2012 Predictions – Thanksgiving, “Double Dip” Edition

A bonus combo pack of picks for Thanksgiving.
Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “Super Contest” picks:

Detroit (+3.5) over Houston – One of the drawbacks of a handicapping contest is that if you want to select a Thursday game, all of your picks for the weekend must be submitted early. That obviously allows an additional 48 hours for a key player from a team you selected to go all “Stanley Wilson” or “Barret Robbins” and end up AWOL a couple nights before a game. Therefore, I generally stay away from the Thursday games unless there is a spot that is too good to pass.

That is the case with the Lions this week. I know, I know coaching is an issue, but isn’t Jim Schwartz Gary Kubiak, before Kubiak became the Kubiak we know laud over? Think about the Texans back before Wade Phillips, loads of talent, a fantasy cornucopia, but unable to finish most game, which left them the poster children for mediocrity. Sounds just like the 2012 Lions.

So, why do I feel so strongly the Lions are the play in this game? Well, for starters the line is 3.5, so unless the Lions are down a point and fail on 4th down deep in their own territory with precisely enough time for the Texans to run three plays, fail to make a first down and kick a covering field goal, we should be ok with the hook. In other words, the 3.5 makes this a value play.

In addition, the Texans fall into gambling rule #872 – never trust a team with a huge division lead, on the road, as a favorite, coming off an emotional overtime win against a team from the opposing conference, on a short week.

San Diego (+1.0) over Baltimore – Speaking of gambling rules, here is another (#409) – never trust a team traveling cross country in between games against a heated division rival when the line looks too good to be true. Oh, and the heated division rival happens to be the Steelers. The Ravens are just 5-10 ATS after Steelers games since 2004.

And if you think I am crazy to back Norv Turner and Jim Schwartz, thats nothing compared to what’s coming up. . .

Carolina (+2.5) over Philadelphia – That’s right fans, let’s throw Ron Rivera into this three team, “I was a great coordinator, but suck ass as a head coach” bad coaching parlay.

The gambling rule for this game is as follows (#95) – never back a soft team, that has clearly quit on their head coach, when said head coach has been spotted checking out real estate on the opposite coast, in any situation, period! The corollary to this rule is as follows, “if the game in question comes after a Thanksgiving feast where the head coach consumes enough food to feed a third world country, then triple the bet.” Poor money management scheme there, but I don’t write the rules, I just follow them.

Tampa Bay (+1.0) over Atlanta – Despite this being a division game, when the Falcons look in the rearview mirror they don’t see the Buccaneers old rusted “Buffalo Bill” beater of a van, they see a brand spanking new black and gold Maserati driven by Drew Bress and the hard charging, Joe Vitt led Saints. Therefore, this game falls into the “huge division lead” rule, as well as the “look ahead” rule (pretty standard top ten rule, #9, that states be wary of the team with a big game looming).

Also, one of my theories that I never have had the resources to prove but seems true is that NFL coaches will gladly accept a loss in a “lose the battle, but win the war” way. Given all the factors mentioned above, I can see Falcons coach Mike Smith and his staff mailing this game in an attempt to bring a good old fashioned swift ass kicking down on his team that they can then use as a re-focusing point of instruction. Sounds logical, right?

NY Giants (-3.0) over Green Bay – Green Bay has revenge on their minds as they travel to New York to face the defending champion Giants! You want to know what happened to the last team that had revenge on their minds when they played the defending Super Bowl champs? Well, it was Last season, when the Falcons took on these same Packers, the Pack romped. And that was in Atlanta.
Gambling rule #645 – “Revenge is over-rated!”

The “Thanksgiving Day” picks:

Dallas (-3.5) over Washington – The rule (#18) – “never, ever back the Cowboys at home as a favorite” is trumped by rule #491 – “No way in hell all three underdogs cover on Thanksgiving.”

RG III is amazing but let’s not get crazy here – he is still a rookie having to go on the road (albeit in the equivalent of a library), on a short week with the rookie wall rapidly approaching.

NY Jets (-7.0) over New England – This game is the equivalent of a younger brother, who almost never is able to beat his older brother in the annual Thanksgiving day game of one-on-one, getting a crack at the elder after recent knee surgery and a battle with the flu (why didn’t he get the mercury laced, population control flu shot that was made mandatory by his employer, you ask? Well, grasshopper, that is an entirely different column). If he can’t get him this time, when will he?

Bonus “Seven Out” Picks:

And here is a Thanksgiving day bonus, my first couple “Seven Out” losers:

Texas (-7.5) over TCU – Given the picks above it just didn’t seem right not to include Mack Brown, who is the college football equivalent of a “great coordinator, horrible head coach”, as he should absolutely be in the NCAA hall of fame, in the recruiter section, but would not sniff the HOF as a head coach, if the criteria went beyond “I won most of my games because my talent was so far superior, I couldn’t lose.” So, yeah, why not, let’s throw him and the perpetually under-achieving Longhorns into the Turkey day selections.

Iowa (+14.0) over Nebraska – Remember last week I wrote that I am snake-bit when picking the Huskers? So, I went with the total instead. I lost by a single point!

Why do it again? Well, the most important factor is motivation. For the Huskers it’s the “bigger fish to fry” syndrome. Yeah, they have to win, but one look at the Hawkeyes and the Huskers are like, “next!”

For the Hawkeyes, however, this is a self-created rivalry, their “big game”, their “season saver”, their “bowl game” and this is for the “Heroes Trophy.” Little hayseeds in Iowa grow up dreaming about hoisting the “Heroes Trophy” triumphantly above their heads after a stunning victory over the far superior rivals to the west.

Side note – effing “Heroes Trophy!” Really? Now if I was tasked with creating a cheesy B1G trophy for this annual pillow fight, I would have done much better than this meaningless “Heroes Trophy.” This is a conference that has games with trophies such as “Pual Bunyan’s Axe” and “Floyd of Rosedale.” Despite being hokey, those trophies are freaking sweet. It’s almost like Iowa decided on the whole “Heroes Trophy” thing because they were like, “we’ll never have it anyway, so let’s stick them with this hunk of junk.”

Pathetic!

I mean shouldn’t the Iowa/Nebraska trophy have something to do with beef? What about a gigantic wooden butchers knife, simply called “The Butchers Knife.” Think about it, Husker players could then, legally, do the throat slitting gesture. Or what about a giant golden cow, wait that’s already been, unsuccessfully, done. You could also go with the “Our Beef is Bigger than yours” trophy.

It would have even been more creative to simply lift the Iowa/Iowa State trophy name, “CyHawk” and go with “CornHole” or “CornHawk” or “CornEye.” If they choose that cheap way out, my favorite would be “Husker Hawk”, with the trophy being a mythological half Hawk, half Human dressed in overalls and sporting the gayest grin in history.

I half expect when Nebraska wins, but fails to cover, they accidentally leave the trophy in Iowa City. And when Iowa calls to inform them, Nebraska responds with, “ahh, you know what we will pick it up next time we come to Iowa City, in two years.”

Good luck this week, and Happy Thanksgiving!

NFL 2012 – Week 12 Predictions, “Not Buying it” Edition

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.
The “Super Contest” picks:

Oakland (+4.5) over New Orleans – What does it take to be a road favorite by more than a field goal in the 2012 NFL? Well, it takes beating a “circling the drain” team and putting up a miraculous goal-line stand where the opposing team totally butchered not only the play calling but also the execution. NFL fans, I give you the 2012 New Orleans Saints.

What’s interesting is the Saints were -3.0 over Oakland in the preseason, when everyone thought the Raiders would be atrocious and the Saints were a Super Bowl contender, now the Saints are a shell of the preseason image and, true, the Raiders are atrocious, but somehow that warrants a 1.5 movement toward the Saints? Not buying it odds-makers.

San Diego (+7.5) over Denver – So, I am not 100% convinced on this Denver team quite yet, as I think they are the leading candidates for the annual “Winston Wolf, Let’s not start sucking each other’s [BEEP] yet” team. You know the team that looks too good to be true to start the season, has the fan base all-in on them but then falls off a cliff around week 12 taking the overzealous, un-realistic fans with them.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I thought last week was the spot for the Broncos to lose and they destroyed Carolina. So, this week is the spot, right? Well besides that, here are two more reasons why I like the Chargers this week:

  1. Every week there is at least one game that I will call the “teaser killer” game of the week, well every week except two weeks ago when every favorite, public loving team won and covered (goodness Vegas quit whining about it, I am pretty sure you get it all back and then some). Well, 0this week we have four “teaser” plays where you can essentially get the favorites down to a field goal or less. Play all four of those teams on a teaser and you can get roughly 2.5-1. Not bad considering you get a clearly better team in what amounts to a pick’em. Here are some quick stats to back-up that statement – only 7% of the overall games in the last three years have ended on either one or two points; furthermore, only 6% of favorites of more than a touchdown have landed less than a three point margin; and 86% of those teams have won outright.
  2. This is an absolute must-win for the Chargers. A loss here means the Bolts are, for all intents and purposes, doen for 2012 as they would be down four games with six to play. Factor in the Broncos have Northwest Montana twice (Kansas City) and the University of Maine (Oakland) as three of their remaining six games and the Chargers cannot lose this game if they have any designs on winning the division. The wildcard seems unlikely as well.

Cleveland (+7.5) over Dallas – What would be more “Dallas” than the Cowboys losing to Cleveland at home after a huge victory over the Eagles on the road? Yeah, that pretty much seems like the script for this team, especially with the big “Cowboys and Indians” Thanksgiving day game on the horizon. Personally, I think the Cowboys and Redskins game should be a Thanksgiving staple. And what would be better if in every one of those games there was some egregious call against the Redskins at the end of the game that cost them a win. That’s the Thanksgiving story from the Indians perspective, Pale Face!

This game also has the potential to be a “teaser killer” game and when you throw in the Cowboys are starting a three game home stand, the big national game mentioned above and the fact the Giants are circling the drain, the Boys have some hope at the division. It is conceivable that they will completely over-look this AFC team looking ahead to the two division match-ups on the horizon. So, give me that plus the fact the Browns have been competitive in just about every game this season and I believe the Browns are the right side.

Philadelphia (+3.5) over Washington – Washington is in a similar position to the Cowboys, big game looming on a short week. Here is a trend for you from one of the best sites on the web for a sports investor, sportdatabase.com – teams favored by more than 3, with a Thursday road game the following week playing at home are just 22-36 since 1989.

Perfect, so the Eagles have that going for them. In addition, the loss of Vick helps this team because it will (a), force Andy Reid to prepare and coach; (b). change the focus from the quarterback to the best player on the team, Shady McCoy; and (c). unify the team around the oldie, but seemingly insurmountable, mantra of “us against the world.”

Green Bay (-3.5) over Detroit – Hmm, ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth called Ndamakong Suh the third best DT on the Lions. Yeah, I bet Schlereth would have had no problem blocking him with that little weasel 260 lb body of his. Mark, leave the bashing of NFL players to the guys like me who never played in the NFL. Suh couldn’t give two craps about me talking junk about him, but with you, he is apt to hunt you down so he can deliver the patented “Suh Stomp” to your steroid enlarged head.

The Packers situation coming off a bye week and playing on the road as a favorite, this week has been a very profitable 76-46-2 or 62.3%. And since 2010, when the new practice rules for bye weeks went into effect, this situation is 10-3-1 or 76.9%. So, let me get this straight, I get a 75% trend and I get to bet against the Lions? Sign me up.


The “Apathy has set in” pick:

Arizona (+9.5) over Atlanta – The Falcons can go one of the following two ways – 1. Come out pissed off and drill the Cardinals; or 2. Realize that the division is practically wrapped up and now that the undefeated season cannot happen, come out flat and barely win. Three straight division games are up after this battle with the Cardinals, including a re-match with the Saints means the Falcons will likely come out flat. The Cardinals have some value on the money line as well.

The “Loser is out, uh, so is the winner” pick:

St. Louis (-3.5) over NY Jets – Let’s be honest neither of these teams is going anywhere this season, but you have to like the direction the Rams are headed as opposed to the Jets. In fact, this game is like two cars passing on the road, the Jets headed to “the Arena”, while the Rams are headed towards “the Power team.”
The reality for the Jets is they are much closer to Jack ‘Cap’ Rooney than Willie Beamen (Any Given Sunday), nevertheless they still collectively act like Beamen. In other words, Maverick, their ego’s are writing checks their talent level cannot cancel. This team is a complete train wreck.

So, what can the Jets do? Well, for starters they have to address the GM and coach, both need to be relieved of their duties. And for the naysayers who will point out the Jets are just two years removed from the second of two consecutive trips to the AFC championship, I will remind everyone of how they got there in the first place – a lot of good fortune.
Need proff? In 2009, the Colts laid down at halftime of a game they had well in hand essentially handing the Jets a victory that kept their playoff hopes alive. The following week Cincinnati no-showed as the Jets clinched a playoff berth.

The Jets were extremely fortunate to make the playoffs again in 2010, though the 2010 edition of the Jets was the best of the Ryan era by far. Remember the three game stretch of extreme luck for the Jets in that season? Let me remind you, beat the Lions in overtime when a Lions penalty keeps a drive alive and rallied from down 10 with less than five minutes to play; the following week the Jets beat Cleveland in overtime, when again the football gods smiled upon them as Chansi Stuckey fumbled after picking up a first down at the Jets 32; and the following week the Texans were up four with less than a minute to play but decided to give up the one thing the Jets needed to win the game, a deep pass, down the sideline no less.

The “I’ll have the turd a sandwich with a glass of urine” picks:

Houston (-14.5) over Jacksonville, Cincinnati (-3.5) over Kansas City – The first question you have to be asking is “Which team is the turd sandwich?” I am glad you asked. The Jags are definitely the turd sandwich. I know that might be surprisingly, considering I picked the Chiefs to win the division with 11 wins. One would think I would be madder than a “bobcat caught in a piss fire”, but shockingly I still believe there are more redeemable parts on the Chiefs. And we know that, while vile and disgusting, “It’s no slurpee” urine can at least sustain the body’s need for hydration. Outside of the bread, what value is a turd sandwich? The body has already considered it waste once, plus you don’t even get the digestive calorie burn because your intestines are like, “Wait, is that sh.., yeah it is! Boys we’ve got a day off!”

There is very little to like about the Jags. For starters, Gabbert is not the answer at quarterback, despite his comment stating that the Jags are, “. . .happy with their quarterback situation.” Uh, Blaine, get ready for the Tebow circus in 2013. Also, remember when every fantasy geek couldn’t get to the computer fast enough to pick up Rashard Jennings? And yet, four weeks in and the Jags steadfastly refuse to let anyone else carry the load despite Jennings yards per carry barely out-doing the collective GPA of the Kentucky Wildcats starting five. Therefore, either the backup to Jennings is the running back equivalent to Russ Bellomy (Michigan’s worthless back quarterback) or the Jags are determined to pay off those fantasy owners that blew their FAAB budget on Jennings. Even “can’t miss” rookie Justin Blackmon looks lost (I remember ripping the Rams for not only passing on RGIII but also allowing Blackmon to get away from them, glad I know less than Bill Polian’s mailman about talent evaluation).

