Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is this the end of Spurcia?

Last night, playing at Auburn, the Gamecocks did what they do so often, they tore out their fans' hearts and stomped that sucker flat. To say that it was a disappointing loss would be an understatement. The 'Cocks had every opportunity to put the game away, but literally bobbled and fumbled those chances away.

Whether it was the lost chance of simply falling on a fumble instead of trying, and failing, to pick it up or whether it was Stephen Garcia putting the ball on the carpet twice, Carolina had its chances and just couldn't capitalize on them.

But fumbles aren't what's the real story to this game. The real story concerns two things. First, SC's inability to stop that QB-option, inside-zone read. Two weeks after taking shots at Georgia for not being able to stop the same play over and over again, Karma came up and took a big old bite out of the Ole Ballcoach's ass. It was disheartening to watch Ellis Johnson's inability to stop Newton. But in all candor, Newton is pretty special player. There were plenty of times when the Carolina players actually got to the right spot, they just couldn't bring Newton's ass down. Plus, another major factor was that the Defense was plum wore out. They were on the field a LONG time. If we want to make sure this doesn't happen, the key is being able to have an offense that can go on long methodical drives.

That brings us to the second thing we learned last night: as long as Stephen Garcia is the QB, Carolina is limited in how good they can be. Last night was a microcosm of the good and bad of Stephen Garcia. Garcia had what could be considered his best game of the season last night. But the telling part of that equation is that part of his best game was the fact that he put the ball on the ground twice and both fumbles cost the Gamecocks dearly.

Listen, we all know Garcia is tough. He will lower his head and fight for yards as good as any QB in the country. And he has some ability to move around, stay up and make things happen. But Garcia's failing, and what he costs SC when he is in as QB, is that outside of those two things, Garcia CAN NOT operate this offense.

We honestly believe Spurrier didn't yank Garcia because of the fumbles. That first fumble was just a perfect, hard hit. Garcia escaped a jailbreak rush to pick up some positive yards, only to have an Auburn player hit him just right to cause the ball to pop out.

The second fumble, it wasn't the fumble that pissed Spurrier off. It was that on a tough 3rd and 8, Spurrier called the right play and Garcia didn't pull the trigger in time. If Garcia trusts the offense, he throws that out route BEFORE the WR breaks and the ball is right there for the 1st down. Instead, Garcia holds the ball, waiting to see the guy come open. The problem with that, is by the time the guy looks open, it's too late.

That...ladies and gentlemen is what pisses off the ballcoach and rightfully so. Spurrier has not always been "ON" with his playcalling during his stint at SC. But last night he was on. And what he can't stand, more than turnovers, is his QB not executing his plays. Dammit...he knows what to call, just execute the shit.

It has been no secret that Spurrier loves Connor Shaw. Insiders have documented how much Spurrier has been raving about Shaw's grasp of the offense, quick decision making and quick release since the Spring. Those are all the things a QB has to have to operate Spurrier's passing game. On top of all that, Shaw is a better runner than Garcia.

You saw all that last night. Yes, Shaw's first int was all on him. He thought that small pump fake and brief look to the right was gonna pull that safety over enough so that he could drop in over the middle to DeMarco. And he was wrong. But that's the type of mistake a young QB is gonna make. We honestly believe Spurrier is ok with those types of mistakes. That's Shaw failing to execute (by failing to look off the safety), but trusting the offense. What Spurrier can't abide is a QB who can't execute and doesn't have faith in the plays.

But the most telling thing Shaw has over Garcia right now, is that Spurrier trusts Shaw. Spurrier does not trust Garcia. It's evident in the body language on the sidelines. After that second fumble, Spurrier was over there talking to Garcia and all Garcia is doing is looking off into the distance. It's no secret that the USC coaches were all disappointed in Garcia's preparation and commitment this offseason. You combine that with the way he doesn't seem to take any coaching on the sidelines and it's obvious there's a problem.

Shaw is coach's son. He's been getting coached his whole life. That last pass he threw sums him up. He knew the play, knew how it was designed (put the ball up for Alshon) and he didn't hesitate. He made a great throw. Alshon got both mitts on it, but the Auburn defenders made a great hit right at the time of the catch and knocked it loose. But Spurrier all the execution was there except the result. And Spurrier trusts his offense. He figures if he can simply find a QB who will simply do what he tells him to do, he (meaning Spurrier) can QB this team to Atlanta. Like it or not, we agree with Spurrier on this.

For all the people on Facebook and everywhere else who were blasting Spurrier for putting Shaw in, take a second. (Yes...we're talking to all of the "how can you put a freshman in that situation? Easy, your starter put the ball on the ground twice and isn't executing the offense. The "situation" wasn't too much for Shaw. He did fine). Look at how poorly our rushing game was last night. Georgia is not who we thought they were. When we play good teams, they are simply going to scheme to stop Lattimore. If we want to be able to rush the ball, we have to set up the rush with the pass. Garcia is incapable of doing that. His best pass plays are always gonna be on play-action or roll-outs. Shaw has the ability to operate Spurrier's quick, short pocket-passing game. That would allow USC to spread out the defenses some, which would in turn opening up the box some for Lattimore. Spurrier sees this.

