Gambling can be defined in a multitude of ways. The free dictionary claims that gambling is "to bet on an uncertain outcome" or "to play a game of chance for stakes." It can also be defined as "taking a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or benefit". But when it comes to MY personal gambling, I think old Merriam Webster has it nailed correctly when they say gambling is "To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior". Because truthfully, when it comes to gambling, everything I do is reckless!!!! I have no qualms about it either. I have gained such an affinity and appreciation for losing that I just seem to do in every area of my existence. Yanks win 6 straight, I bet em in game 7 at home against the orioles, they have a lineup with Jeter, Granderson, Cano and Texieira on THE BENCH and lose 5-4. Milwaukee winners of 7 straight, with their best pitcher Greinke on the hill at home, I bet em, they lose to the struggling Cardinals. I angrily say screw sports betting and head to the shadiest casino in the world, Harrahs in Chester, PA, and blow 500 playing blackjack….then blow another 500 on my way out the door in my "Its only 500" mode. The long and short of it, is that gambling is probably my second favorite thing to do in the world, aside from the obvious, and I just so happen to suck at both (ask my ex girlfriends…they will gladly agree). But the reason I am here is not to vent to you about my gambling losses or lack of amazing sex life, well it kind of is, but it is to fill you in on current times in sports in different light than you see from everyone else out there. My intention is to give you some good stories about what you are actually interested in reading about and not do it in the manner that every other news feed out there does it in. I will be rash. I will be harsh. I will talk about fantasy sports, gambling, and real sports, while sprinkling in some personal stories about my own personal gambling and sex life escapades. Hopefully you enjoy. And with that, my first order of business has to be week 1 of the NFL... click to read the rest after the jump -
1. Peyton Manning and his giraffe neck (seriously, the guys neck is legit 2 feet in front of the rest of his body, check it out here: (Giraffe Neck)
2. Arian Foster and the magical Hammy (twitter is seriously 1000 times better than facebook, which will be useless in less than 2 years)
3. GB Packers and The quest to Repeat
4. 7 - (This is how I refer to Mike Vick, simply, 7. And his chances at leading the Eagles to the Promised Land)
5. Rookie QB's (yes that DOES include you, Andy Dalton)
1 The injury heard round the world, but not really spoken about very much until the last 7 days, has been the greatest QB of all time, in my meaningless opinion, Peyton Manning and the injured neck. Here is a guy who has not missed a game in 13 seasons! He has played in 227 consecutive games, and let's be honest, we were ALL rooting for him to break Brett Favre's record streak, because we all HATE Favre after all that nonsense we had to endure. The guy has been one of, if not THE, best QB in the NFL both from the actual football side of things, as well as the fantasy side of things. Manning has been atop the fantasy world for a decade, and as it is now, it looks like this will be the first time fantasy owners will be getting burned for spending a high draft pick on the Giraffe. (Fortunately for me, I listen to MYSELF when it comes to making fantasy picks, and decided to avoid him at all costs; along with other highly valued players like Michael Turner, Rashard Mendenhall, Maurice Jones Drew, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace, Antonio Gates, yes I said Antonio Gates, and all Tampa Bay Bucs), Rumors are now circulating that Manning may have to sit the ENTIRE SEASON - which sounds like MONEY to all of those who bet the colts win total for the season under 9.5. But more importantly, the NFL is losing its icon, its go to face and its MVP. Be honest, who is single handedly more valuable to their team than Peyton Manning? Brady? Matt Cassel took them to the playoffs. Rodgers? Possibly, but Matt Flynn is not awful, nor is Rodgers the QB/Offensive coordinator the way Manning is. No matter how you spin it, Manning will be missing week 1. In my opinion, football is going to be without its MVP for the entire 2011-2012 season, and that’s bad news for the colts and certain fantasy owners, but great news for the gamblers who were fortunate enough to get the colts under 9.5 wins before the line dropped AND all fantasy owners who did NOT draft Peyton. More news to come as it becomes available, but for now, plan on focusing on Peyton's mentally challenged brother, Eli, in hopes that he can snap Favre's streak.
2 Arian Foster was last year's top fantasy player, and as they say "it wasn't even close". He helped carry my teams to fantasy greatness as I was all over touting this guy as THE STUD before it was cool for people like Matthew Berry to start saying so. For those os you fantasy gamers that can recall a man by the name of Dominack Davis, former Texans RB, you know how good stats coming out of that backfield can be. Regardless, this year, he is dealing with a hamstring injury that held him out of multiple preseason games and has him listed as questionable for week one. He was interviewed after practice and said, "This is a 16-game season, and you don't want to rush back for game one if you're not ready. I plan on being ready, but if it's not ready, it's not ready. So we're just going to take it day-by-day." That does not sound like a guy who is ready if you ask me. All signs are pointing to Foster missing week 1 and possibly more weeks with the injured hammy. Hamstrings are not something you want to hear as an injury to your fantasy RB. Cuts are more difficult, explosion lacks, and production drops. I do not see Foster finishing as a top 12 RB this year. MARK IT DOWN! Avoid at all costs.
