NFL Week Eight, Pride Pool Week One

Anybody else wants to play, just say.

Beav:

14. NYJ over Miami
13. Minnesota over NYG
12. Seattle over Carolina
11. San Diego over Oakland
10. Philadelphia over Baltimore
9. Denver over Atlanta
8. Green Bay over Washington
7. New England over Pittsburgh
6. Buffalo over Arizona
5. San Francisco over Chicago
4. Houston over Jacksonville
3. Indianapolis over KC
2. Detroit over Dallas
1. Cincinnati over Tennessee


bondgirl:

14. Jets over Miami
13. Philadelphia over Baltimore
12. Indianapolis over Kansas City
11. Minnesota over Giants
10. Green Bay over Washington
9. Seattle over Carolina
8. San Diego over Oakland
7. Denver over Atlanta
6. Jacksonville over Houston
5. Tennessee over Cincinnati
4. Bears over San Francisco
3. Detroit over Dallas
2. Arizona over Buffalo
1. Pittsburgh over New England


j.ko:

14. Eagles over Ravens
13. Jets over Dolphins
12. Seahawks over Panthers
11. Broncos over Falcons
10. Chargers over Raiders
9. Vikings over Giants
8. Colts over Chiefs
7. Patriots over Steelers
6. Bills over Cards
5. Bears over 49ers
4. Texans over Jaguars
3. Titans over Bengals
2. Packers over Giants
1. Cowboys over Lions


Money Honey:

14. Jets over Dolphins
13. Chargers over Raiders
12. Colts over Chiefs
11. Bears over 49ers
10. Giants over Vikings
9. Packers over Redskins
8. Ravens over Eagles
7. Lions over Cowboys
6. Texans over Jaguars
5. Bengals over Titans
4. Broncos over Falcons
3. Steelers over Patriots
2. Seahawks over Panthers
1. Bills over Cardinals


Al:

14. Chargers over Raiders
13. Jets over Dolphins
12. Denver over Atlanta
11. Seatle over Carolina
10. Bengals over Titans
9. Vikings over Giants
8. Lions over Cowboys
7. Colts over Chiefs
6. Washington over Green Bay
5. Houston over Jacksonville
4. Buffalo over Arizona
3. Bears over 49ers
2. Ravens over Eagles
1. Steelers over Patriots


Fantasy starters:

Kurt Warner, Corey Dillon, Edgerrin James, Marcus Robinson, Keenan McCardell, Daniel Graham, Doug Brien, Lions DST


And for those of you who dig it:

14. Chargers over Raiders
I Am Right Because: LaDainian has owned Oakland
I Am Wrong Because: The Raiders’ young receivers are stepping up at last.

13. Jets over Dolphins
I Am Right Because: The Dolphins, having ruined the Wannstedt Quest for a second perfect season, will now revert to form.
I Am Wrong Because: God, I hate Dave Wannstedt.

12. Denver over Atlanta
I Am Right Because: 8 rushing touchdowns allowed? E-I-G-H-T? EIGHT?
I Am Wrong Because: For the same reason I am alsways in danger of being wrong about Denver wins: Jake Plummer can keep an opponent in the game all by himself.

11. Seattle over Carolina
I Am Right Because: Seattle has to rebound eventually. Right?
I Am Wrong Because: Carolina is finally compensating for the loss of Steve Smith, and they were pretty good last year.

10. Bengals over Titans
I Am Right Because: Carson Palmer has figured out the NFL.
I Am Wrong Because: The NFL has figured out Carson Palmer.

9. Vikings over Giants
I Am Right Because: The Vikings don’t lose at home, however hurt they are, and I am benching Mewelde Moore.
I Am Wrong Because: Kurt Warner thrives indoors.

8. Lions over Cowboys
I Am Right Because: I don’t know. I’m on a season-long streak of being wrong about the Lions.
I Am Wrong Because: I don’t know. I’m on a season-long streak of being wrong about the Lions.

7. Colts over Chiefs
I Am Right Because: The Colts have more weapons.
I Am Wrong Because: Last week’s defensive performance from KC wasn’t a fluke.

