Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aiding and A'Betting: Week Twelve

I'm putting a picture of the new A-Team here for no reason, other than it's awesome. Yes, that's Liam Neeson as Hannibal (along with Bradley Cooper, some MMA fighter who looks the part, and the guy from District 9 as Murdock). In theaters 06/11/2010. Click to embiggenfy.

Oh Thanksgiving, you pesky bastard.

As I have for the past 33 late November holidays, I'll be driving south. Florida is always the destination, though the particular city revolves between my mom and her two sisters. One year: Jacksonville. The next year: Melrose (think Gainesville). The next year: Palatka (think Mayberry on meth). And Jax is where I'm headed as you quickly skim this. It's not quite the same as Georgia-Florida football weekend, when the city's average age is roughly 19. I'd guess it will be around 68 over the next few days, so no trips to The Landing for me. Bingo, maybe.

The picks:

Green Bay (-11) @ Detroit. It's my annual Thanksgiving ritual: go to Florida, eat some ham and mashed potatoes with mustard (turkey is too dry), drink some beer, curse the NFL for not ending Detroit's stranglehold on Thanksgiving, watch a boring Lions game. For some godawful reason, the Lions always take the field on Turkey Day, and they haven't given us a compelling game in quite awhile. And, of course, a few days after I become interested in the Lions for the first time EVER, the reason I'm interested will be standing on the sideline. Happy Thanksgiving. PICK: Detroit

Oakland @ Dallas (-13 1/2). Hell, the Cowboys - the other regular Thanksgiving team - haven't been much better in recent years. And what was the NFL thinking pairing them with Oakland on the national stage? Great, so we're stuck with two day games with double-digit spreads, bound to only raise the pulse of douchenuts (namely, Cowboys and Raiders fans) nationwide. PICK: Oakland

NY Giants (-7) @ Denver. Thanksgiving night does give us a halfway interesting matchup, but only for the purpose of rooting against New York. Hell, Falcons fans have a legitimate interest in all three games (boo Packers, boo Cowboys, boo Giants), but this seems to be the only realistic shot at gaining playoff ground. But a realistic weak shot. PICK: New York

Indianapolis (-3) @ Houston. PICK: Indianapolis

Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-14). Not that anybody really reads this blog anymore - month-long dry spells will do that to a nice guy - but the world has missed two of The Great Headlines Of All Time this week. Seriously, "Staff infectious" and "Ginger ailing" would have easily gotten me a Society of Professional Journalists award, or whatever the hell that thing I won in college was. (Wait, did I win? Or get honorable mention or second place or something? I don't remember.) Anyway, my hilarity knows no bounds. Or so I keep telling myself in this grand echo chamber. PICK: Cleveland

Chicago @ Minnesota (-10 1/2). PICK: Chicago

Washington @ Philadelphia (-9). Oh, I got so close that Redskins-over-Cowboys upset prediction last week. So close. If only Washington didn't, you know, suck. PICK: Washington

Miami (-3) @ Buffalo. PICK: Miami

Seattle (-3) @ St. Louis. Man, I almost had a great storyline here. Last week, I whined about all three aspects of my NFL season going down the drain: real team (Falcons), fantasy team (Berman Stroke Hopers), picks record (11-18 over the previous two weeks). Well, the BSHs rallied under pressure, winning by 53 points. And as you can see below, I had my best 2009 week against the spread. Only, if only, Jason Elam could kick a field goal or Michael Jenkins could catch a ball, I'd be completely rejuvenated. PICK: St. Louis

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-12). Alright, here we are folks - I'm picking against Atlanta. Now don't mistake this for me being down on the team. Actually, I'm probably one of the more positive Falcons fans out there, as I put the chances of playoffs at a bit over 50%. But Atlanta is banged up, coming off a long road trip, and has a suddenly unreliable kicker. I don't see a problem winning, but the spread is too high. PICK: Tampa Bay

Carolina @ NY Jets (-3). This one might break interception records. PICK: Carolina

