SPORTS

The Infallible NFL Week 8 Straight Picks

In an effort to spread my infinite wisdom of the NFL and the games being played I am posting my picks today. Thursday games will be effected and you won’t have to search elsewhere to get your fix. Last week looked rough at the beginning as 4 of 10 picks didn’t go as planned. While I can point to the couple games that didn’t go in my favor by 3 or less points it would only be an excuse because of the couple that did go my way. Still, I closed out the week with 5 correct choices and another solid week was had in the world ESPN Straight Picks. I now sit at a respectable rank of 333, just 5 off the leading pace and 10 ahead of all the so-called football analysts of the national networks.

Last 11-4

Overall 76-29

San Diego at Denver. The way the Broncos are playing right now it’s tough to see them losing. It will happen, but we don’t know when. It shouldn’t happen at home though. The Bolts’ defense let them down last week and they just couldn’t get enough done against a tough and improving KC defensive unit. Philip Rivers continues to play well but needs more help from his receivers. There’s not a consistent threat at the position for the Chargers. Meanwhile, Wes Welker is getting into form as Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have lost a couple targets each as a result. Sanders, however, just missed two touchdown opportunities last week and will get the chances going forward. Ronnie Hillman has also been a nice story in a long line of surprising running backs who continue to surpass Montee Ball (injured or not). Peyton Manning just keeps scoring. Broncos 35, Chargers 24

Detroit at Atlanta. In a clash of two teams I can’t shy away from continuing to believe in regardless of what they show me, we have teams going in seemingly different directions. As Megatron rests through the bye week and Golden Tate continues to shine, the Detroit defense has been the most important part of their surge in large thanks to the play of Suh, Fairley, and Ansah. Joique Bell has played well lately as Reggie Bush doesn’t seem to be healing very quickly. Matt Ryan hasn’t been great for the Falcons but their offensive line is the worst (losing Peter Konz doesn’t help). They can’t muster up a decent run game and the pass protection is even worse. This is a team with ability to score if they can just get some time to let plays work out. Lions 24, Falcons 20

Buffalo at New York Jets. Kyle Orton isn’t the savior for this team, nor is he a guy that can win the game with his arm. Without Fred Jackson AND CJ Spiller he may be forced to do that. Last week we saw that if the Jets want to play decent then it’s possible. The Pats aren’t the best team in the NFL, but they are no slouches either. With a decent run game and a very capable defense this one will come down to field position. At home, the Jets will be a tough out. Jets 17, Bills 13

Chicago at New England. Two talented teams meet in what could be very high-scoring or very low-scoring depending how real the supposed animosity is between Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. My guess is it’s not a big deal. Marshall and Cutler have co-existed through several mediocre seasons and haven’t blown up yet. Brady has been in and out and headlines for various reasons but it’s nothing to worry about. It’d be really easy to say that the Bears are going to show up and put up big points, but I just don’t see that happening right now given the trouble with the play-calling and ball protection. Shane Vereen has the hot-hand as the “replacement” for Steven Ridley. It’s possible Brandon LaFell has found a home for now and Danny Amendola can use last week as confidence towards the rest of the season. Patriots 19, Bears 14

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise this year for the Ravens has been Justin Forsett.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise this year for the Ravens has been Justin Forsett.

Baltimore at Cincinnati. How did this happen? Is AJ Green that integral in the overall team chemistry that the defense would suck while he’s out, too? The O-line isn’t protecting much, but the Bengals haven’t stayed in games long enough recently (save the tie with Carolina) to get Giovanni Bernard going in the running game. Conversely, the Baltimore Ravens have been playing very good football. Even the road game at Indy gave them a chance to win or at least compete. Justin Forsett has been a great addition and has completely taken over the load in the backfield. Bernard Pierce has been an okay change of pace guy, but he and Taliaferro have quieted down the past two weeks. Another former player of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is Owen Daniels. He is slowly starting to become relevant, especially after the loss of Dennis Pitta. Torrey Smith has begun to produce and Steve Smith is still giving great effort. Now that Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are beginning to produce it’s not crazy to think this team can make a run towards and into the playoffs. Ravens 34, Bengals 27

