Everything posted by The Heretic
The Heretic added a topic in Play2015 NFL Week 3 PicksDagnabbit and Fackaroley. After taking two steps forward with a solid opening week at 10-6, I fell ass-backwards and went tits up with 6-10.
That clearly shows none of us can take anything for granted at any given Sunday. Super Bowl contender? You start 0-2 or worse. The capricious Goddess of Fortune must've laughed at my stubborn picking against the two greatest QBs of our generation in the same weekend.
Regardless, onto Week 3!
Thursday Game of the Week
Washington Racial Insult @ New York Giants (-4.5)
Twice already, the Giants have choked away double-digits leads in the fourth quarter. Luckily for them the NFC East is a godforsaken, downright shitty division that probably will slouch towards Gomorrah the rest of the season. While the Ethnic Slurs have been decent, and actually lead the NFL in total defense, the Giants are far more desperate.
New York by 4
Game of the Week
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
There's nothing like a slobberknocker between two physical teams that hate each other. Yep, the Bengals did handily beat the same Raiders who turned around and stole the game from the Ravens in the next week. Moreover, the Bengals have owned the Ravens lately, 4 out of their last 5 matchups. However, the Bengals will be facing a desperate 0-2 team trying to get off the Schneid. It'll come down to the last play.
Cincinnati by 2
Rest of the Week
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys (+2.5)
Cowboys fans, this is what a Pyrrhic victory looks like - win the battle, but lose the war. After losing All-Pro WR Bryant in Week 1, the Cowboys lost QB Romo to yet another clavicle fracture. The same one he busted in 2010, but then again, this is a vastly different Cowboys team, with more depth and greater cohesion. It's entirely likely they'll keep their heads above sea level for the next two months, given that the NFC East is pathetic. That said, the Falcons, with QB Ryan and WR Julio Jones, will force the Cowboys into a high scoring shootout they cannot afford.
Atlanta by 4
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans (+5)
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry picked the Colts to win the AFC this season. After all they did add veteran depth in WR Johnson, RB Gore, and LB Cole. But after gagging their way to 0-2, even Chuck Strong is throwing QB Luck under the bus. Luckily they're facing a shitty team in the Titans, whose rookie QB Mariota is fast realizing that he's in over his head.
Indianapolis by 6
Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns (-4.5)
Both teams won last weekend behind their QBs, who are beginning to earn believers. Yes, QB Carr might be for real. However, the Raiders are historically weak the farther east they travel from the West Coast. But it's just too bad that the Browns are going back to their freshly concussed 36 year old journeyman in McCown over the more resourceful Johnny Football. And that'll be All. She. Wrote.
Oakland by 3
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots (-13.5)
Next up on the Patriots' hit list is everybody's hapless doormat, the Jaguars. And the Patriots are in Fuck You mode? No analysis needed.
New England by 11
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
It won't matter if QB Brees is healthy, because the Panthers' defense is quite stout. Moreover, there's nobody on the Saints' defense that can slow down Superman, aka QB Cam Newton, whatsoever, because they just proved that they couldn't stop rookie QB Winston. Despite all those offseason changes (trading away TE Graham and WR Stills to improve defense), that hasn't worked out. It's entirely possible that the Saints' season is over by October.
Carolina by 6
San Diego Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
If the Chargers were unable to stop RB Bernard last week, there's no way they'll be capable of stopping a rejuvenated RB Peterson. Expect QB Rivers to carve up that Vikings secondary and keep the game close, but QB Bridgewater will pull it out in the end.
Minnesota by 3
Pittsburgh Steelers @ St. Louis Rams (+1)
Classic offense vs. defense. While the Steelers are number one in offense, the Rams' defensive linemen Donald and Quinn will make a long afternoon for QB Rothlisberger. RB Bell is back, and he must have noticed how the Foreskins ran allover the Rams last week. Moreover, WR Brown has become nigh unstoppable, but it'll come down to whether the Steelers' OL can block the savage Rams DL. And if rookie RB Gurley is as advertised...
St. Louis by 3
San Francisco 40 Whiners @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
Since both teams are physical, it'll be close, but QB Palmer truly makes the Cards a legitimate playoff contender. And with two OL starters back in the lineup, the Cards are peaking right now.
Arizona by 6
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (-2.5)
Both teams were humbled last week after winning in Week 1. There's some disarray in Miami, because they're now discovering how much DT Suh likes to freelance. After facing Luck and Brady, the Bills will be happy to see QB Tannehill.
