Saturday, October 12, 2013

week six: thank you all. just ... thank you.

“I thank you for the music,
And your stories from the road.
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go.

I thank you for your kindness,
And the times when you got tough.
And poppa?  I don’t think I said
I love you near enough.

The leader of the band is tired,
And his eyes are growing old.
But his blood runs through my instrument,
And his song is in my soul.

My life has been a poor attempt,
To imitate the man.
But I am the living legacy,
To the leader of the band …”


I apologize up front – for the second week in a row, this is likely to be a half-assed picks post.  Unfortunately, the real world has rocked my world to its foundation this week.  I can honestly say, this has been the worst week of my life, and I turn 37 in less than 90 days.

Last Week ATS: 8-6-0.
Season to Date ATS: 33-42-2.

Last Week SU: 8-6-0.
Season to Date SU: 44-33-0.

“The Voice of Reason” Last Week ATS: 5-9-0.
“The Voice of Reason” Season to Date ATS: 31-43-3.

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

Last Week “Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: in the words of Hall and Oates, “so close, so close, yet so far away …”
Season to Date “Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: 1-6.
This Week’s “Screw You Pete King” Upset of the Week: Ravens (+2 1/2) over Packers.

The Non-Jets, Non-Chiefs Projections:

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

* My pick Thursday night would have been at Bears 24, Giants (+9) 21.

* Eagles (-1 ½) 34, at Bucs 13.  The Eagles are 0-2 at home … and yet, there’s a reasonable chance they’ll be one game clear of the rest of the NFC East when the games are done on Sunday.  In the words of Verne Lundquist, “My Goodness!”  How the mighty have fallen.

* at Ravens (+2 ½) 28, Packers 24.  I’ll happily take the defending champs and the points, at home, against the most overrated team in the NFL.

* at Browns (+2 ½) 17, Lions 3.  Your “Gordon Shumway Game O’ The Week”!!!!!

* at Vikings (-1) 16, Panthers 10.  Huge three weeks for the Vikings upcoming: very winnable home game with Carolina, a Monday nighter at 0-6 New York, followed by a Sunday nighter at the Dome against the Packers.  My way of saying, they’re not drawing dead … yet.

* at Texans 28, Rams (+7) 24.  Texans fans, I feel your pain.  It could be worse though – you could be coached by a clueless dolt who is either too stupid to realize his quarterback has no confidence, and has no business being on the field, or he’s too incompetent to figure out his quarterback has no – oh, wait.  You are coached by a clueless dolt.  My bad.

* Bengals 21, at Bills (+6) 20.  I am not sold on the straight up winner pick.  I am confident the Bills will at least cover.

* at Seahawks (-13) 41, Titans 10.  Before you say “wait a second, the Titans aren’t half bad, how can I not take the thirteen points”, five words for you.  Ryan.  Fitzpatrick.  On.  The.  Road.  What seems the more likely scenario to you – Titans stay within a touchdown most of the way and make this competitive … or the crowd rattles the Titans early, they’re down 14-0 after two possessions, and the crowd and Seahawks defense are turned loose on them?  Yeah.  I’ll lay the points.

* at broncos 31, Jaguars (+26 ½) 10.  51 Days until “The Day I Live For”.  Hopefully flexed into prime time to kick off the final month of the regular season.  Also, this is your “Good Times Game O’ The Week”!!!!!

* at 49ers 24, Cardinals (+10 ½) 14.  Seahawks next two are on the road, against divisional opponents, in prime time.  49ers could (and I’d argue should) catch Seattle by simply taking care of business against inferior opponents.

* at Patriots (-1) 38, Saints 35.  Ooh.  Ooh!  This one has potential!

* Redskins (+5 ½) 34, at Cowboys 24.  A gut feeling.  Anytime you give shanarat two weeks to prepare for an opponent, it’s not a good thing for the opponent.

* Colts (-4) 28, at Chargers 20.  If San Diego can spring the upset, this could be one gigantic edge when the wildcard cluster(luck) at 9-7 kicks in come December 29th.

The “Klassy” Kevin Keitzman Tweet O’ The Week:

This week, I’m giving the Klassy One a break.  

“The Voice of Reason”’s Reason:

Mr. Reason’s picks:

I moved to 0-6 on Thursday nights by taking the bears last night….I did hit the over, however.

