Thursday, November 30, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 13

Apparently, I have to catch up on how we've been doing:

Week 11 results:

Joe: 8-8
Aaron: 10-6

Week 12 results:

Joe: 9-7
Aaron: 13-3

Season to date:

Joe: 89-61 .593
Aaron: 99-64 .607

(Dammit! He's retaken the lead!)

Week 13 picks:

Baltimore at Cincinnati
Aaron: I’m guessing Joe will be quite surprised to hear that there’s a Thursday game this week. It’s kind of like how we were all surprised to see that Joe remembered he had a blog, this week. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Crap! I knew there was a reason you turned this in early. Oh, and by the way: I can't see this game this week. Suck it hard, Time Warner. Pick: Cincinnati

Arizona at St. Louis
Aaron: So Cards’ QB Matt Leinart has already been supplanted as pro football’s favorite faux celebrity by Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo. Still, Leinart’s got that whole “baby mama drama” angle, so that puts him a step ahead of Romo…and seven steps behind Shawn Kemp. (Who? Never mind.) Pick: St. Louis

Joe: For some weird reason, I see this as a game where Leinart straps his team on his back and throws four TD passes on the way to their third and final win of the season. Pick: Arizona

Atlanta at Washington
Aaron: The Michael Vick double-bird to the taunting Falcon fans just made my week. And, where’s Michael Eric Dyson or Scoop Jackson to analyze the whole “Black man booed by (mostly) Black fans” dynamic? Those 2,000 words won’t write themselves, guys. Pick: Washington

Joe: And now that he's freed from his apathetic-except-when-it's-time-to-Tomahawk-chop crowd, he'll actually win a game. Pick: Atlanta

Detroit at New England
Aaron: It’s just about time for the Pats to make their five-week push for the #2 seed in the playoffs. Look for variations of the “we don’t get no respect” card to be played every week from now until mid-January. Pick: New England

Joe: This Detroit team mystifies me: good quarterback, very good running back, very good wide receivers, what's mis-- oh. Yes. Pick: New England

Indianapolis at Tennessee
Aaron: Did Vince Young actually look like an NFL QB vs. the Giants last Sunday or did the Giants’ collapse make Young look better than he is? This has one of those weird 18-17 scores written all over it. Aaron’s Upset Special ™ Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Wow. One Titans upset pick and Cam thinks he's got a pony he can keep riding, huh? On another note, Joseph Addai's four touchdown performance was my favorite fantasy football day of all time. Pick: Indianapolis

Kansas City at Cleveland
Aaron: My fantasy team is 12-0 and Chiefs’ RB Larry Johnson is back in my good graces. And, since this one will likely be played in an arctic marsh, go with the team who’s got the better runner. Besides, I f*cking hate Drew Carey. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: The man makes a good point sometimes. But I've decided that the Browns will be my Tennessee Titans this year. As soon as I correctly call one of their wins. Pick: Cleveland

Minnesota at Chicago
Aaron: Never really got the allure of November/December football outdoors in the cold. It’s romanticized to death by the locals, but I’d have a lot more respect for the guy at the game who says, “F this, I can’t feel my fingers.” Pick: Chicago

Joe: Pussy. "Can't feel my fingers" is, like, stage 1. "Can't feel my kidneys" is where the men play. Pick: Chicago

N.Y. Jets at Green Bay
Aaron: OK…at what point is Brett Favre at 50% health actually hurting his team? Admittedly, the next option is the 3rd string QB, but is Favre actively trying to be in a wheelchair by 40? Pick: NY Jets

Joe: They may not even need Favre, as the Jets run defense could give Ahman Green that one big rushing day of the season. Pick: Green Bay

San Diego at Buffalo
Aaron: I didn’t realize how big a story that last week’s TV blackout in Buffalo was until our local paper (some 3000 miles away) ran a two-page spread on it. Joe, let me know if you want me to DVR this one for you. I’ll save it for your visit to San Diego…someday. Pick: San Diego

Joe: I was on a train at the time, so I didn't notice. I may notice the slaughtering the Bills get this week, though. And just when we were making the "Other teams" designation when ESPN shows the playoff picture. Pick: San Diego

San Francisco at New Orleans
Aaron: Anyone else remember when both Bay Area football teams stunk? Seems like only Week #1. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: Still picking against the Saints, eh? Drew Brees's birth mark will stalk you in your sleep. Pick: New Orleans

Houston at Oakland
Aaron: So, the Raiders covered the spread last week and scored two touchdowns and reward the staff by demoting the offensive coordinator. If I may paraphrase Sideshow Bob, ”The Al Davis, The… Pick: Houston

Joe: Al looks like he might "The" any day now. Let's not repeat the Ralph Wiley incident, Cam. Pick: Houston

Jacksonville at Miami
Aaron: 12 days off and a home game for the Fins? If I were one of those mafia-made prognosticators who sleaze their way onto the USA Network at 6:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I’d be calling the Dolphins my lock of the week. Pick: Miami

Joe: Blast! I hate when he makes logical sense. Pick: Miami

Dallas at N.Y. Giants
Aaron: So, has the in-season retirement and/or the coach bashing and/or the lack of production when he does get the ball soured any of you on Teflon Tiki Barber, yet? I hate that guy. Always have. Pick: Dallas

Joe: The man gives a good chest-bump in TV commercials, dude. I'm more worried that Sean Salsbury will show up at Eli Manning's house and poke him right in the eye. People are a liiiittle to happy to be able to hate the guy. Pick: Dallas

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Take the under. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: Take the home team. Pick: Pittsburgh

Seattle at Denver
Aaron: Let me get this straight: All the Broncos are asking is for new QB Jay Cutler to be better than Jake Plummer? Way to raise that bar, Coach Shanahan. Pick: Denver

Joe: Hey, Shanahan's just trying to keep the smoke and mirrors act alive so that no one notices that he's yet to conjure up a running back out of thin air and turn him into a thousand-yard rusher this season. Pick: Denver

Carolina at Philadelphia
Aaron: Just stay in the parking lot, Philly fans. Your hearts should be able to handle three more hours of grilled German sausages and Cheez-Whiz much better than four quarters of Jeff Garcia. Pick: Carolina

Joe: I think I would hate to be a Carolina Panthers fan most of all. Sickly talented, yet they only seem to put forth an effort every other week. Then I remembered that the fans in Charlotte don't care about anything besides NASCAR anyway. Pick: Carolina

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Drunksgiving '06: Not Without My Turkey

Yeah, so I step onto the train on Wednesday morning at the truly ungodly hour of 5:00 AM and I'm not in my seat three seconds before my iPod proceeds to a) freeze, b) go crazy, and c) die. Perfect. What better time to be without the sweet distraction of Joe's Party Mix '06 than when I've got nine hours on a crowded train ahead of me?

