Thursday, October 27, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 8: "Because not even God will be able to help Tim Tebow this week"

Week 7 NFL Picks: 5-7-1
NFL results season to date: 52-43-7

Week 7 College Football results: 2-3
College Football results season to date: 13-17

Week 8 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Tennessee vs. Indianapolis (Tennessee, home, -9) The Colts porous run defense gives Chris Johnson the perfect opportunity to get on track now that he is slowly working himself back into shape after not diligently exercising during his holdout.
Houston vs. Jacksonville (Jacksonville, road, +9.5) Andre Johnson is a game time decision, Mario Williams is out for the season, and it looks like the Texans will also be without their two starting safeties for this game. The question is whether or not rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert will be able to exploit those absences for the Jaguars.
Carolina vs. Minnesota (Minnesota, road, -2) The Vikings actually looked markedly improved last week behind rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. Fellow rookie quarterback Cam Newton for the Panthers will face his toughest test yet in the pocket as he tries to avoid defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison for Minnesota.  
Cleveland vs. San Francisco (San Francisco, home, -9) The 49ers front seven should be able to shut the Browns running game down to minimal yards per carry, even if they do try to rush the ball thirty plus timea. If Cleveland is put in a position where Colt McCoy is forced to throw, and I think they will be, the Browns and their inept receivers will be in big, big trouble.
New Orleans vs. St. Louis (St. Louis, road, -13.5) It is looking as if Rams quarterback Sam Bradford will miss yet another game due to injury. If that's the case, look for the Saints to blowout the Rams just like they destroyed the Colts last week.
Detroit vs. Denver (Detroit, road, -3) Tim Tebow was handed an absolute dream scenario last week when he got his first start of the season against the imploding Miami Dolphins. This week will be an absolute nightmare for him as he goes against an absolutely nasty front seven for the Lions, who should be able to take away his running game and mis-direction screen passes and make him read their defense, go through his progressions, and throw the traditional NFL passes like the 10-15 yard out that most scouts agree he is incapable of making. I look for Detroit to shut-up all the Tebow zealots in the Mile High City once and for all.

I think Tim Tebow's mom taking this whole religion thing with her son just a little too far.
Baltimore vs. Arizona (Baltimore, home, -13) If the Cardinals could not hang close to the Steelers at home last week, I think they'll have an even harder time against the Ravens defense on the road this week. I also look for the Ravens to bounce back offensively after they shit the bed on a national stage against the Jaguars on MNF last week. 
New York Giants vs. Miami (New York Giants, home, -10) I don't see any possible way that the Dolphins can play with the Giants on the road. The Dolphins have apparently sent out feelers as to Bill Cowher's availability, which now marks the second time in one year that the organization has not so secretly sought out a replacement for coach Tony Sporano while he is still under contract. If I'm GM Jeff Ireland, I have to feel like I'm hiring my own hit man given that a coach like Cowher would obviously demand control of player personnel in addition to taking over head coaching duties.
Buffalo vs. Washington (Buffalo, home, -6) The Pigskins should be able to run against the Bills, but I just don't trust John Beck to do enough passing the football with a depleted receiving corps to keep Washington in this game on the road.
New England vs. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, home, +3) While both teams have terrible defenses, the Steelers have a surprisringly strong secondary. With a high powered offense of their own, I think that the Steelers will be able to keep pace with the Patriots at home, as New England lacks the pass rush to take advantage of the Steelers weakness at offensive tackle.
Cincinnati vs. Seattle (Seattle, home, +3) The Bengals have been much better than I ever expected, I just can't gamble on a rookie quarterback traveling across the country and giving points to a team that has been one of the better teams at home in the NFL over the past five or so years. If you don't believe me, just ask Drew Brees and his Saints how they fared against a clearly inferior Seahawks team on the road in last year's playoffs.
Philadelphia vs. Dallas (Dallas, road, +3.5) Dallas should be able to run the ball against the Eagles, which is probably the best strategy to neutralize their home field advantage. Look for the Cowboys defense to shut down the Eagles running game and make Michael Vick throw while moving backwards instead of running forward.

San Diego vs. Kansas City (Sand Diego, road, -3.5) Kansas City has brought themselves back up to .500 after an 0-3 start, but they have done so against three of the worst teams in the league. While Norv Turner, Phil Rivers and the Chargers seem to lack the killer instinct to be an elite team, they are still too talented not to beat the Chiefs convincingly, even on the road on a Monday night.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Nebraska vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, road, +4) Not only should the Spartans be able to establish their running game against the Cornhuskers, but their defense should be able to shut down Taylor Martinez and Nebraska's running game given their stout defensive line and speedy linebackers. The only wildcard in this game is Michigan State's first road trip to Lincoln for a Big1G game, but I still think that Sparty relies on their superior talent and beats Nebraska rather easily in this game.
Oklahoma vs. Kansas State (Oklahoma, road, -14) I just don't think that Kansas State has the defense to prevent Oklahoma's offense from scoring at will, which will make Bill Snyder's offense play a perfect game if they even want to stay close to the Sooners.
Georgia vs. Florida (Florida, neutral, -3) I think Gator quarterback Mike Brantley's return makes the difference in the World's Biggest Cocktail Party...Well, that and Mark Richt of the Bulldogs being one of the worst X's and O's coaches in all of college football. I have a strong feeling that Mike Peterson of Boise State is going to be getting a call from Athens shortly after the conclusion of this season.
Stanford vs. USC (Stanford, home, -8) The Trojan defense has given up far too many points to mediocre teams this season to convince me that they stand any chance of slowing down Andrew Luck and the Cardinal high efficiency offense.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blogging Survivor - South Pacific: "The next challenge is absolutely detrimental to the way this game turns out."

This week's episode began with Ozzy declaring that he was a "free agent" after members of his alliance went behind his back and voted out his closest ally Elyse. "It's 'against me' when you don't tell me something very crucial like that."

When Dawn shot back by saying, "Give me a break Ozzy, there's stuff you're withholding and you know it," Ozzy blurted out, "I have the idol, how 'bout that?"

