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Giving The Picks Giant A Microphone
September 27, 2008 - John Whittaker
A few years ago, Finn, my buddy Bussman and I went to a Jammers game at Russell E. Diethrick Stadium against Batavia.
We're sitting in the stands, eating $1 hot dogs and consuming similarly priced adult beverages when one of us sees the batboy for the Muckdogs -- though batboy does this kid no justice.
He was at least 6 feet tall and had to weigh 250 pounds, earning him the nickname Bat Giant. Bat Giant lumbered after bats, then he ate bats, then he ate the shortstop. For weeks, we made Bat Giant jokes in this deep, booming ogre voice.
It was hillarious.
So, when Finn e-mails me this week and says, 'WE WANT FAT TROPHY:)", well, let's just say that the Picks Giant gets what he wants.
Since he's setting the pace in the contest, and since he invoked the Bat Giant Episode, we'll let Finn have the first word on the NFL this weekend. Prepare for Finn in 3 …2 … 1:
I think there needs to be a couple of comments on quarterbacks this week. … I think that Marc Bulger and Derek Anderson need to rent "Good Will Hunting' this week and just watch the scene where Robin Williams says to Matt Damon, "It's not your fault,' over and over and over.
I know that the quarterback position gets far to much praise and glory when things are going right, but these two situations are simply "scape-goating.' Fix your lines, defense, special teams ... and everything else, then see how those two quarterbacks actually play.
While we are on filmatic-to-football metaphors, they needed to play the scene from the end of "Braveheart' for Big Ben this past week. ... "MEERRCY HIMMMM!!' ... Man I haven't seen somebody on their back that much since........'
Hey Finn, let me finish that joke .... Tom Brady in the season opener!
I think my head's about to explode, so I should move on to this week's picks.
Atlanta at Carolina. After three weeks, and facing the possibility of having to play Jake Delhomme on my fantasy team, I have two thoughts: I should have drafted Matt Ryan in my fantasy football draft, and I really believed in the Panthers a bit too much as my sleeper NFC playoff team. I feel better about Atlanta's quarterback situation right now than I do Carolina's. Way to be Jake - you're playing like a rookie with three career starts. I think the Panthers' defense is overrated, and their running game is surprisingly not that good. Quarterback struggles aside, though, I still like a weak Carolina team to win this game. Give me another week, though, and Atlanta might be a sexy pick in any NFC South games.
Teska's Take (picking based on better uniform color combinations): Carolina: The newer franchises tend to have more trendy color combinations and logos. This is no different. Carolina is a lot sharper than Atlanta. Speaking of sharper, I think Jake will look sharper than the rook anyway.
Cleveland at Cincinnati. What does an 0-3 record, having the next Art Shell as your head coach and an impending quarterback controversy add up to? Me not picking you for the forseeable future. That's right, Bungals fans, the Whitless Wonder says Cincinnati gets off the schneid this weekend. Dance away, Chad Uno Dos Treis Ocho Cinco Seis Johnson. You won't get the chance much of the rest of this season. I don't know what the heck Romeo Crennel's doing in Cleveland this season, but that half-hearted endorsement of Derek Anderson as his quarterback might be the final nail in their coffin -- and we haven't even played the fourth week of the season yet. Braylon Edwards might as well cut his hands off and play with hooks instead - this guy might have the worst hands of any number 1 wide receiver in the league. I might have to disagree with the Picks Giant, too, because I think this might be a little bit Derek Anderson's fault -- he struggled at the end of last season, and something just looks off in his game this season. He might be the second coming of Gus Frerotte.
Houston at Jacksonville. How badly overrated was Matt Schaub this pre-season? Yikes. I see the Jags winning big in this one. After struggling early, all it took for the Jaguars to get healthy were dates with Indianapolis, who always bring out the best in the Jags, and Houston, who drags the best out of everybody, including most high school teams. I really like the way Jack del Rio has handled a surprisingly tough early-season schedule, though I'd like to see a little more consistency out of David Garrard. It won't be needed Sunday, though, because Houston is turrble (sometimes, I like to write like Charles Barkley speaks. It's fun!).
