Roll Sized Results.

Your Average Kaiser Will Block Out the Sun.

Your Average Kaiser Will Block Out the Sun.

So, when did we lose control of the size of a Kaiser roll?  I was in the standard “want a cheeseburger/don’t want 8 buns” dilemma the other day and my usual go-to, the sandwich size English Muffin was not available.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I decided, against my better judgement to go with the Kaiser.  These rolls are ubiquitous, and yet I’m not sure of their primary use.  I suppose in a pulled pork, crock pot full of hot roast beef scenario, or any instance where you can make a pile of meat–the Kaiser does well.  It can contain juices, but its sheer size makes it a difficult play in many meals.  I don’t make small portions.  When I make a cheeseburger, no one is going to confuse that sumbitch for a slider.  I knew I had to go even bigger too, because of the kaiser–and I didn’t even get close.  Did the roll get bigger after I sliced it in half?  My lord.  When I put the burger down it looked like a quarter sitting on a dinner plate.  Pretty frustrating.  Also frustrating? The Eagles blowing that easy cover…

NFL Pick ‘EM Standings:  

  1. Nichols, 20-14-1
  2. Big Dub, 20-15
  3. Grossy, 19-16
  4. DC, 16-14
  5. Kraft, 17-22-1

***

The “No Candy Corn,” Pick of the Week:  Big Dub, Carolina +5

Is it becoming trendy to pick against Seattle?  Personally, I assumed Seattle would rebound in what was essentially a must-win against the Panthers.  That they pulled the game out, makes the result a bit more frustrating.  They probably deserved to lose.  Thirteen points?  What happened to this offense?  I don’t think Percy Harvin was THE problem.  He might have been a problem, but now it looks like Marshawn Lynch is on the way out and Pete Carroll is probably angling to get back to college.  Sorry, 12th Man.  It’s already over.

The “Nate Allen,” Awful Pick of the Week:  Nichols, Indianapolis -3

What happened in this game?  Did the Colts borrow 11 guys from the Big-12 to play defense?  Was that Texas Tech out there?  I don’t want to take anything away from Big Ben, ok I do, but he didn’t really strike me as a guy who was going to go out and slang it for half a grand at this point in his career.  Was this game exciting to watch because there was 90 points, or just a sloppy embarrassment?  Hard to say.  At least I had the Colts as my fantasy defense….

***

The 3PT D.A. of the Week:  GENO SMITH!

Wow.  If you’ve ever seen A River Runs Through It, the definitive movie on early 20th century fly fishing, there are a few scenes of sentimental Robert Redford narration.  In one, Norman McLean talks about how is brother Paul’s fishing technique has evolved.  He says, “and in the time I was away I realized my brother had become an artist.”  I say this, because if you had seen Geno Smith play football for a while, what a revelation Sunday must have been.  You can watch a highlight package of his start in about 30 seconds.  There were only 8 throws.  Two of them were complete.  THREE were intercepted.  He moved the Jets 5 yards with those throws.  His quarterback rating….wait for it….was ZERO.  If we were playing D.A. we’d have to recalibrate the points system, because this was about a 55 point D.A. effort and it should have been at least 100.

***

The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top-10:

  1. Denver, 6-1. Regular Season Kings.
  2. Arizona, 6-1. If Palmer can somehow keep it together…
  3. New England, 6-2. Just Killing People
  4. Dallas, 6-2. His Neck. His Back. His Neck and His Back.
  5. Philadelphia, 5-2.  Not inspiring in Red Zone.
  6. Detroit, 6-2. Just a terrible win.
  7. Pittsburgh, 5-3. They’d win the AFC South
  8. Indianapolis, 5-3. That was a hiccup
  9. San Diego, 5-3. Everyone loses in Denver
  10. Buffalo, 5-3.  Why not?

Just The Facts.

Well, life is intervening this week, seemingly for more than just yours truly…

 

Big Dub, 17-14

  1. San Diego (+9) ovcr Denver
  2. Detroit (-3.5) over Atlanta
  3. Kansas City (-7) over St. Louis
  4. Carolina (+5) over Seattle
  5. Cincinnati (+1) over Baltimore

***

Grossy, 16-14

  1. New England (-6) over Chicago
  2. Seattle (-5) over Carolina
  3. Buffalo (+3) over New York Jets
  4. Philadelphia (+2.5) over Arizona
  5. Washington (+9.5) over Dallas

Carve My Ass.