In short, this team is limited as long as Garcia is QB because our offense is limited with him. Spurrier knows this. So if we want to reach what potential this team has, and we do have more than we ever have, then we should all hope this is the end of Spurcia.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The 10 Year Anniversary of "The Fade"

If you're a Gamecock fan, the name Erik Kimrey brings to mind one thing and one thing only: The Fade.

For a snakebit program that saw its one shot at everlasting glory snuffed out by, of all the possible villians in college football, the Midshipmen of Navy for crying out loud, our grand memories revolve around what other programs may scoff at.

In this case, it is the David-versus-Goliath-like tale of a walk-on QB, getting up off the bench and marching out onto the field against a top-25 football program, for one play, on 4th down, and throwing a perfect pass to win the game, inspire hope in thousands and cement his own legacy in immortality with the utterance of one phrase: "I can throw the fade, Coach."

Do we care learning now, thanks to a great article by David Cloninger, that Kimrey never actually said those exact words? Hell no. Some memories and stories are just too damn good to let facts get in the way. Personally, we're just glad to see Kimrey didn't become a raging alcoholic, because there is no way the man would have had to pay for a single drink in Columbia after that throw.
Thanks for the memories, Erik and Jermale.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 3: A Plethora of Picks

After a rocking 9-5-2 start week 1, we fired out of the gates in week 2 with a 8-3-1 start until misfiring on the last 4 games to bring us back to that land we know so well, The Land of Even Steven. Better known as .500.

Titans (+3) v. GIANTS

There was a time when we would have looked at the turd the Giants turned in last week against Eli's big brother and would have bet that Coughlin and his vets would right the ship. Not really sure when that time was, because it was so long ago. Not sure whether we should really hold that whole ass-whuppin' against Eli, his older brother was pissed about losing to the Texans.

Oh yeah...Brandon Jacobs is an asshole.

In all candor, we're not really sure about this one. When in doubt, take the points.

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL! Titans getting 3.

Steelers (-2.5) v. BUCS

Heading into week 3 of the 2010 NFL season, we have learned two things about the Steelers. First, Troy Polamalu is more important to the Steelers than Big Ben. Second, their defense is awesome. Missing their NT last week, they shut down the vaunted CJ2K attack. Tampa's D isn't bad either. Yes, S Tanard Jackson just got suspended for the year, but that will probably be offset by the fact the Steelers starter under center looks like it will be Chaz Batch. Yes...former Detroit Lion QB, Charlie Batch. Always, always go against the QB the Detroit Lions jettisoned.

We're gonna go against that advice this week.

BTPC pick = Steelers laying the 2.5

RAVENS (-10.5) v. Browns

Boy...what happened to that new explosive Ravens offense, huh? Here's a tidbit you might have forgotten over the last two weeks: Joe Flacco was actually touted by many as a top 10 fantasy QB. If he keeps it up, at some point, the Ravens have to put in Marc Bulger, right? The crazy shit about this game, is how can the Ravens be favored by 10.5 when their offense hasn't scored more than 10 points in a game yet? Because the Ravens D hasn't scored a TD yet and they are due some, we suppose.

BTPC pick = Ravens laying 10.5

Bills (+14.5) v. PATS

Tom Brady says as long as his wife is cutting her shorts like this, he's perfectly fine following her orders on cutting his hair...

The interesting thing about this game, is that the Pats strength is the pass and their going up against a very good Buffalo secondary and their missing Tom Brady's security blanket.'s not a negligee that Gisele gave him...his security blanket is Kevin Faulk. Faulk is possibly the best pass catching RB we've seen since Keith Byars. Despite all this, the Pats are giving over 2 TDs to Buffalo. That's a shit load of points.

This is where we find out if NE is gonna be any good. With their D, they are gonna have to score a lot of points. If they can't do it against the Bills (good secondary or not), they're pretenders this season.

BTPC pick =NE laying the 14.5

Falcons (+4) v. SAINTS

Call us crazy, but we think the Saints are set to explode. That offense is too good to be bottled up like it has been the past two weeks. Yeah, yeah...Reggie Bush is out. But we're not that impressed with Bush anyway. We think Nawlins is actually a better team without him. Plus, they're at home.

BTPC pick =Saints laying the 4.

CHIEFS (+2.5) v. Niners

Patrick Willis is the best defensive player in football and was the 11th pick of the 2007 NFL draft.

Ted Ginn is a currently injured bust who was taken by Miami two picks higher at 9. Cam Cameron tried to rationalize the pick to an irate room of Dolfans (who mistakenly wanted another bust, Brady Quinn) about how he wasn't just drafting Ted, he was drafting the whole Ginn Family. Cameron apparently was trying to make an argument that Ginn's stable family somehow was going to insure his success. Willis famously had quite an unstable upbringing, coming from a very poor family and having to raise his siblings himself. The draft the meaner, hungrier sum'bitch...the guy who has had to claw his way up from the gutter.

