Thursday, November 29, 2012

Disembodied While Crossing Thresholds Unprepared

2012 NFL season Week 13 game Predictions

Week 12 was a very forgettable week of football for me.  Not only did It take me to that pathetic MNF game to break .500 for the week, my Bills lost what seemed to be their only, albeit dwindling, playoff hopes, not to mention I lost almost everyone of my fantasy games, despite being heavily favored in the majority of those.  Oddly enough, the only two I actually pulled a win out, was due to stupid circumstances and both of those games I was the heavy underdog.  So, guess I'll just chalk Week 12 up as one of those crazy, unexplainable week.

I'm hoping to get things back in line this week.  Despite the 9-7 record, I'm still at 119-57 for the year.  That's a pretty good record at this point of the year, but the goal was never to come away with a pretty good year, it was to have not just a great year, but a year that beats the great year I had last season.  Another mediocre week or two like last week may put that goal out of reach, but, just as easily a few more great weeks will help out tremendously.

I've been limited all week. I'm officially on the injury report. For whatever reason, concentration has been an issue, with some pretty bad headaches, fogginess and bouts of being  both tired and distracted. I'm hoping it's just a passing thing and not a foreshadowing of a cold to come.  That all said, my hopes for these picks really aren't too high.  I really didn't dig into the statistics this week nor did I re-watch any games.  That said though, I've seen enough of each team and how I feel each should match up and I have kept up with the injury reports, so it's not like I'm just throwing darts either.  So, that all said, here goes:

Week 13


New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

I think this might be one of the best TNF games we've seen this year.  I like Atlanta at home, but the Saints have been playing better since Joe Vitt came back from suspension and I think they'll make this a game.  That said, there should be a nice helping of scoring here.  Look for great games from Brees, Graham, Colston and keep an eye out for Sproles, he could go and despite the dedication to the pounding style of ground game, he could surprise.  On the Atlanta Side, Ryan, both White and Jones at WR, and I like Jacquizz here as well.  I think he'll have a breakout performance of sorts.  ATL 34-27

Sunday Games

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears

The Bears are really, really banged up.  These injuries could severely alter their chances come playoff time.  If this game were in Seattle I'd take the Seahawks, as they're nearly invincible there.  But, as last week's dud in Miami proves, this team is not that great on the road.  I like Cutler and the Bears receivers and TE's here.  CHICAGO 21-13

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

The Texan defense has been getting torched lately.  Since Jake Locker's been back at QB the Titans have been moving the ball more effectively but haven't been scoring enough.  I think Houston will eventually pull away here, as the Titan D isn't very good at all.  But it should be entertaining for about 3 quarters.  HOUSTON 35-24

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Miami could pull a stunner at home, but I can't take them.  NE is lethal on offense and their defense has been playing great lately.  NE 31-17

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills

Jags have been playing great football since Chad Henne took over for injured QB Gabbert.  No Gabbert, NO MJD, and their playing great.  Their defense is still pretty bad though.  I can easily see them beating the Bills this week, but somehow I think the Bills will show up here, seeing they'll be no real pressure, the home crowd will be almost absent, as 15,000+ tickets are still unsold and that the game will be blacked out locally.  I think the offense will do some nice things.  BUFFALO 28-23

Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions

Could be a shootout here.  I like both teams against these respective defenses.  Should be a decent amount of offense in this one and I want to take Indianapolis, but I have a little more trust in Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford this week.  DET 27-24 OT

Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs

While the Bills game is certainly blacked out, I think even less people will actually want to see this game.  KC is thinking number 1 pick about now and Carolina may be playing for their coaches job.  Carolina 26-9

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Jennings or not, GB should roll the Vikings up at home.  Ponder started hot this year but has fallen off something fierce.  AP is still AD but while I think he'll be effective in GB, I just don't see how their offense can keep pace with a GB offense that is for the most part, back to form.  GB 28-14

San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams

I like Bradford and what the Rams have done this year. However, SF seems revitalized since the QB change and while the STL defense is playing very well this year, I think CK and the Niners will do enough to get their points while Bradford and Co. will struggle, even at home.  SF 21-12

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets

I hate the Jets.  Not only do they stink, they are terrible to watch.  I can't say much more about Arizona though.  While I don't hate them by any stretch, at least they have Larry Fitzgerald to watch.  I just don't think Lindley will be able to get him the ball.  A boring, low scoring game that hinges on defenses putting offenses into field goal range.  A real stinker.  NYJ 9-6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos

TB is fun to watch and rookie RB Doug Martin is awesome.  I can see them winning, but I'm not taking them.  Denver is a very tough place to play and they're a good team on top of the home field advantage.  I like a bit of a lopsided score, as I think TB will struggle mightily in an altitude they rarely have to deal  with.  DENVER 34-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

Doesn't look like Big Ben will play.  Ravens all day then.  BALTIMORE 24-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers

Chargers are pathetic.  They are that type of team that puts themselves in line to win a game, only to lose at the end.  Last week's forfeiting up a 4th and 29 to Baltimore is a perfect example of how Murphy's Law is always seemingly attached to the Bolts.  To make matters worse the Bengals seem to be over their skid and SD's secondary won't be able to keep pace with the Bengals receivers.  CINCI 31-21

Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders

This is a tough, tough, tough game to pick.  I've been think Oakland all week as I think they'll be able to pass effectively against an overacheiving Browns team.  However, I just heard that the weather report for Sunday in LA is going to be horrendous.  They're calling for buckets of rain and very high winds.  I just don't see how they'll be able to throw the Ball, which is actually bad for both teams.  This will be a running game game, and Trent Richardson is a beast.  Cleveland 14-6

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

With the Cowboys, who Knows?  With the Eagles, who cares?  This is a tough game for SNF.  You have two head coaches who probably won't be there next year, although Andy Reid is a safer bet to be gone.  Philadelphia will likely be sporting a totally different offense next year, and as for the Cowboys, I think they still believe they can catch the Giants.  I think that's wishful thinking at best though.  They had their chance to keep pace but blew it on Thanksgiving.  I do like them here though this week against a very dysfunctional Eagles team.  DALLAS 26-15


New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

Huge game for RGIII and the Skins.  MNF and a win gets them closer to the Giants for the Division.  If NY wins, the division is all but done for Washington.  I like both offenses and I think we'll get decent games out of both defenses.  I really have no idea who to take.  My brain is telling me to take NY but my gut is telling me to go with Washington.  Just a hunch, but I can't go against NY this time of the year, this is when they seem to start getting really hot, and with what they did to GB last week, I can't go against them.  NYG 34-30

Hope everyone has a great week of football.  See you next week.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Starry Night (For Creative Tuesdays)

Another Creative Tuesday is upon us, and for this week, MR. T proposed the theme of Starry Night.  Definitely, if anyone reading here hasn't already done so, please stop by to Creative Tuesday. You'll find some incredibly talented artists, each offering unique views and styles.

For me, CT is an opportunity to fine tune the work I do.  Normally I sit down, splatter a bunch of paint on the canvas and go crazy with the knife until something emerges.  While I love working  abstractly, what CT provides for me, is an opportunity to sit down with a theme in hand.  Here I can hone my process accordingly. Not to mention being able to see how the others approached the same theme.

Anyhow, stop by, you'll love it.

So, back to the current week.  The theme, as mentioned earlier, is Starry Night.  I have to admit, I didn't really know what I would do at first.  The famous painting came to mind, but I didn't really know where I would go with that.  Then, I saw this commercial, through the Tivo, as I don't actually watch commercials anymore, and there was this kid with a telescope. This was the impetus for this piece.

I envisioned a hill at midnight as a meteor fell to earth.  Then, I had to work in the Stars, as this theme is Starry Night not Meteor Night. So, I added the tiny stars and the telescope, which I actually forgot at first.

Then another spark formed.  I was tidying it up just as my sister came over with my nieces. Suddenly I saw these tiny stars as children out at play.  The idea of the parents came next and the brief poem followed.

Normally I wouldn't lay out the exact process of a piece. I do talk about them, as I'm sure you've gathered by now, but I don't like to ruin the interpretative process, so I cut it short somewhat. With this one being straight forward though, I thought I'd actually lay it all out there.

Chaos in a Bottle, if that Bottle were the Sleeping Mind

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Cycles of History. (Forming, Adapting, Revolutions, Alterations)

1000 years ago

750 years ago

475 years ago

250 years ago

100 years ago

The Current Timeline

100 years projected

250 years projected

475 years projected

750 years projected

1000 years projected

Time shifts.  Beliefs change.  Societies bend in manners that are from the borderline brutally obscene, to the answered timelines of prayer.

All of our accomplishments, all of our philosophical renderings, are, at times, heightened, only to eventually crumble.

Our attitudes, our systems, our perceptions, interpretations, ability to adapt to undue circumstances, fully blossom as they die, and die as they bloom.

The inevitability of time is as abstract as any.  Yet, the incongruity of it all, is how, if you live in one of these segmenting factions of time, you are able to bear witness to the evolution or devolution, as it is taking place, as it has occurred, and…

While you may see the possibility in tomorrow, while you may be enlightened to believe in mankind's ability to adapt and grow, you must also understand that mankind certainly has it's flaws, and the negation of your expectations are just as likely as the harmony in which your mind so poignantly displays.

Their are, as is the case right now, a bleakness in the air, a devastating wind that impales our composure, decimates our ability to motivate and/or predict a future that has overcome the bane of the present day…

Yet…what has happened will come again and what will come again has happened…herein, one can reflect upon the history of time itself…where for every year of blight, there are years of prosperity…at such times, a being existing in such an era, may never foresee the alteration that shall take place and then again and again….yet, this is the case…and it works in times of positive or negative connotations

Seeing we are where we are, this reality, while keeping in mind that cycles can be broken, it is still, enough to have faith and hope that a positive future will rise once more…

And one must never forget…in spite of the shadows that hinder mobility, we as a united people, exist in a time where creativity is at its most functional, where art, is the language we can use to break free the constraints of negative domains and insure against the rapid decline of the positive realm.

Stop on over to the NWCU and take part in, or simply bear witness to, this week's Wednesday Wake Up Call.  It deals with History. Our history, whether we choose to observe, to document, to paint, to pen, it matters not, as long as we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of what has and is currently taking place.  

