Mid-Week Mailbag.

The Ultimate Bargaining Chip.

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.

Mid-Week Mailbag.

Children in a Movie Theater.

I know everyone is probably drunk already.  The best way to beat DUI checkpoints is to start drinking earlier.  Everyone knows that.  I’m joking.  Not about the drunk part, but about the drinking and driving part.  I cannot condone that, but someone you know might have a run-in with a breathalyzer tonight.  It happens.  Working under the assumption that no one is working today, I’m trying to get the mailbag out of the way a little earlier than usual.  I’ve got things to do too.  Once again, a nice smattering of actual questions this week.

Q:  What movie quote do you think you pops into your head most often on a day-to-day basis? I don’t know why but for me it’s probably “What do you mean funny, funny how?” Of course I was the one who came up with that in the first place.  Tommy DeVito, Brooklyn, NY.  

A:  I thought about this all week.  Tough question.  Especially for someone like me who holds their own movie knowledge in such high-esteem.  Back in my bar trivia days, during the movie quotes round I would get all aggressive and be like, “GIVE ME THE DAMN PENCIL.”  So, I like to think I have a pretty nice catalog to draw from, but if I’m being honest I don’t know how many quotes are in my head in a regular basis.  If I need something, I can dial-up the card catalog, but rarely is something on the tip of my tongue.  I have to pick though, and so I’m going with my tendency to get annoyed with other people.  People who have NO IDEA what they’re talking about.  So, my final answer is: “You’re like a child who wanders into a movie, and…”–Walter Sobchak.  Close 2nd:  “Is this Russia?”–Ty Webb.

Q:  Cranberry is the worst flavor ever, correct?  Theodore Bog, Springfield, MA.

A:  I’d be inclined to agree.  I understand that cranberries are a “super-fruit” of some kind.  I understand they are very healthy for you, and that’s GREAT.  But, somewhere in the annals of time the line with cranberries got muddled.  They crossed over from something people eat because it’s good for them to something people actually enjoy.  It created the cranberry invasion, better known as the Cranvasion.  Answer me this, why would you ever want to pollute a perfectly good glass of apple juice or grape juice with a tinge of Cran?  It’s like, “OH GOD WHAT IS THAT HORRID AFTER-TASTE?”  That’s the Cran, dear friend.  That’s the Cran.  And, for whatever reason, people love it.  Of course, Thursday is also a big day for cranberries what with the sauce/gelatin loaf and all.  Nothing turns the stomach like a sloppy dish of “cran.”

Q:  If you knew you weren’t going to get hit, would you want to be shot at simply for the value of the story?  Think of all the times you could interject with, “That’s like that time I got shot at,” Or, “I’ve been shot at….No big deal.”   Clayton Pigeon, Athens, GA.  

A:  Do I want a “shot at” story?  I’m not sure.  Is the punchline, “And then I SH*T MYSELF?”  My general feeling is that I have no desire to be pursued, especially by someone toting a firearm.  But, for the sake of your question, I suppose I see the point.  It’s a more extreme version of, If you knew your parachute was going to open, would you skydive?  The problem is, you’re taking all the risk out of it.  You want your cake and you want to shove it in your hole in this scenario.  Part of the exhilaration, I assume, comes with the assumption of danger.  If you can play it all fast and loose with a guy who has a gun, because you know you aren’t getting hit, what’s the point?  I think the better question is, what percentage chance of actually getting hurt would you risk for your PRECIOUS story?  If there was a 1% chance you get clipped would you go for that?  See, you’re suddenly feeling a little less cavalier, aren’t you?  Pansy.  

Q:  I hear this is probably going to be Kristen Wiig’s last season on SNL.  My response?  Thank god.  She’s awful.  I don’t understand why people think she’s funny.  She does one character with a weird voice.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Kristen.  PS, I boycotted Bridesmaids.  P.J. Phire, King of Prussia, PA.  

