Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 4 picks: Bruised, battered, but still on the field...

We're a little worse for wear after yesterday's ugly and disheartening Gamecock loss. in the hell can a guy go from being a good SEC East championship QB to not being able to simply complete forward passes? Was Garcia's hair his strength? Do we have a Sampson and Delilah story going on here? Quick...somebody get Garcia a beer to funnel and three strippers for a team-rules-violating party, STAT!

But although our voice is shot and out throat sore from screaming on the D, which played great, and our right ankle is killing us for some reason, we're still here come Sunday morning to give up the goods. Last week finally broke the 8-7-1 logjams we'd been dropping and laid a sweet 11-5 week on you.

In the words of our man, Herm Edwards has told us we can build on this. And so we shall, Herm...and so we shall.

COWBOYS (-2.5) v. Lions
Big game for the Lions. Can they go into Jerry Jones' new digs and prove they are for reals? We're gonna go with the teams who has at least some healthy WRs for the quarterback to throw to..or at least some who did not get their jobs by winning reality television shows.

BTPC pick = Lions getting the 2.5

Saints (-7) v. JAGS
On one hand, you've got arguably the hottest offensive playcaller roaming the sidelines and on the other, you have a coach who's claim to fame is a) wanting to wear a suit during games, b) almost losing his punter's leg to the axe and stump gimmick he put in the locker room; or c) cutting his veteran QB the week before the season starts. Yeah...not really a hard call is it?

BTPC pick = Saints laying the 7.

EAGLES (-9.5) v. 49ers
Vick is now going to have a kevlar glove. This goes with his Kevlar vest (for his torso shots) and with his Kevlar-lined helmet (for his concussion). Seriously...not since those two dudes had the Heat-style robbery of the North Hollywood Bank of America has a private citizen sported this much bullet-proof hardware. We are awfully tempted to take Harbaugh's boys on the road, thinking he may get them fired up and they can keep it close. But lord have mercy...the 49ers cannot pass.

BTPC pick = Eagles laying the 9.5

Skins (-3) v. RAMS
The Skins lost a big game last week versus a QB who was playing after having broken some ribs and suffered a punctured lung. Then their players come out poo-pooing that QB's situation, opining that the QB and opponent talked up the injuries to provide them with a built in excuse had they lost. The problem with that, is they didn't. And you're whining about it makes it look like you can't move on. Meanwhile, Spagnola is starting to look like he could be on the hot seat for a team that a lot of folks picked as their darling sleepers to surprise this season who have wound up being awful.

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL Rams getting the 3.

BROWNS (PK) v. Titans
Peyton Hillis took heat for sitting out last week's game versus our beloved Dolphins with strep throat. Wait a was the Dolphins! And they won! Really? Come on. For the other team, the Titans have lost WR-stud Kenny Britt. We'll take the Browns at home.

BTPC pick = Browns.

Bills (-3) v. BENGALS
Could be a trap game for the Bills. We're gonna buy that this Bills team is blue-collar enough not to take this game for granted. Prove us right, Fitzy...

BTPC pick = Bills laying the 3.

Vikings (-3) v. CHIEFS
Speaking of coaches on the hot seat...Todd Haley, come on down. In Haley's defense, his team has been ravaged by injuries AND they really weren't as good as last season's record looked anyway. On the other side of the field, you've got a coach in Frazier who has watched his team blow big 4th quarter leads to the Chargers, Bucs and Lions. We are awfully tempted to take the Chiefs at home, but we just have to believe if all the Vikes have to do is show up for 4th quarters, eventually they will.

BTPC pick = Vikes laying the 3.

BEARS (-6.5) v. Panthers
We're starting to believe in Cam. We'll take him and the points.

BTPC pick = Panthers getting the 6.5

TEXANS (-3.5) v. Steelers
Eventually we will be reminded that this Texans team is coached by Gary Kubiak. What better game to be reminded of this than when the Steelers and Big Ben come in to town.

BTPC pick = Steelers getting the 3.5

Falcons (-4.5) v. SEAHAWKS
The only thing worse than the Seahawks is how maddening the Falcons can be. Roddy White was out of practice some this week. Ruh-roh.

BTPC pick = Seahawks getting the 4.5

Giants (-1) v. CARDS
Hard to believe this Cards team was in the Super Bowl recently. Given that fact, it's pretty obvious that Kurt Warner should probably get in to the Hall of Fame. We know...we don't exactly like that idea either.

BTPC pick = Giants laying 1.

