Nov 24, 2010
Giving Thanks, WKRP, the AMAs, WIlford Brimley, Stormtroopers, the USC Song Girls, Gus Johnson and a Parking Fail
So it’s Thanksgiving week, a time to get together with family we like and family we don’t like to eat too much, maybe drink too much and give thanks for all of our blessings. Just in case I drink too much and pass out before we say grace, I wanted to put down in writing most of the things that I’m thankful for so that I can print it out and pin it to my shirt. Here goes….
This Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for:
My wife and daughters, my Dad, sisters, nephews, nieces and in-laws, still having a job, my huge wiener, my ability to exaggerate, KFC’s new Doublicious sandwich, my friends, Makers Mark 46, adults who speak with a lisp, Sofia Vergara holding a handgun, my flat screen LED television, the collective works of Pink Floyd, the color blue, the collective works of Huey Lewis and the News, crisp autumn mornings, Cocoa Krispies, Krispy Kremes, Twinkies, Sour Patch Kids, the use of my thumbs, terrycloth bathrobes, Zach Galifinakis, Greek salads, Peggy Olsen, Charlie Day, Green Man, Red Vines, the Blues, the White Stripes, the collective works of Chuck Klosterman, the DVR, the uncanny ability of complete strangers to identify my need for personal space and to leave me the hell alone, good conversations, that I’m a people person, those E-Trade commercials with the talking baby, the Adam Carolla Podcast, Chipotle burritos, bikinis, miniskirts, sweater monkeys, girls with short skirts and a long jackets, Chesters Pizza, movies, water, bacon, bananas, goetta, Manwich meals, The Rockford Files on DVD, my iPod Touch, the English language, my college degree, my fantastic collection of neckties, my ability to keep a secret, cold water, that Tommy is cheating on Gina with Stacy and nobody knows about it except for me and now all of you, hot water, hot towels, hot sauce, Cincinnati chili, the oceans, the mountains, the forests, the sun, the moon, the stars, all of God’s creatures with the exception of Joy Behar, Keith Olbermann, Lady Gaga, Nancy Grace, Janeane Garofalo, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jung Il, Ben Roethlisberger and snakes…., magnolia trees, Mountain Dew Icees, Heath Bars, Irish pubs, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, getting laid, football, basketball, all sports except Quidditch which is just a serious cry for help, , the inability of 17th and 18th century native American Indians to properly appraise the value of land, and that I was born into the greatest damn nation in the history of the world- the United States of America.
Now if you would, please pass the gravy and Bring on the Matchups!
Patriots at Lions-
Someday the Lions will be tougher than a truck stop turkey leg and they’ll knock the stuffing out of some unsuspecting team on Thanksgiving in front of the whole country. Sadly for Lions fans, that someday is not this Thursday. This Thursday, they’re likely to get rolled, mashed like a potato, candied like a yam and sliced up like a pumpkin pie.
(I know that was lame but my pal Johnny B. was drunk the other night and offered me five dollars for each mention of a Thanksgiving Day food on the blog this week, so I figured I’d get it out of the way early. Johnny, you owe me thirty dollars.)
Pick: Patriots, 31-20
Saints at Cowboys-
The ‘Boys have won two straight since Jason Garrett took over as interim head coach. Jerry Jones is apparently so impressed that he asked the league office if he could take the interim tag off and go ahead and give Garrett the official title without adhering to the Rooney Rule, which states that you must interview at least one qualified minority candidate for any head coaching vacancies. The league said no, unless it is determined that Garrett is actually one of the Wayans Brothers dressed up in white face.
Pick: Saints, 24-13
Bengals at Jets-
I’m out of words to describe the crime scene otherwise known as The Cincinnati Bengals 2010 Season. Please enjoy this classic clip and keep in mind that the management at WKRP was NASA-like in its preparation and quality control compared to what’s been going on in the offices at Paul Brown Stadium. And now, quite appropriately, I give you the execution of a horrible game plan involving turkeys and disaster in Cincinnati….
Pick: Jets, 30-14
Jaguars at Giants-
The Jags are averaging 22 points per game on offense.
The Giants are allowing opponents to score an average of 22 points per game.
The Giants are averaging 25 points per game on offense.
The Jags are allowing opponents to score an average of 27 points per game.
You do the math.
Pick: Giants, 26-22
Vikings at Redskins-
So the Vikes finally cut loose Brad Childress. The players and many of the fans sitting in the second level seats in the Metrodome who were often blinded by the lights reflecting off of Childress’ sweaty bald head are very thankful for this move. It also elevates defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to interim head coach and instantly vaults him to #2 on the current list of Most Famous Men Named Leslie, right behind Leslie Nielsen and just ahead of Leslie Cochran. Who’s Leslie Cochran? Surely you’re kidding?
Pick: Vikings, 24-19
I’m really sorry about that. Here, let’s cleanse the visual palate….
We all good mow? Okay, moving on….
Packers at Falcons-
Reheat the Turkey Day leftovers and grab yourself a sixer! I’m as excited as a ten year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert just thinking about this one. Speaking of that Bieber kid, did anyone else watch The American Music Awards last week? Of course you didn’t , and why would you? Well, just in case your wife recorded it like mine did, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version to save you both the pain of watching it:
Rhianna lip synching, Bieber, Bieber, Bieber’s hair, Hannah Montana flanked by rappers, Kid Rock mailing it in, Fergie’s legs, Bieber, Bieber, Katy Perry’s boobs lip synching, Bieber praying, a shell of the former Bon Jovi, pregnant Pink lip synching, Taylor Swift looking all grown up and not lip synching (how dare her), Bieber, Usher, Bieber, Usher, a now thick-thighed Christina Aguilera, a lame Train song, a Lady Gaga wanna-be, a Santana-Gavin Rossdale disaster, Bieber, weird Old Navy commercials, more Bieber, more Bieber, more Bieber, New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys.
