Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blogging Survivor - South Pacific: "I'm going to be your genie in a bottle...You don't have to rub it actually, I'll just come out and do it"

As the cast of Survivor - South Pacific divided into teams captained by returning contestants Coach and Ozzy, they kicked things off with a Reward/Hero Challenge where only the two captains were allowed to compete. This was a race where they were forced to climb a pole, dig a hole beneath a rope and crawl under it, and then solve a puzzle. The winner would receive fire and terra - a legume that the ancient native South Pacific liberal elite used to make "terra chips," a junk food that they could enjoy while retaining the ability to talk down to the proletariat for eating plain old Ruffles and Lays.

Ozzy quickly scaled his pole and slithered under his rope, while an out-of-shape Coach predictably got stuck during the dig and crawl portion, giving Ozzy the advantage on his puzzle and the win. Given that the producers of Survivor knew who the returning captains were going to be before they designed this challenge, and given that Ozzy is known for his tree climbing skills and agility, it seemed pretty clear that they handed viewer favorite Ozzy the early win to establish his position within the Savaii Tribe, while they looked to create tension between the abrasive Coach and his Upolu Tribe when he inevitably lost.

As the Savaii Tribe arrived at their camp, Ozzy suggested that they all take a swim in order to relax and celebrate. As the tribe's young and beautiful girls eagerly stripped down to their underwear to go in the ocean, Harvard Law student Cochran protested taking off his outerwear due to his body issues, citing his translucent skin, through which you could see his organs. For some reason, I think he was only concerned with Savaii's girls seeing one particular organ, although he eventually did strip down into his skivvies and slow motion jog into the ocean "Bay Watch" style. In an unrelated note, I burned by Nichole Eggert poster this week...but only because she's old and fat.


Dawn had the game's first meltdown. The 41-year-old English professor at BYU began crying and saying that she wanted to quit because for the first time in her life she felt old, obviously unaware that Mormons age in dog years as compared to people outside of the state of Utah. Speaking of Mormons, if sports teams can trade players to get better fits for their respective teams, why can't states trade politicians? I'm thinking that Texas should trade Gov. Rick Perry to Utah for their former Governor Jon Huntsman. It seems like a no lose deal for both states, right? I mean, Utah pretty much gives fathers the authority to make the decision to vaccinate their daughters second wives for whatever reason they like, right?

Russell's Nephew refused to take his shirt off even while diving for fish out of fear that the other contestants would see his tattoos, almost as if he thinks he's a super hero protecting his secret identity or something. In addition to his "Lil' Hantz" tat that would have given him away as being Russell's Nephew, he also had the word "LOCO" tattooed on his neck, an obvious choice for any white kid growing up in rural Louisiana, which is the most racist state in American. If Russell's Nephew really were a super hero, I think I'd combine his two tat's and give him the name "Pequeno Loco," because he's noy just small, he's also crazy, making him 'Lil' Crazy.'"

"Who you tryin' to get crazy with ese, don't you know I'm Pequeno Loco?"

The Immunity Challenge consisted of a team obstacle course. For Savaii, Cochran couldn't climb the initial wall without slowing down his team, while Semhar couldn't shoot coconuts into a relatively easy basket...fucking hipster poets. When Savaii lost, Semhar apologized by saying, "I feel sort of bad," which caused poker guy Jim to try and make her feel guilty by snapping, "I don't feel sorta bad"...although he is sort of a dick. Stacey, the mortician, searched for the hidden immunity idol without the benefit of any clues, and actually stumbled upon it's location in a hollowed out tree trunk, but she didn't quite dig around deep enough to find it.

At Tribal Council, Savaii's vote came down to their two weakest players, Cochran and Semhar. Cochran begged to stay in the game given that he was an enthusiast, although Pappa Bear told him that he needed "direction." This prompted Cochran to proclaim (in response to complaints about his lack of help around camp), "I'm going to be your genie in a bottle, you don't have to rub actually, I'll just come out and do it"....which ironically is exactly what Christina Aguilerra says these days to any black guy at the club whenever she gets drunk. When Semhar got evicted instead of Cochran, Ozzy, who actually wanted Semhar to stay, lamented, "I should have taught her how to make fire."

Cochran, re-evaluating his game play after barely avoiding being voted out, stated, "I'm gonna have to turn on the cool, mellow Cochran; instead of the antsy, paranoid nerd kid that I think I've been for the last few days." Actually, I think he meant to say his "whole life," but I'll cut the kid a break since he's had a traumatic week...having to get partially naked in front of hot girls for the first time and all.

Given the open resentment from some of his tribe members, Coach pledged to change his game by controlling his self-righteousness, yet vowing to continue to play the game with honor and integrity. Edna declared that she had chosen to align herself with Coach because she was weak and needed a "strong man." Cochran announced "My mom's going to have mixed feelings about the 'new Cochran.' She'll be thrilled that I'm talking initiative and going to work, but the first thing she said was, 'I don't want you to be handling a machete without supervision.'"

So there we have it. A middle aged man in desperate need to be a father, a beautiful young woman with "daddy issues," and a young man who grew up without a father. Somehow, I sense an alliance in their future...or possibly two adult adoptions.

Coach's Nephew went on record in saying that he wanted Playboy Playmate and Lingerie Football League player Mikayla eliminated. His reasoning? "I don't feel comfortable around her. It's the ones that are good looking and seductive that you get rid of."

First of all, I'll be the first to point out that Mikayla hasn't done anything the least bit suggestive towards Russell's Nephew during the game, and fact, I'm not even sure that they'd ever even talked at this point in the game. At the same time, I think I get where Russell's Nephew was coming from. Given the creepy way that he lustily stared at Mikayla's ass as she walked on the beach in front of him in her hot-pants, and the hints that Russell's Nephew has repeatedly dropped about his troubled past and how he had messed up in his marriage, there's little doubt in my mind that Russell's Nephew was was seriously considering raping her. Russell's Nephew simply recognized his weakness and tried to vote her out in order to remove his temptation. I totally get it...that's exactly why I don't allow myself to lead Cub Scouts anymore.

In they eyes of Russell's Nephew, Mikayla's only bringing it upon herself.

Realizing that Brandon was targeting Mikayla, Sophie worried that it was because Mikayla was a strong woman, just like herself. Fortunately for Sophie, Brandon was targeting Mikayla simply because she's hot, which means that Sophie has nothing to worry about for the time being.

Russell's Nephew broke his vow to reveal his family lineage and showed Coach his "Lil' Hantz" tattoo in an attempt to earn his trust. Taken aback that he just found out that he had aligned himself with someone who turned out to be a close relative of his mortal enemy in the game of Survivor, or possibly questioning the intelligence of any white kid who would get the word "LOCO" tattooed on the back of his neck, coach wrestled with whether or not he could trust Russell's Nephew.

At the Immunity Challenge, the Tribes had to unwrap a pole, retrieve keys to unlock the rest of their team, and then work together in order solve a slide-puzzle. While Upolu came out and immediately took a huge lead, they blew it, allowing Savaii to come from behind and win.

After Coach's alliance huddled up to consider who to vote out, Christine asked Edna who Coach's alliance was targeting. When Edna panicked and responded "Sophie," Christine called her out for her lie. "No, Sophie was over there too (standing right next to Edna)...You're messing up your story...big-time!"

Knowing that she was a target to be voted out, Christine stepped up her search for the Immunity Idol. While she was ecstatic to stumble upon a hidden clue to help her locate it, that clue only told her that the Idol was hidden somewhere between the ocean and the trees, which was about as useful to Christine as a man's touch. On the other hand, Ozzy found Savaii's hidden Immunity Idol without the benefit of a clue when he noticed a rock wedged in a tree, and sprung up the hammock like he was Tarzan to investigate.

