Even though he’s not on my team anymore, I’m still rooting for Tom Brady.
He won 6 more Superbowls for the Patriots than I ever thought I’d see them win when I grew up watching them lose in the first round every year, or finally make it to the Superbowl in ’86 only to embarrass themselves.
So even if it feels like watching divorced dad with his new family, I’ll be rooting for Brady, Gronk and Tampa in Sunday’s festivities… but the cold-hearted soul-less analyst in me is thinking Chiefs win by something like 31-28. At least that’s what I got when I crunched all the stats, sport-betting wise (and I’m not betting on the game, especially since my calculations put the result way too close to the spread).
I predict a good game, with back and forth leads… but in the end, I think Mahomes and the Chiefs are just a better team than the Bucs.
Welcome to a new feature for my fellow sports addicts going through withdrawal.
The other day, I watched MLB Network’s broadcast of the 1978 Yankee/Red Sox divisional play-off, the Bucky Dent game. They showed the entirety of the game with a few pop-up trivia overlays, but essentially just gave us the old WPIX broadcast complete with Bill White and Phil Rizzuto.
And I thought, with ALL sports gone for a while, why don’t the other sports channels run old games? They own the films of all of ’em, and could add panels with surviving players the way MLB does, or put in pop-up trivia, or what have you.
But I then I remembered how people upload their own private video stash to youtube, and sure enough, there’s GOLD like this – the complete broadcast of ABC’s Monday Night Football premiere game of 1970, with the original commercials intact.
There’s a lot to digest here – Keith Jackson’s announcing, Howard Cosell on highlights, and Don Meredith on very infrequent color commentary. The differences both in how the game is broadcast and how the game is played from now is pretty striking.
The broadcast is simple – no frills, very few replays. Limited camerawork given the technology of the day, but all the key action captured. Cosell starts the show off with a nice dig at Meredith, introducing him with a lowlight reel of his QB career, but the tradition of the insults flying in the booth wouldn’t really get going until the show aged a bit.
God… those titles and theme song. Hardly the big production and hype we get now. No yellow first down line. No scores or ticker flashing. We don’t even get to see the game clock unless they cut to a shot of the one at the stadium,
And somehow, it didn’t really matter.
The game play is something to see as well. No celebrations or showboating after mere sacks and tackles. Not even after touchdowns. The guys just play, and try to play well. It didn’t seem like there were as many penalties. The refs weren’t even mic’ed up, their calls had to be explained by Jackson unless you knew the hand signals.
And way fewer injuries, even with the defenses playing with a lot more contact, especially in the secondary.
Oh, and those ads! Never mind the Marlboro ciggie ads as a glimpse into a lost world… all the ads with athletes pitching stuff are SO much more likeable than the ENDLESS God damn insurance company drek that runs over and over and over again during today’s sportscasts. We get Len Dawson & Joe Kapp pitching Gillette before Tom Seaver does. Other ads feature Roger Maris and Bart Starr. It almost rivaled the nostalgia brought back by the players on the field… Joe Namath, Emerson Boozer & Matt Snell on the Jets, or the guy with one of the best names in sports history, Fair Hooker on the Browns.
The halftime highlights go through some of the previous weekend’s games, with Cosell selling it like it’s a huge innovation to see league films. Maybe it was back then.
Those Boston Patriots managed to beat the Miami Dolphins, though! But the seeds of the Dolphins’ future Superbowl champions were in place… some highlight plays include Griese passing to Paul Warfield, a combo I remember very well.
And there’s always Rod Serling selling Ford LTDs or Goodyear tires that’ll keep EVEN YOUR WIFE safe if she drives alone… but one of the ads that really jumped out at me was the United Airlines ad touting flying a 747. Look at the people in it – how well dressed they are, how spacious and relaxed that plane cabin looks, the people strolling around. Flying was once glamorous, luxurious… now they cram you in like sardines, nickel and dime you six different ways and take away your water.