6. Washington over Green Bay
I Am Right Because: Washington can shut down the run and intercept sloppy passes – a formula matching them up perfectly with Green Bay.
I Am Wrong Because: Brett Farve is still Brett Farve, even on fumes.

5. Houston over Jacksonville
I Am Right Because: Houston is slightly less erratic this year, and Jacksonville is due for a letdown.
I Am Wrong Because: Jacksonville on an Up week is better than the Texans.

4. Buffalo over Arizona
I Am Right Because: Arizona had their big fluke win last week, and they won’t be able to run on Buffalo.
I Am Wrong Because: Buffalo isn’t very good, either, and luck’s a big factor with two teams this bad.

3. Bears over 49ers
I Am Right Because: The first start for Krenzel and a stoked home crowd will lift the Bears to a win.
I Am Wrong Because: Krenzel has to do the winning, as the ‘Niners will put eight in the box and dare Dr. QB to get it done.

2. Ravens over Eagles
I Am Right Because: There are scarier things in the league than having Ray Lewis mad at you, but I can’t think of any.
I Am Wrong Because: The Ravens’ offense is comparable to Iowa State’s…almost.

1. Steelers over Patriots
I Am Right Because: I keep being wrong about Ben Roethlisberger.
I Am Wrong Because: I keep being wrong about New England.

Pesky

The Red Sox are World Champions, which means that the city of Boston will be delirious with joy for about a week until they realize that they aren’t special anymore, and that they’re now one of the more dominant sports towns in America, and then they’ll resume being rude sacks of crap.

But Boston fan obnoxiousness pales in comparison to Fox’s coverage of the series.

A few notes:

  • It is an impressive thing that the Red Sox haven’t won a title in 86 years, yes. Perhaps this could be put in perspective by interviewing a joyous fan over the age of 35. There were fans all over the broadcast last night. Young, cute fans. The cameras, Fox, should have been at the Back Bay Retirement Castle.
  • While I’m mentioning it: 86 years is a long time. It is three or four generations. It is nearly a century. It is longer than most people alive today have been alive. But it is not forever. It is not since the beginning of time. It is not outside of memory. Stop behaving as though this is a story slightly less important than the sun going out.
  • The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is now less than it was a month ago, and it will not be the same again. Note this. Do not pretend it is otherwise.
  • Speaking of which: As a general rule, I have no problem with teams buying titles, but you should acknowledge that Boston may have beat the Yankees, but they became the Yankees to do it. They will rule the galaxy together as father and son.
  • If we wanted to see the amount of animation and graphics you’re cluttering the screen with, we would watch the games simulated by a PlayStation. Stop it.
  • Every play is not the Shot Heard ‘Round The World. Save some of the breathless excitement and six-angle replays for the truly great plays. I know you can make it all look and sound spectacular, but that doesn’t add to the game, it detracts from the truly great.
  • When you are in the locker room after the game, we want to hear what the PLAYERS are saying. We do not want to hear you, Joe, describing the scene. I understand why you do it, but, Christ, just go back to a three-second delay and a bleep.
  • Too Mad To Post

    On any given depressing expensive wasted for nothing bullshit Sunday, any given hideously untalented otherwise unemployable choking-ass team can beat any other useless pointless jock-sniffing wind-sucking dirt-eating monkey-fucking joke team.

    I don’t want to talk about it anymore.


    Washington at Valley Forge
    Freezin’ cold but up spoke George
    Said vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    Crazy words, crazy tune
    All that George could croon and swoon
    Was vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    On his ukulele, daily
    He would strum
    Beedle um bum
    Dancing, prancing
    Then he’d holler “Red Hot Mama”

    Crazy words, crazy tune
    All that George could croon and swoon
    Was vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    Washington at Valley Forge
    Bitter cold but up spoke George
    Said vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    Crazy words, crazy tune
    All that George could croon and swoon
    Was vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    Washington at Valley Forge
    Freezing cold but up spoke George
    Said vo-doe-de-o, vo-doe-de-o, doe

    Vo-doe-de-o doe!

    Recorded as “Washington At Valley Forge” by Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band
    Music by Milton Ager, lyrics by Jack Yellen

    Weak Seven

    1: Jets over Patriots
    I Am Right Because: The Pats’ run D is banged up, and the streak has to end sometime.
    I Am Wrong Because: Boston is currently being watched over by God.

