Archive for October, 2010

True story: I actually have written about 17 posts this month. However, since I have an incredible ability to not finish things that I started, you’ve only seen about…two of them. Anyway, you may be surprised to know that I’m a fan of basketball. My “sports power rankings” would probably look like this:
1. Baseball
2. Football
3. Basketball
4. Tennis
5. Hockey

When it comes to sports leagues, my power rankings are something like this:
1. NFL
2. NBA
3. MLB
4. NCAA Football
5. NCAA Basketball

Why does any of this matter? Well, it really doesn’t. I suppose that I’m trying to qualify myself for writing about the upcoming NBA season. In case you haven’t heard: the Miami Heat got some new players this off-season, Phil Jackson returned to the Lakers, no major star got arrested this summer, and people suddenly realized that Kevin Durant is a good basketball player. Anyway, while I know that there are plenty of other, more reputable outlets available to get an NBA preview for this season, there should only be about five questions you should be asking this year. That is, if you actually care about the NBA as much as it cares about you. So, let’s get right to it!

1. How good will the Miami Heat be? Seriously!
On paper, Dwyane Wade the People Who Took their Talents to South Beach look to be a juggernaut. They’ll be featured on national television twice this week. ESPN has The Heat Index, which is probably the most blatant ass kissing attempt in the history of the Internet. There are plenty of new Heat fans popping up, and I’m sure

What's that? These guys play for the Heat now?!!?

not a single one of them could tell you the name of the arena “their team” plays in, or who Rony Seikaly is. Hell, there’s even a bar that will buy you drinks if the Heat lose a game this year! But will any of this matter? Quick, name the coach of the Miami Heat. Still thinking? Well, it’s Erik Spolestra. Does that name give you any confidence? Didn’t think so. Look, I’m not saying that he’s a bad coach. But if you were to take a glance at the last 15 NBA championship winners, you would see that all of the teams had a proven coach. Maybe Erik Spolestra joins those ranks this year. But if that doesn’t happen, you really should not be surprised.

 

2. Who will be the worst team in the league this year?
This question is only asked because saying “Cleveland!” would be too easy. Although, I think that they lost one of their key players, as well as the head coach. Not to be outdone for woefulness, you have teams like Memphis, (Rudy Gay is paid now, and are you really looking for consecutive good years from Zach Randolph) New Jersey, (they’re trying to trade the GUY THEY DRAFTED THIRD OVERALL THIS YEAR to get Carmelo Anthony)

Hey Kings fans: Chris Webber is not walking through that door. Le sigh.

Toronto, (it’s Canada, guys) and Sacramento (can you name three guys on their team without cheating?). Also, there is bound to be at least one team that won’t be as good as people think they will be. So maybe, just maybe, the race to the bottom will be as riveting as the race to the top.

 

3. What will I watch or do to pass the time when the NBA has a lockout next year?
Yes, there is a relatively good chance that there will be a lockout in the NBA and the NFL next year. So, I hope you guys like college sports and/or soccer! I wish I were joking. NBA commissioner David Stern wants to cut salaries by $800 million dollars. And honestly, can you blame him? USA Today has a database of the top 25 salaries in the league last season. Are these the top 25 players in the league? You answer should be, “Hell to the nah!” Now, none of those players came up with their own contract(s), so much of the blame can be given to team executives as well. But still, there are plenty of guys making way more money than they should be. And until the NBA is able to figure that out between the owners and the player union, (and they’re nowhere near close to doing that) the possibility of a full NBA season next year is pretty bleak. So, enjoy this “most anticipated NBA season ever” while you can. No, seriously.

4. Is there still a Western Conference in the NBA?
OK, so that’s a bit of a stretch. But let’s think about it: the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and even the Chicago Bulls are considered legitimate “contenders” this year. All of those teams are in the Eastern Conference. Also, Carlos Boozer and Amare’ Stoudemire moved to the Eastern Conference. Moving West, do you really trust the Thunder? Am I the only one who remembers that they were an eight seed last season?

Your Western Conference champions?

Dallas? Well, I guess that anything is possible…but still. Not very likely. Yes, there’s Utah and Portland as well, but do you see either one of those teams actually beating the Lakers in the playoffs? No, you don’t have to answer that question.

 

5. What are your predictions for this NBA season?
I thought you’d never ask!
-MVP: Kevin Durant
-ROY: Blake Griffin (I mean, that’s not much of a stretch)
-Defensive Player of the Year: LeBron James
-Coach: Flip Saunders
-Eastern playoff teams: Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Washington, Milwaukee, Detroit
-Western playoff teams: L.A. Lakers, Utah, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Dallas, L.A. Clippers, Denver
-NBA champion: L.A. Lakers. As Ric Flair will tell you, to be the man, you gotta beat the man. I’ll believe that another team will win the title when I see it.

If these predictions are wrong, let’s pretend that this post never existed…OK? Thanks.

Quick hit NFL Week 6 picks

Posted: October 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Because my girlfriend is a superb lady, she agreed to battle me in NFL picks this year. Each week, I’ll present some sort of explanation for our picks, and at the end, the winner gets dinner from the loser. And no, I don’t like my chances.