Buffalo by 3
Chicago Bears @ Seattle Seahawks (-14)
The Bears are starting QB Clausen? At Century Link? And the Seahawks are 0-2? Plus Kam Chancellor is back from holdout?
Seattle by 17
Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions (+2.5)
It is obviously true that QB Manning is no longer the Manning of Old (passer efficiency a lousy 74). He's been sacked 7 times already, but the Broncos are winning due to their opportunistic defense. They should feast on the Lions' turnovers and bail out Manning once again. QB Stafford is completely banged up, and will not last the season.
Denver by 6
Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
After a tough loss to the Broncos, the Chiefs have to regroup and travel to Green Bay and face another Hall of Fame QB who almost never loses at home. Although RB Lacy might not be healthy in time, it won't make much of a difference.
Green Bay by 6
Monday Night Game of the Week
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets (even)
The so-called genius Coach Kelly has overreached himself in trading away his best players for system guys. Yes, the Eagles were a machine in the pre-season, but then the regular season started, and it's been all downhill since then. In the NFL, the talent is far more important than some clever scheme. Always has been, always will. After dispatching the overrated Colts last Monday, the Jets are ready to embarrass another overrated team on Monday again. If QB Luck couldn't figure out that defense, neither will the immortal Sam Bradford.
New York by 6
Shame of the Week
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Houston Texans (-6.5)
Yes, the Texans are struggling with the Hard Knocks curse, but there's no way the Buccaneers can block Unholy Terror J.J. Watt from cannibalizing rookie QB Winston.
Houston by 4
Last Week: 6-10
Season to date: 16-16
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The Heretic added a topic in Play2015 NFL week 2 picksDespite stumbling on both Monday Night games, I feel good finishing with 10-6. Week 1 is always the hardest of all weeks to predict, because teams rise or fall quickly after a long offseason. Onto Week 2!
Thursday Night Game of the Week Denver Broncos @ KC Chiefs (-2.5)This time the Chiefs appear dominant on both defense and offense whereas the Broncos only have a dominant defense. Moreover, the Arrowhead is utterly inhospitable, and the Broncos are facing the top pass rusher in the league in Justin Houston with a patchwork line. Kansas City by 4 Game(s) of the Week New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (+1.5) The Bills completely dominated a Super Bowl contender in the Colts and now they get to face the reigning Super Bowl champs. Coach Belichick doesn't have enough take on Bills QB Taylor to adequately game plan for him. As usual, always take the home underdogs in a division game. Buffalo by 2 Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers (-3.5) Both teams have questions units: the Packers run defense was demolished last week. The Seahawks will exploit this mismatch & unleash RB Lynch to 120 plus yards The Seahawks' offensive line was erased as well, and they are missing the Chancellor. QB Wilson is great but Rodgers almost never lose at home, and probably has something extra after that face plant in the NFC title game. Green Bay by 4 San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)The Chargers are much tougher than the Raiders, so the Bengals absolutely must prevent QB Rivers from getting in a rhythm. They must keep him off-balanced with more than their DL - with stunts and blitzes by shoot gaps and dB blitzes. Cincinnati by 4 Same of the Week Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) The Cowboys escaped last Sunday but lost all-pro WR Bryant for a month. Plus the Cowboys running game looks nothing like last year, and they are facing a pissed off Eagles team. Expect a few angry runs from former Cowboys RB, Murray. Philadelphia by 4 Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears (+1.5)The Bears actually held their own against the Packers, gashed them on the ground to the tune of 170 yards. But that'll be much harder to do against a stout Cards defense, who stopped a much better QB in Brees than in Cutler. Arizona by 3 New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)Falling behind 24-0 exposed the Colts' weaknesses: no running game and lack of pass rush. Although the Colts will restore things by beating the Jets they'll have to solve their organization problems immediately. Indianapolis by 6 Lame of the Week Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants (-2.5)Despite having a horrible pass defense last season, the Falcons shut down the high powered Eagles machine and ripped their defense to shreds. The Giants will not field anything better whatsoever. Atlanta by 3 Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers (-4.5)QB Hoyer got benched awful quick last week. Does that mean he will be looking over his shoulder all year long? As for the Panthers, they're in tatters: WR Benjamin is out for the year. LB Keuchly, the leader of the defense is suffering from concussions. But they are in a better shape than the darlings of Hard Knocks. Carolina by 6 San Francisco 49ers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)There's absolutely no reason to have faith in the Steelers' short handed offense (missing RB Bell and WR Bryant) or their revamped defense to stop the newly christened Niners running game (168 yards and 2 scores against the Vikings) or even the wobbly passing of QB Kaepernick. San Francisco by 6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-9.5)Yes the Buccaneers are much worse than