I know I said I’d do announcer gaffes this week, but I’m pulling the old bait and switch yet again, because I forgot that Halloween is coming up. Last year The Sports Report Girl graciously helped me out with a countdown of 5 NFL Players and their counterparts from the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons’ Monster Manual. I thought it was a lot of fun, so I decided to do it again. Only this time I thought I’d use monsters from Greek mythology. Enjoy!
5. The Chimera: The Greek storytellers much have enjoyed three-headed creatures, because in addition to the original dog from hell (Cerberus), they also told tales of a classic beast that “…breathed raging fire, a creature fearful, great, swift-footed and strong, who had three heads, one of a grim-eyed lion; in its hinderpart, a dragon; and in its middle, a goat.” There aren’t any goats or dragons in the NFL, but there is one player who has come awfully close to fitting this description – the tenacious Mike Furrey, who currently plays for the Washington Redskins. Furrey began his career with the Indianapolis Colts, but didn’t make the cut and spent a season with the short-lived Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL. Furrey then signed with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League and his success there led to an opportunity with the St. Louis Rams that lasted for three years, followed by a pair of seasons with the Detroit Lions.
4. The Minotaur: King Minos of Crete was given a snow-white bull as a sign of approval from Poseidon, but when he failed to sacrifice the animal in honor of the god and kept it instead, Aphrodite compelled Minos’ wife Pasiphae to fall in love with the animal, eventually resulting in a bastard offspring that was half-man, half-bull. Under the advice of the oracle at Delphi, Minos constructed a gigantic labyrinth for the beast to share with David Bowie, and the creature lived in isolation feeding off a tribute of seven young Athenian men and women each nine years until he was slain by Theseus. The NFL’s equivalent of the minotaur is, of course, Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s bludgeoning running style is reminiscent of a bull – he plows down defenders and rarely shies from contact. Furthermore, like the minotaur, he grew up with minimal contact with his father (who was in prison), and while his birthday (March 21st) doesn’t fall under the Taurus sign, he’s an Aries, which isn’t all that far off. And of course, the horns on the side of the helmet complete the part.
3. Medusa: Medusa was one of three creatures known as gorgons who came from another world. Later myths told tales of her being cursed by a jealous Athena. But all the stories of Medusa agreed on her hair, which was composed of venomous snakes, and her gaze, which turned mortal men to stone if their eyes met it. I know I’m risking the wrath of Chris Johnson by comparing him to a female mythological beast (fortunately, my fantasy team is playing against his owner during the bye week), but the similarities in their hair is simply too much to resist. Chris Johnson has been sporting his dreads since at least 2007. Furthermore, to add to his mythical nature, Chris Johnson’s speed, lateral movement, and ability to change direction instantly has left many flat-footed defenders completely frozen in place while he races past. It’s also worth noting that Chris Johnson is a Virgo.
2. Cyclops: The cyclops were a race of primordial giants, each born with a single eye in the middle of their foreheads. The most famous cyclops, Polyphemus, was encountered by Odysseus during his journey and slaughtered a number of Odysseus’ crew before the clever hero incapacitated the giant with wine and pierced his eye with a sharpened stake. Although the men escaped to sea, Odysseus’ taunts enraged the cyclops enough that he blindly hurled rocks after the vessel, with limited accuracy. The cyclops’ NFL counterpart is of course former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell. In the spirit of the one-eyed pirate that adorned his helmet, JaWalrus displayed the depth perception and pocket awareness that you’d expect of someone that only had one functioning eye. His walrus-like lethargy was aided through spirituous beverages (purple drank). Furthermore, although the gigantic JaMarcus’ arm strength was the stuff of legend, his accuracy was comparable to that of a blinded giant hurling rocks at the ocean – except the cyclops was probably more likely to successfully hit the water.
1. The Phoenix: The phoenix was a mythical creature who, when facing the end of its life, would build a nest and consume itself with fire, only to be reborn from the ashes of its old self. The NFL player who embodies the spirit of this legend is Kurt Warner, who was reborn twice in the NFL – first as a draft washup who emerged from the Arena Football League to win a Superbowl (and the Most Valuable Player award) with the St. Louis Rams, and second after a lull in his career to take the Arizona Cardinals to the Superbowl before a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in what was arguably the most exciting Superbowl ever played. Warner’s performance in the 2009 NFC Divisional Playoffs against the Green Bay Packers is one of the most incredible performances by a quarterback in the history of the sport – he threw more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4) en route to a 51-45 victory.