In response to Ozzy's meltdown Jim said, "He revealed he had the idol and announced he was a free agent...the guy couldn't have made any worse moves." Cochran took things a bit further when he said that Ozzy was "behaving like a stupid bitch," which is kind of like the alpha male getting emasculated by an effeminate guy...only when I say "kind of like," I really mean that's exactly what happened...bitch.

At the Upolu Tribe, Russell's Nephew continued to look for the hidden Immunity Idol, not yet aware that his closest friend Coach had already found it. "I talked to (Russell's Nephew) about playing this game as Christian men, and we are going to do that, but is withholding information lying? It's a 'grey area.'"

I always thought that the "grey area" is the term that the Catholic church had officially reserved for any references to a twelve-year-old boy's butthole, but I guess it can be used anytime that one's religious beliefs conflict with their personal desires.

Is this "thumbs-up Jesus" or "thumbs-up Coach?" Either way, they are both down with the "grey area."

At the Redemption Challenge, sweet and pretty Elyse squared off against angry and bitter Christine in a game of shuffleboard.

Christine not only remained undefeated in Redemption Island challenges, but she also managed to flip-off the mustached cowboy hat wearing guy (which is a redundant statement, since all Cowboy hat wearing guys have mustaches), in what very well might have been his first real on camera appearance of the season...In fact, I'm not entirely convinced that mustached cowboy hat wearing guy isn't a just CBS crew-member who accidentally got on camera as opposed to an actual Survivor - South Pacific contestant.

The Immunity Challenge required the two tribes to navigate a maze, and then build a slingshot to shoot coconuts at targets. Savaii won when Mikayla shot one-handed as opposed to two-handed, and then refused to change her strategy even after missing all of her targets.

Mikayla's failure to listen to Coach's request to let someone else shoot in her place infuriated him. "It's Mikayla's fault we lost. I gave her direction and she wouldn't take it...If I'm going to Coach this team, I need for people in the heat of battle to listen to me. She's a problem, Mikayla should go home."

Of course, Coach's comments were just a wee bit arrogant given that he's not a real coach like ex-Survivor Nicaragua contestant Jimmy Johnson was, nor was he ever even asked to lead the Upolu Tribe.

In fact, while Coach started out strong in the game when he was able to dial down his ego a little bit, his true personality is really starting to come out in "the heat of the battle," which is ultimately going to lead to his downfall.

Sorry Benjamin, soccer doesn't count. Jimmy Johnson is still the only real "coach" to participate in Survivor.
At Upolu, the tribe wanted to vote out Edna except for Coach and Russell's Nephew. While Russell's Nephew declared that he no longer had any hard feelings for Mikayla (which is obviously not a statement meant to be taken literally), and that she was the better competitor than his alliance member Edna, it was due to his spirituality and word to his initial alliance (and not the fact that he's a registered sex offender) that was going to once again vote against Mikayla this week.

"I want to be a radical for God when it comes to doin' right, doin' good man. So I would rather vote Edna out of this tribe today, but I'm not going to because because I am my word."

Russell's Nephew seems to have come to grips with his troubled past after he found the denomination of Christianity that was officially endorsed by the state of Texas.
At Tribal Council, Russell's Nephew channelled his inner George W. Bush when he declared, "The next challenge is absolutely detrimental to the way this game turns out." He followed that up by saying, "It's funny, because nowadays people get the misconception that we can tell a half lie or a little bit of a lie - oh it's just a game, oh it's just a cigarette, oh it's just a little bit of marijuana - that's just lasciviousness."

Actually, Russell's Nephew would have used the word lasciviousness (meaning "expressing lust") correctly if he had said "Oh I just raped her a little bit," which not so coincidentally would have been the logical choice if we were trying to guess the next phrase in the chronological sequence of statements he used to describe his typical Saturday nights in Katy, Texas.

In fact, I'm convinced that Russell's Nephew's use/misuse of a big word like "lasciviousness" was so out of character with his normal vocabulary that he either learned it from a court ordered psychiatrist or Tony Romo.

By the end of Tribal Council, Russell's Nephew became so self righteous about staying true to his word and character (even though he blatantly lied to his tribe and alliance on numerous occasions in order to vote Mikayla out) he actually said, "vote me out today if we're going to play disloyal...character - you'll live with for the rest of your life."

Unfortunately for Mikayla, she was sent to Redemption Island in a 4-3 vote, while I am left to hope that she wins the Redemption Challenge next week and Russell's Nephew is voted off and joins her alone on a secluded island, which would probably play out like Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to fend off the alien hunter in the movie Predator.

Survivor - South Pacific contestant Mikayla Wingle - wearing ho-pants while leaning on a trailer park stripper pole.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 7: Because Jay Cutler does not like Mike Martz

Week 6 NFL Picks: 6-4-2
NFL results season to date: 47-36-6

Week 6 College Football results: 2-2
College Football results season to date:11-14

Week 7 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Chicago vs. Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, home, +1) Now who would have ever guessed that Jay Cutler and Mike Martz would clash? Seriously, when you get the worst play caller in the league sending in plays to the quarterback with the worst body language in the league, would you expect anything less than a disapproving head-shake from Cutler before he yelled to the sidelines, "TELL MARTZ I SAY FUCK HIM!" I have a feeling that things in Chicago are not going to end well this year.
 I feel like Jay Cutler is the Spalding from the movie Caddyshack to Mike Martz's Judge Smails... "YOU WILL TAKE MY PLAY AND LIKE IT!"

