Monthly Archives: December 2008

Hernandez Week 17 Picks

Can this really be the end? Holy fucking christ on a cupcake! The NFL regular season ends Sunday, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why *this* day isn’t called Black Sunday. It really is painful. No more Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night games, no more watching for the scores and highlights of up to 13 games from 1pm to 7:30pm every Sunday, no more beating on Keith in our picks. This sucks.

Speaking of which, Keith went 5-11 with his picks last week, and I went 10-6. Going into the final week Keith’s season total is 106-118, and mine is 120-104. He’d pretty much have to run the table from here through the Pro Bowl to win, but stranger things have happened. Not much stranger, granted, but I like to think of myself as an optimist.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the IKH field trip to the Giants/Panthers showdown last Sunday, it was beyond fantastic. A game so great it deserves its own post, which we will definitely write. And because we love you all so much, thanks to my compadre, that post will have photos too! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll stuff your face.

Enough foreplay – let’s get to the final regular season picks. (We’re doing playoff picks too, because I say so.) Since the season is wrapping up, I thought it’d be fun to go back and see what I wrote about each team before Week 1. So let’s take a trip in the ole wayback machine…

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VIKINGS (6.5) vs Giants

Week 1 Giants: “Will roll to a second straight Super Bowl title.”

Yep.

Week 1 Vikings: “I’m not sold on the Vikes. Tavaris Jackson is a complete enigma, and Adrian Peterson is being crowned waaay too soon. He’s based his whole reputation on like 5 good games last year. The rest of the time he was either average or injured. Can’t explain why I don’t like him – I just don’t.”

Right on Tavaris, wrong on Purple Jesus. But the Giants will stuff him on Sunday and win the game anyway. Sure, Minny needs it more, but they couldn’t beat Atlanta at home last week, and the Giants have a whole bunch of depth that will make up for their missing starters.

Pick: Giants

Underrated Giant of the Week: Kevin Boss. Can’t believe I haven’t picked him yet. He’s got great hands, runs good routes, has more speed and athleticism than people realize, and has quietly developed into a steady blocker. Maybe most importantly, he’s NOT Jeremy Shockey. If he keeps this up he won’t be underrated much longer.

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JETS (2.5) vs Dolphins

Week 1 Jets: “Favre will make the Jets better, but only by a little. NY spent a buttload of cash on old and washed up players (Faneca, Woody, Jenkins) and another guy who has never proven anything in the league (Calvin Pace.) Their top pick, Vernon Gohlston, is an athletic freak who doesn’t know how to play football.”

I rest my case.

Week 1 Dolphins: “I see them as being a semi-sleeper this year. Not sleeper playoff caliber, but sleeper 8-8.”

Correct again, although they’re even better than I predicted. Oh, and they’ll kick New York’s ass this weekend to the tune of 31-17. The Jets despise Manboobs, and Favre has already quit. I fucking love it.

Pick: Dolphins

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BUCCANEERS (12.5) vs Raiders

I didn’t say much about either of these teams in Week 1 other than that I hate them both. Still do.

Pick: Raiders

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PACKERS (10.5) vs Lions

Week 1 Packers: “Green Bay will survive the exodus of St. Brett because the rest of the team is better than people think. I’m actually rooting for Aaron Rodgers just to spite all of the Favre ass kissing.”

Way off on this one. They survived losing Favre, but the rest of the team is definitely not better than people think, especially Ryan “Giants 5th String RB” Grant. And while Aaron Rodgers actually does have good stats, he throws at least one absolutely killer pick per game.

C’mon Lions! I still believe.

Pick: Lions

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EAGLES (1.5) vs Cowboys

Week 1 Eagles: “The Eagles are the most overrated team in football.”

Half-right. They’re definitely among the most overrated teams.

I didn’t say anything about Dallas in Week 1 because I hate them so much none of it would be rational. I’ll stick with that this week. But I have to say this game is utterly fascinating on so many levels that it’s nearly impossible to pick. And it would’ve been even that much greater if the Eagles didn’t choke against the Redskins last week. Stupid cunts.

Pick: Eagles

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TEXANS (2.5) vs Bears

Week 1 Texans: “Texans could be improved. I like Schaub (if he stays healthy) and their receivers, and Mario Williams is the real deal.”

The Texans started off horribly, but the last few weeks have made this prediction look better than I thought.

Week 1 Bears: “Do I have to say anything other than Kyle Orton?”

Orton started off great, but the last few weeks have made this prediction look better than I thought.

Pick: Texans

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Panthers (2.5) vs SAINTS

Week 1 Panthers: “I love Jake the Snake.”

Still do.

Week 1 Saints: “New Orleans’ O is going to be good. Hope you tear an ACL Shockey.”

Duh, and not quite, although the Shocker was hurt a ton this year as always.

Pick: Panthers

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FALCONS (14.5) vs Rams

I thought both these teams would suck. I’m man enough to admit I’m wrong about the Falcons, but pussy enough to say so was everyone else. Their own GM thought they’d blow too, so stuff it.

Pick: Rams (to cover only)

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BENGALS (2.5) vs Chiefs

Week 1 Bengals: “Speaking of soft, meet the Cincinnati Bengals. For a team of world class criminals and scumbags, you’d think they would play tougher. I guess they save it for their women. They’ll disappoint again this year.”

I’m not even going to take credit for this. I just thought it was funny.

Week 1 Chiefs: “Chiefs will suck again.”

Am I a supergenius or what?

Pick: Chiefs

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RAVENS (11.5) vs Jaguars

Week 1 Ravens: “Every year I expect the Ravens to slip, and they have to a degree, but that D is always tough.”

Unbelievable. Just call me Captain Obvious.

