Friday, October 18, 2013

week seven: the memory lives again ...

“Heavy rings on fingers fade.
Another star denies the grave.
See the nowhere crowd,
Cry the nowhere tears of honor.

Like twisted vines that grow?
Hide and swallow mansions whole?
And dim the light of
A faded prima donna.

Fortune, fame?  Mirror vane?
Gone insane!
Fortune, fame?  Mirror vane?
Gone insane –
But the memory remains …

Heavy rings on cigarettes,
Up to lips that time forgets,
While the Hollywood sun
Sets behind your back.

And can’t the band play on?
Just listen – they play my song!
Ash to ash, dust to dust,
Fade to black …

Fortune, fame?  Mirror vane?
Gone insane!
Fortune, fame?  Mirror vane?
Gone insane?
Dance, little tin goddess! …”


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Is it really week seven already?  Really?  Huh.  I guess time really does fly by when you're having fun ...

Last Week ATS: 8-7-0.
Season to Date ATS: 41-49-2.

Last Week SU: 8-7-0.
Season to Date SU: 52-40-0.

The Voice of Reason Last Week ATS: 9-6-0.
The Voice of Reason Season to Date ATS: 40-49-3.

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

"Screw You Pete King" Last Week Upset / Week: Good.  Freaking.  Lord.  That's two straight weeks my upset pick loses on a late field goal.  This is getting ridiculous.
"Screw You Pete King" Season to Date Upset / Week: 1-7.
This Week's "Screw You Pete King" Upset / Week: Cowboys (+3) over Eagles.

The Non-Chiefs, Non-Jets Best Guesses:

(Note: as always, all lines pulled from Danny Sheridan via USA Today.)

* Seahawks 24, at Cardinals (+6) 21.  Good grief, I'm hauling out the "Gordon Shumway Game O' The Week" right off the bat.  That can't be a good sign.

* at Falcons (-7) 31, Bucs 3.  Your Shane "Falco"ns next three?  Home against Tampa, at Arizona, at Carolina.  Let's just say, I can absolutely envision a 4-4 Falcons team hosting Seattle in the playoff rematch four weeks from now.  To quote from "The Voice of Reason"'s favorite football quotation: "The Falcons Christmas goose isn't cooked quite yet!"

* Rams (+6) 27, at Panthers 17.  Speaking of teams whose Christmas goose isn't reaching a roasting point yet, your St. Louis Rams, everyone!  A very winnable roadie at Carolina to get over .500, with Seattle coming to the Dome next Monday night.

* at Lions (-1) 31, Bengals 27.  An intriguing inter-conference matchup between two squads used to being their respective division's doormat. 

* Chargers (-7 1/2) 45, at Jaguars 13.  Your "Good Times Game O' The Week"!!! 

* at Dolphins (-7 1/2) 38, Bills 24.  Unlike last year's late December matchup, this game won't determine which of these two squads the Chiefs will pay a visit to next year.  We're visiting both (and hosting the Patriots and Jets). 

* Cowboys (+3) 41, at Eagles 34.  The winner here grabs control of the NFC East race.  When in doubt between two underachieving squads, take the one with the better quarterback.

* Bears (pick) 24, at Redskins 21.  Unfortunately for 'Skins fans, your Christmas goose is cooked.  You're 1-4.  You likely will only be favored one more time this season (versus the Chargers in three weeks).  You still have the 49ers, Chiefs, and Cowboys on the home schedule, and you still have next week's visit to fake mile high, plus roadies at the Giants, Falcons, and Eagles to navigate.  You can do more than stick a fork in this bird; you can haul out the carving knife and start hacking.

* 49ers (-4) 31, at Titans 13.  If the 49ers are as good as I think they are (and I picked them to win the National Football Conference), they win this game comfortably.

* at Packers (-10) 38, Browns 20.  My Lord, this is a wretched matchup.  (Pause).  Yup, got to.  Your "Webster Game O' The Week"!!!

* at Steelers (-1) 26, Ravens 24.  Only one team in NFL history has rallied from 0-4 to reach the postseason -- your 1992 San Diego "Super" Chargers.  Your 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers have the talent -- and the favorable schedule -- to become the second.