Jacksonville @ San Francisco (-3). PICK: Jacksonville

Arizona @ Tennessee (PICK). PICK: Tennessee

Kansas City @ San Diego (-13 1/2). PICK: Kansas City

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (PICK). PICK: Baltimore

New England @ New Orleans (-3). As much as it pains me to say, this is the regular season game of the year. But really, that doesn't hurt nearly as much as this will: "G-g-g-go. Go P-P-Patr-Pat-Patrio-Patriots." Ugh, I need to take a bath. Somebody get me lye and hydrochloric acid. PICK: New England

Last week: 11-4-0
Overall: 89-70-1

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Staff infectious

I was fairly non-plussed about Matthew Stafford during his UGA days. A search of this blog reveals very few pre-draft mentions, which basically means I didn't have anything negative to say, but wasn't overflowing with reverence either (and also that I'm not about to write significantly about college football, considering the plethora of more-informed voices). I just felt he saw Georgia as an annoying bump on his path to the NFL, and probably docked him a few points for it.

Of course, if that was the way he felt, it's hard to argue with now. Especially as of November 22nd around 4 p.m., when I officially became a Matthew Stafford fan. He really performed a miracle, and I'm not even talking about the literal last-second heroics. He actually made me care about another football game, just minutes after having my psyche destroyed by a Falcons overtime loss. There I was, pitcher almost empty, wallowing, wallowing, wallowing - and suddenly caring about two 1-8 teams crossing the finish line.

If you haven't seen the highlights, check them out here.

And let Peter King tell it:

An injured player who leaves the field has to sit for at least one play -- unless there is a charged timeout by either team. Stafford knew. And he immediately began trying to get up, but the doctors kept telling him, basically, to hold on, hoss -- he wasn't authorized to go back in. But Stafford got up and weaved his way onto the field, telling offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to call a pass play if he wanted, because he had one play left in him.

"Only one,'' Stafford said. "But I knew I had one. I had the adrenalin going.'' He jogged onto the field and Culpepper jogged back off.

Meanwhile, Schwartz hollered at his medical staff: "Is he good to go?'' And one of the doctors said no, and Schwartz asked what was wrong, and the doc said he didn't know because they hadn't had time to examine him yet.

"The kid put himself back in the game,'' Schwartz said.

Lord knows what the Browns thought the wounded Stafford would call, but tight end Brandon Pettigrew, a fellow first-round pick in 2009, ran a short square-in at the back of the end zone, and Stafford flicked it to him. Ballgame.

"His best play wasn't the last play, or the second-to-last,'' Schwartz told me. "His best play was eluding four of our medical guys to get back onto the field.''

Now reports show Stafford was suffering a separated shoulder during that last play, which puts him squarely in crazy-as-Mel-Gibson-in-Lethal-Weapon-2 territory. Not a bad place to be.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ginger ailing

I'm really struggling with this one.

Laugh, don't laugh. To laugh, not to laugh. It's awful, but dammit, it's funny.

Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aiding and A'Betting: Week Eleven - Episode II

The wheels are coming off. And sadly, I'm not sure which part of my NFL season that refers to.

There's my actual team, the Atlanta Falcons. Even though I predicted them to be 5-4 at this point, I'm still disturbed they're actually 5-4. While 2008 was light on injuries, the team has been smashed this year. First and second round picks Peria Jerry and William Moore: out for the season. Scorching receiver Harry Douglas: out for the season. RB Michael Turner is, of course, out anywhere from a game to the rest of the year, while position mate Jerious Norwood has already missed a month. And this week's injury report reads like a Who's Who of the Falcons: Turner, Norwood, Brian Finneran, Erik Coleman, Roddy White.

Unfortunately, another team has been battling similar injury issues: The Berman Stroke Hopers, my fantasy squad. Leading tackler D'Qwell Jackson and running back Ronnie Brown, done for the year (Brown hurts especially bad, as I just traded for him just two weeks ago). RB Brian Westbrook and DE Terrell Suggs are likely on the shelf, as well. Jay Cutler isn't technically hurt, but he's playing like a paraplegic. Now I'm still in second place, because I kick ass, but I simply pine for what might have been. But I did just trade for Matt Ryan, which couldn't possibly be heart over head.

