Mid-Week Mailbag.

Mailbag is back after a bloated holiday edition.  No questions about the Kindle this week!  Maybe we can get back into that next week, maybe not.  I’m not sure yet.  It’s all about the readers.  Your questions dictate how good or bad this post is, so feel the pressure.  And, when you all come up a little short, I supplement and cultivate.  Let’s see what is on the tips of tongues this week…

Q:  If you had a restaurant or something of that nature, would you allow non-customers to use the bathroom?   I am not in this position, but I don’t know how you can look at another person and tell them they can’t use the old water closet.  Seems like a dick move.  Mary Prescott, Johnsville, PA.  

A:  I also have never lorded over a bathroom.  It’s on my bucket list.  Especially if there were a key involved.  Oh, you want the key?  Tough luck, I deem you UNWORTHY.  I think the problem here is, if you open up your bathroom to one person, you have to maintain that policy.  Then vagrants from three counties will be using your restroom.  You’ll have some hobo symbol carved on your door frame that lets the occasional passerby know you are liberal with your can policy.  I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure paying customers don’t like to wait for the bathroom while Homeless Hank paper towels his armpits.  So, that’s really who’s at fault here.  It’s the highfalutin customers and not the poor owners who are just trying to squeeze out a living.  If it was me, I’d go case by case basis.  If someone comes in on their last nerve with a kid who let it happen in their Osh-Koshes, then I probably yield.  If it’s some weirdo who looks like he’s going to set up shop?  Try the Wawa, Buddy.  

Q:  Why are people on television shows and movies always charging into the ocean, pools, etc. when they are fully clothed?  In a word, it’s troubling.  Shannon T. Shack, Manakin Sabot, VA.  

A:  This is a reality show staple.  I think the idea is to make the people at home feel badly about their lives.  Oh my god, look at these two love birds!  They’re so caught up in the moment that they’ve thrown caution, and the rules of suede to the wind.  Drink in their carefree attitude.  Then the person on the couch says, I wish I had someone to charge into the ocean with.  Then they call the girl a slut and go back to eating ice cream.  That’s just a thumbnail.  An approximation of what happens.  That’s what I DO.  Of course, in real life, the chick would be like, “Oh, Hell Naw.  I just got these boots at DSW for $47.99.”  So, unless you have a wardrobe department, a change of clothes and a camera crew–no, this isn’t something that’s ever going to happen in real life.  In real life, you just strip down and get weird.  

Q:  What’s the most random sports event you’ve ever gotten into?  The other day I found myself with a rooting interest in televised bowling.  Then, I snapped out of it and put the Real Housewives back on.  Fritz Mathis, Odessa, TX.  

A:  I’ve gotten into bowling.  Some of those bowlers can be real ASSES, and you want them to look foolish.  Nice bowling glove, Mullet.  Good luck with that split.  I don’t think bowling is that bad.  I have a pretty definitive answer to this.  It’s the America’s Cup.  A lot of people probably don’t even know what the America’s Cup is, and yet there was one year that I watched it religiously on ESPN.  It’s a yacht race.  For a 100 years some blue-blood skipper from Newport or something won the thing every year and no one cared.  Then, the United States lost.  NATIONAL TRAGEDY.  So, for a while there, people got all patriotic.  They made an epic sailing movie (Wind–a must see), and ESPN got on board.  I don’t think I was the only person following the outcome, but I might have been the only person watching.  Have you ever seen boats race on TV?  It’s NOT compelling.  They’re nowhere near each other, and they constantly show these graphic representations of where the boats are in relationship to each other.  It’s a little like watching your progress on a GPS.  That’s watching sailing on TV.  Luckily, my patriotism over the America’s Cup has waned.  

Q:  How creepy is it that when you type a woman’s name into Google the first thing in the auto-fill is always like, married, or boyfriend?  I mean, I know that’s what the internet is for in a way, but what are these guys checking?  Do they think the celebrity is going to date them?  May Showers, Houston, TX.

A:  Here’s some insight for you:  Yes, they think the celebrity is going to date them.  Wait, Mila Kunis is single?  Here’s where I swoop in for the kill.  Also, I think guys inherently like female celebs who are single more than married women.  It gives you that glimmer of hope.  You know, on the 0ff-chance that you happen to be swinging through the same Starbucks at some point and the fireworks GO OFF, you don’t have to worry about Ms. Starlet already being tied down.  And, also, newsflash this happens with guys too.  Go type Prince Harry into Google and see what comes up.  That’s right.  And, in conclusion, this could be some type of rudimentary test of your overall hotness.  Not every woman falls victim to this phenomenon on Google.  I type in Cond0leezza Rice and “Stanford” is the first thing that comes up.  Kate Upton on the other hand?  Boyfriend.  

