Friday, December 28, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 17

In September, I took a new job in Conyers, GA.

It's a good job. It would have to be a good job, because I don't live anywhere close to Conyers. Forty-five minutes as the speed limit travels. But, like I said, a good job. Worth it.

I pull out each morning at 7:15, and my mind slips into "sleep mode" fairly quickly. You know it - driving becomes an unconscious act, and the assorted turns are made in what can best be described as a robotic fashion. You put just as much thought into this process as you do taking your next breath.

Or at least I do. Maybe that was the problem.

It's pouring in Atlanta today. Good, right? Drought and all that. Well this was the view out of the front of my car at about 7:25 a.m. today. Ten minutes after I left home.

It's a little hazy, so let me point out what you should be looking at. The headlights on the highway. Coming toward my car. And the ambulance. That's the other car facing the wrong way.

Yes, at 7:25, I was driving on I-285 South, in sleep mode. And then I hit the lake, or at least something that felt like one. The car shook like a dog drying itself, and then proceeded to spin. Across one lane. Then another, and then another. I want to say it made only a 180 across the highway, though a 540 isn't out of the question. At that point, I wasn't counting.

The car continued to careen until a wall - on the complete other side of the highway - stopped it. (On the other side of the foot-think cement was a 50-foot drop to train tracks, so I send my thanks to the builders for fashioning such a sturdy barrier).

And now my car looks like this.

And this.

And this.

My body, on the other hand, is perfect. Well, at least as perfect as it was before, with the high blood pressure and excess 50 pounds still here.

I walked away from the accident, and I somewhat miraculously missed every other car on the highway during my out-of-control spin. Not sure how it happened, but again, I am thankful.

Oh, and the only person to stop and check to see if I was OK? A young black guy who would have made me nervous had we been in an ATM line. He pulled over - in pouring rain, remember - to see if he could help. Racism takes a knee to the balls today.

Now the car is in State Farm's hands, and we'll definitely be taking The Girl's vehicle to New Orleans on Sunday. I'm just glad I can make the trip.

The picks, just 'cuz:

New England (-14) @ NY Giants. PICK: New England
Buffalo @ Philadelphia (-7 1/2).
PICK: Philadelphia
Carolina (-3) @ Tampa Bay. PICK: Carolina
Cincinnati (-3) @ Miami. PICK: Miami
Detroit @ Green Bay (-4 1/2). PICK: Green Bay
Jacksonville @ Houston (-6 1/2). PICK: Jacksonville
New Orleans (-2) @ Chicago. PICK: Chicago
Seattle @ Atlanta (-1 1/2). PICK: Atlanta
San Francisco @ Cleveland (-10).
PICK: Cleveland
Dallas @ Washington (-9 1/2). PICK: Dallas
Pittsburgh (-3 1/2) @ Baltimore. PICK: Pittsburgh
Minnesota (-3) @ Denver. PICK: Minnesota
San Diego (-9) @ Oakland. PICK: San Diego
St. Louis @ Arizona (-6). PICK: St. Louis
Kansas City @ NY Jets (-6).
PICK: Kansas City
Tennessee (-6 1/2) @ Indianapolis. PICK: Indianapolis

Last week: 7-8-1
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $2,710

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I briefly believed this was a piece of fine-tuned, biting parody, but upon further review...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Posting videos is easier than writing

Starring a lot of my favorite people ...

... including my good, good friend.

Wait, that wasn't obnoxious, was it? I mean, it's not name-dropping, we're friends. I can't help that.

(Yes, MySpace friends count as real friends.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Aqua Teen college picks

Carl from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" sends his holiday wishes and offers picks for some of the college bowls - including Georgia and Georgia Tech (which shouldn't be a surprise, as the show is produced in Atlanta). It's safe to say I agree with every word.

Hat tip: Georgia Sports Blog.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 16

This is getting absurd.

Week 7: 8-5-1.
Week 8: 9-5.
Week 9: 8-5.
Week 10: 8-6.

And then I brag about it.

Week 11: 5-9-2.
Week 12: 7-9.
Week 13: 4-12.
Week 14: 3-13.

Three and freaking thirteen. I mean, you could never even be that terrible on purpose. Imagine flipping a coin, and being wrong 13 out of 16 times. That's an 81.25% failure rate, for you kiddies. You'd be a little freaked out, right? A little heeby in your jeeby? A gucher in your moocher? A cock in your mout ... wait, where was I going with this?

I mean, at this point, "unlucky" or even "stupid" doesn't cut it. It's crystal clear - I've pissed God off.

So I ain't talking pro football this week. Not a mention of the Falcons, Bill Parcells, Jessica Simpson (yes, she's a football topic this week), the stupid asshole Patriots, the hilarious fact that not a single player from the NFC South made the Pro Bowl, or what is undoubtedly going to be a record-breaking, and deservedly so, standing ovation.

Nope, not a word. Especially about Parcells, that back-stabbing slab of cholesterol. Lips are zipped. Fucker.

The picks:

Dallas (-11) @ Carolina. T-minus nine days until the caravan pulls onto 85S, destination: New Orleans. Three days and nights with nothing on the docket except trips to the bar, the casino, and the Sugar Bowl. I would add "trips to the bathroom" as well, but who am I kidding? It's New Orleans - everywhere is the bathroom! PICK: Dallas

Cleveland (-3) @ Cincinnati. During those three days, the over/under on Katrina jokes from yours truly: 1,200. (I'm gonna be honest, you should probably take the over. Especially since the early forecast calls for rain.)
PICK: Cleveland

Green Bay (-9) @ Chicago. PICK: Chicago

Houston @ Indianapolis (-7). PICK: Indianapolis

Kansas City @ Detroit (-5). Wow, 2007 has been a long one. Five minutes ago, if you had asked me when the Barbie Bandits were in the news, I'd have guessed three years ago. Nope, February. And the whole Anna Nicole Smith thing was also within the last 365? I must be getting old. PICK: Detroit

NY Giants (-3) @ Buffalo. PICK: Buffalo

Oakland @ Jacksonville (-14). One of the best books I've read in recent years was Scott Smith's chilling The Ruins. And it's a dish best served ignorant - the less you know, the better it is. Now comes the film version, out next April. The trailer debuted online yesterday, and let me warn you: it blows the "big twist" within the first 15 seconds. It's maddening. To really make it work, there is one thing you need not to know going in, and the entire two minutes is spent focusing on it. Avoid it, please. If you're in a theater and it comes on, do your best five-year-old, eye-clinched "lalalalala" with fingers in your ears. PICK: Oakland

Philadelphia @ New Orleans (-3 1/2). PICK: New Orleans

Atlanta @ Arizona (-10 1/2).
If you've ever doubted dogs are God's Greatest Invention, this should set you straight. Good dog, ol' boy. Good dog. PICK: Arizona

Tampa Bay (-7) @ San Francisco. PICK: San Francisco

Miami @ New England (-22). There aren't many better weeks for movie-watching than the one I just had - two flicks watched, two solid A's. The first should be no surprise: No Country For Old Men. And it would have been even better if I hadn't read the book just three weeks ago. In fact, and I rarely would say this, but don't read the book before you see the film. It's just too close, and the movie is (unbelievably) the richer experience. The second film, though, really took me by surprise: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I'd been a big fan of the last two films in the series, and all seven books. This one really took it to another level, though, and I hadn't heard that at all from mainstream critics. It was the funniest, the scariest, the most adult, the most all-around entertaining of the series - and yet the story is far weaker than the upcoming Parts VI and VII. November's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince just left toward the top of my 2008 must-see list. PICK: Miami

Baltimore @ Seattle (-?). Vegas is holding this spread up, but I'll guess Seattle (-7) and take the Ravens. PICK: Baltimore Update: The real spread is Seattle (-10 1/2). So I'm definitely taking the Ravens.

NY Jets @ Tennessee (-8 1/2). The dam is cracking. (Yes, it's a climate change link. Just warnin'). PICK: NY Jets

Washington @ Minnesota (-6 1/2). Oh right, I did watch a third flick this week - Will Smith's I Am Legend. The fact I had already forgotten it should speak volumes.PICK: Minnesota

Denver @ San Diego (-9).
This is a real movie. Swear to God. And yes, it's why the terrorists hates us. PICK: San Diego

Last week: 3-13
Overall: 99-113-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $2,530

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Betcha I Suck At This

The weight of humiliation has crushed my Atlanta Falcons this year, and apparently it has also destroyed my ability to accurately forecast games. While the Falcons held a shadow of a hope at a decent season (in my view, at least), I held my own - but, well, I'll get to the numbers game tomorrow. Forecast: frigid crap, with a cold front of suck.

Anyway, this is just to say I couldn't finish my entire picks column in time, so I wanted to lay tonight's game down while I had the chance.

Pittsburgh (-8) @ St. Louis. PICK: Pittsburgh.

Which, of course, makes St. Louis the lock of the year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 15

The Christmas party circuit starts this weekend, which is good since I need a distraction - yes, the Falcons are officially eliminated from playoff contention. They made it exciting right up until the end, though. Right?

