Friday, September 28, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 28th

Here it is, everybody!  Carmageddon II.   Don't they say that sequels are never as good as the original?  I hope I can **make it** home tonight.   You can bet a lot of cars will try to jump the gun and hit the road before they close the 405 freeway between Route 101 and Route 10.  The on ramps to the 405 (especially nearby at Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards) will close at 7pm.  **7!!!!**   If I were to attempt to take a bus home at 5pm I would be screwed.  I thought of just walking striaght home all the way from campus.  It's a 3 mile walk so it's manageable... boy wouldn't that be fun to watch gridlocked traffic while you walk by and laugh at it?

The Pac 12 is an onion... it has many layers.   SC loses at Stanford.  Stanford loses at Washington.  UCLA celebrates with the champagne between the two games only to find THEMSELVES clipped by Oregon State.  So!  Who's winning this conference?  Right now the Oregon Ducks looks really good to win the Pac 12.  Really good.  It would help if they could play one road game though.  Seems like every week they're at Autzen.  This week -- they head to CenturyLinksys-whathaveyou Field to play Washington State.   The stadium, in Seattle, should be festive.  But the game -- hardly.   It's not one of the LOCKS, but Oregon will put WSU away.  

With all that in mind, I look forward to this weekend.  It appears that trips to Hollywood or Pasadena are out of the question.  Even Burbank or Glendale.  Instead I'll keep it here on the Westside, maybe tour a little of Santa Monica.  Last year, I went to Copa De Oro on Broadway by 3rd Street Promenade and it was a party!   Copa De Oro is a pretty swank, very nice singles bar.   Good times ahead.  Hopefully the 405 closure cuts out most of the out of towners.   3rd Street on a weekend with less tourists would be epic.

Ever have a joke on your mind and you wait and wait so long to write it or say it to someone and then you realize that because you took so long to write the joke it becomes pretty forced and then, not funny?   The best jokes in life come naturally... the more you have to think about it, the less funny it is.  

Who puts a poached egg on a pizza?   The weird ideas people think of these days.

Not a great NFL schedule coming up this weekend.  More than 6+ boring games on the schedule out of about 12 games on Sunday.

The White Sox are struggling are they not?  A week ago -- 3 games up on the Tigers.  Today -- 2 games back of the Tigers.   There's still a few games left over for Chicago but I wonder if there's panic in Chi-Town.

Similarly, is there panic with the Yankees being a game in front of Baltimore?  Let me be honest: why should there be panic?  Even if they lost the division they STILL get a wild card berth with a very realistic opportunity to win their Wild Card Play in game.  I don't follow -- what are Yankee fans so worried about?  The odds are pretty good that two weeks from now, the Yankees will still be playing baseball.

I'm glad the Steelers have a bye week.  They need a break.  Badly.  I'll just put it out there: this is a *miserable* team.  It's injuries, its an old defense, its a lot of things, but that team couldn't hold water in a sealed steel coffee mug.   To be fair, the passing offense is tremendous but Pit still can't run the ball, and everything else around them blows.  

That is all for this weekend.  Be careful driving out there!  --later.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 27th

Yesterday in the mail I got a letter from the Santa Monica Parking Division, or whatever their office is called.   They offered me a "full explanation" for why I got my bogus parking ticket way back in 2009.   I remember that day well my friends.  I parked downtown, ran out of quarters, ran to a store for literally 3 minutes to get change, came back, and some jackass writes up a ticket.  HOW BOGUS IS THIS?!  and on a Sunday!  Many places don't even bother with parking enforcement on a Sunday (like those signs that say "No Parking - x time to y time [except Sunday]).  In any case, I paid up but maybe I should make these jokers do some work and request a full written explanation.  Serves them right.


Interesting side note from that sequence:  that was the same day the Dolphins gave up an enormous lead to the Saints at home, and I followed that most of the way.  Here on this blog, I was very confident about the Dolphins covering a huge point spread, in fact, I think it was +9.   The Dolphins not only blew the lead but eventually blew the cover.    On the podcast the next day I moaned all about it:




My meals for the last three days have been exactly the same, give or take a snack:  apple for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, linguine with marinara and hot italian sausage for dinner.  It sounds boring, but the food has been terrific, and the cash savings will serve me well.  I paid about 25 dollars for five complete days of breakfast-lunch-dinner.  Sometimes it's frustrating to not eat anything else for a meal but I'm proud to have saved upwards of 25 maybe 40 dollars in meals.  Just as well, I'm meeting friends tonight and will spend roughly that much in one shot.

There are all sorts of reports of falling gasoline prices.  The stupid Shell station by my apartment didn't get the memo.

They say to give "The Counter", a custom hamburger restaurant here in LA, another chance. Very well, friends, with a lame college football schedule on Saturday I will consider that second chance.

The A's are a pretty good baseball team, so I think.  The only thing is, there's almost no name brand value at all.  Makes me wonder if they might face the same fate as the Nationals: lack of experience leading to a quick playoff exit.  One thing that's constant though -- their pitching staff is tremendous.  Almost every starter has a 3 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP.  Very impressive.  They also have done a good job shutting down teams like the Yankees and Rangers.  All of these are positive signs for the A's.  This assumes they *make* the playoffs, but there's a shot at it with 2 games of distance between them and the Angels for a Wild Card.

That's all for the moment.  Enjoy your Thursday!

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: NFL Wk. 4 NCAA Wk. 5

And now the Carmageddon edition of

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (screech!)
of the Week (womp)

I'm having a tough time finding any action with college this week.  However, I have a few NFL point spreads that jump out at me.

I'm probably asking for it, but I think I will be the only guy in America who will take Buffalo +4 at home against the Patriots.  How can anyone with a clear head pick THAT quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick) against New England?  Even at home in Buffalo?   Here's the thing -- The Patriots have lost two early season close games, by close margins.  That suggests to me that the Patriots don't fare well in close games.   It *also* seems to me that if a team can send the blitz and put pressure on Tom Brady the offense becomes very beatable.  As it is, it doesn't seem like the Pats have answers on the edges and are trying too many plays to their tight ends.   Aaron Hernandez is out and that alone seems to hamper the offense quite a bit.   Hernandez and Gronkowski TOGETHER were tough to defend, but with just one of them, it's an easier game plan.   I don't think the Pats WRs will be a big enough challenge for an admittedly mediocre Bills secondary.  Put it all together, and I think the Bills will take +4 -- maybe a win, maybe a loss, but I like the cover.

Next, I'm putting my money where my mouth is and I'm taking Philadelphia -1.5 at home against the Giants.  Nobody should ever count on the Giants to perform when they're expected to, and I see the same situation happening here.   While the Eagles are miserable with turnovers, the Giants have come close to turning the ball over many times this year.  It could be a sloppy game, and perhaps a high scoring affair.  At any particular offensive position aside from quarterback, the Eagles are superior.  RB: LeSean McCoy.  TE: Close, but I'll take Brent Celek.   WR: DeSean Jackson (sorry salsa fans).   Let's not forget that the Giants have proven to be mediocre with their safeties and corners so far.  We'll see if they're up to defend the Eagles numerous receiver options.  In either case, Philly at home against the Giants is the LOCK of all LOCKS.  Philly -1.5.

Now back to college, where it looks  like UCLA gets a break with a -20.5 point spread against Colorado.  If they can't put away Colorado like they did with Rice, UCLA might have some problems.  The Buffaloes are easily the worst team in the Pac 12, and the Bruins have both Huntley and Franklin available to run slipshod all over the field.   It almost seems too easy.  I may have smack talked the Bruins a week ago, but they surely are good enough to destroy Colorado on the road.   Any team in the Pac 12 would be.  Bruins -20.5

Only three LOCKS this week:  Buffalo +4, Philadelphia -1.5, UCLA -20.5 .
 

It's official! Welcome back, NFL Officials.

The NFL has now *officially* struck a deal with the NFLRA and will now have the regular officials back.  In fact, they're back *tonight* for the Ravens/Browns game.   Congratulations to all.  Three cheers for the NFL, hip hip, hooray!

More on this from ESPN: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8429885/nfl-reaches-agreement-officials-end-lockout

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oops.... part two?

The latest...





Will these people make up their mind?!

Oops!

Remember that last post with the comment on NFL Replacement Officials?   Just kidding!

As  is reporting, an agreement between NFL and NFLRA is at hand and both sides will work to have officials working this weekend.

Well done, although overdue, everyone.

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 26th

I've got a baaaaaad feeling replacement officials are not going anywhere.  It might be another 3 weeks before the regular guys come back.   Is this as bad as replacement officiating gets?   I can't imagine it getting w o r s e.

Yesterday I sampled some more music from Duran Duran.   It's remarkable, but Duran Duran really only lasted until 1983 and then the group broke up and went their separate ways, effectively, for the rest of the 80's.   I THINK some of them came back with a different lineup but more or less the Duran Duran everybody knows, i.e. the lineup that had all the big hits, were a four year wonder.

Having said that, Duran Duran was big time from the get-go.  Right out of the box:  Girls on Film and Planet Earth??   I will be honest:  I thought of them as a group with more fluff than substance, but listening to their records 30 years later, they put out some pretty beefy music.   Rio, most likely, is their best album, but that depends on one's opinion.

Can Willow go into a corner and kick herself?  We get it... you wear your hair "back and forth" x 1 million.

