Wade Phillips! You have officially made the list! That son of a bitch cost me a win in my fantasy football league, and come hell or high water, I will make sure he receives the proper retribution for his dirty, Busch league tactics! In case you missed it (and I probably would have if not for this), Phillips, that fat loser of a man, reported to the league that a sack counted against the Cowboys, by the Giants Osi Umenyiora, should not have been a sack by league rule. Since Romo had botched the snap, he was no longer a passer that could have been sacked, but a runner who could only be tackled. Fine, if that's the rule, then I guess my 1 point win last week was based on a technicality. But who on earth reports these types of things as if they actually matter?! Did the ruling affect the outcome of the game? Nope! It was obviously a personal vendetta being set straight. Whether it was one player not wanting Umenyiora to get the sack, or it was Wade not wanting to have Tom Coughlin and the Giants get over on them in any way, it's just bizarre. There have to be plenty of examples of minor statistical errors like this in the league every week, matter of fact, I know there are! Which makes this thing all the more peculiar. Fact is, Wade Phillips is a fat loser with a gullett like a turkey, and if I had the financial means, I'd go down to Dallas and shove him in front of the nearest bus. That miserable old turd! Oh well, the only reason I care is because it cost me fantasy football win, so I guess it's not really that big of a deal. But don't think just because fantasy teams aren't "real," that losses like this don't hurt the very "real" owners. My feelings are hurt Wade, and you're on the list. The rest of my league better look the Hell out!
Now, onto "actual" teams, playing "actual" games, that "actually" matter. The trend I decided to follow this week was taking favorites, and more or less taking teams that appear to be "sure things." These teams may range from the 9-0 Pats to the 1-8 Rams, but I think you'll dig my logic, and come out a winner...
To jump start the week, fresh from the "thank God their back" department, we have the dynastic, the dynamic, the New England Patriots. Sure, the last time we saw them in action they may not have been covering the spread, but I'm sure we can all find it in our hearts to forgive them. The Pats come into this game with only one thing on their mind, beating Buffalo. Their fans, also have only one thing on their mind this week, and that's going 19-0 and being able to take a huge dump right on Don Shula's grave when he eventually runs out of steak house money and kicks the bucket. One game a time, people. He'll be gone soon enough. Now surprisingly, the Bills come into this as one of the league's hottest teams, winning their last 4, and they have actually had some semblance of an offense since the return of one Jonathan Paul Losman. I don't feel it will be enough in this one, especially with the absence of rookie RB stud, Marshawn Lynch, but there is one thin g I would keep my eye on. Remember when the Pats pounded the Bills in week 3 by 31 points? And remember how Vince Wilfork took what looked like a cheap dive at the leg of Losman? Hmmmm. I'm not saying the Bills have payback on their mind, but if I were Tom Terrific, I'd throw my 4 TD passes as early as possible, and get the fuck out of dodge. Eh, I'm sure nothin' will happen. Just take the Pats, and the points, and start countin' your cakes...
Now, as good as the Pats are at winning this season, there's a team that happens to be just as good at losing. That team, of course, is from the land of Cocaine and Cubans, the one and only, Miami Dolphins. At a stellar 0-9, and with a good shot to go winless this season, I'm a little disappointed I haven't been picking against the Phins with more regularity. Maybe it's because they usually have a good defense that keeps them in games. Or maybe because in the back of my mind, I always remember how much trouble the Patriots always have with them. Either way, I'm over those concerns and ready to start taking all the money I have, all my belongings, and everything I can steal from my loved ones, and place it against whoever the Dolphins are playing that particular week. This week, the lucky team is the Philadelphia Eagles! (cue Price is Right music) I don't care if the Eagles have been less than stellar lately, I'm Hell bent on picking against the Dolphins, so I'm gonna do it. Besides, I could use a big week from Eagles RB Brian Westbrook for my fantasy team, so I might as well go into that game expecting big things from Philly. Now it's on them to deliver like one of Andy Reid's son's in the slums of Philly. Take Philadelphia and the dime bag...errr...I mean the 10 points...
Speaking of locks, the one team that used to be one (Colts), has been replaced by a team making their claim as the "new #2," the Pittsburgh Steelers. I know I told you last week that the Colts weren't as bad as they looked against the Chargers, but that was before I knew Dwight Freeney was out for the season. I'm not saying he makes that big of a difference, but add his shelving to the other laundry list of injuries in Indianapolis, and it gets me to worrying about them a little from week to week. So this week, I'll ride with my new #2 team, and hope they don't burn me out of spite. After all, I've been a certified Steeler hater for a solid decade now, and while I don't plan on stopping, I figure I can use them this week and still sleep fine at night. Steelers in a landslide in this one, as Eric Mangina starts flipping through the Want Ads for a summer job...
