By The Numbers: Week 3, 2018

What a shitshow that Packers/Vikings game was. Things were going great until about 7 minutes left to go in the game, at which point I looked over at my girlfriend and said “I think it’s safe to say we won this game.” At which point the refs decided to intervene. Not only was there a really shitty pass interference call on us, but there was a pretty bad no-call on them just prior to that. Later, up by 8 points, Clay Matthews got to Kirk Cousins at literally the same time he released the ball, which was picked off and should have put the game away in our favor. Instead, they called roughing the passer and the interception was negated. From there, the Vikings went on to score a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie. Aaron Rodgers managed to get us down field in something like 40 seconds to put Mason Crosby in position to win the game. He made the 50-something yarder but was iced by the Vikings who called a time out just before the kick. He missed the second attempt. The game goes to overtime. The Vikings could have put 3 on the board but their kicker misses. We don’t do anything. They have another opportunity to kick from 35 yards and their kicker misses again as time expires. Tie game. I guess on the plus side, we are still undefeated this season, with a 1-0-1 record, but so are the Vikes. It shouldn’t have gone down like that though, the Packers should be 2-0 right now. But it’s early in the season, so whatever, time to move on. Let’s grade my picks for week 2:

Ravens 27, Bengals 21
Panthers 24, Falcons 20
Redskins 20, Colts 10
Texans 14, Titans 7
Buccs 23, Eagles 21 – Correct
Chiefs 28, Steelers 20 – Correct
Jets 17, Dolphins 14
Chargers 26, Bills 13 – Correct
Packers 20, Vikings 17
Saints 30, Browns 7 – Correct
49ers 21, Lions 17 – Correct
Rams 33, Cardinals 10 – Correct
Jaguars 27, Patriots 24 – Correct
Broncos 28, Raiders 14 – Correct
Cowboys 21, Giants 13 – Correct
Bears 24, Seahawks 21 – Correct

Another 10-6 week, making my overall record for the season 20-12. Not bad, but could have been better. Some of those picks I’m surprised I got correct, and some I thought were definitely correct ended up not being. Also got some partial scores right, but I’m not going to start counting that kind of stuff unless I get one spot on, then that will be an extra point at the end of the season. Here’s my picks for week 3:

Jets 21, Browns 13
Saints 27, Falcons 21
Packers 28, Redskins 10
Eagles 20, Colts 14
Vikings 32, Bills 10
Raiders 20, Dolphins 17
Ravens 24, Broncos 20
Bengals 17, Panthers 13
Rams 30, Chargers 20
Cowboys 14, Seahawks 13
Bears 23, Cardinals 16
Patriots 30, Lions 10
Buccs 27, Steelers 10

We’ll see how I do next week. Hopefully a little bit better as the year goes on and we get a feel for the real contenders and pretenders. See you then.

By the Numbers: Week 2, 2018

Wow, what a week one that was. I only managed to catch the Packers game because I only had the one day off this weekend and had other things to do, along with watching the NALCS Finals. Thankfully that ended in a swift 3-0 sweep from Team Liquid and was over about an hour before my game’s kickoff. Early on things were not going so well. The hype train of Khalil Mack was ridiculous and Cris Collinsworth wouldn’t shut the fuck up about him. He looked good too, getting some ridiculous stat in the first half. They shut us out, they injured Rodgers, Deshone Kizer didn’t look spectacular, and all hope was nearly lost. But then…

It ended up being a hell of a performance on one good leg for Aaron Rodgers, and the Bears couldn’t do shit about him winning the game. The two mistakes they made were not fully injuring Rodgers, and also giving him 2:40 only needing a touchdown for the win. A 75 yarder to Cobb nearly sealed the deal, and the defense gelled at the right time to stop any shenanigans. What a game! Let’s see how I did in my predictions last week:

Eagles 27, Falcons 21 – Correct
Ravens 28, Bills 13 – Correct
Jags 21, Giants 20 – Correct
Saints 24, Buccs 17
Patriots 23, Texans 7 – Correct
Vikings 28, 49ers 14 – Correct
Titans 21, Dolphins 13
Bengals 20, Colts 10 – Correct
Steelers 14, Browns 7
Chiefs 20, Chargers 17 – Correct
Broncos 20, Seahawks 16 – Correct
Panthers 30, Cowboys 20 – Correct
Cardinals 28, Redskins 21
Packers 27, Bears 17 – Correct
Lions 27, Jets 10
Raiders 21, Rams 20

Not a terrible week, considering week one is probably the hardest to pick given all the changes happening every offseason. Officially 10-6 on the season, which is a good start. Let’s see if we can use new information to make better selections for week two!