HOOOLY MACKEREL are the College Football games scheduled this weekend horrible!   It's not their fault but the NCAA did a miserable job putting all these filler games on this week  on the same weekend that L.A. is scheduling Carmageddon II (i.e. the mother of all traffic closures on the 405 freeway).  I think I'll go check out a few movies... I guess.

The NFL isn't much better.   My buddy John in CT is right: the only really interesting game is Giants/Eagles, and as I said yesterday, I would bet every dollar in my pocket that the Eagles win this one.   It's always when you start to feel comfortable about the Giants when they throw a HUGE letdown game and play the worst game of the month.  Sunday night will be that game.

My hope is that traffic going across the 405 freeway and along surface roads won't be gridlock on Saturday.   If that is the case, the lane is wide open to try Mozza Pizzeria on Melrose.  Everybody talks about this place and I would be in on this big time, especially if I could try the Sausage with Fennel pizza.

It's surprising how good a simple ham and cheese sandwich is.   To be fair, the "ham" is Boar's Head Black Forest Ham and the "cheese" is Boar's Head Jack with Jalepeno.

Friends, there is one month left until Halloween.   Any costumes you have in mind?

One last note -- don't bother with Isla Vista/UCSB for Halloween.  Many have said it's overrated and I am among them.   Big crowds, big mess, big number of arrests.  

That's all I have... not much material today, we'll try to do it again next time.  Catch you all soon!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 25th

The Packers/Seahawks game last night is THE story in the sports media today.   It's probably the story in other media too.   Boy was that a bad call... HORRENDOUS call.  Look at this photo and tell me if Seahawks WR Golden Tate made the catch.




..really??  Who would be so fool as to look at this and rule it a touchdown?   Then, to not have the kind of congregation that could overturn the call yields a terribly officiated outcome all the way around.  The Packers were  hosed.   It was as obvious as night and day.    How can anyone not feel bad for Packers fans today?   It was such a disgrace and this is what happens when the NFL cheaps out and goes into C-grade parts, i.e. the replacement officials.  It's literally ruining the enjoyment of the game.

I hate writing things that have already been written 1000 times in other places, but after a play like that, there's nothing else I can say.   That was atrocious.   Football fans deserve better, for what was otherwise a terrific Monday Night game.

I had always wondered if I could do a full podcast on literally one play, and then last night, it happened.  There was nothing else on my mind... I couldn't fathom how anyone could rule that a Tate reception.   Others this morning pointed out that there was ALSO a push-off by Tate, a blatant one, that was not called.  In either case, that should have been waved off.   Unbelievable.   Here's the podcast link, for reference: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity/2012/09/25/packers-seahawks-mnf-postgame-nfl-wk-3-recap-09-24-12

The show itself was pretty good except for two potatoes who called at the end talking about crapping on other people.   Prank callers are harder to fend off than I thought.   What's crazy is that it always starts off sounding like a legit caller and then BAM!   Prank.  I have more sympathy for overnight radio hosts now... how do you prepare for anything like that?  Keep spudding, America.

Things related to items other than football:  During the game last night, I prepared a pretty ambitious pasta meal.   In addition to the usual Linguine and Marinara sauce, courtesy of Barilla, I also added some ground hot italian sausage.  It was treMENDOUS.  I could post a picture, but the social media now frowns on pictures of food, so very well, I'll omit it.

Why in the hell do people find photos of food offensive?   I can't figure that one out.  "OH MY GOD HE POSTED A PICTURE OF A PIZZA!  WHAT AN IMBECILE."  Seriously?  This is an issue?  People really need to lighten up.

Things that give you confidence:  scoring a goal in sports, a kiss, and in my case this week, seeing a refrigerator full of food.  That made me feel good, fellas.

There are probably half a dozen stellar donut shops on the Westside of LA, and barely one, if that, stellar taco shop.   Things that don't make sense for $600, Alex.

I'll divulge it here publicly: I auditioned to be a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune" last week.  Very fun experience!   Played a few hours of mock wheel of fortune with other fun people, and it was a blast.  I recommend WOF auditions for anyone who lives near an audition site.  They have auditions in many big cities in America.  ..and Syracuse. #runs

That is the finish for now, more to come tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 24th

Wild NFL Weekend, to say the least.  Much has already been said about it, but officiating has dragged down the league in a big way.  Nobody has held back from ripping officials.   In fact, what's interesting is that broadcasters, for the first time that I can remember, are openly ripping officiating during the game.   I don't remember broadcasters being close to this open about their disdain for any officiating before.   Seems like a bully move to wait until replacement refs take the field to rip them.

49ers... I love how a lot of the nation is quitting on them.  It was one week!   Every team can play a bad week once in a while.  My goodness, and this stuff about Alex Smith.  Were people expecting him to go to the Pro Bowl?  He is what he is, he's still good enough to keep the team in most games.  Even at all this, the 49ers were still within range to win.  These things happen.   I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets suddenly got a boost in their point spread at home.

LOCKS went 2-3 with UAB and SCAR hitting.    Dallas came close but missed their -8 (they won by 6).   Notre Dame covered -5.5 and won by 7.   Rutgers proved me wrong in a big way and won by 900 points (they were +7).  Well... what can you do?

I have big news for the DITC podcast listeners!  (http://blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity)   At long last I have wired a completely new studio setup to improve sound quality!  Here's how it broke down:


To do this, I needed a USB sound card, which is basically a sound card in a box with a USB cord that connects to your laptop.   You need it in order to connect a mixer to the laptop, since it doesn't have a line-in jack.  Would you believe these jokers at Guitar Center tried to upsell me on this fancy mixing box with USB on Friday?  The damn thing cost about 140 dollars!   Instead I get this cheap USB sound card for 21 bucks... it was lousy quality, i.e. too much noise, so I changed it to the Diamond Xtreme USB card for 40 bucks out the door.   MUCH better.

The point of all this was to fix the echo problem we've had on the podcast, especially in the last two weeks.  So what I did was isolate the Skype connection on the laptop instead of the desktop computer.  Then I would set up the mixer so that all of the other sources except skype would return to the caller.   This also meant the desktop computer (i.e. music and sound effects) was set up as a separate channel on the mixer.  I used to put music/skype/mic on all as one channel on the mixer and relied on Skype to sort them out.  

The problem was, if Skype was lagging behind, it would let the caller's voice go to the computer and THEN bounce right back to the caller with a delay.  The problem got a lot worse when my slow desktop computer upgraded Skype to version 5.0.  I said enough was enough, so I spent the entire weekend setting up the music and skype as separate channels on the mixer.  It's more complicated than it sounds!

I'm so glad to have Del Taco a mile away now.   Nothing like picking up a couple tacos, a burrito, and crinkle fries with a drink all for $5.45 with tax.  That went great with the Sunday Night Football game.  Del Taco is a Taco Bell competitor, so the food is similar to Taco Bell, but in my view, equally as enjoyable.  I like the Del Taco burritos much more.  The Tacos, you can go either way.

Next weekend, I'm going to see if traffic cooperates with Carmageddon II in effect.  If it does, it would be a great weekend to try Mozza, the often talked about pizza restaurant that gets great reviews on Yelp and Chowhound.

I'm really looking forward to Packers/Seahawks tonight.    If I had a gut reaction I would say Seahawks win it with their superior defense.   Then again, they would also rely on Doug Baldwin to produce.   Not only that but he might not be healthy.  I mean come on... Doug Baldwin?

"FoxCon" makes the Apple iPhone?   Why wouldn't Apple manufacture their own products?  I never realized the outsourcing was full borne.  I recognized outsourcing of parts and such but entire units being made by a separate company?  All Apple did, in that case, was apply their cute little logo and imagineer the thing?

Ever notice that we haven't heard from Disney a whole lot lately?  i.e. big Animated Motion pictures in the works, Disneyland theme park news, etc.   The biggest thing I remember out of the Disney Company lately was the opening of "Cars Land" at California Adventure.  That was legit big news, but since then the biggest thing they have going is this movie "Frankenweenie."  I won't be waiting in line for that one.

Speaking of cute and logos, "New Girl" is starting season number.... is it 2?  I think Season Two this week on FOX.  Breakout show of the year last year.   The "awkwardly cute" Zooey Deschanel stars in it, as the promo copy says.  I sampled a few episodes last year... doesn't really seem like a show for guys.   It's not a bad show at all, but it gets into very feminine like issues like bathroom space and emotions and relationships and so on and so forth.

Did you know they make ground italian sausage?!  My mind is blown!  I was always buying the regular fresh sausages and tearing off the casing to make the little sausage chunks I needed for pasta and pizza.  Then, yesterday, I went over to Ralphs and found a whole package of pre ground sausage for $3.50.  Do the dance!

That really is all for now.  Catch you all later...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 21s part TWO

I will never wait in line for a phone.  It's a stinkin' phone.   More Apple fluff that the Apple-mongos will follow like the Pied Piper.

What's so important that people need to shout in the middle of popular music songs?   Do you know what I mean?  Music in every genre is massively over produced.  I heard the song "To Live and Die in L.A." from 2Pac yesterday and it was so refreshing.  No BS, just great lyrics and awesome beats.  Today, every damn song has to have goofy electronic effects and a chorus of fat guys yelling "Heyyyyyyyyyy!" in the middle of the chorus.   I've been hearing random shouts in songs going all the way back to D4L and UNK in 6 years ago.  East side walk it out, west side walk it out!  South side walk it out!     (ok ok that song was pretty fun!)

