The Pick Six: Best NFL Games of the Day

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Happy Sunday everyone! I really mean that, unless of course you’re a fan of the Eagles, Giants, Redskins, or 49ers, then I hope you’re day is terrible from start to finish, but for everyone else, all the people out there that deserve to be happy, I hope your day will be just that. Someone at work the other day asked me what my favorite day of the week was, and the obvious choice was Sunday because that’s when you can spend all day watching NFL football and napping as needed on the couch in front of the TV, which is one of my favorite things in the world because apparently I’m seventy-seven, not twenty-seven as my birth certificate would have you believe. The only downside to Sunday is the fact that you have to go to work the following day, which is kind of a bummer as that reality hits while the Sunday Night Football game is winding down, so despite liking the NFL more than college football, I might have to say that Saturday is my favorite day of the week since I don’t have to get up for work the next day, plus there is football on all day Saturday as well. My point is, Sunday is one of the best days of the week, and now that it’s here, let’s all enjoy it by keeping a close eye on the games I’m about to tell you about that are the most interesting of the day. Here’s the Pick Six.

6. Cowboys/49ers at 3:05
You know your favorite team isn’t having an ideal season when they are only four point favorites against a San Francisco team that still hasn’t won a game through six weeks, but the good news is that the Cowboys still have plenty of time to turn things around and get back on track, which I think they will begin today with a win over the 49ers. I will say that although the Niners haven’t won a game, that’s a deceptive fact because in reality most of the games have been really close, so there’s a chance it could be that way today, but I’m not counting on it. Dallas is coming off a bye week and I’m banking on the whole team, which includes our abysmal defense, to be ready to play today and win by more than four points.

5. Broncos/Chargers at 3:25
When the Cowboys and 49ers game is in commercial breaks, this should be your go-to afternoon game, which is a rematch of the second game in the first Monday Night Football doubleheader of the season, where the world was introduced to the one and only Sergio Dipp, who in turn introduced us to Vance Joseph, the talented young coach of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos won that week 1 game by a field goal, and while they are coming into the game today with a better record, I’m looking for the Chargers to keep it close today. Denver is a 2.5 favorite on the road, but I’m taking Los Angeles to get the big home upset over their division rivals.

4. Redskins/Eagles on Monday at 7:30
When I was a younger, more petty man, I used to hate watching games between two NFC east teams when the Cowboys weren’t playing, because as a fan of the Cowboys, I never wanted any other NFC east team to win, ever, so watching a game where one of them had to win was really annoying, but now that I’ve grown up a little bit, I can appreciate watching these games now. I can appreciate and enjoy the entertainment of two good teams playing a good game of football while not dwelling too much on the fact of how the game will effect the Cowboys. I’m so mature. Am too. Am too. Am too. Am too. That being said, I would love to see the Eagles get beaten since they are sitting at first place in the NFC east right now, but unfortunately I don’t see that happening. Philly is a four point favorite and I think they’ll win and cover.

3. Saints/Packers at Noon
I think Green Bay is my least favorite team in the NFL because without a doubt, Aaron Rodgers is my least favorite player in the league, and while you never want to see anyone get hurt, you gotta make lemonade out of the lemons life hands you, so it should be pretty enjoyable to watch the Packers struggling without their arrogant superstar quarterback. Saints are favored by four on the road, but I think they’ll win and cover and Packers fans will be crying into their cheese hats for the rest of the year.

2. Buccaneers/Bills at Noon
I thought the Bucs were going to be really good this year and the Bills were going to be awful, but we’re coming into this game with Buffalo having the better record. It seems unfathomable to me how Tampa Bay has only won two games giving all of their weapons on offense, but I think their struggles will continue today on the road in Buffalo, especially since Jameis Winston is coming off a game in which he injured his shoulder. I would love to say that Winston will be fine, that he will come out and have a huge game today, but I don’t think he’s going to be a very effective passer, which is why he’s on the bench in my fantasy league this week and Jared Goff is getting the start. I know, I’m screwed, but my point is, the Bucs need Jameis throwing the ball if they’re going to win, so I’m picking Buffalo -3 to get the win and to cover.

