Sunday, November 30, 2008

I mean. Damn.



Anybody doubting my playoff predictions now?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Thirteen

A number of issues - some foreseen, some not so much - have prevented me from getting some face-to-blog time this week. Sadly, that means the picks column has taken a bullet this week.

I know you're just crushed.

Back soon...

The picks:

San Francisco @ Buffalo (-7). PICK: Buffalo

Baltimore (-7) @ Cincinnati. PICK: Baltimore

Indianapolis (-4 1/2) @ Cleveland.
PICK: Indianapolis

Carolina @ Green Bay (-3).
PICK: Carolina

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

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

NY Giants (-3 1/2) @ Washington
. PICK: Washington

Atlanta @ San Diego (-5 1/2).
PICK: Atlanta

Pittsburgh @ New England (-1).
PICK: New England

Denver @ NY Jets (-7 1/2).
PICK: Denver

Kansas City @ Oakland (-3).
PICK: Kansas City

Chicago @ Minnesota (-3).
PICK: Chicago

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

Last week: 9-7
Overall: 84-87-5

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Thirteen (Thanksgiving Games)

I think it's officially time to kick Detroit out of their annual Turkey Day spot. Watching them is enough to make me wretch up my ham and mashed potatoes.

Yeah, ham and mashed potatoes. With honey mustard. Over it all. Including the potatoes. Yum.

Turkey is just too dry. And doesn't taste as good with honey mustard as mashed potatoes do.

The picks:

Tennessee (-11) @ Detroit. The Titans' loss last week kept this from being the first 11-0 vs. 0-11 game in NFL history. So there's that. PICK: Tennessee

Seattle @ Dallas (-12 1/2).Another highly anticipated matchuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. PICK: Seattle

Arizona @ Philadelphia (-3). I swear, Cardinals @ Eagles looks like the Rams-Titans Super Bowl compared to those first two games. Unfortunately, half the country will be comatose with tryptophan and bourbon by kick-off. Or, in some rare cases, honey mustard-soaked mashed potatoes and Sweetwater. PICK: Arizona

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Diet hard

I'll give you a dollar* if you know who this is.



Click on the picture to find out.

*No I won't.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Twelve

April, 2008

Translating this price into dollars and cents at the gas pump, one of our forecasters, the chairman of Houston-based Dune Energy, Alan Gaines, sees gas rising to $7-$8 a gallon. The other, a commodities tracker at Weiss Research in Jupiter, Fla., Sean Brodrick, projects a range of $8 to $10 a gallon.

November 2008


Just don't ask why I was at Ingles.

The lesson, of course, is that the most vocal alarmists are the last people you should trust. We're gonna be OK, folks. Relax.

The picks:

NY Jets @ Tennessee (-5 1/2). Unless we're talking beer pong, Kerry Collins doesn't equal undefeated. PICK: NY Jets

Houston @ Cleveland (-3). When my mom asks me next week what I'm thankful for, and I say "Steve Slaton," I don't think she's going to know who I'm talking about. PICK: Houston

Chicago (-8 1/2) @ St. Louis. Netflix recap: I didn't watch a damn thing, to tell the truth. Been catching up on this season of "The Shield" via pirated perfectly legal, oh look a puppy!, downloads in anticipation of next week's series finale. And damn, am I happy I chose to watch them all in a few sittings instead of week-to-week. I'm jittery enough as it is. (I love that my favorite character, Shane, was recently revealed to be a Georgia Bulldogs fan. It's an even better show now). PICK: Chicago

Buffalo (-3) @ Kansas City. "Michael was having brunch with Sally Sitwell at a restaurant called Skip Church's Bistro. In addition to brunch, the restaurant was known for an item on the menu called the 'Skip's Scramble,' an omelet that contained everything on the menu. Do not order the Skip's Scramble." PICK: Buffalo

