12 December, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 14

And in record setting lateness, I make my Saturday nightcap with the Sunday picks, in which I give thanks that CryBaby Tebow gave way to his SEC tormentor Mark Ingram for the overrated Heisman Trophy. And this Sunday is really Separation Sunday for many clubs. My third goblet of wine is taking effect, and let's see if a buzz helps my anemic handicapping THIS week, truncated of course, by the Thursday game, which I would have given to Pissburgh as would have anyone not afflicted by any random mental condition with a Lake Erie address.

DENVER @ INDIANAPOLIS

The Colts have clinched the AFC South. They are a game away from clinching Home Dome for the playoffs. Denver's in pretty good shape wild card wise, but a win here would be bonus, and confidence building. Just like Gretzky in that Nike Commercial years ago-

Uh, no.

Colts by -7.

CINCINATTI @ MINI-SODA

The Cardy-noles exposed the Favres in the desert last Sunday. Tomorrow the Bungles further expose them in the Metrodome. I fully expect the now - defensively depleted Favres to get The Bungles' best shots. And they'll get it and they'll cover, if not win outright. Bungles and the +6 1/2.

NY JETS @ TAMPA BAY

The Suckaneers played well against a listless Panther team last week, but couldn't overcome the turnovers. The Jets will be without overrated rookie Sanchez. I like Tampa in this one in a game that will effectively eliminate the Jets from any foolish playoff talk. Suckaneers and +3.

BUFFALO @ KANSAS CITY

The Bills will feel right at home in a frosty Arrowhead Stadium. I still think the Chefs put on ONE MORE good home game for the fans other than that surprise over the Squeelers. This is one of them. A pick 'em, and I'm pickin' the Chefs.

GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO

Da Bears couldn't muster double digits over a pathetic Lambs team - The Packers are starting to peak at the right time, and they'll put away their ursine division mates handily. Wouldn't surprise me to go past -10, but for now, the -3 is plenty safe for the Packers.

NEW ORLEANS @ ATLANTA

Anyone taking the Deadskins last week made mucho. And I suspect it weren't many. No such shenanagins this week. The Duckies are depleted, and done. Saints by double digits.

DETROIT @ BALTY-MOORE

For the Ravens to return to the playoffs, this is "go time". It's a huge line, but given the importance of this game for the Quothers, I'd be inclined to take the -13 1/2.

MIAMI @ JACKSONVILLE

Of for the misfortune of the Jacksonville viewing area not to be treated to a renaissance of Jaggy-whyer football. I'm sure this is another non-sellout which forces the area to be stuck with watching the Duckies get rolled like so much asphalt. This is sure to be a body-bag game with plentiful hitting. But something about the Michigan Man at QB in a big game has got me convinced - Dolphins and the +2 1/2.

CAROLINA @ NEW ENGLANDLAND

Something stinks in Pastry-Rotsville. Something that won't be made up on the field against a supposedly "lesser opponent". The Panthers have what they have, which is "Moore of the same". Unspectacular QB play, punishing running game, and a developing defense, which believe it or not, is improving with each game. I think they keep it close. Cats to cover that insulting spread of +13 1/2.

SEATTLE @ HOUSTON

Two teams at 5-7, one seriously believing it was ready to step into the elite group, facing dissappointing conclusions to the season. No rally by Kubiak's kids, I believe will save his job, but tomorrow's shootout should be fun for all in attendance. I just don't think Houston covers. SeaDogs and the +6 1/2.

SAD LOUIS @ TENNESSEE

Let's see, the only starter to win for the Titans this year is out, and the VERY OLD Kerry Collins starts. No chance for the playoffs, and the Lambs really needing to get out of the season. Lambs covered last week against a mediocre opponent, I see them doing the same. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA and the +13.

WARSHINGTOON @ CrOKLANDLAND

On the surface, this looks like a contest between two Japaneese dudes in bad monster suits on 8mm film - But what this is, is a chance for the AfRaiders to further establish some legitimacy to their downtrodden franchise after the SHOCKER in Heinz Field last week. And for Bruce Gradowski to embellish his resume. The Deadskins are actually competetive, but like the rest of the bottom feeders of league, are pretty much playing out the string, and I'm wasting too much verbiage on a game of such low importance. CrOaklandland byt +1.

SAN DIEGO @ DALLAS

Ahhh, the first of two MEGA HUGE MARQUIS late games for the weekend! The Chargers bring their resurgent offense into Jerry's playhouse for a game that will go a long way in solidifying playoff positioning for the winner. And until they prove me different, I believe December is the Cowbabies' mortal enemy. Bolts and the +3.

PHILTHYDELPHIA @ NY GEEEMEN

The nightcap for the day truly worth waiting for! Should the Giants win, and the Cowpuppies lose, there will be a three way-tie for the division! Both teams are pretty beat up, but I think McSnabb's in better shape than Brotha Manning. Gimme the Iggles and the +1, and the GeeMen have to look to next year.

ARID-ZONA @ SAN FRANCISCO

This is pretty much the last stand for Samauri's boys if they are going to make a statement about the direction of their team. The Cardy-noles had THEIR statement game against the Favres last week. As much as I'd like to take the Niners, I think the whole Monday night deal won't be enough for the home Bay Area Boosters. Cardy-noles by -3 1/2.

THE CEDAR STREET SEER'S QUARTERLY REPORT - QUARTER 3

Good Saturday night to you all, Fanz!

A brutal stretch of days at the day job has gotten me to the keyboard on Saturdays only, and for brief stretches only. But I made a committment to keep blogging for the site, and I am VERY passionate about the league, even though the Panthers are quite the dissappointment this year. So, with four games left to go, there's plenty to figger out, but some playoff certainties.

Here's the big picture.

AFC DIVISION LEADERS

INDIANAPOLIS (12-0) CINCINATTI (9-3) SAN DIEGO (9-3) NEW ENGLANDLAND (7-5)

Of these four, The Colts have clinched. Another pair of wins probably guarantees a first-round bye and home field. The Bungles are win away from clinching the Norris Division, but San Diego all of a sudden has a resurgent Denver team a game behind. The Chargers have challenging games against the Cowbabies and Bungles, so you can't print playoff tickets yet. And stumbling New Englandland all of a sudden has to check it's six for the Dolphins and Jets - I have a feeling the Pastry-rots will have to fight till Week 16 for the East Division.


AFC WILD CARD HOPEFULS

DENVER (8-4) JACKSONVILLE (7-5) MIAMI (6-6) NY JETS (6-6) BALTY-MOORE (6-6) PISSBURGH (6-7)

The Broncoids have a good chance to make it if they can split their last two games, which could be CrOakland and KC. The other two are Indy and Philty away. Rotzaruck with that. Same deal with Jacksonville. Miami has a more favorable schedule than the Jets, but one of those HUGE pivital games is against the Jaggy-whyers. The dark horse here is the Ravens, who have a very doable final four against the Leos, Da Bears, Pissburgh and CrOakland. If you can, tuning into the Quothers for the remainder of the regular season could be quithe entertaining. And while the Squeelers could theoretically win their last three to go 9-7, so many tie breakers work AGAINST them, that really, math is their only ally right now. And this team, after losing to three of the league's bottom feeders in succession, is done.


AFC ON LIFE SUPPORT

TENNESSEE (5-7) HOUSTON (5-7) BUFFALO (4-8) CrOAKLAND (4-8)

Math keeps these guys in the picture, but really, the draft is in future of these guys, and not much else beyond spoiler.

AFC CASEY CLAUSSEN SWEEPSTAKES

KANSAS CITY (3-9) CLEVELANDLAND (2-11)

The Chefs have Matt Cassel. The Brownies have, uh, yeah, they want the Domer. They've got a shot, as their big game was played two nights ago.



NFC DIVISION LEADERS

NEW ORLEANS (12-0) MINI-SODA (10-2) DALLAS (8-4) ARID-ZONA (8-4)

The Saints have won their division, and will likely be playing in the Superdome for their first shot at the Super Bowl. They are truly the NFC's version of the '07 Pastry-rots. Unstoppable offensively, and good enough on defense to outscore ANYONE. Seeing them go undefeated will be the story of the rest of the season. And the Favres have FINALLY started to wear out! See! Just like I told you. Watch what happens when the Bungles roll in and tattoo the old man. The Cowpuppies are in a death match with the GEEEEEEEmen and Fleeeguls and December. Look out, Jerry. And unless Samauri's boys mount a rally, the Cardy-noles should be set for a second consecutive division title.


NFC WILD CARD HOPEFULS

PHILTHYDELPHIA (8-4) GREEN BAY (8-4) NEW YORK GEEEEEMEN (7-5) ATLANTA (6-6)

In this contest, the G'ints and Iggles will knock one of the other out of the chase. Things will get quite interesting if the GeeMen prevail this Sunday night. And the Packers are in great shape right now, because the schedule favours an 11-5 finish. Theoretically, the Duckies could go 10-6 and challenge, but they are far too depleted to mount a serious challenge. They will fade and only have second place in the Saints-dominated South to fight for, because the Panthers are a game behind.

NFC ON MATH SUPPORT

CHICAGO (5-7) CAROLINA (5-7) SAN FRANCISCO (5-7) SEATTLE (5-7)

During the Bo Jackson heydey, a cool Nike commercial had Bo doing all kinds of things with the stars of the day, who would say "Bo knows golf! Racing! Tennis! etc..

And during the hockey segment, Gretzky skated up and simply said -

uhhhh------


NO.

Not even spoiler.


NFC CASEY CLAUSSEN SWEEPSTAKES

WARSHINGTOON (3-9) DETROIT (2-9) TAMPA BAY (1-11) SAD LOUIS (1-11)

A dismal end to the season awaits this quartet. Josh Freeman had better spruce up his resume. Either the Suckaneers or Lambs are gonna make a big play for Chuckie Weiss' former pet QB.


So that's my view of the league at the home stretch - So how does the CSS see it coming down?

In the AFC, of course, the Colts get home field, but I think MIAMI, yes, the DOLPHINS overtake the Pastry-rots who COULD collapse at home against Carolina, and it's a forgone conclusion that the Bungles could NOT POSSIBLY bungle up their stranglehold on the division. I think the Chargers take the West, and the Broncoids snag one of the wild cards, and the Jaggy-whyers take the other spot. An Indy-Cincy championship game sounds great, but come on, you know the Colts are coming out of this conference.

In the NFC, the Saints are annointed with the Dome Field Advantage, and PHILTHY, YES, the IGGLES, win the division. The Favres, by virtue of their sweep of the former Favres, win the Norris, and Arid-Zona takes the division this weekend. And the Cowpuppies FINALLY get off the playoff schinde and get a wild card spot, as do the terrific Packers. Aaron Rogers will do what he can against the Saints, but the Black and Gold prevail, and all kinds of "Princess and the Frog" tie ins make the made-for Disney Saints story a kitschky back up for


SUPER BOWL XLIV whose winner I would not even begin to predict, only that it could go down as the highest scoring contest since Jake Delhomme got into a throwin' contest with Tommy Terrific.

Thank you so much, fanz, for continuing to read my drivel, and thanks so much, Lauren, for the great anniversary gifts of super-sized wine goblets that hold a half-bottle of wine that made a nice buzz with the quartely report. Another goblet accompanies me for the weekly handicap! Stay tuned!

Gotta Comment?

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CaptnTee@aol.com

CLACK CLACK CLACK!!!!

