Smile Politely

Football variety show #11

Hello everyone and welcome to the ELEVENTH edition of the Variety Show. It was a huge week in the pros with three of the underdogs (I miss that cartoon) winning and even a few upsets in NCAA Basketball. Now let’s dive right in….

The Illini. Where to start…… I am glad they won. Having said that I do not know if I can continue to watch their games. For 30 minutes they play like crap and the next ten they play perfect and squeak out a win….every game. Any other team goes down 15 or more with around ten minutes left, I start flipping the channel and seeing if cheerleading (still not a sport) is on ESPN. My main problem is that this “Illini effect” is carrying over to other games. I turned on the Patriots game when they were down two TDs and fully expected them to make the comeback. Same can be said for the Bengals game and the Packers game. My nerves can’t take it.



Out of curiosity, I asked my bookie if everyone did as bad as me this weekend. His response: “I made a killing.” Good to know I wasn’t the only sucker last weekend. His breakdown is as follows; everyone picked the Cowboys; only one person bet on the Jets; the Packers we’re about 70/30; and the Patriots/Ravens game was also about 70/30. In short, everyone had the same luck I did.

The Cowboys game was whatever the opposite of a surprise was, the Jets game was just sad, as was the Patriots game, and the Packers game was sad but for a whole different reason.

It needs to be said that Aaron Rodgers is a hell of a QB and played a great game. He led one of the craziest comebacks in playoff history, only to lose the game for his team, sort of. Rodgers is going to be blamed a lot for holding onto the ball way too long and that is what led to the fumble. I contend that if the defense showed any sign of life Aaron would have dumped a quick pass and they would have punted the ball and hoped the defense held them. He knew his defense was softer than a pincushion that night so he held onto the ball too long, looking to make a play, essentially putting the game on his shoulders.

Now on the other side of the ball was a man in the twilight of his career coming out and having his best single game of his life. Warner went 29 of 33 for 379 yards with 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. He had more touchdowns than incompletions.

And on the defensive side of the ball…….both teams sucked.



With last week behind us, we can look forward to a weekend where either the Colts or the Saints will fall. Which one, you ask? Well, let’s take a look.

Ravens at Colts The Ravens lost by two to the Colts earlier this season and were able to put the ball anywhere they wanted on the Colts, with exception of the end  zone. The Colts have won the last seven meetings with the Ravens. This game will be the first game in almost a month for the Colts starters and with it they are welcoming back a healthy Robert Mathis(DE) and Dwight Freeney (DE) who could very well be the difference-makers. Then again, the Ravens were able to shut down the Patriots defensive ends, so who really knows?

Cardinals at Saints The Redbirds are going to have to be a little more creative in their offensive gameplan for New Orleans as the Saints D won’t give it up down the middle (going to ignore the easy joke there) like the Pack did. As for the Arizona defense? Go find one! The Saints have been showing offensive trouble since the start of November and no one is quite sure which Saints team is going to show up. Most likely this game is going to be a repeat of the Pack/Birds game where the first team to score a stop will walk away with the W.

Cowboys at Vikings Dallas is on a winning streak and they’re doing it the old fashioned way, running it down your throat. The Vikings have the tools to limit the running game of Dallas, but it’s not been seen if they have the offensive tools to counteract it. The Vike’s will most likely try to get Adrian Peterson back on track but doing against a C-boy defense that has given up just 31 points in the last four games may be a bad idea. The Vikings are starting out as three-point favorites but that’s just because they’re at home. Don’t be surprised if that line goes the other way.

Jets at Chargers The Jets are going to have to run the ball, and not because they don’t have the receivers, because they need to give Rivers and the rest of the Chargers as little time as possible to beat them. The Jets defense has allowed a league low 240 ypg but they have yet to face receivers of San Diego’s caliber.


Update: Tuesday, 9:52 pm.

The Illini have a one point lead against Penn State currently. This is after taking the lead late in the game when at the half they were trailing by five points at the half. ….. And the Illini just won the game, by one point. This season is not for the faint of heart.

This season’s Big Ten race could prove to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Sixth-ranked Purdue just got knocked off by Ohio State. Northwestern has a 12-3 record but is 1-2 in conference while 7 of the 11 teams have 12 wins or more. A little discrepancy will be added on Saturday when the last two undefeated teams in the conference (Illini, Michigan St.) face each other in Michigan.

