November 23, 1989.

Got Bundled.

It was Thanksgiving, 1989.  The Eagles were in Dallas, and I think it was the day I became aware that I hated the Cowboys.  I remember watching the game with my father and my uncles, and being slowly filled on what was happening.  Everything culminated when Luis Zendejas got absolutely pummeled by Jessie Small.  I’d say I had begun to pay attention to the Eagles at this point, but I hadn’t yet cultivated the hatred of the opposition that is key for all Philadelphia sports fans.  When I saw Zendejas take that shot, I have to admit, it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.  It was such a tangible display of distaste that I couldn’t help but be infected.  And, since that point, the Cowboys have been in the holy circle of hated teams for me (Cowboys, Devils, Mets, Yankees and Lakers).  No matter if they’re good or bad, I want them to go down, you can always be worse…

After the Bounty Bowl, which the Eagles won 27-0 (to drop the Cowboys to 1-10…hahaha), the rivalry intensified into Bounty Bowl II, and there was the 11 sack game, which was probably the pinnacle of the Eagles dominance.  After that the tide turned, and it was all Cowboys and Emmitt Smith rushing for 1.6 million yards with a broken whatever…and back and forth they go.  The thing is, the teams haven’t often played a game of Sunday’s magnitude.  Last year’s game was huge, but it’s dwarfed by this edition.  Of course, it’s always a big game, but there have been long periods of dominance in this series.  Both teams being up is a cause for great celebration.  This Sunday has become the game of the year for Eagles fans, and nothing is better than cruising into Dallas with everything on the line. 

Everything is on the line for me as well in NFL PICK ‘EM.  I’ve long since secured the win, but it’s important to me that I keep myself at the 60% mark.  It’s the dividing line between some run of the mill season, and one where you actually would have made a decent bit of cash.  Without further ado…let’s move on.   In honor of the Bounty Bowl, and the old-school Dallas rivalry, I watched this video before making my picks.  Oh, Randall….you crafty son of a gun.

GROSSY 45-30-5 (Last Week, 2-2-1)

Eagles (+3) @ Dallas. Is there any other way to go this week? Don’t talk to me about hexolas, and jinxes. This is just a football game. The Eagles against the stinking Cowboys. What’s going to happen? Tony Romo’s going to step up? Come on. Dallas isn’t getting a sweep. The Eagles already played their bad game against Dallas this year. Sunday is sweet revenge. Eagles 31-20.

Pittsburgh (-3) @ Miami. This is partially so I can get my Steelers get bundled in the first round scenario, but also because I finally think Miami is out of gas, and the Steelers should be able to rally the troops for one more ugly win. Steelers 23-13.

San Francisco (-7) @ St. Louis. Almost an impossible week to pick games because of the back-ups and mail it in factor, so I’m trying to look for teams that will perhaps still be playing. The Niners, as much as I’ve dogged them this year, aren’t going to give up on the season. They’ll want this last win, and St. Louis will be more than happy to oblige. Niners 28-17.

Tennessee (-4.5) @ Seattle. Seattle is a dog team. Tennessee has come up short, but they still want to make that push for the animal Chris Johnson to get to 2,000 yards. I think they run it up until the #1 pick in 2010 fantasy drafts hits his mark, and then cruise to a victory over a Seattle team that likely will have lost interest right after the coin toss. Titans 28-9.

Kansas City (+13) @ Denver. A choke on a deazy Denver pick. Let’s put it this way, I don’t trust them to cover big spreads. This team is about as explosive as I am in a 100 meter dash. (That’s not explosive). Denver skanks and shanks their way to an ugly 19-13 win.

Big Dub H 33-40-2 (Last Week, 3-1-1)

No theories, no reading lines. I’m using logic. Oh. Boy.

Jacksonville +1 @ Cleveland
The Browns are a favorite against a playoff contender? Really? Unless Josh Cribbs returns three kicks for touchdowns and Jerome Harrison flirts with 300 yards of rushing there is no way this team can overcome Derek Anderson. None. Jaguars 20 – Cleveland 10

Minnesota -9 vs. New York Giants
The Vikings look like they got things figured out a little bit in the second half of their loss to the Bears while the only thing the Giants realized is that Eli Manning is a fraud. The Vikings return to the dome and bend over Eli like…well you get the picture. Vikings 47 – Giants 15 (they go for two late in the game to try and rally the troops)