Ok, Ok, We Get It.

Ok, Ok, We Get It.

I’m down on pumpkin art.  It’s just too much.  Great, you can draw.  You have a sharp knife and an inordinate amount of time on your hands.  I’m tired of seeing the kids, and the ham-fisted butter knife wielders getting shown up.  About a week or two ago a couple of Jack-O-Lanterns popped up on the porch of my building.  They were clearly junior efforts, complete with a miscut eye-hole.  The works, really.  But, to me, that’s the Halloween spirit.  The pumpkins are now starting to rot and it’d be sweet if the person would chuck them, but FOR NOW, that’s besides the point.  So a little while later another pumpkin pops up and it’s one of these elaborate sons of bitches and I’d wager decent money an adult did it–possibly even a hipster.  And, I got to thinking, what does does Johnny Triangle Nose think about his Jack-o-Lantern now?  Kid’s probably got enough problems, doesn’t need pumpkin inferiority complex.  So, the point is, to all you artists out there, relax with the pumpkins.  Go do caricatures in the park or something.

I might put these standings on a pumpkin….

NFL Pick ‘EM Standings:

  1. Nichols, 19-10-1
  2. Big Dub, 17-13
  3. Grossy, 16-14
  4. DC, 16-14
  5. Kraft, 16-18-1

The “(Poorly) Carved Pumpkin” Pick of the Week: DC, St. Louis +7.

Outright Rams winner.  The Rams played this game like a kid with his hand hovering over the reset button.  If this doesn’t work?  OH WELL.  We’re the Rams.  Two straight losses for Seattle, who clearly isn’t the team they were last year.  They’ll still be a tough out, but the NFL is tough on its good teams.  Players flee for more money, everyone has to worry about their contract, so me-first culture has to be tough to overcome–especially once you’ve won one.  I’ve got a ring, now I want to get paid.  Has to be some of that going on with Seattle, and this is the biggest Rams win since–anyone?

The “I Roasted the Pumpkin Seeds!” Awful Pick of the Week:  Grossy, Houston +3.5

The Monday night streak ends.  I really thought I was a week or two away from being one of those guys you hear on the radio.  Monday Night GUARANTEED on a recorded message.  Winning side AND the total.  Lose and the rest of the year is free.  So, that’s a year’s worth of horsebleep picks for nothing.  I think at this point you just stay away from the Steelers.  Who knows what they’re going to do.

***

3PT D.A. of the Week:  Brian “Steny” Hoyer.  

There were some grand efforts this week.  The Red Rifle threw for 130 yards on 38 attempts.  Blake Bortles was mostly terrible in the Jags win (still waiting for 5 INTs), and Kurt Cousins was ousted by Colt McCoy–yep still in the league. But, Hoyer really did something on Sunday, and it wasn’t just getting us closer to the D.A. Dream of Johnny Football.  Hoyer took a team on a roll, went on the road against a winless dumpster fire and possibly derailed a whole season.  Things are tenuous for the Browns.  Not sure they have a lot of “bounce back,” yet.  So, it’s pretty difficult to swallow when your Dilfer goes out and drops a 16/41.  16 of 41!  The rest of the stats don’t matter.

***

The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top 10:

  1. Denver, 5-1.  Rolling to 600 TDs.
  2. Dallas, 6-1.  No letdown against suddenly terrible again G-Men.
  3. Philadelphia, 5-1.  Bye-Week Boost.
  4. Arizona, 5-1.  Bye-Week Boost part II.
  5. Indianapolis, 5-2.  Five straight for Mongo.
  6. Green Bay, 5-2.  Absolutely dismantled Carolina.
  7. Baltimore, 5-2.  With Great Reluctance.
  8. New England, 5-2.  It’s OK to play Tom in fantasy again.
  9. San Diego, 5-2.  Hiccup.
  10. Detroit, 5-2.  With Greater Reluctance.

Winners for Week Seven.

More Famous K.C. Fans.

More Famous K.C. Fans.

