FIWK the NFL: Thanksgiving needs to step up!

The Thanksgiving games need to not suck this year. Last year, the closest game was Dallas beating Oakland 24-7. The year before that, the closest game was a 25 point Dallas victory. The prior year did have an 8 point victory for Green Bay over Detroit, where the game was never closer than 8 points after halftime. I don't think I'm asking too much for theses games to just not suck. You know what game is not going to suck? Chargers-Colts. Even though the Colts are usually the better team, the Chargers always play Peyton Manning pretty tough. Anything can happen this Sunday night. It's a short week, so you're getting a shorter column.

Beer Wednesday: Ichtegem's Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe

I had a really fantastic beer this week. It was called Ichtegem's Grand Cru by Belgian brewer Brouwerij Strubbe (they only have detail on their website for its sister beer), and its style is "Flanders Red Ale". You need to know two things to understand this review: 1) Flanders Red Ales are a sour ale style which can get VERY sour (like, make-your-stomach-hurt-sour); and 2) I can handle a little sourness in beers, but not too much.

Music Tuesdays - Young Blood by the Naked and Famous

This song was in my head so deep it actually became the soundtrack to a dream I had. No joke. What genre or sound is this song? I can't really decide, but I would be somewhat surprised if Scooter didn't like it.

FIWK the NFL: Underdogs galore!

I have competed in many different NFL pools in the last ten years or so and the largest one was about 50 people run by my father-in-law. Of these 50 people, one guy always bought two entries every week; one of all the home teams and one of all the favorites. Overall, he did just ok...but I always beat him. In fact, I don't know if he actually won a single week using either strategy. In the three years I competed (I didn't quit, they stopped running the pool) I never won a week. I could consistently pick 55-60% of games against the spread, but to win a week you usually had to go 14-2, and even then you had to win the tiebreaker (which I lost three times). That's my forte...consistently averaging 55% against the spread. I promise no more, no less. This year I am 78-60 ATS (Odd8483: 1183/25643 = 96 percentile) by following this three step method: 1) Always pick the Chargers. (Not because they have an impressive ATS record...because I'm a complete homer) 2) Click on all the underdogs and take the points. 3) Examine the games and determine if you can find a compelling reason that the favorite will not only win, but cover the spread. Following that formula, here are my picks for the week:

Tech Thursday: Listening TVs!

We've touched upon the television a couple of times in this space - TVs became 3D; TVs & the 4th Wall; TVs becoming Interactive. This 'post' will expand on that last topic - particularly around some of the cool concepts AT&T unveiled today as a part of its "Innovation Showcase".

  • Can your TV be voice-activated? Sure - why not?
  • Should you be able to see Twitter 'ratings' for a program? Of course!
  • How about translation - do you want that? Uh, yes...

Video via Gear Live.

Tech Thursday: The Internet is 20 Years Old

I've been absent for a while (really, I don't have an excuse, so here's some candy - tell them Scott sent you), but found this article on Wired to be rather relevant for FIWK. 20 years ago, today, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau submitted a proposal to CERN for funding for HyperText (a.k.a. The Internet!). It's amazing to think that 20 years ago, the backbone for today's world had a $0 budget. Oh, how far we've come.

Image via Wikipedia.

Wet Wednesday: I like to drink beer while watching the NFL

There's a Thursday game this week. And I'm out of town tomorrow and Friday. And the Chargers have a Bye. So I'm giving you my picks today. I don't know what the Chargers having a Bye has to do with making my picks today, but it does explain the picture above. It actually takes place on the deck of an aircraft carrier because San Diego is a Navy town and there are many goodwill opportunities entertaining several thousand sailors before they ship off on a six month deployment.

There are 32 teams in the NFL. Every team has played 8 or 9 games, four wins is probably .500 or really close. There are 22 teams with between 4 and 6 wins. 22. Over two thirds of the NFL has 4 wins. Only 6 teams are more than two games back in their division (32-6=26 teams within two games of the division lead). And that includes 2-6 San Francisco who is only two games behind the 4-4 Rams and Seahawks. Since I've only had two days to prepare, instead of the normal four, I will only be making a prediction if I feel it's appropriate and/or relevant to my thoughts at the moment.

Music Tuesdays - Favela Rock by Afrobots

Warning - This song gets in your head and becomes kind of annoying. But it's still kinda fun. Yes, I absolutely got this song from the FIFA 10 soundtrack.

This week in sports: Home dogs

Last week every home team was favored. They went 8-5 ATS and 9-4 SU with the Chiefs being the only home team to win and not cover. I picked eight underdogs and only five favorites, but still went 8-5 overall. This week has seven home underdogs. For the year home underdogs are 22-16, which isn't really significant enough to draw any conclusions. Let's make some overly generic predictions before getting to the slightly more specific predictions. I think home underdogs will go 4-3 ATS (I know...such a bold prediction) and since I always take the Chargers, I have to find two more home dogs I think will lose. Between Buffalo (vs. Chicago), Cleveland (vs. New England), Detroit (vs. NY Jets) and Cincinnati (vs. Pittsburgh), who are all underdogs by 3-4.5 points, I think one team will get blown out, one team will lose, but cover, one team will win outright and one team will provide an extra game so that my odds of getting this prediction right are much higher than you think. Although Chicago @ Buffalo is actually in Canada (saying Canada makes it seem so much farther away...driving from Buffalo to Toronto only takes about two hours, and most of that is because there is a big lake in the way), so do we count them as a home dog? Are they half home, half neutral site? Would this allow me to say that 3 or 4 home underdogs will beat the spread this week? Can I be less bold?

Slap Them, They're French

A tip of my cap to fellow FIWKer Royce for dropping this Economist article on the aftermath of the French pension reform protests into my lap today. I have been dying to discuss the situation in France - and especially since Black Tuesday - and why not let this be the forum?