Friday, November 27, 2009

Observations from Thanksgiving '09

My grandma's getting wilier in her old age.
My brother Greg wasn't feeling well, so Nana made him tea.....and spiked it with whiskey. She had no plans to tell him, so I didn't either.

The sides are better than the turkey.
And it's not even close. I think people only say they like turkey better because they're afraid Sarah Palin will find out, and accuse them of not being real Americans.

If this were 20 years ago, Lindsey's family would have a fresh batch of home movies.
We were at her parents' house a while back, and her mom played all her home movies for me. Every one of them was from Thanksgiving. I think it's the only day they remembered to tape. Still, it's more than I can say for my brother Robby. I think we have his first birthday, and that's it.

When speaking to senior citizens, it doesn't matter how loud you say it, you still have to say it twice.

Our family beagle, Ricky, CAN'T go 12 straight hours trying to get everyone's food.
He took a half-hour nap.

Thanksgiving is still the best holiday. Period.
Including Robby's team's thrilling 30-28 win over Greenwich, I watched 12 hours of football yesterday.

Bring it on, Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Then Along Came David

Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was challenging. Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dan would come with my three cousins, Katherine, Sarah, and Patty. The three of us boys loved football. The three of them didn't. Uncle Dan liked football, but he didn't like us.

It was football vs. family. Not a choice anyone should have to make, especially on the greatest of holidays.

Then along came David.

Six years ago, David took a liking to Katherine. Soon after that, they started dating. And soon after that, he started showing up at Thanksgiving. (They're now married.) David loved football, just like we did. And he was a Lions fan, one of the two NFL teams that play every Thanksgiving.

Suddenly, it wasn't football vs. family anymore. David wanted to watch with the boys. Katherine wanted to be with David. Sarah and Patty wanted to be with Katherine. Everyone wanted to be with the veggie dip.

And so we all sat together in the family room. The girls braided each other's hair, and the boys watched football until their eyes hurt. And Uncle Dan was happy, because he liked football, and he liked David, too.

We lived happily ever after.

Thanksgiving Weekend Picks

Illinois (+21) @ Cincinnati (Fri, 12:00 ET). I like Ron Zook in the spoiler role here. He might not win, but he'll cover the number.

Alabama (-10) @ Auburn (Fri, 2:30 ET). These are the lines Bama's been covering all year (and I've mostly been on the wrong end of).

Pittsburgh (-1) @ West Virginia (Fri, 7:00 ET). Two straight picks for the two worst Dolphins' coaches ever? I'm not happy about it, but I don't think the Backyard Brawl will be much of a fight.

Boise State (-12) vs. Nevada (Fri, 10:00 ET). I'll take the team trying to score BCS style points to cover a big spread.

Florida State (+25) @ Florida (Sat, 3:30 ET). Tebow's last home game, blah blah blah. This is still Florida State, not Florida International. 25 points is too much.

Georgia Tech (-7) vs. Georgia (Sat, 8:00 ET). This doesn't mean I'm not sad about UGA VII, though. He was a good dawg.

UCLA (+13) @ USC (Sat, 10:00 ET). Why fight it? USC now 2-8 ATS...

Last Week: 4-1
Record to Date: 24-24-3

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Robert Pattinson: The Worst Basketball Player I've Ever Seen

On Friday Night, Twilight: The New Moon, starring Robert Pattinson, opens in theaters nationwide. Six gazillion teenage girls will go see it. Most will shriek the entire time. If your girlfriend's under the age of 50, she's probably heard of him. If she's under the age of 25, she's probably in love with him.

And if she's under the age of 90, she can probably beat him in basketball.

Pattinson was on my street a few months ago, filming a scene for an upcoming movie with Emilie de Ravin (from Lost). It's a carnival scene, and he was with de Ravin at the basketball shoot, perhaps trying to win her a stuffed animal. And when the movie opens next year, if any of his shots go in, it'll be thanks to some Oscar-worthy editing.

Because in real life, he wasn't even close.

I know, I know. It's a movie. It's not like he's trying. Well it doesn't matter. It was embarrassing. One of his shots hit the top of the carnival booth. He kept bouncing the ball off his foot. He dropped a three-foot, underhand pass from a production assistant. Three feet!

And he didn't care at all! Nobody did. All anyone could talk about was how hot and dreamy he was.

Hello?? Am I the only one seeing this? He just hit the top of the carnival booth!!!

So, when your girlfriend drops everything to see Twilight this weekend (hopefully on Saturday or Sunday!), or drools over pictures of him in US Weekly, or says she's too mature for that nonsense but then secretly drools over pictures of him in US Weekly, take solace in knowing he's the worst basketball player I've ever seen.

