Friday, October 01, 2004

Non-Political Points to Debate

More importantly than last night's well-choreographed debate, here are five more topics to discuss around the water cooler today:

1. The fantastic finish of the beisbol season...who's going to win this bitch? I mean, it doesn't get any better than this, folks. You've got a four-team race for the NL Wild Card going into the last weekend of the season, the first time that's happened since the introduction of the current playoff system in 1995. Granted, the Padres need a miracle every day like Bobby Weir, but even if San Diego gets eliminated, there's still three teams very much alive. And those three teams have extremely interesting storylines: the surging Astros led by the Killer B's (Beltran, Berkman, Biggio, Bagwell, again, not these Killer Bees) and traitor/ball-licker/pitcher Roger Clemens, the Bonds-led ridiculousness that is San Francisco and the cursed Cubs that almost look like they want to lose this thing just to give Nomah a bad name. As much as I'd like to see the SF Bondses and Cubbies make the playoffs, my bet rides on the Astros, who have won 15 straight at home and take on the struggling Rockies in Houston this weekend.

And for the first time since 1980, two division rivals will enter a season-ending series against each other tied atop the standings. The A's and Angels meet this weekend in Oakland in an early two-out-of-three playoff series, and each team throws their top guns to the mound. Oakland's Big Three may be struggling of late, but they've won 17 of 22 series in which all three have started in the same three-game set. Unfortunately, Rich Harden is probably their best pitcher right now, and they'll face a pretty hot Colon and Escobar combo in the first two games of the series. These two teams are headed in the complete opposite directions, and I see no reason why this weekend should deviate from that trend. Angels either sweep this series or take two of three and advance to the real playoffs. Oakland fans experience another heart-breaking loss and people finally realize that Moneyball doesn't work without a Red Sawx-type budget. Then Billy Beane admits he looks like a combination of Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Spacey with Down Syndrome in this picture. Hey, at least he doesn't have Groat's.

2. Are orgies good for society? One Supreme Court Justice seems to think so, and it's arguably one of the most consersative members fo the bench. "Challenged about his views on sexual morality, Justice Scalia surprised his audience at Harvard University, telling them: 'I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.'" Yay for Scalia...I wonder how the GOP spins these comments from the Cheney-fellator. Maybe he'll pull a Chubbs from Happy Gilmore and clarify his quote by saying, "Just easin' the tension, baby, just easin' the tension."

3. Has the NFL completely lost my mind? Earlier this week the NFL fined Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer for continuing to wear the "40" decal in his helmet, a great tribute to his former college and pro teammate Pat Tillman. Plummer decided today he wouldn't fight the NFL anymore and will remove the sticker, after he was threatened with exponentially increasing penalties. I understand the NFL has a uniform policy and needs to enforce it on a league-wide and not case-by-case basis. But have we completely lost all compassion these days? Since when does a fucking uniform code take preference over a man's effort to acknowledge a friend and former teammate who made the ultimate sacrifice for his countrymen? I think this is a no-brainer and I'm sure you're all in agreement, so I'll stop talking now. Look, Plummer obviously sucks at football, but he was doing a pretty good job of honoring a man's life in death. Now he's gonna suck at that, too.

4. A note from Slack loyalist PB, aka Tits McGillicuty (or something like that): "Metallica was on the Jane Pauley show today? Is nothing sacred in this world? I mean - I have no problem with Jane Pauley. But I *do* have a problem with Metallica *on* Jane Pauley. I think Jane even played guitar with them at one point. I think I just threw up." I agree, PB, this kind of stuff makes me a bit ill as well. Whatever happened to doing things the way you wanna do them? It's a sad, sad world, friends.

5. Lastly, my NFL picks of the week...last week's performance was rougher than three-day stubble. I only won four games, and I think I barely squeaked those out. So now I'm 24-20-2, still over .500 but clearly not as hot as say, Parker Posey. If you're going to bet on one team this week, make it the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets -- a four and a half point favorite against a team that blows more goats than Noah Vanderhoff, that's a spread to exploit right there. And the Colts spread too...there's not a chance in hell the jags can run with this offense. I'd also bet big on the Bears over the Eagles, because the Eagles my knockout team this week. And clearly the NFC's best team taking on one of the worst teams with absolutely no quarterback...well, they just gotta blow it, right? Just to make me misaerable? Absolutely. Down, down, down, my knockout team's goin' down. Reverse jinx? Hopefully.

Anyway, here are my Week #4 picks: Packers (-7) over Giants, 27-16; Jets (-4.5) over Dolphins, 24-9; Eagles (-8.5) over Bears/Ditka, 100-2; Redskins (+3) over Browns, 22-21; Bills (+5.5) over Pats, 19-16; Texans (+2) over Raiders, 21-17; Colts (-3.5) over Jaguars, 38-17; Bengals (+4) over Steelers, 31-21; Panthers (-3.5) over Falcons, 24-17; Cards (+3) over Saints in my upset special of the week in the heat, 24-13; Broncos (-3) over Bucs, 27-17; Titans (-3) over Chargers, 23-17; Rams (-3.5) over 49ers, 34-16; and Ravens (-4.5) over Chiefs, 5-0.

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