College Football and NFL: Weekend's Best Bets (One Day Early)
Brett Favre: Readying the "elbow tendonitis" excuse?
If you're keeping score at home, it was not a pretty week for society. In no particular order, in the last seven days, the following occurred:
-- Much like the self-handling of his own Johnson (and we have the pictures to prove it), Brett Favre was coddled ever so gently by a fawning national media after it was revealed he left unwanted voicemail messages and sent unwanted pictures of his junk to a fellow female employee when both were with the Jets
-- Florida Gators wide receiver/running back/jackhole Chris Rainey was welcomed back to practice just weeks after sending his girlfriend the following text: "TIME TO DIE, BITCH." (Also, to complete the dangerous-stalker exacta, as the police assessed the situation that night, he warned her that things would get dicey once the police left.)
-- Baylor guard LaceDarius Dunn was cleared to return to class just two weeks after allegedly breaking his girlfriend's jaw in a domestic dispute
- - Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger prepared for his return to the field after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's conduct policy this past summer in an incident involving a woman where rape charges were investigated, and while not arrested, Big Ben did get suspended. (Translation: something bad happened.)
-- Finally, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox was given a tearful retirement sendoff as his managerial career ended in a Game 5 loss to the Giants in the NLDS. It is well known (at least I thought it was, until I saw Cox getting a standing ovation) that Cox was involved in an incident in 1995 where he punched his wife Pamela and pulled her hair.
My point? Guys, if your wife or girlfriend are angry with you this week, cut them some slack. Not the finest hour the past seven days for the Y chromosomes, a handful of assholes giving the rest of us otherwise chivalrous gentlemen a bad name.
As an olive branch, how about you give her my weekly six-teamer for some shopping money! (I'm a documented 20-9-1 this year, boys!)
Raiders +6.5 over 49ERS
Let's get the analysis out of the way -- the Raiders are not a bad team. They play hard, they play tough, and they're JaMarcus-free in 2010. The Niners are 0-5 and shouldn't be favored by 6.5 against my daughter's powder-puff team, much less their Bay Area rivals.
But how about last week, Niners against the Eagles? 49er quarterback Alex Smith was so bad that at one point the Niner faithful (what's left of them, at this point) were chanting "WE WANT CARR." As in "former Texans bust David Carr." That's right, in a sign that clearly no Texans game was televised outside of the greater Houston area between the years 2002 and 2006, San Francisco fans were pleading in unison for coach Mike Singletary (who right about now has a perpetual look on his face like he's assessing the damage of someone rear-ending him at an intersection) to insert David Carr as their savior. Real life equivalent? The best I could come up with was going to a strip club and starting a "WE WANT SYPHILIS!" chant. If you want to keep it clean, then compare it to passengers on the Titanic chanting for the iceberg. Bad times in Frisco.
STEELERS -13.5 over Browns
While the return of Roethlisberger is the national story heading into this game, once the ball is kicked off, the quarterback situation on the Cleveland side of the ball is actually way more intriguing. Former UT Longhorn (and former roommate of Jordan Shipley, not sure if you've heard) Colt McCoy looks to be getting the start for the Browns, although it will be interesting to see how many snaps Joshua Cribbs gets in the wildcat formation. (Pittsburgh struggled stopping Cribbs last year in a Week 14 Browns win.) I'm actually checking to see if someone will take my action on under 2.5 for the number of times the Browns cross midfield. It's cool, Browns Fan, at least basketball season starts up soon. Oh wait....
Cowboys +1.5 over VIKINGS
I've gotten this tweet/text/email from more than one person -- "Brett Favre's elbow tendinitis is his 'out' for when the Vikings lose to the Cowboys this weekend. Vikes will be 1-4 and Brett will call it a career before Roger Goodell can come in and lay him out for four games for wanging Jenn Sterger." It actually makes some sense. This game is basically a playoff game for both teams -- if the Vikings go 1-4, their season is done. Favre, who hasn't carried himself at any point this season like someone who's wanted to play, can say the elbow is just too painful, that he's not giving the Vikings the best chance to win, and it's time to go home. Consecutive games streak intact, league punishment averted, legacy moderately tattered. As for the game itself, it comes down to which team feels less like a 1-4 team. The Vikings are grab-bagging (no Favre pun intended), and look old. The Cowboys are losing close games, and appear more due. (And yet, I'm one Wade Phillips blank stare away from punching myself in the face for picking the Cowboys.)
Mississippi State +7.5 over FLORIDA
My favorite quote in the wake of Chris Rainey's deplorable return to the practice field this week came from Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio:
"Chris is a great athlete, great speed, playmaker, explosive guy," offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Tuesday. "You guys all know that, you've seen that, that's documented."
You know what else is documented? Rainey texted "TIME TO DIE, BITCH" to his girlfriend. Check his phone records. Also, Florida is currently ranked 96th in total offense per game right now among Division 1-A schools. Not only are they behind LSU (87th), they're behind Louisiana-Monroe (94th) and Louisiana-Lafayette (95th) as well. (They managed to avoid a sweep at the hands of Louisiana by staying ahead of 111th ranked Tulane.) Basically, Florida has no one who can make a play right now.
Hence, Rainey is back. It's documented.
ALABAMA -20 over Ole Miss
Nick Saban is a ruthless prick who lost last week to Steve Spurrier. It's documented.
Arizona -23.5 over WASHINGTON STATE
Teams that haven't beaten a BCS conference school coached by someone other than Tyrone Willingham and who just had two players arrested for growing a 38-plant pot farm in their basement this week have never covered the spread the next weekend. It's not documented, I'm just guessing.
Last Week: 4-2
Season Record: 20-9-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.