Dolphins (+7) v. CHARGERS
We doubled down on our Dolphins last week and they let us down. You know it's bad when as a fan, you realize in the 4th quarter that your team is so bad, you want them to lose (see "Suck for Luck" campaign). Given that team owner Steve Ross' buddy Carl Peterson was in attendance at the game, Tony Sparano's tightie-whities ought to be burning up. The idea of Peterson running the Dolphins absolutely scares the shit out of us. This is a guy who gave up a 4th round pick for Herm Edwards. HERM EFFING EDWARDS! What's all this mean for this week's game? means we're screwed whichever way we go. This team is simply gonna screw us. So what the hell...

BTPC pick = Dolphins taking the 7.

PACKERS (-12) v. Broncos
Nothing to see here...move along.

BTPC pick = Pack laying the 12.

Pats (-6) v. RAIDERS
The Pats had everything go wrong last week. Yeah...Brady threw 4 picks, but that ain't happening again. And we'll take Billy B and the newly-shorn Tom Brady coming off a loss.

BTPC pick = Pats laying 6.

RAVENS (-4) v. Jets
Take the Ravens at home.

BTPC pick = Ravens laying 4.

BUCS (-10) v. Colts
The Kerry Collins Colts era appears to have reached its end. That was fun, huh? That's got to be one of the biggest wastes of $4 million we've seen in a long time. So Painter will get his baptism under a young and hungry Bucs D at home. Ruh-roh.

BTPC pick = Bucs laying the 10.

Last Week: 11-5 Upset Specials: 1-0
2011 Season Record: 27-19-2 Upset Special: 3-1
Career to date: 293-259-20

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mayor Wukela...

Has got game...

And bi-partisan support...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 3: Shiny Happy Picks

Many moons ago, before Michael Stipe started dressing like a cross between Col. Sanders and one of the bad drug kingpins from an episode of Miami Vice, R.E.M was one of the most influential bands around. We still remember going to see them live at the Coliseum in Columbia for the Green Tour back in 1989. Not only were they really good, but the exposed us to another native Georgia band, Drivin' n Cryin'. Life's Rich Pageant and Document remain two of our favorite albums. There's probably not a single kid who grew up in eighties who was not somehow influenced in their current musical tastes by the boys from Athens.

So it was with some sadness that we saw the news that the band had officially called it quits this past week. Truth be told, it's not shocking.'s probably more shocking that they were still "together." But in honor of their contribution to our lives, we've decided to pay our respect by using REM songs to help out with the picks. Enjoy.

But first...a little music. Here's Eddie Vedder helping them out on our favorite REM song:

BILLS (+8.5) v. Pats
And the train conductor says
"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break - Driver 8

Good night the Pats offense has been on fire. Specifically, Tom Brady has been on fire. How awesome if Tom Brady? Uh...he dumped Bridget Moynahan to marry supermodel Gisele. Brady can't keep this pace up. He'd shatter every record known to man. And we can't have that, because most of those were set by Dan Marino, the greatest passer to ever live. Pat's win it, but don't cover.

BTPC pick = Bills taking the 8.5

Titans (-6.5) v. BRONCOS
That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion - Losing My Religion

Of course, this lyric is dedicated to Timmy Tebow. Tebow was supposed to take over this team. The Broncos shopped Kyle Orton and only kept him when no one would meet their high asking price picks-wise. Orton promptly proceeded to outplay Tebow in camp (as did Brady Quinn) and Tebow was regulated to 3rd stringer.

It's time Tebow embrace the fact that maybe he is not a NFL QB. He could be a great TE. Set aside the ego, lose the religion and play whatever position can get you on the field and help the team win, Timmy.

BTPC pick = Broncos getting the 6.5

Texans (+4) v. SAINTS
If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.
If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then nothing is cool. - Man On the Moon

In a lot of ways, this is really might just be the Texans first real game. The Colts are at best a bad ACC team without Manning. Then Miami illogically put Nolan Carroll on Andre Johnson and continued to be helpless at home. Something tells me Sean Payton is gonna have something up his sleeve for the Texans D.

BTPC pick =Saints laying the 4.

Dolphins (+3) v. BROWNS
If you are confused check with the sun
Carry a compass to help you along
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around, so...Stand in the place where you live - Stand

The Dolphins are definitely confused. They can't win at home and their D, top 10 last year and thought to be poised to jump to top 5 status this season has quite simply stunk. Quite frankly, if Sparano doesn't get a win, he is in danger of losing this team. The players aren't saying that, in fact their allegedly fully behind the Coach, but once the fans turn on the team (which is close to happening), all bets are off. The Dolphins are way more talented than the Browns. They're getting 3 points. And they proved to be road warriors last season. This is a lock.

BTPC pick =UPSET SPECIAL Dolphins. We don't need the points, we don't want the points...but we're taking the 3 points.

