Saturday, January 29, 2005

As was mentioned previously, I recently had a chance to spend some time in Jacksonville, FL (Motto: "How exactly did we get the superbowl, again?"). I could talk about the local insanity regarding preparations for the big game, but instead, i will offer up this tale of caution. Jacksonville is not what you think of when you think of a Florida city. It's not "Disney" Florida, it's not "Latin" Florida, it's not "Old People" Florida, it's not "Infinite Swamps" Florida, and it's not "Spring Break Daytona Beach WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Florida. It is simply "The South", just like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, etc., etc., etc. Considering most of the alternatives, this isn't enitrely a bad thing. However, if you're not careful, you can wind up being blindsided by something so "Southern" you'd swear you were deep in Mississippi, so keep your guard up.

Case in Point: Lisa and I were driving on a rural 2-lane highway through the endless pine forests that surround Jacksonville. A clearing opened up on the right. In it sat a small rectagular building, surrounded by an equally small parking lot. The building was some kind of church, but I didn't catch the name because I was too distracted by a bright banner hanging on the fence surrounding the lot. I'll let it speak for itself:

The World's Smallest Evangelist

My apologies for the poor camera work, Lisa thought we had more important things to do than wait and get something better than a drive-by shot.

After returning to the "North", of course I had to hop on the web and find out everything I could about Mr. Brindle. Unfortunately, it does not appear he has his own website, or much of a internet presence at all. In fact, the number one google hit for "Bobby Brindle" is this handsome fellow. Desperate to prove this wasn't a hoax, I continued my search, finally ending up on this article, which proves that the man does indeed exist. Plus it includes a few select quotes from Bobby himself, including this one, which seems to wrap things up quite nicely:

"My size is an asset to my ministry. What people need is uplifting. They need gettin' the sin out."

Words to live by, folks....

Sunday, January 23, 2005

I just recently completed a driving trip from Lisa's Jacksonville abode back up to Wisconsin, and I have many southern-fried stories to tell, but that'll come later this week - I've got a couple picks to do.

ATL at PHI. Ah yes, the consolation bracket. Despite all the ugliness that occurred in the NFC this year, I don't think anything reflects quite as poorly on the conference as this "title" matchup, featuring two teams that probably wouldn't make the playoffs in the AFC. ATL, I guess.

NE at PIT. I didn't see any of the Pats game last week, but, given the score, I assume Bill Belicheck must have sacrificed a goat to some Norse deity (possibly Thor) at midfield. This week, I've got to believe that Ben Roethlisburger will finally succeed in shooting his own foot, and the Pats will roll. NE.

And no matter what happens, I'm not planning on watching much of the terrible pregame pomp for the Superbowl this year. Kelly Clarkson and John Fogerty? I'm just glad I got out of Jacksonville while I still could.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

After a historic 0-4 last week (although you must admit my hand was forced), I've decided it's about time to concede defeat for the year. Plus, I don't feel much like talking about a league that not only a) Contains Randy "Look! I'm an ass!" Moss but b) Contains Red "Obviously Insane" McCombs, and, while I'm at it, c) Mike "75-lb Head" Tice.

And, just so I technically have a full year of picks on my plate: PHI, STL (Upset Special), NE, PIT.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

After yesterday, my hopes for the picks crown have been all but dashed, but I must admit that the joy of watching Matt Hasselbeck's reaction after the Seahawks' last fourth-down attempt greatly eased the blow.

DEN at IND. I depserately need to make up ground somehow, so I'll go against all logic and pick a Broncos team that somehow managed to make Jim Sorgi look like an NFL quarterback last week. DEN.

MIN at GB. Green Bay may be the only team in the playoffs that the Vikings have a chance to beat due to the bitter hatred between the two squads, but (guess what?) I'm still going to pick the Packers. GB.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It's NFL wild card weeked, A.K.A The Cavalcade of Teams That Won't Be Around In Two Weeks, so lets get on to business with the day 1 picks:

STL at SEA. There are a ton of reasons for to pick against the Seahawks here, with their back-stabbing coach, their historical ineptitutde against the Rams, and their general suckiness, but I'm haunted by visions of Mike Martz coming up with a truly spectacular way of losing the game in the last minute (think Jeff Wilkins .... think quarterback) SEA.

NYJ at SD: The Jets had a must-win game against the aformentioned Rams and inexplicably managed to lose, which does not exactly inspire my confidence. Also, some late breaking news: Curtis Martin is now, officially, dead. SD.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

At last, a season where the NFL picks crown is still up for grabs in the final week - and I'm not sure if postseason picks count because, quite frankly, I've always been able run away with the title by this point. Chris, I'm game for the postseason if you are....

SF at NE: . This week my picks will be be based on subtle variations to a constant, underlying theme: "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched". Quite Symphonic, really. And to prove I'm serious about this: SF.

CLE at HOU: ... and there will be much rejoicing across the world, as humanity will never again be forced to watch the 2004 Cleveland Browns. HOU.

GB at CHI: Mike Sherman says he hasn't decided if he'll play his starters or not, but the Packer Nation will likely kidnap his family if does anything to facilitate a season sweep by the Bears. GB

NO at CAR: Ok, New Orleans, you have the spotlight, time to make a fool of yourselves once again. CAR

PIT at BUF: I'm sticking to my guns, 1-5 teams do not make the playoffs and the Bills know it. Thus, with this burden removed from their shoulders, they will win. "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched", part two. BUF.

MIA at BAL: If you throw everything else Dave Wannsteadt has done out the window, the single act of trading for A.J. Feeley is still more than enough reason for his dismissal. I'm personally hoping the Bears will take him back, virtually guaranteeing another decade of ineptitude for that woeful franchise. BAL.

MIN at WAS: I couldn't call myself a Packers fan if I didn't forcast a colossal choke job here. Upset Special. WAS.

DET at TEN: I'm still haunted by my Detroit upset pick from a couple weeks ago, and I promise to never make that mistake again. TEN.

NYJ at STL: The Rams are due for a thumping when they are welcomed back into the world of playing teams who care. True Fact: Curtis Martin knows what happened before the the big bang, but he's keeping a "game face" about it. NYJ.

CIN at PHI: Way to pack in against the Rams last week, Andy. Good to practice for all that packing it in you'll be doing in two or three weeks. "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched", part three. CIN.

ATL at SEA: It sickens me that a team that would likely lose to most CFL teams is going to win their division. However, "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched", part four. SEA.

TB at AZ: If only Dennis Green could be convinced to stop using the "Names In A Hat" method of quarterback selection, the Cardinals could have won this game. At a minimum, Denny should be picking quarterbacks on some quality that is percepible to people other than him, such as height or hair color. TB.

KC at SD: The Chargers may have lost last week (as I predictied), but they still proved their legitimacy (not that I neeeded to be convinced). However, "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched", part five. KC.

JAX at OAK: I've bent over backwards for the Jags this year, and how do they repay me? By beating the Packers, injuring my beloved Robert "Turd" Ferguson, and then managing to pull the greatest non-Minnesota choke job of the year. Thanks for nothing. JAX.

IND at DEN: The Broncos are the only team in this matchup that doesn't have a robot for a quarterback, but they are also the only team that has something to play for. "Don't Pick Teams That Have Already Clinched", part six. DEN.

DAL at NYG: A wonderful place to use my new "Once-Great Rivalry That's Now Just Kinda Depressing" tag, for the last time this year. DAL.