Friday, September 24, 2010

NFL Week 3 Picks: And Here's the Pitch...

By and large, I'm usually of the opinion that having a "theme" is a good thing.  Whether it's a good theme song, a solid desktop theme, or even a matching outfit, themes seem to feed my craving for creative consistency.  Not only that, but when something has a theme, and more importantly, when that theme is well executed, it just seems to make whatever experience is at hand all that more enjoyable...

So with that being the case, I've decided to go with a theme for this week's NFL Picks.  And in feeding off of the positive reaction I received from this week's earlier post that dealt with TV and movie reviews, I've decided that this week's theme is going to be centered around something that continues right along those lines.  The theme?  TV pitchmen.  Or I should say, the latest influx of so many similar TV pitchmen...

I've noticed that ever since the rise of Dos Equis' 'Most Interesting Man In the World', a lot of copycats have emerged with the same type of persona (half everyman and half superman) and the industry's blatant lack of creativity has driven me to vent about it. I mean, would Donald Draper stand for this?  I think not.  OK sure, maybe if he were completely sauced out of his mind he might blurt out something like 'how bout we have Apollo Creed sell beer!', but other than that, I'm pretty sure he'd find all this repetition uninspiring and flat out lazy...

So in light of the fact that Don is a fictional character, I'm taking up his cause, and fighting the good fight.  So without further ado, it's time to get your pitch on.  And in the words of legendary baseball man, Bob Ueker, here's hoping you don't find my pitch "jussssst a bit outside".  Enjoy...           

Week 3 Picks

New England Patriots (-13) vs Buffalo Bills (SURVIVOR PICK)

There was a time not all that long ago that Tom Brady was "The Most Interesting Man In the World".  At least to New England fans.  He was bagging actresses, winning Super Bowls, and always seemed to have the right thing to say.  And while sharks didn't have a week dedicated to him, Patriot fans made it so virtually every day was a day dedicated to him and his greatness.  Now?  Well now his reputation has gone the way of that poster up there.  He's still doing what he's always done, it's just that now things aren't running as seamlessly as they have in the past.  This week, while I don't feel that's going to change in any drastic way, I get the impression that even a drunkenly violent 'Most Interesting Man In the World' won't have too much trouble toppling the lowly Buffalo Bills at the "friendly" confines of Gillette Stadium...

And if the Pats don't happen to beat the Bills by at least 13 points on Sunday, well let's just say I'll be speaking 'English in French' when I next address their outlook for the remainder of the season...     

Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) @ Jacksnoville Jaguars + OVER 44

Flip-flip-flip-adelphia.  Flip-flip-flip-adelphia.

I figure with the Eagles flipping the script and deciding to run with the #1 dog killer as their QB, who better to serve as their pitchman than the good folks at It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?

Now anyone that watches the show with some regularity can tell you that while the show doesn't have a pitchman per say, Charlie Day's "GreenMan" character has seemingly come to embody everything the show has to offer.  And what made GreenMan relevant this week, is the fact that a new version of this character has emerged through the creative mind of one particular Philadelphia Phillies fan.  His name, is "RedMan".  And no, I'm not talking about the rapper who is often confused as a member of Wu Tang.  "RedMan", in this case, was the brainchild of 17 year old, Sean Hagan, who took to the field of a Braves/Phillies game on Monday night and was quickly clotheslined by Braves OF Matt Diaz and promptly hauled off to prison (hilarious commentary in that video clip btw).  And while I'm not usually in favor of seeing fans run onto the field, even I had a chuckle when I saw that...

SO, the logic?  I figure Mike Vick knows a lot about going to prison for a cause, so I'm taking the Eagles and the points as the make the arduous journey down to Jacksonville.  That, and I just think they're the better team.  And hey, a full body unitard never hurt anybody's cause.  OK, well almost anybody...

