Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

28 November 2006


Which is English for I'll be out on assignment the next couple days and a) won't be writing a column in this week's paper and 2) won't be posting until later this week.

In the meantime, here's my gift to you.

Updated with MNF:
Spread: 84-81-7 (50.91%)
O/U: 95-74-2 (56.21%)
Total: 179-155-9 (53.59%)

27 November 2006

Fly Eagles ... oh, I just can't

Never thought a Birds game would be so bad that, rather than watching the second and third quarters, the TiVo found its way to Shark (not a bad show at all, if you don't mind somewhat-predicable court dramas) and Engineering an Empire (the Aztecs' smarts were, in retrospect, pretty sick; but not as sick as Cortez pictured and his colonizing Spaniards - if you can, check it out, the end of the Montezuma II has a Return of the King battle feel.)
But enough about that. Let's talk about mediocrity; as in this week's 8-7 tally on the spread and 8-7 tally on the over/unders. Hey, at least the Jets and the Bengals/Browns came through for a B.B. sweep, right?
Well anyway, here are the updated tallies, which ought to jump a little higher when Seattle covers the 10 in a game that goes over 42.5.


Spread: 84-81-6 (50.91%)
O/U: 94-74-2 (55.95%)
Total: 178-155-8 (53.45%)

Best Bets
Spread 7-3-2 (70%)
O/U 9-3 (75%)

25 November 2006

(the) J-E-T-S. Have. Weird. Fans.

If, after the last couple weeks, football mattered anymore (went 3-3, or 1-2 and 2-1, on Thursday's games; they'll be factored into the overall percentages after tomorrow's games), here's what I'd suggest people play this weekend:

Jacksonville -3 At Buffalo UNDER 35
At NY Jets -4.5 Houston UNDER 40
At Baltimore -3 Pittsburgh OVER 39
Cincinnati -3 At Cleveland UNDER 43
At Minnesota -6.5 Arizona OVER 38
At St. Louis -5.5 San Francisco UNDER 44.5
At Atlanta -3 New Orleans OVER 48
Carolina -4 At Washington OVER 36
At New England -3.5 Chicago UNDER 37
At Indianapolis -9.5 Philadelphia UNDER 44
NY Giants -3 At Tennessee UNDER 44
At San Diego -13 Oakland UNDER 43

Best bet on the spread? Well, the Rams and San Diego look pretty good, but the Jets, inexplicably in the playoff hunt, look the best, especially against a team with nothing to play for, in front of 70,000 Sulzbachs (see photo).
As for the over/unders, Baltimore/Pittsburgh strangely feels like one of those games where both teams end up in the 20s, and New England/Chicago feels like one of those games where both teams are in the teens. But here goes nothing: Cincy/Cleveland stays under.

22 November 2006

A couple things

First, the Turkey Day picks. While I haven't been over in Jersey to get the spread on the Haddon Township/ Audubon game - and believe me, one exists - I'll be going with the Hawks this year. Because if New Jersey is the breasts of America, which it is, Township is the nip'. Now, onto the NFL.

Miami -2.5 At Detroit UNDER 39
At Dallas -11 Tampa Bay OVER 39
At Kansas City -1 Denver OVER 38

I'm picking Denver with the heart here as they always have problems at Arrowhead. But, like Poison begged for, I need something to believe in. Dallas will roll, but Tampa will cover it late and Detroit just blows, but I'm still scared considering they always seem to pull some rabbits out of their helmets in gobble games.

This week's column? Here.

This week's cover story? Here. (Shouldn't be all that hard to pick my entries out.)

This week's gratuitous T.O. cheap shot? Here:

Dear Terrell,

You're giving closeted homosexuals everywhere a bad name. So come on out, handsome! Promise, we'll still be nice when you return to Philly next year.


21 November 2006

Updated after MNF

Woo hoo, a Monday night split drives this week's tally to 10-6 on the line and 12-4 on the o/u.


Spread: 76-74-6 (50.67%)
O/U: 86-67-2 (56.21%)
Total: 162-141-8 (53.47%)

Best Bets
Spread 6-3-2 (66.7%)
O/U 8-3 (72.72%)

And, with the holidays upon us, CP is coming out a week early. Hence, this photo as a hint as to tomorrow's column, which you'll be able to check out at as I'll be off the computer till after the Thursday gluttony.

