Author Archives: Hernandez

NFL Week 3 Picks – Hernandez

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Keith, Mex and I still haven’t ramped up the posting schedule as much as we’d like, so these NFL picks posts will have to suffice for now. And even though I know you’re all dying for more content, we’re busy men, so bear with us as we get back into the swing of things. Soon the leaves will turn, the weather will dampen, and we will be snug in our humble abodes with nothing to do except watch sports, drink beer and piss all over your favorite teams and players. Yay autumn!

To recap last week’s action, Keith nipped me 11-5 to 10-6. Through two weeks he leads overall 19-13 to my shitty 16-16. It’s a long season, and I know it will ebb and flow, but I need to go on a run so I don’t lose all credibility as Someone Who Knows Something About Football. I’m hopeful it begins right now, following the giddy, quirky first two weeks when anything can and usually does happen. Now that the novelty is wearing off and the chicks are beginning to stop tuning in, the good teams will separate themselves from the bad. Or so I hope.

Normally I’d sex you up with a long, sensual picks post packed with foreplay, dirty talk, peaks, valleys, and an explosive climax. But my time is limited, so you will have to settle for an old fashioned nipple tweak and too-fast pounding before I blow my load and pass out. It’s better than nothing.

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Of Punts and Pussy: Hernandez Week 2 Picks

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I loved Keith’s strip club post, but was a little disappointed he didn’t provide any raunchy photos to illustrate it. If there was ever a time to post T&A on IKH, this was it. It increases traffic to our site tenfold AND it makes my dick hard, which is a win-win for…well, me. A missed opportunity, but I’ll let it slide because The Creamy Otter is genius.

I’ve never been a strip joint guy myself. I’ve only ever been a handful of times, and it’s always unfulfilling. The whole dynamic seems cruel, and I mean to me, not the strippers. Something about not being able to fuck these women really sticks in my craw. Anyway, the only mildly interesting anecdote I have about a strip club is the first time I ever visited one. I was a sophomore in college just starting his first internship at a local television news station in Boston. The station sucked, but the internship was amazing because I basically worked as a reporter, going out with a cameraman to do interviews for our nightly news.

On one of my first days we got word of a triple murder/suicide somewhere north of the city and went to check it out. A guy had walked in on his girl doing some other dude, and he killed both of them and then himself. After asking around we were told off the record – gotta love the police – that the dead chick had been a stripper at a place in Rhode Island, the Mecca of strip clubs in the Northeast. (I realize that’s a little like saying Olive Garden is the Mecca of Italian restaurants in Cedar Rapids, but you get the drift.)

You know what comes next: we decide to go to the strip club to try to get some reaction from the victims co-workers. I walked into The Satin Doll trying as hard as I could not to act like a 19-year-old who had never been inside such a place. Didn’t happen. I managed to get a few questions in with the manager and the bartender, but the rest of the time was spent staring, mouth open, at the naked titties. I wanted so badly to be the hardened detective, like Gene Hackman in The French Connection. Instead I was more like Gene the Stock Boy at French Connection. On the plus side, I WAS pretty hardened.

So where does that leave us in terms of Week 2 of the NFL season? I have no fucking clue. Transitions are overrated anyway, and we’ve got a season to talk about.

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And Now the Fun Begins

What Keith said. Here are my Week 1 picks. Stakes yet to be determined, and I’m already up 1-0. It’s time to fuck shit up.

STEELERS (6) vs Titans

The NFL is at its peak as a league. I don’t even think it’s all that arguable. I’ve felt for a while now that this season would be a great one, and the opening game served notice that we’re in for a treat. Playoff-like intensity in the first week of the season is a rare thing, and this one was a pleasure to watch, even though I hated seeing the Steelers pull out a win they probably didn’t deserve. Hey, has anyone else noticed that Pittsburgh’s offensive line totally sucks, and it did all last season too? I did and kept citing it as a reason they wouldn’t win the Super Bowl last year. (Look it up.) I was wrong about the SB, but I’m sticking with that same theme this year. And I still got this pick right, so shove that Iron City Beer up your cornhole.

