Thursday, October 24, 2013

week eight part uno: when nothing comes easy ...

"Until you've been beside a man?
You don't know what he wants.
You don't know if he cries at night;
You don't know if he don't.

When nothing comes easy?
Old nightmares are real.
Until you've been beside a man?
You don't know how he feels.

Once inside a woman’s heart?
A man must keep his head.
Heaven opens up the door,
Where angels fear to tread.

Some men go crazy;
Some men go slow.
Some men go just where they want –
Some men never go.

Oh!  Blame it on midnight!
Ooh!  Shame on the moon!

Everywhere it’s all around --
Comfort in the crowd.
Stranger’s faces all around --
Laughing right out loud.

Hey watch where you’re going!
Step light on old toes!
‘Cause until you’ve been beside a man?
You don’t know who he knows!”

-- “Shame On The Moon” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.  And yes, I am enjoying a Silver Bullet, typing this …

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We're gonna have some fun this week folks.  I mean, fun!  Because as David Naster would note: "sometimes?  You just have to laugh!" 

This week's pick post is coming to you as ... hang on.  It's only fitting and appropriate, if this post is going to turn into a thing that is cartoonish in nature, that we welcome in the Official Stevo's Site Numero Dos Lovable “Crazy Drunk Uncle” Buffoon.  Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Joe Biden!

(vice president biden voice) Thanks Stevo!  Folks?  The picks this week will be delivered via the fake mailbag!  A three letter word -- fake!

Oh, God bless you sir.  Because Stevo Rule 34 CLEARLY applies, to anyone who voted for you and your boss' re-election.

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Last Week ATS: 10-5-0.
Season to Date ATS: 51-54-2.

Last Week SU: 11-4-0.
Season to Date SU: 63-44-0.

The Voice of Reason Last Week: 7-8-0.
The Voice of Reason Season to Date: 47-57-3.

(Note: Mr. Reason does not pick heads-up winners.)

“Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: winner!
“Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week Overall: 2-7.
This Week’s “Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: Giants (+4 ½) over Eagles.

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The Non-Chiefs, Non-Jets Wild Hair Guesses:

* Panthers (-6 1/2) 34, at Bucs 3.  Let's see, where to begin ... how about with this query:

“So, do you pick the theme song for a post, and then write the post to the song, or the other way around?  Circle me curious, Stevo!” – Shannon T, Brookside.

Hey, welcome to your Fake Mailbag debut, girl!  That’s a couple Tommy Points for you, young lady!

To answer the question … it’s both.

When I write this stuff, I usually have a general theme in mind.  I don’t necessarily stick to it, but I usually have a decent idea of the outline of the post.  So I scroll through my iTunes, find a song that kind of (or perfectly) fits the overall theme I’m aiming for, and I listen to it on a loop as I type.

That was the case with the recap of last week’s game.  “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” kind of summed up the weekend.  You’re happy for people, even if their happiness means your life must change in ways you don’t want it to.  You’re so angry with people, that you wish you could just throw up your hands and walk away … only your past was so great, you can’t bring yourself to do it.  That was the essence of Elton John’s classic:

I guess that’s why they call it the blues!
Time on my hands?  Could be time spent with you!

Today’s post, however, totally different.  My iPhone died due to lack of battery, and I left my charger at home, so I just decided to start typing, and then went back to get a song to fling up top.  Surprisingly, I thought the one I picked fits perfectly.

Hope that helps.

I’m betting it doesn’t.

* 49ers 34, Jaguars (+16) 20 (in London).  Without question, your "Gordon Shumway Game O' The Week"!!!!!  And speaking of questions, here's one:

"Geno!  You gotta be fired up.  You only picked the Jets to win three games all season; now they're looking at a soft second half schedule, they've survived their two toughest games ... wildcard destiny?" -- Damien J, Midtown.

It's the Jets.  I'll believe it when I see it.  This is the team that lost on a fake spike, authored "The Butt Fumble", is notorious for a nearly three minute draft gaffes montage ESPN hauls out every April, and has already won two games this year (Week 1 vs Bucs, Week 7 vs Patriots) that were gift wrapped to them by shaky officiating calls on the last two plays of the game.  This is a 2-5 team that's going to regress to the mean.