Lions (-3.5) v. VIKINGS
We are young despite the years we are concern
We are hope despite the times
All of the sudden, these days
Happy throngs, take this joy wherever, wherever... - These Days

So the young Lions offense everyone thought was poised to take off appears to be doing just that.

BTPC pick = Lions laying the 3.5

EAGLES (-7) v. Giants
Not everyone can carry the weight of the world. -Talk About the Passion

The Eagles are learning that despite all the "Dream Team" talk, they are only as good as Michael Vick's health. Last week, Vick got his bell rung good enough he was allegedly vomiting on the sidelines. Sounds like a pretty good concussion to me. Yet they're saying he will play Sunday. How the hell is that happening? If he does play, Vick will supposedly use one piece of equipment he didn't last week: a mouthpiece. It's stupid that any football player does not use a mouthpiece. It should be required. Along with all the other pads we all wore as kids (thigh pads, knee pads, that butt-bone pad, etc.). If the NFL is really concerned with the health and safety of its players, they'd step up and make wearing all this safety gear required. If everyone had to wear it, no one could claim the other person was getting any advantage by not wearing it to be "faster" (a phenomenon I blame on Ed McCaffery, the lanky white WR who tried to wear as little padding as possible claiming it at least made him "feel" faster).

BTPC pick = Giants getting the 7.

PANTHERS (-3.5) v. Jaguars
Smack, crack, bushwhacked.
Tie another one to the racks, baby - Drive

The Jaguars have named Blaine Gabbert their starter this week. The Jaguars have now had 3 QBs as named starters in like 16 days or so (going back to Garrard being the "starter" right up until Del Rio cut him on the eve of the season). Meanwhile, Cam Newton is tearing shit up.

BTPC pick = Panthers laying the 3.5

Packers (-3.5) v. BEARS
A simple prop to occupy my time - The One I Love

It almost seems like Aaron Rodgers is toying with defenses. Maybe he had that Championship Belt made to simply occupy his time.

BTPC pick = Pack laying the 3.5

RAIDERS (+3) v. Jets
I believe in what you do
I believe in watching you
It's what you do - Turn You Inside Out

We're starting to believe in the Raiders. They're game. Long trip for the Jets to the West Coast. And the Raiders have probably been seeing photos of Mark Sanchez eating that hotdog on the sidelines all week.

BTPC pick = Raiders getting the 3.

BENGALS (-3) v. 49ers
Don't go back to Rockville
And waste another year -(Don't Go Back to)

Pretty much sums up Carson Palmer's decision, does it not? Too bad. This Bengals team has a good defense.

BTPC pick = Bengals laying the 3.

SEAHAWKS (+3.5) v. Cards
Buy the sky and sell the sky and bleed the sky and tell the sky...Don't fall on me - Fall on Me

Can you figure out why the Seahawks paid Travaris Jackson all that money? Neither can we. Of course, it ain't like the Cards are that much better. But they played with a good Skins team.

BTPC pick = Cards laying the 3.5

Ravens (-4) v. RAMS
"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed - What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

Seriously? What's up, B-More? You destroy the Steelers, then can't handle the Titans who needed a fluke TD pass to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, who turned around and got destroyed by the Jets. We expect the Ravens to come out and make a statement against the Rams.

BTPC pick =Ravens laying the 4.

Steelers (-10.5) v. COLTS
The time to rise has been engaged
You're better best to rearrange
I'm talking here to me alone
I listen to the finest worksong - Finest Worksong

The Colts had definitely best rearrange. How long are they gonna ride the retiree, Kerry Collins? At some point, wouldn't it make sense to start Curtis Painter? How could it get any worse? If they said Jehovah?

BTPC pick = Steelers laying the 10.5

CHARGERS (-14.5) v. Chiefs
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
when you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on. - Everybody Hurts

Man...have the Chiefs be ravaged by injuries. We'd like to thank Jamaal Charles for his contributions to the Tiger Blood Winners this year. All 10 points of them. Thanks a bunch, Jamaal. Hard to be winning in fantasy when your first round pick goes down. Pretty hard to win the actual games too without your best offensive and defensive players.

BTPC pick = Chargers laying the 14.5

BUCS (-1.5) v. Falcons
I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs - The Great Beyond

After getting rid of the 800-lb gorilla on their shoulder, which was the Vick saga last week, it may seem as if the Falcons can do anything. We think getting up for a game Bucs squad after that emotional game is gonna be tough.

BTPC pick = Bucs laying the 1.5

Redskins (+4) v. COWBOYS
Silence means security silence means approval
On Zenith, on the TV, tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter - Begin the Begin

For Tony Romo, silence about his play does kind of mean approval for how he came in last week with a broken rib and punctured lung to win the game for the 'Boys. Now, all the work isn't about HOW Romo played, rather it's about WHETHER he will play. Even if Romo plays, we like the Skins and their offense against this battered 'Boys secondary.