I thought. But it's a long season and QB Winston will only go up from here. No, the Saints will not be as good as they look vs a rookie QB in his first visit to the Superdome. New Orleans by 10 Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)Both teams totally shit the bed in Week one. Where the Lions gagged away a 21-3 lead, the Vikings just bent over on national television. Who will choke harder? I'll stick with the Vikings' ability to bounce back, cuz I suspect there's something truly rotten in Detroit. Minnesota by 5 St. Louis Rams @ Washington Ethnic Slur (+2.5)The Rams are facing a crumbling team that lacks leadership and chemistry, likely due to some bad karma over the team name. Basically the Rams' blood soaked defense will gobble the Skins entire - players, coaches, fans, the stadium. St. Louis by 7 Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)Pundits are complaining that the Dolphins didn't really dominate a weak Skins team. But they won't have much trouble with a shittier team in the Jaguars. Miami by 7 Baltimore Ravens @ Oakland Raiders (no line) With an injured QB, and a destroyed secondary, the Raiders have no chance vs an angry Ravens squad, still smarting over the throttling last week in Denver. Baltimore by 10 Shame of the Week Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns (-3.5)QB Mariota will have little trouble with another cream puff in the Browns, since they had trouble with mediocre QB Fitzpatrick last week. Titans by 6
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The Heretic added a topic in InfluenceExplaining Donald TrumpThere's nothing funnier than watching the punditocracy twist themselves into pretzels in trying to explain why Donald Trump hasn't already imploded by now like they all thought.
Here are two recent articles on Trump that I found intriguing, if not quite accurate. The first one, "Trump: Politics of the Spectacle" by Natasha Maria, comes down to a simple formation: In America, people get the politician they deserve. By relying on a passé French theorist from the sixties, Guy Debord on the Spectacle, Maria has not gone far enough, nor is she willing to concede how much the modern media has fettered communication by reducing the masses to mere consumers of information, never producers. That allows the ruling class to exert more control over the minds of the consumers. It seems to me that the article is stuck between Debord's Spectacle, Marshall McLuhan's Medium is the Message, and Baudrillard's Simulacrum: the bleaky lucid perception that the society of spectacle is inescapable, and the horror of a shallow postmodern society where the sign has finally become the Simulacrum that signifies nothing. Nothing at all. The crucial step Maria has not taken is the admission that the media, be it the Internet, television, or the decaying institution of print, is a black hole that swallows all meaning and pukes them out as static noise, leaving us with nothing but a pessimistic view of grand fraud and universal imbecility, of general banality and omnipresent turpitude. The article on Think Progress by Judd Legum, "This French Philosopher is the Only One Who Can Explain the Donald Trump Phenomenon", outlines the success of Trump over his more genteeled rivals according to yet another French theorist from the sixties, Roland Barthes. Basically the article claims that Trump is winning because he is applying the lessons of wrestling while his rivals are losing by relying on the traditional strategies of politics that is based on boxing: rules and decorum. No doubt this distinction is illuminating, but it fails to account for the reason why Trump is winning now, as opposed to in the past or why other larger than life candidates haven't been as successful until now. Trump is winning because it is the end of Empire. There has been a cultural paradigm shift in America since 2005 in which the civil and well- mannered polite celebrity has lost all credibility. Audiences are no longer attracted to the well-rehearsed, perfectly polled interviews. Trump's unapologetic way of campaigning has struck a chord within the times : unscripted and unsupervised honesty in the realm of politics. Bret Easton Ellis' argument is that the lies of Empire has lost all credibility. Instead of polite hypocrisy, Americans yearn for a new self-expression: raw and undiluted. Trump as the perfect celebrity of post-Empire America no longer gives a fuck and that's what makes the American public love him more. Fame & politics has changed in America. No longer do people become famous for their talent; instead we see extremists emerge to relevance and disappear quickly. In this age of hyper-conscious social media, attention has shrunk to 140 characters, which shortens fame, forcing 15-minuters to possess something totally "amazeballs" or at least a YouTube clip to go viral. Moreover the final proof of post-Empire culture is the resigned acceptance, if not total endorsement, of the media. No longer punching out the paparazzi, the celebrity or politician has to accept parasites like TMZ and play by the new rules, accept that mockery is the permanent currency. Trump had and he is winning. He has no shame, offers no apologies, and is ready to troll haters at the drop of the hat. Outdated relics and dinosaurs continue to delude themselves that we are still living in the Empire. They Bitch moan and whine that Trump and the other post-Empire guys aren't polite enough or say the "right" things or kiss appropriate ass. The Empire's tasteful, civil and well-mannered behavior has zero credibility in the post-Empire context. Pax Americana is so last year and good riddance to the patronizing political correctness.
