Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Top Ten Albums of 2008

The majority of my life focuses around sports and music. There is no way I could narrow down a list of the Top Ten Sports Moments of the Year, so that leaves me to come up with my Top Ten Albums of the Year. Why? Because if you don’t make a Top Ten List of something at the end of the year, you are a complete loser and borderline failure at life. Or at least that’s what the folks at E! and People magazine told me.

Now, I try to listen to all kinds of music, including the majority of the new releases that come out each week. I like some sounds and some artists better than others, but I try to stay as objective as I possibly can. And while I wouldn’t say I’m a mastermind at music review or music analysis, I wouldn’t say I am a moron. So whatever you do, take this list lightly. They won’t be running it on Yahoo! News or anything like that, but I figured why not share my thoughts. You might hate the list. You might love it. Either way, the Jo Bros don’t make an appearance, so I must have done something right.

Without further ado, the Top Ten Albums of 2008 (with a few extras), courtesy of a 19-year-old with no real music education and a strong hatred for the country music genre. Let the accolades begin.

Honorable Mentions

Stay Positive – The Hold Steady
The middle-aged Brooklyn rockers scored there first major label success, finding a happy medium between punk and drunk.

Rising Down – The Roots
I’m not much for rap, but The Roots have a way of sounding pissed off and optimistic at the same time, making for a solid album. The mix of hip-hop and soul works for me on this record.

Where The Light Is – John Mayer
John gets less whiny and more impressive on this live album, finding a pleasant blend of light, acoustic numbers and crazy, jazzy solos. His covers of “Free Fallin’” and “Bold as Love” define the album’s strengths.

The Top Ten

10. Mudcruth – Mudcrutch
This self titled album from Tom Petty’s earlier band was able to crack my top ten this year. Petty and his old friends went a little more southern rock on this cut, mixing old-school covers with original works. The group was finally able to put out an album after breaking up years ago, before Petty and The Heartbreakers hit the music scene. “Crystal River”, the album’s signature track, shows both the versatility and longevity of Petty. The legendary wailer proved it’s never too late to go back home again.

9. Sleep Through the Static – Jack Johnson
Jack’s most recent release was no where near his best work in my opinion, but it was solid and true to form. I listened to this album about 4 or 5 times consecutively on a trip to-and-from Indianapolis this summer, and each time through I seemed to find a couple new songs I liked better and better. While I was much more impressed with earlier albums such as On And On and In Between Dreams, Sleep Through the Static still achieved that mellow, laid-back sound Johnson is always lounging towards. No single track stands out above the rest, which I feel is a good thing. The body of work builds a solid album, with each song complimenting the others. It’s carefully crafted – not just thrown together.

8. Hope for the Hopeless – Brett Dennen
The young folk singer toned down the reggae overtones on this album, going with a smoother, bluesy-folk sound for his third album. And while you can still hear the spirit of his reggae sound come through on a few tracks, the slight change in direction enhances his effort on this record. Less political and more heartfelt, Dennen’s own soul and spirit bleed into each song. In a way, he uses his modern, funky foot to give old-school folk a kick in the pants, and ends up with a damn good finished product. My favorite song - the slow, sincere track “Heaven” - shows Dennen’s unsure spirituality as he sings “Heaven / What the hell is Heaven? / Is there a home for the homeless? / Is there hope for the hopeless?” Well, if anything, this album gives a great deal of hope to Dennen’s future releases.

7. Dear Science – TV on the Radio
Rolling Stone made this their top album of ’08, which I felt was a little high, but I could still understand the merit. It’s almost impossible to describe the sound of this record; you have to hear it to understand. All of the music components from this record have been used before, but never have they been used together all at once…until Dear Science. It’s distinctive and influenced at the same time. It opens up a whole new package of sound to experiment with.

6. Present Tense – James Carter
By far the best pure jazz record of the year. Carter somehow makes the genre sound simple without making it sound amateurish and pedestrian. There is no more John Coltrane or Miles Davis, but Carter shows the freedom and brilliance of the type of jazz that was born in the ‘50s and early ‘60s. It explores almost every range of the blues while refraining from the drivel of drawn-out solos. The album proves Jazz isn’t dead; it was hanging out with James Carter.

5. Off With Their Heads – Kaiser Chiefs
Ok, bear with me on this explanation. If The Beatles and Pink Floyd had a bunch of kids, and those kids grew up and formed a band, and while the kids had talent, they never came close to matching the luster of their parents, they would sound like the Kaiser Chiefs. You can hear the essence of the ‘60s and ‘70s English legends in their Kaiser Chiefs “offspring”, as the Chiefs put their own personal spin on Brit-rock. It will never measure up to The Beatles or Pink Floyd, but it’s still very good in its own right.

4. Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
The Bright Eyes frontman went solo for the first time, and he didn’t disappoint. He writes like Bob Dylan and sounds similar to a Tom Petty/Van Morrison hybrid, all while keeping that weird-o, Bright Eyes vibe integral in his music. On the album, it almost sounds like he had the worst week of his life, then wrote a bunch of songs about it – but instead of being upset, he stayed as serene as possible, with a hint of hope that it would all get better. Oberst has a unique way of telling a story with chords and rhymes. The best single – “Moab” - is brilliant, and the rest of the album is on the same level.

3. Last Days at the Lodge – Amos Lee
This guy used to be an elementary school teacher. Now he’s coming in with the #3 album of 2008 on my blog – my how the times have changed. But in all seriousness, Lee turned out one of my favorite records of the year, and he did it a little differently than he’s accustomed to. The typically slow and melancholy folk singer switched it up on his third album, throwing in a lot of blues and little bit of funk and soul. Still, Lee didn’t forget how to slow it down, showing off his smooth pipes on a few acoustic/folky tracks. It’s an album you can put on and listen to from start to finish, seemingly learning something new about Amos each time through. Not many elementary teachers can do it like that.

2. Attack & Release – The Black Keyes
The Black Keys were always good. But they showed how great they could be when they hire a real producer and record in a real studio. The Akron duo hit it big with their fifth album, finally receiving the recognition they have deserved for years. On Attack & Release, The Keys found a nice mix of grunge-garage band and laid-back blues rock, producing a sound that seems much bigger than the two-man effort they employ. And it may have taken The Black Keyes a few years to hit the big-time, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

1. The Bootleg Series, Volume 8: The Tell Tale Signs – Bob Dylan
I know, I know. Big surprise, huh? Yes, I am a huge Dylan fan. And yes, this is a very biased selection for my #1 spot. But it’s my blog, so technically all the picks are biased. Either way, this pick is anything but ridiculous. Dylan shows his genius, even in his old age, with a collection of alternate takes and forgotten tracks spanning 1989-2006. I wrote about this album on my blog back in October, and in the two months since (and the 9 months prior), I found nothing that came close to Dylan’s eighth installment of The Bootleg Series. The album boasts a compilation of songs that the folk-god felt were too incomplete or sub par to make the final cut of his Oh Mercy, Time Out of Mind, and Modern Times records (among others). However, as I have written before, Dylan’s sense of “incomplete” is synonymous with a sense of “perfection” for everyone else. Bob shows both flexibility and brilliance in each variation. Whether he speeds it up or slows it down, adds a touch of blues, a touch of country, or a touch of folk, every revision comes out sounding even better than the original. When you improve on greatness, there’s no way to deny you the top position. Dylan earned his spot.

It’s hard to end on anything better than that. Hope you liked the list. Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week 17 NFL Picks

Last Week: 11-5

Overall: 80-55

Well, about half the games this week have playoff implications and the other half are pointless. One of those pointless games will be the Bengals-Chiefs contest. Personally, I would really like the Bengals to win and end the year on a nice streak. However, this will probably convince Mike Brown that the team is good, prompting him to sit around on his (statement removed for decency purposes) all off-season and do nothing to fix this franchise. Mark it down. I’m positive this will happen. But on a happier note, Cincy didn’t have a single player arrested this season. I guess there’s always a silver lining somewhere. And we aren’t the Lions. Or the Browns. I guess I’m a glass half-full kind of guy.


ATL 24 STL 13 – Atlanta could end up with the #2 seed in the NFC with a win and some help. The Rams could end up with the #2 pick in the Draft with a loss and some help. Best of luck to both teams.

CHI 21 HOU 17 – Chicago needs a win and a Vikings loss for the playoffs. The Texans also need to lose, or else their expectations will be way too high for next year, leading to certain disappointment for the fine fans of Houston. I’ve been down that road before. If the Texans care about their fans at all, they will blow this game. If not, it’s all down hill from here.

NYG 33 MIN 23
– I know the Giants already have the #1 seed, and they will probably rest a bunch of starters, but I just have a feeling the Vikes will find a way to screw this one up. When your playoff hopes rest of the puny shoulders of Tavaris Jackson, it’s hard for me to trust them.

CAR 30 NO 28
– Drew Brees needs around 400 yards to break Dan Marino’s single season record for passing yards. I think he comes up just short as the Saints become the first NFC South team to lose a division game at home. However, I’ve been wrong about this division all season, so I don’t expect to get this one right. The fact that the Falcons are going to the playoffs and have a chance to win the NFC South just shows how freaking ridiculous this division is. From dog-fighting to playoffs in one year? How am I supposed to pick these games? I’m not Columbo.

PIT 23 CLE 6 – Ken Dorsey and Co. threw three picks to Bengals cornerback Leon Hall last week. If you follow the Bengals like I do, then you know how terrible Leon has been this year. If that one game contributes to Leon gaining confidence and having a successful career, I will write a personal thank-you letter to Ken Dorsey. If it contributes to Leon thinking he is good and holding out for a better contract, I’ll track Dorsey down and kick him in the teeth. So it’s all up in the air right now. And oh by the way, the Browns got shut out by the Bengals last week. Re-read that sentence. No punch-line necessary here.

TB 20 OAK 12 – Tampa needs to win and get some help to make the playoffs. The Raiders just need some help…period. A lot of help.

