Friday, December 29, 2006

It's not just a Dirty Harry movie

Wow, if you had James Brown, Gerald Ford and Saddam Hussein in your 2006 Dead Pool, the last few days has been "John-Elway-leading-'The-Drive'" kind of work. Solid stuff.

I think I'm going to start a Dead Pool this year, by the way. Let me know if you'd like to participate.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

He needs a drink

How not to rob a liquor store.


Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 17

Oh joy, Week 17.

Instead of making witty bonmots and loving tributes to James Brown, Gerald Ford and John Edwards, I get to spend this week's picks telling you the story behind the story.

What teams have something to play for? What has to happen for Team A to make it into the playoffs? Who will be starting their best players? How many teams have to tank for the Falcons to make it into the playoffs?

The answer to that last question is clear, by the way: A lot. OK, even clearer: four.

This NFL season, however, has been so putrid that Atlanta actually still has a shot - if Carolina, Green Bay and the New York Giants all lose, and the Falcons somehow go to Philadelphia and win, Michael Vick and Co. have a date with destiny. Or maybe the Bears.

NY Giants (-2 1/2) @ Washington. The 7-8 Giants can lose and still make it to the playoffs - that's unbelievable. Sure, it's a longshot - it would require losses by St. Louis, Atlanta, Green Bay and Carolina - but still, the thought of a 7-9 team in the playoffs is absurd. Meanwhile, in Washington, Ladell Betts will continue his very unheralded streak of 100+ yard games (five and counting) and help lead the 'Skins to a win. PICK: Washington

Buffalo @ Baltimore (-9). The Ravens clinch a first round bye and possibly home field advantage with a win - so expect them to make buffalo burgers out of the Bills. (See what I did there?). PICK: Baltimore

Green Bay @ Chicago (-2 1/2). Chicago ain't playin' for a thing, Green Bay is - but it don't matter a bit. Chicago's backup QB (Brian Griese) is probably better than the starter (Sexy Rexy). PICK: Chicago

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati (-6). Upset special: Pittsburgh is going to absolutely relish knocking the Bengals out of playoff contention. Bill Cowher wants to leave the Steelers for his new coaching job in Atlanta with a win. (Or did I dream that press conference?). PICK: Pittsburgh

Detroit @ Dallas (-12 1/2). The Cowboys are going to be huge Falcons fans on Sunday, as their win plus an Eagles loss clinches the division for them. The first part is going to be easier. (And thankfully I got through a pick without using parenthes ... dammit!). PICK: Dallas

Cleveland @ Houston (-4). This is one of the few games that means absolutely nothing. So let me take this moment to recommend Rocky Balboa to you. I saw it last week, and - oh, I've already talked about this? Incessantly? Obnoxiously? Rocky! Rocky! Rocky! PICK: Cleveland

Miami @ Indianapolis (-7 1/2). The Colts - or rather, The Team That's Destined To Make An Early Playoff Exit - can clinch a first round bye with a win and a Baltimore loss. And since we already covered Baltimore's win up there a bit, maybe that "early playoff exit" will be really freakin' early. PICK: Miami

Jacksonville @ Kansas City (-2 1/2).
Both of these teams need wins and a lot of help to make the playoffs. I mean, a lot of help. Basically, chalk this contest up to just as important as Cleveland/Houston - which sucks, because I would love to see what the Jags could do in the postseason. PICK: Jacksonville

St. Louis (-2) @ Minnesota.
St. Louis is another team that technically has something to play for, but is basically out. I mean, how can you be confidant when you have to rely on beating the Vikings, and the Giants, Panthers and Falcons all losing? Oh, and you suck? PICK: St. Louis

Carolina (-3) @ New Orleans. So far, it looks OK for the Falcons - a Giants loss, a Packers loss - but hold on there, kitten. The Panthers are pretty awful, but New Orleans is playing for absolutely nothing, so don't expect to see heavy doses of Drew Brees, Reggie Bush or Marques Colston. Who's the Saints backup QB, you ask? Jamie "Big Game" Martin. Sorry, Falcs. PICK: Carolina

Oakland @ NY Jets (-11 1/2). The Jets win and they're in. They're in. PICK: NY Jets

Atlanta @ Philadelphia (-6 1/2). I really, really wish the Eagles had nothing to play for. Instead, they have to beat Atlanta to win the division (or hope for a Cowboy loss to the Lions, which ain't happening). I'm hoping Jeff Garcia will realize it's the new millennium and calm down a bit, but that would only help if the Falcons could actually score. PICK: Philadelphia

Seattle @ Tampa Bay (-3 1/2). Seattle has made the playoffs, and can achieve nothing further with a win. So get ready for that QB matchup we've been anticipating for decades: Seneca Wallace vs. Tim Rattay! I just hope Seattle third-stringer David Greene (UGA, what, what!) gets some snaps. PICK: Seattle

New England @ Tennessee (-3).
The worst Patriots team in years has still clinched their division, and are playing for nothing - while the Titans are still a longshot for a playoff spot. With only a win here and a Cincinnati loss and a Denver loss and a Kansas City win - Vince Young to the Super Bowl, baby! PICK: Tennessee

San Francisco @ Denver (-10 1/2).
Denver wins, and they're in. So they're - woah, hold on there, little doggy. Ten-plus point spread or no, I'm laying the gauntlet here. In my best (worst) Dick Vitale voice, "UPSET SPECIAL, BABY!" The 49ers not only cover, they go to Colorado and win out fuckin' right. And man, I hope it helps clear a path for the Titans. PICK: San Francisco

Arizona @ San Diego (-14). The Chargers clinch home field advantage with a win, which means the starters will play until they're up by three touchdowns or so. Expect the ball to be handed to backup QB Billy Volek, then, around 12:00 in the first quarter. PICK: San Diego

Last week: 8-8
Overall: 85-78-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): minus $40

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We are unoriginal

We Are Marshall, the inspirational football movie starring Matthew McConaughey, opens in theaters this weekend.

I wonder if they're trying to leach off the good will of another popular sports film. Hmmm...

Loyal reader Scott has sent in this addition:

Bravo, Mr. Hartman.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Smell it, nerds

The surprising Georgia Bulldogs basketball team takes on Georgia Tech tonight - and no matter the outcome, the game has already produced a beautiful paragraph in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

When your team has lost six straight to Georgia in football, six of the past 10 in men's basketball, 27 of 29 in women's basketball and two years ago got gut-punched by the baseball Dogs to be knocked out of the NCAAs — at Tech! — then to heck with dropping a battle ax on Georgia's head, as school fight songs propose.

Read the rest here.

Rosie psalms

From today's Drudge Report. And I don't - for a second - think this layout was unintentional.

Yeah, Trump is acting childish and stupid. But, oh yeah, it's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Georgia Tech was a 7-point underdog against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

Funny, just a few hours later, now they're a 21-point favorite. Weird.

Still the champ

It was actually better than I thought it would be. Seriously.

People were actually cheering - and I'm talking about the people in the movie theater, not those on the screen.

Oh, and Bill Simmons is a jackass. He finally makes it through an entire column without mentioning Boston, but then manages to misunderstand or misrepresent almost every aspect of the film. Wow, what keen insight - Stallone is using the "comeback" story as an allegory for his own life. You really dug deep to find that one, didn't you? Douchebag.

12/21 update: Simmons has backpedaled. Sort of.

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 16

It's Wednesday, I'm sitting behind my desk at school, and so far today seems like any normal ol' regular midweek day. The kids are busy with their work, I am ignoring them to write on my blog, and I just cracked my seventh Coke Zero. Just like any other normal ol' regular midweek day.

It's a holiday, though. It's a glorious holiday, in fact, one that which the angels sing on high, the crowds line up to catch a glimpse of the holy spirit, and the prophets herald the return of the savior.

Today is Rocky Balboa Day.

Rocky Balboa, the long-awaited (by me, at least) return of Sylvester Stallone's classic boxing series, hits movie screens today. And the most amazing thing about it? It is getting some really good reviews.

Wednesday is usually trivia night, but not on this holiday evening. Myself and a merry band of wise men (and one woman) are heading down to Atlantic Station to catch the 8 p.m. unveiling. To get to the theater, just follow the bright star in the sky.

I'm bringing the myrrh.