Carolina vs. Washington (Washington, road, +3) Carolina is finally favored in a game, which is throwing off my whole betting strategy of taking the Panthers whenever they get points. I think as long as John Beck plays error free football, the Pigskins should be able to successfully run against the Panthers defense and cover the spread.
San Diego vs. New York Jets (San Diego, road, -2) The Jets just aren't getting it done on defense anymore. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that Rex Ryan awoke Norv Turner from his annual first half coma when he said that he would have won a couple of Super Bowls by now had he been hired by the Chargers instead of Turner.  
Cleveland vs. Seattle (Seattle, road, +3) I really don't know where to go with this one. If you are betting on this game, you might have a gambling problem. 
Tennessee vs. Houston (Houston, road, +3) Andre Johnson probably won't be back for the Texans, so neither quarterback will have their favorite target to throw to. Right now, I guess I like the Texans running game better than the Titans running game, with everything else being fairly equal.
Miami vs. Denver (Denver, road, +1.5) I think Tim Tebow is terrible, and has little shot at being successful in the NFL. With that being said, could there be a better scenario for him than getting his first start of the season against the hapless Dolphins? This is a no win situation for the Broncos front office. It's pretty clear that John Elway and John Fox have no desire to move forward with Tebow as their quarterback of the future. If I was the Broncos front office, I think I would have saved Tebow's first start until the Detroit game in week 8, let him get his ass kicked by their defensive line and throw 4 interceptions, and then declare that the kid just doesn't fit their system. Now, if he plays remotely well against a team that has already given up on their season, it will only fuel the flame for the crazy Tebow zealots out there. And much like he did in the Josh McDaniel era, GM Brian Xander is not only just standing around letting this happen, but he just traded their best receiver (for the second time in 2 years) for a late round draft pick that they'll never get equal value for.
Detroit vs. Atlanta (Atlanta, road, +3.5) While I do look for the Lions to rebound after last week's controversial loss to the 49ers, the Falcons are ideally suited to neutralize the Lions aggressive defensive line with trap plays to a powerful interior running game.

Jim Schwartz IS an American Badass!
Oakland vs. Kansas City (Oakland, home, -4.5) Kansas City has temporarily righted their ship in their last two games, but those games were against the Vikings and the Colts, two of the worst teams in the league. Unless Carson Palmer comes out and turns the ball over 3 times, which is entirely possible, the Raiders should be able to coast by on their running game. By the way, while Al Davis may have passed, it's good to see that his legacy lives on, with the Raiders organization giving up not one, but potentially TWO first round picks for a quarterback who simply can't play in the NFL anymore. Hell, the Vikings probably would have paid the Raiders to take Donovan McNabb off their hands, and Carson Palmer is no better McNabb is at this point in his career.
Pittsburgh vs. Arizona (Pittsburgh, road, -3.5) Pittsburgh travels to Arizona to take on "Iron City Light," with ex-Steeler coordinator Kent Wisenhunt running the show for the Cardinals. Unfortunately, the Cardinals have no defense and no running game, but at least they're similar to the Steelers in that they have no offensive line.  
Dallas vs. St. Louis (St. Louis, road, +13) Dallas isn't the type of team that I feel comfortable laying 13 points to anybody, but with A.J. Feeley looking more and more like he'll be leading Josh McDaniel's ridiculously complex offense, I guess I'll have to gamble on Tony Romo, which is kind of like sleeping a stripper...when you wake up in the morning your money's gone and you feel a little dumber about your life decisions, but at least you can blame the first time on having had too much to drink.
Green Bay vs. Minnesota (Green Bay, road, -9) This one's going to be a blowout. Minnesota has no way of stopping the Packers on defense, and their offense will be unable to keep up with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder making his first NFL start.
New Orleans vs. Indianapolis (Indianapolis, road, +14) The Colts continue to lose, but the also continue to keep things just close enough. This  is the classic match-up of a team that you never expect to cover but always does, playing against a team that you always expect to cover but never does.

Baltimore vs. Jacksonville (Baltimore, road, -8) There is less excitement and a smaller crowd predicted for Monday Night Football in Jacksonville than there is for Tim Tebow's first start of the year in Miami.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, home, +8) The Badgers have struggled over the past decade at Michigan State. This year the Badgers play their first true road game of the year in East Lansing in a rare night game for Sparty. There's a reason that the MSU administration does not like to play night games unless they are on being paid to be on national TV, and let's just say that reason involves alcohol. Throw in a 9 a.m. start with ESPN's College Gameday in town, and the Spartan home crowd should be drunk and hostile.
Stanford vs. Washington (Washington, road, +21) The Huskies are a better team without first round draft pick Jake Locker. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if they pulled the upset here.
LSU vs. Auburn (Auburn, road, +21) It's sad how LSU is a prime National Title Contender on paper this year, yet their players are abusing their status and running amok on campus instead of concentrating on playing football. Auburn is not a great team this year, but they should benefit from the distractions going on in Baton Rouge this week that lead to the suspension of several high profile Tiger players. 
Alabama vs. Tennessee (Tennessee, road, +29.5) With Lane Kiffin gone, Alabama has no reason to run up the score in a rivalry game where the underdog Volunteers are getting an amazing 29.5 points.
Notre Dame vs. USC (USC, road, +8.5) Notre Dame is actually a pretty good football team now that they have made the decision to go with Tommy Rees at quarterback, although USC looks like they are slowly starting to gel.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blogging Survivor - South Pacific: "I don't put myself in a position where I'm playing soccer."

So, this week's episode began with yet another bizarre rant by Russell's Nephew, who for some reason was upset when Mikayla stated that she felt threatened by him at the previous Tribal Council. "The way that Mikalya answered Jeff's questions when he asked what she doesn't like about was pretty prejudiced. The way she handled that shows that she had very little class...(he starts crying...again) These are real people out here. They got feelin's...I don't care what people think about me. It don't matter. I'm a good person, I'm a good guy."

Of course, Russell's Nephew would probably gain more sympathy if he hadn't neglected to add the part where he lied to his tribemates in order to get Mikayla evicted at the first Tribal Council simply because she emits the rape pheromone. And by the way, if Russell's Nephew really doesn't care what people think about him, then why is he always standing by himself crying like a little bitch on my television every week? Who does he think he is, "The Situation?"

At Redemption Island, the Elimination Challenge featured Stacey going against Christine. Stacey and Christine's challenge consisted of running a number of balls down a spiral course simultaneously and then catching them before they fell to the ground. However, Stacey failed to space out her drops properly, which allowed Christine to win her third straight Redemption Challenge when one of Stacey failed to keep up and one of her balls hit the ground.

