Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

The Greatest Tradition In Sports

I truly believe the greatest tradition in all of sports will once again be celebrated this Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia when the Cadets of United States Military Academy square off against the Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy. This will be the 106th time that Army and Navy have faced each other, and the record stands at 49-49-7. Granted, this game doesn't have the ramifications it once did on the landscape of college football, but it always has been, is now, and will always be one of the most important college football games of the season. If you don't believe me, name one other game in America that would draw over 68,000 fans to a neutral field to watch a 4-6 team face off against a 6-4 team. Before previewing this year's game, I think it's important to look back at the history of this great American tradition.

The first match up between the two schools was a 24-0 Navy victory in West Point, New York in 1890. The game has been played in several venues over the years including the old Polo Grounds in New York, Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium, gorgeous Michie Stadium on campus in West Point, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Soldier Field in Chicago, old Municipal Stadium in Baltimore and PSINet Stadium in Baltimore back in 2000. The predominant venue, however, has been the great fighting city of Philadelphia. Philly hosted the game for the first time at Franklin Field in 1899. Since that Army 17-5 victory, the City of Brotherly Love has hosted the game 75 other times at Franklin Field, Municipal Stadium, J.F.K. Stadium, Veteran's Stadium, and now at the Linc.

Through the history of the rivalry, the game has featured some of the legendary figures in college football history. Among these legends are five Heisman trophy winners; Army's Doc Blanchard in 1945, Glenn Davis in 1946, and Pete Dawkins in 1958, as well as Navy's Joe Bellino in 1960 and the greatest of all, Navy's Roger Staubach in 1963. Staubach's final Army-Navy game, in 1963, was probably the most special game ever played in this storied rivalry. Just a week and a half after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Country was able to lose itself for a few hours in the nationally broadcast 21-15 Navy victory. Even beyond its significance for the country at the time, the 1963 game had lasting effects for all football fans as it marked the network television debut of a new technology called instant replay.

Through the long and storied history of this rivalry, players have come and gone, 21 different men have occupied the White House, two World Wars have been fought, and we have been to the moon. One thing, however, has remained constant. Once the game is over, the two teams gather together, and along with all their classmates, they sing each school's Alma Mater. As Bill Simmons would say, this is a certifiable “chills” moment. In other words, no matter how many times you see it, when those kids stand together and pay each Academy the ultimate sign of respect, you can’t help but get chills.

So, this Saturday, some of the finest young men in America are going to carry on this great tradition, and we should probably have an idea of what to expect. Since Coach Paul Johnson arrived in Annapolis from Georgia Southern and instituted his dangerous option attack, Navy has won the last three games in dominating fashion. In fact, the Midshipmen have experienced a resurgence as a program winning 10 games in 2004 and going to back to back bowl games in 2003 and 2004, as well as winning back to back Commander in Chief trophies. What Johnson has accomplished is simply amazing when you consider that Navy was 1-20 in the two years prior to his arrival. Navy has continued its resurgence this year by once again becoming bowl eligible, and they enter this year’s Army game at 6-4. The Midshipmen average nearly 32 points a game and nearly 300 yards a game on the ground. Unfortunately, they give up 26 points a game and over 360 yards a game.

Army, for their part, enters this year’s game on a roll. The Cadets have won four games in a row, including a dramatic 27-24 victory against Air Force. With a win Saturday, Army will earn their first Commander In Chief Trophy since 1996. Undoubtedly, Army is benefiting from the tutelage of legendary head coach Bobby Ross. Although Ross has only won six games in his two years at West Point, if the Cadets win their fifth game in a row this Saturday, it may rank as one of the greatest accomplishments of Ross’s legendary career. Winning on Saturday, however, appears to be a tall order for a team that averages less than 20 points a game and averages giving up over 25 points a game.

Regardless of what happens on the field Saturday, I hope everybody finds the time to watch at least a portion of this game. In a very short period of time, many of these young men will be trading their shoulder pads for body armor and stepping off a plane in Iraq or Afghanistan to do their part to make sure that we all are able to continue to enjoy all the privileges, freedoms, and traditions of this great Country. For my money, you would be hard pressed to find a greater tradition than Army vs. Navy.

West Point Alma Mater
Hail, Alma Mater dearto us be ever near,
Help us thy motto bearThrough all the years.
Let duty be well performed.
Honor be e'er untamed,Country be ever armed,
West Point, by thee.

Guide us, thy sons, aright,
Teach us by day, by night,
To keep thine honor bright
For thee to fight.When we depart from thee.
Serving on land or sea,
May we still loyal be,
West Point, to thee.

And when our work is done,
our course on earth is run,
May it be said, "Well done;
Be thou at peace."
E'er may that line of grayI
ncrease from day to day
Live, serve, and die, we pray.
West Point for thee.

Naval Academy Alma Mater (Navy Blue & Gold)
Now colleges from sea to sea
May sing of colors true,
But who has betterRight than we
To hoist a symbol hue?
For sailors brave in battle fare
Since fighting days of old,
Have proved the sailors right to wear
The Navy Blue & Gold.


Searching the Web

Here are some of the most interesting things I've come across on the web recently:
  • This guy wants $6K for four tickets to USC/UCLA? If either team played defense would these be going for $12K? Seriously, how much would tickets be going for if UCLA hadn't lost to Arizona?

  • This is the place to go to get clips of the best interviews in all of sports. The older Dan Patrick gets, the more jaded and damn near angry he comes across in some of his interviews. Of particular note is the first link on this page, the Michael Irvin interview. If you need a laugh, check it out.

  • More coverage of the Tampa strippers on wheels. You can see pictures of the females in question and there is even a solid video clip of the local reporter on the evening news.

  • This is the full text of arbitrator Richard Bloch's beat down of T.O. and his agent Drew Rosenhaus. It's long, but worth a read.

  • The official unofficial website for the most electrifying man in college football.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

Breaking News

Check out what just came across the AP Wire. First, the Carolina cheerleaders and now this. I'm buying my Bucs season tickets for next year immediately. Who would have thought that Tampa would be the greatest city in America?


Perfect Peyton?

At the risk of being un-original, I'm joining just about every other media outlet this morning and talking about the chances of the Colts going undefeated. Actually, I'm more interested in what you think. To get the ball rolling, here's my two cents.

The Colts were more than impressive last night. They were dominant. The offense looks like it can flip the switch and get points whenever they want, and the defense actually looks nasty. Dwight Freeney is damn near unstoppable, Corey Simon is still a pro bowler when he's not gasping for air, and safety Bob Sanders seems like he's in on every play. Their remaining schedule looks like this:



San Diego

@ Seattle


Before Byron Leftwich went down with a broken ankle on Sunday, I would have called this the biggest trap for the Colts. With David Garard at qb, however, I doubt the Jags will be able to keep up with the Colts. The next week, San Diego rolls into to Indy. I'm sure you can guess that I think this is going to be a huge obstacle for the Colts. In case you hadn't heard, I think a lot of the Chargers. I think that much like the Bengals last week, the balanced attack of the Chargers will give them a chance to compete in this game. The problem, of course, is that this game is in Indy. It's hard for me to believe that a 13-0 team will lose its first game at home. Therefore, I think the Colts will roll into Seattle at 14-0.

Well, on paper this game has all the makings of the end of the run for the Colts. Seattle may very well be the cream of the crop in the NFC, and just ask the Giants how tough it is to come out of Seattle with a win. The problem, however, is that by this time the Hawks are certain to have the NFC West clinched, and likely to have home field advantage clinched. Therefore, the Colts are likely to catch a break and confront a team that is unwilling to play its frontline guys for more than a half. If Seattle goes head to head for four quarters with their best guys then they could certainly spoil the dream for the Colts. I'm guessing this won't be the case, and the Colts are going to be able to walk out of Seattle still perfect.

I won't even bore you with discussing whether Arizona has a chance to beat the Colts. I guess what I'm getting at here is that I think the Colts are more likely than not to enter the playoffs at 16-0. I wonder if Bob Griese, Mercury Morris, and the rest of the '72 Dolphins are starting to sweat. By the way, is this obsession by the '72 Dolphins one of the most depressing things you've ever seen? I mean, you guys were great, we get it. Doesn't it just seem a little childish and pathetic how they actively root against other teams from duplicating their accomplishment? I for one, would be pretty happy if I never had see another story about these guys cracking open champagne and celebrating. In a word, it's sad.

So, there you have it. I'm predicting 16-0 for the Colts, now it's your turn. Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 28, 2005 

Manic Monday

A Monday morning after a holiday weekend is always a disaster at the office. There are a million things to do, but so much happened over this holiday break that I've got to take the time this morning to address several pressing topics. Here they are in their order of importance:

Nick and Jessica
I guess I should have been as shocked by this as I was to hear that Michael Irvin was arrested again. Call me a sucker, but I was actually surprised. For some reason I thought all the rumors would go away and these two kids would live happily ever after. As usual, I was wrong. Who knows what happened here. I mean, did Jessica really start doing coke and hooking up with other dudes like Knoxville or Bam? Did she finally emotionally succumb to the fact that her dad is a psycho that went from being a southern preacher to being a Hollywood sleaze ball with frosted tips that whored his daughters out to get himself out of an enormous debt to Sony? Seriously, I once heard this guy talking about Jessica's DD's on national television. What a freak! Maybe Nick finally got sick and tired of her having the common sense of a nat? Maybe Nick finally gave in to temptation and started picking up Matt Leinhart's trash when they were rolling around L.A. together.

