Friday, January 02, 2009

I Just Hope We Can Win A Game...

"I dreamed we played cards in the dark
And you lost...and you lied."

(Editor's Note: Because I referenced Jim Mora in the title, I am obligated (in a good way) to include this...if you can't laugh at that, it's all over)

Well, hello there. 2009?...Are we sure about this? In any event, when I said the last NFL picks post was the shortest ever, I'm here to tell you that this is going to be even briefer (that, and I'm under the impression that the less I write, the better I do...being a dreamer makes anything possible by the way)

Atlanta vs. Arizona:

As I've been thinking of how to summarize this first round, here's the best I have for now: "Every team I take will do the complete opposite thing they're good at and screw me in the end." In any event, how are we feeling about this Arizona team all of a sudden? Tank against teams that are in must-win situations, then just dominate in division games. Hmmm. Also, you get the feeling that outside of the Seattle game last week, this team took two consecutive weeks off...but the thing is that they decided to show up last week, meaning they did not completely phone in the end of the season. Meanwhile, Atlanta's a team that people have been sleeping on since...well, whenever that #3 pick of Matt Ryan was announced. We scoffed, we were skeptical, and where did it get us (by the way, in case you haven't figured this out yet, basically, I'm going to rile against myself the entire column for being a moron in what I picked this year, talking myself into teams that I want nothing to do with, and calling it a night)? I mean I'm picking the Falcons, but why do I all of a sudden suspect that Matty's going to start airing it out when all they have to do is run the Cards into the ground (which they could easily do with Turner and Norwood)? I don't know...I feel like I could go 0-4 in the first round. Well, I have to make an attempt right? Hey, Mike Smith (ATL's coach in case you didn't know): RUN THE BALL!!! All the Falcons have to do is run the ball and tick the clock off. Warner is waiting in the weeds ready to explode. Here's the thinking here: I've seen 'Zona play meaningful games when they didn't have the division clinched (because I have that kind of time), and they are just a highly questionable team to take against anyone even close to being good. Let's go with the feel-good story here...RUN THE BALL!!!

Atlanta (-1)

Indianapolis vs. San Diego:

In the first of two games that literally has taken five years off of my life, Indy is looking to avenge their playoff collapse from last year and sneak another one out of southern California. I watched the first game, and still can't believe the Colts won that game. Here's my fear about this one: Sometimes, players play exceptionally well despite their coach, and almost seem to rally in an effort to show that, despite their coach being awful, they can still win games. How did San Diego pull off the last couple of wins? Plus, think about what happened last year. They beat the Colts on the road, and gave the Pats a run for their money with a one-legged Philip Rivers and LT on the bench, impressively pulling off one of the best Darth Vader impressions in recent memory. By the way, I'm making an unofficial ruling that everytime Norv Turner pops on the screen, we all have to yell "Norv!" pseudo Cheers. I don't know...right now, that sounds like the best idea I've had in at least the last half hour. Again, I'm thinking the Colts are trying to get back at San Diego for last year...but didn't they already do that this year? Plus, don't you have to take the hot(ter) hand? I've switched this pick twenty times already...I'm putting my foot down on this madness.

San Diego (+1)

Baltimore vs. Miami:

This game should be easy right? Ravens in a rout, call it in, stamp it out. Here's the thing: Rarely does a team play as well the second time they face a team in the same season as they did the first time around. Miami played arguably their worst game of the season against Baltimore (I reserve the right to say the second Miami/Pats game was their worst performance...random thought, do you remember that graphic about Miami giving up an inordinate amount of big pass plays in the games prior to the Pats game?...something to keep in mind). Baltimore could not conceivably play a better game right? Here's the thing: If you have a guy behind center who doesn't make the big turnovers (check), a vastly underrated receiving duo (Clayton and Mason...another check if you're scoring at home), and a defense that literally wills their team to wins (gigantic check), then Baltimore has the formula to break the mold and pull out yet another win in Miami. I think Pennington is fantastic, and the Dolphins in amongst themselves is a great story...I just take extreme pleasure in them losing. It's almost frustrating at times to watch Pennington throw wobblers against every team, and he somehow got away with it again (seven picks all year...also, he's the career leader in completion percentage...I'll give you a few minutes to digest that little egg of knowledge right there). Can they really win a playoff game? Ugh, this is another one I'm talking myself into not making the obvious choice. Again...Ugh! (random side note: saying Ugh! reminds me of Charlie Brown...what in the world were they thinking when they attempted to make an updated version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas?"...seriously, it was awful to sit through...the character voices sounded like it was just one person doing all of them...I take extreme offense to it because I very rarely relate to characters on TV...Charlie Brown, George Costanza, and Charlie on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and that's about it..."I will smash your face into a jelly!")