So, when I abandoned the Phillies awhile back I needed a new baseball hat to put into my rotation.  For some this might sound like a relatively easy proposition, but there are a lot of factors in play.  There are many, many teams whose hat I could never wear.  Other teams have bad logos, or suspect color combinations.  I wear a blue shirt about 80% of the time.  This has to be considered.

I ended up with a Royals hat.  Aside from the aforementioned blue, there were some other reasons.  I had followed several of Kansas City’s young position players since their time in the minor leagues.  Long before the Royals made it back to the playoffs they assembled one of the best farm systems in recent memory.  For someone as prospect obsessed as myself, this was intriguing.  So, even if I was exclusively a Phillies fan, I was always aware of guys like Hosmer, Moustakas, the since traded Wil Myers, lighting up the Minor Leagues.  While I felt like I had to stop rooting for a guy like Bryce Harper once he made it to Washington, continuing to pull for these Royals seemed mostly harmless.

This brings me to the final reason I went K.C.  There really aren’t any casual K.C. fans.  In my nearly two years of sporting the hat I don’t remember seeing another one.  Or a shirt.  A faded bumper sticker.  Nothing.  If there were any Kansas City fans outside of Kansas City leftover from the George Brett glory days, I hadn’t run into any of them.  So, wearing a K.C. hat provides both anonymity and a level of respect when someone knows you aren’t some shameful bandwagon jumper.

Up until a few months ago, I got a few, “KC? Really?” type reactions, but not much else.  But, all that has changed as the Royals have stormed through the playoffs.  Right before the ALCS ended I got a “congratulations” on the Royals while I was out at a grocery store.  I felt guilty.  A real fan would have been watching the game.  And, while the post-season run has been amazing, it’s not like I’m living and dying with each pitch.  This despite the fact that the Royals play a particularly nerve wracking style of baseball.

The point is, I’m apologizing to all the true Royals fans out there.  The hat that I wear is not a behavior a would typically endorse in someone else.  I went through not nearly enough of the lean times.  I promise not to take too much satisfaction if the Royals beat the Giants, though I do hate the Giants, but I’m still going to wear the hat.  Like I said, it’s blue.

Back to the important sport….

Week 7 NFL Picks:

Nichols, 16-8-1

  1. Jacksonville (+5.5) over Cleveland
  2. Baltimore (-7) over Atlanta
  3. Kansas City (+4) over San Diego
  4. New York Giants (+6.5) over Dallas
  5. San Francisco (+6.5) over Denver

***

Big Dub, 14-11

  1. Indianapolis (-3) over Cincinnati
  2. Buffalo (-5.5) over Minnesota
  3. San Diego (-4) over Kansas City
  4. Arizona (-3.5) over Oakland
  5. Denver (-6.5) over San Francisco

***

Grossy, 13-12

Detroit (-3) over New Orleans.  The Saints aren’t right.  This may be misdirected angst at Brandin Cooks, who is on pace for 100 catches for 204 yards, but with no Jimmy Graham and the characteristic bleh New Orleans running game, everything just feels like a struggle for Mr. Brees and company.  Detroit, meanwhile, seems to have taken to winning ugly as opposed to losing pretty, which was their former M.O.  Brees is no longer a guy I fear picking against, even in a dome.  Time for Sean Payton to start thinking about Dallas again.

Jacksonville (+5.5) over Cleveland.  Letdown for the Browns?  It’s got to be hard to charge into Jacksonville with much steam after beating the Steelers.  I think the Jags are starting a running back named “Storm,” which means they are recruiting from the American Gladiators?  We’re right on the verge of talking about whether or not the Jags could lose EVERY game, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  They at least put a scare into Hoyer’s traveling road show.

Indianapolis (-3) over Cincinnati.  The Bengals tied last week.  That’s pretty much all I’ve got, along with the Colts being hot and having 10 days to get ready to stop Neo-Geo Bernard.  They won’t, but should score enough to win.  Possible Andrew Luck 4th quarter comeback alert.  Get your drool rags ready.

Arizona (-3.5) over Oakland.  I think the Cardinals could cover on a last second pick-6 for the second straight week. Stranger things have happened in Oakland.  Pretty huge revenge spot for Carson Palmer here.  Remember when Palmer basically quit the Bengals?  Seems like a lifetime ago.

