Browns +10.5 over RAVENS

Another reminder that you can find my Thursday night picks on my Instagram page (sheldonalexander) Thursday evenings. To be honest, I had no idea who the Browns starting QB was before the game.  But I stuck to my rule of “Always taking the points when its a double digit spread”.  So I guess… CLEEEEEVVVEEELLLAAAAAAAND THIS WAS FOR YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!  And of course they got CRUSHED.  But since they lost, this could easily turn into a 0-16 season as their remaining games include: vs PIT, vs NYG, BYE, vs CIN, @ BUF, vs SD @ PIT…you tell me who the Browns are beating.   Side note Peter King says the Browns passed on Dak Presscott 8 different times in the draft.  For the record the last Browns QB to win a game is some dude named Johnny Manziel.  It’s ok Cleveland, you’ll always have JR Smith…and the Cavs mascot

Niners +13 over CARDS

If you’ve been following along for the entire season you know I’ve been taking the Niners every week in support of Kaep.  But this week, I can’t lie…I hesitated.  I honestly thought not voting was the wrong message for Kaep to send.  As a society I think its our duty to vote and more importantly, the least we can do for the men and women who fought for us and gave us the right to live freely in our current state of society.  We lose our right to complain, if we don’t use our right to vote…no?  I mean, he could have voted for someone other than Trump or Hillary.  He could have done a write in a vote for someone….anyone..right?

Then I stopped and really thought about it.  At the end of the day isn’t it even more hypocritical for people to support his “Anthem Protest” because he has the right to do so, but then be against his “Voting Protest”?   Do we really get to pick and choose which form of protest, is the correct form, for the actual people doing the actual protest?   Please explain to me how that can possibly make sense.  You can’t agree with someone’s right to protest and then object to that same right the moment it doesn’t match up with your personal beliefs. That’s not how this works.  Personally, I’ve always believed that no one gets to tell me “how I should feel about or how I should react to racism” because we don’t share the same experiences.  So if Kaepernick thinks:

“It’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression. And to me, it didn’t really matter who went in there. The system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.” 

Then add in his belief that both Donald Trump and Hillary Cliton were “proven liars” trying to appear “less racist” than the other (honestly can we really argue with that one?) I mean if that’s how he’s telling us he feels, then who am I or you (many of whom never actually have to deal with said racism in the first place), who are we to tell him how he should or shouldn’t protest.  Again, I believe we all should vote, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to call him a hypocrite and repeatedly diss him for not voting in protest.  And that’s the key, he’s not just saying “F’ that ‘ish, that’s lame” like so many of your friends on “The Book of Faces”.  He’s didn’t vote it in protest of what he believes to be a currupt system, all while trying to do his part in the community.  That’s the part that’s been so frustrating for me during this entire process.  All of the people questioning Kaepernick’s intentions and assuming that he has ulterior motives.  These doubters are quick to have these opinions on Kaep based on absolutley nothing in terms of actual evidence.  But instead “a hunch” or a “gut feeling”.  My question is always, how would you know the intentions of someone that you’ve never actually met.  Why woudn’t you take him at his word?  Someone who your only interactions with, is watching him flex on television after he scores a touchdown.  Why would you just assume that someone isn’t being genuine when they’re telling you, quite clearly I might add,  about their good intentions of helping the community.  What does that say about you, if you’re initial response is some form of “I don’t believe him” or  a sarcastic “What is he actually going to do other than kneel during the anthem”  Those are the questions I don’t have time for, becuase HE TOLD YOU his intentions right from the beginnning.  But maybe you just weren’t listening or maybe you never wanted to hear it in the first place.  Seriously think about it for a second.  Why would your first reaction be to doubt someone that says they want to do their part to help people.  To me, I’m way more interested in what that says about you and your opinion on who you believe him to be.  Honestly, the next time someone asks “but what is Kaepernick actually doing to help?” ask them if they’ve tried to look it up, because if they did they would find things like “donated a million doallars to charity” or more recently, this article (http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2016/10/30/13470626/colin-kaepernick-protest-charity-work-kids) which is headlined:

Colin Kaepernick spent his bye week mentoring kids, making good on his word:

Kaepernick hosted the “Know Your Rights Camp” Saturday, which roughly 100 children from the Bay Area attended.