I’m not going to use “I’ve been busy” as an excuse, but I’ve been really busy this week. As a result, no 55,000 word post on my picks this week. Besides, after going 4-10 last week…do you really think I have anything relevant to say about the National Football League at this point? Anyway, here are my Week Six picks: (as always, home team in caps)

BEARS (-6.5) over Seahawks
PATRIOTS (-2.5) over Ravens
Lions (+10.5) over GIANTS
Falcons (+1.5) over EAGLES
Chargers (-8.5) over RAMS
Saints (-5.5) over SAINTS
TEXANS (-4.5) over Chiefs
Raiders (+6.5) over 49ERS
BRONCOS (+3.5) over Jets
VIKINGS (-1.5) over Cowboys
Colts (-3.5) over REDSKINS
Titans (-3.5) over JAGUARS
Last Week: 4-10
Season: 36-40

The Lady’s Picks
BEARS (-6.5) over Seahawks
PATRIOTS (-2.5) over Ravens
Lions (+10.5) over GIANTS
Falcons (+1.5) over EAGLES
Browns (+13.5) over STEELERS
PACKERS (-1.5) over Dolphins
Chargers (-8.5) over RAMS
Saints (-5.5) over BUCS
TEXANS (-4.5) over Chiefs
Raiders (+6.5) over 49ERS*
*HOW IN THE HELL ARE THE 49ERS FAVORED IN ANY GAME AT THIS POINT? THEY HAVEN’T WON A GAME YET. EFF YOU, VEGAS.
Jets (-3.5) over BRONCOS
VIKINGS (-1.5) over Cowboys
Colts (-3.5) over REDSKINS
Titans (-3.5) over JAGUARS
Last week: 6-8
Season: 34-42

(Obviously, we’ve struggled a bit this year)

I’m not making any promises, but the goal is to throw out three random thoughts from the weekend that hopefully are original each week. Let’s just hope that I can make it to three.

1. Brooks Conrad: Le sigh.
You know the story by now: The Atlanta Braves stormed back from a 4-0 deficit in Game 2, and were hosting the Giants before a packed house and lots of foam tomahawks. Then Brooks Conrad happened. And by

He'd probably commit an error here too, if given the chance.

“happened,” I mean, “I’m pretty sure he’s being paid by Brian Sabean.” Conrad had three errors in the game, two of which led to runs for San Francisco. The final score: 3-2, Giants. Yes, he had two pinch-hit grand slams during the regular season, including one that made Joe Simpson pull the “rodeo card.” Yes, I’m a Braves fan, and I may or may not have said mean things about Conrad after the game. But! There’s still a game left, and Brooks didn’t put any of those guys on base. Also, the Braves still had a chance to at least tie the game in the bottom of the inning, even though they had to do it against Brian Wilson. Still, there’s another chance for Brooks to either be a hero tonight, or he will remain a very plausible scapegoat for a team whose overall defense slipped mightily in the second half of the year, and stopped hitting sometime in 2003.

2. Alabama: Making everyone prisoners of the moment.
Obviously, you may have heard that Alabama lost to South Carolina, 35-21 Saturday. For some strange reason, the question I was asked the most was where both teams would be ranked after the game. (Let’s be honest, I think only three people asked me. But hey, who’s counting?) I was certain that the Tide would fall no further than fifth. This was the same team that had won 19 in a row, had the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and a quarterback who had not lost since the eighth grade, right? Just one week ago, you could be convinced that Alabama was far and away the clear top team in the nation. Then Saturday happened. So, after that loss, while albeit a convincing one, Alabama is now the eighth best team in the country? And we’re still working with the premise that the SEC is the best conference, correct? And we knew that Alabama had a tough stretch of two road conference games in three weeks, all against ranked teams, correct? Are the pollsters really convinced that the seven teams in front of them are actually better than Alabama? But then again, it’s only Week 6. I guess that there’s plenty of time for things to get straightened out.

3. Because you didn’t ask: My top ten in college football.
Just to clear a few things up: No, I am not a pollster. No, this shouldn’t be taken (very) seriously. But, I’ve seen at least a portion of games played by the teams in this list. I also tried to consider opponents played, as well as…well, whatever, my criteria doesn’t really matter. I know that people will likely disagree, but this may or may not be an opinion. So, let’s calm down before you say, “OH MY GOD, HOW CAN YOU RANK THEM THERE?” So, without further ado:
1. Oregon (Only team in this list to beat another top ten team at the time. Also a win three time zones away in Knoxville)
2. Boise State (Every win except one by double digits, and, well, I liked those unis from the Virgina Tech game)
3. TCU (Only loss in the since last season happened to be to the team ranked above them)
4. Alabama (ONE loss in the last 20 games. And because there’s no way you’d say every one below would actually beat Alabama)
5. Ohio State (Plenty of double digit wins. But only one road game, and can you really trust the Buckeyes?)
6. Nebraska (All double digit wins. And Taylor Martinez is no Joe Ganz. Which is good, obviously)

Can someone give this guy a better name than T-Mobile, please?


