Monday, October 1

If God Is Love, Why Does It Take So Long For Regional Dialects To Evolve Into Mutually Incomprehensible Languages?

BILL Simmons, ESPN's The Sports Guy, Friday:
Broncos (+9.5) over COLTS

Come on, this line shouldn't be higher than 7.

For the benefit of those of you who do not gamble on football or who do have ESPN columns advising those people who do, the betting line is designed, not to predict the outcome of the game, but to attract equal wagering on each side. And the final score of yesterday's game--Indianapolis 38, Denver 20--means that the Colts, by virtue of winning by eighteen, did what is known as "covering".
I'm not paying the Colts Tax because Denver has two quality CBs to handle Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne,

That would be two-time Pro Bowler Dré Bly, acquired this year from Detroit, and seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro Roland "Champ" Bailey, one of the best to ever play the position.

Since Denver acquired Bailey in 2004 they have faced the Colts five times, including twice in the post-season. In one of those games, Week 17 of the 2004 season, the Colts had already clinched their playoff spot and Peyton Manning played only the first series of a Broncos 33-14 win. In the other four, all Colts wins, Manning:

is 101 of 125 (80.8%) for 1373 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 1 interception as the Colts have put up 162 points

after going 20-27, 193, with 3 TDs and no picks yesterday in a game where Marvin Harrison went out in the first quarter and the Colts offense didn't get untracked until late in the first half.

So I suppose it's understandable why The Sports Guy would think the addition of Bly was the missing piece which would shut the Colts down completely:
which means Joe Addai has to run all over them for Indy to cover this spread. (I'm not ruling it out, but it seems like a stretch.)

Addai went for 139 on 19 carries with one touchdown. It's the highest yardage total of his second-year career, but he went for 118 against New Orleans in Week one, and he gained 1000 yards last year despite splitting RB duties with Dominic Rhodes all season, so calling this "a stretch" is something of, well, a stretch. Backup RB Kenton Keith added 80 yards on 10 carries after Addai left the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Maybe the stretch was believing the Broncos, whose rushing defense ranked 29th going in, could stay in deep coverage all day and still keep Indianapolis from running the ball, let alone stopping the short passing game while they were at it.
And if that's not enough, everyone and their degenerate brother will be throwing the Chargers, Cowboys and Colts into a three-team teaser on Sunday. That's never good. Out of those three, the Colts seem like the shakiest link, don't they?

You tell me, Bill. The spread in those other two games was a dozen points, and the Chargers, last year's designated West Coast sportswriter fluff object, who're already this year's designated Two Bagger and who were getting the twelve couldn't crack it. Looks like the bookmaking industry has survived another week's encounter with the Simmons brain.

Look, I'm sure nobody in the country appreciates Simmons' four-sport, twelve-month/year mock-comic Beantown homerism any more than I do, especially those times when he imagines we aren't sated by his own production and reprints a half-dozen emails saying the same thing, except without the mock-comedy. Which is, roughly, every goddam column.

But, y'know, is it too much to ask that you remove your head from Bill Belichick's lap long enough to, say, look at the teams before you make your picks?

And aside from the joy there was in imagining you'd actually bet the mortgage on Denver, there was this:
(Random fantasy note: On my 3-0 West Coast team that's morphing into the 2007 Pats of fantasy teams, I have Kenton Keith and Selvin Young stocked on my bench just in case Addai or Travis Henry get injured and I can trade Keith or Young to the teams that have Addai or Henry. That means I'll be watching this game rooting for the starting running backs to get injured every time they touch the ball. Can you think of another avenue in life when you'd openly and shamelessly root for two human beings to pull a hamstring, sprain a knee or break a foot for three straight hours? Me neither. I love fantasy football.)

They both got hurt. Did that mean you had to wash your own underwear so your wife wouldn't see what you did to it, or is she used to that sort of thing by now?


bronco214 said...

I don't know who "the sports guy" is, but he sounds like a pretty sick individual. Rooting for a real person to be injured to benefit a fantasy team?

KathyR said...

Yeah, I only root for injuries when I can't stand the two real-life teams playing.


I don't care if that makes me a bad person. Add it to the list.

And I am not a Chargers fan, but honestly, with the hegemony of the Eastern Sports Promoting Network, we need whatever West Coast fluff we can get.

heydave said...

I shall say nothing, merely smile in my rather coquettish way and contemplate the 4-0 Packers.

Jacob Burch said...

agreed all around, but I believe the champ-blessed broncos have only played the colts four times, including yesterday: 2004 Regular season rest game, 2004 playoffs, 2006 comeback with adam's kick, and yesterday. You may be counting the 2003 playoff game in the dome (followed by a victory in KC and the first of two patriot losses in the postseason), which would have taken place in the year 2004, but no the season.

But anything anti-simmons works for me!

Randal Graves said...

I usually root for that during the three straight hours of some Republican saying "I don't recall" fourteen billion times. Get a blister or a paper cut and leave the room. You aren't going to answer truthfully and no one expects you to.

I will also be rooting for the Yankees to suffer said injuries. But they're evil, so it's okay.

Rugosa said...

Don't be too hard on Simmons. The Boston Globe prints the predictions of five or so jock pundits, almost none of them do better than 50%. Your boy may be slow, but it's not a very fast herd to run in.

Injuries have dashed the hopes of Bills' fans and one young man in particular. I don't think wishing injuries is acceptable professional behavior, even done jokingly.