In the days of yore, circa 1980's, when the "Love House" was full of all kinds of debauchery that any frat boy would find cozy, events like watching sports were quite entertaining with the cast of charachters that usually assembled there. When most of the room were pulling for, say, the Tar Heels, a fatal misstep by the True Blue would find the propietor of the Love House, Fayette Jefferies Cloud, King Hed-ian, and NC SNAKE supreme commander, shouting -

CLACK CLACK CLACK! WOLFPACK! NC SNAKES R WIGGLIN!!!

or you could take any assemblage of nouns, adjectives, and add CLACK CLACK CLACK to it and it became a very effective and annoying derisive chant.

And Jeff was great at it.

And in watching the death throes of the Pissburgh Squeelers at the hands of the very WORST team in the league, those three words rose to my throat, and I exclaimed to no one in particular, Jeffie Love's favorite heckle. And I wanted to see those obnoxious arrogant Squeeler fans writhe in disgust at misfortune of the World CHUMPions. Especially that Keystone State goober SQUEELER MARK who calls into the WFNZ radio shows, and continuously puts down the Panthers, while extolling the might of his team.

But a sobering thought came to me yesterday.

The Squeelers are the chosen blueprint for the Big Cat and the team the PSL bought.

How is it that powerful teams from last year so underachieved this year?

A great safety makes a difference, but HOW DO YOU LOSE TO THE THREE WORST TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE! IN SUCCESSION!??

Small comfort in the fact we at least died with our boots on in losses to the Saints, Cowpuppies and Duckies, and Buffalo DID beat the Dolphins. But if you ask me, I'd rather be the Panthers right now than the Squeelers. Even with the snooze fest of last week's home game that I never had time to "rant" about, and really didn't have much to say. But the misfortune of the Squeelers?


heheheheheheh


At least SQUEELER MARK can't, and WON'T be going


CLACK CLACK CLACK

on the radio any more this year.

Four more games to go. Two more parties to go. A chance at a non-losing season at stake, at most.

I gotta get typing on the quarterly and the handicap.

Stay tuned.

05 December, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 13

Good Championship Saturday to you all, Fanz, and I hope you’re as entertained as I am watching the NFL’s farm system perform at it’s best today. ‘Cause you all know it’s Sunday that counts. And at last, here in Week 13, the playoff picture starts to take shape. It’s a certainty that New Orleans and Indianapolis win their divisions, with playoff seeding and staying healthy for the postseason the only factors concerning these clubs. Another certainty? The Panthers won’t be going to the dance, even though the math says there’s still a chance, but let’s get real, folks. At least the Duckies aren’t going, either.

This week, I’ll be offering a truncated list, as I didn’t get to the keyboard in time for the riveting Jets/Bills contest in Toronto. I’ll rip right into this as I want to miss as little as possible the second half of the SEC Championship game.

DENVER @ KANSAS CITY

All of a sudden, the Broncoids have gotten off the mat with an unexpected throttling of the G’ints on Thanksgiving. And the Chefs really disappointed me with their fold in San Diego. But this is at Arrowhead, and I think the Chefs give a little fight for their fans. Gimme the Chefs and the + 4 ½


CrOAKLAND @ PISSBURGH

If this game was being played at the Black Hole, I wouldn’t be so quick to pick the Squeelers, but this is a MAD game for Squeeltown, and Awfulsberger is back. Squeelers by -14 ½.


HOUSTON @ JACKSONVILLE

Amazingly enough, if the playoffs started today, the Jaggy-whyers would be in. This is going to be a body-bag game, and is a pick’em as of now. Too bad Alltel Stadium’s not sold out for this, cause this will be an exciting Jacksonville win.


TENNESSEE @ INDIANAPOLIS

I don’t know why the sports wags have all of a sudden fallen in love with the Titans. Yes, they have won 5 straight and are playing some good ball right now. But this is Peyton’s Place, and they’ve had enough close calls the past few weeks. Colts, easily, by -6 ½.


PHILTHYDELPHIA @ ATLANTA

A pair of wounded boids clash tomorrow, but the worst injuries are on the Duckie side. No Ryan, no Turner means the offense will struggle against the relentless Philthy blitz. McSnabb will find enough receivers to compensate for the loss of DeShawn Jackson. And expect rookie RB LeSean McCoy to make an impact in this game. Gimme the Iggles and the -5 ½.


DETROIT @ CINCINATTI

This is not a time for division leading Cincy to get complacent. Not with the Squeelers and Quothers still alive and with a chance. But I have a dilemma with this one - I refuse to take the Leos to cover the big spread, but almost every time I’ve taken the Bungles to cover one, they fail. I think the Leos might give them a fight, but I’m not bucking the trend. Hesitantly, I take the Bungles at home, and the -13.


NEW ORLEANS @ WARSHINGTOON

This could have all of the signs of a trap game, as this is almost the same team that beat the Saints at home last year around this time. But not this year. The win over the Pastry-Rots was virtually effortless, and although the DeadSkins are playing decent defense, I seriously doubt it will be enough to blunt the WhoDats. Brees and his offense can score, anywhere at anytime from any point on the field. On anyone. Especially the FredSkins. Saints by double digits.


TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA

PantherNation? You wanted Matt Moore? You got ‘im. But the Suckaneers are actually playing a bit better, and there’s a negative aura around the Panthers these days, and distractions concerning John BEASTon. The defense is crippled in the linebacking corps, and I think the Sucks make a game of it. No DeAngelo means double workload for Jonathan Stewart, who might wear out, forcing Moore to heave the biscuit to a double-covered Steve Smith. I think the Suckaneers cover the +6, and could even win this game against a reeling KittyCat team.

SAD LOUIS @ CHICAGO

Da Bears are another team that went into the season with high hopes, that’s pretty much playing for pride. But Steven Jackson’s having a pretty good year, and I think this is one of those games that will surprise some folks. I gotta hunch. Lambs to cover the +9.

SAN DIEGO @ CLEVELANDLAND

The Bolts are cruising right now, and hitting their stride, at the right time. The Brownies, without a doubt, are the very worst team in the league right now. The results aren’t hard to figger out. San Diego, BIG, covering the -13 ½, easily.


SAN FRANCISCO @ SEATTLE

If Samurai’s boys are gonna challenge for the playoffs, they gotta do it now. And Seattle’s as good a place to start, The bloodletting is beginning for the SeaDogs by cutting loose the GM this week, which indicates further bloodletting to come. It’s a pick-em right now, but I like the Niners to win this one.


MINI-SODA @ ARID-ZONA

I keep sayin’it, one of these weeks, and soon, Brett Favre is going to hit the wall and begin playing like a 40-year old quarterback. This ain’t NASCAR, Brett, where you can be Mark Martin – But you’re safe this week against the Cardy-noles. A very, VERY, bad week for Kurt Warner to come back from a concussion- against that ferocious Favres Defense. The Favres get by this week by -3, but the Bungles await next week…. Stay tuned…


DALLAS @ NY GEEEEEEEMEN

Ok, check calendar – It’s December, so it’s time for the annual Cowbaby swoon. Good place to start against the G’ints – wrong team favoured. Gimme the GEEEEEEEMen and the +2.


NEW ENGLANDLAND @ MIAMI

I thought I’d never see Tommy Terrific get benched by Dr. Evil-Chek. But it happened. A sign of trouble ahead? Against an opportunistic but average defense, the mighty Pastry-Rot juggernaut could only muster 17 points? I think the Dolphins smell blood, and will thump New Englandland. Wrong team favoured –Gimme Miami STRAIGHT UP to win!


BALTY-MOORE @ GREEN BAY

Those ESPN dudes must be thrilled with the third consecutive thrilling contest for Monday night! Here’s a pair of teams still very much alive in the playoff hunt. While there’s no chance the Packers could win the division, a wild card spot is definitely possible for this bunch. The same could be said for the Quothers, who are bringing their punishing defense against one of the most beleaguered offensive lines in the league. The Tundra won’t scare the Ravens. Here’s a name you’ll hear called a few times-

Ed Reed.

Ravens BIG.

That’s the handicap for the week, Fanz. I’m so numb from the holiday and workplace flurry that I’m not even that bothered by the fact I went 6-10 last wek, the same record I’ve predicted for the Panthers back in September –

So, for the season –

86-88

Hooo Boy.

See yers in the lot tomorrow.

Gotta Comment?
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CaptnTee@aol.com

29 November, 2009

FOOTBALL TRYPTOPHAN

For those who don't know what this substance is, it's an ammino acid, prevelant in turkey most notably, that's sleep inducing. For the fifteen years that I've followed this team -


Today was the first time that watching the Panthers had the same effect as eating a plateful of the aforementioned fowl. As the game progressed, I made little vocalizing, except for the occasional "Billick, shut up, you suck!" And looking over to the couch, I see that Lauren was in full effect mode of the football Tryptophan. By the fourth quarter, I found myself hyptontized by the wretched offensive play, the porous defensive play, and I zoned out on the game, with nary a beverage drunk.
I awoke to Joke Delhomme's FIFTH interception, and began wanting to see another game.
I went into this game hopeful, but not really expecting much, so the loss and the manner of the loss doesn't hurt much. I'll wake up tomorrow morning, get out of bed, get ready for work, maybe listen to a bit of Chris MacClain, but I'm pretty much over with the season. I've got a 25-year old marriage to celebrate, a hobby that fufills me, and other sports that I'm passionate about. Go Tar Heels, go Saints.


Go Mrs. Woods.


The current state of the Panthers is pretty much what I thought when I wrote the rant titled "THAT'S NO MOON". I predicted a 6-10 season. We're right on track for it, and we could possibly LOSE to the Suckaneers, who pushed the Duckies for all they were worth in THEIR house! There are five games to go, and like the other goobers I've wrote about weeks ago, math is really the only thing that's our ally. And I just gotta say, that's not much to get excited about.


So, what do myself, and the rest of PantherFanZ and PantherNation want to see for the rest of the year? I want Jake Delhomme benched. I just refuse to believe that Matt Moore is THAT bad in practice that Foxy won't give him a chance. The injuries to the offensive line we can't help, but Delhomme was playing this bad WITH Jordan Gross in there. The defense is playing ok, but I'd like to see more of the younger dudes given a chance. I want the team to play for their jobs, because you know what's coming down the pike -

The headline in the sports section. The breaking news on ESPN.




John Fox Fired. Marty Hurney Fired. Jeff Davidson Fired.


And I would expect one of the first things the new Bossman does is let Delhomme go.
He has to.

And now I'm wondering, who IS the new bossman? What hire will Big Cat make? Is it Cowher? Schottenheimer? Holmgren? Whoever it is, and whatever he does, he's going to have to make some serious changes in personnel and fundamental philosiphy as to not produce Tryptophan-like effects on the fan base.


Like this afternoon.


And I hope the Ravens and Steelers don't put me down tonight as well.


I'd imagine a quiet lot next Sunday, but I'll be there.


Gotta comment?

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CaptnTee@aol.com

26 November, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES- THANKFUL WEEK

A very happy Thanksgiving to you all, FanZ and FoeZ alike -

This is my VERY truncated handicap as the turkey's in the oven, and I'm two hours away from all family breaking loose in the Casa De Seer. Limited commentary, just add more of your own, and we'll see you in the lot against the Suckaneers -


GREEN BAY @ DETROIT -

Without Stafford and his heroics, I like for the Packers to blow out a close game -
Packers by -11.