Oh, suck it.

The picks:

Cincinnati (-9) @ San Francisco. I don't think many people realize the 49ers aren't going to benefit from a high draft pick in '08 - because they traded it away to the Patriots. So yes, the Patriots get their draft pick - likely the 32nd - taken away because of the spying stuff, but they will still end up with a top three selection. So go 49ers, but whatever, you suck and I hate you for making such a stupid deal. PICK: Cincinnati

Arizona @ New Orleans (-4). So I'm putting my monumental disdain for New Orleans aside for a few weeks. Hell, I even took down my framed posters from the heralded "Funniest Katrina Moments" collection. It's Sugar Bowl time, baby. We're headed down there for the New Year holiday, and I'm actually looking forward to the wafting odors of rotting fish and bum piss. Rose Bowl, Schmose Bowl. Bring it on, Hawaii. PICK: New Orleans

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (-14). And we're now living in a land where the Falcons are FOURTEEN-point dogs to the worst division leader in the NFL. Ok, call me crazy here - and lord knows you have where the Falcons are involved - but I can see them coming out inspired this week. Almost to a man, the players hated Bobby Petrino. Right now, the Falcons locker room is a happier place than Buford Highway on Free Sombrero Day (Atlanta joke, sorry). So why not come out and prove you can play better without him than you did with him? Not by winning the game, of course, because that would be insane. But by covering the spread. If you can't get up for that, what else do you have to live for? PICK: Atlanta

Baltimore (-4) @ Miami. The quest for perfection continues for the Dolphins. Perfect, unblemished turd suckage. PICK: Baltimore

Buffalo @ Cleveland (-6). A week 15 game between Buffalo and Cleveland - that has playoff implications. Big ones, in fact. Hold me, I'm frightened of this new world we're living in. PICK: Buffalo

Green Bay (-9) @ St. Louis. I keep waiting for the Packers to get exposed. I keep hoping they won't be. PICK: Green Bay

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (-3 1/2). PICK: Pittsburgh

NY Jets @ New England (-23). New England minus 23? Take 'em. New England minus 33? Take 'em. New England minus 43? Have to think about th - take 'em. Remember, it was the Jets who ratted Bill Belichick out for videotaping games. And from what I've read about Belichick over the years, he doesn't exactly seem like the forgive-and-forget type. PICK: New England

Seattle (-8) @ Carolina. Watching the Texans game last night, the announcers kept reminding me that Mario Williams has the second-most sacks in the NFL. Over and over and over. And hey, that doesn't bother me - I'm perversely happy Williams has turned out to potentially be a better draft pick than Reggie Bush. No, what upset me was the itchy reminder of who was first in sacks: former Falcon Patrick Kerney. Another solid 2007 move for the Atlanta franchise. PICK: Seattle

Tennessee (-4) @ Kansas City.
PICK: Kansas City

Indianapolis (-11) @ Oakland. Oh, by the way, if you haven't noticed, I have really started to suck at this "picking games" thing. Write it down and file it away for 2008: go with me the first half of the season, then go against me the second half. By Week 12, you'll be able to afford that double-wide you've had your eye on all these years. PICK: Indianapolis

Detroit @ San Diego (-11). PICK: Detroit

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-11). Last week, I told you, my faithful legion, that I was trying to decide between seeing No Country For Old Men or Beowulf at a 3-D IMAX theater. Well, The Girl wanted to go shopping, so we picked a mall that just so happened to have a 3-D IMAX theater - so Beowulf was the choice. Gotta admit, I have no idea how the movie would play in a regular ol' showing, but I quite enjoyed it. One criticism, though: it did lose a considerable amount of steam when, uh, a particular character disappeared from the film. (Spoiler avoided for those who didn't take a literature class in college). PICK: Philadelphia

Washington @ NY Giants (-5). PICK: NY Giants

Chicago @ Minnesota (-10). PICK: Minnesota

Last week: 6-10
Overall: 96-100-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $1,400

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Separated at birth?

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig...

... and Beowulf's Grendel?

Anyway, tonight's early game:

Denver (-1 1/2) @ Houston. PICK: Denver

Circle of life

The most fantastic name mentioned in the Mitchell Report (pdf)?

Pascual "I-285" Perez.

Seriously, page 33. Hilarious.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Doubting Thomas

The Atlanta Falcons have just announced secondary coach Emmitt Thomas will serve as interim coach for the final three games of the season.

You want to know how critical, how crucial Thomas has been to the team? Well, apparently this is the best photo the AJC has of him.

Uh, the Falcons haven't worn those helmets since 2002 - and I think that's Jamal Anderson on the right, which would put the photo at 2001 or before.

Hell, that picture was probably taken on film.

Quitters, Inc.

Coach Bobby Petrino has quit on the Atlanta Falcons to take the head gig at the University of Arkansas.

"Raise your hand if you're a sniveling rat-faced asshole! Really, all of you? I was just talking about Bobb... alright, then."

To which I say: "There's a party in my pants, and everybody is invited!"

As I said just after Petrino's hire: "It's just, well, history ain't on the Falcons' side here." Of course, not really anything has been on the Falcons' side this year, but Petrino has made sure his NFL head-coaching career amounts to no more than an asterisk. (I also said "Vick is the test" regarding Petrino's tenure, and turned out to be correct in a much different way than I intended.)

Looking back, I was initially higher on Petrino than when the season started. And I soured on him more with each passing day, eventually texting and e-mailing any little glimmer of a rumor I could find ("Miles to Michigan, Tuberville to LSU, Petrino to Auburn!"). His treatment of Joey Harrington, in particular, was especially galling. The guy was an asshole, which is fine if you're winning, but not so much when you're 3-10.

So he's gone. And good riddance, quitter. I can think of no better punishment than to have to deal with the Arkansas fanbase, in particular a legitimately psychotic group of player parents. They run their program like a 12-year-old's soccer league up there, so enjoy ("My little Johnny isn't playing enough, and you know, we can find a coach who better recognizes his talents!").

The obvious question: Who's up? And while I would love to see Morten Andersen be named the interim coach the rest of the year, let's look into 2008. A quick gander:

  • Bill Cowher, former Pittsburgh coach (a guy can dream)
  • Jason Garrett, Dallas offensive coordinator
  • Marty Schottenheimer
  • Any coach currently in the college ranks (this means Sylvester Croom, Kirk Ferentz, Jeff Tedford or even a whisper of Click-Clack)
  • Chan Gailey, nerd castaway
  • Steve Mariucci
  • Mike Martz (seriously, if you're down to this retard, make me the hire)
If I had to put a prediction down on pixels, though, I'm thinking current 49ers defensive coordinator Mike Singletary will be the hire. Young, proven, a big name, and - and this is important for the Atlanta franchise - black. You want to reenergize the large black fanbase that deserted you over the Vick thing? Especially with an in-all-likelihood white quarterback next year? Done and mostly done.

Oh, and take Darren McFadden with the first draft pick. We giveth to Arkansas, we also taketh away. And if he isn't available, go with the best O-lineman on the board. A quarterback can be found in the second round or, of course, already on the roster.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weather or not

Be honest.

You're a smart person.

You're starting to see this for what it is.

You're starting to doubt.

At least a little.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 14

The well is dry, my friends. Since I bragged about my intelligence streak a few weeks ago, it's been turd bomb after turd bomb ever since. And it culminated in my worst outing ever last week: 4-12.

So the picks are below, but you might want to go opposite and buy yourself a new yacht on Monday. I'm even too depressed to create many hearty bonmots. And I love hearty bonmots.

The picks:

Chicago @ Washington (-3). Yes, this game was last night - but I got the damn thing wrong anyway, so it doesn't matter. I hate myself. PICK: Chicago

Carolina @ Jacksonville (-10 1/2). PICK: Carolina

Dallas (-10 1/2) @ Detroit. PICK: Dallas

Oakland @ Green Bay (-10 1/2). With Brandon Jacobs hurting and Rudi Johnson and Reggie Bush sucking, Packer RB Ryan Grant has turned into an every week starter on my fantasy team. No, things don't look great for the playoffs. PICK: Green Bay

San Diego @ Tennessee (PICK). PICK: San Diego

NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-3). I make my fair share of dipshit prognostications, but I'm damn certain I would make a fantastic quarterback scout. Over the past decade, I've loved Peyton Manning and hated Ryan Leaf coming out of college. I've derided the overzealous interest in Eli Manning, wondering aloud why Ben Roethlisberger wasn't the first quarterback taken that year. I've been a supporter of drafting Carson Palmer with the first pick, but dramatically feigned madness at the same selection being spent on David Carr and Alex Smith. And I was the only voice telling the Dallas Cowboys not to take Quincy Carter - well, one of a few hundred thousand at least. (For the record, I did love the Falcons taking Michael Vick - and it looked good for awhile). My point, of course, is this: I rule. My other point: I get to pat myself on the back every time Eli does something stupid, like throwing a pick-6. The sad part is that I've just about ruined my right shoulder this year by doing so much damn patting. PICK: NY Giants

