Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Blooming Good Charity

Happy Kwaanza everyone.

Happy Boxing Day Commonwealthers.

Happy St. Stephen's Day Heads.

I just read about something yesterday that I feel compelled to unvertise to everyone.

Jeremy Bloom, Olympic skier, ex-Philadelphia Eagle, ex-Pittsburgh Steeler, ex-Abercrombie model, has a charity that he started in 2008. I know about this only because of the great Point After column Selena Roberts wrote in this week's Sports Illustrated.

The purpose of this charity is to fulfill the dreams of low-income seniors, sort of like Make-a-Wish for grandmas and grandpas.

I have to say, I think this one is particularly special. One of the episodes that Roberts cites is a woman named Nancy Tarpein, who Bloom helped travel to see her daughter, who had been diagnosed with cancer. They hadn't seen each other in five years.

This is exactly the kind of thing that this holiday season is supposed to be about. When I look at my bills and statements next cycle, I'm going to kick myself in the ass for not making Bloom's charity one of my impulse spends.

Spread the word.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Bit O' Christmas Cheer

Well, it looks like I've got a little time on my hands while the laundry is a-drying, so I thought I'd subject you all to some poemetry that I did a few years ago at the P&H Center for the Arts. This is what happens when a poet asks an art historian if they write poetry. Ole!

By the way, if anyone wants to take up a collection and buy me a pair of the pants that guy is wearing, I promise to wear them in every class I teach every December.

A Christmas Poem, cause it’s the season
How come Rudolph and the reindeers never unionized?
I was telling a friend of mine about this.
Saying it would be a good idea for something.
The unionizing of the reindeer that is.
But it makes you wonder about what would justify such a thing.
It doesn’t seem to me like those other 364 nights are super productive.

Back to the reindeers
So, I was saying.
That it doesn’t seem like those 9 have any reason for gripes.
I’m sure that National Geographic is paying them for all that reindeer documentary footage.
And Burl Ives is probably giving them kickbacks.
But it makes you wonder, or at least it makes me wonder, if they get anything out of the whole arrangement.
It’s got to be longer than a 8 hour workday.
And I’ve seen the specials. The fat man has a whip.
Maybe a union isn’t so bad.

Another Poem About Jesus
Ever wonder what Jesus used to get for Hannukah?
If I was Jesus, not saying I could fill those shoes,
Or sandals or whatever it was.
But if I was Jesus,
I think I might’ve had a minor dilemma with this one day holiday thing.
We should stick with eight days of presents.
In honor of Jesus’s heritage, naturally.
It just doesn’t seem fair to the kids.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spreading the Cheer

Jeff Fisher sent this to me today. I thought that was sweet of him.

Here's hoping Philip Rivers doesn't play up to his talent level.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Something Else I Do Not Get

So, the semester's over, the parties have been gone to, and I'm finally back to business as unusual. Sorry for the absences. I've been writing some Top 10 lists (of the year, of the decade) for Art:21, which should be appearing over there before too long. However, I ran into a student at an opening this weekend, and she told me that she'd been reading my football posts, so I feel a certain vindication nonetheless.

And, while I'm at it, can someone give a prize to Kelly Shindler, who seems to run the Art:21 blog single-handedly while working on her Ph.D. full-time? This is a Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson-style dual excellence, and she deserves props.

Anyhoo, I've been spending today catching up on things that I've been supposed to be getting around to, which includes reading hours and hours of online newspapers. And, one in particular has my underoos in a twist.

Dave Caldwell has an article in today's Sports section that I just don't get. This grumpasaurus is basically intimating that, since Dale Earnhardt's death, auto racing has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Let me list the supposed "developments" that "Earnhardt might have bristled at." Now, Caldwell doesn't outright say that these are bad things, but the tone ain't exactly gumdrops and lords-a-leapin' either.

-An expansion in the popularity of NASCAR.

-Head and neck restraints.

-Escape hatches in the roof of each car.

-Slightly slower but much safer cars.

-Younger drivers acting as celebrity spokespeople, thus increasing their own and the sport's revenue streams.

Then, he goes on to complain about Jimmie Johnson (above, with his unprecedented four straight championship trophies) and Danica Patrick, as part of a certain kind of well-behaved, capitalismogenic pitch people phenomemon that stands as evidence that the sport is less about racing and more about product placement, certainly less cooler than when patrolled by The Intimidator.

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Listen, I have one thing to say to you all who think his is a reasonable complaint.

NFL Concussions.

This is the perfect example of a sport acting swiftly and responsibly to protect the safety of its participants. Does anyone even remember that they outlawed the wedge? I've forgotten.

Caldwell's crankalation is rather dismissive about the new security measures taken on by NASCAR, and his final statement that "No. 3 decals proliferate on cars in Nascar parking lots, but racecars do less racing these days" does nothing but place him in that pantheon of oblivion previously reserved for Wall Street executives, the 43rd President, Martha Stewart's personal warmth, and Dennis Rodman's stylist.

I'm willing to sacrifice a few miles per hour to prevent any injury or loss of life. Why Caldwell seems to prefer speed over safety bewilders me.

And, in case you don't think I know the stakes, allow me embarrass myself for a moment...

(The management waiting to ride in a NASCAR car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm on the Twitter

Apparently, I'm Twittering now. I'm called @adrianduranblog. Follow it and get invited to the BBQ.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Light it Up

Ok, just in case you've all lost track of what season it is, Hanukkah's on the way. Now, my calendar says that it's Saturday when the Festival of Lights begins. But, of course, this is a Pizza Hut calendar, so it probably means Friday night, which would make more sense, especially if your lost tribe is a high school football team. All confusion aside, check with your local Maccabean Revolutionary, but don't forget. And, all you Christmas lovers out there, let's use Hanukkah as a reminder that these things are about family and tradition and good will. The presents are the bonus, not the focus.

But, until then, we're stumbling into the excitingest part of the season, the Wild Card race. I'm about to wee with excitement because of a guy named Vince and what the Giants might do to the Cowpies today, which would make life better for my beloved Iggles. Anyway, cause I know you've been waiting.

