Friday, October 30, 2009

Will you Sign My Daddy's Book? Simmons Signing, Part I - The Prelude

It was 1998.  I had just graduated from finishing school and I was working 18 hour days on the 26th floor of a Boston highrise.  One day, while I was toiling away in a windowless office, a friend sent me a link by email.   Maybe it wasn't even a link at that point, since it was 1998.  So maybe he called to tell me to go to Digital City to read a column called "Grading the Wimbledon Babes" by some guy who called himself the Boston Sports Guy.  Looking back on it now, it's still the funniest thing I had ever read, and I wish that that column survived his move to ESPN.  Alas, after an hour of searching, this column still does not exist.

Now 11 years later, and despite 11 years of enjoying his columns, I was skeptical when I heard he was working on a basketball book.  I mean, his baseball book was merely a reprinting of his old baseball columns with very little original content.  In fact, I think my daughter now uses that book plus the Sum of All Fears to reach the toilet when she goes to the bathroom and the sink when she brushes her teeth.  Despite this apprehension, I decided to spend the $25 to purchase his new book The Book of Basketball.  As the nearest bookstore was half an hour away (seriously - a half an hour away, my kids will end up being semi-literate), I had to justify the drive by also getting my wife the latest Dan Brown novel too. 

While beginning to plow through his 600+ page opus, I discovered he was going to be in Boston signing his book before the Celtics game at a bar called Hurricane O'Reilly's.  Strangely excited about the possibility of a Leona Lewis incident involving Isiah Thomas, Gus Johnson and Bill Simmons (You can read more in the book, but Thomas threatened "trouble" if he ever met Simmons on the street because of a couple of scathing columns over the years), I decided to bring the kids into Boston and get the new book signed. 

Note to Readers. A couple of issues to address right away.  First, yes I could have gotten the book signed at a book store in the Back Bay a couple of hours earlier instead of at a bar 100 feet from the Garden right before a game, but the chances of "trouble" happening at 12pm in a book store were infinitesimal compared to a bar where people were partying right before a game.  Second, yes, my kids were with me, but I thought the experience might toughen them up a little bit.  Especially, my three year old daughter.

4pm.  Boston, MA.  I should have known that this was not going to be easy when I started haggling with the garage attendant.

"I'm not going to the game, I'm just going to be 15 minutes."  I say glancing at my 7 year old to make sure he keeps his mouth shut.

"Don't you know that there's a game tonight - 20 dollars?" the attendant asks me in some sort of unidentifiable accent. 

"What did he say?" my daughter asks me. 

"I have no idea."  I direct to her.  "I know that there's a game, but I'm not going to the game. I just have to drop off some paperwork with my accountants; I'll be right back." I direct to the attendant, believing that if I just make no sense, speak really quickly and throw in a little white lie, he'll just let me go.

"It's 20 dollars."  All right, fine.

As we walk down Causeway Street from the garage, teaching my children how to jaywalk when one has somewhere to go in a hurry, I notice a line queueing at the intersection of Causeway Street and Canal Street (where we have to go).  Oh shit, I think to myself, since I know this bar is halfway down the street.  Yes, this line 300 people deep was waiting to get this book signed.  "Well this line is longer than I thought it would be." I say aloud to no one in particular as we get to the end of the line.  I only mutter this sentence since stating the obvious was not going to endear us to anyone.  Additionally, as we get in line, thinking that there might be a sense of camaraderie similar to any lines you have to wait in with numerous others, I ask the guy in front of me "Is this the line for the Simmons book signing?"  Without a word and obviously not understanding my use of irony (or maybe it's me who doesn't understand it), he gives me a smirk, like I'm some sort of shmuck, and shows me his copy of the book we're both getting signed.  Thanks, man. 

Despite my seven year old's statement that that man was not very nice, and my five year old now SINGING about how hungry he was, I decided that we would wait in line until the bitter end.  It can't be that bad, I decide.  Further, I've driven an hour in traffic, probably risked getting my car keyed by the garage attendant and fended off numerous "I'm hungry" cries (and melodies as it's turning out) from the troops.  I'm not going anywhere.

Not so fast.  After thirty minutes in line and while watching dozens of smiling people walking out of the bar with their signed copy of the book, sometimes multiple copies, my daughter (Did I explain that she was dressed up as a ghost?) taps me on the leg.  "Daddy," she says beginning a little recognizable dance "I have to go to the bathroom..."  I let the words trail off pretending not to hear them, while hoping that she was just bored.  By this time, she was entertaining everyone around her dancing in her ghost outfit and scaring them with her teeth-chattering "woowoowooooo."  "Dad, I think she really has to go to the bathroom" my seven year old volunteers, trying to be helpful for the first time all afternoon.  "I know."