Atlanta -3 @ Tampa Bay
With a win the Falcons will complete their first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history. This is actually motivation for a team that was hurt by injuries and underachieved a little bit this season. The Bucs won their Super Bowl last week and now get to roll over like the dogs they are. Falcons 30 – Bucs 20

Tennessee -4.5 @ Seattle
A little Chris Johnson here and little bit there and…BANG! 2,000 yards. Seattle should have shipped the Seahawks out of town and not the Sonics. Chris Johnson 24 (4 TDs) – Seattle 13

Dallas -3 vs. Philadelphia
I reverse jinxed the Eagles on the road against the Giants, so why not here? Dallas has an offense that can keep up with the Eagles and a defense that can actually get off the field from time to time. Jason Witten could have about 20 catches in this game and I would not be surprised if Trotter retires after this game due to the embarrassing display he’s aboout to put on. Don the magic Juan will try to keep pace, but in the end the Eagles defense lets him down. Cowboys 63 – Eagles 56

KRAFT 24-55-1 (Last Week, 0-5)

I’m not sure if the math is possible, but i may be able to dip below 30% with another yeoman’s 0-5? That is enough to play for. Being an Eagles fan, I will not dare to pick that game, because we all know what that would do…

Pittsburgh -3 over Miami- Miami just isn’t good. They play hard..etc., but they just aren’t very good. I’ll take the Steelers who still have something to play for, albeit a slim chance, but they are clearly the better team.

ATL -2.5 over TB- Sayonara Raheem Morris. You did however become the most annoying coach to watch during an NFL game, with your constant chest bumps to players (Ps. you are a 3 win team), and you did lead the league in most coordinators fired. What do you say, can you fire the special teams coach before Sunday’s game, just for grins?

Oakland +10.5 over Baltimore- i doubt that things will evolve the easy way this weekend, with both the Jets & Ravens winning. Oakland is a black hole. Good teams have been sucked into the bizarro world of crappy Football when they have gone out there this year, and I think Baltimore falls into that trap this week.

Chicago -3 over Detroit- THe Bears showed signs of life last week, Detroit is busy scouting which new WR prospect they want to draft in the top 5.

Ny Giants +9 over Minnesota- I know Minnesota has something to play for, and I know the Giants Pass D is abysmal. I don’t think Favre plays the whole game, because they may not get the bye, and I think the Giants have to show something after last week’s shellacking. They can’t end the year with 2 complete stinkers. Where has the Minnesota running game gone?

House Cleaning.

Falling Behind On Chores....

Well, I’ve made it back to the land of the inter-web.  Of course, I am merely in time for New Year’s Eve, and another weekend, but I have my feet back on solid footing to start things back up full steam again next monday.  The remainder of the week will consist of this post, and then we’ll do the week 17 picks, and Friday we will play by ear.  Depends how much Honey Brown I drink on Thursday night.  But, in the meantime, there have been a few goings on that I just want to hit really quickly. 

First, my apologies for not keeping up with the  Bowl Season Challenge.  We got some help from DC today, and the standings are now up to date through the Idaho/Bowling Green Game.  Big Dub H has streaked out to a somewhat comfortable lead with a 9-5 record.  He’s proven a little bit better at this than he is at the NFL.  Of course, that’s like saying…nevermind.  Anyway, I’ve just been terrible (6-8), and had my information all wrong.  All it took was watching Wisconsin get the better of Miami, and I knew that I was in for a bad year.  Maybe we’ll rally late.  Still the majority of the games to go. 

Moving on, I’ve finally caught up on this Mike Leach story.  It’s wild.  Here’s a guy who was pretty close to being able to write his own ticket a year ago, and now he’s fired.  The details of the allegations, if true, are pretty shocking.  I always enjoyed Leach in the sense that he gave an interesting interview, and didn’t seem to be a cookie cutter personality.  How he’s proving himself similar to all other coaches, though, is in his inability to be aware of any type of consequences, or follow any guidelines.  Is there a more corrupt and dishonorable profession than D-I college coach?  I think we’ve talked about it here before, and it’s certainly not a new idea, but these guys for the most part, seem like the bottom of the barrel.  The coaching ranks in college, from the lack of minority hires to the rules violations, are just in need of a complete overhaul. 

