Friday, November 29, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games----Row That Boat Axe Chili Hot Edition

Old dude, we're in Madison, but the game is in Minneapolis. What were you thinking about?

Huh? Can't hear you over the storm.

Well, you can't say no to the family, and Fleck would say that you row the boat through the snow. Of course, he has bigger things to worry about.

Yeah, I suppose he does.

The Gopher fans are feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-2.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat That line makes no sense to me, and I would have flipped it around. It turns out that P.J. Fleck can coach, and this is a massive game. This game is so important, that Fleck needs to outsource his pregame speech. Tim Brewster, is that chili hot?

 The winner gets to be a sacrificial lamb to A School in Columbus, but you still want to win. The storm will make things more difficult for the underrated Tanner Morgan as well as the underrated Jack Coan. I would not be surprised to see the Gophers win this game, but the thing is that in rivalry games, you look at the senior class. Wisconsin has the more accomplished senior class, winning 3 bowl games, including two straight New Years Six bowl games. Wisconsin also is a run heavy team, which the Gophers have struggled with at times. The Gophers may be an amazing story, but sometimes the bad guy gets to win. Badgers 24, Gophers 21.

Weather. Here's the early forecast for the game:

Or was it this?

Either way, Lee Corso is gonna hate it. If it's just sloppy, advantage Gophers. If it's worse, advantage Badgers. Gophers 17, Badgers 16.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. New York Football Giants  Last week was a disaster for the Packers, but the good news is that the schedule gets easier for them for a few weeks. The Giants are a team that quite frankly doesn't look good. The worrying thing is that this is a long flight, and the Packers struggle with long flights. The Packers should be fine and cruise home to a comfortable win, and can put the pressure back on the Vikings to match. Packers 35, All Hail The New York Giants 17.

We ran the Madagascar clip before, so we'll dispense with that. Packers need this one. They'll get it. Packers 28, Giants 13.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) vs. Seattle Seachickens The Vikings on the other hand are facing a more difficult opponent and a stadium that they could not conquer last year. Vikings fans generally seem happy with Cousins, but this is the type of game that the narrative says he doesn't win. The narrative is that Cousins can't beat winning teams, can't win on the road, and can't win on national television. I think the narrative is unfair, but I didn't start it. Seattle needs this game because they are hot on the tails of the 49ers. In this game, I go with the desperate team at home theory, which usually makes sense. Seahawks 14, Vikings 8.

The Vikings might be better than the Packers overall, but winning in Seattle on a Monday night ain't happening. Seahawks 20, Vikings 17.

Be safe in the storm. Also, be on the lookout for an Axe in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Ben out,

Friday, November 22, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games----1990s Flashback Edition

Old dude, this might be the first time since the 1990s that the Packers and the 49ers will have a sustained rivalry. It's just better for the league to have both teams at their best.

The Rams and the Vikings might disagree.

Wait, does anyone care what they think?

There's at least one person in this house who cares.

Good point.

Sometimes I know a few things.

I'll let that pass. Speaking of the Vikings, they are on bye this week, so we might be running out of games for a while to discuss.

Can you make do with less?

Sure, but I maximize the HYYYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and it's time to watch me work.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers Of The Boat (-13.5) vs. Northwestern Wildcats One week after winning their most important victory in who knows how long, the Gophers lost a game in Iowa City that puts all of their goals in jeopardy. P.J. Fleck can spout all of his sayings out, but he certainly did not help his team. The penalty for running out onto the field to yell at the refs gave Iowa 15 extra yards, and was not #Elite. I also think he should have kicked the field goal instead of passing on that fateful down, as well as managing the clock better in the 4th quarter. This game against Northwestern is a trap game waiting to happen if the Gophers aren't careful. The Wildcats are always a tough out, but thankfully for P. J. they save all of their annoying tendencies for the Badgers. Even if Tanner Morgan can't go, the Gophers should survive and advance. Gophers 31, Wildcats 10.

Northwestern doesn't have a lot left this year. Injuries galore and they weren't deep to start with. Pat Fitzgerald will have them back in the hunt soon enough, but tomorrow they don't have much chance. Gophers 24, Wildcats 13.

Purdue Boilermakers (+24.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers Thanks to events in Iowa City mean that the Badgers now have their path in front of them. Last week was not a pretty win by any means, but you can't argue with the results. Purdue is a team that has been shredded by injuries all year, and are not likely to get much help back on offense. The Badgers need a good defensive game, because winning the Axe back will require near perfection. I expect to see a comfortable win by the Badgers to make sure that JT and the seniors get a better farewell than last year's group of seniors. Badgers 35, Boilermakers 14.