20 November 2006

So little joy in Mudville

Well Birds' fans, I'd say it was high time to hop aboard the Broncos bandwagon but they, too, are a bunch of chokers. In other words, no smack talk today. Unless, you want to talk about the stats on this week's picks which, I must say, transcended life itself. Well, almost. Overall, it was a 21-9 week, with the O/U again leading the statistical charge at 12-3 ... I'll even take the 9-6 spread tally which puts me over 500 for the season. Seattle, though, what a bad best bet to go with; shoulda went with New England. Or coulda. And woulda. Whatever.


Spread: 75-74-6 (50.33%)
O/U: 86-66-2 (56.57%)
Total: 161-140-8 (53.49%)

Best Bets
Spread 6-3-2 (66.7%)
O/U 8-3 (72.72%)

As for Monday Night Football, it's the Jags at home giving the Giants four, with a 38 O/U. And, my initial reaction said hop all over the Jags and the over. So, I'll go with the Jags and the over.

17 November 2006

This week's picks

At Kansas City -9.5 Oakland UNDER 36

Indianapolis -1.5 At Dallas UNDER 48.5

At New Orleans -3.5 Cincinnati UNDER 51

Pittsburgh -3.5 At Cleveland OVER 37.5

At Philadelphia -13 Tennessee OVER 43

At Baltimore -4 Atlanta OVER 40.5

At Carolina -6.5 St. Louis UNDER 44

At Houston -2.5 Buffalo OVER 36.5

New England -6 At Green Bay UNDER 44.5

At Tampa Bay -3.5 Washington OVER 33.5

Chicago -7 At NY Jets OVER 38

At Miami -3.5 Minnesota UNDER 34

At Arizona -2 Detroit UNDER 46

Seattle -3.5 At San Francisco UNDER 44.5

At Denver -2.5 San Diego OVER 42

Man oh man, do a lot of these games look like gimmes this week. Which means it's going to be a bookie's paradise since nothing's as easy as it looks. Me? I'm figuring Seattle's the lock of the week on the line. But when it comes to the O/U, I'm a bit less decisive; after some thinking though, I figured Denver/San Diego's a lock to go over 42.

16 November 2006

This week's column...

... yes, I actually managed to find a way to defend K-Fed, or Kevin Federline, or Fed-Ex, or whatever you want to call him.

15 November 2006

The Eagles win the Super Bowl?

Oh, so I realize I oughtn't open this can of worms up, but what the hell, the Daily News already did it for me ... check out my thoughts on which team will win Philly's next championship in today's DN. Suffice it to say, I'm in the minority. As usual.
Oh, and if you're wondering why this picture's here, well, that's just a tease for this week's column which will be online later tonight.

And now, for some holiday cheer, courtesy of the Hon. Rev. E. B. Webb:

This story involves one of my coworkers. He was the one hiding from his machete-wielding wife ...

DeKalb police kill knife-wielding woman
12th fatal police shooting in county this year

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/14/06

A DeKalb police officer shot and killed a woman who ran into a neighbor's home with a knife Monday evening, the 12th person shot to death by DeKalb police this year.

Police identified the dead woman as Kalawaitie Budhai, who was described as about 34 years old. The officer who fired the shot had not been identified.

The incident began about 5 p.m. Monday when officers were called to an "armed domestic situation" on Hitt Lake Court south of Stone Mountain Park, police spokesman Jason Gagnon said.

Officers found a man barricaded in a bedroom who said his wife had threatened to kill him and herself with a knife. He said he did not where his wife had gone, Gagnon said. Another officer arriving in the neighborhood saw a woman matching the wife's description running into another house.

The officer confronted the woman outside the house and ordered her to drop the knife, the spokesman said. She threatened the officer and entered the house, with the officer following, Gagnon said.

He said the officer repeatedly told the woman to drop the knife, but she lunged at him at least twice.

14 November 2006

One point

If I may draw your attention to the last line of the Monday night pick:

The game, however, will stay under. 23-10's my guess.

Well, I was wrong. The final was 24-10. Go me.

