Wk16, Broncos +6.5 at Steelers

Weekly winners!  ChuckKoz, Schroedinger, DWhalen.

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College Bowls

I hope you all got the contest form for the bowl games I sent via email.  In case you didn’t.. link.  Anyways, here’s where I am on these. 

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  • HitTheHorns

    6) Lions +3

  • clayII

    Lions (+3) / Saints

    Lions are banged up a little but Saints D is Browns level of bad. Lions had been rolling until the hail Mary game, and last weeks hangover loss at rams with their tuff D was expected. Lions are simply the better team here. Take the points. If you get down I would advise ML here

  • limaontinder

    Fuck the Browns. Fuck their good practices. I dunno. I’m so far down in the standings it don’t even matter, but when A to Z says watch Johnny get Rousey-ed by Hawks’ defense, I listen. Also, I suppose it’d be nice to climb above Frowns in the standings, as far as moral victories go, but to do that I’d probably have to remember that it’s Sunday and picks are due before Sunday at 1:42.

    Oh well.

    Seahawks – essay
    Dolphins
    Packers
    Bengals
    Saints
    Broncos

    • make a college pick buddy and i’ll drop the saints pick unless i hear different.
      YOU CAN DO THIS!!
      GO LIMA! BEAT FROWNIE!

      • limaontinder

        was super busy/lazy and didn’t check back. fuck me. sorry. oh well.

      • limaontinder

        NM: Give me W. Kentucky!

  • The Iron Sheik

    I love this game ats because the odds makers aren’t giving Baltimore a chance with Jimmy Clausen behind center. In this home game for Baltimore, they need to give their fans something to look forward to, by staying competitive with Flacco out. So the goal today is for Baltimore to have some of the special team’s players step up and make a big play to keep the Ravens in the game.
    As for Kansas City, they live or die by the play of Alex Smith. He hasn’t been playing consistently over the past few games.
    My big concern this afternoon, is the running backs for KC with Charles and West and their ability to open a can of whoop ass on the Blackbirds? Go Ravens

  • Matt Borcas

    Skins, Patriots, Broncos

    • Matt Borcas

      Eagles, WKU

  • Petefranklin

    Packers
    Giants
    AP Broncos
    Essay)

    San Diego SuperChargers

    As a former So Cal person, I used to drive down to see the Chargers a couple of games a year. The best games to see were the Raiders games, because of all the fights going on. You would think the Raiders fans would get the better of the laid back Chargers fans, but that was not the case. You see, there are many hard core Chargers fans in Low Cal. I expect a pretty good showing from both the fans and the team today vs. a Miami team that doesn’t have many transplants in Southern California. I expect a great game by Rivers as well, who will want to be remembered as the guy who would have won a ring if Norv Turner wasn’t his head coach. That is all I’ve got. BTW I’ve been the biggest essay fade on the Cheddar board lately as I’ve lost an unprecedented (for me) 4 or 5 essays in a row. Prior to this shitty run, I would say that I was pretty close to 70% lifetime on essays in the contest. All good runs….you know.

    • I think we should keep Pettine but if a change is inevitable, I’d snap up Mike McCoy. I just don’t think coaches go from being brilliant to incompetent in one year though I can’t quite figure out what happened to the Chargers this year.

  • ChuckKoz

    Here are all my picks combined into one spot:

    Utah – WIN
    Jets – PUSH
    Cardinals -3.5 (Eagles)
    Saints -3 (Lions)
    AP: Broncos +6.5 (Steelers)
    ESSAY: Rams (essay in below post) – WIN

  • oxr

    Obligatory college pick: USF +2.5 over Western KY. Why not?

    All-Play Broncos +6.5 over Steelers – too many points

    Bengals -4.5 over 49ers – not enough points

    Seahawks -14.5 over Browns – still, somehow, not enough points
    Jags -3 over Falcons – god help me

    Essay Chiefs -7.5 over Ravens – Glad I missed the fact that there was a Saturday night game, else I would’ve been all over the Jets. On the other hand, at least that would’ve netted me half a point. And speaking of half-points: given my generally woeful picking this year I can absolutely relate to John Harbaugh’s statement that “In my mind, next year’s season has already begun.” On the other hand, the fact that phrases like “evaluation process” are being used in team PR statements makes it really hard to pick the Ravens this week. The goddamn Chiefs are in position to win the goddamn AFC West assuming the Broncos lose to goddamn Pittsburgh and I fully expect them to capitalize on some short fields courtesy of poor old Matt Goddamn Schaub and/or Jimmy “Santa” Clausen. Compliments of the season to all!

  • 1) USF +2.5
    2) Texans +2
    3) Giants +5
    4) Bengals -4.5
    5) Steelers -6.5 (All-Play)
    6) Packers -3 (Essay)

    Essay: Packers -3

    More of a gut feeling here than anything else. For the Raiders, Mack played out of his mind last week and it’s entirely possible that he does it again. But, it looks like the Packers running game may be beginning to show signs of life and that should help the Packers sustain some meaningful drives that lead to points on the board. I also like that McCarthy has taken over the play calling as that seemed to bring some life to the Packers. Oakland’s offense, while certainly an improvement from where they have been, still has some games that leave you scratching your head with the play calling. Green Bay’s defense is certainly not Denver’s defense, but they should do a good enough job keeping the Oakland’s offense at bay to the point where Rodgers can take care of the win (and cover).

