Friday, September 21, 2012

the week three picks: call me a dreamer, say i'm a little naive ...

“They said you ain’t got a prayer.
A chance in you know where.
But I just didn’t care,
When I looked in your eyes.

You were a long shot from the start,
An easy way to break my heart.
But as perfect as you are?
You gotta risk it all sometimes.

I believe in the underdog!
Who chases dreams and breaks down walls!
The shy kid who gets the prom queen,
Who’s never been the star of anything.

And those two lovers hitched at City Hall?
They’ve got each other, so they’ve got it all.
Call me a dreamer, say I’m a little naïve –
But I BELIEVE!!!  In the underdog …”

Last Week ATS: 7-9-0.
Season to Date ATS: 15-17-0.                                                                                                                            

Last Week SU: 7-9-0.
Season to Date SU: 18-14-0.

Last Week “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week: If you hate the denver broncos, then my pick accomplished its purpose.  If you’re a degenerate gambler, I apologize.  And yes, I realize I am apologizing to myself …

Season to Date “Screw You Pete King” Upset / Week: 1-1-0 SU, 1-1-0 ATS.

This Week’s “Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: I wouldn’t say it unless I truly believed it was going to happen.  (cue “the congregation” edging to the, uuh, edge of their seats.)  Yes, I’m going there, that’s how strongly I believe in this pick this week.  This week’s Upset of the Week?  “Take a mother f*cking guess.”

The Non-Chiefs, Non-Jets Best Guesses:

* at Panthers (-3) 34, Giants 20.  Cam Newton, welcome back to the national stage.  December 2nd cannot get here soon enough!  Seriously, Chiefs fans – no matter how ugly it might get, in an eight day stretch right after Thanksgiving, we get to see peyton manning and Cam Newton do their thing in person!  (With Andrew Luck to come three weeks after Cam!)  I am so freaking geeked to see Cam play in person.  I haven’t been this excited for an Arrowhead debut since a ridiculously underrated quarterback by the name of Chadwick Pennington took the sacred turf at Arrowhead to open the 2005 season.

* at Colts 19, Jaguars (+3) 17.  Honestly, this is coming down to a last second field goal.  Smells like a 19-16 contest.  Other than that, I got nothing.

* Bills (-2 ½) 28, at Browns 17.  The Bills aren’t as good as we made them look last week.  And the Browns are nowhere near as good as the Bengals made them look last week.  Fifteen weeks until unemployment, Pat Shurmur.  Fifteen weeks to go!  (cue every Browns fan clapping rabidly in anticipation …)

* at Redskins (-3) 21, Bengals 17.  Another field goal game.  The board is loaded with close, competitive contests this week.  Huge early game for both teams, to guarantee at least a .500 record entering October.

* at Titans (+3 ½) 27, Lions 20.  Careful, Titans – the failsafe line is rapidly approaching.  It would behoove you to not risk falling three back only three weeks into the season.

* 49ers 24, at Vikings (+6 ½) 21.  A huge early statement game for the Vikings, who arguably should be 2-0 right now, but will happily settle for 1-1 given how their first two games have finished.  Likewise, San Fran can open 3-0 against the NFC North, two of those three on the road … and know they still have four potential layup NFC West wins awaiting them.

* Bucs (+8) 31, at Cowboys 30.  I fear the epic fourth quarter collapse last week is going to screw my preseason NFC Champion pick come January.  You simply cannot piss away 21 point leads on the road.  Especially when that 21 point lead, had it held up, would have all but buried the defending Super Bowl champions.

* at Bears (-7) 31, Rams 13.  The number of people picking the Rams to win outright is insane.  You idiots on the Rams bandwagon do realize that if Josh Morgan hadn’t decided to retaliate against all-world turd Cortland Finnegan using his head as a bongo drum, that the Redskins at least force overtime, right?  Having said that, I trust you all saw who one of the 18 (now 17) remaining “Survivor” castaways is this year, right?  HIT IT!  “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and then you have …”  the “Facts of Life” Game of the Week!  Oh hell yes, Ms. Blair Warner is on “Survivor” this season!  (And oh hell yes!  I am old enough to remember tuning in every Saturday night to “learn(ing) the Facts of Life”!  Anyone remember who Jo’s boyfriend was during it’s final season?  (cue “jeopardy” music …) and … time.  George Clooney everyone!  Who went from that (should have destroyed his career) move to playing Jackie’s boyfriend on “Roseanne”, before finally landing as Doug Ross on “ER”.  Yes, I have earned my title as the “King of Useless Trivia”, thank you very much!)

