Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sorry, no time to be humourous this week -- shoppers come first! I already got Minnesota to cover against Green Bay, although I missed it straight up.

Kansas City (-7) over Oakland
Tennessee (+4.5) over Buffalo
New Orleans (+3) over NY Giants
Atlanta (-6.5) over Carolina
St. Louis (-2) over Washington
Indianapolis (-9) over Houston
Baltimore (+3) over Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay (+3) over Cleveland
Chicago (-5.5) over Detroit
New England (+3) over Jacksonville
Arizona (+4) over San Francisco
Denver (-3) over Cincy
San Diego (-4) over Seattle
Philadelphia (+7) over Dallas
Miami (-2.5) over NY Jets

Lock of the Week: New England

Pick Three -- New England, Tennessee, New Orleans

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here's some news on the Mackenzie front -- she just had her nine-month doctor's visit this afternoon. Pertinent statistics include:

*29.5 inches
*19 pounds
*90th percentile height
*50th percentile weight
*60th percentile head circumference

I'm not sure what all that means, but I'm guessing Mackenzie is on the road to playing center for York University in 20 years.

And now, the cuteness:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mac'd been struggling with a cold for more than a week before she finally whipped it. Still a trooper, though, and still has me wound around her little finger.

Cabot update! This young man is coming on strong, with four out of five days in the white in his SK class!

No, I don't really know what that means either -- I think it's some adaptation of the American terror alert colour chart. In any case, BRAVO!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Please do not adjust your monitors, but I'm going to tell you all to step off of Terrell Owens.

We all know his history. Owens knows his way around a Sharpie, and before Emmitt Smith was “Dancing With The Stars,” T.O. was dancing on them in Dallas. He’s not above insinuating his own quarterback might prefer dancing in a leather bar to visiting one of the strip variety.

Heck, Owens might even consider faking some sort of suicide attempt in an effort to gain more attention and sympathy from the media and fans.

Nah, I guess no one would go that far.

Still, Owens is considered one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, and for pretty good reason. T.O. has posted more than 11,000 yards and caught 112 touchdowns while bitching and moaning his way to enmity across the land.

Even when he was about as popular as Natalie Maines at a Young Republicans mixer, Bill Parcells and the Cowboys welcomed him to the fold. Performance over personality, baby.

So no matter how much you may despise the man, you have to give him at least a little credit.

That credit, however, might not extend to spitting in another man’s face, as Owens has admitted he did during the Atlanta-Dallas game this weekend. T.O. gave the face wash to Falcons’ defensive back DeAngelo Hall.

Of course, the press and the peanut gallery have been quick to hammer Owens. I myself am not excusing, admiring or advocating his “hock-a-loogie” method of gaining a little distance from Hall’s mug.

But I think we have to take a look at the spittee before we condemn the spitter.

Hall is admittedly a good-to-great defensive back. He also hasn’t had an interception in two months and has been smoked like a holiday ham of late by Hines Ward and Devery Henderson.

Still, Hall handles himself with the humility of P.T. Barnum and the grace of a yappy Chihuahua. He basks in the reflected glow of his idol, Deion Sanders – and I’m not sure I can paint a better picture of a man than that.

So to blast Owens for laying a wet one on Hall is unwarranted. It’s not the method I would have chosen, but then, I don’t know what Hall was saying, and Owens didn’t know he’d shut Hall up later by catching a pair of TDs and helping to sink the Falcons.

I’m just saying, it could have been worse.

Owens could have ripped the helmet from Hall’s head and stomped him. He could have kicked him in the goalpost.

Or if he really wanted to hurt Hall’s feelings, Owens could have said he’d rather listen to Joe Theismann.

So find it in your heart to give T.O. a holiday pass for his saliva faux pas. It’s what Jesus would have expectorated of you.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Welcome to Week Fifteen of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where our Christmas spirit has been tempered by passing around the stomach flu. Seriously, if we’re not very funny this week, you try humour while clenching at both ends.

The Hoser went 9-7 against the spread and 10-6 straight up, but watched our two-game Lock of the Week streak go down like Brett Favre in front of Michael Strahan. If any of you can still count the Colts as serious Super Bowl threats after that, we’ve got some genuine Sidd Finch autographs we’d like to sell you.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Oliver Stone teach your sensitivity training class.

Editor’s Note: The Hoser already nailed the San Francisco-Seattle game.

Dallas @ ATLANTA (+3): We loved the expression on Bill Parcells’s face after he received a 15-yard penalty for throwing his challenge flag inside two minutes last week. It’s the same face Michael Irvin makes when you tell him there’s no more coke left. Dallas 21, Atlanta 20.

NY Jets @ MINNESOTA (-3.5): Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Joe Woods was charged with two counts of drunken driving this week after blowing a .12. Charges were dropped, however, after the D.A. said it could reasonably expected that anyone working with the Minnesota secondary would be drinking even more heavily than Woods. Minnesota 20, New York Jets 16.

Cleveland @ BALTIMORE (-11.5): Browns safety Brian Russell has his second staph infection in three months and is the fourth Cleveland player to suffer the same fate in the past two seasons. It doesn’t help, however, that all Browns players are treated at the nearby Ron Mexico Free Clinic. Baltimore 21, Cleveland 13.

Houston @ NEW ENGLAND (-11.5): After reading about Miami’s supposed successful in studying TV tapes of Patriot QB Tom Brady, Texans’ management ordered tapes of their own. Unfortunately, Brady’s hosting gig on SNL probably won’t help much. New England 31, Houston 14.

Miami @ BUFFALO (-1): A 17-year-old girl claiming she had a two-year sexual relationship with Dolphins rookie Marcus Vick has filed a lawsuit against him. The girl said Vick misled her, especially by using an alias – “Ron Mexico Jr.” Buffalo 22, Miami 20.

Pittsburgh @ CAROLINA (+3): Mouthy Steelers LB Joey Porter picked up a $10K fine after making some remarks about Cleveland TE Kellen Winslow. "That's what (blanks) do," Porter said. "He's soft. He wants to be tough, but he's really soft." This from a guy who we all know has taken a shot in the ass. Pittsburgh 28, Carolina 20.

Washington @ NEW ORLEANS (-9.5): The Redskins are on pace to set an NFL record for the fewest takeaways in a season. This does not count after Week 18, when Daniel Snyder will take away Joe Gibbs’s job. New Orleans 31, Washington 20.

Jacksonville @ TENNESSEE (+3.5): ESPN analyst and former Pittsburgh Steeler Merill Hoge comments about not being that impressed with Titans rookie QB Vince Young actually helped Google’s stock. Millions of people were forced to search the Internet to find out whom the hell Merril Hoge was and if there was a story behind his girlish first name. Tennessee 24, Jacksonville 23.

Tampa Bay @ CHICAGO (-13.5): Bears DT Terry “Tank” Johnson was charged with possession of a firearm without proper identification after police found six guns in his home. Johnson was released, however, after he explained he was planning to shoot anyone who continues to do that stupid “Da Bears!” thing on TV. Chicago 30, Tampa Bay 10.

Philadelphia @ NY GIANTS (-5.5): Plaxico Burress has called out the Philadelphia defense, saying there’s no way they can shut him down. I was going to try to say something funny about this, but given the state of New York’s offense and Plaxico’s penchant for shooting himself in the foot, I’ll let it stand on its own. New York Giants 24, Philadelphia 23.

Detroit @ GREEN BAY (-5): Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli are barrelling down the highway in the team bus when they come to an overpass. A sign says, "Clearance: 11’2”." So they get out, measure the bus and realize it's 11’6”.
Millen glances around furtively and says to Marinelli, “I don't see any cops around -- let's go for it!" Green Bay 26, Detroit 16.

Denver @ ARIZONA (+2.5): NFL Network analyst Cris Collinsworth said recently he thought Broncos signal caller Jay Cutler would turn out to be the best QB from the 2006 draft. His partner in the booth, Bryant Gumbel, said, “Mmm hmm … mmm hmmm… mm hmmm … mmm hmmm … mmm hmmm.” Arizona 26, Denver 24.

Kansas City @ SAN DIEGO (-8.5): Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson has 29 touchdowns this season. That’s the same number of offensive touchdowns the Chiefs have scored as a team. ‘Nuff said. San Diego 37, Kansas City 21.

St. Louis @ OAKLAND (-2.5): Swear to God, I received this news bulletin from my mother this morning:
St. Louis (MO)--Rams football practice was delayed nearly two hours Friday after a player reported finding a white, powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Scott Linehan immediately suspended practice and called the police and federal investigators.
After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined the white substance unknown to players was the GOAL LINE. Practice resumed after special agents decided the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again this season. St. Louis 27, Oakland 20.

Lock of the Week: Pittsburgh
Trifecta: Pittsburgh, New Orleans, San Diego
Week Fourteen:
9-7 ATS
10-6 SU
0-1 LOTW
0-1 Trifecta
-$560
Overall:
97-107-3 ATS
131-76 SU
4-10 Lock
1-13 Trifecta
-$5,970

Saturday, December 09, 2006

There have been a couple responses to something I wrote on the Louise Ogborn case from last week. Here's my response to those responses.

Louise Ogborn was horribly mistreated and wrongfully imprisoned, and the people who did what they did to her deserve all the prison time they get.

But to file a $200M lawsuit against McDonald's for failing to train its managers properly is ridiculous. Again, I ask -- if it's necessary to tell your management staff not to listen to unknown voices on the phone who tell them to imprison, strip search and sexually assault other employees, then what else do you have include in the training? Don't light one another's hair on fire? Defecating in the shake machine is a no-no? If a customer asks for no pickles, you shouldn't beat him to death with a bag of frozen fries?

By the way, here's the exact language from the McDonald's training manual (at least according to McDonald's):

"Under no circumstances should any member of McDonald's management or staff conduct a search of any employee or customer's person. No legitimate law enforcement agency would ever ask you to conduct such a search. If someone claiming to be a law enforcement official requests that a manager or employee conduct a strip search, or any search of another employee or customer, try to obtain the name and phone number of the caller and immediately call your local police department to report the incident. Contact your owner/operator or security manager about the incident as soon as possible. If you believe you have reason to search an employee's personal possessions (for example, a backpack, purse, etc.), contact your owner/operator or security manager for guidance beforehand. You should never detain any employee or other individual from leaving the premises against his or her will."

Sounds pretty clear to me, and McDonald's has also been sending updates to its franchises on the hoax calls. However, if you read this Courier-Journal story, you'll find that a McDonald's executive admitted it didn't appear word filtered down to the employees. I'm not sure what that means.

