Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 17, 2012 6:53 AM. The previous post in this blog was Mayor advises caution, blows town. The next post in this blog is More attitude from O reporters. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This is it! The final underdogs.

Players in our charity underdog game, here ye be:

7.5 BALTIMORE at New England
2.5 NEW YORK GIANTS at San Francisco

A reminder of our prize structure:

First prize - $510 to player's favorite charity
Second prize - $165 to player's favorite charity
Third prize - $105 to player's favorite charity
Fourth prize - $75 to player's favorite charity
Fifth prize - $55 to player's favorite charity

We still have 10 players with a shot at the five prizes. In fact, all 10 have at least a mathematical possibility of getting a piece of the first prize. But everybody else in the contest, don't give up -- make that last pick just for pride. Folks at the top, good luck with the chess game.

In case of ties, the prizes will be split. For example, if two players are tied for second, we'll combine second ($165) and third ($105) and give their charities each half ($135 each). There are no tiebreakers in the underdog contest.

Picks are due by noon Pacific Time on Sunday.

Comments (7)

Sweet, we can have a NY Giants Super Bowl Rematch regardless of who wins the AFC...

Go G-men!

Fly Ravens Fly...

Mojo's Best Bets
Bad Luck Shadow Edition

Mojo's Best Bet & Upset Special
(Last week 2-1; overall 21-38)

NY GIANTS (+2.5) at San Francisco -- This game is probably going to be decided by the comparative play of the QBs, and I just don't know how anyone would sensibly bet against Eli Manning this week. I don't care how rah-rah Coach, and former NFL QB, Jim Harbaugh is, or how well SF QB Alex Smith played last week. And while it was so heart warming to see SF TE Vernon Davis have that game performance for the ages last week, Manning is every bit as hot as Brady right now, if not more -- and he's the difference-maker in this game.

We can call the rushing attacks of these two teams basically even, with perhaps a slight edge to the Giants only because they've got two good ones and SF has but the one excellent one. Their defenses are both performing at high levels, with the 49ers especially tough against the run, but the Giants pass rush is by far the best one left in the playoffs. The Giants came out of the chute hitting the Packers so hard (on special teams as well), it had an immediate and reverberating effect in last week's game.

As much as the 49ers respond to Jim Harbaugh's inspirational coaching, the Giants are playing that much harder for Tom Coughlin, who has years of big game playoff experience.

Coney Island Baby ~ Lou Reed

The Niners have the all-around offensive edge in special teams (even though NY has the sensational Victor Cruz as a return man), with punter Andy Lee averaging over 50 yards a punt and with the NFL's best kicker, David Akers, likely to be their hero if SF is going to survive this formidable challenge from the G-Men. Ted Ginn, Jr. better make sure he hangs onto the football in kick returns, or the Giants are going to eat him alive. And if you believe the NFL games are fixed -- especially after last week's "outer limits" refereeing in Green Bay -- with the spread here at 2.5 you might want to lay off this one and go for the big upset with Baltimore. Just sayin'.

Me? After what has gone on so far this season, I think the Giants are going to win it all now.

Gambler's Corner

BALTIMORE (+7.5) at New England -- While the Ravens defense and special teams might save them, their struggles with offensive consistency and scoring, and the unpredictability of QB Joe Flacco makes this underdog pick a bona fide gamble. Keep your eyes on Baltimore's blazing WR Torrey Smith, tough. And Anquan Boldin is a very tough match-up for the Patriots to counter, and look for Flacco to go to him early on 3rd downs, alternating with throws to RB Ray Rice out of the backfield at times. The Ravens need to be up at halftime by at least 10 to have an honest chance at pulling off this very possible upset.

Belichick and JoePa replacement-to-be, Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, have crafted an near-unstoppable pinchers blitzkrieg maneuver using their beastly tight end combo of Gronkowski and Hernandez -- aka "The Boston TE Party." Meanwhile, Wes Welker is a buzz bomb underneath, especially if he's slipping behind the TEs in the midfield. Don't forget about him. He's a game-breaker. The pressure is on Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to transfer pressure directly onto Tom Brady through Ravens monster linebacker Terrell Suggs -- with strategic blitzes from the CB and S positions. Look for that in key 1st and 3rd down situations, especially in the 2nd half.

You should be able to gauge the Ravens' chances of success based on the condition of Patriots' QB Tom Brady's uniform. For the Ravens to win, Brady's uni has to be smudged up good before halftime, and on throughout the second half, most of all.

Going into this game the shadow of doubt has been lurking in the Ravens camp (S Ed Reed dissing QB Flacco; Ed Reed knee injury; Flacco in a flak about skateboarding at home, etc.), while the Patriots quietly and intently prepare in their usual championship mode to do what it takes to defeat them. Not a good sign for Baltimore.

Tough to bet against the Pats this weekend to pick up underdog points -- though I expect the Ravens will cover the spread by the 0.5 offset. And for you long-shotters, don't expect any help from Mother Nature, because the weather isn't expected to be a factor this week or weekend. It's straight-up, hand-to-hand combat. The best team performance on Sunday will win it.

Johnny Otis ~ Bad Luck Shadow
feat. Shuggie Otis (1975)

Hey, it's been a fun, kids. I hope you've gotten a kick of it too. And thanks again, Jack, for running this charity game. "Wintry mix" to you!

Here's an insightful statistical analysis of Sunday's NY-SF game by Doug Farrar @Shutdown Corner --

Smarter Stats: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers

And this weekend's game reminds me of this all-time great who played for both the 49ers & the Giants, and is still with us at the age of 85. Surely, he'll be watching! --

Fallen Giant
By Michael Shapiro
Smithsonian magazine, February 2007

Joe Namath’s Playoff Blog: Conference Championship Edition


There has been some crazy weather this week that will affect Sunday's playoff games. San Francisco? Well, let's just say that city looks like the animals are lining up two by two, waiting to get on the ark. Noah himself might need to get the two teams to the stadium with all the rain they're having. I know the 49ers and New York Giants have been talking about it and are aware that this could be a Mud Bowl.

And Chad Ochocinco tweeted this morning that he had to shovel out his driveway, which means that the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens will have to cope with cold and possibly snow, always a threat in the Northeast.

Weight of future championship falls on Flacco's shoulders,0,1311884,full.column

Scouting report: Ravens at Patriots (AFC championship)
"Jeff Zrebiec breaks down each facet of the AFC championship game between the Ravens and Patriots at Gillette Stadium, and he offers his prediction.",0,5236013.photogallery


The Ravens finished the regular season 4-4 on the road. However, they have gone 7-0 against teams that made the playoffs this season, and 7-1 versus teams that finished the regular season with winning record. The Patriots have not beaten a team that finished with a winning record all season.


The Ravens have a star running back, one of the game's best defenses, and more than enough veteran leadership to win on this stage. The Patriots have a Hall of Fame quarterback and coach, an embarrassment of riches on offense, and home-field advantage. In other words, this could be a classic AFC championship game that isn't decided until deep in the final quarter. And if that is the case, it's nearly impossible to bet against Brady, who is seemingly on a mission to get the Patriots back to the Super Bowl....


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

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: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run 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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