New England @ Miami (-2). PICK: New England

San Francisco @ Dallas (-11). I've had to do a lot of writing this week. Not short stories, not screenplays, not even blog posts (obviously) - just the same damn correspondence over and over. "(Name) - Give me a call when you get a chance! I think we can save you money on this!" "(Name) - Give me a call when you get a chance! I think we can save you money on this!" "(Name) - Give me a call when you get a chance! I think we can save you money on this!" "(Name) - Give me a call when you get a chance! I think we can save you money on this!" I've written those words about 200 times in the past five days. It works as a sales tactic, though it's not terribly inspiring. So what do I do during these trying times? I play a game. While I'm writing, I set my brain to think one word over and over: "boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs." The point, of course, is to try to pen the entire letter without accidentally writing "I think we can save you boobs on this" or something similar. So far I think I've been successful, but I'm waiting to hear from a thoroughly confused and/or disgusted customer. PICK: San Francisco

Tampa Bay (-8 1/2) @ Detroit. If the Lions lose and the Titans win, their matchup on Thursday will be the first 0-11 vs. 11-0 matchup in NFL history. Just some trivia for ya'. PICK: Detroit

Philadelphia @ Baltimore (-1 1/2). When you fall in love, you soon realize there's little you won't do for your significant other. Go places you'd never go, spend money you'd never spend, skip things you'd never skip - did I mention go places you'd never go? I love you, baby. I really do. PICK: Philadelphia

Minnesota @ Jacksonville (-2 1/2). PICK: Jacksonville

Carolina @ Atlanta (-1). Tent City - my University of Georgia tailgating crew - will be movin' on up to the NFL this weekend for the first time. We're taking advantage of the new 4:15 kickoff, and setting up in the Georgia Dome parking lot (it isn't our first trip to the Dome, however, as we've celebrated SEC championships, a Chick Fil A bowl and even a Sugar Bowl there.). To say I'm more invested in the Falcons than the Bulldogs at this point is a Grady Jackson-sized understatement, and I assume my friends will all see a similar light by the end of the weekend. At the very least, the stadium's new red and black color scheme will have everybody feeling at home. PICK: Atlanta

Oakland @ Denver (-9 1/2).
The worst part about going to the game, of course, is missing the wonderful TV announcing. During last week's Atlanta-Denver game, I heard both of these things, no poetic license on my part: 1) "Jay Cutler really likes to squeeze it in tight holes." 2) "Jay Cutler loves to take his team from behind." Seriously. Word-for-word. PICK: Denver

Washington (-3 1/2) @ Seattle. About 9 p.m. last Sunday, my phone starts blowing up halfway through the Transsiberian Orchestra concert. A few texts, all to the tune of "DeAngelo!" I'm getting these messages, I guess, because he is a former Falcon, is a current Redskin (I have a sickening number of Washington fans as friends), and he's on my fantasy team. I'm sitting there in Philips Arena, thinking, "Great, defensive touchdown! I'm a genius for starting him!" No, he just intercepted the ball, and only added a couple measly tackles after that. I hate Redskins fans. PICK: Washington

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

Indianapolis @ San Diego (-3). As if ESPN.com couldn't get more annoying with its automatically starting videos, now it adds bandwidth-killing embedded "episodes" starring the one-trick-pony-and-that-pony-died-in-1996 Kenny Mayne. SI.com really has leapfrogged The Worldwide Leader in terms of overall web quality, no? PICK: Indianapolis

Green Bay @ New Orleans (-2 1/2). The game of the year! At least for my fantasy football team. I've continued my winning ways, marching to an 11-0 mark, unblemished as an airbrushed Playboy centerfold. However, longtime rival Doug Gillett fancies himself Joe Namath and has guaranteed he would defeat me this weekend. And if he has a chance, it will likely come down to this game - my quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) vs. his quarterback (Drew Brees). I like my chances. PICK: Green Bay (duh)

This week: 1-0
Last week: 9-7
Overall: 75-80-5

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Twelve, Part One

I think that although intelligent life will turn out to be present on many worlds, the odds will be against multiple intelligent societies evolving near each other at the same time. Contact with an alien civilization is more likely to come in the form of messages sent from a very great distance than as weapons sent from nearby. But if acceleration to a good percentage of light speed is possible, then relatively nearby worlds could attack each other, and it's a concern.

