Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Football

Hey Folks-

I'll be blogging more later this week/weekend about my short trip to Michigan and the Bengals nearly getting me suckered in again... but first, Turkey Day Football

Again... haven't tabulated my record from last week, so that'll have to wait. I'm sure it wasn't good.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Vindicated... at least a little

You know how I ranted and raved about Bill Belichick's football decision earlier this week? Well... I was feeling really good about my opinion, and then I talked to Alan about it (a person whose opinion regarding football I respect). Alan said he liked the call!! I couldn't believe it. I didn't get a real chance to discuss/debate it with him as we were busy laying a big fat Trivia egg... (Did you know that indigo is the color from the spectrum that has largely been eliminated? I did.)

Anyway, I started questioning my conviction on the issue just a tad. I wondered if Alan was right, that Manning would have scored just as easily from 70 as he did from 30, so the Pats only chance was to keep the ball. Again... I didn't have a chance to delve, but I've since been rolling it around in my head and.... then I read THIS...SERIOUSLY... CLICK IT.

My boy Bill Simmons agrees with me, and since it's his job to think about and write about sports, he actually had the time to break that bitch down... It's a solid read. I know he's an admitted Boston homer, but I don't care. He's right, I'm right, and I feel much better about it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Football Quickly

The Thursday game has already started, so I'm making my picks quickly...


I'll tabulate my score from last week and edit this post when I get a chance.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Bad, Bad Call

So listen... I don't get riled up by the NFL much. I love watching it. I love talking about it with my buddy Alan and my Dad.

This year has been no exception. My Saints are undefeated. The Bengals have made an excellent soon-to-be ex. (I'm standing by it, at least for now.... I figure the only loophole I have is that I compared my break with the Bengals to a divorce, and well... people are known to reconcile.... we'll see.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I rarely get riled up, but I have to chime in very briefly on Bill Belichick and the Colts vs. Patriots game that took place on Sunday night. First a couple of things right off the bat:

1) I hate the Colts. I hate them. Nothing makes me sicker than the Colts doing well. I honestly feel less hatred for the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns combined. I just hate them so much.

2) I like the Patriots. I don't buy into the cheating thing. I firmly believe that Tom Brady is an all-time great quarterback.

3) I hate Peyton Manning. I think he's the most overrated player I can recall, and that's saying something since I still concede at this point that he's one of the top 5 or so quarterbacks ever. That's how overrated the guy is. I think it goes back to when he was at Tennessee (at the absolute height of my Gator-love) and he was just slurped up and down and left and right...won nothing...and then the Volunteers won the national title the year after he left (with TEE MARTIN!!! HAHAHAHA). That was so, so delicious. Anyway, I could write a whole blog about why Manning is overrated and overhyped, but thats not what this is about... in fact, I'm feeling sick in anticipation of what I'm about to say.

Let me set the stage.

The Patriots are leading 34-28 with 2:06 to go. 4th down and 2 from their own 28 yard line. The Pats have already foolishly burned their timeouts.

What does Bill B. do? He fucking goes for it, and the play he draws up is designed to go about 3 yards. Kevin Faulk bobbles the ball as he's falling and it's ruled that by the time he'd actually secured the ball that he wasn't over the first down marker. The Pats can't challenge it because they have no timeouts left. The booth doesn't challenge it, because we're still outside of 2 minutes. So here's what I say...

If this same decision to "go for it" is made by any other head coach in the league, short of... well... I can't think of a single other coach... If it's anyone else, that coach is fired. I think I can easily say it's the worst call I've ever seen by a coach, period. I don't think I will ever understand it...

1) As much as I hate Peyton Manning (and I hate him a whole lot), I acknowledge that despite his general overratedness, he's still a top 5 quarterback ever. I hate that that's true, but it is. The fact of the matter is... Peyton Manning, when given 75 yards and 2 minutes to score a touchdown is scary enough. You should never, EVER give that son of a bitch more than you need to. 29 yards and 2 minutes to score a touchdown, you may as well just gift wrap it for him and suck him off. He had so much time they were running the ball into the line to make sure the Pats had less time with the ball after the inevitably scored.