A:  I’m not entirely sure how SNL is still on the air.  I feel like they kind of missed the boat.  They should have disbanded and created Funny or Die and become the leader in viral videos, or something like that.  Who still sits around for an hour and a half on Saturday night to watch this?  I guess P.J. does, and if I’m being honest, so do I–but ONLY when Timberlake is hosting.  I still think a lot of the people on the show are funny, but we’ve kind of lost our taste for this breed of humor as a society.  I’ll allow a moment for the depth of that statement to sink in.  As far as Kristen Wiig goes, I certainly know what you’re talking about.  She does have a go-to voice, and Gilly–well, I’ll never understand Gilly.  But, I’m not going to say she’s terrible.  Are you one of these people who thinks women can’t be funny?  I think she’s probably better served away from SNL doing movies where she can tone it down a bit.  Bridesmaids is decent, I’m sure you’ve seen worse.  

Q: Every time my roommate buys ice cream as soon as she gets home she takes the lid off and eats the ice cream that is stuck to the lid.  Then, she puts it into the freezer.  There’s nothing more disconcerting than opening a pristine tub of ice cream to find the lid looking like a starving wolverine mauled it and then tried to cover their tracks.  I’d rather she just take a spoonful.  Edy Thompson, Canton, OH.  

A:  Dang.  You two must be perfectly compatible if this is your problem.  The gosh dang ice cream lid.  Oh, THE HORROR.  My first response is, she’s buying ice cream and you’re complaining about how she eats it?  UNGRATEFUL!  But, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you contribute to some larger grocery fund that I don’t know about.  Do you ever buy the groceries?  If you did, you’d realize how hard it is to get a pristine container of ice cream into the freezer without incident.  Especially when you know that it will be just slightly melted when you get home from the store.  IT TASTES BETTER THAT WAY.  (Are you skinny and she’s gordo?)  Also, it’s a known fact that as soon as you open the ice cream you have to eat what is stuck to the lid, or it will be ruined by freezer exposure forever.  I feel like I’m telling you a lot that you didn’t know, and you’re now prepared to back off from your tough stance on this issue.  Does a lid look a bit unsettling after it’s been attacked by a spoon?  Yes, I’ll give you that, but I’m ruling for the defendant here.  Get over yourself, Edy.

Q: You know what pisses me off about Jeopardy?  Well, a lot of things piss me off about Jeopardy, but I hate how they adjust the difficulty of the question based on the category.  Like, if it’s Ancient Rome, the question is, what was the name of the tailor who fitted Caesar for his togas, but if the category is sports the question is like, Fill in the Blank:  New York Y__kees.   Oh, don’t insult the bumbling, almanac memorizing geniuses up there by assuming they know something about dirty, bourgeois sports.  I’m right, right?  I know I’m right, I just needed to get this out.  Don Bailey, Bangor, ME.  

A:  I never really thought of that, but it’s true.  There’s an expectation of knowledge for Jeopardy contestants.  They must know everything about the Bible, about Opera, about History, but for things relating to pop-culture they need only the basics.  Here’s my theory.  Back in the day, Jeopardy would throw in these categories as a form of comic relief, or perhaps to make the audience feel better.  They throw out some basketball question and Skippy McDoublePHD says, “Who is Magic Jordan.”  Then, everyone LAUGHS THEIR ASSES OFF.  You have to admit, that can be quite funny.  But, at some point these enterprising contestants realized that if they had just a functional knowledge of sports they could sweep a category with ease.  Hey, the money is the same.  So, now you get far less embarrassing answers, but the Jeopardy people haven’t responded by making the questions any harder.  It is offensive, though.  What I know isn’t important.  Jeopardy decides what’s important.  Screw off.  

***

Ok, we’re closing the mailbag today with a real question.  It’s longer than usual.  And, if you are a very loyal reader of the blog, the material will be somewhat redundant.  So, fair warning there.  I’m about to go off on a little ranty-rant-rant here.  Proceed with caution.

Q: For some reason I’m obsessed with your hatred of the Kindle and other reading devices.  I know you previously laid out the entire argument as to why this is…and well I guess I’m saying, your argument sucks!  My questions include what’s so wrong with using a reading device?  I suppose your answer will be, nothing but I personally just don’t want to use one.  It’s the same words you are reading – it’s just a different delivery system – like an improved ketchup bottle from Heinz.  

You like the book shelf and displaying all your books?  Ohhhhhhhh look at meeee I read Tender is the Night!  I’m not saying go Fahrenheit 451, you can keep the comforting walls of your books. But moving forward…it’s time to embrace the Kindle. You can make the change on your terms now…or you can be that guy 20 years from now shopping for physical books at antique stores. Isn’t this just a case of being slow to embrace useful technology?  Similar to perhaps one of our grandparents saying I would never talk on the phone to someone I prefer to write letters!  Or someone refusing to use email and holding on to the paper/pen/mail format?  