Stacey, still pissed off because the Upolu deemed her too old and bitchy to be of any benefit to their tribe, "outed" Coach and his alliance to the Savaii Tribe when she blurted out, "Benjamin (which is apparently Coach's birth name), Albert and Sophie (are) running the team." When Coach found out what she had said he went nuts, not for outing his alliance to the opposing tribe, but because she called him "Benjamin." "If anyone calls me Benjamin to my face, I'm going to go nuts. My parents call me Coach. I've been being called Coach since I was 18!"
Unlike "Psycho" from the movie Stripes, "Coach" earned his self dubbed nickname by coaching one year of youth soccer at the age of 18.

At the Savaii Camp, an increasingly cocky Ozzy and Elyse taunted Cochran. After Elyse called him the "little Cochran that could" in response to his efforts to be more productive around camp, Ozzy asked, "How would you spell that, C-O-C-H?" That prompted Cochran to joke, "You're not going to have to spell that anytime soon man...Don't worry about the spelling man, don't even worry about the phonetics or anything."

After his Savaii tribemates came back from watching the Elimination Challenge on Redemption Island, Ozzy slipped up and blurted out how he thought Coach had made a mistake by not eliminating Albert, Upolu's strongest physical player. That caught Jim's attention, as he pointed out that if Ozzy thought that Coach should have targeted Upolu's strongest player, he'd obviously target Savaii's strongest player if put in the same situation. I will give kudos to Jim for using his skills as a professional poker player to sniff that one out. Of course, Jim also egotistically assumed that he was one of Savaii's strongest players, an assumption that I'm sure can be traced to the side of his brain that he uses to run two medicinal marijuana dispensaries.

As Albert searched for the hidden Immunity Idol given his concern over Stacey's comments about his alliance at Redemption Island, he stumbled across a hidden clue to it's location. When he could not find the Idol on his own, he shared that clue with Coach and Sophie. After reading the clue Coach simply said a prayer, then immediately climbed a tree and found the Idol (at least that's what the edited footage made it seem like). Meanwhile, back at Savaii's camp, Dawn, a devout Mormon, noted how she felt a disturbance in the force, not yet realizing how that bastard Joseph Smith had let her down once again.

Speaking of The Force Savaii, Cochran began his decent towards the dark side, as he began to question his onetime hero and mentor Ozzy for spending too much time sitting around and cuddling with Elyse. "Having watched Cook Island and Fans vs. Favorites, you see Ozzy as this superhero...guy who can do no wrong, but Ozzy has kind of faded into this middle-aged Ozzy, who has a few moments of glory where he runs out and gets some fish, but otherwise he's just sort of a lazy ass."

At the Immunity Challenge, the Tribes were presented with roasted pigs. However, instead of feasting, they were told to bite off meat with their hands tied behind their backs and spit as much as they could into a team bucket within the alotted time. In an extremely close contest, Upolu ended up winning by only 2 ounces, giving them immunity. As a "reward," Upolu was allowed to take their spit bucket full of meat back to camp for a "feast," which probably made Russell's Nephew feel like he was back home in Texas at a Hantz family barbecue...aside from the part where Mikayla and the other women were allowed to untie their hands after the contest.

Upon returning to Savaii's camp as losers, Elyse made a joke how they were all going to get "pig gut breakout tomorrow." Taking things up a slight notch, Cochran jokingly deadpanned, "We're probably also going to have oral herpes." For some reason, his fellow tribemates thought that his statement had crossed the line; however, it's not likely that the socially awkward Cochran had ever kissed anyone before, so it's hard to think that anyone would have really taken him all that seriously. That is, not unless he went to Comic-Con and back home with a dreaded case of "Space Herpes." 

Speaking of "Space Herpes," here's Kordell Stewart with "Face Herpes."
Jim, still worried that Ozzy would target the stronger members in his tribe if the opportunity arose, went to Keith about voting out Ozzy or Elyse in order to break up their sub-alliance. While Keith initially questioned the logic of pissing Ozzy off, he also realized that Whitney and himself were the swing votes, so he consulted with her on his decision...Actually, Keith is just a gossip whore who wants to get in Whitney's pants, but for now we'll say that he told her so they could "discuss strategy."

At Tribal Council, the Savii tribemates all brought up their "oral injuries" from gnawing on the pig at the Immnity Challenge, which ranged from simple lacerations to a broken tooth for Dawn. In response, Cochran facetiously stated, "Technically, I haven't been wearing my retainer as diligently as I should have been, so my teeth are in constant transition and flux right now. I definitely feel my teeth shifting."

That statement did not go over well with his tribemates, who found it to be condescending. Dawn tried to let it go, but ironically stated, "This is also a game about bringing people together that would never be together, so part of me is really tolerant."

So to summarize...On this year's season of Survivor we have a "tolerant" Mormon in Dawn, and a redneck like Russell's Nephew who feels that he is the victim of a lingerie model's prejudice because he got caught lying in order to get her voted out for no other reason than he finds her so attractive that he doesn't trust himself around her. Needless to say, I see a chemical castration in somebodies future...Unfortunately for Mikayla, that person is probably going to be Dawn.

When Jeff Probst asked Cochran if he was typically the kid who was picked last playing soccer. Cochran astutely stated, "I don't put myself in a position where I'm playing soccer," which is exactly what I've been trying to tell people from Europe and Latin America to do my entire life.

While Cochran drew a lot of negative attention at Tribal Council for his off color comments, he and Jim made a power move and convinced enough of their tribe to split Ozzy and Elyse up. Strangely, even though they acknowledged that they would likely face reprisal for backstabbing their "Veteran" leader, they voted out the beautiful but powerless Elyse (NOOOOOO!!!!!) instead of doing the smart thing in voting out Ozzy and ending that threat altogether.

