FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, file photo.

NFL schedule

I did not watch the NFL schedule reveal that ESPN absolutely covered from bow to stern and even sent about 2,000 interweb updates to my phone. Yeah, remind me to turn that thingy off.

Hey, get your fill on that here. Go right ahead and break down which revenge game is best and how Tom Brady returning to Foxboro has you giddy.

I'll wait a bit, if that's OK.

For me, the only interesting thing about the schedule conversations and realizations came from the gambling angle.

First, from our friends at, who combined the projected win totals of all the opponents for all the NFL teams, here are the teams with the most challenging schedule:

Raiders (opponents slated for 153.5 wins), Steelers (152.8), Texans (151.8), Bengals (150.8) and Lions (150).

The team with the easiest schedule, according to their model, is the San Francisco 49ers, whose opponents are projected for 138.2 wins, which is more than three wins fewer than Cleveland's 141.9, which ranks 31st.

The other interesting storyline on the gambling perspective is how this ignites the futures market. Future bets are wagers made like NFL MVP or season win totals (over/under) and the like that are made before the season as bettors try to see the 'future.'

Our friends at FanDuel already have the opening-week lines on the board. They can be seen here.

Also, there are some interesting early future trends in the betting world.

Josh Allen is +1300 (bet $100 and win $1,300) to be the NFL MVP and at FanDuel, he has already attracted 9% percent of all the bets and 13% of all the money wagered for MVP. Both are the most.

Also of note: Trevor Lawrence is the clear favorite (he is +270) to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year, but there has been far more money bet on Najee Harris (he is +1500 and has 20% of the money and 19% of the wagers), Justin Fields (+500, 14%/11%) and Kyle Pitts (+1300, 11%/19%).


Final thought (hopefully)

One final thought here because we got lots to get to, friends.

For those who emailed — angrily or anxiously — no, I'm not a closet Democrat. Far from it. In fact, the folks who should be the most upset with the news of Wednesday and the seismic divide in the GOP should be voters like me — folks who vote with our wallets primarily and with the belief of taking care of our own before taking care of the masses.

In that regard, this is less about which side of the GOP we fall on and more about the simple truth that divided sides in the GOP mean a Blue runaway in every federal election for the foreseeable future.

It's a Pythagorean version of political fact: Full D > 1/2GOP or 1/2GO(Trum)P.

I hope the Republican leadership can figure out a way to keep this together.

And my angst about the divided state of the GOP is hardly praise for the Democrats. Far from it, because they are using this circus as a distraction for the complete and unruly disasters looming, starting and  growing around us. But rather than dealing with that, they are happy to point at Trump and Liz Cheney, giggle and say, "Wow, look at them fight. What? What are we doing? Oh, nothing to see over here as we scheme to find a way for a fourth stimulus check or the Middle East hits violence marks unseen since before Trump was elected or people refusing to take jobs because the ever-extended COVID unemployment benefits make it more affordable to stay at home or how many other crackpot plans they're hatching to spend my hard-earned tax dollars on their attempts on their half-brained social experiments."

And in fact, Chas said I had not mentioned my January claim about Trump being a no-win option for the Republicans. Not sure if I went totally silent, but I am about to for the following reason.

The media has some culpability in this too. Check every major outlet. The New York Times' numbers are down since the inauguration. So are Fox and CNN and the rest of the partisan, preach-to-the-converted national carnival barkers.  

Why? Trump sells. Period. And in large numbers.

In some ways with an ego that large and a core that shameless, are we really surprised when every story the national media writes is about him that he then acts like a cult of personality?

Yes, he makes that easy, which reporters love. (That's a story for another day, because it's a heckuva lot easier to write about Trump's social media than any of the above real issues we face, never mind a slew of others like, which industry deserves federal support in times of crisis. For example, if the supply line of vaccines had been shut down to the Eastern seaboard, would Biden's administration have looked for ways to help? And while the vaccines are more life saving than gas, there are a heckuva lot more Americans using gasoline right now than those willing to take the vaccine, no? Is it because Biden wants to veer from fossil fuels? Hmmmmm. Wait what, Trump put on social media that Liz Cheney has a fat face? Oh my hold page 1.)

So maybe I did go somewhat Trump silent. (Now we know this platform did not go Trump silent, at least not as long as Chas has a WiFi connection.)

And you know what, I'm about to go extended Trump silent because if the media's part of the problem for feeding this egomaniacal gasbag and I'm part of the media, then I'm going to quit being part of the problem.

Easy clicks are valuable in this business. But I feel sure the TFP will still have a fire hydrant of Trump material.

Barring something completely unforeseen — which is saying something in this unpredictably crazy slide through the looking glass Trump has engineered — my end of these chats will be Trump-free for the foreseeable future.


Hawks in the dance

I watched the Hawks last night as they clinched a postseason spot. Well, I watched as much of a regular-season NBA as I could, let's say that.

It was a fair amount, as I was bouncing between that and the Braves debacle.

(Side note: Braves played. Braves lost. Braves bullpen smells like a dirty gym sock. Egad, those dudes could get a stain out. Hey, here's a thought, let Ronald pitch. Couldn't do any worse.)

