Saturday’s Den: My 13 favorite TV shows…….

13) Without a Trace— Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia) runs an FBI unit specializing in missing persons investigations, while his personal life falls apart around him. Sometimes they found the people, sometimes they didn’t, which is part of what made the show so good.

12) The West Wing— Martin Sheen is the President; this show is about his staff and how they deal with the every day happenings in Washington. An excellent cast; ton of great actors passed through this show over its 7-year run. 

11) Lost In Space— This show was on in the 60’s; a space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course. Dr Smith (Jonathan Harris) was the annoying stowaway who provided comic relief; his interaction with the Robot (“Danger!!! Danger!!!) were one of the highlights of the show.

One of the prized pieces of my bobblehead collection is a Robot bobblehead.

10) Addams Family— The Addams Family is not your typical family: it takes delight in most of the things of which normal people would be terrified. Gomez Adams (John Astin) is an extremely wealthy man and is able to indulge his wife Morticia’s (Carolyn Jones) every desire, whether it’s cultivation of poisonous plants or a candlelit dinner in a graveyard.

Morticia would read the stock ticker, and if Gomez lost, he would say “Easy come, easy go”

Cousin Itt, Thing, Lurch were all excellent characters.

1993, I have an emergency appendectomy; I’m in the hospital couple of days. Guy in the next hospital bed is watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and when they run the credits at the end of the show, I get kind of excited, because Felix Silla played one of the robots.

Felix Silla played Cousin Itt on the Addams Family; my neighbor wasn’t impressed when I gave him that bit of trivia. The nurse smiled, then checked to see if she gave me too much medication.

9) White Shadow— An NBA player retires and gets a job as a basketball coach in a inner-city high school; the uniforms that Carver High wears in this show are the same ones that the star (Ken Howard) of the show’s team wore in high school on Long Island.

The basketball scenes were very well done.

Bruce Paltrow was the show’s creator; Gwyneth Paltrow’s father.

8) Green Acres— A New York City attorney (Eddie Albert) and his city-loving wife (Eva Gabor) attempt to live as farmers in the bizarre community of Hooterville. Hank Kimball was my favorite character, playing the bumbling county agent.

My lasting memory of this show is that seemingly every time I had it on, my father would walk in the room and say “Why the hell are you watching this?” Then five minutes later, he’d be laughing harder than I was.

7) Mister Ed— A wisecracking talking horse is the star, but he only talks to the guy who owns the barn he lives in, Wilbur Post (Alan Young). Mister Ed was a big baseball fan; he once took batting practice off of the Dodgers, with Sandy Koufax on the mound.

Good trivia; Dodgers’ CF Willie Davis was Mister Ed’s favorite ballplayer.

6) M*A*S*H— The staff of an Army hospital in the Korean War find that laughter is the best way to deal with their often-horrendous situation.

Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) is the star of the show; Alda was so recognizable as Hawkeye that it probably hurt his acting career after M*A*S*H went off the air— the series finale is one of the most-watched TV shows ever.

Alda played a therapist on Ray Donovan the last couple seasons.

5) Billions— Showtime series has now finished six seasons, a U.S. Attorney goes after a hedge fund king in a battle between two powerful New York figures. Making things sticky is that the attorney’s wife (Maggie Siff) works as a psychologist for the hedge fund guy.

Lot of interesting cameos thru the years; John Malkovich, Kevin Pollak, Eric Bogosian, pro wrestler Becky Lynch, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Durant, Mark Cuban. Great show.

4) Law and Order— 20 years, 456 episodes that follow a crime (usually a murder), usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.

One of the few shows that survived the stars of the show moving on and being replaced by other characters. This show was a launching pad for many acting careers; there are 26 actors who have appeared in Billions who also appeared in at least one episode of Law and Order.

3) CSI— An elite team of police forensic evidence investigation experts work their cases in Las Vegas; in real life, I searched fingerprints for ten years for the state of New York, so I know a little bit about this line of work, but what attracted me to this show was a) Las Vegas and b) the loyalty the characters had to their co-workers and their jobs.

The eulogy Gil Grissom (William Peterson) gives after Warrick Brown is murdered is one of the great speeches (albeit a short one) in television history.

2) Odd Couple— Two divorced friends who are complete opposites share an apartment; one is really neat and stuffy photographer, the other a sloppy, easy-going sportswriter.