* at Cardinals (+3) 13, Eagles 10.  I have no idea how they’re going to do it.  But they will.  Arizona!  “Super” Cardinals!  Arizona!  Cardinals!  (And no … for the fiftieth time, since it happened on a roadie to see said “Super” Cardinals (my God) eleven years ago now: turning on the faucet does NOT hide the sounds of you (h-town voice) knocking the boots in the bathroom.  Oh, life is great at the Super 8!!!  (dan dierdorf voice) Nice try though …)

* Falcons (+3) 35, at Chargers 27.  I honestly don’t know who has the double header this week* … but either way, we’re getting an EPIC early regular season 3pm game on our televisions.  Because the other early season classic …

* at broncos (+2) 41, Texans 20.  Uum, yes, teacher, a quick question.  HOW IN THE HELL ARE THE HOUSTON TEXANS FAVORED IN DENVER?!?!?!?!  We’ve seen denver at their rock bottom worst … and their rock bottom worst has them, with the ball, with a shot to tie, on the road, against either the best or 2nd best team in the NFC.  How in the HELL are the Houston Texans favored?  On the road?  In denver?  Sorry, I’m not falling for this.  peyton’s gonna have a field day on Sunday.  I can’t wait to watch.  (And root to be completely wrong about my feelings entering this game.)

(*: UPDATE!  CBS has the double header … but here in KC, we get both Houston / denver and Atlanta / San Diego as local viewing options in the late slot.  Well slap my ass and call me Sparky, that’s great news!)

* Steelers (-3 ½) 31, at raiders 10.  Is it too early to contemplate 0-6 oakland at 0-6 Kansas City as the CBS stand alone national game on October 28th*?  It isn’t?  (Cue Les Moonves firing whoever designated that matchup as the national slot …)

(*: it is definitely not too early to note that this game, God willing, will be the “Restore the Tradition” tailgate for 2012.  Not sure if we’ll be back at the crosswalk in Lot N, or somewhere closer to the new spot in G30 … but for one fun Sunday, we’re throwing the clock back to a time when steak kabobs or Hayward’s burnt ends were the given for the main course, the Hooters wings were fresh out of the box, the Dr. Pepper was ice cold, and Gregg’s mom would spend three straight hours giving me and Jasson death stares for daring to bring a 12 pack of Boulevard Wheat into the tailgate.  Plus there may or may not be a half eaten bag of Oreos for dessert.  Oh sweet Jesus, how I miss it sometimes.  I might even have to stop in at Dick’s one night on the way home and buy four or five orange cones to truly do the “restoration” properly.  More details to come as they become available …)

* at Ravens (-2 ½) 28, Patriots 24.  Tremendous Sunday nighter.  One of these teams will be 1-2 after this game.  Unbelievable.  (Although the most unbelievable stat?  If the Pats lose, they will be under .500 for the first time since?  (cue “jeopardy” music …) and … time.  Week 3 2003!  No, seriously!  The last time the Pats were under .500 at ANY time during the season, was September 27, 2003!  (john davidson voice) That’s Incredible!)

* at Seahawks (-3 ½) 31, Packers 20.  I cannot imagine how loud Qwest Field is going to be Monday night.  Actually, I can imagine it … and cannot wait to hear it booming out of my television.

The Jets Prediction:

How best to put a mediocre Jets team visiting a horrendous Dolphins squad … I know!  I know!

“Tebow returns home,
To South Florida, that’s right.
Sadly, he won’t score as much as
Kid! (Clap!)  Dy-No-Mite!!!”

Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em?  (da da da da da) GOOD TIMES!!!  Jets (-2 ½) 31, at Dolphins 3.

The Chiefs Prognostication:

Last week, I was absolutely convinced the Chiefs were going to get rolled at the Ralph.  And they did. 

This week … I am even more convinced that the Chiefs are not only going to win on Sunday, it’s going to be a relatively comfortable victory.  Not my favorite type of victory – that would be a home win in mid to late September, where the Chiefs lead by three touchdowns at the half on a sunny 80 degree afternoon, where you can lean back in the seat, kick the feet up on the chair in front of you, and go into full on “one last day to get a decent tan” mode for the entire second half.  (Let’s hope that’s next week’s outcome.  (pause).  If it is, I apologize to whoever is stuck next to the pasty white guy with his shirt off trying to milk the sun for all it’s worth.)

