Friday, December 18, 2009

Degenerate Friday!! Week 15 - Overexposed Celebrities

I don’t even know what to say about the Chris Henry situation. It’s such a tragedy for a guy who could not handle the fame and success early in his life, constantly putting himself in bad situations. However it appeared that he had finally turned a corner and had his life headed in the right direction. He leaves behind his fiancé (who obviously will be a mental wreck for the foreseeable future) and 3 young kids.

So let’s move on to happier things, like week 15 in the NFL or my picks from last week. Well, 8-7-1 is not exactly anything to celebrate, but it’s an improvement from the previous couple weeks. This week’s games are broken down into categories based on overexposed celebrities from the past year……and I left out plenty of them.

Standard disclosures as always: recreational use only, spreads from the NY Post, home teams in CAPS, etc.

The Gosselins Category
Before Tiger and Elin’s failing marriage, most of 2009 was focused on the collapse of the Jon and Kate Gosselin. For some reason, the media couldn’t get enough of the media-whoring couple with Kate getting a makeover to enhance her on-screen appearance and Jon believing that he was a celebrity. In the end, it’s just a poor situation for the unfortunate 8 kids. At least the porky Jon still has his Ed Hardy t-shirts and shades to make him feel famous. These games are bad matchups (like the Gosselins) and like their finally cancelled show, no one is paying attention to them.

Browns (+1.5) over CHIEFS
I’m fearful of the Browns having a letdown (first time that has ever been said?) after their emotional win over the Steelers. However, Brady Quinn is trying to prove that he can be a viable NFL quarterback (he can) and Eric Mangini is trying to audition for his next job since Mike Holmgren is going to fire him. The Chiefs are terrible and have to be wondering if they made a “Scott Mitchell” sized mistake in signing Matt Cassell to a long-term deal.

Texans (No Line) over RAMS
This game could not be much less interesting. I think Keith Null is starting at quarterback again for the Rams, so that’s enough for me to take the Texans and Andre Johnson to blow them out.

SEAHAWKS (-7) over Buccaneers
The Seahawks have been better at home this season, and the Bucs are getting in position to draft Ndamukong Suh with the top pick. The Seahawks will latch on to a couple of these late season wins over bad teams as a reason for a hopeful future the same way Jon Gosselin believed hanging out with Michael Lohan made him famous.

The Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes Category
They’ve been a strange fascination for the country ever since Tom jumped on Oprah’s couch. The couple has always had a strange vibe to them, as if Tom had brainwashed Katie and she had become his Stepford Wife. And once they brought Suri into the mix, the tabloids were always around as Katie tried to show how normal the family was. The couple is a mismatch from both a looks and a talent standpoint. Tom is the more talented professional with a long line of successful movies and Katie’s highlight was Dawson’s Creek. However, Katie is far and away the one blessed with the looks. In this matchup, it’s easy to root for one of them, and it’s not Tom Cruise. And can we please stop with the ridiculous blended names? Brangelina? TomKat? Enough. These games are bad match-ups as well, with one playoff-bound team against a team from the bottom of the league.

Patriots (-7) over BILLS
The Patriots haven’t won on the road yet this season (London against the pathetic Bucs doesn’t count), and the Bills should have beat the Patriots in Gillette Stadium in Week 1. So why would I want to lay 7 to these plucky Bills? Because the Pats running game is better than people realize (118+ yds/game) and the Bills run defense is awful – worst in the league. Brady won’t even need Moss this week.

Cardinals (-12) over LIONS
Arizona will rebound from from their turnover-fest against the Niners and will destroy the Lions who are likely playing without Kevin Smith or Matthew Stafford. This game could end up being as boring as Vanilla Sky.

EAGLES (-9) over 49ers
The Niners are traveling to the east coast on a short week after an emotional Monday night win and have an early start time. The 1:00 start in Philly is 10:00 for the mental clocks of San Francisco. Add in the fact that the Eagles are more talented and this seems like it’s gold, Jerry. Gold. The Eagles dynamic offense will continue to stack up huge yards and points, distancing themselves in the NFC East.

Vikings (-9) over PANTHERS
A win in this game will lock up the division for the Vikings, and if the Saints slip up against the Cowboys on Saturday night, they will still have a shot at home field advantage. Either way, their defense will be able to slow the running game of the Panthers, meaning Carolina will be relying on Matt Moore. Enough said.