CrOAKLAND @ DALLAS

Dallas' offensive shortcomings MUST be corrected today. The AfRaiders are a good team to get well on. Cowbabies big, by -13 1/2


NY GEEMEN @ DENVER

G'ints up, Broncoids down. Kinda like Custer's last stand and we all know what happened to o'l George. G'ints by -6 1/2.


INDIANAPOLIS @ HOUSTON

Another last stand game, but with a different outcome. Texans to cover +3.


CLEVELANDLAND @ CINCINATTI

The Brownies are NOT beating the Bungles in this final "Battle of Ohio" for the season. Bungles by -14, and they need this to stay ahead of the Squeelers.


CHICAGO @ MINI-SODA

Could be a shootout game. Gotta feelin' about dis one. Bears to cover the +10 1/2.


WARSHINGTOON @ PHILTHYDELPHIA

A game the Iggles have to have, and the Deadskins on their benchwarmer RB. Iggles by double digits.


MIAMI @ BUFFALO

A game I'd expect the Dullphins to win. By -3.


ARID-ZONA @ TENNESSEE

The line is off, but the Cardynoles have been terrific on the road. Not bucking that trend.


SEATTLE @ SAD LOUIS

Uggh. A game between two of the worst under acheiving teams in the league. No Bulger, and I think the misery continues for the Lambs. 'Hawks by -3.


TAMPA BAY @ ATLANTA

Duckies by -12 1/2, come on, it's the Suckaneers, and it's at the Georgia Dome.


CAROLINA @ NY JETS

Gotta feelin' about this one. Cats happy to cover, +3.


JACKSONVILLE @ SAN FRANCISCO

Could be a terrific game between two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Jaggy-whyers don't do particularly well on the Left Coast. Gimme Samauri's boys and the -3.


KANSAS CITY @ SAN DIEGO

Last week was the Charger's big divisional statement game, and they don't really need this game, especially if the Broncoids continue their swoon. But the Chefs are really playing decent and having fun and I think this is the lock of the week. Chefs to cover the 13 1/2.


BALTY-MOORE @ PISSBURGH

Another body-bag game, not for the faint of heart. A low scorer, with a wounded Ben WorthlessBerger, and NO Polumalu. No line, but ahhhh, hell, gimme the Quothers.


NEW ENGLANDLAND @ NEW ORLEANS

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I'm going to cheer with all of my heart for the Saints. The crowd will be in full Cresent City howl, and I'd imagine Tommy Terrific will have a hard time with his signal calling. How's this-

The Saints cover the -3, and possibly kick the hell out of the Pastry Rots -



Thanks again for tuning in, FanZ, and Happy Thanksgiving.


Last Week - 8-8

Season - 80-78



Gotta Comment?

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CaptnTee@aol.com

24 November, 2009

WORKING HARD

Too Hard.

It's the title of the rant I saw in my head as Dano flitted around the lot last Thursday like a RC helo on 'roids. And the rest of the Pantherfanz going the extra mile to make a great party like this one. And I would go on to observe that despite the loss, many members of the team work very hard.

It's a noble charachter trait that's worth favorable comment.

But like I did when I showed up later than I wanted to, I've been working more than I anticipated this month. And the work's piling up. With a 25th anniversary (Thank you Kathie!!!) to celebrate and loads of family coming up, and an avalanche of orders to process -

This is the end of my very, very, short rant. I'm not terribly upset about the loss -
The Dolphins are a pretty good team, possibly a mirror of our own. With the exception of the Michigan Man at QB. The party was good, the weather outstanding (again!)and Dano's dry rub ribs were killer.

An abbreviated picks post should be here Wednesday evening.

Gotta Comment?
E-mail me, The Cedar Street Seer

CaptnTee@aol.com

19 November, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 11

A pleasant Wednesday evening to you all, NFL fans- With the league starting play here on out on Thursdays, I gotta get the picks in fairly quick! With my record hovering just over .500, I’m hoping to trend up just like our KittyCats – This is the first full week since Week 4. Now everyone’s had their bye, so say bye-bye to the bye, until the playoffs, and here comes the last 7 games!

And with that –

MIAMI @ CAROLINA

This game seems more compelling that it did a few weeks ago – look at the similarities for one – Both teams started 0-3, then got back into contention with some key wins – Both teams lean HEAVILY on the running game, both teams have some hard-hitting beasts on defense. And both teams are 4-5, with a chance to start making hay with what’s left of the season. Here’s another angle –

Dan Henning.

The architect of the “Wildcat” that was REALLY unveiled with OUR Panthers, with DeAngelo as the fulcrum of that attack. Henning took an awful lot of heat for the team’s offensive inadequacies back in ’07, and was dismissed, and in aftersight, unfairly. Think he wants to stick it to Foxy after that indignity?
The bad news is, he will be WITHOUT his big back, Ronnie Brown. But more bad news for us –No Gross.
It will be a hard-hitting but entertaining contest. If the defense slows down Ricky Williams, the OTHER Williams should get his yards. But there’s that revenge angle, which HAS been relevant this season, and Carolina’s TERRIBLE home record against the spread – I’m not bucking the trend. Underdog Miami to cover the +3.

Now to Sunday’s action.

CLEVELANDLAND @ DETROIT

When, oh when, would the loveable loser Leos be FAVORED in a game? When the worst team that’s taken the field in years comes to your house – The buzzard-breath balls-out-bad Browns. I forced myself to watch last Monday’s game against the Ravens because of fantasy implications for me, as I had Balty-Moore elements on my teams. The Browns bring sucking to a new art form. And still, every time I take the Leos they lose. One more chance, Motor City Kitties. Unleash Calvin Johnson on them and cover your -3 ½ points.

BUFFALO @ JACKSONVILLE

The first coaching casualty of the season has fallen upon Dickie Jauron. I can’t say I’m surprised. The team had truly underperformed the past two seasons, and they lack solid leadership. That old axiom about “surrounding the wagons”? Forget it. The Jaggy-wyers are on a roll, and if they are going to have any chance at a wild card (because they are NOT catching the Colts!) they need to win these kind of games. They will put they Bills away early. Take the Jags and the -8 ½.

PISSBURGH @ KANSAS CITY

I think the worst thing for the Chefs was the Squeelers losing to the Bungles at home last week. Boy, are they going to be PISSED!!! If you’ve got any of the big boys like WorthlessBerger or Hines Ward or Mendenhall on your fantasy team –

PLAY ‘EM.

Squeelers by double digits.

INDIANAPOLIS @ BALTY-MOORE

Do the bookies know something the rest of the world doesn’t? How is it that the UNDEFEATED COLTS, at 9-0, are a ONE POINT UNDERDOG? Never mind they’re at Balty-moore, the Ravens just aren’t playing up to last years standards. I think it will be close, but Peyton Prevails.

ATLANTA @ NY GEEEEMEN
Here’s a pair of 5-4 teams with seasons on the brink. Both of them have porous defenses, hamstrung rushing attacks, and one of them has a QB teetering on a crisis of confidence. And it ain’t Brotha Manning. The line is off, but the G’ints really need this game, and they will take it.

SAN FRANCISCO @ GREEN BAY

Last week was a statement game for the Packers, and it was a pickoff fest for the Niners as Cutler tossed 5 picks in his very best Joke Delhomme imitation. Rodgers won’t do that here. But I’d expect a tough contest. I think Samurai’s boys hold their own on the Tundra – and cover the +6 ½.

SEATTLE @ MINI-SODA

I believe I mentioned in a post prior to this one that math was the only ally left for Seattle.

See ya, Math. Favres by double digits. One more week for the old man to stay upright.

WARSHINGTOON @ DALLAS

You’ve heard the old axiom that says “throw the record books out when these two get together” –

Don’t bother. Even with last week’s surprise win over the Broncoids (Come on, Chris Sims is NOT an NFL quarterback!) Tony Romo would have to peel off his face, revealing Jake Delhomme for the Cowpuppies to lose this game. They are the far superior team across the board and are NOT losing this game. Bet the barn and the bass boat on the ‘Babies. By double digits.

NEW ORLEANS @ TAMPA BAY

Don’t let the records fool you. This is a division game, and if last week’s clunker against the Lambs can teach the Saints anything, it’s that you CANNOT take ANY team in this league for granted, if you don’t stay focused and on your game. Josh Freeman gave the Dolphins a test last week, expect more of the same for this contest. Except the Saints pass with flying colours. Saints big, by double digits.

ARID-ZONA @ SAD LOUIS

The Cardy-noles have been terrific on the road this season. This Sunday will be more of the same against the division doormats. The line is a wimpy -9 for Arid-Zona, and I think they will win by double digits.

NY JETS @ NEW ENGLANDLAND

I would expect Dr Evil-Chek to concoct a virulent hoo-doo against their division rivals, especially after the embarrassment of “FourthDownGate”. Except the Jets, I believe, are going to fight, if not for their playoff lives, for pride. Which is pretty big after Rexy gave a tearful, emotion speech to his charges this week. The Brady Bunch will score, no doubt, but I think the return of Jericho Cotchery helps Marky Sanchez out enough to keep ‘em in the game. Gimme the J*E*T*S and the +10 ½.

CINCINATTI @ CrOAKLAND

Bungles, DO NOT follow your glowing performance at Squeeler Field with a clunker at the Black Hole. And I can see it happening. Prove me wrong, Marvin. That’s a pretty weeny line there, at -9 ½ for the visitors. If Cincinatti wants to go far in the postseason, this is where you have got to make hay. I say they DON’T stumble, and win by double digits.

SAN DIEGO @ DENVER

Chris Simms took all of the snaps in practice this week. Uh –Oh. This is where the collapse of ’09 begins for the Broncoids. The line is off, but the Chargers are gonna bust the Broncoids like a beer bottle in a bar fight ….

PHILTHYDELPHIA @ CHICAGO

After some wretched games by these two last week, it feels like the season is getting away from them. Except it feels like it’s going away for Da Bears on greased rails. I think Philthy blitzes Chicago into submission. They are favoured by -3, and I’d certainly think they’d cover.

TENNESSEE @ HOUSTON

THANK GOD for a decent matchup for Monday night after last week’s abortion! Tennessee is starting to play more like it’s old self, as Vinnie Young is beginning to resurrect his career. But Houston is working on a special season. They may have gotten Mr. Hyde outta their system, and I think The Dr. Jekylls come through in a really entertaining show. Take the home Texans and the -4 ½.

There we are Fanz, the quickest the weekly clairvoyance has hit the web.

Enjoy the games, see you in the lot!

Last week –
7-7
Season – 72-70

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CaptnTee@aol.com

17 November, 2009

THE CEDAR STREET SEER'S HALFWAY REPORT

Dang, I’m a week late with this, but bear with me. It’s been a busy month. The shape of the NFL season is taking a different form now – teams that appeared to be invulnerable just a few weeks ago now find their seasons on the brink – the season is now past the halfway mark, and there’s seven games left to play, and even though ten teams have no realistic shot whatsoever for postseason play, we can begin to see trends in the other twenty four.

Let’s annie-lies them, huh?