Still, there's nothing wrong with enjoying the ride while it lasts.  That 2006 team was eight layers of awful, but kept beating the teams that were worse than them, got in as the top wildcard, and nearly upset the Patriots in Foxboro.  So anything's possible, I guess.

But I still think its extremely likely, both wildcards come out of the AFC West.

* at broncos 31, Redskins (+13) 30.  God, I hope Shanahan orders Drew Stanton to take a shot at pat bowlen's head.  Speaking of takes ...

"Tale of the Tape!  Tale of the Tape!  Tale of the Tape!" -- Gregg G, Bonner Springs.

But it's only the third question!

"Tale of the Tape!  Tale of the Tape!  Tale of the Tape!" -- Gregg G, Bonner Springs.

Fine.  I was saving this one for thirty six days from now ... but what the hell. 

Or, more accurately, ("fidelity" ad guy voice) Why not?

Because this version of the Nick Bakay Memorial "Tale of the Tape", is going to be fun.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the far corner, weighing in at (best guess) 225 pounds, from denver via Baltimore via the University of Stanford, please welcome Hall of Fame QB john elway!  (Crowd chucking empty whiskey bottles at the ring!)  And in the near corner, weighing in at (best guess) 210 pounds, from denver via Indianapolis via the University of Tennessee, please welcome future first ballot Hall of Fame QB peyton manning!  (Crowd hurling even more whiskey bottles at the ring!)

This week's fight?  Who is the biggest horse's ass to line up under center for the blue and orange -- john elway ... or peyton manning?

(jimmy lennon jr. voice) Ladies and Gentlemen!  It's ... SHOOOOOOOOOOOWTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!!!

Question 1: Has defeated a 13-3 AFC West Champion Chiefs squad in the divisional round of the playoffs at Arrowhead.

elway: yes, 14-10 after the 1997 season.
manning: yes, 38-31 after the 2003 season.
Advantage: push.  We are all losers here.

Question 2: Has been sued for "forcibly placing his rectum" on a female trainer's face, while in college.

elway: (hillary clinton voice) No way, no how.
manning: (kool aid guy voice) Oh Yeah!
Advantage: elway.  Although I wouldn't put it past him.

Question 3: Career record at Arrowhead Stadium:

elway: 5-9 (counting playoffs).
manning: 3-1 (counting playoffs).
Advantage: manning.  The 1997 playoff defeat hurt worse, because we weren't winning at Foxboro in 2003.

Question 4: Has an arrogant, pompous, smug horse's ass for a father.

elway: yes.
manning: yes.
Advantage: push.  We are all losers here.

Question 5: Most embarrassing collegiate loss:

elway: "The Band Is On the Field!  The Band Is On the Field!"
manning: Dr. Tom's final game, 42-17 in the BCS Championship Game.
Advantage: elway.  There's losing ... and then there's "The Band Is On the Field!" losing.

Question 6: Has hosted a hysterical episode of "Saturday Night Live".

elway: no.
manning: yes.
Advantage: manning.  I may hate his guts ... but his episode was damned funny.  Especially the United Way ad.

So, go figure -- we're tied at two's entering "The Question of Final Significance".  Push is not an option for the final question, which is this:

Question 7: The broncos owner was / is lucid enough mentally to know to say "this one's for (insert qb here)!", if the broncos win the Lombardi:

elway: yes.
manning: no.
Advantage, and your winner of this week's Nick Bakay Memorial "Tale Of the Tape": john elway.

Thanks for playing.

* Giants (+4 1/2) 24, at Eagles 20.  The Giants are still in this thing, albeit on life support if they lose Sunday.  And speaking of losers ...

"Are you sh*tting me?  I mean, are you sh*tting me?  They actually did that (to you)?  How pathetic." -- Mona H, Raytown.

Said to me leaving the wedding on Saturday.