This could get ugly. Purdue is missing most of their best players. The Badgers are not. And the Badgers have better players anyway. Badgers 42, Boilermakers 10.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (+3.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers  The Packers got a great win before the bye week against Carolina, and are fully rested and ready to go to the Bay Area. The winner of this game should claim home field advantage, so a win will be critical. The Niners have looked loose in the turns the past couple of weeks, and don't seem to be that invincible anymore.If the Packers want to win, they have to tighten up on defense, and will need to play very well. I think we can do that, but this game won't be easy. Packers 27, Niners 23.

This one isn't complicated. Block the 49ers pass rushers and the Packers will win. If they don't, they lose. I think they get 'em blocked. Packers 20, 49ers 14.

New York Football Giants (+6.5) vs. Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck This game is going to be a dumpster fire. If you get stuck watching this game and you don't have a rooting interest or fantasy football interest, then I seriously suggest watching something else. Both teams are offensively challenged, and somewhere Wellington Mara and Papa Bear Halas are looking down in disgust. At least neither of these teams are bumbling for Joe Burrow or Tanking for Tua. Da Bearz Still Suck 7, Giants 4.


The Bears might like Tua, actually. He also might drop in the draft far enough to take him. Would they, though? Interesting question. As for this game, uh, let's just say this isn't 1985. But that's always true for the Bears. Bears 20, Giants 13.

Enjoy your football this weekend. Ben out.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Ambassador Sondland, he presumes

I haven't spent much time on the impeachment hearings because it's the same thing every day:

  1. Witness implicates Trump in something nefarious in opening statement
  2. Republicans ask questions that reveal nothing nefarious actually happened
  3. Newscasts show opening statement
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat
But for the record, Gordon Sondland, actually spoke to Trump, unlike most of the other witnesses who didn't actually witness anything. And if you read the headlines, you see he says there was the dreaded quid pro quo. But if you read further, you find out, well. . . .

"Is that your testimony today, Ambassador Sondland, that you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to the aid? Because I don't think you're saying that." Rep. [Mike] Turner asked.

"I said repeatedly [...] I was presuming," Sondland noted.

After some more grilling, Congressman Turner asked again, "Is it correct, nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying this aid to the investigations? Because if your answer is yes, then the chairman's wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?"

"Yes," Sondland replied.

"So, you've really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?" Turner asked.

"Other than my own presumption," Sondland said. 
"Which is nothing," Turner responded.
Presumption. Hey, being presumptuous isn't a bad thing, so long as it's in the service of whatever agenda the odious Adam Schiff is currently pursuing. And yet we're likely to have Trump impeached over this crap show, unless the focus group data says otherwise. We can stipulate until the cows come home that Trump is someone many people find distasteful. But that doesn't mean he's done anything wrong.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Is he serious, though?

I read plenty of righties who are worried that Bill Barr is going to pull his punches when it's time to drop the IG report and unleash his prosecutor John Durham. Is Barr really a swamp creature?

A lot of swamp creatures certainly hope so. But if this observation from Barr has any meaning, the game will be changing soon:
In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion.  Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection.  Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end.  They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications.  They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.
They never ask because the Left counts on the Right to go all Marquess of Queensbury on the deal. "We're better than that," like that. Well kids, we don't have that luxury. And I disagree that what is being sought here is a momentary advantage. They are playing for keeps. Adam Schiff may look like an unholy amalgam of Charlie Brown and Marty Feldman, but operationally he's a straight-up Lavrentiy Beria. Barr seems to understand what motivates the Schiffs of the world, but he'd better damn well start dealing with them in kind. The boot is inches over our throats.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Talk To Your Kids About An Undefeated Minnesota Edition

Old dude, the Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat made me eat more crow last weekend. This might be happening.

Bon appetit!

Have some!

The lime slices really add to the flavor, you know.

Thanks for the tip there, Galloping Gourmet! Gophers also got screwed over by the committee. That sound you heard earlier was me starting to grind my axe. I've got words for them, and I have to set the record straight.

Will I need a hazmat suit?

You always need a hazmat suit, old dude.

Hard to argue with you there, grasshopper.

