Week 14 NFL Picks

In case you somehow managed to miss it, the 2014 World Cup draw happened on Friday morning. We’re still six months out from that competition’s beginning, but it marked a turning point in my level of excitement in that competition, which went from “generally looking forward to it” to “salivating at the mouth like a rabid fan.”

My interest in sports tends to go through a pretty regular cycle every year. I find it difficult to maintain a high level of intensity when it comes to an entire season in any given sport. This is why I particularly love brief and contained events. The World Cup is a wonderful example of this, but so is the UEFA European Championship1, the Summer and Winter Olympics, the NFL playoffs, the MLB playoffs and the FIFA Confederations Cup. These are contained and constructed competitions. They feature, by design, the best of the best2 and there’s a palpable thing they’re all playing for, something that’s within reach, that you can see and say “yes, in 28 days we will know who the best team in this competition is.” That’s the distinct feeling you get when the first NFL playoff game kicks off, that you’re a relatively tiny series of games away from The End. Continue reading Week 14 NFL Picks

  1. Which I went crazy for in 2012 to the point of devoting a subdomain on this site to my predictions and prognostications. It’s still up if you want to take a peek, though I never updated it after the Spaint v Italy final, which was massively heartbreaking. I drank heavily afterwards and couldn’t bring myself to wrap the whole thing up. []
  2. Okay, maybe not always true, but Tahiti earned their spot at the Confederations Cup as much as anyone! []

Week 13 NFL Picks

I had hoped to drop some Thanksgiving Day picks down here on Wednesday night, but I flaked on them completely in lieu of seeing Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy with a friend, grabbing a few drinks after and then playing copious amounts of Dead Rising 3 well into very early Thanksgiving morn. By the time I woke on the day itself, I barely had time to get myself ready to roll out, much less to make any picks. Poor planning on my part, but it’s ok. I didn’t get a chance to watch much of Thursday’s games anyways, so some of the fun of seeing my picks play out would have been lost anyways.

Last week I beat the coin! I picked 7 games, while the coin toss managed only 5.

Season standings:

Me: 68-77-4
Coin: 78-67-4

On to the week 13 picks… Continue reading Week 13 NFL Picks

Week 12 NFL Picks

I enjoy making a bet now and then, but if this season has taught me anything it’s that I’m very glad to not be a betting man. I have friends who would bet on the outcome of a turd. They’d do well to start with a solid bet on me for picking under 50% of any given week’s action.

Last minute I managed a pretty poor 5–7–2 picking against the spread. The coin bested me yet again by reverse my W’s and L’s. Incredibly enough, the coin toss actually picked all the late games from Sunday and the Monday night game (with a push thrown in there on the Saints v 49ers outcome).

I guess in my defense I should point out that I’m pretty new to gambling spreads. Maybe that would have been good info earlier in the season, but I’m guessing no one randomly found this blog and said “this guy knows what he’s on about!” To this few, those happy few who do stop by, I hope you’re enjoying the weird suffering feeling that starts to hit me right around 1pm on a Saturday. I do my best to ingest what info I can. I mull over stat sheets, calculate Pythagorean wins1 and just generally try to keep abreast of what’s happening in the league. It’s all academic of course. The first rule any gambler should remember is that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Continue reading Week 12 NFL Picks

  1. This info is totally readily available online elsewhere, of course, but as a kid I grew up obsessed with calculating my own batting averages and on base percentages. Spreadsheets are in my blood, yo. []

Week 11 NFL Picks, World Cup Qualifying and the Console Wars

This week’s picks are brought to you by the next gen console wars! Next gen? New gen? I’m not sure what we should call this generation that begins with the Playstation 4 that launched this past Friday and continues with the Xbox One next Friday.1