Houston at Tennessee. So by Week 8 I think we have a pretty good grip on what Houston is:  Arian Foster, JJ Watt, and a little sprinkling of Andre Johnson here and there. Foster has been very good thus far and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been serviceable and a decent stop-gap for what will undoubtedly be a first-round quarterback pick this next draft. Johnson has been the second best receiver for much of the season as DeAndre Hopkins has overshadowed the more decorated player. And no mention of Jadeveon Clowney? Oh well. The Titans weren’t expected to be great, but there was an expectation that they might take a step forward in team development. It all starts with the signal-caller. Texans 28, Titans 17

St. Louis at Kansas City. After a surprising win by the Rams last week, Austin Davis will look to continue his impressive season with a road win at KC. The Chiefs are also in the midst of a good run of play. Both teams are sorta built the same way; very good defense, tough runners, and play-makers on short throws and trick plays. Jamaal Charles has gotten things going while Dwayne Bowe might actually experience some relevance again for the first time in a while. Alex Smith has been taking care of the ball and the games have been close as a result. To help Davis along the way has been a decent stable of receivers and a hot-hand mentality at running back that has fallen in the hands of Tre Mason. Chiefs 24. Rams 13

Miami at Jacksonville. Two of the three teams in Florida get together for an unspectacular game. Jacksonville found a way to a win and beat a Cleveland team that we expected more out of. Denard Robinson showed some talent running the ball and there’s a fair amount of room to grow. The receivers are a bit inconsistent but that’s partly due to rookie QB Blake Bortles. The Dolphins have gone through the growing pains with Ryan Tannehill and it seems to be paying off. Even with a lack of talent at the RB position, the Dolphins have found ways to move the ball. Mike Wallace has continued to be impressive and the defense is playing solid on the regular. Dolphins 30, Jaguars 16

Minnesota at Tampa Bay. If you think the Bucs are going to win because they are playing at home, then take a look at the rape from the game against Baltimore. Maybe Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans have monster games at the same time. Maybe the young defense gets their act together. Who knows?! The Vikings aren’t great, but Teddy Bridgewater is relatively exciting and Cordarelle Patterson is slowly getting going. Jerrelle McKinnon will look for another solid performance. Vikings 23, Buccaneers 21

Seattle at Carolina. Not sure who is better right now? Both have played tough games against teams that are better than their records. Still, both are losing and that’s not what we expected. The Seahawks are getting everyone’s best shot as the defending champions, but that’s no excuse to be where they are right now. If these two teams have to rely on their dynamic QBs then this actually might be a really fun game to watch. Seahawks 33, Panthers 28

Michael Floyd is making big plays for the Cardinals

Michael Floyd is making big plays for the Cardinals

Philadelphia at Arizona. Is this the best game of the week? There are plenty of good ones. These are likely the two best teams in the NFC right now (Cowboys included). Strength against strength in this one with LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin have been playing great and Andre Eliington and Michael Floyd have been solid with the return of Carson Palmer. This one comes down to defense and who can make the biggest impression on the defensive line and disrupting the passing game. Cardinals 24, Eagles 23

Oakland at Cleveland. What happened last week? Was it just the Browns being the Browns? Well no one played a good game and they’ve got another winless team this week. They’ve gotta get the running game going and contain the rejuvenated Darren McFadden. If the Browns don’t come through this week it will be interesting to see what happens with Johnny Manziel. I haven’t looked at their schedule past this week but Cleveland might not have many more chances to keep this season afloat if they don’t win here. Browns 20, Raiders 10

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh. The Steelers offense is playing well, their defense is not. Indy has been great so far (even when they don’t win). If Big Ben plays well then this one stays close. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Pittsburgh pull this one off, but it probably won’t happen. Colts 45, Steelers 28