* at Colts (+6 1/2) 45, my little ponies 42.  As great a game as denver / Dallas was (and it was so riveting, that everyone in the ICU area of Shawnee Mission was glued to the TV for every second of action, despite what all of us were there for)?  This one might top it.  Rarely have I looked forward to rooting against peyton manning, and against the denver broncos, more than I am going to Sunday night.  Coming into this season, I thought denver would struggle early, before pulling away later in the season.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I picked the broncos to beat the 49ers for the Lombardi.)  Now?  I'm not so sure the script won't be flipped.  After the bye, denver goes: at Chargers / vs Chiefs / at Patriots / at Chiefs.  They also close with two straight on the road against struggling teams ... that aren't as bad as their records would indicate, in Houston and oakland.

Oh, and next week?  They host the man affectionately known as "shanarat", in his homecoming to fake mile high.  Let's hope Ol' Mike has RGIII or Kirk Cousins hurl a football at elway's head.  I'd say bowlen's, but there's not much going on inside his anymore.

* at Giants (-3 1/2) 41, Vikings 0.  When these two teams met in the 2000 NFC Title Game, the Giants won 41-0.  No reason to think that facing Josh Freeman in a hurried start, is going to make this outcome any different.

The "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman Tweet O' The Week:

After giving Ol' Klassy Kev a couple weeks off, it's time to take the gloves off once again.

Because when the Klassy One gives you material this golden to work with, it's criminite to not mine it.  It would be grouse.  It would be Zues in nature.  Right, buddy?  (zeus voice) Bark!  Bark Bark!

Here's this week's "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman "Tweet O' The Week", followed by my reaction:



1. Is this a joke?  No, really -- is this a joke? 

2. Who actually would be motivated to buy a pie, based on Klassy Kev's mom selling it to them?  No, really -- who is scrolling through their Twitter feed, sees Ol' Kev pimping Tippin's pies, and thinks "you know, that's a good price, but I think I'll pas -- holy sh*t!  I can meet the woman who gave birth to the Klassy One?  Suh-weet!  Hen House here I come!"

3. Who the hell makes a bet with anyone, let alone their mother, that requires the loser to pimp pies in a Hen House?  I mean, I've made some crazy bets in my day.  Something about a pencil, geometry class, and "Andrea!"  But for God's sake.  Not even I have ever bet someone, let alone my mom, where the loser had to become a pie salesman for an afternoon.

4. Speaking of bets -- I'm laying even odds there was no bet involved.  I'll take "Planned Radio Promo Stop for $800, Alex".  I mean, give me a break.  The pies just CONVENIENTLY are priced to coincide with your station's broadcast frequency, they just CONVENIENTLY are being hawked at a major sponsor of your station, and you just CONVENIENTLY, in a "what are the f*cking odds" coincidence of a lifetime, happened to lose a bet to your mom, where the loser has to sell those conveniently prices pies, at that conveniently chosen location, for losing said bet?

In the words of the great George Strait: "if you'll buy that?  I'll throw the Golden Gate in free!"

But folks?  Hang on, let me do this properly.  Mr. Vice President, would you like to read from a prepared statement?  You would?  Spectacular!  The floor is yours, my good sir!

(vice president biden voice) Folks!  What if this Tweet is written in code?  A three letter word -- code!

Thank you sir.  And may I say, bringing four tins of craptacular small muffins for 3,000 EPA workers?  Really makes civil servants proud of the job they do for the citizens of this country.  How anyone could have cast their vote for this brain-dead moron and his utterly inept boss, I have absolutely no idea.  You have to be eight layers of (either) blanking stupid (or) so damned selfish that you care nothing for this country.  Those are the only two excuses I'll accept.

Again, folks -- this man is literally one heartbeat away, from ruling the free world.  Even Smokey Robinson is appalled by that.  (Or at least I hope he is.)  And that is a three letter word, that I'll let our good friend, Official Stevo's Site Numero Dos Golf Commentator Mark Rolfing, describe.

(johnny miller voice) Have you seen his lie?
(mark rolfing voice) Yes.
(johnny miller voice) How is it?
(mark rolfing voice) Bad.

