Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome to the Hoagie Central Sportsbook

I've got $100 burning a hole in my pocket. Let's see how I would really do if I only picked the games I felt confident about.

This week I'm using the 2 out of 3 strategy. If I can get 2 out of these 3, I'll come out ahead.

$35 on Chargers -5.5 over Chiefs
$35 on Pats -20 over Ravens
$30 on Browns +1 over Cardinals

There's an open invitation for anyone who wants to submit their wagers, and I'll keep track for the rest of the year. Cool.

Hoagie Central's Giant Fucking Lock of the Week: Week 13

What's the one team that can cover a 20 point spread?

The Pats.

As noted earlier, I'm hoping to make the playoffs, and hope to get a bye by getting a better record than the 2nd place team in the AFC.

Previous GFLW's (8-4)
Week 1: Steelers at -4.5 = Win by 27

Week 2: Bengals at -7 = Lose by 6
Week 3: Chiefs at -2.5 = Win by 3
Week 4: Patriots at -7 = Win by 21
Week 5: Patriots at -16.5 = Win by 17
Week 6: Patriots at -6 = Win by 21
Week 7: Seahawks at -8 = Win by 27
Week 8: Colts at -6.5 = Win by 24
Week 9: Pats at -5.5 = Win by 4
Week 10: Chiefs at -3 = Lose by 16
Week 11: Steelers at -9.5 = Lose by 3
Week 12: Packers at -3 = Win by 11

lucky week 13 picks

Rams -3 over Falcons
Redskins -5.5 over Bills
Lions +4 over Vikings
Texans +3.5 over Titans
Jaguars +6.5 over Colts
Jets +1 over Dolphins
Chargers -5.5 over Chiefs
Seahawks +3 over Eagles
49ers +3 over Panthers
Bucs +3 over Saints
Browns +1 over Cardinals
Broncos -3.5 over Raiders
Bears +1.5 over Giants
Steelers -7 over Bengals
Pats -20 over Ravens

Thursday, November 29, 2007

picks, locks and notes

I really like the Cowboys and all but I'm taking the Packers +7 tonight.

Also, I will continue to pick every spread, but since I'm back to .500 I'm also going to institute a new system for the rest of the year. I'm going to take 100 imaginary bucks and I will put it on any games that I want, spreading it out as much or as little as I want. And I'll even take out the Vegas commission. So this will be a true test--if I was in a sportsbook, would I be able to come out ahead, picking and choosing my battles? (If I need to, I can go to the imaginary ATM, but I'll always compare my profit to my investment.)

Also, since my locks are 8-4 they seem to be in good shape for the playoffs. I've decided that when the playoffs come I will continue in a elimination format to try and advance through to picking the super bowl winner. As for whether or not I have to pick the wild card games, that will be determined by my record. I'll compare myself to the AFC, top 2 records get a bye. I'm currently the 5th seed behind the Pats, Colts, Jags and Steelers. So if the season ended today, I'd have to pick in the wild-card games.


espn's preaseason take on the illini

Before the season started, ESPN held a 25-hour college football chat. Here were the questions about the Illini:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Illini in the BCS?!

The latest report has Illinois with a 75% chance to make it in to the BCS.

If OSU makes it to the title game (because of a Missouri or West Virginia loss), Illinois heads to play USC in the Rose Bowl.

However, if OSU goes to the Rose Bowl, then it looks like the Fiesta Bowl would have to choose an opponent for Kansas: either Arizona State or Illinois. CBS thinks ASU is more likely, but the Tribune likes the spending power of the out of state Illini fan base.

The Sugar Bowl vs LSU becomes a possibility if Illinois doesn't get the Rose or Fiesta and Hawaii loses this week.

If Illinois doesn't get that, they're likely headed to play Florida in a Zook rematch at the Capital One Bowl.

Here are my preferences:

1. Fiesta vs KU
They have a big offense but are easily the most beatable team, plus it's Kansas and the Illini faithful would love to beat them, even on the gridiron.

2. Rose vs USC
For one I'll be in LA over New Year's anyway, although I'm not about to spend $400 bucks to watch Illinois lose by 30. USC would crush us, but it would be awesome to make it to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984.

3. Capital One vs Florida
This is a great story and would be a compelling game. It's not in the BCS, but is still a major bowl, and maybe Zook has some inside information that could help us win.

4. Sugar vs LSU
This would be terrible. LSU should be in the national championship game, if it wasn't for one of two 3OT games. They would beat us by 70 points and did I mention it's a home game. This would just bring back bad memories. Seriously, can we decline the BCS bid and take the Capital One bid? Of course not, because the BCS bid earns over a million for the conference. Fuck, man.