"Seriously, sweetheart, are you sure you can't hold it for 15 more minutes?" I acknowledge after a couple of minutes.  I've been shooting white lies all over the place, so what the hell.

"No, Daddy.  I have to go to the bathroom right now."  She says to me sweetly. "Damnit damnit DAMNIT", I scream to myself as we walk out of line in search of a bathroom.  At least we kept a dozen people entertained when they otherwise would have been pissed waiting in such a long line.  As we walk by the line and I count the hundreds of people behind us, I now begin to worry that we spent all of this time and energy trying to get this freaking book signed, and it's not going to happen.

Tomorrow:  Part II - Redemption.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

KG IS Walking through That Door - Celtics 2009-10 Preview

Depending on whom you ask, the 2009-2010 Celtics are either the first, second or third best team in the Eastern Conference sharing the top three spots with the Cavs and the Magic.  Opening the season tonight against one of their rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics' position will immediately be tested.  Can the men of Green repeat the performance from 2007-2008, or will it be an injury-riddled year similar to 2008-2009?   

7:30pm.  Actually a beautiful view of the City of Cleveland, athough its amusing that Jacobs Field is lit up in the middle of October.  Please, those days are over, but thanks for wasting the natural resources to keep the lights at the baseball park on during the basketball game.  Also, I like Shaq.  I really do, but it's clear that the Real Shaq tweets from one of two places - Burger King or McDonalds.  The restaurants in the Flats better order some more supplies for after game dinners.  Oh my God is he large.

First Quarter.  Yes!  KG starts strong in the low post to get the first points of the season for the Celtics.  Looks quick for a 43 year old.  Unfortunately, the Celtics collectively look old and slow as Cleveland begins the game on a 13-2 run  The Celtics call a timeout to stop the momentum.  It may have been a technical foul, I don't know with this team.

In the span of one minute, we see what the Cavs are all about in 2009-2010 if LeBron ever gets injured.  Anderson Varejao flops in the paint and pops up crying, and Shaq scores his first points pushing Perk out of the way as he banks in a four footer.  Oh and by the way, that was a foul on Lebron James when he block Rondo's dunk attempt 8 minutes in.

Rasheed and his enormous afro takes his first of numerous ill-advised threes reminding me what it was like when Antoine Walker was jacking up his bricks ten years ago. Cheryl Miller immediately proceeds to tell us about Big Baby's problems with his injured thumb after he punches a former teammate.  What I don't understand is that Davis is going to be suspended, but Delonte West beats his wife, gets arrested on gun charges, fails to go to practice or to games and apparantly is just generally crazy, but they show him hugging some sycophant on the bench as Miller speaks in the background.  What's wrong with this picture?  Cavs 28 Celtics 21.

Second Quarter.  LeBron is on the bench and it shows.  The Celtics tie the game at 32 as LeBron daydreams on the bench about whether there will be enough cap space in Los Angeies next year.

I like the story of Doc Rivers instituting the 30 minutes window of silence on the team at practice yesterday because the players were getting too chirpy.  We institute silent time for our children when they get chirpy too.  Oh and by the way, in case you couldn't hear the guy on the Celtics bench...THREE SECONDS!  THREE SECONDS!!!

Wth three minutes left, we see our first in game interview with Shaq expressing his feelings about playing with the King.  Shaq acts humble about once being the best player in the world, but having to cede that title to LeBron James for the good of the team.  What a guy.  By the way, what the hell was that thing spinning in the background of his interview?  It looked like one of those insects from Starship Troopers.  Technical Foul Number 1 on the Celtics as Paul Pierce is called for an awkward looking travel/foul call.  Seriously, Doc needed a timeout for that play call?  Regardless, the Celtics rally from being down 19-5 in the First Quarter to being ahead 51-45 at halftime.

Third Quarter.  I probably was not the only one cringing when Shaq treated KG like a rack of Babyback ribs.  Nothing a couple of chest bumps can't sure.  I wonder what Danny Ainge was nervously laughin about after that exchange.  And please no more alley oops to Kevin Garnett.  Umm, please?

After seeing Shaq miss yet another bunny while LeBron is calling for the ball, I wonder how long before his minutes get reduced - Shaq's minutes, not LeBron's.  Celtics 72 Cavs 65.