5. Because seriously -- anyone else thinking this is code?  Specifically:

* "Tippin's" refers to what he's going to leave behind, after he enjoys his pie.  Use your imagination, kids.

* "Pie" refers to, well, a "form of pie".  Use your imagination, kids.

* "8.10".  This one is tough, because it could go one of three ways.  Either (a) it's the price he's willing to pay for his "pie"; (b) the time he's arriving to "buy" or "eat" his "pie", or (c) the room number where the lucky lady is getting taken to Pound Town.  I lean (c), for what it's worth.  If Ricky Siglar was only willing to shell out a ten spot for his "piece of the pie", surely Ol' Kev can flash a Jackson or two.

* "Hen House".  Can go one of two ways with this.  Either (a) refers to the "holy of holies", the "promised land", the "forbidden fruit", the "vagina".  Oh, wait, that last one didn't need " "'s around it.  Or (b) refers to the location of the hookup.  You know, like how "Outback Steakhouse" refers to everyone's favorite adult entertainment establishment located in the middle of a cornfield, off of unpaved 15th Street, in unincorporated Douglas County, Kansas.

For the record, I lean (a), because of how the Tweet ends.

* "Come see me and my mom".  Hang on, let's do this properly. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Dick Clark.

(dick clark voice ... hee hee, he said "dick") "For One Hundred Thousand Dollars, here's your last subject.  GO!"
(markie post voice) A webcam.  Lubricant.
(contestant voice) Place you rub one out online!
(markie post voice) A condom.  Toys.  A friendly adult site.
(contestant voice) Place you have frisky, kinky sex online!
(markie post voice) A parked car.  Mission Hills.  An intern.
(contestant voice) Place you have sex in public!
(markie post voice) YES!  YES!
(hugs all around!!!!!!!)

* "I-29 and 64th Street".  This has to be the location.  Has to be.

So there you have it.  Either "K"KK is leaving a "tip" for some "pie" in room "810" of the "Hen House" of his "mom", and he wants you to come out and watch them at "I-29 and 64th Street", or he's hawking a defunct restaurant's pie for $8.10 in the most overpriced grocery store in the five county metropolitan area, because he lost some undisclosed bet to his mom.

You ... make the call.

(Note: in case you cannot tell, this was done in jest.  Have a sense of humor, people.)

(Note 2: in no way, shape, or form, am I confirming that I have a healthy enough working knowledge of (pick one) the casual encounters area of Craigslist / the back pages of The Pitch / the enrolled membership of "Reputable Singles Site", to "decipher the code" of this tweet.)

"The Voice of Reason"'s Reason:

First, the "Judgement Day With Judgement Ray" Adams Selections:



(God, I love the cheezy grin.  Photo: "Mr. Reason", via his iPhone.)

And Mr. Reason's picks (note: no prepared remarks were submitted for publication):

Arz +5.5 (This loss moved me to 0-7 on Thursday nights)
NE -3.5
Jax +7.5
Hou +6.5
Det -2.5
Mia -7
Wash +1
Dal +2.5
Car -6.5
Atl -6.5
Ten +3.5
Cle +10
Bal +2.5
Indy +6.5
NYG -3.5

The Poem:

Sunday in a rare
Late afternoon kickoff,
The Chiefs will attempt to not
Choke, gag, or cough.

The Texans are the opponent,
Case Keenum gets the start.
Here's betting that the Terrorhead faithful,
Lead him to commit a couple brain farts.

In the interest of time,
I'm going to keep this short.
Writing these things ain't easy;
I can accurately report.

"But then I stop,
Because I spot a car,
That might contain,
My special little star."

The first trademarked stanza,
Is not likely to occur.
But the second one -- hallelujah!
It has been confirmed.

"Then I open the program,
To see who our referee will be.
And I shout out in horror --
Sweet Jesus!  Ed Hochuli!"

Number 85 in your programs,
Number 1 in your hearts.
Be prepared to witness a boatload
Of penalties -- especially false starts.

We'll be there by 9am,
In our same bat time, place, and spot.
Feel free to stop by,
For some food, or a shot.