Friday, October 14, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 6: Because Curtis Painter is the next Jim Sorgi

Week 5 NFL Picks: 5-7-1
NFL results season to date: 41-32-4

Week 5 College Football results: 2-2
College Football results season to date: 9-12

Week 6 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Green Bay vs. St. Louis (Green Bay, home, -15) The Packers passing game lead by Aaron Rodgers should be able to exploit the Rams injury depleted secondary. Considering that Al Harris is probably the Rams best cornerback, and that he probably would be iffy at best at even making the roster of any other team in the NFL, I like Green Bay to run away with this game.
Pittsburgh vs. Jacksonville (Pittsburgh, home, -12.5) I will take the Steelers zone-blitz against an unproven rookie quarterback any day of the week.
Philadelphia vs. Washington (Washington, home, +1.5) The Eagles are not that good, so why are they favored in a hostile road environment like Washington? I have to take the points and the under the radar first placed Pigskins in this one.  
Detroit vs. San Francisco (San Francisco, road, +4.5) The Lions will not be able to run against the 49ers like the did against the Bears in this game. While I do look for the Lions give Matt Stafford enough time to throw the ball and pull out the win, I think the 49ers will be able to run the ball up the middle effectively enough to hang close in this game. 
Atlanta vs.Carolina (Carolina, road, +4) Damn it, I broke my rule of not betting against Cam Newton and the Panthers when they are getting points last week and it bit me in the ass. While I love Michael "Burner" Turner to run wild this week, my money is on Carolina to keep it close.
Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati (Indianapolis, road, +7) I was dead wrong about the Colts and Curtis Painter. The Colts may not win a game this season, but Painter is making Colts fans forget about Jim Sorgi, as he has his team is playing just well enough now to be somewhat competitive.
New York Giants vs. Buffalo (Giants, home, -3) While both Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick are having fantastic years passing, the Bills will have trouble going on the road and containing the Giants running game when they are giving up 5.3 yards per carry.
Baltimore vs. Houston (Baltimore, home, -8) The Texans are without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams due to injury. I just don't think that they will be able to run effectively enough to prevent the Ravens from sitting all over the passing game.
Oakland vs. Cleveland (Oakland, home, -7) The Browns short passing game should get snuffed out by the Raiders front-seven, especially since they have to travel across country and play in a hostile road environment.  
New York England vs. Dallas (New England, home, -7) The Patriots can't stop the run or the pass, but they can certainly throw the ball. Plus, I no longer have any faith in Tony Romo, especially when it comes to playing big games in front of road crowds.
New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, home, +4.5) The Saints just aren't covering anymore, and I'm not about to give points to a solid team like the Buccaneers when they are playing at home.
Chicago vs. Minnesota (Chicago, home, -3) I think the Vikings will beat the Bears at home this season given their pass rush and a home-dome advantage, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a road game at Soldier Field.

New York Jets vs. Miami (Jets, home, -6) The Dolphins have already packed in this season in hopes of landing Andrew Luck with the first pick in next year's draft, as evidenced by their failure to sign David Garrard, who would have been an upgrade over injured starter Chad Henne. Instead they've decided to mail in their season by going with journeyman Matt Moore instead.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Michigan vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, home, -1.5) Denard Robinson has once again won the September Heisman, but if you look at his statistics against even half way decent teams during his career you will quickly see that he is just a mediocre quarterback. Explosive, yes, but still very average. The Spartans defense, ranked number one in the nation, should be able to contain him and keep him in the pocket where he is prone to make mistakes, just as they have the past two years.

Michigan State is breaking out their new Nike Pro Combat uniforms for the game against their arch rival Wolverines
Baylor vs. Texas A and M (Baylor, road, +9) Texas A and M can't defend the pass, which is not a good omen considering that they are facing Robert Griffin, III and Baylor, who just may have overtaken the Aggies as the second best program in the state of Texas.
Oklahoma State vs. Texas (Oklahoma State, road, -8) It's funny how the University of Texas is single handedly causing the Big 12 to dissolve by refusing to equally share their television revenue. I hope Texas has good luck as an independent, because I don't see much demand for the Longhorn Network when schools like Oklahoma State have already surpassed them on the football field. 
Arizona State vs. Oregon (Arizona State, road, +11) With LaMichael James either attempting to play hurt or out for this game, I think the Sun Devils should be able to cover an 11-point spread, especially since they played them fairly close last year.

Whether it's the multiple uniform options, or multiple cheerleader options, Oregon football players seem to have it made.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blogging Survivor - South Pacific: "Being Mormon, I never felt comfortable swimming in my underwear and bra...I don't even know if mine are see-through."

After Cochran narrowly avoided elimination for the second time, Jim approached him about joining forces and targeting Elyse. Cochran seemed to be on board, as he liked the idea of getting rid of Elyse in order to "piss off the pretty people." Unfortunately, their alliance kind of reminds me of the lyrics from the old Pet Shop Boys song that went "I've got the brawn, you've got the brains, let's make lots of money." However, with Cochran being the brawn with Jim being the brains in their alliance, I'm not exactly filled with hope that they're going to go very they reminded me of a song by the Pet Shot Boys, which isn't exactly a vote of confidence either.

Meanwhile, Savaii convinced Mormon professor dawn to take a swim in the ocean against her initial religious impulses. "Being Mormon, I never felt comfortable swimming in my underwear and bra...I don't even know if mine are see-through." While I haven't received official word, I'm pretty sure that Dawn just set herself up to become the highest profile member of the Latter-day Saints to earn herself an ex-communication since Marie Osmond had the audacity to insult the spirit Joseph Smith by supporting her lesbian daughter, although it was apparently completely okay for her to do her brother Donnie in a cocaine induced binge during the 70's.

At the Redemption Challenge, Papa Bear faced off against Christine. It consisted of tossing bean bags onto trays on rows of raised platforms. After a quick start Christine held off Papa Bear, sending him home. It also marked the first time that he ever went home disappointed after tossing sacks.

The Immunity Challenge consisted of an endurance contest where competitors for each tribe had to balance a wooden bar across their shoulders as the opposing tribe added weight until everyone had been eliminated. It also involved a reward in the form of a rooster, two hens, a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol and a bottle of Roofies...just so Russell's Nephew would have an incentive to play along. With the strongest members of their respective tribes being targeted and receiving the most weight early, the competition ended up coming down to Stacie and Dawn, with Dawn narrowly winning.