IND 20 TEN 14 – “The Scrubs Game” will show every Titans fan how thankful they should be for the resurrection of Kerry Collins. Vince Young can only hurt his future status in the NFL by playing in today’s game. The guy had a mental breakdown and hasn’t played a significant amount of snaps since Week 1. Do you really expect him to be even a little productive? Really?

GB 24 DET 130-16. When it rains it pours. But keep your head up, Detroit. You are guaranteed to do no worse next year. So, you know, just concentrate on that for the next 8 months.

NE 21 BUF 9 – Matt Cassel just made himself a lot of money for next season and shows a great deal of promise for his future. Which is interesting, because the same thing happened to Derek Anderson last season. Oh, wait…nevermind.

CIN 17 KC 6 – (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – This will be three in a row for the Bengals, which makes me feel slightly better about next year. Way to go, fellas. (Justin’s sensible choice) – This will be three in a row for the Bengals, which really speaks to the "crappy-ness" of the NFL this year. Way to go, fellas. WHO-DEY!!!!!

BAL 23 JAC 10 – The Ravens need to win to get in. Luckily, the Jags suck. Merry Christmas Baltimore.

MIA 20 NYJ 14 – Brett Favre comes to the Jets. The Jets cut former starting QB Chad Pennington. Miami signs Pennington. Pennington comes to New York in Week 17 and beats Favre to send Miami to the playoffs. You can’t even script it that well. Irony is about to slap the Jets square in the face. (No "Ricky Williams smokes weed" joke this week. Ricky prefers I be more blunt in my prediction for such a big game.)

SEA 23 ARI 17 – Holmgren wins his last game, and people in Arizona can’t believe they are still allowed to have a home playoff game. Wait, scratch that. EVERYONE can’t believe they are still allowed to have a home playoff game.

SF 19 WAS 16 – Mike Singletary has coached himself into the head position with San Fran. On the other hand, Jim Zorn has coached himself right out of the head position…with anyone.

PHI 24 DAL 13 – The Eagles chances at the playoffs will probably be shot by a Tampa Bay victory. And yet, I still foresee the Cowboys laying an egg in this one. They’ve been disappointing all season, so why would they stop now? Plus, I’d love to see Jerry Jones’ head explode in the post-game interviews.

DEN 23 SD 20 – The fact that one of these two teams will make the playoffs is slightly disgusting. The AFC West should be annexed and made into a college football conference. Then, their playoff spot could go to the Bengals for their impressive three-game win streak. That’s the only fair thing to do. Can you think of anything better? Exactly, I didn’t think so either.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Dilemma with Kanye West

(Author’s note: This entry is somewhat lengthy, but I think you’ll find it interesting whether you are a fan of rap music or not. So make sure you have some time when you want to read it. If that time is not present right now, don’t worry. I’ll be here waiting for you whenever you decide to come back.)

A few weeks ago, rapper Kanye West released his fourth studio album, 808s & Heartbreak. I finally had a chance to listen to the entire thing, and felt compelled to share my thoughts on the hip-hop artist. Now, my feelings about Kanye are somewhat complicated. Anyone that knows me well would probably be able to tell you that I don’t care for the guy at all (which is true), but that doesn’t do justice to how I truly feel. In order to get my point across for you to best understand, I will give you the finest example I can come up with. From what I can tell, analogies are all the rage in journalism, so I hope this helps.

Towards the end of the movie, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, an important scene takes place. San Diego news anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) jumps into a bear pit in order to rescue one of his fellow co-workers. After saving her life, Ron begins to climb a ladder out of the pit as the many on-lookers cheer his good deed. However, as he reaches the top, Ron’s rival anchorman and arch nemesis Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) grabs the end of the ladder, threatening to shove Burgundy back down into the abyss of killer bears. Just as it appears that Ron’s life is sure to end, Wes looks Burgundy dead in the eye and says: “From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you…but dammit do I respect you.” He then pulls the ladder back to the edge, and extends a helping hand to get Burgundy back on safe ground.

From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you…but dammit do I respect you.” I could not express my feelings for Kanye any better than that.

Don’t worry, I’ll explain. Let me start with the hate. Hate is a pretty strong word, but I can’t stand Mr. West, so I’ll move forward with it. Loathe, despise, spurn – those descriptions all work, too. And my reasons are pretty simple: Kanye West is one of the most egotistical, conceited, and disillusioned human beings I have ever heard speak.

To be fair, I am not a huge fan of rap music, but I do like a little. I also try to listen to all kinds of music and artists, while being as objective as I can about the music I hear. Aside from a few tracks (Gold Digger, Stronger, Champion), I don’t care for the majority of Kanye’s work, and I certainly don’t like it as much as he does. He seems to think his music is manna from heaven, life-sustaining nourishment that is just as important to America as democracy and apple pie. He views waking up every morning as a gift to the world. If it were up to Kanye, Mount Rushmore would feature a sculpting of his face…on all four heads.

Aside from his music, his celebrity status is marked by numerous controversies and questionable comments, as well. In 2006, he posed on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in the image of Jesus, bearing a crown of thorns on his head. He even stated that he was so famous he should “…be in the Bible.” At the MTV Europe Music Awards, he interrupted the presentation for an award he failed to win, stating that he deserved the honor instead. And when MTV chose Britney Spears over West to open the 2007 Video Music Awards, Kanye implied that race was the reason by stating, “Maybe my skin’s not right.” However, Kanye’s biggest controversy occurred at a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina victims. On live, national television, West ignored the script and criticized the media for portraying the African Americans of New Orleans as looters and degenerates. He then said, “(President) George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” before being cut-off.

These instances are small events that show just how self-absorbed and irrational Kanye can be. He seems to be completely obsessed with himself and little else. If you could somehow combine the egos of Tyra Banks and Spencer from The Hills, you would end up with only a fraction of the vanity of Kanye West. I’m almost positive he spends eight hours a day in front of the mirror and another four having self-portraits painted and mounted around his house. He has a smugness and arrogance that I can neither stand nor agree with. He may be a thriving artist in the hip-hop field, but he’s not the savior he thinks he is. He views himself as the voice of our generation and the greatest rapper of all time. I view him as an arrogant prick. He sees himself as Jesus Christ with rhythm and fashion sense. I see him as Flavor Flav with a tooth brush. (Note: I’m not saying Jesus didn’t have rhythm or fashion sense. I’m sure he was a hip dude. Moving on.) Kanye might be famous and successful, but he’s not a god among men. And as you can see, I have plenty of reasons for why I pure, straight hate Kanye West.

But despite everything I’ve just written, I still have quite a bit of respect for the man. No matter how much I seem to despise the guy, I can’t help but admire how honest and authentic he is. In a time where everyone is obsessed with their public image and political correctness, Kanye has a candor and straightforward manner that is refreshing in spite of its annoyance. He has said and done a lot of stupid things in the past, but he’s true to himself, a quality that few public figures seem to possess in this day and age. In fact, he’s even able to poke fun at himself in some situations. When he appeared on Saturday Night Live, he did a sketch that made fun of his outburst at the MTV Europe Music Awards. He has also apologized for some of the inconsiderate comments he has made in the public light. And while I disagree with the absurdity of statements such as, “George Bush hates black people,” I can’t help but have some respect for the way he speaks his mind. He has that Charles Barkley way about him, where no matter what the subject is, he refuses to stifle his true opinion or reserve his thoughts just to ease the minds of others. I may not always (or ever) agree with what West says, but I value the fact that he does say it, no matter how badly it will lead the media and public opinion to shatter his persona. In the community of “celebrity phonies”, Kanye has a rare sincerity about him. He’s real when so many of his peers appear to be counterfeit.

When it comes to his music, West holds a characteristic that few before him have achieved or strived for. He has a unique way of speaking to the times through his lyrics, attempting to be that generational voice he labels himself as. His music preaches a message of change and open-mindedness, a progressive view that makes everyone equal and everyone accountable. Or in other words, he speaks about how he truly feels, regardless of what others may think. This attribute reminds me a lot of…Bob Dylan. Shocking, huh? If you know me at all, your jaw probably hit the keyboard right about now. And yes, it was extremely difficult for me to even type that Kanye reminds me of Dylan. I got sick to my stomach just thinking about it. In my eyes, Dylan is the most influential singer/songwriter of all time and an American hero. Comparing him to Kanye West is more ridiculous than comparing The Beatles to Milli Vanilli or Seinfeld to The Teletubbies. So trust me, Kanye is no Bob Dylan, and never will be. But, he does remind me of him in some ways. That is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to admit, but I’m just being honest.

Kanye possesses that quality that Bob Dylan has, the ability to influence and revolutionize their culture through their music. West is not nearly as great as he would like to think, but his music is relevant to the world we live in, significant to the times of today. He writes about real issues of real importance, and stands up for the things he believes - a feature few artists own. Bob Marley had it. Otis Redding had it. John Lennon had it. Artists such as Aretha Franklin, U2, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain had it to a certain extent. And anytime you can be mentioned in the same breath as those icons, you’ve accomplished something very impressive. Kanye is right there. As much as it pains me to say it, Kanye is on the cusp of what those men and women achieved, in his own way and in his own time. I do not like it, but his authenticity deserves deference. As annoying and arrogant as he is, he’s unique. West has placed himself among exclusive company. He sits on the small ship of truth that thrashes about on a broad sea of lies.

Yes, I hate Kanye West. But I also respect him too much to let him fall to his death in a pit of killer bears. And therein lies my dilemma.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Week 16 NFL picks

Last Week: 8-8

Overall: 69-49

I struggled last week, coming out of the pile with only a .500 record. However, none of that matters. You know why? WE WON!!!! WHO-DEY!!!! That’s right, got the big #2 under our belt. And if the rest of the league isn’t careful, we could end up with #4 before the year is over. But by getting to a respectable (wince) 2-11-1, the Bengals have saved themselves from having their worst season of all time. With the two wins and the tie, we are guaranteed to finish better than our 2-14 record in 2002 (thanks Dick Lebeau). Our reward this week: the lowly Browns. If Cleveland loses-out and we win-out, the Bengals will end the season with a better record. You have no idea how happy this would make me. So needless to say, this is a big game. I bet Braylon Edwards and the Brownouts can barely hold on to their excitement. Get it Braylon?

