SIMON’S PICKS – Week 14

SimonHey, y’all! Well, it looks like the Footbal Feline righted the ship last week, going 11-5, or 119-72 for the season. Let’s see if I can do EVEN BETTER this week. ‘Cos The Simon has a good feelin’ about Sunday’s games! Enjoy the picks, y’all!

 

 

 

Houston at Jacksonville: Well, Simon knows where he’s NOT going to be this Thursday night! What a STINKER this game will be! BLECH! This game smells like my little sisters’ ass! I’m gonna go against the crowd and go with J-Ville, here. I think that Houston still hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, and the Jaguars, as I’m tired of saying, are better than people think they are!

Indianapolis at Cincinnati – Man, a three-way would be SO GOOD right now… What? No, ya damn perverts… I’m talking about a chili three-way, like this. Get your minds out of the gutter, girls! Anyway, The Simon is pretty sure the Bengals take this game. The Colts are just 3-2 over their last 5 games, while the Kitties are keepin’ in rollin’!

Atlanta at Green Bay – BWHAHAHAHAHA!! Really? The Durty Burds are at Lambeau this week? The Packers could put ME in at quarterback and we’d still win by two scores! Take the Packers, fool!

New England at Cleveland – BWHAHAHAHAHA!! Really? Two in a row? I wonder what the line on this game is… 35? 42? Take the Patriots!

Oakland at New York Jets – Which is the higher number: the number of Dark and Stormies Simon will drink at da club on Saturday night, or Geno Smith’s QB rating? If you chose the number of drinks I’ll have.. you’re right! Take the Raiders to steal one from the Jets, and they’ll make it look easy, too!

Detroit at Philadelphia – Speaking of Geno Smith… if Philly’s QB sensation (and TOTAL HOTTIE) Nick Foles were to throw 50 consecutive interceptions, he’d still have a higher QB rating than Geno Smith! For real, y’all! And I don’t see that handsome man cooling off this week, either. Take the Eagles to win at home and make it 5 in a row!

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 13

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wow… Simon really dropped the ball last week, huh? 5-8? My first losing week in God knows how long? OMG! But WHO KNEW the Pats would come back from a 24-0 deficit to win in overtime? Let’s see if I can do better in Week 13! I’m still 108-67 for the season, which isn’t too bad. Not great, but not bad. Have a happy Turkey Day and enjoy the picks, folks! 

 

Green Bay at Detroit: Y’all know I think Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford is the best combo since peanut butter and jelly, right? And Simon would love to be in the middle of a Johnson-Stafford sandwich… but I think the Packers, even with their QB situation, will pull this one out. Barely. And I don’t like pulling out, either!

Oakland at Dallas: Yeah, I think the ‘Boys win this one. It’s Turkey Day, they’re at home, and millions of fans will be watching. Romo, Bryant, Witten, Murray, Ware… I think the Cowboys just have too much talent for the Raiders, especially with the Iggles on their tails!

Pittsburgh at Baltimore: Well, it’s always hard to win in Bawlmer.., but Simon’s gonna go full-blown homer and pick the Steelers in this one. The Steelers really seem to be coming together over the past few weeks, while the Ratbirds just seem to be treading water. Seriously… where has this Steeler defense been all season? Of course, given that the margin of victory in these games is usually 3 points or less, it’ll be close. Don’t be surprised if the Ratbirds win 21-20. But I think the Men of Steel keep their winning streak alive this week!

Jacksonville at Cleveland: Talk about Factory of Sadness! Simon feels well and truly sorry for anyone forced to watch this stinker! Take the Browns, but hold your nose when you do it!

Tennessee at Indianapolis: Yawn. Take the Colts, if you care.

Chicago at Minnesota: In the Battle of the Awful Accents, I say take da Bears to win. They’ve got too much game for the Vikings.

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Football and Baseball

I was hanging out at one of my regular message boards this week when I stumbled across a post entitled “Things you didn’t know were real until you were an adult”. Posters admitted to all sorts of youthful naivete, like thinking that lobotomies were something made up for books and movies, or that “Jews for Jesus” was just a Richard Belzer joke, or not knowing that “cavalry” and “Calvary” were two different words.

One of the posters – who is not a sports fan – admitted that he had no idea there were two teams named the “Giants”: a baseball team and a football team.

Yes, there are two sports teams called the “Giants”. What’s more, they originally played in the same city: from 1883 to 1957, the baseball team was the New York Giants. In 1925, the NFL’s New York Giants team was born. To avoid confusion, they were often called the “New York Football Giants”, something you still hear sportscasters like Joe Buck say from time to time, even though the baseball team moved to San Francisco in 1958.

