This has been one hell of a weekend already. Friday night, the Grizzlies recovered from what may have been the most pathetic home opener in the history of the NBA to have a come from behind victory over the presumed-superior Raptors. That was pretty nice. Good ball movement, Zach Randolph scored a million or so points, El Gasol looked sharp, Rudolph had at least one trifecta of SportsCenter-worthy jams, and DeMarre is finally looking like a first rounder.
Then, yesterday, the Irish totally handled the Washington State Cougars, or whatever they're called. Probably not a big surprise, but the Irish have a tendency to, as my friend Art said so sagely about another unmentioned team, "play down to their opponents." Someone needs to start saying Golden Tate out loud during these Heisman discussions. No offense to the Passing Pickle, but Golden Tate's been sick as a pig with the swine flu.
And this World Series? De-lightful.
Now, of course, things get tense. Another beisbol game tonight, the Griz take on the McNuggets, and there's a certain NFC East battle that has me all wound up. Plus, the redebut of VY should be an event of some something.
By the way, I was 10-3 with my predictions yet. I have not yet received any offers from a single sports broadcast channel or any off-shore wagering institutions. All I'm saying is that big business is not getting invited to the BBQ.
And away we go...
Denver @ Baltimore: Ooooh, this is gonna be great. Denver's seemingly the real thing. The Ravens are still pretty damn good, and this is in Baltimore with their pride and probably season getting close to being on the line. The AFC North is super-duper tough, and the Ravens can't afford to get beat again. My money's on their offense-defense Ray-Ray echo. Big games from everyone, including their underachieving secondary. Ravens by 7.
Houston @ Buffalo: See, we've gotten to that point in the season where certain teams don't matter any more. Buffalo, welcome to the club. I feel really bad, because I really like T.O., always have, and, as a supporter of the Titans, I now have infinite wells of understanding for teams that stink. But Houston's rolling and healthy. Houston by 14.
Cleveland @ Chicago: Remember how I didn't care about Buffalo-Carolina last week? Ditto. One team really stinks, the other has an underachieving back and a quarterback who I really think has overstayed his welcome. Chicago by 17.
Intermezzo: The NFL Network just referred to "The Great State of New Jersey." That's right.
Seattle @ Dallas: I saw an ad on Fox yesterday that said that they were going to broadcast the Eagles-Giants game. I just checked on my guide, and it said that they were playing the Cowboys game. So did tvguide.com. I am hereby inviting you all to join my Facebook Group "Stop Broadcasting Cowboys Games in Memphis." Go to your FaceSpace and type "Stop Broadcasting Cowboys Games in Memphis" in the search box and help stop the insanity. It's in the First Amendment, for God's Sake. I think Bob Marley said it best..."Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind." I'd like to see Seattle beat the bejesus out of those idiots, but I'm just not sure. Idiots by 7.
St. Louis @ Detroit: Oh, yeah, this is going to be amazing. This is exactly the kind of game I love. Two teams that stink playing to not be the one that stinks worse. Amazingness. I actually think the Rams are going to do it, and the reason is named Steven Jackson. Poor Detroit, though. I'd love to see the Motor City catch a break. Rams, 10-5.
Minnesota @ Green Bay: Hand wringing, head shaking, media hyping. I have absolutely no damn sense of who is going to win this game. Both teams are good enough to win. But I have to go with the Vikings. Favreaggedeon! Not because of him, alone, though knowing the environmental conditions at Lambeau and having played with a lot of those guys and most of that playbook is quite an advantage. But because of Allen, All Day, Harvin, the Williams Wall, and a guy named Bernard. Experience and talent always trump homefield, even at Lambeau. Vikings by 10.
SF @ Indy: I'm happy to see Alex Smith playing well, and glad to not have to hear anything else about Crabtree's idiocy. But Indy's freaky good, by which I mean undefeated. They'll stay that way, especially because they're at home. Indy by 21.
Miami @ NY Jets: People act like the Wildcat can win every game. It can, but it won't. People are figuring it out, and even the absence of Jenkins won't be so deadly to the Jets. I think this one's going to be pretty close, and aided by the winds of The Great State of New Jersey. The only Titans team that has won this year by 7. Sorry, Ronnie Brown, but score me a bunch of fantasy points.
Jacksonville @ Tennessee: VY! VY! VY! Domineus pater universalis salve latinus wordus vince youngus no interceptus terzu quarterus. Did I mention that the Titans are the new Raiders? All we need is a fist fight to erupt in the locker room (I'd like to give Chuck Cecil a little love tap here and again) and we're the new wave of futility. I'm ready to see Vince take it over and get it done. Bring on the Super Bowls. Bring on the Hall of Fame. Bring it. I'm sitting right here waiting. I'll be waiting. Probably until next week. Why do people pronounce it Jac-why-ers? Why can't the Titans win? 0-7, by about 10.
Oakland @ San Diego: Speaking of...Gonna be a shame to watch a mildly improved, desperately in need of a glimmer of home Raiders team get smoked. But that's what's gonna happen. The Chargers are gonna blast Oakland into next Wednesday. I still won't care about the Chargers until the playoffs, but they sure are fun to watch. Me likey vertical passing. Bolts by a dozen.
Carolina @ Arizona: Zzzzzzzz. I've got Beanie Wells and Larry Fitzgerald on my fantasy team. Let's hope I don't have to waive them after this. Cards, who looked pretty capable last week, will outdo the freakishly stubborn Carolina QB decision makers. I mean, even the Titans are switching quarterbacks. AZ by 17.
Giants @ Eagles: Jesus. This is nerve-wracking. They're playing in Philly, Eli's got that turf toe thing, Steve Smith may have a slightly-torn rotator cuff. None of that matters. I expect to see lots of blood on lots of jerseys. I also expect to see this game on Fox at noon. Comcast, you here me? I got the AT&T U-verse phone number right here. I'll use it. Don't think I won't. Please don't let me jinx them, but Birds by 7. Late and ugly, but a win's a win.
ATL @ New Orleans: If you read this regularly (I think my Mom's the only one) keep your eyes peeled. My friend Michael, who is my New Orleans sports link, may be posting his predictions on this blog. I can't wait for this game. Did I mention vertical passing? Someone called the Saints' receiver corps an "armada." That's about the best way I've heard it put. I want a gunfight. Last team with the ball wins. I'll probably get Drew Brees torching the Falcons for about 40, but that's what I expect. Saints march by 14.