Thursday, September 23, 2010

NFL PICKS - Week 3

Week 2 NFL Results: 6-8-2
NFL Results Season to Date: 12-15-5

Week 2 College Football Results: 2-2-1
College Football Results Season to Date: 5-4-1

Week 2 Mark My Words Results: 1-3
Mark My Words Results Season to Date: 2-4-1

Week 3 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

At New York Giants -3 Tennessee (Tennessee)
At New England -14 Buffalo (New England)
At Baltimore -10 Cleveland (Baltimore)
Pittsburgh -3 At Tampa Bay (Pittsburgh)
Cincinnati -3 At Carolina (Cincinnati)
New Orleans -3.5 At Atlanta (Atlanta)
San Francisco -3 At Kansas City (San Francisco)
At Houston -3 Dallas (Houston)
At Minnesota -11 Detroit (Detroit)
Washington -3.5 At St. Louis (Washington)
Philadelphia -3 At Jacksonville (Jacksonville)
Indianapolis -5.5 At Denver (Indianapolis)
San Diego -5.5 At Seattle (San Diego)
At Arizona -4.5 Oakland (Oakland)
At Miami -2 New York Jets (New York Jets)

Green Bay -3 At Chicago (Green Bay)

College Football's Top Five Games of the Week:

At Boise State -17.5 Oregon State (Oregon State)
Stanford -5 At Notre Dame (Notre Dame)
Alabama -7 At Arkansas (Alabama)
At LSU -9 West Virginia (West Virginia)
At Florida -14 Kentucky (Florida)

Mark My Words - Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

Indianapolis -5.5 over DENVER - Altitude or not, Denver sucks and Indy should be able to tear their defense apart with Denver possibly lacking their two starting CB's this week due to injury.

Green Bay -3 over CHICAGO - Chicago is 2-0, but has wins in a game that they should have lost to Detroit and over an extremely overrated Dallas team. The Bears are not in the same class as the Packers, even at home.

NORTHWESTERN -6.5 over Central Michigan - Butch Jones' high powered spread offense is gone. Northwestern's spread is reloaded for another year. I like the Wildcats in a blowout.

NOTRE DAME +5 over Stanford - Notre Dame has played the toughest schedule in the nation to date, and come up a bit short to date. Look for the new offense to start clicking and Stanford to get shocked in this one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NFL PICKS - Week 2

Week 1 NFL Results: 6-7-3

NFL Results Season to Date: 6-7-3

Week 9 College Football Results: 3-2
College Football Results Season to Date: 3-2

Week 1 Mark My Words Results: 1-1-1
Mark My Words Results Season to Date: 1-1-1

Week 2 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):
At Cleveland -2 Kansas City (Cleveland)
At Green Bay -13 Buffalo (Buffalo)
Baltimore -2 At Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
At Tennessee -5.5 Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)
Philadelphia -5 At Detroit (Philadelphia)
At Dallas -7.5 Chicago (Chicago)
At Carolina -3 Tampa Bay (Carolina)
At Atlanta -7 Arizona (Arizona)
At Minnesota -5.5 Miami (Miami)
At Oakland -3.5 St. Louis (Oakland)
At Denver -4.5 Seattle (Seattle)
At San Diego -7.5 Jacksonville (San Diego)
Houston -3 At Washington (Washington)
New England -2.5 At New York Jets (New York Jets)
At Indianapolis -5.5 New York Giants (Indianapolis)

New Orleans -5.5 At San Francisco (New Orleans)

College Football's Top Five Games of the Week:

Florida -14 At Tennessee (Tennessee)
At Michigan State -3.5 Notre Dame (Michigan State)
Iowa -2 At Arizona (Iowa)
Texas -3 At Texas Tech (Texas)
At Auburn -7.5 Clemson (Auburn)

Mark My Words - Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

Miami +5.5 over MINNESOTA- Brett Favre is looking old, and his receivers can't get open. Minnesota really needs newly acquired Greg Camarillo to step up as a lead receiver in Sidney Rice's absence. Miami has a worthy defense, and their Wildcat formation could negate the stout "Williams Wall" through misdirection and motion.