7. LSU (Tell me you wouldn’t take Les Miles to a casino with you)
8. Utah (I don’t really like the defensive prospects of the two teams below, so, uh, yeah)
9. Auburn (We’ll see what they’re all about very soon, with games against LSU and Alabama all to come)
10. Oklahoma (Blew out Florida State, yes. But can you see them actually beating anyone above them in this list?)

I must say that I’m pretty surprised that I got through three subjects here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop one of these on a weekly basis. So, having said that, tune in next Monday!

Because my girlfriend is a superb lady, she agreed to battle me in NFL picks this year. Each week, I’ll present some sort of explanation for our picks, and at the end, the winner gets dinner from the loser. And no, I don’t like my chances.

Apparently, I turned a corner last week. I decided to go with “feeling” over “thought” for my NFL picks. And lo and behold, I went 10-4! This was easily my best pick ’em weekend ever. There was one time where I predicted an exact score for an NFL game, but I can’t seem to find that post (this really did happen). Anyway, I figured that I should let the good times roll, and keep picking on feelings. This week, if you’re looking for actual analysis on the games themselves, you’re probably at the wrong place. Without any further ado, here are my week 5 NFL picks!

(Home team in caps)

BILLS (+1.5) over Jaguars
Ladies and gentleman, it’s the 2010 Blackout Bowl, brought to you by George Bush’s failed po Greedy NFL People!! the

Trent Edwards. Say it with me, Bills fans: Le sigh.

Jaguars are used to blackouts, and with the putrid state of the Bills, I really don’t blame the fans for not showing up (Did it really take four years to figure out that Trent Edwards was not very good?). This game falls under the “We just had a big win, and we’re not going to be ready for the next one!” category for the Tim Tebows Jaguars. (Also known as the “trap” game) Or, I could just be insane for going with 0-4 Buffalo. Like I said, it’s all a feeling!!!

BENGALS (-6.5) over Bucs
I would say that I left the Carson Palmer Bandwagon weeks ago, but he may or may not still be on my fantasy team. While I’m well aware of Tampa (please be advised, Tampa is the city, Tampa Bay is a body of water—apparently the team and the NFL have yet to figure this out) being “OK,” after seeing how the safeties for the Bucs made Charlie Batch look like Warren Moon, I’m thinking that Palmer will be OK. And! Young teams (like Tampa) don’t do well on the road (I’m not counting their win in Charlotte because, well, whatever).

Falcons (-3.5) over BROWNS
Yeah, the Dirty Birds let me down last week (Speaking of which, where have you gone, Jamal Anderson?). I think they got confused from wearing the read helmets, and thought they had to suck as a result.

Yes, Posey was out. But, whatever...who needs the truth these days?

Anyway, I’m feeling that good karma from the Braves being back in the playoffs (bad calls by the umpire be damned) will help the Falcons. And by “help,” I mean, “at least get them to win by at least four points.”

LIONS (-3.5) over Rams
It’s the Sam Bradford Bowl! Had Bradford left school in 2009, he likely would have gone to Detroit. He stayed in school, and, well…guess who’s tied for first place in the NFC West?? This could also be called the No Respect (for the Rams) Bowl: The Lions  are riding a 2-34 streak, yet they’re a 3.5 point favorite?? Who does Vegas think they’re fooling?? (Me, apparently)

COLTS (-8.5) over Chiefs
“The Chiefs are 3-0, they must be for real,” read some story that I saw online this week. Well, you are what your records says you are. But, have you seen Matt Cassel play? It’s no longer a mystery why he never started at Southern Cal. And before you jump on that Kansas City bandwagon, (for this game, at least) please be advised that this game is in Indy. Remember in Week 2, when everyone was convinced that the Giants would go to Indy and beat up on the “wounded” Colts? Let me ask you, how did that turn out?

Packers (-2.5) over REDSKINS
If you had to guess which quarterback had the higher yards per attempt, (an “important QB metric”) would you guess McNabb or “The People’s Choice,” Aaron Rodgers? With all the ink Green Bay gets for their “weapons” on offense, you may be surprised to learn that it is actually McNabb. You may also not give a damn about YPA. Either way, it’s something you can annoy impress your friends with next time you’re talking sports. You can thank me later!

PANTHERS (+2.5) over Bears
The final Carolina drive last Sunday in New Orleans was actually quite memorable, albeit for one reason: It gave me the (so far) winner of “Best, unintentionally inappropriate line from an announcer on a football broadcast.” Daryl Johnston offered this beauty: “If you’re gonna go backdoor, you better make sure that they don’t have backside contain!” Had D’Angelo Williams not taken the “I need to be a hero!” route on that play, this quote is likely not possible. So there, my friends, is how a loss for one (the Panthers) turned into an epic win for everyone else. Thanks, D’Angelo and Moose!

Broncos (+7.5) over RAVENS
The Men of Josh (McDaniels) prevailed as road ‘dogs last week. Why not continue to let the good times roll??? El Neckbeard de QB is leading the NFL in passing yards. To be honest with you, this should not

Fear the beard!

be a surprise. HE WENT TO PURDUE!! And, um, Drew Brees went there too (So did Curtis Painter, but it’s OK if you’d like to pretend that he didn’t). But anyway, I think the Broncos are good enough to “keep it close” in Baltimore. Besides, Joe Flacco may have thrown a sweet TD to win the game last week, but that doesn’t mean he’s “arrived” yet. And, well, I have a good feeling about the Broncos!!!

