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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fool Me Twice, And I'll Steal Your Fake Leg...



The following is a public service announcement...and then a my usual smattering of observations and whatnot...mostly whatnot...

As I sit here on my work computer, on the production side of the AM 790 studio, waiting through yet another New York Yankee rain delay, there's one phrase dominating my thought process. That line, is simply, "Always trust your instincts". And I'm talking in life, not just in sports. Sure it's important to trust your instincts when it comes to picking games, but obviously it's even more important when it comes to dealing with work, and dealing with people. If something seems right OR wrong right off the bat, that's because it probably is. Talking yourself into or out of things can usually only lead to trouble...

Sound introspective? Well it is. On the eve of being accosted by someone who owes me money for fantasy baseball and following the abysmal failure of my inaugural "Lock of the Week", I can't help but feel that I have to do a better job of trusting my own thought process. This doesn't mean I'm going to spend the whole post this week getting all deep and deconstructing my own heart and mind, I just felt it necessary to pass that pearl of wisdom along to all my faithful readers. The older we get, the greater the consequences that come with every decision we make, and if you waiver over those decisions, chances are you're going to end up making the wrong one. I know I did, and you know I'm not talking about picking the Texans and taking the points...

So trust your instincts, boys and girls. Unless of course you've come to the realization that your instincts suck, in which case feel free to consult that angel over your left shoulder. His name is Rooch, he always knows what to do, and all he asks in return for his invaluable service is a few cold filtered adult beverages, and a clean, dandruff free shoulder on which he can execute his craft. He's a simple man, a reasonable man, a bearded man. You just don't wanna push him. He may not be much to deal with physically, but with intimate knowledge of your inner ear, and access to explosives, I'd advise against ticking him off. Just be thankful he's there, and again, feel free to buy him a drink. Nothing like a few stiff shots to help clear the mind and encourage the mouth. And yes, I'm aware of how many levels that works on...

But enough of that. Just because I made a mistake that could end up costing me $100 (yeah, right), doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy my playful jabs at this past weekend's events. Chances are that by reading this, you're making a mistake that's costing your employer close to $100, anyway, so I figure we're all in the same boat. And oh my, what a glorious vessel she is. I shall call her, the USS Teddy Williams...

That being the case, all aboard, pimps. It's time to set sail. IF you need to barf, Teddy Kennedy bags are available at every service desk. Just tell the attendant "Slang me a Teddy", they'll know what you mean...

What? Too soon? Well either way. All aboard!!


Patriots Update
Overall: 2-1
Last Week: New England Patriots 26 Atlanta Falcons 10

Next week vs Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

At the risk of sounding ungrateful and pessimistic, it would make a lot more sense to me if the Patriots were 0-3. They're not, which is great of course, but after this week's 16 point win over the up and coming Falcons, I'm left wonderin' how exactly it is that this team keeps winning games...

Could it be I'm spoiled? That I still view the Patriots as they were in their record breaking season of 2007? Maybe a little bit. But I'd like to think I'm a more astute observer than that. I mean, just because Tom isn't throwing for 400 yards and they aren't jumping out to huge leads doesn't mean they aren't effective. How's the saying go? There's a million different ways for Mike Vick to kill a dog....no, wait....there's a reasons for TO to.....nah, that's not it either. But you know what I mean, just because they aren't lighting up the scoreboard, doesn't mean they aren't playing "winning" football. And I get that...

Problem is, even though I see the Patriots sitting there with a 2-1 record, and I saw them soundly beat Atlanta by 16, I still have no real grasp on what they're doing that's been so effective...

Tom Brady's been OK, but with just 3 TDs and a rating below 80 he's hardly been the driving force he once was...

The rushing attack has been good, but they really only utilized it against the Falcons, who are just atrocious against the run...

And the defense is giving up a very respectable 16.7 points per game, but with no interceptions, only 6 sacks, and 3 gifted fumbles, it's hard to see how they're doing it either...

Could it be, that due to their limitations on both offense and defense, that the Pats are falling back into their "Bend But Don't Break", clock control mentality? Is Belichick purposely going more conservative on offense in order to keep his defense off the field, or is the time of possession advantage merely a reflection of the sputtering passing attack?..