Tampa Bay (-3) @ Houston. Yes, I go from hating myself to telling you all that "I rule" in the span of five picks. Split personality, maybe. Indecisive, probably. Sexy as all get out, definitely. PICK: Tampa Bay

Miami @ Buffalo (-7). PICK: Miami

St. Louis @ Cincinnati (-6 1/2). PICK: St. Louis

Minnesota (-8 1/2) @ San Francisco.
Going to see one of two movies this weekend: No Country for Old Men or the IMAX version of Beowulf. If you can make a case for either one, please do so in the comments section. PICK: Minnesota

Arizona @ Seattle (-7). PICK: Arizona

Pittsburgh @ New England (-10 1/2). The popular pick. After struggling - but winning - the last two weeks, the Patriots have the entire country believing the Steelers will not only cover, but they could very possibly win. Of course, this should be the reddest of blood-red flags telling you to bet New England huge, but I'm a stupid fucking idiot. PICK: Pittsburgh

Cleveland (-3) @ NY Jets. A late add-in: I'm glad John Kerry has so many important things to worry about. PICK: NY Jets

Kansas City @ Denver (-6 1/2). PICK: Kansas City

Indianapolis (-9) @ Baltimore. The Ravens are deflated after the Patriots loss, and playing a slightly shorter week than the Colts. And the players really don't get too caught up in the "the Colts used to be here!" thing. The Raven year is lost, the Colts roll. PICK: Indianapolis

New Orleans (-4 1/2) @ Atlanta. The Falcons will choose this week to turn their season around and make a playoff ru ... oh, fuck it. PICK: New Orleans

Last week: 4-12
Overall: 90-90-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $900

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Plasma screen

Bravo to New York Magazine for their clever Sweeney Todd graphic.

If their goal was to alternately get me excited about the film and make sure The Girl never sees it, then it's a job well done.

Hat tip: Wells.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Black power

From the AJC:

For Georgia, New Orleans is not a different locale or the one people wanted. So the challenge for Georgia now is to get fans to come to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 1. To do that, Richt is pulling an old trick out of his bag. The Bulldogs will don black.

"We are going to ask the Bulldog Nation to get excited and try to black out the [Superdome]," Richt said. "It is a great memory for them and the fans, and let's see if we can relive some of that excitement."

Ok, a couple of things. First, has Coach Richt considered who we're playing?

What, are we going to have an "orange-out" when Tennessee comes to Athens next year?

Second, blacking out the Superdome is so 2005.

For the record, I'm not upset about Georgia not getting into the BCS Championship Game. We cashed that check when we lost to South Carolina and Tennessee.

I am upset, however, at not getting a shot at USC in the Rose Bowl, and further, having to play freakin' Hawaii. Our season was too good of a story to have ended up an afterthought (and if you watched the BCS selection show, that's exactly what Georgia appeared to be).

Honestly, though, I feel a little vindicated. I've been a detractor of the BCS, and really the entire bowl system, for as long as I've known about it. Despite the obvious bonuses of the college game, I continue to pour an equal amount of attention to the NFL because of its clear-cut, defined ultimate goal. The college postseason is a corrupt sham, and it continues to be the only reason college football isn't far and away the best sport in the land.

Yes, a playoff is needed. No, it wouldn't detract from the regular season. As I said in a recent e-mail to anti-playoff friends:

Yes, I think the current system is so much better. A postseason should be based solely around money, which schools will buy more tickets, which teams would draw better ratings, and which conferences have greased enough palms in each bowl committee. I think having one game that means something and about 25 meaningless exhibitions is the way to go! There is waaay too much emphasis put to what happens on the field already. I mean, if we had a playoff, we would completely stop caring about beating Florida and Auburn each year. I mean, yawn, right?

Or is everybody cool with how this played out? Again?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This is going to be a long day

Friday, November 30, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 13 - Episode Two

We just can't focus on the NFL this week here at M.A.I. headquarters. With the college football season wrapping up, there are obviously important decisions to be made. And all of them are based around one thing: where the hell the Georgia Bulldogs are playing their bowl game.

There are tickets to be procured, both game and plane. Hotel reservations to be made. Liquor stores to be robbed to pay for it. And, you know, Christmas 'n shit.

If only somebody would try to predict what is going to happen ...

The picks:

Atlanta @ St. Louis (-3 1/2). So my loving, supportive girlfriend has joined the bandwagon of beating me down for my Falcons allegiance. Fine, whatever. But know this: St. Louis is lining up Gus Frerotte behind center this week, so - hey! Oh, fine, turn away. Pretend not to care. But know, this: PICK: Atlanta

Buffalo @ Washington (-6). So will the Redskins come out like Brett Favre after his father died, and lay down a 34-point victory in memory of Sean Taylor? Or will they come out like San Francisco coach Bill Nolan did after his father died this year, and get slammed to the tune of 24-0? I smell more 49er than Favre in the Redskin Stew this year. PICK: Buffalo

Detroit @ Minnesota (-4). Well, this article has already won the contest for Best Lead of 2007. Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad." Boy, I sure do love the peaceful, serene religion of Islam! PICK: Minnesota

Houston @ Tennessee (-4). I have just named every one of my pubic hairs Muhammad. PICK: Tennessee

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-7). PICK: Indianapolis

NY Jets @ Miami (-1). Yes, you read that right. The NY Jets are actually dogs to the winless Dolphins. And as much as I love to see that surely embarrassing fact, I think it will only serve to gear up New York for an impending beatdown. PICK: NY Jets

San Diego (-6 1/2) @ Kansas City. PICK: San Diego

Seattle @ Philadelphia (-3). PICK: Philadelphia

San Francisco @ Carolina (-3). If the Panthers lose here, they could be tied with the Falcons for worst in the NFC South. That's how bad their season has been. Tied with the Falcons. Yowza. PICK: San Francisco

Cleveland (-1) @ Arizona.
PICK: Cleveland

Denver (-3 1/2) @ Oakland. PICK: Denver

Tampa Bay @ New Orleans (-3 1/2). The NFC South could be decided in large part here. Between a truly bad 7-4 Bucs team, and a 5-6 Saints squad. Man, the Falcons sure picked a winner of a year to suck. PICK: New Orleans

NY Giants (-2) @ Chicago. For all the hype and discussion about the Eli Manning/Philip Rivers draft day trade, the result has been a little anti-climactic. It's like arguing over which movie to see when the only choices are Chairman of the Board and From Justin to Kelly. PICK: Chicago

A visual aid in case you weren't familiar with the film I mentioned. Bless you if you aren't.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7). Speaking of Kelly Clarkson, you are now reading the words of the oldest male in the audience at her Tuesday night concert. The tickets were birthday presents for The Girl. And yet she still hasn't watched Die Hard with me after a year-and-a-half. PICK: Cincinnati

New England (-21) @ Baltimore. I love the Patriots pick here. Love it. They are humiliated by almost losing, and Randy Moss is insanely pissed at seeing Terrell Owens break the TDs-in-straight-games-for-a-WR record last night. The Ravens are 'bout to get punked. PICK: New England

Thursday night: 0-1
Last week: 5-9-2

Overall: 86-79-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $90

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week 13 - Episode One

There's an early game this week, and I haven't finished the entire column in time. My apolog - ah fuck it, there's nobody reading anyway.

The pick:

Green Bay @ Dallas (-7). Tonight is the first NFL match-up of 10-1 vs. 10-1 in almost two decades (at least I think that's what Mike Tirico just said on his radio show; I don't do research). And I live in one of those lucky NFL Network homes, so I'll be able to watch. However, I will most definitely not be able to listen, at least without shoving rusty screwdrivers in each ear so forcefully they meet in the middle. Who the hell thought Bryant Gumbel, that Kermit-voiced lesbian, would make a good on-air analyst? That has to go down as one of the worst sports-related decisions of all time, along with having a chick in the Yankees booth, Chris Berman's parents procreating, and the recent midnight skeet competition at Sean Taylor's house. PICK: Green Bay

Last week: 7-9
Overall: 86-78-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $20

(That's amazing, by the way. I've picked 173 games, putting an imaginary $100 on each - and I'm only $20 different from when I started).

Monday, November 26, 2007


A year ago, I celebrated Georgia's sixth straight victory over Georgia Tech with a little photo montage, which I still consider among my best work ever. It was damn near artsy, I think.

The spread - the masterwork - culminated with a shot of me inside Sanford Stadium, relishing the win from one row behind Tech's band. Life was sweet.

Yes, I was wearing a Falcons hat. My head is enormous, and I have to take what I can get.

On Saturday night, however, the game shifted to Tech's - er, stadium? field? hobo port-o-let? - and tickets were a lot harder to come by. In fact, in my 13 years regularly attending UGA games, I've never seen so few tickets to be had. I walked around five hours before kickoff, two hours before kickoff, and 10 minutes after kickoff, and even the scalpers were empty-handed.

So Victory #7 was enjoyed from the tailgate.

