there a lot more offensive black holes on that team. If you pass the ball on the Knicks, you won't see it again. The real difference between the two teams is on the bench. The Knicks bench includes the sadly washed up Jason Kidd, the always injured Marcus Camby and someone named Chris Copeland, who might be a made up simulation.

In past years, if you were a player on the Nets' bench it meant it was your last stop on the way to NBA oblivion, but this year it actually features some quality players. CJ Watson, Marshon Brooks, Reggie Evans, Tyshawn Taylor and the enigmatic Andre Blatche will provide a lot of energy, depth and craziness (Reggie Evans). Blatche is one of those infuriating NBA players that can be dominant one night and pathetic the next. If he can reach his potential, he makes the Nets a top 5 team in the East. And yes, better than the crosstown Knicks by a good margin.

My prediction for the Nets this year: 47-35 record and a first round upset of the Celtics followed by getting swept by the Heat in the 2nd round. After 5 terrible seasons, I'll take it.

Week 8 NFL Picks:

New England -7 over the Rams: Everyone knows Tom Brady prefers a soft, gentle sheep to a Ram, baaahhhh.

Tennessee -3.5 over Indy: The revenge of Chris Johnson will continue one more week and then he'll go back to sucking.

"Damn you hands and arms, you've screwed me again!"
Cleveland +3 over San Diego: I'm never taking San Diego again until Norv Turner or Phil Rivers is gone, preferably both.

Philly -2 over Atlanta:  Vick rediscovers some ol' magic vs. his former team. Who's a good boy, Michael? Who's a good boy? Yes, you are! Woof!

Jacksonville +15.5 over Green Bay: Highest spread of the year because Jax has no MJD. But they do have plenty of MGD though, so live the High Life, fellas!

Seattle +2.5 over Detroit: The Lions should trademark "Goaline fumble!"

Jets -2.5 over Miami: Do not feel good about this one. At. All.

Chicago -8 over Carolina: Can't wait for Cam's press conference after this one!

Washington +4.5 over Pittsburgh: HOW DARE YOU give RGIII this many points.
"Someone should have warned me that I
might actually play."

K.C. -1.5 over Oakland: Brady Quinn vs. Carson Palmer...or as I call it, The Pick 6 Bowl.

Dallas +2 over Giants: Because Dallas just likes to mess with people.

N. Orleans +6 over Denver: This year, when in doubt, take the NFC.

San Fran -7 over Arizona: I don't like being subjected to these NFC West games in primetime.

Last week's record: 7-4
Overall record: 48-49-2

Friday, October 19, 2012

NFL Week 7 Picks - Limerick Style

This week's picks will be presented as all prose should be Limerick form:

Buffalo -3 over Tennnessee
There once was a QB named Fitzpatrick
With every throw he would make his fans sick
Just give it to Spiller!
The guy's a real killer
But instead they go with the ol' Spastic

Minnesota -6 over Arizona  
One of these teams is overrated and weak
The team from the desert is the one which I speak
The Vikings shall pillage
The Cards' little village
And upon their heads they shall take a nice leak

Cleveland +2 over Indy
Woe is the poor city of the Cleve
Who's best athletes so quickly leave
For tropical beaches
Because they are leeches
And the Browns' D is left a virtual sieve

Washington +6.5 over Giants
The Giants should crush the Skins dead
Rip out their hearts and concuss their heads
But Griffin the Third
Shall soar like a bird
And manage to cover the spread

Green Bay -5.5 over St. Louis
Behold the great city of cheese
Who's residents so often wheeze
Out of shape they are
Can't fit in their car
Still the Pack will find the Rams a breeze

Dallas -2 over Carolina
There once was a QB named Tony
Who's greatness was a load of baloney
Better to be Newton
Who's always a scootin'
And gets on better with his cronies

Jacksonville +4 over Oakland
If the autumn wind be a Raider
Then it must be arriving later
For all I see is despair,
A team that doesn't care,
And a roster full of future waiters

