Friday, September 28, 2007

Smooth Joey Apollo's '07 NFL Picks: Week 4

Last week's records:

Aaron -- 11-5
Joe -- 11-5

Season to date:

Joe -- 36-12
Aaron -- 28-20

This week's picks:

Houston at Atlanta

Aaron: Former backup QB Matt Schaub returns to Atlanta in what should be a final, fitting epitaph of the Falcons season. Hey, anything to get the shocking revelation that Mike Vick smokes pot off the front page. Pick: Houston

Joe: Normally I'm all for Michael Vick getting all the scrutiny ad derision coming his way and then some, but I'm with Cam here: maybe if he had smoked MORE pot he'd have lost the initiative to run that dog-fighting ring in the first place. Pick: Houston

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Aaron: One of sports oldest clichés is referring to a team riddled with injuries as a "M.A.S.H. unit". It's time to bring that archaic World War II reference into the 21st century. The '07 Buffalo Bills are more akin to Iraqi civilians. Pick: New York Jets

Joe: And now is the time when Joe breaks his vow to only bet against his beloved hometown team so as to avoid disappointment and perhaps enact the rare reverse juju. Pick: Buffalo

Oakland at Miami

Aaron: A cross-country flight to play a three hour game in the moist hell of Miami combined with a week's worth of recycled "something to prove" stories on Daunte Culpepper (who's had "something to prove" since Minnesota dumped him 18 months ago) makes this one an easy pick. Pick: Miami

Joe: What is that intoxicating aroma? Could it be a freshly-opened bottle of Whine? Boo-hoo, your team has to travel cross-country! That's what you get for living on the wrong coast, my friend. Pick: Miami

Chicago at Detroit

Aaron: Cheers to Chicago for benching QB Rex Grossman. Jeers to Chicago for their injury-depleted defense. Hmm, our "TV Guide Test" cancels these actions out. Tie goes to the home team. Pick: Detroit

Joe: This week's episode of Joe Continues To Pick The Bears, To His Peril is brought to you by the memories of Brian Griese's dozen or so productive NFL starts and none of his other ones. Pick: Chicago

St. Louis at Dallas

Aaron: For all the praise that Bill Parcells generates from old school fans, it's obvious that his schtick works fine for veteran teams and not so much for young ones. Put another way, the Cowboys are playing like a team whose collective wives left them. And, took the kids. Pick: Dallas

Joe: I don't know what any of that means, but I do know that St. Louis is suiting up Brett Hull and Nelly to play offensive line this week. Pick: Dallas

Baltimore at Cleveland

Aaron: For anyone still uncertain: the Browns aren't so much "score 51 points good" as the Bengals are "give up 51 points bad". Oakland brought the Browns back to earth. Baltimore will bury them. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Will my irrational hatred of the Baltimore Ravens cause me to overvalue the Browns at home? You're goddamn right it will. Pick: Cleveland

Green Bay at Minnesota

Aaron: Last week, the Packers beat a talented Chargers team desperate for a win and hoping to make a statement. Meanwhile, Minnesota lost to one of the three worst teams in the league. One more week just out of the reaper's reach, Brett Favre. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Has nobody yet figured out that the real Superman in Green Bay is Donald Driver? Really? Pick: Green Bay

Seattle at San Francisco

Aaron: Hey, two of my favorite American cities head-to-head! About five years ago, I puked away a night of beers and shots in a San Francisco alley. Ten years ago, I puked away a night of cognac, cigars and oysters in a Seattle alley. No contest. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Seattle attempts to set the NFL record for most unimpressive victories in the month of September. Good thing the Niners suck. Pick: Seattle

Tampa Bay at Carolina

Aaron: The two week win streak ends here, Buccaneers. I give 'em another month before they're back in their orange "winking pirate" unis to make the transformation complete. Pick: Carolina

Joe: I'm just hoping DeShaun Foster manages to stay healthy long enough to inflate his trade value so I can trade him before the knees give out. Fantasy Football makes me sound like a plantation owner in Georgia some days. Pick: Carolina