It’s a pretty normal week for Gamblor and Son of Gamblor with a total of just over $500 on the line between the two. This week’s feature bet is the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As always, good luck!
|Away||Home||Spread||Gamblor’s Pick||Bet Amount||Son of Gamblor’s Pick||Bet Amount||Overall Pick||Overall Bet|
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Computer’s Pick: Denver (+1)
Bet Amount: $11.07 (Gamblor only)
|COMMENTS: This game is being played in London, but since it’s a relatively low total, I haven’t bothered to recalibrate Son of Gamblor to account for this. I’m happy betting on Denver here; San Francisco is going to completely throw up their hands at the disaster their season has become, while the Broncos will attempt to redeem themselves for their embarrassment at the hands of the Raiders last week.|
Computer’s Pick: Jacksonville (+6.5)
Bet Amount: $11.95 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: Another Jacksonville game where I don’t have the foggiest idea of what to expect. I’m guessing Dallas will step up in the wake of Romo’s injury and make Kitna’s debut as a starter into a success.|
Computer’s Pick: Detroit (-2.5)
Bet Amount: $50.01 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: Stafford is back, which should mean a strong performance out of Detroit’s offense. If only their defense could follow suit. I’ll take the home team here, winning in high-scoring game courtesy of a few big plays from Jahvid Best.|
|GREEN BAY PACKERS
NEW YORK JETS
Computer’s Pick: Green Bay (+6)
Bet Amount: $7.82 (Gamblor only)
|COMMENTS: I’m absolutely amazed that Gamblor doesn’t think this spread is too high, and thus throw down a huge wad of cash on the Jets. I know that Green Bay has some serious issues, but six points is far too many for this Jets team to give away, considering that they’re content to rely on their defense rather than attempting to stretch leads. I’ll be rooting very wholeheartedly for the Jets to win, especially after this epic post by Drew over at KSK, but I doubt they’ll cover a spread this big against a team as explosive as the Packers.|
SAINT LOUIS RAMS
Computer’s Pick: St. Louis (-3)
Bet Amount: $62.50 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: This should be an easy victory for St. Louis. Should.|
Computer’s Pick: Miami (+1.5)
Bet Amount: $6.22 (Gamblor only)
|COMMENTS: I really like Miami here. Their loss to the Steelers was heartbreaking and it’s going to be tough for them to dig deep enough to summon the necessary energy to beat the Bengals, but I think their defense holds tough enough (and maybe even provides a score or two) so they’re able to pull this one out.|
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Computer’s Pick: Buffalo (+7.5)
Bet Amount: $7.67 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: Kansas City seems to be slipping. Though it’s hard to figure out exactly how on earth Buffalo will manage to score points or prevent the Chiefs from scoring points, I feel like that extra half-point is going to be important.|
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Computer’s Pick: San Diego (-3.5)
Bet Amount: $2.19 (Conflict)
|COMMENTS: It’s hard to believe the Chargers will continue to fail to perform. While the prospect of a huge game from Chris Johnson is always entertaining, I doubt it will happen here. Either the Chargers will win big, or they’ll lose. I happen to think they’ll win big this week.|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Computer’s Pick: Arizona (-3)
Bet Amount: $221.05 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: This is the computer’s biggest bet of the week, and I’m not thrilled about it. Tampa Bay has shown some serious ability this year, and Arizona seems to get worse every week. They’ve got one more win than they deserve (courtesy of Janikowski’s missed field goal) and there isn’t any facet of their team that isn’t in desperate need of improvement. I actually think there’s a good chance that Tampa Bay can win this one in a blowout, though I certainly hope for my bankroll’s sake that that doesn’t happen.|
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Computer’s Pick: Minnesota (+6)
Bet Amount: $15.32 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: Farve hasn’t decided whether he’s going to sacrifice his team’s first possession in order to keep his streak alive (it’s ridiculous to me that he has any say in that decision, but Childress is a completely ineffective idiot that should be choked to death with his own challenge flag so I guess I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised) but either way, it’s fair to expect a spread of about -6. The Patriots are playing a different game now that Moss is gone, and it will be interesting to see whether he provides the Vikings defense with any helpful advice on how to stop the Patriots revamped passing game. While I’m not very comfortable seeing the Patriots lay so many points, I think they’ll be okay here.|
Computer’s Pick: Seattle (+2.5)
Bet Amount: $5.95 (Gamblor only)
|COMMENTS: Oakland is going to mail in a dud after last week’s historic victory over Denver. Count on it.|
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Computer’s Pick: New Orleans (0)
Bet Amount: $127.90 (Consensus)
|COMMENTS: I’m not sure at what point I’ll lose faith in New Orleans. Apparently losing Reggie Bush made a large difference in how their offense functions. It’s not clear to what degree he’ll be involved in this game, but I can’t believe the Saints will fail to get themselves properly motivated for this game the way they failed to last week. I’m satisfied with the computer’s choice here.|
Computer’s Pick: Houston (+5.5)
Bet Amount: None (Conflict)
|COMMENTS: I’m hoping for a great game here – as such, I’m expecting the spread will be too large for Houston to fail to cover it, regardless of who wins.|
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