Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 13 NFL Picks: November 26th

In the league where they play......................... for pay. 

Mike Francesa did great a week ago, and this week he offers his Thanksgiving weekend NFL picks:

Lions -7 vs Bears
Cowboys -3 vs Eagles
49ers -1 vs Seahawks
Giants -2.5 at Jaguars
Colts -10 vs Redskins

Good luck to his Turkey week selections!

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 13: November 26th

Here we go!   As we come down the stretch with the contest, we're ready with some big picks and some checkers on checkers for a Thanksgiving Weekend.  Here are the Kids Club Picks for Week 13.

Ron in NJ (25-21-2) 
UCLA -5 vs Stanford
Colorado St. -7 at Air Force
Bengals -4 at Bucs
Steelers -4 vs Saints

Andy in Seattle (25-21-2)
Utah State +9.5 at Boise State
Georgia Tech +13 at Georgia
Patriots +3 at Packers
Steelers -4 vs Saints

Say Hello to Ottis (23-23-2)
Baylor -26 at Texas Tech
Michigan St. -13.5 vs some other team
49ers -1 vs Seahawks
Colts -10 vs Redskins

John in CT (24-24) 
Texas +7 vs TCU
UCLA -5 vs Stanford
Bengals -4 at Bucs
Steelers -4 vs Saints

Good luck to all the picks and Happy Thanksgiving to the Kids Club and thanks to them for the great spots on the podcasts and a most fun pick'em contest!

Dave's LOCK of the Week: November 26th

Only one LOCK of the Week, once again, but I am a huge fan of this pick.

Stanford +5.5 at UCLA.   Stanford's pass rush gave UCLA so many problems over the years, and I think, despite a limited offense, and a not terribly good quarterback in Kevin Hogan AND the loss of Montgomery, one of their best if not their single best receiver, I feel like the Cardinal are going to make this game very very interesting.  I'd go so far as to expect a win, but we'll see if their success at the Rose Bowl goes well.  Their last trip was quite the letdown, and they lost in the Rose Bowl game to Michigan State.

For me, it doesn't matter.  So much money is going to UCLA right now, 87% of the bets right now are on UCLA -5.5 per SportsInsights.   UCLA's offense really isn't that good, and I don't think there's a single standout receiver on the team, nor is their running game that great.   They caught USC at the right time too... SC made so many mistakes that did them in.   I'm not fully convinced UCLA is the team to beat in the Pac 12.  Clearly Vegas is trying to set everyone up for a big letdown.  That's why they make the big bucks, but I don't think they'll be making big bucks from me!

...they will take my big bucks from random Anaheim Ducks games but ANYWAY...   Happy Thanksgiving everybody!   May it be wonderful and delicious.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Lost Society in Full: Every Episode Ever - plus thoughts of the day: November 24th

Never eat liver and onions.   One night, about a decade ago, my sisters and I joined our grandparents at Mimi's Cafe for a meal while our parents were vacationing for their anniversary.   I was so confident that liver was so closely tied to steak that it would taste like steak, but everybody kept warning me "nooo!  Davey don't eat the liver and onions!"

The whole time I thought, "guys!  It's ok, it's part of the cow like the steak, it'll taste just like steak!"  Then I got it... holy moses it was like eating a tray full of cigarette ashes... incredibly awful.. no taste and this metallic texture... it was simply awful.  but being the dope I was I talked up this liver and onions all day so I tried to gut it out and act like it was delicious... everybody around me started laughing.  I couldn't do it.  I tried so hard to eat it and eventually I started to grab some bread rolls and stuff the liver into the bread... even *that* didn't work, it was a complete circus.  I wanted to puke.   Eventually I threw in the napkin.   I was done and everyone around me was rolling with laughter!   That was a *scene* folks.

Ever notice that orange juice and grape juice taste especially good out of a small can?  Try it sometime!  It is remarkably refreshing... wouldn't even believe it.  I went in for a blood test Monday afternoon, and I think this one wiped me out.  They took a lil more out of me than usual.  I was sweating, just completely fizzled, but the guy at the clinic offered me some juice and he said they had orange, grape, or pineapple and I was so thirsty that I asked to try both the orange and grape together.  He went for it!   I was doing the dance, in my head, the rest of me was pretty limp trying to restore movement to my right arm.  Eventually it came to and so did the juice... boy was it delicious!

One of my buddies, my neighbor, over on twitter is in Western NY, his homeland, this week.  He found his local pizzeria and put up a pic of the pizza which he *loved.*  He wrote "Dear Twitter, this is pizza."

See, that happens a lot with East Coast guys who move out here to SoCal.  They try the pizza and go "this is subpar!"  and then once in a while when they go home they tweet to the universe that East Coast places w pizza are pizza how its meant to be.   I have the same complex with Mexican food.  So much so that this chorizo and cheese burrito I had tonight really hit the spot... if I had seen that tweet earlier, I'd post a pic of the burrito and go "Dear East Coast Twitter:  THIS is a burrito."

and its true!   Would you even attempt a burrito west of the rockies?   Maybe Chipotle and a couple other places, but I'd say that's all.

I'm gonna go to In N Out later on this week and put that on twitter too.  "Dear Universe:  THIS is a burger, but nice try w/ the Shake Shack."  Heehee, I like the shake shack burger all right, but indeed, the In N Out beats it, or I'd think so.