Q: Pretty Die-Hard Red Sox fan here.  Any thoughts on Bobby Valentine?  I feel like the Sox should be able to make a bigger splash.  I still can’t believe we couldn’t wrestle John Farrell away from the Jays.  Quincy Cod, Boston, MA.  

A:  The amazing thing about Valentine is that all anyone remembers about the guy is that he put a fake mustache on in the dugout.  He’s really been away from the game for a long time in terms of MLB, so it’s a bit of an interesting signing.  I feel like managerial candidates this year were a bit like the starting pitchers.  The market wasn’t flush.  The guy who left Boston, Terry Francona, was the biggest name and he’s taking at least a year away.  There also seems to be a trend toward younger managers.  Do they fit better with the younger GMs?  Are teams tired of paying managers 2-3 million a year, when that money could be better spent on players?  I’m not sure.  And, it’s a decent victory for the Jays to hang onto Farrell.  It does feel like something the Sox assumed they could pull off.  As far as Valentine goes, he did have some success with the Mets, so it’s not like he’s incompetent.  The bigger problem for Boston is figuring out that pitching staff.  Valentine won’t be any help there.  

Q:  The holiday shopping season has officially begun.  You know how I know?  You can’t move two feet in a store without running into someone or something.  And, the worst offenders?  Parents who just let their kids roam free.  A kid was blatantly in my way the other day, the parent saw this, and did nothing.  If this is the case, do I have the right to sweep the leg?  I feel like I should.  Corporal Megan Punishment, Exton, PA.  

A:  I think stores should have corrals or something like that this time of year and you just dump your kid off with the rest of the heathens and beasts and get your shopping done.  No one should have to be subjected to your kid clogging up the aisles and grabbing things off the shelves.  Can I have this?  No, but you can have a boot in your ass.  In all honesty, I sympathize with people who have to drag their kids along.  I’m sure they’d rather be shopping in peace, but they can’t, because little Timmy probably has a reputation with every babysitter in town.  You’ve got to keep your kid in check, though.  For their own safety.  People are out there with pepper spray lighting up crowds, the old Corporal here wants to sweep the leg–It’s not your grandmother’s Toys R’ Us.  That’s for sure.  So, if your kid is camped out in the middle of the aisle, just yank them out of the way.  They’ll get over it.  

Q:  Would you ever “occupy” anything?  Seems futile to me.  Plus, tents?  No thanks.  Juan Percent, Villanova, PA.  

A:  No, I don’t think you’d ever see me downtown with the Occupy people.  Is there wi-fi down there?  And, I’ve never even been in a tent.  Not even as a joke at a sporting goods store or something.  I’m trying to think of what could possibly get me that fired up, that I would have no choice but to protest.  Perhaps if Entenmann’s discontinued the Raspberry danish, I might be forced to go camp out in their parking lot.  Of course, they’d probably just lure me inside with the promise of crumb donuts and all would be FORGOTTEN.  No, I think it takes a certain mentality to get caught up in a protest, and I am not of that personality.  I’m not real thrilled with the economy or the political climate of the country, but I don’t think camping out is going to help any of that.  Maybe I’ll run for mayor instead.  

 

The Things You Remember: An Anecdote.

Nervous.

That picture actually makes me a bit nervous.  I don’t do rodents.  No, Sir.   We’ll get to that in a bit, though.  I was thinking today about what sticks in your memory from when you were a kid.  I don’t know why you remember certain things more than others, but I’ve got this one story in my head from when I was in elementary school and the reason I remember it is because I was a pretty selfish and awful little 11-year old.  I was powerless to stop what happened, but it still happened.  And, I still kind of feel bad about it even though it happened a long, long time ago.  So, if some kid named Jamie that went to Sugartown ever stumbles across this blog, I’m sorry Boss.  In Andy Reid speak, our teacher didn’t put us in the right positions.