A big thanks to The Girl for her stellar camerawork on both occasions.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 12

The safest, 100%, surest-lock bet of last week came through with a vengeance, and you were handsomely paid if you followed its lead. And it was easy to figure: whenever I take seven paragraphs to extol my wagering greatness, I'm about to have a King Turd of a week.

5-9-2, baby.

Anyway, I'm headed out of town in just about, oh, five minutes, so the picks are brief. I hope you can live with that in peace. Just don't cut yourselves. That's not cool.

(I will, however, show you one of the greatest movie posters of all time).

Click for bigger NPH.

Green Bay (-3 1/2) @ Detroit. I want to take Detroit, who has always played well on Thanksgiving Day even in their leaner years, but I can't go against The Favre. PICK: Green Bay

NY Jets @ Dallas (-14). PICK: Dallas

Indianapolis (-11 1/2) @ Atlanta. Joey Harrington has been named the starter, so it looks like I won't have to kill Bobby Petrino - yet. But I can't remember despising an Atlanta sports figure so much, especially in so short a time. Stanicek says, "Give the guy a break man - I'm pretty sure you were the only living, breathing human being who actually believed the Falcons would be any better than 4-12 or 5-11 this year - give him another year before you make terroristic threats upon him and his family." I think Stanicek is soft. PICK: Atlanta

Buffalo @ Jacksonville (-7 1/2). I'll be in Jacksonville for Thanksgiving, and if I didn't have to come back early for the Georgia/Georgia Tech game, I'd make it a point to attend this one. And wouldn't The Girl be happy with that, to be able to see a stellar NFL matchup like BUFFALO VERSUS JACKSONVILLE. PICK: Buffalo

Houston @ Cleveland (-3 1/2). PICK: Cleveland

Oakland @ Kansas City (-5 1/2). PICK: Kansas City

Seattle (-3) @ St. Louis. PICK: St. Louis

Minnesota @ NY Giants (-7). PICK: NY Giants

Washington @ Tampa Bay (-3). PICK: Washington

New Orleans (-3) @ Carolina.
PICK: New Orleans

Tennessee @ Cincinnati (PICK). PICK: Tennessee

San Francisco @ Arizona (-10 1/2). The Cardinals are favored by double digits, and I'm still picking them. And it's damn near safe to say the 49ers will end up in the second spot in the draft - too bad the fucking Patriots own San Fran's first round pick. So because of their spying controversy, they lost their first round draft pick, but will still have one of the top two overall. I fucking hate those assholes. PICK: Arizona

Baltimore @ San Diego (-9 1/2). PICK: San Diego

Denver @ Chicago (-2 1/2). PICK: Chicago

Philadelphia @ New England (-22). Good lord. Philadelphia doesn't even have a losing record. And yet, the spread is too small. PICK: New England

Miami @ Pittsburgh (-16). Pffft, I'm only impressed when teams are favored by over 20. PICK: Miami

Last week: 5-9-2

Overall: 79-69-9
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $310

Monday, November 19, 2007

One hand clapping

Noted author and professor Orson Scott Card - who I first read at age 13 with his novelization of James Cameron's The Abyss, incidentally - takes on an entirely new arena of science fiction.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Happy birthday to The Girl.

She's the pretty one. In the middle. I'm the pretty one on the right.

Of course, this is only bad news for yours truly. She gets wiser with every year, and sooner or later, will realize she can do a lot better than me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Can't buy her love

Ok, I'm confused.

The tag line refers to Patrick Dempsey's character as "a real man," and yet the photo shows the actor in the most feminine light possible.

Is that make-up? A cheekbone lift? I guess you could argue he got the lipstick from smooching that chick on the right, but - hey, are those Evangeline Lilly's eyes?!

I mean, I'm happy Dempsey is getting big screen lead roles again. We're too far gone from the days of Can't Buy Me Love and Meatballs III. And I'm all for channeling 1985-era Rob Lowe. Lord knows I did - I played the saxophone in my elementary school band just because of St. Elmo's Fire.

I'm just not sure my reaction upon seeing the poster should be, "Man, that chick in the suit is kinda hot."

Update: After a little more research, I'm shocked - SHOCKED! - they're not billing this as "From the director of Leonard Part 6 and City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold." Because that would be accurate. This movie is going to be fantastic.

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 11

Fair warning: very little football talk this week. I mean, I work so hard for you, practically printing money and stuffing it in your pockets - and I've received nary a note of thanks. Not an uno. Let's check out my last months of picks.





For you math wizards out there, let me spell it out: 33-21-1. If you had bet $100 on every game, even with 10% juice on losses, you'd be up $990. If you'd bet a thousand on every game, you could buy a reasonably nice used car by now. And hell, if you'd bet only a measly million on every game, you'd be up $9,900,000. Profit. But you didn't make those bets, and now you have no money to buy your wife her favorite carton of cigarettes and/or box of wine for Christmas. You're an asshole.

So yeah, the picks are here, but I'm too pissed off to delve into every game. Instead, I'm going to annoy you with random observations and politics you disagree with. You deserve it.

Tampa Bay (-3) @ Atlanta. This is one of the games I do care to comment on, of course, because I'm a rampant Atlanta homer. Now I never had a realistic anticipation of a 14-2 Falcons season, but they are still potentially playoff-bound after a 1-6 start. Say that out loud: "The Falcons are still potentially playoff-bound after a 1-6 start." Now scream it: "The Falcons are still potentially playoff-bound after a 1-6 start!" Now do a twirly dance, scratch your pits, and SING it, "The Fallll-cons arrrre still poTENTially playoff-bound aaaaafter a 1-6 starrrrt!" You are my little monkey, aren't you, monkey? Dance, monkey, dance. Monkey. But anyway, it may sound silly, but it's true: win this game, and they are one game out of the division lead. It's not that the Falcons are some special squad, they aren't; it's that the NFC South sucks flea sack this year. PICK: Atlanta

Arizona @ Cincinnati (-3 1/2). And no, that wasn't racist. "Monkey" doesn't automatically equal racist. And anyway, if you're reading this, I can almost guarantee that you're white. And no, that doesn't mean black people can't read. It's just that my friends are all white. I mean, not all of them. I know some black people. We're tight. Like that guy at that place. And the guy who cleaned my gutters that time, but can't come back, because I swear he was trying to peek into my sister's bedroom window, I mean, I never saw him do it, but he just looked like the type, you know, no, not because he was black, just because he was shady, not like dark, just mysterious. I have black friends. PICK: Cincinnati

NY Giants (-3) @ Detroit. Random kudos to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who with each week solidify "South Park" as my favorite show in the history of television. No exaggeration on that one anymore. The best compliment I can pay anything is to say, "Damn, I wish I had thought of that," and that seems to happen every week with the Comedy Central classic. I remember discovering Parker and Stone's original short "The Spirit of Christmas" on a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy-of-a-VHS (remember, those tape things?) in 1996. When I heard a full-length show was being created, I doubted they'd have enough material to fill up 30 minutes, much less an entire season. And here we are, 10 years after its debut, and it's better than ever. PICK: NY Giants

Carolina @ Green Bay (-10). So I had a great idea today. I finished my second cup of coffee and my third Diet Coke - this was around 9:08, if memory serves - and it hit me: I don't like coffee! And after years of abuse, I've finally become immune to Diet Coke's power. Add to that my interest in not having a heart attack before 32, the answer seemed clear: caffeinated water. I mean, a million dollar idea, right? Have a healthy and guilt-free alternative to all that dark joe and carbonated acid, but one with the same solid caffeine kick I need about 14 or 15 times each morning. Well, safe to say, I now know how Seth Rogen felt in Knocked Up when he discovered the Mr. Skin website. PICK: Green Bay

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-15 1/2). The Colts are going to come out pissed off. Take cover. And the cover. PICK: Indianapolis

Oakland @ Minnesota (-6). The Girl and I saw American Gangster on Monday night - and it gets the Seal of The Cutest Darn Couple In the World Approval from the both of us. Saying it's better than the last Denzel Washington/Russell Crowe pairing is not exactly high praise, but saying I wish it had been longer is. Really, my big complaint is that it was too short, and the damn thing was two-and-a-half hours long. I just thought big chunks were missing. I wanted more of Denzel in Bangkok, to learn more about how he achieved what he did (no spoilers here). I wanted more of how Denzel rose to power in the community, as an early brazen move (very brazen) in broad daylight left me wondering where the repercussions were. And I wanted more of Crowe's backstory, how a guy whose best friends were gangsters could wind up a cop in law school. Oh, and what's with the great final shots this year? Gangster has my second-favorite one of 2007, just behind Michael Clayton. PICK: Minnesota

Miami @ Philadelphia (-10). A popular theory on local sports radio this week has Donovan McNabb coming to Atlanta in the offseason. First, I can absolutely see this happening. It would be a publicity coup for the Falcons, helping them get back practically every black season ticket holder who abandoned the team this year (and there were plenty). From a football standpoint, though, I have to fall in with the "against" crowd. McNabb is a good QB, no doubt, but an injury waiting to happen. He been on the IR near midseason three times out of the past five years, and one stellar game against the Lions aside, has been erratic at best in 2007. Atlanta already has Byron Leftwich and Joe(y) Harrington on the roster for '08, and could use their first draft pick on a Brian Brohm. PICK: Philadelphia