TEXANS (-3.5) over Giants
So Arian Foster (by the way, shouldn’t his name make the list of “most unfortunate name for a non-white person”?) was benched for the first quarter against the Raiders for missing a team meeting earlier in the week. I know what you’re thinking, “NFL players get in trouble??” Well, I wonder what Kansas football coach Turner Gill would have done. His insane rules include collecting the players’ cell phones the night before the game (not returning them until after the game) and that players can’t be around a female after 10 p.m. I kid you not; this is an actual, honest rule that he has! Arian Foster would probably be cut for missing a meeting if Gill were the coach of the Texans.

Saints (-7.5) over CARDINALS
Max Hall? Maybe the Cardinals are hoping for Max Payne to show up at University

Hey Max, how good is your spiral? I might have another job for you.

of Phoenix Stadium Sunday afternoon. But then again, could Max Payne even play football? I should probably stop giving Ken Whisenhunt ideas. Here’s another idea: is Jake Plummer available? Maybe Jeff Blake, even?

Chargers (-6.5) over RAIDERS
Would you like to guess the crowd for the Raiders-Texans game from Sunday? If you guessed “in the 32,000 range,” you would be correct! (or you could have been looking at my notes–whatever) This makes me wonder” Do people in Oakland care about outdoor sports? The Oakland Athletics play in the Oakland Coliseum also, and let’s just say that crowds for those games are…sparse. The crowds at Oracle Arena (where the Warriors play basketball) are usually large and loud. I know that the Raiders have been terrible, but the A’s finished .500!!! So, what gives, Oakland?

Titans (+6.5) over COWBOYS
Chris Johnson apologized to his seemingly entitled fantasy owners and fans via Twitter about his “subpar” production thus far, saying that he’s still trying to adjust to “eight and nine man fronts.” Hey bro, that sounds like a personal problem! Speaking of fantasy, it never ceases to amaze me how many people complain about “their players” not doing well (players they have on their fantasy team(s)). You know, as if they play solely to help your fantasy team. Get over yourselves! Chris Johnson may not get on track this week, but the Ttians sure will beat this ridiculous spread.

49ERS (-3.5) over Eagles
I reserve the right to change this pick if Roy Halladay someone heals Michael Vick before Sunday night. Really. That’s the only chance that the Eagles have. Kevin Kolb has been shaky at home. Do you think that will suddenly improve on the road?? Three times zones away from Philly?? I think i will go ahead and call this game the C’Mon Son Bowl. Are you liking Philly’s chances Sunday night? C’mon, son.

Vikings (+4.5) over JETS
It’s the Brett Favre’s Penis Bowl! You’ve probably already familiar with the story, and frankly, I’d rather not talk about Favre’s genitals. (Although I will say this: Apparently Brett Favre did not pay attention to MTV’s ad campaign about sexting…it never ends well!) Anyway, I like to flip flop with the Jets. This week, the world is ready to go ahead and crown them. “Oh, LT looks energized!” “They’ll be getting Santonio Holmes back!” “The defense looks nasty!” Rule #1 In Sports (according to me): Great hype falls hard! I’m also feeling a “Favre will go bonkers game since everyone is focusing on his you-know-what” game Monday night. And, you know how I am about my feelings.

Last Week: 10-4
Season: 32-30

We’re BACK for the second half! In case you missed it, here’s a look at Part 1 of the NFL Mega Blog EN VIVO.

5:53 pm: Man, these halftimes are not as slow as they used to be! Just when I was finally posting part one of this post, McNabb is already running around. I can’t keep up!

5:56 pm: C’mon, announcers. You know if the QB gets hit hard enough, they’re likely going to throw a flag.

5:59 pm: Pam Oliver reported that Michael Vick is out with a rib and chest injury. Which is fine, except that this information was on Twitter about 20 minutes before Pam went on air with the same thing.

6:01 pm: Random, yet rather relevant tweet: “The speculation — and repeat, speculation — on Michael Vick is a hairline collarbone fracture.” (via @Adam_Schefter)

6:03 pm: Spotted: The Donovan McNabb Face. Just threw a Jake Delhomme bad interception in Eagles territory.

6:06 pm: Terry Bradshaw tells Joe and Troy to “keep up the good work.” I imagine that he wasn’t talking about today’s game.

I bet they're saying blatantly obvious things right now. Even in this photo.

6:09 pm: Running theme from the “famous returns to Philly” montage: Wow, everyone tried to get the hell out of Philadelphia!!

6:12 pm: Elvis Hobbs made a pretty good defensive play. Then he had a pretty offensive celebration with what looked like excessive mastrubation.

6:13 pm: Meanwhile, in San Fran, the Padres got plenty of runs in the first two games of this series. Now, with the season on the line? Of course, they have nothing so far. Hmm. A Padres player striking out, it seems. That "never" happens!

6:16 pm: Once again, number 71 (who happens to be Jason Peters) for the Eagles is called with a hold on Brian Orakpo. Why do I feel like this will come back to be relevant later?

6:18 pm: Two hours in, and the first mention of Albert Haynesworth! As if he just entered into the game.