Here's to keeping the dream going,
To reaching seven and oh.
And to finally -- finally! -- returning,
Lamar's Trophy to its rightful home!

(c) 2013, Stevo Productions.  No Rights Reserved.  May Be Rebroadcast or Reprinted Without the Expressed, Written Consent of Major League Baseball.

The Flashback -- Chiefs vs Texans:

Believe it or not, the Texans hold a distinction that no other team in the National ... Football League, can claim.  And in this case, it is NOT a good thing.

Thirty one teams in the League, have suffered a defeat at Arrowhead Stadium, in a game that counts.

The Houston Texans never have.

They are 1-0 all time on the sacred grounds of Arrowhead, via a 27-24 victory in week three of the 2004 season, that dropped the Chiefs to 0-3, all but destroyed the high expectations entering the season ...

... and was the last game of Chiefs football at Arrowhead, as we knew it.

This is depressing me.  Let's move on.

The Jets “This Is The Blanking Season!” Prognostication:

Here’s the thing.

The Jets sit at 3-3, which is exactly as many wins, as I predicted they’d have for the entire season.

And the last seven games (all after the bye), they’ll be favored in at least five of them, and possibly six.  (The only one I see the Jets being opening dogs in, is the finale at Miami.)

The Patriots, at 5-1, their last seven, has four extremely losable games (vs broncos, at Dolphins, at Ravens, at Texans), and a fifth that won’t be easy (at Panthers).

If the Jets can do what they haven’t done in quite a long time, and hold serve at home against the Pats?

Season on.

If they lose to fall to 3-4, with a roadie to The Paul and a visit from the Saints awaiting before the bye?

They’re looking at having to win six of seven after the bye, to get into the hoped for cluster(duck) at 9-7, and having to do what only one NFL team (your 1995 Lions) has ever done before: go from 3-6 doormats, to 10-6 wildcard participant.

Roger?  Diane?  Get ready.  Stevo’s hijacking the DirecTV set on the “Chiefs Kick Gr-Ass!” bus, come noon on Sunday.

* at Jets (+3) 16, Patriots 10.

The Chiefs Prepared Remarks:

Some weeks, this thing writes itself.  As someone who wishes he’d stuck to his original career ambition (to be a journalist, a writer, someone who affects the world for good through the written word), I love when a vision hits me, and I can crank out a twenty page post in less than two hours.  (Note: I know most of you don’t believe me when I say that these things can write themselves … but they can.  My favorite post I’ve ever written – and despite it all, I still feel the same way about all involved parties, if I’m being honest – took me not even thirty minutes to compose.  And the “post” that put me on the map, “The Week Four Plea”?  Took me fifteen.)

There are times I just sit, type, and bammo, crank out something fun to read.

And then, there’s today … where I got nothing.

I literally stared at my laptop screen for three hours today, in one of the single most boring meetings ever known to mankind.  I had expected to get this thing done, and posted, by the time I got home tonight.

Instead … I got nothing.

--------------------

In some respects, this is a good thing.  I tend to be very opinionated at times, and God knows a lot of crap has (irked) me off over the last eighteen some odd months.  So if I have nothing to be upset over, that might be a good thing for once. 

And when it comes to this team?  That's definitely a good thing.

I mean, think about what the "complaints" are with one of the last two undefeateds in the League.  "We don't score enough".  When your defense doesn't allow more than 17 points in any game?  You don't have to score a lot.  Point differential is the seventh tiebreaker.  It doesn't kick in until you've endured:

* head to head.
* division record.
* common opponents.
* conference record.
* strength of victory.
* strength of schedule.

Besides, the Chiefs have scored 152 points so far this year.  Care to guess where that ranks?

2nd in the AFC.

Only denver, in our conference, has outscored the Chiefs.

Overall, the Chiefs rank 7th in points scored (not including the Seahawks points from last night), and two of the teams ahead of us in scoring (Dallas, Philadelphia), we've already beaten.

