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.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

NFL Week 2

My picks are underlined

Lions at Bears
This is an age old question in nature – I’ve gone back and forth on this quite a bit. At first I was inclined to give this to the lions – king of the jungle and all that. But upon further reflection, when faced with an equal number of lions and bears, the lions’ speed and fury, i think, would not be quite enough to overcome the bears sheer power, especially when faced with defending their home, and probably young ones. Plus, lions are traditionally a little lazy... not that that’s a bad thing. In winter it’s a different story, what with full bellies and hibernation, but for now, the bears just barely eke this one out.

Ravens at Titans
Easy – ravens. Titans are huge and mythic creatures, don’t get me wrong – many will be defeated by titans, but here, the ravens’ speed and size work to their advantage. Ravens will dart in, tear at flesh and clothing, then out of the way of the titans’ mighty swings, all the while cawing and taunting the titans more and more, till eventually the titans are driven mad by the incessant noise. The ravens then sweep in, plucking the eyes from the exhausted titans’ heads, rendering them blind, ragged, and insane: no way to win a contest of physical prowess.

Buccaneers vs. Bills
This season I am playing the Bills as paper bills that one receives in the mail, like from ComEd. Therefore, the bucs take this easily. Pirates don’t care if they owe you money, silly. They simply tear the bills in half and eat them, proclaiming, “Arrr, ye think ye can get us down with debt? Try again mateys! We eat debt for breakfast!”

Colts vs. Jaguars
Um, this is what jaguars do: eat young four-legged herbivores. The colts may be fast, but a lot of them are going down, and with their still pliable, growing bones, they certainly aren’t doing any damage to the jungle cats. Sorry, horsies.

Bengals vs. Vikings
Vikings are fierce warriors, certainly, and perhaps, if this contest were not held in the Asian Jungle (Bengal tigers protecting their Indian homestead) it might go the other way. Edge to the tigers because their enemy is waaaayyy out of his cold element, is waaayyyy overdressed in furs, and will probably get the runs from the water.

Patriots at Panthers
Pats will be relying on their antiquated muskets; panthers on agility and strength. Panthers will be startled by the very loud noise and smoke produced by the musket fire, and then the minutemen can charge with bayonets and swords. There will be a LOT of gore on the battlefield, but if they’re lucky, the revolutionaries will emerge victorious.

Steelers at Texans
Well, we have a Texan in the white house, and the steel industry, as a result, is in the toilet. This makes the steelers mad. which could be to their advantage, but in the end, they have big hammers and welding irons while the Texans have lassoes and money, and thanks to the NRA, shotguns. Don’t mess with Texas.

Eagles vs. 49ers
Hear me out. If the miners do this right, it’s theirs: They must place some dirty gold in the shallows of the river (eagles stay near water, it’s as easy for them to fish as hunt land prey), the eagles are then lured to the shine of gold beneath the water, thinkng it’s lunch. They are confused when there’s no fish, and the water has been contaminated, making them sick. At this point, the miners attack, swinging pick-axes and throwing lit sticks of dynamite, hoping to find purchase... Yes, they can fly, and they have arrows, too, but Manifest Destiny and the push west is why the American eagle is on the Endangered species list. Sorry guys.

Seahawks vs. Falcons
Coin toss. Birds of similar weight, size and temperament. Edge goes to Seahawks because we are, after all, on the sea.

Cardinals vs. Rams
The cardinals try using the ravens’ strategy (see above), but the rams have ample head protection and are too stubborn to give up. Cardinals, being small birds, are pretty easily winded, and when slowed, the rams batter at them, killing most of the delicate avians in the process. A lot of dead birds on the field. The carnage.

Packers vs. Browns
Unfortunately, my friend Jason Brown and his family, while very sweet people, are just no match for a bunch of drunken, dairy-fed meat-packers with tinter-hooks. Yikes!

Jets vs. Dolphins
While I’m a big fan of the dolphin and his super-human intelligence, the aeroplane has the advantage here. Whether he chooses to incinerate the poor beasts in his engines, drop any matter of ordnance in the dolphins’ pool, or just transport them without water to a dry and remote place, the jet takes this contest.

Broncos vs. Chargers
This season I am playing the Chargers as devices that provide electricity to other devices, such as a cell-phone charger. Therefore, against human enemies, they will often take the day. Animals, especially ones as wild as the famous bucking broncos don’t know from cell-phones. They trample the chargers into tiny little pieces. Sorry, technology.

Chiefs at Raiders
Traditionally, the foreign invaders from the sea win this one. See also: Columbus, with the weapons, armor and let us not forget, smallpox.

Giants vs. Saints
It takes a miracle to fell a giant, and well the saints, they got lots of miracles. With God on their side, they can do it. Sure giants are heathens, and couldn’t care less about God, but they are traditionally killed by smaller, smarter humans (David with the sling, Jack with the beanstalk). The saints’ faith and fervor will carry them to victory, especially now that their home is being taken care of by texans. (Wait a minute!)

Cowboys vs. Redskins
A classic confrontation to be sure. Cowboys traditionally win this one, pushing the Indians out of their homeland, starving them, or just killing them outright. The Indians win in the long run, what with the casinos and taking all the money, but for now, it’s the gunslingers.

Mascot kills mascot!

OK. Welcome to Mascot kills mascot! If you are here to try to get valid picks for your weekly office pool, turn back. Seriously. I mean, this system works, in a way, but I don't want your hopes and dreams riding on my whims and fantasies.

Basically, every week, I will make my NFL picks based on whose mascot wins in a fight. Yes, I'm not the first to try this method, but I am pretty damn good, so watch out. Really.

At my job we play the spread, which doesn't actually interfere with my picks because I'm dealing with birds and horses and pirates and shit, and they don't really care about what Jimmy the Greek says, but, then I assign priority points to each pick based on the spread and who will or will not cover, so I still have a shot at winning the week. Last year I did surprisingly well. Go figure.

Anyway, comments are on, so, go for it.