There's more confusion. According to the original 20/20 story, the assistant manager closes the door and locks it, then gives Ogborn a choice -- submit to a search or go to the local police station. But according to the Courier-Journal story from above, Ogborn begged to be taken the police station. So, which is it?

I know the argument NSLC is making, and it's a valid one -- you don't know what you would do in a given situation until you're actually in it yourself. And yes, I'm aware the managers were larger than her. But at what point do you fight back? There was no threat to her life, no weapon.

From my personal viewpoint, I know I would have been screaming and attempting to go out at the point the assistant manager locked the door. There's absolutely no reason an employee (or anyone, for that matter) should be locked into an office, least of all in a McDonald's. An employee who doesn't grasp that fact, well, I don't know if I can get a grip on where they're coming from.

People point to the Milgram experiments as proof of many people's willingness to accept meekly what they are told by authority figures. Fine -- but if you aren't going to protect yourself in a situation that appears to have no life-threatening overtones, how much sympathy can you then expect after the fact?

It comes down to a question of how much blame you're willing to assign someone for a situation in which they never should have been. While I'm gladly willing to throw the assistant manager and her (now former) fiance under the prison bus, I also don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone to defend themselves under the circumstances Ogborn was in.

Welcome to Week Fourteen of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where if you round up, we were average.

The Hoser went 7-8-1 against the spread and 10-6 straight up, although we did hit our second consecutive Lock of the Week. We tried to get Danny Sheridan to give us the odds on that happening, but he just wired back two words – “No Line.”

It’s Handicapping Haiku Week here at The Hoser, where we’re nothing if not literate and urbane. We would have done this earlier, but most of our staffers thought “haiku” was a children’s beverage.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Wesley Snipes do your taxes.

Editor’s Note: I already blew the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game on Thursday.

Baltimore @ KANSAS CITY (-3):

The Chiefs were handled

by the lowly Clevelanders.

Somewhere, Vermeil cries.


Ravens 19, Chiefs 16.

Atlanta @ TAMPA BAY (+3):

With mobility

and grace, Tampa fans, Vick will

stick it up your Bucs.


Falcons 29, Buccaneers 17.

Minnesota @ DETROIT (-1):

The Lions showed some life,

making the Patriots work.

Millen’s still an ass.


Lions 24, Vikings 21.

Tennessee @ HOUSTON (PK):


Who hits from 60?

Cue up The Knack parody --

it’s “My Bironas!”


Titans 23, Texans 14.

N.Y. Giants @ CAROLINA (-2.5):

Which gap is bigger --

the one between Strahan’s teeth,

or in his judgement?


Giants 23, Panthers 19.

New Orleans @ DALLAS (-7):

If Dallas decides

to roof its field, would it be

The RomoDomo?


Cowboys 27, Saints 21.

Buffalo @ NY JETS (-3.5):

To be honest, I’d

prefer old “Buffalo Bill”

with Dabney Coleman.


Jets 23, Bills 19.

Indianapolis @ JACKSONVILLE (-1):

With Garrard’s fine play,

in the Jaguars’ future, could

Leftwich be Leftout?


Colts 30, Jaguars 21.

Philadelphia @ WASHINGTON (-1):

With D-backs healthy,

Philly’s defense could be a

fly in Campbell’s soup.


Eagles 22, Redskins 20.

Oakland @ CINCINNATI (-11):

The Raiders will fold

faster than Tim Krumrie’s leg

in the Super Bowl.


Bengals 31, Raiders 13.

New England @ MIAMI (+3.5):

FG’s shower scene

shows Tom digs Peter’s manboobs

over Tara’s rack.


Patriots 27, Dolphins 23.

Green Bay @ SAN FRANCISCO (-4.5):

He’s hurt – no, he’s fine.

The streak will roll – no, it won’t.

Retire already!


49ers 26, Packers 21.

Seattle @ ARIZONA (+3):

Denny Green’s outbursts

make me think it’s like having

Joan Crawford on staff.


Cardinals 26, Seahawks 24.

Denver @ SAN DIEGO (-7.5):

By the time I write

this little poem on the game,

LT will have scored.


Chargers 33, Broncos 17.

Chicago @ ST. LOUIS (+6):

On the backs of milk

cartons throughout St. Louis:

Have you seen Torry?


Bears 17, Rams 16.

Lock of the Week: Indianapolis

Trifecta: Indianapolis, San Francisco, Tennessee

Week Thirteen:

7-8-1 ATS

10-6 SU

1-0 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

+$150

Overall:

88-100-3 ATS

121-70 SU

4-9 Lock

1-12 Trifecta

-$5,310

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Your quickie pick for tonight -- Cleveland (+7) to cover over Pittsburgh.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I watched a 20/20 special last night on calls to fast-food restaurants in the United States by someone pretending to be a police officer.

According to the report, on numerous occasions managers of restaurants listened to the apparently authoritative voice on the other end of the line and then told employees to strip naked. Several times, cavity searches were done.

I watched this, wondering a couple of things:

* How big of an idiot do you have to be to follow the instructions of a caller on a phone, even if you think it's a police officer? If someone called your house and said, "I'm a cop, and you need to strip, slather yourself in Miracle Whip and run outside singing "Only The Lonely", wouldn't you think twice about it?
* How much more of an idiot do you have to be to submit to the strip and cavity search? You're going to take the word of a McDonald's manager, get butt-naked and do a little digging? Seriously, at what point would you say, "You know what? For $6.15 an hour, I'm pretty sure Wendy's won't cram things up my ass. See ya."

One of the experts 20/20 interviewed made a point about people being trained to blindly follow authority in the States, which is pretty much true. If you look moderately official and can yell loud enough, I'm betting you could get 10% of the patrons of any given mall to throw one another down the escalators.

A victim in Kentucky, Louise Ogborn, has filed a $200M lawsuit against McDonald's, saying managers should be trained not to strip search employees. Surprisingly, the company does have a small section in its training manuals addressing the topic. Not surprisingly, it says perhaps you shouldn't.

But is it really necessary for corporations to have to tell employees not to do things you wouldn't normally expect them to do? Should a McDonald's info packet have a chapter called, "It's Not Necessary To Set Your Fry Cook On Fire If He/She Burns A Batch Of Fries"?

As for Ogborn, she says she's in therapy and is just trying to put the incident behind her. Err, well, all of it except the $200M she wants.

That she'll keep.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Welcome to Week Thirteen of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where if you’ve been simply doing the opposite of what we suggested, it finally cost you.

The Hoser went a moribund 8-8 against the spread and 10-6 straight up, but finally managed to hit on a Lock of the Week. Well, actually, our Ouija board picked New Orleans, but it also told us Elton John’s next video would feature a nude scene, and now we’re too creeped out to use it again.

The NFL shocker of the week was Bill Parcells cutting loose kicker Mike Vanderjagt after the Cowboys signed him to a three-year, $5.5M deal in the offseason. Vanderjagt wanted to get out of town as quickly as possible, but not surprisingly, he missed his plane.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Michael Vick teach your kids sign language.

Baltimore @ CINCINNATI (-3): Bengal speedburner Chris Henry snagged two TD passes against the Browns last week, but he’ll be hard-pressed to outrun the punishment of a possible DUI conviction this week. Insert “jail + wide receiver” joke here. Ravens 22, Bengals 17.

Indianapolis @ TENNESSEE (+7.5): In response to injuries, the Colts have signed WR Ricky Proehl. This is Proehl’s sixth NFL team, meaning he’s been picked up almost as much as Chris Henry. Colts 33, Titans 21.

Minnesota @ CHICAGO (-9.5): Bears QB Rex Grossman has 15 turnovers in the past six weeks. After the botched snap at New England’s five-yard line last week, we wondered – has anyone seen Grossman and Kurt Warner in the same room recently? Bears 20, Vikings 14.

Tampa Bay @ PITTSBURGH (-8.5): The Steelers have been relying increasingly on the pass, getting away from the run-oriented offence that brought them a Super Bowl title last season. You know you’re getting too predictable when Terry Bradshaw can guess the next play. Steelers 23, Buccaneers 16.

Arizona @ ST. LOUIS (-6.5): Cardinals head coach Dennis Green said his team will pound the ball more after throwing 51 times and running just six last week. That’s about as balanced as having Bill O’Reilly and Tucker Carlson run your U.S. foreign policy debate. Rams 26, Cardinals 22.

Jacksonville @ MIAMI (-2): This whole Nick Saban thing is getting ridiculous. Our local Chick-fil-A put up a “Now Hiring” sign and Saban sent out a press release saying he wasn’t interested in the job. Dolphins 23, Jaguars 20.

San Francisco @ NEW ORLEANS (-7): In researching the possible legal battle over the 49ers’ name if the franchise relocates to Santa Clara, The Hoser discovered Rice-A-Roni’s headquarters are actually in Chicago. We understand, though, as “The San Francisco Treat” is probably a better slogan than “You’ll Feel The Windy City In Every Bite”. Saints 31, 49ers 13.

Atlanta @ WASHINGTON (-1.5): Yes, the ‘Skins won a game under new QB Jason Campbell, but favoured over the Falcons? To paraphrase the great Harvey Keitel, “Let’s not start SLAPPING each other’s BACKS just yet.” Well, that’s what he says on TBS, anyway. Falcons 22, Redskins 17.

Kansas City @ CLEVELAND (+5): After his little hissy fit on the sidelines last week, Browns WR Braylon Edwards said, “I wish I could do it back, but I can’t.” This explains Edwards grabbing QB Charlie Frye’s jersey for attention, as Edwards obviously can’t speak English. Chiefs 27, Browns 17.

Detroit @ NEW ENGLAND (-13.5): Lions GM Matt Millen nearly died of exposure this week after he was found sitting in his car outside a shuttered drive-in theatre. Millen later explained he had been waiting to see “Closed For The Winter.” Patriots 29, Lions 17.

San Diego @ BUFFALO (+6): Chargers LB Shawne Merriman returns from his four-game steroids suspension declaring he’s ready to play. Team doctors are a bit worried, however, after noticing Merriman’s physique now resembles Olive Oyl’s. Chargers 30, Bills 17.

NY Jets @ GREEN BAY (-1): Packers QB Brett Favre continued his amazing streak last week. No, not of making 252 consecutive starts – the other one where he makes at least three utterly stupid decisions in a game. Jets 24, Packers 20.

Dallas @ NY GIANTS (+3.5): The History Channel is currently cutting footage of the Hindenburg crash from its “Greatest New Jersey Disasters” special and adding a biography of Eli Manning. Cowboys 26, Giants 21.

