Monday, January 30, 2012

You Have To Forgive Me

"I'm going to win this conversation, look who's got the microphone..."  -Blue October-  (The Getting Over It Part)

Good morning everyone.  Just a little lyric from by favorite band to start out my Monday ramble with.  A Monday ramble on a MONDAY - what a novel idea...  As I type this entry, the blog is sitting on 3,498 views, so thank you for putting 'Bikini Hill' over 3,500 views.  You will have to forgive me if I ever ramble about the same annoyance in this forum more than once.  I am finding that there are topics that I have thought about harping on that I may not use, and then I don't remember if I have ranted about them before or not.  I'm sure that I haven't rambled about this topic before.  I was just skimming through a Yahoo! News article that gives instructions on how you can see when someone 'unfriends' you on facebook.  I happen to be a person who always gives other people a chance, but with that being said, if you don't want to be my friend, then don't be my friend...  :)  I rarely 'unfriend' people from my account, and if someone does so to me, then so be it...  There is this one girl who just stopped talking to me over three years ago, and to this day has never told me why she did so, but she did not let that stop her from talking about me behind my back and treating me like garbage, so I 'unfriended' her, but it's not like a random act that I routinely perform.  If someone doesn't tell me that they're going to delete me from their account before doing so, then why worry about it?  A Yahoo! article about facebook that I did find more interesting this week was the one summarizing a study about college students.  They found that college students with facebook accounts reported being unhappy that their lives weren't as good as the lives of their friends, based on the photos that they saw posted on the facebook accounts of others.  This sounds very similar to something that I mentioned in a ramble here a while back, when I stated that my least favorite thing about facebook was that I wasn't getting to do all of the things that I saw posted on the pages of my friends...  :)  They were showing the movie '2012' on cable again this weekend, and it still seems like it was given that title because the movie takes almost AN ACTUAL YEAR to watch...  One of my friends who now lives in California was complaining because she has to gear up for an exam to get a California driver's license.  She made a good point in her rant - when you move from one state to another, WHY is it necessary to retest for your license?  Your license is good if you drive from one state to another, right?  If you decide to move, I understand them making you get the license in their state's name, but why retest you?  A PERFECT EXAMPLE of red tape and wasted time and money...  At work this week I heard an interesting conversation about milk.  Well, not milk specifically, but more of a little rant about the pitfalls of living with roommates.  A recent college graduate who I work with was describing her experience of living with three roommates, ones who weren't particularly as concerned about waste as my friend was.  I smiled as my friend described how her roommates would eat a bowl of cereal, get down to the bottom of the bowl with just a little bit of cereal remaining, and would then pour almost another full bowl's worth of milk onto the cereal, this without adding any more cereal of course...  While I found it funny what gets on other people's nerves after they've lived together for a while, my friend said that she solved the problem when she started buying soy milk, which none of the other roommates liked...  :)  "I'll tell you what's not funny is driving without insurance" is the opening of a commercial for in which a stand-up comedian is relaying the insurance information as part of his 'act'.  What's not funny is the commercial...  Have you ever felt bad about looking at a girl because she is so beautiful that you think she's going to say something because you're just looking at her?  Yes, I went back to my bank this morning, and this is a different teller than I wrote about here previously...  :)  As a matter of fact, it seems like the bank has different tellers EVERY TIME that I go - maybe my bank is a training ground for tellers, I'm not sure...  Anyway, this teller was so attractive that I just started randomly looking around the bank while she handled my transaction because I didn't want her thinking badly of me...  Again, the things that amuse me..  :)  If you are a poker player, I found a free app for your phone last week.  It's called Bravo Poker Live, and for the poker rooms and casinos that are participating, it gives you information about their poker rooms, including how many miles they are from you, address, telephone number, room information, and the number of live games that they are running at the VERY MOMENT you are viewing the app - very nice...  :)  That's all I've got for today - have a good one and I'll see you again on Wednesday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

