Thursday, October 25, 2012

NFL Picks: Week 8

Laguna Apoyo, Nicaragua --

Drawing my prognosticating strength from the volcanic waters of Laguna Apoyo, where in addition to a serene lake there is also wifi and cold Tona--bajo cero, amigo. Let's not waste the mystical powers of the water any further, they evaporate quickly.

Buccaneers (+5) over VIKINGS - W
Panthers (+9) over BEARS - W
Chargers (-2.5) over BROWNS - L
Seahawks (+1) over LIONS - L

Shoot, I took a break and the magical waters evaporated. More crappy picks below.
PACKERS (-15.5) over Jaguars - L
TITANS (-3.5) over Colts - L
Patriots (-7) over RAMS - W
JETS (-1) over Dolphins - L
Falcons (+1) over EAGLES - W
Redskins (+4.5) over STEELERS - L
Raiders (Pick 'Em) over CHIEFS - W
Giants (-1) over COWBOYS - W
Saints (+7) over BRONCOS - L
49ers (-7) over CARDINALS - W

WHOA, way too many road teams this week.

This week: 7-7
Season: 36-30-2

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

NFL Picks: Week 7

Licking my wounds from a sub-.500 week, but determined to come back strong. Swami sez big week for the favorites, bringing the season of the underdog back toward normal.

Seahawks (+7) over 49ERS - P
I'm a little worried about a Thursday road game, but the Hawks haven't been blown out all season, why start now?
BILLS (-3) over Titans - L
Nervous about the Bills winning by more than three, but shout out to Ralph Wilson Stadium.
COLTS (-3) over Browns - W
Come down game for the Browns, Luck shakes off a bad game.
Packers (-5.5) over RAMS - W
Green Bay seems to have re-gained their mojo.
VIKINGS (-6) over Cardinals - W
I'm all about picking against the Cardinals now that their luck has run out.
GIANTS (-5.5) over Redskins - L
Giants linemen hassle RG3
Saints (-3) over BUCCANEERS - W
Brees still has playoff drees.
Cowboys (-2) over PANTHERS - W
Expecting Dallas to either dominate or implode with a loss. Dominating seems more likely.
Ravens (+7) over TEXANS - L
Taking the points here.
RAIDERS (-4) over Jaguars - L
Da Raiders trying their hardest to blow it, but I don't see Jags keeping it too close on the West Coast.
Jets (+10.5) over PATRIOTS - W
The Jets stink but still I think they frustrate the Pats enough to cover, barely.
Steelers (Pick 'Em) over BENGALS - W
I just think they have their number, even in the franchise decline.
BEARS (-6) over Lions - P
Lions were on tv here in Nica last Sunday, I wasn't overly impressed.

This Week: 7-4-2
Season: 29-23-2

Runnin' Shit: Mirador El Calvario

Matagalpa, Nicaragua--

Across the river from downtown here in Matagalpa there rises a hill--some might call it a mountain--with a little viewpoint on top of it, called a mirador. Ever since I arrived in town and saw it, it looms over my neighborhood and particularly from the window of the coffee shop I like to frequent, it has been my goal to run to the top of it. But for three and a half weeks I wasn't able to find a route to get there. Not all the local roads show up on Gmaps, and the Matagalpinos I've asked for directions have either told me it was dangerous and not to go there, or else didn't know which roads to take.

Growing more and more impatient by the day, this past Monday I finally narrowed down my hunches on which roads to take to two, and I turned up the one I had the most faith in. The pimpstincts were strong, it seems, and after about five minutes I saw an official-looking sign pointing left up a dirt road for the Mirador El Calvario. I turned, hoping for the best that I could make it up without walking. The road curved and curved, and all of the sudden I was totally in el campo, chickens scattered around the side of the road, fields and mountains in all directions dotted with cows, ponds, distant shacks, and rows of crops. The higher I went, the better it smelled, sweet grass like a Vermont field in the height of summer. With some fifteen minutes showing on my watch I saw another sign for the mirador pointing to the left, and three minutes later a sign directing me to the right. At twenty-two minutes the road became paved again, steeply rose for 100 meters, and ended the park. 

There were two men at the gate, one in a city uniform and the other in a jumpsuit with a gun. The city official told me it cost $5cordobas to enter (about 20 cents), to which I replied it was my first time up here, and I didn't have any money on me. In my black shorts and fully soaked neon green tank top, I clearly had run all the way up from town and he let me in for free. I promised I would bring ten Cords next time. The view was beautiful, I stayed for a few minutes, but I couldn't compromise my workout too much, and didn't want to draw the ire of the gunman, so I turned around and headed home.

(photo from the mirador pending permission from a flickr user)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Week 6 NFL Picks

Week 6 comin atcha

Steelers (-6) over TITANS - L
(I thought the Steelers would win by a touchdown, nearly did it, too.)
Raiders (+10) over FALCONS - W
(Coming off the bye week, I like the Raiders with the backdoor cover.)
Bengals (-2) over BROWNS - L
(Bengals are just better.)
DOLPHINS (-4) over Rams - L
(I don't like the Dolphins giving 4, but I'm going with the home favorite here.)
JETS (-3.5) over Colts - W
(Must win for the Jets. I just hope it's by more than three)
Lions (+3.5) over EAGLES - W
(Lions have stayed close to good teams, I don't think the Eagles are a good team.)
BUCCANEERS (-4.5) over Chiefs - W
(Back and forth on this one, but Brady Quinn in the Pirate Ship was the final story for me.)
RAVENS (-3.5) over Cowboys - L
(Ravens need to get the stin of last week off them.)
Bills (+4.5) over CARDINALS - W
(I don't trust the Cards to beat anyone by more than 4)
Patriots (-3.5) over SEAHAWKS - L
(Couldn't stomach a potential jinx on this one.)
Giants (+6.5) over 49ERS - W
(Eli game.)
Vikings (Pick 'Em) over REDSKINS - L
(Never go with Washington on a Pick 'Em.)
TEXANS (-3) over Packers - L
(Wary of must-win status for the Pack, but leaning toward them not being great.)
CHARGERS (Pick 'Em) over Broncos - L
(Better team.)

This week: 6-8
Season: 22-19

Lost quite a few games in the fourth quarter this week. As I warned on twitter, I didn't feel good about this week.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

NFL Picks Week 5

At a hostel on the beach with sketchy internet, posting while I can. Adios, B. Once again, no Thursday pick.

BENGALS (-3.5) over Dolphins - L
Packers (-7) over COLTS - L
Bears (-6) over JAGUARS - W
GIANTS (-8.5) over Browns - W
STEELERS (-3.5) over Eagles - L
Ravens (-6.5) over CHIEFS - L
Falcons (-3) over REDSKINS - W
Seahawks (-3) over PANTHERS - W
VIKINGS (-5.5) over Titans - W
PATRIOTS (-6.5) over Broncos - W
49ERS (-9.5) over Bills - W
SAINTS (-3.5) over Chargers - W
JETS (+9) over Texans - W

Week: 9-4
Season: 16-11