Heading into Tribal Counsel, Russell's Nephew lied to Coach and told him that both Stacey and Christine told him that they were going to vote out Mikayla, when in actuality he told the two of them that's who everyone else had decided to vote out. Coach made a brilliant strategic move in opening Tribal Council by stating he didn't understand why Stacey and Christine wanted to vote Mikayla out, since he wanted her to stay. This ultimately caused Russell's Nephew to come clean and admit that he had gone Sarah Palin and told Christine and Stacey how to vote, which was contrary to what his alliance had previously agreed upon.

After things calmed down, Coach's alliance voted Christine out 4-3, sending her to Redemption Island as she bitched to the camera about Coach by saying, "He's a tool." Actually, I think the way Coach handled Tribal Council was the best move he's ever made in the game of Survivor, although next week will be interesting to see how he handle's Russell's Nephew now that he caught him trying to go behind his back. Plus we have the added bonus of getting to watch another installment of "Rape Watch 2011." I just wish Christine hadn't been cast off to Exile Island before she finished organizing Survivor's first "Take Back the Night" march.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 3: Because Matt Stafford just might be on his way to becoming the best QB in the NFL


Week 2 NFL Results: 11-3-2
NFL Results Season to Date: 18-10-3

Week 2 College Football Results: 1-3
College Football Results Season to Date: 2-6-1

Week 3 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Cincinnati vs. San Francisco (San Francisco, road, +2.5) Alex Smith, or Andy Dalton? Alex Smith, or Andy Dalton? I'm going to reluctantly take Alex Smith and the 49ers, simply because they have a decent defense and they're getting points.    
New England vs. Buffalo (New England, road, -9) Buffalo is something like 1-19 in their last ten years against New England. If Terrence McGee is out for the Bills secondary due to an injury, I look for Tom Brady and the Patriots to throw all day long.
New Orleans vs. Houston (New Orleans, home, -3.5) The Crawfish Bowl. New Orleans residents always complain that the biggest and best crawfish get shipped off to Houston. This week New Orleans strikes back. While I like the Texans this season, their secondary does not match-up well with the Saints receivers.
Philadelphia vs. New York Giants (New York Giants, road, +8) The Giants secondary and wide receiving corps are in shambles, but I still think that they can cover 8 points against a division rival with their running game and the Eagles only a Michael Vick concussion away from Mike Kafka.
Cleveland vs. Miami (Miami, road, +2.5) Miami has a talented secondary that has been shredded by good passing offenses thus far. Otherwise, their defense, namely their front seven, is pretty solid. I just don't think that Cleveland has the vertical passing game to make Vonte Davis and Sean Smith pay like New England and Houston did.
Denver vs. Tennessee (Denver, road, +7) Chris Johnson didn't work out during his hold-out. Reports out of Denver have leaked that they already have decided that former 1st round pick Knowshon Moreno will not be back with the team next season. Matt Hasselbeck and Kyle Orton are the same person. I like Kenny Britt better than any receiver Denver has, but not 7 points worth, all else considered.
Detroit vs. Minnesota (Detroit, road, +3.5) The Lions, like New England, are running sets with two athletic tight ends to take advantage of how nearly every team in the NFL has gone to more athletic, but smaller safeties. Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew are both bigger than any safety that lines up against them, and they're both faster than any linebacker who tries to cover them. After decades in which the Lions were slow to the trigger and and adopted philosophies like the West Coast Offense and the Tampa-2 after they had already run their course, other teams in the NFL now have to adapt to something that the Lions are doing. And by the way, Matt Stafford just might be on his way to becoming the best quarterback in the NFL.


Carolina vs Jacksonville (Jacksonville, road, +3.5) With the Jaguars starting a rookie QB in Blaine Gabbert, I look for them to go conservative and establish the run with Maurice Jones-Drew. With the Panthers also starting a rookie QB in Cam Newton, I think I'll take the points.
San Diego vs. Kansas City (San Diego, home, -14.5) The Chiefs literally imploded last week with personal fouls, season ending injuries to their best offensive and defensive players, and clear divide between their head coach and offensive coordinator, this team is giving up. I don't think you can put a line high enough on this game.
New York Jets vs. Oakland (New York Jets, road, -3.5) I hate this line, I hate this line, I hate this line. I'm taking the Jets, but I have a bad feeling about them playing at the Raiders this week.
Baltimore vs. St. Louis (Baltimore, road, -3.5) I'm disregarding the Ravens results against the Titans last week. The Rams have injuries a WR and RB, and Sam Bradford is struggling with Josh McDaniel's new offense. I like the Ravens to win this game rather handily.
Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta (Atlanta, road, +2.5) Aside from a late rally against the Vikings last week, the Buccaneers just haven't looked good this year. I have to take a good team in Atlanta if they are getting any points in this one.
Arizona vs. Seattle (Seattle, home, +3.5) I think I have to take Seahawks because they're a good team at home...maybe.
Green Bay vs. Chicago (Chicago, home, +3.5) I don't like the Bears offensive line against the Packers pass rush, but I do like 3.5 points for a home team that is pretty solid.
Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis (Pittsburgh, home, -10) The Colts can't run and they can't pass...not even against mediocre teams. I think the Steelers defense will absolutely crush Kerry Collins and the limited Colts offense. I absolutely love this line.

Monday
Dallas vs. Washington (Washington, road, +6) I'm not sold that Tony Romo is healthy enough to play. As soon as Dante Hall forthrightly said that he would go after Romo's punctured lung and broken rib, Dallas magically announced that medical tests declared Romo's lung and rib as healed. A punctured lung and a broken rib healed in less than a week? I'm thinking more and more that this is a smokescreen, and that we're going to see Jon Kitna start this game, although I'd love to see Romo and Rex Grossman try to match each other in stupid interceptions. In the mean time, the Pigskins are getting things done with a conservative offense and an underrated defense, so I'll take the points.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

LSU vs. West Virginia (LSU, road, -5.5) Even in Morgantown, the Mountaineers are no match for LSU.
Texas A and M vs. Oklahoma State (Oklahoma St., road, +4.5) I can't see Oklahoma State losing this game, let alone getting points.
Michigan vs. San Diego State (San Diego State, road, +10.5) In the Brady Hoke Bowl, Kyle Turley gets his revenge with an outright win by his beloved Aztecs. Turley may be a terrible musician, but he was right about Hoke...and make no mistake about it, San Diego State is the more talented team here.   
Clemson vs. Florida State (Florida State, road, +2.5) It's a little weird to talk about The Bowden Bowl without any Bowden's involved. Clemson has unimpressive wins over 3 mediocre teams. Florida State played Oklahoma tough last week. I think they not only cover, but they leave Death Valley with the win.
Alabama vs. Arkansas (Alabama, home, -11.5) Maybe Arkansas was looking ahead last week, but they struggled with Troy. They also didn't look very good on the football field. Alabama is simply loaded, so unless Arkansas comes out clicking on all cylinders, I like the Crimson Tide to walk away with this one.

Remember to checkout live NFL games on your computer at http://www.watchlivenfl.com/

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blogging SURVIVOR - South Pacific: "Jesus and Elvis...they both inspired me"

Survivor - South Pacific is upon us. This year the contestants were divided in the traditional two tribe format, Upolu and Savaii. The twists this season were relatively minor. Coach and Ozzy returned for their third seasons to lead their respective tribes, and the tribe members that get voted out have a chance at returning to the game by going to Redemption Island and competing against the other evicted contestants.