  • PJD19

    I’m going to switch over to the Jags over the Falcons for my essay, in lieu of the cinci play. I’ve liked this game all week and need to be true to myself in making a push for a coveted CB playoff spot. The Jags aren’t out of it in the AFC South. The Jags offense has been really good since week 5. They have a bunch of good young studs on offense and they’re going to put up some points in this game against a week ATL pass rush. Atlanta is missing their leading tackler. ATL will be disinterested and won’t be as comfortable on the natural track.

    I’ll edit the form, thanks.

  • CLEMPLS BENGALS POTY

    I know, I know. AJ McCarron going on the road in the NFL is pretty dicey. I also know stuff doesn’t carry over much in the NFL, but the 9ers are awful. I know they will give a better effort today, but I don’t know how Gabbert makes it out alive against a pretty good Bengals defense. For the Bengals, this 9ers offense will be a pleasant surprise coming a Pitts team with tons of weapons. Outside of Iloka, the Bengals are pretty healthy on defense, and they are going to get the 9ers in passing situations and pin their ears back. The Bengals generally feast on bad teams, then shit the bed against better competition. The Bengals have a lot to play for, and they go on the road and take care of business here.

    Broncos +6.5 (All Play)
    USF +2.5 for my college pick
    Bears +5.5
    Giants +5
    Redskins +1

  • pateslvrblk

    Bucs essay. Two sub-.500 teams on different trends. Atlants is disintegrating and I sense the bayoneting of survivors is imminent. Probably won’t be firing the coach after one year even though it seems clear that Quinn has lost his team. Questions about Kyle Shananhas’s quarterback management are inevitable as for the third consecutive year he’s presided over an offense full of disgruntled QBs and WRs… except this time the unhappy players have some cachet. With Ryan, Jones, and White you have an nine pro-bowls grousing about an OC with a track record for abrasiveness. Bot good. Meanwhile Gus Bradley’s young team is clicking and appears to have a bright year or two in front of them. In short, one team can’t wait to play today, the other can’t have the season end soon enough. That’ll be enough to cover the three points at home.

    • pateslvrblk

      Arizona Jets Niners Raiders Steelers Jags

  • Chris Schroeder

    -3 Green Bay @ Oakland
    -14 New England vs. Tennessee
    -3.5 Arizona @ Philadelphia
    +7.5 Ohio vs Appalachian State
    All Play: +6.5 Denver @ Pittsburgh

    Essay: -7.5 Kansas City @ Baltimore
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland
    Stadium: M & T Bank Stadium
    Time: 12:00 PM
    Broadcast: CBS
    Mascot: K.C. Wolf vs Poe
    The Game: The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll and has set themselves up for a playoff run. I’m a little hesitant on this pick. When your playing well and on top it’s real easy to take a quick step back. But not on this Sunday. The Ravens are known this year to cough up the rock and this week will be no different. Chiefs will take advantage of at least two turnovers with 10 plus points. That will be he difference and will clear the spread. This is a tighter pick now since I’m finishing writing this but I’m still confidant that the Chiefs will cover.

  • Late line: Texans +2 at Colts.

    • I’d like to swap my Jags pick to Texans please!

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Titans: Titans off massive stink bomb last week and seemingly in much deeper here. Patriots have no need or real motivation for the full waxing. Overall, its an interesting spot as bad teams tend to have a lot of value down the stretch. If there is a game on the rest of their schedule they should get up for, its this one, so I’ll take the Titans in a top effort spot for my essay.

    • Petefranklin

      Titans outright to give Franklin a shot at hedging his over 5 season win bet on the Titans!

  • DQuatts

    USF
    Detroit
    Kansas City
    Philadelphia
    Denver
    New York football Giants**

    • DQuatts

      These New York football Giants have something to prove. They are playing in a single elimination playoff bracket for their 2015-2016 NFL lives. They know an undefeated opponent is coming into town. They will be ready. This is a team that could honestly have one of the better records in the NFL. A little bit of inexperience and tough breaks hurt them early, but I believe they are dialed in. I know Carolina wants records and home field, etc. I also know they are a little banged up. If they win one of their final 3 games this season they have home-field. I see this week as one for rest and long-term thinking for Carolina. I don’t believe they get out of the Meadowlands still undefeated. GGGGGMEN!