I thought I'd go back and look at the five best teams (record wise) the Chiefs have fielded in the last twenty years.  1993 (11-5, AFC West Champions), 1995 (13-3, AFC West Champions), 1997 (13-3, AFC West Champions), 2003 (13-3, AFC West Champions), 2010 (10-6, AFC West Champions).  And just for sh*ts and giggles, I'm going to toss in the other ten win season (2005), and the other three two playoff seasons from the last twenty years (1994, 1996, 2006), plus to make it an even ten, the other plus-.500 seasons (1996, 1999).  Namely, I want to see where the Chiefs stood, after six games, in those seasons.

Here's what you get:



So let’s extrapolate a little here, OK?  Because I am a very strong believer in statistics.  I believe everything in life is explainable, even if the explanation is “only God could have done that”.  And I do NOT believe in coincidence.  Everything in life happens for a purpose; nothing happens in a vacuum.  That’s why God gave us intelligence, and the abilities of logic and reason – to figure out why stuff is.

* Only one of the ten winning seasons, started 0-2.

That would be the 2006 Chiefs, who rallied from 0-2 to land at 7-4 after the Thanksgiving Night Boatracing of the dirty denver broncos … then backed into the playoffs via the Immaculate Fourfecta, thanks once again to the dirty denver broncos failing to beat an inferior team.

Every other season, at least opened 1-1, and six of the ten opened 2-0.  This isn’t surprising; teams that start strong, tend to reach the playoffs, even if they limp in.  Conversely, while usually you see one team a season come out of nowhere in December to ride a late four or five game winning streak into the playoffs, you rarely if ever see more than one.

(A fun little fact for ya – the only two teams in the modern playoff era (aka “post 1989”) to open 6-0 and fail to reach the playoffs?  Your 2003 Minnesota Vikings … and your 2009 denver  broncos.  That’s a list I have no desire, to become a part of this season.)

* Only one of the ten prior seasons profiled, saw a point differential within even forty five percent, of the 2013 Chiefs’ point differential, after six games.

Amazingly enough, that would be the worst defensive team of the ten, your 2003 Chiefs.  They rode a hot start (first four opponents all held to fourteen or fewer points), but by week six, the foundation was leaking.  Heavily.

Which raises an interesting thought: is this the best defensive unit the Chiefs have fielded in the modern playoff era? 

They’ve given up 13 fewer points than the 1993 Chiefs (who are the most successful Chiefs team of my lifetime, sadly enough).  Their differential is eleven higher than the 2003 unit (which was inflated by one helluva prolific offense) … and FORTY TWO points higher than the next best defense, the 1999 squad.

* For all the complaints about the offense, only one Chiefs team that finished above .500 in the last twenty years, had outscored the 2013 squad six games in.

And that team was the 2003 Chiefs, one of the ten greatest offensive teams in NFL history by any measurable statistic.

* You never apologize for beating the crappy teams.

Because that’s what good teams do.  Good teams beat the crappy ones, to pad the record.  Don’t trust me?  Here’s the number of playoff teams, each of the ten profiled Chiefs squads, faced through six games:

1993: 3 (Oilers, broncos, raiders; Chiefs beat Oilers in divisional round).
1994: 2 (49ers, Chargers – who met in the Super Bowl).
1995: 1 (Chargers).
1996: 2 (broncos, Steelers).
1997: 1 (broncos – who beat the Chiefs in the divisional round).
1999: 0.
2003: 3 (Ravens, broncos, Packers).
2005: 1 (broncos).
2006: 1 (Chargers).
2010: 1 (Colts).

The Chiefs record in those 15 games?  9-6.  Not shabby.

The Chiefs record in the other 45 games?  34-11.  Damned impressive.

To extrapolate that against the 2013 Chiefs, I’m very confident we’ve already beaten at least one playoff team (I think Dallas or Philly will win the East, and my money’s on Dallas).  And I’m reasonably confident, that’s the only playoff team that will emerge, from our first six opponents.  (The 49ers / Seahawks loser is getting one wildcard, and I’d wager on whoever finishes second in the NFC Norris getting the second.)

It’s nice to beat the good teams.

You get the opportunity to beat those teams in January, by beating the crappy teams in September and October.

The best seasons in this franchise’s last twenty years, saw the Chiefs DOMINATE non-playoff teams, and tread water against the heavyweights.

Which is exactly what the 2013 Chiefs, have done so far.