Let’s do it.

IND 27 JAC 13 – The Jags had a nice win at Green Bay last week. But don’t worry. They’ll get back on track this Thursday with a spanking from the Colts. In fact, after such a disappointing season, I bet Jacksonville fans were a little disappointed last Sunday. They blow any chance of making the playoffs and living up to the pre-season hype, and then they win a tough, late-season road game at Lambeau Field. You’ve already crushed your fans’ hopes, so the least you could do is give them some consistency. They have feelings too. Quit toying with them.

BAL 19 DAL 17 – Well, a meteor did not crash onto the field during last weeks Ravens-Steelers game, so the two teams live to play another day. I suppose this is ok. The meteor probably wouldn’t have been a good thing…for the NFL at least. And this week, if Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed all collided at the same time and somehow exploded into oblivion, it wouldn’t be a good thing either. Why? Because the game is on NFL Network, and I wouldn’t get to see it happen. (Please don’t judge me.)

CIN 20 CLE 16 – (Justin’s “sensible” choice) – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Ken Dorsey. Enough said. Justin needs new shorts. – (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – For the first time in a long time, my “fan pick” and my “sensible pick” are exactly the same. I see the Bengals winning this week, and I owe that vision entirely to Ken Dorsey. He makes Fitzy look like a combination of Johnny Unitas and Bruce Willis. If there is only one thing that can make us Cincy fans excited for Sunday, it’s Mr. Kenneth Dorsey. Oh, and a bye week. We like those, too. IF IT’S BROWN FLUSH IT DOWN!!! WHO-DEY!!!

PIT 24 TEN 21
– I hate to do it, but I have to pick the Steelers. They just keep finding a way to win these big games. Plus, it looks like Kerry “Lazarus” Collins finally remembered the kind of player he really is. It’s good to have to have you back Kerry.

SF 14 STL 12 – There are only a handful of teams that would NOT be pumped to play the Seahawks and Niners in consecutive weeks. The Rams are one of those teams. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

TB 20 SD 13 – The Bucs have lost two straight games to division rivals. Fortunately, they’re still in the hunt for a wild card spot and will have Norv Turner working to get them a win this Sunday. Sorry Charger fans, but it’s the truth.

NO 26 DET 19 – This is where I break my rule of picking the Saints at home and against them on the road. Only the Lions could ruin such an explicit statute. By the way, which would be more demoralizing: the Lions losing every game and going 0-16, or someone losing to the Lions in one of the last two games? I figure, if the Lions “lose-out” they at least get the #1 Draft Pick, so it’s not all bad. But if another team actually lost to the likes of Dan Orlovsky, years of counseling couldn’t even repair that damage.

MIA 21 KC 16 – The great thing about playing the Chiefs is that Ricky Williams will have someone to share that peace-pipe with. That’s right, I’m finishing the year strong with the “Ricky Williams pot-head” jokes. I really hope the ‘Fins can make the playoffs and keep the steak alive.

NE 24 ARI 20 – I’m rolling with the Pats, but it’s all good. Kurt Warner is still the NFC’s starting quarterback for the Pro Bowl and has a real shot at the MVP. He even led his team to a division title this year. (You know what’s cool? Those two sentences are relevant in 2008 and 1999. Any statement that spans two decades is pretty unique.)

DEN 23 BUF 9 – After the Bills started 5-1, they have steadily skidded to a 6-8 record and played their way right out of the playoffs. The result: head coach Dick Jauron signed a 3-year extension. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Did Buffalo secretly hire Matt Millen? I bet they’re already planning to employ Romeo Crennel and Rod Marinelli as assistant coaches for next season.

NYJ 26 SEA 14 – With the Jets poor play of late and a big game next week against the division-rival Dolphins, this would be a prime trap-game for New York. Luckily for them, they play the Seahawks, so trap-game averted.

HOU 27 OAK 13 – Slight parallel here. The Texans have been playing extremely well down the stretch. Unfortunately, they’re already eliminated from the playoffs, so all those victories don’t really count. Similarly, the Raiders have continued playing games down the stretch. Unfortunately, they’re still the Oakland Raiders, so they don’t really count. BA-ZING.

MIN 20 ATL 17 – The game is in Minnesota, so I’m giving the Vikes a slim advantage. Plus, Adrian Peterson has been running angry lately and mowing down opposing defenses. Why? Well, you’d be pretty mad too if you had to wear purple every week.

PHI 22 WAS 15 – Earlier this week, Redskins head coach Jim Zorn said he felt like “the worst coach in America.” What could possibly compel a man to bestow such a dreadful title upon himself? Well, Zorn saw thousands of Bengals fans actually applauding Ryan Fitpatrick as he led Cincy to a crushing victory over Zorn’s Redskins. Trust me, if you were in his shoes, you would hate yourself too.

NYG 24 CAR 21
– If this game were in Carolina, I would probably take the Panthers. However, I have real qualms about siding with an NFC South team on the road, so I’ll go with the Giants. But I am not as certain about this pick as I would like to be. After the past couple weeks, my confidence in the Giants is shot. I could really misfire with this pick. It’s kind of a shot in the dark. It just seems like lately, the Giants have been shooting themselves in the foot…or leg. (Get it? Moving on.)

CHI 17 GB 13 – Last year, the Packers made the NFC Championship game. Then the Brett Favre saga hit, and in the end, Aaron Rodgers became the quarterback of the future for Green Bay. Now, the Packers are out of playoff contention, and Aaron Rodgers is walking on egg shells with the Green Bay fans. I feel this is a little unfair because Rodgers has played very well for the majority of the season. Plus, if Packers fans would just look around their own division, they would see how good they have it. Would you rather have Aaron Rodgers, or any of the following combinations: Kyle Orton/Rex Grossman, Gus Frerotte/Tavaris Jackson, or the dominant trio of Dan Orlovsky/Daunte Culpepper/Jon Kitna? Yeah, Aaron Rodgers is looking pretty good now, isn’t he?

My thoughts on Kanye West should be up soon.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Week 15 NFL Picks

Last Week: 12-4

Overall: 61-41

Wow. I went 12-4 last week. I might be able to make a living doing this kind of thing. Unfortunately, my Bengals have not had nearly as much success this season as I have. But you know what really bothers me? Guys like Gus Frerotte, Kerry Collins, Chad Pennington, Kurt Warner, and Matt Cassel have led their teams to winning records, but Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t even throw a stone into a lake. All those other guys have somehow become winning quarterbacks, and our back-up is the reincarnation of Ryan Leaf. I’m sure this is all Mike Brown’s fault.

Moving on. Let’s get to the picks.

CHI 23 NO 20 - I refuse to pick against the Saints at home or with them on the road. They are a shining example of what the NFC South stands for.

TEN 27 HOU 19 – The Texans have been impressive the last two weeks. Unfortunately, they were superb against the Jags and Packers, two teams who have been just as impressive as a big-budget, Colin Farrell movie. Kerry “Lazarus” Collins ends the Texans’ joy-ride.

IND 31 DET 13 – How much do you think every big name college athlete is dreading being the first pick in the draft? I would gladly take a huge pay cut as long as I didn’t have to play in Detroit. Receivers beware. I hope Michael Crabtree is reading this. If he has any brains at all, he will stay for his senior year and pray Detroit doesn’t go “all-defeated” next year, too.

STL 17 SEA 13 – If this game were a child, even its mother wouldn’t love it.

GB 20 JAC 13 – This game just reeks of shame and filth. These two teams have been major disappointments this season. Luckily, both have somewhat of an excuse. The Jags are in a very tough division, having to go against the Titans, Colts, and up-start Texans twice a year. And Green Bay is in the NFC “Ugly Duckling” North, which turns anything it touches to crap. Even still, I’ll be surprised if these teams decide to roll out of bed Sunday morning.

NYJ 24 BUF 16 – What happened to the Buffalo Bills? After opening the season 4-0, they are now piddling along at 6-7. They have gone straight downhill and would be happy to finish at .500. Huge disappointment for the fans of Toronto. As Charles Barkley would say: “They started out as Halle Berry, but ended as Rosanne Barr.”

MIA 23 SF 17 – The Dolphins control their own destiny. If they win-out, they’re in the playoffs. Considering they went only 1-15 last season, their accomplishments this year are astounding. They should really be proud of themselves. In fact, I can already start to see that glazed look of joy and happiness in Ricky Williams’ eyes. Yup, joy and happiness…I’m sure that’s what it’s from. Also, what the heck happened to Chad Pennington? He just woke up in Miami and decided he wanted to be Dan Marino? He’s amazing. How do the Dolphins luck in to Pennington, but I’m stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick? Why God? Why?

ATL 23 TB 20 – The Falcons are at home. That is the only basis on which I picked this game. I have no clue how either of these teams will actually play, but I am picking the Falcons. The only thing that is slightly consistent with NFC South teams is they play well at home. The Falcons are at home, so I picked them to win by 3. That was my entire thought process. I’m done trying to figure out this division.

KC 19 SD 17 – If it wasn’t for the Rams and Seahawks playing this Sunday, this game would be the worst of the weekend. The “Chiefs vs Chargers” is the Legally Blonde to the “Rams vs Seahawks” Legally Blonde 2. Sure, Legally Blonde sucked, but not as bad as the second.

WAS 23 CIN 7 – (Justin’s “sensible” choice) – The ‘Skins have really been struggling lately. Lucky for them, they get to play the Bengals, which is the best medicine for any team going through tough times. All I want out of this game is a touchdown. Oh, and if Leon Hall could maybe make a tackle, or even just slow down an opposing player enough for someone else to make a tackle, that would be nice too. – (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – PLEASE SCORE A TOUCHDOWN!!!! PLLEEEEAAAASSSSEEE!!!! (I’m about one more 30-point-loss away from being institutionalized.)

