THE GUT: The Butterfly Effect

Ok so it is a week before the super bowl and BP’s sports columnist is writing a movie review? To quote The Hurricane, “Whatsupwitdat?” Well that should tell you something about this movie. This movie was so good that it inspired me to do something that the super bowl, Pete Rose, or Jamior Jagr getting traded to the Rangers couldn’t do. It got me to write a column.

First off I know what you were thinking about Ashton Kutcher in a serious role. I know because I was thinking the same thoughts. Can he really pull this off or is this gonna be the Truman show all over again? Well the answer is a surprising yes he can pull it off. The combination of he and Amy Smart is a surprisingly good one. The way she pulls off having so many different personalities is astonishing and throughout the movie you get this feeling that Ashton’s character really loves Amy’s no matter what persona she takes on.

Now I have never written a movie review, and I don’t read them because in my opinion they are always wrong, so I’m not to sure how to get my point a crossed about how good this movie is without giving too much away but here goes. Ashton plays Evan Treborn, a young man with a unique ability to read his journal and go back to the point that he is reading. He falls in love with Kayleigh Miller (Amy Smart) at a young age but is forced to move away from her. Years later he goes back to his hometown to find her and he brings up some bad memories that she suppressed and sends her off the deep end. So in an attempt to fix things he goes back in to that point in their lives and tries to fix things. Somehow or another whenever he fixes something he makes something else worse. This movie really drives home the point that no matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. It is a point that I think I really needed to hear and we all could learn a little something from.

In closing I would like to say that I gave a friend of mine a money back guarantee. He didn’t think it was gonna be good so I told him to go see it and if he didn’t like it that I would refund his money. That’s how highly I thought of this very powerful movie and I recommend everyone out there who loves someone to take them to see this movie. It changed my outlook on things and it might change yours too.

The Gut: Armageddon

This is a special edition of the gut, with a very special co-author in Bear F’N Frazer. We will both be discussing the WWE pay-per view Armageddon. This is an entertainment site and I never see articles about my favorite type of entertainment, wrestling! How this will work is Bear and I will each have our own opinion about each match, so enjoy

Trish and Lita vs. Chris Jericho and Christian

Bears Pick: Well Hec, I am going to have to pick Jericho and Christian. I say this because these two chicks can’t get the job done. The only thing we will see tonight is Jericho and Christian stripping them of their pride, and hopefully their clothes. The pick: The Alpha-Males

Hec’s pick: I’m pretty sure I have to agree with Bearmon here. I love Trish and Lita but if they beat the first undisputed world champion in Jericho and the 132165451564 time tag team champion in Christian it is going to be a sad day. However if you know Vince like I do, you know that he is always going for shock value. I just can’t see the WWE having Trish and Lita win here, but then again I never thought I would see the Big show win the world title either and he did. I am picking the alpha males as well but won’t be shocked when I am wrong.

Tag Team Turmoil

Bears pick: For the Tag Team Turmoil Match, you got some great teams. You got the Dudley Boys, who are just incredible, perhaps my favorite team. Val Venis and Lance Storm, former champs, and Cade and Jindrak are being pushed to the moon. But, there is only one team who can take home the gold, and that is the Resident Super Hero, Hurricane and Rosey. Hopefully, by the end of the night, Rosey will no longer be a Super Hero In Training! The Pick: Team Super-Hero!

Hec’s pick: Well it appears that Mr. Bear and I agree again. Maybe we only agree because everyone knows I mark out big time for the Hurricane, after all I dress like him for Halloween. And everyone dressed like him at John’s birthday party! But I do see this as the time for the WWE and Vince to push these two great wrestlers. When Shane Helms (the Hurricane) was in WCW he was the man! He is so talented and as much as I love the Hurricane gimmick, I feel like it is restricting his ability. Let him hit someone with the vertibraker!

Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Damn

Bears pick: RVD is my favorite pothead, I mean wrestler, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is the most talented around. But, with the constant compliments of Randy Orton, I think he has got this one, as long as Ric Flair is around. Hopefully, RVD will gun for the World Title when it is all said and done: The Pick: Randy Orton

Hec’s pick: Bear my friend I am going to disagree with you here, only because I know some of the WWE politics and RVD wont challenge for the world title because he bitched on the radio about not getting a push so I don’t think Vince will Reward him with one. It would be great seeing RVD with the world title but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

Booker T vs. Mark Henry

*note this match shouldn’t happen so I’m not commenting, I am just gonna completely agree with Bear!