2) You show NO confidence in your defense. I get that you like your offense, and that Brady is a guaranteed Hall of Famer. I get that you have so much disdain for the Colts that you can't even acknowledge they can beat you. I understand that, but for the love of GOD. If you don't trust your defense to stop Manning from 70 yards, how can you even pretend to claim you trust them to stop that mother fucker from spitting distance. GOD DAMNIT.

3) If you're going to make the call to go for it, which has no logical defense, at least make a play call that doesn't rely on the iffy hands and counting ability of Kevin God-Damned Faulk. You have Randy Moss and Wes Welker on the field, and I know that they were likely blanketed like they had their own personal Colts Snuggies, but still... maybe tell Fault to take another couple of steps. Why make it so close?

The worst part is... having seen the past 3 plays, I don't see how anyone thought that 2 yards was a gimme. There were 2 running plays to Lawrence Maroney that I thought were set-up to be flea-flickers they developed so awkwardly. (It's hard to explain, but it just seemed like Maroney stalled at the line on both attempts. Such a stall that I expected him to pitch it back to Brady.)

I just... I don't get it. It's a terrible call. I've been struggling to come up with a situation where this play is okay. I would struggle to justify this decision from this location on the field under almost any circumstance. If you took the absolute BEST Patriots team (the 2007 version who went one insane catch away from going undefeated) against the worst team I can think of... The Dick LeBeau Bengals of 2002... There's no chance you make that call if you're the Patriots. What I'm saying is if there's no single professional team (and if you know the 2002 Bengals, you know I'm using that phrase as technically as possible) there's still no NFL offense that you give that chance to. Not ever. Maybe 50 yards. That's what I've decided. If you have the ball at the 50... MAYBE then do you take that chance, but jesus.. what if Faulk gets stripped and Robert Mathis or whoever runs it back for a touchdown. What if Brady throws a pick? I don't see how you ever take the chance. You punt it away unless you may be able to pick up a game-icing field goal. No other time is it acceptable. Period.

When looking up the details of this blog, since the numbers are so important here, I came across dozens of people defending the "gutsy" call. Are you fucking joking? I know that Greg Easterbrook once wrote a column about how people punt too much. How the average play is 3 yards so coaches shouldn't be so quick to punt from 4th and short. I even agree. This situation doesn't apply. Be smart. Give the future HOFer a full field. Make it at least a Challenge. I don't care if your defense is the '85 Bears. You don't do it. Not ever.

I'm so mad about it, I realize I'm not making a ton of sense here, but it doesn't matter. I don't love being put in any position where I have to acknowledge that Peyton Manning is dangerous. So...FUCK YOU BILL BELICHICK.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Mouse in My Food

Ever since my surgery, food has been a great challenge. It's rare that I can eat any sort of meats at all without experiencing some pain. It's unusual for me to be able to complete a full serving of anything. Some of my favorite foods have been taken completely out of the equation... Pizza, Steak... Only recently have I been able to start eating any kinds of sandwiches again.

As you can imagine, Disney World is difficult. The portions are huge, the food is pricey, and it's almost always fairly rich too (tough for me to digest). I did, however, have a great experience with the Disney Dining Plan (a first try at it for me) and there were some really excellent without further ado my 3 Tips to Successful Disney Dining and my 3 Favorite Meals/Dishes from this trip.

3 Tips for Successful Disney Dining

1) Eat Up at Lunch Time.
I think the normal progression of meals for people is to eat small for breakfast and lunch and then have a big dinner. That's all well and good, but there are a couple of reasons I'm recommending having your "Table Service" meal (whether you're on the dining plan or no) at Lunch time. First, the morning is the most hectic time at the parks, usually, because people are rushing to get to rides before it gets crowded and people are trying to fit in all kinds of stuff early on. All that runing around has a way of working up quite the appetite. Second, it's far easier to get lunch reservations at all of the sit-down restaurants than it is for dinner (and if you're not on the dining plan, the prices are usually lower). Third, my absolute least favorite thing about the otherwise amazing, Free Disney Transportation is the logjams at the beginning and end of the day. When you're scheduling your sit-down meals late, you're locking yourself in to having to deal with post-parade/fireworks crowds. Unless you're amazingly clever, the crowds are unavoidable and unbearable. My advice is to grab the quicker meal late so that you can better negotiate your smooth exit from the park.