I picked up a Playstation 4. Amazon delivered it to me, so I didn’t have to go through any safety measures to get it home, plugged in and set up. I was, however, forced to exercise patience. The Playstation Network got hit pretty hard, leading to lots of complaints on video game blog comment sections and twitter. It also led to lots of holier than thou types pointing out things like “and this is why you never buy a console the day it comes out.” Because wow, what a great idea. Let’s just all decide to not buy a new thing just because it might not work perfectly the day it comes out. If we all do that, all we’ll end up with are Sega Dreamcasts. We’ll look fondly back at the Playstation 4 that we were all so wise to not purchase and retrospectively declare it the best console that never succeeded. The same comment jockeys who refused to invest in the Playstation’s future will now talk up how much potential that system had if only Sony had gotten it right. Continue reading Week 11 NFL Picks, World Cup Qualifying and the Console Wars

  1. Yes, I am willfully ignoring the Wii U. Not out of spite! Nintendo just marches to their own beat. They don’t fit in easy generational paradigms. Don’t squeeze them into one and stick to appreciating them for what they can do on their own. []

Week 10 NFL Picks

Another 5–7 performance for my picks last week. The coin toss flipped that and got 7 right, which leaves the season at:

Me: 49–59–1
Coin: 59–49–1

My comeback chances are looking slim, huh?

Those numbers don’t include my last minute decision to drop a pick down on Thursday night’s Redskins @ Vikings game, which I not only got right, but almost picked the exact score (I guess Vikings 35 over the Redskins 27; the Vikings only scored 34), so there’s at least something I can applaud myself for.

Anyways, here are my picks for the week 10 action. Switched up the formatting a little on my picks below, so home team is in caps. Continue reading Week 10 NFL Picks

Peerless Adrian Peterson

I was taking a peek at Adrian Peterson’s stats for the year and something odd jumped out at me: He had the most ludicrous half a season imaginable last year. Somehow I had completely forgotten that he started off 2012 looking merely mortal instead of the running back god he’s been since he came into the NFL.

For the past few weeks he’d been pretty mortal again. Granted, you have to imagine it’s been a pretty awful season for him on a personal level, but you don’t expect to see a stat line like that week 7 debacle against the Giants provided: 13 rushes for 28 yards. Again, that was the Freeman game, where Leslie Frazier and the Vikings thought it was a good idea to toss a brand new QB into the lineup with less than a fortnight to prepare. To exacerbate the problem, the Vikings resorted to letting Freeman throw the ball 53 times, an astonishing number of which were overthrown and/or fundamentally uncatchable.

That game was the pits. The kind of game that makes you hate football, sport and the very idea of competition. If you were a father sitting down to watch a game with your son for the very first time and had to sit through that? There’s a good chance your son will never watch the sport again, opting instead to eat brussel sprouts, go to bed or do homework.1

But I digress! Let’s take a peek at Peterson’s rushing stats: Continue reading Peerless Adrian Peterson

  1. Actually, that could end up being a positive in the end! []

Look What Happens When You Try To Do Something Nice

From Giant Bomb, a fascinating story of what went wrong when Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games tried to give away free copies of a game:

“At that point, I had been up all night the night before dealing with all this crap, and it was getting late in the day,” he said. “I was absolutely exhausted. [laughs] That was as far as I was willing to go for a freebie, so I asked BMT, I said ‘you know what, just cancel everything, revert it, just stop the whole thing.’ And they did. And I went to bed. I thought that was the end of it.”

When Gilbert went to sleep, he was sitting on 30,000 keys. In the morning, they were all gone.


Steady Framerates

Pretty rough day for Call of Duty: Ghosts over at Polygon.

An interesting tidbit from the review:

Much has been said about the fact that the PlayStation 4 version of the game runs at a native 1080p, and while that may be true, the game did struggle to maintain a steady framerate, especially in hectic multiplayer matches. The PS3 version of the game ran into similar problems, whereas the Xbox 360 version maintained a steady 60 frames per second.

Really curious to find out if the drop to 720p on the Xbox One is going to lead to a smoother 60fps experience. 1080p just isn't worth it if the game doesn't perform well with the extra pixels in place.