23 Oct 2011

NFL Week 7 Picks

Last week: 9-4, Season cumulative: 42-32, Season average: 8-6

(Winners in bold)

Running late...on the way to Wembley for the Bears/Bucs!! No time for commentary...

San Diego at NY Jets
Chicago at Tampa Bay
Washington at Carolina
Atlanta at Detroit
Seattle at Cleveland
Denver at Miami
Houston at Tennessee
Kansas City at Oakland
Pittsburgh at Arizona
Green Bay at Minnesota
St. Louis at Dallas
Indianapolis at New Orleans
Baltimore at Jacksonville

16 Oct 2011

NFL Week 6 Picks

Last week: 6-7, Season cumulative: 33-28, Season average: 8-7

(Winners in bold)

San Francisco at Detroit
Very impressive offensive display by the 49ers last week and Alex Smith is no joke this year. However, the bigger surprise and most impressive team this year is the Lions. Detroit takes this one.

St. Louis at Green Bay
Mark my words, the overrated green bay will slip up this season...it just won’t be this week.

Carolina at Atlanta
I’m going with Cam and the boys to easily beat a disappointing Falcons team.

Indianapolis at Cincinnati
Jesus, Indy are rubbish and the Bengals have quietly turned into a contender this year and are at home.

Buffalo at NY Giants
Probably the toughest call of the week. the Jekyll-and-Hyde-like Giants could clobber the Bills on their day. Gonna stick my neck out and go with Eli.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Pitt starting to show signs of life. Jax continuing to show how useless they are.

Philadelphia at Washington
It can’t get any worse for Philly, can it? I think the losing streak stops here. I also believe the ‘Skins have flattered to deceive this season.

Houston at Baltimore
We need to bounce back after the Al Davis-inspired loss last week. we couldn’t have asked for a tougher game in which to do it, though.

Cleveland at Oakland
If they can beat us, they sure as shit can whip the Browns. Campbell and McFadden should run riot this week.

Dallas at New England
New England look better this season than they have in a few years and should comfortably win. Not to worry, though, if the Cowgirls get the lead...Romo will surely once again find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
I just dislike Tampa Bay so much...I never used to when they had bright orange-and-white uniforms and the picture of the moutachioed & goateed buccaneer on the sides of their helmets, but I digress. Brees and Colston to get big numbers.

Minnesota at Chicago
Which Minnesota will show up this week? Last week’s titans of the week before’s wiener’s? i’m betting that in either case, Da Bears will prove to strong for them.

Miami at NY Jets
Rexy’s boys will take all of last week’s frustration out on the shite that is known as this year’s ‘Fins.

10 Oct 2011

Lol. No, really...LOL!

This article made me literally lol. You know how “lol” has become internet short-hand for anything even mildly amusing? Well, I’d like to start a grass-roots, traditional, nostalgic, “in the old days”, ye olde, post-war, pre-gothic, post-raphaelite, rennaissance movement aimed at taking lol back to its original meaning: LAUGHING OUT LOUD. I laughed out loud (several times, in fact) at the below. Brooker’s articles are always brilliant, but this one is among his best.

The kind of humor I find amusing is ridiculousness. Specifically, an idea taken to a ridiculous extreme. See Monty Python’s “Four Yorkshiremen” sketch or Eddie Izzard’s bit about Frank Sinatra’s fictional car accident in his “Dress to Kill” stand-up show for good examples of this type of ridulousness. Add the opening four paragraphs of the below to this illustrious list.

I’ve highlighted this and some of the other really funny parts in red...

Why does the BBC dump so much money in a big glittery bin by making glossy trailers? It turns me silver with rage
All these people should be employed to make programmes, not adverts for them

Being a pitiless blank-eyed hell-wraith summoned by the Dark Ones and instructed to walk among us spreading fear and misery, David Cameron loves the thought of the BBC being reduced in size and scope. In fact he famously described the very notion of BBC cuts as "delicious". He said this openly at a press conference, but also repeated it later, in the quiet confines of his lair.

It was a pleasant yet unremarkable evening for Cameron; bathed in the warm light of glowing book embers, he had already shed that day's temporary humanlike epidermis as part of his nightly skin-sloughing ritual, and was preparing to dislocate his lower jaw, all the better to ingest the live sacrificial foal the terrified local farmers had left tied outside his cave in a desperate bid to stop him preying on their herds at night. As Cameron approached the foal, turning the air dry and bitter, the creature's fur stood on end, and it kicked and bucked in instinctive awed fear; yet there was no escape for the petrified beast, since Cameron's lizard handlers had taken the precaution of nailing it to the hard rock floor by hammering thorns through its hooves earlier that afternoon before their Master returned from His Work.

