Saturday, November 15, 2014

week eleven: defend this house!

"Where did all the people go?
They got scared, when the lights went low!
I'll get you through it nice and slow,
When the world's spinning out of control.

Afraid of what they might lose;
Might get scraped, or they might get bruised?
You could beg them, but what's the use --
That's why it's called the moment of truth ...

I'll get it, if you need it.
I'll search, if you don't see it.
You're thirsty?  I'll be rain.
You get hurt?  I'll take your pain!

I know you don't believe it;
But I said it, and I still mean it!
When you hear what I told you?
When you get worried?

I'll be your solider ...

Funny how when times get hard;
At the last moment, when you're supposed to charge?
You're always on the longest yard;
Oh, you feel your feet getting cold.

Hot in here, hot in there;
You find him underneath the stairs.
People hiding everywhere;
Trying to be still as a stone.

But --

I'll get it, if you need it!
I'll search, if you can't see it!
You're thirsty?  I'll be rain!
If you get hurt?  I'll take your pain!

I know you don't believe it --
But I said it, and I still mean it!
When you hear what I told you?
When you get worried?

I'll be your soldier! ..."

-- "Soldier" by Gavin DeGraw.


Last Week ATS: 11-2-0.  No, that is not a dyslexic typo.  Only two losses were the Upset of the Week ... and the Rams pissing away the game in Arizona.
Season to Date ATS: 74-71-2.  We've cracked .500!  (And I may have cracked a beer, typing this.)

Last Week SU: 11-2-0.  The only two losses were the Upset of the Week ... and the Saints losing in overtime.
Season to Date SU: 88-58-1.

Last Week "Screw You Pete King" Upset / Week: sadly, no terrorist attacks.
Season to Date Upset / Week ATS: 5-7-0.
Season to Date Upset / Week SU: 5-7-0.
This Week "Screw You Pete King" Upset / Week: Bengals (+7 1/2) over Saints.


The Non-Jets, Non-Chiefs, (Fidelity Ad Guy Voice) "Why Not!" Best Guesses:

* Bills (+5 1/2) 24, at Dolphins 20.  As noted on Twitter Thursday night.  I am now 1-10 picking Thursday nighters this year.  Yes -- One.  And.  Ten.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  You're damned right I'm taking oakland outright next week!

* Vikings (+3) 24, at Bears 20.  How in the hell is this basically a pick 'em line?  Has nobody in Vegas watched the Bears give up one hundred plus points the last two weeks?  And as someone who is a huge Marc Trestman fan, and loved the hire ... he's got to go.

* Texans (+3 1/2) 34, at Browns 20.  As the biggest backer, defender, and supporter of Ryan Mallett you will ever find, I'm gonna go out on a two inch thick limb, and predict your (because God knows they aren't mine), YOUR Houston Texans will win 6 of 7 down the stretch, and sneak into the playoffs as the six seed at 10-6.  And it wouldn't stun me if they won 7 of 7 with the greatness to be that is Ryan Mallett under center, and caught denver at 11-5 for the five seed.

(Houston's remaining schedule?  At Cleveland / Vs Cincinnati / Vs Tennessee / At Jacksonville / At Indy / Vs Baltimore / Vs Jacksonville.  Admit it -- 6-1 down the stretch is NOT a stretch of the ol' imagination.)

* at Panthers (+1) 6, Falcons 3.  Both teams enter with three wins.  Both teams enter with six losses.  The Panthers enter with a tie tossed in to boot.  And both teams CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY to win the NFC South.  Look out 2010 NFC West and 1989 AFC Norris -- you've got competition for "Worst Division Ever" status from your (because God knows they ain't mine), YOUR 2014 NFC South!  Also, "Webster Game O' The Week!" honors.

* at Redskins 24, Bucs (+7 1/2) 17.  Thanks for the half point, Danny Sheridan!  Also, "Good Times Game O' The Week!" honors.