    2: Chiefs over Falcons
    I Am Right Because: KC has had a week to reintegrate all of their now-healthy weapons.
    I Am Wrong Because: Atlanta has a ferocious defense and Michael Vick.

    3: Raiders over Saints
    I Am Right Because: Oakland needs a win badly, and they’re at home, and they tend to win in those situations.
    I Am Wrong Because: It’s about time for the Saints to start their traditional mid-season rally.

    4: Green Bay over Dallas
    I Am Right Because: The Pack won’t lose four straight at home.
    I Am Wrong Because: I thought they wouldn’t lose three straight at home.

    5: Bucs over Bears
    I Am Right Because: “Quinn drops back to pass…”
    I Am Wrong Because: “Griese drops back to pass…”

    6: Bills over Ravens
    I Am Right Because: The Raven offense is down to a guy named Chester.
    I Am Wrong Because: Their defense is still intact and ferocious.

    7: Vikings over Titans
    I Am Right Because: The Vikes, even without Moss, will still get it done at home.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Tennessee D is less atrocious than the Minnesota D.

    8: San Diego over Carolina
    I Am Right Because: Carolina will have more trouble with LaDainian Tomlinson than San Diego will with Stephen Davis.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Chargers might remember that they’re the Chargers.

    9: Giants over Lions
    I Am Right Because: The Lions are not a team constructed to excel outdoors – especially not with the current wideouts.
    I Am Wrong Because: I am on a season-long streak of being wrong about the Lions.

    10: Eagles over Browns
    I Am Right Because: Terrell F. Owens is deeply, deeply motivated to win this game.
    I Am Wrong Because: Jeff Garcia is deeply, deeply motivated to win this game.

    11: Denver over Cincinatti
    I Am Right Because: Droughns could run for 250 yards on the Bengals’ “defense”.
    I Am Wrong Because: Jake Plummer is still capable of hoisting a team onto his back and carrying them to victory, single-handed. An opposing team.

    12: Indianapolis over Jacksonville
    I Am Right Because: Indianapolis cannot be stopped.
    I Am Wrong Because: Unless Peyton Manning gets hurt.

    13: St. Louis over Miami
    I Am Right Because: Dave Wannstedt’s five-year plan is right on schedule.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Rams tend to suck outdoors.

    14: Seattle over Arizona
    I Am Right Because: Many struggling teams have gone into the desert and come out back on track.
    I Am Wrong Because: Arizona sneaks up on somebody good once or twice a year, and this is as good a time as any.


    Starting Lineup, Las Vegas Iron Men (4-1), Fantasy Week Six:

    Marc Bulger @ Miami
    Edgerrin James vs Jacksonville
    Corey Dillon vs Jets
    Marcus Robinson vs Titans
    Roy Williams @ Giants OR Keenan McCardell @ Carolina OR Billy White Shoes, who retired twenty years ago but would be worth just as much as any of my other second wideouts this Sunday.
    Daniel Graham vs Jets
    Doug Brien @ New England
    Rams DST @ Miami

    Trick Questions

    This week, I am taking my company’s online course in avoiding lawsuits and bad publicity. It comes in three parts. From Section One — “How To Avoid The Appearance Of Financial Misconduct” — I have learned, to my great surprise, that:

  • The Company encourages free and open communication across management layers.
  • The Company does not sacrifice quality to save money.
  • Those calling to attention breaches of corporate conduct are not punished, and in fact protected.
  • Decisions affecting products are expected to be made free of personal bias.
  • Race and gender (among other interesting variables) are never criteria in employment decisions.

    It’s good I’m taking this course! I had a lot of wrong, unfair ideas about how things worked around here.

    And that’s only Section One (of three). I can’t wait to see what I learn in Section Two (“Being An Asshole In A Non-Legally Actionable Way”), which I will be taking right after I return from Walgreens, where I will be fetching Tylenol.

  • Wednesday Blather

    In the show open before the Bulls took the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals from the Pacers, Bob Costas gave what I think is one of the great sports monologues of all time, about how, in sports, there are no two more exciting words than “Game Seven”. Does anybody besides me remember this?