AFC DIVISION LEADERS
NEW ENGLANDLAND (6-3) INDIANAPOLIS (9-0) CINCINATTI (yes, THE BUNGLES AT 7-2!!!) DENVER (6-3) SAN DIEGO (6-3)
The Belichek-induced blunder of the most arrogant proportions still doesn’t puncture the prospects of yet another division title for the Pastry-Rots. While a first-round bye may not be happening, this New Englandland offense will be sure to create many an exciting contest in the weeks to come. Too bad the defense isn’t up to par with Brady and his FCD’s. I’m wondering now, WHO on the schedule is going to challenge Older Brotha Manning and his Colts? All of a sudden, the Ravens now look ordinary, so next week’s contest doesn’t look so daunting. Speaking of the Ravens, and their division mates the Squeelers, both are looking up, incredulously enough, at the AMAZING BUNGLES!!! Can you belive THAT??? And they’re doin’ it with DEFENSE. If Cincy continues to trend this way, I think Marvin Lewis should absolutely get Coach of the Year, over Jimmy Caldwell OR Sean Peyton.Trending WAY up are the resurgent Chargers, and trending DOWN are the Broncoids, who now may have lost Kyle –Orton ‘eers a ‘OO. Not good, for a team that started 6-0, now in danger of once again surrendering a huge division lead to, again, The San Diego Chargers. And what’s the marquis game of next week? These Broncoids, in a now-desparation game against these Chargers. Get your popcorn ready.

AFC WILD CARD DERBY
PISSBURGH (6-3) JACKSONVILLE (5-4) HOUSTON (5-4) BALTY-MOORE (5-4) MIAMI (4-5) NY JETS (4-5)
TENNESSEE (3-6) BUFFALO (3-6)

Of these teams, only the Squeelers have a realistic shot at winning their division, but because of the sweep by Cincinnati, a tie does Pissburgh no good, and very bad news indeed, is they will be without backfield madman Polomalu for the foreseeable future. Trending up are AFC South teams Jacksonville and Houston, but trending down are Balty-Moore and the Jets. Miami is hot-and-cold, and their schedule is going to be tough. Tennessee is regaining its football prowess after a horrendous 0-6 start, but it’s realistically too late for a chance at a wild card spot. But with Vince Young’s career possibly saved, I DEFINITELY think that the Titans get a few opportunities to play spoiler. Mathematics is the only hope Buffalo has, and with each passing week, will ebb and they get to join the next group, by the time I post the 3rd quarter report…

AFC JIMMY CLAUSSEN SWEEPSTAKES
CLEVELANDLAND (1-8) KANSAS CITY (2-7) CrOAKLAND (2-7)

Even though I DESPISE the overrated independent from South Bend, IN, I think Jimmy Claussen is going to be the #1 quarterback prospect of the 2010 draft. And the team that needs him the worst is the wretched AfRaiders. What a shame. And they could be the head of a really bad group of teams that are setting records for wretchedness, even moreso than my wretched use of that word and it’s derivative THREE times in the same paragraph. Hey, it’s not cutting edge journalism, y’all. Kansas City is playing the best of these three, and may actually win another game or two before the regular season’s over.


NFC DIVISION LEADERS
DALLAS (6-3) NEW ORLEANS (9-0) MINI-SODA (8-1) ARID-ZONA (6-3)

The amazing run of the New Orleans Saints is bound to run right up to the NFC Championship game, no doubt. There is virtually no weakness in their game right now. And right behind them, the Mini-Soda Favres, although I’m still expecting Mr. Franchise to break down any week now. Dallas has about as good a chance of winning their division as they’ve ever had, as the G’ints and Fleeguls have been exposed. But the improved Cowbabies have problems of their own, as demonstrated by their failure last week at the vulnerable Packers. I still think Romo the Homo is Jake Delhomme in a Cowbabies uniform. As long as Kurt Warner can find his FCD’s, a return trip to the playoffs could be a certainty for the Cardy-noles.

NFC WILD CARD DERBY
PHILTHYDELPHIA (5-4) NY GEEMEN (5-4) ATLANTA (5-4) GREEN BAY (5-4) CAROLINA (4-5) CHICAGO (4-5) SAN FRANCISCO (4-5) WARSHINGTOON (3-6) SEATTLE (3-6)

You could make a case for half of these teams finding their way to the postseason. And you could make a case against it for any of them. The Iggles and GeeeMen have serious flaws in their execution that could jeopardize their playoff status. And of course, the Cowbabies could have their now-annual December collapse and open the door for one of these Megapolis teams. Matt-Ice-Ryan’s long gone past the melting point, and the sophomore slump I predicted this summer is coming to pass. Michael Turner is hurt, and there’s no way they are catching the Saints. They will have to fix what’s wrong fairly quickly, because the team that’s trending up in the conference is amazingly enough, the Carolina Panthers. Because other than the top four teams, most of the remainder of the conference has just a little more than math on their side. The Panther Defense is starting to get Ron Meek’s scheme, and that’s always something that makes a perfect fit to that resurgent rushing attack, the ideal traveling game in December. There’s a pretty nice story going on in San Francisco, where Samurai’s boys have still got something to say about the division. Chicago had better hope Cutler regains his “Franchise” form. There’s pretty much no chance, barring an inexplicable collapse by the Favres, for Da Bears OR Packers to catch them. I still like Rodgers and his FDC’s to make the dance. As with Buffalo and Tennesee, Seattle and Warshingtoon have only math as their friend, and a fickle one at that. They will join the dregs of the following list in the weeks to come –

NFC JIMMY CLAUSSEN SWEEPSTAKES

TAMPA BAY (1-8) DETROIT (1-8) SAD LOUIS (1-8)
Eeeechhhh. Of these three, I could only imagine the Leos winning more than one or possibly two games, although the Suckaneers are starting to get some inspired play by their first round choice Josh Freeman. But this is a team sport, and these three are at least a draft away from regaining competitive form. And Detroit doesn’t need a franchise QB.

So how do you see the playoffs shaking out, Mr. Cedar Street Seer?

In the AFC, the top two seeds are going to be Indy (no DUH!!!) who will have the home field, and yes, THE BUNGLES! The Pastry-Rots will entertain Houston, and San Diego will host the Squeelers. And out of this six, you know you would have to like Manning’s chances.

In the NFC, The Saints will take the #1 seed, and the Favre’s will take the #2, but barely, because The Favre will no longer be in playing shape. The Iggles wind up winning the division, because I’m counting on a Cowpuppy December swoon. They will host the Packers, while Arid-zona will host their division rivals San Francisco. And there’s no way I’m picking against the Saints in this contest. And for once, we will have a REAL Super Bowl with the very top seeds represented. I’m pretty confident about that!

Thanks for indulging my fascination with the league and reading my tripe. I’ll be back tomorrow with the VERY early handicap.

YIKES!

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16 November, 2009

SIGN OF RESPECT

It should only be fitting to title this post, not so much a rant, but an observation.

At 9.28, I pulled onto 1-77 from Johnny Belk, and realized,

I’D FORGOTTEN MY TICKETS. First time since Jerry invaded Klimpsun. Instead of berating me, my loyal wingman, Clarence the Wildman was perfectly cool, and we continued our lively conversation through the extra 40 minutes added to our wait to party. Which wasn’t a big problem. Ironically, Dano snagged the WRONG tickets for the day, as well. As fate would have it, this game fell on Veterans Day weekend, and I know many of us have served our country faithfully, and we were pleased to see many well – dressed servicemen attending the party.

There’s something special in hosting these brave men and women, who are willing to give their all so that you and I are free to live the lives we live, free from tyranny, free from outrageous taxation, and despite the designs of a malevolent and dangerous minority, free from attack. And we can thank not the politicians who pose and preen and verbalize, but THESE individuals who get it done, on the front lines, on the supply lines, wherever their sacrifice is needed. And I am so proud to be a part of PantherFanZ’s offering of THIS sign of respect – a party for these Wounded, but Wonderful, Warriors.

I was also uplifted by the revelation by a feller who we’ll call - STEVE – Who regularly goes by the name of - STEVE, that my weekly rants and prognostications are read by more people than I figured. A very nice sign of respect from my lot buddy, who turned me on, via his son Chris, to a SERIOUS Hungarian Hooch that was the perfect elixir for the day. So, with the party joined, our regular Duckie fans also in company, we proceeded to get a happy buzz on a remarkably delightful and benign November day.
But the signs of respect were only beginning on this day – As we got to our seats, we were pleasantly serenaded by the MOST EXCELLENT Providence High School choir singing our beloved national anthem, and buzzed as I was, found myself MOVED emotionally by the fly-over of T-6 Texans, (I originally thought they were P-51’s) thinking about the patriots who flew such aircraft in the War to End Global Tyranny. And another surprise show of respect by the attendees of this game – The sound of Jake Delhomme’s introduction was curiously devoid of the “OOOO” sound, as in BOOO. I knew the difference because the sound of describing a bovine creature’s guttural emoting greeted MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOShin MOOOOOOOOOOOhammad….

A terrible event that silenced the crowd for what felt like an hour also elicited a strong show of respect from Panther and Falcon alike. When our arguably MOST VALUABLE Big Nasty, Jordan Gross, broke his ankle in the first half, a gathering of black AND white clad participants gave their concerning respect. As did I, for the first time in years, in referring to THAT team from Atlanta by their REAL name in this paragraph. Don’t worry – it won’t happen again for quite a while. And deserving of all of our respect, despite the high maintenance diva act of the past month? Our own Steve Smith, who took a savage shot to the ribs that put him down for a while, found the inner strength to come back and contribute to this all – important win.

With FOUR touchdowns scored, the opportunity to do my now "infamous" C*A*T*S cheer presented itself, with not a single mention from stadium staff. In fact, our lovely neighbors sitting next to us were COUNTING on me to do the 'ol routine - And for one of the BEST signs of respect from the day? None other than John Ross, the youngster who had me tossed in the preseason, acknowleging my work with an approving wave, knowing MY section was well under control, and the fans happy and cheering, yet well behaved.

While the game played was far from perfect, our team returned to respectability with the victory. But the problems remain. The Duckies gashed us for WAY too many yards on the ground, and we had virtually no pass rush. We are going to be missing the speed and power of Tommy Davis, and now, we are going to be missing the stellar blocking and occasional false start (!) of Jordan Gross. But the rest of the league is struggling with hurting bodies now. We cannot feel badly for ourselves. There’s seven more games to play, with a chance, yes, a chance, for a respectable season. All of a sudden, the Dullphins and Jets don’t look so formidable. Nor do the Gint’s, or even the Pastry-Rots or Vikings.

And the good feeling followed us to the lot for a long, enjoyable post-game celebration. I’m hoping that our last four parties are going be riding shotgun to respect-building victories like this one –

Starting this Thursday….

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12 November, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES – WEEK 10


 


 

Well, I've done it, FanZ –


 

I've achieved the sister kissin' .500 season aggregate for the season. What SHOULD have materialized went terribly wrong for exactly HALF of all the games I handicapped. Uggh. Just like the rant that preceeded this post, I know what's coming, and I've become indifferent. I'd better hurry – The NFL Network is fixin' to air the Bears/Niners game – so….


 

CHICAGO @ SAN FRANCISCO


 

The Bears are who we thought they were! THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! THAT'S WHY THE NINERS ARE GONNA TAKE THE FIELD! AND CROWN THEIR ASS! Both teams are reeling from beatdowns at crucial junctures of their seasons. The loser will pretty much have to start thinking about the draft. Sorry, Bears. Niners by three.


