If Gambling Were Legal: NFL Week 15

Jacksonville (+13.5) over ATLANTA – Manchester, NH has a better chance of supporting an NFL team long term than Jacksonville.

Dallas (-6.5) over TAMPA BAY – There is very little reason to watch this game other than it’s Saturday night and your only other option is Love Actually on the Family Channel.

NY GIANTS (-6.5) over Washington – Chris Collinsworth was right, Jason Pierre-Paul really does look like an octopus.

Green Bay (-13.5) over KANSAS CITY – I can’t wait for Green Bay to go 18-0 before losing to the NY Giants in the Super Bowl.

New Orleans (-6.5) over MINNESOTA – Free Joe Webb!

CHICAGO (-3.5) over Seattle – This line could move to Seahawks (-3.5) once Sam Hurd’s “client list” is released. Seriously, you’re an NFL wide receiver making $1 million a year, what in the world inspires you to go out and sling crack rock outside the Morton’s Steakhouse in Rosemont?

BUFFALO (PK) over Miami – Now that Sparano has been fired, I can’t imagine this is a very motivated Dolphins team, especially since it will be 38 degrees and snowing on Sunday.

HOUSTON (-6) over Carolina – This one’s for Wade!

INDIANPOLIS (+6.5) over Tennessee – Dan Orlovsky was a huge fan of the back door cover going back to his days in Storrs, CT.

Cincinnati (-6.5) over ST. LOUIS – The worst part about that CBB brawl in the Queen City last weekend is that we now have to listen to all sorts of sportscasters and reporters mispronounce “X-zavier”.

OAKLAND (+1) over Detroit – I’d like to thank Calvin Johnson for helping me earn the top spot in my fantasy football playoffs and for single handedly costing me any chance of advancing past the first round. Megatron is dead to me.

PHILADELPHIA (-3) over NY Jets – Being a New England Patriots fan in a New York television market has never been worse. Instead of Pats/Broncos in Denver, I’ll be stuck with Marv Albert and Rich Gannon live from the Linc. All I want for Christmas is Direct TV.

New England (-7) over DENVER- I feel bad for Lindsey Vonn. Marriage is a long time to wait before having sex again.

ARIZONA (-6.5) over Cleveland – I don’t think the NFL had Brad McCoy in mind when they thought about hiring independent neurologists to roam the sidelines during games. But you know what, he’s probably better than the trainers they have out in Cleveland.

Baltimore (-2.5) over SAN DIEGO – With a win here, Ravens can put Methuselah out of his misery once and for all.

Pittsburgh (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO – Roethlisberger you old sand-bagging SOB.

Last Week 6-10 (Overall 108-97)

view from the Georgia Dome courtesy of @kmillionaire

 

Quick Snaps: NFL Week 5

I love a good holiday weekend, even if Columbus Day is one of the most controversial federal holidays on the calendar. Maybe the entire country should go the way of Berkeley, CA and change the name to “Indigenous Peoples Day”. If you’re looking for a good read on what this land was like before Columbus and his merry band of disease ridden malcontents arrived, take a look at “1491” by Charles Mann. Excellent and investigative take on the culture and progress of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. But enough of the book review, on to a quick NFL Sunday recap for Week 5.

Quick Snaps

Bills 31 Eagles 24 – The Bills lead the AFC East, MIke Vick broke the career rushing record for an NFL QB, and the Philadelphia Eagles dropped to 1-4 on the season. I joked last week about the need for the Philadelphia Phillies to keep winning to help take some of the pressure off of this abysmal start for the Eagles. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen so while Ryan Howard is at home nursing a torn achilles, the heat is only going to intensify on Andy Reid and his basement dwelling Iggles.

