Monday, October 24, 2005

Bye-ing time.

Yes, yes... It's been a couple of weeks of arena slaughter now and no picks. Well, you may as well get used to it for a while. Petrruchio is taking up about 85% of my time right now, and I'm not sure when I'll get back to football. But I will do what I can when I can.

Believe me, I like carnage as much as the next guy.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Everybody else is doing it.

I'm taking a bye this week. I just started a new job and my day off is not allowing quite as much leisure as I had hoped, and besides, the job itself is more time intensive as well.

More picks next week, though, I hope.

Who's dead?

Patriots killed falcons.
Bills killed dolphins.
The Browns killed bears.
Lions killed ravens.
Packers killed saints.
Seahawks killed rams.
Jets killed buccaneers.
Titans killed Texans.
Colts killed 49ers.
Cowboys killed eagles.
Broncos killed redskins.
Panthers killed cardinals.
Jaguars killed Bengals.*
Steelers killed chargers.

*I called this for the Bengals, but, as you remember, was pretty sure it was a tossup. That makes me 8-5-1 for the week.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

NFL Week 5

Remember, Browns are my high-school friend Jason Brown and his family, Bills are paper bills saying you owe money and Chargers are devices to provide power to your cell phone and ipod. Also, from this week through Thanksgiving, I will be abandoning the spread and priority point assignation... I’ve taken a leave of absence from my job and therefore the betting pool. It’s all about death in the arena now, kids.

Browns vs. Bears
It’s getting colder here in Chicago, so the Bears are still out foraging. Which means that the Browns are basically helpless in the face of a herd of marauding grizzlies. When they hear trashcans being overturned outside, Jay and Jen go out onto the porch flashlights in hand, to see what the matter might be. Giant claws swat them back into the house, knocking them out cold. The bears come in, lured by the scent honey and wild berry zinger tea, just put up for the night. Litle Jack Brown comes down the stairs looking for mommy to tuck him in and is met by the sight of a giant living teddy bear in his kitchen. With glee he runs toward the bear and is promptly eaten. It doesn’t look much better for Brit. Oh no.

Packers vs. Saints
The saints, in search of food for the hungry, are baited by the smells of cheese and meat, and the great bounty of Wisconsin. The packers are only too happy to feed the saints and give them beer, fattening and intoxicating them before dealing crushing blows with their meathooks.

Buccaneers at Jets
The marauders are confused at first by these great flying galliases, but soon enough they realize that they are boardable as any vessel. Smashing their way into the innards of their opponents, and not having the slightest idea of how to fly them, the bucs set their cutlasses to work, slicing into the control panels, kitchenette, lavatories. The jets lower their cabin pressure, trying to kill the bucs with lack of oxygen. But the pirates escape, jumping from the internally ravaged jets using sailcloth as makeshift parachutes. The jets, having been slashed internally, slip into tailspins.

Rams vs. Seahawks
Here is where territory makes a difference. The seahawks, still making their way south from last week, now find themselves faced with a large mountain range. The higher they fly to clear the mountains, the colder and more lightheaded they become, and they start to fall to the rocky crags below. The rams, unhappy with competition on the food chain, start butting and biting. Because the seahawks are so out of their element, it is very difficult for them to fight back, and those rams are so damn persistent. So off they fly, defeated.

Falcons vs. Patriots
You might give this one to the guys with guns, but you have to remember the muskets are no good at long range... The falcons are able to swoop down at the minutemen from out of the cover of trees and are generally making a mess of things until the pats realize something. Using the tinder from their musket packs they start a forest fire and run. When the smoke fand ash finally clear, there are more than enough charred feathers for the revolutionaries to dclare victory.

Bills vs. Dolphins
Okay. First, dolphins don’t care about money, they care about eating fish. Second, even if they did care about money, they’re smart enough to have figured out a way around bill-paying. Yes, the bills crumple themselves up and try to stick in the sea-mammals’ blowholes, but they’re just spit up, and now they’re wet and smeary, and starting to decompose.