Bears and Hec’s pick: Mark Henry is fat … too fat. Plus his dreads are gay. The pick – Booker T

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista

Bears pick: Honestly, HBK is an anorexic midget. He is 3 feet tall and weighs 75 ounces. No way will he beat a colossal giant who is ripped full of 800 pounds, pure muscle. Batista is the type of guy I am scared of meeting in an alley, and this Texas Boy will get rattled to death! Bottom line is this: Batista is gonna smack Shawn Michaels around like Joey Butafueco did to Amy Fisher. The Pick � Batista

Hecs Pick: HBK maybe smaller than Batista but he is the best performer the WWE has. He may not be what he use to be but he is still right up there with what they have. I love batista, he is a monster of a man someone like Bear said I don’t want to meet in an alley. I think this match along with the Orton-RVD match are gonna steal the show tonight. I’m going to have to say that HBK takes this match because I never bet against him.

Kane vs. Goldberg vs. HHH

Bears pick: HHH is done for a while. He has tried and failed. Move over HHH, because your show is done. Goldberg … he is too hairy to hold the title. He had a good run, but it’s about time he fights someone else like Doink the Clown or the Boorklyn Brawler. I am going for the underdog. See, the man who I think will win is big, red, smelly, and ugly; Kane. That’s the man who I want as my World Champion. And then, he can feud RVD (like they should have done years ago) and RVD can make Kane hit the trees harder than Sonny Bono! WHOOSH! The Pick � Kane

Hecs pick: I just want to say I love Goldberg, believe the hype!!! HHH is just wearing old on me, I would be one of the few to be very happy if they brought back Degeneration X cause I miss old HHH. I think the WWE made a big mistake when they gave Kane the belt, not because they gave it to him but because they took it away after 1 day. Lets hope they make up for that mistake and give it back to him.

My off-season of discontent.

You know when sports are as big a part of your life as they are mine you can experience the highest of highs. Like when Scott Norwood missed that field goal in Super Bowl XXV. That was one of the defining moments of my childhood; at that moment I wanted to be like LT. I wanted nothing more than to play for the New York Giants at that very moment. It can also give you the lowest of lows. I remember what it was like having to walk through the halls of Garden City High School trying to be proud of being a Mets fan but having to deal with all of the ass-hole Yankee fans, which didn’t even know anything about the Yankees team. Then in 2000 when the subway series took place and I had to hear it from them all over again. The Yanks won that series 4 games to 1. And because the games won total was so lopsided all the Yankee fans again said how they kicked our Asses, and how we sucked. That was a hell of a world series, very competitive to anyone who watched it. Most of the games were close and came down to the last few innings. So where am I going with this you may be asking yourself. Well as I tried to watch the Giants game today, the first thing I saw was Tiki Barber fumble… AGAIN!!! So I immediately turned the game off and tried to turn my attention to other sports. What about hockey I asked myself. Well i’m a Pittsburgh Penguin fan, and as of this moment we have 6 wins, 14 loses, 4 overtime games, and 1 win in those overtime games. In other words we suck, even with the greatest player of all time (and yes that does mean kiss my ass “Great One”). Well what about basketball. Hey I’m a Dallas Mavericks fan! We are 13-7, that’s good enough for 2nd place in their division. And they will surly make the playoffs! Well hold on there. 1st of all your love for a team is directly tied to how long you have liked them. So how long have I been a Mavs fan? About a year, not long enough to get really excited about them.
This brings me to my point of this article. Baseball. I love baseball; there isn’t anything I love more than a Sunday afternoon game at Shea stadium. The smell of the freshly cut grass, the sun shining, even the sound of the jets flying overhead. So I have the summer to look forward to, and I am looking forward to one thing most fans don’t look forward to, rebuilding. The Mets aren’t gonna be that good this year, as a matter of fact we are gonna suck. We have the wrong mix of young and old. The old on this team don’t seem the least bit interested in helping the new kids. The only person worth keeping is Al Leiter because he is a fan favorite and deserves to end his career here in New York. But I’m not hearing about last year’s rookie performances of Jae Weong Seo , Jason Phillips, or rookie phenom Jose Reyes. I don’t even get to hear about the energy that Jeff Duncan brought to this team. What do I hear about this off-season? Well I hear that the Mets are trying to sign Japanese shortstop Kazuo Matsui. As a Mets fan I can say this, we don’t need a shortstop. Reyes is gonna be there for years to come, and sure there is talk about moving him to second. Hey ok by me because I can’t have another season with Joe McEwing at second. So why am I complaining? Because I haven’t actually heard anything this off-season except about the chess match between the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Sox get Schilling so the Yanks get Sheffield and Vasquez. So the Sox are tryin to get A-Rod. So the Red Sox are considering taking on A-Rods 25 million a year and trading Manny Ramirez and paying as much as 10 million per season on his contract till it runs out. So they are gonna essentially pay 35 million a year for A-Rod and trade Manny and Nomar (reportedly to the Angels or Dodgers). So let me get this straight, they are gonna trade Manny and Nomar for A-Rod and end up not saving any money. Does anyone else see why Boston hasn’t won in a billion years? You know who has won, the Florida Marlins and the California Angels. Two of the best TEAMS. Not a hodge-podge of all-stars thrown together. I’m not sure why no one else sees the formula for winning in baseball these days. Don’t let them see you coming, end of story. Anyone want to hop on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays bandwagon now? Or maybe, just maybe this year is the Mets year, I mean who expects them to win next year? I sure as hell don’t. This is my article for the week. I know its no gut but it’s what I was feeling this week.