Well, except maybe Jordan Hill.

Thanks Donnie.

Saturday Picks

Big weekends in the Big 10 and Pac-10, but that's about it.

Ohio State (-10.5)
@ Michigan (12:00 ET). This really isn't much of a rivalry these days. Michigan stinks.

UConn (+6.5) @ Notre Dame (2:30 ET). Did anyone know the boys from my home state are 8-1 ATS this year? I didn't either.

Penn State (-3) @ Michigan State (3:30 ET). MSU's had this game circled since they blew the Iowa game. I think they blow this one, too.

Stanford (-7) vs. Cal (7:30 ET). Stanford's surging, and Cal's without their best player, whose last name is Best.

Arizona (+6) vs. Oregon (8:00 ET). HUGE game for both teams, as the winner stays alive for the Rose Bowl. Gimme the home 'dog in a game like that.

Last Week: 2-3 (again)
Record to Date: 20-23-3

Friday, November 13, 2009

Question from an Imaginary Reader

Until I start getting actual questions from readers, I'm just gonna make them up.

Billy (Pittsburgh, PA): Tonight my girlfriend and I had the perfect QTN. We ate delicious Italian, bought low-fat ice cream on the way home, talked with her roommates for a while, and watched The Hills. Now she's asleep. Can I turn on SportsCenter?

FVG: Thanks for the question, Billy. We know what you're going through. It's hard to go to sleep without checking in. Guys need to say goodnight to sports.

But tread lightly, my imaginary friend. Consider the ramifications if she wakes up. How would it make her feel? You spent the whole night proving she's the center of your universe, not sports. Might this blow the whole thing?

Here's a suggestion: Leave the TV off, and check scores on your phone. Then if she wakes up and sees you, you can say you were writing a work email, or sexting with another girl.

OK, maybe that's not a good idea either.

But whatever, it's not like you're real anyway.

Saturday Picks

Duke (+13) vs. Georgia Tech (12:00 ET). Yes, I know this isn't basketball. But I also know Duke's better than usual this year.

Stanford (+10.5) @ USC (3:30 ET). I'm in San Francisco this weekend, and will be watching this game at a Stanford bar. And USC's now 2-7 ATS.

Alabama (-12) @ Mississippi St (7:00 ET). I'll roll with the Tide here for a change. I'm not happy about it, though.

Pittsburgh (-6.5) vs. Notre Dame (8:00 ET). Mark May took Pitt, Lou Holtz took ND. Lou Holtz is dumber than Mark May.

Arizona St. (+18) @ Oregon (10:25 ET/7:25 PT). Freakin' Pacific Time. Football's over by 11...

Last Week: 2-3
Record to Date: 18-20-3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't Be a Part of Your Girlfriend's Costume

In an earlier post, I talked about how my favorite Bravo show of Lindsey's is The Rachel Zoe Project, which got a very respectable FVG grade of B-. So when Lindsey asked if I wanted to join her and Maria to be the show's three main characters for Halloween, I said, 'Sure. Great idea.'

But it wasn't a great idea. And not because that meant I'd be Brad, the gay intern, but because now I'd have to be NEAR her all night. And being near her most likely meant NOT being near a TV playing USC-Oregon or Texas-Oklahoma St.

If, at any point, I were to leave them to find the games, their costume would fall apart, and they couldn't take funny pictures to put on Facebook. And then I'd get yelled at. (Which, come to think of it, is what her character does to my character on the show anyway. So we'd really just be acting the part.)

Anyway, it didn't turn out as bad as I'd worried it would.

But it could have.

And next Halloween, that's not a risk you, or I, should be willing to take.

Saturday Picks

I'm a 'dog lover....

Virginia (+14)
@ Miami (12:00 ET). I want to believe in The U, but they've struggled lately, with A LOT of injuries on defense.

Ohio State (+5)
@ Penn State (3:30 ET). My roommate Ramsey will be at this game with his girlfriend, another Penn State alum. So I'll root for the Lions to pull out a squeaker, because I think this line is too high.

LSU (+7.5) @ Alabama (3:30 ET). In the game of the week, I think this spread is just about where it should be, which means I shouldn't be betting it. Riiiiight.

Arizona State (+10) vs. USC (8:00 ET). USC's just not a good bet this year. 2-6 ATS.

Idaho (+8) vs. Fresno State (10:30 ET). Go Vandals!

Last Week: 2-3
Record to Date: 16-17-3