  • **BAD ACTION ALERT**
    (16-0 Jets cheddar points vs Cowboys)

  • ChuckKoz

    jets -3

  • trashycamaro

    NYJ -3 at Cowboys Play. Of. The. Year. Honestly was hoping for a juicier college play (last year was FSU -1 over UMiami, a game FSU was NOT losing), but really have not seen it yet. No play has been quite good enough to go against my alma mater Florida, although the Michigan -5 is a god but not quite good enough for me to choose one alma mater over the other. Anyway, here it is, NYJ with Ryan Fitzpatrick in a dome stadium on a Saturday night against a mediocre defense (19) with mediocre special teams (13), sporting a terrible pass offense (30) and a mediocre rushing attack (14). The Jets, of course sport a medicore passing attack (10) with a mediocre rushing attack (19) going against the team that is 15 and 26 in those defensive categories respectively. My big concerns that would normally keep me away from POTY status are the NYJ large offensive variance (16th) and being a road favorite. That said, I like Brandon Marshall and that stud defensive line, and a banged up secondary in goo weather. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Big week, good luck everyone.

    Broncos +6.5 over Steelers

    WKU -2.5 over USF

    Lions +3 over Saints

    Jags -3 over Falcons

    Bengals -4.5 over 49ers

    • trashycamaro

      Swapping in Texans +2 over Colts for Jags pick.

  • Nick

    Rams (w)
    Georgia State +2.5
    Broncos +6.5
    Packers -3
    Saints -3
    Jets -3 Essay:

    “The Cowboys suck!” proclaims Sage, who’s the breakfast correspondent at the Sheraton by the
    Galliera in Houston, Texas. Sage was drinking $5 Knob Creek’s the night before, so 5:30am came pretty early for her, and she just got yelled at for being on her phone all the time, so now every
    guest that sleepily walked in looking for a coffee and a Danish and maybe some quiet time became an extension of her text messages and demands for attention. I found this to be pretty entertaining, so I was pretty sure I was taking the Jets, and this cemented it.

    Dallas has a zero dimensional offense, I don’t even know who their quarterback is right now. I know Ryan Fitzpatrick is a smart quarterback who is developing a strong relationship with misunderstood Brandon Marshall, and Eric Decker who is turning out to be a really nice signing. Why would whatever the Jets have going on right now stop right now against Dallas? I honestly can’t think of one reason so let’s go JETS!

    For those who care, I just finished Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms”, and very much enjoyed it.

  • thatsfine

    Ohio +7.5

    • thatsfine

      SJSU -2.5 – Essay
      Arkansas State +2

      Lots of public love for Georgia State. The Panthers staged an unexpected turnaround late this year, winning their last 4 to finish 6-6, including trouncing Georgia Southern in their final game. The Panthers did this almost entirely through the air, finishing the year #8 FBS ranked in passing at 346 yards/game, while their rushing offense ranked #126 at barely 100 yards/game. On the other side, pass defense is SJSU’s strength, ranked #2 in FBS pass defense, giving up 153 yards/game. SJSU’s passing/QB play has been efficient recently as well, with QB Kenny Potter passing for 3 TDs in each of his last 3 games – even though 2 of those were losses. I watched a lot of Mountain West and Sun Belt games this year and I think GSU is overvalued here. I think the Mountain West is the better conference overall. I like the balanced offense of SJSU and their stout pass defense to limit GSU’s one-dimensional attack.

      • thatsfine

        Bears +5.5

      • thatsfine

        Steelers -6.5

      • thatsfine

        Eagles +3.5

  • Petefranklin

    Georgia St.
    Appy State

  • HitTheHorns

    1) BYU +2.5

    • HitTheHorns

      2) Ohio +7.5

      • HitTheHorns

        3) NY Jets -3

        • HitTheHorns

          Essay Seahawks -14.5

          JFF looked good last week; only one horrific throw (the INT before halftime.) San Fran never should’ve gotten off the bus, however there were multiple 50/50 balls last week that could’ve changed the outcome of that game (Hartline fumble inside the 5, a blocked FG that SF does not run back for a touchdown, Ahmad Brooks fumble recovery that could’ve been returned for a TD but was tackled at midfield, SF fourth and 1 from the 30 on their third possession, come away with 0 points – Nate Orchard sack, and finally the JFF INT before halftime that led to 0 points.) So viewed through this lens, the dominant home win is slightly less impressive. I’m certainly not big on laying over 2 touchdowns, but I’ll trust that Seattle will continue their hot play and the Mike Pettine will continue to throw the middle finger to the front office and ownership.

          5) Broncos +7.5

  • Arizona, BYU, Steelers, WKU.

    • Jets essay.
      I’m closing up shop on the Cowboys, their season is over and going against the best d-line there is will make for another long and embarrassing national tv performance. Jets have figured things out since the Texans loss with three straight wins where they mostly score over 30 and mostly hold their foe to under 10. Cowboys o-line couldn’t carry the day against the soft Packers defense, no shot against the Jets.