Next up on the "sure thing" chopping block, are Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. I've been going with the Pack the last few weeks, and seeing as they have yet to do me wrong, I'm stickin' with 'em. Just like the past few weeks, I'm not thrilled about the match up, but I just have faith that Brett Favre and that stout Packer defense can get the job done against a so-so Carolina Panther team. Even more assuring, is that I can't even remember who the Panthers are trotting out at QB this week! And believe me, if I can't remember, then you probably don't know, which makes the Panthers a prime candidate to lose. They have one weapon, Steve Smith, and Green Bay happens to have guys named Charles Woodson and Al Harris in their secondary. Advantage, Green Bay. Victory, Green Bay. Might be a tight squeeze to cover the big number, but when that's the case, take the favorite and hope for a blowout...
Finally, the last favorite I'm ridin' with this week is a team I'm glad I can finally take with at least a smidgen of confidence, the St. Louis Rams. Put aside the fact that the 49ers have been absolutely awful of late (and oh yea Trent Dilfer is starting again this week), the Rams are finally healthy and ready to start playing some serious ball. Well, at least on offense. Marc Bulger is healthy, Steven Jackson is healthy, and Tory Holt, while still not 100%, is still on pace for 1,400 yards. Well, I'm sold. The Niners suck, and now the Rams do not. And boy it feels good to finally take the team I picked to win the 2007-08 NFC Championship. Ooops...
Week 11 Picks
New England Patriots (-16) @ Buffalo Bills
Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5) vs Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) @ New York Jets
Green Bay Packers (-10) vs Carolina Panthers
St. Louis Rams (-2.5) @ San Fransisco 49ers
Tennessee Titans (+2) @ Denver Broncos
*Vince Young + Big Game = Victory for whoever has Vince Young on their team. Personally, that strategy has yet to fail me, and in Denver or not, I'm still goin' with VY and the tough Titan D.
Last Week: 3-4-0
Overall: 34-25-4 (.571)
NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) LSU (-19) @ Mississippi
(3) Oklahoma (-8) @ Texas Tech
(4) Kansas (-26.5) vs Iowa St.
(5) West Virginia (-6) @ (21) Cincinnati
Kansas St. (+7) vs (6) Missouri
(7) Ohio St. (-4.5) @ (23) Michigan
(8) Georgia (-7.5) vs (22) Kentucky
(10) Virginia Tech (-16.5) vs Miami
(13) Hawaii (-7) @ Nevada
(14) Florida (pick) vs Florida Atlantic
(18) Boston College (+7.5) @ (15) Clemson
(17) Boise St. (-34) vs Idaho
(19) Tennessee (-11.5) vs Vanderbilt
(20) Illinois (-13.5) vs Northwestern
(24) Wisconsin (-14) @ Minnesota
(25) UCONN (-19) vs Syracuse
Last Week: 8-13-0
Overall: 109-95-6 (.533)
*You know the drill. I suck at picking college games, but because I feel like each week I can somehow buck that trend, I keep making picks.
News and Notes
*OK, so Barry Bonds has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice, and OJ is back in court on kidnapping charges. My oh my. When will the court system in this country ever learn? You tell me that the indictment on Bonds has proof he used anabolic steroids (FACT), and I point to the fact that OJ's DNA was sprayed all over the murder scene like a super soaker at a Girls Gone Wild party. You say Bonds will have his career marred by a haunting asterisk (aren't we glad we all know how to say it now?), and I say look at all the money OJ was offered for a book deal describing the murders he "didn't commit." Basically, I don't wanna hear how shocking these indictments are, because they aren't shocking at all. These two fools have gone out of their way to prove time and time again that not only are they unsavory characters, but that they see nothing wrong with committing crimes and then repeatedly lying about them. Don't tell me that they're victims of a vicious media, or that "everyone has problems." Listen, the difference between my problems and their problems, is that when and if I ever get charged with murder, perjury, kidnapping, roid shooting, or whatever you wanna toss at me, I'll be convicted with not much more than a little blurb in the Sun Chronicle. Since neither of you care what people think, then just sit their in court, smile and waive, and go collect your checks once you've been given another slap on the wrist by this country's fabulous legal system. Trick me into caring once, shame on you, but trick me into caring again...well you know how it goes. These guys are losers, and if there is justice out there, they will both be in jail in the next year. Too bad that's such a big "if"
*In a far more entertaining saga (I know, hard to imagine), Stephon Marbury has found his way back to the New York Knicks after his blowup with Idiot #1, Isiah Thomas. Let's recap what went down.....
1) Marbury erupted at Thomas on the team flight to Phoenix after the coach told "Starbury" that he would be demoted to the bench...
