Monday, September 17, 2012

The Week 2 NFL Picks - Part 3 of 3

It's time to complete this odyssey. (For Parts 1 and 2 click here Part 1 and here Part 2).

Sunday

9:00 a.m.: I woke-up feeling a little rocky. The good news was that it was going to be 80 degrees, the pool was open for one more day and the countdown to the start of Redzone began in about four hours. The bad news was that at some point around the end of the 1:00 games, I would have to jump in my car and drive 80 miles to go see Rush introduce their new "concept" album on stage (more on this later).

If you don't know who this is,
you are not watching football
to your full potential.
12:59 p.m.: My boys started the season's first one minute Redzone countdown. This has got to be going on in every frat house in America right? And even with this incredible invention, you know there is still one dickhead who insists on watching his team's game full-time on the big screen.

2:45 p.m.: It's already apparent that I could be in for a long fantasy football season as my no. 1 guys on each team, Drew Brees and Chris Johnson, are looking very shaky. I may have picked the wrong year to write a fantasy football preview.

4:00 p.m.: I swam a mile to close-out the pool season and hopefully generate a little adrenaline for that night's show. Maybe it was the Summer Olympics or maybe it was the cracking sounds my knees made every time I stood-up but I discovered the joy of swimming at some point that summer. With that being said, it is the worst hangover exercise ever. Every inadvertent gulp of water puts you at risk of being the reason the pool was shutdown for the rest of the day.

6:00 p.m.: I rallied with my boys at a sports bar in Northern Virginia where RG, III fever was already going viral after his performance against the Saints. This was getting worse not better but a few Blue Moon drafts started taking the edge off as they always do. I think it's the orange slice.

8:05 p.m.: We pulled into the parking lot and the show was already in full swing. As I learned from seeing Little Feat a couple years ago, rock bands in their 60's take that 7:30 start time very seriously.

This just in. Neil Peart is
stilling gettin' it done.
9:25 p.m.: We were on about our tenth song in a row that I had never heard before so the rumors that they were going to devote the second set to playing their entire new album, Clockwork Angels, were apparently true. You have never truly experienced buyer's remorse until you've listened to Geddy Lee sing unknown songs for an hour. Normally I can just zone out and watch Neil Peart wail away to get me through the weak spots in the set list but this was interminable.

9:45 p.m.: At least they closed strong with YYZ , Working Man and Tom Sawyer as an encore but I don't think I've ever heard a crowd of 20,000 collectively say "that's it?" when the lights go on.

10:30 p.m.: Back at the sports bar we caught the end of the Steelers getting drubbed by the Broncos. I have no feel for how the rest of the game went. All I knew was that I was watching Ben Roethlisberger get pounded and my mood was improving.

12:15 a.m.: For the second night in a row, I forced a bar staff to work overtime. Fortunately for this crew, the kitchen was closed so they were able to dump us on the poor bastards at the TGIFridays down the street.

1:00 a.m.: When you find yourself ordering pot stickers at the TGIFridays in Manassas, Virginia at 1:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, it might be time to start recalibrating your scale.

2:30 a.m.: At this late hour somehow three of us were back at the Candlewood Suites fixing the economy and ironing-out our political differences. Nothing fosters bi-partisanship like playing the home version of Crossfire for an hour and then sharing a hotel room bed together. Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid should give it a try sometime. You almost have to be civil when you know there could be a Planes, Trains and Automobiles moment in your immediate future.

Monday

"It stinks like sex in here."
10:00 a.m.: Someone finally decided to make a sound and asked, "what time is it, 6:30?" The room darkening shades in this place were unbelievable.

11:00 a.m.: I finally got some traction and hit 7-11 for a blueberry muffin and a bottle of water. Fortunately, my job involves construction and we had a site right down the road from my current location so the plan was to hit that for a midday visit and then head north and start preparing for the Ravens' Monday night home opener. Genius.

11:15 a.m.: Oh my God! Who's fucking bright idea was it to put on a hard hat and walk around a construction site?!? The noise was bad enough but the real peril was me trying to navigate the ladders and trenches. I had planned to stay for two hours but, after 45 minutes, I looked at my phone and announced with great urgency, "holy shit . . . I gotta go!"

2:30 p.m.: Thirty minutes on the treadmill had me ready to at least attempt one more shift. I think.

5:30 p.m.: Three soft chicken tacos and a few Pacifico's raised my status from doubtful to questionable.

6:30 p.m.: The buzz of the tailgate took me up one more notch and by kick-off, I had a full rally going. Then again, if you can't get your mojo back for a Monday night home opener, it's definitely time to pull-off the jersey and remove the ankle tape.

Ah the sights and sounds
. . . . and sights.
7:00 - 9:30 p.m.: The Ravens were dropping haymakers on the Bengals which kept me going into the 3rd quarter but by then I had switched to water and the yellow fuel tank light had come on. When Ed Reed recorded his umpteenth pick six, I knew it was time to go home.

So that's my 60 hour excuse for spreading the Week 2 NFL picks over four days. Sorry it ended with a whimper but stories like that usually do. On the bright side, last Friday was the first round of the club championship and I saw Weezer on Saturday night so we may be running this thing back as a sequel in three days. Stay tuned.

The Monday Night Pick

Atlanta by 3 over Denver: The Pick: Broncos

All week I had the Broncos in this game due to a lack of faith in Matty Ice. However, my picks have been so dismal to date, that I was then going to go the other way just to mix it up but I can't get away from (a) Peyton Manning, (b) in primetime and (c) in a dome so we'll stick to reasoning . . . for now.

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