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-3 1/2). The NFL season is just a shade over four months long - but doesn't it seem at least eight months ago that Minnesota was considered a serious playoff contender? The Pack is at 6-8 and clawing their way to a .500 season - too bad they end up at Chicago. PICK: Green Bay

Kansas City (-6 1/2) @ Oakland. Two teams headed nowhere. So I'll use this space to pimp a website I'm usually heavily opposed to: Ain't It Cool News. God, I mean this usually is an awful site - but they've done an amazing 20-part Q&A session with Sylvester Stallone over the past couple of weeks. Readers have sent in questions, Stallone has posted answers - and it has been an immensely entertaining read. Check it out here (links for the first 15 "rounds" are at the bottom, the most recent four are on the main page - I have to do all of this explanation because, like I said, the site is wretched). PICK: Oakland

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-4 1/2). There is absolutely no way I'm betting against Vince Young and Jeff Fisher. You know, Jeff Fisher, future Atlanta Falcons coach. Jeff Fisher, future Atlanta Falcons coach. Jeff Fisher, future Atlanta Falcons coach. (I'm hoping Mr. Fisher is like Candyman - say his name three times, and he appears). PICK: Tennessee

New Orleans @ NY Giants (-3). Wow, I'm rooting for the Saints this week. With the Giants and Falcons tied at 7-7 - and New York holding the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker - I find myself siding with the enemy. Because, the way I think I see it, if New York and Philly both win, it's over for my beloved birds. Well, let's hope Philly comes through, because I don't see the in-the-playoffs-already Saints making a move here. PICK: NY Giants

Carolina @ Atlanta (-6). Last weekend's game just destroyed me - I really thought the Falcons had Dallas where they wanted them. Oh well, such is life. Anyway, like I said above, Atlanta doesn't completely control their own destiny - but there's no excuse for losing here. Let's go for a little reverse mojo here, though. PICK: Carolina

Washington @ St. Louis (-2). Wait, is it reverse mojo if I announce it is reverse mojo? Ah, who cares - ROCKY! ROCKY! ROCKY! PICK: Washington

Indianapolis (-9) @ Houston. Two years ago, I was substitute teaching at a school here in Atlanta. It was the last day before the winter holidays - much like today - and the Christmas spirit was everywhere. The teachers were all wearing their obnoxious jingly sweaters, the kids were hyper because of the impending break, and nice things like the canned food drive for the homeless was in full effect. In fact, one of my kids had brought in three cans and given them to me for donation. Including one really tasty looking Chunky soup with chicken and rice. I mean, it really looked good. And I had forgotten my lunch. And it had one of those really easy pull-off tops. And it was for the homeless. And it was, in fact, really tasty. PICK: Indianapolis

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-3). The Ravens shut out the Steelers four weeks ago, so there's no reason a 3-point spread should be troublesome. PICK: Baltimore

Tampa Bay @ Cleveland (-3). I caught myself watching the entire overtime of Chicago/Tampa Bay last weekend. Whenever I find myself staring at a game like that - a game that means Nothing-with-a-capital-N, it means I have something important to do that I really don't want to do. But it's like, "Yeah, but they're in overtime. My (insert important job suffering from procrastination here) can wait." When I was up at midnight still working on it - yeah, it apparently couldn't wait. PICK: Cleveland

Chicago (-4 1/2) @ Detroit. Bears fans really can't think they are going anywhere in the playoffs with Rex Grossman at QB. It's not happening. I haven't laid a football bet all year, but I might have to when a Grossman-led Chicago team goes up against a Dallas or, heck, even a New Orleans in the postseason. (Or an Atlanta! Yeah!). PICK: Chicago

New England @ Jacksonville (-2 1/2). The Jags stumbled against the Titans last week, and if this season is any indication, it's time for 420 rushing yards from Maurice Velvet-Jones-John-Drew-Carey and David Garrard to look like Joe fucking Montana - but better. PICK: Jacksonville

Arizona @ San Francisco (-4). Upset special, baby!!!! Um, hello? PICK: Arizona

Cincinnati @ Denver (-3). The year's first playoff game, perhaps. And it's going to be a great game - if you're a Cincinnati fan looking for your team to run a monkey-stomp. PICK: Cincinnati

San Diego (-4 1/2) @ Seattle.
So Marcus Giles, the one remaining Brave Who Has Been In My House, has now pretty much signed with the San Diego Padres. He will play there with his older brother, Brian. Trouble is, I remember hearing trade rumors regarding the elder Giles as recently as last week. Could Marcus have put a no-trade clause for his brother into his own contract? PICK: San Diego

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-7).
If Dallas wins here, Atlanta @ Philadelphia next week essentially becomes a playoff game (assuming the Falcons don't tank it against Carolina on Sunday). It's the nature of sports, I guess, how I can go from wanting Dallas dead last weekend to them being my second favorite team a few days later. Say it with me, now: Go T.O. I don't know what's worse: that or saying "Go New Orleans." ROCKY! ROCKY! ROCKY! PICK: Philadelphia

NY Jets @ Miami (-2 1/2). Jeff Fisher. Jeff Fisher. Jeff Fisher. PICK: NY Jets

Last week: 7-9
Overall: 77-70-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): DEAD FREAKING EVEN. ZERO. UNBELIEVABLE.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Road warriors

I remember once calling Atlanta's Peachtree/Piedmont intersection "dangerous."

I had no idea what the hell I was talking about.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 15

Yeah, yeah.

The minute you start paying for this is the minute you can start complaining about its timeliness.

Dallas (-3) @ Atlanta. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I'm a big ol' stinky idiot. Well, here's your opportunity, Falcons, because I believe Atlanta wins this game. I can't justify it. I can't successfully dissect my belief with logic. Hell, logic actually dictates a Cowboys win: coming off an embarrassing loss, they're bound to be pumped up for a national audience on Saturday night, Georgia Dome be damned. Hell, it's not even that big a home field advantage for the Falcons - the last time I was in the house for a Falcons/Cowboys game, the surroundings felt more like Dallas than Atlanta. Oh right, and Atlanta might be missing their two leading running backs. And its coach is an idiot. I just feel something weird about this one, though - that Atlanta will feed off of those vocal supporters and pull off something big, something that start the playoff fire burning. And then, of course, they'll lose to Carolina next weekend. PICK: Atlanta

NY Jets @ Minnesota (-3 1/2).
Yes, I just casually used the phrase "in the house." And yes, I'm upset about it. PICK: NY Jets

Cleveland @ Baltimore (-11). Now Brian Billick - there's a coach. I scoffed when he fired OC Jim Fassel earlier this season, but all his team has done since is go 6-1. (C'mon, Mr. Blank: Billick is only under contract through next season. Buy that puppy out!). PICK: Cleveland

Houston @ New England (-11 1/2). Jacksonville is fighting for their playoff lives right now. If they could have beat Houston once - once - they'd be near locks for a postseason berth. PICK: Houston

Miami @ Buffalo (-1). Miami decision to go with Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees is looking great right about now. PICK: Miami

Pittsburgh (-3) @ Carolina. The Panthers started the season as a widespread Super Bowl pick. They're beginning to wrap it up by being 3-point home underdogs to a 6-7 team. That's demoralizing, sure, but not as demoralizing as when the 6-7 favorite covers. PICK: Pittsburgh

Washington @ New Orleans (-9 1/2). Wow, that big Ashley Lelie/TJ Duckett deal really blew the doors off the 2007 NFL season, huh? Lelie has caught a whopping zero touchdowns, while Duckett has amassed 97 total yards through 14 weeks. Yowza. PICK: Washington

Jacksonville (-3 1/2) @ Tennessee. (Psst, Mr. Blank: If Billick isn't your cup of tea, Jeff Fisher's contract is up at the end of this season. Don't let those rumors about a contract extension with the Titans get you down!). PICK: Tennessee

Tampa Bay @ Chicago (-13 1/2). So did I become the ruler of Hollywood and not find out about it? Give me the job a year ago, and I would have automatically decreed these events to take place: Sylvester Stallone has to make new entries in the Rocky and Rambo series, Peter Jackson will not be allowed to give us a six-hour Hobbit film with fourteen endings, Eddie Murphy will get long overdue Oscar attention, Bruce Willis will suit up for another Die Hard, Reese Witherspoon will dump that no-talent Ryan Phillippe, and his piece-of-shit film Crash will never win Best Picture. Every one of those things has happened. (No, I'm still not ready to accept Crash - "the 'yeah, no shit' movie of all time" - winning anything). PICK: Chicago

Philadelphia @ NY Giants (-5 1/2). The game of the week. So says the New York media, at least. PICK: NY Giants

Detroit @ Green Bay (-5). The game of the week. So says Jon Kitna's mom, at least. PICK: Detroit

Denver (-2 1/2) @ Arizona. I feel a bit vindicated, I gotta admit. For over a month now, I've been telling you Denver wasn't as good as general consensus claimed. Way back on November 15th, in fact, I told you "something smells ripe about this Denver team." Well, four straight losses later, I've just pulled a muscle patting myself on the back. PICK: Arizona

Kansas City @ San Diego (-8 1/2). I know I'm not the first one to ask, but I'll do it anyway: Why are we letting NFL players like Shawne Merriman and Matt Lehr slide on steroid allegations, yet Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire are practically crucified? Would it be different if the NFL's names were "Michael Vick" and "LaDainian Tomlinson?" PICK: Kansas City

St. Louis @ Oakland (-2 1/2). The first 10,000 fans get a sharp blow to the head with a 2x4. Ba-dum-bum! Thank you, I'll be here all week. PICK: St. Louis

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis (-3). If you own Rudi Johnson in your fantasy league, prepare to be very happy on Monday night. PICK: Cincinnati

Last week: 7-9
Overall: 70-61-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $145.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Why are you so calm?!"

The trailer for July's Live Free or Die Hard has been released.

Enjoy. And don't say I never did anything for you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Betcha the picks column will be late

So I took the day off. A long list of things to do and such.