Another story I saw today that struck a nerve was Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley claiming the Pats and Bengals would tank to keep the Steelers out of the playoffs.   This annoys me on several levels.  First, the Pats and Bengals have earned the right to start and play whoever they want.  If the Steelers don’t want their fate in the hands of others, oh I don’t know, how about beating the Chiefs?  Secondly, is he so deranged that he actually believes teams are afraid of playing Pittsburgh?  At home?  Come on, this team is hanging on by a thread.  They’re the defending champs, and maybe you’d rather play the Jets, but if a team in the AFC is going anywhere, they’re going to have to beat teams better than the Steelers.  Get over yourself, LaMarr.  I think part of me now wants the Steelers to get in, and then get blown out in the first round.  Preferably by Cincinatti or New England. 

Lastly, I’ll close with a tidbit that no one cares about, but I have to mention, because it’s me…and I’m a die-hard Flyers fan.  It appears the Orange and Black may have hit rock bottom, and started their way back up.  As I write this, they carry a 5-0 lead into the third period against the Rangers.  It would be their 4th straight road win, and while they aren’t knocking off Stanley Cup contenders, this is a team that wasn’t beating anyone, so this is a good sign.  The generous playoff structure of hockey makes it hard to completely bury yourself, though the Flyers were trying, and still have plenty of distance to make up.  The good news is, the games have at least become watchable again.  Remember, Football’s over in about a month.

Mets add Bay…Still Suck.

Classic overreach/panic move by the Mets on Tuesday who signed Jason Bay to a 4-year, 66 million dollar deal. I can probably come up with a list of guys I’d pay 16+ million a year, but Jason Bay isn’t anywhere on it.

The addition of Bay in theory gives the Mets a formidible offense. Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Bay, etc. There’s guys in place there to score a decent amount of runs. Of course, the Mets were in a similar position last year before 1/2 the starting lineup got hurt, and the rest buckled. That’s the kind of thing that happens to the Mets. It’s what they do.

Not to mention the fact that Jason Bay doesn’t pitch. The Mets starting rotation will still be Johan and four other clowns. I even heard they’re thinking Pedro, which would be…another standard Mets move. The Mets have a mile to go, and Jason Bay is just the timiest of steps. Jason Bay + cavernous Citi Field + New York = .256/23/93.

This deal was a real reminder that the baseball hotstove has gotten remarkably cool. There wasn’t a lot of big names out there, and once the Halladay trade went down everything was going to pale in comparison. Now that Bay has signed, I’d think that the other few big names left will fall into place. It looks like the money might be there, but not the years. Tough break for the boys.

Hahahahaha….Vikings

Well, I almost reverse Hexola-d the Bears out of a win last night. I certainly revived Brett Favre’s season, and apparently I missed quite the ending, but the Vikings still lost…to the Bears. That’s funny. And, if you’re an Eagles fan, it’s also wildy helpful. The Eagles now have a chance at a first round bye if they beat Dallas on Sunday, and what a monster game that has become. I can feel the buzz all the way down here in Manakin Sabot, VA.

The Derek Anderson:
Well, I would have loved to give it to Brett, but I guess that wasn’t meant to be. It was a week of new blood for the DA. Curtis Painter, Brian Brohm (from Louisville), and ultimately the week’s winner…Drew Stanton. Stanton was steady if not spectacular for the Lions. He missed out on less than 100 yds, and completed over 50% of his passes, but in the end 11/21 for 130 and 3 picks was good enough. Drew’s got a bright future ahead of him.

*Special Note, I did consider giving the DA to Derek Anderson, simply because he played…tough call, but in the end, I decided no.

PICK ‘EM Standings.

GROSSY 45-30-5 (Last week, 2-2-1). Winning percentage: 60%. Next week do do die to keep my head over the magical 60% mark.

Big Dub H 33-40-2 (Last week 3-1-1). Winning Percentage: 45%. Big Dub has been the gambler’s gambler this year. A good week 16 could give him some momentum for the playoffs.

KRAFT 24-55-1 (Last Week 0-5). Winning Percentage: 30%. The most remarkable handicapping season in America continues.

The “Sweet, I got Super Mario Bros 3 for Christmas” Pick of the week: I’m awarding it to Big Dub H for picking the Bears outright over the Vikings. He also had the Jets, but that was a far easier pick in my mind, and the Colts handed that one to him. Getting in on the Vikings collapse at the right moment was a strong play.

The “Kraft”: I’m just taking this space today to acknowledge Kraft’s body of work this season. If you think it’s easy to pick 30%, go write some games down and try. If you had bet against Kraft all year, you’d be killing it, and that folks..is providing a service. Another 0-5 week, a man without peer…Kraft, ladies and gentlemen.