Denver at Indianapolis

Aaron: Trap game? Two close calls for the Colts combined with a Broncos team coming off an embarrassing home loss means…well, nothing. Gotta go with integrity and Tony Dungy's sanctimonious moral proselytizing slightly trumps Mike Shanahan's shady ways. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: I'll give this to Bill "Awfully Cocky Now That The Sox Have Narrowling Avoided Giving The Division Away" Simmons: his podcast reminded me just how much Peyton Manning enjoys putting points up on the Broncos. Anthony Gonzalez breakout game? Pick: Indianapolis

Kansas City at Chargers

Aaron: A loss to KC would be deliciously divine, but alas, the Chargers should take out three weeks of offensive frustration here. My consolation prize will have to be all the hyperbolic "Bolts are BACK!" headlines for this win against a Big-12 Conference team. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Any chance Larry Johnson defects to San Diego after this game, like the hockey players and figure skaters of Ye Olde Soviet Union used to do? Pick: San Diego

Pittsburgh at Arizona

Aaron: A quarterback controversy that features Kurt Warner as one of the options can be looked at in one of two ways: (1) the incumbent is ineffective or (2) someone did a sh*tty job of signing an understudy. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: I'm almost tempted to go with 'Zona here, but for Anquan Boldin being reportedly banged up. It's a trap game for the Steelers, for sure. Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at New York Giants

Aaron: Quite the performances from two teams who walked amongst the dead before last week, no? I think McNabb has more to lose here, as his recent comments were akin to tying his own noose and another loss will lead to…I think I need a new analogy. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: I'm thinking a 50+ point day against the Detroit defense is essentially the same as Cleveland's "not so fast there" point barrage v. Cincy. Eli Manning will continue to throw TD passes to Plaxico Burress until ol' Plax is just a pile of torn ligaments and hairline fractures. Pick: NY Giants

New England at Cincinnati

Aaron: Another prime time game for Tom Brady? Another prime time game for Chad Johnson? I think I'll watch the premiere of Aliens in America at 8:30, instead. Wait…what time does the game start out in Cali? 5:30? F*ck. Pick: New England

Joe: Just so we're clear: if you're not a Patriots fan, you're rooting for the Bengals this week. You are. YOU ARE. I never thought there'd be anything more insufferable than the '72 Dolphins and their annual champagne toast to their being the only team ever to go undefeated, but if there was any team (and fan base) that'd be a sure bet to do something even douchier, it's the '07 Pats. This cannot happen. Pick: New England

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pssst! Hey!


I'm back to updating the sidebar again, after an unscheduled hiatus. Thank the new TV season for that.

(As for the actors tournament: working on it!)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Smooth Joey Apollo's 2007 NFL Picks: Week 3

Last week:

Joe: 11-5
Aaron: 7-9

Season to date:

Joe: 25-7
Aaron: 17-15

Arizona at Baltimore

Aaron: Pretty sure that ‘Zona’s 0-2 start is the only single-team prediction I’ve gotten right in the first two weeks. I expect the Ravens’ defense to ugly up Leinart’s beautiful mug all game long. Hey, Ray Lewis! I hear Leinart got your sister pregnant! Get him! Pick: Baltimore

Joe: It appears that the Cards are slightly better than last season, whil Baltimore is a bit worse, leading them both to meet in the creamy middle of the NFL. Maybe I've just got a hankering for Double Stuf'd Oreos. Pick: Baltimore

San Diego at Green Bay

Aaron: I never thought I could recapture the joy of last January’s Chargers Playoff Debacle. Then, came the wonderfully apocalyptic reaction from the imbecilic locals here in SD after last week’s loss to the Pats to prove that the joy is still there. I’m going more with my heart than my head (which hasn’t done shit for me in picking games, so far). Stupid head. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Argh -- I hate picking this game. If it's in San Diego, I'm picking the Chargers easy, but the Packers haven't looked half bad, while the Chargers...well, have. Pick: Green Bay

