Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?!


Forget about this beef jerky! What about these Big Gulps?! Could we possibly need this much Mountain Dew?

Week 8 Recap: Eh.

Week 8
Dave: 6-8 = Down $40
Mark:
6-8 = Down $40
Sports Guy: 6-8 = Down $40
Sports Gal: 7-7 = Even

On the Season
Dave: 59-55 = Up $80
Mark: 40-58= Down $360
Sports Guy: 53-56-5 = Down $60
Sports Gal: 56-53-5 = Up $60

Monday, October 30, 2006

NFL Hodge Podge: Who the fuck is Owen Daniels?

I can't wait until Rex Grossman gets injured, sending Bears nation into a coma. The whole city is thinking Super Bowl, and you can't really blame them. But Sexy Rexy is going to be sidelined and then it's hello Orton-Time!


Case Study #1

Steelers 3rd down conv: 7-19
Raiders 3rd down conv: 1-11

Steelers yards: 360
Raiders yards: 98

Raiders net passing (minus sacks): 17 yards

Final: Raiders 20, Steelers 13

4 picks by Big Ben and the Steelers lose a game they dominated. It would be very hard to be a member of the Steelers defense right now.


Case Study #2

Chiefs yards: 499
Seahawks yards: 240

Chiefs rushing, time of posession: 191 yards , 42:15
Seahawks: 47 yards, 17:45

Chiefs punts: 1
Seahawks punts: 4

So why were the Seahawks up 1 with 5 minutes to go in the game? Huard fumbles inside the Chiefs 10. Botched FG attempt that goes for 7 the other way. Ty Law drops a pass thrown in his hands, then falls down on the next play, giving up a 49 yard touchdown that hung in the air for a minute while Darrel Jackson just waited for it to come to him.

Case Study Conclusion: Don't turn the ball over.


The Best in Fantasy for Week 8:

QB Vick 34
RB Johnson, Larry 41
RB Tomlinson 41
WR Wayne 33
WR Colston 28
TE Daniels 21
K Vinatieri 14
DST Raiders 31

Hon. Mention:

QB Manning, Peyton 33
QB Grossman 28
TE Clark, Desmond 20

Owen Daniels, is a rookie tight end on the Houston Texans. 99 yards, 2 TDs.

Proud to be an American?

Thud. Plop. (The sound of my stepping on a soapbox to get to my high horse).

There's a loaded question if I've ever heard one. Of course, we're proud to be Americans, right? If we don't act like this, then we must be ungrateful for the generations of American soldiers that have given their lives for this country. We must be borderline terrorists. If we're not proud to be an American, then we should hear chants of "Get out of this country!"

But what does that mean to be proud to be American? What does America stand for? I have a good idea of what it's supposed to stand for. Freedom. Equality. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But those are just ideals, what does it really mean to be an American?

Am I proud that I don't have the faith in our population to elect a woman or African-American for president? Am I proud that I can't trust our voters or our voting machines? Am I proud that we're our soldiers are dying all over the world? For what? What exactly is there to be so proud of right now?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Miami is the Ultimate Sports City

This is the 2nd in a thirtysomething-part series.

Basketball:
Not only are they 2006 NBA Champions, but their team name doesn't end in S. Take that plurality conventions! Plus, they're so good, they've retired #23 for Michael Jordan, even though he never played for the Heat.

Hockey:
The Florida Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup, but they were founded in 1993, just in time to be featured in NHL '94 for Sega Genesis. Which was a really awesome game.

Baseball:
The Florida Marlins are clearly the best team in baseball. Since starting in 1993, the Marlins have won 2 World Series. Plus, they did it with 2 completely different rosters. And true to form, they dismantled their roster after their '03 win. They're so good they don't even need to win their division. Ever. And they've never lost a playoff series. The Yankees can't say that. Obviously the Marlins are better than the Yankees.

Football:
Miami may be awesome in Basketball, Hockey and Baseball, but Football is not their strong suit. In the last 30 years exactly how many Super Bowls have the Dolphins won? Zero. For shame. Plus the Dolphins have only won one game this year. And wins against the Titans shouldn't count. Although, neither should wins against the Dolphins.