San Diego @ Jacksonville (-3). Oh Florida, how I love you. This had all the trappings to be the most hilarious, feel-good story of the year - until we learn what happened to the alligator. Seriously, if you throw a piece of pizza in my face, I'm going to eat it (seriously, try it. Please?). I shouldn't be punished for loving me some cheesy goodness, and the gator shouldn't be punished for loving some tasty gutter moron. PICK: San Diego

Cleveland (-3) @ Baltimore. Earlier today, I couldn't remember how old I was. No shit. I actually had to think, "Ok, I was born in February 1976, so, um, that means I was 30 in February 2006, 31 in February 2007. Ok, 31." Not sure why I'm sharing this. PICK: Cleveland

New Orleans (-1) @ Houston.
"This facile attribution of climate change to human agency is an act of hubris. Good stewardship of the environment is an ethical imperative for every nation. But breast-beating hysteria merely betrays impious tunnel vision. Thousands of factors, minute and grand, are at work in cyclic climate change, whose long-term outcomes we cannot possibly predict. Nature should inspire us with awe, not pity." Cyclic, not cyclical? Ya learn something new every day. PICK: New Orleans

Pittsburgh (-10) @ NY Jets. Mine eyes tell me the Steelers are too much smoke and a whole helluva lot of mirrors, but I'm fighting that opinion as they're the best hope to beat New England. Except maybe - oh, I won't ruin that absurd, but legit, prediction just yet. PICK: NY Jets

Washington @ Dallas (-11). Just finishing up Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, obviously timing it perfectly with the film's release this weekend. If the movie is half as good as the book - and some are saying it's better - I'm finding it hard to believe it won't end the year at the top of my 2007 standings. If you aren't dying to see the movie on opening weekend, I'd pick up the book first. It's a quick one. PICK: Dallas

St. Louis @ San Francisco (-2). The worst game of the year. Really. But this is why the NFL secretly loves gambling. There would be nobody outside of these two cities watching this game if it weren't for degenerates like you and me - because it's an easy bet. The 49ers are atrocious, and the Rams have the talent to put up at least 14-or-so points. Which is four more than San Fran will be capable of. PICK: St. Louis

Chicago @ Seattle (-3). It's so nice of multi-billionaire Warren Buffett to speak for all of the nation's wealthy, because they are obviously in the exact same boat as him. Doesn't he know he is completely free to whip out his checkbook and give the government whatever he wants to? If he wants to be taxed so badly, what's he waiting for? Senator Chuck Grassley (R - Obviously) has it right: "There is something fundamentally wrong when the government swoops in after a funeral to take a cut of what that person had worked their whole life for, and has already paid taxes on at least once." (Emphasis mine). But remember, they're rich, so they're eeeeeevil! PICK: Chicago

New England (-16) @ Buffalo. Thanks to SI's Peter King for ruining a perfectly good shirt on Monday. See, I threw up all over myself when he pointed out that Boston's three most popular teams - the Sox, Pats and Celtics - are a combined 17-0 since October 18th. (Though the Bruins are only 8-6, suckas!). I think the Patriots could fall this weekend, and I'm actually serious - the Bills have a hellacious defense at times, and could sneak up on the almighty Pats. In fact, I'm calling it - Upset Pick. And maybe Sonny Perdue could pray for it. As long as he's not doing anything useful, that is. PICK: Buffalo

Tennessee @ Denver (-2). I'm still pissed at you, ya know. PICK: Tennessee

Last week: 8-5-1

Overall: 74-60-7
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $800

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fourth blood

I mean, my goodness. Is everybody as excited about this as I am?

Fine, maybe not. But I mean, my goodness.

Click for bigger hugecockedness.

Kawasaki ninja sony. Tokyo sushi? Samurai!

An exact conversation I just had with a coworker:

COWORKER: You're just the person I was looking for!

ME: Hey, what I can I do for you?

COWORKER: Your girlfriend speaks Oriental, right?

ME: She speaks Japanese.

COWORKER: Perfect! I have a woman on the phone I need you to speak with.
I can't understand her.

ME: Well, I don't speak Japanese.

COWORKER: She's Vietnamese.

ME: I don't speak Vietnamese.

COWORKER: Well, I'll transfer her in here anyway. I'm sure you'll do better than me.

Bonus: An interesting debate on whether "coworker" or "co-worker" is correct.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The dark side

Image courtesy of Jim Hipple by way of Georgia Sports Blog

Well, that was fun.

I usually stay away from writing about college football, and particularly the Georgia Bulldogs, if only because others do it far better. I just don't have the memory or the attention span to compile the knowledge those guys have, so I leave it to 'em with happiness.

Circumstances compel me, however, to opine on the 2007 University of Georgia season, as it has somewhat rapidly made a turn for the ass-kickin'. And it's all thanks to one man.

Dark Richt.

I've never warmed to coach Mark Richt as much as my Georgia brethren. In my eyes, he's often been given a free pass because of his nice guy-demeanor and his religious faith. Listening to a call-in show, I can literally hold my breath between utterances of "good Christian," and every time I overdramatically roll my eyes and groan. (It's doing the little things that make me happy.)

Now please don't mistake this for an anti-Christian bias. To each their own and all that. It's just that I've longed for Richt to break out of that Bible Belt-mentality on occasion. Just like "politician," I just don't think a strict religious faith necessarily suits "football coach" well.

See, I want the asshole as my coach. I've always wanted the asshole as my coach. I want a guy with the bile-soaked breath who doesn't flinch at running up a score or ordering a retaliatory hit. I want a guy who is good because he is devious, and grins whenever he's called on it. I want a guy who will drop an F-bomb to referees, and in the occasional press conference. I don't want a guy whose testimony is online, unless it's a testimony regarding Judas Priest, Ty Cobb or Hitler.

(As a side note, I admit I've always liked Steve Spurrier because he is damn near every one of those things, except he probably thought Hitler was soft. The difference between he and that fuckass Bill Belichick is that Spurrier enjoys his evil ways, while Belichick is a self-important, dick-serious douchehat. My kind of asshole outwardly enjoy their assholatry.)

Mark Richt, obviously, has never fit that mold. He's known for his calm demeanor, G-rated tongue and, 51-7 aside, Georgia certainly isn't famous for running up scores. I always supported the man - I can't not support anyone with an undefeated record against Georgia Tech - but I've never pushed my chips in all the way.

Until now.

I'm not going to waste your time chroncling the recent turn of events in the UGA program. If you're reading this, you're quite familiar. It's been all over the local news and, shockingly, getting a lot of play in the national media as well.

Safe to say, though, I'm thrilled with the Dark Richt era.

Look at that picture. I mean, I attend damn near every Georgia home game and at least a couple of away contests every year, and I've never seen that before. And I'm not the only one: I believe it was taken as Richt was walking off the field at halftime, because my 300-level section went crazy. "Look at Coach!" one guy yelled behind me. The cheers at that moment rivaled any touchdown we scored before or after. Richt was showing his emotion - a true rarity - and we were right there with him.

He's not a Spurrier, hell no. But he may have done better: he seems to have found a niche that allows him to be true to himself and to have a little devilish fun at the same time. It's a blend that's working, for damn sure, and it's something that all Georgia fans should be able to get behind.

I've followed, analyzed, breathed this program since my freshman year in 1994, and I can assuredly say it has never been more fun to be a Georgia Bulldog than right now. The team has been better, yeah, but I don't remember a Monday afternoon when I've pleaded with the calendar more to speed up five days - and that's for a Kentucky game, mind you.

Dark Richt, I don't know where you've been, but I hope you don't go anywhere for a long, long time.

Go Dawgs.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why’z It Have 2 B a “BLACK Out?”

University of Georgia seniors have requested that fans wear black shirts to Saturday's game against Auburn. This is the official M.A.I. response.

Yo, yo, peep this: We’z all like, gots ta put da fear, DA FEAR, in Auburn’s heartses. Gotz ta make ‘em SHUDDA. Gotz ta make ‘em know they in SANFORD, home of da DAWG POUND. Suckas gotz ta shake.

Time for a black-out, bitches. Our playas thought it wuz a good idea, n’ I ain’t gonna be 1 to say different. Gotz me ta thinkin’, dough. Why’z, wit’ all da hate and da strife and da disharmonamonmony, we’z got to go all black? What, ‘chu think automatically makin’ sumthin’ black makes it SCARY? You’z thinkin’ Auburn fanz are gonna think they wallet gonna be stolen by fans in black?

Why’z it have 2 B a BLACK out?

All personal like, I can think of lotz of scarier things than a BLACK out. Like a WHITE out. It’z like you messed up on ya term paper, and have to cover up a mistake. What’s scarier than when you mess up on a term paper, yo? Dats like yo’ grades n’ shit.