Spread: 66-68-6 (49.25%)
O/U: 74-63-2 (54.01%)
Total: 139-131-8 (51.48%)

Best Bets
Spread 6-2-2 (75%)
O/U 7-3 (70%)

13 November 2006

Roll, Tide

You say 16-14 is barely a win? I say sure, but a win's a win's a win and it's better than the last two weeks, a sign that the tide's a turnin' in my prognosticating favor. Especially since not only did the best bets hit, but the ones I mulled as solid picks weren't all that bad either. So, with a 7-8 tally on the spread and a 9-5 tally on the O/U, the stats for the season stand at:

Spread: 65-68-6 (49%)
O/U: 73-63-2 (54%)
Total: 137-131-8 (51%)

Best Bets
Spread 6-2-2 (75%)
O/U 7-3 (70%)

As for tonight, Carolina's at home giving 9.5 to Tampa; over/under's at 37. Which means the book's are basically making you decide whether you think the Panthers will win roughly 23-13. It's a division game, but that doesn't mean Carolina, which needs this one to get on its annual second-half run in the hopes of coming out of a weak NFC. They will. And they'll cover. The game, however, will stay under. 23-10's my guess.
(Inky photo by Ron Cortes)

10 November 2006

Slim pickins

At Miami -1 Kansas City OVER 40

At Jacksonville -10 Houston OVER 37.5

San Diego -1 At Cincinnati OVER 47.5

At Atlanta -8.5 Cleveland UNDER 41.5

Baltimore -7 At Tennessee OVER 37.5

At Indianapolis -12.5 Buffalo UNDER 45

At Pittsburgh -4.5 New Orleans OVER 45.5

At Philadelphia -7 Washington UNDER 43

At NY Giants -1 Chicago UNDER 39

At Minnesota -5.5 Green Bay OVER 39.5

At New England -10.5 NY Jets UNDER 39.5

At Detroit -6 San Francisco OVER 46

Denver -9.5 At Oakland OVER 33.5

At Seattle -3 St. Louis UNDER 44.5

Dallas -7 At Arizona UNDER 43.5

Some tough games this week. But then again, there are a couple that look like gimmes. Like Denver, who will now, and forever, roll the Raiders. And the Jets, who play divisional game tight. And Green Bay, which just strikes my gut as the right way to go in that game; something about it being Favre’s last big one, goes the little voice in my head. But considering how poorly I’ve been prognosticating these past two weeks, I’m thinking about going with Indy as the really easy pick. But the easy road’s not gonna dig me out of a sub-500 quagmire. That’s why I’m gonna call Miami minus one as the pick of the week; like last year, they’re gonna find their stride late – and they found it last week, methinks.

The over/under’s a little harder to hone in on this week, though. A lot of games that really seem as if they could go any which way but mine. I mean, can Cleveland put up more than six points and help that nudge over? (Probably not.) Same goes for Oakland, because you have to figure Denver’s going to put up at least 28 on their own, the way they’ve been playing. Too scary to depend on the Raiders though. So, I’m going to go with San Diego/Cincy being a high-scoring shootout that shoots over the 47.5. Risky, yes. But it feels oh-so-right.

Go Birds.

Spread: 58-60-6 (49%)
O/U: 64-57-2 (53%)
Total: 121-117-8 (51%)

Best Bets
Spread 5-2-2 (71%)
O/U 6-3 (67%)

Everything that's wrong with America II

Read this interesting little snippet in an Associated Press piece that ran in today's Inquirer:

TRENTON - A group lobbying to extend New Jersey's indoor smoking ban to Atlantic City casinos released a study yesterday showing dramatically cleaner air in taverns and restaurants since the state barred patrons from lighting up.

Indoor air quality improved more than 90 percent in bars, restaurants and bowling alleys after New Jersey banned smoking in public places April 15, according to results of air-monitoring tests presented by New Jersey GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution).

Dear New Jersey Group Against Smoking Pollution, or NAMBLA,

I hearby bestow upon you the 2006 Captain Obvious Medal. Are you really that friggin' stupid to think that people will fall for your bullshit? Think about it; this is what your study says:
The air is cleaner in a smoke-free bar than in a smoke-filled bar.
Seriously, did you spend money on this? Time? Christ, I hope not.
On an unrelated note, however, I have results of a study I recently conducted to share with you: Every last one of you is a dipshit.


09 November 2006

Everything that's wrong with America

Dear Center for Nursing Advocacy,

Shut the hell up. You're morons if you think a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill's dress-the-waitresses-up-like-naughty-nurses gimmick will sully the reputations of your profession worldwide.


P.S. Please don't tell me this has anything to do with jealousy.

Ms. Santorum, if you're nasty

This week's column, of course, is about the elections, you know, those little things that happened before both Rummy got sent packing, and the Inquirer cast their editor aside.

06 November 2006

Trial, No Error

All this makes me wonder whether the anti-death-penalty (read: anti-justice) folks are grabbing their Kumbaya sheet music and patchouli oil, and making their final plans to spring to Saddam's defense. Which, I'm sure, they are.

