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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 27, 2011 11:29 AM. The previous post in this blog was Last Buck-a-Hit Day charity selected. The next post in this blog is The O says, "Kill the Lake O. streetcar". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The first 'dogs of 2012

The pro football oddsmakers appear to have taken yesterday off, and so we presently have lines for only a few of the games in our charity underdog contest:

12 BUFFALO at New England
9 WASHINGTON at Philadelphia
4 INDIANAPOLIS at Jacksonville
3 HOUSTON vs. Tennessee
3 KANSAS CITY at Denver
3 SAN DIEGO at Oakland
3 SEATTLE at Arizona
3 DALLAS at New York Giants
2.5 CINCINNATI vs. Baltimore
1.5 NEW YORK JETS at Miami

Bucs/Falcons, Steelers/Browns, Bears/Vikings, Niners/Rams, Lions/Packers, and Panthers/Saints are all still up in the air, but probably not for long. Players should keep checking back here, as we'll continue checking out what Vegas is saying.

This is the last week of the regular season, after which the games get fewer and the point spreads get smaller. There are no more Thursday games, and so this week all picks are due by 10 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday, New Year's Day. Good luck with the 'dognostication, folks.

UPDATE, 11:18 p.m.: Here are some more:

12 TAMPA BAY at Atlanta
10.5 ST. LOUIS vs. San Francisco
9 CAROLINA at New Orleans
3.5 GREEN BAY vs. Detroit

Bears/Vikings is a pick 'em, and by rule that means it's off our board. Steelers/Browns could still surface, depending on Ben Roethlisberger's status. We'll keep checking through Thursday.

Comments (8)

Last night's game, and especially it's ending, foreshadows a big likely rematch between New Orleans and Atlanta in The Big Easy in the 1st round of the NFC playoffs:

Record stirs debate over unwritten rule
Drew Brees made NFL history on Monday, but the way he did it was anything but classy

An excerpt:

For their part, Falcons players didn’t seem too upset. Then again, it’s hard to act indignant after you just allowed your opponent to put up 45 points.

“No man, it’s our job to stop them,” said linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who missed New Orleans running back Darren Sproles on the record-setting play. “I can’t say I’m upset by them running up the score or anything like that when I had a chance to make a play.”

Said wide receiver Roddy White: “We didn’t make plays. We had to make plays, stop them and do our job, not worry about what they’re doing. Now, in a couple of weeks if we have to come back here, I might feel different. [But] not now.”

Playoff picture: Saints may meet Falcons again

The Saints wrapped up the NFC South with a big win against the Falcons, leaving three division titles and one wild-card spot up for grabs in the season’s final week.

If the standings hold, the Falcons will return to the Superdome in two weeks. But the Saints still could earn a first-round bye if the Rams beat the 49ers, and the Falcons can sneak up to the No. 5 spot if the Packers beat the Lions.

And MORE on the NFC and AFC playoff possibilities at:

Meanwhile, the Bengals-Ravens game this weekend should be a doozy!

And, back in college, there's this news out of Oregon:

Oregon's Rose Bowl Unis Channel Darth Vader

Browns will probably be a +7.

Cleveland was a +7.5 in Thursday's USA Today -- did they make your deadline time, Jack? Not that it's a good pick this week, though.

"Mojo's Best Bets" comin' up soon!

No, Steelers/Browns is off the board. Every time our oddsmaker checked on Thursday on the designated site (, there was no line for that game.

"Mojo's Best Bets"
The Mayan Calendar Edition*

"Best Bets"-- Go West, young underdog!
(Last week: 1-1; overall: 13-20)

SAN DIEGO (+3) at Oakland -- California's two original AFL rivals clash in this one. The Raiders must win to have any chance to make the playoffs. The Chargers have a lot to prove and may be playing to save beloved Coach Norv Turner's job, as well as to end their nightmare playoff-less season on a positive note. The chargers defense is making plays and Philip Rivers has seemed to recover his outstanding performance skills after a horrific mid-season slump. The Raiders are the most penalized team in the NFL and they have trouble holding on to the football. Just lose, baby! Al Davis will be watching this one from his mid-level box in Purgatory. Hopefully there velour sweat suits are banned.