    I am a sucker for alternate history-fiction. There’s a particularly fine example posted today at the House Of Whoop Ass. (Not to mention an excellent Olsen twin gag.)


    I had to buy a dress shirt today, as my previous one was beginning to show age. Somewhere in the extended discussion regarding this new shirt, I was asked what size I was, which somehow led to the (apparently startling) revelation that I had last purchased a dress shirt in the summer of 1994, which reminded me of this greatness. I dig PTI, Mr. Tony, but you got to write more. And I demand you bring back the radio show.


    Transcript of a telephone conversation I had last night, the end of which contains the newest member of the Mental Image Hall Of Fame:

    (ring)

    Me: What’s up?

    Rob: I thought we needed to talk turkey. It’s near time to go back out to Ho-Ka.

    Me: That it is. When?

    Rob: The Wednesday or the Sunday before Thanksgiving?

    Me: Works for me. Shall we arrange for a large delegation?

    Rob: You want to send an e-mail? Poll who’s interested?

    Me: I could run a focus group, sure. Probably mean we’ll go on Sunday, though.

    Rob: Better check and make sure they’re open Sundays, first.

    Me: Check and see if a remote turkey farm is open the Sunday before Thanksgiving? That’s like calling Toys ‘R’ Us to see if they’re open Christmas Eve. Besides, it might be more fun closed.

    Rob: We’d have to catch out own turkeys.

    Me: I’m picturing the chicken-chasing scene from Rocky.

    Rob: Except with birds that are much bigger and much stupider. Maybe we shouldn’t call ahead.

    Me: But I can also see us fleeing ten thousand angry turkeys.

    Rob: Sliding across the hood of the car like the Dukes of Hazzard?

    Me: I was more thinking of the scene with Indiana Jones running from the Hovitos. But with turkeys.

    Both: JACQUES! START THE PLANE! START THE PLANE!

    A Wonderbra Is Not A Crime

    Saturday, we were out running errands. When I’m doing this — especially grocery shopping — my places-to-go list is usually pretty standard:

    Starters: Costco, Cub Foods, Whole Foods, Target
    Situational: Peoria Packing, Binny’s, Caputo’s, Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus, Isaacson & Stein, Villager Foods, Magic Apple, the dry cleaner, Best Buy, Marshall’s, Petco, Walgreens

    There was a late addition to my list this weekend, though, and not one made by me: Victoria’s Secret. (Apparently someone is too good to buy her bras at Costco.) We dropped by Oakbrook (after Costco — the one nice thing about cold weather is that grocery shopping doesn’t have to be the last errand) and one of us went to VS, and one of us went to Williams-Sonoma. A person who’s not currently eating food can only kill so much time in the presence of goodies, though. I crossed the street.

    Now, this may startle some of you, but I’ve never found Victoria’s Secret comfortable. First of all, everything chafes.

    (rimshot)

    Thanks, I’ll be here all week.

    Seriously, I feel weird in there. I don’t know what it is. I appear out of place in most places in Oakbrook, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m okay in stripper supply stores and sex toy emporia, so it’s not that. I’m not bothered by the sight of underthings, and I’m not made uncomfortable by their existence. I have spent some quality time in places like Victoria’s Secret, except not as well lit and the employees sit on my lap. (Though dancers in Vegas have nothing on Oakbrook VS employees when it comes to aggressive sales tactics.) I am guilty of leering — oh, like you’re not — but I like to think I’m pretty good at doing it without being obvious and/or making anybody uncomfortable. It’d make me feel bad if I did that, so in trying to be considerate, I wind up looking at one of three things:

  • The ceiling
  • The floor
  • Myself in the mirror

    I also spend a lot of time doing the eye-contact and body-language equivalent of holding up a big sign that says “HERE WITH SOMEONE. NOT MY IDEA.”

    What is it about the place that – as Jung would say – weirds me out? I think it’s the other customers.

    As soon as I open the door, I get the feeling that way over half the people scuttling around the racks are ashamed to be there. They scurry around with their heads down like they’re embarrassed to want sexy skivvies. You can feel waves of shame breaking over you in there. I don’t get it. What’s bothering these poor folks? You want sexy underthings, get sexy underthings. You don’t, don’t. The middle ground — want them and feel embarassed and guilty about it — never made any sense to me at all.


