Standing on top of my soapbox...
Thank, you Chiefs!! You saved me from going 0-4 last week. Whew-I’m ducking the Mendoza line like Mayweather is ducking Pacquiao. I hope y’all stayed away from the big lines because they were brutal!! Before I get to this week’s picks, I have a bone to pick with the team hosting this year’s Super Bowl.
I’m turning my venom on you, Colts, for obviously not showing up week in and week out! You can’t use Peyton Manning’s injury as a crux for your losses. Look in the mirror and be accountable for the team’s failures. Let me introduce you to a team that played their asses off after their captain abruptly retired at the beginning of their season 20 years ago. Who is this team and why hasn’t ESPN done a “30 for 30” Special on them?!! Your guess is as good as mine. This team is none other than the 1991-1992 Los Angeles Lakers!
Twenty years to the date this upcoming Monday, November 7th, was one of the saddest days of my childhood. Magic Johnson, my childhood hero next to Hulk Hogan, announced that he had contacted the HIV virus thus needed to retire from the sport of basketball. I vividly remember Gus Pubill's dad telling us that afternoon about the unfortunate news and couldn’t sleep the entire night. The team expectations, coming off a Finals appearance, drastically changed as their floor general would no longer be there. They went from being a Finals favorite to a lottery-pick team. What happened to the Lakers that season? They went to the playoffs as an 8th seed!! An 8th seed, Colts!! This from a team that lost their point guard, their lost floor leader, lost SHOWTIME!!
Curtis Painter, do you think Sedale Threatt would have run the Laker’s game plan lackadaisically?! Oh no, my friend! By the end of the year, Chick Hearn had amorously nicknamed Sedale as “The Thief”. The 6’2” (what really, he looked smaller than that on TV) guard was known to pick-pocket the opposing team’s PG. The Thief went “balls to the wall” by shooting 3’s and driving down the lane. He had a knack, something you obviously don’t have, for controlling the situation especially in road games.
Reggie Wayne, do you think James Worthy would have let HIS team be a lottery-pick team?! No way, Jose! The Colts are YOUR team now and it’s up to you to rally them. Shit, man, light a fire up their ass because you guys are pathetic to watch, let alone root for.
Joseph Addai, do you think Byron Scott would have let himself be injury-ridden?! Never, bro! Quit your aching and get on the eff’in field and play- PLAY HARD!!!
Dwight Freeney, do you think the pride of Yugoslavia, Vlade Divac, would have let his team down by not manning the Laker D?! Come on!!! Vlade used his European antics to get calls his way. Don’t let his natural charisma fool you! Vlade intimidated everyone by smoking a pack of smokes before the game and in fact, smoked during halftime. You think I would want todrive the lane with a bearded smoker like that? Fun fact: Vlade’s first English speaking words were, “Yabba Dabba Doo.” Thanks to Inside Stuff for televising that report 20 years ago.
Lastly, Jim Caldwell, do you think second year coach, Mike Dunleavy, would have played the “Woe It’s Us” card”?! Never in a million years!! He coached the Lakers after Pat Riley left the team. With all due respect, that was a harder task than you replacing Tony Dungy! I’m still waiting for you to put your signature on this team. Time is running out, Jim.
Now that I’ve gotten it off my chest, let’s go to a condensed Week 9 picks. This week’s theme is Redemption. So if you hear Bob Marley’s, Redemption Song, on Sunday, then my picks are boding well:
Last Week: 1-3
TAMPA BAY at NEW ORLEANS (-8.5): The Bucs are 7-1 when LeGarrette Blount has 18 or more carries. He’s had a full week of practice and he’ll be the every-down back. I believe he’ll have an impact on Sunday. If the Bucs win, they sweep the season series against the Saints and that will be HUGE come playoff-seeding time. Somehow, New Orleans hasn’t been the same since Sean Payton went to the press box. Had the line been smaller, I would have taken New Orleans. Ricky, I like the Bucs this week. They start singing Bob halfway through the 4th quarter. TSS PICKS: TAMPA BAY
NY JETS at BUFFALO (-1): The Bills will be wearing their retro all-white uniforms. They will also be commemorating their Super Bowl teams. Do you think Buffalo won’t be geared up for this game?! You betta believe it, baby!! Should the Jets lose, I think they’ll be done for the year. Fred Jackson’s gonna destroy the Jets’ defense. TSS PICKS: BUFFALO
SAN FRANCISCO (-4) at WASHINGTON: I’ve officially transferred all my Week 2 Washington shares to San Francisco. My sleeves are rolled up and I yelling at the top of my lungs telling everyone to “Sell, sell, sell!!” a la Jim Cramer. Efrain fun bet: House pays 3-to-1 odds that Washington doesn’t score in this game either. TSS PICKS: SAN FRANCISCO
MIAMI at KANSAS CITY (-4.5): I was going to wait until next week to do a Miami pick but this one is way too good to pass up. Andy Goldenberg, body double of Adam Sandler in Jack in Jill, this one’s for you: Miami will barely…(wait for it)…Miami will barely (this is harder than I thought)…ok, one more time…Miami will barely lose BUT COVERS!!! That’s what Andy wishes for and that’s what I think will happen!! TSS UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK: MIAMI
SEATTLE at DALLAS (-12): What the hell happened to the Cowboys last week?! Oh yeah, they ran into the Eagles!! Before last week’s game, I told Ef, a lifelong Cowboys fan, that Andy Reid was 12-0 coming off a bye. The Cowboys will be looking to rebound from their disappointing outing last Sunday. The Seahawks are 1-3 on the road this year with their lone win coming against the Giants. Come on Cowboys, represent the NFC East! They’ll sing Bob on Sunday. TSS PICKS: DALLAS
GREEN BAY (-5.5) at SAN DIEGO: San Diego, I’ve figured you out! You guys are a second half team! Yes, people say that all the time but for all you naysayers and for my readers, who think I’m pulling this out of my ass, since 2007, San Diego is 27-7 from Week 9 through Week 17. I was befuddled and almost dropped my coffee in my lap when I computed those numbers. If there was a chance of Green Bay stumbling, then this is it. History doesn’t lie. This will be San Diego’s rebound game as well. They’ll be singing Bob on Sunday. TSS PICKS: SAN DIEGO
In closing, Hollywood executives, I strongly plead you to bring back more sitcoms. As addicting as some of today’s reality shows are, I find myself feeling empty after watching them. What’s even worse, children are growing up to emulate and/or admire these faux stars. Hollywood loves remakes so I ask you, “Can we go back to the days of Winnie Cooper, Kelly Kapowski, Jaime Powell and Mallory Keaton?!” I think I speak for America on this one, “We're tired of seeing that media whore and her family on television!! “
Stepping down from my soapbox singing “Redemption Song”