Philadelphia -5 over DETROIT - While Detroit's front four has gone from a liability to a strength this year, Michael Vick is a match-up nightmare. His ability to scramble and turn the corner will expose a weak back seven.

New Orleans -5.5 over SAN FRANCISCO - I know it's a road game on the west coast for New Orleans, but it's also on Monday Night with the Saints having over a full week's worth of rest following last Thursday's season opening win. I just can't see Alex Smith and the 49'ers scoring enough points to keep up with Drew Brees and his high powered offense.

Alabama -24 over DUKE - Let's see, possibly one of the best teams in the nation against one of the worst. I'm in complete shock that this line is only 24 points.

BBB (Blogging Big Brother 12) - "but I was really hoping to come into the Jury House and find out that Rachel was pregnant"

Heading into the third stage of the final Head of Household competition between Hayden and Lane, Enzo realized that he could be in a position where he would be left out of the final outcome of the game despite founding the Brigade. While Hayden had a deal in place with Enzo to take each other to the final two, Hayden worried about how Enzo's social game would play before the jury even though he did not perform well in competitions. Lane was leaning towards taking Enzo with him in the final two, but Hayden ended up winning HOH and ended up taking Lane. While Enzo was clearly disappointed that Hayden did not choose him, he handled being evicted with class telling Julie Chen, "I had such a great speech for the finale if I would have got there. It just didn't happen."

Back at the Jury House Britney arrived and informed everyone about how they had been played by the secret Brigade alliance. Rachel stated how she didn't see the Brigade's strategic plan, to which Britney responded, "The fact of the matter is for the first time in Big Brother history an undercover alliance made it to the final three intact." And just when you least expect to hear from the big dumb guy, Brendon quipped to Matt, "I thought it was four, what happened? ZING!!!," which put an end to Matt's bogus claim that he was the one who came up with the idea to form the Brigade once and for all.

The winner of Big Brother 12 really came down to the Jury Members live interrogation of Hayden and Enzo before the final vote. Specifically, Enzo put Lane on the spot and asked him if he really intended to take him to the final two in the event that he had won Head of Household as he had promised him. Apparently not wanting to offend Hayden (with whom Lane was directly competing against), Lane sidestepped the question and would not give Enzo a direct response. I don't know if the big man was drunk off of Natty Light or muscle milk, but Enzo was looking for a reason to vote for Lane after getting betrayed by Hayden. In an unrelated note (at least as far as Lane thinks), Hayden was crowned winner of Big Brother 12 in a 4-3 vote with Enzo casting the deciding vote in Hayden's favor.

Here are some final quotes from the house guests at the reunion:

-Lane on Matt lying about his wife having a substantial illness: "Make up a lie about your dog...don't make up a lie about your wife." (As a sidenote, Britney clapped in approval over this statement, not aware that Lane had compared her eviction last week to losing a good dog).

-Enzo, on Lane having acknowledging that he would have taken Britney (whom he has a crush on) with him to the final two over a fellow Brigade member: "That's why I won that POV, I had to win that POV because I knew...he was in deep, I knew he was in deep."

-Rachel on continuing her relationship with Brendon in Las Angeles over the possibility of staying in Las Vegas after the show: "I'll PROBABLY move to UCLA." (That wasn't exactly a firm commitment now, was it?).

-Britney on Rachel proclaiming that she might leave Las Vegas to live with Brendon: (caught mouthing by the cameras) "I'm - disgusted!"

As I expected, Britney won $25,000 for winning the vote as America's Favorite House Guest. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that we'll be seeing Britney in the future hosting some sort of television show like ET Tonight or even her own program on a network like E!, while Brendon watches in horror as Rachel stays in Las Vegas and goes on to pose in magazine like Hustler, Shaved or Playgirl.