N. Orleans -3 over Tampa
Who dat is gonna be dem Saints?
This year it seems, who ain't?
The suspensions have cost
Yet all hope isn't lost
Though their coach looks like he's gonna faint

New England -10.5 over Jets
Is it time to unleash the great Tebow?
And when he sucks, then where will we go?
Stick with the Mexican
It's not a sexy plan
But at least he has a clue how to throw

Pitt -1.5 over Cincy
Oh what can we say of Big ol' Ben
Who's nefarious ways embarrass men
Beware him at the bar
He'll take it too far
He doesn't know when to say when

Baltimore +6.5 over Houston
So Ray Lewis is out for the year
Will anyone shed but a tear?
He's forgot how to hit,
Has slowed more than a bit
It's his limo that teams actually fear

Last week's picks: 8-5
Overall record: 41-45-2

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week 6 NFL Picks! Plus, Reason #245,666 to Hate the Yankees

"Great job pretending to be happy, A-Rod!"
Before we get to the picks, let's talk about baseball real quick. The New York Yankees never cease to amaze me with their perpetual good fortune. This year, they acquired Raul Ibanez, who by all accounts was a cadaver in Philly last year. His value was -2.3 WAR, which means he was one of the worst everyday players in the game. Couldn't run, field or hit. Couldn't even drive I'm told because he'd lost his vision and drove through a Farmer's Market in January. Twenty-nine other teams didn't want him.

Even this year, he only batted .240 for the Yanks, but "hit" 19 homers because anyone could hit 19 homers in the wiffle ball park that is Yankee Stadium. Then, the postseason rolls around and that magical Yankee mojo morphs him into Roy Hobbs. First Scott Brosius, now this. It's really the worst. Meanwhile, the Mets paid Jason Bay 16 million to bat .160 for them this season. Any person considering becoming a Yankee fan should really just look at this GIF and then decide after that.

What I'm really trying to say is ....GO ORIOLES! On to the picks:

Brandon Weeden is heading here soon.
Cincinnati at Cleveland (Off the Board)
Rumor has it this game has been taken off the board by Vegas because the Browns have cut their entire team and are holding open auditions this week. Mark Wahlberg may be returning kicks for them on Sunday. Don't worry, Brandon Weeden is resting comfortably at the Del Boca Vista Retirement Condos. Bengals 26 Browns 12

Detroit +4 at Philly I have a real problem with the whole "half the distance to the goaline" penalties. Why so forgiving with the redistrubution of yards, NFL? Are you commies? Or just worried an embarrasing safety might occur? Safeties are delightful and there should be more of them. I say move that shit back to the 1 yard line and too effing bad, you shouldn't have committed that penalty, cheater.
Eagles 27 Detroit 24.

"Yes, more twirling, now everyone
look confused! I'm a mad genius!"
Indy +3 at Jets
The Jets offense is a freaking Chinese fire drill on bath salts. Just look at this man, Tony Sparano, to the left. Would you trust SuperMario here to run an offense? At any given time there's 32 men in the huddle and not one of them know what the hell they are doing. They may as well hold their huddle in a clown car or the floor of the Stock Exchange. I'll say this, if you want to play Tebow, play him for an entire drive and see what he does, enough with the on-and-off the field every other damn play shenanigans. PICK A SIDE. Jets 16 Colts 10

Oakland +9 at ATL
The Raiders had a bye last week and were missed by absolutely no one. It's too bad the NFL isn't like Premier League soccer where we could demote the terrible teams to the lower leagues. "Sorry, Carson Palmer, you'll be playing the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena League this week." The Raiders spent their bye week visiting all the lovely sites of Oakland. And the other 6.9 days they were drunk.
Falcons 34 Raiders 20

