Friday, October 8, 2010

NFL Picks Week Five: In Which I Blame Sports Illustrated

See, I thought I made a relatively reasonable and plausible pick for my baseball preview earlier this week when I tabbed the abundantly talented Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series. I want to make it abundantly clear however that I wouldn't have made that selection had I written it after receiving last week's Sports Illustrated in the mail. SI decided, for its baseball playoff preview, to go with an almost brutally hubristic picture of Rays ace David Price blowing up a piece of bubble gum for its cover. And we all know what that means.

I've discussed the fickle nature of the SI Cover Jinx before. Multiple times. While I wouldn't necessarily claim to fear it in all situations there does seem to be some pretty damning evidence this time around, most notably Price laying an enormous egg in his playoff-opening start against the Rangers Wednesday. On Thursday things, um, didn't get much better.

So yeah, I think it's perfectly reasonable to blame this entirely on the cover artists at Sports Illustrated rather than on my own ineptitude when it comes to predicting baseball games. This may still render my entire playoff preview moot, but at least I was on to something when I said the Giants had good pitching if Tim Lincecum's 14-K effort last night against the Braves is any indication. Basically I'm going to lean on that and ignore the fact that I'm clearly not the baseball prognosticator I thought I was.

I learned yesterday however, that if you thought I was a tremendous baseball brain that would be understandable -- assuming you also thought I had just gone on a months-long eating binge or never lost all that weight in high school. And that's because if you put about 60 more pounds on me and take about a half inch off of my hairline, I'm the spitting image of White Sox Assistant GM Rick Hahn, who just happens to be one of the main candidates for the Mets' vacant GM post. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or disturbed by the almost immediate comparisons brought on by a number of my friends, but if it nets me free tickets I can live with it.

Besides, he's still handsome, right?

Regardless of his appearance, Hahn wouldn't be a bad hire. He was recently named the No. 1 GM prospect in the Majors by Baseball America, and when you look at his educational pedigree of the University of Michigan, Harvard Law School and (cough) the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, you know, he seems like a bright guy. If we're lucky he'll get the job. And maybe he'll join me at Blondie's on the Upper West Side for some Wildcats games.

In other news that I'm sure not nearly enough of you noticed, the NHL season kicked off last night. Surely you've all been reading up on your Blackhawks as they start their title defense. Or at least I hope you have. If any of you bothered to stay up and watch the Oilers open up their season with the Flames in the inaugural Battle of Alberta, you saw one of the most stunning goals to start a career that anyone could hope for when Jordan Eberle netted a totally awesome shorty in the third period.

Of course, Edmonton probably isn't going anywhere this year, but you might want to pay more attention tonight when the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils (I hope) open their campaign against the Dallas Stars tonight in Newark. This will be the first test of whether or not New Jersey's 15-year experiment of signing Ilya Kovalchuk was worth all the anxiety. My guess is it was, but I'm more than a little biased. I didn't put together a full NHL preview for a few reasons, but let's just say I like the Devils' new commitment to offense and their top line of Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise. I see them taking it all over the equally as potent Canucks in June.

So yeah, the title of this whole entry is about football picks. I haven't much talked about football, but I should probably get on that. Here we go.

Last week: 9-5-0
Season: 28-30-4

NY Giants (+3) over HOUSTON
Jacksonville (-2) over BUFFALO
CINCINNATI (-7) over Tampa Bay
Atlanta (-3) over CLEVELAND
DETROIT (-3) over St. Louis
INDIANAPOLIS (-8) over Kansas City
Green Bay (-3) over WASHINGTON
CAROLINA (+3) over Chicago
BALTIMORE (-7) over Denver
New Orleans (-7) over ARIZONA
Tennessee (+7) over DALLAS
San Diego (-7) over OAKLAND
SAN FRANCISCO (-4) over Philadelphia
NY JETS (-4) over Minnesota

I want to make it clear, not that you'll believe me, that it was entirely unintentional that the Giants were the only NFC East team I picked to win this week. You play the matchups not the rivalries. Or maybe the rivalries. I never claimed to be objective.

Have a good weekend everybody.

No comments:

Post a Comment