1. Falcons/Patriots at 7:30
It’s a rematch of the last Super Bowl, which was an incredible game, making it the obvious choice for the best game of the weekend. The Patriots have really surprised me by how pedestrian they’ve looked so far this season with the absence of Julian Edelman. We knew that their defense was awful, but now their offense doesn’t look like what we’ve come to expect with Brady at the helm. I’m hoping New England has figured out some of their offensive struggles because they’re going to need to keep pace with the falcons offense, which is going to have its way with the Patriots D, in order to keep the game close. New England is favored by 3.5, but I just think that Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense is going to be too much for the Pats to handle, so I’m picking Atlanta to do what they couldn’t do in the Super Bowl and get the win.

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Playita Mexicana: Dad’s Birthday Dinner

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“Bienvenidos!” painted over an arched doorway and murals of presumably Mexican beaches adorned the walls, an effort to transport us from Memphis to Mexico in the blink of an eye, by walking through a single door into Playita Mexicana, my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. We were there for celebratory purposes, my wife, my dad, and myself, enjoying a meal together for my dad’s birthday. For those of you who have never eaten at Playita Mexicana before, you need to quit reading this stupid blog and go over there right now, trust me. So what if you don’t live in Memphis? It will be well worth how ever far you have to drive to eat this food. It doesn’t matter how many times I eat here, I never walk in knowing what I’m going to get because there’s just so many good things to choose from, and last night was no exception, having to send the waiter away more than once while we tried to decide what to order, while munching on chips and cheese dip, the one constant on every visit.
 
My dad and I both ordered chimichangas, ground beef for him and grilled chicken for me, and my wife got a steak quesadilla. As always the food came out pretty quickly, well my dad and wife’s did, while mine came out a few minutes later because apparently they had to catch, kill, and pluck the chicken before throwing it onto the grill. My chimichanga arrived, and the first thing that came to mind was a bean bag chair because of how enormous it was, not only in length and width, but in height, it was just monstrous, and without a  doubt the biggest chimichanga I’d ever seen. A mistake I always, ALWAYS make at Mexican restaurants is eating too much of the chips and salsa/cheese dip before the actual entrée arrives, so by the time it does, I’m not that hungry anymore. It’s not like this sneaks up on me out of nowhere, I know it’s going to happen as I dip chip after chip into the queso and strategically move it towards my mouth so as not to let little white drips of melted cheese fall onto my shirt, but yet I continue to do it anyway. It’s good, yes, but moreover than that it’s just there, in front of me looking completely irresistible, so all thoughts of ruining my appetite are pushed to the side, telling myself that maybe just the once I can eat unlimited chips and cheese dip without it having any impact on my appetite whatsoever, like maybe there exists a day in the universe where the laws of hunger don’t apply, like a supernatural cheat day, and I just so happened to walk into a Mexican restaurant on that very day, the lucky man that I am. I tell you this, expose my utter lack of self control because it happened again, and by the time the biggest chimichanga I’d ever seen was placed on the table before me, I wasn’t exactly full, but I wasn’t really hungry anymore either.
 
The plate before me was completely filled, the massive chimichanga taking up about half of the large plate, with rice and beans on the other half. In the middle of the plate sat a small bed of lettuce with diced tomatoes, and sour cream, things that would normally be put on the chimichanga or eaten alongside it, but the thought of adding more ingredients to it, daunting as it already was, was completely unthinkable and unappealing given the fact that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Despite the fact that I was having major doubts about whether I would be able to eat the meal before me, it did look absolutely delicious, topped with a red sauce, melted cheese, and queso. I took a bite, and it tasted even better than it looked, the chicken so juicy and flavorful and the melted cheese and the sauce marrying together perfectly to make it the perfect bite. It was the first time that I’d ever tried the grilled chicken before here, and after having had it yesterday, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for me to get any other kind of meat going forward because it was just that good. The beans which I’ve previously praised before weren’t as good last night. Melting cheese on top of something is a reliable way to improve just about anything, which is normally the case with the refried beans here, but they tasted overcooked and had a bit of a strange aftertaste last night that no amount of cheese could cover up.
 
