Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Playoffs III

Can you imagine how horrible it is going to be to sit through 2 weeks of continuous hype about a "BRADY VS FAVRE SHOWDOWN OF THE AGES"? You will not be able to turn on a television or pick up a newspaper during the entire run of the Hype Machine. "And like Jesus himself descended from the heavens, Tom Brady directed his explosive offense down the field, slaying the hopes of the Chargers while simultaneously healing the sick and washing away the sins of the spectators gathered in the church known as Foxboro..."

Meanwhile, "Can Bret Favre drink deeply once again from the fountain of youth and play a game for the ages, playing the game "the right way", and beating the completely unbeatable Patriots while his dead father gazes down from heaven?" Yes, the situation is bleak...

I am completely resigned to the fact that both New England and Green Bay will win tomorrow. The big question is, will they cover? Frankly, I have no idea, but you gotta have some action on these games tomorrow. Let's get inside the numbers and make a couple of totally unfounded wild guesses.

Green Bay vs Giants: First thing's first...If I hear one more A-hole announcer refer to the Giants as "the New York Football Giants", I am going to lose it. When did the baseball Giants leave NY for San Fran? 1958? I am pretty sure fans have made the mental note after 50 years, and don't need the constant reminders. "Oh! I thought Omar Vizquel, Pedro Feliz, and Barry Zito were going to have to play a football game against the Packers this Sunday! Those guys would get killed! The Football Giants!?! Ohhh! Well that should be a much closer game then...That clears that up for me! Thank you Joe Buck!"

The key to this game appears to be (as always) the Eli Manning factor. Both teams appear to be evenly matched, with Green Bay getting the edge due to the home field. The question remains, when the game is on the line, will Eli make the plays? If you think "yes", take the points. If you think he'll melt down like a cheap candle, take the Pack. Me? I'm taking the Pack.

By the way, this fallacy of the weather playing to Green Bay's favor is crazy talk. 4 degrees is cold for everybody. Plus, it's not like the Packers grew up playing football in Wisconsin in January. These guys went to Florida State, Miami, USC, Georgia, and LSU just like everybody on the Giants. They'll all be cold.

New England v San Diego: It doesn't look like the Chargers have a chance. New England is the team of destiny as officially annointed by ESPN. The problem is that you just can't get value with them. They haven't covered in 7 of their last 9 games. True, their offense is a friggin machine. Jacksonville had a terrific "D" and they didn't stop New England's offense. I don't think San Diego will either. You just have to decide if you want them to chip away underneath, or if you want them to kill you with the big play. They're going to score either way. At least if you make them go 6 yards at a time, they may fumble. (They haven't yet, but you never know...that must be the thinking anyway.) The crux of this wager is if New England's defense can hold San Diego to under 21 points.

San Diego suffered three devastating injuries in the last 2 weeks with Rivers, LT, and Gates all going down. But, here's the thing...San Diego is finding different ways to win with all kinds of guys making plays. Turner is not a major drop off at running back. Sounds crazy doesn't it? He's is going to land a big contract in the off season as a feature running back, so they're going to be OK there. Reminds me of when Priest Holmes left the Ravens to KC a few years back. Rivers is suspect anyway, and Volek can play. I'm OK with that. The Gates injury is the killer, because he runs down the middle of the field and creates defensive shifts that leave the wide outs open.

New England's defense has looked old, and just good enough to win. They don't look good enough to win by 15. Here's the play...Take San Diego -14 for 2 units and bet a unit on San Diego on the money line. I have been singing this team's praises all month, and I think they have a shot. It's worth taking the flier on that money line bet for a pocket full 'o green.

Random Notes: That Roy Jones vs Trinidad fight would have been great about seven years ago. Now? For $45 on Pay Per View? I don't think so...I checked out Nathanial Mayer last night at the Beachland, and it was entertaining as hell. You don't see too many 70 year old crack addicts rip it up like that. Check out "I Found Out" on itunes. It's well worth the 99 cent investment...What's with every brewery trying to "out hop" the other? Every beer in the craft section is called something like "Hop Fucker", "Atomic Hop Destruction" or "Hoppington J. Hop". There's no reason you can't have balance in your ale like Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, or the standard bearer Commodore Perry from Great Lakes. I can't wait until this fad is over.


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