Houston @ OAKLAND (-3): The Hoser can’t get excited about this game, but Oakland’s decision to demote Tom Walsh totally makes us want to Shoop (drops needle on Salt N’ Pepa and begins Cabbage Patching). Raiders 17, Texans 13.

Seattle @ DENVER (-4.5): Broncos QB Jake Plummer has been axed as the team’s starter, but he’s taking it well, saying it will allow him to devote more time to his film career. Plummer’s fighting not only a lack of acting experience, but also being typecast as a homeless guy. Seahawks 22, Broncos 20.

Carolina @ PHILADELPHIA (-3): Panther fans calling for the benching of their struggling quarterback, Jake Delhomme, are generally quieted by whispering two little words in their ears – Chris Weinke. Eagles 23, Panthers 21.

Week Twelve Hoser’s Dozers

QB: Chad Pennington, New York Jets – Pennington had a shaky couple weeks before getting the magic elixir that is the Houston Texans in Week 12. As long as the frozen tundra isn’t too frozen, Pennington should ice the league fourth-worst pass defense.

RB: Sammy Morris, Miami Dolphins – With Ronnie Brown out after hand surgery, Morris should get the lion’s share of the carries this week. Consider his backfield partner a Minor inconvenience and play this cat.

WR: Kevin Curtis, St. Louis Rams – Maybe Torry Holt kicked his dog or something, but QB Marc Bulger has suddenly stopped looking in Holt’s direction. That means targets for Curtis, and if he does well, remember Utah (State) it here first.

Lock of the Week: San Diego

Trifecta: San Diego, Kansas City, Indianapolis

Week Eleven:
8-8 ATS
10-6 SU
1-0 LOTW
0-1 Trifecta
+$240

Overall:
81-92-2 ATS
111-64 SU
3-9 Lock
1-11 Trifecta
-$5,460

Friday, November 24, 2006

Welcome to Week Twelve of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where we’re getting over our withdrawal from American Thanksgiving. Just don’t mention green bean casserole or we could relapse.

The Hoser finally started to rebound to early-season form, going 9-6-1 against the spread and 12-4 straight up. Seriously – we counted like four times.

There was some excitement in the Hoser household also, as we had two Pro-Line cards with four games each and three right heading into Monday night. Unfortunately, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin somehow forgot he had Tiki Barber in his backfield while Eli Manning played with all the poise of Kirstie Alley in a Haagen-Dazs outlet. Thanks, Tom!

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as thinking the world won’t notice you’re suddenly four inches taller in your wedding photos.

Editor's Note: Thanksgiving picks were up on the site on Thursday morning. As you can tell from the results, I didn't change anything.

Miami @ DETROIT (+2.5): While families across America sit down to enjoy the holiday turkey, Lions' fans know theirs is sitting upstairs in a luxury suite somewhere. Dolphins 22, Lions 20.

Tampa Bay @ DALLAS (-11): How the mighty have fallen. While new Dallas QB Tony Romo downplays rumors of a budding relationship with Jessica Simpson, deposed signal caller Drew Bledsoe is emphatically denying a romantic link between him and Mindy Cohn. Cowboys 27, Bucs 17.

Denver @ KANSAS CITY (PK): Two things you can count on -- the Chiefs playing tough at Arrowhead (7-1 ATS last season) and KC tailgaters having cholesterol levels higher than the averages of most PBA members. Chiefs 23, Broncos 21.

Jacksonville @ BUFFALO (+3): Jaguars DT John Henderson continues his pre-game ritual of being slapped around by a trainer before taking the field. Oddly enough, it’s the same thing Clay Aiken does to get ready for a concert. Jaguars 27, Bills 17.

Houston @ NEW YORK JETS (-5.5): Texans OL Fred Weary had resisting arrest charges dropped against him this week after getting Tasered during a recent traffic stop. The two officers involved won’t be suspended, but they will be forced to spend two hours in a locked room listening to Roger Clemens talk about himself. Jets 20, Texans 17.

Pittsburgh @ BALTIMORE (-3): Ravens place kicker Matt Stover saw his run of 36 consecutive made field goals end last week. Stover hadn’t shanked one in more than a year and was chasing current Dallas K Mike Vanderjagt, who hasn’t missed in the last … four minutes. Ravens 20, Steelers 16.

Cincinnati @ CLEVELAND (+3): Browns WR Braylon Edwards caught some flak from his teammates this week for questioning an early-season shot by DB Brian Russell’s on Cincy wide receiver Chad Johnson that left Johnson helmetless and with a huge gash on his chin. Physicists defended Russell, however, saying he was most likely sucked in by the gravitation pull from Johnson’s mouth. Bengals 28, Browns 20.

Arizona @ MINNESOTA (-6.5): Rumors are circulating the Cardinals have already decided to fire head coach Dennis Green at season’s end and hire former Lions coach Steve Mariucci. Arizona management denies it, and also refutes recently interviewing Tom Izzo for the job. Cardinals 22, Vikings 20.

San Francisco @ ST. LOUIS (-5.5): 49ers receiver Antonio Bryant displayed incredibly poor judgement this week. No, not just for his arrest for drunk driving – who buys a Lamborghini in orange? 49ers 24, Rams 23.

New Orleans @ ATLANTA (-3): Jim Mora Sr., father of the head coach of the Falcons and a former head coach in the NFL himself, called QB Michael Vick a “coach killer”. It should be taken with a grain of salt, however – the same day, he called his waitress at Denny’s a “Grand Slam killer”. Saints 23, Falcons 20.

Carolina @ WASHINGTON (+4): RB Clinton Portis’s hand injury will keep him out for the rest of the season, but he’ll keep trying to entertain the press with his costumed antics. Portis said he had hoped to play Dr. Evil, but that Redskins owner Dan Snyder quashed the idea after Portis said Snyder was too short to appear with him as Mini-Me. Panthers 23, Redskins 14.

Chicago @ NEW ENGLAND (-3): How explosive is Chicago’s defense? Ron Rivera just turned down the Raiders’ offensive coordinator job. Bears 16, Patriots 14.

Philadelphia @ INDIANAPOLIS (-9): With Donovan McNabb out for the season, Jeff Garcia takes over at quarterback. To make him feel more comfortable in the pocket, the Eagles have signed his girlfriend, Carmella DeCesare, to karate-kick any blitzing safeties. Colts 29, Eagles 22.

New York Giants @ TENNESSEE (+3): An injury has left him unable to practice much of the week, but Michael Strahan still found a way to get involved. He let Jay Feely kick through the gap in his teeth. Giants 24, Titans 19.

Oakland @ SAN DIEGO (-13): With Lamont Jordan out for the season, the Raiders will be forced to turn to Justin Fargas at running back. Fargas is the son of the actor who played “Huggy Bear”, but it doesn’t take Starsky or Hutch to figure out Oakland’s going to get slapped upside the head. Chargers 30, Raiders 19.

Green Bay @ SEATTLE (-9.5): The Seahawks have activated Matt Hasselbeck and listed him as their third-string quarterback. He won’t be useless to Seattle, however, as if Seneca Wallace’s helmet radio breaks down, the Seahawks will send in plays using Hasselbeck’s shiny dome like an Aldus lamp. Seahawks 31, Packers 16.

Week Twelve Hoser’s Dozers


QB: Charlie Frye, Cleveland Browns – Frye has been consistent all season, and now RB Reuben Droughns is questionable and a weak Cincy defense is in town. Frye has a great future – too bad the rest of the team is full of Dr. Zoidbergs.

RB: Correll Buckhalter, Philadelphia Eagles – He sounds like an Ivy League economist, but Buckhalter saw increased looks from QB Jeff Garcia. Buckhalter will be pushing to impress for the upcoming free-agent market, and that means more dough in his pocket next season – and fantasy points in yours this week.

TE: Jeff Dugan, Minnesota Vikings – In his first action since being drafted in 2004, Dugan hauled in three passes for 20 yards. Against a lousy Cardinals defense, Dugan could double that and even sneak in a TD – if a 6-4, 258-pound guy can sneak anything in.

Lock of the Week: New Orleans

Trifecta: New Orleans, Jacksonville, Arizona

Week Eleven:

9-6-1 ATS

12-4 SU

0-1 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

-$170

Overall:

73-84-2 ATS

101-58 SU

2-9 Lock

1-10 Trifecta

-$5,700

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An abbreviated Thanksgiving version of The Hoser's picks this week -- the rest will follow on Friday morning.

Enjoy the holiday, and remember, there's always room for one more piece of pie -- especially if it's wafer thin!

Miami @ DETROIT (+2.5): While families across America sit down to enjoy the holiday turkey, Lions' fans know theirs is sitting upstairs in a luxury suite somewhere. Dolphins 22, Lions 20.

Tampa Bay @ DALLAS (-11): How the mighty have fallen. While new Dallas QB Tony Romo downplays rumors of a budding relationship with Jessica Simpson, deposed signal caller Drew Bledsoe is emphatically denying a romantic link between him and Mindy Cohn. Cowboys 27, Bucs 17.

Denver @ KANSAS CITY (PK): Two things you can count on -- the Chiefs playing tough at Arrowhead (7-1 ATS last season) and KC tailgaters having cholesterol levels higher than the averages of most PBA members. Chiefs 23, Broncos 21.

Week 12 Hoser's Dozers

Editor's Note: These only apply to players playing Thursday who might bump someone off your normal roster.

WR -- Eddie Kenison, Kansas City: The Broncos have been just average against the pass this season, and the return of Chiefs QB Trent Green will make Kenison as happy as a dog under the Thanksgiving table.

WR -- Wes Welker, Miami: The Lions have given up 16 passing TDs and picked off only five passes this year. Welker will either beat the stuffing out of or make mincemeat of the Detroit secondary, depending whether you go for thirds or head right to the dessert table.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Welcome to Week Eleven of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where, like a farmer in a cow pasture at night, we’re taking it one step at a time.

The Hoser again struggled through a lousy week, going 6-10 against the spread and a tepid 8-8 straight up. We know some of our readers have suggested a hamster could do better, but hey – that’s pretty insulting to the hamster, don’t you think?

This week’s best NFL fun comes courtesy of Oakland Raiders QB Andrew Walters. He said the team’s offensive game plans, drawn up by offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, have been predictable and lacking in depth. Walters later apologized, and added that Walsh also makes a mean bed and sets up an excellent brunch.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Whitney Houston handle your next mortgage.

Oakland @ KANSAS CITY (-9.5): Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss said this week he may be dropping passes because he’s unhappy and depressed. In an effort to raise Moss’s morale, all linemen will now wear clown suits and every Sunday will be “Dime Bag Day” at McAfee Coliseum. Chiefs 31, Raiders 14.