The Jags have a don’t have simple path back from the abyss, but here is an option that might help – sell the team to the Magic Johnson led group, move the team to LA and, most importantly, change the nickname from Jaguars. You want to rid yourself of all that suck!

The path back for the Chiefs is much easier – fire GM Pioli, Crennel, his staff and start over at quarterback with either Geno Smith or Matt Barkley. The defense, when disciplined, can still play at a high level.

Remember, last week I swore to never, ever, ever, pick either the Chiefs or the Jags again this season.

The “Fool me once, your bad, fool 8 times . . .” picks:

Carolina (+1.5) over Tampa Bay – See New Orleans above. I am just not quite ready to buy Tampa as a road favorite; in fact since 1989 the Bucs are just 18-27-1 as road chalk. Therefore, I am giving Carolina one final shot with this ultimatum – win this week or I cast you into the Chiefs/Jags smorgasbord, they will be the “puke soup.”

The “Reason 1302 why I will not be playing fantasy football in 2013” pick:

New England (-9.5) over Indianapolis – So I heard all week how New England beats Indianapolis, but look for a back door cover by the Colts. OK, so if I logic this out based on that premise being true, then I have the following – the Patriots are going win and the Patriots are going to have the game covered at some point late in the game. I’m always nervous about a late game, backdoor cover against me, but I never play it that way. In fact since 1989, there have only been 35 games where a team favored 7.5 to 10 points has had a game covered after three quarters, failed to cover the final but won the game. So, it’s a bad bet if you don’t believe 1. That a team can win outright; or 2. A team will be within a single score the entire game.

I don’t believe Indy can win this game outright, plus the Pats need a great performance and Indy is due for a stinker. And I truly believe the Pats are up two scores for most of the game.

And I just traded for Andrew Luck this week, so you got that going for the Pats this week.

The “Backup quarterback bowls” picks:

Pittsburgh (+3.5) over Baltimore – If you happen to be a player on the Steelers not named Ben Roethlisberger would you have a chip on your shoulder since this line moved seven points once word came out that Big Ben was sitting out? I certainly would. And don’t rule out the impact of Roethlisberger being out in terms of the Ravens, there will be a certain amount of letdown by them and when coupled with the added focus by the Steelers, this is stealing money.

Look this game is always a battle, a la, “Zach v. C.J,” from the Battle of the Seasons in the “physical” challenge in the Arena this week. Side tangent – that was as good of a battle as you can get in reality TV. First off, I was overly impressed by the grittiness of C.J., until Zach mentioned that C.J. was a MMA fighter. After that it didn’t seem like as big of a deal, despite the fact Zach is like twice as big. Anyway, props to Zach, who once he out-thought C.J., he really had him at his mercy.

One more thing on C.J,, I love that he has the bible verses like Tebow on his eye black, but that had to create some serious conflicts for MTV, right? Like I can imagine prior to bringing C.J. on the show, they had him in and told him, “Look, we are fine with you putting the bible verses on your eye black and you can talk mention God a half dozen times or so, but one mention of Jesus and you’re done, we will erase you from all episodes.”

I think the Steelers show up with a gritty, C.J.-esque performance.

Chicago (+6.0) over San Francisco – This is way too many points for a team that relies on defense, special teams and is balancesd on offense, Cutler or no Cutler. It’s not like the Bears are handing the reins over to Caleb Hanie, this is a proven, moderately successful quarterback in Jason Campbell. It’s not fair to judge Campbell on the performance against the Texans where the weather was a joke, he had to come in off the bench and it was the Texans defense after all. With a full week of reps, he will be much better and give the Bears an opportunity to win.

Good luck this week.

CFB – Week 12 “Seven Out”

Northwestern @ Michigan State (-7.5, O/U 45.0) – It’s official, Sparty and me are done. Yup, I woke up one day to the realization they had really let themselves go, coupled that with the fact they never reciprocated my love for them and that was that. In hindsight, we were doomed to fail from beginning with countless letdowns leading the burning of cash.

The reality for the Spartans is their high end talent is no longer in “let’s leave it on the field and win the Big Ten” mode, instead they’re in “let’s not get hurt prior to the end of the season, so we are ready for the combine” mode. The rest of the team simply isn’t very good or at very best is average for the conference. Plus, they haven’t played a game outside of four point margin of victory since beginning of Big Ten play, why should I trust them giving more than a touchdown.

The only concern over Northwestern covering is how they have been unable to finish games. In their three losses lead late in the 4th quarter, yet in each of those games they went into “come one Northwestern get off your knees, you are blowing the game” mode. Against Penn State they blew a 10 point 4th quarter lead in Happy Valley, at home against Nebraska they lost by one point on virtually the final play.

And last week they Wildcats found a way to lose a game where they had possession of the ball with 23 seconds remaining and the ball at the Michigan 49. Somehow, the managed to merely net 11 yards on the punt, which was seemingly a great play compared to giving up 53 pass completion on the next play. Of course, they lost in overtime.

Taking away the Penn State 4th quarter and the last few seconds against Nebraska and Michigan leaves the Wildcats undefeated. If that were true, what’s the spread in this game? Nowhere near 7.5. Which means there is value on Wildcats.

Play: Northwestern +7.5


Stanford @ Oregon (-20.5, O/U 66.0) – In last week’s Oregon/Cal, I dozed off for about 15 minutes right after Cal scored a touchdown to close within seven points of the Ducks. When I awoke, I was like “Is that a, a 52? No way, you are still sleeping; you are having a nightmare, wake up and look again! WTF happened? 52 points, only 17 points!” At that point, I was holding out hope for a backdoor cover, but I literally could not believe how fast the Ducks play, run, score and run. Goodness, they’re scary! Did I mention that the Ducks can run really fast?

For this game we have comparative recent odds that suggest Oregon should be a 30-34 point favorite. While that is outrageous and would never be posted without the Cardinal getting hit harder than “Little Bill’s wife in Boogie Nights, the posted line seems too low. This tells me that odds makers, who have been taking in the backside the past couple of weeks, are taking a position on this game. Essentially what that means is that the odds-makers like their side (Stanford) and are willing gamble on the game.

Being on the side of the odds-makers in a game with significant lopsided action means either one of two things – 1. The bookies are really, really smart and they know something the rest of us don’t; or 2. They simply fix the game. Either way, I think I will side with the house.

Play: Stanford +20.5

Minnesota @ Nebraska (-20.5, O/U 53) – So, I got dropped by a half point last week when the Huskers kicked a field goal with 18 seconds left in the game, which sparked a heated debate between me and a buddy of mine. Of course, I was biased, but I maintain that there is a better chance of losing the game by kicking the field goal, than merely going for the first down on 4th and 1. Here is my logic:

  1. Do you really want to put the game in the hands of a kicker, long snapper and some snot nosed kid whose main job is to tutor the “athletes” on the team and for that he also gets to be the holder on field goals? Or do you put the game in the hands of your best player, Taylor Martinez? Read that again, I just called Taylor Martinez the best player on the team, yikes!
  2. The Huskers had already successfully converted three straight first downs with one yard to go. Now I am no sabermetrician but I think 100% is pretty good. Ballgame if they covert.
  3. Not only is there a chance that the field goal is blocked and returned for a touchdown, but also kicker could simply miss the kick, which leaves you in a worse position than simply going for the one yard. Even if the FG has an 80% chance of being good and only a 1% chance of being blocked, I would rather not take that chance, when I have 100% chance (same sample size, but still) on converting the first down via power run.
  4. And if you felt like the Penn State defense was due for a stop, why not roll out Martinez, after a fake dive to the tailback, have him run for the first down. If he feels he can’t make the first down then throw the ball a mile in the air and out of bounds. Sure that is risky, but dammit Bo, we didn’t want to cover that spread!

I stared in disbelief at how this Husker team continues to fall behind, yet finds a way to not only win but also cover the spread. And what a way to cover, down 14, rally to take a 4 point lead, get a gift call that eliminates a Penn State touchdown, a safety and the ill fated field goal. I am snake-bit when picking this team.

Therefore, let’s go with the total this week – expect the Huskers to be somewhat flat, especially on defense this week and Minnesota has some talent on offense. Oh and I’ve seen the Gophers play defense. Ovah!

Play: Over 53.0

BYU (-3.0, O/U47.0) @ San Jose State – BYU failed to cover the first game after their alum Mitt Romney blew the presidential election. And yeah he blew it, given where Obama’s approval rating two years ago, he had a cake walk and pulled an Alabama. So, doom on you BYU for not preparing Romney to close the deal.

Play: San Jose State +3.0

USC (-3.5, 66.5) @ UCLA – My employer – yeah, believe it or not I do not make my living from these college plays – has finally decided that the cost of operating six different buildings to house employees is outweighed by the chance an employee might take a lunch hour to pick up groceries for the week and decided to institute a full-time work from home program. Welcome to the 21st century, fellas! Also we should welcome the managers to a whole new process called “managing”! You see a properly managed employee should be able to work on the moon, right? Right!

Anyway, the name of the program is aptly called “inTouch” which has three tracks – 1. inMotion (no set workspace, but remote office work four times a week and one from home); 2. inOffice (in the office five days a week, no exceptions!); and 3. inHome (full time at home, with office visits only when customer meetings require you to have a face-to-face or you need to sneak in a quickie with an inOffice co-worker). I have proposed a fourth track called “the Trojan” named after the USC Trojans, where you essentially show up when you feel like it.

I think this is a week they decide to show up.

Play: USC -3.5

Central Florida @ Tulsa (-1.5, O/U 56.0) – As I yo-yo back and forth each week from 3-4 and 4-3 it occurred to me that I need to implement some of the same rules I have for the NFL. One such example would be “don’t back a quarterback who thinks the world is against his college, on the road with nothing to play for when the opposing team is fighting for the conference championship.” In other words, don’t back a shaky quarterback on the road. I feel into that trap last weekend with Penn State’s quarterback Matt McGloin, who took to the microphone after the game to deliver one of the whiniest, bitchiest, most victimized post-game interviews I ever heard in my life. Now that is a sure sign that a QB is shaky and cannot be trusted. Oh and listen up, Matty , you had the opportunity to leave but you chose to stay, if you failed to realize during decision making process that there would be some, understandable, backlash at what was essentially an entire cultish community supporting a monster, well then you’re not very smart and you deserve to have the refs biased against the Lions. And if you did realize there would be “hell to pay”, then STFU and play for your dream college, then get job as a grad assistant, where can walk in on a child being sodomized and do nothing about it.

What does that have to do with this game, you ask? Well, two things, first off, I don’t feel I have taken enough shots at Penn State and secondly, I backed a shaky quarterback from UCF earlier in the year on an under bet and he single handedly killed the prospect of the game going over. So, the pick is Tulsa, right? Nope. I’ve seen massive growth in Bortles.

Well, I’ve seen enough growth to know he is slightly above shaky and his UCF supporting cast is much better than that of Tulsa. This is a great matchup for UCF, plus they have revenge from a home loss to Tulsa last season.

Play: Central Florida +1.5

Arkansas @ Mississippi State (-5.5, O/U 55.5) – It seems as though when a team starts strong, they tend to get a longer leash on line adjustment when things go south. The opposite is true of a team that is up and down throughout the early part of the season. And even though both example teams have the same record, the edge still goes to the strong start team.

The Bulldogs are an example of this, as the 7-0 promising start to the season has gone up in flames with a three game losing streak, yet they’re still giving Arkansas points. Albeit the Bulldogs have played LSU, A&M and Alabama, but they weren’t competitive in any of those games.

The Razorbacks have a significant edge in overall talent, but they have been terribly inefficient causing the inconsistencies in their results. Though you can’t trust teams like that when giving points, they can be good when getting points. You know the whole “disrespect” thing.

Here is a story that I will tell from personal experience – I was on a team that started the season 7-1, however, it was a bit of a mirage as our final three games were against the top three teams in a very competitive conference. The morale on the team was high going into the first of the three games, but we lost, and we lost again. Then we got drilled 34-7. We never recovered and ended up losing in the playoffs to a team we had beaten soundly earlier in the year. To this day, I still believe had we mixed those three games into our schedule at various non-consecutive points, we would have gone further.

There you have it – Arkansas outright winner!

Play: Arkansas +5.5

Best of luck this week, Colin is calling a winning week this week of no less than 5-2 or your money back!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB 2012 – Week 11 “Seven Out”

Michigan (-10.0, O/U 52.0) @ Northwestern – Though it’s a long shot, Northwestern can still represent the Legends Division in the BIG10 championship game. So they got that going for them. For Michigan they will again be without Denard Robinson and while I must admit Devin Gardner is roughly a billion times better than Russ Bellamy, we are still a rolled up ankle, an unfortunate helmet-to-helmet concussing hit, a stray knee to the balls or pile driver sack which leaves Gardner’s arm looking like silly putty away from seeing an investors best friend, Russ Bellamy.

And yeah, yeah I know, Devin Gardner had a big game last weekend, but 1. It was Minnesota; 2. It was Minnesota’s secondary, meaning Gardner accuracy had to be the equivalent of throwing a football into a cruise ship’s swimming pool from the Lido deck; and 3. Minnesota’s coaching staff was completely clueless with their play calling. See failed fake field goal that wouldn’t work if they had 100 tries!

Them Cats going to raise some Kain on Saturday!

Play: Northwestern +10.0

Wisconsin (-7.0, O/U 55.0) @ Indiana – This game represents the Hoosiers chance to become relevant in the Big 10; in fact with half of their division ineligible for the division title Indiana could take a giant step towards that goal by winning on Saturday. I am sure that when the BIG 10 enticed Nebraska to join BIG10 commissioner Jim Delany envisioned an Iowa v. Indiana championship game matchup for the chance to be a 49 point underdog to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

I have to admit, I’ve been impressed with the Hoosiers effort this season. And Wisky’s starting quarterback is some guy name Curt Phillips, which, in terms of individual names is great – Curt like Curt Schilling or Curt Warner and Phillips like Wade or Lawrence, but together the names just don’t mesh. So, if that is the case can we really trust this guy to cover road BIG10 game? Answer – No.

Play: Indiana +7.0

Penn State @ Nebraska (-8.5, O/U 51.5) – So, I am going back to the well once more, and though it’s dried up, you just never know when your bucket will suddenly be full of water. You might be thinking, what an idiot. I would disagree as a true idiot is a person that, for example, reveals that they have a hidden immunity idol for no reason other than they were asked, and at tribal council no less. Goodness if Abi wins Survivor I promise that I will shit-can that show forever. Now that is an idiot. I would argue that Nebraska cannot continue this run of improbable covers, therefore, natural attrition is on my side.