And for the record, it was revealed that none of the Big Brother house guests previously knew each other coming into the house as had been rumored by the Saboteur. Anyway, see ya next summer bitches - WOO TEQUILA!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BBB12 (Blogging Big Brother 12) - "This is like a Texas bar wake up the next morning and your testicles hurt"

Last week we saw the four rather close knit contestants who remained in the house forced with the task of dwindling their group down to the final three. With Lane and Britney up for nomination, Britney lobbied Hayden to stay in the game by noting that she'd be a wise choice to take to the final two because she has plenty of enemies on the jury. She also had a plan in place with Brigade member Lane to eliminate Enzo from the game in the event that either of them won the Power of Veto given that the holder of that privilege would have been the sole member in the house with a vote to determine who got eliminated.

Unfortunately for Britney and Lane, Hayden won the Power of Veto. That forced Lane to run back to the Brigade with his tail between his legs as if he he had never planned to defect. Much to Lane's chagrin Enzo and Hayden decided to tell Britney about the Brigade alliance out of respect for her game and friendship so she would know why precisely she was being evicted in advance instead of being surprised. This did not go over well with pageant queen Britney, who broke down in tears due Lane having played her in developing a side alliance with her. Seeing Britney cry was obviously Lane's "Grinch gone good moment," as he responded in confessional by stating, "To see Britney hurt that bad was like one of my good dogs died - it crushed me." By that logic Rachel's eviction was akin to the emotion that Lane felt after he was forced to drown a golden retriever that he once owned because it was mentally challenged and ravaged by doggie herpes. 
P.S., all people from Texas are fucking idiots. And yes, that means you too Mathew MacConaughey.

Given time to accept the Brigade alliance, Britney ultimately made amends with Lane, Hayden and Enzo before leaving the house. Enzo even went as far to say to her at the Eviction Ceremony, "We definitely felt the respect to tell you about the BG this week so there was no playing games. We wanted to be dead up and honest with you. If Nick (Britney's fiance back home) wants to punch me in the face after this, he definitely can. I'll give him one shot - and that's it." Britney then moved on to her post eviction interview with Julie Chen. When reminded that she was off to the Jury House where she'd be reunited with rival Rachel, Britney made a bitter beer face and exclaimed, "OH GOD!"

Hayden, Lane and Enzo proceeded to the three part competition to see who would win the ever important final Head of Household. The first part was an endurance challenge where they had to endure pouring water as they were slammed back and forth into two walls lined with mattresses. Weak in physical challenges, Enzo quickly dropped out and fixed himself some pizza and soup as he watched Hayden and Lane wear themselves down. That turned out to be an epic battle that Lane compared to "a Texas bar fight, you get slammed from wall to wall, people pour alcohol (and) water on your head, and you wake up the next morning and your testicles hurt." Strangely, if you replace the word "hurt" in that analogy with "have warts on them," you just nailed Brendon's quote after his first night in bed with Rachel.

Hayden won stage one of the HOH competition shortly after Lane proclaimed, "I just ripped my whole ass!" This gave Hayden a free pass to the third and final stage of the HOH Competition against the winner of stage two in order to decide the final Head of Household. Lane ended up winning stage two by defeating Enzo in a contest to identify morphed photos of two Big Brother 12 housemates, pitting him against Hayden.

Back in the Jury House Matt informed his close friend Ragan that he had lied to the house about his wife having a serious illness. Much like Kathy Ragan was hurt, and he stopped speaking to Matt. Ragan also continued his verbal assault on Rachel. When she took exception to his assertion that she played a poor social game in BB12 Ragan stated, "You're right, the problem was with everyone else and not you. It was just magic that when you left the house that people stopped arguing."

Finally, we got to see some previously unseen clips in a boring recap episode last Sunday. Matt showed his freaky side in response to a clip of Kristen eating a spider on a dare when she was in the house by stating, "Level 1 - a chick eating a spider is awesome! Level 2 - a good looking chick eating a spider, super awesome! Level 3 - a good looking chick eating a spider totally unprovoked, that is the coolest thing in the world, they don't make chicks like that where I come from!" Somehow I think Matt and former Brigade alliance member Lane are going to end up getting a reality show road tripping to bars and strip clubs across the country so they can fight the boyfriends of hot girls and explore their deepest inner fetishes...which is a show that will end with either a kiss or an awkward touch in a cheap hotel room in a muscle milk, beer and spider venom induced haze.

