FROM THE CHEAP SEATS
3:47 PM EST, November 9, 2013
We may have great news for Jacksonville Jags fans. Yes, both of you.
(Lordy, that was cheap.)
Anyway, here's the news based on some scientific studies. (FYI: A "scientific study" differs from an ordinary poll in one significant way: A "scientific study" is done by someone wearing a white lab coat.) According to our scientific studies, Jags fans are likely to be in far fewer car accidents but also are likely to be a lot fatter.
The report on these studies was written for the Wall Street Journal by Angela Chen, who was a guest on The Beat of Sports, heard weekday mornings on 740 The Game. Not sure how Angela personally feels about weight gain but she said: "Something bad happens to your team, then something bad happens to you, and you reach for the nachos."
Personally, I've never needed outside motivation to reach for the nachos, but we digress.
So how is all this good for Jags fans?
One study indicates that we actually feel better after a close loss than we do after a runaway win. Jags fans are rarely bored by runaway wins, nor exhilarated by close defeats. They just get pounded, which yet another study indicated is safer for your heart. "Exhilaration is potent," warned Ms. Chen. Again, no problem there in Jacksonville.
About the auto accidents: Researchers at North Carolina State, according to Ms. Chen, "found that there were more auto-related deaths in cities where the home college and pro football and basketball teams had just won by a close margin."
This may be related to high testosterone levels after the thrilling win. Jags fans have no testosterone levels.
As for losers, Dr. Stacy Wood, who led this auto-death study, said: "Losers are slinking away to lick their wounds."
Sound like any Jags fans you know?
As for getting fat, yet another study finds that after a loss, "powerless fans" lose self-control and saturated-fat consumption spikes by 16 percent. So if you want to make big bucks, park your nachos food truck outside EverBank Field and watch depressed fans slink over for some soothing saturated-fat.
Finally, a word about the Magic: Is this recent winning good for our health? Are we too exhilarated when we jump into our cars after a close win? And if the Magic keep winning, what's going to happen to downtown's nacho sales?
They don't have those worries in Jacksonville.
Five fabulous football picks
Last Week: Did you feel the earth shake? That was me falling on my nether regions after counting my straight up hits (7) and misses (6) from last week (87-46 for season). And as bad as that was, it doesn't touch my 3-10 record against the spread (68-63-2 for season). Now we find out if it was a freakish fluke or a terrible trend. Read on at your risk or mine.
• Jacksonville (0-8) at Tennessee (4-4) — Titans favored by 12
When I first looked at this one, I wanted to pick the Jags, who have had a week off. But then I realized they truly were beaten by their bye week as they lost WR Justin Blackmon again, this time for the rest of the season. And even with him, their last two losses were by a combined 66-16. Titan RB Chris Johnson has a chance for one of his old 150-yard rushing days. Sorry, Jags, maybe next week when you get Arizona at home.
Jerry says: Titans by 14.
• Philadelphia (4-5) at Green Bay (5-3) — Packers favored by 1
The Pack opened as 10-point favorites but that was before Vegas knew QB Aaron Rodgers will be out for at least a month with a broken collarbone. Of course Mike Vick is out, too, but that helps the Eagles, who get to use Nick Foles again. You remember Nick threw 7 TD passes last week. Incidentally, Nick's passer rating of 158.3 is as high as you can get. I'm in a bind as I have been calling the Eagles a fraudulent team but that was with Vick, not Foles. This is probably dumb, but I'm counting on the Packer 12th man to pull them through. But don't bet on it.
Jerry says: Pack by 3, maybe, possibly, could be, we'll see.
• Buffalo (3-6) at Pittsburgh (2-6) — Steelers favored by 3
So hard to accept that the Steelers should throw in the yellow towel 'cause they are terrible. In last week's 55-31 loss to New England, they hit team lows for their 81-year history by giving up 55 points and 610 yards. Plus they lost three more starters to injury. Meanwhile the Bills get QB EJ Manuel back. Even rusty, he beats undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.