But still I feel the need to justify the Husker plays over the past two weeks like the degenerate gambler asking Nicky Santoro for money so he could “turn on the heat.” Simply put, Michigan wins that game if Devin Gardner plays. And, really Michigan coaching staff after Bellomy stunk up the joint the first three possessions, why wasn’t Gardner at least given a chance. He wasn’t prepared, you say. Fine then put him in the game, run wildcat (which was already in the playbook) or four verticals on every play. Essentially that’s what Michigan did, successfully, last week against Minnesota.

Last week, I admit I over-valued the Spartans, but even at that the Huskers needed a miracle 4th down conversion to, of all players, a tight end (and how does the tight end get that open and then turn and leave the db for an additional 25 yards?) to pull that game out in the final 4 seconds.0

So, why do I like Penn State this week? Three reasons: 1. At 8.5, I merely need Penn State to keep the game close, essentially they can’t get blown out. One thing about this PSU team is that they play 60 minutes; 2. Penn State is well coached, Nebraska is not. That should be enough for the Lions to be in this game late; and 3. The HTM. What is the HTM, you ask? The “Human Turnover Machine”, aka Taylor Martinez. Three picks last week, along with two fumbles that Nebraska was to retain. It’s almost like Martinez and Michael Vick are having a contest to see how can turn over the ball more and keep their starting job. After this week – Advantage, Martinez!

Here is exactly how this game will play out – Martinez turns it over early, Penn State jumps out to the double digit lead, Huskers claw back furiously, Huskers take the lead and Penn State’s rally fall short. Nebraska 34-30.

Play: Penn State +8.5

Missouri @ Tennessee (-3.0, O/U 60.0) – Can Tennessee stop anyone? Now if the answer to that question on Sunday morning is “Turns out they can stop Missouri,” then this prediction went very, very wrong.

Hey, I haven’t lost a total prediction in almost two weeks (1-0 in that time). I am on a roll!

Play: Over 60.0

Oregon (-28.5, 67.5) @ California – There are so many angles supporting the Bears here that this game has to be my “Guaranteed LOCK of the CENTURY!” Ok, maybe I am not quite that confident, but here are four reasons why the Bears are a solid play this week – 1. The Ducks figure to be flat after the emotional win against USC last week. Even though it seems like the Ducks only expended about 5% of their usable energy, I still believe they have to have a bit of a letdown after that near perfect performance; 2. It is sandwich city for the Ducks, last week SC, next week Stanford, then Oregon State and then Alabama in the BCS title game. Wait, I am forgetting an opponent? See how I did that; 3. The former Oregon AD and head coach, Mike Bellotti, said this week that Chip Kelly would “inevitably leave Oregon for the NFL.” Huh? Chipper’s offense is not going to work in the NFL, Mike! And e tu, Mikey! What are you trying to sabotage the entire Ducks season? The players need to be focused on the task at hand, not whether this fast break style of football is going to leave for the NFL; and 4. The Golden Bears actually play the Ducks very tough in Berkley or at least they have the last two meetings. Sure they’ve been free falling the last three weeks, but their ceiling is a blowout victory over UCLA and a narrow lost i Columbus. I like them to play closer to their ceiling than their basement.

Of course I reserve the right to call this bet off if Oregon goes up 35-0 seven minutes into the game.

Play: California +28.5

Tulsa (-3.5, O/U 67.0) @ Houston – This game is a little like one of those “stock alerter” programs – I know very little about the company, but the metrics tell me to buy, so I buy. Tulsa took an SEC to the wire last week, while Houston was crapping themselves against a mediocre East Carolina team. Imaplay.com tells me it’s all Tulsa.

Play: Tulsa -3.5

Kansas @ Texas Tech (-26.5, O/U 56.5) – Once hoop season starts the Jayhawks fan focus shifts from Women’s soccer to Men’s Basketball, therefore no one in Kansas gives a rat’s ass about the Jayhawk football team.

Not that it matters with this game being played in Lubbock, but still think about it when no one gives a crap about what you’re doing, what do you do? Very little, right?

But the reason I am on the Red Raiders is the fact that they are 16-4 ATS the last 20 times they have played the second of a back-to-back home game. Book it!

Play: Texas Tech -26.5

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are five more that didn’t quite make the cut:

Kansas State/TCU – Kansas State -6.5

Wyoming/New Mexico – New Mexico +2.0

Louisiana Lafayette/Florida – Louisiana Lafayette +27.0

Colorado/Arizona – Colorado +29.0

Oklahoma State/West Virginia – Under 77.0
 

Best of luck this week, may none of your games end in the first quarter or in the final seconds!

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB – Week Ten “Seven Out”

Nebraska (-1.5, O/U 44.5) @ Michigan State – I admit that it’s tough to go against a team that completely dominated a Michigan team that was down to their 8th string quarterback last Saturday, but I am going back to the well once again this weekend on Michigan State. To be honest, the next road win over a quality opponent for the dynamic duo of Taylor Martinez and Bo Pelini will be their first. Sorry Northwestern, I don’t consider you a quality opponent. But even that soft one point win over the Wildcats stresses the shortcomings the have on the road.

Plus, my man-crush on the Spartans has reached stalker level proportions after that “ballsy” performance against the Badgers last week.

For grins, let’s list the “true” reasons why Sparty emerges with a victory Saturday afternoon:

  • Talent, Michigan State is more talented that Nebraska, period!
  • Blue chip players, in addition to having overall more talent, Michigan State’s high end talent is much better than that of the Huskers
  • You tell me who you trust in a big game – Bo Pelini or Mark Dantonio? Let me remind you that this is not a nostril size competition, it’s big time college football.
  • LeVeon Bell, give this kid 30 carries between the tackles and I guarantee carries 21 through 30 feature at least seven yards a pop and one long, back-breaking gainer.
  • Revenge – the Huskers stomped Michigan State last year in one of those classic “third game flat” situations. You think maybe the Spartans want revenge?

And I get a point and a half? Ok, where do I sign! Thanks to the “sharps” who either have a metric that completely dismisses turnovers or were so impressed by Taylor Martinez’ 4th quarter against Northwestern that they have hammered this game from Michigan State -2. Fair enough, now I can root for the Huskers to win by a point.

Play: Michigan State +1.5

Iowa @ Indiana (-2.0, O/U 56.0) – This Halloween I fortunately got the job of handing out the candy to some very poor costumed kids. Look, little punks, grabbing a mask at the store and throwing it on is not a costume.

Anyway there were a few good costumes, like the group of three little girls dressed as cheerleaders, with a boy as the football captain. That group happens to live next door to me, and since they’re die-hard Iowa fans, the kids were, shockingly in black and gold Iowa Hawkeye gear. Cute nonetheless, but after I give them candy and had a short conversation with mama, the girls do a little “Let’s go Hawks” cheer on my doorstep. Mama, looks at me with glossy eyes that could only come from two too many wine coolers, and states, “we had nothing to do with that!” However, I guess Iowan women don’t learn to lie until their thighs look like they just caught 180 straight innings, because the little girls tell me, “Our dad told us to do that cheer!” Meanwhile, mama waddles off with a sheepish look on her face like, “OMG, he knows I lied!”

That’s precious, the Iowa fans getting so excited about the potential of beating Nebraska three weeks from now so they can finish 4th in the “Legends” division and head to the Poulan WeedEater bowl to play some 3rd place team from the Mountain West. Honestly, I could give a flip about a loss to Iowa, other than probably having to cleanup black and gold toilet paper from lawn. The reality is Iowa is less relevant than Nebraska, so if you want to celebrate becoming bowl eligible by beating the Huskers, hell, who am I to stand in their way, go for it!

But you don’t send your kids to talk junk, especially on Halloween. It’s poor etiquette. And my guess is homie single handedly angered the football gods. That’s pal, this loss is on you!

Play: Indiana -2.0

Penn State (-3.5, O/U 51.0) @ Purdue –Purdue is like the college version of the Arizona Cardinals, I can’t win when picking their games. The obvious question is – in that case, why are you picking this game? Well, here you go – I think the life went out of Penn State last week in that loss to Ohio State. Especially considering how ugly it got at the end. Yep, it has finally caught up with Penn State, but kudos to Bill O’Brien he got about as much mileage out of that team as he could.

Plus, the Boilers play much better against higher end competition.

Play: Purdue +3.5

Vanderbilt (-7.0, 46.0) @ Kentucky – I’ve got Kentucky winning this game out-right, so the points are just a bonus. The balls play here is to take the Wildcats +230 on the money line. Done.

Play: Kentucky +7.0

Alabama (-8.0, O/U 41.0) @ LSU – Steve Spurrier claimed that the Crimson Tide could hang with, and possibly beat, an NFL team. I guess Stev-o is on prescribed medical marijuana, because the worst NFL team of all-time would destroy the best college team of all-time.

But, let’s think about it for a minute – the best college team might send eight players to the NFL a year, which means that they might have 32 NFL players on the current roster. Of course, at least half those players haven’t fully developed. So, even the optimistic estimates would have the NFL with 45 NFL players and the college team with maybe 24 players. Now if you told the 2012 Jaguars that they had to skim their roster to 24 players and then fill in with guys bagging groceries, what do you think the spread would be? Yeah, at least 30, right? Spurrier is insane, and this isn’t even a Lou Holtz tactic as the Gamecocks don’t play Alabama this year. Of course, maybe Steve is jealous of the Tide’s success so he decided to rile up the Tigers.

Either way, I get it, Bama is good, but come on, eight and a half points at night, in Death Valley? That’s too many points!
Play: LSU +8.5

“If the Trojans crap the bed Saturday, I’m going to kill someone . . .”

Oregon (-8.5, O/U 70.0) @ USC – Please tell me that I am not about to back Lane Kiffin.

Ok, here is the case for USC – 1. The Trojans have the speed to handle the Ducks offense; 2. The athletes on the outside for USC are better than anything Oregon has seen this year; 3. USC was looking ahead to this matchup when the Wildcats kicked them in the balls last week. Therefore, we can completely dismiss that game; 4. The Trojans are home, which means the ghosts of Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush, Ronnie Lott, Mike Garrett, Charles White and the double-murderer, aka OJ Simpson will have a presence on the sideline (side note- if you Orenthal on the sidelines with a knife – RUN). Think that doesn’t matter, think back to the 1985 Bears, when they played the Dolphins in Miami and those 1972 Dolphin players roamed the sidelines. It matters; 5. You don’t get into the hottest clubs in LA unless you win games like this. Barkley knows that and so does the rest of the Trojans!; 6. Back in 1997 Nebraska needed to run up the score to impress the voters in an effort to overcome Michigan’s stranglehold atop the polls. That actually created a weird pressure that adversely affected the Huskers, who barely escaped 27-24. Oregon is in a similar position, they need to impress and what better way than to whack the Trojans, of course a funny thing happen on the way to the Coliseum; and 7. Oregon’s quarterback is unproven in big sport and on the road against a quality opponent for the first time in his career.

Play: USC +8.5

Florida Atlantic @ Navy (-16.5, O/U 51.0) – What would the “SevenOut” college football picks be without the “weekly total loser?” I am here to serve. I don’t know much, but I know that the Pelini brothers are terrific at shutting down teams that are one dimensional, even teams with a dark ages “that’s still around?” offense, like Navy. Give me the under in a grind it out, 70s style game.

Play: Under 51.0

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are three more totals that you can take to the bank if you reverse them:

Houston/East Carolina Under 68
UAB/Southern Mississippi Under 63
Texas Tech/Texas Under 68

Best of luck this week.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB Week Eight “Seven Out”

Nebraska (-6.5, O/U 61.5) @ Northwestern – Usually this is the spot where I take what is rightfully mine – an easy winner by fading the Huskers on the road against a competent opponent. It’s practically my birth right as a Husker fan since I know this team very well. They have been extremely profitable since 1998 going against them in these spots. But this is not the spot. First off, while the Wildcats are 6-1, it’s an incredibly soft 6-1.

Secondly, the public will obviously over-react to the Huskers implosion in Columbus, while Vegas will stay the course by sticking to their guns, and not wavering, therefore the line is exactly where the power rankings dictate regardless of recent results.

Lastly, while the Huskers have been nothing short of hideous on the road they have traditionally performed well after a bye week regardless of the venue. Why? Well, they have time to adequately prepare for an opponent. One of the problems with this Bo Pelini-led coaching staff is the schemes are too complicated for college kids, therefore, instead of athletes making plays by being athletes, most of the Huskers players are thinking about their assignment and thus slowing down their natural athleticism. But when given time to prepare the players are comfortable with their assignments and play closer to their potential. Yeah, I figured that out, yet the “blue hair” Husker fans want to give Bo another decade.

So, those three reasons are plenty to turn my support to the Huskers, but this quote by Bo Pelini made it a “no-brainer”:

“As I just told the football team, we need to win out,” Pelini said after the 63-38 loss at No. 12 Ohio State.

Perfect! Bo is now out on the line, pretty much win out or get out, pal. The path to Indianapolis starts in Evanston Saturday, Git Er Dun!

Play: Nebraska -6.5

Michigan State @ Michigan (-10.0, O/U 43.0) – I have Michigan as even with Sparty, so something smells fishy here. Let’s not forget the following facts as well: (a). Michigan State is on a six game ATS losing streak, sure they’re due but this is the third week “they’re due”; (b). The Spartans lost to Iowa last week, which is the equivalent of the democratic presidential candidate losing Oregon, meanwhile the Wolverines spanked Illinois; (c). Michigan has lost four straight to MSU, so payback is on their minds, especially those fifth year seniors; and (d). Michigan State seemingly has not recovered from the tough loss to Ohio State.

Adding those facts together is what has given us the inflated line, that and the fact that Vegas has been taking in the shorts on Michigan State, so they finally have reacted. Normally this type of game would be a stay away for me, but this particular game is about personnel and matchups, not about over-thinking the spread. Not only does MSU have the personnel to hang with Michigan, but they match-up well on both sides of the ball with enough talent to force Denard Robinson into throwing and enough discipline to play conservative while featuring their best player, LeVeon Bell. Therefore, I am calling the outright upset here – Spartans 23 Wolverines 20

Play: Michigan State +10.0

Virginia Tech @ Clemson (-7.5, 62.0) – This game reeks of a Clemson blowout, with the Tigers well rested after a bye week and the Hokie being very, well, un-Hokie like this season. Plus, everyone is hammering the Tigers in this game. So, I should too, right? Sure, but first I just need someone to explain to me why the line has moved from -11 to -7.5, despite 70% of the bets being made on Clemson. Something stinks and it’s more than the Yankees ALCS cumulative batting average.

For just one Saturday this season, can we have “Beamer Ball”? Please Hokies! Let’s block a punt for a touchdown, return a fumble off a sack for another six and let’s run the ball to setup a couple of huge plays down the field. Just once in 2012, Frankie!