Big Brother 12 Power Ratings - Each week I rank the Big Brother contestants based upon their power and vulnerability within the house. Here's how the contestants break down after week 9:

The Power Ratings are too close to call at this point, as they will come down to who wins the third and final stage of the Head of Household Competition between Hayden and Lane (to be revealed in the final episode). Hayden is the strongest competitor, and that could cause Lane to take Enzo with him to the final two in the event that he wins HOH. Enzo also has an agreement with Hayden to take each other to the final two, so he might not be in that bad of a position even though he is out of the running for the final HOH. With Enzo playing a strong social game and having come up with the idea to form the Brigade on day two, I wouldn't be surprised if he is the one who ends up winning BB12. I also like Britney to win the prize for America's Favorite House Guest that is determined via a public vote in a landslide.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Megatron is still my homeboy - How NFL officials screwed the Lions out of a week 1 win

I love this t-shirt so much, not only did I buy one, but I decided to give the guys at 313's Finest a free link

The officials working the Detroit Lions - Chicago Bears game in week 1 of the NFL season broke the hearts and spirit of plenty of Lions fans when they took away Calvin Johnson's (a/k/a Megatron) go ahead touchdown with just 24 seconds left in the game.

Officials insisted that they made the correct call because Johnson did not maintain possession of the ball "throughout the process of the catch."

Even though the national media overwhelmingly bought into that explanation, here's why I think the officials were wrong.

The 2009 NFL rulebook addressing player possession in Article 7 reads:

"A player is in possession when he is in firm grip and control of the ball inbounds. To gain possession of a loose ball (a live ball not in possession of any player) that has been caught, intercepted or recovered, a player must have complete control of the ball and have both feet completely on the ground inbounds or any other part of his body, other than his hands, on the ground inbounds. If the player loses the ball while simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground or if there is any doubt that the acts were simultaneous, there is no possession. This rule applies to the field of play and in the end zone."

Note 1 on Article 7 says that:

"A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by a defender) must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, it is a catch, interception or recovery."
The explanation that Johnson did not maintain control of the ball throughout the process of the catch provided by the officials is based upon the erroneous assumption that Johnson did not have possession of the football before he fell.

If you go back and watch the clip again, the ball was tight and secure in Johnson's hands as he established two feet on the ground. He did not go to the ground until he engaged in a football move by twisting and lunging forward.

Tight ball control and two feet on the ground is possession by definition. If Johnson had possession BEFORE he fell, which he clearly did, then Note 1 on Article 7, a/k/a the "in the process" provision, shouldn't even be a consideration.

Johnson's "catch" against the Bears was not the same scenario as a receiver who goes to the ground while dragging his feet or dives as he is in the process of securing possession of a pass, which is what I think Note 1 for Article 7 is referring to when it states that a player "must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground."

Johnson established possession by having "a firm grip and control of the ball" while touching "both feet completely on the ground inbounds" and taking another twisting hop step as he fell to the ground.

The only possible question of possession did not arise until after he hit the ground (but still maintained a tight grip), when he relinquished control of the ball as he rolled to an upright position in celebration of what he thought was a game winning score.

The officials who worked the Detroit - Chicago game continue to maintain that they got this call correct because Johnson did not "complete the entire process of the catch" by being able to hand the ball to the referee.

Yet by their reasoning the play would have still resulted in an incompletion had Johnson brought the ball down, established two feet in the field of play, done five log rolls as he fell to the ground, then lost the ball on his sixth roll because he did not maintain control "throughout the process of the catch."

NFL lackey Mike Pereira and the national media keep telling me that I need to be upset with the NFL rule and not the game officials if I don't like the outcome of this game.