1) Dentist appointment - check. No cavities. I'm awesome.
2) Pet grooming. Three dogs, all nasty, all stinkin' up the various rugs and couches. Check - dogs clean.
3) Clean the den. Christmas party in nine days (if you haven't received the Evite, send me your e-mail address). Sorta check - it's a nine-day job, apparently.
4) Call somebody about something which can't be talked about yet. More news soon. Check - mysterious person communicated with.
3) Write the NFL picks column. Chec ... not so fast.

For the second straight week, we'll be delayed a bit. But here's the Thursday night game for your viewing enjoyment:

San Francisco @ Seattle (-9 1/2). Boring. Who cares? Not me. PICK: San Francisco

That was worth waiting for, huh?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nom de doom

Holy crap, Barack Obama's middle name really is Hussein.

I mean, I've heard that many times - but I've always thought it was a joke.

(And yes, it's frightening there are people who will let this sway their vote).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 14

I started noticing the bodies about half a mile from my house.

There was the first one - bruised and battered, crumpled on the ground. I noticed him because as near-death as he appeared, his left fist was repeatedly hitting the side of his own face. Odd, to say the least.

Fifty yards later, I had to swerve to miss a young woman who had clearly seen better days. She was part of a group of zombie-like folks who were staring off, mumbling incoherently. I came three feet from hitting her with my car, yet she didn't even flinch.

Turning onto my street, I became seriously worried. Bodies were piled up on the sidewalks, homes were on fire, and I had to maneuver my cars around the fallen trees. A small prop plane - probably from the nearby DeKalb airport - had taken out power lines and finally come to rest in the middle of some poor sap's living room.

I finally got to my house and cautiously stepped out of the car. My sister sprinted out of the front door, with a wild and worried look. A bit crazed, which only made me even more nervous.

"The picks, Josh!" she screamed. "You forgot to post your NFL picks column!"

Yeah, sorry about that.

Baltimore @ Kansas City (-3). Big playoff implications in this one. The Ravens find themselves in the midst of a race again thanks to the resurgent Bengals, and the Chiefs are one of many 7-5 wild card hopefuls. The Ravens looked horrible last week, and I'm pretty sure an away game in Kansas City won't exactly help. PICK: Kansas City

Atlanta (-3) @ Tampa Bay.
The NFC - it's FAN-tastic. It's a bit absurd Atlanta is still heavily in playoff contention after their rotten November. Going 3-1 over the last four games would cement Atlanta's playoff viability, and 2-2 might even do the job. And it shapes up like this: @Tampa Bay, Dallas, Carolina, @Philadelphia. Chalk up the Bucs as a win (and I know that's even dicey this season). And then, ... whoo, boy. Um, yeah, uh, go Falcons. Or something. PICK: Atlanta

Minnesota @ Detroit (-1 1/2). How the holy hell did Atlanta lose to Detroit? And how the holier hell does Matt Millen still have a job? PICK: Detroit

Tennessee @ Houston (-1). There's no reason for you to believe this, but I was thisclose to picking the Titans to upset the Colts outright last week. I had even typed it. And then I turned into a big sloppy puss. So I owe 'em one. PICK: Tennessee

NY Giants @ Carolina (-2 1/2). It's like, I knew that Chris Weinke was still the backup in Carolina, but I don't think I really realized it. Oh man, and I was just about to make a smartass "he's so old" joke - but realized he's only four years older than me. Now I'm depressed. Anyway, Tinky Weinke might be starting for the Panthers this weekend, which fills me with emotions of the mixed variety. If I read this one correctly, I - a Falcons fan - will be rooting for my division rival, one in fact that we're currently tied with. See, the Giants are also tied for the NFC wild card spot, but they beat us. So when it comes down to tiebreakers, I'd rather be facing off against the Panthers, who we're 1-0 against so far (with one to go). Of course, if I still think the division title is within reach ... nah, let's focus on the wild card. Go Panthers. (Oh, and did you know Jared Lorenzen is the second string QB for the Giants? Man, I'd love to see that epic Weinke/Lorenzen faceoff). PICK: NY Giants

New Orleans @ Dallas (-7). As good and strong and omniscient and sexy and adroit and proficient and wicked and salubrious and f'in kick-ass the Dallas Cowboys are, they won't win the Super Bowl. In a year that Crash won Best Picture, the Florida Gators get to the national championship game, and, uh - oh yeah - some troops died or something, God just wouldn't let the Cowboys win the Super Bowl. Um, or the Saints, actually. I mean, God already did New Orleans a favor by giving it a bath. Which it sorely needed. PICK: New Orleans

Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3 1/2). Buffalo already lost to the Jets once this season - by eight points at home. So it's a weird spread, methinks. PICK: NY Jets

Indianapolis (-1 1/2) @ Jacksonville. The Jags are the most predictable unpredictable team in the NFL. It's not easy to know how they're going to excel, or how they're going to fuck up - but it's pretty easy to tell which one is going to happen each week. They drop one to Houston, then monkey-stomp the Giants. They are on the losing end against Buffalo, then take down the resurgent Miami by two TDs. Now it's time for the no-show. PICK: Indianapolis

Philadelphia (-1 1/2) @ Washington. Alright, it's Sunday morning, I'm hungover (thanks to Pasqua and his Christmas party) - so I'm officially on auto-pilot. I'll do better next week, I promise. PICK: Philadelphia

Oakland @ Cincinnati (-11). So Cincinnati Deltha O'Neal got a DUI yesterday, making him the eighth Bengal player to be arrested this year. A caveat, though: he had a blood alcohol level of 0.10 (the limit is 0.08), and 0.10 ain't drunk. Of course, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is lobbying for a blood alcohol limit of 0.00, which makes me hope each one of them lost a child to a drunk driver, or will in the near future. Extremists piss me off. PICK: Oakland

New England (-3 1/2) @ Miami. Some people go to church on Sunday morning, I write crap like this in my underwear. PICK: Miami

Green Bay @ San Francisco (-4 1/2). I have DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket, which means I can check in on all of the games. I won't be checking in on this one. PICK: Green Bay

Seattle (-3 1/2) @ Arizona. Or this one. PICK: Seattle

Denver @ San Diego (-7 1/2). As an SEC fan and apologist, I hope Jay Cutler does very well in the pros. I just failed to see what all the hype was about, though. PICK: Denver

Chicago (-6 1/2) @ St. Louis. As an SEC fan and apologist, I hope Rex Grossman dies in a fire. PICK: St. Louis

Last week: 10-6
Overall: 63-52-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $290.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Religion of peace

The feds have arrested a man plotting a terrorist attack in Chicago. It seems he intended to detonate four grenades in a shopping mall during the Christmas rush.

I'll give you three chances to guess his religion. And the first two don't count.

(Tiny, small, tricky hint: his name is Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 14 - Episode One

Busy day, and the picks column isn't done. However, the first game kicks off in 45, so here's the early edition:

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-7). The Steelers nipped Cleveland in their first meeting about a month ago, but the Browns have become one of the most impressive 4-8 teams I've seen. Aside from an aberrant 30-point loss to Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago, the Browns have made the most of a tough schedule - hanging close to New Orleans, Baltimore, Carolina, Denver, San Diego and Pittsburgh, and actually beating the Jets, Atlanta and Kansas City. And even better, they've been a monster against the spread for me. PICK: Cleveland

The rest will be finished and posted some time tomorrow - you know, when I'm supposed to be teaching or something.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The benefits of a classical education

So Stanicek fancies himself a film critic now.

Don't get me wrong, the ol' law dawg knows his stuff about the world of celluloid. His copy of Maltin shows significant wear, and the guy has a movie quote for damn near every occasion - it's simultaneously impressive, eerie and a bit creepy, which is a positive mark in my book.

I just had no idea he had the same taste in movies as an 85-year-old woman. The next time I see him, I intend to debate him in the merits of Tab Hunter, Douglas Sirk and Cocoon: The Return.

See, he decided to list his five favorite Christmas movies of all time. It's a great idea, so good I'm about to steal it. It was his results I was a bit surprised at:

1) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
2) Holiday Inn (1942)
3) A Christmas Carol (1951)
4) Scrooged (1989)
5) White Christmas (1954)

Look, I'm almost appreciative of the fact he didn't include A Christmas Story. I mean, it's obvious, and almost anybody would include it. The only problem? A Christmas Story deserves to be on that list, dammit. And don't give me that "it's his opinion" crap. It's a FACT A Christmas Story is one of the five best Christmas movies of all time. If you don't agree, you're wrong.

That doesn't mean it's the best one, though. Oh no, it's not even number two. Here are the real five best Christmas movies of all time, coming from a person who doesn't demand a senior citizen discount at theaters or complain about "those kids today and their disco dancing."

1) Die Hard - He got invited to the Christmas party by mistake. Who knew? And don't argue this isn't a Christmas movie. It takes place on Christmas Eve, opens with Run DMC's "Christmas In Hollis," and ends with "Let It Snow" (Stanicek's elderly intellect should at least appreciate that). As Hans Gruber says, "It's Christmas, Theo. It's the time of miracles." Well, Die Hard is the movie of miracles: kick-ass miracles.