For the record, the best pizza *is* on the East Coast.  I have been there, I have tried it, and it is true.

And you know what the best pizza of all the pizzas is?  It was re-affirmed by a good friend of mine, YOTS who spoke very highly of it when he went there this year.  It is Di Fara... a legend all in itself.  Hop on a train to Midwood, Brooklyn, and go to this lil place... nondescript as it seems:

You are NOT going to regret it, so long as you can wait for the pizza.  And only one guy makes all the pizzas!  His name is Dom.  He's quite a character as you'll see when you get there.



Ah, but that's pizza, and out here, it's burgers coffee and burritos.   Food is great all over this good land.   Wow, I almost forgot to do this...  today I present to you the complete works of my fake TV show "The Lost Society."   I wrote it, originally, over the summer while I was in Junior College, between High School, and my eventual Alma Matter at Cal Lutheran.   I've received several requests for all the episodes, and rather than leak them out little by litter, I decided to post the whole series today.

The first episode was written on my 19th Birthday, May 23, 2001.   It took place in Santa Barbara, because I wanted a show that was different from all the other ones which were set in LA or New York.  The original run spanned about 18 scripts, written in my room at our family's house.  Then I got into college stuffs and life.   I picked up the series when I moved to Santa Barbara for real and had a better idea of what the town was really like.  However, that "second season" never finished... I only made it through about three scripts.  Episode 20 was never finished!   I don't even know, reading it now, where I was going with it, but I did enjoy a couple zingers I wrote early on.  It's really too bad.  The original run was the best.   I was really enjoying the characters, ideas, and concepts I explored with the show.  I had a season story arc that I don't recall if I completed, but it was the season running story that Jenkins put a big bet on the Red Sox to win the World Series when the baseball season began and had great odds.   The Red Sox, this was April 2003 when I wrote this, were still 80+ years past their last championship.  Jenkins hit on an idea, and he almost hit it big, but my plan for that story arc was for the Red Sox to come back from a huge deficit in the standings, make a big run in the postseason and have everyone call them the "team of destiny."   Then I said, this was a great kicker, the Sox would enter the World Series against Hewitt's beloved LA Dodgers.    Not only that, but everybody in Santa Barbara would have caught on to Dodger fever.   So it would come down to Game 7, and Jenkins had probably 50 grand on the line and all his buddies around him were excited about the local Dodgers.   It'd come back to the last out with the Red Sox this close to winning, and of all people, little Alex Cora hit a grand slam to clinch the Championship for LA.  Everybody in the apartment erupts except for one, and it was the graphics designer Jenkins who was so close yet so far.  I can't remember if that storyline ever played out in the actual scripts, but I was really excited about making that a big running theme.  

It was a great show that never aired... writing it was great, but, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, I wrote this in a time before I was mature and learn-ed.   There is so much inappropriate material in these scripts that I'd never come close to writing this kind of fiction again, but in those days I let loose.  I hope you'll see that I've acquired much more tact and social prowess since I began the project 13 years ago.  It's a treat!  Hope you all enjoy it.   

So here it is, without further adieu, "The Lost Society" in full:

Accompanying this set is a short TV pilot I wrote called "Welcome to Project 12" based on my college experience, I wrote it about the time I entered Cal Lutheran as a transfer.

Enjoy all the reading folks.  Hope it's enjoyable for all of you.  I'll have some other stuff for you on the Daveblog soon.   Take care!

Mike Francesa's Week 12 NFL Picks go 4-1, Season Record is now 29-20-1

A MONSTER week for Mike Francesa's NFL picks!   His selections go 4-1, bringing his season total after 12 weeks to 29-20-1.  Some great reads by him with the point spreads.  Truly, Mike is having a great year.

Here are the results:

Mike hit with: Browns, Patriots, Colts, Seahawks
Mike missed with: Bucs

He's hot, folks.   We'll see what Mike presents to us for his Week 13 picks whenever they may be.  I'm not sure if he will do the picks Wednesday or Friday.  Stay tuned.

LOCK of the Week went 1-0, Season Record now 18-25

Only one pick for LOCKS of the Week, and it hit!   We got the Raiders +7.5 and they won outright.  A great week for the Raiders, and LOCKS of the Week now moves up to 18-25.

Hit with: Raiders
Missed with: none

1-0 this week.

I like the concept of going just one game at a time.   With the win, LOCKS is now 7 games under. 500  That seems bad, and it is, but its also a lot better than where we were a few weeks ago when we were 9 under .500.   It will take a lot of decisive careful picking to get us to .500.  It's funny too... last year we were well above .500 and trying to stay away from getting under .500 and we couldn't do it.  A free fall to a game under water.   This year, there's a chance, by picking fewer games a week, with only our most confident selections, that we'll get to .500 by year's end.  We have a month to make it happen.  Here's to the best!

Note: we won't go just one game at a time every week, but something like that.  Small samples of games.   Hopefully more success as we go along.

