Friday - Feb 22, 2019

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Quarter Pole Roundup

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 Fantasysharks.com 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.”


“Give the people what they want.” – Ray Davies, The Kinks

I met Ray Davies many years ago when The Kinks were playing in New York City. I was there during one of my many appearances on The Dick Cavett Show. Dick and I went way back, and I always enjoyed discussing the latest events with Dick.

The Kinks released an album in the early 1980s with the title Give the People What They Want. A powerful statement, and as true now as it was when the first caveman staged the first bloodsport at the dawn of time.

What do NFL fans really want at the beginning of the season?

Someone to hate.

The feeling that their team can win it all.

There’s always someone else to hate in the NFL. Whether it’s a divisional rival or Belichick and Brady, NFL fans always have someone to root against.

Some fans of recent doormat teams also have the feeling that their team can win it all; or at least make some noise in the playoffs. It’s a good thing in general for the NFL because dynasties are only good for creating villains.

NFC Notes

The two clowns who transcribe this column are Eagles’ fans. I’ve avoided talking about the Eagles so far, but the debacle against the Niners needs to be addressed. Maybe the hubris of
Andy Reid will finally catch up with him this year. Wait, let me amend that. Reid’s hubris already caught up to him years ago, but he still has a job. The move to install
Juan ‘Grandma Glasses’ Castillo as the Defensive Coordinator has to be the worst high profile front office/coaching move since
Matt Millen was named GM of the Lions.

Reid obviously wanted to give his loyal soldier a coordinator job before his tenure in The City of Brotherly Love was finished. Damn his players and the fans of the team, Juan Castillo needed a bump in his resume! Reid thought that by bringing in
Jim Washburn, and grabbing some high profile free agents that anyone with any football pedigree at all could succeed. We see now that Castillo is overmatched. He doesn’t know the proper way to use his players.
Nnamdi Asomugha looks like a practice squad player , and Casey Matthews looks like…
Casey Matthews. How can Asomugha and his cohorts look so bad? And why is Casey Matthews on the field? Juan Castillo and his lack of understanding of scheming to his players’ strengths.

Castillo earned a move to the defensive side of the ball if he wanted it, but not as coordinator. Especially not a coordinator in a strike shortened off-season. Let’s not forget that
Dick Jauron was on the Eagles coaching staff last year and would have been a competent choice to head the defense this year. Castillo was dealt a bum hand. His pal Andy Reid set him (and the team) up for failure. Instead of helping his career, Reid has ensured Castillo won’t be any kind of coordinator for years to come.

Perhaps the Eagles can overcome Castillo’s deficiencies. Maybe they can have Jim Washburn be a ‘Ghost Coordinator’ for Castillo. I don’t know what else they can do for the coordinator position, short of firing Castillo in season (which will never happen with Reid and Castillo) – they need to have someone else making the game day decisions.

The offense looks anemic also of course. I believe this is simply a case of unleashing
Michael Vick and letting him play as he did last year. Get out of his head and let him run. The offensive line isn’t great, but it’s not horrible, but they aren’t as bad as Vick is making them look. Get rid of the ball quickly or run, your choice Vick. Holding onto the ball for five seconds each passing play is no longer an option. As soon as they make this simple change, the offense will be back to last year’s production.

Looks like I used up my NFC Notes space talking about the Eagles, but their horrible performance is fascinating to me. If this continues, Andy Reid may actually lose his job, which would be the only silver lining to the season for Eagles fans.

I have space for one more NFC comment. As bad as the Eagles are – the Rams are absolutely horrible.

AFC Notes

To make up for that slim NFC coverage, this week for the AFC I am going to discuss every team in the conference. It won’t be as insightful but then again I’m going to be drunk in 15 minutes so you’ll have to meet my schedule. Now that we’re clear on priorities, let’s start in the East.


Bills – 3-1 – It’s OK if you didn’t see this coming together, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet. The offense has been crisp behind surprisingly competent
Ryan Fitzpatrick but the defense needs more pass rush. +7 in turnover margin is covering up for only 4 sacks, and that is not sustainable.

Patriots – 3-1 –
Tom Brady had an awful day against Buffalo and then cut his hair. Coincidence? I think not. Same story here as last year – massive offense and very little defense. You would not have expected continuous defensive mediocrity from this head coach but that is what you are getting.

