Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 10 Picks: Mea JoePa...

Culpability.  That's what's at the crux of the Jerry Sandusky kid diddling scandal at Penn St.  You believe Joe Paterno knew, or you don't.  Either way, you have to submit to the fact that the man that was at the head of a college football empire for 46 years, and therefore must be held responsible for a massive institutional failure that occurred under under his watch.  He's culpable.  It's like the famous line from Spiderman.  "With great power, comes great responsibility."  JoePa had the power, he had the responsibility, and the fact is, he didn't do enough with either.  That's why he was fired, and that's why he'll always be remembered just as much for his accomplishments on the field, as he will be his disgraceful and untimely exit from the program his identity had come to define...

With friends like these...
That's where I'm at.  Should he have been fired?  Sure, I certainly don't disagree with the decision.  Did he need to be fired right now, in a manner reminiscent of a political coups?  Nah, I really don't think so.  At the end of the season, yes, if he didn't agree to walk away, but firing him now, without removing every single element of his staff (which would end the current season)?  Just seems to me more like the long awaited transfer of power the PSU Board of Trustees has been waiting for, than it does the well thought out ouster of an embattled coach.  They've wanted him out since 2004, for reasons I guarantee have nothing to do with this scandal (although I'm sure that story will change), and they took this opportunity to kick him to the curb.  IT's certainly well within their rights to do so, but if they really wanted to send a message, they would have ended the season COLD, starting with this week's game against Nebraska.  Why aren't they doing that?  Well I think we all know the answer to that.  IT's money.  No matter how many "it's for the kids" statements you'll hear over the next few days.  They have contracts to honor, and they have the chance to make a major bowl game.  Disgraced or not, you best believe they're going to to do their best to collect those checks.  That's why they're continuing to play.  Plain and simple...
Fired? OR Removed from power? There's a difference...

That's the sickest part in all of this.  That even the party that's allegedly taking the moral high road here, the Board of Trustees, even they're doing what they're doing for some less than genuine reasons.  They're blatantly the lesser of two evils, in this case, so I guess that's OK.  But it's not exactly hard to look upstanding and honest when you're up against a senile old man and a pederass.  I mean, are they saying they had no idea either?  Not sure I'm buying that.  Cover ups, if that's indeed what you think this is, don't tend to exclude major bodies of power like that.  If he knew, and his staff knew, then what are the chances they didn't no?  Absolutely zero.  So let's not kid ourselves in thinking that, just because they're now the ones handing down the punishment, that their hands aren't filthed up in all of this as well...

In the end, though, whether Paterno had full knowledge of Sandusky's behavior, whether he strongly suspected some impropriety, or whether he had no idea (virtually impossible), he's culpable for all that went on during his reign.  That's just the way it is when you have the power.  I'm of the impression that more than anything, Jerry Sandusky took advantage of JoePa's good nature, but that's more an explanation of "how" it got to this, than it is an excuse.  There are no excuses, here.  This was an institutional failure at every level, and one so disgusting that it's left a country stunned.  If Paterno's not ultimately responsible, then who is?  Exactly.  And as much as some lunatics at Penn St. might not like it, it's how it's gotta be if this program, and this sport, expect to move on...

OK, with that sickness behind us, let's get down to pickin' this weekend's games.  I figure, win enough money, and you can buy enough booze to help you forget you've ever heard the name Jerry Sanduechebag.  Or you can use the money to buy a gun and take a slow ride by his house.  Either way.  I'm not here to tell you how to spend your money...        
Week 10 Picks
New York Jets (-1.5) vs New England Patriots

Makes me sick to my stomach, making this pick, but my brain tells me it's the right play.  My heart wants to kick me in the junk and poke me in the eyes, but my brain just keeps tellin' me that there's no way this Patriots team is going to win this week on the road in New York.  No matter how little I may think of the play calling ability of Jets' OC, Brian Schottenheimer...

That's what this comes down to, too.  Whether or not you think the Jets will have enough on offense to win. At worst you would expect their D to "slow" the Patriots down, so it will be on the offense to do what every other team in the league hasn't seemed to have a problem doing.  Efficiently score against the Patriots defense.  I don't think they will have any problems doing that, and that's why I feel good about laying the points.  I mean, I feel awful about it in general, but I feel good about it from a betting standpoint...

And hey, what's the worst that could happen?  I could be wrong, and the Pats could win.  It'll only be if the Jets win by 1 that I'll be truly pissed...

Atlanta Falcons (pick) vs New Orleans Saints

So, let's see.  Before the season, I hopped on the Falcons bandwagon, and built my fantasy team around Matt Ryan and Michael Turner.  After a slow start, I shipped them both out in favor of Drew Brees.  What's happened since then?  The Falcons have started to play up to where I'd though they'd be, and the Saints have done nothing but backslide.  Fan-freaking-tastic...

I like the Birds at home this week, not only because they're great at home, but with the return of rookie WR Julio Jones, they're finally hitting their stride on offense.  That should make for a long afternoon for the New Orleans D, in what should turn out to be an up and down, exciting game, that's well into the 4th quarter before it's finally decided.  Oh and with the division lead on the line, and the Saints headed towards their week 11 bye, don't be surprised if this game has more of a playoff atmosphere than any other game on this week's slate...