So...we'd just like to thank Cam Cameron for denying us the chance to cheer this guy for the next decade as he carves out a Hall of Fame career. 'Preciate that, Cammy.

Yes, the Chiefs are at home...but this isn't gonna be a late Monday night game, so the crowd isn't gonna be quite as good. appears the 49ers' coaching staff is incompetent and can't even get calls in. But we refuse to think Patrick Willis is gonna let this team start 0-3.

BTPC pick =Niners laying the 2.5.

Bengals (-3) v. PANTHERS

If the Bengals can make a "top 10 fantasy football QB" like Joe Flacco look that bad, what are they gonna do with Jimmy Claussen?

BTPC pick =Bengals laying the 3.

SEAHAWKS (+5.5) v. Chargers

Exactly how many noses does AJ Smith have and why does he insist on spite-ing his own face so much? Have we mentioned our fantasy football team is very Charger heavy? Rivers, Gates and Floyd are all weekly starters for us. So we're hoping the Ryan Matthews injury pumps up the passing game's stats.

BTPC pick = Chargers laying 5.5.

Redskins (-3.5) v. RAMS

Absolutely no feeling about this game one way or the other.

BTPC pick = Skins laying 3.5.

Lions (+11) v. VIKINGS

Yes...the Lions are officially 0-2 in National Football League. But in the real world, aka Vegas, the Silver Stretch is 2-0, baby! We're riding this "cover" train until it comes off the track.

BTPC pick = Lions getting 11.

TEXANS (-3) v. Cowboys

Best line of the week to Bill Simmons guest co-hosting on PTI. Upon hearing that the 0-2 start has caused Wade Phillips to admit he's lost sleep and hasn't been eating: "I'm not impressed with a well-rested and well-fed Wade Phillips..."

This is where the Texans prove if this is really gonna be the year where they live up to the hype. Coming home after not falling down at Washington, which would have been a classic Texans letdown move following their big opening day win versus the Colts. If they are for real, they put their boots on their in-state rivals and crush the Cowboys season.

It's hard not to pull for the Cowboys to lose. Next week, they have a bye, so could you imagine the story lines coming out of Big D if Wade Phillips goes 0-3 out the gate?

The good news for Wade could be that getting fired would allow him to spend more time keeping an eye on his daughter, Tracy, who appears to aversion to clothing.

The media will be camped out at Valley Ranch like it's Brentwood, circa June 1994.

Maybe we could get Jerry to agree to release smoke, ala the Vatican during enclave.
BTPC pick = Texans laying 3.

Colts (-5.5) v. BRONCOS looks like Champ Bailey is gonna be out, which spells trouble for the Broncos. But more importantly, Knowshon Moreno re-injured another hammy.

A photo of Knowshon Moreno's hamstrings...

BTPC pick = Colts laying the 5.5.

JAGS (+3) v. Eagles

The key to Michael Vick's comeback?

Did you see that spin move last week to avoid the blindside sack? Wow...that was quick. It was like Vick had eyes on the back of his head.

Pass rushes aren't as frightening to Mike Vick as they once were. Wonder why?

The answer...Vick now has what we like to call "avoiding getting raped in the shower" reflexes.

The chic pick here, is to think the wacky way Reid handled this whole QB thing comes crashing down and the Jags win. We're going the other way.

And yes...the "Tell us we will die like dogs" Amigos quote is just wide open for this game.

BTPC pick = Eagles laying 3.

Raiders (+4.5) v. CARDINALS

The only performance worse than the Cardinals last week was Kurt Warner's on Dancing with the Stars. Hey...did you know Kurt Warner said God called him to the show? Uh...sure, Kurt.

God thinks Kurt Warner is an idiot if he's the reason Warner went on Dancing with Stars. Even God knows the only reason to even watch that show is Edyta Śliwińska

BTPC pick = Raiders getting 4.5.

DOLPHINS (-2) v. Jets

Braylon Edwards is an asshole. The Jets are hypocrites. And Rex Ryan is blowhard. We'd really, really, really like to see the Jets lose this one, not just because we hate them and love the Dolphins (which is true). But we're just curious to see what excuses Rex Ryan would offer up this time. After all, Miami didn't really beat the Jets last year, not if you listened to Ryan, despite the fact that after the final gun of each game, Miami had more points. Eff'ing rules.

BTPC pick = Dolphins laying 2.

BEARS (+3) v. Packers

Yes...Jake Cutler has looked ok. And yes, he's gotten himself a new girlfriend. But can anyone name a time one of Kristin Cavallari's relationships has worked out? Anyone?
BTPC pick = Packers laying 3.

Last Week: 8-7-1 Upset Specials 2-0
Season to date: 17-12-3
Career to date: 143-134-11

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do you like Oysters, BBQ, Chili and live music?

Then come out to the Florence County Stump on Friday, October 22 from 6pm until 9:30pm.