Houston (+3.5) over Pittsburgh.  I keep waiting to get one of these Monday games wrong, so I don’t feel so obligated to pick a complete horsebleep, coin-flip like this game.  I’m going to go with Arian Foster running well and the Steelers, after a brief affair with mediocrity, could very well be terrible.  When they lose this one at home, that’s when we’ll know.

***

Kraft, 14-15-1

Cincinnati (+3) over Indianapolis.  Bengals show some pride.  Sam Wyche circles the wagons.

Kansas City (+4) over San Diego.  The Chargers have to slip up some time?

Atlanta (+7) over Baltimore.  Wasn’t Ray Lewis involved in a homicide in Atlanta? #karma

Denver (-6.5) over San Francisco.  Who covers Ed McCaffery?

New York Giants (+6.5) over Dallas.  Ray Rice, concussions, Goodell’s biggest scandal this year is fixing Cowboys games this year to make them 5-1.  #QuincyCarter #FDallas.

Passing the Undefeated Baton.

Your Winner--Miller Lite.

Your Winner–Miller Lite.

Maybe you heard a week or two ago that Miller Lite took home Gold at the Great American Beer Festival?  I’m sure we’ve all had plenty of Miller Lite.  There’s nothing particularly notable about it, other than they choose to spell Light incorrectly.  This is the biggest decision to be made at major breweries.  How do you spell Light? How many r’s in Cran-brrr-rita?  Or whatever.  Anyway, the point is, there are now so many categories at the Great American Beer Festival that a beer like Miller Lite can bring home gold, but you really don’t know what it is getting compared against.  So many of these awards have no meaning.  I’ve been hearing about J.D. Power (AND ASSOCIATES) for years in car commercials.  Does anyone really know who J.D. Power is?  I’m sure it’s a reputable firm, but really for all I know, it’s someone who takes a million dollars a year from Honda to give them a nice plaque.  I’m just happy that when someone wins a contest on this blog, it means something.  Let’s get to the standings…

NFL Pick ‘Em Standings:

  1. Nichols, 16-8-1
  2. Big Dub, 14-11
  3. Grossy, 13-12
  4. Kraft, 14-15-1
  5. DC, 12-13

The “Apple Cider Donut” Pick of the Week: Kraft, Dallas (+8)

For the second time in three weeks I did not have a chance to post Kraft’s picks, but this week he rushed back into contention with reckless abandon, going 4-0-1.  He and Nichols had a little 4-0-1 relay race and it was the best cumulative week of the year for the blog.  We went 17-6-2.  Drink that in.  There were numerous great picks, but this one stands out for numerous reasons.  The Seahawks had won something like 342 straight home games, everyone was waiting for the Cowboys to be exposed and Mike Greenberg was in early on Dallas.  I’m a little embarrassed to say I listen to Mike & Mike sometimes on the way to work, and “Greeny” is hands down the worst picker of games I’ve ever encountered.  Fending off that hex is truly amazing.

The “Pumpkin Flavored Beer” Awful Pick of the Week; Grossy (NYG +3)

I was happy to be wrong about this one, but I couldn’t have been MORE wrong, really, and that’s the art form.  I’m not sure how I could have seen that shutout coming, though.  The Eagles haven’t had one in 18 years.  Their defense has been shredded at times this year by Kirk Cousins, Austin Davis, Alvin Hurns (these names are approximates)–so why would Sunday night be any different?  Well, the Giants o-line didn’t show up, Eli got all flurstered, was constantly sacked–I think Mike Mamula had a 1/2 sack–and the Eagles cruised.  Confidence level on the Eagles is SKY HIGH right now.  Not even acknowledging that Dallas is 5-1.

***

The 3PT D.A. of the Week:  Teddy Bridgewater!

Teddy, Matt Cassel just tweeted out his congratulations, it said, “Welcome to the Club.”  How many different Vikings could win the award the year?  This reminds me of the glorious Arizona days when they had the Max Hall, Helter Skelton, and someone else carousel going.  So much potential.  I like rookies to really BREAK OUT to win a D.A.  Bridgewater’s performance didn’t necessarily have that shock value, but it was a nice slow burn.  He threw three interceptions, but more importantly was sacked 8 times.  Eight!  Hang on to that ball a little longer, Teddy!  The thorough beatdown by the Lions took some of the shine off Teddy’s hype train.  Go back to scouting those college QBs, Minnesota.