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 12 Results: Andy 3-0-1, climbs into 1st place tie w/ Ron, everyone above. 500

Another big week in "Kids Club" picks.   We have now arrived at a point in the year where the entire Kids Club is .500 or better.  This is truly remarkable because for a good part of the year, some of our panelists were well under .500.  It was a great climb back for all.  Andy wins the week with a blistering 3-0-1 in picks, with Dallas rallying late to save a push.  John had a great week, sweeping NFL picks.  Ron did nicely himself with two keen college picks, nabbing the sweep of NCAA games.   The Oat Man nearly had a 2-2 week but the Oregon -34 pick was a push. Let's break down the results:

Andy in Seattle (3-0-1) 
Hit with: Kansas State, ASU, Patriots
Missed with: None
Ties: Cowboys

John in CT (3-1)
Hit with: Utah State, Eagles, Rams
Missed with: Purdue

Ron in NJ (2-1-1)
Hit with: SDSU, Boise St.
Missed with: Broncos
Ties: Cowboys

Say Hello to Ottis (1-2-1) 
Hit with: Bears
Missed with: Notre Dame, Broncos
Ties: Oregon

Oat Man was just a few plays from getting both the Oregon game and the Broncos game.   The Dolphins scored a very late touchdown to backdoor-cover.  Still wasn't a terrible outcome and as you'll see below he's hanging tough.  Now here are the standings after 12 weeks.

Ron: 25-21-2
Andy: 25-21-2
Ottis: 23-23-2
John: 24-24

As mentioned, everyone is now .500 or above. On to a big week 13 over Thanksgiving weekend.  Program note:  We may not do a podcast this week so check out the blog here for the picks.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 12 NFL Picks: November 21st

In the league where they play............................................................ for pay.

On to Week 12, where Mike Francesa has these NFL picks for us:

Browns +3 at Falcons
Patriots -7 vs Lions
Colts -14 vs Jags
Bucs +6 at Bears
Seahawks -7 vs Cardinals

Mike Francesa's Week 11 NFL Picks go 2-4, now 25-19-1 this season.

With some help from Brian Monzo, Mike Zaun producer on WFAN, we got word of Mike's picks from Week 11.  I was on vacay at the time so I didn't post it that day.  Also some props are in order to Andy in Seattle for denoting Monzo's tweeting of the picks.

...yes I realize this makes one wonder why does the 'Cow bother posting these on the blog, but the payoff is in the season record, which we can compile with tangible evidence.   Anyway here are the picks Mike made:

Mike's #NFL picks: Packers -5.5, Browns -3, Saints -7, Vikings +3, Bucs +7.5, Broncos -9.5 .. #PlayForPay ..

How'd they do?   Let's recap:

Mike hit with: Packers, Bucs
Mike missed with: Browns, Saints, Vikings, Broncos

Total: 2-4

That also puts his season total at 25-19-1 for the year.   We ran through several sources, archived audio, and numerous listeners to corroborate the record as we have it now.  Mike's still doing pretty well, but we're at a point of the year where his announced record may deviate from the actual one.   but, we're coming up on 5pm Eastern, and soon he will announce his latest NFL picks to extend his season record.  Good luck to his upcoming picks later this evening!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 21st

It looks like most of the archives on the DITCOW Blogtalkradio page got deleted this week!  I will check it again later, but I'm a very sad man.  I like to go back to old episodes to get a picture of how the show evolved, the guests we had and so on.   If they're gone for good, that's really too bad.

Tonight I had a special meeting with peanut M&M's.  This time around, I put them in the freezer before eating them.   Whatever the reasons, frozen M&M's are oh so good!   Incredible.  I wasn't going crazy like that lady in the "Mile High Hardees/Carl's Jr. cheeseburger" commercial, but they popped in my mouth and tasted great.

I also officially ran out of regular food.  I'm down to one can of Chipotle Chicken Chowder and a handful of peanut M&M's.  That's it!  It's time to go back to the grocery store.

One of my favorite sandwiches, and it's not a great sandwich overall, but I love it, and it's the Subway BLT footlong sub.  It's just vegetables, bacon, and cheese, with my choices of oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, then brown mustard and chipotle southwest sauce.   I enjoy it a lot, throw in some peppers and perpronchinis.  Yum!  NOW I wonder what would happen if I asked the fine folks at Jersey Mike's to create that same sandwich?  Would it taste even better?  What would happen if I mosey'd down to Bay Cities to ask guys to make a hero with those ingredients... maybe use their fine quality provolone as the cheese and use their special hot peppers blend as the topping.  It would truly amaze some folks.   I think I already had this sandwich once.. its their "capreese" sandwich but I'd also classify it as a Godmother Sandwich without meat.  Very good.  What I *didn't* do that time was ask them to add freshly toasted bacon.   With the bacon that sandwich would be outstanding!

It's been said many times before by many people, but doesn't bacon enhance everything?   I heard some people were grossed out by bacon covered chocolate but I had it once and I liked it.    I'd add bacon to cookies to see how that went.   One thing with me and bacon is that bacon has to be crispy... at least on the edges it must be.   You'll get what they call "thick sliced bacon" and its more like beef jerky.  It's not my thing.  People get so excited too about it: "ITS THICKER BACON!!"  but the difference is, that thicker bacon means less crispy bacon.   If the bacon was thicker but still as salty and crispy as usual, itd be fantastic, OR if it was more along the lines of the high grade pork bellies with succulent juicy centers, I'm all in.  Usually it's just the dried up portions of the pork made thicker, so again, its like chewing on bacon licorice or something - not quite the same effect.