I spent a portion of elementary school years banished from my regular classmates.  I was like, scary, Asian-kid good at math (also possibly a detriment to the overall group dynamic) and so I was siphoned off to hone my skills.  Look at what it’s made of me today!  The moral of that very short anecdote is, just because you can do multiplication tables in your head doesn’t mean you’re going to turn out to be a rocket scientist.  Anyway, I got to do all these things in my tiny “math” class that the commoners down the hall slaving away at long division didn’t get to do.  I played simulation games, I played computer games, I made videos, I showed off my Apple II-C skills, and also did some math.  I was bombarded with word problems the length of epic poems and then I’d be observed meticulously while I tried to work them out.  It wasn’t all fun and games, DAMN IT!  It was like 84% fun and games.

I was obviously more than happy to partake in all of this until the moment the maze came out.  Probability lesson?  Not quite, Junior 3-PT, we’re training rats.  I might have been 10 or 11, but I’m pretty sure I said, “Oh f*ck me.”   Like I said, I can’t do rodents.  Won’t do ‘em.  In college I walked out of a psych lab instead of holding my rat.  Was not going to happen.  I’ll suck it up and take chemistry before I pick up some diseased sewer dweller with those freaky tails.  As a fourth or fifth grader, I quickly assessed the scene.  Luckily for me, at this point the school had identified another math loser or two to keep me company.  Among this group was the aforementioned Jamie.

I really hope that was his name.  Don’t remember his last name, but we hung out a bit (bonded over word problem circuit) and this kid was reacting to the rats like it was a gosh dang wagon full of golden retriever puppies on Christmas morning.  Immediately I relaxed a little bit, because Jamie was obviously a different type of nerd than me.  He picked up the rodent/reptile/insect gene which I had thankfully dodged.  You’d never see me shopping for a terrarium, for example, but I’m pretty sure Jamie had a reptile for a pet and he was all about handling these rats.  It looked like I was going to be in the clear.

During our rat experiments I always took the role of “timer.”  This meant that I could stand a safe distance away from the rat and the maze and just fiddle with a stopwatch.  I could literally be sitting across the room playing Below the Root and when someone yelled “time,” I’d just hit that button.  The great thing was that no one wanted to be the timer, except for me.  Timer is boring.  You don’t even get to touch to the rats.  Exactly.

For the sake of drama, I’m going to say we were almost done with our rat “unit.”  How long could it possibly last, right?  And, I still hadn’t been forced to interact with the rodents.  But, then came that fateful day that I remember so well.  Jamie, who had only become more comfortable with the rats, was showboating a little bit.  That’s my excuse.  I think he was carrying two of them at a time?   And, he was also walking pretty close to me.  Whoa!  I need a wide berth here, but I also had not made my terror of the rats known.   It was more of an affinity for the stopwatch than it was a phobia of the rats as far as everyone else was concerned.

At some point between the cage and the maze Jamie started having trouble.  He lost control of a rat.  He was about to drop it, or something equally horrifying and the rat he had a good handle on started to freak out and claw him up nice and good.  Rats have claws.  Boom.  You learned something.  So, in attempt to not drop the rat, etc. etc.  Jamie tries to get me to take one of them off his hands.  He’s kind of in pain at this point and I was standing right there.  Did I step in and take a rat off his hands?  No.  I did not.  I acted like my Mom was calling me for dinner and just walked away.

Somehow, Jamie got both rats into the cage and survived with only superficial claw damage to his arms.  He was a brave kid, and I’m sure is probably like the new Jack Hannah at this point in his life, but on that day I was offering no help.  Like I said, not a proud moment, and I probably remember it, because I was such a a-hole to old Jamie, but there was really nothing I could have done.  What’s the moral?  My phobias supersede your physical well-being.  And, there it is.

 

Tuesday Morning Self-Esteem Check.

Better than Tuesday Morning Body Check.

You know what term annoys me a little bit?  “Blue-Collar Sports Town.”  Fans love to place themselves among a blue-collar fan base.  It implies you know the game, respect hard work, and don’t take well to players like Cole Hamels.  My question is, do White-Collar Sports Towns exist?  Is there a city out there where the fans are like, give me a roster full of pretty boy slackers.  Winning or losing?  Who cares?  Are our players dominating on Twitter?  I don’t really think those cities exist.  I’m sure in some places like Miami or San Diego the fans are a little less intense, but I think that has more to do with other recreational outlets rather than the number of plumbers within the city limits.  Anyway, we’ve got some real white-collar handicappers around here.