Ah, but before you go thinking this is going to be one of those "my travel story from hell" entries, I have to let you down gently. My New York Thanksgiving was all I was hoping for and more. And by "more" I mean "more wine." And "more walking." And "more laughing at the revulsion of having to watch Cheri Oteri than the actual Cheri Oteri has gotten, ever."

So, in an effort to convey what I've been up to while I was busy not updating this blog, I figured I'd go back to basics, seventh grade style.

By Joe Reid

1. I learned that while rail travel has become something of a forgotten mode of transportation for roughly 360 days a year, during the Thanksgiving weekend, it becomes a hotbed of undergrad travel. Consequently, such luxuries as a free seat next to you and a flexible return schedule become quaint artifacts of a bygone era. But in return, the omnipresent odor of the under-showered that generally lingers in the background on Amtrak's regular schedule is easily overpowered by the cigarettes-and-beer musk of the college student.

2. I learned that while Breathe Right strips have proven invaluable to me in my day-to-day life, they did little to prevent my clockwork-like snoring explosions that jolted me out of my tenuous napping and likely gave the girl sitting next to me some prime blogging material of her own. "OMG, this guy next to me was snoring SO LOUDLY! I swear, this is the last time I travel over Thanksgiving."

3. I learned that while the term "a case of wine" sounds like a lot to tackle, it's really just a starting course.

4. I learned that it's possible to "mis-sort" a turkey and leave your Thanksgiving meal in Memphis over the weekend. FedEx: finding new ways to fuck up your holiday since 1971! I also learned the five stages of Lost turkey Grief. Stage 1: Anger. "The fuck you say? They mis-sorted it?" Stage 2: Pragmatism. "Okay, there was a recipe, in a...magazine? About a one-hour thanksgiving dinner? Okay, all we need is boneless turkey breasts. And...what the FUCK is a 'rimmed baking pan'?" (That's a relapse into Stage 1, which is to be expected.) Stage 3: Blissful Resignation. "Whatever. Somebody's cooking chicken? Fiiiiiine by me, dude." Stage 4: Repetition and Inquisition. "Hey Joe, guess what?" "What?" "They lost! Our turkey!" Stage 5: Punch-drunk Creativity. "What about a postcard of the turkey sunning itself on a sheet of tin foil on a beach in Miami?" "Or a touristy shot atop the arch in St. Louis." "Holding the camera out on its wing and taking a shot of himself at the Grand Canyon." "Showing some thigh as it tries to hitch a ride to Portland."

5. I learned that Vince Chao is the best darts teacher ever.

6. I learned that when you think the continental breakfast runs until 10:30, that generally means that it runs until 10:00, and I'm a dumbass. Consequently, I learned the value of a vending machine Danish as morning sustenance.

7. I learned that Vince takes longer to decide on an outfit than Sarah, AB, and myself combined. And I DIG that about him.

8. I learned that there's no such thing as "filling up on the cheese plate" when the actual Thanksgiving meal includes sweet potatoes, cheese grits, and two kinds of stuffing. Two kinds!

9. I learned the sublime joy of the phrase "fix my grits!"

10. I learned that a Thanksgiving turkey is way overrated. My party feasted on a Turducken for dinner. Only without the duck layer. And without the...turkey layer. Leaving a delicious roasted chicken, which meant all the usual poultry goodness without the fun-killing tryptophan coma. Which in turn meant a few more precious hours of post-dinner drinking to be had at The Emptiest Bar in Manhattan.

11. I learned that the Couch Baron is unparalleled with a jukebox playlist. Give him five bucks, he'll get you Air Supply, the Cranberries, and a side of "Sister Christian." Which led to Erin and/or I constantly interrupting perfectly engaging conversations with the following exchange: Us: "Did you play this song?" John: "Yeah." Us: "Awesome!"

12. I learned that no one wants to watch a DVD starring Cheri Oteri. Or Molly Shannon. At all. Ever. Still. We can repeat this if necessary.

13. I learned that somewhere in the world there are incriminating photos of Erin and I, looking very scandalous indeed.

14. I learned that you walk a lot in New York. A LOT. Which is pretty great, actually, because if and when I do move there, I'm almost guaranteed to lose weight, between the walking and the stairs. Dear God, the stairs. By the end of the weekend, my body kept alternating between "rebellion" and "acclimation."

15. I learned that I have a weird-ass way of playing Leghorn (that's the game where you name movies, and then an actor in that movie, and then a movie that person was in, etc.). Reminiscent of The Great Trivial Pursuit Embargo of '03, my off-putting and savant-like ability to retain the most useless of information makes it so no one wants to play with me. Serves me right for playing Narc off of "Ray Liotta," but still. It also probably didn't help that we all discovered at the same time that I could name all the Best Picture Oscar winners, from memory, back to 1979. Sigh. Boys don't make passes at boys who wear glasses, Joe!

16. I learned that repetition only makes the following words more enjoyable: "Ahhhm Anna Beth! Ahhhm awesome! Greg Berlanti is my best friend! Everybody loves me!"

17. I learned, once again, that Bring It On and Cruel Intentions are fantastic movies and national treasures to be celebrated by our generation for years to come. Whither Eliza Dushku? Tru Calling couldn't have been that bad. Get this girl another role worthy of Missy and Faith, please and thank you.

18. I learned a lot about Celebrity. Like, a really lot. Enough to write a coming of age story about a boy who was inexperienced in the ways of party games, but through a series of misadventures involving Vince bellowing "Sea!" at sub-sonic levels or Sarah desperately trying to convince us that Molly Ringwald had a mustache, that boy becomes a man. Sarah gets the frenzied hilarity of it all a lot better than I do, but trust me. I've got hair in places I never had hair before. I speak with a voice an entire octave lower than it used to be ("SEA!" Nope, still not low enough).

19. I've learned, once again, that it's a sad thing indeed to have to leave all my lovely and wonderful friends after a fantastic four days.

20. Finally, I learned that my lovely and wonderful friends? Are just so JUVENILE!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Trailer Trash: Briefly Bitching

Well, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has finally spit me back into the daily grind, which means blogging if nothing else. I'll get to the proper entries once I've slept. For now, check the sidebar, as it's been (partially) updated. Also check out the two recaps that were posted last week: Survivor 13.8 "Mutiny" and Studio 60 1.8 "Nevada Day, Part II".

