VOLUME FOUR, WEEK THREE
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six sports 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:
Here's how it looks:
The Last Chance Gals (3rd attempt, win or bust): Swetha & Sabreena
Purgatory Part 1: Marc, Monty
Newcomers: Craig & Tim, Tim B., John
-Volume Four Intros
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
3. Patrick and Dylan
1. Swetha & Sabreena - 4
2. Tim B. - 4
3. Craig & Tim - 2
4. Monty - 1
5. John - 1
6. Marc - 0
Time for this week's docket:
1. Holy shit, greatest French Open semi-finals ever, Part One: Can Roger Federer do the unthinkable and end Djokovic's streak? Does the Djoker have more than just an Australian Open title buried in that soul? 2 points if you pick Federer, 1 point if you pick Djokovic.
2. Holy shit, greatest French Open semi-finals ever, Part Two: Rafa vs. Murray. Murray may have hurt himself in the third round, though you'd be hard pressed to tell, and Rafa is giving press conferences where he says he's not good enough. Which beleaguered star makes the finals? 2 points if you pick Murray, 1 for Rafa.
3. Sunday is Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Will Dallas defend their court?
4. Bruins-Canucks, NHL finals, game 2, Vancouver, Saturday. Who wins?
5. There are 15 series this weekend in MLB. How many of them end up in sweeps? 4 points if you nail it, 3 points if you're the closest, 2 points if you're second, 1 point if you're third. (I know some of them start on Thursday, so just be warned: the Thursday game doesn't count).
6. MIND BENDER: How many points will Swetha & Sabreena get over the first 5 questions? 2 points for the closest guess.
We begin with the gals who lead for the second straight week:
While we still hold the coveted position atop the field (or at least atop the ranting list given that we are in a tie for first), we thought we’d give some shoutouts.
First, to the Giants for winning the World Series last year (never thought I’d say that) and giving the NL the interleague point. Yay for Ryder Cup rules! Although, that Posey injury is a real downer, even though one of us has a strange fascination with gruesome sports injuries.
Second, to Carrie and Jill for being an awesome fan base and making a chant for us. We’d like to think that was all we were missing.
And finally, to the Toronto Blue Jays, whose incompetence has left us hungrier than ever and still in the pursuit of perfection. Although I will never understand using a pinch-runner when said runner can’t score on a double from first--I’m looking at you, Mike McCoy.
Before we get to the tennis picks, in honor of the French Open, a video that will make you want to run out to buy Rosetta Stone - Bradley Cooper speaking fluent French. God is that a beautiful... language, yeah we'll go with language. If you’re only going to click one of our links, this should be it.
1. As much as we want Federer to win this one to restore our faith in tennis (those epic Nadal-Federer finals really were the good ole days), Djokovic seems to be on a roll. It’s okay though, this gives us a chance to make up more nicknames for him. Djokobitch? Djoko is Loco? Novak is whack? PS. His head is shaped like an eraser. DJOKOVIC.
2. We’re convinced that Andy Murray is never going to win anything significant and will forever be a part of whiny “oh pooey, an Englishman has never won Wimbledon so Murray is Britain’s only hope” features. Rafa and his wedgie picking are going to take this one. NADAL.
3. Miami definitely has the edge in hometown media, with our favorite child journalist superstar - Damon Weaver, but you gotta believe Dallas has the momentum after that awesome comeback in Game 2. DALLAS.
4. We really know nothing about hockey, and have successfully avoided it until now, so this question presents a real conundrum. As much as we hate Boston teams, these NHL playoffs have been really back and forth, so we see the series evening up in Game 2. BRUINS.
5. I tried to find some sort of stat that says how many MLB series end in sweeps, but the search proved elusive, so instead, we have called upon recent history. The number of sweeps in the last five weekends - 4, 6, 5, 2, 2.
So, essentially, there's no pattern. Here's our best guess. FOUR.
6. There is way too much pressure on this question, even though we’re flattered at being included in the docket. Brings back fond memories of Shane and Spike’s epic Scrabble clash when we learned that Shane has Scrabble ethics, but is not very good at Scrabble. SIX.
I wanted to tear into John for taking offense at my insidious use of quotation marks and for fulfilling his role as my foil, but then two weeks passed, and I kind of forgot about it, and I heard that Broken Bells song I really like about “The High Road” and, well, I don’t really know what it’s about, but it talks about a high road, so I’m taking it. Then I decided to just whine about Shane giving the tie to the NL and citing the Ryder Cup for doing it, in doing so latently praising the RC for the absolute worst part of it (if it’s tied, you play sudden-death match play with a captain’s choice; it’s what the President’s Cup does, and tell me this wouldn’t be the second-most captivating moment in golf history, behind only that brief second where it looked like Bob May’s putt on the 76th hole of the 2000 PGA* was going in), but I’m an NL guy at heart, and since the AL has the competitive advantage when it comes to the DH, I agree that ties should go to the Senior Circuit. So here’s some Shaq.
*The 2000 PGA Championship is the greatest golf tournament ever.
