Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

I’ve been wanting to write about both of these guys for a while now. So, consider it a double treat.

By popular request, here I am Tebowing for the strength to write this post.

Tim Tebow: Just let it ride, y’all.
I’m pretty sure that I’m a Tebowmaniac. No, I’m not convinced that he can lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. Frankly, I don’t know if he could lead the Broncos to eight wins. However, I firmly believe that he belongs in the NFL, and this “thing” that he’s currently doing (It’s like snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, but more like actually going down the throat of defeat and yanking victory out of defeat’s esophagus) is working, whether I want to admit that or not. People talk about the “it” factor in sports often (probably too much). Somehow, Tim Tebow has been able to get his teammates, the city, and the most polarizing sports pundit in America to believe in him. That’s remarkable.

You may be surprised to know that Aaron Rodgers has 31 touchdown passes against just four interceptions this year. Or that there are four quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 3000 yards already this season. None of this has really mattered since Tim Tebow has entered the equation. I can honestly admit that his “classic quarterback” pedigree is nearly nonexistent. He’s not an accurate passer. Only Taylor Martinez has a worse throwing motion (probably on the entire planet). As a matter of fact, the reason why he runs so much (and has the 7:1 TD:INT ratio) is because he rarely throws it. Even with his success and popularity, it seems that the Broncos are still hoping to find a front-line quarterback in next year’s draft (Of course, you can’t convince me that John Elway knows what he’s doing yet, Von Miller not withstanding). It’s not fair to mention Tebow’s success without pointing out his shortcomings.

Even with his shortcomings, (and the notion that he did not “earn” the starting QB position in Denver) he is still the most discussed player in the NFL right now. The fascination with Tebow has carried over from college, and because the NFL is so popular, Tebow has infiltrated the mainstream. Peter King shared an email that he got from a guy who overheard two other guys in London arguing about Tebow’s merits as a quarterback. After Thursday night’s game, I posted this on Facebook:

Here’s my thing on Tebow: He’s the outlier. He can’t hit open receivers, his throwing motion looks like a root canal I think, but he makes things happen. No rhyme or reason. BUT WE DON’T NEED ONE. Just let the good, really unbelievable times roll.

I followed that up with this:

People spend so much time talking about how he can’t throw. Or how bad he looks out on the field. Or how they would be offended if they only threw 8 passes in a game (SHUT UP STEVE YOUNG). Sometimes, there are things you can’t explain. I’ve been watching football for 20 years, and I sure as hell can’t explain THIS. So…I won’t. I’ll just watch and spaz out on Twitter when Tebow does what he did in the fourth quarter tonight.

I’m not saying that you should do exactly as I have (though the world would be a better place if you did!) when it comes to Tebow. But whether we like it or not, this Tebow wave will last for as long as he’s in the NFL. Instead of letting it affect your blood pressure, just let. It. Ride.

Dabo Swinney
I’m going to put it on the table, folks: Dabo Swinney is my favorite coach in any sport. Ever. That is pretty delusional coming from someone who roots for the Gamecocks. (But Clemson is our RIVAL, right? Well, “they’ve” beaten “us” almost twice as many times as “we’ve” beaten “them”…so it’s really difficult for me to really have any hatred toward Clemson.) Here’s a little trivia about Dabo: His real name is William Swinney. He got the name “Dabo” from his family because his brother was trying to say “that boy”–but apparently “Dabo” came out instead (and yes, I got that from Wikipedia, so I “know it’s real”).

I’m not sure what the general consensus on Swinney is. Opinions seem to range from “he’s a bumbling idiot who’s nothing more than a glorified cheerleader” to “he’s only good because he has Rob Spence as an offensive coordinator!” Three thoughts here:
1. Swinney majored in business administration at Alabama, and was on the All-SEC Honor Roll team in college.
2. The Tigers were in the ACC conference championship in 2009. It’s not like they suddenly got good.
3. Sure, we’ve seen Happy Dabo. Even more than once. Is this really supposed to be a bad thing?

I’m sold on the guy. This is really cliche, but Clemson really seems to take on the personality of their coach. When they’re playing well, they’re full of energy. It’s almost like they come in an unstoppable wave. At the end of the game, there’s Dabo saying something that will get you fired up (or at least that’s the intent). Maybe I’m just used to Mr. Fidgety I Usually Hate What My Team Is Doing (Steve Spurrier). Maybe I’m easily influenced. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, I think it’s time that you should start appreciating him. He’s a breath of fresh air to the tight-lipped coaches that are full of football speak.

(Of course, if this Daboslurp I’m pulling results in a Gamecock victory Saturday, then I’ll do this every year.)