Indianapolis @ DALLAS (+1): Former Cowboys star running back Emmitt Smith was crowned the champion on “Dancing With The Stars” this week. The show’s judges also gave Colts QB Peyton Manning a special award for his outstanding “Funky Chicken” during audibles. Cowboys 26, Colts 24.

Cincinnati @ NEW ORLEANS (-3.5): Bengals offensive stars Chad Johnson, Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Rudi Johnson will soon be honored with special U.S. Postal Service posters and gift sets. On a related note, Cincinnati’s defense is already featured on the back of local milk cartons. Saints 31, Bengals 30.

Pittsburgh @ CLEVELAND (+3.5): Steelers RB Willie Parker was tabbed as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after gashing the Saints for more than 200 yards and two TDs. Willie Parker’s a great football name, but we still think it’d be even better in the adult film industry. Steelers 23, Browns 20.

Tennessee @ PHILADELPHIA (-13): Titans defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth returns this week from his five-game suspension after his foot’s altercation with Dallas’s Andre Gurode’s head. His teammates chipped in and bought Haynesworth a great welcome-back gift – front-row seats for the touring production of “Stomp”. Eagles 27, Titans 16.

Atlanta @ BALTIMORE (-4): Ravens QB Steve McNair isn’t setting the world on fire this season, but he’s facing a Falcon secondary with more holes than the FOX Network’s ethics department. Seriously, a special on how O.J. would have done it, if he did it? I guess “Naked Gun 33 1/3rd” wasn’t the final insult. Ravens 23, Falcons 17.

St. Louis @ CAROLINA (-6.5): Rams stud OL Orlando Pace is gone for the season, leaving Adam Goldberg to handle … gulp … Julius Peppers. That adds up to St. Louis QB Marc Bulger ending up Marc Flatter. Panthers 23, Rams 17.

Buffalo @ HOUSTON (-2.5): Texans guard Fred Weary was Tasered by police after allegedly refusing to follow their instructions during a traffic stop. The Hoser smells a police brutality suit, as the cops should have known they could easily have just walked right around any Houston offensive lineman to apply the cuffs. Texans 24, Bills 20.

New England @ GREEN BAY (+6): After two poor performances from Tom Brady and losing back-to-back games for the first time since 2002, the Patriots signed ancient QB Vinny Testeverde. This is a similar strategy to trying to save your failing wet T-shirt contest by bringing in Angela Lansbury. Patriots 26, Packers 22.

Washington @ TAMPA BAY (-3): Newly crowned Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell has to be concerned about the franchise’s history with young signal callers, especially considering every time he pulls up to FedEx Field, Patrick Ramsey offers to wash his windshield for a buck. Bucs 19, Redskins 17.

Chicago @ NY JETS (+7): Football card collectors had a laugh this week when it was discovered Jets rookie RB Leon Washington appeared to flipping a double bird to the camera. Washington explained later he was simply honoring one of his favorite players – Michael Irvin – by flashing Irvin’s ACT score. Bears 30, Jets 19.

Minnesota @ MIAMI (-3.5): The Dolphins are hot and the Viking ship is sink … errr, taking on … I shouldn’t mention boats at all, should I? Dolphins 22, Vikings 17.

Detroit @ ARIZONA (-2.5): Tragedy was averted at a mall in Detroit this week when a power outage trapped Lions GM Matt Millen for six hours. Eventually, however, emergency personnel were able to convince Millen to just walk down the escalator. Cardinals 24, Lions 20.

Seattle @ SAN FRANCISCO (+6.5): 49ers head coach Mike Nolan, in honor of both his father and other great coaches such as Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi, will wear a suit and tie this weekend after Reebok developed his outfit to meet its licensing deal with the NFL. Reebok denied, however, that it is working with Detroit assistant coach Joe Cullen on a special sideline birthday suit. Seahawks 27, 49ers 21.

San Diego @ DENVER (-2.5): Chargers running back Ladainian Tomlinson has racked up 15 touchdowns in the past five weeks, which means he’s scoring faster than a James Norton look-alike at a “Desperate Housewives” party. Chargers 24, Broncos 17.

New York Giants @ JACKSONVILLE (-3.5): Jags QB David Garrard was strapped with four INTs last week, even though his Venus De Milo-like receivers tipped two of them and dropped seven others. WR Reggie Williams at least caught the attention of a fan, getting in a yelling match on the sidelines and then fighting with Ernest Wilford. Nope, they don’t miss Byron Leftwich at all, do they? Giants 26, Jaguars 23.

Week Eleven Hoser’s Dozers

QB: Steve McNair, Baltimore Ravens – McNair went off like Robin Williams on meth last week, and there’s no reason to think the Falcons’ 30th-ranked pass defense will slow him down much. Maybe you have a bigger-name quarterback on your roster. Sit him and play McNair.

RB: Marion Barber III, Dallas Cowboys – We’ve seen Barber ranked as low as 29th this week among backs, which is ridiculous. The Colts are dead last against the run and Barber has six TDs in his last eight games. This ain’t no close shave for our friendly Barber – he’ll beat the Schick out of Indy’s D.

WR: Rashied Davis, Chicago Bears -- The Jets have the 30th-ranked defense in the league and with Chicago QB Rex Grossman getting his mojo back, someone besides Mushin Muhammad has to catch the ball. Yes, we know Mark Bradley had a great week last week, but go with the speedy Davis to rip through the secondary like The Hoser through a sushi buffet.

D: Kansas City – The Chiefs are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to total defense, but they have two big plusses in Week 11 – they have 17 takeaways on the season, and they play the Raiders. Add in a due Dante Hall and K.C. could have a huge day.

K: Olindo Mare, Miami Dolphins – Mare isn’t exactly Mr. Accuracy this season (14-for-22), but at least he’s getting some chances. He’s also knocked down six treys in the past three weeks, and the Vikings have given up the second-most field goals in the league this season. Give him a shot and you could be singing, “Oh! Mare!”

Lock of the Week: New York Giants

Trifecta: New York Giants, San Diego, Dallas

Week Ten:

6-10 ATS

8-8 SU

0-1 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

-$960

Overall:

64-78-1 ATS

89-54 SU

2-8 Lock

1-9 Trifecta

-$5,530

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Welcome to Week Ten of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where at least we had a better week than the Republicans.

The Hoser improved a bit, although going 8-6 straight up and 5-9 against the spread only looks good when you’ve picking winners with the same success rate as Britney Spears in the husband pool.

In the fun NFL fight of the week, Oakland defensive lineman Tyler Brayton was fined $25,000 for kneeing Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens in the groin at the end of their contest in Week 9. Stevens was not seriously hurt in the altercation, but team doctors said after the game he was a little testes with them.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having John Daly as your marriage counselor.

Kansas City @ MIAMI (+1): Dolphins head coach Nick Saban said criticism of his team by Bob Kuechenberg helped spur his team to its win over Chicago. This confused us until The Hoser realized Kuechenberg was a member of the 1972 Dolphins and not Bill Kirkenbauer, the male lead in the ABC ‘80s sitcom “Just The Ten Of Us”. Chiefs 29, Dolphins 20.

Houston @ JACKSONVILLE (-10.5): It didn’t go well for Kinky Friedman on Tuesday night, and it’s gonna go even worse for the Texans this weekend. Jaguars 27, Texans 13.

San Diego @ CINCINNATI (+1.5): Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said he will be giving football fans an early Christmas gift. This week, instead of tearing a phony name off the back of wide receiver Chad Johnson’s jersey, Palmer will tear out Johnson’s tongue. Chargers 23, Bengals 20.

Cleveland @ ATLANTA (-7.5): Falcons QB Michael Vick may have a career in the movies. After last week’s performance against Detroit, he’s up for the title role in a remake of “The Man Who Fell To Earth”. Falcons 26, Browns 16.

Baltimore @ TENNESSEE (+7.5): There’s both good and bad to head coach Brian Billick’s successful return to play calling for the Ravens. It’s great that Baltimore’s offense is firing on all cylinders, but Billick’s head may swell up enough to cause eclipses in neighboring states. Ravens 24, Titans 10.

Buffalo @ INDIANAPOLIS (-11.5): With running back Willis McGahee out with a few broken ribs, the Bills will turn to Anthony Davis, a veteran with a great nickname – “A-Train”. It even sort of mirrors QB J.P. Losman’s nickname, or at least the word Buffalo fans say every time he drops back to throw – “F-Bomb.” Colts 33, Bills 19.

New Orleans @ PITTSBURGH (-4): Another week of the Steelers being inexplicably favoured against a better team. Does Bill Cowher have pictures of Danny Sheridan naked with Bea Arthur or what? Saints 26, Steelers 20.

Washington @ PHILADELPHIA (-7): Eagles QB Donovan McNabb unveiled his new “Super Five” clothing line this week, which features hooded sweatshirts, vests and knit sweaters. Not to be overshadowed, the Redskins’ secondary also debuted its brand of fire-retardant sportswear named “Burnt Toast”. Eagles 28, Redskins 17.

Chicago @ N.Y. GIANTS (-2.5): The Hoser finally jumps on the Bears’ bandwagon and bang! – it collapses. Hey, we didn’t see the “Not Safe For Backbacon Inhaling Canadians” sign. Giants 20, Bears 16.

Green Bay @ MINNESOTA (-5): Ahhh, Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” … and zero offensive creativity. Scoring three points against the 49ers is like striking out on a date with Paris Hilton. Vikings 17, Packers 16.

N.Y. Jets @ NEW ENGLAND (-10.5): The Hoser was poking around the Patriots’ web site, looking for some inside info, when he came across this gem of a quote from center Dan Koppen after the Indianapolis game – “We don’t want to lose around here.” And you wonder why sportswriters always seem to have an open beer next to them. Patriots 24, Jets 21.

San Francisco @ DETROIT (-6): One win does not stop the Matt Millen joke train! So …
Matt Millen walks into a UPS Store and asks for a box two inches high, two inches wide and 50 feet long.
The clerk looks at Millen and says, “What would you want a box like that for?"
"Well,” Millen says, "my neighbor moved away but left some stuff in the garage, so he asked me to send him his garden hose." Lions 23, 49ers 13.

Denver @ OAKLAND (+9): Raiders head coach Art Shell looked mortified Monday night after his quarterback was sacked nine times in a loss to Seattle. Seriously, Andrew Walters spent more time on his ass than Don Quixote. Broncos 29, Raiders 7.

St. Louis @ SEATTLE (-3.5): St. Louis fans have to be a little disturbed that Rams head coach Scott Linehan was mentored by recently fired Mighigan State head coach John L. Smith. That’s like finding out your nanny was referred by Michael Jackson. Seahawks 24, Rams 20.