Play: Virginia Tech +7.5

Penn State @ Iowa (-2.5, O/U 42.0) – Game should be a pick’em at best for Iowa. I would have made Penn State a small favorite if I were a SportsBook Manager.

Look I can’t explain it, but the Nittany Lions are playing hard, despite having nothing to play other than pride. In addition, they continue fighting, which is uncharacteristic of a team that the grim reaper delivered the living death penalty to a couple months ago. And they’re a fairly efficient team on both sides of the ball. On the flip side, I am not sure I’m buying Iowa, in fact, I am certain that I’m not buying Iowa.

The only that scares me about Penn State is they have zero, ziltch confidence in the place kicker and as a result they refuse to attempt field goals. But all that means is that they are a 21st century advanced football stat geek’s wet dream.

Play: Penn State +2.5

BYU @ Norte Dame (-13.0, O/U 40.0) – Speaking of teams I am not buying, yep, Norte Dame is a pretender – chant with me for a moment, “OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED, OVER-RATED.” With a trip to Norman to play the Sooners next week it’s only natural for them to forget about the school that produced the country’s next president.

And give me the over. That’s right, damn the 2-10 record in totals, I refuse to give up. Plus, guess what, 40 points in college is like nothing. I mean two mediocre offensive teams, with staunch defenses, could potentially post a 40 spot in overtime. Imagine this game being a hard fought defensive game that is tied at 13-13, but it’s heading into overtime. They could trade field goals for the first two overtimes – sure BYU won’t kick a field goal because they don’t trust their kicker either, hey wait can we get a bowl game with them and Penn State? – and viola, game is guaranteed to go over. In a lot of ways, it’s crazy to invest anything real money on CFB. . .

Play: BYU +13.0 & Over 40.0

South Carolina @ Florida (-3.5, O/U 41.5) – Attention, attention, the “third game flat” rule is in play for this game. South Carolina is playing their third consecutive huge SEC game, on the road, in a hostile environment; they simply cannot get up for this game. That poor visor. . .

Play: Florida -3.5

Those are my official “Seven Out”, but here are a few more that didn’t quite make the cut:

Kansas State +2.5 & Under 73.5 – At West Virginia. Ok, so I admit, I fell for WVA after they beat down the Longhorns, but then when OU beat down the Horns, I realized they aren’t special, they’re whores. And ss there any other way to play this game – KSU and Under? There is no way KSU wins a shootout.

Utah +10 over Oregon St. – A few too many points.

TCU +1.5 over Texas Tech – Give it a few years Tech fans, you will figure out that every year a Tommy Tuberville coached team will have one of those “WOW” games, followed by several “R U EFFING KDDING” games. This is the latter.

Texas -8.5 over Baylor – I promised myself that I wouldn’t invest in the Longhorns ever again after they burnt me for the seemingly millionth time earlier this season, but come on, everyone is down on this team, no one believes in them, the line has moved from 13 to 8.5, I cannot resist.

Best of luck.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

CFB Week Seven “Seven Out”

North Carolina (-7.5, O/U 69.0) @ Miami – My first though on this game was “Wow, that is a low total for a college basketball game.” Because there is no way the Canes are getting that many points at home from the UNC football team, right? This is the same Tar Heel team that hasn’t won a road game and was beaten by Wake Forest earlier this season. That team is favored by 7.5 against the Canes, in Miami, no less? Yikes, that is way too many points, but after looking to see if the entire Canes offense was hit by a bus I uncovered this nugget – the line opened at 3.5. So a four point movement, over a key number like 7 means there is some serious sharp money on this game. And even though my numbers tell me the sharps are getting spanked this season, I prefer to side with the proven handicappers over the “bet my entire bankroll on this lock” fly by night guys.

Give me the Heels and the Over. . .

Play: North Carolina -7.5 & Over 69.0

Wisconsin @ Purdue (-1.0, O/U 50.0) – It would like Christmas every week if the Huskers would play road games against ranked opponents. Unfortunately, I have to look elsewhere this week. I know the Big Ten fairly well, at least enough to know that both of these teams are garbage. But Purdue is less garbage. Plus, the Boilermakers are celebrating their most famous alum Drew Brees’ consecutive touchdown pass record.

Play: Purdue -1.0

South Carolina @ LSU (-3.0, 39.5) – My “third game flat” rule will apply to both of these teams next week when the ‘Cocks head to the Swamp to play the Gators and LSU plays Texas A&M. This week though I expect both teams to come out as normal.

Though I am having trouble figuring out why the Tigers are favored. Here are some the reasons I think the Tigers are favored in this game – 1. It’s a night game in Baton Rouge, meaning the normal home field advantage of 4 points is like a 7; 2. Les Miles doesn’t lose back-to-back games; 3. The Tigers are mad about losing last week to Florida and will take it out on South Carolina; and 4. South Carolina is not road tested.

True those are valid reasons, but give me South Carolina; they simply are the better team. Plus, check out this total. In a year where a typical week features numerous totals in the 60s and a handful in the 70s, it’s refreshing to see an old school total. This game figures to be like an old school Ravens v. Steelers game, you know before both defenses got old and couldn’t cover mediocre receivers.

USC-East will play defense, run the ball and win a close game.

Play: South Carolina +3.0 & under 39.5

Utah State @ San Jose State (-3.0, 50.5) – With conference play underway, it makes it very easy to do comparative lines amongst conference opponents. My opinion is that Vegas will make adjustments to a power ranking but generally they are slower to react, while the public is quick to over-react. Therefore, from week to week, barring injuries, we should see fairly consistent numbers that line up with previous weeks. The public over-reacts to a previous week result and hammers accordingly and viola, billions dollar casinos are built!

Well the consistency is not there in this game. And we have a recent compare as both teams just played Colorado State. San Jose State was favored by 11.5 at home, translating to true advantage of 7.5 when removing the standard HFA. Utah State, a week later, was a 12 point favorite in Fort Collins, translating to a true advantage of Utah State +16. Comparing the two teams yields a Utah State advantage of 8.5, or on the road they should be favored by 4-4.5. Yet they’re getting points. Hmm, ok, I feel a trap coming, but give me the 7.5 points of value.

Play: Utah State +3.0

Alabama (-21.5, 44) @ Missouri – Projected score for this game – Alabama 32.75 Missouri 11.25. How the hell is Missouri going to score 11.25? The answer is obvious, they can’t, but you get the point, they will be extremely lucky to score 10 points against a well rested, hungry Bama team. Plus, my guess is the SEC “old man” teams want to destroy the Tigers this season.

As you can probably tell, I hate laying big numbers, but this is a mismatch.

Play: Alabama -21.5

Good luck this week.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

2012 NFL Predictions – Week 6, “Thursday” Edition

Most years about this time, I start to whisper, “Wow, it’s already week six, this year is going by too fast!” This year, however, it’s more like, “Is it over yet?” Translation – it is getting tougher with each passing year to enjoy the NFL. The several reasons for this, but at the forefront is the reality that the league is watered down with essentially random results week in and week out. That makes it tough to be successful handicapper, fantasy player or pool participant.

Sunday afternoon I texted a buddy this message, “If I go 0-5 this week, I think I’m be done with football.” Turns out, I went 1-4, but the fact remains, I almost called it a career before finding some fire to help me move forward this week. Still, I was close. Someday, I envision myself running a rehab center for addicted fans of football – the name of the center “One Game At A Time.”

And by “calling it a career”, I mean freaking going “cold turkey” without any peripheral football – no Sunday Ticket, no NFL rewind, no football related subscriptions, no picks columns, no picks, no bets, no pools and no fantasy. Well to be honest I have about 278 reasons why fantasy football is gone after this year regardless of whether I retire or not, but you get the idea, I would watch occasionally, but watch for the purity of the game, which would put all the power back in my hands.

I no longer sit through a crappy performance by my team just because they are the final play on a three team teaser. It wouldn’t take me nince hours to vacuum a house that normally takes 1.5 hours (humble brag, right! Yeah, I live in a mansion that normally takes 90 minutes to vacuum), I wouldn’t have to watch an otherwise unwatchable Monday night game because I have fantasy player X going against fantasy player Y. And I wouldn’t have to spend the time I spend on this freaking sport!

Some day very soon, you might show up on this site to see what teams you want to fade for the week and see the following:

I’M OUT THIS BITCH!

OK, enough about me, on to the game:

Pittsburgh (-6.0) @ Tennessee – The NFL changed the Rashard Mendenhall rushing touchdown to a receiving touchdown this week. Real nice, thanks, NFL. The effects of this monumental change will be felt for years to come as all fantasy league commissioners scurry to update the week 5 stat changes. In one of my leagues a two games will be affected where both winning teams will see a win snatched from their helpless hands. Great, I already had to sweat the Sunday and Monday night games, now I have to wait out the NFL until Thursday to make sure I get the win.

The ridiculous part of this change is that it was obvious that it was a touchdown pass in live action and even more apparent on the replay, how did it get by the officials? I thought the “real” refs were back. Honestly, the real ref vs. scab ref is a little like trying to tell the difference between New Coke and Classic Coke. If I am a ardent Classic Coke drinker and you put a can of New Coke in front of me, I would rather go thirsty than drink that crap. But if you blindfold me and give it to me, I couldn’t tell the difference. That’s pretty much how I feel about the scabs and the regular refs, don’t tell me and, for goodness sake, don’t let them speak and I probably couldn’t tell the difference.

  1. Rashard Mendenhall looked fantastic last weekend, so much that I actually might recommend suffering a torn ACL in week 16 of the previous season. Kidding, kidding, but he looks faster and shifter than ever. Of course, that might be the Jonathon Dwyer and Isaac Redman effect as well.
  2. We know the weapons the Steelers have on the outside, but don’t forget about Heath Miller tonight. In fact if you have a chance to play a few props, I would strongly recommend Miller for 1st touchdown, over 45 yards and “Yes” he will score a touchdown. The Titans can’t cover anyone, but they are atrocious against the tight end.

  3. The Titans might be the worst team in the NFL, but their emotionally leader, Chris Johnson, commented this week:

    “We need somebody in this locker room to make plays and give us a spark.”

    Uh, you mean somebody like you? I mean CJ_K the Titans have all that money tied up in you, I think they expect you to make plays and give them a spark. Wow, totally clueless. If I am Titans ownership, I would be willing to give Titans coach Mike Munchak another year sans CJ_K. I have to believe CJ_K is impacting the morale and chemistry of a very young team. In fact, the Titans would be better off just cutting his lousy ass right now.

  4. Matt Hasselbeck has been a solid quarterback to back as the starter for a home team underdog over his career, but this is not the Seattle Hasselbeck, this is the “I am hanging on for a paycheck while trying to mentor a young guy into a great quarterback, so I can someday land a head coaching job and continue to be the favorite son over my d-bag brother who is a self proclaimed fantasy football expert, yet somehow pops is favoring him because he gave him Alfred Morris as a sleeper this year” Hasselbeck. Remember, when Michael Jordan went to the Wizards? Albeit smaller scale, but just as big of a drop-off.
  5. The only way the Steelers don’t cover this number is if they come out flat. I don’t see that happening. Why? Well, while it might be might be thin, I checked out Roethlisberger’s biorhythm chart for 10/12/2012. Here it is:

The above shows Roethlisberger is ready to peak physically, which is good news. He is also very high emotionally, which will allow him to withstand the numerous “you’re a raper” taunts. Unfortunately, Big Ben’s intellect is so far down that if given the Wonderlich test before the game tonight, Vince Young might look like a genius. I have a solution for that – don’t let Ben call the plays or audible. Ben never calls the plays, so that part is a non factor. In terms of audibling, the Titans won’t present anything overly complicated nor present much resistance, therefore, even poor decisions by Big Ben likely won’t cost the Steelers.

Pick: Pittsburgh -6.0

Disclaimer: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week. In cases where I’ve made a contest pick, I will use that line, as opposed to the current line. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat and you wouldn’t be able to get that line once you’ve printed out my picks to head to the betting window but in the rare event that I win a contest bet but caught in the middle on a live play, rest assured I will adjust my record.

2012 NFL Predictions – Week 05 Picks, “Soccer Induced Quick Picks” Edition

I have spent the last two days at the soccer fields, so you get quick picks for NFL week #5. Mind you though, I put the same effort into each and every pick. But I must inform you that I feel this is the week where the odds-makers have caught on – very, very tough! Upon making my picks, I just about pulled out the UNO
Reverse card and reversed every one of them.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “SuperContest” picks:

Arizona (-1.0) @ St. Louis – I feel like the Cardinals are who I thought they were. Shame me for thinking otherwise and making them a top 5 play this week. Pick: Arizona -1.0

San Diego @ New Orleans (-3.5) – Why are the Saints favored in this game? And by 3.5, no less, wow!! – “Free Money”. Pick: San Diego +3.5

Tennessee @ Minnesota (-5.5) – Game was a pick’em in the pre-season, now it’s 5.5. So this Vikings team is good because they’ve beaten the Jags, a sleep-walking 49ers team and the Lions? Uh, ok. They might win but the line of 5.5 is way, way too many points. Pick: Minnesota -5.5

Seattle @ Carolina (-3.0) – I don’t completely trust Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura and his band of incompetent brothers roaming the defensive backfield, but I trust Russell Wilson on the road less. In fact, Russell might be the only quarterback capable of making Haruki look like a competent NFL safety. The Hawks really, really need to go to Matt Flynn, Wilson will be the guy long term but he is killing an otherwise very good team. Pick: Carolina -3.0

Baltimore (-5.5) @ Kansas City – How is this not a repeat of the 2010 playoff game between these teams? Oh and the Ravens just had their early season “mail it in” game against the Browns last week. It’s going to be a long day for the Chiefs. Pick: Baltimore -5.5

The “Good Bad Team” pick:

Miami @ Cincinnati (-3.0) – The Bengals beat bad teams badly, though Miami is pesky, I wouldn’t consider them good. Pick: Cincinnati -3.0

The “Final Destination” pick:

Atlanta (-3.0) @ Washington – The Falcons should have lost last week. You can only cheat death so long. . . Pick: Washington +3.0


The “Look Ahead” picks:

Green Bay (-6.5) @ Indianapolis – With a showdown against the Texans on deck, look for the Packers to get caught sleeping against the Colts. Pick: Indianapolis +6.5

Cleveland @ NY Giants (-8.5) – Come on, it’s the Giants, they’re giving more than a touchdown at home. I think we’ve seen how this ends multiple times over the last five seasons? And the G-Men have the 49ers on deck. Pick: Cleveland +8.5

The “Livin a lie” pick:

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – The Eagles are 3-1, yet have been out-scored by 17 points. Look for the “regression” to begin this week. Also, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t lose back-to-back games. Pick: Pittsburgh -3.5

The “Monday Night Hangover” pick:

Chicago (-5.5) @ Jacksonville – This feels way too easy. And I’ve already taken advantage of the “Free Money” offer from the books with the Chargers. This feels like a late Bears rally to win by a field goal. Pick: Jacksonville +5.5

The “Ass Kickin” picks:

Denver @ New England (-6.5) – Sorry, Peyton, still not buying. . . Pick: New England -6.5

Buffalo @ San Francisco (-9.5) – The 49ers are back home, re-focused and ready to take control of the NFC West. How do the Bills cover this game if the 49ers go up 17-0? Answer: they don’t! Pick: San Francisco -9.5

Houston (-8.0) @ NY Jets – How do the Jets cover this game if the Texans go up 17-0? Same answer from above. Pick: Houston -8.0

Colin Wynner calls the winners. “Rever. . .Revers. . .!”