Week 1 Jaguars: “The Jags are for real.”

Yes. If by “for real” you mean “folded like a cheap suit and quit on their coach when they were faced with adversity,” sure, the Jags were for real.

Pick: Ravens

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Titans (2.5) vs COLTS

Week 1 Titans: “Titans are a solid, physical team.”

OK, I didn’t make any grand predictions for them, but are they not a solid, physical team? I’d say so. I’m going to pretend I predicted they’d be great this year. Just try to stop me.

Pick: Titans

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STEELERS (10.5) vs Browns

Week 1 Steelers: “Pittsburgh’s offensive line isn’t what it once was, and Big Ben is bound to get hurt again. Seems like they were doing it with smoke and mirrors last season. Call it a hunch, but I see them tailing off a bit this year.”

The hunch was wrong, but I don’t see them going far in the playoffs for just the reasons I wrote above.

Pick: Browns

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Patriots (5.5) vs BILLS

Week 1 Patriots: “The Giants shattered their cloak of invincibility, and New England has a terrible secondary. The Pats will win their division again, but they’re going to have to win a lot of shootouts to get there.”

This whole thing goes out the window because of the Brady injury. But their secondary is still terrible, and they still might win their division, so I kind of rule.

Week 1 Bills: “Bills are going to sneak up on people like OJ surprised Ron and Nicole.”

So true. They DID sneak up on people who trusted them and slashed their throats. Namely Keith and myself.

Pick: Patriots

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CARDINALS (5.5) vs Seahawks

Week 1 Cardinals: “Arizona has talent, but they’ll do something to fuck things up before it’s all said and done.”

You’ve gotta give me that one, right?

Week 1 Seahawks: “I hate everything about those frontrunning, glass-jawed Seahawks. Can’t win on the road, and they play in the worst division in football. Also, Matt Hasselbeck’s sister-in-law is The View’s Elizabeth Hasselbeck, whose company I had the distinct displeasure of being in a few days ago. Whereas in the past she was just some idiot TV conservative who I mostly ignored (but wouldn’t mind fucking), now she may be my most hated person on the planet (who I’d definitely still fuck.)”

Check and mate. And while we’re at it, my feelings about Elizabeth Hasselbeck haven’t changed.

Pick: Seahawks

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49ERS (2.5) vs Redskins

Week 1 Redskins: “Hard as it is to believe, Washington was actually a playoff team last year. How did that happen? I have no idea. This team sucks, the QB sucks, and with a new head coach and offensive system, they will be even worse this year. Jason Taylor should be an upgrade over the dead Sean Taylor, but not by much.”

Finishing strong.

Pick: 49ers

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CHARGERS (8.5) vs Broncos

Week 1 Broncos: “Denver is another team I have an irrational hatred of. I hate Jay Cutler and Mike “The Most Overrated Coach in the NFL” Shanahan.”

Week 1 Chargers: “LaDanian Tomlinson will come back to earth this year, Philip Rivers is a cunt, and Steroid Boy Shawn Merriman is hurt.”

It’s nice to see some things haven’t changed.

Pick: Broncos

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Enjoy the games this weekend. I’ll do the same on my brand new HDTV. America, fuck yeah!

Christmas

I will definitely watch Celtics/Lakers today. Thank jeebus for the NBA, otherwise we’d have nothing to distract us from our boring families on Christmas. Unless you count college football, and anyone who reads this site regularly knows I don’t.

Unfortunately there wasn’t any NBA on Christmas Eve, just Notre Dame/Hawaii in the – get ready for it – Hawaii Bowl. Yawn. To get my sports fix I resorted to DVRing two ESPN Classic games: “The Fumble” and “The Tuck Game.” So fucking awesome. I watched both of these games live when they happened, and I have to say that watching them again really drove home how much mythology and conventional wisdom can affect your memory of sports.

To the uninitiated, the 1987 AFC Championship Game between Cleveland and Denver ended when Cleveland running back Ernest Byner fumbled on his way into the endzone for what would’ve been the game-winning touchdown. Byner is an all-time goat in the Cleve because of that play, and until yesterday I would’ve sworn he just dropped the ball without being touched by a defender. But no siree. The DB actually made a great play, punching the ball out as he was tackling Byner. Like I said, I distinctly remember watching this game, and “The Fumble” has taken on the stench of a legendary fuckup, so imagine my surprise when I realized 21 years later that what I thought had happened really didn’t. I feel betrayed. By whom? Myself, I guess. And every bitter Cleveland fan who ever brings it up. Get over it already pussies.

Anyway, after seeing the game all over again yesterday, I’m giving Ernest Byner a Christmas pardon. You’re off my shit list forever. Although I suspect Cleveland fans won’t be as forgiving, probably because the memories of that game make it too painful to watch again with an open mind. I guess I can understand, because “The Fumble” came just a year after “The Drive,” when Denver QB John “Horseface” Elway beat Cleveland with a last-minute 98 yard TD drive. Oooof! Any time your team winds up on the wrong end of one of those sports moments that are so historic they can be referred to with two words – The Fumble, The Drive, etc. – you’re in bad shape. So despite calling them pussies in the previous graph, I guess I have to applaud the resolve of Browns fans, because if my team had its season end in heartbreaking fashion two straight years to the same team, I would’ve killed someone or myself.

“The Tuck Game” was a classic too, although my memory of that one isn’t as skewed as it was for “The Fumble.” For instance, even though I hate the Raiders with a passion, I thought at the time (and still do) that the ref’s call was horrible and the Patriots should’ve lost. A fumble is a fumble is a fumble. But one aspect of the game that stood out this time around is how much better the Raiders were than that Patriots team, especially on offense. Brady’s top receiver was David Patten, and their top running back was literally some guy I’ve never heard of. Oakland outplayed New England, but the blizzard evened the field and kept it closer than it should’ve been. I remember the two teams being even, but honestly, New England was lucky they weren’t blown out.