There are unquestionable conveniences to a Kindle and research is showing that more books are being purchased via Kindles than hard copy(on Amazon) and overall readership is up in the past few years.  My thought is if you were forced to use one, once you got going, you’d be reading the same words, the same art form, and you’d have the same enjoyment.  No you wouldn’t be able to see how many pages you have left at any given time, although I’m sure the Kindle can tell you that, but either way you are still holding the book – the book is the words right?  Here’s what I’m saying, don’t tell me the Kindle sucks until you’ve tried one…I know it’s going to be horrifically painful, but I challenge you to borrow someones reading device, read a book, take a little time to reflect, and then report back your findings.  Kindle Conrad, Conshohocken, PA.  

A:  I am so angry at you right now, Kindle Conrad.  Nice alias.  I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.  Seriously, though, you might want to re-read my post on the Kindle.  Oh, I’m sorry, can you even read?  Anyway, that post outlines the fact that I do not hate the Kindle.  I simply do not want to use one myself.  I’m not sure why you can’t understand that distinction.  I’m sorry my desire to have books is offensive to you, but considering the last book you cracked (given the name drop in your question) was probably the Cliff Notes for Fahrenheit 451, I’m not really concerned with your opinion.  My question to you would be, what is with your obsessive desire to conform to what is new and convenient?  Are you trying to live the most convenient life possible, or are you trying to live the life you want to live?  And, I address this constantly, but try worrying about things that impact you.  You’re the person that is like, “Oh my god, try this Pomegranate juice, it’s delicious and will anti-oxidize your entire body in 2.4 seconds.  How can you not like it?”  Because, I DON’T LIKE IT!  LEAVE ME ALONE, FREAK SHOW.  

Getting back to your question, could you make less apt comparisons?  No, first of all, what is a “physical book?”  That’s just a book, right?  I’ll be buying books in antique stores.  Now, are those “physical” antique stores?  A book implies bound pages, cover, things of that nature.  What you get on a Kindle is a digitized manuscript.  It’s not a book, so no need to make the distinction.  

Your examples hold no water.  Email is obviously instantaneous, there’s an undeniable advantage over putting the note in the actual mail.  It also provides a reasonable alternative to a phone call.  A book vs. something on a Kindle is just a different way of accomplishing the same thing.  Ok, I can download the book and I don’t have to go to the bookstore, and I have countless more square feet now that I don’t have to store hundreds of books, but those are things I’m not interested in.  I never go to the bookstore in a rush.  I go to browse, take 30-40 minutes to walk around, people watch, flip through some books, it’s all part of the experience.  And, I’m not burdened by carrying books around, or having them around.  I like to keep a book in the can.  Should I get a Kindle caddy for my toilet?  That seems like it wouldn’t end well.  

And, how dare you bring Ketchup into this?

Just because I am fighting a losing battle doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be fought, or that I shouldn’t state what I believe in.  Do you buckle to everything that’s inevitable?  If you have a kid will you not take it to the Zoo to see a Hippo because they’ll be extinct in 40 years?  If we were going to run out of oranges in the year 2043 would you stop eating them now to get used to it?  Hell no.  You’d keep eating your oranges and deal with not having them when that day came.  

I’m thrilled people are reading more, but I don’t think I’m going to change my mind on this one.  If you need me to read a book on a Kindle I will, but I happen to know that you DO NOT HAVE ONE either.  But, I’ve read long manuscripts on a computer screen in handy-dandy “book view” or whatever microsoft calls it, and while I might not be able to get as cozy on the couch, I imagine the experience is similar.  

One last thing, when I’m reading, I want to be reading.  I don’t want to be interfacing with my Guy-Pad.  I don’t want emails coming in, or to be tempted to check the internet, or to fire up some stupid game.  I’m trying to read a book.  A bleeping “physical” book.  So, leave me alone.  And, you can take your Kindle and do with it what Adam Sandler did with the shampoo bottle in, “At a Medium Pace.”  

Alternate Viewing Guide — Thanksgiving Edition.

I'm Sure Sly Has A Marathon Going on Some Channel.