The Gut: I'm Back

I’m baaaaaack!!! After a few weeks off the gut is back with some bold predictions and some great games to take a look at for week 12 of the NFL schedule. I apologize to all of my readers, yes that means you mom, for my few weeks off but I had some things to straighten out. But like Eric Bischoff “I’m back and I’m better than ever”
Lets get things started with a quick overview of last week. First off lets address the huge sigh of relief that the 72 Dolphins let out when the Cincinnati Bengals beat the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs so they would remain the only undefeated team ever to this point. Some other scores of note were the next to hopeless Raiders beating a struggling Vikings team and the Jets pulling their best new kids on the block imitation by hangin tough against the colts and only losing by a touchdown.
Now on to this weeks games. We have a few good games on the schedule and a few games that should just be fun to watch because of sheer domination by one side. Lets get to the picks

New England @ Houston
The young upstart Texans certainly surprised a lot of people when they knocked off the Buffalo Bills last week. They held the mighty Bills offense to 10 points and managed to squeak by with 12 points of their own. This week though they play the Patriots who since the week one disaster against the Bills have played pretty well. Tom Brady has been playing hurt for the past few weeks but finally seems like he is 100% and the 3 man wrecking crew of Mike Cloud, Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk has really started to produce as a unit. The Pats lost 3 defensive starters to injury in the 1st 4 weeks but the defense has jelled and they are now 8-2 and poised for another big playoff push after beating the cowboys in the battle of the “Bills”

“Gut Feeling”
The Pats are too well coached to suffer the same letdown that the Bills had last weekend. David Carr has become more than the Texans could have asked for in year two and so has the franchise. The Texans are not the pushovers that second year expansion teams are supposed to be, and yes I know neither were the Jaguars or Panthers in their second year.
This very well could be game of the week material here but the Pats will come out rolling and win 27-23.

San Francisco @ Green Bay

The 49ers have out played everyone’s expectations over these last few weeks with backup quarterback Tim Rattay taking over for the injured pro bowler Jeff Garcia. Rattay has energized the Niners and has thrown 6 touchdown passes vs. 1 interception since taking over the huddle. This team looks so different with him in there that superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens has not only quit his whining but was seen last week throwing a lead block on a Kevin Barlow 74 yard touchdown run. Brett Favre and the Packers certainly have their work cut out for them this week but this team isn’t just Favre’s arm anymore. They have work horse Ahman Green in the back field and his NFC leading 1172 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns have kept the packers in quite a few games this year.

“Gut Feeling”
Rattay just has this thing about him that makes him not only fun to watch but successful on the field. He reminds me of Jacksonville’s Mark Brunell in the way he came out of no where fast. I’m a huge Jeff Garcia fan but I think his time in San Francisco is past and this is going to be Rattay’s team until he gives them a reason not to. The only way the Niners lose this game is if Ahman Green not only controls the clock with his feet but he also helps Favre out with one of his big pass receptions out of the backfield. All of Greens 4 touchdown receptions this year have been for longer than 20 yards so he has the big play ability that the Packers are going to need to pull this game out. I just don’t see it happening, Niners win a squeaker 34-31.

N.Y. Giants @ Tampa Bay

Well as I’m sure anyone who has read my article before knows I am a diehard Giant fan, and a big time Shockey fan. So what did the G-men look like last week without their all-star tight end? Well they looked just as bad without him as they did with him. They lost to the resurgent Eagles 28-10. The Buccaneers looked a little better than the Giants did but the defending Super Bowl champs lost another one, this time to the Green Bay Packers 20-13. Both teams lost big playmakers over the last few weeks with the Giants losing Shockey and the Bucs placing wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson on the shelf for the rest of the year. There has been much talk about how big of a mistake this was but the Bucs spent two first round draft picks and 4 million dollars to get Coach Jon Gruden from the Raiders and they couldn’t let Johnson disrespect the team or its coach anymore.