Now let's get to know the contestants and break down their pros and cons based upon their official bios on the CBS website, as well as what we learned about them during the first episode. Here they are broken down by tribe, but otherwise in no particular order:

Upolu Tribe

Coach - The soccer coach/symphony conductor/pastor from California is back for his third season. Pros: He knows the game, he loves the game, and he's promising to be less self righteous this time around. Cons: He's been on the show multiple times and he has multiple nicknames, "coach" and "the dragon slayer." That's like playing poker with a guy who has first and last names that are the same as major cities. You want to get him away from the table as quickly as possible.

Albert - Albert is an ex Division I baseball player from south Florida, who is now a baseball/dating coach. Pros: He seems like he could be a big time physical force in the game. Cons: As a baseball/dating coach, he very well might be Alex Rodriguez's personal assistant, and A-Rod's last few years haven't been the best. Plus he already won the Bachlorette when he got engaged to Ali.

Brandon - Brandon is Russell Hantz's nephew, and since that is the only reason he's on the show, he will hereafter be referred to only as "Russell's nephew." Russell's nephew makes it seem as if he has a bit of a troubled past, but is now turning to God in attempt to do what is right...kind of like Sarah Palin. Pros: He seems to be a big enough douche deep down inside to make some big moves. Cons: He's Russell's nephew, and he's short...seriously, like Oompa Loompa short. Or should I say, "Upolu-Loompa" short.

Christine - A middle aged teacher from New York, Christine immediately announced to everyone that Coach and Ozzie were her targets upon their introduction to the game. Pros: She's smart to target the right people. Cons: She's dumb enough to say it out loud and immediately make enemies.

Edna - An Anesthesiologist from L.A., Edna seems like a pretty sweet and quiet girl. Pros: She immediately befriended coach when nobody else in the game wanted to reach out to him. That could be beneficial to her given his belief in loyalty when playing the game, that is, assuming he doesn't get voted off. Cons: She was the only person to initially reach out to coach, which made her a social outcast amongst her tribe mates.

Mikayla - Mikayla is a Lingerie Football League player in Tampa Bay. She's also yet to tell her tribe mates that she was on the February 2011 cover of Playboy. Pros: She's a Lingerie Football League Player and a Playboy cover girl (if guys are in control of the game). Cons: She's a Lingerie Football League Player and a Playboy cover girl (if girls are in control of the game).

Rick Rick is a rancher from Utah. I would consider him to be a cross between country music singer Kix Brooks and actor Jason Lee. Pros: Rick is an outdoors man in every sense of the word. He can hunt, fish, start fires, and build shelter. Cons: He wears a cowboy hat, and I can't see anyone who wears a cowboy hat ever winning survivor. Then again, the cowboy hat may not be a con after all.


                               

Sophie - Sophie is a medical student from rural New York. She's part bookworm, part athlete. Pros: She's smart, she's strong, and she could fly under the radar. Cons: None to speak of at this point.


Stacie - A 44-year-old mortician from Texas. Pros: She lists her personal claim to fame as "none of my children have ever been in trouble with the law," so she's got that going for her. Cons: She's old, and she quoted a bible verse, that was quoted by another contestant from season 2 of Survivor in her CBS bio. That's kind of like you taking a picture, of someone else taking a picture, of themselves taking a picture in the mirror...okay, I'm confused now, or at least slightly drunk.


Savaii Tribe

Ozzy - Ozzy, the three time contestant from Venice, CA, returns to the game as the head of the Savaii Tribe. Pros: Ozzy has established himself as the ultimate camp player in past seasons. He can fish, he can build shelter, and he can climb trees like he's Petra Nemcova. Cons: He's almost too good and too likable. Nobody wants this guy even close to having a chance of making it to the end and going before the Jury.

Dawn - A 41-year-old English Professor at Brigham Young University. Cons: She's old, and she's from Utah. Pros: She believes in talking snakes. So if there's a talking snake on the island that knows the location of the hidden Immunity Idol, she's got a huge advantage over the rest of the contestants.

Elyse - Elyse is a L.A. dance team manager who also happened to be second runner up to Miss America. With Japanese, German and Native American blood in her background, she has quite a striking look. Pros: Guys should be drooling all over her. Cons: Girls, not so much. Plus I'm thinking that beauty queens don't do so well when stranded without necessities for 30 days...just look at what happened to John Salley on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! when he didn't have his tofu or makeup.

Jim - Jim owns two medicinal marijuana dispensaries in Denver and also considers himself to be a pro poker player. However, he's telling his tribe mates that he's a science teacher, which is a slightly less honorable occupation than the two he really does have, at least in my opinion (Take that Mr. Mackie!...if you're still alive, which you're probably not). Pros: He's a potential manipulator. Cons: This guy is totally full of himself and overestimating his own intelligence relative to the field. He's up against a Harvard Law student, a medical student, and a M.D., while he's got an MBA from the University of Michigan, which they pretty much give away for free just for attending their Hash Bash. In fact, those idiots are so stupid that they start it at noon instead of at 4:20 p.m.

Cochran - John, his actual first name, is a Harvard Law student and Survivor enthusiast/historian. Cochran wrote an award winnning paper in Law School about the Survivor jury system. He's asked to go by Cochran because some of the best player's in the game's history were known by their last names. Pros: A strong mental player, at least on paper. Cons: He has put a target on his back for his proclaimed intellectual skills, plus he is a liability in physical challenges and around camp. He's also socially awkward. I guessing that he probably told the Dean of his Law School how he wanted to ask out his daughter.

Keith - A water treatment technician from Minnesota, Keith is a laid back surfer who took a few years off to surf in Hawaii. Pros: Seems like an athletic, likable dude. Having worked one summer in a water treatment plant myself, I know he's definitely humble...you don't spend 90 degree days in Hazmat suits caked in shit without humity, and yes, I'm still bitter. Cons: Probably too laid back to have the killer instinct necessary to win the game...but if the holes they dig to poop in ever begin fill up, Keith's gonna be the man!  

Mark - An openly gay retired detective from New York (a gay dic...get it?), Mark goes by the nickname Papa Bear. In fact, with his beard, he's only a flannel shirt away from having the best nickname ever. Pros: He's rational and fatherly. Cons: Even though he claims to be a gym rat, his age is going to hurt him in physical challenges.

Semhar - Semhar is an attractive, spoken word poet from L.A. Pros: A likable free-spirited hippie. Cons: Hippies are not as good at living off the land as they would have you think. 

Whitney - A country singer from Nashville, TN. Pros: When Whitney listed her inspirations on her CBS bio as "Jesus and Elvis," this aspiring country music artist had no idea that she had just inadvertently came up with the title for her first gold record. Cons: She seems pretty well established as a singer, as she's already signed to a major record label, so I'm thinking that her Survivor experience is all about the free publicity.

Now that we've gotten to know the Survivor contestants, in my next post I'm going to play catch-up and give a recap and my analysis on the strategy and action that took place over the first two episodes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BBB13 (Blogging Big Brother 13) - "I suck at this competition, I definitely wasn't a reading comprehension student"

Click here to get my most up to date Blogging Big Brother 13 posts
With Adam winning HOH, he re-pledged his loyalty to the remaining "Veterans," Jordan and Rachel, but he first hoped to get something in return. "My lips are getting a little chapped from kissing a lot of Veteran butt, so this week, let's see if these girls are kissing my butt the way I kissed their butt." Porsche, upset that she lost HOH, complained, "I suck at this competition, I definitely wasn't a reading comprehension student."