BTPC pick = Skins getting the 4

Last Week: 8-7-1 Upset Specials: 0-1
2011 Season Record: 16-14-2 Upset Special: 2-1
Career to date: 282-254-20

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 2 Picks: Our two cents on week 2...

Well...we were looking awfully good headed into this past Monday at 8-5-1 with two games to go. Both upset specials had covered and we felt like we'd at least split the two Monday nighters. Unfortunately, we didn't know Miami was gonna let Wes Welker go all Tony Dorsett (thanks Benny's your pink slip) OR they were gonna call for Chad Henne to throw the one pass Chad Henne sucks at (the endzone fade) in a key 4th & goal. Having said that, we're hitting right above out mark (.500%), so how can we complain. We are as regular as a clock on a healthy diet of fiber.

So on with the week two picks. Let's keep it rolling...

BILLS (-3.5) v. Raiders

The Raiders played the late game of a MNF double-header and now travel to the East Coast for 1pm EST kickoff. The Bills certainly handled Jamaal Charles easily last week...why would Darren McFadden be any different?

BTPC pick = Bills giving the 3.5

LIONS (-9) v. Chiefs

Speaking of Charles and Chiefs...the walk out of week one looking like the team destined to fall flat on its face and then they have to walk into Detroit and play everyone's favorite sleeper team in the Lions. HC Todd Haley did not instill confidence this year when he admitted he had no idea how to stop Suh in the middle. The Chiefs looked so bad last week, they're gonna have to show us something before we go with them.

BTPC pick = Lions giving the 9

TITANS (+6) v. Ravens

The Titans were a fluke TD pass away from losing by 9 to the Jaguars. the Ravens showed versus the Steelers...they ain't the Jaguars.

BTPC pick = Ravens giving the 6.

Browns (-2.5) v. COLTS

A decent up-and-coming QB with no receivers versus an aging, should-be-retired QB with decent receivers. We'll take Colt over Kerry.

BTPC pick = Browns giving the 2.5

VIKINGS (-3) v. Bucs

Good lord almighty...did McNabb look washed up. McNabb threw for 39 yards last week. 39 yards. No...that's not a misprint. No he was not hurt. Let's put that in perspective, McNabb and Tom Brady combined to throw for 556 yards. that doesn't sound so bad, does it. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection of the schedule...yep...Tom Brady will not be in Minnesota Sunday.

BTPC pick = Bucs getting 3.

Bears (+6.5) v. SAINTS

Looks like either the Bears are better than folks thought or the Falcons are worse than people thought. Probably a bit of both. But we're certainly not sold on Cutler and that line coming in to N'awlins and dealing with DC Greg Williams' blitzes without turning the ball over, especially after hitting the turf 5 times last week. Urlacher's mom unexpectedly died this week and it's hard to know how that will affect the Bears. NO has won 3 straight home openers. We think they'll make it 4. The question is will it be by 6.5?

BTPC pick = Saints giving up 6.5

GIANTS (-6) v. Rams

This is alike a game amongst the walking wounded. The Rams were a favorite sleeper for a lot of folks and they disappointed versus Vick. But without 3 or 4 Vickian plays, the Rams probably win that game. However, they're going in to this game without their best WR and without the starting RB.

BTPC pick = Giants giving the 6.

REDSKINS (-4) v. Cardinals

Sexy Rexy is back. And if Cam Newton carved up this Arizona secondary, you know Shannahan is eager to get Grossman under center and tossing the ball around.

BTPC pick = Skins giving 4.

Packers (-10) v. PANTHERS

The Panthers surprised everyone with how game they looked last week. GB surprised no one...they looked like what they are: the defending champs. 'Zona is worse than folks realize and the Panthers lost the heart and soul of their defense when Beason went out for the year. Cam Newton looked impressive last week...but he ain't ever gone against a Dom Capers D. He's about to. And it's gonna get ugly.

BTPC pick = Packers giving the 10.

Cowboys (-3) v. 49ERS

Dez Bryant or no Dez Bryant...we like the Boys. 49ers are two Ted Ginn returns from being 0-1 with that loss being to Travaris Jackson on the road. You wanna bet on them to handle the Cowboys? Didn't think so.

BTPC pick = Cowboys giving 3.

JETS (-9) v. Jaguars

Luke McCown versus a Rex Ryan Defense. We'll take the Jets.

BTPC pick = Jets laying the 9.