Or what about a green out? I meanz, everybody be wearin’ green, da Auburn playaz be thinkin’ about carbon offsetz and how da world comin’ to an end! That would freaks me out too, yo. Dey like, “Oh SHIT? There gonna be melted water and polar bearz in heres by the 3rd quarta! No!”

Check this out 2: a pink out. They be seein’ all these menz wearing pink, and think dey bus took a wrong turn into Gaytown! Dey don’t wanna be in Gaytown! Dey’z gonna get raped in Gaytown! And yep, dat’s scary.

Allz I sayin’ iz that we don’t need no racist shanaynay here in the Classics City. There lots of things scarier than black, and suckas better recognize. Peace.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 10

And now for something completely a little different...

I began writing this column yesterday, only to have my eyes sag, my head droop, and my forehead become imprinted with a backwards "poiuytrewq" as it hit the keyboard. (I'm still not sure why my keyboard is layered with newsprint.) Coffee did me no good, Coke was a no-go, and apparently jenkem only makes you sleepier. Huh.

If only this week's NFL lineup wasn't so boring.

Out of 14 games, only three involve two teams with winning records. And of those three, one of them involves Cleveland, and the other is a hotly anticipated meeting of Jacksonville and Tennezzzzzz... Oh, sorry, dozed off there for a second.

So boring. So fucking boring.

In light of that, I thought I'd add some color to the proceedings. So in addition to a potentially educational/witty/perhaps-both comment about each game, I'm also going to provide you an apt movie comparison. Basically a "this game reminds me of this movie" kind of thing.

Got it? Good.

The picks:

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-6). It's Young vs. Old, as the Minnesota QB/RB combo of Tavaris Jackson and Adrian Peterson (average age: 23) go against Green Bay QB Brett Favre (age: 83). Of course, if Jackson can't go, it's Brooks Bollinger time, baby. (Seriously, is Billy Jo Tolliver going to get a start this season?).

Brett Favre and a suspiciously white Tavaris Jackson meet at midfield.

PICK: Green Bay


Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-4). When you mix the gene pools of football fans from north Florida and Tennessee, scary things can be produced. An interesting game is not one of them.

PICK: Jacksonville


Denver @ Kansas City (-3). On this week's "South Park," Stan said it best when he ran into Denver quarterback Jay Cutler: "I mean, you kinda suck, but my dad says you might be good some day." Is this the first Vanderbilt grad referenced by "South Park?" Without researching it, or giving it a single amount of thought, I'm going to say "yes." (Al Gore didn't graduate, bitches). And by the way, just a reminder, Denver is now 1-7 against the spread.

PICK: Kansas City


Buffalo (-3) @ Miami. The Bills should never, ever be a road favorite - except against the 2007 Miami Dolphins. In the course of one season, not only could the Dolphins lose their status as the only undefeated team in history, they could end up the first 0-16 team.

PICK: Buffalo


St. Louis @ New Orleans (-12). Four weeks ago I wrote, "There's this silly little gnawing feeling I'm getting that New Orleans is about to explode for eight straight wins." Four down, four to go.

Oh, I know - too obvious. But I can't pass up a good Katrina joke.

PICK: New Orleans


Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-10). The Steelers' dismantling of Baltimore on Monday night had a lot more to do with Raven incompetence than Steeler dominance, so I'm not going to get on my knees and relax my jaw for them quite yet. Still, nobody will be a bigger Pittsburgh fan than me when they visit New England - and their moniker finally gives me a chance to reference this classic.

Seriously, if you ever saw this - or Kazaam - you are obligated to admit it in the comments section.

PICK: Cleveland


Philadelphia @ Washington (-3). Ok, you might think this is because Philadelphia starred Denzel WASHINGTON. Philadelphia-Washington, get it? But you'd be wrong. In fact, it's only because I want Jason Campbell to get AIDS. (It's an Auburn thing.)

PICK: Philadelphia


Atlanta @ Carolina (-4). When these teams matched up earlier this season, DeAngelo Hall's crybaby antics pretty much cost the Falcons a win. Here's hoping his teammates can not only play a good game, but make sure their star cornerback keeps his freakin' mouth shut.

PICK: Atlanta


Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-4). The Bengals have had nine players arrested in the past year and a half, and the Ravens have Ray Lewis. So duh.

Sadly, I couldn't find the poster for Penitentiary II online, and that's the far better film as it stars Mr. T - as himself.

PICK: Cincinnati


Chicago (-3 1/2) @ Oakland.
Part of me truly believes Daunte Culpepper is, well, "special." I think his lack of intelligence goes beyond dumb, to a realm where he should ride to the stadium in the shorter team bus. Culpepper, however, could have rocked the shit in the Special Olympics. Just rocked it. Sadly, it appears he may be the third string quarterback this week, behind Josh McCown and JaMarcus Russell. How the retarded have fallen.

PICK: Chicago


Dallas (-2) @ NY Giants. Media darlings Tony Romo and Eli Manning - who share the common trait of not actually having earned their accolades or attention - face off in a hard, sweaty, back-and-forth, gladiator-style, Greco-Roman, party boy extravaganza. Cowboy up.

It's been a long time since a Brokeback joke. Too long.

PICK: Dallas


Detroit (-1) @ Arizona. Lions draft pick Calvin Johnson went to Georgia Tech - nerd. Detroit is the picked-on kid finally getting his comeuppance with their 6-2 season - revenge. This game will not be any good - Nerds part 2 instead of part 1.

PICK: Detroit


Indianapolis (-4) @ San Diego. The undefeated Colts looking to rebound against the already rebounding Chargers. It's nice of Manning to fit in the game between commercial shoots.

You find another movie with "advertising" in the title.

PICK: Indianapolis


San Francisco @ Seattle (-10). These teams are a combined 6-10, which is not exactly what ESPN dreamed of when this was set for Monday Night Football. And yet here it is, a ratings disaster staring them right in the face. They want to get rid of it, they damn near need to get rid of it - but there ain't no gettin' rid of it.

Want to see the original "Problem Child" all grown up? Trust me, you don't.

PICK: San Francisco

Last week: 9-5

Overall: 66-55-6
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $550

Fun with city names

From today's

So is that like, "I, I, I, ad, ad, adm, adm, admit to, to, to, an, e, e, e, e, EBAY SCAAAAAAAAAAaaaAAM!"

Friday, November 02, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 9

I didn't realize it until just now, but there is actually more than one NFL game being played this weekend. You'd never know it looking at ESPN, the NFL Network, Sports Illustrated or, fuck, even the Atlanta newspaper, but apparently it's true.

There will, however, be zero commercials not involving Peyton Manning. Sorry.

The picks:

Washington (-4) @ NY Jets. The Kellen Clemens era begins. Vegas is not impressed. On a side note, I lost all respect for Washington coach Joe Gibbs when he didn't punch Bill Belichick in the throat at the end of last week's game. Contrary to idiot sports reporter opinions, the issue wasn't the Patriots running up the score, it was the Pats going for it on 4th down up 38-0 in the 4th quarter with the starters still in. Half of the plays Indianapolis draws up this week should involve hitting Tom Brady's knees. PICK: Washington

Green Bay @ Kansas City (-2). One of those head-scratchers. Surely the 6-1 Packers, O Kings of Resurgence, will handle the 4-3, and overachieving, Chiefs? Right? Vegas loves the Chiefs, and so should you. The Packers are playing after a short week, and, well, you don't really need another excuse - when the line looks this screwy, go against your gut. PICK: Kansas City

Arizona @ Tampa Bay (-3 1/2). Tampa Bay is in Florida, so I'll shoehorn this rant in here. Last weekend, I was in Jacksonville for the oh-so-glorious matchup between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators. It ended up being one of the most entertaining games I've ever watched in person (perhaps trumped by UGA/LSU '98, but maybe only that). So I have no postgame issues. It is the pregame, in-my-face taunts of "Gator bait!" that I do look at semi-quizzically. What the hell? Somebody says "bait," what do you think of? Worms, right? Ok, so a worm is "fish bait." What purpose does the worm serve? To kill the fish. So by calling Bulldogs "gator bait," aren't those inbred hillbillies just saying we are going to lure in and kill gators? That's good for us, isn't it? (LSU is very guilty of this, as well). The more I write here, the more I know I've ranted about this before, but I don't care. It's a'fresh on the mind. PICK: Tampa Bay

Carolina @ Tennessee (-4). David Carr is back, baby! PICK: Tennessee

San Francisco @ Atlanta (-3). This line might also look screwy, but the 49ers are only averaging 12 points a game. The Falcons ain't exactly good, but they're better than their 1-6 record indicates - and they should win this game by double digits. Plus, and this is a big plus, Atlanta is 4-3 against the spread this year. (This is the kind of in-depth analysis you pay the big bucks for here at M.A.I.). PICK: Atlanta

Jacksonville @ New Orleans (-3 1/2). Three weeks ago I wrote, "There's this silly little gnawing feeling I'm getting that New Orleans is about to explode for eight straight wins." Three down, five to go. PICK: New Orleans