Lions vs. Ravens
King of the Jungle. Loud, mouthy pests. Cats are pretty good at catching birds, and when the birds are coming to you of their own accord, it makes it that much easier. This one’s no contest. Sure the birds are annoying and they get a few pecks in, but the lions are just too good at it. More feathery carnage.

Texans vs. Titans
So the Texans, overwhelmingly outsized by the titans, gather closely, knowing they must defend their homeland. As the titans come rumbling toward them, there are myriad whoops and gunshots and cries of “Remember the Alamo!”
The titans, swatting the bullets like so many mosquitoes, and crushing the Texans underfoot, say, “We do. You lost.”

Colts at 49ers
The 49ers use carrots to lure the lil’ horsies into the mines, and set off some dynamite charges, but the colts are just too damn fast. And now the mine is destroyed. The 9ers are pissed now, and start throwing lit sticks of dynamite and pickaxes at the colts, pretty much willy-nilly. The colts are scared, but their fear feeds their speed, and they are able to dodge and weave out of the way of the gold-panners projectiles, biding their time till the old men tire. Which they eventually do. Good thing the horsies loaded up on those carrot-carbs, because here’s a second burst of energy, wich they use to trample as many old bones as possible.

Panthers at Cardinals
More cats catching birds. ‘Nuff said.

Eagles at Cowboys
This one you give to the guys with guns, right away. Seriously, how do you think the American Eagle became endangered in the first place? Fucking cowboys and their guns.

Broncos vs. Redskins
We saw a very similar match two weeks ago, which involved the Indians taking a spirit journey to meet the great horse and being rebuffed, so they did it the old fashioned way, with bows and arrows. Well, that failed, the broncos won. And it seems to me that some horses were just meant to be wild. The redkins are mangled pretty badly by the stampede, and they learn their lesson. Leave the wild horses alone, for love of all that’s holy!

Jaguars vs. Bengals
The battle of the great cats. Locked in mortal combat. In the end, the tigers’ superior strength will carry them. Or the jaguars will emerge victorious. Hard to say. It’s a coin toss. There will be a whole lot of scratching and biting, though

Chargers vs. Steelers
The steelworkers get home and want a beer. Is that so wrong? They’ve been working hard all day, and they want to sit down, watch the game, and drink a cold fucking beer. But no, the fridge is on the blink. And the TV isn’t working. Wait a minute... did the lights just flicker? The fuses seem okay... so what’s the problem? “Too many things plugged into the outlet! Damn kids and their fancy-dan ipods and cellphones.” So, time to unplug nonessentials. ZZZZZZZZCHKKKKK, “GAH! GAAK! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH!” Charred bodies fall to the floor, the smell of burnt hair fills the room. “Nonessentials, my ass,” think the chargers.

Who's dead?

This week was my last week with the spread for a while.

Chargers killed patriots.
Broncos killed jaguars.
Texans killed Bengals.*
Colts killed Titans.
Saints killed bills.
Giants killed rams.
Lions killed buccaneers.*
Redskins killed seahawks.
Eagles killed chiefs.
Falcons killed vikings.
Raiders killed cowboys.
Ravens killed jets.
Cardinals killed 49ers.
Packers killed panthers.*

* Bengals, buccaneers, and panthers all actually killed their opponents but the fucking spread got in the way. So that's 8 out of 14, still a winning record, as death goes.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

NFL Week 4

Remember, Bills are paper bills saying you owe money and Chargers are devices to provide power to your cell phone and ipod.

Patriots vs. Chargers (5.5)
The revolutionaries are momentarily stunned when they find they are faced with a number of small plastic bricks. Thinking their opponents will be warhorses, in the name of sportsmanship, they try to clear the green. At this point, the bricks light up, giving each of the patriots a severe electrical shock. Some of the pats recover and try to stab the chargers with bayonettes, achieving the same result as sticking a knife into an electrical socket. Many others are so frighted by the witchcraft inherent in small electrical bricks that they run. Confounded by “Technologickal magicks,” the minutemen are left twitching and the chargers are about to claim victory, when at the last minute, great patriot Ben Franklin arrives with a kite! and a key! And, well, you know the rest. (4)