3 Tonight marks the 8th consecutive year that the defending super bowl champ will play on the opening Thursday night game for the NFL. It has the once removed Super Bowl Champion Saints, against last years winner in the GB Packers. Fantasy Implications are HIGH for this game, with Rodgers, Grant/Starks, Jennings, Finley, Brees, Ingram/Thomas/Sproles, Colston, and sleeper of the year Jimmy Graham (who is on ALL of my fantasy teams this year). Gambling is up on this game as well as this game typically sees more action than any game not including playoffs. Currently the Pack sit at -4 and 47.5. My money has been invested on a 6.5 point teaser with GB and New England (Monday Night), so I will be rooting for the Pack. But more importantly, can the Pack repeat? The last team to do so was the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005 (and I do NOT want to talk about losing in 2005). The quest begins tonight with a very difficult matchup against the Saints. The Pack will be returning several key players including STUD TE Jermichael Finley and former fantasy golden RB Ryan Grant. They did not the free agency moves the Dream Team Eagles did, but getting those players back will be a nice shot in the arm. Seriously, this guy Finley is like having that kid in 8th grade who is built like an 18 year old and just punks everyone else out on the field. He is unguardable. Too fast for line backers, too big for safeties and too strong for corners. I say he finishes the year as the #1 overall fantasy TE. Rodgers is a stud, plain and simple. He will throw for over 4000 yards this year and finish with around 33 combined TD's. Brees will do the same, but has to cut down on the interception total from last year, 22. If he does that, I would not be surprised to see the Saints overtake everyone's darling Atlanta Falcons this year. My prediction is GB 28 - NO 24 (Vegas does not like to have people losing much money on the first game). Plus I figure I'll win this half of my teaser and then somehow the god damn dolphins will beat the pats and ill lose another 260. Its like fucking clockwork.
4 As a Philly guy, I find myself caught in a tough position when it comes to Philly Sports. I LOVE the phils, and was actually at that awesome 9th inning win last night, hate the Flyers, love the sixers, as a basketball junkie, and do not really care for the Eagles. Now I know what you are thinking. What kind of Philly guy doesn't LOVE the eagles? Well, one thing you will find out in the world of gambling is that when you start taking bets, and you are in Philly, you secretly have to root against the Philly teams. Its unfortunate, but shit, who am I kidding, money first, eagles second. That’s all besides the point. The eagles went out and got the best secondary money could buy. Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC, and Asante Samuel clearly make up the top corner rotation in the NFL by far. The eagles also picked up Babin and Jenkins for the line which is a huge lift. Only problem is, their best linebacker is the brother of Clay Matthews. Its not actually Clay Matthews Eagles fans. The love this kid is getting is totally unwarranted. It's senseless. And the other problem is the offensive line. Did anyone in Philly actually WATCH the preseason? 7, brittle as is, was getting pummeled. He won't last 10 games if he has to withstand that kind of pressure. If he keeps seeing pressure like that, we may see Lesean McCoy break the RB record for catches in a season because it will be dump off city. They drafted an offensive guard is Watkins and he was supposed to be starting at RG. Well that's history as he will now be warming bench. They also moved Herrmans from left guard to right tackle with the huge responsibility of protecting 7's blindside. And they have a rookie at center in Kelce who needs to improve QUICK. Expectations are high in Philly. I personally think the hatred for Dallas has gone too far. They brought in some giant fat guy to be the D Coordinator. They got a healthy Romo. They got a head coach with a brain in Garrett. They got a STUD RB in Felix Jones (who again is one of MY GUYS this year and is on every one of my 5 teams, yes 5 teams). Miles Austin, healthy Dez Bryant and Jason Witten make up the deadliest trio of receiving options in the game period! The D will improve and win the NFC East this year at 11-5. You heard that here first folks. Screw Philly. I'm betting the Rams +4.5 week 1 and taking them on the ML at +195. GO COWBOYS!
5 Can Scam Newton, so aptly referred to by my counterpart Handy Cap, and Andy Dalton find any kind of success as rookie QB's? I say yes, depending on how you define success. Andy Dalton will throw the ball a ton this year because they will be losing every game, kind of like Bradford last year. He is not the dynamic thrower that Bradford is but has a brain, a rifle and much better weapons around him than people think. AJ Green is a machine built like Randy Moss with great playmaking ability, and Jerome Simpson is a huge sleeper for me this year. Gresham proved to be a valuable asset last year in the passing game and is Dalton really THAT much of a downgrade from Palmer? I say no and look for the Bengals to sneak up on some teams this year and steal a couple of wins. Who saw the Raiders going 6-0 in the AFC West last year? You did? LIAR! I'm just saying, it could happen. Then we have everyones darling Scam Newton. The guy is a stud. Let's be honest people. I would bang this dude. Ok maybe not. But he's got the face for stardom and the build that makes GM's salivate. He has a strong arm and the ability to make plays, but his decision making is ASS!!!!! This guy was a beast at Auburn because he was bigger, faster and stronger then his SEC competition and could tuck and run with no threat of real injury. In the NFL, its quite a different story. In addition, he really does not have much to work with. In an interview with Mike n Mike on ESPNRadio, Steve Smith said he was expecting his own personal numbers to drop this year. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No faith in his QB! Also, Jonathan Stewarts Achilles may never be the same and Deangelo Williams is on my brothers fantasy team, which means he is going to be awful this year. When your best options are Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey, you are in a ton of trouble. I say Carolina is looking at making a tough choice next year, when the #1 overall pick falls to them and they have to say No to Andrew Luck! Ride out on the Cardinals in week 1 minus the 7.
FOOTBALL STARTS TONIGHT!!! Get your fantasy rosters updated.
That's it folks. I will check back in soon with another column. I will post my wagers as I make them so u can fade my picks and get rich quick!