* Bengals (+7 1/2) 27, at Saints 24.  It doesn't get used often ... but Wayne Allyn Root Memorial Game O' The Week Honors for this one.

* at Rams (+10 1/2) 27, satan's squad 24.  For three reasons.  (1) the donkeys are losing at least one game they shouldn't, in the three they should sweep.  It's this one, or next week at home against Miami.  (And God willing, it's both.)  (2) Circle me giddy with excitement, at the small, you have to look to notice them, but they're there, crack in the donkeys armor.  Backup QB pissed he doesn't see the field?  That's a great sign that this team is on the verge of becoming the 1998 Chiefs.  And (3) you can count on one finger the number of people who picked the Chiefs to win the division over denver three months ago ... and I'm that, uuh, one finger.

* at Chargers 24, raiders (+10 1/2) 14.  Thanks for the half point, Danny Sheridan!  Also, "Gordon Shumway Game O' The Week!" honors.

* 49ers 34, at Giants (+4 1/2) 31.  Report: Stevo Continues To Refuse To Believe Tom Coughlin Has Lost His Ability To Coach.

* at Packers 35, Eagles (+6) 30.  I hate to do this.  God knows, the Jets fan in me despises what I'm about to do.  But folks?  Folks?  (Pause)  What?  (Pause).  Oh, really?  He's on the phone?  He's dialed in?  Well hell yes, give him the floor!

Ladies and gentlemen, peoples and peepettes, the Vice President of the United States, Mr. Joseph Robinette Biden Junior!!!!!!

(vice president biden voice) Thanks pal!  Folks?  Mark Sanchez does not suck!  A three letter word -- suck!  S U C K, suck!

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

(And the best political gaffe ever.  I'm sorry -- even if (like me) you despise this administration ... this is just damned hysterical.  Especially Mr. Biden's ability to compensate on the fly.  I may hate his politics ... but God bless it, I love Joseph Robinette Biden Junior.)

The ugly truth folks, is that Mark Sanchez doesn't suck.  His rookie season, he led the Jets to a 9-7 record ... and the AFC Title Game (which they led at halftime, in Indy ... and oh yeah, it was the 7-7 Jets, led by Mark Sanchez, that ended the 14-0 Colts dream of perfection, in Indy, a month before said title game).  His second season, he led the Jets to a 11-5 record ... and the AFC Title Game (which they lost by five, in Pittsburgh ... a team they beat by five, a month earlier, to get into the playoffs).  His third season was a .500 campaign.  His fourth season was a debacle, highlighted by The Butt Fumble ... but in case you've forgot, the Jets were 5-5 entering that game.  Not exactly a joke.  His fifth season was pissed away when "Sexy" Rexy Ryan left him on the field in a meaningless preseason game, and he suffered a season ending injury.

My point being, Mark Sanchez doesn't suck.  He proved it at Houston two weeks ago.  He showed the nation that fact on Monday against Carolina.  And he's going to show the 85% of America that won't get (arguably) the biggest game the National ... Football Conference will stage this season, on their television screens, that fact on Sunday.

Mark Sanchez doesn't suck.

A 4-2 road playoff record, should convince you of that.

* at Cardinals (-1) 31, Lions 20.  The winner of this game is likely to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  I'd argue Arizona needs it more; that stadium is a f*cking nuthouse.  It's the most underrated home field advantage in football.  It's as underrated, as Seattle is overrated.

Oh, yeah -- and if Bruce Arians isn't the Coach of the Year?  Then why do we have the award?

* at Colts (-2 1/2) 34, Patriots 27.  Go back to a few pages ago, to Houston's closing schedule.  Indy better win this one, if they want some breathing room, for that week fifteen showdown with Mr. Mallett.

* Steelers 27, at Titans (+6 1/2) 21.  Why ESPN hasn't filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL for their sh*tty ass MNF schedule the last eight years, I have no idea.  And as ugly as this one is, we've still got Miami at the Jets ... and Atlanta at the Packers, on tap in December!