    This post was conceived on Saturday as a short public service announcement. So as not to disappoint you by skipping the useful bit, let me share my original just-out-of-the-store notes:

    Note A: To aid their predatory efforts, the staff is now wearing earpieces, making them look as though after they finish pushing $95 underpants the size of a watchband, they’ll slip out the back and resume guarding the President.

    Note B: Holy cow, has Victoria’s Secret slutted up. The lingerie is racier, the displays are more daring, and the music is Olympic Gardenish. Not surprisingly, I approve. I could almost taste the $9 Red Bull and Stoli Vanils. If they dimmed the lights by 50%, I might have broken a hundred into twenties just by force of habit.


  • Let’s not talk about Sunday.

    Stop Picking On Me

    There’s enough of us out there floundering blindly that we should form our own league. Anybody interested in a Blood and Thunder pride pool, or even – dare I say it – a pointless and unorthodox late-season fantasy league? Let me know.


    This week, I have attempted to limit my overthinking to the belief that the picks seemed too easy. It’s been fairly easy to do, as my overthinking cortex has been coping with the hideous convergence of Edgerrin James’ bye week and Corey Dillon’s mysterious foot problems. (My backup running back was Michael Bennett, who has been two weeks away from returning for three years.)

    So I cut Bennett, deactivated Dillon and James, and signed – get this – Willis McGahee and Mewelde Moore. (I had signed Artose Pinner, and while I was typing about it, Kevin Jones was miraculously healed by Jesus.) Pending no shift in the Corey Dillon Injury Watch, Willis and Mewelde jointhis week’s starting lineup of Marc Bulger, Donte Stallworth (who will be bumped if the Lions upgrade Roy Williams to “fine”), Marcus Robinson, Daniel Graham, Doug Brien, and the Bear or Lion DST. (Pending Jerry Azumah’s status.)

    May God have mercy on their souls. On to the picks:

    1: San Diego over Atlanta
    I Am Right Because: Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson have a chance to make a point about the 2001 draft.
    I Am Wrong Because: Michael Vick does, too, and needs to make it more.

    2: Detroit over Green Bay
    I Am Right Because: There is blood in the water, and Detroit owes Green Bay some things.
    I Am Wrong Because: Brett Farve still has a gasp or two left.

    3: Dallas over Pittsburgh
    I Am Right Because: Bill Parcells looooooooves opposing rookie QBs, as does the crowd at Texas Stadium.
    I Am Wrong Because: Pittsburgh’s defense and wide receiving corps are good enough to cover up Ben Roethlisberger’s learning curve.

    4: Kansas City over Jacksonville
    I Am Right Because: Kansas City is coming off a bye, and everybody’s healthy.
    I Am Wrong Because: Jacksonville is this year’s Hot Or Not, and they’re due.

    5: Cleveland over Cincinnati
    I Am Right Because: With Peter Warrick on the bench, Cleveland’s offense is very slightly better than Cincinnati’s, and they’re at home.
    I Am Wrong Because: Carson Palmer is due for a breakout game.

    6: Denver over Oakland
    I Am Right Because: Denver’s defense is vastly superior to Oakland’s struggling offense.
    I Am Wrong Because: Jake Plummer is still playing QB for Denver.

    7: Seattle over New England
    I Am Right Because: Seattle’s defense matches up perfectly with New England’s (limping) offense, and nothing lasts forever.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Patriots keep finding a way to get it done – especially at Foxboro.

    8: Tennessee over Houston
    I Am Right Because: Tennessee has the better defense, and home field advantage, and Steve McNair.
    I Am Wrong Because: I am deactivating David Carr on my fantasy team.

    9: Buffalo over Miami
    I Am Right Because: Miami is probably going to start their third-string QB, Sage Rosenfels. Remember Henry Burris?
    I Am Wrong Because: Dave Wannstedt is long overdue to ruin Sunday for me.