2) The verbal fight between the two almost came to blows ("almost" because neither connected with a punch, according to reports) at the hotel after the flight landed...
3) Marbury left the team, and said that the Knicks gave him permission to leave. Then, he added that Thomas needed to put him back in the starting lineup because Marbury "had too much on Isiah." Yeah, blackmail is always a classy option...
4) The Knicks fined "Starbury" $180K for missing the game against the Suns. Hmmmm, thought you had permission?
5) Marbury rejoined the team in Los Angeles against the Clippers, and pledges that he and Zeke can work out their differences...
Right. Two days ago you were trying to decapitate the guy and drag his reputation through the landfill, and now you're just gonna make nice? I really felt the Knicks had a legit shot, talent wise, to make the playoffs in the East this year, but at this rate, they have a better shot at making the cut for the next episode of Springer. Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury deserve each other, and whatever may come of this whole incident will be more than enough to send both of their questionable careers into the crapper. Kind of reminds me of the saying "when you have two QBs, you have no QB." When you have two over zealous, egotistical point guards on the bench, you really don't have a point guard at all, you have a media circus.
*Like any proud prognosticator, I love to toot my own horn when I'm right, so if you're scared of loud noises, I recommend covering your ears for a moment. TOOT! TOOT! A-Rod won't go back to the Yankees? The Yankees refuse to talk to A-Rod if he opts out of his contract? I said it was all BS at the time, and low and behold, I was 100% on the money. There was no way that the Yankees were just going to let A-Rod walk away, and there was no way A-Rod was going to eliminate the biggest bargaining chip he had, the Yankees payroll flexibility. Now everyone is talking about how Scot Boras cost A-Rod millions by having him opt out, but that's not really true at all. I know Boras said A-Rod would garner up to $350 million for a 10 year deal (reportedly his new deal will be about $275 mil), but he always makes extravagant predictions like that, and always ends up settling for less (see:Johnny Damon). He's a shrewd negotiator, and he knows how to get deals done. I don't care if he wasn't involved in the negotiations, like many are saying, he's the one that gets these things done, plain and simple. As for A-Rod returning to the Big Apple, I could really care less. Sure it makes the Yankee lineup better than it would have been without him, but the guy has still yet to prove he can deliver when it counts. Hell, if half his own fan base doesn't want him, and he's won 2 MVP's while playing for them, then why should I care? The only difference now, is he has more money to pay his strippers/friends, and he can finally get the lip implants made strictly from the fat that used to be in Star Jones ass. Hey, if they work for Shannon Sharpe, I figure they will work for A-Rod. See, I'm a lawya. If he had $250 million before, and he just got $275 million more. Then that's almost twice as many millions...(that's Tracy Morgan as Star Jones on SNL some years back. Sorry if you don't get the reference, but I couldn't find the video.....Waa Waa Waaaaaaaa...)
*A lot of people have been hittin' me up lately and asking me how on earth Josh Beckett didn't win the Cy Young Award, so I figure I'll do my best to explain the reasoning behind his 2nd place finish. First and foremost, the voting takes place before the end of the season, so as much as the tow head to head match ups between Becket, and eventual Cy winner Cream Cheese Sabathia, have no impact on the race. So, discounting those games, it's a little easier to see why Sabathia won. He had more strikeouts, more innings pitched, and a lower ERA than Beckett, so all those voters who strictly gave the two the "eye test" when it comes to stats, would have picked CC. The one peculiar thing, is that when the season ended I don't recall people thinking that the vote was going to end in the landslide, and in fact, I got the impression at the time that Beckett was probably a favorite going into the vote. Oh well, Beckett has the real hardware anyway, and as long as the people voting for these awards watch games as frequently as they change their diapers, then we are going to keep getting these results. Have fun with your Cy, CC, just make sure you don't try to swallow it whole. It's kind of pointy, might be a little tough to digest.
*And finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome Sticky Icky Ricky Williams back to the National Football League. So welcome back, Rick. You'll be glad to know not much has changed since you have left. The Bush's are still screwing up the country, the Clinton's are still trying to fix it, and Al Gore is still inventing things (the Internet) that make the world a better place to live. Oh, and the Dolphins are still garbage. Have a good time tryin' to play just enough games so that you don't have to pay the Phins a single dirty nickel. The man is an American institution. He's a pot smokin', dred sportin', holistic medicine lovin' American dream, and his life story is going to make for one heck of a book (and possibly a movie starring Mario Van Peebles or Mehki Phifer) once his playing days are done. They'll call it, From Grass to Turf: The Ricky Williams Story. Coming to a head shop near you in the year 2009. Hey Ricky, have you ever played football....on weed? Red team go! Red team Go!