The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle people go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read the Week One entry here and the Week Two entry here.
Let's have a look at the scores from Week Two:
1. Nick - 4 Points
2. Me - 3 Points
2. Carrie - 3 Points
2. Jill - 3 Points
5. Tom - 3 Points
5. Spike - 2 Points
And now the updated overall standings:
1. Jill - 8 Points
2. Tom - 7 Points
2. Carrie - 7 Points
2. Nick - 7 Points
5. Shane - 5 Points
5. Spike - 4 Points
I started out so friggin' strong on Friday, when Duke and Florida tied in women's soccer and Felix Hernandez pitched exactly 8 innings, giving me 3 quick points. This was to be my revolution. Then I went on to pick exactly zero of four football games correctly. That's the bad news. The good news is that immediately after going 0-4, the Seattle Mariners offered me a chance to play DH. Nick surged to a Week 2 victory and got himself right back in the running in the overall standings. With 3 points, Jill maintains a slim lead going into Week 3. Oooooooohhhh things are getting ex-ciiiiiiii-tingggg!!!!!!!
This Week's Docket:
1. South Carolina at Auburn, College football
2. Army at Duke, College football
3. New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, NFL
4. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL
5. The total number of runs scored by the Yankees in three games against the Boston Red Sox (closest gets 2 points, next two get a point)
6. From Carrie: Bates at Trinity, D3 women's field hockey. This is like the LEAST rigged of all the rigged categories because I don't even understand how points are earned in women's field hockey. I also don't know why I keep specifying "women's". Though I have always (or since I learned field hockey was a real sport in2002) wondered why men are too good for field hockey. My very cursory knowledge of the sport is that they're probably right not to play? Anyway, should be a real doozy. Blood shed. Sticks broken. Skirts worn.
Let's get to the picks and the sound-offs, starting with our fearless leader Jill, who really brought her 'A' game this week by including LINKS for YOU, the READER. Unlike Coach K, she is not content to rest on a lead. What an all-star:
South Carolina at Auburn: Cocks. The Cocks have an amazing run defense, and Auburn is the top running team in the SEC. I liked SC over UGA, but this will be their first road test. QB Stephen Garcia may be haunted by Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley; then again, he may prove, once and for all, that he really is an elite leader.
Army at Duke: Duke. Loyalty rule applies, but I would pick Duke in this one anyway. They beat Army on the road last year with QB Sean Renfree manning the ship. Army has a great running game and Duke’s defense has been utterly useless, but I think the Blue Devils pull it out, as long as they control the clock and their turnovers.
Jets at Dolphins: Dolphins. The Jets somehow got their reality TV circus together for a solid win over the Pats. The thing is, now they are Revis-less; their already-on-probation-star-receiver was arrested for DWI; they are not playing at home; they may or may not have sexually harassed a semi-slutty-looking reporter; the Sanchize is beyond inconsistent; and there is the whole Jason Taylor returns mini-drama. I am just not ready to jump on the Jets’ crazy train yet. As I said last week, I hope they prove me wrong.
Steelers at Buccaneers: Steelers, I guess. Both teams are undefeated. Tampa Bay has been surprisingly good, especially QB Josh Freeman, but the Steelers’ defense has been even better. The biggest problem for Pittsburgh is that most of their QBs are injured or accused date rapists.
Total # of Yankee runs: 14. I like Pettitte over Beckett (Beckett and his ridiculous facial hair have sucked all year. He always has an inning where he implodes). Lester is usually tough to score on. Hughes over Dice-K in the finale; the Yanks are patient and Dice-K nibbles. Sure, the Sox could play spoiler and steal some games. But the Yankees need to rest their elderly and get ready for more important things, like the playoffs. Enough said.
Bates at Trinity: Trinity. Bates opened with a 4-0 loss to powerhouse Connecticut College. They followed that thriller with near misses against Amherst (5-1 loss) and Bowdoin (8-1 loss). Finally, three days ago, they dominated Husson* by a score of 1-0. They have been outscored 17-3. They have not had a winning season since 1999, a time when Livin’ La Vida Loca ruled the Billboard charts. They were 1-12 in 2009 (which is promising, I guess, since they have already matched last year’s win total). I could round up a group of blind homeless people in lower Manhattan and they would solidly beat Bates in field hockey. Trinity convincingly beat both Colby (5-1 win) and Wellesley (5-1 win), before losing close games to Middlebury (4-3 loss in OT) and Keene State (2-1 loss). They are at home, they have a six-foot tall player and a very unhappy-looking bird mascot, and they are playing the equivalent of a little league team. *President Obama’s college to train Socialist Kenyan Muslim Elitist Community Workers, like myself, to kidnap the Queen of Real America, duh.
Ok, South Carolina, Duke, Jets, Buccanneers, 15 runs, Trinity.
