Friday, September 7, 2012

the week one "fling it and see what sticks" guesses


(cue “snf theme song voice) HIT IT!!!  No, really – HIT IT!!!!!

“Midnight, getting uptight, where are you?
You said you’d meet me, now it’s a quarter to two,
I know I’m hanging, but I’m still wanting you …

Hey Jack, it’s a fact, they’re talking in town.
I turn my back, and you’re messing around.
I’m not really jealous – don’t like looking like a clown.

I think of you every night and day –
You took my heart, and you took my pride
Away … way … way … way … way …

I hate myself for loving you!
Can’t break free from the things that you do!
I wanna walk, but I run back to you!
That’s why I hate myself for loving you!!!”

-- Joan Jett and the Blackhawks, “Hate Myself for Loving You” … and oh hell yes, this is on the finalized Mixology 2012 playlist for Sunday

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Wow, is it really time for the return of the worst prognosticator walking the planet?  It is?  Sweet!

* Season to Date SU: 0-1-0.
* Season to Date ATS: 0-1-0.

* "Screw You Pete King" Upset of the Week: man.  The artist formerly known as simply "Upset of the Week", this segment was renamed prior to week eight last season, in honor of our good buddy, Ol' Pete King of Sports Illustrated, for his blatant bias against the Chiefs, and for his beloved San Diego "Super" Chargers.  (And yes, I am fully aware I picked the Chargers to win this year's Lombardi Trophy.  Hypocrisy: alive and well on this site!)

Anyways, tough call this week.  There's five underdogs I'm picking to win outright ... (cue everyone voice) Oh no.  Please, Stevo, you SUCK at picking games!  Please, do NOT pick the Chiefs as your Upset of the Week!  Calm down people, I'm not taking the Chiefs as the week's biggest stunner.  Instead, I'm going with my sleeper NFC team, in a huge game for them early.  I say the Greg Schiano era gets off to a raucous start, and I'll take the Bucs +1 1/2 to beat the Panthers at the Pirate Ship.

* The Non-Chiefs Predictions:

at Giants (-3 1/2) 28, Cowboys 17.  Should be a relatively comfortable win for the Giants to open their title defense.  Giants have won 8 of the last 10 against Dallas outright, in case if you're looking for a trend to bet on tonight.

at Bears (-11) 34, Colts 10.  There are some really good games / to get the season off right / This game however / Is not (clap!) Dy-No-Mite!!!  Yup, this one is your "Good Times Game of the Week", so named because this matchup is so unappealing, so unwatchable, that any person with an IQ above room temperature would rather watch a "Good Times" marathon than tune in for even 2/1000ths of a second of this game.

at Vikings (-3 1/2) 14, Jaguars 10.  Wow, this one is pretty awful too.  If there is an eighth layer of hell, I guarantee you this game is on the television down there, as a form of very cruel and unusual punishment.

at Jets 21, Bills (+2) 20.  How in the hell are the Jets a favorite?  Seriously?  That's ridiculous, and I say that as a Jets fan.  This team stinks.  Would not surprise me at all if the Bills win outright.

at Texans (-13) 31, Dolphins 3.  You know the Joe Philbin era is off to a great start when the team quits on him in training camp.  Good grief.  Seriously, what is it that leads seemingly competent front office executives to hire abject morons as their head coach?  And in case you doubt that Joe Philbin is a dolt, watch an episode of "Hard Knocks" from this season.  Trust me -- he's incompetent.

at Titans (+5) 27, Patriots 21.  If this game was being played in Foxboro, I'd probably pick the Patriots by two touchdowns.  This one just smells funny.  Titans at home, improving rapidly, chance to make an early statement game against a legitimate Super Bowl threat. 

at Lions (-7 1/2) 45, Rams 17.  Not sure they can make this line high enough.  Should be a "take the shirt off, prop the feet up on the chair in front of you, and work on the tan" game by the second quarter.  If, you know, the Lions played outdoors and you could work on said tan.  Which they don't.

at Saints 31, Redskins (+8) 28.  I am completely clueless on this game.  Have no idea what to expect from the Saints.  Also have no clue what to expect from the 'Skins. 

Eagles (-9) 41, at Browns 3.  And I'm being generous in suggesting the Browns might get off a successful field goal attempt.

49ers (+5) 31, at Packers 20.  Total gut feeling pick.  I'm not sold on Green Bay at all. 

Seahawks (-2 1/2) 27, at Cardinals 13.  This line actually opened Arizona -1.  Then I think the oddsmakers realized it's the Arizona Cardinals, not the St. Louis Cardinals, taking the field on Sunday, and adjusted accordingly.

at Bucs (+1 1/2) 30, Panthers 27.  Awesome, awesome matchup, and thank you FOX for cramming this into the late afternoon stand-alone spot!  Especially since the odds of the US Open final actually being played on Sunday are now slim and none, and slim is being carted off the court with rain-induced injuries.

at broncos (-1 1/2) 34, Steelers 24.  A very intriguing matchup to open the season for both teams.  Seriously, was it really just eight months ago this was one of the funnest playoff games I've ever watched?  So much can change in so short a period of time, I guess.

at Ravens (-6) 17, Bengals 10.  Check out the Bengals opening six: at Ravens / vs Browns / at Redskins / at Jaguars / vs Dolphins / at Browns.  If they could spring the upset Monday night, they're set up to be 6-0 when the Steelers come calling for the week seven Sunday Night Football contest.  Also, it would behoove the Bengals to not squander this stretch, because here's their December: at Chargers / vs Cowboys / at Eagles / at Steelers / vs Ravens.  Yikes.