NFL Playoffs are easy to predict

Or so it would seem.


Teams 3-6 stink. Seattle and Tampa probably emerge but have no shot of beating the Cowboys or Packers. I think Dallas wins this week, gets home field advantage and takes care of the Packers in the NFC Championship, but that's about the only playoff game that's up in the air.


Cleveland holds on to the wild card enough to get pounded by the Steelers.
Chargers-Jaguars looks like a good game, but it probably won't be. That winner loses to the Pats big time.
Steelers might beat the Colts, neither one has shot against New England.

Pats beat Cowboys in the most American Super Bowl ever.

Week 12 Recap: Too Much Turkey

Week 12
Dave: 6-10 = Down $80
Mark: 7-6 = Up $20
Sports Guy: 8-8 = Even
Sports Gal: 9-7 = Up $40

On the Season
Dave: 83-83-10 = Even
Mark: 67-84-10 = Down $340
Sports Guy: 82-85-9 = Down $60
Sports Gal: 92-75-9 = Up $340

Wow, Sports Gal is just as good as TOM. That's amazing. Also I'm just as good as flipping a nickel, which happens to be 3 games better than the Sports Guy.

Construda Update: 2 weeks to go

There's basically 3 teams locked into the playoffs: Mark, Burnsy and Kirat. And Rishi would need to beat me this weekend and win again next week to get in. He beat me in week 2 110-104. If he can do it again, I'd be amazed. Still it's a huge game.

The other thing left to be determined is who gets the wild card, Niraj owns the tie breaker, but assuming both he and Kirat win this weekend, it won't matter. The winner of their week 14 game will win the division, the loser gets the wild card.

Here's the projected playoff picture:

Mark #1 vs #4 (loser of Kirat/Burnsy game)
Dave #3 vs #2 (winner of Kirat/Burnsy game)

Ironically, I am 4-1-1 vs Mark over the last 6 weeks, so you could make the argument that the easier path through the playoffs is through Mark, and Kirat or Burnsy should tank their last game. But I don't buy it. The playoffs are going to be hard no matter who you play, and it will be good teams against good teams.

Breakdowns over the last 6 weeks:

Dave vs Mark: 4-1-1
Dave vs Kirat: 6-0
Dave vs Niraj: 3-3

Mark vs Niraj: 2-3-1
Mark vs Dave: 1-4-1
Mark vs Kirat: 5-1

Niraj vs Dave: 3-3
Niraj vs Mark: 3-2-1
Niraj vs Kirat: 4-2

Kirat vs Dave: 0-6
Kirat vs Mark: 1-5
Kirat vs Niraj: 2-4

steve smith vs edge james

This is mostly to pick on Matt, who said I got swindled, not Kirat.

Since the trade Edge has put up: 7, 7, 11, 8.
Steve Smith: 1, 4, 0, 6.

Edge has consistent #2 rb numbers.
Steve Smith has shaky bench numbers.

just saying

Monday, November 26, 2007

our first christmas tree

Today I went out and got a mini tree to hold our 9 ornaments.

This is what it looks like lit up, in front of the John Hancock.

And here's Rocky maintaining possession of the ball.

my birthday...

"was a thrill ride--so intense and fast-paced, it ought to come with guardrails." It could also be described as "an addictive adrenaline-fueled thriller."

In other words, this is what it feels like to be...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

frank caliendo, still got it

On Mike & Mike, about 3/4 of the way in.

also on TNT:

Hoagie Central's Giant Fucking Lock of the Week: Week 12

Fucking Steelers.

Fine then. If there's one thing that I can count on, it's Brett Favre to show up on Thanksgiving. The Packers never lose and the Lions are falling apart. The Pack covers 3 easy.

Packers -3

Previous GFLW's (7-4)
Week 1: Steelers at -4.5 = Win by 27

Week 2: Bengals at -7 = Lose by 6
Week 3: Chiefs at -2.5 = Win by 3
Week 4: Patriots at -7 = Win by 21
Week 5: Patriots at -16.5 = Win by 17
Week 6: Patriots at -6 = Win by 21
Week 7: Seahawks at -8 = Win by 27
Week 8: Colts at -6.5 = Win by 24
Week 9: Pats at -5.5 = Win by 4
Week 10: Chiefs at -3 = Lose by 16
Week 11: Steelers at -9.5 = Lose by 3