Mile High Salute

Now I know what it's like to be from Pittsburgh, considering the horrific 8-17-1 tally this week, making for two very bad back-to-back weeks. And, if but for one moment, let's all recognize 1) T.O. for dropping a wide-open pass that could cost his team the playoffs and 2) the mighty Denver Broncos for ending the Stealers' season, shall we?

The Steelers have lost six of seven to match their worst midseason record in coach Bill Cowher's 15 seasons and by any returning NFL champion in 20 seasons. No team has bounced back from a 2-6 record and a loss in its eighth game to make the playoffs, and only the Arizona Cardinals (1-7) have a worse record in the NFL.

"At 2-6, you have to audition for next year," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We'll see now who wants it and who throws in the towel."

So, not that my opinion matters all that much, but I'm figuring, if it's not a push, Seattle will cover the seven, and the game will go over. So, if you're wise, bank on Oakland winning a very low scoring game outright.

Spread: 57-60-6 (49%)
O/U: 64-56-2 (53%)
Total: 120-116-8 (51%)

Best Bets
Spread 5-2-2 (71%)
O/U 6-3 (67%)

(Photo from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette; story excerpt from

03 November 2006

This week's picks

At St. Louis -2.5 Kansas City OVER 48

At Baltimore -3 Cincinnati UNDER 41

At NY Giants -13 Houston UNDER 43

At Jacksonville -9.5 Tennessee UNDER 37.5

Dallas -3 At Washington UNDER 42.5

At Buffalo -3 Green Bay OVER 40

New Orleans -1 At Tampa Bay UNDER 38.5

Atlanta -5.5 At Detroit OVER 47

At Chicago -13.5 Miami UNDER 37.5

Minnesota -5 At San Francisco OVER 43

At San Diego -12.5 Cleveland UNDER 42

At Pittsburgh -2.5 Denver OVER 37

At New England -3 Indianapolis OVER 48

Best Bets: New England feels like the lock of the year thus far, what with Indy beat up and tired after luckily escaping the new Mile High. And the day Peyton proves that he can actually go into N.E. and do anything but choke is the day I'll think otherwise. The Pats are finding their stride and will send a message meant to resonate come the playoffs. I figure they'll cover three every quarter and walk out with a double-digit win sealed with late-game TD drive.
As for the O/U lock, St. Louis/KC seems destined to be a high-scoring game, but 48's tough. Instead, there look to be two games that'll stay low enough to bet the under: N'Awlins/Tampa for one, and Chicago/Miami. But as much as I still don't buy into da Bears,. I worry that they could put 27 up, meaning Miami could cover at 14 and put the game over. I have no such worries about the Buccaneers, though.

02 November 2006

Hey new eyes, thanks for stopping by

I'd like to welcome those of you joining us, well, me, from Joey's post on Philebrity. But since you're here, allow me to say this site isn't merely about betting football, though it'd be easy to make that leap. Rather, it's an amusement-purposes-only experiment to see if I can outpick those who regularly make the picks and, who knows, land a Vegas linemaking job one day.

Anyway, you're here because you read Joey's wittle apology about mocking the lede I wrote on our CP Choice package. So allow me to retort: Yeah, it was pretty bad. The worst ever? Nah. But pretty hack nonetheless. And having worked Christ knows how many hours writing and editing prior to that is no excuse. So sorry if I ruined your day!

But where me and Those Who Sit at Computers All Day Commenting on Others' Work Rather Than Doing Any Work for Themselves part ways is here: If you're going to criticize, please evolve beyond the third-grade schoolyard catcalls. By all means, rip me to shreds as publicly as you'd like, but in doing so, have some substance to your criticisms. Like, "Did you really need to recycle a bad TV-show theme song? How about just saying the story's about the good and bad things in Philadelphia, and get out of the way?" As opposed to, say, "You're a stupid dumb-dumb, dummie."

So in closing, while I find it absurd that he put that apology online, I must say that it's going to be a fun day when I get to write the inevitable column about the lawsuit that shuts Philebrity down. And, like I told Joey earlier, I personally guarantee that it'll start off with one of the best ledes I've ever written.


P.S. Ashlea's last name is spelled "Halpern," not that the rules of real journalism need apply to hipster message boards.

El periodico

Been so tied up with this week's mega City Paper Choice issue that 1) I totally forgot to put the Monday Night pick up, again and 2) haven't been able to put anything up here in a few days. So, my most sincere apologies. To make it up to you, here's a tale of my first arrest, and the paranoia that another one might not be too far off. So, if I wind up dead, avenge me!

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