Hello my friends....

Here we are in Week 11 of NFL action already! I got some really really bad news yesterday, in addition to being a regular member of the VFW, the American Legion, the Eagles, and the Moose, I also belong to the local Firehall. I do not frequent ALL of the clubs I belong to, but I do keep my memberships current.

Heck I could probably count on one hand how many times I have been to the Eagles, the Moose and the American Legion combined over the past couple of years, however, with the exception of the local Firehall, all the clubs I belong to are national, meaning I can go to any VFW, American Legion, Eagles, or Moose anywhere is the world and be treated like a brother. Its especially nice when the wife and I go on vacation or are visiting out of state friends or family, don't have to worry about walking into a strange place and worrying about what kind of place it is.

Anyway, I am on a football board at the Firehall, the sheet comes out on Tuesday and has a total of 30 games on it, usually 15 to 18 college football games and the remainder being NFL games, you pick all thirty games on the sheet against the spread which is listed on the sheet. There are usually about 350 people on the board and it only costs $110 to get on the board at the beginning of the season and it pays out first, second and third places weekly at 300, 200, and 100 and it also pays out the top 10 places with total wins at the end of the season and that is in addition to the all expenses (food and booze) paid Super Bowl party they throw with prizes.

I have been on the board at the Firehall for the past 20 years or so, anyway, I walked into the Firehall yesterday just before noon to turn in my sheet as well as the sheets from my two brothers and was greeted with " Lenny was found dead this morning"....Lenny was the guy that ran the board all these years, was one hell of a nice guy with a booming voice, he wore glasses and had a walrus type mustache, picture KC skipper Andy Reed and you know what Lenny looked like.

They said his wife made breakfast and though it odd Lenny hadn't come down the stairs as of yet, she yelled up the stairs for him to get up and got no response, so she goes up the stairs to their bedroom and finds him stiff and dead in bed, apparently he had a heart attack during the night and was probably dead already when his wife had gotten up a couple of hours earlier.

After I left the office Friday I stopped at the Firehall for a quick one before I went home and saw Lenny there and said Hi to him, then the next morning got the news that he had passed. When I was told he was gone, I stood there dumbfounded for what seemed like an eternity, finally I made my way to the stool, ordered up a Gin and Tonic and a snake bite and did a toast to Lenny.

It goes to show that none of us know when our ticket will be punched, here today and gone tomorrow. I came home and told my wife what had happened and then I grabbed her and gave her a big hug, looked into her eyes and told her how much I loved her. There and then I promised myself I would not end a meeting or a conversation with my wife or any other loved one and NOT tell them that I loved them...because none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

Okay, enough of the sad stuff....I really like three games on the early afternoon docket;

JACKSONVILLE +10.5 over Pittsburgh
.....The Steelers under HC Mike Tomlin have a history of playing DOWN to their competition, this is evidenced by the fact that Pittsburgh is 5-2 straight up but only 1-6 ATS and 1-6 O/U as a road favorite of -10 to -13.5 since the start of the 2010 season, a deeper check of the ole history book reveals that Pittsburgh has gone 3-1 straight up and 0-4 ATS 1-3 O/U since 2010 as a road favorite of -10 to -10.5 when facing a non-divisional opponent.

Pittsburgh finds themselves in a "divisional sandwich" as well having just faced and defeated Cincinnati 36-10 and having a home date this coming Thursday (Turkey Day!) against hated divisional rival Baltimore. I think the Steelers mindset is to get this win...even a 1 point win is still a win...and get out of town healthy in order to face their next opponent (Baltimore) on a short week.

I like a couple of afternoon games and will post them shortly so stay tuned and good luck to everyone, one of my favorite sayings that I heard years ago and has stayed with me...."Think WITH your head and not OVER it"!

Take care and be well