This bothers me because we spend so much wasted time on the internet instead of using it for good.  We could spend 5 less minutes on instagram and actually take the time, educate ourselves on what’s going on around us.  The recent state of the media is proving that actaul journalism is much less important than entertainment.  So its on us, to seek out and prove that we still value unbiased information.  Or we could continue to rely on this current form of media, to tell us what’s going on….you know…the same media that for weeks kept a running tally of how many players joined the anthem protests, while failing to mention why the players were protesting in the first place.   Or the same media that told us DONALD TRUMP HAD NO CHANCE OF BECOMING THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.  We’ve fallen into this trap where we wait for that media or we wake up every morning and rely on “The Book of Faces” to tell us what we should be upset about that day.  Which doesn’t make any sense in this, the information age of the internet. Think about it, a few days ago this flooded my timeline and everyone just took it as gospel, as if its not like “Ya BOY” Stephen A to just throw out the “Hottest of Takes” for clicks right?

And trust me, I get it.  I work in media, I get the click game etc.  But my point here is that we’re too smart to not see the “okey dokes” going on in the media on a daily basis.  So educate yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  We all should be able to have these discussions with eachother to at least try and  understand things from someone else’s point of view.  I began the week upset that Kaep didn’t vote and then I looked into it.  I read different things, I listend to him and other voices on the topic.   And now,  I’m not nearly as mad and more importantly at least I have a better understanding of WHY he didn’t vote.  In no way am I saying my opinion is right and that Kaep’s or anyone else’s is wrong.  I’m just trying to get across that we all need to be more open to listening and thinking, before simply just judging.

Sorry…rant over.  I’ll try and move on…

In fact, I’m sorry for the super serious tone but sometimes its needed.  But to make up for it, I present….THIS!!!!

Falcons +1 over EAGLES

Last week I promised to get caught up on the FX show “Atlanta” because once I stopped watching, I got all of my Falcons picks wrong and then once I made the promise to get caught up, I got last week’s pick right!  So here we go again, this week I’m rolling with ATL because I don’t think the Eagles offense can keep up.  Also, if Eli can throw 4 TD’s against the Eagles D, then Matt Ryan and Julio Jones gotta be good for 4 TD just between them alone no?

I’ll finish this section by recommending the show “Atlanta”.  I really enjoyed the first season for many reasons, but I think the two things that stick out to me the most is 1) There’s nothing like it on TV.  It didn’t follow a format of any particular genre.  The themes, pace, structure and comedy were all different from one episode to the next.  I honestly had no idea what was going to happen at any point or what awkward situations the characters would find themselves in next.  So well done, so well written and so not formulaic in any way shape or form.  2) What this show and the new HBO show “Insecure” both do well, is telling the story of an “all-black” cast, without the main story lines being about the show’s “all-black” cast.  This doesn’t mean they don’t tackle “black” issues, because they do.  What I mean though, is by having an all black cast, the show gets to portray different characters and more importantly character traits of people who just happen to be black.  Far too often in the mainstream media, if there is one “black” person in an ensemble, they usually play the “token black” guy/girl role.  Their story lines are often driven by the fact that they’re the “black” friend. Bad stereotypes are usually involved and so you get different shows with “different” black characters…that are really the exact same character.  To be honest, its refreshing as for me to see a different variety of character traits among different characters…again…that just happen to be black.  I really hope I explained that properly and in the end, I hope that you (no not just black people) end up watching both shows.

BUCS -1.5 over Bears

The Bears are coming off a bye, but the Bucs just got their buts kicked and should bounce back at home.  And Mike Evans should be in the line up, so I’m in.

SAINTS – 1.5 over Broncos

Now, I’m not getting tricked into thinking the Saints are actually good because they crushed my Niners.  But I just can’t go against that offense at home, against Trevor Siemian…who I don’t trust to match TDs with Brees.  And I for sure don’t trust him or ANYONE to match bars with Shia LeBeouf…yes…that Shia LeBeouf #BARS

TITANS +3 over Packers

So if the Titans should get 3 points for being at home, you’re trying to tell me that a neutral site game the Packers would be favoured by 6?!?! I’m not buying it.  The Packers are no good.  Not the Packers team that I’ve been watching this season.  They might win, but I like the Titans as home dogs and so I’m taking the points.

Texans -1.5 over JAGS

This game stinks and so do the Jags.  So I’m taking the Texans coming off the by week

Chiefs +3 over PANTHERS

Carolina didn’t didn’t look good against the Rams and I think the Chiefs could win outright with or without my boy Alex Smith.

WASHINGTON -3 over Vikings

Washington plays better at home and the Vikings have looked TERRIBLE lately.  Plus, I’m not about rely on Minny’s kicker who looked like he was breaking down last week in the post game scrum.  BUT….speaking of kickers, Oakland’s punter is MY DUDE.

Rams +3 over JETS

I honestly can’t spend too much time thinking about this game….its hurting my head.  So instead lets enjoy these TD celebrations from “The China Bowl”.  And yes “The China Bowl” is an actual thing.

CHARGERS -4 over Dolphins

I’m on the Phil Rivers train.  It’s a wild ride, but it’s so much fun to root for him each and every week on a last second drive hoping he can cover the spread with a late game TD.