 

A Fantasy Football Draft Day Running Log – Part II “Sizzling” Edition

OK, it’s on to PART II, trust me here the sequel is much better than the original, of the marathon 2-day running log capturing the excitement and pageantry of two live fantasy football drafts. This year features the 20 year anniversary of one of leagues with draft held in the fabulous outer layer of hell, Las Vegas. And as always Colin’s here to detail the events, while providing his expert opinion in calling the fantasy winners and losers.

With the first, painful leg of the journey finally over, we are on to the second portion including the details of the travel and the lead up to the draft.

12:05 PM – Home, packed and ready for an early morning flight to Vegas. I am re-watching the Seahawks battering of the Chiefs. Maybe I should re-think the Chiefs as my surprise winner of the AFC West or maybe the Seahawks are simply that good. I think the latter.

5:00 AM – I am running on adrenaline with a mere five hours of sleep. Shower, protein shake, grab my gear and I am off. My ride has graciously brought me an 800 calorie breakfast burrito. Good move by him, sometimes you can forget to eat in Vegas which generally means trouble.

8:15 AM – Flights on time, so far everything working like clockwork, good sign for bringing down a few blackjack tables prior to showing up for the draft. Hell, there might be enough time to do enough damage to get something comp’d prior to the draft.

8:30 AM – You know what pisses me off? The fact that I have to turn off my phone prior to takeoff, but I can use the $800/minute phone they provide to us. Goodness, if my device can interfere with the plane’s ability to take off, maybe we shouldn’t be flying, right? And if it screws up the flight plan and we end up in Billings, Montana, well then, I guess this draft just wasn’t meant to be.

10:30 AM – Bags checked at the hotel, on our way to the LVH to get down on some football futures and maybe enter the LVH SuperContest. LVH used to be known as the Las Vegas Hilton, but I guess the self righteous pricks running the Hilton decided they no longer wanted their name associated with gambling and pulled out (which makes me think of Terrell Owens and his ten kids. Bro, if you just pulled out half the time, think of how much of that coin you would have left!). To which the owners decided to stick it to the Hilton by renaming the hotel to LVH, essentially the same thing, only now it’s the Las Vegas Hotel. Well played, LVH, well played!

11:15 AM – I used to believe only degenerates bet on pre-season football, now I realize that the sports market is about value and it doesn’t matter whether it’s pre-season. By the way, I just laid $100 down on the WNBA Sun/Mercury under!

11:45 AM – Going for an entry in the SuperContest with a five team two way round robin and two first half NFL bets, which of course they won’t let you parlay. The first halves – Wash -3 over Indy (RG III v. Luck, in what I call the “Mine’s bigger than yours” bowl) and Dallas -3 over St. Louis (in what I like to call the “Free Money” bowl, because you know books love to give money away). The five teams on the round robin – Wash -3, Wash/Ind over 41, Dal -5.5, Dal/St. Louis Under 39 and Detroit -2.5 over Oakland. I don’t like the Lions, because I generally feel like home teams in week three play to win, but let’s go with it.

1:00PM – Oh the irony, I ran into a guy from Colorado, who is in town for a fantasy draft. Hmmm, interesting! After he told me how much his draft sucks, too time consuming, tired of traveling, hates Vegas,etc, he went into the story of how they decided to do the 25th in Vegas about five years ago. I thought, wow, after I did a simple calculation in my head, this must be the 30th then. I asked him, “What year is this, then?” He tells me it’s the 26th! Huh? I give him a confused look, to which he tells me, “no we came up for our 20th, now it’s a ritual.” Then I asked him why the draft sucks, he tells me, “Well, it blows traveling for a draft. And we basically just get a room, an over-priced room and that’s it. We could do that in Denver.” Ahh, I get it and I agree, right? If you go to Vegas for a draft it has to be memorable. All this happened during a piss break.

1:15 PM – This is a whirlwind trip to begin with, now we are casino hopping trying find a place to hammer out a few hundred prior to meeting at the draft. A couple things don on me as we are walking down the Strip – 1. This place is quite tame during the day, almost like a real city that you could actually enjoy. You never know at night it turns into a living hell!; and 2. It’s hot, like crazy hot. I thought how the hell do people go out in this heat walk from casino to casino, then sit down at a table to gamble without smelling like the unmapped floor of a peepshow? Actually, I am wondering if maybe that could be a strategy I should employ, like maybe I could throw the dealer off their game if I reek of BO, at the worst I would certainly get rid of the piss poor players. Maybe we should do a few 40 yard sprints prior to heading into the casino, then while still profusely sweating drain a polish dog with extra onions. Why wouldn’t that work? In the opposite case, if I am winning the pit bosses pull out any and all tricks possible to get me off my game, why can’t I turn the tables on those jags?

130PM – We decide against the sprints and head to The Paris to hammer out a few hundred in the last hour before meeting at the draft. I wander around the tables looking for my mark, but the tables are full of “groups” of friends and I don’t want to bust into a group that has been winning and have them start losing. So I wander and wander and throw away $60 on video poker and wander. Finally, we grab a couple seats at a $15 table with a 6-deck shoe. Twenty minutes later, I tell my buddy, “I love those $100 bottles of water”. I can’t escape fast enough, I feel I like I just spent the night in a French jail with two ex-cons who were captured after a failed escape attempt, For the record, I was the girl! Fortunately for us a successfully day of football investing will give us our needed stake for the SuperContest, so the table gambling is a mere luxurious sideshow. Time to head back to the hotel to check-in and relax while watching the Skins man-handle the Colts.

2:15 PM – The Skins and Colts are tied with 2 minutes remaining in the half, but the Skins have the ball at the Colts 30. I allow myself the luxury of uttering the words, “Worst case scenario, we got a push!” Are you kidding me, Colin? It’s like I got to Vegas and lost sight of sports investing rules, like rule #1 “never, ever say worst case scenario unless it truly is the worst case scenario”! Fortunately, I didn’t anger whatever gods exist in this place. And the Skins score a touchdown right before half to cash our first ticket.

3:00 PM – An hour until the draft starts, time for some pre-draft mingling at the bar in the place where the draft will take place. The mingling turns into business quickly as Fearsome Foursome and Beef Gravy All-Stars swing a deal for the number one overall pick. Fearsome gets the #1 overall pick and #28 overall pick (last pick in the second round), while Gravy gets the #7 and #17. I can tell Gravy likes the deal as the two gladiators shake on it. Fearsome gives me his take on the deal, “With the keepers in this league, #7 is no man’s land. It’s like Forte, Lynch or Charles time. If I knew I could get McFadden or Brees there, I wouldn’t budge but as I see it there is no way. And if I am left to choose, I will screw it up. Now I go Ray Rice. And the player I will get at #28 is likely just as good as #17 anyway.” Fair enough, let’s see how it plays out.

3:45 PM – Slowly everyone begins arriving. One big difference between the draft last night and today, as well as the previous year’s drafts in this league, everyone seems genuinely happy to be here, like they’re free from worldly constraints, if only for an afternoon. It’s simple, it’s Vegas, the drink that goes down smooth every time but comes out the next day key a jagged key!

4:00 PM – We make our way into the draft room like we are celebrities. Yikes, it’s smaller than I expected. And there are these damn A-Frame beams sticking out that just about dislocated my shoulder upon walking into the room. The first pick hasn’t been made and I might already be out for 4-6 weeks.

4:05 PM – Computer problems, space problems and BAM! – we have our first Vegas induced blowup. The commish and DA BOYZ go at it. I quickly scurry to the whiteboard to set the following odds (hell, I need to make up for that abortion at the blackjack tables):

The Commish punches someone in the face at any point during the draft: Yes – +800 NO -1200, probably, uh, not going to happen but he was close there. The one thing I am pretty certain has never happened in this league is a fist fight. Now that would be fun!

We lose an owner before the first pick is made: Yes +500 NO -750, much more likely given the exchange and the personalities involved.

The Commish strangles the “I/T” guy trying to get the display on the big screen: Yes +140 NO -160, this frustration is going to come to a violent head, it might as well be the guy who should be able to but can’t figure out how to get the display working.

4:10 PM – Whew! Crisis adverted, commish and DZ BOYZ are now making out in the backroom! I felt along it was just pent up sexual tension; let’s give them a few minutes!

4:20 PM – I’ve done some digging on the blow-up; here are the details, in chorological order beginning at last year’s draft – 1. During the 19th season draft, the Commish decides to have Vegas draft for 20th; 2. I come up with glorious plan to celebrate shortly after last year’s draft; 3. Planning begins, but buy in is low, commish hears about travel costs, room costs, costs, costs, costs. Commish at about a five, where ten is bye-bye aortic valve. At the 4:05PM post, the commish was running at a 12 but somehow the body amazingly was prepared; 4. It is apparent that costs are prohibitive to do anything more than rent a room, to which the commish takes on the responsibility to do, when someone, who shall remain nameless, gets bored with planning a plain-jane draft. Now it’s all on the commish and there is more complaining about costs, costs, costs and time and costs; 5. Commish settles everything, sends everything to league owners and, yep you guessed more complaining. Commish now considering double homicide and ensuing jail time, as a viable alternative to planning the draft; 6. Draft day arrives, commish holding steady at a 9 with aortic valve damaged but functional; 7. Commish is greeted with more complaining and TICK, TICK, TICK – BOOOOOOOOMB. Yup, that about sums it up.

4:30 PM – The commish asks everyone to give a little speech about their fondest memory of the league.

Fearsome Foursome – a trade that went horribly bad; partnered with another owner before that owner couldn’t take him trying to control everything. That was his joke, I know lame!

DA BOYZ – winning the league despite having a team that couldn’t carry the jock of Fearsome Foursome

Weekend Warriors – a trade that went horribly right, Larry Johnson, to hear him tell it, “he just needed a fill in player for a week, give me Larry Johnson for Amani Toomer” Priest Holmes gets hurt, LJ scores 18 touchdowns in 8 weeks, WW wins league easily. Fearsome just told me that he would go watch games with WW on Sundays and every score update was one of his players scoring and when it wasn’t he acted like someone kicked his dog; according to Fearsome, his players couldn’t score if given 7 opportunities from inside the one. “That was a magical year for him” – FF

Ragin Asian – Enjoys the draft, the bond with fellow owners.

Deamons – Winning the first season out, like this is easy! And looks forward to August more than any other time of year.

Holy Crap, it’s getting dusty in here. Man up, already!

Desert Girlies – Winning the Super Bowl twice.

Hawks – Enjoy the group, the draft and their championship.

Avengers – The Bills of the fantasy league, until finally breaking through and winning in 2009. Still enjoys the league immensely.

Sidewinders –Memories of the early days when teamed with Beef Gravy, not making the playoffs and not winning once they did. Looks forward to the league draft, it’s the highlight of his year, means the world to them. Liken Beef to Anakin, himself to Obi-Wan. I can see him as Obi-Wan, specifically the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader, where Obi-Wan waiting forever to swing his light saber at Vader thus giving Vader an opening that he didn’t neglect. Now if only we can implement that into this draft.

Beef Gravy All-Stars – So close so many times, feels he is on the verge. Referenced Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first then you last!”

Chefs – King of toilet bowl. “Real memories”, “Christmas in August”, goodness don’t let Wal-Mart hear that, they will have fake trees up in May. Helps him stay connected!

Convicts – Best memories were the previously brought up trades and the four rings, wants one for the thumb this year. Also, brought up bad moves that still sting – the aforementioned LJ trade and dropping MeMarco Murray prior to Murrary rushing for a country mile against, yup you guessed it, the Rams!

Junk Yard Dogs – Starting in the league just to help out a guy named Scott Carlson, then ended up taking over the team when Scott decided to retire. Also, mentioned that he appreciates the “hard time Bill gives him every year”.

4:39 PM – I can’t let the JYD memory go without some comments of my own – 1. Several owners gave a hearty thanks to Scott Carlson for leaving and bequeathing the team to JYD; and 2. This is a guy who frequently uses a gay voice that would make Richard Simmons seem like Jack Palance, what’s this “hard time” deal. Wait, I don’t want to know, that’s their business.

4:40 PM – Wait, do we finally have the display working? I thought maybe so because a fellow owner made a crack about the commish visiting a website called biggirls.com. OK, I think the commish is back to normal. I cringed when I heard the comment, thinking that it might light the fuse again, only this time he would turn into Nic Cage in Leaving Las Vegas and start turning over tables!

4:50 PM – 50 minutes into the draft and nary a pick. But hey it’s Vegas, where we have all the time in the world, right? Or at least until our money runs out. There are very few places that can turn rational thinking people into an irrational, impulsive mutant upon stepping off the plane, but Vegas is definitely one of them. Amsterdam is another. Hey, maybe if you secretly don’t like the commish, suggest that next year we have the draft in Amsterdam.

4:51 PM – And the first pick is . . . Ray Rice.

4:53 PM – Sidewinders on the clock – oh my, only 30 seconds. Crap, maybe this guy has a hooker waiting for him on the back end of this. Just remember, Sidewinders, “What happens here, stays here!” Well, except for certain STD’s, like herpes, which definitely doesn’t stay here.

4:54 PM – Weekend Warriors go all-in on Tom Brady this year. Safe to say if Bernard Pollard happens again, Weekend Warriors will have a miserable fantasy season.

4:55 PM – The first surprise of the draft – Matty Ice at number 6 goes to Chefs, who has Julio Jones, so I guess I can see wanting to pair the two, but at number 6? Safe to say, I have my loser for round one. I am not a fan of Matty Ice, he hasn’t produced a great fantasy year and certainly not one worthy of the number six pick. Again, I guess if you want him, you draft him when you have the chance. Goodness even the edge if off me this year. That’s a pick that I would ramble off roughly 1000 words on how it’s the biggest mistake of that owners life.

4:56 PM – Fearsome Foursome just let out a massive groan as he hears the words “Darren McFadden” with the 7th pick. Odds that FF goes on a 12 state killing spree if Darren McFadden is the top fantasy running back this year – +10000, here is a little inside info – take the chance, the guy is that volatile, if you mix his hyper-competitiveness, I can totally see him snapping!