(Side note, part II: We also watched another episode of one of the Disney+ shows that the kids are enjoying. I know several of you guys and gals are up-to-date on The Mandolorian. We all agree that was pretty boss. The 5-at-10 clan is also into the Mighty Ducks remake, something called Big Shot and we're through season one of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Of the three just mentioned, there are two — Big Shot and Falcon and the Winter Soldier — that I have seen more than one episode, and respectively, they have LGBTQ+ and systemic racism storylines. On Disney+. Hey, I understand those things are real and I support having the conversation as a society about making things better for those involved. But if we have people asking that Snow White get cancelled because Prince Charming did not have consent for the kiss or disclaimers on old episodes of The Muppets for sensitive material, shouldn't it be OK to ask if we need some kind of head's up for a station aimed at kids with storylines that require some pretty non-kid conversations that may be above their age level?)

Anywell, where were we? Oh yes, the Hawks.

Man, and I know I said this last week, I would love to see this cast with Nate McMillan pulling the strings and Luka running point rather than Trae Young.

Young is a great player, who, if he stays healthy, will have a great career.

But he will never be the best Lead Dog on an NBA championship. And the Hawks dealt a Lead Dog for Trae and Cam Reddish.

Still, these Hawks are going to be a handful for just about everyone in the East. Well, everyone other than Brooklyn, that is.

(Side note: Loved how physical Tony Snell was guarding Russell Westbrook last night. How good is Russell cooking right now? I thought the Hawks guarded him very well, and they held Westbrook to 34-5-15. So there's that. I think the Wizards, as hot as they have been, are flawed because come crunch time, if you make Russ a scorer, give him 35-plus and limit him as a passer, they will struggle. He's imply not efficient enough.)

As for the positive, as someone who forever wanted the Dominique-led Hawks to be better, I think the depth of the roster and the collection of shooters give these Hawks as a chance on any given night.  

(Side note: Man, talk about a guy born too soon (or too late), 'Nique in a different era would have/could have been a Doctor J-level star.)

But, as the goals turn to the postseason, can this bunch handle the star-laden crews in Brooklyn, Milwaukee or Philly, when each of those teams will have at least the best player on the floor and in the Nets' case, the best three players on the floor, if they're healthy?      


This and that

— I hate this story, primarily because I can remember back to the days of youth baseball, and worse than losing was getting dressed, getting to the ball park, and getting word that it was rained out. That's what happened at the Baton Rouge Regional when officials cancelled the event without a single shot being made and advanced the top six seeds to the next round. To make matters worse, the officials said the course was 'playable' but not suitable for a championship, which understandably sparked a slew of backlash from the teams and players hoping to compete. Not a good look, especially because, if asked, I'd wager the course made this decision more than the NCAA because of potential wear and tear to the facility in soggy conditions.

— More than a third of Chattanooga gas stations are out of the sweet nectar known as petro in some circles that is life-blood of our daily routines. Here's more from the crack TFP BID-ness tandem Mary Fortune and Mike Pare. Know this: If you are one of those folks hoarding gas, well, you're kind of a gas-hole, to be honest.

— Speaking of excellent work in today's TFP, well, here's area government ace Sarah Grace Taylor on eye-popping details about the inner-workings of Hamilton County DA Neal Pinkston's office. Friends, while I like to believe that my viewpoints are important — just ask me — local journalism like SGT's story are invaluable. For those that subscribe, thank you. For those that do not, please think about giving us a shot. PSA and TFP commercial, cut.  

— So Ohio is offering a lottery to encourage folks to get the COVID vaccine and will, later this month, start a giveaway that will deliver $1 million to five people who got the shot. The first of five weekly drawings will start May 26. Also of note, there will be drawings for Ohioans under the age of 17 who have had the vaccine and they could earn four-year-scholarships to an Ohio university.  This money is coming from federal funds. (Side question: Just because you have the money does it mean you have to spend it? We couldn't return that money to the cofers, no?) Wow, buying shots, but not in a Friday-night, let's-get-crooked way. And beyond the frivolous waste of that much money, it's dumb. Dumb in practice, if you ask me, because  is going to to generate more buy-in and participation from Ohiaans about the vaccine: Giving everyone who gets a shot in the next month $100 (first-come, first-serve) or having a drawing to give away $6 million — five $1 million winners and five, four-year scholarships with room and board that is easily worth $200,000 each.    

— I hate this story more. This video — and the youth football coaches laughing after the little dude is trucked — is shameful.

— Speaking of the Braves, I hope for the best in this story, Mike Soroka's setback is far from good news for a pitching staff that is craving good news right now.


Today's questions

Remember the mailbag folks.

Did you watch the NFL schedule reveal? If you did that's OK, we're just curious.

Would you make an NFL futures wager (or have you) and if you had one for this year, what would it be?

As for today, May 13, well, let's review.

On this day in 2004, Frasier ended its run on NBC.

The table knife was reportedly created on this day in 1637.
Rushmore of Knife/knives. Go and remember the mailbag.