Sir Cumference's Take: Jacksonville: Riding the momentum of a huge win over Indy, Jax pass rushers should absolutely tee off on Matt Schaub, who has already been sacked eight times in just two games. Looks like David Carr wasn't Houston's only problem….
Denver at Kansas City. So, Herm, how the heck do you plan to PLAY TO WIN THE GAME this week? Surface to air missiles at the airport so the Denver plane never lands, perhaps? Poisoning the Broncos room service? God knows, you're not doing it on the field. And, Carl Petersen looked like he knew what he was doing last year on Hard Knocks and all, but how does this guy still have a job? I'd hire him as a stool sample analyst, because this guy has looked at crap for the last two seasons. The Chiefs have no quarterback, a porous offensive line and a defense that can't stop anyone. Nice job, Carl.
In unrelated news, I have just been handed an urgent and horrifying news bulletin -- Carl Petersen has just been named to oversee the nation's banking system with Matt Millen as his deputy. Fans in Detroit and Kansas City are partying like it's 1927. Now the rest of the country can feel their pain.
San Francisco at New Orleans. New Orleans gets healthy in a hurry this weekend, though half of J.T. O'Sullivan's season statistics are likely come against the Saints and their, um, defense. I applaud the work Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have done making the Saints competitive over the last couple of years, but, the Saints are too much like an Andrew Dice Clay routine to win in the playoffs. They're whole repertoir is OFFENSIVE! Draft some linebackers and someone who can cover a dead body, please.
Sir Cumference's Take: New Orleans: I'm not even close to ready to believe in a mediocre-at-best San Francisco team, and the Saints would have upset Denver last week at Mile High if they could have connected on a late 43-yard FG. Of course, missed field goals are all part of the fun when you're employing one of the Flying Gramatica Brothers.
Arizona at N.Y. Jets. I hesitate to take Kurt Warner against a good defense, but he's playing the Jets this weekend. It's amazing how well Warner can play when he holds on to the ball. Even with Edgerrin James looking amazingly like Corey Dillon in his last season with the Patriots, I like the Cards to win this week. Arizona, a powerhouse? I'm getting dizzy again.
Sir Cumference's Take: Arizona: Tough call here. Can the Jets bounce back from that beatdown in San Diego on a short week? Isn't Kurt Warner due for a five-turnover stinker? Which is the real Jets defense, the one that held the Dolphins & Pats to 33 points combined, or the one that got shelled for 48 on Monday night? Is Arizona any good, or have they just beat two teams that aren't very good and lost as soon as they faced half-decent opposition? I don't know the answer to any of these questions, so I'll take the mini-upset.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay. Green Bay's defense didn't' look great last weekend, but can Brian Greise really pull out a win against a decent team throwing 67 times? He's still Brian Greise, isnt' he? Aaron Rodgers has a nice comeback game and the Packers win by 10. If Rodgers doesn't play better Sunday, though, there might be a run on torches and pitchforks in Wisconsin.
Teddy's Take: Tough schedule for the Bucs, but I think Green Bay is like a brand of cheese … that being Swiss cheese. They still have some holes to fill!
Minnesota at Tennessee. This game is a smart-alec's dream. Where do you start? Gus Frerotte and Kerry Collins are the starting quarterbacks in this game. I'll let you make up your own joke for that. I have more faith in Collins than I do in Frerotte -- he did lead a team to the Super Bowl. Jeff Fisher might be the most underrated coach in the NFL - all he does is keep his team competitive. If he could keep Lendale White away from the Krispy Cremes, they'd have one of the top 5 running back combinations in the league, which makes Collins' life easier. I see the Titans winning by 7.
Teska's Take: Personally, there's no way Tennessee moves to 4-0, but who I think will win this game is irrelevant this week. I think the Titans have a top five yniform. The flaming T for a logo is a good call as well, with some history perhaps dating back to Greek mythology during the classic Battle of the Titans and the Greek gods. I don't think Kerry Collins is the Greek equivalent of Cronus, but I DO think A-Pete is the Greek equivalent of Zeus. I don't have anyone who would resemble the 100-handed giants who would eventually turn the war, but maybe it's Gus Frerotte?