4:58 PM – Another cross-over owner who survived the most boring draft in the history of drafts yesterday which is detailed in part I, is going all-in on a player, this time it’s Marshawn Lynch. Be careful big fella, Marshawn doesn’t have “beast” mode available to him when his wallet is fat!

4:59 PM – So the league had some scoring changes this season, most notably the passing touchdowns are reduced from 6 points to 4 points, yet that hasn’t deterred the run of quarterbacks in the first round – Rodgers is a keeper, but Brady, Ryan, Brees and Eli Manning are all first rounders. I am wondering if the Desert Girlies think we also implemented my rule change about coupling players together – like they think they get Eli, Peyton, Cooper and Archie’s retro points by taking “Manning.” Or maybe the missing partner is the brains behind the operation! It’s hard to bash a team that’s won two rings, but let’s leave it at that was a “nice pick” – for all the other owners in the league.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

1.01 Fearsome Foursome Rice, Ray BAL RB
1.02 The GSW Rule Johnson, Calvin DET WR
1.03 Sidewinders Johnson, Chris TEN RB
1.04 Weekend Warriors Brady, Tom NEP QB
1.05 Convicts Brees, Drew NOS QB
1.06 Chefs Ryan, Matt ATL QB
1.07 BeefGravy AllStars McFadden, Darren OAK RB
1.08 Daemons Forte, Matt CHI RB
1.09 Ragin Asian Charles, Jamaal KCC RB
1.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB
1.11 DESERT GRRLIE Manning, Eli NYG QB
1.12 Avengers Jennings, Greg GBP WR
1.13 Junk Yard Dogs Johnson, Andre HOU WR
1.14 Desperados Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Beef Gravy All-Stars, Best player available at #5 fell to #7
Loser Sidewinders, the running back formerly known as CJ2K, now simply known as CJPUSSOUTK

5:02 PM – Another “nice pick” – Andre Johnson. This “nice pick” is actually stated by several owners, some sarcastically. In all honesty, it is a nice pick, but I wouldn’t want Andre on my fantasy teams this year. First off, he is a huge injury risk; then, he is slightly over-rated, he has had a few monster games, but his seasonal numbers do not warrant where he generally is picked, thirdly, the Texans would be happy running the ball 50 times a game; and finally, the Texans play great defense, so the chance of them getting into one of those crazy 35-31 shootouts is minimal. Add it all up, and, if Andre stays healthy, you are most likely looking at about 80-1000-8, 228 points, which will be top 15 but not top three.

5:06 PM – Oh, wow, Adrian Peterson goes in the Beef Gravy trade spot. So, Beef two picks and a keeper in has McFadden, Peterson and Vick – over/under on games missed by that trio – 13.5. But if AP is 85% of “AP”, he is a steal at 17. And if by playoff time AP is AP, well then we can start engraving the trophy with Beef’s name. Wait, there’s no traveling trophy with this league. 20 years and no hardware? Wow, if I could go back in time, a la Biff Tannen, I would go back to the very first draft and tell the commish, “Trust me, you need a cup for the champions. And not just a cup, a cup about a quarter the size of the Stanley Cup, with enough room to engrave 50 or so champions. Just trust me, kid!” Now, imagine if we had a cup. The defending champ each would be antagonizing other owners by asking the servers to fill up the cup with beer. Then they would casually take drinks as the other owners watch in envy. And think about how much different the opening memories would have been – “Your favorite memory and one thing unique thing you did with the cup.” About the third “unique thing I did with the cup” story would cause the defending champ to spit out a mouthful of beer while grabbing the nearest bowl/can/cup for their puke. Oh what could have been!

5:11 PM – #ThingsIoverheardatthefantasydraft – “I have a knife but no fork!” Hmm, did you pay for the fork, it is Vegas after all? That’s extra, you know. And I have to say, it’s Vegas, the most decadent place in the universe and it’s a fantasy draft, WTF do you need a fork for? Pick up the food and eat it like a Neanderthal.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

2.01 Desperados Gates, Antonio SDC TE
2.02 Junk Yard Dogs Schaub, Matt HOU QB
2.03 BeefGravy AllStars Peterson, Adrian MIN RB
2.04 DESERT GRRLIE Nicks, Hakeem NYG WR
2.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Jackson, Steven STL RB
2.06 Ragin Asian White, Roddy ATL WR
2.07 Daemons McGahee, Willis DEN RB
2.08 The GSW Rule Cruz, Victor NYG WR
2.09 Chefs Green, A.J. CIN WR
2.10 Convicts Martin, Doug TBB RB (R)
2.11 Weekend Warriors Welker, Wes NEP WR
2.12 Sidewinders Colston, Marques NOS WR
2.13 Avengers Rivers, Philip SDC QB
2.14 Fearsome Foursome Marshall, Brandon CHI WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Fearsome Foursome, Marshall at 28 and after Colston, Green, Welker and Cruz.
Loser Junk Yard Dogs, Andre Johnson and Matt Schuab, what pair, if one spent 3rd and 5th round picks on them, not 1st and 2nd.

5:19 PM – Reggie Bush is picked, which prompts the vastly under-utilized, “We’ve got Bush!” Well played Data Entry Boy, there might be hope for you after all. Back to the “We’ve got Bush”. That is at least a 100 times better than the elementary “I like Bush” comment. And of course, that line is from Revenge of the Nerds, which I always felt was an under-rated movie. Look it’s not a masterpiece, but it delivers exactly what you would expect from it. And, Betty Childs was sneaky, crazy hot, right? There was Ogre, the aforementioned Neanderthal, who has parlayed that movie’s success into a series of Capital One commercials; I can almost hear Ogre telling everyone on Capital One set, “Do you know who I am? Do you?” And how about Stan Gable, who was the perfect d-bag jock played by Ted McGinley. I always thought McGinley should have had a better career, more similar to Brad Pitt than to Paul Walker, but for reasons unknown he never accomplished much more than playing Marcy D’Arcy’s husband on Married with Children. Anyway, I might be in the minority but that was a classic 80s movie! The nerds used their brains to out-think the jocks, now-a-days the same plot would undoubtedly include some kind of violent retribution where the nerd tortures a jock for 60 days in his basement before killing him.

5:23 PM – Ahh, Darren Sproles goes to Sidewinders. Someone did his homework and paid attention to the receptions rule change that gives running backs .5 per reception, as opposed to .25 last year.

5:29 PM – Is there anything better than taking a piss break in the middle of a fantasy draft and coming back to find that you haven’t missed anything? Sure, there roughly a million things better than that, but at this moment it was big to me.

5:31 PM – WTF? Who had the balls to order swordfish? Oh my, Sidewinders, if I wasn’t such a docile individual, I would come over there punch square in the face and revoke your man card! Please tell me how the broiled sea scallops, steamed vegatables and tossed salad with no dressing compliment that fine choice of entrée? That might be the single most disappointing thing I have every encountered in a fantasy draft. We need to stop the draft, get this guy a plate full of fried wings, and cheer him on while he devours them. It’s Vegas, man. Those wings will stay here, live it up man, you have permission to break the rules after all, this is Vegas!!!
5:38 PM – #ThingsIoverheardatthefantasydraft – “please spell that for me”. The pick was Donald Brown!

5:43 PM – Vernon Davis is the pick, huh, most people try to avoid VD. #NeverGetsOld. And oh, btw, VD is another thing that won’t stay in Vegas.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

3.01 BeefGravy AllStars Bush, Reggie MIA RB
3.02 Avengers Hernandez, Aaron NEP TE
3.03 Sidewinders Sproles, Darren NOS RB
3.04 Weekend Warriors Richardson, Trent CLE RB (R)
3.05 Convicts Jones-Drew, Maurice JAC RB
3.06 Chefs Turner, Michael ATL RB
3.07 Fearsome Foursome Smith, Steve CAR WR
3.08 Daemons Bryant, Dez DAL WR
3.09 Ragin Asian Lloyd, Brandon NEP WR
3.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Gonzalez, Tony ATL TE
3.11 DESERT GRRLIE Gore, Frank SFO RB
3.12 The GSW Rule Mathews, Ryan SDC RB
3.13 Junk Yard Dogs Bradshaw, Ahmad NYG RB
3.14 Desperados Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Sidewinders, Sproles, the increase in receptions make him a steal in the third round
Loser DA BOYZ FROM NYC, Tony Gonzalez. Really? Ahead of Vernon Davis, Jason Witten and Jermichael Finley?

5:46 PM – Sidewinders is now if full Sidewinder mode, which translated means he is talking too long to make a pick. I get it, this is where it gets tough, but come on, hey wait we’re in Vegas, who cares! Take all the time you need buddy! But that does get me thinking of another classic 80s movie – Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And at the mere mention of that movie, you immediately think about the “Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool” scene, yup, you know I got you! I will confess I laughed so hard I thought I was going to die when after Mr. Hand tore up Spicoli’s class schedule prompting Spicoli to look him dead in the eye and tell him, “You Dick!” It came from nowhere, and to be honest, I snuck into the movie because I wasn’t old enough, so for a young teen, that was pretty, pretty, pretty funny. Anyway, in about five years or so, I might show up at Sidewinders house and pull a Mr. Hand – “Sidewinder, by my measurements you’ve cost me well over six hours, I am here to collect. You and I are going to eat fried food until you puke!”

5:48 PM – Beef Gravy is going through his nicknames, I like James Earl Jones for him, simply because he gets up to announce every pick in a voice that rivals James Earl’s for smoothness. But I think a more fitting one is Art Shell, almost identical now that I look at him, like maybe they were conjoined twins, who for health reasons had to be separated at birth, except Beef got 75% of the brain.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

4.01 Desperados Brown, Antonio PIT WR
4.02 Junk Yard Dogs Brown, Donald IND RB
4.03 The GSW Rule Rodgers, Aaron GBP QB
4.04 DESERT GRRLIE Gronkowski, Rob NEP TE
4.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Bowe, Dwayne KCC WR
4.06 Ragin Asian Ingram, Mark NOS RB
4.07 Daemons Jackson, Vincent TBB WR
4.08 Fearsome Foursome Wayne, Reggie IND WR
4.09 Chefs Davis, Vernon SFO TE
4.10 Convicts Jackson, DeSean PHI WR
4.11 Weekend Warriors Jackson, Fred BUF RB
4.12 Sidewinders Maclin, Jeremy PHI WR
4.13 Avengers Foster, Arian HOU RB
4.14 BeefGravy AllStars Crabtree, Michael SFO WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Desperados, Antonio Brown. I like him a lot this year; Book it, he will out-score all of the receivers in this round.
Loser Ragin Asian, Mark Ingram. Maybe Asian knows something we don’t about that Saints backfield.

6:00 PM – Break time, time to update the aforementioned football bets – winners, 1st half Redskins, Redskins side, Redskins/Colts Over, 1st half Cowboys looking good as they are up 17-3. Cowboys side also looks promising, but the under is in serious danger. The Lions are scoreless early. I am feeling pretty good about those bets so maybe I have time to sneak in a dozen or so hands $25 blackjack before the break is over.

6:08 PM – I knew it wouldn’t be long before we heard data entry boy’s gay voice. He actually does it well enough that you just never know. Hmm, what would happen to the league is one of the owners came out of the closet? That is an interesting question and before I am ostracized by the gay and lesbian community for my intolerance, let me state for the record that I am merely pointing how a significant, albeit acceptable, change to one’s lifestyle would no doubt change the dynamic of a league that has been in existence for 20 years. Good enough? Ok, on with the gay bashing – kidding, kidding. Anyway, you to figure that if one of the owners did come out of the closet it would have to be because they got caught just like Soprano’s Vito Spatafore got caught, wearing a tight leather outfit with a cute, blinged-out leather hat. Once caught the owner would sheepishly show up at the next draft. The question is would it change the dynamic? I highly doubt it unless the owners new partner was an NFL player with inside information. Would it be distracting? Not unless said owner brought their partner and became inappropriate, of course that could be said for a mid-life crisis owner who shows up with his new “girlfriend”, er, “paid escort” and they are all over each other.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

5.01 BeefGravy AllStars Witten, Jason DAL TE
5.02 Avengers Harvin, Percy MIN WR
5.03 Sidewinders Austin, Miles DAL WR
5.04 Weekend Warriors Finley, Jermichael GBP TE
5.05 Convicts Thomas, Demaryius DEN WR
5.06 Chefs Wallace, Mike PIT WR
5.07 Fearsome Foursome Johnson, Steve BUF WR
5.08 Daemons Romo, Tony DAL QB
5.09 Ragin Asian Smith, Torrey BAL WR
5.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC McCoy, LeSean PHI RB
5.11 DESERT GRRLIE Pettigrew, Brandon DET TE
5.12 Fearsome Foursome Cutler, Jay CHI QB
5.13 Junk Yard Dogs Green-Ellis, BenJarvus CIN RB
5.14 Desperados Stafford, Matthew DET QB
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Avengers, Percy Harvin. Less focus on the running game with AP working himself back, means more touches for Harvin.
Loser Junk Yard Dogs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. This is a first, calling the worst pick of the round a keeper, but why give up a 5th round pick for a guy you could draft in the 7th. And if another owner really wanted him bad enough to take him in the 4th round, well then so be it – it just wasn’t meant to be.

6:13 PM – Nice job, Pierre! Pierre Garcon is the pick. Isn’t that funny how a commercial can stick with you? The “Nice job, Pierre” is, of course, from the Miller High Life commercial where the man’s man tells us “It’s hard to respect the French when you have to bail them out of two big ones. But they do have something with mayonnaise. Nice job, Pierre.” Classic! And while we’re on the subject, here are five more of my favorite commercials:

  1. Bud Light Refs – Budweiser’s response to the Miller Lite referee commericials where a referee would interrupt a party where Bud Light was being served by throwing a flag and then announcing a penalty. Bud Light spun off the same concept expect fast forwarded the story to where the refs were gleefully escaping with the “skunky” beer that was actually Bud Light.
  2. Just about any of the Jack Links “Messing With Sasquatch” commercials though this one was always a favorite.
  3. About the time other airlines started charging for checked bags, Southwest came out with a commercial where a deep sea diving guide had a student under the water. The customer was trying to breath but was getting no oxygen, his face became panicked as the instructor told him, “Oh, air is an extra $35 dollars. Do you want that?” The student, obviously, was quite eager to agree to the charge. Another classic – the clam approach of the instructor was perfect as was the panicked look by the student,
  4. Bud Light Referee Training – Just watch it, I think you’ll understand the humor.
  5. Prehistoric FedEx – Funny and hits close to home, well for any of us who have had boss who was/is a total prick.