“Gut Feeling”

These are two of the most disappointing teams not only this year but in recent memory. Both teams were picked before the season to go deep into the playoffs and now neither team will make it there. Tiki Barber’s fumbling problem hasn’t gotten much better this year and the Giant defense has looked like a Tecmo Super Bowl team going up against Bo Jackson. It has just been awful not only as a Giant fan but a football fan in general. The only thing worse would be being a Bucs fan. This team was picked hands down to repeat and now all they are doing is insuring that one of those draft picks they gave up will be a high one to help the bad Raiders get better. This Monday night game will go down as one of the stinkers of the year, my Gut feeling is that both teams will score 3 field goals in regulation and it will go into overtime tied 9-9. Then it will turn into a Sega Genesis game. The team that wins the opening kickoff takes the return in for a touchdown. There will be no winner to this game only the fans will win when it ends. Personally I hope the Giants lose so we have a better shot at Eli Manning. Bucs win 15-9

Well that’s all the games I will highlight for this week. Due to some scheduling conflicts my article will be now moved to Tuesdays. Thanks for reading and good luck to all of your favorite teams unless you are a Jets fan that is.

The Gut: World Series

The evil empire versus the small ball Marlins. Right now the Marlins have a three games to two lead on the New York Yankees and Mets, Red Sox, and Marlins fans around the country are celebrating. David beat Goliath, the Pats beat the Rams and James “Buster” Douglas beat “Iron” Mike Tyson so why cant the fish win?
You want to know my “gut” feeling on this series, well I cant tell you that because I really don’t know. Here is what I do know, the Marlins have to go into the heart of NYC and take one of two games from the Yanks. Game 6’s starters are scheduled to be either Mark Redman or Dontrelle Willis for the Marlins and Andy Pettitte for the Yanks.
Pettitte is a match made in heaven for the Yanks. Him being left handed and having one of the best pick off moves in the game really slows the small ball attack of the Marlins down. Plus in game two they couldn’t hit him to even get on base. Andy throws a nasty cutter that the fish couldn’t seem to figure out and by the time he was taken out the Yankees were already up 6-0. Willis is the better fit for the Marlins but with him not even being old enough to have some of that champagne if they win the game experience and nerves come into play. Redman didn’t even make it out of the 5th inning in game two. By everything I have written it sounds like the Yanks have game 6 in the bag. Which brings up an interesting question, with only Jeff Connine on the Marlins from their series win in 98 (and even he left and came back) can they win game 7 in Yankee stadium? Can the Yankees really be one loss away from losing the World Series and be in this good of a position? Have I just given up all hope of anyone beating the Yankees after what happened in the Boston series? Are the Marlins really the best team in baseball or even good? Well as Chris Berman says “that’s why they play the game”

The Gut: week off

Do you know what I like about writing for this site? I like the fact that I can write about anything I want. I like the fact that I can voice my opinion and then send the link to all of my friends and they tell me how good of a writer I am. I don’t really believe that but it’s nice to hear. This weeks article is going to be a little different than the rest of what I have wrote because I have a few things that need to be said.
The first thing I would like to say is congratulations to the New York Jets for their first win of the season. They proved me wrong and blew out the Buffalo Bills 31-3. As much as I love bashing them every week I have a lot of respect for the things that Vinny Testeverde has done in his career. He is one of nine quarterbacks with over 40,000 yards passing and one of the truly classy guys left in the world of sports.
The next thing I would like to address is the up coming World Series. The New York Yankees against the Florida Marlins. I’m not going to break this series down with analysis of pitching match-ups or a position-by-position break down. Instead I’m going to talk about why sports are great and why I hate them all at the same time.
Let me first put to bed a rumor that has been circulated throughout my group of friends and that I fed by me since the beginning of time. I do not hate the Yankees. I hate Yankee fans. Yes that means you reading this article. Let me explain why. As many of you know I have a roommate named Joe. Joe is a “die hard Yankee fan” and when Aaron Boone hit his game winning homerun in the 11th inning of game seven I heard Joe scream like a little bitch with a scraped knee. Then he got on the phone and I swear I haven’t heard that many “whoooooooooooo’s” since the last time I went to Madison Square Garden to see the WWF.
So he runs down the stairs and says “Fucking Aaron Boone!!!” and he plops down on the couch next to me and says “where did he come from again?” I looked at him and said “Cincinnati, I have to go now so I can stop my friend Aaron from attempting suicide”. He then sent me messages over aim “whooooooooing” and telling me how much he loved Aaron Boone.
What is my problem with this? Where did he come from?!?!?!?! Are you serious? Come on, you all don’t have to be a sports freak like me but take a little interest in your team. Boone comes from one of baseballs greatest family’s. His dad Bob was a catcher in the majors for years and his brother Brett is the second basemen for the Mariners. Now for all you Yankee fans they are in Seattle not the Marlins who are in Florida. I know that can be confusing because they both start with the letter M so I just thought I would clarify it for you.
Why am I coming down so hard on Yankee fans you ask? Am I jealous of their tradition of excellence? Maybe. Is it because I’m still pissed off from when we traded them Robin Ventura for David Justice. No, I wish we had a smart GM who would have gotten rid of that waste of life Zeile and put Ventura at first. This would have gotten rid of Zeile and made the Mo Vaughn (shudder) trade never happen. It’s because I know too many Yankee fans that are also Lakers fans and Cowboys fans. It’s because there are too many of them who when you ask them why they are Yankees fans they say because they are the best. It’s because not enough of them say because my first real child hood memory is about watching the game with their parents… watching the ball go under Bill Buckner’s legs and jumping up and down on the bed like I did with my mom when I was 6. I don’t remember much about my dad but I do remember the phone call we had when he promised me as a life long Yankees fan that he would be a Mets fan… for me. For all of the kids 10 and under who are Yankees fans I hope the Yanks win for you guys so you can have fond memories like I do. And to all of the Yankees fans that I’m talking about, the ones who read this article and said “man he’s just jealous, Aaron Boone came from the Reds?” People like Joe who said before game 7, “we’re gonna sweep the marlins, they suck”. Kiss off. Maybe my boy Mike had the right idea last year. Maybe deep down we are all going to be Marlins fans this October. Good luck Pudge, you have always been one of my favorites and I would love to see you get that ring.

