am starting to write this column on Sunday night while
watching Sunday Night Football. This is as good a place
to start my column as any. The referees in this game are
pathetic. Well, to be truthful the ref's in most games
are pathetic. But the fact that I just wasted The Huddle's
valuable file space telling you that is like me telling
you that the sky is blue, grass is green, and your car
breaks down for the first time the week after the warranty
Michael Vick, hands the ball off near the goal line.
The runner fumbles the ball after being tackled. Vick
picks up the ball and gets leveled by a defender. The
Falcons take exception to this and start pushing and
shoving, at which point Peerless Price gets his helmet
ripped off. No flag. No foul.
I suppose that the officials did not blow a whistle
in this situation when they should have, thus you get
Michael Vick (Note to the ref's: who happens to be one
of the great young stars of this league) pummeled like
a tackle dummy.
Apparently the officials in that game did not realize
that it is only when a player hears a whistle that he
considers the play over. It's really not a difficult
concept. The play is dead. Blow the whistle. The league
should implement a new policy whereby if an officials
mistake causes a player to get mashed, that official
will be required to be pushed into the path of a vehicle
going about 30 mph. It's the old eye for an eye, spleen
for a spleen thing.
While I am on the subject of Mike Vick, I guess everyone
who thought Vick could not be a factor in the fantasy
playoffs was wrong. I wonder how many people in fantasy
playoffs actually had the stones to start him against
Carolina. Wow. He'll be fun to watch while he lasts.
(See Randall Cunningham)
Also while watching Sunday Night Football I just marvel
every week at the moron-athon that is Joe Theisman. I
know I've railed on Joe before. He's one of my favorite
whipping boy's. But man oh man, if it's possible he just
keeps getting even more annoying. And not annoying like
the late Howard Cosell. Howard was annoying, but at least
he was provocative at times. Theisman is just as predictable
as those pathetic officials I was complimenting. Every
game, same thing. It doesn't matter who the players are,
the script never changes for Joe.
The totally absurd:
"I think Jay Fiedler has a chance to be one of
the top 5 quarterbacks in this league"
"I think Ron Dayne just hasn't been given enough
of a chance"
"I think these Philadelphia receivers are under-rated"
The incredibly obvious:
(The team with the ball is behind by 7 with 1:20 to
play. 4th down on the 40 yd line) "I think you have
to go for it in this situation."
"I think the rules committee should look into this."
Theisman could literally record the first game of the
season, go in to the studio every week to insert new
players names, and you'd never know he wasn't actually
broadcasting the remainder of the games. I wonder when
his contract comes up anyway?
While I'm discussing TV heads, the chrome dome of Terry
Bradshaw comes to mind. I noticed this Sunday that Terry
was slurring his words worse than usual, and seemed a
bit askew. Now I like Bradshaw in general, but while
watching the Fox show this week I could have swore he
was buzzed. He seemed either drunk or recently drunk.
Entertaining but highly irregular in the world of network
Then later in the show I found that Bradshaw had been
on assignment to New Orleans last week. Suddenly it all
made sense. This speech slurring, goofier than usual
bit was actually a residual effect of all the bourbon
he soaked up on Bourbon Street. Bradshaw wouldn't hit
the sauce before a nationally televised show. At least
that is what I am telling myself.
BIG KAHUNA PICK
(Cancelled due to mental incompetence)
Ok, that's a cop out. I started this just to prove that
I can suck just as bad as the people in the football
media who get paid big bucks to spew nonsense, and I
think I have proven my point well thus far. But before
I make my pick, more advice that you may actually be
able to use.
A few weeks back I told you about betting the under
in the second half of blowouts, a bet that continues
to be a good one for me in the right spots. Let me get
a little deeper into the halftime line betting. You can
use the knowledge of the bookmakers against them in second
half betting as well.
Let's use the Monday Night game St. Louis at Cleveland
as a perfect (and profitable I'm happy to say) example.
The line before the game was St. Louis - 5 1/2 (Lightly
Tapping Hank Goldberg picked the Browns plus the points
of course) and the over under was 43 1/2.
Once you admit that the bookmakers know the game better
than you do, you can use their knowledge against them
for fun and profit.
The score at halftime was 23-7 Rams. When the halftime
spread came out it was pick 'em on the spread, and 21
1/2 on the under/ over. It is simple math from that point.
Before the game the odds makers said there would be 43
points scored. You use that knowledge to take the under
bet, and you win. The spread was 5 1/2, so you take the
Browns even up in the second half. You win both bets
using the man's knowledge against him. Isn't that nice?
And so easy. It doesn't always work of course. There
are games where the odds makers just really blow it,
but for the most part over time, the point spreads before
the game end up being very close.
Once again, you are welcome. No charge.
Ok, big pick time. The Chiefs need a big win this week
at home, and pray that somebody takes New England out.
The spread at Arrowhead is 14 against the Lions. The
Lions are young, not very good, and playing in a hostile
environment the like of which most of them probably have
not seen. Yet, the spread is 14 points, and in this league,
I'm always interested in getting 2 touchdown's for my
betting dollar. I'll take it, and spend Sunday afternoon
on my knees praying. LIONS +14. Oh brother.
10) People who used to like ESPN Countdown: Michael
Irvin blows his lines more often than L.T. did back in
9) Browns: While Clinton Portis was shredding the Chiefs
for 5 TD's, William Green was sitting at home taking
turns hitting the bong and then his old lady. The Butch
Davis "draft day genius" legacy grows every
8) Seahawks: The secondary has taken getting burned
to a new level. I haven't seen that many torches since
the last time I watched Frankenstein.
7) Chiefs: The Chiefs seem to be coasting through the
last 4 weeks and now have lost the home field advantage.
The defense is more full of holes than the Mustang Ranch.
6) Cardinals: The defense that cures all ails for opposing
defenses. The way they get stomped every week they should
change the team name to the Grapes.
5) Bears: A swift and merciful end to their dreams about
actually getting involved in the division. Has Dick Jauron
saved his job by guiding this team from a horrible start
to a team that is now just stinky as opposed to putrid?
Yeah, I should hope so.
4) Panthers: If you can't score more than 2 touchdowns
against the Atlanta defense, I don't think you are really
what I would call a playoff caliber team. Then again,
have the Panthers scored more than 2 offensive TD's against
anybody this season? You can count me officially jumping
off the bandwagon, and the Panthers bandwagon is becoming
a very quiet and lonely place.
3) Giants: Kerry Collins has the right idea. Medic!!!
2) Buccaneers: Well, I have heard some people make the
statement that with this weeks win the Buc's are back
in the playoff picture. Really? I don't see it. But,
in this league we have all learned to expect the unexpected.
At least now Sapp and company have the false hope thing
going, and the misery will drag on a while longer.
1) Raiders: Why the Mirer thing? Why? At least if they
would have signed Jeff George we would have all watched
the games if for no other reason than the "freak
show" aspect. I really feel sorry for Jerry Rice
during this fiasco. But it just goes to show you, if
you keep hanging around and hanging around, even a legend
like Rice will eventually suffer humiliation usually
reserved for guys who get busted picking up a cross dressing
hooker on Cops.