Part One: Detroit

My wife is good to me

One of the benefits of writing a post with that title, is now I can tell her that I wrote about her and make her go read my blog. Then I can point out how good I am at predicting football scores.

I'm generally a nice guy with a few quirks, but it's still impressive that she puts up with me and my little football helmets on the tv, how I not only watch sports on tv, read about sports on the internet, but also play the corresponding sports through video games. She's so good to me, she'll even go with me to watch the Chiefs host the Broncos at a sports bar that has Sunday Ticket in O'Fallon on Thanksgiving night because they decided to air the game exclusively on NFL Network--that's how good she is to me.

She's also good to me because she empties out the dishwasher every day, lets me control the Tivo, and when I come home after a bad day, she acts extra goofy to cheer me up.

And all I have to put up with is a few dozen half-drunk cans of soda.

I like food a little too much

I don't really have a good explanation either. Food is just fuel for my body.

I mean, some people gorge themselves on fine cinema, or even hallucinatory drugs. Makes sense. These are things designed purely for pleasure, enjoyment. But I've taken eating, a necessary fact of life, and turned it into pleasure. And it's to the point that the food I eat, is unhealthy. And why? My tastebuds are only enjoying the food for seconds at a time, of an event that lasts about 10 minutes. And then it's gone. It really is a fleeting pleasure.

On a related note, I'm convinced that the Hint of Lime Tostitos, really have a hint of lime and crack, because (combined with sour cream) I've never seen such an addicting product.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Game I Dare Not Speak Of

I have found the pandora's box of online games. It has amazing powers: it is a soccer game, but instead of human players, you have a team of cars. There are 8 international teams to choose from, each with thier own characteristics: Brazil is fast and wild, Germany is slower with better cornering. This game is fantastic, although such powers comes with a curse.

Of the 4 computers that have attempted to play the game, none has been able to continually play the game perfectly.

On my Mac at work, the game run smoothly - fast and exciting - but it only lasts for so long. Whether its 5 minutes, or 10 seconds, inevitably the game freezes, and I have to force quit the browser (both Firefox and Safari).

Both PC's I have at home, run the game without crashing, but at a pace so slow that it loses the spirit of the game.

And a friend using a Mac at his office has already reported that it effectively froze his entire computer.

Here's the game, play at your own risk:

Car Soccer!

Week 8 Picks

Eagles -5.5 over Jaguars
Packers -3.5 over Cardinals
Chiefs -5.5 over Seahawks
49ers +16.5 over Bears
Saints -2.5 over Ravens
Texans +3.5 over Titans
Giants -9.5 over Bucs
Falcons +4.5 over Bengals
Rams +8.5 over Chargers
Colts +2.5 over Broncos
Steelers -8.5 over Raiders
Jets +1.5 over Browns
Panthers -4.5 over Cowboys
Patriots -2.5 over Vikings

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Week 7 Recap: I'm Better than Mutual Funds

Week 7
Dave: 9-4 = Up $100
Mark: 5-8 = Down $60
Sports Guy: 6-7 = Down $20
Sports Gal: 4-9 = Down $100

On the Season
Dave: 53-47 = Up $120
Mark: 34-50= Down $320
Sports Guy: 47-48-5 = Down $20
Sports Gal: 49-46-5 = Up $60

Again, the opposite of what Mark picks is on a record pace. Finally the Sports Gal is coming back to earth, although still better than the Sports Guy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Office: Game 5

The Office finally got something going this season. They played their first compete game. The temp and Dwight had some nice teamwork in the cold open to get things started, Stanley and Michael assisted each other nicely on Pretzel day, and in the bottom of the ninth, Jim and Pam came in and closed it out. Solid performances all around. The temp really stepped up his game, with a breakout performance of when they needed him the most. He's on pace to put up MVP laughs this year.

Poop for Algernon: Flash Fiction


Imagine a poster on the side of a building. One person looks at it and sees a red poster. The other, looking at the same poster, sees blue. How could they ever come together and agree on what color the poster actually is. Neither person is colorblind; they just have different names for the colors. It’s quite a problem.

