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RIP Steve Sabol

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Initially built by NASA to set lines for the Las Vegas casinos in the late 50’s (who do you think funded the Apollo missions? The government? It was the mob…), The Sin City Betbot 6000 calculated lines for over 30 years. The Betbot was given various upgrades through the years, not always with the best equipment, but he was very good at setting lines, and living the good life.

The Betbot was de-commissioned in 1990 after San Francisco destroyed Denver in the Super Bowl. The 45 point spread simply fried a number of the Betbot’s wires and he retired. The Betbot was discovered by and retooled to give fantasy advice. He lives now to give his own unique, well cultured take on the NFL.The Sin City Betbot 6000 Presents is transcribed by Joe Petrizzi and Tom Walls because “typing.. .BZZT… is a dame’s job”.

RIP – Steve Sabol, who was a close personal friend of mine. Many people have written about NFL Films' influence on the game. It can’t be overstated, and this is coming from a cynical half-drunk robot who’s seen and done it all. NFL Films transformed how we view football, how we view sports and how narratives are presented for sports.

It’s going to be uncomfortable in the Saints locker room whenever Jonathan Vilma gets back in. Evidently some of the evidence the NFL captured is from current teammates of Vilma’s (of course that’s where the damning evidence came from – the NFL wasn’t going to suspend anyone without eyewitness testimony).  I put the over/under for a Saints locker-room fight at two weeks.

Also, how crappy is it that Gregg Williams provided key evidence against Vilma? Vilma walks into a culture of bounties propagated by Williams himself. Vilma buys into (literally) Williams’ program and Williams snitches on Vilma for crimes Williams himself taught Vilma. I understand that this was likely after the NFL finally got Williams and Sean Payton to tell the truth about their program, but Williams’ testimony smells worse than Norman Fells’ apartment.

NFC Notes – Speaking of the Saints, they are in some deep doo-doo. The Falcons are the real deal this year (I’m not that impressed by their win over rag arm Peyton Manning and the Broncos – but still…), I don’t see a Wild Card for the NFC South. The Saints have to sweep the Falcons to make up the ground they’ve lost.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the Rams in anything other than a mocking tone, and yes; they were aided greatly by Josh Morgan’s STUUUUUPPPPP…BZZZT…IIIDDD penalty, but they’ve found a formula which works for Sam Bradford . Quick throws (mostly to Danny Amendola in the slot) out and less pressure in the pocket. They are not a playoff team, but they are being much more intelligently managed by Jeff Fisher and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

The Arizona Cardinals are somehow 2-0. The Cardinals are astounding, they have one of the most inept offenses I have ever seen as run by QB Kevin Kolb. Their offense is horribly, horribly bad. Any of you who are counting on Larry Fitzgerald for any fantasy production can forget it until John Skelton comes back. They may somehow beat the Eagles this week , because this is a classic look-ahead game for Philadelphia, but the Cards’ luck won’t last much longer.

Looks like Carolina remembered that they are a running team first, everything else after. Good for them. Unfortunately, they can’t block or tackle, so fundamentally sound teams like the Giants are going to kick their spleen in. But they could be in for some fun times against lesser opponents.

Speaking of running, expect the Seahawks to copy the Niners playbook against the Packers this Monday. A heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch , and play-action will help neutralize the Packers’ only defensive threat, their pass rush.

AFC Notes - I’ve already made a point about Peyton Manning ’s limited ability to throw the ball down the field. This is going to be a major issue going forward - if your QB cannot stretch the field vertically that makes the defensive coordinator’s job all the easier. Play short zones, let the corners squat the routes he can throw underneath, and leave the deep stuff for the safeties. They’ll have time to get there.

Not to beat a dead horse, but Manning’s arm is toast. Look, I told you about this last year - he’s got nerve damage. Sometimes they don’t grow back. Trust me on this.

I see Chris Johnson picked up just where he left off last year. He’s not a physical runner any more, and there’s no reason we should investigate why that is. Let him drift away like the other one-hit wonders that came before him. Of course, the Titans would love to figure out what’s up. That doesn’t mean you need to submarine your fantasy season while they look into it.  Move on.

Jets offense, welcome back to the real world. Name a legitimate weapon in that offense. Go ahead, I’ve got nothing but time.

Boy, the Ravens are a bunch of whiny little ninnies.  Ray Lewis used to be a tough guy, but after last week’s loss to Philly all he could do was cry about the officials. Not that I want to pick a fight with a suspected felon, but someone please explain which official caused Lewis to completely whiff on a LeSean McCoy tackle at the goal line in the first quarter. Because that’s real, that happened.

Oh, and Joe Flacco - shut up already. First, you need to show up in the second half. Then, you can complain about the officiating. You can’t drop your pants and soil the 50-yard line in the clutch, and then pipe up about the lack of toilet paper. Show some pride.

Well, it only took two weeks for the Chiefs to become a laughing stock. Unless you are familiar with the managerial stylings of one Romeo Crennel . In that case, you’ve been shaking your head and chuckling ever since management decided to keep him on (career record: 26-41). In his defense, there’s not much he can do until we get a QB working over there. Worth noting: BetBot favorite Dwayne Bowe is producing.

I would be remiss not to mention young C.J. Spiller . Even though Buffalo stinks out loud, you can count on Spiller as a lock for your starting lineup. Too much talent, and he’s showing a real nose for the end zone. If he could develop any kind of inside game, there is vintage Brian Westbrook upside here.

So long for now, and remember “Showgirls and gin my friends, showgirls and …BZT…gin.”