San Diego at Oakland. This might be the game that pushes Lane Kiffin over the edge, because I don't see JaMarcus Russell doing anything against San Diego's opportunistic cornerbacks. The Charges might score six defensive touchdowns in this game. How sure are you, Lane, that you actually want this job? Do you need a secretary to type that resignation letter, or are you just a glutton for punishment. Your walk-ons at USC had to be better in the pocket than JaMarcus. And, how can you run Al Davis' bombs-away offense with no wide recievers? Johnnie Lee Higgins? Javon Walker's decomposing corpse? Ronald Curry - well, at least your team has a point guard. Oakland's better suited to run Jacksonville's playbook than it is Al Davis'. Tom Jackson and Chris Berman get to sing their Super-Chargers song tonight on the late SportsCenter.
Buffalo at St. Louis. How can you pick any team from Missouri this season in any game? There's a good chance Syracuse could beat the Rams this year, so, yeah, I think Buffalo wins this one. It might not be a cakewalk, but the Bills stay undefeated. I can't believe I'm about to write this, but I can see the Bills going 11-5 and winning the AFC East this season. Trent Edwards has been solid at quarterback, Marshawn Lynch has taken his game to the next level, and the Bills defense looks great now that they have healthy linebackers. Excuse me for a moment, I feel the need to rail my head with a 2-by-4 a few hundred times.
Washington at Dallas. The easy money says Dallas wins this game by two touchdowns, but NFC East games are never as easy as they seem. I can actually see the Redskins winning this game on a Campbell to Santana Moss bomb. Thank God we don't pick with the spread, because Washington would be tempting. I can't quite pull the trigger against Dallas yet, though, because their running game makes it hard for Tony Romo to make the offense predictable. I still have a couple of questions about them -- namely: Is it too early to start calling Tony Romo "Mr. September.' If he chokes again late this year, that's what Dallas fans will be calling him. That, or Mr. Jessica Simpson. Or, maybe, just A__Hole. That's possible, too.
Teska's Take: If this was a battle of those yellow Redskins jerseys with the retro logo and the Dallas jersey from the Troy Aikman concussion days with the weird star thing on the shoulder, the voting would probbly go the other way. However, the Cowboys fixed that uniform problem and they win this one with a slight dge. Maybe I'm suiting up Jessica simpson and including her in the voting, but she talks smack every week as if she's suited up, so I think that's allowed.
Philadelphia at Chicago. Chicago is one of the few teams that can really step up and hit teams in the mouth. I'm still having trouble figuring out which defensive team is going to show up, though -- sometimes, the Bears' defense just doesn't look as dominating as it should. As for the Eagles, you know which defense is showing up - the Jim Johnson "I'm Blitzing On Every Play Like I'm Playing Madden' defense. Kyle Orton spends most of the second half of this game looking out of his earhole with an embarassing brown splotch on his backside as the Eagles win easily.
Sir Cumference's Take: I'm not at all sold on the Kyle Orton Experience, and the Eagles' defense is very, very good. I don't see the Bears moving the ball at all, and even if they get a special teams TD ou of Hester, it won't be enough to beat Philly.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh. I'm a lot less convinced that Pittsburgh wins this game now than I was two weeks ago. Ben Roethlisberger is banged up, Willie Parker's out with a knee injury and I'm not sold on an offense whose best game came against Houston. If Byron Leftwich is playing in the second half of this game, well, you can probably kiss the Steelers goodbye for the rest of the season, and the Buddha Bellies fantasy season along with it. But, I'm banking on the Steelers offensive line to keep Roethlisberger upright on Monday so he can take off, probably helmetless, on his motorcycle after the game. I feel really, really secure about my fantasy quarterbacking situation right about now. I think Pittsburgh wins on Monday night, and Tony Kornheiser sets the new record for most times calling Roethlisberger by his first name only at 375. Top that, Phil Simms!
Sir Cumference's Take: Baltimore's just not that good -- home wins over Cincy & Cleveland are hardly impressive -- and the Steelers are going to be looking to knock some heads around after what Philly did to them last week. Joe Flacco finally gets to face a real NFL defense, and it probably won't be pretty.
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