I defecate flowers. I should say that I defecate what you consider to be flowers. I consider flowers poop. You see, I eat food like everyone else. My body digests the food. And then outcomes poop. Beautiful tulips, daffodils, and sometimes even roses. You know, poop.

I’m not stupid. I learned from a young age, that the kids called bowel movements “poop”. And I didn’t spend any time checking out the poop of my peers, so I just naturally assumed that the entire 4th grade class of St. Thomas Elementary were depositing lilacs into the toilets after lunch.

I heard the expression “everybody poops.” So I just assumed that everyone poops like me.

You’re probably assuming that if I thought that poop was flowers, that I must have called flowers, poop. That’s simply not the case. I knew that everyone called those flowers. And I just thought that “flowers” were the floral plants that are in the ground, and “poop” is a floral plant that comes after a big meal. Kind of how a sweater is a shirt, but we still call it a sweater.

In the 8th grade, Halloween night, a bunch of my friends put flaming bags of poop on some doorsteps. I got some weird looks when my paper bag had a sunflower sticking out of it, but I’ve come to reason that the kids just assumed I had decorated my poop bag.

But I wouldn’t live in the darkness forever. I was an invincible 16-year-old visiting my Uncle on the job. Whose job happened to be the Warden of the St. Thomas Penitentiary. He gave me the basic tour, and then I noticed the capital punishment wing. There was a lethal injection planned for that day, and my Uncle wanted no part of me seeing what happened. But, I was an arrogant fool and eventually he let me watch, presumably to teach me a lesson about who knows what is best for me.

I’ll spare you the details of the execution, and instead focus on one eye-opening post-mortem detail. The deceased defecated, leaving a stain on the table he was strapped to. That day I smelled something I had never smelled before. But the reality of poop didn’t instantly sink on. I just thought that once you died you didn’t poop flowers anymore, just soil.

Detroit is the Ultimate Sports City

Hockey:
The Red Wings have won 10 Stanley Cups, including 3 in the last 10 years. 10 Stanley Cups is the most of any team*!

*This of course excludes the teams from Montreal and Toronto, but the N in NHL stands for National--and I'm pretty sure we know what nation we're talking about. The fact remains, Detroit has the best hockey team in America.

Basketball:
Pistons have won 5 championships, 3 in the NBA, including 2004. Plus, they have won the designation of most "bad boys." Plus, including the Fort Wayne Pistons, the Pistons are 3-4 in NBA Finals appearances. Their 7 Finals apperances total one more Finals appearance than the Chicago Bulls, and they were a dynasty!

Baseball:
The Tigers may have seemed like a terrible team, but that's just not true. They have 10 AL pennants, and 5 World Series Championships. They're dependable too. In fact, every year they always win at least 43 games. The Mets can't even say that! But in baseball, as in life, it's all about what have you done for me lately. And the Tigers just swept the Cardinals, to win the 2006 World Series*!

*Editor's note: This article will appear in the November 14th issue of Hoagie Central.

Football:
So here's where you think Detroit doesn't have it all when it comes to winning sports teams, but how could you forget that in January 2006, the Super Bowl was won in Detroit!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Week 7 Picks: I have nothing to add about baseball other than I 'm watching tonight

Chargers -5.5 over Chiefs
Eagles -5.5 over Bucs
Texans +9.5 over Jaguars
Packers +4.5 over Dolphins
Patriots -5.5 over Bills
Panthers +3.5 over Bengals
Falcons -1.5 over Steelers
Jets -3.5 over Lions
Broncos -5.5 over Browns
Cardinals -3.5 over Raiders
Colts -9.5 over Redskins
Seahawks -6.5 over Vikings
Giants +3.5 over Cowboys

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Week 6 Recap: I wouldn't trust Mark with my money

Week 6
Dave: 7-6 = Up $20
Mark: 2-11 = Down $180
Sports Guy: 7-6 = Up $20
Sports Gal: 5-8 = Down $60

On the Season
Dave: 44-43 = Up $20
Mark: 29-42= Down $260
Sports Guy: 41-41-5 = Even
Sports Gal: 45-37-5 = Up $160


I think it's worth noting, that no one, not even the Sports Gal, is doing as well as "the opposite of what Mark picks." Those picks are 42-29!

