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



53-59-1 ATS

73-40 SU

2-6 Lock

1-7 Trifecta


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



51-48-1 ATS

68-31 SU

2-5 Lock

1-6 Trifecta


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



45-41-1 ATS

65-22 SU

2-4 Lock

1-5 Trifecta


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



39-34-1 ATS

58-16 SU

2-3 Lock

1-4 Trifecta


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Your update after Week Five.

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

39-34-1 ATS
58-16 SU
2-3 Lock
1-4 Trifecta

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

31-28-1 ATS
46-14 SU
1-3 Lock
1-3 Trifecta

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.

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