Hey, it’s been awhile since a reality TV update, so why not now? In fact, I’m throwing aside the ‘reality’ limitation and I’m going to write about some of the new shows this year. Let’s break it down.
Sunday is pretty much about football, and I certainly write about that often enough. But in the evening, right now we are watching two shows:
The Amazing Race -- So far, this is the best season in a long while. There are unlikeable players, like Rob and Peter, but no one who is truly ass-tastic. I’m rooting for the Bumpkins, who almost assuredly won’t be able to keep up much longer, and I’d like the Cho brothers to start showing some more personality. But the race is competitive and doesn’t seem as woefully constructed as the last few years. Grade: A-
Desperate Housewives -- For a chick show (watch as I duck) it’s not bad. I didn’t watch the first season and thought last year was tolerable. This season isn’t quite as good, but it’s not an awful show and Abby loves it. I can handle it.
How I Met Your Mother -- Neither of us watched this last season, but it’s a mildly enjoyable half hour. Neil Patrick Harris is genuinely amusing and does the most with his lines, and no one is truly awful here. That’s not huge praise, but the sitcom is a dying breed and this is one of the few good entrants in that category. We’ll keep watching it, but if it was an hour show, I’d be less comfortable saying that.
Heroes -- I didn’t really love the first episode, but I thought about it for several days afterwards. The second episode was even better, and now I think I genuinely like this one. The comic book framework definitely helps as it makes the sometimes overblown dialogue more understandable. So far, so good.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip -- Any show Aaron Sorkin ever does, I’m there. I really, really LIKE this show, and I really want to LOVE this show. The acting is top notch as is, obviously, the writing. Matthew Perry is fantastic, as is Bradley Whitford. I know some folks don’t like Amanda Peet here, but I think she’s good and still has that “cute in the way you might actually meet her” look going for her.
Friday Night Lights -- TBD. I taped the first show and haven’t yet watched it. I’ve heard mixed reviews here, from the effusive NY Times review to others saying it was just so-so.
Veronica Mars - Before I watched this show, I thought it was something like Joan of Arcadia or something else straight men wouldn’t watch. But it’s a fantastic show. FANTASTIC. Some of the best writing and best young actors in all of television. So far, the first episode was top-notch, and the transition from high school to college didn’t feel forced. I’m optimistic it will stay one of the better shows on TV.
30 Rock - TBD.
America’s Next Top Model -- So far, it’s been enjoyable though I was quite shocked they actually got rid of Monique last week who was gorgeous and insane, two good components of a contestant on the show. I’m not sure who to root for, and the campiness of Tyra Banks and her other judges is just too much for me half of the time.
Lost -- I did like the premiere episode, though I wasn’t as nuts about it as some other folks. Still, this is by far one of the best shows on TV, at least when 24 isn’t on the air. So, no question I’ll be tuning in every week.
The Nine -- The pilot episode was quite good and has the same element of mystery that Lost has featured so well. I’m not really sure how they’ll keep it going, but it was compelling enough to make us excited for next week.
Survivor -- So far, it continues to be the dean of reality television. The race thing was predictably shuttled after too few episodes, but the show itself is still great. I’m rooting for Yul, which means he’s toast. And while Parvati is quite attractive, she’s too annoying to root for. It’s open season and Jeff Probst is in charge. I’m digging it.
The Office -- Seriously, what’s better than Dwight Schrute? I never thought I’d say this, but at this point this version is at least as good as the British one.
Ugly Betty - It’s time for an official complaint. Folks, you know we own TiVo’s. With Survivor and The Office both on during the 8-9 period, I can’t watch this show. And it’s a GOOD show. Not 100% my speed, as it’s a little too cheeky (at least the pilot episode was) but it’s refreshingly different than almost anything else on the air. So, I can’t say we’re actually watching it, but we’d like to be.