And finally, my dream season of picking games is crumbling around me. Just two weeks ago, I was batting .582 - enough to scare any casino. Alas, with an 11-18 record over the past 14 days, I'm on a downward spiral. I mean, .541 ain't the direction I want to be going in. This might be my last chance to plug holes before going under.

The picks:

Buffalo @ Jacksonville (-8 1/2). The football equivalent of Tylenol PM. PICK: Jacksonville

Cleveland @ Detroit (-3 1/2). Mohamed Massaquoi vs. Matthew Stafford. So at least UGA fans have something to pay attention to, even if nobody else does. PICK: Detroit

Indianapolis (-1) @ Baltimore. Captain Obvious alert: Peyton Manning is nasty good. I mean, he should win two MVPs this year - the Colts are 9-0, but very honestly could be 1-8 without him. I can't think of another player - ever - who has been more singularly valuable to a team. Of course, Falcons/Giants is my game of the week, but I'm really, really looking forward to this one as well. PICK: Indianapolis

Pittsburgh (-10) @ Kansas City. PICK: Kansas City

San Francisco @ Green Bay (-6 1/2). So I did get a good 10 seconds of face time with Stephen King last week, exchanging partial sentences and a handshake. He was in town for a book signing, and I only had to wait four short hours for him to scribble his name on the title page. WORTH IT. And hey, we even took a picture together!

Sort of. (I would have smiled, but didn't think my handheld-while-walking iPhone picture would even work that well). PICK: Green Bay

Seattle @ Minnesota (-10 1/2). PICK: Minnesota

Atlanta @ NY Giants (-7). When I was a college freshman, and far more interested in being respectable than I am now, I spent Sunday nights in Christian surroundings - at church, at fellowship, at Bible study, etc. A number of years later, a friend recalled she would avoid me if the Falcons had lost that day (and in 1994, that was quite a lot). Apparently I couldn't just shrug off the disappointment, and tended to carry it around for a few hours afterward, extending the misery to those around me. Well, I hadn't thought of that in a long time, until last Sunday. When the game was obviously lost for the Falcons, Maya announced her Sunday night plans - or at least, what she wasn't doing that night. "I'm not hanging out with Josh. He'll be in a bad mood the rest of the night." It's nice to know I've matured over the years. PICK: Atlanta

Washington @ Dallas (-11). Perhaps it's the liquor talking (it is after 12!), but a distinctive "upset" odor emanates from this one. No, it's probably the liquor. PICK: Washington

New Orleans (-11) @ Tampa Bay. One of my co-workers is a very sweet older woman, a regular churchgoer, and about one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. She always makes sure to ask me about my weekend football plans, even though I'm certain she couldn't care less. But today she surprised me a bit when, in her sweet southern lilt, she says, "Lord, I hope somebody just beats the shit out of the Saints." She's awesome. PICK: New Orleans

Arizona (-9) @ St. Louis. PICK: St. Louis

NY Jets @ New England (-10). Know how I know you're hardcore? You steal an idea from Fight Club, and make Tyler Durden look like a pussy in the process. Seriously: "Mejia said Castillejos recounted how the gang cut off its victims' heads, arms and legs, removed the organs, then suspended the torsos from hooks above candles that warmed the flesh as fat dripped into tubs below." I want to see a list of that club's rules. PICK: New England

San Diego (-3) @ Denver. At what point does a still-alive Andy Kaufman pop out from behind a curtain and go, "No, really you guys - we're just fucking with you." PICK: San Diego

Cincinnati (-9) @ Oakland. So as mentioned above, I traded for Matt Ryan this week - leaving me with Ryan, Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler on my roster. Obviously, Cutler is dead to me. And I know I should be starting Palmer this week against the Raiders - but I really want to start Ryan. Head or heart. Head or heart. Head or heart. PICK: Cincinnati

Philadelphia (-3) @ Chicago. We all know the answer to that one. Because I'm an idiot. PICK: Philadelphia

Tennessee @ Houston (-4 1/2). For the second week in a row, ESPN has gotten cutesy with their Monday Night Football selection, and come up with a less-than-stellar game. It was Browns @ Ravens last week. Browns vs. old Browns - get it!? Now we get Old Oilers vs. Team That Plays in the Oilers' Old City! Well, the MNF ship will certainly be righted next week with New England in New Orleans (oh, that sounds a little cutesy in itself). PICK: Tennessee

Last week: 6-10-0 (including last night's game)
Overall: 78-66-1

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aiding and A'Betting: Week Eleven - Episode I

Thursday night football means the pick column needs to be done early - and I just plum forgot. Here's tonight's game, though, because I know you'd go into the shakes without it.