Baltimore (-3)

Philadelphia vs. Minnesota:

This game is the ultimate coup de grace of second-guessing myself. I feel like Garth when Wayne bailed on him when they got their own studio show, and they're wondering about when his head will explode ("I'm having a good time...not..."). If ever there were two coaches who deserved this less, it is this matchup. Seriously, attempting to put any faith in either of these coaches is making me nautious (hey, almost like how Thursday was for...I don't know...everyone...another quick side note: No one, and I mean no one was more juiced for the USC/Iowa game than me...I was up at 8:00 on New Year's Day just rocking out and pretending that USC had a halfway decent QB and that we could stop the run (both of which we don't have by the way), but I mention all this because rooting for USC is the ultimate reality check...we have to talk ourselves into believing in this team, and once we do that, we get amped, and then you watch them...I'm trying to think of an analogy here...maybe like finding out about Santa?..."if you don't believe, you don't receive?"...I never said I was any good at this). In any event, this is simply painful just to think about. I love the comparisons to Childress and Reid being like somehow Reid spawned a good coach from his system...through pure luck and circumstance is Brad Childress a coach in the NFL (I hate to keep tearing off into different tangents...actually, what am I saying, I love it...anyway, can we say that Doc Rivers is the Bill Belichick of the NBA?...both guys were decent to below average head coaches, then got talent...suddenly their moves are working out...they get into a comfort zone, they have their players buy into a system that, prior to the talent showing up, no one even acknowledged, but once they started winning, people were like "yeah, this guy may have something here"...was anyone saying that Bill was a hall of fame coach when he was leading Cleveland to those 6-10 seasons, or when Doc was winning 22 games a couple of years ago?...I went from thinking Doc was the worst coach ever to thinking he's in the top 5 best in a matter of two years...funny how that all works out). If you haven't figured this out already, I am doing everything in my power to not talk about this game, because basically anything I can think of, I have a counterpoint to it, and basically it becomes an episode of "Crossfire" in my head. As bad as Childress is, at least he has Peterson, and Tarvaris Jackson, surprise surprise, has been wildly capable as a QB in the last few weeks. The Vikings barely got by a David Carr-led Giants team last week, which actually speaks more about the Giants being a really good team than the Vikings being a mediocre team. Philly just went off on's a let down game baby! At least that's what I'm talking myself into believing.

Minnesota (+3)

What was so funny is that I liked all four road teams, but then I was telling myself "hey, that can't happen, that would be like four #1 seeds making the Final Four in March Madness," and then I realized that happened this past year, and my brain went into shutdown mode. Really, if there has ever been a more preplexing opening round than this one, let me know. By the way, sorry about the 'Bama/Utah pick. I'm pretty sure at the time, I was not anticipating the gigantic amount that I suddenly liked Utah before that game started. I was asking around, and everyone was basically like "'Bama is going to kill them," which instantly brought fear to me because seemingly, anytime the vast majority of people like a double-digit favorite, they are going to let you down big time. However, I got the Ole Miss pick right. As if by accident, I'm realizing that when a spread opens too low, it's for a reason. There was a reason Ole Miss was less than a touchdown underdog in that game today, and it is beyond my comprehension, but I thought that game would open at around 12 or 13, but when it came out at like five and a half, I instantly became paranoid (in a good way), and was saying aloud "someone knows something." I think at least being able to recognize trap spreads is a step in the right direction for me. I remember saying something about thinking a little more clearer now...I may have actually not been lying there. One more thing before I go, because I just thought it was the greatest thing ever, here's my New Year's mix that I made (imagine that, me going on and on about a mix that I made...shocking!):
  1. My Life- Billy Joel
  2. Don't Panic- Coldplay (we live in a beautiful world, yeah we do, yeah we do)
  3. The Sun Is Shining- Bob Marley
  4. People Watching- Jack Johnson
  5. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)- Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
  6. Karma Police- Radiohead
  7. Of Moons, Birds & Monsters- MGMT
  8. Trouble No More- Allman Brothers
  9. Supersonic- Oasis
  10. Sexx Laws- Beck
  11. The Next Movement- The Roots
  12. Spill The Wine- War
  13. Annie Waits- Ben Folds
  14. I Just Want To Make Love To You- Foghat
  15. Mardy Bum- Arctic Monkeys
  16. You're All I Have- Snow Patrol
  17. One By One All Day- The Shins (easily my favorite band right now)
  18. No One Else- Weezer
  19. Squeeze Box- The Who
  20. I'm So Glad- Cream
  21. Fooled Around And Fell In Love- Elvin Bishop
  22. Baby Blue- Badfinger
  23. Little Boxes- Elvis Costello (I mean you can't go wrong with a "Weeds" reference right?)
  24. These Dreams Of You- Van Morrison
  25. The 12th Of September- Xavier Rudd
  26. Lucky Man- The Verve
  27. Thirsty In The Rain- Keller Williams
That will be up on Facebook momentarily. I can't remember having as much fun as I had the last three days. Absolutely tremendous. This smile seems to be glued on, and it's not going away. A really good thing no? I'm going to keep rocking out to that mix. I'm pretty sure this is not going to get old anytime soon. Hate to pat myself on the back too much, but you know...yeah that totally rocks. Anyway, is there even a remote chance that I can go .500 this weekend? Probably not, but I'm going to give it a go. We're in bizzare. Anyway, take care everyone. Peace.


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