 

JACKSONVILLE @ NY JETS


 

Jacksonville barely escaped the Chefs last week, and this weekend, will have to go to play a rested Jets team that has to make a statement. Even without Kris Jenkins they should be able to squelch the Jaggy-wyers ground game, which should do it. Jets by -7


 

DENVER @ WARSHINGTOON


 

The Broncoids have dropped two in a row, albeit to good teams, and Pissburgh is now starting to come into their formidable selves. And the DeadSkins are reeling. Even with the short week, Orton and Co. should be able to handle these guys. Never fear, the cover is here. -3 ½ for the Broncoids.


 

CINCINATTI @ PISSBURGH


 

And SPEAKING of the Squeelers, a revenge game awaits – Don't think they've forgotten the loss early in the season in Cincy-

They will play like it. I don't expect a huge blowout, but I DO expect the Bungles to come up short. Pissburgh by -7.


 

BUFFALO @ TENNESSEE


 

I did not see the rejuvenation of Vince Young coming down the pike. Not many folks did, including the ones with great hair and $10,000 suits. And Chris Johnson is back to being Chris Johnson. How does that bode for the visiting Bills, who now have the whiny T.O.'s widdle hip hurtin? Not too good. Don't like the Bills at all. Take the Titans, the re-energized Titans, and the – 6 ½.


 

DETROIT @ MINI-SODA


 

Like I said before, every time I take the Leos against the spread, they lose. Like last week. And like this week. Vikings big. -16 ½ big.


 

NEW ORLEANS @ SAD LOUIS


 

If there was ever a time for the Saints to take a break, it's now. I know the Lambs are bad. Dead Dog's Breath bad. But I just don't see the urgency of the team going into the Lamb's dome and - ahhhh I ain't gonna do it. Saints cover the -13 ½.


 

ATLANTA @ CAROLINA


 

Running game? Check. Vastly improving defense? Check. Passing game?


 

Uh Oh.


 

The failure of Jake Delhome becomes more magnified with each successive game. And we will need a decent passing game to beat these guys, who by the way, have a pedestrian pass defense. It's like having a date with the hottest SI model and having erectile disfunction. It's not rocket science, y'all. Eight, even nine defenders takes care of Stewilliams. Ball game. The line is a weenie 1 ½, and I'm convinced this is another day for the Duckies. Who I still HATE with a WHITE-HOT PASSION…


 

TAMPA BAY @ MIAMI


 

Too bad the Battle of Florida doesn't have more juice. Even the Suckaneer's beatdown of the Packers last week doesn't sweeten this matchup. I think the Michigan Man and his fishies take care of the Sucs handily. -10 handily.


 

KANSAS CITY @ CrOAKLAND


 

I realize AGAIN that I 've taken every favorite so far – Not this time – The Chefs have actually been in most of the games they've played as of late. The AfRaiders have not. Too bad the game's not at Arrowhead. Chefs STRAIGHT UP!


 

SEATTLE @ ARID-ZONA


 

Funny, this year, the Cardy-noles have been great on the road, and sucky at home. Trend changes this weekend. The Seadogs, despite the Detroit beatdown last week, are mediocre, borderline bad. This is a statement game for the RedBoids, who take care of the -8 ½ points.


 

PHILTHYDELPHIA @ SAN DIEGO


 

What a monstrous win for the Bolts last week! And a crushing loss for the Iggles! A loss in this game really cripples the division hopes for the loser. Philthy's no easy out, nor are the Chargers. I would expect Rivers to be able to beat that Iggle blitz most of the time, while the rejuvenated Charger D should be able to pressure McSnabb and Co. I like the Bolts and -2.


 

DALLAS @ GREEN BAY


 

Before last week, I thought there was no way the Cowpuppies were coming to The Tundra and melting the Cheese. AFTER last week, they had better. I can't believe I'm sayin' this, but Dallas is the better team. All the way around. And I think they'll blister the hapless offensive line that's simply offensive. Which means Rogers has a long day. Too bad. Cowbabies, BIG.


 

BIG MONSTER MEGA-HYPE GAME WITH BRADY'S BOYS AT MANNING'S CASA


 

What more could I add to this? Without Bob Sanders, the Colt defense is ordinary. And it takes an extraordinary defense to corral this NewEnglandland juggernaut. It's perfectly reasonable to favour the Colts – but I think the Pastry-Rots win this one. I've become a believer in the importance of that dominating safety, which Indy's just lost.


 

BALTY-MOORE @ CLEVELANDLAND


 

How'd we get THIS matchup for Monday night? Uggh. It's imperative for the Ravens to put the Brownies away if they are going to have any chance at playing for a wild card spot, because catching the Bungles or Squeelers is going to be tough, if not impossible. And the return of Brady Quinn makes absolutely NO difference.

Quothers by -11, no problem.


 

What a wimpy forecast. I went against the spread only twice this week. Let's see where that gets me.

Meanwhile, I'll see yers at the lot.


 

Last week – 7-6 (half point saved me from total doom)

Season 65-63 BARELY above Sister Kissin'!


 

Gotta Comment?

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RANTLESS

As we sat and watched the Panthers rocket out to a 17-3 halftime lead, my mind began to race with the possibilities-

What IF we had managed to pull of the upset of the week, possibly the first half of the season – The Suckaneers had already bashed the Packers at home (as well as my Week 9 handicap!) What if we really DID have the Saint’s number, even with our halfbacks missing? I tried to imagine the rant I would write, and surely, the inevitable Saints comeback materialized, and a new, matter-of-fact rant formented. Only it didn’t pop in. It came with the speed of a PC with 50KB of RAM. And while Jessie’s schoolwork commandeered the computer, I came to realize –

I didn’t have the urgency to write. I didn’t have the desire to hear Chris MacClain’s/Frank Garcia’s/Mark Packers’ endless blather about the game, and what the Panthers need to do. I usually spend hours and hours on end listening to WFNZ on the streaming at work, and this week,

I just didn’t have it.

I find myself feeling indifferent. Knowing what’s coming and not really caring.

I know what’s wrong with the Panthers. You know what’s wrong with the Panthers. EVERYONE with football sense knows what’s wrong with the Panthers.

I’m just tired of hearing about it, thinking about it, and writing about it.

I’ve never been more convinced. It’s the quarterback. It’s the coaching staff’s titanic blunder in putting all the confidence and money in someone who is rapidly sliding down to the end of his serviceable playing career. The rest of the team’s fine. And because of that, I will still look forward to game day, but goodness gracious –

The play of Jake Delhomme, the play calling of Jeff Foxidson hamstring any chances of us to have a respectable season! Don’t get me wrong, I still love this game! I’m not planning on selling my tickets or doing anything drastic.

You know why?
There’s a new day dawning for Panther Nation. A day that won’t have John Fox in the coaches’ office. A day that will see a smiling, happy Jake Delhomme tending his prized horses in Beaux Bridge in September. A day that sees us with a fresh start, and new hopes.

Until then, I have a life to live. A hobby that excites me. Daughters to nuture and rebuild relationships with. The rebuilt Tar Heel basketball team to cheer for. And PantherFanz tailgate party, for five more times this season.

Picks next. Hoo boy.

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06 November, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 9

Happy Friday to you all, and we’re just getting to the halfway point of the season. Some things are trending up, some are trending down, and some things just defy explanation. One of which is my weekly misfiring. That blasted last-second field goal Monday night once again kept my Aunt Rachel smoochless.
Not that I wanted to be in that condition mind you, but I’m determined to see this through. Thanks for being there too, so with that I tear into this week’s next-to-last-bye – truncated games.

KANSAS CITY @ JACKSONVILLE

Several malevolent factors are starting to circulate here – One, the unfair heat Larry Johnson is taking for using a word ALL OF US flung around as casually as we would any other tame epithet. That’s MY opinion. At any rate, the embattled running back isn’t playing this weekend. The other negative karma is one of the league’s worst attendance figures for the Jaggy-whyers. Losing to previously winless Tennessee sure doesn’t help generate excitement in a region that’s geeked up about the other professional team in the area – The Florida Gators. I still think the Jags are the better team, and Del Rio really NEEDS to keep his team improving to keep his job. I think the home team wins comfortably. Jags and -6 ½.

BALTY-MOORE @ CINCINATTI

Don’t think the Ravens have forgotten about the Week 5 loss at home to these Bungles. Last week’s game was another of those “finding your manhood” games, and I think it carries into this week, and beyond. The Bungle defense is much improved, but the Ravens are on a mission. They’ll get after Palmer, Benson, OchoCinco and company, all right. And I think the big hogs on the Ravens’ O line keep the Bungle rush off long enough for Flacco to do his stuf. I really like the Ravens and the -3 over the Bungles, with MONSTER games coming up with the Squeelers.

HOUSTON @ INDIANAPOLIS

Has Peyton Manning ever been flat for big, huge, divisional games? Nope, I didn’t think so. Even though Houston has been coming on lately, I don’t think they match up well with the AFC’s version of the Saints.
And Bob Sanders is back, and getting his legs back. I like Manning’s boys and the -9.

WARSHINGTOON @ ATLANTA

Is this the time to be getting the Duckies? After a Monday Night fanny-whackin? And if you’re the downtrodden DeadSkins? With even grizzled, loyal alumni like Sam Huff and Sonny J, and now, Riggo, piling onto the ownership and front office, it just doesn’t seem the team can do anything right. And that starts filtering into the team. Only the most delusional of fans, and the Redskins themselves believe they have a chance in the Georgia Dome this Sunday. I don’t. Duckies by -10.

GREEN BAY @ TAMPA BAY

I have just realized that I’ve gone with the favorite in the past four capsules. Wouldn’t you? The slate of games this week involve such poor teams, the number of which hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.
This is another one. The Suckaneers are one of the very worst. If the Packers have problems with Tampa, then they REALLY have problems. Packers by double digits.

ARID-ZONA @ CHICAGO

Thank you, Bears, for FINALLY handling a wretched opponent. Now, show us what you do with a GOOD team! The Panthers showed how to beat them last week, so use Force Forte to soften up that angry defense, and get after Warner like the Kitty Cats did. I don’t think the Bears have the defense Carolina displayed last week, nor do they have the rushing attack. For once today, I’m going with an underdog. I’m leaning to the Cardy-noles and the +3.

MIAMI @ NEWENGLANDLAND

And here’s my second consecutive leap on an underdog – I think the Dolphins creative approach to both offense and defense always give them a chance no matter WHO they play. And their special team is playing lights out right now! They aren’t intimidated a bit by the Pastry-Rots. I think this will be one of the most entertaining games of the day. Bring it on, Brady! Tuna’s boys are ready for you. I like the ‘Fins to cover the +10 ½, if not win outright.

CAROLINA @ NEW ORLEANS

Yes, the Saints are a different team this season, and so is Carolina. But I’m hearkening back to last year, when we played BOTH the Saints and Cardy-noles in consecutive games when BOTH teams were having great offensive starts. And BOTH times the Panthers shut them down.

Hmmm.

The Panthers just may be finding their football legs right now. Or we may have just witnessed an aberration on the way to Fox’s final year. I gotta feeling . The heftiest line of the day is a ridiculous one.
I would have jumped all over the Saints two weeks ago, now I’m sure the Panthers will cover. Come on, it’s 13 ½ points! I doubt the Panthers forget their manhood after so gloriously trotting it out for 7 % of the national market to see while the rest of the country was watching Brett Favre get his rocks off on Tundra.