2) A Midnight Clear - Criminally unknown. This 1992 World War II drama wasn't a hit in theaters or on video, but deserves to be seen. A superb cast including Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise, Frank Whaley and Kevin Dillon helps deliver this story about an American platoon in 1944 France. German troops are discovered nearby - and their first contact, I remember distinctly, is one of the finest "Christmas moments" in movie history.

3) The Ref - Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis star in this absurdly underrated dark comedy about a burglar who takes a family hostage on Christmas Eve. Until this point, Leary had just been an MTV loudmouth, but here he shows true chops and a wicked sense of humor (which has become even more finely tuned in his "Rescue Me," the best show on TV today). Spacey probably would turn this part down today, but his deft comic timing has never been more properly showcased.

4) A Christmas Story - Hey, did you notice Peter Billingsley - Ralphie in A Christmas Story - as Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's bowling buddy in The Break-Up? Twenty-three years certainly does wonders to a guy's appearance.

5) Die Hard - No, not Die Hard 2. I'm talking about the first Die Hard again. It's that good.

On the bright side: only 15 days until "Rocky Balboa"

I put shaving cream on my toothbrush this morning.

It's going to be a long day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Polls and computer rankings only make football more exciting, right?!?

So it's either Michigan or Florida in the college football "championship" game against Ohio State. My thoughts, which I know you were dying for:

1) Michigan is a better football team.
2) A rematch is pretty stupid, but the argument Michigan "had their chance" doesn't hold water. The first game wasn't on a neutral field, as the championship game will be.
3) A Michigan appearance makes the BCS look bad.
4) Florida coach Urban Meyer has turned into a very vocal playoff proponent, which we need. If Florida doesn't get a chance, Meyer continues to be vocal.
5) I hate Florida.

Verdict: I really want an Ohio State/Michigan rematch. Mostly for reason #3, but 4 and 5 are important as well.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Separated at virgin birth?

One of the US posters for last year's The 40-Year-Old Virgin:

One of the German posters for this year's The Nativity Story, aka The 14-Year-Old Virgin:

Spooky, no?

Shouldn't he have to apologize for "Trial and Error" too?

Michael Richards has agreed to meet with the four men targeted in his recent verbal assault. Fine and good.

My question: Will they apologize for calling him a "cracker" in retaliation?

Oh right, I forgot - that's allowed.

(I'm not saying I hold each trangression equal, by the way. To be honest, I think the black guys were perfectly justified in using the dreaded "c-word." However, I would've liked for someone, anyone to have pointed out that a racial slur was hurled the other way as well).

In three weeks, the Holy Redeemer returns...

No silly, I don't mean Jesus.

What I'm talking about is really exciting.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 13

I have nothing to do this weekend.

I mean, nothing. I get off work Friday afternoon, and I am plan-free until I wake up on Monday morning. No parties, no outings, no going out of town, no tailgating. I mean, short of rooting against Georgia Tech in the ACC "championship" game, there is absolutely nothing I have to do over the next few days.

And it's so sweet.

Don't get me wrong: I love parties, I love outings, I love going out of town, and I definitely love tailgating. However, the last couple of months have been complete overkill in those departments, and I'm just looking forward to DOING NOTHING.

I'm looking forward to nothing more than I've looked forward to something in a long time.

The picks:

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (-3). The one silver lining to the end of the college football season is the emergence of NFL games on Thursday and eventually Saturday. And dammit if tonight isn't one of the week's better games. The Ravens have no business being the dog in this game; home field advantage is important, but not that much so. The Ravens win outright ... Oh, and this is the end of the college football season, by the way, minus one game in January. The bowl system, of course, is nothing but a series of exhibitions, no more important than preseason games in the pros. Suckas. PICK: Baltimore (Ok, I wrote this earlier today, but the game did start 47 minutes ago. However, Cincinnati is winning 3-0, so I'll keep it the way it is).

Minnesota @ Chicago (-9). It's late November, only a single day from December, and I was outside tonight in a short sleeve T-shirt. I stood with my dogs, not cold a bit, my breath not visible, my teeth not rattling. It was absolutely comfortable, even when it started to get dark. Which makes me think, I guess, that all citizens of both Minnesota and Chicago are fucking retards. PICK: Chicago

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh (-7 1/2).
Funny, I earmarked Seattle as the annual "last year's Super Bowl participant who completely tanks the next season." Eh, but fortunately they're playing Tampa Bay this week, the winner of that award in 2003. PICK: Pittsburgh

Arizona @ St. Louis (-6 1/2). "Duh-duh-duh-duhhhhhhh! Today on Fox! NFL football! It's the true return of the king! Kurt Warner is BACK in St. Louis! With clipboard in hand! Duh-duh-duh-duhhhhhhh!" [cue commercial break] "This is our country..." PICK: Arizona

Indianapolis (-7 1/2) @ Tennessee. My fantasy team is in such dire straits that Vince Young joined it earlier this week (my other QB options are Vick and Garrard). And though he might make a sneaky play here if I weren't such a damned homer, the Indy pass defense is actually pretty good. Young won't have the fireworks to keep them in this one. PICK: Indianapolis

Jacksonville @ Miami (-1). So in an offseason where John Abraham, Drew Brees, Daunte Culpepper, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, Steve McNair, Lawyer Milloy, Terrell Owens and Adam Vinatieri switched teams, could Joey Harrington actually be the most valuable free agent signing? Well, no silly - that would be Brees. But it's notable that Harrington is even in the discussion. PICK: Miami

New Orleans (-7) @ San Francisco. Fine, the Saints are good. Fuck off. PICK: San Francisco (out of spite)

Atlanta @ Washington (-2). Yeah yeah, Michael Vick flipped somebody off. Whatever. When he did that, though, it immediately overshadowed one simple fact: he was the only person who played well in the game. Vick made nearly every play asked of him, and the Falcons had a solid chance of winning going into the 4th quarter. But he's absolutely right - people have to start making plays. People other than him, I mean. And no, Roddy White should not be allowed to dress on Sunday. (Doug never answered my immediate text message, by the way: Can UAB - his employer - take Roddy back?). PICK: Atlanta

Kansas City (-5) @ Cleveland. So the Chiefs are the first winners of a game broadcast on the NFL Network. As far as the broadcast went, color me unimpressed. First, the elaborate "set" seemed to be four director's chairs in the middle of a mud pit. Second, the color commentary was dreadful, even with the presence of the fantastic Cris Collinsworth. It's Bryant Gumbel that really takes me out of the action - I just can't stand a woman's voice in the booth. PICK: Cleveland

Detroit @ New England (-13 1/2). So I'm watching the Falcons game last week. Roddy White drops that beautiful fallaway Vick bomb - and if you happened not to see it, he dropped it. There was no defender within 10 yards, and it hit him in the numbers. A disgusting lack of concentration. The Girl and I are sitting there, and I loudly wonder why the hell Jim Mora doesn't put in rookie Derick Spielman. I mean, he had that 100-yard effort a couple of weeks ago, and he's certainly outplayed White. Yeah, well it took me about 15 seconds - a long time, if you think about it - to realize Spielman is actually a fictional player on my Madden '07 team. Who had a fictional 100-yard effort a couple of weeks ago. Who doesn't exist in real life. I probably need to play fewer video games. PICK: Detroit

San Diego (-6) @ Buffalo. I offer up a new rule for Fantasy Football 2007: whoever gets LaDainian Tomlinson forfeits the right to a second round pick. PICK: San Diego

NY Jets (-1 1/2) @ Green Bay. So I'm teaching my kids about cause and effect this week (I'm a 5th grade teacher, if you didn't know). I was trying to get them to think a little abstract, asking the question "Why are you here?" Initial responses were in the ballpark of "I'm in school because I have to be" (honest answers) and "I'm in school because I want to learn" (suck-ups). Then I got them thinking with a wider scope, imagining all the millions of things that had to go right to get them into MY classroom in MY school at THAT moment - why they live in the district, the specific reasons they live in Lilburn, how their parents met, etc. My favorite response, word-for-word: "I am here because my grandmother on my mother's side was poor so she couldn't aford (sic) birth control pills." Why do I tell you this story here? Because it's gotta be more interesting than the game. PICK: NY Jets

Dallas (-3 1/2) @ NY Giants. Man, I want to pick a New York upset - I really do. In fact, I was about to until Michael Strahan's little blow-up late in the week. I think dipshit players really let this distracting stuff affect their play, and the Giants seem to be full of dipshit players. PICK: Dallas

Houston @ Oakland (-3). Only a week before Mel Gibson's Apocalypto opens, we have what was foreseen as the fourth sign of the actual apocalypse: the 2006 Raiders are favored in a game. PICK: Houston

Seattle @ Denver (-3). The Jay Cutler Experiment begins with his team favored over the reigning NFL champion. You know, the one whose star running back went for over 200 yards last week. But that's understandable; I mean, Cutler really rocked the shit at Vanderbilt. PICK: Seattle

Carolina (-3) @ Philadelphia. Early, early, early, early prediction: Carolina trades big on draft day, moving up to take Brady Quinn. PICK: Philadelphia

Last week: 8-8
Overall: 53-46-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $120.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dallas cheerleader

A website named Rooster Teeth recently made an ad for the Sony Playstation's Madden '07 game. It's been all over the various networks recently.