I ladled some of the queso onto the rice, taking the cue from my dad who had gotten the idea from my cousin Bailey who has been eating her rice like that for many years, but I really didn’t eat that much of the rice because of how full I was and wanted to fit as much of that glorious chimichanga into my stomach before I could eat no more and didn’t really want to take up any of that crucial real estate with rice. I finished a little more than half  before I just couldn’t eat anymore, except for the chips and cheese dip that I continued munching on until it was finally time to leave for no other reason than that they were still there in front of me and no matter how full I am, it always seems like I can eat one more chip, because who can’t eat one chip, and that mentality repeats itself over and over again until absolute misery takes over. The meal was really good, and now that I’ve had about sixteen hours to digest it, the other half of that chimichanga is starting to sound pretty good right about now, and although the meal was great, the real highlight was just getting to see my dad on his birthday for the second year in a row, something I don’t remember happening any year before then, so hopefully this new tradition will stick and be observed for many years to come.

An Embarrassing Lunch at Huey’s

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Never in my life have I ever had my debit card declined at a restaurant, but there’s a first time for everything unfortunately, and Saturday it happened to me. I was out to lunch with my dad and his mom. We had been at the hospital that morning, visiting with my uncle Brett who had been in there since Monday due to an ulcer that had been building up unbeknownst to anyone and finally had to be operated on in emergency surgery. It was good to see him, and although he was still in a little bit of pain, he was doing and feeling a lot better, and only had a couple more days left in the hospital to make sure he didn’t get an infection. We were there for an hour or two, and by the time we left it was nearly one, so naturally we started talking about getting something for lunch. The only thing I could think of in the area was Huey’s, so that’s where we decided to go.
 
It was crowded when we arrived, a fact that always brings me comfort in Huey’s, and is the only restaurant I can think of that has that affect on me. Normally crowded restaurants mean a long wait, either for a table, your food, or both, but here it just seems right that it be crowded. Despite the fact that the restaurant seemed packed to the brim when we walked in, we were immediately ushered to a booth, somewhere amongst the many voices of the cheerful lunch goers surrounding us.  I looked briefly over the menu, which always seems to be a waste of time since every single time I eat at Huey’s, I get a burger, but I like to browse nonetheless, and float some ideas through my mind, putting them in a head-to-head matchup with the burger to see if anything can beat it out. This time I thought about nachos, or just getting a basket of the new tater tots with bacon and cheese, which sounded delicious, but the more I thought about it, the less it sounded like a fulfilling meal and more like an appetizer. The nachos sounded good, the perfect football food, which was fitting since TV’s lining the walls were showing all the college games that were currently going on, but I saw somebody else’s plate of nachos, and decided against it. There is a huge difference in nachos that have shredded cheese and those that have cheese sauce, and as a person who prefers the latter, I decided against the grated cheese version offered up by Huey’s, and went with the always reliable burger.
 
There is a vast selection of burgers to choose from depending on your preferences and mood, and after glancing at the numerous options, I decided on the Bluff City Burger, which is one of my favorite burgers in the city for which it is named. A thick patty topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, fried onion straws, lettuce, and pickles, the Bluff City burger is a in a word, fantastic. My biggest hang up on Huey’s in the past has been the side dishes, because I don’t like their steak fries which in my opinion are too big and devoid of flavor, and I don’t like their onion rings, which are literally the biggest onion rings I’ve ever seen, and the fried batter on the onion doesn’t stay attached very well so inevitably you end up munching on a big chunk of hot onion, but now Huey’s has stepped their game up with the new addition of tater tots. I got them as a side, and this was the first time I’ve ever eaten at Huey’s and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the meal, so it’s definitely going to have a place on my short list of favorite restaurants to go-to because everything from the burger to the tots was perfect. PERFECT. The only bad part about the meal had nothing to do with the food or the restaurant itself, but with me, or rather my debit card, which was declined when attempting to pay for my food.
 