FRIDAY and SATURDAY
Um, nothing. Eventually, it might be Battlestar: Galatica since a lot of people I trust insist it’s the best thing on TV, period. That also goes for The Wire -- both of these first few seasons are high up in the Netflix queue, and as soon as we’re back from the honeymoon, I think this is what we start renting.
Hey, it’s been awhile since a reality TV update, so why not now? In fact, I’m throwing aside the ‘reality’ limitation and I’m going to write about some of the new shows this year. Let’s break it down.
So, we’ve got quite a race…with Dave Doughty’s creatively named ialwaysforgetmypassword at the top of the standings, he’ll win if his hometown Ravens pull the upset tonight. On the other hand, there are four other teams right below him who are picking the Broncos. If Denver wins, it’s tie-breaker madness and I can’t begin to take the time to sort that out.
Did I say that the Ravens were an underdog? Well, no, but I did imply that. It’s because for the entire week, they were up to four point underdogs – and then, as the lines closed, it was made an even line. (Or, rather, the line was taken to OFF, which amounts to the same thing.) I’m not really sure why this was – I’m assuming there was a late injury that I can’t quite place, but – anyhow, it’s odd.
On the other hand, it all but ensures that this will not be the third Push of the week. Good lord, when there are only 14 games, having two pushes (STL-GB, CAR-CLE) is mildly retarded. I would like to call on owner Mike Lang to rectify this immediately.
Some observations from yesterday, despite the fact that I only saw pieces of a few games. One – I think the Steelers are experiencing some massive, massive hangover from the Super Bowl. Or, conversely, they just aren’t that great. Good, but not great. (Coincidentally, Good, But Not Great is the working title of my memoirs.) The Chargers? Well, if I were a betting man – and, seeing as this post refers to the Pick ‘Em league, I guess I am one – I’d take the Chargers-Bears as the most likely Super Bowl matchup right now.
That discounts the Eagles, however, and man, are they playing well. What I loved about the post-game interviews was two things – one, that Donovan McNabb refused to gloat about beating T.O. (aka The Player Who Shall Not Be Named), saying it was all about getting a win, etc. Pure professionalism…but the second thing I liked was that you could just see the twinkle in his eyes, the suppressed grin, that he LOVED the fact that Owens was essentially shut out and throwing a massive temper tantrum on the sidelines.
Sunday’s Washington-Giants game was a toss-up for me but now I wonder why. The NFL is remarkable, for a team like the Redskins to look so dominant a week ago against a staunch defense like Jacksonville, and then get bitch-slapped by the Giants a week later. Did Mark Brunell pass for 100 yards? Just a terrifically ugly game.
As I noted last week, I was somewhat terrified that the Raiders would sneak in their first win against my 49ers. And for awhile the Niners let the Raiders stay in the game, due to some bad calls once again by Mike Nolan. (Or Norv Turner, actually. Not sure who is in charge of that.) But, sooner than later, the Raiders imploded. And Art Shell stared vacantly on the sidelines. The Raiders, as a 49er sideline reporter said, puts the funk in dysfunction. Did you know that the Oakland offensive coordinator was running a bed-and-breakfast for the last few years? That Shell essentially just recruited his old staff, even though almost none of them were considered NFL caliber enough to be coaching any time recently? I mean…good god, isn’t this time for Roger Goodell to stage an intervention with Al Davis?
The 49ers have shown an utter inability to run up the middle for goal line yards. I’m not sure why anyone doesn’t just try the Walter Payton method of jumping OVER the line, but there’s gotta be a reason. And until the team figures out a way to gain those three feet or so, they can’t fully turn the corner. But two wins is two wins, and I’m happy about that. Especially since they beat Oakland, the real turds of the NFL.
The Titans are 0-5, but they almost caused the biggest upset – and Survivor pool poison – by narrowly losing to the Colts. If I were a Colts fan, and I am not, I’d be substantially worried right now. They almost lost to the Jets and Titans are consecutive weeks, and while winning those games is all that really matters, this team looks less than impressive. You glass half-full folks might suggest that this will take some pressure off of Peyton Manning and therefore he might actually succeed in the post-season after his notable failures, but I am just glad to know that I won’t bet on them until Peyton actually has a ring. (And not one from a vending machine.)