thanksgiving picks

Packers -3 over Lions
Cowboys -14 over Jets
Falcons +12 over Colts

Broncos +2 over Bears
Titans -1 over Bengals
Bills +7.5 over Jaguars
Chiefs -5.5 over Raiders
Browns -3.5 over Texans
Rams +3 over Seahawks
Vikings +7.5 over Giants
Panthers +3 over Saints
Bucs -3 over Redskins
49ers +10 over Cardinals
Ravens +9 over Chargers
Steelers -16 over Dolphins
Pats -22 over Eagles

kige for SHOTY

07 Picks: Week 11 Recap

Week 11
Dave: 6-9-1 = Down $60
Mark: 6-9-1 = Down $60
Sports Guy: 9-6-1 = Up $60
Sports Gal: 9-6-1 = Up $60

On the Season
Dave: 77-73-10 = Up $80
Mark: 60-78-10 = Down $360
Sports Guy: 74-77-9 = Down $60
Sports Gal: 83-68-9 = Up $300

This is getting embarrassing. Sports Mom is beating the crap out of us.

final four!

illinois plays duke for the right to go to the championship!

Monday, November 19, 2007

my new friends

This summer I made some new friends. And I savor every time that I get to spend with them: Sam Seaborn, Josh Lyman, Toby Ziegler, Leo McGarry, C.J. Cregg, Donna Moss, Charlie Young, and of course, Jed Bartlet.

well shit, that's not quite the lead i thought i had

And Rishi passed Matt playing in one less week than him.

Hoagie Central's Monday Morning Bonerjam NFL Jumbalaya

We'll start with the most bizarre play of the year, a field goal that was able to bounce on the curved extension that faces away from the field, and actually go towards the field. If I was Brian Billick I would be looking for a kicker on the Grassy Knoll because it seems to defy logic. Back and to the left. Back and to the left! Also, Romeo Crennel provided this bit of wisdom, while stuffing a Maryland Crab Cake down his gullet, "Sometimes the ball bounces a lot of different ways. Because it's oblong." See, it's that kind of advanced understanding of the game that separates the brainless schlubs who watch the games and the masterminds who coach it. Also, I believe that is the first Bonerjam quote that is actually real.

Apparently Bobby Petrino doesn't read the Fanhouse, cause he would have known to start Leftwich over Harrington. Also, he must owe money to Leftwich because he's terrible. The best thing the Jags ever did was cut him.

The Lions finally lost a game at home, bringing an end to a streak that absolutely no one was paying attention to. Of course after the game, Kitna pointed out the obvious, that the Giants are not a better football team than the Lions. I wonder during which of his 3 interceptions, did he have the time to figure that out.

The Eagles finally got on the right track with their star quarterback, A.J. Feeley. Sure McNabb may have been injured, but it couldn't have worked out better for the Eagles, because Feeley played for the Dolphins, so he knows how to beat them. It worked so well, they offered Quincy Carter a contract in preparation for the next time they play the Cowboys.

Remember when the Raiders were 2-2 and atop the AFC West? Neither do they. Thankfully for them, the Dolphins, Jets, and Rams have distracted the nation so no one's noticed the Raiders. Also, does Chester Taylor's performance give more credit to the O-line and less to Peterson. I think so.

I couldn't be happier that the Chargers got rid of Drew Brees and Marty to go with Rivers and Norv. Say what you will about Brees this year, but he's no Rivers. How do you go 5-5 with LT?

The Chiefs prevented Manning from getting a TD pass, for the first time in 2 years. Also, Croyle and Bowe are only 84 behind Young/Rice, even if it's not the record anymore.

Carson Palmer threw 4 touchdowns. 1 to Housh, 1 to Chris Henry, and 2 to Antrel Rolle.

Brett Favre outplayed Vinny Testaverde in the Matlock® Senior Bowl. If it weren't for about 12 other crappy teams, the Panthers might be might least favorite team.

Reggie Bush caught 12 passes for 70 yards. He also ran the ball 15 times for....wait for it... 34 yards. The Saints are 0-6 when committing 2+ turnovers, so maybe the shouldn't turn the ball over so much--I mean, it seems to hurt their chances of winning games, I'm just saying.

When the 7-2 Steelers meet the 1-8 Jets, there's only one thing that can happen. The Steelers allow a 100-yard rusher for the first time in 35 games, get beat by a flea flicker, and allow Kellen Clemens to execute a 2-minute offense to send it to overtime, force a punt and win in OT. That's about right.

In Seattle, the Bears scored an offensive touch down in the first quarter. Why do I mention it? It was the first time it had happened all year. Grossman did fumble the game away in the 4th quarter, but he did look sexy doing it.

