The Unpredictability of Horrid Defense.

Maybe Someone Should Hire Pat Riley.

Looks like the league caught up to Mike Kafka.  Last week he looked like perhaps he had some clue, but in his 2nd appearance of 2011 Kafka looked a lot like the missing Detmer brother.  If Michael Vick doesn’t have Mr. Miagi give him a hand massage sometime during the week the Eagles will be in the unenviable position of choosing between Kafka and Vince Young.  One will be tasked with stabilizing the Eagles season.  That looks scary in print.  Hopefully the Phillies will provide the proper distraction. 

I think the Eagles, with or without Vick are a nice example of what’s going on the league.   Points, points everywhere and no lead is safe.  The Eagles blew a very modest lead on Sunday, but it came on the heels of a larger collapse in Atlanta.  You could argue that the entire loss was set in motion by Andy “Dorito Dust” Reid’s decision to go for a 4th down with the lead near mid-field.  This isn’t exactly textbook football.  If Andy was thinking, (we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt), I assume he knew that he had little chance of preserving a 2-point lead, so he needed to go for more. 

The Eagles defense, bolstered by a handful of new acquisitions, is an atrocity.  Perhaps if there was a rule that you could only throw to your #1 wide receiver they might have a chance, but unfortunately the revolutionary offensive minds in the NFL design plays for tight ends.  They send running backs on routes out of the backfield.  They even run the ball.  The Eagles are helpless against most of these advanced offensive variations, and it looks like whether Vick is in and they score 30, or Kafka is in and they score 17, it’s equally likely they’ll lose. 

The Eagles are not alone, though.  Sunday featured a treasure’s trove of blown leads.  Clearly, the Patriots defense cannot be trusted with a lead.  Yes, Tom Brady was throwing his hat into the D.A. ring with his signature metrosexual elan, but at some point in the 2nd half there you need to dial up a stop.  How about the Vikings?  Are there any sane Vikings fans left, or are they all sitting in a corner, staring at the wall, mumbling to themselves?  You can’t talk about blowing leads without talking about Houston.  That’s what they do. 

I’m wondering if this year the best team will be the one that scores the most, giving them the potential to win the most shootouts, or if it will be a team that makes some type of defensive adjustment (like figuring out how to hide a 6th and 7th DB out there).  The Packers, Lions and Bills are 3-0.  I guess you could make the case that Green Bay is by far the most complete team in the league.  They’ve won a shootout, they’ve gone on the road and gotten a solid division win, but I don’t think you can trust their defense in a big game.  Clearly you can’t trust Buffalo or Detroit to stop anyone.  And what of the traditional defensive beasts?  The Jets?  Torched by Oakland.  The Ravens?  Torched by Matt Hasselbeck.  The Steelers were torched by the Ravens and allowed the Colts to score 20 points, which is like giving up 35 to anyone else in the league. 

I guess all this is good news for fantasy point totals, lovers of betting the over, and the accuracy of video games.  Are we that far away from a team just abandoning the punt?  I feel like it’s right around the corner.  I bet it has at least crossed Belichick’s mind. 

Most Annoying Player of the Week:  Torrey Smith.  Who the bleep is Torrey Smith?  I’m sitting there at 4 pm, getting handled in my fantasy match-up.  It’s not over, but I need help in the form of Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin.  The Ravens are playing the Rams.  So, there’s hope.  Now, I’m not watching the game, not even torturing myself with the phone play-by-play, but I check early and it’s 21-0!  Oh, hells yes.  Someone’s making a late charge?  Did Rice score all three?  No.  No sir, he did not.  Torrey Smith has 3 balls for 133 and 3 scores.  Go throw yourself down a flight of stairs, Unibrow. 

Should’ve Drafted Him Player of the Week:  Just assume that every week I mean to put Gronkowski here, but to mix things up a bit, let’s focus on Mike Wallace.  The Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson decision might haunt me.  Jackson is maddeningly inconsistent.  Wallace is just fast, and the Milledgeville Casanova loves the guy.  He’s a rock.  Steady.  My fantasy team, much like Beanie Wells’s hamstring is volatile. 