I can't tell you why it came to an end, but I can tell you this: Unless they had a pre-nup (from what we've seen of Jessica I think its safe to say she wasn't bright enough to have a pre-nup) Nick is going to come out smelling like a rose. He's the one who brought the money into the marriage, but she's the one raking in the cash now. That's great for Nick though, because he will take half of everything and he hasn't had a job in five years. Also, you have to figure that Jessica is in the midst of her "Behind the Music" fall to rock bottom. I can just picture the tabloid pictures of her looking strung out hanging with Paris, Britney, and getting into a fight with Lindsay Lohan's dad outside Spago in L.A. I figure she will spend the next year or so making up for all those dudes she didn't sleep with before she was married. It should be truly heartbreaking to watch. I can't wait. In the meantime, I figure Nick will be rolling around L.A. with Leinhart and his other boys just nailing a continual stream of hot chicks. How could he not? Lachey has the greatest pick up line of all time: "baby, you are so much hotter than Jessica." Plus, every chick in America would love to know how she sizes up to Jessica in the sack!

At the end of the day, I'm really disappointed it didn't work for these kids, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the fallout. It's sure to be a media circus, and a true disaster for Jessica. It should be fun for the whole family.

Michael Irvin
Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you joking? What the hell was this guy thinking? It just doesn't make any good sense. First of all, if you have Michael Irvin's past you should never drive above the speed limit, you should never carry drug paraphernalia with you in your car, and you NEVER do both at the same time. Granted, I think this guy is the biggest joke and most annoying human being in all of television so I may be biased, but how has ESPN not fired him yet? I know all about "innocent until proven guilty", but that only applies to the criminal justice system. How about you go into your boss and tell him you got arrested this weekend for carrying drug paraphernalia and see how long it takes him to fire you. My guess is that it's long enough for him to place a call to HR. ESPN fired Rush Limbaugh for expressing his opinion, controversial as it was, on television. I can't imagine how they don't fire this guy. The real question is whether T.O. fires him from his position as his personal spokesman? Don't change Mike, don't ever change.

Jay Feely
The former Falcon kicker was 21 for 23 on field goal attempts going into yesterday. Now, he's 23 for 28 and may be looking for a job. He missed on the last play of regulation and twice in overtime. Wow! Jay, you have one job! If you are given three chances to do it and you can't get it done then it might be time to call your agent and tell him to keep his eyes open for a new opportunity. On the bright side, Jeremy Shockey's reaction to the first miss was one of the funniest things I've seen in a while so that was fun. Thanks for that Jay.

Joe Theisman
For a long time I've thought the Sunday Night ESPN broadcast team had all collectively gone senile. Last night, however, Theisman made a comment that made Paul Maguire and Mike Patrick seem damn near lucid. Theisman said that he thought Jim Haslett should be named NFL coach of the year! Listen, we all know why he said this, and I think we all sympathize with what the Saints have been through this year, but Coach of the Year? They are 3-8 for God's sake, and it's not like they don't have tools. Why we're at it Joe, why don't we go ahead and make the Saints the Wild Card team regardless of their record?

Def Poetry on SportsCenter
Speaking of insanity on ESPN, did you see Stu Scott doing the Bengals' highlights "Def Jam Poetry" style on SportsCenter? In a word, this was horrifying. It made the simulated press conferences look like a good idea. Why can't the boys in Bristol just leave a good thing alone and give me the highlights with normal expert commentary and normal interviews? I really don't ask for much, please just give me this.

Indy -8 v. Pittsburgh
Even with Big Ben back in the lineup, I'm taking the Colts laying the points for one simple reason, I refuse to bet against a 10-0 team in way, shape, or form.

Sunday, November 27, 2005 

Cashing In

Last night was a terrible disappointment for all of the good guys here in the ATL. Once again, the Jacket defense rose to the occasion, but the quarterback and the play calling let us all down. At the end of the day, as disappointing as the loss was, you still have to be proud of the way our defense performed the past two weeks so we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Enough of the college football talk. After a week off, it's time to get back in the business of picking NFL games and build on my very pedestrian 8-6-1 record.

Minnesota -4 vs. Cleveland
Captain Stubing and the love boat crew seem to be turning the corner. The Vikes have won three in a row to get back to .500, with two of those victories being on the road. Even with all they have been through, this is still the same team that many predicted would compete for a Super Bowl bid. For whatever reason, they have seemed to play better under Brad Johnson than under Culpepper. I think its only fair that we remember that Johnson has won a Super Bowl and has better overall career statistics than Troy Aikman. All of this coupled with the fact that the Browns are 1-4 on the road this year lead me to think the Vikes will get a comfortable win at home today and continue making their push in the lowly NFC North. Don't look now, but a Vikings win coupled with a Bears' loss in Tampa would put the Vikings a single game out of first place.

San Diego -3 @ Washington
This is the Chargers' fourth cross country trip of the season. As I pointed out in my initial NFL entry, I usually shy away from teams making the cross country trip. However, in their three previous trips, the Chargers are 2-1 with the sole loss being a game they essentially gave away to the Eagles when the Eagles were at full strength. Furthermore, I've said it before and now I'm saying it again, I think the Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL. Finally, considering that the Chargers have won 3 in a row and the Skins have lost 3 of their last 4, you have a classic matchup of two teams headed in different directions. Look for the Chargers to make a big statement today.

Jacksonville -3.5 @ Arizona
Another example of a team making a long road trip. It's not going to matter here. Yes, the Cardinals and Kurt Warner looked great last week in St. Louis, but that doesn't all the sudden make them a good team. The Jags have won three in a row and starting to look like a legitimate contender. The Cardinals are 3-7 and have lost 3 of their last 4. This is a good team vs. a bad team. I've got no problem laying the points on the road here.

Green Bay +4.5 @ Philly
Yes, the Packers are 2-8, but just ask the Falcons how dangerous they can be. Philly has dropped four in a row, and I don't have to tell you what a mess they have been on and off the field over the last month. At the end of the day, I think its probably a good idea to take the points against a team that hasn't won in over a month. It just seems to make sense.

Let's go make some money today, and check in tomorrow for the much awaited break down of the rise and fall of Nick and Jessica.

Friday, November 25, 2005 

Good Old Fashion Hate

That's what they call the Georgia Tech/UGA rivalry. Well, tomorrow will be the 100th meeting between one of America's finest Institutes of higher learning and the glorified high school 70 miles to the East. Okay, I promise that's the only shot I will take. In fact, that's the last I'm going to mention tomorrow's game, but suffice it to say that emotions will be running high and the bourbon will be flowing freely on the corner of Techwood Drive and Bobby Dodd Way at 8 P.M. tomorrow night.

Despite what you might think if you live in the Metropolitan Atlanta area, there is a strong slate of games around the country tomorrow with some good opportunities to cash in. After last week's 1-4 college debacle, my overall record here on "the World" stands at 12-11-1. If you've ever placed a wager, you know that half a game over .500 doesn't make you any money, so it's time to put a call into the bus driver and have him turn the bus around. I need a big day tomorrow to re-establish respectability, and these are the games I'm counting on to get that done:

Iowa State -3 @ Kansas
To be completely honest, I don't much about either one of these teams. I have actually watched Iowa State play only a half of football this year, the second half of their upset over Colorado two weeks ago, and I haven't watched Kansas play one down. What I do know, however, is that Iowa State has won their last four games by a combined margin of 97 points. Kansas, on the other hand, has lost 5 of their last 7, and they lost by 52 points to Texas the last time they took the field. If Iowa State wins, they go to the Big 12 Title Game for their chance to lose to Texas by 52. Fortunately for the Cyclones, I don't think they are worried about the beat down that awaits them in Houston. They are a better team than Kansas and they should be properly motivated to take care of business.

UConn +7 @ South Florida
South Florida needs a win to set up the biggest game in school history next weekend against West Virginia. Can you believe that South Florida might actually make the BCS? Gross. That's all I can say about that. Gross. Anyway, if you size these two teams up you see that they are nearly identical statistically. South Florida averages 27 points a game and UConn averages 26 points a game. South Florida gives up an average of 18 points of game and UConn gives up an average of 19 points a game. My point? The statistics point to a close game and the Bulls are certain to feel the pressure of what's on the line. Personally, I hope South Florida wins because I think it would be hilarious if the Big East sent them to the BCS, but I don't think its going to be easy. If they win it will be a squeaker. One more thing about South Florida. How does a school located in Tampa call itself the University of South Florida? I don't claim to be a geography expert, but I'm quite certain Tampa is closer to the Georgia border than the Keys. Therefore, Tampa is not in south Florida. Am I the only one bothered by this?

Florida State +3.5 @ Florida
Well, two incredibly talented teams saddled with mediocre 7-3 records. The winner has a chance to go to a respectable bowl, win 9 games, and salvage something from this season. The loser, drops to 7-4, plays in a forgettable bowl, and finds itself battling South Florida and Central Florida for the leftover high school talent in Florida. Okay, that last part probably isn't true, but there will definitely be two desperate teams on the field in the Swamp tomorrow. I like Florida State simply because I've seen Urban Meyer's offense with my own eyes and just like LSU, Alabama, and South Carolina, I think FSU has too much speed on defense for the Gators. Plus, FSU has lost two straight. I know they aren't what they used to be, but do you really think they are going to drop three in a row? Take the 'Noles on the money line if you are feeling frisky.

