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Week 9 On the Rocks

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 help your team with deeper sleepers to start each week.


The Betbot’s column is transcribed each week by Chris Dolfi, Joe Petrizzi and Tom Walls, because, “Typing is a dame’s BZZZT job.”



Tim Rattay – TB – A few weeks ago I chided people for thinking Tim Rattay would be the go-to guy in Tampa Bay, seeing as he just joined the team and the Bucs already had a young gun to try out in Chris Simms.  And then the 49ers game happened.  Look, I’ve been covering football for a long time and I don’t say this lightly – the 2005 San Francisco 49ers might be the …BZZT… worst team I’ve ever seen.  Decent teams like Washington and Philadelphia aren’t just beating the Niners, they are completely abusing them.  The fact that Simms could get nothing going against one of the worst pass defenses in the league does not bode well for his blonde ambition.  Yes, that’s a …BZZT… Madonna reference.  I’d be more encouraged if Tampa Bay was trotting out Mr. Blonde at QB.  Seriously – how about a little fire, scarecrow?  Anyway, Simms soiled the sheets against SF even with an extra week to prepare, so that means I’m ready to call in his marker.  Rattay can’t stay healthy and I doubt that will ever change, but he’s had some decent games in the past when he’s been upright.  In QB guru Jon Gruden’s offense he could post some decent numbers, especially with a friendly schedule that includes the NO, CAR, NE, and ATL pass defenses down the stretch, just in time for Rattay to take over the starting job.



Alvin Pearman – JAX – A repeat customer here, which means two things.  One, I’m on top of this situation way before everyone else and two, people out there need to pay more attention. Pearman is the backup to Fred Taylor, which is never a bad position to be if you gotta’ be a backup somewhere.  Taylor has been known to get a little banged up – sometimes just …BZZT…running to the grocery store for milk.  A guy like Pearman will see playing time when Taylor is hurt, so he’s a good insurance back, especially for owners that want to handcuff Taylor.  That sounds real nice and all, but that doesn’t do you a lotta’ good unless Freddie T winds up on the injury cart.  So why is this guy a deeper sleeper this week?  Because even with a healthy Fred Taylor, Pearman might get a chance to sniff the endzone this week.  The Jags get to sit back in Jacksonville and welcome the Houston Texans to town with open arms this weekend.  Now, I’m not gonna’ say that the Texans are a bad run defense, but if the U.S. border patrol stopped illegal immigrants like the Texans stop the run, Corpus Christi, Texas would have to change their name to New …BZZT… Mexico – ah wait – that’s already taken.  Anyway, Pearman has a 4.4 ypc average, but that’s a little skewed from his 1 run for 45 yards last week against the Rams.  Still, the guy can run the ball if given the chance, and since his running mate Fred Taylor is likely to run up 100 yards on this sorry squad (the 32nd ranked run defense giving up over 165 yards a game on the ground) by early 3rd quarter, I like Pearman to have a shot at scoring a cheap TD in relief duty.  (Hey – it’s week 9, how many “deeper sleepers” you think are left at RB?)



Marcus Robinson – MIN – Another guy who’s had a career full of injury problems – we’re a long way from his …BZZT… breakout year in 1999.  Nevertheless, one of the things I like to keep an eye on is a QB change.  With Daunte Culpepper down we’ll get some different looks from the Vikings offense.  It won’t necessarily be better than what they’ve put up so far, but honestly it can’t be much worse.  We’re in the honeymoon phase right now, when opposing defenses underestimate the opponent because the starting QB is hurt.  Considering that Brad Johnson was a starter in the NFL as recently as last year, who’s to say he won’t come out …BZT… like Emilio Estevez at the end of Young Guns?  Robinson is likely available on your waivers and Minnesota has games against weak Giants and Packers pass defenses on tap soon.  Minnesota’s defense has been giving it up (say it with me) like it’s prom night out there.   So there’s still excellent potential for garbage time production from M-Rob, who’s made a second career out of being the “just go long and I’ll heave it” jump ball specialist.  In fact, he’d be excellent as a Tecmo receiver on the Patriots.



Michael Gaines – CAR – At 6-3 and 280 pounds, you don’t want to be between this guy and the buffet line down at Bally’s.  Last week Gaines pulled down catches of 38 yards and 29 yards, which is bound to catch the attention of the coaching staff.  With his size he’s in danger of getting typecast as a meat shield without star quality along the lines of …BZZZT… King Kong Bundy.  The WWE teaches us the hard life lesson that you can’t be popular without being good looking, which is the prejudice that sticks guys like Michael Gaines at the end of the o-line to block.  There’s a receiving tight end in this man’s body just waiting to break out.  Here’s to hoping that Gaines realizes his full potential one day and here’s to hoping that day will come when I’m watching a Panthers game.  I want to see a defensive back try to take down a 280 pound man running at full speed.