Green Bay at New Orleans. I will keep it short and sweet; the Pack look better on paper but look closer. The Saints losses have been close to good teams and they haven’t lost at home yet. Even though they are playing against Aaron Rodgers, I don’t want to be the guy doubting Drew Brees. Saints 35, Packers 31

Washington at Dallas. The Redskins are a mess and the Cowboys have been awesome. But this is a divisional matchup and they are always close. Don’t count out Washington. Cowboys 31, Redskins 24

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SPORTS

Obscure Sports Quarterly

Decorated poker champion, Phil Helmuth.

Decorated poker champion, Phil Helmuth.

Okay, so I ripped the name from a faux magazine in the movie Dodgeball that Milton from Office Space (because I can’t remember his real name) finds the ADAA Dodgeball Tournament posted in. But ever since the introduction of reality television, people all over the world have been enamored with the idea of watching regular dudes do things that any other Joe Schmo could be doing at that very moment. Slowly but surely the sporting world has come around and various sporting events that weren’t at one point considered strategy or tests of patience plus intelligence have become regular television events.

Poker has gone from a online phenomenon to TV and back. Names like Phil Ivey and Phil Helmuth, Scotty Nguyen and Annie Duke are just a few names that were at the forefront of a first generation along with other bigger names that one might initially think of. And then came Chris Moneymaker. Not just his name, but also his humble beginnings (the beginning of the tournament anyways) were a point of emphasis for World Series of Poker (WSOP) organizers in hopes of pulling in more players year after year.

The show 2 Million 2 Months wasn’t on long and it wasn’t tough to see why. The idea of sitting around and blowing cash in online games sounds great, but the guys that were doing it were the lamest of lame. To capture the minds of those most interested in poker and making it a career, finding the everyman rather than the every-nerd is the best approach. Still, with the emergence of professional gaming and other different largely technologically-based platforms is very much due to the part played by poker and how far it has come so quickly. Given a better marketing/advertising initiative, it could very well be a top 10 sport in a country continually becoming influenced by technology each day.

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ETIQUETTE

Treat Yourself

Creepy adults still enjoy the perks of Halloween.

Creepy adults still enjoy the perks of Halloween.

As far back as time can trace it has been tradition for kids as young as 2 and as old as 14 (and that’s really pushing it) to go around their neighborhood or the one with the most houses and annoy the shit out of the people living there until they give you as much candy as possible. Sometimes you get healthy shit and hate your life. Other times they pass out homemade crap that your parents don’t want you to touch (understandably so). And in the most dire of situations, you walk up to the door of the sketchy neighbor in his underwear that rifles through his drawers to find stale “candy”.

Those are all tales of Halloween misfortune that makes the holiday tough to take, but what happens on the other side of things? When you have to grow up and be the guy on the other side of the door? Frankly, I’m still camped out on the couch watching Hocus Pocus and Witches. But as a lover of all things candy; it’s easy to get amped to hand out freebies to kids rolling through the city. Unfortunately, living in a nice part of the city, there’s more than a few assholes out there looking for free handouts. It’s not even so much the older kids that show up to get candy while “chaperoning” their younger siblings. Most of the time those kids are by themselves. Those kids suck, but there are worse people out there on Halloween.

The absolute worst culprits on Halloween are definitely adults. Yes. Adults. Fucking 30 or 40-year old dicks walking around (not always with kids) and saying “trick or treat”. It’s somewhere between sad and pathetic (which are obvi two different things). Most of em look like drug addicts, but some are from the homes much like us. It’s really ridiculous. Being my first Halloween living in a city last year I had no idea that this sort of thing happens. I’m gonna be ready this year though. Those fuckers are getting the worst of the worst candy fo sho. I’m gonna be handing out black licorice and laugh at all the stink faces I get. Oh well, Halloween is a holiday for kids and young adults. But adults shouldn’t be stealing candy. Fuck that.

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