How are Tebow and Dabo related? Well, most of their detractors are convinced that both are all hype. Also, I seem to work myself up in a pretty good lather whenever talking about either individual. Also, they’re white men who have mentioned Jesus in postgame interviews. That’s four things! So, obviously this post makes complete sense! I’m sure that your minds are already made up about either guy. But it’s nice to see another point of view…every few years or so.

What are your thoughts on Tim Tebow? What about Dabo Swinney? Do you think that either person will ever be properly evaluated by fans/journalists/critics?


As if this football season could not get any more zany, my brilliant plan to prove that my fiancée (Boom! don’t get to use that much) was better at NFL picks than yours truly…actually worked. Who knew, right?? Even with the “help” of Football Outsiders, Scouts Inc., Bill Simmons, Chad Millman, my Magic 8 ball, and the Football Gods, I still tied The Lady in total picks correct with 123 (Which is an average of, gulp, 7.4 over 17 weeks. We’d win the NFC West, suckas!!). Of course, this revelation makes my mini celebration seem…false. I think The Lady sums it up best:

I’m actually really surprised I’m even writing this, because Jordy had pretty much claimed victory this past weekend. Even though I had bitterly accepted my defeat, I decided to log on to see how bad my loss was. And we were tied!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOM. I know very little about football. I was halfway through high school before I realized that they switched sides of the field that they ran towards. And I was in marching band, so I had to sit through a lot of games. So, yeah. I don’t necessarily think I’ll win, but my mini-victory dance upon tying him provides me with enough satisfaction… for now.

As a result, we are in sudden death (in memory of the simple days of NFL overtime rules) mode. Whoever gets more picks right this week will win the dinner date. If we tie, then…it’s on to the next round. I’m sure the Football Gods want us to be battling up to the Super Bowl in some weird test of our love. Anyway, I’ll give my picks below, with The Lady’s takes right below each of mine (because after all, this is still a man’s world). So, here we go…again!

SEAHAWKS (+10.5) over Saints
Dammit, I’m driving this Seattle bus into the GROUND, (probably) but I’m gonna DRIVE IT. Qwest Field is tough. Yes, the Saints are the defending champs, but haven’t we seen them all have a violent crash and burn at some point? Guess who was second in the league in interceptions thrown this year? Drew Brees! Guess who plays surprisingly well against the big blitz (something the Saints love to do)? Matt Hasselbeck! Honestly, I don’t even consider this an upset. These birds will at least cover.

The Lady’s Take: Saints (-10.5). It’s almost always been my rule to pick against any spread that’s over 10 points, but I’ll go against that this time. I’m not sure how good they are this season, but I think God might still owe New Orleans a big one for the whole Hurricane Katrina thing. Also, if I remember correctly, Frasier’s dad frequently complained about the Seahawks sucking. Obviously, television is the true mirror of reality.

COLTS (-3) over Jets
The “Peyton Playing in Primetime” theory burned me badly when the Colts hosted the Chargers earlier in the season (and with this theme song, how could I ever pick against the Chargers??). But the Colts started stopping the other team from running the ball, and Peyton Manning will “get his.” (What the hell does that mean anyway?) As for the Jets, I’m done with them. I definitely just made this up, but I think that both “New York” (THEY PLAY IN NEW JERSEY) teams will be plagued by the Jersey Shore Curse. As long as that show stays relevant, neither the Giants nor Jets will win a title. Take it to the bank. And, if I’m wrong…uh, don’t take it to the bank.

The Lady’s Take: Jets (+3). Rex Ryan is awesome (foot fetish or no), and they were on a tv show this year, which means they’re cool. I really liked it when he yelled at them for ten minutes, and then suggested they go get snacks. That is the stuff winners are made of, or at least that’s what my dog Daisy would say, if she could talk. Also, the Mannings kind of annoy me. Ever since NPR did a story about some children’s book they all wrote, they just seem “holier than thou” to me.

Ravens (-2.5) over CHIEFS
I really went back and forth here. As much as I thought that KAN-SAS City(!!) had a great chance to win this game, (they average nearly a yard more per rush than the Ravens) I realized:
1. The Chiefs looked really bad Sunday.
2. Todd Haley is, um, not the “best” coach (maybe just the opinion of one…but whatever)
3. Have you checked the recent (there’s not much, but still) playoff history of the Chiefs? Not good!
I also have an affinity for teams that wear black pants. The Ravens do that for all their road games. Say what you want, but it’s important to try to look good when you’re on the field. At least that’s what I tell myself. And, uh, I don’t actually play on the field. Once again, great insight from yours truly!!!