The other overriding point of this post is that ESPN Classic really needs to stop showing poker and American Gladiators 24/7 and get back to doing what it’s intended to do: show historic sporting events we haven’t seen in years. Seriously, these things are great. The two specials I watched yesterday were each 90 minutes and included almost every play of the entire game – even incompletions and meaningless runs – with the downtime edited out. It was interspersed with updated commentary from players and coaches from both sides that really shed light on what had happened in the game. I need more of this please. I’ll suck your dick Santa!

I’m not sure if any of this interests anyone except me, but I needed something to do while my son ignores me because he’s more interested in the toys I got for him for Christmas than he is in hanging out with his old man. Also, I really want IKH to reach 100 posts by New Year’s so we can launch the new version of the site. So expect a few more of these rambling musings in the next week or so. And if you’re all good little boys and girls, I’ll keep it up in 2009.

Hernandez Week 16 Picks

I’ve got nothing this week. Ain’t that a bitch? I’m not down on sports. On the contrary, sports is an amazingly welcome respite from a busy work schedule and another rote Christmas season. It’s just that I don’t have the energy to write much this week. But I suppose I’ll do it anyway because I love you all, because God would want me to if he actually existed, and because as a married man I’m used to faking it.

Keith went 7-9 last week while I went 9-7.

We’re going to Giants/Panthers on Sunday night, come snow, sleet, rain, hail, hell, high water or any combination of the above. It will be glorious.

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Thursday

Colts (6.5) vs JAGUARS

I imagine that Peyton vs. Eli Super Bowl is going to be real annoying for the rest of the country, no?

The Jags were up for a good long while in this game, but then Peyton just turned on the jets. Shit, he was so hot he probably turned on the Jets.

Pick: Colts – I won this one already and Keith didn’t.

Keith: Shows you how much Hernandez knows. Peyton brushed up against an NFL record in the first half by completing his first 16 passes. He was consistently great during this game. No, the Colts covered by a measly half a point because the Jaguars’ offense hit the stinkhole in the second half.

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COWBOYS (4.5) vs Ravens

This is probably a reach, but I just don’t think the Cowboys can handle success.

(Damn NFL Network exclusive! Hopefully there will be a satellite TV at the party Saturday.)

Pick: Ravens

Keith picks the Cowboys. Should be a good game, but never pick a rookie QB on the road in a game with this much magnitude.
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GIANTS (2.5) vs Panthers

The Mother of All NFC Matchups this year. I think the Giants REALLY want this one, and when that happens, look out. Also, let’s not underestimate the power of motivation. They’ve thrived off the “nobody believes in us/we get no respect” stuff, and it’s all cropped up again these last two weeks after a season of sloppy blowjobs from the media. The countless columns claiming they’re done or they’ve peaked too early only prove to me – and undoubtedly the Giants – that people really DIDN’T believe in them, but their record was so good everyone had to pretend that they did. All I know is a lot of people sure were quick to jump off that bandwagon. That’s about the only kind of pussy I don’t like.

Pick: Giants

Underrated Giant of the Week: All of them.

Keith’s pick: Giants. I spent $75 on thermals, turtlenecks and wool socks today at Modell’s. There’s no fricking way in hell that Hernandez and I are going to sit in Giants Stadium and witness a loss. Not a tuna’s chance in Whoreville.
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Jets (4.5) vs SEAHAWKS

I fear that the Jets dodged their bullet last week and they’ll defy expectations this week by winning for the first time all year out West. Did I really just type that?

Pick: Seahawks

Uh, I pick the Seahawks too. About time for Hernandez to put down ‘Flowers for Algernon’ and edit his post, bc it damn sure looks like he’s picking the Jets.

Keith’s pick: Seahawks

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Steelers (1.5) vs TITANS

The Steelers have been incredibly lucky, and they’re so due for a letdown.

Pick: Titans

Not a chance. The Steelers are the best team in the AFC right now, and they’re playing for the #1 seed. The Titans, I’m afraid, have ejaculated prematurely.

Keith’s pick: Steelers
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Dolphins (3.5) vs CHIEFS

Dolphins need it more.

Pick: Dolphins

Great analysis!

Keith’s pick: Chiefs
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PATRIOTS (7.5) vs Cardinals

Ditto.

Pick: Patriots

Better analysis! But as it turns out, Hernandez is actually right on this one. The Cardinals are guaranteed the playoffs, where the Patriots are still fighting.

Keith’s pick: Patriots
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BROWNS (2.5) vs Bengals

Awwwww, do I HAVE to?

Pick: Bengals

I wish we didn’t have to. Betting on this game is as dumb as playing the slots or the lotto. That’s why they call it the poor tax.

Keith’s pick: Bengals
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BUCCANEERS (3.5) vs Chargers

See Miami and New England.

Pick: Buccaneers

Again, terrible analysis. The Chargers are hanging by a turf-toenail of a limb and need a win. Both teams need it equally. The Bucs will win, but not because they need it more.

Keith’s pick: Buccaneers
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Eagles (4.5) vs REDSKINS

Not so sure I believe in this Eagles resurgence, but they’ll take this one. They need it more than Washington, who are hurt and in the process of tuning out their rookie head coach. Not a good combination.

Pick: Eagles

Yep. Pick: Eagles.
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49ers (4.5) vs RAMS

This spread is way too low.

Pick: 49ers

Keith twirls his mustache, and realizes that he’ll be able to turn Hernandez into a gambling junkie after all.