I usually do the alternate viewing guide on Wednesday, I think, but we’ve got the mailbag now–so, things must be moved up a day.  And, it’s going to be quite a mailbag tomorrow.  If you will allow me to tease my own post.  It’s going to get heated.  So, before you head out for amateur night and try to slalom through a DUI checkpoint, make sure you read the mailbag tomorrow.  But, that’s getting ahead of ourselves.  This is the post where I tell you what to watch on TV, because I am better at watching TV than you.  Obviously, people watch football on Thanksgiving.  It’s the best lineup of games I ever remember, but if you don’t watch football (for shame), here’s what you should be checking out.  We’ll go 1 to 10 pm, because by 10 everyone should be asleep and it doesn’t matter what the TV is playing in the background.  

1:00-2:00 PM:  Arrested Development, IFC

On the heels of the announcement that Netflix will be streaming an upcoming 4th season of Arrested Development, I think this is only appropriate.  People loved Arrested Development so much, and yet it was hard to find people who watched it regularly.  Hence, the cancellation.  Kind of like Always Sunny?  I don’t know, I don’t watch that one (braces self for insults).  Anyway, Jason Bateman is always money.

2:00-3:00 PM:  Cake Boss:  Next Great Baker, TLC

I was unawares that Buddy, our favorite pastry chef, had a new reality show.  I admit that I have become lax on my cooking shows of late.  Did you know there’s a new season of Top Chef and I’ve only seen one of the episodes?  Padma, forgive me.  Anyway, I don’t think anything will kick-start the old appetite like watching people make cakes and talk about fondant for an hour.  Just don’t judge the Sara Lee when it comes out of the freezer later in the day. 

3:00-4:00 PM:  The Great Outdoors, Encore

This movie is hilarious.  Or, at least that is what an 11-year old version of myself is telling me right now.  Seriously, though, you can watch this movie with someone and almost convince them that Dan Aykroyd was funny.  And, as always, John Candy is delightful.  Keeping with the theme of overeating, you have his storied battle with the “Old 96er.”  That’s six pounds of beef.  Can you put away that much turkey?  

4:00-5:00 PM:  The Coffee Addiction, CNBC

According to the blurb, coffee is a 70 billion dollar business.  That’s like 35 Mark Cubans.  I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but in a nutshell, coffee is bigger than Facebook.  The way people drink coffee with reckless abandon is pretty fascinating to me, and the most interesting part is how coffee has penetrated the youth market.  You see middle school kids now cupping a Starbucks 20 oz like it’s their lifeblood.  When I was in school (even college) coffee wasn’t a common sight and frankly it’s a little disturbing.  Middle School kids smell bad enough, now they all have coffee breath?

5:00-6:00 PM:  Serendipity, E!

I guess this is where I check in and say, why the hell is TNT showing a Bones marathon and not Days of Thunder or something along those lines.  I also haven’t seen Shawshank yet, disturbing.  Here’s a real schmaltzy chick-flick for you.  I imagine most women heart this movie–a bunch.  If you happen to be a guy though, you’ve got Ari from Entourage being mildly amusing, you’ve got Eugene Levy (always a plus), and of course, Kate Beckinsale is kind of good-looking.  Ok fine, I actually like this movie.  Let’s move on.  

6:00-7:00 PM:  Roseanne, Oxygen.

It’s a 3-Putt Territory tradition.  You’ve got to plow through an episode of Roseanne or two on Thanksgiving.  Epic show.  I saw Roseanne in a Snickers commercial the other day.  She’s still got the chops.  Early Roseanne is great programming.  Do you ever wonder what would happen to TV characters in real life?  I mean, they show child stars grown up all the time on the Yahoo ticker, but I’m talking about if D.J. from Roseanne was an actual person, what we he be doing right now?  That kid was a hot, hot mess.  

7:00-8:00 PM:  Punkin Chunkin 2011, Discovery

Punkin Chunkin is an event where people build machines to launch pumpkins into the upper levels of the atmosphere.  At least, that’s what I think it is.  It’s a big event in areas of the country that…ok, I’m not going to stereotype.  It’s big where people have the time and creativity to put together such a device.  I’ve always been a little fascinated by this spectacle, and here’s the perfect chance to get a closer look.  I imagine the pumpkins will be secondary to the characters involved.  That’s where the magic is.

8:00 PM-9:00 PM:  Elf, USA.