The only relevant moment of the last 15 years of the All-Star Game, there. I was reading somewhere this week that Shaq’s propensity to play the star off the court hurt him on it. Well, dude went 30 and 15 in two straight playoffs and won three Finals MVPs. Todd MacCulloch still has nightmares from guarding Shaq while he’s playing pinball. Watching Shaq destroy my Nets was the most helpless feeling in sports. With Kobe (and all great shooting guards for that matter), stopping them seems plausible. With Shaq in his prime, it never did.
1. Wow! You’re telling me this is the greatest French Open semifinal ever??? What incredible previous semis does it top? Surely it can’t be better than Gaudio/Coria/Nalbandian/Henman? Or Federer/Nadal/Davydenko/Puerta? Is it really a French Open without Juan Carlos Ferrero? Or Guga?* The point is, calling this year the best French Open Semis ever is like calling “Live the life you imagined” the best part of Walden. The competition doesn’t really register.
*That’s not being facetious.
At what point do we begin to wonder if Federer is hanging on too long? I know it’s not yet, but we’re getting there, aren’t we? Djokovic in straights.
2. Is Andy Murray, in his prime, that much better than Tim Henman, in his prime? I don’t follow this sport enough to know. Nadal in straights.
3. I’m trusting Shane on this one since I’m sending it in prior to the end of Game 2. With no analysis at all, I’ll go with whoever lost Game 2 to bounce back.
4. So, in preparation for these Finals, I did what I always do for championship rounds (for football and hockey), which is try to simulate the action on the old Nintendo game of my youth. Breaking out the “Blades of Steel” cartridge, I was saddened to realize the Bruins were not one of the eight teams in the game. Neither, amazingly, are the Red Wings. My sadness was immediately erased by the awesome “Blades of Steel” music, which is like 10 times better than the “Hockey Night in Canada” theme that those north of the border admire so much. Also, if Fox had made the players holding the puck glow, instead of just the puck, I’m pretty sure the lockout wouldn’t have happened.
Expect a cleaner game, which means more five-on-five, which means special teams don’t kill the Bruins, who bite back in Game 2.
P.S. I suck at that game now, just like I sucked at it when I was a kid. And I really wanted to pick the Canucks there.
5. Arizona and Atlanta seem the best bet, if only because the unbeatable Dillon Gee is going up against noted Met-killer Jair Jurrjens (who’s been killing a whole bunch of teams this season, although like 2009, his ERA and FIP are out of whack, so it probably won’t last. Sell high, fantasy compatriots). Philly or San Fran (the Giants and Rockies play some weird series) might slip in there, with a fourth coming out of the blue (like BAL over TOR or BOS over OAK, with John Lackey finding a way to beat Trevor Cahill on Sunday).
So let’s go with four, which I imagine will probably be the stock answer, but I had to pretend to arrive at it logically instead of “Well, four seems about right.”
6. Well, four seems about right.
(They’ll get the Djokovic and Nadal because they’re conservative when it comes to sports they don’t know, they’ll get the Heat because they’re good with sports they do know, they’ll go home-ice when it comes to hockey, and they will finish third in terms of sweeps.)
We plan on following up with a more elaborate reasoning behind these selections later on, but just in case something comes up…here are our picks for this week.
Question 1: Federer
Question 2: Nadal
Question 3: Dallas
Question 4: Bruins
Question 5: 2 sweeps
Question 6: 5 points
To start with - I'm going to pick the Mavericks to win game 2 in Miami. I think it should be obvious to everyone that Dallas is a team that will probably get down around 15 points and then storm back and win at the end. Older players are usually more explosive than younger players at the end of a game.
1. Jesus. This is the most unanswerable question ever. I kind of think that Djokovic is going to do it. But Federer has been playing really well and I think he really wants to prove that he doesn't suck. So I'm going to go with Federer.
2. This is not hard. Rafa is going to win. You don't beat Rafa on clay
unless he's hurt - and I don't think Andy 'choke in big games' Murray is going to be the one to set a new precedent here.
3. Yes. They will. (Dallas wins.) Hi Nowitzki. Zomg. I mean - who knew that the Germans were this good at basketball? (I mean, other than Mark Cuban, who has
held to the long-term strategy of keeping a team built around a tall German who doesn't fit any of the traditional superstar models. Of course, Mark has also invested in a chain of indie file theatres and the HDNet cable channel...)
4. Who cares? Oh - wait. I suppose someone is watching hockey. Um - let's say Canucks. I hear that they're Canadian - which means that they are inherently better than us at all forms of this sport that aren't this past year's olympics. Also, this is going to be a year when no Boston sports team wins anything. Just saying.
5. I did some math. In fact - I even wrote a computer program to do the complex mother fucking math I did. It's in the programming language scheme as interpreted by the GNU Guile interpreter. It looks like this:
This resulted in the answer of: 6.
6. I think that S to the S is going to pull down 5 points. I think they're going to be second closest on the baseball, are going to nail hockey and NBA, and Rafa, and are going to miss the first French question.
Also - I'm pretty sure that I'm hungry, but have no food in the apartment other than gummi bears - and even though I'm in a city with 24-hour delivery service, that's too much effort - so I'm just going to sit here and watch sportscenter loop and drink some water.