Pick: Bieber and the Packers, 27-23
Panthers at Browns-
The John Fox Farewell Tour heads to Cleveland and hey, look kiddies, it’s also our Tryptophan Game of the Week!
Pick: Browns, 20-10
Steelers at Bills-
The loud thud you are about to hear is the Bills offense crashing back down to earth. The even louder thud you may be hearing right now is the sound of Ben ROFLsberger being punched in the face last Sunday by Richard Seymour. I’ve been playing it on a loop in my office non-stop for the last four days.
Pick: Steelers, 20-10
Titans at Texans-
I called Jeff Fisher to see if he wanted to make our annual pilgrimage to the Wilford Brimley Memorial Mustache Aficionados Convention this weekend but his secretary said that he’ll be spending Black Friday (no pun intended) in line to return Vince Young. I sure hope he didn’t get him at Dillard’s, those ladies are real sticklers about the tags still being on the merchandise. Excuse me? Really? Wilford Brimley’s not dead? Well, that’s weird.
Pick: Texans, 24-20
Chiefs at Seahawks-
Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel goes up against his old college coach Pete Carroll who made him sit the bench for four years at USC. That could be interesting. You know what else is interesting? The USC Song Girls.
Any excuse, you know what I’m sayin’?
Pick: Chiefs, 27-24
Dolphins at Raiders-
It’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Raiders, 19-13
Eagles at Bears-
Mike Vick takes his streak of 191 pass attempts without an interception into the Windy City against a Bears defense which is tied for 2nd in the league with 15 picks this season. More importantly, Eagles head coach Andy Reid will have to board a plane within 48 hours after Thanksgiving dinner. This will be a good test for the new airport security pat downs. In particular, it will answer the question of whether someone will be able to pass through this increased security while smuggling a half pound of turkey scraps, stuffing crumbs, pie crust and half of a wishbone in their lady tickler.
Pick: Bears, 23-20
Buccaneers at Ravens-
Raise your hand if you knew the Bucs record was 7-3. Liar!
They’ve flown under the radar mainly because they’ve gotten to 7-3 without a quality win. They’ve beaten the Browns, the Bengals, the Rams, the Cardinals, the Niners, and the Panthers (twice). In other words, seven wins against teams with a combined record of 17-44. In their three games against teams with a winning record, Tampa Bay has gone 0-3 and been outscored 96-40. They remind me of this guy named Travis who hung out a west side bar we used to frequent back in the early 90’s. Travis was skinny with glasses, a cheesy mustache, liked to roll the cuffs of his acid washed jeans and always seemed about five years older than everybody else. He constantly struck out with any girl who was hot and/or had half a brain but he was a friggin’ hit with any chick who had a skin condition, excess facial hair, excess body weight, a butter face, or was drunk beyond at least three times the legal limit.
Pick: Ravens, 21-14
Rams at Broncos-
The Wild Goats vs the Wild Horses in the Wild West! It’s gonna be one heckuva Mild time!
Did you see what I did there? You were expecting Wild but I typed Mild. I’ve told you before, I’m clever. Seriously though, this one has all the drama of a Tyler Perry movie. It’s just two teams with so-so records who are kinda still in their divisional races but even if they do somehow make the playoffs won’t make any noise. Outside of Rams fans, Broncos fans and hardcore gamblers who put down this month’s rent on this one, this game cannot possibly excite you. If it does, then either your name is Gus Johnson and/or you really need to put down the meth pipe.
Pick: Broncos, 23-17
Chargers at Colts-
Here we have two solid teams wearing white helmets who are still hanging in there despite having lost more than their fair share of players this season. You know another group that fits that description? That’s right, the stormtroopers. Now I’m not a big Star Wars fan, in fact, I’ve only seen the original three and thought they all kinda sucked. But, I do love me the funny stormtrooper pics.
Pick: Death Star Chargers, 26-20
Niners at Cardinals-
If you watch this game, and you know you probably will, whenever the Cardinals offense is on the field, think about this video and see if you notice the resemblance….
Pick: Niners, 19-12
Nov 17, 2010
A Blackout, The Golden Child, Mt. Greenie, Del Rio's DWTD, Daniel Snyder's Anus, Running Into Your Ex, Hasselwursts, and a Potential Pwnage
So the Bengals game is blacked out this Sunday. It's the NFL's way of saying, "Hey, you don't want to fil up a 60,000 seat publicly funded stadium to watch an underachieving 2-7 football team play against a horribly untalented 1-8 football team? Fine. Then, we're not televising it. Take some time to think about what you've done and come back out when you're ready to apologize." Really? Screw you, NFL. As far as I'm concerned this is the equivalent of a mercy killing. If this horsecrap game was televised, I would, like a junkie with a silver tray of cocaine placed in front of him, not be able to resist the temptation. Taking it off the air means that I can start the rehab process without distraction this Sunday.
