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Friday, January 18, 2013

Championship Picks: Notre Dumb...


Seriously, where do you start with this clusterfuck of a story? Well, I'll start by saying this. IF you needed any more proof that Deadspin was/is the preeminent place to go for any sports news that's actually worthwhile and seemingly unbiased. You got it...

As hilarious as it is refreshing and righteous...
That's where I want to start. It's become increasingly clear over the past few years that ESPN is out to do one thing when it comes to the news: Control the narrative. And in doing so, they've often lost focus and become too entangled in the story themselves to be in a legitimate position to report on it. That's why sites like Deadspin have thrived. They are what ESPN started out to be, all be it with a little more humor. They're reporting the news, not trying to make it. And with ESPN botching yet another major sports news story (allegedly sitting on this story for the past 10 days), it's become more obvious by the day that they're no longer fit to cover the very news that made them the media giant they are today. But I'll get to more of that at the end...

As for the bad episode of a network crime drama that is this story, your guess as to what's what is as good as mine. As long as your guess includes the fact that any "hoax" perpetrated in this matter was performed by Manti Te'o and his circle of trust. Do I think this was an elaborate story to hide the fact that he's gay? Do I think he was complicit in this lie right from jump street? Eh, I'll wait for more info until I make those calls. And judging by the way the information has been flowing it, that shouldn't take all that long. Again, Deadspin did such a fine job of investigating this story, that the amount of evidence will surely force all of those involved to come clean as to what they've done. They just can't continue to lie in the face of their current explanations being refuted by their own words in print and on video...

So, I guess the question becomes why? Why do this? For a better shot at the Heisman? Really?? Nah. And that's why I think people are right to immediately call in to question his sexuality. Not that it's normally anyone's business, I know. But when you invite that aspect of your life into the lives of the public,. IE when you exploit the death of your non existent girlfriend for fame. You make it our business. And he intended to make that shit our business, there's no about that. And why? Because he wanted to control the narrative. He wanted us to know that he was a caring boyfriend to an actual girl. Nobody asked him that, he offered that information up in an attempt to make himself look good. To look more "worthy" of love and adoration. So in essence, he opened the door. And I don't know about you, but I walk through open doors. Not usually ones opened by possibly sexually confused Samoan men. But hey. When in South Bend, right?...

As for Notre Dame's swift defense of their young star? That's just another poor play by a powerful institution, that still hasn't gotten the message that the last thing you want is a rushed response. I don't care if you've been "investigating" the story for 10 days and have known about the "hoax" for weeks. At least give the illusion to the public that you actually talked to Te'o again after the news broke, and spoke to some of your school's public relations people. Nope. They knew the facts. They were ready. Which is why the guy they sent to the podium ended up breaking down in tears. Yeah, right. You were ready. About as ready as you were for Alabama...

So, yeah. As screwed up and unimaginable as this situation seems to be, the reasoning behind it seems rather cut and dry. Te'o was in on this thing, as were his family and friends. To what degree and for what reason? We don't know. But those answers should come in due time. No thanks to ESPN, who we shouldn't forget comes off looking almost as foolish as ND and Te'o. "How" ESPN is going to cover a story seems to be part of nearly every sports story, now. And that's not good. Have they become too big, too much a aprt of the news to actually cover it? I don't know. But lately they've been caught with their Skip Bayless boxers down around their ankles more often than not. And that's never good when you're allegedly the world wide leader. Yeah, world wide leader in Teds! So there...

But enough about bizarre and inappropriate sexual relationships in and around the Catholic church (who'd have thunk it, right???). Let's get down to the business of picking some football games. At least with them we actually know what we're talking about and can somewhat accurately predict the outcomes. Oh, wait...

Conference Championship Picks



San Francisco 49ers (-4) @ Atlanta Falcons + OVER 49

I though this weekend would see a rematch of "Scabgate" between the Packers and Seahawks, yet here we are. 1 vs 2, for all the Marb reds...

It's a dicey proposition taking a road favorite, but that's how impressed I've been with the 49ers...and how underwhelmed I continue to be with the Falcons. Atlanta's obviously worthy, as are most teams that make it this far. But I still have trouble believing that with all the good teams in the NFC this year, they're going to be the ones to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Probably why I'm so willing to take the points and pick against them. That, and the 49er read option has been just running people over. Whether it's only a gimmick that will be "figured out", is yet to be seen. But the point is it's working damn well right now. And should continue to work this weekend in the dirty south...

...and place where Colin Kaepernick should fit right in. Ya know, because he's black...ish...and has tats? What? It's not racist if it's true. Right? Or is it that it's only racist when it's true? So tough to tell, these days. With all the imaginary girlfriends and whatnot...  


Baltimore Ravens (+9) @ New England Patriots + OVER 49.5

Back in Foxboro, I'm finding it too hard to pass on the points. I like the Patriots to win, of course. But I just can't bring myself to give 9 points to the Ravens again after the stunt they pulled last week in Denver. Not sure if it's because Ray Lewis is pissed off for one final shot at greatness, or the fact that they're finally letting Joe Flacco throw the ball deep. But whatever it is, the Ravens are playing now like the team we all thought they'd be when the season began. Mostly due to the fact that they appeared in this very game just one season ago...

As for the Patriots. The only team I'd be willing to say is definitely playing better than they are right now would be the team I picked to beat the Falcons. New England's offense is as dangerous as ever, all be it without Gronk. And their defense is probably one of the most underrated units to take the field in a conference title game in recent memory. For instance: A month ago, I would have said that any team with a decent QB would have had a decent shot to beat the Pats just by tossing it up and drawing pass interference penalties. Now, they're actually looking back for the ball and making plays. And they'll likely need to make a play or two down the stretch in order to help put this one away, as we all know the Pats tend to keep these games frighteningly close (2-10 ATS in their last 12 playoff games)...

That's another reason I have to take those points. Conference title games don't tend to be blowouts, and rarely do the Patriots stomp people out in this type of situation...

So Pats win, but Ravens cover. In what I'm hoping will serve as a game fitting of this underrated rivalry. Maybe even a game to end all doubt as to whether this is a legitimate rivalry or not. As if those things really matter any more than whether or not Manti Te'o had relations with Enrico Palazzo. Which at this point, I'm certainly not willing to rule out...

"Enrico Palazz'o?" Now that would have been a good title for Deadspin's piece. Eh, probably too abstract. i know I would have laughed my ass off, though. And that's really all that matters...


Last Week: 5-3-0

Overall: 168-118-9 (.585)

Twitter Picks: 35-12-2 (.735)


Have a good weekend, friends. And I'm tellin' ya. Get on board the Twitter train. I'm slaying NCAA basketball games, right now. Had Michigan +3 last night, NC St +2 the night before. I'm officially on a heater, and you don't wanna miss out. Besides, Twitter is where you get the news before ESPN screws it all up. So it's got that goin' for it. Which is nice...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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