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Sundays Will Never Be The Same

Posted by evankessler on September 25, 2007

On September 29, 1991 while my father was being stripped of his living privileges, gasping for his last breaths in our downstairs bathroom and later on his bed, I watched on as New York Giants rookie Running back Jarrod Bunch was being stripped of the ball by Cowboys Safety Ray Horton en route to a defensive touchdown. To this day I hold a grudge against Jarrod Bunch for his subpar play that day and subsequent meaningless career. I could’ve began to hate football after that, since one of my worst moments was now associated with it. However, many of my best memories with my father were of all of the Sundays we spent rooting for the New York Football Giants.

Several days after my father passed, our close family friend Bruce Ullman was over our house and we were discussing Football. He asked if I wanted to make picks against him for the games each week and I happily agreed to a little friendly competition as I was confident I could beat him. From that moment on Sundays took on a new meaning, every Sunday I sat in front of the TV with my picks in front of me hoping to beat Bruce in our friendly pick off. I wrote down my picks and marked where Bruce’s picks differed with a capital letter B inside a circle. This friendly rivalry didn’t last just one season. Nearly every week during the football season for the past 16 plus years Bruce and I spoke on the phone to make our weekly picks. Bruce would always ask if I had been following his Hofstra Flying Dutchmen. My reply was always “No” but he made sure to tell me about them anyway. He would ask how the ladies were treating me and if the Mets were playing well we’d discuss them too. The one point of contention in our relationship was that he was a Jets fan and I, a Giants fan. I had a theory that all Jets fans and Yankees fans are horrific, deplorable human beings, so therefore all Jets fans must be Yankee fans. Bruce threw a wrench into that theory as both a Jet and Met fan and by his nature being the polar opposite of horrific and deplorable. Every now and again Bruce and I missed a phone call due to extenuating circumstances. On those weeks I’d assume that we would disagree on the results of the Jets and Giants games.

For the first few years of our competition there was no prize, just bragging rights. I won a few years, Bruce won a few. When I was in college or maybe just out we decided the prize would be that the loser had to take the winner to lunch. I collected once, but at the last count I probably owed him two or three meals. Sadly, I won’t be able to treat him to those meals as he passed away prior to this past weekend before his time and before we had the opportunity to make our week 3 picks. I made them for him anyway. The only places we differed were that he had the Jets winning and the Giants losing. We broke even but he’s still up 4 games on the season.

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"I" Did It!

Posted by evankessler on December 30, 2006

It’s finally here, the 9th letter of the Alphabet. H took a while to get through but the journey was worth it. This morning after several hours of recovery from last night out with Marty I hit the gym with the quest of reading the letter “i” on the iPodyssey. On my way to the gym I ran through Elastica’s “Human” and Elvis Costello’s “Human Hands”. I burned through 9 more H songs before reaching the letter I. When R.E.M.’s “Hyena’, I was almost certain that there would be no more H’s after that but was proven wrong when Nada Surf’s “Hyperspace” came on after.

The First “I ” song was “I am A Little Explosion” by Self, which confused me at first since I thought it was “Hi, My Name Is Cindy”. I thought I had regressed to the mid H’s. My workout ended on The Dandy Warhols “I Am Over It” and was followed by “I Am Sound” also by the Dandy Warhols to end my Ipodyssey progress for the day.

Tonight also marks the start of the final week of the NFL Regular Season. The Giants play the Washington Redskins and I am not at all optimistic at their chances but if they win their matchup they’ll most likely make the playoffs with a lowly 8-8 record. Last week was the nail in the coffin for my football picks competition as I went 7-9 and Bruce went 12-4 and now I’m traling by 11 games. The only way for me to get back in the competition is to win every game we’ve disagreed on this week and every playoff game thereafter. Looks like I’ll be buying someone lunch, but I guess those are the breaks. Ah, but what the hell, let’s give it a whirl. Crazier things have happened.

Week 17 Picks:
Giants over Redskins (Bruce picked the Redskins and rightfully so)
Saints over Panthers
Browns over Texans (Bruce went for the Texans, but what the hell)
Cowboys over Lions
Chiefs over Jaguars
Titans over Patriots (Bruce picked the Pats but I think they’ll rest their starters)
Jets over Raiders
Bengals over Steelers
Seahawks over Bucs
Rams over Vikings
Falcons over Eagles (Bruce picks Eagles, but I figure they have to mess up soon)
Ravens over Bills
Dolphins over Colts (Bruce picks the Colts but they’ve really sucked lately)
Chargers over Cards
Broncos over 49ers
Bears over Packers

Week 16 Picks
Evan 7-9
Bruce 12-4

Evan 141-99
Bruce 152-88

Alright, time to go to the bar and watch this game on the NFL Network. Damn you NFL Network.