Congratulations to Mike Francesa for winning the Sports Personality Marconi Award.   Man, it's amazing.  He actually threw his program with all the napping he does and actually gets BIGGER.  The worse the show gets, the more popular and amazing it is to listen to.  The people are definitely listening.   My buddy's youtube video of him sleeping during a Sweeny Murti intereview made him more popular than ever before!  Somewhere deep inside, either he or Chris Russo are laughing at it all.

Notre Dame has an extremely tough schedule.  It would be absolutely, like zero degrees kelvin absolutely, impossible to go undefeated this year.  If they did, I would end my anti-Notre Dame slant forever.  I will say: mad respect to the Irish for scheduling all of these tough opponents this year: even Michigan and Mich State, but also Stanford which is very tough, and then BYU, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, USC, and even Miami.  Whew!   Any questions?

That's all for now.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 21st

Fall is officially here, with the Fall Solstice taking place yesterday.  I can start to feel the autumn air, which means it's cooler during the mornings.  It's a good feeling.  Now I'm going to see how long I can keep gutting out a short sleeved shirt before I'm forced to wear jackets again.  I think I have another month!

Every year, the Kings usually play the Avalanche at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a preseason game.  It's called the "Frozen Fury" and it's been going on for over 20 years.   Kings fans make a huge event out of it, coming out in droves and then gambling afterwards.  NOW, because of the lockout, the Frozen Fury is cancelled.  The NHL and NHLPA really need to get their act together.

I've already said so much about the Giants' game last night on FB, but you watch: that team is losing to the Eagles next week.  If we've learned anything about the Tom Coughlin Giants, it's that they never win when you expect them to.  I imagine many experts will expect them to beat the Eagles, which is exactly why they'll play their worst game of the month.

FWIW, my facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/daveinthecity

Our staff Keruig machine at Main Office HQ now has a box of Starbucks Pike Roast K-Cups.  Do the dance!

Double coffee all the way across the sky.  Yeah, yeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh, so intense.

Well, sports fans, we have a new entry into the "Great Taco Search."  A friend of mine loves this taco truck in K-Town that serves up a HUGE rotating batch of Al Pastor, and the Al Pastor tacos there are fantastic, so they say.  It's at Vermont and... about 5th street.   Everything about this place sounds like a winner except the unfortunate name:  El Flamin Taco.

Why are people acting like the Dodgers are competing for a Wild Card spot?  They haven't competed for @#$! since the Red Sox trade.    If you lose or tie every single series for a month (that's not an exaggeration, look at the schedule... 7 straight series without a win), you're not competing, you're a joke.

I suggested on twitter a fairly radical idea for the Dodgers next year:  dump every starting position player except Kemp, Ethier, Cruz, and Ramirez.   That's practical lunacy when you consider the whole Red Sox trade was designed to get Adrian Gonzalez... but you talk about a guy who can't handle the big spot light -- he hasn't hit a single home run since his debut on August 25th.  That is a disgrace!!  He's still a wonderful ballplayer, but imho he doesn't seem to be a good fit on the Dodgers.  Lesson learned.

As a matter of fact, lately I've lost a lot of interest in baseball this month.   I think it's safe to say all the playoff spots are as good as locked.  The only item in question is the battle between the two AL Wild Card spots, but the odds are pretty good the Orioles and A's will both find a way into the playoffs.  The only item left to decide is who gets the higher of the two wild card seeds.

Lastly, I want to wish Miguel Cabrera the best of luck in chasing the Triple Crown.  I really have my doubts but if anyone was going to win it, I would LOVE for it to be Matt Kemp, but if not Kempsie, Cabrera is a great second choice.  He's leading the AL in average, leading in RBI's, and second to Josh Hamilton in HR's. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Week: September 20th

I'm disappointed in my studio system this week.   I did some research after the DITC Podcast (blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity) to see what the problem was.   I think what happened was that the skype upgrade made it more difficult for my slow computer to process the phone call to blogtalkradio.   Because of the extra time it takes to process, the audio delays were inevitable.

There might be a more efficient way to address the issue, but the revurb was decisively more constant after the upgrade to Skype Version 5.0.  I'd like to downgrade back to Version 4 to see if anything improves.  Ultimately, I will need to upgrade my computer so that it can process audio much faster with minimal delays.  I'm sad to say that, because I've had my current minitower machine since 2003.  It's been through a lot of good times and bad... but it's been a trooper.

It might make sense to run skype through the laptop but to do that I need to patch the audio from my desktop computer into the laptop.  Otherwise, all you would hear is my voice, and not the music or the sound effects.   I'll keep looking into this over the weekend.

I'm not looking forward to next week.   That's when the fall quarter starts in the UC System.  Everyone will be back: students, faculty, staffers, and the campus will be a mess.  It's easily the busiest week of the year.  Slowly each week gets less and less busy until December when finally the workflow is manageable.   I'll be counting down the days.

What I really want to do is get a university job that doesn't directly work with students nor faculty, similar to my last job as Systems Administrator at UCSB.   MAYBE that could work, but there are perks to meeting so many people in my current gig.

In fact, I felt like moving back to Santa Barbara altogether at certain times this month.  It wasn't as exciting as LA, and obviously I don't miss it enough to visit on a regular basis.  BUT, it was a much more laid back lifestyle, and I do miss it.   I have it good in Los Angeles, there is a lot for me here, and there's tons to do, and wonderful places to eat.   It's just busy.  More people, more cars, more traffic, more stress.  More of everything, good and bad.

I swear I addressed all my emails last night and I still have 27 messages in my inbox.   What a disastah.

I don't have the heart to tell a friend of mine that the carnitas tacos I tried at Taco Plus last night weren't as good as the carnitas tacos from Chipotle.

I don't even feel like talking about sports today.  Obviously a tremendous weekend ahead, but I'm more looking forward to the time off.   Sleep.  Coffee.  Breakfast Burritos.  Laundry and then Buffalo Wild Wings later when I *will* be so psyched for those College Football Night games.

As for the Giants/Panthers game... it should be a good one.   I'll leave it to my Giants fan friends to discuss the particulars at tmf.com.

Anyone intrigued by the new Clint Eastwood movie "Trouble with the Curve?"   I keep thinking Amy Adams' character is Jenna Fischer.

Ah well... I'll try again next time.  Catch you all tomorrow.

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: NFL Wk. 3/NCAA Wk. 4

Here we go with

Dave's (snap)
LOCKS (clamp)
of the Week (whrrrrrrr...)

NFL WEEK THREE -- NCAA WEEK FOUR

This is a tough week to select theoretical wagers.   None of these games jump out, but here are a few diamonds in the rough.

First, I'm taking Michigan +6 at Notre Dame.  I *love* the Wolverines to take this game, so picking them with the points is a natural choice.  The only problem is that the Wolves are going to need a big defensive effort against Golson and the Fighting Irish.  We'll see what happens, but as you know those Mich/ND games are almost always close.

Up next, I like UAB to cover +37 at Ohio State.   For Ohio State to cover a 37 point spread, that would require the Buckeyes to score 37 points.  That's a good one!!  They scored 52 in their first game against Miami (OH), but since then they haven't scored above 35.   Even if the "bucks" scored more than 37, you could imagine UAB would score at least ten.   Never trust a big ten team to score 40+ points unless they play an especially bad team, but I'm not willing to put UAB in that category... yet.

Missouri has shown itself worthy of the SEC so far with a gutty effort, albeit still a decisive loss, at Columbia against Georgia.  This week, no going back now as the Tigers play the South Carolina Gamecocks on the road.   Interestingly, the point spread is SCAR -10.  Just ten points!   I think that's a fair number, but I still like SCAR to take over and win by maybe 20, so I will go SCAR -10 for an easy cover.

I know Arkansas hit hard times, but are they a paltry -7 at home against Rutgers?   Razorbacks -7.   It's too easy.

One NFL game for the weekend:  Dallas is sure to pick up -8 in their home opener against Tampa Bay.  I'm not sure what happened to the Cowboys in Seattle.  No matter -- I'm still sold on not only their linebackers, but also their new secondary.  That should be good enough, so long as Tony Romo doesn't give up excessive takeaways.  Cowboys -8.

Michigan +6, UAB +37, SCAR -10, Arkansas -7, Dallas -8.   3-1 last week.   Hoping for the same this week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 19th

I'm on an all day staff retreat, or at least I'm scheduled for one, it depends on how I'm feeling in the morning, so in either case, the thoughts of the day will be posted a little early this time.

The Dodgers/Nationals game was postponed by rain last night.  Not even *weather* cares about the Dodgers any more.

Want to know what to do after an audition?  Go to Wendy's!  I'm serious.

Rangers pitching... you know?  After a good look at 'em Tuesday night at the Big A, I'm not convinced it's that good!  Dempster had some good starts, great even, with Texas, but I cannot for the life of me count on him to win a big postseason game.  It was four years ago, but remember his "effort" with the Cubs?   Good enough evidence for me!

I haven't had any real dreams lately.  I think there was one the other morning but I already forgot about it.  When I dream, the dreams are quite literal.  I remember one time dreaming that I got up and went to work.  Then I woke up and went to work.

