NFL 2019 WEEK ONE
Welcome to SwimmingWithTheSharks.net
I welcome you to my inaugural post on the website Gairzo built, SwimmingWithTheSharks.net
Full disclosure:I have no experience building a website so any suggestions, commentary, or ridicule about the look, features, or layout is welcome. This website is pretty raw now but will look great in a month--or two.
For those who may not be familiar with me, I have written handicapping column and editorial essays for DeepIntoSports.com for 10 years. Prior to last season, DIS was hacked, we think by Russians who appeared to be testing their abilities to attack and destroy.
Faceless…Gutless…Cowards…Will NOT deter us from success .
Back to gambling...The last two NFL campaigns we’ve spanked the Gangsters for considerable “Units”—not triple digits but close enough to delude ourselves we may actually know what the hell we are doing. This year we'll be wagering 10-25 Units minimum.
Most weeks you’ll see two posts, a shorter one for the TNF matchup and a longer one for the Sunday slate of games. I welcome anyone who thinks they can out-pick me—as long as they bet with cash, not just words.
As soon as I figure out how to Chat with readers, we’ll be able to discuss any NFL/cultural related topic you may choose.
To start, my vast wisdom betting ATS will be shared freely--yes, my generosity is legendary—until I prove I have the goods. Ultimately, I hope to charge you all exorbitant sums for my genius.
Oh, shut up!
As usual, I will rant about all things NFL, focusing on the strange, sometimes dangerous, and always interesting nexus between sports and politics.
Our strategy going into this year ATS is to focus on betting most of the Specials we feel good about and digging deeper into team chemistry and psychology.
As usual we reserve the right to rant about anything we choose, so let’s start there—by getting a couple things off our pecs.
NEW RULES FOR THE NFL – REPLAY
Our homage to Bill Maher’s famous bit posits NFL, coaches, players, and fans knew when "review" was revised to its current incarnation, in1999, eventually, every play of every game would be under review.
Why does the NFL keep putting that inevitability off?
The league could simplify the process in three short paragraphs:
“All BLATANTLY mistaken rulings, penalties, and calls or non-calls, SHALL be immediately corrected—no hoods, no consultation necessary-- overturned by the Replay Booth Official, (RBO). [The NFCCG “Roby play”, or during the end of a skirmish, when only the "second puncher” is penalized are two perfect examples.]
Calls, judgments and decisions by on-field referees shall be given the benefit of the doubt. Anytime you hear announcers picking a replay apart as to what "appears" to be or "might" be the "correct" call--that call must stand.
If the visual evidence is not conclusively indisputable, the on-field call stands.
Why is making that simple policy so difficult? Enforce what the words mean.
We see replays after every play; it's not rocket science. If senior officials cannot determine what the correct call should be within the normal, repetitious course of replay--the on-field call stands.
No more challenges, no more red flags thrown onto the field, no more incessantly stupid, "We--Al & Chris-- think this might be overturned."
Blatant, “everyone knows it” circumstances should be the only time replay chimes in. The mistake, since ’99, is the NFL forgot what the phrase “indisputable visual evidence” means.
Fifty guys on a Stevie Wonder scholarship could see the Roby play and make the call. An RBO should reverse such calls immediately using the revised version of “indisputable visual evidence”—“clear and obvious.”
Believe it, or not, we finagled a perfect segue into New Rules—we hope Bill Maher doesn’t mind us continuing the rip-off—for the …
HALL OF FAME
Some wacky pundits recently debated whether newly retired Colts QB, Andrew Luck, had Hall of Fame credentials.
The answer is so resoundingly “NO!” it boggles the brain as to the legitimacy of the question.
Everyone can’t be a HOFer—have some respect for the institution. I am a writer—I’m fairly sure words have meaning.
Rumor has it some smart people put all the various words of the English language, into a big, thick book called a d-i-c-t-i-o-n-a-r-y.
Roger Goodell and the owners should invest in a few.
Just as the NFL doesn't know, or forgot, what "indisputable visual evidence" means—no doubt “clear and obvious” will follow—HOF voters/fans don't know what "greatest of the great" means."
We’ll develop that little rant in our Friday post.
Right now let make our inaugural pick on SWTS.
GAME OF THE WEEK
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ CHICAGO BEARS -3 46.5 [U]
The NFL turns 100 years old this year and no two teams deserve to start the festivities as much as the Packers and Bears. Both franchises have histories full of legendary coaches, QBs, and characters.
In fact, the Chicago/Green Bay HOF contingents—33 for Da Bears; 30 for the Pack inspired this weeks Chat Question: We believe the HOF is for the “greatest of the great”…Certainly, we can all name players who are HOFers but shouldn’t be--like Lynn Swann or Joe Namath—but who are those men, those rare individuals who are so far above the rest they are the “greatest of the greatest?”
*In other words, which members of any sport’s HOF should be in the Hall of Famer’s HOF? ***
In your post, you are limited to three—one exec, one coach, or one player—tell us why you’re nominating him or her and why. I’ll start us off, keeping it to the NFL and tonight’s two teams:
· George Halas: C’mon he founded the league, coached and won for six decades, please…
· Vince Lombardi: 99 wins in 9 years at Lambeau, five NFL championships including two Super Bowl wins; .900 (9-1) in playoff competition...
· Jim Brown: Words are not necessary…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo59pcz62Kw
OH YEAH… THE PICK
Damn, a lot of pundits are dissing’ the Bears and looking for a serious regression as they face a harder schedule with some noting Mitch Trubisky won’t be fooling anyone; DCs are ready to defend the Troubadour.
Some also point to Green Bay QB, Aaron Rodgers, rough 2018 campaign which saw him break a leg, suffer other injuries, and ultimately get his coach fired over whose vision of the offense will be realized.
Glad that’s over with.
New GB head honcho, Matt LaFleur and Rodgers still haven’t settled on who gets to make the biggest clump in the sand box.
Misguided Cheese heads think Rodgers is just going to keep bouncing back—his 15th year and he has missed his share of games in the last few seasons. Gairzo ain’t buying that pitch folks.
He also isn‘t buying the Aaron Williams rushing prowess will take a lot of pressure off of Rodgers. Nope, that contributed to the McCarthy/Rodgers divorce. McCarthy was concerned about a QB in his 15th year, might welcome some relief a big back like Williams could provide. Rodgers, ahem, disagreed.
Meanwhile in Chicago, too many experts forget new Bears DC Chuck Pagano has already proven he can create elite defenses with only a couple of elite players.
Remember Ray Lewis and Ed Reed?
Pagano has four-elite defenders in Chicago—and I’m not counting LBs Danny Trevathian and Roquan Smith or DBs, Prince Amukamara, and former Packer, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix
No, I’m talking Khali Mack, Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller, and Akeim Hicks…
I think the Bears are going to maul the Packers, even if it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard.
Chicago wins Under the Number.
Da Bears 23 Packers 16