THE GUT: week 3

Welcome to the third installment of “The Gut”. This week I will be writing a little bit longer of an article because there is more going on in the world of sports than just the NFL season. This is one of the most exciting times in sports. You have the NFL season in full swing, the baseball playoffs rounding into form, and the NBA and NHL seasons are just about to start. Hope is all over the place in the world of sports, well except in Cincinnati where they don’t have anything to cheer about.

One of the places where the hope is shining the brightest is Boston. The Patriots are looking pretty good, the Celtics are a shoe in for the playoffs and the Bruins are also coming off a really good season. And what about the Red sox? If they win game 2 against the Yankees, or the evil empire as they are referred to in Boston, the Red sox will be up 2-0 with out their ace Pedro Martinez having thrown a pitch. I really feel that if they win game 2 they have the series. If not though it takes all the wind out of their sails and then they become to dependent on Pedro.

Another bit of sporting news I saw today is that the New York Knicks signed aging center Dikembe Mutombo. I hate to say some of what I’m about to say but thank the good lord for the Islanders, Yankees (did I just say that?), and the Giants. The reason I say this is because it seems like the teams that play inside Madison Square Garden are trying to make as many bad moves as they can. Kind of like a game of one-upping each other but in reverse. Dikembe and Keith Van Horn in the same off-season? MSG might implode this year before I get to see Wrestlemania.

Now some of you may have noticed that in the paragraph above I didn’t mention the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets. The reason for that is they are worse off than the Knicks and Rangers. Both of those teams play over 80 games, they have to win at least 1 game, the Jets only play 16 (17 if you count last weeks 27-6 beat down against the bye week) and very well could lose them all.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
What is Jets coach Herman Edwards favorite part about this time of year? He can always count on the Yankees to take the spotlight off his horrible team. Now I must say as impressed as I was with the Bills the first 2 weeks, the last few have been not so good. They did win last week again against the Bengals but in overtime. The good news for the Bills is that Travis Henry came back in a limited role last week and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

Gut feeling: Expect Bledsoe to throw for over 300 yards and 3 TD’s. If you have him on your fantasy team thank your stars he’s playing the Jets, and if you’re going up against him good luck. Also expect Henry to get more carries than he did against the Bengals.
The Jets kicker gets a lot of points coming off the bye but its not enough. Bills 32 Jets 12

New York Giants @ New England Patriots
This might be one of the top games on the schedule. It’s always hard for me to predict Giant games. When I think they will win, they lose and vise versa. Tom Brady’s elbow still isn’t 100% and their offensive line isn’t as good it has been in the past. They have lost a starting player on the defensive side of the ball almost every week now. All of this plus the fact that Jeremy Shockey finally woke up last week and remembered that he was one of the top two tight ends in the world don’t have the Pats looking too good this week.

Gut feeling: Shockey had 11 catches for 110 yards against a dominant Miami defense last week and the Giant defense held all-universe back Ricky Williams to under 50 yards rushing. The giants are the worst defense against the pass in the league but that’s all they will be expecting against New England this week so they will look much better. Giants win a better game than the score will indicate 27-17.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
I have a feeling that Randall Cunningham will run all over Tony Tolbert and the Dallas Cowboy defense. Oh wait wrong decade; I guess you can’t blame a Giant/Mets fan for being stuck in the 80’s. This is a battle of two teams headed in oppisite directions. The Cowboys, lead by the amazing breakthrough of former Georgia Bulldog Quincy Carter, look poised to challenge the Giants for the division title. The eagles on the other hand don’t look too good. Their defense is banged up and I know they did win last week against the Redskins but they still didn’t do too much to impress me. I think the Eagles offense needs a major overhaul this off-season. They can’t expect McNabb to carry this team forever. Even John Elway didn’t win till Terrell Davis showed up.

