Thursday, November 30, 2006

Houston! We Have a Problem!

Thanks to the NFL's decision to add a Thursday game on a network that nobody can pick up, we are moving our weekly football picks to Thursday….

It is quite a privelege to live in the NY Metropolitan Area - the sports capital of the USA. While other markets are lucky to have a professional team, we have 2 baseball teams, 2 football teams, 2 basketball teams and 3 hockey teams! Heck, even that wacko NASCAR wrecked rush hour traffic yesterday morning so these alleged athletes could drive through Times Square. It's all part of auto racing's attempt to give their alleged sport some big exposure in the NY City area.

This brings us to another point - College Football. I’m not a fan of the sport… I actually grew up in a home where we didn’t watch TV on Saturday so I never really got to see many games, and with all the other local sports teams who really had time to care? In addition, there never really was a big time college football team locally, so fans here are pretty lackadaisacal about the local colleges.

Now a strange situation has come up here in NJ… Due to budget cuts Rutgers had to lay off a lot of workers, and get rid of some of the sports programs there. But as all this is going on, the football team just gets better and better.

This weekend as Rutgers gears up for another big game, there are a lot of people affiliated with the university who are not too thrilled with all the shekels that go to the football program while the other teams are the real Cinderella stories.. I'm talking about Cinderella's day to day life before she went to the ball. If Rutgers wins, they go to a big New Years Bowl.. Probably the Sugar or the Orange. It might actually drag me away from the Honeymooners Marathon on Channel 11.

And if they lose?

Its on to the Texas Bowl, a rookie bowl whose first ever game will be played in Houston, and televised on the NFL Network.. The very same network many people futilely try to find on their cable boxes on Thursday nights to see the weekly game. I don’t even think its on any cable system here in NJ. I believe that NFL Network's NFL games involving local teams are simulcast on regular TV just like when Channel 9 carries the ESPN games when there is a game involving the Giants or Jets. I don’t know if that will be the case for the Rutgers game though. Basically this means that Rutgers will cap off one of their best seasons by going to a bowl that local residents won’t be able to watch. It’s all part of a big mega deal made between the bowls and The Big East football conference that in retrospect is rather boneheaded because it ends up keeping the game out of the NY Metropolitan market.

And if I am not mistaken that will probably be the ONLY bowl not shown in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Now time for the Pro Picks… we actually had a winning week last week going 9-7, but the season to date record is a lowly 75-95-6... Pumpstradamus is 7-4-1, and is a loss or tie away from clinching at least a .500 record!!

Here are the picks.. from the Thursday Star Ledger point spreads.,..

Ravens 3 point doggies over BENGALS – Until further notice I am on the Raven and Charger bandwagons.

GIANTS 3 ½ doggies over Dallas – This is the game of the year for the Giants.. if they pull another floperoo like last week, the season is pretty much done.. if they win.. they move back to first place in the division.

Jets 1 ½ faves over GREEN BAY – Have the Jets ever been road favorites in Green Bay?

CHICAGO 9 faves over Minnesota – Bears try to secure home field through the playoffs.

Tampa Bay 7 ½ doggies over PITTSBURGH – The Steelers more than a TD favorites? Heck no despite the Bucs lousy season.

RAMS 6 ½ faves over Arizona – Why do I get the feeling that the FOX pregame show will not be originating in St. Louis this week?

Indianapolis 7 ½ faves over TITANS – Tennesee has played a lot better over the last several weeks.. so I think they will cover.. but I doubt the Colts will blow a 21-0 4th quarter lead like another unmentionable team did last week.

MIAMI 1 ½ FAVES OVER Jacksonville – The battle of FL – Miami seems to be the team du jour.. but they will probably lull us all into picking them… and then lose.

San Francisico 7 doggies over NEW ORLEANS - I love the Saints at home. But I don’t think they will cover against these much improved 9ers..

Atlanta 2 doggies over WASHINGTON – Could be the week the falcons slump ends.

Kansas City 5 faves over CLEVELAND – Jets fans will be rooting for another lucky Brown win.

NEW ENGLAND 13 ½ faves over Detroit – They may have the spread covered in the first quarter.

San Diego 6 faves over BUFFALO – See the Ravens game above.

Texans 3 doggies over OAKLAND – Another CBS classic.. is this the game poor Knicks announcer Gus Johnson gets assigned to? Actually, the Knicks are just 1 game out of 1st place! (I don’t find out the announcers till the Friday USA Today comes out) See Pumpstradamus below

DENVER 3 ½ faves over Seattle – New QB at the helm.. for the Sunday Night NBC Primetimers - that new Grease reality show looks entertaining, don’t you think?

EAGLES 3 doggies over Carolina – Home doggies on Monday… Ill join the fun at 10 after Heroes… is this the neatest show or what? And what happens in January when 24 comes back??

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK – Pump attempts to secure at least a 500 record by going to Houston this week.. site of the aforementioned Texas Bowl where the hometown Houston Texans travel to the Oakland Raiders.. Sayeth the Pump: “I gotta go with Houston because I always watched Matt Houston with Lee Horsley back in the 80’s"

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