This is a lot of fun to watch – and it’s just a regular game from another era. No playoff or memorable game where some record was broken, just a normal weekly broadcast. The Jets were a year after winning their upset Superbowl, the fans in Cleveland still had hope, and no one knew that veteran Johnny Unitas would finally win a Superbowl that season.
Well, if NFL network or ESPN won’t run stuff like this, I’ll post it to share, and invite your viewership and comments! I can’t be the only one who misses present sports and loves sports history.
So as therapy for our sports on hiatus, look for old games here – football, baseball, basketball, hockey… whatever I can find, especially if it has the original commercials and show bumpers. I want the complete experience, right down to the lame synth theme songs, hairstyles, dated celebrity references… you name it.
I skipped picks last week with all the distractions, plus doing pretty badly the week before. Season totals stand at a you-may-as-well-flip-a-coin 39-38-3.
But with a lot of work done and other crap dealt with, it’s time to plunge back in and see what happens. I’m trying to be stricter in throwing possible bets out, so let’s see if that has a positive effect.
In the college games:
Pittsburgh by 7 over Georgia Tech
Cincinnati by 23 1/2 over East Carolina (the secret 51st state)
Kansas State by 4 1/2 over Kansas
LA Lafayette by 22 1/2 over Texas State
SMU plus 5 1/2 against Memphis (a good matchup)
Oregon State plus 5 1/2 against Arizona (probably my iffiest one, tbh)
In the NFL:
Jaguars plus 1 1/2 against the Texans
Panthers by 3 over the Titans
Colts by 1 over the Steelers
Packers by 3 1/2 over the Chargers
I also think the Patriots will win out over the Ravens in what’s probably the best game of the week. Will they cover the 3 1/2 or just win by a field goal? I’m figuring they cover or just lose it outright, to be honest…. so I’ll go with cover! The power of positive thinking.
Watching an unemotional baseball playoff right now (Cards ? Nats? I don’t care…. waiting for the Yankees to take on the – gulp – Astros tomorrow. Tho Sanchez is pitching a real beaut…) so I ran some numbers and came up with some mostly college football picks and one pro pick. Last week I did well with college and crap with pro, so I’m feelin’ the burn. Worked out to 6-6 for the week, season totals 28-27-2. May as well flip a coin.
EXCEPT FOR THIS WEEK, WHEN I WILL GO 12-0!!!!!
Let’s start with taking Texas +10 1/2 at home against Oklahoma, in what ought to be a decent game.
Central Michigan by 10 over New Mexico State
Missouri by 12 over Ole Miss
Mississippi State by 6 1/2 over Tennessee
UNLV +15 against Vanderbilt
Wisconsin by 10 1/2 over Michigan State
Texas A&M +17 against Alabama (I think they’ll lose but beat the spread)
Florida Atlantic by 11 1/2 over Mid Tennessee State
UAB by 12 over UTSA
Notre Dame by 10 1/2 over USC
Wyoming +4 against SDSU in a game I think they can win outright
And my sole NFL pick – the Seahawks by 1 1/2 over the Browns.
If I had to make a parlay play, I guess I’d group Central Michigan, Missouri, UAB, Notre Dame, Wyoming and the Seahawks. Those are probably the picks I feel best about.
Although I’m still down with a cold and don’t feel great altogether….
Here’s what I often do: Take a 12 oz glass and throw 3-4 ice cubes in it. Then, I add about 2-3 finger widths of Jack Daniels or Bulleit Rye. Then maybe a teaspoon of lemon juice, and top it off with some fresh brewed iced tea. (Then drink, obviously).
After my performance in picking games last week, I might need to do this repeatedly. Good thing I get those giganto bottles of JD and Bulleit at Costco.
Started out well, felt great – got my first 3 picks… and then the remaining 7 went sour. Bah. Season totals are barely above even, at 22-21-2.
So this week, it will ALL TURN AROUND and I can drink my whiskey concoctions in total bliss. My stomach will thank me.