If you read that and immediately thought, "That sounds like something I'd read on ESPN.com," I'd love to take you to Vegas next week - my treat. But ESPN it was, as Gregg Easterbrook interrupted his NFL column with a fascinating science lesson involving one of NASA's latest discoveries.

Skip down to the part referencing Dick Cheney if you don't care about the football stuff (despite that header, it is 0% political).

The pick:

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-10 1/2). I had Cincinnati in line for the upset cover until Chad Johnson was mysteriously deactivated for tonight's game. Steelers roll. PICK: Pittsburgh

Oh ok, I'll pimp ESPN twice in one post - despite their unholy allegiance with the BCS. But ya write about Matt Ryan, you earn a little love.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Eleven


This is just so Carrie and I can have the same picture on the same day.


Annnnnnd we're done. All easy gambling on the Atlanta Falcons effectively ceased just after their beatdown of the Saints. The oddsmakers are aware.

After flying under the radar this season - going 6-3 against the spread to mirror their record - Atlanta enters this weekend as a 5 1/2-point favorite over the Denver Broncos.

That bears repeating: the Atlanta Falcons are 5 1/2-point favorites over the Denver Broncos. Even I, Falcons Superfan #1, couldn't have believed that a couple months ago.

After last week's demolishing of New Orleans, I'm convinced Matt Ryan's middle name is Katrina. The plucky kid from Philly came out against the supposedly bigger, badder opponent, and went the distance. The whole team did. And now standing stronger than ever, they revisit the victor in the franchise's biggest defeat, ready to put things right where they once went wrong.

Of course, if you know anything about me, it's obvious where my mind went when I realized Ryan was a "plucky kid from Philly." And that he was an underdog. And that he's blowing past even his supporter's strongest expectations. And that he's facing his franchise's biggest opponent again. No, we're never going to get a Rocky VII, but the 2008 Atlanta Falcons will make a fine substitute.

Just as Rocky came back to beat Apollo, the Falcons will take down the Broncos. Just as Rocky and Apollo danced and hugged on the beach, former Bronco Jason Elam will celebrate with the good guys this time. And just as Paulie threw the liquor bottle at the pinball machine, ... ok, not sure where I'm going with that one. But now I'm in a Rocky frame of mind.

This week's picks are a little different. Instead of my typically brilliant commentary, I've let the Rocky soundtracks do the talking for me. You'll hear (read) a little from the original, a classic you all know from Rocky III, a lot from Rocky IV, and even a silly Elton John track from Rocky V. (The Three Six Mafia selection from Rocky Balboa should be obvious).

The links will provide a little evidence that, yes, I did put a little thought into what song went with which game. I mean, this is mostly a slacker move to avoid writing, but only mostly.

The picks:

Denver @ Atlanta (-5 1/2). Risin' up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet, just a man and his will to survive. So many times, it happens too fast - you change your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive. PICK: Atlanta

Oakland @ Miami (-10 1/2). Two worlds collide, rival nations. It's a primitive clash - venting years of frustration. Bravely we hope against all hope. There is so much at stake. Seems our freedom's up against the ropes. Does the crowd understand? Is a east versus west, or man against man? Can any nation stand alone? In the burning heart, just about to burst, there's a quest for answers, an unquenchable thirst. In the darkest night, rising like a spire, in the burning heart - the unmistakable fire. PICK: Miami

Baltimore @ NY Giants (-6 1/2). PICK: NY Giants

Houston @ Indianapolis (-8). PICK: Indianapolis

Tennessee (-3) @ Jacksonville.
We're not indestructible. Baby, better get that straight. I think it's unbelievable, how you give into the hands of fate. Some things are worth fighting for. Some feelings never die. I'm not askin' for another chance - I just wanna know why. There's no easy way out. There's no shortcut home. There's no easy way out, givin' in can't be wrong. PICK: Tennessee

Philadelphia (-9) @ Cincinnati. See I'm the king of the ring ring. Ring the bell and I'm comin' out swing swing. Swingin' left, swingin' right, 'til they ding ding. He hit da ground, bounce up like a spring spring. Hit 'em again now, like a birdie start to sing sing. Bright lights, cameras flashing like bling bling. He started seeing things, now I got 'em heads and knees on the floor crawl up to the corner crying. I'm the man there's no defeating. The ground you will be eating. I'm ready sharp nonstop, this is easy. Put em out da game like his name is Milli Vanilli. PICK: Cincinnati