6:20 pm: Best part of having a microphone on the center: Someone just yelled out “Oh shit!” once the ball was snapped.

6:22 pm: Troy Aikman says that Haynesworth has not been a factor in this game. Yeah, I think he’s watching a different football game than I am.

6:26 pm: Scoreboard time! Chargers 38, Cardinals 7. People may not be coming to the game, but that isn’t stopping the Chargers from whipping up on people.

6:28 pm: “The Redskins have been trying to pound it since they got off the bus,” says Joe Buck. Drink!

6:31 pm: Well, maybe we now see why Corn on the Kolb didn’t get his starting job back. Le sigh.

6:34 pm: Time for some Mike Shanahan Football!! As in, “let’s play ultra conservative and try not to lose.” Because, you know, that works all the time.

6:37 pm: Joe Buck mentioned that Clinton Portis was hurt “AGAIN,” as if he’s soft. Then the replay shows Portis’s ankle getting mangled. Who’s soft now, Joe?!!?

6:39 pm: Random, yet relevant tweet: “I could write a Weekly Andy Reid game management column. It never ends. I keep waiting for him to out source it.” (via @michaelombardi)

6:42 pm: Scoreboard update! Jaguars 28, Colts 21. Apparently these teams got word of my seven-for-eight start in NFL picks this week.

6:48 pm: Stewart Bradley would have made that INT had he not suffered a concussion in Week 1, then come back in the game anyway. Zing!

6:52 pm: These guys seem surprised that McNabb was inaccurate on that deep pass to Armstrong. Have they ever watched any of his games before?

6:56 pm: Joe Buck just referred to Kolb as Vick (drink!) when the pass was thrown. What game has he been watching?

6:59 pm: Oh, snap!!! Kolb with a TD pass to Celek. Two point conversion failed, (though, shotgun spread from the two yard line is not very smart, Andy Reid) now it’s Redskins 17, Eagles 12.

7:03 pm: So now, it comes down to Washington eating the clock, maybe even scoring, in order to win this game. You don’t like their chances either? Yeah, I figured as much.

7:07 pm: Troy Aikman grills McNabb for running out of bounds after getting the first down. Hey Troy, how many first downs did you run for?

7:09 pm: Back to San Fran! Brian Wilson’s beard and mohawk are epic. And he just got a strikeout to put the Braves in the playoffs! Let’s party like it’s 2005!!!

7:13 pm: Now…Kolb has to drive the Eagles down the field to win the game. With no timeouts. You don’t like his chances either? Yeah, same here.

7:16 pm: Ticky tack holding call keeps the Eagles alive. The refs want drama!!

7:17 pm: Booooo, booooo, boooo. Kevin Kolb looks so poised as he dinks and dunks it down the field.

7:19 pm: The Eagles just got their Boise State on!! And we will have a final play! Let’s see how they screw this up.

7:20 pm: Jason Avant played hot potato with a pass that was right in his hands. Because, you know, that’s what he’s supposed to do. Wait..what?

7:24 pm: Final score: Washington 17, Philadelphia 12. If Vick (drink!) actually has a broken collarbone, the Eagles are in trouble. But, guess who picked Washington in this game?!!? Yes, me. Thanks for reading, America!

Welcome back to the NFL Blog EN VIVO!! Strap yourselves in for a kind of live look at the NFL. As you may have heard, Donovan McNabb is going back to Philadelphia to play his former team. I guess that’s kind of a big

Oh, the good ol' days. When McNabb showed his inner Buckwheat.

deal. As always, these events occur in real time.

All times Eastern
4:01 pm: We are LIVE at the Not That Much of a ManZone Anymore. And Jon Kasay has seemingly not seen an ab workout in a while.

4:02 pm: “If you go backdoor, you better make sure they don’t have backside contain,” says Daryl Johnston. Drink!

4:03 pm: Daryl Johnston also blames this entire disaster of a final drive on D’Angelo Williams. It’s OK, Panthers fans. We beat the spread!!!

4:08 pm: This just in: Terrell Owens has some HUGE arms. But the Browns win, yet another pick I got right!!

4:10 pm: The Redskins have looked pretty awful so far this year. But…this is one of the biggest games of the year…in Week 4?!!? Hey, hype man, get a grip!!!

4:13 pm: Since I’ve been watching so much Teen Mom, I’m just not used to hearing “Plan B” and thinking, “Hmmmm, someone’s birth control failed!!”

4:14 pm: “The answer to that question has been answered,” says Joe Buck. Um, drink?

4:14 pm: “No quarterback has been playing better, or better yet, more dangerously at the position,” says Joe Buck about Michael Vick. I think Peyton Manning would have something to say about that.

4:16 pm: I think Joe Buck has said Michael Vick’s name about 41 times BEFORE THE FIRST SNAP. He also said “It’s been an overwhelmingly positive return for Donovan McNabb!” even though…the game had yet to start. That’s why they pay him the big bucks, folks!

4:18 pm: Since the announcers failed to mention this, I will. Vick was forced out of the pocket by none other than Albert Haynesworth! You know, the 100 million dollar slave.