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One "Good" Turn Deserves Another

Posted by evankessler on December 22, 2006

There’s a faint odor in the air, can you smell it? Do you know what that scent is? Why it’s the alluring aroma of vacation. If you don’t know what characterizes that particular parfume, here’s a not so subtle hint…NO WORK FOR A WEEK! Sure, I’ll have plenty of time to not work after January 5th if I don’t get any interviews but I prefer not to think that way.

The last time I was unemployed as you may or may not remember I was certainly sure I would never work again. That almost came to fruition, but I’m feeling slightly more optimistic this time around. Sure, my marketable skill set may be similar to what it was during that stretch but I’m willing to explore more options this time around.

Anyway, you didn’t come here to read my musings on employment. God (and only god) knows what you came here to read. I prefer to think you come here for my razor sharp wit and aimless verbal meandering or maybe you just like staring at my hot ass. Either way, I’ll except the challenge for yet another day.

Let’s talk about my Thursday, shall we? Hey, I make the decisions here and I say we shall. I woke up Thursday morning feeling completely replenished after a good 7 hours of sleep. I really should attempt to get more than 5 hours of sleep on a regular basis. It might actually be mentally and physically good for me. Who knew? So, my Thursday was off to an upbeat start. My first move out of the apartment was to drop off the ol’ laundry down the street. Upon dropping my dirties off, I found where I left off on yesterday’s iPodyssey. It’s probably a huge waste of time that I start where I last left off because last night I almost finished Catatonia’s “Goldfish and Paracetamol” but since I had to recharge, I was back at it’s beginning. To think, I could’ve been on Ben Folds “Gone” a whole 4 minutes earlier. Oh well, I got to it anyway as well as the 4 other “Gone…” songs. To my surprise they were only followed by one “Gonna…” track and about 16 “Good…” moves. I was almost certain I would move into the realm of “H” today, but it just didn’t happen. Things went from “Good” to “Grave” to “Green” to “Great” with only one repeat on the Pixies “Gouge Away” until the very end of the day which closed out with three versions of Uncle Tupelo’s “Grindstone”, two of which were the same versions (from different albums) and the last which was an acoustic rendering. Though I burned through 5o songs today it seemed as though precious little progress was made. Maybe it’s because I was actually doing work most of the day… Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

Thursday’s Best:
Ben Folds “Gone”, Violent Femmes “Gone Daddy Gone”, Shins “Gone For Good”, Cat Power “Good Clean Fun”, PJ Harvey “Good Fortune”, Kathleen Edwards “Good Things”, Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”, Aimee Mann “Goodbye Caroline”, Ol’ Dirty Bastard “Got Your Money”, Beastie Boys “Gratitude”, Uncle Tupelo “Graveyard Shift

Oh, actually before I go, I need to do my football picks tonight since there was a Thursday game tonight and I haven’t been getting them in early enough. Last week I got my ass kicked by my opponent and now I’m all but out of it. However, this is my one shining moment to get back into it and I’m already up one game on the week since the Packers won. Sweet. Wish me luck…or don’t. The only reason I put this up here is so that I can keep track without losing the sheet of paper I write it down on. Who knows though, maybe “Inside The NFL” will hire me to make picks each week.

Alright, I’m going to stop talking, here are the Week 16 picks with a lot of chances for me to make up ground.

Packers over Vikings (Bruce picks Vikings) I WIN!
Chiefs over Raiders
Bears over Lions
Rams over Redskins (Bruce picks Redskins)
Giants over Saints (Bruce picks Saints he’ll be right on this one)
Steelers over Ravens (Bruce picks Ravens but I smell upset)
Panthers over Falcons
Jaguars over Patriots (Bruce picks Patriots, but maybe just maybe…)
Bills over Titans (Bruce picks Titans but I say vince young has to lose soon)
Colts over Texans
Bucs over Browns
49ers over Cardinals (Bruce went with the Cardinals, who knows?)
Bengals over Broncos (Bruce went with the Broncos, could go either way)
Chargers over Seahawks
Cowboys over Eagles
Dolphins over Jets (Bruce picks Jets, I just swatted a moth)

Week 15 Picks Evan 11-5 Bruce 14-2 Season Evan 134-90 Bruce 140- 84

Alright, wish me luck in this dogfight. I know it’s utterly meaningless but it’s fun for me to win things and gloat. Have a good night or day depending on when you’re reading this. Remember to check back tomorrow, same bat time…same bat website.

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No Time for Love Dr. Jones

Posted by evankessler on December 17, 2006

Sunday football is quickly approaching and I’ve yet to post my picks for the week. Last week’s record was a paltry 8-8 as my opponent Bruce went 9-7 sinking me into a 3 game hole with a mere 2 more weeks to go in the season after this one. However, we do count the playoffs so there is hope.

