Keith couldn’t have been more right about last week’s IKH outing at Giants Stadium. It was incredible. More on that in a minute. But first, I’d like to address the issue of the weekly NFL picks. Keith’s correct that the Thursday night games have made it harder on both of us, and he even suggested privately that we stop doing the picks. To that I say “Hell to tha no!” There ain’t no quitters here. We’ve come this far, and I like doing them, even when it’s a pain in the ass finding time to post, so I’m going to keep at it.
The key here is to play on my partners hyper-competitiveness. We don’t have any stakes in these picks, and when he brought it up during our tailgate I was so fucked up that I blew him off completely. Sorry mate. But having meaningful stakes might help, so I’m asking you – the readers – to come up with something to play for. I’m dead serious about this. Just put it in the comments, even anonymously. Fuck, I don’t care if Keith himself posts something. He should be feeling good about this anyway seeing as how he’s leading the season series 84-75 to my 82-78. (Yes, I realize this doesn’t add up. Keith forgot to make a pick for Minnesota/Tampa last week. Send it in and I’ll update the stats. He did, and now his record is 84-76.) Anyway, I hope you guys don’t let me down. On to the picks…
STEELERS (10.5) vs Bengals
I saw the Giants beat the Bengals in overtime in Week 3. Technically it was a better game than Giants/Ravens, but last week was a much, MUCH better experience. For one, I was with Keith. For two, the Ravens are a better opponent than the Bengals, so it was more meaningful to kick their ass. For three, I was fuuuuucked up. I thought I had a perfect buzz until the guy next to us asked me where Brandon Jacobs went to college. All I remember telling him was, “Nvaidnd984etj;jkfaiuasdslfda9.” It may have even been less coherent than that. But it didn’t ruin the experience. It actually made it more interesting.
And I made it before the Thursday night game.
Giants (3.5) vs CARDINALS
The name of the sandwich place is Cangiano’s, and their main location is on Staten Island, so you know their food rules. It’s the kind of place where when two local women in traditional Arab headdress walk in, the guy behind the counter slicing your meat might say, “Here comes fuckin’ Al Qaeda again.” True story.
Like you’d ever guess otherwise?
Underrated Giant of the Week: Kareem McKenzie. The Giants amazing offensive line is finally getting the credit it has long deserved. But a disturbing pattern has emerged. It seems the four white offensive linemen are getting the credit, while the only brother on the line is mysteriously left out whenever the accolades are thrown around. Shit, he had to get a DUI last week to even get noticed, and he STILL wasn’t benched or reprimanded. I guess when you’re a black man playing a white man’s position, you still get the shaft. Dang.
TITANS (5.5) vs Jets
I didn’t actually have a Ron Dayne jersey story. The entire story is that Keith asked me what’s the funniest jersey I’ve ever seen at a Giants game, and I responded “Ron Dayne.” Like I said, we were both hitting the sauce pretty hard.
I vowed to pick against the Titans until they lose, but I hate the Jets so much that I won’t ever pick them. Also, the Jets were the Titans before Tennessee, so I’m technically still picking against “The Titans” this week. Did I just blow your mind? You’re welcome.
I think the Jets should wear their throwback NY Titans jerseys again this week just to fuck with everyone. If Dick Enberg calls the game he might have an embolism. What’s that you say – he already did years ago? Well alright then.
BROWNS (3.5) vs Texans
The first Giants game I ever went to was in 1985. Father Sheehan, the pastor of my family’s parish, was a longtime Giants season ticket holder who used to make the congregation pray for the Giants at the end of every mass. This is also a true story. He got enough complaints from Jets fans that he started including them in the prayer too, but you could tell his heart wasn’t in it. Anyway, one day at the end of mass he said from the pulpit, “I have an unexpected emergency and I won’t be able to use my Giants tickets today. The first person to ask for them after mass can have them.” Needless to say, my father knocked down a couple of old ladies on the way to taking his boys to their first Giants game. Love ya pop. Anyway, the Giants lost to Cleveland on a last second FG, but it was a great game, and I got to see LT, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Simms, Bavaro, Joe Morris and the rest. Wish I still had the ticket stub.
Brady Quinn is gayer than I even imagined. He’s also a better QB than I thought.
Bills (3.5) vs CHIEFS
I saw a reference to Y.A. Tittle somewhere this week, and it reminded me that he was an honorary Giants captain for the coin toss on Sunday. I don’t remember actually seeing him with my own eyes, but I’m pretty sure they announced it on the PA. Or did I imagine that? If I did I don’t want to know.
Phenomenal choke job by Buffalo on MNF. All I can add is, Scott Norwood! Wide right!!! (I LOVE the fact that the Wide Right game happened in the Super Bowl against my Giants; to this day the second greatest football game I’ve ever seen, behind only last year’s Super Bowl against New England.) Lighten up Bills fans, it’s not like your team is moving to Toronto in a few years. Oh, wait.
DOLPHINS (2.5) vs Patriots
Being a smoker added a whole other level of fun to last week’s game, because it gave us a chance to hang out on the entrance/exit ramps and interact with our fellow fans. And boy was that worth it! I actually placed a phone call for some guy named, I believe, Shannon Duffy, and even had a brief conversation with his friend. I’ve never felt more like white trash, and I loved it.
