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Friday, January 11, 2013

Divisional Picks: Hall & Jokes...


Here's the thing about "officials". A term, which for today's purposes, encompasses referees, officials, and those Teds that vote for the MLB Hall of Fame. So here's the thing about those Teds. They're tasked with making a call. Again, whether it's an MLB umpire, a basketball referee, or in this case a voter for a Hall of Fame. The second you give them any room to editorialize on that call? You're in trouble. And since the MLB Hall of Fame voting is completely comprised of guys who editorialize for a living, this latest shutout can't come as much of a surprise...

I bring it all back to the charging call in basketball. So many referees get it wrong and call too many charges, in my opinion mostly because the physical call is that much more fun and impressive to make. So they make the call when they shouldn't, merely to draw attention to themselves and remind people of how important they are. But that's the thing. They're not important. OK, they're important. But they aren't a millionth as important as they'd like to believe...

So, yeah. Votes like the one earlier this week, and the one a few years back that left out Robbie Alomar, are to be expected. Because when you give attention seeking whores a chance to seek even more attention, they're always going to take it. You think this vote was really about "The Steroid Era"? Nah. It was about everyone that wanted to giving themselves a platform to tell you how they feel about The Steroid Era. And it's as simple as that. Why else would they hold their votes hostage by giving the voter the option to make their picks public, instead of making it mandatory that all ballots are made public?

Maybe it's this new age where so many media members have become semi celebrities that's doing this, I don't know. But the fact remains. The voters have officially made the voting process more about themselves than the players they're entrusted to judge. And for that, the Hall of Fame might just be tarnished forever. Not to say that it was super clean before, but it's quickly gone from having a minor amphetamine problem to a full blown epidemic of anabolic steroids and HGH...

And I don't have a solution, for you. Much like my feelings on gun control, I think we've let things go on one way for too long to reasonably expect the necessary changes to take place. You can't overhaul the system, because it's steeped in tradition. And with baseball being the only sport where the fans actually give a rats ass about tradition, that would be a problem. So, what do you do? You just sit back and laugh. Because that's what you do when someone tells a funny joke. And the voting process for the MLB Hall of Fame has become exactly that. A funny joke. Or even better. A funny racist joke. Because you're still laughin', even though part of you knows that it's just not cool...

But enough about baseball. That sport doesn't offer nearly as entertaining a fantasy sports platform, and almost never provides enticing lines on which we can wager. So screw them and their holier than thou writers. Oh, and for the record. My HOF ballot would have had 4 names on it: Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Don Mattingly & Edgar Martinez. I don't vote for cheaters, because they cheat. And I don't need a Federal court to tell me who's guilty...

Now, football...

Division Round Picks

Denver Broncos (-9.5) vs Baltimore Ravens + UNDER 47

Full disclosure. When I first saw the lines this week, I immediately decided to take all of the underdogs against the spread. And, as in many weeks past, I also told myself that I shouldn't change my picks after I had already decided on Monday. My theory there is, your first reaction is usually the best one. And Monday is the time when the past performances are the most fresh in your mind...

Needless to say, after a few days of tossin' this one around in the old noodle, I've changed my tune. I've been down on the Ravens for a while now, and I've decided not to let their win last week sway my thinking. I mean, they struggled mightily against an inexperienced Indy team in probably the most emotionally charged home game in franchise history. Not exactly an awe inspiring performance. And if they plan on hanging with the Broncos, that's exactly what they'll need. Except this time, it will have to come on the road, in a place I put second only to Seattle as the toughest road venues in the league...

It'll be too much Peyton, too much of those Denver edge rushers. And a whole lot of Joe Flacco floppin' around like an alleged victim of Ray Lewis. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Baltimore has turned the corner. And hey, that's a lot of points. But I think the rested Broncos are that good. And if this one's close, I'll be the first one to admit that I'm surprised. I'll then proceed to point out a bunch of abnormalities that have led to my being so incorrect. But I'll definitely start off that rant by admitting I'm surprised...


Green Bay Packers (+3) @ San Francisco 49ers + OVER 45

Here's an underdog I stuck with, and it's mostly due to the fact that I have had the Packers in the Super Bowl for the entire year. Picked 'em at the start of the playoffs as the NFC representative, too. So, yeah. I'm invesTed. But I made both of those picks because I though the Packers were the best team in the NFC. A belief I still hold as they head into San Fran to take on the Niners...

They're just more talented, and they're finally healthy. I do have some reservations about them running the ball with that dreadlocked guy who's gonna go way too high in fantasy drafts next year. But other than that, I like their explosive offense enough to think they'll at the very least be able to keep this thing within a field goal. I mean, I like them to win. But just because I think they're the most talented team, doesn't mean I think they're gonna walk into San Francisco and blow them out. The Niners are stout on defense, and Kaepernick gives them the ability to make big plays. But I'll take Rodgers and the Packers in this one. Especially with the added incentive of the 3 points...


Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) @ Atlanta Falcons + OVER 46

I read on Twitter earlier this week, that Bill Simmons had predicted that the Seattle Seahawks are going to make the Super Bowl. And much like that tweet went on to say, that's reason enough for me to take the Seahawks and the points. Because you know Simmons is going to be right, and therefore become that much more insufferable. I can already seeing him jumping up and down in unison with Petey Carroll, wearing nothing put his Bruins jersey, as Russell Wilson runs in for the game winning touchdown...

As for any non Simmons reasoning, I can give you this. The Seattle corners are good enough to throw Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense off their game. Chris Clemons will be missed, there's no doubt about that. But as long as the Seattle defense can outplay the Atlanta defense, the Seahawks will likely walk out a winner. I think that's going to happen. So here we are...

And, yes. I flat out don't trust the Falcons. So there...


New England Patriots (-9.5) vs Houston Texans + OVER 47.5

Wrapping things up, we have the second game I flip flopped on this week. One I think should be more or less a repeat of the blowout we all witnessed just a few weeks back. Why? Well, mostly because I have zero faith in the Texans offense to do the right thing...

I've finally come around on Gary Kubiak. He's terrible. His play calling? Embarrassing. And considering his offense is likely going to need 30+ points in order to pull this one out. I hate his chances. Even when they're winning, their offense doesn't have any real rhythm. They run too many gimmick type plays, and too often enough don't play to their strengths. They seem obsessed with getting more people involved in their offense, when they aren't getting the ball to their primary weapons enough. Hey, as a Patriots fan. I'll take it. But as a football fan, it's kind of frustrating to watch...

That being said, there's really only two ways I can see this game going down. The frustrating way, in which the Patriots either barely hold on to win or the Texans choke. OR the fun way, where the Pats just blow the doors off like they did back in December. The Patriot fan in me is probably helping me lean toward the latter, but I'd also like to think that's truly the shrewd play. It should also be noted that I predicted Patriots/Broncos in the AFC Championship before the season. And would anything be more appropriate than for those teams to come into that highly anticipated match up off a pair of blowouts? I think not. I just hope the resulting week long boner that Phil Simms will have before calling that game doesn't cause him to stroke out due to blood loss. Then again, would we even notice if Phil Simms had a stroke? What if I told you he's already had 3 minor strokes? True? False? You gonna Google it? Yeah, you're gonna Google it...


Last Week: 1-3-0

Overall: 163-115-9 (.564)

Twitter Picks: 29-11-2 (.714)


Enjoy your weekend, friends. And I'll catch you on Wednesday. Or on Twitter. Because Twitter is great...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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