Tampa Bay @ CAROLINA (-9.5): Hey, remember when Bucs head coach Jon Gruden was a genius? Panthers 30, Buccaneers 17.

Dallas @ ARIZONA (+7): The Hoser and his lovely wife have been taking odds on our seven-month-old daughter’s first word. “Mama” is at 2:1, “kitty” is at 4:1, and “Obafemi Ayanbadejo” is at about the same odds as Dennis Green having a job at the end of the season. Cowboys 31, Cardinals 21.

Lock of the Week: New Orleans

Trifecta: New Orleans, Detroit, Kansas City

Week Nine:

5-9 ATS
8-6 SU
0-1 LOTW
0-1 Trifecta
-$1,000

Overall:

58-68-1 ATS
81-46 SU
2-7 Lock
1-8 Trifecta
-$4,570


And here’s our new weekly feature, The Hoser’s Three Great White (North) Hopes. These are our three guys to surprise on your fantasy roster this weekend:

Anthony Thomas, RB, Buffalo – With McGahee out and the Colts defense handing out rushing yardage like half-priced Halloween candy, the “A-Train” should make at least one stop in the Indianapolis end zone. He’s also a solid pick-up for the remainder of the season.

David Martin, TE, Green Bay – When Brett Favre is short on guys he recognizes to throw passes, the veterans benefit, i.e. Donald Driver seeing more balls than … well, we’ll pass on the cheap Tyler Brayton joke. Martin, however, has caught four balls in each of the last two games and scored two TDs in the last three weeks.

Detroit, D – No, the Lions aren’t particularly wonderful, but they’re playing San Francisco this week, and the 49er red zone offense is softer than ice cream on the beach. Also, an ugly minus-7 turnover ratio means cheap points for you, needy owner.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hoser's Note: The timestamp on this refers to the time and date this piece began. I don't know the lines that far in advance -- not that it would do me any good.

Welcome to Week Nine of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where much like the slashers and high-stickers of goalie Denis Lemieux's dreams ... we feel shame.

The Hoser, in front of the world (and more importantly, our new friends at draftsharks.com), we had by far our worst week of the season -- 5-9 straight up and a stupefying 3-11 against the spread. Seriously, there hasn't been a debut this awful since Monday Night Football tried to pretend Eric Dickerson had a firm grasp on the English language.

In the interesting feud of the week, ESPN talking head Michael Irvin tried to declare himself a character guy Monday night after New York running back Tiki Barber trashed him on a radio show last week. We think Irvin went too far, however, when he said that all great leaders throughout history had deviated septums.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Kevin Federline promote your new line of bath products for men.

Kansas City @ ST. LOUIS (-2): My fantasy league has set a rule for next season -- if you own Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, the rest of your team must be comprised of Arizona Cardinals. I think I'd still take him. Chiefs 30, Rams 24.

Cincinnati @ BALTIMORE (-3): Bengals WR Chad Johnson may have tangoed in the end zone last week, but I'm pretty sure the Ravens' defense will be tap-dancing on his ass this week. Ravens 19, Bengals 14.

Houston @ N.Y. GIANTS (-13): I don't think Texans back-up quarterback Sage Rosenfels has much of a chance to take away David Carr's starting job. He does, however, have a great shot at having some sort of potato side dish named after him. NY Giants 29, Houston 13.

Tennessee @ JACKSONVILLE (-10): Titans cornerback Adam "Pac-Man" Jones received a one-game suspension this week after spitting on a woman at a party. Jones said he wouldn't appeal, but that the punishment was a bit more than he expectorated. Jaguars 23, Titans 16.

Dallas @ WASHINGTON (+3): Dallas police fielded several 911 calls this week from trick-or-treaters who were excessively frightened after stopping at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones's house. No charges were filed, however, after Jones explained that his face looked that way all the time. Cowboys 30, Redskins 17.

Green Bay @ BUFFALO (-3.5): It's too bad Packers QB Brett Favre isn't pitching Pepto Bismol instead of Prilosec, because I'm pretty sure if I hear from one more announcer say how much fun Favre's having this season, I'm going to throw up. Packers 24, Bills 20.

New Orleans @ TAMPA BAY (+1): Saints quarterback Drew Brees has asked his mother to pull his picture from her campaign ads in Texas. Brees denied rumours, however, that his jersey would say "CRAWFORD" on the back this week. Saints 26, Bucs 22.

Atlanta @ DETROIT (+4.5): This week's Matt Millen joke: Millen is driving through the country, out to do some big-game hunting, when he comes to a fork in the road. A large sign reads "BEAR LEFT" ... so Millen goes home. Falcons 30, Lions 20.

Miami @ CHICAGO (-13): I give. The Bears are He-Man and the rest of the NFL is Trap-Jaw before them. And yes, I know -- The Hoser is Orko, always Orko. Bears 34, Dolphins 17.

Minnesota @ SAN FRANCISCO (+5): Who gets hammered faster -- the 49ers after surrendering 41 first-half points last week or Joe Namath on a cold Monday night? Vikings 30, 49ers 20.

Cleveland @ SAN DIEGO (-12.5): Cleveland area sportswriters confirmed that Browns head coach Romeo Crennel sang a few lines from an undisclosed song to his team before they beat the Jets. That's not that unusual, actually -- Cards head coach Dennis Green reportedly sings Beck's "Loser" to his squad every week. Chargers 27, Browns 13.

Denver @ PITTSBURGH (-2.5): Due to the loss of Verron Haynes, the Steelers will be forced to rely on running back Najeh Davenport at the goal line. Given his laundry basket adventures in college, The Hoser still snickers when an announcer says Ben Roethlisberger has dumped a pass off to him. Broncos 26, Steelers 23.

New England @ INDIANAPOLIS (+3): There's no doubt he's a great coach, but who dressed Patriots head man Bill Belichick last week, Jennifer Beals? Maybe he heard it was "Hans & Franz" night at the Metrodome. Colts 26, Patriots 24.

Oakland @ SEATTLE (-7.5): Raiders WR Randy moss is smiling again, which means one of two things -- either he's getting more balls thrown to him or Oakland's city council has reduced the punishment for running over meter maids to a $50 fine. Raiders 27, Seahawks 26.

Lock of the Week: Oakland

Trifecta: Oakland, New Orleans, Minnesota

Week Seven:

3-11 ATS

5-9 SU

0-1 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

-$1,300

Overall:

53-59-1 ATS

73-40 SU

2-6 Lock

1-7 Trifecta

-$3,570

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I was just watching some pre-game NFL coverage on Rogers SportsNet when one of their NHL promos ran featuring the tagline Hockey That Matters.

Guys, ditch that.

It's really demeaning to players in the Ontario Hockey League, the minor leagues and even the youth and rec leagues around Canada. The implication is that all those players should hang up their skates, because hey, you don't matter!

Guess what, SportsNet? They do. I guarantee you the players in an OHL game are, in most cases, playing harder and to the final horn more often than their NHL counterparts.

So get your geniuses in the marketing department to come up with something else, something that doesn't put down every other hockey player in the world.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

An open letter to Tara Reid:

I've seen a couple of interviews of you crying over how you suffered after a botched plastic surgery. Or two.
Do us all a favor -- get over yourself.
It's difficult for me to muster any sympathy for someone who chose to go under the knife of his or her own volition. As the carney told me once before I bounced three darts off the same under-inflated balloon, "You pays your money, you takes your chances."
I mean, it's not like you were some hideous hosebeast before. You were just a little flat-chested (speaking of under-inflated), and that apparently bothered you, casting directors and Tom Brady enough for you to upgrade from Twiggy to Dolly Parton.
Lots of men don't mind smaller breasts, and tons more prefer them to boobs that look and feel like a rotting canteloupe.
And it's not like you had some disfigurement that was making it difficult for you to make a living and feel comfortable in society. You do have Dr. T and the Women on your resume, but people will eventually forget about that one, I promise.
But I digress. Tara, you made your choice -- a stupid, selfish and ill-advised choice -- and you'll have to live with the consequences.
I do have a way for you to possibly put your situation in better perspective, though. I'd suggest you stop by any local hospital and ask to speak with someone who has just undergone a double mastectomy.
Tell her how awful it was to have a little scar tissue around your nipple and how traumatized you are.
Then duck.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Welcome to Week Eight of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where if you think our Trifecta pick was awful, just listen to this.

The Hoser not only limped to another 6-7 record against the spread, but we also turned out a putrid 4-9 straight up. To top that, though, The Hoser dropped a fiver on a 20-1, five-game parlay -- and missed all five games. It's getting uglier than Tara Reid with her top off around here.

Amazingly, a woman in Ontario managed to nail all 13 games last weekend in the Pro-Line Pool, netting her a tidy $440,000CDN. And for all you smartasses out there, the Canadian dollar is almost on par with the American buck, so no, it's not like she won $12US. Come on up, people -- no Dubya and the health care's fine!

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today Wednesday odds as the spread, mainly because I've tried getting them from the Toronto Star, but looking at that paper makes me wish I had some crayons handy.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Dennis Green speak to your Boy Scout troop.

Houston @ TENNESSEE (-3): How strange is it that I'm more confident in the management of the Texans than that of the Cowboys? Texans 22, Titans 17.

Jacksonville @ PHILADELPHIA (-6): Some good came out of the Eagles' heartbreaking loss to Tampa Bay last week -- Philly QB Donovan McNabb has already landed the role of the little girl in a local theater company's stage remake of "The Exorcist". Eagles 27, Jaguars 20.

Atlanta @ CINCINNATI (-4): Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson this week asked reporters to refer to him as "Ocho Cinco" in reference to his jersey number. Given his one TD catch so far this year, "Senor Disappointment" might be more appropriate. Bengals 24, Falcons 22.

Tampa Bay @ NY GIANTS (-9): In a supreme psyche job, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is calling for Buccaneer kicker Matt Bryant to undergo testing for steroids, human growth hormone and some sort of fish paralyzer. Giants 26, Buccaneers 21.

San Francisco @ CHICAGO (-16.5): I haven't seen a spread this big since ... damn, I already used Courtney Love this season. Bears 30, 49ers 14.

Arizona @ GREEN BAY (-3): After falling last week to the lowly Raiders, Cards head coach Dennis Green has lost even the staunchest supporter of his managerial style -- former Cubs skipper Lee Elia. Packers 26, Cardinals 21.

Seattle @ KANSAS CITY (-6): Seahawks safety Michael Boulware has been benched. This comes after being outjumped by Torry Holt last week, biting on two play-action passes that resulted in long touchdowns against the Vikings two weeks ago, and announcing he had recently purchased several magic beans from a guy named Jack behind the practice facility. Chiefs 31, Seahawks 19.