Let’s get down to business to paraphrase what Shorty up there says. Two games were already played and I’m just going to assume that my opponent and I picked them both correctly, being the Pigskin Gods that we are. We all know that gods are infallible (even the ones that make mistakes) so there’s no reason that we should not have picked both San Francisco and Dallas to win the first two games this week. So without further ado Week 15, you’re on notice:

49ers over Seahawks
Cowboys over Falcons
Bears over Bucs
Steelers over Panthers
Packers over Lions
Ravens over Browns
Titans over Jaguars
Jets over Vikings
Saints over Redskins
Bills over Dolphins
Cardinals over Broncos (Bruce picks Broncos)
Rams over Raiders
Giants over Eagles (Bruce picks Eagles)
Chargers over Chiefs
Bengals over Colts (Bruce picks Colts)
Week 14 Picks
Evan 8-8
Bruce 9-7

Evan 123-85
Bruce 126-82

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Just Under The Wire

Posted by evankessler on December 10, 2006

I know very few people care when I talk about sports, but really the only reason I post my football picks is because for the last couple of years I misplace my football picks notebook and begin to lose track of the actual contest. So this is more for me than you…a solid record of my successes and failures in Pigskin Prognostication.

In any case last week was one of the failures as my friendly nemesis outdid me in the picks department with a 3 game advantage…taking the lead by 2 in the season series. However, I’m poised to make my presence felt this week. So without further ado, the week 14 picks.

Steelers over Browns (This already happened but we both would’ve picked the steelers)
Falcons over Bucs
Chiefs over Ravens (Bruce picks Ravens)
Colts over Jaguars
Lions over Vikings (Bruce picks Vikings)
Patriots over Dolphins
Giants over Panthers
Bengals over Raiders
Redskins over Eagles (Bruce picks Eagles)
Titans over Texans (Bruce picks Texans)
49ers over Packers
Seahawks over Cardinals
Jets over Bills
Chargers over Broncos
Saints over Cowboys (Bruce picks Cowboys)
Bears over Rams

Week 13 picks
Evan 9-7
Bruce 12-4

Evan 115-77
Bruce 117-75

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Picks and The Pod

Posted by evankessler on November 30, 2006

Well, my iPod odyssey has passed the week point and at the current rate of which I’m going through songs, I should have gone through my complete iPod music library by this time next year. However, I cannot be sure. I only managed to burn through 46 songs and a good chunk of them at the gym. The days listenings took me from Uncle Tupelo’s “Anodyne” to R.E.M.’s “At My Most Beautiful”. The gym was most certainly difficult to get through as I was tempted to do some fast forwarding due to having to hear both album and live versions of Wilco’s “Ashes of American Flags” and “At Least That’s What You Said”, the latter of which has an album version with 11 minutes of white noise at the end. I was dreading the eerie hum of silence when my iPod decided it would skip the silence for some reason. Phew! Luckily the pace picked up with “Astro” by the White Stripes” and Pavement’s “AT&T”. I feel the B’s coming on tomorrow.

In other news I saw an ad for a midtown deli in the village voice which was advertising 10% off all Sensuos Female Bodybuilding & Erotic Wrestling videos (p.32 Nov.29-Dec.5, 2006 edition). That’s quite the ad campaign for a deli.

In other sports news, Week 13 of the NFL is upon us with yet another Thursday evening game and after another stellar week picking games last week where my opponent Bruce and I both finished with an exceptional 11-5 result…I’m ready to take a hack at the current week in the hopes that I can build on my one game season lead. So without further ado:

Ravens over Bengals (Bruce picks Bengals)
Rams over Cardinals (Bruce picks Cardinals)
Falcons over Redskins (Bruce picks Redskins)
Patriots over Lions
Colts over Titans
Chiefs over Browns
Bears over Vikings
Jets over Packers
Chargers over Bills
Saints over 49ers
Raiders over Texans (Bruce picks Texans)
Dolphins over Jaguars (Bruce over Jaguars)
Cowboys over Giants (this one hurt)
Steelers over Buccaneers
Seahawks over Broncos
Panthers over Eagles

Week 12 Results
Evan 11-5
Bruce 11-5

Evan 106-70
Bruce 105-71

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Giving Thanks for Football

Posted by evankessler on November 22, 2006

Week 12 of the NFL regular season gets off to an early start this weekend with three games on the tele. Unfortunately, one of those games won’t be so easy to tune into as Thursday night’s show down between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium will only be visible in those homes with the NFL Network or DirecTV.

Quite a shame as the tradition of Football in homes across the country is as American as Apple Pie and to exclude millions of homes from their god given (because god only cares about America) Thanksgiving right is completely despicable. Though, in all honesty, I’m not too bothered by this as I probably wouldn’t have been able to watch the Broncos -Chiefs game on Sunday because New York CBS station would have no doubt been showing another game that is of more interest in the Eastern Time Zone. That being said, the majority of Americans will be treated to at least 2 games each featuring one of Thanksgiving mainstays…The Detroit Lions and The Dallas Cowboys. My curiosity has somewhat been piqued though as to why these two teams get the honor of playing every thanksgiving seeing as the cities of Dallas and Detroit don’t really seem to have any special attachment to the Thanksgiving holiday. I guess the argument could be made that Dallas is America’s team and Plymouth cars are made in Detroit and the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.