Notre Dame -16 @ Stanford
This is a national t.v. game and it's Brady Quinn's last chance to cement his place in New York as a Heisman finalist. Since their heartbreaking loss to USC, the Irish have gone 4-0 with their closest call being a 20 point beating of Tennessee. Is there any reason things should change against Stanford? I don't think so.

UGA -4 @ Georgia Tech
Well, I picked against the Jackets last weekend and we all know how that turned out. Here's hoping for two weeks in a row! Go Jackets.

Check in on Sunday for my NFL picks, and as I have promised Dave Ball, check in on Monday for a detailed break down of the rise and fall of Nick and Jessica.


Stupid Videos

The highlight of my Thanksgiving, other than the Falcons' beat down of the Lions, was the introduction my buddy Rick gave me to the greatest website I've ever seen. Ya'll have to check this out:

Seriously, you can spend hours on this site. It's great stuff.

Hope everyone is having a great Turkey hangover today. As for me, I'm in the office writing a brief. It should only be a few more hours before I attempt to slit my wrist with a butter knife. Good times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't know much, but I do know two things for certain. First, I know that being a lawyer is not nearly as cool as they make it look on Law and Order. Second, I know that it's not a good idea to have an appointment with your dietician the day before Thanksgiving! What does that have to do with anything you ask? Well, nothing, just consider that some free knowledge.

So, I got a few different emails from folks about their favorite rivalry game memories. Suffice it to say that they all had one thing in common: Everybody's favorite rivalry game memory seems to be the moment that they think ripped the hearts out of their opponent the most. For example, for us Tech fans, the Jasper Sanks "fumble" can never be topped. Not only did we win the game in overtime, but we all take enormous pleasure in the fact that no Georgia fan will ever forget how bad they felt at that moment. It was beautiful when it happened, and it's still beautiful today. That's what rivalries are all about. The pain of your rival is much more important your own joy. Sick? Yes. Unhealthy? Probably. Beautiful? Definitely. Man, I love college football.

So, tomorrow marks the great American tradition of Thanksgiving. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pilgrims, Indians, the Macy's parade, football, and most importantly, gambling. As a child I really loved Thanksgiving, but it wasn't until I went to college and developed a massive gambling problem that I came to truly understand the beauty of the holiday. So, I'm thankful that we have a great slate of games tomorrow that should help me put the pain of last week's gambling disaster behind me. Your turkey and pumpkin pie should taste even better if you are cashing in on these games:

Atlanta -3 @ Detroit
Before you get caught up in the tradition and nostalgia of the Lions on Thanksgiving, let me just remind you that it's not 1992 and Barry Sanders isn't running the ball, Rodney Peete isn't throwing the ball, Herman Moore isn't catching the ball, and Cocaine Wayne Fontes isn't calling the plays. Instead, Kevin Jones is running the ball, Joey Harrington is throwing the ball, and Matt Millen is assembling the talent. In short, the Lions are terrible. The Falcons, on the other hand, are not terrible. In fact, the Falcons are a good team that is desperate for a win. The Falcons' offense has been coming around, but their defense has been suspect of late. Fortunately for the Birds, the Lions' offense is probably all the defense they will need. Look for Mike Vick to have a great day and the Falcons to roll.

Dallas +2.5 v. Denver
For all the talk you hear about Jake Plummer and the year he's having, you even hear some folks mentioning the words Plummer and M.V.P. in the same sentence, you never hear anything about the season Drew Bledsoe is having. Well, not to take anything away from Plummer, but take a look at Drew Bledsoe's numbers and tell me which quarterback you think should be the M.V.P. candidate. Their numbers are nearly identical. In fact, Bledsoe has more yards, more touchdowns, and a higher QB rating. The big difference in the two, however, is that Plummer has only thrown 3 picks as opposed to 7 for Bledsoe. In fact, Plummer hasn't thrown a pick in over 200 pass attempts. Well, all good things must come to an end, and I expect Plummer's streak to come to an end tomorrow. Look for the Cowboys to run the ball effectively with Julius Jones and Marion Barber III, throw the ball efficiently, and torment Plummer with a steady diet of safety blitzes from Roy Williams. Ever since his days at Oklahoma, all the way up to his game winning pick and touchdown last week on Monday night against the Eagles, Roy Williams has been at his best in showcase cames. Well, tomorrow qualifies as a showcase game for the 7-3 Cowboys. Should be a great game, but Plummer will make the big mistake and the Boys will win in the fourth quarter.

Well, happy gambling and Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. I hope we all have a chance to take pause and truly give thanks tomorrow for all the wonderful blessings we have in our lives. I'd also like for everyone to take a moment to give special thanks for all our troops serving overseas that can't be with their families tomorrow so that we, and our future generations, can. I know I will be thinking of my buddy Jesse Blanton who is serving his third tour as a Medi-Vac pilot. It's guys like Jesse that help ensure this will continue to be the greatest country in the world long after we're all gone. Thank God for him and all those like him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

Not Again!

That's right, somebody broke into my car again last night! Same M.O. as last time, pop the lock, take the loose change, and throw everything in my glove compartment and console all over the car just to piss me off in the morning. Seriously, who needs $.35 so bad that they must break into my car to steal it? I lived in this shit hole for over 11 months without one single instance of theft or crime, and twice in three weeks? This is unbelievable. My favorite part is when I went down to the leasing office to rant about the fact that the "security guard" sits in her little golf cart and talks on her fucking cell phone all night. Well, I gave a good and solid Dunn rant for about 3 to 4 minutes when Valerie, clearly a hollerback girl (I don't know what that means, but I think it makes you a whore), said, while smacking her gum, "Mr. Dunn, I'm real sorry about your car, but there's nothing I can really do. Oh, by the way, don't forget that your lease runs through Dec. 4 so you will owe us rent for four days." I have never wanted to punch someone in the face so badly. Of course, I refrained, not only because I'm a gentleman, but I also figure she's the type of chick that would call her boyfriend and ask him to kill me. I just have a hunch that her boyfriend would be capable of murder.

In other news, how about the terrible events at the hockey game in Detroit last night? I hate hockey and I won't even pretend to know any of the people involved, but it looked like a truly terrifying set of events. Thankfully, it seems everyone is okay. You know, the folks in Detroit actually deserve credit for sticking around after the game had been cancelled and waiting to get word on the guy. A rare nice touch from the hoodlums in the Motor City. How in the world did the NFL ever agree to host this year's Super Bowl in Detroit? What an awful idea. No one can convince me that it will be fun to be in Detroit the last weekend in January. I don't care if you are judging a boob job contest, there is just no way that can be fun.

Also, my buddy Phil and his wife went and saw "Walk the Line" last night. He had good things to say. Phil, of course, is one of these movie snobs who actually cares if there is more than cool cars and hot chicks in a movie so you have to take his opininon for what it's worth.

Finally, for tomorrow's last entry before the holiday, I would like to share thoughts from all my loyal readers. I'd like for you to take a few minutes and send me an email about your favorite "Rivalry Game Memory." With Georgia Tech v. Georgia, OU v. OSU, Texas v. Texas A&M, Colorado v. Nebraska, and USC v. UCLA, Thanksgiving weekend is always a great rivalry weekend. Hell, I can't think of Thanksgiving without thinking of how much I hate the University of Georgia. At any rate, send me a story about a memory from your big rivalry game that you will never forget, it will be fun to post these all.

Monday, November 21, 2005 

A Review of the 7th Floor Crew

Loyal reader and aspiring stand up comedian Nicole Blizek (she's also Colby's girlfriend, but let's not hold that against her) sent me an amazing review of the 7th Floor Crew. I don't know if I'm more astounded by the fact that she loves the song, or that she has listened to it enough to provide the insights that she does. Either way, here is Nicole's take on those crazy fellas on the 7th floor and their love of mudding:

From: Nicole Blizek [] Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2005 9:46 AMTo: Dunn, Michael A.Subject: ho sights

Dunn...FINALLY some Hosights!!

I have to be honest. The 7th Crew is on to something here. Men don't understand this but women are ALWAYS thrown off by a good beat. I didn't hear half the "bitches" and "hos" as I was shakin it to the hot bass. I was also impressed with 'Marvelous', he has a great Ol Dirty Bastard/Ja Rule hybrid rap voice that could take him places.
For amature work this song is not bad but they do rely too heavily on the chorus as a transition element between the "playas." Speaking of the players. I'm curious as to how they chose the seems to me the fellas at the end like G-Rig, T-Buck and Big Beast have to really push the envelope to provide the neccessary increasing progression of disgusting inhumanity, which make me wonder if T-Buck really even has a T-bird.

I don't know why you were worried Dunn....They never once used the "C" word, Big Nick (the gentleman in the group) proudly raps about returning the oral favor, and it sounds like almost half of them use protection. I don't think any of them meant to sound aggressive or disrespectful to women, except Hollerman who obviously needs help.