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:  

  1. Big Dub:  34-22-4
  2. Grossy:  32-25-3
  3. JCK: 31-28-1
  4. Kraft:  28-27-5
  5. Nichols:  27-31-2

The “Thank God for the Colts,” Pick of the Week.  

It  wasn’t our finest hour here this week.  I’d rundown the stats, but I don’t believe in that kind of negative reinforcement. I’m going to chalk it up to being distracted by the holiday.  After all, most people who visit this site love to eat.  Oh, and they’re all staunch family men as well.  Does that sound good?  Anyway, about the only thing we did right was have 4 people pick against a Colts team that hadn’t won a game all year.  Pretty edgy stuff, right?  The problem with this strategy is that if we want to piggyback on the Colts next week, we’re probably going to have to lay about 3 TDs.  Then we’ll find out who has the courage.

The “At Least It’s Victoria Secret Fashion Show Week,” Awful Pick of the Week:

Well, Dub was the lone holdout on the Colts.  Not sure of the thinking there.  And, plenty of people piled onto the G-Men only to watch Drew Brees throw for about 1,000 yards in the 1st half.  But, on a tough week, the editor has to take one on the chin for his contributors here.  If you go back and read my picks, you’ll find that I imply picking the Redskins would mean you don’t watch football.  Well, I’m still not aware of a correlation between picking winners and actually watching the games.  Does it help?  Maybe, but not when you are deciding a winner between two NFC pieces of trash.  I’m going on record now saying I will not pick the Seahawks/Eagles game under any circumstances.

***

D.A. Fantasy Football Standings and Summaries

Another great D.A. week.  We had one of the closest games in D.A. history fall right in the middle of the playoff hunt.  We also saw more injuries, and what will likely cause an influx of even more new names into the talent pool.  The standings are starting to shake out.  We have a clinched playoff spot, and 2 teams in deep trouble with two weeks to go.  However, after some rudimentary calculations, I think everyone still has a chance.  Is it going to happen if you’re 4-8?  Probably not, but don’t give up the faith.

D.A. Standings:

  1. Neckbeards and Codeine:  9-3 (331.25 points)
  2. Kraft:  7-5 (397.75 points)
  3. JCK:  7-5 (234.25 points)
  4. Fake Chow:  6-6 (295.75 points)
  5. Eli Esses D:  6-6 (165.75 points)
  6. Team Horse Face:  5-7 (277.00 points)
  7. The Shiva Cry:  4-8 (237.25 points)
  8. The Slop Jocks: 4-8 (202.25 points)

Eli Esses D Rumbles Into Playoff Chase with 30 to 14.75 Win over JCK

It’s been a long journey for Big Dub.  And, time will tell if his troublesome start in terms of point total (-55 points through 3 weeks) can be overcome, but he’s certainly on the right track.  This week it was old-school Colt McCoy getting the job done.  McCoy has no identity if he’s not completing 47% of his passes and the Bengals held him in check on Sunday (26 points).  For JCK, the maddening lack of turnovers from Tim Tebow (7 points) continues to define his D.A. career.  He doesn’t fumble, he doesn’t get sacked–unless he throws for 38 yards he hasn’t been too viable.

Kraft Knocks Aside The Slop Jocks, 49 to 21, Nears Playoff Berth.  

Kraft’s teams have been pretty relentless this year.  The league’s leading point man doesn’t offer up many easy wins.  You need two solid efforts to get the job done, and The Slop Jocks couldn’t make that happen in week 12.  Curtis Painter, probably a D.A. Pro Bowl Selection, was solid with 29 points, but the Red Rifle (-8 points) would not comply.  It’s fitting perhaps that Dalton helps Kraft, who has such an affinity for him.  On his own team, we saw a possible reemergence of Josh Freeman (21 points)?  That’s always nice.  Freeman is awful.

Neckbeards Pushes The Shiva Cry to the Brink with 39 to (-15) Win.  

About a month ago this season went terribly wrong for The Shiva Cry.  Over the last 4 weeks, BK has only totaled 8 points.  Not exactly what you need for a playoff push.  His teams have been the victim of terrible timing.  This week for example, it was the suddenly competent Ryan Fitzpatrick (-25 points) that sunk Shiva’s ship.  Can’t blame him there, I was in love with Fitzy this week, and Ryan’s boys let everyone down.  For Neckbeards, the opposite has been true.  They can hardly make a bad move.  Of course, when John Skelton falls into your lap, you just smile and take the win.