I'll tell you what - I did not mention the reuben a friend and I shared at Las Vegas' Carnegie Deli location in the Mirage.  For those of you from New York, I am willing to gamble and say it duplicates the taste of their flagship location faithfully.  For me it's all about the pastrami, and it's so delightful.  The pastrami is moist, sumptuous, and full of flavor.  It falls off and melts in your mouth.  Really the only two places I know with better pastrami are Langer's in Los Angeles and Katz's Delicatessen over in New York City.  Technically I'm eating a fellow NYC sandwich, but with a much shorter distance to travel to get to it.

And, subconsciously, that might be what keeps me coming back to Las Vegas.   So many times a year, and every time I've been since about December 2013 I've made at least one stop at Carnegie Deli at the Mirage.  It's irresistible.   Every time I go after that pastrami during the trip.  On one or two occasions I hit it at a bad time, it wasn't that fresh and it tasted grainy, but still delicious.  Oooh, but on the other occasions it's just perfect.  Try it and see, then taste!

The Mirage, without really attempting it, made a casino designed especially for Dave. They said, "ok, what kind of Casino/Hotel would Dave live for?   We start with an enormous sports book, possibly the biggest one on the strip, let's put that up front.  Then we'll add a Starbucks on site.   We will add a burger place with customizable toppings, great fries, and shakes, plus excellent beer on tap.   If he's feeling it, we'll throw in a good buffet (which I havent even TRIED yet!), and a top notch steakhouse.   Let's add a chinese restaurant, then place some top 5 national pastrami right by the door.   Lastly we'll throw in fair slots, great blackjack and craps tables, a Beatles show, a Puppet Guy who does nights, a showroom with the best comics performing every weekend, rooms with views of the strip, the largest pool around, and easy access to the Venetian and Wynn.   Finally we want to charge reasonable rates, about 50 a night on slow dates.  It is... the Mirage."  And I keep going back there time after time.

McIntosh apples are my new thing.   Peach season is over, but it gives way to Apple Season, and McIntosh is at the head of the class.  I ran out of apples, so my new supply is on its way very soon.  I like McIntosh because it's tart but not overly sour.   Pretty much everything a Granny Smith was but better.   You ever notice, nobody tries to make a candy or an ice cream McIntosh flavored?  Missed opportunity here.   I think it'd be a nice change of pace.  McIntosh apples are incredibly fun to eat.   I don't really know why I was so late coming around to them, but the last year or so it's been grand.  It doesn't seem like my store really carries them until the Fall hits full stride.  Here we are!   Next trip I'm getting a huge bag of them.

How many apples can one person eat in one sitting?  Generally I'd imagine the person would get bored with apples after eating 3 ofthem.   Overall I think my ceiling is four apples, but if really pressed, I could go up to six of them.

That's all for the moment.  I always hoped that a health study would come out that said Peanut M&M's are healthy for you! 

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: November 20th

This one's for Beebs, Cap, and Lubsies.   I miss doing the personal blogs on a regular basis.

The issue for me lately is time.   Work is too busy, the apartment is too busy, sports are too busy, and often I don't have the time or the energy to compose a full persoblog.  Or a "daveblog" as I call it.  So here's what was on my mind in the weeks since my last personal entry.

You ever notice that when you shower the feet get left out?   Do any of you scrub your feet?   I never thought about it.  You soap down all the other parts of your body but then when it gets to the feet I always forget.  I keep thinking "well its gonna step on the floor again w all the other gunk, is it worth it?"   I haven't done it much.   Do the feet care?  I think there's a chance it can avoid disease by simply washing it w some soap... remarkable that this never came up before.

So I have a story to share with you all from a recent Vegas trip.   A friend of mine had an idea to go to a night club in Vegas to see Lil Jon there.   And, wouldn't you know, we're walking around the Wynn/Encore complex and there's a lil dude with the wild hair walking down the other way.  Lil guy too... yep, that dude was LIL JON.   Good stuff!   So the friend is like "let's go see him tonite at the club!"  So, for the first time ever, I thought "you know what?  That sounds like a good idea!"

Remarkably, we found the tickets... the concert didn't start until 10:30!!   Can you even imagine that?   They don't even open the doors til 10:30... so the two of us had to go back to the hotel into our respective rooms, then we return iono about 9, and I'm playing dollar slots at the Encore after winning two out of three NHL over/under bets at the Wynn casino.   The dollar slots weren't going so well -- I made the crucial mistake of trying a Double Diamond Machine with the stinkin' "Megabucks" Jackpot.  Do me a favor will you?  Don't ever play a Double Diamond w/ Megabucks Jackpot machine.  Man was that eating away at my money.  After a while, I gave up and tried the regular double diamond $1 machine while waiting for the Lil Jon Nightclub to let people in.   This time I put in only 20 bucks, but this $1 machine had some staying power!  I didn't win anything there either but I got a good vibe from it.   So we are dressed up here.. a bunch of #HelloDeahs in the line and we're ready to roll.  A bunch of douchebag clowns are right behind us, one of them drops his phone.  That group was getting instantly untrustworthy, but on we went into the club.   It was a good time, and it was apparently "early" by the club's standards.. we're all dancing at about 11... it was dark in there, some smoke machines in effect, drinks, even some black jack tables, but the ones with the auto-machines instead of the shoe.  Those auto-machine tables are bad news, so I avoided the blackjack completely and we all kept dancing...... but after a while it was like "when is Lil Jon going to get here?" and eventually we gave up.  I had no idea when he even showed up... for all I know he might have started at 2.   Alas, it wasn't to be.  I might consider trying it again on another date... he's at this nightclub fairly often, YEAHHHHH, OK!

