Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Prediction

I've been thinking about this for two weeks and almost forgot to post:

I feel like Carolina is the better, more well rounded team. I picked against them a lot all season and they continuously proved me wrong -- that is, except for one week when I picked them to win and they lost.

Then again, this could be Peyton Manning's swan song. This has been the worst year of his career statistically but he's made the throws when he had to, and it's feeling like he could ride out as a champion.

On my friend Andy's podcast I picked Denver to win.

But in the spirit of always hedging my bets....

Carolina 23, Denver 10




Sunday, January 24, 2016

NFL Conference Championship Game Picks -- Leaving the Balls at the Hotel Edition

We're down to the final four. Unfortunately the Seahawks didn't come through for me last week, so I've missed 2 games in the playoffs this year with three to play (last year I only missed 1 game the entire playoffs, because Green Bay choked). Still, 6-2 is nothing to be ashamed about.

It's going to be more challenging this time because I think all four teams are pretty evenly matched. There's four possible Super Bowl matchups (New England-Carolina, New England-Arizona, Denver-Carolina, Denver-Arizona), and I can legitimately see any of the four coming to fruition.

This week's picks:

New England 26, Denver 16 -- No idea what to make of this game. Does Peyton Manning have one last Super Bowl ring in him? Are the healthy Patriots back? Which defense will play better? I'm simply going to go with my heart on this one.

Arizona 20, Carolina 10 -- No idea what to make of this game either, but I've been picking against Carolina all year. Why stop now?




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What We Talk About When We Talk About Lace

I have this unhealthy habit of watching The Bachelor. I say unhealthy because I recognize that there's a lot to dislike about the show and its premise. Sure, there are 25 beautiful women and the eye candy factor is a strong appeal to me. But they try to win the affection of someone they barely know, by allowing themselves to be put in awkward situations that no self-respecting person would allow themselves to be placed, to start a very fake relationship with someone that rarely lasts longer than a couple of months beyond the final episode.

So here's a personal confession: I have very conflicted feelings about relationships. One side, the hopeless romantic in me, believes in true love and that there's a soulmate out there for everyone. Then there's the fatalist in me, who is convinced that, given enough time and exposure to each partners' dark side, all relationships are eventually doomed to failure. I guess The Bachelor appeals to each side of my own inner conflict.

The show's producers excel at editing in all the crazy from all the contestants. Most of them are probably very normal, but that wouldn't make good TV so normal interactions hit the cutting room floor. Every season there are a few "stars" who steal the show, who come across as, say, less than normal.

This year one of the early stars was Lace. Lace got a lot of attention by pulling Bachelor Ben aside what seemed like a couple hundred times and complaining that he wasn't paying attention to him, one time even after she had received a rose from him. This led to Lace being the subject of relentless livetweeting, and at one point I tweeted about it as well.

But on Monday night's episode, a funny thing happened on the way to the rose ceremony. Lace pulled Ben aside and told him she was leaving. She said "you can't love someone else until you love yourself."

That hit home with me. There have been times in my life when I didn't love myself and I think that often got in the way in all facets of my life. Learning to love myself is still a work in progress. I think I have much more self-appreciation that I used to, and that's helped me immensely in recent years. But there's a fine line between blind self-love (obliviousness, cockiness, arrogance, or however you want to phrase it) and wanting to improve as a human being, telling yourself, "You know I'm a pretty cool person but I'd be more satisfied with life if I [insert random self-improvement tool here]." I still have things I need to improve in myself, but I'm much happier and healthier than I was a couple of years ago.

Usually The Bachelor is just mind-numbing TV. Last night I felt like I learned something about myself. And it was all because a young lady named Lace changed the course of the conversation, even if only for a couple of  minutes.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

NFL Divisional Playoff Picks -- Synthetic Marijuana Edition

Last week I went 3-1 in the wild-card round, probably should've gone 4-0 but I was convinced all four road teams couldn't win and gave way too much credit to the Houston Texans. Oh well.

This week's picks:

New England 28, Kansas City 21 -- Not sure what to make of this game, between Chandler Jones' marijuana incident last weekend, injuries to Gronk and Edelman and Vollmer, not to mention Jeremy Maclin on the Chiefs' side. Strictly a pick from my heart -- I can see this gam going either way.

Arizona 33, Green Bay 13 -- Can't see the Packers beating a team that beat them by 30 thre weeks ago. But I guess that's why they play the games.

Seattle 31, Carolina 17 -- I picked against Carolina a lot this year considering they were 15-1 team. And usually one home team blows it on Divisional Playoff week. So why not?

Denver 24, Pittsburgh 17 -- Steelers are depleted without Antonio Brown or DeAngelo Williams. I can see Pittsburgh rising up and overcoming but this seems too much like a game Denver is destined to win.




Saturday, January 9, 2016

NFL Week 18 Picks -- Wild-Card Edition

Last year I went 10-1 in the postseason, and I would've been a perfect 11-0 had Green Bay not choked in the NFC Championship Game. Still, that's a lofty goal -- not sure I can go undefeated.

The picks:

Houston 19, Kansas City 13 -- Kansas City HAS to lose sometime.

Pittsburgh 35, Cincinnati 23 -- Just can't pick the Bengals over Pittsburgh with A.J. McCarron.

Seattle 34, Minnesota 10 -- Maybe this time when Cordarelle Patterson runs back a kick for a TD against Seattle and does a crazy end zone celebration dance, Vikings won't be trailing 35-0.

Green Bay 21, Washington 16 -- Green Bay just doesn't seem to have the offensive firepower this year, but I can't see them losing to the Redskins.



