Friday, December 30, 2011

The Friend's Picks

Standing on my soapbox…

What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm,I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.

If that didn’t conjure memories of watching The Wonder Years on Tuesday night, then I don’t know what will.

After going 5-0, YES 5-0, in Week 15, the long-awaited friend’s picks blog is here! Yippee!!  My group of friends are ready so let’s go to the games…

Week 15: 5-0
Overall: 32-27

WASHINGTON at PHILADELPHIA (-9):  I’ve known Chris Foster for more than a decade.  We go back to the days of working at Sportmart.  After closing hours, we’d play HORSE on one of the basketball hoops set up at the store.  At $5 a game, the games were competitive.  He and I have been colleagues for years but more importantly we’ve been friends for more than a decade.  He likes Philadelphia for one reason…LeSEAN McCOY.  CHRIS FOSTER PICKS: PHILADELPHIA

SAN FRANCISCO (-10.5) at ST. LOUIS:  Seth Martin, director of the cult-classic, Die-ner! Get it!, is a trust-worthy source for gaming purposes.  He’s known to play online poker and knows his way around an NFL sportsbook.  I’ve been friends with Seth for many years now.  We’re both in the same Fantasy Football league and were teammates on the infamous flag football team, K-Town.  I can still hear him yell, Danny, que papas! -meaning we were blitzing and yours truly was going to blitz.  SETH MARTIN PICKS: SAN FRANCISCO

DALLAS at NY GIANTS (-3): A belated Happy Birthday to Andrew Bressler, P.A.!!  New York readers, especially my NY female readers, if you see Andrew, wish him a happy b-day.  Andrew and I have many stories but there was an experience with him that helped me out tremendously.  Last year in April, my live-in girlfriend and I were having relationship problems, to say the least.  During a round of golf, Andrew opened up about his problems with his live-in girlfriend.  We both were experiencing the same problems and were in the same state of mind.  Though our relationships with our girlfriends ended, it felt good that someone was able to relate to my relationship problems.  Thank you, Andrew.  I’ll always remember that talk.  Our beloved Iggles will be back in 2012!! ANDREW BRESSLER PICKS:  NY GIANTS

TENNESSEE (-3) at HOUSTON: This whole year, I’ve touted Tennessee as the Paul Giamatti’s of the NFL.  You don’t know how good Giamatti is as an actor until you see one of his movies.  As soon as the movie ends, you tell yourself you need to watch more of his flicks.  Angel Fajardo is a very talented actor.  You might have seen him in an episode of The Sopranos or Southland, or in a play such as Much to Do about Nothing or Alice in Wonderland.  He’s a hell of a cousin to boot.  Hollywood, take note of Angel Fajardo.  ANGEL FAJARDO PICKS: TENNESSEE

BALTIMORE (-2.5) at CINCINNATI:  What would be a friend’s picks blog without representation from my Jewish brethren?! Not a true blog!  Though Jewish, Dan Everakes , aka the Heebs, is more in touch with the Latino culture than most of his Latino friends.  He’s a die-hard Raider fan, lives in the greater San Fernando Valley, and wears USA socks.  Watching an NFL game with him is beyond fun.  From frustrating bellows to euphoric yells, the Heebs is a roller coaster of emotions on game day.  I raise my Manischewitz to you, Heebs!  DAN EVERAKES PICKS: BALTIMORE

PITTSBURGH (-8.5) at CLEVELAND: My ambassador of horse racing, Kara Cahill, is also a trusty source for NFL games. If I ever need help with horse racing bets, I look to Kara for advice.  CA readers, follow her advice and play at Hollywood Park.  Santa Anita’s handling of the horses is suspect.  Whenever the Eagles and the NY Giants face each other, she and I go back and forth with texts about the game.  Her beloved Giants had her on the brink last week but were able to position themselves to win the NFC East this week.  Kara, the Maragaritaville is calling us!  KARA CAHILL PICKS: CLEVELAND

INDIANAPOLIS (-4) at JACKSONVILLE:  Ef and I have been through a lot.  High school buddies turned roommates to now really good friends, I see him as my sound of reasoning.  Whether I have family problems, need advice on women, or advice on my career, Ef has given me sound advice throughout the years.  If you ever want to take a Vegas trip, make sure Ef is one of the people invited.  I’d like to take credit for breakfast burrito/mimosa trend but that was all Ef’s doing.  He and I could conjure up memories of our adventures until the cows came home.   EFRAIN GUTIERREZ PICKS: INDIANAPOLIS

NY JETS at MIAMI (-1): The first time I met Fernando, I thought he was a classmate’s brother.  It was the summer of our incoming freshman year in high school and there was this tall guy with a full goatee;  I mean that goatee was thick. “No way a freshman could grow that goatee”, I thought.  It turned out that Fernando was a freshman too and we’ve been friends ever since.  Our friendship has endured the test of time and distance as he is an accomplish lawyer in Washington D.C.  I’d like to think that I had a hand with his first date with his wife, but that’s for another day, maybe over a stogie or a Boddington’s.  When in Washington D.C., the Obama’s hospitality doesn’t come to close to Fernando and Claire’s hospitality.  Congrats again to you and Claire, Fernando.  FERNANDO AMARILLAS PICKS:  NY JETS

BUFFALO at NEW ENGLAND (-12.5):  This game was toss up for Jorge Mendoza.  He was a casual fan of Buffalo and practices in Boston.  I’d like to think that Jorge and I are peas in a pod in the personality department.  I met Jorge in high school through Ef and we became buds.  We both are first-generation Salvadoran-Americans so we relate to each other’s upbringing.  It was truly evident the day I found out Jorge grew up listening to Salvadoran oldies, English-speaking songs covered by Salvadoran bands in Spanish!  Among the favorites were the Spanish versions of Don’t Let Me Down, Under the Boardwalk, and You Made Me So Very Happy.  Do you remember earlier this year when I recommended everyone to have an Ivy League friend? Well, Jorge is that friend to me.  JORGE MENDOZA PICKS: NEW ENGLAND

SAN DIEGO at OAKLAND (-3):  Like a good woman, a good friend is hard to find.  Jimmy Guidish is that good friend to me.  We’ve both dealt with family tragedies and our friendship has grown tighter due it.  He’s an honest guy who speaks his mind and lets you know it.  He’s a talented sketch comedy actor, who has a knack for portraying his friends and/or family on stage.  He’s one part of the sketch comedy group, Freedom Snatch, that holds the record for most consecutive wins in the battle cage matches at the Improve Olympic west.  A die-hard Bears and Bulls fan, Jimmy’s turn in Hollywood is due.  Hollywood, don’t fall asleep on Jimmy.  JIMMY GUIDISH PICKS: OAKLAND

KANSAS CITY at DENVER (-3.5): If there was ever a guy who was against point spreads, then Alex Aguilar would be that guy.  His reasoning is: “If you believe in your team, why should you get points?” I stopped seeing him as my cousin and started seeing him as my brother decades ago.   The Patriots were his team years before Tom Brady took the helm!  Can you find me another Patriots fan pre-Brady era?  I’ve lost many a bet to him and his love of the Patriots.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get married, but I do know that Alex will be my best man!  ALEX AGUILAR PICKS: DENVER

In closing, these are my friends who gave me advice, complemented me, constructively-criticized me and gave me the inspiration to write this year’s blog.  I want to thank you, readers, for giving my blog the time of day in your life. If I entertained you for at least a moment, then writing my blogs were all the more worthwhile.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Stepping down from my soapbox…

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