ARI 20 MIN 16 – Gus Frerrote is questionable for this game, which could actually be a good thing for the Vikes. However, the Cards are Division Champs for the first time since Martin Van Buren was in office, and no one can rain on that parade.

BAL 21 PIT 17 – Great game. Easily the best game of the weekend on paper, and probably a top-5 game of the year. With that said, if a meteor happened to crash down on M&T Bank Stadium at some point during the first half, it wouldn’t completely ruin my Sunday, if you know what I’m saying.

NE 24 OAK 9 – The only hope the Raiders have in this game is if Randy Moss has terrible “post-traumatic Oakland syndrome” and starts getting flashbacks in the middle of the game, forcing him to commit a bunch of penalties and turn the ball over 8 to 10 times. Sounds a little crazy, but the chances of it happening are probably a lot higher than one might think.

CAR 27 DEN 20 – NFC South teams are deadly at home, and Carolina made Tampa Bay their own personal treadmill last Monday Night. I expect another big game here. Plus, Carolina is made with real bits of panther, so you know they’re good.

NYG 27 DAL 18 – The Cowboys are really heading in the wrong direction. Their owner is constantly calling out players, their coach looks about 2 interceptions away from having a heart attack, their quarterback seems to forget what color jersey to throw to, and their star wide-out has the same maturity level as Will Ferrell in Elf. Sucks for Dallas. Hilarious for everyone else.

PHI 28 CLE 10 – Last Sunday I was watching the Eagles-Giants game between Ryan Fitzpatrick’s incomplete passes. Before the third quarter started, sideline reporter Tony Siragusa said the Eagles would try to move the ball in the second half by “putting their focus on running and passing the ball.” Wow. Running AND passing in order to move the ball. What an insightful analysis. Fortunately for Philly, they could focus on picking their noses this week and
would still win by 20.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Week 14 NFL Picks

Last Week: 10-6

Overall: 49-37

I told you I would get these picks in on time. And I need to stay on my toes, because we are getting down to the nitty-gritty. Only four weeks left before the playoffs and I’m still not confident in the majority of my picks. If I want to be able to make smart late-season and playoff predictions, I’m going to have to step my game up. I need to start analyzing individual games and players, digging deeper and deeper into the most miniscule statistics. I need to sweat over the small numbers, the minimal facts that could end up playing a big role come crunch-time. I’m going to dedicate every waning second I have to the labyrinth that is the NFL, and when I’m done, it will be impossible to get one of these picks wrong.

Nah, I’m just kidding. Then I’d have to miss Top Chef, Gossip Girl, and all those wonderful “holiday movies” on Lifetime, and that just wouldn’t be right. I mean, I have to be true to myself. Hop to it.

SD 23 OAK 16 – Greeny and Golic decided to call this game “The 2008 NFL Europe Championship.” Lane Kiffin spoke of the dysfunction of the Raiders franchise during his press conference at the University of Tennessee. Norv Turner will be prowling the sidelines, trying to make it look like he has some idea what is taking place on the field. Now, I would usually bash the NFL Network and my cable company for refusing to show this game, but here I have to say thanks. They have saved me from at least having the possibility of watching this atrocity.

CHI 21 JAC 17 – At the beginning of this season, the Jags were a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl. Since then, they lost to the Browns and Bengals in consecutive weeks, had to come back to beat the Lions, and got blown out on Monday Night by the Texans. I’m working on a theme here, so just keep this in mind.

TEN 29 CLE 10 – (Read in voice of guy from NFL Films clips) - No Brady Quinn. No Derek Anderson. No problem. When it seemed that all was lost for the Cleveland Browns, they suddenly made a move that would change the course of their season, and possibly, the future of the National Football League. They signed…(are you ready)…Bruce Gradkowski. Uh-oh, look out everyone, Bruce Not-So-Mighty is here to save the day for the Brownouts. No, I’m just kidding. He’s only the back-up; Ken Dorsey will be the one counted on to save the day. I bet Romeo Crennel is already packing up his office.

NYG 27 PHI 19 – There has been a lot of critical talk this week regarding Plaxico Burress and his most recent incident. However, I think a lot of it is unnecessary. Sure, he shot himself in the leg, but he isn’t a complete idiot. He was smart enough to tell the hospital that his name was Harris Smith and he was shot at an Applebee’s. What a creative mind this young man must have. Let’s cut him some slack.

MIN 30 DET 15
– The odds of the Lions going “O-fer” are looking pretty good. I just don’t see them making enough mistakes to accidentally win one of their four remaining games. How unfortunate. By the way, I’m still working on that theme.

GB 21 HOU 18 – Houston played really well last Monday Night, and the Packers have been choking quite a bit recently. But it’s really freaking cold in Green Bay, and Houston is playing on a short week, so I’m rolling with the Packers. And if you’re freaking out because my pick actually made some sense, don’t worry. Sometimes I lose track of my thoughts and spew random, coherent ideas. Trust me, it won’t last.

ATL 24 NO 19 – NFC South teams are 22-2 on their home field. Therefore, the Saints have very good odds in this game against the Falcons. Therefore, I feel strongly inclined to stick with the odds and take the Saints at home. Therefore, I’m picking the Falcons. It’s good to be back. Moving on.

IND 38 CIN 13 –(Justin’s “sensible” pick) – This is where my theme finally falls into place. Yes, the Bengals really suck this year. Yes, this season has been one massive headache I’ve had to endure. And yes, if I happen to see Ryan Fitzpatrick walking down the street, I will throw the first piece of garbage I can find at him. However, when I step back and evaluate the rest of the league, I notice a few things. The Browns suck, the Jags suck, the Chargers suck, the Raiders suck, the Chiefs suck, the Lions really suck, and the Giants have star-players shooting themselves. Bob Marley once said, “When the rain falls, it don’t fall on one man’s housetop.” Too true. So I want to say thanks to all of you out there who are just as miserable as I am. I enjoy the company. - (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – HEY PEYTON, I WATCH THE GAME ON A VISIO!!! SCREW SONY!!! WHO-DEY!!! (Yup, that’s the best I could do this week. I really hope we score a touchdown.)

MIA 25 BUF 14 – The AFC East race is shaping up to be one of the best in the league. I’m really pulling for the Dolphins. I don’t like the Pats, don’t like the Jets, and I really don’t think the Bills have it in them. This means I’m left to hope that Ricky and the Fins can blaze a trail to the playoffs. And yes, I mean “blaze” as a connotation for Ricky smoking dope. You didn’t think I was going soft, did you?

NE 24 SEA 12 – Matt Cassel got torn apart by the Steelers ‘D’ last week, but I’m looking for him to rebound with a good performance Sunday. Not so much because I have faith in Matt Cassel, but more because I have faith in the Seahawks to keep up with their rather foul smelling output this season.

DEN 27 KC 16 – Denver might be the most perplexing team in the league. They lose to the lowly Raiders one week, then stomp the up-start Jets the next. Luckily for them, a suddenly decrepit LaDanian Tomlinson and a constantly confused Norv Turner are their closest competition in the AFC West, so I think they’ll be just fine.

NYJ 23 SF 14 – Brett Farve likes Wrangler Jeans because they’re reliable, and reliability is something that’s important to him. That’s why if Brett says something, he sticks by it. Hey, wait a minute…

ARI 26 STL 15 – The Cardinals can clinch the NFC West with a win against the Rams OR a Niners loss this week. Wait…what? Are you freaking kidding me? The Cardinals? What year is it? What’s going on here?

PIT 20 DAL 17 – You know what really chaps my bum? The entire world seems to be obsessed with Dick Lebeau and what an amazing job he does as the Steelers defensive coordinator. I watched him as head coach of the Bengals for three seasons, and he couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag. But now, he’s with the Steelers, and he’s like a coaching genius. There is just no justice in this world.

BAL 17 WAS 14 – I was not impressed with the Ravens at all this past Sunday. I watched them give up 3 points to my boys at Paul Brown Stadium. Me and my 10 imaginary friends could keep Ryan Fitzpatrick and Co. under a field goal. If Baltimore expects to be a playoff team, they’ll need to turn it around this week.

CAR 27 TB 21 – Finally, a Monday Night game I will actually be interested in watching. Unfortunately, it features two NFC South teams (AKA – The NFC Anomalies). So this could either be the greatest game of all time, or a 3-2 barn-burner. If it’s the latter, I might be switching over to The Hills around halftime. Am I kidding? Sadly…no.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Heavyweight Bout: Bengals Fan VS Wisdom Teeth

On Sunday of this week, I watched my Cincinnati Bengals get beat like the dirtiest rug on earth in a steady rain-fall at Paul Brown Stadium. On Monday of this week, I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Sitting here now on Tuesday night, as my cheeks are continuing to puff-up (making me look like freaking Louie Armstrong), I had an idea. I could compare the experience of being a Bengals fan and getting my teeth pulled. I figured it would accomplish three things: first, it would show the pain and suffering I went through to have my teeth pulled; second, it would show the pain and suffering I continue to go through as a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals; and finally, I would be able to prove to myself that there is actually something more painful than being a Bengals fan…or so I thought.

There were many similarities I found between having my teeth pulled and watching the Bengals. The most obvious, of course, was how incredibly agonizing each of them is. But that wasn’t good enough for me; I knew I would have to dig much deeper and be much more in-depth to discover which of the two was actually more unbearable. This was not going to be a simple two paragraph blog, a concept I considered for a mere five minutes before jotting my thoughts down. I would need to pour my entire soul into this project, no matter how excruciating it might be.

What I found was disturbing, to say the least.


First of all, it is much easier to sleep through each event. Now I have never actually slept through a Bengals game, but staying awake each week is all the evidence I need to know that sleeping would be just as productive (if not more so). I did get to sleep during my teeth removal, and the anesthesia-induced coma that got me through it really enhanced the process. I was in the chair, felt a small prick in my arm, and before I knew it, I was asleep on my living room sofa. If I could do this for Bengals’ games, I would at least save myself from the pain I would suffer during the game.