6:23 PM – That’s the way you do back-to-back picks – bing, bing! Not sure if there was a lot of thought in the picks, but there is a blackjack seat that has my name on it, so who am I to complain – this picks, Brent Celek and Santana Moss.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

6.01 Desperados Ridley, Stevan NEP RB
6.02 Junk Yard Dogs Young, Titus DET WR
6.03 The GSW Rule Davis, Fred WAS TE
6.04 DESERT GRRLIE Meachem, Robert SDC WR
6.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Garcon, Pierre WAS WR
6.06 Ragin Asian Tamme, Jacob DEN TE
6.07 Daemons Manning, Peyton DEN QB
6.08 The GSW Rule Wilson, David NYG RB (R)
6.09 Chefs Jones, Julio ATL WR
6.10 Convicts Hillis, Peyton KCC RB
6.11 Weekend Warriors Benson, Cedric GBP RB
6.12 Sidewinders Freeman, Josh TBB QB
6.13 Avengers Greene, Shonn NYJ RB
6.14 BeefGravy AllStars Celek, Brent PHI TE
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner The GSW Rule, Fred Davis. Freddy might have a top five year.
Loser DESERT GRRLIE, Robert Meachem. Meachem is a poor man’s Yancey Thigpen, who is a poor man’s Javon Walker, who is a poor’s man Alvin Harper. Translation – he’s a bust in the 18th round, in the 6th round it’s a colossal choke on par with the 2004 New York Yankees.

6:28 PM – And there goes the first defense of the draft – 49ers. Look I am ok with a defense going here, but is that the right defense. I have my doubts, I mean think about the worst thing that can happen to you after this draft – you hit the strip and find one of these love lovely ladies ready to spend some “quality” time with you, but once you get to the point of intimacy you find out the lovely lady is a dude. I just puked in my mouth thinking about it. Anyway, I think that’s a little like taking the 49ers this early, you might think you’re getting Kim Kardashian, but in reality it is Kimbo Slice!

6:37 PM – We’ve got a race against time. We get booted at 8PM, if booted meant either get out or start paying 300 an hour with a two hour minimum. We’ve got 11 rounds to go, so roughly 8 minutes a round. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

7.01 BeefGravy AllStars Moss, Santana WAS WR
7.02 Avengers Decker, Eric DEN WR
7.03 Sidewinders Williams, DeAngelo CAR RB
7.04 Weekend Warriors Daniels, Owen HOU TE
7.05 Convicts Britt, Kenny TEN WR
7.06 Chefs Wells, Beanie ARI RB
7.07 Fearsome Foursome Heyward-Bey, Darrius OAK WR
7.08 Daemons Helu, Roy WAS RB
7.09 Ragin Asian Williams, Ryan ARI RB
7.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Roethlisberger, Ben PIT QB
7.11 DESERT GRRLIE 49ers, San Francisco SFO Def
7.12 The GSW Rule Smith, Kevin DET RB
7.13 Junk Yard Dogs Boldin, Anquan BAL WR
7.14 Desperados Little, Greg CLE WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner DA BOYZ FROM NYC, Ben Roethlisberger. I am not sure how the Steelers are going to move the ball unless Big Ben throws 50 times a game.
Loser DESERT GRRLIE, 49ers D. A day after Jerry Sandusky was accused of heinous acts against young boys, I wanted to break out the “Damn, the Colts got the Sandusky shower treatment from the Falcons”, but I didn’t. Why? Too soon. The 49ers d here is too soon

6:43 PM – Jared Cook goes in the 8th round, hmm, I liked him as a sleeper, but then I realized there are no more sleepers in this world. You know you’re getting old when things like “I remember when you had to watch the games and evaluate the players to figure out your draft list. Now you can show up with a draft list from ESPN.COM and draft a playoff team. I hate fantasy football! I really do.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

8.01 Desperados Floyd, Malcom SDC WR
8.02 Junk Yard Dogs Mendenhall, Rashard PIT RB
8.03 The GSW Rule Gresham, Jermaine CIN TE
8.04 DESERT GRRLIE Gerhart, Toby MIN RB
8.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Holmes, Santonio NYJ WR
8.06 Ragin Asian Texans, Houston HOU Def
8.07 Daemons Cook, Jared TEN TE
8.08 Fearsome Foursome Spiller, C.J. BUF RB
8.09 Chefs Flacco, Joe BAL QB
8.10 Convicts Graham, Jimmy NOS TE
8.11 Weekend Warriors Rice, Sidney SEA WR
8.12 Sidewinders Keller, Dustin NYJ TE
8.13 Avengers Ravens, Baltimore BAL Def
8.14 BeefGravy AllStars Steelers, Pittsburgh PIT Def
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner The GSW Rule, Jermaine Gresham. This might be the season Gresham catapults himself into the “Best TE” conversation
Loser Junk Yard Dogs, Rashard Mendenhall. Big surprise here, Mendehall about 6 round too soon.

6:46 PM – Time update, 10 rounds left and 74 minutes. No way we are making it, we’re going to get kicked to the curb which means we will be finishing this draft right in the middle of pimp gang pushing the business cards of the $35 hookers. True story, I was walking down the strip, and was handed five of these cards, which I thought was awesome because when I choosing a hooker I want have options. That’s not true. But what is true is that I head to a poker table, interrupt the game and drop my five “hooker” cards on the table while screaming “can anyone beat this Royal Bush” or “Read it and weep, suckers, I’ve got five pairs”. As I was thinking of all the possible ways to use these cards at the poker table, it donned on me, “Hmm, $35 bucks, huh, dam I would love to see what $35 really looks like, because I am pretty damn sure that it isn’t what is on this card.” And if it is what’s on this card, then she needs a new pimp!

6:55 PM – Wow, a really cool guy from the New York, New York just told us we can stay as long as we need. Awesome, that was all Sidewinder needed to hear! We will now be here all night! In fact, my guess is a few of the owners who were complaining about room costs didn’t get a room, so they’re hoping we actually can stay here all night.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

9.01 BeefGravy AllStars Janikowski, Sebastian OAK PK
9.02 Avengers Griffin III, Robert WAS QB (R)
9.03 Sidewinders Jennings, Rashad JAC RB
9.04 Weekend Warriors Washington, Nate TEN WR
9.05 Convicts Rodgers, Jacquizz ATL RB
9.06 Chefs Thomas, Pierre NOS RB
9.07 Fearsome Foursome Blackmon, Justin JAC WR (R)
9.08 Daemons Redman, Isaac PIT RB
9.09 Ragin Asian Blount, LeGarrette TBB RB
9.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Jets, New York NYJ Def
9.11 DESERT GRRLIE Manningham, Mario SFO WR
9.12 The GSW Rule Packers, Green Bay GBP Def
9.13 Junk Yard Dogs Moore, Denarius OAK WR
9.14 Desperados Tate, Ben HOU RB
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Junk Yard Dogs, Denarius Moore. JYD has a long way to go to make his team competitive but this is a start
Loser Beef Gravy All-Stars, Sebastian Janikowski. It would be interesting to look back on this pick and ask what if you drafted D. Moore instead, then went SeaBass when he should go, like round 18.

6:57 PM – Round 10, this is where it gets tough!

6:59 PM – That’s something you don’t see every day – a human being polishing off a second entrée within a single sitting. I ask the waitress what the record for entrees in a single setting by a single human. She gives me a blank stare, like eff you jerk off I’ve taken enough crap from you and your a-hole buddies tonight. But after a bit of teasing I reel her in, now she gets it, enough to start playing along. She must be a third year marketing major at UNLV, right? Isn’t every server/bartender/hostess studying to be a lawyer/financial advisor/doctor? And don’t you find out about that within five minutes of sitting down? Anyway, she tells DA BOYZ that he is one entrée away from setting the record for a single sitting. Right now he is tied with some odd 5 million people (of course, only half of those people are still alive). I urge him to go for a French Dip or, hell even the Swordfish, but I tell him if you go Swordfish it needs to be fried. He’s not buying and frankly he looks like he might not eat again for a couple weeks, either way, I don’t care if he ends up in a food induced coma tonight, I am getting this the record. It’s only so often you get the chance to experience greatness, I will be damned if I am going to let this opportunity pass.

7:02 PM – Oh lookie here, Chase Daniel is in the game for the Saints. Chase Daniel is Drew Brees backup, but I have to ask, “Can you really trust a guy who got caught on camera eating a booger?” Think about how long the odds are that you would actually get caught eating a booger on camera – first off, you have to eat boogers; secondly, you have to eat boogers almost all the time; and thirdly, you have to be on camera. A couple things about the clip – 1. This was against Nebraska, with the Huskers leading 27-13, so maybe he was so disgusted that his team was losing to such an inferior team that he self punished himself. Goodness, I was so grossed out by this that I actually wish he was an emo instead; and 2. He tries to be a little discreet by not just devouring the booger despite clearly salivating, however, the temptation is too much for him. Damn be the 95 players and camera on his ass. It makes me think that Chase is just one of those guys. You know a guy who openly admits that he smells his hand after scratching his anus, a guy who has no problem proclaiming that he is excusing himself to relieve himself in the restroom and a guy who has no problem digging for a juicy, blood spotted with a single hair in the middle ball of snot to tide him over until he can cough up enough snot to fill his boiler. Yup Saints fans, that’s your guy when Brees goes down. Enjoy that!

7:05 PM – I am sure this room has adequate lighting but we started at mid-afternoon, so we were relying mostly on natural lighting from two over-sized windows that take up almost the entire width of the room. However, those are about 75% covered with our draft board, which also blocks the view to the south end of the strip because who wants to see what’s going on the strip, certainly not the fantasy “geeks” in this room. But now the sun is going down and with the blockage for the mega-draft board it’s getting dark, so the server came in and turned on the lights. Literally, in unison, I heard at least four owners say something to the effect, “Oh, wow, I thought you were much better looking.” Nice!

Pick

Franchise

Selection

10.01 Desperados Henderson, Devery NOS WR
10.02 Junk Yard Dogs Bush, Michael CHI RB
10.03 The GSW Rule Baldwin, Doug SEA WR
10.04 DESERT GRRLIE Robinson, Laurent JAC WR
10.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Olsen, Greg CAR TE
10.06 Ragin Asian Cobb, Randall GBP WR
10.07 Daemons Nelson, Jordy GBP WR
10.08 Fearsome Foursome Rudolph, Kyle MIN TE
10.09 Chefs Eagles, Philadelphia PHI Def
10.10 Convicts Luck, Andrew IND QB (R)
10.11 Weekend Warriors Williams, Mike TBB WR
10.12 Sidewinders Lions, Detroit DET Def
10.13 Avengers Akers, David SFO PK
10.14 BeefGravy AllStars Quick, Brian STL WR (R)
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Weekend Warriors, Mike Williams. After a huge rookie year, Mike Williams jumped up to as high as second round consider last season, now he falls to the 10th. He’s somewhere is between – 6th round of so, with the potential to play to 4th round.
Loser Sidewinders, Detroit Def. Uh, this either has to be a homer pick or the swordfish was bad. What did they do to upgrade a defense that was solely responsible for getting Matt Flynn $26 Million.

7:12 PM – I decided to go with the Welker jersey for the day. It was definitely the right move, as I have logged more time talking while taking a leak on this trip than I have in my entire life to date. I attribute the attention to the Welker jersey, because no team has more gained more fans over the decade than the Patriots. And one more thing on the jersey, look it takes balls for a grown man to wear a jersey around in public, but I love it. I love posing as a fan of another team. Moreover, I usually have enough useless knowledge stored in my head that I can fool even the most die-hard fan.

7:20 PM – Just about every one of these drafts I hear something that makes me want to find a corner, scrunch into the fetal postion and grab my thumb. Yeah, it’s that horrifying. Well, that moment just happened as another owner told the commish, “You can’t get it up … ” {find your happy place, find your happy place}.

7:27 PM – We take a break to have another moment of dedication to the 20th of the league. I must say 20 years is very impressive, but WTF are these guys/gals going to do without this league? I had a chance to talk about this with Fearsome, who told me he feels a little like one of those kidnap victims, who forms a strange bond with his captors. He wants to quit, but he feels held captive by the league and in reality needs the league. Ah, what a puss, he’s pathetic!

7:30 PM – Someone, just took that little girl’s (Fearsome) player, Kendall Wright. Really, pal, Kendall Wright. I would be willing to bet that there are a dozen players either drafted after Wright or free agents who will out-score him. How’s that for BOLD! By the way that pick also ties a fantasy football draft record for consecutive picks of players named “Kendall”, Warriors can help us set a record by drafting Kendall Langford. Oh, what a buzz kill, Warriors has no balls and goes with Davone Bess. BOO, BOO, BOO!

Pick

Franchise

Selection

11.01 BeefGravy AllStars Vick, Michael PHI QB
11.02 Avengers Hunter, Kendall SFO RB
11.03 Sidewinders Wright, Kendall TEN WR (R)
11.04 Weekend Warriors Bess, Davone MIA WR
11.05 Convicts Simpson, Jerome MIN WR
11.06 Chefs Gostkowski, Stephen NEP PK
11.07 Fearsome Foursome Moore, Lance NOS WR
11.08 Daemons Thomas, Daniel MIA RB
11.09 Ragin Asian Crosby, Mason GBP PK
11.1 DA BOYZ FROM NYC LaFell, Brandon CAR WR
11.11 DESERT GRRLIE Smith, Alex SFO QB
11.12 The GSW Rule Moss, Randy SFO WR
11.13 Junk Yard Dogs Bradford, Sam STL QB
11.14 Desperados Baldwin, Jon KCC WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Avengers, Kendall Hunter. Huge upside, unless you believe Frank Gore and his cane can keep this job the entire year.
Loser Convicts, Jerome Simpson. You know a player shouldn’t be drafted when their namesake, O.J., has given up the hunt for Nicole’s killers to try to find Jerome Simpson’s game. IN related news, O.J. has sworn off mirrors.

7:38 PM – I keep trying to get DA BOYZ to order another entrée, I reminded him of Chevy Chase in Funny Farm with the “lamb fries” record. He’s still not buying I think if I slip some “Super Colon Blow” in his water, he will free up space to accommodate a third, and record setting entrée.

7:50 PM – Ok, the one thing I need to take up with the commish is that I was promised, if I showed to put together this novel of a running log, that I would be treated to a couple of hookers. Where the hell are the hookers? It’s the 12th round, the time is right.

7:52 PM – The log is getting a little racy and for the record, the 7:50PM post was a complete joke, so when beautiful wife reads this, honey, I was just kidding, I figured that at the 7,500 word mark most people need something to shake them up, to get them back involved – THERE ARE NO HOOKERS! Also, in the interest of full disclosure, just in case something goes horribly wrong in the next five years and some divorce lawyer is trying to digging up dirt on me – THERE ARE NO HOOKERS – IT WAS JOKE, JUST A JOKE!

