Tuesday, December 26, 2006

This Could Never Happen Now: C'etait un Rendevous

On Christmas, I went to my aunt and uncle's house. Now my uncle and my two cousins are huge car enthusiasts, which I must admit I am not. The whole first hour I was there they kept talking about this movie called Rendeveous that my uncle got for Christmas. Finally, they popped it in, and I was blown away. I watched it three more times with them. This is that movie, actually called C'etait un Rendevous. It is a ten-minute film released in 1976 in which the director, Claude LeLouch, strapped a camera onto the front of a Ferrari 275 GTB and drove through Paris at 5 or 6 AM. There is a ton of mythology surrounding the film, which you can read here. Also, I highly recommend seeing it on a large TV with surround sound. It blows this version out of the water. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why Isn't This A Hit? The Thermals--"Pillar of Salt"

Do you have that favorite song or movie or TV show or book or whatever that everytime you hear/watch/read it you find yourself wondering why it isn't a huge hit? Well, I've decided to to take a look at my personal "should-be hits" and explore why they should be hits and why they are not and then wonder what would happen if they were a hit. Today, I'll start with the song "Pillar of Salt" by The Thermals.

Did you just see that? Was that song not catchy as hell? Why isn't that getting played on your town's version of K-Rock or whatever CBS radio is calling your local alternative station? Hell, why isn't it getting played on your local Kiss FM pop station? It's that catchy. Why can't I hear this ANYWHERE, college radio included? I didn't hear this until this past Saturday--even though it came out on August 22--and I'm piping hot mad that I had to go that long without it getting stuck in my head. Do we really need the same Red Hot Chilli Peppers song they've been releasing for the past 8 years instead of this? Seriously? Even the video is fun and engaging. These guys (and gal) are edgy and hipper than me, yeah, but they sure do seem like fun. Hell, I'd even throw a little something into the girl (and maybe the drummer, if only out of sympathy since he doesn't seem to be getting alot of facetime). What the fuck, radio stations? PLAY THIS!

Maybe the Thermals are just a little too edgy, MAN! Or, maybe they just don't want the success and fame and turned down offers to turn them into stars. Or maybe the vague religious allusions in the lyrics rub corporate big-wigs and Average Teenage Consumer (the only people still buying music, really) the wrong way. And it's not even because the lyrics are necessarily anti-religious. I mean, Nine Inch Nails are pretty anti-religion, but they get tons of radio play. I think it's the fact that "Pillar of Salt" doesn't explicitly say anything about religion, but only implies it with the way the words are sung and with the general image the band puts out. Also, I heard about The Thermals and "Pillars of Salt" on hipster blogs, which means that hipsters like the song and The Thermals, and anytime a hipster tells an average Jane or Joe what to listen to, Jane or Joe's natural instinct is to resist. Also, the video is pretty goddamn hipster itself, with the Arrested Development (the TV show, not the rap group) chicken dances thrown it and cameos by the lead singer of the Decemberists and other (likely) hipster icons (I honestly don't know who those other people were).

If "Pillar of Salt" were a hit, I'd still love it, but I'd feel guilty about loving it rather than hip because I love it, much the same way I feel guilty about loving Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance. Also, while here, in the real universe, I take The Thermals and their image seriously (despite knowing little to nothing about them) and assume that they formed a while ago and have only gotten to "Pillar of Salt" after many lean years on the road. In the alternate universe where "Pillar of Salt" is a huge hit, however, I would assume that The Thermals and their image are huge, prefabricated shams, and that the band formed a month before the release of the song and that each member was chosen based on how they appeal to a certain demographic. Perhaps it's better that the song is not a hit.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pop Rock 2006: Pissing my brother off with all of the damn emo

Tonight I conclude my Top 20 albums list with a look at my six favorite pop rock records. Enjoy.

6. The Killers—Sam’s Town
This album is actually a little disappointing, but will probably grow on me just like Hot Fuss did (it wasn’t until three months after I bought it that I finally listened to it).
HIGHLIGHT: “Enterlude”/”Exitlude”


5. Snow Patrol—Eyes Open
This album has three of my favorite songs of the year on it: “Hands Open,” “Make This Go On Forever,” “Set Fire To The Third Bar featuring Martha Wainwright,” so, you know, kudos to Snow Patrol. Also, “Chasing Cars” is giving Hinder’s “Lips of An Angel” and Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch” a run for their money in the race to be the most played out song of the year.
HIGHLIGHT: “Hands Open”

"Hands Open"

4. Hush Sound—Like Vines
This is a girl/boy piano rock band that adds a refreshing twist to the whole Panic! At the Disco/Fallout Boy genre. Just a real sweet, relaxing listen.
HIGHLIGHT: “We Intertwined”

"Wine Red"

3. Matchbook Romance—Voices
This is my angry album of the year. I don’t know how to explain why this is better than the fifty other bands that sound exactly like this, so I won’t. Sorry.
HIGHLIGHT: “What A Sight”


2. Taking Back Sunday—Louder Now
If you have liked any one song of this album you may have heard, then you will like this album. Every song sounds like the one you heard.
HIGHLIGHT: “Make Damn Sure”

1. Yellowcard—Lights & Sounds
You may be wondering how I can call myself a blogger (which, by the way, I never do) after naming Yellowcard among my top 20 albums of the year. Aren’t I supposed to be edgy and hip? Shouldn’t Joanna Newsom be on here instead? Well, the fact of the matter is Lights & Sounds is a CD full of singles. Every song could be on the radio. And when I think of pop music, I think of stuff I hear on the radio. Therefore, Lights & Sounds is one of my favorite albums of the year because I like listening to it. It is an enjoyable time. Sure it’s fluff, but sometimes you need a little fluff to stay sane.
HIGHLIGHT: “Sure Thing Falling”

"Rough Landing Holly"

Friday, December 15, 2006

2006 Indie Rock: A lot of new shit that sounds just like the old shit

Tonight the countdown of my top 20 albums of 2006 continues with my 8 favorite indie rock records. These are the albums that I don’t necessarily like all that much but that make me feel cool and important. Enjoy.

8. TV On The Radio—Return To Cookie Mountain

In the May 2005 issue of Esquire, Chuck Klosterman wrote a feature about the best music of the 21st century so far, which you can read here. Number 21 and last on the list was the release Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes by TV On The Radio, an album Klosterman wrote this about:

This is an interesting record. Actually, that's not true. This is a bad record. This is a stupid doo-wop noise-pop record that (on occasion) accidentally sounds like Beck's Midnite Vultures. But you will like this album if you are trying to nail some superhot hipster chick in your office who only sleeps with cool guys.