It's really sad when a team in your division starts 0-8, and they're better than you. This is the fate of the San Francisco 49ers. They lost 9-13, in what would have been a high scoring game if this was the Giants-Cardinals.

The Cowboys look really good. It might be more exciting if they didn't get beaten down by the Pats at home a couple weeks ago.

Mercury Morris of the 72 Dolphins has said repeatedly over the years, when reporters ask about the current undefeated team, "Don't call me when you're in my town, call me when you're on my block." His point was that a 13-0 Colts team still couldn't compare to a 17-0 Dolphins team. Fair enough. But when he said that last week, I'd like to point out, that not only are the Patriots on your block, but their house is a lot nicer than yours:

As for MNF, it's a 2nd place team in a division where the best team is .500 vs a 3rd place team where the worst team is .500. Exciting.

why you get up in the morning

croyle to bowe!

The Chiefs players are pissed that they lost a game they could have one, but that was about as good as loss as you could have. Plus, Dwayne Bowe's so good, he can get both feet in bounds and catch the ball in his knees.

That's the play of the year for the Chiefs.

Here's Peyton's and Brodie's stats on the year:

It was Peyton's second-worst performance of the year and Croyle's best.

Maybe in the future, the Chiefs O-coordinator will actually call some plays down the field, instead of the same WR screen or draw play on 3rd and long. Just a thought.

Friday, November 16, 2007

tale of the tape: peyton vs brodie

Peyton vs Brodie
Height: 6-5 / 6-2
Weight: 230 / 206
Seasons: 10 / 2
Games: 153 / 5
Yards: 39,972 / 323
TD: 291 / 1
Rating: 94.2 / 56.3

But all is not lost.

Possible nicknames for Croyle that other people came up with:



Chef Broyardee

Backfoot Brodie

A Croyale with Cheese

Broyale with Cheese

Kansas City Croyals

Peanut Butter Brodie Time

what is this, some cruel joke?

This is the Chiefs game I get?

They couldn't possibly have aired the Chiefs vs the Raiders, or even the Bengals. And they certainly didn't give me the Chiefs vs the Chargers. But sure, give me the fucking Colts.

Are you kidding me? The week after Peyton throws 6 picks and comes home after losing 2 in a row. The first start for Brodie Croyle. This is the game I get. Thanks.

Hoagie Central's Giant Fucking Lock of the Week: Week 11

Fucking Chiefs.

I love to bet against the Sex Cannon, but I'm going with the team that doesn't let me down.

Steelers -9.5 over Jets

Previous GFLW's (7-3)
Week 1: Steelers at -4.5 = Win by 27

Week 2: Bengals at -7 = Lose by 6
Week 3: Chiefs at -2.5 = Win by 3
Week 4: Patriots at -7 = Win by 21
Week 5: Patriots at -16.5 = Win by 17
Week 6: Patriots at -6 = Win by 21
Week 7: Seahawks at -8 = Win by 27
Week 8: Colts at -6.5 = Win by 24
Week 9: Pats at -5.5 = Win by 4
Week 10: Chiefs at -3 = Lose by 16

romance copy!

memo to the copywriter at kraft/kroger...when you write romance copy for a recipe, you don't actually write the words "romance copy"

bonus: kroger also thinks that vanilla coffee is a dinner recipe.

Construda Playoffs Preview

With 4 weeks to go, there's 6 teams fighting for 4 spots. Who's in? Who's out? And who's hoping for a miracle?

East Division
Rishi and I are tied at 5-5 right now. Rishi already beat me, so if he wins again in week 13, he would own the tiebreaker and I would have to finish with a better record than him. But If I beat him, the tiebreaker would be total points scored, and I would own that. Based on my easy schedule down the stretch, in order for Rishi to make the playoffs he would have to upset me and win 2 of his other 3 games. But I'm not going to lose another game this regular season, I'll finish 9-5 winning the east, and Rishi will probably finish 7-7.

West Division
Mark has the West sewn up, and barring something strange, the #1 seed. Anish is fighting for a wild card with....

Central Division
Burnsy and Kirat are currently tied, but Burnsy already beat Kirat this year in a 98-97 slugfest with huge implications. Looking at the schedules, it's possible that Burnsy, Kirat and Anish could be 10-3 going in to the last game. Using that assumption, here's the scenario:

Mark has the #1 seed locked up and will play the wild-card in the first round.
Dave has the #3 seed locked up and will play the #2 seed in the first round.
The winner of Kirat-Burnsy will win the Central and be the #2 seed.
The loser of Kirat-Burnsy will be 10-4, but Anish owns the tiebreaker over both of them, so he doesn't even have to beat Mark to get the wild-card.