If you know Colby and you just read this, then you have no doubt that if he and Nicole have a son one day he will be the second coming of Biggie. The world is holding its breath.


Not as Good as I Once Was

There was no Sunday posting of my NFL picks yesterday. Not because I was hiding after my shameful 1-4 college performance. No, there were no NFL picks yesterday because I was physically incapable of moving until somewhere around 6 P.M. last night. That's right, at one point yesterday I really had to take a piss but I decided to weigh the pros and cons of moving and ended up holding that piss for nearly one more hour so I only had to move off the couch when absolutely necessary. I was very proud of time and effort management. I'm guessing I don't have to tell you why I looked worse than Nick Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas" yesterday, but in case you haven't heard, my Yellow Jackets closed out one of the darkest weeks in Tech sports history with one of the brightest moments in that same history. Beating Miami in the Orange Bowl, on national T.V., after the week we had was simply unbelievable. I'm not going to try to break down the x's and o's or anything like that. Mainly because I was approximately 10 Beam and Cokes deep by the end of the third quarter, but also because I think there is a better way to tell you how big this win was, and here it goes. This win was so big that:

  • I hugged a random guy wearing a Tech hat in the bathroom at Central City Tavern.
  • I probably hugged Dave, Colby, Alec, and Hans in excess of 40 times total.
  • I ordered a round a purple hooter shooters. (Yes, I feel every bit as gay typing that as I did ordering it.)
  • Later in the night, I was taking shots of bourbon by myself.
  • The aforementioned cast of gentlemen and I decided to "turn back the clock" and go to our old college bar and celebrate. Luckily the owner still has fond memories of us and let us stay and drink long after closing. BAD IDEA!!!
  • At some point we thought it was a good idea to call our buddy with a pregnant wife and a 22 month old son to try to talk him in to driving into the city to celebrate with us at 1 A.M. What can I say? Seemed like a very reasonable idea at the time.
  • I had a conversation with a female bartender that went something like this:

Me: How old are you?

Her: 24.

Me: Is this your only job?

Her: Yep.

Me: Wow, that's too bad. I'm really sorry about that.

Her: Well, I used to be in law school, but I decided that's not what I wanted to do.

Me: Oh yea, where did you go to Law School?

Her: Well, I didn't actually go.

Me: Can I get some more bourbon?

  • For one night we were able to forget all the embarrassment of a week that had given us a contract extension for an unpopular coach, an A.D. publicly stating he doesn't think we can ever be a football power, an accused felon being forced to play for us, and the first NCAA probation in school history. By anyone's standards that is about as bad as a week can be, but those kids managed to put it all behind them and accomplish something that will be remembered forever by all Tech fans. In case you needed it, that's one more example why college football is the greatest and most special sport in the world.

So, even though yesterday was one of the most unproductive and physically painful days in my recent memory, it was worth it. It's like Toby Keith says, although yesterday was proof that I'm not as good as a I once was, on Saturday night I was as good once as I ever was.

Saturday, November 19, 2005 

Rivalry Saturday

I feel amazing this morning. Seriously, after 48 hours of experiencing stomach pains that undoubtedly would make labor seem like child's play, I woke up this morning feeling like a new man. Of course, I did come home from work yesterday at noon and stayed in bed continuously until 8 A.M. this morning. I want to send a shout out to the folks that make Immodium and Gatorade. You people are Gods among men. Well, enough of sharing too much information with ya'll, let's talk some football.

Today is a day of great rivalry games, Michigan/Ohio State, Auburn/Alabama, Oregon State/Oregon, Duke/Carolina. Okay, so Duke/Carolina doesn't count in football, but you get the point, as usual, it's a great day in college football full of great storylines. Probably the best storyline is JoePa and Penn State vying for their first outright Big Ten title since '94 and a trip to the BCS. Of all the great games today, here are my five favorites to add to my 11-7-1 record:

UNC -21 v. Duke
I know I just made fun of this game, but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to profit on it. At 4-5, Carolina is still dreaming of bowl eligibility. The Heels have been strong at home this season with wins over B.C., UVA, and Utah, and near misses against Wisconsin and Maryland. Look for them to play well, and look for Duke to play like Duke plays. Carolina should cover this spread with ease. I expect something like a 42-7 final score.

Ohio State -3 @ Michigan
None of the last 10 meetings in this series have been decided by 3 points or less. Therefore, if you think Ohio State is going to win, you shouldn't have any qualms about laying the field goal. OSU's two losses this year, a classic at home against Texas and an old fashioned defensive slugfest in Happy Valley, have come to two of the top 5 teams in the country. OSU comes into this game with five straight convincing victories, and they have scored 40+ point in four of them. Michigan has showed great resilience in saving their season on multiple occasions already. A win today could actually make this a relatively successful season for the Maze and Blue. However, to win the Wolverines will need big numbers from both Henne and Hart and I just don't think that's going to happen against A.J. Hawk and this Buckeye defense. Look for Ted Ginn, Jr. to make some memories today as the Buckeyes put the pressure on Penn State by posting a win in the Big House.

Alabama +7 @ Auburn
Okay, so Auburn is coming off a huge win and Alabama is coming off a devastating loss. Auburn is a complete football team with solid defense and an effective and balanced offense. Alabama makes the 2000 Ravens look like an offensive juggerknot. Auburn is at home in the wild confines of Jordan-Hare. Auburn is going to roll Alabama. Right? Wrong! This is the Iron Bowl, Alabama v. Auburn. If Alabama was playing any other team in America today I would expect them to still be reeling from last week's loss. This week, however, it just doesn't matter. None of the previous 10 games matter, this game defines the season for both these two teams. How much does this game matter? Well, nearly two decades ago, Bill Curry's Crimson Tide was 10-0 heading into this game and got beat by Auburn. Curry was fired after the Sugar Bowl. No game anywhere on Earth means more. The last four meetings have been decided by less than a touchdown with two of those meetings being decided by a single point. Look for much of the same today in Auburn.

South Carolina +3 v. Clemson
Spurrier getting points at home? Are you kidding? When are people going to learn? Take the Cocks on the money line. Yes, I may have a man crush on Steve Spurrier. Who are you to judge me?

Miami -17.5 v. Georgia Tech
Do you need to ask?

Friday, November 18, 2005 

Friday Morning Fun

It's been a relatively slow week in the world of sports, but a few interesting things have happened and have brought a few thoughts to mind:

  • Did you ever think you would see the day that Georgia Tech and Miami would line up against eachother and one team would be playing an accused felon and be on N.C.A.A. probation and it wouldn't be Miami? I can't tell you how proud I am!

  • Can you imagine the circus it's going to be today when T.O., Rosenhaus, Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb, the Eagles management, and a bunch of lawyers are actually in the same room? It's nice to see a situation where the lawyers won't be the most hated guys in the room.

  • It was really sad last night watching the Hawks' post game show when they finished going over the highlights and new color commentator Steve Smith actually said "I really liked a lot of things I saw tonight." 8 games into the season and we are already looking for the positives in a 9 point loss. I'm afraid the Hawks might not win 10 games. I really hope I'm wrong about this one.

  • Mike Vick was right when he said it's "imperative" that the Falcons beat the Bucs at home this weekend. You can poke a lot of holes in what the Birds have done so far this season, but a victory over the Bucs would go a long way in cementing our position as a contender in the NFC. Vick has also had some tough times in the past against the Bucs so this is a big showcase for him. It should be a real electric playoff type atmosphere at the Dome Sunday. It's almost enough to make me endure the sideline D.J. and the half time rap concert. Almost.

  • I was stunned the other night when I was watching ESPN's coverage of the Ruben Houston reinstatement to find out that ESPN2 college football commentator Rodney Gilmore is an attorney. I mean, if they are hiring attorneys for that job then maybe I've got a chance. Hell, if they hired Rodney Gilmore then most people I know should be a stone cold lock for that job!

  • I haven't seen last night's episode of "The O.C." so nobody should send me any emails today about it. I'm very serious about this.

  • I was watching CMT this morning before work and saw that Tim McGraw and Nelly video when two questions came to mind. First, do you think they actually hung out when they made that song or was it like DeNiro and Pacino in "Heat" when they filmed the diner scene separately and they spliced it together later? Second, is that the worst song of all time? Seriously, it's awful.

  • It's a nice touch that College Gameday is going to the Penn State/Michigan State game this weekend. Besides the folks in East Lansing, is there anybody in America that is not rooting for Joe Pa to make it to the BCS? Hell, Michigan State's season is a disaster, those folks are probably rooting for Joe Pa too.

  • Syracuse destroyed Texas Tech last night. How can kids that have been playing basketball their entire lives not figure out a 2-3 zone? Moreover, with a 19'9" three point line, how does Syracuse get away with playing a basic 2-3 zone? They have been doing it with enormous success for over 20 years now and I'm no less amazed every time I see it.

  • Finally, big ups and gigantic accolades to my boy, and loyal reader and commentor, Andy "Huge" Smith for passing the New York Bar Exam. That's no small accomplishment, especially for a Michigan grad. Go Blue!