Pick: Titans

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BENGALS vs Broncos (4)

I’ll take the contrarian view on the “Josh McDaniels is the anti-Christ for hurting poor little Jay Cutler’s feelings” hysteria spewing from the altitude-addled twats who live in Indianapolis With A Great Backdrop. I’m sorry, I meant Denver. Cutler is a turnover machine, not to mention a whiny bitch who doesn’t have the stones to lead a team to a title. (Also see: Philip Rivers.) You can’t build around a selfish guy like Cutler, and overrated Mike Shanahan was in need of a change of scenery. And seeing as how he doesn’t done jack shit in his career without John Elway, maybe that wouldn’t even help. So major kudos to owner Pat Bowlen for not playing it safe. On the other hand, Denver is still fairly devoid of defensive talent, and they will continue to struggle this season.

Cincy is a sexy sleeper pick this year, and as much as I hate to be a bandwagoner, I’m on board. They have elite offensive talent and an underrated defense that quietly kept them in games last year. I don’t think they’re a worst-to-first type sleeper, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they were in the playoff hunt until the end. (Remember that I said pretty much the same thing about the Dolphins in my Week 1 preview last season. That doesn’t mean I’m always right, but you’ve gotta admit that was fucking classic.) 

Pick: Bengals

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TEXANS (4.5) vs Jets

If you don’t know who I’m picking in this game, you’ve obviously never read the site before.

Pick: Texans

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BROWNS  vs Vikings (4)

An astoundingly bad matchup of the two worst coaches in the NFL. Mangini is a complete joke, and the team doesn’t have enough talent to mask that fact. Childress has more talent to work with, but not as much as people credit them with – receiver and secondary to be specific. Minnesota is a mortal lock to finish 8-8.

Pick: Vikings

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SAINTS (13) vs Lions

I can’t get behind the Saints. Maybe if the Arena League didn’t fold I’d feel differently, but in the NFL you’re still supposed to play defense. Also, professional cancer Jeremey Shockey still plays for them, at least when he’s not being hospitalized with “dehydration.” Fuck this Lindsay Lohan world we live in where you can’t just come out and say someone OD’d. I guess the terrorist really have won.

Detroit deserves better than they got last year. I think Stafford will actually be good, and can see them finishing 6-10 or something. Still shitty, but a WHOLE lot better than what we’ve seen of late. If Barry Sanders comes out of retirement at midseason I’ll up this projection to 9-7. That’s not even a rumor, but it’d be awesome. If Theo Fleury and Jason Williams can do it, why not Barry?

Pick: Lions

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COLTS (7) vs Jaguars

It all falls apart for Indy this year and they finish out of the playoffs. It almost happened last year, and it’s not like they got a whole lot better in the offseason.

Pick: Jaguars

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CARDINALS (6) vs 49ers

I like the 49ers as a sleeper this season too. Good defense+Mike Singletary+more rush-heavy offense+surprisingly effective QB play from Shaun Hill = a respectable season. Not great, but highly competitive.

So cliche to predict a post-Super Bowl hangover/injury plagued season for Kurt Warner, but I’m going there. Sometimes they’re cliches because they’re true.

Pick: Cardinals (I think they cover by a late score or two following a tight game. Don’t think I’m being hypocritical; I stand by what I wrote in the summary, but I still want to beat Keith and Mex at these picks!)

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RAVENS (13) vs Chiefs

This may be the toughest game of the week to pick. Obviously I think Baltimore will win, but do I believe they’ll win by 13 or more? Tough to say. Everyone expects Flacco to be even better this season, but I can see a sophomore slump just as easily. And don’t forget Baltimore lost Bart Scott, Jim Lehonard and Rex Ryan from their defense. So I’m leaning Chiefs. But with Cassell 50/50 and no Tony Gonzalez, how can I make that play? I’m pretending to agonize over this, but this is what makes these picks fun.

Pick: Chiefs

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BUCS vs Cowboys (6)

What did I just write above about these picks being fun? Fuck me!!!