Cameron paused for a moment, to observe and enjoy the spectacle of the animal's futile writhing. And as he watched it squirm on the floor below him, as he felt the cold blood of satisfaction course through his twisted genitals, he briefly recalled that day's discussion about the freezing of the licence fee, and a baleful smile flickered around the approximate area of his headlike section upon which a pair of frighteningly convincing decoy humanoid lips usually sat during daylight hours, as part of his ingenious disguise.

"Deliciousssssss," quoth he, and a shimmering slick of anticipatory saliva dripped from his reptilian maw and splashed upon the foal's cringing face, instantly dissolving both its eyes.

Anyway, Dave (as we must call him while the sun still hangs in the sky) will presumably have been delighted by the BBC's Delivering Quality First report, which outlines all the exciting ways in which it plans to prune a fifth from its overall budget. On the face of it, there's no huge incendiary headline within, apart from the loss of 2,000 jobs. Yes, 2,000 jobs. If the Stig was being sacked, there'd be 2,000 misspelled Facebook groups demanding his immediate reinstatement. But 2,000 behind-the-scenes posts? There's a widespread suspicion the Beeb has too many managerial layers anyway, so few tears will be shed. And aside from that, most of the other savings seem to come from actions it's hard to imagine the general public getting worked up about: prunings, reshuffles and repeats rather than outright closures.

That's on the face of it. The reality is that with more pressure on the BBC to be seen to be delivering value for money comes more pressure to please as much of the crowd as cheaply as possible. Which potentially means a resistance to taking risks. Sounds logical on paper, maybe – except "risks' have traditionally delivered some of the BBC's most remarkable successes, from That Was the Week That Was to Doctor Who to Monty Python to The Young Ones to The Day Today and so on. Risk also throws up things such as Bonekickers, but that's how creativity works, innit: sometimes you're going to heave out a stinker.

Anyway, among all the articles detailing which bits of Radio 1 Extra will be shared with Radio 1, and which daytime shows are likely to be axed and so on, the one thing I can't find is any mention of how much the BBC spends on promotional trails. I'm not talking about the on-air trails consisting of edited highlights. I'm talking about the bespoke mini-movies encouraging me to watch such little-known broadcasts as Strictly Come Dancing; ads created not from footage from the shows themselves, but from specially-shot glossy nonsense.

These things turn me silver with rage. Yeah, silver. I TURN SILVER. And they turn me silver not because they're bad – on the contrary, they're often very well made indeed – but because they have absolutely no right to exist in any civilised universe. It's like watching the BBC shit money into a big glittery bin.

To shoot the recent Strictly trailer, for instance, in which celebrities lead a crowd of "ordinary folk" in a patronising pied-piper dance, I'd guess they had to close a couple of streets for several days (including one very tricky night shoot involving lots of pretty lights). It's glossily made and quite complicated, so there's also a big crew to pay. And as well as the stars themselves, all of whom require costume and makeup, I'd say they also had to hire about 50 extras. And a shitload of catering. All these people should be employed to make shows, not adverts for shows. That's like paying Heston Blumenthal millions to design a bespoke scent that'll tempt people to your soup truck, which only serves bargain soup made with cheap ingredients because that's all you can afford, having blown all the money on the smell.

All that time and money to advertise a show which everybody knows about anyway. You could hold a bit of cardboard with "STRICTLY'S COMING BACK" scrawled on it in front of the lens for 10 seconds and it would have 10 times the impact. Madness.

And it's not just madness in the short-term: what about legacy? If all that time and money and street-closing and dancing and filming had been used to create a show instead of an advert, they might've created something they could broadcast again, or sell on DVD, or flog to the Swiss and the Kenyans. Instead they blew it on a promo that'll air for a few weeks before getting tossed on to the ever-mounting stack of other never-to-be-shown-again adverts, which sit there gathering dust in nobody's memories – pointless visual epics informing you that the BBC sometimes broadcasts football and has radio stations.

I wouldn't mind if they used the money to sew some shiny new buttons on Ian Beale's shirt. Or maybe a bunch of pitchforks and flaming torches for those terrified farmers round Cameron's way. Film that. At least it's money spent on the right thing.

Original article here.

9 Oct 2011

NFL Week 5 Picks

Last week: 10-6, Season cumulative: 27-21, Season average: 9-7

(Winners in bold)

Tennessee at Pittsburgh
So the Titans were supposed to suck this year and Pitt got to last year’s Super Bowl. Also, all the experts are picking the Steelers. I say look at the way Ray Rice ran all over them in week 1. A big week for Chris Johnson.