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) vs San Fransisco 49ers

Now if you think I'm going for the cheap "Billy Mays is dead" joke here, you're absolutely right.  Matt Cassel, you are the Vince Offer(?) to Tom Brady's Billy Mays, and you always will be.  When Tom "died", Matt was there to pick up the slack, all be it in a less impressive fashion.  Thankfully he wasn't as creepy as Mr. Offer, but for today's purposes that comparison will do just fine...

This game also features another theme, and one that I spoke of when attempting to explain why I did so crappy last week.  More of a trend, if you will.  And that trend says the smart money is always against the team that just played on Monday Night.  Especially when that team has to travel a good chunk of the way across the country to play, and especially when they are a road favorite.  Granted the Chiefs are the very team that burned me with this thinking last week when they beat the Browns by 2 after winning on Monday Night, but that doesn't mean the trend isn't still a good one to follow.  Besides, the Chiefs were road underdogs in that instance, so that game didn't exactly meet all the criteria...

And one more thing.  What kind of name is Vince Offer?!  Was 'Ted Pitchman' taken, or something?  Please.  Talk about lack of creativity.  Don would be smackin' this guy up and down Madison Avenue...after he finished drinking booze and womanizing, that is...  

Houston Texans (-2.5) vs Dallas Cowboys

The new Orbitz pitch guy, who judging by his name tag may very well be some kind of Polish super hero (makes sense), is probably the biggest Ted there is in the ad game these days.  And that's why I've teamed him up with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.  That, and I needed a pitchman to match up with this game that I was definitely going to pick, and this was the best I could come up with.  Meh, whatever.  Romo is a Ted, and his team's gonna drop to 0-3.  Creative?  Maybe not.  But that reasoning is good enough for me.  Good enough, in fact, to make the Houston Texans my first LOCK OF THE WEEK...

Hahahah and now I'm just laughing at what potential powers a Polish superhero might have.  Ahhh prejudicial jokes.  They're always funny...

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos OVER 48

When it comes to scoring, I figure there's no better spokesman than the guy on the horse from the Old Spice ads.  And believe me when I tell you, this game is going to feature an ass load of scoring.  Not only is Peyton Manning a thoroughbred of Secretarian proportions, but between a lackluster Indy defense and a banged up Denver secondary, this game is just has all the makings of a high scoring shootout.  Not only that, but in case you didn't know, a "Bronco" is a horse.  So this one works on multiple levels.  A trait I always look for when trying to recognize a solid theme.  Matter of fact, if that guy on the horse were to have sex with said horse, I'm pretty sure that result would be former Bronco tight end, Shannon Sharpe.  So now it works on 3 levels.  BAM!...    

Miami Dolphins (-2) vs New York Jets

This next comparison goes to prove that just because you're on TV a bunch, doesn't mean it's because people want to see you.  That's right, New York Jets, I'm talking about you...

Between his 2 different interview style shows on BIO, his new sitcom, and his Priceline ads, William Shatner has gone from an under appreciated novelty, to an overexposed blowhard.  Much like the Jets after their very entertaining turn on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'.  And much like the predictable fate of Shatner's latest TV ventures, I've been preaching all year that the Jets are bound to flame out.  And while losing this game wouldn't signal the end of the Jets by a long shot, I feel it's just a matter of time before their "ra-ra" style employed by Rex Ryan gets old and leads to the team's demise...

All that being said, I like the Dolphins this week for the same reason many of my peers liked the Jets last week.  Though they're already off to a great 2-0 start, they feel like they need this game in order to legitimize themselves as AFC contenders.  Combined that with the fact the Jets are coming off an emotional win of their own, and still dealing with the fallout from the Jailon Edwards Drunk Bus incident, and I feel confident enough not only to take the Phins and the points, but make it my second LOCK OF THE WEEK...

Detroit Lions (+11) @ Minnesota Vikings

And finally, we have this gem.  And I know what you're saying.  "Rooch, this ad, while hilarious, is ridiculously old and doesn't seem to fit your theme".  Ahhh, well that's where you would be mistaken, my friends.  See, for my entire life, I've always had trouble discerning between Billy Dee Williams (above) and Carl Weathers, who's now the news spokesman for Bud Light beer.  Lucky for me, in this instance I'm able to use my confusion to my advantage...