South Carolina always brings in some early big wins on the road and Auburn usually finds a way to lose in the 4th quarter. I know the boys of West Point are winning, which is new at the Point since the days of "the lonely end", but Duke will feel as if they are playing against a high school team after what they saw and felt last weekend from ALABAMA. The Tide was the largest and quickest college football team I have ever seen up close. Go Duke! Drinking aside, lets toast the Jets as they begin to bruise and plunder. 15 runs seem fit for a sweep, unless Joe decides to sit the first team. And seeing as my nephew's gorgeous wife once played field hockey for Trinity, who else would I root for?? And finally, as I have my morning decaf Saturday morning prepping for college football Saturday, I will be thinking of our new friend, the most famous citizen of Carrboro and the new Johnny Cash as he chains his bicycle to the rack of our coffee cafe. HI ROBERT!
(Editor's note: Robert is a wandering possibly-homeless man that Tom bonded with when he visited me last weekend. Seriously, they hung out a lot. It got weird.)
1. South Carolina.
Love the Ole Ball Coach.
In an upset. Army hasn't had the same ground game since Obama became Commander-in-Chief.
Florida, why? (Charlie Batch, that's why)
5. I'll take 22.
6. Um - was it total goals in Field Hockey game? I'll take 17.
(Editor's Note #2: No, it wasn't 'total goals in Field Hockey game,' but I understand it would've been a total bitch to let your eyes drift up approximately three inches to find that information in the very same e-mail you had already opened. Well guess what, Nick? You FORFEIT this category. Where's your laconic swagger now, you son of a bitch?!)
1. My delight at the "Gamecocks" mascot is well-documented, and using the same measuring stick, the Auburn Tigers have like the most generic mascot in the history of sports. BUT. The Gamecocks are coming off a win to a team called the Furman Paladins and I don't believe a college by that name exists, so I am not sure I trust SC's record. Auburn beat Clemson (also the Tigers, which just goes to show how lame that name is) last week and like I've heard of them. Auburn.
2. I recently had the opportunity to play flip-cup with a number of West Point alums and I still find it really charming that there are athletic teams there. (Important to note: No such flip-cup teams exist, or perhaps these men wouldn't have been so stinking rotten at it.) I think I was told that the football team is something of a perpetual heartbreaker, but I'm going to pretend I don't remember that. Army.
3. I really f-d it up going against my uniform instincts last week. Although the Dolphins were the first mascot to capture my heart at the even more impressionable age of 6, teal and peach have since fallen out of my favor. I need to atone with the Jets. I almost cried when I saw how sharp their uniforms looked out there last week.
4. I know it's not his team's fault and maybe he's not even playing right now and I am sad to root against that man with all the hair, but Big Ben is a complete shame of a professional athlete. I'm sure there's a similarly shameful member of the Buccaneers, but if so, I didn't spend the last year being grossed out by him. Buccs.
5. Funny to be back on the West Coast for the duration of the Yankees-Red Sox series. I'd forgotten just how little people care about that rivalry here. I am nothing if not a product of my (immediate) environment, so I am having a hard time mustering up a thoughtful answer for this... Let's go with... 14 runs? That seems low maybe. But maybe not. (But I think so.)
6. I used the opportunity of my choice week to be a good sport and pick a non-rigged contest. I mean, I know from personal experience how bad the Bates field hockey team is, but like you could also tell that by looking up their scores in recent matches (is field hockey played in matches? I know it's played in skirts), so I still feel fair about this choice. Also bad about this choice, because I think Bates is going to get creamed by Trinity 6-1. Honestly, I think the one goal (goal?) I am giving Bates in the loss is generous. But still, nothing like a little D3 women's field hockey to set the sports world abuzz. Great selection, me.
I like Auburn, DUKE, Jets, Steelers, 21 runs, and the Trinity Field Hockey team.
I have 4 points to make.
1. I was browsing last week's picks while putting this together, and I saw that Spike brought out the "oy" for his write-up. This reminded me of a Jewish story from last night. It's well-documented that Jewish celebrities often change their names to sound less Jewish and (I guess) not scare off the significant sector of our country who are scared of Jewish people. Allan Konigsberg became Woody Allen, Jonathan Leibowitz became Jon Stewart, Melvin Kaminsky became Mel Brooks, Hymie Wienerstein became Larry Bird, etc. The list is pretty endless (and one of those last ones is FALSE...see if you can pick it out!). Anyway, in my newsroom yesterday afternoon at school, someone brought up witchcraft because of that weirdo that Sarah Palin endorsed from Delaware who used to belong to a coven or something. My supervisor then brought up someone named Anton LaVey, who apparently ran an institution called the Church of Satan back in the day. Intrigued, I looked up his Wikipedia entry. First line:
Anton Szandor LaVey, (April 11, 1930 – October 29, 1997) born Howard Stanton Levey...
