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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 23, 2008 7:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight. The next post in this blog is A beautiful day just got more beautiful. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grandma got run over by an underdog (updated)

I had a wonderful weekend in the pro football underdog pool in which I play. Aided and abetted by comments from several alert readers, I had a big winner on Sunday with Buffalo over Denver. The two people ahead of me in the pool both went wrong -- one with the Panthers and the other with the Rams -- and so now I am back in serious contention for the top money prize in the season-long pool. I am just 1 point out of second place, and a mere 3½ points from the top spot. The nearest player behind me is now 20½ points back, and so my main focus is getting ahead, not avoiding falling behind.

The oddsmakers were a little sluggish, but at this hour we now have all the games rated. See any underdogs (in caps) that can win their games outright? The point spreads are relevant only in that that's how many points I'll rack up if I pick correctly:

15 ST. LOUIS at Atlanta
13 OAKLAND at Tampa Bay
12.5 JACKSONVILLE at Baltimore
10.5 CLEVELAND at Pittsburgh
9.5 DETROIT at Green Bay
8.5 DENVER at San Diego
6.5 BUFFALO vs. New England
6.5 NY GIANTS at Minnesota
6 SEATTLE at Arizona
3 KANSAS CITY at Cincinnati
3 INDIANAPOLIS vs. Tennessee
3 NEW ORLEANS vs. Carolina
3 WASHINGTON at San Francisco
2.5 MIAMI at NY Jets
2.5 CHICAGO at Houston
1 DALLAS at Philadelphia

All this week's games are on Sunday, so there's no question about putting in for an early 'dog.

The pool continues through the playoffs, but this is the last weekend of a full slate of games, where big point spreads are seen and pool players go in all directions. It's the last chance for anyone to make a big move -- not that trying to do so is necessarily a good thing at this point.

Readers, you have been a great help with this all season long. Push me across the goal line so that I take the top prize! Whom do you like this week?

Comments (24)

I'd say Miami but that's not enough points to really make a move. Maybe the Seahawks will upend a resting Arizona?

The whole resting thing makes for an interesting dynamic in the last week.

I don't think the Jets will lose at home, mostly because they'll never get off the field alive if they do. Jets fans are nuts, and I don't mean that in a good way.

New England.
49ers (seriously.)

Crenell in Cleveland??? How do you view him, they have not scored an offensive touchdown in over a month, but he wants his job and Pittsburgh may be resting players according to network. If the players want him back, they may try really hard.

Seattle - Holmgren's last home game, Arizona is in, they are playing for ????

I guess I would put faith in Shanahan over Norv Turner. and go with Denver.

Denver, Seattle, Cleveland (???? they also lost last year at Cincinatti when they needed to win for the playoffs and they don't need that this year - so I call it off...) DENVER, SEATTLE, REDSKINS - I like Zorn's attitude.

Holmgren's last home game

That was last weekend, against the Jets.

I realize the Giants have clinched the NFC and may be resting people, but how can the Vikings be giving them 6 1/2 points? That's showing a lot more faith in Tavaris *&@!$#% Jackson than I think is warranted.

Speaking of the Jets, aren't they collapsing? They've lost 3 out of 4 and Buffalo had to work hard to lose their game with them.
As much as I'd like to see Brett Favre get this done, I also sense Pennington - the man he chased out of town - could have football justice on his side.
I don't think the Giants will try coasting. Wow, the Vikings have let some great opportunities go by the wayside late.
My ridiculous long-shot pick is Oakland to beat Tampa Bay, but that's only because the Eagles need that to happen, and I'm an Eagles fan.

The last thing the Jets needed last week was a West Coast trip. Favre has lost more than a step from his heyday. But I think he's got one more win in him -- at least an ugly one.

The G-Men will be trying to prove to themselves and to the world that they've got Pistolgate behind them now. Hard to see them as 6.5-point 'dogs, even in a pretty meaningless game in a dome.

Denver and Buffalo still both look intriguing, at least on Tuesday.

J'ville, go for broke.

Oakland won last week, beating a Houston team that had been hot. Tampa Bay played itself out of the playoffs against San Diego last week.

I might be tempted to play Oakland.

I thought Tampa Bay was still alive.

After a dispiriting 41-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay, once 9-3 and now 9-6 with one to play, needs a victory next Sunday over Oakland and help from the other NFC contenders to earn a spot.

I think they're in if they win and Dallas loses to Philly later in the day.


You can always count on the Vikings to fade late in the season.

I've heard the Giants credit their approach to the final regular season game last year against New England as the springboard that got them to the Super Bowl. They played really hard, even though it was meaningless in the standings. Honoring the football gods put them in the right noble frame of mind to beat the Patriots in one of the great Super Bowls ever.
Translation: They're not going to rest against the Vikings, especially with a week off to get rusty the following week. The Vikings are in trouble and AP can't hold onto the football right now.

Denver. BTW, what's our share?

Denver is tempting but the NFC west is on the line and the loser is eliminated. The Chargers lost to Denver on a fluke earlier in the season but I would not bet against the Chargers at home with this much on the line. (Should be a fun one to watch) The Seahawks seem the most intriguing. This is a game against #1 in their conf. They will be fired up to win for Holmgren and respect.
Arizona has clinched and if Seattle brings some intense (smash mouth) play, do you think the Cardinals will keep their starters in for a meaningless victory?

Fun fact: Last week, nine 'dogs won and only seven lost.

The Giants. They are out-of-sync and need to get it together before the playoffs, so expect them to bring it. Plus, Min is a choke.

clarification (I communicate my thoughts terribly)

With the strength of Seattle's play in Holmgren's last home game and the fact that Arizona is playing for nothing (I believe), plus the fact that Arizona is choking lately -- I would pick Seattle.

Instead of Washington, though. The Giants, I remember their "loss" to New England last year and boom... They were superbowl champs. They are missing a few, but they were so good and just went for it. Seattle, Denver, and NYGiants

The toughest choice for you is whether to go for first or second place. There are plenty of good bets at 3 points or less, but everything north of that is a long shot.

Of the longershots, I like Buffalo at home against NE. They'll get to reach .500 on the season and knock a division rival out of the playoffs. Whereas the Pats aren't even guaranteed a playoff spot if they do win.

Kansas City.

I'd just like it noted - i called the Oakland/Denver game.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
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Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
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Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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