I’m headed to Boston tomorrow for the weekend. If the snow melts, I may play golf (put me down for 47-52-99), but even if it doesn’t I’ll be watching the Patriots take on BK’s Bills on Sunday afternoon. Have the Patriots and Bills ever been good the during the same season? I DON’T KNOW. I’ve never come out and explicitly said it on the blog, but I used to be obsessed with the Patriots. I had a big and puffy Patriots jacket. It was all class. Anyway, I was also infatuated with Drew Bledsoe, so when New England drafted him #1 overall, everything really came together. I never got any horsebleep for being a Patriots fan back then, because they pretty much stunk every single season. So, I went to college, my roommate is from Boston (they made a movie about this, it was called Serendipity), and the Patriots obsession reaches it peak. Since college, it’s become difficult to be a Patriots fan with no Boston ties. Suddenly they are a bandwagon team. My favorite player was supplanted by a much better, prettier QB, and I’m constantly surrounded by Eagles fans. What I’m trying to say is, I’m a total fraud of an NFL fan. Onto the mailbag…which may be cut short due to time constraints.
Q: When do you think Mitt knew he had lost? Noon on Tuesday? March? Ballpark it for me. Jugg Romknee, Hollywood, FL.
A: As you probably know I’m pretty into the whole political scene. The back bumper of my car is just littered with campaign stickers. I’M COCKY FOR DUKAKIS! Things of that nature, but I was under the impression that Obama was never really in danger of losing the election. I know things in the country are not going GREAT, but Barack has kind of felt like an iconic President from the beginning, right? Those guys don’t serve one term. Also, the Republicans didn’t have a candidate that really put a scare into you, did they? These are all superficial things to say, but let’s be honest, the Presidential election has plenty of superficial qualities. Until the Republican party can do a better job with women and in urban areas, it’s going to be hard for them to win a national election with a candidate like Romney. And, if I can see that from my seat, which is about a million, disinterested miles away, then I have to feel like Romney knew he was up against it the whole time. I’ve seen the American President. These candidates have numbers guys who are ON TOP OF SH*T. I imagine the optimist in Romney had invested some in a miracle, swing state scenario, but I’m sure he knew he was 5 to 1, at best. I doubt there was a moment Tuesday when Mitt really thought he was going to win, deep down. I bet the family was convinced, but Mitt knew the score.
Q: Charles Tillman, bears CB, might miss Sunday’s game for the birth of his child. This, as always creates a hell of a debate. Should athletes be on the field, or in the delivery room? Doogie Howser, Chicago, IL.
A: I get the sense that this is a pretty modern dilemma. I feel like fathers 60 years ago men were like, “I’ll meet the kid when he stops crapping his pants,” but now fathers play a big role in everything and many of them take what I imagine to be some very troubling video footage. It’s always fun to hear fans discuss topics like this, because all they care about is their team. Even the ones who say they think Tillman should be with his wife are doing so to hear themselves sound dignified and progressive. Get them alone in a room on Sunday night and wait for Tillman’s replacement to get beat for a TD. See what they think. My position is that athletes should try their best to have their kids during the off-season. Not necessarily so they don’t miss a game, but so their wife isn’t home with the kid on a solo mission for the first 6 months. Even if Tillman misses this game, he’s certainly not going to miss the next one. He’s not going to be missing practice. He won’t regularly be home until January or February. You can’t always plan these things out, though, so if you are an athlete in an individual sport it goes without saying you do whatever you want. In a team scenario, it’s more complicated. I do think a player owes something to his teammates, especially if it is a big game, or a championship game. And, really, as a kid I would rather watch a video of my father playing in the Super Bowl on the day I was born than a video he shot of me coming out of my Mom’s lady place. Am I right?
Q: Do you think the iPad would be as popular if it ran on AA batteries? Every great gadget of my youth required batteries? Tandy Football, Akron, OH.
A: I think it would have to be less popular, at least by a little bit. The money you’d spend in batteries would be astronomical. Of course, I imagine some families now spend hundreds of dollars a year in electricity charging all their Apple crap. A lot of my electronic toys took batteries as well, the king of them all being Game Boy. I can’t remember how long a Game Boy would last on four freshies, but it was NEVER LONG ENOUGH. There was nothing worse than being hunkered down in the backseat during a long drive, locked in an epic game of Tetris, only to have the screen start crapping out on you. It didn’t just go blank, either. It had to taunt you. It would fade. Random lines would come across the screen. It was torture. You had to be TOUGH to grow up in the 90s, I tell you. Anyway, I had one toy, an RC car, that was rechargeable. It was awesome. Problem was, a charge lasted about 12 minutes. I had a longer attention span than that in those days. Now, it would be perfect, but then–a bit disappointing. So, it’s nice rechargeable batteries have come a long way. Otherwise, Apple might not be trading at 550, and we’d have entire landfills full of batteries.
Q: At what percent capacity do you think you operate at when you have to badly go to the bathroom and you are holding it in? I mean, just an overall rating. Factor in motor skills, attention span, general creativity–whatever. Whell Hydrated, Valley Forge, PA.
A: Interesting question. There are different categories of holding it in, though, aren’t there? At one end you are hardly uncomfortable. You drive by the sign that says, “Next Rest Stop 42 miles,” and you laugh. NOT A PROBLEM. I might even get a bit full of myself and take another sip of this Coke. But it can quickly escalate. At certain times you’re at the point where you will pretty much let it happen anywhere–as long as it isn’t in your pants. Way down at the bottom of the scale I think you are operating at a pretty high level. Probably upwards of 95%. You are a little distracted, perhaps, but can still focus. The more dire the situation becomes, the less operational you will become. I know I’ve been out on the golf course in some tough situations and let me tell you–the game can suffer. The three putt bogey on nine doesn’t feel as bad when you get some relief in the halfway house john. Of course, at some point, survival mode kicks in and you are back operating at 100%–if not higher. It’s all adrenaline. You are hyper-focused. If someone put a Good Will Hunting equation on the bathroom door you could probably solve that bitch on the way in if it meant access. That’s only in extreme cases, though.
Q: Isn’t it nice that the NFL has settled back in this week with an atrocious game for Thursday night? I’m sure the Jags/Colts will dominate the ratings, but why? Surely there are better options. Tom Haverford, Pawnee, IN
A: There are better options, you simply cannot bet on them–at least not efficiently, and so the NFL will win the night as it always does. It doesn’t particularly matter which teams are playing. The NFL could expand tomorrow, put out two you’ve never heard of, and everyone would still be watching. Assuming there was a line and at least a player or two with fantasy upside. People watch NFL games knowing the product is going to be mediocre. It’s the greatest trick the league has pulled off its ascent to domination. That said, the game tonight could be worse. The Jags could be playing Cleveland.
Thursday Night Picks:
Nichols, 25-20: Indianapolis (-3)
Big Dub, 23-20-2: Jacksonville +3 over Indianapolis. You should never back a bad QB, but I’m going against that in this spot. The last time the Colts had an emotional win at home they had that comeback against the Packers. They proceeded to go on the road and lose to a terrible New York Jets team. This time around they are coming off an emotional win against the Dolphins and now have a short week to play a terrible Jacksonville team. I’ll roll with the short week/emotional-letdown theory. Also, I think the Colts have been outscored by about 50 points despite being 5-3. I take that to mean their games are close so I’ll take the points whenever I can.
*Rest of the NFL Picks will be up later than usual, Friday evening or Saturday AM.