23 August 2006

The wasteland that is the NFC West

Wondering why I haven't finished the NFL previews yet? Because I'm tired of them. I've been putting actual work into them, which I will now stop doing in order to burn through the rest of them. This means, of course, that the attendant gambling advice becomes all the more suspect.

Phoenix Cardinals

One hand: Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, Edge James, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald. Other hand: shitty line, shitty D. Guess which hand wins. Remember, flashy stars sell tickets (as do new stadia); the guys in the trenches win games. So much for this year's breakout team. Should put up good fantasy numbers, though.

I think the Meat Puppets are from Tuscon, but it's the same general area. I used to work with a dude that went to U of A and he said them and JFA used to totally dominate the scene there. Only one of them is still getting checks from Nirvana's label.

Total wins: 8
I don't care how weak this division is, under.

Division title: 7-2
If Matt Hasselbeck gets hurt, AZ could win it by default, but that's not worth betting on.

Super Bowl champ: 40-1
Not this year.

Saint Louis Rams

So Martz is finally gone, which means their games'll be a lot less nutty. I have a tendency to overrate this team; I just can't shake the memory of those Warner/Faulk years, I guess.

St Louis is the home of Nelly and the St Lunatics! I remember seeing Nelly's videos when he first came out in which he and his crew were all decked out in Cardinals gear (the baseball team). In one video there was a hopping car with a custom paint job consisting of Rams logos all over it. Gotta love that kind of local pride.

Total wins: 7
Seems right.

Division title: 4-1
Half a point below AZ, eh Vegas? Pass.

Super Bowl champ: 50-1
Not so long ago...

San Francisco Forty-Niners

Did anybody see them last year? Are they really that bad? How 'bout Smith? I read that had like the worst season of the last twenty years or something from a statistical standpoint.

Could they be better this year? Decent management, apparently, so why not? At the very least they should progress to the mean.

When I was in college I got way into a whole mess of Frisco psych bands from the 60s. I mean, not even just the Dead and the Airplane, but real nutty shit like Moby Grape and the Chocolate Watchband. On first listen, the reverence accorded Moby Grape by burnout boomer rock critics seems confusing to anyone born after, say, 1955, but they had a few good songs. Y'know that song "Naked If I Want To" off the Cat Power Covers Record? Grape tune. I think the best record to come out of that whole scene was the Airplane's Baxter's, in many ways a typically acid-soaked post-Sgt. Pepper's indulge-athon, but one that holds up better than most, largely on the strength of Jack Casady's monster bass riffs.

Total wins: 5
I'm tempted to say under, but they should improve somewhat, right? Skip it.

Division title: 20-1
I think this is the longest division odds I've seen, and this division sucks.

Super Bowl champ: 175-1
For some perspective, consider that TN and Buf are both getting 200-1. So, hey, could be worse.

Seattle Seahawks

I still find them questionable, but maybe that reflects my lack of faith in the NFC overall. They say Hasselbeck looks terrific in camp. Didn't he always, even with Green Bay.

Alexander had over 400 carries including the playoffs, which means he's getting hurt this year, but that's not such a big deal. RBs are pretty interchangeable in a good system. They should win the NFCW in a walk.

Big shout-out to the Young Fresh Fellows, who weathered the whole grunge thing by churning out the same old dorky/ironic nerd-pop for over ten years. The single CD containing their first two albums in their entirety holds up as a bargain at any price.

Total wins: 101/2
That's huge, but why not? They'll probably win five in this division alone. They also play the NFCN, by the way, so that's at least three easy wins right there, maybe four. Over.

Division title: 1-3
Actually I'm surprised the odds are this long; I'd think it should be at least 1-5.

Super Bowl champ: 10-1
They're a serious contender, but coming back after a SB loss is always rough; I'd want at least 15 to take this one.


Seattle. Yawn.

The picks: AZ < 8, Sea > 101/2

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