There’s certain movies that get played every Thanksgiving.  I’m trying to be a little selective here.  The point being, if you want to watch the Godfather you can.  Or, you’ll certainly be able to find Home Alone.  All good choices, but you certainly want to catch the beginning of Elf.  Is Will Ferrell ever going to make another funny movie?  I don’t know.  This isn’t his best work, but when you’re high on turkey, wine and pumpkin pie, I imagine you’ll find plenty of laughs here.  Also, the big person/tiny furniture gag will be funny forever for me.  I just can’t stop laughing. 

9:00-10:00 PM:  Friday Night Lights, ESPN Classic

Ok, you’ve made it through the whole day without watching football.  Did Miami win?  I certainly hope so.  But, if you ignore football completely, you’re kind of turning your back on America.  This isn’t Canadian Thanksgiving where the settlers played lacrosse with the “Native Canadians (?)”  No, football is part of the fiber of the culture as they say, so to cap the day off you should at least watch a television show about football.  Don’t worry, they make it more exciting than the actual game.  

***

Ok, that’s it.  Remember the most important thing is that you stay in front of the TV.  Don’t go outside, don’t catch up with family, just park the can in front of the old tube and lock it in until Monday.  Enjoy.  

 

 

Tuesday Morning Self-Esteem Check.

At Least We’re Not Mike Missanelli.

Mike Missanelli is the most popular sports talk host in Philadelphia.  He has an ego commensurate with this position.  He has the ultimate knack you need in his profession, the ability to drive people crazy.  Crazy to the point that they have no other choice but to call his show for the privilege of having Mike tell them why they are wrong.  He reminds me a bit of Phil Mickelson in a sense, because Phil has that hard to shake nickname from early days on Tour, FIGJAM.  It stands for, “F*ck I’m Good.  Just Ask Me.”  Along with his skills on the air, Missanelli talks often of his law degree and just beneath the surface is a slightly too strong affinity for his own amateur baseball career–and athletic prowess in general.  He’ll totally destroy you in tennis.  Unless you happen to actually play tennis.  It’s hard to turn the guy off, though, and that’s why I hear his football picks every week.  He is the ultimate, “line is telling me something,” guy.  He probably believes he coined the phrase.  In fact, I’m not sure Mikey Miss watches college football, but he still makes his picks, needing nothing but the line.  He wins, he loses, just like everyone else.  But, right now, Mikey Miss is on an uncommon cold streak.  Zero for his last 8, a big fat doughnut hole for 8.  As much as we struggle around here, we’ve never hit those depths.  So, no matter your standing, feel good this morning that you aren’t Mike Missanelli.

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:

  1. Big Dub:  32-19-4
  2. Grossy:  30-22-3
  3. JCK:  29-25-1
  4. Kraft:  26-24-5
  5. Nichols:  25-28-2

The “Lump Free Mashed Taters,” Pick of the Week:  It wasn’t our best week around these parts.  There was a lot of bad money chasing the same teams.  We’ll get to that in a second.  There were also some pushes this week.  Those aren’t great for business, though I personally was happy to get one out of the Titans.  About the only pick we had with any originality came in the game I joked about in the opening segment.  That Jags/Browns thriller.  JCK had the Browns.  Why?  Who knows?  If I was Bill Simmons I’d break down where Colt McCoy ranks in relationship to Blaine Gabbert on some fictional hierarchy of Patriots coaches.  But, I’m not.  So, if you’re courageous enough to take the Browns, you get the hardware.

The “Store-Bought Pie Crust,” Awful Pick of the Week:  Come one, come all to the Buffalo Bills’ funeral.  They’re not that bad we said.  And, Miami isn’t playing that well.  The wrong team is favored.  No, the correct team was favored.  Just by not nearly enough points.  The Dolphins are playing like they might actually put up some kind of fight on Thanksgiving in Dallas.  It’s the worst game on a nice slate, but how classic would it be to see the Cowboys go down to Miami on Thanksgiving once again?  Very retro.  Anyway, if you had the Bills, like me, you should be ashamed of yourself.  When Vegas tells you a team’s season is over, it’s over.  Pay attention.  And, that goes for Mikey Miss too.