We all knew that the Jets were going to beat the Bills. Or, at least I did. But, boy was that not what I was expecting. Ryan Fitzpatrick really fascinates me, mainly because I like Ivy Leaguers in the NFL. But also because he seems to be making TO happy, which means that they should get married and solve a load of problems.

The Eagles are going to murder Atlanta. I know Jackson's out, but I've heard tell of others named Maclin, Celek, McCoy, and an enemy named Ryan, who is out this week. This whole Michael Vick back to Atlanta is infuriating. Shut up. Play McNabb. Vick isn't doing anything worthwhile. This is about winning games and getting into the playoff, hopefully atop the NFC East. I could give a damn that Michael Vick used to play in Atlanta. Win the game, deal with the hype after the clock says 00:00. Eagles by 10.

The Bucs could sneak up on the Panthers here. Maybe Ronde Barber shows us why he's still worth watching. Maybe Josh Freeman's been getting smarter and better. Dunno, but I'm voting yes, especially with Jake DelInterception and DeAngelo Baby! out for the day. This is where I make a reckless prediction, but I'm going Bucs, by 6.

I don't know why I'm voting for the Bears here. I'm going with the weather, which means that I'm now checking the weather reports when I make these predictions, which means I'm in the depths of nerddom more than I was last week. And I love it. It's like realizing you can read conservation reports as well as patronage documents. Mmm, nerddom. Oh, and the Rams are currently God forsaken. Poor Rams. And they're a dome team, so they're screwed out in the Chicago weather. Bears by 14, but Jackson will run like an antelope out of control.

Detroit will lose to Cincy, though Cincy is looking a bit less stout than they did at earlier points. But, c'mon. They swept the AFC North? That's unbelievable. Really unbelievable. Congratulations to Cincinnati for proving us all wrong, for winning games, and for reminding us that Tigers are grrr-eat. By 21. Let's get Esteban a few touchdowns today.

In the most improbable moment of the week, I'm going to say that Vince leads a team to victory over Peyton. I don't know why or how it'll happen, but I think it will. We've got some receivers on the rise, and more than a few of them (Lavelle Hawkins, holla!) to compliment some nice TE work (I actually forgot about Jared Cook for a minute before last week) and what's his face who might just turn into Eric Dickerson. Hoochawackadingdong, this team might be scary soon. And, you know, Gonzalez is still out, that defense is a bit beat up, and Peyton Manning is actually listed as having a butt muscle dilemma. Finally, something is finally a pain in his ass. Let's hope the Titans defense makes it a twofer. Titans, by a hair, by the grace of God, by 3, which will bring them a Wild Card berth. Or so I hope.

Houston'll beat Jacksonville, don't ask me why I know this, other than that I live in AFC South territory, so I have a sense. I just think the Schaub-Johnson-Jacoby Jones Axis of Aerialism will trump the Jags more ground-screen-check down sort of thing. By 7, in a great game.

Denver vs. Kansas City? I couldn't possibly care less. Neither of these teams is consequential for me, unless Denver gets in the way of the Titans, or somehow is their opponent in a Wild Card tiebreaker or somethingish. The best news I've heard about Denver this week is that Mike Shanahan may be coaching again next year and that Kyle Orton is probably going to play. Phooey on you Jay Cutler. Get a winning record and then we can talk. Broncos by 7.

The Steelers will beat the Raiders, though it won't be amazing, and it won't be worth watching. I sure hope Palumalu will recover well. He's too beautiful to watch for us to live without. If his career goes belly-up due to injuries, it'll be tragedy on the order of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. But the Steelers will win by 10, and we'll worry about everyone's careers later. Ben, throw it away. Slide feet first. Protect your health.

New Orleans is going to kill Washington. That's all there is to it. If not, I will be shocked and awed. And happy for Jason Campbell, who I still think is getting the short end of the stick unjustifiably. But, poor Campbell won't win today. I just hope this all doesn't cost him his career, which needs to be recalibrated elsewhere to be judged appropriately. Saints by 28. Maybe more. I mean, did you see what they did to the Pats? Mon dieu.

The Chargers will be able to sleepwalk through this one. Let's hope that they don't sit Rivers just for the hell of it, because I need Vincent Jackson to receive a number of touchdown passes. My fantasy team stinks, mainly because of the other Chargers receivers, who are getting Jackson's touches. Let's turn it around. And someone call Bernie Kosar. The Browns might need him today. Bolts by 21.

What is the big issue with Minnesota against Arizona? I know Kurt Warner is a future Hall of Famer, with a silly sick corps of receivers, but that won't matter. The Vikings will beat them. Probably badly. Let's say by 14 in what will be a clinic on why American QBs are the real players of The Beautiful Game. Kids, eyes on the QBs. Two all time greats are going to be dueling today. Could be poetry, in a Homeric manner.

This is the only time in my life that I will hope for a Giants victory. See, if they beat those idiots, and the Eagles win, the NFC East begins to look promising. Let's just pray that December present will treat Romo like Decembers past. And that the weather in NYC turns for the ugly. I'm going with the Mara family by 7. If anyone sees Roy Williams do something interesting, will you please email me?

49ers against the Seahawks? What the hell is wrong with the NFC West? I mean, maybe we should just let the NFC West and the AFC West have their own league. The winner could play the winner of the UFL for entry into the NFL, like they do in Serie A and B in Italy. Just a thought. But the 9ers will win, by about 10. What I care about is Julius Jones coming back and getting another Domer some TV time.

New England vs. Miami. God do I not want to be Miami tonight. The Pats are going to be pissed. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but those being force fed will be the Fins, who will need to have their hospital bills paid for by the Saints when the Patriots decide to break their spirits and necks. Coach, don't beat up on the Dolphins just because Drew Brees looked like Tom Brady last week. Save it for the playoffs. Get a good win, but a smart one, without any Old Testament vengeance, which you'll need to save for the playoffs. Pats by 17, though, cause they're still going to be pissed.