The pick:

Miami @ Carolina (-3). Hate it. No Ronnie Brown, so no fantasy interest. And I'm not betting on it, because if I were I'd bet on Carolina, and I don't want to root for Carolina. So dammit - I'm actually going to watch this for the love of the game? BORING. (Go Miami.) PICK: Carolina

Lunch at McDonalds

The lunch rush is just beginning, and a lone CASHIER stands behind the counter. As another customer steps away, JOSH approaches the counter.

Welcome to McDonald's. How can I help you?

Josh produces a one dollar bill from his pocket, and holds it up.

What can I get with this?

The cashier smiles.

How about a crispy, juicy chicken with all the
amenities, in an irresistible classic known
fondly as the McChicken?

Josh looks interested.

Or how about two sizzling, 100% pure all beef
patties, in an irresistible classic known fondly
as the double cheeseburger? Huhhhh?

Wow, those both sound good. I'll take
the double cheeseburger.

Excellent choice. That'll be $1.07.

Josh pauses.

Wait. What?


What about the dollar, though?

Yes sir, $1.07.

No, all I have is a dollar. What I just showed you.


I don't have any change. Just the dollar.

You're in luck, because the double cheeseburger
is on our dollar menu! With all the amenities!

So the dollar is good?

You're good to go!

Oh, ok. Whatever. Here.

Josh hands the cashier the dollar.


What? I just held up this dollar, asked you
what I could get for it, and you said the
double cheeseburger.

With all the amenities.

But then you told me $1.07.

Right. Well, you know, tax.

But no, back up. I said "What can I get for this,"
held up my single dollar bill, and you said I could
get the double cheeseburger.


But now you're telling me that won't be enough.

It's on our dollar menu.

I don't care what goddamn menu it's on. I
asked you a simple question.

Yes, you said you wanted two sizzling, 100% pure
all beef patties, in an irresistible classic known
fondly as the double cheeseburger.

No, you said all that faggy shit. I
just said I want a double cheeseburger.
How much do I owe you for it?


Let me ask you this. Is $1.07 more or less than
the dollar that's in my fucking hand?


So, I repeat - can I get the double cheeseburger
for the dollar that is in my hand?

With all the amenities!

Ok, I'm done. Here's my dollar. Now give me that
double cheeseburger, or I will punch through
your chest, rip out your esophagus, and use it as
a goddamn straw.

If you want a drink, it will only cost you 99 cents!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Taco hell

Well, Rambo has a hankerin' for burritos again.

To recap:

On August 30th, Variety announced Rambo V was on the way. The storyline, they reported, involved "Rambo fighting his way through human traffickers and drug lords to rescue a young girl abducted near the U.S.-Mexico border." My obligatory post about the development is here.

Just a week later, multiple reports also had Rambo V on the way, but with a completely different premise: Rambo hunting a perhaps-superhuman beast through the wilds of Alaska. My obligatory post about the development is here.

Well, Craig from StalloneZone (the only website with a name better than this one) received this e-mail a few days ago, from none other than Mr. Stallone himself:
Hi Craig,

This is from Sly to your followers:

To all the loyal SZoners out there,

I’m letting you know that Rambo has changed course and the story about
hunting the man/beast will be done using another character in the lead. RAMBO himself will be heading over the border to a violent city where many young women have vanished.

There will be blood.

Best, Sly Stallone
Translation: we're back to the premise Variety described, with Rambo crossing the border and kickin' some Mexican trafficker ass.

LOVE IT. The super-soldier, or whatever that sci-fi sounding premise was, just struck me a little wrong. I mean, of course it would have kicked ass, but taking an established series into a new genre was a bit hinky.