That pretty much says exactly why Return To Cookie Mountain is among my 20 favorite albums of the year.
HIGHLIGHT: “Province featuring David Bowie”

"Wolf Like Me"

7. Mates of State—Bring It Back
This album somehow sounds minimal and simple despite obviously high production values. Bring It Back takes me to a different time and place where the sun is just emerging after a rain and everyone feels melancholy.
HIGHLIGHT: “Running Out”

"Fraud In The 80s"

6. Silversun Pickups—Carnavas
For readers from the Cleveland area between the ages of 23 and 33, this sounds like something you would have heard on The End. For readers outside the Cleveland area, Silversun Pickups sound like a depressed version of Veruca Salt.
HIGHLIGHT: “Waste It On”

"Well Thought Out Twinkles"

5. The Format—Dog Problems

This sounds like a one-man Broadway show, as the lyrics are very introspective and personal but the musical style and arrangements are quite outlandish.
HIGHLIGHT: “Dog Problems”

"Dog Problems"

4. Cursive—Happy Hollow

This very well could be a concept album about The Wizard of Oz, or it could just be about when you reach that certain age when you must give up on your idealistic dreams and accept the life reality has dealt you.
HIGHLIGHT: “Dorothy At Forty”

"Dorothy At Forty"

3. Cold War Kids—Robbers & Cowards
This is a collection of minimalist songs based in rhythm that tell the tales of drunks, murderers, and other assorted characters.
HIGHLIGHTS: “Saint John” (There's already videos of these guys further down the page, so if you want to see one, scroll down.)

2. Annuals—Be He Me
I had never even heard of these guys until two weeks ago when I heard the angriest DJ ever play them on the shitty John Carol University radio station. Now I can't get enough of them.
HIGHLIGHT: “Brother”/”Dry Clothes” (I had to put these together because A) they blend together perfectly and B)I dream that someday they will be linked together eternally while being played during the mid-day workday rock block on your favorite rock station just like Queen's "We Will Rock You"/"We Are The Champions.")


1. The Sounds—Dying To Say This To You

This album sounds like it was released in 1985. It’s full of heavy synthesizers juxtaposed by snarling vocals. Quite simply, it is awesome.

"Song With A Mission"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

2006 Hip Hop: Skateboarding, Top Billing From Far Left, Expected Robots, and Dealing, Using, and Quitting Coke

Tonight I will continue my year-in-review with the first installment of the rundown of my 20 favorite albums of 2006. There’s kind of an odd mix, with some relatively obscure bands mixed with some rather mainstream bands (which, if you look at most year end lists, equals shitty bands) mixed with more hip-hop than I realized. Today, I’ll begin with the hip-hop. Let the LISTING begin!

6. Lupe Fiasco—Food & Liquor
Lupe Fiasco raps about things 90 percent of other rappers would never rap about. For example, skateboarding.
HIGHLIGHT: “Kick, Push”

"Daydreamin' featuring Jill Scott"

5. Spank Rock—YoYoYoYoYo
This album is all over the place, with the most disjointed, oddly arranged beats you’ll hear on a record this year matched with rambling lyrics that don’t really make any sense at all. Somehow, this mess comes together to form a blast of a record.
HIGHLIGHT: “Sweet Talk”

"Rick Rubin"

4. Cut Chemist—The Audience’s Listening
Besides having the most awkward title ever (they couldn’t have just gone with The Audience Is Listening?), this album barely qualifies as hip-hop. It’s really just a collection of wordless songs made by some DJ. I guess you could rap over them--as in the track "What's the Altitude"--so I’ll throw it under hip-hop. Regardless of its classification, The Audience’s Listening is a good listen.
HIGHLIGHT: “(My 1st) Big Break”

"What's the Altitude featuring Hymnal"

3. Clipse—Hell Hath No Fury
The best album this year about dealing crack, and, although I don’t know this for certain, I’m sure there was a lot of competition (hell, Spank Rock might be about slinging the rock).

"Mr. Me Too featuring Pharrell"

2. Ghostface Killah—Fishscale
I learned recently that “fishscale” is a term used to describe the highest grade cocaine since the coke glistens like fish scales. The title fits, then, because this is the year’s best album about doing coke.

"Back Like That"

1. The Streets—The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
Not only the best album put out by a white British rapper this year, but also the best album about quitting coke, thus completing the entire coke pyramid of my top three hip-hop albums.
HIGHLIGHT: “All Goes Out the Window”

"Prangin' Out"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Diminishing Skills Music Video Hall of Fame: Tuesday Two-fer!

Since I haven't updated this shit for a good solid month, I decided to induct two lucky bands into the Diminishing Skills Music Video Hall of Fame. At least they both have a golf theme to them. The first is Dynamite Hack's awesome rendition of Easy-E's "Boyz In The Hood." The second is the Spike Jonez directed Dinosaur, Jr. video "Feel The Pain." Enjoy.

Who the hell are Boys Like Girls and why are they the fourth most played song I own? 2006 Top 25 Songs

The first in a series of year-in-review posts, today's post looks at the top 25 most played songs in my iTunes library for the year 2006. Well, not of the year, since I reset my library on November 4, but it’s probably better that way since my previous top 25 had all Panic at the Disco at the top, by a landslide (we’re talking almost 60 more plays than any other song), since I passed out drunk one night with the album on repeat and forgot about it until 2 or 3 days later. Anyways, without further ado, here they are!

1. Dropkick Murphy’s—“I’m Shipping Up To Boston”

Only because it is on The Departed soundtrack and I like to listen to it and pretend that I’m undercover and on my way to the docks for a big arms deal.

2. Weezer—“Only In Dreams”

Kind of a fluke that it’s number 2, but deserving, as it is probably my second favorite Weezer song (with “Say It Ain’t So” being number one).

3. AFI—“The Killing Light”

A good enough song, but I’m pretty sure the only thing I really, really like about it is the “OH!” the lead singer yelps at the beginning (which he seems to do in every other AFI song, which would mean that I like every other AFI song, which sounds exactly right). (Note: This obviously isn't the video for this song, but you can at least here it and it actually looks pretty cool.)

4. Boys Like Girls—“Hells Over Head”

A result of shuffle: I didn’t even know what this song sounded like until I played it so I could write about it. Now that I’ve heard it, I’m embarrassed that it’s my number 4 most played song. These guys sound like a pussified version of All-American Rejects, and those guys are huge pussies.

5. Carpark North—“Best Day”

Great song. Sounds like one of those gay 80s songs that you listen to while you put your dick between your legs and pretend you’re Jame Gum from Silence of the Lambs.