Upon unveiling Adam's HOH room, it was revealed that he was sent something called "gummy bacon." To think, until this point in the game, I thought that Rachel was the most disgusting thing to set foot in the Big Brother house...I think we might need to take a poll on this one.

As Adam contemplated his nominations, he informed Jordan that he might put her up for eviction along with Porsche. Jordan was less than pleased about the prospect of getting sold out at the end of the game by an alliance member, as she complained, "This girl uses her feminine ways and bats her eyes...trying to get her way."

In spite of Jordan's protest, Adam nominated Porsche and Jordan for eviction. Adam stated, "The best night of sleep I've had in this house is the night I won the Veto and took myself off the block. Rachel has done that already, you two have yet to do that. I'm giving you the opportunity to earn it, please."

At the POV Competition, the contestants played "Jukebox V.E.T.O," where they were given clues stacked on two jukeboxes, and asked to match them with the names of their corresponding house mates. Porsche secured the POV win when she developed a strategy of stacking her blocks on the ground instead of locking them on the jukebox, which allowed her to edit her answers more quickly than her competitors. Porsche's win guaranteed her a spot in the final 3, along with Adam.

Forced to put up a replacement nominee for Porsche, Adam had no choice but to put up Rachel. That gave Porsche the sole vote on whether to evict Rachel or Jordan.

With Rachel having been on again/off again friends with Porsche throughout the game, and Jordan not having even talked to Porsche, Jordan knew the writing was on the wall when she issued a snarky speech aimed at Jordan before the eviction vote. "Porsche, 69 days here, we never really talked that much, but I know that you love wearing bikinis, and you live to host competitions." 

While an overly catty Jordan may have been the "Veteran," she was the one who probably should have made a point to befriend Porsche and not vice versa, as she was the one who ended up getting voted off the show because her less social counterpart was at least "frien-emies" with Rachel.

In the first of a three staged final HOH Competition, the contestants had to stand on a giant mixing blade without falling off as it whipped through a giant bowl of butter. After getting hit with blasts of goo, Rachel exclaimed, "In the face!" She then licked her lips and pretended not to look disgusted...not at all unlike any night when she's stripped in Vegas and still had to go home to Brendon.

The "Big Brother mixer" competition soon began to take it's toll on Porsche. "I'm feeling nauseous and I definitely do not want to give up...although I don't want to be swimming in my own throw-up either, so this is like a catch-22." This caused Rachel to exclaim, "Fall off, because I do not want to be hanging out in throw-up butter." Interestingly to me, thow-up is vomit, while I would consider "throw-up butter" to be something completely different altogether...but I'm sure that Brendon is proud that Rachel was able to use that term...because she's a scientist.  

As the winner of the 1st stage of the final HOH Competition, Rachel automatically moved on the the 3rd and final stage. This left Adam and Porsche to play in a 2nd round, in which they were to arrange the faces of their house guests through an underwater maze in the order that they had won HOH. While Adam seemed to have the advantage in knowing the chronology of the game better, he inexplicably threw off his goggles when they lost their seal, allowing Porsche to defeat him when he he had to leave the tank to look for them.

After losing his chance to win the final HOH, Adam later proclaimed to the finalists and jury, "If I didn't throw my goggles and I didn't smoke...I would have won this game." He actually almost had me sold...all except for the part where Adam sucked at playing Big Brother.

The 3rd and final part of the HOH Competition was a "how well do you know the contestants" contest between Rachel and Porsche. Porsche proved that she was completely oblivious during the game, as she only got 1 question correct and basically handed the HOH to Rachel. Rachel was then forced to choose between Adam and Porsche on who to take to the final two, and she ended up choosing Porsche based upon their prior agreement.

As Rachel and Porsche met the Jury, Rachel stressed how she had to play the game with a target on her back and how she was a strong competitor. Porsche only tried to kiss-up to Adam by telling him that she "loved him," almost like when a waitress gives you shitty service, but then tries to be nice to you when she hands out the check in a desperate attempt to get a decent tip. The fact that Porsche is a waitress and Adam is a big sucker around women was obviously just a coincidence given that he could have been one of the swing votes, right?

As the Jury deliberated, "Evel Dick" commented how his daughter Daniele single handedly blew up the "Veteran" alliance that he had created, although he refused to criticize her on camera. He instead said (in regards to the two of them no longer speaking), "I talk behind her back, not in front of her." Jeff was given an opportunity by Connie Chung to make amends with Daniele, and while he briefly thought about doing so, he ultimately said, "I guess I do dislike her...I don't like her." When asked to comment on Shelly's gameplay  and her propensity to lie, the ever beautiful Cassi (and Shelly's only real friend from the house) said "She really threw me for a loop...She really had me fooled."

In America's Vote for their favorite contestant to win $25,000, Jeff was chosen as the winner...because America hates fags just as much as Rick Perry, who based upon America's vote here is destined to become our next President. With a "Veteran" laden jury, Rachel not so surprisingly (but not so deservingly), was voted winner of Big Brother 13, picking up the $500,000.

When Rachel pledged to donate her grand prize to herpes and Hepatitis C research, Brendon nodded in the background in approval. Rachel immediately parlayed her win into another 2 episode guest appearance on the Bold and the Beautiful, where she'll apparently go out of her comfort zone and play a waitress. I guess I'm just surprised that they don't have her lined up to play a scientist, because after all, it's just acting.

Here's Rachel as she learned that she was voted the winner of Big Brother 13. Strangely, whenever she is handed a semi-large sum of money, she instincually opens her mouth...a trait she inherited from her mother.
And as all the contestants began to intermingle and catch up to end the season, you could see Keith aggressively walking around the stage by himself, almost as if he was looking for a dude to mount up on...kind of like my dogs do when they have to poop, but it's raining too hard for them to want to go outside.  

Friday, September 16, 2011

NFL picks - Week 2: Because Tony Romo is dumber than Jessica Simpson...but not as bad as Alex Smith


Week 1 NFL Results: 7-7-1
NFL Results Season to Date: 7-7-1

Week 1 College Football Results: 1-3-1
College Football Results Season to Date: 1-3-1