DETROIT @ SEATTLE

Almost every time I take the Leos, they lose. Not going against the percentages. Seadogs by -10.

TENNESSEE @ SAN FRANCISCO

Oh so close, were we, Samurai? You sure did give Peyton a fight last week. I’m sure, that despite what Chris Johnson says, that The Titans will NOT be going 9-0 for the next nine games. The new losing streak starts here. Niners by -4.

SAN DIEGO @ NY GEEEEMEN

When I first saw the Giants this year, I was surprised at how HUMAN Brandon Jacobs appeared. As a matter of fact, the NY rushing attack hasn’t been ANYTHING like it was last year, and despite the emergence of a couple of talented receivers, there’s no one on the team that Brotha Manning truly has that mojo with. And now, the QB’s continuing to deal with plantar fasciitis. This is a game that the Chargers can take, with the G’ints reeling. Might be a field goal game, but it’s more likely to be a heave-it-and-go game. I like the ‘Bolts to cover the +4 points.

DALLAS @ PHILTHYDELPHIA

If I’m motivating the Cowpuppies this weekend, I’m reminding them of what happened to end the season last year – I wonder if Son of Bum is that smart. Nothing motivates the Iggles, however, like smackin’ around the team with the star on their helmets. I don’t think Romo the Homo beats the Philthy blitz ALL day – I don’t think this one’s close. A lotta hype by the football talking heads, and a big “PLOP”.
Iggles big.

PISSBURGH @ DENVER

Ahhh, the ESPN folks must be ecstatic about the intriguing games they’re getting this season! And this one, looking anemic earlier, now has more juice than your Harris Teeter! Denver has the defense to go toe-to-toe with Worthless Berger, especially in the rarified air of the Mile-High-Metropolis. But Denver will rarely see a defense of Pissburgh’s caliber this season. Another body bag game involving that team from the Three Rivers area. Low scoring, hard-hitting, and victorious for the Squeelers, who win by +3.
At least.

I’m feelin’ purty good about this week. I’m quite certain I finally rise above the doldrums I’ve been in all year, just like our Panthers. Some of you I’ll see at Cheesmo’s. The rest of you will read my rant Sunday Night. With all teams in the league completing their halfway mark by the end of Monday Night, the Quarterly Report will be out next week.

Last week -6-7

Season – 58-57 DANGEROUSLY close to slobbering over my Aunt Rachel…

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05 November, 2009

THE TEAM I LOVED, THE TEAM I MARRIED -

Back in the Sixties, My best friend from my elementary school days, Ricky Elliott, had taught me how to box, play football, and find fossils in the Alabama piedmont rocks. And the team he loved was The Dallas Cowboys. And I, in turn, cheered for the team, through Staubach, Bob Hayes, The Doomsday Defense, and Tony Dorsett. In 1986, the monolithic Tom Landry benched my hero, Danny White, in favour of some goober quarterback whose name I’m vaguely recalling. Was it Garry Hogeboom? It doesn’t matter. My Cowboy heart broke, and the NFL passion of my youth dispersed. The Dallas Cowboys no longer thrilled my Sundays, no longer created a week’s worth of anticipation; much less beat the hated Deadskins. I flirted with the Raiders and Patriots, but the team I fell in love with in the waning days of the ’86 season was the New Orleans Saints. I’d always liked the team, liked the colours, loved the logo, as I recall the bed of my toddler years being adorned with the Fleur-di-Lis. And Archie Manning was an easy guy to cheer for. I liked Bum Phillips a great deal, but when the new owner of the team hired Jim Mora –

I knew the Saints had picked a winner, and they’d be getting it together very soon. So when I made a bold prediction back in ’87 that the ‘Aints would be playoff bound, I was roundly scoffed at. But the success of the season shut my detractors up, and by the time Sam Mills stuffed the goal line thrust of the Pissburgh Squeelers, my football love affair was in full bloom. The Dome Patrol unit of linebackers were a quartet of heroes that fired me up every Sunday. An eighties version of Jake Delhomme, the Cajun Cannon, Bobby Hebert, captained an offense that was very similar to the Panthers in their heyday. The names of the players I cheered at full throat for I still recall – Ruben Mayes, Dalton Hilliard, Eric Martin, Ironhead Heyward – I knew I had found a team to call my own, not just my third grade best friend’s team.

In a perspective only this closet romantic could view, I’ve increasingly compared my passion for my teams like that for my women.

Watching a ball game involving my Saints was intoxicating, like watching the bouncing wave of blond hair rushing down the hallway to meet me – A touchdown was as exhilarating as a soft, but passionate smooch – And victory? As satisfying as sex, and possibly moreso. Did you ever know there was such a thing as bad sex? Neither did I. And there’s no such thing as a bad victory! I would spend hundreds of dollars ordering tickets over the phone, and sometimes, unsuccessfully, to the old Fulton County Stadium to see them once a year, and twice, made the trek to Naw’lins to experience the SuperDome. It was an affair to remember, and warmly, even though the relationship never produced a playoff WIN. But a growing relationship requires give and take, and real growth. The inability to advance farther than the first round of the playoffs was disheartening. To make things worse, my heroes Hebert, Pat Swilling and worst of all, Morten Andersen, all departed – Hebert and Morten to the HATED DUCKIES!!! And in 1993, well, a suitor came to pull me away from the love of my football life, as he did yours.

I bought the ring.

And to sweeten the deal, who comes to play for my brand-new football fiancĂ©? None other than Sam Mills and Brett Maxie, two defensive stalwarts of my soon-to-be jilted football girlfriend. We were married for keeps in 1996. And me and Brother Serge invented “The Claw” instead of hi-fives. And “Gimme some Claw” was born!

Forgive me if I’m getting sappy on y’all, but once in a while, I get sentimental about the Panthers-Saints game, and this upcoming contest feels particularly poignant, with my former NFL love doing so well, and my current one under siege. I actually put on my old Dalton Hiliard jersey and doffed a Fluer-di-Lis hat and headed out to Hickory Tavern to watch the Saints-Duckies game just like old times this week. I actually pulled out my harmonica to toot Louis Armstrong’s classic after every touchdown to the delight of the Saints fans catching a buzz there. Fun, but not the same. I still love the Saints, but not like I used to. My ex-wife is still hot, but I’d never entertain the notion of a reunion.

And like my second marriage, there’s really no regret about embracing the Carolina Panthers as my football wife. Yeah, we’ve hit some bad spots, and I guarantee you I don’t berate Kathie’s pot roast as I would the Panther’s Defense, but overall, the experience of being a fan, and the experience of belonging to a woman you find beautiful and comforting are two big things that make life worth living. A kiss is a good as a touchdown, and victories come more often than sex, but it’s still a good life. And this year, I realized I was probably going to grow old and meet my eternal reward as Kathie’s husband. And I fully expect, through Dom Capers to John Fox to whoever roams the sideline in years to come, from Jerry to Mark, from Jake to that undrafted cannon that’s still in middle school, from Salt N Pepper TO just Peppers to the Hall-Of-Fame reincarnation of Lawrence Taylor in Silver, Blue and Black –

I will grow old and die –

A Panthers Fan.

And our children, God Willing –

Will do the same.

GO PANTHERS!



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03 November, 2009

REMEMBERING THEIR MANHOOD

A scriptwriter in Hollywood couldn’t script this event better. Before this contest, I had dismissed the ridiculous notion of revenge, vindication, exorcizing demons, and on and on and on with the hyperbole. All I wanted to do was to chill and watch some football with my PantherFanz pals and catch a little buzz. (Thanks so much Brain and Julie for having us! And thanks so much to the other PantherFanZ that joined us!) I gave the Puddycats little chance of even making this interesting.

How wrong I was! How wrong the rest of you were! No one short of Redd Foxx was going to entertain retribution for a horrid harbinger of malevolent football karma, but there it was. That old axiom about the heart of a champion held true on this day. To a man, the Panthers simply nutted up, and played the game of their vision. A “manhood” game, I said, several times during our afternoon.

Which left me gladdened when the game clock read 00:00, but simultaneously miffed.

WHERE HAS THIS TEAM BEEN!?

This was the game that was supposed to be played back in January! This is what we were supposed to see happen when we kicked off against the Fleeguls back in September! To have to wait an agonizing eight weeks to see this team certainly dims the shine of our sparkling desert triumph to me. Perhaps it’s a character flaw of not only me, but many Pantherfans to want our team to start fast, continue strong, and finish first, and not consider the circumstances. I have bitched endlessly about the defense, especially Julius Peppers. It’s possible that the defensive players have finally bought into Ron Meek’s schemes. I know Tommy Davis has. Sherrod Martin apparently has – and how about this –

Julius Peppers, at last, has.

When any defense plays like this against the top teams in the league, there’s always a chance. That’s all most of us have asked to see. When the defense makes the field short for the offense, there’s always a chance. When your star receiver stops whining about his status as an ass-set and makes key blocks in the passing attack, there’s always a chance. And when the embattled quarterback only needs to pass for 90yards while your running game GASHES the league’s NUMBER ONE RUSHING DEFENSE – without turning the ball over -

That’s a recipe for victory, friends.

While I think this performance is late, it’s refreshing to see. Even though Monday morning was drizzly and dreary, I felt brighter. Happier. Proud. For once this season, we are talking about a near-perfect execution of FoxBall, and not the bumbling coaching misfires, the multiplying malfunctions of the quarterback. If you think about it, I’d bet you yourselves were feeling the same cheerful sprit after this victory. And oh, by the way, another mighty NFC standard is now under the white hot glare of unhappy fans. With the struggles of the GeeMen, Duckies, Packers and Niners, all of a sudden, even at 3-4, unlikely as it is, we can begin to think about “what ifs”.

I just hope that’s not a one-game aberration.

If we play like this next week, and the absurd notion of being that team that hands the invincible Saints it's first loss of the year actually comes to fruit- there’s no telling what this team could achieve. And yet – there’s the Jake question.

Like I said in opening my rant, you could NOT script this. The downtrodden Delhomme embraces his good friend and former NFL Europe teammate Kurt Warner. AND THE NEARLY IDENTICAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE PLAYOFF DEBACLE transfers, in true Star Trekkie fashion, from Delhomme to Warner, much like the demon jumped from person to person in the “Jack the Ripper” episode. I’m not buyin’ it. I stand by my lack of confidence in Jake Delhomme. If he has to throw the ball for us to win, we simply are not. At one time, I thought Jake to be Favre “Light”. He’s not even close. I seem to recall another embattled QB, Trent Dilfer, he of the miserable Suckaneers, becoming a game manager for the Balty-Moore Ravens, and winning a ring back in 2000. In order for the Carolina Panthers to become even a middle-of-the-pack team, Delhomme is going to have to be that game manager. He is going to have to learn how to throw the ball away when there’s nothing open. He his going to have to realize his weakness, and play in spite of them. With a resurgent defense behind him, and a magnificent backfield and offensive line, he owes them that, if not us, the fans.

And yet, I remember how I felt when my hero, Rocky Balboa, took the beating of his life from Clubber Lang. I felt miserable for him, and for me. And you knew he was going to get another chance, but his training went poorly until a certain spark deep inside of the South Philly pugilist ignited, and he got a chance at vindication by knocking out his adversary at the end of the movie. Just a movie, yes, but this contest felt a lot like “Rocky III” to me. Could have been better timed, but the season’s still young. Irony and karma and impossible circumstance are alive and well in the NFL! While it’s our optimistic nature to see Sunday’s game as a turning point, the realist in me is holding judgment until I see more.

