Just a quick update on a subject I addressed in Thursday’s column, before I get to this week’s (brief) Picks Column.
On Thursday, I mentioned the situation with the Houston Astros’ assistant GM attacking a group of female journalists, as well as the aftermath. In my column, I stated that Brandon Taubman should be fired. Just a few hours after I posted my column, the Astros did, in fact, fire Taubman.
A couple of more things, while I’m talking about baseball.
I used to follow baseball, but I lost interest in it years ago. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly, I just find it painfully dull to watch.
Just yesterday, I went on youtube to look for a video, Ronan Farrow’s recent appearance on Stephen Colbert’s show. Before I watched it, I clicked on a “suggested video” which was a compilation of animals running onto the field at MLB games. There was one particularly long segment where a squirrel was running onto the field, then it would make its way towards the stands, only to run back onto the field. This went on for several minutes. Two things struck me about this segment. One was that every time the squirrel ran back onto the field, the crowd would erupt in cheers, as though they were starved for excitement. The second thing was that, when the squirrel finally departed, one of the sportscasters who were calling the game actually said, “Well, now what are we going to talk about?” That pretty much sums up baseball to me.
Coincidentally, in Colbert’s monologue, he mentioned gymnast Simone Biles’s amazing first pitch during the World Series, then made a joke about how awful it must have been for the fans in attendance to have seen something so amazing, only to then be subjected to baseball. The joke got a big laugh, so I guess it’s not such a big secret that baseball is as dull as dirt.
National pastime, indeed.
Anyway, here come the picks. I’ve kept things short this week, as I’m still on vacation.
As always, winners in Bold:
Seattle at Atlanta
Atlanta’s season is essentially over. Heads will roll.
Denver at Indianapolis
Indy’s for real. Denver needs to fire John Elway.
Tampa at Tennessee
Ryan Tannehill just might be the answer for Tennessee, and yes, it felt weird to type that.
Arizona at New Orleans
I’d rest Brees at least another week, but I don’t actually care about Brees, so Sean Payton can ignore me to his clogged heart’s content.
Cincinnati at LAR (at Wembley)
Go ahead, LA, gorge yourselves on chumps; you’re not going back to the big game with this offence.
Philadelphia at Buffalo
Buffalo’s defence has proven week after week that it’s among the best in the league. A clean, measured, consistent gameplan, executed by Josh Allen and co. will carry the day for Buffalo, and put Philly in pretty dire straits.
LAC at Chicago
Two teams that ought to be going somewhere, but which are going nowhere. The Bolts NEED to make a trade to get rid of Melvin Gordon ASAP; I’d take 30 cents on the dollar just to have him gone.
NYG at Detroit
New York kind of shat themselves last week; they’re a young team, and it’s a steep learning curve. I’d have Pat Shurmur on a short leash, but what do I know?
NYJ at Jacksonville
Gangrene’s (that’s not a misprint; gangrene is rotten, stinky, and diseased) pitiful performance against the Pats on Monday Night showed what a fluke their win against Dallas the week before was.
Carolina at San Francisco
Probably the most intriguing game of the week. San Fran is riding high, almost completely because of their defence, but I still don’t think they’ve been tested. I think that if Carolina’s defence can rattle Garoppolo, then their CMC-led offence can manufacture enough offence to squeak out a win.
Oakland at Houston
These are the kinds of games that Houston has to win.
Cleveland at New England
New England is kind of banged-up, so if Cleveland can get off to a fast start, who knows.
Green Bay at KC
NBC must have been salivating at the thought of Rodgers/Mahomes. Instead, they get Matt Moore (I think) against a pretty good Pack defence, and Aaron Rodgers against a really terrible KC defence that will be without Frank Clark. In other words, a blowout. Still not bad enough to watch baseball, though.
Miami at Pittsburgh
How exactly did Miami end up on Monday Night Football? Who do they expect will watch this?