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D.A. Fantasy Football Standings and Summaries:

Will someone please, pretty please take Ryan Fitzpatrick in the draft?  What does the man have to do?  Pretty soon he’s going to get benched and you’ll have missed your chance.   I guess you could say we have some parity in D.A.  Still, even with 3 weeks remaining, everyone is alive for a playoff berth, but that spot is being pursued by 5 teams.  Can’t afford too  many more losses, especially if you don’t have a good point total.

D.A. Standings:

  1. Neckbeards and Codeine:  8-3  (292.25 points)
  2. JCK:  7-4 (220.50 points)
  3. Kraft:  6-5 (348.75 points)
  4. Fake Chow:  5-6 (252.75 points)
  5. Team Horse Face:  5-6 (234.50 points)
  6. Eli Esses D:  5-6 (135.75 points)
  7. The Shiva Cry: 4-7 (252.25 points)
  8. The Slop Jocks: 4-7 (181.25 points)

Team Horse Face Uses Big Thursday to Roll The Shiva Cry, 39.5 to (-17.5)

When I’m looking at my fantasy lineup this time of year, I always like to stay away from Thursday action.  You can’t get behind the 8-ball with a 2-pt fantasy night if you don’t play anyone.  In this week’s Thursday draft the action was fast and furious for Tim Tebow.  He went 1st overall to DC and scored 14 points.  It was Mark Sanchez, at pick #16 that carried the day, his pick-6 and 25.5 points put Shiva Cry in a massive hole.  When Matt Moore came out against the Bills looking like Joe Montana’s son (not his real son, but if he had a kid that could actually play QB), it was all over for Shiva Cry.  The loss and negative point total was a big hit to their playoff hopes.

Eli Esses D beats Fake Chow, 36.75 to 21.25, Springboards into 6th Place

It’s been a year of growth for Eli Esses D.  Sixth place.  A new high-water mark.  I think he’s something like 4-2 since he rededicated himself to the league, which is bad news for the others fighting for that last spot.  This week it was faith in rookie QBs that got the job done.  Cam Newton and Andy Dalton both threw for a ton of yards, but were woefully inaccurate and fired off 7 INTs.  That helps.  They also both lost.  Fake Chow should be blaming the Cowboys defense, because his rookie, Blaine Gabbert, did the job as well.  But, Rex Grossman was a little too Rexy.  That late TD more than sealed it, and Fake Chow gets sent back into the dog pile, holding onto 4th by a slim margin.

JCK Steamrolls The Slop Jocks, 80.25 to 28.  

Little bit of bad luck for the Slop Jocks to run into JCK on a career day.  They needed a win, but JCK is still chasing the top-seed and showed no mercy in this one.  Sam Bradford (36 points) is officially a cautionary tale at this point.  You can’t trust a QB until he puts up numbers for 3 straight years.  Otherwise, he could implode at any moment.  Bradford was second fiddle on this day, though, for JCK.  John Skelton announced his presence with authority (44.25 points) and then almost as quickly vanished in a cloud of Rick Bartel.  A clean, and inspired performance.  The Slop Jocks debuted Vince Young (12 points), but this was long over by Sunday night.

Neckbeards and Codeine on Verge of Clinching Playoff Berth with 31 to 20 Win over Kraft

This was a battle for the top of the standings.  Kraft, the points leader against Neckbeards who have been consistently out front the whole season.  The week of the rookie continued in this match-up with Christian Ponder leading the way for Neckbeards (30 points).  Rookies are just clueless.  They throw picks.  All the time.  Oh, he never saw him!  Pick Six.  Anyway, Kraft had the hammer with Tyler Palko (27 points) on Monday night, but Joe Flacco put him in too big a hole with his unfortunate Sunday (-7 points).  The win puts Neckbeards in cruise control, and leaves Kraft needing at least one more win to clinch a post-season berth.

The 3-PT D.A. of the Week:  

I’m a little surprised that John Skelton’s parents didn’t name him Derek Anderson Skelton.  If only they had that kind of foresight.  Skelton winning this award feels like his birthright.  As Kraft mentioned in the comments section, what is the Cardinals’ scouting department doing? From the moment this guy was drafted he was compared to Joe Flacco.  Now, if I was drafting a QB, Flacco would not be my ultimate goal, but Skelton is an insult to the Unibrow–even if he did have to flee Pitt to make room for Palko.  Anyway, 3 Picks, a horrid percentage and getting replaced by Rick Martel/Bartel.  Yep, podium is yours, Skelton.  Speech!  Speech!