Indianapolis at Houston

Aaron: On the one hand, I said the Colts would hang 50 on the Texans. On the other hand, Texans management insisted that they selected Mario Williams over Reggie Bush just so he could chase down Peyton Manning twice a year. Oddly enough, I like my prediction more. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: The Houston resurgence (or, rather: surgence) is for real, and I wouldn't be entirely shocked to see them pull the upset out at home. But not without a healthy Andre Johnson. (Yes, I realize this is what every hack sportswriter in America is saying. Bite me. Are they saying that too?) Pick: Indianapolis

Minnesota at Kansas City

Aaron: KC has looked like last year’s Raiders this season. This pleases me. I like the Chiefs at home versus a so-so Vikings team, but only because I’m guessing that this is the week where Larry Johnson puts up one of those “I ain’t dead yet” 200-yard games. Ah, fuck…I can’t do it. Pick: Minnesota

Joe: But I can! Pick: Kansas City

Buffalo at New England

Aaron: This past Monday,’s Bill Simmons wrote 100,000 words on how great his Patriots are, while skewering the media for over-blowing the “cheating” storyline from the week before. It’s the most bat-shit insane combination of paranoia mixed with stating the obvious (the media blows things out of proportion? Really?) that any of you will ever read. Pick: New England

Joe: Another from the Simmons-is-a-dick files, apparently the Pats won't beat the Bills too bad because we haven't angered the beast by calling them cheaters yet. Well how's this: cheaters! Cheater, cheatery cheaters! There. Now at least when my team loses I'll get a good fantasy day out of Randy Moss. Pick: New England

Miami at New York Jets

Aaron: Who’ll win more games, the Jets or the Mets, between now and Sunday? Be honest…you had to think about it. And, if anyone from Pardon The Interruption is reading this, feel free to use that question as part of your amusing “Toss Up” feature. Pick: New York Jets

Joe: Man, the Bills sure have a lot of company for "dregs of the AFC East" status. Pity one of 'em will have to win. Pick: NY Jets

Detroit at Philadelphia

Aaron: The 3-0 Detroit Lions or the 0-3 Philadelphia Eagles…? After this game, which one sounds more believable? Lions QB Jon Kitna has Jesus, but Eagles QB Donovan McNabb MUST win or else face the inordinate amount of scrutiny that comes with being a Black quarterback. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Maybe we should make a rule that no player should have to play in Philadelphia for more than three seasons. I just see McNabb's will to live slowly eroding. Pick: Detroit

San Francisco at Pittsburgh

Aaron: The Niners have the look of one of those teams that I doubt week after week until they’re 8-2 around Thanksgiving. Well, this year someone ELSE will look the fool! Pick: San Francisco

Joe: I will gladly play that fool if it means I don't have to pick this secretly-crappy team on the road. Pick: Pittsburgh

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

Aaron: The Rams have lost two straight games at home. The Bucs surprised the Saints last week. Which result(s) is closer to reality? No clue, but I’ll side with the heat n’ humidity over the team from a dome. Pick: Tampa Bay

Joe: When did the Rams get unrepentantly terrible? Why did no one tell me before I drafted Drew "Whitey" Bennett for my fantasy team? Pick: Tampa Bay

Jacksonville at Denver

Aaron: The Broncos were one piece of cheap gamesmanship away from guaranteeing my upset pick of the week year last week. They’ll squash the Jags, but at least I can sleep at night, Denver. Pick: Denver

Joe: On a bed of tears, Cam'ron. Pick: Denver

Cleveland at Oakland

Aaron: Can you be undermanned with too much heart? What my Raiders lack in talent, they make up for in gumption. Gut-wrenching loss to Satan’s Squadron last week that’ll serve to galvanize our spirit and soul. We’re like a Terry McMillan book. Pick: Oakland

Joe: I'll never forgive your team for getting their first win before mine does. Never! Pick: Oakland

Cincinnati at Seattle

Aaron: Kudos to the Bengals for one of the most spectacular bed-wettings in recent regular season history. The Browns dropped 51 points on you, Cincy?! The Browns?! At least Cincy still has Chad Johnson. Keep pickin’ and grinnin’, Chad! Now, dance! Dance for The Man! Pick: Seattle