In the early days of the NFL, it was common to name NFL teams after long-established baseball teams. The Pittsburgh Steelers, for example, were known as the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1933 to 1940. In 1934, there was an NFL team called the Cincinnati Reds. There was an NFL teams known as the New York Yankees (1926-1928), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1930-1943) and the Cleveland Indians (1931.) There were at least two baseball teams with the Washington Senators name, the inspiration for the Washington Senators football team, which played a single season in 1921… when the NFL was still called the American Professional Football Association.

But one of the most interesting stories of all – especially given the current controversy – involves the Washington Redskins. Four men bought the rights to a Boston team in 1932. They named their team after the Boston Braves, a local baseball team (which moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and then Atlanta in 1966).

As it turned out, the football team lost $46,000 in its first year, the equivalent of $805,000 in today’s money. So three of the investors bailed, leaving George Preston Marshall as the sole owner. The next year, Marshall hired a new head coach, a Native American named Lone Star Dietz. He also signed many Native American players. But the players objected to the “Braves” name, so Marshall named them the “Boston Redskins” instead. And the Native American players were apparently OK with this: the 1933 team photo featured the entire team in warpaint and feathers.

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 12

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wow… either the NFL has gone plum crazy or Simon is just in a TERRIBLE rut! I went 9-6 last week! Blech! That’s so NOT FABULOUS! Well, let me put on my Big Boy Pants and see if I can improve this week. After all, I’m still 103-59 for the year! 

 

 

New Orleans at Atlanta: I declare! I have never seen a team just give up on a game like the Falcons did last week! FOR SHAME, Durty Birds! FOR SHAME! Yes, your season is all but over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be fabulous! Too bad Breesus and the ‘Aints are coming to town this week. Even though this is one of the bitterest rivalries in the NFL, I expect the Falcons to roll over and play dead by the second quarter. Take the Saints to win this one handily!

Pittsburgh at Cleveland: Hey, speaking of bitter rivalries! The Boys from Steel Town travel to the Mistake By The Lake to renew their long-standing rivalry. This game all depends on which Steelers team shows up. If the Steelers team from the second quarter of last week’s game against the Lions – which gave up 27 points – shows up… the Browns win easily. But if the Steelers team from the second half of last week’s game shows up – the one that held Calvin Johnson to zero catches and Matt Stafford to 35 passing yards – then this one will be all Pittsburgh! I’m jumping back on the Steelers train for this one.

Tampa Bay at Detroit: Y’all remember that movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back? That was stupid! I mean, as soon as they showed that handsome Taye Diggs taking his shirt off in the commercial, we all knew how Stella got her groove back! Having said that, the Lions will get their groove back after the second half shellacking they got last week in Pittsburgh. I just don’t think there’s any way the hapless Bucs can win this one!

Minnesota at Green Bay: Well, even with the QB situation in Green Bay – get well soon, Aaron… you hunka hunka sexy man! – I still think they beat the Vikings at home. It’s hard to win at Lambeau, and even if the Packers are all beat up, they’ve still got the skillz to win!

San Diego at Kansas City: Well, well. Last week we learned that the Chiefs are mortal after all. If this game was played in San Diego, I think it’d be close. But when Arrowhead is rockin’, visiting teams shouldn’t come knockin’! Take the Chiefs to rebound this week!

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 11

SimonHey, y’all! It’s Simon here! Sorry these picks are so late! I went out with the boys last night to do a lil’ hootin’ an’ hollerin’, and daddy has been busy doing some upgrades for his clients. So the picks this week are just that: a list of picks. I went 8-6 last week, which is just TERRIBLE! Let’s see if I can improve on my 94-53 record for the season!

 

Indianapolis at Tennessee: I’m picking the Colts in this game!

New York Jets at Buffalo: Take the J-E-T-S, Jets!

Baltimore at Chicago: The Bears will win at home!

Cleveland at Cincinnati: Take the Bengals!

Washington at Philadelphia: Take the Eagles!

Detroit at Pittsburgh: Take the Lions (‘though I hope the Steelers win!)

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: Hold your nose and take the Falcons!

Arizona at Jacksonville: Take the Cardinals!

Oakland at Houston: Take the Raiders for the upset!

San Diego at Miami: Take the Chargers, even though they’re playing on the East Coast!

San Francisco at New Orleans: Take the Saints all the way to town!