And for those of you with tickets who don't want to waste them and are going just for the socializing, I have a request. Wear black. All Black. Black shirts or jerseys, black pants, black hats, black shoes, black gloves, scarves and earmuffs if necessary. Go collectively like a Johnny Cash army. With a little twist and tongues planted firmly in cheek, make it a Blackout like UC does when all the students wear black at Nippert (and every other college does at least once a year now). As a matter of fact, this should be modus operandi from here forward. No more corporate bailouts with last minute ticket buys to ensure a sellout. If that happens, we boycott those businesses. And we the fans enter into a gentlemen's agreement to stop at least one seat short of a sellout. No one buys the last available ticket. If you do, we tie you to a log and send you down the river. This will enable those who attend the game to be part of a movement and a perverbial thumb in the eye of the NFL and, of course, Mike Brown. And it will take temptation off the table for those who want to kick this horrible addiction. Spread the word.
Now, bring on the matchups!
Bears at Dolphins-
The Fish lost their top two quarterbacks last Sunday against the Titans. Henne’s out with a bad knee and Pennington’s out for the season with an injured shoulder. This means three things: 1) somebody in the Sporano family is likely to “pay a visit” to Titans practice sometime this week, 2) Tyler Thigpen will get the start at quarterback, and 3) we’re gonna see a whole bunch of The Wildcat sneak back into their playbook real fast. And for those of you who are not familiar with Tyler Thigpen, here’s what you need to know… Tyler was born and raised in South Carolina, attended Coastal Carolina University and is a three year NFL veteran. Tyler is an Aries who likes football, hayrides, collecting Archie comics and long walks on the beach. If you’d like to meet Tyler, he’ll be at Sun Life Stadium this Sunday. He’ll have a very confused look on his face and will be the one wearing the only one wearing a white #16 jersey.
Pick: Bears, 20-16
Ravens at Panthers-
Like the Dolphins, the Panthers may also be down to their #3 quarterback. Due to Matt Moore being placed on IR and Jimmy Claussen suffering a concussion last Sunday, Carolina will turn to rookie Tony Pike. Tony is a native of Cincinnati and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He’s a Pisces who likes football, video games, autumn sunsets, and he dabbles in kite making. If you’d like to meet Tony and have passed our screening process, you can find him this Sunday afternoon on the field at Bank of America Stadium. He’ll be the tall skinny guy in the black #16 jersey laying on the ground and wincing a lot.
Pick: Ravens, 28-13
Bills at Bengals-
After last week’s performance, Carson Palmer now has thrown a career NFL record 91 straight interceptions which were not his fault. To Palmer’s credit, he took the responsibility for the picks but as is customary, no one that Palmer reports to would put any of the blame on his shoulders. He’s become the epitome of a Golden Child. I just can’t believe that up to this point we haven’t seen Eddie Murphy show up to rescue him from a large gilded cage suspended in the middle of a temple and whisk him away to safety. Not that he would but it’s gotten to a point where I believe Palmer could throw eleven interceptions this Sunday, pull his pants down and defecate on the field, set fire to the locker room, walk up into the stands and run a Samurai sword through a concession worker, publicly sodomize the mascot, and Marvin would blame the wide receivers and tight ends for running the wrong routes, the offensive line for poor pass protection, the locker room furniture for not being fire retardant, the concession worker for being too mouthy and the mascot for dressing too provocatively.
Pick: Bills, 23-20
Texans at Jets-
After two straight overtime wins against the Bills and the Browns, I can’t tell if the Jets are lucky, good, both or neither. All I know is that I want the Jets to lose. I want them to lose often, lose badly, and if possible, lose their quarterback, I want these things simply with the hope that it would lead to the emotional if not complete and utter demise of Mike Greenberg. If you don’t know who that is, consider yourself blessed. But for purposes of clarity, he is known as “Greenie”, the skinny and uber-annoying half of ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show, and he’s the only thing that stands between me and an enjoyable ride to work listening to sports radio. Listening to him is akin to listening to the dorkiest kid in your junior high talking through his nose about sports and crack unfunny jokes while simultaneously scratching his nails across a chalkboard. To make things worse, he loves the Jets and has what can only be described as an unhealthy infatuation with Mark Sanchez. As I’ve mentioned before, my hope is that someday a horrible Jets losing streak couple with the demise of Mark Sanchez will cause Greenie to climb to the top of his own huge ego and jump off, leaving nothing but a greasy spot on the pavement left by his metro sexual hair gel. In my mind, it goes something like this….
Golic: Greenie! Hey Greenie, where are you?
Greenberg: I’m up here, Golic.
Golic: Up where?
Greenberg: Put down the breakfast burrito and look up.
Golic: Oh, hey. What are you doing up on Mt. Greenie?
Greenberg: Mt. Greenie?
Golic: Yeah, that’s what the rest of us here call your ego.
Greenberg: What?! I don’t have an ego.
Golic: Oh yes you do Greenie and it’s huge.
Greenberg: No, I don’t.
Golic: You do.
Greenberg: I do not have a huge ego and quite frankly, I resent the implication.
Golic: Oh yes you do, you just haven’t noticed it because it’s hidden behind so much faux humility and disingenuous self-deprecation.
Greenberg: Those are big words for you, Golic, be careful not to hurt yourself.
Golic: Me be careful? You be careful. What are you doing way up there anyway?
Greenberg: I can’t take it anymore. The Jets are terrible, Mark Sanchez is done and he also renewed the restraining order against me…. It’s all just too much. I’m going to end it all, Golic. I mean it.
Golic: No you’re not. Come on down from there and we’ll talk.
Greenberg: Nope, you can’t change my mind, I’m gonna do it. I’ve already talked it over with my shrink on the Subway Fresh Take Hotline and I’ve also left a six hundred page note explaining my reasons and offering my goodbyes and thanks to all of our sponsors, all of our guests who have so graciously let me kiss their backsides without shame and to all of our friends like Shefty, CC, Stink, Buster, Starky, Mort, and anyone else with an annoying nickname with whom we’ve worked over the last decade.
