1) I brought this up on Facebook yesterday: why is it that people who update their status message with inane crap every four seconds always have like 15 people responding? It's like a social circle of enablers. I keep expecting that extreme over-posting behavior will be curbed by the culprit's friends getting annoyed; I keep expecting the foaming well of affirmative comments and 'likes' to run dry. But it doesn't happen. Shouldn't we be conditioning these people to shut up by virtue of a cold, puritan silence? What's happening here, guys and gals? I'm serious: if anyone can explain this phenomenon, I am all ears.
2) Look, I'm getting old. Most of y'all reading this blog are grown-ups too. None of us are starry-eyed kids anymore. We know that the world can be a pretty unfair place sometimes, and maybe that even makes us a little cynical. It's only human; we have to keep our guard. We might get hurt. But sometimes, in special moments, it's possible to open ourselves to beauty and let the magic shine in. Sometimes, the good guy wins.
It's almost the holiday season, and I'd like to warm your hearts by recognizing a wonderfully positive event in the sports universe.
Last night, Lebron James and the Miami Heat embarrassed the Cleveland Cavaliers on their home floor.
We are all witnesses. Happy Holidays.
3) Seriously, though, I was kind of excited to watch the drama unfold yesterday. Then there were 7 minutes left in the first quarter, and I realized I had nearly stopped breathing from boredom. This keeps happening to me with the NBA.
4) My 100th Twitter follower is: Arjun Chandran! Congratulations Arjun. Here is your name, on the Internet! What a special time for you!
Also, I'm pretty sure Arjun was like my 96th follower, de-friended me yesterday when I said the 100th follower would be get to be on the blog, waited for the numbers to reach 99, and then re-friended me to be the 100th. I have to admire that kind of chutzpah. Arjun, please comment and tell us how you feel.
5) I've been covering Durham's Hillside High as they go for the 4-A state championship in North Carolina. Their QB, Vad Lee, is headed to Georgia Tech next year. The fourth installment, from the state quarterfinals, is now up. Check 'er out here if that's your thing. I think it's the best one yet, though some of the commenters on the story accuse me of either giving away Hillside's plays or being racist. Lots of fun.
Time is a'wasting, SON. Let's get to it:
VOLUME TWO, WEEK FIVE
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 Four
1. Nick: 18.5
2. S&S: 18.5
3. Mike: 18.5
4. Carrie: 18.5
5. Spike: 18.0
6. Jill: 16.5
In case you didn't notice, that is a FOUR-WAY TIE. Last week, Carrie set a Pick Six record with 12 points. After kvetching about the math, she put her nose to the grindstone, got out her calculator, and dusted the competition. From the basement to first she went, a journey nobody thought was possible. Nick wasn't far behind, scoring 11 to go from fifth to first. Moving Week lived up to its reputation, my friends, oh yes it did. Those near the top didn't score nearly as well, and thus it's a cluttered leaderboard. Even Jill, sitting in dead last, is only two points out. And things are about to get crazier.
Let us not forget:
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: "Hey, look...do I think there's anything wrong with women? No! Of course not, that's absurd! Am I surprised that they're losing an athletic contest to a group of guys? No. No. I'm not. I'm always going to be honest with you guys, you know that, and I'm just not surprised at this. I'm not a stupid guy, okay? I've seen sports before. I think it's great that women play sports. I'm not going to sit here and say that Title IX was a bad thing. I don't know what it was, but it happened, okay, and now it's in the books. But I've watched these sports, I've seen how it goes, and frankly, women are weighed down by...well, let's say certain assets. They're not as physically fast! Folks, I'm not saying anything science won't back me up on. You can look it up. These are hard facts. Do you think someone like Rebecca Lobo could beat Lebron James one-on-one? Come on.
So, okay, we know their breasts are a huge impediment, so why should this be any different for predictions? I don't see a good reason. I just don't. I really just don't. I just don't. Look, I wish women the best. I've had relationships with women before. Hell, I would love if they could keep up. But you're seeing it from the numbers, folks. The guys are winning. I have a lot of sympathy for women, but I don't think they should be predicting sports. And the numbers are bearing that out.
