Whoa, I kind of took a break there. I figured that Bill was on a break (check his Instagram for awesome pictures of him golfing! Actually maybe don't bother), so I might as well take one too. Here's what I learned: blogging is fun. Let's finish Bill's comprehensive gambling guide, since he's back from suspension tomorrow.
I'd like to say for sure that even if I were hired to work at Grantland like Bill Barnwell (who did a slightly-less-awful-than-Simmons job of making picks in Bill's absence), I wouldn't turn into a Simmons disciple, but I can't, because you literally couldn't pay me to work at Grantland. At every salary level reasonably able to be offered by a somewhat popular sports website owned by a big media company, I would sooner panhandle than work for anything associated with ESPN. But I won't say "You couldn't pay me enough" to work there. Because you know what? For $1,000,000 per second, I will happily sell my soul to Disney. No problem. Just give me the contract.
OK, back to Simmons. Underdogs went 13-16-1 since my last post, making them 44-43 on the year. So remind me--is it the year of the dog?
Rule: Don’t forget — it’s the Year of the Dog!!!
Write it down! YEAR OF THE DOG!!!!!!!!! Got it?
Before we hit the rest of the Week 1 picks, I wanted to mention my “circle” theory
Think of it this way: You always leave an NBA season saying,
So you want to break into that January circle. Seven contenders usually do it, then there’s always that eighth late bloomer/sleeper/surprise team that unexpectedly crashes the party.
2013: Denver (13-3, alpha dog),* Seattle (13-3),** New England (12-4), San Francisco (12-4), Carolina (12-4), New Orleans (11-5), Cincy (11-5), San Diego (Wonk Team).
2012: Denver (13-3, alpha dog), Atlanta (13-3), New England (12-4), Houston (12-4), San Francisco (11-4-1),* Seattle (11-5), Green Bay (11-5), Baltimore (Wonk Team).**
2011: Green Bay (15-1, alpha dog), New England (13-3),* New Orleans (13-3), San Francisco (13-3), Baltimore (12-4), Pittsburgh (12-4), Houston (10-6), NY Giants (Wonk Team).**
2010: New England (14-2, alpha dog), Atlanta (13-3), Pittsburgh (12-4),* Baltimore (12-4), New Orleans (11-5), NY Jets (11-5), Chicago (11-5), Green Bay (Wonk Team).**
2009: Indy (14-2, alpha dog),* New Orleans (13-3),** San Diego (13-3), Minnesota (12-4), Dallas (11-5), Green Bay (11-5), Arizona (10-6), NY Jets (Wonk Team).
2008: Tennessee (13-3, alpha dog), Carolina (12-4), Pittsburgh (12-4),** NY Giants (12-4), Indy (12-4), Baltimore (11-5), Philly (9-6-1), Arizona (Wonk Team).*
2007: New England (16-0, alpha dog),* Green Bay (13-3), Dallas (13-3), Indy (13-3), San Diego (11-5), Jacksonville (11-5), Seattle (10-6), NY Giants (Wonk Team).**
Here’s what my 2014 circle looks like: I’m locking down Seattle (my 2014 guess: 14-2), New England (12-4), Denver (12-4), San Diego (11-5), New Orleans (11-5) and Cincy (11-5) as my six true contenders.
One more note: I don’t think San Francisco AND Green Bay will make the playoffs.
Why didn’t I decide on a Wonk Team to win it all?
You know what? That’s awesome for the Seahawks. In a weird way, they’re almost the “Nobody Believes In Us” champs.