In short, Indianapolis TE Dallas Clark looks like a bitch in it. And that didn't escape his attention.

"Everyone is talking about my face and my grunting and the noises I make,'' Clark said. "It sounds like I'm dying ... I want to know why the people picked me. If they come and ask me, 'Hey, we're going to make you look bad, is that OK?' (but) they didn't ask me."

Well, Rooster Teeth has apologized. With the "Director's Cut." Enjoy.

And buried

Yeah Chuck, no shit.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Deck the Hall

The 2007 baseball writers' Hall of Fame ballot was released today. My view on the Hall is simple - if you have to debate whether or not somebody is worthy, they aren't.

Which means ...

In. In. Out. And, uh, snicker.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I said, it's great to be a Georgia Bulldog

Out of many unbelievable moments Saturday, how can I pick a favorite?

Was it...

... heralded future NFL Rookie of the Year, 23-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl MVP, Madden 2010 cover boy, coaching great, genius Los Angeles Saints general manager, and all-around religious deity Calvin Johnson dropping balls en route to 15 receiving yards (for a total of 71 yards in three years against UGA)?

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... Reggie Ball continuing his stellar work against UGA by going six for 22 with 42 yards, two interceptions, three sacks, and negative 10 rushing yards?

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... Jarvis Jackson getting one of those interceptions?

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... Tony Taylor making an all-timer holy-shit-can-you-believe-that-just-happened play?

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... Mohamed Massoquoi immediately erasing any negative feelings he had amassed from Dawgnation?

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... Paul Oliver catching the predictable Reggie Ball interception to cement the game?

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... the dejected faces of all the Techies?

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... the fact there were so many dejected faces?

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... that Mark Richt - a coach I've always, always been 100% behind - has never lost to the Gnats?

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... the fact that Georgia Tech not only looks up to us, they can't get their hands off our asses?

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No, I think my favorite moment was celebrating our sixth straight win over the North Avenue Trade School nerds from my seat - right behind the Tech band and student section. Sweet.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fair weather

If Roddy White dresses for the Falcons next week, I will no longer be a fan until Jim Mora is fired.

So basically, for about two weeks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 12

Ah, Thanksgiving.

Folks give thanks for family, for friends, for health. I say fuck all that - I'm thankful for NFL games on Thursday, another Georgia Tech defeat at the hands of the Dawgs, and a few days off from work.

And since I gotta get to Florida, on with the picks:

Miami (-3) @ Detroit. Oh, the joys of the Thanksgiving games. Seriously, what other day of the year do you actually look forward to a Lions game? In my family, the "dinner" is actually "lunch," so there's a good chance I'll already be full of mashed potatoes and ham by the 12:30 kickoff (I eschew turkey. Too dry. I do like words like "eschew," though.). Miami is on a 3-game winning streak, and appear to be a little bit for real - but the 1-6 start will be too much to overcome. Still, they'll be a game closer to .500 by the time my intestines are done with said mashed potatoes and ham. PICK: Miami

Tampa Bay @ Dallas (-11). The popular consensus this week is that Tomy Romo is Jesus Christ. And while that may be true in the Jesus-is-part-of-all-of-us sense of the words, 19 for 23 with no TDs and a pick does not holier-than-thou make. Look, he did very well against a pretty good Indy pass defense, but let's hold off on carving his Canton bust just yet. And even though the Bucs are piss-poor in '06, should Romo really be favored by double digits? We'll see, but I don't think so. PICK: Tampa Bay

Denver (-1) @ Kansas City. That San Diego loss had to be crushing to Denver. So which Broncos team shows up on Sunday: the passive overrated one with no offense, or the pissed off overrated one with no offense? Trent Green had a muzzle on last week (only four pass attempts in the first half), but he's apt to get a few more opportunities this week, if only to open up some lanes for Larry Johnson. The Chiefs haven't lost at home since opening day (4-1 overall), and they won't here. PICK: Kansas City

San Francisco @ St. Louis (-6). The 49ers have won three straight, are one game back in their division race, and are the "Holy crap!" story of the week. Suckers are going to look at this spread, remember all the talk about San Fran's potential they heard this week, and are going to think there's no way such a cinderella story could lose by more than six. As John McClane once said, "Sorry Hans, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?" PICK: St. Louis

Arizona @ Minnesota (-6 1/2). Ever wake up sick in the middle of the night, clutching your stomach with an awful nauseous ache? You want to throw up, but aren't really sure if you could? I mean, you know if you do puke, you'll immediately feel a lot better and probably be able to go back to sleep. So you get up, walk to the toilet, and just stare in the bowl. It doesn't come, so you realize you need to start thinking about really gross stuff to make you wretch. So you think of some dog crap you stepped in last week. Doesn't work. Then you start thinking, "What if I had eaten that dog crap and it had gotten all stuck in my teeth?" But it still doesn't happen. Then you have to reach down into your disgusting depths and start thinking of the nastiest stuff you can, like what if you had to give a rim job to a fat guy's corpse? Thankfully, you wretch, the stuff comes out, and then you go back to bed feeling a lot better? Well, from now on, just think about having to watch this game. PICK: Arizona

Houston @ NY Jets (-6). Sorry about that. PICK: Houston

Carolina (-4 1/2) @ Washington. It may be another wishful thinking pick (which didn't do me any favors last week), but I just have an inkling Jason Campbell is going to blow up this weekend. Not blow up as in 40 for 47 with four TDs, but blow up in a Jason Campbell kind of way - 26 for 39, 240 yards, 2 TDs. I mean, Carolina is still a top 10 defense, and Campbell will be working with a backfield of Ladell Betts and TJ Duckett - but it just feels right. Santana Moss will probably be back, and that will certainly help. PICK: Washington

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-3). The Ravens, my preseason Super Bowl pick, are making me look pretty smart. If only I had written it down somewhere. PICK: Baltimore

New Orleans @ Atlanta (-3). Over dinner Friday night, a prominent figure in the Atlanta sports scene told me: "The Falcons have already been in contact with (Titans coach) Jeff Fisher about next year. (Falcons owner Arthur) Blank is tired of Jim Mora, and Fisher is pretty much locked up." OK, well, I don't know if the guy is a prominent figure in the Atlanta sports scene or not, but he was black. That has to count for something. And I like the news, so I choose to spread it. By the way, a few months ago this guy's cohort swore Tom Glavine had already agreed to be an Atlanta Brave in 2007. We'll see if this duo is reliable in the next few days. PICK: Atlanta

Jacksonville (-2 1/2) @ Buffalo. The Jags look pretty freakin' good on Monday night, which if this season's output is any indication ... PICK: Buffalo

Cincinnati (-3) @ Cleveland. So I'm not even sure what led me to put it in my Netflix queue in the first place, but last night I opened the envelope for the college comedy Accepted and immediately watched it. It stars the great Justin Long (better known as The Mac Guy from the commercials) as a college freshman who ... you know, it doesn't even matter. My point: it's funny as hell. It's stupid, doesn't make any sense, and is completely wrong-headed in its final argument - but the shit is funny. And it has this guy in it, who I'm slowly becoming convinced is the funniest person on the planet (his attempts to buy boots in The 40-Year-Old Virgin is perhaps that very funny movie's funniest moment). PICK: Cleveland

Oakland @ San Diego (-13 1/2). The Chargers' biggest name, LaDainian Tomlinson, went for 105 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last week, adding 74 receiving yards and another score. The Raiders' biggest name, Randy Moss, went for zero yards on the same day. Zero - total. I'll leave it up to you to guess which is on my fantasy team. PICK: San Diego

Chicago @ New England (-3). With Donovan McNabb down, this is undeniably the game of the week. Yes, we live in a world where Tom Brady vs. Rex Grossman is the game of the week. Of course you're right, this is more about defense vs. defense, and the Bears just have a better one. Plus, I really hate everything about Boston-area sports, so I'm biased. PICK: Chicago

NY Giants (-3) @ Tennessee. The Giants gets Eli Manning. The Chargers get Philip Rivers, New York's 3rd round pick, and the Giants' first and fifth rounders the next year (with Shawne Merriman being one of those eventual picks). Do you think Tom Coughlin and Co. is rethinking that a bit? Oh, and by the way, to pile on: upset special. The Titans win outright. PICK: Tennessee

Philadelphia @ Indianapolis (-9). Wow, ESPN suits must have been crying in their Midori Sours last week when Donovan McNabb went down for the season. Their incredible luck of stellar Sunday Night Football matchups was continuing, and then came The ACL Tear Heard Round The World (Or At Least Pennsylvania). We're missing a whole week - and in particular a whole Thursday - of "MANNING! McNABB! SUNDAY NIGHT!" hyperbole and bluster. "MANNING! GARCIA!" doesn't exactly elicit the same excitement levels. PICK: Philadelphia

Green Bay @ Seattle (-9). Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander will both be on the field for the Seahawks. Brett Favre is hobbling. And since I'm in a hurry to leave, I just say that's enough for me. PICK: Seattle

Last week: 9-6-1
Overall: 45-38-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $160.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's a small World

Some nerds out there in Internetland have discovered who is the nerdiest of all - by finding out which school's servers are logged into World of Warcraft the most.