STEELERS (-14) v. Seahawks

You almost feel sorry for Travaris Jackson having to come in after that beat down the Steelers got at the hand of the Ravens. But then you remember Pete Carroll is his coach and he's making an obscene amount of money Carroll should have never given to him.

BTPC pick = Steelers giving the 14.

Bengals (+3.5) v. BRONCOS

God...the Broncos blew it Monday night. And we like this Bengals team. They've got a good defense and have some playmakers at the skill position. If Dalton simply has a basic learning curve, they could sneak up on folks by the time the season is done. Dalton is allegedly gonna play after hurting his arm, but in all candor, Gratkowski is just as good at this point.

BTPC pick = Bengals getting 3.5

Texans (-3.5) v. DOLPHINS

The Miami D is not as bad as they looked Monday and Schaub is no Tom Brady. If that O appears at all in other games, Miami should be decent this year. Sparano has got to win this one or the heat under his seat is gonna be turned up exponentially. Miami also gets two rookie RBs back who are expected to be integral parts of the offense in RB Thomas and H-back Clay.

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL...Miami getting the 3.5

Chargers (+7) v. PATRIOTS

Chargers held McNabb to 39 yards passing. They always play the Pats tough. And Phillip Rivers is a much better QB than Chad Henne.

BTPC pick = Chargers getting the 7.

Eagles (+2.5) v. FALCONS

Mike Vick's return to the Georgia Dome. Dirty South is gonna be in da house. Things could get ugly if Vick escapes early for some Vickian plays. We just can't get past the Falcons and how they looked versus the Bears. This Eagles offense is way more explosive than the Bears. We would not be surprised to see this one go anyway. But since we get paid the big bucks to make the tough calls...we'll take Vick and the Eagles.

BTPC pick = Eagles taking the 2.5

Last Week: 8-7-1 Upset Specials: 2-0
2011 Season Record: 8-7-1 Upset Special: 2-0
Career to date: 274-247-18

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years later...have we forgot?

September 11. 2001 was a Tuesday. On Tuesdays, we used to have to close the park from 2pm until close. So we would usually get up a little late, cook some breakfast, go run some errands then get in to work sometime after lunch. On 9/11/01, we got up and turned the television on while we cooked breakfast. The picture above was similar to the first scene we saw. We had absent-mindedly turned the tube on and walked back into the kitchen, only to come out to peer at the screen when we heard the morning news hosts on whatever channel we had turned on explaining the pictures we were seeing were where a plane of some sort had struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.

As we sat there looking on in bewilderment trying to figure out how in the hell a little commuter plane could cause the type of damage the video on screen seemed to be showing, we saw a second plane (which was obviously a jetliner) strike the South Tower.

For the rest of the day, until we went in to work, we sat glued to the tv, watching it all unfold. When we got to the park, one of our assistant managers had hooked up one of the prize tvs in Redemption and had it on the news. We recall sitting there throughout the afternoon and evening and watching the coverage with employees and customers alike. It was a surreal experience.

Oddly enough, one of our strongest memories of that time, is several months later when President Bush came to the Greenville area. We remember standing down at the shop past all the tracks and Air Force One flying in right over the park. We remember distinctly thinking, "Holy shit...planes never come in this low over us here," and wondering if it was some kind of evasive routing to make it harder if some terrorist was sitting around with a Stinger looking to take out our CINC.

A lot has changed in this country over the last 10 years. Personally, we think 9/11 played a major role in our decision to go back to school. The general mood that tragic day placed on everyone, one of taking stock of our lives and figuring out what was really important, led us to decide to go back to school in the hope of trading for a career that would let us be around friends and family more. Within a year, we were in law school and moving back to Florence upon graduation.

"Never forget" has been the national slogan for 9/11. Conventional wisdom is it means for us not to forget the lives that were lost to a senseless act of terrorism, the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to try to save others and the sacrifice of those who put their lives on the line every day so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedom and lives we have today.

We wish everyone would interpret the slogan to remember the incredible sense of unity this country had on that day and in the days, weeks and months that followed. We have become a bitterly divided country in the decade since. The truth of it is, we have not lived up to that motto.

As a country, we have forgot, as best summed up by this cartoon our pal Reino posted over on SC6:

The vitriol and blind, closed-minded hatred that has infected political discourse in this country is a much bigger threat to this country than any radical, fundamentalist religious belief could ever be. Here's to hoping we can somehow overcome that in the next decade.


First Sunday of Football Picks: GET. IT. ON.

As we mark the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, we get to do so with the most American of activities: watching a Sunday slate of NFL games. They say baseball is "America's Pastime." That may be's time has past. Football is now America's passion and when it comes to professional sports, the NFL is King...and it ain't even close.