They are feeling the HYYYYYYYYYPPPEE!, in Dinkytown, and it is time to watch me work.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (+2.5) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes. Before I unleash, how in the world are the Gophers an underdog? That makes no sense. Last week, the Gophers had a successful plan in place, and looked very strong against a good Penn State squad. I thought Tanner Morgan in particular looked very impressive, and credit belongs to Row the Boat and his staff for focusing on football instead of selling oar branded merchandise at Goldy's Locker Room. Before I get to what I think about the game, it's time for a Very Special Comment.

I understand that the committee has a tough job in ranking teams, and it will always be an inexact science. The Gophers not being ahead of LSU, A School In Columbus, and Clemson is fair. Heck, if they were ranked 5th behind an undefeated Baylor it would at least make sense to me. In what sense can they honestly defend ranking them at 8? The Gophers haven't lost a game, whereas Utah, Oregon, Alabama, and Georgia all lost one game. What is really stupid is that Alabama and Georgia are ahead of the Gophers. The SEC fan dancers in the media always like to go on and on about how their league is so superior to other leagues. Well, the SEC plays 8 conference games and freely allows their schools to schedule cupcake games in November. The Big Ten has strongly limited FCS schedules, and mandates 9 conference games. Georgia lost to a bang average South Carolina team at HOME and they are somehow the 4th best team in the land? Seriously? Then there is the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is a team that lost at HOME to LSU, and all week long I've heard Alabama and SEC sycophants like Paul Finebaum try and excuse the loss because of Tua being injured. I'm sorry, but that is a lazy excuse. Tua was clearly healthy enough to play, and if Alabama had won everyone would have praised Tua to no end as being cowboy tough while waxing poetic about how Nick Saban is a coaching god.

Let's get one thing straight, the SEC always gets the built in advantages of having to play almost all of their games in the South, and the Big Ten always has to play the biggest games of the year in the SEC turf. All of the major bowl games are in the South and West, and the Big Ten never gets thrown a bone. How come semifinal games are never played in Chicago, Minneapolis, Green Bay, Indy, Cleveland, Cincy, or Detroit? All of those cities have quality venues that would be great hosts. All those venues in the North have football fields that are regulation sized, and the NFL will play important playoff games in the North without batting an eye, and nobody complains about them awarding Super Bowls to locations in the North. If college football is such a national game, then why is the north shut out from hosting games that matter in the playoff? You bet your butt that the SEC would complain if it was the other way around. If anyone that I called out wants to debate me, or if ESPN wants to have me on as a guest, I'm ready to debate the issue anytime of the day. College football was thriving long before the SEC was relevant, and always will thrive regardless of how well the SEC is doing.

Boy, I needed to get that out of my system. This game is interesting for the Gophers, because Iowa played very tough in Camp Randall last week. The Hawkeyes have a reputation for pulling upsets against ranked teams at Kinnick. I think the Gophers can win, but this game could go the other way. Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 24, Hawkeyes 21.

You had your Wheaties for that one, didn't ya? Righteous rage becomes you, Seabiscuit. I'm not so sure people really want to see college football playoff games in Green Bay, but one could certainly take place at the People's Stadium, or Ford Field, or Lucas Oil Stadium. The Fargodome may not get the nod, either, but there you go. As for the game. . . the Gophers are feeling more and more like the 1993 Badgers, the team that finally broke through. Iowa City is a tough place, especially at this time of year. But if the Gophers are going to have their year, it has to continue tomorrow. I think it will. Gophers 31, Iowa 21.

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-14) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Badgers had a narrow escape last week, but still are the fox to the Gopher hound. Nebraska is a team that is a long way off from where it was hoped they be. I think Scott Frost is the right man for the job, because he will be given the time he needs, based on his background as a Nebraska legend and his national championship at UCF. This game won't be easy because Lincoln is a tough place to play, and Nebraska can play without worrying about the results in Iowa City. Badgers 31, Cornhuskers 21.

UCF national champions? You need an asterisk the size of Alpha Centauri for that one, young fella. Badgers still have goals this season and Nebraska is not currently built to slow those goals. I have more confidence in the Badgers than you do. Badgers 38, Nebraska 17.

Denver Broncos (+10.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings kept pace with the Packers last week with a very impressive performance in Jerry World. They can gain half a game in the division thanks to the Packers being on bye this week. Denver is a team that has talent, but quite frankly has not been a good outfit. The strange thing is that they are not that far away in the AFC West, and with some results could steal the division in the middle of the night. I expect the Vikings to have a routine win at home, and go into the bye week in a comfortable place. Vikings 28, Broncos 7.