I don't think any of us have a doubt which Georgia school ended up in the top 10.

Search and destroy

A Google search for "georgia-tech nerd" yields 82,700 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia nerd" yields 16,600.

A Google search for "georgia-tech hot-girl" yields 14,300 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia hot-girl" yields 34,900.

A Google search for "georgia-tech whiny-bitches" yields 86 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia whiny-bitches" yields 19.

A Google search for "georgia-tech world-of-warcraft" yields 65,400 results
A Google search for "university-of-georgia world-of-warcraft" yields 9,560.

A Google search for "georgia-tech 51-7-loss" yields 67 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia 51-7-loss" yields one.

A Google search for "georgia-tech tickle-pile" yields 74 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia tickle-pile" yields 41.

A Google search for "georgia-tech assholes" yields 17,600 results.
A Google search for "university-of-georgia assholes" yields 777.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cultural learnings

Christopher Hitchens gets Borat.

Something's familiar

For her new film, director Nancy Meyers has decided to stretch her boundaries.

Her last film:

Her new film:

Yep, instead of one person on each side of the white bar, she has two. Congratulations to Ms. Meyers for her efforts. Color her ambitious, but next time she may even strive for a new font.

You're gonna need a bigger boat

Taken recently off the coast of South Africa:

And THAT'S what he gets for knocking up Heidi Klum!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Little man

St. Louis defensive end and murderer Leonard Little has been given a new 3-year contract, ESPN reports.

In 1998, the former Tennessee standout left his 24th birthday party. He proceeded to speed through a red light, smashing into the car of Susan Gutweiler. Gutweiler died at the scene.

Little had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, nearly twice the legal limit.

The cost for driving drunk and costing a woman her life, a husband his wife, and children their mother? Three months in jail, 1,000 hours of community service, and four years of probation. Oh yeah, the NFL did suspend him for a season. Well, half of one actually.

In 2002, the Rams punished him further by signing him to a five-year, $17.5 million contract.

By the way, Little was again arrested for drunken driving in 2004, but was ruled not guilty on a technicality.

Way to go, Rams. I'm sure the St. Louis community won't mind losing another local as long as the tackles keep coming.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A vision of yesteryear

I might as well turn the blog over to Scott this week, as he keeps e-mailing me stuff I want to post (and he sent me the 96 Rock link about 15 minutes after I wrote about it, so I'm obviously on his wavelength). Anyhoo, here's the latest:

Free Image Hosting by

Recognize that? Well, Atlanta residents should: it's the the corner of Peachtree and 11th, where (the late) Vision Nightclub stands. In the 1940s.

Find more similarly cool stuff at Atlanta Time Machine. Put aside a couple of hours to go through it all.

Now that's dedication

Michigan football legend Bo Schembechler is apparently willing to do anything - anything - to inspire his football team during tomorrow's hyped matchup against Ohio State.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rock off

I haven't listened much lately, but this is truly the end of an era.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 11

Oh my! Will you look at those ads up above? How tempting! I mean, I just want to click on them - don't you? I really want to click on them like 500 times every time I visit this blog! DON'T YOU?!?

Yes, I get paid per click. Help a brother out.

Anyway, it's on to Week 11 in the NFL. Last week, my picks were once again above .500, so I'm feelin' the love of the Gamblin' Gods raining down. And I might need them again this week - just to stay awake.

Denver/San Diego seems like the marquee matchup, but it's slim pickins after that. You can believe Dallas/Indy will be close all you want to, but the Cowboys just ain't any good no matter what the media wants. What, am I supposed to come on Tony Romo's facemask because his team managed to beat Arizona, Houston, Tennessee and Washington?

Of course, my bodily juices also remain in reserve for my beloved Falcons, a team I'm starting to feel won't even make the playoffs (oh, how 14 days can change a man). If that happens, Jim Mora won't be back next year - and to tell you the truth, I still feel he shouldn't be here in the first place. The Dan Reeves firing was ill-advised; remember, it was his team Mora took to the NFC Championship. But I digress. Let's continue my Atlanta thoughts in the next paragraph ...

Atlanta @ Baltimore (-4). Was it obvious to only me that Michael Vick suffered a concussion on that last drive on Sunday? He had that 50+ yard pass to Roddy White, and ran down the field. On the next play, he scrambled for 10 yards, and was absolutely planted into the turf by a Cleveland defender. The play was called back for an obvious hold. This was where it got interested, though: Vick lined up for the next play behind his right guard. It was only after a lineman told him to move to his left that he realized his mistake. Coach Mora should have called a timeout right then to make sure his quarterback even knew where he was. Instead, the play went off, Vick took some awkward steps to his left, and seemed to not know what was going on. The ball is fumbled, Cleveland pounces on it, and the Browns win the game. I'm screaming "Call a timeout!" from my couch in Atlanta, and I'm just wondering why our millionaire coach can't see the same thing. (That said, even though the Falcon defense is in utter shambles, I like 'em to at least cover this week). PICK: Atlanta

Buffalo @ Houston (-2 1/2). The week's first Ultra Boring Matchup. Of many. Ratings for this one will be just south of "Smith," and that was cancelled after just three episodes. Anyway, look for the Bills to pull the mini-upset, if only because somebody will probably win. PICK: Buffalo

Chicago (-7) @ New York Jets. I never actually saw "Smith," but can't believe it was actually that bad. Because I've seen bad, and its name is "Yo Momma." Seriously, the MTV "insultathon" starring Wilmer Valderrama is easily the worst show I've ever seen (not a single exaggeration within a 500 mile radius), and it marks a true watershed moment for me. I've said it before, but this is the first time I truly mean it: What the fuck is up with kids today? I know every generation says it, and I know every generation says they have more right to say it than the generation before. But seriously: What the fuck is up with kids today? Look at the quality of this show (which, unbelievably, kids like), check out the various musings (and spelling/grammar issues) on the typical MySpace page - hell, just listen to that whiny batpiss they call music. What the fuck is up with kids today? We made hits out of The Karate Kid and Back to the Future. They made hits out of Step Up, You Got Served, and Dane Fucking Cook. We had our horrible music (the entire first half of the '90s, grunge excluded), but we haven't let it transform our entire culture into a ghetto nightmare. We made out in the back of vans, but at today's high school parties it's not uncommon to have two girls go at it in the middle of a pack of guys. Ok, maybe they have that on us, but other than that: What the fuck is up with kids today? Oh, and Chicago covers. PICK: Chicago

Cincinnati @ New Orleans (-3 1/2). If Atlanta wants a way into the playoffs, it's going to have to rely on a collapse by New Orleans and Carolina. One would be nice, but both may be necessary. However, the Gambling Rules are against us this week. PICK: New Orleans

Minnesota @ Miami (-3). The "Team That Everybody Thought Was Bad, Then Thought Was Good, And Now Are Realizing Is Bad" vs. the "Team That Everybody Thought Was Good, Then Thought Was Bad, And Now Are Realizing Are Not As Bad As They Once Thought They Were But Are Still Sort Of Bad." As always, go with the latter. PICK: Miami

New England (-6) @ Green Bay. This line leads me to believe somebody still thinks Lambeau Field has some mystical power to it. In fact, Green Bay is 1-3 at home this year. And another little tidbit: the Pats are 4-0 on the road. Don't get used to this research, by the way. PICK: New England

Oakland @ Kansas City (-10). The Mystery Game. As these letters are being typed, Trent Green may be starting for the Chiefs - a mistake, if ya ask me. And since you've read this far, it means you'd probably ask me if the opportunity ever presented itself. Still, the Raider sideshow won't be able to hang with the Chiefs in a sea of red. PICK: Kansas City

Pittsburgh (-3 1/2) @ Cleveland. There are rules of attraction, rules of engagement, road rules, cider house rules, 8 simple rules for dating the late John Ritter's teenage daughters, and even dice rules. The most important rule, though: bet the 3 1/2-point favorite. PICK: Pittsburgh

St. Louis @ Carolina (-7). Wishful thinking. PICK: St. Louis

Tennessee @ Philadelphia (-13). Tennessee is a good 2-7, if that makes any sense. Sure, the team has had its awful losses - 30 points to Jacksonville, 31 to Dallas, 33 to San Diego - but they've also lost by one point to both Baltimore and Indianapolis, and fallen to the Jets and Dolphins by single-digit margins. The Eagles, 1-3 in their last four, haven't been nearly impressive enough to warrant a pick here. PICK: Tennessee

Washington @ Tampa Bay (-3). C'mon Ladell Betts! I won the Betts Sweepstakes in my fantasy league this week, meaning I was the first to swoop into the free agent pile and grab him when Clinton Portis got hurt. Ok, that might not equate to winning the lottery, but it almost does for a guy who drafted Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams with his first two picks. PICK: Washington (Happy, Doug?) Ed. note: Whoops, that was Tim who complained about my recent Redskins hate. So let's try that again: Happy, Doug and Tim?