I liken Bud Light's decision to bring in an aging Apollo Creed to the decision the Vikings made when deciding to bring back an aging Brett Favre.  It's like some old guy in the front office owed somebody a favor from like 1985, and this is the result.  And while on the surface it seems like a good idea, the fact remains that the guy chosen for the job is just too damn old to get the damn thing done...

Now I'm not making the bold prediction that the Lions are actually going to win this game, just like I'm not going to predict people will stop drinking Bud Light just because they have a spokesman that nobody under the age of 25 can probably recognize.  But what I will predict is that Detroit keeps this game a lot closer than the 11 point spread would suggest.  Kind of like a Rocky fight.  Close to the end, until the obvious happens and the team we all thought would win eventually takes it down like they would a smooth and refreshing Colt 45.  Damn, Billy Dee.  Malt liquor in a can never looked so good...        

The rest of these games either didn't inspire enough confidence for me to make them a Top Pick, or they simply didn't conveniently lend themselves to my pitchman parody.  Either way, here's my take on the rest of this week's slate of games...

New Orleans Saints (-4) vs Atlanta Falcons

New York Giants (-3) vs Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) @ Carolina Panthers

Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) vs Cleveland Browns

St. Louis Rams (+3.5) vs Washington Redskins

Oakland Raiders (+4.5) @ Arizona Cardinals

San Diego Chargers (-5.5) @ Seattle Seahawks

Monday Night
Green Bay Packers (-3) @ Chicago Bears OVER 46

When I typed "beard sponsor" into Google Images in hopes of finding a pitchman to team with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, this is what they gave me.  So I'm goin' with it.  And while I'm usually hesitant to take what looks like a gimmie of an OVER, I'll use the 'pumped up for Monday Night' excuse to rationalize my selection.  That, and I know I'm gonna probably need every freakin' point I can get from Aaron Rodgers in order to pull out a victory in my fantasy football match up.  So is it a self serving pick?  Somewhat.  But to write it off as me simply sending positive vibes to my fantasy QB would be about as shortsighted as...well as shortsighted as the guy I chose as the pitchman for this week's NCAA picks...

Last Week: 8-8-0 (Top Picks: 3-3-0)

Overall: 17-14-3 (.544)

Top Picks: 7-7-1 (.500)

Lock of the Week: 3-1-0

Not only is Beano Cook a legendary college football analyst, but for today's purposes he serves two distinct roles.  1) He's old and funny looking, which makes him an hilarious spokesman. AND 2) He's been pumping this week's tilt between Alabama and Arkansas since the middle of May.  So despite the fact I can smell his mothball odor through the Internet, I've pegged him as the perfect pitchman for this week's picks...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(10) Arkansas (+7) vs (1) Alabama

(24) Oregon St. (+17.5) @ (3) Boise St.

Arizona St. (+11) vs (5) Oregon

(7) Texas (-15) vs UCLA

(8) Oklahoma (-13.5) @ Cincinnati

(9) Florida (-14) vs Kentucky

(17) Auburn (-2.5) vs (12) South Carolina

(13) Utah (-28) vs San Jose St.

(14) Arizona (-6.5) vs California

(16) Stanford (-4.5) @ Notre Dame

(22) West Virginia (+11) @ (15) LSU

(23) Penn St. (-13.5) vs Temple

Last Week: 10-6-1

Overall: 18-14-1 (.561)

And there you have it, friends.  I hope you all enjoyed my trip through the world of lazy advertisers, and I wish you all the best of luck in your own ventures as we head towards yet another exciting weekend.  And if you find yourself drinking Colt 45 from a can this weekend while trying to figure out how Apollo Creed was cast in Star Wars, you know exactly who to thank...

Have a good one, peeps.  And I'll catch you on the flipman...

Teddy Williams...



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