NFL Week 10 Picks and Analysis – FootballSunday, November 13, 2011 9:50
Game picks for Week 10 of the 2011 NFL football season and the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
NFL 2011 Week 10 Picks & Analysis
He Was…Penn State
For the past 46 years, Joe Paterno has grown into the most recognizable face of Penn State.
He, in fact, was Penn State.
- Joe Paterno was unquestionably the leader of the Penn State athletic program for a good portion of his tenure as football coach.
- Joe Paterno has won more college football games than any coach has or ever will.
- Joe Paterno helped shape the respected and thriving academic institution Penn State evolved into during the last half century.
- Joe Paterno was a driving force in shaping the lives–mostly in a positive way–of 30-40,00 young men.
Unfortunately, Joe Paterno will be remembered for the young boys he morally abandoned.
He Was…A Teacher
Joe Paterno taught his teams to play as one. He taught his teams to never give in, never give up, and always play fair.
Maybe most importantly, he taught his teams to overcome adversity–a bad bounce of the ball, a biased ref, crooked pollsters, and the cold heart of fate that sometimes left his players injured or cut short their potential greatness.
Joe Paterno taught his players that, whatever wounds they had, however their hearts or bones were broken, they would heal.
Because they, too, were Penn State
Those boys Joe Paterno abandoned? Their wounds can never heal.
Each time a horrific saga of yet another child rapist bleeds onto the web pages of the American experience, rape victims of both genders, young, middle-aged, or elderly, relive the humiliation and pain of their assaults.
Those kinds of wounds reopen with merciless vengeance.
There is no anti-depressant or therapy, no herb or medicine, that can make that kind of pain disappear.
He Was…A Failure
That is why Joe Paterno’s fall from the Mt. Rushmore of athletic achievement has no equal in American sports history.
O.J. Simpson is a psychopath and a double murderer.
Bobby Knight was a maniacal disciplinarian.
Woody Hayes had a moment of violent confusion.
Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and their fellow PED users are dishonest sociopathic competitors.
Ohio State’s “Tattoo-Gate,” Miami’s “Party-Gate”..the hundreds of thousands of student athletes who illegally–according to the NCAA–profit from their athletic prowess…the SMU scandal, NYCC point-shaving, “Spy Gate”…the Black Sox throwing the World Series…Paul Hornung and Pete Rose gambling…
It all seems so, almost amusingly, quaint compared to the children Joe Paterno exposed to a predatory rapist.
Here, my editor will quietly remind me, I must add, “allegedly.”
They Are…His Victims
If you are wondering why I am addressing the child-rape scandal Joe Paterno enabled after previously doing so just a few days ago, I guess I wanted to give the children Paterno and Penn State scarred for life their just due.
Among all the almost laughable talk of “legacy” and “leadership” and “loyalties” that give an even more perverse contour and context to circumstances none of us could fathom only days ago lies a lot of shattered lives.
What if it were your child?
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I’ve followed Penn State as a Pitt fan since I started watching football. When I saw a video on the Post-Gazette’s website I got angry:
(You will need to access the video section in the center of the front page; scroll down and click on the link to the press conference wherein Tom Bradley was named interim coach after Paterno was fired.)
When I saw Bradley, Penn State’s chief recruiter for Pittsburgh area and a longtime Paterno assistant, answer a question by telling the world, “Joe Paterno will go down as one of the greatest men…,” how proud he was to have worked for Paterno, how Paterno dynamically influenced the lives of young men, I became physically ill.
Great men do not hear about a ten year-old boy being raped in a shower and feel satisfied at telling their two “superiors.”
The truth is, Joe Paterno had no superiors at Penn State. Anyone who tries to deny that fact is a liar or an idiot.
Speaking of idiots, Franco Harris, PSU alum, former Steeler and pro-football HOFer, came out with this diatribe upon hearing his former coach had been fired:
I’m very disappointed in their decision. I thought they showed no courage, not to back someone who really needed it at the time. They were saying the football program under Joe was at fault.
They really wouldn’t give a reason. They’re linking the football program to the scandal and, possibly, the cover up. That’s very disturbing to me. … I think there should be no connection to the football program, only in the case that it happened at the football building with an ex-coach. I’m still trying to find out who gave him access to the building, who signed that contract.
Joe Paterno did, Franco. He was the man in charge. His lack of courage to stop Sandusky gave Sandusky tacit permission to continue pursuing young boys.
And Franco, trying to separate Sandusky from the Penn State football program and the football program from the child rape scandal is like trying to separate John Erlichmen from the Nixon White House, and his presidency from Watergate.
What About Us
Like almost any story confined to a particular facet of American society, the Penn State scandal reflects troubling truths about the American character.
A quick peek at Tosh.0 or countless YouTube videos begs the question: Is anyone capable of feeling shame anymore?
Examine each person’s behavior after Paterno was told of Sandusky’s sexual assault on a 10 year-old boy…
Their reactions are motivated by blind loyalty, preservation of legacy, protection of the status quo, and abject denial.
Even if what Paterno’s apologists say is true–Mike McQueary did not provide graphic detail of the rape–Paterno had an obligation to call the cops and immediately confront Sandusky.
Yet, Sandusky enjoyed access to the same facilities–where McQueary initially witnessed him raping a child–for the next nine years.
Somebody should be ashamed.
Week 10 Picks
Last Week’s Picks
Week 9: 5 – 9 (.357)
Overall Tally: 58 – 66 – 6 (.467)
I’m sinking faster than the Titanic’s anchor.
Miami bitch-slaps the Chiefs in Arrowhead? Something’s fishy…
Da Bears stun the Eagles at Philadelphia? “Gee, Yogi, I didn’t think you could play football.”