1) Magnum PI— The adventures of a Hawaii-based private investigator (Tom Selleck), as he solves cases with the help of his buddies, TC (Roger Mosley) a helicopter pilot, club manager Rick (Larry Manetti) and Higgins (John Hillerman) who runs the estate Magnum lives on.

The parade of beautiful women as guest stars on the show was an 80’s who’s who of  Hollywood: Sharon Stone, Jill St John, Mimi Rogers, Leslie Uggams, Erin Gray, Dana Delany, to name a few.

Frank Sinatra did an episode near the end of the series; Ernest Borgnine, Carol Burnett, Cesar Romero, Ten Danson, Dennis Weaver— a long list of famous guest stars.

Tuesday’s Den: Some early trends for Week 1 of the NFL season

Bills @ Rams
— Buffalo won last three road openers.
— Bills are 5-3 ATS in last eight road openers.
— Bills are 7-5 ATS last 12 games as an underdog in road openers.

— Rams won/covered last seven home openers.
— Under McVay, Rams are 5-0 SU/ATS in Week 1.
— Under is 4-2 in last six home openers.

49ers @ Bears
— Won last three road openers, scoring 31-31-41 points.
— Since 1994, they’re 2-8 ATS as a favorite in road opener.
— Under is 7-5-1 in last 13 road openers.

— Chicago started out 0-1 seven of last eight years.
— Bears won three of last four home openers.
— Under is 5-0 in their last five home openers.

Patriots @ Dolphins
— Won/covered five of last seven road openers.
— Since 1998, they’re 6-1 ATS as an underdog in road opener.
— Third straight year they’re playing Miami in Week 1.

— Over is 11-2 in Miami’s last 13 home openers.
— Dolphins are 6-4 ATS in last ten home openers.
— Since 2003, Miami is 2-5 ATS as a favorite in home opener. 

Saints @ Falcons
— Saints lost four of last five road openers.
— Since 2010, New Orleans is 2-10 ATS in road openers, 0-6 if favored.
— Under is 4-2 in their last six road openers.

— Falcons lost last two home openers, after a 14-2 SU/ATS run.
— Since 1999, Atlanta is 7-2 ATS as an underdog in home openers.
— Falcons started out 0-1 five of the last six seasons.

Ravens @ Jets
— Ravens are 9-5 ATS in last 14 road openers.
— Last six years, Baltimore is 5-1 ATS in Week 1 games.
— Last 15 years, over is 10-4-1 in their road openers.

— Jets lost last four home openers (0-4 ATS), scoring 11.8 ppg.
— Jets started out 0-1 five of last six seasons.
— Under is 4-1 in their last five home openers.

Steelers @ Bengals
— Pittsburgh is 4-1-1 SU in last six road openers.
— This is 8th straight year Steelers are opening on road.
— Their last five road openers stayed under the total.

— Bengals lost four of last six home openers.
— Cincinnati started out 1-0 five of last eight seasons.
— Over is 4-2 in their last six home openers.

Browns @ Panthers
— Cleveland is 3-0 ATS as a favorite in road openers.
— Since 2005, Browns are 0-16-1 SU in Week 1
— Under is 5-1 in their last six road openers.

— Since 2011, Panthers are 7-4 ATS in home openers.
— Last eight years, Carolina is 5-3 ATS in Week 1.
— Under is 6-3 in their last nine home openers. 

Eagles @ Lions
— Eagles lost three of last four road openers.
— Since 2005, Philly is 4-8 ATS as a favorite in road openers.
— Eagles started out 1-0 in nine of last 11 seasons.

— Detroit’s last eleven season openers went over the total.
— Since 1999, Lions are 7-4 ATS as an underdog in home openers.
— Over is 9-3 in their last dozen home openers. 

Colts @ Texans
— Colts lost 10 of their last 12 road openers.
— Indy started 0-1 seven of last eight years.
— Over is 5-1 in their last six Week 1 games.

— Texans are 8-4 in last dozen home openers.
— Houston covered its last three Week 1 games.
— Over is 3-1 in their last four Week 1 games.

Jaguars @ Commanders
— Jaguars covered four of their last five road openers.
— Jacksonville is 10-8 ATS as an underdog on road openers.
— Their last three Week 1 games went over the total.