Also, if I may, I was at a screening of Volver in sunny New York over the weekend, and it's a good thing it was such a good movie, because the previews got me crabby and early. First off, the Pan's Labyrinth trailer heralded the film as coming from Guillermo Del Toro, "the director of Hellboy and Blade 2." Okay, way to omit The Devil's Backbone, which is only the best movie Del Toro's done AND the closest aesthetically to what Pan's Labyrinth looks like it's presenting. But so long as they draw that Wesley Snipes audience to that subtitled children's horror fantasy. Next? The Miss Potter trailer, which was looking, for lack of a better term, Zellwegery, until the familiar strains of the Love, Actually score kicked in. Don't get me wrong, I love Craig Armstrong's work on that movie, but it was in the Pride and Prejudice trailer last year and it's becoming a shorthand for "English literary romp" that's going to eventually make me roll my eyes at it, which will make me sad.

What, you thought I'd come back without the griping? Please. Lucky for you I'm too depressed to talk about my broken iPod. I cannot go back to the Discman, people! I cannot!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 12

Miami at Detroit
Aaron: It’s the “Dolphins QB Joey Harrington returns to Detroit for the first time” storyline. How has ESPN not given this angle the T.O. treatment all week? 9:30 AM start time out west will challenge my liver by dinner time. Pick: Miami

Joe: Well, I'm out of town, it's a holiday weekend, and I'm pretty drunk right now. Let's fire off these NFL picks with a bare minimum of typos, shall we? Pick: Detroit

Tampa Bay at Dallas
Aaron: Let’s see…called Cowboys (chuckle) “upset” of Colts last week? Check. Called Dallas “best team in NFC East” and was proven right (despite Joe’s righteous indignation)? Check. Kneel before Zod, Joe. Kneel! Pick: Dallas

Joe: Tough talk for a Raider fan. Yeah, I got nothing. Pick: Dallas

Denver at Kansas City
Aaron: Thanks to the war between my cable company and the NFL Network, I won’t get to watch this game as my pecan pie and sweet potato pie double-Black folk-desserts rests uncomfortably on my belly. I’ll be spending my time scanning the Wal-Mart ads looking for a $19 DVD player to buy at 5AM this Friday. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: Yeah, we're bereft of NFL network in B-Lo, too. Time Warner can suck my pecan pie. Pick: Denver

Arizona at Minnesota
Aaron: Cards coach Denny Green returns to Minnesota for the last time…as an employed man. Looking forward to watching Green and Dusty Baker sitting on lawn chairs on a street corner in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year sometime next summer. Radio Raheem, R.I.P. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: With special guest, Art Shell as "Mother Sister"! Pick: Minnesota

Carolina at Washington
Aaron: So, the return of Joe Gibbs has been a complete and colossal failure in Washington? Wow, didn’t see that coming. I’ll be recycling this line next week to describe the “Art Shell coaching Oakland” situation. Stay tuned for that. Pick: Carolina

Joe: Ha ha! Beat you to the Art Shell joke! Pick: Carolina

Cincinnati at Cleveland
Aaron: I can’t figure the Bengals out: chokers vs. San Diego and inspiring vs. New Orleans. Fortunately, Cleveland sucks, so this one will be easy for me. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: Here's how it works -- I pick Cleveland and they blow a late lead and lose in a heartbreaker. Let's see if it happens again. Pick: Cleveland

Houston at N.Y. Jets
Aaron: Y’know, unless a couple of teams show up and bury the Jets, we could be looking at one of those 5-1 stretch runs that puts them in the playoffs. Are they really that good? No. And, they won’t go 5-1 the rest of the way, either. Pick: NY Jets

Joe: You wouldn't think it possible, but Houston's about to face a team that's even worse against the run. Still can't pick the Texans on the road, though. Pick: NY Jets

Jacksonville at Buffalo
Aaron: Joe mocks me any time I bring up the weather in Western New York, so I’ll just say that the Jaguars are the Jamaican bobsled team and this game is that scene in “Cool Runnings” where Leon & Co. walk out of the airport and onto the streets of Calgary. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: Maybe it's the lager talking, but I'm feeling optimistic about my boys. Though the game is blacked out locally, and aside from one glaring exception (the Houston playoff comeback), those never end well. Pick: Buffalo

New Orleans at Atlanta
Aaron: Saints QB Drew Brees is single-handedly carrying my fantasy team. Now, I’m forced to hope that I was wrong, wrong, wrong about the collapse I’ve been calling all year in New Orleans. Lousy road games. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Silly Cam'ron. Games in Atlanta aren't "road" games. Particularly when you're already a dome team. Pick: New Orleans

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Aaron: I think the league should just strip the “defending” champions of their Super Bowl title and get it over with. Although, the Steelers play likely means that Bill Cowher will be shamed into coming back next year to “make things right”. Wait and see. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Shut up, Baltimore. Pick: Pittsburgh

San Francisco at St. Louis
Aaron: I gave Joe the space to take the 49ers last week and he passed. Result: SF beats Seattle. Sorry, Reid, but this week the Niners are all mine. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: And you're welcome to them. I have a feelong this is one of Torry Holt's 9-for-167, 2 TDs games. Pick: St. Louis

Oakland at San Diego
Aaron: Yep…I’m really looking forward to going into work on Monday…in San Diego. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Duck and cover, Oaktown. Pick: San Diego

Chicago at New England
Aaron: All signs point to the Bears gutting the Pats like the funny-talking choads that they are, but I can’t shake this feeling that New England ain’t dead yet. Tell you what, Bears…if you maim Tom Brady, we’ll call it even. Pick: New England

Joe: Hee. "funny-taking choads." I'll vote with my heart. Pick: Chcago

N.Y. Giants at Tennessee
Aaron: Well, it took me 10 weeks, but I’ve finally turned on Eli Manning and benched him on my fantasy team. I still think Vince Young throws like a girl, but someone decided to wake up on that Titans defense and, since they’re at home… Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Dudes, it's late and I'm tired. Pick: NY Giants

Philadelphia at Indianapolis
Aaron: B’bye, playoff football in Philadelphia this January. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: Word. Pick: Indianapolis

Green Bay at Seattle
Aaron: While Seattle fights for their playoff lives, the overriding storyline is whether or not Brett Favre will keep his games played streak alive. Keep us informed, Peter King. Keep us informed. Pick: Seattle

Joe: So long as he keeps Donald Driver's fantasy stats perky, I'm mellow on Favre this week. Pick: Seattle

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 11

Week 10 results:

Joe: 7-9
Aaron: 10-6

Season to date:

Joe: 72-46 (.610)
Aaron: 76-55 (.580)