New Orleans (-5 1/2) @ Kansas City. You might not be looking for the promised land, but you might find it anyway. Under one of those old familiar names. Like New Orleans, Detroit City, Dallas, Pittsburgh P.A., New York City, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago and L.A. Living in America - hit me. Living in America - yeah, I walk in and out. PICK: Kansas City

Detroit @ Carolina (-14). PICK: Detroit

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay (-4).
PICK: Minnesota

Arizona (-3) @ Seattle. Trying hard now. It's so hard now. Trying hard now. Getting strong now. Won't be long now. Getting strong now. Gonna fly now - flying high now, gonna fly, fly, fly... PICK: Arizona

St. Louis @ San Francisco (-6 1/2). Take it back, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, take it back. PICK: San Francisco

San Diego @ Pittsburgh (-4 1/2). PICK: Pittsburgh

Cleveland @ Buffalo (-5). This coat that fits you like a glove. These dirty streets you learned to love. So welcome back, my long lost friend. You've been to hell and back again. And God alone knows how you crossed that span. Back on the beat, back to the start, trust in your heart - that's the measure of a man. It's the fire in the eyes, the lines on the hand. It's the things you understand, permanent ties from which you once ran - that's the measure of a man. PICK: Cleveland

Dallas @ Washington (-1 1/2). Silent darkness creeps into your soul and removes the light of self-control. The cave that holds you captive has no doors. Burnin' with determination to even up the score. Heart's on fire, strong desire rages deep within. Heart's on fire, fever's rising high. The moment of truth draws near. Time will not allow you to stand still. No silence breaks the heart and bends the will. And things that give deep passions are your sword. Rules and regulations have no meaning anymore. PICK: Dallas

Last week: 7-7
Overall: 66-73-5

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Could she also be an Alabama porch?

There's nothing else to say but H to the OLY, S to the HIT.

From a Time Magazine article about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

And when his presidency hits its inevitable bumps — whether those come from disappointing his liberal allies or enraging his conservative opponents — it would be handy to have a formidable spear catcher nearby.

So Hillary's a "spear catcher," you say? That makes Obama what then?

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Thursday Edition - Episode One, The Quickening: Volume I. Part 2.

A pick for tonight's NFL game, because you wouldn't know how to breathe without it.

NY Jets @ New England (-3). This NFL season has so far been full of bright moments, but one of the best is when I realized Patriots fans were looking at the Falcons and thinking, "Man, I wish we had their quarterback." PICK: New England

And a fun picture of Falcons tight end Justin Peelle, just because:


Blatantly stolen from AJC.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

View from the top - Falcons 34, Saints 20

Ok, so my season ticket seats aren't exactly the best in the house. Especially considering ALL FOUR Falcons touchdowns were scored in the opposite end zone.



What I could see, though, is that my honest 10-6 prediction might have actually been low in the wins column. Oh, and I could also see my brother in his yellow shirt, which he had unwittingly worn to the Saints game. I too should have noticed that before we left the house.


No, I didn't take this one.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Ten (Point Two)

F'ing priceless:



THAT SAID.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama; I don't think that's a huge secret. However, I don't have blinders on as to why he's so inspiring. Now I don't give two shits how some upper-middle-class college girl feels like this huuuuge weight has been, like, lifted!!!1!. However, as a former teacher in a predominately minority neighborhood, I do see the massive value in black children getting a role model who's not a rapper or NBA player. Every kid is told they can grow up to be president someday, but now many will take those aspirations a lot more seriously.

My fear, however, is that an Obama presidency will not foster that independent, yes-I-can attitude, but instead instill more allegiance to the group-think, yes-we-can mentality. People need to believe in and trust in themselves, and this huge step is for nothing if it only serves to make Americans more reliant on government to solve their problems.

I can honestly say I'll be rooting for Obama to do a helluva job once he takes a seat behind that Oval Office desk. But hey, if not, President Jindal is only four short years away.