I don’t know what’s funnier, to be honest: the fact that they pulled the chicken sh*t stunt they did at that wedding … or that I told you and Russ three hours before they did it, that it was going to happen.  I literally started laughing, when they pulled their chicken sh*t antics.  I kid you not – when I saw the midget man head towards the bride, in their pleasure-inducing “f*ck you Stevo!” moment?  I lost it.  It was so pathetic, so childish, so immature, so embarrassing, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I had to turn and walk away, I was laughing so hard. 

There’s comedy, there’s high comedy, and then there’s pathetic, embarrassing people of no class, character, or decency, revealing those facts for the world to see.

Grab the popcorn.  I can’t wait to see what indignity gets dropped on me next!

* at Saints (-11) 41, Bills 28.  If this game was at The Ralph, I'd probably pick the outright upset.  Buffalo's not bad.  That's gonna be one tough test for the Chiefs next week.

Speaking of Ralph, or at least a former acquaintance:

“No more K.S. “Bud” Adams Junior.  A sad day in Jayhawk Nation.” – Brent S, incorporated Johnson County.

I poured out a fohty for my homey.  We’re down to two original AFL owners: Barron Hilton, and 95 year old Ralph Wilson.  There’s tragedy, and then there’s human tragedy.  Losing members of “The Foolish Club”, is definitely human tragedy.

* Cowboys (+3) 34, at Lions 27.  Both teams need this one.  Badly.  When in doubt, take the better quarterback.  Speaking of quarterbacks:

"Alex Smith!  I just don't think he's good enough!  It's painful to watch this offense sir.  Painful!  Please, give me a moment of hope, if only to believe in this team's destiny like you do for a bit!" -- Anthony R, Independence.

This comment was made after the game Sunday.  To prove to you just how not-sucky Alex Smith has been so far, I'm going to put up the blind statistics of four quarterbacks, who have played seven games so far (for fairness).

QB1 (aka "The Saracen"): 158/258 (61.24%), 1,575 yards, 8 TD, 5 INT, 75.3 rating.  His team is in solo possession of first place.
QB2 (aka "The Vince"): 145/250 (58.00%), 1,475 yards, 7 TD, 4 INT, 79.2 rating.  His team is in solo possession of first place.
QB3 (aka "The JD McCoy"): 103/182 (56.59%), 1,342 yards, 8 TD, 5 INT, 85.0 rating.  His team currently occupies a wildcard slot.
QB4 (aka "The Street"): 130/224 (58.03%), 1,533 yards, 8 TD, 11 INT, 73.9 rating.  His team currently occupies a wildcard slot.

Which, folks, of those four quarterbacks, is Alex Smith?

(Cue "Jeopardy" Theme Song Music ...)

... and, time.

QB1 is Tom Brady.
QB2 is Alex Smith.
QB3 is Colin Kaepernick.
QB4 is Geno Smith.

So calm down.  Alex Smith is a solid playoff-caliber quarterback who can win two games in January, and one in February, if given the chance.

* at Patriots (-6 ½) 31, Dolphins 13.  I told you a month ago, Miami fan, check back with me in a month.  Since your 3-0 start, you got rolled in Naw’leans, lost as a double digit favorite at home to the Bills, and are about to get tuned in Foxboro for what seems like the millionth straight season.  Thanks for participating in this year’s regular season.  Please pick up your lovely parting gifts on your way to the division cellar.

Speaking of parting gifts:

“Halloween is one week away.  You have to have a favorite candy!  Mmm.  Candy.  Mmm.” – Jasson W, Shawnee.

OK, fine, I’ll answer your question, but only because the great Mike Thompson (whose yard really is dead by mid-June; he isn’t joking when he whines about how awful his lawn looks during the weather segments) once referred to you as one of “the sorriest group of trick or treaters I’ve ever seen.”

For starters, I don’t eat chocolate.  I know, I know – weirdo!  But I don’t.  I never have.  So that eliminates a whole host of possible answers.

I have narrowed it down to five choices.  And just for you, the readers, voting pleasure, I’m gonna throw these up as a poll at the top right of the page.  (julie chen voice) America?  YOU … have the power!

Choice 1: Skittles.
Pros: multiple tasty flavors, easy bite-sized portions, reasonably priced, readily available at any reputable retailer.
Cons: George Zimmerman.