Monday night is going to be so sad. The Ravens will probably lose, which is depressing, especially because Joe Flacco has been underachieving. My faith is not shaken, but I don't know how the hell the Titans and Ravens both are going to get Wild Card berths. That'll be my Christmas present, ok? But, the Packers will win by 10, mainly because they're at Lambeau.

Ok, everyone, enjoy the game.

And, please do me a favor. I don't know what any of you think about religion or God or whatever semantics you use, but a childhood friend of mine just lost her father recently, so please send out whatever positive vibes you've got. Aim them towards New Jersey.

And have a great first few nights of Hanukkah.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's 65 Degrees in Memphis

Can I get a WTHITWA from the congregation? 65 degrees the Saturday after Thanksgiving is bonkers. Totally bonkers. I guess it's true that Memphis doesn't care about football, because this is not football weather. I wonder if Tommy West had something to do with this. Hmm.

Anyway, everybody do me two favors. First, remember that that Blind Side Sandra Bullock feel good about yourself after you've eaten 45 helpings of turkey and just knocked down your neighbor for whatever the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the year is on Black Friday movie is out. I tell you this not because Sandra Bullock is an actress that I hope to see in another movie, but because it's a local Memphis football story, perhaps the first good one in a while. And because Michael Oher plays for the Ravens, which I will address below. And, second, read the book. Books are always better. And they make you smart. Books = good. Let's remember this before we stupid ourselves to extinction.

Hope you're all good and fattened up. We'll need those reserves for Monday, when the weather drops back into the 50s. Yowzas. By the way, I am thankful for the movie Bad Santa, which hit all the right spots and will be my Christmas present to the extended family this year.

Sing it with me, y'all...

Deck the bells with yuletide grumping.
When did Jesus lose to corporate greed?
Don't forget to give some presents.
To some other peeps who are in need.

Don we now our gay apparel.
Unless you are in Maine, where they've lost the plot.
And don't forget there's also Kwanzaa.
And 8 days of fun called Hannukah.

Before you accuse me of Grinching it up, be aware that last night began the beguine of my annual tradition of Christmas music before bedtime. Traditional French Carols last night. Tonight will either be Kenny Rogers (good), Engelbert Humperdink (better), or A Chipmunk Christmas (best).

But, back to more important matters...

I was right about Green Bay (glad to see Stafford's ok after last week), right about Dallas (hang on, I need to go dry heave again), and wrong about the NY Football Giants (which makes me so happy because now the NFC East isn't so dangerous for the Eagles any more).

La la la la.

ATL is going to beat the Bucs, though I wonder by how much. The Bucs are looking like a team with a future, though that future may be next decade. Either way, they won't win, but they'll impress. A Pyrrhic victory, indeed, and they'll lose by 10.

Miami, even without Ronnie Brown, will beat the Bills, who are shambolic to the Nth degree. I wonder if we'll ever get to the Oth degree. Fins by 14, but I want the TOth touchdown of the season.

The Bengals are going to murder the Browns in what will hopefully be the final game before Mangini is released as head coach. I don't know why I have it out for Eric Mangini, but I associate it with his being called a Mangenius. I mean, c'mon. Genius? Who are we kidding? Lombardi was a genius. Halas was a genius. Billy B is a genius. Mangini is a fraud who is in the process of taking down a whole organization. I take offense. Cats by 21.

Sorry, Houston, this isn't your year either. But I'm impressed with how well you're doing. Honestly, I mean that. I love the AFC South. But Indy has things on cruise control. By the way, where the hell is Marvin Harrison? Hasn't anyone signed him yet? I can think of a half-dozen teams who would be instantly better, age be damned. Colts by 17.

NFC North, how dull you've become. Anyone remember when I thought the Packers were going to win the division? Umm, that was me being wrong. The Vikings are so good that they're electing to let Tavaris Jackson play? I think we have our first Christmas miracle. Purple People Eat their way to a 14 point victory. Maybe Jay Cutler could get traded to the Browns. It'd be the best twofer of the year.

Panthers vs. Jets. I just cannot buy into the Jets anymore. I did at first, held out for a while, and now it's just gross. I feel bad for the Sanchize because I think it's in him, and I think that team is pretty damn good when things go right. But, you know, rookie QB + rookie coach = growing pains. We're watching the Jets' voice crack these days. Maybe they'll have it together by next year's prom. Losers by 7 in what could be the ugliest game this side of Renee Zellwiger's acting. One word: DeAngelo baby! Charlotteers win by 10, unless DelHomme keeps passing to the other team.

Redskins vs. Eagles. Listen. If the Eagles don't win this, they will not get to the playoffs. That is the deal. That is the reality. They damn well better win because they've already lost to the Raiders and I'm getting ready to start burning things in effigy. And will someone tell Brian Westbrook to retire before he kills himself. I love you Brian Westbrook, but not enough to watch you kill yourself on the field. Mr. Lurie, pay him to mentor Shady. Pay him a lot because we won't get anywhere near a Lombardi if McCoy doesn't live up to his potential. Westbrook will do more for the team as a mentor than a hospital patient. Let's say that McNabb lights up another 400 yarder and wins by 17.

Seattle against St. Louis. God almighty, what a drag. I wonder which QB the Rams will draft next year. I wonder if it'll matter. The best thing that's happened to the Seahawks is that Holmgren will probably coach in the AFC next year, which means that he won't be able to beat the bejesus out of them that frequently. Either way, the Seahawks will win by a bunch, 14 or more, because the Rams are horrific.

AZ at TN? Dude, I'm telling you, Vince is close to being in the running for a fully qualified NFL QB. I mean, for God's sake, if Marc Bulger, Jake DelHomme, the Sanchize, whoever is throwing in Buffalo and Cleveland these days, Jay Cutler, and JaMarcus Russell are still collecting a paycheck, Vince ought to get a flight to Hawaii just for playing better this year than last. This'll be a really close one, because the Titans' secondary is still sort of dicey, but they'll win by 3. I hope.

