Thursday, October 3, 2013

The FGR Week 5 NFL Picks (Part 1)

Writing the Fantasy Golf Report has been kind of a grind lately to the point where I actually thought that it might be time to take a sabbatical (assuming you can technically take a sabbatical from an unpaid hobby). And then it dawned on me as I was making my first swipe at the Week 5 picks on Monday afternoon* that I've started wandering off course by foolishly trying to actually write about the topics I'm writing about (stay with me). I mean who in the hell wants my take on which NFL teams are good this year? I just re-read the somewhat bland Week 4 picks and I can assure you that I don't.

"OK, I'm listening."
So we're going to get back to what the FGR does best which is recounting self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing tales about myself. We do, however, have one problem with that plan this week (notice that I make this "our" problem). I haven't done much worth writing about lately other than an event I participated in over a week ago that's kind of languishing off in a separate post that currently has about as much momentum as the Eli Manning/Joe Flacco "elite" quarterback debate. With that limitation in mind, let's give the Seinfeld formula a shot and see if we can make something out of nothing. Without further ado, I bring you The FGR: A Saturday Without Golf or Alcohol.**

9:45 a.m.: I kicked-off the day by attending my six year old daughter's soccer game. At that age, they generally play 4 v.4 or 5 v. 5 and the rule of thumb is that if you have two kids who understand the object of the game, you win. Unfortunately for the opponents of my daughter's team, her squad is apparently comprised entirely of girls who spent the last three years getting pushed around in the back yard by their older brothers and now it's payback time. I don't think they could have scored faster or more often if the opposing coach had blown the whistle and then immediately thrown the ball into his own team's goal. The two best parts of this experience for me are: (1) I was the coach on the wrong end of these beatdowns six years ago so I've earned this and (2) I am not coaching this team so I don't have to worry about the sportsmanship implications when the score hits 6-0. I can just stand on the sideline while smugly pretending to be happy for the girls on the other team when they actually get a foot on the ball. The words "patronizing clap" come to mind.

10:45 a.m.: I spent about the next hour hovering over FGK1, pretending to make sure he got some homework done while resisting the urge to say, "sucks to be you dude" and "really, is there a bigger waste of time than 7th grade homework?" I mean looking back, wouldn't the play have been to almost fail-out of school from 7th-10th grade and then make a miraculous comeback in 11th-12th. Then conjure-up some bullshit adversity story like you ran into problems with model airplane glue that you had to overcome. Throw that into your application essay, add a few oboe lessons and some rudimentary fencing skills and you're an Ivy League lock right?

12:30 p.m.: The FGW took FGK 1 and 3 to the steeplechase (this is actually not as snooty as it sounds . . . t's snootier) and FGK2 was out birthday shopping with his grandparents so I had exactly two hours of free time which is also known as that netherworld of having just not quite enough time to play nine holes of golf. So I went and got a new propane tank for the grill, swam some laps at the indoor pool, ate lunch while watching twenty minutes of Friday Night Lights (a movie that literally has every storyline end sadly yet I still can't stop watching it) and then just barely caught myself before I dozed-off and missed FGK2's soccer game. (Empty house + couch + turkey sandwich + re-watched movie = ZZZzzzzz).

3:00 p.m.: I should have stayed on the couch. FGK2's team took the field with the enthusiasm of a bunch coal miners climbing onto the elevator the day after a cave-in and then it went downhill from there. The only thing worse from a coaching perspective than having an unmotivated team line-up against a more talented opponent is when your team is made-up of nine and ten years olds which kind of limits your ability to pull a Coach Dale from Hoosiers. In fact, I think you could scream, "maybe they were right about us . . . maybe we don't belong up here" at a bunch of ten year old boys and they'd look at you like "yeah, they probably were right about us ass-hat but you scheduled these all-stars . . . can we go home now?"

"I need more crossbar baby."
4:00 p.m. The final score was 6-0 and we were lucky that hitting posts and crossbars didn't count because the other team was ringing shots off them like they were recording an acoustic version of Don't Fear the Reaper. By the time the barrage was over, our goalie looked like Michael Douglas at the end of The Game. To make matters worse, there were no post-game snacks to ease the pain, not even a freakin' orange slice. We should have taken the kids to McDonalds like the losers in the commercials do but my day was far from over and a Big Mac sitting in my gut was the last thing I needed at that point.

To be continued . . . on to the Thursday night pick.

At Cleveland by 4.5 over Buffalo: The Pick - Cleveland

If the Browns and the Bills play a Thursday night game in October and no one watches it, will it really have happened? Clearly this is the NFL's way of killing two birds with one stone by satisfying the "everyone gets at least one night game requirement" for two of its most unwatchable teams in one shot. It's no coincidence that this game is up against the start of the baseball playoffs and the season premieres of about a dozen shows including NBC's latest attempt to reclaim Thursday nights by trotting-out actors who haven't been funny in ten years (Sean Saves the World and the Michael J. Fox Show? Really?).*** I think Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock are contractually allowed to bail on this game if there's no score at halftime and hand the microphones to recently indicted Cleveland morning DJ's Rover and Toomey. At least that would get me to watch.

As for the game itself, Billy Cundiff is apparently the only guy who got the tanking memo as he missed 37 and 49 yard field goals last Sunday that were both more painful to watch than the Boom Goes the Dynamite guy (when a total lack of preparation meets opportunity . . . this never gets old). Who else but the Browns would torment their fans by signing a kicker who is still scarred from missing a 32 yard field goal that cost his team a chance to go to the Super Bowl? Even with that baggage, I like the Browns to keep their failed tanking mission going for at least the next two weeks against the Bills and the Lions which should be just long enough to get the hopes of some fans up before they drop them like a watermelon from a tenth floor window.  

Last Week's Record: 8-6-1 . . . Season Record: 35-26-1

Email the FGR here.

Endnotes

* I like to write down the lines and make one pass through the picks on Monday while what I saw on Sunday is still fresh. There are usually about six games that jump out at me as only having one possible outcome. In this week's case, my picks for those games are the Browns, Colts, Packers, Chargers, Broncos, 49ers and Falcons. The knee-jerk reaction is usually a result of having Peyton Manning on one side of the match-up or Matt "Two for Us - One for You" Schaub on the other. Wait, I'm trying to analyze games again aren't I . . . sorry.

This game is brutal.
Switch it back over to
 The Vampire Diaries.
** The same could not be said of last Thursday when I went to play golf and officially started soliciting designated drivers at around 4:15 p.m. I'd write about that experience but frankly, I don't remember much about it other than (a) I started laughing as I tried to address my final tee shot which I promptly hit about 40 yards with what I believe was a 5-iron and (b) there was a post-round dinner attended by about 100 guys in blue blazers where a raffle for prizes was held and every time someone stood-up with a winning ticket I yelled "BINGO!!!" The next thing I knew, I had been ushered outside by the putting green where I pretended to smoke cigarettes which is kind of like me pretending to make balloon animals only with more coughing and more wasted cigarettes.

*** You know you're reaching when you use the actor's name in the title of the show. I'm not sure this has worked since the days of Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore but give NBC credit for trying anything and everything. I'm sure The Wacky Adventures of Todd Bridges can't be far behind.