The Vegas Gangsters are really on their game folks. Miami’s resurrection from the dead and the Bears’ solid showing against the Nightmare Team were the only two really bad picks I made. Every other game had the line up for grabs until late in the fourth quarter…A fumble here, a pick here, false starts, personal fouls…
…And Gairzo gets screwed.
Again, my redemption lies on the three Specials I correctly picked, missing a perfect week when the Steelers let the Rat Birds scavenge a touchdown after a 92-yard drive with :08 seconds left in the Sunday Nighter. Baltimore deserved that victory and the Men of Steel must again avoid the ghosts of autumn’s past which saw them begin a disturbing trend of late-game, defensive cranium cramps.
Don’t believe the pundits’ clap-trap about the Pittsburgh defense being old. Close games by well-coached teams come down to two, maybe three, plays that determine the outcome.
The Ravens made one when they had to; give ‘em their due.
Specials Tally: 20 – 15 – 1 (.571)
This Week’s Picks
Game of the Week (4 – 5)
“Evil Empire,” a Regan-era term borne from the Star Wars franchise, was the moniker Jets linebacker, Calvin Pace ascribed to the New England Patriots this week.
Hold on; wasn’t “Evil Empire” first used in Spaceballs, Mel Brooks’ parody of the Lucas masterpiece?
Guess that would make Rex Ryan “Pizza the Hut.”
My usual look at this game would detail New England’s twenty-year record of 76-45 as an underdog, backed up by a 5-1 tally since ’08.
When the total is between 45.5 and 49, the Pats have only lost one game in the last three seasons. Those are significant trends, folks. They mean New England has a long history of performing well as an underdog and it’s not smart to bet against them.
Guess which way I’m leaning.
The real tell for Bellichick’s team might be found in a below mediocre performance after losing two consecutive game. When the Pats spit the bit twice in a row–admittedly, a rare occurrence–something is wrong enough that the coaching staff can’t fix the problem.
Right now, New England flat stinks on defense: last in the league in yards allowed and standing on the bottom rung in every important category. Due to injury, they’re wafer thin in the defensive backfield, so Mark Sanchez might look a lot unlike his usual pedestrian self.
The book on how to beat Brady has been out a long time; it just can’t be deciphered by more than a few teams.
Pizza the Hut and his boys are one of those teams.
Jets 30, New England 24
Upset Special (6 – 2 – 1)
We don’t see the suits’ logic in giving the Cardinals the bloated spread in this game. Arizona has been competitive against their schedule excepting a 24-point thrashing in Minnesota.
The Eagles have some truly elite players performing poorly as a team. They’ll overcome a game Cardinals squad, but not by two touchdowns.
Eagles 33, Cardinals 24
Lock of the Week (5 – 4)
We breezed this baby last week as the Falcons feasted on Colt meat for a few easy Sunday hours during last week’s early slate. We can’t claim as much confidence this week. We’re tempted to take the Rat Birds, but the Ravens lost to the Jags; the Titans are coming off a soul-draining win, and Seattle can be unkind to a lot of visitors. Besides, the ‘Hawks tend to show up against good teams.
The Packers–also a tempting as a Week 10 Lock pick–are one of the safest bets ATS this and most every year. They look to be a team of destiny. Every great dynasty accomplishes a feat no other before or after matches:
- ’60 Packers…5 NFL titles in seven years
- Dolphins…Perfect season…First team to three straight Super Bowls
- Steelers….2 SBs in a row–twice
- ‘Niners…5-0 in Super Bowls
- ’90s Cowboys…3 Trophys in four years
However, the Packers were fortunate to beat the Vikes in Week 6 and Minnesota is sick of hearing about how awesome Green Bay is. It won’t matter, but 13 points is too many for the Green & Gold to give.
The only game we feel semi-good about for the Lock Special is the admittedly Jekyll-and-Hyde Chiefs hosting the Tebows at Arrowhead. Haley will have his troops psyched to take advantage of the Bolts’ recent blunders.
Look for Jackie Battle to run amok through the Broncos’ defense.
Chiefs 31, Broncos 20
Over/Under of the Week (5 – 4)
It is amazing how difficult this special is to pick consistently. This week we believe the Giants and ‘Niners will struggle to score all day. When Alex Smith faces a good front, a weak San Fran offense looks to its stout defense to win the game. We think the stars of this one will be the Giants D-line and that Eli Manning will have more success than Smith.
We’re taking the under.
Giants 20, 49ers 13
As always, my lines are found here: http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_lines.shtml
My picks can be found below in italic…
NFL Lines For Week 10, 11/13 – 11/14, 2011
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|11/13 1:00 ET||Pittsburgh||-4||At Cincinnati||41|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Kansas City||-3 LW||Denver||41.5|
|11/13 1:00 ET||Jacksonville||-3||At Indianapolis||37.5|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Dallas||-5.5||Buffalo||48|
|11/13 1:00 ET||Houston||-3||At Tampa Bay||45.5|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Carolina||-3.5||Tennessee||46|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Miami||-4||Washington||37.5|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Atlanta||PK||New Orleans||50|
|11/13 4:15 ET||At Chicago||-3||Detroit||45|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Cleveland||-2.5||St. Louis||37|
|11/13 1:00 ET||At Philadelphia||-14 US||Arizona||46.5|
|11/13 4:05 ET||Baltimore||-6.5||At Seattle||41|
|11/13 4:15 ET||At San Francisco||-3.5 O/U||NY Giants||42.5|
|11/13 8:30 ET||At NY Jets GW||-1.5||New England||47|
Monday Night Football Line
|11/14 8:35 ET||At Green Bay||-13.5||Minnesota||51|
7 Responses to “NFL Week 10 Picks and Analysis – Football”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.