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 www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.

31 January 2007

Catching Up


Hey, been a while. My apologies. So anyway, this week's column will explain why the vast majority of us are going to burn in hell (Hint: Blame the horse.) Also, if you love Pat O'Brien -- and really, who doesn't, besides that waitress that wasn't into Betsy as deeply as she should have been? -- you'll love tomorrow's cover story.
Coming later this week: Super Bowl picks (I'm currently leaning toward Indy and, surprisingly, the under).

26 January 2007

This week's column


... is about Johnny Doc's decision to drop out of the Philly mayoral race. And this week's cocktails with is with Vern Anastasio, he who wants to be South Philly's councilman. Also, CP has launched a partnership with Young Philly Politics for issue-oriented coverage of the upcoming races. Check it out.

Granted, for ye out-of-towners, both of these will probably bore. So, allow me to point out that as of this morning, Friday, Jan. 26, there are just 50 days until the planes head out to the desert.

23 January 2007

And it all comes down to this

Greetings. Biggest Bears fan in the world here. But first, would like to congratuate you Cowboys fans on having no coach, and you Steelers fans, well, on having a new coach. Very exciting times, no?

Well, I'm jammed up trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to write about in this week's paper, so I'll leave you with this: After 17 regular season weeks, and three playoff rounds, I sit precisely one game under .500 for the season spread picks. One. Game. Which is good because there is precisely one game left. (Worry not, I'm 24 games over .500 on the spread. (But, if this were about money, and not, as is the case amusement, I'd be down $115 on the season -- not factoring in the lucrative best bets)

Spread: 126-127-7
O/U: 140-116-3
Total: 266-243-10

I'm working on getting all the Super Bowl proposition bets out of Vegas. Speaking of which, the countdown is down to 53.

19 January 2007

I'm still not ready for some football


Yesterday, after my fire-Reid column came out, I traded emails with the curator of the 700level.com, a good guy who disagreed with my stance, and posted thoughts to that extent on AOL's fan site.
He makes a good point: It is hard to say who should replace Reid. And I don't have a solid answer to that, other than: "Anybody who doesn't have a penchant for choking when it's all on the line." Good debate, though.

But, now onto the important stuff. Which would have been McNabb's press conference hadn't Reid told Five that he can't talk publicly right about now. (Smart move.) Instead, it's the conference championship games which won't be all that easy to watch without the Birds. But so goes life, right? Statwise, I have nothing extraordinary to offer. Of all the matchups, the only one that I'm above .500 on the year would be NO/Chi on the spread. The rest, well, the rest are hovering just below the Mendoza line. That said, I'd be shocked if it wasn't a 4-0 weekend because, well, because that's how I'm feeling.

At Chicago -2.5 New Orleans UNDER 43.5
At Indianapolis -3 New England OVER 47.5

Yet, truth be told, I'd so happily go 0-for-4 as long as, in return, I got another classic Peyton Manning choke.

18 January 2007

Merry Thursday


Sorry I've been so lax on here this week; been a bit busy with the start of Philly election season. So anyway, still not ready to openly discuss the Eagles game without ranting, so I'll let this week's column (on the pictured gent) do the rational talking for me. As for the aforementioned election coverage, today marks day one of a new page in City Paper history: the launch of a column in which I go out with someone running for mayor, or City Council, to drink. Had one last night and have one tonight and tomorrow night. The bride's very pleased.

58 days to Vegas.

16 January 2007

Cheats

Sorry, still can't talk about Saturday night football. I'll cover it all in Thursday's column.
That said, the picks came in as mediocre as can be. Two and two on the spread; two and two on the over/unders. That runs the playoff record to 7-9. Wonderful. Even worse, the fixed contests over the weekend left me with just one team that I picked well all season. Wonderful again.

Indy 12-21-1 (6-10-1) 6-11
NE 19-12-1 (9-6-1) 10-6

31-33-2 (15-16-2) 16-17


NO 17-15-1 (10-6) 7-9
Chi 13-17 (6-9) 7-8

30-32-1 (16-15) 14-17

See what I mean? Slim pickings. Regardless, I'll be a'bringing the selections by week's end, even if I'm not gonna watch the games. Because football's a fixed sport and it's dead to me.

12 January 2007

Pro football picks



At Baltimore -4 Indianapolis UNDER 41.5
To me, this game comes down to a simple question: Indy has a good offense, but Syphillis-town's defense catch match up; Bmo has a quasi-decent offense but can Indy's previously pourous defense do the same? I think so.
Indy 24-17.

At New Orleans -5 Philadelphia OVER 49
Yes, I too feel bad that N'Awlins was wiped off the face of the map, and left to rot by the federal government. But I also feel bad that we haven't won a championship since I was 10. My heart tells me the Eagles could win this game since the Saints are nowhere near the juggernaut they've been made out to be. But ask my fictional kinfolk Earl Hickey about karma and it's clear that what goes around, sometimes comes back around. In this case, that means the Saints get to their first NFC Championship game and we get to mull whether the season was a success (Short answer: Damn right it was.)
New Orleans 31-20 on a late TD.

At Chicago -8.5 Seattle UNDER 37
Look at it this way: At least you can sleep in after the Eagles game and get up for a New England/San Diego tilt that's shaping up to be a classic.
Chicago 19-7.

