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Friday, January 12, 2007

Playoff Picks and Salisbury's Steak!

Like a fine wine, I'm just getting better with time. And like a delicious cream, I am rising to the top. Last week I went 3-1 in the wild card games and had the balls to pick the Gators, making me 4-1 for the week. I know, that was impressive math. Well let me tell ya, if you thought that was good, wait till you see what I pull out this week. No, I haven' changed my method of picking games (pretty much I'm a few steps above a pretty smart monkey throwing darts), but when you're 10-4-0 over the last 2 weeks, you can start to talk like you're an actual pimp. As opposed to one of those pimps that really lives with their parents...Wait a minute...

New England Patriots (+5)
@ San Diego Chargers
*Talk about a snow ball effect. At first the talk was that the Pats should be able to hang in the game because of Belichick, Brady and their past postseason success vs first timer Philip Rivers (not to mention Marty Schottenheimer's 5-12 career playoff mark). Now, you have to struggle to find anyone that's picking the 14-2 and #1 seeded Chargers. Hell, at this point even I want to pick them simply because of the disrespect they have been getting. But I won't. Especially since they won't let anyone outside of So-Cal buy a ticket. That's right. If you dont have a southern California zip code, Ticketmaster reserves the right to cancel your purchase at any time! What's the deal with that? Prejudiced bastards. Just because half your fans don't care, and the other half are Mexicans, doesn't mean you can just prevent Patriot Nation for invading your turf. You know what you get when you go out of your way to be a tool like this? BAD KARMA. It wasn't enough that they already had a convicted Roid shooter in Shawne Merriman, a young QB with no playoff experience and a choke artists coach? They had to go and bring this on themselves. That's just bad form. I know LT is the man, but even he can't save them from all this negative energy. So, despite the fact that home teams are 51-13 in the divisional round of the playoffs since the bye was created, I'm taking my boys in this one. We got the Karma, we got the hooded wife stealer (that's Bill Belichick for those of you not in the gossip loop!) and we got Tom Terrific. WE GOT THE POWER! And oh yea, for all of you out there worried about my boy Steven Gostkowski missing a crucial field goal? Chew on this bitches. Not only is Gostkowski 3/3 in his brief playoff career, but the last time the Chargers were in the playoffs, it was their man Nate Keading that missed a winning kick in OT that would have brought them victory against the J-E-T-S. At home no less. Hmmmmmm
Prediction: New England Patriots 27 San Diego Chargers 24

Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) @ Baltimore Ravens
*Chalk this one down in the "well, they are my new pick to win the Super Bowl so I'm picking them even if I think they are outmatched" column. The one thing I do think I have going in my favor, is that Baltimore right tackle, and resident man-beast, Jonathan Ogden is still a game time decision. So while I have nothing but confidence in the Ravens tenacious D (ha!), I just see Dwight Freeney flying in early and breaking both of Steve McNair's 75 year old knees. In comes Kyle Boller, and there goes the season. Ray Lewis and Bart Scott have been flappin' their gums all week about how they are going to punish Colts' rookie RB Joseph Addai. And while they probably will, I don't think that will be enough to derail Peyton and crew this season. I see this game as being really slow in developing, but Reggie Wayne and Starvin' Marvin' will help pour it on in the second half and send the Colts home to host the AFC Championship against the...dun dun dun....New England Patriots!
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 20 Baltimore Ravens 16

Chicago Bears (-8.5) vs Seattle Seahawks
*Chicago has the best defense in the NFL. They also happen to have Rex Grossman. Hmmmm. Too tough to call for this guy, so we're goin' straight to the numbers. Fact is, since the inception of the 12 team playoff system, the NFC #1 seed is 18-0. Are the Bears really bad enough to snap that streak? Nah. The Seahawks just aren't a good enough team. I said it before and I'll say it again. Ever since G Steve Hutchinson bolted for the Vikings, Shaun Alexander hasn't been the same. As he goes, so go the Hawks. Look for the Bears to score at least one TD on defense and don't be shocked to see rookie returner extraordinaire Devin Hester to be doin' a little dance in the end zone. The Bears are still fatally flawed, but the Seahawks just aren't good enough to expose them. To beat Chicago you need to force Rex Grossman into some mistakes, but when you're 22nd against the run like Seattle is, you might not force Lovie Smith to even consider calling a passing play. "We're gonna take the ball and we're gonan score!" I don't think so Hasselbeck. Just be thankful McNabb went down for the year and handed you that Campbell's soup campaign. That's about the closest to a "bowl" that you're gonna get this year. Zing!
Prediction: Chicago Bears 31 Seattle Seahawks 14