In other words, Anish gets the wild card if he gets to 10 wins (currently at 7-3). Assuming he does, it will come down to the Kirat vs Burnsy matchup to see who gets to the playoffs.

Projected playoffs:
#1 Mark vs #4 Anish
#3 Dave vs #2 Niraj

For the record, since my resurgence 4 weeks ago, here's how I've fared against the contenders:

2-2 vs Burnsy
3-0-1 vs Mark
4-0 vs Rishi
4-0 vs Anish
4-0 vs Kirat

So yeah, I'd rather not play Burnsy/Brady.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Week 11 Picks

Bengals -3 over Cardinals
Packers -9.5 over Panthers
Browns -2.5 over Ravens
Colts -14.5 over Chiefs
Dolphins +10 over Eagles
Saints +1 over Texans
Raiders +5 over Vikings
Chargers +3 over Jaguars
Bucs -3 over Falcons
Lions +2.5 over Giants
Steelers -9.5 over Jets
Cowboys -10.5 over Redskins
Rams -2.5 over 49ers
Seahawks -5.5 over Bears
Pats -16 over Bills
Titans +2 over Broncos

good work from jim caple

Just a fantastic little excerpt on page 2 that most people might not even see is there:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NFL Bonerjam Express

I'm just guessing that 4 rushing attempts for Kevin Jones and 45 passing attempts for Jon Kitna isn't the formula for success.

I'm also guessing that when the Bears signed Benson to a 5-year, 35-million dollar deal, they expected to get a player that could average more rushing yards than Vinny Testaverde. Currently there are 152 players who are averaging more rushing yards per carry than Cedric Benson.

Also, considering Ricky Williams averaged 4 yards a carry, you will not be mistaken for him. You are in fact, 75% of Ricky Williams.

In other news, LSU has scheduled the Miami Dolphins as a non-conference opponent for 2009.

07 Picks: Week 10 Recap - TOM comes alive

Week 10
Dave: 6-8 = Down $40
Mark: 10-4 = Up $120
Sports Guy: 6-8 = Down $40
Sports Gal: 7-7 = Even

On the Season
Dave: 71-64-9 = Up $140
Mark: 54-69-9 = Down $300
Sports Guy: 65-71-8 = Down $120
Sports Gal: 74-62-8 = Up $240

the brodie croyle era is ready to begin

This is the face of the franchise:

On a completely unrelated note, I'm making the lock of the week the Colts covering up to 50 points at home against the Chiefs.

I think this is the right time to go with Croyle, and it worked out well that Huard got banged up, so it wasn't a big controversy.

The Chiefs are 2-3 at home this year. They lost 2 winnable games in a row at home. And now they're facing the Colts who are looking for someone to beat up. I just hope we don't have too many injuries this week.

Furthermore, we should've beaten them in 2002!

THE ohio state is not going to the Nat'l Championship this year, and maybe they shouldn't have gone in 2002. Here's the video evidence, and I swear that he's got control of the ball and a foot/knee down in the endzone.


We knew we could, we just didn't know if we would.

Friday, November 09, 2007

interesting headers on

Notice anything unusual? (Besides the fact that Shanahan's picture was taken while he was on the toilet.)

Hoagie Central's Giant Fucking Lock of the Week: Week 10

I like a lot of teams to cover this week: Chiefs, Titans, Bears, Lions, Colts...but which one has the one that I like the most?

Chiefs -3 over Broncos

The Chiefs are 1-0 in the locks and this is one of those where I just know my team. This team will bounce back. The defense will be ready. This team won't lose back to back at home.

Previous GFLW's (7-2)
Week 1: Steelers at -4.5 = Win by 27

Week 2: Bengals at -7 = Lose by 6
Week 3: Chiefs at -2.5 = Win by 3
Week 4: Patriots at -7 = Win by 21
Week 5: Patriots at -16.5 = Win by 17
Week 6: Patriots at -6 = Win by 21
Week 7: Seahawks at -8 = Win by 27
Week 8: Colts at -6.5 = Win by 24
Week 9: Pats at -5.5 = Win by 4

Mid-Season Mid-Review

There've been 9 weeks, and most teams have played 8 games. So how's everything going?

To me it looks like the NFC division winners will be:
Green Bay
New Orleans

That leaves 2 wild card spots for:
New York
Tampa Bay

Methinks the Lions and Giants find their way to the postseason.

The AFC is a little cloudier...