— Washington lost eight of last ten home openers.
— Since 2009, Commanders are 1-5 ATS as a favorite in home openers.
— Over is 7-4 in their last eleven home openers.

Chiefs @ Cardinals
— Kansas City started 1-0 the last seven years, scoring 35.1 ppg.
— Chiefs won five of last seven road openers.
— Over is 7-3 in their last ten road openers.

— Arizona won its last two home openers, scoring 30-34 points.
— Average total in their last three Week 1 games: 49.7
— Under is 7-3 in their last ten home openers.

Packers @ Vikings
— Green Bay is 4-7 ATS in last eleven road openers.
— Packers allowed 31+ points in four of last five road openers.
— Over is 7-2 in their last nine road openers.

— Vikings won/covered six of last seven home openers.
— Last eight years, Minnesota is 5-3 ATS in Week 1.
— Under is 7-1 in their last eight home openers.

Raiders @ Chargers
— Raiders are 7-1-1 ATS in last nine road openers.
— Las Vegas won its Week 1 games five of last six years.
— Last 23 years, over is 14-8-1 in Raiders’ road openers.

— Chargers covered once in last five home openers.
— Bolts started out 1-0 the last three years, giving up 17.7 ppg.
— Over is 14-5 in their last nineteen home openers.

Giants @ Titans
— Giants lost 10 of their last 12 road openers.
— Giants lost last five Week 1 games, scoring 12.4 ppg.
— Since 2004, Giants are 6-9 ATS as an underdog in road openers.

— Tennessee lost six of last eight home openers.
— Since 2013, Titans are 0-5-1 ATS as a favorite in home openers.
— Under is 7-3 in their last ten home openers.

Buccaneers @ Cowboys
— Tampa Bay (-9) beat Dallas 31-29 in LY’s season opener.
— Bucs lost last two road openers, 34-23/34-24.
— Over is 10-4 in their last fourteen road openers.

— Dallas won its last five home openers (4-1 ATS)
— Last three years, Cowboys scored 35-40-41 points in home openers.
— Dallas lost five of its last eight Week 1 games.

Broncos @ Seahawks
— Broncos started 1-0 in eight of last ten seasons.
— Denver lost four of last five road openers.
— Under is 3-1 in their last four road openers.

— Since 2003, Seattle is 14-5 ATS in home openers.
— Under is 8-3 in their last eleven home openers.
— Seahawk trends reflect Russell Wilson at QB; he plays for Denver now. 

Saturday’s Den: Looking at AFC schedules…….

Baltimore
— Weeks 1-4, they play the four AFC East teams.
— Three primetime games, 14 games are at 1:00.
— Bye week is Week 10.
— Their three AFC North road games are in December/January.
— Ravens lost five games LY by 3 or less points; can they go from worst to first in AFC North?

Buffalo
— Open season with night games vs Rams/Tennessee.
— Five of their first seven games are against 2021 playoff teams.
— Bye week is Week 7, kind of early.
— Bills have three short-week road games.
— Four of their six AFC East games are in December/January.

Cincinnati
— AFC champs get five prime-time games this year, two on Monday nights.
— Four of their first six games are on the road.
— Bye is in Week 10.
— They have three 4:25 Sunday games, high-profile tilts vs Cowboys-Chiefs-Bucs.
— Over/under win total of 9.5 signals this franchise’s improvement with Burrow at QB.

Cleveland
— Most important thing: when will Deshaun Watson be eligible to play?
— Browns open at Carolina, a rumored destination for Baker Mayfield.
— Bye is in Week 9.
— Weeks 10-14, they’re on road four of five weeks.
— Week 13 they visit Houston, Watson’s old team. 

Denver
— Week 1, Russell Wilson goes back to Seattle on a Monday night.
— Four of their first six games are in primetime.
— Bye week is Week 9.
— Their two games with Chiefs are in Weeks 14-17.
— Play Rams at SoFi Stadium on Christmas Day.

Houston
— Texans start season against Colts, end season against Colts.
— Only primetime game is Week 9 vs Philly, a Thursday night.
— Bye week is Week 6.
— Week 3 Jaguars visit Chicago, the team Lovie Smith led to a Super Bowl.
— Old friend Deshaun Watson visits with Cleveland in Week 13.