Still on Vacation.

Still not quite ready to fire up the blog full time quite yet. A few more days, but after a full Sunday of football, and some other news, I figured I’d check in with a few thoughts.

First, count me among the many who were floored by Urban Meyer’s decision to leave Florida. I’d heard grumblings about Meyer having some health issues, but never saw him leaving the spotlight in Florida. I think we’ll still see plenty of Urban, and this kind of move isn’t unprecedented. I think one of Bill Parcells’ many retirements was for health reasons, and back he came. More interesting for me is, who coaches Florida? Too bad Brian Kelly took that Notre Dame job…haha, but seriously, they need a big name in there. It’s a slippery slope up there at the top of the college football mountain.

What I take from watching a few days worth of NFL games is that the Chargers are just steamrolling into the Playoffs, and have taken the best team in the NFL title, for now. This has been a type of jinx this year to teams as New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Minnesota and Indy have all been annointed only to run into roadblocks. The Chargers destruction of Tennessee on the road was an impressive tenth straight win.

The AFC wild card race is a cluttered mess, if someone wants to explain the scenarios…fine. All I know is that it involves two bad teams heading to the post season. These AFC wild card teams are a joke. Pittsburgh won again, but needed the game handed to them by the Ravens, who fell on their sword again. That’s the AFC in a nutshell.

As I write this, it looks like the NFC playoff teams will be set. The Giants wasted a good first drive, and then vanished for good. Strange way for the G-Men to go out at home, but this team couldn’t stop anyone. If Dallas closes out the Redskins, that’s it. The NFC, with the Saints losing again, is left without a favorite, but all 6 playoff squads will be dangerous.

Eagles fans, after surviving a 2nd half collapse against Denver now shift their attention to a first round bye. The Eagles have won six in a row, and have finally beaten another winning team, besides New York, but the season may rest on the outcome of next week’s game in Dallas. Win that, possibly lock up a bye, and things are looking a lot better for a significant playoff run.

Check back tomorrow night or Tuesday for the Derek Anderson(he played!). Can I get some nominees? I’m a little closed off from the World. Also, Kraft takes another run at 0-5, and maybe we should discuss Big Dub’s “The Jets Aren’t Making The Playoffs…Write it Down” statement. Then his subsequent self-congratulation for it…looking interesting with a week to go. Oh, those 8-7 Jets.

Have a Great Holiday.

Don't Forget the Rubber Sheets and the Gerbils.

 Just wanted to wish a Happy Holiday to everyone out there in blog land.  Hopefully all you greedy bastards get everything on your wish list.  Bootleg copies of Avatar, Jonas Brothers tickets, that kind of thing.  I know I have to stop at the grocery store, and pick up a sleeve of scratch tickets for everyone.  That Gus the Groundhog really has the right idea.  In summary, eat too much, drink too much, be too merry…push the holiday envelope.  

I would like to say thanks to everyone who makes a habit of coming by and reading, and a special shout-out to the commenters who sustain a lot of the life around here, and have kept things moving during my overly boring and self-indulgent rants.  Starting this, I didn’t have a ton of expectations, and it probably would have been easy to pack it in after a couple weeks, but the support was great.  And, it is nice to have a forum to kick things around with a couple of other clowns.  In a rare moment of sincerity, I hope everyone has a great holiday. 

And to quote Clark Griswold, “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Kiss my Ass, Kiss His Ass, Kiss Your Ass, Happy Hanukkah.”

Christmas Picks.

Don't Call it A Comeback.

Because, it probably won’t be.  I’m feeling a little lost on the NFL Pick “em front.  In all honesty, I’d lost a real good feel a couple weeks ago, and was side-stepping landmines.  Now, I probably only made two awful picks last week, but that’s still two more than acceptable.  With the holiday cheer ready to pour in, I’m going to throw my picks for week 16 up today, and if the other guys show, they show.  Bottom line, we embarrassed ourselves last week, and need some redemption.  Stay fearless. 

GROSSY: 43-28-4 (Last Week, 0-4-1). 

Raiders (+3) @ Cleveland.  Huge letdown week for Cleveland.  Hahaha, but seriously, don’t lay points with the Browns.  And, what’s going to happen, Cribbs is going to take 2 more kicks back?  Remember that Quinn was still awful last week, and that was against the equally hapless Chiefs.  I don’t care who plays quarterback for the Raiders.  They all stink.  But, somewhere deep down in the places I don’t like to talk about, I think the Raiders are the better team.  Oakland 19-13.