and the buffets... OH the buffets!   Life is good when you can pick apart the nuances of the Wynn lunch buffet and the Cosmopolitan brunch buffet from Sunday.  For me the Cosmo was the clear winner.  Last time out, I tried both on the same weekend and the difference was closer.  The distinction was that this was the first look at a Cosmopolitan Wicked Spoon Sunday Brunch.  Man was it good!   They touted the thick sliced fresh bacon, but their regular bacon was also so amazing.   They don't do prime rib here, but they serve a pretty succulent beef culotte.   The culotte, as great as it is even with the creamy horseradish sauce ohhhhh so good, still gets lost within a whole arena of great foods.   The angry mac and cheese, now known as "Wicked Mac" is stupendous.   The French Toast blows me away.  The gingerbread pancakes with marshmallow topping hit the spot.   There was some "mystery juice" served to us along w/ the usuals: orange juice, coffee, and soda at your option.  I didn't take the soda, but the others were stellar as usual.  Now this "mystery juice" was revealed by our server as a raspberry puree with some passionfruit and other assorted fruits.   Amazing!  Then it was time for the desserts.  I didn't partake in too many of them this time, but the gelato guy, didn't really have much to say but he was very enthusiastic w/ his action and took great pride in his gelato, served up some vanilla for me to top it all off.  He would go "WHICH GELATO?  [after your pick] VANILLA YES?  OK"  Something like that, he used very few actual words but his communication was effective.  

To give you a picture of how expansive this buffet is:  you never even *touch* the Italian Pastas, the Chinese/Thai/Japanese cuisines, or anything else on the right hand side of the gallery.   It's best to focus on the left side anyway, because the primo breakfast foods and excellent carving station are all on that end.  I must not forget the braised pork eggs benedict.  Simply delicious!

One other note, going back to the Wynn Buffets... the Wynn buffet served the single greatest flank steak I've ever had.   I don't regard flank steak as very tasty, succulent, or even interesting, but Wynn nailed it.  They cooked the flank steak in a marvelous sweet glaze, and grilled it over mesquite flames.  I could see the chefs grilling each slab to perfection.  When I saw it the first time I said "hey how come they only have the end of the meat?"  I didn't realize it was a flank cut, which is already flat by its definition.  Best flank steak I've ever had.  So good that I want to go back and try it again.

When I retire, I will make it a point to go to vegas for a whole week, trying every dish in these two buffets, provided they're still around.  If they aren't, I'll attempt the same project for two similar buffets in town.   That would be a dream of mine.  Maybe one day I can play blackjack at a table with Lil Jon and Al Michaels.   Listen folks, I do believe in miracles and playing with those two would be a blast!

If we add Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift to that table, then we got a party.  Doncha think so?

Some other thoughts...

Mortadella is the grown up cousin of bologna.   Very good, and proving to be one of my favorite meats.

I have some seriously chapped lips right now that I've tried to fix with Chap Stick.  It works but then the lips dry out again.  I tried swimming on Tuesday and it made the lips even worse.   It's so painful that I can't even smile without my lips tearing and or bleeding.  Oof.  So I keep pounding the 'stick.   Eventually I hope the lips get enough moisture.

I think any situation, even ones with high tension, can be improved with cookies.

There may come a week soon down the line where I'll take a vacation from sports.  Just stop following it.  I'm interested to know how it'd be less to think about, anyway.

Nothing beats sleeping with several warm blankets on a cold night.   A very good feeling.

I think that's all for this time out.  Hope to see you again soon...

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 12: November 19th

Here they are!  The "Kids Club" picks for Week 12.  Thanks to John and Ottis for making the picks on-air on the @ditcow podcast (this week you can go to for the complete broadcast -- youtube didnt capture a full show). 

Here we go... good luck to the picks!

Ron in NJ (23-20-1) 
SDSU -4 vs Air Force
Boise St. -13 at Wyoming
Broncos -7 vs Dolphins
Cowboys -3 at Giants

Say Hello to Ottis (22-21-1) 
Notre Dame -3.5 vs Louisville
Oregon -34 vs Colorado
Bears -6 vs Bucs
Broncos -7 vs Dolphins

Ottis also likes Florida State -19 vs Boston College, but this will not count towards the contest.

Andy in Seattle (22-21-1) 
Kansas State +2.5 at West Virginia
Arizona State -16 vs Washington State
Patriots -7 vs Lions
Cowboys -3 at Giants

John in CT (21-23) 
Utah State -13 vs SJSU
Purdue -1 vs Northwestern
Eagles -11 vs Titans
Rams +4.5 at Chargers

Two notable Checker on Checkers this week:  Both Ron and Ottis like Broncos -7, and both Ron and Andy like Cowboys -3.   Both of these could prove to be popular picks all across America.  Good luck to all the picks and here's to a great Week 12!

Dave's LOCK of the Week: November 19th

This week, just one LOCK (blam!) of the Week.