2015 TO DATE: 157-99


2014 AFTER WEEK 16: 175-81

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NFL 2015 Week 17 Picks -- Playoff Tiebreaker Edition

Week 17 is my favorite week of the season – no Thursday night games, and doubleheaders on CBS and Fox.


This week’s picks:


New Orleans 45, Atlanta 16 – Falcons had their highlight last week beating Carolina. This could be a “mail it in” game.


N.Y Jets 28, Buffalo 9 – Ugh. Thinking the Bills might be ripe to pull off the upset. Also thinking it’s sad when I’m kinda puuling for the Jets.


Detroit 26, Chicago 24 – The only downside to Week 17 – a lot of “nobody cares” games.


Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 10 – A late lump in the coal in the stocking for Fox, which gets to flex this game in.


Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 7 – Pittsburgh: needs help to make playoffs, and by “needs help” I mean “needs to be realigned to the NFC East.”


Washington 44, Dallas 17 – Maybe Tony Romo will stay healthy next year.


Houston 23, Jacksonville 17 – Pittsburgh Steelers: good chance to miss the playoffs, would’ve clinched the AFC South six weeks ago.


Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 10 – Colts make playoffs with a win coupled with loses by the Texans, Saints, Browns, Patriots, Bengals, Jets, Chargers and Chiefs – but only if psi of all footballs in each game is above 14.5


New England 28, Miami 0 – THEN: “Boy Dan Campbell really lit a fire under those Dolphins.” NOW: “Boy Dan Campbell really has those Dolphins playing for a Top 5 draft pick.”


N.Y Giants 34, Philadelphia 26 – Man this blog is gonna miss Chip Kelly.


Seattle 23, Arizona 20 – If Carolina gets off to a big lead on Tampa Bay, Cardinals will start mailing this one in.


Carolina 31, Tampa Bay 23 – Of course the one week I give up on picking the Panthers to lose and Falcons to win, Atlanta turns around and upsets Carolina.


Denver 33, San Diego 28 – Peyton Manning on the sidelines today. This could end badly.


Kansas City 31, Oakland 10 – Can’t wait for this moving to Los Angeles dram to unfold this offseason for the Raiders, Rams and Chargers.


St. Louis 34, San Francisco 27 – 49ers reportedly considering firing Jim Tomsula and hiring Chip Kelly. Man this blog is gonna love Chip Kelly.


Green Bay 37, Minnesota 34 – Somebody called me “a good game manager” the other day. Now I know how Teddy Bridgewater feels.






2015 TO DATE: 147-93


2014 AFTER WEEK 16: 161-79



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

NFL 2015 Week 16 Predictions, Xmas Edition

Another good week. I lost the Thursday and Monday night games, and in between those two bookends I went 12-2. Merry Xmas to me.


The bad news is, it’s now mathematically impossible for me to beat my winning percentage last year, as the four losses means I eclipsed last year’s loss total for the year. Oh well. We’ll get ‘em next year.


This week’s picks:


Oakland 26, San Diego 13 – Most important part of this matchup: these two future stadium roommates hash out their locker room arrangements when they both move to Los Angeles.


Philadelphia 27, Washington 24 – A Redskin victory would clinch the high-school-melodramatic NFC East for Washington with a week to spare. So of course the Eagles will win.


Carolina 10, Atlanta 3 – Still not convinced Carolina is an undefeated-caliber team. Meanwhile I’m like 1-13 picking Falcons games this year. So of course Atlanta will win.


Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20 – THE BAD NEWS: Ryan Mallett expected to start at QB for the Ravens. THE GOOD NEWS: the game’s in Baltimore, so they don’t have to worry about him missing the team flight.


Buffalo 14, Dallas 3 – The only two teams to meet in back-to-back Super Bowls, except this year Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly aren’t walking through that door.


Detroit 20, San Francisco 6 – Hard to believe 49ers looked really good on Opening Night against a team that’s virtually a playoff lock.


Kansas City 41, Cleveland 34 – Memo to Johnny Manziel: when Terry Bradshaw’s tooling on you, it’s kinda sad.


Miami 20, Indianapolis 13 – Winning head coach keeps game film for his resume.


New England 17, N.Y. Jets 16 – Two weeks ago Jets were 8-5 and (if the season had ended then) would’ve been in the playoffs. They could conceivably win out and, because of crazy tiebreaker rules, finish 11-5 and not make the playoffs. This is the kind of thing that would only happen to the Jets.


Chicago 31, Tampa Bay 10 – Nobody cares.


Houston 27, Tennessee 24 – Ladies and gentlemen, your AFC South champion Houston Texans….


New Orleans 20, Jacksonville 19 – Twelve years ago this week Saints, trailing 20-13, scored on a play involving like 12 laterals as time expired – and then missed the extra point to lose. It’ been that kind of season for the Saints.


Arizona 26, Green Bay 17 – I’m surprised NBC isn’t flexing this game to Sunday night.


Seattle 30, St. Louis 10 – At least the Rams won’t be jet-lagged in Seattle anymore after they move to Los Angeles.


Minnesota 34, N.Y. Giants 17 – THIS WEEK’S NFL SUSPENSIONS: Odell Beckham Jr., 1 game for head-butting Josh Norman; Tom Coughlin, 2 games for coaching with his head up his ass in the final 1:45 of every 2015 Giants’ loss.


Denver 37, Cincinnati 28 – Last year this game was also on Week 16 Monday night and a Cincinnati win clinched home field throughout the playoffs for New England. Hopefully Patriots will home-field wrapped up by Sunday at 4.





2015 TO DATE: 137-87


2014 AFTER WEEK 14: 151-73