Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm on Vacation..Well Sorta: Short but Sweet

Due to the vast amount of food and beverages consumed this week, it would be in all our best interests that I don't share any random thoughts or opinions, however gambling is something that is very natural to me, therefore:

Purdue-7.5 over Indiana ****
Cincy-2 over Syracuse **
Carolina-3 over the Colts ***
Bengals-7 over Cleveland***
Seattle-3.5 over Washington****
Atlanta-9.5 over Vikings**
Steelers-10.5 over Chiefs***

Enjoy this like mac and cheese and sweet potato pie and, to my white readers, cauliflower casserole and pumpkin pie! See you next week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Florida St. Makes Me Ignore my Son, and the Jets Are Not Good People

Florida St. (aka Party Pooper)
Last Saturday was my son's 9th birthday, and I didn't get a chance to enjoy it because Florida St. was busy blowing a 16-point lead to not cover the substantial bet that I made, as I took them to beat the University of Miami by more than 11 points.

It seemed in hand, 11 minutes left in the game, up by 16 points, Miami's offense seemingly inept. But I knew, deep down I knew, though the score said 23-7, FSU had settled for a short fg when they shoulda had 7 and then missed a chip shot fg just before halftime...too many points left on the field. I knew these things because I stalled taking my son extreme trampolining to watch the 1st half. I knew that they were ahead but playing sloppy cause I drained my battery on my phone constantly checking ESPN Gamecast while missing photo opportunities of my kid looking like Spider-Man as he hopped across the multi-plex. Then it happened - Miami scored meaningless points as Florida St., who should have won by 20, wins 23-19. What do i get out of it? A thinner wallet, lousy parenting, as I continued to buy my shorties juice and snacks to subsidize my lack of attention (you know, like most parents do). To top it off, I couldn't even call ahead to make dinner reservations at the local pizzeria cause some dipshit's phone died.

I'm done gambling...until tomorrow.

NY Jets (aka Liver Killer)
Sometimes you just gotta let logic take over. The New England Patriots are a deeply flawed team. Yes, they have Tom Brady, but they have a passing game with no deep threat, a mediocre rushing attack and a sub par defense. The Jets, on the other hand, are playing at home, are playing like gang busters, have a superior defense and have already played the Pats this year, so they know what to expect. After being in the AFC championship game the last 2 years, this is the proverbial next step.

It's a no-brainer. They are favored by a measly 1.5 points, and after eliminating my Florida St. debacle with some deft wagering earlier in the day, it's time to go BIG, so that I do. The game is played at a sluggish pace, which is exactly what I expect, and at the end of the half the Jets are about to strike, but inexplicably, NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez (aka Tony Romo of the AFC) calls a time out, giving Tom Brady enough time to do something before halftime. Let me tell you something - you don't give the NFL version of Doc Holliday time to kill you. He strikes for a TD, takes a 13-9 halftime lead and steals all the momentum. After a ho-hum 2nd half thumping, you guessed it...drinking binge!

Bears-3.5 over San Diego
Let me tell you something, Peeps, I don't quit easily. Actually I do - I do quit easily on lots of things, but not gambling. I dusted off my IOUs and the credit card with the extremely high interest rate and got right back in. And (I know I'm not supposed to start a sentence with "and") no better way to do it than with my beloved Bears. This is the 3rd straight time I'm down with the shufflin' crew. The Chargers are turnover prone, they can't stop the run and have shaky special teams. Guess what the Bears do well? Create to's and run the ball well. They have the best special teams in the NFL...Bears by 10!

Bengals +7 vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Bengals are legit, and the Ravens don't beat legit teams by more than 7. It's really that simple. The Ravens offense is way too inconsistent to put a team with a solid defense like the Bengals away. On a side note, kudos to Marvin Lewis, who I thought was going to be fired several times over the years. Now that they have gotten rid of the head cases, that man can coach.

Packers -13.5 over Tampa
Whenever teams start to flirt with going 16-0 in the middle of the season, they start to dominate to fuel the undefeated chatter by the media. Well, we are smack dab in the middle of the season, and the Pack just rolled the Vikes by 40. They will roll Tampa by 20+.