6. Cold War Kids—“Saint John”

Currently my favorite song. This is the first of five songs by these guys in the Top 25. I only hope that their luster doesn’t wear off like the Raconteurs did (and boy, am I fucking sick of the Raconteurs).

7. Cursive—“Dorothy Dreams of Tornadoes”

Another recent fave of mine. These guys are kind of ska-ish, but just when it’s about to become obnoxious, they tone the horns and other bullshit way down and just make good rock music. I’m definitely digging Cursive.

8. Fall Out Boy—“Dance, Dance”

The only song to be in both the pre- and post-reset Top 25.

9. Alien Ant Farm—“Forgive & Forget”

Alien Ant Farm is weird in that all of their songs sound the same, and most of their songs annoy me, but three or four of them I can listen to at anytime in anyplace. This is one of the latter.

Alien Ant Farm - Forgive & Forget

Add to My Profile | More Videos

10. Bloodhound Gang—“Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss”

You’re not going to find a song with more phallic references than this. “Watch my banana split go straight to your thighs.” Oh my, the innuendo!

11. Cold War Kids--“Hang Me Up To Dry”

Hang me up to dry

Add to My Profile | More Videos

12. Cold War Kids—“Red Wine, Success!”

Believe me, you need to give the Cold War Kids a listen.

13. Cute Is What We Aim For—“There’s A Class For This”

Sometimes I think I’m a thirteen year-old girl, because I am a sucker for catchy pop punk songs.

14. Fall Out Boy—“Of All The Gin Joints In All The Towns”

The first thing that drew me to Fall Out Boy was the insane titles of the songs. At first, I was hoping that this song would actually be about Casablanca. Alas, it instead has something to do with a girl and how she doesn’t like the lead singer, just like every other Fall Out Boy song.

15. The Killers—“Enterlude”

I don’t know what it says about a record when my two favorite tracks off of it are the intro and the outro.

16. The Kooks—“Ooh La”

A decent song to chill out to, but nothing spectacular.

17. Lupe Fiasco—“Kick, Push”

Probably my favorite rap song of the year. Who ever though they’d see the day when a legitimate MC rapped about skateboarding?

18. Black Keys—“10 AM Automatic”

These guys are from Akron, and I’ve heard about them since forever ago, but I’d never heard them until this year. I dig the shit out of them, but if you’re gonna buy one of their albums, just buy one since every song sounds exactly like this.

19. Clipse—“Keys Open Doors”

20. Clipse—“Ain’t Cha featuring The Re-Up Gang”
A late addition to the year’s musical offerings, but the Clipse’s “Hell Hath No Fury” sounds like the best rap album of the year.

21. Braund Reynolds—“Rocket (A Natural Gambler)”

A stupid ass club song that just gets my feet movin’!

22. Coheed and Cambria—“Devil In New Jersey”

I drank way more than any person should for almost a year straight, and the result is that I really liked Coheed and Cambria for awhile. In hindsight, I have to wonder why.

23. Cold War Kids—“Tell Me In The Morning”

24. Cold War Kids—“Hair Down”

25. Daft Punk—“One More Time”

The classic French robot club groove.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Arrested Development: "C'mon!"

Gob Bluth and his increasingly expensive suits. C'mon!

Carpet Cleaning Thought: Alzheimer's and blogging

My job at times entails performing carpet cleaning services. Carpet cleaning, for those who have never done it, is a monotonous, boring, repetitive task. Once you get the hang of it, you can just kind of wander into your own mind and think about whatever the hell you want. This is one of those thoughts.


I was thinking, today, as I was cleaning carpet, that blogging may be an effective way to help people with Alzheimer’s. I figured that any old gal or chap could constantly just read what they had posted to remind themselves of who they were and what was going on around them. I considered myself quite a social dynamo, and felt that I had solved a terrible, terrible problem.

Upon further reflection, however, I have decided that I am an idiot. For the first three to ten posts, yes, this idea may work. Beyond that, however, the person would have to start reposting the first post to remind him or herself what he or she had just read or typed. This would create a cycle of at most 10 posts, but that number would decrease to fractions of posts as the Alzheimer’s got more severe. And then there’s the fact that the person would have to constantly stay on at the site since they would forget to go back to the computer if they left. So, this obviously wouldn’t work for the victim of the disease. But then I started wondering if the blog of an Alzheimer’s patient would be interesting and if I would read it. I’d probably give it a glance over once, because it would be interesting, but then would regret it because of how goddamn depressing it would be to actually see someone’s mind deteriorate until the point of mush, until all I’d be reading is three unrelated words posted over and over again. Thanks, but no thanks.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Unbelievable NBA Game

I'm a little late on this one, I know. But here's some highlights from Thursday's amazing Nets-Suns game. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Apocalypto: Making Old Feel New

I have concluded, just recently (and by recently I mean as I am typing this sentence), that every conceivable idea for a story has been told. Well, that’s not entirely true, but just about every story that a movie could tell has been told. For example, my five favorite movies of 2006 were either remakes (The Departed), film adaptations of a TV show (Miami Vice), had no story at all (Jackass II, Borat), or, like the fifth, Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, is a story we’ve all heard several times before. Have you ever seen Braveheart? How about Gladiator? Have you ever seen any movie in which the protagonist must overcome great odds to avenge the death of loved ones while set within an historically important time period? Yes? Well, then you’ll be familiar with the plot of Apocalypto. Gibson, however, has taken that story—a story that he himself has already told—and made it something completely new. Because of the language (Yucatec, I believe), the imagery, and the context, never once does Apocalypto feel rehashed. On the contrary, Gibson has created an experience that is quite refreshing, a stunning accomplishment considering the amount of death, violence, and gore within the film. In short, I loved it, and amazingly consider it even better than The Departed. Will you like it? Here are a few quick points to help you decide if Apocolypto is for you.