Green Bay at New York Giants: Take the Giants. At least they have a QB!

Minnesota at Seattle: Take the Seahawks!

Kansas City at Denver: Another upset: take the Chiefs!

New England at Carolina: Wow! Take the Patriots (but just barely!)

SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 10

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Oh boy… last week was a bit rough, huh? Poor Simon went 7-6… which is still a winning record, but not by much! I’m 86-47 for the season… but lets’ see if I can do better this week. In the meantime, Mike McCarthy is busy googling “Seneca Wallace”.

 

 

Washington at Minnesota: The Deadskins came back to life last week with an overtime win against the Chargers… and Simon thinks they’ll continue their winning ways this week against the Vikings, who pushed Tony Romo and Dallas to the brink last week. This will be a pretty good game, even if it’s one of those awful Thursday night games! Take the Redskins to win!

Seattle at Atlanta: Normally, The Simon would pick the Falcons to win at home. After all, the Durty Burds are an NFL best 35-9 at home since 2008. But I just don’t think these guys have it in them. With sexy mens Julio Jones and Roddy White, the Burds are a shell of what they once were, and that handsome Tony G, while awesome, can’t carry the whole team. The beatdown these guys got at the hands of the Panthers last week is only a prelude to this week, despite the ‘Hawks looking vulnerable. Simon is taking the Seahawks to win this one on the road!

Detroit at Chicago: Well, well, well. Who knew Josh McCown would step up like he did last night? You’d think a Culter-less Bears would be terrible, but they hung in there and came away with the win last night… but with a big ol’ asterisk, right? I think my MAIN MAN Calvin Johnson and his lil’ friend Matt Stafford will come to Chi-town and come away with a win pretty easily. Take the Lions… RAWR!

Philadelphia at Green Bay: Man, this should have been an easy pick… Take the Packers all the way, baby! But then Aaron Rodgers got hurt, leaving Seneca Wallace to “lead” the Pack. I think Seneca will get better as he plays 2-3 more games… but this week he won’t be good enough to get the win, even though they’re at home. I mean, The Simon was like “Who’s Nick Foles?” last week… and he’s apparently a guy who can throw 7 TDs in one game. Take the Eagles to win!

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 9

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Wow! Did y’all SEE my main man Calvin Johnson last week in that game against Dallas? The man’s a BEAST! Not only is he HANDSOME, he’s redefining football! Well, Simon thought he might have hit it out of the park last week, but he only went 9-4, for a total of 79-41 on the season. TERRIBLE! Let’s see if I can do better this week!

 

Cincinnati at Miami: Well, piddley-poo! Simon doesn’t know who to pull for here! Y’all KNOW I love me some handsome South Beach mens, but the Bengals are my kitty cousins! Who to cheer for? I think the Bengals are just playing too well for the Fish to beat ’em, so go with the tIgers, ladies!

Kansas City at Buffalo: The Chiefs will roll in to Buffalo, have a few wings, and roll out with a victory for sure! Take the Chiefs big time, baby!

Minnesota at Dallas: Wow… that game with Dallas and Detroit was AMAZING, wasn’t it? All that sexy manflesh out there on the field, giving their all… and that handsome Matthew Stafford with the trick play at the very end! That was a game for the ages, girls! And this week, the Cowboys will have their revenge on the Viking mens!

Tennessee at St. Louis: Oh Lord… who cares? Take the Titans, maybe.

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 8

SimonHey, y’all! How ya’ll handsome mens and pretty ladies doin’ out there? Simon’s FABULOUS! I went 10-5 last week, making me 70-37 for the season! This weekend is full of favorites, so let’s see if I can get them all right! Paws crossed, y’all! Enjoy the picks!

 

 

Carolina at Tampa Bay: Pshaw, girls! This one won’t even be close! The Simon is almost certain that my Carolina Kitties will mop the deck with the Buccaneers! That sweet. sweet Cam Newton is a hunka hunka manmeat, and he’s going to make the Bucs look silly! Take the Panthers… better yet, let the Panthers take me! I’m awful!

Dallas at Detroit: This is the only game that truly worries me. I mean, The Simon is pretty certain that the Cowboys will win this one, but he’s not 100% sure of it. I mean, come on… Lions are wild and handsome, right? Yoo-hooo! Calvin? Calvin Joooohhhnnnsssoonnn?? Simon’s all about you, sexy man!

Cleveland at Kansas City: Man, has The Walrus gotten the Chiefs pumped up or what? Look for the Chiefs to scalp the Brownies and send them home whimpering!