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

The Klassy One has posted nothing since last Sunday, and it was all praise for Jordy Nelson.  So I'll choose to let him pull his pants up this week*.

But the odds of going three straight weeks, without pointing out what a mother f*cking hypocrite this "family man" is, are slim and none, and none left the building the day Ol' Klassy Kev' was told to pull his pants up.

(*: please, my Prairie Village cop friends reading this, please tell me, the audio still exists.  I know it's been fourteen years, but come on.  If my stupidity of my twenties still exists in official records, Ol' Klassy's "youthful indiscretion" has to still be available, right?  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Oh yeah -- alleged.  Alleged "youthful indiscretion".  Have to emphasize alleged.)

The Poem:

I'm passing this week ... because in two weeks, there not only will be a legitimate The Poem ... but the person The Poem is written for and dedicated to?  Will be live and In!  Da!  House!, for the Chiefs / donkeys Sunday nighter.

In the words of the late, great Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA ... and D can stand for Democrat, Drunk, or Both)?  "You can bet your ass", The Poem is gonna rock in fifteen days!

The Watching Party Plans:

There are no The Watching Party Plans, since this is a home game for the Chiefs.

The Tailgating Plans:

Are currently being debated.

If you're in or around the KC Metro area, you know we're supposed to get pounded by some snow today.  Considering we park on a grassy knoll, that could present a problem.

So here's where we stand, as of 9am Saturday morning:

* Provided the snowfall is as minimal as hoped for (namely, one to three inches), we will be in our usual spot, by 7am.  (The grassy knoll just north of the G30 sign.)  We do have the early-in pass for tomorrow.

The menu as of now is chili, chicken noodle soup, and whatever else the Bus riders bring.  There should be Benchwarmers as well as Fireball available too, for your liquid consumption.

* If the snowfall is worse than expected (namely, we'd have to dig out our spot), then we will still be in Lot G, but we'll take the Blazer or the Jimmy, and park somewhere inside of Lot G, instead of the grassy knoll.  Menu stays the same either way.

If I was a betting man (and I am), I'd guess it's Bus, 7am, Grassy Knoll, and Colonel Mustard has hidden the lead pipe, that killed the parking nazi.  But nothing is sealed in stone yet.

The Jets Commentary:

And that’s all your getting this week when it comes to Gang Green, is my opinion of what should happen in seven weeks … since Gang Green is on a bye.

And what should happen – specifically to GM John Idrik and head coach Rex Ryan … is nothing.

I’m not as enamored of “Sexy” Rexy as a lot of fans are, but the man is a solid head coach, who has proven he can win on the road in January.  He’s done it four times in his six years at the helm**. 

And as for Mr. Idrik … it’s not like he took Geno Smith first overall.  Geno went in the second round.  The Jets first rounder in 2013?  Sheldon Richardson.  I’d say that worked out fairly well.  Plus, he’s only been on the job two years.  I am a very, very firm believer that unless criminal misconduct or proven mental retardation occurs, a GM deserves four years, and a head coach deserves three years, to see the plan through***.  If you want to argue Mr. Ryan has had six, so be it.  I’d disagree with firing him based on this season, but so be it.  But Mr. Idrik is only in year two.  You need more time, to make a rational evaluation of the job he’s done.

I didn’t expect the Jets to be 2-8 bad … but be honest: did anyone have the Jets in a playoff position in their preseason picks?  I sure as hell didn’t.  (I had them going 8-8 … which I suppose is still possible, if highly unlikely.)

When a team is that bad, you look for the single truest sign to not pull the plug, and that’s whether or not the players are still fighting and trying to win.  The Jets just beat a team many anointed the last few weeks as “the hottest in the sport”, and they not only beat them, that game was over fourteen minutes in, with the Jets up 17-0.

