1:00 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh at Detroit (+10.5)
Every time you hear during this game that Jerome Bettis is from Detroit, take a shot. (Of mayonnaise. Because you'd die if you took shots of alcohol every time that's mentioned. And, well you know. Jerome Bettis is kind of a big man. Mayo is his drink of choice. Mayo on the rocks.)
My pick: Pittsburgh
Oakland at New York Giants (-14.5)
Eli Manning is listed as "Questionable (heel)." Actually, that's not true. He's officially listed as "Questionable (a-boo-baa-baa-ooo-heely-hurty-wid-da-widdle-aboo-a-baa-boo-boo-ooh-aaaah-oozies)."
My pick: New York Giants
Cleveland at Buffalo (-6)
I'm not an expert on such things, but I think the Braylon Edwards trade may signal that the Browns are giving up on winning the Super Bowl this year.
My pick: Cleveland
Dallas at Kansas City (+8)
Tony Romo might be without one of his weapons this week. Wide receiver Roy Williams is listed as: "Questionable (ribs)." Don't confuse this with the standard listing given to former Cowboys safety Roy Williams: "Overweight (ribs)."
My pick: Dallas***
Minnesota at St. Louis (+10)
Brett Favre will turn 40 on Saturday. This is officially middle age, when many men go through a phase where they crave attention and make selfish decisions. I sure hope this doesn't happen to the great Brett Favre.
My pick: Minnesota***
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-8.5)
Good luck not vomiting while watching these two teams run around on your screen.
Also, their uniforms are ghastly.
My pick: Baltimore
Washington at Carolina (-4)
In these tough economic times, maybe the Redskins and Panthers can save money on electricity by holding a joint press conference after the game to fire their coaches.
My pick: Carolina
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (-15)
Donovan McNabb is back this week and whoops. Now he's hurt again.
My pick: Philadelphia
4:05 p.m. ET
Atlanta at San Francisco (-2.5)
Okay, we're into the 4 o'clock games. I think that's enough time for me to have waited to start gloating about how awesome I am. 13-1 picking winners last week? 9-5 against the spread? 45-17 and 34-28 on the season? I. AM. AWESOME. Realize this fact. You know, soon Mike Singletary might replace his cross necklace with a pendant containing a picture of me. (For the record: that is not sacrilegious. I can't find one reference in the Bible about Jesus giving advice on betting on NFL games. Trust me. I've looked. Most years my prognosticating is not nearly this stupendous and I get pretty desperate.)
My pick: San Francisco
4:15 p.m. ET
Jacksonville at Seattle (NL)
There is still no line for this game. That could be because Matt Hasselbeck is a gametime decision. Or it could be because many Vegas bookmakers are from Jacksonville and don't care about the Jaguars.
My pick: TK
Houston at Arizona (-5.5)
The Cardinals will be rested coming off of a bye week. Of course, a bye week is sort of a Catch-22 for the Cardinals. For someone as old as Kurt Warner, it just means he's a week closer to death.
My pick: Arizona
New England at Denver (+3)
In the picture at the top of this article, you see Josh McDaniels telling Tom Brady: "Look, Tom, how about you not act like such an obnoxious prick? You realize I can take anyone, even a crap quarterback like Kyle Orton, and have him put up big numbers? Do you? I created you, Tom. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't be banging a supermodel or wearing $5,000 hats or appearing on the cover of glossy goat magazines. You would be nothing more than a game manager with a butt chin. Don't forget that. I gave you a 50 TD season. That was my gift. My gift to you out of the goodness of my heart. And if I ever leave here, your numbers will never get even close to that. Not even close. Remember who's pulling your strings. It's me. Now get out of my sight and go throw it way up in the air to Moss."
My pick: New England
8:20 p.m. ET
Indianapolis at Tennessee (+3.5)
Peyton, I see your commercials. And, really, I'd love to get DirecTV so I wouldn't miss any of your games. ONLY THEY'RE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION EVERY #@!%ING WEEK! I actually wish there was a satellite service that would allow me to see you less.
My pick: Indianapolis***
New York Jets at Miami (+1.5)
Last week's Favrefest was the highest-rated program in cable television history. Can this game match that? Uh, no. Unless maybe they write into the episode Favre getting married, having a baby, or being murdered. I know which one I prefer. (No, not Favre getting murdered. I'm not evil. It's a baby. I prefer the baby episode. BABIES ARE ADORABLE! And then they should murder the baby.)
My pick: Miami (and to win)
October 9, 2009 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @reggie_bush AKA New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush
News What is the UFL?
The UFL opens play this week. What is this thing? Here are some facts about the UFL.
The UFL stands for United Football League. The original league name was All-World Football League, but organizers feared AWFL might speak too closely to the league's level of play.
There are four teams in the UFL the California Redwoods, Las Vegas Locomotives, New York Sentinels and Florida Tuskers. The small size is by design as many startup leagues launched with too many teams. Whereas the UFL's business plan is designed so the UFL never has to contract more than four franchises at once.
Dennis Green is head coach of the California Redwoods. The Redwoods are who he thought they were, as Green thought they were the only team who was willing to have Dennis Green coach it and he was correct.
The UFL has several rules that differentiate it from the NFL: there is no tuck rule, intentional grounding is not a penalty and both teams get possession in overtime. Also, steroids are frowned upon in the UFL.
UFL tickets range from $7 to $42. UFL officials believe this affordable ticket plan could allow them to make as much as $7 per game in ticket revenue.
The UFL's slogan is "It's All About U." This slogan is designed to have two messages. One, that the league is designed for the fan. And two, that league payroll structure that caps player pay at $200,000 is based off of the one long-used by the University of Miami's football program.