John Elway was a great quarterback, but he's no good at picking quarterbacks. The Broncos have a strong defense, but I don't see them getting much done on Sunday, either. Bet the under. Vikings 20, Broncos 3.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+6.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams. Both of these teams have been humongous letdowns. Who would have thought that the Bears would take a step back after playing a Charmin UltraSoft schedule last year, and actually playing real teams this year? The Rams have been a joke, and are going to pay the piper for that awful Goff contract. Both these teams are wastes of talent, and at least this game won't be a horrible brawl like the last primetime game. When in doubt, go with the desperate team at home theory. Rams 50, Bears Blew a 20-0 Lead to the Packers 0.

Did you mean this bear?

Image result for snuggles the fabric softener bear
All's fair in cheap shots, I suppose. The Bears still need to figure out the quarterback situation. I'd suggest they don't talk to John Elway. Meanwhile, Rams are in deep kimchi as well, but they still have a chance. The hour grows short, however. Rams 24, Bears 16.

I can't wait to see what excuses that the committee will dream up with to screw over the Gophers next week, but the old dude and I are both certain Ruff Ruffman Paul Finebaum is on the case. Ben out.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Standard setting

Mike Quigley, a congressman from Illinois, said this:
"I think the American public needs to be reminded that countless people have been convicted on hearsay because the courts have routinely allowed and created needed exceptions to hearsay," Quigley, a Democrat from Illinois, said to close his questioning of Kent and Taylor. "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct, as we have learned in painful instances and it's certainly valid in this instance."
I was told Mike Quigley enjoys sex with barnyard animals. It's hearsay, but do you have better evidence it's not true?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Won't be missed

Good news:
Dean Lotter, 49, is unconcerned with the approaching Minnesota winter. He’ll be gone by Thanksgiving.

The New Brighton city manager has accepted a job running Eureka, a coastal city of 27,000 in northern California.

This guy is one of the most sanctimonious weasels I've encountered in local politics. Although his position is supposed to be non-political, he is political to the core, to the detriment of the citizenry. I will get back to this topic later this week.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Row That Boat Edition

Old dude, the Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat claim that they are for real. Well, they will be tested against Penn State.

I know a boat you can get on.

Always with the show tunes with you, Geritol Fan! So distracting. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Let's see if Gopher Nation is going to get over that Gameday didn't come here, and instead went to the Alabama-LSU "Game of the Century", which is not even the game of the year.

It's not difficult to understand why they went there:

Lee Corso wants to stay warm

That's cold, old dude.

Some day you'll understand.

I'm feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPPEEE!, and it is time to watch me work.

Penn State Nittany Lions (-6.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat.  So, this is the biggest home game for the Gophers since 2003. If you remember, the Gophers blew a huge lead to Michigan back then, and they didn't ever recover under Glenn Mason. There is a lot of excitement around these parts, but this is the first real opponent that the Gophers have faced, and people forget that they narrowly escaped a loss 3 times outside of league play. Penn State has big game experience, and will not be overawed by the environment. The biggest advantage that Penn State has is that they will be in football mode strictly, whereas the Gophers have to listen to the local media hype them up as contenders. It's too early to think about the playoff or Pasadena, because the Gophers will get exposed badly. The Gophers have not won a big game in years, and until he proves me wrong, P.J. Fleck is still a snake oil salesman who only cares about himself and his brand. Penn State 35, Capsize Your Boat Elitely 10.

It's a nice brand, though. You may be right. I think it's close, because the Gophers have improved, but Penn State has seen this before. Penn State 28, Gophers 20.

Iowa Hawkeyes (+8.5) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers This game is going to be a lot closer than you may think. Iowa and Wisconsin have always played very close, and this game matters in the Big Ten West. It's not a guarantee that the Gophers are going to go to Indianapolis, despite Gopher homer and Gophers approved KFAN commentator Justin Gaard's protestations. The Badgers haven't been playing well lately, but they are historically a very good team in November when coming back in the division. Iowa will be a tough out, because history tells us that. Badgers 24, Iowa 17.

I actually listen to Barreiro's show when I'm driving home from work and, oddly enough, the Gophers have only been getting moderate levels of hype. And, not surprisingly, the Badgers and the Hawkeyes aren't a topic this week. Bucky and Iowa both have had a week to nurse their wounds. Game is in Camp Randall and that should be enough. Wisconsin 21, Iowa 10.