OK, that’s probably enough – I won’t watch the game tonight though it should be competitive. Good? Maybe not, but competitive. I’ll post again tomorrow with the results. Good luck, y’all.
After I first left Schwab to go back to business school in June 1994, the stock performed exceptionally well. In fact, until October 1999, when I rejoined the firm after a few years in consulting, SCH was the second highest performing stock in the entire market behind Microsoft.
Of course, over the next five years, when I left again in October 2004, the stock nosedived. The highest price the stock ever was during that period was literally the day I started and had my stock options priced. Not so great.
Since I did leave, the stock has definitely performed okay. Or so I had thought - in fact, it's performed VERY well - up more than 100% in those two years. The S&P and NASDAQ are up, in contrast, about one tenth as much - around 10% or so each.
So, if I ever do return to SCH (now SCHW) to work, it might be time to short the stock.
After it had sat on my shelf for what must be a few years, I finally tackled David McCullough’s John Adams. I have quite a few biographies of presidents and historical figures, mostly given or recommended to me by my father, but also because its something I really enjoy learning more about. But it’s hard to casually pick up a 675-page book; you have to be ready to commit to it. And, of course, I’m glad I did.
McCullough writes a straight biography, so that you don’t see ‘conversation’ between major historical characters, but rather a journalistic approach to events and how they played out. Still, it manages to still read much like a novel, and is far from a slow academic tome.
Reading a book like this makes you realize how little you knew about the subject matter beforehand. For instance, just about all I knew about Adams was that he was the second president, and that he therefore probably had something to do with the Revolution, etc. I admit it, it’s a paucity of information, but hey – blame not only the California public school system but the fact that I have a terrible long-term memory. I’m sure I was taught more, but…well, I had forgotten everything but the aforementioned basic facts. I had no idea, for instance, that Adams spent a lot of time over in Europe trying to negotiate loans, treaties and serving as an ambassador for the fledgling country. His relationship with his wife Abigail was particularly romantic for the times, and the fact that they wrote letters to each other almost daily served as a huge basis for the book. Of additional interest is the relationship between Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, let alone Alexander Hamilton and John Quincy Adams. The only other man here who is portrayed as well as Adams, if not better, is his son John Quincy. Jefferson comes across as an effete elitist with an inability to control his own finances and a decidedly aloof approach to slavery (that’s a generous way to put it). Franklin isn’t discussed as much but doesn’t come across so well. I’m sure if I read – scratch that, when I read a Jefferson biography that Adams will come across as arrogant, etc.
I really did enjoy this and feel like I have a better sense of the struggle for our country and the passion that the founding fathers had. I think that someone like John Adams would be thrilled to know that the country has lasted so long – and appalled at the current state of politics and policy. But that’s a discussion for people smarter than me, I suppose. In any case, it’s well worth reading and highly recommended.
A nice quote from him about priorities:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Go read it.
Whenever I'm feeling particularly uncreative (which can be often, regrettably) I amuse myself by thinking of the Tenacious D short film where they are tasked with (gasp) having to write a new song. (This featured one of my all-time favorite D songs, "Rocket Sauce" which Jack Black horrifying realizes is sung to the ice-cream truck tune.)
But inspiration is a bitch. Whether you are a writer, painter, designer or someone wanting to spice up whatever it is you do, it is elusive far more than it should be.
On a totally related note, Signal vs. Noise is a remarkable site, based mostly on web design but much more than that. Whoever the folks are at this site understand what works and what doesn't, and years ago I used one of their suggestions for what an online banking experience should be like to help me design a project.