Joe: Aw, man! You mean I don't get to enjoy Chad Johnson's good-natured antics without feeling guilty? I already feel bad enough about Flavor of Love: Charm School. Can't you leave me with anything?? Pick: Cincinnati

Carolina at Atlanta

Aaron: One of my few wins from last week came from picking agin’ the Falcons and I’m nothing if not a lousy picker of football games. Pick: Carolina

Joe: Carolina, on their every-other-season schedule, looks like the favorite in the oh-so-stellar NFC South. The fact that the Bills or Raiders would also be the favorites in the NFC South is none of our concern. Pick: Carolina

New York Giants at Washington

Aaron: 15 years ago, the play of the 1992 NY Giants led to the emotional ruin of then-head coach Ray Handley. One more game should do it for current coach Tom Coughlin, no? Pick: Washington

Joe: Tom Coughlin's the closest this world's going to come to seeing someone have a Falling Down moment, and I for one cannot wait. Pick: Washington

Dallas at Chicago

Aaron: Hey, it’s another Sunday night with the Dallas Cowboys. Thanks, NBC. And, that always-exciting Bears offense should make these four hours fly right by. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Just so long as that always-exciting (non-sarcastic division) Bears defense keeps rolling. Pick: Chicago

Tennessee at New Orleans

Aaron: My one week dalliance with Vince Young is over before it even began. And, I’ve got $100 on Aaron Neville making some kind of cameo: National Anthem, interview in the booth, “celebrity” fan in the stands, etc. I hope his hectic schedule allows it. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: What about Bono and that swollen-faced Green Day guy, huh? What about them? I fear for my favorite birthmarked QB if his team goes 0-3, but the Saints are looking uninspired. Pick: Tennessee

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sally Field: 1; Conservative Sea Hags: 0

Say what you will about Sally Field's semi-unhinged, crazy-eyed, Fox-censored Emmy acceptance speech, the lady's got to be doing something right if the Conservative Shadow Cabal has gone to the trouble of siccing Michelle Malkin on her. Nice of Malkin to A) largely miss the point of what Field was saying (or more likely, deliberately mischaracterize it), and B) make Conservatives of her ilk look pants-wettingly afraid of Grandma Gidget and the sway she might hold over public opinion, like Sally's considering running for office and is ahead of Bush in the polls (aside: she probably would be). You can feel the panic as Malkin screechingly implores us to ignore the woman on the stage with the trophy. "Liberal elite! La-La Land! Looney lousy limousine liberal lady lacks love of leaders! Pay no attention!!!"

Note also that Malkin also name-drops (and slams) Cindy Sheehan in her "column," which makes me think the number one demographic the Republicans are most afraid of losing their grip on are women with children. And they seem to think they can intimidate those mothers into voting red and giving their sons to the desert by calling them wimps. Classy as ever, GOP.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Smooth Joey Apollo's '07 NFL Picks: Week 2

Week 1 Results:

Joe -- 14-2
Aaron -- 10-6

(...I'm letting that pass without comment.)


Houston at Carolina

Aaron: Former Texans QB David Carr is now warming the bench in Carolina and telling the Pantherseverything he knows about his old team. After 249 sacks during his five-year Houston career, I'm surprised Carr even knows his name without having to wear his jersey backwards. Pick: Carolina

Joe: What, now that we're simulcasting on That Bootleg Blog (motto: We Review Sandwiches -- Honest To God Sandwiches, People!) we're expected to know statistics? I'm just picking based on which mascot would win in a real fight. You'd think a Panther would have the edge, but Texans? Have guns. Pick: Houston

Indianapolis at Tennessee

Aaron: I've got to stop picking against Vince Young. I've been doing it since the '06 Rose Bowl which, aside from being one of the greatest bowl games ever, was also the last known sighting of Matthew McConaughey. What the hell happened to his career between A Time to Kill and now? Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Is Tennessee going to be one of those teams we never both pick in the same week, also knows as the Atlanta Falcons Memorial "Here's Where I Make Up Some Ground" Team? Pick: Indianapolis