At San Diego -4.5 New England OVER 46.5
Part of me says New England's playing over its head this year, and that, when faced with a legit opponent on the road, they're going to falter. The rest of me says they're New England and, if anybody besides the Birds can figure out who to stop LT, thus forcing a playoff-first-timer QB to beat them, it's the Pats. Methinks they'll do just that, setting the stage for another Peyton choke against Brady.
New England 34-27.

11 January 2007

I Feel Great!


Ok, not really; I'm a bit tired today, but it was nice to, upon getting to the office, already having a voicemail about this week's column waiting from Mr. Croce himself.

Coming tomorrow: The divisional playoff picks, including the all-important lesson that while Katrina sucked and all, we can't let our defenses down, as I have, in saying that it'll be OK if New Orleans wins since they need it more than we do.

09 January 2007

Ugh

Well, so much for statistics. Everything, and I mean everything, pointed to the Jets yet they failed the fine people of Strong Island. Oh well. For the first week of the playoffs, I was 2-2 on the spread and 1-3 on the over under. 3-5 not good.

But all that can change this week, considering the odds are shining nicely on my Birds/Saints spread pick (65%) and the Pats/Chargers over/under (64%).

You ain't getting them yet, though, as I have some work to do.

04 January 2007

Dog Day Weekend


The numbers have been crunched, and here's what they found:
-- Tiki will be crushed (well, sort of)
-- the J-E-T-S, will Play. Another. Week.
-- the lucky-Denver-blows Chiefs will make it interesting in Indy and
-- the Cowskirts will keep Philly's host-the-NFC-championship-game hopes alive.

In other words, all the dogs will cover. What the hell, it's been that kind of season anyway. So, here are the picks (check out the previous post to see the odds of any of this actually coming true. Hint: the Jets are a lock.)

Indy -7 K.C. 51
A shoot-out waiting to happen since Indy has no D, but has pretty-lil Peyton.
Final score: 28-27 Indy.

Seattle -3 Dallas 47
Another shoot-out. (For Dallas, see note above on Indy's D. And for Seattle, well, they're home and they got playoff experience.)
Final score: 34-31 OT Dallas

New England -8.5 Jets 37.5
Following in the shoes of Sean Payton, Eric Mangini will best his masterminded mentor. And even though the 8.5 is frightening, division games in the playoffs should be tight.
Final score: 16-14 Jets

And finally,
Birds -7 Giants 46.5
Tougher than expected, because nobody expects it to be tough, even Jersey City's Dinesh Dadlani, who's rooting against his own putrid organization. A long TD to Greg Lewis, a sure-footed David Akers, a boozed-up crowd, and a riled-up D all mean one thing:
Final score: 20-16 Eagles

But remember, people. Football isn't everything.

Empty the bank account and call the book

That sound you heard crashing into the ground yesterday was my liver returning from Key West. And yes, it hurt. But hope all y'all had a great New Years and whatnot.
Mine was great, until I watched the end of the Broncos game, and then got word about Darrent Williams. Fuckin' tragedy. But, any worse than the thousands of young black men killed in similar fashion annually?

Enough with the heavy, though. Seems as if my pre-departure picks were pretty damn good. Hope you bet along. Went 11-4 on the spread; 10-5 on the over-under and nailed both best bets. All of which sets us up for some final regular season stats and the reason I wasted so much time with this for the past 17 weeks: Playoff locks. WARNING: A lot of stats to follow; scroll to the bottom to get to wildcard weekend trends.

So, with no further ado:

FINAL REGULAR SEASON PICKS
Spread: 49.79%
O/U: 57.63%
Total: 52.56%

Best Bets
Spread: 60%
O/U: 76.47%

In other words, yep, the odds sure seem to be close to a coin flip, except when I'm pinpointing over/unders, at which point, perhaps it's time to move to Vegas. Win 76.47% of the time and there's money to be burnt, yo.

So anyway, here's how I fared with the playoff teams this year:

OVERALL

NE 70%
Jets 66%
Dallas 63%
San Diego 61%
N.O. 54%
Philadelphia 50%
Giants 50%
Chicago 50%
KC 48%
Baltimore 46%
Seattle 46%
Indy 41%

SPREAD
Eagles 67%
NO 64%
NE 62%
Jets 60%
Baltimore 57%
KC 53%
Dallas 50%
SD 50%
Chicago 50%
NYG 43%
Indy 42%
Seattle 42%

OVER/UNDER
NE 79%
Dallas 77%
Jets 73%
SD 71%
Giants 57%
Seattle 50%
Chicago 50%
NO 43%
KC 43%
Balt 36%
Indy 33%
Eagles 33%


WILDCARD WEEKEND

Bye Teams:
Chicago -- 50 percent across the board
New Orleans -- 54 overall; 64 spread; 43 ou
San Diego -- 61 overall; 50 spread; 71 ou
Baltimore -- 46 overall; 57 spread; 36 ou

OVERALL SPD O/U
Pats 70 62 79
Jets 66 60 73
Avg. 68 61 76

Seattle 46 42 50
Cowboys 63 50 77
Avg 54.5 46 63.5

Eagles 50 67 33
Giants 50 43 57
Avg 50 55 45

Indy 41 42 33
Kansas City 48 53 43
Avg 44.5 47.5 38

All of which is to say, if you like the odds:

The three New England/Jets picks should come out great, as should the Couwgirls/Seahawks over/under. The Birds/Giants seem like a crapshoot. And, going the opposite way on the Indy/KC picks might serve you well.

Coming later today, the picks themselves. Go Birds!

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