Cowboys +2.5 over STEELERS

Big Ben has to be banged up and I think the Cowboys are just flat out better.  Again, if you believe the team can win out right, then you always take the points.  Can’t lie though, Antonio Brown against that secondary does scare me a little.  You know what doesn’t scare me though…the Steelers going for an onside kick

GIANTS -1 over Bengals*

I might change this pick before the weekend ends.  I don’t like it either way…so we’ll see how this goes.  I guess I don’t really have answer, which I guess is the equivilent to the best final Jeopardy answer EVER.

(*Side note, told you I’d change it.  Switched my pick to Giants -1 and note the time Monday Nov. 14, 2016 7:32 pm  eastern standard time. #LetsGetIt)

PATRIOTS -7.5 over Seahawks

The last time these two teams played I won a lot of money because Pete Carroll didn’t want to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch.  So I owe the Patriots a sympathy pick.  This despite the fact that Brady and Belichick both on some level support Donald Trump.  Sorry, here comes another rant…it will be shorter, I promise.

Here’s my thing, if you’re gonna ride with Trump, just be honest about it.  Don’t hide and make excuses or pretend or try and down play it.  What point does that prove?  It just makes you look as if you have something to hide or that its something you’re ashamed of? Its the exact opposite of Kaep.  Questions were asked, he answered.  Where as, Brady and Belichick appear to be doing a lot of tap dancing.  Donald Trump is a polarizing figure to say the least.  But I don’t think anyone can justify the down right racist or sexist comments that he’s made during his campaign.  Which of course makes me wonder what he says/does when he isn’t mic’d up.  But more importanly, it makes me wonder what the people who voted for him say/do/think when they’re among people with their…lets just say “common interests”.  I don’t know about you, but I much rather deal with the overt racist, than the under cover racist.  At least then I know how to deal with you right away.  No games,  no gimmicks, no guessing.  If you know me, I rep Brady and Belichick (and Gisele) pretty hard for what they do in the game of football. But Brady making up excuses to skip the Pats White House visit with Obama was one thing, but supporting Trump and then pretending as if that’s not the case would be a whole other level of “Fuck-Boy” shit.

But hey, again.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Is everyone that votes for Trump a racist? I don’t know.  I just know they support a racist or at the very least they support someone who plays a racist on tv.  And even if that’s the case, I’m not sure what the difference actually is.   I just know that 2016 feels like a year of the sad confirmation.  As kids, many minorities are taught you’ll have to work harder than everyone else just to get to the same places as other who look different than you do.  You hear it, but you don’t really comprehend it until you get older.  You begin to notice the looks when you walk into certain stores.  You notice the random traffic stops.  You notice the looks you get on casual Friday at work, because the way you wear your jeans and Jays hat, is different than how they wear their jeans and Jays hats.  You’re even expected to accept that “carding” is a legit form of policing.   But you put that aside, because you have to, just to get though the day.  You even convince yourself that this is normal and that maybe sometimes you’re even exaggerating.  But then 2016 happens.  Black Lives Matter is a thing.  Multiple murders begin to happen on your Facebook timeline and you realize that not everyone is affected in the same way.  For some, that was only the beginning of a realization that maybe all of our stories of “assumed racism” might have some truth to it.  And then Tuesday happens, and tens of millions of people votes for a man that spent years trying to discredit the passport of the fist black president or wants to ban muslims or kick out Mexicans.  I mean 50 % of America voted for that.  If that’s not confirmation of how the majority of our population feels about minorities, then I don’t really know what else to tell you.  Van Jones’ “White-Lash against the black president” comment was the social soundbite needed to explain the feeling many people had while struggling to sleep post election. America was so threatened by the progress a black president could mean, that they voted instead for the star of The Celebrity Apprentice.  This might sound like hyperbole, but the fact the KKK is so vocal in their support of Trump…again, I don’t know what to tell you or what else you need to hear.  This is so fucked on so many levels that I wish I was smart enough to properly articulate.  And before you try and tell me “that’s the U.S and this is Canada”, take a second to remember Rob Ford or do some reading on The Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch.  Seriously, take a second and use that google machine I was talking about earlier.  Listen there’s been so many “Hot Takes” this week on this topic, that all of our heads are spinning and I still don’t really know how to take it all in.  But I think this might be one of the best.  Again, not saying its right or wrong…but it does make for an interesting conversation.

I’m sorry, I made things super serious again.  But its been one of those weeks where I think it was needed.   I don’t wanna end things on such a serious note…so here’s Marshawn Lynch…and Mamma Lynch riding a golf cart.

That looks like a #Lituation

This week 0-1

Last week 6-6-1

Season 63-65-6



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