With some well-placed quotes and an exercise in both History and Philosophy, this exercise has the makings for a truly unique breed of prompt.  I can't wait to examine all the creative possibilities that will certainly be expected from such a hotbed for creativity as is always found within the pages of the NWCU 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2012 NFL Week 12 Game Predictions

Great weekend of predictions last weekend.  Went 12-2 which brings the record to 110-50 for the season.  Very pleased with how things look through 11 weeks, now just have to carry this momentum through for the next 6 weeks.

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Hope everyone has a great thursday.  Watch that overeating though, might make you miss some football, as there are 3 games again this year.

Thanksgiving Games

Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions

Houston had a real scare last week against the pathetic Jaguars, but won it in overtime.  Detroit lost to GB and because of his antics, the team is suspending WR Titus Young for this weeks game, giving ex-Jag Thomas the start across CJ.  I think this will be a decent game, at least that's what I'm hoping for.  Kind of like both of these teams and hoping the Stafford will be on his game, because I am sure Arian Foster is chomping at the bit to get back in there, as he had his worst pro game last week.  Houston steals the Turkey.  35-24

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys

RGII on national TV.  Can't wait to watch this one.  However, I do think Dallas is the better team and despite barely beating Cleveland last week, I think Dallas wins in a close one 20-16

New England Patriots @ New York Jets

No Gronkowski, perhaps no Hernandez.  Oh, I'm not even going there, they still have Brady and the Jets are pretty bad.  Could I see NY pulling off the upset, sure, why not, but I don't think it'll be close.  NE 30-13

Sunday Games

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Extra week of rest for Locker and the Titans to prepare for perhaps the worst team in football.  I say perhaps because they are starting Chad Henne, don't laugh.  He had a great game against a very good Texans defense last week and gets the nod again this week.  I do think Tennessee will be too much for the Jags but if they can score, we might have a very entertaining game to watch.  Tennessee 28-24

Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts

Last weeks hunch on my Bills paid off. Guess what?  I have another one.  They'll pull another one this week.  Luck will have a great game against us, but I think we'll be able to keep pace and I like our defense right now better than their defense.  Buffalo 35-31

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

Cleveland's not very good, but they've lost some close ones this year.  Pittsburgh is dying at QB, WR and RB.  Well, maybe RB is settled a bit, but still a terrible timeshare there.  Plax Burress just got resigned to help the WR's out.  Charlie Batch will get the start at QB. Too much uncertainty, even if they are the Steelers.  Cleveland 17-13

Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals

Could be a high scoring game.  But for me, it comes down to Cincinnati having the better defense.  Both offenses should do fine, but Dalton to Green should do very well again this week. Bengals 31-20

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

KC stinks.  Denver will get over the McGahee injury.  Denver 35-10

Seattle Seahawks @ Miami Dolphins

Seattle's not the greatest road team.  A month ago I would've taken the Dolphins, but they're sliding and the Hawks are still pretty good, even away from home.  Seattle 20-17

Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa has been on fire and I think they can keep it going this week.  At home is the key for me.  Should be a fun game to watch.  Ryan's throwing too many picks the past few weeks and Tampas' been great offensively.  I'll take TB 28-27

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

I have to make my first if then pick of the year.  There's just no way around this one.  If Cutler plays for Chicago I'm taking the Bears to win 28-17, but if he doesn't, I'm taking the Vikings 20-10

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers

Baltimore has been iffy at times this year.  SD is the model of iffiness.  I have a gut feeling they'll pull it out at home though.  SD 28-23

St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals

Probably the worst game of the Week, well, up there with the Carolina-Philly game.  Ryan Lindlay, no?  I'll go with Sam Bradford at his defense over Lindlay and his.  And for you "but Beanie Wells is back" people, I don't think he'll give them much.  STL- 14-9

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints

I don't care who plays for SF at QB.  Drew Brees will have trouble going at this defense, despite not being nearly as good of a unit as they were last year.  I like the 49er's because while their defense isn't as great as they were last year, they're still very, very good.  Combine that with the knowledge that either QB is playing better than Smith played last year outranks Drew Brees and his offense which is burdened by the terrible Saints defense.  SF 31-24

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants

I think this will be a fun game.  Should be high scoring with two great QB's.  I want to take the Giants, as something tells me they'll pull this out, but I'll go against my gut feeling here and take the Pack on the road.  GB 37-33

Monday Night Game

Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles

This could be brutal to watch.  I have no idea who to pick.  I thought Phiilly would do well against the Redskins defense and they didn't, not at all.  I like what Carolina did against TB in an OT loss.  Yet who knows what Cam Newton will show up.  I really don't know, but I'll gamble on a middle ground Cam Newton to suit up.  CAR 13-9

Again, hope everyone enjoys the holiday with their families and an enjoyable week of football.  See you in Week 13

Ice Adheres Where Warmth's Devoid

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Unsteadied Currents

Shoulders roll as thoughts contour
the landscape of its architecture.

The mind escapes the flaws and quakes
as crested embankments redden each stream of space.

With lost horizons stained askew, welled inside are
veils obscured; torturous to touch, the vesicle reveals.

As the truth turns stern, waves discern,
forever redirecting the crutch; an expanding frame,

broken, from the inside out; unsteadies
as the vein distorts its portrait born.