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The Heretic added a topic in Play2015 NFL Week 1 PicksNFL Week 1 Picks
After 6 months straight of Deflategate, I'm pretty sure that everyone's dead tired of it, and the biggest loser of that media created BS isn't the NFL. It's the Pittsburgh Steelers, since they get to face a pissed off Brady tomorrow night. After a solid but not great year of picks*, I fully expect a better year, if only because I posted a preview (5 teams left). Onto the Picks!
Thursday Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
Although Pittsburgh will be missing their top WR and RB, as well as All-Pro Center Pouncey, I doubt it would've made a difference even at full strength. Moreover, they won't be able to handle a fully rested and healthy TE Gronkowski, rumbling through that laughably poor secondary. QB Tom Terrific will see nothing but a bunch of panciky Roger Goodell stumbling and fumbling on the field.
Patriots by 14
Game of the Week
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos (-4.5)
QB Manning has made mincemeat of Baltimore since he joined Denver in 2012, because they have had success moving the ball. For some reason, Baltimore gets suckered into a shootout with him, which is almost always a bad idea.
Broncos by 4
Monday Night Game of the Week
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (+3.5)
After a crazy offseason overhauling the team, Philadelphia is a great unknown, although they were a complete buzzsaw in the preseason, encouraging pundits to back them for the playoffs. But it all depends on the ultra-fragile QB Bradford, who just cannot stay healthy. As for Atlanta, they are loaded on offense enough to stay competitive in high scoring shootouts. Because neither team has a legitimate defense, it might come down to whoever has the ball last.
Eagles by 1
Same of the Week
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (+6.5)
While Green Bay will be missing their top WR Nelson, the Bears' entire WR corps is decimated by injuries. Moreover, Chicago's paper-machie defense will not be able to slow down Green Bay's multidimensional offense in the slightest. Bottom line? It's QB Rodgers versus QB Cutler, and that's All. She. Wrote.
Packers by 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (even)
Houston has confidence in QB Hoyer, that he'll hold down the fort until RB Foster gets over his injury. However, Kansas City seems improved on offense with WR Maclin. Then again, neither QB will have much room to work, because both of them will be running for their lives away from holy terrors in J.J. Watt and Justin Houston.
Texans by 1
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills (+2.5)
If Indianapolis cannot contain the ultraquick QB Taylor, they'll be in trouble. They might not be able to, since DE Jones is now on the injured reserve list. OTOH Buffalo has to slow down one of the best offensive machines in the league, but they do have the best defensive line, and a solid secondary to do the job. Take the points.
Colts by 1
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams (+4.5)
Yes, St. Louis shocked Seattle last year in Week 7, dropping them to 3-3. Then Seattle turned their season around and came a yard shy of back to back Super Bowl titles. Both St. Louis and Seattle have great defenses, going up against questionable offensive lines, which spells a low scoring game.
Seahawks by 2
New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
The Cards looked legitimate for most of the season, until they ran out of quarterbacks. Obviously, QB Palmer has to stay healthy, but his fragile offensive line isn't promising. At least they're facing a team on the decline in New Orleans, at home in front of a ferocious fanbase.
Cardinals by 4
Detroit Lions @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)
Difficult to pick between two consistently inconsistent teams in Detroit and San Diego, to say the least. Both are loaded with talent, with world-beating QBs, but neither of them has figured out the secret. Although Detroit was tough at home last year, they were average away from Ford Field. Lay the points.
Chargers by 3
Shame of the Week
Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets (-2.5)
After a solid offseason of upgrades to the offense and overhaul of defense, and a new intelligent coach in Bowles, there's hope in New York. Despite the loss of QB Geno Smith to a busted jaw, New York won't have much trouble against Cleveland, because they won't be disadvantaged at the QB spot. Moreover, Cleveland doesn't have strong receivers, allowing All-World CB Revis to wreak holy terror.
Jets by 3
Miami Dolphins @ Washington Racial Slur (+1.5)
For the past few years, the circus at Washington has degenerated to farcical levels. The QB of the Future RGIII is still there, but he will likely never take another snap again. Fortunately, despite the cheesy carnival music and the elephant dung, starting Cousins at QB was a football decision. However, it makes zippo difference against a bloothirsty defense from Miami.