New Orleans Saints (-5) vs Philadelphia Eagles
*If you barely beat the Giants at home, excuse me if I don't pick you as a road dog. Besides, I still think the Saints are the best team in the NFC. Sure the Eagles might be the hottest, but again, they barely beat the freaking Giants! The Saints have had trouble putting teams away lately, but they just have two many weapons for an Eagle secondary that will be without Lito Sheppard. Even with Joe Horn possibly out due to injury, Drew Brees still has Marques Colston, Terrence Copper, Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister to spread the pill around too. As much as I repsect Brian Westbrook, he won't be enough to win this one. And I just can't envision Jeff Garcia leading any team to the NFC Championship game. I mean I know the NFC sucks, but come on. The Saints may have an awful playoff history, but as the resident "feel good" story of the '06-'07 season, they just reak of good Karma. How can I resist that? The score is going to look a lot closer than the game will actually be. My gut tells me that Reggie takes a kickoff or punt back early on and the crowd never lets Philly in it. Overlooked match up in this one has to be two of the best play callers in the game Saints head coach Sean Payton on offense and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson on defense.
Prediction: New Orleans Saints 28 Philadelphia Eagles 20

2006-2007 Picks
Last Week: 4-1-0

Playoffs: 3-1-0

'06-'07 Season: 50-34-7 (.588)

*I learned this week that in order to "beat" Vegas, or any bookie for that matter, you need to pick at better than 52.4% consistently. Normally, I'd take this opportunity to gloat, but I've been having such good Karma with my picks lately, I won't even risk it.

News and Notes
*Barry Bonds testified to the grand jury that while he may have been taking steroids while in business with BALCO, he did so unwillingly. Now, after it's been revealed that he tested positive for amphetamines during last season, he's saying it's because of something he took for teammate Mark Sweeney's locker. Of course, Barroid has already come out and said he never mentioned Sweeney's name, but come on man! Is this guy for real? Let's say for the sake of argument (AKA let's lie) that Barry did unwillingly use beef roids from BALCO. Why on earth would he ever again even think of putting something in his body that he wasn't 100% sure was completely legal? That's the thing though. This guy just doesn't care. In my honest opinion, I actually think Barroid was using a weight loss supplement and was just too lazy to check and see if it was even legal. Can you blame him? I mean the guy is so used to having everything under the sun pumped into his body, that he probably didn't even think twice. And throwing a nobody like Mark Sweeney under the bus? That's just another day in the life of the most hated man in the game. You think there's been good debate with Big Mac getting shunned by the Hall? Just wait 6 years when the All-Time home run king is up for induction. Assuming he lives that long...

*I love cell phone cameras as much as the next guy. And by "the next guy" I do NOT mean ESPN football analyst and former pro QB Sean Salisbury. Word leaked out of Bristol earlier this week that Salisbury had been suspended for 4 days earlier this year after a female employee at the network reported that he came up to her and....well for lack of a better term....whipped it out. His phone that is. And on it? Well it was none other than a picture of his man meat. Yea that's right. The same big man on the ESPN campus that loves to criticize guys like T.O for his lack of character, was docked 4 days pay for flailing his peen around on his Blackberry. Nice. What I don't get though, is how they totally bury this story on the back pages, but yet when Harold Reynolds hits on a few chicks when he's liquored up he is immediately fired. And I'd try to play the race card, but they didn't seem in a hurry to fire Michael Irvin when he was caught with crack again/was saving his cousin from drug use. I can only imagine that Harold must have said something really vulgar about where he'd like to put Stuart Scott's fake eye to Chris Berman's wife.

*It seems like it happened months ago (probably because we waited two months to see it), but it was only a few days ago that the Florida Gators smacked the Ohio St. Suckeyes right in the package. It truly looked like OSU was plump with In & Out burgers and some Pink's hot dogs, because they were just thrown around by Urban Meyer and his crew of athletes. The SEC is the best conference in the country. Period. The way Ohio St. and Michigan played in their bowl games, you could argue that Auburn, LSU and Arkansas would have won the Big 11 this year. At least Jim Tressel knows he can always beat Lloyd Carr. But seriously, who loses the National Championship game 41-14? Wow. At least there's buzz about the BCS "re-tooling" it's formula again to include either a "+1 game" (two best teams after tradtional BCS games play each other) or god forbid a National semifinal with the 4 best teams in a playoff. Now there's an original idea!