I had enough money in my account, so I couldn’t understand what could have possibly gone wrong. The waitress had the good grace not to announce to the table that my card was declined, and instead told me that the machine couldn’t read my card, but we all knew what was going on. Thankfully my dad stepped in and handed back his card, saying that he would pay and we could settle up later, or else I wouldn’t have had any idea how I would come up with the money because the only card I had on me was the one that wasn’t going through and I had absolutely no cash on me. I pulled up my banking app at the table, just to make sure that money hadn’t been taken out of my account without my knowledge, and, as expected, my account still had the balance that it should have. The problem ended up being that my card was locked, something my wife did as a precaution last weekend after our other account was used fraudulently to make unauthorized purchases, and my wife just forgot to unlock it again. I was embarrassed that for the first time my card was declined at a restaurant, and that it happened in front of my dad and Mimi, but at least there was a logical and reasonable explanation for why it happened so I guess that was kind of  a relief. Despite that one misstep, everything about the meal was great, and I would one hundred percent recommend you checking out Huey’s ASAP to get a fantastic burger and to try their new tater tots, just make sure before you go that your debit card hasn’t been locked by your wife or you might end up having to wash dishes at the restaurant, or possibly getting your dad to bail you out.

The Pick Six: NFL Week 6 Edition

45139bafbe44765118822d5c37e1dacc1Today is going to be a great day, I can just feel it. I woke up feeling great because both Memphis and Alabama won their respective games yesterday, and since the Cowboys aren’t playing today, there’s no chance of a crushing defeat like last week to bring me crashing down from this victorious high. Since it’s the Cowboys bye week and I have no rooting interest today, I’m looking forward to kicking back and watching NFL Redzone, which I think will be a first for me, watching a full slate of games on instead of focusing on one more than others, so that should be fun, or at the very least interesting. Here are the best six games of the day and my picks. Enjoy.

6. Giants/Broncos at 7:30
I thought the Giants would be bad, but I never imagined them being this bad, 0-5 to start the season. I love it, but you have to think at some point that they’ll get things figured out and get a few wins because I still don’t think there’s any way they finish with a worse record than the Jets who are completely surprising me on the other side of the spectrum. The Broncos have looked really good thus far so I don’t think the Giants are going to get things pointed in the right direction today. Denver is a nine point favorite and I think they’ll cover it easily.

5. Buccaneers/Cardinals at 3:05
Arizona is once again underperforming this year, due largely in part to the fact that their running back, one of the best in the league last year got hurt in the opening game, but this is the NFL, where excuses don’t matter, so we’ll see how they handle a talented Tampa Bay team today. I really like the Bucs and think they can be a real playoff contender this year in the NFC. They come into the game as a one point underdog which is irrelevant because they’re going to win the game leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that they are the better team.

4. Packers/Vikings at Noon
It’s a rivalry game in Minnesota and while I think Green Bay is the better team, anything can happen in a rivalry game, one of the only times the home team has a clear advantage in the NFL unless you’re playing in Seattle or Green Bay, and this game is in Minneapolis which will elevate the play of the Vikings and keep the game competitive. Ultimately, I think Green Bay, the four point favorite, will win the game and cover the spread, but it should be an entertaining game nonetheless.

3. Jets/Patriots at Noon
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that through five weeks in the season, the Jets and Patriots would have the same record I would have run away from you quickly, because clearly you are insane, but here we are and both teams are coming into this game with three wins and two losses, which to be honest is more wins than I thought New York would have on the entire season. New England is a nine and a half point favorite, and while I think they get the win, I’m going to take the Jets with the points and hope that they can keep it close and decide to stave off their inevitable breakdown for another week.

2. Lions/Saints at Noon
The Lions are clearly the better team, yet for some reason the Saints are a three point favorite. I think it will be a good game but I think Matt Stafford and the Detroit offense is going to rip apart the New Orleans defense, and despite valiant efforts by Drew Brees and the offense, they aren’t going to be able to keep up. Lions win.