Golic: Greenie, I’m not going to tell you again. Get down here right now.
Greenberg: No way. I’m not coming down and you can’t make me. By the way, everyone’s looking at me, right? Is my hair okay?
Golic: Yes, everyone’s looking at you and they think you’re ridiculous.
Greenberg: Good, I mean, I’m glad they’re looking. Please remind everyone that we were on Letterman a couple of times.
Golic: Get down here now or I’m going to dump out your Axe cologne and throw away your cuticle repair kit.
Greenberg: Okay, okay, I’m coming down but (startled, he looks behind him)… Hey, who are… AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! ……… thud.
Golic: Oh now that’s just disgusting. Hey, someone go get Eric Kuselias to take over for Greenie. Eric! Where is Kuselias?
Assistant: He’s up there eating breakfast on Mt. Kuselias.
Golic: Where’s Mt. Kuselias?
Assistant: Right over there across the valley from Mt. Van Pelt, in the shadows of the Berman Mountain Range.
Pick: Jets, 27-19
Raiders at Steelers-
Last week I called for Karma to finally show up in Pittsburgh and, well, she came through in a big way. To ensure a repeat performance from her, I’ve taken measures to put her up for the week in a nice suite at an undisclosed hotel in downtown Pittsburgh and I’ve also arranged for security and transportation to and from Heinz Field this Sunday. I’ve also stocked the suite with a gross of wax candles, handcuffs whips, ball gags, trays of fresh catered oysters on the half shell and clams casino, plus the complete collections of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place on DVD. It turns out that Karma is a little freak with a soft spot for Aaron Spelling creations.
Pick: Raiders, 19-17
Browns at Jaguars-
While the Browns have been grabbing attention by knocking off the Pats, the Saints, and taking the jets to overtime, the Jags have quietly been surviving. In case you hadn’t noticed, the Jack Del Rio Farewell Tour has been put on hold indefinitely and last Sunday the Jags knocked off the Texans thanks to a last minute turnover, an ill-timed penalty, and a Hail Mary from midfield that was slapped right into the waiting arms of rookie wide receiver Mike Williams. Of course, as soon as I saw that “miracle”, I immediately called my undercover reporting team to check on any possible deal between Del Rio and the devil. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that my undercover reporting team was already on a story trying to confirm a rumor that Stuart Scott’s lazy eye is actually well-disguised bomb planted by a Somalian terrorist group whose plans are to remotely detonate it the next time Stu gets within twenty five feet of the President. So I then called Jessie Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory reporting team. They were able to quickly confirm that there is indeed a deal between Coach Del Rio and the Prince of Darkness. The terms of the deal are allegedly as follows: a winning record for the Jaguars this season in exchange for one-third of Del Rio’s soul, a signed picture of Del Rio wearing nothing but a Jaguar-printed banana hammock, and the Jag’s second round draft pick in 2001 which will be spun off to Lovie Smith to help complete a pending deal between Satan and the Bears.
Pick: Jaguars, 20-17
Cardinals at Chiefs-
Last Sunday, while getting torched by the Broncos 49-29, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley was more than a little cheesed off because he thought the Broncos kept their foot on the gas a little too long by leaving their starters in the whole game. Waaahh! Instead of shaking Josh McDaniel’s hand, he greeted him with a pointed finger and a few choice words. Waaahh! Luckily for him, this week his team faces the Cardinals who couldn’t run up the score on anyone if they wanted to. Speaking of the Cardinals, Haley was their offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008. A careful inspection of the Cardinals games in 2007 and 2008 shows that they beat up on the Buffalo Bills by a score of 48-19 on Dec. 30, 2007, scoring 17 points in the final quarter and the records also show that then-stud quarterback Kurt Warner took every snap for Arizona, staying in the game until the end. Nobody likes a crybaby and nobody likes a hypocrite. Haley’s both. Crybaby/Hypocrite is a terrible combination, right up there with Fat/Stupid, Whiny/Lazy, Ugly/Conceited and Nudist/Irritable Bowel Sufferer.
Pick: Chiefs, 27-17
Redskins at Titans-
Before last week’s Monday Night game, it was announced that Donovan McNabb (who’s 34 years old next week and was benched a couple games ago) was given a five year contract extension worth $74.5 million. If I’m the DC police chief, I’m sending a couple vice cops out to search Dan Snyder’s car, house, boat, office, and anus for hallucinogens.
Pick: Titans, 24-16
Lions at Cowboys-
Well it looks as if I greatly underestimated the ability of interim head coach Jason Garrett. Either that or I greatly underestimated the sucking power of departed head coach Wade Phillips. I will not make those mistakes ever again.
Pick: Cowboys, 112-3. Wait, make that Cowboys, 119-0
Packers at Vikings-
You know how when you file for divorce then your Ex is so mad at you that she goes and marries someone you hate just to get back at you, then after you’re also remarried, you hear that your Ex and her new husband are having problems, then one day you just happen to run into them at the store and they both look worn out, beaten down and generally just miserable, then you briefly let go of your new wife’s hand long enough to jump up, raise your left arm in the air, point at your Ex with your right hand and laugh hysterically until they finally just turn and walk away?
No? Well me neither but my friend Johnny B tells me that it’s an absolutely euphoric experience. Anyway, in case you hadn’t guessed by now, “You” in that scenario are the Packers and “Your Ex” is Brett Favre. And if the rumors are true, Brett Favre’s soon to be Ex is right here….
