First, let's get this Kyrie thing out of the way. I realize that yesterday's post makes me look kind of (or incredibly) like an idiot, but it was published before everyone and their mother started saying he was done for the year. I didn't know this to be the case. And, in fact, it's not. At least not yet. The most complete account we have at this point comes from the Durham Herald-Sun. Their main source is his father, and the money quote of the article is this:
“I just think at this point we are all speculating and don’t have anything concrete,” Drederick Irving said. “I have spoken to the doctors and they are waiting for swelling to go down. It’s pretty much day-to-day.”
We will not know anything concrete for at least another week. It could be that he's out for a month, it could be that he's out for a year. And that's all we'll get for right now.
Still, that didn't keep the Internet from getting annoying. Everybody with a router and a keyboard wanted to post something definitive about Kyrie's future. The majority of this speculation was based on nothing factual, and most of the phonies linked to some kind of blog post in a desperate plea for hits. There's nothing like a toe injury to bring out the self-promoting scumbags of the World Wide Web. My least favorite, I think, was someone called "The Recruit Scoop," who posted this:
According to a close source, Duke freshman Kyrie Irving is likely out 3-4 weeks and will not miss the rest of the season, as rumored.
On his twitter page, the "Recruit Scoop" identifies himself as Alex Kline, a 16-year-old "recruiting analyst" who writes for Rivals, Zagsblog, and The RecruitScoop.
Needless to say, this pre-pubescent kool-aid drinking study-hall loving detention-avoiding rascal did not have a close source at Duke, and he was just fabricating like a fiend to get re-tweeted and steal some blog hits. It worked; he got re-tweeted 38 times, including by me. And now I'm annoyed. Plus, something about the kid's age just aggravates me. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BASKETBALL, WHIPPERSNAPPER?
Maybe I'm a grumpy old person. In fact, I know I'm a grumpy old person. But Alex, homeboy: I don't mind that you have a recruiting website even though it mostly plays off the novelty of you being 16. Maybe you're a good kid; lord knows I made mistakes in the day (30 days in an El Paso prison made me a man and also, curiously, an eternal child). But please, stop making shit up. People care about this stuff, and as an older person I would like to teach you the valuable lesson on not exploiting the passion of others for a few hits. One day big bad karma gon' wheel back around and sting you, son. And those hits will vanish like...dust in the wind. That's a reference to a song you've never heard of, Alex. YOU DON'T KNOW TRUE PAIN! KANSAS IS NOT JUST A STATE! I hope your locker jams at a hugely inconvenient time before 3rd period.
Apparently I'm the moral high ground now. Great. Catch me on "Sports Reporters" this Saturday talking about how Albert Haynesworth is too lazy. (If that show still exists.)
Is it unsavory to attack a 16-year-old, or are people pretty much on board with that sentiment? Man, I hate kids. I'm like a prodigy in the curmudgeon world. Old men gather on park benches to talk about my potential. "He could be the most bitter asshole of all time," they say. And then I walk by and kick a pigeon.
Enough of that, let's have some fun. And I only know two ways to have fun: shouting obscenities at families out my car window, and DUKE HOT POTATO!
Hot potato is simple: for each game, you pick how many points a player will score, and the difference is your point total. A lower score is better. Check out this post for current standings. Our next game is Duke-St. Louis, tomorrow at noon. Is there any doubt about the hot potato? There's only one man who played himself onto the potato oven, and that's the BABY DAWK, aka YOUNG THREEZY!
You can join up even if you didn't play last time. We keep score by game averages, so pick today and you're still eligible. Leave your pick in the comments.
Okay, I've wasted enough time. The moment you've all been waiting for is here. It's the final week, the final reckoning, and hear me, amigos: this is a good one. ON YOUR FEET! IT'S:
VOLUME TWO, WEEK SIX
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 below:
-The inaugural champ and intros to the New Class
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
Here's how Volume Two looks:
Creatures in Purgatory: Jill, Carrie, Spike
Newcomers: Swetha & Sabreena, Nick E., Mike L.
Standings after Week Five
1. Spike: 24
2. S&S: 23.5
3. Nick: 21.5
3. Mike: 21.5
3. Jill: 21.5
6. Carrie: 13.5
Last week was an absolute DOOZIE. Carrie, she of the bold disposition, put on her Sunday best and faced down The Temptress. For five games, she was doing okay. It all came down to Colts-Cowboys. It seemed like her dreams might come true, but let's face it, any good temptress leads her suitors on til the last possible moment. Peyton threw two interceptions, Dallas won, and Carrie's dreams were all but shattered with a -10 point penalty. But after a cluster atop the leaderboard, Spike hiked up the ladder to take first. Going into this, our final week, Swetha & Sabreena are right there with him.
