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Scola, Football, Tacos, and Stuart Scott

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Hey fellas, I hadn't posted for a while so I thought I'd update you all on what's going on with ol' Mikey and get rid of all the mental clutter I've been meaning to share.

First off, a hearty congratulations to the Argentine B team for qualifying for the '08 Olympics. Personally, I thought it was ridiculous that they even had to go through qualifying being that they won the gold in '04 and all, but their skeleton crew came through like champs, prevailing twice against a Brazil squad featuring Barbosa and Nene. It appears that Manu (and Fab) will be quite busy indeed the next offseason and if Pop doesn't like it, he can protest by standing in front of an oncoming tank in Beijing.

Personally, I think the Spurs came off like total idiots in this Tournament of the Americas. Argentina was led superbly by Luis Scola, their only frontline player that bothered participating in the tournament. Spurs fans who are hoping against hope that Scola will fall on his face in the NBA are just pissing in the wind on this one. The guy is going to be a good player and he's going to make the Rockets a lot better. Trading him for nothing in a salary cap move to a contending team in our own conference is pretty much indefensible.

The Spurs can spin it however they want, but one bullshit excuse I don't want to hear ever again is that they would have been paying Scola too much money to be Tim Duncan's backup. Get the fuck out of there with that garbage. Make Scola the starting power forward and make Duncan the starting center. There, end of problem. If Timmeth doth protest too much, then you can appease him by calling Scola the center in the pregame introductions and going through that lame pretense forever and ever.

The Spurs blew it, and they blew it because of money, that simple. We had better hope that Stevie Franchise submarines a Rockets squad that is on paper, better than us right now.

Speaking of the Spurs, I haven't visited Spurstalk in nearly two weeks, and I can honestly say I think I've kicked the habit. Matthew was right, the stress of it was eating me up inside and I don't need it. I got into one last flame war with Mr. Ellis, the hubby of the gal who runs the site and decided it's not worth it anymore. If the sheeple over there can't see what a pompous arrogant bastard he is, there's no point in trying to reason with them.

The psychopath was either delusional or obsessed with me anyway. We'd argue about something, and he'd dig through a five month old post I'd written to argue about it. That's something a crazy person would do, no? And he says he knows my true identity and keeps threatening to "expose" me to my readership on PtR and vows to tell you all what a miserable dick I really am.

You know, because I keep so many things private from y'all...

He says he knows my real name is actually Michael Erler and not Aaron Stampler. Nice investigative work, Sherlock. Could this possibly be because I wrote an article for your wife's place of business during the last playoffs? How can anybody take this stooge so seriously?

For the record, is there anyone here who didn't know that

A) My name is Michael Erler
B) I'm 29
C) I'm fat

Anyone? Oh well, the big secret is out I guess.

Enough about the Spurs, football season is coming up and I'm pretty freakin' excited about it, as always. I've wisened up to the point that this year I won't be participating in any fantasy leagues, I won't be wagering on the games, and I won't be wasting time writing about wagering on the games, since nobody read those posts last year anyway.

My Iggles haven't exactly been a juggernaut during the preseason, but neither are the Spurs usually, so I'm not too nervous just yet. I was a bit distraught that they cut MLB Jeremiah Trotter a couple weeks ago, but since he already had a contract, I have to give their front office the benefit of the doubt on it being a pure football decision and not another example of the Eagles being their typical cheap-o selves. Trotter was already a massive liability against the pass, but apparently his knees are too shot and he's too slow now to even get to that stretch running play the Colts started using regularly a few years ago which has become en vogue around the league.

Unfortunately, the Eagles have the youngest and most inexperience linebacker corps in the league, but still, I think overall they have the best combination of offense and defense in the weak NFC and as long McNabb and Westbrook can stay healthy (always a dicey proposition) they have as good a shot as anyone to get to the Super Bowl.
Here are your quickie NFL Predictions...

NFC West

1. San Francisco - Perhaps a homer pick, but I liked their draft a lot and I think Alex Smith will really step it up this year with better wideouts and Vernon Davis as his go to guy over the middle.
2. St. Louis - I think their D line will be a little better, but their back seven aren't good at all.
3. Seattle - Their window is closed, methinks. The secondary is a mess and their QB is inconsistent.
4. Arizona - I hate their defense. They have no pass rush or playmakers at all.

NFC North

1. Detroit - I'm gonna bite the bullet and gamble here. I think 9-7 can win the division and Detroit probably has the best offense of the bunch.
2. Chicago - Forget how terrible Grossman is for a sec; Chicago is handing the keys to their running game now to Cedric Benson and the guy is a big, soft weenie. Giving away Thomas Jones to the Jets was a huge mistake. Plus they lost two of their best run stoppers on the D line in Tank Johnson and Ian Scott.
3. Minnesota - If Kelly Holcomb can learn the offense fast enough, they might steal the division, I like their defense a lot and the running game should be good with Peterson.
4. Green Bay - Favre is done and there really isn't much to like about any area of this team except the D line. The young safeties will kill them.