Until I see this same effort duplicated against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday afternoon.

And then I’ll have more to rant about. This is one nice victory in an otherwise disappointing season so far. I’m not getting too upbeat about this. Now, if this is the beginning of a trend, I am going to have to eat a lot of critical verbiage I’ve spewed on this blog. I won’t mind. Dano’s awesome pork goes great with anything…

I’m ranted out for now.

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31 October, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 8

It’s late, Fanz, but I’m begrudgingly returning to the scene of the disaster that was last weekend’s picks. I was sure that I wouldn’t be doing any sister kissing, but I never thought I would be going THE OTHER WAY!

UGGGGH.

Well, I’m giving myself one more chance to get this right as Foxy is giving Jokey one more pokey at a Winnie.

Here we go.

DENVER @ BALTY-MOORE
One of the really good games of the week, the Broncoids have finally made a believer in me, weeks ahead of the rest of the nation. They’re a really good story to somewhat take your mind off of whatever gar-bage that’s taken the cheer out of you. The Ravens have actually been STRONGER OFFENSIVELY than defensively, and that’s astonishing to this fan of the league. Joey Flacco has become a bonafide budding star, and valuable fantasy player! I think this will be a tale of two halves – The first half, a body bag contest as the defenses pound at each other, the second, a shootout. I like Kyle Orton and what McDaniels does with the Broncoid offense as of late, but I’m leaning to the home Quothers, because of the consistent performance of THEIR offense. Expect the Ravens to cover the – 3 ½.

CLEVELANDLAND @ CHICAGO

Da Bears really, really piss me off. That team had no business losing as badly as it had to the Bungles last week, and like Carolina, really needed their Week 8 game to keep pace and get back in the pack. No such luck. With the Vikings in command of the Norris Division with the Packers right behind, the Bears cannot afford to fall further back. This SHOULD be a get well game for the Midway Muddlers, and I think Cutler & co. are good enough to dispatch a really BAD Brownies team in the comfy confines of Soldier Field. Even by +13.

HOUSTON @ BUFFALO
How Buffalo can be so grossly outgained in yardage, and STILL pull off two consecutive teams that are STATISTICALLY better than they are can be summed up in one word – Turnovers. They are collecting them at the most opportune times, and they have a chance to return to respectability with a tilt against the not-yet-arrived Texans. Houston surprised me last week by going Dr. Jeckyll, so I say they go Hyde this week. Bills to cover the 3 ½.

MINI-SODA @ GREEN BAY

Act II of the Drama Bowl series finds the “prodigal Favre” coming to the home of his greatest achievements. The Squeeler defense showed the way to blunt the Viking attack, but Green Bay does not have the talent that Pissburgh does. I know the revenge angle factors hugely, but games are not won and lost by this emotion. It’s all about execution, and I believe Mini-Soda’s defense will control the game. Wrong team favoured – Vikings by +3.

SAN FRANCISCO @ INDIANAPOLIS

So far this year, I haven’t seen a team short of Pissburgh, Balty-Moore or Mini-Soda that I think could stop Peyton Manning and his Colts. I’ve seen San Francisco. They ain’t it. And Indy gets headhunter Bob Sanders back at safety this week. Uh oh. Ordinarily, I would take the underdog with a 12 point spread, but the Sanders issue convinces me. Colts to cover, and win big, one more time.

MIAMI @ NY JETS

Without run-stuffer Kris Jenkins in the middle, the Jets are a different team defensively. Miami is one of the very best teams in the league in executing the run. It’s an offensive game plan that travels well, and Miami’s already beaten these guys this season. Offensively the Jets are hamstrung without Jericho Cotchery and Leon Washington, so I like Miami in what will probably be another highly entertaining game by +3.

SAD LOOEY @ DETROIT

Ugh. To have to watch this game. Precious if you’re a Lions fan, because this give you a great chance to punch a “W”. Precious if you’re a Lambs fan, because this may be the ONLY chance this season to punch a “W”. Stafford and Calvin Johnson could be available for this game, and will make a difference if they play. Vegas doesn’t like this game either, because the line is off as of this very late writing. I lean to the Leos at home.

SEATTLE @ DALLAS

Well, well, history came out correctly last week with Comrade Cowboy overcoming the Falkkon Reich. The Duckies are a great team to get your mojo back on, and it looks like the Seadogs have gotten their one good game for the season over and done with. Dallas have found their #1 receiver to go with their effective ground game, so I’d anticipate a long day for those Northwestern vistors to the Jones Mahal.
The line is at 9 1/2, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this game go to the double digits. Go ahead, take the Cowpuppies. Possibly the lock of the week.

CrOAKLAND @ SAN DIEGO

I am not taking the AfRaiders again this season. Not happening. Not at any point spread. I am now convinced the win over the Iggles was a pure and simply karmatic anomaly. This is a bad, bad team, and the Chargers need this win big time. The 16 ½’s a LOT of points, but I stand by my vow. Bolts, Blots, Bolts.

JACKSONVILLE @ TENNESSEE

If Vince Young was in any shape to be a starter in this league, he would have never lost his job to Kerry Freakin’ Collins, who’s days as a starter in the NFL should be about the same length as that of Joke Delhomme. It’s a good story if he can redeem himself, but it ends badly for the Titans on this game. Wrong team favoured in this game – Jacksonville’s playing so much better than anyone had expected them to. Jaggywhyers by +3.

CAROLINA @ ARID-ZONA
I suppose we as Panther fans can hitch our hopes to an over-confident team that’s beaten an overrated Giants team, the fact that this is Delhomme’s last chance to exorcise the Cardy-nole demons visited upon him earlier this year in the ever-painful divisional playoff debacle here at home. Another breakout game by Stewilliams, AND Steve Smith.

Dream on.

Forget that we owe this team something, Arid-zona is playing far more consistently than last year, and they’ve found not only their offensive footing, but their defensive footing. If we’ve struggled against mediocre and bad teams, can you picture the result against a GOOD team? Not a good afternoon to be a Panther fan and sitting with your pals gnashing your teeth in front of the TV. No question, Cardy-noles by double digits.

NY GEEEEEEMEN @ PHILTHYDELPHIA

Something’s missing in the GeeeeMen this season – the defense isn’t as dominating as they once were, the rushing attack isn’t as effective, and rushers are starting to get to Brotha Manning. The Fleeguls blitz more than any other team in the league short of Pissburgh. The Iggles are back to what they want to be after that aberration in CrOakland. It’s a pick ‘em at this point, and I think you’d do well to pick Philthydelphia. Plus there’s that baseball game being played in Liberty Town… Against a New York team… Karma? You betcha…

DALLAS @ LA LAKERS

Uh oh, wrong sport.

ATLANTA @ NEW ORLEANS

For years, the Saints/Falcons game was the most important on the schedule for me. And I’m thrilled this game has once again acquired some significant juice. The media just LOVES the darling Duckies and their cuddly quarterback. The rest of us who matter are pulling for the menchen that is Drew Brees. Dallas exposed the wretched Duckie secondary – hell, even the Panthers riddled it. Michael Turner looks like he’s running in mud, and I think the Saints will bomb and bomb and bomb the Duckies back to the middle of the NFL pack by the end of the evening on Monday. How much respect does Vegas give the Duckies? Not much. It’s an unfathomable 10 points, and I’m laying all of the lumber on the Mighty Saints.

Here goes my last chance – Have a great All Saints Day!

Last week – 4-9
Season – 52-50

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25 October, 2009

SAY "GOODBYE" -

The buzz has quickly worn off, and I’m sitting at the keyboard realizing what has to come. The most constant thing about our lives is change, and it will also be with our football team. I realized this as I sat with my most excited princess watching the game unfold. There are things I will be saying goodbye to in my life in the months to come, and as this rant goes, it will be about the team. If there ever was a “must win” game in our history, it was this one. This loss is painful, and one that has made THiS particular fan markedly introspective.

As two very makeable kicks go, prepare to say “Goodbye” to John Kasay. When the sole reason for your roster spot is to make kicks from inside the 35, you are expendable when you don’t. This is a different game if he doesn’t fail. John is a terrific stand-up man of character, and he’ll be great in whatever he plans to do after football. Start next year, John. It’s your time.

I think it goes without saying we are going to bid “Adieu” to Joke Delhomme. His two turnovers today were the absolute difference in the game, more so than Kasay’s misses. The problem is, we don’t have a feasible alternative on our roster for the season. But I suppose the brain children that control our beloved franchise will figure out a way to opt out of that ridiculous contract hewn for our over- the-hill quarterback for next year.

I think it’s also reasonable to say “Arribiderche” to any chance at a winning record, OR the playoffs for this season. There’s not a soul of even average intellect that can look at the next ten games and see more than two wins. So far this year, only Tennessee’s incredible collapse exceeds our fall from the elite of the league. And it’s upsetting for me.

So, with the bidding of farewell for the postseason, it’s also expected to say “BonVoyage” to John Fox and Marty Hurney. The wretched performance and wretched personnel decisions of this year pretty much doom them to the exit door. To mortgage next year’s draft pick for a marginal player like Everett Brown is inexcusable. I cannot recall a time in our franchise’s history when draft picks were so essential, and now, it seems that even after a historically bad season coming down the pike, we will be bereft of those vital picks. An error, and a quite grievous one, solely on the head of FoxHurney. And it will cost them their jobs, believe me! Incredibly enough, Ron Meeks may be spared the scythe of purging as the defense has played much better as the season has come. There is no way you can hang this loss in any way on the defense’s play. I will expect Meeks and his charges will be playing for their jobs in the weeks to come. Jeff Davidson is a dead man walking.

And sad to say, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see us have to say “Sayonara” to Steve Smith. He is, by far, the most marketable of our players, and one certain to get us the first round draft choice that we are not getting in ’10. Our best player isn’t going to be making a difference if the rest of the team is below standard. Contrary to his belief, Smitty IS QUITE the asset to this team! As a TRADING COMMODITY! This team needs a FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK in the worst way, and there’s several going to be available in the upcoming draft! We need one of them more so than we need Steve Smith. If you understand the game, you will come to that realization yourself.

Overall, it’s time to say “Aloha” to not only the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, (yawn!) but to the Panthers as we have known them for the past 7 years. As it is now, we are looking at two years, at the very least, before we can return to competitive levels. And here’s what saddest of all---

The Suckaneers will be a year ahead of us.

I’m just glad we have the PantherFanz tailgate party, because that’s one of my life’s greatest pleasures. I know it’s one of yours, too. Despite the sucky play of our team, they are STILL the Panthers I married with my PSL’s , and I know because of Uncle Jerry’s character, we won’t be sucky for long. In the years to come, we will once again cheer a team with player wearing a number between 1 and 19 running his Carolina Panthers to heights that will keep us buzzing into offseasons uncounted. And we will be putting faith in a coach of steely resolve that will return us to the lofty levels we expect of this franchise.

But it’s not happening with what we have now.

Thank you so much, Peter, for continuing to bring your countrymen down for greatly anticipated fellowship! Thank you, Hans and crew, for thinking enough of us to come down and grace us with a second vist! And thank you so much, Dano and James and everyone else that makes PantherFanz go. The party is all we have left, it seems, as it goes with NFL football in our fair city. And whatever team we pulled for before we gave Uncle Jerry all that money. The memory of Marc deserves that much.

