Saturday, September 10, 2016

week one picks

“You fly and you fall?
You try and you fail?
But you keep going …

You crash and you stall?
You sink ‘til you sail?
‘Cause you never know when …

The tide’s gonna turn!
The wind’s gonna change!
And we’re gonna make it!

The world’s gonna learn,
And remember our name –
It’s bend, not breaking!

Through blood and tears?
We rise!
(Because) tonight?
We come alive!

We are the sons of a promised dream!
Daughters of hope?  We will NOT give up!
They say we’re broke, and they say we’re weak?
Strong beats the heart?  Of a champion!

We’re gonna stand when we’ve been knocked down!
We crawl!  We walk!  Until we run!
We’re gonna fight!  Gonna hold our ground!
(Because) we’ve got the heart?

Of a champion! …”

-- “Champion” by Clark Beckham.

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Last Week SU: not applicable.
Season to Date SU: not applicable.

Last Week ATS: not applicable.
Season to Date ATS: not applicable.

Last Week’s Upset O’ The Week: not applicable.
Season to Date Upset O’ The Week SU: not applicable.
Season to Date Upset O’ The Week ATS: not applicable.
This Week’s Upset O’ The Week: Jaguars (+6) over Packers.

And, as a new service to you, the gambling public, who depend upon my incredible inability to accurately prognosticate a football game, I give you the SUCK Pick O’ The Week.  SUCK standing for “Stevo’s Useless Crappy Knowledge”.  This is the game of the week I feel the strongest about. 

This week’s SUCK: Seahawks over Dolphins.

(“bts” voice) Hey, Auggie!  You’re getting everything you want for Christmas, lil’ dude!  (placing bet on Dolphins to cover … and if he’s smart, win outright …)

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The Non-Jets, Non-Chiefs Pigskin Prognostications:

(hang on, checking … dammit!  Still porn star free picks!)

(Note: all lines, as always, pulled from Danny Sullivan via USA Today.  Danny Sullivan: Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Oddsmaker)

* at satan’s squad 20, Panthers 10.  I kind of like that the high point of those people’s season, will occur in Week One.  I love folks who, uuh, “arrive” prematurely.

* at Jaguars (+6) 34, Packers 20.  Definitely not a “Game O’ The Week” candidate.  Quality interconference matchup to start the season.

* at Texans (-6 ½) 34, Bears 10.  Since this game is getting designated, a quick refresher course on the “Game O’ The Week” designations.

The most unwatchable game of the week is the “Good Times Game O’ The Week”.
The second most unwatchable game of the week is the “ALF Game O’ The Week”.
The third most unwatchable game of the week is the “Webster Game O’ The Week”.
The fourth most unwatchable game of the week is the “Blossom Game O’ The Week”.

And God help us if we ever go more than four deep … but the fifth is the “One Day At A Time Game O’ The Week”.

The designation is because any person with an IQ above that of a corpse, would immediately opt to watch a three hour block of those sitcoms over three hours of that game.

Bears / Texans is your “Webster” Game O’ The Week … which means there are at least two games that are worse, on the board.  (And sadly this week, there’s also at least one that’s worse.)

* at Eagles (-3 ½) 6, Browns 2.  Shockingly, only the “ALF” Game O’ The Week.  Not shockingly, this will be utterly unwatchable, other than for when Philly fan first boos Carson Wentz.

* at Falcons 14 (-3), Bucs 10.  I’m not sold on this pick at all.  At all.

* Vikings (-2) 20, at Titans 13.  Toughest game to pick on the board.  Seriously.  Because who the hell knows what we’ll get out of your Minnesota Vikings.

* at Saints (-1) 45, raiders 42.  I have a feeling that my Red Zone feed will be flipping to this game early and often on Sunday.  Also, while I’m at it, for as much as I complain about certain things about the Chiefs, the free Red Zone feed is real, and it is spectacular.

* at Seahawks (-11) 45, Dolphins 7.  (Pause).  Do I go there, in Week One?  (Pause).  Ok, here we go!