Outside of the Big Ten, Duke lost to a Tennessee team that was missing four of its players (two of them starters) to suspension. I only mention this because I assume most of you are like me and hate the ACC and its spokesperson Dick Vitale. I’d rather listen to Bruce Weber and Ron Zook have a “whose voice is harder to listen to contest” then listen to that Dick talk.

Does any conference look worse than the Pac-10?



  • According to Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar will fight again and it could be as soon as this spring. This is huge because Lesnar is one of UFC’s biggest draws and because I really want to see Mir and Lesnar go at it once again.
  • In baseball news Mark McGwire admitted that he used steroids during his all star seasons. In other news the sky is blue, ice is cold, and you’re a moron if you didn’t already know that. By coming clean Mark is trying to most likely be able to make it to the hall of fame. Most likely to be his next move is to Pinch Hit next season so that his name will not be eligible for another four years, by which time he will hope most people will have forgotten about it.



The other day NBC announced they expect to lose around two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000 Just so you can see what that actually looks like) on the Olympics this year. While thinking about that number I realized something, I really don’t care about the Olympics (except for curling…and maybe Basketball in the summer Olympics) and I think this number proves that not too many of you do either. Sure there are a lot of individual stories in the Olympics but they don’t really mean anything to many people except those actually participating and maybe a few island nations that never get any press. I think this follows over to other sports on a national level too. Now follow closely because I’m gonna take you on a walk here.

On a national level we don’t have anything to get behind. Sure we have a soccer team but as a whole not many of us care. The World Cup is this year, did you know that? Didn’t think you did. Every European country has a soccer team that their people get behind on a national level, and the rest of the world has Rugby and Cricket (worst sport ever). It’s something that as a nation they can say, “We are better then you.” As Americans we either do not have this or have failed to get behind the idea of this, and the result? We have to find other ways to let the world know we have the biggest -censored- in the room: war, political pressure, etc. Think about it, every country that has a team that holds their national pride is not exactly a country that you can deem a “problem.” Maybe I am completely off base but it’s worth a thought.

Back to that 200 million bucks NBC will lose. I have an idea: don’t broadcast shit no one wants to see. Lets see what you’re going to show that I’m not going to watch; figure skating (not a sport), actually I might watch the women’s but only because those outfits are skintight; Nordic combined (wanking motion); Ice dancing (seriously?); cross country skiing, it’s like running but something someone from somewhere other than Kenya has a chance at winning; and speed skating: there is a combined 18 events for both men and women. Give me a short and long track competition for each and that’s it, then you can come talk to me.

While researching I learned an event called Skijoring will be on demonstration this year. Its basically skiing behind dogs. Show me that. Also, make sure you show plenty of curling, I love that sport.

And you can expect legitimate Olympics coverage in the coming weeks.



  • I watched The Hurt Locker last night and I think it may be one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is definitely the best war movie I have ever seen.
  • If any of you have Twitter feel free to follow me at
  • Just announced, the 23rd Bond film will likely be filmed in 3D. Also, starting sometime this year there will be a 3D television station. Reading those two sentences makes me want to choke someone. As soon as Lost is over I am finally giving up on T.V. Why you ask? Go watch Jersey Shore. Visual media entertainment has finally jumped the shark.



Colts over Ravens: Let it be known that I really want the Ravens to win, but the Colts are a better team than the Patriots were and they won’t make the same mistakes. I also believe Flacco (QB) is a lot more banged up then they’re letting on.

Saints over Cardinals: The Saints’ D is better the Packers’ was. Even if it isn’t by much it will be enough to get a stop or two and win the game. Also expect this game to go over; this is going to be a shootout.

Chargers over Jets: I expect this game to be a lot closer than the eight points the odds makers are giving them. The Chargers need to stay focused because next week could offer them a matchup with the Colts, a team they are really good at knocking out of the playoffs.

Vikings over Cowboys: I asked my bookie if he had one bet he could take this week, which it would be. He said he’d wait till the last minute, so he can get the best line, and take whatever spread the Vikings are getting. I am not as confident in this pick as he is so that’s why I’m calling it the “Bookie Special”

Conan over Leno: The Hair over the Chin any day.

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