New England -3.5 at Seattle Anyone else watch that Gronkowski piece on ESPN's E-60? What a meathead. I wish he was on the Jets and hate myself for that. Just about every game the Seahawks play is exactly the same....4 of their 5 final scores so far: 16-12, 19-13, 20-16 and 14-12. It's ugly, field-goal filled football. Good luck holding the Patriots under 20. Maybe they should get 'lil Russell Wilson some lifts in his cleats so he can see over the offensive line. Pats 28 Seahawks 17

We are four psychos short here, c'mon fellas! 
Dallas +3.5 at Baltimore
I'm excited to see the movie Seven Psychopaths. I like the theory behind this film, because usually an action movie only has one psychopath, and that character is always the best. So this film will surely be 7 times as good as the normal action movie. It's simple math. I also appreciate them telling me in advance how many psychopaths there will be. I don't like to be caught unawares and then I'm all like, "What, another psychopath? WHY WASN'T I WARNED?!"
Ravens 24 Cowboys 20

Minnesota at Washington (Off the board)
Oof, another off the board game. Come on Vegas, Daddy needs some shoes! This one is off because of Robert Griffin III's hurt noggin'. If one were allowed to invest in someone's future health, and I had an investment in RGIII, right now I'd be saying "SELL, SELL!"

"It's cool, Kyle. No one will remember these fumbles next year."
NYG +5 at San Fran
The NFC Championship rematch. The 49ers are getting some huge love here, but this line is too high.  Kyle Williams will be having some Jacob's Ladder like 'Nam like flashbacks in this one. Someone should hold his hand.
49ers 28 Giants 27

Houston -3.5 vs. Green Bay

The Texans have to lose sometime, and they actually didn't look very good against the Jets last week. Packers 31 Texans 27

Kansas City +3.5 at Tampa
The Chief fans apparently cheered after Matt Cassel was injured last week. I expect that kind of behavior from Philly, but not the fine people of KC, which is renowned for its good bbq, gentle nature and consummate gentlemen. Shame on you guys. Tampa 20 KC 14

"This frustrated smirk will distract people
from my infuriated forehead."
San Diego -1.5 vs. Denver
It's becoming alarming how red Peyton Manning's head gets after removing his helmet. Can someone get him a different helmet? Maybe one like this? Chargers 27 Broncos 20

Buffalo +4.5 at Arizona Buffalo can't stop the run, but lucky for them just about every Arizona running back is hurt. I hear Johnny Johnson may start for them this week. I say the resistable object loses to the movable force in an upset.
Bills 23 Cards 20

St. Louis +3.5 at Miami
Two plucky teams meet up here in a game that not many will watch. This rookie Rams kicker Zuerlein is something, though. Look for some hot field goal action down in Miami this weekend and dress accordingly.  Dolphins 20 Rams 16

Last Week's record: 4-10 (facepalm) 
Overall Record: 33-40-2

Stay frosty, everybody!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Inside Hollywood - The Pitch for "Taken 2"

Here at the Deep Dish we again take you behind the velvet ropes for a glimpse at how movies get made. This time we visit the pitch meeting for Taken 2 (in theatres now!). How exactly can Liam Neesen get mixed up in more international intrigue? How could another kidnapping possibly be made believable (hint: it can't!)? Luckily, our fiber-optic recording devices, which are no more improbable than the plot of this movie, have allowed us to listen in as director Olivier Megaton (yes, that's his name) meets with his producers.