This plot allows a natural transition from the last film (when Rambo returned to Arizona), and continues the series' focus on real world issues. (Think about it. The first film dealt with Vietnam vets back home, the second with prisoners of war left behind, the third with Afghanistan, the last one Burma).

And, my God, "there will be blood." You realized what that one sentence did to me, right? Suffice to say, the washing machine is running.

I want this.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Go Gata

I never realized how much subtitles can make a great speech even greater.

By the way, yes, these are the people in charge of our country. Just reminding you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aiding and A'Betting: Week Ten

Well, this is shaping up to be an interesting week.

As previously mentioned, I'm attending Stephen King's Atlanta book signing tomorrow night - meaning I'll meet a guy who's been on my "name three people you could have dinner with" list for over 20 years. Well, it's not dinner, but it is a solid 15 seconds or so of interaction - which is enough to already make me nauseous.

Now I find out I've finagled my way into some face time with Matt Ryan tonight, at a taping of a local interview show.

Oh, and did I mention NFL Thursday night football is back, I go out in Buckhead on Friday for Maya's birthday, tailgate in Athens all day Saturday, and sweat through Falcons @ Panthers on Sunday?

If I'm alive on Monday, and somehow haven't completely humiliated myself in at least one instance, I might give old-time religion another try. Hallelujah.

The picks:

Chicago @ San Francisco (-3). NFL Thursday night football returns! Oh, thank the heavens - no more East Carolina vs. Tulsa vs. Rutgers vs. South Florida vs. Utah State vs. North Carolina vs. OH MY GOD I'M SCRAPING OFF MY RETINAS AT THE BOREDOM. No, real football - football you feel decent betting on, football that relates to your fantasy league, football that has real, actual postseason implications - returns to fill the almost-end-of-the-week void. And ok, this game might suck a bit, but next week we have Miami @ Carolina (compelling, probably fun), and then Giants @ Broncos (big NFC and AFC ramifications). And no dreadful ACC matchup in sight. PICK: Chicago

Atlanta (-1 1/2) @ Carolina. Believe me, I'm more nervous about this one than I was a few weeks ago. The Falcons have played up-and-down ball recently, but the Panthers have been pretty darn up. They thoroughly pasted the Cardinals in Phoenix, and held on to the end against the Saints in New Orleans. Then again, silver lining - they only squeaked past the Redskins by a field goal, and lost to the Bills a few days before Halloween (both at home). Color me cautiously optimistic. PICK: Atlanta

Jacksonville @ NY Jets (-7). Last night, I had an incredibly detailed, vivid dream about Eli Manning's contract and its long-term effect on the New York Giants. Seriously. As I said on Twitter, even my subconscious is a nerd. But also, my subconscious is a lot smarter than me - because when I say vivid, I mean vivid. There were discussions of contract language intricacies, NFL by-laws, union stipulations - and maybe it was all bullshit, but it was really intelligent-sounding bullshit. Of course, all detail flushed out 30 seconds after my eyes opened, but at least I can puff my chest today and know that somewhere, deep in the recesses, I might be sort of smart. PICK: Jacksonville

Buffalo @ Tennessee (-6 1/2). Sports Illustrated's Peter King adjusted his Favre fanboy cap this week and picked the Minnesota quarterback as his Midseason Comeback Player of the season. In the year of Cedric Benson, Tom Brady and now Vince Young - really, Pete? PICK: Tennessee

Denver (-3 1/2) @ Washington. So I'm watching "V" last night (boring so far), and it hits me - Elizabeth Mitchell is starring opposite Scott Wolf, who was on "Party of Five." And she is also on "Lost" with Matthew Fox, who was on "Party of Five." And while I'm not necessarily proud of how much I cared about this, I looked up Mitchell on IMDB and - not making this up - she co-starred on "Time of Your Life," the 1999 "Party of Five" spinoff starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. MIND SUFFICIENTLY BLOWN. (And yes, only I could care about this. I know.) PICK: Denver