The candidate list may be partisan, but the Oysters, BBQ, Chili and live music are as non-partisan as it gets.

Come out enjoy some good food, good tunes and get a chance to meet the Democratic statewide office candidates.

Latest television ads telling in SC Governor's race

Both State Representative Nikki Haley and Senator Vince Sheheen have released new television ads this week. Nothing surprising there. As November gets closer, we are only going to get saturated with more and more political television ads.

But we thought the two ads were pretty telling. We've posted the videos of both below. Take gander at them and see if you can spot the difference.

We're waiting...

You done yet?

Ok...what did you notice about these ads? Both of these ads have been labeled "negative" by the media. Does each ad focus on going after the other candidate? Yes. But did you catch the difference between the two?

Sheheen's ad, titled "Think," takes specific claims by Haley and attacks them with specific facts. Haley's ad, titled "Mirror," makes generic accusations against Sheheen. It's obvious Haley is appealing to the Tea Partiers by throwing such generic crap against the wall to see what will stick. It's Pavlovian politics at its base form. Let's call this person these things and see if we can make the simpleton voters salivate.

We've got news for Nikki, she's an "Columbia insider" too. The hand-picked protege of her mentor, Mark Sanford. And whatever issues she thinks the term "trial lawyers" brings to people's minds, it ain't like the term "accountant" is any better. Enron anyone? Say what you want about Sheheen's ad, but at least there is a bit honesty in his attacks, while every one of the charges laid in Nikki's ad are just plain false.

The "Obama Spending and Healthcare disasters?" While the stimulus spending has done all that was hoped (unemployment being the big disappointment), the majority of economists agree that as a whole it has been successful. The bank bailouts and GM bailouts have all been successes. And there is absolutely nothing to substantiate her claim that the Affordable Healthcare Act has been a "disaster." That's as faulty and disingenuous statement as Boehner's claim that the passage of the act would be Armageddon. We're still here, assholes.

The Slush fund thing is simply so lame and generic we don't know how to respond. Probably because it is complete horseshit.

The "runaway lawsuits" line is the same crap that has been peddled for years. We've had tort reform and guess what...the only thing it has done is made more money for insurance carriers and limited the ability of those harmed to be fully compensated. Tort reform, no matter what state you look at, has never lowered insurance rates or created/saved jobs. It's a red herring.

But what these ads really do, we think, is frame the question voters will need to answer this November: Who should be our chief executive here in South Carolina...A successful trial lawyer or an incompetent accountant? That doesn't seem like much of a question at all, now does it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Get your jazz on...

Florence's own Mark Rapp will be back in South Carolina this week to promote the release of his 3rd CD, Art of the Song, Vol. 1. The CD is part of Rapp's The Song Project, which is co-led by NY guitarist Derek Lee Bronston. The duo will be playing several shows here in the Carolinas this week.

Tues, Sept 21: Greenville, SC - Brown Street Jazz Club 6:30pm-9:30pm

Sept 22: Boone, NC - The Inn at Crestwood 8pm-10pm

Thurs, Sept 23: Rock
Hill, SC - Winthrop University 7pm-9pm

Fri, Sept 24: Charleston, SC -
Alluette's Jazz Cafe 9:30-11:30pm

Sat, Sept 25: Columbia, SC - The Blue
Martinit 9pm-12:30am

Sun, Sept 26: Greenville, SC – Euphoria Jazz Brunch!
Downtown Greenville 10:30am-2pm

The Song Project's new album Art of the Song, vol. 1 contains unique arrangements of popular songs by bands as diverse as Radiohead, AC/DC and Tears for Fears, as well as, 4 original compositions. The genre, in a broader sense, can be called instrumental jazz and is a blend of jazz improvisations, singer/songwriter feel, rock ballads, ambiant sounds and even a taste of New Orleans.

Rapp is one of the genre's rising stars, having been named "top emerging trumpeter" by Downbeat Magazine. He's been on a Travel Channel's documentary, played with Branford Marsalis and other top artists, and has spent a lot of time traveling and playing shows in Europe (where...let's face it, they're cooler than us and dig jazz more). On top of all that, anyone who knew Mark when he was here in Florence knows he's a good guy.

So pick a show, go out and support a guy from Florence that is making it at the top of his field. We're gonna catch Rapp Friday night in Chucktown and get our jazz groove on.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gamecock Nation loses a favorite

News reports out of Denver have former Gamecock great and current Denver Bronco WR Kenny McKinley being found dead of an apparent suicide. RIP, Kenny.

WOOOOOOO!!!!! The SC Court of Appeals tells appellate to be the man, you got to beat the man...

Guess who popped up in a South Carolina Court of Appeals decision recently? 16 time World Heavyweight Champion Ric "Nature Boy" Flair, that's who.

In McNair v. United Energy Distributors, Court of Appeals Judge Daniel F. Pieper cited compelling authority in his concurring opinion:

As the sixteen-time world heavyweight wrestling champion Ric Flair once said, "Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it has the longest line." The same holds true for equity. For justice to be rendered in cases properly before a magistrate, equitable and legal principles must "ride together" and be applied according to applicable established principles.