But I'll give you the last word."
Thanks Bill! Here's the docket, my friends, with the first 6 from our old pal and Montana partisan Jim, and the Temptress from me:
1. MNF: Jets v Patriots, I don't know if you heard but the Jets are calling Tom Brady's hair shameful.
2. SEC Showdown: Auburn v South Carolina, can Newton pull off another great comeback.
3. NAIA College Football Rematch: Carrol College Fighting Saints v. Saint Xavier Cougars. This has been a classic NAIA playoff matchup! Can you imagine a Cougar beating a Saint in a bar fight? Look for another miracle!
4. Awesome college basketball Saturday : UNC V. Kentucky, can WonderRoy turn it around? Or will the fall helplessly to the wayside and forever become irrelevant in college basketball?
5. NCAA MEN'S SOCCER! UNC battles SMU to get in to the men's semis, do they have the chutzpah?
6. High school football, North Carolina: Hillside High School takes on New Bern High in Durham. This is the state semifinals. Both teams are 14-0, both earned regional #1 seeds, and they have no common opponents. This will be awesome.
THE TEMPTRESS!: The temptress is a bonus category. It is completely optional. You can choose to ignore the temptress, but there may be some for whom her siren song is too alluring. Here's how it works: this is the pick six, so you have the opportunity to win six points by picking six winners in the NFL. This can include the MNF game or not, it's up to you. If you pick all six winners correctly (straight up, no spread), you earn SIX bonus points and a huge advantage going into the final week. But like any good temptress, it can break your heart: one miss, and you lose 10 POINTS and are probably out of the running. Again, you have to be absolutely perfect in this category. BLESS YOU ALL.
We begin with Nick E., the thorn in Kim Jong-Il's side:
1. It goes against my better judgment, but I can't pick against my
beloved Jets. I'll take Rex and the Sanchise in a statement game. JETS
2. Cam Newton has been just amazing, putting up eight touchdowns in the last two games. I'll take AUBURN.
3. I was going to pick St. Xavier, because I've always liked both Professor X and Jesuits. Then I found out St. Xavier was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. BOO! CARROLL
4. Prince Harry is shooting .338 on the YEAR. Not only that, but he continues to force up contested jump shots instead of working with his team. UNC as a team is shooting 198-429 (.461) and 33-91 (.363) from three. Take out HB and those numbers are 171-349 (.490) and 25-66 (.379) from three. You know, somewhat respectable. Just for kicks,
lets replace Prince Harry's line from UNC's last game and replace it with, oh I don't know, Kyrie Irving's last game.
UNC with HB: 27-58 (5-15 from three), 46.6 FG% and 67 points
Bizarro UNC with KI: 33-61 ( 6-14 from three), 54.1 FG% and 90 points
Just sayin'.... KENTUCKY
5. I don't know much about men's soccer, but there's no way I can root
for the Heels. SMU
6. This again? Who cares. HILLSIDE
There's no way I'm falling for the TEMPTRESS trap. It's incredibly hard to pick six games in a row in any sport, much less the Parity
Football League. Playin this one smart and sitting it out.
Normally Sabreena does the picking and my role is to offer weak commentary and the occasional YouTube link. Well this week, I'm taking over. I'll warn you all, the only sport I actually watch is college basketball. The rest of my sports knowledge is limited to whatever I absorb subconsciously when I fall asleep in front the TV and accidentally leave Sportscenter on.
1. Patriots - Picking against them hasn't worked in the past, so trying something new here.
2. Auburn - I'm thinking that poor boy wants to make everyone stop talking about how his dad tried to pimp him out, so he'll play really well and lead Auburn to victory. Plus, Auburn's colors are pretty much the same as Syracuse, which is my second favorite college basketball team. Speaking of Syracuse, I bet Jim Boeheim wishes he could borrow Kyrie Irving for Tuesday's game against MSU. And how did this dunk not make top plays?