Detroit @ Minnesota (-16 1/2). Really, though, why is this woman stalking the cast of "Party of Five?" Should Lacey Chabert get a restraining order? What about the 25 actors who played Owen? WHY DO I REMEMBER THE BABY'S NAME FROM "PARTY OF FIVE?" I SAW LIKE FIVE EPISODES. PICK: Detroit

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7). PICK: Cincinnati

New Orleans (-13 1/2) @ St. Louis. This smells like a trap. Vegas is certainly baiting it like one. "Come on, you know the Saints win by two touchdowns. At least! Come on, buddy. Do it. Doooooooo it." So I'm going to act brave here, but only because I ain't puttin' real money on it in a millennia. PICK: St. Louis

Tampa Bay @ Miami (-10). PICK: Miami

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

Seattle @ Arizona (-8 1/2). Well, I rectified a life of wrong on Tuesday night - after 33 years on the planet, I finally watched Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest. And may I say, it's refreshing when a purported classic actually exceeds its reputation. Nobody will agree with this, but I saw it as a companion piece to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut - not in plot, necessarily, but in the way it seemed to stack weights on my chest. That's what the suspense was like to me, a constant pressure that didn't let up until the credits rolled - and I haven't really felt that since Kubrick's film. (I'm also sure a closer examination could reveal thematic similarities, particularly between the characters Cary Grant and Tom Cruise play). Easily my second-favorite Hitchcock after Psycho. PICK: Seattle

Dallas (-3) @ Green Bay. Preceding the Hitchcock classic, I actually watched another, not-so-esteemed film. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. My original Transformers review ended up being one of this blog's most read posts, and to be certain, I was not kind. Well, you know what? I actually liked the second one. I understand - I'm opposite everybody here, as the original was universally preferred. Maybe it's the product of hearing "oh my God, that's the worst movie ever!" for months, or just enjoying the film's look on my Blu-Ray player, but it didn't offend me as much as I thought it would. Sure it was dumb, didn't make sense, had a horrible sense of humor - but I expected that. For whatever reason, I forgave it the excesses I hated in the original, and just sat back and enjoyed the sights. Can't explain it. PICK: Dallas

Philadelphia @ San Diego (-2). PICK: Philadelphia

New England @ Indianapolis (-3). I smell a Patriots rout. It's not a nice smell; it's actually a pungent aroma of peas, hubris and dog vomit. But it's there all the same. PICK: New England

Baltimore (-10 1/2) @ Cleveland. I'm guessing the ESPN's schedulers wish they could rethink this Monday Night Football matchup. But really, what did they think they'd be getting in the first place? (Yeah, I get it, Browns vs. old Browns, but will that storyline get you past kickoff?) PICK: Baltimore

Last week: 5-8-0 (ouch, my first sub-.500 week)
Overall: 72-56-1

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Aiding and A'Betting: Week Nine

So after Monday night, the Falcons are 4-3 - which might make you think I'm chewing at my wrists. But remember, this is where I thought they'd be (Ok, I reversed the Dallas and Chicago results, but 4-3 was the target). There just hasn't been a single defeat that made me slap my forehead - @New England, @Dallas, @New Orleans. And starting Sunday, the schedule gets a whooooole lot easier.

Washington on deck. Winless Tampa Bay twice. The New York teams, both looking more beatable than they did a month ago. Carolina and Buffalo, 6-9 between them.

Now, of course, I no longer believe "ten wins should get the NFC South for Atlanta." That ship has probably sailed. But if we beat Philadelphia, all Atlanta's wild card hopes rely on is Tony Romo's down-the-stretch collapse and Eli Manning continuing to suck. So obviously, PLAYOFFS HERE WE COME.