San Francisco at St. Louis

Aaron: Last week, if the 49ers had lost and the Rams had won, Joe would've put up a 16-0 week. I think I speak for the world when I say "whew." Besides, I do "insufferable" so much better than Joe. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: Two teams who looked significantly worse than I expected them to last week. St. Louis, in addition, is currently suffering from the Plague or whatever. Pick: San Francisco

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Aaron: If last week's loss to the Colts was the devastating storm, this week's game for the Saints will be the equivalent of the rapid rebuilding of the, umm…let's see, I need a euphemism for "white", umm…"good parts" of New Orleans. Pick: New Orleans

Joe: Damn, Cam, you're getting more mileage out of Katrina than Bono. Pick: New Orleans

Green Bay at New York Giants

Aaron: Back-up Giants QB Jared Lorenzen gets his first NFL start this week. A near 300 lb. quarterback in New York? Ooh, I sure hope the local media and headline writers cover this from every angle. I'm tired of their usual restraint. Pick: New York Giants

Joe: Personally I'm glad Jared Lorenzen is around. I'd been getting sick of being the only fat guy in New York not running a pizza joint. I don't love the Pack, but they've got a good defense, and teeing up against a backup QB and RB should work out for them. Pick: Green Bay

Buffalo at Pittsburgh

Aaron: Nope, not again Bills. Last week vs. Denver, in a single game, I experienced the decades of frustration that the locals have lived through in following this team from birth. I am now one of yours, Buffalo. (At least, until you vote Mayor Brown out of office.) Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: (Uh...pass.) You sure the Bills didn't suffer enough injuries in Week One? Eh, God? Paralysis, broken bones, last-second hurry-up field goals? If J.P. Losman gets injured by a rain of falling toads, I'm officially out. Pick: Pittsburgh

Cincinnati at Cleveland

Aaron: Chad Johnson had all offseason to come up with his first touchdown celebration and he picks a mock Hall of Fame jacket with an iron-on enshrinement date? You'll never make next year's ESPN "Who's Now" bracket with laziness like that. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: I spent the past week writing down the name of every sportswriter and talking head yahoo who slammed the Browns for not playing Brady Quinn so that when Quinn does eventually start playing and inevitably sucking the bag with this crap-ass team, I'll know who the hypocrites are when they start writing off his pro career. Pick: Cincinnati

Atlanta at Jacksonville

Aaron: I think it's safe to say I won't be picking Atlanta again all season. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: Jacksonville didn't exactly sprout daisies out of their helmets last week either. But I've picked way too many road teams as it is this week. Pick: Jacksonville

Seattle at Arizona

Aaron: I'm not sold on Seattle, but since no team no-shows the last two minutes of games like the Cardinals, I can't go with 'Zona. And, if Matt Leinart starts showing any interest in accepting his baby-daddy responsibilities, I'm giving up on them entirely. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Matt Leinart might want to start showing interest in completing passes to his receivers first. Besides Edgerrin James -- who looked pretty great -- Arizona's offense barely looked like they were playing football. Glad I made Larry Fitzgerald my top-drafted WR! Pick: Seattle

Minnesota at Detroit

Aaron: Congratulations, Lions! You're now the state of Michigan's new official football team. And who do we root for on Saturday? The Wolverines vs. The Fighting Irish? Both 0-2! I want crowd shots a-plenty, ABC! Pick: Detroit

Joe: I keep wanting to pick Detroit, but my fingers won't allow me to predict a 2-0 start for the Lions. Pick: Minnesota

Dallas at Miami

Aaron: I still don't think Dallas is as good as they looked in week #1. Now, they've got a mid-September game in Miami where even good teams tend to look sluggish in the heat and humidity. Fortunately, Miami needs neither to suck. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Granted, but Marion Barber looks sluggish on the best of days and that still hasn't managed to keep him out of the end zone. Pick: Dallas