Go Saints. And whoever is playing the Duckies. Or the Comrade Cowpuppies.

I’m ranted out.

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24 October, 2009

THE WEEKLY HANDICAP AND OTHER CLARIVOYANCES - WEEK 7

The closest thing I’ve ever had to a sister is my hot, cougary- Aunt Rachel who is quite kissable.

Pucker up, Rach!

Ok, now that I’ve adequately creeped myself out, I won’t belabor the fact that I went 7-7 last week, but come on! Did you see the SchRaiders dumpin’ the Iggles? What about the Bayou Beatdown of the GEEEEEMen? Seadogs jumpin’ the shark to the Cardy-noles? Yeah, I didn’t either.

So here’s the weekly handicap, presented to you by your incestuous Cedar Street non-Seer.

SAD DIEGO @ KANSAS CITY
It seems pretty apparent that the once-mighty Charger defense is in decline, and when Shawne Merriman isn’t saving hot drunk girls from their savage outbursts, he’s no longer a difference maker on the field. But Phillip Rivers and his playmakers still get it done. Chefs will make it a game, but this is one the Blue Bolt Boys have just gotta have. Take the Chargers and the 4 1/2 in a surprisingly entertaining shootout.

INDIANAPOLIS @ SAD LOOEY
I was wrong about the perfect illustration of the divide between haves and aint got S**T in the NFL last week when I honoured the Iggle/SchRaider game with that adjective. It’s this one. Older Brotha Manning AINT McSnabb, and these Colts are gonna finish the Ewes early. Indy by 13 EASY.

CHICAGO @ CINCINATTI
Sometimes ONE player makes a tremendous difference on a team, and for Cincinatti, it’s Dlineman Antawn Odom, lost for the season, that helped lead these Bungles to a respectable 4-1 start. No more, baby. And Chicago’s one player, Brian Urlacher, has not hurt them as badly with his early trip to IR. The Bears are pissed coming in after blowing not one, but TWO goal line drives to the Duckies. Without their platinum pass rusher to harass Jay Cutler, I think Da Bears have their way with their feline opponents. Bears Big over Bungles.

GREEN BAY @ CLEVELANDLAND

Nice shutout of the Leos last week, Packers. Now they get a chance to do the same to another NFL bottomfeeder. But what’s with the wimpy line, Vegas? ONLY 7 ½ ? Come on, man! This is Aaron Rodgers and his Frisbee Catchin’ Dogs! Packers by double digits, but D. Driver, Jennings and Co? Don’t jump into the Dawg Pound…

MINI-SODA @ PISSBURGH
Here’s a game fans are salivating over. Some are predicting a shootout, but I think this is going to be a body bag game for the defenses. If the Raven’s couldn’t make Favre say OWWW! Last week, I guarantee the Squeelers will. And they Vikings have something for Awfulsberger, too. If he doesn’t get a quicker release of the ball, they will have to bring out a stretcher to carry him off of Heinz Field. I’m going to give the edge to the better offensive line. Wrong team favoured here. Although BOTH QB’s might get knocked out of this game, Vikings prevail, if not cover the +4.

NEW ENGLANDLAND vs. TAMPA BAY @ LONDON, ENGLANDLAND

Here’s the showcase game of the year for those who’s mission it is to export a purely AMERICAN game internationally. And the Brits just eat it up. Too bad they’re not conneseuirs of the game, or they’d send this one back to Roger Goodell. The Suckaneers are truly BAD this year, and the Pastry-Rots are starting to click. This one will be over before the half. NewEnglandland BIG, REAL BIG. Possibly as big as last weeks erasure of the Teeny-Tinies.

SAN FRANCISCO @ HOUSTON
This is Houston’s Mr. Hyde Week. Niners by +3. And Samurai’s boys are nice and rested after the bye.

NY JETS @ CrOAKLAND
Ohhhh, boy, this game all of a sudden looks far harder to call than it looked like last week. If you told me that the J*E*T*S would gash Beefalo for over 3 bills on the ground, AND LOSE, I would have given you the number of a really good therapist. But lo and behold, it came to pass. Five turnovers will make that happen. I’m not sure a long trip out West helps them out, and for one week, Oakland Stadium really DID become a Black Hole. Winning can become contagious just as losing can be. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m actually encouraging y’all to take the AfRaiders and the +6 points. HEEEESH!

BUFFALO @ CAROLINA
Last week, the Panthers took a team on a one-game winning streak to a really bad team’s field who were near the very bottom of league standings against the run. We all relished the result. Buffalo’s WORSE against the run. If Joke Delhomme doesn’t turn the ball over, the results are duplicated, and the ‘Cats win streak goes to 3 before the Big Boy Schedule comes around. Rejoice in the .500 record this week, Panther FanZ! It could be the last time this season. The line is off, but take the Panthers. It’s Canadian Week, and they are obliged to punch a “W”.

NEW ORLEANS @ MIAMI
If there was ever a time for the Saints to have a “dud” game it would be here. The Dolphins are out of conference for them, and are playing pretty good ball, particularly in the rushing attack. A nice, warm , humid Miami afternoon is not an environment-controlled afternoon in the SuperDome. The Saints won’t carbon-copy last week’s beatdown of the Mighty GEEEEEMen. Take the Dolphins to cover the +6 ½.

ATLANTA @ DALLAS
For me, the equivalent of choosing Stalin over Hitler. The Cowboyskis really do have a game that rushes through defenses like a T-34 with the governor off. Meanwhile, Das Falkonnes scream onto opponents like a JU-87 Stuka with Matthias Ryann firing hi-velocity Flakveriling 88 shots down the field to his Stormtroopers. This WILL be the shootout of the day. The team turning the ball over will defeated like the Wermacht at the Battle of Kursk. Uh, oh, Comrade Anton Romoskavitch. You turn the ball over too much. Hitler and his Falkonnes by +4. But I’ll be pulling for Comrade Cowboys.

ARID-ZONA @ NY GEEEEEMEN
Ok, know what? Superman and the Super Friends couldn’t beat the Saints last week. The Cardy-noles are statistically terrible coming east . I’m inclined to believe the G’ints recover from last week’s disappointment and throttle the invaders from the Arid State. GeeMen and -7.

PHILTHYDELPHIA @ WARSHINGTOON
Hey PantherFanz-

Who would you rather be?

I thought so. Just like a train wreck, this is a Monday night game that will be hard to take your eyes off of. Nothing pretty here. The Iggles looked awful in a loss to the SchRaiders, and to be honest, they usually have at least a couple of clunkers every season. Last year, they had a chance to clinch a playoff spot against the struggling DeadSkins and failed, and badly. Meanwhile, Jim Zorn is a dead man walking for Warshingtoon. With his team rapidly imploding, and enmasculated by his GM, this is a team that may not win another game. I think the Iggles win in this one, and big. By at least the -7 points.

I think Aunt Rachel will be safe after this week.

Last week – 7-7
Season – 48-41

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SEE WHAT I MEAN?

A week of Steve Smith dominating the Panthers news confirms the perfect illustration I gave Panther Nation last week. Divas in the passing game are simply high maintenance. Terrel Owens. Jerry Rice. Plaxico Burress, on and on and on. Yes, there is no doubt they help you win, and they electrify the team and their fans when they're on.

Just like that trophy of estrogenal perfection, let them be dissatisfied for a moment, let you decide to play golf instead of going to the gardening show, and

BAM!!!

For some, the thrill of the forward pass, or the dazzling companion is narcotic.

For me, I'll just curl up with my comfy running game and pound it between the tackles, while Stewilliams sweetly asks me if I'd like jam on my toast...

Picks comin' right up!



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18 October, 2009

A THING OF BEAUTY

I would first like to thank Dano and the Lovely Yvonne for opening up their home to the Seer and family as well as other members of the Pantherfanz Tribe. The grub was MOST excellent! I also would like to acknowledge Dano’s Spock-like analysis of his DirecTV issues, thus saving the afternoon for all.

With that being said, I am conditioned, as most NFL fans are, to respond to the long, arcing pass that results in either a big yardage gain or a touchdown. While it’s effect on the overall game can be likened to a precision laser strike, the less glamorous, but far more lethal rushing attack, is really how the game should be played. And what we, Panther Nation, had witnessed with just under 8 minutes left to play, might have been one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in pure football execution. After another completely bone-headed INT by the besieged Joke Delhomme, I think Foxy may have thrown up his hands, and said to his OC Davidson – “I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO, JUST DON’T CALL ANY PASSING PLAYS!”

Ok, one little safe slant to Steve Smith, which by the way, was his ONLY COMPLETION of the day! The rest, as you saw, was an example of HOW TO USE TWO OF THE BEST BACKS IN THE LEAGUE! So where has this been since January 10th? I would rather lose, 9-12, in a field goal game, than lose by the margins we’re losing by via the TURNOVERS generated by our quarterback! More on that later. But seriously, when you can plow the defense over, and gash them for yard after yard, what do you need with the pretty passing game?

It makes me think of two women I have the pleasure of knowing, who’ll not be identified here. One is probably the very hottest woman I’ve ever met. A towering 6’2”, flowing raven rivelts of shiny hair, dazzling crystal blue eyes, and a figure sprung right to life from Frank Cho’s hyper-realistic drawings of plus-size beauty. With her glamourous other-worldly beauty comes the baggage of a plethora of high-maintenance issues. The other, a middle aged, naturally beautiful woman of equal height, with naturally wavy blonde hair, and far more Reubenesque. A pleasant face, her even demeanor and commonsensical thinking would make her more my choice as someone to build a life with. You know the brunette turns you on, but you are far better off with the blonde. (Didn’t Archie wind up with Betty?) That, in effect makes her far more beautiful to me, like my wife Kathie and women just like her. I’ll let the high-maintenance male Adonis counterpart deal with Brunette Barbie.

So does the notion of soaring rainbows into the arms of Steve Smith go the way of my rejection of High-Maintenance Mama? Perhaps, if you have to deal with the issues of turnovers by the ton! I say, in this football relationship, you have to go with what works! Stewilliams may not look as pretty as a fifty-yard bomb to Steve Smith, but after today, I have to say they get the job done! And I’ve seen Mamma Blondie all dressed up, too, and she’s nothing to sneeze at. Once in a while you get to dance with a really pretty girl, but you do that enough times, and you wind up in trouble.

And now, we will all have to say that the Jake Delhomme era here in Pantherland has seen its last year. Today has pretty much convinced me of that. NFL players all hit a wall at some point in their careers when their once – stellar play has suddenly morphed into mediocrity, or worse. Any of you remember Shawn Alexander? Drew Bledsoe? Mark Brunell? There comes a point in an athlete’s life when the body simply can’t perform as it once did. Go around the league today – LaDamian Thomlinson. Kerry Collins. Clinton Portis. Issac Bruce. And now, Jake Delhomme. It’s over, Jake. If the Panthers SOMEHOW manage to rise above the suckiness we’ve witnessed so far this season, it won’t be because of any heroics you’ve accomplished. And now, what Jeff Davidson has to do, is to create plays that maximize use of Stewilliams, and that naturally beautiful running game that this afternoon was as beautiful as Little Ally’s momma. And quit dancing with the purty girl with the issues.

Can’t wait for the Canadian Contingent and the Bills.

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