• I’ll say it again: this movie is gory. It’s not quite as bad as Passion of the Christ, but it still has more gore than 95 percent of all movies. Within the right context—such as this film and Kill Bill— the gore is not only welcome, but necessary. If you’re squeamish or need religious justification behind your blood and violence, however, Apocalypto may not be for you.
• Speaking of Passion of the Christ, I hated that fucking movie. I have to make my apologies to War of the Worlds, which I have often cited as the worst movie I have ever seen in a theater. Passion is by far worse. Nothing happens in that movie but a man getting beaten and ripped apart in terribly gruesome ways. If you doubt that he literally resurrected, as I do, then it makes the whole movie a waste of time and all of that suffering pointless. And without justification, the only way the gore works for me is if it has humor in it, but, alas, the death of our Lord and Savior is something few people--Gibson included--find humor in. In fact, if the movie were the exact same but were about Joe Roman instead of Jesus Christ, I firmly believe it would be panned as one of the worst movies ever made. Now, if you agree with me even partly, and hold a grudge against Mel Gibson for that movie or for his personal beliefs regarding Catholicism or Judaism, don’t let it keep you from going to see Apocalypto. The only holdover from Passion is the gore, but as I stated earlier, it is welcome and necessary. One could even argue that Apocalypto comes off as anti-religion (although I’m not sure if that sentiment is intended) and anti-imperialism (which would seem to jive against the idea that Gibson is a red state hero). If anything, Apocalypto paints Gibson as a true renegade maverick of Hollywood who is as gifted a director as he is a crazy bigot.
• The movie does have subtitles, but there isn’t much being said (in a quantity sense, not a quality one), so that shouldn’t be a detriment. Having the movie in a foreign language is a big help to the atmosphere, as well, and the language itself actually sounds pretty sweet.
• I’m still undecided on the animal scenes. On the one hand, the scenes provide a glimpse at how wild the wilderness still was back then and are another very unique addition to the historical epic genre. On the other hand, the animal models are pretty goddamn fake-looking.
• The movie is nearly 2 ½ hours long, but it never feels like it. The action moves swiftly, and Gibson never allows the movie to rest in one setting for too long. In fact, it will probably be the quickest 2 ½ hours you’ll ever spend doing anything (other than sleeping, of course). Unlike other epics—classics like Gladiator and Braveheart included—Apocalypto never slows down or drags. Perhaps it will upon another viewing, but, honestly, the setting and sounds and people are so fresh that every scene, even if it’s something as clich├ęd as a father-son counseling session (of which there are two in Apocalypto), feels like something you’ve never seen before. I know I was going to list things so you could decide if you want to see this for yourself, but fuck you. You don’t know what you should be watching. I’m telling you, go see this and skip the retarded-ass Unattended Minors you were going to see instead. Until next time, don’t make anymore animated films number one at the box-office!

"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan in...Pro Wrestling Insanity!

For the first post of the RETOOLING, I've decided to go away from the sporting world by featuring a clip from a fake sport. Seriously, there is too much of this steroid-(and probably coke)fueled madness on YouTube to ignore. This first clip features the forming of the Mega Powers, a tag team that changed the world. (You probably don't remember the ramifications of this union of madness and mania because the history books we are taught out of were all published under the influence of the vile Heenan family conglomerate. If you know what I'm talking about, I'm sorry that both of our lives have led us to, in my case, make, and, in your case, understand, that terrible, terrible joke.)

A Tool Re-Tools

It's been awhile since the last post, but I've gone through valid and important changes. I no longer want to write about just sports, but also other things. Since no one reads this, I suppose there isn't going to be a huge uproar over this shift in content and mission. Good. The RE-TOOLING begins this week.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

NBA Preview

(Note: x=playoff berth, y=division title, w=home court conference, z=home court throughout)


Atlantic Division

y-New Jersey Nets 48-34

Boston Celtics 32-50

New York Knickerbockers 30-52

Toronto Raptors 28-54

Philadelphia 76ers 25-57

New Jersey’s core of perimeter dynamos—Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, and Jason Kidd—are still enough to win this horrific division. Against the elite of the East, however, the Nets just don’t have the size or interior toughness to compete. Boston is a one-man show, with Paul Pierce surrounded by an ever-changing cast of youngsters. Also, trading what became the rights to Randy Foye for Sebastian Telfair is going to be a mistake, although not a huge one since I can’t see Foye becoming anything beyond solid. New York will be better simply because Isaiah Thomas will stick to a rotation and allow players to develop into roles. Better for New York, however, is still not good. Toronto will score a ton, but will be unable to stop anyone, just like last year. Finally, Philadelphia is doomed to a long year, as I think AI finally decides he’s had enough of killing himself for a lost cause and misses significant time, leaving the season up to a one-legged Chris Webber and Kyle Korver. Have fun with that, Philly.

Southeast Division

y-Miami Heat 51-31

x-Washington Wizards 46-36

x-Orlando Magic 39-43

Atlanta Hawks 28-54

Charlotte Bobcats 28-54

Miami will follow Shaq’s lead as the team will do just enough in the regular season to put themselves into a favorable playoff position (and who can argue with the strategy, since Shaq has been pulling this act since he won his first title). Washington will be improved only because I see Gilbert Arenas having a monster year, elevating himself into sacred Top 5 status. Orlando will have an up-and-down year going with so many youngsters, but should make the playoffs since those youngsters (Dwight Howard, Darko Milicic, and Jameer Nelson) have tons of talent. Atlanta will again regret not drafting a point guard, especially when no one can get laid on road trips because Sheldon Williams’s ugly ass keeps scaring all the girls away. Charlotte will continue to slowly grow towards playoff contention, but are still too inexperienced to make a real push.

Central Division

w-Cleveland Cavaliers 57-25

x-Detroit Pistons 53-29

x-Chicago Bulls 50-32

x-Indiana Pacers 41-41

Milwaukee Bucks 31-51

Cleveland will dominate the regular season behind the somehow-still-improving LeBron James, a healthier Larry Hughes, and any kind of production from Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones. Detroit will fall back a little, but even if they had kept the gang together they weren’t going to match last season’s win total. Chicago will be the most annoying team to watch again, only this year they’ll be even more effective on D with the addition of Ben Wallace. Indiana has decided to reconfigure on the fly, and are a few years away from being back among the elite. I like a lot of Milwaukee’s players individually, but just don’t think they fit together at all. Also, Terry Stotts is their coach.


Midwest Division

z-San Antonio 62-20

x-Dallas Mavericks 59-23

x-New Orleans Hornets 43-39

Houston Rockets 41-41

Memphis Grizzlies 39-43

San Antonio will always be around the 60-win range when Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli are healthy. Dallas will continue to hum along, but won’t be quite as good as last year due to Desgana Diop returning to earth a bit. New Orleans makes the playoffs solely on the play of Chris Paul, and Houston misses the playoffs solely due to the health of Tracy McGrady. Memphis just can’t win without Paul Gasol, but at least Rudy Gay may finally make that franchise exciting.

Northwest Division

y-Denver Nuggets 43-39

Minnesota Timberwolves 41-41

Utah Jazz 37-45

Seattle Supersonics 35-47

Portland Trailblazers 16-66

Denver wins the division because of Carmelo Anthony and the continuity the team has enjoyed. Kevin Garnett is inarguably the better player between KG and Anthony, and Garnett’s supporting cast is arguably better, but Minnesota’s roster is just so mish-mashed together I just can’t see that team finding its stride until March, when it will be too late. Utah is more talented and better coached than both Denver and Minnesota but will continue to suffer as long as their front line of Andrei Kerilenko, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur is constantly rotating injuries. Seattle is Toronto times 100: amazing offense, historically bad defense. Portland is too young with too many similar pieces. Plus, they failed to move Darius Miles or Zach Randolph, which should have been priorities one and two, regardless of the value received in return.

