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.