They recently posted something called Finding fresh inspiration, and talk about some of their suggestions for what to do when it doesn't come instinctively. The worst thing to do, they suggest accurately, is to look at what other people you admire are doing and follow in their footsteps. In this, you will become the equivalent of a cover band instead of an artist with a unique voice. Instead, here are a few of their suggestions:
Look to the past
Looking to the past is a great way to get outside the current zeitgeist. Not sure where to start? Trace a path backwards. Find out who influences peers that you admire. If you like Jim Coudal’s designs, then check out Joseph Muller-Brockmann. If you admire Jonathan Ive, then check out Dieter Rams. Or, to give a musical example, if you like the way Jack White plays guitar then check out Jimmy Page. Then once you soak that up, check out Link Wray, a big influence on Page. The more you dig, the more likely you are to find fresh soil.
Look to a different medium
Bennett’s tale of getting inspiration from an instrument instead of a voice is a great example of this. Some others:
A design student once asked Michael Bierut for any advice he had for them. He answered, “To have other interests than design.”
There's more but I can't crib the entire thing. Go check it out, and bookmark the site. It's always good.
Back when he was on ESPN’s SportsCenter, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with Keith Olbermann – he was funny, and dry, and made some of the better quips around. Certainly, his rapport with Dan Patrick was among the best and (in hindsight, regrettably) set the stage for how sports anchors ‘report’ the news these days.
But he’s long since left that behind and has settled in nicely at MSNBC, where he seems to be just about the only anchor willing to battle the Bill O’Reilly’s and Sean Hannity’s at their own game. His latest venting is so fantastic I can only recommend clicking through to read the entire thing, but here are some great excerpts.
Just 25 days ago, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this same man spoke to this nation and insisted, “We must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us.”
Mr. Bush, this is a test you have already failed.
If your commitment to “put aside differences and work together” is replaced in the span of just three weeks by claiming your political opponents prefer to wait to see this country attacked again, and by spewing fabrications about what they’ve said, then the questions your critics need to be asking are no longer about your policies.
They are, instead, solemn and even terrible questions, about your fitness to fulfill the responsibilities of your office.
You have dishonored your party, sir; you have dishonored your supporters; you have dishonored yourself.
But tonight the stark question we must face is — why?
Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?
Why have you chosen to go down in history as the president who made things up?
In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.
If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.
We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size and party. We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.
But the premise of a president who comes across as a compulsive liar is nothing less than terrifying.
A president who since 9/11 will not listen, is not listening — and thanks to Bob Woodward’s most recent account — evidently has never listened.
A president who since 9/11 so hates or fears other Americans that he accuses them of advocating deliberate inaction in the face of the enemy.
A president who since 9/11 has savaged the very freedoms he claims to be protecting from attack — attack by terrorists, or by Democrats, or by both — it is now impossible to find a consistent thread of logic as to who Mr. Bush believes the enemy is.
Go do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.
There's an interesting article over on Salon between Michael Ruhlman and Tony Bourdain about a proposed law in New Jersey to ban foie gras. This follows the controversial ban in Chicago and a similar one in my home state of California which I didn't even know about (which theoretically takes effect in 2012.)
I'm not a real fan of foie gras, both because it's way too rich for me and also because I do have a problem with the way it's prepared. Don't get me wrong - I am a carnivore, and I don't really quibble that much between how animals are treated as long as it's done relatively humanely. I care more, in essence, about animal treatment in terms of how it impacts what I put in my mouth than whether a duck or cow experiences some pain. In a perfect world, it wouldn't have to happen that way, but this is why there's a food chain and I'm glad we are at the top of it.
All that being said, I don't like foie gras and given that, I don't order it to try and be convinced that I'm missing something because of the controversy around it. I do like veal, though, so I'm no saint.
But the article is quite interesting and while it's behind a firewall that you need to watch a free ad to view (like everything at Salon), it's well worth reading. This quote should be a good teaser and a reminder about why Bourdain is, for all intents and purposes, my hero:
Ruhlman: On a Fox News show last spring, in a debate pitting Assemblyman Panter against Ann Coulter (following her disparaging remarks about New Jersey 9/11 widows), Panter defended his colleagues' calls to have retailers pull her books. Do you see a correlation between the two substances he wants off our shelves?