***

The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top-10; 

  1. Denver, 4-1. Peyton was rooting for Eagles on Sunday.
  2. San Diego, 5-1.  Rivers for MVP
  3. Dallas, 5-1. Saving the jinx of putting them #1.
  4. Philadelphia, 5-1. Special Teams Animals.
  5. Arizona, 4-1. Had a bit of trouble with Washington.
  6. Indianapolis, 4-2. Four straight over garbage.
  7. New England, 4-2. Things seem back to normal.
  8. San Francisco, 4-2. Thanks for the cover.
  9. Detroit, 4-2.  Better than Bridgewater.
  10. Cincinnati, 3-1-1.  Ties aren’t cool.

Week Six NFL Cash Machine.

Protect that PIN, Playboy.

Protect that PIN, Playboy.

I was waiting at an ATM today, something I almost never do, and there was a father up there with his son.  The pops was walking the kid through the transaction.  The kid was reading the screen–ALOUD.  Was this reading practice?  It has to be incredibly difficult to be a parent and try to balance what you let your kid do and when you tell them to BACK OFF–adults doing business here, Skippy.  The kid wants to do everything, you just don’t want to create a line/scene at the ATM.  I may have looked bothered, but I wasn’t really, and eventually Jr. and Sr. got their money and were on their way.

It made me wonder, though, is teaching a kid how to use an ATM machine a good idea?  You sure you want to give out Daddy’s PIN number?  In a couple of years this kid could be hammering your debit account with reckless abandon.  Speaking of reckless abandon, let’s unfurl some winners…

Nichols, 12-8 (Mr. 5-0–whistle)

  1. Denver (-8.5) over New York Jets
  2. Green Bay (-3) over Miami
  3. Detroit (-1.5) over Minnesota
  4. Carolina (+7) over Cincinnati
  5. San Francisco (-3) over St Louis

***

Big Dub, 11-9

  1. Denver (-8.5) over New York Jets
  2. Cleveland (-1.5) over Pittsburgh
  3. Minnesota (+1.5) over Detroit
  4. Buffalo (+3) 0ver New England
  5. Baltimore (-3) over Tampa Bay

***

Grossy, 11-9:

Minnesota (+1.5) over Detroit.  I’m not sure if anyone knows this, there’s no reason to, but I heard Jim Schwartz got carried off the field by the Bills in Detroit last week.  I’m not sure the Lions will ever be able to recover from this embarrassment.  The Lions problems don’t seem to be all Schwartz-related though, as they still seem to play WELL below their talent level at times.  It doesn’t hurt when Megatron is down.  At home, Bridgewater blossoms (that’s alliteration) and the Vikings pull the minor upset.

San Diego (-7) over Oakland.  The Chargers are beating bad teams this year.  I think Oakland qualifies.  I think the Raiders should have four coaches each coach four games this year and then bring one back next season.  That’s the only thing that seems fair.  Of course, good luck finding four people who want to coach the Raiders.

Arizona (-3.5) over Washington.  Doesn’t seem like a real good spot going to Arizona does it?  Kirk? Kurt? Cousins is settling into a nice valley.  I could see Washington starting about 11 quarterbacks in the next six years and people will reminisce fondly about those 30 seconds before RG3 got hurt.  They may even do a 30 for 30 short on it.

New York Giants (+3) over Philadelphia.  Is this an attempted jinx?  Is this a triple reversed double hexola? WHO KNOWS?  But, only the most Eli-level idiocy I think could screw this up for the Giants.  The Eagles shouldn’t be able to cover anyone, no one at all, which could very well lead to quite a few New York points.  We shall see.

San Francisco (-3) over St. Louis.  I’d like to see a little more convincing Niner number, these are the Rams after all, but there’s no way I’m putting my glistening 4-0* Monday Night record on the line with St. Louis.  That’s asking to be ridiculed and mocked and publicly shamed.  Plus, I’ve benched Michael Crabtree, so expect BIG, big things.

*not verified.