That's Why They're Called Opinions

Oh my loyal followers, I don't know what to say...  That was actually my problem earlier this week after working 11 days straight, but missing both a Monday AND a Wednesday post???  I hope that you found something else to fill the void if your life while I was on my little hiatus...  :)  Today I will give you my recap on last weekend's football picks, and then this entry will spiral into a ramble, which will be followed up by a Monday ramble.  I was pretty darn close to NAILING last weekend's football games, and if the Ravens didn't just kill themselves late in the AFC Championship Game, I would have picked both underdog winners OUTRIGHT.  As it was I went 3-1 for the week, bringing my record to 9-11 in the NFL postseason.  Sit down and get ready to be impressed...  :P  The Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 (I predicted that the score would be Ravens 24-20 and that the game would stay under 50 1/2).  If Lee Evans doesn't drop what should have been a touchdown pass (very nice play by the Patriots defender on the play), the Ravens probably win 27-23.  I still went 2-0 on my picks, with the Ravens (+7) and the game staying under, but I would have picked both upset winners last weekend if Baltimore had won.  Even had the Ravens Billy Cundiff made what was obviously not a gimme field goal in hindsight after Evans' drop, they still had a chance to win the game outright in overtime (this would have put my under in jeopardy, so it was very thoughtful of them to pass on the trip to the Super Bowl just for me).  The Giants beat the 49ers 20-17 (I predicted that the score would be Giants 23-21 and that the game would go over 42).  That's pretty darn close...  :)  My over prediction wasn't so close since it was dead when the game went to overtime, but I was right in the ballpark on both conference championship games, two very entertaining ballgames thankfully.  I do not have that much hope for this weekend's Pro Bowl, and you will not be getting a prediction from me on that, other than that I predict that I will not be watching the game if there is ANYTHING better on t.v., and that is if I happen to be home.  A game where they don't play defense and don't have any representatives from either of the teams appearing in the Super Bowl - I'll pass...  I will be back with a prediction for the Super Bowl next Friday.  Let me continue on with a ramble right now since I jilted you on Monday and Wednesday.  The title of today's entry comes from a friend's quote at work last night about some inane conversation that we were having before we got SLAMMED - very busy night at work in San Marcos, America...  I told him that it would be a good title for a blog entry.  I had some customers who moved one of our tables UNDER A STAIRWELL, and I told them that it couldn't be there because it was a pathway (we were already PACKED at this point).  I was given the query "a pathway" with a blank stare, while another person in the party said that the table was already there.  "No, it wasn't" was my efficient response as I relocated the table...  They were nice enough about moving after that, unlike the person that I happened upon in line at the grocery store the other night...  :)  Don't get me wrong, there is no law that says that you HAVE TO BE KIND when you have a full cart of items at the grocery store at 2:00 in the morning when only one register is open and someone comes up right behind you with only FIVE items...  :P  Yes, I had the five items, and the girl saw me, and turned right back toward the front of the store.  I'm sure that my expression while we waited for the person ahead of her to check out must have been priceless, because when her boyfriend (I'm guessing) came into the store and stood in line with her, she said something to him and he looked straight at me, a look which I was more than happy to return...  I'm not really a confrontational person per se, but don't mess with me...  :)  Anyway, another 3 or 4 people got in line behind us, and then they found someone to open another register, which resulted in that cashier checking out people that were in line behind me BEFORE ME, because that makes perfect sense...  "Morons, your bus is leaving..."  Easily the line from the movie 'Groundhog Day' that I repeat most often in real life...  What's funny (and predictable) is that after I moved to the other line, behind the other people who had been behind me, I was STILL checked out before the couple that had been in front of me - SCORE!!!  I also posted to facebook earlier in the week that people who do not know what they want to order should not be allowed to enter a drive-thru ahead of those who do.  I was watching the driver's head on a swivel as he quizzed the car's passengers as to what they'd like to order, this being the car that was two ahead of me in line - GRRRR...  For those of you familiar with the river that runs below 'Bikini Hill' in San Marcos, America, that low river had almost risen above its concrete banks when I drove home in the thunderstorm a few nights ago, and I later heard that it did eventually rise above those barriers.  We had A LOT of rain in about 12 hours in central Texas a few nights back...  I just saw a mini-interview with actress Glenn Close a few hours back - she is evidently up for an Oscar.  She still looks like she would boil your bunny rabbit if she got angry with you...  :)  'Fatal Attraction' if you want to watch a TRULY scary movie...  I just saw a Yahoo! headline stating '16 Grams of Cocaine Seized at U.N.' - outstanding...  Also from Yahoo!, in Oklahoma a 9th grade student was suspended for using his cellphone to take a picture of a substitute teacher who was sleeping...  There's no word on what punishment, if any, the substitute teacher got...  :)  I think that's all that I can do for you today.  Have a great weekend and I will see you again on Monday (maybe)...  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

NFL Championship Game Round 2012

Good afternoon everyone.  I am now 6-10 overall on my playoff picks after going 3-5 again last week.  I was once again 2-2 against the spread and 1-3 on the overs/unders.  For the second week in a row, I was also 3-1 picking the winner straight up (notice any patterns here?).  What pleased me about last week's predictions was that I had the 'texture' of most of the games right - well, at least until the NFC games went haywire late...  :)  I thought that the Saints and 49ers would be one of the week's best games, and indeed it was.  Sadly for me, I had to leave for work with 2:20 to go in the game, thus missing the final 3 touchdowns - go figure...  In the Saturday night game, I predicted  Patriots 37  Broncos 17 (actual score - Pats 45  Broncos 10 - not bad)...  In Sunday's early game, I predicted  Ravens 27  Texans  17 (actual score - Ravens 20  Texans 13 - again, not bad)...  Foster had a little better day than I thought he'd have, and the Ravens dropped a few more interceptions than I thought they'd drop, or I would have covered here and made the over...  And who else do you know that picked the Giants outright and said that the Packers would be in trouble if they played in bad weather and couldn't throw?  ;)  Again, I went 3-5, but most of the losses were close, and I had a good feel for the games.  Now let's look at the championship games...

