Subtlety is not one of my strengths

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Wednesday, November 26 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 12

Sport

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

Sport

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

Sport

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

Sport

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

Sport

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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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 7

Sport

It was a decent week for me across the board. I was 10-4-1 straight up (56-34-1 overall) and would like to kick Mike Nugent in the nuts for turning a win into a tie. Amount of sleep I will lose over not choosing Cleveland over Pittsburgh when Big Ben was 18-1 against them? None. The same goes for not picking against Matt Ryan's Falcons at home, or the Lions outdoors, or the Cowboys in the most difficult venue in the NFL. Others might have had a better week taking some chances. I went with the most likely result and that usually works out just fine for me.

Against the spread I won the week at 10-5 (51-40 overall) losing on some of the aforementioned situations (Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Seattle). I took the points for Chicago and Carolina, without hesitation so those worked out. I did not believe Oakland could cover against San Diego given the state of their defense, but they surprised me just a little in losing by 3 instead of a touchdown. I had a frustrating loss when Tennessee had the cover at 16-7 until melting down at the end against winless Jacksonville. For the over/under I was 8-6-1 (50-40-1 overall) so that's fine, especially with a nice "over" on MNF thanks to the late interception return. Trust me, those kinds of things rarely happen for me. In all I am now +21 against Vegas and waiting for the roof to cave in on me. I will do my best to avoid that happening this week.

 
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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 6

Sport

Things have turned around for me quite about after the typically dead opening two weeks of the season. I reeled off a 13-2 mark straight up (46-30 overall) missing on two teams (Chicago, Detroit) who blew leads. One day I will pick all the winners in a given week. Until then, I march on. Against the spread I put some distance with breaking even by going 11-4 (41-35 overall) and rebounded from a losing week on the over/under with a 9-6 showing (42-34 overall). At +17 versus Vegas I am on red alert for an upside down week. 

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NFL Predictions 2014: Week 5

Sport

Just when I thought I had a grip on this wild season, last week happened. It was definitely a streaky performance, starting with an ugly pick on TNF. The Giants crushed the Redskins and, like most people, I did not see it coming. Injuries played a part, and on a short week it turned into an avalanche. The early games on Sunday I dominated, picking six out of seven winners, and five out of seven against the spread. Then the straight up results went out the window as I missed three of four afternoon outcomes and both SNF and MNF. Fortunately, I was four out of five against the spread in those contests, so there was that.

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NFL predictions 2014: Week 4

Sport

Well, it is nice to see success again. It had been a while. Funny how TNF can often dictate how a week is going to be. Even though I was off on the margin of victory, I still had a sweep with Atlanta over Tampa Bay (straight up, spread, over/under). The momentum was carried through to the early games on Sunday when my only straight up miss over the week’s first 11 games was Cleveland, who I had winning 20-19, losing 23-21. My only loss against the spread during that stretch was Philadelphia allowing Washington to cover the points.

In all, thanks to primetime struggles, I finished 11-5 picking winners (26-22 overall) and 11-5 against the spread (21-27 overall) where I still have some work to do. I was on the plus side on the over/under at 9-7 (29-19 overall) so against Vegas I am +4 on the season. Again, the only winners when you gamble are the people taking the bets. They get 10%. Remember this.

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