The guess here is that the Pats will stay out too late in South Beach doing blow and fucking models. At least I HOPE that’s what they’re doing down there. I’m sure Brady can hook them up with some skeezers. And a trannie for Cassel.
COWBOYS (11.5) vs 49ers
The walk through the tunnel from the parking garage to the stadium was amazing. The atmosphere of anticipation is unreal. It’s a pretty decent walk, and when we could finally see the light and the stadium at the end of the tunnel, Keith said something like, “That’s the greatest sight I’ve ever seen.” I was pretty fired up by that.
Charles Haley was a star defensive end for both the Cowboys and the 49ers. Even if that means nothing to you, PLEASE follow this link, and this one, especially if you’re one of those nancy boys who doesn’t like sports but reads this site for the dick jokes.
Buccaneers (8.5) vs LIONS
Mad props to Keith for DJing on the ride home after the game. A great selection of tunes, including the appropriately-themed “Wished I Was A Giant,” as well as his incredible cover of Olivia Newton-John’s “Magic.” I need that one on my iPod.
I wasn’t so sure a few weeks ago, but now I’m starting to think the Lions can actually go winless this season. I’ve got nothing against Detroit, but that’d be so awesome.
RAVENS (1.5) vs Eagles
I’ve only been to one Giants game on the road, and it was at the old Vet before they tore it down. THAT was an experience! Last game of the season, 4:00 start in Philly with a gametime temperature of about 12 degrees. It was the coldest I’ve ever been, and the Giants lost a heartbreaker in the last minute of a back-and-forth game that kept them out of the playoffs, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.
I was going to post this even before Simmons put it in his column this week, so fuck him. On Inside the NFL this week Warren Sapp said Donovan McNabb’s legacy will be, “Throwing up in the Super Bowl, Rush Limbaugh, and not knowing there wasn’t a second OT period.” Hysterical.
Bears (8.5) vs RAMS
The guy sitting behind us that Keith mentioned in his post definitely was intelligent and entertaining. If only I could remember a single thing he said. Sensing a theme here?
Might be too much of a spread, but St. Louis has given up.
JAGUARS (2.5) Vikings
Before the game Keith brought up the infamous incident where current Vikings and then Redskins QB Gus Frerotte gave himself a concussion when he slammed his head into the endzone wall after scoring a touchdown. I mentioned that the little known story of that 1997 game between the Giants and Redskins is that it ended in a 7-7 tie. Funnily enough, on Sunday the Eagles and Bengals ended in a tie as well. Weird. The 1997 game is still the only tie I can remember seeing in my lifetime. I watched it with a guy who was the original drummer in my band before Keith replaced him. There are a lot of reasons why he’s not my friend anymore, and watching that tie game together is one of them.
Jacksonville’s given up too.
FALCONS (1.5) vs Panthers
I’m proud to say I went to Eli Manning’s first NFL start ever. I’m not so proud to say he was beaten by the Falcons’ Michael Vick, who I honestly don’t remember completing a pass that day. But he sure ran well. And now he’s being ass raped. Good, he deserves it.
I’m rooting for the Falcons, but they’re still a year away.
BRONCOS (9.5) vs Raiders
There was a little girl about 8-years-old sitting right in front of Keith and I, and I swear I tried to cut down on the cursing! Didn’t happen. But the dad also didn’t say anything, so we’re straight.
Great rivalry, but I hate both teams.
Redskins (3.5) vs SEAHAWKS
I’m still trying to get Keith into the Giants/Panthers game on December 21st so we can do it all over again. I hope to hell we can make that happen.
How much must it suck for NFL players to have to fly all that way to Seattle just to beat a shitty team? The travel is bad enough, then you have to deal with the ridiculous fake crowd noise that Mickey Mouse franchise pumps into its stadium to make it seem like their fair weather fans give a shit. Can’t good opponents just phone it in and save themselves the trip?
CHARGERS (3.5) vs Colts
Keith mentioned how friendly and unified Giants fans are. Sure, a Super Bowl and a 9-1 record will do that to you. But if you had been there for the lean times you’d be singing a much different tune. I was actually at the infamous snowball game where a Chargers assistant coach was knocked unconscious by a snowball thrown by a fan. The accounts in the link above are dead on: it was a madhouse. Truly chaotic. Some douche photographed throwing a snowball on the cover of the Daily News the next day was fired from his job, and the season ticket holder who sold him his seat for the game was stripped of his tickets. Served him right.
More Simmons: To his credit, this week he lays out the case for Peyton Manning as the MVP of the league. He makes a very valid argument. And this is why I will defend him to the death. Unless he goes another week without a podcast. Then it’s war.
SAINTS (2.5) vs Packers
I was also at the New Orleans “home” game at Giants Stadium the week after Hurricane Katrina. Surreal seeing the Saints logo painted in both endzones, and that was a very rowdy crowd too. The tickets only went on sale a week before the game, and the theory is none of the Giants regulars purchased tickets, so most of the crowd was at their first game or just there to party on a Monday night. The number of fights was in the double digits, my dad had a beer dumped on him from the upper deck, and my brother was cursed out by a family from New Orleans after he told them he was pulling for their city to recover. Just a horrible vibe.
This game probably looked better when they drew up the schedule.
Jets/Titans, Giants/Cardinals, Dolphins/Patriots, Chargers/Colts – Happy Football everyone!