3. Fighting Saints - Like Bill Simmons' daughter, I love purple. The Fighting Saints wear purple. That works.
4. Kentucky - If I could have it my way, the roof of the Dean Dome would cave in. But since there has to be a winner, I'll take Kentucky. The real category to pick for this game should have been number of Larry Drew's passes that go into the stands. I'll guess two.
5. UNC - It's men soccer. Am I supposed to care? Let's make fun of Carolina basketball some more. This category could have been how many airballs (free throws and jump hooks included) is John Henson going to shoot against Kentucky? I'm going to guess three.
6. Hillside - Apparently this Vad Lee kid is kind of good, so let's go with Hillside.
And now, the exciting conclusion to the joke I posted 2 weeks ago....
Two drums and a cymbal roll downhill ...RIMSHOT
1. People around Boston seem to like Brady. But I heard from my barber he wears hair extensions (true story). Hope they don't affect his throwing arm. PATRIOTS
2. I think Auburn will win. They are playing for a shot at the title and are just the better team. But Spurrier once coached the Redskins AND Duke. USC
3. No idea what sport this is. Mother Teresa was a saint, but I wouldn't put money on her against a cougar. COUGARS
4. KENTUCKY. In depth sports analysis: FUCK UNC.
5. UNC. They are ridiculously good at soccer.
6. I'm not doing research on this. I pick the school that Shane gushes over. HILLSIDE
A temptress you say? Look at her sitting at the edge of the bar. She knows everyone is looking and she likes it that way. Her coyness cannot disguise the flutter of her eyelashes...but I heard this joke from Kyrie that said she had syphilis, so I am going to steer clear. Thanks Kyrie, you have done so much for me.
1. This is a tough one for me. As you may know, I have a long-standing (yet still inexplicable) crush on Bill Belichick. But recently, I have been delighted by the jumping side bumps that Rex Ryan shares with his players. I love a comeback and it seems like the Jets are incapable of just coming out early and taking a convincing lead, which for a casual fan makes for very exciting last few minutes. (I feel like for the more devoted fans, this makes for potential heart failure.) I need Tom Brady to wash his hair, but even I can't blame his team for that. Ultimately, I think the Patriots aren't going to lose this game at Foxboro*.
*I always want to say Foxwoods. Which? I feel like Rex Ryan is probably a gambling man but I bet Bill Bellichick doesn't fuck around with luck. Hey! Both coaches have alliterative names. That's FUN.
2. I know it was a real crowd-pleaser the first time around, but I don't need to tell my Auburn, CA story again, do I?
3. Upon first reading of this category, I wrote back to Shane to have him clarify what sport we were talking here*. Mid-email, I realized that it actually didn't matter at all. My preferred picking style is equal opportunist for all sports. In the heirarchy of great mascot-ery, oxymoronic mascots are like a whole higher echelon of awesome. So, obviously, I have to go with The Fighting Saints. Also? How cool is that the Fighting Saints are playing a team from Saint Xavier college? Super cool, is all I'm saying.
*Just in case you were wondering, it's football.
4. I'm still pretty ticked that my recent suggestion to call Kim Jong Il's SCSD! spinoff blog "Il Communication" caused doubt as to its pop cultural relevance and ultimately was not adopted, so part of me wants to root for UNC here. But, I've always thought Kentucky was nice and still somewhat underrated. I mean the state itself, but the distinction between state and college is inconsequential to me. I'll mis-over-generalize all over the place. I will also hyphenate all over the place. As is my wont.
5. That said, I'm taking UNC for this one. This won't be a popular opinion on this particular blog, but I like the Tarheels' shade of blue.