Choice 2: Dots.
Pros: multiple tasty flavors, the best holiday candy ever (their Christmas flavors is so damned good, I forgive Wal-Mart and Target for carrying Christmas stuff before Halloween, just to eat those things), very reasonably priced, and gooey.  Good stuff.
Cons: can be difficult to find.

Choice 3: Cinnamon Bears.
Pros: cinnamon gooey goodness, it’s a bear.  (grizzley bear voice) GRRRRRRRRRR!
Cons: portion sizes are way too small; can get pricey.

Choice 4: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.
Pros: over forty flavors of awesome, with two of crap.  (Sorry; I hate black licorice, and I am not a fan of the watermelon, believe it or not.  The best?  Blueberry, closely followed by buttered popcorn.)
Cons: extremely expensive; co-workers get more than you do (because they’re cheap sneaky bastards like that.)

Choice 5: Cinnamon discs.
Pros: the Stevo Family Candy of Choice for Mass thirty years running!  It isn’t officially a Sunday until my mom leaves her pew after services, and there’s nine red candy wrappers where the offering envelope should be.
Cons: re-read that opening sentence.  Not necessarily good times, attached to it for me.

(Oh, and speaking of good times … yup.  “Good Times Game O’ The Week”!!!!)

Have at it folks.  Voting closes Halloween afternoon … and Stevo will be handing out the winner, Thursday night, to whoever shows up at his doorstep.

* Steelers (-1 ½) 24, at raiders 13.  There’s a damned decent chance the Steelers will be within one game of first, when play ends Sunday.  In the words of one of the worst actors of the modern era, (ll cool j voice) “Don’t call it a comeback!”

Speaking of comebacks:

“How great is it to have the NBA back in our lives?” – Drew K, Shawnee.  Immediately followed by …

“Hey, we should head down to OKC for a game this year.  (My soon to be brother-in-law) can get us a hook-up at Harrah’s for a room, and (a friend of his soon to be brother-in-law) has an in with Anthony Davis.” – Drew K, Shawnee.

These were actual texts I got from my brother while having dinner after bowling last night at Hooters.  The Nets / Celtics game was on one of the TV; the World Series was on every other one.  You can probably guess who demanded a preseason NBA game between one god-awful squad, and the most overrated and worst coached team in the League, be shown over Game One of what might be a decent Series.

(Stevo raising his hand to own that one …)

Seriously though, this is a great idea.  This is the best NBA idea since … well, this one.  Jesus, 2008 seems like four lifetimes ago.

Friday, April 11, 2014.  Pelicans at Thunder.  OKC’s current team … against OKC’s former team … while Seattle still doesn’t have a team.  The NBA – It’s Indefensible!

* Falcons (+2 1/2) 31, at Cardinals 6.  Wait.  WHAT?!?!?!  (Stevo spitting out his glass of shiraz).

The Cardinals are FAVORED?  Are you sh*tting me?  No, really – are you sh*tting me?  How?  How in the name of God are the Arizona “Super” Cardinals favored in this contest?  How?  How is this possible?

Hang on, let me confirm I am reading Danny Sheridan’s odds via USA Today, the Official Stevo’s Site Numero Dos Odds Maker.  (Pause).  To quote a 97 year old Rose DeWitt Bukater in “Titanic”: “I’ll be god d*mned!”

I am utterly out of words to describe this.  How is this not stealing candy from a baby?  This is gimme money, right?  There isn’t a chance in hell Arizona wins this game, let alone wins by more than a safety, right?  What am I missing here?

(Which means – of course – Mr. Reason is going to take Arizona, and he’s going to win, and he’s going to gloat.  To quote the Zac Brown Band: “life is good today.  Life is good today!”)

Speaking of life being good:

“How’s your dad?” – Suzanne H, Overland Park.

God is good today, girl.  God is good today.

Suzanne is in my bowling league.  She’s a member of what was my former team’s biggest rival … and they are bar none the best team in the league.  Nobody else is even close, save for maybe Kyle’s team, and possibly the Pink Ladies if Judy gets on a roll.  (And man, was she on one last night.  Don’t do that this week girl – we bowl you.)