Week 2 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

New Orleans vs. Chicago (Chicago, away, +7) I don't love Bears this year, but I really don't understand this line. I'll take 7 points against a Saints team that got smoked against the pass last week, thank you.    
Detroit vs. Kansas City (Detroit, home, -8) The Lions played poorly last week and still dominated Tampa Bay on the road. The home crowd will be fired up the cheer for a winner. The question is, what Chiefs team will show up. If they can run some screens to Jamaal Charles, it could go a long way to negating Detroit's pass rush.
New York Jets vs. Jacksonville (Jets, home, -9) The Jags played better than expected against Tennessee last week, but now they are on the road against the Jets.  
Buffalo vs. Oakland (Oakland, road, +3.5) This is one of the better match-ups of the week. Buffalo came out on fire offensively last week, but I look for a low scoring game where the Oakland running game at least puts them in position to win on the road.
Washington vs. Arizona (Arizona, road, +4) The Tim Hightower bowl! Like the Pigskins trade for Tim Hightower, I'm starting to think that the Cardinals trade for Kevin Kolb is not getting the attention it probably deserves.
Baltimore vs. Tennessee (Baltimore, road, -6) Chris Johnson's holdout continues. Alright, he's no longer holding out, but he might as well be against a Ravens defense that continues to drink from the fountain of youth.
Pittsburgh vs. Seattle (Pittsburgh, home, -14.5) A 14.5 pt. line in week 2? Vegas never sets lines this big so early in the season. Unfortunately, with Seattle playing so poorly on the road last season, and with a good Steelers team looking to redeem themselves after week one, I can't bring myself to take the points. .
Green Bay vs Carolina (Green Bay, home, -10) I'll admit it. Cam Newton surprised me in week 1. If he is able to do it again in week 2 against a Dom Capers Packers defense, we can talk.
Minnesota vs. Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, road, +3) The Vikings and Donovan McNabb are terrible. The Buccaneers are a good team that is bound to get back on track after a week 1 set-back.
Cleveland. vs. Indianapolis (Cleveland, road, -3) Jesus, this one is ugly. I never thought that I'd be saying that I'm taking Cleveland over the Colts because I like their quarterback situation better.
Dallas vs. San Francisco (Dallas, road, -3) Okay, so Tony Romo might have been the dumb one in his relationship with Jessica Simpson, but he's still a better quarterback than Alex Smith.
Houston vs. Miami (Houston, road, -3) I've just got a feel about the Texans this season, and the Dolphins aren't the team to make me question it.  
San Diego vs. New England (San Diego, road, +7) After one week, I already see this as the AFC Championship game. I think I'll take Phil Rivers and 7 points.  
Denver vs. Cincinnati (Denver, home, +3.5) I'm shocked that Denver fans are buying up billboards to put up ads in favor of benching Kyle Orton. They need to keep their T-boner in their pants. There isn't a QB in the league with better leadership than Kyle Orton, which is why I am picking his Broncos at home over a Bengals team lead by a rookie QB on the road.
Philadelphia vs. Atlanta (Atlanta, home, +3) I want to pick the Eagles in this game, but I just can't pass up 3 points and a Sunday night game home crowd.
Monday
New York Giants vs. St. Louis (Giants, home, -6) Let's just call this one the "we could of made the playoffs if not for injuries bowl." While the defensive injuries cancel out, I just can't see Sam Bradford handling a MNF game in NYC without a running game, while Eli Manning will do his best to distribute the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, and the Rams defensive backfield. Nonetheless, the Giants running game will be too much for St. Louis to overcome.

College Football's Top Four Games of the Week:

Notre Dame vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, road, +5) This line is not an indication of how good Las Vegas thinks Notre Dame is, it's an indication of how stupid they think people who bet on the Fighting Irish are. The Spartans have won 6 of 7 in South Bend, and they have better talent, better coaching, and a more experienced quarterback heading into this year's game.
Kentucky vs. Louisville (Kentucky, home, -6) The only other rivalry game this week. Unfortunately, it comes from the football "hotbed" of Kentucky. I don't think we're ever going to see the Cardinals recover from losing Bobby Petrino as their head coach. Once they lost the momentum under Steve Kragthorpe's reign, they just don't have the recruiting base or history to keep it going. The Wildcats have their own problems, but there still more than six points better than the Cardinals at home.
Oklahoma vs. Florida State (Oklahoma, road, -3.5) While Florida State considers jumping to the SEC, a school from a dissolving conference whips their ass.  
Utah vs. Brigham Young (BYU, home, -4) The orthodox Mormons defeat the non-orthodox Mormons, as Joseph Smith would have wanted.

Remember to checkout live NFL games on your computer at http://www.watchlivenfl.com/

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBB13 (Blogging Big Brother 13) - "My strategy is to stay on my hands and knees"

Click here to get my most up to date Blogging Big Brother 13 posts
With Porsche having opened Pandora's Box, the house guests were forced to play as pairs as the duo twist was once again unleashed upon the house for one week.

With new life in the game, an ecstatic Rachel exclaimed, "Thank you Pandora's Box!"

On the other hand, her mentally challenged partner, Jordan, seemed oblivious to the opportunity they were handed as she whined, "I wonder what Porsche got? Why couldn't I get HOH and get Pandora's Box?"

I still stand by my belief that Jordan is the best strategic player left in the game, but that's not exactly a compliment to everyone else who is left.

With Porsche in control of the nominations despite the Pandora's Box twist, Adam switched alliances as if he had never left the "Newbies" to begin with.

Adam's kind of like the big sweaty guy who shows up at your college kegger uninvited and starts drinking for free, and nobody says anything to him because they all just assume one of the other roommates invited him. Back when I was in college, we called that guy "Stinky Paul."

While it was a strategically a tough call, Porsche nominated Rachel and Jordan for eviction, knowing that they could remove themselves from the block as a duo in the event that either one of them won the POV... at least I assume that Porsche was aware of that possibility.

Then again, she did open up Pandora's Box, so it's entirely possible that she's not capable of thinking far enough in the future to realize that: a) hidden twists in the game can only produce negative results when you and your alliance are firmly in power; b) nominating a duo that has a strong chance of removing themselves from the block could come back and bite you, or c) when you eat an entire troth of Big Brother "slop" every day that is covered in chocolate and marshmallows it can quickly make you gain 25 pounds, thereby hindering your chances of using your sexuality on national TV to improve upon your position in life as a "VIP cocktail waitress."

The POV Competition required each player to hold onto a life sized dummy of their original partner in the Big Brother house for as long as possible. Porsche was none to happy to have to wrap herself around Keith.

"It's way too soon to see Keith again. I mean, I could wait a lifetime and still be okay with it. But his face on a dummy? Kind of fitting." Apparently Porsche has some sort of prejudice against Keith because he's not a VIP.

With Adam having to hang on to a dummy of his ex-partner Dominic, who became Daniele's love interest before being evicted, Adam said, "I know Dominic was kind of hoping it was Daniele...AWKWARD!"

I don't exactly know who's responsible for this hole "AWKWARD" thing. Maybe it was just a Daniele thing, or possibly it's just a "Generation Y" saying that I don't quite get, but can we please stop using the phrase "AWKWARD!" Thank you.

As the POV Competition progressed, Kalia began dropping ass as she struggled to hang on to her Lawon dummy. This caused Jordan to comment, "Lawon is probably like, EWWW! girl, what are you doing?"

Of course, Kalia tried to issue a denial when she said, "I promise you - I don't fart," but not before looking around to the diary room cameras with an incriminating look on her face.

Rachel ended up outlasting the other contestants to win the POV, which was probably the most work she's ever put-in while straddling anything that even remotely resembles Brendon...except for maybe his brother.

Upon winning the POV, which gave Rachel and Jordan the power to evict either Shelly or Adam as duo replacement nominees, Shelly immediately went to Jordan to apologize for turning against their alliance. 

Shelly pledged her allegiance to Jordan and Rachel, and even went as far as to say that she'd throw any future HOH Competitions that came down to her and Jordan or Rachel.

Of course, she also indicated in the diary room that she intended to break that promise, which means that Shelly, having betrayed the "Newbies" twice, was now planning on betraying the "Veterans" for a second time if given the opportunity.

While Shelly would have clearly set a reality show record for the most back-stabs in a season had her plan came to fruition, she failed to consider that nobody believes a God damn word you say you repeatedly get caught telling lies to the same groups of people.

Not lost on Shelly's waffling throughout the game, Rachel stated, "Jordan and I control who's gets evicted this week, and I can't wait to see Shelly grovel at my feet. Sure enough, Shelly tried to play the groveling game, as she offered to let Rachel hold her family heirloom diamond ring as collateral in case she didn't believe her.

Untrue to her word as always, Shelly went on to inform the viewers in the diary room that the ring that she offered to Rachel was actually a duplicate, with the diamonds having been replaced with cubic zirconium. However, Shelly was not as clever as she thought, as Rachel astutely noted, "Shelly, look. I'm engaged, and I know rings, and your ring is not worth half a million dollars...What's that, I can't hear your motherly advice, because you're evicted."