Pacific Division

y-Phoenix Suns 58-24

x-LA Clippers 49-33

x-LA Lakers 44-38

x-Sacramento Kings 43-39

Golden State Warriors 38-44

Phoenix should win the whole damn thing if Amare Stoudamire is healthy. The Clippers should have three to four years of solid teams who lose in the second round like the Hawks or Bucks of the 1980s. The Lakers have the league’s best coach (irrefutably) and the league’s best player (debatable, but feasible); therefore, they make the playoffs. Sacramento has a rough transition from finesse offensive juggernaut to gritty defensive pests, but Ron Artest and Mike Bibby make it work. Don Nelson needs an actual offseason to turn Golden State around, but the team will show signs of life.


First Round

Cleveland over Orlando (4-0)

Detroit over Chicago (4-3)

Washington over New Jersey (4-3)

Miami over Indiana (4-3)

San Antonio over New Orleans (4-1)

Dallas over LA Clippers (4-2)

LA Lakers over Denver (4-2)

Phoenix over Sacramento (4-2)

A few upsets, but only in a seeding sense. Washington has the best player on the floor versus a Nets team that runs Eddie Jordan’s offense and the Lakers are much better than the Nuggets (and besides, we all know Kobe likes to get down in Colorado).

Second Round

Cleveland over Detroit (4-3)

Miami over Washington (4-1)

San Antonio over Dallas (4-3)

Phoenix over LA Lakers (4-2)

Cleveland and Detroit continue to build a fierce rivalry while San Antonio and Dallas continue theirs.

Conference Finals

Miami over Cleveland (4-3)

Phoenix over San Antonio (4-3)

Miami and Dewayne Wade out duel LeBron James and the Cavs in a series that the NBA will build off of for the next ten years. Phoenix finally gets over the hump by simply outrunning an aging, tired Tim Duncan.


Phoenix over Miami (4-0)

Phoenix is energized by their first trip to the Finals (I know they went in the 70s and 90s, but I mean this Phoenix team’s first trip) while the Heat—save for Dewayne Wade—are gassed after their grueling series versus Cleveland. Phoenix simply runs the Heat out of the gym.


MVP: LeBron James, Cleveland

DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Ben Wallace, Chicago

SIXTH MAN: Bonzi Wells, Houston

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Rudy Gay, Memphis

MOST IMPROVED: Darko Milicic, Orlando

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Brown, Cleveland

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Great NFL Debate: Match Four: Corso vs. Berman

After a week of dizzying debate, Shannon Sharpe, Michael Irvin, and Stuart Scott sit at the winner’s table, a table with room for one more. Chris Berman or Lee Corso, your matron’de [I hope you know what that butchered mess of French is supposed to be] Shang Tsung is waiting to seat you. Get Ready. FIGHT!

Match Four: (4) Lee Corso vs. (5) Chris Berman

Shang Tsung (moderator): Corso-san and Berman-san, you are both known for your uncanny abirities at predicting the outcomes of footbarr games. Today then you must see the outcome of the footbarr match between the Indianaporis Corts and the Tennessee Titans. Berman-san, since we are awaiting a saterrite rink for Corso-san, you have the honors.
Chris Berman: The Colts come in undefeated, having pulled out a squeaker over the New York “J-E-T-S” Jets! Jets! Jets! on Peyton “Doctor-Richard-Kimble-is-looking-for-a-one-armed” Manning’s QB sneak with 58 seconds left. The Titans, meanwhile, just got throttled by the Dallas Cowboys and Terrell “I-Keep-35-Painkiller-Pills-Loosely-In-A-Drawer-Instead-Of-In-Their-Bottle” Owens. Logic says the Colts should roll, right? Well, that’s…why…they…play…the…game. The Colts are undefeated, but their run defense has been susceptible. Can Indy handle the Titans’ running game, led by rookies LenDale “Cocaine-Is” White and Vince “I-Like-‘Em” Young? No, but the Swami still says: “Colts 35, Titans 17.”
Shang Tsung: Seriousry, Berman-san, give it up with the nicknames. You’re reaching. Arso, arthough you’re finar pick makes perfect sense, it contradicts your entire argument. Corso-san, what have you say?
Lee Corso (appearing via satellite link from Nashville, TN with a pack of Titans fans behind him): The Colts come in as one of the top teams in the league. They have the edge in passing, in running, in tackling, heck, even in reasons for their starting tackle to not be playing. This one should be a rout. But not so fast my friend. (Corso reaches down and attaches a DVD copy of Remember the Titans to his face) I’m gonna go with the Titans! And it’s all because of these great fans here in Nashville! (The screen is filled with screaming, drunken co-eds, one holding a 10-foot tall sign stating “Lee Corso Has A Baby Arm.”)
Shang Tsung: You had me until “Not so fast my friend,” Corso-san. Not only is your pick ridicurous, your reasoning is frawed. The game is in Indianaporis. Surery this top Berman-san’s nick-naming drivel. Corso-san, FINISH HIM!
Lee Corso: You’re with me, leather!
(Corso dons leather pants, causing intense lust in the loins of Berman. A conflict arises within Berman, his oozing machismo battling his urge to rape the screen Corso is appearing on. Finally, the tension comes to a head, and Berman’s scrotum explodes, unable to contain the raging juices flowing in that dark, swirling place.)

Next week: Round Two!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Great NFL Debate: Match Three: Scott vs. May

After soundly defeating their first round opponents, Michael Irvin and Shannon Sharpe await their second round challengers high above on the second tier of the Mortal Kombat battle tree. One such challenger will emerge from today’s war of the words between Stuart Scott and Mark May. The moderator, as always, is the great Shang Tsung. Get ready. Fight!

Match Three: (3) Stuart Scott vs. (6) Mark May

Shang Tsung (moderator): Scott-san and May-san, both being of brack coror, you are famiriar with the crime, especially crime perpetrated by brack men on men of the same tone. What have you say about the act Tennessee Titan Albert Haynesworth committed on Dallas Cowboy Andre Gurode? Scott-san, you have the honors.

Stuart Scott: Like Aunt Ginnie always say, flip it back to the madcat that be presentin’.

Shang Tsung: Scott-san! What?

Stuart Scott: Flip it like a pancake. Bananas!

Shang Tsung: May-san, I berieve Scott-san would prefer you go first.