I thought that detail was absolutely amazing. Even in the fucking Church of Satan, dudes have to change their names to be less Jewish. Otherwise, the following scenario would occur:
Satanist #1: Look, don't get me wrong, I'm dedicated to evil. I believe in the dark lord, human sacrifice, and eternal suffering for mankind on earth and throughout eternity. But I'm sorry, this particular church is just a litttttlllle too Jewish for my tastes.
Satanist #2: I agree. I was violently biting the testicles off a live baby goat the other day, and it occurred to me that even though Howard means well...God, how I can put this...he just doesn't share our values. He's not like us.
Satanist #1: I'm just more comfortable with a wayward Christian leading a Church of Satan. If that's wrong, sue me. It's just who I am.
Satanist #2: Let's murder him in front of a child.
(Last Editor's Note, I promise: That dialogue presumes that a main activity of Satanism is biting animal testicles, which I can't confirm.)
2. I told the story of LaVey to my friend Josh last night, who is Jewish, expecting him to get a kick out of it. I'd shared it earlier with a few other people who were duly amused, so I wasn't even a little wary. We were in the back of a car, drunk, heading through Chapel Hill, and when I delivered the punch line he froze. His smile instantly went away, and he wouldn't look at me. You can imagine my reaction. Oh fuck! I reacted how we would all react in such a situation, by stammering like an idiot. He wouldn't even acknowledge me when I kept repeating "Josh...Josh, come on man...Josh, come on. Come on!" I kept insisting it was a funny story (stories are always funnier if you insist on their hilarity after you tell them), and I was so panicky and afraid about offending him that I was literally ten seconds away from being like "JOSH MAN I HAVE A TON OF JEWISH FRIENDS!" Which, again, is a great argument.
Here's what happened: without me knowing it, my girl Komar, the driver, had seen a cop in her rearview mirror. She told us all to shut up and stay still, and that's exactly what Josh did at the precise moment when I finished up the Church of Satan story. So as I rambled on trying to prove beyond doubt that I wasn't anti-Semitic, he was nervous about the cop, wasn't really listening, and thought I was talking to our other pal Justin, who was sitting next to him. It was the kind of hilarious situation you usually only see on the situation comedy 'Frasier.'
And man, what a relief when the situation cleared up. There's no feeling like the feeling you get when you find out people don't think you're a bigot. I highly recommend it.
3. Side note to that: remember the Swetha and Sabreena post? The two awesome girls who actually made a sign with Scheyer, Smith, and Singlers as the 3-Sketeers, wrote my blog name at the bottom, and won a contest except I missed their e-mail back in February because I offended the Gods? Well in the process of thanking them, I made a dumb joke about us having an arranged marriage (because Indian people all have arranged marriages, get it?!), and after sending me long e-mails and seeming totally into the blog, Swetha and Sabreena clammed up big time. I got like a one-line e-mail a week later, and these gals, like me, do not seem shy about writing. I'm the kind of person with a gigantic guilt complex, so my assumption is that they're totally pissed and think I'm a giant racist. HEY GUYS COME ON LISTEN I HAVE SO MANY INDIAN FRIENDS!!!!! But seriously: this is my public apology and plea for forgiveness. Also, I think Team Swetha & Sabreena would be an awesome addition to the Pick 6 next round. Great writers, Dukies, and clever. I'm just saying.
4. Man, I'm so pissed at the Yankees. How are we ever going to do well in the playoffs? It just does NOT look good. Also, Felix Hernandez should win the Cy Young.
USC, ARMY, DOLPHINS, STEELERS, 18, Trinity
I'm kinda mad that Pick-Six has a NESCAC matchup that isn't a Williams-Amherst game. That would be a lovely chance for me to pick Williams and pretend to care for a minute only to have Amherst rip my heart out* (I'm the worst at Pick-Six ever). Also, have you seen Bates' campus in Lewistown, Maine? What a piece of shit. I went through there on my college tour, and didn't get out of my car. That's right. My mom and I drove to fucking Maine**, and the campus and town were so ugly that we just turned around and started back to Connecticut. Connecticut. Where Trinity is located. Plus, Trinity is good at squash. Like, really dangerously good at squash.
*This would never happen otherwise as Williams is better at everything when compared to Amherst.
**We did stop at Bowdoin which was quite nice. No disrespect to Bowdoin.
In other news, Ichiro Suzuki just tied Pete Rose's record for 200 hit seasons. Asked what it meant to him to share a record with Rose, Suzuki was blunt. “I’ve never actually seen him play with eyes and I’ve never met him before,” he said through a translator before adding, in English, “I don’t care.” Earlier this year, when Derek Jeter was asked what it was like to break the Yankees' hit record he said he was just mad that he hadn't gotten the clincher off Sandy Koufax (and yes, this accidentally turned into a plug for my defunct blog, Derek Jeter Hates the Jews).
Also, again, I'm terrible at this, so bet big on Auburn kiddos!
(You really thought there wouldn't be a final Editor's note? Anyway: awwwwww shit, Spike, Carrie went to Bates! This shit just got real! Have a great weekend, everyone.)