4:21 pm: Meanwhile, the Redskins just scored a touchdown. Ryan Torrain laid down the shoulder on his way to “paydirt.” 7-0, Washington.

4:22 pm: In Atlanta, the Braves may or may not be in the process of blowing a five run lead, and any chance of getting into the playoffs. I may or may not have also contributed by changing out of my lucky Braves shirt, and into a Panthers jersey.

4:26 pm: I figure now is also a time to throw out a fantasy fail: Terrell Owens: 222 receiving yards, 46 fantasy points, hanging out on my bench. Would it be mean to cancel the league now?

4:29 pm: Back to Atlanta!! Billy Wagner in to save, the game, and the season, for the Braves. It’s pretty electric at the Ted right now.

4:32 pm: Wagner gets the strikeout. Braves win! 8-7. At the worst, there will be an extra play in game. I didn’t even need the shirt!

4:35 pm: Back to Philly! And it’s Mike Shanahan Football!! As in, “there’s no way you can have a Redskins back on your fantasy team because he’ll likely never get enough carries to matter.”

4:36 pm: McNabb with the TD pass, and a beauty, to Chris Cooley. Finally, Joe Buck with something that made sense: “A start that could not go any better for the Redskins.”

4:43 pm: The commentators won’t tell you this, but it looks like the 100 Million Dollar Slave is running around, getting involved in most of the plays here.

4:44 pm: I’m going to throw this out there, but I think that in the production meeting, they may have mentioned the importance of talking about Michael Vick.

4:49 pm: Well, out of about seven different holds to pick from, the refs call the one on the 100 Million Dollar Slave. And, in what could be a tragic twist of fate, Michael Vick is hurt?!!?

4:53 pm: So, if Corn on the Kolb comes in and plays well, does Andy Reid make him the starter again since

I knew that it'd be a good idea to keep this Kevin Kolb picture!

he’s got the hot hand? OH THE DRAMA IS ENGULFING ME RIGHT NOW.

4:58 pm: I officially added “anytime Michael Vick’s name is mentioned” to the Football Drinking Game. We may need a medic over here for my roommate as a result.

5:01 pm: McNabb with the bomb, and a beauty, for 56 yards to Anthony Armstrong. If you’re asking where plays like these were for the Skins in the first three games…obviously, they were saving this for the Philadelphia game!

5:03 pm: Question of the Afternoon: “Does the Redskins defense get extra points for injuring Michael Vick?” Well, I bet PETA would be happy if that were the case.

5:06 pm: Speaking of Vick, (drink!) according to Pam Oliver, he’s suffered a rib injury. Let’s face it: If those ribs are broken, this is Corn on the Kolb’s team again for the time being.

5:09 pm: In NASCAR news, Greg Biffle won a race you likely didn’t watch, and was likely attended by not many people. The Chase

You may not care for NASCAR, but I do. And this is my blog! And, well, get get it.

for the Cup: Catch the fever!

5:13 pm: If the Eagles end up looking awful in this game, maybe Vick (drink!) is the MVP.

5:17 pm: Hmmm, an offensive lineman, wearing number 71, gets called for holding Brian Orakpo. That sounds familiar!

5:20 pm: In San Francisco, the G-Men have a 2-0 lead on the Fathers in Spanish. A win for the Giants gives them the NL West, and the Braves the Wild Card. This live blog is multi-dimensional!!!

5:22 pm: LeSean McCoy seems to be hurt. Because, you know, injuries happen in the NFL. Whatever, bring on 18 games!!! I’m definitely all for more games. I could care less about more injuries and benefits for retired players. I DON’T PLAY IN THE NFL, I just watch it!!!

5:27 pm: Spotted on the sideline: Duce Staley!!! I’m surprised they don’t have him in the locker room feeding chips to Michael Vick (drink!).

5:32 pm: The Eagles look to be going for it. What predictable play will Andy Reid call here?

5:34 pm: “How can you have a delay of game call after a timeout?” asks Joe Buck. Hey Joe, do you know what game you’re calling exactly?

5:38 pm: Thank God for Mike Pereria. He explained that since this was a 30 second timeout, the play clock was “chopped” (whatever that means). Either way, now Joe and Troy can shut up on blaming the officials.

5:40 pm: We’re at halftime! It’s Washington 17-6. I’m just going to throw this out there, but I picked the Skins in this game. Right now, I’m a genius!!! I’ll be back with a new post for the 2nd half.

Because my girlfriend is a superb lady, she agreed to battle me in NFL picks this year. Each week, I’ll present some sort of explanation for our picks, and at the end, the winner gets dinner from the loser. And no, I don’t like my chances.

After three weeks of the NFL season, I realize that I’ve changed my opinion about the league in general about seven thousand times. I’m not really keen on season predictions, but I was certain that:
1. Matt Moore would be more than decent as the QB for the Panthers.

This has been the Matt Moore Era in a nutshell.

2. Michael Vick probably wouldn’t play that much this year.
3. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco would admit that they’re actually lovers.
So far, none of these things have panned out. But then again, that’s why they play the games…right? I’m not supposed to know what’s going to happen, right? Well, yes. But still. I’d like to know that my countless hours of football watching have resulted in something. Other than being that “guy who would know the answers to all the sports questions in trivia.”

