But anyway, this series isn't over yet. And until it is, no sympathy, no mercy.
GET YOUR BOOMBOXES ON YOUR SHOULDERS, BABY, CUZ IT'S TIME FOR...
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 finishers 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 more:
Hey gang: Now is the time to let me know if you want to be involved in the second installment of the PICK SIX! The good news is that Swetha & Sabreena have agreed to appear as one team, and I'm pretty sure my old pal Mike L. (another lawyer, of all things) is interested in another spot. But we'll still have 1-2 open spots, so let me know if you're interested by dropping a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Let's take a look at the scores from Week Four:
1. Tom - 5 Points
1. Jill - 5 Points
3. Carrie - 4 Points
3. Nick - 4 Points
3. Shane - 4 Points
6. Spike - 3 Points
And now the updated overall standings:
1. Carrie - 16 Points
1. Tom - 16 Points
1. Jill - 16 Points
4. Shane - 13 Points
5. Nick - 11 Points
5. Spike - 10 Points
After another incredible week, we now have a 3-way tie atop the leaderboard! Tom and Jill made up their deficits with some bold, dramatic picks; Tom was one of the few to successfully guess that the sandwich makers from Jimmy John's would defeat America's best eaters, and Jill was the only contestant to nail the Oregon-Stanford game. Carrie, who complained endlessly about having to pick golf matches, was perfect in the Ryder Cup categories, and it saved her from dropping to second. Meanwhile, I stayed in the middle of the pack, and Spike continued his long, slow descent into ignominy.
This week's docket:
1. LSU at Florida
2. Michigan State at Michigan
3. Packers at Redskins (only NFL game this week)
4. Here's a chance for people to score and shake things up: pick any and all of the opening round divisional series' in baseball that you think will end in a 3-game sweep. 3 points for any series you pick correctly that ends in a sweep, -3 for any you pick incorrectly.
5. From Nick: The Twins and Yankees play game 3 Saturday night at 8:37. Pick the duration of the game in hours and minutes.
6. From Spike: Perfect Innings from Roy Oswalt on Friday. 2 points for hitting it, 1 point for 1 off in either direction (obvious: perfect inning = 3 up, 3 down).
We begin, as usual, with our much-revered leader(s):
After surviving (and thriving) through a week of picks that even my incredibly supportive father thought would undoubtedly sink me, this will actually be the week of my undoing. There is no way my picking style supports the knowledge of baseball minutiae necessary for success in categories 4, 5 and 6. Also, the football matchups are all very close on paper and could probably use some real close and analytical inspection of which I am not capable. If I were any sort of conspiracy theorist, I'd be convinced this week's docket was intentionally designed to unseat me. So be it. It's been a good run.
1. Tough call, but I am going to go with LSU. I feel like it is hard to root against Louisiana in any thing these days. They could win everything for the next decade and still be a gritty comeback story in my eyes.
2. VERY close, but I am giving the very small margin of mascot and color superiority to the Michigan State Spartans. You know I can't resist that green.
3. It was really hard for me to watch as Albert Haynesworth repeatedly failed his conditioning test this preseason, but I did develop a strong affection for Mike Shanahan in the process. While I think I would include Mike Shanahan as my new #2 NFL Coaches Crush (right after perennial heartthrob Bill Belichick), I am going to take the Packers to win it this week. I'm here with a shoulder to cry on if you need it, Mike.
4. This category is completely insane but I do think that the Phillies are going to take the Reds in 3 games. Ditto the Yankees. Which is sad because really, I think the Reds had a really sort of special season... for them. (Incidentally, I also think the Giants might lose in three, but I actually am physically incapable of betting against my very first favorite baseball team.)
5. Just optimistically, I HOPE that this is a close game and that the Twins are still in it enough at this point to keep it tight and long (whoa, that sentence), so I am going to say maybe...4:05?
6. I give Roy 3 perfect innings.
Ok, coming down from last night's game...Florida, Mich St, Packers, Phili sweep, 3 hours 35 mins., Oswalts 1 inning.
On occasion, I have this weird thing happen about me. I will walk past a guy on the street, see a kid waiting for a school bus on the corner, make eye contact with a woman (all unknown to me), and I feel this tremendous sense of empathy for that person. It is almost unbearable and lingers with me for most of the day. I usually have to verbalize these feelings to someone, usually my wife who thinks I am sick. Well, I had one of those occasions last night in the 8th inning of the Yankee/Twins game as the Twins' rally ended leaving their fans to fear another come from behind loss in the playoffs to the Bronx Bombers. Now I have a been a Yankee fan for longer than you folks have been around, and yet, this overwhelming empathic feeling last night gripped me as the new stadium went quiet, only to await the usual demise at the arm of Mariano, once again. I saw their new ballpark, so proud, so new. I saw their manager, suppose to be a great guy as told to me by fans who visit the Twins' Florida training camp in early spring, the wide eyed Minnesota followers who are those neat simple folk of mid America who are so optimistic, real, and caring as described in a Garrison Keillor novel. And what I saw in their faces in the 9th inning told me all they have to look forward to is snow and wind for the next 6 months! I am sorry, really sorry. Gosh, it is so hard to see and feel. And yet, GO YANKS!!