Pick: Cowboys

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PANTHERS vs Eagles (2)

Another pick I absolutely HATE to make, because I hate the Eagles more than Paul Aufiero does in “Big Fan,” which you should all go see, btw. But I’ve gotta do it this week. Just know that I think Philly is the single most overrated team in the league. Their coach, who always fucks his team over by trying to play finesse, pussy, trick play football instead of playing a power game, now has even more reason to play to those horrific tendencies with Vick on the roster. Their thin-skinned QB, who consistently chokes (and let’s not forget, pukes) in the clutch, now has a legitimate backup looking over his shoulder. Their defense lost its genius coordinator, it’s field general Brian Dawkins, and it’s best player, Stewart Bradley. Their supposedly new and improved offensive line is hurt and hasn’t played together all summer. Their oft-injured RB Brian Westbrook is already oft-injured again. Should I go on?

Still, I almost always take NFC Beast teams, especially against a Carolina team that rode an easy schedule and some lucky breaks to a 12-4 record last year. They won’t be bad this year, but they’re MUCH more likely to be 8-8 than 12-4.

Pick: Eagles

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GIANTS (6.5) vs Redskins

And now for the part where I bore you with my uber-Giants fandom. Actually I’ll spare you this time because I’m saving it for a post later in the week where I recap my trip to Giants Stadium for this game. Here’s a preview: The Giants were the best team in football last year but they choked and didn’t win the title. They’re hungrier, deeper and more talented this year, and they’re winning the Super Bowl in a rematch with the Pats. There, I said it.

Pick: Giants

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SEAHAWKS (8.5) vs Rams

Seahawks are another trendy pick to turn things around this season. I’m not feeling it. In fact, I never felt it when they were winning all of those division titles in the last decade. They were/are always missing that undefinable “it” factor – most likely toughness. The argument is they were decimated by injuries last season. I’ll grant them that, and I’m sure they’ll be improved. But they’re still only middle of the pack.

The Rams, on the other hand, are a team on the upswing. I have faith in my paisan Spagnuolo. He’ll have them in contention by his third season. For now we’ll have to settle for competitiveness, and it starts with covering this weekend.

Pick: Rams

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FALCONS (4) vs Dolphins

The quintessential “which one of these out-of-nowhere surprise teams was a fluke last year?” matchup. I’m in the minority on this one, but I think it’s Atlanta. Never bet against Parcells.

Pick: Dolphins

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PACKERS (3.5) vs Bears

If I hear one more scribe pick either of these teams to win the Super Bowl I’m going to shoot someone. Die, all of you. Both of these teams will be good, mind you, but Super Bowl contenders? Methinks no. The Bears have no receivers, no secondary, and Cuntler. The Pack have an old, washed up secondary, a brand new defensive scheme and no running game. Ryan Grant? Please! Talk about a one-year wonder. And that was two seasons ago.

Pick: Packers

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PATRIOTS (10.5) vs Bills

It’s sad to see Belichick go all Bizarro World and turn against his defensive roots by having an all-offensive team. But what a fucking offense! I’m not sold on Fred Taylor as an every-down back, but he’ll still help. The defense is a concern. I guess I have faith in the coach that these young guys will gell, but it’s going to take a while. I expect a lot of shootout wins.

I was firmly behind the Bills as a huge sleeper last year and got burned. Not this time.

Pick: Patriots

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RAIDERS vs Chargers (9)

Is this the 4th consecutive year we’re being told San Diego and/or Dallas has the most talented team in the league, or the 5th? I can’t remember because I’m so blinded by all of the championship hardware those two teams are brandishing. Oh right…I’m not. Fuck these dick biscuits, but I’m still taking them to cover this week. 

Pick: Chargers

Welcome back, NFL – where every pick makes you feel like a Tijuana whore!

Cards/Mets! Keith’s team against Hernandez’s team (2 of 4)

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As Keith posted earlier, he and I are going to do a Cards/Mets back and forth this week as our favorite clubs do battle over four days at New Shea. Here are Keith’s five questions for me, and my answers. We’ll have my questions and his answers tomorrow. Enjoy.

1. David Wright leads the National League in hitting, but he’s not hitting with any power.  He still hits doubles, but he’s also on pace to strike out about 150 times this year.  Is he turning into Ichiro, or worse, Jeter?  And does it bother you that when the Mets’ lineup has been so injury-plagued that he’s not stepping up?