The Andrew Luck Watch:

Does Indy go to the front at this point?  Peyton is done.  If he doesn’t play this year, can you assume he’ll be back next year?  Do you want to count on that?  You’re already 0-3, what’s 11, 12 more losses?  I want to see Peyton starting for the Seahawks next year.  Let’s make that happen.  I think this is going to come down to the Colts and the Chiefs.  Do the Cheifs deserve a franchise quarterback?  Yeah, probably.  Let’s replace some of those Steve DeBerg throwbacks in the stands.  The NFC West is too awful for one team to go 2-14 or 3-13, the Dolphins and Vikings will accidentally win 4 games, it’s down to K.C. and Indy.  Hopefully Luck has some nice Midwestern sensibility. 

Arbitrary Power Rankings Week 3:

  1. Packers–Expect them to lose next week.
  2. Bills–Might as well establish high water mark.
  3. Ravens–Since they just found Jerry Rice 2.0
  4. Lions–Stafford looks ready to get hurt
  5. Saints–You’ve got to score 40 to beat them
  6. Raiders–Darren McFadden for MVP!
  7. Patroits–See Saints.
  8. Redskins–Worst 2-0 team of all-time.
  9. Steelers–2-1 is better than 1-2?
  10. Texans–Should finally win the Division.

That’s all I’ve got, considering my limited exposure to games this week, I feel like it was shockingly thorough.  The standard Tuesday morning update won’t be out until Wednesday, just to remind everyone.  Everyone should be eye-ball deep into the Wild-Card races until Thursday, anyway. 

 

Thea Helle Is Pretty…

…Sure She Has Some Winners.

Well, I’m happy that about 8 states separate me from the Phillies losing streak and the uneasy feeling of what was “Fan-Appreciation Night.”  From what I heard, the feeling was more like, “You Better Not Pull this Horse Bleep When the Playoffs Start Next Week” Night.   The only thing left to do is ignore the losses, pull for the Braves and look for a distraction.  There’s no finer form of distraction than the NFL.  Is Michael Vick playing on Sunday?  That’s a real question.  I have no idea.  Something I do have an idea about?  My picks.  As usual, Lock City. 

Big Dub H: Record, 5-3-1.

New Orleans (-4) vs. Houston.  The Texans faced Kerry Collins and Chad Henne.  Huge step up in talent.  I think we see who they really are.

Baltimore (-3.5) @ St. Louis.  Rams might be one of the worst teams that will be trying to make the playoffs.

Denver (+7) @ Tennessee.  I’m going to go against the Titans until they make me look like a gambling god.  Plus, I think they stink. 

Oakland (+3) vs. New York Jets.  I don’t like the Jets going to the West Coast.  Does it make sense?  Does it have to?

Atlanta (+1.5) @ Tampa.  I’m tired of the Josh Freeman talk.  He stinks too. 

***

Grossy:  Record, 6-4. 

Detroit (-3.5) @ Minnesota.  Stafford is still healthy, right?  The Vikings still have the most one-dimensional offense in the league, and the lines haven’t caught up to Detroit being a legitimate wild-card contender yet.  Everyone should have pounded them last week, and this week is no different.  Don’t shy away from the Lions.  Megatron forever. 

Baltimore (-3.5) @ St. Louis.  Oh, look at me.  My second 3.5 point road favorite.  I’m pretty sure that’s the biggest trap line of all-time, and I’m biting again, because I can’t help myself.  Here’s some insight:  Have you seen the Rams play this year?  Oh, god, that’s ineptitude.  The whole, trendy NFC West Champs, Sam Bradfors thing dies on the vine this week.  Ravens with a monster bounce-back win.

Atlanta (+1.5) @ Tampa Bay.  I have to go back and check, but are spite picks 2-0 this year?  For the purposes of this post, they are.  That was a nice win for Atlanta last week, but I think it’s a momentum builder rather than a letdown.  They’re a bit tougher than they thought they were.  The Bucs on the other hand needed heroics to beat one of the worst teams in the league and their home-field advantage is non-existant. 

New Orleans (-4) vs. Houston.  Houston hasn’t shown me anything.  They certainly aren’t going to be able to stop the Saints, whose offense found a nice groove against a tougher opponent last Sunday.  I think I’m facing Matt Schaub in fantasy this week as well, so we’re going to need to go ahead and have evil Schaub show up and throw 3 picks.  Pat Swilling injures Ben Tate, Foster re-re-re-re-injures his hammy, and the rest is history. 

New England (-9) over Buffalo.  In Tom I trust, I suppose.  The exact formula I envisioned last week worked, and I think it can work again.  Belichick is less likely to get back-doored, because he loves scoring unnecessary 4th quarter TDs (through the air).  I don’t want to get carried away on Buffalo either. What are they gonna do, start 3-0?  Pats might kiss 50, but I’ll play it safe 48-20. 