Denver @ Detroit (-3). Looking back at my previous columns, I realize I have picked against Denver in each of their seven games so far. And look how it's treating me: Denver is 1-6 against the spread this. Keep ridin' that gimpy, three-legged, leper horse! PICK: Detroit

Cincinnati (-1 1/2) @ Buffalo. The Bills could be dangerous next year. You heard it here first. (Unless it doesn't happen, then you didn't hear it at all). PICK: Buffalo

San Diego (-7 1/2) @ Minnesota. PICK: San Diego

Seattle @ Cleveland (-1 1/2).
If Derek Anderson keeps playing this well, the Browns are going to have quite a predicament next year when deciding what to do with Brady Quinn. Of course, as I've said before, Quinn is this millennium's version of Ryan Leaf, so the Browns are just plain lucky somebody else has stepped up. PICK: Cleveland

New England (-6 1/2) @ Indianapolis.
My original plan for this column was to write an obscene amount of stuff for every other game on the schedule, but leave this one blank. To offset the rest of the world, and stuff like that. Trouble is, I'm too lazy this morning to write obscene amounts of stuff on anything, so just go ahead and bask in the joke I almost made. That said, I'm picking the Colts here only on good will. The Patriots will probably win this game by 20 because I hate them. No other reason, just because I hate them. I mean, I hate them so much. Hate, hateity, hate, hate, hate. I mean, I would sacrifice my fantasy football season just to have Tom Brady's left leg shatter into a million pieces, preferably on a hit by a kicker or something, when the Patriots are up 45-0 with three minutes to go in the game and the starters are still in. I mean, I hope al Qaida hijacks their plane this weekend and crashes it into Fenway. After all, 9/11 flights departed from Boston, right? Fucking Boston. In league with al Qaida. Go Colts. Fuck Bill Belichick. I fucking hate those fucking fucks. PICK: Indianapolis

Houston @ Oakland (-3). The Atlanta brass must be quietly, very quietly, thanking any-and-all religious dieties that Matt Schaub isn't having a great year. PICK: Oakland

Dallas (-3) @ Philadelphia. PICK: Dallas

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-10). PICK: Baltimore

Last week: 8-5

Overall: 57-50-6
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $200

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fun With Google: The Quickening

It's been awhile, but now seems like a perfect time for another game of "How the Hell Did You Get Here?"

All the fun is brought to you courtesy of Sitemeter, that little tag at the bottom of this page. It helps figure how you lovely Surfers O' Yon Internet were brought to Martians Attacking Indianapolis.

These recent Google searches delivered people to my Internet doorstep. I have not adjusted any of them, for spelling, grammar, or human decency:

  • two and half men generic music
  • +Adewale +oz +penis
  • less here than meets the eye
  • "punk cover" "eternal flame"
  • john mcginty scrubs
  • pinko kikuchi
  • "Joshua Massey", "love"
  • Peru OR indiana "Joshua Massey"
  • who remade in the 90s- making love out of nothing at all - remix
  • todd marinovich mug shot
  • Tom Rothrock - Briefcase
  • emmy 2006 scrubs
  • brian retkin
  • To The Dave Grusin in "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Goonies"
  • one 44 two 45s three loaded clips
  • what does hands down mean?
  • moscone bail bonds t shirt
  • ben roethlisberger's cock
  • subtlety of a jackhammer
  • benjamin carr drown
  • Moby martians
  • "what do bombs look like"
  • spider-man 3 sucked
  • jesus is magic
  • cleta winslow strip club
  • tickle pile
  • why spiderman 3 sucked?
  • martians indianapolis
  • "higher than pope" myspace
  • Omar Haugabook 2008 draft
  • georgia tech university, north avenue trade schools, nerds

Ok, obviously the last one is my favorite, and it fills my life with joy that this blog is one of Google's first 10 hits for that phrase.

Also, I would love to think that "'Joshua Massey,' 'love'" had anything to do with me, but it's probably some 15-year-old girl stalking a boy in her Algebra II class. Lastly, I have no idea where or when I talked about Ben Roethlisberger's cock, or why people are so interested in it, but that hit came up more than once. A lot more. And since I'm on a work computer, I ain't going to try to find out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If I got my way...

The place: Sanford Stadium, a gloriously cool autumn afternoon between the hedges.

The date: Saturday, November 3rd, 2007.

The time: 3:12 p.m.

The setting: Georgia has its football game firmly in hand, leading Troy 34-0 with a quarter to play. The Bulldogs are anti-Belichicks, already playing some second- and third-string guys on defense, resting their big Dawgs for Auburn.

Troy QB Omar Haugabook, playing with a tender hammy, hasn't had a great day. Five sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble. With 13 minutes to go, however, he launches one, and somehow finds WR Josh Allen alone in the endzone. Six points.

Trojans coach Larry Blakeney immediately signals to his players, and the entire team rushes the field and celebrates the score in the endzone. Two flags fly, and Troy is called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Mark Richt, grinning ear-to-ear, declines the penalties.

(Ok, I don't think you can decline unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. But this post is titled "If I got my way..." for a reason, dammit.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 8

Truncation. It's something I've never been accused of.

Alas, today's picks column will likely be truncated, as I am in the process of finishing up the work week, packing my bags, scalping tickets, loading The Girl's car, and otherwise getting ready to head to Jacksonville for the annual Georgia-Florida game. While a Bulldog victory might not necessarily be in the cards, at least there's a case of Natural Light in the trunk.

Good times.

The picks:

Cleveland (-3) @ St. Louis. While the masses are paying attention to the possible undefeatedness of the Colts and Patriots, the Rams are quietly looking more-and-more like the NFL's first-ever 0-16 team. And Vegas is noticing - the Browns are a freaking road favorite. The Browns. From Cleveland. Yes, the ones with the orange helmets. Those. And furthermore, I'm actually picking them. True, the Rams still have to entertain the Falcons in Missouri, and have visits to San Francisco and Arizona coming up, but from where's I'm sitting, 0-16 is a far likelier possibility than 16-0 this year. PICK: Cleveland

Detroit @ Chicago (-5). PICK: Chicago

Indianapolis (-7) @ Carolina. Here's my lock of the week: the broadcasters of this game will say the word "Patriots" more than the word "Panthers." Next week's Patriots/Colts game will, in fact, dominate discussion in almost every game, just because this week is so boring. PICK: Indianapolis

NY Giants (-10) @ Miami. The Dolphins, NFL's other winless team, will be 0-8 after Sunday, but has an easier path to Win No. 1 than the Rams. Buffalo is on the schedule twice, along with home games against the Jets and Bengals. I don't think the Dolphin faithful will be happy with 2-14, but it ain't a doughnut. PICK: NY Giants

Oakland @ Tennessee (-7 1/2). PICK: Tennessee

Philadelphia (-1) @ Minnesota. PICK: Philadelphia

Pittsburgh (-4) @ Cincinnati. PICK: Cincinnati

Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3). This game has all the excitement of hot sick. PICK: Buffalo

Houston @ San Diego (-7 1/2). As of press time, there's no spread for this game due to Matt Schaub's gimpiness and, quite possibly, the uncertainty surrounding where this game will actually be played (doggone wildfires). So I'm making it up. I'll update when I can, but my darn work computers won't let me access gambling websites. Prudes. PICK: San Diego

One of the bigger Internet sportsbooks has San Diego by 9 - I was close. Anyway, I'm stickin' with the Bolts.

Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay (-4).
I'm spending the next few days in Jaguar country, so I'll let that sway my pick. All good bettors let stuff like that influence them. PICK: Jacksonville

New Orleans (-3) @ San Francisco.
Two weeks ago, I wrote "There's this silly little gnawing feeling I'm getting that New Orleans is about to explode for eight straight wins." Two down, six to go. PICK: New Orleans

Washington @ New England (-17). I don't think I'll be able to handle the Red Sox winning the World Series or the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, much less both. And then I had to watch Virginia Tech completely fall apart to Boston College just hours after I got the new Sports Illustrated with the Boston Celtics on the cover. This world sucks. I want a new one. PICK: Washington

Green Bay @ Denver (-3). Come on Rockies, you sons of bitches! PICK: Green Bay

Last week: 8-6

Overall: 49-45-6
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $50

Monday, October 22, 2007

First bloodier

January's Rambo - aka John Rambo - aka Rambo IV - aka Rambo IV: The Greatest Fucking Movie Of All Fucking Time and Don't You Fucking Forget It or Stallone Will Strangle You With His Cock - has been rated R for "strong graphic bloody violence, sexual assaults, grisly images and language."

This movie sounds like a perfect steak dinner. Strong. Graphic. Bloody. Grisly. With a side of sexual assaults.

Here's what the box office top 10 will look like after Rambo's opening weekend:

1) Rambo - $412.5 million

Yes, that's right. Every ticket sold will be for Rambo. All other theaters will be vacant, all other movies will play to empty chairs. Kids will try to buy a ticket for a PG-rated movie with hope of sneaking in, but the usher will say, "Don't fret, little one. We won't hide the glory from you." And then they'll get a ticket, and all will be right in the world. Because it's Rambo.

