Daily Archives: November 20, 2008

Keith’s week 12 picks

George Brett of the Kansas City Royals is a fantastic athlete. He almost hit .400 in 1980, something that hasn’t been done since Ted Williams did it in 1941. He led the Royals to 2 World Series, stealing one of them from my beloved Cardinals. He was a good-lookin stud, too. My mother sat back-to-back with him at a BBQ restaurant in Kansas City and was clearly smitten.

I was a big fan of his because of his perfect swing, his chase for .400, and the fact that my grandparents lived in Kansas City. I didn’t realize you only got one team when I was 8, so I rooted for the A’s, the Giants, and the Royals because my grandparents lived there, and St. Louis because I was born there. This was before 1982 when I became a Cardinals fan for life.

Well now that I’ve seen the below video, he is truly locked in the pantheon as one of my favorite athletes of all time. NSFW.

Onto the picks for Week 12.

The problem with the Thursday night games is twofold. One, as Hernandez and I discussed earlier this year, is that Time Warner doesn’t carry the NFL Network, so I can’t watch it at home. Two, we have less time to put any real thought into our picks.

STEELERS (10.5) vs. Bengals

I hate the Steelers.

CARDINALS vs. Giants (3.5)

I always pick the Giants.

TITANS (5.5) vs. Jets

I hate the Jets.

BROWNS (3.5) vs. Texans

The Texans are the little team that could, which makes no sense because being in Houston they should have a powerhouse team. They grow ’em fat down thar! They’re not very good, but there should be very little defense in this game, so I think this one could go down to a game-ending field goal, in which case the Texans cover.

CHIEFS vs. Bills (3.5)

Ouch. The Bills have been slapped around the last three weeks by Miami, Jets and Cleveland (I think–I fell asleep before the game ended). If they can’t rebound against the terrible, terrible Chiefs than I give up on them.

DOLPHINS (2.5) vs. Patriots

I can’t believe I’m picking the Dolphins.

COWBOYS (11.5) vs. 49ers

The Cowboys are back! Ha-ha. I wouldn’t pick the Cowboys if I dropped them down the front of Eva Mendes’ shirt and she told me I could go looking for them.

LIONS vs. Buccaneers (8.5)

The Lions are a poor, poor team. But the Bucs don’t score much. Except for QB Jeff Gaycia.

RAVENS (1.5) vs. Eagles

The Giants put up a lot of points on the Ravens last week, but they did most of the damage with their running game. I see the Ravens bouncing back.

RAMS vs. Bears (8.5)

Kyle Orton’s back! The Rams are awful.

JAGS (2.5) vs. Vikings

I’m fuckin’ doing it again. I told myself I wouldn’t pick the Vikings, but all they have to do is give Adrian Peterson the ball and they win.

FALCONS (1.5) vs. Panthers

This is a kickass showdown. I can’t believe I’m saying that about a Falcons game. I may head to the (holds nose) sports bar in my ‘hood to watch this. I’m rooting for the Falcons. Carolina’s not a real place.

BRONCOS (9.5) vs. Raiders

Spread too big.

SEAHAWKS vs. Redskins (3.5)

It sucks to go to the West Coast, and Seattle has a boisterous crowd, but the Redskins need this one. Did anyone see the fake NY Times that came out this month? There was a sports story about the Redskins changing their name. What’s the point of wiping out an entire race of people if we can’t racially denigrate them through our sports and entertainment outlets?

CHARGERS (3.5) vs. Colts

I hate myself for loving football. Both of these teams are underachieving and pretty annoying.

SAINTS (2.5) vs. Packers

I love to watch Drew Brees play, but the Packers are a dangerous team. I sense a Monday night spanking.

PICK: Packers


My first NFL Game (or how I spent my summer vacation)

Wow. What a sensory overload. After 14 years in New York, Hernandez graciously invited me to my first New York Giants game.

No question, I’m a fair-weather, newborn fan. The kind of fan that would get his ass cracked in the bathroom if they knew I wasn’t the real deal. Which, come to think of it, they should’ve realized when they saw the St. Louis Cardinals cap.

Doesn’t matter. New York Giants fans are ecstatic, excited, friendly, and unified. After pulling off the most thrilling Super Bowl upset of all time, the Giants are largely considered the best team in the NFL. They’re fired up for games, playing well at both ends, playing for their coach who was controversial a year ago.

That’s all logical guessing. Truth is, I was gettin fucked up in a Meadowlands parking garage with Hernandez. I’d like to plug the sandwich place he picked up our pre-gametime sandwiches at, but I forget the name. I’d like to plug the beer that got me drunk but it was Coors Light, and chugging six of anything will make you lightheaded. (Hear that, brady bunch?)

Hernandez has been a lifetime Giants fan and regaled me with tales of three generations of Giants fans pissing on the same concrete wall in the same parking garage we tailgated in. We had a spirited conversation about the best fan jersey he’d seen, and I can’t believe I remember this (I have a shitty memory) but he told me an amazing Ron Dayne jersey story. Ron Dayne ran for the Giants in a decade past. Uh, come to think of it, could you tell the story again Hernandez?

The game was incredible. *Incredible*. The energy spouting from the field consumes the fans. I know NFL football as a game that lasts 3 hours plus but only features 15 minutes of action, and figured there’d be a lot of standing around. Not at all.

The main distraction is the fans. I’ve been to hundreds of sporting events, and there are always true fanatics, fueled by allegiance and community and history, and probably a fair amount of $8 Natural Lights. But the people around us were legitimately thrilled. A guy standing behind me with his 10-year old son gave commentary that was always earnest, always well-informed, almost always on target, and usually hilarious — better than any commentator working on Fox or CBS this year.

Further than that was the Giants themselves. For the random game that Hernandez invited me to, the Giants proved they are the best team in the NFL. This is not some economic thing where the Giants are the Yankees and can buy the best team money can buy–they are the same team they were last year. Only worse. They’ve lost Strahan and Umenyiora, the anchors of their pass rush. They’ve lost media beast Jeremy Shockey, who was a hard-ass blocker and receiver and was able to deflect a lot of media coverage off Eli.

No matter anymore. Strahan is gone. Umenyiora has been out all season. Jeremy Shockey is a Saint (and injured). And Eli is not the quarterback he’s ever been in New Jersey. He’s confident. He makes mistakes, he makes passes, but foremost the Giants fans believe in him.

And the Giants are the best team in the NFL. I got to see them.