KC vs. SD. Really, this is so silly. Philip Rivers is looking like he should, that offense is freaky, and the Chiefs, even with an ex-Charger, still stink up the whole stadium worse than a ruptured sewer. The Chargers are going to kill them, by about 28 and 300 passing yards.

Jag-u-ars are going to beat the 9ers. Too bad, as well, because some idiot in the pundisphere will start talking about Mike Singletary's coaching. Misguided that is. His fault it is not. I just think the Jags are getting sort of hot these days and San Francisco is getting closer to a simmer. Jacksonville wins by 10 in what will be a really good game.

Ooooooooh, girl, did you see what happened to Ben Rothlisberger last week? And then did you see what they did to Charlie Batch? Maybe they can get Kordell Stewart back from his UFL correspondent job to throw a few. I am so sad to watch the demise of the Steelers, but I think the Ravens will get them this week. Speaking of, how can you not love the Ravens? I mean, really, what is wrong with you Raven haters? Flacco's from Delaware. Ray Rice is poetry in motion and played his ball at Rutgers. That's New Jersey, for all you SEC fans. That defense is still fun, even if they're playing a bit old and inconsistent. And Michael Oher is the feel good story of the year, the cinema, and this week's Sports Illustrated. Ol' Sandra B ought to write a big fat check to the Ravens for saving her career. They'll also go above .500 this week, but by a margin of about 6 points.

I wonder if this Monday Night Game is going to go over 100 total points. Brady vs. Brees? Back to the Big 10 kids, let's Midwest it up. I sent a kite to my Michigan guru to find out if these two ever went head-to-head and who won it. But this night belongs to Brees. I think. It's about time for that streak to come to a crashing halt, but I just can't bet against the Saints at home this late when they're playing like this.

Oh, by the way, I was 13-3 last week. You know what that is? Home field advantage? You know what else that is? The Titans' record before the Ravens knocked them out of the playoffs. Someone once said that the stats were indisputable. True, but so is the Win-Loss count. And they measure success by Win-Loss counts.

Adios friends. Hope you're all able to walk again. I had to take two naps to burn off Thanksgiving. Vaya con Flacco.

The Brattle Browl

Brady vs. Brees? That's Brrrrr-eat! And, by the way, who decided that football and cosplay mixed? Seamus is going to be mad about this one. Hmm.

Anyway, Michael did the math, and it looks like I'm up by 1, which means that this is actually the best game of the season so far. Anyway, because the tryptophan has worn off, here we go.

Yes, I know three of this week's games have already happened, but, you know, it's been a fairly busy holiday weekend, and I've got 90 minutes before I have to go to the airport, so here we go with picks from our Cajun Correspondent.

GB vs Det- what a game cleveland and detroit played last week. Wow. Wish i could have seen more than the heroic highlights. This contest though... especially without Stafford, its a no brainer. GB. Still dont think their a legit team, but They'll get this win. Only way Lions win is if they can take full advantage of GB losing Harris and Kampman. Thats gonna hurt them the the remaining 6 games without a doubt. Cheeseheads get it by 10

Oak vs Dal- Another game I could really care less about. I may actually not give a damn normally, but since the Saints play the boys in 3 weeks... i'm gonna be paying attention and sticking some needles in my Romo voodoo doll. I can mail you one if you'd like btw. Dallas wins by 14 in their up week.

NYG vs Den- I totally thought the Giants had packed their bags for the offseason, but since the proved me wrong and beat the dirty birds last week... i'll buy them for this week. They still can't play defense but its really hard to say much positive about Denver lately. Supposedly they had a "players meeting" and i guess they get everything magically fixed with that... i'm not buying it. Giants roll one up on the Broncos by 10.

TB vs ATL- I feel really bad for Tampa... sorta. I mean their coach fires the O coordinator before the season starts because of a lackluster offense in preseason. Now that the D has been stinking it up all season and they get lit up by the Saints, he gives the Axe to the D coordinator. Yeah, Raheem. It’s BOTH the O coordinator and the D coordinator that are your problem....not you at all. Whatevs. Atlanta, not much good to say about them either. Both division rivals...I hate Atlanta more but they will get the win...if they lose today and the Saints win Monday, Saints lock up the division. Atlanta by 12

Mia vs Buf- I was surprised there was still a pulse in that corpse called Buffalo last week. Whoda thunk it. They might put up a fight against Miami, but I don't think it’s going to be enough to win. Miami takes it by a touchdown.

Forgot the car vs NYJ- Car by 7. Snooozer

Was vs Phi- yea so i watched the philly game last week and they really didn’t impress me even with the win. I'd be nervous if I was Philly... for the rest of the season. They rely too much on big plays from Jackson. They look sloppy with mistakes as well. However... as long as the other team has more mistakes, then they will win. Philly by 7. [editor’s note: Personal Foul on the Saints for speaking ill of the Eagles]

******upset of the week*********

Sea vs Stl- It’s a stretch to pick any team winning over Seattle as an upset, but it is Kyle Boller playing against them... and any time you have him playing, the deck is stacked against you. So, this is funny, yes, strap on the lollerskates, St Louis will get another win here against the lowly Ocean birds by 7.

Cle vs Cin- So, are the Bengals back to their jinxed ways again? Last week looked bad. Cleveland looked GOOD... on offense, AND STILL LOST hahahah. I really don’t expect Cleveland to look that good against a team of some quality. Cincy, eat your Wheaties today and get your gimme game of the week. Cincy by 14.

Ind vs Hou- Last time the two played I had pegged Houston to be the upset victor. However, Houston pulled a Houston and choked on a come from behind tie with a wide left kick from their kicker, Brown. Last week, Houston has the chance to keep up in the race for a wild card spot and choke wide left again. Houston, you had your chance. Start planning for next year. Indy gets this by 10, even with Peyton's sore bum bum.

KC vs SD- Another surprise win last week. Kansas. Wow. Was there something to it? Maybe. It won’t show this week though. San Diego is clicking and they found their mojo in their run game too. San Diego Chargers zap the Chiefs by 13.

