Subtlety is not one of my strengths

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Monday, December 22 2014

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Ferguson, Wilson, Brown, and Grand Juries

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Oh, but I've got some reading to do.

Unlike many of you, I wasn't certain I knew what happened when Officer Wilson shot Brown, what happened prior, what the motives were.  Honestly, I wasn't.  It seems like people were confident of Wilson's guilt or innocence.

That is the first reason I figured he'd be indicted...to give the appearance of a full, unsealed investigation, and the arguments made on either side.

I don't really understand the role of a grand jury (as opposed to, say, a government attorney's office) in determining whether to bring charges.

And I don't understand how Officer Wilson's sworn testimony can be so obviously tinged with racism (seriously, read how he describes Brown, all of the connotations in his language in describing the neighborhood...read how he refers to Brown as "it", rather than "he"), and so consistent with the b.s. story the Chief of Police first told and later recanted because it chronologically didn't hold up.

I don't know if this was convictible, but I can't imagine how it's not incredibly indictable.

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nFL Predictions 2014: Week 16

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I finally had a week I can be happy about. It certainly did not start that way when I had too much confidence in the St. Louis defense against an opponent with something to play for in Arizona. There is no shame in missing Buffalo's upset of Green Bay although the pass rush is how to beat Aaron Rodgers so I could have gotten that one. My only other miss was Johnny Manziel falling flat on his face in Cleveland's loss to Cincinnati. In all I finished 13-3 straight up (146-77-1 overall) and I will take that and run heading into two of the hardest weeks of the season to pick winners. Against the spread I had one tough beat because Washington was robbed of what looked like a touchdown based on a rule that took forever to explain, which means it's a joke. Even with that I finished 10-6 (115-109 overall). I went flat against the spread at 8-8 (126-97-1 overall) with a frustrating loss when Oakland put up a garbage TD in the final seconds. I am now +35 against Las Vegas.

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 15

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I continue to make myself crazy hoping for that one big week to turn my season into a winner. Last week was almost what I needed. Straight up I went 12-4 (133-74-1 overall) and that was okay except it can always be better. I made the mistake of switching my Baltimore/Miami pick because Haloti Ngata was out, and the Dolphins did pretty much everything they could to lose that game. Everyone was on New Orleans over Carolina, so I have no regrets about that. Had Oakland not been so dreadful against St. Louis the previous week I might have considered going on a limb with them, but virtually everyone was on the 49ers. I definitely wish I had the Tennessee pick back because the Giants are the type of team that has pride and wins garbage games, plus the wide receiver situation coupled with their dreadful rushing attack should have been a tell for me. 

Against the spread I held my own at 8-8 (105-103 overall) with the aforementioned losses, plus some tough beats. Indianapolis gave Cleveland 14 points and failed to cover. Denver decided to treat their game with Buffalo like a practice and as a result let them pull a back door cover. San Diego I should have known would let me down against New England, and the same goes for hoping Tampa Bay getting a bunch of points in Detroit mattered. Anyway, I was 11-5 on the over/under (118-89-1) so I now stand +31 versus Vegas. At least I have that going for me heading into the very difficult weeks to read games. 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 14

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Well that was a disappointment. I kind of figured how my week would go when I only got one winner out of three Thanksgiving Day games. The 49ers, I figured, were in a good spot to make a stand at home against the Seahawks. The Cowboys, as it turned out, had more of a quarterback edge in reputation compared to reality, but beyond that I believed their offensive line was so much better as well. Those were two awful misses. However, I had some frustrating results go the opposite way, to say the least.

The Ravens were up 33-27 in a game I called for them to win 27-20 only to choke away the game on a drive where the Chargers went right down the field, costing me straight up and against the spread. The Giants choked away a 21-3 lead against the Jaguars, then kicked a field goal to go ahead 24-22 in a game I called 24-17. They gave up a field goal in the final minute to lose, again costing me twice. The Bengals won 14-13 in a game I called 20-14, and I guess I should have known to just take the points with the Bucs as a home underdog so that was a bummer. When is the last time Drew Brees threw 5 touchdown passes outdoors in a cold weather city? At least I took the points in that one. I have only myself to blame going on a limb with the Chiefs over the Broncos. As soon as I submitted that one I felt a lump in my stomach. The week ended with a tough loss against the spread when Mike Wallace dropped a sure TD pass, costing the Dolphins four points in a game they won 16-13 and failed to cover as I said they would by a margin of 23-17. 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 13

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The picks last week were a bit frustrating because I felt as if I had an opportunity to really make up for being so off in week 12, only to watch it slip away at the end. Of course I was pleased to go 12-3 straight up (112-63-1 overall) but it still hurt to lose the Cleveland-Atlanta game that I called for the Falcons 28-27 when they were a stupid coaching decision (clock management) away from winning 24-23. New Orleans not losing a third in a row at home is one of those picks I felt as if I had to make, and they choked. Even if in my gut I felt an 0-10 Oakland team had a chance against Kansas City, it was senseless to put my neck on the line for it. 