Fake Chow Delivers Devastating 43 to 42.5 defeat to Team Horse Face

This was perhaps the biggest game of the week.  Two teams wrangling for that last playoff spot, and it came down to the smallest of margins.  One sack, one more incompletion could have turned the tide.  For Horse Face (noted masters of Thursday), Matt Moore got off to a slightly sluggish start (6.5 points).  But, on Sunday, he hitched up to D.A. MVP candidate Blaine Gabbert (36 points).  Of course, Gabbert wasn’t allowed to finish the game, and that could have turned Horse Face’s year.  For Fake Chow, Mark Sanchez dodged 4 TD passes to put up 7 points, and Caleb Hanie brought things home with a Gabbert-matching 36.

3-PT D.A. of the Week:  

Plenty of candidates, as is the norm these days.  John Skelton could have gone back-to-back.  Blaine Gabbert could win every week, and getting benched for McCown deserves something…but not this week’s D.A.  No, I’m going Palko.   He slipped through the cracks last week, but not this time around.  Palko’s stats were bad.  Four turnovers to start, but it was the timing of the picks that really deserves mention.  He did everything he could early to bury the Chiefs.  Then, as time ticked away and somehow the Chiefs defense kept them in the game, he threw a final pick on the last possession.  Seal the deal, Tyler.  So, for the combination of his stats and just sucking the will to live out of his team, we gotta go Palko this week.

 

 

Meyer, Duval, and Various Other Things.

Didn't Get the Ohio State Job.

We briefly talked about underrated movies on the blog last week.  Over Thanksgiving my sister offered about 235 choices that I’d missed.  But, Necessary Roughness was not on that list.  Maybe it should have been.  The movie keeps popping into my head.  First, I thought Scott Bakula may have to QB the Texans.  Now, Ohio State hiring Urban Meyer makes me think of Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennaro.  I still haven’t found a connection to, an at her hotness peak, Kathy Ireland, but it’s there somewhere.   Great flick.

I respect Ohio State for bringing in Urban Meyer, because it’s an honest move.  In Necessary Roughness, Texas State needed cleaned up, they couldn’t afford anyone but “The Arrow,” but Ohio State hasn’t lost sight of the task at hand.  They have to keep winning football games.  It doesn’t take long for a program to slide into mediocrity.  Michigan?  Miami?  Pretty soon you are piling up 7-win seasons and burning through coaches.  If your program gets too down on its luck, it’s hard to bring in that coach who can turn things around.  He’ll have better offers on his plate.  So, Ohio State isn’t going to let that happen.  They snag the guy with the impeccable track record of recruiting and winning, and dismiss the notion that his track record in other areas may not be so impeccable.

And, really, who is the coach with the clean resume at this point?  Are we going to trust anyone?  Why not just bring in the best coach and try to exert some control over his activities and the types of players he brings into the program?  It’s a lot easier than bringing in a boring guy who is just going to toe the NCAA line, but couldn’t recruit if his life depended on it.  Ohio State lost to Michigan this year, first time in a long time, and that’s a big deal.  They also went 6-6 and are still facing NCAA penalties.  Any coach would have their hands full with that scenario, and I’ll guess we’ll see if Meyer is the coach to drag OSU back to the top of the rankings.

***

If you are a a regular blog reader you’ll know that I am an unabashed fan of David Duval.  Duval took a step back in his comeback odyssey in 2011, failing to make the top-150 on the PGA Tour’s money list.  For a guy out of exemptions, it meant going back to the 2nd stage of Q-School–a humbling and hazardous endeavor.  A lot of pros (see John Daly) choose to eschew Q-School at this stage of their career in exchange for a life of sponsor exemptions and globe trotting for positions in a field.  I understand that impulse.  Once you’ve won a major, do you really want to be a Q-School failure?  If you don’t sign up, you avoid the awkwardness of not advancing, but Duval made his appearance two weeks ago at the 2nd stage and finished 2nd, easily advancing to the Q-School Final this week.

Even if the six-round struggle goes Duval’s way he’ll be further down on the status ladder than he’s ever been in his career on Tour, but you’ve got to respect that he’s keeping at it.  A lot of guys in his shoes would be on the corporate outing circuit and waiting for a career revival on the Champions Tour.  The truth is, it may take the Champions Tour for Duval to start winning again.  His putting skills will  be deadly on that circuit, but that’s a long, long way off.  In the meantime, DD tries to get back out there with the big boys.  At least the final stage has some familiar faces, Rich Beem, Daniel Chopra, Steve Flesch, Lee Janzen, Jeff Maggert, Shaun Micheel, and Boo Weekley are all also trying to get back onto the big circuit for 2012.

