Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 5 NFL Picks . . . O's-Tigers Game 2 Timeline

Let's take the opportunity that the NFL picks present to pump-out a quick timeline from what was an eventful Friday for the FGR because clearly I still have nothing insightful or useful to say in support of my football predictions. We'll preface this with a scene from my office on Thursday as I not so subtly broadcast that I was planning to take my kids to Game 2 of the Orioles-Tigers series but "I STILL DON'T HAVE TICKETS YET." Suffice it to say that four seats materialized, otherwise this would be a really boring story about me taking my kids to see The Boxtrolls.

Carolina by 2.5 over Chicago: The Pick - Bears

Friday at 9:00 a.m.: The FGW departs for the Jersey Shore on a girls weekend leaving me alone with the three FGK's and the Fantasy Golf Dog (the "FGD"). T-minus two hours until we head to Camden Yards and t-minus two hours and ten minutes until I start yelling at people "SETTLE DOWN BACK THERE!"

Tennessee by 1.5 over Cleveland: The Pick - Browns

11:57 a.m.: It takes half an hour to drive the last mile to our parking spot. Here are the three requirements to get a job directing traffic in Baltimore City: (1) You can blow a whistle; (2) Your natural look can be described as "disinterested"; and (3) You can lose a game of checkers in three moves or less because you have absolutely no fucking clue what you are doing.

Philadelphia by 6.5 over St. Louis: The Pick - Eagles

12:07 p.m.: We get to our seats just in time for the first pitch and the stadium is all orange. There appear to be only a couple hundred Tiger fans. Then again, Verlander is pitching so one of those fans is Kate Upton. Advantage: Push.

N.Y. Giants by 4 over Atlanta: The Pick - Falcons

OK, so maybe we bring
some of it on ourselves.
12:52 p.m.: No score, Verlander is dealing and BOOM, Nick Markakis just hit a two-run shot over the right field wall. That finally woke-up a crowd that was still hungover from last night's beatdown. Did I mention that the start time for this game was 12:07 p.m.? Because you know, that's the kind of national respect that Baltimore engenders. Whenever they do an overhead shot of one of our two magnificent stadiums and the nearby inner harbor, I half expect one of the announcers to say, "you know, there's probably a good chance we're filming a real live murder right now."

New Orleans by 10.5 over Tampa Bay: Bucs

1:15 p.m.: The Tigers turn it around and take the air out of the building with five runs in the top of the 4th. This is right about the time that everyone who was at last night's game looks at their fifth Bud Light and thinks, "man, I'm feeling a bit bloated." (Oh and I'm done picking the Saints until they freakin' show-up for the 2014 season. I don't care who or where they're playing).

Dallas by 6.5 over Houston: The Pick - Texans

1:38 p.m.: The O's scratch-out a run in the bottom of the fourth to remind everyone that it's a long game. Speaking of long games, at this point you may have noticed that the two teams have been playing for over 90 minutes and have only completed four innings which puts them on pace for a nine inning game that will take 3:23. Way to get your arms around that pace of play problem Bud Selig. To compound the problem, we have a Baltimore version of Peter Gammons and Thomas Boswell sitting behind us. Only if Gammons and Boswell were racists with triple digit vocabularies and a penchant for profanity. The highlight was when one called Miguel Cabrera something that rhymes with ducking slick. I guess he thought the three people sitting next to me were midgets. Stay classy Section 220, Row 4.

Detroit by 6.5 over Buffalo: The Pick - Lions

1:40 p.m.: We're between innings, my ass hurts and I'm about to doze-off on the burly chap sitting next to me. FGK3 (the most reliable of the bunch even though she's only seven years old) asks if we can go to the batting cage. Brilliant! I promise FGK1 that we can be back by the start of the 8th inning which, at the game's current pace, means we could probably squeeze in nine holes down the road at Carroll Park (extremely local reference . . . bring it).