Baltimore @ NEW ORLEANS (-2): Saints RB Reggie Bush is destined for greatness. I mean, if you can survive doing a commerical with Jon Lovitz ... Saints 20, Ravens 16.

St. Louis @ SAN DIEGO (-8.5): Given the troubles of Steve Foley and Shawne Merriman, the choice of the new rallying cry of the depleted Chargers defense -- "Be Always Lionhearted -- Chargers Overcome!" -- was probably a poor one. Chargers 31, Rams 24.

OAKLAND @ Pittsburgh (-9): The good news -- it looks like Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will be fully recovered from the concussion he suffered last week. The bad news -- he came to convinced he's Neil O'Donnell. Steelers 30, Raiders 17.

New York Jets @ CLEVELAND (-2): New offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson takes over the Browns' offense, which is like being named crew chief for the Yugo NASCAR team. Jets 24, Browns 16.

New England @ MINNESOTA (+2): I have a strange hunch. That doesn't have anything to do with the Patriots/Vikings game -- I've just been walking stooped over recently. Vikings 27, Patriots 24.

Indianapolis @ DENVER (-2.5): In an effort to shore up their terrible run defense, the Colts traded for huge defensive tackle Anthony "Booger" Mcfarland. Head coach Tony Dungy said in announcing the deal, "We couldn't have picked a better guy to clog up the middle. He might be a little green, but he'll mucus ... err, make us better." Broncos 20, Colts 19.

Dallas @ CAROLINA (-4.5): It doesn't really matter of new Cowboys statring QB Tony Romo succeeds or not. I mean, he's always got his rib restaurants to fall back on, right? Jaguars 29, Cowboys 22.

Lock of the Week: New York Jets

Trifecta: New York Jets, Minnesota, New Orleans

Week Seven:

6-7 ATS

4-9 SU

0-1 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

-$830

Overall:

51-48-1 ATS

68-31 SU

2-5 Lock

1-6 Trifecta

-$2,270

A few Hollywood notes:

* A word to Madonna, who appears on Oprah this afternoon -- shut the hell up.

If you weren't smart enough to grasp there might be some backlash from you going overseas to adopt a baby when there are tons of children right in your own backyard who need a good home, you're an idiot.

Actually, we've known that since you chose to make Desperately Seeking Susan and dance around wearing a couple of oil funnels over your breasts -- but it's nice to have your opinions reinforced occasionally.

Sure, maybe you really want another baby. That's nice. But the fact that you swept in like some slutty monsoon and used your celebrity to expedite hustling a child out of Africa makes your handling of this all wrong.

I'd like to see the whole process reversed, as it has to be some kind of child abuse for Madonna to be touching a baby with those gnarly hands of hers. Christ, it'd be like being cuddled by Flo from Alice.

* Two brothers are suing FOX for allegedly stealing their idea for the hit show Prison Break.

Robert and Donald Hughes say they sent in a manuscript in 2001 detailing their four years spent on the run after being wrongly imprisoned in the 1960s and then breaking out. The article also says the brothers now live on disability and social security payments, which explains why they were watching FOX in the first place.

* Tom and Katie have set a date for the wedding! Nov. 18, with Giorgio Armani designing the dress.

And yes, Katie's the one wearing it.

Just a note about how little touches can make the difference.

When I left the house this morning, I noticed one of my tires was a little low. A pet peeve of mine, though, is paying a gas station 50 cents for the privilege of using its air hose. I mean, for God's sake, it's freaking air.

With no time to quibble, however, I pulled into the Esso at the corner of Dufferin and Teston in Richmond Hill. I was fishing around for a couple of quarters when I glanced up and realized the station had installed a spanking-new air machine. I could see it had a digital readout and electronic touchpad, and looked more like some home appliance than an air station.

I hopped out of the car and looked at it. Automatic gauge set for 32PSI, easy to read, and best of all -- free!

I quickly filled the tire, then went inside for a cup of coffee and a granola bar I didn't really need. Goodwill from the free air had netted Esso a tidy little profit, and the station charged me for the air, I would have never made a purchase.

I told the fellow inside they now had my undying loyalty. We both laughed, but it's true -- I'll go out of my way now to buy gas there, and I'm willing there are other people who will change their habits because of a wise decision by someone in Esso management.

Bravo, Esso!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm not sure how many of you saw it last night during the debacle that was the Cowboys being decimated by the Giants, but I thought one of the key plays was Terrell Owens dropping a fourth-down pass from newly inserted quarterback Tony Romo.

Dallas head coach Bill Parcells chose to go for it rather than attempt a 50-yard+ field goal, and after Romo had suffered a pick on his first pass attempt, it was a good idea -- give the new guy another chance to make a play.

So Romo drops back, looks right and then comes back to Owens, who is maybe 10 yards away and two yards beyond the first-down marker. You could have run a cattle drive between T.O. and the nearest defender, and Romo floats him the ball -- and Owens tries to run with it before he makes the catch and drops it.

Now, we all know this happens from time to time, but it was T.O.'s response that simply left me slack-jawed. He comes off the field laughing!

No one said a word, but it looked like Parcells could have run up the steps to Jerry Jones's private box and strangled him right then and there. Personally, I wish Bill would have been right up in his face, and it may have gone something like this:

"See, now I totally believe it wasn't a suicide attempt, because if you can't keep something the size of a goddamned football in your hands for one second, how could I think you could hang on to all those little pills while you were trying to get them down your throat?!?

"And you know what? Since it's so goddamned easy for you to laugh it off when you blow a drive and screw my chance to build a little confidence in my new quarterback and so tough for you to understand why you're not the target on every fucking pass we throw, why don't you go put on your Spandex shorts and hop on the exercise bike behind the bench for a while? Have a good chuckle back there, because you won't see the field for the rest of the fucking night.

"Come and see me when you fully understand that Tony Romo should have come off the field and started screaming at you for being a waste of oxygen, the same way you find it acceptable when one of our quarterbacks doesn't throw you the ball, even when your double-fucking covered. Until then, call a press conference or go get another prescription, because you're done catching passes for me."

I guess a man can dream.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Former overnight radio host Art Bell, purveyor of the strange, the unexplainable and the crackpot conspiracy theory, is apparently miffed that some people are concocting a few odd theories of their own about his wife's sudden death in January and his quick remarriage to a 21-year-old Filipino woman he met online.

If you're wondering, Bell is 60.

In any case, this wouldn't normally mean anything to me -- far be it from be to impune the character or motives of a man who made his fortune talking about UFOs and waited at least a few days before firing up his webcam link to the Philippines -- except Bell has now threatened Rogers Cadenhead with a lawsuit if he doesn't pull comments made by readers in response to a few columns Cadenhead wrote.

I'll leave it to you to visit Workbench yourself and see if you think Bell has a leg upon which to stand. I don't think he does thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but the bigger issue here is how responsible bloggers are for the comments their blogs receive.

Fortunately, I don't have the same problems Rogers does, mainly because the only comments I receive are from anonymous bots telling me they can eNLarGe my peNi5. Yeah, right -- like anyone could do that.

I hope it doesn't end up in court because of the expense of defending yourself against an apparent moron like Bell, but in a perverse way, I'd like to see a case. I would imagine that any lawsuit that might involve Art Bell taking the stand on his own behalf would end badly for him.

Lawyer: "You're Art Bell, is that right?"
AB: "Yes, I am."
Lawyer: "So you're the guy who thinks we reveal our innermost truths in reverse speech, thinks the Air Force has technology given to them by aliens? You're the guy who's made his living spinning out ridiculous conspiracy tales, and yet when a few people say something might be fishy about your wife's sudden demise and your marriage less than four months later to a 21-year-old Filipino woman, you sue not the people saying such things, but the person who runs the web site where they posted them, even though he said nothing bad about you?"
AB: "Err ... yes."
Judge: "Right. Case dismissed. Your credibility is about as good as Aleksey Vayner's."

Welcome to Week Seven of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where our ability to pick a winner last week ranked right up there with Mickey Rooney's ability to pick a wife.

The Hoser struggled to a 6-7 record against the spread and 7-6 straight up, but not only did we blow the Lock of the Week, but we missed all three of our picks in the Trifecta. In other words, the three games of which we were most sure, we were wrong. There's good news, though -- we're being asked to select new TV shows for CBS next season.

Still, we didn't tank as badly as the Arizona Cardinals. Two fumble returns and a punt return for a touchdown in the final 20 minutes to fall to the Bears? Head coach Dennis Green fired his offensive coordinator, but he'd better be hiring someone to help them with choking.

For a job this big, we recommend Jeanna Fine.

I'm also working on a new play sure to be a Broadway smash. It's an adaptation of a Neil Simon work about two sharpies who are forced to share an apartment on the Vegas Strip -- starring Danny Sheridan and Roxy Roxborough, it's "The Odds Couple"! Anyway, we use Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Mark Foley handle your high school drama club’s production of “The Birdcage”.

San Diego @ KANSAS CITY (+5): Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards said this week there is no timetable for quarterback Trent Green's return to the practice field. There’s also no timetable for the Chiefs to get some blocking up front. Chargers 30, Chiefs 13.

Jacksonville @ HOUSTON (+9.5): Did you know Ozzy Osbourne was once arresting for peeing on The Alamo, that famous Texas landmark? Well, if you bet the Jags to cover this week, urine the money! Jacksonville 27, Houston 13.

New England @ BUFFALO (+5.5): With the NFL ordering the Patriots to put down new grass in Foxboro, can it be long before Dave Chappelle films a concert movie there? Patriots 23, Bills 17.

Pittsburgh @ ATLANTA (+2.5): There is no truth to the rumour that QB Ben Roethlisberger's stellar performance last week came after the Steelers forced him to have his appendix put back in. Pittsburgh 26, Atlanta 22.

Green Bay @ MIAMI (-4.5): Packer QB Brett Favre expressed his displeasure at a press conference over the NFL banning WR Koren Robinson from contact with the team, saying it wouldn't help Robinson overcome his addiction. It didn't help when one of the reporters told Favre to "take a chill pill". Dolphins 20, Packers 17.

Philadelphia @ TAMPA BAY (+5): Has anyone seen Bucs’ QB Bruce Gradkowski and former NHL star Mark Messier in the same room? Eagles 33, Buccaneers 17.

Detroit @ N.Y. JETS (-3.5): In Lions’ news, apparently neither Roy Williams or Matt Millen did or said anything stupid this week. Damn. Jets 22, Lions 16.

Carolina @ CINCINNATI (-3.5): Driving on I-71 the other day, I saw an Amber Alert -- for the Bengals’ offense. Panthers 27, Bengals 20.