***

JCK: Record, 6-4

  1. Carolina (-3.5) over Jacksonville
  2. Denver (+6.5) over Tennessee
  3. San Fran (+2.5) over Cincy
  4. Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Indy
  5. Buffalo (-9) over New England

***

Kraft: Record, 3-5-2

Carolina (-3.5) over Jacksonville.  Blaine Gabbert wasn’t good enough to beat out Luke McCown.  I’ll take Carolina at home with their rookie quarterback who is on pace to throw for 8000 yards.  I don’t love giving points with an 0-2 team, but then again, 3.5 isn’t enough to take the Jacksonville Blackouts. Congrats, Jax Fans.  You can actually watch this game on TV!

Houston (+4) over New Orleans.  New Orleans looks pretty strong but they still do not have a defense.  Enter those pesky Texans who a potent offense, and this is the kind of signature win they need to make it official.  They are a playoff team this year.  I’ll take the points, I’m feeling a New Orleans 27-24 victory, if not a Houston win, outright. 

Detroit (-3.5) over Minnesota.  When was the last time you heard someone be proud to say they were a Detroit Lions fan?  That’s right. I haven’t, and I’m 31.  I bet Mike Gundy hasn’t heard anyone brag about being a Lions fan, and he’s a man, he’s 40.  Can you remember a fall from stardom quite like Donovan McNabb?  My goodness, honestly I don’t see him being paid next year to do anything other than hold a clipboard as someone’s back-up. It is quite painful. 

Baltimore (-3.5) over St. Louis.  Baltimore had a horrendous showing last week.  I see this as a major bounce back week against a banged up Rams team that blows anyway.  They hadn’t been on MNF since 2006, let’s hope their next showing is 2021.  I have an idea, how about no one ever calls a backward lateral screen pass ever again?  What is the point?  Yes, that is a live ball, that is a fumble.  Why don’t you just throw it forward by 6 inches and then it’s an incomplete pass at worst? 

Seattle (+3) over Arizona.  Division game, on the road.  Seattle can’t go 0-16.  If they are going to win any game it will be a division game at home. 

***

NICHOLS:
Buffalo +9
New Orleans -4
Miami +3
Detroit -3.5
Green Bay -3.5

Commissioner’s D.A. Top-10:

  1. Kerry Collins–James Harrison.
  2. Blaine Gabbert–Was McCown’s back-up.
  3. Matt Cassel–3 Pick Minimum.
  4. QB Broncos–Is Tebow Playing?
  5. Jason Campbell–Revis Island.
  6. Chad Henne–20/43 for 201 yards.
  7. Sam Bradford–Injury possibility?
  8. Eli Manning–He’s churning toward Eli Face.
  9. Tarvaris Jackson–Steady Eddie.
  10. Cam Newton–It’s got to end soon.

So, that’s your reminder to get your D.A. Fantasy picks in.  I guess Gabbert is already gone with the first pick, but the rest is fair game.  Hopefully we’ll get the rest of the picks up in some form or another by later today or tomorrow. 

That is it for now from Cardinals country.  Was it mildly amusing watching the Cardinals implode last night after hearing polite, hopeful Cardinals fans talk about the team earlier in the day?  Ok, maybe a little bit, but that’s just fear manifestation.  Still, though, thank god the Mets came back.  Everyone enjoy the weekend.  I’ll be back, but don’t expect the full Tuesday morning self-esteem check until Wednesday.  On Tuesday, you’ll just have to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. 

Plane Observations

Well, I’m away again. Not that anyone would notice. Once again, I won’t be very “posty” until next Wednesday. I’m going to do everything in my power to get the NFL Picks up tomorrow, and I’ll be checking in here and there. One of these days I really am going to find someone to help me crank out this garbage.

So, I was flying (read: milling around O’Hare Airport) for most of the day yesterday. Airports are amazing for people watching, but also for just listening to people’s conversations. I think everyone is nervous and they just chatter away.