Denver Broncos (+3) @ Kansas City Chiefs

I'm rollin' with least when it comes to betting.  OH, and while he might not be their long term solution at QB, just watch the Broncos make the playoffs.  I know they're only 3-5, right now.  But watch.  I'm tellin' ya.  I'm not even a Tebow fan boy, I'm just callin it like I see it, and I see this team grabbing enough positive momentum to take a division that could easily be won by either Alabama or LSU...

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Can you name that QB?  I'll give you a hint, he shares a name with Patrick Swayze's character in Road House.  Yep, it's rookie, Andy Dalton, and he's got the Bengals playing their best ball since the Icky Shuffle.    Which is good, because I'm pretty sure if you attempted to do the Icky Shuffle at the Road House you would have been taken outside and strung up...

It'll be interesting to see how Cincy makes out in this one, though.  IF they can cover, or even win, they'll have announced to the league that they're legit.  If not, they'll immediately be labeled as overachievers that are destined to fade.  I'm apt to believe the latter is the more likely outcome, but there is something to be said for a team that's too young and inexperienced to know any better.  That's how this team is on offense, and with a stouter than average veteran D, that may be just the right mix to finally get this team headed i nthe right direction.  Not to mention they've got those 2 Carson Palmer picks headed their way.  Things are looking good in Cincinnati, and they'll look a Hell of a lot better if the Bengals can walk away from this AFC North tilt with the best record in the Conference...

I can see Jeff Hostetler's stache in the background...

San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs New York Giants

It's a rivalry renewed this week, as the Giants take the Bay, but with New York so dinged up I wouldn't expect an instant classic.  They may have had enough to beat the Patriots last week in the waning seconds, but somehow I think the 49ers defense won't be so inviting.  Expect the Giants to really miss Ahmad Bradshaw this week, too.  Especially as their watching Frank Gore dominate the line of scrimmage and control the clock...

St. Louis Rams (+2.5) @ Cleveland Browns

Buffalo Bills (+5.5) @ Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) @ Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins (-3.5) vs Washington Redskins

Houston Texans (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers (-3) vs Tennessee Titans

Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) @ Seattle Seahawks

Chicago Bears (-2.5) vs Detroit Lions

Monday Night
Minnesota Vikings (+13.5) @ Green Bay Packers

It was trial by fire for Christian Ponder in his first match up against Green Bay, and while I don't love his chances @ Lambeau field, I do like how this team has been playing with him at the helm.  That's enough for me to take the points.  I know the Packers are the best team in football, and unbelievable at home, but they've only won twice by more than 14, and the Vikings have only lost by that margin once.  And even if Green Bay does dominate, I'll take my chances with Ponder tossing it around the yard during garbage time and garnering anyone that was wise enough to take the points a backdoor cover...

Oh and if you don't know what a "backdoor cover" is, just ask Jerry San....OK, probably a bit too soon...

Last Week: 10-5-0

Overall: 89-66-1 (.574)

With the perverted business of kid diddling dominating the college football headlines, I figure what better ro provide respite from that perversion than a few scantily clad coeds to help lighten the mood.  So what if that Oklahoma St. fan looks like she's about to step in a pool of Hepatitis and the underboob model has on OU colored Longhorn shirt on.  That's just focusing on the wrong things.  It's their school spirit that's important!...and the fact that they aren't creepy old men with their arms around underprivileged young boys.  Always a plus...

Oh and I'm taking Penn St. this week, more or less based on the fact that both of those teams have to be really distracted, but at least the Nittany Lions are at home.  In what should be a uniquely bizarre atmosphere, I might add.  The 1st 5 minutes of that game are basically like a car wreck.  You have to watch, if for no other reason than out of morbid curiosity.  And in the off chance that Sandusky decides to streak onto the field naked and take his own life.  Unlikely, but at this point, would it really surprise you?  OK, it would, but that's not gonna stop me from looking for a bookie that will take that bet...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
Texas Tech (+17.5) vs (2) Oklahoma St.

(6) Oregon (+4) @ (3) Stanford

Hey, kids. Who wants to find the Nittany Lion
in my Happy Valley???
(5) Boise St. (-15) vs TCU

(12) Penn St. (+3.5) vs (19) Nebraska

Iowa (+2.5) vs (13) Michigan St.

(14) Georgia (-13) vs (24) Auburn

(15) South Carolina (-3.5) vs Florida

Minnesota (+27) vs (16) Wisconsin

(17) Kansas St. (+4.5) vs Texas A&M

(18) USC (-12.5) vs Washington

Missouri (+1) vs (21) Texas

Illinois (pick) vs (22) Michigan

(23) Cincinnati (-3.5) vs West Virginia

Last Week: 8-3-1

Overall: 71-37-2 (.655)

That's it for me, friends.  Don't forget to tune into the Carrier Classic, which kicks of the College Basketball season in earnest tonight at 7 pm, (Weeeeeeee!) and have a great weekend...

Teddy Williams...



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