Pick: Packers, 26-20
Seahawks at Saints-
It may come as a bit of a surprise that the Saints are #1 in the league in passing. No? Oh I’m sorry; you thought I meant passing offense. No sir, passing defense. That’s right, and you know what also may come as a bit of a surprise? The Seahawks have the league’s 30th-ranked offense. Okay, so that’s not much of a shocker but this one should knock you for a loop…. Matt Hasselbeck and I went out for drinks to discuss a potential business venture last night and he got wrecked on vodka martinis and Jager bombs, tripped on the steps coming out of the bar and broke two ribs. So despite what you may have heard or read, don’t count on him coming back from that concussion and playing this Sunday.
Okay so that was a complete lie. Except for the business venture part. We met over coffee and scones to discuss putting his name and likeness on a new brand of white bratwursts. We’re gonna call them Hasselbrats. Each one will be an exact replica of his boxers banana. I also have meetings set up to discuss Breeswursts, Bradywursts, Roethlisweiners, Favre Franks, and Vick Big Red Smokeys. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I have the patents pending. I also have some molds if you or your girlfriend are interested.
Pick: Saints, 31-17
Falcons at Rams-
It’s the ATL vs the STL at the EJD. I wonder if HMFIC will turn out to SB or MR, or that maybe it will be the RW Show unless there are more INTs than TDs and in that case the HMFIC could be a DB. We should get some MGDs or some PBRs and watch it on my LED and keep it on the DL. LOL. TTYL.
I hate myself.
Pick: Falcons, 24-13
Buccaneers at Niners-
Damn the Niners, damn them straight to hell!Pick:
Colts at Patriots-
It’s Manning vs Brady VII
The following facts come to you courtesy of coldhardfootballfacts.com….
Manning and Brady have faced each other six times. New England has won each game, outscoring Indy by an average score of 31.8 – 17.5 – nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Brady has clearly outshined the two-time regular-season MVP. In fact, it’s not even close. Here’s how their numbers stack up in those six contests:
Brady: 121 for 180 (67.2%), 1,322 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs, 98.0 passer rating.
Manning: 137 for 234 (58.5%), 1,542 yards, 9 TDs, 10 INTs, 73.3 passer rating.
I don’t know how things went down where you grew up but on the west side of Cincinnati 7-0 was a skunk, yo momma’s a drunk and yo sista's got too much junk in the trunk. If Brady and the Pats beat him again, they should yell SKUNK! and there should be a postgame ceremony at midfield with Brady slapping a PWNED sticker on Manning’s helmet.
Pick: Patriots, 31-20
Giants at Eagles-
All that was missing from Mike Vick’s performance in DC last week was a pair of black sunglasses, a long black cassock and a bunch of Agent Smiths trying to take him down. I was fully expecting at any moment to see Laurence Fishbourne emerge from the sideline, refer to Vick as The One and take him away to see the Oracle.
Pick: Eagles, 27-17
Broncos at Chargers-
I can’t help thinking that I forgot something. What is it, what is it…. Oh yeah, it’s time to apply some more whiskey to the back of my throat. And it’s also Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Chargers, 31-23
Nov 11, 2010
Larry, Veterans Day, Tatyana Janikowski, 2 Diff'rent Strokes References, a Hillbilly Double Wedding, a Puke-Stained Broncos tshirt & Looking for Karma
So we’re watching and listening to a young woman named Mindy semi-nervously yet gently feed her soul by performing a couple acoustic covers. My buddy Mike and I are each armed with a glass of Makers 46 and a can of beer, backs to the old fireplace in the front room of the Southgate House. The room is less than half-full, unless you count the eight or ten former presidents whose pictures are framed and hanging on the wall across from us. Mindy finishes with what I think is a Sarah McLachlan song, thanks a politely applauding room and takes her seat back at the bar next to her friend who is either less talented or less courageous but certainly not less attractive.
Taking Mindy’s place at the open mic is some guy who’s introduced as “Bob”. Bob adjusts the microphone and then calls out for someone to bring Larry in from the adjoining room. A few seconds later, a slightly built man who looks to be in his early sixties or who’s lived a hard fifty shuffles to the front of the room next to Bob. He’s wearing a dingy red beret, a dark suit of clothes , a wry smile, and is looking at us through a thick set of square framed glasses. Bob, seated on a stool, introduces Larry as someone he just met within the last hour and the two take a few moments to ready their instruments. Larry’s is a harmonica which he retrieves from his left front pocket, slaps it on his thigh a couple of times and presses it to his mouth for a quick sound check. Bob’s is an acoustic guitar that he’s holding strongly in front of him, not letting it rest on his lap as he rears back his head, eyes closed, tuning the strings. Bob is a bit of an odd fellow. He’s portly with a miniature Billy Gibbons beard, knit winter hat covering most of his curly reddish-brown hair, eyeglasses which seem a little too small for his face, and a voice that at first sounds a bit like he’s channeling Kermit the Frog if Kermit had more of a bluegrass influence. This isn’t to say his voice was bad, it wasn’t, just unique and the type that grows on you with each passing line. Bob tells Larry that this first song is in the key of D. Larry nods and the two are off on their journey. A couple minutes later after a spirited & soul-baring performance of an original and a more than polite applause fills the room, Bob and Larry give each other a look that’s one part surprise, one part respect and two parts excitement. At that moment it’s clear to everyone in the room that these two men will collaborate again. Not just for three more songs as they proceeded to do but also on future evenings in this room or others like it in front of similar audiences.