Good Times!
(Anytime you need a payment?)
Good Times!
(Anytime you need a friend?)
Good Times!
(Anytime you’re out from under?)
Not gettin’ hassled!
Not gettin’ hustled!

Keepin’ yo head above water!
Makin’ a wave when you can!

Temporary layoffs?  Good Times!
Easy credit ripoffs?  Good Times!
Thrivin’ and survivin’?  Good Times!
Hangin’ in a chow line?  Good Times!

Ain’t we lucky we got ‘em?
(Na Na Na Na Na) Good Times!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Admit it – you sang along to every word.  It’s ok; I did too!)

* at Colts (-3 ½) 45, Lions 20.  The “Corpse” Caldwell Bowl!

* at Ravens 27, Bills (+3 ½) 24.  Smells like an overtime affair from afar.

* at Cowboys (+1) 31, Giants 10.  The Chiefs will visit both of these squads next year.  I’ll be in attendance for at least one of those roadies.  You can probably guess which one.

* at Cardinals 31, Patriots (+6 ½) 27.  Honestly, they’d probably lose this one even with Thomas Brady under center.

* at Redskins (+3) 34, Steelers 24.  This should be a frisky fun game.

* Rams (-3) 7, at 49ers 0.  “Blossom” Game O’ The Week.  I don’t care what you think of him, but love him or hate him?  Chris Berman deserves better for his final NFL broadcast as the lead analyst.

The Tailgating Plans:

The menu for San Diego is always “Super” Charger Chicken.  (Save for 2013, when we f*cked that up.  NEVER again!) 

We also will have jalapeno poppers to grill (jalapenos picked, and sliced, and (my dad at my cousin’s wedding voice) stuffed … and mounted!, personally by me, so brace yourselves …), plus whatever side dishes and desserts folks bring.  We’ll have plenty of beer, and it’s a safe bet 13 will be getting his coozie on with a vodka tonic or six.

Also, the “Stevo Drinking Game” opening line is set at 3.5.  For once?  I might contemplate the under.  I have a gut feeling “Lil G” might want to head out early to enjoy his first regular season game, just like “My Special Lil Guy” was dragging my brother in pretty early against the Chargers two years ago.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  You’re godd*mned right there’s no such thing as coincidence!

We plan to be in our usual spot by 7am at the latest.  (We got the literal last early-in pass.  There was “1” Quantity left when I ordered it.  Whew.)  I have been assured by my “highly placed anonymous source”, also known as “Rufus”, that we should be left alone – the focus isn’t on cracking down on people in the grass, but people who park wherever the hell they want within the lots.  I’ll believe it when I see it, but “Rufus” accurately nailed everything parking wise that would happen last year, and he’s one for one so far this season … so I am optimistic we’ll be left alone by the parking nazis.

Come early, stay late.  Sunday is going to be (tony the tiger voice) grrrrrrrrrreat!

(Also, why the hell do I put “ “’s around “Rufus”, when his name actually is Rufus?  #blameitonthealcohol)

The Fab Five:

In honor of the greatest collection of collegiate talent to never (officially) win a single game, these are my five favorite plays / moments involving the San Diego “Super” Chargers and the Red and Gold.

5. Tynes from 48 … then from 53.  Week Seven 2006.  The Chiefs limped in at 2-3, already trailing San Diego by three games, and coming off a 7-45 defeat in Pittsburgh so thorough that then-Chiefs columnist Clark Judge noted that “the Steelers used the Chiefs as their own personal urinal”.  (Still one of my favorite analogies ever.)  The Chiefs jumped out to a 14-0 lead, before slowly yet surely Phyllis Rivers (in her Arrowhead debut) managed to tie the game at 27 with a little less than a minute to play.  After a clutch catch by Tony Gonzalez, the Chiefs sent Lawrence Tynes out to try a 48 yard field goal to win. 