  • Capitalgg

    Picks done quickly with little analysis, finding 5 I like was hard. We’ll see if that is good or, more likely, bad…

    All-Play: Steelers -6.5 v. Broncos: Had to pick a side, so…
    1. Ohio +7.5 v. Appalachian St.: Frank Solich seems to get his team up to play in these bowl games.
    2. Redskins -1 v. Bills: Bills done? We’ll find out.
    3. Ravens +7.5 v. Chiefs: Lotta points for a prideful team at home here. Ravens either rise up this week or next.
    4. Packers -3 @ Raiders: I’m simply picking against a lost Raiders team right now against a warm Packers squad.

    The USF Bulls started the season as abysmally. They finished playing as well as any Group of 5 team in the country blowing out a ranked Temple team, housing a solid Cincinnati squad and crushing rival UCF in their regular season finale. WKU on the other hand is 11-2 while cruising through a who-cares of the Fun Belt Conference. The offense is potent and they challenged LSU for a minute, but much like against Indiana early and LSU, the more physical team eventually asserts dominance in a game like this. Therefore, USF +2.5 v. Western Kentucky in the Miami Beach Bowl is the play here.

  • Jmacdaddio

    Utah -2.5
    Jags -3
    Jets -3
    Chargers -2
    Broncos +6.5
    Redskins +1 (Essay)

    You like that? Redskins are very much alive in the NFC East hunt if not the title favorite, and they’re a home dog against da Bills? I think this is a case of Rex Ryan getting far more credit than he deserves. Their roster is depleted and they’re running out of steam. Tyrod Taylor is the best QB in the league that nobody talks about, so he’ll keep it close. I give the advantage to the Redskins as they’ve been tough at home and have all to play for, while the Bills are playing to stay on playoff life support.

  • cwonder23

    Bears +5.5 @ Vikings
    Utah -2.5 vs BYU
    Panthers -5 @ NYG
    Ravens +7.5 vs Chiefs
    All Play: Broncos +6.5 @ Steelers
    Essay to come

    • cwonder23

      Essay: Packers -3 @ Raiders

      Who knows, right? Raiders are coming off a good win last week. I’m expecting a bit of a hangover effect. If the Packers OL can keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet, he should feast. It’s been a problem for them this year, but, we are about to the point where they gotta play like a playoff team. Lacy is gonna get the ball 20 times and the Packers coast to another W. Packers 24 – Raiders 10.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Broncos +6.5
    Byu +2.5
    San Jose state -2.5
    Falcons +3
    Packers -3
    Chargers -2

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Broncos will be my essay this week. This line just seems way to high to me. I love getting 6.5 with the Broncos defense. Pittsburgh is making there late season run and may win this game but I see it coming down to a fg. I don’t know I just thought this was a lot of points to give to a very good Broncos team. Maybe I’m missing something

  • New Mexico, Utah, Steelers, Niners, Eagles, No essay essay ***Browns***

  • Its Only Money

    Utah
    Ohio
    Chiefs
    Dolphins
    All Play: Broncos
    Essay: Seahawks

    I just don’t see anyway the Browns can stay within two TDs of the reigning NFC Champs. The Seahawks started the season off slow, but have really come on over the last several weeks. Even though they are down to their 3rd string RB, I don’t think it will slow their rushing attack down. The Browns have only been able to contain the hapless 49ers run game all year. The secondary problems will continue for the Browns this week as well. Although I see Johnny improving, the final 3 weeks of the year are going to be tough sledding. The Seahawks should be able to get some pressure on JM and give him some fits. The running game was an aberration for the browns last week as well. I see the only a couple scoring chances and a game with a similar score as the Bengals game a few weeks ago. I hope I am wrong but just don’t see any way the Browns keep it close.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    BYU and Ohio today.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      Panthers
      Seahawks
      Steelers
      **Packers

      Back on track it seems, and making better use of the run game with Mike McCarthy calling the plays as he should be might be exactly what Green Bay needed. It’s funny how an adjustment like that can make a difference in an organization that has such few weaknesses. Oakland is intriguing and I am actually happy for their fan base that they have some hope and a watchable team. But with rain in the forecast, the better run game will be the difference.
      Besides, BJ Raji weighs 337 pounds and can do the splits.

  • STEELERS -6.5. Too much firepower. Broncos have a few injuries. And they can’t score points.

    UTAH -2.5. Wittingham has the better of his old pal Bronco.

    SAN JOSE STATE -2.5. IDK.

    JAGS -3. Rolling with this offense at the moment.

    DOLPHINS +2. How are the Chargers favored in any game at all?

    $$$ SEAHAWKS -14.5. Beat down coming. Russ is elite. Essay to come.