Dolphins by 3
Carolina Panthers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5)
Carolina is decimated at WR, meaning they'll have no choice but start WR Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr. Who? Exactly. But Jacksonville will not be able to take advantage in the slightest, because they are still a godforsaken, shitty team.
Panthers by 6
Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders (+3.5)
Despite making the playoffs for the last 4 years, Cincinnati have as many playoff wins as say, Oakland. Yup, zippo. Moreover, Cincinnati has one of the toughest schedules in the league, so they have to get every cupcake possible. Oakland's QBs aren't horrible, but they lack a running game to balance things and keep Cincinnati's defense honest.
Bengals by 13
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
Yes, it's Super Bowl or Bust for the Cowboys. Just like any other year. Despite losing RB Murray, some pundits think the Cowboys might be better this year. New York has yet to recover from that Super Bowl hangover from 5 years ago.
Cowboys by 6
Lame of the Week
Tenneessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)
The battle of two crappy franchises with two QBs of the future in Mariota and Winston! QB Mariota was slightly better in the preseason, but avoid this game at all cost.
Buccaneers by 1
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 40 Whiners (-2.5)
QB Bridgewater is converting believers everywhere he goes, and he has All-Day Peterson back. Moreover, the young Minnesota defense is poised to destroy the league. As for San Francisco? They have lost half of their guys, their coach, their mojo, their everything. A biblical Exodus, except the 40 Whiners are the Egyptians.
Vikings by 7
*2014 Season Total: 174-92
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The Heretic added a topic in InfluenceGeneration WussIn this link, Bret Easton Ellis describes the Millenials generation:
I have been living with someone from the Millennial generation for the last four years (he’s now 27) and sometimes I’m charmed and sometimes I’m exasperated by how him and his friends—as well as the Millennials I’ve met and interacted with both in person and in social media—deal with the world, and I’ve tweeted about my amusement and frustration under the banner “Generation Wuss” for a few years now. My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move. These are late-end Baby Boomers and Generation X parents who were now rebelling against their own rebelliousness because of the love they felt that they never got from their selfish narcissistic Boomer parents and who end up smothering their kids, inducing a kind of inadequate preparation in how to deal with the hardships of life and the real way the world works: people won’t like you, that person may not love you back, kids are really cruel, work sucks, it’s hard to be good at something, life is made up of failure and disappointment, you’re not talented, people suffer, people grow old, people die. And Generation Wuss responds by collapsing into sentimentality and creating victim narratives rather than acknowledging the realities of the world and grappling with them and processing them and then moving on, better prepared to navigate an often hostile or indifferent world that doesn’t care if you exist.
The sixties generation was the last one to subscribe to the myth of the creative genius. In other words it was once thought to be beneath an artist to market him/herself. Flyers, invitations, cocktail schmaltz, a mentality for enterprise was thought to be alien to creativity. Baby networkers are hip to the value of the sleazy seduction come-on, likely developed at home with their parents, turn on older people by touching their hearts or stimulate their protective instincts or feelings of guilt.
The millennials have to trade off between developing their original style and figuring out how to get noticed. Does all this self-promotion detract from creativity? Does that mean self-promoters have turned the market into an agressive competition in which the artists who spend more time on their work never get noticed? Have the rules changed between generations, creating an intergeneration dynamic?
Moreover, the millennial generation demonstrates a callous approach to the established talent, fail to show interest in the previous generation's work. Idols are no longer worshipped - merely appropriated as targets. How is this the case? How can anyone of middling talent have the presumption to fool an established icon of the previoius generation? Does the answer lie in the unhealthy relationship between the millennial and the baby boomer parents, in which the parents did not provide an atmosphere of authority/discipline to be rebelled against? That is where all the productivity of the established generation came from, the need to defy and escape their parents' authority made the established artist strive for independence and self-reliance, as well as avoid from becoming a shameless suck up.
The intergenerational dynamic must have been exceedingly intimate, ripe for feelings of entitlement on the part of the millennials. Since the baby boomer parents fraternized their children, the current generation are like pampered whores who are conviced that the older generation owes them a living.Lacking the tangible results of rebellion, the millennial is incapable of blaming anything on their overly permissive parents, and thus, his hatred is a buried, passive aggressive anger.
What will happen when the millennial generation becomes the older generation? Will the subsequent one even bother to listen or read them, since their output will consist of publicity and little else?
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