Jac vs SF- This one is a toss up. I could care less about either team. I've been picking the pantless coaches for most of the season, and they've really been letting me down most of the time. Maybe, they are not who I thought they were. Still, they are at home. Still Jones-Drew is turning out TD's like a pro bowler. So... in this case, I will lose all football knowledge and defer this decision to someone who knows nothing about it... I asked my wife and she thinks San Francisco will win because Jacksonville has uglier uniforms. SF by 3.

Chi vs Min- I'd love for Chicago to win this one and hand Min a second loss, but I broke my magic wand when as sat my arse down on it last night watching reruns of family guy. Unless anyone else has a miracle maker they can yank out of their keister before kick off... Minnesota pillages the Bears by 14.

Ari vs Ten- Another tough game to predict. It’s at home, but Arizona has been playing lights out in away games. Should I defer this decision too? She thinks Kurt Warner looks too cute to lose. I don't know what that's all about, but who am I to argue? I'm going with Kurt's cuteness... Cardinals flog the Titans by 10. [editor’s note: op. cit. Eagles, replace with Titans]

Pit vs Bal- this had the potential to be a good game... until chunky soup got his clock cleaned last week... and then batch goes gimpy. Now its up to Dixon... WHO? yea. I didn’t think so either. Steelers get quothed by the Raves... by 10... nevermore

NE vs NO- game of the week. Looking at the stats... both teams are damn near even, except that the saints are better by a touchdown. The saints really want this one... I know NE wants it too... because they see the chance the Saints have at going undefeated the rest of the year. I had picked the Saints to go 15-1 on the season. This was the lone game i predicted the Saints to lose. HOWEVER... I think with the homefield advantage and it being a playoff like atmosphere already. Its hard to pick against the Saints. They have to control Wes Welker. I think he is the key to their offense. One stat I saw shows that the 3 losses the Patriots have came against undefeated teams (at the time). I also like Sean Payton’s play calling in big games, we usually destroy opponents when the bright lights are on. Pats take that 4th loss on Monday night against another undefeated. Saints give the Pats some penance to do... 3 hail marys, one our father and a loss by 7.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sono in ritardo

So, I'm not going to lie. I've been eating instead of blogging. What do you want for free? I got all jacked up yesterday preparing for Thanksgiving and decided that today was the last possible Sunday of the semester where getting some extra sleep was possible, so I did some catching up.

By the way, I love it that I can go to the Schnucks on a Saturday at 6pm and run into both alumni and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. From now on, I'm calling all Faculty Meetings right next to the sweet potatoes. Seems like everyone's already there.

Michael smoked me last week by one game, but I'm back for mine. Here you have it. Straight from the horse's ass. I mean mouth, though I've been called the former on more than one occasion. And, yes, I know that the games are already 2/3 through the first quarter, but I do these picks on Thursday and procrastinate until Sunday with them. Allez!

You know I was wrong about Carolina. Drat.

Indy's going to beat Baltimore, but it'll be a game unlike the one we expect. The Ravens are playing to not start recalibrating for next year and the Manning3000 will probably get about that many completions. He's boring, but victorious by 10.

Challenge: name a game that I could care less about. I bet you can't. I'd rather watch the Brown out in Detroit than this battle of NFC East idiots. Maybe after the CowPies beat the Redskins Obama will make Dan Snyder the ambassador to Idiotistan and solve more than one problem. The team that plays in Texas by 14.

Cleveland at Detroit is going to be epic. Epic. The Keystone Kops against the Three Stooges. Dan Quayle vs. Sarah Palin. The proverbial toilet bowl. I was going to say Detroit, but I'm going with the Browns, if only to support Notre Dame before Quinn washes out of the league. Browns, by 10, even though I know they're already winning by 14.

The 49ers will put up a good fight, but the post-Favre Pack needs to not look like everyone's missed pick of the preseason. It'll happen by about 10 and Aaron Rodgers will regain a few fans.

The Bills can't beat the Jags. I mean, who are we kidding? Dear Mr. Wilson. Memphis needs a pro team. They could play the Titans somewhere on I-40 in the Tennessee Bowl. The Jags have MJD, which spells WIN by 17.

Pittsburgh, the most depressingly unamazing team of the year, will beat the Chiefs, but I don't know if they'll look particularly championish doing so. But they'll win by 14.

The Seahawks have no chance. None. Everything about the Vikings is frightening. I just hope that the Vikings and the Saints play each other in the playoffs, so the Eagles can Wild Card this one to Miami. Favretastic to the power of 14.

The Falcons will get close to beating the Giants, but it won't happen. Eli's got to get it together if he wants to stay in the hunt. And the Falcons are beat up in the wrong way. NY's dubious secondary won't wreck it for them. Hey, someone tell Brandon Jacobs that the Chiefs need a back. He's not doing much for the Giants these days. Too bad, he's a beauty to watch when he plays well. Maybe today. Maybe he'll score the winner, but they'll probably win by 6.

Arizona at St. Louis could've been amazing. The old Cardinals coming home, Warner back to light up the turf. Damn. Too bad the Rams are shameful and the came won't be worth watching. The old Cards will come back and remind St. Louis what a terrible, terrible mistake it was to not close the borders when the team packed up. Serves you right. St. Louis bleeds Cardinal red, and the Rams will too, by 20.

Bolts vs. Broncos should be pretty great, and pretty important. Rivers and everyone he passes or hands the ball to seem to really know what they're doing. The Broncos are looking a bit tamed, so I'm betting on the Bolts, even though I'm playing the Broncos defense in fantasy. LT and Sproles, one scores the winner, the other twists the dagger, and they win by 14.

Jets vs. Pats. Look, it's the battle of the --ts. The Jets are yesterday's news. Congratulations for Rex Ryan for finding his tear ducts. And salutations for the hilarious self-deprecation over the event. Bless his heart, but his team is D-E-A-D. By A T-O-N. Brady might give them the ol' Tennessee treatment. But I'll be conservative and say by 21.