Gut feeling: I don’t see the Eagles Offense being able to score on Dallas’ defense like they did against Washington’s. And the Cowboys do have the top ranked offense in all of football thanks to their stud receiving core. Writing this article has made me look at things from a more realistic point of view when it comes to teams like the Cowboys. I will always root against them but consider me on their preverbal bandwagon. They are better than first thought. I always new that they had the defense and the receiving core to stay close. However I didn’t think that Quincy could play this well. Expect Dallas to embarrass the Eagles 35-17

Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
I would like to open this up by apologizing for doubting the Chiefs last week. A special apology needs to be made to their superstar kick returner Dante Hall. I said last week they wouldn’t beat the Broncos and one of the reasons I listed was that there was no way that Hall could return another one for a touchdown. I was wrong on both accounts as Hall returned a punt 93 yards for the game winning score. That was the second week in a row that he had what turned out to be the game winning score. So now what do I do? Do I say Hall returns another kick and the Chiefs win, In Green Bay of all places? What about Brett Favre, can he muster up some more Lambeau magic?

Gut feeling: I’m going to say a little of both when it comes to KC. They don’t need Hall to return a kick for a touchdown every game. He can be valuable just by the field position he gives them on the ones that don’t get taken to the house. And I see a big game for Priest Holmes, I expect him to return to his usual 180 yards of total offense and 2 touchdowns against the Packers. KC wins 45-29

That’s all I have to say for this week. Good luck to all of your favorite teams unless you’re a Jets fan because I love watching them lose. And lets go Cubbies!

THE GUT: week 2

After reading the article I wrote last week I realized a few things. The first thing is I went 3-2 in my picks, not great but it would have made me some money. The second thing is, it is really hard to make picks on Wednesday for Sundays games. The Jacksonville Houston game was a perfect example of that. The Jaguars decided to go with their first round pick Leftwich instead of Brunell, which is good for the long term but a rookie starting quarterback is never a good thing. Well on to this weeks picks…

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs

Let me say this as I start, I am on the chiefs bandwagon. They are my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year. But this should be a really exciting game; you have a battle of two very improved 4-0 teams. Both have great running backs, I give Priest Holmes of the Chiefs the edge over the Broncos Clinton Portis because he is a more versatile running back with his pass catching abilities. This game has two very important factors in it. The first is former Arizona Cardinal starter Jake “the snake” Plummer ready for a big game. Lets face it playing in the desert the only “big game” they play is when I watch them play the giants and they beat them just to spite me (on a personal note I don’t ever watch games between the giants and cards anymore, that’s the only way the giants can win). The second factor, which is something I pointed out in last weeks game as well for KC, is Dante Hall. This is the most amazing kick returner I have ever seen. He has 6 kick returns for touchdowns in his last nine games. By comparison Brian Mitchell, the NFL’s all time leader in return yards and touchdowns has 13, in his 14-year career. Hall has produced nearly half of that in 9 games.

Gut Feeling: I see the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, but I don’t see them breaking the Dolphins 1972 mark for going undefeated. Priest Holmes hasn’t looked like himself the last two games due to a groin injury and Jake “the snake” has something to prove. Look for a high scoring game with Denver coming out on top 35-30.

Oakland Raiders @ Chicago Bears

While watching the Oakland vs. San Diego game last week I remembered what I wrote about the Raiders and their superstar Quarterback Rich Gannon. I said to watch out because they were going to make a comeback. I couldn’t help but think I was a moron as the Chargers were up 31-14 in the fourth quarter of that game. Then Gannon must have read my article because he started playing like Steve Young. Tim Brown and Jerry Rice both had over 100 yards receiving and Charlie Garner had 70 rushing yards on only 12 carries. The Bears on the other hand lost to the Packers 38-23 and don’t have much on the way of offense or defense. Kordell Stewart has a quarterback rating of 49.8. Now I know to most people that doesn’t mean anything because it’s easier to make explosives from chewing gum than to figure out a QB rating. Think about this Kordell 49.8, Vinny Testaverde of the 0-4 jets 82.5. My only hope is that the Bears start Kordell all year so they don’t get first round pick Rex Grossman killed.

Gut feeling: There should be nothing better for the Raiders than a visit to the windy city. Expect Gannon and the Raiders to look like the team that went to the Super Bowl and not like the team that played in the Super Bowl. Raiders roll 35-13

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills

The Bills lost to the Eagles, shouldn’t that mean their seasons over? No, not yet. The Bengals have already won their one game for the year when they beat Cleveland last week 21-14. Now I’m a big fan of Marvin Lewis and I hope he turns it around in Cincy, but this isn’t the year it’s going to happen. The Bills on the other hand might have a similar situation on their hands this week as they did week one with Takeo Spikes playing his old team for the first time. The Bengals are actually quite talented on offense with three possible big play receivers in Peter Warrick, Chad Johnson, and Kelley Washington. The problem is in the defense where the only real talent lies with right defensive end Justin Smith. I think Drew Bledsoe and all of his weapons will be too much for Mr. Smith and the rest of his Cincinnati counterparts.