It would be a gigantic mistake to clean house after this season.  I’d argue both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Idrik should stay.  I know that’s hard to read if you’ve yelled “J!  E!  T!  S!  Jets Jets Jets!” and meant it as a praise and a compliment … but sometimes?  Love hurts.


(: to put this in perspective, the Chiefs have won three times in January since January 16, 1994.  Ironically enough?  Two of those victories came at fake mile high – on my birthday in 2009, and on New Year’s Day in 2011.  The only other win?  Cincy at home on New Year’s Day 2006.  And most of them?  Painful losses.  Losses to the raiders?  Two of them – the Y2K Bowl (January 2, 2000), and exactly eleven years later, the “Blow A Bye” Bowl (January 2, 2011).  Playoff defeats?  Where to begin!  At Buffalo January 1994.  Vs. Indy in January 1995, January 2003, January 2007, and January 2014.  (With a damned good chance to add Postseason Loss Numero Cinco about eight weeks away.)  Most painful loss of my life?  My 21st Birthday, 1998, in the Divisional Round to the denver broncos.  Throw in a playoff loss to Baltimore (January 2011), a loss at Seattle to end Richard A. Vermeil’s first season (January 2011), and a loss to the Chargers to end the 2004 season?  January and the Chiefs, are a pretty sorry matchup.)

(**: for perspective, Chiefs fans?  After Year Two of the Pioli / Haley Era, we were praising the Hunt Family for extending Mr. Pioli, and considered Mr. Haley one helluva head coach.  Mr. Haley was gone eleven months later, Mr. Pioli thirteen months after that.)


The Chiefs Prediction (and Pointless Rambling Commentary):

The Chiefs did something last week, no Chiefs team has done, at least in the last fifteen years.

Five times before, the Chiefs had opened 0-2 or worse, and had climbed back to within a game of .500 at the midpoint.

All five times, the Chiefs lost the hump game.

They lost at oakland in 2000.  Lost at Tampa in 2004.  Lost at Miami in 2006.  Lost to Green Bay in 2007.  Lost to denver in 2011.

They won, at Buffalo, in 2014.

The Chiefs sit at 6-3, one behind satan's squad for the AFC West lead, one behind the Patriots for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  (And the Chiefs own the tiebreaker over New England, should it come to that.)

The Chiefs own tiebreaker with Miami (at 6-4), Buffalo (at 5-5), and San Diego (at 5-4) due to head-to-head wins.  They own tiebreaker with the entire AFC Norris via conference record (and still face the Steelers next month).  

The Chiefs have not sat this pretty for a playoff berth, with seven games to play ... since last season.

Which is why, the statement I'm about to make, is so damned ridiculous, it's laughable ... until you realize, it's actually true.

The 2014 Kansas City Chiefs?

Would beat the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs by three touchdowns, on the proverbial neutral field in Wichita, our Ol' Buddy "Screw You" Pete King, thinks exists in his weekly MMQB column.


Sunday, Chiefs fans?  Show up.  Be loud.  Be extremely loud.  Let's let Seahawks fans know what a legitimate home field advantage sounds like.  Not one created by creative architecture and piped in crowd noise -- but legitimate noise, and legitimate craziness.

If you can't get excited to show up and pummel the defending champs -- and a former divisional rival to boot -- whose obnoxious, holier than thou fans stole our legitimate Loudest Stadium cred for a few months?  If you can't get motivated enough to show up and shove it in those assholes' faces?

Then don't call yourself a Chiefs fan.

* at Chiefs (-2) 24, Seahawks 17.  2000 Monday Night "Sweet Jesus, It's Ed Hochuli! / Is That A Problem?" Memorial Score.  Or, if you prefer, 2000 Monday Night "Wasn't Me! / (MNF Booth Loses It) / Was Not Me, Ladies And Gentlemen!" Memorial Score.

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the third thursday thirteen ...

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