    10: Bears over Washington
    I Am Right Because: The lift provided by the return of Brian Urlacher might let the Chicago D hold Clinton Portis to a single-digit rushing total.
    I Am Wrong Because: “Quinn drops back to pass…”

    11: Vikings over Saints
    I Am Right Because: The Saints are in disarray, and Minnesota has been unstoppable.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Saints have a strong pass rush, and the Vikings are a Daunte Culpepper injury away from implosion.

    12: St. Louis over Tampa Bay
    I Am Right Because: St. Louis beat Tampa regularly when Tampa was a lot better, and I will not talk myself onto the Brian Griese Bandwagon.
    I Am Wrong Because: The Brian Griese Bandwagon Movement has one more game in the membership drive.

    13: Philadelphia over Carolina
    I Am Right Because: Carolina is badly banged up, and Philadelphia is out for revenge.
    I Am Wrong Because: Carolina was supposed to have no chance in last year’s NFC title game, either.

    14: Jets over 49ers
    I Am Right Because: The heart of the 49ers already-weak defense is in a cast and street clothes, and because the 49ers are much worse than playing Arizona makes them look.
    I Am Wrong Because: This has been a lousy year for the Lock Of The Week.

    F This

    Frustrating:

    Using the best multipurpose kitchen tool ever invented, (Google), I have been trying to purchase turtle meat. Research shows that turtle meat can be bought online in three basic ways:

  • Unacceptably fresh.
  • A frozen, boneless five-pound block of cleaned turtle meat.
  • A frozen “semi-boneless” two-pound package that seems suspiciously like it might be a whole dead frozen turtle.

    I need 3/4 cup. You see the problem. Haven’t given up yet. I’m going to make a few local inquiries.

    Here’s a prediction: Approximately one hour from now, at 545 Central time Thursday, I will be getting a very, very strange look from the guy behind the butcher counter at the River Forest Whole Foods.


    Faaaaaaaan-tastic!

    Sports Guy ties it all together during his running diary of the Red Sox/Yankees ALCS, Game Two:

    “9:20 — Turned to the debate just in time to hear this beauty from John Kerry: “Being lectured by the President on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country.” And that’s quickly followed by the George W. Bush Face — the one where he half-smiles and half looks like someone just asked him for the square root of 564,092. (Good God. Can we have more options? I feel like Dave Wannstedt trying to decide between Feeley and Fiedler.)”

    I’m kicking myself. I feel I’ve let you all down. October 14th should not have been the first time Dave Wannstedt was invoked in regard to this election. Example: “I defy you to find a fan who can get a five-minute argument out of ‘Who was a better coach, Wannstedt or Jauron?’ Go ahead. I’ll wait.”


    Fantasy:

    I need recommendations. If Corey Dillon’s leg renders him unable to play this week — the same Sunday Edgerrin James is on his bye week — should I sign and start Artose Pinner, or should I just set some money on fire, whack myself in the balls with a soup ladle, and take Sunday off?


    FOX:

    Whatever else one can say about their sister network, FOX must be commended for not pre-empting baseball for the third sloganfest. Bless you, FOX suits, for realizing there’s two hundred million normal humans out there, some of whom have a much greater personal/financial/historical interest in Yankees-Red Sox than Yankees-Red Nex.

  • Worst. Sentence. Ever.

    MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. — Scientists said the earthquakes and explosions at Mount St. Helens could lead to an eruption as powerful as the one in 1980, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported.

    The volcano reportedly spewed more steam overnight, but earthquakes continued to be fairly light, striking about once a minute and registering about magnitude one.

    Meanwhile, the speculation continued about what exactly is happening underneath the mountain.

    (more)


    If I lived within fifty miles of Mount St. Helens, and that showed up in my newspaper, I would depart the area instantly. Wearing what I had on right then, carrying my coffee cup, and on foot. My legs would blur like the Roadrunner’s. Is there a more unnerving way to have written “Scientists are stumped”? They should have just printed the headline like this:

    FLEE!

    I suspect that that night, the 10pm news led with things like “Heart Attack Rate Mysteriously Quintuples” and “City In Ruins; Residents Inexplicably Stampede”.

    (I’m not picking on the Pacific Northwest specifically. It’s all about priorities. In Chicago, the next day’s paper would’ve headed “Property Taxes Expected To Decrease”.)