Gut feeling: Can the Bengals make it two in a row? Yes they can, if the Bills go without their starting tailback Travis Henry again they will have trouble running the ball again and the Bengals can drop a linebacker into coverage or bring in their nickel package and confuse Bledsoe. But that wont happen, Henry should be back, even if it’s in a limited role it will help the bills maintain some balance. And with Cincinnati double teaming standout wide out Eric Moulds, expect a big game from second year man Josh Reed. Bills win a closer game than they would have liked 24-17

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers

The frozen tundra of Lambeau field. It is one of the most storied stadiums in league history. An interesting note about the packers, you never hear about their owners threatening to move or hear them complain about ticket sales or they’re not making enough money. Ever wonder why that is? The city of Green Bay and its residents own the packers through stock and it is written into the teams bi-laws that no one person can own more than 200 shares in the team. So the only way the packers are leaving Green Bay is in Madden 2004. Enough interesting info, on to the game. This isn’t the same old walk all over me Seahawks that we all grew up with, Mike Holmgren finally has this team ready to make a trip to the playoffs with a team built around explosive offense. Matt Hassleback has really matured into a fine Quarterback and he doesn’t have to be much more than that with Shawn Alexander to turn around and give the ball to. Alexander is one of the leagues most underrated players. If you get him the ball enough he is going to break a big run on you, guaranteed. If you took Alexander’s name out of the last few sentences, you could easily just plug in Ahman Green’s name from the packers. Green is a better all-a-round running back because of his pass catching ability. He is Brett Favre’s main weapon. At times he is his only weapon.

Gut Feeling: There was a time a year or two ago I would have laughed at this notion but I think the Seahawks are going to beat the Packers this week. I didn’t even mention above Seattle’s star receiving core or improved defense. I just don’t think Brett Favre is enough to beat teams by himself anymore. And his go to guy, Donald Driver still isn’t 100 percent after landing on his head a few weeks ago. Green makes this game close by getting over 150 total yards but Seattle wins 27-16

Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants

HERE WE GO!!!! I would like to say before I go into this that I am a die-hard Giants fan but I am going to write this as fairly as possible.

The 2-1 Dolphins come into a place they know very well to meet the 2-1 Giants. What are going to be the keys to this game? In two words for the Giants Jeremy Shockey. Not because of his trash talking or any of the other things he does for this offense. The G-men need to get Shockey involved so he can keep all-world linebackers Junior Seau and Zach Thomas off of Tiki Barber. If Shockey gets the ball early, and doesn’t drop it like he did against Dallas, expect the Dolphins to counter by covering with Thomas or Seau or even both. If this happens expect Tiki to have a big day. On the Miami side of things, is there anyone better than Ricky Williams. Number 34 is the truth, and since he got to Miami he has gotten much better at doing one thing, (are you listening Tiki) fumbling the football. Ricky use to fumble all the time in New Orleans, but coach Dave Wannstedt must have taught him something because he is much better at holding on to the rock.

Gut feeling: My gut feeling is that anyone of my friends that is about to read this is going to be really mad at me. Jason Taylor and the rest of that Miami D-line is just going to be too much for the Giants young, inexperienced offensive line. On top of that Tiki Barber is good for about 2 fumbles a game and Shockey about 3 drops. The only chance the giants have is if Kerry Collins has the game of his life and Michael Strahan finds a way to put consistent pressure on Jay Fiedler. I see the Dolphins winning this one 35-21.

New York Jets @ bye week

This is going to be the best game Vinny and the Jets have all year. Finally the Jet fans have something to cheer about, a week where they cant lose! Somehow offensive coordinator Paul Hackett finds a way to even mess the bye week up.

Gut feeling: Bye week 14 Jets 3

That’s all for this week. This is Hector Mercado saying I hope all of your fantasy dreams come true. Well football-wise that is.

The Gut: Week 1

Ladies and gentlemen I would like to welcome you to the first installment of the gut, a weekly look at sports as seen by one of the coolest dudes around. That would be me. For the first weeks we will focus on the NFL. I will pick a few games a week to showcase and let you all know my “gut” feeling on them.

Jacksonville Jaguars �vs.- Houston Texans

This game reeks of boring. Two teams who aren’t very good. Houston has their future starting now in second year sensation David Carr, who not only has game but an uber hot wife, and more importantly for this game an offensive line who isn’t gonna get him killed like they did last year when he was sacked an NFL record 74 times. What’s the gut’s feeling on this game? Well take one livened up defense in the young Texans group, add a couple of offensive weapons for Carr to throw to like speedster Andre Johnson and you might have a winner. But Jags QB Mark Brunell has a lot to play for with Byron Leftwhich breathing down his neck.