I sure hope that Cincy beats the bejesus out of the Raiders. I'm out of sympathy for JaMarcus, which won't matter, because he's not named Gradkowski, who won't matter, because he's not named Palmer. Or Esteban. Someone call Marvin Lewis and tell him to release Larry Johnson. I mean, I appreciate a good talking out of turn, but if you make homophobic remarks, bye bye. Stripes over Swords by 20.

Birds blast Bears. I hope Cutler throws six this week. Stupid stupid stupid. After the last few weeks, I want the Eagles to look like a team that can play in January. Will I get it? Dunno. Let's hope. Eagles win it by 14 in a boring, but great NFC battle. Necessito snow.

Monday Night's Titans vs. Texans game will be the best game of the week. All the rest of the country won't know why, but I've been watching this rivalry for a few years, and I can tell you that the AFC South is a division in which any team can beat any other team any day of the season. Proof positive will come on Monday when the Titans eke one out. Now that he's winning consistently, Fisher will take the reigns off of Vince's two feet and things will be zingy, by 7, in dramatic fashion.


From our patron Saint in the 504. Beat my predictions by 1 last week. I think this makes us even Stevens, but it still made me say uhh. Na na na na.

Tonight is Miami without Ronnie Brown vs Carolina. Carolina is playing good ball the past two weeks. They smell a shot at the playoffs. Dont like that! I like the underachieving Panthers much better. The only thing different about tonight for Miami is EVERYTHING. Ronnie Brown out for the year (my second highest RB on my fantasy team... i was reduced to replacing him with Beanie Wells on waivers). So, maybe this is good. Forcing Miami to play like a pro team instead of a college team. They might develop their QB more this way. It wont happen tonight. If the Panthers stick with the run and time of possession, they take this game by 10. Henne vs a top pass defense... look out.

Ind vs Bal- Ya know that the Ravens aren't just going to lay down and take this one, but the QB has been playing erratic lately. Manning will be manning... mr mvp. I'm gonna take Ind by default... by 3.

Was vs Dal- Who friggin knows? Dallas... you cant predict what they will do week to week. Washington has been playing better now that Zorn (that sounds like an evil character from something i swear) can't blow it up for their offense... but their defense is really good when they want to be. THis one was close to my upset special of the week but i'm gonna say Dallas outlasts Washington. D by 3

Cle vs Det- So the play that almost took out Clevelands star player Cribs at the end of last weeks Monday night game was not the call of Mangenius, but was an audible by Quinn. WoW. So not only did he suck all night at throwing the ball but turns out he makes the second dumbest call of the week in a desperate attempt at avoiding a shutout. Now I'm Done (in my B. Quinn voice). This club is just awful. Detroit improves on the season today. Detroit by 10

****upset special of the week ******

SF vs GB- This is another game that's hard to call because you dont know what you get from these teems week to week. Say what you want about the Browns... at least they're consistent! Green Bay should win this... but I just have a gut feeling that the pantless coach (superhero name) will have his team ready to kick ass and take names today. I'm taking SF to win by 3

Buf vs Jac- haha, I've been picking against Jacksonville all season because they just didnt seem to be a team to have it all together in the beginning of the season. Seems like their on a roll... who am i to deny them... Jacksonville by 7

Pit- vs KC- no contest.... and dwayne bowe is out for KC. I'm taking Pit by 17

Sea vs Min- I'm hoping for an upset here, but there won't be. Its the Brett Farves by 10.

Atl vs Nyg- Ok... really hoping for the Giants to get over the losing streak they've been on since the saints handed their asses to them on a platter in week 6. But... it won't happen. Atlanta will beat them by 7. Sorry New York...maybe next week.

NO vs TB- New Orleans is sitting a bunch of injured players. We even picked up the retread chris mcalllister for the secondary. I dont know. I have a bad feeling about this game, but I'm sticking with the undefeated Saints... by 10.

Ari- Stl- This game sounds boring. Ari by 10.


SD vs Den- SD by 10

NYJ vs NE- NE by 10

Cin vs Oak- Cin by 10

Phi vs Chi- Phi by 10 :)

Ten vs Hou- Ten by 10

amazing how all those games are won by ten!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Sorry, I'm late. I was running errands (chamomile tea and ice cream) and then was trying to watch a helicopter fly over my house, but it was moving so slow I couldn't stand to wait any longer.

Anyway, Carolina's going to win tonight. Believe it or not, I think it will be because they have a more experienced (not better) QB. Smarter decisions, and a win by a touchdown.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We # 1

I just watched some show on the Travel Channel about BBQ.

Memphis, Kansas City, The Republic of Texas, North Cackalack.

At the end, they had a bunch of pretty serious and critical cowboys score them.

Memphis got 45 points.

#2 got 30.

Know that.

"20 g's will get your ass chopped up like some Rendezvous barbecue"

Juicy J
Three 6 Mafia
Knock tha Black Off Yo Ass
Most Known Unknown

I Can't Get the Picture Function to Work

Ok, I stole this from a guy on the FaceSpace, but it was too genius to not pass on.

About Southern Cooking, and he ain't lying:

I like to take sticks of butter, wrap em in bacon, batter, fry....

An Open Letter to Memphis

Dear Memphis,

It's not you.

It's me.

I need to be honest about something.

Something I've been thinking about for a while.

Something that I've been faking for some of that while.

I don't care about the Tigers.

I don't care about college basketball at all.

See, here's the thing. I'm not from here. I'm a transplant. And I teach at your art college, so it's odd for me to be a fan of another of your colleges. I'm a fan of my college. Neither the University of Memphis nor its basketball team mean anything particularly important to my sports weltanschauung. That means world view for the non-German speakers. It's a useful word. It means not only your view of the world, but also in the sense that it is part of the way that you see other or new parts of the world as well.

So, if I'm not from here, I didn't go to the University of Memphis, and I don't work for the University of Memphis, why should I be expected to care?

The part that I care about is my friend Bill who works there. Maybe he needs moral support. Cause he's not from here either and he's in the eye of the storm.