Unfortunately, the second thing I learned was that the suffering goes well beyond the individual event. For instance, once the anesthesia (God’s gift to the world) began to wear off, I really began to feel the soreness and pain kick in; it has yet to go away. Similarly, after watching the Bengals play each week, I’m left in an awful funk until about Thursday, just in time to get my hopes up for another…umm…letdown. So to sum up, being a Bengals fan and getting your teeth pulled are horrendous, even after the occasion is actually complete.

Next, I realized how much fun other people can have while I am forced to suffer. While I was getting my teeth yanked from their sockets (or whatever the medical term is), my mom was sitting in the quiet waiting room, reading a book. When I was done, they placed me in a room, put a blanket over me, and let my mom come back. Now I have no recollection of any of this, but apparently I was hilarious. My mom said she was in tears from laughing as she listened to me slur my speech and make outrageous comments. Evidently, I was shivering like a recovering meth-addict and called the surgeons “SOB’s” for putting gauze in my mouth. She had a great time. I remember none of it. I was drugged out of my mind. And you know who else gets to have a great time? The people that get to watch their teams win on Sunday, they have a great time. The people that get to follow their hometown teams into the playoffs with the chance of winning a Super Bowl, they have a great time. Eighty-year-old women that go antique shopping for nine hours every Sunday, they have a great time. But not me. I don’t get to have fun on Sundays. I don’t even get to be in a drugged-up haze. Nothing.

There’s more. I discovered that both events completely ruin your appetite. All I was able to handle on Monday were cups of apple sauce and small sips of water. My food intake for the day was about equal to what pre-schoolers get for a snack after recess. On “post-surgery” day #2, I was able to upgrade to oatmeal and soup - or in other words: “nursing-home food.” I most likely won’t be able to eat solid food for a week, and the medicine I’m taking doesn’t really surge my hunger anyways. This is eerily similar to how I feel after watching the Bungals each week. The game makes me sick to my stomach, and I simply have no desire to eat. In fact, any food I ate before the game I would most likely “refund” while watching Ryan Fitzpatrick run from defensive lineman like a 6-year-old girl from a spider. I might as well not eat at all on game-days. Nourishment does me no good.

I also noticed that both the Bengals and wisdom teeath are a complete rip-off. My dental insurance has to cover a couple thousand dollars for a procedure I was forced to have. I went in for an appointment, was told I needed my teeth removed, and was praising the Lord and my parents that I had the insurance to cover the costs. I was made to endure this painful, expensive procedure, and couldn’t help but feel the same way sitting in the heart of Cincinnati a day earlier. As the Ravens were making the Bengals their personal hand-puppets, I glanced around the massive stadium for this “marionette show.” I realized that my tax dollars and the tax dollars of my fellow, hard-working, Cincinnatians paid for this graveyard. We were all forced to shell out our cash to pad the wallet of “soul-sucker/Lucifer/owner” Mike Brown. He even had the nerve to disgrace his father’s great name by allowing it to be called Paul Brown Stadium. In my opinion, the field should be called The Gentleman’s Club. Why? Because each week, countless men of all ages squander away dollars and dollars to watch a group of talent-less women defile themselves, and then have to walk away smelling of shame and filth. I’ve never actually been to a strip club, but the movies portray it to be exactly like my experience at Paul Brown. And if you think that was harsh, then I extend my apologies to strip clubs everywhere. Pretty troubling, huh?


After I realized how similar being a Bengals fan was to getting my wisdom teeth pulled, I came to an even more alarming realization: I only have to get my wisdom teeth pulled once, not 16 weeks a year. No matter how much anguish and misery I have to go through after getting my teeth pulled, it will be a one-and-done deal. I’ll never have to watch my cheeks blow-up like a flounder or force feed myself apple sauce again. No matter how bad it is, it's just one time. But I’m a Bengals fan for life, which means the same agony of a single game will haunt me over and over again for the unforeseeable future. Getting my wisdom teeth pulled is nothing like being a Bengals fan – it’s not even close. Being a Bengals fan is much, much worse. And if you know anything about sports, then you can understand why this is a burden I will forever have to carry. Unfortunately, they have me for life.

But who knows, maybe next week will be better. Maybe it will be worse. Either way, I’ll be right there along for the ride…week, after week, after week.

NFL picks should be up before the game on Thursday.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, November 29, 2008

NFL Week 13 Picks

Last Week: Whoops

Overall: Still 39-31

I'm obviously very behind. I didn't make picks last week (sorry, it was finals week) and I didn't get my picks in this week before the Thursday Thanksgiving Day games. Lucky for you, I'm a very honest person. I promise I made the Thursday picks before the games were played, and I also made my picks last week and happened to go 16-0. (One of those is a lie.) So anyways, I'm trying to get back on track. Please bear with me.

Let's do it.

TEN 31 DET 17 – On this day, every person employed by the Detroit Lions should give thanks for the fact that they have a job. In the real world, if you are a complete waste of life, you would never be able to stay employed. The Lions should feel blessed. Also, this will be Kerry “Lazarus” Collin’s second favorite Thanksgiving ever, his first being when he arrived on the Mayflower.

DAL 24 SEA 15 – The fact that each team gets to have a Thanksgiving dinner after the game is the only reason Wade Phillips needs to put this one out of reach as soon as he possibly can.

ARI 28 PHI 17 – Donavan thought they always played on Sunday. But a Thursday game? He wasn’t aware that was even in the rule-book. He had never heard of that before. And apparently the games only last two quarters now…for him at least.

BUF 26 SF 16 – No way those yuppies from San Fran fly into Buffalo in late November and de-thaw in time to make it a game against the Bills.

BAL 23 CIN 18 – (Justin’s sensible choice) – I’m going to this game, so it will be the first time I get to hold back my vomit with 65,000 other fans rather than by myself in front of the TV. Also, while watching the Steelers game last week at Buffalo Wild Wings (because the Nazi’s at NFL Network won’t show it anywhere else), I heard someone say Ryan Fitzpatrick was a disgrace to all Irish people everywhere. Yup, that pretty much sums up the 2008 Cincinnati Bengals. (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – HEY RAY LEWIS, THE PENITENTIARY CALLED AND THEY WANT THEIR MURDERER BACK!!! THE ONLY PRODUCTIVE THING THE RAVENS HAVE DONE IS FIRE BRIAN BILLICK SO WE CAN WATCH THOSE COORS LIGHT COMMERCIALS!!! YES, I’M OBVIOUSLY RUNNING OUT OF INSULTS…WHO-DEY!!!!

IND 35 CLE 17 –Brady Quinn is out for the year with a hang-nail, so the Brownies will have to try and make it with Derek Anderson the rest of the way. Lucky for Anderson though, Braylon and Kellen have teamed up to take the pressure off of him. They will continue to drop anything they can get their frail little hands on, so it will never be Derek’s fault. If only all teammates could be like that.

MIA 26 STL 13 – Ricky Williams loves Thanksgiving, because it is the only day of the year he doesn’t get questioned for loading his plate with tons of food, covering it with gravy, and then falling asleep a few hours later. The peace and quiet will leave Ricky and the Dolphins flying high to a win on Sunday.

NYG 27 WAS 19 – The breaking news is that Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg at a night club Friday evening. Any chance Goodell suspends Burress for shooting another NFL player? It only seems fair, if he’s serious about cleaning up this league.

TB 21 NO 20 – You all know how I feel about NFC South games, so I had to come up with a way to pick this one, because my choice would most certainly be wrong. So here it goes: I’ve been to New Orleans before, but I’ve never been to Tampa. I’d like to go to Tampa someday, so I’m picking them to win by one. Make sense?

CAR 33 GB 25 – Most would say it’s tough to go in to Lambeau in November and win. But most would also say it’s tough to give up 51 points in a game, and the Pack did that last week, so I’ll roll with the Panthers. (Notice the NFC South team involved with this pick. Agree at your own risk.)

ATL 24 SD 18 – As the season goes on, you discover different things about yourself. For instance, I discovered that I really enjoy watching the Chargers screw themselves at the end of games and lose it at the last second. I also discovered that Norv Turner and I apparently have something in common, because that is the only reasonable explanation for his decision making processes. I mean he can’t actually be that bad of a coach. Can he?

NYJ 27 DEN 15 I have a theory. I think Denver is actually a pretty good team, but they are on a quest to see how many games they can lose and still win the AFC West. They’ll worry about winning when the time comes. The fact that you are nodding in agreement with this theory really speaks to the quality of this division.

NE 27 PIT 23 – I really hate the Patriots and I really hate the Steelers. Still, the Patriots lost Brady in Week 1, and nothing terrible has happened to Hines Ward yet, so I’m rooting for the Pats in this one. I also want to make it known that I just said “nothing terrible has happened to Hines Ward yet.” I never said I HOPE something terrible happens to Hines Ward, and you have no idea what goes on in my head, so I cannot be accused of anything. I am free from the tyranny of the law on this one.

OAK 9 KC 8 – This could very well decide who gets the second pick in next year’s NFL Draft, so I don’t even need to try and explain how important this game is. The significance pretty much speaks for itself.

MIN 17 CHI 14 – Kyle Orton and Gus Frerotte battling to keep their teams in contention for an NFC North Division Title. It is statements like those that make America great. On the contrary, statements like “Carson Palmer out again this Sunday” are what make my life a living hell for one day a week. Moving on.

JAC 23 HOU 14 Two teams with high pre-season aspirations. Two teams that now realize how much they suck. I’m getting my wisdom teeth pulled Monday morning, so hopefully I’ll still be in a drugged-up haze for this game. Otherwise, it won’t be worth watching.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week 11 NFL picks

Last Week: 10-4

Overall: 39-31

That's right, I went 10-4 for the second week in a row. ESPN is even considering adding me to their Monday Night Countdown pannel. You know what I find ridiculous about the Monday Night Countdown team: Keyshawn Johnson criticizing NFL players. Does this make any sense at all? Keyshawn talking about how selfish and annoying players are today? It's like Colin Farrell talking about overrated actors or Tyra Banks criticizing people for their egos. It's ridiculous. If ESPN hires Lane Kiffin, and he starts criticizing poor player-coach relationships, I'm gonna have to write a very stern letter to those guys. I mean I'll still watch, but they'll get a letter for sure.