Denver @ CLEVELAND (+4.5): In an effort to combat the upcoming chilly weather at The Mistake By The Lake, the Browns are looking for new hot beverages to warm fans. In honour of their running back situation, we wholeheartedly endorse a coffee-and-milk concoction called "The Cleveland Steamer". Broncos 27, Browns 19.

Washington @ INDIANAPOLIS (-9): Unless Clinton Portis can sneak onto the field disguised as four extra defensive backs, the Redskins are going to get smoked. Colts 31, Redskins 21.

Minnesota @ SEATTLE (-6.5): A bye week ends for the Vikings with no boat trips and no DUIs? How can you pick against them?!? Easy. Seahawks 27, Vikings 16.

Arizona @ OAKLAND (+3): In an effort to drum up viewers for this game, FOX has paid the other major networks to air “Just Shoot Me” re-runs against it. That’s a tough choice. Cardinals 27, Raiders 19.

New York Giants @ DALLAS (-3): You all know I’m not a Terrell Owens fan, but anyone who can make Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells look like he’s trying to swallow a salty ottoman gets props in my book. Cowboys 20, Giants 19.

Lock of the Week: Carolina

Trifecta: Carolina, Seattle, Philadelphia

Week Six:

6-7 ATS

7-6 SU

0-1 LOTW

0-1 Trifecta

-$830

Overall:

45-41-1 ATS

65-22 SU

2-4 Lock

1-5 Trifecta

-$1,440

Friday, October 13, 2006

Welcome to Week Six of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where the Lock of the Week gods were finally smiling on us.

The Hoser has a pretty good track record for the season overall, going 39-34-1 ATS and 58-16 straight up. However, the Lock of the Week is the money shot for handicappers, and I have come up as limp as Clay Aiken in a Hooters. 2-3 is just not going to cut it, so we need to reel off a few in a row.

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread, mainly because putting his name in these tipsheets makes us rocket up the Google search lists. Oh, and on that note -- Brad Angelina Britney Dubya White & Nerdy.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Tara Reid’s plastic surgeon handle your nose job.

Cincinnati @ TAMPA BAY (+5.5): Interesting political note -- because of his experience handling criminals, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is considered a strong write-in candidate for Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio. Cincy 29, Buccaneers 21.

Tennessee @ WASHINGTON (-10): The Titans have committed to their youth movement. Vince Young is in at quarterback, LenDale White is getting touches at running back -- and head coach Jeff Fisher has already paid for five women to carry the surrogate babies of Dan Dierdorf. Redskins 30, Titans 16.

Houston @ DALLAS (-13): It's the Battle for Texas -- but Baylor University would have a better chance of beating the Cowboys. Dallas 34, Texans 20.

Buffalo @ DETROIT (PK): It's bad when having had an assistant coach arrested while driving drunk and naked is one of the least embarrassing events of your season. Bills 23, Lions 21.

Seattle @ ST. LOUIS (+3.5): The Rams have a half-game lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West, which is about the same as giving Dom DeLuise a head start in a footrace with The Flash. Seahawks 29, Rams 22.

New York Giants @ ATLANTA (-3): Whether the Falcons win or lose this week, there’s good news for after the game – Old Country Buffet has agreed to allow the whole team to use Morten Andersen’s discount card. Falcons 19, Giants 17.

Philadelphia @ NEW ORLEANS (+3): I can’t think of anything funny about this game, so just picture famous New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme – in a thong. Eagles 29, Saints 24.

Carolina @ BALTIMORE (-3): That wasn’t heavy rain last week in Denver. It was all the slobber from the MNF broadcast booth for Steve McNair, proud owner of a 67.0 passer rating this season. Panthers 14, Ravens 13.

Miami @ NEW YORK JETS (-2.5): The Jets are hinting running back Curtis Martin could return from the physically unable to perform list by next week. Doctors say he has only one good knee and might need a cane, but that he’ll be at least 50% more effective than the current New York backs. Jets 22, Dolphins 16.

San Diego @ SAN FRANCISCO (+10): In the “Battle of the Sans,” it’s the 49ers who are sans any pass defense. Chargers 30, 49ers 19.

Kansas City @ PITTSBURGH (-7): Pittsburgh hockey fans are wondering about the intentions of new Penguins owner Jim Balsillie, but a new poll says the majority are fine with the team moving out of town – as long as they take the Pirates with them. Chiefs 23, Steelers 22.

Oakland @ DENVER (-15): Having Aaron Brooks and/or Andrew Walter run an offense stocked with Randy Moss, Jerry Porter and Lamont Jordan is like having a Space Shuttle mission piloted by Ted Striker. Broncos 29, Raiders 16.

Chicago @ ARIZONA (-10): The Cardinals accepted $154.5M to name its new facility “University of Phoenix Stadium”. Owner Bill Bidwell has already budgeted most of the money, including 50% of it to the newly minted “Jesus Christ, Can We Stop Drafting Such Stiffs” department. Bears 27, Cards 10.

Week Five:

8-6 ATS

12-2 SU

1-0 Lock

0-1 Trifecta

+$460

Overall:

39-34-1 ATS

58-16 SU

2-3 Lock

1-4 Trifecta

-$610

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Your update after Week Five.

Week Five:
8-6 ATS
12-2 SU
1-0 Lock
0-1 Trifecta
+$460

Overall:
39-34-1 ATS
58-16 SU
2-3 Lock
1-4 Trifecta
-$610

Friday, October 06, 2006

Welcome to Week Five of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where last week was all about the mediocre.

The Hoser was a dead-even 7-7 ATS and 11-3 straight up. Not surprisingly, I managed to punt both the Trifecta and the Lock of the Week. By now I’m pretty sure if I had said George Bush was a stone-cold lock in 2004, John Kerry would be president. Or maybe Ralph Nader.

Still, spirits are high here at THNP, and it has very little to do with the UPS guy leaving a shipment of nitrous oxide tanks here for the dentist’s office next door.

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread. We tried using Nicollette Sheridan, but she insisted we watch “Desperate Housewives,” and that ain’t happening.

And remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Terrell Owens pick up your prescription for you.

Tennessee @ INDIANAPOLIS (-18.5): Wow. I haven’t seen a spread this big since Courtney Love … never mind. Indianapolis 31, Tennessee 14.

Washington @ N.Y. GIANTS (-5.5): Redskin fans were pleased this week to see running back Clinton Portis back to impersonating strange characters at press conferences. Giants’ fans, however, are less thrilled about Tom Coughlin still impersonating an NFL head coach. Washington 23, NY Giants 21.

Detroit @ MINNESOTA (-6.5): Matt Millen is just not very smart. Asked this week if he could come up with someone who has done a lousier job running an organization and achieving goals, he said, “William Clay Ford?” Vikings 22, Lions 20.

Tampa Bay @ NEW ORLEANS (-6.5): Buccaneers running back Carnell Williams still looks like a Cadillac. Too bad the rest of the Tampa Bay offense is a Vespa. Saints 26, Bucs 16.

St. Louis @ GREEN BAY (+2.5): Can someone get Brett Favre a bottle of Grecian Formula for his beard? There hasn’t been that much salt-and-pepper on TV since “Push It” left the Yo! MTV Raps Countdown. St. Louis 31, Green Bay 22.

Miami @ NEW ENGLAND (-9.5): In addition to getting the points, the Dolphins are also allowed this week to play 13 men on defense, all 11 players on offense will be eligible for passes – and Pats QB Tom Brady will be replaced by Wayne Brady. New England 30, Miami 10.

Buffalo @ CHICAGO (-10): In an effort to fool the Bears’ powerful defense, Buffalo has designed a trick play for wide receiver Roscoe Parrish. He’ll hide behind an end zone pylon. Bears 19, Bills 13.

Cleveland @ CAROLINA (-7.5): The Browns have a linebacker on their roster named D’Qwell Jackson, which is the best football name since another Cleveland favourite -- Fair Hooker. Panthers 27, Browns 17.

NY Jets @ JACKSONVILLE (-6.5): I know Jags quarterback Jake Delhomme is glad to have WR Steve Smith back, but I thought the reacharound after last week’s game was a little much. Jaguars 30, Jets 20.

Kansas City @ ARIZONA (+3.5): The “Matt Leinart Era” starts this week, but it can’t trump the “Cards Still Suck Hard Age”. Chiefs 26, Cards 17.

Oakland @ SAN FRANCISCO (-3.5): Do you suppose there’s ever been another instance where a team lost 41-0 and then was favoured by a field goal the next week? 49ers 24, Raiders 20.

Dallas @ PHILADELPHIA (-2): T.O. returns to Philly, where I suspect he’ll be received about as warmly as a PETA rep at a cheese steak stand. Still, my inside sources tell me there’s not one healthy player on the Eagles’ roster. Cowboys 24, Eagles 23.

Pittsburgh @ SAN DIEGO (-3.5): Is anyone else waiting for Charlie Batch to get the nod? Chargers 23, Steelers 17.

Baltimore @ DENVER (-4): This should be a real slobberknocker, a rough-and-tumble slapfest that could leave someone crying. Oh, wait – we’re not talking about Rosie taking over at “The View”? Broncos 14, Baltimore 9.

Lock of the Week: New England

Trifecta: New England, Buffalo, Carolina

Week Four:
7-7 ATS
11-3 SU
0-1 Lock
0-1 Trifecta
-$740

Overall:
31-28-1 ATS
46-14 SU
1-3 Lock
1-3 Trifecta
-$1,070

There's a national debate going on over Paul McCoy's high-school rushing record. Eli Saslow of the Washington Post weighs in here with a one-sided sob story, so take it with a grain of salt.

I don't agree with Kinder's handling of the situation, but after reading the article, I can at least understand it a little better now.

As a high school coach, one of your prime directives is to try and get your athletes scholarships. This kid has apparently busted his tail for four years, and Kinder thought this might be the only way to get him a shot at a ride somewhere. I'm not sure the financial status of the family (the article said they owned a BBQ place, but that's not any guarantee of wealth), but a scholarship may be the only way McCoy gets into college.

Also, this quote from the opposing coach really bothers me:

"He is a guy I always respected," Hunt said. "I never thought he would make me feel like this."

Pal, no one is making you feel like that except you. You want to put your head down and cry about it, that's your business. Having been on the end of a similar 64-0 beating myself, we used it as motivation to work toward beating that team the next season, not to bitch about how horrible it was getting smoked and what bad people those Belleville Althoff people were.

The Burch program hasn't scored against Matewan in seven seasons -- is there any indication the score wouldn't have been exactly close to the same if McCoy had sat the bench in the second half? And why the hell is it McCoy's fault that you suck? He should sit because you can't play the game?