Raiders +7.5 vs Chiefs.   Home teams getting points is a consistently good play.   This week, it could play out really well with the Chiefs not only coming off an emotional win over the Seahawks, but also on short rest.   The Raiders have gotten closer and closer to winning a game, and last week they lost to the Chargers by just 7 points.   So here it is -- Raiders to keep it interesting against the Chiefs.  I've been getting killed with Thursday night picks, but this time around, there may be a chance.  On we go!   Here's to a good week of, um, LOCK in the NFL.

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 11 Results: Andy climbs above .500, Ron stays in 1st

This was a big week for Andy in Seattle on the "Kids Club" picks.  After spending the whole year under .500, he goes 3-1 to climb to a winning record.  A tremendous job by Andy getting above .500.  Oat Man wins the week due to the tiebreakers, and Ron also hangs onto 1st place in the season standings.  Let's recap the picks:

Say Hello to Ottis (3-1) 
Hit with: Michigan State, Rams, 49ers
Missed with: Clemson

Andy in Seattle (3-1)
Hit with: Cincinnati, Packers, Cardinals
Missed with: Arizona

Ron in NJ (2-2) 
Hit with: Utah, 49ers
Missed with: Middle Tennessee State, Browns

John in CT (2-2) 
Hit with: Georgia, Chiefs
Missed with: Temple, Saints

The Kids Club is doing well so far in the second half, here are the up-to-date season standings:

Ron: 23-20-1
Ottis: 22-21-1
Andy: 22-21-1
John: 21-23

LOCKS go 1-1. Season Record: 17-25

Not much to elaborate on.  FSU had a monster comeback to save a .500 week, covering the 3 point spread.  Here are the results:

Hit with: FSU
Missed with: Alabama

We'll try it again next week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 11: November 12th

Here we are!  Into our 11th week of "Kids Club" picks and the standings really tightened up.  Let's see what the Kids Club picked, as announced on our @ditcow podcast:

Ron in NJ (21-18-1)
Utah +7.5 at Stanford
Middle Tennessee State -5 at FIU
49ers -4 at Giants
Browns -3 vs Texans

Say Hello to Ottis (19-20-1)  
Michigan State -13 at Maryland
Clemson -3.5 at Georgia Tech
Rams +10 vs Broncos
49ers -4 at Giants

Andy in Seattle (19-20-1) 
Cincinnati +2.5 vs ECU
Arizona -9 vs Washington
Packers -6 vs Eagles
Cardinals -2 vs Lions

John in CT (19-21) 
Temple +11 at Penn State
Georgia -2.5 vs Auburn
Chiefs -1 vs Seahawks
Saints -7.5 vs Bengals

In an unusual, but otherwise pointless stat, it looks like the NFL's entire NFC West was either picked for or picked against in this week's "Kids Club" picks.  I thought that was pretty cool, albeit "Shearn."  Good luck to all the picks! 

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: November 12th

We have the picks early this week on Dave's (BLAM!) LOCKS of the Week.  Just two games this time, the NFL was impossible to pick from confidently.  I may pursue the Chiefs -1 vs Seattle as a non-lock of the week.  Watch for them on Sunday.

Otherwise, to the two picks, both from College:

Alabama -8 vs Mississippi State:  This one's simple.  'Bama is simply dominant at home, and Mississippi State's looked limited at times offensively.  Alabama simply has more talent and I feel like they hit their stride.  It is very VERY tough to trust any team with Lane Kiffin's involvement, but what's the worst that happens with this pick?  It's a great game?  Alabama loses?   I am more than happy to choose them, quite confidently to cover 8 points.  Had it been 18 points or even 80 points I still would have considered 'Bama as a LOCK of the Week.   They've gone 3-0 against the spread at home in-conference.  No real indications of this going differently unless we have simply underestimated Mississippi State's defense.   I'm not really convinced.   The game against Arkansas was too close for comfort ('Bama also had a tough time with Arkansas).   Kentucky was giving them a tough time too.  How would Dak Prescott and a relatively new-to-the-scene team react to such a big atmosphere in Alabama?   They did it before at LSU, but this is now crunch time and NOW the stakes are pretty high!   The better experienced team is the one I like, ROLL TIDE.

Florida State -3 at Miami:  Miami is VERY overrated here.  Their defense is just plain bad, and they can be had.  It may be close in the beginning, but Florida State should handle this team pretty well.  

Oh very well, I have no real argument... this is purely a win-win/spite pick.  I pick it hoping the 'Noles either cover or lose outright.   Very good chance of either happening.  Confidence well spent!

There you are!   Bama -8 and FSU -3.  The LOCKS of the Week.   Here's to a good outcome.

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 10 Results: THREE members go 4-0! Ron stays in 1st.

An incredible week in "Kids Club" Football Picks!   After Ron got the first 4-0 week of the season in Week 9, we follow up with THREE of our Kids Club members going 4-0, catching right up to Ron in NJ who hangs on to first place.  Ron also went 2-2 with his picks, splitting both his college and pro picks.   Naturally, the large number of 4-0 weeks spike the split sweep numbers for tiebreaking purposes.  What a show!  Many shows were had and it's a very close race *now* as you'll see in the standings coming up.  First, let's break down a most productive week for the Kids Clubbers.