And I care about Memphis and Memphis people, like Sherry, at work, who will probably think I'm silly for not caring about the Tigers. Or the Librarian, who won't leave me alone about it. In fact, she's so nutty for it all that I texted her to find out when the game started and what channel, but she hasn't emailed me back. She's clearly with all the other people who aren't on the road right now because they're either watching the game or gearing up before the game starts. See, I still don't know when it starts. A little help?

But, seriously, I just looked out the window and there was noone on the road. And if you know Memphis, you know that's weird.

But I digress. See, I just can't find the reason to care about the Tigers. I have no connection to them other than proximity. My sister-in-law lives in Boston and I still hate the Patriots and Red Sox, so that clearly isn't compelling.

What I care about is the mental well-being of my city. And all the people who are probably going to kick my ass for writing this. Because it's so clearly the case that the mental well-being of Memphis is dependent upon the win total of the Tigers.

Ask them about last season.

I tried to convince someone that all the fun they had, all the teams that they beat, all the memories they had were all still real. They looked at me as if I told Calipari to get to the Big Dance without cheating.

I mean, it's a problem.

And, Memphians, I can sympathize. I went to Notre Dame. They lost my first game there to the University of Cacking Michigan on a final-play field goal. It ruined four years of my life and I'm not yet convinced that the program has ever recovered. So I'm with you on investing emotionally in a sports team.

But this just ain't my team. And I just don't care.

Go Tigers Go!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Rather Complex Dilemma

So, I'm befuddled.

Recently, or at least more prominently than usual in my memory's length, there have been a number of reports in the media discussing things that we've really all already known concerning sports and their ill effects upon those who play them.

First there was the issue of the NFL and brain damage and mental illness. Which has been mostly crystal clear to anyone who has ever looked at football being played or considered the anatomy of the human body.

Then, there's this Andre Agassi autobio that's recently come out to significantly better reviews than dear Mme. Palin's similar but different tome. I read the segment published in Sports Illustrated and was pretty impressed by the candor and insight of both Agassi and the text. He's a frightening and redemptive example of the negative impact sports can have on children. Here's hoping that we don't have to find out similar things about Tiger or the Williams sisters or who knows how many others.

So, here's the quandry. I love sports. Always have. Am watching football right now, have been all day, and intend to do so until about 11:30 tonight. It's what I do instead of going to church.

But what is the depth of my complicity as a single watcher of sports? I support it with my time, my attention, my money, certain of my allegiances, aspects of my identity.

But am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I would imagine that the arts have similar effects. Dancers, actors, lots of other professions suffer similar ailments.

But there's something so terrible, profoundly dark side of advanced capitalist consumption about the way that the industry of sports rears, trains, lures, and excretes so many people, many of whom are in part thrusting themselves into these situations because of their own financial, emotional, social, and other needs.

But then there's all the stories of people who endure what may come only to be able to offer a better life to so many others through sports.

It's really complicated.

Can somebody give me something good to read about this sort of thing? I mean, who are the big moralist philosophers of sport?

Back to Double Digits?

9-4 last week. I want 10.

Atlanta vs Carolina: Carolina’s playing better and Jake DelInterception is throwing them at a lesser rate. Whatever. ATL's gonna roll. Falcons by 14.

TB vs Mia: Such a shame that Miami's a better team. Because I'd love to see the Bucs get a little roll going. Those old uniforms are awesome, no matter what people say. And Josh Freeman had a week as good as anyone last week. Here's hoping it'll continue, but probably not this week. Fins by 10.

Det vs Min: I wonder if we ought to just give out byes for games like this. Keep Favre healthy, you know, to see what'll happen next. Poor Detroit. At least the Titans played reasonably well last year, so the shock is different than the sustained disaster in the D. Clearly, the Vikings are going to demolish the Lions. Dome-o-lition. Maybe Sage and Tavaris will get some tv time. Nords by 21.

Jac vs NYJ: What the hell is going on with the Jets? Free. Free fallin'. I really would like to see the Jets do well this year, so I can watch Rex Ryan talk out of turn, but the Jags are in the midst of a respectability battle in the AFC South. They'll win by about 10, but it'll hinge on MJD and what that Jets front 7 does.

Cin vs Pit: Game of the week, first sweep of the division for the Bengals, blah blah blah. They're threatening to play this game instead of the Titans game. And, no offense to either team, but I live in Tennessee. WTBJTTSMS? Defending champs by 7. At home, the Pitt Panthers already set a winning precedent for this weekend, and you always bet on the champ. Somebody's gonna kiss the baby.

NO vs STL: Another game between dome teams. This one, like the other, is a no brainer. The Saints are just smoking everybody. The Rams might want to call Limbaugh back. They're going to need some painkillers after this.

Buf vs TN: A-ha! Remember my email about trifectas? This could be it. Three in a row, baby! That's what a friend of mine would say, but he's not in town this weekend. We'll win it. Too bad I probably won't see it on TV. Us by 14. The road to redemption begins here. I wonder what the odds are that we'll win out and get to the playoffs.

Den vs Was: Oompa loompa Washington stinks. Zorn's career is right on the brink. They won't win cause Denver can flow. Oompa loompa, Snyder must go! Joe Lieberman's not the only loser in DC. Broncos by 21.

KC vs Oak: Whoa. J'e' pense que les Raiders sont plus crap. And Chris Chambers is making the Chiefs less disastrous. And Cassel's still putting up respectable numbers here and there. Larry Johnson is a wanker, hey, hey, hey, good-bye. Sans moronitude, the Chiefs roll. By 5, in a Keystone Kops routine.

Sea vs Ari: I'm going with Arizona on grounds of fantasy football, where my record is as bad as the Titans' except that I have one tie. But Arizona looks like a team that's gaining its footing, and Seattle doesn't. Too bad, because I wanted everyone to have to learn to spell Houshmandzadeh. Desert birds by 10.