Baltimore (12-4) @ New England (13-3):     Patriots (-7)     Over/Under  50 1/2

This should be such a great matchup.  These two teams did not meet in the regular season.  New England has been putting up monster points this year, but their schedule wasn't difficult.  When they faced the Steelers and the Giants, they lost.  Baltimore has a great defense, tended to play down to bad teams, and looked very mediocre last week.  Makes this a fun game to call...  :P  It's going to be cold up there (for what it's worth).  I'm having a hard time with the winner and the over/under, but something in my gut tells me...

My Prediction:     Baltimore  24  New England  20   -----   Baltimore (+7)     Under  50 1/2

New York Giants (9-7) @ San Francisco (13-3):     49ers (-2 1/2)     Over/Under  42

San Francisco won this game 27-20 on November 13th.  Another very difficult game to call.  If you asked anyone a year ago, Alex Smith would be a very unlikely championship game round quarterback.  The Alex Smith from college, much more potent.  Eli Manning looks like he did a few years back when the Giants derailed the Patriots.  Both of these defenses are very capable.  The Giants running game is clicking now.  The 49ers are at home.  Two great coaches.  Outstanding game and another toss-up.  I have to go with the experienced team in this one...

My Prediction:     New York Giants  23  San Francisco  21   -----   New York (+ 2 1/2)     Over  42

Enjoy your games on Sunday - they should be two great ones to watch!  Have a great weekend and I will see you again on Monday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cancel The Search Party

Good afternoon everyone.  I apologize for missing my regularly scheduled ramble on Monday.  I worked my 5th night in a row on Sunday night, and then I returned about 6 hours later and worked for almost another 6 hours on Monday, which had me on my feet for about 15 out of 21 hours.  Spread the word that you can cancel the search party, and thank you for your effort in finding me...  The result of all this is going to be a Wednesday ramble...  For starters, I am looking forward to doing my Friday football predictions entry.  I didn't get all of my picks right last week, but I had the 'texture' of most of the games dead on.  How many other 'columnists' that you know picked the Giants to beat the Packers outright?  Stunner - Pfffttt...  San Marcos, America has come back to life after the return of the college students for the start of classes yesterday.  A trip to the bank that should have taken me 15 minutes took about half an hour a while ago.  On the plus side, my bank does have a machine available where you can scoop out a free bag of salt with some popcorn sprinkled in...  And to think that I used to eat BAG AFTER BAG of sunflower seeds when I was coaching...  I did my wash a few nights ago and noticed a cat that was watching me from the window of a neighbor's apartment.  My immediate thought was that it must be nice, to just sit there and people watch, but then it occurred to me, "WHAT ELSE should a cat be doing?"  It's not like the cat has clothes to wash, or some facebooking to catch up on, or a blog to write...  I swear that I could amuse myself for hours each day just by following the news.  I just read about 30 minutes ago where the captain of the cruise ship that capsized near Italy has said that he 'tripped' into the lifeboat.  Of course the issue here is that the captain is supposed to remain on the ship until all of the passengers are safe and accounted for.  Yesterday I read a Los Angeles Times headline online that stated that a severed head that was found in a park might be the victim of a slaying.  You think???  Is anyone else already sweating the fact that there are only a few more weeks of football left, and then we'll be waiting until the start of September?  Once the season does end I'll start paying more attention to college basketball so that I can make some bracket predictions for you. In case I haven't already stated this for the record here in the blog, I am a North Carolina Tar Heels basketball fan, dating back to before the days that Michael Jordan played for them when I was in high school.  With that being said, I was unfortunate enough to watch most of the second half of last weekend's game at Florida State when the third-ranked Heels just got DRUMMED by the Seminoles.  I don't know how I'll top my prediction from last season that none of the number one seeds would reach the Final Four, but we'll see soon enough.  Two more weeks until February - the time DOES fly by...  This is on Fox News right now - "is boosting kids' self-esteem making them weak?"  Chalk one up for the oxymorons...  :)  I went to my therapist a few days back - she gave me half a glass of water and asked me if I was an optimist or a pessimist.  I drank the water and told her that I am a problem solver...  That comes to you from my friend Ann via facebook.  The blog has now been viewed over 3,300 times in case you were wondering - it would probably be doing better if I wasn't skipping random Mondays, but thanks again for your support...  :)  I have to admit that I am finding it amusing that John Elway is now on board with the Tim Tebow plan after he was ready to throw him under the bus a few months back...  I heard earlier in the week that CBS talked to Tebow's "people" about having him in the studio for this weekend's AFC Championship Game, but I never heard the outcome of those talks.  In case you were wondering, I am watching ESPN again after my week-long hiatus.  It is safe now that they aren't showing the Broncos/Steelers highlights anymore...  That's all I've got for now my friends, but I will be back with my NFL Championship Game predictions on Friday, and I will do my very best to have a ramble for you next Monday...  Have a great day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Divisional Round Weekend 2012