After witnessing Larry’s skill not only on the harmonica but also on the piano, the next two performers also ask him to sit in with them. There’s a heavily inked stockily-built young man in a sleeveless shirt who sings eyes closed and heart wide open on a surprisingly fantastic original and covers of Eleanor Rigby and Champagne Supernova. Following him was an older, feisty, blues singer named Paul Jolly who offered up three blues covers including Tobacco Road and an original which he called The Beer Bottle Song that turned the laid back room into a sing along for a couple of minutes. At the end of both sets, these men shared strong handshakes and pats on the back with Larry. They knew, like Bob before them, that they were better that night by having Larry beside them and the rest of us in the room knew that our night was better for it as well. What we witnessed was teamwork and collaboration in its purist and most creative form. It was one man who didn’t need to be the center of attention, willing to follow the lead of others , his only goal being to compliment their abilities and take the effort to a higher level. I left my house on Monday night thinking that being in the stands for the Bengals-Steelers game would be the highlight of my evening. I went home with a different highlight and wishing that some of the Bengals could witness what I had just witnessed and take a cue from Larry.
And just in case you’re curious, here’s The Beer Bottle Song (unfortunately without Larry and his harmonica)
Bring on the matchups!
Ravens at Falcons-
Hey, a Thursday nighter to celebrate Veterans Day. That’s a classy move by the NFL. I’m sure it will include a “world famous recording artist” performing the national anthem and some commemorative stickers on the helmets or patches on the jerseys. And the broadcast is sure to give us at least a half dozen live shots of active servicemen and women stationed across the globe who are taking a well-deserved respite from their duties to gather together and watch the game. That’s always a nice touch. But what about all of the US veterans, those who have already served and are gathered together to take a break from daily life, share stories of their service time and watch the game? I’m guessing that the NFL Network won’t have live feeds from any AMVETS or VFW halls across our great nation. But that would also be a nice touch.
Thanks for protecting our freedom.
I’m looking at you, veterans.
Pick: Falcons, 23-17
Lions at Bills-
Amazingly, nobody is talking about how the Bills have advanced flawlessly to 0-8 and are thus halfway to just the second 0-16 season in the history of the NFL. Ironically, the reason it’s probably going relatively unnoticed is because this week’s opponent managed to achieve the feat just two years ago. And if the Lions want to make sure they keep that record all to themselves, they may want to take it easy this Sunday. Maybe rest a couple of starters? Heck, maybe even sit Stafford out for this one. What’s that? Again? Really? Another dislocated shoulder? Really? Well okay then.
Pick: Bills, 24-14
Bengals at Colts-
Just minutes after his team finished the on-the-field equivalent of soiling itself, cleaning itself off and then choking on a chicken bone, head coach Marvin Lewis declared that his Bengals were going to go to Indianapolis and beat Payton Manning. Really? I would admire the optimism if I thought it were actually sincere and not just a mask to hide an unhealthy amount of embarrassment, anger and frustration. It was like watching some unruly kids at a restaurant spilling drinks, throwing their food, throwing tantrums, screaming, fighting causing a huge scene and then on the way out their Dad says, "Now if you'll excuse us, we have to get to church." Really? You're taking those kids somewhere they have to behave and be quiet for an hour? Really? And you think that's going to turn out well? I'm guessing that within five minutes the one with the Twitter account, the gold teeth and the spanish alias will be sitting bare-assed in the holy water.
Pick: Colts, 31-20
Jets at Browns-
While it would be more appropriate for the giant-killing Browns to be facing the other New York football team this week, the Jets will also do quite nicely. And how about this Peyton Hillis kid. If I’m operating a souvenir stand outside of Browns Stadium, I’m printing a crapload of “What’chu Talkin’ ‘Bout Hillis?” t-shirts right now.
Pick: Browns, 20-17
Texans at Jaguars-
These two teams combined have less air defense capability than an injured worm lying on a sidewalk.
Pick: Jaguars, 35-24
Vikings at Bears-
You know, I think all this feuding between Brad Childress and Brett Favre is kinda silly. It’s certainly nothing that couldn’t be cured by a couple of emails back & forth containing pics of Brett’s junk. And maybe a couple more wins.
Pick: Vikings, 21-16
Titans at Dolphins-
It’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Dolphins, 16-13
Panthers at Buccaneers-
Carolina’s offense is averaging just eleven points per game more than you are. Unless your name is Sebastian Janikowski. In that case, Carolina’s offense is averaging just five points per game more than you are. And if your name is Sebastian Janikowski, wow, thanks for reading my blog and please tell your cousin Tatyana that I said hello.
Pick: Buccaneers. 20-13
Chiefs at Broncos-
The Chiefs lead the NFL in rushing. The Broncos are last in the NFL in rushing and second to last in run defense, but they do pass the ball pretty well. Also of relevance, the homeless guy who likes to quote Shakespeare and walk past our office building each afternoon was wearing a Denver Broncos t-shirt yesterday with what looked to be some fairly fresh puke stains on it. That’s a good enough omen for me.
Pick: Chiefs, 26-20
WARNING: I am now about to discuss four teams who are all horrible, all reside in the same division and are playing one another this Sunday. Honestly, these two matchups will be more tragically incestuous than a hillbilly double wedding. I promise I will keep them brief.
Rams at Niners-
Ram the Niners, ram them straight to hell!
Did you see what I did there? I. Am. Clever.