Producer: I gotta be honest, I'm onboard with this, and I don't even need to hear the plot. "Taken 2" is all I need to hear!
Megaton: Ha-ha, you know it, my babies! Here's a quick plot summary: Instead of the daughter getting kidnapped, this time it'll be the ex-wife. Totally different ramifications!
Asst. Producer: I was wondering about the title. Is it catchy enough? How about "Re-Taken" or "Twice Taken" or wait for it...."The Double Take"?
Producer : I thought I told you not to talk.
Megaton: The real star of this movie will be Istanbul. I mean, what a city! So many gorgeous buildings for me to blow up.
Producer: It will be important to have more
scenes where Neeson's character says "listen to me very carefully...". That's what the people love.
Megaton: I've figured out a way to use that 19 times in this movie. One supporting character will be hard of hearing, so Neeson will keep saying that line to him, and then he'll explain his particular set of skills every single time! The audience will be saying it aloud with him by the end!  
Producer: Brilliant!
Megaton: How many people would you like Neeson to kill in this movie? Right now it's at about 52, but I can certainly make it more. He also breaks 12 bones per minute, which is the highest ratio since Segal's classic "Hard to Kill."
Asst. Producer: Wouldn't the Turkish authorities have a big problem with 52 dead people in Instanbul in a span of 1 day? That's like a catastrophic event.
Megaton: You really are an idiot, aren't you?
Asst. Producer: Also, even though Maggie Grace is 29, her character is apparently still in college without a driver's license?  
Producer: Seriously, you are this close to being fired.
Megaton: Okay, sounds like we're good to go let's start talking about my idea for The Grey 2: Greyer than Grey. We open on him sleeping in a cave underneath a wolf-skin blanket, a light snow is falling, a hawk cries out in the distance ...  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NFL Week 5 Picks! Plus, Top Ten Reasons the Jets Suck

The 49ers D-line gave birth to a bouncing baby Mark Sanchez on Sunday

After three weeks of terrible NFL picks, I totally redeemed myself, going 12-2 last week. I can resume wearing gold chains and unbuttoning my Hawaiian shirts down to the navel, because that's what good prognosticators do! Who am I kidding, I never stopped. We're back in business, baby! On to the picks. 

Houston -9.5 at Jets
It's time for my annual "Why the Jets Suck" rant, which is coming a few weeks earlier than usual.

Let's do it in a top 10 list format. It's really not all Mark Sanchez's fault. While he's a factor, there are bigger reasons why this is one of the worst Jets teams since the Kotite years:

10) Coaching - Rex Ryan has not only lost weight, he's lost his mind. He's terrible at clock management, and even worse, he keeps several of his better players on the bench (Coples, McKnight) in place of inferior starters. The one thing he is responsible for on this team is the defense, and it's awful.
9) Punting - A team that punts so often should acquire a decent punter, don't ya think? All Jets punters are rejected dancers from "A Chorus Line".
8) Owner - Woody Johnson wants Tebow to start and has also stated he'd be fine with the Jets finishing below .500 if it meant Mitt Romney could win the election. Allow me to retort: As Jets fans we don't give a shit who you want to win the election. We want you to put a decent team on the field, and not a freaking circus. Until you do that...shut your effing cank-hole."
7) Running backs: Shonne Greene would be better suited to be a zombie extra on "The Walking Dead". He's that mobile. 

The always elusive Shonne Greene.
6) Mark Sanchez: He's earned his spot here by not improving at all over 4 seasons.
5) Tim Tebow: Has anyone seen the plays they've run with him? They are hilarious in their futility, and he looks slower than ever. Everytime he runs on the field, the entire offense becomes the Keystone cops...leading to reason 4
4) Tony Sparano: This clown bragged about his Wildcat all offseason, and it's TERRIBLE. Now, all he's done is bring in failed Dolphins like Lex Hilliard, Patrick Turner, Clyde Gates. What, you couldn't get us Pat White, too Tony? You incompetent jackass. Sparano makes Brian Schottenheimer look smart. That is an impossible feat.
3) The Fans: Somehow it's our fault, because we've chosen to watch this crap and support this team financially.
2) The Larry King linebackers: Keeping washed up vets like Bryan Thomas and Bart Scott around has resulted in the Jets having one of the worst linebacking cores in football.
1) GM Mike Tannenbaum: Singularly responsible for awful draft picks (Kyle Wilson, Vernon Gholston), poor trades (Tebow) and ill-advised free agent signings (Plaxico Burress). BRAVO, YOU ASSHAT!
Texans 41 Jets 9