It's a real head scratcher. On one hand, I wanna give the Hooded Menace credit for the more conservative attack that's seen a long completion of just 36 yards, but on the other hand, I still see a passing game that's averaging more than 50 attempts per game. I wanna give them credit for their great red zone defense and their ability to force 3 and outs, but I also think that's been a product of playing less than explosive offenses. Perfect example. Did they take Tony Gonzalez out of the game with a good scheme and good coverage, or was Matty Ryan just doing a poor job of getting him the ball? It's not like we saw Gonzalez getting bumped around or Ryan being constantly pressured, right? So why weren't they able to connect? And then there's the o-line. They seemed to keep the pressure off of Brady, but was it that, or the fact that the Falcons regularly rushed only their 4 down lineman?..

It's just one of those things, I guess, just finding a way to win. And lemme tell you, it's sketchily similar to the way the Patriots used to win games at the start of their dynasty...

So could that be it? Could this new conservative approach be a throwback to the old style of play? Or was it just a one week quick fix to compensate for all the offensive injuries? I know Belichick is famous for his one game at a time approach, but at some point this team is gonna need to have an identity, won't it? I'm all for winning games and whatnot, but I won't be comfortable with how this team's going to fair this year until I see some kind of consistency. Call my cynical, but "smoke and mirrors" isn't exactly a strategy I'd feel very good about heading into the playoffs. The talent should still be there for the Pats to again establish themselves as an elite offense, I just want to finally see it in action before I start counting my chickens...

This week's game against the Ravens should be a great litmus test. Against a great rush defense, will the Pats continue to try and run the ball, or will they fall back on old habits and try to throw it up and over the vaunted Baltimore D? Whatever they choose, their degree of success will go a long way towards telling us what we can expect from here on out. Hence, litmus test...

I'll have a more detailed breakdown of the game on Friday, so check back for more in depth analysis, and of course, my pick...

Now onto some non Patriot news, complete with winners that were losers, Halloween costume ideas and an interesting way to deal with defeat...

Tackle Box



With trusting your instincts the theme of the day, I would have again been wise to take my own advice when compiling my pre season predictions. While I've hit home runs with the demise of Tennessee, the rise of the Ravens, I'm almost more upset at the fact that I didn't have the stones to go out on a limb and predict success for the Broncos and Bengals...

Why didn't I do it? Why didn't I pick those hapless losers to get out to fast starts? Because it would have meant picking them only because it went against everything I believed to be true. But wait a minute. Should I go against my instincts if it's my instincts are telling me to do it? Dammit! See, now I've gone and confused myself. It's likely the same thing that happened when I allowed the aforementioned degenerate Ted into my fantasy baseball league...

Moral of the story: When your instincts tell you to go against your instincts, don't listen to them. At that point you need to cloud your brain with booze, weed, or prescription pills. It's really the only thing you can do, and trust me, it's much more effective than you would think...

Besides, you don't wanna be rooting for the Bengals, anyway. Freakin' Cincinatti. Who do they think they are fooling everyone into thinking there's a double "n" somewhere in their name? The Ill Natty, my ass. More like Tedville, USA...


The New York Jets are a Le'Ron McClain and a funky midfield logo away from being the 2008 Baltimore Ravens. The got Rex Ryan, and with him the bold defensive schemes and talented play makers. They have a rookie QB, who's doing "just enough", but most importantly he's making great decisions. And of course they have the 1-2 part of the Ravens 1-2-3 rushing attack in Thomas Jones and Leon Washington...

So like I said, throw in Le'Ron McClain, and there you have it...

It's kinda creepy, actually, and I think I'd be able to more appreciate the creepiness if the Jets weren't a division rival who's already beaten the Pats this year. Then again, I can also picture a Detroit Lion-esque Halloween debacle where after losing their 3rd straight, Matty "Sanchize" goes all Scott Mitchell on us and does his best Rex Ryan impression while half in the bag. He is from Hollywood, after all, and we know all those cream puffs really just wanna be actors. Besides, how else is he gonna get the role of Kristin's new love interest on The Hills if he doesn't show the studio execs his range on LIVE TV?..