But – but! – there is one potential significant difference, between the 2013 Chiefs, and most of the other ten squads profiled.

* The 2013 Chiefs have yet to win, their “Game of Greatest Significance”.

I’d argue by this point in nearly every one of the ten profiled seasons, the Chiefs had already won the biggest game of the season, or at least the one that propelled them to a winning season, in hindsight:

1993: the outlier.  I’d argue the win over Buffalo on Thanksgiving Weekend, was the biggest win of that regular season ... and the biggest win period of the season, was the comeback in the Divisional Round in Houston.
1994: the greatest Monday Night game ever played.
1995: Pick one – James Hasty’s INT return, or Tamarick Vanover’s punt return.
1996: the win against denver.  First 4-0 start in franchise history.
1997: I see a Bad Moon Rison.  Oh, (al michaels voice) and he burned al davis’ house down.  If you know what I mean.
1999: the win against denver.  If you didn’t live in KC then, or weren’t a big fan of this team, you forget just how major that game was.  Everyone was panicked after the disaster in the opener at Chicago at how inept Gun’s guys looked.  (Note: if you pick the Brandsmart Game against the Chargers on Halloween, I won’t argue … and ditto the game that truly saved the season for a month, the epic comeback at oakland over Thanksgiving weekend.)
2003: the win against denver.  God, what a mirage that turned out to be.
2005: the biggest win had yet to occur (denver at home, week thirteen).  The biggest loss, already had (the collapse against Philly).
2006: the win against San Diego.  Without question.
2010: the win against San Diego.  Without question.

The reason why this matters to me?

Because this team’s “Game of Greatest Significance”, is (depending on your view of the rivalry) either 30 or 44 days from today, is (depending on your view of the rivalry) either November 17th at fake mile high, or December 1st, at the sacred holy turf of Arrowhead.

Or, to put it another way …

No matter what happens Sunday?

The best part of this season, STILL has yet to occur.

And as shown by the Excel table above?

This is at worst the second best season the Chiefs have opened with, in the last twenty years … and I’d argue it’s the best.

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Sunday is going to be far, far tougher than it looks gang.  For starters, Case Keenum is a damned decent option at quarterback.  I hope Terrorhead rattles him.  I fear it won’t.

The Texans are battling for their season.  A win Sunday, coupled with holding serve at the finest stadium in the League next Sunday night, means they hit the bye at .500, and either (a) tied with the Colts, or (b) one back, with tiebreaker.  A win Sunday, and the playoffs and the greatness this season potentially held, is back in the picture, is back in play.

We’re going to get THE best effort, any of our opponents have thrown at us, so far this season … and probably the second best effort, we’ll get all year long, behind only the two donkey games.

Show up early.  Be LOUD!  Smack that seat  back in front of you!  Scream yourself hoarse!  Make your mark!

For the better part of a decade, all we’ve had is the memory of what Terrorhead used to be.  This year?  The memory doesn’t just remain.

It freaking LIVES again.

* at Chiefs 20, Texans (+6 ½) 17, in overtime, on a Ryan Succup 41 yard field goal to open the extra session … followed by a defensive stand that will bring tears to the eyes, of every loyal backer, of the Red and Gold.

(damien voice) Dammit!  Stop picking these heart-stoppers!  I told you this seven damned years ago!  You're way, way, way too accurate when you're frightened the Chiefs are going to lose, or win a game they shouldn't!  Always pick the gimme layup!  I'm ... (chucking Coors Light can against the wall ...)

Yeah, you're right ... but sorry.  This game has "Predictable Letdown" written ALL over it.

As always, if you need a place to tailgate, a place to eat, a place to drink, a place to debate, talk, fornicate (hey, we do tailgate in Lot G, after all), or just to have fun with fun, friendly people with good, decent food and libations, we’ll be in our spot by 9am (that would be on the grassy lot, north of the G30 sign).  Just let me know to mark a spot for ya, and I’ll plant the chair.

And who knows, maybe I’ll be feeling so good from pounding (dear God) six bottles of champagne, I’ll leave a beer in the seat for ya.  Because I am that damned nice of a dude sometimes …

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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...