She came up to me last night, asked how dad was, and then just simply said “I need a hug”.  She’s dealing with her parents health issues too. 

It’s not exactly a closely guarded government secret that I have my issues with religion, and quite frankly, for most of my life I’ve felt God just doesn’t give a damn about us here on earth.  But if these last three weeks have taught me anything, it’s that God never gives us more than we can handle.  No matter how awful things seem, there’s always a reason to keep fighting.  The people He sends to see us through the crisis may not be who we’d have picked … and that’s probably a good thing.

She has been a rock for me the last three weeks.  A great listener.  A great sounding board.  I hope I’ve been the same to her.

God is good today, girl.  God is good today!  Hang in there!  And next time, you don’t have to ask for the hug; it’s complimentary.  Like the mint on your pillow at a fancy hotel. 

As for dad?  He’s complaining I somehow jacked up his iTunes while I stayed over there, he’s upset I am not Windows 8 literate, he cannot believe I changed his Sleep Number (apparently he’s not a fan of a mattress so squishy, it will never break when you’re, uuh, “taking it to pound town!”), and he’s really not happy that Zarda BBQ is apparently out of the question for a while.

So a typical Tuesday at the Casa de Stevo’s Parents.

Man, God is good today!

* Packers 21, at Vikings (+8 ½) 14.  Feels like a sneaky good Sunday nighter that leaves me frustrated I didn’t take Monday off.  Speaking of sneaky good …

“So I took your advice and make a Jacked Up.  (Pause).  God bless it!  How did I never think of this?” – Stevo, South KC.

OK, fine, I planted that one.  I’m telling you – this drink is going to sweep the nation, if given the chance. 

* Seahawks 28, at Rams (+11) 24.  I ask this with all seriousness, and I suppose Official Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official St. Louis Cardinals Fan, my buddy Damien, could answer this best:

Will ANYONE actually attend this game?

(My pick for the Series, by the way, is Cards in seven.  I actually am pumped for this series.  You rarely, if ever, see the two best teams in the sport, meet for the championship.  These are the two best teams, bar none – tied at 97 wins each, in their respective leagues.  This is gonna be fun!)

Game Five would be Monday night, less than a mile from the “Whatever the Hell They Call It Nowadays” Dome.

Will ANYONE actually attend this game?

Speaking of attending a playoff game …

“What’s your over / under on receiving THE happiest letter of the year: “The Kansas City Chiefs are pleased to inform you that the National Football League has authorized them to …” – Joe Knows, Prairie Village.

If I recall, the letter arrived in early December back in 2010, after a Thanksgiving weekend beating of the damned, dirty donkeys.

I PRAY it arrives December 2nd, after the Chiefs all but wrap up a division title, by throttling denver at Terrorhead.

But if Clark Hunt, the Hunt Family, John Dorsey, “Fat” Andy Reid, and the hundreds of employees of the Chiefs family, see fit to mail that bad boy tomorrow?

I’ll be buying my spot to see greatness so fast, “Mean” Gene Okerlund will be ashamed he didn’t have time, to urge me to “contact my cable and/or satellite provider”, I’ll pay for this so quickly.

This team is special folks.  This team is special.

Because until you’ve been beside a man?  (See, Shannon T from Brookside?  The theme ALWAYS gets worked in!)

Oh, you’re gonna love the Chiefs prediction piece, of these prepared remarks … or at least I am.  Either way?  We are all winners here.

Speaking of “winners” …

Ooh!  A tease!

Coming tomorrow (at a barest minimum):

* Your "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman Tweet O' The Week.  A pizza is involved.  Read into "pizza"?  Anything you want to.

* "The Voice of Reason"'s Reason -- unedited, save for font and size ... along with "Judgment" Ray Adams picks.  (Note: Mr. Reason took the Bucs +6 1/2, per our email talk today, tonight.)

* "The Poem".  

* "The Flashback -- Chiefs vs Browns".  1989 will feature prominently, in this section.

* The Jets "Fling It And Hope It Sticks" pick.  

* The Tailgating Details.

* And the Chiefs Prediction.  Your theme?

When nothing comes easy?
Old nightmares are real.
Because until you've been beside a man?
You don't know how he feels ...

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