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Most Bizarre Game I've Ever Seen

This was the Hollywood movie with an extra twist ending, except it was so unprobable that you don't believe it. Then they add an extra twist on top of that, only to say it was all a dream.

The Bears didn't deserve to win this game. But then, the Cardinals went to great lenghts to show that they didn't deserve to win this game either.

Grossman had 6 turnovers, no touchdowns. 14 of 37 for 138 passing yards. -7 fantasy points.

The Bears played terrible, except for 3 big plays from their Defense/Special Teams -- all of which scored touchdowns. The Bears D were able to capitalize on the turnovers, while the Cardinals could not.

Last year's playoff meeting between the Colts and Steelers is probably the wildest, most exciting game I've ever seen. The Chiefs beating the Raiders last year, choosing to go for it instead of kicking the 3, is up there too, probably the best Chiefs game I've ever seen. But this is something totally different. It's up there just for sheer craziness.

No one gave the Cards a shot, and they come out and go up 20-0 at the half. And the Bears are the best team in the league, and they look like the worst.

With 5 minutes to go, the Cards are running the clock out up 13. And then they still should win the game with a reliable kicker. But...

Words can't capture how this would feel to be a Cards fan right now. To go from a 1-4 start and being a huge underdog, to reveling in the first MNF home game in 7 years and building a huge lead, and playing great defense to shut down the league's highest scoring offense. And then have everything fall apart. Ugh.

No Team is Perfect

Can the Bears go 16-0? Can the Raiders go 0-16?

No.

Yes, the Bears are good. Yes, the Raiders are bad. But football, and all sports really, isn't played on paper. It's played on grass, or turf, in the mud or the snow, and with a ball that bounces any which way it pleases.

There are plenty of reasons that the Raiders will win a game this year:

1. There are other bad teams in the league. They almost beat the Browns--who aren't that bad. They also play the Cardinals, Texans, Jets, and Chiefs (twice).

2. It's hard to get psyched up to play a winless team. One team will be overconfident, and end up with black and silver egg on their face.

3. Art Shell is a fantastic coach. Okay, I'm joking. But there's two good reasons.

As for the Bears, the same rules apply in reverse.

1. Lots of good teams in the league.
2. Teams will get psyched to knock them off.
3. Pressure from the Dolphins' champagne celebrations.
4. Rex Grossman. I know he's been playing great this year. And I would definitely want him on my team. But, he's never played 16 games in a year, let alone start 16 games and win them. He's got plenty of interceptions left in him.

And he's going to get hurt.

Friday, October 13, 2006

You Must Be Fucking With Me


No way.

There' s no chance that is true.

A free rental? No fucking way. You're out of your mind.

You mean I can get one tonight? For free? Fuck you, you must be joking.

Are you serious? I mean I have gotten these free rental coupons every week for the past 8 months, but I still don't believe you.

I beleive that I can rent a movie from you, but for free? You must be full of shit, you sick fuck. Why do you play these sadistic games with me? I'll see you in hell, Blockbuster.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Week 6 Picks: I'm the Sleeper

Perhaps just for this week, I'm seperating my picks by confidence level...to see how accurately I can predict my predictions.

Confident
Jets -2.5 over Dolphins
Eagles -3.5 over Saints
Chargers -10.5 over 49ers
Bengals -6.5 over Bucs
Rams +3.5 over Seahawks
Bears -10.5 over Cardinals
Steelers -6.5 over Chiefs

Not So Much
Redskins -9.5 over Titans
Panthers +2.5 over Ravens
Lions +1.5 over Bills
Falcons -2.5 over Giants
Cowboys -12.5 over Texans
Broncos -15.5 over Raiders

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

73%

In case it isn't painfully obvious, it's a lot easier to pick NFL games without spreads.
I correctly picked all the games in Week 5...14-0.


On the year without the spread I am 54-20.
Which is better than all 8 of ESPN experts.
As far as the public is concerned, I'm in the 98% percentile and in the top 100 in the Deadspin group.