    • I once spoke of a man named R Carringron Wilson in a long prophetic ballad during the second week of his first NFL season. Above Luck, and with no mention of RG3 in my list of draftable quarterbacks, Russ was atop my list (which I put out every season just prior to the NFL draft. And with my current track record of assessing QB talent, I should be putting in front office bids at the Factory of Sadness. Especially since there appears to be some job openings coming up.) for a number of reasons, most of which no one wants to pay attention or attribute enough value to to justify taking a guy who needs to be your franchise for the next 8-10 years. Egos and emotions drive the draft process in Berea, which is why you end up with turd ball after fucking turdball, only to be led by King of the turdballs after he’s polished off a few Colt 45’s and a half dozen 8 balls -enough to calm his symptoms of withdrawal for a few hours on Sundays. Russ may be a bible-thumping virgin who throws his love for Jesus Christ in everyone’s face, but what’s worse? Subjecting everyone to that-or instead of relishing the opportunity to not just play, but to EXCELL, at a job that only 32 people on planet earth get to to claim week in and week out-yes, instead of flying under the radar and putting extra time in to understand the offense you’re running, and the personnel on your team, and how defenses might attempt to mitigate your impact on the scoreboard, your QB crushes Xanax into a high ball glass filled 1/4 of the way with Three Olives Cherry, 3/4 of the way with Red Bull, just before slugging it to the face and taking selfies with a trio of jersey chasing coeds.

      I’d rather have Russ. And anyone who says he’s a product of an “excellent supporting cast” or an “all world defense” clearly has no fucking idea that he’s played with a carousel of B- players on offense, and that the Seahawks defense has looked like ass for most of the season. Cam Chancellor, as bad ass as he is, ain’t setting records for passing efficiency and TD/INT ratios. If the Seahawks get back to the ship this year, it’ll be primarily because they made a decision to draft correctly at the single most important position in all of team sports. And while half the league is stuck with “franchise” guys like Jay Cutler, another 5-7 are playing with inept fuckfaces like Johnny Football (only assholes continue to perpetuate the use of that nickname), the Seahawks have Russ. And while Dirty Mike Pettine decides the best use of his microphone time is to undermine the opposing team’s stud of a leader (who honestly gives a fuck if he’s “ELITE” by Coach P’s clouded judgment), I just sit back in my chair and laugh at the priorities of the assclowns calling the shots in Berea.

  • Dave Borcas

    Ohio +7.5
    Western Kentucky -2.5
    Arizona Cardinals -3.5
    Packers -3
    Broncos +6.5 (all play)
    Bengals -4.5 (essay)
    If not for the Andy Dalton injury you would have to lay 14 points in this game. The Browns, yes the Browns made the Niners look bad last week. The Browns, yes the Browns rushed for 200+ yards against the Miners last week. The Browns, yes the Browns sacked the Miners Blaine Gabbert 9 times last week. The Bengals are 2nd in scoring D while the Miners are 32nd scoring offensively. This game should be over at halftime and also an opportunity to make your bookie pay.

  • CLEVTA

    1. Broncos all play
    2. SJSU -2.5
    3. BYU +2.5 (Essay): bowl season is almost 100% about motivation. Utah was undefeated most of the season, then lost to USC, lost Booker and lost to UCLA with a shot to make the Pac 12 title game with a chance at the Rose Bowl. Instead they are without their heart and soul in Devonte Booker at RB and are playing on December 19. Also they will be down their top 2 WRs. Since Booker went down Utah is 1-1 and almost lost to an awful Colorado team at home while not gaining >4.75 yds/play in either game. Travis Wilson hasn’t passed for >110 yards in the 2 games Booker has missed. They are a mess. BYU has stated publicly that they are playing extra hard for Mendenhall who is leaving for Virginia but is coaching this game for the kids. This game checks virtually every box I look for when taking a bowl game

    • CLEVTA

      4. Seattle
      5. Niners
      6. Bears

  • super p forever:

    jets -3 cowboys
    bengals -4.5 49ers
    packers -3 raiders
    chiefs -7 ravens
    all-play: broncos +6.5 steelers
    essay: jags -3 falcons

    I actually looked up and read half of an article about this Jaguars-Falcons game, so to say this is the most informed I’ve been about any Cheddar Bay Essay Pick this year would be the absolute truth.

    And if you think I included the words “Cheddar Bay” in the “Cheddar Bay Essay Pick” just to stretch out the word count and get this over with asap, you’re correct.

    After all, Star Wars opened this weekend, and while I’ve seen it twice and have another showing pending, I’m still not satiated. That means reading about Star Wars as much as possible, and also looking at pictures of Star Wars, and speculating about what’s next for Star Wars with strangers from the online social networks that I browse.

    Still, the Jaguars are a losing team who can still get into the Playoffs, and if that type of plucky underdog doesn’t evoke Star Wars, then I don’t know which franchise does. Maybe the Falcons.

    I have no idea. I don’t like gambling. Go Jag-ooh-wars.

    • Hey hey you need to drop one of those NFL picks and pick a college game. Thx.

      • We’ll drop the chiefs (or chieves?) and pick up byu- sorry sorry

        Can you change in the spreadsheet

  • jdoepke

    Mark this down as one of the most confusing weeks I’ve ever seen. I seriously have no feel for the games this week. Bowls always throw me off with the motivation factor, new coaches, etc. Here’s my best shot in the dark…

    Broncos +6 (AP)
    Arizona -9
    S. Fla +2.5
    Eagles +3.5
    Falcons +3

    Essay:
    BYU +2.5 No one is giving BYU a chance, literally NO ONE. Yet the line is dropping and 90% of action on Utah. I see this as somewhat of a shootout with both teams in the high 20s low 30s. It’s also a rivalry and I like the underdog in a nearby venue for both schools. Utah 28 – BYU 27.