Boston College +6 against Louisville (they did it for me last week…)
SMU -13 over Tulsa
Georgia -25 over Tennessee
Navy +3 1/2 against Air Force
Kansas +32 against Oklahoma (I think Oklahoma wins, but does not cover)
Arkansas State -7 1/2 over Georgia State
Jaguars +3 1/2 against the Panthers (I think the Jags will win outright)
Vikings – 5 1/2 over the Giants
Saints -3 over the Buccaneers
Chargers – 6 1/2 over the Broncos (risky…. but Broncos are awful on the road)
Cowboys – 3 1/2 over the Packers (great matchup, and I think Cowboys win it)
Chiefs -11 over the Colts (another risky one.. Chiefs might win without covering, but I’ll go for it)
None of these games really jumped out to me as amazingly easy bets, to be honest. If I had to pick my top choices, I’d probably say Arkansas State and the Jaguars, maybe followed by Georgia. But no top picks this week, really.
Here’s a picture of a kitten drinking beer foam. Skoal!
The sure-thing picks last week were 4-0, everybody! That’s a 14-1 parlay bet, y’know. Overall I was 8-6-1 for a season total of 19-14-2. Not great, not terrible. 54%. Good enough for a pro, I guess, but NOT good enough for ME.
Yeah, ME! The guy who adorns his degenerate gambling picks with a photo of William Schallert since “The Trouble With Tribbles” is on.
Whatever. Ten total picks this week, so let’s win some money. Top picks, once again, are in italics.
Duke +3 against Virginia Tech
Penn State -6 over Maryland
Boston College + 6 1/2 against Wake Forest (in a pick where I question my sanity, but I’ll keep telling myself how ANGRY BC remains after that embarrassing upset a couple of weeks ago. And then there were the tribbles in their chicken sandwich and coffee. As near as I can tell, they’re born pregnant. All you have to do is stop feeding them.)
Iowa State – 2 1/2 over Baylor
Fresno State – 17 1/2 over New Mexico State
Utah State -24 over Colorado State
Colts – 6 1/2 over the Raiders
Chiefs – 6 1/2 over the Lions
Patriots -7 over the Bills
Rams -10 over the Buccaneers
So there you go. And I have never questioned the orders or the intelligence of any representative of the Federation. Until now.
I’m relieved to see the Pats have released Antonio Brown. He made a lot of money for one game, but he’s just not worth all the drama and baggage he brings. They have a light schedule for the first half of the season and they’ll get N’Keal Harry back for the second half.
So here’s hoping the strength & training coaches for the Yankees don’t moonlight for the Pats, giving them the never-ending rash of injuries that’s plagued my baseball team all friggin year.
While I didn’t do too well last week with my picks, I will stick to the same historic analysis theory I’ve mostly been working with since I believe it will be successful over the long haul. SO THERE. Season totals are 11-8-1 so far.
I’ve identified my stronger-Spidey-sense picks in italics.
UCF -11 over Pitt
Northwestern +9 against Michigan State
Syracuse -4 1/2 over Western Michigan
Wisconsin -3 over Michigan
Arizona State – 8 1/2 over Colorado
Georgia State +3 against Texas State
LSU -24 1/2 over Vanderbilt
Appalachian State + 2 1/2 against North Carolina (probably my strongest inkling to be honest, based on the historic patterns)
UAB -10 1/2 over Southern Alabama
Georgia -14 1/2 over Notre Dame
Washington State -18 1/2 over UCLA
Packers -7 over Broncos
Rams -3 over Browns
and I gotta take the Pats -21 1/2 over the Jets. As much as you never see NFL spreads that big, the Jets look just awful, the Pats look great, and it’s in Foxboro. I’d also lean towards the Cowboys covering their huge 22 1/2 point spread over the clearly-tanking Dolphins. Oh why not… I’ll pick the Cowboys to cover.
So there ya go, 15 SURE WINNERS! And all for free… I’m just too damn generous, aren’t I?
You woulda won money taking my advice last week. Did you?