The countdown has begun

With the losses by South Carolina and Tennessee on Saturday, this weekend has become a lot more interesting.

Yes, I'm still proud of that sign.

Friday, October 19, 2007

30 Going On 13

The Siblings are 30 today.

Happy birthday, douchebags.

Sir, do we get to win this time?

"Rambo, John J. Born 7-6-47 in Boey, Arizona. Of Indian-German descent - that's a hell of a combination. Joined the army 8-6-64. Accepted special forces, specialization: light weapon, medic, helicopter and language qualified. 59 confirmed kills. Two Silver Stars, four Bronze, four Purple Hearts. Distinguished Service Cross and Medal of Honor. You got around, didn't you?"
-Marshall Murdock, Rambo: First Blood Part II

In 1982, there was First Blood.

In 1985, there was Rambo: First Blood Part II.

In 1988, there was Rambo III.

And in 2008, we'll have - Rambo.

Ok, so I'm not getting how a film series goes from being called First Blood to Rambo III and then just Rambo (as opposed to Rambo IV, or more logically, First Blood IV.) But whatever, I couldn't be more excited.

And we all know great movies come out in January. Right? RIGHT?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 7

Last week, I began this column by talking about a liberating country drive I'd taken. "My Mustang rolled onto I-20 West, windows down, the perfect fall weather tunneling across my face," I wrote. "I blasted not the iPod, but..."

"I blasted not my iPod, but..."

"I blasted not my iPod, but..."

You just don't appreciate your loved ones until they're gone.

On Tuesday morning, I went to my car and found shattered glass littered by the door and across the front seat, and nothing but air where the window had sat the night before. I quickly put my deductive skills to the test.

With a cunning mix of analytical reasoning and laser-precision observation, I came to a logical conclusion: some asshole had stolen my shit.

None much was taken, but the iPod was gone. The iPod full of U2, Hootie and the entire Karate Kid soundtrack. The iPod with the second season of "The Office," the World of Warcraft episode of "South Park," and a random, not-sure-how-that-got-there "Alias." The iPod with songs by Daughtry and Avril Lavigne, which I always blamed on The Girl. My iPod. Mine. Gone.

It's one of those moments where Fear jumps up on its creaky knees, only to get a quick switchblade in the neck courtesy of Rage. And Rage turns into one racist son of a bitch, swilling his Jack and Bile, slapping an imaginary Persian whore, looking around for barbed wire to fuck.

And then Rage leaves - somewhat - and is followed by Der Slump of Der Shoulders. And Der Slump calls your boss and tells him you'll be late.

The picks:

Arizona @ Washington (-8 1/2). Just a couple of weeks ago, radio talk shows across the country were debating the merits of Arizona's quarterback carousel of Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner. And now both of those guys are out, and the Cards turn to Tim Rattay. That explanation is for anyone asking, "How the hell is Washington favored by eight-and-a-half over anyone?" PICK: Washington

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-8). In a span of 14 days, I've shifted from "We still have an outside shot at the division!" to "Let's just go 1-15 and get the first pick in the draft!" And I think starting Byron Leftwich is a perfect way to achieve the latter. Joey Harrington has not been the problem, folks. He's played better than damn near anybody thought he would. And putting an even less mobile QB behind that awful O-line ain't gonna make anything prettier. Now if I were cynical - and tha-ha-ha-at's a big "if," folks - I'd think the Falcons were just trying to placate their huge black fanbase (largest percentage of black season ticket-holders in the NFL) by starting Leftwich, and basically just writing off their season. If I were cynical. PICK: New Orleans

Baltimore (-3) @ Buffalo. Baltimore is 4-2, but feels like a 2-4 team. Buffalo is 1-4, but feels like, well, maybe a 2-3 team after their strong performance against Dallas. So we'll let homefield decide this one. PICK: Buffalo

New England (-17) @ Miami. What does it say about a team when you ask yourself, "They're only favored by 17?" I hated myself for taking Tom Brady in my fantasy draft, but yeah, I'm slowly getting over it. PICK: New England

San Francisco @ NY Giants (-9). A recent poll asked participants to name the SEC's all-time best quarterback, given six options to choose from. While the exclusion of the Georgia duo Eric Zeier and David Greene were glaring, even more offensive was the inclusion of Eli Manning over those two (and about a hundred others.) I saw the guy play up close in college, and I can promise you he went high in the draft solely because of his last name. He might have been a second rounder if his name had been Eli Jenkins, but not anywhere close to the top five. Of course, when this plain fact was theorized on the "Monday Night Football" broadcast last week, the guys in the booth acted like somebody sharted on their Tiddly Winks. PICK: NY Giants

Tampa Bay @ Detroit (-2 1/2). About a month ago, I predicted the final standings of the NFC South thusly: 1) New Orleans, 2) Atlanta, 3) Carolina, 4) Tampa Bay. Yup, you guessed it - if the season were to end today, it would be the exact opposite. Of course, the season won't end today, and the Saints will definitely leapfrog the Falcons and perhaps everybody else as well. Not this weekend, though. PICK: Tampa Bay

Tennessee (-1) @ Houston. I'll take Team That Beat Atlanta over Team That Atlanta Beat. PICK: Tennessee

Kansas City @ Oakland (-3). A big story in Atlanta today is that the local government is about to ban under-21s from, among other things, working in strip clubs. Now, I haven't been in a strip club in years, and I truthfully don't care who works in them. However, this is the quote that really made me crack my neck in frustration: "We need to help our young ladies feel like they have some self-worth," said Councilwoman Cleta Winslow. "We need to be more about protecting our young people. Even at 18 because the mind is not as mature at that level." Ok, aside from the fact that in this woman's eyes 18-year-olds can die in war but not take their clothes off for money, IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO ENSURE FEELINGS OF SELF-WORTH. Jesus, why can't people grasp simple facts like that? ... Oh right, this game is boring. Sorry. PICK: Kansas City

NY Jets @ Cincinnati (-6 1/2). This game is pretty boring too, so I was about to go into a rant about Maine middle schools giving birth control to 11-year-olds - but then I thought, hey, I don't want 11-year-olds having kids so whatever, and at least we can watch this game to see if Bengals coach Marvin Lewis gets fired by the 4th quarter. Maybe we can give birth control - or sterilizations - to parents who let their 11-year-olds get pregnant? PICK: NY Jets

Minnesota @ Dallas (-9 1/2).
The Cowboys will play pissed off, which isn't good for the Vikings. No, not because of the New England loss, but because Carrie Underwood has moved on from Mr. Romo. They support their quarterbacks in Big D. PICK: Dallas

Chicago @ Philadelphia (-6).
On Tuesday night, deputies arrested Andy Reid's oldest son, which gives the Eagles coach two sons behind bars. Reid's kids have been in a lot of trouble this past year, mostly involving charming things like heroin, and a lot of people have blamed the coach for not being at home enough. Of course, if the Eagles fall to 2-4 on Sunday, he'll probably have a lot more time to spend with the kids. PICK: Chicago

St. Louis @ Seattle (-8 1/2). The Rams get their first win of the year, on the road. Upset special, baby. PICK: St. Louis

Pittsburgh (-3 1/2) @ Denver. Trounce. Add 10 to the spread and still take the Steelers. PICK: Pittsburgh

Indianapolis (-3) @ Jacksonville.
"Pardon the Interruption" has been one of my favorite shows since it debuted on ESPN in 2001. Fantastic TV. And I'm getting ready to shift that all into the past tense. I just can't stand Tony Kornheiser anymore. What was once amusing and jovial on "PTI" has become eye-clawingly irritating on "Monday Night Football." I mean, I damn near hate the guy now - he's not in Chris Berman-territory yet, but him and Stu Scott are definitely bunkmates. Watching this week's Falcons/Giants game, I actually had to turn the volume down after an hour of listening to Kornheiser inject lame "jokes" into every situation while Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico forced laughs (that "reading a letter from Eli Manning" gag might have been the worst moment of 2007 TV, and that includes Larry King's Paris Hilton interview). I feel bad for Jaws and Tirico, but "Monday Night Football" is an absolute trainwreck right now. From the utter lameness of Kornheiser, to the arrogant whatever-I-say-is-entertaining-and-don't-you-damn-well-forget-it attitude of Keith Olbermann (still accurate, but wrong night), to the banality of the "guests" (Jimmy Kimmel, who I usually like, was a mean-spirited disaster), the show needs a hard, violent shakeup. The sad thing is, the answer was right in front of the producers' eyes last year. In the opening week of 2006, "MNF" had two games in one night, and the "second tier" crew was made up of Jaworski, Brad Nessler and Dick Vermeil. It was the best grouping since the heyday of Cosell. Of course, what do I know? All those guys did was talk about the actual game. PICK: Indianapolis

Last week: 6-5-2

Overall: 41-39-6
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $190