So last season I did these Best Bets posts on Fridays and made every attempt to conduct myself like an actual handicapper, coming up with reams of statistics and subjective observations to lead to a conclusion that I hoped made reasonable sense.
End result? A prediction success rate well below .500.
So this season, because (a) I realized that nobody really gives a shit about my analysis anyway, they'd rather I comment on things like 2,000-calorie foods, port-a-lets, and bestiality and (b) the old way wasn't working, I decided to just find games that were equal parts enticing wager and comedic lubricant (no pun intended).
The results thus far say one thing -- biting sarcasm beats insightful analysis, every day and twice (actually, hopefully three times) on Sunday. 30-17-1 so far in 2010. Time to get paid again this week. LESH GO!
Patriots -4 over BROWNS
New England. Home of the Patriots. Also, home to Dunkin Donuts, who just announced today that they will be rolling out their newest heart stopper -- the Pancake Bites, for those who need their pancake and sausage fix in small 25-fat gram, bite-sized increments. Dunkin Executive Chef Stan Frankenthaler explains:
"Everyone loves a traditional pancake and sausage breakfast, but in our typical busy day it's almost impossible to find the time it takes to sit down and enjoy it. With our new Pancake Bites, we've put the traditional taste of pancakes and sausage into a portable, poppable snack that you can take with you on the go, in the car, at work or any time day or night," he said.
Now, I've been too heavy before and I've recently lost a bunch of weight, so in some ways I think I'm uniquely qualified to comment about this, so allow me to say this -- if a pancake and sausage breakfast is THAT important to you that you need them in small bite sized increments to still enjoy their scrumptious taste each morning, you're probably not one of those go-getter types who is squeezing productivity out of every second of the day, so much so that you have to drive through a Dunkin Donuts just so you can toss down your pancakes and sausage like they're M&M's as you weave through traffic to get to the next meeting with venture capitalists. I'm guessing anyone who needs pancakes and sausage this badly will probably find the time to sit down and enjoy all 8,000 calories (before jumping on their motorized scooter to head back to their place of work to take a nap).
LIONS +4.5 over Jets
Detroit. Home of the Lions. Also, home to the Detroit Pistons, the employer of overpaid forward Charlie Villanueva, who was recently the target of some insensitive remarks from Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. Villanueva, who suffers from a condition called alopecia universalis whereby he has no hair on his body, was allegedly called "a cancer patient" by Garnett during a trash-talk session in the game between the Pistons and Celtics earlier this week. The allegations came from Villanueva himself on his Twitter account Wednesday morning.
One of the tweets says: "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."
Celtics GM Danny Ainge, in an effort to have his guy KG's back, came off sounding completely foolish and out of touch:
"There's one thing that I know for sure, and it's that KG would not offend cancer patients," Ainge said. "That makes no sense. It makes no sense on a lot of fronts. Not only is he experiencing it in his own family, but that's just not something I've ever heard -- in 30 years -- ever say, in trash talking. What is logical in a trash talking situation for a player to say to another player, 'You have cancer' or 'You are cancer'?"
Well, actually Danny, Kevin Garnett not only included cancer in his trash talk, but his cover up was a hundred times more ridiculous than his actual remarks were offensive:
"My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact 'You are cancerous to your team and our league,'" Garnett said. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."
"You are cancerous to your team and our league." This supposedly from a guy (KG) who literally screwed up a three-word sound bite after the Celtics won the title in 2008. (After the game, Adidas wanted him to scream "Impossible is nothing!", which of course became the now infamous "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!" -- even a 60+ win team winning the NBA title on its home court!)
The silver lining in this whole, overblown mess was the spawning of #KGTrashTalk on Twitter, where tweeters sarcastically came up with 140-character, fictitious barbs from KG that sounded like some combination of Rasheed Wallace and Shakespeare.
As deplorable as the "cancer patient" blast was from Garnett, this story got waaaay too much run. Villanueva's tweeting on-court trash talk had a tattletale vibe to it that was somewhat juvenile in its own right, and frankly if the end game in this story is that "Kevin Garnett is a complete bully and asshole" then I haven't really learned anything new. Next.
RAVENS -5 over Dolphins
Miami. Home of the Dolphins. Also, home to Florida International University, where presumably by now the provost has figured out that his name is Isiah THOMAS, not Isiah THOMPSON...
The provost and the rest of the FIU community had to be thrilled to see the story this morning about Isiah Thomas essentially campaigning for his old job with the New York Knicks while still pulling a check and presumably leading and molding young men for their university:
Asked if he hopes to replace Donnie Walsh whenever the 69-year-old Knicks president retires, Thomas said, "Every single day of the week."
"When I look at my GM/executive record, if I'm evaluated on that, then whoever's after Donnie, if you're not talking about some of the top people in the game, I'll put my draft evaluation record up against anyone's."
Well yeah, I guess you did find David Lee, Isiah. Can you please go into a bit more detail about your total tenure in New York, though? The signing of Vin Baker? What was that all about? Jared Jeffries, too? Jerome James? Not protecting your draft picks you traded for all 800 pounds of Eddy Curry? And do i need to remind you that you traded for Steve Francis, and then chased that with a trade for Stephon Marbury to pair two shoot-first point guards together? Is Anucha Browne Sanders really a bitch?
I would say that Isiah should keep dreaming, but naturally he actually had to turn down James Dolan's request that he come back to spread around some of that ol' Isiah magic around the Knicks offices earlier this year. Nice franchise.
Baylor/OK STATE over 73
Speaking of people being rewarded for moderate to low competence, the Big 12 extended commissioner Dan Beebe's contract for three more years today, taking him through 2015. It's funny, when Notre Dame and Texas agreed to play football games with one another starting in 2015, I said to my 1560 colleague Richard Justice (a Longhorn) "Hey Richie, now you and I can check out a Notre Dame-Texas game together!" He asked me what year they'd be playing, and I told him "2015." He rolled his eyes and said, "That's a little optimistic, don'tcha think?" -- the implication being that either one or both of us might not be around in 2015 (a valid hypothesis by the way; we both enjoy fried foods).
Well, needless to say, I had the same reaction to the current Big 12 commissioner having his contract extended through 2015. This would be like the captain of the Titanic getting a new three-year deal while the ship was taking on its first 100,000 gallons of water. Right now, Beebe presides over a conference that has Baylor controlling its own destiny for the Big 12 championship in November and is going to watch its best team head to the Big Ten after the season. Sweet league.
Rice +17 over TULSA
ACTUAL FOOTBALL ANALYSIS WARNING: This analysis comes spattered with plenty of glass shards from televisions that have been the target of flying projectiles during Notre Dame games this year. Perhaps you saw, last weekend Tulsa walked into Notre Dame Stadium and did what UConn, Navy, hell even Syracuse had done before them in the last two seasons -- beat Notre Dame for a "signature win" on the Irish home turf. This season, Notre Dame has lost five times; the previous four teams to beat Notre Dame before Tulsa went 0-2 against the spread (Navy losing to Duke last weekend; Stanford losing to Oregon by three touchdowns) or played FCS teams (including Michigan barely beating UMass) the following weekend. I'll gladly take Rice against Tulsa in this letdown spot here for the Golden Hurricane.
Alabama -6.5 over LSU
This is a bounce back game for the state of Alabama -- not because the Crimson Tide necessarily did anything poorly last week. The team was actually on a bye. Unfortunately, while Nick Saban was putting finishing touches on the Tide's game plan for LSU this weekend, Eric Steven Easley happened. Who? Here's who...
(WILMER, Ala.) - A 27 year old Wilmer man is charged with animal cruelty after investigators say he had sex with a miniature horse. Eric Steven Easley was arrested Tuesday after the horse's owner, Pat Foster, reported the assault. Foster told LOCAL 15 News exclusively that when she saw the horse, named Ebony Ice, she knew immediately something was wrong. "This horse was in deep depression, just hanging her head, she had her back end arched in the air and her tail stuck up and then of course there was blood coming out of her," she said. Deputies say they were able to track the assault to Easley because his wallet was found inside the horse pen. His home is about ten minutes away from the Foster's. By phone, Easley told LOCAL 15 News the accusation is a lie and claimed he dropped his wallet while chasing a baby deer.
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You know the old saying that when you denote someone by their first, middle and last names that they're probably a murderer (i.e. Mark David Chapman) or an Alabama quarterback (i.e. John Parker Wilson) -- well, how about combining those two? Eric Steven Easley, Alabama horse-virginity murderer. And go ahead and assume that "chasing a baby deer" has become the new standard for ridiculous excuses for "Who? What? Where?" evidence. "Orenthal, your blood spattered footprints were all over the sidewalk outside the home on Bundy."
"Well yeah, I was there but I didn't kill anyone. I was chasing a baby deer!"
Yeah, I'm not sure what the conversion chart looks like for "number of points Bama needs to win by to wipe out horse rape story" but it's WAAAY more than 6.5.
Last Week: 5-1 Season Record: 30-17-1 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://twittter.com/SeanCablinasian.