Some highlights…

Getting on my first flight the lady in front of me is running her mouth about how she hates flying. I’m sure everyone in the Jetway loves hearing about it 10 minutes before we take off. Her rant immediately bonds her to the person in front of her. She also does not like to fly. Hey, ladies, Amtrak would love the business. But lady two says, it’s not being in the air, it’s the enclosed spaces. “I could never work in a cave she says.”. Work in a cave? Cave men didn’t work in caves. Think of the millions of jobs she missed out on because she doesn’t find a cave to be a suitable work environment. Unreal.

I’m sitting in the next to last row, also known as, watch the parade to the can and hope everyone keeps it social. The row in front of me is entirely open, except for a guy who is standing in the aisle and hawking the rest of the plane. Five seconds before get ready to lock it down some guy comes in and takes the window seat in his row. He’s devastated. I should note now that he’s approximately 50 yrs old and rocking the open short-sleeve button down over a t-shirt look, which was last successfully pulled off never.
He says to the new guy, “If you didn’t show I was going to ask that girl in the middle seat up there if she wanted some more room. The one in the hoodie.”

The late arriving guy makes some non-commital noise. What do you say to that?

“She’s beautiful,” the moron drones on. “European.”. 10 second pause to let the awkwardness set in. “You’re not as pretty.”

New guy, probably contemplating getting out and walking to Chicago, “Thanks.” Great answer. That’s the only acceptable response there aside from, “Wow, you’re really creepy. Geeeeeeeeet it together.”. Time to mention hoodie girl’s approximate age was…20.

At O’Hare I had all the live long afternoon. I roamed. What to eat? I hit up multiple concourses. Airport Sushi? No. Johnny Rockets? Tempting, but a milkshake could be a GRAVE error. Wolfgang Puck? Wolfgang no. Finally, I just went into Chilis even though I don’t like sitting by myself in a restaurant. I was immediately rewarded for my risk.

They sit me awkwardly close to a prodigious hoss. His two-top is wall-to-wall dishware. He’s got the bottomless toastadas (well played as a single). He’s got the worst thing on Chili’s menu, that skillet queso crap, and he’s got a burger. Now like I said, the guy had generous dimensions, but this is like sitting down to lunch with an entire bag of Tostitos, a jar or salsa, a jar of queso, and a burger. I wanted to take a picture, ask the guy to autograph a napkin, but just then he said he was done. Hardly touched it. Image shattered.

Final flight of the day. I’m on a pretty small plane. Three seats across–total. Tiny aisle. The lady beside me looks terrified. Then the dead give away, she starts looking at the safety card. I hate to be the bearer of bad news lady, but…ok, nevermind, read your card.

We survive take-off, the flight attendant utters the words, alcoholic beverages will be available for six dollars, and the lady dives into her wallet like an eager pre-schooler into a ball pit. She’s counting her money, massaging it, waiting.

The guy comes up and in Chris Farley drag voice the lady says, “Give some damn red wine, man!”. Or something thereabouts. The guy checks his cart. No wine. At this point I’m thinking there may be a breakdown. We may have to turn this bird around and head back to Chicago. But, the flight attendant is prepared. How about a pre-made mojito? Pomegranate Martini? Red wine is obviously this chick’s life-blood, but she’s desperate. Hit her with a martini. In the next 1/2 hour she sucks down two.

Not sure they helped, but she managed not to not faint during a little bump on the landing. Score one for Absolut.

I think that’s all I’ve got. For this trip, anyway.

Online Poker a Scheme?

Shocking.

There is part of me that wants to applaud Full Tilt Poker.  Certainly you could weave in something about a fool and his money, but I guess I can’t come out and be pro-Ponzi Scheme.  That’s not a real compassionate position.  What’s the bottom line?  At the end of March this year Full Tilt Poker owed players 390 million dollars, but had only 59 million on hand.  Whoops.  Where did the money go?  Well, over time the board members of Full Tilt received 440 million in payments.  So, there’s a bit of that missing cash.  Of course, the case gets more profile, especially in the poker world, when professional players Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer are named as board members and are associated with over 60 million in fraudulent payments.  Time to rethink the whole “Jesus” nickname for Ferguson?  It always seemed to me that Full Tilt sponsored an inordinate of players and poker events.  I guess with paydays like that, it isn’t too hard to lure spokespeople.

