After eating myself into a food coma yesterday(seriously, after we ate I felt like Brian Windhorst looks), I regained consciousness(slightly) to share what I’m thankful for as well continuing my hot streak of NFL picks. I know what you’re saying, “it’s week 12 asshole, you better go on a hot streak.” I wish I had a counter, but alas, I’m turning it up MJ style as we head down the stretch(can you believe it?) of another NFL season. Before we get to my picks, I wanted to reflect on another fantastic Thanksgiving at the Ruffolo house, and share what I’m thankful for. Relax you degenerate gamblers, we’ll get to the picks soon enough.
We always celebrate Thanksgiving at my parents house with the family. My mom has hosted since forever and she always knocks it out of the park. This year was no different. The Paishinator, once again, walked away from Thanksgiving the unquestioned MVP by providing so much delicious food. I also think I lost my quick first step permanently. The turkey was perfect, the mashed potatoes have never been better, all of the sides were outstanding, and the stuffing needs to be in some kind of contest. If you have not had The Paishinator’s stuffing, I feel for you. I’ll be making my way back over to my parents house to eat the leftovers. Congrats mama, you did it again. And for that, I’m so thankful.
I love Thanksgiving because it’s a time to enjoy family and friends. I don’t get to see the family as much as I would like so I’m thankful for the time I get with them. With football and a Rocky marathon on the TV’s all day, sports(shocking) was the popular topic of the day. Any guesses to what was the main topic of the day? No, it wasn’t how inept Tom Ricketts-McCaskey is proving to be as new Cubs owner. There was some talk about the Eagles-Bears, but there is still skepticism about just how good the locals are. I know I have no idea how good they are. Most of the talk was “how about Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls?”
Black Wednesday is amateur night in my world. You couldn’t catch me dead going out to the bars and dealing with that shit show. Plus, the Bulls were on. Do you know what I’ve skipped for Bulls games in my life? For one, let’s go back to May of ’98, shall we?! I had just had my senior prom which was a great time. The girl I took was the sweetest thing ever. We had a real good time. The next day our group planned to go somewhere(I forget, but I remember there was zero chance I was going). Not only because it sounded boring as hell, but because it was game 1 of the Pacers-Bulls Eastern Conference Finals. Is there any chance I was missing that? Exactly. Needless to say, I wasn’t such a great date. So, it should come as no surprise that the Bulls-Suns game took precedence over going out on the 2nd biggest amateur night of the year(New Year’s is first by a mile and half).
This Bulls team continues to grow and improve. Their 23 point comeback win in double overtime showed their heart, talent, commitment to defense that new coach Tom Thibodeau is implementing, Joakim Noah’s amazing intangibles, and the shear brilliance of their franchise player. Derrick Rose is hands down my favorite athlete right now, and watching him grow into a top 10 player in this league is part of the beauty of being a sports fan.
It’s also beautiful watching Rose & the Bulls because of how how hard they play. Does it matter that Rose has averaged 41 minutes a game the past 5 games? Nope. The kid just keeps coming. When you know that your two team leaders care about winning over individual glory, it makes rooting for them that much more enjoyable. We care because we know they care. There are too many athletes who care about their stats, their reality shows, their image, commercials, contract demands, trade demands, wanting to “chill”, saying the other team “should win that game”, playing too many minutes, and being “unhappy” rather than caring about winning. Yes, most of those examples pertain to the Miami Heat. Sorry, but they’re just an easy target.
I am thankful for so very much this Thanksgiving weekend. My family, friends, health, & the ability to share my thoughts with you on this site. Sports wise, I’m thankful I get to watch and root for a 22 year old phenom who cares about winning and his teammates over individual accolades. How refreshing. Now, where’s the stuffing?!
Week 12 NFL Picks
Home team in CAPS
Thanksgiving games: I took the Patriots -7 over the LIONS, the Saints -4 over the COWBOYS, and the J-E-T-S -9 over the Bungals. I’ll take the 2-1 record. Yes, I picked the games beforehand. I posted them on my Twitter page. And for the 739th time, start following me already.
Steelers -7 over BILLS
The Bills have been resurrected from the UFL and have been playing good football, but aren’t the Steelers at least a touchdown better?