Wright’s lack of power doesn’t bother me. He’s gone through long home run droughts before, most notably in 2006 when he only hit 8 after the All-Star break. That weak second half came after Wright was the runner up in the Home Run Derby, leading millions of dickhead Mets fans to blame the derby for messing up Wright’s swing. It was taken as gospel truth that he suddenly developed an uppercut because he wanted to hit a home run on every pitch. “He’ll never be the same!” they all cried. Except he hit 30 and 33 hr’s the next two years and had his two best seasons. God, I hate Mets fans.

I’ll admit that Wright only having 4 homers this season is a little troubling, but not nearly as much as the increased strikeouts. I don’t know what’s up with that, other than the fact that the whole team is hurt and he’s trying to do too much. A lame excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Either that or he’s getting too much pussy. Or not enough. Pick one.

2. I see the Mets put Carlos Beltran on the disabled list the very same day that the Cardinals come to town.  Yeah, I know he’s hurt, but the timing is pretty awful, considering that after the Cards series you guys face the Yankees this weekend.  I’m putting part of the reason down to the fact that he choked so hard in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.  Adam Wainwright isn’t even pitching in this series.  Why is Beltran such a pussy?

He’s Puerto Rican.

(BTW, am I supposed to be afraid of the Yankees? The same ones who just dropped two straight series to the Nationals and Marlins, and who would’ve lost the Subway Series if not for Luis Castillo’s colossal fuckup on a game-ending popup? Wake me when they stop padding their stats at that ridiculous joke of a new stadium they play in.)

3.  Two-parter.  In many ways the Cardinals and the Mets are very similar.  The Mets have obviously been hit by the injury bug a lot harder this year, but both our teams feature shit-the-pants starters at the back of the rotation, and are coming off years where the bullpens absolutely sucked.

Two differences I’ve noticed: The Mets are relying on veterans like Castillo, Cora and Tatis to pull them through, while the Cards are giving some new faces a chance.  Are those old Spanish guys blocking anybody who deserves a chance right now?

Second, the Cards have been lucky to stay atop the division due partially to the Cubs’ dismal performance in the Central. But the Mets have to deal with the Phillies, who have owned them the last couple years.  How much of a factor is that?

A lot to digest. As to the first part, those old Spanish guys aren’t really blocking any of our young Spanish guys. (The entire Mets organization is pretty much Spanish, if you haven’t noticed.) Our top prospect Fernando Martinez, a 19-year-old outfielder, has actually been with the big club for almost a month. He’s not ready for the majors yet, but they’re desperate for bodies right now. Shit, we’re relying on Gary Sheffield to be one of our top players, which tells you all you need to know about how bad things are.

In addition, most of the Mets best prospects are pitchers, not position players. The organization generally drafts everyday players poorly, which is one of Omar Minaya’s biggest faults. (The other is that he’s a straight up racist.) To compensate for this weakness, Minaya uses the team’s financial clout to sign older, more expensive players to provide depth. While I prefer giving younger guys a chance, as the Cardinals routinely do, I’ll refrain from slamming Minaya totally on this front. His strategy mostly looks bad because all of those veterans are starting right now. But if they were backups no one would have a problem with it. Such is life.

As to the second part, you’re wrong about the Phillies owning the Mets. Sure, the Mets choked a donkey’s dick the last two years, but it wasn’t because of their record against Philly. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 2006 – Mets win season series 11-7
  • 2007 – Phillies win season series 12-6
  • 2008 – Mets win season series 11-7
  • 2009 – Mets lead season series 4-3 

Not as lopsided as you’d think. It’s the fucking Marlins who have killed the Mets the last two years.

4.  What’s it like having Livan Hernandez as your #2 pitcher?  Any cold sweats?  Liquid shits?  Have you switched off of light beer yet?

I feel a sense of serenity when Livan takes the mound, knowing that he will give us a quality start and/or pitch until his arm falls off. You’ve gotta admit that not many 53-year-olds compete the way he does. Sure, sometimes he gives it up like an East St. Louis whore, but all is forgiven, especially when I’m drunk on light beer.

5.  I hear your new stadium’s nice, and I look forward to checking it out with you on Thursday.  But I’m guessing there are still a lot of Long Island Iced Teabaggers in attendance.  Isn’t giving this franchise a new ballpark a little bit like putting shiny new tits on a crack-smoking DP whore?

Yes.