Atlanta at Baltimore
Aaron: And, that should just about do it for the "Will this be the year it all comes together for Michael Vick?" question and answer portion of our season. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: I've started to have nightmares about the 2006 Ravens. I'm wandering a labyrinthine boiler room as Steve McNair stalks me and drags his razor-fingers along the metal pipes. And they just won't die. Pick: Baltimore

Buffalo at Houston
Aaron: How 'bout that "NFL Parity"? Remember when 3-6 was the season-ending apocalypse? Now, it's just one good month from a #6 playoff seed. Pick: Houston

Joe: This is the kind of marquee matchup that has me considering catching a movie this Sunday afternoon. Pick: Buffalo

Chicago at N.Y. Jets
Aaron: I got a lot more satisfaction out of the Bears' throttling of the Giants, last week, than I thought I would. Do I hate Jersey *that* much? Meh, only Springsteen. Oh, no I did-n't! Pick: Chicago

Joe: Did the Bears just stay in East Rutherford all week? That's certainly an ill-fitting reward for the first-place team in the NFC. (Prize to the second-place team? Two weeks in East Rutherford!) Pick: Chicago

Cincinnati at New Orleans
Aaron: The Bengals crapped the bed in epic fashion last week vs. San Diego, so I can't, in good conscience, pick 'em this week. In another week or so, I'll stealthily slide over to the Saints bandwagon where I'll claim to have been all year. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: On the bright side for the Bengals...nah. I got nothing. Pick: New Orleans

Minnesota at Miami
Aaron: I've had the Dolphins defense on my fantasy team all year and just realized that they've been lights out the last month or so. I'm starting them this week, which means Vikings QB Brad Johnson goes off like a 1958 Bart Starr or, more recently, a 1959 Brett Favre. Pick: Miami

Joe: I must apologize to Dolphins fans -- I forgot that Chris Chambers isn't ever worth a damn until I waive him from my fantasy team, which I did two weeks ago. My bad, y'all! Hope you can recover your season. Pick: Miami

New England at Green Bay
Aaron: I haven't watched much Sportscenter lately, but can I assume that the "Tom Brady's first visit to Lambeau Field" angle has been, uh...significantly addressed? If not, I'm sure "NFL Countdown" will cover the other 800 unexplored angles of "Tom in Green Bay" in their first hour. Pick: New England

Joe: Ah, a rematch of the worst Super Bowl ever. Look, don't blame me. I'm not the one who named a kick returner the MVP. If I had any guts, I'd pick the Packer upset. Sadly, I do not. Pick: New England

Oakland at Kansas City
Aaron: With Tony Gonzalez out and Trent Green getting his his first start in months, Larry Johnson just might set the NFL rushing record. Even with the caveat that every yard gained vs. Oakland should only count as 30 inches. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: The "Don't Pick Oakland" rule? Still in effect. Pick: Kansas City

Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Aaron: Seriously, how many 3-6 teams are in this league? Enjoy your twice-a-year blood feud, Ohio and Pennsylvania. America mocks your Amish ways and cholesterol-laden diets. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: I'm confident that the Browns will learn the lesson the Saints failed to last week: you should probably tackle Willie Parker. Sometimes it takes the league a week or two to catch up to you. It's what we call the Why Doug Flutie Can't Put Two Consecutive Good Seasons Together rule. Pick: Cleveland

St. Louis at Carolina
Aaron: Let's see...whenever the Panthers have absolutely needed a win to build momentum, a win streak, whatever...they've lost. Us football experts call this a "coincidence". Pick: St. Louis

Joe: On the other hand, the Rams can't play defense. Pick: Carolina

Tennessee at Philadelphia
Aaron: I'd just like to see Donovan McNabb get pissed off. Just once. Show some emotion...anything that lets us know that he cares that the Eagles season is slipping away. Oh, and I'd like him to lose the receding hairline, braids 'n' cornrows look. Yikes. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: In the mood for a chuckle on a Sunday afternoon? Check out Vince Young's stat line. 8-for-17, 146 yards, 52 yards rushing and a touchdown. But he sure was awesome in that Rose Bowl, huh? Pick: Philadelphia

Washington at Tampa Bay
Aaron: I saw a magazine ad, just this week, that featured Phil Simms and his equally albino son, Chris, touting the merits of green tea. I sincerely hope that when my son is 25, he no longer needs to suckle from the teet that is my internet celebrity. Pick: Washington

Joe: So, wait a second. The Skins are starting Ladell Betts at running back and some guy named Jason Campbell at QB? On the road? Against a team with a decent defense? Yeah, should work out fine. Pick: Tampa Bay

Detroit at Arizona
Aaron: 'Zona has gotta stop the bleeding sometime, so why not now? They're at home and...well, they're at home. Pick: Arizona

Joe: They're probably due, but I'm still smarting from all those other times I picked the Cards. Pick: Detroit

Seattle at San Francisco
Aaron: It seems that whenever Reid needs an "upset", he goes and calls another 49ers win. So g'head, Joe. I'm giving you this one. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Meh. You can keep your pity pick. I'm sticking with Seneca Wallace. Pick: Seattle

Indianapolis at Dallas
Aaron: The make-believe genius of Bill Parcells gets another 12-month lease, as the Cowboys end the Colts perfect season. Geez, I'm talking like one of the "Sports Reporters" giving their "parting shot" on ESPN. As long as I'm not Mike Lupica. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Rest easy, Cam. If you were Mike Lupica, I'd have killed you already. Pick: Indianapolis

San Diego at Denver
Aaron: That SD defense has stunk it up over the last four weeks, but Denver's hasn't been much better. Meanwhile, the Chargers' offense has been insane, while the Broncos "O" has been...wait for it...offensive. What? You think Joe saves his A-material for this unpaid blog? Pick: San Diego

Joe: Can I enthuse for a moment about how wonderful it has been to have LaDanian Tomlinson on my fantasy team? If I were Bill Simmons, I'd make some pandering comparison about how having Tomlinson on my team is like having a girlfriend who enjoys giving blowjobs every day. Good to know his readers never seem to tire o comparing their cough girlfriends to sporting events. Pick: Denver

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville
Aaron: This week, SI amended their preseason predictions and called the NY Giants as the NFC champs. Methinks when you're not the best team in your own division, you don't get the automatic Super Bowl invite. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Okay, the Cowboys? Not better than the Giants. Not quite. Pick: NY Giants

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Carol Channing offends gay community. Gay street gangs assemble to harass her on the streets and stomp on Original Broadway Cast Recordings of Hello, Dolly.