Good afternoon everyone.  Well, I was 3-1 on my picks straight up last weekend, and that's where the "good news" ends.  The loss was my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers getting knocked out of the playoffs, and I went 3-5 on my picks against the spread and on the overs/unders (2-2 against the spread, 1-3 on the overs/unders).  There were last weekend's final scores in case you want to go back and compare them to my predictions:  Houston 31  Cincinnati 10 - New Orleans 45  Detroit 28 - New York Giants 24  Atlanta 2 - Denver 29 Pittsburgh 23 (OT).  Now we'll take a look at this weekend's games.  If I'm right, which is questionable at this point, the NFC games this weekend will be a lot more interesting than the AFC games.

New Orleans (13-3) @ San Francisco (13-3):     Saints (-4)     Over/Under  47

It's funny that the matchup of the 13-3 teams is put into the worst television slot of the weekend.  These two teams did not meet during the regular season.  The Saints have an absolutely lethal offense.  Jim Harbaugh led a team that I thought would win the NFC West last season to the 2nd seed in the NFC this year - great player and a great coach.  The 49ers defense has been great, but the Saints have so many weapons.  San Francisco will have to eat the clock with their running game to stay in this one, because they are not winning a track meet against New Orleans.  Offense or defense?

My Prediction:     New Orleans  24  San Francisco  17 -----  New Orleans (-4)     Under  47

Denver (8-8) @ New England (13-3):     Patriots (-13 1/2)     Over/Under  50 1/2

The Patriots won this game 41-23 in Denver on December 18th.  The Broncos did very well at home last weekend, but Tom Brady does not have a high-ankle sprain, and the Patriots are not missing five of their starters.  Denver is also going to have to play this game in an opponent's frenzied stadium.  There is no question in my mind that the Broncos will be able to score some points in this game, but can they keep up with New England?

My Prediction:     New England  37  Denver  17 -----  New England (-13 1/2)     Over  50 1/2

Houston (10-6) @ Baltimore (12-4):     Ravens (-7 1/2)     Over/Under  35 1/2

The Ravens won this game 29-14 in Baltimore on October 16th.  The Texans were one of the teams that made me look good this season, as I predicted that they would make the first ever playoff appearance by winning the AFC South before Peyton Manning's playing status was known.  Houston definitely needed a little help after suffering a slew of injuries to their own squad.  The Ravens have tended to get up for the tough teams this season while playing down to the level of the weaker teams.  I believe that Arian Foster will have to have a huge game for the Texans to win on Sunday, because I cannot imagine T. J. Yates lighting up the Baltimore defense.  One of Joe Flacco's poor performances would come in handy for Houston also in what promises to be a hostile environment in Maryland.  Does the clock strike midnight for the Texans?

My Prediction:     Baltimore  27  Houston  17 ----- Baltimore (-7 1/2)     Over  35 1/2

New York Giants (9-7) @ Green Bay (15-1):     Packers (- 7 1/2)     Over/Under  53 1/2

The Packers won this game 38-35 on the final drive of the game in Green Bay on December 4th.  That is probably the reason why a game matching a 9-7 team against a 15-1 squad is the final game of the weekend and not the first game on Saturday.  When I stated earlier in the year that I did not believe that the Packers would go unbeaten, I said that bad weather could hurt their offense because they don't have a dominant running game.  It is going to be cold in Wisconsin on Sunday.  The Giants were dominant in beating the Falcons last weekend, and they have Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs performing well at the same time.  I think that this game is in the right slot for television, because it should be one very interesting game.  Do the Packers take one step closer to defending their title, or do the Giants have flashbacks to the 2007-2008 season?

My Prediction:     New York  20  Green Bay  17 -----  New York (+ 7 1/2)     Under  53 1/2

And there you go.  Have a great football weekend and we'll see you again on Monday.




Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mediocre Bowl Predictions

Good afternoon everyone.  As I sit here preparing to recap my completely mediocre bowl predictions, let me quickly mention one more thing while we're on the topic of mediocrity.  That Denver Broncos 80-yard game-winning touchdown at the start of overtime against the Steelers... shouldn't have counted.  I just saw a photo that clearly shows that the Broncos weren't even close to having seven players on the line of scrimmage - OUTSTANDING...  Also, let me take one last shot at this ridiculous BCS System (for this season anyway).  What are the odds that any college football season would have exactly two undefeated teams from major conferences, thus reducing the chance for disenchantment?  (Although even this scenario would not be better than having a playoff system).  A system doomed for chaos from the outset...  Speaking of doomed and chaos, I could not have had a more average record on my bowl predictions this season if I tried.  :)  52-53 overall boys and girls.  I was 19-16 picking the games straight-up, 18-17 picking them against the spread, and 15-20 on the overs/unders.  Let's take a brief look at some of this mess before I toss some sheets of notebook paper into the trash can...  Temple beating Wyoming by 22 absolutely surprised me - congratulations on a nice season Owls.  Utah State and San Diego State losing in the final minute of their games got me off to a bad start picking games straight-up in what turned out to be a very competitive bowl season.  I picked Marshall to win by 10, which they did - yeah me!  :)  I predicted TCU 35-24 over Louisiana Tech, and they actually won 31-24... nice.  I predicted that Boise State would defeat Arizona State, but didn't give the Broncos near enough credit as to how ugly that "game" would be...  Southern Mississippi and Missouri were the first 2 games in which I won all 3 of my picks (North Carolina State and Baylor also helped me to do this).  Speaking of Baylor, was the Alamo Bowl not GREAT?!  :)  Winning teams that contributed to me losing all three of my picks for a bowl game were Ohio, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan State, West Virginia, and Northern Illinois.  I picked Purdue by 4 (they won by 5), I picked N.C. State by 6 (they won by 7), I picked Florida State by 4 (they won by 4), I picked Baylor by 10 (they won by 11), I picked BYU by 4 (they won by 3), I picked Oklahoma 31-21 (they won 31-14), I picked Texas A&M by 14 (they won by 11), I picked Utah by 6 (they won be 3), and that was my 'good stretch' during the middle of the bowl schedule...  ;)  Houston beating Penn State by 16 completely shocked me (Houston's loss to Southern Mississippi was the Cougars only game that I watched this season, and they must have just had a bad day).  South Carolina beating Nebraska by 17 without Lattimore also completely surprised me, especially since I had the Cornhuskers winning by 13... OOPS!  Wisconsin scored with and played Oregon closer than I thought they would, and Stanford also game Oklahoma State a much better game than I thought we'd see.  The national championship game - WOW...  Maybe the single-most boring football game that I've ever watched (I was working when they played each other during the regular season).  In the recent past, the University of Texas had been criticized for having an offense that wasn't creative...  What was LSU doing?  Congratulations Alabama - the system is what the system is, and you got a spot in the title game and took advantage of it.  I hope that all of you have a great day and I'll see you on Friday with this weekend's playoff predictions.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nine In The Box