Jerry says: In a Dry-Your-Tears-Towel Upset Special, Bills by 2.
• Oakland (3-5) at East Rutherford Giants (2-6) — Giants favored by 7
What do you say, Giants fanatics? How 'bout 10-6? You buyin' in? No? So let's call this our Gangreene Game of the Week. But here's something for Giants fans: You are 5-0 after last five bye weeks. Eli Manning should be drooling after what Foles did to Raiders D last week. And Raiders are 0-3 away from home. This is a long way away from Oakland with a 10 a.m. Pacific Time Zone start. Heck, Giants are a mortal lock!
Jerry says: Mighty Giants by, uh, 2.
• Miami (4-4) at Tampa Bay (0-8) - Monday night — Fish favored by 2.5
Here it is, boys and girls, the climax to one of the Dolphins' strangest weeks. Presumably Bucs coach Greg Schiano is "dead man walking" until the day after the regular season ends. But what now about Fish Coach Joe Philbin, who was supposed to be celebrating the OT victory over Bengals instead of being accused of NFL version of "lack of institutional control?" And what about Monday? Can Philbin even go home with his team if they lose to the Bucs? Can they lose to the Bucs? Read the next line...
Jerry says: In a Loser-Leaves-The-State Upset Special, BUCS BY 3!
Dolphins Coach Ricky Williams?
Laugh if you like, but I submit for your consideration that former Dolphin RB Ricky Williams has a better understanding of why the Fish smell than you, I or current coach Philbin. Here are three comments by Williams taken from a San Francisco radio interview:
• "How is bullying something that's even mentioned in the NFL? Because that's kind of what we're taught to do — at least on the field — is to bully the guy across from us so we can win the football game." (Only problem, Ricky, is that football players have to understand the difference. If someone is in a restaurant line ahead of you, you can't go for their knees.)
• About racist language: "It's not inflammatory if it's your family. ... A football team, the NFL, it's a fraternity. ... It's not fair and it is not right for people on the outside to judge and try to figure out what's going on on the inside, because most of the people on the outside wouldn't last a week on an NFL team."
• On the real cause of the situation: "It's about a lack of leadership in that locker room."
I'm not asking you to agree with anything Ricky said but we should all realize that the NFL world is a strange, crude and violent place. We love to watch the gladiators in the arenas but seem reluctant to accept that their lives are significantly different from our own. Not all NFL players are nasty human beings but should we be shocked to realize some are? And should we be horrified that many teammates care most about how well they block or tackle?
These are the notes, folks
• And then Canadian reader Lisa H. had this thought: "Mess in Miami. Asking Richie Incognito to toughen someone up is like asking Mike Tyson to do some cosmetic work on your ear."
• Word on the street is Will Smith will star in a film about a man who must keep reliving the worse day of his life. The working title is "After Earth II."
• How will they react in Green Bay when they see that tractor with a Mississippi license plate on Lombardi Drive?
• If you don't like Incognito and think he should be punished, consider that his suspension for one week has cost him $235,294.12.
• Who cares if Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are arguing? What? You do care? Wow. Never mind.
• Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria sold a painting for $29 million. If I had been the buyer. I would have offered $10 million more and bought the team. They would be fun to have hanging around.
• Finally, the Bears were playing the Packers. John Grant of Illinois is a Bears fan, while his wife loves the Packers. They may or may not have wagered that the winning fan could use a taser on the loser — but she got tased three times. Even worse, John threw her dog out of their truck. Bears won but he could get up to six years in the slammer. No word on the dog.
Jerry once had to tell a girl that he had accidentally backed his car over her dog. Fortunately for Jerry, tasers weren't available yet. Jerry tells other tales Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. 'til noon on The Beat of Sports, hosted by Marc Daniels on 740 The Game. He also loves emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it applies to you or yours on Monday, happy Veterans' Day.
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