I disagree. I think the rule is fine, I just think that the game officials completely misapplied it to the circumstances of this game.

Calvin Johnson had possession of the football by the NFL's own definintion before he ever fell to the ground.

Even when he did fall to the ground, he did not lose control of the ball while "simultaneously touching both feet or any other part of his body to the ground," as he reliquished the ball much later.

As a Lions fan, I would instinctually punch Mike Pereira in the face if I ever saw him walking down the street.

The officiating crew and the NFL talking heads both got this one wrong. Note 1 on Article 7 of the NFL rulebook (the notorious "in the process provison") should have never even have been in the discussion.

Now, if only we could go back to the glory days when officials actually respected the Lions:

(Sometimes I-I-I, I still see him when I sleep...and I don't, I don't sleep that much)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NFL PICKS - Week 1

Week 1 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

At New Orleans -5 Minnesota (Minnesota)

At New York Giants -7 Carolina (Carolina)
Miami -3.5 At Buffalo (Miami)
Atlanta -2 At Pittsburgh (Atlanta)
At Chicago -6.5 Detroit (Detroit)
At New England -4.5 Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
At Tampa Bay -3 Cleveland (Cleveland)
At Jacksonville -2.5 Denver (Jacksonville)
Indianapolis -2 At Houston (Indianapolis)
At Tennessee -6 Oakland (Tennessee)
Green Bay -3 At Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
San Francisco -3 At Seattle (San Francisco)
Arizona -4 At St. Louis (Arizona)
Dallas -3.5 At Washington (Washington)

At New York Jets -2.5 Baltimore (Baltimore)
San Diego -4.5 At Kansas City (San Diego)

College Football's Top Five Games of the Week:

At Notre Dame -4 Michigan (Michigan):
At Alabama -11.5 Penn St. (Penn St.)
At Oklahoma -8 Florida State (Florida State)
Oregon -12.5 At Tennessee (Oregon)
At Ohio State -9.5 Miami Fla (Ohio State)

Mark My Words - Here are the pro and college lines that I would put money on, and why:

Detroit +6.5 over CHICAGO - Detroit has a fresh infusion of talent to go along with their best coaching staff in the past fifty years. They are playing against an aging Chicago team that has turned to former Lions coaches in Mike Martz and Rod Marinelli, who presided over some of the worst offenses and defenses in Lions history. Detroit wins this one outright.

Minnesota + 5 over NEW ORLEANS - This was a close match up in the NFC Championship Game, and I don't expect anything less in week 1. While Minnesota has lost play making receiver Sidney Rice, New Orleans is hoping that Michael Jenkins can step in and replace Darren Sharper at safety who is out due to injury. The key to this one comes down to how sharp Brett Favre is without a training camp.

Penn State +12.5 over ALABAMA - Evan Royster can match the talent in the Crimson Tide backfield, while true freshman QB Robert Bolden is going to surprise some people this year for the Nittany Lions. I'm not saying Penn State will win, but giving them 12.5 points is way too high.

BBB12 (Blogging Big Brother 12) - "It's like Oprah's book club, only it's all about sexually transmitted diseases"

With Ragan and Enzo nominated for eviction it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Ragan would be going home this week unless he won the Power of Veto. The real story was establishing the pecking order of the remaining members of the Brigade alliance (Hayden, Enzo and Lane) heading into the final four.

Because Lane surprisingly put Enzo up for nomination instead of Britney, the Brigade began to question his loyalty. When Enzo won the POV and Lane yet again screwed over the Brigade by replacing him with Hayden and not Britney it caused Hayden to comment, "This is the second time Lane has nominated a Brigade member when he could have put up Britney - NOT COOL DUDE!...What the hell are you thinking?"