Pick

Franchise

Selection

12.01 Desperados Leshoure, Mikel DET RB
12.02 Junk Yard Dogs Kendricks, Lance STL TE
12.03 The GSW Rule Amendola, Danny STL WR
12.04 DESERT GRRLIE Floyd, Michael ARI WR (R)
12.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Collie, Austin IND WR
12.06 Ragin Asian Palmer, Carson OAK QB
12.07 Daemons Winslow, Kellen FA* TE
12.08 Fearsome Foursome Fleener, Coby IND TE (R)
12.09 Chefs Starks, James GBP RB
12.10 Convicts Moeaki, Tony KCC TE
12.11 Weekend Warriors Fitzpatrick, Ryan BUF QB
12.12 Sidewinders Kaeding, Nate SDC PK
12.13 Avengers Dickson, Ed BAL TE
12.14 BeefGravy AllStars Ford, Jacoby OAK WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Desperados, Mikel Leshoure. I know the Lions don’r run much, but that might be because they don’t have a running back. Leshoure will get a chance to be the guy, four weeks before Best comes back.
Loser Sidewinders, Nate Kaeding. Dude hasn’t won the job yet. And guess what if he doesn’t, you either need to fill a roster spot with a useless backup kicker or take a zero week one. Fantasy geeks take note – Kickers are random, not worthy of single digit round picks nor worthy of being on your bench.

7:55 PM – I have to be honest another owner is trying to have a conversation with me, but I am not listening, I am fully focused on the Cowboys protecting a 20-12 lead with about 6 minutes left. I am so done with this draft; all of my attention is focused on this pre-season game that is holding my money hostage.

8:05 PM – Well done Dallas, well I know that if the Cowboys third team gets in any games this year, I should dump my retirement account against them. But I have to give a hearty thanks to Jeff Fisher who decided against overtime and kicked the extra point – 20-19 Cowboys, final. Under cashes, but side doesn’t. Oh and the Lions spit the bit, what a shock! So, 5-2 overall. Not too shabby, but probably not SuperContest worthy. The Cowboys can eat a turd sandwich with extra diarrhea sauce!

Pick

Franchise

Selection

13.01 BeefGravy AllStars Hasselbeck, Matt TEN QB
13.02 Avengers Scott, Bernard CIN RB
13.03 Sidewinders Ponder, Christian MIN QB
13.04 Weekend Warriors Jones, Felix DAL RB
13.05 Convicts Prater, Matt DEN PK
13.06 Chefs Jones, James GBP WR
13.07 Fearsome Foursome Hankerson, Leonard WAS WR
13.08 Daemons Burleson, Nate DET WR
13.09 Ragin Asian Dwyer, Jonathan PIT RB
13.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Royster, Evan WAS RB
13.11 DESERT GRRLIE Gould, Robbie CHI PK
13.12 The GSW Rule Dalton, Andy CIN QB
13.13 Junk Yard Dogs Bears, Chicago CHI Def
13.14 Desperados Pead, Isaiah STL RB (R)
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Chefs, James Jones. I have never understood why Jones isn’t more highly thought of in Green Bay.
Loser Weekend Warriors, Felix Jones. Nothing personal, Warriors, I just hate Felix Jones.

8:10 PM – Data Entry Boy must have a very easy going personality, otherwise, one of these drafts dude is going to show up and pull a “private pyle” on us. And not Gomer Pyle, the Full Metal Jacket Pyle. The latest is he tried to cut on the commish by asking him if his “balls had dropped”. The commish responded with checkmate, “Yeah, they have right in your mouth!” We got a tea-bagging going on!

Pick

Franchise

Selection

14.01 Desperados Miller, Heath PIT TE
14.02 Junk Yard Dogs Hartley, Garrett NOS PK
14.03 The GSW Rule Bryant, Matt ATL PK
14.04 DESERT GRRLIE Hartline, Brian MIA WR
14.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Hillman, Ronnie DEN RB (R)
14.06 Ragin Asian Cowboys, Dallas DAL Def
14.07 Daemons Henery, Alex PHI PK
14.08 Fearsome Foursome Murray, DeMarco DAL RB
14.09 Chefs Chandler, Scott BUF TE
14.10 Convicts Giants, New York NYG Def
14.11 Weekend Warriors Seahawks, Seattle SEA Def
14.12 Sidewinders Bullock, Randy HOU PK (R)
14.13 Avengers Sanders, Emmanuel PIT WR
14.14 BeefGravy AllStars Jacobs, Brandon SFO RB
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Weekend Warriors, Seattle D. I love them this year. Not as much as I love desk or lamp, but it’s still love.
Loser Sidewinders, Randy Bullock. Two kickers inside of 14 rounds.

8:15 PM – Ok, it’s starting to drag, so let’s float out another idea for a fantasy league. This one is a normal draft, either auction or snake, normal head-to-head schedule with playoffs. But no scoring based on accumulated statistics instead, all the scoring is done based on the advanced stat Win Probability Added (WPA). The idea is as each play takes place the probability of a team winning either, for the most part, goes up or goes down. The difference in those numbers is then attributed to the primary players involved in the play. At the end of the game all of the individual plays are added up to form one total WPA. Your team score is based on the total WPA of all your players. This is more indicative of the true value of a player and much less about, well a quarterback crapped his pants for most of the game, but then had two drives against a prevent defense and his fantasy numbers looked great. Here are a couple examples: Eli Manning against Seattle last season accumulated 26.3 fantasy points, good enough for 4th place on the week, but his WPA was -.20, which was more indicative of the crap game he had. In fact, his counterpart, Tavaris Jackson, outscored him in WPA .11 to -.20.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

15.01 BeefGravy AllStars Willis, Matt DEN WR
15.02 Avengers Vereen, Shane NEP RB
15.03 Sidewinders Powell, Bilal NYJ RB
15.04 Weekend Warriors Bironas, Rob TEN PK
15.05 Convicts Roberts, Andre ARI WR
15.06 Chefs James, LaMichael SFO RB (R)
15.07 Fearsome Foursome Bengals, Cincinnati CIN Def
15.08 Daemons Smith, Steve STL WR
15.09 Ragin Asian Jones, Taiwan OAK RB
15.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Cassel, Matt KCC QB
15.11 DESERT GRRLIE Hanson, Jason DET PK
15.12 The GSW Rule Brown, Ronnie SDC RB
15.13 Junk Yard Dogs Davis, Kellen CHI TE
15.14 Desperados Falcons, Atlanta ATL Def
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Weekend Warriors, Seattle D. I love them this year. Not as much as I love desk or lamp, but it’s still love.
Loser Sidewinders, Randy Bullock. Two kickers inside of 14 rounds.

8:23 PM – This is where it gets tough! Playing out the string – pretty much like the Red Sox are doing right now with essentially a minor league team playing at the big league level. I have to wonder if maybe some 90 years ago, this was a little bit how it was for the Red Sox. You know they dominated the 1900-1918, then they sold Babe Ruth and the franchise was never the same until 2004. You to think that most fans about 1922 or so thought to themselves, we will be back soon and, even if it takes ten years or so, we have been blessed beyond belief with this team. I may never see another Red Sox championship.

8:30 PM – Kicker Billy Cundiff was just taken. I wonder if Cundiff every was cornered in shop class by three bullies who stole his lunch and asked him “If this is your lunch why doesn’t it say Billy Cuntdiff on it.” Damn, Christine was another under-rated movie of the 80s. Mr. Lebay, “You shitter”, was classic, but by far my favorite part of that movie is when Arnie was pissed at his parents for not letting him keep Christine at home, so much so that he verbally assaulted them and stormed off. His dad chased him to “lay down the law”, and Arnie responded with “Get you mitts off me Mother Effer. {laughs and smacks dad’s face} I am hitting the sack!” Maybe that glorification of a rebellious spirit is why I have such a disdain for authority.

8:34 PM – Andre Caldwell after a lengthy delay goes to Sidewinders, 30 picks to go. It wouldn’t be a running log without the story (this is the year, I start to grow this story) about the time I took a little too long to make a pick and I got the “We waited that long for Mark Carrier”. To which, I chuckled and replied, “Yeah, it was tough, I came down to him and your mother. But then I remembered that your mother is worthless, so I went with Carrier.” He made a move toward me as though he wanted to dance, but before he got to me, I moved to quickly defuse the situation by offering gift. The gift? I purple felt bag with a drawstring tie. He read the knitted inscription, “Teeth” and calmly said, “Hey, thanks. What does this mean?” I responded “Well, if you take one more step toward me, it’s a place to put you fronts when I knock them out.” Five years from now, he will have pulled a gun on me and I will have gone Nico Toscani on him.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

16.01 Desperados Wilson, Russell SEA QB (R)
16.02 Junk Yard Dogs Patriots, New England NEP Def
16.03 The GSW Rule Nelson, David BUF WR
16.04 DESERT GRRLIE Cardinals, Arizona ARI Def
16.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Cundiff, Billy WAS PK
16.06 Ragin Asian Bennett, Martellus NYG TE
16.07 Daemons Jeffery, Alshon CHI WR (R)
16.08 Fearsome Foursome Best, Jahvid DET RB
16.09 Chefs Tannehill, Ryan MIA QB (R)
16.10 Convicts McCluster, Dexter KCC WR
16.11 Weekend Warriors Broncos, Denver DEN Def
16.12 Sidewinders Caldwell, Andre DEN WR
16.13 Avengers Hester, Devin CHI WR
16.14 BeefGravy AllStars Owens, Terrell FA* WR
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Desperados, Russell Wilson. Say hello to Despy’s keeper for the next five years. Oh that’s right we are going auction next year, so it doesn’t matter.
Loser Convicts, Dexter McCluster. Yeah. It’s round 16, but with Hillis, Charles, Bowe, Moeaki and Baldwin, will there be any room for Dex?

8:47 PM – This is where is gets tough – tough to see, tough to read, tough to speak, you know after almost three hours in a bar with a mandatory spending amount of $100 a person, with everyone is trying to eat and/or drink to that amount, you can fill in the blanks of why it gets tough right now.

8:54 PM – Someone just dropped the Duece, as in Early Doucet. You know it’s healthy to drop an early duece, as well as a mid-morning, late afternoon and pre-sleep deuce. That’s right four deuce’s a day. By the looks of most of the owners, the hotel bathrooms are going to be busy tonight.

Pick

Franchise

Selection

17.01 BeefGravy AllStars Schilens, Chaz NYJ WR
17.02 Avengers Bailey, Dan DAL PK
17.03 Sidewinders Hightower, Tim FA* RB
17.04 Weekend Warriors Grant, Ryan FA* RB
17.05 Convicts Massaquoi, Mohamed CLE WR
17.06 Chefs Tynes, Lawrence NYG PK
17.07 Fearsome Foursome Clark, Dallas TBB TE
17.08 Daemons Chargers, San Diego SDC Def
17.09 Ragin Asian Newton, Cam CAR QB
17.10 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Tebow, Tim NYJ QB
17.11 DESERT GRRLIE Goodson, Mike OAK RB
17.12 The GSW Rule Green, Alex GBP RB
17.13 Junk Yard Dogs Vinatieri, Adam IND PK
17.14 Desperados Feely, Jay ARI PK
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner DESERT GRRLIE/GSW, Mike Goodson and Alex Green. The only thing between these two and a full work load is Darren Benson or Cedric McFadden.
Loser DA BOYZ FROM NYC, Tim Tebow. No way Rex allow this to turn into the Broncos 2011 season, no matter how bad Sanchez performs.

8:56 PM – ” ” – my notes were illegible for this entry so I can either go with an Eric Dickerson special, “Al, at halftime we’ve learned that water is wet. Back to you Al!” so I will go with another fantasy league idea. The rotisserie fantasy football league. Details:

  • Normal draft, either snake or auction
  • Weekly starting lineups
  • No head-to-head matchups, instead your team accumulates stats in various categories like Passing Yards, Rushing Yards, Receiving Yards, Total Points Scored, Turnovers, Receptions, Return Yards, Yards per Carry, Yards Per pass attempt, etc. Each team is ranked in those categories from 1 to 12 (for 12 team leagues). The points are calculated by adding one to the number of teams and subtracting the place in each category, for example, the team with the 5th most total points scored would receive 8 points for that category.

9:05 PM – It might be the best close to a draft ever – the “50K Hypothetical Question”, which I will now butcher the re-telling:

Son – “Dad, what’s the difference between a hypothetical and a realistic question?”

Dad – “Hmm, son, I tell you what, go ask your mom if should would sleep with the data entry boy for $50,000. Then ask your sister if she would sleep with board boy for $50,000.”

Son (comes back a while later) – “Dad, I asked them and they both said they would.”

Dad – “There is the difference Son, hypothetically we should be sitting on a 100K right now, but realistically we live with two Hos!”

Pick

Franchise

Selection

18.01 Desperados Morris, Alfred WAS RB (R)
18.02 Junk Yard Dogs Hardesty, Montario CLE RB
18.03 The GSW Rule Lewis, Marcedes JAC TE
18.04 DESERT GRRLIE Conner, John NYJ RB
18.05 DA BOYZ FROM NYC Bills, Buffalo BUF Def
18.06 Ragin Asian Doucet, Early ARI WR
18.07 Daemons Carter, Delone IND RB
18.08 Fearsome Foursome Barth, Connor TBB PK
18.09 Chefs Raiders, Oakland OAK Def
18.10 Convicts Weeden, Brandon CLE QB (R)
18.11 Weekend Warriors Walter, Kevin HOU WR
18.12 Sidewinders Hill, Stephen NYJ WR (R)
18.13 Avengers Titans, Tennessee TEN Def
18.14 BeefGravy AllStars Dolphins, Miami MIA Def
Colin Wynner calls the round winner and loser:
Winner Desperados, Alfred Morris. I personally witnessed this kid chewing up the Colts today. He is my hero!
Loser DESERT GRRLIE, John Conner. Do we get fantasy points for leading a band of human renegades against futuristic cyborgs? I didn’t think so.

9:10 PM – Draft over, I am out of here. . .Oh damn, we didn’t meet our minimum. Oh course, Vegas is getting theirs! $200 short and with the “eating machine” gone to cash some winning football bets we might be in trouble. Problem solved, we will order more drinks – wait does it count towards our total if someone has to get their stomach pumped on-site?

Here is the list of additional items ordered to bring to hit the minimum:

  • A “Top Shelf” long island ice tea; that drink is still around? Wow I haven’t heard of that drink since 8th grade. Anyway, why was this owner not ordering “top shelf” from the beginning
  • Patron shots up a kazoo. Personally, I wanted to go for the bottle of Dom, so I could “make it rain” up in this bitch.
  • Enough deserts to feed a third world country

Did we hit our total? Finally, whew! Just about everyone has a green look to them, as they try to swallow a mouthful of food like they are at the end of the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest.

Over/Under on total weight gain by the 16 participants – 79.5, just under five lbs a person. Not. Even. Close. Way. Way over!

Final thought – an owner stated towards the end of the draft, “I would be willing to come back to Vegas for the draft on milestone years!” That’s what I like to hear, see you all next year when the SFL will be old enough, 21, to gamble. Who doesn’t spend their 21st birthday in Vegas?