I think the AFC Division Winners will be:
New England
San Diego

But that leaves all these teams fighting for the last two spots:
Kansas City

I like both the Jags and Titans but don't think it's likely for 3 playoff teams to come out of the same division. So, right now I'd pick the Titans and Ravens.

What about the Chiefs - Lions?

Well they're 4-4 and 6-2 respectively, and I like Detroit's schedule better. Even if the Chiefs get to 8-8, I think the Lions will get Kitna's 10 wins. Looks like I'm the one buying that effing burger.

Home Team?

I've got a comfortable lead and plan on padding it this week. Mark and Burnsy are fighting it out for the right to not pay me money. Matt should be in last, but is in 4th because Rishi and Kirat forgot to make picks one week. Right now it's a dogfight (that's illegal) to avoid ordering the trophy, but I don't expect Kirat to stay in the cellar.


Well, after week 6 I wasn't very optimistic:

Drew Brees was a bust and I was strugggggaling. But now look just three weeks later:

Assuming I beat Rishi in the rematch, I'll own the tiebreaker on points, so from here on out, all I need to do is match him in the rest of the games. Which I will. I'm making the playoffs.

As for what happens in weeks 15 and 16. Call me crazy, but I like my chances. I'm afraid of Brady, but I think I now have the depth to take on anyone.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Week 10 Picks

Bills -2.5 over Fins
Steelers -9.5 over Browns
Chiefs -3 over Broncos
Titans -4 over Jags
Vikings +6 over Packers
Eagles +2.5 over Redskins
Rams +11.5 over Saints
Panthers -4 over Falcons
Bengals +4 over Ravens
Bears -3 over Raiders
Cowboys -1.5 over Giants
Lions +1 over Cardinals
Colts -3.5 over Chargers
49ers +10 over Seahawks

who's got the smoothest hands in the nba?

Tale of the Tape: Boston vs Miami

Red Sox 96-66 (1st and won World Series)
Marlins 71-91 (26th in MLB)

Celtics 3-0 (Garnett, Pierce, Allen)
Heat 0-4 (Wade Injured)

Boston College 8-1 (2nd in ACC)
Miami U. 5-4 (7th in ACC)

Patriots 9-0 (Brady, Moss, Welker, Vrabel, Bruschi)
Dolphins 0-8 (Cleo Lemon)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

time to fill out your brackets!

Call me a homer, but I've got Illinois going all the way to the Final Four!

illibuck preview

This week's Illinois-Ohio State matchup is the first of two trophy games this year for the Illini (Illinois doesn't play Purdue this year, so the Purdue Cannon will remain uncontested. Next week, Illinois will try and win back the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk from Northwestern for the first time since 2002.)

Shockingly, Ohio State leads the series, 56-22-2. But it's been close over the last 6 meetings:

1999: Illinois 46-20 at Columbus
2000: OSU 24-21 at Champaign
2001: Illinois 34-22 at Columbus (Illinois went on to win Big Ten)
2002: OSU 23-16 at Champaign (OSU ranked #1, went on to win Nat'l Champ)
2005: OSU 40-2 at Columbus
2006: OSU 17-10 at Champaign (OSU ranked #1, went on to lose Nat'l Champ)

Interesting Notes:
5 of the last 6 games have been won by the road team.
Illinois played OSU very tough in both games that OSU was ranked #1.
The last time Illinois beat a #1 team was 1956.

For this week's game, the point spread has been steady at OSU -15.
Can Illinois pull the upset?

Well, this is the year for unpredictable college football results. Why not?

Oh, and don't bother looking at the series history, it's just depressing how far you have to scroll.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

07 Picks: Week 9 Recap - Pregnancy Helps You Make Picks

Week 9
Dave: 7-7 = Even
Mark: 5-9 = Down $80
Sports Guy: 6-8 = Down $40
Sports Gal: 9-5 = Up $80

On the Season
Dave: 65-56-9 = Up $180
Mark: 44-65-9 = Down $420
Sports Guy: 59-63-8 = Down $80
Sports Gal: 67-55-8 = Up $240

Fantasy Update
I'm only 20 points away from being the top Chiefs' fan and 257th nationally.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hoagie Central's Monday Morning Bonerjam NFL Jumbalaya

That was one of the most entertaining Chiefs' losses I've ever seen. After a dreadful first half, it went back and forth and it came down to a long Favre bomb with less than 5 minutes to go. But this play was so awesome, especially the celebration. Here's my question: Why didn't the Chiefs play to win the game? Isn't that why you play the game? Also, LJ decided he would continue to stick it to fantasy owners by getting 21 points and then getting injured.