Fourth Quarter.  I have to be honest, when Rasheed Wallace was on the Pistons, I hated seeing the random three point field goal with a hand in his face, despite the fact that he was a non-factor the majority of the game.  Now it's not so bad.

With seven minutes left, we have now entered the time of the game when LeBron spreads the floor and then drives to draw a foul - over and over again.  I love watching this kind of fundamental 1 on 5 basketball.  Oh wait!  Here comes Shaq with his first two free throws - "clang" "bam".   Misses both of them.  Almost as painful as watching Shaq's performance at the All Star Game last year with Jabberwocky.  In any event, the Celtics pull away from the pesky Cavs despite not employing the Hack-a-Shaq method of defense.  Celtics 95 Cavs 89.

Overall, considering Cleveland lost two games last year at home, this was a strong effort.  I was encouraged by the play of the big three - perhaps we'll see another Celtics-Lakers Finals?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Maine Beer Snobs Exist If You Know Where to Find Them

Columbus Day Weekend usually signals the end of many things, the end of Summer, the end of the Red Sox season and the end of half days at the golf course.  It signals many beginnings though - children's whines about when Halloween and Christmas were coming, fairs and festivals so boring that they would depress even the most optimistic person, geriatric leaf peepers enthralled by the colors orange and red, and of course, the hallmark of all child rearing experiences in New England - apple picking.

Weekends for me are usually reserved for pizza and kids parties as my significant other works on the weekends.  But the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend meant that neither one of us had to work the next day.  Coupling that with an overnight babysitter, meant that we were FREE.  What to do?  We had to drive to Maine to drop the kids off, so our immediate thoughts were to go leaf peeping and apple picking for the day.  No, just kidding.  After some deliberation, since Octoberfest was occurring in Newport the same weekend, we ultimately decided to go to Portland to drink beer, watch the Red Sox and Patriots and bar hop. 

The last time I was in Portland, we had encountered the Maine Beer Festival.  Although we were out of place with all of the crunchy, dirty do-gooders, we had a great time drinking beers with friends, making new friends and pretending that beer snobs actually exist.  Although I remember having a good time there, I didn't necessarily remember liking or disliking specific beers.  I decided that this would be my chance to review these quality beers and truly become the beer snob I pretended to be all those years ago.

We did exhaustive research on Maine brews.  We were generally familiar with the larger brands, having both lived in Maine for a period, so knowing that we only had one afternoon/night to taste test, we stuck with these larger brands:  Shipyard, Geary's, Allagash, Casco Bay and Gritty McDuffs.  The lesser known brands would have to wait until next year.  Trying 4 beers each was our goal.  Well that and not having too bad of a hangover the next day.

1pm.  We venture from our hotel room to Gritty McDuffs.  Ah, the same smells I remember from 15 years ago, the frying oil probably hasn't been changed since then either.  Undeterred, I order the homemade potato chips and the black fly stout.  MM orders the Halloween spooky beer.  The stout has good coffee and caramel overtones, but seems a little bitter for a stout.  The spooky beer as always goes down nice and easy as a nice ale should with nutmeg and cinnamon flavors dominating.  I try to decide between the Best Bitter (another beer I remember from 15 years ago) and the 21 ale.  I figure that I would order the 21 Ale and have MM order the Best Bitter.  I guess I should have done more than discuss the fact that we should order different beers, because she proceeds to order another Spooky Beer.  "I liked this one more than the Best Bitter."  But she didn't order the Best Bitter!  Anyway, the 21 Ale was rough on the lips and the throat.  The flavors were overcome by a very cereal hoppy and malty aftertaste which just didn't do it for me.  I guess I have to give them 66 snobbies out of 100.  Sorry guys; I was pulling for you.

3pm. We look around for a couple of the breweries to tour.  Not a good sign when no one we ask knows where our next destination, Shipyard Brewery, is.  Worse still, we find out that Geary's doesn't have a tour, and Casco and Allagash are both closed on weekends.  As you'll see later, I'm not even sure Casco Bay still exists.  So much for our crack research.  But the Shipyard is open for tours, so we walk in.  Now these breweries always crack me up.  Noone really cares that much how the beer is made.  Yeah we get it, barley, yeast, water and hops - blah, blah, blah.  Bring on the free tasting.  Our guide must have sensed our growing dissatisfaction with the one hour tour when the 8 year old in our group asks his Mother when they are going to the bar so he can have some more homemade soda.  But, finally, we get to the back room to taste.  The Blue Fin stout was dissappointing - it seemed like the CO2 cartridge was dislodged and had no taste.  The Pumpkinhead was tasty, I guess I'm very feminine with my affinity for nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin flavors.  The Chamberlain Ale was also very good, with a nice refreshing hoppy finish with believe it or not a banana bread flavor.  The Light and the Export Ale were boring lagers that had "Shipweiser" stamped on the label.  The IPA was also refreshingly hopped. 52 Snobbies out of 100.  I have to admit though that they get points for pouring a lot of free beer.