I do feel badly for the people who lost money in this, because Full Tilt was just playing to people’s simplest desires.  It’s like calling a phone sex line and imagining a supermodel on the other end.  You assumed Full Tilt was above-board, because you wanted it to be, and you wanted to gamble online.  You wanted in on the poker craze, and felt you were on the doorstep of cashing in on millions.  Millions of people from the start ignored the shadowy legality of online poker. From the beginning there was an insistence by many that it wasn’t legal.  If you happened to ever take money out of an online account, it wasn’t like money was coming from a reputable bank.  You’d get a check from the 3rd National Savings Bank of Bolivia.   The point being, there were always red flags, but the promise of huge sums of money makes people ignore the warning signs.

I played cards online a little bit years back.  Fifty bucks here, a hundred there.  No big thing.  I always deposited with the understanding that I’d eventually lose all the money.  I guess I harbored some hope to stumble luckily into huge sums of cash, but I knew myself well enough to know that I’d blow it in the end, betting on a game, or on an ill-advised trip to the “blackjack table.”  I imagine that must have been part of the fuel for all this.  I’m sure there was a statistic about how many depositors actually withdrew money.  It must have been a very small number, and if you are looking at those numbers, taking the money before it is actually lost and ignoring the small percentage of winners is a pretty short step.  It’s a greedy and criminal step, but it’s not much of a reach.

It’s funny that in my limited experience playing cards online there always seemed to be a running joke that the whole thing was fixed.  After an odd hand, or an especially bad beat you’d get comments joking that the whole thing was rigged to increase the volume of betting.  People were paranoid about other players seeing their cards, paranoid that the program wasn’t a proper or accurate simulation, but they trusted their money was safe, which is an odd paradox.  I’m not sure this very hand of poker I’m playing is legitimate, but the thousands of dollars I have in my account?  No worries there.

Obviously online poker took quite a hit this year, and this revelation about Full Tilt is just the latest blow.  The bottom line is, you probably don’t want to be playing poker online right now.  Or at least, don’t take the nest egg and sit it in an account over at Bodog.  Gambling should probably be left to the casinos and to illegal card rooms and bookmakers.  At least when you get involved with those elements, you know what you are dealing with.

Are the Braves and Red Sox Really Choking?

Now, The 2007 Mets on the Other Hand...

Jayson Stark to the microphone please:

“The funny thing is, 3 weeks ago we had NO races to talk about.  NONE.  And now Boston and Atlanta, well, they’re scuffling. If the Rays catch the Red Sox it’ll be the first time in the HISTORY of divisional play that a team made up a 9 game deficit this late in the season.  So, is it likely?  Well, you’re talking about something that’s NEVER happened.  But, it certainly COULD happen this year.”

Tim Kurkjian Interjection:

“And the Braves, the Braves lost their 4th game in the last two weeks when they had a lead in the 8th inning and the entire year up to that point they’d only lost 3 such games.  In fact, the last time a team with a rookie closer with  an over 95% save conversion rate, blew three games this late in September was 1964.  And, who was that closer?  Jack Baldschun of the Phillies.  After Jack Baldschun retired he became a Little League pitching coach in Huntsville, Alabama until he decided to finally retire in 1999.  Who was his last pupil?  You guessed it, Craig Kimbrel.*”

*None of that is True.

You get the point, though, right?  The Red Sox and Braves are in dire straits.  The Rays are hot.  The Cardinals are extremely warm.  It’s got the attention of people in Philly, because we’re suddenly panicked about facing the Cardinals in round one.  They were supposed to be out.  When your team has Brad Lidge, you don’t want to face Albert Pujols.  That’s the rule.  But, the Cardinals keep winning and the Braves keep blowing games.  The Red Sox lost 6 of 7 to the Rays to usher them back into the race.  They’re struggling with the Orioles.  Both these teams have blown the lion’s share of huge leads. So, they must be choking, right?

The gold-standard of baseball choking is the 1964 Phillies.  I’m fairly sure they blew a five game lead with four to play.  At least that is how it feels when you hear the story recounted.  No doubt they blew a very comfortable margin.  Gene Mauch will forever take his lumps.  I wasn’t around in 1964, and so I can’t account for what happened game by game (and I’m certainly not going to research it), but I imagine it wasn’t just a pure choke.  In baseball, these things tend to be cumulative team efforts, and unfortunately timed cold spells.

I will buy the fact that you can choke in an individual sport.  Go watch the highlights from any Ryder Cup.  Seriously, pick any year.  2010–Hunter Mahan hits a chip 13 inches.  1995–Johnny Miller said of Jay Haas, “You know you’re choking when your pop-ups start going crooked.”  1991–Mark Calcavecchia played the last four holes at Kiawah in something like 23-over par.  That’s choking, but how does that translate into a team sport?  Was Chipper Jones “lost in the lights” ground ball last night a choke?  Did that in turn make Kimbrel choke?  It’s unlikely.