NFC South

1. New Orleans - I'm reluctantly picking them because there's no one else, but I'm not sold on their defense at all. Bush will have to improve a lot for them to contend.
2. Atlanta - I agree with Simmons on the Falcons' immense Ewing theory potential. I think Joey Harrington will surprise some people this year.
3. Carolina - Jake Delhomme isn't that good anymore and David Carr isn't any better. Plus their defense doesn't stop the run like they used to.
4. Tampa Bay - Speaking of defenses that used to be good...

NFC East

1. Philadelphia - It's all about McNabb and Westbrook staying healthy.
2. Dallas - Tony has to prove himself all over again and their secondary needs to start covering people. I think Wade Phillips was a ridiculous hire for them. The inmates will run the asylum.
3. NY Giants - Eli Manning will actually step it up, but their defense, like St. Louis, isn't good at all after the front four.
4. Washington - Really not much talent or playmaking on either side of the ball. The offense will be plodding, at best.

AFC West

1. Denver - Getting Simeon Rice to bolster their pass rush was a coup, and I think they've got the best secondary in the league.
2. San Diego - I love their roster 1 to 53, but I'm not so wild about the coach.
3. Oakland - Duante Culpepper can lead them to respectability - if they give him the job.
4. Kansas City - If you've watched Hard Knocks on HBO, there is no way you can think anything other than 3-13 for this talentless outfit. Herm Edwards is a clown.

AFC North

1. Baltimore - Willis McGahee is a huge upgrade over Jamal Lewis at running back. If Steve McNair can stay upright, they're the team to beat.
2. Cincinnati - Same old story, great offense, shit defense.
3. Pittsburgh - A year away from contention, they're too young at too many spots.
4. Cleveland - Might be the slowest overall team in the NFL.

AFC South

1. Indianapolis - They lost a bunch of people, but the division is cake.
2. Jacksonville - Their wideouts stink, and all the pressure is on David Gerrard's shoulders now.
3. Houston - I think Matt Schaub will turn some heads down there.
4. Tennessee - Not sold on Vince Young just yet and he still has no receivers.

AFC East

1. New England - A reluctant pick. Their run defense will stink and god knows what Moss will do.
2. NY Jets - If I had any balls I'd pick them, but Pennington's noodle arm worries me.
3. Miami - There's no talent anywhere on offense, and an aging defense.
4. Buffalo - Two years away, at best. Need to draft better on defense.

Seeds...

NFC AFC
1. Philadelphia 1. Denver
2. New Orleans 2. Baltimore
3. San Francisco 3. Indianapolis
4. Detroit 4. New England
5. Dallas 5. San Diego
6. Atlanta 6. NY Jets

Playoffs...

Wild Card Round

3. San Francisco beats 6. Atlanta; 5. Dallas beats 4. Detroit; 5. San Diego beats 4. New England, 3. Indianapolis beats 6. NY Jets.

Divisional Round

1. Philadelphia beats 5. Dallas; 2. New Orleans beats 3. San Francisco, 5. San Diego beats 1. Denver, 2. Baltimore beats 3. Indianapolis

Conference Championships

1. Philadelphia beats 2. New Orleans; 2. Baltimore beats 5. San Diego

Super Bowl

Philadelphia beats Baltimore.

Because I said so.

On the job front, the San Mateo Daily Journal has been kind enough to let me start writing for them. It means less free time for yours truly, but it's definitely a step in the right direction because I doubt they'd ever hire me for pay based on my shoddy work on the police blotter and total lack of interest in civil case summaries. The editor likes to give rooks the most bizarre first assignments possible to test their chops, so for my first article in a real newspaper I was given the task of writing about tacos. Yes, tacos. I feel like a real Spurs fan now.

Here's the masterpiece, in case you're interested...
http://smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?type=lnews&id=80018

And yes, that goofy "yummy in my tummy" quote was courtesy of Manolis.

On the Ashley front, I don't even know where to begin. I took her out last Thursday, and dinner was pretty boring. The girl likes talking about herself a lot. We were supposed to go to a comedy show, but I got the date wrong so I took her to a strip club instead. Yeah, classy I know. But Ashley is kind of a trailer trash strumpet, so this was like her dream destination. She's totally bi anyway and had the time of her life getting to 2nd base with girls I wouldn't sleep with for free. I overdosed on strip clubs in my early 20s and am now so totally desensitized to them that it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I took her to a karaoke place after and honestly that was a lot more fun for me. She sang some crap Avril Lavigne song, I sang "Adam's Song" by Blink 182 and we got out of there.

I don't think she likes me very much at all, she just likes that I like her, if that makes sense. I'm actually pretty rapidly losing interest in her as well and on the look for something, anything else. She's actually mad at me because I sent her some lewd text message on her phone - she was with me when I wrote it - and her boyfriend found it afterward.

It's pretty stupid to blame me when you're the one who has a whole double life that you don't tell your boyfriend about and are too dumb to keep your cell phone away from him, no? And this coming from the same person who said, and I quote, "Don't hate the player, hate the game" when this other girl at the bar told her to not date so many people at once.

The moral of the story, if a girl quotes Stuart Scott, you should avoid her at all costs.