I know that a great many people spent this week in full on meltdown mode after last Sunday, and to be fair, I did as well for about one evening.  But you know what has me encouraged?

Is what we DIDN’T hear this week.  Nobody pulled an Elvis Grbac in 1998 and tossed his teammates under the bus.  Nobody pulled a Gunther Cunningham from 2000 and literally had their sanity questioned from stressing over a losing streak.  Nobody pulled a Marty in 1996 and panic-benched his quarterback for the unknown just because he could.

To a man, and to their credit, there was not one person in the Chiefs organization who exhibited even an ounce of panic this week.  Perhaps this is best illustrated by the fact that nobody felt the need to issue a “vote of confidence” for either GM Scott Pioli or head coach / all-around baffoon Romeo Crennel.

In what will come as a surprise to noone, I was (and still am) a fan of pretty much every crappy 1980s drama.  I cannot get enough “Hunter” in my life.  I’ll defend “Hill Street Blues” as THE most influential television show of all time against any argument you can throw at it.  (Wait, scratch “crappy” – “Hill Street Blues” was anything but crappy).  And of all the crappy shows, one stands above them all: the A-Team.

In the third episode of the series, “The Children of Jamestown”, Hannibal and his crew are assigned to rescue a chick under the influence of a wacko nut-job religious cult.  (In the interest of fairness: is there any other kind of religious cult other than “wacko nut-job”?  No?  OK, whew.  I didn’t think so.)

And Hannibal (played by the late, great George Peppard) drops a line about halfway through that I still plagarize to this day.

“It’s always darkest just before it goes pitch black.”

Last Sunday at Buffalo, through the first three quarters?  Was blackness.  The punt return for a touchdown?  Was pitch black.  There’s nowhere to go but up.

Consider, for one brief second, what a win on Sunday would do for this team.  It will give the Chiefs a very reasonable chance to be tied for first after the month of September (Chargers go vs Falcons, then at Arrowhead; donkeys go vs Texans (where, again, somehow they’re a home dog, and I’ll be damned if I know how), then a tricky trip to the Black Hole against the raiders, before traveling east to open October in Foxboro.)

A win on Sunday, and what looks like a lost cause, suddenly is a season saved from the brink.  But whatever happens Sunday, please – don’t panic.  You can recover from 0-3.  If the Chiefs lose Sunday, drop to 0-3, and head home for the must-win of all must-win September games against the Chargers?  So be it.

This team, after all, opened 0-3 last year, and wound up one missed field goal from 48 yards away (pick which one against the raiders) from winning the division.  And that's with starting three different starting QBs, Jackie Battle at RB, and employing two head coaches.  (Plus the proverbial partridge in a pear tree (rimshot!)  I'm telling you, these one liners write themselves!)

But I don’t think that’s gonna happen.  I think the Chiefs are going to win, and win relatively easily* on Sunday.  I think the Chiefs offense is going to light up the scoreboard.  I think our defense is finally going to force a turnover.  And a sack to boot!  I just have a very strange, calm feeling about this game.

(*: for what it’s worth?  I have the same calm, relaxed feeling about the election in 45 days.  I am absolutely convinced Barack Obama is going to lose in a landslide, even if the rigged polls don’t show that yet.  I believe in this country.  I believe we are not the 47%, we are the 53%.  And the 53% will save us from the brink of catastrophe.)

The last time I was this calm entering a Chiefs game, honestly?  Was at oakland last fall.  I remember showing up for my usual watching spot for a September / October road game (aka “the back deck”), and when I was asked what I thought would happen, I said “the Chiefs win comfortably”.

The Chiefs won 28-0.

It won’t be that easy Sunday – after all, we’re not facing carson palmer.  But I do think it will be far, far easier than most Chiefs fans think, and far, far more painful for the Saints than their fans anticipate.

Chiefs (+9) 34, at Saints 20.  And since my Upset of the Week is this game, via my patented “really?  You’re actually asking me who my Upset of the Week is?!?!” catchphrase I haul out on extremely rare occasions, well, let’s hope there’s a three word catch phrase coming about 3:15pm on Sunday, that will truly capture what this win will mean.

Season.  (Blanking).  ON!!!

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