Pick: 49ers
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VIKINGS (3.5) vs Falcons

Vikings are another team I don’t believe in. I’m sick of hearing how great these two Williams guys are in the middle of the D line. They’re just fat fucks.

Pick: Falcons – they may not win, but I’ll take a cover.

Cool! Keith misinterpreted this one too. Again, a rookie quarterback on the road against a good pass rush in Week 16 is going to lose.

Keith’s pick: Vikings

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Saints (6.5) vs LIONS

I’m rooting really, really hard for Detroit because despite all the jokes I make, I don’t think a real team with a real history in a real city with real fans deserves to go 0-16. That shit should be reserved for the Tampa’s and Houston’s of the world.

Pick: Lions

100% agree. Picking the Lions too. And I think they’re going to win.
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BRONCOS (5.5) vs Bills

Coin flip.

Pick: Broncos

If the Chargers lose at 1pm (and they should), the Broncos clinch and don’t have to try. Meanwhile the Bills have Trent Edwards back, and have given NFL gamblers the equivalent of genital herpes this year. They’ll settle all bets.

Keith’s pick: Bills
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Texans (6.5) vs RAIDERS

Going into the season I thought the Texans had a chance to be decent, so I picked them a bunch of times early and they burned me. Now I stop picking them and those motherless cocksuckers go on a roll. That’s what you get when you put your trust into anything from that cesspool Houston. And just for that, I ain’t picking them again even though I know they’ll cover this spread. It’s win-win; If they cover I can still feel good about standing up for my longstanding anti-Texas principles, and if they lose I win the pick. Bonus!

Pick: Raiders

Ah, sweet! Hernandez is off his meds!

Pick: Texans (the easiest pick of the week)
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BEARS (4.5) vs Packers

See Miami, New England and Tampa.

Pick: Bears

It’s worth mentioning that this year’s Packers team is one of the worst underachieving teams of all time. A close third behind the 2007 Mets and the 2008 Mets.

Keith’s pick: Bears
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This is not the greatest post in the world. This is just a tribute.

Letdown

Well, that sucked! An epic Sunday of football was ruined completely when the Giants dropped a 20-8 cockpunch to the hated Cowboys last night in Dallas. I shouldn’t have to tell you that, but we have a regular reader who doesn’t follow sports and I figured he should know what we’re on about. But no more hints from here on in. You know who you are.

The Jets started the day off by being the Jets. Only problem is, the Bills decided to be the Bills, and they gifted the losers in puke-green a win they absolutely didn’t deserve. The Jets are one pussy hair away from having a three-game losing streak, on their way to a Mets-like collapse, as I mentioned in my picks this week. But Buffalo deprived us of that. Fuckers. Watching the NYC media tear apart Manboobs and St. Favre would’ve been glorious.

But there’s still time for the Jets to blow it all, so I’ll root hard for that. I’ve been saying all along that they suck, and I wasn’t swayed by the run they went on at midseason. They’re inconsistent, horribly coached, and their schedule is a complete joke. Sure, they beat the Pats in New England, but only after blowing a huge lead. They should’ve lost that one, along with the opener in Miami, and of course yesterday. Only they didn’t lose any of them and now they may win their division. Incredible. Welcome to being an NFL fan, where life just ain’t fair sometimes.

They can tell you a little something about that in Baltimore today. Did the Ravens get jobbed? Probably. Personally, I think the ball crossed the plane of the goal line. But I’m not so sure Holmes’ feet were down when it did. Either way, there wasn’t indisputable evidence to overturn the call. So what do the refs do? They overturn the call and hand Pittsburgh the division title, a first round bye, and possibly home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Fucking amazing.

This season is now bookended by the Hochuli call and this call. Not good for the league. And I despise San Diego, but did anyone else notice that if it weren’t for Hochuli, the Broncos and Chargers would both be 7-7 right now? I’m just saying.

After two thrilling, down-to-the-wire afternoon games, the Giants had to go fuck it up in primetime. It’s not so much the loss as it is HOW they lost. Eight sacks is embarrassing. I don’t care if McKenzie and Seubert were hurt. Diehl wasn’t hurt, but he got abused on the very first play of the game and a whole bunch of times after that. Very disheartening.

Still, it was a game late into the second half, which is encouraging as a Giants fan considering how awful they played. What’s weird is that the game stats aren’t as lopsided as you’d think. The teams had the exact same number of first downs, and similar third down numbers. The Giants averaged 4.2 yards per rush, while the Cowboys averaged 4.8, and that was padded by Choice’s long TD to ice the game. New York also had a slight lead in time of possession, and won the penalty battle by a big margin. (Dallas had 11 for 108 yards!)

So what happened? Bad coaching, for one thing. Kevin Gilbride abandoned the run way too soon. It seemed like Eli dropped back to pass the entire second half, even though the Giants obviously couldn’t contain Dallas’ pass rush. They should’ve run more, and when they passed they needed to throw more screens, quick hitches and slants. They did none of those things. Everything was a five-step drop trying to go down the field. In short, they got greedy.

The normally infallible Steve Spagnuolo also got greedy with the blitz. While I’ll admit the pressure they put on Homo was fun to watch – and I really did think he was one more hit away from being knocked out of the game – they actually got burned on it in the end.

So that sets up a pretty crucial Week 16 contest between the Giants and Panthers. Personally, my panties aren’t as bunched as I suspect Keith’s are. Last week he emailed me privately to say if the Giants beat Dallas it meant they would win it all, but if they lost they won’t make the Super Bowl. I love ya bro, but that’s fucking absurd. THIS week is the game that really matters. Beating Dallas would’ve been the cherry on top, but it wasn’t really necessary. The Giants want that No. 1 seed, or at least the No. 2 and a bye, and they can lock it up with a win at home.

