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


Doug said...

Huh? Olbermann's not on MNF -- he pops up during the halftime show of Sunday Night Football (sorry, "Football Night in America") on NBC.

Or as Pig Vomit would say, EennnnnnnnBC!!!!

Josh said...

Oh right, right - my bad.

There are so many freaking talking heads between those two shows it's nearly impossible to tell the difference.

Stanicek said...

Because it is rare that the Redskins actually make it onto TV down here, I have become nothing more than a casual NFL fan - you know, the kind that has the games on the background while he sleeps off a skull-cracking hangover brought on by 18 hours of drinking that surrounded a 3 hour Georgia football game...the kind that knows some of the players but only enough to DOMINATE the fantasy league he's in...but not the kind that could figure out why the Skins were favored by 8 1/2 in this week's game. So thank you good sir - the service you provide is a valuable one.

And was that a Dr. Cox reference I caught in there? Nice.