Stuart Scott: And the Lordeth say, “My son, you be speakin’ the troof!”

Mark May: Thank you, Stuart, and thank you, great Shang Tsung. To find the answer to why a man would commit such a heinous crime on the hallowed grounds of a football field, we must look to the perpetrators of countless crimes against humanity, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Obviously, Haynesworth had just watched Ohio State get lucky for the, I don’t know, 500th (or however many wins their program has raped, murdered, and cheated to get) time versus Iowa and was influenced by the way Quinn Pittcock kept stabbing the Iowa center in the eye with an ice pick or how Anthony Gonzalez pointed a gun at any Hawkeye corner that came within five yards of him. Hey, Haynseworth thought, if Pittcock and Gonzalez can do that, perhaps I can step on a guy’s head and we can luck out and win. What Haynseworth failed to remember, however, is that Paul Brown long ago sold his soul so that the Buckeyes may have a scarred, tainted, and yet somehow successful football program. To force current Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressell to repent from his and his team’s sins, I made the trip to Columbus with my 16-year old nephew. What took place as I approached the sweater-vested demon shocked me. First, Tressell raised his reptilian finger to silence me, then turned to my nephew and said, “Bo, dude. I’m hard as a rock. Tell me when you reach rock. Swear to God. Then he called me a nigger before laughing demonically and disappearing behind a cloud of green smoke. And that is what I think happened with Albert Haynesworth.

Shang Tsung: May-san, while your hatred of the Buckeyes of Ohio State is admirabre, it has absorutery no bearing here. Scott-san, are you ready for rebuttar?

Stuart Scott: Odalada-ding-dang, Haynseworth just went off the sheezy fo heezy. You know how it is, down in the yard, ‘dem franchise boyz start actin’ the fool. One playa talkin’ ‘bout how he was just this deep in Loquanda, and then this playa be saying Loquanda my cousin, then a melon go sizzurp up and splat! Oh, and Jim Tressell, bo, dude. I feel ya.

Shang Tsung: What may have been a crose battre has just been crinched by Scott-san’s response to a quote May-san compretery fabricated. Scott-san, FINISH HIM!

(Stuart Scott’s lazy yellow eye begins revolving rapidly, holding Mark May’s rapt attention until May is hypnotized. While under the sway of the revolving lazy eye, May sees his worst fear realized: Ohio State is the legitimate, undisputed number one team in the country. [Also, Jim Tressell has never called anyone a “nigger” as far as Diminishing Skills can tell.] Aware now that his entire broadcasting career has been a sham, May unveils a pail of buckeyes, which he swallows, killing him days later [buckeyes are poisonous, I think].)

Tomorrow: Chris Berman vs. Lee Corso Be there!

Classic TV: "Any cock'll do!"

Just in time for winter, those crazies over at Mr. Show point you in the right direction for all your cock-ring needs.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Great NFL Debate: Match Two: Irvin vs. Theismann

Following Shannon Sharpe’s defeat of Howie Long via abada-Head Explosion, the stage was set for the second match. The gladiators: Michael Irvin and Joe Theismann. The moderator: Shang Tsung. Get ready! FIGHT!

Match Two: (2) Michael Irvin vs. (7) Joe Theismann

Shang Tsung (moderator): Irvin-san and Theismann-san, your question regards situationar probrem-sorving. With two minutes reft, the barr on your own 20 and no timeouts remaining, what should your favorite footbarr team do for winning point? Irvin-san, you are first.
Michael Irvin: Well, choosing the Cowboys obviously, the first thing I would do is trade all of these losers from Washington, Notre Dame, and Ohio State for some PLAYMAKERS from…THE U! Guys like Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, Andre Johnson, Jeremy Shockey, Ken Dorsey, these guys are real PLAYMAKERS! Hey, that reminds me…
(Dramatic music begins playing as the battle arena goes dark. Obnoxious graphics materialize in the air between Irvin and Theismann, eventually spelling out “MICHAEL’S PLAYMAKERS.”)
Michael Irvin: First up is my man Edgerrin James from…THE U! Edgerrin says (Irvin drops his voice real low), “I don’t need to cut my hair. I’m a PLAYMAKER, I’m rich, and I’m from…THE U!” Alright, and next up is a little vanilla flavor (Irvin laughs hysterically for 30 seconds) Ken Dorsey from…THE U! Dorsey says (Irvin does the worst black-guy-doing-a-white-guy impression ever), “I don’t care if my career QB rating is 66.6! I’m a PLAYMAKER, I can’t dance, and I’m from…THE U!” Alrighty, white brother Cane, alright. Uh-oh, what’s that whizzing by? It can only be the Mighty Mouse himself, Santana Moss, from…THE U! Santana says (Irvin raises his voice until it is a high-pitched obnoxious shit smear on the ears), “I might be a little guy, and everyone might have said I’d never make it with these BIG BOYS, but I’m a PLAYMAKER, I made the Pro Bowl, and I’m from…THE U!” What’s that, Jeremy Shockey? You’ve got something to say?
(Shung Tsung raises his hand, silencing Irvin.)
Shang Tsung: I hate to interrupt such a disjointed rant, but a mysterious spectator named Tom Jackson has unrocked the QUESTION Easter Egg by imputing the dark, ancient code (up, down, up, down, left, left, right, left, select, A, B, A+B, left trigger for those of you wondering). Jackson-san, ask when ready.
Tom Jackson:

Shang Tsung: Ha-ha. Very good, Jackson-san, very good. Theismann-san, rebuttar prease!
Joe Theismann: When you’re facing a do-or-die situation such as this, the first thing to remember is don’t turn the ball over. Nothing takes away the momentum of a game-winning drive like a turnover. Another thing to avoid is stupid penalties, especially ones that cost you a first down or even a touchdown. You’re not going to want to run in this situation, either, unless it’s a second or third-and-long and you’re trying to catch a defense back on its heels off-guard with a draw play. When you do drop back to pass, your offensive line must protect. Sacks are a killer when you’re down in your own territory like this. And finally, score a touchdown. A lot of players and even some coaches believe that kneeling it at the one is an effective way to win games, but I’ve seen a lot of football, and let me tell you, that only works once in a blue moon.
Shang Tsung: Theismann-san, enough! Your meandering strorr through the rand of obvious burrshit is making me want to srap you hard in the face. But since I am a man of peace now, Irvin-san, FINISH HIM!
Joe Theismann: A great way to finish a guy is get him when he’s down, really go for the throat. A lot of fighters tend to—
Michael Irvin: THE U! THE U! THE U! THE U! THE U!
(A hurricane blows in, bringing with it that stupid fucking crane that Miami uses as its mascot. The crane soars over a still rambling Theismann’s head, and then proceeds to bury him under a 20-foot pile of crane shit.)
Shang Tsung: IRVIN-SAN WINS!