Voltage passes through minds-eye, where
escaping thoughts infect all they flutter to.

A passive surge, disrupts then sears; the shade
its silhouette suffers from. 

Inhibition blocks cognition. Suffocating ‘til the twitch is gone.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Neon Haze (Surround/Expand)

I covet thee my sweetest princess
Your locks endow this memory
with the most brilliant of salvations

The haze of your embodiment
shades me in rapture

The euphoria in your ether
expands the individuation of history
into a neon gaze that's harboring our direction

Instinctively your enigma
hovers free, caressing the
incandescence of my dreams

Emotions feast upon
the tendrils of imagination
swaying each atomic particle
into unities never yet explored

An aromatic magnificence,
swirls about your midnight's grace
transcending Jupiter's ghost,
with the phantasms swarming thin

Tingling are the bitten sparks
of those porous remembrances
born within

Your most precious of whispers
replenish all vitalities stolen
by maelstrom's approaching tide

You sacrifice everything,
You robe these shoulders
and foster identities unto those unknown

With the most illustrious
devotions man has never seen,
you comfort me, sating me fully

Take hold me here and please promise
never to secede from the chambers
of my all too often vacancy

I covet thee my sweetest princess
more than mortal men could ever know

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 NFL Week 11 Regular Season Predictions

Last week we saw quite a few good teams pull off some really tight wins, i.e NE, HOU, PIT)  an upset in NO, a few blow-outs in DEN, TEN, CINCI, SEA and BAL and a Tie.  Seems like one rolls around every 4 or 5 years, but this marks the first time two teams ended a game tied since the league switched to their new OT rules.  All in all, a pretty entertaining week of football.

As for predicting the games, I went 10-3-1, but I've been trying to figure out what to do with the tie, as I didn't really get the pick wrong, and then again I didn't get it right.  So, I'll count it as a loss, seeing I certainly didn't pick the Tie.  In any case, 10-4 is pretty good, which brings my season record up to 98-48.  I'm satisfied where things stand right now, but would obviously like to increase the percentage before the season finishes out.  So, that's a perfect segue as any to get right to week 11 and the picks.

Thursday Night Football

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

My Bills get a home primetime game.  These games have been forgettable though, going back many years.  There was the Dallas Debacle, the Flex Game Trouncing and the Season opening MNF game when McKelvin fumbled the game away on a return.  Growing up, this was the rivalry game.  Over the years though, this angle has pretty much dried up though.  Yet, it always feels good to get a win against the fish, so I 'm looking forward to some Thursday Night Football.  In the game itself, I think we'll see a lot of rushing.  The Bills have been pretty brutal on Rush D this year, and that bodes well for Reggie Bush and the Dolphins backs.  On the other side, Miami led the league in rushing allowed.  They held this for the season, yet have been getting gashed lately by the speedier backs that can cut the edge.  With Fred Jackson out, this is CJ Spiller's show and cut the edge, he can do.  I think CJ will be the difference here.  I predict he'll have an amazing game stat-wise, putting up 130+ yards on the ground, another 40 receiving and a TD as well.  Bills win 34-24

Sunday Games

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

This game should be fun to watch.  I think it'll be high scoring, with most of the action coming through the air.  Neither team is really strong on the ground, and after a few series or so, I believe both teams will ditch the run and go to the air.  I like GB though, as while I do think Stafford will have a quality start along with his receivers, I think a high ratio of passing only can benefit the GB pass rushers, where a costly mistake or two should be the difference.  GB 30-24

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

Falcons finally lost last week.  Arizona still isn't very good.  I don't think this will be a contested affair.  Perhaps the Cardinals hang in their till the third, but Ryan and company should blow things open from there on in.  Atlanta 34-17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

Carolina didn't fare too well against the Broncos, so they're probably relieved to see Tampa roll into town.  However, the Buc's have been pouring it on lately.  They've been getting insane production from rookie RB Martin and WR Vincent Jackson is proving himself worth every penny of the monster deal that brought him to Tampa Bay in the Offseason.  These two guys are having a great effect on Josh Freeman, who, after a slow start, has really been a steady player the past several weeks.  I like Tampa and I think Martin has another huge game.  TB 24-14

Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys

This could be a sneaky game.  Cleveland's had two weeks to prepare for a shaky Dallas squad.  But, I think Dallas is talented enough to pull this one out.  Dallas in a closer than expected game 28-23

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

Looks like Mike Vick won't play, so we'll get Nick Foles at QB for Philly.  I liked the kid out of Arizona and was hoping he'd fall to Buffalo mid-way through the draft.  That obviously didn't happen and he's an eagle now.  This week, it's a pretty great matchup for his first start.  Opposing team's QB's have fared pretty well against the skins and I think they'll rely heavy on RB McCoy, both on the ground and through the air.  I like RGIII, who appears to get both Moss and Garcon back at full go this week.  I think they'll be able to do enough to make this a toss up, perhaps going to OT.  I like the Eagles though.  27-24

New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams

Jets should win this game, but I don't think they will.  They've been playing terrible lately, the locker room chatter is firing up and they're getting beat around lately.  St. Louis has fare really well under their new coach, who's done a great job with the defense.  But Stephen Jackson and Sam Bradford have looked really good lately as well.  Bradford's having a nice season so far.  I think the Rams Defense will shut Sanchez and company down and Bradford will find the time to throw a TD or two here.  STL 23-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs

Good showing for the Chiefs this past monday.  But you kind of have to put things in perspective though.  They played against Leftwich for most the game, after Big Ben hurt his shoulder, which is far easier to play against then playing against their starter.  Cincinnati has been up and down all year, but Dalton to AJ Green has been hot all season long.  I look for that connection to continue this week.  Pretty easy win for the Bengals.  42-14

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

I see no hope for Jacksonville here.  Their defense will not stop the Texans offense in any manner, nor will their offense be able to do anything against the Houston defense.  Houston huge 38-6

New Orleans Saints @ Oakland Raiders

Two defenses that have been pretty bad this year square off.  Each team has had their troubles running the ball as well.  This could be a fun game to watch, as both QB's have been slinging it this year.  But for outcomes, I can't take Oakland, not against Brees and his weapons.  31-23

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

SD has made too many major mistakes this year and Denver's defense should be more than capable to stir up a turnover or two in this game.  On the other side, I don't think it matters how good the other team's defense is, Peyton Manning is getting the job done in a big way.  Love the Broncos this week.  33-20

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

I love how Andrew Luck has played this year.  It's a feel good story seeing this team that no one predicted to do anything at all, to currently sit in a playoff spot.  Their rallying behind their QB and playing for their coach, doing their part to show their support of him in his trying time.  However, I think Buffalo might have caught NE napping a bit last week, and while they still won the game, they had every reason why they should've lost.  I think that game will serve as a reality check and Tom Brady will pick apart Indy's defense here.  NE 37-17

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

I probably would've had a tough time picking this game if Big Ben didn't get hurt.  While he's not out officially yet, the word is that Byron Leftwich will get the start, and that's terrible news for Steeler fans and great news for the Ravens. Baltimore wins 24-13

Monday Night Football

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49'ers

Interesting game to look at.  Both teams have top 5 defenses.  Both Teams have excellent kickers.  Both are doing great in their ground attack.  The difference in my opinion is Vernon Davis for the niners and Brandon Marshall for the Bears.  However, both starting QB's may be out this week.  If this does indeed happen, which the odds look good for this to play out, second year QB Colin Kaepernick will take SF's reigns while capable journeyman Jason Campbell will go for the Bears.  I think these QB's will limit the production potential somewhat and create a situation where the best defense wins.  I should take Chicago then, but something about Kaepernick tells me he'll do some things scrambling that the Bears won't be in position to prepare themselves adequately for.  I'll take SF in a close on 17-14

Have a great week of football.  See you in week 12

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Windstorm of Velocity

Colors shifting focus,
in and out, up to down
swirl to swirl, blends to curl,
sharp and changing,
palettes a blur,
a windstorm striking
each brushstroke, just
as the inspiration for
design is invoked
and each hue
kindly, softly,
not so gently,
spoke and spoke.

The Arena in the NEWS (For Creative Tuesdays)

The latest Creative Tuesday's challenge is upon us.  This time around the theme is truly NEWSworthy.  Such a theme as news, is so open to varieties of interpretation, I just can't wait to see all the responses that are brought together.

For my piece, I originally intended to draw an old style radio tower.  Before the advent of the internet and all the strands of modern media, we had television.  Yet, before television, there was radio.  One could easily go back further and further, eventually settling on scratches into cave walls.  But, as I was drawing the towers, I went blank, kind of in a zone, and the picture, and all it's lines morphed into something different.

It was here that I remembered a story.  While I can't recall the exact details, it told the tale of millions and millions of dollars were invested in the construction of a new stadium.  The taxpayers were on the hook for the vast majority of the funding.  They didn't have a professional sports team, yet felt they were in line.  In fact the inside information gave them belief, hope that they would be awarded with the bid.  So the town, in all their joy and happiness, decided to put their chances over the top, to construct this beautiful stadium, the best the world had ever seen.

Someplace midway through the process however, many negatives appeared.  First there was an overall, nationwide, depression of economy, which saw the materials needed to complete the project jump up in price dramatically.  Anytime a bid takes place, research is conducted, as to logistics, which include, to a major extent, the pricing of those things necessary for the project.  Well, with the economic blight that persisted, prices shot up dramatically, and the project ran out of money.

But the politicians were not afraid, as they had a great number of privatized backers that had indicated previously that they would help if the situation arose.  Many of these individuals, despite making the promises they had made, had to back out for the huge hits their companies and portfolios had taken.  But still, there were so many, the politicians were not afraid.  They knew that they would get the funding.

Everything changed however, when the professional sports leagues to which they were seeking bids, changed their tunes.  One decided that due to the economy, expansion was not a responsible endeavor.  Another decided to do the same.  The others decided to go with different cities.  So now, today, this city has this shell of what would've been the most impressive stadium ever.  It has since become a black eye upon the public, a reminder of how priorities can easily get diverted by the promise of fame and attention.

