Friday, January 09, 2015

Divisional Picks: Giving Stu His Due...

In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, I had a a very complex and polarizing relationship with Stuart Scott. A man I never actually met...

First, along with Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, Stu was more or less my idol. Delivering sports highlights in a manner I'd never seen before and giving me one-liners to shout on the playground. All while making sportscasting appealing to a new generation. MY generation! And I couldn't get enough...

But, unfortunately. Like most things you grow up loving, you end up out-growing them. And often end up looking back on them as silly and unimportant. Which is what happened for me with Stu. His brash brand of BOO YAH was quickly adopted by the masses, with each anchor going more over the top than his predecessor. And an army of Stu's was not what I wanted from my sportscast. What's more, is that the Stu-ification of Bristol played a big role (as did the dawn of the Interweb) in the halting of my ESPN non-live sports viewership altogether (not to mention the exodus of the aforementioned inspirations). Yep, went from watching 10 SportsCenters a day to not having willingly watched a full episode in close to a decade. And in doing so, Stuart Scott quickly went from someone for whom I strove to be like, to someone who represenTed everything I felt was wrong with the world of sportscasting. A world of which I'd always wanted to be a member...

But that's how life works. I knew I never truly disliked Stu, he just became an easy target. Which in itself speaks to what a titan the man had become, and the mark he's left on the business. So here's to the passing of a legend. You can argue for better or worse, but there's no doubting that the world of sports broadcasting will forever be changed due to his presence, his style, and just the passion for what he did. Good work Stu, and we'll catch you on the other side of the pillow...

Now onto the picks. Oh, actually. Before I get to the all important degenerati advice, I have to make sure you've seen this:

Yep, that's the latest offering from "TEAM SCOOCH", a collaboration between yours truly and my sometimes-contributor and always very good friend, Kevin 'Frosco' Tomasso. Hilarious, right? Of course it is. And you'd be right if you think that it would make for a fantastic Twitter avatar. But it's already MY Twitter avatar. So wipe that thought from your mind, and go back to having a general sense of humorous appreciation. Oh, and feel free to share it across the Interweb. You know, so we can go viral and become holier than thou Interweb SUPERSTARS!...

OK, now we're onto the picks. Enjoy...

Divisional Picks

Baltimore Ravens (+7)
 @ New England Patriots + UNDER 48

I wanted the Ravens, because I'm all for settling beefs and exorcising demons. And I want the Patriots to absolutely crush them, to make sure that those demons are all but forgotten. But this feels like a 24-20 game if I've ever seen one. And I fully expect it to be a low-ish scoring game that ultimately sees the Pats emerge victorious...

Carolina Panthers (+11.5) @ Seattle Seahawks + OVER 39.5

In the other Saturday tilt, I like the Panthers' revitalized offense (mainly Jonathan Stewart and the rushing attack) to keep it closer than the spread may suggest. GranTed, I don't think they have a chance in Hell of winning. But that's too many points for a team that's coming off 5 straight wins (not to mention 3 straight close games against Seattle), no matter how much credence one might want to give to the Seahawks' week of rest and their well established home field advantage...

Dallas Cowboys (+6.5) Green Bay Packers + UNDER 54

Kicking things off on Sunday, we have two teams that are somehow limping in to a divisional playoff game. Which seems improbable, but here we are. The Cowboys barely escaped with a ref-aided win against the Lions, and the last time we saw the Packers, they were squeaking out wins against Tampa and Detroit, and losing at home to Buffalo. All while Aaron Rodgers looked like someone who, to be generous, looked at a little less than 100%. I still like Green Bay to win and advance, but that has much more to do with Dallas shooting themselves in the foot (whether via playcalling or turnovers) than the health of the Packers' signal caller.

Denver Broncos (-7) vs Indianapolis Colts + UNDER 54

On Sunday night, the divisional slate will be concluded with (shockingly) the most for prime time game of the bunch. LUCK V MANNING 5! OR whatever the number is. They probably haven't played that many times, but whatever. You get the jist. And like most prime time programming that doesn't involve Jon Hamm or the Home Box Office, I don't expect the final product to even come close to living up to the hype. Sure, Peyton Manning has been a shadow of his former self of late, and Andy Luck is primed to take that next step. But the Colts still can't stop the run, and that should serve as their downfall. Imagine that? They finally have an adequate pass defense, and they catch Peyton in a year when his team is thriving by running the ball down people's throats. That's just some bad Luck, right there. And an even worse pun...

National Championship Game

Ohio St. Buckeyes (+6.5) vs Oregon Ducks + UNDER 75

And finally, we have the degenerati nightcap, AKA the first ever REAL NCAA National Championship game. And I like Ohio St. to shock the world and take it down. Mostly because I stand to win $75 in a bowl pool if that actually happens, but mostly because I couldn't find an Oregon rep with such a supple rear and such a well placed tattoo. I searched long and hard (giggity) for a similar Oregon photo, too. Even scoured all of the "fitness models" on Instagram for an appropriate shot to no avail...

I did find it a little odd that all of these "fitness models" have Instagram accounts filled with provocative videos of them doing squats, and equally as provocative comments (mainly from men) talking about what they would do were said model to do those squats over their undoubtedly embellished man region. But apparently that's what "fitness" entails, these days. Which leads me to believe that "CrossFit" is really just code for "orgy". Probably an orgy with more potential trannys than the average person would care to see. But an orgy nonetheless...


Last Week: 5-3-0

Overall: 147-150-3 (.495)

And there you have it, friends. I should be back next week with my first (Syracuse-free) College Hoops Top 25 of season. But either way, we'll talk again. And I'll be counting the seconds until we do (nah)....

Be good, Teds. And enjoy your weekend...



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