6. I feel a little bit like a conditioned rat here, but aren't we all rooting for Hillside at this point?
I'm doing it, guys! I am fighting every cowardly bone in my body (which is every bone in my body) to be brave and risk it all. I wouldn't say I am tempted so much as I would chalk it up to more of like a desperate hail mary. I usually get very nervous about my NFL picks from week-to-week, but surprisingly bulked like this six at a time, I felt less pressure. Distributive Property of... something. So, here goes nothing:
New Orleans over Cincinnati, Chicago over Detroit, Indianapolis over Dallas, Kansas City over Denver, Green Bay over San Francisco, Seattle (swoon, Pete Carroll) over Carolina.
(Editor's Note: The entire Pick-6 world just stood up and cheered as one.)
THE FIGHTIN SAINTS!
(Editor's Note: Great work, Spike. I didn't think you could top last week.)
Jets v Patriots: Patriots. This could be the game of the year, with first place in the AFC East at stake. We have Baywatch vs. Justin Bieber’s father, a rivalry and revenge match, and most importantly – especially with extra time to prepare – Darth Sidius vs. Sexy Rexy. The Evil Genius will have the Pats ready for this one and playing at Foxboro doesn’t hurt.
Auburn v. South Carolina: Auburn. I do not believe that Cam Newton was clueless in any or all of his scandals; however, now that he has been cleared to play, I have no doubt that he will continue to dominate. The Tigers are a bit vulnerable defensively, but the Cocks are not much better. And as much as it pains me to admit, Newton is a special cheater player who can carry his entire team.
Those Random NAIA Teams: Carroll. It bothers me that the “Fighting Saints” seems like an oxymoron, while “SXU” seems like a porn channel or erotic radio station, which I fully support. Saint Xavier has a crazygood offense that averages 51 points per game, but Carroll is a really strong team with no obvious flaws. To win, SXU needs their run game to be explosive and I don’t see it happening. [Sidenote: I just realized that the Fighting Saints’ mascot is actually a dog. A dog that gave an interview. I am so confused].
University of Harrison Barnes vs. Kentucky: Kentucky. Roy Williams is a whiny bitch and I hope UNC loses every game they play. Fortunately, the Preseason All-American frosh continues to wet the bed. Do I think he will have a breakout game? Yes, I do. But not this one. UNC has looked clueless lately. No passion, no leader, no free throw ability, and way too many turnovers. I bet having a .500 record will be a lot of fun, though. Good luck with that.
UNC vs. SMU: UNC. UNC is seeded #4, SMU is seeded #5, but UNC is simply a better team. They have not played well lately (they have only scored one goal this postseason, beating Georgetown and MSU in penalty kicks). That said, it is not like SMU is an offensive juggernaut, or for that matter, a defensive one (ranked 91st in scoring defense).
Hillside vs. New Bern: Hillside. Yeah, I have no idea why we are still discussing high school football. When I was in North Cackalacky, my softball team played New Bern every year; they always sucked and the 3-hour drive from Wilmington was pretty much heinous. Besides my lingering grudge, I lived in Durham for seven years, so my heart is with Hillside and the Vad. I also support Shane’s continuing quest for fame and glory, and hope he gets to write several more articles/novels on a topic 14 people follow. (Editor's Note: Q: What's wrong with extreme lawyer jokes? A: Lawyers don't think they're funny, and nobody else thinks they're jokes.)
The Temptress: Abstain. I know that I am a hypocrite for abstaining from this (especially because I am losing. To everyone. I don’t want to talk about it). But I am only 2 points behind, there is still a week left, and I am not yet ready to concede total failure. 10 points is a lot. Just for kicks, I would pick: Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay, Kansas City, New York Giants, and San Diego. Selfishly, I really hope that one of the above-mentioned loses so I don’t want to light myself on fire.
That's it! Props again to Carrie for trying to woo the Temptress. It takes a brave lady, and I hope you bed that coy sprite. For fun, here are my Temptress picks: Saints, Bears, Dolphins, Vikings, Chargers, Seahawks. Feel to make yours below, and I'll write a haiku for you on Monday if you're right.
I'm going to try to write a little something about Duke-Butler tomorrow morning. Have a great weekend, and don't look this awful man in the eye: