Closing In On Number One

Yes, my Bucs are in the driver’s seat for the number one pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. So it’s a coin-flip: Heisman winner 2014 or Heisman winner 2013? The Bucs can’t go wrong, can they? Let me count the ways!

1) The could win. I know it’s a long shot, but a win in either of these last two weeks could botch the plan. We need the Bucs to be the Yucs two more Sundays.

2) They could lose out, get the number one pick and … trade it away to Chicago for Jay Cutler. You think I’m kidding. Lovie Smith, Jay Cutler, loyalty, friendship … we’ve seen it before (clears throat … Josh McCown). If I were a betting man, I’d bet we see Cutler in pewter. Mark my words.

3) They could get the pick, choose Jameis Winston (Heisman ’13) and … see him arrested before he ever hits the field for the Bucs.

Well, let’s leave my Buccos and their problems go. As we say in Buccaneer circles, “There’s always next year. And the decade after that.”

This week, I’m locked in! Here are the “season-coming-to-an-end-coaches-heads-gonna-roll” picks for week 16: Jaguars over Titans (now there’s a meaningful game, eh?); Eagles over Native Americans; Chargers over Niners; Panthers over Browns; Lions over Bears; Ravens over Texans; Dolphins over Vikings; Falcons over Saints (and yes, that means a below .500 NFC South champ!); Patriots over Jets (see ya Rex!); Steelers over Chiefs; Packers over Bucs (that a way boys!); Giants over Rams; Cowboys over Colts; Bills over Raiders; Seahawks over Cards; Broncos over Bengals.

It’s Not A Forward…

… it’s a Foreword!

blackboard_foreword_forward2This morning I opened a digital book that was sent to me, expecting to browse its genius. The genius will have to wait, because two words on the cover and repeated in the book’s front-matter derailed me: “Forward by…”

NO! Nothing screams “your editor needs a stronger cup of coffee” louder than “Forward by…”

Let’s talk homophones, shall we? Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning, and may differ in spelling.

Look: forward and foreword. You notice one has an ‘a’ in it. The other doesn’t. You’ll notice one has an “e’ in it. The other doesn’t. With me so far?

Forward relates to movement. Someone can pull forward. They can go forward. They can even be forward. Why there is even a way that forward is used as a noun–a position on a basketball team near and dear to Charles Barkley’s heart–power forward. (And I suspect you’d understood the relative meaning of that term if you got in front of Barkley as he was moving towards the hoop.) See? Movement!

Then there is foreword. What you have here is a prefix ‘fore’ added to ‘word.’ So what does that give you? A ‘before word.’ This, my friends, is the section of a book that comes before the book’s main words.

If you’re writing a book (or any document, for that matter) that will have a foreword, make sure it’s a foreword and not a forward. And I mean, really–would you want Charles Barkley to welcome people to your literary gem?

Carry on!

Back in the Saddle!

There’s a hole in my NFL season. I’ll chock it up to the four days we had without power–robbed us of Thanksgiving as well. But in a way I’m relieved I didn’t get my picks filed for last week, because I’d have had a woeful slate. Lots of games I’d have been inclined to pick the loser. Just being honest.

But here we are, in the homestretch. The playoff picture is shaping up. So I’d better sharpen my prognosticating pencil!

Let’s see … news? Jay Gruden is rumored to be done with RGIII. Really? Well the Redskins are rumored to be done with Jay Gruden. Who do you think goes first? Ray Rice has had his indefinite suspension overturned. Yeah, and who do you think will sign him to a contract? I’m betting on the Arena Football team owned by … KISS! There’s QB drama in Cleveland. Johnny Football got a whiff of a game last week. Back to the pine this Sunday. But it won’t be long. One more bad start for Hoyer and the Manziel experience will dawn. Mark my words.

And mark my words on this, too. A winning slate right here! Here are my comeback-prognosticator-of-the-year picks for this week: Cowboys over Bears, Steelers over Bengals, Colts over Browns, Lions over Bucs, Texans over Jags, Dolphins over Ravens, Vikings over Jets, Saints over Panthers, Titans over Giants, Rams over Redskins, Cards over Chiefs, Broncos over Bills, Niners over Raiders, Eagles over Seahawks, Pats over Chargers, Packers over Falcons.

Coming Off The Bye Week … Refreshed

Yes, the preacher’s bye week came at the right time. I was able to regroup. It’s game-on once again.

My beloved Buccaneers face the Native Americans this week. Let’s see how they manage to lose this time! Anyone care to venture a guess? I’ll give it a shot: Forth quarter lead, a bone headed pass, a penalty call, a time-out intended to ice the opponent’s kicker–on a kick he actually missed, and then with the reboot he hits it, and another long walk off the field. Oh wait–that was last week.

Did you say 40 points behind by halftime? (That was two weeks ago!)

Carson Palmer’s great year wasn’t in the cards. Or Cards, for that matter. The Cardinal signal caller has been shelved with a torn ACL. Ouch. There’s more to the story. For one, Palmer was wired for sound by NFL films when he was injured. Do you want to hear a man scream in pain and realize his season has ended? Coming to a YouTube player near you, soon. And that’s not all. This season ending injury came ten days after he signed a contract extension. Deja vu? Check the history on his 2006 ACL injury. Ten days after … (Insert Twilight Zone creepy music.)

Oh, and in Houston, the Ryan Mallett era begins. We Patriot fans will enjoy seeing this play out. It was never going to in New England. (Have you seen this pic? Mallett carrying Hoyer and Brady’s pads at practice. Hmm.)mallett

Ok, so picks! Enough rambling. Prognosticating excellence, coming right up. Here are my ‘out-of-the-bye-and-armed-with-a-contract-extension’ picks for Week 11: Dolphins over Bills, Bears over Vikings, Former Pats QB Hoyer’s Browns over Former Pats QB Mallet’s Texans, Panthers over Falcons, Saints over Bengals, Bucs over R’Skins, Broncs over Rams, Niners over Giants, Chiefs over Seahawks, Chargers over Raiders, Lions over Cards, Packers over Eagles, Pats over Colts, Steelers over Titans.