What else have I been pretty wrong in? NFL picks!! I’m 22-26 through three weeks. Somehow, that’s tied with The Lady. I’ve decided to stop going with what I think will happen when it comes to these games. I’m now going to go with feeling. Because, you know, that should work perfectly!!!

(Home team in caps)
FALCONS (-6.5) over 49ers
Of course, there are obvious reasons that this is an easy pick (West Coast team with a 1 p.m. Eastern start, the 49ers are garbage, the Falcons play pretty well at home, etc.). While we’re on the 49ers…why do people keep saying that they played pretty well against the Saints? Really? A team with five turnovers played pretty well? The Saints have a mediocre defense when the game is close, yet the 49ers still weren’t able to win the game. And they were at home! You can buy into the “it was the offensive coordinator’s fault!” logic if you’d like, but that wouldn’t be very smart. So, please keep in mind: the 49ers are not good. The end.

Jets (-5.5) over BILLS
Try as I might, I can’t seem to be anti- J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! After they failed to beat Baltimore at home, I figured they were all hype. But lo and behold, they beat the Patriots by 14, and the Dolphins by eight. And Dirty Sanchez played well in both games! My goodness, the Jets might be all right after all!! And with a trip to Orchard Park on the horizon, at least Rex’s boys will be able to live the dream for one more week.

BROWNS (+3.5) over Bengals
I know, the Browns have yet to win a game. And Jake Delhomme will likely be starting again this Sunday. But did you see the Bengals last Sunday? Carson Palmer was something woeful. I have some other words to describe his performance, but I think that I would just come off as bitter since Palmer may or may not have been on my fantasy football team at some point.

*checks roster*Wait, he’s still there? Well, let’s just pretend I didn’t write the paragraph above.

Lions (+14.5) over PACKERS
I probably should have learned my lesson with the Lions last week, since Adrian Peterson decided to run wild and make that 10.5 point spread seem worth the trouble. But! The Packers have been erratic at best, and the Lions are pretty frisky. Also, would you want to block Ndamukong Suh? Better yet, wold you even want to try and spell that name? And besides, wouldn’t you consider the Lions a “not that bad” 0-3 team? C’mon, you know you want to.

Broncos (+6.5) over TITANS
Maybe this is more of a “thank you” to Kyle Orton for throwing for 476 yards in helping the Dixieland Stars and Bars (which may or may not be the name of my fantasy football team) win their first game of the season. I cringe whenever I see high spreads, especially for teams that are not “that” great. So what if the Titans beat the Giants by double digits? You know the Giants are terrible, right? You also know that, well, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about anyway. Let’s move on.

RAMS (-0.5) over Seahawks
The Seahawks won one game on the road last year. ONE! Not even Pete “I Didn’t REALLY Live With a Co-Ed” Carroll can help that. I don’t think. And yes, I know I said that I was picking games based on feeling.

That's right! The Rams are ready to...at least not get decked by the refs.

But if you combine Seattle’s woeful road record + the Rams getting their first win + weird things happening in October + I FEEL GOOD ABOUT THIS= you should believe in me believing in the Rams being 2-2 after Sunday. And making the NFC West super, duper wacky.

Panthers (+13.5) over SAINTS
Allow me to give my thoughts on the 0-3 start for the Panthers: Well, actually, I think this is a better description of my feelings on how things have turned out. At my barber shop, the Sports Illustrated preview of the Panthers talked about how a “low-risk” offense would be the key to the season. Well, I’m going to tell you what NOT low-risk: throwing the football 33 times in wet conditions with a rookie quarterback. Who was making his first start, mind you! You cannot be serious!! Anyway, the Saints can’t stop the run. There may or may not be two stud running backs playing for Carolina. Even when the Saints were great last year, the Panthers were able to beat the spread in both meetings. Zing!

Ravens (+1.5) over STEELERS
I know, I know. It’s probably not very wise to pick against the Steelers, especially with the way they’re playing, and they’re playing at home. And it’s going to be OH SO PHYSICAL. I mean, not that football isn’t already physical…but still. I think the Ravens realize the wasted opportunities they had the last time they were in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers haven’t started 4-0 since the 70s (thanks, Sportscenter!). And..I like teams that wear black pants. Does that make me weird? Probably.

ALABAMA (-8) over Florida
A college pick! Yes, eight points is a lot for an SEC game. But it’s obvious that people will want to believe that because the Gators blew out Kentucky, and Alabama had to come back against Arkansas, then Florida should be able to knock off the Tide. But I have two rules when it comes to sports:
1. You can’t dance with the champ, you must knock him down!
2. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.
Even when Arkansas had a chance to finish off Alabama, they decided to dance around last week. I just don’t see Florida even getting the opportunity to do this in Tuscaloosa. You may recall how woeful they looked in the games before Kentucky. Also, until the top dog is beaten, you can’t really bet against him. Also, check who’s on Alabama’s schedule for next Saturday. Yes, they have to win this game convincingly in order to lose next week, folks!