Obviously, Judge Pieper is custom-made, from head to toe. Wooooo!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweet ad from Arizona

We've previously documented what an idiot Arizona's Republican Governor, Jan Brewer is, specifically her embarrassing ridiculousness regarding non-existent beheadings.

Here's a sweet ad that Democratic candidate Terry Goddard has done. Kind of captures Brewers "ability" or lack there of...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week 2 Picks:

We're out of town this weekend and really haven't had a chance to write our picks column. Therefore, with apologies, all you're getting here is the picks with a quip or two. No much deft analysis or cutting wit. Sorry.

PACKERS (-13) v. Bills

Trent Edwards will have to throw the ball downfield to win. He only managed to do that last week when a Miami CB and S screwed up and blew the coverage.
BTPC pick: GB laying the 13.

Dolphins (+5.5) v. VIKINGS

Homer pick? Uh...yeah. But Henne was better than his stats last week and Dansby can cover the only guy Favre seems to throw to: Shiancoe.

BTPC pick: UPSET SPECIAL! We don't need the points, we don't want the points, but we're taking the points. Dolphins getting the 5.5

FALCONS (-6.5) v. Cards

At what point do we start questioning whether or not Matt Ryan is actually good? having said that, we all agree Derek Anderson is not.

BTPC pick: Falcons laying the 6.5.

BENGALS (+2.5) v. Ravens

At what point do we all acknowledge that Pro Bowl Carson Palmer is not coming through that door?

BTPC pick: Ravens laying the 2.5

Chiefs (+2) v. BROWNS

The Chiefs won't have that awesome crowd behind them this week. But they've got way more weapons than Cleveland

BTPC pick: Chiefs taking the 2.

Bears (+7.5) v. COWBOYS

Julius Peppers has to be licking his chops right about now.

BTPC pick: Bears getting the 7.5.

TITANS (-5) v. Steelers

Steelers are missing their starting NT. Not good when visiting the CJ-Vince show.

BTPC pick: Titans laying the 5.

PANTHERS (-3.5) v. Bucs

We've got absolutely nothing on this one. Wait...nope. Sorry.

BTPC pick: Bucs geting the 3.5.

LIONS (+6.5) v. Eagles

God is dog spelled backwards. Vick...karma is bitch.

BTPC pick: Lions getting 6.5.

BRONCOS (-3.5) v. Seahawks

Most annoying pretty boy coach bowl.

BTPC pick: Broncos laying the 3.5

RAIDERS (-3.5) v. Rams

The Raiders have attributed their poor performance last week to being to cocky. The Raiders. Too cocky. Why?

BTPC pick: Raiders laying the 3.5.

Jaguars (+7) v. CHARGERS

We don't get the criticism of Rivers for chewing people out. Then again, we're Dan Marino fans. But 7 is a lot of points

BTPC pick: Jags getting the 7.

Texans (-3) v. REDSKINS

Classic let down game. Are the Texans for real, in that they don't fall prey to it?

BTPC pick: Skins getting 3.

Giants (+5) v. COLTS

If the Colts D doesn't improve, Peyton Manning's arm is gonna fall off.

BTPC pick: Giants getting 5.

Pats (-3) v. JETS

Please let the Pats destroy the Jets, just to watch Gotham implode.

BTPC pick: Pats laying 3.

Saints (-5) v. NINERS

When you're lying about why you look so bad, things are not good.

BTPC pick: Saints laying the 5.

Last Week: 9-5-2 Upset Specials 1-0
Season to date: 9-5-2
Career to date: 135-127-10

Rush Limbaugh could use some new "researchers"

Anyone who listens to Rush Limbaugh either does so because a) they're sycophants who believe whatever he says, or b) they know he's completely full of shit and listen to be entertained by how full of shit he is.

In other words, we all know Rush doesn't care about facts. All that just makes us wonder why Rush's spokesman feels the need to lie when confronted with the fact that Rush devoted a segment of his show to talking about a story they got from a bogus Wikipedia entry. Come on, Kit...just admit it. Say it with us: Hey...My boss is full of shit.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Burger King unleashes the Dr. Kevorkian Burger

At least that's what Burger King's New York Pizza Whopper should be called.

It's got four Whopper patties, a bun the size of a bike tire, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, tomato sauce and a whitish condiment called "Tuscan Pesto Sauce."

This behemoth packs a whopping 2500 calories. As Salon's Francis Lam points out, you know what else has 2500 calories? 3 sticks of butter, 17 cans of soda or 42 slices of American Cheese.

Perhaps that's why Burger King notes their new idea is "meant for sharing." No shit. Unfortunately, if you wanna share one of these titans, you're gonna have to find a Whopper Bar. No...we have no idea what those are either.

Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!!!!!! Skater 1, Close-minded religious hate-monger 0

Skateboarder foils ignorant asshole's attempt to burn Koran. Radical.