The picks (brief, because I'm still a Sickasaurus):

Jacksonville (-6 1/2) @ Detroit. Yeah, Jindal. Which would mean we could be in for a whole new round of "look how far we've come" back-patting when both parties have a minority as a candidate. We racist Libertarians will probably put up another white guy, though. PICK: Detroit

Tennessee (-3) @ Chicago. The 1972 Dolphins will be popping the champagne around 4:30 on Sunday, as the Titans will suffer their first defeat. And I'm for realz this time, after thinking it would happen the past two weeks. PICK: Chicago

Buffalo @ New England (-4). My Bills Super Bowl pick is looking shakier by the week. Thank God I'm still on point for my Falcons one. PICK: New England

New Orleans @ Atlanta (PICK). This will be the first game I attend at an official Atlanta Falcons season ticket holder. The excitement level is hovering somewhere between "11-year-old girl meeting the Jonas Brothers" and "Lance Bass in a tickle fight with a dude who has penises for fingers." The Brother and I are headed down to the new, improved Georgia Dome to root Atlanta - and my Matt Ryan-led fantasy team - to victory. PICK: Atlanta

St. Louis @ NY Jets (-8 1/2). PICK: St. Louis

Seattle @ Miami (-9).
PICK: Miami

Green Bay @ Minnesota (-2). PICK: Green Bay

Carolina (-9 1/2) @ Oakland.
Netflix recap: Despite discs of "Mad Men" and "Spaced" sitting at home, I only got around to watching one rental this week: Tron. Seriously, Tron. I'm still not sure how it ended up in my queue, or especially how it got to the top - but opening my mail a few days ago, I found the 1982 Jeff Bridges film I somehow avoided seeing during my childhood. The only thing I can figure is that I must have added it a few months ago when the sequel was announced. Dunno. Well, it was interesting - which, of course, is codeword for "it sucked, but was creative." I have to imagine it received a different reaction in 1982 than it does in 2008, where it comes across as monumentally silly. PICK: Carolina

Kansas City @ San Diego (-15). PICK: Kansas City

NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-2 1/2).
PICK: NY Giants

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

Baltimore @ Houston (PICK). Bill Simmons jumped on the anti-"Saved By Zero" bandwagon today. Just sayin' - I'm not the only one. PICK: Houston

San Francisco @ Arizona (-9 1/2).
PICK: Arizona

Last week: 6-8
Overall: 59-66-5 (nope, never said I was good)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Ten (Point One)

So about 4 a.m. today, I woke up coughing, sneezing, sniffling, farting and moaning at the same time. Needless to say, the pug sleeping between my legs didn't enjoy the moment. About five minutes later, I e-mailed my co-worker to tell her, no, I wouldn't be in today.

This led me to believe I'd have plenty of time to write my weekly picks column, in time for tonight's Thursday kickoff. However, the sick day filled itself up rather quickly:
  • coughing some more
  • sneezing some more
  • sniffling some more
  • farting some more
  • moaning some more
  • Home Depot
  • seeing my dad's billboard for the first time (next to the Home Depot on Lawrenceville Highway - he looks pimp, yo)
  • taking the pug to the vet, because she's been scooting her nasty ass across my white carpet a lot lately, and I thought she might have worms, and the vet stuck his finger up her ass and didn't find any worms, just some enflamed anal glands, which he "expressed" - another moment the pug didn't enjoy
  • repeatedly apologizing to the pug
  • watching Rambo again, which actually made me tear up at the end - seriously
  • preparing to defend my undefeated fantasy football season against a sworn enemy (that photo came up under a Google image search for "Tim Kelly," but I don't think it's the same guy)
So nope, no full column tonight. Just the one game.

The pick:

Denver @ Cleveland (-3). There doesn't seem to be a reason I should care about this game, but that's why fantasy football is so wonderful. I am starting Denver RB Ryan Torain - he of only one yard this season. The enemy is starting Cleveland QB Brady Quinn - he of only zero yards this season. I am thinking the Browns run away with this one, but I'm hoping for a 42-35 score - with all Bronco points coming on five rushing TDs and Brown points coming on field goals. Fourteen field goals. PICK: Cleveland