Bourdain: I may find Ann Coulter utterly loathsome and reprehensible on every level, and I would greatly enjoy throwing a shit pie into her face, but the idea of yanking any books off shelves scares the hell out of me. This reeks on so many levels. Along with other wrong-headed, easy-fix, knee-jerk reactions to perceived food scares, Panter's attitude paints a gloomy picture of how we might be forced to eat in this country if the frightened, righteous people who want to ban everything because it might be unsafe get together with all the people who want to ban everything because it might be cruel, and the people who want to ban everything because it might be unhealthy. It's the perfect storm.
I too would greatly enjoy throwing a shit pie at Ann Coulter. Perhaps I can get a show on the Travel Channel.
Not sure where this is, though it looks like it must be the Gulf Coast post-Katrina.
Love our fearless leaders. Yep, that's the President, flanked by incompetent former FEMA director Mike "Heckuva Job" Brown, and disgraced pedophile Florida Congressman Mike Foley on the other side. The company one keeps...
And just for fun:
I usually don't post about the upcoming games, because it only serves one purpose - to create a permanent record about just how stupid I am. But, I have to say this - I'm terrified of this week's spreads. I could honestly see getting zero games right.
Why? Just look at some of these games:
INDY -18.0 against Tennessee. 18 POINTS! There are a lot of NCAA games with lower spreads than that - and yet, Dallas won by approximately 30 last week. And this is in Indianapolis. But how do you take an 18-point spread with confidence?
NEW ENGLAND - 9.5 against Miami. This one is easier only because I have vowed not to bet on Miami until they actually do something this season, but that's still a rather large point spread for a team that may have been especially geared up last week and therefore poised for a letdown. In a straight pick 'em, I would take NE with zero worry - in fact, I'd guess they are a good survivor pick this week. But nine and a half points worries me.
All of the above games are teams that are sort of indistinguishable - with the possible exception that the Niners are clearly a better team than Oakland. I worry about that game only because it's a local rivalry and quite possible that the Raiders will view this game as their last chance to win all season.
My first go round through the picks had me taking all but two favored teams. That's simply not going to happen. So, it's back to the drawing board...
This is gonna get ugly.
At some point yesterday, I was lost in thought about the football game I knew I wouldn't see -- and I had the following revelation. I had thought that it would be foolish to bet against the Packers, because Brett Favre is usually gold on Monday Night Football.
The revelation? I have nothing to support this besides John Madden. Cause, really, that's not exactly hard statistics, right? In fact, any student of statistics would say that it's hard to state that a player could regularly produce differently on Monday Night Football (which can take place in a variety of locations, weather, states of health, supporting players, etc.) than on Sunday afternoons. If there is a Favre tendency, I'd bet it is way smaller than I had thought about.
And good lord, that game supported that. I think the Eagles are clearly one of the better teams in the NFC, and while I didn't think they'd stink, I'm suprised by how well they are playing.
Congrats to Mark Underwood, owner of Blitzburg, for winning this week. Mark, a check is on the way!
I'll have more to write later, including how my entire thoughts about the NFL season are essentially under review - which is another way of saying I have no idea what I'm talking about. For now, this picture of Bill Cowher will have to do.
On Saturday, I heard the news – as part of the Jason Grimsley investigation (which I had thought had suspiciously died a quiet death), several previously redacted names were released. Among them were Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte, but the big name, of course, was Roger Clemens.
If you know me (and I assume you do), you will know that there is pretty much no one in sports that I loathe more than “the Rocket.” And yet, I do respect that he’s clearly the most dominant pitcher of my generation. Being a Giants fan and learning to reconcile these things with Barry Bonds even prior to any steroid allegations, helped pave the road for this.
Ah, Bonds. I’ll get to him later and why I’m even writing this, but first let’s break down why I hate Clemens.