So, in a situation such as this, Who, who is to blame?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NFL 2012 Game Predictions Week 10

I have to say, the weeks are flying by.  It just seems like I was writing up the Week 9 predictions, and here we are, already on the eve before Week 10's kickoff.  Last week, going 9-5, certainly was not my best week.  This brings the yearly record to 88-44.  I have to admit, the analysis this week won't be nearly as in depth as it has been each of the other weeks.  I've had very little time to devout watching last weeks games, nor spending much time doing research online.  I'm a bit nervous about picking like this, as up until now, I don't truly have a handle on the major injuries.  

I had considered to make the Thursday Game's prediction now, and then return on Saturday with the other games, but I looked at my planner and there's no way I'll have the time to fit the research in, so it really doesn't make any sense delaying the picks.  That said…

Week 10.

Thursday Night's Game

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags might be home but they'll continue to be without all-pro RB Maurice Jones-Drew.  Andrew Luck is already looking every bit the part Indianapolis hoped he'd one day become and is setting rookie passing records in the process.  Indy's defense is not very good, but they might look very good after playing Jacksonville's anemic offense.  Indianapolis 27-14

Sunday's Games

San Diego Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I'm still saying wow at Doug Martin's game.  It's definitely a game I'll be watching sometime, even if it's during next week.  The stat line was crazy and while running games to some aren't the most fun to watch, I really enjoy watching one that is executed to it's fullest potential.  That said, SD's run defense is near the top of the league in that department and they finally had a really nice all around performance this past weekend.  On the road at the Big Sombrero, especially with how the Buc's have been playing lately, tempts me to take TB, yet, I'm feeling the Chargers in this one.  Just a hunch, nothing more. SD 28-25

Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins

Titans were manhandled in Chicago last week while Miami lost a close one to Indianapolis.  Conventional logic should dictate that Miami would be the team to take here, and it does look promising.  However, I read that Jake Locker, right now, looks to be ready to start for Tennessee this week.  He's a different type of QB from Hasselback, and presents defenses with so much more to prepare for.  I think getting him back will spark the Titans.  I look for a really nice passing game, which, despite Miami's defensive success this year, team's have been able to do, and nice games out of Locker, Washington and one other player, perhaps Britt or Wright.  For the Dolphins, I think they'll do well offensively as well.  Tennessee's defense is attrocious and while Miami is not a high scoring team at any angle, points will be had.  Yet, that said, I think getting Locker back will have a psychological lift and instead of giving up 38 points, perhaps they only give up 30 to the Dolphins.  Titans by 5.  35-30

New York Giants @ Cincinnati Bengals

I think the Giants bounce back nicely and get the win.  Wish I had more to talk about, but the one thing I can say is that this should be a fun game to watch.  Should be a lot of passing stats for both teams.  31-28 NYG

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

This is just stupid, but I'm taking the Saints.  And I'm doing it for apparently no valid rationale.  I think Atlanta is due for a loss and I the Saints defense actually had a pretty decent game last week.  Granted it was against Vick and that pathetic excuse for an offensive line, but nevertheless, they looked good.  Brees is great and Graham is back.  Close, but just a gut feeling.  NO 36-33

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Philly's freefall continues.  Dallas is not impressive, but somehow will pull this game out.  This has the makings of one of those games where neither team will look as if they want to win, in fact, I can see several turnovers late and at the end one team will stand victorious.  I'll go with Dallas.  24-21

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Bills didn't get blown out against Houston, but really, despite the score, never seemed like they really were going to get it done.  NE will most likely have their way with my Bills yet again.  It is sad to, to think how excited Bills fans were before the start to the year, and how we had high hopes for this season, and now, we are really close to that yearly game of guessing draft positioning.  Pats 42-20

Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens

Oakland should be able to move the ball.  This Ravens defense is not the same as it has been.  But Baltimore's the better team and most often the better team wins.  I'll lean the Raven's way here.  27-21

Denver Broncos @ Carolina Panthers

Cam had a good week last week as they pulled off a nice win.  Denver is really looking good though and I think they'll be the better team in Charlotte on Sunday.  Denver 26-18

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

It's weird.  Detroit had their full team together the first part of the year and were pathetic to watch.  Last week Calvin was iffy and went off, Broyles and Young also have been pretty nice compliments.  Stafford is playing great the past couple and the game from LeShoure last week was very good, only outshined by Doug Martins Game.  Viking hype train has slowed down something fierce as of late.  Detroit 38-24

New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks

Jets look bad.  Seattle's nearly invincible at home.  31-9 Seahawks, scoring from each phase of the game.  Pick 6, Punt Ret Td, Rushing TD and Receiving TD, with a FG to boot.

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

I'll take SF here, but preface it with surprising close.  The reason is that Bradford gets his favorite target back this week in Danny Amendola, they were on record pace for catches before he got hurt a month or so ago.  They should pick right up where they left off.  But SF is too strong to lose at home.  5 FGs and 2 TD's for niners in this one 29-20

Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears

Should be a good game.  Two 7-1 teams facing off. Two good defenses. Two effective offenses.  Should be quite the strategic game.  I will take Houston, just because of JJ Watt and Arian Foster, who are the best Offensive and Defensive players in the game in my opinion for either team. 24-23 Houston.  Easily could see it going the other way though.