3:55pm.  We're walking to our next bar when we hear a number of groans coming from open windows on the street.  I turn on my phone and find that Paps just gave up (what would ultimately be) the winning runs in Game 3 of the ALDS.  But they were winning 5-1 when we left the first place, no?  We head over to another corner bar to forget that the Red Sox suck.  This is where we will have to get our Geary's fill, since they are so SECRETIVE about their brewing process (or maybe they actually don't brew beer in Maine?) that they don't provide tours.  The bartender loves it when I order a sampler.  "F-ing tourist leaf peeping crap eating wharthog"  I'm sure she's thinking to herself as she throws the Autumn Ale, Hampshire Special Ale, London Porter, and regular Geary's Ale at me.  I liked the Autumn, London Porter and the HSA.  The Regular IPA was just ho-hum - almost a true banquet beer.  75 Snobbies out of 100.

5pm.  After a brief sojourn to Bryan Boru's so MM could have a car bomb in an Irish Pub (interesting irony) we could watch the Patriots game, and I could talk to a Cincinnati Reds fan about the 1975 World Series, even though I was only a toddler at the time, we head back to Bar X to try the Allagash.  We have had several beers at this point so I'm thankful to hear that the only Allagash that they had was the White Ale.  Two sentences sum up my tasting notes for the White Ale:

 "Allagash White is as bad as the popcorn.  Bitter and not in a good way." 

I don't remember my exact beef with the popcorn at this bar, but I do remember that I didn't want to finish the beer, it was that bad.  0 Snobbies out of 100.  That score was at least better than Casco Bay Brewing Company, who could only muster an "Incomplete."  Did they close? 

Congratulations Geary's.  The 2009 Snobby Beer Award goes to you.  Ultimately, MM and I had a good time tasting beer and acting like we were from the Beer Advocate.  Now back to reality.  Maybe we can do this again during the next long weekend.  When's Veterans Day this year?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tim Wakefield's Revenge - 2009 ALCS Review

I remember that night back in 2003.  Sitting in the beer stained pub down the street.  Grady Little letting a 160 pound Dominican wrap him around his finger like a little girl.  The hits from Jeter and Matsui.  The tense 9th and 10th innings.  Then, the inevitable home run by Aaron Boone against Tim Wakefield.  Wakefield had pitched beautifully in this series, winning Game One and Game 4.  And these memories are still burned into my brain like fluttering demons.  In 2004, I tried to talk my friends into going into same bar we were in the previous year to exercise those remaining demons.  Same with 2007.  We never made it there that night or any night for that matter, and perhaps that's why this is still an important series to me, even if the rest of the country couldn't care less.  I want to exercise those demons still.  And so does Tim Wakefield.  It didn't happen in 2007 because Joba had those darn bug problems.  2008 was a washout because the Yankees were eliminated in the ALDS.  Wait, what, they didn't even make the playoffs that year?  Oh that's right, I was trying to remember the last time the Yankees won the World Series and I lost track. 

Fast forward to 2009.  The Red Sox won the first 8 games and the Yankes won 9 of the last 10.  Yankees fans will say that the 8-0 mark was a result of new guys trying to "chemie" one another.  (And A-Roid's secret one month drug ban).  Red Sox fans will say that the last three games didn't matter and besides the Yankees cheat. 

In their respective ALDS, the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox just handed the Angels their third consecutive defeat. The series that always seems to get more hype than it should is taking shape before our eyes. Yankees vs Red Sox IV.  What's going to happen?

October 16, 2009.  New York, NY.  Jon Lester, with his 2.84 ERA in Yankee Stadium in 2009 (No, I don't count the game where Melky Cabrera intentionally hit Lester in the knee with a baseball) dominates the Yankees' line up for 7 innings, giving up 1 run with 9 strikeouts.  CC Sabathia, on the other hand, remembering that the team is really counting on him now, takes a break from the cheeseburger and fries to throw up respectable numbers (for him and his 7.92 post season ERA) - 5 innings, 6 earned runs.   This game is over before it starts.  RED SOX 6 YANKEES 1.