2) Disney Dining Plan
I have always been a skeptic. I was wrong. This is a seriously great feature of staying on property. It's easy to use, provides more food than you can ever possibly eat, and really saves an incredible amount of money (especially now that Disney's basically handing the thing away), oh...and the Tofu Muchacha wanted me to point out that every meal comes with dessert (I'll get to the dessert again later). Also take the opportunity to order those things you normally would't, because of how expensive they are. Never ordered the 35.00 Filet Mignon? Well go for it... Always wanted to try Lobster? That's allowed. It's totally awesome. I figure that our free dining plan (minus the gratuities) saved us 500 dollars. Easily.

3) Eat at Epcot.
This seems like such a broad sort of tip, but hear me out... Epcot is home to the Food and Wine Festival, which is amazing for international snacking. Epcot has more sit-down restaurants than any other park at Disney. Epcot has the widest variety of food choices anywhere outside of New York City. On this recent trip we ate at Epcot four separate days. That doesn't include the snacks we enjoyed at the Food and Wine Festival (also covered in the dining plan). Check it out... in the World Showcase, all of the following are a 15 minute walk away: Steak (Canada), Pub food (England), French Bistro (France) , Middle Eastern (Morocco), hibachi steak or sushi (Japan), Italian (duh), Biergarten buffet (Germany), Chinese (duh again), Norwegian (like you'd want it..), and Mexican. That doesn't include the Coral Reef (which I'll discuss later). There are options for everyone, and if you go at lunch time, you can usually get reservations most anywhere.

And now...

My 3 Favorite Meals/Dishes of my October Trip

1) Coral Reef, Day 2
This was an excellent meal in almost every respect. The food was good. The dessert was delicious (Creme brule....mmmmm.) And the atmosphere was easily the coolest of any meal we had the whole trip. The atmosphere really is the draw here, and I honestly can say it was one of the more interesting places I've ever eaten in terms of visuals. The whole restaurant is set up a little like a dinner theater in that all of the seating faces a huge floor to ceiling aquarium and every seat is good. It doesn't hurt that our seat was somehow the most amazing in the house. Right up against the glass. It was so neat. I ate dinner right next to a giant sea turtle.
2) Cheesecake at Tony's Town Square Ristorante, Day 1
I'm a fan of desserts. Lately I've come to really enjoy pumpkin desserts specifically, and when I see a pumpkin cheesecake on a menu, I'm always curious to see how it stacks up with my own (hugely successful) attempt from a couple of months back. This one was really, really delicious, and it was presented in so pleasing a manner that I needed to take a picture. Yes... that's Lady and the Tramp dusted onto the plate in chocolate. It was super, super smooth and creamy and really light. I liked it so much I requested the recipe...which I received in my e-mail just recently. I may attempt it for my Thanksgiving dessert. 3) ABC Commissary. Day 5
I know it's a little weird, because this is basically a fast food restaurant, but I can honestly say that my fish and chips were among the best I've ever eaten anywhere. The fish was perfectly fried. The fries were crisp. It was awesome. AND because I was on the dining plan, I also got this crazy good chocolate mousse. I'm listing this, because out of all of the meals I had, this one was the most surprising. I expect Tony's and Le Cellier to be good (I was disappointed in Le Cellier, to be honest), but the ABC Commissary came through.

NOTE: I know that I promised a Leg to Leg comparison between the Disney turkey legs and the Renaissance Faire turkey legs, but to be honest... I just couldn't do it. The turkey leg I got at the Renn Faire made me feel so sick afterward, I just wasn't willing to risk fucking up a whole day of my trip at Disney in case the Disney bird made me feel the same way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yawn... Football Time

Look... I'm sorry. I keep meaning to write, but I'm busy! I think I sort of burned myself out a little with the Disney blogs, which is okay...because that was totally fun and worth it, but that was also a lot of damned work!

Anyway, I plan on putting up at least something non-football this week.

Until I do though, my record last week was a respectable 9 and 4, bringing my overall record to 88 -41. Not bad at all.

Here we go with this week and we're back to 15 games...


Just a quick comment on this week... I am going out on several limbs this week, so I could easily be heading toward my first loser of the season.

Friday, November 6, 2009

OHHH Football.

I've really got nothing to say at the moment, so I'm just gonna post my record from last week...

8 - 5

My overall record...


And my picks for this coming week...