Ravens 27, Bengals 21
Panthers 24, Falcons 20
Redskins 20, Colts 10
Texans 14, Titans 7
Buccs 23, Eagles 21
Chiefs 28, Steelers 20
Jets 17, Dolphins 14
Chargers 26, Bills 13
Packers 20, Vikings 17
Saints 30, Browns 7
49ers 21, Lions 17
Rams 33, Cardinals 10
Jaguars 27, Patriots 24
Broncos 28, Raiders 14
Cowboys 21, Giants 13
Bears 24, Seahawks 21

You’ll notice some close scores there. Beyond a few outliers, there were mostly close games last Sunday and I expect that trend to continue. I also had a hard time picking my team to win versus the Vikings, because they are likely one of the toughest teams we’ll face all year — twice. I have a feeling it will be a close game, but I put my Packers on top because that’s basically required. However, this all definitively rests on whether or not Rodgers is playing. No information has come out yet if he just had a sprain, or if there’s a more serious knee injury going on. My original fear was that he had a torn ACL, but when he came back on the field (likely injected with pain killers and wearing a brace) things seemed less serious. The fact that they aren’t saying is probably strategic, but at the same time I’d really like to know if this is going to be a thing this season. Time will tell. I’ll be back next week to go over scores once again.

By The Numbers: Week 1, 2018

It’s that time of year again and I must say summer just flew by in 2018. Last year I started something new with this column, in which I actually tabulated my picks and graded myself at the end of the season. I intend to keep this practice going for the 2018 season, and since Football officially kicks off tomorrow, I wanted to get my picks in before the Thursday game is underway, something I failed to do a number of times last year. Honestly, the Thursday night games have become something of a meme, in that it’s either teams no one cares about, or the “color rush” uniforms look like garbage. Either way, they’re still games that will factor into my scoring at the end of the season, so I’ll do my best not to miss any Thursdays this time around. I also missed the final week of the season, probably because my team, the Green Bay Packers, was already done for the season after a 2nd broken collarbone waylaid Aaron Rodgers for too many weeks. I’ll avoid that scenario again provided he rights the ship, but I have no doubt in his ability to do so.

I didn’t pay much attention during the offseason. I know the Packers have had some changes in the main office, the draft sounded like it went alright, and we lost some key players, most notably Jordy Nelson. Outside of that I haven’t much to say. I’m sure it will be a season of ups and downs like usual, and I have faith we’ll manage the playoffs once again. Missing it once in the last decade was rough, let me tell you. Anyway, let’s get into the picks, and we’ll discuss more stuff as the season unfolds.

Eagles 27, Falcons 21
Ravens 28, Bills 13
Jags 21, Giants 20
Saints 24, Buccs 17
Patriots 23, Texans 7
Vikings 28, 49ers 14
Titans 21, Dolphins 13
Bengals 20, Colts 10
Steelers 14, Browns 7
Chiefs 20, Chargers 17
Broncos 20, Seahawks 16
Panthers 30, Cowboys 20
Cardinals 28, Redskins 21
Packers 27, Bears 17
Lions 27, Jets 10
Raiders 21, Rams 20

We’ll review the picks next week and make some more. Football is back, baby!

Thoughts on Collections

At one point or another on the Couch Podtatoes podcast we recorded an episode about collections, and at that time I was surprised to note that I didn’t really have anything I was actively collecting. I did note that I had a small amount of Green Bay Packers memorabilia, and that I had collected Comic Books and cards when I was a kid. Needless to say, things have changed!