I fully understand the challenges of trying to build a program. I've been in the situation as a player and covered it as a reporter, and getting your head handed to you doesn't make matters easier -- but it's not the end of the world, either.

Here's the opening graph from the story:

Dave Hunt coaches football players so humiliated that they dread walking through the halls of Burch High School in West Virginia. Two of them thought about quitting last week. The rest considered starting a fight. "They want to get even," Hunt said, "because what happened to them is so unfair."

Humiliated? Unfair? These are the thoughts of a high-school football coach?

How about gathering the troops after the game or in the film room the next morning and telling them, "Do you ever want to go through something like that again? I don't either. But unless we work harder and improve, that's where we'll stay. Are you ready to make that commitment or not?"

I wouldn't have taken the measures Kinder did to try and get the record. It was classless, and I don't blame Burch for not shaking hands.

But I wouldn't have pulled McCoy, either.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

For those of you breathlessly awaiting Week Five of The Hoser's NFL Picks, they'll be up Friday morning as usual.

For now, though, an update on my daughter Mackenzie, who is just about to enter her teething phase. Mac is now 6 1/2 months and healthy as all get-out. She's also surprisingly happy for someone who soon will have her first teeth poking through her gums.

Yesterday (while I was at the store, damn it), Mackenzie grabbed the side of her toy box and pulled herself up with no help from Michelle. I don't know whether to take this in stride or be astounded that a six-month-baby can do these sorts of things, especially considering the difficulty I have getting out of bed some mornings.

Cabot has settled down after a tough few days and is suddenly Mr. Charming. Not that he isn't normally, but it's like a little "Manners, please!" light went on and suddenly he's holding doors and helping Mommy around the house with no prompting. It's nifty, and it's also cool, as then I can reward him with trips to the Chapters Outlet for a new dinosaur book or a toy spider.

That's all for now, but here's a new photo of yours truly along with Mac.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Welcome to Week Four of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where we're typing standing up after the spanking we took last week. Seriously, Hugh Grant should get in on some of this action.

There wasn't an area where we were spared. Lock? Blew it. Trifecta? Blew it. 5-8-1 against the spread? Sucked it. Even a 10-4 straight-up record isn't that great in a week isn't great. Our only consolation was calling the Miami-Tennessee exactly at 13-10. Yippee.

Still, we persevere here at THNP. It's sort like being the offensive coordinator for the Titans -- you fight on, even if you know you're doomed.

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread, mainly because he leaves us the tails from all the free shrimp cocktails he gets at the sports books.

Remember -- these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is advisable as having Eric Lindros be the spokesman for your new hockey helmet.

Indianapolis @ NY JETS (+9.5): The Jets and Giants are looking to share a new stadium. Details haven't been totally worked out, but Tom Coughlin has found a location big enough to accept all dirt removed from the building site -- Jeremy Shockey's mouth. Colts 34, Jets 23.

San Diego @ BALTIMORE (+2.5): Chargers strong safety Terrence Kiel was arrested this week for shipped two cases of codeine-based cough syrup to Texas. He had an excellent reason, though -- Michael Irvin has a cold. Ravens 19, Chargers 17.

Minnesota @ BUFFALO (-1): A few Bills players have lodged complaints after saying they're somewhat uncomfortable with general manager Marv Levy. Part of it has to do with Levy standing on the sidelines at practice and yelling at the team to get off his lawn. Vikings 24, Bills 21.

Dallas @ TENNESSEE (+9.5): With T.O.'s hand and ... ahem, other issues, the Cowboys' wide receiving corps is stretched tighter than Jerry Jones's face. Won't matter. Cowboys 30, Titans 16.

San Francisco @ KANSAS CITY (-7): I wish Al Pacino was calling this game. "And who's that drilled in the backfield again? HUUUARRDDD!" Chiefs 22, 49ers 20.

New Orleans @ CAROLINA (-7.5): I'm going to Hell for saying this, but the Saints are due for a letdown after last week. Oh, and Steve Smith is back. Panthers 30, Saints 20.

Arizona @ ATLANTA (-7): The Cardinals may soon make the move to rookie quarterback Matt Leinart, but don't worry about Kurt Warner. He's already been signed to a recurring role with "The Sopranos" as a fumbling hitman known as "No Thumbs". Falcons 23, Cardinals 17.

Miami @ HOUSTON (+4): God help me, I'm picking the Texans to win a game outright. Here come the locusts. Texans 20, Dolphins 17.

Detroit @ ST. LOUIS (-5.5): I heard a rumour Rod Marinelli is already looking for an easier job than coaching the Lions. You know, like FEMA director in Louisiana. Rams 29, Lions 23.

New England @ CINCINNATI (-6): How far has the Patriots' star fallen? I heard Tom Brady actually returned Tara Reid's phone call this week. Bengals 28, Patriots 19.

Jacksonville @ WASHINGTON (+2.5): The Redskins found themselves offensively last week in Houston, but that's about as hard as finding 50 Cent at a Mormon retreat. Jaguars 27, Redskins 20.

Cleveland @ OAKLAND (+2.5): If you visit the Raiders' web site, you'll find stories on the upcoming game with the Browns in four different languages. So if you need a translation for the word "crappy", you know where to go. Browns 26, Raiders 17.

Seattle @ CHICAGO (-3.5): With Seahawks RB Shawn Alexander out, that slurping sound you hear is Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera salivating over getting to blitz constantly. Bears 24, Seahawks 20.

Green Bay @ PHILADELPHIA (-11.5): Brian Westbrook is the most dangerous little man since Napoleon. No, not Dynamite -- Bonaparte. Gosh! Eagles 34, Packers 23.

Lock of the Week: Minnesota

Trifecta: Minnesota, Cleveland, San Francisco

Week Three:
5-8-1 ATS
10-4 SU
0-1 Lock
0-1 Trifecta
-$1,040

Overall:
24-21-1 ATS
35-11 SU
1-2 Lock
1-2 Trifecta
-$330

Friday, September 22, 2006

Welcome to Week Three of The Hoser's NFL Picks, where with the renewed interest in goofball QB Jeff George and Atlanta’s signing of 46-year-old kick Morten Anderson, we’re betting a new NFL sponsor will soon be “Oops, I Crapped My Pants.”

We had another solid week at THNP, scoring a 10-6 ATS and 14-2 straight up. Unfortunately, St. Louis chose to channel the departed Mike Martz and give Steven Jackson only 24 touches, costing us our Lock of the Week and the Trifecta.

We’ll be upping the Lock of the Week to $500 to keep the weekly outlay at $2K a week. After hearing the news and considering our Lock track record, my bookie sent me a bouquet of pansies.

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread, mainly because we tried I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, but it just gets the computer all slippery.

Remember: these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is as advisable as taking Alex Rodriguez into a mirror store.

NY Jets @ BUFFALO (-5.5): The Bills racked up a whopping 161 yards of total offense last week, or a shorter distance than the total number of trips I make to the fridge for beer on Sundays. Jets 17, Bills 16.

Cincinnati @ PITTSBURGH (-2): THNP doesn’t wish ill to Chad Johnson, but couldn’t that vicious shot he took have at least forced him to have his jaw wired shut for the next 5-6 months? Bengals 23, Steelers 17.

Jacksonville @ INDIANAPOLIS (-7): Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and three TDs last week, but in terms of defense, Houston is to Jacksonville as Clay Aiken is to Andrea Bocelli. Colts 26, Jaguars 24.

Tennessee @ MIAMI (-11): What do the end zones in NFL stadiums and cans of StarKist have in common? They’re both dolphin-free. Dolphins 13, Titans 10.

Washington @ HOUSTON (+4): I swear, most of the match-ups this week are about as appealing as walking in on your grandmother in the bathroom. Redskins 23, Texans 17.

Chicago @ MINNESOTA (+3.5): Instant contest -- anyone able to name more than one receiver from each team wins a free “I SAILED WITH THE VIKINGS AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY VENEREAL DISEASE” t-shirt! Vikings 20, Bears 17.

Carolina @ TAMPA BAY (+3): Buccaneer QB Chris Simms is struggling mightily with his decision-making, and from whom does he get advice? President Bush. That’s like asking Dick Cheney to teach a gun-safety course. Panthers 29, Buccaneers 17.

Green Bay @ DETROIT (-6.5): In honour of Lions receiver Roy Williams, I’m making my own promise this week – he’ll underachieve. Lions 23, Packers 16.

Baltimore @ CLEVELAND (+6.5): Browns TE Kellen Winslow Jr. said this week he felt the coaching staff was holding back the offense with conservative playcalling. Head coach Romeo Crennel responded by saying he’d rather have Michael Winslow on his team. Ravens 30, Browns 14.

St. Louis @ ARIZONA (-4.5): The Cardinals have rejected a bid to buy their new stadium’s naming rights by a restaurant chain called The Pink Taco. I have no joke, but I hear Ellen DeGeneres called about season tickets. Cardinals 29, Rams 20.

NY Giants @ SEATTLE (-3.5): Fantasy owners everywhere last week were screaming, “Oh, yes, it IS a Toomer!” Not this week, though. Seahawks 24, Giants 23.

Philadelphia @ SAN FRANCISCO (+6): Last week, the Eagles collapsed like a soufflĂ© in Neil Peart’s kitchen. The 49ers will be on hand to prop them back up. Eagles 28, 49ers 13.

Denver @ NEW ENGLAND (-7): I wish the Broncos would make a deal for Giants back-up QB Jared Lorenzen. Then I could make a killing on “Jake And The Fatman” t-shirts in Denver. Patriots 23, Broncos 17.

Atlanta at NEW ORLEANS (+4): The Saints announced this week they have moved all their seats via the season-ticket route for the remainder of the season. I understand owner Tom Benson brought in Elton John to advise them on selling out. Falcons 22, Saints 16.

Lock of the Week: Carolina
Trifecta: Carolina, Philadelphia, Baltimore

Week Two:
10-6 ATS
14-2 SU
0-1 Lock
0-1 Trifecta
-$180

Overall:
19-13 ATS
25-7 SU
1-1 Lock
1-1 Trifecta
+$710

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If you think the new Buffalo Banana Slugs logo is awful, Globe and Mail staffer James Mirtle wholeheartedly agrees.

Check out his list of the 15 worst hockey logos of all time, and feel free to add your own loser logos.

Mine? I really hate the MAINEiacs logo, but then, I hate the team's name too. Is that a good idea -- tieing your marketing to a state of mental disorder? Hey, maybe you can bring in John Allen Muhammad for a fan night!