Vikings 34 Cardinals 10 – Speaking of the Eagles, two former Philadelphia QB’s, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb, squared off against one another in the Metrodome yesterday too see who could amass a lower passer efficiency. Adrian Peterson had a good afternoon with 3 early touchdowns and this was the game most people should have taken in their survivor pool. However…

Seahawks 36 Giants 25 – Nearly 70% of remaining survivor pool contestants lost because they bet against Clipboard Jesus. If you look closely, you can find Charlie Whitehurst on the cover of most Southern Rock albums from the 1970’s.

Steelers 38 Titans 17 – I can’t decide if Ben Roethlisberger is really tough or just an attention seeking prima dona. He always seems to have these mysterious injuries which threaten to keep him out of action until he “recovers” in time to put up ridiculous numbers like he did Sunday against the Titans.

Raiders 25 Texans 20 – With the recent passing of Al Davis the football karma gods were clearly on the side of the Raiders Sunday afternoon in Texas. Too bad most young football fans don’t entirely understand the impact Davis had on the NFL. I will forever be thankful to the Raiders owner for two reasons: 1) Bo Jackson and 2) the Lane Kiffin firing announcement.

Chargers 29 Broncos 24 – The Republican Party should consider asking Tim Tebow to run for President in 2012. Think about it, they would be guaranteed a win in at least two swing states, Colorado and Florida, and the QB’s presence in the upcoming debates should be inspiring enough to keep even Rick Perry awake.

Patriots 30 Jets 21 – At this point, Jim Nantz, will all of the New England games he has called over the years, has to own a home in the Foxboro area. At the very least he splits a time share with Phil Simms. Now I’m not saying Nantz favors the Patriots but I did find it a little peculiar when Bill Belichick’s red challenge flag came flying out of the CBS broadcast booth during yesterday’s game with the Jets.

view from the Georgia Dome courtesy of @EricFisherTWC

 

The Long New England Winter Just Got a Little Longer

With the loss by my New England Patriots, this playoff recap was about as tough to write as any previous post. Alas, I’m a professional and I know most of you kind souls out there don’t care for a single second that Mark Sanchez will be taking his A Night At The Roxbury routine to Pittsburgh next weekend.

Pittsburgh Steelers 31 Baltimore Ravens 24: Catch the ball Housh!!!! Catch the ball Anquan!!! Help your young quarterback out. Granted Joe Flacco wasn’t playing all that well either but those drops by his two best receivers went a long way towards determining the final outcome of the game.  Give credit to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers who just continue to find ways to win playoff games. Are you aware that Roethlisberger is two wins a way from his 3rd Super Bowl victory?  Personal life aside, guy is a beast of a QB who usually comes through in the clutch. (View of Heinz Field courtesy of @trixietraci)

Green Bay Packers 48 Atlanta Falcons 21: I think it’s safe to say that Aaron Rodgers is playing himself on to a Wheaties box. That was until the folks over at ProFootballTalk mentioned some pretty damning video regarding Rodgers snubbing a cancer patient looking for an autograph.  Not the most inspiring footage.  Luckily, Clay Matthews was there to save the the day for the Packers, but for Rodgers, the damage may already be done.  As a professional athlete, airports must be a claustrophobic nightmare with pimple faced face fans climbing the walls just to catch a glimpse of their gridiron heroes.  But, as PFT points out, this was not your typical fan and Aaron Rodgers should have had the decency to take a quick moment to sign an autograph for a person who was clearly battling something much more devastating than a Cover 2 defense. (View of Georgia Dome courtesy of @Brian_Chrispigna)

Chicago Bears 35 Seattle Seahawks 24: So much for the momentum. In the immortal words of Denny Green, the Seahawks “are who we thought they were”. Not much suspense in this one, except for those gamblers who took Seattle at +10 and were hoping Pete Carroll went for the 2 point conversion on that last TD. The future isn’t all that promising for the Hawks fans who are probably hoping for a disastrous 2011 campaign if only to have a chance at drafting Andrew Luck. The Bears, and their fans, have got to relish being 3 point underdogs at home against the Packers in the NFC Championship game.