Here are my other week 6 picks:

Oak +7.5
TB +3
Bal +2.5
Det -2.5
Min -1
Hou -7
NYJ -1
Buf +6.5
Ten +13
Jax +26.5
SF -10.5
NE -1
Dal -5.5
SD +1.5 

“The Flashback”: Chiefs v raiders:

Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my control, there is no Flashback this week.

The Poem:

Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond my control, there is no Poem this week.

The Tailgating Plans:

We’ll be there when the gates open.  And yes, the “we” includes me.  Dad has improved so much in the last six days, that I think he’d disown me, if I didn’t do my part to beat the raiders. 

Oh, but be warned – we have eight raiders fans who’ve made the trek in from beautiful Sioux Falls, South Dakota joining us, so feel free to talk all kinds of trash on Rudy, Ian, and the others.  God knows they dished it out the last three years.  Payback’s a b*tch, boys.

The menu, as best I know it – the South Dakota folks are bringing in a ton of fresh fish caught earlier this week, so we’ll be doing a fish fry.  We’ll also have the traditional raiders gameday meal of raider ribs, along with whatever else Russ throws on the smoker Saturday.

Side dishes, desserts, and libations will be available as well.

I honestly don’t know much more than that; I’ve been out of the loop all week.  But I do know we’ll be in our usual spot when the gates open, so if you need a place to tailgate, you want a decent meal, or you just need a friend for a day (because God knows I’ve needed one, and then some, these last six days)?  

Consider yourself wanted and welcome -- no matter who you're cheering for, no matter who you are.  I’ll plant a chair or two and save a parking spot for ya. 

The Jets Prognostication:

I’m probably going to roo-een the season by noting this … but the Jets sit one behind the Patriots (Pats have tiebreaker via week two victory) entering week six.  They host the winless Steelers on Sunday afternoon.  If they take care of business at home, they can draw even with the Pats next Sunday by beating them at the Fake Meadowlands. 

I feel very confident in saying, that nobody envisioned any scenario, in which the Jets could be in first place after week one.  That scenario is very much in play … with a win on Sunday.

* at Jets (-1) 24, Steelers 14.

The Chiefs Prediction:

There’s no motivational speech coming.  It’s oakland.  If you can’t get fired up for the raiders, then stop calling yourself a Chiefs fan. 

I will try to get the Mixology list up, but I cannot make any promises.  You all truly have no idea how exhausted my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law, and I are, after the week that was.  

I had lunch with my mom today, before heading home to prep for tomorrow's game.  I haven't stepped foot in my place since I left Sunday morning for the Chiefs watching party.  At lunch?  I ordered a Coors Light, picked at a couple tacos, and noticed my mom was literally falling asleep across the booth from me.  We're exhausted.  This week has tested us in ways you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.  

So be it.

I refuse to dwell on it.  Instead, I just want to say thank you, to each and every one of you, who took the time these last six days to check in on myself and my family. 

This past Monday would have been John Lennon’s seventy third birthday, had he lived.  As Mr. Lennon so famously noted in his tribute song to his son: “Life is what happens to you, when you’re busy making other plans”.  Life is what happened to myself and my family this past week.  We didn’t plan any of this.  We certainly wouldn’t want any of what we’ve endured, to occur.  But life happens.

And to be honest?  It isn’t how we responded to the challenges of the week, that amazes me.  

It is how you responded to the challenges my family faced this week, and faces in the weeks ahead, that in the words of the late, great Jim Valvano, “moves my emotions to tears”.

Thank you to each and every one of you, who took the time this week, to let us know we were in your thoughts and prayers.  Thank you for the texts, the emails, the phone calls, the visits, the instant messages, the Facebook shoutouts and likes and supports.  To you, it may have been nothing.  To me, it meant everything.

* at Chiefs (-7 ½) 27, raiders 16.  I hope to see y’all there.  If this week has taught me anything, it’s that life is too damned short, to not enjoy the things that make life worth living.  Seeing the raiders get taken to the woodshed and given the business by the best defense in the League?

Is going to be sweet.

Knowing my dad will be tuned in and watching from room 576 of Shawnee Mission Medical Center, exactly seven days after he was “clinically dead” for nearly ten minutes, and after all he has endured this week to simply reach a point where watching a football game on television is possible?

Is too damned sweet to put into words …

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