- He totally screwed over Boston, after coasting for four years. I can’t explain it, but after the Giants, I’ve been a Red Sox fan for pretty much forever. And watching Clemens sit back, get fat, and coast from 1993-1996 made me think he was done. And there was no shame in that, because he’d had a sick career until then. But seeing what he’s done since then? Well, let’s put it this way – Clemens can either claim he was coasting, or hiding an injury, because there’s only one other explanation…the one perhaps explained in the Grimsley affidavit.
- He’s a wussy who wants to pretend to be tough. Clemens is the classic bully (sharing this with our Commander-in-Chief, by the way, who I’m sure he voted for twice) – he’s not tough, but he wants to act that way. Whether it’s throwing a broken bat at Mike Piazza, throwing at batters indiscriminately or wearing eye black to the mound, Clemens talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. I’d honestly have more respect for him if he’d actually charged at Piazza or done something besides try to act tough without having to back it up.
- He’s the ultimate hired gun. At this point, I honestly think I’ll remember Clemens for how he reacted to the Grimsley steroid rumor – he stated that if he cost him a single endorsement, he’d sue. That’s Clemens for you – just in it for the money. That’s why he left for Toronto, then screwed them over to go to the Yankees. It’s why he tied Houston’s hands this off-season, creating a no-win situation where they had to pay him ungodly sums for two thirds of a season. It’s why he had special gloves made to wear during his 300th win – so he could sell them for profit. Understand, this is a guy who probably makes $30 million a year with salary and endorsements. What’s enough? Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with capitalism, but what does this guy stand for? The Hall of Fame now will choose your uniform for you when you enter, so that you don’t pull a Dave Winfield and sell that right as a free agent. (I’m sure Clemens is crushed by this, by the way.) But who does the Hall choose in five-plus years? The Red Sox? Toronto? Houston? New York? Not a single good choice in there, though I’m sure they’ll end up with the Red Sox.
- His kids names all begin with K, the symbol for a strikeout. Hey, self-obsessed much?
I should point out that in his epic column, I hate you, Roger Clemens, Seth Stevenson said half of this better than I have. Money quotes:
But here's the real problem with your behavior: Fans like to think that players are giving it their all. All the time. I like to think that, anyway. But then I'm just a simple, good-hearted man, a man who wants to believe in heroes. How can I believe in heroes, Mr. Clemens, when the world is home to people like you? It's clear that you just try hard when you feel like it. And even then, only when there's nothing on the line. Well, that sucks, dude. You shouldn't be like that.
I'd like to add that it's not just me. Nobody likes you. It's just a matter of degree—of how much we hate you. Personally, I measure my hate in terms of how severely I want you to be injured. Like, I guess I wouldn't want to see you crippled for life, so you couldn't walk anymore. But I really wouldn't mind if you pulled your groin and missed five starts. That's the over-under on my hate.
Now, here’s what REALLY gets me. I’ve heard or read at least five stories since last Saturday which gave purported reasons why Clemens won’t get the same kind of treatment that Bonds continues to receive. The only acceptable one of those is that Clemens will almost assuredly retire this off-season, making it harder to keep his name in the spotlight, while Bonds continues to play. Fine. But aside from that, there’s an almost pathetic attempt to explain why we shouldn’t paint Clemens with the same brush we’ve used for Bonds.
I heard Dan Levitard, filling in for Tony Kornheiser on PTI, say that Clemens won’t get that treatment because "we like Clemens." I think he thought he was speaking for the public, but if he was speaking for anyone, it was the sports media. Because I don’t know a single person who likes Clemens. Sure, they might not loathe him with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, but who likes this guy?
Levitard also said there was far less circumstantial evidence pointing Clemens to steroid usage. Um…really?
Let’s look closer.
- After a prolonged period of mediocrity, Clemens rebounded to pitch as well as he ever had – historically good, in fact – late in his career. In fact, the years we could point to – 1996 forward – are traditionally thought of as ‘prime steroid time,’ at least when talking about Bonds.