And just like that, the redneck version of Bobby Jimmy and the Critters 'Cubic, Zirconium Girl' was evicted by a 2-1 vote, and Shelly returned home to Dixie...where Duck Head khakis and Wrangler jeans rule their respective social classes, SEC knit belts hold them up, and Big Johnson t-shirts tell the north and their women what they really think.
What a wasted artistic opportunity...I could have sworn that I was going to get a "because the South's gonna rise again" reference.

At a HOH Competition that was called "Rollin' in the Dough," the contestants had to navigate a ultra thick and gooey obstacle course in order to bring back the most donuts in their allotted time.

While Rachel said, "My strategy is to stay on my hands and knees and not get the frosting all over my clothes," she knew damn well and good that's not the way things work...I mean, why else would she bring a change of clothes with her every evening when she goes to work at "The Lusty Loin." Not surprisingly, her experience prevailed, and Rachel won the HOH.

Upon winning the HOH, Rachel, like Porsche, was offered a chance to open Pandora's Box. Tempted by a video from former 90210 star Tori Spelling, Rachel exclaimed, "Oh my God, Adam would freak out!"

Assuming that she was going to be offered a bridal shopping spree with Tori, and not learning from Porsche's mistake the week before, Rachel elected to open Pandora's Box. 

Thinking that she would receive a reward with the rest of the house getting the corresponding punishment, Rachel put the horse before the cart (or in terms she can understand...the penis before her ass).

Instead of getting a reward, she was subjected to spending the day with Big Brother season 10 and 11 contestant and douche bag extraordinaire and self proclaimed "Mr. Pec-Tacular," Jesse Godderz, who apparently is now a low level professional wrestler performing in high school and church auditoriums throughout the greater Ohio Valley.

"Mr. Rec-Tacular" returned to the Big Brother house to make sweet, sweet love to his openly gay pillow.

As part of her "punishment," Jesse gave Rachel his line of hair gel, protein powder, books, body wash, and gay porn pictures. This caused Rachel to ask, "Do I have to keep this stuff?" To which Jesse narcisstically responded, "You get to keep this stuff."

"Mr. Rec-Tacular," Jesse Godderz, tries to determine whether his shrinkage is due to the cold water, his steroid laden line of body building supplements, or just poor genetics.

With Rachel receiving a punishment instead of a reward for opening Pandora's Box, the rest of the house (okay, just Adam) got a reward in the form of a visit from Tori Spelling. When Tori rang the doorbell and entering the house, Adam's jaw dropped faster than Rachel's mouth at a Shriners Convention, and all he could do was grunt out AHHHH!!! while fanning himself.

"AHHHH!"
As Tori introduced herself, Adam managed to blurt out, "Donna Martin graduates!" Kalia asked Tori if she had heard about Adam's infatuation with her, and Tori responded by saying, "I might have heard something about it."

Things got a little creepy when Adam told Tori, "One time my girlfriend got upset, I did call her Donna when we were lying in bed while watching 90210." A very relieved Tori replied, "I thought you were going to say something else!"

Tori eventually warmed up to him, and she gave both Adam and his inflatable duck kisses before she left. That caused Adam to pant, "Oh my God...Tori Spelling kissed my duck!" Somehow, Tori missed the fact that Adam's "inflatable duck" was simply a metaphor for his penis.

After Tori Spelling left the house, all of the contestants aside from Rachel (who was still locked in the HOH room with "Mr. Rec-Tacular) were treated to a free shopping spree where they could grab as many clothes as they could put on. Porsche showed more aggressiveness about the shopping spree than she did during any competition she's participated in, exclaiming, "Oh my gosh! The thing I definitely missed being in the outside world is shopping. So I'm ready to get out there, push these girls to the side, and get myself some new clothes."

In response to Porsche's shopping spree, a jealous Rachel snarked, "Porsche doesn't deserve that stuff, she wears sweatpants everyday," although she forgot that Porsche is deserving of a new wardrobe, if for no other reason than she needs clothes that will fit her now that she has surpassed her "freshman 15" in a matter of 8 weeks.

With Rachel back in charge of the game as HOH, Adam chicken and waffled his was back to their alliance like the keg party crasher he is. Mmm...chicken and waffles...and beer! Jordan pressed Rachel to stay true to the integrity of the game by nominating the two weakest players, but Rachel wanted to eliminate her strongest competitors, so she nominated Kalia and Porsche instead. 

At the Veto Competition, the contestants had to find specific types of pies named after prior house mates and return them to "OTEV," the sweet toothed shark. The last person to return with each particular pie got eliminated.

While Porsche should have won, she made a catastrophic mistake when she carelessly grabbed the wrong pie at the end, allowing Adam to claim the POV that she desperately needed. Porsche and Kalia tried to talk Adam into making a big game move to improve his position with the jury by using the POV on their duo, but he ultimately kept his word to Rachel and kept her nominations the same.

In her speech to her housemates before the eviction vote, Kalia targeted Adam. "You've spent the entire game being what people respect the least in this game, and that is a classic, Grade A floater...Adam, please start playing like an All-Star and stop playing like a fan," which was a bold statement from the only person who had their head further up Daniele's ass than "Evel Dick."

Not surprisingly, Adam voted to evict Kalia, while Jordan voted to evict Porsche. As HOH, Rachel used her tie-breaking vote to evict Kalia.

Upon being evicted Kalia said, "My downfall was trusting the wrong people...I really thought when I said 'Newbies' to the end, it really meant 'Newbies' to the end." Sure, all except the part where you secretly turned on the "Newbies" alliance the first time the "Veterans" won HOH...but we weren't really paying attention to that, Shelly...I mean Kalia.

The Fortune Teller machine in the Big Brother house finally came into play when it lead "true or false" trivia contest for HOH based upon events that took place earlier in the game. Possibly motivated by Kalia's slam, or possibly playing his hardest in competitions for the first time since he entered the house, Adam won his second challenge in a row to secure HOH and a guaranteed spot in the final 3.

Big Brother 13 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. Porsche - Porsche has officially turned into Cagney from Cagney and Lacey...if Cagney tried to cram her 60 year old ass into Juicy Couture sweatpants.



3. Rachel - When Jesse offered to autograph his body building products before he left, he and Rachel had the following exchange, which played out like a conversation at my 6-year-old's first day of school:

Jesse - "What's your name again?"
Rachel - "Rachel."
Jesse - "How do you spell it?"
Rachel - "With an R."  (both parties walk away satisfied)
2. Adam - After Adam was the first to be eliminated in the POV Competition where the contestants had to hang onto their partner's dummy the longest, When Adam complained, "I'm supposed to be the strongest guy in the house," he quickly remembered, "Oh wait, I'm the only guy in the house." However, Adam finished strong with his best week in the Big Brother house, winning back-to-back POV and HOH Competitions and getting a kiss on the cheek from Tori Spelling as he secured the first spot in the final 3.

I see big ratings in the future if Oxygen pick up the new reality series, Tori and Adam...and Adam's pissed off girlfriend Fara.

1. Jordan - Jordan has started calling her union with Rachel as "Jo-chel." Personally, I think "Whore-dan" would have been more appropriate from Rachel's standpoint, but that's just me. Fortunately for Jordan, Adam's man crush on Jeff is extending to her by proxy, so she has both Adam and Rachel in her corner heading into the finals next week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 1: Because Chad Henne sucks


Week 1 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Thursday
Green Bay vs. New Orleans (Green Bay, home, -4.5) The Packers are a match-up nightmare for the Saints.