The picks:

Kansas City @ Jacksonville (-6 1/2). Famed UGA tailgate Tent City has a busy weekend ahead of itself. There's, of course, the historic matchup between Georgia and Tennessee Tech on Saturday. On Sunday, though, the action shifts to a site of actual football competence - the Georgia Dome. A couple of Tent Citizens - bloggers both prolific and not so much - are huge Washington Redskins fans, and the crowd is a'followin'. I'm just excited to revel in the huge starpower Washington brings. Jason Campbell! Colt Brennan! DeAngelo Hall! Brian Byron Westbrook! I'm practically vibrating. PICK: Jacksonville

Baltimore (-3) @ Cincinnati. Actually, I am vibrating. Just found out I have a reserved spot in line for next week's Stephen King book signing in Atlanta. Now I have seven torturous days ahead of me, trying to decide exactly what question to ask, and obsessing about all the ways I could screw it up. (I'm a fan.) PICK: Baltimore

Houston @ Indianapolis (-9). Netflix recommendation: "Monty Python: Almost the Truth." It's a brand new, six-part documentary about the British comedy troupe - and though I'm just two hours in, it's one of the best things I've seen this year. PICK: Houston

Green Bay (-9 1/2) @ Tampa Bay. PICK: Green Bay

Arizona @ Chicago (-3). Jay Cutler, your time is up. Perhaps you missed it, but my fantasy team's publicity office announced on Monday that Carson Palmer will get the start at QB for the foreseeable future. The Berman Stroke Hopers just need new leadership, not a simpering fat-face who apparently gets his jollies from throwing interceptions. So Mr. Palmer, don't let us down. We would also like to welcome Ronnie Brown and Chad Ochocinqo, acquired in a Wednesday trade for RB Steven Jackson. Truthfully, I'm still trying to find out why that was offered to me - I feel like I stole something. What am I missing? PICK: Arizona

Washington @ Atlanta (-10). I don't know, I'm a little nervous about this one. Ten points is a lot for a team coming off a short week, against one just coming off its bye. Maybe a 13-10 Falcons victory, but probably nothing more than that. Jason Campbell is back in SEC country, and who knows, that might provide a spark. The Redskins are actually a talented bunch, after all. PICK: Washington

Washington@ Atlanta (-10). Just fucking with you. The Redskins suck. Falcons by 30. Duh. PICK: Atlanta

Miami @ New England (-10 1/2). PICK: Miami

Carolina @ New Orleans (-13). PICK: New Orleans

Detroit @ Seattle (-10). The moment Crash won Best Picture, I officially gave up on the Oscars. I had come close a few times - Roberto Benigni beating Edward Norton, Million Dollar Baby over The Aviator, and A Beautiful Mind winning in the year of Memento, Mulholland Dr. and The Royal Tenenbaums (none of which were even nominated). But Paul Haggis' thuddingly obvious racial parable taking the top prize? DONE, GOOD SIRS. So I didn't really stress out over the recent decision to have 10 Best Picture nominees instead of the usual five. Retarded, right? I mean, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was nominated last year - that should be a signal you have trouble filling just five slots. So this week, it was announced Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will co-host the show. Is that enough to save it? I'd be inclined to say yes, but I know they'll end up naming a dud like Star Trek as one of the 10 best, and I'll throw up. PICK: Detroit

Tennessee @ San Francisco (-4). "South Park" turned in a top 10 episode this week, and it really hit close to home. See, though I may be fiscally conservative, I'm pretty liberal socially - especially when it comes to gay rights. I'm for gay marriage, gay adoption, gays in the military, gays wherever the hell they want to be. Ain't hurting me, so I don't care. THAT SAID. Sorry, but I love the word "fag." It's hilarious. It's easy, abrupt, cutting - and just so, so funny. Sue me. Anyway, I've talked about this with a super-liberal friend, and he has the same condundrum. We know we shouldn't like the word, but my God, we just do. And after watching the latest "South Park," it's clear Matt Stone and Trey Parker have had a similar conversation. I won't spoil anything, just watch it. Fag. PICK: Tennessee

San Diego @ NY Giants (-5). PICK: NY Giants

Dallas @ Philadelphia (-3). PICK: Philadelphia

Pittsburgh (-3) @ Denver. PICK: Denver

Last week: 8-5-0
Overall: 67-48-1

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

You're the inspiration

Ok, another Onion video - which is easier than coming up with content myself. But I'm amazed how well-written, and especially well-cast, these things are. Lorne Michaels should clean house and turn "Saturday Night Live" over to these guys.

That shot of Matt Stafford just kills me.

Sunday, November 01, 2009