Pick: Niners, 20-17
Seahawks at Cardinals-
This is the battle of the 30th-ranked offense versus the 31st-ranked offense. It’s also the battle of the 27th-ranked defense versus the 30th-ranked defense. Who’s #30 & #27 and who’s #31 & #30? Does it really matter? The real question is how have these two teams have managed to get to this point with records of 4-4 and 3-5. What’s that? Who’s 4-4 and who’s 3-5? Again, does it really matter? And you, by chance, haven’t ever been the groom in a double hillbilly wedding, have you?
Pick: Cardinals, 14-13
Cowboys at Giants-
I don’t care if your new head coach is Jason Garrett or Edna Garrett, when your defense gives off a stench that one would compare to a rotting fried egg sandwich sitting atop a pile of steamy dog poo nestled within a clump of fresh mulch and jammed into the decaying carcass of a large skunk and your quarterback is Jon Kitna, well, sadly, you have no chance. Oh, and if you think I’m exaggerating about the Cowboys defense, take a whiff of this…. They’ve allowed 145 points over the last four games, including the Giants dropping a 41-burger on them three weeks ago. I’m thinking this one should go a little like this….
Pick: Giants, 30-14
Patriots at Steelers-
Would someone please tell me where in the hell Karma is? Given what ROFLsberger did in the offseason, I figured she would’ve kicked both him and the Steelers right square in the balls by now. Seriously, where is she? You don’t think Ben has her locked in a mens room somewhere, do you? Maybe somebody should drive over to her place and make sure she’s okay.
Pick: Steelers, 24-20
Eagles at Redskins-
McNabb won round one against his former team a few weeks ago in Philly. Now the Iggles are looking for revenge. It could be a good sequel but Donnie Mac might not even play due to a sore hamstring and he also might not play due to a sore head coach.
Pick: Eagles, 23-16
Nov 4, 2010
Election Coverage Surfing, Weird Science, Charlie Sheen, The Lovie Smith Farewell Tour, Corona Cans, a Dolphins Fight Song and P-burgh Dirt Squirrels
So I’m watching the midterm election results on Tuesday night, or as I like to call it, Super Bowl Tuesday for the cable news stations. After about an hour, I’ve settled into a pretty solid surfing rotation which includes Fox News, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC (every so often just to get me riled up), and to round things out and cleanse the mental palate, the NFL Network. Not long into the evening, a few things quickly became very clear….
If you were running for office and had an “R” next to your name, you probably had a good night. Unless you lived in California or recently had to run an ad campaign ad refuting reports by opponents that you were an actual witch. Seriously.
Fox, hands-down, has the hottest female reporters. If you’re an attractive, leggy blonde between the ages of 25-35 and can say the word “gubernatorial” without screwing it up, odds are that you’re on Fox News’ payroll right now.
CNN will hire anyone. An-y-one. Exhibit A: Eliot Spitzer was front & center on their election “experts” panel. Yes, that Eliot Spitzer. Jesus, were Rod Blagojevich, Charlie Sheen and Satan not available?
With apologies to Jackie Childs, the fact that all of these networks can call a winner with just 2% of the vote being counted is ludicrous, preposterous…outrageous.
Keith Olbermann is clearly the most bitterly unhappy human being who has ever walked the earth. At a reasonably far distance behind him and in second place is Janeane Garofalo, followed in third place by Lewbert, the doorman with the huge facial wart on iCarly.
Brit Hume is clearly the closest thing cable news has to Don Corleone. No matter what was going on in the Fox studio, no matter how many people were yammering or how heated it was, any time Brit opened his mouth, everyone immediately stopped talking, turned to face him and let him speak uninterrupted. I was honestly expecting the rest of the panel to line up and kiss his ring at the end of the evening.
CNBC wins for best-looking Aussie, running Amanda Drury unopposed.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd wins for best use of an interactive video wall by someone who looks like Principal Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Anyone living in Nevada would’ve been best served to bypass both names on the ticket and submit a write-in vote for Wayne Newton as your next senator.
If the rest of our nation’s companies would over-employ like CNN does, we could put an end to the unemployment compensation program. CNN had at least a dozen people packed into two desks, all wanting to open their spin holes at the same time, vying for the attention of the ever-circling and seemingly sedated Anderson Cooper. It was like watching a nest full of hatchlings begging Mama Bird for a worm.
And finally, the whole evening would’ve been much more enjoyable had the NFL Network covered the elections. Rich Eisen, Warren Sapp, Mooch, maybe a couple of the blondes from Fox News and that Aussie chick from CNBC, throw in some hi-tech interactive electoral map video boards, a blow up pool full of pudding and a smoosh room, and you’ve got gold, my friends.
Now, with 98% of the precincts reporting, bring on the matchups!
Jets at Lions-
After a bye week followed by a shutout at the hands of the Packers, Tater Salad’s Jets haven’t scored in nearly three weeks. That’s a mere 171 weeks shy of the record set by my buddy Joey A. while we were in college at Miami U back in the early 90’s.
Pick: Jets, 19-10
Buccaneers at Falcons-
My sources are telling me they can now confirm the details of Raheem Morris’ deal with the devil. These sources report that the deal includes a playoff berth in exchange for ownership of Morris’ soul for three years after his death, two Buccaneers cheerleaders, a time share in St. Pete, a 50-ft catamaran, and the clear title to the Bucs end zone pirate ship. Sources also say that the deal is now in jeopardy as the devil’s attorneys have discovered that the pirate ship does not have the juice bar, exercise room or designated ceremonial pagan sacrifice area below deck as was originally promised.