Jaguars vs. Broncos (3.5)
The broncos are momentarily becalmed when they find themselves in the jungle. “So pretty” they think, as they munch on the mushrooms dotting the jungle floor. The jaguars, biding their time in the trees above, decide it’s time and pounce. It is literally raining cats on the broncos. Cats with big sharp pointy teeth. And claws. The broncos buck, but Mother Nature says, “No amount of bucking will save you, horsies. The carniverous predator wins in a fight with a four-legged herbivore. Stay out of the jungle next time.” (11)

Bengals vs. Texans (9.5)
The Texans on safari in India, with typical American bravado, decide to get out of their H2 and have a walk around. The tour guide, sick of their jingoism, “forgets” to remind them to bring their rifles. He pockets their cash and speeds off in the hummer, leaving the texans a little scared, but, they think, justified in their racism. They walk in the jungle till they find a nice place to rest. One hears a growl... another smells something, (raw meat?)... then they all see the many many many pairs of yellow eyes, peeking through the underbrush. (5)

Colts at Titans (7.5)
The colts are able almost to outrun the thundering Titans. Almost. A whole generation of horsies crushed beneath the toes of ancient Greek gods, bellowing with laughter. Do not let your little ones watch this contest. (6)

Chiefs vs. Eagles (1.5)
The chiefs call a tribal council. Amidst the flaming cinders and smoke of the sacred fire, the eagle dance is performed. One chief dons his tremendous headdress, made with the feathers of every white-headed bird he has sent to the Greater Sky. The eagles swoop down, but are confused by the smoke and the war cries. There is much carnage: Indians with plucked eyes and torn flesh, eagles with broken wings. All the while, silent, solitary Killer of Eagles takes aim, and one by one, does the one thing he has been trained to do. Kill eagles. (7)

Buccaneers vs. Lions (6.5)
The lions do not like it here. First they are surrounded by water. Second the ground keeps pitching and rolling underneath them. Third they are being attacked by loud smelly humans with flintlock pistols and huge curved swords. They are being cut to ribbons. They fight back, maul quite few buccaneers, but there are always more, and they are singing shanties. It is then the great cats realize being king of the jungle does not make you king of the pirate ship. Drinking grog makes you king of the pirate ship. Grog and lion stew. (9)

Giants vs. Rams (3.5)
The rams, unsatisfied with their batter-their-ankles-till-they-fall strategy from last week’s contest with the Titans, try something new. They climb the giants like so many mountains. While many are sacrificed to falls and being swatted like mosquitoes, some are stubborn enough to make it to the top, alighting on the giants’ shoulders. It is at this point that they realize their other plan was probably better. The giants pick the rams off of one another and eat them. (14)

Saints vs. Bills (.5)
Saints are used to living in poverty. “What’s one more unpaid bill? In fact, why can’t we all just live together in peace and harmony, as God’s children, without the evil trappings of money? Fuck money! Love God! Burn the bills! Burn the bills!” And they do. (10)

Redskins vs. Seahawks (2.5)
On their way to Florida for the winter, the seahawks are sighted by Runs like the Wind, who immediately gathers the tribe. They sharpen arrowheads, mount horses and get to open ground. As they rain arrows upon the seahawks, the birds scatter and dive, scatter and dive, creating chaos amongst some of the younger members of the tribe. Then the birds begin to fall at an alarming rate. Many redskins hear the whizzing of thrown weapons and watch more birds fall. As they clear the field of carnage, the elders, who had been throwing these small axes, remind the braves: tomahawk kills seahawk. every time. (13)

Ravens vs. Jets (6.5)
The ravens are just crazy enough to do this: kamikaze runs. That’s right, with the promise of 40 bird virgins awaiting them in heaven, young raven recruits fly directly into the jet engines of the aeroplanes, causing severe malfunction, flame-outs, and crashes, resulting in no small loss of life. Yeesh. (12)

Falcons vs. Vikings (6.5)
The Vikings are not cowed by the giant trees of the forest, nor their avian denizens. As the falcons attack, they are thwarted by horned, armored helmets and great leather plate-mail. The Vikings turn on the Berserker rage, battle axes spinning, spears and javelins flying and soon the falcons are either tamed, fled, or dead. The norsemen collect feather trophies and return to their longboats. Falcon pie sure sounds good. (3)