Tomorrow: Stuart Scott vs. Mark May for a little black-on-black crime...OF THE MIND! Don't miss it!

Classic Movie Clips: "Thanks for bailing me out, Dad. Can you drop me off at Rushmore? I gotta go get a teacher fired."

Today's clip comes from the movie Rushmore. Only Bill Murray could pull off a scene where he steals a high school kid's bike and runs over its front wheel. Also, Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) coming out of the elevator proves that almost anything can look cool as long as it's in slow-motion.

College Picks 10-4-06

Last Week’s Record (versus the spread): 9-8-1 I guess I would’ve made money, depending on how I spread it around.

Notable Miss: Arizona State (+1) over Oregon Actual score: Oregon 48 ASU 13 Whoops.

Notable Hit: Georgia Tech (+11) over Virginia Tech

On to this week…

#1 OHIO STATE (-35) over Bowling Green

My good friend Matt relayed to me that the Buckeyes have covered 12 straight games. Might as well make it 13, as the Falcons will provide nearly no resistance to the indisputable best team in the country.

Arkansas (+15.5) over #2 AUBURN

Arkansas is coming off of a bye and have won three straight after getting blown out by USC. While Auburn wins the game, the Razorbacks win you money.

#3 USC (-20.5) over Washington

After getting a scare at Washington State, the Trojans will come home focused against a much-improved Washington team.

#4 West Virginia (-24) over MISSISSIPPI STATE

Mississippi State got steamrolled for 48 by an LSU offense that isn’t nearly the juggernaut West Virginia is.

#5 FLORIDA (+1) over #9 LSU

I’m going with Florida only because they are home. If I were a betting man, I’d stay the hell away from this game.

Michigan State (+15.5) over #6 MICHIGAN

I know Michigan State just lost to Illinois, and I know Michigan has looked great, but this game always seems to come down to the wire. Also, isn’t the reason everyone thinks Michigan is a national title contender because they beat Notre Dame? Well, didn’t the Spartans beat the snot out of the Fighting Irish before crapping themselves in the fourth quarter? Just something to think about.

#14 Oklahoma (+4.5) over #7 Texas

Vince Young is gone, so that means Bob Stoops owns Mack Brown again. Oklahoma also had a bye week while Texas was playing Sam Houston State for no good reason last week, giving the Sooners ample time to devise ways to befuddle and confuse strapping young Colt McCoy.

#8 Louisville (-32.5) over MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

You know who played for Middle Tennessee State? Cleveland Brown playoff great Kelly Holcomb, that’s who.

#13 Tennessee (-2.5) over #10 GEORGIA

Only because I love the hell out of Kenny Chesney.

#14 CALIFORNIA (-5.5) over #11 Oregon

California seems to be the best of the shitty bunch behind USC in the PAC-10. Oregon is lucky to still be undefeated.

#12 NOTRE DAME (-31.5) over Stanford

I stuck my neck out for Notre Dame versus Purdue last week, and they won by 14 when the spread was 14.5. If these cocksuckers win by 31 this week, I’m picking against them for the rest of the year.

#15 Clemson (-16.5) over WAKE FOREST

I know Wake Forest is undefeated, but they have played NO ONE. Still, it’s quite an accomplishment since the Demon Deacons are ravaged by injury, which is why they will be crushed by the first test they see this year.

#17 Florida State (-10.5) over NORTH CAROLINA STATE

North Carolina State lost at home to Akron, who parlayed that season-making upset into losses to Central Michigan and Kent State. What I’m trying to say is North Carolina State is not very good (despite beating Boston College last week, who is ranked only because they beat Clemson in OT when Clemson's starting QB was out with injury).

Maryland (+14) over #18 GEORGIA TECH

The Yellow Jackets have always, ALWAYS seemed to follow a huge win with a terrible performance.

Purdue (+11) over #19 IOWA

Iowa is just not a very good football team. They will win, but it will be close and gross.

#20 BOISE STATE (-35.5) over Louisiana Tech

How anyone can ever win in Boise is beyond me, what with that blue field that gives you seizures and all.

IOWA STATE (+7) over #22 Nebraska

Upset of the week, if you consider a Nebraska loss an upset.

#23 Missouri (+4) over TEXAS TECH

Unlike Wake Forest, I think Missouri is a for-real-surprise-undefeated.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Great NFL Debate: Match One: Sharpe vs. Long

Since 1992, sorcerer Shang Tsung has held vicious fighting tournaments known as “Mortal Kombat.” As the years have passed, however, interest has waned in the tournament, with this past year’s winner being Vestor, a mildly retarded 300 pound 6-6 giant who refuses to swallow his spit, resulting in speech that sounds like “SHSHSHSHSHSHSSHSHSHSHH” regardless of what he is saying. As the gentle beast gave his victory speech after laying waste to Raiden via an Afro Condor Chomp (Vestor's finisher, which entails a condor with purple and gold wings--one purple, one gold--emerging from a deep slumber within Vestor's unruly bird's nest of hair to poke its head out and snap out the opponent's appendix), Shang Tsung had an epiphany. Perhaps the world had evolved past a time when six-armed demons battling lizard ninjas was entertaining; perhaps the world demanded to have their minds challenged. So Shang Tsung determined to collect 8 of the most rambling, incoherent men he could find and transport them to his dimension for a tournament of debate. Those men: the announcers and analysists who cover the NFL. The tournament: The Great NFL Debate. The moderator: Shang Tsung. Get ready! FIGHT!

Match One: (1) Shannon Sharpe vs. (8) Howie Long
Shang Tsung (moderator): Sharpe-san and Rong-san, having both played in the NFL and eventuarry retiring, what have you to say to Favre-san as he struggres mightiry after returning perhaps past his time? Sharpe-san, you are first.
Shannon Sharpe: abada-abada-Dobodan McNabb-abada-abada-Packers-abada-abada-24-10.
Shang Tsung: Sharpe-san, I speak very ritter Engrish, but even I, the great Shang Tsung, know that you have only spoken two Engrish words. And I berieve the score of McNabb-san and Favre-san’s game was 31-9, not 24-10. You simpry are browing my mind. Rong-san, a rebuttar?
Howie Long: First off, Mr. Tsung—
Shang Tsung: You wirr address me as the great Shang Tsung, indorent creature.
Howie Long: Excuse me, great Shang Tsung, my name is Howie Long, not Rong. Now, onto to Brett Favre, he needs to realize that—
(Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson burst into the battle ground, loudly debating a topic unrelated to Brett Favre and completely drowning out the overmatched Howie Long. With a wave of his hand, Shang Tsung evaporates the two intruders and freezes Sharpe and Long.)
Shang Tsung: Rong-san, for such a rumbering man you are as timid as a kitten. Even though you were interrupted and said essentiarry nothing, you’re brief sentence made eons more sense than Sharpe-san’s argument. Therefore, I have no choice but to award the match to Sharpe-san. Sharpe-san, FINISH HIM!
Shannon Sharpe: abada-abada-fumble-abada-abada-touchdown-abada-abada-24-10.
(Howie Long’s head explodes.)