Detroit @ Arizona (-2 1/2). Just looking at that spread gave me hot flashes in my anus. God help anybody who actually watches the game. PICK: Detroit

Seattle (-?) @ San Francisco. The casinos are refusing to set a spread until the Matt Hasselbeck/Shaun Alexander situation becomes clear. Let me be ballsy: whatever Vegas picks, San Fran covers. PICK: San Francisco ... 3 p.m. Thursday update: The line has emerged. Seattle is a 4 1/2 point favorite (the go-to spread when Vegas is clueless). I stick with San Fran.

Indianapolis (-1) @ Dallas. Are you kidding me? (See above.) PICK: Indianapolis

San Diego @ Denver (-3). San Diego's O vs. Denver's D. That's the game, folks. Something smells ripe about this Broncos team, and it goes deeper than the guy at the top (Jake the Snake). Look, the defense is fantastic, but it already looks like it's getting tired. I mean, they let Oakland score. LaDainian Tomlinson, fresh off a 4-TD day, is going to expose some weaknesses. PICK: San Diego

New York Giants @ Jacksonville (-3). The oddest bird on the board. I'll be honest: this spread makes no sense to me. The 5-4 Jags - who have lost to Houston twice - go up against the 6-3 Giants, winners of five out of their last six. Plus, it's on Monday night, and I'm a'guessin' the Giants are a little more used to the national spotlight. Plus, and don't mistake me for saying Eli Manning is the bee's knees or anything, but - well, c'mon, he's going up against a team led by David Garrard. This makes less than no sense to me, actually. And you know what that means. PICK: Jacksonville

Last week: 9-7
Overall: 36-32-2
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $40.

The college picks will be up soon over at P&S.

Hot pursuits

If anything ever summed up the difference between Georgia and Georgia Tech, this is it.

Mad props to Scott for sending this my way.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Concession stand

One of the more refreshing aspects of the recent elections was the lack of "I lost, so let's recount!" whiners. That has practically become a mating call for Democrats over the last six years. Now that it's the Republicans taking one on the chin - silence. Immediate concessions. The gnashing of nothing. George Allen, in particular, deserves some credit for not dragging things out.

Oh, but wait. There are some screams coming from - where else? - Florida. And you won't believe this guy's reasoning:

"In this election, the results did not match the Zogby pre-election poll, out internal polling, or our exit polling," said wannabe representative Clint Curtis.

The results weren't buddy-buddy with his freaking poll numbers, so he refuses to concede.

And no. He's not a Republican.

Earnin' some Benjamins. Or at least a Washington or two.

So yeah, I'm a sellout. Teaching elementary school doesn't exactly pay for the diamond-encrusted grills I've always wanted, so I've - perhaps temporarily - allowed Google to place a couple of ads on MAI. It's a trial run, to say the least.

And of course, the first ad is for Hurricane Katrina relief. Which, if you read this site regularly, is hilarious.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 10

The bloom is off the rose.

Um, ok, what the hell does that actually mean? How does a bloom get off a rose? I don't care what the dictionary says: "bloom" is a fucking verb! God, I freaking hate cliches that make no sense, almost as much as I hate freaking Jewis ...

Oh, right, sorry. Rough week here at MAI headquarters. Something felt fishy about last week's picks, and the feeling was as legit as Auburn's chances this weekend: I followed up my masterful 9-5 week with a rotten mirror image 5-9. Worst of all, it was my own fault.

Let's reflect on my pick for last week's Chicago/Miami game: "Remember what I said about 13 1/2 point spreads - it's the bookies way of wanting you, in this case, to take the Bears ... But I want to take the Bears. What to do, what to do ... Well, I'm going to get myself in trouble for this one, because I'm assuming I'm smarter than Vegas. Better men than me have broken themselves this way ... PICK: Chicago"

Miami 31, Chicago 13.

That's the last time I break one of my own rules. Except the one about stone-washed blue jeans made in Mexico. That one will continue to fall, my friends.

On to the picks:

Baltimore (-7 1/2) @ Tennessee. Well, here's ol' Mother Fuckin' Luck testing me right out of the gate. You see a 7 1/2 point spread, go with the favorite. (Thankfully, it actually makes sense here). PICK: Baltimore

Buffalo @ Indianapolis (-13). Chicago taught me a valuable lesson, which is that nobody goes 16-0. And that includes you, Peyton. However, as I alluded to in an earlier incarnation of this column: I would love for Indy to go 15-0. Because guess who they have in their last game of the season? The good ol' Dolphins, holder of the lone undefeated record, and the place undefeateds go to die (Chicago '85 and Chicago '06, for example). Miami could be 2-13 at that point and still be favored. PICK: Indianapolis

Cleveland @ Atlanta (-8). Will the real Atlanta please stand up, please stand up, please stand up? I get back on my 12-win bandwagon (occupancy: me) after inspiring wins against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and then they go out and lay a fartbomb against Detroit. Exactly what I said they wouldn't do in last week's column. Cleveland, on the other hand, has been my homo darling pick these last two weeks, and they haven't let me down yet. Atlanta will likely win, but only by 7. And a half. PICK: Cleveland

Green Bay @ Minnesota (-5 1/2). Last Saturday, I chuckled when a Packer fan claimed that his team was right back in the playoff race. "We win tomorrow, we're 4-4, and looking good." And then came tomorrow - Buffalo 24, Green Bay 10. The deluded good sir also failed to remember the Pack has yet to play Minnesota (twice), New England, Chicago, Seattle and the Jets. Color me whacky tobacky, but I'm guessing Brett Favre can go ahead and start planning a January ski trip. PICK: Minnesota

Houston @ Jacksonville (-10 1/2). Michael Vick may not be Peyton Manning, but I sighed a breath of thanks this week when I realized my team doesn't have a quarterback controversy between Byron Leftwich and David Garrard. PICK: Houston

Kansas City (-1) @ Miami. So Miami beats Chicago and is now expected to derail the Chiefs, currently in the midst of a 3-game winning streak? No thanks. PICK: Kansas City

New York Jets @ New England (-10 1/2). Seemingly lost amid the bluster about last week's Patriots/Colts matchup was the fact Tom Brady threw four interceptions. That's Playstation-on-Madden-level-type numbers. Too bad the media didn't take their heads out of his lap long enough to notice. PICK: New York Jets

San Diego (-1 1/2) @ Cincinnati. You can keep your Arizonas and Miamis - for my money, Cincinnati is the year's biggest disappointment. They were a near-consensus playoff contender in the preseason, but now reside at 4-4 with no easy road in front of them: San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh at home, and New Orleans, Indianapolis and Denver on the road. This really is as "must win" as they come this early in the season. Alas,... PICK: San Diego

San Francisco @ Detroit (-6). Can you imagine what these tickets are being scalped for in Detroit? At least $5. Too bad most Detroit residents can't afford it. PICK: Detroit

Washington @ Philadelphia (-7). Washington used up their entire season of mojo last week. PICK: Philadelphia

Denver (-9) @ Oakland. I consider it an upset if Oakland scores. And I ain't no fan of Denver, either. PICK: Denver

New Orleans @ Pittsburgh (-4). Ick. Admitting the Saints are decent hurts once again, as I have to wonder what the hell is up with this line. A severely struggling Pittsburgh team - who freaking lost to Oakland two weeks ago - up against a 6-2 N'Awlins squad that happens to be 3-1 on the road. This pick is retar ... oh yeah. PICK: Pittsburgh

Dallas (-7) @ Arizona. The only problem with black coaches in the NFL: I almost wrote "Arizona fans are getting ready to lynch Dennis Green." And there was certainly no racial slant to that when it first popped into my head. Anyway, moving on: Arizona fans are getting ready to tie Dennis Green to a pickup truck and drag him for a few miles. That better? PICK: Dallas

St. Louis @ Seattle (-3). Don't care enough to think about it. PICK: St. Louis

Chicago @ New York Giants (-1). Right, Chicago's quarterback is still Rex Grossman. So the talk of 16-0 was psychotically deranged at best. That said, last week notwithstanding, that defense is - as the kids say - "da bomb." This is the first time since perhaps Week One that Chicago isn't favored by double digits (you do the research; that's not what I'm here for), and now they're dogs? I like it. PICK: Chicago

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-9 1/2). The Buccaneers suck, but Carolina hasn't shown me anything to say they should be 9 1/2 point favorites against anybody. Except Oakland, of course. PICK: Tampa Bay

Last week: 5-9
Overall: 27-25-2
Fake wagering total: down $25. The juice kills.

The college picks are up over at P&S.

Nerds in paradise (otherwise known as "Atlanta")

I don't know how such a monumentous event escaped my attention, but apparently the remake of Revenge of the Nerds has been filming in Atlanta.

Yes, someone is remaking Revenge of the Nerds.

Headlining the movie is "Laguna Beach" star Kristin Cavallari, born three years after the 1984 original came out. I'm guessing she doesn't play one of the titular characters (and if you think she does, look up the word "titular").

Apparently Emory University has reneged on a verbal agreement to let the film shoot there. No reason is given in the article, but I'm guessing the film's content might not pass muster with Emory's oh-so-storied reputation. That is, assuming the content is in line with the original's R rating and not softened to PG-13 banality - which, as far as recent remakes go, might be hoping for too much.

(Of course, it wouldn't be the first movie to tone down the Nerds raunchiness for a more kid-friendly rating).