Time and wit is short this week...answers quick and little thought out, maybe that's for the best.
1. I'm pumped for some good tennis...wish I wasn't stuck at work tomorrow while these babies are going on. I'm going to try to to see the scores, but I always blow that. Anyway, man these two are both playing lights out tennis! Can NoDjok be stopped? i don't know, but I still don't like him much. I think RFed is playing solid tennis and has about as much chance as anyone at unseating Nole. I figure if I keep betting against the Serb, I have to be correct at some point, right? FEDERER (I could use the points)
2. Murray is a half step slow and is making up for it by slugging the ball, which could actually improve his game. However, Nadal on Parisian clay is not who and where you want to be experimenting on a new style with: RAFA
3. Heat are tough...the Cubans go down: HEAT
4. Is hockey still going on? Shane, it would be interesting to write an article about Americans and hockey, except that I couldn't stand to read a piece more than a short paragraph about this boring sport. If soccer is the most beautiful game, what is hockey exactly? I'm not a big futbol fan, but I'll take it anytime over this, but yet it's more popular in the US (I assume)...why?
I visited Vancouver last year and it is a great city...so is boston now that I think about it, but Vancouver is fresher in my mind...Canucks!
5. no time for my planned elegant simulations involving records, probabilities, locations, temperatures, humidity, etc. based on coin flips you'd expect 3.75 series to sweep. I'll round up due to previously mention factors causing this expectation to increase: 4. I wonder there will be some nonsensical Shanian tie-breaker if more than one tie for closest. Like "sorry guys, you know i don't like ties and since a low era is good in baseball, I'm taking the guy below the right answer rather than above it...arbitrary? Maybe, but logical!"
6. hmm, in their email S&S stated that they would be perfect over 1-5 for 8 points...I guess that tips their hand that they are playing rafa/djok in #1 since 10 points are possible. I don't know what that means exactly, but I'm factoring it in somehow for an advantage. 4
Holy bananas. Time for a comeback. This is Duke vs. UNC in Durham 2011. I won't be stopped, I can't be stopped. As I survey my competition I can barely suppress my schoolgirl giggles as I know they will soon be crushed. I hope everyone had a fantastic memorial day. Some people see it as a wonderful day off from work. Other people make commentaries on the people who only see it as a day off from work. I see it as a day where people crowd the wonderful beaches of southeastern North Carolina and make me road rage because it takes thirty five minutes to drive two miles. However, we must thank the troops. For without the troops we wouldn't be able to engage in such wonderful activities such as the Pick Six. Hopefully there will be a time when we won't need any more troops, but people are idiots so that ain't happenin.
Before I start talking about sports I must regale everyone with information they don't need to know about me. I have huge nipples. It's kind of ridiculous. I also like to surf. Recently the water has warmed up enough for us surfers to shake off our stinky neoprene and wear only board shorts. This past week we have had surf three out of four days. My surfboard is covered in rough and sticky wax. When nipples meet wax bad things happen. Nipples + Wax = Destroyed nipples. I have scabs covering 50% of my nipple area. I put neosporin on my nipples to try and heal them. To top it all off my girlfriend thinks it's hilarious to pinch my overly large nipples. The more you know....
1. I'm really up in the air here. I think I'm going to use my supernatural math abilities and run a statistical analysis to prove stuff about data. Remember when John did stupid nerdy stuff like that. See how well it served him. If you take the formula f(x) + 39.7 * Switzerland/London minus the bear = Dicks. Roger Federer wins.
2. Here comes another formula for sphincters like John: Take the square root of the elderly mortality rate in Sri Lanka then add the mortgage derivative of the Atlantis Space Shuttle. Now with that result add that to the standard deviation of Rafa's biceps and subtract the amount of teeth in a Red Eared Slider. Simple stuff, I know. I'm on the same level as Carl Sagan. Nadal takes this shit.
3. Everything is bigger in Texas. At this moment I'm watching Game 2 and it seems the refs really really want Dallas to win. Therefore Dallas will win Game 3.
4. God I hate Boston. However now when I think of Boston I think of "The Town." And when I think of "The Town," I can think of Blake Lively and her naked pictures on the internet. Blake Lively is probably the hottest girl in the universe. When I see her I get sucked into a boner black hole that I don't emerge from for at least three days. Shit, now I'm going to miss my weekend. Fuck you Boston. Go Canucks!
5. Three sweeps. I asked a baseball expert. Thanks Nolan Ryan, now go beat up Robin Ventura again.
6. Swetha and Sabreena, the most dangerous pair in the Pick Six. Not most dangerous in that they'll win, but they might lecture you on the validity of WNBA fundamentals. No one cares about that. Seriously. S & S showed me a four hour long powerpoint presentation on why two handed layups are more advantageous than one handed layups. Then they tried to prove the WNBA was awesome by showing Candace Parker "dunking." Remember when she won the McD's dunk contest with her "no-look" dunk. That was dumb. Just like S & S. Shit yea I'm talking shit. Bring it on what up. They will get three points over the first five questions.
Gloves are off now. I'm coming for everyone.