Friday, December 10, 2004

A Loser Picking the Winners, Week 14

Well, it looks like Plaxico is out for at least one more week. He missed another practice yesterday and is already listed as out on the injury report along with Kendrell Bell and Chad Scott. Andy reminded me that our friend Mike picked up Plax for his fantasy team just before the last Bengals game and in the span of four games Burress has three catches and three "did not plays." Solid work Eddie Mush Mike. While you're at it maybe you can trade for Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Duce Staley too (I haven't checked, but he may have had Lee Mays the entire season -- I'll have to look into it).

I love it when Ray Lewis get's mad and starts saying ridiculous stuff. His latest tirade was directed at the local media for asking questions about why the defense blew up against the Bengals last week. Here's what Ravin' Ray-Ray had to say:
"You don't treat [losing] with the same respect...That's all I'm trying to tell you, treat it with the same respect when we play good, when we play bad. That's the same reason why it's so hard always coming in here trying to talk because it's always about yesterday. It's never about where we're trying to go.

"It's always about, 'What about this frustration, what about that frustration?' A loss is a loss, a win is a win. We're 7-5 right now, but everybody is acting like it's the end of the world. But as soon as we make the playoffs, then, it's...this is the way we've done it. We've never done anything easy around here. Even in 2000 when we won the Super Bowl, we've never done it easy."
Hmmm. Let's see. The Ravens' self-proclaimed "best defense in the NFL" loses a 17-point 4th quarter lead to the Bengals and Carson Palmer throws for over 200 yards in said quarter -- what exactly is the media supposed to talk about? After being the best linebacker in football for the last four or five years, Lewis is now just a caricature of himself; between that dopey pregame dance where he rubs dirt all over himself (see T.O. for the re-enactment), and being "miked up" for virtually every game, it's almost impossible to take him seriously.

And speaking of Ray in the spotlight, I was talking to a friend of mine who follows the Ravens pretty closely about last Sunday's collapse -- specifically if the Ravens' defense is overrated, or if they just had a letdown -- and here's what he said:
...For several weeks now, players have been complaining about not getting the statistics they have earned. Most noticeably, Ed Hartwell who is in a contract year. Ray's numbers have been padded more this year than any other year and it is pissing off a few players. They are not "company players", have been mouthing off about the offense and coaching for some time, but only inside the locker room; word is leaking out now. Ray is having trouble with his shoulders and thus has to duck under blocks or go around them, instead of taking them on, and playing off of them. This has caused his decline in numbers and thus, big plays from the running game. Hartwell, in trying to make the big play for the big pay day, has been free lancing as well. Ray has been arguing with Mike Nolan for some time now about the calls in the games; changing them in some instances. He has lost a step and with his shoulders not as strong as they once were, you see his numbers go down. Frankly, from what I have truly seen, he does not belong in the pro bowl this year, too many linebackers having a better year, Farrior for one...
I think it says a lot when a diehard Ravens fan can admit that Ray-Ray may not deserve the Pro Bowl and in the same breath give Farrior some props. Still, it's an interesting perspective and it might explain a lot in terms of the defense not being as strong as it has been in recent years.

Whatever the case, I wouldn't mind seeing the Ravens lose four in a row to close the season strong.