Gut Feeling: Expect the wily veteran Brunell to pull his team through this game 20-17

Philadelphia Eagles �vs.- Buffalo Bills

Through the first two games of the season did any team look better than the Bills? Or maybe a better question is did anyone look worse than the Eagles… well other than everyone’s favorite JV football team the Jets. Something strange happened in week three though. The Eagles had off so they could rest and the Bills defense was on the field for over 40 minutes!!! That just can’t happen this week if the Bills want to have a chance of winning, and it wont. As great as Donovan McNabb is with no help from “I’m worse than a smelly” Duce Stalley and the rest of the nobodies on this eagle offense expect Drew Bledsoe and the rest of the Bills offense to light it up like the Godfather.

Gut Feeling: The Eagles continue their first to worst trend as the Bills destroy them 27-10

San Diego Chargers �vs.- Oakland Raiders

Two teams that have been god-awful to start the season, The Chargers made a few mistakes over the off season. One name that comes to mind in a big way is David Boston. This guy just doesn’t come to play, another writer said it best when he said “We could not be more down on Boston right now. Literally, if you can get a handful of feminine napkins in the exchange for Boston, you should think long and hard about pulling the string.” And what do the raiders have going for them? Steve Young… I know he’s retired, but I got this feeling watching Rich Gannon after he got pulled in the Denver game on Monday night. Call it a “gut” feeling but he looked like Steve Young after the Eagles game years ago. The Eagles beat the 49ers by over 40 points and Young got pulled in the second half and sulked on the sideline and kept his helmet on the way Gannon did on Monday night. The 49ers went on to cream the Chargers in the Super Bowl that year. I’m almost positive former Niner and current Raider Jerry Rice knows what I’m talking about.

Gut Feeling: Deep threat Jerry Porter is supposed to be back this week to take some of the pressure off of Rice and Brown. And don’t expect another poor showing from Garner and Gannon again. Raiders roll 29-13

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens

Priest Holmes is the truth. He’s the first running back since Barry Sanders that will gain 4 yards and I will be like “what, only 4 yards.” Priest can beat you with his running and his receiving. I’m surprised we haven’t seen a Priest pass yet. I haven’t even mentioned all world Tight End Tony Gonzalez or the MUCH improved KC defense. And if you can stop Priest and score on their D, they have one more way to beat you. Dante Hall had a hundred yard kick off return in week 2 and a 73 yard punt return for a score in week 3. To sum it up, the chiefs have it all, except Ray Lewis that is. Can one player make that big of a difference? Especially someone who isn’t a quarterback? Well yes, just ask Joe Theisman or Ron Jaworski if Lawerence Taylor could turn a game by himself. Lewis is no LT, but in perspective he does play a more important position at the middle linebacker spot. And Jamal Lewis did just break the single game rushing record against the browns 2 weeks ago.

Gut Feeling: The Ravens keep it close, but with all I just mentioned this game is going to come down to the experience of each teams quarterback. KC gets big numbers most games from Trent Green and Baltimore rookie QB Kyle Boller just isn’t ready for a game of this magnitude yet. KC wins 25-15

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets

In my suicide pool this was my game of the week, I feel pretty confident that I could use the Jets almost every week and pick whomever they were playing to win and I would go deep into the pool. Lets face it guys the Jets have an aging running back in Curtis Martin, a 40 year old signal caller in Vinny Testerverde, and the oldest, slowest set of linebackers in all of football. And how bout them cowboys! Now I have to admit I’m a diehard Giants fan and this pains me to say, but the Cowboys are on their way back. They have one of the most talented defenses in the league led by the old man Darren Woodson and Roy “biscuit” Williams. Not to mention that they have one of the top receiving cores in the league as well. Say what you want but there is no way “instant offense” Quincy Carter throws for 320 yards against my G-men without them.

Gut Feeling: Dallas is young and talented and the Jets are old and all their talent went to the Redskins. Tuna likes to beat his old teams and does so again 32-10

Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams

This is going to be an intriguing game. I hate most things from Arizona but the Cardinals aren’t one of them. I am banned from watching any game between the Giants and Cardinals because when I watch the Giants lose. But this is a match up of two teams who don’t know who they are yet. Can back up rams running back carry the load in St. Louis while the Marshall plan is out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand? Will Mike Martz ever run the ball more than 15 times in a game again? And as for the Cardinals, is Anquan Boldin the real deal or a flash in the pan rookie who got off to a hot start? And why pay good money for the NFL’s all time leading rusher in Emmit Smith and not get him the ball?

Gut Feeling: I’m really pulling for the Cardinals, Arizona has gone through enough torment with having to take Lizzie from New York and they deserve something good. I don’t see it happening because Marc Bulger has something to prove and I think he does it against the Cards weak D. Rams 24 Cards 17