OK that's a bit of a stretch, even for me, but my instincts told me it would still be funny, so I went with it. That, and I just love saying the name of ex Detroit head coach, Wayne Fontes (pronounced FONTZ). He's the one Mitchell was impersonating. Something about that name though. Wayne Fontes. I think it's mostly due to the fact that he looks like his name. Doesn't he? Somethin' about that grumpy little dough ball with that round little face just scream Fontz, doesn't it? And you know he used to stand in the mirror and call himself "Fontz-y" while shooting fake finger guns and saying "Ayyyyy", too. Hell, if he's alive, I bet he probably still does...Ayyyyyyy...

Fontes. It's a funny name. Now all he needs is a funny hat, and he'll be all set...


Sticking with Detroit for a moment, I wanna give props to the Lions for finally grabbing a win this weekend. It's weird, too, because I've always disliked the Lions. Even when they had Barry Sanders I wasn't a fan. Maybe it was that their awful performance every Thanksgiving always made me feel nauseous, and it's a Pavlov type thing. Right? That could happen. Like on The Office when Jim trained Dwight to ask for an Altoid? Maybe when I see the Lions play, I immediately am drawn to thoughts of unprocessed bird and potatoes slowly mixing with bile and making their way up my esophagus. Gross, but it's probably true...

Detroit: It's still Canada's Asshole, but at least Matt Millen's nowhere in sight....And their uniforms are pretty cool, too...


Anti-congrats, on the other hand, to Brett Favre. Someone I used to really like, and now have grown to loathe. His uniform has also changed, but unfortunately for him, that hasn't really been a good thing. Obviously his latest revival in Minnesota has been a smashing success so far, up to and including his last second game winning toss on Sunday, but at this point he's made himself public enemy #1 to everyone not wearing purple. And we all want him dead...

I'd like to see nothing more this weekend than for the Packers to storm through Minnesota, and go LT v Theisman on one of those Wrangler wrapped legs of his. A little brutal, perhaps, but we all know the only way that guy's leaving the game is on a stretcher, so I figure it's really a win win for everyone involved. That, and Favre will be able to renew his love affair with his other mistress. Sweet, sweet painkillers. Teacher, mother, secret lover. Mmmmmmm...


IF your a Kansas City Chiefs fan, and you're feeling down about your team's start to the season, just take a page out of Rasheed Wallace's playbook, and cheer yourself up by wearing a dead man's clothes, and playing catch with a prosthetic leg. Check it out, via the Kansas City Star...

Picture this: NBA player Rasheed Wallace, a Derrick Thomas jersey and a prosthetic leg. That was the scene in the lobby Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. Wallace, wearing a No. 58 Chiefs jersey, tossed a man's prosthetic leg back and forth. Odd. But at least it distracted Wallace from the loss, particularly considering the unlikely Chiefs fan has been following the team for 15 years. "That's been my team since 1994," Wallace said, "when we got Joe." The Chiefs actually traded for quarterback Joe Montana a year earlier than that, and reached the AFC championship game after the 1993 season.

Yeah, you can't make that shit up. I mean, you could, it's just a lot funnier when it happens for real, and happens to a guy with a huge chunk of hair inexplicably missing from the back of his dome. Maybe not as funny as Lamar Odom marrying Kim Kardashian's older brother, but that's not funny, that's just gross. And Lord knows the last thing I wanna see is those 2 playing "hide the fake leg"...

Great. I just made myself throw up. Perfect. Just perfect...And when did I apparently eat a raisin? Weird...



And is it me, or is Jake Delhomme another pick 6 away from going postal? Either that or he might just break down and cry on the field, I'm not sure which. Guy throws a pick, and the next second he's half spazzing like a kid at the checkout line who was just denied his request for a bag of peanut M&Ms. I don't know whether to chew him out for being a cry baby, or to shove sugar packets in his mouth to prevent him from doing into Diabetic shock. Jesus, Jake. Get a grip. You high strung, soon to be second string nut job...