October 17, 2009.  New York, NY.  Jose Molina and Jorge Posada start scratching each other's faces trying to catch AJ Burnett.  Ladies, please.   Meanwhile, Josh Beckett dominates in the playoffs, period.  Alright except for last year, got it.  AJ Burnett gives up 20 runs in 20 innings against the Red Sox.  J.D. Drew and David Ortiz hit home runs into the night.  AJ Burnett gets so melancholy he wants to punch Derek Jeter's permasmirk off of his face.  RED SOX 8 YANKEES 2.

October 19, 2009.  Boston, MA.  Clay Buchholz, the manchild, is in way over his head.  After a third shaky start in a row against the Angels in the ALDS, Bucholz proceeds to give up four home runs.  One to Damon around the Pesky Pole, one to A-Fraud into the Monster seats, one to Robinson Cano into the bullpen and one to Tex Mex (he gives me heartburn everytime I see his ugly mug, the jerk) to straight away center field.  Meanwhile Andy Pettitte continues his recent mastery over the Red Sox and throws a gem.  Get tickets to this game if you want to try to get a souvenir home run ball.  YANKEES 9  RED SOX 4.

October 20, 2009.  Boston, MA.  This is even worse.  Even though CC Sabathia's Fenway Park split is mediocre (4.61 ERA).  He can certainly out pitch Daisuke Matsuzaka.  When the year started, I had Dice learning the system and pitching 215 innings and winning 18-20 games.  Instead, we got this.  YANKEES 8 RED SOX 3.

October 22, 2009. Boston, MA  Jon Lester hits Melky Cabrera in the third inning and everyone outside of New York cheers.  I wish it were Johnny Damon, Jeter, Posada, A-Rod, etc., but I'm still pleased.  He then masters the Yankees again to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.  Dustin Pedroia finally comes through with 3 hits and 2 RBIs.  RED SOX 4  YANKEES 2.

October 24, 2009.  New York, NY.  This is the best game of the series so far.  Jeter leads off with a double and gets driven in by a Tex-Lax single.  These are the only Yankees base runners until the 6th inning.  Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte, who never has great post season statistics or games specifically against the Red Sox, pours it on.  1-0 into the top of the ninth.  Mariano Rivera comes in.  I throw Bill Mueller and Dave Roberts hand made dolls at him.  I start singing "Tessie," anything to get this guy off his game.  AND IT WORKS!  Mike Lowell hits a single.  Joey Gathright pinch runs for him and of course steals second.  This kid has just gotten himself a job for life in Boston (See the aforementioned Dave Roberts).  JD Drew, 3 for 24 in the series, with 7 called strikeouts, hits a grounder between stone hips (Jeter) and no hips (A-Roid).  TIE SCORE!  Not a fairy tale ending in this one, though, as in the bottom of the ninth, Billy Wagner gives up the walk off to Texeira.  I hope we get a couple of good players from the draft for this stiff.  YANKEES 2 RED SOX 1.

October 25, 2009.  New York, NY.  Clay Buchholz vs. CC Sabathia.  This is what playoff baseball is all about; and for the 3rd time in seven years, the Red Sox and the Yankees are going to play Game 7.  I'm watching the game hunkered down with a couple of friends.  I don't remember 2004 or 2007 at this point.  I remember Bucky Dent and Ray Knight and Aaron Boone (Beep, beep, beep).  I thought I forgave Bill Buckner when he came out at the ring ceremony a couple years ago (although we all forgave him when he came back to play at the end of his career, no?), but I had the same look of disbelief that Buckner had when Johnny Damon hit the grand slam against Buchholz.  Really, is this bizarro Johnny?  A grand slam at Yankee Stadium in Game 7 of an ALCS?  I could hit a home run in that band box, but that's not the point.  This is not the Red Sox of old.  They haven't been for 5 years.  Although the Yankees lead by 6 in the third inning, five straight hits from Youk, Papi, J-Bay, Mikey and JD Drew (I don't know a good nickname for him except for "Called Strike Three" or "CST" for short) cut the lead in half.  And then an opposite field home run by Youk in the fourth ties the game.  Francona needs to get Buchholz out of there as he gives up a couple of more runs and begins to openly cry. 