KANSAS CITY (+3) at Denver -- This one is a compelling Homeric matchup, in both senses of the word: Greek ("The Odyssey:) and Geek ("The Simpsons"). In this last-week-of-the-season tilt for the AFC West division title, it pits Denver's beginning of the year starter, but rejected and waived QB Kyle Orton, now returning to Denver as the starter for the KC Chiefs. Orton has brought the Chiefs stability and success in an injury-plagued 2011 campaign), and will have the opportunity to vindicate himself versus his former replacement in Denver, the controversial Tim Tebow. With KC having a more powerful and dynamic defense and special teams, Orton and the Chiefs will have Denver GM (and former Broncos QB, the NFL Hall of Famer John Elway going "Doh!" at least once before this one's in the book. But, I do expect San Diego to upset Oakland, and if so Denver would make the playoffs anyway. Ah yes, Homeric!

"Upset Special"
(Last week: 0-1; overall: 3-15 -- gosh, it's tough to pick a big underdog (>6) outright every week, isn't it?)

CAROLINA (+9) at New Orleans -- Since the Saints have the 3rd seed in the NFC locked up and can only move up a spot in the unlikely event of the 49ers losing to the Rams, superstar QB Drew Brees is unlikely to play more than 1 quarter to maintain his 190 yard lead over the Patriot's Tom Brady for the 2011 NFL passing yardage title. NO will undoubtedly rest a lot of starters in this game to prepare for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Panthers have lots to play for, including revenge for a close loss at home earlier this year to the Saints. Also, this is runaway NFL Rookie of the Year, Carolina QB Cam Newton's last show this season and he will be highly motivated to make the best of the opportunity and add to his record-setting rookie QB rushing and passing stats. The Carolina cat people will be putting out the fire of this season -- with gasoline!

"Gamblers Corner"

WASHINGTON (+9) at Philadelphia -- The Black-and-White-Redmen just don't have the horsepower to pull this off, especially on defense and even if Eagles' RB LaSean McCoy is questionable due to injury. While Washington's top LB London Fletcher is expected back, he alone cannot cover Michael Vick and his speedy talented receivers. Add to that Phildelphia's excellent pass rush, and Washington QB Rex Grossman is in for a rough day as Philadelphia takes out their season's frustrations and wrings in the New Year.

ST. LOUIS (10.5) vs San Francisco -- The Rams can't stop the run, can't stop the pass, and pass much themselves. and have many other problems to deal with. But, if they lose, it'll help a lot: they get the 1st pick in the draft (to use in a mega-deal for any team who wants to obtain the rights to the #1 overall draft prospect, Stanford QB Andrew Luck). Now THAT's something to go for! 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh is going to want to go into the playoffs on a roll and will run up the score on the Rams. That's just the kind of guy he is.

BUFFALO (+12) at New England -- Buffalo's got too many insufficiencies to pull off another upset against the Patriots this year. The Patriots will treat this as a bona fide tune-up for the playoffs, especially on defense, while QB Tom Brady tries to overcome Saints' QB Drew Brees 190 yard lead on him for the 2011 NFL passing yardage crown. The Bills are 0-9 all-time against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Make that a perfect 10!

TAMPA BAY (+12) at Atlanta -- To quote The Falcoholic:

It couldn't be a more anticlimactic game. The Buccaneers are terrible right now, having lost nine in a row and quitting on their belligerent coach, who is almost certainly getting fired when January 2nd rolls around. The Falcons are not in control of their own playoff destiny, and if the Lions beat the Packers, they could just decide to rest the starters. The Buccaneers may not even want to win this one for any reason besides pride, because a loss here would put them in position to get an elite player in the 2012 NFL Draft.

If the Lions do lose, though, this quickly becomes a critical game. The Falcons should push hard for the fifth seed in the NFC if at all possible, setting them up to avoid a rolling Saints squad and putting them against the winner of a shaky NFC East. For all their numerous flaws in 2011, if the Bucs have a chance to play spoiler for a division rival, they'll be gunning to do so. Mike Smith won't take these guys lightly.

The Lions are not likely to lose to the Packers, so if you're a gambler, you might go ahead and take this game just in case Green Bay does win or Tampa Bay finishes it's disintegration in the way a young team sometimes does.

The Cure ~ Lullaby

* The Mayan Calendar is widely misunderstood, btw. See, e.g.:

Mayan 2012 Predictions: Apocalypse or a Game of Telephone?
By Rick Kearns December 31, 2011

Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's passing record but can Tom Brady set the new mark in Week 17?
By Ben Larsen,


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
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
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
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
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
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
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
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

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
William Shakespeare - Othello
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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