Kansas City at Chicago

Aaron: The Bears were exposed by the Chargers as the pretenders to the throne that they are, so they'll take it all out on the Chiefs this week. Larry Johnson should've shown up for training camp and skipped this game. Pick: Chicago

Joe: Not to disagree with you or anything, but I thought the Bears holding San Diddy to 14 points showed that their defense is still every bit as good as they were last season. Their offense is inconsistent as ever, too, but that's still good enough in the NFC. Or against KC. Pick: Chicago

New York Jets at Baltimore

Aaron: On the one hand, the Jets have earned my eternal admiration for their part in exposing the New England Patriots' cheating ways. On the other hand, I am the acting Sergeant-At-Arms of the "Stop Snitching" campaign (San Diego Chapter). Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Speaking of arms, it's a nice change of pace for Steve McNair to have injured his groin rather than his shoulder last week. Good to know he's got broken-down old-man parts down there as well. Pick: Baltimore

Oakland at Denver

Aaron: For the first time in NFL history a team looked past its opening week opponent. For the Raiders, this is their season opener and, probably, their season. This ain't personal bias, it's insanity. Aaron's Upset Special, baby. (And, at the very least, take the Raiders and the points. There's no way Denver covers as 9-9 1/2 point favorites.) Pick: Oakland

Joe: Don't worry, readers. We'll get Aaron the help he needs. Pick: Denver

San Diego at New England

Aaron: Few teams have talked more trash about the cheating Patriots than the Chargers this week. Understandable, since Shawne Merriman's and Luis Castillo's failed steroid tests don't count in football and LaDanian Tomlinson is, in his words, "a classy individual". Me thinks the Chargers desire to shut up the Pats is outweighed by the Pats desire to be media martyrs. Pick: New England

Joe: Once again, Cam, the fact that your hate for the Chargers continues to trump your hate for New England makes me very, very sad. That being said, this game is so obviously going to the game where the Teflon Pats win big and by Monday we'll all be talking about Moss and Brady and not how their coach is a dirty, dirty cheater with a face that could make children cry. Pick: New England

Washington at Philadelphia

Aaron: Dear Eagles coach Andy Reid. Stop sampling your sons' stash and try running Brian Westbrook a little earlier than the middle of the 2nd quarter this week. Hugs, Aaron... Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Tough game to pick. I have absolutely no handle on how good/bad these teams really are, not to mention the fact that their head-to-head games never end up the way you think they will anyway. Flip a coin... Pick: Philadelphia

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dear Kathy Griffin:

Jesus CAN suck it. Don't ever, ever apologize. And congratulations on your Emmy -- stop by Bravo and see me!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tales From The Rock

So right now, I'm sitting in my office, doing work, and listening to Billy Bush record his segments for tonight's Access Hollywood. Just Billy Bush -- talking quite loudly -- about Oprah being in New York and Britney at the VMAs, all while standing on this rooftop below our window. This is so weird. This was the same place I saw Brian Williams filming promos for NBC News on Friday, so maybe this is the Promo Roof rather than just the Billy Bush Screams Outside Your Window And Makes It Impossible To Work roof.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hype, Schmype

Here's the thing: if you're at all concerned that the fact that everyone you've ever spoken to, read, blogged with, bought coffee from, jogged next to, took the subway with, or peed next to (keep that stance narrow!) has talked up the movie Once to the point where they've oversold it to you and there's no way that it can possibly live up to the hype? See it anyway. I know what you're thinking, but still? See it anyway.

Best movie I've seen this year. And it will take something awfully good to surpass it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Smooth Joey Apollo's '07 NFL Picks: Week 1

We're back! Former two-time Inside Pulse favorite columnist and current capable blogger Aaron Cameron and I are once again teaming up to see who's better at picking football games. The NFL's regular season kicks off (I'm contractually obligated to use the "kicks off" metaphor due to Roger Goodell's new " Anything to distract from dog fights and the oncoming train that is the inevitable steroid investigation" initiative) tonight with the Saints and the Colts, which means Cam and I had better get a move on.