Steelers (+1.5) v. RAVENS

Ray Lewis flees from police and obstructs their ability to investigate murder…allegedly. Big Ben hires police to run blocker on bar bathrooms so he can sexually assault underage coeds…allegedly. The Ravens should win this game according to the bookies…allegedly.

We don’t want the points, we don’t need the points, but we’ll take the points.

BTPC pick = Steelers getting 1.5

BEARS (+3) v. Falcons

Last season, both these teams made the playoffs, with the Bears making it further – to the Championship Game against the eventual NFL Champion Green Bay Packers. So on paper, this would seem to be BIG early season NFC matchup. But reality ( and David Simon) tells us papers are dying. The Bears were lucky as crap last year and the Falcons should pwn them.

BTPC pick = Falcons giving the 3.

BUCS (-1.5) v. Lions

The Lions are the primma donna sleeper pick of just about everyone. The offense looks explosive. The Defense is led by a great D-line. What’s not to love? Their training staff, apparently. The surest bet on the Lions is for Stafford and Jahvid Best to NOT play in all 16 games. But they’re gonna be available for week 1.

BTPC pick = Lions getting 1.5

Bills (+6) v. CHIEFS

The Bills sucked last year. And to that suckiness, they added…Brad Smith. We liked Smith as a 3rd option WR, special teams addition in this year’s free agency class. We think the Jets are gonna miss him. Having said that, the Bills publicly talked up Smith’s ability at QUARTERBACK. Yes…you read that right, the Bills publicly bragged about Smith’s ability to be their Wildcat Quarterback. The Wildcat…a formation that is so…2008. In related news, Chan Gailey really thinks this McCain fella and that cute lady-governor from Alaska are gonna carry the Republican party over this black kid from Illinois…

BTPC pick = Chiefs giving 6.

Titans (+2.5) v. JAGS

Jack Del Rio’s significance to us used to be that he was the veteran our beloved Dolphins had brought in to play MLB, who was dumped after some kid named Zach Thomas impressed the coaches in his rookie training camp. With his cutting of David Garrard right before the season, just as he cut Byron Leftwich before him, Del Rio’s significance is he’s a douche. Since taking over the Jaguars sideline in 2003, Jack Del Rio “The Coach” is known for:

a) being one of two NFL head coaches (along with Mike Nolan) who wanted to wear a suit.
b) The “Keep chopping wood” incident, where his motivational ploy almost led his punter to chop his foot off
c) Cutting his veteran starting quarterbacks right before the season starts

Raise your hand if you think Jack Del Rio is even a “decent” head football coach. And the Titans have a happy Chris Johnson, a better quarterback than they’ve had in several years AND they’re getting 2.5 points. We smell an UPSET SPECIAL…

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL – Titans getting the 2.5

TEXANS (-9) v. Colts

The Colts have most likely lost Manning for the year. Jack Del Rio is intent on losing his team and getting fired (see discussion on Garrard, David above) and Chris Johnson held out, thus tempting the Football Gods to afflict him with the dreaded hold-out RB hamstring injury. It’s as if God Almighty himself wants the Texans to win the AFC South. Our only problem with this line, is trusting a Gary Kubiak team to meet any kind of expectation, let alone cover a 9 point spread…



Aw, hell…

BTPC pick = Texans laying the 9.

BROWNS (-6.5) v. Bengals

Did you know Browns starting QB already has “authored” a book titled “Growing up Colt”? He’s accomplished nothing, but because he’s a quarterback from Texas and named “Colt,” that’s enough to convince a publisher that Colt McCoy has got something to say that the rest of us should know.

Andy Dalton is also a Texas quarterback, but he’s got red-hair, which absolutely baffled Peter King and one of his unnamed NFL coach sources to the point of Mr. MMQB publicly wondering: “Had there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?

Wanna know who else has red hair? How 'bout Christina Hendricks. Guess Peter King and his unnamed NFL coach wouldn't draft her either.

Don't fear the GINGER!

You show ‘em, Andy…you do it for the GINGER…

BTPC pick = UPSET SPECIAL #2 – Bengals getting the 6.5

RAMS (+4.5) v. Eagles

Oh…this is a popular upset pick by the pundits this week. The Eagles may think they’re a dream team, but they’re going into a dome, against a popular sleeper team everyone thinks will take “the leap” this, a team that has a pretty good young D-line and they’re doing it with a suspect offensive line.

We’re gonna buck the upset tide here and say the Eagles pull it out, the question is will they pull it off by at least 5 points? We don’t think so.

BTPC pick = Rams getting the 4.5

REDSKINS (+3) v. Giants

The Skins are starting Rex Grossman. Hey…technically, Sexy Rexy is a “superbowl starting NFL quarterback.” The Skins have that going for them, along with the fact that they’re playing at home, new addition Tim Hightower looks good for the running game, the Giants already crappy pass D is banged up and maybe Eli will be worried about big brother.

