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Patrick Reed chips onto the 10th green during the first round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Matt York)

NFL picks

Let's find that entertainment. And in honor of a referenced movie from earlier this week, let's do our NFL picks with some tributes to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

Hey, that flick is assuredly entertaining, and when hunting entertainment, you need to start with entertainment, no?

Vikings plus-7 over San Francisco. Got a couple here. First, "George, your folding money's come unstopped." Yes, George Kittle has a pay day coming, but for the 49ers to advance Kittle needs to be the best player on the field. In the run game, Kittle must handle ends Danielle Hunter and/or Everson Griffen.

In the passing game, Kittle will see a lot of Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith, two of the most athletic coverage guys in the league at their size. For the Vikings, well, "We thought you was a toad" could easily be the turn of fortune for Kirk Cousins. And with arguably the best RB1-WR1-WR2-TE1 in the league — if Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph are all healthy — Cousins' job is made much simpler. Not sure if the Vikings will R-U-N-O-F-F with a win, but this feels like a field goal game either way. 49ers, 24-21.

Seattle plus-4.5 over Green Bay and under 48. "Is you or is you not my constituency?" For the regulars around these parts, you know how tough this pick is for me because I really want the Packers to win because I really want Aaron Rodgers to get another ring. And while Green Bay — the NFL's version of "a geographic oddity, two weeks from everywhere" — is the league's outpost, it's going to be in the teens with wind Sunday night. Packers, 23-20.  

Houston plus-9.5 over Kansas City and over 49. "You ain't no kind of man if you ain't got land." Delmar's philosophical's gem and life lesson has a football equivalent, and it applies directly to Andy Reid. 'You ain't no kind of all-time coach with a Super Bowl title.' Reid's career is the epitome of an all-time regular season great and a postseason phantom. Regular season: 207-128-1, which is a .618 winning percentage. Postseason: 12-14 overall (.462) and 2-5 with the Chiefs (.286). Reid's 207 wins are seventh all-time and the most of any coach without a title.

I think Kansas City wins a shootout, but it's close and of all the favorites that could fall really flat, what in Andy Reid's postseason history suggests he's a certainty here? KC 31-30.   

Baltimore minus-9.5 over Tennessee. For you Johnny Titans Fans out there outraged by my lack of support, well, "the personal rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment. But I would like to address your general attitude of hopeless negativism."

Here's the thing that troubles me about the Titans: they have been the belle of the ball for the entire week for surprising a flawed Patriots team (that the Ravens baptized during the regular season), and it makes me think of that great early scene after the boys escaped. Delmar O'Donnell: "This stew's awful good." Wash Hogwallop: "You think so? I slaughtered this horse last Tuesday ... I'm afraid she's startin' to turn."

Total NFL picks: 59-37-4 (61.5 percent) against the spread

NFL playoff picks: 1-2-1 (33.3 percent) against the spread

 

From Long-time, First-time

I listen to you on the radio and enjoy the show. You guys do a very good job, especially with your guests.

I loved the interview with (Jack) Youngblood (Thursday). Very good interview.

If you could have anyone on the radio, who would it be?

 

LTFT —

Thanks for the kind words. Paschall and Wells do the heavy lifting. They tell me when to show up.

Interesting question, because there are so many folks I think would be great to talk with. (And for those interested, here was Thursday's chat with the former L.A. Rams defensive end who famously played in the NFC title game with a broken leg. Yes, you read that correctly. A broken leg.)

Can I have categories? Of course I can. It's my family oriented, interweb-based (mostly) sports conversation.

Serious sports: Most likely Jack Nicklaus because of the span of his career through society and sports. I considered Tiger, but his answers would be so predictable that I could likely do that interview right now. (If given Wonder Woman's magic lasso of truth, how great would Tiger be? Wow.)

Newsworthy sports: Mark Emmert, head of the NCAA. Again, I'd likely need Wonder Woman's rope and we'd certainly have Paschall ask the first five or six questions to make sure we got something before he got really ticked at me and hung up. But there you go.

Fun sports: Conor McGregor. And yes, Wells would have to have the mute button running hot.

Hollywood: Eddie Murphy, who I believe to be the greatest comedy actor/stand-up comedian of all time.

Societal: Warren Buffett for obvious reasons. Can you imagine the wisdom that dude could share if you asked the right questions?

Politics. Other than Trump, of course, maybe Mayor Pete. I think that would be really cool.

Great question.
 
 

From a slew of you

What are your thoughts on the Mike Leach hire?