Have a great Friday and check in tomorrow for the college picks. It's rivalry day and that should make for some interesting games.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 

The 7th Floor Crew

Believe it or not, I'm actually having to work for a living today, and don't think I'll be able to get away long enough to write anything of substance today. So, here's some links I think you will find interesting:
(this gets a 7 out of 10 on the Dunn comedy scale)
(Good to see "The U" has moved beyond its checkered past)
(Hell, who am I to judge Miami, we will actually have more felons on the field come Saturday!)
(here's the actual song. On second thought, maybe I can judge Miami! This is a Perfect 10 on the Dunn Comedy Scale. You must shut the door to your office, get right next to your computer, and listen to every word of this. Absolutely unbelievable. The best part comes around the 6:10 - 6:45 mark. Just as a warning, my female readers, to the extent there are any, might want to sit this one out. Don't say I didn't warn you!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 

Poll Question

It's an ugly Tuesday morning, the Hawks are abysmal, and there were no truly interesting developments in the sports world yesterday. Well, some people may consider Albert Pujols and the new steroid policy interesting, but I think Pujols was predictable and steroids ceased being interesting a long time ago. In fact, I wouldn't be upset if I never heard another conversation about the damn things. At any rate, I was contemplating what to discuss in today's entry when my buddy Phil and I started talking here at the office this morning. We had a conversation that contained references to Trev Alberts, Kijana Carter, and Ryan Leaf within minutes of each other! So I started thinking about the following question, and I am really interested to hear everybody chime in on this:

What great college player am I most surprised did not have a successful NFL career?

Mine is 1994 Heisman Trophy Winner Rashaan Salaam. He was a 6'1" 210 lb. truck that seemed like he would be a perfect fit with the Bears at the outset of the Wannstedt Era. Well, after a prolonged holdout, he put up good numbers as a rookie, but he was never embraced by the Bears or their fans. Finally, in his third season he broke his leg and he never came back. I would have bet anything this guy would have been a star. The lesson? Yes, I'm stupid.

So, let's hear 'em. Give me your most shockingly disappointing NFL player of all time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

The Lord Giveth and then He Taketh It Away...

So, I went to sleep last night with a huge smile on face after Roy Williams gave me one of the best covers in my extensive and ugly gambling career (Over 40). Then I woke up this morning, turned on the radio, stepped into the shower and heard the boys on 790 the Zone here in Atlanta talking about Chan Gailey's new contract extension! WHAT????? I immediately tried to fill my bathtub with water and drown myself, but I'm too big for the tub. So, I turned to plan B: total denial. I turned off my radio and convinced myself that I hadn't heard what I had heard. I ate my breakfast, read the paper and damn near skipped to the car. Once in the car, I carelessly didn't change the station from 790 and I heard the news again. At this point, I immediately tried to build up enough speed to run my car into a brick wall and take the wall and myself out at the same time. Unfortunately for me my car is a piece of shit and won't go above third gear. Finally, I regrouped, composed myself and made my way into the office. Now, I am staring aimlessly out my window at a cloudy and rainy day. Most days it's really tough being a Tech fan. On days like this, it's damn near impossible. The only good news is that I'm sure to get rich with all the college football coaches that will be paying me to write articles declaring they should be fired just so they can receive an extension the next day!

Monday, November 14, 2005 

Monday Musings

With a strong 3-0-1 performance yesterday, my NFL prognistications now stand at a respectable 7-6-1. Tonight's game features Dallas at Philly in an old time NFC East Showdown. With the other two members of the division falling on their faces yesterday, everything is up for grabs in the East. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from the Eagles after they've had a week to adjust to life without T.O. I still think they are a tough out at home, but I just don't feel comfortable laying three points to any one with the Eagles until they actually win a game without T.O. That, however, doesn't mean I like the Cowboys either. If this was just a regular Sunday afternoon game, I would lay off but it's Monday Night Football and gamblers from coast to coast are obligated to participate. Only because I'm obligated to play something here, I'm going to take the Over (40 points) and sitting back and cursing at the t.v. as one team wins 39-0.

There are a couple of big events happening today besides Monday Night Football that you should pay attention to:

1) The A.L. MVP award is being awarded today. Will it be A-rod or Big Papi? Boston or New York? Fraud of a human or lovable idiot? You know, a few weeks ago I actually cared about this and could have written 5,000 words on why Big Papi should win this award. Now, however, we are a month removed from the height of the drama and with Tom Brady leading another come back yesterday I would rather cut my leg off at the knee with a butter knife than hear one more thing about Boston. Deciding who gets the award should be this simple: if it goes to the best player in baseball then it goes to A-rod (and should every year that he plays the game), if it goes to the most valuable player then it should go to Big Papi. Either way I don't care.

2) Tonight at 7:30 on ESPN2 the college basketball season really gets underway when the top ranked Duke Blue Devils host Boston University at Cameron Indoor. Let's see how passionate those Boston fans are when BU is getting thumped by 55 in the second half. This year's Duke team is the best college basketball team I think I've seen since the Duke team that lost the 1999 national championship game to UConn when Coach K forgot Corey Maggette was on his bench. I'm pretty sure that is the only mistake Coack K has ever made. At any rate, if that 1999 Duke team and the 1991 UNLV team taught us anything it's that the best team doesn't always cut down the nets on the first Monday Night in April.

3) University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt will be hosting a seminar today in Athens where he will teach how to limit confusion on a sideline and not have all hell break loose when you score a touchdown and need a two point conversion. Okay, just kidding about the seminar, but did ya'll see this debacle? This was unbelievable. You are a top 10 team, you are playing at home, you score on a five yard run (not exactly on an unexpected 80-yard bomb or something), and you HAVE to go for two, and your coaches and players lose their compusure, get a delay of game penalty, and ultimately you lose the game. Completely inexplicable. You know, if UGA somehow loses to Kentucky this weekend then the Old Ball Coach would go to the SEC Title Game. Wouldn't everything just seem right in the world with Spurrier residing on top fo the SEC East? Even if it doesn't happen this year, I don't think we are going to have to wait much longer.

4) Starting at noon today, Georgia Tech will be accepting applications for a new head football coach. If only this were true then I could sleep at night. Coach Gailey sounds like a great guy, but I don't want him to coach my football team any more. If Chan Gailey had 0-11 talent he would win 6 or 7 games, if he had 11-0 talent he would win 6 0r 7 games. It's just who he is. It's nobody's fault, it is what it is. The only fault in the entire situation is with the folks that decided it wasn't worth pursuing Mike Stoops or any other legitimate head coaching candidate at the time. You can go back and change the past, but you can re-shape the future. It's like Andy says in Shawshank, you better "get busy living or get busy dying."

Much like Louis Lewis, the Georgia Tech football program is laying in a long, deep, and irreversible coma. It may take years for it to die but it's never getting any better under the current regime. It's time to man up, pull the trigger, and get off your ass and get out there and recruit a new coach and get busy living for God's sake. If the Tech administration feels the need to sell me, as an alumni, short by interviewing only J.V. candidates then they can leave their letter of resignation at the door too. I'd be more than happy to make the sales pitch to any coach in America. With the facilities, alumni money, and "cultural scene" of "The ATL", there is no reason we can't attract the best coaches and the best athletes to Tech. If you don't think that's possible then look at Virginia Tech and look me in the eye and tell me that it's easier to have these things in Blacksburg, VA than Atlanta, GA.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 

Big Money, Big Money, No Whammies...

Well, after yesterday's 2-2-1 performance, I'm looking to build on the hope of last week's 3-2 NFL performance. The NFL record stands at 4-6 overall, but the bus is pointed in the right direction and we're looking to drive that bad boy at full speed straight through the Super Bowl. Here's my favorite four of the day:

New England -3 @ Miami
Road Favorite Alert! I've tried everything to talk myself out of this one, but I think the Pats will be able to score too many points for the Dophins to keep up. The Dolphins are getting better under Nick Saban and the Pats, at 4-4, are worse than in the past. However, the defending Super Bowl Champs will be desperate to rebound from Monday Night's embarrassment and not to sink below .500. You have to bank on them being able to get a W here.

Denver -3 @ Oakland
Another road favorite? I know, you can take my "rules" crumple them up and throw them away. Denver is rolling and Jake Plummer is playing like an MVP. With the emergence of the two headed monster in the back field of Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson, the Raiders' defense will be helpless. Look for Denver to prevail in a good old fashioned AFC West shootout.

Carolina -9 v. N.Y. Jets
Everybody knows I thik Carolina is the best team in the NFC. Carolina is going to score at least 28 points. Do you think the Jets can muster 17 points on the road? Me niether. So, let's go against another one of my "rules" and lay more than a touchdown at home.

Washington +1 @ Tampa Bay
I'm on record as a Chris Simms supporter. However, the Skins' defense is disgusting and I fully expect Simms to throw two picks. If he throws two then one is sure to go back for a T.D.. Nobody seems to throw a "pick six" better than Simms. I don't see the Bucs being able to run the ball on the Skins' defense either. You've got two teams headed in different directions in this game and I see no reason that the Joe Gibbs resurgence takes a set back in Tampa.

Check back tomorrow for thoughts on the big Monday Night NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and the T.O. less Eagles. Also, I imagine I'll have something to say about the big win for the Old Ball Coach, the time management issues of Mark Richt, and the ineptitude of Georgia Tech in a big game.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 

For Information Purposes Only...