Patriots -14 over Kansas City
The best thing about taking the Patriots when they are a double digit fav is that head coach Bill Belichek never calls off his dogs. If they've eaten your leg to the bone, he just says, "Have the bones too, boys." The Kansas City Chiefs are super awful, and their anemic offense will keep giving the Pats the ball waaayyy too much to keep this game close. Pats by however many Brady wants to win by.

Cowboys -7 over Washington
Did you know that since John Elway retired, I believe Mike Shanahan has one playoff victory? He's about as overrated as a coach can get. He's been deemed some offensive guru, but his teams has been awful. Yes, the Cowboys are unpredictable, but the Redskins are not. Plus, I can't trust a coach who tans that much. The Boys will have more than 20; the Skins won't have more than 10.

Badgers -14 over Illini - No way the Illini can score to keep this close.
Arkansas -13.5 over Miss. St. - I'm in ARK right now, and they assured me they would cover.

I demand better of myself, and so should you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn St. and Vegas Picks

I just read the 23-page report on the Penn St. scandal and damnnnnn…this is jacked up no matter how you look at it. There are, however, three people who stand out on this matter.

Mike McQueary
At the time, the 28-year-old grad assistant allegedly caught the one that shall remain nameless raping a 10-year-old in the shower. He told his dad and then went through the proper channels of reporting what he had seen. This is not the issue. The issue is this: why did he not stop the rape while it was in progress?

McQueary is getting blasted by the media, perhaps rightly so, and now he is getting death threats. I, however, am a bit more realistic about the situation. Without question, he should have stopped, ensured the safety of the kid, and called the police immediately. That being said, his actions were a product of our society. How many times have we as a society looked the other way, whether it’s watching a group of people kick the crap out of one guy, or knowing that domestic abuse occurs with a neighbor or friend and ignoring it? I mean, in da hood snitching is taught to be wrong. It's a survivor mentality. I know everyone will say, “But it’s different cause there were kids involved.” It’s not. Keep in mind, a janitor was sobbing after watching the nameless one raping a child and he did NOTHING.

I get it. We as a society are judgers. We blast pro athletes when they don't give 110% effort all the time while we ourselves rarely give 100%, especially at work. One of the few things I learned in college was in my interpersonal communications class. Our professor said that it is impossible to be objective about yourself, and I believe that is 100% accurate. This is not me saying that every individual in our society would have acted as McQueary did, but a lot more of us would have done the same thing (or less) if put in his shoes. I think McQueary should have taken action, and I would like to believe I would have as well.

This inevitably falls on Paterno. He is, after all, Pennsylvania State University. Yes, I know that he told the athletic director and president, yada yada yada. But the nameless one was his guy, HIS right hand man, and he did this on Paterno's watch. Lest not people forget that 8 years ago, the athletic director and president of Penn St. tried to fire Paterno, and he said no. The same thing happened to Bobby Bowden, the legendary coach of Florida St., and he said no, but they said, “Um, yes, you're done.” Can you imagine if your boss comes to tell you that you're fired, and your response is “Naw, I’m good,” and you then keep your job?

Joe Pa is the most powerful man on that campus, and when this situation came to his attention he should have spearheaded the investigation instead of passing it off. And, yes, he should’ve been fired immediately. It is, after all, the house that Joe built!

Make no mistake about it, this is a disgusting, disturbed individual, but what he did is, above all else, a mental disease. To prey on young children you have to be sick in the head, and the only way to have a fighting chance is to admit you have a problem and seek immediate help. He did not. He succumbed, and now he has ruined his life and his family's life, and he has sent Penn St. down a terrible path.