Stacie lobbied her Upolu Tribemates to stay in the game because she had shown her strength over Edna based upon her strong performance at the Immunity Challenge. "I proved my weight...I didn't massage your back," in a dig at Edna for kissing up to Coach by giving him a massage.

Eddie George's wife has lost some weight
 Russell's Nephew continued to be unsuccessful in his desperate attempts to make a name for himself. First, he told Elyse that her alliance of six was really only an alliance of five, and that she was the odd person out. While that statement wasn't necessarily untruthful, it served him no real purpose other than being an obvious attempt to shake-up the game unless he wanted to sabotage his own alliance...then again, his Uncle Russell actually threatened to sue his fellow tribemates even though he allegedly leaked results of his seasons online, so I guess anything is possible when you're talking about a family of Coon-Asses. 

Russell's Nephew then approached Coach and falsely told him, "We have a problem...Stacie says Albert, Mikayla and Sophie have something going on," in yet another attempt to get his tribe to turn on Mikayla. Coach immediately shut him down by saying, "Stop it...No, I want you to stop it...stop...look at me, dude, look at me." In response to Russell's Nephew's deceitful ways Coach went on to say, "I'm worried that he's going to kick over the kettle at the most inopportune time and ruin the game for everybody, and that's why I also have to protect myself." 

After his plans were foiled, Russell's Nephew tried to come clean yet again at Tribal Council. "I just want to be somebody who God's proud of...I just don't want to be misrepresented to my family, because it offended my family so much when this whole thing went down with Russell...(he starts crying) It's not how you start, it's how you finish."

I'm starting to think that Russell's Nephew was a dog in a Southern family of rednecks, and if Survivor was his opening audition to go hunting, he'd wind up drowned in a garbage can because, as the old saying goes, "while you can teach a dog to hunt, the hunting is in the dog." In late breaking news, Russell's Nephew was found dead shortly upon returning home to Texas.

In the end, Upolu voted out Stacie over Edna. As she left for Redemption Island she refused a hug from Coach saying, "It's not real," leaving Coach now with two large and angry women who despise him on Redemption Island.

And so the "sweet and cute" Dr. Edna from Survivor also hawks creams to numb your Vag before you bikini wax it...If I was a girl, I'd definitely want to go to her family's "nail salon."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 5: Because the Detroit Lions are on Monday Night Football!

Week 4 NFL Picks: 8-8
NFL results season to date: 36-25-3

Week 4 College Football results: 2-2
College Football results season to date: 7-10

Week 5 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Indianapolis vs. Kansas City (Indianapolis, home, -3) The winner of this game may eliminate themselves from the Andrew Luck lottery. The Colts seem to be playing slow and conservative just to keep themselves in games without Peyton Manning, while the Chiefs have simply been misfiring with internal issues between Todd Pioli, Todd Haley, and Matt Cassel. With all three of the aforementioned Chiefs likely out of a job come next season, I think the Chiefs want Luck more than the Colts do, which means they lose this game.      
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (Buffalo, home, +3) One of the reasons that the Eagles have underachieved this season has been their brutal offensive line, and now they are going to be without Jason Peters due to injury.
Minnesota vs. Arizona (Arizona, road, +3) Arizona is the more talented team, but can they handle the Vikings and their Metrodome home crowd advantage? 
Houston vs. Oakland (Oakland, road, +6) The Raiders have won 2 of the last 4 against the Texans, and that was before Oakland got good and Houston lost Andre Johnson due to injury.  
New Orleans vs.Carolina (New Orleans, home, -6.5) The Panthers have exceeded all expectations to this point, but asking them to match-up with emerging star Jimmy Graham at TE and Defensive Coordinator's blitz heavy schemes is probably too much to ask with an inexperienced rookie quarterback on the road in a loud dome.
Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati (Cincinnati, road, +1) So far second round rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has looked better than the quarterback that the Jaguars traded up to get in the first round in Blaine Gabbert. Believe it or not, but the Bengals are not half bad...They're not good, but they're not half bad.
Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee (Tennessee, road, +3.5) The Steelers are simply NOT a good team this year. Their offensive line problems are even worse than they were last season, and their defense was becoming a major concern even before James Harrison was lost for 2-3 weeks due to a fractured orbital bone in his face. Meanwhile, Matt Hasselbeck has been the free agent acquisition of the year and has made the Titans a AFC South division contender.

Maybe this will teach James Harrison to stop leading with his head, but probably not.
New York Giants vs. Seattle (New York Giants, home, -10) I bet on the Seahawks at home, and bet against them on the road. Ten points is a steep point spread given the Giants beat-up secondary, but we are talking about Tavaris Jackson trying to take advantage of them.
San Francisco vs. Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, road, +2.5) San Francisco is 3-1 thanks to an easy schedule and a Philly meltdown. Reality should set in this week against a solid Buccaneers team.  
New York England vs. New York Jets (New England, home, -9) The Jets are flat-out struggling on defense this year, which is bad news considering that they are going against a Tom Brady lead Patriot offense that they bad-mouthed last year in the AFC Playoffs.
San Diego vs. Denver (San Diego, road, -4) Denver fans need to realize that Tim Tebow is NOT the answer, and that Kyle Orton is a good quarterback no matter how bad the rest of their Broncos team is this season. Actually, I don't even think that Denver fans want to see Tebow, it's all the religious zealots who have jumped on his celibate bandwagon. BTW, there's no truth the rumor that Tebow's dating Bristol Palin. The Chargers should win this game in a blow-out.

Bristol Palin will give it to Tim Tebow, no matter whether he prefers getting it from the "shotgun" or the "pistol."

Green Bay vs. Atlanta (Atlanta, home, +6) The Packers lost to the Falcons in Atlanta late last year in the regular season, then turned around and destroyed them in the ATL in the playoffs. Given that this is a night game on national TV, I look for Atlanta to at least hang close by running the ball and taking an occasional deep shot to Roddy White or Julio Jones.