It's still going to be Wednesday, but I cannot believe how excited I am for Clemson/Florida State.   Even if the game is a blowout I'm going to be mesmerized at all the talent on Clemson's side.  Here's the thing:  We've talked for months about how well FSU recruits, but I cannot for the life of me identify any individuals on their defense!  I looked!!  I was trying very hard to get some info on their defensive players, offensive players, *any* players, and I got zeros across the board.  The only recognizable name on that team right now is E.J. Manuel, their quarterback.  Is it just me, or are the other 59 or so guys on their roster overlooked in national media?

Then I saw this: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1336375-why-college-gameday-should-be-at-michigan-vs-notre-dame-not-clemson-vs-fsu

If you're seriously going to write a full article complaining that Notre Dame doesn't get ENOUGH attention you may need to re-evaluate the media.  Annnnnnd that article brings Bleacher Report credibility down to a nub.

I shouldn't even have to write this it's so obvious, but: there is absolutely NO chance that either Michigan or Notre Dame will be challenging for the National Championship any time this season.  However, the statement *does* ring true for either Clemson or Florida State, with the Seminoles in particular.  It might take a miracle improvement for Clemson's defense to make more serious waves.


Outdoor Grill in Culver:  I referenced it previously, and now others are spreading the good word.  This is a MUST for the weekend.   I'm on it like white on rice.

Would people complain about the term "White on Rice" as a racist comment now?  Knowing the PC Media of late, I wouldn't put it past them.

Ketchup... I was teasing this all week, but fast food restaurants now are so stingy with ketchup packets.  Order a whole basket of fries for your family and the jokers behind the counter give you two wimpy ketchup packets for all of them.  Does that make any sense at all?  Who would use just two packets for 9000 fries?  I feel like this is a local phenomenon, but if it's a coast to coast thing SHAME ON MCDONALDS AND ALL GREEDY COROPRATIONS.  These nutjobs make billions and billions of dollars and they're cheaping out on ketchup.   I hope to go into more detail on the podcast (if not tonight then down the road).

Here's a thought of the day, check out my previous post on Football Sleeves.  Highly recommended for those of you who follow the NFL.  That's all from here.




The War on Sleeves

I couldn't let this go any longer.  I've had enough of this.   I want my sleeves back in the NFL.  I want SLEEVES!

Jerseys, torso, collar, numbers, colors, SLEEVES!   What happened to sleeves in football?  When I was a kid, jerseys had proper sleeves running down from the shoulder to the elbow.  That was great!  That was winter wear, that was FOOTBALL.  Then some jokers had to justify their removal so they could show their macho arms and "not worry about grabbing jerseys."

When the Bears and Chiefs chose this year to place their TV numbers (the number on the sides of their jerseys) up onto the shoulder pads, I lost all respect for jersey manufacturers.   Do I even need to explain why breaking up the numbers and the classic stripes underneath them destroys the very fabric, no pun intended, of what made both Chi-Town and KC's shirts so great?  It is an absolute FARCE.

Before: 



After:



There is no reason for the number and the classic Bears stripes to be broken up so hap hazardly with the swoosh in the middle.  NONE.  This is an utter disaster of epic proportions.

I highly doubt that holding penalties was the primary reason to abolish sleeves in the NFL.  In fact, it's so bad now that even kickers and punters don't have sleeves.  Instead, they just have this goofy stretch out pouch which looks like a sleeve but doesn't run the full circumference of the cuff.  It's awful looking, terrible aesthetically and just plain stupid.  Let me run down my plight.  How did we get here to the sleeveless nation?

To understand the demise of sleeves, we go back to the beginning, to when sleeves ruled the Earth.  NFL: the 1960's.  The Packers were KING.   So too were their long glorious sleeves.

Packers, 1968:


Ahhh, look at Bart Starr in his glory, running a play with his sterling TV numbers perpendicular to his shoulders.  Observe the FIVE alternating green and yellow stripes running side by side, below the number.  In the beginning, sleeves were meant to keep the player warm, and on cold winter days, they did.   In fact, here, the sleeve was too long... it actually ran well below the shoulder... it was practically a long sleeved shirt.  I digress.  Onward...

Packers, 1978:



Check out these cool cats in full garb.   Sleeves are the exact perfect length, right about the elbow or a little above it.  TV numbers right on the side as they should be, not crowding the crap out of the jersey up on the shoulder pads.  But observe!  Already, we see an alarming trend!!   Do you not see the number of stripes reduced from 5 to 3?  Only three lone stripes now represent the Packers, and there's no give beneath the stripes themselves.  After the stripes, we see a hard cutoff.  But still -- the full splendor of a fully cuffed sleeve takes place.   Sleeves were in a zone from 1978 through 1986.  Everything was just right.  Need proof?  Check out any 49ers, Rams, Steelers, Browns, Cowboys, or Colts game from that era.  Perfection. The best part was, EVERYBODY wore the same sleeves -- linebackers, quarterbacks, receivers, special teams players.  It was an equal universe of fully sleeved athletes.  Brace yourselves, friends, it gets worse...

Packers, 1988:



Now it's starting to get ugly.   First, the obvious -- the TV numbers are now in the dreaded shoulder-pad region.  Boy do I hate this.   You can plainly see any player's number on the front of the jersey... need we be double reminded by two crowded numbers running up against the helmet?  I don't like it on any team, frankly.  Moving on, *yes*, the original five stripe configuration was restored but look at that awful looking "G" logo plastered on them!!  What in the hell is THIS?  To be honest, the entire Packers uniform in the 80's was plain gaudy.   A similar distracting "G" logo was posted onto the sides of their pants.     The uniforms on the whole were flat-out busy... too busy.  Worst of all, you can already see the length of the sleeve creeping up above the elbow.  Then...

Packers, 1996:



It starts...  Here's the 1996 Super Bowl team and their subtly reducing sleeves... at this point the sleeves were hanging by mere threads.  It's a sad, sorry sight.   TV numbers now fully encroaching the shoulders.   Five stripes, yes, but all mangled up so that you can barely see most of them and the sleeve itself was now halfway between the elbow and the shoulder.  On a positive note, they dumped the "G" logo from the stripes but boy did the rest of the sleeve pay the price.

Packers, 2007:


This takes us to modern times.   The stripes are now practically rubbing up against the still crowded TV numbers on the shoulder pad.   The sleeves are now nonexistent, we're back down to three stripes, and what used to be a fully cuffed sleeve is now just an extension of the shoulder pad fabric.  It's only aim is to cover the actual pads themselves, so as not to make the players look like armed robots.  And yet, the magic of what once were sleeves is all gone.  The jerseys now reduced to a mere vest.  Such calamity, even for a franchise that holds to tradition.

Packers, 2012:


 We get it, you have big hairy arms.    The vestiges of the sleeves are now just sloppy cut outs so macho people can show how many muscles they have.  Wonderful... have we no respect for the concept of uniform now?   Must we now just apply shoulder pads and practically paint on the color, numbers and stripes?  It's just not my scene.  By the way, if Clay Matthews wants to flex, he should consider some time out in Venice Beach...

Thus ends my exhaustive study on the fabric formerly known as football sleeves.   I'm a saddened man today:  jerseys used to be used to protect the player, keep him from the elements, and show the fabric of your franchise.  Today it's just one more object in the way of rippled biceps.  It doesn't have to be this way... but macho is the rule in today's football.   Nothing *wrong* with that, but it would be nice of players had a bigger picture in mind when putting on those shirts.   Aesthetic is a winner, and perhaps one day, in a long distant future, I will see my long lost sleeves return to the field.  A man can dream......





 

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 18th

Monday Night Football last night:  That was the most miserable game I've seen in months.  Awful officiating, awful quarterbacking, awful everything.   In the middle of all that, the Falcons did an awful job of holding onto the lead.   It doesn't seem like a whole lot changed with the Falcons so far.  The game went on forever.

There were recent rumblings about one of the message boards getting out of hand with inside jokes.  I can sympathize with that statement, but on the other hand, when the message board is about Mike Francesa and the namesake brings nothing to the table, it doesn't give its users much else to work with.  So, I'm not sure what to make of it.  I feel that I deserve some of the blame.

On that note, please don't willingly post pictures of toes on the internet. 


Wellllll, Peyton Manning may not be his old self after all!

The Pirates and Cubs began a game after a weather delay that started at 11pm local time last night.   That was an odd game to watch at Wrigley.   Very quiet, almost no music on the PA system, just the announcements.   Fortunately, it went quickly with the game going 2 hours, 46 minutes.   There were up to 1000 people still at the game that late at night.  I gotta give Cubs fans serious props for staying through that one.  Many of us elsewhere wouldn't have.


More tomorrow!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 17th

Happy Monday!  Here are the Monday thoughts of the week...

Man...  all I was trying to do was pick the easiest choice in the Yahoo! tmf.com Survival Pool to advance a round.   I went and picked New England, and I sat back at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store in my home town of Oxnard.  I sipped my java and said "this will be the one prediction I won't have to worry about."  But no!!   I come home and Arizona shuts down the Patriots offense.   Still, I felt like NE would find a way back.   Then, when Gostkowski missed the field goal, all I could do was laugh.    Truly ANYTHING can happen in the NFL.