Our boy J-Dawg needs to find this kid and put his ass in Skateboarder Magazine. Make it happen, J.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 1 Picks: Your official coin-flip

To paraphrase the great Cory Boyd...the NFL is back like cooked cracked. To those new to our weekly prognostication efforts who are wondering, how good is the 'Pine at picking games, allow us to retort. Not very. In fact, we are about as close to an automatic 50% as you can get. Last year, we went 126-122-7 so it's actually 49.411 percent. Whatever, we rounds up here at the 'Pine. So just think of our picks as, hopefully, a more entertaining way to flip a coin.

And what better way to prove the point that our picking record is basically a push than to have the first pick of the new season be, in fact, just that: a push. Thursday night, we took the Saints laying 5. So right now we sit at 126-122-8. Impressive, no?

That kind of Nostradamus-like prognostication probably has you salivating and begging aloud: Come on, 'Pine, give it to us.

Get it you shall. It's time to pick the Week 1 slate. And as the great Ace Corolla says...Get. It. On.

Vikings v. SAINTS (-5)

Already happened. We won't relive this one. Let's just move on.

BTPC pick: Saints laying the 5.

GIANTS (-7) v. Panthers

As with all teams at the start of the season, it's hard to know what to expect at our these two games. The Giants completely self-destructed last season. The preseason has offered no real clue as to whether or not the collapse was the logical result of a rash of injuries or whether it was the start of the inevitable "we already got our championship and now this drill sergeant routine Coughlin is pulling on us is wearing thin" fall (see Jaguars, Jacksonville circa 2002). All we do know from the preseason is that Eli Manning bleeds from his forehead like a stuck pig and that Brandon Jacobs gets touchy when asked about the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw has passed him by as the #1 RB.

Panthers' won't have Jake Delhomme to kick around anymore.

With the Panthers, we do know this: they will have fewer interceptions. How do we know this, because Jake Delhomme is gone. How sad is it, that with the hardly-proven-and-rookie combo of Matt Moore and Jimmy Claussen, we feel confident in saying that? Pretty sad.

BTPC pick: Giants laying the points.

Packers (-3) v. Eagles

If the preseason was any real indicator, we could, in the immortal words of Denny Green, go ahead and anoint the Packers NFC Champions right now.

Denny Green is ready to crown the Packers' asses...

BTPC pick: Packers laying the 3.

Dolphins (-3) v. BILLS

Seems like the Dolphins were everyone's chic pick to click as a sleeper. Then something happened...all the pundits and experts appeared to have been heavily influenced by the Dolphins performance in the preseason and are now questioning them.

Allen Iverson and the 'Pine are not worried about the Dolphins.

Preseason games. We're talking 'bout practice, man. Come on. Did Buffalo sneak an offensive line across the border, avoiding customs, while we were sleeping? We didn't think so.

BTPC pick: Miami giving the 3.

Falcons (-2) v. STEELERS

There are some guys in this world who name their penis. As of kickoff today, we think Ben Roethlisberger should be required, by law, to refer to his penis has Dennis Dixon.

A little something for the ladies...

After all, Roethlisberger is forcing Dennis Dixon on people. And we hear that's how Big Ben ruh-rolls...

BTPC pick: Falcons laying the 2.

Lions (+6) v. BEARS


Ndamukong Suh is a man. He spells M...A...N.

What does Jake Cutler have in common with a certain GOP Congressman from Virginia?

Jake Cutler is a douche. He spells E...R...I...C...C...A...N...T...O...R.

So...just so we're straight, the Lions have more offensive weapons, potentially the most dominant defensive player AND they are getting six points? Uh...this ain't the greatest show on turf Mike Martz. That was 10 years ago.

BTPC pick and UPSET SPECIAL: Lions getting the 6.

Bengals (+4.5) v. PATS

In case you missed it, Tom Brady was in a pretty bad wreck Thursday. Although Brady was unharmed, apparently someone in the other car had to be cut out with the Jaws of Life. That's bad. Poor guy. But before you start feeling sorry for Tom, you should probably know two things. The first is that later that day, Brady got a 4-year contract extension at an average of $18 million per year.

Gentlemen, this is what fortune and fame can get you. Now you know why Dr. Indiana Jones confronted his fear of snakes...

The second thing is that this is how Tom's wife greeted him to console him on the wreck and celebrate his new contract.

So if you're scoring at home, Tom avoids serious injury, gets rewarded with the gross domestic product of a small third world nation, and obviously has the sexiest kitchen in the world. You wanna bet against this guy? Neither do we.

BTPC pick: Tom Brady, the luckiest man in the world, laying the points.

Colts (-2) v. TEXANS

Prime example of Vegas being confused and unsure of itself the first week or two of the season: the fact that the Jags are bigger favorites this week than the Colts. The promise of the Texans being good is starting to get a lot like Lucy and the football with Charlie Brown. The Texans have been woofing this game up a little too much this offseason. And Peyton Manning has been stewing over the Super Bowl for several months now.