Arizona +1.5 at St. Louis
The poor NFL Network, they get the absolute worst games. You really can't find a less interesting matchup than these two teams. Well, unless Cleveland is involved, but that goes without saying. But, will you watch? OF COURSE YOU WILL. Because you added Andre Roberts to your fantasy team and he will catch 1 ball for 8 yards this week and you will curse your own idiocy. The Cards are the worst and most boring 4-0 team you'll ever see. I'm going mild upset here. Rams 20 Cards 16

Atlanta -3 at Washington
The Falcons are rolling, even though Carolina's Ron Rivera should have got their game ball last week for punting on 4th and 1 with Cam Newton. Rivera used to work under Norv Turner. SHOCKING. Falcons 30 Skins 24

Philly +3.5 at Pittsburgh
Ah, the battle for Pennsylvania bragging rights. Never has there been less at stake. At 1-2, the Steelers need this game more and Big Ben has taken to this season like a backwater Mississippi bar...he's just crushing it, Brosephs. Pitt 23 Philly 17

Ron Rivera gives a PowerPoint
presentation on cowardice.
Giants +10 vs. Cleveland
At this point you just can't ever take the Giants as heavy favorites at home. On the road? Sure. But not in the swamp, even against the Cleve. Giants 28 Cleveland 21

Seattle +3 at Carolina
Everybody off the Russell Wilson bandwagon! The ride is over. Exit carefully down the steps, and the driver does accept tips. Carolina allowed Michael Turner to catch a short pass and run over 60 yards last week. If you can't catch Michael Turner for 60 yards, you should just give up. Ron Rivera has sure validated everyone's skepticism about his ability to be a head coach. Thanks, Ron! Carolina 23 Seahawks 13

Sadly, Russell Wilson has lost his ability
to make guys flip with his mind.

Green Bay -7 at Indy
This spread seems surprisingly low. The Colts just lost to a terrible Jag team at home. If you ever want a good laugh, check out Colts owner Jim Irsay's Twitter account. He's insane, and not the good kind of insane, like 1980s Robin Williams insane. He's like Manson-insane. Check out this tweet from Sept. 26: "Andy Williams dead at 84....DEAD at 84!" You don't have to be all happy about it, jerk. From Sept. 27: "He went to Paris,looking for answers,to questions that bothered him so...some of it's magic..and some of it's tragic!" I mean...WTF? This guy owns a football team. Packers 34 Colts 12

Tennessee +5.5 at Minnesota
Congrats to Chris Johnson for proving he still understands which direction to run on occasion. Minnesota is looking mighty fine this year. Somebody rent a boat and get the lake party started!
Vikings 21 Titans 17

"Ok, 4th quarter, down by's D-Bowe time!"
Baltimore -6 at KC
Another strangely low line considering Kansas City usually gives up 21 points before the coin toss. Garbage time should just be dubbed "Dwayne Bowe time" from now on. There's no better receiver when the game has been decided. An Ed Reed pick 6 is inevitable in this one. Also inevitable? A moving pre-game speech by Ray Lewis in front of the cameras. I wonder if he rehearses those speeches in front of his mirror in the morning. I bet he does using a hairbrush as a microphone.
Ravens 26 Chiefs 10

San Diego +3 at New Orleans
Who dat think they can go 0-5? The Saints do! It's delightful that San Diego is setting itself up for another late season fade where Norv Turner blows it, then signs a contract extension thru 2019. Saints 30 Chargers 28

Denver +7 over New England
OMG, it's Manning vs. Brady! On the same field! Who can we gush over more? Kindly pass me a barf bag, please. None of us deserves this.
Pats 34 Broncos 31

The rest:
Jacksonville +5.5 over Chicago
Cincy -4 over Miami
San Fran -9 over Buffalo

Last Week's record: 12-2
Overall Record: 29-30-2

Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 4 NFL Picks! Hail Hochuli!