As I alluded to, I was out of town this weekend.   I went to visit my family who I haven't seen in a while, and it was great to catch up.  My sister is in college so she asked me to take her home too, so we spent a couple of days in Oxnard.

When I visit family, I have very few chances to watch football, so needless to say, I missed a good portion of the late NFL games.  I missed a fair amount of college football, but I still got to see a good part of the SC/Stanford, Bama/Arkansas, and Florida/Tennessee.

I'm amazed at how Arkansas quit against Bama... that was embarrassing.

Tennessee... I don't know what to make of them.  Seems like they got the ingredients, but they need to find a recipe.

SC, see the previous post -- enough said.

That reminds me:  UCLA fans are so quick to give it to SC fans this weekend.  "Oh look at little SC they are such a joke!  UCLA BABY!!!"   You watch -- what happens if UCLA loses to Oregon State this week at HOME?   People don't even know how happy I will be.   I hope the Bruins get embarrassed!

Ravens -- more close losses, more excuses.  This time Joe Flacco got into the act, criticizing officials.   Whether they deserve it or not, the Ravens LOVE to go to the excuses after they give up a big game.   Look in the mirror!   How about winning those close games instead?  

My sister doesn't even know how good she has it.  At CSUN in Northridge, she's only a block or two away from Wendy's.    Everywhere I've lived I had to drive a good 4-5 miles to get to a Wendy's.  In Santa Barbara, there wasn't a Wendy's at all, except for a Wendy's express at UCSB (awesome deal by the way, but still an incomplete menu).  

I continue the search for the great Tri Tip Sandwich in Los Angeles.   I think the name of the place is Outdoor Grill, but whatever it is, it's around Centinela and Washington in Culver City West.  That's the best prospect right now, and I might give it a try this weekend.

Anybody want to buy a vowel?

That's all for now, more tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USC Blows it Again / Apology to the SEC

Did I call it or did I call it?

EVERY TIME SC goes out on the road against a Pac 12 team in a big hyped night game they fold up like a cheap suit.  I knew it!  I knew it the moment I saw the matchup.  Stanford had their way with SC for three years running, and while Andrew Luck left, I knew they still had the line of scrimmage.

A few things bothered me about the game:

  • The Arrogance of the Trojans to think they didn't need to game plan a rushing attack.  Who is fool enough to think that against a physical team like Stanford that you could win by just throwing downfield?  
  • THEN, after seeing that Barkley had no shot at getting open receivers most of the night, not making the adjustments to either go after screen passes or give more carries to Silas Redd and other Running Backs.  I know what few carries they had weren't effective, but more rushes would have at least worn down the Stanford Defensive linemen.  Instead, most of the night their defense ran virtually unabated to the quarterback.
  • The offensive line was pathetic, downright PATHETIC protecting Barkley last night.   So much for that great offense.
  • How did the Trojans defense let such unathletic rushers and receivers let a simple double move screw up the entire formation such that in one case, the ball carrier went right into the end zone?  Who makes up a defense like that?    --don't answer that.
 It's the same crap year after year.  SC goes on the road with a lofty ranking against a fired up Pac 12 team and SOMETHING about their team always gets exploited.  It's interesting that the secondary wasn't torched as much as I thought it would be, but to me the bottom line is, it was downright stupid and arrogant to not set up a plan B in case Barkley got roughed up.  Why was there not more emphasis in using Silas Redd's good talents?  At least try!!  Try it!!!!

What's going to anger me even more than the loss itself is the excuses.   Wait until the end of the season when the Trojans miss the National Championship Round by a game.  You can bet everyone from Lane Kiffin, to Barkley, to the Trojans beat writers and broadcaster will make excuses about how they were the best team in the country.  I'm sorry, but we all went through this for years with Carroll's teams.  Enough with the damn excuses!  Stop speculating and BEAT one of these big matchup "inferior" teams one of these years.   Enough!

If you don't beat your lesser Pac 12 opponent on the road in a big prime time game, then you AREN'T the best team in the country, and you never *WILL* be.  PERIOD.  END OF STORY.  STOP WITH YOUR WHINING.

It happened with UCLA.  It happened with Oregon State.  It happened with Stanford (the first time, the 40 point underdog year).  It happens every year.  Maybe the Trojans just aren't that good.

I'm not mad that SC lost in and of itself, I'm mad that people keep falling into the trap that the Trojans are "too talented" to "go through that song and dance again."   Well, they did.  Now there's nothing they can do about it.  I'll be very happy if the Trojans still win the Pac 12 and make the Rose Bowl this year.  Even if SC makes a BCS-level bowl at all, I think the year's a success.  My feeling all along is, we need to stop awarding SC National Championship caliber status until they earn it, and they haven't done that in 7 years. 

---

I, Dave in the City, apologize to the SEC.

For years I have always held their regard with a grain of salt.  I said "play a decent road game for once."  I said "they stay too close to their comfort zone."  I said "wait until they play one of the big teams in the other big conferences."

Now, looking back, the SEC did all of these things.  They dispatched Oregon in a National Championship game.  They traveled to Arizona and prevailed.  They welcomed other teams, even Washington the other week, and destroyed them mercilessly.

And lastly, one thing the SEC, in particular Alabama and LSU, does is they DELIVER.   Big road game, possible letdown for Alabama?   They don't choke like USC.  Instead they answer the challenge and beat a short-handed Arkansas 52-0.  You put them in a tough environment, any SEC team, and they come up big.  The road does not faze them.  The incredible hype from the local media does not faze them.  Lofty expectations do not faze them.   They know how to p-l-a-y.

Alabama lost a bunch of starters, Alabama is due for a hangover season.  Nope!   They don't take excuses, they win.  Boy do I love that!  How refreshing is that, sports fans?  Big teams who PLAY like big teams.  LSU was ranked highly to begin 2011 and they finished the same way, ranked #2.  All other conferences in the NCAA can learn a thing or two from the SEC.

The SEC plays big.  I was wrong, they were right.  Forgive me, y'all.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Week: September 14th

Slightly angrier tone to the thoughts of the day today, bear with me folks:

I'm doing this blog.   I don't care if people want a half a dozen computers ordered a half year ahead of time, or if anyone wants to reinstall a hard drive and windows and all the drivers on it, or if I need to process a new account with only one day of advance notice.  I don't care what people are throwing at me, I WILL DO THIS BLOG, baby.

Sometimes the will to do something goes a long way towards success.  That's true in anything, and that's precisely why I'm so upset at the Dodgers lately.  They have no will to do anything.  The only unit that stepped up so far is the pitching.  Ever since those Red Sox jokers joined the team its been nothing but misery.    I wouldn't say merely karma, it's that this trio of misfits: Gonzalez/Beckett/Crawford have been bad seeds for a few years with the Sox.   I don't think it's a coincidence that most of the character of this team was destroyed when those same bad seeds arrived in L.A..  I was simply unaware of just HOW bad they brought down the morale of the Red Sox.

I haven't even had breakfast yet!  This morning has been a disaster.   There are parts to being an I.T. guy that can be frustrating... the moaning and groaning comes all at once, it seems.  The toughest part is getting through all that and maintaining professionalism all the while.   It's hard to do initially but you can hang once you get the experience.

Ok... don't tell anyone, well ok, it might be too late because I'm posting this, but I got an invitation to attend a Wheel of Fortune Audition.  Should I do it??

May I also broach the frustration with Jay Cutler?  He's such a boob... this is exactly why I don't trust the Bears to go to the Super Bowl: Cutler can't handle adversity.  He can't handle it at all!  He gets good pressure from the Packers all night and then throws cookies to Packers defenders.  I don't know the actual number of INTs he had but he COULD HAVE thrown as many as seven picks last night.  He was *awful!*

Just as upsetting as the Dodgers of late is that the Phillies are stepping in to possibly take a Wild Card spot.  This is why baseball is so unfair... they have been a terrible team all season long and just because they get hot at the end they make the playoffs?  I grant you I have been anti-Phillies for a while now, but that's just out of whack to me.  

I'm also livid that two dopey stunt dogs won America's Got Talent last night.  THAT IS AN OUTRAGE!  We have failed, America.   We can't even nominate a clear winner like Harp Dude William Close, who electrified audiences with his mastery of the harp and the theater, turning a performance hall INTO an intstrument, doing it with style.  He didn't even make it into the final two spots.  He was eliminated and finished in 3rd place.  As I said yesterday, I take some blame too because I forgot to vote for Close the previous evening.   America's Got Boneheads, fellas.

Potatoes... that is my new verbiage for boneheads.   Ya know?  Because potatoes aren't terribly smart... and they aren't terribly useful or versatile.  You can make:  baked potatoes... mashed potatoes... and french fries..  I will probably throw in hashed browns and potatoes au gratin.  And then possibly Tater Tots... but Potatoes are just not very inventive veggies, so between veggies they are the most dense of the lot.

Friends, have a wonderful weekend!  I'll pick it back up on Monday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 13th

More thoughts of the day for a Thursday...

Just to prove all the jokers right, I drank a big glass of orange juice this morning.  So far, no ill effects.  How about that?

The peach/sandwich diet has been unusually effective.  I was not attempting to lose weight but combined with the swimming and a home cooked dinner, I wound up nearly losing a belt buckle in two weeks.   When you think about it, a peach and small sandwich for breakfast and lunch, respectively, won't be that many calories at all, hey?

