Picks, Conspiracy, and The Strokes

The Strokes

Okay now some more up lifting thoughts and my picks for the weekend...

I got my hands on the Strokes new single “Juicebox” and I love it. It’s not the Strokes that we heard on the first two albums, but it’s still the Strokes. It’s different and I’m happy they’re ‘taking a chance’ by exploring their sound and song writing abilities. I’m shocked that I like “Juicebox” considering that the first time I heard the Strokes on Sept. 18, 2001, they didn’t do anything for me. Then about three weeks later I heard “Last Night” and fell in love with the band and “Is This It?”. Then on their follow up album, I remember my reaction to “12:51”... I couldn’t stand it. It seemed to be trying too hard or something. Eventually after listening to “Room on Fire” I enjoyed it (especially “Under Control”, “Whatever Happened” and “Meet Me In the Bathroom”), but I didn’t love it. So hopefully this is a sign of good things to come. So Juicebox gets a thumbs up.

No on to my picks... I haven’t posted any so far, but it has not been a good start. In week one I was 1-3, winning the Kansas City game but losing with the Chargers, Eagles, and Minnesota. Week two was even worse... 1-4 (winning the Eagles, losing with Buffalo, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Baltimore). I faired a bit better in college going 2-1 last week, (winning with the Badgers and Michigan State, losing the Miami game barely). Considering I suck so far this year, I’m not sure why I’m going do keep doing this, but what the hell right?

Iowa State -17 at Army
Iowa State is giving 17 to Army? Really that’s it? This seems too good to be true. Iowan State beat Iowa two weeks ago, and I watched Army get killed by Boston College two weeks ago. I know the game is at West Point, but that’s it? 17? I’m not touching this... classic somebody knows something I don’t know game. (Yeah Iowa State’s my pick, but I’m not putting money down in Vegas either).

Illinois +101⁄2 vs Michigan State
Classic let down game for MSU. Michigan is next week also. And Illinois played Cal really tough on the road. Home dogs in the Big Ten and you’re getting 10 1/2? Don’t think twice, it’s all right. -- Illinois

Alabama -15 vs Arkansas
Again, only 15? Arkansas got KILLED by USC last week, lost to Vandy the week before, and ‘Bama looked really good against South Carolina last week. And the game is at Alabama. Roll Tide.

Wisconsin +21⁄2 vs Michigan
This is a night game in Madison. Michigan stinks this year. Badgers destroyed UNC at UNC last week (the game was not as close as the score said it was). Again this is a night game in Madison. Camp Randall is going to be going crazy... Michigan is giving points. I swear to God, the NFL may be near impossible to pick thanks to the conspiracy going on between Tags and Vegas, but for some reason people want us to make money with NCAA games. This might be even a bigger no brainier than the ‘Bama game. Badgers not only cover, they win.


I’ve had a theory working for two years now that the reason why there is so much parity in the NFL is that it’s a big conspiracy between Paul Tagliabue and Vegas. One year in high school I was something like 75 games over .500 picking every game for fun. That’s right a 16 year old kid picking games every Friday morning half asleep eating cereal. If I was picking winners, everyone was picking winners. It was time for someone to step in. And they did... suddenly the NFL completely changed. The 2001 Patriots, easily the worst Super Bowl Champs of all time, won the Super Bowl. Anything and everything was possible in the NFL now. By the time I was finishing college a good week would be picking 9 winners, again for fun. It was becoming impossible to pick games... Vegas had to be making a killing off of gamblers.

And this year is much of the same. Sure Vegas gives us games still for fun... but come on. Just look at the NFC West and North... most of those games any gambler with half a brain won’t touch those teams and the games they played (expect for the always easy Minn (+3.5) and Chicago... I’m telling you if I was betting this game every year since I was 10 and I put ten bucks on the game and then took the winnings and bet the game the next year (so the ten became 20), I’d have about a eighty-thousand dollars by now. I’m not kidding. Minnesota always gets a field goal and never even WINS at Soldier Field. Last time the Viks won in Chicago... 2000)

Okay that rant aside...the thing is... it gets harder and harder each year to pick the winners. To the point now where you think you’ve got a sure winner, but the moment the game starts you start to wonder and doubt yourself. It’s like that feeling you get the moment you leave a test you didn’t study for... you thought you knew the stuff, but then you realized about an hour after the test that you didn’t know any of it.

Now with all that... here are my worthless picks this week (home team in caps):

BEARS (+3) over Bengals
Since I’m a Bears fan, I would never ever put money on the Bears... but they are 2-0 against the spread this year, they’re at home, and their D is really good. I’m not sure the Bengals are ready for a tough game yet.

Jaguars (+3) over JETS
Really the Jags are getting 3? Wow... just when you think games are too though to pick, they give us a game like this. Have we seen the Jets this year? They stink. And the Jags are better than I thought.

COLTS (-13.5) over Browns
I hate big lines... but come on. The Browns went on the road last week and beat a bad Packers team who still put up a bunch of points. The Colts will be looking to score 100 this week (seeing that Texas Tech will score 100 points tomorrow, Manning will take it on as a challenge).

Buccaneers (+3.5) over PACKERS
The Packers suck... they’re going up against a good D... they can’t stop the run and Tampa can run the ball...I’d feel a lot better about this line if it was only 3.

Cowboys (-6.5) over 49ERS
I know it kills me because I’m just waiting for the Cowboys to start sucking it up... but they’ve gotten two ‘easy’ games in a row after San Diego gift rapped their Week One win. I’m not sure how they lost to the Redskins, (which by the way killed me, that means the Skins are 2-0 and there is SUPER BOWL talk in DC. I can’t stand Skin fans). they some how blew the Monday Game, and now they play the bad 9ers. They should be 3-0 after Sunday, but instead they’ll be 2-1. Still the 49ers are really bad, it goes to show how bad of a coach Martz is to lose that game... then again the Rams stink on the road. Unless it’s Seattle.

I’m staying away from the Seahaws and Rams (at home) because I have no clue how those two will play. I’m not touching Minnesota the rest of the year (expect when they play the Bears at Soldier Field) and the fact that they’re playing the Saints makes them even that much more STAY AWAY, the Bills/Falcons game is your classic Russian roulette game and I’m not going to play, so that leaves these games...

Raiders (+7.5) Eagles
DOLPHINS (+3.5) Panthers
Giants (+5) CHARGERS
Patriots (+3) STEELERS
Chiefs (+3) BRONCOS

One home dog, a Raider team that’s played two of the four best teams so far this year close, two of the four best teams in the NFL, an AFC West match up, and the Giants going cross country... all five games pretty much sum up what I hate about gambling:

1.) Team that puts up points going on the road and getting a touchdown
2.) Home Dogs
3.) East Coast team going cross country
4.) Three point lines
5.) AFC West games

Okay I’m not touching the AFC West game, I’m not touching the Pats/Steelers game, so those two are out. I like the Giants, but you figure that one of these games the Chargers are going to win... and while they’re giving five, the Giants are going cross country on a short week, so forget it. I can’t gage the Dolphins... I really like the Panthers to win, but I just don’t have the faith that they’ll win by four. So...

Eagles (-7.5) over Raiders
I know the Raiders have looked pretty good... but they make too many mistakes, in other words, they get way too many penalties. And while I worry about the fact that the Birds can’t run the ball, I checked how Moss did against the Eagles last year in two games... and you know what... not that great. One touchdown, 11 catches, and about 120 yards. That shows me that the Eagles do an okay job against Moss.

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