More importantly, they just need to get back to playing good football. There is nothing in their track record to suggest they won’t, or can’t, do just that. Even after these two losses I still think they’re the deepest, most balanced and best coached team in the league. That doesn’t guarantee a Super Bowl repeat, but I’ll still take my chances with these guys.

The best thing about Sunday night’s game – the biggest game of the year in the NFC – is that Keith and I will be there in person, freezing our asses off to see it all happen. We rule.

Hernandez Week 15 Picks

Yeah, yeah, I’ve been sick all week. I’ll spare you the boring details. But Keith’s jibe about getting a papercut from Readers Digest was really funny because I actually DO get Readers Digest in the mail! I’m not entirely sure how, but I think when my parents got my wife a subscription to another magazine a couple of years ago as a Christmas present, Readers Digest was included in the deal free of charge. Smart move by them, because who the fuck would ever pay for that rag? Their articles suck, and their much lauded “jokes” have – along with Jay Leno – led to the neutering of an entire generation’s sense of humor. (Actual examples below.)

Anyway, I don’t ever read it, but it still comes every month. My dad has long since stopped asking me if I had caught a particular article in that month’s issue. But my wife made the mistake of saying she had once, so now he asks her about it every single month. And she always has an answer for him. I think she reads the damn thing just because she knows he’s going to ask her if she did, and she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s really very sweet. And that’s the closest we’ll come to “endearing” on this site ever again.

Before I get to the picks, here’s some housekeeping that probably only interests me. I won last week with a 9-7 record, while Keith put up a 5-11 again. Ouch! Keith had me on the ropes there at midseason, but I’ve taken command again with a 101-91 record to his 94-98. Still, it’s not over yet. Keith is very calculating and competitive. On the flip side, when the big games really mean something I start to root and I let my heart get in the way of my head. So I’m fully capable of blowing this lead. Either way, Keith and I are each getting a delicious fucking burger.

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BEARS (3.5) vs Saints

Keith went over this one already, and nice job by him stealing the game on the Internet. I heartily endorse that. I just wanted to point out that most books had this spread at 3 by gametime, not 3.5. If that had been the case in our contest I would’ve lost the pick, but we go by Keith’s work pool spreads. So to that guy who runs Keith’s work pool who’s either a really cool, sympathetic guy or a gigantic fucking asshole, “Thanks!”

Pick: Saints

Readers Digest Joke #1: Halfway through dinner one night, our friend Jim told us of his days playing football in college as a defensive lineman.
“Did you play sports in college, Mike?” his wife then asked me.
“Yes,” I answered.
“I was on West Point’s shooting team.”
“That’s great,” she said, appropriately impressed. “Offense or defense?”

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COWBOYS (3.5) vs Giants

Keith couldn’t be more right about how awesome it is to watch a team you despise implode in public. I’ve visited a few Cowboys blogs this week just to have a laugh, and it’s been well worth it. They’re either burying their heads in the sand or making wild claims about a media conspiracy to take down the Cowboys. Outstanding.

I’ve posted my theory on T.O. before, right? That he’s gay? Not gay as in, “Fuck that faggot T.O.” Gay as in, “He literally is a closeted homosexual.” (Although to be fair, fuck that faggot T.O.) I sincerely believe the severe psychological stress of having to live his life in the closet is what leads to all of his public outbursts. First he threw Jeff Garcia under the bus, then publicly accused him of being gay. Projecting much, T.O.? Then he abruptly turned on Donovan McNabb like only someone spurned sexually can do. And really now, doesn’t McNabb seem a little gay too? He’s not linked with any females except his mother, and he turned into a pussy in the Super Bowl. Hmmmm. Now T.O.’s allegedly jealous that Romo is too close with Jason Whitten? Please, girlfriend.

Pick: Giants

Underrated Giant of the Week: Jeff Feagles. I had to put him here at some point, even though he’s not technically underrated because he’s widely considered the best directional punter of all time. But I thought he deserved some love anyway. If he blows the game with a blocked kick or a return TD this week you can just shoot me.

Readers Digest Joke #2: My mother began getting calls from men who misdialed the similar number of an escort service. Mom, who had had her number for years, asked the telephone company to change the organization’s number. They refused. The calls kept coming day and night.
Finally, Mom began telling the gentlemen who called that the company had gone out of business. Within a week, the escort service voluntarily changed its number.

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JETS (7.5) vs Bills

Trust me on this – the Bills have always been the Jets nemesis. The Jets got some revenge earlier this year, but I think Buffalo is catching these guys at the right time. Eric Manboobs always panics when he’s in a tight spot, and this is the tightest it’s ever been for him, except for when he tried to put on his old wedding suit earlier this year. Could we be seeing the Jets make a Mets-like collapse? God I hope so.

Pick: Bills

Readers Digest Joke #3: Trying to explain to our five-year-old daughter how much computers had changed, my husband pointed to our brand-new personal computer and told her that when he was in college, a computer with the same amount of power would have been the size of a house.
Wide-eyed, our daughter asked, “How big was the mouse?”

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Packers (1.5) vs JAGUARS

I hate this game because it forces me to choose between two teams who I swore I would never pick again this season. Both of these gutless punks quit weeks ago, and now I’ve got to favor one over the other? That blows. Cousin Sal from the Kimmel show had a great line about this game: “I think that spread moves once Fred Taylor bets the Packers.”

Pick: Packers (even though they suck)

Readers Digest Joke #4: My son, Scott, an insurance broker in Florida, loves ocean fishing and takes his cell phone along on the boat. One morning we were drifting about ten miles offshore as Scott discussed business on the phone. Suddenly his rod bent double, and the reel screamed as line poured off the spool.
Scott was master of the situation. “Pardon me,” he told his customer calmly. “I have a call on another line.”