It's just as well that I'm getting more fit, next month is, we believe, the UCLA Masters Swim meet.  I'm looking forward to it because I haven't done a swim meet in nearly 8 months.   This year I'd like to try a 100m freestyle.  Then the mainstays of 50m free and 50m butterfly.  The Fall is Meters season so the swims are in meters instead of yards with a slightly longer Short Course Meters pool.

There's a meal my friend Andy in Seattle posted a photo of online that has me obsessed with it: I call it the "Clueless Special."  It's a series of sandwiches and fries from McDonalds: two McChicken Sandwiches, one McDouble, a medium fries, and a water.   I feel like the water is optional because all of that would go so well with the Orange Hi-C.  In any case, I'll be picking all that up tonight for Bears/Packers.

I like the Packers to win the game tonight.  It's not a LOCK of the week by any means because Chicago came to play this season.  Looks like a tough one in fact.  I have very little confidence in my prediction but oh will it be fun to watch.

America's Got Talent last night.  I have to give it up to Harp Dude for bringing it again, but the whole time he was on last night I thought "boy is that female singer dragging him down, she sucks!"  Surely enough, Howard Stern pointed out the same thing.   Fortunately he can dump her any time, and I don't think he's going to be docked for that in the voting.  It's not his fault his band mates can't deliver.

EFF!!  I forgot to vote for him last night on NBC.com  If he loses, I will never forgive myself...

Why are the Dodgers still one game out of a Wild Card spot?  This is the cruel joke in baseball... if the team is quitting, then dammit, MLB give them the honor of sinking to the bottom of the standings gracefully!   I didn't see the whole game last night, but I noticed that on SportsCenter.

Imagine if that really lame comic guy wins America's Got Talent?   That would be like when the third best of the three videos won the 10,000 dollars at the end of "America's Funniest Home Videos."  Remember that show from 22 years ago?   It was *always* the least funny video that won!!

Here's a quiz for you all, you're welcome to respond in comments:  If you had to choose one, who would you rather have a night out with?  Would you rather go out with a swimmer, a diver, or a synchronized swimmer??  Now here you're talking about three very different kinds of athletes, and possibly very different personalities.  If you're a woman reading this, substitute water polo player for the synchro swimmer.

...two reasons for that, ladies.  Number one, they don't have Male Synchro Swimmers.  And two, even if they did, they'd have no interest in women anyway, BAZINGA!

That's all I got, catch you all tomorrow.


Dave's LOCKS of the Week: NFL Week 2

Here's another upsetting round of 

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (clank)
of the Week (sizzle)

This week I'm adding in an NFL LOCK and here it is:

I like Buffalo to get win number one at home against the Chiefs.  Since the line is only -3, I'll take the pick at face value: giving the points and taking the Bills to win.  I think they'd win by exactly four to be honest, but that's good enough to cover. 

Back to college...  here comes a big underdog for you all.  I love, LOVE, Stanford to cover +8 at home vs USC.  That doesn't seem like a very big line, but I am quite positive the very smart Cardinal will take advantage of SC's weak secondary and make this game closer than a lot of people expect.  Stanford +8.

There's also a point spread that I couldn't disagree with more:  Arkansas +21??  Is that the punishment for losing to Louisiana-Monroe?   Even so, I think Vegas overreacted to one bad loss for an otherwise good team.   I also don't think Alabama is so good that they'll blow away the 3rd or 4th best team in their division.  I will take Razorbacks and the points with confidence.  Arkansas +21

I'll play the LSU game and go with the Tigers -42.5 at home vs Idaho.  Idaho is a special kind of bad:  last year they lost 37-7 at Texas A&M and 56-3 at Nevada!  Sometimes I think I select these bets because I enjoy seeing LSU rack up the points.  I'm going to do it again, LSU -42.5.  

Enjoy the games, and hopefully you'll enjoy these hypothetical wagers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 12th

New thoughts of the day, here we go...

What a mess!  Last night I felt awful... as if I had a big fever or something lousy, because all I could do was lie down for most of the night.  I didn't get to play SongPop.  I didn't get to go on message boards much.  I just lied there.   Then, at 9:30, I went to sleep.  

The next day, I still felt like a wreck, so I slept as much as I could until about 5:30 am.   Then, as I was getting ready I felt better.   Now, I feel pretty good.  I hope it stays that way.  I honestly have no idea what I had... maybe a sort of stomach virus?

I blame the orange juice.  Months ago, I started to get the shakes and had to go to urgent care and I remember drinking orange juice just before it happened.  Yesterday I had orange juice and then started to feel out of it.   Then again, I had orange juice the day before that and I was fine.  We'll never truly know.

Welcome to the ACC, Notre Dame.   I think what it shows is that the Big East is a sinking ship.  I was intrigued at Notre Dame's football obligation to play five ACC teams a year.  Yet, they claim they're "independent."  How can you be independent and still play ACC teams at the same time?  

I'm not a fan of the new super-conferences.   What in hell is "coastal" about South Bend, IN or Syracuse, NY for the Atlantic COAST Conference?  The charm of the region for each conference is dying...   Oh but it's all in the name of football and money!  MONEY!  FOOTBALL!  

I have watched my last Dodgers game of the season.  Talk about quitting -- I grant you Ian Kennedy is a good pitcher but to not be able to put up ONE run last night says it all.  The Giants are now up 6 games in the NL West, and I could care less about the Wild Card race.   I'm done.    I'll focus on the remaining MLB races for the rest of the season.

I'm in the mood for some Chicago Style pizza, but I know for a fact that's bad for you.   REALLY bad for you.  ...but it tastes so good!

Is it safe to say the Bears/Packers game is a must win for Green Bay?  0-2 is not insurmountable but that would be extremely difficult when you factor in that the loss is a divisional loss.   I'm really looking forward to this one.

I got some good ribbing from some buddies at swim today when I showed them my lunch: a nectarine and a sandwich.   They're like "won't you get hungry??"  You know?  I do sometimes, especially after a swim, but I've managed this light diet for a few weeks now.  I didn't have the heart to tell them that the nectarine was designated for breakfast.

Interestingly a debate raged in the locker room:  who has the best deli?   One guy said Langer's was garbage and I vehemently disagreed... HOWEVER, I should have realized he probably evaluated the entirety of the deli, not just the Pastrami.  The Pastrami is second to none, but everything else is mediocre to flat out bad.   I'll have to offer that concession the next time I hit the locker room after swim.

But in any case!   Which is the best deli in LA?  I think you could make an argument for Nate 'n Al's in Beverly Hills, doncha think?   Seems like they have it all covered.   Pretty much any sandwich there is a winner.  Feel free to comment below with your choice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Apology to Johnny Carson

I have an apology to make.  You know what?  Johnny Carson was a tremendous entertainer.  Sure he stole concepts and maybe he had an ego, but I tend to think moreover that he was a private person as opposed to any ego issues.

The more I read about him, the more I concluded he was just particularly shy, which explains his cutting back of episodes, this ownership of the show, his absence from parties, his lack of small talk with guests off the air, etc.

This weekend I sampled a lot of clips from the old Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  What worked so well with him is that he could take even miserable writing and ideas and make something out of them.  You'd think they'd run out of ideas for "Carnac the Magnificent" after two months, but the ad libbing between he and Ed McMahon kept the idea going for decades.

Bless you, Johnny.  My apologies.  Rest in peace.

--Dave

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 11th

First off, I hope you get a chance to read my little September 11th retrospective, below.   Now on to my normal goofball thoughts of the day:

I'm so happy to have the freedom to post inane comments like this.  I'm so thankful to be able to write like this and not be persecuted or tortured for it, or banned, or that thing.

Ok, I *get it*.   Miami was a bad pick in a survival pool!  Hahahahahahahahaahaha

I have to help with Projector Maintenance today.  It doesn't take long but I don't look forward to it.  I think it's a half hour out of my day.

Effing Giants.  Do they want to win the division or not?  How does Vogelsong perform so badly last night at Colorado?   He needs to at least give his team a *chance* to win the game.  The Giants did their best to make up for Vogie's incompetence, but still fell short to Colorado 6-5.  That puts SF at 5 games up on the Dodgers.   Today both teams play their respective games.  The Giants really should win this one.  

Feels like a tacos night.  I know, again with the tacos?  I'll probably settle for pasta.

Boy were the Bungles a mirage.  Cincy lost by 9 million points at Baltimore last night, and I just never bought into them.   Many have speculated that Flacco looks improved, and I agree.   On the other hand, the Bungles gave him every available option to throw to, geez.

Why can't Mike Shanahan use ONE Running Back?   I can't stand these delicate geniuses who think they are bigger than the game and can use their "system" to mix and match guys.  I thought about that today as I picked up Alfred Morris on my fantasy team.   ...because we KNOW, Shanahan is equally capable of switching to a different guy because he *can.*  Never mind that Morris had a phenomenal game, no!  "I'll use a different guy because I feel like it."  Get bent, Shanny.

Teams that get a big moment and can't step up to the plate:  The Detroit Tigers are another one of them.

I don't think I ever came close to winning $1000 dollars in Blackjack or any card game.  I'm too much of a wimp.   I can only risk as much as 200 dollars at one time, and the only way you win big dollars is by investing big dollars.  I have never gone to a table with more than a $10 minimum bet.