  1. Steelers/Chiefs at 3:25
    At first glance, this was easily the best game of the NFL weekend, and after looking further into the other games, this one still holds up as the best and the one I’m most excited about. There is a real chance that the only undefeated team in the league goes down today at the hands of the Steelers who are only a three and a half point underdog. While I think it will be a close game, I think the Chiefs will walk away the win and remain unbeaten.

My Screw Up at Work

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post about catching some fraudulent activity at work, detailing the event and how I came to the conclusion that something wasn’t right. It was a proud moment for me, using everything I’ve learned working at the bank this year in stopping suspicious and fraudulent activity from continuing, but if I’m going to talk about my triumphs, the things that I do well and am proud of, then it’s only fair that I also admit to my mistakes, when I don’t catch something, and when I screw things up at work, and that, unfortunately, is what I’m writing about today. This past Saturday was my weekend to work this month, and it was busier than any Saturday I’d worked thus far. There was long line to the door for just about the entirety of the four hours in which the bank was opened, and I was on my feet running transaction after transaction, nonstop for the entire shift, and it was in the midst of this hectic rush, that I cashed a check that I shouldn’t have, and today it has come back to bite me.

I got a phone call first thing this morning, by a customer asking for me by name. He had contacted the branch I worked at on Saturday and was given my name as the teller who ran the transaction to cash a check on his account for a fairly large sum of money. I put him on hold and looked up the transaction and sure enough, I did cash the check, and I did remember cashing that specific check, because the background image was of the football team, that I also cheer for. The person who brought in the check to cash didn’t have an account at our bank, so I did my due diligence and compared the check I was holding to other check images, making sure the signatures, handwriting, and the check numbers all lined up, and I made the decision to go ahead and cash the check, because everything looked to be in order. In hindsight I wished I would have just called the account holder to verify the check, but nothing I found in looking at the signatures gave me any reason to be suspicious, but all of this could have been avoided with a simple phone call.

Apparently the check was a good one, and the account holder had written it to the person whom I met on Saturday morning, however the problem was, that the check had already been deposited into a different bank’s account the previous day through mobile deposit via a photograph of the check. Because it hadn’t been scanned into an actual deposit, there were no physical signs of the check having already been run, so I obviously didn’t even think that it had already been deposited, so I cashed the check, gave the man the money, and got the phone call with the bad news this morning. The customer who had written the check, was in contact with the person who cashed it, explaining that he didn’t think the mobile deposit went through and just decided to cash it, but there’s really nothing I can do about it at this point. Hopefully the man will bring back the money since the mobile deposit hit his account, but it’s really out of my hands. If I’m lucky the money will be returned and it won’t count against me, because it really is a lot of money, but I’m just trying to stay positive about the worst mistake I’ve made since working at the bank, and will use this as a learning experience going forward to make sure that something like this never happens again. Maybe next week I’ll be back to writing about something positive that happened at work, but today, it’s all about admitting that I messed up, but I’m not going to let that keep me down.

The Pick Six-NFL Week 5 Edition

6. Chargers/Giants at Noon
Like last week’s matchup between the Browns and the Bengals, both of these teams enter today’s game without a win, so I’m interested to see which of these teams can finally put together a good enough game to walk away victorious. The Giants are three and a half point favorites, but I have just about zero confidence in their offense, and I think it will be a low scoring game, so although I don’t know if the Chargers will win, I’m going to pick them with the points.

5. Cowboys/Packers at 3:25
Last week the Cowboys looked horrible, HORRIBLE, in the second half of their loss at home to the Rams. I remember sitting there in my dad’s living room while Jared Goff of all people just picked apart our defense, and saying to him that I was not looking forward to playing Aaron Rodgers the next week, but now that next week is here, I still feel the same way. I’m afraid that Rodgers is just going to destroy our defense, I just hope our offense can match them drive for drive so at least we’ll be in it with a chance to win near the end of the game. Dallas is a two point favorite, on the road, which makes zero sense to me, and while I hope I’m wrong, I’m taking Green Bay in this one with the points.