Chargers (pick) 24, at raiders 3.  Earplug Alert!  Chris Berman is handling the play-by-play for this contest.  I'd suggest finding out which station is your local Westwood One affiliate and listen to Marv and Boomer on the call instead.

* The Chiefs Prognostication

(Note: I was all prepared to go into full-on preacher mode ... only, Governor Granholm was SO DAMNED AWESOME last night at the DNC, I can't possibly match her.  Seriously, click the link for five minutes of AWESOME.  I wish I was HALF as dynamic as she is when giving a "fire up the base" speech.  I'm telling you, if Obama / Biden was running against the incumbent, I'd be the biggest backer they'd have, that's how epic the DNC was.  Unfortunately for the President, he does have a record, and it sucks balls.  Which is why I'm voting for Romney / Ryan.

And now ... the prepared statement for the first game of the season.)

I've been going to Chiefs games for nearly as long as I can remember ... and I can only recall two visits by the Atlanta Falcons in that time.

I know we opened the season against them in 1991, a 14-3 defensive struggle that is best remembered as the game that was the last non-sellout until 2009.  And then again in 2004, when the Chiefs laid the beating of a generation on the Falcons, winning 56-10 in a game* that wasn't even that close.

(*: two things stand out about this game.  (1) The Chiefs scored 8 rushing touchdowns -- Priest had four, Derrick Blaylock had four.  And (2) this game is without question the drunkest I have ever been at a sporting event, and I am aware I survived Double Header Day I, Double Header Day II, and the (until this year) annual "Celebrate the Ounces" blowout.  This game might actually be the drunkest I've ever been in my life, that's how far gone I was by 9am.)

I don't expect Sunday's game to be similar to either outcome.

I don't see any scenario in which a defensive struggle breaks out.  The Chiefs are too beat up to hold a potent Falcons team to 14 points.  No Tamba Hali, no Kendrick Lewis, potentially no Brandon Flowers -- all adds up to Atlanta getting at least 24, if not into the low 30s.

Conversely, I don't see either team winning a blowout in which you spend the entire second half kicked back in your seat, working on the tan.  (Although, it is gonna be in the mid 80s and sunny on Sunday, and wouldn't you know it, my seat is in the sun all day.  So God, if you're reading this?  A nice 38-10 drubbing of the Dirty Birds -- note I said OF, not BY -- would be greatly appreciated.)

I think this is gonna be an offensive explosion.  Both teams are loaded on the offensive side of the ball.  Think about this: the Chiefs can go FIVE WIDE with Dwayne Bowe, Jon Baldwin, Steve Breaston, Kevin Boss, and Tony Moeaki.  Uum, if you're Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, and GOD I pray he shows up in the suit and tie, if you're Mike Nolan, who do you focus on?  What part of the field do you send the cover 2 safety to support?  How may backs do you have to drop into coverage because you don't have the secondary to cover that wide of an attack?

Conversely, look at what the Falcons are throwing out there -- Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez, against a severely depleted Chiefs secondary, and a diminished pass rush due to Tamba Hali's suspension.

You want to run the football?  Swell!  Two of the best backs in the league will be on the field Sunday, Jamaal Charles in his return for the Chiefs, Michael Turner for the Falcons. 

I am really looking forward to this game.  This is going to be a genius chess match between two of the brighest defensive minds in the league*.  I can't wait to watch it unfold.

(*: the Chiefs have a coach this year named Jim Bob Cooter!  No, seriously, Jim Bob Cooter!  How did I not know about this?  This is even funnier than the Royals rolling Rusty Kuntz out there every night.  Jim Bob Cooter!  I'm guessing he's not from Arkansas or Mississippi.  Hang on, I have to find this out.  (stevo google searching ...) well, I was close.  He hails from Tennessee.  The Confederacy: the gift that never stops giving!)

Here's where the traditional details come in.  If you're coming to the game on Sunday, feel free to join in with us.  We'll arrive at our usual bat time, and park in our usual bat station.  We're keeping it simple: burgers, brats, dogs, and assorted side items.  The beer will be cold, my vodka concoction will be strong, the sun will be shining, and (little kids voice) the wheels on the bus will go round and round, as the Bus will be there ready for it's 15th season of tailgating!  My God, has it really been fifteen years?  Where the hell did the time go?

The Chiefs can absolutely win this game.  Yes, we're underdogs, but we're playing at home.  So do your part.  Show up early.  Be loud.  Be VERY loud!!!  We CAN win this game!  Aggravate any Falcons fans who happen to be there (but as always, don't go beyond verbal taunting).  Have some fun, get some sun, and let's get a win!

at Chiefs (+2 1/2) 34, Falcons 27.  And as we walk out up the ramp of Gate H, as the fans are screaming the Tomahawk Chop, pounding the columns, pounding the signs, celebrating the start of what I think is going to be an incredible season of football, be prepared to get a simple three word text message from me.  And smile when you get it.

Season.  F*cking.  ON!

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also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...