Seattle at NY Giants

Cincinnati at Jacksonville
I thinks the Jags suck marginally more than Cincy.

New Orleans at Carolina
I’m calling it...upset! Plus, I have a man-crush on Cam Newton.

Oakland at Houston
With AJ out injured, this will be the battle of possibly the two best running games in the NFL. McFadden vs. Foster/Tate. Houston will take this, though, owing to the fact that the loss of AJ aside, Owen Daniels owns.

Philadelphia at Buffalo
I have a feeling Philly will bounce back from last week’s surprise defeat to conquer a Bills team that’s apparently not quite as good as we thought...

Kansas City at Indianapolis
Tough call. On the other hand, it’s the Chiefs vs. a Peyton-less Colts, so really, who gives a shit? I’ll go with home-field advantage.

Arizona at Minnesota
I keep picking the Cards each week and they keep disappointing me each week. However, Minnesota lost to the Chiefs (the effing CHIEFS!!) last week so they must suck hard. Fitzgerald to get a squillion TDs.

Tampa Bay at San Francisco
I’m going with the 49ers because TB aren’t anywhere near as good as their 3-1 record suggests. Also, because i can’t believe Freeman is a starting QB in the NFL.

NY Jets at New England
Damn, Jets!! Why do you have to suck? Sanchez is among the worst QBs in the league this season and the defeat to the Bills notwithstanding, New England looks pretty lethal.

San Diego at Denver
John Fox’s refusal to start Billy Graham combined with a predictably strong Chargers equals another loss for Denver.

Green Bay at Atlanta
I mean, I guess I gotta pick the Pack, right? Uh, right?!

Chicago at Detroit
I LOVE the fact that Detroit are kicking ass this season. last week’s comeback win against the shitheads shows they have character as well as talent. Stafford still looks like a 12-year-old, though.

2 Oct 2011

NFL Week 4 Picks

Last week: 8-8, Season cumulative: 17-15, Season average: 9-7

(Winners in bold)

Detroit at Dallas
I am seriously in the tank for the Lions this season. Oh, and Romo sucks, of course.

Carolina at Chicago
Completely going against the experts, my “controversial” pick this week is the Panthers. But really, with the awesomeness that is Cam Newton and a weak Chicago o-line, is this really controversial?

Buffalo at Cincinnati
It’s good to see Buffalo winning again. What is this, the mid-90s??!!

Tennessee at Cleveland
This is a tough game to call between two 2-1 teams. Chris Johnson’s so-far-underhwleming season, though, makes me go for the Browns. Just.

Minnesota at Kansas City
Peterson to rush for between 150-200 yards.

Washington at St. Louis
I’m liking the new Rex Grossman this season.

New Orleans at Jacksonville
Though they beat my beloved Texans last week, I still like the Saints and I like them even more to beat a poor Jaguars team.

Pittsburgh at Houston
I will never pick the Texans to lose. Ever. I mean, ever.

San Francisco at Philadelphia
Another tough call, due to the dog-torturer’s injuries and a resurgent 49ers. The explosive McCoy and the 49ers’ less-than-stellar offense, though, make me thing the Eagles will take this.

NY Giants at Arizona
Yet another tough call. The Giants are on a roll and Arizona are only 2-1. Home-field advantage and the Kolb-Fitzgerald combination make me think the Cards will take this one.

Atlanta at Seattle
No question. Look for Ryan and White to have a big game.

Miami at San Diego
Another no-brainer. Even without Antonio Gates, the Chargers’ offense has been great so far this season with the Rivers/Matthews/Jackson triple-threat. Oh, and I always knew Reggie was overrated. Why must everyone named Bush be so useless?

New England at Oakland
Believe it or not, I think this one’s also a tough call. Home-field advantage, a much-improved team over last year’s and the best running game in the NFL mean Oakland will be no pushovers. Last week’s hiccup against the magical Bills notwithstanding, though, I think Brady & Co. will be just too strong.

Denver at Green Bay
Easy pick. The Packers’ passing O will be too strong for Denver. Also, though I think Orton’s a great QB and Tebow’s a religious nut, I think it’s time to give Tim a chance to start.

NY Jets at Baltimore
Really tough to call. The Jets have so many offensive weapons and a great D. The Ravens have the best D (built, coincidentally, by Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan when he was Baltimore’s defensive coach) and all of a sudden have an offense this year. I’m going with Baltimore purely because of home-field advantage.

Indianapolis at Tampa Bay
Just don’t think a Peyton-less Colts stand a chance against home-field advantage and a decent Buccaneers team.