Hop to it.

NE 21 NYJ 17 - Might be a good game, but we'll never know because of the SOB's that run the NFL Network and our cable companies. The NFL Network is kind of like Narnia - it sounds like a wonderful, exciting, mystical place that we would love to see and be a part of, but the majority of us will never find it, no matter how much we search.

ATL 27 DEN 23 - I hate the NFC South. It's like a freaking rubix cube of a league. I usually have to use my Fruedian logic when trying to pick these games. But the Broncos had to come back big to beat the Brownies last week, so they can't be that good .

TB 23 MIN 17 - How long before the Vikes get sick of Frerotte and just start direct snapping it to Peterson every play. This week? Next week? I'm not sure, but it's gonna happen. By the way Minnesota, Gus started for the Bengals for an entire season, so I feel your pain.

NYG 27 BAL 19 - Remember that scene in the movie “Remember the Titans” where Sunshine (the quarterback) flipped the other team's big, huge, scary-as-heck lineman over his back and then gave him that bad-ass stare down after the play? If Eli Manning did that exact same thing to Ray Lewis, wouldn't the world like have to implode? Do you think it would implode? I bet it would. Yeah, I definitely think it would.

CAR 25 DET 14 - Thank you Detroit. You saved me from picking another NFC South mind-bender. On another note, I think the Lions should always where their old-school uni's, with just the plain blue jerseys and the plain silver pants and helmets. It makes them look like a 4th-Grade Pop Warner team, which I feel is pretty accurate.

PHI 29 CIN 18 - (Justin's “sensible” choice)- After our first win and our bye-week, the 2 week non-losing streak will suffice for the next couple games. We'll get back to our non-losing ways when ever we darn-well feel like it, which will most likely be against the Browns in Week 16. (Justin's “the fan” choice)- HEY JACKSONVILLE...HA HA HA HA!!! YOU SUCK!!! I DON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT THIS WEEK. I'M STILL CRACKING UP OVER THE FACT THAT YOU LET CEDRIC BENSON AND RYAN FITZPATRICK RIP YOU A NEW ONE!!! HA HA HA HA!!!

CHI 27 GB 17 - I talked to Aaron Rodgers this week (we're good buds) and he told me he nearly pees his pants in fear each time he sees Brian Urlacher's Old Spice commercial, so you can guess who will get the last laugh on Sunday. (Note: If Grossman starts for the Bears, disregard everything I said...and the Bears' chances of winning.)

MIA 24 OAK 12 - I have a suggestion for each team. For Miami: Every time Ricky Williams scores a TD, he should pretend to light the ball and take a puff. For Oakland: The Raiders should run only trick plays, every play of every game. At least they would get people to watch.

NO 27 KC 17 - I'm getting lucky; the NFC South is playing terrible teams this week. But I really hope Reggie Bush plays in this game. I've always thought Bush was overrated, but the Saints kind of suck without him, so I will start giving him more “on-field” credit. As for “off-field” credit, he's dating Kim Kardashian, so I've never short-changed him there. VERY NICE!!!

IND 27 HOU 15 - Peyton and the Colts have been struggling a little bit this season, and I blame this on Marvin Harrison, who went all Al Pacino on us this year; people rarely go from great to crap this fast. How was Peyton supposed to see this coming? That wall Marvin must of hit before the season had to be a pretty freaking big one.

STL 23 SF 20 - I would much rather Fox air info-mercials for the Magic Bullet or that stupid Gazelle thing instead of this game. Thank God I don't live on the West Coast.

ARI 31 SEA 17 - In Bizarro World, people say goodbye when they arrive and hello when they leave. So anyways, I think we can pretty confidently say goodbye to the Cardinals as the 2008 NFC West Champions. Get it?

TEN 28 JAC 15 - I really can't see the Titans going undefeated, but I also can't seem to find a game to pick against them. I mean, God must have brought Kerry “Lazarus” Collins back from the dead for a reason, right?

PIT 24 SD 16 - Unless Shawn Merriman could somehow make LaDanian Tomlinson a good running back again and Norv Turner a coaching genius, people need to stop using his injury as an excuse for the Bolts being a crappy team. Just face it. They suck.

WAS 27 DAL 20 - I am so happy that the Cowboys' bye-week is over and they are finally playing again. ESPN was really running out of things to talk about. And Tony Romo was running out of excuses as to why he couldn't listen to Jessica's new album.

BUF 27 CLE 18 - I must admit, Brady did impress me last week. Unfortunately, he played at Notre Dame and now plays for the Browns, so no matter how good he is, he will always be a complete loser and failure as a human being. Also, it looks like Kellen Winslow has been hanging around Braylon Edwards a little too much. Are they just drenching their hands in baby oil before every play? There must be an explanation.

Thanks for reading

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week 10 NFL Picks

Last Week: 10-4

Overall: 29-27

No, your eyes do not deceive you. I was 10-4 last week, and if you count my "fan Bengals choice," then I was actually 11-3, but I'll let it slide. But by the way, that reminds me...WE WON!!!! WHO-DEY!!! A 1-8 record never felt so sweet. I'm surprised the Jags were able to get themselves out of bed on Monday morning. Ryan Fitzpatrick ripped them a new one. Ryan Fitzpatrick ripped them a new one. (I know I wrote that sentence twice - it's so unbelievable that typing it once just didn't do it justice.) For the first time in months I was finally able to enjoy my Sunday. Each breath of air felt like eternal bliss. Water tasted like sweet nector poured from the heavens. I could finally point and laugh at every Browns fan once again. It was a beautiful day. And this weekend, to top it all off...BYE WEEK!!! TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS WITH NO LOSS!!! WHO-DEY!!! I love Sunday.

Umm, with all my excitement over the Bengals two-week stretch of success, I put very little thought into these picks. I'm in such a state of nirvana that all the other games seemed so trivial this week. But I buckled down and made an attempt, for you - the people. Enjoy.

Let's get to it.

DEN 25 CLE 14 - Here's a story...About a man named Brady...Who was busing throwing three picks in a loss. Also, Braylon Edwards is featured on the latest “Dropsies” cereal box. You can pick one up at most local grocery stores.

NO 22 ATL 19 - WARNING!!! WARNING!!! There is about a .0000059% chance that this pick will be correct. I cannot pick NFC South games. It's impossible for me when one NFC South team plays, and this game has two. I don't know what it is, but I can't figure those four teams out. The NFC South is my kryptonite.

TEN 19 CHI 12 - There is no way Kerry “Lazarus” Collins will lose to Sexy Rexy.

JAC 23 DET 17 - After losing consecutive games to Cleveland and Cincinnati, the Jags face a possible banishment from the league if they lose at Detroit this week. But don't worry; Detroit is destined to go 0-16. Wait....they signed Daunte Culpepper???? I can't believe it, this changes everything...or maybe not.

BAL 20 HOU 13 - Is it just me, or does Ray Lewis get just a little too excited about grabbing, tackling and wrestling around with a bunch of guys every week? Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just throwing it out there.

MIA 23 SEA 12 - I would bet big money that the Dolphins have one of those “That 70's Show” tables where they just sit around and smoke, with Joey Porter, Bill Parcells, Chad Pennington, and obviously Ricky Williams. I mean, they're in South Beach, the weather is great, everyone is laid back, and Ricky is there. In fact, it's not even a ridiculous possibility - I'm sure of it. Why else would they be playing so well this year?

GB 27 MIN 17 - This game might feature the two worst uniform color-combinations in the NFL...if it wasn't for the Browns.

BUF 24 NE 23 - I don't know why, but I just have a feeling the Bills will get back on track and win this game in Foxboro. Maybe I just like seeing that smug, cheater-smirk wiped off of Belichick's face. Honestly, who doesn't hate Belichick? He's like Dennis “The Wolf” Stansson in D2: The Mighty Ducks, just without the slicked back hair

NYJ 22 STL 20 - If this game was in St. Louis, I'd go with the Rams. I think Favre is overrated. He's not nearly as productive in the NFL as he is in his backyard with his Wrangler jeans and middle-aged friends.

CAR 26 OAK 9 - I was so relieved to see that the Raiders saved me from picking an NFC South game. And on another note, you know that guy that get's way too over-excited about the ridiculous things he sees in info-mercials? He pays way too much for absurd products that he never uses, and regrets paying for them in only a few weeks time. The Raiders are that guy.

PIT 24 IND 17 - I would love for the Steelers to lose, but I just don't see it happening this week. They need to drop a game soon though, or else I'm going to have to be-head Hines Ward myself. That dumb smile makes me want to scratch my eyes out. And while I'm on the subject, Polamalu needs to take a shower, and Mike Tomlin needs to calm down. He's the head coach of a 1st place, 6-2 team, and yet he's still always ticked off. Who peed in his Cheerios?

SD 23 KC 16 - I think the Chargers are a bad football team, but I think the Chiefs are a terrible football team, so I'll take the Bolts in SD. But if LaDanian Tomlinson spent a little more time at practice and a little less time eating Chunky Soup, he might be more productive.

NYG 25 PHI 21 - How much would you love to see Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress do a cover of Paula Abdul and MC Kat singing “Opposites Attract?” What could possibly be funnier than that?

ARI 23 SF 16 - I can't believe this is the Monday Night game. There is a good chance I will watch Gossip Girl with the ladies down the hall instead of this. Either way, the Niners have no chance. They would be better off just hitting the showers early. They are flat-out bad. You can't play with them. Can't coach with them. Can't win with them. Can't do it.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why 1-8 Spells V-I-N-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N

In Seinfeld: Season 3- Episode 38 (“The Letter”), Jerry is dating an artist named Nina. For whatever reason, she wants to paint a portrait of Kramer, so Kramer willingly obliges. Once Nina is finished with the painting, she puts it up for sale in her apartment, and has a few potential buyers come in to look at it. An older, wealthy couple seem to be the most interested. The man and wife go back and forth for awhile, discussing what they see in the painting. The wife is quite fond of the artwork, while the husband is completely disgusted by it. Still, the older gentleman cannot bring himself to leave the painting. He sums up his feelings by simply stating: “He is a loathsome, offensive brute…yet I can’t look away.”