BTPC pick = Skins getting the 3.

Panthers (+7) v. CARDINALS

Let’s face it, the Panthers ain’t doing nothing this season. If that turns out to be the case, they’re gonna have a high pick in the draft. You know who’s most likely coming out next year? Alshon Jeffrey.

Can you imagine Cam Newton throwing to the Big Petro? That would be SICK.

BTPC pick = Cardinals giving the 7.

Seahawks (+5.5) v. NINERS

They should call this the bad quarterbacks bowl. Pete Carroll gave Tarvaris Jackson millions to lure him to Seattle. This was after giving the Chargers draft picks to get privilege of giving Charlie Whitehurst millions. Dear Pete…call us. We could use the money.

Just a reminder, Jim Harbaugh pwned! Pete Carroll when he was at Standford and let Carroll know it.

BTPC pick = Niners giving the 5.5

Vikings (+8.5) v. CHARGERS

We really like the Chargers this year, given Phillip Rivers did pretty well last year (as he always does) throwing to absolute shite, thanks to injuries. However, we’re also pretty intrigued by the Vikings. Specifically, we’re eager to see whether McNabb plays with a chip on his shoulder after the way things went down with the Shannahans. For the first time in his career, McNabb is in an offense with a legit rushing attack, meaning he should be able to effectively employ the play-action and go down the field. 8.5 is just too much for what should be a decent Vikes team, plus it’s early and Norv team usually blow games early in the season only to come back and win a playoff spot late before blowing that shot later.

BTPC pick = Vikes getting the 8.5.

COWBOYS (+4) v. Jets

Normally, we’d make a joke here about the best result for this game being if JERRYWORLD somehow imploded with both teams inside, since we hate both of these teams. However, we have bought into the Cowboys offensive explosion hype and our fantasy team(Tiger Blood Winners) has both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.

As an aside, the Sanchize is taking heat for his GQ modeling in the offseason, while Tony Romo has settled down by wedding beauty queen Candice Parker. Looking at the lovely Mrs. Romo and thinking back on Tony's exes Jessica Simpson and Carrie think Tony has himself a "type" he likes? Anyone?

Granted, this Jets team is not the best matchup for us to secure a Week 1 win on the backs of our fantasy passing attack, but we’re gonna ride our fantasy team GM skills, especially getting points at home.

BTPC pick = Cowboys getting the 4

Patriots (-7) v. DOLPHINS

WARNING: complete HOMER pick. We’ve watched this new Brian Daboll offense and we like it. Remember, this is the offense that gashed the Pats last season with a lot less talent than what the Phins have. And the Phins have a top-5 defense. This time last year, Miami and Chad Henne were a popular pick to challenge the Pats. What changed? Well…Henne disappointed. But we think a lot of Henne’s problems came from the coaching. He’s looked sharp this preseason and we’re gonna go with our heart for week one.

BTPC pick = Phins getting 7.

BRONCOS (-3) v. Raiders

The Raiders lost their two best players: Na..Namad…Not playing here anymore and Zach Miller. The Broncos kept their best QB (Orton), while knocking their worst QB (Tebow) down the depth chart, albeit begrudgingly. They also get their best Defensive player back from injury (Dummervil), while adding a young stud to help him out (Von Miller). The Raiders let go a coach who had surprisingly steadied their ship, while the Broncos brought in a veteran coach who can steady theirs.

BTPC pick = Broncos giving 3.

So there you have it. Enjoy, good luck...and remember to keep a little back for rent and milk...

Last Pick, Saints getting 4, so 0-1 for 2011 so far…
2010 Playoff Record: 7-4 Upset Special: 2-0
2010 Season Record (including playoffs): 140-128-9
Career to date: 266-240-17

Thursday, September 8, 2011

BTPC picks…as good as a coin flip, guaranteed.

Don’t call it a comeback…tonight marks the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season and the BTPC could not be happier. That means it’s time for us to reconvene our prognostication panel and get back to making our “Guaranteed 50% Accurate” picks. Seriously…we’re like clock-work. Last year’s record came in at a 50.54% rate for the season, 63.63% for the playoffs. What can we say, we step it up when the games mean more. Our career prognostication efforts on this blog come in at a whopping 50.86%...suck on that Vegas. All this explains how we came up with our slogan “BTPC picks…as good as a coin flip, guaranteed.”