  • zarathustra

    “Wake up dum-dum….”

    I gritted my teeth in agitation. Goddammit. He was still there. “Leave me alone!”

    “We both know that won’t be happening anytime soon, now don’t we dum-dum.”

    It all started with eating far too much cannabis. And then there was that book of spells. I never expected this though. I now have a rather droll pint-sized green man–who incessantly casts barbs my way–floating around me all the time. It’s been days now and no matter what I do I just can’t shake the little fucker.

    “Let’s have breakfast. I’m just dying for some jelly doughnuts.”

    “Jelly doughnuts are nothing but sugar and gluten. I most certainly am not having that breakfast.”

    “Ok. How about some bloody marys?”

    “No. No. No. No way. I’m ignoring you.”

    “That won’t work either, but you know that now don’t you.” He flashed a wry smile.

    He was right. I had tried that. It did not work. “Fuuuuuuck!” I kicked the blanket off me and stomped out of bed.

    “What’s wrong with you?” My wife. My screaming must have awoken her. She didn’t know about any of this. I’d been keeping it to myself. Reluctantly, I explained to her the entire situation.

    “Well he can’t stay here.”

    “But I don’t want him to stay here. I’ve been trying like hell to get rid of him.”

    “I don’t care. Not in my house. We talked about this the last time. No demons.”

    My little green companion guffawed. “Demon?  I’m no demon.”

    “Now honey, I really don’t think he’s a demon. He looks like an alien.”

    “You tell her I’m one of the greatest minds to ever come from the planet Zetox.”

    “Words, words, words. I don’t care what he looks like or what you want to call him. That’s a demon.” She paused for a moment, shaking her head. “What did I say before about evoking any more demons around here. We’re having a Christmas party tomorrow night.”

    “Now honey, I’m sorry about all of this, but it—”

    “Tell her to fuck off with her silly Christmas party.”

    “I will not tell her to fuck off.”

    “He told me to fuck off?”

    “Well, technically he told me to tell you to fuck off.”

    “Donchu get semantic with me Zarathustra…”

    “Jeesh. She needs to relax. Why don’t you ask her to join us for bloodies.”

    “She is not going to join us for bloody marys.”

    “Bloody Marys? What are you talking about? It’s 7am. We have children.”

    “Jelly doughnuts?”

    “No,” I snapped.

    “You have some nerve getting testy with me. I’m not the one who brought a demon home. Again.” She stormed out of the room.

    I did evoke a demon a while back, but it wasn’t like you probably think. It really wasn’t that big of a deal. And besides, this was clearly an alien. Not a demon.

    Not much later I was outside on the front lawn doing my morning calisthenics when my neighbor sauntered over. He’s kind of a goober, but we’re still pretty good buddies.

    “Hey Barney.”

    “What’s up Zara? Hey Gazoo.”

    “Hey dum-dum.”

    My eyes widened. “You can see him?!?!?”

    “Of course I can. I was there when you discovered him. Don’t you remember?”

    No. I didn’t. “Of course. Just a lot has been going on. I just forgot.”

    “Well it was a pretty strange scene that’s for sure. Not like anything I’ve ever seen.”

    “Well, it isn’t every day that you encounter an alien life form that’s for damn sure.”

    “What makes you so sure he’s an alien Zara?”

    “Not you too. Of course he’s an alien. Look at him.”

    “As elevating as it is to listen to you two monkeys grunt at one another, have you even considered using my powers for personal gain.”

    “Hmmmm. Why would you want to help us?”

    “Why wouldn’t I? I’ve been banished here. Away from home. For all I know for forever. You can’t get rid of me now that I’m here and I couldn’t leave if I wanted to. So let’s have some fun. Let’s party. Let’s get laid. Let’s get rich. I can make it all happen so so easily.”

    “I don’t know Zara.” Barney looked nervous. “I don’t think this sounds like a very good idea.”

    “Not a good idea? What the hell are talking about? It sounds like a great idea.”

    “Now you’re talking. Maybe you’re not such a dum-dum after all.”

    I held my head high. “That’s right. I’m not so dumb. Regardless of where I stand in the cheddarbay rankings. Or that I haven’t hit an essay pick in weeks. I’m not dumb. I’m smart indeed.”

    “That’s right Zara. So right. You are smart indeed. I’m supremely confident that with your assistance I will easily conquer this entire planet. That WE will conquer this planet.”

    “I’m not so sure about this Zara. Conquering the planet seems kind of diabolical. You’ve got the Christmas party to plan for.”

    Barney was right. I hadn’t even picked up the brontosaurus burgers yet. Plus, conquering the world seemed like a lot of work.

    “No, no, no friend. Not a lot of work at all.” It was like he was reading my mind. “It shall be no more difficult than scoring a most glorious lobster fest in cheddarbay.”