The biggest problem the Red Sox have is their pitching isn’t even good enough to choke, they just stink, and their offense (suffering from some injuries) can’t carry the whole load anymore.  Can a team that starts John Lackey and Andrew Miller on a regular basis choke?  Maybe, but it seems to me that the Red Sox pitching is just finding its level at an inopportune time.  I understand it was a huge lead, but they could still easily make the playoffs.  They’re still going to win over 90 games with the 21st best ERA in the league and the 3rd fewest quality starts of any team.  That doesn’t sound that chokey.

And, the Braves, well I imagine no one remembers now, but at the All-Star Break I wondered how long the Braves bullpen could maintain this workload.  We’re now at 77 games for Craig Kimbrel.  Eighty-two for Venters.  Venters’s September ERA is 4.82.  Kimbrel’s is 4.62 after being 0.00 in August.  You look at these guys and the first thing I think of is Antonio Bastardo.  Bastardo’s September ERA is a robust 9.00.  That’s after a 1.74 in August.  I haven’t heard that Bastardo is choking.  I’ve heard he’s completely out the gas.  The difference is, the Phillies held their big lead and have everything clinched, but if the Phillies were entirely dependent on a couple of Bastardos, well they might be “choking” too.

The great thing about the 162-game season is that it can’t be faked.  If the season was half as long, we might have ended up with Pittsburgh in the playoffs.  We know now how unjust that would have been.  Or, if the season was 40 games long, the Marlins could have been a wild-card contender.  I guess the Marlins did their choking in May and June when they could hardly win a game.

The fact is the Braves had been skating by on pitching all year and it’s catching up to them and the Red Sox had been covering up a glaring weakness and they’re no longer doing as good a job.  Could they choke in the end? As entire teams?  I suppose they could, but it’s their deficiencies as teams that got them in this predictament to begin with.

Tuesday Morning Self Esteem Check.

The Self-Esteem Meter Reads 37 Degrees.

History.  That’s the word of the week.  Cam Newton’s making history.  We had a historical D.A. Total.  I arbitrarily declared the week the scariest backdoor cover week of all-time, and of course, Andy Reid blew his 30th game as an NFL head coach–a runaway record.  I am in the worst position possible as someone picking games.  I feel really good.  I feel like I should actually be in better position.  You know what that means?  Yep, 0-5 next week.  But for now?  Riding high. Composing this post from atop a comically tall director’s chair, scoffing at the masses.  Let’s go…

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:  

  1. Grossy 6-4
  2. JCK 6-4
  3. Big Dub H 5-3-1
  4. Kraft 3-5-2
  5. Nichols 2-6-2

The “What the Hell’s A Letdown Game,” Pick of the Week:  If you look at the picks from last week closely you’ll notice that every single expert here picked the Ravens/Titans game.  Four geniuses got it wrong.  But, one person saw through the fog and nailed the Titans.  Let’s check and see who that was…oh, it was me.  Congratulations to myself for spotting the letdown of the century.  If the Packers could ever get a stop, I’d really be onto something.  Overall it wasn’t our best week, but I’m happy riding the 3-2 train.

The “This Isn’t Baseball, 3 out of 10 is Horrid,” Awful Pick of the Week:  I don’t want to kick people while they’re down.  I mean, 2-6-2, those are some serious wounds to lick, so we’ll bypass some of the mutual atrocities we saw last week.  Just note the standings.  For the official award, I’ll just give myself the double for taking the Colts.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened either.  It was a litmus test.  Are the Colts one of the worst teams in the league?  Yes, now we can move on, but I’m forever the guy who bet on Kerry Collins and Joey Addai.  The loss was worth Colts fans coming to the realization that the season is lost and they’re in the Luck race.

D.A. Football Standings:

  1. Kraft 2-0
  2. Neckbeards and Codeine 2-0
  3. Fake Chow 2-0
  4. Team Horse Face 2-0
  5. The Slop Jocks 0-2
  6. JCK 0-2
  7. The Shiva Cry 0-2
  8. Eli Esses D 0-2

D.A. Results and Game Summaries:

As you can see, we’ve already got some class definition in the D.A. Standings.  I think Big Dub is now a collective 3-13 in D.A. games.  Considering the format, that’s almost impossible.  He’s like John Daly.  When he misses, he misses big.  The sheer amount of yards being gained has hampered D.A. scoring this year, but I think we’re trending back to normal and that was evident with one historic point outpoint in week 2.