Jason Hanson – DET – Hanson used to be near the top of drafters fantasy football draft lists once upon a time, now he has all the appeal of …BZZT… Hanson (the music group).  mmmBop!  But make no mistake Hanson is still a solid kicker but probably available in your leagues as he’s currently 25th in scoring.  So why pick him up this week?  Two words:  Vi … Queens.  Seriously, with the Vikings defense being as poor as it is, and the offense sputtering along, Hanson should get a few FG tries this week.  If you’re desperate for a kicker, you could do a lot worse than a guy with a pedigree against a team coached by Mike Tice.


Tecmo Super Bowl Tip of the Week

What can Brown do for you – I’d like to take a moment this week to try to get you to try playing TSB with the Cleveland Browns.  There’s a lot to like about the Browns in TSB, especially a solid core on offense.  Bernie Kosar (aka QB Browns) can sling it pretty well, although he’s as mobile as a …BZZT… fire hydrant.  They have a great thunder/lightning backfield between Kevin Mack and Eric Metcalf.  Mack has incredible power to bounce defenders and Metcalf is really shifty – he’s one player that can make the shuffle pass work in TSB.  Plus, he’s always a threat to run one back on a kick.  Top it off with decent receiving options like Webster Slaughter and Ozzie Newsome and you can definitely score some points.  Of course the flip side to this coin is that the defense rots.  They’re just awful, from the weak LBs to the slow DBs.  You can usually get away with playing CB Frank Minnifield because he has some speed, but in reality you won’t be stopping anyone with regularity.  Even the computer will consistently bust you outside for long runs – if you can’t get to the ball with Minni you’re pretty much toast.  So if you like a nice variety on offense but no variety on defense then the Browns are the team for you – go ahead, give ‘em a try.


Feedback Loop

Happy Halloween, Betbot!


Did you pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters this year?  If so, what did you give ’em?


Alex F.

Janesville, WI


Dear Alex,


Sure I passed out a little goody to the trick-or-treaters.  But let me tell ya, I don’t stop there, I have a separate little goody bag for the parents.  The way I see it, the parents have the tougher job: dragging the kids around, making sure they don’t go anywhere they shouldn’t, watching out for creeps who might grab up their kid, and checking apples for …BZZT… razorblades and that the candy hasn’t been tampered with (hey – scary stuff I know – but you gotta’ be careful these days).  If anyone deserves a treat, it’s Mom and Dad.


I go all out for the holiday, too.  I decorate up the joint with lots of webs, and make the foyer look like a mad scientist’s lab – complete with equipment showing various electronic waves and electrical discharges.  I have a real life-like mad scientist that I got some of the SFX guys at Paramount to whip up for me years ago, and I have him hovering over a tilted wooden table covering a large mass with a sheet.  Of course, I lay down under the sheet and then slowly rise, letting the sheet fall away and then reach out towards the kiddies with my robot arms …BZZZT… rhythmically clutching for them.  It pretty much scares the beejesus out of ‘em. Oh yeah, I usually get one of the showgirls from the Gold Nugget or Ceasars to pose as the assistant to the mad doctor, too.  I figure the Dad’s of those kids deserve a little eye-candy on Halloween.


Then when it comes time to give the kids their treat, I have a few …BZZT… rules.  One, you gotta’ say “Trick or Treat”.  I mean work for it a little, kid.  Two, you gotta’ tell me what you are dressed as.  Sure, if the kid is dressed as Dino or Frank, I’ll be able to tell what they are.  But when kids start dressing up as the latest Nickelodeon cartoon or like their favorite TRL host, I’d have no idea who the heck they were if they didn’t tell me.  And at least TRY to come up with a …BZZT… back-story instead of saying “I’m a ghost” – say something like “I’m an NBC network executive who sold his soul to have “Friends” line our pockets for years, and now I’m forced to wander the earth watching Perfect Strangers re-runs.”  Oooooo – SCARY!  Third, and lastly, just say “Thank you” after you get your candy.  Nobody likes an ingrate, kids.


Well, the kids got chocolate coins with my image on them (I mean who wouldn’t want that?) and I even have the candy-store put a little “fortune” in with them, just like the fortune cookies you get from every Chinese take-out place.  My fortunes usually have a little quote from me, or they list a …BZZT… “deeper sleeper” – because Fantasy Football info is something every kid is interested in.


Then the parents get their treat from the adult goody bag.  They reach in and you wouldn’t believe the smiles and warm handshakes I get after they pull out one of those airplane bottles of gin.  Hey, after a night of trick-or-treating and …BZZT… chasing their kid around in the dark, they need it.  What can I say?  I’m a …BZZT… giver.


Until next time, Showgirls and Gin, my friends, Showgirls and …BZT… Gin.


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