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
Overall:106-120-10
Fake wagering total ($100 on every game, 10% juice on losses): down $2,710

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Waterworld

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:

Yes
  • Bill Cowher, former Pittsburgh coach (a guy can dream)
  • Jason Garrett, Dallas offensive coordinator
  • Marty Schottenheimer
No
  • 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