Neckbeards Steamroll On with a 14 to (-27) Win over JCK.

JCK had the first pick in the draft. I imagine it came down to Dalton, Jackson, or McNown.  Unfortunately, Andy Dalton, the Ginger Assassin was not the right play.  His (-20.5) point day set the tone and the rest was history.  For Neckbeards, his squad was anchored by new D.A. stalwart Matt Cassel.  Cassel had a mind to throw 4 or 5 picks on Sunday, he just needed the chance.  His 26 points offset an odd D.A. effort by Cam Newton, who would have blown up if it wasn’t for the penalty yardage.

Team Horse Face handles Eli Esses D 38 to (-35)

Team Horse Face just missed out on the playoffs last year, and I think that has motivated them out of the gate.  They used the 2nd pick to secure 8 points out of Tarvaris Jackson (where were the picks?), but then dropped the hammer with Kerry Collins and his show-off number of incompletions.  As I said, Eli Esses D doesn’t take the easy way out, he swings for fences.  For his whole D.A. career Matt Hasselbeck has been a bit of an all or nothing guy.  On Sunday he was surprisingly good for nothing (-33 points) against the Ravens.

Fake Chow Remains Unbeaten with Modest 8 to (-3) win over The Shiva Cry

This was the week of people hating on their own teams.  Picking against the Birds, Giants and Pats and then Shiva Cry nabs Eli in D.A.  The lesser Manning was OK (3 points) considering they won the game, but Colt McCoy (-6 points) couldn’t really hold up his part of the bargain.  I don’t think Fake Chow is running on all cylinders quite yet, but they’re still notching wins thanks to smart and conservative plays like Alex Smith (9 points).

Kraft Rewrites the Record Books with 94.25 to (-5.25) Win Over The Slop Jocks.

Wow.  I don’t have the D.A. Almanac in front of me, but I think this might be the highest weekly point total and the largest margin of victory in the history of D.A.  It all started with Kraft riding the bounce back week of Chad Henne and his trademark inaccuracy (33 points), but the star of the D.A. show was Luke McCown.  I believe the technical football term is Jeez Louise.  McCown flat out did it all in a 61.25 point effort.  The Slop Jocks were powerless against the onslaught.  A retroactive Ryan Leaf probably wouldn’t have helped.

3-PT D.A. of the Week:

Maybe the clearest winner of all-time.  Thank you Jacksonville for being so cheap.  I know David Garrard is not Joe Montana, but there is no way he’s anywhere near as bad as Luke McCowNown.  It must have been like Christmas morning for the Jets defense.  They came downstairs and McCown was the pretty present all wrapped up and in the shape of Big-Wheel.  McCown was 6 of 19, which is sneaky bad, he threw 4 picks (21 percent of his attempts), and managed just 59 yards.  He’d eventually get pulled, but the damage was done.  His quarterback rating added up to a nice round 1.8.  A new low for 2011, and possibly an unreachable benchmark for the rest of the year.  The best news is, the soon to unemployed Jack Del Rio isn’t sure he’ll go with Blaine Gabbert in week three.

*Check out the tab at the top of the page for week 3 D.A. info and another historical D.A. performance.

Watch Some Network TV!

Excuse Me, What's on Channel 13?

Summer television is officially over.  Say goodbye to Big Brother.  I don’t think people pay any attention to the television seasons anymore.  Cable shows are only on for 3 months, the networks trot out swill for the summer season, people don’t have the attention span to watch something that isn’t on Demand/DVD/Netflix, you get the idea.  The major networks don’t really adjust to modern tastes, though, or they do, but it takes them too long and they always make the wrong choices.  So, as soon the grocery stores start filling every square inch with mini-pumpkins, the networks have some new fodder for you.  I’m going to go through each night this week and tell you what to do…

Monday: Word association with Monday is Monday Night Football and the Bachelor.  But, unfortunately it’s Dancing with the Stars season, and Monday night football is now on ESPN–disqualified.