***

I have this really nervous feeling in my gut that the Phillies are going to announce a 4-year (vesting option 5th year) deal with Jimmy Rollins sometime in the near future.  I’m nervous about it because if they do sign Rollins it finishes the painting into a corner process that we’ve witness this off-season.  We’re going to change (our marginal bench players)!  I originally thought Rollins might get away and Madson would stay (wrong again, shocking), but that overwhelming offer from another team doesn’t seem to be out there for J-Roll.  And, the Phillies are so limited in their options to replace him.  The Freddy Galvis people need to get together with the why can’t Matt Rizzotti get some ABs people and try life on a deserted island.  Anyway, it seems like, for now the Phillies started this off-season with some good words and good intentions, but then realized they were married this to this core of players–something I’ve been saying for a long time.*

*Is this all a reverse jinx in hopes that Ruben presses the Acme TNT lever at the winter meetings?  Maybe.  That Cuban guy is still available.  The guy from Cuba, not Mark Cuban.

***

Quiz of the Day Nostalgia:  1990s Blitz.  Category: You Should Know This Stuff.  My Score:  24/30*

*Rusty.

Eagles (Others) Make it Official.

Happier Times.

There were some definitive losses in the NFL on Sunday.  San Diego showed they aren’t even willing to put up a fight in the sub-par AFC West.  The Bills, despite a much better effort, ended any hopes of taking advantage of a strong start to the season.  The Bears showed that life without Cutler could be very trying.  But, most of that was dwarfed by what the Eagles did Sunday.  A quick, 10-0, tease against New England, followed by 50 of the worst minutes of football you’ll ever see.  The defense was torched.  The offense was incompetent.  DeSean Jackson was benched.  Vince Young flashed his noodle arm, and the gluttons for punishment I call season-ticket holders started their official mutiny with a series of, “Fire Andy,” chants.  Andy would claim after the game that he didn’t hear the fans.  Does mean the chants didn’t exist?

I think those enterprising fans on Sunday broke the seal for in-game Reid-bashing, and the rest of the Eagles home slate (thankfully only 2 more games) will feature similar fan reactions the moment the Eagles fall behind.  The season-ending contest against Washington, which will likely be putting a cap on a 5 or 6 win season should be especially venomous–that is if people even bother showing up.  It was a wasted year for the Eagles, who regressed in just about every phase of the game except for those directly involving LeSean McCoy.  About the only debate left is, can the front office eat Andy’s deal if it gets bad enough?  Would they even consider it?  We know the defensive coordinator will fall on the sword again, but how many bullets can a man of Reid’s proportions dodge?

***

I should have looked up the odds on Patrick Peterson returning another punt for the Cardinals.  At least I could have hedged my bets.  Even with his track record the odds must have been pretty high, because no one in their right mind would expect the Rams to allow Peterson to do it again.  Wrong.  I think my relationship with P-squared has gotten off on the wrong foot.  He seems to have a vendetta against me, and there is no angst on my side at all.  I’m just watching in disbelief and hating on his quarterback.  Where is the ,”all he does is win games,” hype for John Skelton?  You talk about no-frills.

***

BCS interlude.  Georgia is the only team that stands in the way of an LSU/Alabama rematch for the national title, and I’m not entirely sure they won’t play that game regardless of the outcome this coming Saturday.  Somehow by blowing out an average Auburn team, Alabama erased any doubt that they deserve a rematch. After watching a bit of college football over the last two weeks, I realize that probably is the game that everyone wants to see, but I don’t understand what happens if ‘Bama wins a tight contest.  That result doesn’t seem fair to LSU.  Doesn’t a perfect regular season earn them the right to play someone new, even if they’re not as good?  Back in the days of NFC dominance, the 49ers didn’t beat the Cowboys or Giants in the NFC title game and then pass on the Bills for a rematch with the same team simply because everyone knew the Bills and the AFC stunk.  Anyway, I’d like to see Wisconsin play LSU.  I know rolling up Penn State isn’t anything special, though PSU’s defense had a pretty good year, but the Badgers are two pretty lucky plays away from being unbeaten and have serious offensive fire-power.   They should roll MSU, and then whoever they play in the Rose Bowl.