I told myself if I got 7 out my 9 picks last week, I’d open up some offshore web sportsbook account since it looks like the long arm of the law doesn’t really care about them anymore. Thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, numerous states have begun to legalize sports betting and make it available. California will get around to it at some point, despite how amazingly stupid the state government is out here.
But so far it’s all academic… I went 6-2-1. Not bad, I admit, but I have to keep my promise to myself. I didn’t make 7, and even if the Rams covered the final spread of 2.5, I had taken them at 3. Gotta be fair. And considering how I yelled angrily at my TV over some ref calls in the Saints game where all I had on the line was my ego (priceless, I know), maybe it’ll be better for my general health if I don’t bet real money on this nonsense every week.
But I’m back again, with more picks that YOU can feel free to bet. Most of them are college games. Week 2 of the NFL is always loaded with overreactions to week 1, and all of the lopsided scores of last week (including the happy Patriots one) mess with my analysis of spreads. So I’m passing on most of Sunday’s NFL action, except for 2 games:
It’s been a while since I posted my football gambling picks on this blog. Why not kick off the NFL season with a bunch of picks ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to make money?
Well, if not for you, certainly for Vegas or whatever offshore online sportsbook you’re throwing money away on. Someone will make money off these picks.
I didn’t post my college picks for Week 1 last week, but TRUST ME, I did better than 50%. This time, it’ll be on the record.
Let’s start with those whiny college bums, shall we?
I like Army plus 22 1/2 at Michigan. Michigan ought to win this game, but I don’t think they’ll win by THAT much, and Army is actually a pretty decent team. And speaking of huge spreads that I don’t think will be covered, I’ll go ahead and take likely game loser New Mexico State plus a whopping 55 against Alabama. ‘Bama will win, and ‘Bama will absolutely CRUSH opponents, especially when they play out of conference, but they usually don’t roll up the points to such a huge degree – I could see them winning this game by 30-ish or even 40-ish points, but 55? I’ll take my chances with history here.
As bad as they looked last week, I think Missouri can cover 13 over West Virginia, who have a LONG history of failing against the spread in September games historically. Missouri’s at home, they want to make up for looking like crap last week, I think that’s a recipe for a 2+ score margin here.
And speaking of looking like crap and being bitten by the bug, USC opened a 3 point favorites over Stanford. It’s down to 1, but even with the wildcard of the backup frosh QB needing to step in for USC, I’ll go with a most likely more solid (in the immortal words of Linc Hayes) Stanford team plus the 1 point.
I looked over the opening NFL lines, and as reluctant as I am to usually bet the NFL during September at all, I gotta say that a few of these jumped out at me as real possibilities. I think the Forty Niners can cover 1 over the Buccaneers, and that the Jimmy G has returned Niners will do decently this year, although that division is really a lock for the Rams. And speaking of the Rams, I’ll take them to roll up some points in a “we lost the Superbowl by not scoring, so here’s a message that our offense is still here” type game and cover 3 over the Panthers.
I like the Chiefs to cover 3 1/2 over the Jaguars. As much as the Jags should be better this year with a decent QB and less drama than last year’s huge disappointing season, the Chiefs under Andy Reid always get off to a flying start, scoring a lot of points and getting everyone to believe until they slow down during the second half of the season and fall to my team in the playoffs. But week 1, to cover only 3 1/2? I’ll buy that for a dollar.
Another team looking to send a message after getting totally robbed last year would be the Saints, who I can see pounding a Texan team in some disarray, suffering some key injuries in the preseason. Take the Saints to cover 6 1/2.
And the BEST TEAM? Oh, you must mean MY team, of course. Well, the Patriots open up at home, Sunday night against a Steeler team that lost most of its major offensive weapons since last season. While the Pats always take a while to get going the first few weeks, they looked great all through preseason and should hit their home field ready to demonstrate that their dynasty is alive and roaring after they unfurl their championship banner. They’re 5 1/2 point favorites over the Steelers, and I think the Patriots will win the game by 2 scores if not more.
So there you go, nine LOCKS. Feel free to send me commission after you get rich. I’ll be here.