Jets – 2-2 – Speaking of mediocre…
Rex Ryan can bluster all he wants but at some point we have to see improvement from QB
Mark Sanchez if this team is going to take the next step. It would be nice if
Shonn Greene would earn a paycheck once in a while.


Dolphins – 0-4 – Dumpster fire. I heard something this week about trying out QBs and that includes
Sage Rosenfels? Apparently
David Garrard and the Fins didn’t feel they were a proper fit – which is code for Garrard saying he’d rather be unemployed. Smart move, Goldenlegs. This is one situation you want no part of.

Ravens – 3-1 – Baltimore surprises me with their ability to crush opponents with almost no star power. Seriously – the star players on their team are all average defensive guys in a steep decline like
Ed Reed and
Ray Lewis. When
Orlando Brown died recently Lewis said he was “one of the greatest men I know.” I’m taking that as damning with faint praise.

Bengals – 2-2 – They’re not missing
Carson Palmer all that much, which is to say that even though Cincy’s offense is brutal, it was similarly brutal last year. I’m not sure why it’s a big deal that Palmer isn’t playing. He’s been terrible since about 2008.


Browns – 2-2 – Living on borrowed time with their -19 point differential (same as the 0-4 Vikings.) I keep hearing
Colt McCoy is the real deal, but when I watch I don’t see it. Talk to me when his yards/attempt gets above seven.
Peyton Hillis was nice enough to get sick and miss a week, meaning all of the “Madden Cover Curse” whackos will bring that up for the next 10 years.


Steelers – 2-2 – Good golly the offense is falling apart in the ‘Burgh. This offensive line is giving it up like prom night out there and
Ben Roethilsberger (14 sacks) and
Rashard Mendenhall (3.0 ypc) are suffering for it. Now
James Harrison is hurt. They’ll still finish above both Ohio teams.

Texans – 3-1 – This could be their year because the defense is finally pretty decent. On the other hand, they’ve faced the Colts, Dolphins, and Steelers offenses so far so it’s not like they’ve been pressed.
Andre Johnson is hurt again? He needs to get fitted for a pair of robotic legs, pronto. I never pull my hamstring.


Titans – 3-1 – One of the bigger surprises in the NFL, although if you consider that
Matt Hasselbeck hasn’t been hurt yet, it kind of makes sense. The Ravens win was a nice cap, but otherwise we need to see more from supposed All-Pro
Chris Johnson. The defense is actually pretty good. Good luck naming a starter on that unit.

Jaguars – 1-3 – They’ve scored the fewest points in the league, which is…about what you’d expect from the geniuses that cut their QB like 10 minutes before the first game. I feel sad for
Maurice Jones-Drew and his fantasy owners. Actually, he’s not on my team so I don’t really care. Sorry for any confusion.

Colts – 0-4 – You are more than aware of this abomination of an NFL team. When the starting QB is an MVP caliber player and goes down you expect problems but not this kind of awful. This is a special brand of stink they are leaving in their wake. Not talked about enough: both the QB and the Kicker have ridiculous long blond hair sticking out of their helmets. Clean it up, Caldwell! Sheesh, you used to work for
Joe Paterno!

Chargers – 3-1 – Not sure what to say about these guys. Nice record, but they’ve played three of the worst teams in the league to get their wins, and lost by 14 points to the Patriots. After a disappointing rookie campaign,
Ryan Mathews is posting a tidy 4.7 ypc to go with 3 TDs. Not bad, unless you drafted
Mike Tolbert.

Raiders – 2-2 – One of the worst defenses in the league, which is a shame because
Darren McFadden is the real deal. If they could ‘D’ up once in a while I could see a little power running, smash mouth thing going on in Oakland. But you can’t really salt the clock away while giving up 20-some points every game, now can you? DISAPPOINTMENT.

Broncos – 1-3 – Denver fans are calling for
Tim Tebow, which is about as useful as if they were calling for pizza. Neither of those are going to solve the 111 points they’ve given up so far. Of course, the pizza would probably be tasty. Tebow is better off not playing, so his mythical status can still be used to sell jerseys and underwear ads before his market value dries up.

Chiefs – 1-3 – They’ve already given up more than 40 points in a game twice, and their only win came against the 0-4 Vikings. I’m pretty sure they are the worst team in the league, and that was before their best player blew his knee out. They have 5 sacks, 4 of them by
Tamba Hali.
Todd Haley needs a cigarette and a blindfold.

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

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.