Thursday, October 23, 2008

Read Between the Lines

Rather than talk about his “dream job,” of coaching the 49ers, Mike Holmgren wants to focus on the 1-5 Seahawks…right now, anyway. Speaking on a different subject, Holmgren pointed out that “you can read all sorts of things into everything.”

So, with that in mind, let’s follow coach’s orders and read between his lines from Wednesday’s weekly press conference, and his call with the San Francisco media.

MH: “This is my home.”
Comment: The one in Monterrey? The one you’re building in Scotts Valley (15 minutes inland from Santa Cruz)? The one in Arizona?

MH: “Seattle’s my home.”
Comment: Ahhhh, but what about your dream job? Your team?

MH: “Seattle’s my team. Right Now
Translation: I’ve only got 10 more games left. Ten! But who’s counting?

MH: “…, we’ve got to figure out how to win a game for the Seattle Seahawks. And all the rest of this stuff is, like you said, speculation.”
Comment: Didn’t you say the same thing about the Seahawks job back when you were coaching the Packers in 1998?
MH (totally out of context): “Ya know, I don’t like when he does that..”

MH (responding to the possibility of coaching the 49ers next year): “You are really gonna ask this?”
Translation: Ahhhhshhhhit. Here we go. This would be so much easier if it weren’t election season.

MH: “I’ll tell you what I said last week.”
Mike’s thoughts: Haha! I bet you don’t remember do you?!!

MH: “Right now the plan is to stay with the plan I told you.”
Mike’s thoughts: Just need to stall a little bit…and what exactly did I tell them? Maybe I should start reading the crap these guys write.

MH: “I’m gonna take a year off.”
Translation: I’m taking THIS year in the 2008 Seattle Seahawks season...

MH: “Find out a little bit about myself and uh…”
Mike’s thoughts: I’m 60 freakin’ years old! What else is there to know about me?! If you guys buy that line, you're dumber than you look.

MH: “That’s the plan right now.”
Mike’s thoughts: If I say “right now” enough times, the 49ers should take the hint, right?

MH: “That’s how I’m thinking. And…and…I think I’ve been consistent with that.”
Mike’s thoughts: I THINK—haha! There’s a reason I don’t read your articles—plausible deniability baby!

MH: “You know. Right now, that’s how I’m lookin’ at it.”
Translation: Dear Scotty (McCloughan, 49ers General Manager), in January, after the Seahawks 4-12 season, I’ll be looking at it MUCH differently. [wink, wink]

Actual question from reporter: “If the perfect situation presented itself, would your big boss [wife Kathy] allow you to skip your sabbatical?”
MH: “Right now, she’s doin’ foot care at the Pike Street Clinic…for the homeless.”
Mike’s thoughts: Yeah, throw the charity work at ‘em! That should distract them.

MH: “I’m not gonna burden her with that right now.”
Translation: I’m scared to death to tell her the truth—that I’ll be back coaching again next year.

MH: “It’s something that we talked prior to this season.”
Translation: I’m not looking forward to the talk prior to NEXT season.

MH: “I’ll stick to what I said. I’d rather not deal with hypotheticals right now.”
Translation: Let’s be honest, this is more than hypothetical and we all know it.

MH: “One, Mike Nolan is an acquaintance and a friend of mine and I feel bad for him.”
Mike’s thoughts: Right now, anyway. Tomorrow? Next month? Ehhh, whatever…

MH: “Two, we’re gonna go down and play the 49ers and the important thing is the game with the 49ers.”
Mike’s thoughts: Will it help my cause if I throw the game and let the 49ers win? Haha, what am I thinking?! No need to throw the game—we suck! We have no chance of winning. Ha! This is great!

MH (on his relationship with Scot McCloughan, 49ers General Manager, who was previously the Seahawks Director of College Scouting): “I have a good relationship” with “Scotty … or Scot, I should say now.”
Mike’s thoughts: Key word being NOW. Mike Nolan Hired Scot. Then Scot became General Manager and fired Mike Nolan. Next, Scot will hire me…and guess who’s going to fire Scotty….mmmwahahahaha!

Week 8 Lines
Each week, Eddie Utah (“EU”) tries to predict the Vegas lines for each NFL game upcoming that week. It’s an honor system—I make my predictions before looking at the official lines. One of my favorite columnists, Bill Simmons (“BS”), does the same thing (and yes, in fact, I borrowed the idea from him). Bill even goes so far as to make a podcast about the lines with his friend Cousin Sal ("CS," who recently won an Emmy for his part in helping Sarah Silverman write that special song for ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel). Bill and Sal have a contest on the podcast each week to see whose line predictions come closer to the actual Vegas line for each game. In week 2 of the 2008 NFL season, I decided to give it a try and find out if I could do any better than Bill and Cousin Sal. So far, the answer is a definitive no. Here are the season standings after week 7: CS 42, BS 41, EU 22. Week 8 was one of my poorer performances, with the final tally being BS 8, CS 6, EU 2, bringing the season standings to BS 49, CS 48, EU 24.

However, in spite of my poor performance, I am bringing you a special Eddie Utah first! This week, I’m presenting six (6!) Eddie in the Money Superpicks (16-6-1 on the season), including three underdogs. Here’s who I like (home teams in CAPS): Atlanta +9 over PHILLY, CAROLINA -4 over Arizona, Buffalo -1.5 over MIAMI, BALTIMORE -7 over Oakland, Cincinnati +9.5 over HOUSTON and Cleveland +7 over JACKSONVILLE.

Look for a Week 8 preview tomorrow or Friday. And also…with the start of the NBA regular season on October 28th, I’ll be starting my coverage of the hometown Jazz and we'll see if they can convert me.

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