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COLTS (16.5) vs Lions

The Colts still aren’t as good as they have been in recent years, but they’re hot right now, and due for another offensive explosion.

Pick: Colts

Readers Digest Joke #5: A buddy of mine, Mike, had season tickets to the Detroit Lions football games. Last year they had such a miserable record that he couldn’t give away two tickets to a game he wasn’t able to attend. While parking at a mall, he decided to leave the tickets under his windshield wiper. “And that worked?” I asked.
“Not exactly,” said Mike. “I returned to find six more tickets to the same game.”

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Redskins (6.5) vs BENGALS

Every dog has its day, right? No, I’m not talking about the underdog Bengals – they fucking suck! I’m talking about the vastly overrated Redskins, who had people in Washington creaming their dockers only a couple of weeks ago, before the bottom fell out once teams realized all they had to do to win was gang up on Clinton Portis. Yep, the Jason Campbell Era was fun while it lasted, but it’s just not going to work out. Sorry D.C. – can’t you just be happy with Doug Williams being your franchise’s only great black QB? Still, as I said, every dog has its day…

Pick: Redskins

Readers Digest Joke #6: It is so rare to be offered a meal on airlines these days that I was surprised to hear the flight attendant ask the man sitting in front of me,
“Would you like dinner?”
“What are my choices?” he responded.
“Yes or no,” she said.

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FALCONS (2.5) vs Buccaneers

The Falcons are so underrated they’ve become overrated. Even so, I’m taking them at home by a field goal over a Tampa team that looked like a JV squad on defense last Monday night. I think the Tampa D is solid but unspectacular, and also really old, which tends to be a problem the later it gets in the season. (I’m talking to you Ronde Barber.) Getting a steady diet of Michael Turner this week ain’t going to fix what ails them.

Pick: Falcons

Readers Digest Joke #7: My boyfriend and I met online and we’d been dating for over a year. I introduced Hans to my uncle, who was fascinated by the fact that we met over the Internet. He asked Hans what kind of line he had used to pick me up.
Ever the geek, Hans naïvely replied, “I just used a regular 56K modem.”

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DOLPHINS (6.5) vs 49ers

The Dolphins will win this game, but the 49ers will cover. San Fran has been rock solid since Singletary whipped his cock out, and nearly all of Miami’s games have been close. BTW, did I call the Miami resurgence this year during my Week 1 picks/season preview? I believe I did. All hail Bill Parcells, my ultimate football hero.

Pick: 49ers

Readers Digest Joke #8: This duck walks into a bar, and asks the bartender, “Do you have any grapes”?
The bartender says, “No we only sell beer here”. The duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks back into the bar and asks the bartender, “Do you have any grapes”?
The bartender says, “No I told you we only sell beer, and if you ask me again I’m going to nail your beak to the bar.” So the duck leaves.
The next day the duck walks back into the bar, and asks the bartender “Do you have any nails”? The bartender says “no”.
The duck asks “Do you have any grapes”?

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Seahawks (3.5) vs RAMS

When two teams are 2-11, is there ANY possible way to choose between them? I don’t think so, except for maybe home field. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like St. Louis’ corporate enormodome (actually the Edward Jones Dome, which is just a terrible, terrible name) will be rocking and intimidating to the Seahawks, it’s just that the Rams will be able to sleep in their own beds, eat their usual meals and fuck their own hos. All those things are pretty important.

Pick: Rams

Readers Digest Joke #9: A passing septic service truck declared “19,500 lbs. of very gross weight.”

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Titans (3.5) vs TEXANS

People are getting a little out of control with this Texans thing. They have some talent, and they try real hard, but I sense more than a little whiff of the 2007 Cleveland Browns with this team. I just pray that doesn’t mean we have to endure five nationally televised Texans games next year.

Pick: Titans

Readers Digest Joke #10: Fans of ’60s music, my 14-year-old daughter and her best friend got front-row tickets to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert. When they returned home, my daughter said, “During the show, we looked back and saw hundreds of little lights swaying to the music. At first we thought the people were holding up cigarette lighters. Then we realized that the lights were the reflections off all the eyeglasses in the audience.”

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RAVENS (1.5) vs Steelers

HULK SMASH!!!

Pick: Steelers

Readers Digest Joke #11: Even though it was warm outside, the heat was on full blast in my office at the hospital. So I asked our nursing unit secretary to get someone to fix it. This was a one-man job, so I could not figure out why two guys showed up — until I was handed the maintenance request form. It read “Head nurse is hot.”

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PANTHERS (7.5) vs Broncos

Keith’s right – the Panthers will be looking ahead to next week at Giants Stadium. Also, can we stop sucking Carolina’s dicks over Monday night’s blowout? Yes, it was an incredible performance, but it followed three straight weeks of total suckitude. Carolina was playing like shit before last week, so which is the aberration?

Pick: Broncos

Readers Digest Joke #12: One evening after dinner, my five-year-old son Brian noticed that his mother had gone out. In answer to his questions, I told him, “Mommy is at a Tupperware party.”
This explanation satisfied him for only a moment. Puzzled, he asked, “What’s a Tupperware party, Dad?”
I’ve always given my son honest answers, so I figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. “Well, Brian,” I said, “at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other.”
Brian nodded, indicating that he understood. Then he burst into laughter. “Come on, Dad,” he said. “What is it really?”

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Chargers (5.5) vs CHIEFS

This is my fourth time writing this, but Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen is actually pretty good, and he will at least keep this game close against the San Diego pussies. Heck, he may even win it outright if, as I suspect, the Chargers have quit on Norv Turner. Nice knowing ya Norvie boy!