    “A lobster? That would put me right back into playoff contention. But, I can’t do it. Oh, how I’ve tried.”

    “Relax…That’s where I come in. What are friends for after all? I possess all of the lobsters silly. All you have to do is pledge eternal fealty to me.”

    “I don’t think you should do it Zara. It’s not worth it.”

    Maybe Barney was right. Eternal fealty to a super powerful being of unknown origin didn’t sound like such a great idea.

    “Oh Zara, eternal fealty isn’t as bad as it seems. Besides, it’s merely a formality. We are going to be partners in world domination after all.”

    “Don’t listen to him—”

    “Go shuffle off in your clown car bro. I’m going to give him a much needed lobster.”

    “Lobster….” I couldn’t resist. The playoffs are too important. Cheddar Bay is too important. “I’m in.”

    “Attaboy Zarathustra. Attaboy. Here’s your lobster: BYU, Broncos, Packers, Saints, Colts, and Bills.”

    “I like those. I really like the Cowboys and Giants too, but which is the essay pick.”

    “Relax. They’re all winners. Go with the Packers I guess.”

    “Kind of a big public play. I try not to let silly externalities govern my judgment on these things, but I’ve been burned on these types of picks a few times recently.”

    “Relax….Now all I need of you friend is to procure a few things.” He snapped his fingers and a scroll appeared.

    It was a list of all he would need to take over the world. “I think you need to relax. First I want that lobster. When I get that you will get your pint of virgin blood.”

    He was giddy. Not demonstrating even the slightest concern about the picks being a lobster fest. “We shall conquer the world Zarathustra.” His voice sang when he spoke. “Won’t it be wonderful….Won’t it be grand….why….we’ll have a gay old time.”

  • mmmmsnouts

    Pretty good push I’ve made the last few weeks to get my season result from horrific to mediocre. I feel like the Cowboys stupidly going all-out to finish 6-10 instead of 5-11.

    ALL PLAY: Broncos +6.5 vs. Steelers

    Utah -2.5 vs. BYU
    USF +2.5 vs. Western Kentucky (50% homer pick, 25% USF is 9-2-1 ATS this year, 25% C-USA is a trash fire of a league. WKU’s computer profile is seriously padded by playing 2 SEC teams. I mean they barely beat Vanderbilt.)
    Bengals -4.5 vs. 49ers
    Washington Football Team +1 vs. Bills

    ESSAY: Raiders +3 vs. Packers

    See, at first this looks like an overreaction to Khalil Mack’s superhuman game last week. Then you dig into the details. Rodgers has been sacked 31 times already and hasn’t been clicking for a few weeks. Raiders are actually pretty good against the run. Green Bay’s down a cornerback this week. Derek Carr has more passing yards than Rodgers this year. 70% of the bets are on the Packers but the line hasn’t moved off -3 the entire week. This is a stinky fish and I’m grabbing the points.

    (Also I’m not going to pick it but I have a dread feeling the Giants are going to beat Carolina outright because it’s about time for that ding-dong team to shit all over everything we love.)

  • FTCMikeD

    Arizona
    BYU

    Pats
    Pack
    AP: Broncos
    *****
    The Bengals are getting no love just because Dalton is out. The niners are really bad. I watched them struggle against the Browns last week, who are also really bad. Cincy with AJ McCarron is still better than the Browns. They should be able to take care of business on the west coast with AJ getting reps all week.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 16 Picks

    Bengals (-4.5) over 49ers – I’ve spent an entire year watching the Browns not even know where to line up on defense. Stop talking about Mr. Webb and focus on the damage the Bengals D will do Sunday.

    Bears (+5.5) over Vikings – Cutler > Bridgewater

    Cardinals (-3.5) over Eagles

    Patriots (-14) over Titans

    AP: Broncos (+6.5) over the Steelers

    Essay Pick

    A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me what I thought of Colorado moving to the PAC12 now that it has been 5 full years. From a football point of view it has been a bloodbath and from a basketball point of view it has been great. What I’ve learned is that we all have our own criteria but in my humble opinion the PAC12 is the best conference in football and I don’t even think it’s close. This year Colorado finished 1-8 in conference play. If they were still in the Big 12 they would have played for a conference title this year. Don’t believe me? Fine. Go look at the old Big 12 North. Nebraska. Missouri. Kansas. Iowa State. Kansas State. Apology accepted. I can’t even imagine the unspeakable things that Oklahoma would have done to Colorado in the title game…having Vince Young 70-3 flashbacks which lead to that infected dickhole Dan Hawkins setting the program back years.

    This brings me to a middle of the road PAC12 team in Arizona. There are no weeks off in the PAC12 like in other conferences because even the doormats will fight you (I may be stretching this a little with Oregon State this year.)

    It’s vacation time for Arizona and nothing more fun than winning a bowl game in your opponents place. Arizona big over a UNM team that is just happy for 40 bowl games.

    The PAC12 is going to steamroll people this bowl season. Get on board early.