Raiders vs. Cowboys (3.5)
A classic Halloween contest. Raiders have the edge because the cowboys are unfamiliar with the ship. Their repeating six-shooters are helpful, but the lassoes are useless in the face of pirate cutlasses, and the seeming everywhereness of the raiders. Swinging from rigging, jumping out from belowdecks, smacking cowboys with the yard-arm: the desperadoes are outplayed on the sea. (8)

Cardinals vs. 49ers (2.5)
The 49ers set up a few birdhouses and birdfeeders, with oh-so-yummy nectar. The redbirds alight and are hammered, hard by pick-axes. Most escape, but a few bird carcasses remain. The cardinals, angered by this sneaky sneak attack zoom in on thir grizzled foe, plucking some eyes and causing buzzing confusion. Out comes the dynamite, which sound bursts they tiny eardrums of all the cardinals, sending them into vertigo tailspins. Now there are a lot of bird carcasses. (2)

Panthers vs. Packers (7.5)
The packers try to lull the cats with big bowls of milk and then attack with the meathooks. It’s a valiant effort, but the panthers are too fast and strong. There is a lot of gore on this one, but it comes down to fear factor. Giant black cats leaping on you and mauling you with their attached teeth and claws? The packers who are able to keep hold of their hooks in the face of such terror fare a little better than their less fortunate comrades, but not much. The panthers eat well tonight. (1)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Who's dead?

Week 3 was no better for me than week 2, as far as the spread was concerned.

Bengals killed bears.
Titans killed rams.
Raiders killed eagles.
Jaguars killed jets
Vikings killed saints.
Dolphins killed panthers.
Browns killed colts.
Falcons killed bills.
Packers killed buccaneers
Seahawks killed cardinals.
Patriots killed steelers
49ers killed cowboys.
Chargers killed giants.
Broncos killed chiefs.

For what it's worth, the eagles, colts, and buccaneers all won, just not by enough, which means I correctly called nine out of fourteen contests. So the system works... outside of a spread.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

NFL Week 3

New features: The spread is in parentheses (the first team in each match-up is favored), and the priority points I've assigned each match follow the explanations. My picks are underlined. Remember, Bills are paper bills saying you owe money and Chargers are devices to provide power to your cell phone and ipod.

Jets vs. Jaguars (3.5)
I don’t care how fast you are or how many trees you sleep in. A jet is faster and clips those trees with engine-fire. Jaguars, though powerful cats, are no match for these planes in the air... the pressure drop knocks the panthers out, and the jets have their way with the beasts. (2)

Rams vs. Titans (6.5)
The Rams will batter at the ankles of the mythic titans, but will not get far, even with their stubbornness. With bruised ankles, Titanic feet crush the rams where they stand, leaving huge lake-sized footprints where once there were mountains, filled with bones, wool, and broken horns. (5)

Eagles vs. Raiders (8.5)
Finally, a contest the eagles can take. The pirates are no match for the birds of prey on their turf. Though they are used to climbing the rigging of their ships, their cutlasses send them off-balance in the trees, and do not offer enough reach. The national birds swoop and dive, all the while, using talons and beaks to tear at the raiders’ flesh. Some birds will be hurt by flintlock balls, but not enough. (4)

Bengals at Bears (3.5)
This contest will be fought remarkably like last week’s, with the angered bears defending their cave and young ones against a marauding horde of over-confident, unprepared great cats. The tigers will tire of the fighting and go off for a nap, leaving the bears bruised but victorious. Watch out, though... as the weather turns colder, the bears will go off to look for a final meal before hibernation. (14)

Vikings vs. Saints (3.5)
Vikings, at last on home tundra, longboats at the ready will make swift work of the miracle workers. The horde of Nord will go into a mass berserker rage, battle axes and giant maces a-whirling. St George, St Michael and St Jeanne d’Arc, fearsome warriors all, make a valiant stand, but are unable to rally a sufficient army as their numbers are dwindling, due to crises in the south that need humanitarian tending. (8)

