Monday - Aug 19, 2019

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Meltdown in Minnesota

Initially built by NASA to set lines for the Las Vegas casinos in the late 1950s (Who do you think funded the Apollo missions? The government? It was the mob …), The Sin City Betbot 6000 calculated lines for more than 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.”

Howard Hughes was a good friend of mine. And a good man, a good bleeping man. Howard, however, was going mad by the time I got to really know him. He had just moved into (and bought) the Desert Inn and was ensconced on his own private floor there. We reminisced about old friends; although we traveled in different circles, we shared many of the same friends – and loves. I tried to help, but there was no helping him. Many of you know of his sad, slow demise and descent into madness.

Howard, during that time, was a paranoid shell of a man who had fallen into a severe bunker mentality. Not many people could afford to completely cut themselves off from the world, the way Howard had. I remember one time I tried to visit Howard (the last time I went to his suite of rooms) he cursed me out and banished me from his rooms. I had enough; I couldn’t take his paranoid, lunatic ravings any more. Any slights to Howie (I called him Howie) both real and imagined got blown out of proportion in his mind.

I’m not sure which was sadder – Howard’s mental illness, or the fact that his friends weren’t allowed to help.

Which brings me to
Brad Childress. What the hell, man? Now, I’m not calling him crazy. But I do see a lot of the same behavior. This bunker mentality, as I see it. I mentioned before that Childress doesn’t look like a coach, and I think this actually leads to some of his issues with his players. He must have a bit of an inferiority complex when dealing with his players. It is affecting him and his decision making now.

Childress released
Randy Moss without the prior knowledge of his front office. Did Childress think this move made him the king bantam cock? Was this his big move to gain control of the locker room? If so, it was pathetic and stupid – the desperate move of a desperate man. The Vikings basically threw a third-round pick away, and can kiss this season goodbye.

While Childress doesn’t have the dirty matted tangled hair, and long unsightly fingernails of my friend Howie; he’s displaying the same signs of quick decline. Fortunately, there’s a spot on
Andy Reid’s staff for Childress waiting (where he can join his fellow NFC North castoff,
Marty Mornhinweg) – a better fate than my poor friend Howie.

NFC NOTES – The New Orleans Saints woke up. I don’t know if this is sustainable, but the defense showed the same fire they did last year.

Kyle and
Mike Shanahan versus
Donovan McNabb. If it weren’t for the Childress mess this would have been the lead for the column this week. McNabb isn’t physically fit enough to run a two-minute offense at the end of a game. Philadelphia Eagles fans are probably giggling and nodding at this one. And, again,
Freddie Mitchell is laughing over his Michelob Ultra. What was Shanahan thinking pulling McNabb? Even if the Redskins won, the headaches he’s created for himself outweigh whatever slight, perceived chance of winning … BZZT … with
Rex Grossman at the helm for two minutes. Rex Grossman! It’s fascinating to me to see NFL coaches make bone-headed moves while they panic … and this move on Sunday was as stupid a decision I have seen in a long time on a NFL sideline.

Seems like Peter ‘Shameless Self Promoter’ King has finally caught up with me on the whole fire
Wade Phillips thing. Again, I don’t normally call for coaches heads (hell, I’m as neutral as they come), but as King parroted, the players have given up on Phillips. Beyond the failure this season has become, Cowboys players are learning how to lose and be apathetic.
Jerry Jones has to stop the bleeding now.

Jon Kitna actually had a pretty good game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his receivers were horrible, however. Of course, Dallas’ defense was even worse. The game Sunday made the New York Giants win against the Cowboys a little less impressive, eh?

NFC West anyone? Nah – let’s not go there this week.

I still don’t believe in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but their win against Arizona was very entertaining. I like the brand of football they are playing; they have moxie, and we all know that moxie is the second-most important trait in a NFL team (second only to talent).
Josh Freeman is a winner, pure and simple. I don’t see playoffs for them this year, but if the core stays together they may sneak in over the next couple seasons.

I can’t get a read on the Green Bay Packers. Maybe the only thing to know about them is that they play up or down to their competition. They didn’t do much offensively Sunday against the New York Jets, but who does? They played smart, didn’t hurt themselves and walked out of the Meadowlands with a win. I expect them to lose more games they shouldn’t lose, but still win the division. Once in the playoffs, they’ll play to the level of their competition – if they do, they should be the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl.

AFC NOTES – How did we get here?  Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders are relevant this season, and they square off against each other this weekend.
Matt Cassel is still terrible, but Kansas City can play some defense. Plus, renegade
Todd Haley has channeled his famous temper into some ruthlessly aggressive play calling on fourth down. He’s going for it like a teenage boy with a girl in the backseat. Good for you, Todd. Much better application of your behavior than berating the quarterback because he sucks (It’s not his fault. He’s doing his best.)

Staying in the west, a fast start in 2009 sure is masking what everybody suspected prior to last season – the Denver Broncos are a mess, and
Josh McDaniels is completely overmatched as head coach. Their pass defense is just putrid, and that’s a pass defense with
Champ Bailey. You think Denver is learning what Philadelphia knew about the second year of
Brian Dawkins’ contract? Worth mentioning.

Speaking of bad pass defenses, what the bleep, Buffalo? 
Shawne Merriman? Are you kidding me with this nonsense? You have zero wins and are in massive need of rebuilding, along with having a hard time raising funds. Why are you sinking salary into a player who hasn’t been good in three years?

About that New England Patriots’ defense that couldn’t stop anyone … as I said in my season preview, don’t discount
Bill Belichick. There is very little pressure on the quarterback, and that’s a problem. But it should be no surprise that the Patriotss are in the running again with very little star power outside of
Tom Brady.

The Tennessee Titans claimed
Randy Moss off waivers. Not bad, seeing as
Kenny Britt is going to be on the shelf for a month or two with a hamstring tear. Hopefully
Jeff Fisher can get Moss to play.

Mike Holmgren is making veiled threats that he’ll return to the sidelines to coach the Cleveland Browns (presumably after he puts
Eric Mangini out of our misery). Holmgren could be just like a fat Pat Riley. Fat Riley. The question to be asked – will Cleveland be able to draft a quarterback of the future (probably) and will Holmgren be able to groom him before his honeymoon is over (less likely)? I can tell you that
Colt McCoy is not the answer. I mean, unless the question is “which pro quarterback has a name that sounds like a television show about a Texas private investigator?”

Jon Gruden with a sheriff hat. ESPN has mostly ruined Monday Night Football, but I enjoyed that little bit of self-deprecation.

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

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