It's another beautiful day here in Dixie and the slate is full of huge college football clashes. I've got to start today's entry by thanking my buddy Robbie Fisher for taking over the reigns as "web designer" and helping spruce up the look of "Dunn's World." I imagine Robbie will be continually tweaking the look and set up of the site so if you have any suggestions just let him know. This has been a big week for Robbie. First, he and his wife Kelli found out their second child is going to be a beautiful little girl and then he took over these responsibilities on Dunn's World. I don't think it gets any bigger than that!

Enough slurping of Robbie, let's talk some football. While this hasn't been a banner year for the SEC, it does feature three enormous games today in LSU @ Alabama, Florida @ South Carolina, and Auburn @ Georgia. Did you ever think you would see the day that Auburn fans were rooting for Bama and Georgia fans were rooting for Spurrier? I make this next comment with hesitation because I don't want to start a riot, but it's days like this that make me a huge opponent of a college playoff system. Nearly 300,000 of the most passionate football fans in America are going to fill stadiums in Tuscaloosa, Athens, and Columbia today and pour every ounce of their emotion into these three games because the winners are still in the mix for a possible back to back trip to Atlanta in the SEC Title Game and this year's Sugar Bowl. If, instead, these teams were merely battling for seeding in a post season tournament then days like today would lose their luster and excitement. Bottom line, I think a playoff would cheapen the college football regular season and, at least in the South, there is nothing like the passion surrounding a college football regular season game. Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of a "plus one" game when necessary to settle the National Title, but I'm not in favor of anything that takes away from the spectacles that are going to take place in these three great Southern cities today.

Well, that little diatribe is sure to get me roasted by some, if not all, of my readers! Enough of the editorial, let's get onto today's picks. I went 4-1 last weekend to push my record in college games picked on "The World" to 9-5. I'm hoping to build on that record with these five games today:

Oklahoma -13.5 v. Texas A&M
A lot has changed since the Sooners' 77-0 beat down of A&M two years ago in Norman. If you remember, Stoops took a knee on the goal line with over four minutes left in that game! This isn't the same OU team that took the field that day. In the wake of their embarrassing loss to USC in last year's Orange Bowl, the Sooners were gutted by the draft and the departure of Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jason White and superstar wide receiver Mark Clayton. The loss of these two guys has been felt tremendously in Norman as the Sooners have struggled all season to develop an effective passing game. As a result, last year's All World freshman running back Adrian Peterson hasn't resembled the player we saw last year. So, its time to kick dirt on the Sooners right? Not so fast! Even with all their struggles and all the panic in Norman, the Sooners are still 5-3. The combined record of the three teams they have lost to is 26-2. Over the past several weeks, the offense has started to show signs and there is still a tremendous amount of pride in the Crimson and Cream. A&M, on the other hand, appears to be getting worse as the year goes along. They have been hammered the past two weekends by Iowa State and Texas Tech. I think the Sooners pull it all together in front of the home crowd today and give the faithful a taste of what to expect in '06. I'm expecting an old fashioned 31-7 Sooner beat down of the Aggies today. Boomer!

South Carolina +4 v. Florida
First of all, Florida's talent is 30 points better than South Carolina's. However, I don't have to tell you what is going on in this game. The Cocks have already become bowl eligible and accomplished the goal Spurrier set for them at the outset of the season. They will be loose, they will throw the entire playbook at the Gators, and Urban and his boys will fold under the pressure in a big way. Quite simply, I think you'd be an idiot to bet against Spurrier here. I expect the Cocks to win this game outright and I don't really expect it to be close.

Texas Tech -23.5 @ Oklahoma State
One of my favorite radio personalities is Mike Bell. He's here in Atlanta on 790 the Zone's morning drive show "Mayhem in the A.M." Mike always talks about the "good team over a bad team" rule. In other words, when you are certain that one team is a good team and the other team is a really bad team, lay the points no matter what. "Nough said. Tech could score 80 in this game.

Texas -33.5 v. Kansas
Texas is a machine. Kansas had a chance to beat Texas last year. They should have taken advantage of that opportunity because things will get ugly today in Joe Jemmelle Stadium as the Horns keep rolling to the Rose Bowl and Vince Young keeps making his case for the Heisman.

LSU -3 @ Bama
My buddy Rick is a Bama grad and my constant trashing of the Tide over the past few weeks has certainly put a strain on our relationship. I'm relieved to tell you Rick that there will be no need to talk about it after today because the Bayou Bengals are going to make my case for me. This game comes down to one thing: Bama can't score touchdowns and LSU, with Jamarcus Russell and Sklyer Greene, can and will. Also, I think Les Miles has finally found a coaching matchup where he's not completely out matched and overwhelmed. Look for the Tigers to win by two touchdowns.

Well, there you have it. Let's see how these play out and check back in tomorrow morning for my take on one of the worst weekends of NFL matchups in recent memory. Did you realize that only one game in the NFL this weekend features a matchup of two teams with winning records? That's gross. Well, more about that tomorrow. Happy wagering friends.

Friday, November 11, 2005 

Would You Dare?

My buddy Hans sent an email yesterday containing a link to an article in the Atlanta Journal (aka America's Worst Newspaper) hinting that the 6-2 defending NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons might be interested in bringing T.O. on board. In the article, Falcons quarterback, Ron Mexico (aka Mike Vick), seemed pretty lukewarm about the idea of T.O. and father of current Falcons coach, Jim Mora Sr. (I know he's not really a Sr. but how else can you distinguish them?) was quoted as saying that if the Falcons sign T.O. he would "disown his kid!" So, suffice it to say that I'm not convinced that T.O. in a Falcons jersey is even a remote possibility. However, if the arbitrator hearing his grievance next Friday rules that T.O.'s punishment was unwarranted and immediately deems him a free agent, I might stand on the 17th Street Bridge with a megaphone begging for T.O. to come to town.

Now, before you all think I've lost my mind, just hear me out for a second. First of all, I have no interest in seeing T.O. here next year. I'm talking about a Yankees' style "rent a player" move for the remainder of this season. If T.O.'s history proves anything its that he eventually wears out his welcome but it takes a while for him to start down that path. The Falcons are tied for first in the NFC South and have the most electrifying man in sports playing QB. As things stand, the Falcons have a tremendous opportunity to win the NFC and play in the 2nd Super Bowl in franchise history. Could you imagine if they added the most dominant receiver in the game for the stretch run? How many times have we bemoaned the fact that Mike Vick simply has no one to throw the ball to? Well, if you bring on a guy who has averaged over 1,000 yards receiving a season and over 10 T.D.'s a season, I think you've solved that problem and the NFC becomes the Falcons' to lose.

If you think about it, there is no better time to bring T.O. in the mix. Wherever T.O. ends up, whether it be this season or next, he MUST keep his mouth shut and not rock the boat if he ever wants any chance at a long term deal. Afterall, he's a ten year vet and not getting any younger. Father time is not an ally of T.O. at the moment. What better scenario could you imagine for T.O. than spending a few weeks in his hometown and helping lead the hometown team to the Super Bowl to rehabilitate his rep? Clearly, there are a lot of "what ifs" in my scenario. First and foremost, the arbitrator has to make T.O. immediately availability as of next Friday. If I were running the Falcons, however, I would make sure that I had a check ready to stroke on Friday night if he's available. I know it's a gamble, but I've never been one to shy away from a big wager!

I look forward to hearing everybody's thoughts on T.O. Also, don't forget to check in tomorrow to get my college football picks. It's a huge day in the SEC and a huge day for my Yellow Jackets. We'll see if we can build off the momentum of last Saturday's 4-1 performance.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 


I woke up this beautiful Fall morning, breathed in the fresh air, drank a Diet Mountain Dew, and got ready for work. Everything looked great, the day had promise and hope, and then I got to my car and it all came crashing down! Some (insert about 17 expletives right here) dude broke into my car last night. I don't think they took anything of value, but my buddy Phil here at work has me paranoid that they took my car registration, insurance information, and other documents that will allow them to steal my identity and plan an international terror plot under my identity! Okay, Phil just said "did you call your insurance company/" and I developed the irrational and gripping fear of the rest. At any rate, I'm too angry to write rationally about sports or anything else! I'm too angry to work, but unfortunately my boss sees this as more humorous than tragic so I will be working all day and into the night. If I'm lucky maybe I can get mugged in the parking deck at work tonight. Man, that would be tremendous. Even though they didn't steal my I-Pod or my Sidekick (largely because I don't own either one of these two items), I still feel dirty. Actually, I feel violated like a virgin with no self esteem on prom night. It's ugly, I'm a wreck right now. I'll be back tomorrow morning unless the international terrorist that broke into my car find me first.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Drew Rosenhaus is a Dick

I couldn't think of any other way to title today's entry. Honestly, I don't have much to say either. If you saw the unbelievable scene in T.O.'s driveway yesterday then you are probably as speechless as I am. Listen, I'm an attorney and I understand the notion of zealously representing the interest of your clients, but this guy has lost has damn mind. For him to stand up in front of God and the world and do all he could do to make T.O. look like the victim in this fiasco was not only disingenuous, it was repugnant. I must admit, Rosenhaus does crack me up. I do get enjoyment out of watching him scream and holler at reporters about how they have treated T.O. unfairly. All this is very comical. If, however, he for one minute expects anyone to take him seriously then he is deluding himself. Rosenhaus might actually be a bigger train wreck than T.O.