I love Revenge of the Nerds. Amid a glut of early '80s teen sex comedies that opened in the wake of Porky's, it was the only one to make you truly care about the characters. And let you see boobies at the same time. Heck, even the half-assed sequel had its hilarious moments (the less said about the straight-to-video parts 3 and 4, the better).

That said, I'm not going to take the obvious route, and proclaim that the new filmmakers are "raping my childhood." No matter how good or (probably) bad the remake is, I'll always have the original. I don't have any religious allegiance to it that another version will offend.

I started thinking about other '80s movies that might be remade soon, though. I mean, they've already done Can't Buy Me Love (remade as Love Don't Cost a Thing), and in the works are Adventures in Babysitting, Creepshow, Hairspray, The Hitcher, Pet Sematary, Porky's and Summer School. Even the original Friday the 13th might be getting an overhaul. A few of those are closer to the screen than others, but all are likely on the way.

Again, none of those drastically offend my sensibilities.

There is one movie, though, that if remade might cause me to discover my firebomb-making talents. One movie that could never be done better, one movie that if remade, would utterly fail in taking its absurd premise to classic heights as much as its predecessor did. It would never match the perfect mixture of casting, timing and heart.

I'm talking about Revenge of the Nerds' summer '84 brother-in-arms: The Karate Kid.

Ok, let's take a pitch meeting. You say you want to make a movie about a scrawny Jersey boy in California who realistically couldn't beat up my cousin's newborn baby. He meets an old Japanese fix-it man, starts dating a girl 500 miles out of his league, washes some cars, and ends up winning a karate tournament against a guy who in real life would make mashed potatoes out of his face.

Yes, it's one of my favorite movies of all time.

Pat Morita deservedly got an Oscar nomination for his work in The Karate Kid, a fact that seems to have been lost to history. Ralph Macchio took a relatively silly role and made it his own - can you picture anybody else in it? Matt Dillon? Anthony Michael Hall? Hell no, Macchio is Daniel LaRusso, and nobody else will ever be.

I hate even thinking about this, like my brainwaves will somehow find their way to California and influence some studio decision.

"Let's see - we can get the director of Save the Last Dance, cast that wispy-haired guy from 'Heroes,' put Horatio Sanz in some Japanese makeup to play Mr. Miyagi, and oh yeah, we'll film its sequel back-to-back. It's gold, I tell ya!"

Do your Nerds, have Ryan Reynolds teach Summer School, put Ben Affleck behind the mask of a new and improved Jason Voorhees. I don't care. There's a limit, though, and that limit is where Joe Esposito sings "You're the Best" with the talent and pizzazz of a young Sinatra. A crane kick to the balls awaits any Hollywood suit who thinks otherwise.

As for Nerds, they should stay in town. Even if Emory kicked 'em off campus, the perfect setting is just a short drive away. Hell, they wouldn't have to hire any extras, either.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My only election thoughts

Short, but sweet.

I would be a proud, enthusiatic Republican if the party would remove itself from its theocratic appendages. This election may be the best thing that ever happened to the party.

If these crazy kids can't survive...

... then can any of us?

At least they waited until the baby was two months old. It was the right thing to do.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Don't stop believin'

When we make fun of current pop culture, let's all remember that, in our childhood, Journey had a video game.

Art crass

The Republic is dying.

Private developers in Naples are now required to include public art approved by the government, or else pay a fine to a "public art fund."

The next time someone says "It's a free country," go ahead and slap them in the face.

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 9

Say the following sentence out loud:

"The Falcons are obviously going to win this weekend."

Obviously. Obviously. Obviously.

No, short of the Raiders against the Colts, I don't think there's an actual obvious win to be had in the NFL. Parity and whatnot. That exercise really has nothing to do with football prognostication - I've just been an enunciation dork lately.

Did you pronounced the /b/? "OBviously." Or did you say "ovviously?" I've been falling into the latter category, and it's something I'm wasting conscious time on trying to fix. OBviously. OBviously. OBviously.

I brought it up with The Girl recently, and she said I should instead focus on my extensive use of "exxpecially." After a five-second dirty look, and then 20 seconds apologizing for my five-second dirty look, I said I had to take on one word at a time.

OBviously. OBviously. OBviously.

On to the picks:

Kansas City @ St. Louis (-2 1/2). Last week, the Rams allowed LaDainian Tomlinson to run for 183 yards and two scores. Just seven days later, they meet Larry Johnson. Kansas City, on the other hand, is coming off two straight wins - against San Diego and Seattle, no less. Trent Green lost his job to an injury a few years ago (Kurt Warner), and now it looks like he might do it again. PICK: Kansas City

Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-3). A great, great matchup that will be lost in the Indy/New England talk. Cincinnati desperately needs a win here, so I'm betting they get one - even though the Ravens were my preseason Super Bowl pick. If Baltimore opened up a two-game lead in the division (which they would with a victory), that might get the fat lady warming up. PICK: Cincinnati

Houston @ NY Giants (-13). The Giants are for real - they've lost only to the Colts and a healthy Seahawks squad. Something tells me they won't have any trouble with David Carr & Co. PICK: NY Giants

Tennessee @ Jacksonville (-9 1/2). Wow, what a excizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. PICK: Tennessee

Dallas (-3) @ Washington. Be very wary of the Redskins after a bye we - nah, just kidding. Tony Romo will fall back to Earth this week, but Washington won't be able to take advantage. Guess how many times Clinton Portis has topped 100 yards rushing in a game this season, by the way? I'm not telling, but I'll give you a hint: it's only one more time than I have. PICK: Dallas

Green Bay @ Buffalo (-3). I was about to make a snide remark about the Brett Favre Retirement Tour, but a large part of me believes he'll be back to harm his team some more next year. When Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Packers, I thought it was great for him - he'd have a year to learn from a legend, then the team would be his. Instead, he'll enter his fourth NFL season next year, all of 19 pass attempts under his belt so far, and still probably have Favre in front of him. PICK: Green Bay

New Orleans (-1) @ Tampa Bay. Ouch, this hurts. The Saints are tied with my Falcons for first place, so nothing would make me happier than picking them to lose here. It ain't happening, though - the Bucs are stank this year. Last year I called them "scary," but maybe that was just the smells of Halloween invading my senses. Sure, losing to the Giants isn't embarrassing in itself, but check out these numbers: Gradowski led the Bucs in passing with 139 yards, Michael Pittman led in receiving with 38, and Cadillac Williams led in rushing with - no lie - 20 fucking yards. And yes, of course I have him on my fantasy team. PICK: New Orleans

Atlanta (-5) @ Detroit. What else can I say about my beloved Falcons? In year's past, I would be a little nervous about the team laying a stinkbomb against a lesser opponent, but that kind of play seems to be reserved for my alma mater these days. Vick will continue his newfound pyrotechnics this weekend, and I have a feeling - a weird feeling, but a feeling - that one of the receivers will top 100 yards (almost unheard of). Ashley Lelie, I'm looking in your direction. PICK: Atlanta

Miami @ Chicago (-13 1/2). Oof. Remember what I said about 13 1/2 point spreads - it's the bookies way of wanting you, in this case, to take the Bears. "I mean, 13 1/2. Two touchdowns, and they're winners. The defense will probably cover the spread by themselves! The Bears scored 41 in the first half last week - the first half!" But I want to take the Bears. What to do, what to do ... Well, I'm going to get myself in trouble for this one, because I'm assuming I'm smarter than Vegas. Better men than me have broken themselves this way. But just two touchdowns, and they win. The defense will probably cover the spread by themselves. Plus, Chicago was up 41 at the half last weekend. At the half ... PICK: Chicago

Minnesota (-5) @ San Francisco. ... against San Francisco. PICK: Minnesota

Cleveland @ San Diego (-12 1/2). Last weekend, I picked Cleveland against all logic, and I will continue to ride that pony. PICK: Cleveland

Denver (-2 1/2) @ Pittsburgh. Alright, not one, but two of my rules are telling me to go Pittsburgh here. First, it's one of those spreads (2 1/2, 6 1/2, 13 1/2) that tells you to take the underdog. Second, the spread is damn near retarded - on paper, the 5-2 Broncos should easily beat the 2-5 Steelers, even on the road. I don't do locks of the week, but damn, this one is as lockish as they come. PICK: Pittsburgh

Indianapolis @ New England (-2 1/2). Peyton Manning got the Foxboro jinx off his shoulders last year, winning one on Monday night. Thankfully, that should at least cool the announcers off a bit. Oh right, Chris Berman is there. Fuck civility, bring on 'da wacky nicknames! I said it once, and I'll say it again: I don't want Chris Berman to die. A speech-debilitating stroke would be fine. PICK: Indianapolis

Oakland @ Seattle (-7 1/2). "Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party!" ... Good God, no. ESPN pays $1.1 billion a year for Monday Night Football, while NBC broadcasts Sunday Night Football for $600 million annually. ESPN gets Oakland/Seattle, NBC gets Indy/New England. Momma ain't happy. PICK: Seattle

Last week: 9-5
Overall: 22-16-2

The college picks will be up over at P&S some time Friday afternoon, methinks.