In a related story: New Studio 60 recap! Find out how many different combinations I can find for [word meaning "gay"] [word meaning "hooligan"]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 10

Week 9 results:

Joe: 8-6
Aaron: 8-6

Season to date:

Joe: 65-37 (.637)
Aaron: 66-49 (.574)

Baltimore at Tennessee
Aaron: Is that really Ravens LB Ray Lewis on the cover of the latest SI posing in a prayer position and gazing to the heavens? Wasn’t he on trial for murder a few years ago and only got off when he turned snitch on his own posse? But, now he’s found God, so open up those gates, St. Peter! Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Once again, Aaron steals all my picks before I can make them. What the hell? You'd think there was suddenly a disadvantage to procrastinating writing something until the last minute. Anyway, check out me being a contrarian. Pick: Tennessee

Buffalo at Indianapolis
Aaron: Funny thing with Peyton Manning, as I’m rooting for him to get a ring and shut up everyone who spends every other week writing 10,000 words on why they’d rather have Tom Brady. When he gets that ring, I’ll be forced to retroactively loathe him for the 20 different commercials that push his vanilla mug into my living room every Sunday. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: Dare I hope that the Bills can repeat Miami's taking down of an undefeated and superior team on the road? Indy may be up for a letdown after the Pats game and all. I'm much closer to making the homer pick that I thought I might be. On the other hand: yikes. No. Pick: Indianapolis

Cleveland at Atlanta
Aaron: It’d be nice if I could take some pride in calling Atlanta’s upset loss in Detroit last week, but I still trail Joe by about 500 winning percentage points. The Falcons are frauds and if this one was in Cleveland…but, it’s not. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: I actually thought the same thing -- if Cleveland's at home, they win this game. But they're not, which means Algae Crumpler scores another six touchdowns en route to a Falcons win. Pick: Atlanta

Green Bay at Minnesota
Aaron: The “Brett Favre Fall from Grace” tour continues this week. If Joe or I were illiterate, unshaven white quarterbacks full of grit and gumption, would we live forever? Discuss. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: Hasn't Favre historically been pretty successful at the Metrodome? More importantly, have the Vikings at all indicated when they intend to start playing football again? Pick: Green Bay

Houston at Jacksonville
Aaron: This game is for everyone who sh*ts on baseball’s perceived “solely regional” appeal and professes to be able to watch “any game” regardless of the participants. Enjoy. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Jacksonville's actually been a decently fun team to watch this season. They seem to have solidly planted themselves below the unbeaten Colts and above the dregs of the AFC South division, and I don't think they'll be budging from that position. Pick: Jacksonville

Kansas City at Miami
Aaron: Justify my love, Larry Johnson. Justify my love. And, if this were 1991, that “justify…” line would’ve been dope. Just like the use of the word “dope”. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: I suppose it makes more sense than "My baby's got a secret, Larry Johnson. My baby's got a secret." Pick: Kansas City

N.Y. Jets at New England
Aaron: Just to summarize Bill Simmons’ next column: Last Sunday’s game vs. Indy was a “big game” before it was played, but since the Pats lost, it’s meaningless compared to playing in January, when the Pats always win. Except last January. Pick: New England

Joe: The column he actually wrote was just as good: "What a crazy, mixed-up world we live in where my team is no longer the best!" Pick: New England

San Diego at Cincinnati
Aaron: Memo to Bengals WR Chad Johnson: You keep right on pouting through a season of double-teams and missed opportunity. Meanwhile, T.J. Houshmandzadeh can continue to fill out my fantasy league roster with his unique blend of TD catches and superfluous consonants. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Making this pick goes against almost everything I believe in. San Diego is the better team, with the better players, and the better chance of getting a job at a public school. But I need to get some separation somewhere. Damn you, Cameron. Pick: Cincinnati

San Francisco at Detroit
Aaron: So, one of the richest and most vibrant cities in America can’t build a new stadium for the 49ers, but Detroit can build one for the Lions? Thank Allah that no one in the Motor City could spell “misplaced priorities” if you spotted them the first 15 letters. Pick: Detroit

Joe: Okay, so it's pretty rough in Detroit. But I saw this movie one time, and apparently there are numerous opportunities for down and out Detroit youths to make their fortune via back-alley battle rapping. Don't see that in San Francisco. Pick: Detroit

Washington at Philadelphia
Aaron: Wow. 15 years ago, it was Randall Cunningham who presided over several hot Eagles starts, followed by eventual collapse. Glad to see Donovan McNabb following suit. All Donovan needs now is an inexplicably dense flattop haircut and someone to take a steam iron to his nose to complete the imitation. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe:On the other hand, Washington is coming off a win so improbable, the score tracker refused to acknowledge it for, like, half an hour. Pick: Philadelphia

Denver at Oakland
Aaron: If my A’s do leave town, the Raiders can have that 60,000-seat toilet all to themselves. The 22,000 people who still go to games there will be pleased. Pick: Denver

Joe: Note to other NFL teams that are not Pittsburgh: consider covering Javon Walker from now on. Honestly. Pick: Denver

Dallas at Arizona
Aaron: With the inevitable dismissal of Arizona’s Denny Green, the NFL will be down to just one inept, chunky Negro coach. You keep on motionlessly carrying that torch, Art Shell. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Did I hear correctly that Tony Romo is dating Jessica Simpson? Man, is Tony Eason ever bitter that he apparently had a shot with Amy Locane back in 1990. Pick: Dallas

New Orleans at Pittsburgh
Aaron: OK, at this point, I’m just going to stubbornly pick against the Saints until that collapse I’ve been calling since Week #5 actually happens. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: This is a trap game, it's true, but after watching Hines Ward's aerial fumble en route to the goal line last week, I'm confident the Steelers will find a way to lose this one. Pick: New Orleans

St. Louis at Seattle
Aaron: This past Monday, Seneca Wallace led Seattle past the Raiders. Yep, a man who sounds like he shares his name with a flavor of Fresca beat my team. This must be what it felt like to get pistol whipped by Marion “Suge” Knight. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Somewhere in douchebag America, Vanilla Ice just said "word!" to something you posted, Cam. Live with that one. Pick: St. Louis

Chicago at N.Y. Giants
Aaron: Take a look at those Eli Manning stats. They’ve been steadily going in the wrong direction for about a month, now. If the Bears were still undefeated, I’d pick New York, but the Bears are mad and they hate that “This is Sportscenter” spot with the entire Manning family. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Amani Toomer AND Michael Strahan are out for this game? Brandon Jacobs can't carry this team all by himself, you know. Pick: Chicago

Tampa Bay at Carolina
Aaron: What’s the over/under on how many times ESPN’s cameras show us Jon Gruden’s scrunched-up freckly face on the sidelines during the game? I’m setting the line at 150. Pick: Carolina

Joe: No more than the number of times the Deadspin commenters will reference the Carolina Panthers lesbian cheerleaders. For more information on that story, Google "Shit that was funny for a week in 2005 before everyone forgot about it." Pick: Carolina

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Movie Survey

From Nathaniel, by way of JA:

Popcorn or candy?
Yes. Please. One's not much good without the other.

Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
Todd Solondz's Happiness. It's creeping up towards the top of my Netflix list, and I will end up seeing it, probably soon, but I'm trepidatious. Even the people I know who loved it are like, "...but it's disturbing." There's an animosity towards the audience that Solondz has that makes me not entirely psyched to see what he's up to.

You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?
You know, at this point, I've gotten enough material out of making fun of Crash that I don't even begrudge it the Oscar. It still doesn't deserve it, but what good does it do to recall the Oscar now? On the other hand, if we gave Scorcese the Oscar for Goodfellas in 1990 over Costner, it rectifies two evils -- 1) Marty's never won; 2) Costner has -- and it also stops everyone from freaking out this year if he loses again.

Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?
Oh God, I don't know. One of those top-hatted numbers Daniel Day-Lewis wore in Gangs of New York.

Your favorite film franchise is...
I'm going to count the Christopher Guest movies as a franchise and say that.

Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?
Tough! But fun. Okay...lemme think...okay, Meryl Streep, John Cameron Mitchell, Jenna Fischer, Mary McDonnell, and Billy Crudup. And then we'll all make a movie together (that's the "why"). And I'd serve more booze than you'd think possible, just to get them talking.

What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?
I was going to say just being that person is punishment enough, but those people have next to no self-awareness anyway. So the alternative has got to be that box with the razor blade hand-holes from one of the Saw movies.

Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days
Process of elimination: Sarah Connor is out because she's legitimately crazy and who knows when she'll decide I need to die to preserve the future? The Bride has her own agenda, so she won't exactly have my safety as priority one. Ripley's fierce and all, but didn't that little girl end up getting killed later on? Thanks, Ellen, but no thanks. Mace is cool and all, but her propensity for falling hopelessly in love with her emotionally unavailable clients is a hassle I don't need, no matter how attractively masculine she looks. Which leaves me with Mystique, which is fine with me, because she's a bitchy gossip in addition to a crack assassin. My kinda girl.

What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
Mine is almost the exact same as JA's, but mine's from the American version of The Ring -- when the girl crawls through the TV. OHMYGOD!

Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is?
I haven't considered this one nearly enough, but I do enjoy myself a road picture. Not sure exactly why.

You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
Nothing but remakes and bio-pics! Heh, sorry, I just made Nathaniel's heart explode. I'd get movie commitments from Wes Anderson, Zack Snyder, John Cameron Mitchell, Kimberly Pierce, and Richard Linklater. I'd get the crew from Wet Hot American Summer to make another movie. I'd lock Richard Kelly into a room and let him brainstorm for three days. I'd get HBO to agree to a twenty-episode commitment to adapting the Sandman series and Watchmen, Danny Boyle to direct the former and Paul Greengrass the latter. And I'd find primo lead roles for Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox, and Catalina Sandino Moreno.

Bonnie or Clyde?

Who are you tagging to answer this survey?
First one to take this on wins a special shout-out!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fall Movie Preview, Part 4

Movie: The Holiday (Nancy Myers)
High-Concept Synopsis: Lovelorn Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap locales in an effort to change their fortunes for the holidays. Jude Law and Jack Black co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Winslet fans attracted to the oddity of seeing their girl star in a "rom...antic". RomCom fans who think Nancy Myers (Somethings Gotta Give; What Women Want) does the genre pretty well. Aesthetes -- Diaz and Law ain't exactly a couple of sea hags out there.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Certain male filmgoers whose balls tend to shrivel at the thought of Something's Gotta Give and What Women Want. Cameron Diaz non-fans, who I don't blame one bit. Hardcore Tenacious D fans who are sick at seeing Jack Black "go soft."
Why I'd See It
: Winslet does comedy! Come one, come all!

Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness (Gabriele Muccino)
High-Concept Synopsis: Will Smith plays a smart but struggling single father who pulls himself up by his bootstraps or something similar.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences looking to feel good and be inspired. Folks who loved Smith's video for "Just the Two of Us" back in the day and felt it deserved to be expanded into a feature-length movie. Currently unemployed film fans looking for a few good ideas.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences to whom fare as overtly heartstrings-pulling as this sets their teeth on edge. People whose taste for father/son co-stars was forever soured by Kirk and Michael Douglas. Spelling sticklers who have been driven to incoherent angry babbling at the blatant typo in the title.
Why I'd See It: Eh. I probably will, just to be a completist, but to be honest, it's not holding a heck of a lot of appeal.

Movie: Dreamgirls (Bill Condon)
High-Concept Synopsis: A movie musical based on the acclaimed broadway play based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes. Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Oscar-chasers, as this film is currently considered one of the frontrunners. Audiences who have grown to appreciate director Condon, who won raves for directing Gods and Monsters and adapting the Chicago screenplay. American Idol fans who are psyched to be able to voice their support for J-Hud again.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Filmgoers who are pants-wettingly afraid of musicals. People who have burned themselves out on Jamie Foxx's Traveling Self-Congratulation Show. Latoya London, who neither won AI nor got the Oscar-buzzed role in the big Hollywood musical, and you know girlfriend is holding a grudge.
Why I'd See It: Bill Condon is okay by me, and I'm curious to see what kind of performances this combination of actors and material will surface.

Movie: Apocalypto (Mel Gibson)
High-Concept Synopsis: The end times of the Mayan civilization is given the Mel Gibson treatment. Which translates, roughly, to lots of blood and subtitles. And we're pretty sure he defames the Aztecs.
Who Will Be Seeing It: The segment of Gibson's fan base who have taken in all the recent controversy and decided to stand by their man anyway. The segment of Gibson's fan base who don't have TVs, computers, or the ability to read. Mayans worldwide, who have been told its their sacred duty to see it and drive up its grosses. Hey, when a marketing plan works once...
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Jews, sugar-titted women, and those aforementioned Aztecs, who have resented what appears in preview screenings to be a portrayal of their people as greedy Christ-killers, particularly odd since Christ would not be introduced to those peoples for some six hundred more years.
Why I'd See It: What are you kidding? I won't be seeing this movie. I don't know how Mel's gonna get anyone to see it, without having the threat of Lenten damnation to hold over Catholics' heads like he did with a certain religio-horror blockbuster film I could mention.

