Well thankfully for all of us, all this bullshit is nearly over. The boys are off to camp in Tonyland, their preseason is nearly upon us, and we're only two weeks away from what I'm sure will be a gripping duel between Jackie Butler and Francisco Elson for the five spot. What this means for all of you is that I won't be holding the site hostage much longer and that Matthew will resume his duties as the chief of PTR. No more offseason timefillers with FIFA, FIBA, or football. We're gonna have honest to goodness hoops to obsess over once more.
The leaves are fallin' the balls are bouncin' and it's almost time for basketball. And if Matthew STILL feels too lazy to write, I'll track him down myself and stomp him to death with my Manu sneakers.
But for once, I see where he's coming from. It's hard to find time for this when you actually have a life. All of a sudden I'm quite busy now with school and a weird job and writing for the paper. Nothing but stress, stress, stress, and I get to only sleep like five hours a day. If this is what being an adult is like, I can see why I put it off for so long.
At least I'm still alive. That was looking dicey for a while when I was driving back to San Diego. I won't bore you with the details, but somehow I've been blessed with the odd gift of being able to drive better asleep than I do when awake. Oh, and on my first morning as an insured driver, I got pulled over for not wearing my seatbelt. Thankfully, I got off with a warning. The cop just got off....
Who else had a noteworthy week? Oh yeah, TO. Who could've predicted that would've been such a disaster? Besides EVERYBODY I mean. I almost feel sorry for Bill Parcells. You know he didn't ask for this. But Jerry Jones has gotten exactly what he paid for. The Cowboys are the lead story on SportsCenter every night. It's a pretty neat trick for a team that plays once a week, huh?
The theory going around is that TO resorted to cliché "I'm gonna kill myself (but not really)" routine to make his ex-fiance come crawling back to him. Predictably, it didn't work. So now that he's single he can spend his nights luving him some him. And afterward, he can pull a Freddie Mitchell and thank his hands for being so great.
Had enough TO jokes yet? No?
Okay, here are my three favorite suggestions for signs at next week's Eagles-Cowboys game...
3. "He would've taken 35 pills, but he dropped 30."
2. "I outperformed my dosage."
1. "If Bledsoe was my QB, I'd do it too."
Anyway, I'm kind of pumped up for football this week. I almost feel like I had bye myself last weekend because I was at the Eagles-Niners game, so the only football game I saw on TV was the MNFer. It was surprising how many Eagles fans were at the game; at least 10% of the fans were in green. Either that's a great demonstration on how passionate Philly fans are, or a sad commentary on how low the Niners have sunk. Or a little of column A...
Thanks to my uncle's binoculars I was able to find out before anyone in the stadium that Donte Stallworth was out, but it turned out that he wasn't needed against the feeble SF secondary. Or maybe the fact that they were getting 8 yards a pop on running plays had something to do with it. Brian Westbrook got 117 yards on eight whopping carries. As my American Political Though professor likes to say, "We pass to set up the pass."
And wouldn't you know that I'd have to wait through whole horseshit Monday before they play. Good thing God invented gambling to get me through the other games, right?
If every week goes like last week, I'll be able to buy that Russian bride I've had my eye on by December. You will be mine Svetlana. Oh yes, you will be mine.
I went 11-3 picking the games and 9-4-1 vs. the line, bringing my totals to 33-13 and 26-19-1. This line from last week's blog...
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-7) The spread here is annoyingly perfect. You can't see the Colts winning by more or the Jags losing by less, you just can't.
was particularly spooky, no? Colts won 21-14 on the nose. One of these days you vermin will acknowledge that I am indeed a wizard.
Fucktard Peter King, the man who picked the Lions to win the NFC North, went 5-8-1 to drop him to 20-25-1 for the year.
The Sports Couple on the other hand, fared far better.
The guy who knows football like the back of his hand and writes about them for a living went 9-4-1 and is 26-19-1 thus far, just like me. His wife doesn't watch the games or know the teams and yet she went 10-3-1 to also go to 26-19-1. Really puts it all into perspective doesn't it? Maybe I'll ask my sister to pick the games.
Anyway, here's this week's batch of rationalizations for my obvious biases.
Arizona at Atlanta (-7.5) How pathetic was Mike Vick last Monday? It really amazes me anytime the Falcons win a game. Didn't the Eagles draw the blueprint to shut this team down in 2002? You put 8 in the box to take away Dunn, you space the ends out so Vick can't bootleg anywhere, and you dare them to beat you throwing the ball. Did anyone see how basic the routes those WRs were running? It's like a high school offense. I think it'd take me longer to read the menu at an In'N'Out Burger than the Falcons playbook. Unfortunately, I can't trust Warner to not turn it over against an angry Atlanta defense. Falcons to win, Cardinals to cover.