Tomorrow: (2)Michael Irvin vs. (7) Joe Theismann. Don’t miss it!

MAD TV can predict the future!

Here's a sketch from the first or second season of MAD TV that portrays our contemporary Congressmen quite well (see Mark Foley). Enjoy.

Power Poll Rankings of the 32 Best NFL Teams In the Land (Week 5)

32. Tennessee Titans 0-4 (29)

The Titans did the impossible by supplanting Oakland as the worse team in the league. Things are looking up, however, as a date with the Colts in Indianapolis looms this week.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-3 (31)

The bye week didn’t keep me from remembering that the Bucs suck.

30. Oakland Raiders 0-3 (32)

They played a great first half only to have Randy Moss give an impassioned halftime speech that helped the Raiders remember that they are, in fact, the Raiders.

29. Detroit Lions 0-4 (28)

The Lions actually almost did get to forty this week, scoring 34 against the Rams. Unfortunately, the Rams scored 41.

28. Miami Dolphins 1-3 (19)

Mustering only 14 points against the horrendous Houston defense has to be a point of concern for Nick Saban and Duante “John Matrix” Culpepper (I told you he was on the take!).

27. San Francisco 49ers 1-3 (23)

After somehow beating the Rams in week 2, the 49ers have been defeated a combined 79-24 in their next two games, including a 41-0 loss to the Damon (yes, it is Damon) Huard-led Chiefs last week. I guess the 49ers mantra in training camp was “Beat the Rams!” and have just decided that “Mission: Accomplished, let’s go home.”

26. Green Bay Packers 1-3 (25)

How many Packers fans out there are hoping that Brett Favre’s injury will actually make him miss time? I am, if only to never hear about his fucking streak ever again.

25. Arizona Cardinals 1-3 (22)

Do you think Edgerin James would be willing to take less money to stay with the Colts, or do you think he’s just having a blast burning through his signing bonus by sending strippers to Kurt Warner, a noted Born-Again Christian?

24. Cleveland Browns 1-3 (26)

The offense looked pretty potent last week, but then the Browns should probably be disbanded if they can’t look potent against the Raiders.

23. Houston Texans 1-3 (30)

The Texans D and Mario Williams (1.5 sacks) finally gave the NFL’s highest rated passer David Carr (wow) some support. They were, however, playing a team quarterbacked by a man in the back pocket of Columbian drug dealer/game fixers.

22. New York Giants 1-2 (24)

I don’t really think they’re this good, but I forgot about them.

21. Kansas City Chiefs 1-2 (26)

I guess the Chiefs are better than those other boobs even with Damon Huard starting, but they still won’t make the playoffs if Trent Green doesn’t come back soon.

20. Minnesota Vikings 2-2 (13)

A big drop, but they did lose to the Bills. Brad Childress needs to be put on suicide watch if only to keep him and his ‘stache away from razors.

19. New York Jets 2-2 (16)

They may have lost, but they’re still feisty. (I have a feeling I’m going to be typing that a lot this year.)

18. Buffalo Bills 2-2 (20)

Between the Bills and the Jets, the Patriots will have four tough, tough wins on their hands this year.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-2 (10)

Quite a drop, but I don’t think they’ll be here that long. The D really disappointed, though.

16. Washington Redskins 2-2 (21)

Apparently one of the Redskins’ 400 assistant head coaches is a voodoo witch doctor and has revived Mark Brunnell, only now he has ZOMBIE POWERS!

15. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-2 (15)

They didn’t play this week, so let me just note that you can read Jerry Porter and Bill Cowher’s chat session here.

14. New Orleans Saints 3-1 (11)

And thus begins the three game slide that will erase the Saints from the collective conscience of America.

13. St. Louis Rams 3-1 (17)

The Rams really blew a chance to stick it to Mike Martz. In fact, they may have been embarrassed by him, surrendering 34 points to the hapless Lions.

12. Dallas Cowboys 2-1 (18)

Perhaps TO can reach into that drawer he inexplicably keeps his 35 painkiller pills in and give one to Andre Gurode for his trampled head.

11. Carolina Panthers 2-2 (15)

The Panthers did what the Panthers do: struggle to beat an inferior team at home. Once the playoffs start, however, watch out. This team’s got some horses.

10. Atlanta Falcons 3-1 (12)

The Falcons beat the Cardinals by doing what they did to win their first two games: forcing turnovers and running the hell out of the ball. I can’t see moving them that far up until they prove they can throw the ball.

9. Seattle Seahawks 3-1 (6)

Maybe they will miss Shaun Alexander after all.

8. Cincinnati Bengals 3-1 (1)

Don’t feel too bad, Bengals fans. You thought you were ready for the Big Boys, and Pappa Belichick put you in your place. Maybe next year.

7. San Diego Chargers 2-1 (4)

I still think the Chargers are one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the league. The only question is if Marty will let them prove it.

6. Baltimore Ravens 4-0 (8)

Yes, the Ravens are undefeated, and yes, they beat a very good Chargers team, but they shouldn’t have, just as they shouldn’t have beaten the Browns. If they’re counting on Steve McNair to keep coming from behind to win, the Ravens are in for a disappointing finish.

5. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1 (7)

The Eagles should be undefeated, but who the hell have they played? Their first true test comes this week when TO and the Cowboys come to town.

4. New England Patriots 3-1 (8)

Belichick found a cure for Brady’s displeasure with his receivers: run, run, run the ball. That thrashing of Cincinnati reminded us all that Belichick is still a mastermind.

3. Denver Broncos 2-1 (5)

Just like after a Broncos win, everyone (including me) is wondering how the Broncos ended up here.

2. Indianapolis Colts 4-0 (3)

I believe that time will prove the Colts are a better team than the Bears, but Indy hasn’t asserted dominance in their conference (see the Jets game) like the Bears have.

1. Chicago Bears 4-0 (2)

Last week the Bears wrapped up their division; this week they wrapped up the conference. Two things to be wary of though: Rex Grossman will probably get hurt at some point and teams I rank number one immediately lose the next week (see Jacksonville and Cincinnati).