I found this on Dr. Z's weekly NFL Power Rankings and thought it was pretty funny:
#10 Baltimore Ravens (7-5)
Hmm, hmm, as I was walking up a stair, I met a man who wasn't there. This was not a simple peon, 'twas a fella ... name of Deion. Where ya been hiding, bro? Could have used you Sunday. That Palmer kid carved up everyone back there, including the all-everything corner, Chris McAlister. Season's dipping into the twilight without you.
And the only thing funnier was this:
#12 Jacksonville Jaguars (6-6)
My second upset pick last weekend. We'll, ahem, forget about the first one. So I'm rooting, naturally. Make that rooting unnaturally, since it's not natural to talk to the TV set. And as they're about to go ahead late in the game, I'm saying, "Don't score too quickly. Don't give Big Ben too much time." They didn't listen. They gave him too much time. First pass I see him complete on the Steelers' next possession, a 12-yard gimme against a four-man rush and soft zone, I say, "Just leave a little time on the clock when you score." So now they're down on the Jags' 20, letting the clock run before they kick their field goal ... and run ... and run ... all the way down from 1:01 to ... oh my God, I can't watch. Hey Jack Del Rio, Jack of the River, can you hear me? Call time out, Jack. Please. I can't stand this. His head is turned away. He can't hear me. The clock runs down to 0:23. Time out is called. Yeah, great. "Linda, you have any coffee left?" Jags finally get possession with 0:11 left. Even then they manage to complete one pass and try an impossible field goal. What am I missing, Jags fans? Tell me. Am I crazy or what? Andrew ... wait a minute, it's Jimmy this week ... Jimmy, please allow a healthy number of Jacksonville e-mailers to come aboard.
Jack of the River. Nice.

I was perusing the Pluto Times Dispatch (the online version -- I can't afford to have it delivered) and I came across this insanely ridiculous predictable story:
Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor criminal damage for allegedly jumping on the hood of a car outside a nightclub...Tyson allegedly dented the hood of a car when he jumped on it as its driver was leaving the club around 1 a.m. on November 27.

Asaf Alikadic, 22, told police he had stopped his car to let Tyson cross the street when the boxer started screaming and yelling and then jumped on the hood of the car on his hands and knees and began to pound on it.

The 38-year-old Tyson is beginning to train for a fight in March, his first since being knocked out by Danny Williams in July.
That last sentence is the clincher. I know when I train for professional pummeling matches, I like to pound a few beers and jump on the hood of cars and scare the crap out of unsuspecting citizens as part of the workout regimen. What a numnut. It's too bad that Tyson only has $13 in his bank account, because it would be great if still had that tiger and he took it out with him to the club. I can see him getting bombed, sucker-punching some kid at the bar, and then watching as his tiger eats him (Tyson would be standing beside the tiger yelling, "I'm goin' eat your kids! I'm goin' eat your kids!). Now that's the kind of stuff you can't make up (except I just made it up, but you know what I mean).

I found this in the same paper that I found the Tyson story -- and this one might be more unbelievable:
Students occasionally parading buck naked around Vermont's Bennington College campus has been a tolerated, if peculiar, part of the university's student culture here since the 1960s.

Now Robert Graves, hired this year as Bennington's dean of students, has embarked on a crusade against public nudity -- one that has run afoul of the school's free-spirited students.
My first question was, "where the hell is Bennington College?" Quickly followed by, "Why am I only hearing about it now?" And while this is pretty funny, it gets even funnier. Apparently the new dean had all he could take after an incident this summer:
But when a student strolled around campus naked this summer during an orientation session when parents were visiting campus, the new dean reprimanded him.
That's awesome. Can you imagine being an 18-year old high school kid looking at colleges with your parents, and you're on some tour thinking about important stuff like what you'll major in, your future, girls, and all the while your parents are looking very proud (and a bit surprised) that they've somehow managed to find a school that might actually take you, and then...some naked guy walks right in front of your tour group -- in broad daylight.

My first thought would have been, "Just my luck, I see one naked person at college and it's with my parents...and it's a dude. That sounds about right." Of course your parents abruptly end the tour, throw you in the car and you get to enjoy four solid if not spectular years at the local community college. But I digress. My favorite quote from the story comes from Bennington's town manager:
"Oh to be in college again," sniffed Stuart Hurd, Bennington's town manager. "More power to them. We are too uptight about public nudity in this country."
Oh to be a town manager again.

Back on earth, I was 9-7 last week and for the first time in a long time, I'm in the black for the season. Here are the week 14 picks:
Season: 98 - 88 - 5
Last week: 9 - 7
Earnings to date: $120

Week 1 picks Week 10 picks
Week 2 picks Week 11 picks
Week 3 picks Week 12 picks
Week 4 picks Week 13 picks
Week 5 picks
Week 6 picks
Week 7 picks
Week 8 picks
Week 9 picks