Detroit vs. Chicago (Detroit, home, -6) The 4-0 Lions are going to have a HUGE home-field advantage playing their first MNF game since they moved out of the Silverdome in 2002. Mike Martz needs to run the ball and avoid his offensive system's classic 7-step drops in order to keep Jay Cutler upright and out of a 12-Step program in facing the Lions front seven. My guess is that he'll be too stubborn to do that given that he was run out of Detroit when he briefly served as their offensive coordinator. As a bonus, I'll put up 2-1 odds that Martz burns at least 2 time outs due to crowd noise that end up coming back to bite the Bears in the ass.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Michigan vs. Northwestern (Northwestern, home, +7.5) Not only is Northwestern at home, but they're the superior team now that Dan Persa has come back from injury.
LSU vs. Florida (LSU, home, -14) With QB John Brantley out for the season, the Gators lost any chance they had to give LSU a game. However, they'll still probably see them again when a mismatched East takes on the powerhouse West in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Oklahoma vs. Texas (Oklahoma, road, -10) The Longhorns are still trying to settle their quarterback position, while the Sooners have an emerging Heisman candidate in Landry Jones.    
Nebraska vs. Ohio State (Nebraska, home, -11) Bo Pelini looks and acts like a re-tarTed guy that Tom Osborne let hand around the program just to be nice, only after Frank Solich got run out of town, the Nebraska Board or Regents decided to hand him the job because he had been around the team the know, because their Board of Regents is stacked with people from Nebraska. Sadly, Pelini should still be able to put together a game plan that will shut down the Buckeyes one dimensional running based offense.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blogging Survivor - South Pacific: "Papa Bear came waltzing into camp with this big smile on his face and an XL bulge in his underpants"

After Christine was voted out by her Savaii Tribe, she reluctantly went to Redemption Island with a case of bitter bitch face. She was then forced to engage in an elimination challenge against Semhar, which consisted of seeing who could balance a miniature totem on top of a long pole the longest, with additional lengths of pole being added as the competition progressed.

Instead of going the religious route and saying a prayer before the challenge began, Semhar got into her zone by reciting some spoken word, which seemed a bit more erotic than motivational, until I remembered that the challenge consisted of holding onto a big pole. "There isn't anything I wouldn't do for this man, I would even take off my clothes and give him a private show to the tunes of his soul."

Semhar's unique personality made a little more sense after she was eliminated and said, "When my tribe sent me to Redemption Island, it brought back a lot of memories from my past...I felt like I've been abandoned so many times in my life. I just don't understand how people can be so cruel."

So there we have it, Semhar has daddy issues. Personally, I don't think she came on Survivor with any intention of sticking around very long. Instead, I think she just wanted to parlay her time in the game into a national tour performing her spoken word in coffee shops or dancing in strip clubs. Whichever route she chooses to go with, I think she got exactly what she hoped for out of the game.

After Russell's Nephew got exposed at Tribal Council for going behind the back of his alliance, he tried to come clean and apologize. "This morning God was chastising me big time. He was not pleased with me. I was not pleased with me, and I know my family would not be pleased with me. I lied blatantly." Then, like a page of out of a comic book where a Super Hero reveals his secret identity, "Russell's Nephew" took off his shirt and showed the tattoos that exposed him as Russell's nephew. Coach called this move a "mistake" saying, "He needed it off his chest, and that shows (his) age a little bit."

Ozzy, having already found the hidden Immunity Idol without even having a clue, decided to share that secret with Keith in order to earn his trust. That move may have turned out to be a mistake, as Keith immediately told country music singer Whitney, which could end up hurting Ozzy in the long run.

After Russell's Nephew came clean about his lies and true identity, members of the Upolu Tribe began to question him. Sophie said, "I think (Russell's Nephew) right now is just really torn between following whatever crazy religious beliefs he has...and at the same time his bloodline is a devious jerk." Mikayla confronted Russell's Nephew as to why he had targeted her when she had done nothing to provoke his wrath. This caught Russell's Nephew off guard, as he could only say that he targeted her because he didn't like her, instead of admitting that his not so hidden lust for her was causing him internal conflict regarding his already rock marriage back home.

Russell's Nephew seemed furious about getting called out by a girl, and he tried to take control of the matter by calling a tribe meeting where he inexplicably tried to call out Mikayla by yelling, "I don't want no more of this from everybody, just repeat that for me - keep me out of the drama - there you go!" And just like that, after all of his apologies and bible quotes, his alter ego "Pequeno Loco" returned! I'm just hoping that Upolu votes both the both of them out in consecutive weeks, just so we can see how Russell's Nephew handles a night alone with Mikayla on what might have to be re-named Rape-demption Island. Let's get an order for extra security in...just in case.

Clearly, in Russell's Nephew's mind, Mikayla is asking for it...and he may have not even be aware of her Playboy pics.

After blowing his cool in front of the tribe, Russell's Nephew once again began to feel apologetic (seriously, this guy is like a living, walking, breathing version of the domestic violence cycle). "I was told by my not lose your temper...being a Christian, I shouldn't have failed...I struggle every day, this is like a constant battle for me."

Constant battle? The Hantz family is more like a case study in being from the South. We have religion, bad tattoos, aggression towards assertive women, and advice from Paw-Paws." Put Russell and his Nephew on an All-Star show, throw in a reward challenge that gives the winners a "seafood" buffet with the choices of catfish, catfish or bass, and we got ourselves Survivor - Dixie, which would obviously be held in some uninhabitable state, like Alabama or Arkansas.

The Immunity Challenge also included a reward for the winning tribe, which took the form of coffee, tea, sugar, milk, chocolate, cookies and a new clue for the hidden Immunity Idol. Each tribe was forced to let out slack for a rope that was attached to a teammate who had to navigate a floating bridge before getting "reeled back in." Once that stage was complete, the tribes had to throw grappling hooks to snag bags and pull them up a wall in order to roll out their tribal banners to secure the win. Based upon Coach's strong skills with the grappling hook, Upolu earned immunity and the reward.

Savaii seemed to agree that either Papa Bear or Cochran needed to be voted out. Papa Bear thinking that Cochran was the obvious target said, "He just is the nerdy kid no one hung out with in school - sorry John." When he realized that he might by the one on the verge of elimination, Papa Bear stepped up his efforts at the last minute to find the hidden Immunity Idol (which Ozzy had already found). This caused Elyse to observe, "Papa Bear goes running dead sprint from the water to the woods, and Papa Bear doesn't sprint ever."