4. Ravens/Raiders at 3:05
Both teams have not started the season the way that they’ve wanted to, or how a lot of people expected them to, especially the Raiders. I’m just interested in this game to see which of these teams might get back on track this week. Oakland is a four point favorite at home, and I’ll take the Raiders to cover.

3. Seahawks/Rams at 3:05
It’s too bad that this game is at 3:05 just twenty minutes before the start of the Cowboys game, because it is one that I really wish I could watch. The Rams are so much better than anyone expected, and the Seahawks are usually pretty good, so it will be interesting to see which of these teams walks away with the win today. Seattle is a two and a half point favorite on the road, but I’m going to take LA coming off the big road win in Dallas last week to get the win and the upset.

2. Panthers/Lions at Noon
This is really the only game that looks good to me in that twelve o’clock spot, so I really hope my local Fox station is carrying this game. Both teams come into this week at 3-1 so it should be a very good matchup between a couple of good quarterbacks. After losing his Dannon commercial earlier in the week, and finding out today that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is going to be his replacement, I fully expect Cam Newton to play distracted today, which is why I’m taking the Lions -2.5.

1. Chiefs/Texans at 7:30
Deshaun Watson looked absolutely incredible last week, but now he faces the only undefeated team left in the NFL. This one is tough for me, because my heart wants to go with the young and talented Texans quarterback to knock off the mighty Chiefs, which would be pretty remarkable, but my head is telling me that it’s just not going to happen. It’s easy to overreact the week following a big game, so in attempting not to do so, I’ll make what I think is the smart pick and take Kansas City -3.5.

I got Robbed

When I think about getting robbed, I think about someone approaching me with a gun or some kind of weapon and demanding money from me. It would be pretty terrifying I think, but I would just hand over my wallet which wouldn’t have any cash in it, since I never carry cash, then immediately go online and lock my bank accounts so that my debit cards couldn’t be used by the thieves, so even though I got robbed and it would be annoying, it wouldn’t be too big of a deal because I wouldn’t lose anything substantial. Sure the criminals could check out a bunch of books at the library and then not return them, leaving me with the late fees, but even then, it would take a while for ten cents a day to really add up to something more substantial, but let’s be honest, if someone is robbing you at gunpoint, they probably aren’t the type of person that spends their days in the corner of the public library, immersed in some far off world found within the pages of a book. In my mind, that’s the way a robbery would happen, but last night, that’s not how it happened.

The truth is, I didn’t even know that money had been stolen from me until this morning. I was at work, my one Saturday of the month where I have to work at the bank, and my wife sent me a text message and a screenshot picture from her phone of the recent transactions in our bank account, asking me if I had any idea what the $250 charge from Nike was. Between the two of us, I am definitely the more irresponsible, the one that might have decided on a whim that I needed a couple new pairs of shoes and bought them without first consulting my wife because I knew she would think it wasn’t the best idea, along the lines of asking for forgiveness rather than permission, but as much as I would love some new shoes, it wasn’t me who made the purchase, and I told her as much. She went ahead and locked the account that the money was taken out of and called the bank to have a new card sent to her, as well as telling them that the purchase was not made by us. The money will be refunded to our account in a few days; that’s the good news. The bad news is that we have groceries to buy and bills to pay that we generally use that account for, but now that the bank is closed for the long weekend, and the account is locked, it’s going to be more of an annoying headache than usual to do these normally thoughtless tasks.

I think it happened last night about 6:30 when I stopped at the gas station near my apartment to fill up. I was running low on gas and decided to get it then rather than have to leave early for work today to do it, and nothing about the process seemed unusual or any different than all of the other times throughout the course of my life that I’ve gotten gas. I used our debit card to pay at the pump, and nothing about the slot where I stuck in my card and removed it quickly looked strange to me. I guess it had to be a skimming device, and I’m guessing it happened then because we normally use that card at the same places every week, but this time, instead of going to the gas station I normally go to, I went to another one, and that’s when the fraudulent charge showed up in my account. I just hope whoever stole our information and money gets good use out of the new Nikes they bought, and quick, because I’ve heard that when you go to jail, they don’t let you keep your shoes.