Friday, November 18, 2011

NFL Picks Week Eleven: I'm Actually Staying In New York This Weekend

I know that the past two weeks might have given you the indication that I'm just a traveling road show intent on trailing Eli Manning to whatever he chooses to go. I suppose, considering that the Giants are home this weekend, it doesn't really break that trend, but I assure you I'm done traveling. At least for the forseeable future. I'll prove it next week when the Giants go to New Orleans. In any event, I am back from San Francisco and while the Giants couldn't pull out a victory for me, I still had a good time, managed to knock two more teams off the list, saw several old friends and met some very interesting characters in the airport while waiting for my redeye.

They were, in order, the 45-year-old Giants super fan who traveled around the country to see them each weekend even though she lives in Florida. She was easily the most sane and easy-going of the bunch. Next was the 26-year-old from Florida, who was already drunk when she sat down, told us about her pseudo-ex-boyfriend and geriatric next door neighbor who brought her cookies at the most inconvenient times and who offered to give me xanax and aderall for the ride home. I declined. Finally, there was the girl who told us about how her ex-boyfriend once sent her a lifesize ice sculpture of Buddy Christ because he once accidentally called her "Jerry" during sex and then tried to cover it up by calling her "Jesus".

So yeah. Those are the fun people you meet when you're waiting for your redeye.

Also, there was a football game and a hockey game, which were a pretty good time, and at some point I'll have a more succinct and fully thought out writeup of those two events, but if I can give you any advice on attending either a San Jose Sharks or a San Francisco 49ers game in the future, it will be these items.

A) Go see the Sharks. San Jose was shut out 3-0 by Phoenix the night I was there which was a bit of a drag, but it was still a great atmosphere and the building is really tremendous for one that is almost 20 years old. Also, even the zambonis have fins.

B) If you ever plan on going to a 49ers game while they are still at the Stick, I suggest, urge, caution, warn, scream from the tree tops, etc, that you do not drive a car to the game. If there is a mass transit option available to you, and there are some, do not under any circumstances not use them. The reason for this is two-fold. The first is that you won't have to pay the $30 it takes to put your car in a vacant dirt-and-gravel lot. The second is that getting out of the Candlestick parking lot, given the stadium's location, takes about two hours, to say nothing of the pain in the ass that is parking their in the first place.

It's almost as if the city of San Francisco said in the late 1950s, "Let's find the most remote, worst possible location in our city for 80,000 people to shuttle in and out with ease, and let's put a football stadium there." And true to form, they did just that, putting the stadium on a relatively small parcel of land that juts out into the bay and basically has only one exit point. Getting out is just plain super.

Either way, however, once you're actually inside, the stadium is a pretty fun place to see football, the sightlines were surprisingly good considering the building's orientation as a multi-use facility that now has permanent temporary seating, and despite the relatively small number of food options, which is to say, nonexistent food options, the stadium serves one hell of a kielbasa.

So, really, Candlestick is a pretty good stadium once you're inside with a tremendous atmosphere if the 49ers happen to be competitive. According to my friend Evan, this was the first time the Bay Area fans had any reason to get excited about the red and gold in about 10 years. Looking at the records it's hard to assume otherwise and the fans were, in fact, excited. As a Giants fan, however, one of the New York variety, I just would have preferred that they all left a little less excited than they came in. Alas. Fortunately, it was still a good game, I made some progress on my life plan and, if nothing else, there was In-N-Out Burger at the end of the day before I caught my flight home.

Another exhausting, but productive weekend in the books.

As for this coming weekend, some of you will notice I was a little lazy on my submission of picks for this week, and that I didn't even include an early tweet with my guess for the Thursday night game. Sue me. I would have taken the Jets because I'm so thoroughly convinced that Tim Tebow is a non-NFL-level starting quarterback who cannot make NFL throws that every quarterback needs to make, but hey, we all make mistakes. Mine was not realizing that total flukes can happen twice. I refuse to live in a world where a quarterback who goes 2-for-8 in a game passing can really win consistently.

But I digress. Here's this week.

Last week: 3-13-0 (Good lord that was ugly)
Season: 63-76-7

NY Jets (???) over DENVER
NY GIANTS (-6) over Philadelphia
Jacksonville (-1) over CLEVELAND
DETROIT (-7) over Carolina
Tampa Bay (+15) over GREEN BAY
Buffalo (+1) over MIAMI
Oakland (-1) over MINNESOTA
WASHINGTON (+8) over Dallas
BALTIMORE (-7) over Cincinnati
ST. LOUIS (-3) over Seattle
SAN FRANCISCO (-10) over Arizona
ATLANTA (-7) over Tennessee
San Diego (+4) over CHICAGO
NEW ENGLAND (-15) over Kansas City

And there you have it. Happy football, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. i think 3-13 is the moment where you stop making nfl picks for others to see