Pick: Chiefs

Readers Digest Joke #13: On a billboard ad for a safe company: “If your stuff is stolen, it’s not our vault.”

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CARDINALS (3.5) vs Vikings

I don’t think any of the teams from the NFC North are good, but chalk this one up to the old standby, “The team that needs the game more will most likely play harder.” The Vikes certainly NEED this game more than the Cardinals do. And Arizona is still too soft to deal with intense teams. I don’t even care that Tavaris Jackson is starting at QB; Minnesota probably wins this by 10.

Pick: Vikings

Readers Digest Joke #14: Just ahead of me in line at the movie theater was a woman with a cell phone glued to her ear, arguing with the ticket vendor.
“That movie can’t be sold out!” she shouted. “I’m talking to my boyfriend who’s sitting in the theater, and he says there’s two empty seats next to him. One ticket, please.”
She got her ticket.

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Patriots (7.5) vs RAIDERS

Astute analysis from Keith regarding Mr. Cassell. He could go either way. But the way the game is going to go is that, with New England’s season on the line, Bill Belichik will coach the pants off Tom Cable. And no one wants to see Tom Cable without pants.

Pick: Patriots

Readers Digest Joke #15: My family has a tradition of naming the cruise control on our cars. We were used to hearing my father proclaim, “Take it, Max,” as he flipped on the cruise control during long trips in our station wagon.
Recently, I was traveling with my parents in their new car when we hit a wide-open expanse of highway. My dad leaned back and said, “I think I’ll let Tom drive for a while.”
“Tom who?” I asked.
My mother translated for me: “Tom Cruise, of course.”

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EAGLES (14.5) vs Browns

For the third week in a row I will quote Warren Sapp on Inside The NFL. This time it was his comment about Andy Reid and how “he can’t be trusted to lead his football team if he can’t even be trusted to raise his kids the right way.” Unfuckingbelievable. And the Browns will cover.

BTW, if there’s any show Keith should be stealing it’s Inside The NFL. Sapp, Collinsworth and Simms are awesome, and the NFL Flims highlight packages are beyond words. The best part is the audio, with players and coaches fully miked up so you can hear what they’re saying to each other on the line of scrimmage and on the sidelines. Simply put – you’re not a real football fan if you don’t watch this shit.

Pick: Browns

Readers Digest Joke #16: Turning 50 two years ago, I took a lot of good-natured ribbing from family and friends. So as my wife’s 50th birthday approached, I decided to get in some needling of my own. I sat her down, looked deep into her eyes, then said I had never made love to anyone who was over 50 years old.
“Oh, well, I have,” she deadpanned. “It’s not that great.”

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What a Sunday this is shaping up to be. Jets/Bills at 1pm, Steelers/Ravens at 4pm, and Giants/Cowboys at 8pm. And I will see none of it live because I have to go get a fucking Christmas tree and then go fucking Christmas shopping while I battle the fucking degenerate crowds of South Brooklyn. Fuck.

Thank god for the DVR, which might literally catch fire tomorrow from recording 12 straight hours of pigskin. But it’ll all be worth it if the Giants beat the Cowboys. Getcha popcorn ready!

week 15 picks

Hernandez is still surfing in an ocean of his own salt tears because he got a paper cut from the mailer card out of his latest issue of ‘Readers Digest’. I’m pickin up the slack for the pre-op douchebag.

The mood in New York is a little weird right night now. We have Wall Street collapsing. There’s a guy named Dick Fuld in the news every week or so. We have the Yankees paying $161 million for a pitcher, the richest pitcher contract in history, during this recession. We have the Mets paying $37 million for therapy, because the pitcher they got isn’t going to make them believe in themselves. We’ve got a race for the Lesbian Hillary Clinton’s Senate spot, just when we thought it was safe to forget about politics.

So it seems like *ages* ago that Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg and got the Giants worrying enough to make poop smores against the Eagles last weekend. Which is cool, because this week, the Giants are travelling to Dallas to do the Texas Testicle 2-step. If you read the headlines this week, Terrell Owens is convinced that his QB and Tight End are working against him, Thomas Newman thinks the coaches aren’t taking ownership of their mistakes, and the Cowboys are falling apart.

I know that’s not much detail. The fact is–it’s ridiculous fun to watch a team you hate fall apart at the seams, especially three weeks before the playoffs. So let’s start this pick week off with a Giants win.

Oh yeah, the Cowboys are favored by 3.5 points. I wish payday had been today, I’d bet my whole paycheck on the Giants.

COWBOYS (3.5) vs. Giants

Pick: Giants

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Hernandez lucked into a win on the Thursday game (saints covering against the bears). If you’re a new york city cable victim, you don’t get the NFL Network. But after a number of weekends and work weekdays searching for Liverpool soccer online, I was able to find the Bears/Saints game, and so I watched my first ever lo-fi football game. It was tremendous. I love that you can steal football games.

Just spitballing–I’m leaving the hard cold analysis to the sickness sack Hernandez. Yo bubble boy–here are the rest of my picks.

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Jets, 7.5 points over the Bills. touh

(Note: That’s as far as I got last night on this post before I went to sleep. I couldn’t let that cogent analysis slip. Now I just need to figure out how to pronounce ‘touh’.)

Pick: Jets
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Jaguars vs. Packers (1.5)

Both of these teams are done. The Packers lost their last three home games to eliminate themselves, and Jaguars RB Fred Taylor announced recently this is the worst team he’s ever been on. Good times, good times.

Now that the Packers have nothing to play for, I’m sure they’ll start performing. Kinda like an ex-girlfriend after you leave her.