Movies: Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre)
High-Concept Synopsis: Cate Blanchett is a teacher at a British high school whose affair with a student is discovered and preyed upon by lonely (and possibly lesbonic?) fellow teacher Judi Dench. Happy holidays!
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of stately British hard-core thespians getting their scandal on. Fans of scandalous lesbians getting their hard-core British actress on. Fans of note-taking, who we expect have been slightly misled by the title.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences who are fine with lesbians and fine with Judi Dench, but perhaps not both at the same time. Filmgoers who might be fine with Blanchett, but does she have to make three movies every fall? The fine patriots who think an American holiday like Christmas should be celebrated by watching a film set in America, dammit.
Why I'd See It: Blanchett vs. Dench is a battle I'm more than willing to see. The trailer suggests something compelling.

Movie: The Good Shepherd (Robert DeNiro)
High-Concept Synopsis: The early and formative years of the CIA, with Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup, John Turturro, Joe Pesci, and Michael Gambon.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Political intrigue junkies, history buffs, and the "We Realize You've Made a Dozen Movies This Year, But More, Please" society of Matt Damon fanatics.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: The folks at Gitmo, for starters. Lilio Brancato, star of DeNiro's only other directorial effort, A Bronx Tale, who is, we believe, in jail for shooting a cop. So...unless it's movie night in the cell block. Oh, and Jennifer Aniston is probably still holding a grudge against Angie and all, right?
Why I'd See It: The acting talent involved is pretty sick, and the trailer promises something all involved and twisty. Oh, and also sobering, with regard to our nation's checkered black ops past.

Movie: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)
High-Concept Synopsis: The bloated corpse of Rocky Balboa gets propped up in the ring to absorb some punches for America one more time.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Desperate nostalgics. Last-minute Christmas shoppers who need to take an hour or so off their feet. Severely punch-drunk people who don't know better.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Actual over-the-hill boxers who can't seem to steady their trembling hands long enough to reach into their pockets for the fare. Rocky fans adamant that the series ended with Dolph Lundgren. Anyone who reads the plot description and makes it to the rival boxer named "Mason Dixon."
Why I'd See It: The laughter.

Movie: Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
High-Concept Synopsis: It's the future, and the human race has stopped being able to produce children. Clive Owen and Julianne Moore have to transport a miraculously pregnant young woman to sanctuary and the hope of a future. Now that's a logline.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Cuarón fans, who have seen him work wonders with Y Tu Mama Tambien and the Azkaban entry in the Harry Potter series. Fans of thinky, grounded sci-fi. Julianne Moore fans ecstatic to see that she's not the freaked-out and embattled mother for once.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Right-wing political types obviously turned off by the film's title. Major film and television actors driven to spitefulness by Clive Owen's awesome talent. Cuarón loyalists skeptical that he can get some of that customary homoerotic tension into the scenes between Owen and Michael Caine.
Why I'd See It: The trailer is one of the most exciting and intriguing of the year, and one that reminds me -- strangely and in all the best ways -- of 28 Days Later. Plus, Owen and Moore are stalwarts, and there's nothing in December that is remotely as compelling.

Movie: Factory Girl (George Hickenlooper)
High-Concept Synopsis: See, back in the '60s, idle rich celebutante princesses latched onto avant garde artists and folk singers rather than Brandon Davis. Sienna Miller is Edie Sedgwick -- who lived fast and died at 28. Guy Pearce co-stars as Andy Warhol, and Hayden Christensen is totally not Bob Dylan, they swear.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Leftover Warholian relics. Gossip mongers eager to see if Miller and Christensen have anything goin' on onscreen. Concerned citizens looking for ideas as to how to kill Paris Hilton by the time she's 28.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: The proud residents of Shittsburgh, PA -- there may not be anything to do there, Sienna, but I'm sure they'll figure out something the weekend your film opens.
Why I'd See It: It's a fun era, and who doesn't love a thinly-veiled Dylan portrait?

Movie: Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro)
High-Concept Synopsis: Del Toro once again delves into the world of children coping with war-torn Spain amid a fantastical/supernatural setting. This time it's a little girl who creates a fantasy world where she can escape.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Del Toro fans who see all the best elements of his The Devil's Backbone in this scary-yet-warm premise. Audiences who want to scare the hell out of their children as a way of getting the new year off to an obedient start.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences looking for more traditional family fare in December. Audiences looking for more traditional horror fare in December. Audiences who are just fine with non-traditional family/horror, but who don't like to read subtitles. This won't be an easy sell, is what I'm saying.
Why I'd See It: I like the way Guillermo Del Toro approaches a film, and this movie looks to be different from anything available this winter.

Previously: Fall Movie Preview Part 1; Part 2; Part 3

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 9

Week 8 results:

Joe: 6-8
Aaron: 7-7


Season to date:

Joe: 57-31 (.648)
Aaron: 58-43 (.574)

Atlanta at Detroit
Aaron: I don't care that Mike Vick has thrown 50 TDs in the last two weeks. He beat an overrated Bengals team and awful Steelers squad. Detroit's not bad, they're just "misunderstood." Pick: Detroit

Joe: They're also bad, but they're also also the only team that's gonna get Mike Furrey any fantasy points this week, so I'm pulling for them. However, I've been historically too pessimistic about the Falcons this season, and I don't want to get bit about it again. Pick: Atlanta

Cincinnati at Baltimore
Aaron: For all you SI readers, this week's issue features a 300-word blurb on the Ravens' big win last week (Inside the NFL) that's the same size as SI's recap of the Buffalo Sabres entire season, so far (Inside the NHL). In other news, Rick Reilly still isn't funny. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: The Sabres might score more goals this weekend than Baltimore scores points. Offensive points. I'd like to say this is the game where Baltimore comes back down to earth, and I'll probably get burned for it as usual. Pick: Cincinnati

Dallas at Washington
Aaron: Earlier this week, SI's Peter King called Redskins' QB Mark Brunell a "warrior". Mark Brunell. William Wallace. I don't see it. Pick: Dallas

Joe: They both part of overrated organizations led by egomaniacal dipshits? I dunno. I, for one, am welcoming the Tony Romo era with open that I may intercept one of his passes. Pick: Washington

Green Bay at Buffalo
Aaron: That's some mighty-fine scheduling, NFL. Let Brett Favre fatten up on the league's creamy middle, before squashing his hopes dead with a brutal stretch in December. How does 6-10 look in that blurry, soft focus lens, Brett? Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Aw, Cam thinks the Bills are part of the NFL's "creamy middle." That's so sweet. Honestly, for all the shit I've talked about Favre this season, I'm gonna be bummed if he beats my team. Pick: Green Bay