Good afternoon everyone.  Sorry about the late post today - after watching that horrible, horrible game yesterday, I stayed up a little late hanging out with some cool friends who were kind enough not to repeatedly bring up 'Denver 29  Pittsburgh 23'...  That the Broncos were able to knock my banged-up Steelers out of the playoffs didn't surprise me.  The way that the game played out, with the amount of offense, with the suddenly shocking overtime finish, that surprised me...  I can proudly say that I was right there with my Steelers the whole way, not giving up when the score was 20-6, but instead talking to and yelling at my friend's t.v. right to the finish.  An unfortunate result of the outcome is that with the exception of tonight's national championship game, I will not be able to stomach watching ESPN for about a week (this was true after last year's Super Bowl also, and is generally true anytime after one of my favorite teams is knocked out of the playoffs).  I have to admit that I was surprised by how many calls the officials missed in yesterday's game - one of my friends keeps telling me that there were a lot of bad calls in the Lions/Saints playoff game also, but I watched that game  sporadically while at work, and really did not see much of it.  If the Steelers would have won yesterday, the Broncos would have been justified in pointing to the blown call on our obvious backward pass yesterday when we were inside our own 20-yard line, a play which the officials blew dead and was hence not reviewable.  I know that we were playing with an injured Roethlisberger, no Pouncey, no Mendenhall, no Clark, no Kiesel, and no Hampton, but it's never fun when the season ends...  I am curious to know whether a road team has ever come from 14 points down in a playoff game to tie the game or win it, but again, I'm not watching any ESPN this week, so.....  Putting nine players in the box probably wasn't the best move on the opening play of overtime, but the host of the little football party that I was watching the game with had previously pointed out that the Broncos had run the football EVERY TIME on first down throughout the course of the game...  Okay, time to ramble about other things...  Wednesday's post will be a recap of my bowl predictions for this season.  Regardless of how tonight's game turns out, I am going to be pretty much .500 straight across the board - picking the games straight up, against the spread, and on the overs/unders.  I am not a rabid LSU or Bama fan, but thinking that LSU has a better team (the reason that I picked them), and not being a fan of Nick Saban (he just seems dishonest and two-faced to me, going back to when he said that he wouldn't be leaving the NFL for the Alabama job), I will be rooting for the Tigers to win tonight.  A friend of mine who I work with gave me some props on the blog, remembering how I had said that Tyrann Mathieu should be part of the Heisman conversation, which was followed by his inclusion as a finalist for the trophy and a trip to New York for the ceremony (the two things are totally unrelated, I assure you)...  :)  My friends and I watched parts of the made-for-t.v. series 'The Firm' last night when we were hanging out, and I mentioned that the movie would have obviously been a lot less interesting without the action scenes...  As I sit here and type, 'The Big Bang Theory' just came on, and I have one question:  Why did no one ever tell me about this show???  I've been watching the show in reruns for just over a month now, but I can tell you why the program is so popular.  First, it's funny - you just have to laugh at the guys, who are often laughing at each other and themselves...  Second, Kaley Cuoco.  When you start watching the show, she's cute.  But after you get into the show and start following it, she becomes extremely attractive because she actually interacts with and befriends these 'nerdy guys' that she has for neighbors as opposed to acting like a total stuck-up princess primadonna.  This might just be my opinion, but I see that she is going to be hosting one of the upcoming television award shows.  That probably gives you a little bit of insight about me - I don't tend to hang out with people whose sole mission is to treat the rest of the planet like trash...  I added 'College Gameday' on my facebook, and today they asked the question, "If Alabama wins tonight, which would you vote for - LSU or a split national champion?"  My answer of course - "a playoff system"...  ;)  I'm going to let you go for now so that I can get ready for this game which begins in about 45 minutes.  Enjoy the game and I'll see ya again on Wednesday.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Wild Card Weekend 2012

Good afternoon everyone.  It's playoff time once again in the NFL and the bowl season is almost over - thank goodness!  I am now 48-45 overall on my bowl picks (can you say 'Average'?).  I am now 18-13 picking the games straight up, 17-14 picking them against the spread, and 13-18 on picking the overs and unders...  I have decided that next Wednesday I will be doing a bowl recap entry where I will be going back and reviewing my bowl predictions against the actual scores - it ought to be a lot of fun..., for you...  :)  As last Sunday's NFL schedule played out, it became obvious that I should have been predicting scores for the games all along, as I went a SHOCKING 7-3 on my selections.  I finished the regular season with a 32-37-1 record on my NFL picks against the spread and taking overs and unders.  Cincinnati and Denver, two teams that I had winning last week, both managed to lose and both still made the playoffs - go figure...  Now it's time to hope that I don't start 0-8 as I make my picks on what look like 4 tricky playoff games this weekend.

Cincinnati (9-7) @ Houston (10-6):     Texans (- 3 1/2)     Over/Under  38 1/2

To lead off the weekend, we have the Texans, who are playing in their first-ever playoff game.  It almost seems as if you can feel Houston's heartbeat in San Marcos, America as Texans' fans get ready for this game.  The Texans beat the Bengals 20-19 in Cincinnati on December 11th.  This was the last time that Houston won a game.  In the Super Bowl era, this is the first time that two rookie quarterbacks have met in a playoff game (thanks ESPN).  The Bengals have played admirably this year with Andy Dalton, although they haven't been able to beat teams with winning records.  The Texans have had ALL KINDS of injuries.  Reliant Stadium should be ELECTRIC for this one.  Which rookie quarterback wins?

My Prediction:     Houston  27  Cincinnati  20  -----  Houston (- 3 1/2)     Over  38 1/2

Detroit (10-6) @ New Orleans (13-3):     Saints (- 10 1/2)     Over/Under  59 1/2

In Saturday's nightcap we have the resurgent Detroit Lions visiting the 13-win Saints, the squad sporting the best regular-season record of the 8 teams who are playing this weekend.  The Saints won the earlier meeting between these two teams 31-17 on December 4th.  Matthew Stafford managed to stay healthy for a whole season and Drew Brees managed to break the record for passing yards in a single season.  Both teams are 'dome teams', so that shouldn't be a big factor.  The Lions have the weaker running game without Jahvid Best, but they also have the more dangerous defense.  Upstart quarterback or experienced veteran?