Bill O'Reilly! O'Reilly is a political pundit for FoxNews, and he'll be providing commentary and analysis of the boys against girls clash in Pick 6. This week's standings:
O'Reilly: "Folks, I'm not one of those people who's going to give in to stereotypes. Sure, you'll hear other guys say, 'oh, women are all irrational.' 'Oh, they make dumb choices on a whim, and it costs them later.' But me? I don't necessarily believe that. Carrie is somebody I respect. I really do. She's a good person, she does good things, and frankly I like reading her Pick 6 rants. But at the end of the day, can we trust her? Can we trust that she's not going to be won over by emotions? I mean, the temptress...it was a fool's errand all the way. Right from the start, there were red flags everywhere.
Everyone else knew not to try it. Would Carrie have even attempted this, if she had the cold, hard logic of a man? Who's to say? I'm not going out on that limb, but it's something to think about. It really is. Folks, if you look at the numbers, men are just smarter. I've seen the test scores. I've seen them. I studied them. Carrie is irrational like most women, that's all I'm saying. And now the men are going to win. I'm not surprised by that. I'm really not. But I think it's a shame, and it's not Carrie's fault; she was limited by the unreasonable nature of being a female. But I'll give her the last word."
Thanks Bill! Here's the docket from our good friend Jim (Dr. Docket, the papers call him), with #6 from me.
1. Man, the Jets got nut punched by Tom Tom and crew. Also, the Chicago Bears have been looking less foolish recently. Showdown at Soldier Field. Will douchey Jay Cutler show up and throw 158 interceptions or will slightly less douchey Jay Cutler show up and throw another 4 touchdowns?
2. Quick NCAA Football matchup: Army v. Navy. Both teams have played way better this year than I can remember in a long time. This game might actually be interesting!
3. FCS Football showdown! Villanova and Appalachian State.
4. NCAA Basketball is going to be great this weekend. I am most excited to see Tennessee v. Pittsburgh. (I just hope Bruce Pearl doesn't get caught inviting the entire crowd to his house for a recruiting function.) AND Catholic school isn't just pillow fights and sing-alongs. Gonzaga and Notre Dame meet in a showdown of altar boys. Who will be more divine? Pick both games, 1 point each.
5. Drum roll... the reason EVERY hotel in the greater Winston-Salem area has been sold out for days! the Hillside High Hornets take on the Davie County Country Bumpkins. Oh yeah, its on!
6. It wouldn't be the Pick Six without allowing for some desperate measures, so dig this last one:
THE NFL TEASER. You can pick as many or as few games as you want, but you will be picking a winner against the spread. For each winner you pick correctly, you get 2 points. For each you pick incorrectly, you lose 2.5. Again, pick every game, pick none, or anywhere in between. It's up to you. (Odds were listed for the picksters from ESPN.)
We begin with Spike, who carries the flag of Seattle as he attempts to win his first Pick Six championship:
I'm honestly too nervous to do anything. My silence the last two weeks has led me to the top. Will I break it?
The Bears aren't as good as the Patriots.
Fuck Navy. Boats are terrible.
I had a professor who wasn't given a full time job at Williams and ended up at Nova. He's great.
PITT and NOTRE DAME
I'm persecuting Bruce Pearl like Jesus right now.
Falcons, Ravens, Eagles, Seahawks, Cardinals
BIRD ATTACK. COMING AT YOU FROM ABOVE. (I wouldn't have picked the Cardinals or Seahawks if I hadn't picked the other three birds). COMMITMENT TO A BIT.
DEAR GODS OF PICK SIX. MAY YOU GUIDE MY PICKS TO BE TRUE. SINCERELY. SPIKE.
1. Every time we pick against the Patriots, bad things happen. Ain’t nothing stopping Tom Brady and those fine locks of hair. PATS
2. Both Navy and Army played Duke this year. Army killed us at home and we put up quite a few points on Navy in Annapolis. That being said, the stats all say that Navy is better and oddly enough, I agree. MIDSHIPMEN.