New Orleans at Indianapolis

Aaron: Since Tony Dungy's God-obiography is now in its eighth printing, it's safe to assume that Jesus is officially Indy's 12th man. Fun fact: That commitment kept Christ from showing up at Notre Dame's home opener last Saturday. Well, that and traffic. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: I'll be watching the post-game handshakes very closely to see if Dungy pulls Drew Brees aside and tells him that he can get rid of that giant facial mole he was born with if he just prays hard enough. The Colts "Nowhere To Go But Down" season begins with Pick: Indianapolis

Atlanta at Minnesota

Aaron: Remember when the 2005 New Orleans Saints became football vagabonds on account of some rain and wind? Overcoming adversity, they won on the road in their season opener. In other words, look for 100 soft-focus Joey Harrington interviews next week. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Remember, folks, when it comes time to address your hate mail, it was Aaron Cameron who equated Michael Vick and his electrocuted dogs with Katrina victims. Aaron Cameron. Pick: Minnesota

Carolina at St. Louis

Aaron: How do I choose between two evenly matched teams? (1) The Rams are at home. (2) The Rams have a player actually named Richie Incognito. A name like that should have "short-lived Fox drama" immediately preceding it. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: I think these are two teams moving in opposite directions. The fact that the Rams swapped one white wide receiver for an even better wide receiver (Drew Bennett, the turf is yours) makes them the more attractive option. Pick: St. Louis

Denver at Buffalo

Aaron: Good luck finding your Bills on local TV, Joe. Now, like the rest of us, you'll have to wait for Stuart Scott to "booyah" your teams' highlights during the 11PM Sportscenter. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: Joke's on you, Cam, I've already found a bar that shows Bills games on Sundays. I'll believe they serve decent chicken wings when I see them, but: baby steps. Pick: Denver

Kansas City at Houston

Aaron: This has the makings of one of those Week #1 wins that gets everyone's hopes up in the belief that a perennially sad sack franchise has "turned the corner". Remember this game, Texans fans. Especially when the Colts are hanging 50 on you in two weeks. Pick: Houston

Joe: I hate it when Cam picks the same upset I was going to. Pick: Houston

Miami at Washington

Aaron: It Was Written: Beginning in 1988 and every 20 years after that, a Black quarterback shall lead the Redskins to the Super Bowl. Bet early, bet often, America. Pick: Washington

Joe: After the game, there will be a town meeting about why asshole college coaches from the SEC smell like poo. Pick: Washington

New England at N.Y. Jets

Aaron: This has the makings of one of those Week #1 losses that gets everyone in a panic in the belief that a perennially winning franchise has "lost their way". Or not. Pick: New England

Joe: Here's the logic behind me picking Randy Moss for my fantasy team: either he does awesome and contributes for my team or else he crashes, burns, and hopefully takes the Patriots team down with him. That, my friends, is win-win. Pick: New England

Philadelphia at Green Bay

Aaron: Can we all agree that Brett Favre is just going to die on the field, someday? He must WANT this to be his fate, because I can't come up with any other explanation for him to keep coming back. And, how much do those "lifetime passes" from the media cost these days? Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: On the other side of the field, Donovan McNabb begins Year Nine of his career-long quest to stay healthy long enough to disappoint Philly fans in the playoffs. Pick: Green Bay

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

Aaron: I'm convinced that this is the year Ben Roethlisberger is exposed as the fraud he is, without any "motorcycles" or "appendectomies" to hide behind. Lucky for him, he can still hide behind "playing the Browns twice a year". Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: It's the "Fat Head" commercials that have made you hate Big Ben, isn't it? Personally, I think he's one illegitimate child away from being one of the best QBs in football. Pick: Pittsburgh

Tennessee at Jacksonville

Aaron: If you'll allow me TWO Black quarterback generalizations in the same week: when picking a game featuring a pair of Black QBs, always go with the team that cut their starting Black QB and replaced him with another. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: According to my priest, I have to apologize to Vince Young three dozen more times and say six rosaries for doubting him last season. But I can still scoff at the pro prospects of LenDale White! Pick: Tennessee