Dave Ball, in a comment to yesterday's entry, raised another issue that must be addressed. That is, what in the hell is this simulated press conference crap on Sports Center? I don't even know where to begin. What's the point? Why can't Steve Phillips just sit at a table with Karl Ravich and have him ask questions about these teams? I'm not only confused, but I'm offended. Does ESPN think that their average viewer is so stupid as to enjoy this? I'm actually horrified and embarrassed for Steve Phillips. I feel like I'm watching "Meet the Parents" (not the bullshit sequel "Meet the Fockers" with the President of the Hollywood chapter of liberals, Barbara Streisand) all over again because I was so embarrassed for Ben Stiller's character that I found myself unable to watch as every humiliating scene unfolded. That's how I feel watching these absurd "simulated press conferences." What's next? Tracy Morgan and the kid that plays Turtle in Entourage starring in the "simulated" T.O. press conference? Stop the pain NOW!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

Totally Random...

So, the Pats let me down last night and the Colts finally broke through. I actually think the Colts might be so good this year that Peyton Manning can't even screw it up. I guess we'll see. As I was sitting at home last night, watching the Pats defense resemble UCLA's defense (I can't believe I picked them to go to the national title game - I should be beaten mercilessly), a few random thoughts popped into my head and a few email exchanges this morning have given me even more random thoughts, so hear they are:

  • I just get the feeling that Al Michaels would not be very fun to hang out with. I mean, doesn't he just sound like he'd be a bad drunk? The best think about Madden is that I'm quite certain we already know what kind of drunk he is. Afterall, he couldn't have sat with Summerall in that booth for all those years and not gotten sauced. At some point the fumes off Summerall would have done the trick.

  • Peyton Manning is a great quarterback and I give him all the credit in the world, but I know two things to be true: 1) With all that walking around and audibling and fake audibling crap, he's the most annoying quarterback in the history of the NFL; 2) When the offensive line goes out to a bar to get canned after a big win, no way in the world do they invite Manning to come along.

  • Judging from emails I have gotten this morning I know I'm not alone on this one: I'm so sick and tired of Boston, Boston, Boston. You can't watch a sporting event involving a Boston team and not hear about how loyal and devout the Boston fans are. Its as if the commentators want us to believe Boston fans care more, sweat more, bleed more with their teams. Let me tell you something, I DON'T CARE! I do enough caring, sweating, and bleeding for my teams, I don't need to hear about Boston fans. Seriously, people overlook the fact that they don't support the Celtics because they suck, who cares if they support the Bruins because its a minor league sport, and I guarantee you that 80% of men in Boston couldn't tell you the starting quarterback for BC. My point, they are no better or worse than any other fans and I wish they would just go back into their pubs and drink themselves stupid for the next 86 years. Oh yea, don't forget your shinebox!

  • If Va. Tech wins out could they actually make the BCS without playing in their conference title game? With Notre Dame filling one at large, only one spot will be available and its not going to go to anyone from the Pac 10, Big 10, Big 12, or Big East. The only way I see the loser of the SEC title game getting an at large is if 'Bama goes undefeated and loses in the title game then they would probably be the at large team. I doubt that happens (see yesterday's post) so I think its going to be a $27 million pay day for the nation's strongest football conference, the ACC. I can hear all the SEC fans now, "It's a border war every weekend in the SEC." I don't care if its a family war every weekend, no conference containing Arkansas, Miss. State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vandy, and Kentucky can claim to be the best conference this year. In fact, I was talking to a buddy last night and told him that, in my opinion, this will be the first year in a long time that the SEC Champion probably won't be a "great" team. Granted, Bama or LSU may make me look dumber than UCLA did, but I just don't think there is any team in the SEC that is legitimately one of the best 5 teams in the country.

  • The Hawks home opener is tonight against the Lakers. I wanted to go, but guess what. That's right, tonight's home opener is sold out. Good for the Hawks. I must admit that in the wake of Jason Collier's death, I have a new found enthusiasm for the Hawks as they have all dedicated this season to Jason. Even without that extra motivation, I would be excited for this little homestand. We have three games this week at home. If we could take two out of three and start to make up for our 0-3 west coast swing to start the season, some folks might to start to take interest and build a little enthusiasm around this ball club. If, however, they play like crap on this homestand, then look for much of the same old same old. By the same old same old I mean the Hawks playing home games in front of a few friends and family.

  • I was reading in US Weekly that Britney and her trailer trash husband are having problems in the wake of the birth of their baby. Tell me where does this rank on the shocking scale? I'm saying its somewhere between a WNBA star being gay and Fisher DeBerry's revelation that black athletes are faster than white athletes. In other words, truly shocking news. And yes, I read US Weekly, but only on airplanes. Okay, that's not true, I read it every week. I'm addicted.

  • Where can I get Carolina Panthers season tickets? Screw the game, put me in front of the cheerleaders where the real action is.

Monday, November 07, 2005 

Pats On the Money Line...

That's what I've decided on. Screw it. Until Peyton Manning proves he can get it done in Foxboro I'm going to bet against him. My gut tells me the Colts are going to win a squeaker so I'm going to make the money line bet a little smaller than the Pats +4.5. Should give us something good to talk about tomorrow either way.


All My Rowdy Friends...

After going 4-1 on Saturday and 3-1 yesterday, I can't wait for tonight's showdown in Foxboro. I want the Pats to win this game for so many reasons, but I just don't know if it's possible this time around. That being said, I'm not ready to decide which way I am leaning tonight. At the moment the World Champs are getting 4 points at home, but I just can't decide if this is going to be a classic Pats big game performance or if Peyton and the Colts are finally going to break through. I need to hear ya'll think to help me decide. Fire away with your comments and let me know how you think things are going to play out.

Also, I want to hear some thoughts about Miami jumping Alabama in the AP Poll. I know some die hard SEC fans think that everybody is out to get them, but at the end of the day I think it comes down to honesty! That's right, raise your hand if you honestly think Alabama is a better team than Miami. If you have your hand in the air then you are a liar! Seriously, forgive me if I'm not impressed with road wins at Ole Miss and Miss. State. Further forgive me if I'm no longer impressed with your big win over Florida after having seen the Gators' "J.V., Mountain West, Bullshit" offense in person. For the love of God, Florida almost went down to Vandy at home Saturday night. Again, Miami jumping Alabama is about voters being honest with themselves and ranking the better team higher. Miami's beat down of Va. Tech in Blacksburg was more impressive unto itself than all 9 of Bama's wins combined. And another thing, Bama plays three (3) games outside the state of Alabama this year and two of those are next door in Mississippi! How is that possible? How does a major University get away with having 7 home games and playing an entire season with essentially no significant travel? Ridiculous. Lastly, of Miami's 8 opponents, 5 have winning records and 1 is at .500. Of Alabama's 9 opponents, 6 have losing records. At the end of the day I just don't think this is a close question at all. Miami should get the nod over 'Bama 7 days a week and twice on Sunday because they are a better football team.

Sunday, November 06, 2005 

Turning the Bus Around

After a strong 4-1 performance yesterday, my record on college games posted on "the World" is 9-5. However, my NFL record stands at a paltry 1-4. Do ya'll feel that? That's right, we are making a U-turn, I'm turning the NFL bus around and I'm breaking some of my rules to do it. I told you just two weeks ago that I avoid road favorites at all cost in the NFL, but today is a MAJOR exception. There are some road dogs I just can lay off. Here are four winners for today:

Cincy -3 @ Baltimore
The Ravens played well at Pittsburgh on Monday night. Cincy fell on their face two weeks ago in a showcase game against those same Steelers. What does that add up to? That's right, the Bengals will roll at Baltimore today. This isn't the Ravens D we've grown accustomed to and this Bengals offense will just put up too many points for the Ravens to keep up. I'm looking for a 27-14 convincing win for the Bengals.

San Diego -6.5 @ N.Y. Jets
Not only am I betting a road favorite, but I'm also betting on a team that is making the dreaded cross country trip. Why? Because at the end of the day I think San Diego is one of the elite teams in the AFC and the Jets are as far from elite as you can be. Sometimes you just have to throw the rules out the window and take the better team.

Atlanta -2 @ Miami
The Falcons are coming off a buy week where they hopefully came up with some answers to their deplorable passing game. Even if they didn't, they shouldn't have to throw the ball to win this one. The Falcons' biggest liability is their secondary and the Dolphins aren't equipped to exploit this. It won't be pretty in South Florida, but the Falcons should walk away with a tough, low scoring win.

Carolina -1 @ Tampa
First, let me say that I think Chris Simms has a chance to become a very good quarterback for the Bucs. As usual, he caught all sorts of unwarranted crap after their loss to the Niners last weekend. Simms had more than decent numbers and played well enough to win last week. For some reason, people simply love to pile on this kid. At times I think that his Father and I might be the only two people in the country that would like to see this kid succeed. Seriously, 21-34 for 264 yards with 1 T.D. and 2 picks certainly isn't a Hall of Fame performance, but it also isn't nearly as bad as people made it out to be. I genuinely hope people give this kid a chance to succeed and don't simply make him a scape goat. All that being said, I thought the Panthers were going to be the best team in the NFC to start the season and I think they are finally starting to become that team. Look for Steve Smith to make some big plays and the Panthers to get a big road win.