Ottis wins the week due to a better season record than John, and more individual week wins than Andy.    John's 4-0 keeps him only a half game away from catching the two others.   Some checker on checkers had a hand in this most successful week.  Here are the results player by player.

Say Hello to Ottis (4-0)
Hit with: Oregon, Baylor, Chiefs, Falcons
Missed with: [none]

A *huge* bounce back for Oat Man after going 0-4 the week before.  Now he's right back in the game!

Andy in Seattle (4-0)
Hit with: Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Packers, Eagles
Missed with: [none]

It appears the Arizona State cover, against Notre Dame, was most satisfying to Andy personally.  He expressed as much on the internets. 

John in CT (4-0)
Hit with: Duke, Baylor, Falcons, Eagles
Missed with: [none]

It's a definite first for Kids Club Picks.  3 of our Kids Club members with 4-0 weeks, and interestingly, the fourth had a 4-0 week last week.  The club is hitting its stride with football picks!  John was very keen to bet against the long running trend of Baylor losing at OU.   Talent ultimately won out instead of past history.

Ron in NJ (2-2) 
Hit with: Utah State, Packers
Missed with: Michigan State, Steelers

So!  A most exciting week, bringing the whole group within just a couple games of each other.  Here are our standings after 10 weeks:

Ron: 21-18-1
Ottis: 19-20-1
Andy: 19-20-1
John: 19-21

Can't get much closer than that!  Everyone's nearly back to .500.   Can the Kids Club keep the forward momentum in Week 11?   Tune in on Wednesday for their next big moves.

Mike Francesa's Week 10 NFL Picks go 3-1: Now 23-15-1 for the year

Another successful week for Mike picks from the NFL!   This week, Mike Francesa goes 3-1 and extends his season record to 23-15-1.  A VERY good record against the spread if I may say so.  Let's see the particulars.

Mike hit with: Ravens, Broncos, Packers
Mike missed with: Rams

The Rams pick was pretty close to hitting too, but the Cardinals poured it on during the fourth quarter.  Now to see how Mike finishes off the year, about 1/3 of the season to go!  We'll find out his picks at this time on Friday afternoon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

LOCKS of the Week go 3-2; Season Record now 16-24

It was a good week on LOCKS.  Not enough to give hope for a .500 year, but a positive week!  Here are the results:

Hit with: Duke, Lions, Chiefs
Missed with: Michigan State, Bengals

Not a bad result!  I should never trust the Bengals anyway, that was a bad idea.    We are now 16-24 and currently 8 games under .500, but we also have about 7 weeks left in the season.  We'll give it our best shot next week for more winning football.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 10 NFL Picks: November 7th

In the league where they play............................................ for pay.

Here they are without further delay, Mike Francesa's Week 10 NFL picks.

Ravens -9.5 vs Titans
Rams +7  at Cardinals
Broncos -11.5 at Raiders
Packers -7 vs Bears

Good luck to his picks and may he extend his winning record!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: November 6th

Here we go!  LOCKS (slam!) of the Week.

So here it is, on to continue our losing streak.  Can we sink further than 13-22?  Let's see.  We'll start with the pros.

Bengals -6.5 vs Browns.  My picks begin with tonight's Thursday game between the Browns and Bengals.    This is a classic case of not-overthinking-it.   The Browns have looked better lately, and are much more competitive than usual, but it's still a very limited offensive team and head to head with Cincy, the Bengals have had more than their share of fun.  The Bungles also rebounded after some simply abysmal football a month ago.  There's not much more to it than that.  Cincinnati is a great home team, and a great home team against the spread no less.  The last real fail ATS was the overtime game against Carolina.  Other than that, they're solid at home.   To date we have seen only two underdogs cover the spread on the new "Thursday Night Football", that was the Jets in Week 7 and the Giants earlier in Week 4.  That *also* means 7 teams covered as favorites on the Thursday Night package.  Bengals with AJ Green back against familiar foes, let's do it.

Chiefs -2.5 at Bills.  This is more of a spite pick, going back to the same matchup a year ago I used on LOCKS of the week.  In fact the same two teams played at the same place in Buffalo.  Both teams have changed on both sides of the ball since then, with Flowers going to San Diego, and Manuel giving way to Kyle Orton in Buffalo.  For me, this is yet another hot team that really isn't that good.   Sammy Watkins has been the real deal, but defensively I'm not convinced with them.   There are some tangible issues at Running Back lately with CJ Spiller still rehabbing.  For KC, Jamaal Charles looks like he's back on a roll and Alex Smith did a good job engineering a dominant home performance against the Jets last Sunday.  I expect more of the same at Ralph Wilson Stadium just as they did last week.

Lions -3 vs Dolphins.   You can see that favorites are popular picks this week in the NFL, and the Dolphins' defense looks terrific, but I still will give the edge to Detroit.  Detroit is home, their pass rush still is incredibly good, and the defense altogether has been pretty stingy.   Certainly, the Fantasy Football player recognizes how little they give up in the way of passing yards, touchdowns, and receptions.  Adding to this is the fluid nature of Dolphins RB Lamar Miller.   With his health in question, I don't think the Dolphins will take advantage of a strangely *terrible* Lions rushing defense.   On the offensive side of the ball, Stafford, Tate, and the returning Calvin Johnson will be very tough to defend, and I think Detroit wins out.  I will admit this is a coin-flip game, especially for a team so poorly coached like the Lions, but I'm sensing more overall talent in the Motor City.   I will say that the Dolphins are pretty good and provided they can make the right plays tactically they should be in this one for a while.

