Friday, October 9, 2009
We lead this Friday with a great riff from Drew Magary at Deadspin.com about the continuing sissi-fication of the league.
By the way, a giant FUCK YOU to Tom Brady's weak little knee for destroying roughing the passer and unnecessary penalties across the entire league. Every game I've seen this year has featured at least one completely unjustified personal foul penalty. I've seen secondary players flagged for putting a shoulder in the wideout's chest. I've seen defensive ends flagged for tackling the QB at the waist. I've seen players flagged for roughing the QB despite merely grazing them half a millisecond after the ball is thrown. It's fucking ridiculous. I understand the need to protect offensive players as the game grows faster and more violent. That's fine. I have no problem with the rules. My problem is that the rules are being enforced poorly. This isn't shit that refs should be figuring out on the fly. They should fucking be consistent about this shit right now. Teams are getting hosed left and right. Defenders are letting QB's run free because they're afraid to wrap up. It's a joke.
Nice stick, Drew. Let me pile on, helmet first, Chuck Cecil style...
Indeed, the nutless bean counters at NFL properties and the TV division wet their pants at the thoughts of losing a single marketable star, especially cross-promotional heart-throb married to a supermodel. Last I checked, however, the league didn't collapse into a smoldering pile of melted shoulder pads last season. No franchises folded. Super Bowl was pretty bitchin, if I recall. These wanks however, are totally unaware of the fact that legions of football mad fans will watch the NFL no matter what stars are currently popping 86 percocets on Monday morning just to get out of bed. While I don't condone the obvious cheap-shotting that was prevalent in the 1970s and 80s, there must be some level of violence that is accepted. There will be blood. Handle it, Goodell.
Kudos (I guess) to Michelle Wie for helping land golf a spot on the Olympic schedule (although I doubt she was much more than a ceremonial cherry on top). Now, I wonder if she'll wave her Nike contract around and ask for an exemption. Either that, or just snub the women's team, and claim all along it was her life dream to play on the men's Olympic golf team. Cue clueless non-golfing media members to write about how great a Woods-Wie Olympic pairing would be. FAIL.
And now, Jimmy Masterlock for Week #5! Jimmy has been colder than lake trout in a trunk during a Minnesota winter lately, so if he doesn't pick it up, he'll be dialing his cell phone with broken thumbs. My advice, take Jimmy's bucket of steam, and run the other way – right to the cashier's window!
LAST WEEK: 1-3
Carolina -3.5 vs. Washington
An 0-3 team, at home, in desperation, coming off a bye week, is 77-1 all time ATS and SU when less than a TD favorite against an opponent who has hired an “outside consultant” during the week. Great spot for Carolina. PICK: Panthers 31-20.
Baltimore -9 vs. Cincinnati
At home, the Ravens are a flat-out buzz-saw. Even though the Bengals seem to be loveable cardiac kids this season, the close shave against hapless Cleveland last week has me officially off their wagon. PICK: Ravens 44-18.
New England -3 at Denver
Who has the cooler cut-off sweatshirt, Belichick or McDaniels? Lots of bad blood here, especially with how Denver bounced the Pats several years ago in the playoffs on that controversial Champ Bailey 99 yard INT return for a TD. Patriots missed the playoffs last year, and botched their perfect season two years ago, but they still get Super Bowl Champion effort from every opponent. All that said, I'm still not buying Denver. PICK: Patriots 20-13.
Atlanta +2.5 at San Francisco
Here's why it pays to watch the games, or at least read the box score. Even though the final score of last week's win over St. Louis was lopsided, this was a 7-0 game deep into the third. Atlanta has had a tough, front loaded schedule to some degree, but will be ready off their bye week to remind folks they remain as solid as they come in the NFL right now. PICK: Atlanta 27-21.