Thursday, December 4, 2014

NFL Picks Week Fourteen: My first trip to Music City

So, I didn't write an update in this here blog last week. Was it because I couldn't bear the impending mediocrity that was Northwestern's masterpiece in egg-laying against Illinois on Saturday, which cost them a bowl game? Was it because I somehow knew the Giants would blow a 21-point lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team with a total of 13 wins in the past four seasons? Could it be because I anticipated Southampton's disheartening 3-nil loss to Manchester City and its rough 1-nil loss to Arsenal just a few days later? Was it because the Devils continue to struggle and the Knicks continue to be the Knicks?

No, I was just busy.

But there is no escaping the fact that for many reasons, it has been a busy week. Beyond the fact that all of my teams seem to be terrible at the moment, I've had my own bit of personal work to sift through, like this story on U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Sauer, and an obituary for late Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau. Then there's the added quirk that my complete childhood and everything I know to be true and just in this world was shattered on Tuesday afternoon.

It's been a tumultuous few days, which may or may not entirely explain why I never got around to telling you all what my picks were for last week's NFL games. I went 9-7-0 in case you were wondering, which I'm sure you weren't.

All in all, the whirlwind has left me somewhat exhausted and mentally spent, which means I could really use a vacation, and just as luck would have it, I'll be hopping on a plane to Tennessee tomorrow. My impending trip to Nashville, one of the few major American cultural hubs I've never been to, has me pretty excited, even if it involves watching the New York "Football" Giants play the Tennessee Titans in what has the look of a high-intensity battle for top-five draft position. Doesn't get any better than that.

On the plus side, the trip will also include the Blackhawks-Predators game on Saturday night with my friend Jill and my friend Lindsay, who somehow will be seeing a sporting event with me in the fourth different city, which, if I'm not mistaken, is the most of anyone this side of road-trip partner Kerny. Throw in some bars with live country-music, barbecue, a stetson and maybe a pilgrimage Saturday morning to one of my family's holiest of holy shrines, and you've got a fun-packed weekend jaunt that will last at least until kickoff at LP Field Sunday afternoon.

It should be a total blast. You know, until I come home Sunday night and remember that the most promising future for any team I follow appears at this point to belong to... the Mets?

Sweet lord, that cannot possibly be right, can it?

On second thought, maybe I'll spend the entire weekend at the Jack Daniels distillery to numb the pain. Wait, what? Ok, on third thought, maybe it's just time to take my licks.

Last week: 9-7-0
Season: 89-102-0

CHICAGO (+3.5) over Dallas
Pittsburgh (+3) over CINCINNATI
Indianapolis (-3.5) over CLEVELAND
DETROIT (-10) over Tampa Bay
NY Giants (even) over TENNESSEE
MIAMI (-3) over Baltimore
MINNESOTA (-6) over NY Jets
NEW ORLEANS (-10) over Carolina
St. Louis (-2.5) over WASHINGTON
Houston (-5) over JACKSONVILLE
DENVER (-10) over Buffalo
ARIZONA (-1) over Kansas City
San Francisco (-8) over OAKLAND
Seattle (+1) over PHILADELPHIA
New England (-3.5) over SAN DIEGO
GREEN BAY (-12.5) over Atlanta

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