***

Here’s a random NFL observation.  How are these borderline awful teams putting together solid defenses while the upper echelon of clubs have trouble stopping scout teams?  I watched a good portion of the KC/Pittsburgh game last night (I don’t know why) and the Chiefs were relentless of defense.  Their offense buried them all day and still they had Pittsburgh in knots, and the Steelers are pretty strong offensively.  Palko turned the ball over 3 times in the span of about 4 minutes and they never broke.  They can cover, they can tackle and they get pressure.  What a concept.  But, they aren’t alone.  Jacksonville, Cleveland, Washington, Seattle…none of these teams are any good on the whole, but you’ll have your hands full on offense against them.  Have they developed these defenses out of desperation?  Do the Packers inherently have less intensity on defense, because they know Rodgers is going to hang 30-35 regardless?

***

Five Fantasy Eye-Pokes, Random Blow-Ups of the Week:

1.  Reggie Wayne.  Does anyone in the universe still own Reggie Wayne?  Wayne was on my can’t cut list for a while, I finally got rid of him and it only took the guy 3 months to have a decent game.  Constantly targeted, soft-schedule, but keep getting out-performed by Pierre Garcon.  Nice swan song, Reggie.

2.  Matt Forte.  Matt Forte owners getting a little nervous?  That workload taking a toll?  Everyone who took Forte was in self-congratulation mode through 9 weeks, but now we can’t pencil in those 20 points a week anymore.  Especially with Hanie at the helm.

3.  Vincent Jackson/Philip Rivers.  Shonn Greene Perpetual Trophy.

4.  Maurice Jones-Drew.  How is this guy still healthy?  How many times did I pass on him and make a knee joke?  And, how is he productive when Jacksonville’s offense has absolutely no other option.  Blaine Gabbert offends your sensibilities.  They went back to McNowCown.  Ugly.

5.  Peyton Hillis.  It wasn’t a good year to draft a Peyton.  I think Hillis owners (if there are any left) had finally come to terms with his horrid season.  But, he’s back, and he got just enough touches and just enough yards that you’ll now be debating whether to play him.  Trouble.

***

Arbitrary, but Definitive Top-10:

  1. Green Bay–They’ll go 15-1.
  2. New England–Everything is Clicking Again.
  3. Baltimore–I guess that was a good win on Thursday.
  4. San Francisco–Re-gress-ion.  REGRESSION!
  5. New Orleans–Only if they win tonight
  6. Pittsburgh–Didn’t impress in K.C.
  7. Houston–I think T.J. Ford is their starting QB.
  8. Atlanta–Could be dangerous come wild-card time.
  9. Oakland–Snag Palmer off waivers.
  10. Dallas–Can’t keep them away longer.

Ashley Greene Eggs and

Winners.

Another pretty deadly Thursday.  That’s why I stay away.  Never smart to rush into things, though I was kicking myself for not taking the Ravens by the 3rd quarter last night.  It would have made up for Ray Rice’s fantasy night.  There’s nothing like the feeling when you know a guy is going to be a bust and you have no choice but to play him anyway.  Why, oh why, did they have to get cute down by the goal line?  I wouldn’t trust a single team in the league to run straight ahead for a yard from the one yard line and score.  That’s asking too much.  You know what isn’t asking too much?  A little 5-0 speed slot to catapult into the lead.  Let’s see…

Grossy:  30-22-3

Atlanta (-9.5) over Minnesota.  I’m trying to identify teams that are done for the year.  Minnesota is obviously one of them.  Adrian Peterson, bless his heart, wants to play, but they aren’t going to let him.  Toby Gerhart will see what it would have been like if went to an SEC school, and the Falcons should be able to run this one up at home.  Is Matty Ice on a little bit of a bounce back?  When you compare him to the Sanchez/Flacco/Bradford trio of suck, Atlanta has to be pretty happy with their man.

St. Louis (-3) over Arizona.  Revenge game.  And, it’s very personal for me after that, what appropriate?, IN-appropriate Arizona cover a few weeks back.  I know I shouldn’t fan the flames of Patrick Peterson’s career, but I’m going to tempt him to beat me one more time.  I know the Cardinals offense isn’t going to cover this number.  Beanie’s hurt, Bartel is slinging the rock, and Arizona is scouting the local “speed pitch” booths for their next QB.