New York Jets 28 New England Patriots 21: And it wasn’t even that close.  As a Patriot fan, what can I say?  Rex Ryan outcoached Bill Belichick.  Mark Sanchez outplayed Tom Brady. Done and done. The team of destiny rolls on to the AFC Championship Game. I do wonder what sort of sophomoric barb the Jets will use to get under the skin of their opponent this week. Will they emasculate Troy Polamalu for having long hair? Do they say something derogatory about all the middle class iron workers who populate the Heinz Field stands? Or dare they go as far as to challenge the authority of Pittsburgh head coach Darnell Jefferson? One thing’s for certain, the New York media market is going to be alive with energy this week and I am going to do my best to maintain complete radio silence. (View of Gillette Stadium courtesy of @RyanFox25Sports)

Tis the Season for Bowling: Part III

TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech(-9.5)
January 1, Noon ET (ESPNU)
“Analysis”: The first of the New Year’s Day bowl games. This could be the earliest I ever break my New Year’s resolutions. “I will no longer drink to make things tolerable.”
VMS Pick: Texas Tech

view of the Chick-fil-A Bowl courtesy of @rgpgreenville

Outback Bowl: Florida(-7.5) vs. Penn State
January 1, 1 pm ET (ABC)
“Analysis”: 7.5 points?! Tell me how. Unless Joe Paterno is lined up under center, there’s no way that the Lions should that big a dawg. Also, I won’t watch this game, because none of the players are good.
VMS Pick: I refuse.

Capital One Bowl: Alabama(-10) vs. Michigan State
January 1, 1 pm ET (ESPN)
“Analysis”: This one’s more like it. I’m sure the good people of Orlando were thrilled when The Tide lost a couple of games, placing themselves out of the BCS picture. With the Spartans just missing out on the Rose Bowl, their attention might be elsewhere, and this one might get late early. Roll Tide (best new commercial on TV)!
VMS Pick: Alabama

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State(-4.5) vs. Michigan
January 1, 1:30 pm ET (ESPN 2)
“Analysis”: I haven’t seen the Bulldogs play one down this year. But with Disney’s infatuation with Shoestring Robinson and Coach Rodriguez, I have seen enough of the Wolverines to know that they only play 9 guys on defense. Not really, but close. If State has a full compliment of offensive players, they’ll win.
VMS Pick: Mississippi St.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU(-2.5)
January 1, 5 pm ET (ESPN)
“Analysis”: Badger QB Scott Tolzien is a great Manager of the Game. Horned Frog signal caller Andy Dalton has red hair. You make the call. Wisconsin should be able to run the ball, with three backs (White, Clay, Ball) who combined for nearly 3,000 yards and 34 TDs on the ground.
VMS Pick: Wisconsin

We’re not done yet

The Governor of Pennsylvania Wants You to Finish Your Push-Ups

By far my favorite sports related story of the Blizzard of 2010 was Ed Rendell’s reaction to the NFL postponing the Eagles/Vikings game until tonight.  The Governor of Pennsylvania said, and I am not paraphrasing, “We’ve become a nation a wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this were China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game?” For starters, I applaud Gov. Rendell for speaking his mind.  We live in a PC/cover your ass world and it’s refreshing anytime someone dare go near that line. However, with all due respect to the Governor, the Chinese would have definitely called off Sunday night’s game.

Now, while I can’t quite comment on the quality of snow removal machines in Sichuan Province, I can tell you that with all the snow and wind falling in Philadelphia Sunday night, it would have been next to impossible to reach Lincoln Financial Field. Not only that, but once you reach the stadium, where would you park your car?  Logistically speaking, unless all 80K ticketholders were traveling to the game on cross country skis, there would have had nowhere to put them.

So Governor Rendell, while the Chinese remain vastly superior in calculus, Americans will sit on their couches tonight and enjoy themselves some Tuesday night football live from Philadelphia, PA.

Share your views.

View courtesy of @TCtourMgmt