*First, Tomy Romo botches the snap that costs the Cowboys their season. Second, he cried about it in the locker room like a huge puss. You're thinking it can't get much worse for this guy right? Guess again. Despite the fact that there's plenty of other media hot topics in the Big D this off season (the futures of Bill Parcells and a certain wide receiver for instance), all people want to know is "Is this guy really our quarter back of the future?" Geez. A few weeks ago everyone in Texas wanted their son to be him, and their big breasted blond daughters to marry him, but all of a sudden he's a no-talent bum? Though harsh, the reality is that Cowboy fans are finally accepting what the rest of the country has known all along. Tony Romo just ain't that good ya'll. Hope he has a good time in Hawaii, because if he starts next season like he finished this one (2-4), the only other time he might be back on that island is when he finally lands a job as the Hawaii Rainbows QB coach in 2025. To quote legendary Sportscenter anchor Larry Biel, "Aloha means goodbye!". God I miss Larry Biel.

*Never fear Giant fans. I don't blame you for wondering why the Giants extended Tom Coughlin's contract through 2008 instead of firing him. But don't sweat it. The move is only to help give Coughlin some security. AKA So Shockey can't be in camp next year saying "you're out the door anyway man why we gonna listen to you". Oh yea, I see this situation getting a lot better. Good thing Eli can't read, or he would be pretty upset about the things being written about his team this year.

*I have two things to say about David Beckham signing with the LA Galaxy of the MLS for a reported $250 million ($51 mil in salary) over 5 years. 1) Despite the fact that I still refuse to believe that soccer will ever catch on in this country as a big money spectator sport, people that have $250 million to spend, usually know what they're doing when it comes to investments. AND 2) Soccer Sucks. That might really only be one thing, but I'm pretty sure the second is a true statement nonetheless. Fact is, most of the money for "Becks" is coming from Adidas because they are set to not only stay connected to Beckham, which they have been for years, but they will become the major sponsor for the LA based MLS franchise. So they should be able to make that loot back and then some, like I said they aren't dumb. But if Pele couldn't get soccer to stick in this country, I doubt some washed up Brit can make it happen. And why the hell is the movie "Bend It Like Beckham" about an Indian chick and Keira Kinghtley? Don't get me wrong, Keira's hot and all (especially if you shadily like older chicks that look 15.....not that I know any guys like that), but what's with the Indian chick? Those Fags (it means cigs or sticks in England) across the pond are a whacky lot!
*One last shot here. Apparently former Stone Temple Pilot and current Velvet Revolver lead singer Scott Weiland wrote a letter to Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis asking him to please stay on as head coach. I'm not saying the guy can't be a football fan, but that has to be one of the weirder things I've ever heard. A man most noted for shooting more smack than, well anyone, pleading to the head football coach of a Catholic university. Never has the term, "I'll have whatever that guy is on" held more water. Lay off the needle man!!
It's been nearly a month since I've come out with my college hoops rankings, and in that time span Greg Oden has somehow managed to age 6 years. Oh! I'll be here all week, don't forget to try the prime rib and tip your waiter! But seriously folks, it's back to basics for my college poll. I don't even want to look at what I had teams at several weeks ago. I'm starting fresh. And remember, my poll is a reflection of which teams have the best shot (as of today) to win the NCAA tournament. So, they might not be the most talented team, they are just the team I think is best equipped right now to make the 6-game run to destiny!

College Hoops Top 10
1. Kansas (14-2)
2. Florida (15-2)
3. Wisconsin (16-1)
4. UCLA (14-1)
5. Pittsburgh (15-2)
6. Ohio St. (13-3)
7. Alabama (14-2)
8. Nevada (15-1)
9. Arizona (13-2)
10. Texas A&M (14-2)

just missed: Butler, Clemson, Oklahoma St., LSU

Make sure to check back next week for my AFC and NFC Championship picks to go along with my thoughts on the Hall of Fame classes of 2007 in both the MLB and the NFL.

And just one final note. If you happen to be a healthy male between the ages of 18 and 35, then please submit your resume to Boston Celtic head coach Glen Rivers. The Celts only have 9 healthy players on their roster right now, and the coach himself was forced to suit up and practice this week. Tony Allen was the latest to go down when he tore both his ACL and his MCL when he went up for a thunderous dunk after the whistle (the dumbest thing he's done since "his boys" shot a guy when he was with them at a club in Chicago). So the question "how could this season get any worse?" has finally been answered. See you at the lottery selection Danny! Don't forget your four leaf clover! Shmuck.

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