BTPC pick: Colts laying the 2.

Raiders (+6) v. TITANS

There have been three seminal mustaches in our lives. Tom Selleck's. John Oates'. And Jeff Fisher's.

Even the Black Hole don't want none of the 'stache. It's a Maneater. As such, we wouldn't if we were you. We've seen what it can do...

When in doubt, go with the 'stache.

BTPC pick: Jeff Fisher's mustache laying 6.

JAGS (-2.5) v. Broncos

Right after the draft, we would have put some money on the chance that Tebow was gonna return to his hometown, get in the game and light it up, spurring what could possibly be the beginning of the rapture. Then two things happened. One, the Jags failed to sell-out, yet again, reminding us that if it really was gonna be the jumping off point for the religious crazies ascent to Heaven, it would probably fill up.

No self-respecting savior would sport this 'do...

Second, Tebow got a haircut.

BTPC pick: Jags laying the 2.5

Browns (+2.5) v. BUCS

Let's just get this one over with, shall we?

BTPC pick: Browns getting the 2.5.

Niners (-3) v. HAWKS

Pete Carroll named his book "Win Forever." It came out as he bailed on Southern Cal to take the Seahawks game "because it was time to move on." It's a little known fact that Pete served time with Neil McCauley. That means Pete also heard the sage advice that on the street you wanna be makin' roves, you don't put anything in your life you can't walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot heat around the corner.

Pete felt the Heat...

Sure, Pete actually followed the advice and got out, unlike McCauley. But it's gonna end the same way.

BTPC pick: Niners laying the 3.

Cardinals (-4) v. RAMS

Sam Bradford may very well be a franchise QB, but he has no one to throw to. That means Derek Anderson is gonna be the best QB in this game, because he's throwing to frisbee-catching dog, Larry Fitzgerald.

BTPC pick: Cardinals laying the 4.

JETS (-2.5) v. Ravens

We make no secret of the fact that our team is the Dolphins. That means that we've got a healthy hatred for all things Jets. But...we'll readily admit that hatred has sprouted as if fueled by Miracle Grow this offseason thanks to Rex Ryan's mouth and the HBO Hard Knocks.

The Jets are the popular pick to win the AFC East. Why? They backed into the playoffs, beating teams that were either incredibly banged up (Cincy) or that decided not to play (Colts). Yes, they made a nice playoff run. But the fact is, they were a 9-7 team that made a small run at the right time. What did that get them? Nothing.

Yet, despite that, we have spent the last month subjected to Rex Ryan telling anyone who will listen that the Jets are the team to beat. We had to fight the urge to laugh every time Rex bloviated on HBO about how something "wasn't good enough for this team" or that players better step it up and "play like a Jet." Do the NY Jets have some expansive winning history that has been kept from the rest of us? Someone needs to explain to Rex Ryan that he ain't coaching the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers.

Apparently, we are not the only people who think Rex is full of shit. So does Ray Lewis. Seems like Ray took offense when Rex, in another of the Jets desperate attempts to instill confidence in Mark Sanchez, tried to pump Sanchez up by patting him on the back after Sanchez played OC for a series during a preseason game. Rex suckled Mark by telling him how Ray and Ed couldn't handle doing it for more than one series when he tried to have them play DC when he was at the Ravens. Hey...Rex, maybe it's because Ed and Ray are actually great players and don't need that kind of BS.

Rex is playing with fire in NY. The attitude he's fostered in that locker room is gonna explode all over his ass if they start losing. Just yesterday there was a report about the frat-like hi jinx that took place during practice. DB coaches intentionally overthrowing passes so players could run into or by a female TV Azteca reporter covering the team.

Revis may be back, but the only shutdown presence at Jets practice yesterday was Inés Sainz, who, thanks to Jets Players may one day get her own big payday from Woody Johnson...via a sexual harassment suit.

Apparently, it only got worse in the locker room. Classy. Nice to see the Jets are focused headed into their season debut.

BTPC pick: Ravens taking the points.

CHIEFS (+5) v. Chargers

Nothing really to say here. Chiefs RB/WR/KR/PR/Darren-Sproles-clone Dexter McCluster is gonna be good. Unfortunately, we will apparently have to wait until week 2 to see him.

BTPC pick: Chargers giving the points.

REDSKINS (+3.5) v. Cowboys

Lingering questions on this game:

Revenge game for McNabb? Eff you game for Shanahan to Jerry Jones for choosing to stay with Wade "I used to just wear sweaters but now sometimes I actually wear a headset so it looks like I'm coaching, but I really only started doing it because everyone pointed out I didn't" Phillips instead of breaking the bank and hiring him? Heartbreaking start for Cowboy fans of yet another season in which they continue to believe that Tony Romo is an elite QB, piloting an elite offense, even though the facts to date are that they fold like a cheap suit?

Will Miles Austin care considering he just got a 6-year contract extension for $54 million and these are the views he has when he sends Kim Kardashian back to the Tiki Bar to grab him another Corona?






