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

Chantastic!

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

27something

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.

8-5-1.

9-5.

8-5.

8-6.

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 AJC.com:



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