Carolina (-3) over Indianapolis.  Talk about a season that’s already in the books.  This is the week where Indy erases any doubt that they’re getting Luck.  Oh, the Panthers at home?  A turnover prone mess with a horrid defense?  No worries, Colt Nation.  We can lose to that.  The Colts don’t have an answer to anyone, and they don’t show interest in solving that problem.  This is the week my Steve Smith pays off.  I can feel it.

Seattle (-3.5) over Washington.  Um, Grossy, could you pick worse games?  Well, it’s the NFL, I can’t help it.  I’ve got to stick with the theme.  If you don’t know that Washington is going to be dead on arrival in Seattle after losing their biggest game of the season and then schlupping across the country on Thanksgiving week…well, you’ve never watched football.  Marshawn Lynch should get his standard 103 yards on 41 carries, but it’ll be the Redskins resounding apathy and incompetence that carries the day here.

New York Giants (+7) @ New Orleans.  I think the Giants were a bit overrated a few weeks ago.  The Saints are still overrated.  The Saints defense isn’t any good.  Remember when they beat up on Indy and everyone got excited?  Oh, I was the only one who got excited?  Well, yeah, then they lost to St. Louis.  The G-Men should be able to keep Brees off-balance enough to slow down New Orleans a little bit and that’s all it will take to keep them within cover range.  I’ve got that 24-20 feeling.  I don’t like picking a dog unless I think they can win, but a Monday night spesh, combined with a mini-jinx on New York is more than worth the risk.

***

JCK: 30-27-1 (This Week, 1-2)

  1. Carolina (-3) over Indy
  2. Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Kansas City

***

Big Dub:  33-21-4 (This Week, 1-2)

  1. Washington (+3.5) over Seattle
  2. Indianapolis (+3) over Carolina

***

Kraft:  26-24-5

  1. Houston (-3.5) over Jacksonville
  2. Carolina (-3) over Indianapolis
  3. Tampa Bay (+3.5) over Tennessee
  4. Seattle (-3.5) over Washington
  5. New York Giants (+7) over New Orleans

***

Nichols:  26-29-2 (This Week, 1-1)

  1. Carolina (-3) over Indianapolis
  2. Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Kansas City
  3. New York Giants (+7) over New Orleans

***

Commissioner’s D.A. Top-10:

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  2. Christian Ponder
  3. Caleb Hanie
  4. Kansas City
  5. Rex Grossman
  6. Colt McCoy
  7. Blaine Gabbert
  8. Arizona
  9. Indianapolis
  10. Tim Tebow

***

Ok, that’s it for the week.  The Antagonist is taking the holiday off.  He said that people are so ungrateful for his fantasy sleepers that you can just go ahead and lose this week–he doesn’t care. Everyone get your gosh darn D.A. picks in, and enjoy the rest of the long weekend.  Go Arkansas.

Deep Fried Thanksgiving Winners.

Or, How to Burn Down the Garage.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I guess the only drawback of this glorious holiday is that it messes up the rhythm of NFL Pick ‘Em ever so slightly.  Three games today, decent games and very enticing games according to the action we got.  The remainder of the picks will go up tomorrow in some kind of combo post between The Antagonist and myself.  I’m holding out on the games today.  I don’t want any increased chance for indigestion.  But, here are some selections for you, and you’ve still got a few minutes for D.A. picks in that first game as well.  Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

Big Dub:  32-19-4

I think I’ve taken every Thursday game this season, why not continue the trend?

Detroit (+6) over Green Bay.  The Packers are not very good in the secondary.  Matthew Stafford has been a turnover machine.  With those cancelling each other out, I turn to Gross’ “Biggest Game in the History of the Program,” Theory. It’s too long to explain, and it only applies to college, but other than that, I’ve got this game pegged.

Dallas (-7) over Miami.  The Dolphins stink.  What?  Win one game and I’m supposed to be excited?

Baltimore (-3) over San Francisco.  Short Week.  Flying Across the Country.  “Get the body bag ready!!”

***

JCK:  29-25-1

  1. Green Bay (-6) over Detroit
  2. Dallas (-7) over Miami
  3. San Francisco (+3) over Baltimore

***

Nichols:  25-28-2

Green Bay (-6) over Detroit.  Detroit struggled with the Panthers.  I think it’s safe to say Green Bay is better than the Panthers.

San Francisco (-3) over Baltimore.  I’m not a fan of the short week, but what the hell?  I think they are the better team and will, at the very least, cover.