Oh, Hello, Winners.

In Honor of the Royals, A Clean Sweep.

In Honor of the Royals, A Clean Sweep.

Sometimes I think the amount of love your post-season gets is proportional to how much people pay attention during the regular season.  Obviously, people love the NFL playoffs, but the interest level and the games might be most similar to the regular season product.  In the other sports, with the marathon seasons, there is no way to maintain intensity over the long haul.  That’s why the term, “playoff hockey,” exists.  Even baseball is having a solid post-season this year. People say, if all the games were like this–I’d watch more.  Well, they won’t be and you wouldn’t, but regardless it makes for some good viewing.  And, thank god for the new blood in the American League.  I’ve seen enough of the Cardinals and Giants.

And, speaking of baseball playoffs and betting, I’d remind everyone once again how often the ace fails in the post-season.  Kershaw, Wainwright, Scherzer, Weaver…the names that appear to guarantee World Series berths are failing.  A lot.  This is what always happens.  This has been happening since the Braves’ stacked rotation of the 90s.  You still have to score SOME runs.  Obviously it still takes pitching to win, but with the exception of maybe the 2001 Diamondbacks I don’t see a team anywhere that went to two, three or four “aces” and actually won the World Series.  A lot of this has to do with routines, I think.  Take a pitcher off their schedule and things get weird.  Clayton Kershaw on 8 days rest?  Trouble.  And, I wouldn’t be surprised if he lost again on short rest in game four.

Enough about losing, an avalanche of winners….

NFL Pick ‘EM Standings:

  1. Nichols, 12-8
  2. Big Dub, 11-7
  3. Grossy, 11-7
  4. DC, 8-12
  5. Kraft, 10-15

The “Eric Hosmer” Pick of the Week:  Nichols (Tampa Bay +10)

Look at Tampa be a cover machine.  I guess when you lose by 8 TDs, there is a course correction?  No matter.  It still takes a great deal of courage to pick the Bucs, and good luck trying to figure out the Saints.  It appears they are terrible, but they’re going to bite you sometime this year.  Wait for it.  Anyway, this was part of a 5-0 extravaganza.  Tell the kid he doesn’t have to go to trade school after all!  I’d also like to point out that every single person had Seattle.  This almost never happens and then for the game not to lose? UNPRECEDENTED.  And, what a squirly little cover that was.

The “Andy Dalton in a Game of Any Magnitude” Awful Pick of the Week: Various (Cincy -1)

As noted in the comments there was absolutely no doubt New England was winning this game after the first three or four snaps.  MARK IT ZERO, SMOKEY.  The Patriots showed no real signs of putting a game together.  They didn’t look good against Oakland, at home, for gosh sakes…I’m putting this partially on Andy Dalton.  Yes, he’s led the Bengals into the playoffs on multiple occasions and then played absolutely horrifically.  I think Dalton had a little bit of that playoff vibe in Foxboro and it just fueled the Patriots stream roller.

***

3PT D.A. of the Week: Geno Smith

If the D.A. league were in play this year, people would have to wake up and pay attention to these Thursday games, because for the second straight week–the die was cast.  Christian Ponder, taking advantage of a spot start, stopped handling Sam Steele’s press requests for a week and put on a disastrous show.  In my mind, it wasn’t QUITE enough. Geno Smith had one of those franchise altering games on Sunday.  4/12 for 27 yards and one INT.  It wasn’t just that it was the knowledge that there’s no way you can move forward with Smith.  Even though it was pointless, the Jets had to put Michael Vick in, even though Vick probably doesn’t even want to play.  As a team, the Jets gained 60 yards on 33 dropbacks. INCREDIBLE.

***

The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary, Top-10:

  1. Seattle, 3-1. Thank you for that cover.
  2. Dever, 3-1. Nice win over Arizona.
  3. San Diego, 4-1. Crushing fools.
  4. Arizona, 3-1.  We’re already into bad teams.
  5. Philadelphia, 4-1. Smoke
  6. Dallas, 4-1. And Mirrors.
  7. Indianapolis, 3-2. Three straight Ws
  8. Green Bay, 3-2. Back on track?
  9. New England, 3-2. I guess.
  10. Cincinnati, 3-1. That was ugly Sunday.