The kick is up … it’s good!  Oh but wait – a bullsh*t false start call on the Chiefs (so bullsh*t that even dick gannon was incredulous on the CBS broadcast) meant the kick was now from 53.  In the words of the (maybe late / never great) Mike Stock: “doesn’t matter!  He’ll make it!”  Which he did as time expired, to give the Chiefs a 30-27 victory that ultimately was the deciding factor in reaching the postseason that December.  Without this kick?  There is no Immaculate Fourfecta in Week Seventeen.

4. Tuesday Morning Football!  Week One 2010 saw the debut of the New Arrowhead via a 9:15pm kickoff against the “Super” Chargers.  The game had it all – a true Double Header Day (the Royals hosted the A’s at 1pm), a glorious ninety degree sunny day for tailgating, a kick return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown, a second half played in a monsoon, and then, with the Chiefs clinging to a 21-14 lead, the Chargers had goal to go.  Four plays later, a magical season was launched to a successful start, with an epic goalline stand, culminating in a pathetic attempt by Phyllis on 4th down that had no chance of completion.

3. The Phumble.  Somehow, this doesn’t rank in the top two.  When you see the top two, you’ll understand why.  Week Eight 2011.  The Chiefs have rallied from 0-3 to get back to .500, and are tied with the Chargers late in the 4th quarter.  Unfortunately, the Chargers are in gimme field goal range, and simply need to run two plays to bleed the clock to 0:03, then kick the game winner.  The Chiefs only hope was to force a turnover, which isn’t easy to do when your quarterback is in there to take a knee.  Somehow, someway, Phyllis fumbled the snap.  Andy Studebaker emerged with the ball.  The Chiefs went on to win in overtime, via an incredible 3rd down conversion to Steve Breaston.  For one brief moment, the 2011 season was saved. 

2. The Brandsmart Game.  Oh sweet merciful Lord Jesus.  I am sure there were people across America tuned in on that Halloween Sunday, wondering why in the hell Arrowhead (and the entire metropolitan area) were erupting in thunderous applause as the Chargers lined up to go for it on 4th and goal, late in the 3rd quarter, trailing 24-0.

The answer?  Because former local electronics dealer Brandsmart had offered a special that summer, that if the Chiefs shut out the Chargers on Halloween, your purchases of over $500 were on them.

I’ve heard Arrowhead loud (albeit never louder than number one in this week’s Fab Five).  This was damned close to 142.2.  The Chiefs D held, they would tack on another touchdown, and pitch the 31-0 shutout.  In a completely unsurprising development, Brandsmart ceased to exist less than three years later, bankrupted by this one afternoon of football.

But number one?  That one’s easy folks.  It’s not only my favorite Chiefs play of all time (at least so far), it is without question – (allard baird voice) without question! – the single loudest moment in Arrowhead history.

1. “I Love You Lord Jesus!”  11:47pm, Monday, October 9, 1995.  As God is my witness, I will be laying in a nursing home old, feeble, and senile someday, and I will still be able to recite the call from memory.

(frank gifford) Boy, did he loft that one!
(al michaels) Vanover, fields it, at his 13 –
(frank gifford) Uh oh!
(al michaels) Vanover up past the 30 –
(dan dierdorf) He’s gone! 
(al michaels) Vanover is almost gone and now … he is … officially gone!
(dan dierdorf) No flags!  This baby’s over!

Tamarick Vanover did something that night no player in NFL history had ever done before – return a punt for a touchdown in overtime.  If you listen to the clip, the moment Vanover made it past the punter and everyone knew he was gone?  It was so f*cking loud inside Arrowhead at that exact moment, that ABC had to mute the crowd noise for a moment, so you could hear Frank, Al, and Dan call the play.  Let that sink in.  It was so damned loud that viewers at home couldn’t hear the broadcasters.