BTPC pick: 'Skins getting the points.

Career Record: 126-122-8

Friday, September 10, 2010

Note to self: Lay off the Meth before asking the local party to support your candidacy

For the love of Christ, Stark County Republicans...Phil Davison has a MASTERS DEGREE IN COMMUNICATION! By not nominating him as your party's candidate for Stark County Treasurer, you are all gonna wind up IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!!!

Hattip Savitz.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Say it ain't so, Dave...

We refuse to believe that Dave Thomas had anything to do with this training video. It had to be the work of that floozy daughter of his, probably in an effort to counter Robin Sparkles. All this chick is missing is her jelly bracelets and cool graffiti coat...

Michael "Warm Honey" Wukela

Another article? Really? We'll say this...they got the "queer breed" right.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To hell, to hell, to hell with Georgia...

It's South Carolina-Georgia week, which means it's time to repost one of our favorite youtube college football smack-talk song videos. Enjoy.

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital...

Being out all last week and just getting home yesterday, we missed posting something for Labor Day. Click on this link to read a short article by E.J. Dionne, Jr., about the important role played by labor unions in our history.

Those who wish to demonize unions forget the vital role they played in our society. Labor unions were at the front of the civil rights movement. Unions also had a large part to do with the prosperity our country enjoyed for the two decades after WWII. They often point to the faults of unions, like instances of corruption or intimidation. Oddly enough, these same people are often quick to overlook the faults of capitalism (see Enron, Deep Water Horizon, Love Canal, etc). Truth is, no economic system will ever be perfect, because we're going to be a part of them. And let's face it, as a whole, the human race could screw up anything.

As for the title of this post, it's part of a quote from President Lincoln's Annual Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 30, 1859. Lincoln was discussing the views on slave labor versus free labor. The full quote is:

They hold that labor is prior to, and independent of, capital; that, in fact,
capital is the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not
first existed; that labor can exist without capital, but that capital could
never have existed without labor. Hence they hold that labor is the superior –
greatly the superior – of capital.

If you want to know what side Abe came out on, just read the whole speech, especially the last line: Educated people must labor.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Come enjoy your head.

In case you haven't been paying attention, the Governor's race in Arizona has gotten interesting in a batshit crazy kind of way.

Meet Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Brewer was a nutjob who only assumed the office because Janet Napolitano got called up to DC by President Obama. The general consensus was that Brewer would serve out the term then fade quietly into the good night.

Unfortunately for sane Arizonians, that unconstitutional/racist Arizona immigration law crossed Brewer's desk, she ate it up and signed it and started getting national press because...well...because she fits into the national Republican party's narrative for this election cycle: Vote for Us...the brown people are coming.

Not satisfied with trying to make the argument for her candidacy on the merits (kinda hard when there are none), Brewer decided to simply make shit up. Unfortunately, it would appear that Brewer's imagination was permanently scarred by the childhood tale of Sleepy Hollow, because she decided to make up tales of illegal immigrant beheadings.

In an interview on Fox News last week, for example, she claimed: "We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, everything from the crime and to the drugs and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings ..."

There's no better way, it seems, to make the case for strict anti-immigration laws than to claim that undocumented immigrants are pouring into the country to decapitate innocent Americans. But just because she says it on television doesn't make it true.

As if being shameless enough to make up such an obvious fear tactic wasn't enough, Brewer completely ignored questions about her ridiculous comments at a recent debate with the Democratic Challenger, State Attorney General Terry Goddard. Wait..."ignored" isn't an accurate description. Let's go with "ran from." Just check out the video:

You have to love how Brewer thinks unions are worse for Arizona's economy than leading people to believe that Arizona is so unsafe that people are actually being beheaded in the desert. Classy.

Well...apparently after watching her brilliant campaign strategy of "fictional beheadings" implode, Brewer finally figured out she had to do a little damage control. So she "apologized."

"That was an error, if I said that," the Republican told The Associated Press on Friday. "I misspoke, but you know, let me be clear, I am concerned about the border region because it continues to be reported in Mexico that there's a lot of violence going on and we don't want that going into Arizona."

Uh..."if I said that?" Hey, said it. And there is no chance you "misspoke," just watch the video. You meant to say it. The choices to explain Jan Brewer aren't pretty. She is either insane or a lying, evil bitch willing to say anything under the belief that voters are stupid lemmings who will do whatever FOXNews tells them to do. As much as we'd like to believe it's the former, one can't help but notice that Brewer's "apology" came on a Friday afternoon, which is typically what those in the political world refer to as a news dump (under the belief that news released on Friday afternoon will be lost in the weekend and not really garner any attention).

Just a reminder...this lady is currently a "star" of the right. The people who are crying about "taking our country back," think highly of this lady. Tell us again about how dangerous President Obama is?

BTW...if you're wondering why an idiot like Brewer would agree to participating in a debate anyway, here's her answer: she just did it because she thought it would qualify her for $1.7 million in public funding. Viva el pequeño gobierno!