Joey Harrington saved the Falcons season by leading them to a 20-16 win over San Francisco. His 138 yards, no touchdowns, and 1 interception got them to be 2-6 on the year. Nice job, Joey.

The Bengals have trouble holding on their teeth, whether they are real or gold. The Bills had 28 more passing yards than the Bengals. Oh yeah, and 148 more rushing yards. Lynch must be the rookie of the--

Holyshitwhat'sgoingonwithPurpleJesus? If there was going to be anyone to break the single game rushing record in 07, you'd have thought it was going to be LDT. But it was his opponent, who ran through the Chargers. You think they miss Wade Phillips on defense? Norv stinks. And it's ridiculous that the Chiefs are in first place ahead of the Chargers on tiebreakers. The really strange thing about AP's record? There were 10 other carries by Viking running backs and the QB tandem of Bollinger and Tarvaris doesn't exactly strike fear into defenses. Just wow.

Also, the Lions are 6-2. But their two losses were by 35 and 31. Does that make any sense? Although it helps that Cutler got injured. This 6-2 team, only one game out in the race for the NFC's best record: less first downs than opponents, less yards, less rushing, less passing, less sacks, less TOP, but they are +8 in turnover ratio. And they are the only NFC team that is undefeated at home. As for Denver, the AFC West went from the best division to basically the worst.

Shockingly, Drew Brees outplayed Quinn Gray. The Saints lost four, won four. Watch out for them in weeks 14-17, they might be back on again by then.

The Redskins should be embarrassed by their performance yesterday. To only win by 3, in overtime, against the Jets. Just terrible. At one point the Jets were up 17-3. So it makes sense that the Jets needed a last second field goal just to force overtime.

You're not going to believe this, but David Carr couldn't get anything going offensively. What a fall from grace. I remember when he was an elite quarterback in Houston. Oh wait, that was Warren Moon.

The crappy Bucs beat the crappy Cardinals in a crappy game for crappy fans.

Janikowski missed a 64-yard field the right upright, halfway up. New Raiders gameplan: widen uprights, kick field goals on first down of every possession from anywhere on the field.

I'll skip ahead to the night game to save the best game for last--How about that Tony Homo? And 174 yards for TO? It's almost as if he was trying extra hard against the Eagles for some reason. Well, maybe Philly just stinks.

And now...the game of the century...the ultimate test between the best teams in the league...the late afternoon game that everyone around the world was watching...the game with all the 4th quarter heroics you could ask for.... the Seahwaks vs the Browns! The Browns come back from 21-6 and win in overtime and are only a half game back from the Steelers. Romeo Crennel celebrated the win by eating a 10-gallon bucket of potato salad.

And there was some other game yesterday, but I turned it off in the first half because it was so boring, so I'm not sure how it ended, and I don't even remember who played. Oh well.

Friday, November 02, 2007

how my wife is awesome OR lord of the rings: the field of the ring

The Setting: Halloween Night - about 9 pm - The soccer field a block away from my apartment.

As part of my goal to get more exercise, I was taking advantage of the decently warm weather. (Tuesday I went out with a football and soccer ball and it felt good to get running again.) Wednesday, I went out with just my football, and I was for the most part, punting the ball nearly straight up and trying to field it.

And after about only 5 minutes, I fielded a punt, and something didn't feel right. The ball came into my hands, and I noticed that my second finger on my left hand was empty. My wedding ring had fallen off and was somewhere in the grassy field.

Had it just fallen off? Was it near where I caught it or where I kicked from? Or did it fall off minutes earlier when I was running into the endzone or recovering an errant kick. Literally, the ring could have been anywhere in the field.

I spent the next 30 minutes searching, including crawling on my hands and knees, feeling in the near dark. The whole time I was thinking about what I was going to say to Brittany. Because I was raised by TV sitcoms, I expected my wife to be upset. But after coming up empty in the dark and now being quite cold in my athletic shorts, I knew I had to go in.

And I give her all the credit in the world, because from the moment I told her, there was not one second where she panicked, got upset, or blamed me for losing it. We gathered our battery powered lantern, put a coat on Rocky, layered up ourselves and went out looking for it.

So now it's Halloween night, about 10 pm, and we're in the middle of a dark field with a lantern and a dog in a purple coat. And the lantern made such a difference that I was just completely sure that we would find it. I mean, it just fell off. It didn't get buried. No one could have taken it. It's just sitting there in the grass, and with the lantern, we'd be able to spot it right away...right?