Houston at N.Y. Giants
Aaron: This'll be a nice tune-up before the Giants end the Bears' undefeated season next week. Hey, I can see into the future! I hope my powers don't come and go like Desmond's from Lost. I mean, he could "see" where lightning would strike, but couldn't "see" that Eko would (spoiler alert) die? Pick: NY Giants

Joe: Once again, Adebisi leaves a show before it's completed its run. Sad. Anyway, I'm gonna continue to ride this Giants thing until it crushingly lets me down. Pick: NY Giants

Kansas City at St. Louis
Aaron: Well, I for one can't get enough of Missouri. Their cuddly little Ewok/shortstop, David Eckstein, is the toast of St. Louis...which, was just voted most dangerous city in America. Throw in a controversial stem-cell debate across the state, too. And, I still hate Nelly. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: Speaking of stem cells, who else is majorly not looking forward to Trent Green's triumphant return so that he can Steve Young/Pat LaFontaine himself into an early, brain-damaged grave? Pick: St. Louis

Miami at Chicago
Aaron: Need another reason why old people suck? The '72 Dolphins, the NFL's last undefeated team, still think anyone cares about them whenever they show up to root against an 8-0 team in November. We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Oh, God. I forgot about that Nick Buoniconti douchebag champagne toast. Like I needed another reason to root for the Bears. Pick: Chicago

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Aaron: I've been calling NO's collapse since week #1 and been wrong all year. But, letting George Washington Carver McNair come into the Superdome and dominate can't be a good sign. The end is nigh, N'Awlins. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: Which is why they'll be foaming at the mouths to make a statement here. And that statement will be "We're certainly not worse that Steve Bartkowski or whoever is behind center for the Bucs, right?" Work on something pithier next time, Saints, damn. Pick: New Orleans

Tennessee at Jacksonville
Aaron: OK, let's recap...Jacksonville, FL has a team. Nashville, TN has a team. Los Angeles, CA doesn't have a team. Get those expansion applications ready in Sioux City, Bismarck, and Albany! (Yeah, I know...see, that was kind of the joke.) Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Dude, I'm pretty sure Tennessee doesn't have a football team. Pick: Jacksonville

Minnesota at San Francisco
Aaron: So, now the Republicans are using "San Francisco values" as a catchphrase for all that is immoral. And, yet Oakland...right there on the corner of Crack and Gang...gets a pass. I hate Republicans. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: I'd go into a rant about how Republicans are scared of black people but not gay people, but that would lead to me starting a counterrevolutionary guerrilla army designed to strike glitter-clad fear into the hearts of the ruling class. For now, I'll just go for the upset. Pick: San Francisco

Cleveland at San Diego
Aaron: In the eyes of SD fans, Barry Bonds is a no-good steroid cheat, while Shawne Merriman is "intense" and "made a mistake". Just more proof of the double-standard for dark-skinned bruthas and light-skinned bruthas. Pick: San Diego

Joe: There's a joke about the "Browns" here, but I'm far too frightened to make it ("Not just Republicans, is it, hypocrite!"). Cleveland got their win last week. They should be good until December. Pick: San Diego

Denver at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Denver's defense played so bad last week that they literally scored negative points for my fantasy team. Big Ben might not survive this game. From there, I hope they'll turn their wrath onto the entire NBC pregame studio team. Yup, you too, Collinsworth. Pick: Denver

Joe: Not to mention the whole revenge factor from last year's AFC championship game. This could get murder-y, and quick. Pick: Denver

Indianapolis at New England
Aaron: I'm rooting for the Colts just so we can get a 2,000-word whining rant from Bill Simmons. Just like last year, when the Colts beat his Pats. Still, that Indy defense looks worse than...worse than... Well, "worse" enough for me to pick the Pats. Pick: New England

Joe: Ah yes, that would be the "The NFL cheats on behalf of the Manning family, and besides, we didn't even want to win" column. I recall it fondly. I'd love to pick the Colts, but...I never get my way with regard to New England. Pick: New England

Oakland at Seattle
Aaron: The Raiders had 98 yards of total offense last Sunday. For you non-football fans, that's the equivalent of the 200 points you get for spelling your name right on the SATs. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Just give him the ball and get out of Seneca Wallace's way, people! Pick: Seattle

Friday, November 03, 2006

The One With Chandler N The Hood

Mom's wearing a cardigan, which probably tells you all you'll need to know for now. Dad's wearing a plaid shirt, modest blazer, and the permanent scowl of the emotionally distant and disapproving father. "Dammit, Tom," it seems to say, "I'm a coal miner, not a professional film and television actor." ("MerMAN!" cries Tom in anguish. "MerMAN.")

There wasn't a Studio 60 episode this week, but here's my recap from last week. The episode sucked an amount of ass I didn't think possible, but (or maybe as a result) the recap was quite enjoyable to write. Read it here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Book Survey

Ten questions, on the books we love and why we love them.

(I got tagged by ModFab)

1. One book that changed your life?
It's probably pedestrian or whatever to say a Stephen King book changed my life, but before The Stand I didn't like reading, and after The Stand I did. So much that I read it three times.

2. One book that you have read more than once?
I generally don't read books multiple times when there are so many books I haven't read once, but I've gone back to Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures many a time. So many dishy Harvey Weinstein anecdotes.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Because I'm a dirty cheater, I'd take all ten volumes of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. Less words, sure, but much more story to ponder.

4. One book that made you cry?
Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World was very emotional (and I know I shed a tear or two when the movie adaptation got botched), but -- and this'll save me the blog post I was going to make about this anyway -- they're making a movie out of the children's book Bridge to Terabithia, and I will just say that this book is the saddest thing I have ever read in my entire life. Nobody made it through elementary school with their composure intact, thanks to Charlotte's Web and this book.

5. One book that made you laugh?
Oh gosh, where to begin. I'll tell you the last two that cracked me up were Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and Pamela Ribon's Why Moms Are Weird.

6. One book you wish had been written?
This is something of an odd question, but I will say I wish Scarlett Johansson had put pen to paper in some fashion about that whole trip to the Celebrity Center Tom Cruise took her on when trying to woo her into being his M:I 3 co-star (and also his wife?).

7. One book you wish had never been written?
Hmm. Even books I hated I still think deserved to be written, if only to provide the contrast. I haven't read it, but I really wish Stephen King hadn't written a book about such a cranky grandpa concept as evil cell phones, I'll say that.

8. One book you are reading currently?
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Erik Larson's Devil in the White City, which is staring at me accusingly as we speak.

10. Pass it on.
Hit it, JA of My New Plaid Pants!