So, there you go. Four road dogs to turn the NFL bus around. We'll see how these play out, and I'll be back tomorrow to give my thoughts on the big Monday Night clash in Foxboro.

Saturday, November 05, 2005 

For Information Purposes Only...

It's a Saturday morning in November in the South. Yes, it's still going to be 75 degrees and not resemble football weather in any way. However, they are still going to play the games. In other words, it's time to drink a little bourbon and make a few wagers. For what it's worth, here are my five favorite games of the day.

Texas -29 @ Baylor

With Va. Tech looming in the BCS rankings and hosting fifth ranked Miami tonight, it's essential that Texas do everything in its power to impress the human voters and keep the Hokies at bay. Not to mention that everytime Vince Young steps on the field he must cease the opportunity to impress the Heisman voters. All this adds up to one thing for the improving Baylor Bears...pain. It certainly wont be the first massacre in Waco, but it will be ugly.

South Carolina +4.5 @ Arkansas

Arkansas is traditionally very tough to beat at home. However, this isn't your traditional Arkansas team. They are starting a freshman quarterback today and Spurrier's boys are riding high after a huge win in Knoxville. A win today makes the Gamecocks bowl elligible. I love South Carolina getting the points and I would take a long hard look at them on the money line. As a side note, I bet my buddy Zach last weekend $100 last weekend that Spurrier would win the SEC East at some point in his tenure at S. Carolina. Zach said that he would never do it because he would have to beat at least two of the big three in the East. Guess what folks, the Gamecocks were a missed two point conversion away from O.T. in Athens, they beat the Vols in Knoxville, and I guarantee you the Gators are a little nervous about their pending trip to Columbia. In other words, Spurrier is not that far away from winning the East with poor talent. Just wait until he gets a few players.

Notre Dame -9 vs. Tennessee

Notre Dame can score a ton of points on anybody. Tennessee is realing. They have no idea what to do a quarterback, there running game has been riddled with injuries, and they have the great pumpkin calling plays. Many people may think that the Vols will rally after an embarassing home loss to the Cocks last weekend. I don't think so. In fact, I think the folks sitting the first couple of rows at N.D. Stadium need to be careful or else they might get hit by the wheels that officially come flying off the Vols today. Notre Dame is going to cement their place in the BCS in a big way today.

Wisconsin +12 @ Penn State

Nobody is happier about the success that Joe Pa has had this year than I am. I think he is a shining example of what a football coach can and should mean to a University. That being said, I don't think they are 12 points better than Wisconsin. I love Brian Calhoun and what he brings to the table. I've said it before and I'll say it again right now, if you haven't had a chance to watch this kid run the football then you should sit down and watch this game today, you will not be disappointed. I just get the feeling that this is going to be an old fashioned slug fest and the outcome is going to be very much in doubt as the sun sets in Happy Valley.

Miami +6.5 @ Va. Tech

Va. Tech has won 7 of the last 10. Va. Tech's defense is as fast as you will ever see. Miami's offensive line has shown that it's not afraid to give up a ton of sacks. All signs point to a big Va. Tech win. That being said, I just don't think these Canes get blown out by anybody. Just too much talent on both sides of the ball. I think Va. Tech will pull this one out in front of the faithful at Lane Stadium, but I think it's going to be one we are talking about for a while.

Happy Gambling boys and girls.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 

Somebody Save Me...

I'm stuck in an all day meeting in the doldrums of Florida, but I care enough about my blog to sneak onto a total stranger's computer to make a post just to pose a topic for ya'll to discuss in my absence. Unfortunately, I've got nothing! That being said, I've got to go back to this meeting before I wake up too much. Ya'll make fun of me or something and I'll be back tomorrow with my Friday morning musings.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 

"The Great Weis Hope"

This is the name that columnist Jason Whitlock has bestowed upon Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis. Whitlock, in an article published yesterday, expressed his belief that Notre Dame's granting of a 10 year extension to Weis after 7 games is a product of racism. To support his contention, Whitlock points out that former coach and African American Ty Willingham started out 8-0 in his first season in South Bend against better competition and the Irish didn't give him a similar extension. In fact, Whitlock goes as far as to say:

"You have to be impressed with Notre Dame's arrogance.
Critics be damned! You might think the firing of Ty Willie was racist. That was nothing. Wait until you see how we treat his successor."

On its face, Whitlock's theory appears to have some teeth. The fatal flaw in his argument, however, is that he dismisses Notre Dame's desire to increase Weis's buyout as a means to protect itself from NFL suitors of Weis. Whitlock contends that if the NFL comes calling there is no amount of money that Notre Dame could build into Weis's contract to keep them at bay. This may be true, but Whitlock fails to understand is that increasing Weis's buyout is not meant to be a deterrent to NFL teams, but rather a measure to protect the University financially if Weis jumps back to the NFL. If Weis jumps back to the NFL why shouldn't Notre Dame receive $3 million instead of $1.5 million? This only seems to make good business sense to me. If you take a step back and consider the fact that Weis has three Super Bowl rings and years of experience under Parcells and Belicheck and couple this with his glowing offensive success at Notre Dame, it appears inevitable that the NFL is going to come calling. In fact, some NFL team (i.e. Houston or St. Louis) very well may throw loads of money at him this offseason. Therefore, if Notre Dame has a chance to limit its downside financially, they would be silly not to do it. At no point in Willingham's first season, or at any point in his three year tenure with the Irish, did they have reason to fear such NFL suitors of their coach.

Another thing Whitlock appears to overlook is the intangibles Weis has brought to the table. Yes, Willingham did start 8-0, but his style of play and his personality didn't seem to energize the Notre Dame student body and alumni the way Weis has. Weis is a Notre Dame alum and has embraced every aspect of the Notre Dame tradition. He has MC'd the pep rally against Michigan State and he was responsible for many legendary Irish players showing up for the USC pep rally. Furthermore, Weis's Irish very well may be the most entertaining team to watch this side of Los Angeles. Charlie Weis has truly woken up the echoes on and off the field. Anybody who watched the USC game can't deny this. You could feel the energy and excitement at that stadium through the television. It was truly something special.

Finally, I'm not so naive as to believe that racism doesn't still exists in this great country. I simply don't see it in this situation. I only see an athletic department and a University administration doing the responsible thing of protecting their financial interests either in the near or distant future. I don't see any way you can spin that as racists no matter how hard Jason Whitlock tries.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 

Help Wanted

Two very desirable jobs came open yesterday when Theo Epstein resigned as GM of the Red Sox and Randy Sanders resigned as offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Volunteers. The latter of these two resignations has been a long time coming and certainly took no one by surprise. Frankly, it's flabbergasting that Sanders has kept his job as long as he has. The Casey Clausen era at UT was notable only for its offensive ineptitude and the past two years of quarterback indecision and the underachievement of running backs such as Cedric Houston and Gerald Riggs has been no less than astonishing. There is no excuse for a program with as much athleticism and speed on the offensive side of the ball as Tennessee possesses to be inept on offense. Fat Phil Fulmer (a.k.a. The Pumpkin) will assume the play calling duties for the rest of the year just in time for big clashes with Vandy, Kentucky, and Memphis. Way to step up and take one for the team Fulmer. Notice that he didn't make this bold move when defenses such as Alabama and Georgia were looming on the schedule. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not much of a fan of Fat Phil.

Enough about the most inevitable resignation since Scooter Libby. Let's talk for a second about Theo Epstein's departure from Boston. First of all, could anyone have EVER imagined this was possible just a year ago? I mean, you could argue that Theo was a bigger star than any one player on the '04 Sox. He had the world in the palm of his hands and could have had every woman in Boston in the pleats of his pants. I've heard Peter Gammons talking on SportsCenter about Theo's desire to shy away from the spotlight and how he had never hoped for all the attention, and how Theo is planning on working as a social worker with his brother, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH..... I'm not buying any of it. Here's the deal. First, Theo got pissed that they made him sweat his deal. Second, Theo made a brilliant financial decision because he sees the potential decline of the Sox in the near future. If he takes 4.5 mill over three years now and the Sox fall off in the next three years then he won't be able to command an equal deal in three years. If, however, he walks away now, before the decline, while his star is at its brightest, he very well may be able to bank a longer term contract at more money from a borderline desperate franchise. At the end of the day I think this is going to pay off in Spades for Theo. In fact, I think I hear the Dodgers on the phone for him right now.

Weekly Top 7

All-Time Top 7 Sports Movies

7) Kingpin - "The world can really kick your ass. I only have a vague recollection of when it wasn't kickin' mine" - Roy Munson

6) Caddyshack - "Don't sell yourself short Judge. You're a tremendous slouch." - Ty Webb

5) Major League - "Want me to drag him outta here, kick the shit out of him?" - Rick Vaugh

4) Eight Men Out - "Say it ain't so Joe. Say it ain't so." - Pee Wee

3) Rocky - "If I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood." - Rocky Balboa

2) The Natural - "I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book." - Roy Hobbs


1) Hoosiers - "My team's on the floor!" - Coach Dale


Getting this Laker team into the playoffs is the best coaching job Phil has ever done. Now he can list "The WAD" Man of the Week right next to his 9 rings on his list of accomplishments. Is there any reason for him to keep going?

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