The Jessica Simpson Category
When was the last time she came out with an album? September 2008, and it was a country album. Yet she has been on the cover of every weekly rag mag – US Weekly, OK!, People, etc – 3,432,917 times during 2009. She’s dating John Mayer, now she’s not. She’s dating Tony Romo, and now she’s not. She put a curse on Tony Romo. Now she’s even been linked to Tiger. Enough already – yes, we enjoy your “talents” but we don’t care that you can’t find love. You probably had it with Nick Lachey and you let your crazy father run your life and career into the ground. We want to root for you, Jess, we do. But you just need to lay low, stay out of the headlines and focus on singing, it’s the only thing other than filling out a dress you do really well.

JETS (-6) over Falcons
The Falcons will likely still be without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, which will make it a challenge against the top-ranked Jets defense. The Falcons will also be leaving the friendly confines of a dome for the cold weather at the Meadowlands, where temps are expected to be in the 20’s.

Packers (+2) over STEELERS
The Steelers have blown their shot at the playoffs, and if the Browns defense could dominate their offensive line, the Packers dynamic defense will destroy them. Without Troy Polamalu in the secondary, the Steelers pass defense has been very average, which does not bode well with Aaron Rodgers playing extremely well. If Green Bay can establish the run early, they should be able to keep their strong grip on the #5 seed in the NFC.

Dolphins (+3) over TITANS
This was the second-hardest game to pick this week. The Titans are still playing hard and playing as well as anyone in the league. However, the Dolphins are the more desperate team as they fight for the final playoff spot in the AFC. With Vince Young likely out and Kerry Collins back at the helm, the Dolphins can put all of their focus on containing Chris Johnson, which should be enough to get it done for Miami.

RAVENS (-11) over Bears
Baltimore took out quite a few frustrations on Detroit last week, and now they get another subpar team to pound on. They need every win to get themselves into the playoffs and they will come out and show they want it against Chicago. The Bears have laid some big eggs this year, getting blown out Cincy, Arizona & Minnesota. This one could be uglier than Jessica Simpson in those strange high-waisted pants.

Giants (-3) over REDSKINS
The Giants have to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt. Despite their defense playing awful and the Redskins offense playing better, New York will be ready to rally. Big Blue still has the 4th best rushing offense in the NFC and combined with their big receivers, Eli should be able to orchestrate some points. Redskins at least got the Monday night focus off of their pitiful season and on to their coaching search. Gruden has supposedly turned down Bruce Allen already and it looks like Mike Shanahan will bring his awkwardly tanned face to the sidelines in Washington next year.

The Lindsay Lohan Category
She has been an actress since she was a little girl and was thrust into the spotlight as an attractive young woman. Someone then introduced her to booze and coke, which it turns out was a bad decision. Amazingly that has not worked out very well for her career or her looks. She’s 23 years old, but has the face of a 50 year old. And yet, despite her being a train wreck, you feel bad, but at the same time, it’s entertaining to try and see what she does next. These games are the only games this week between teams that would currently be in the playoffs if they started today.

SAINTS (-7) over Cowboys
The Superdome will be rocking as the Saints saw the Colts get to 14-0, and now have their chance to match. The Saints offense will be able to slice through the Ware-less Cowboys defense and put plenty of points on the board. The Cowboys have not fared well in December yet again, but this year, it’s more the schedule than the lack of execution by the Cowboys. If the Cowboys bring their “Lindsay Lohan on the cover of GQ in 2004” game to the field on Saturday night, they have a chance to pull the upset and make a national statement. Yet, Wade Phillips is the cocaine that turns Lindsay from 2004 to 2010. Sorry Dallas, it is the year of the Saints……well, except for Letterman, Steve Phillips, Tiger Woods, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, LeAnn Rimes & Eddie Cibrian.

Bengals (+6.5) over CHARGERS
This was the hardest game of the week to pick, as the Chargers are on fire, but the Bengals now have the emotional motivation of the Chris Henry tragedy. The Bengals are talented and with the extra emotion involved, should come out to play this game in honor of their late teammate. The Chargers are the better team and will beat the Bengals if they see them in the playoffs, but on this day at this time, they don’t have as much to play for.

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