Sunday
Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, road, +2) With Ben Roethlisberger out of the news and Troy Polamalu healthy, I can't bet against the Steelers with two points in hand.
Tampa Bay vs. Detroit (Detroit, road, +1) The Lions not only beat Tampa with their third string quarterback on the road in a game last season that the Buccaneers had to win to reach the playoffs, but the Lions should be much better this season. Look for the Bucs to offset the Lions rush with plenty of screen passes to LaGarrette Blount.  
Atlanta vs. Chicago (Atlanta, home -3) Mark my words, Chicago will not be anywhere as good as they were last season.
Kansas City vs. Buffalo (Kansas City, home, -5.5) On the road at Arrowhead Stadium is a tough way for a franchise in shambles to open the season. Sadly, the thing I like the most about the Bills is Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, and I really don't even like him.
Houston vs. Indianapolis (Houston, home, -9) The Colts can't run the ball. The Colts can't stop the run. Oh yeah, they are also without Peyton Manning.
Philadelphia vs. St. Louis (St. Louis, home, +5.5) I'm not sold on the Eagles yet. I think the Rams will be able to run on them at home and keep things close.
Cleveland vs. Cincinnati (Cleveland, home, -7) The Bengals always struggle in Cleveland. I especially don't like a rookie quarterback against the Browns and the Dawg Pound.
Jacksonville vs. Tennessee (Tennessee, road, +1) I don't understand this line. Even if all else is the same, which it isn't, there's no way I'm taking the Jaguars and giving up points with Josh McCown, Luke McCown or even Cade McNown at quarterback against a veteran like Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans.
New York Giants. vs. Washington (Washington, home, +3) The Giants are dinged up pretty bad already on defense. Call it a hunch, but I like the Pigskins at home with the points.
Arizona vs. Carolina (Arizona, home, -7) Carolina has to travel across the country AND start rookie Cam Newton at quarterback? No thanks.
San Francisco vs. Seattle (Seattle, road, +6) Since I hate both of these teams this year, I'll take the 6 points.
San Diego vs. Minnesota (San Diego, home, -9) The Vikings have no offensive line, no wide receivers, a fat and aging quarterback, no interior defense line, and a suspect secondary. I like Phil Rivers and the Chargers to run up the score at home in this game.
New York Jets vs. Dallas (Dallas, road, +4) I'm curious to see what Rob Ryan can cook up on defense for the Cowboys against his brother Rex's Jets.

Monday
New England vs. Miami (New England, road, -7) Chad Henne has no chance of keeping the Dolphins in the game against the Patriots. In fact, I'm predicting a quarterback change during the game.

Seriously...Is Chad Henne going shirtless with an unbuttoned vest at a wedding? Miami needs to bench this DB right now.
Denver vs. Oakland (Oakland, road, +3) It's not a game that I necessarily want to see, but the Broncos and Raiders are probably one of the better match-ups in week 1. Until John Fox's defense proves otherwise, I'm going to ride Oakland's running game against a team that struggled to stop it last season.

College Football's Top Four Games of the Week:

Oklahoma State vs. Arizona (Arizona, road, +14) There's no way I'm giving 14 points to an NFL first round quarterback like Nick Foles.
Alabama vs. Penn St. (Alabama, road, -10) At least Joe Paterno is finally dead...or at least he will be after this game.
South Carolina vs. Georgia (South Carolina, home, -3) Mark Richt and Georgia are the most overrated coach and team tandem in America.
Notre Dame vs. Michigan (Notre Dame, home, -3) Notre Dame was either over hyped to start the season, or South Florida is better than  advertised. I'm going with a combination of both. I still don't know what Michigan has under the Brady Hoke regime, but I do know that Denard Robinson is the most overrated college football player in my lifetime. Disagree, then do yourself a favor and look up his stat-lines against quality, oh hell, let's make that mediocre opponents.  
Texas vs. Brigham Young (Texas, home, -7) With Texas threatening to go independent, and with BYU having gone independent before this season, let's just go ahead pencil this match-up in for the Independence Bowl. BYU still has some work to do if they want to become the "white" Notre Dame.

Remember to checkout live NFL games on your computer at http://www.watchlivenfl.com/

Monday, September 5, 2011

2011 NFL Predictions - Because Tom Brady can still take performance enhancing drugs

NFC

East

1. Philly, 10-6: Philly definitely raised some eyebrows with off season acquisitions that included Nnamdi Asomugha and Cullen Jenkins, but I still have questions about their offensive line and ability to stop the run before I will consider them as sure fire Super Bowl contenders. For now, they are the cream of the crop in an extremely overrated NFC East.  
2. Dallas, 9-7: While I love the discipline that Jason Garrett brought to the underachieving Cowboys when he took over as coach mid-season, and I LOVE the Rob Ryan hire as their new defensive coordinator, their offensive line could be brutal as they rebuild following the release of 3 aging veterans at RT, LG and C.
3. Giants, 8-8: Pre-season injuries in their secondary and on their defensive line have dampened expectations for the Giants. On the other hand, they still have Eli Manning, I just can't decide if that's a positive or a negative.
4. Washington, 6-10: My initial instinct is to completely write the Pigskins off. However, I think their defense will perform better now that Albert Haynesworth is gone and they have added a high motor guy like Ryan Kerrigan at OLB as a bookend opposite Brian Orakpo. Quarterback is still a major question, but I suspect that Mike Shanahan will get enough out of Rex Grossman and/or John Beck in his west coast offense to at least be respectable...kind of like he did with Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and John Elway.

North
1. Detroit, 10-6: Believe it or not, Detroit is going to be good this season, and possibly REALLY good. Their defensive line will create chaos for even the most experienced quarterbacks, their secondary is underrated, and Mathew Stafford is looking like he is poised to become the next elite quarterback in the NFL. Their offensive line/power running game is the last area that the Lions need to address in order to go from a Playoff contender to a Super Bowl contender.
2. Green Bay, 10-6: I'm still puzzled as to why the Packers elected to re-sign James Jones when they have an abundance of depth at wide receiver, but made no effort to re-sign Cullen Jenkins, who was arguably the most important player in their 3-4 defense last year.

Cullen Jenkins brought muscle to the interior of the Packers 3-4 defense

3. Chicago, 8-8: Every Chicago fan I talk to wants to remind everyone how the Bears, and not the Packers, won the NFC North last year. I like to remind them that had the officials not screwed the Lions out of a win on Calvin Johnson's "did not complete the process" catch, the Bears wouldn't have even made the Playoffs.
4. Minnesota, 5-11: I honestly thought that Minnesota would be an ideal fit for a motivated and in-shape Donovan McNabb to prove Mike Shanahan wrong. Then I saw McNabb in a pre-season game and he looked slow and fat. And when I say slow and fat, I mean slow and fat in the context of Dante Culpepper after he had his knee surgically replaced with the joint from a deep fried turkey leg that he was eating. Throw in some serious questions surrounding the Vikings offensive and defensive lines, and I think they have a major rebuilding project on their hands. Especially when Adrian Peterson looks to leave Minnesota via free agency after this season.

South
1. New Orleans, 10-6: I'm not sure that New Orleans made the right decision letting Reggie Bush walk as a free agent. While Darren Sproles is a great third down back, he doesn't give the Saints the down field receiving threat that they had with Bush where the opposing defense had to account for him on every play. With the addition of Mark Ingram, look for the Saints to become more of a power running team than we've seen in the past.
2. Atlanta, 10-6: I love the additions of DE Ray Edwards and WR Julio Jones to bring big play elements to what were positions of need. I just seriously question a power running team's decision to let their best offensive lineman in Harvey Dahl leave in free agency.
3. Tampa Bay, 9-7: Tampa Bay is an up and coming team, but playing in a tough NFC South, I think they once again come up just short of a playoff bid.
4. Carolina, 1-15: I'm still dumbfounded that Jerry Richardson selected Cam Newton with the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft. Not only did he select 2.5 quarterbacks last year in Jimmy Clausen, Tony Pike and Armanti Edwards, but he'll have no choice but to take Andrew Luck with the first pick in next year's draft.