Miami at New England: The Pats ain’t what they used to be… but they can handle the Fish! Look for Tom Terrific (sigh!) and the Patriots to bounce back with a win at home. ‘cos Miami can’t handle the cold weather!

Buffalo at New Orleans: It’s really, really, really hard… to beat the Saints to lose at home! And girl, Buffalo ain’t gonna be the team to do it! Take the Saints to the bank, baby!

New York Giants at Philadelphia: Yeah, the Giants won last night… in one of the worst NFL games ever! As “not good” as the Eagles have been this year, I think they take one from Eli and Company this week. So take the Eagles. I love birds!

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SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 7

SimonHey, y’all! Simon here! Man, I take one week off, and my lil’ sister goes 10-5! Nice, sister! Maybe YOU should do the picks from now on!

Me (or, I guess “we”) are 60-32 for the season… Let’s see if we can do even better this week!

 

Seattle at Arizona: Well, this one isn’t even a challenge! That Russell Wilson and his skull crackin’ thighs are gonna beat up on those poor birds this Thursday night! Take the Seahawks on this one, ladies!

Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Simon’s a little worried about the Durty Birds, y’all! They lost to the Jets, and the next week the winless Steelers went to the Meadowlands and beat the snot out of the Jets at home. Seriously: if Pittsburgh’s offense could have gotten it in gear, the score would have been 35-6 instead of 19-6! So how good are the Falcons? Simon thinks they’re good enough to beat the trainwreck that is the Bucs. Take Matty Ice, that HANDSOME Tony Gonzales (I do love me some Latin mens!) and the Falcons to take down the South Florida Pirates this weekend!

Cincinnati at Detroit: OMG! Tigers versus Lions? It’s like kitty porn for Simon! Oh lord! Ladies, I declare, I’ll need a fan to get me through this game! This game is SImon’s Upset of the Week™ – most of the talking heads have the Lions winning this one, but Simon thinks the Bengals will win this one and solidify their hold on the AFC North!

Buffalo at Miami: As much as Simon likes pulling for the underdawg, he’s just gotta go with the chiseled mens from South Beach in this game! All that tight, dark skin, glistening in the Florida sun… umm-umm-ummm, girl! Where was I? Oh yes! Take the Dolphins to win this one!

New England at New York Jets: Time for the Patriots bi-annual beatdown of the Jets. Given the spectacular win Tom Terrific put together last week, I think Mr Handsome won’t even break a sweat in this game: take the Patriots to win this one, ladies!

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The Best Deal Ever?

Yes, this article was heavily influenced by Free Spirits, this week’s entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series. If you like basketball at all, I suggest you check the film out!

Do you remember polyester clothes from the 1960s and 1970s? Sure, those old double-knit suits and slacks seem ugly and obnoxious now, but they seemed like miracles back in the day. Polyester clothes promised to last forever, and required very little care from their owners. Housewives all across America envisioned a future without ironing, and to them it seemed awesome. And for that you can thank (or blame) two brothers: Ozzie and Daniel Silna.

The Silnas had a textile business, and were among the first to figure out how to make fabric from polyester. Although polyester brought the Silna brothers a modest fortune, the two had a dream, a dream of owning an NBA basketball team. In 1974, the brothers unsuccessfully tried to buy the Detroit Pistons. When the deal fell through, they went back to the drawing board.

Just as the NFL had to deal with an upstart rival in the AFL, so too did the NBA have an upstart of its own: the American Basketball Association, or the ABA. Just like the AFL, the ABA had players with big personalities, colorful uniforms, and increased offense via the three-point line. Also like the AFL, many ABA teams tried bizarre halftime shows – like alligator wrestling – to draw spectators.

ABA basketball
The ABA’s (in)famous basketball.

However, one thing AFL teams had that most ABA teams lacked was profits. The ABA and its teams constantly lost money, and this can be seen in the insanely complex history of some teams. The New Orleans Buccaneers, for example, played under that name from 1967 to 1970, when they changed their name to the Louisiana Buccaneers in an attempt to expand their fandom statewide. The trick didn’t work, so the team moved to Memphis, where they were known as the Memphis Pros (1970-1972), the Memphis Tams (1972-1974) and the Memphis Sounds (1974-1975). But the team still failed to make a profit, so they moved to Baltimore, where they were known as the Baltimore Hustlers… until they changed their name yet again to the Baltimore Claws before folding in late 1975. So in an 8 year span, the team either moved or changed its name 7 times.

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