Dal vs GB: Once again, Dallas screws me. Philly-San Diego, a game with two real quarterbacks is on opposite and I get to watch the Tony-Aaron show, where you never know just how dicey it might get. I'm saying Pack at home, because they're at home. By 14.

Phi vs SD: Remember a few weeks ago, how I said that the Eagles needed to beat the Raiders because of the postseason. Yeah, well, that's the one they needed to win because they may not win this one. I really hate to say it, but I think the Chargers are going to win this by at least one touchdown. F.

NE vs Ind: Hey, has anyone heard this described as the battle for best ever? Let me make something really clear. Unless your name is Otto, Terry, or Joe, you don't qualify for that competition. When Tommy Bundchen wins his next ring, we'll put him in there, but let's not get premature, huh? NE by 6, on a final drive touchdown, if not overtime. I'm saying this because Bob Sanders is out. And because I don't know who's going to win, and Bob Sanders is the only legitimate reason I have to make a choice.

Bal vs Cle: I just played this game on Madden a few days ago. I was the Ravens, and I won by 11. The same or worse will happen here, except the real Joe Flacco will throw for more yards. For reasons that I really can't explain except to say that I lived in Maryland for three years while going to the University of Delaware, but I really find the Ravens profoundly satisfying to watch. Ravens by 17.

Bettin' on the Bayou

Here they are, from N'Orleans, or however you spell that unbelievable molasses accent. Mine are coming next, but breakfast calls. Had to sleep off that Pitt game. Ugh.

SF vs Chi- SF to win by a touchdown. Pantless Coaches!

****upset special of the week****

Atlanta vs Carolina- Carolina to win by 3. Carolina played pretty well against the Saints and they look to play hard the second half of the season.

TB- Mia- the creamsickles did great last week, but was turnovers that did it for them. You wont get that out of Miami and their run game. Miami takes this by 14.

Det vs Min- This one shouldnt be much of a contest though i wont be sad if Minnesota takes a loss here. Minnesota by 17

Jac vs NYJ- New York... lets be what you were in the beginning of the season. The Sanchise! Jets get a win here by 7

Cin vs Pit- Wow.. this should be a good game. I dont know what happened to Cincy, but its nice to see them playing 4 quarters. I dont know... flip a coin on this one. I think Cincy owns it by 3

NO vs. Stl- This is a good week to rest up some nicked up starters for New Orleans. I'll take the st. louis rams in this one... HAHAHHAHA yea, lets get off the lollercoaster and hop back into reality... NOLA wins it by 21

Buf vs Ten- Tennessee has given me every reason to doubt them all year long. I should just stick with Buffalo on this, but I'll say Tennessee, VY, take it by 7

Den vs Was- Do you think that the Broncos want to look like total jackasses by losing three in a row after going 6-0 to start it off??? Me neither. Plus no Portis. Denver rolls over Washington.

KC vs Oak- Ya know... I'm thinking Oakland gets this with all the distractions in KC this past week. Too bad. These are both bottomfeeders. Oakland by 10

Sea vs Ari- Is this at home for Arizona. its the tail of two teams here. sucks for fans who shell out money to see a team get OWNED at home and to slaughter teams on their home fields. Arizona... looks to improve home field wins... they take it by 10

Dal vs GB- I don't know. I hate you Dallas. I really do. Ya know what, screw it, I'm taking GB out of Spite. haha. GB, you dont deserve my love, but here ya go... you win by 7

Phi vs SD- I don't know if this is considered an upset or not, but I'm thinking San Diego will get this in a shootout. Close game ends with the Bolts win by 3.

NE vs Ind- My man crush on Peyton vs my hatred towards all of New Englands franchise. Indy... you're gonna let me down aren't you. AREN'T YOU! bastards. New England by 14

Bal vs Cle- How in the F*** did this game deserve a Monday Night Football slot? I'm gonna blame the GOP for this. The Saints have more defensive TDs than Cleveland has offensive TDs. Sad Sad Sad. No contest. Baltimore big... 17.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Before I Forget

49ers tonight by 10.

And, by the way, Mr. New Orleans Saints. You better be happy we didn't bet on our predictions. 9-4 Me. 7-6 You.

America, keep this in mind. While the rest of you are off doing whatever you're doing, it is now possible to watch at least one new football game per day every day of the week.

Sunday: Games
Monday: Night Football
Tuesday: Replay on NFL Network
Wednesday: Tuesday
Thursday: Night Football on the NFL Network and UFL on Versus
Friday: College
Saturday: Notre Dame


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know what I don't understand? Really, properly don't understand? What the hell is going on with these Christmas decorations being out already. I was talking to my students about this earlier. It was a minor diversion from a lecture filled with amazing paintings. Anyway, I was telling my students that I couldn't wait to get pissed off about Christmas. One of them actually asked if I was going to ruin Christmas for them, "too." Which made me think that I must have ruined something else for them at some point. Since I don't know what I ruined, I'm not going to feel bad about it yet. Anyway, the getting pissed off about Christmas thing is funny, because someone who I know reads this was joking with me about the next episode would come out when I got mad about something. I don't really think I'm that much of a hater. I just believe in righteous anger. And sometimes things get me righteously angry.

Like these damn Christmas ornaments. Don't get it twisted, I love Christmas. After my birthday, it's my favorite holiday. I was hollering at my students today about how I do not understand how the hell Christmas ornaments are already out. I could probably go to a dozen or more places within 10 minutes of my house and get kitted out for Jesusmas like it was happening tomorrow. I just don't understand why I need that now. I mean, damn, we're hardly two weeks out of Halloween, and I know you've all been out there celebrating that. Every year, everyone's celebrating Halloween. And then there's Thanksgiving, which still hasn't happened yet. If I was Thanksgiving, I'd be mad for real. Fo' real.

If I was Thanksgiving and you were Christmas, let's just say it wouldn't be me getting carved up with a side of smashed tuber.

What the hell is so wrong with this stupid country that we need to get our Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving?

Why can we not appreciate each holiday?

Why do we need to be worried about the next one before we even get to this one?

I don't understand. It's making me really angry.