Michael Jordan is allegedly leading the charge against the players getting a fair deal. Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback as well as anyone I have seen play the position. Two of my fantasy football teams are incredibly bad, and someone just beat my high score on Tri-towers at Buffalo Wild Wings. This would have been an incredible shitty week if I did not nail LSU winning out right against Alabama Saturday night. Speaking of which:

Atlanta +1: New Orleans is not a good road team, and Atlanta is in a groove – lock of the week.
Jets -1.5: New England is not playing well, and the Jets to me are the best team in the AFC – 4 stars
Bears-3: The Bears will not get swept by the Lions. Trust me – 3 stars.
Florida St. -9.5: Florida St. is back to playing like a top 10 team. Miami is not – 4 stars.
Arkansas-14: Tennessee can’t match the Razorbacks offense – 3 stars.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NBA lockout, LaRussa and Vegas Picks

Lately I don't like the person that I'm becoming on a social level. I've spent these last few days reading about Lindsay Lohan going to jail for 30 days, watching Kim Kardashian realize after 72 days that just because you play in the NBA doesn't mean you're black and watching episodes of Whitney on Hulu. These are not in my normal routine for early November.

What I should be doing is salivating over my team I just drafted in my fantasy hoops league. Blogging about how unimportant the regular season is for Lebron James. Hoping whoever the Bulls picked up as their 2 guard would be the final piece to the puzzle for a championship run. Laughing at Charles and Kenny. Depositing my Vegas wagers in a safe box waiting to collect at the end of the season. I should be riding the wave of the most entertaining season in the NBA since Jordan and Pippen, but nooooooo - I have to suffer through an NBA lockout.

This lockout is maddening cause it's just so simple to see the problem. The owners are clearly in the wrong, but they have all the leverage, and the players know that the owners are wrong so egotistically speaking, they are trying to stand their ground, even though there is no ground for them to stand on. I get it - when I'm in the right, I'm in the right, consequences be damned! It's a fault, because it's an ability on my part to put my ego in check, and that's what the players union is going through right now. They can't win, so holding out is only taking money (not the money they want) out of their pockets. I admit a slightly bigger-than-small part wants them to hold out and say, "F**K you, this deal is fair, and we will hold our ground." As a matter of fact, Derek Fisher should channel his inner William Wallace and attend the next meeting in war paint.

The question is this: why are the owners in the wrong? Let's assume that everything we hear is true, that they have come to a mutual agreement on all principles of the contract except for the revenue generated through basketball. They are fighting over roughly 2.5% of the income, which doesn't seem like a lot, but considering the length of the contract and other mathematical equations, it's about 1 to 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS. (Picture David Stern holding his pinkie up to his lip when he says that, hilarious!)

Okay, the players have willingly come down already 4.5% - that's a lot of Kardashian. (Money is sometimes called loot, and loot is sometimes called booty, ergo Kardashian. I know, I'm genius.) When you consider that and the fact that the owners are paying outlandish contracts to mediocre players, they have only themselves to blame. I knew Michael Redd wasn't worth $105 million, and I know that Joe Johnson shouldn't get paid as much as Kobe Bryant - how the hell don't they know? The longer the lockout continues, the worse the situation will get because the owners will be losing money, and since they hold all the leverage it wouldn't surprise me if they lower their offer to the players to get that money back.

Kudos to Tony LaRussa for retiring and going down as the 3rd best manager/coach in my lifetime behind Phil Jackson and Scotty Bowman. Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball and led the Cards to a second WS title, but no way the Cards should give him 200 million dollars. If Cliff Lee stayed with the Rangers, they probably win the World Series, but he leaves to go to the Phillies and then his one playoff outing probably cost the Phillies a World Series - that's crazy, boo.

Last week I went 500 on my Vegas picks, but this week is a no-brainer.

Bears +8.5 on a bye week: Lovie and the Bears are tough, and they own Vick.
Falcons-7: Atlanta is hitting a nice little stride, and the Colts, well...they are not.
Chiefs -4: Confidence and home field advantage is enough for the winless Fins.
Jets +2: The Bills can throw it, but not against the Jets.
Chargers +6: All signs point to the Packers struggling against this seemingly winnable game.

LSU +5: That's a lot of points for a team that's going to win outright.
Arkansas -4: S. Carolina doesn't have the offense to keep up with the Razorbacks.
Nebraska-17: Northwestern will be overwhelmed in Lincoln.

If I go 8-0, I suspect that some of you will be able to go x-mas shopping - you're welcome!