Against the spread I won the week at 8-7 (91-85 overall) with some frustrating misses. Denver tried to cover, then let Miami score at the death. Tampa Bay was up 10 in Chicago, yet failed to cover 6, losing 21-13. Anyway, I managed to go 9-6 on the over/under (96-79-1 overall) making my mark versus Vegas +23. Now as teams fight for the playoffs it is time to get serious about the picks. Wacky results happen late in the season as teams with nothing to lose stun teams with everything to play for.

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 12

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I guess I should know better than to complain about mediocrity, because last week I was rewarded with an abysmal record. It is hard to recall a spot this late in the season when I had a straight up week as bad as the 7-7 (100-60-1 overall) I just turned in and that was not the worst of it. I gave back massive gains against the spread with a 3-11 showing (83-78 overall) and even struggled on the over/under at 6-8 (87-73-1 overall). The disaster left me +19 against Vegas. Believe me when I tell you weeks like this do not happen often. Experts from across the web were 97% in agreement on three teams winning (Saints, Redskins, Broncos) and quite frankly all of them were defeated handily. How often does this happen? Two other teams (Chargers, Steelers) barely escaped and were picked by that high a percentage as well. Odd, I would say. The wise guys never lose. I move on.

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 11

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It was another painful, mediocre week for me. All year I have been struggling to pick winners at the level I am accustomed to. I went 9-4 (93-53-1 overall) with misses on a couple significant upsets, Cleveland drubbing Cincinnati and New York (Jets) stunning Pittsburgh. I was most bothered by calling New Orleans 28-24 over San Francisco, and watching a 27-24 result the other way around. I need some of those to start going my way. Against the spread I was at least positive at 7-6 (80-67 overall) but was burned trying to play the odds taking two double-digit underdogs (Titans, Raiders) to cover the points. I went 7-6 on the over/under (81-65-1 overall) and now stand +29 against Las Vegas. This week I need to hone in with laser focus to make up some ground. 

 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 10

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Winning can sometimes feel like losing. It was the case for me this past week. I took some chances, which is what I do when I fall behind the masses. I want to pick the most winners out of anyone on the planet. This is unrealistic. I know this. I do not care. It hurts me immensely when a game goes wrong the way Washington's trip to Minnesota did. The outcome honestly could have gone either way. I called it 24-21 for the Redskins, who ultimately lost 26-29 but not before they failed on a two-point conversion when trying to go ahead by a full touchdown and therefore costing themselves a shot at overtime. 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 9

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Every week my goal is to pick double digit winners first and foremost. I was able to accomplish that last week at 10-5 (76-44-1 overall) with some pretty tough losses. Two of them were in OT including Dallas getting upset on MNF. Another was Baltimore falling on a pretty questionable pass interference call against Cincinnati in a game I called for the underdog to win. I took a big chance on Tennessee with a rookie quarterback and it backfired, so I wish I had that one back. No regrets on Indianapolis in Pittsburgh, but I should have known with a dome team playing in the elements. 

From a "gambling" standpoint I was flat. I went just 7-8 against the spread (65-56 overall) but I certainly laid it all on the table taking the points in 11 games (5-6 mark). Along with the aforementioned frustrating loss by the Ravens, I lost with the Eagles when the Cards dropped a 75-yard bomb. How do you let a rookie wide receiver behind you protecting a 3-point lead late in the game? I wimped out taking the points for the Packers because Aaron Rodgers is usually so good in domes, but a couple of deflected interceptions helped undo his efforts. Anyway, I was on the plus side for the over/under at 8-7 (68-52-1 overall) so I am still +25 versus Vegas. 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 8

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Generally speaking I do not like to look back upon previous weeks. Sometimes I do, just to see where I went wrong and why it happened. Picking winners, I went 10-5 last week (66-39-1 overall) while this is not a terrible record I am used to being much better. I had an inclination Jacksonville might straight up beat Cleveland, but it is hard to go with a team that is 0-5. Seattle losing to St. Louis was a fluke. This is what happens when a team with "nothing to lose" goes all-out against the defending champs. I had the Seahawks 27-20, and if not for a wild "trick" return touchdown they win 26-21. No regrets on my part. 

I knew New Orleans and Detroit would be tight. I called it 24-23. It was, but I called it for the Saints who choked away a lead. No big deal. Divisional games are normally close, and I had San Diego over Kansas City 27-20. It was tied at 20, but unfortunately for my pick the Chiefs got the final score to win it 23-20. I lose no sleep over that one. Overall then, I feel good about week 7 when it comes to winners and losers. Against the spread, went 7-8 (58-48 overall) and first off I should have taken the points with Miami. That was dumb. I thought grabbing the points with Carolina was smart given the high spread, but it obviously was a misstep. The same goes for hoping San Francisco, a talented yet banged up team, would cover a big number. It happens. On the over/under I went 10-5 (60-45-1 overall) and there is nothing wrong with that. In total, I now stand +25 against Vegas.

 
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