(And in case you ever wonder why Dan Dierdorf is Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Official Color Commentator (Emeritus)?  This is just but one reason why.  Mr. Dierdorf never – and I mean never! – failed to openly root for the Chiefs in the booth.  Never more so than during the final drive of the greatest Monday Night game ever staged.  “How’s it feel, john!” as the camera panned to a dejected horse face.  “What a wild scene this is!”, commenting on how out of control and utterly classless donkey fans are.  And my personal favorite: “aw!  Poor (son o’ bum)!  He did everything … but win!”  God, I miss Dan Dierdorf on my television screen.)

Vanover’s reaction afterwards?  Pretty much mirrored mine – he hit his knees bawling like a newborn baby, before shouting into Lynn Swann’s mic “I love you Lord Jesus!” 

Thanks for reading this week’s Fab Five.  Although how the hell I’m going to come up with five Buccaneers moments in six weeks, I have no idea …

Inside Mixology:

Ooh, a new segment, in which I explain why a certain song is guaranteed to play at The Tailgate.  This week’s choice is “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire.

This song is on Mixology solely and completely because the late, great TD Pack Band, used to welcome us Chiefs fans into Arrowhead every September, for the home opener, by playing this song.

(Plus, it’s a nice, catchy tune that not even “those people”’s fans could b*tch about.  Although they’d probably try.)

So “September” is on the Mixology list, in honor of Tony DiParto and the TD Pack Band.

Who will always trump whatever the f*ck “The Rumble” is supposed to be.

Thanks for reading.

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

Sadly, the “Klassy” One hasn’t posted a single tweet worth ripping in over a month.  But – but! – I have full faith and confidence Ol’ “You Can Pull Your Pants Up Now” will post something tweet-dissecting worthy, in the next couple weeks.  C’mon “Klassy” Kev – send out a “family values” tweet or two, to make this one a mail-it-in effort two weeks from now!

The Jets “Fling It And Pray It Sticks” Prediction:

I would not have resigned Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Let me get this straight: $12 million (harrison ford in “clear and present danger” voice) “and change”, to a man who has yet to start a playoff game?  Jesus, I’d almost rather have Bryan Hoyer – and I was there in Houston.  I saw sh*ttacular quarterbacking at its sh*ttacular finest … but at least it wouldn’t cost you $12 million. 

Having said that … if $12 million gets you rolled in Jacksonville to open January, I guess it’s worth it.

* at Jets (+3) 28, Bengals 17.

The Chiefs Prepared Remarks of this Prognostication:

I picked the theme for a reason.

It’s verse two, that applies to this season, that I truly and honestly believe, will be the greatest Chiefs season of our lives.

Look it, I’ve waited since 2004 to vote for Hillary Clinton to be President.  (I promise – I will keep this site’s NFL sections 18.76% political free, through November 8th.)  I waited 22 years to attend a Chiefs playoff win.  I waited 29 years to attend a Royals playoff game – screw wins or losses, just attend a damned game.

I’ve waited 39 years for the only thing I’ve ever asked for out of the Chiefs, to occur:

Bring Lamar’s Trophy home.

Verse Two of your Season Fourteen American Idol runner up Clark Beckham’s debut single (and seriously, give it a listen – I actually think it’s better than winner Nick Fradiani’s debut, “Beautiful Life” … which is actually pretty damned good in its own right):

“We are the soul!
We are the proud!
We are the dreamers!

Not letting go!
And not backing down!
Not gonna leave here!

And seeing the prize?
We’ll keep reaching out
Until we hold it!

This?  Is our time!
This?  Is our house!
This?  Is OUR moment!!!!”

I have waited thirty nine f*cking years for this season.

Chiefs fans?

This?  This is OUR time!
This?  This is OUR house!

And Sunday?

Is the first step, to what come 8:50pm CT on Sunday, January 22, 2017, is going to be.  Not “might be”, not “could be”.

Will be.

Sunday?

Is the first of eighteen steps … to OUR moment!

Sunday WILL be a “Perfect Stevo Day”.  Right down to the “Jesus, of COURSE he took the shirt off!” blast to describe me, come halftime, when that t-shirt hits the seatback in front of me, and the sandals hit the concrete underneath me.


* at Chiefs (-7) 31, Chargers 0.

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