Colts (-8.5) over JAGUARS
If Michael Vick can throw for three touchdowns against Jacksonville, Peyton Manning should be able to throw for about 30 of them, right? Do you remember when the Jags were good, and this was always a “statement game” against Indy? The Jags were just certain to feed off the home crowd (not that anyone comes to their games anyway) and beat the Colts. Well, I think the Colts haven’t lost in Jacksonville in quite some time. Don’t see that happening Sunday either.

RAIDERS (+3.5) over Texans
I noticed that I have a whole lot of road teams winning this Sunday. What happened to home-field advantage? Also, don’t the Raiders have one “did they really win that game?” win in Oakland each year, even over a “good” team? As for the Texans being “good,” well…I do realize that they beat Indy by ten in Week One. But, we obviously see that the Redskins might not be that good, and when they really had a chance to make a statement against the “reeling” Cowboys, they laid an egg. I’m thoroughly convinced that these are the “same old” Moo Cows (not that bad, but nowhere near good) until I see otherwise.

CHARGERS (-8.5) over Cardinals
I don’t wish to alarm you, and you probably don’t care anyway, but this game will be blacked out in San Diego and a 75 mile radius for the second home game in a row. For those of you who may not know, the NFL’s policy is that if the home team cannot sell all of the tickets for the game within 72 hours of the kickoff time, the game is blacked out in that city and a 75 mile radius. Now, you can agree or disagree with this policy, (as with everything sports related, I’m torn) but I’m still baffled that the blackout bug is hitting San Diego. How could you not want to go to a game, especially after listening to their super amazing theme song? The Chargers have been to the playoffs in five of the last six years. Playoff failures notwithstanding, they’re

LOOK AT THE CHEER BABES YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON, CHARGERS FANS!

“in the conversation” when it comes to elite teams over the past four or five years. And it’s always sunny in southern California!!! Anyway, if the Chargers can’t sell out, it’s proof that no NFL city is immune to fans saying home. Anyway, you could have about 500 people in the stands and still beat Arizona by more than nine points.

OREGON (-7) over Stanford
One lesson I’ve learned from watching so much sports is to stay away from the popular opinion. Great hype will almost always fall hard. Case in point: Stanford. They’re ranked #9 in the country after beating such stalwarts as Wake Forest and Notre Dame. Nonetheless, people are raving about “Jim Harbaugh football,” and the “physical presence they bring each week.” Well, apparently these people forgot that the game is being played in Eugene. That’s really all you need to know.

Redskins (+6.5) over EAGLES
I suppose this qualifies as an upset special. Yes, Michael Vick is suddenly the flavor of the month (and also the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, actually). But if you’re Donovan McNabb, you just have to win this game, right? Shouldn’t this be the week that you show everyone how wrong they were for trading you, and making the Philly fans boo the home team (although, that won’t be very hard to do)? Also, the about face that people are doing on Vick/Andy Reid must be giving them whiplash. Yes, I am a Vick apologist. And yes, I preach that great hype falls hard. So, the Eagles may very well win this game. But I feel like they won’t win it by more than six. So, there you go.

GIANTS (-3.5) over Bears
Wait a minute, the Giants are bad!!! Whatever. The “real” Jay Cutler may or may not have surfaced Monday night. Also, you may recall that Jay DC (Double Chin) has never won on Sunday night. Obviously, the best part of this game will be all of the shots of New York City that you’ll see. Now, here’s a little secret about the New York Giants (and Jets, for that matter). THEY PLAY IN NEW JERSEY. I’m sure that most of you savvy football fans were already aware of this, but just in case…it’d be wise for you to keep that in mind.

LeBron is an Idiot (+4) over RACE PLAYED A FACTOR
Well, this line is pretty self-explanatory. If race has played a factor in the backlash against LeBron James, how has it exactly? I have yet for anyone to give a reasonable answer for this. I don’t wish to bore you with more talk on the matter, but why can’t people just be upset over the fact that ESPN and the James camp stuffed The Decision down our throats, and that LeBron was a grade A douche for feeling the need to tell everyone on national television that he was “taking his talents to South Beach?” It’s not like anyone is actively wishing for you to fail (at least I don’t think). But if you thought that people would just be like, “Oh, good for you LeBron!” when you did things the way that you did, and when they didn’t, you decide to pull the oldest card in the book…then perhaps LeBron James should have gone to college after all. Maybe he would have learned that, you know, people are complex and have feelings.

DOLPHINS (+0.5) Patriots
By the way, I’d like to thank Vegas for such a horrible spread. Half a point? Really? What did I ever do to you guys to deserve such torture? I should probably know not to bet against Tom Brady in a pri—wait, that’s Peyton Manning. I should also realize that there’s probably no way that a “Bellicheck defense” will look bad in a third game in a row. But I’M NO LONGER OPERATING ON THINKING when it comes to these picks. It’s all feelings, baby!!!
Last Week: 8-8
Season: 22-26

The Lady’s Picks
FALCONS (-6.5), Jets (-5.5), Bengals (-3.5), Lions (+14.5), TITANS (-6.5), Seahawks (-0.5), Panthers (+13.5), STEELERS (-1.5), Colts (-8.5), Texans (-3.5), CHARGERS (-8.5), EAGLES (-6.5), Bears (+3.5), Patriots (-0.5)
Last Week: 7-9
Season: 22-26