The league's other tagline is "Where Future Stars Come To Play!" "As Well As J.P. Losman, Tim Rattay and Brooks Bollinger!"
Oh, what you don't think this is how it went down?
Okay, granted "buggin'" and "ever-lovin'" would probably not be the curse words of choice on a team coached by Rex Ryan.
And these guys do seem to be putting a bit too much faith in fullback Tony Richardson. I mean, he hardly ever touches the ball.
But beyond that, I bet this is what Braylon Edwards experienced almost word-for-word.
Look! Mark Sanchez even dressed for the part.
Pull down your ever-lovin' shirt, white pants.
Pink was the color of choice in the NFL’s Week 4, with players, coaches, and fans donning pink garb in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In keeping with the spirit of the weekend, we now know that many NFL players also dyed their steroids pink, a colorful reminder that breast cancer awareness is crucial both outside and inside of the body.
“We think it’s a really good way for players to help raise breast cancer awareness,” said commissioner Roger Goodell. “Knowing that so many of our players do steroids and that so many of them know someone who has had breast cancer, we felt this was a perfect match. Of course, wearing pink wristbands is nice, too, but more of our players do steroids than wear wristbands. Way more. In fact, most players who do wear wristbands wear them just to cover up their injection marks.”
Goodell said it was the players who came up with the idea for the pink steroids.
“When the players heard we would have a ‘pink’ theme for Week 4, they came to us and asked if they could do this,” he said. “We thought it was a wonderful idea. Now, of course, we do not advocate steroid use. But if you’re going to use them, at least make them pink. Plus, steroids have also been known to cause cancer, so there’s kind of a nifty synergy there.”
The commissioner also noted that the players’contribution to breast cancer awareness shows that, despite some bad publicity, there are still plenty of good guys in the league.
“People always want to focus on negative stuff,” he said. “But I think this shows that there are plenty of great people in this league. I mean, they’re taking time out of their own day to dye their steroids pink. If that doesn’t silence the critics, I don’t know what will.”
Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, one of dozens of players participating in “Operation Pink Juice,”said the idea was born out of a desire to remind people of the dangers of breast cancer. And also take steroids.
“This is just our little way of contributing to breast cancer awareness,” said Merriman, holding up a small vial of pink liquid. “Some guys are wearing pink shoes, some pink wristbands, and some are taking pink steroids. Either way the message is the same: 40 percent of women are at risk of breast cancer and they should get check-ups or something. Also, the NFL will do pretty much anything for a good cause provided it doesn’t cost them any money and the sponsors are on board with it."
Merriman said he had no problem with the color pink and didn’t think it showed a lack of manliness.
“Hey, I don’t mind pink at all,” he said. “It’s a nice color and if it’s being done for a good cause it’s even nicer. Plus I’m very secure in my masculinity. It’s going to take a lot more than pink food coloring in my steroids to make me feel soft. Not doing steroids, for example."
AVOID: Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars Sims-Walker didn't have any receptions in Jacksonville's Week 1 loss the Colts, but since then he has had 6 catches for 106 yards and a TD against the Cardinals, 6-81-0 versus the Texans and 7-91-2 against the Titans. Those numbers put him near the top of the list for fantasy points among wide receivers this season yet he is still available in most leagues. As he should be. Consider Mike Sims-Walker is single. He is good with his hands. He is evasive. He is in his mid-20s. He is fit. He is a loner. (Well, he plays at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, which is pretty lonely.) And he has three names. If the Jaguars thought Matt Jones snorting coke was bad, wait until they find out they have a serial killer on their team.
Scene: The Packers bench. Moments before kickoff. The offensive linemen sit together.
Six years into his career with the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Sorgi is starting to think he is in a dead-end job.
“I’ve worked for the Colts since 2004. I’ve put in my time, done everything they asked and I’m still in the same position I was when I got here,” said Sorgi, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004. “If they don’t think I have a future here, I’m going to have to consider other options.”
The second-string quarterback says he is starting to get pressure from his wife about his lack of work success.
“People we knew in college, guys like Chris Chambers, are starting for NFL teams – good NFL teams,” said Sorgi. “Their wives keep talking about how big and successful their husbands are, all the Pro Bowls they’re making and stuff. And what does my wife have? Nothing. The Colts don’t even let me play so I can build up my resume and get some other organizations interested. I am an embarrassment to my wife.”
But Sorgi says he is determined to change that.
“I don’t want to be stuck here in Indiana forever as some no-name backup,” he said. “I’ve got a wife, a son, I’m going to be 29 years old later this season. I deserve better. I deserve it. And I’m going to go into coach [Jim] Caldwell’s office and tell him that and demand that I become the starter. He won’t want to risk losing me and he’ll give me the job. I just know it.”
Sorgi says he has his whole pitch in his head.
“I’m going to explain how I am almost never hurt and how I know all of our plays,” he said. “And then I’m going to remind him that Peyton Manning hasn’t won a Super Bowl in three years. He’s out shooting commercials and accepting awards while the true behind-the-scenes leaders like me are trying to keep this ship afloat. Nothing against Peyton personally. This is just business. And I think it's time the organization sees if it can do better with someone else in charge.”
Caldwell says he has been given the heads up that Sorgi is itching for a promotion, but is doubtful he can offer one.
“Promotion? No,” he said. “Maybe a slight pay increase. Maybe a seat on the bench with a better view. But like it or not, Jim is not the guy we see leading this team now or in the future. That’s just the way it is. And especially in this economy there are no promotions to be had. Jim should be thankful he has a job.”
Sorgi has made a reservation at one of Indianapolis' most expensive restaurants for dinner tonight to celebrate his promotion with his wife.
"I can't wait to tell her the good news," he said excitedly as he headed into Caldwell's office.