Panthers at Dolphins (3.5)
Cats don’t like water. Dolphins are at home. Their squeaky dolphin talk sends the sensitive-eared cats into a vertigo-like fit, and then the sea-mammals go to work: They pick up the sodden, unhappy panthers like so many beach balls, toss them around from bottlenose to bottlenose, all the while grinning that creepy dolphin grin. After batting the cats with their tails and thoroughly humiliating them, the cats skulk off to dry land, licking their wounds. Sad kitties. (10)

Colts vs. Browns (13.5)
Not unsurprisingly, my friends the Browns are not horse people. Jennifer (the mom) is a pig farmer, though, which does give her some insight into the farm-animals’ psyche. They start by trying to corral the colts, imposing order, but the horses’ youthful energy is too overwhelming for this family of four, and with the already near-impossible task of corralling a teenage daughter and a seven-year-old boy, eventually they are worn to the bone, giving the colts a victory. (12)

Bills vs. Falcons (1.5)
Again, falcons don’t care about pieces of paper telling humans how much money they owe. The birds of prey shred the bills and take them up into the trees, to fashion nests. For what it’s worth, the bills do make a nice home for the baby falcons to barf and poop on. (9)

Buccaneers at Packers (3.5)
The battle of the hooks! Even though each packer has two hooks to each pirate’s one, the bucks make up for the loss with their cutlasses, giving them reach on the battlefield. The pack tries hurling livestock at the pirates, a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but because they came in by ship, still docked in the bay, the cannonfire is what ends up giving the bucs the victory. (7)

Seahawks vs. Cardinals (6.5)
Cardinals are going to have problems here, as this is what seahawks were built for, eating smaller birds. Plus, the bright red plumage makes them even easier to pick out against the grey-green of the sea. Redbird down! Redbird down! (3)

Steelers vs. Patriots (3.5)
Because the steelers are at home, they are able to smelt just about anything they need. The patriots, even with muskets and bayonettes, are foiled by steel defenses: shields, walls, you name it. As they try to assail the steel mill, molten ore is poured on the revolutionaries, burning most, but casting a few into steel friezes which they proudly display. No one said the steelers were anti-American! (13)

Cowboys at 49ers (6.5)
This contest is won by whoever’s at home. In this case, the miners secret themselves deep in the earth. The cowboys follow, but without headlamps are blind as bats. Suddenly a tremendous BOOM! cracks the ceiling of the mine shaft, and the walls collapse, crushing the cowboys. The miners, who had been hiding in another hole altogether, are completely safe and sound. And in the process of dynamiting the abandoned shaft into which they lured the gunslingers, discovered a vein of silver, beeyootyful SILvah!! (6)

Chargers vs. Giants (6.5)
So the chargers electricity just isn’t enough to bring down the dumb-as-they-are-big giants. Again with the crushing of the small tech devices into tiny pieces. One day the chargers will confound an actual human opponent, one who refuses to read the manual! But for now, the giants win handily. (1)

Broncos vs. Chiefs (3.5)
The tribal leaders are perhaps the only men on earth able to tame the bucking broncos without resorting to violence. They enlist the help of the shaman, who goes on a spirit-journey and meets with the spirit of the Great Horse. The horse refuses to speak with him, and he comes back empty handed... the chiefs say, “Fuck it. We’ll do this the old fashioned way. Bow and arrow. And tonight the people will sleep in bronco teepees.” And they do. (11)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Who's dead?

Well, I did not do so well this week.
(My picks are underlined. Remember, sometimes I just had to beat the spread, so that's what counts, deathwise. Some winning teams are losers because they didn't cover the spread, and vice versa.)

Bears killed lions.
Titans killed ravens.
Buccaneers killed bills.
Jaguars killed colts.
Bengal tigers killed vikings.
Panthers killed patriots.
Steelers killed Texans.
Eagles slaughtered 49ers.
Seahawks killed facons.
Rams killed cardinals.
Browns killed Packers
Jets killed dolphins.
Chargers killed broncos.
Chiefs killed raiders.
Giants killed saints.
Redskins killed cowboys.

This week, out of a possible 136 points, I got 52. Youch.