Now to College Football, where I continue to be a glutton for punishment.  Here are my College Football picks.

Duke -3.5 at Syarcuse.   I agree with John in CT who made the point on the @ditcow podcast that the Blue Devils are consistently undervalued at the sports book.   It was close, but they covered once again and won outright against PITT.  This week they meet a sad sack, poorly managed team in the Syracuse Orange, and Duke is simply a pretty good team.   I'd be surprised if they lost this one.  Blue Devils to give the points.

Michigan State -3.5 vs Ohio State.   While Ohio State is a much improved team and more confident from where they were about week 3 following a loss to Virginia Tech, I still think Michigan State is the class of the conference.  They beat every team in-conference so far, despite a close call with Nebraska.  Other than that, they have crushed everyone and everything in the Big Ten.  It's also a more experienced team than Ohio State at present with returning QB Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford, and a great secondary.   It's a rematch of a thrilling Big Ten Championship game from a year ago, this will be fun!

That does it for LOCKS of the Week.  I have the Bungles -6.5, Chiefs -2.5, and Lions -3 in the NFL, then Duke -3.5 and Michigan State -3.5 in College.  Here's to a great Week 10!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 10: November 5th

Here we go!  You just heard them on the @ditcow podcast.  Here are the "Kids Club" picks for NCAA and NFL in Week 10:

Ron in NJ (19-16-1) 
Michigan State -3.5 vs Ohio State
Utah State -7 at Wyoming
Steelers -4.5 at Jets
Packers -7 vs Bears

Say Hello to Ottis (15-20-1) 
Oregon -9 at Utah
Baylor +6 at Oklahoma
Chiefs -2.5 at Bills
Falcons -2 at Bucs

Andy in Seattle (15-20-1) 
Georgia Tech -3.5 at NC State
Arizona State -2.5 vs Notre Dame
Packers -7 vs Bears
Eagles -6 vs Carolina

John in CT (15-21) 
Duke -3.5 at Syracuse
Baylor +6 at Oklahoma
Falcons -2 at Bucs
Eagles -6 vs Carolina

Good luck to all the picks, and here's to an exciting Week 10!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 9 Results: Ron goes 4-0! Virtual 3 way tie for 2nd

A lot of moving and shaking in this week's "Kids Club" Picks.  Congratulations to Ron in NJ!  He went an outstanding 4-0 in his picks, first undefeated week of the season, which by definition also means two split sweeps.  The rest of the Kids Club was a mixed bag.  John continued his comeback with a nice 3-1 week, Andy kept pace with a 2-2 week, and Ottis went a disappointing 0-4 with his picks.  Let's break it all down for Week 9.

Ron in NJ (4-0)
Hit with: Missouri, Utah State, Chiefs, Colts
Missed with: [none]

John in CT (3-1) 
Hit with: Kansas St., Cardinals, Patriots
Missed with: UNC

Andy in Seattle (2-2) 
Hit with: Patriots, Eagles
Missed with: Ole Miss, Arizona

Say Hello to Ottis (0-4) 
Hit with: [none]
Missed with: ECU, Arizona, Broncos, Chargers

After this week's picks, the standings really shook up.  We now have Ron with a big lead, and three players with nearly the same record.  Here's how it looks after 9 weeks:

Ron: 19-16-1
Ottis: 15-20-1
Andy: 15-20-1
John: 15-21

Not to be overlooked is John's nice comeback so far.  It doesn't seem like much with his current record, but he had two 0-4 weeks in a row for a combined 0-8.     With two 3-1 weeks, he is back to a few games in back of the leader.  One more winning week could put him back in contention for first.  We'll keep an eye on it.

Our Week 10 picks are coming up Wednesday night... hope to see you there for it!  We'll post the show link when we go on air on Twitter: @ditcow .  Follow us!  See you all in a few days for Week 10 picks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 9 NFL Picks: 1-2 this week, now 20-14-1 for the season

We were unable to post the picks Mike Francesa made on Friday, but our colleagues at picked us up!

Mike had these three games:

49ers -10 vs Rams
Patriots +3 vs Broncos
Chargers +1 at Dolphins

Hit with: Patriots
Missed with: 49ers, Chargers

Overall, Mike went 1-2, but his great run over weeks 4-7 or so still has his total record at 20-14-1.   He's hanging in there, and will try to extend his great record in Week 10.

LOCKS of the Week go 1-3. Season Record now 13-22

If LOCKS of the Week was a company, we would declare for Bankruptcy.

Four picks, only one hit.  Here's how it went..

Hit with: Pats, and this was one I felt really good about.
Missed with:  Mississippi, Panthers, Ravens

1-3 for the week.  Now we're down to 13-22 for the season.  I suppose these ARE LOCKS of the week; it's a LOCK that you pick the other way!

You'd think my overall record including non-LOCKS is completely awful.  Amazingly, it isn't.   I've done better with other games and hunches, including MLB and NHL picks.  I'm actually ahead two weeks in a row.  but... well, I do my worst with both LOCKS of the Week and College Picks.

Been that kind of year.  We'll try it again next time.