Those two lines are the best possible way I can describe my love for the Cincinnati Bengals.

I am a die-hard Bengals fan and have been for life. Through my 19+ years here on earth, the Bungals have caused me more pain and disappointment than Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock movies combined. They continue to raise my hopes every year, every Sunday even, only to crush them into pencil shavings again and again. But for some reason, no matter how many times they wallow and fail, I’m always watching, always right there with them. I can’t bring myself to give up on them. They are loathsome, offensive brutes…and yet I can’t look away.

It is impossible to explain my mindset. There is no rational way for me to describe why, year after year, week after week, I devote my attention and effort to a team that will inevitably let me down. When you think about it, my watching the Bengals is about as useful as Matthew McConaughey shopping for t-shirts; it’s a complete waste of our time. There are a million different and more productive things I could be doing, and yet I will never discover what they are. As long as the Bengals keep playing, I’ll keep watching.

Yes, it is stupid. I just laid out a crater-full of reasons not to watch Cincinnati play, while at the same time admitting that I always will. Why? One reason: That slight chance, that wistful possibility that one day, at some point in time, everything could change.

For 86 years, Boston Red Sox fans continued to follow their team religiously, even though they never won a World Series title. Boston fans suffered through a lifetime of failure and disappointment as they witnessed the Sox come up short year-in and year-out. And you know what their reward was? A World Series title in 2004, and then another in ’07. Ask any Red Sox fan in the universe if those 86 years were worth the wait, and they wouldn’t even have to think about it. Of course it was worth it.

It was worth it for the Phillies fans who hung around for 25 years to see a Championship. It was worth it for Kansas Jayhawks basketball fans who sat through 20 years of missing a title “by just that much.” It will be worth it for Chicago Cubs fans after more than a century of wait, for Detroit fans who have endured the defective Lions, and it will be worth it for me when it happens for the Bengals. Trust me.

After sitting through eight excruciating losses to begin this season, I couldn’t help but feel some amount of vindication from Cincinnati’s 21-19 win over Jacksonville this weekend. A half-season of shame seemed to somehow be lifted by a two-point victory against a 3-5 team. Even though our record is still 1-8, that one win felt like it made up for everything else - that one win will get me through any of the remaining losses this year. And that is why, as crazy as it may sound, I’m not going anywhere.

The hope for a Super Bowl will keep me and so many others invested in the Cincinnati Bengals. Forever. Sure, it seems foolish, but that faith is what makes us true fans. And when that day finally comes when everything changes, I’ll be there - and I can promise you it will be worth the wait.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Week 9 NFL Picks

Last Week: 6-8

Overall: 19-23

Well, I must be getting lazy, because my last post was last week's picks, but whatever. I've been too depressed to write much with the way my Bengals are playing this season. But anyways, I'm feeling really good about my choices this week. Two NFC South teams have a bye, which saves me from trying to wrap my head around the games that those mind-baffling excuses for a team play in. Attempting to figure out those four clubs is like trying to predict which "Rock of Love - Charm School" contestant will look the skankieset each week; it's completely up in the air.

Jump on it.

BUF 23 NYJ 16 - I bet Joe Namath rolls over in his grave everytime Brett Favre heaves one of his vomit-inducing, lame duck interceptions. And if you don't think Joe Namath is dead, then you probably don't think Keith Richards is dead either. But go find a recent photo of each of them, and you just might change your mind.

CHI 25 DET 8 - I want to personally thank the Detroit Lions on behalf of the entire city of Cincinnati. As long as the Lions are around, the Bengals can only be the 2nd-worst team in the NFL. You are the Jude Law to our Keanu Reeves.

JAC 25 CIN 13 - (Justin's sensible choice) - Nope, not gonna happen this week. However, I will be able to continue my new post-game tradition; I sit in the dark, in my room, and listen to Toni Braxton sing “Unbreak My Heart” for about two straight hours. But I do not cry. Really, I promise. Hardly ever. I swear. Sometimes, maybe, but only a little... (Justin's “the fan” choice) - FRED TAYLOR IS SO OLD, HIS VISION IS BLACK AND WHITE!!! AND HEY MATT JONES, HOW IS THE CRACK BUSINESS GOING??? PREPARE TO GET BAMBOOZLED JACKSONVILLE - WHO DEY!!!! (Unbreak my heeaaaarrrttt, Say you love me agggaaaaiiiinn.....)

BAL 18 CLE 15 - As long as Braylon Edwards keeps eating a bowl-full of “Dropsies” before every game, the Browns should be able to continue their usual below average play. Or maybe it just comes naturally to them. Hard to say.

TB 25 KC 8 - Games that feature NFC South teams are usually the toughest ones for me to pick. Usually...

MIN 19 HOU 14 - The real losers in this game are the fine folks at CBS that have to air this game regionally. You deserve better guys. I feel for you.

STL 22 ARI 19 - NFC West? Cards vs Rams? I have no clue. Ok, heads is Cards, tails is Rams.'s tails. I really do put a lot of thought into these picks.

TEN 28 GB 19 - In honor of the holiday, I will make the best possible analogy I can think of for Kerry “Lazarus” Collins. Remember in all those “Halloween” movies, how Michael Myers would just keep coming back to life somehow? No matter how many times they tried to kill him, no matter how many times they just wished he would finally die, he always found a way to defy the odds and come back to screw everyone over again. Sound familiar?

MIA 24 DEN 19 - Denver's defense is pretty bad. I expect Miami to have yards and yards of open field, or grass, in front of them all game, leaving Ricky Williams and Co. to “roll-up” the yards and “light up” the scoreboard. Yup, the Dolphins will be flying pretty high after this one. (For those of you keeping track, that's three weeks in a row I've kept up with the “Ricky Williams-pot head” genre. I don't see an end in sight.)

NYG 24 DAL 17 - Brad Johnson and Gus Frerotte need to stop trying to steal Kerry Collins thunder. The NFL only has room for one successful-AARP-eligible-QB per season. Maybe next year guys.

ATL 22 OAK 18 - Oakland fans should dress up in suits and ties for Halloween weekend. It's the only sensible thing to do.

PHI 27 SEA 12 - Glad to see Philly finally did something productive. Ever since Will Smith released “Big Willie Style” they have been searching hard for something worth-while to take credit for. The Phillies and the Fresh Prince have been basically the only bright spots for that city for quite some time. Oh, and that Elton John song.

IND 20 NE 15 - I'm gonna go out on a limb here and predict that Peyton Manning has at least twice as many passing yards as Tom Brady in this game.

WAS 31 PIT 24 - Apparently Chris Berman is interviewing McCain and Obama at halftime of this game, which I find unbelievably disappointing. If there is anything more annoying than the over-kill of election coverage, it's Chris Berman.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 8 NFL picks

Last Week: 7-7

Overall: 13-15

As I continue to crawl my way towards an impressive .500 record overall (or not), I find myself getting better at making these picks. In fact, I think I've found the secret formula. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza starts doing things the exact opposite of how he would usually do them? Well, that's what I do for the majority of the games I pick. As Jerry would say, "If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." Too true Jerry, too true.

Let's do it.

BAL 19 OAK 15 – How can I be expected to make accurate picks when the Raiders and the Rams both win in the same week? I guess I’ll have to bust out my tarot cards and wigi board from now on. Still, I can’t see the Raiders doing it two weeks in a row, especially now that the Ravens are in the bounty-hunting business.

CAR 27 ARI 19
– I guess I’ll go with the Carolina Anomalies at home in this one. But be sure to note that I have about as much confidence picking them as I do in finding myself in the next edition of People’s 50 Most Beautiful People.

TB 31 DAL 13 – I’m really pulling for the Cowboys to lose big, just to see how fast Sportscenter changes its name to “How much can we over-cover the under-achieving Cowboys – Center.” How was that? Did I reach too much on that one? I really felt like I was reaching.

WAS 26 DET 11 – The Redskins’ close call against the Browns should be a huge wake-up call. Plus, I’m pulling for the Lions to go “o-fer” this season and draft the first overrated receiver they can get their hands on.

BUF 29 MIA 17 – With the way Buffalo has been playing, Ricky Williams and the Dolphins are about to see their optimistic playoff chances go up in smoke. Yup, that’s two weeks in a row I’ve made a joke in the “Ricky Williams is a pot-head” genre. I’m gonna ride this wave as long as I can.

STL 23 NE 17 – Last week I underrated both the Pats and the Rams. But since I have been underrating the Rams all season, I'll finally put some faith in them, which inevitably means the Pats will win by like 45.

SD 22 NO 17 – No Reggie Bush for the Saints, so I’ll go with the Chargers (begrudgingly) in this one, which is being played across the pond in London. On that note, I predict CBS plays “London Calling” by the Clash every time they go to/return from commercial. Every time.

NYJ 27 KC 3
– After seeing how Fa-Fa-Fa-Favre-y and the Jets played the last two games, I was definitely picking against them this week…until I saw they were playing the Chiefs.

ATL 26 PHI 23 – The Phillies are in the World Series, expectations for the Eagles and Sixers are high, and Philadelphia sports teams have historically had terrible luck. The City of Brotherly Love has to know that something nasty is hiding right around the corner. It’s a vicious circle.

JAC 24 CLE 12 – To be completely honest, the Browns could be playing against a 6th-grade girls volleyball team and I would still pick them to lose. Plus there’s the fact that Phil Dawson grows noodle legs to kick his last-second field goals. HA HA HA!!! Oh, and watch out for those staph infections Jacksonville. BURN!!!