Chicago at San Diego

Aaron: I'm still coming down from the cloud where last year's Chargers playoff collapse took place. Take THAT, adopted hometown! In other news, funeral services for Rex Grossman are pending. Closed casket - no viewing. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Two teams I generally like but who I can't see going anywhere but down this season. And just in time for Cedric Benson and Phillip Rivers to show up on my fantasy team, too. Pick: San Diego

Detroit at Oakland

Aaron: My Raiders haven't won a season opener since 2002. They won all of two games last year, so the league rewarded them with the toughest schedule in the NFL for '07. Not since the Civil Rights Movement has so much unfair oppression been overcome. Pick: Oakland

Joe: True. And if Daunte Culpepper had been handed the reins of the Civil Rights Movement back in the '60s, well...I don't think I'm allowed to finish that sentence. Pick: Detroit

Tampa Bay at Seattle

Aaron: The Jon Gruden Burnout Countdown is in its fifth and final year. Looking forward to him filling the vacant "embittered ex-coach" chair next to Rich Eisen on The NFL Network (which Time-Warner Cable still doesn't carry). Pick: Seattle

Joe: I won't be so clichéd as to use the "Tampa Bay're on the clock" line, but the alternative is making some more Mike Holmgren Is The Walrus jokes. Pick: Seattle

N.Y. Giants at Dallas

Aaron: I think the Giants will be better than people think, while I don't know where all this "10-win" talk in Dallas is coming from. I just wanted to get that out there in case I'm right. Pick: Dallas

Joe: Kudos, Cam, on taking the high road by not gloating about how the rest of the world has caught up to your rabid Tiki Barber hate of yesteryear. I guess that means there's a glimmer of hope that public opinion on Michael Vick can still turn around. Pick: Dallas

Baltimore at Cincinnati

Aaron: Steve McNair's postseason ineptness helped me nail a three team parlay last January during Divisional Playoff Week. You just keep being you, Steve. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: Blogging about your successful three team parlay eight months ago. Great to have you on Low Res, Mr. Simmons! Pick: Cincinnati

Arizona at San Francisco

Aaron: There was article in SI last month where Matt Leinart's posse was repeatedly called "an entourage" and his out-of-wedlock son was all but glossed over. Finally! I wish I knew what it took to get a reporter to NOT use an athlete's personal life to further his/her own moral and sociopolitical preaching. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: So you're saying we should stop calling Travis Henry's nine kids a "posse"? Pick: Arizona

Saturday, September 01, 2007

You've Got Style, That's What All The Girls Say

So I was sitting around listening to Madonna on my iTunes (damn, how many of my blog entries have started that very way?) and halfway through "Dress You Up" I had a memory flash of the old (mid-to-late '90s) Gap ad where stone-faced young model-actors deadpanned a variety of retro songs while sporting the latest vest/denim/khaki fashions.

...So that's how I spent the rest of the afternoon on YouTube.

All the ads in this campaign were essentially the same. Like The Gap rented a van and drove it around L.A. picking up the kind of wayward hotties who invariably end up as pool boys/call girls in the service of Joel Schumacher/Brett Ratner, gave them each a valium and told them to sing into the camera. Of note with this clip is the fact that all the featured players seem vaguely familiar, like I've seen them on One Tree Hill or The O.C. or something. I know I've seen that spiky-haired cute one somewhere (okay, further research tells me he's the lead singer for Phantom Planet, so I'm kind of right with the O.C. thing). I mean, the first guy is definitely Dr. Patrick Drake from General Hospital (which is hysterical in its own right), and Rashida "Karen from The Office" Jones appears in another one.

I seriously encourage you to head over to YouTube and follow the "related videos" links down the Gap rabbit hole. I'm posting a few of my favorites here, but there's a good dozen worth watching. I'm fully aware of how bourgeois and soulless it makes me seem when I say this but: one of the best ad campaigns ever.