Watch:  Hell’s Kitchen (8 PM Fox).  Hell’s Kitchen is hilarious.  It’s the profanity.  It makes you wonder how you ever get a decent meal at a restaurant and also what happens to all those rubbery scallops?  My other favorite part of this show? Everyone that works in a kitchen looks like a mess.  Just chain-smoking, clawing onto the steep edge of sanity, messes.

Don’t Watch: Two and a Half Men (9 PM CBS).  Ashton Kutcher replaces Charlie Sheen on a show that hadn’t been funny (ever?) in a long time.  I loathe Ashton Kutcher.  I’ll never forgive myself for liking the first episode of Punk’d.

New Show:  Two Broke Girls (9:30 PM CBS).  Hey, it’s Kat Dennings.  You loved her in the 40-year old virgin.  This is by far the best reviewed new show that I’ve seen this year.  Is that like being the best reviewed Tyler Perry movie?  I don’t know.

Tuesday: Tuesday boils down to people who watch Glee vs. people who don’t watch Glee.  If you watch it, I feel like it consumes your whole day and you can’t do anything else.

Watch:  Parenthood (10 PM NBC).  Why?  Because I sometimes watch Parenthood and I don’t want to be the only person in the world who watches the show.  It’s not really good.  I can’t give it a ringing endorsement, especially now that Minka Kelly is gone, but I think it could have been good.  I must still be waiting to find a groove.

Don’t Watch:  The Biggest Loser (8 PM NBC).  Come on, people.  The show is two hours long.  And, that includes 20 minutes of crying. Also, the last 1/2 hour is just people getting on a scale.  Would you go down to the Chick-Fil-A and watch people weigh themselves for a 1/2 hour?  Ok, bad question.

New Show: The New Girl (Fox 9 PM).  Test exactly how much you like Zooey Deschanel.  I’m pretty sure she’s playing her Elf character in this one.  Score!

Wednesday:  Wednesday just brings heat.  It’s a DVR’s dream.  Really it’s a question of: do you like actual shows, are you stuck in your ways, or are you a flavor of the month singing contest ho?  Everyone fits into one of those categories.

Watch: Modern Family ( 9 PM on ABC).  The premiere of Modern Family is an hour.  That’s amazing news.  I’m fairly sure it picked up an Emmy last night.  A year late.  I think Parks and Rec was funnier last year, but still you have to watch this show, it’s a real gut-buster.

Don’t Watch:  Survivor (8 PM on CBS).  Survivor is like the Simpsons of reality shows at this point.  And, people still watch it, which scares me, because it makes me think the Celebrity Apprentice is still going to be on 12 years from now.  Worst part?  Jeff Probst is probably rich beyond belief now.  Nothing makes me angrier than “hosts.”

New Show:  The X-Factor.  (8 PM on Fox).  Somehow Fox tricked you into watching American Idol year round and made you think it was your idea.  Suckers, but hey, Paula’s back.

Thursday: Seinfeld is still on, right?  I was thinking recently, when is Seinfeld going to stop running in syndication?  I figure the last actual Seinfeld fans were born what, in like 1984?  So, that means it’ll pretty much last forever.  The Office, on the other hand, won’t do as well.

Watch:  Parks and Recreation (8:30 PM on NBC).  The Office needs this lead-in at this point.  That’s all I’m saying.  I’m hoping for 23 episodes of Bobby Flay Throwdown style burger challenges with Ron Swanson, but that’s just me.  It’s the new funniest show on network TV, which is interesting, because I hated the 1st season.

Don’t Watch: The Mentalist (10 PM on CBS).  Really people?  The Mentalist?  I don’t like shows based on someone being clever.  Ok, I just made that up, but really the Mentalist is garbage.

New Show:  Whitney (9:30 PM NBC).  I’ve been hearing about Whitney Cummings for a couple of years, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really laughed at any of her stuff.  She’s funny, but not in a carry a TV show kind of way.  At least, that’s according to me.  I’m predicting small things for her sit-com.  The previews look dicey.

Friday:  I’m now into season two of Friday Night Lights and I’m seeing how the show torpedoed itself on DirectTV, or whatever happened.  Strange season.  Love that Buddy Garrity, though.  TV on Friday is never exciting, because they assume if you were exciting, you’d be out doing something more fun than watching Dateline Mystery.

Watch

Don’t watch TV on Friday.  Just trust me.  There’s nothing there.  It’s a 4-day a week habit.  Five if you count football on Sunday (which I don’t, that’s recreation).

Ok, there you go.  Your week’s planned.  You’re welcome.