Did I mention that Hold'em Poker is an extremely tedious game?   You would have to play for almost an hour before you are in position to win a hand.  Fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, blind, raise, all in, wiiiiinnnnn.   All the folding!

I have a lot more ideas, but I'm out of time.  Catch you all later on.

Today We Never Forget: Part 11

My heart and sympathies goes to all the men and women who were victimized by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.   For those who read regularly, I'm about to post some commentary that may or may not be controversial to you.  Reader discretion is advised.

First of all, to the service men and women, meaning firemen, dispatchers, police men, and everyone who helped to rescue and rebuild, thank you.   In fact, to those who serve in the military anywhere for the USA, thank you.   To those who live in the United States and did not give up their daily lives in the name of terrorism.  To those who care about the stars and stripes, thank you.

When I was growing up, occasionally we'd hear about terrorist attacks in all sorts of places around the world.  It's never good news, but to see it happen in our own country was in its day groundbreaking.   My memory of 9/11 goes back to a sunny day in bed in Oxnard, CA, around 6:10 am.  I was listening to the radio and the news broke into a light hearted sports program to report a crash at the World Trade Center.   Then, as I heard the first tower collapsed, I feared for my life.  Once the second plane hit the second tower, as I heard it on the radio, I had a bad feeling there was foul play involved.  The second tower collapsed as the reporter nearly broke into tears.

What's interesting is that we then heard reports of a plane striking the Pentagon, a plane that went down in Pennsylvania and THEN the erroneous reports of plane crashes in Chicago and Philadelphia, car bombs, all sorts of madness.   The latter half of that was proven false but when it broke, it sounded like every major city was getting attacked at once.  Imagine that feeling?

The world literally stopped.  All the TV networks either switched to news simulcasts or flat out stopped broadcasting with a graphic indicating their sympathies to those who died.  I have never been more scared in my life.  I imagine everyone was.   I used to listen to the Jim Rome show regularly at that time and he took a week off... interestingly his first guest when he returned was Al Michaels, who did the Monday Night game the night before.

Many shows didn't bother to do another broadcast for a week, maybe two weeks.   Letterman, for example, took a week off and had a moving monologue on his first broadcast the next week.  This is what I find so appalling about WFAN doing regular broadcasts not only DURING the attacks, but the next day.   I can't even fathom how anyone could be in a proper state of mind that week.   The breeding ground would be so ripe for inappropriate comments, as pretty much no one could properly comprehend what was happening that exact week.  That they insisted on doing regular shows when the sports world itself was on hiatus was, in my view, a bad decision.

It was eerie indeed.   I felt so awful, and I was glad to still be at home with my family in those days.  Then it was my Dad who told me, "You can't give up life because of terrorists."  What he meant was that if we were to live in fear the rest of our lives the terrorists win because that's what they want.  Eventually, the nation rebuilt itself and while we still feel 9/11's effect today, I'm glad to know that we are still a strong nation that cares about freedom.  In its worst time, the USA took a stand.  The fight against terrorism continues, but we will never forget: 9/11/01.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 10th

Football is back!  Don't you love it folks?  Let me tell you, yesterday was about vindication.   Few people gave the San Francisco 49ers a chance to win outright at Green Bay.  A few days ago I wrote a long defense of the 49ers.  Yesterday, the 49ers proved themselves worthy among the elite teams.   Their defense is not only great, it is the greatest.   SF has it all together: linemen, linebackers, and secondary.   There isn't another team in the NFL who has THAT good, that young, that complete a defensive unit.   The offense was its usual good but not spectacular.   I'm happy about the Niners win because it's not just a win for San Francisco, it's a win for West Coast football.

Time after time, experts love to push aside teams like SF because they assume "they play in the weak [west coast division]," and yet they'll have no hesitation pumping up true mediocre teams like the Jets.  Yes I know the Jets won yesterday, by a lot, but they also played the Bills.

Something about the Buffalo Bills is an enigma.  They have not played the Jets well at all, head to head.  Last year at home, the Bills were destroyed by the Jets.  I'm not willing to write off the Bills, especially after week one.  The Jets next game at Pittsburgh will be a much truer indication of how good they are.

One thing I will say however: Ryan Fitzpatrick is an awful quarterback.   Yesterday the threw a pass right to Antonio Cromartie that was easily the worst pass I have ever seen in my life.  Lesson learned: I thought he was much better.   Use him less and maybe the Bills will be a better team.  I think Buffalo will rebound -- too many playmakers not to.  That includes defensive playmakers too.

Pittsburgh did about what I expected last night at Denver.  They had awful, old, sagging cornerbacks and safeties.   More than anyone else, Troy Polamalu got schooled last night.  Dude is old.  He's just bad now.   It's hard to expect any team to win with pass coverage that bad.  Having said that, I was satisfied with what PIT brought to the table.  In fact they did a great job with time of possession: sustained long offensive drives helped by a pretty good performance by Ben Roethlisberger.  The primary problem with the Steelers is defense... it's just not that good anymore.  Nonetheless, the Steelers should have a decent season and there were highlights from last night.

More than anything, I think the Broncos' defense stands up after speculation last year about whether it was a mirage.  I think these fellas are here to stay.   They stick like glue to their receivers most of the time.  Linebackers are, obviously, quite great.  Lastly, Peyton Manning had a terrific debut.  Looks like he's picked up where they left off.

The Lions are a joke.  That is all.

I made it to El Taurino!  Do the dance!!   Al Pastor tacos have never tasted so good... I wasn't sure if I could dig the extra sweetness of the meat, but in truth, I thought it was legit.  The extras sweetness is natural because a pineapple is in the mix when it comes to marination or what have you.

Best game of the weekend:  Nebraska vs UCLA.   That game was so good, it beat every NFL game I saw on Sunday except possibly Pit/Denver.   In terms of sheer thrills for a 60 minute period, both teams had good offense on Saturday, but Taylor Martinez leaves a lot to be desired with his arm.  Jonathan Franklin, UCLA's running back, was pretty good last year, and this year he's off to a fast start.  How about QB Brent Huntley?  Guy makes plays.

Then to my team of rooting interest:  USC.  Not a good performance, overall, at MetLife stadium.   They looked flat, but eventually they picked it up and in the midst of all that QB Matt Barkley threw 6 touchdowns.  Haha!  Well, I can say they got it going on offensively, but their D looks pretty weak, and rather depth-less.   They were flat but I was pretty satisfied with the outcome.  Going clear out to the other coast to play anyone and winning is tough to do.  Too bad SEC teams never take this challenge... stupid SEC, and emphasis on "DUMB", because you'll get teams like LSU who don't leave their own state for 80% of the season.  Special shout out to Robert Woods for his super effort on Saturday.  By the way, Nassib and the Syracuse Orange have a damn good offense, imho.  That team may not get the wins, but they look like they'll be fun to watch.

Speaking of "Stupid SEC", I enjoyed the Louisiana-Monroe Overtime upset of #8 ranked Arkansas AT Arkansas.  That was a thrill!  Truly, anything can happen in sports.  Up next for Arkansas: Alabama.  Thanks for playing, Razorbacks.

They lost to Georgia, but I thought Missouri held their own in their first big SEC in-conference game.  They might have gumption after all!

The Dodgers have not won a single series since the Boston trade.  They had won a series against Miami, but since the first game of the series was before the trade, it won't count.

Never drink coffee past 10pm.  I was so screwed up from that point well through 3pm the next day.  It was impossible to sleep that night.  Oy vey.

I went to George's Burgers on Sunday (Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica) and tried a changeup.  One reason for it was because the guy who normally works the counter had the day off.   I was not confident the rest of his staff could create the breakfast burrito to the same level of quality.  Instead, I tried the french toast breakfast.  Incredible value for five bucks:  french toast, eggs, bacon *and* sausage all together.  While pretty good, I like the breakfast burrito more for the same price.

Today's breakfast, a peach.   The peaches aren't too bad right now, in fact, very sweet!  I can tell that we're getting close to the end of the peach season, so get 'em while you can!

I still don't like the Week 1 Monday Night Football doubleheader.  Even after a few years, I think it's pretty pointless.   You screw the East Coast guys with the second game starting so late so that they have no chance to finish it.  You screw the West Coast guys by starting the first game so *early* that they miss the entire first half when they get home to watch.  What's the point?

That truly is all, for now.  More tomorrow!

Friday, September 7, 2012

There Will Be No Boney Mountain for Dave in the City

With regret, I announce that the Boney Mountain trip has been postponed and for the most part cancelled on my end.   My pop called a few moments ago to say he postponed to Sunday but I've got a date on Sunday -- it's known as the NFL with myself and some friends (including the Drew Dawg).   While disappointing, I couldn't ditch the NFL on Opening Weekend. 

Blast!  Some other thoughts that I had just now...