West
1. Arizona, 9-7: Kevin Kolb may not be an elite quarterback, but he's good enough to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald and help get the Cardinals to the top of a relatively week NFC West. I look for Beanie Wells to have a breakout season, who's not only down to his last chance, but he's really the Cardinals only option at running back.
2. St. Louis, 8-8: I like where this Rams team is headed, I'm just hearing that it may take Sam Bradford a little while to adjust to Josh McDaniels' new offense given that there was a limited offseason due to the lockout. Harvey Dahl is a huge addition on the offensive line. Robert Quinn and a developing Chris Long should finally give the Rams the pass rush that they have been searching for.
3. Seattle, 5-11: I'm a little bit puzzled as to why Pete Carroll let Matt Hasselbeck leave as a free agent if he wasn't going to make a move for someone like Kevin Kolb or Carson Palmer. Handing your team over to Tarvarius Jackson without any sort of a quarterback competition is a major step backwards for a team that back-doored their way into the Playoffs last season. I'm pencilling the Seahawks in for 5 wins, and that's assuming that Charlie Whitehurst takes over as their starting quarterback relatively early this season.
4. San Francisco, 4-10: Has Alex Smith sucked because he's now on his seventh different offensive coordinator in six years, or have the 49ers had seven different coordinators in six years because Alex Smith sucks? In either event, that's not a proposition that I would have explored if I was Jim Harbaugh.

NFC Wildcards: Green Bay and Atlanta
NFC Conference Championship: Green Bay over Philadelphia


AFC

East
1. New England, 12-4: I know that not all of their veteran free agent signings work out, but the rest of the league better look out if they hit on even one or two of them out of Albert Haynesworth, Kevin Carter, Chad Johnson and Brian Watters. Now there's even rumors of a Randy Moss comeback floating around. I look for New England to return to the Super Bowl, so long as Tom Brady's play doesn't significantly drop off now that the NFL is testing for Human Growth Hormone under the new CBA. Actually, Relax Patriots fans. I've actually heard (second hand) from a NFLPA Representative that the HGH testing in the new CBA is a essentially a sham, as the NFL has no ability to contest an appeal of a positive test (it is my understanding that there is only one facility capable of testing for HGH under the CBA at this time, and any appeal would involve a second sample going to an outside lab). So as long as a player who tests positive on his first sample files an appeal, the NFL cannot and will not contest that appeal, with the end result being that the player who tested positive will not be identified or suspended...but at least the NFL can say that they TEST for HGH.

Like his play at Michigan, Tom Brady shirtless was not a pretty sight before he tried to meet up with Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson.
2. Jets, 10-6: I love the D, I like the running game, but I don't have much faith in Marc Sanchez.
3. Miami, 6-10: I really like the defense that Mike Nolan is developing, but there is no excuse for the Dolphins bringing back Chad Henne as their starting quarterback, especially when they botched a potential trade for Kyle Orton.

4. Buffalo, 5-11: GM Buddy Nix is challenging Matt Millen for worst GM of the decade. After receiving criticism (and rightfully so) from Bills fans for trading WR Lee Evans to Baltimore for a 4th round draft pick, Nix attempted to deflect that criticism by placing the blame on his capologist, Jim Overdorf, for consummating that trade. I guess Bills fans should blame Overdorf for letting LB Paul Posluszny leave in free agency and their failure to draft/acquire any NFL caliber offensive linemen since they traded Jason Peters to Philadelphia. On the bright side, Buffalo will be right in the mix for Andrew Luck in next year's NFL draft, although I wouldn't be confident that Buddy Nix and his staff are competent enough to take him.

North

1. Pittsburgh, 12-4: The Steelers finished 12-4 last year even after Ben Roethlisberger's suspension for poor bathroom etiquette and a patchwork offensive line. The Steelers should be just as good, if not better this year.
2. Balt, 10-6: After several years, the Ravens have finally given strong armed quarterback Joe Flacco the deep threats he needs in Lee Evans and Torrey Smith.

3. Cleveland, 8-8: The Browns are showing life with Colt McCoy leading their high efficiency west coast offense. Throw in a relatively easy schedule and an improved front seven on defense, and the Dog Pound could be sniffing .500.
4. Cinci, 2-14: The Bengals are starting over...again. I do like their young corps of receivers and talent on the defensive line. I just don't like handing the team over to an unheralded rookie quarterback with no experienced veteran on the roster worth mentioning to mentor him. Then again, Bruce Gradkowski did work with JaMarcus Russell in Oakland, and we all saw how well that worked out.

South
1. Houston, 10-6: The Texans have finally added enough to their defense with CB Jonathan Joseph, DE J.J. Watt and LB Brooks Reed to give some help to their potent offense. Look for Watt to step in and play at a high level immediately in his rookie season.
2. Tennessee, 8-8: Eight wins may be a little generous for a team who's only experienced quarterback has chronic back problems, but if Matt Hasselbeck and Chris Johnson stay healthy, the Titans should at least be competitive this season.
3. Indy, 4-12: Prediction: Peyton Manning will not play this season. Even if his cervical fusion heals quickly, and keep in mind that this surgery involves a bone graph and a steel cage, the Colts will be so far out of the playoff race that that there will be no point in playing Manning and jeopardizing his health even further. Given short notice, the Colts don't have another quarterback capable of running their complex offense. Throw in the fact that this is not a team that can take pressure off the quarterback by running, and the Colts are in big, big trouble. Quite frankly, this is an aging team that has little depth to replace any of their key starters, let alone Peyton Manning.
4. Jacksonville, 4-12: The Jags are in full blown money saving mode now that they have released David Garrard and handed the starting quarterback job to rookie Blaine Gabbert. Look for another long year in Jacksonville before they pack up their belongings and move to Las Angeles.  

West
1. San Diego, 11-5: The Chargers have the advantage of playing in the worst division in the AFC. The problem is that Norv Turner never has his team prepared to start the season, and they end up digging themselves a hole that they have to dig out of. Adding S Bob Sanders to the secondary and having WR Vincent Jackson for a whole season should help, but I'm not counting on it.
2. Kansas City, 8-8: The Chiefs looked much better last season than they really were, thanks in part to one of the easiest schedule's in the league. Still, I have to give them credit for taking advantage of it.
3. Oakland, 7-9: The Raiders must withstand the losses of G Robert Gallery and all world CB Nnamdi Asomogha. In hindsight, it looks like Al Davis could have retained Asomogha had he offered him slightly more than the Raiders gave to fellow CB Stanford Routt, which would have been a no-brainer. Then again, Al Davis has been functioning without a brain since he became a zombie in 1987.
4. Denver, 6-10: John Fox gets the task of cleaning up the mess her inherited from Josh McDaniel and Brian Xander. He already appears to be on the right track given his decision to bury Tim Tebow down on the Broncos depth chart at quarterback. If the Broncos can assemble some sort of an offensive line and establish a running game to compliment Kyle Orton's short passing game, they might be able to turn things around sooner than later.


AFC Wildcards: Baltimore and Jets
AFC Conference Championship:  New England over Pittsburgh

Super Bowl Prediction: New England 35 - Green Bay 31