Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
Last week I moved a little closer to the black, but I’m still cowering in the red. Close enough for the legbreakers to give me a reprieve, though, so no need to keep peeking through those blinds, waiting for the two-inch man to sneak under my door. Bleary-eyed paranoia, that’s all that is. What’s on the docket for this week? Hopefully I land on the side of the sharps, but we all know the house always wins. Always. But maybe? Nah, I’m a sad sappy sucker. But I just won’t quit.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Last Week’s Record: 9-6
My Record So Far: 96-103-8
Thursday Night Game (12/12 8:30PM ET)
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos -10.5
I got a guy who tells me Philip Rivers gets his jollies makin’ kids. Not the fun part of makin’ kids—we all get our jollies from that, except for those sissies you might see in the queer part of town. But from having more and more of them around the house. Well, he also gets his jollies playing against divisional foes, and I’m takin’ a decade and a hook for the road team to cover.
My Pick: Chargers +10.5
Sunday Early Games (12/15 1PM ET)
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons -6
Same guy got the skinny on Philip Rivers also tells me Matt Ryan sucks his thumb ever since Julio Jones went down. I might too, were I in his shoes, no one to throw to, weight of all those expectations on my shoulders, like Dad had for me with the insurance biz, before I piddled it all away on these games. Smart money tells me to go against the Thumbsucker.
My Pick: Redskins +6
San Francisco 49ers -5.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I knew a gal from San Francisco once. No, she didn’t wear no flowers in her hair, but she had a little flower tattooed just below her belly button, off center a little bit. You got to see that flower, you were in for a fun night. I only got to see it twice. First night was the best night of my life. Second night I woke up with my wallet light and nothing left of her but her lipstick on my last cigarette, still burning in the ashtray. It was worth it, though.
My Pick: 49ers -5.5
Arizona Cardinals -2.5 at Tennessee Titans
I’ll tell you about Cardinals. Benny Flanagan, Cardinal of the Archdiocese in Wilkes-Barre, PA, when I was there trying to scam my way into the steel mill, he ran that town. Not even the lowest of the low or the highest of the high could get anything done in the town without kissin’ the fat man’s ring. Everyone knew he had a daughter, he hadn’t taken that vow of chastity thing too serious. Better that than diddlin’ kids, I suppose.
My Pick: Cardinals -2.5
New Orleans Saints -5.5 at St. Louis Rams
Mr. Cardinal himself was no Saint, but none of us were in those days. And it’s real hard to stay one in New Orleans. Drew Brees, though, he’s a schoolboy, squeaky clean. I’d say he could run for mayor of that town, or governor one day, except the fact you never wanna put anyone power don’t got any skeletons in that there closet of his. He’s got a golden arm, though, that boy.
My Pick: Saints -5.5
Seattle Seahawks -7 at New York Giants
The only New York Giant I ever knew was a guy they called Big Man. He was only five foot and change tall, but that’s not why they called him Big Man—it was the ladies that came up with that name. Big Man’s long gone, though, got mixed up in some flim-flam scheme up Providence way and never came back.
My Pick: Seahawks -7
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns -1.5
When I was really short on scratch this guy Tex set me up with a run, driving truck between Chicago and Cleveland. Normal stuff, head up from Chicago with an empty truck, come back full of cartons, cigarette packs with fake tax stamps. It was a good score, but I didn’t see much of it, seeing as I got the gig as a favor from Tex just to get me back on my feet. Screwed up things trying to get a bigger piece. Replaced me just like that. Just like that McClown’s takin’ over for Cutler. Make no difference.
My Pick: Bears +1.5
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts -6
Tex, like you’d guess, was from Texas, and he carried a Colt .45, single action, like in the old west, you gotta cock the hammer every time you wanna take another shot at someone. A six shooter. When Tex wanted you dead, he’d take all six. I’m gonna do the same.
My Pick: Texans +6
Buffalo Bills -2 at Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo’s a cold town with an even colder heart. The kind of place the streetwalkers hope they get kidnapped for the night, because being tied to a bed in some flophouse, under some sicko, is better than winding up under two feet of snow and ice. Jacksonville’s cold too, in a different way, in that it’s got a big empty space where its soul should be. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to either one.
My Pick: Jaguars +2
New England Patriots -2.5 at Miami Dolphins
I used to hit the Foxwoods, one of those Indian casino jobs up in New England. Lot of suckers on the poker tables, dead money all the way, and when my take was getting low I could always go there to get healthy. One day there was this young girl, had to have been in there on fake paper, sat down at the tables with me. Real deer in the headlights look to her, big brown eyes. Hair to match. The kind of pretty face you’re scared the world is gonna turn too hard. I was watching those eyes as my stack of chips slowly dwindled down, and when she cashed up and got out, I realized those eyes were lies. Caught up to her later, and she bought me a drink. Me, the sucker. She went by the name Miami. We headed to Vegas together.
My Pick: Patriots -2.5
Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 at Minnesota Vikings
I’m not welcome in Philly, and it’s cause of a guy named Phil. Phil from Philly, ain’t that grand? Anyways, after his wife had two kids real young, she decided to go back to school, get her degree, didn’t want a man to have control over her. She didn’t know who she was trying to get out from under, though, because he had his finger in plenty of pies in that town. I’d’ve known the ring on her finger was paid for by old Phil, I’d never have taken that hand in mine, and a whole lot more. Scar above my eye learned me that lesson.
My Pick: Eagles -4.5
Sunday Late Games (12/15 4:05/4:25PM ET)
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers -11
I guess I gone off on a few tangents here. Supposed to be givin’ you the inside scoop on what’s goin’ on with these here NFL picks. But whenever I sit down to bet, I reminisce, you know? The good old days, before all these geniuses with their computer programs and simulations took over the Vegas books. Back when it was just guys with notepads, your friendly neighborhood guy takin’ bets. Normally I wouldn’t touch a game like this with a ten foot pole, but a dog like this, I gotta take the points.
My Pick: Jets +11
Kansas City Chiefs -4 at Oakland Raiders
Used to be you could tell when the Raiders were gonna have a bad loss by how many people saw guys from the team out at the East Bay gin joints and skin spots. Now, it ain’t like that, or ain’t nobody talkin’.
My Pick: Chiefs -4
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (no line)
No line on this one on account of Aaron Rodgers ain’t sure if he should play or not. I’m him, I’m sippin’ pina coladas and waitin’ for next year, because this ain’t theirs. Hell, I’m Tony Romo, I’m doin’ the same. Or a nice navy grog. When I was livin’ in a houseboat off the Keys, had a girl for a while, mixed up the best navy grog this side of Don the Beachcomber. Mixed up my head somethin’ good, too. But I ain’t in this life to be a spectator, you know?
My Pick: N/A
Sunday Night Game (12/15 8:25PM ET)
Cincinnati Bengals -3 at Pittsburgh Steelers
On account of an old pal, I gotta say the Steelers’ goose is cooked in this one.
My Pick: Bengals -3
Monday Night Football (12/16 8:30PM ET)
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions -6
Now I’m a real deadbeat, and I only feel like myself around the lowest of the low, but both of these towns are too much for me. Guys I know from Ballmer, you say one wrong thing, you no longer got the ability to say any right things either. Guys I know from Detroit, you don’t get to say the wrong thing in the first place.
My Pick: Ravens +6
Wish me luck, all you law-abiding folk reading from a cozy office or sittin’ on a couch. Just remember, a couple bad bets or bad beats and you can wind up just like me.