    Arizona (-9) over UNM

  • jpftribe

    Well my cheddar mates, jpfsanta has brought some electronic gifts to bestow upon all of you. I figure this will be far more entertaining than the football drivel that has produced my 45th place adventure so far. I may not have the eye for picking winners, but I do have an ear for some wonderful melodies. My essay pick this week is my beloved Cleveland Browns, who I am hoping show up over the next two weeks and make the Steelers game at the end of the year something worth watching, as I will likely be there in person with Mrs jpf and sons. Other picks:
    App St
    San Jose State
    Utah
    Cards
    Steelers
    Browns for 3 big ones

    Beautiful piece by the most phenomenal Eric Johnson:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HMYmJcv8hM

    Steve Lukather channeling his inner Wes Montgomery
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnhnrR7GxdU
    Bah Humbug you say? I got you covered. Gotta love a young Stevie on Sesame Street!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE

    Enjoy your holidays! Here’s wishing some cheddar finds its way to you…….

  • ChuckKoz
  • actovegin1armstrong

    Cowboys
    Ohio
    ****Falcons****
    Browns
    Detroit
    Denver

    • actovegin1armstrong

      How has Atlanta lost 6 in a row? They have a lot more talent than Jacksonville and they should have an easy win this weekend. I attribute the losses to another “Great Shanahan Rebellion”. Dan Quinn is certainly no Rocket Surgeon either, but even a blind dog finds a bone once in awhile, especially a blind dog with terrific talent on offense.
      The Jacksonville secondary has looked confused against teams with only one good receiver, this week they will be facing a team with 3 good receivers. Matt Ryan is still as good as he was when he was given his silly nickname, he has not lost anything. The Atlanta offensive line has not been a thing of beauty, but with a good quarterback, a good running back and 3 good receivers, I would take Matt Ryan over Blake Bortles.
      Other than Luke Joeckel there is not a lot to like about the Jaguars’ offense.
      The Jaguars have one freakish, blowout win over the beleaguered Colts and now they are ready to beat Atlanta? I do not think so. How quickly those losses to Tennessee and San Diego are forgotten.

  • ChuckKoz

    Essay: Rams -2

    Rams coming off a very nice win against a Lions team that came in playing pretty well. Meanwhile, Buccaneers coming off of a pretty bad setback at home against New Orleans they came in reeling. And Todd Gurly seems to be planning on playing. And we have the Bucs traveling on a short week

    But what really is important here is that this is potentially the last game in St. Louis for the Rams, with their owner desperately wanting to move the team to Los Angeles. While if you made me guess I bet they’ll still be playing in St. Louis next year, but I’m pretty damn sure the fans won’t leave that the chance and it’ll be an emotional crowd that fires up the team, similar (but nowhere near as relevant under any circumstance ) to the Browns inspired performance in 95.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Essay Utah:

    Brigham Young University lacks integrity with their clear
    choice of profits over morals. I am talking about the hypocrisy of their cheerleaders’ uniforms. This is a school that will not let women show their knees or shoulders while going to class, but has no problem with them flashing their crotches to millions of viewers while standing feet away from virgins (which I am sure their football players are). For the cheers that they do on the side of the field, there is no reason they cannot be wearing more modest clothing, so clearly functionality is not the reason. If they are wearing those uniforms for the sake of maintaining social norms among athletes, why do they have strict on campus dress codes that go against social norms? Many schools choose to have their cheerleaders wear long pants and shirts during bad weather, so needing to have bare legs is not a requirement for cheering. The only diversity within the student body comes from artificially recruiting student athletes who otherwise would not have chosen to move to Provo. These athletes are then presented with
    an impossible moral code while being shown violations of it for the sake of a
    profitable team. Will this make them work harder for the team, or just for
    themselves to have a chance to leave Provo for better life opportunities?

    Buccaneers + 2
    Jets -3
    Utah -2.5
    Cardinals -3.5
    Lions +3
    Bronco + 6.5

    • clayII

      legit considering Utah now. the moral code makes me sad

  • Nick

    Rams for 1 point please.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    South Florida
    Ohio
    Chargers
    Seahawks
    Broncos

    Bengals

    You guys have seen the Niners, right? I know the Bengals are changing QBs and might be fragile and the Niners can’t possibly be any worse than they were last week, but this is one of the worst rosters in the NFL against one of the best. Maybe the best against the worst, even with a backup QB, even on the road. The Niners can’t score, can’t stop the run, can’t run, can’t scare anyone down the field. They’ll play better and I don’t think this will be 37-3 Bengals, but it should be 10 by the fourth quarter. Maybe (hopefully) 14.

  • ChuckKoz

    so we dont need to pick the saturday college game?

    • we’re back to normal so we need one college game this weekend (doesnt have to be saturday.. i think there’s a monday night college game… and an excellent one.)

      • mmmmsnouts

        Monday afternoon, said the guy screwed over by his alma mater playing their surprisingly compelling bowl game while he is stuck at work.

  • PJD19

    Rams for one

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