A Glimmer of Hope in Kansas City

The 2006 Chiefs are not in a good position. It's likely the Chargers and Broncos will be 4-1 after Week 6 and the Chiefs will need a win with a backup QB on the road at the Defending Champions just to be 3-2. And with the departure of Vermeil/Saunders offensively, the Chiefs rank 18th in yards/game, 13th in points/game. Far from their #1 or 2 numbers of recent times.

But it's easy to get optimistic when looking at these numbers:

Best Defenses by Yards/Game
1 San Diego 204.5
2 Baltimore 219.6
3 Chicago 234.6
4 Kansas City 254.3

Best Defenses by Points/Game
1 Chicago 7.2
2 Denver 8.5
3 San Diego 9.0
4 Baltimore 9.2
5 Atlanta 10.5
6 Kansas City 13.0

That victory at Arizona wouldn't have been possible with key 4th quarter defensive stops, including a Ty Law interception. The Chiefs haven't allowed a 2nd half touchdown. While the playoffs may not be in the 2006 Chiefs future, it isn't out of the question that they could fix the offensive line, get Larry Johnson going again, and have an elite defense to carry them to the playoffs in the near future.

Also of note, the top 4 QB ratings:

1. David Carr, HOU 108.9
2. Damon Huard, KC 107.4
3. Donovan McNabb, PHI 107.2
4. Rex Grossman, CHI 100.9

In terms of points/game, the Bears have the #1 offense (31.2) and #1 defense (7.2). I predict the Bears will beat the Cardinals 31-7.

Week 5 Recap: I Swear I'm Good For the Money

Week 5
Dave: 5-9 = Down $80
Mark: 7-7 = Even
Sports Guy: 5-6-3 = Down $20
Sports Gal: 6-5-3 = Up $20

On the Season
Dave: 37-37 = Even
Mark: 27-31 = Down $80
Sports Guy: 34-35-5 = Down $20
Sports Gal: 40-29-5 = Up $220

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week 5 Thoughts

I had this big speech prepared about how I'm surprised that everyone is picking the Bears to cover 10.5 against the Bills, and then I saw that the game is in Chicago, not Buffalo. I'm sticking with my Bills pick, but I'm 100% less confident about it now.

What would the spread have to be in order for someone to pick the Titans over the Colts? 30.5

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How to Save Hockey

Well, I'm not sure if anything could save hockey at this point. But here are some things that may or may not work...

1. Get rid of fighting.
There are fans that like hockey because of the fighting. But it hurts the sport. The NFL is doing just fine without allowing players to stop the game and dance around.

2. Have less teams.
Fewer teams means the bottom of the talent pool gets kicked out. A league with too many "Who cares" teams doesn't do well nationally.

3. Have less games.
If there are fewer games, each game would matter more.

4. Wednesday Night Hockey
Schedule every team to play on Wednesday every week. Then for that week, pick 2 games to form a national tv doubleheader. 6 and 9 eastern. Make fans look forward to the schedule. Let them salivate over the games.

I'm not sure what impact this would have, but it's a start.

Week 5 Picks: Turning the Tide

Saints -6.5 over Bucs
Rams -3.5 over Packers
Redskins +4.5 over Giants
Colts -18.5 over Titans
Bills +10.5 over Bears
Panthers -8.5 over Browns
Patriots -9.5 over Dolphins
Vikings -6.5 over Lions
49ers -3.5 over Raiders
Jets +7.5 over Jaguars
Chiefs -3.5 over Cardinals
Eagles -2.5 over Cowboys
Chargers -3.5 over Steelers
Ravens +3.5 over Broncos

Monday, October 02, 2006

Week 4 Recap: Good Thing It's Imaginary Money

Week 4
Dave: 5-9 = Down $80
Mark: 6-8 = Down $40
Sports Guy: 6-8 = Down $40
Sports Gal: 10-4 = Up $120

On the Season
Dave: 32-28 = Up $80
Mark: 20-24 = Down $80
Sports Guy: 29-29-2 = Even
Sports Gal: 34-24-2 = Up $200