Pick: Packers
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Colts (16.5) vs. Lions

Wow. That spread is XXL. The Lions are shooting for a historical season–they could be the first team ever to finish with no wins. This would hopefully mean we’ll never have to see them on Thanksgiving again.

They’ll lose this one too, but I’m hoping it’s only by 13 or 14 points.

Pick: Lions
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Bengals vs. Redskins (6.5)

Ever since the Bengals gave the Giants a scare early this year, I’ve thought they would make the occasional upset as the year went. Now that they’re 1-11-1, I’m starting to think that was a hasty assumption.

Pick: Redskins
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Falcons vs. Buccaneers (2.5)

Two very good teams in a must-win game for Atlanta. Let’s see what Matt Ryan has in the Department of Testicles in this, the biggest game of his life so far.

Pick: Falcons
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Dolphins (6.5) vs. 49ers

The 49ers have been playing fairly well under their new coach Mike Singletary, I’ve read. I just don’t give two shits.

Pick: Dolphins
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Rams vs. Seahawks (3.5)

Ugh. Two 2-11 teams. Cousin Sal from the Kimmel show had the best line for this game – “This is a must-lose game for both teams.”

Pick: Seahawks
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Texans vs. Titans (3.5)

Ok. The Titans are still one of the strongest teams in the AFC. But its starting to feel more apparent that the team coming out of the AFC for the Super Bowl is either in Pittsburgh or Baltimore. I think the Titans are going to lose another game or two this year, and this would be a pretty cool upset, even though I hate just about everything about the city of Houston and the state of Texas.

Pick: Texans
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Ravens (1.5) vs. Steelers

Wow. This game has the potential to be the greatest game of this year. The top two defenses in the league, a game apart in the standings, fighting for first place. If Baltimore wins both teams are 10-4, and I’m not sure how the tiebreaker works right now — the rules are more complicated than the game of football itself. Also, this could very conceivably be a preview for the AFC Championship game which could very well be hosted in the city of the team that wins this game.

I, myself, detest Ben Roethlisberger with a passion. The Steelers’ offensive line is definitely not what they used to be, so their running game has fallen off. Naturally in an offense set like that you’d want a QB who can get rid of the ball quickly, or who can at least scramble and give himself time. Roethlisberger does neither. He just sits there in the pocket until one of his receivers gets open, or he goes down. Also, he looks like a retarded Will Ferrell, who also looks like a retarded Will Ferrell.

I’ll be rooting for about 25 sacks of the QB in this one.

Pick: Ravens
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Panthers (7.5) vs. Broncos

This spread is uncomfortably high, and the Panthers are no doubt looking ahead to next Sunday when they come to Giants stadium for my second ever NFL football game, also again with Hernandez. But with a slim one-game lead, this is still an important game for them. The Panthers also play very well at home. I have no idea what I’m talking about. Big cats beat horsies?

Pick: Panthers
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Chiefs vs. Chargers (5.5)

Enough with the San Diego Chargers. I keep checking their schedule in the hopes that rather than an NFL team they’ll be facing a firing squad on an upcoming Sunday. San Diego sounds like a nice place, and I hope that after they blow a game against the terrible Chiefs, they get their pisschrist of a coach Norv Turner fired.

People disparaged Eli Manning and called him a prima donna for insisting he wouldn’t play in San Diego after they drafted him earlier this decade. And looking at what’s transpired there since, I can think of one word to characterize Eli after his controversial decision: RIGHT.

Pick: Chiefs
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Cardinals (5.5) vs. Vikings

The Cardinals have locked up the terrible NFC West, so they don’t really need to fight for this one. But since Arizona playoff appearances happen about as often as comet sightings or good Coldplay concerts, I think they’re going to play their butts off. The Vikings don’t match up well, either. They’re good up front, but they can’t cover the Cardinals’ receivers.

Pick: Cardinals
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Raiders vs. Patriots (7.5)

No one knows what will happen here. Pats QB Matt Cassell, already under the media magnifying glass all year lost his father this week, and only practiced with the team once. This is one of those situations where you can see the football players-as-warriors analogy: Cassell’s teammates will play their asses off for him, and he’ll play an amazing game in his father’s memory. This is what happened when Brett Favre lost his father, he played arguably the best game of his 72-year career.

On the other hand, it could be a day where he doesn’t feel like being at work because he has much more important things on his mind.

I believe in him. I also believe that the Raiders are hellbound shit scallops wrapped in shit bacon.

Pick: Patriots
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Eagles (14.5) vs. Browns

Poor Browns. 3rd string QB against one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

Pick: Eagles

Thursday night NFL Suck Suck

Hernandez is nursing a raw nipple, so he wanted to tell you that he picked the New Orleans Saints to cover the 3.5 point spread. I picked the Bears.

Because you can’t watch the NFL Network in New York unless you have a satellite dish in your thong, I found the game online. It took awhile, but I watched the Bears go up 21-7. I felt good.

In addition to the burger bet with Hernandez, I participate in a couple of pools. In my work pool, there are only 15-16 people playing each week. But I’ve never won it. In fact, the guy who runs the pool left but still comes by to collect cash. This week, when he came for the money he told me he was rooting for me b/c out of the 15-16 people in the pool, I was one of two who had yet to win. Was he behind me? Was he mocking me? I’ll never know.

So my karma is in a shitburger chicken, because the Saints figured out a way to take the lead, force the game to overtime, and lose by a 3-pronged-Satan chicken-gutting point margin. So the Bears won, but Hernandez wins the pick, and I am not happy.

Speaking of Hernandez, he promises me that he will stop blowing spit bubbles and wearing diapers and will spit out a post in the next few days.