Monday Night Game

Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Cassel starts again this week.  Just FYI.  Pittsburgh looks as if they'll have all 3 of their RB's to pick from this week, but no Antonio Brown for Big Ben.  KC is a pushover by pushover standards and this should be an easy win for the Steelers.  Pittsburgh 33-7

Enjoy the games, see you next week for Week 11

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Quilt with Scowled Sails

Response I:

cross-cut of vision:
an error applied upon
culture's medium

Response II.

The variant pause
through seas of writhing promise,
unveils caustic poise

Response III-

Coinciding gaps
bounding folds of direction
spanning acute form

Response IV_

Geometry's range
of lauded adoration,
shaping folds of time

Response V

Confusion grown stale
sears the forlorn effigy
misshapenly sized

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NFL 2012 Regular Season Game Predictions

There were quite a few surprises in week 8, namely:

1.  The way Miami went into NY and manhandled the Jets

2.  That SD lost to Cleveland in a 7-6 snoozer, giving up their first 100
     yard game to an opponents RB (Richardson) in the process

3.  That GB only beat Jacksonville by 9 points

4.  How TB went into Minnesota last Thurs. and beat the Vikings down

and some things that, quite frankly, were of no surprise at all:

1.  That SF's defense was able to completely stuff Arizona's offense

2.  That Alex Smith threw for 3 scores, one to Randy Moss, going 18 for 
     19 in the process, which turned out to be an historic night for Smith.

3.  That Peyton Manning and the Broncos pretty much had their way 
     with the Saints Defense.

4.  That KC is topping off my very early list of teams entrenched in the
     Matt Barkley/Tyler Wilson sweepstakes.

I had a pretty good week picking the games again last week, going 11-3.  This brings my season total up to 79-39, which is kind of the area I'm hoping to be in at the end of the season, a bit better even.  To get there though, I'll have to keep picking well, and this takes us to the Week 9 picks:

Thursday Night Game

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Cardinals

If ever there were a week were one could think about taking the Chiefs, it would be this week.  The Chargers just got punched in the face last week in Cleveland, falling 7-6 to the muddling Browns.  Philip Rivers has been pretty much awful this season and to be fair, his WR support is pretty bad, as Vincent Brown's yet to play this year, and FA addition's Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem have not been great by any means.  To make matters worse, their elite TE Gates is having a declining season, showing that even elite athletes slow down as their careers wind down.  But the most baffling thing to me, is the way RB Ryan Matthews has been used.  He's your guy and when healthy, which is a big when, you use him.  Last week on a 4th and one play, SD used Jackie Battle for the play and it fell short.  You can argue all day how perhaps Battle fits the mold better for that down and distance, but if you use your guy, you really can't get criticized for it.  KC is in the same boat, but it's picked up much more water by now.  I fully expect an expensive housekeeping to take place at the end of the season, from GM to QB, I don't think anyone makes the cut.  So, what do I expect tonight, well, it's kind of tough to tell.  If you get the Chargers that play up to their talent level it won't be a contest, but if they let the Chiefs hang around, then who knows.  If fully expect KC to use RB Charles more than 5 times this week, but who knows with Romeo, he didn't even know the best player on his team only ran it five times.  Ineptitude draws criticism and in these two teams cases, rightfully so.  I think SD is more equipped to bounce back, and having KC at home, makes that bounce much easier.  SD 27-13

Sunday's Games

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers

GB scared the cheeseheads a little bit last week, not ever really able to bury the Jaguars in a game that most of those left in Survivor pools took.  They did hang on, and they did it with stud CB Woodson, WR's Nelson and Jennings, whom they'll be without for several weeks still.  Nelson's status for this week is up in the air.  While Arizona does have a decent defense, it really doesn't matter to me who Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball too, as Cobb and Jones look pretty good on the other end.  Arizona will be out of this game by half time.  GB 36-16

Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Detroit let Seattle hang in there till very late last week.  Jacksonville kept it close with the Packers.  This could be an interesting game, but I think there's too much talent in Detroit for them NOT to win this one.  Sure, the Lions have not lived up to expectations, but that doesn't really matter when you're going against another one of those teams that will decidedly be drafting early.  Detroit 28-14

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans

Chicago's defense is head and shoulders better than any other defense in the league right now. No one seems to truly be able to run against them.  They have a vicious pass rush, perhaps two of the leagues best CB's right now and a defense that feels they lost if they don't score. Tennessee is still with Hasselbeck at the helm, and with an offensive line that is very beatable right now.  RB Chris Johnson has had one good game in basically 2 years now, and won't get it done this week.  While Chicago's offense hasn't exactly been lighting the scoreboards this year, Tennessee can't stop anyone.  This, when combined, is a recipe for a rout.  Chicago 32-9

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Broncos are getting better and better each week.  The key, it seems, to beating the Broncos this year, was to have had them early on the schedule.  Manning is looking very close to the Manning of old and the entire team is thriving offensively.  The Defense is not playing as well as it did last season, but, they really don't have to.  The Bengals started off hot but have gone on a three game slide recently.  The defense is beatable, something I'm confident Peyton Manning will do on Sunday.  Denver 37-24