3. Where does a degree from Nova take you?
4. As we’ve said before, we can’t ever pull for Tennessee. (P.S. thank you Jim for giving us the opportunity to use this video again) Also, Pitt has produced one of my favorite non-Duke players ever, DeJuan Blair, whose butt the New York Times deemed a worthy topic for a feature story. No, really, I’m not making that up. PITTSBURGH
Ever since Len Elmore picked Gonzaga to win the national title this year, I just want them to lose every single game in a blowout. NOTRE DAME
Side note - how is it that Duke gets stuck with some combination of Mike Patrick, Len Elmore and Dick Vitale for every single game, but teams like Florida and Memphis get the good guys, like Jay “Batman” Bilas (listen to his voice closely) or Bobby Knight?
5. We aren’t picking against Shane’s homeboy. HILLSIDE.
6. This question has given us--well, one of us--quite a lot of grief. But we're playing to win.
-We love rooting for teams with this mascot. LIONS
-Atlanta-Carolina really shoudn't be close. FALCONS
-I want to believe that the Bucs can respond from these last two losses and prove that they really are the coolest team in the NFL. TAMPA BAY
-Teams keep winning with interim coaches. I don't know why. BRONCOS
-Speaking of interim coaches, Dallas is one stupid Roy Williams fumble away from being undefeated under Jason Garrett. I expect that to continue. DALLAS
1. The Patriots (and Brady's hair) look like they are finally Nsync. I will go with my adopted New England team that I don't actually care about. PATRIOTS
2. Is the game being played on land? Normally I would say this bodes well for Army. But I think the absence of the ocean's waves will propel the seamen* faster than they go down my shower drain. NAVY
*Get it? The words sound similar.
3. Appalachian St. sounds like it would produce hearty mountain men. I'll go with them.
4. I'm going to go with the home teams, PITT and NOTRE DAME
5. I can't bet on a team that would name themselves the "bumpkins." HILLSIDE
6. NFL desperation picks, I'm going big or I'm going home.
Browns at Bills (-1)
Giants at Vikings (Pick 'em)
Bengals at Steelers (-9)
Buccaneers (-3) at Redskins (because the Skins are just so fucking good)
Falcons (-8) at Panthers
Patriots (-3) at Bears
Pats v. Bears: Patriots. They spanked the Jets. Following such total domination, there is a chance that this could be a let-down week for the Pats. Chicago’s stifling defense has only allowed 16 points per game, they are at home, they have a five-game win streak, and Jay Cutler hasn’t been, you know, atrocious lately. But the Pats have their swagger back. And they are 20-1 in their last 21 games vs. teams from the NFC.
Army v. Navy: Navy. My ex-boyfriend went to Navy. This was his favorite game every year. A few months ago, I was standing outside Grand Central Station, in the exact place where he once threw up all over the sidewalk, so I decided to text him out of the blue to say hi. I didn’t expect him to respond, because he sort of hates me now. I deserve it, but whatever. I shockingly received an immediate text. It said: “This is Bill’s wife. I would appreciate if you never texted him again. Thanks.” So yeah. His wife. Responded to my text. About public puking. Color me amused, stunned, and somewhat horrified. Every part of me wants to pick Army in an upset. I’d like to pretend it is because I am a bigger person, waving a proverbial olive branch and all, but it is just that I like winning more than holding a (fake) grudge.
Villanova v. App State: Villanova. Let’s continue with ridiculous stories, shall we? When I moved to North Carolina, my mom told me about this “gorgeous West Coast guy” who “played football at my high school” and was “really involved in class,” who had just moved to Wilmington the previous year. She said this to verbally bribe me into false excitement, because I was beyond depressed about leaving New York. Still, I was intrigued. I imagined this Mark Sanchez-like dreamboat driving me to school every day. By “gorgeous West Coast football player leader genius,” my mom had meant “tall, chubby, red-headed, Bible beating tight end from a small town in Colorado.” He played football for App State. I am still disappointed. It is probably smarter to pick App, but I just can’t. Consider this a real grudge.
Tenn v. Pitt/Gonzaga v. ND: Pitt, ND. Gonzaga is 4-4 in the WCC, while Notre Dame is 8-1 in the beast that is the Big East. And Pitt is just better, one of the most dominant teams of the season thus far. I don’t see an upset happening here.
Hillside v. Davie: Hillside. I did not realize that this cycle would be Pick Five + Hillside. This was the conversation that I just had on g-chat:
me: what sport is #5? football? again?
Davie County Country Bumpkins does not come up in google
this was a joke I understand
Hillside again for chrissake.