My Picks
NFL
Last Week: 10-7-0 (Top Picks: 5-3-0)

Overall: 27-22-0 (.551)

Top Picks: 7-7-0 (.500)


NCAA
Last Week: 14-7-1

Overall: 25-16-1 (.607)

Astute observers will notice two things about this weekend's results:

1) I'm better at picking college football games than anyone you know...

2) I picked 17 NFL games this week...

The 17th game was the combined spread and OVER/UNDER in the Chicago/Seattle game, in which I was robbed in the final minutes, and yes, I am absolutely unconcious when it comes to picking college games. So good for you. You're paying attention...

Oh, and in typical Rooch form, I went 8-1-0 in the first 9 games, with my only loss being my "And You Can Put It On The Bearrrrrrd...YES!", lock of the week. I swear, that type of thing could only happen to me. And it would have never happened, had I gone with my instincts, and picked the Green Bay Packers. Maybe if Aaron Rodgers would actually man up and grow a freaking beard, it wouldn't have been so hard of a decision!..

Grow a beard, dammit! My fantasy season depends on it!..

Speaking of which...


Fantasy Update
Overall:
1-2-0, 8th place
Last Week: Thanks Ted 71 Denzel 40

Next week vs Steve Lattimer (3-0-0, 1st place)

Going 0-3 would have been a complete disaster, and I'm not sure how I would have handled it. Thanks to Frosco, and his Cleveland Brown like effort, I won't even have to imagine it. Also, if I were Frosco, and I was sitting at a fraudulent 2-1 after a week 3 beatdown, I'd change my team name to Samuel L. You know, in keeping with the tradition of changing our name to the complete inverse of what it was before. Freaking Sco. I know he's probably embarassed and ashamed as it is, but I just wanna make sure he knows how utterly dispicable his team really is. Now he knows...

As for this week, I got a litmus test of my own when I take on last year's champ and this year's overall leader, Aaron Danho. He's a tough cookie, that Danho, but I think this week I'll have just the cure for the pain he's going to attempt to dish out. Besides which, I'm the man, and I freaking deserve it!..

So Aaron, I'd like to apologize in advance. This week, your kids go hungry...


And there you have it, kids, another edition in the books. I kept the Sox talk out of the equation, because most people I know still aren't aware that Jon Lester was hit in the leg, and Josh Beckett missed a start due to a flare up in his back. That being the case, anything I'd have to say would be how the Sox are in trouble, and how Red Sox Nation is just a bunch of Johnny-Come-Pink Hats who abandoned ship once it became more en vogue to start rooting for the Patriots again. IT's a song we've all heard me sing many times before, and while I have the voice of an angel, I'll spare you all my rehashed cynicism and just move on to something else...



I also wanted to give a quick review of a lot of the great Sunday programming that's hit the air in recent weeks, but again being a little short on time, I'll just have to give you the abridged version. Family Guy, good. So good, in fact, that I hear they're barring it in some markets. Simpsons, really good. Cleveland Show, watchable (that black Stewie is funny). American Dad, watchable, but no black Stewie. Still a big fan of that alien though. Who did eat all the pecan sandies, anyway? HAHAHA!. Bored to Death, eh. Jason Schwartzman is still a bit effeminate for my tastes. Curb, good. Can't wait til next week for the Seinfeld "reunion". Mad Men, still awesome, and we're mere months away from the Kennedy assassination! Woop woop! Entourage, still garbage, although I was a fan of that chick Vince did in the pool this week. Hey, eveyrone likes some reverse cowgirl on a pool float, don't they? Mmmmm. Reverse cowgirl on a pool float. See, this chick knows what I'm talkin' about! / Oops I just booted again...


On that note, now that you've got a pleasant image in your head to take with you for the rest of your day, I bid you good day...

Have a great week, kiddos, and remember to always trust your instincts...unless of course your instincts tell you to go against your instincts...But we already went over that, now, didn't we?..

Polanski was a perfectionist, and petafile or not, he was a perfectly professional person...

Chew your food, champ...

Teddy Williams...

100...

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