Carolina (+7) @ New York.  Carolina looks relieved that Jake Delhomme is no longer at the helm.  They haven’t given up on the season, and seem to be relishing the role of spoiler.  The Giants won’t get the walk they got against the skins.  I think they win, but not big enough to cover.  Giants 23-20.

Jacksonville (+7.5) @ New England.  Little bit of a spite pick.  If you’re not going to bury a team, then I can’t trust you.  The Jags are playing for their season.  The Pats are winning, but look disinterested.  I’ve heard some people like this outright.  I’m not going to get crazy, but I think the Pats, like the Giants, win a tough one, Pats 27-23. 

Baltimore (+3) @ Pittsburgh.  Hi, I love road dogs.  I’m an idiot.  I don’t know.  I don’t see how Pittsburgh stops a Baltimore offense that has refound its stride.  Yes, that was against terrible teams, but the Steelers aren’t stopping anyone.  Green Bay marched up and down the field last Sunday, and I don’t see any reason why Ray Rice won’t be running wild.  The king is dead, long live the king.  Ravens 30-24. 

Denver (+7) @ Philly.  Might as well make it the full 5-spot right?  This way if I go 0-5, at least the Eagles will have won, and we can have some joy in Philadelphia.  This just screams of a game where the Eagles aren’t quite going to put it together.  Whether it be offensively, or if they can’t stop Brandon Marshall….things are going too well.  It’s almost like the irrational theory that a roulette wheel can’t hit black (x) number of times in a row…or not.  Regardless, Broncos 23-21.

Big Dub H:  30-39-1 (Last Week, 0-4-1)

I aint scared none
 
Tennessee (-3) vs. San Diego
How many Chargers are going to hear their wives bitch and moan about them having to play on Christmas day? That alone should cause enough of a headache. Toss in the fact that San Diego is traveling across the country and playing on a short week and you have the makings for a Titans win and cover.
Titans 27 – Chargers 16
 

Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Baltimore
The Steelers play to the level of their competition and the wave continues here. They lost to the Chiefs and Raiders and yet beat the Vikings and Packers? Big Ben plays well in the clutch  Pittsburgh 30 – Baltimore 23
 
NY Jets (+6) @ Indianapolis
How in the world are the Colts not laying a touchdown against this sack of sh&t team? Something is very shady and I am not taking the bait. The Jets…OUTRIGHT!!!  Jets 27 – Colts 26
 
Chicago (+7) vs. Minnesota
There will be picky-poos all over the place in this game with Favre hitting December form and Cutler doing his thing. I will gladly take the points with the home team on Monday night looking to mess up the Vikings at the end of the year.  Chicago 24 – Minnesota 21
 
Dallas (-6.5) @ Washington
I fear the Cowboys more than any team in the NFC right now. Maybe I am scared to lose to them because of how much that would hurt or maybe it is because they are playing well, especially Romo. The former Jessica Simpson sex slave is lighting it up even when the ‘Boys go down. Look for him to stay hot against a team that mailed it in.  Dallas 37 – Washington 17

KRAFT

All I wanted for Christmas this year was for Santa to leave me 5 winners, and lo and behold here they are under the tree. For clarification, I am not picking against myself this week. I refuse to doubt myself on a holiday.

OAKLAND (+3) over CLEVELAND. Oakland is playing frisky, and Cleveland shouldn’t be laying points to D-III Franklin and Marshall.

NEW ORLEANS (-14) over TB. Josh Freeman’s Jeri Curl is reminiscent of a young Eriq Lasalle in Coming to America. I don’t bet on teams whose QBs have the curl. Like Mike Singletary said, “Can’t win with ‘em. Can’t coach ‘em. Can’t do it…won’t do it.”

JAX (+7.5) over NE. Too many points. New England hasn’t been putting teams away. Plus, Tom Brady has two houses to visit on Christmas, and you never know, Bridget Moynahan could put some exlax in his hot chocolate.

MINNESOTA (-7) over CHICAGO. Is anyone playing worse right now than Jay “George” Cutler? Minnesota needs a win against this mess of a division rival. Chicago could have a worse record than Oaklans after this week…what happened to that Bears defense?

MIAMI (-3) over HOUSTON. Miami continues to stay in the playoff hunt, and Houston lays another egg on the road.