Dallas at Tennessee (+9.5) Setting aside the TO melodrama, it pains me as an Eagles fan to admit that I might very well have to put a few sheckles on the `Boys here. Their defense alone should be able to cover the spread. I would put the over/under on Dallas possessions starting in Titan territory at 3.5. Cowboys to win and cover.
Indianapolis at NYJ (+8.5) It's tempting to go with the Jets at home, especially when they're feeling so good about themselves after a road divisional win, but I think Peyton and co. will be out to redeem themselves after a clunky performance vs. the Jags last week, and having Kevan Barlow as their RB won't enable New York to exploit the Colts' soft underbelly. Colts to win and cover.
Miami at Houston (+3.5) While I have the same nagging feeling that Duante Culpepper will blow this gimme, I can't in all good conscience pull the trigger on a winless Houston squad unless the line was much, much higher. I'm not touching this one, gambling wise.
Dolphins to win and cover.
Minnesota at Buffalo (-1) Oddly, it seems that people are higher on the Bills after a home loss to the Jets than they were before the game started. The 500+ yards of offense is making everybody giddy. I don't quite have the confidence in J.P. Losman yet to think he can string two strong performances together, and I look for the keep-it-simple approach of Minnesota to win a tight one with a couple of forced turnovers. Vikings to win and cover.
New Orleans at Carolina (-7) Do the Saints prove to the world they're a legit contender, or do they fall back down to Earth in a classic let down game scenario? How about I just take the chickenshit way out here and say they'll both leave their backers happy? Panthers to win, Saints to cover.
San Diego at Baltimore (+2.5) Okay, small gambling story: This is why I love "teasers." I'm at Candlestick Park last Sunday, and the whole 2nd half, I was freaking out more about the out of town scoreboard than the actual game on the field. I'd made one standard parlay with the Eagles -6 and the Ravens -6.5. That was already out the window with Baltimore down 14-3 in the 4th. But thanks to teasers, I still had a chance to win a lot of money on my other parlays. A miraculous interception in his own end zone by Chris McAllister and a 52 yard field goal at the final gun by Matt Stover gave Baltimore a 15-14 victory against the hapless Browns and made me $120. I actually pulled off a 10 pick parlay. Even with teasers, that's something to brag about, right? So because of that, I'm sticking with Baltimore. As you may remember with last week's Chicago-Minnesota spread, I rejected the concept of an undefeated home underdog outright on principle, and while the Vikes did suffer a disappointing loss, they did cover. Ravens to win and cover.
San Francisco at Kansas City (-7) My gut tells me to take the Niners here because Damon Huard is still quarterback for the Chefs, but Kansas City is an awfully tough place for a young QB to play well, and I can't quite get over how easily the Iggles ran the ball against San Francisco last week. Chiefs to win and cover.
Detroit at St. Louis (-5.5) Mike Martz hasn't spoken to the Detroit media all week. Apparently he's still a little miffed at how they treated him while he was the big man over there. Something about spectacularly botching a Super Bowl despite being the much more talented team and also losing a playoff game to Aaron Brooks. I think Martz's arrogance will get the better of him here and the Lions' overly fancy game plan will confuse the O's a hell of a lot more than the X's. Rams to win and cover.
Cleveland at Oakland (+2.5) Not often you see an 0-3 team favored on the road. Even less often you see me pick an 0-3 team favored on the road. I feel like I owe it to the Browns for stupendous 4th quarter collapse last week to save my hide. Well done guys, well done. Browns to win and cover.
Jaguars at Redskins (+3) Something tells me that Mark Brunell won't complete 22 straight against a grouchy Jacksonville defense. The boo birds will be out in force by the end of this one in Washington. Jaguars to win and cover.
New England at Cincinnati (-6) So this will be the official death of the Patriots, huh? I certainly won't shed a tear. It kind of gets annoying to hear how "nobody gives us any respect" when you're favored by a touchdown in the Super Bowl, you know? The Simmons-copying clown at my paper wrote after the Pats-Broncos game that New England was "one and done." But they won three Super Bowls. And Pittsburgh won last year. It made no sense to me and I'm still trying to figure it out. Good thing our paper has editors, huh? Whatever, Bengals to win and cover.
Seattle at Chicago (-3.5) No Shaun Alexander and the line's only 3.5? Seems too good to be true, huh? I see Seattle going to four wides to take the Bears out of their base defense, Hasselbeck going to a three step drop to negate the pass rush, and for the Seahawks to announce to the world that they fully intend to go back to the Bowl. Seahawks to win and cover.
Green Bay at Philadelphia (-11) Well clearly the gambling Gods are testing my faith in my team here. Do I think that Brett Favre will throw us a couple picks? You bet your sweet bippy I do. But my team has an infuriating habit of making routs not so routy. Hopefully Donovan will want to send a little message to a certain headcase in Dallas.
Eagles to win and cover.