Saints v. PACKERS (-4)

Tonight’s Kickoff game features the Saints traveling up to Wisconsin to help the Packers celebrate adding yet another championship to Title Town. With Peyton Manning looking like he might not play this season (or perhaps ever again), this game features, arguably, 2 of the top 3 quarterbacks in the league right now if you figure Rodgers and Brees fall behind Brady. Personally, we’d put the top-5 right now as Brady, Rodgers, Rivers, Brees and have a tie for 5 with Romo & Vick. Vick’s numbers last season were sick, but he has to replicate that performance before we truly buy that he should be higher.

Having said that, it’s obvious that Drew Brees and his teammates took their poor performance last season personally. The Saints players were some of the most organized about setting up their own private team workouts during the lockout. In fact, we read a report that claimed Brees and some of the other vets actually secured insurance for the rookies, so they could come work out with the team and have peace of mind should an injury occur. That’s pretty damn impressive. You can’t help but think that kind of leadership and dedication is going to have the Saints ready to play tonight.

We are really torn about this pick. We loved the Pack in last year’s playoffs. When you look at what this Packers team did last season with a slew of injuries, it’s hard not to believe they’re going to be significantly better with a healthy team. However, the line actually opened at 5.5 and has now dropped 1.5 points. That’s a pretty big drop, which would seem to indicate smart money was jumping all over the Saints and Vegas has been dropping the spread to try to even out their risk. While that’s pretty important, does it really mean that much in the opening game of the season? In other words, who really knows how good either of these teams are before they strap it on and kick it off?

We like the Pack to win outright. We like the Saints with the opening line of getting 5.5. But the question is do we like them only getting 4? What the hell…

BTPC pick: Saints getting 4.

Last Pick, Super Bowl XLV: 1-0
2010 Playoff Record: 7-4 Upset Special: 2-0
2010 Season Record (including playoffs): 140-128-9
Career to date: 266-240-17

Friday, September 2, 2011

Looking at the reality of alcohol related accidents

There was a Letter to the Editor in today's Post & Courier, which would appear to be written in response to our friend Diedreich von Lehe's Supreme Court decision in the Mt. Pleasant video camera case (Town of Mt. Pleasant v. Roberts). The title of the letter? Get Tough on DUI.

According to a recent Post and Courier article, alcohol is involved in most South Carolina traffic deaths. In fact, we rank 49th among states as regards alcohol-related deaths. What are we doing about these disturbing figures? Our politicians (lots of whom are lawyers) are actually making it harder to catch and convict drunk drivers.

In the meantime, we have a scary situation where South Carolina families are sharing the roads with an increasing number of drunk drivers. How many families have to suffer a needless loss due to a drunk driver before we take this problem seriously?

Pretty scary stuff, huh? What, pray tell, are we to do? We can start by being honest about the actual situation. Is driving while under the influence a serious problem that can lead to tragic consequences? Absolutely. But if one looks objectively at the issue, you can see that there's some puffing going on. First, NHTSA and the SC DPS both have adopted a definition of "alcohol related accident" which is incredibly overbroad when it comes to alcohol's role. Under their definition, an "alcohol related accident" is one in which any person involved (driver, passenger, pedestrian) has a detectable amount of alcohol. A "detectable amount" means .01 or above. So just how slanted does that make the statistics that result in SC being the 49th state in terms of preventing alcohol related accidents? Why would the state rig the numbers like that? That's easy: money. As in grant money from the G and state funding considerations come budget time.

A fellow criminal attorney friend of ours (Hattip McCulloch) has been gathering the State's statistics on accidents and the actual numbers reveal that maybe the fears of a DUI-caused accident epidemic are not supported by the data. For instance, the official SC DPS stats we've seen for total accidents show that DUI related accidents (323) in Horry County in 2009 comprised 4.4% of total accidents (7,360). For 2010, the number of DUI-related accidents (339) was just 4.6% of the total accidents (7,427). (The DUI-related numbers were obtained from this SunNews article).

Now, those numbers are not meant to make light of the serious consequences involved for society as a whole when someone gets behind the wheel while too impaired to operate a vehicle. But what they do show is that maybe the outcry by folks like Mr. Sadler who wrote the letter quoted from above need to seperate fact from fiction. The VAST amount of traffic enforcement in this state is directed at DUIs. From Sober or Slammer, to The Heat is On, to Highways or Dieways, the state of South Carolina and the Federal Government have been funding the hell out of DUI enforcement. In making DUI enforcement a priority, we have also incentivized the enforcement of DUIs. In other words, cops make rank, get awards and recognition and departments get equipment based on their DUI numbers. When you incentivize conduct, you corrupt the process. Just ask Enron. Folks like Mr. Sadler need to understand not only that fact, but that it also should not be EASY to convict someone of this or any other crime.

We Ready...

T-minus less than 35 hours and counting.