FALCONS -1.5 over Packers
Great news for Bears fans. Matt Ryan is 18-1 at the Georgia Dome, and has won 14 straight at the house that Deion built.
Jaguars +7 over GIANTS
We are close to seeing Tom Coughlin’s head explode. It’s coming, I can feel it. Can you blame him? The Giants lead the league with 30 turnovers. Hey Eli, thank you for providing me with 5 minutes of laughter with that dive/fumble move last week.
Panthers +10 over BROWNS
Two words: Jake Delhomme.
Titans +6.5 over TEXANS
I know that Rusty Smith is your new Titans quarterback. Trust me, I suffered as much as you did watching him last week. However, wasn’t last week’s gut punch the last straw for the Kubiak’s? They continue to find new ways to blow games. The Texans pass defense is worse than advertised. 7 quarterbacks have had 100+ rating against the Texans defense this year. Pretty good, if pretty good suddenly means atrocious.
Vikings +1 over REDSKINS
Because I’m rooting for Leslie Frazier and Donovan McNabb has turned into Gus Frerotte.
SEAHAWKS +2 over Chiefs
Let me be clear, I think the Seahawks suck ass. I just can’t trust Matt Cassel on the road. The Chiefs are 0-4 on the road, Qwest Field is a bitch to deal with for road teams.
RAIDERS -3 over Dolphins
I watched the Bears make the Dolphins look a JV squad last week. That game also gave me insight as to why Bill Parcells left town…..Tony Sparano is an idiot. How do you possibly only get Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams a combined 11 carries when Tyler Thigpen is your quarterback? That is a fireable offense.
Bears +3.5 over Eagles
I was at Soldier Field in December ’05 when the Bears made Mike Vick quit before kickoff. I saw how Vick wanted nothing to do with the cold weather during warm-ups and knew the Bears would win. It won’t be that cold Sunday, but the turf should provide the Bears an edge. How? Well, the geniuses at the Chicago Park District have a high school game planned for Saturday. Just chalk up another reason why I hate the Bears ownership. How do you not control who plays on your field? It’s a joke.
RAVENS -7.5 over Bucs
The Bucs own bad teams, but can’t hang with the big boys. I like this Bucs team, they just aren’t ready for primetime…..yet.
Rams +4 over BRONCOS
Because Josh McDaniels is a damn fool. Only mini-hoodie would take out a hot Kyle Orton last week to put in the self proclaimed football Jesus. After their 6-0 start last year, the Broncos are 5-15 since. As Charles Barkley would say, “John Elway is rolling over in his grave right now.”
Chargers +3 over COLTS
The Bolts always play the Colts tough. Plus, it looks like the Bolts are getting hot just in time to reel their fans in before the inevitable kick to the balls in January. It’s coming, you know it is.
CARDINALS +1 over 49ers
Let’s debunk Mike Singletary’s famous “I want winners” speech. Cool?
Sing: “This is what I believe, I’m from the old school, I believe this, we come out and we hit people in the mouth. That’s number 1.”
Me: That’s true Mike. The problem? It is usually after the play is whistled dead, and it costs your undisciplined team 15 yards.
Sing: “Number 2, we are not a charity. We cannot give them the game.”
Me: WRONG! You are a charity you cross wearing douche bag. You “coach” the dumbest team this side of any of the past 8 Raiders teams. You do give teams games by not game planning(yes, it’s true), thinking your “will” would inspire grown ass men, constantly committing penalties that kill drives & turn the ball over at the most inopportune time. So sorry Mike, but you are a charity.
Sing: “Number 3 is we execute. From the very start of the game to the very end of the game.”
Me: Again…..wrong. Your dog shit team doesn’t execute anything other than giving an instructional DVD on how to play vanilla offense & piss poor defense. You have not gotten any better as a coach. You have shown not one bit of growth in your 2 years on the job. You have done nothing but prove that you are in over your head and will never get another head coaching job in the NFL. Congrats Mike, I won’t forget you. I won’t forget the Singletary error/era because you have proven that a 1985 way of thinking cannot succeed in today’s NFL. Now take your giant cross and get the hell out of my sight. Here’s hoping that you won’t be given a 2nd chance to piss on another NFL team.
Thanksgiving Day Games: 2-1
Last week: 12-4