And from Gatorman: "Both great hires (Kiffin and Leach). But do either make Saban nervous? What about Coach O?"
 

Gang —

First on the hire, I think it is a perennial mistake to offer instant grades on hires or drafts.

Yes, we do it. And I do it, especially with the draft. (I love the draft; you know this.)

But it's an exercise in futility.

That said, both the Mike Leach hire in Starkville and the Lane Kiffin hire in Ole Miss are clear home runs when you consider the revived energy.

Fair question, and while I think neither makes Saban nervous, it would take a sword-swinging, offensive-minded dude — like those two — to actually make up the talent gap. I'll say no in general, but more uneasy than Luke or Moorhead.

I also believe that Elijah Moore deserves a lot of credit from every football fan in the Magnolia State, because that dog-peeing celebration has upgraded the spirit and prospects of both programs in about six weeks.

As for whether either Kiffin or Leach scares Saban or Coach O, Gatorman, my short answer is no. Not even really close at all, in my opinion.

The talent at those places is so much better that scare is not the right word.

But Jimbo and Gus better be minding their Ps and Qs and man, just when you think the Arkansas move to hire Sam Pittman couldn't leave you any less letdown, MSU goes and gets the Pirate.

But, while LSU nor Bama are scared really of anyone because of the avalanche of 5-stars they trot out, Leach especially gives you a schematic way to surprise almost anyone at any time.

And that's what both these hires have in common in spades. And it's the only thing we can truly grade immediately after any hire.

ADs and GMs and owners of sports franchises are trying to peddle hope more than anything when they make these hires.

And whatever baggage or headaches or shortcomings Kiffin and Leach may bring, they bring truckloads of hope for better days for their fan bases.  

 

From the Hudson C.

Hey Jay, thanks for all you do at the paper and at the radio station. I appreciate you.

What did you make of the Patrick Reed story this week? Man, that guy is something else.

Thanks for the bowl contest — Geaux Tigers — and I can't wait for the Masters contest.

Thanks.

 

Hudson C. 

Great job on your picks and please send me the total points ASAP for the tie-breaker.

To be honest, I had to research the Patrick Reed dust-up. Here's the story and the skinny paints a picture of Reed being the most sensitive athlete in sports, Kevin Durant included.

So Reed, the 2018 Masters champion who has a wake of controversy in his past — leaving UGA in a cloud, the family past, the emotions on the course — has been involved in a couple of rules issues on the course.

Fans called him a cheater during the playoff of the most recent tournament, and Reed has been a piñata for golf analysts far and wide. One of his more outspoken critics has been Brandel Chamblee, who, to be fair is a big-time gasbag on The Golf Channel.

Chamblee, who makes headlines by making outrageous claims and continues to chase both, has routinely called Reed a cheater. (Which is far from outrageous considering Reed's past run-ins that are well documented.)
Well, to make matters much worse, Reed had his attorney send a cease-and-desist letter about referring to Reed as a cheater for his actions at Hawaii.

This is certainly strange, and again, I think actions like this only continue to fan the flames of a story like this.

And the precedent here will be quite interesting to follow, considering Chamblee — whether you think he's the bees' knees or a horse's arse — is an analyst and offered this opinion.

Either way, Reed's rabbit ears are going to be filled with heckles at every tournament not named the Masters for a long time coming.  

 

From Jules

True or False for y'all: MLB would let Rose in the Hall if he would have stopped lying about the whole thing. He just needs to own up to it and stop with the charade.
 

Jules —

Sorry that my answer was not able to be posted. I promise it was not filled with obscenities.

Maybe it was the topic matter or the use of the word degenerate.

I say false, because in some ways Rose has offered some amount of contrition on the topic.

He admitted to betting on the Reds as the manager, but not against them. That said, my experience with degenerate gamblers — and believe when I say that I walked a tight line in that regard in my days as Don 5-at-10 at AU — their gambling stories are like cockroaches: For every one they admit to, there are 10 that you can't see.

I have had a longstanding view on Rose and his Hall future.

I believe the day after Rose dies, baseball should convene and admit him to the Hall.

His life will be over, and his lifetime ban should be over, too. And we all agree that his career — not unlike the careers of Bonds and Clemens — belongs in the Hall.

But in my mind Rose's acts against the very fabric of the game should never allow him to enjoy — and profit — from being enshrined in Cooperstown.

Gang, I got some hate mail this week. Check bag around lunchtime, deal? Deal.

(Plus, we'll add the Rushmores before the show too.)

Have a great weekend, friends.

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