- Steroids are useful in sports for a variety of reasons, but one is because the healing process from injury, or trauma of any sort, is greatly reduced by using steroids. There is no better candidate to need this kind of help than an aging slugger, or a starting pitcher. The trauma pitching causes to an arm is gigantic, and gets worse over time.
- I don’t know about you, but throwing a broken bat at a hitter sounds like Roid Rage to me.
- He’s been linked to steroid rumors for years, though few – even being named in Jose Canseco’s book – have gained any traction. With Bonds, I heard one constant – where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Well, there’s smoke here.
- His resurgence started when he was 35.
- He’s gained at least as much weight in his upper body and head as Barry Bonds, and has hair loss as well. People talk about his great weight training, but he doesn’t look fit, just beefy.
Look, I could go on here. It’s impossible to prove that he did steroids, but it’s not impossible to suggest he’s a candidate for having done them. To give him a free pass has to invite the question on WHY he deserves such a free pass. I hate to even suggest it’s race, but I’m not sure what else would warrant such an obvious distinction. These are both world class talents and world class jerks. They both should be first ballot Hall of Famers, and are the respective hitter and pitcher of the last 25 years or so. What’s the difference here?
Note that there have been several calls to investigate Clemens or to hold him to this same level – but as of yet, I don’t see it.
You may have noticed that at the Pick ‘Em site, the rankings are all mumbly-jumbly. (That’s a technical term.) That’s because we are now able to deduct the three worst weeks from everyone’s score. Since only four weeks are showing, we are all ranked by our best week, which means that although I have 30 total points this season (which is pretty high up there, thank you very much) my best week is only 9 correct picks, placing me at a tie for 26th.
Those nine correct picks did NOT occur this week, as I went from having a really good betting day to being embarrassed within a matter of seconds. Here’s a bit of conversation from yesterday:
Me: “Hm…you know, if St. Louis scores another TD, that’s going to put them just ahead of the 5.5 point spread.”
Mike: “That won’t happen.”
OK, it’s not great dialogue but it turns out I was right. The Rams hosed me in the pool, as did Washington by coming back against Jacksonville (further pain element here – I’d helped convince Mike to sit Santana Moss in his fantasy league this week…whoops!) and Cleveland sealing a push against the Raiders. I can take solace in the fact that some of you will end the week with only three correct picks, and yes, that’s called schadenfreude and I’m okay with that.
I don't know what to say about Terrell Owens except he clearly has problems. And we knew that already, but maybe - maybe - we didn't know how severe they are.
And – this week’s installment of the “I can’t believe I picked…” goes to my choice of the San Francisco 49ers. What, exactly, made me think Alex Smith was so polished that he could play in Arrowhead without getting steamrolled? That was really, really ugly. In fact, ugly people everywhere would like me to think of another word for that performance because it was so much worse than ugly.
Fortunately, no matter how crappy the Niners look, there’s a far worse team across the bay. I don’t care that Cleveland only won by three points, that’s a pretty bad Browns team and I believe I had more passing yards than Andrew Walter did for Oakland. I think he’s just keeping the seat warm for Brady Quinn next year.
Right now, we have a battle going into the MNF game, with Mark Underwood’s Blitzburg going up against Eric Johnson’s Big Johnson. (Yeah, there’s no way to make that not sound awkward.) Mark – aka Thunder – is betting on the Eagles covering an 11-point spread at home, while Eric is putting his money on the power of Brett Favre on Monday night. I bet along with Eric which is not a good sign for him, but there’s no question this should be a good game if you can get past what I can only assume will be an evening of poetic rhyme dedicated to the wonder that is Favre.
I myself will probably miss the whole game, as we’ll be at my soon-to-be in-laws breaking the fast. (That’s for Yom Kippur for all of you infidels, though if you know me at all, the fact I’m pretending to know what the hell I’m talking about with Judaism should have you snickering yourself right now.)
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