I had forgotten that Wakefield was put on the roster because his back had finally responded to treatment (I think he had both hips replaced, but that's just me), so I was surprised to see him come out of the bull pen to start the 5th inning.  One, two, three inning in the 5th.  Maybe this could be it!  The innings get later and later.  The Red Sox tie the score at 8 in the 7th inning and take the lead in the 8th when the most maligned player of the year, David Ortiz, hits a towering home run near the Utz sign.  We are in euphoria!  We all hug each other in manly ways.  Papelbon comes in the 9th to finish the game and the RED SOX ADVANCE!  Wakefield comes waddling out slaps a couple of guys on the back because he's too old and fragile to dive on the pile.   RED SOX 9  YANKEES 8.

Wakefield was able to exercise some demons this night.  Game 7, Yankee Stadium. I cringed when Pedro came out in Game 7 against the Yankees in 2004, because that seemed forced.  The Red Sox needed Wakefield to save a spent bullpen and he came through this time.  Was this the reason why he wouldn't retire event though he had plenty of money and two rings?  It was inevitable that these two teams would face each other again, while he was still able to pitch.  Maybe.

By the way, these hugs and cheers when the game is over take place at the same tavern that I was in on that fateful night 6 years earlier.  I had come here in the 6th inning when Wakefield came out.  A lot of the same people were here, too.  And it was comforting to see their faces.  Maybe now I can talk rationally with my children about the Red Sox, now that I've been able to settle this remaining debt.  We'll see when the Sox play Manny and the Dodgers in the World Series.  

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Who Can Beat Jmann Review? NFL Game Blog #2

After a sterling 8-8 showing in Week 2, Jmann Review, C and G are back for more in Week 4.  The games appear a little easier to pick as several teams just plain stink.  2 or 3 game teases should be your preferred choice of the day against these teams.  C and G get their football jerseys on, and, after telling them that this time they are playing for real money, they watch the NFL Network's pregame show with me to prime their picks.  More importantly, Jmann Review continues its long journey to a .500 record.

New England (-1.5)

C:  New England.  "They're the best team."
G:  New England.  "They're the best team."
C:  "You are such a copycat!"  "I hate you, you are such a butthead!"
Jmann Review:  I like New England at home.  Baltimore has never won in Foxboro and in fact has been blown out twice by a combined score of 44-6.  Now we're going to take a little break so that my assistants may experience a little "attitude adjustment."

All right, that "attitude adjustment" actually resulted in bedtime.  Now we're we're sitting here on Sunday morning.  I've switched up the order so I don't have to hear the words "Copycat" or "Butthead."

Green Bay
Minnesota (-4)

G:  Minnesota.  "Because there is a king in the world and he'll play for the Vikings!  Will the King play for the Vikings?"
C:  Minnesota.  "Vikings kill people.  I've seen them do that on Spongebob."  I guess that's another show I have to block on cable.  I lose another babysitter, too.
Jmann Review:  Minnesota.  I don't think the players care about Brett Favre nearly as much as the fans do.  Minnesota will win in a walkover.  But Favre will throw three interceptions in the process.

Denver (+3)

G:  Dallas.  "Because I picked them last time."  Good memory; I hope he remembers that he has to clean his room and make his bed after we're done.
C:  Denver.  "I think the Broncos is a cool name"  I ask him if he knows what a "bronco" is.  "Yeah, a guy who plays football on Sunday"  Okay, I can't argue with that.
Jmann Review:  Denver.  Dallas and Tashard (third) Choice are going to have a tough time against the Kyle Orton-led offense.  Imagine that, Josh McDaniel.

NY Jets
New Orleans (-7.5)

G:  New Orleans.  "I'm never going to pick a team from New York to win.  Yankees?  No. NO!"  OK, settle down big guy
C:  New York Jets.  "Jets go really fast."
Jmann Review:  Jets.  As much as it pains me to say it, the Jets have a very good team.  I think the turf is great place for their fast defense to dominate. 

Chicago (-10)

G:  Chicago.  "They sound like a good team."  When I ask him what that means, he stares at me.  "Can I play the Wii now if I tell you why they sound like a good team?"  I tell him no, but that he can go outside.  Guess where he is right now?
C:  Chicago.  "Bears are a lot more restless than Lions are."  Before I can ask him what the hell that means, he follows G outside.
Jmann Review: Chicago. The Bears have faced a couple of stiff defenses.  I think now that they play a couple of cupcakes, Jay Cutler will start getting going.

Write the rest of this down, Cincinnati (-7), Oakland (+9), Indianapolis (-10), New York Giants (-9), Jacksonville (+3), Tampa Bay (+7.5), Miami (Pick 'em), San Francisco (-10), San Diego (+7).  In fact, if I were betting man, I would do a three team tease taking a combination of Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, New York Giants, San Francisco and San Diego.