Within the last couple of years I started buying League of Legends merch, whenever it was that they opened up their merch store. I started picking up some of the collectible figures that they were selling, which are comparable to Funko Pop figures, though a little higher quality and a bit more expensive (though some of the Pops out there go for large sums of money).  At that time I was still playing League of Legends regularly, though I haven’t played it in over a year at this point. Regardless, I found the figures to be something I desired, so I started off the collection with those. Later I was gifted a Funko Pop figure, and that started a new obsession with trying to pick up more of them. Lastly, my girlfriend discovered some of these die-cast metal Street Fighter figures and has nearly completed the set for me. All of these are present in this picture:

From left to right, we have Urf, Zed, Nautilus, Braum and my newest addition, Ziggs (these are the League of Legends figures). Then there’s the Power Armor from Fallout, Jace the Planeswalker from MTG, Spider-Man, William Wallace (Braveheart) and Jon Snow (GoT). Above are a set of Poros and a Lucian mini-figure (also from LoL). The Street Fighter characters are on top — Ryu, Dhalsim, Vega, Bison, Ken, Blanka, Chun-Li and Guile. On the shelf below, I have my small Green Bay collection:

I’ve been getting Green Bay related gifts for years from friends and family, and have collated most of it here, with an Aaron Rodgers Pop, and other various figures and items. I do have a Jersey, hats and some wall hangings in the room as well. My girlfriend and I both have nerdy tastes when it comes to decor, so we have melded our interests together in our room and it’s become a home.

I also commissioned something extra for my room when I discovered like items online. My sister happens to be fairly crafty, and I set her to the task of making me some MTG Mana Symbols to hang on the wall. I purchased little wooden discs for her to paint which she did and the result was pretty amazing!

They look great on the wall, and the process didn’t take her too long, though I was pestering her for updates and she sent me pictures along the way:

I also had her make another set for my roommate as he is also a MTG nut like me, and I figured they would look great in the garage where we typically play the game.

For a very long time I didn’t put much stock in finding decor or things that I would want to collect, but now that I’ve started I really enjoy it. These items don’t necessarily get used, but they do add life to a room and it’s cool to be able to show off your nerdy interests with pride. What sorts of things do you find yourself collecting as an adult?

By The Numbers: Season Results 2017

The season officially ended last night and since I had my days off switched for this week (and next) I’m at home and have the opportunity to write about it. So obviously I’m happy that the Patriots didn’t get another ring, and it would be real nice if Brady just went ahead and retired (doubtful), but mainly I was disappointed with my team’s season. The Eagles had no rings though, so congrats to them I guess — but really, it’s time to look forward to the next season already. I figured I’d make this final post for the season, something I haven’t done in past years, and go over my picks for the playoffs that I made recently along with my totals for the year. A season in review, if you will. I know I didn’t review my picks in past years and didn’t at the beginning of this season either, but I did start part way through, so I’m just going to tabulate those figures.

Playoff Picks:

Wildcard Round:

Jaguars 30, Bills 24
Chiefs 24, Titans 17
Rams 35, Falcons 27
Saints 28, Panthers 17

Two correct Picks in the Wildcard round. I was honestly surprised that the Rams didn’t win, though the Chiefs/Titans game could have gone either way.

Divisional Round:

Patriots 27, Chiefs 20
Jags 24, Steelers 20
Rams 30, Eagles 24
Saints 35, Vikings 31

So clearly these picks can’t be 100% accurate due to the fact that the matchups were incorrect. However, I did pick the Pats and Eagles to win in their respective games, so I’m going to award myself a half point each. I did end up correctly predicting the Jags over the Steelers as well for a full point.

Championship:

Jags 21, Patriots 13
Rams 24, Saints 20

No points here. I still think the Jags should have beaten the Patriots though I won’t give myself any credit there.

SuperBowl:

Jags 23, Rams 16

Clearly the board wasn’t even set correctly here, though I still think something is in order – The Patriots didn’t win the Superbowl!

With that said, I earned 4 points from the postseason. Here are my totals for the regular season:

Week 1: 9
Week 2: 13
Week 3: 7
Week 4: 11
Week 5: 7
Week 6: 7
Week 7: 4
Week 8: 10
Week 9: 6
Week 10: 11
Week 11: 6
Week 12: 12
Week 13: 13
Week 14: 7
Week 15: 10
Week 16: 12
Week 17: 0 (didn’t make picks)

There are a total of 256 games played in a single season, and my total points here would be 145. There were 11 games played in the post season, and I earned 4 points there, for a grand total of 149/267. That’s just over half games predicted correctly. I’m sure if I would have made picks for the final week I would have improved that score a bit, but I definitely had some weeks where I didn’t pick the Thursday game either. So we’ll try harder next year and perhaps improve the score.

For those of you not into the sport, you won’t have to see these posts for a while and for those of you who were enjoying it, I’ll see you next season!