I am rather amused at how little respect most of the media, including ESPN and my friend John in CT's Football Pick'em Podcast , gave the 49ers this week.  Almost zero.  Expert after expert discounted the 49ers big season and said they were "due" to take a step back.  Almost as if it is a foregone conclusion that the Niners will revert to their 7-9 ways.   I think it's a tad unfair to go that far about the 49ers.  Most Niner fans I know feel similarly that the 49ers won't have *as* good a regular season record but that doesn't mean they're not going to be as good a team as they were a year ago.  If anything, the improved experience and improved wide receivers, AND running backs indicate they might be a better team.   Adding Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and even Randy Moss all add a new dimension for SF that could prove to be a big win for the team.  It doesn't mean it happens, but to assume they will roll over and let a Green Bay team with questionable defense run amok is a little unfair to the 49ers.  The 49ers defense is pretty good, and their pass rush is impressive.  This has been the case for nearly five years now.  I like the 49ers to give a good effort at Green Bay.  Lastly, I'll be more than happy to eat my words if the Niners finish below .500.  I agree that the 49ers feasted off a LOT of takeaways last season, but what I think happens is that they will be in every game this season.  If they lose, they won't lose by a lot.

I am making it a mission to visit El Taurino Restaurant on Hoover at about Olympic Blvd this weekend.  I cannot resist those tacos and that red sauce. 

There are my appended thoughts of the day.  Have a good weekend!

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 7th

Happy Friday!  Here come my latest thoughts of the day...

When you live in California, small earthquakes don't scare you but they do become very annoying.   Last night at Midnight *another* earthquake woke me up!   This is now three overnight earthquakes in three consecutive weeks.  I mean come ON.   And if there's going to be an earthquake, can't it be earlier in the day so I can get some sleep?

I want to thank everyone who stayed with the Dave in the City Podcast last night.  We had technical issues with blogtalkradio's stream servers that kicked our program offline and played a 1 min techno song loop for its listeners.   The show was down for about an hour, between 7:30 PT and 8:20 PT, and once I sent a ticket to the BTR customer support team, the techs were *very* responsive.  I was impressed!   I've had a lot worse customer service in the past.  Great job by blogtalkradio last night.  For those of you who missed most of the show, catch full show on replay at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/daveinthecity/2012/09/07/cowboysgiants-recap-nfl-wk-1-usc-random-qs-09-06-12

WFAN was at MetLife Stadium two days ago to cover the Giants game.   Today, all of ESPN's radio shows are at MetLife for both USC/Syracuse and Bills/Jets.   Does anyone else want to do a remote from MetLife stadium?   Fox Sports Radio?  Maybe get John Feinstein and Doug Gottlieb out there to do their one minute CBS Sports Radio spots?   NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon maybe?  NY1?  Good Morning America?

Somebody on tmf.com really put me in the mood for a Houston's Veggie Burger.  Who would have thought?!  Actually that man was "Sports Pope"... great dude, good friend.

America's Got Talent last night had a big surprise.  Some group of dopey 12 year olds were doing a cover of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," and a minute into the song TS's DEE SNIDER comes onto the stage to take over vocals.  What a thrill!   And even into his 50's or 60's, Dee's still got it!  He hit all the notes.

Cannot... wait... for part 2 of that Yankees/Orioles series.    Yankee fans in panic really amuses me.   Goes to show you that any fanbase can be subject to its adversity, even a charmed fanbase like the Yankees'.

Fans might be wondering how I could have fun with that while at the same time watch my Dodgers go down in flames.  It's a decent question.   I was upset, to be sure, at the Dodgers' lack of effort lately.  I also am very disappointed that they're choking in a big spot.   On the other hand, the expectations for the Dodgers were very sudden and hoisted on, perhaps unfairly, after the team threw a truck load of money into the roster, via trades, absorbed contracts, etc.   Nonetheless, the team had flaws and never truly did have any momentum this season.   The exception was those first two months when they built a 7 game lead with a lot of players who were in over their heads.   That lead came before any of the big names did:  Ramirez, Victorino, Beckett, Gonzalez, and Crawford.  By the time we hit the all star break, the Dodgers were only about a game and a half up on the rest of the division.  It felt like a mirage to me the whole time.  The chemistry with the team just isn't there.  I was mostly upset at the lack of effort, more than the losses themselves.   This week, I'm seeing better effort from the Dodgers, but I still think it won't be enough.

Let's face it, the Dodgers were running thin with depth to begin with and always had a tenuous grasp on the division.   What the Yankees are doing in the last month is a worse outcome IMHO.

That's all for now.  Have a good Friday everyone.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: September 6th

I'm running behind this morning, so a few quick ones for your Thursday...

HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS?!?!?!   Did you all see the big improvements at corner with Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr?  Even on completions, both corners did not allow much else, i.e. missed tackles.  Their ability to handle the zone or man to man was impressive.  It's just one game, so I may be over-reacting, but I was impressed.

Let me address another thing:  If you think that Ahmad Bradshaw is good enough to be a primary running back you are silly!   Even last night compared to Dallas RB DeMarco Murray, Murray has way more talent than that guy.    Bradshaw has decent speed, but his moves are as predictable as Evan Roberts' pick up lines at the bar.   Fortunately, I imagine the Giants will again try the platoon, but it worked a lot better with Jacobs as their #1 and Bradshaw as the #2.

The Giants are fine.   As predicted, they came out flat and seemingly unprepared, but many years this is how the Giants football season starts.   I think last night's game said more about the improvements for the Cowboys than any real or perceived flaws with the Giants.  If anything, the Giants played as they always do: never consistently.  Eli Manning was not sharp but you can bet he'll be better as the year goes along.  If there was one thing I'd be worried about as a Giants fan, it would be Cruz's numerous dropped passes.   Worrisome, but perhaps it was just a momentary lapse for the Salsa Man.

Dodgers:  put a fork in em.... GOOD NIGHT NOW.   Even with the Giants losing the series against Arizona, the Dodgers could not do anything to capitalize.  More than anything, the Padres need to get some credit:  they've improved a lot since the All Star Break and are playing good baseball -- good defense, timely hitting from the likes of Chase Headley and others, and frankly, decent pitching all around.  This weekend, three straight games vs the Giants, but the division race is as good as over.   With a 4.5 game division deficit, the Dodgers would have to sweep the whole series to have any shot at all.

I worry a little bit about the rising cost of pizza prices.   It's true that they say the price of gasoline affects prices of other things.   Last night, I got a one topping pizza at DiVitas for me and my buddy and the thing cost over 18 bucks.   If it was an 18" pizza that's perfectly fine, but it's only a 16" pie.   I *know* the pizza used to not cost that much, and I give DiVita's credit for hanging on  to their low price for a while but now they too have bumped up their prices.

Saturday. my Pop and I, and his friends, are going on a five hour hike at "Boney Mountain."  The trail starts over in Newbury Park and then finishes somewhere near Malibu at about the top of the mountain.  I haven't done a hike in a long while but I'll be ready to go.  I look forward to it.

I probably should have made this a LOCK too but Pit has no chance at Denver.  Zero.  The Steelers struggle in Denver anyway, historically, and as usual Safety Ryan Clark will sit out due to a Sickle Cell condition that is affected by high altitude.    Furthermore, Peyton Manning has usually struggled against the Steelers but it has been literally four years since he played them at quarterback.  In fact, I remember the last meeting:  I was at a Westlake Village BJ's Brewhouse (it's near Thousand Oaks, and I lived in Santa Barbara at the time), watching with the Drew Dawg (aka Andrew Jacobsen).   What annoyed me was that B.J.'s refused to play the game broadcast audio... so here we were watching the Steelers get upset by the Colts at home on a Sunday afternoon while we heard the "dolcet tones" of Nickelback on the speakers.  Just one miserable experience.  Yes, the Colts won 24-20.

I need a DVD Recorder.  The one I have broke a few months ago... and I can't afford a new one yet.   Until I do, hours and hours of LA Kings Playoff games will sit on the DVR in danger of getting deleted.   Bummer.


College Football LOCKS of the Week: Week 2

Time for our College predictions on

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (bang)
of the Week (boom!)

Here's what stands out to me in College Week 2.  Last week I went 1-2, not impressive.  Here's what I have for the weekend:

First of all, how about we get into the most predictable outcome of the weekend?   There is NO way Nebraska will win by less than 5 points at the Rose Bowl vs UCLA this weekend.  To think they are a mere (-5) point favorite is quite amusing.  Even accounting for it being a road game, UCLA is flat out miserable.   The only problem is, gamblers saw them beat up Rice and will have a false confidence in the Bruins.  Don't buy it!   Nebraska will destroy the Bruins this weekend.  I grant you: I haven't seen a whole lot of Nebraska in the last 13 months but I know plenty about UCLA and there's not much there.  By the way, UCLA beat Rice by letting their Running Backs fly all over the field.  Bruin passing was quite mediocre by comparison (21 of 28 for 202 yards and two touchdowns -- decent completion percentage but only 200 yards?).  Nebraska's run defense will be much better.  

I got burned last week by counting on LSU to cover a 40+ point spread.  This week, I'll try it again and select LSU to beat Washington by over (-23.5).  Washington was having major problems trying to score, and being on the road will not help.  It's going to be a few more weeks until the Huskies work out their offense.  Worse yet, they could not put away SDSU, and worse still was that RB Jesse Collier will miss the rest of the season due to a busted ACL.

Lastly, I'm picking Clemson to annihilate Ball State and cover (-27).  Easy play to call, with Ball State practically playing as a minor league team, relatively speaking.  I LOVE Clemson's offense, without WR Sammy Watkins for one more game, and this could prove to be fun to watch.  RB Andre Ellington, by the way, was terrific last week against Auburn, and  Taj Boyd can make good decisions at QB.  Clemson all the way.

For the moment... those are my LOCKS of the Week.