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins

This is one of 6 games I'm not sure of yet.  By Sunday morning I'll probably be closer to confident on most, but this may be one of the two I'll probably remain undecided right up until they start playing.  In any event, because of the Thursday games, I make the picks ahead of time, and as I've been doing, which it hasn't been bad to me by any means, I'll have to make the pick now and just live with the results.  I don't like either team.  But I do like both of their QB's, RGIII a bit more right now.  Each team can be scored upon, but what separates these teams, to me, right now, is their running games.  Carolina, while built to be this powerhouse rushing attack (Williams, Stewart, Tolbert and Newton) just hasn't been getting it done, while Washington is a balanced team with the offensive lynchpin being the ability for the team around him to play up to Griffin's strengths, which is the ability to ad lib and make plays on the fly.  Yet, they found themselves a running back in Morris, and while I have a gut feeling the Panthers are due, partly to the lingering disbelief they had the game against Chicago in the bag, only to lose it late, but still, I have a feeling.  That all said, I'm taking the smart money and going with Griffin, Morris and the Redskins.  17-14

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

It was close when these two teams played a few weeks ago, and that was in Baltimore.  Cleveland's rookie QB has been playing much better, and it's clear that he's learning from his early season mistakes.  That's easy to do though when you have a beast like Richardson running the ball for you and the emergence of a deep threat weapon like WR Gordon.  Baltimore is still the Baltimore we've come to know, but one that has been hurt by injuries.  Yet, the thing that's hindering them, if you want to even call it that, is the Offensive production.  I know, I know, most will say the defense hasn't lived up to their reputation, which I agree, to a point, but for me, it's the way WR Boldin shows up one week, then disappears for a few, it's how their other WR Torrie Smith has not been used to his full effectiveness, and this all could be attributed to the QB play.  I'm not down on Flacco, but I'm not high on him either.  What this all equates to, is teams being able to key in on Ray Rice and force the passing game to beat them.  Fair enough.  And I think this is how Cleveland will approach this game again.  They'll keep it close, but in my opinion, Baltimore is the better team, and Cleveland, while getting better each week, isn't quite there yet.  Baltimore 31-17

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts

Here's that second game of the six I mentioned earlier.  I'm torn here and I'm trying hard to figure out exactly why.  I love the way QB Luck's played for the Colts, ROY candidate for sure in my opinion. Yet, I have to be impressed how the Dolphins have rallied around all the pre-season prognosticators, myself included, that thought they'd be a doormat all year.  I want to take Indianapolis here, but  I have to believe in the Dolphin running game.  Miami in a close one. 23-20

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans

Not going to be long here.  Big news for Bill's fans is that Mario Williams is making his return to Houston, so perhaps we get a few dollars of that contract to show on the field.  But this game is going to be disgusting if you're a Bills fan.  Fortunately for me, I have both the Houston defense and RB Arian Foster on my fantasy team, and while I'll trade in poor performances by both for a Bills win, it's far more realistic to win the Megamillions or Powerball, at least that's how it appears to me, a depressed Bills fan who had high hopes for this season, only to watch teams score a record amount of yards and points against a defense I, as others had, expected to be top ten in the league.  The Laughfest continues.  Houston 56-17

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks

Minnesota's been impressive and a nice surprise story this year.  AP is getting healthier and more deadly each week, which, in part, is one of the reasons the team's played so well this year.  But Seattle has been a surprise as well and while they've lost a few close ones, they've won a few they were dogs in.  They also have a top notch defense and are virtually unbeatable at home.  While I've marked this one as the third of those six uncertain picks, I think the trend will continue here for Seattle at home.  Seahawks 19-13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders

This is the 4th of the six.  I have no handle on TB, except that rookie RB Doug Martin has been awesome lately and QB Josh Freeman has looked like a better version of the Josh Freeman we saw in his rookie year.  Oakland while up and down have been playing better offense as of late and beat KC last week and almost, and should've, beat the undefeated Falcons a few weeks back.  This is one of those games I'll probably flip-flop the rest of the week, but the picks in, and I'll go with my initial gut reaction.  Oakland 28-24

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants

Five of Six.  I can't wait to watch this game.  I really think it'll be all offense here.  Two defenses that can be thrown on with two QB's that can throw the ball.  I'm looking for a shootout with the home team getting the edge.  But easily can see Pittsburgh pulling this out as well.  Let's say NYG 35-34

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons

Last of the six.  You know, this probably shouldn't be a game that I'm not confident in, as I am.  But, it's just that I can't help but wonder, anytime really, when a team is riding an undefeated streak, it has to end someplace.  While it doesn't actually have to end, it most oftentimes does, and I think Atlanta will lose a game before the end of the year, so why not the Cowboys on SNF?  I'm just not confident enough that the loss will come this week though, so with that, I'm taking the Falcons. 30-26

Monday Night Football

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints

Could be a fun game to watch, if not for the points scored, then for the drama unfolding on the Eagles sideline.  This could be Mike Vick's last game as the Eagle's starter, which I find unlikely, as NO is a struggling QB's best friend right now.  Points can and will be scored, and while I typically take the better offense here, I'm going to take the Eagles.  The reason is that there's just too much riding on this game for them.  It's not just for Mike Vick either.  HC Andy Reid is probably on a very hot seat right now, and if he has any chance of salvaging this season, they must win in the Big Easy this upcoming Monday.  Eagles 32-30

Good luck to all your teams, and if you have it in you, for all those outside of Houston, say a tiny prayer for my Bills.  See you next week.