Indianapolis by 3.5 over Baltimore: The Pick - Ravens

It's my team so I have to give this game some love and explain that I fully expect it to be the one where the Ravens fumble two kickoff returns, drop behind by 17 and then make a furious comeback only to fall 3 points short when they run out of time because John Harbaugh wasted a timeout challenging a play purely on moral grounds.

Thanks for coming Kate.
Don't let the door hit ya.
Pittsburgh by 6 at Jacksonville: The Pick - Steelers

1:57 p.m.: At some point while the kids were hitting wiffle balls, Verlander got pulled which means that Kate Upton probably left her seat and walked right passed us. So for the 2014 record, I was in Rome on the same night the Rolling Stones did an outdoor show at Circus Maximus and I was in Camden Yards at the same time as Kate Upton . . . and I missed them both because I wasn't paying attention! Son of a . . .

Denver by 7.5 over Arizona: The Pick - Broncos

2:47 p.m.: We return to our seats just in time to catch the end of a scoreless 7th inning so it's 5-3 heading into the top of the 8th. I would describe the crowd as being in an optimistic malaise. There is hope but not much evidence to support it. Especially when the Tigers add a run to make it 6-3.

San Francisco by by 5 over Kansas City: The Pick - Chiefs

3:01 p.m.: Enter the evidence to support hope in the form of Joba Chamberlain. Considering that Chamberlain was a major contributor to the O's scoring frenzy the night before and the home fans are cheering his entrance like Cal Ripken just hit a game winning grand slam with Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson on base,* I'm guessing the Tigers have some bullpen issues. It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for Verlander. Almost.

San Diego by 6.5 over N.Y. Jets: The Pick - Chargers

3:07 p.m.: After getting the first batter out, it's Joba time as he promptly hits Adam Jones in the butt (at which point the fans boo?). Then Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce single scoring Jones and setting the O's up with men at first and second and one out. Joba, we hardly knew ya'. Enter Joakim Soria who promptly walks J.J. Hardy to load the bases. Buck Showalter then pinch hits for light hitting Ryan Flaherty with Delmon Young who smokes the first pitch he sees down the left field line for a double. Then this happens. Bedlam.

Cincinnati by 1 at New England: The Pick - Bengals

3:14 p.m.: I was at the game when Maryland's Grevis Vasquez almost singlehandedly beat Duke in his last home game against them to help give the Terps a piece of the ACC title and that was the closest thing I've ever experienced to the euphoria that was now all around me. But that was made-up in large part of college kids who were passing through town to burn a couple coaches and flip a few cars on their way to bigger and better things. Orioles fans aren't just in it for life, it is their life. When the O's win, their fans feel like one of their kids just won and, when they win a game like this, they feel like one of their kids just won an Olympic gold medal. I would never disrespect a true O's fan by saying that I am one of them because I am not. I was late to the party as a mid-twenties transplant so I just married into the family of the gold medal winner but that's still pretty cool.

Seattle by 7 at Washington: The Pick - Seahawks

3:41 p.m.: When Eugenio Suarez grounds out to end the game,** there is one more outburst from the crowd (louder than the Joba Chamberlain reaction but not by much). And then no one leaves. And I mean no one. It's not for a long time, maybe a minute or two but everyone just stands there taking a moment to reflect on what had just happened. It's the kind of game you can't wait to get home and tell your kids about unless they were there with you . . . which just makes it that much sweeter.

Grown Ups 2?!? What does
that piece of crap have to do
with . . . oh, never mind.

* I know this never would have been possible seam heads because some of those careers did not overlap. Just work with me people.

** Total time to play an eight and a half inning baseball game . . . three hours and forty-one minutes. That would have made it the seventh longest American movie ever made, just behind Gone with the Wind at three hours and forty-six minutes and two hours longer than Grown Ups 2.

Last Week's Record: 8-5 . . . Season Record: 26-35. 

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