The Chiefs make sense because they represent Native Americans who were present at the first thanksgiving and so rudely stripped of their land. That being said perhaps there should be an Annual Thanksgiving matchup of the Chiefs or Redskins and the Patriots. That would make a hell of a lot more sense. Cowboys are pretty American though so I could see a Cowboy-Redskin showdown every Turkey day. I say we leave the Lions out of this especially since they so regularly suck.

Anyway, let’s get to business. This past weekend was a triumph for making football picks as I finished with an astounding record of 11-5, winning all 5 games I disagreed with Bruce on and giving me the season lead in our head to head battle.

Enough bragging…it’s time to make Week 12 picks

Broncos over Chiefs (Bruce picks Chiefs)
Cowboys over Buccaneers
Dolphins over Lions (Bruce picks Lions)
Ravens over Steelers
Bengals over Browns
Rams over 49ers
Vikings over Cardinals
Jets over Texans
Saints over Falcons (Bruce picks Falcons)
Panthers over Redskins
Jaguars over Bills
Chargers over Raiders
Giants over Titans
Bears over Patriots (Bruce picks Patriots)
Colts over Eagles
Seahawks over Packers

Week 11 Results
Evan 11-5
Bruce 6-10

Evan 95-65
Bruce 94-66

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Looking To Rebound

Posted by evankessler on November 19, 2006

It’s Sunday morning and you know what that means (no. You probably don’t) Time for last minute football picks in the season long rivalry of Evan vs. Bruce. One of these days I’ll have to find a picture of my pickoff nemesis so you don’t think I’m picking against an imaginary friend. In any case, I was destroyed last week as Bruce won all three games we disagreed on.

However, change is in the air and I’m making a vow to gain some ground back as I fell behind 4 games for the season. So without further ado, here goes nothing for Week 11 of the NFL Season.

Ravens over Falcons
Bills over Texans (Bruce picks Texans)
Bears over Jets
Saints over Bengals
Dolphins over Vikings (Bruce picks Vikings)
Patriots over Packers
Chiefs over Raiders
Steelers over Browns
Panthers over Rams
Eagles over Titans
Buccaneers over Redskins (Bruce picks Redskins)
Cardinals over Lions (Bruce picks Lions)
Seahawks over 49ers
Colts over Cowboys
Chargers over Broncos (Bruce picks Broncos)
Giants over Jaguars

There you have it…the picks for Week 12 getting done just under the wire. Good luck to you and your teams in both fantasy and reality.

Week 10 Results
Evan 7-9
Bruce 10-6

Evan 84-60
Bruce 88-56

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Pick 16

Posted by evankessler on November 12, 2006

Well, I’m down to the wire with my week 10 NFL Picks once again. This week we’re back to having a full slate of 16 games. I think that means all of the bye weeks are over…and thankful am I because there’s nothing better than a Sunday with a full slate of games.

That being said, let’s pick ’em.

Ravens over Titans
Colts over Bills
Falcons over Browns
Vikings over Green Bay
Jaguars over Texans
Chiefs over Dolphins
Patriots over Jets
Chargers over Bengals
Detroit over 49ers
Eagles over Redskins
Broncos over Raiders
Saints over Steelers (bruce picks steelers)
Cowboys over Cardinals
Rams over Seahawks (bruce picks seahawks)
Giants over Bears (bruce picks bears)
Panthers over Buccaneers

Week 9 Results
Evan 8-6
Bruce 7-7

Evan 77-51
Bruce 78-50

Good luck to you and your teams this sunday.

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Pre Kickoff Pickoff

Posted by evankessler on October 29, 2006

Alright, I’m hella hungover but that doesn’t mean I can’t post my football picks for this week. This week went down to the wire as I got a call from my nemesis in Pigskin Prognostication at 10:15 this morning and was barely conscious enough to decide who I favored in this week’s matchups.

Anyway, I’m not so much in the mood for writing so here you go…

Packers over Cardinals (Bruce picks Cardinals)
Bengals over Falcons (Bruce picks Falcons)
Saints over Ravens
Titans over Texans
Eagles over Jaguars
Seahawks over Chiefs
Bears over 49ers
Giants over Bucs
Chargers over Rams
Colts over Broncos (Bruce picks Broncos)
Jets over Browns
Steelers over Raiders
Panthers over Cowboys
Patriots over Vikings

Week 7 Results
Evan 5-8
Bruce 6-7

Evan 62-38
Bruce 65-35

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