LSU at Florida: Florida. Evenly matched teams, each with significant weaknesses. But the LSU quarterback situation is a disaster. Florida is at home. This really could go either way, but I like the Gators in a close one.
Michigan State at Michigan: Michigan State. The Spartans can handle what is sure to be an electric atmosphere on Saturday. They have leadership, a balanced offense with a killer running game, and a solid-enough defense to pull out the win.
Packers at Redskins: Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is a gamer and can carry the offense, even without Ryan Grant. I think he will pick apart the Redskins’ defense. It should also be noted that, right now, the NFL page of ESPN.com is headlined, “The Wild Man Comes Out: When Packers LB Clay Matthews lets his hair down, it's time for quarterbacks to take cover,” accompanied by a photograph of a flowing blonde mane. I’m not sure if I am horrified or amused, but I will go with the head of hair.
Division Series Sweeps: Yankees*: Phil Hughes has had a big year, and I think/hope it continues this weekend. The Stadium will be rocking, and I always love the Yanks at home. I also have tickets to Game 4, so this is a win-win for me either way.
*I decided against Texas, because I just can’t see the Rays imploding so incredibly without their offense making at least one appearance in the postseason. So far, the way that they have played and coached has sort of left me stunned (I heart the quirky Joe Maddon, but Rocco Baldelli as your Game 1 DH? Really?). That said, I think the Rays will win Game 3; I think the Reds will find a way to take one from Philly; and I have no idea what will happen with the Giants/Braves.
Time of Yanks/Twins Game: 3 hours, 51 minutes. The Twins play pretty efficient games, while the Yankees are usually patient and slow. Weirdly, Game 2 only lasted 2 hours, 59 minutes, but I think we will see a few more runs and pitchers on Saturday night.
Perfect Innings from Oswalt: 4. He has been pitching well lately, with an ERA of 1.74 since being traded to Philly. He doesn’t walk many batters and he doesn’t give up many hits. The Reds, however, will be hungry to get on base after Roy Halladay’s historic Game 1.
LSU, Michigan, Packers, Yankees & Rangers & Phillies (go big, baby!), 3:27, 5 perfect innings
You ever notice that foosball tables at bars only give you 10 balls? I say that's total BS. I'd like to file an official protest with the internet. The game is to 10, so unless one side wins 10-0, you can't play a full game. And that's fucking absurd.
Myself and a couple pals, namely 52, Mittelshoop, and the Westbirds, were trying to get up a game yesterday. Our normal tactic is to stuff the goals with paper towels so the balls don't disappear, but apparently we clogged the table a few weeks ago and put it out of commission. A repair person had to come and fish it out, which probably cost the bar money. This time around, the men in charge were expecting us. After we started playing, we noticed some suspicious expressions coming from the bartender. At one point he moseyed over and cast a sidelong glance. A few minutes later, the owner came storming over and removed the paper towels. He chastised us. I protested, saying it was impossible to play a full game with just 10 balls, but he was not interested in my complaints. "You gotta pay to play," he said. So we played games to 5, but that kinda sucked. We had to go play pool, which is a poor consolation when you've got a foosball jones. Why the hell would they design tables that way? If anybody reading is a foosball aficionado, please let me know the deal.
Later we went back to the table and an older southern guy named Ken joined us. He was awesome. He and my friend Andrew beat us 10-0. In this case, the 10 balls were enough.
Florida, Michigan, Packers, Rangers v Rays, 3 Hours, 56 Minutes, 1 perfect inning
Cuz that's where I went,
I'm not picking Sparty,
(Their coach has a stent)
Packers aren't losing,
To McNabb and the Skins,
Rays bats won't defrost,
They won't get any wins,
The Yanks go down,
In less than 4 hours,
But after 4 games,
The Twins hit the showers,
Last but not least,
It's Roy number two,
Following a no-no's,
Not easy to do,
I say he starts strong,
Then starts to look old,
I'm repping these picks,
Like my man Ari Gold
DEAR GOD I'M LATE I'M LATE OH DEAR GOD
I watched a modern dance piece featuring a Frenchman in a bunny mask.
Dock points at will...
As for sports, the only thing that matters right now is the quality of the playoff debuts from Halladay and Lincecum. Their game scores were 94 and 96. Halladay was one pitch away from his second perfect game of the season. Lincecum induced 31 swinging strikes. 31! That's impossible. More than half of his strikes were of the swinging variety. Apparently it's because he has a new slider. Tim Lincecum was the best pitcher in baseball the last two years, and he decided that he needed a new slider. I'm in last place in pick six and I couldn't get my picks in on time. And I quit smoking weed. Fuck Tim Lincecum.