A Helluva Town

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Since Mex brought it up in a post and a subsequent comment, I thought I’d address the looming “What will LeBron do in 2010?” question. Remember to take this with a gigantic grain of salt, for obvious reasons, the biggest of which is that no one knows what the fuck they’re talking about when it comes to the subject. Least of all a Knicks homer like me.

The thing to remember that’s often overlooked is that this whole thing may be settled as soon as July 1st. As in THIS July 1st. That’s when Bron-Bron is eligible to sign a contract extension with Cleveland, because his last contract in 2006 was actually for three years with a player option for the fourth year (next season.) So maybe this will all be over before it even gets started. If he’s going to stay in the Cleve, I hope he goes this route so I can save myself a year of anxiety. It would be crushing for him to play out the final year of his contract, getting my hopes up, only to wind up re-signing with the Cavaliers in the summer of 2010.

I don’t think it’ll happen though, because I’ve felt for quite a while that he’s coming to New York. There’s been endless speculation about how winning or not winning a title affects LeBron’s decision. I don’t think it matters. If he wins a title (or two) in Cleveland his legend there is secured and he can leave the nest knowing he completed his mission. Fans would be pissed, but they couldn’t hate him for it. On the other hand, if he doesn’t win a title he can say, “I gave it my best, but Cleveland just can’t surround me with the help I need to win a championship, and I need to play somewhere that will.” Again, fans would be pissed, but deep down they’ll know he’s right.

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“Where Were You?” No. 2: Messier’s Guarantee

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It was brought to my attention that today, May 25, 2009 is the 15-year anniversary of Game 6 of the epic 1994 Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. Otherwise known as the Messier guarantee game, as it came to be called because of the back cover of the New York Post seen above.

This post is categorized under the “Where Were You?” banner, a feature I created for us to regale readers with interesting recollections of where and when we watched historic sporting events. (I’ve only ever done one of these, but Keith, Mex and I all should do more.) Unfortunately, I don’t have an interesting story about this game. I watched it in my parent’s basement while nursing some beers, having just graduated college about a week earlier. Ho-hum.

I only decided to write about this because when I saw it was the anniversary of Game 6 I was overcome with a flood of memories. As I said, I was graduating from college that month, which made me both an insufferable know-it-all AND a sappy little bitch. Meanwhile, the Rangers and Knicks were going on long playoff runs. This was heady stuff. All the pieces were coming together, and I could practically taste the trophies that were about to be ours. But then the Rangers dropped Game 5 to the Devils, a 4-1 ass whooping at MSG, and the series suddenly looked over. After a lifetime of disappointment, even a sports optimist like myself retreated into the well-worn pose of the abused Rangers (or Cubs or Red Sox) fan. 1940! 1940! indeed.

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I’m Back, Bitches

In my last post I vowed to stop writing about hockey for a while because my Rangers were out of the playoffs and I was boring all 12 of of our readers. I wasn’t planning on taking a hiatus from the blog altogether, but that’s what ended up happening. Oh well. You live, you learn, you suppress the memory until it erupts at an inappropriate time. Or maybe that’s  just me.

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed I’ve been gone, it’s probably because you’ve been entertained and informed by my esteemed colleagues Keith and Mex. (Also, fuck you for not noticing. I knew you were only pretending to like me all along.) Keith is always the balls, but Mex has been a godsend these last few weeks, embarking on what we hope is a long partnership on IKH at the exact time I wasn’t contributing a damn thing. Mex, I can’t thank you enough.

I’ll be honest; I don’t know Mex all that well, even though he is quite clearly a great guy and we shared one of the greatest moments of my life (the same strippers and Def Lepard thing we’ve already beaten within an inch of its life – the joke, not the strippers.) So while I was enthusiastic when Keith asked him to start writing here because I’m always up for something new, I’ll admit my sports snobbery was locked and loaded. Nothing’s worse than a sports poser, and any real fan can spot ’em a mile away.

Well, as his first posts have proven, I’m obviously a dickhead. Anyone who writes, as Mex did, “I skipped over Dancing with the Stars and American Idol to go from Bruins to Celtics, and eventually the Red Sox, Wings/Ducks, and Rockets/Lakers,” is someone I want to be friends with. You can’t fake that shit.

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