Enough said. This is worse than when Shane went on that crazy golf streak.
Teaser: Jets. Broncos. Giants. Browns. Redskins.
Here's a funny link.
3. APP STATE
4. PITTSBURGH, GONZAGA
6. Lets go big this week: JETS, BROWNS, PACKERS, GIANTS, STEELERS,
FALCONS, SAINTS, PATRIOTS, CHARGERS, EAGLES
This week, my attitude is sponsored by the devil may care persona I began cultivating last week. Brought to you by the letters K-F-I-T-U-C. In no particular order (except one particular order.)
1. My allegiance with the Patriots last week was not well-received by one of my very dearest friends, a die-hard Jets fan and a true peach of a hat-wearer. At this point, I am already losing Pick Six anyway. However, I cannot afford to jeopardize my friendship any further. J-E-T-S!
2. Having never played flip-cup with any members of the Navy, I don't really know what they bring in terms of competitive spirit. I mean, I guess the armed forces guys all get a little... wound up sometimes, but I'm going to stick with Army.
3. I once worked at a camp with a girl that went to Appalachian State and the resounding impression of the school that I got was that it was really critical how you pronounced Appalachian. Hint: it's not at all how a. you'd think or b. anyone outside of Appalachian State actually says it.
4. I feel like throwing Tennessee and Pittsburgh into the wording of this pick was a bit of a red herring for me. I saw those names and I was already thinking of where my feelings stood with each: On the one hand, I really like how people in Tennessee are into volunteering (in theory), but on the other, I am also very excited by the idea that Pitt is sort of an onomatopoeia (is that the one where a word sounds like what it describes?) But, wait, Carrie, hold the bus. That isn't even the pick. Ugh. Notre Dame had Rudy, right? And then Gonzaga had John Stockton? Only one of those notables played basketball, though, so... Gonzaga. (PS, I would have ended up picking Tennessee. So I guess we'll just have to tennesSEE about that.) (Wait, time out. We ARE supposed to pick both. Okay. Well, please refer to my last parenthetical.)
5.Sticking with good ol' Hillside. At this point, I have incredibly strongbad feelings about any team that would try to take them down after "all" "my" "investment".
6. Okay, so I've received some very kind fanfare for my bold decision to be the lone courter (courtesan?) of The Temptress last week. But, truth be told, I didn't really opt into it out of bravery. I genuinely did think everyone else would end up doing it and I would look dumb if I didn't. So, basically if succumbing to peer pressure is at all comparable to bravery, I was in fact very brave. I had to talk myself into it still, so I guess there was like a modest amount of courage involved, but I was mostly just trying not to be left behind. However, this week, I am very very much behind anyway, so I'm going big on this one. I don't love the phrase "go big or go home" but I do love when people actually go big or actually go home. This week, with Pick Six purgatory on the line, I've got to go big. Do I have to go as big as I am about to? Shane and his helpful explanatory mathing told me no. BUT I LAUGHED IN HIS FACE. I am doing it anyway. I am picking 'em all*!
*except for the Colts, aka The Symbol of My Dashed Dreams. I've taken enough risk on you, Peyton. We're on a break.
Browns at Bills (-1)
Packers (-7) at Lions
Giants at Vikings (Pick 'em)
Bengals at Steelers (-9)
Buccaneers (-3) at Redskins
Falcons (-8) at Panthers
This one's for you, Dad: Raiders at Jaguars (-5)
Rams at Saints (-10)
Seahawks at 49ers (-5)
Patriots (-3) at Bears
Dolphins at Jets (-6)
Broncos at Cardinals (Pick 'em)
Chiefs at Chargers (-7)
Eagles (-4) at Cowboys
Ravens (-3) at Texans
I have to say, it was a great move by Spike to invoke the Pick 6 Gods. I'd be very surprised to see him lose. Meanwhile, Carrie is like a sad old man at a casino. Maybe he had a nice run early in the night, and a crowd of people were watching and he felt like a million bucks. Now, the money's all gone but he's trying to recapture that feeling, making crazy bets and looking around, hoping to rekindle the vibe. But it's 4am, and the only person still around is the prostitute he hired when times were good. And crap, he still owes her a thousand dollars! I wonder if she'll take a discount if I just let her go home?
That's Carrie, all right. See you on Monday, friends. Don't forget to make your hot potato pick below. If you played last time, use your same name. GO DUKE.