HOU 22 CIN 11 – (Justin’s sensible choice) – Well, it looks like Carson Palmer is done for the year. If you listen very carefully, you might be able to hear the sound of me sobbing uncontrollably while you are reading this. (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – WE HAVE THE WHOLE LEAGUE RIGHT WHERE WE WANT THEM NOW!!! 9-7, HERE WE COME!!! IT’S GO TIME – WHO DEY!!!!!! (I need a hug.)

PIT 27 NYG 23 – Ok, here is me doing an impression of every football analyst on ESPN. Are you ready? Ok, here it is. –“Hines Ward is the greatest person to walk the face of this earth, EVER. In a couple of weeks, I’m writing in Hines Ward to be President of the United States. If I were an expecting parent, I would name my new-born child Hines Ward. If I were single, I would marry Hines Ward. If I ever change my name, I will change it to Hines Ward. I LOVE Hines Ward.” By the way ESPN, you’re welcome for the under-exaggeration.

SF 17 SEA 12 – I. Don’t. Care. J.T. O’Sullivan vs Seneca Wallace? Seriously? I’ll catch up on my Lifetime movies instead. Or maybe Desperate Housewives. Or maybe anything else that keeps me from watching this.

TEN 29 IND 22 – I’m rolling with Kerry “Lazarus” Collins until his old, decrepit legs fall off. However, I have this bad feeling that whichever team I pick in this one will end up losing on a last second field goal. It’s like I'm having one of those “flash-forward” visions that Desmond gets on Lost. Freaky.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Random Thoughts in my Head: Part 2 of 2

I told you there would be a Part 2. Hopefully you all had enough time to consider the previous thoughts I posted. If not, take some more time before reading this one. Trust me, I understand - I live it everyday. When you are ready, this one is waiting for you.

I hate the term “shoot me an e-mail.” People use it all the time, and I have just never been a fan. I think it makes you sound like McLovin or the science nerd from “The Breakfast Club.” It just appears as if you are trying too hard to be cool. On the other hand, I do like it when people say their cell phone is “blowin’ up” when getting a call. Now that is cool.

I’m assuming we have all seen those car commercials where the car is doing some ridiculous stunts or maneuvers, and on the bottom of the screen it says, “Professional driver. Do not attempt.” I’ve always been confused by this. What is a “professional driver?” How does one become a “professional driver?” Do you have to take extra classes? Are you required to be fearless, able to stare death in the face from behind the wheel? And if so, then what am I considered? I have a license; I took all the necessary classes. Am I still an amateur? If I drive with a regular license for the rest of my life, will I always be a novice in the field of driving? What if you have a temporary license (“temps”)? Are you even below amateur status? Needless to say, I’m a little confused.

Rolling Stone” should just get it over with and change the name of their magazine to “Barack Obama.” He’s on the cover of that magazine more than TBS airs those freaking “Frank TV” commercials. Rolling Stone talks about him more than Tyra Banks talks about herself. If Obama releases an album, I might rethink my stance, but right now it’s just plain ridiculous.

What is it about Hugh Grant that makes me like him in movies? I really do not like the guy, but anytime I see him in a movie I can’t help but find him funny. It’s infuriating, but he is just so doggone charming. I think he could make a used car salesman tell the truth. I really don’t understand how he was unable to talk Elizabeth Hurley into staying married to him after that “incident.”

Why are the towels you have at home like a billion times softer than towels in hotels? What do the hotels use to wash these things? Whenever I have to use one, I feel like I’m drying off with that pink insulation stuff that hangs loose in your basement.

That's pretty much it for now. Look for my next "Random Thoughts" post when they finally let me out of this room with the padded walls.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Random Thoughts in my Head: Part 1 of 2

I’ve come across a few head-scratchers and chin-strokers since my last “random thoughts” post, so I figured I’d share the many concepts running around the vast empty wasteland I call my brain. Remember, these are my actual thoughts; I truly do squander valuable hours of my life considering and contemplating these ridiculous ideas and opinions. Actually, I have quite a few, so I’m breaking this edition into two separate posts. The second part will be along in a day or so. Enjoy.

When famous people get arrested, and the police know there will be press around to take pictures, why do they always put a jacket over the guilty party’s wrists to cover up the handcuffs? If the pepetrator is walking out with cops hanging on each arm, and the media is reporting that the person is being arrested, isn’t the jacket kind of pointless. Don't patronize us. We know what’s under there.

Halloween is coming soon, and it is by far one of the greatest days in America every year. You get free candy just for dressing up in a ridiculous outfit; that’s why this country is so great. However, my favorite part of Halloween is when you get those houses where people are too lazy to pass out treats, so they leave a bowl full or candy outside with a sign that reads, “Please take just one.” Has anyone in the history of “trick-or-treating” ever obeyed this sign? Of course not. Every single kid that encounters this takes at least 3 or 4, and the majority of kids just scoop half the bowl into their bag. Now some of you may see this as wrong, but it’s not. As a kid, getting candy is a top five priority in life. Kids will even pawn their mother’s jewelry to get candy. If someone is lazy enough to leave a full bowl of Twix and Butterfingers unattended, it is simply the responsibility of every kid that comes by to take as many as they possibly can. It would be wrong not to. By the way, the runner-up for my favorite thing about Halloween is when you have those people that turn all their lights off and pretend they aren’t home, but you know they are, so you just ring their door-bell for like a half an hour. Classic.

Sex and the City”: terrible show…or worst show ever?

Is it just me, or does Spencer’s sister Stephanie from “The Hills” look A LOT like Poison lead singer and reality TV star Bret Michaels? Click on their names to check out some pictures. I mean, they look like they could be the exact same person. In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve never seen the two of them in the same place at the same time. Hmm

Chew on that. Part 2 coming soon.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 7 NFL Picks

Record: 6-8

My picks last week were pretty bad, but I told you I was no expert. Plus, who could have possibly guessed that the Browns and Rams would both win in the same week - I'm not a prophet. But anyways, hopefully I'll do better this week. Let's do it.

SD 24 BUF 23 – Chris Berman likes both of these teams way too much for me to even care who wins. If the Chargers wear their “powder-blue” uniforms for this one, Berman might freak out so much during the highlights that it sends him into cardiac arrest.

NO 25 CAR 18 – I picked Carolina to win big last week against Tampa Bay, and they pulled a Kimbo Slice on me. I don’t care that the game is in Carolina this week; I have no faith in the Panthers anymore. Plus, Reggie Bush just decided to be good all of the sudden. Saints by 7.

CHI 23 MIN 14 – I willingly picked up Kyle Orton in my fantasy league this week. Re-read that last sentence. I didn’t even question myself; I just did it and was happy with my decision. That’s messed up. By the way, good luck staying awake during this one.

PIT 34 CIN 17 – (Justin’s sensible choice) – If Ryan Fitzpatrick was smart enough to go to Harvard, then he should be smart enough to stay home this Sunday. Also, the Bengals showed some interest in signing ME to play running back this week. They felt my weak, feable, 150-pound muscle-less frame was just as good as what they already have out there. (Justin’s “the fan” choice) – YOU KNOW WHO’S A PANSY, POLAMALU? THAT’S RIGHT, YOU ARE!!! I CAN’T WAIT FOR FITZPATRICK TO MAN-HANDLE THE STEELERS ‘D’, IVY LEAGUE STYLE!!! WHO-DEY!!! (yes, I’m seeing a therapist.)

TEN 30 KC 12 – After Chief’s tight end Tony Gonzalez saw his trade request fall through this week, he told the media. “Now it’s over. I’m a Chief now…” Now you’re a Chief? What have you been for the past 12 years? Kerry “Lazarus” Collins helps the Titans win big.

MIA 18 BAL 14 – The Dolphins lost a heart-breaker last week to Houston in the final seconds, while the Ravens lost a skull-crusher to the Colts. I’m looking for the ‘Fins to come back with a vengeance. I can’t wait to see Ronnie Brown run wherever he wants, witness Chad Pennington bust out his “Jerry Rice-esque” routes at wide receiver, and watch Ricky Williams leave the Ravens in a cloud of smoke (get it?). Dolphins by a few.

NYG 27 SF 15 – If losing to the Browns on Monday Night Football doesn’t motivate you to come back strong, nothing will. We’ll see if the Giants can get their “onions” back.

DAL 21 STL 13 – Romo was supposed to be out this week, so Jessica figured they could go shopping for puppies and lip-gloss all day Sunday instead. Tony suddenly seems to be feeling much better. Plus, the Rams just woke up from that trance they were in last week, and remembered how bad they were. Dallas by 8.

HOU 27 DET 5 – I said it last week, and I stick by it: the Lions will go 0-16. Also, Detroit fans are trying to figure out how recently-fired Matt Millen was able to trade Roy Williams without any of the Lions management noticing.

IND 34 GB 19 – I talked to Peyton Manning this week, and he told me he had triple by-pass heart surgery, Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, and gave away both kidneys to a couple of his friends all during the off-season. And he didn’t tell anyone, cuz he’s just that awesome. He also asked me to tell everyone that they should watch the game on a Sony.

NYJ 23 OAK 12 – How much do you want to bet that Al Davis just sits in his luxury box and plays Techmo Bowl for the original Nintendo every Sunday, doing one of those Dr. Evil laughs the whole time? Have you ever seen the Raiders on that game? They had Marcus Allen AND Bo Jackson. It was like playing against 3rd grade girls with those guys.

WAS 25 CLE 16
– The Browns figured they might as well use up all of their good plays against the Giants last week, so at least they’d have one game to be proud of. That’s right, they beat the defending champs on national television and I still found a way to put them down.

TB 19 SEA 13 – I would rather watch any Renee Zellweger movie Sunday night over this game. And for the record, I like Renee Zellweger almost as much as drinking bleach and gouging my own eyes out.

DEN 23 NE 19 – Drink a shot every time Jaws or Kornheiser mentions Tom Brady, and you’ll be dead from alcohol poisoning about 10 minutes before kick-off.

Thanks for reading