So we looked and looked. We made sweeping paths, row by row. I looked in the spots where I thought I had kicked from and caught from. We looked all over. But it was dark and it was cold and we just couldn't find it. But still I held out hope. I would wake up and with the power of daylight, it would be obvious. It would just be sitting there in the sun, waiting for us, and then it would be over. I was sure of it.

7 am came, I woke up, 23 minutes before sunrise to go out and look for it. And when I got out there, I was shocked out how much difference the light made. The field was shiny and lit and I thought for sure, it would just be a matter of walking the field for a few minutes. After 30 minutes, Brittany joined me before she had to go to work. We walked the field again with the sun shining and couldn't find it. She had to go to work, I had to go in and get ready for work. She said we should get a metal detector. I didn't want to pay for that, and I thought that all we needed was to borrow a rake and we'd be able to hear it, or we could just keep looking.

After I showered and got ready for work, I went back out just to check. But no. I couldn't find it. And I had to go to work for the first time as a married man without my ring on. And I had to start accepting that maybe we weren't going to find it. Maybe I blew it and we'd have to buy a new one, and spend another $400+ but it wouldn't be the same, and I didn't want to even think about it.

All day long, my fingers instinctively felt for it, just as I check for my wallet, except that my fingers found flesh instead of metal. I couldn't focus on my work because I was thinking about my ring, and I couldn't think about finding the ring because of all the work I had to do. At 4pm, this day of all days, we finally had our work team outing at a bar--an event that had been in the works since January. My plan was to get home by 5:30, and with the help of Niraj and Brittany stay out until we found out. Maybe my landlord had a rake that we could borrow.

Well, the team outing lasted until 7pm and I emerged from the bar where I didn't have a signal. So I called Brittany to see what she was doing. And she said that she and Rocky had driven 45 minutes to the northside to rent a metal detector for $25. I couldn't believe it. I was holding out hope that we would find it on our own and we wouldn't have to pay anything to fix my mistake.

Well, now we had a metal detector. The only question was would it work? Brittany told me that she saw students playing soccer in the field that afternoon. My heart sank. What if someone had already found it. At this point I was accepting the fact that it might not be in this field anymore. We could search for the next 5 hours and the whole time, it might not even be there.

So around 8pm Brittany showed up in the field with the metal detector, I was there with the lantern, and Niraj was on his way. She started sweeping the area, and it was picking up things. We found one sprinkler head that was hidden from view, and a couple other hits where whatever it was, must have been buried, because there was just nothing on the surface. Every time she got a hit, I ran over with the lantern, and felt with my fingers for anything there. And every time there was nothing. I couldn't help but think that now the ring was lost and we wasted money on a metal detector too.

And then, it only takes a second, after she got a hit with the detector, she bent down and plucked it from underneath a clump of grass.

I couldn't believe it. There it was, in the middle of where we had been looking for hours upon hours. And it had only taken 20 minutes with the metal detector. I just couldn't believe it.

The weird thing was, when she got the hit, I came over with the lantern, was in the right spot, and couldn't see it. But it was there. And she found it.

And ever since then, it's been this huge relief, and it just feels amazing to be back to normal.

Hoagie Central's Giant Fucking Lock of the Week: Week 9

The Redskins are looking to bounce back, the Pats are looking to humiliate everyone and the Titans are facing David Carr...

This Week's GFLW: Pats -5.5

I'd love to see the Pats lose, but I don't think it happens, and I think they make sure it's not close at the end either.

Previous GFLW's (7-1)
Week 1: Steelers at -4.5 = Win by 27

Week 2: Bengals at -7 = Lose by 6
Week 3: Chiefs at -2.5 = Win by 3
Week 4: Patriots at -7 = Win by 21
Week 5: Patriots at -16.5 = Win by 17
Week 6: Patriots at -6 = Win by 21
Week 7: Seahawks at -8 = Win by 27
Week 8: Colts at -6.5 = Win by 24

Week 9 Picks

Titans -4 over Panthers
Buffalo +1 over Bengals
Broncos +3 over Lions
Jags +3 over Saints
Chargers -7 over Vikings
49ers +3.5 over Falcons
Redskins -3.5 over Jets
Bucs -3.5 over Cards
Browns -1 over Seahawks
Texans +3 over Raiders
Cowboys -3 over Eagles
Ravens +9 over Steelers
Pats -5.5 over Colts

The Chiefs are coming off their bye.
The Packers are playing 2 road games in a row.
The Packers just played on Monday night.
The Chiefs are usually solid at home.
Favre has never beaten the Chiefs.
I think the Chiefs should win this game. But will they?
Packers +2 over Chiefs