The 131st Bronze Turkey Bowl: Knox College Prairie Fire (NL) vs. Monmouth College Scots This is by far the most important rivalry game happening this weekend. My beloved Prairie Fire are venturing onto Monmouth's home turf, for the legendary Bronze Turkey Bowl game. Take it from me, a totally unbiased source. I am a proud Knox alum, and Monmouth College is our biggest rival. We might not be very good at sports, but we did host Abraham Lincoln once. I wrote this blog post, and Monmouth College gave me a degree in English with highest honors and named me valedictorian. Knox 49, Monmouth 0.

They are generous at Monmouth. But the nasty Scots also kick Knox's butt in football every year. And this year will be no exception. Monmouth 49, Knox 20.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) vs. Dallas How Bout Them Cowboahs? So the Vikings are heading into Jerry World to take on the Cowboys in a pretty good game. Adam Thielen is going to miss this game due to injury, which sucks for the Vikings. The biggest culprit in last week's loss for the Vikings was a bad shank of a punt, that made it easier for the Chiefs to walk off as winners. What the Vikings need to do is to jump on the Cowboys and force them to pass. It worked for the Packers last month, and that should be the recipe. If the Vikings lose this game, they would have to make up a likely 2 game deficit on the Packers, and would be looking at winning three road playoff games in the playoffs. Cowboys 31, Vikings 17.

I don't trust either of these teams. Kirk Cousins struggles in prime time, but this time the good Cousins shows up. Vikings 28, Cowboys 24.

Carolina Panthers (+4.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers The Packers had a terrible performance last week in California, but thankfully everyone else in the division lost. Carolina has improved under Kyle Allen, who honestly has some talent. I remember him being good as a Texas A&M Aggie and a Houston Cougar. The Packers are going to have to avoid looking ahead to two weeks down the line in the Bay Area. The Packers just need to play better and get back to what makes them good. Packers 35, Panthers 24.

Christian McCaffrey scares me. A lot. The Packers will have to outscore the Panthers. Fortunately, they will. Packers 41, Panthers 31.

Enjoy your football weekend, and be safe if you are going out hunting this weekend. Ben out.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Miller time

Marvin Miller didn't play baseball, but it would be difficult to think of anyone who was a more consequential figure in the baseball world in the last 50 years. Miller was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 through 1982, but his influence went well beyond his tenure. He was instrumental in bringing the end of the reserve clause and the start of free agency, and baseball salaries increased exponentially as a result of his leadership. He changed the game. And the powers that be hated him.

Image result for marvin miller
Marvin Miller

Miller is one of 10 candidates for the Hall of Fame that the Veterans Committee will consider next month, along with nine "Modern Era" players, including the following:

Dwight Evans
Steve Garvey
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Thurman Munson
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Ted Simmons
Lou Whitaker

I saw all of these guys play; the only one I didn't see in person was Garvey, but he was one of the most prominent players of the era and he was on television all the time, especially during his time with the Dodgers. Do you think of any of these guys as worthy of the Hall?

At this point, all of them probably deserve a look, especially if Harold Baines is the standard. If I had a ballot and could pick four, I'd pick Miller and then Whitaker, Simmons, and Murphy. Munson was a fine player, but he was already in decline as a player when he died in a plane crash. Garvey was a good offensive player, but he was a poor defensive first baseman. Evans and Parker strike me as classic examples of very good players who didn't do enough to merit consideration. Mattingly was a great player but his career ended too soon because of injuries. I think John has a fairly strong case, but no stronger than Jim Kaat, who is also on the outside looking in.

There aren't a lot of second basemen in the Hall and Whitaker is probably the best one not there, although you could also make an argument for Bobby Grich. Whitaker's double play partner, Alan Trammell, is already in the Hall and deservedly so. Whitaker and Trammell might be the best overall double play combo of all time. Whitaker also had surprising power for a middle infielder, with 244 career homers. He also won three Gold Gloves. That's a Hall of Fame career.

Simmons got lost because he played his career in the shadow of Johnny Bench, but in his best seasons he was Bench's equal. A switch hitting catcher who was a career .285 hitter with power, Simmons was the face of the Cardinals in one of their few lean periods, but he was also a key member of the only Brewers team to appear in a World Series. If I had to choose between Simmons and Munson, it would be no contest.

Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards in the 1980s and was a perennial Gold Glove outfielder. He also hit 398 home runs in his career, although in a favorable hitter's park (Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, a/k/a the Launching Pad). If you think of the best players in the National League in that era, he has to be on the list. Parker was his contemporary and played on better teams, but wasn't as consistent.

What do you think?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Trash Big Ten Edition

Old dude, there is a disturbing lack of Big Ten quality games this week. What gives?

Instead of scheduling the Citadel and Furman like the SEC does, the B1G has byes. And this week could go bye-bye for sure.

I blame the schedule makers, they want us to watch other leagues.

I blame Furman.

You should blame someone else.

Like this guy?

Image result for fetch with ruff ruffman
Old dude, that's Ruff Ruffman -- he was on some PBS kids thing when Maria was little.

Oops. I thought it was Paul Finebaum.

It's obvious you weren't paying attention.

It should be equally obvious why I wasn't paying attention.

Good point. Either way, so many crappy games makes it hard to feel the HYYYYYYPPPPPEEE!, but a man has to do what a man has to do. Watch me work.

Georgia Bulldogs (-6) vs. Florida Gators, in Jacksonville The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is a game that we normally wouldn't pick, but the dearth of games makes it slightly appealing. Both teams come in with a loss both overall and in league play, so this game will impact not only the SEC picture, but the national picture as well. Georgia has the worst loss, to South Carolina at home. Say what you will about the Badgers losing at Memorial Stadium, that was a road game. I haven't seen much of the Gators, but me thinks that Georgia should win. Georgia 35, Florida 24.

If you're gonna talk cocktails, you really ought to bring some. I don't know. I guess Georgia is better. Georgia 31, Florida 19.

Everton FC (NL) vs. Tottenham Hotspur Because the slate of football games sucks this weekend, we have to pick the Premier League match that involves my beloved Everton against the old dude's beloved Spurs. Everton won our League Cup tie against Watford at home on Tuesday, taking the pressure off Marco Silva. Spurs haven't looked great either, and lost last weekend to Liverpool at that evil place named Anfield. Both teams have been kinda crap lately, and this has all the looks of a draw that will help nobody, and both sets of supporters can have a moan. Everton 3, Tottenham 1.

Crap is the operative word. But when you're dealing with crap, choose the one with the better pedigree. Spurs 2, Everton 0.

Minnesota Vikings (NL) vs. Kansas City Chiefs The reason there is no line is because we are not sure about Patrick Mahomes and his injury status. The Chiefs hung in there against the Packers, but could not finish the job last week. The Vikings are coming in red hot, and are aiming to keep the pressure on the Packers. This game will not be easy, but the Vikings can win this one. Honestly, it could go either way. Vikings 28, Chiefs 24.

Why yes. Yes it could. Kirk "Kirktober" Cousins is overdue to cough up a hairball. Chiefs 28, Vikings 20.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-3.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers The Chargers have no fan base in LA, which means there will be many Packers fans attending this game. It's awesome that Dean Spanos has to see his team play road games at home because he couldn't realize that screwing over loyal fans in San Diego to make a quick buck was not a good move. This game is probably going to be a shootout between Rodgers and Phillip Rivers, because that is the script of other games in the past when these two greats lock horns. This game could be difficult, but I expect the Packers can gut it out. Packers 56, Go Back to San Diego 41.

Bet the over, you say? Won't be that high scoring, but I agree on the victor. Packers 34, Chargers 20.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (+4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles. I would have picked this game earlier, but Matt Nagy didn't trust me to and had me take a knee before sending me out to try a field goal. This is a rematch of the infamous Double Doink game, where Bears fans blamed Cody Parkey instead of acknowledging that the Bears lucked out last year and played a Charmin UltraSoft schedule. In fact, we have video evidence of the Double Doink:

The Eagles are in no great shape because they let Nick Foles walk, which was a stupid decision. He was the better quarterback than Wentz, and did nothing to lose his job. That mistake will haunt them forever. I expect the Bears will lose on a missed field goal again, because the football gods love seeing that happen again. Eagles 16, Da Bearz Still Suck and Blew a 20 point lead to the Packers 15.

I have a hunch the Bears bounce back. No reason other than why the hell not. Bears 24, Eagles 21.

Never forget that the Bears blew a 20 point lead to the Packers after they knocked Aaron Rodgers out of the game. Ben out!