Pick: Falcons, 27-17
Chargers at Texans-
If this game was the scene in Weird Science where Kelly LeBrock passes Robert Downey Jr and his buddy on opposing escalators, shoots them a simulated kiss and they fall all over themselves trying to climb up the center divider to get over to her, then the Chargers would be Kelly LeBrock and the Texans would be Robert Downey Jr and the other guy. Not that the Texans want to get with the Chargers (although Norv Turner is a very handsome man) but what I’m saying is that we’re at that point in the season when the Chargers start climbing back to the top and when the Texans start to fade, fall over themselves, and start hating themselves so much that they eventually displace their anger and ease their pain by pouring red Icees from a second level railing onto two unsuspecting dweebs who are sitting below waiting on the hot chick they brought to life as the result of a science experiment.
Pick: Chargers, 31-24
Saints at Panthers-
Surprisingly low: The Saints have the 9th ranked offense in the NFL right now.
Surprisingly high: The Saints have the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL right now.
Surprisingly pathetic: The Panthers have the worst-ranked offense in the NFL right now, have been intercepted a league-high 13 times , have a league-worst -10 turnover differential and are scoring a league-low 12.1 points per game (that’s almost five points per game worst than the next closest pathetic offense- Cleveland).
Surprisingly delicious- Jeremiah Weed’s Cherry Mash. Now that I’ve discovered it, this holiday season is going to be a little sketchy for anyone relying on me for anything.
Pick: Saints, 21-13
Bears at Bills-
Raise your hand if you realized that the Bills were still winless……. Okay, raise your hand if you’re not a Bills fan and you realized that the Bills were still winless…… LIAR!
Sure, they’ve gone to overtime in Baltimore and KC the last two weeks and that’s fairly admirable but they’ve still got a chance at achieving a perfectly awful season. But I still like them better than the Bears this week and Vegas has them as only a three-point dog. What does that say about the Bears? That Mike Martz is an overrated offensive coordinator, that Jay Cutler is an interception machine, that their offensive line is a five lane turnstile? Yes, yes and yes. It also means that The Lovie Smith Farewell Tour is headed to Buffalo!
Pick: Bears, 23-13
Cardinals at Vikings-
So let me get this straight…. The Vikes trade for Randy Moss, the same Randy Moss who misbehaved and ran his mouth so much during his first stint in Minnesota that they banished him to Oakland. Then a mere four weeks after bringing him back, he publicly questions a fourth down decision and criticizes the quality of some catered food in the locker room and head coach Brad Childress is so shocked and appalled that he puts him on waivers? Really? Isn’t that a little like inviting Charlie Sheen to join the guys for a golf weekend and then being shocked to find him face down in a sand trap at 3am lying naked next to a slew of empty vodka bottles, a horny gopher, two passed out hookers and a sand rake mysteriously covered in petroleum jelly? Yes, it is exactly like that.
Pick: Vikings, 17-14
Patriots at Browns-
New England is #1 in the league in scoring, averaging 29 points per game.
Cleveland is second to last in the league in scoring, averaging 17 points per game.
Don’t over-think the tank.
Pick: Patriots, 29-17
Colts at Eagles-
It’s Cheerleader Posedown Time!
Pick: Colts, 27-26
Chiefs at Raiders-
Hey kids look- it’s the Don Criqui Game of the Week!
Whoa, um, uh, hang on a minute there. Sorry, force of habit.
KC is #1 in the NFL in rushing and Oakland is #2 so this game is a simple one to figure out. It’s going to come down to four guys: Jamaal Charles & Thomas Jones for KC and Darren McFadden & Michael Bush for Oakland. Who’s gonna outrun who? And come to think of it, it’s probably also going to come down to turnovers. Definitely. And maybe special teams, especially if there’s a blocked kick or a runback or something. Oh, and penalties. The Raiders reek of penalties and those could be costly. And don’t forget passing the ball and avoiding sacks, that’s important, too. That’s about it. It all comes down to that. And clock management, injuries, crowd noise and the coin toss. Definitely don’t underestimate the importance of the coin toss.
Pick: Chiefs, 23-20
Dolphins at Ravens-
Did you know that the Dolphins have a fight song?
Did you know that T-Pain (I don’t know either) made it worse and drunk white people like to dance to it?
Pick: Ravens, 17-15
Giants at Seahawks-
Speaking of tanks, the Seahawks went into one last week, getting crushed by the Raiders in Oakland and losing five starters to injuries before the end of that horror show. One of the guys they lost was quarterback Matt Hasselbeck who suffered a concussion on one of the eight (yes, eight) times he was sacked. Meanwhile, the Giants, rested after being on leave last week, are coming all the way across country with the #3 offense in the league and a four-game winning streak. That’s it. I’ve got nothin’. Here’s a picture of some Corona cans.
Pick: Giants, 26-17
Cowboys at Packers-
The Boys are 1-6, have Jon Kitna at quarterback, and are traveling to take on a surging Packers team that boasts the #4 defense in the league fresh off of a shutout of the Jets last Sunday.
So who do you think feels more insecure about his job future right now, Wade Phillips or Barack Obama?
Pick: Packers, 24-13
Steelers at Bengals-
If Ben Roethlisberger was a US senator, he would’ve been kicked out of office a long time ago and be sitting on an election night panel over at CNN by now. But since he’s not a senator and instead an NFL quarterback, he’s back at work and getting cheered on by a bunch of dirt squirrels waving yellow towels above their heads. Sorry if I sound bitter but there’s nothing worse than having the Steelers come to your town and bringing all of their wretched, loudmouthed faithful along with them. The only good thing about it is that it provides an otherwise nonexistent opportunity for the local drug stores to sell off their working supply and any back stock of canker sore ointments, head lice combs, toenail fungus creams, and these….
Pick: Steelers, 24-16