My Prediction:     New Orleans  31  Detroit  27  -----  Detroit (+ 10 1/2)     Under  59 1/2

Atlanta (10-6) @ New York Giants (9-7):     Giants (- 3)     Over/Under  47 1/2

Extremely close matchup on paper.  The Falcons won one more game than the Giants, but have to travel and will have who-knows-what kind of weather awaiting them.  The Giants are looking as formidable as they have all year with their running-back tandem back in place.  This should be the first of two hard-hitting games in store for us on Sunday.  Don't expect to see these quarterbacks camped-out in the pocket during this game.  Who do you like in crunchtime?

My Prediction:     New York  27  Atlanta  23  -----  New York (-3)     Over  47 1/2

Pittsburgh (12-4) @ Denver (8-8):     Steelers (- 8 1/2)     Over/Under  34

This is the second Sunday matchup where the better record visits the worse record.  The Steelers visit Tebow-Mania with an injured squad but a still very-loaded defense.  The Broncos have trouble scoring on anyone.  What makes this tricky is that Pittsburgh has not been blowing-out a lot of teams this year and Roethlisberger is still hobbled.  Two punishing defenses and a hysterical crowd in Colorado.  Tebow's magic or the Steel-Curtain?

My Prediction:     Pittsburgh  20  Denver  10  -----  Pittsburgh (- 8 1/2)     Under 34

There you have it.  This should be a really interesting group of games for an opening weekend.  I hope that you have an outstanding weekend and that the games are as competitive as I expect them to be (although I wouldn't be hurt if the Steelers cruised to victory)...  ;)  See ya on Monday!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Good morning everyone.  If I had my choice of content today, I would currently be typing my Wild Card Weekend playoff predictions in this spot - I know that it is my blog and that I can pretty much do whatever I want here, but I have been releasing my picks on Fridays, and it doesn't make sense to do them too early.  Between now and Friday things could change - players could get injured in practice, or other unexpected things of that nature could happen.  I could almost equate this to the race for the Republican presidential nomination.  Earlier this morning Michele Bachmann dropped out of the race.  It wasn't too long ago that Herman Cain withdrew his name from consideration.  It almost makes me glad that I haven't been following the pregame too closely to this point.  The Iowa Caucus took place yesterday, so now it's time to really start paying attention to what is happening regarding that nomination.  Since I am not going to be making my football picks until Friday, and there is really no other single topic that I feel motivated to write about today, I will spend a little time discussing my own pregame, as it relates to 2012.  In a recent post I stated that my resolution for the new year is to trust my reads, and that still holds true.  Look at a situation, make a decision, go with it, and have no regrets - 'trust my reads'.  One of the decisions waiting to be made for a while here is when and if I will move back to Las Vegas.  If you haven't figured it out by now, that is one of the reasons that I have been making the sports predictions here.  This blog provides me with a permanent record of my performance predicting the outcome of sporting events.  If I were to forecast the outcome of 100 football games, and my record was 1-99, there obviously wouldn't be much of a reason for leaving San Marcos, America.  I also like the social aspect of Las Vegas - people, people, everywhere...  The biggest roadblock to making the move back to the valley right now is the economy.  A few days ago I spoke with someone who lives just outside of Las Vegas, and when I casually brought up the subject of the economy, he rolled his eyes and said, "yeah, it's bad."  Moving back to the desert without a job or a sufficient bankroll would not be the wisest move to make.  Getting into the shape that I want to be in is another area where I am in a personal 'pregame'.  I have lost weight before, so the ability to achieve this goal is without question in my mind.  Getting into the right mindset to accomplish this is where I am at right now.  As you may know, losing weight requires a combination of changing your eating habits and exercising more - it basically boils down to self-discipline.  For me personally, pasta and bread are inevitably the habits that have to be changed...  :)  It's funny today, because one drawback of being out of shape is that I am more inclined to just stay around my apartment.  The DOMINANCE of absolutely boring television programming right now is making me want to get out and do something...  San Marcos, America is in its own state of pregame at the moment, being the college town that it is.  The dorms will reopen for the Spring Semester in about a week, with the first day of classes taking place in about two weeks.  San Marcos, America is just a completely different place with the population infusion that occurs when school is in session.  If you ask any longtime local resident, this surge of humanity that occurs takes its own sort of mental preparation to get used to.  Of course this little blog is in a CONSTANT state of pregame if you have been following along.  In the near future you will be seeing a slew of NFL playoff predictions, NCAA basketball tournament predictions, Major League Baseball regular season predictions, NBA playoff predictions, etc...  I will also be skimming the headlines and watching the news in search of interesting topics to write about for the blog.  If you didn't read my entry on Monday, I am now going to be making entries here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in 2012.  This will give me a few extra hours each week for 'marketing' the blog, and I will still sometimes make the random Tuesday or Thursday entry here for special projects.  I hope that all of your plans for 2012 are successfully coming together, and I will see you here on Friday for the first round of this season's NFL playoff predictions.  Have a good one!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just As I Always Suspected