As expected, Ragan was evicted in a unanimous vote. With Ragan harboring no ill will towards those who voted him out of the house, Britney consoled him by stating, "I'm sorry you have to go to the Jury House and listen to Rachel's disgusting cackle," which she did a dead on impression of in off the air footage posted on the CBS website:


Speaking of the Jury House, we were treated to Brendon's reunion with Rachel as he entered the Jury House. While Rachel stated, "I want to be excited to see him, and I love him, and I want to jump on him and kiss him," she instead only managed to issue a subdued, "Yay - I'm glad to see you" without so much as even going over to embrace him as he entered the room. Matt revealed to the other jury members that his wife did not really have a serious bone disease as he lead them to believe, which earned him a scolding from cancer survivor Kathy when she said, "I don't care if it's for a million dollars, that is sick. It disgusts me!" Even Rachel called Matt "the most horrible person I've ever met" and "worse than evil," which is kind of like getting called disloyal by Sarah Palin.

At this point it's obvious that Hayden is aligned with Enzo and that Lane has re-aligned with Britney, although much to Lane's chagrin there's a better chance for a hookup between Hayden and Enzo than there is for Lane and Britney. Hayden ended up winning the Head of Household competition, although Lane and Britney could still evict Enzo if either one of the two wins the Power of Veto since the only house guest voting this week will be the one who is off of the eviction block.

Big Brother 12 Power Ratings - Each week I rank the Big Brother contestants based upon their power and vulnerability within the house. Here's how the contestants break down after week 8:

4. Britney - (previously #4) While Hayden and Enzo have at least discussed targeting fellow Brigade alliance member Lane for eviction instead of Britney, she will most likely have to win the POV in order to avoid leaving the house. I'm hoping that Britney finds a way to stay as I'd miss quotes like, "The slide was slippery, I don't usually go sliding on KY Jelly - believe it or not." She made that statement in reference to the Power of Veto challenge where the housemates had to go up and down a greased slide and bring back cards that they found to a show tune singing clam that Britney said "looks like he enjoys tap dancing lessons and playing the piano," and that Lane claimed looked like the Hamburglar (although I think he really meant Mayor McCheese). From the way that Britney and Lane described the Veto Challenge it sounds like it was exactly the way I envisioned the fine art scene in the greater Texarkana region...well either that or an episode of the TV show Glee, right down to the KY Jelly.

3. Lane - (previously #3) Lane totally got worked over by Britney again this week, as he let her convince him to put his alliance members up for nomination instead of her. While Lane keeps saying that his best chance of winning is by taking Britney with him to the final two, that's simply his way of justifying keeping her in the game since he has a crush on her. Britney has clearly outplayed Lane strategically and would probably beat him in the jury vote. Now Lane's loyalty is being questioned by Brigade alliance members Enzo and Hayden, which means that he's going to need to win some challenges just to make it to the end. Obviously, we've not been seeing the most brilliant strategy of late from Lane, but what do you expect from someone who summed up his odds of winning by stating, "I'm in the final four. I have a one out of - what is that - three chances or four? I get mixed up, do I count myself? Because I can beat myself, so do I count myself?" I think Hayden said it best when he stated, "Everything is big in Texas - except Lane's brain."

2. Enzo - (previously #2) Enzo's along for the ride with Hayden. While he can take credit for forming and naming the Brigade alliance, Hayden has been the strongest competitor in the game in terms of challenges. I don't necessarily agree with Enzo's proclamation that the Brigade is the strongest alliance in Big Brother history. Yeah, it's gotten them this far, but I'm still shocked that only one or maybe two housemates at best were able to sniff out and target an alliance that didn't even disguise the fact that they were spending all of their time hanging out together. Strategically this has to be the worst played game in Big Brother history, which kind of makes sense since there weren't as many creepy old people who like to strategize as there were in the past like "Evel Dick," "Mike Boogie" and Jerry.

1. Hayden - (previously #1) Hayden appears to be be in complete control of the game right now. Not only is he Head of Household, but he's been working Enzo, Lane and Britney to ensure that whoever escapes eviction would be willing to take him to the final two. Hayden wisely put Lane up for eviction against Britney, who was secretly planning to break off from the Brigade and evict Enzo if Hayden entrusted him with the sole vote to evict.