While in the woods, a desperate Papa Bear forged a fake Immunity Idol, which he hoped he could use to trick his tribe into voting for Cochran. Cochran was fully aware of his strategy, as he stated, "About five minutes later Papa Bear comes waltzing into camp with this big smile on his face and an extra large bulge in his underpants...He clearly wants us to think he has the idol."

And here I was, certain that Papa Bear was just excited because he saw Cochran strip down to his I was.

At Tribal Council Papa Bear was voted out and sent to Redemption Island with Christine, causing Cochran to say, "You're a sweetheart, but you make me anxious, and I don't need any more anxiety in my life." Poor guy, let's just hope that he never breaks up with his mom and gets a real girlfriend.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 4: Because Ryan Fitzpatrick is returning to Cincinnati as the best player on the field

Week 3 NFL Picks: 9-7
NFL results season to date: 28-17-3

Week 3 College Fooball results: 3-2
College Football results season to date: 5-8

Week 4 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Dallas vs. Detroit (Detroit, road, +1) Cris Carter said that Calvin Johnson's not an elite wide receiver and that he's not even one of the top 5 wide outs in the NFL right now...C'MON MAN! I like the Lions defensive line to abuse the Cowboys inexperienced offensive line, especially with there being little incentive to keep their safeties back given the injury to Cowboys deep threat Miles Austin.      

In my lifetime as a Lions fan, Detroit has had 2 kickers since 1980, Eddie Murray and Jason Hanson. Bonus points to Murray for having the nuts of steel to make the kick out of a standard pro-set formation with the game on the line...although I will finally admit that the Lions not only had too many men on the field, but they also committed a penalty for illegal procedure that went uncalled.

New Orleans vs. Jacksonville (New Orleans, road, -7) I don't think the Jaguars will be able to score enough behind rookie QB Blaine Gabbert to keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints high powered offense.
Philadelphia vs. San Francisco (Philadelphia, home, -9) San Francisco has no business being 2-1, while the Eagles have been a bit of a disappointment as compared to their high expectations this season. I look for the Eagles offense and Michael Vick to finally break lose in this game.
Washington vs. St. Louis (St. Louis, home, -2.5) I'm tempted to take the Pigskins here, but I think the Rams start to turn things around this week with Stephen Jackson coming back and giving them a more balanced offensive attack at home to take some pressure off of Sam Bradford.
Cleveland vs. Tennessee (Tennessee, road, even) Cleveland has failed to live up to expectations this year, while Tennessee has played much better than I would have expected. Otherwise, I could care less about this game.
Buffalo vs. Cincinnati (Buffalo, road, -3) If anyone would have told me that Ryan Fitzpatrick would return to Cincinnati as the quarterback for the Bills and easily be the best player on the field, I would say that I would have to see it to believe it. Fortunately for those of us in the the blackout zone for the Bengals, this entire NFL season will be entirely based on theory.
Minnesota vs Kansas City (Kansas City, home, +2) When both teams and coaching staffs are a hot mess, take the home team...especially when they are getting points in what is a hostile environment for the road team.
Chicago vs. Carolina (Carolina, road, +7) I'm done giving up points to Carolina and Cam Newton. As a hypothetical question, and not that I'm hoping it happens, let's say Lovie Smith dies in a tragic accident. Do the Bears promote Mike Martz and break the unwritten rule of never giving him a head coaching job in the NFL again, or do they give the job to Rob Marinelli and repeat the scenario he had in Detroit where Martz was his offensive coordinator and constantly undermined him? Alright, I lied, I sort of do hope this happens.
Houston vs. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, road, +4) This may not be the best match-up for Pittsburgh's secondary against the Texans, but I'll take the Steelers and points every time it's an option.
New York Giants vs. Arizona (Arizona, home, +1) I have a feeling that Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals going to abuse the injury depleted Giants secondary.
Atlanta vs. Seattle (Seattle, home, +5) I know this pick makes no sense, but I'm going to keep riding Seattle at home whenever they get points, which actually does make sense...kind of.
San Diego vs. Miami (San Diego, home, -7) Phil Rivers and Vincent Jackson should be able to exploit the Dolphins secondary, which has talent, but just doesn't seem be be in sync.
Green Bay vs. Denver (Denver, road, +13) I have to think that the Broncos will come out and try to play conservative ball control offense to try to slow the game down and keep things close...or at least that's what I'm telling myself to justify not giving up 13 points and taking the Packers.
New England vs. Oakland (New England, road, -4.5) The Patriots probably won't be able to run against the Raiders front seven, and I don't expect them to even try. Tom Brady and company will spread things out and try to avoid the uncharacteristic interceptions that allowed Buffalo to come back a week ago and steal the win.
Baltimore vs. New York Jets (New York Jets, road, +4) Rex Ryan should have his Jets fired up for a primetime game, not that he enjoys the spotlight or anything. 

Tampa Bay vs. Indianapolis (Tampa Bay, home, -10.5) The Peyton Manningless Colts still have four more primetime games this season, which will cost the NFL millions when it comes time to renegotiate their Sunday and Monday Night Football deals due to the decrease in ratings that are going to be the result. This week Curtis Painter will be starting in place of Kerry Collins. If you've ever watched Painter try to throw a pass in the NFL, you'll happily lay the points and take Tampa in this game.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Alabama vs. Florida (Alabama, road, -4) I just don't think Florida is on the same level as Alabama.
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska (Nebraska, road, +10) I'm not a big believer in Nebraska as a challenger for the B1G title this year, but I think I'll take the 10 points in this one.
Virginia Tech vs. Clemson (Clemson, road, +7) Delusional Clemson fans still think they are perennial National Championship contenders based upon their Championship in 1981. A win this week will give them more fuel for that fire.    
Texas A and M vs. Arkansas (Texas A and M, road, -3) I like Texas A and M behind Ryan Tannehill in a shoot-out.

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