The Lady’s Take: Ravens (-2.5). I have no clue, but naming a team the Chiefs sounds kind of racist. Ravens are cool I guess.

Packers (+2.5) over EAGLES
So, Andy Reid trades away Donovan McNabb, throws Kevin Kolb (the heir apparent) under the proverbial bus, and Vick Doggy Dogg is the guy that leads Philly to a title? I mean, really? I just can’t accept this fate!!! I

No matter what he does, this will be my endearing image of Andy Reid

don’t really believe in the Packers. However, I think they’re better than the Eagles. And, um, that’s what matters, right? The Philly fans will check out as soon as the Eagles even show a hint of looking tight. And they have a really good team! And someone wrote that this Michael Vick Experience just could not actually end well. I think he really needs to be right about something. But hey, what do I know?

The Lady’s Take: EAGLES (-2.5). I’ve heard Michael Vick’s name dropped a lot. And I’m pretty sure Barack Obama said something about him, or at least that’s what the Yahoo! news headline looked like. I didn’t actually read the story.

So, there you have it. It’s obvious that we have very different views, so this picks challenge will finally get to the climax this weekend. It’s been a lot of fun pretending to actually offer insight on the NFL in picking these games, and even if I win or lose, I’m committing to offering plenty of commentary throughout the playoffs. OK, I hope to offer commentary.

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.

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

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 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


“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

Breaking news: I’m a little into football. OK, you’ve been warned. You’re welcome!

I thought about doing a blog with my “thoughts” on the past weekend in college football. But, since it’s

Yeah, yeah. Important college football game in September, blah blah blah.

already Wednesday, I’m sure that you’ve taken the time to actually get a recap from “professionals” who are “actually paid to provide opinions on college football.” So, anyway, no “extensive” college football talk this morning.

There’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20 years of watching football: You can’t really predict anything. Sure, there are trends, loads upon loads of statistical data, and that terrible thing called “a gut feeling.” When it comes to picking NFL games, (especially when the spread is involved) you’re likely going to over-think the entire process, which will result in you making ridiculous choices (like taking New Orleans at -6.5. Obviously, you could look at the fact that the home team in the Thursday night opener usually wins, and wins convincingly. But! Did you watch that NFC Championship game? Wait a minute. Here I am, over-thinking).

Since the important thing to remember here is that this is only a game, it’s important to make things fun. Well, what’s more fun than challenging your girlfriend to a pick ’em challenge? Before you go screaming, “That’s not FAIR!” let me give

See, if they had done NFL picks together, Al and Tipper wouldn't be divorcing each other!

you some background:
1. We’ve filled out March Madness brackets three times. I’ve lost all three.
2. On more than one occasion, I’ve lost to my girlfriend in H-O-R-S-E. Yes. Insert “you call yourself a man?” jokes here.
3. When I asked her if she wanted to do NFL picks against me, she laughed and said, “Why do you keep wanting to be emasculated by me?” (OK, she didn’t say that. But she could.)
So, obviously, this is a mismatch. As in, I probably have no shot. But that’s why they play the game! You never know! We’ll go all 17 weeks, with the tiebreaker being a fight in a UFC cage slapping contest (that’s legal in South Carolina, you know). Anyway, here’s a look at our Week One picks:

Background: We’re picking games against the spread. Which means…even if the Vikings lose tomorrow night, as long as the lose by less than 6.5, (which obviously, half points are not possible) I still made the correct call. You can go ahead and pull your hair out so I don’t have to; I’d appreciate it!

(Home teams in CAPS)
-Me: Minnesota, Miami, Detroit, TENNESSEE, NEW ENGLAND, Carolina, (I guess this is the upset special?) Atlanta, Cleveland, JACKSONVILLE, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Green Bay, ST. LOUIS, Dallas, NJ JETS, (yes, you may notice that they play in New Jersey) San Diego.
-The Lady: Minnesota, Miami, CHICAGO, Oakland, Cincinnati, Carolina, PITTSBURGH, Cleveland, JACKSONVILLE, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Green Bay, Arizona, Dallas, NJ JETS, San Diego

We have our picks up on ESPN’s Pick Em page if there is any doubt that we are being honest. I’ll post the picks on an entry before the games are played each week, as if that matter because this could turn out to be quite epic. If you want to see how you stack up against us, you can join by doing one of the following:

-Go to the ESPN Pigskin Pick ‘Em page, search for and join the group “Le Battle Royale!”
-Leave a comment here or e-mail me, (tbfilesblog[at] and I’ll send you an invite
-Leave a comment each week stating that you got all your picks right. Who am I to try and argue?

So, be on the lookout throughout the season as I finally try to beat my girlfriend at something. Unfortunately, I really mean that.