Good evening and Happy New Year everyone!  I'll type out tonight's ramble for you after I let you know about a programming change.  I am going to start doing my blog entries for you three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I am scaling it back one day each week so that I will have more time for "marketing".  There are several ways that I attract new readers to 'Bikini Hill', and I am finding that a couple of extra hours each week will come in handy.  There will still be some weeks when I do some sort of project for the blog (like the comprehensive NBA regular season predictions, or the bowl game predictions) that I will be making four entries here.  Please feel free to tell your friends about the blog and thank you again for your support - today 'Bikini Hill' just went over 2,800 views.  A big surge in the blog's following was experienced here last week when I found another place to pull readers from - well, that is until I was banned from that website.  I am not going to name the website, but it rhymes with  :)  I SWEAR that I read their community guidelines before I started answering sports questions with links to our friendly blog, but for some reason they banned me... ME?!  Anyway, I seem to be rambling, so let's continue...  The injury onslaught that I have predicted for the NBA this season has begun, and unfortunately my favorite player in the league is one of the casualties...  The San Antonio Spurs facebook page is reporting that Manu Ginobili has suffered a fractured fifth metacarpal in his left hand.  He will be examined tomorrow in San Antonio, and at this point there is no timeline for his return to the team...  Last night I figured out that 20% of women are cool - I was watching football at Harper's on the Square in beautiful downtown San Marcos, America, when the Dallas Cowboys made a big play against the New York Giants, which was predictably followed by a HUGE ROAR from the fans watching the game.  Five young ladies were walking by Harper's, and upon hearing the roar, the fifth in the group stopped, leaned in toward the window, and basically memorized the happenings at that point in the game from the nearest flatscreen t.v. 20% gentlemen...  Just kidding Miletus and any other non-sports watching female blog followers...  ;)  Yesterday Matt Flynn led the Green Bay Packers to a win over the Detroit Lions, throwing for 480 yards and 6 touchdowns in the process...  Aaron Rodgers is nothing but a 'system quarterback', just as I always suspected...  ;)  So late yesterday morning I'm looking down at some of my recently pitiful college bowl game predictions when this NFL commercial appropriately starts playing on the t.v. that is sitting beside my computer - "...Cause you had a bad day, You're taking one down, You sing a sad song just to turn it around..."  Thank you Daniel Powter for providing the NFL with a background song for the commercial that they chose to play ALL DAY LONG yesterday...  :)  Based on my recent performance I should probably stop making predictions, but I'm predicting that that won't happen...  At a time when FOUR different LIVE bowl games were being shown today, I noticed that the Longhorn Network was broadcasting the 2007 Holiday Bowl, which featured Texas against Arizona State.  I wonder how many viewers they had watching a bowl game that was played over four years ago - I'm betting that I would be surprised...  :)  I just recently started buying mashed potato mix (yes, this promises to be exciting, I know...).  When I went through my 'super poor' phase in college, I would buy a lot of the stereotypical foods that penniless college kids are known for eating - ramen noodles, tuna fish, macaroni and cheese (I have never liked pot pies, so I didn't buy them).  Anyway, mashed potatoes are one food that must have escaped me.  What caught my attention is that I can prepare them the same way using the same ingredients, but that if I continue stirring them, it seems like the pan produces more and MORE potatoes the more that I stir, like if I kept stirring, my whole apartment would be filled with mashed potatoes.  Has anyone else experienced this???  This week while I was watching some sporting event, I caught another sliver of sports wisdom that got my brain churning.  After a team that was way ahead let the other team get back into the contest, making the final score 'respectable', a commentator later announced that the game was "not as close as the score would indicate."  Wasn't the game EXACTLY as close as the score would indicate?  Isn't that what the score IS?...  Yeah, I need a life, I know...  Speaking of needing a life, WHY DO PEOPLE, when they see a staircase or some random steps, feel that THAT is the best place to... HOLD A CONVERSATION?!  "Where I can chat with other people and inconvenience as many other people as possible?  Hmmmm..."  For those bitter football fans out there whose favorite team isn't the Green Bay Packers, why do touchdown celebration penalties NOT APPLY to the "Lambeau Leap"?  They only do it EVERY SINGLE TIME that they reach the endzone - that seems pretty orchestrated to me...  :)  Okay, that's enough for one night - I'll be back here on Wednesday with an entry about some topic???, and on Friday I'll be here with some NFL predictions (complete with scores) for 'Wild Card Weekend'.  Have a good one!