"Yes, you are not worthy of me or my guns."
Are we having fun yet? What a chaotic week for the NFL. So it turns out the Monday Night debacle/fiasco/circus/atrocity may have actually been a good thing for everyone (except Green Bay, sorry guys), because it was the last nail in the coffin on the grand replacement ref experiment of 2012. As far as "grand experiments" go it was slightly better than the last few years of Joe Paterno's reign, but definitely worse than New Coke and the new taco-flavored Doritos. And I'm still mad about it. Now the old refs are back and we can start hating them again as soon as they make their first terrible call, which won't take long, I guarantee it.

Fifty years from now, that last Seahawks drive will still be remembered as the gold standard of refereeing incompetence. I'm not going to say it was fixed....I'm going to shout it..."IT WAS F#$#$ING FIXED!!!" Okay, I feel better. To believe it wasn't fixed is to believe that our fellow man can be so stupid and utterly cowardly in the face of adversity. I'd prefer to just think them crooked. I could easily see one of these refs accepting a huge cash payout from a shady hoodlum at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle on Tuesday morning. TRUST NO ONE.

Just so we have it down for posterity, let's review the three mind-numbingly horrible calls in the last 2 minutes.

Play 1: Possibly the worst roughing the passer penalty ever called that did not involve Tom Brady: Russell Wilson rolls right out of the pocket before uncorking an interception that mostly likely ends the game right there considering the field position the Pack would have had and the time remaining. Once a QB leaves the pocket like that, he's no longer under his invisible shield of protection that I like to call the "Brady Don't Even Touch My Hair Zone." Regardless, the hit was clean and it wasn't late. Watching the replay, a flabbergasted Jon Gruden states, "I just don't see these...". Watch how the ref drops the flag there, too. He's like, "ehhh, what the hell." Then he skulks away like he's leaving a crime scene. WHICH HE IS.

Play 2: This play is actually the worst of all, but is overshadowed by the play to follow. Sydney Rice basically assaults Sam Shields down the sideline on a go route. Shields covers the play as good and as clean as a cornerback can cover it. He gets inside position, looks backs towards the ball and makes a play on it. Textbook. Meanwhile, he's basically being felt up and violated by a very randy Rice and his busy hands. Rice even pulls Shields' facemask in the process. At least buy him dinner next time, Sydney.

Play 3: This travesty of a play has been replayed and evaluated ad nauseum by now, and obviously, the offensive PI if called makes everything that happens after it moot. But one thing to remember about "simultaneous" catches: Per the rule, if one player has initial possession, it doesn't become simultaneous possession after the fact. You can't slap an index finger on there and say, "I've got it." Catching the ball is a process, from getting your hands on it initially, to gathering it in and bringing it to your chest. Golden Tate never does any of this.

There is actually a faction of people out there (like Seattle coach/cheerleader Pete Carroll) who believe this was a catch. To those people I say, you are THE WORST and you should be trapped in a room with Sydney Rice, so he can give you the business. Golden Tate's comments at the end there are really fantastic, I wish he was hooked up to a polygraph. And if he failed the polygraph, he would be electro-shocked.

Okay, let's just pretend this all never happened, and get on to the picks:

New England -4 over Buffalo
Minnesota +4.5 over Detroit
Atlanta - 7.5 over Carolina
49ers -4.5 over Jets (lock of the week)
Tennessee +12.5 over Houston
San Diego -1.5 over K.C.
St. Louis +3 over Seattle
Denver -7 over Oakland
Cincinnati -2 over Jacksonville
N. Orleans +7.5 over Green Bay
Chicago +3.5 over Dallas
Philly -1.5 over NYG
Washington +3 over Tampa
Miami +6 over Arizona

Season Record: 17-28-2 (the comeback!)