Indianapolis
— Old friend Carson Wentz visits Indianapolis in Week 8
— Four primetime games for Colts, three of them after Thanksgiving.
— Their bye week is Week 14.
— Potential cold weather game at the Giants in Week 17.
— Colts have lost six in row at Foxboro by average of 19 ppg; they visit Patriots in Week 9.

Jacksonville
— First game for new coach Pederson? Against his old QB, Carson Wentz, who is also on a new team (Washington).
— Three of their first four games are on the road.
— Pederson visits his old team, the Eagles, in Week 4.
— Jaguars’ bye week is Week 11.
— Only primetime game is Week 16 (December 22) at the Jets. Bundle up.

Kansas City
— Open in Week 1 at Arizona, site of this season’s Super Bowl.
— Play in primetime five times, including three of first five weeks.
— On road three weeks in row, Weeks 13-15.
— Bye week is Week 8.
— Have five road games in domed stadiums.

Las Vegas
— Week 15, coach McDaniels’ old team visits Las Vegas, the Patriots.
— Weeks 14-16, Raiders play all three games in primetime.
— Bye week is Week 6, very early.
— Week 8. Raiders visit New Orleans/former Raiders coach Dennis Allen.
— Christmas Eve night game in Pittsburgh could be frosty.

LA Chargers
— Open season with two big rivals (Raiders/Chiefs).
— Five primetime games; league has high expectation for the Bolts.
— Bye week is in Week 8.
— Week 17 “home” game is against their landlord, the Rams.
— Week 18 in Denver is likely to be a cold weather game.

Miami
— Dolphins are 3-point home favorite in Week 1 vs New England.
— Miami has December road games in Buffalo, Foxboro.
— Bye week is in Week 11.
— Dolphins will see former coach Flores; they host Steelers in Week 7.
— Miami visits coach McDaniel’s old team, the 49ers, in Week 13. 

New England
— Open season with road games at Miami, Pittsburgh.
— Play four straight primetime games, Weeks 12-15 (three on road)
— Only one 4:25 game all season, Week 4 at Green Bay.
— Bye week is in Week 10.
— Two games vs Bills are in Weeks 13-18; January 8 in Buffalo should be fun.

Jets
— Jets lost last four home openers; they host Ravens in Week 1.
— Only primetime game is Week 16 (December 22) vs Jaguars.
— Their bye week is in Week 10.
— Jets play Patriots in Week 8, Bills in Week 9, then a bye and Patriots again.
— Week 13 at Minnesota is their only game in a dome this year.

Pittsburgh
— Open season with Bengals, Patriots, Browns; tough start.
— Bengals won last meeting with Steelers 41-10, then said Steelers “gave up”
— Bye week is Week 9; will rookie QB Pickett be starter by then?
— Two games with Ravens are in Weeks 14-17.
— Have five primetime games, three of them on road.

Tennessee
— Titans are -6.5 in Week 1 vs Giants, 2nd-biggest Week 1 favorite.
— Have four primetime games, three of them on road.
— Their bye week is in Week 6, an early one.
— Titans visit Philly in Week 13; they traded WR AJ Brown there last month.
— Two games with Colts are early, Weeks 4, 7. 

Friday’s Den: Thoughts on the NFC schedules

— Week 1 starts on a Thursday with Buffalo visiting the Super Bowl champion Rams; it ends on Monday, with  Russell Wilson going back to Seattle to see his old friends, the Seahawks.

Matthew Stafford’s brother-in-law is an assistant coach with Buffalo.

— Six divisional games in Week 1, which seems like more than usual:
Saints-Falcons
Steelers-Bengals
Colts-Texans
Patriots-Dolphins
Raiders-Chargers
Packers-Vikings

— Thanksgiving games:
Buffalo @ Detroit, Giants @ Dallas, New England @ Minnesota.

Byes seem to be later than in previous seasons. 

Here are some notes for each team’s schedule.
NFC teams:
Arizona
— Play only four games outdoors this season; 13 dome games.
— Cold weather game in Week 15, at Denver.
— Don’t leave home in Weeks 11-14; three home games and a bye
— Bye is in Week 13
— Three of their last four games are on road.

Atlanta
— Week 10 Thursday game vs Carolina is only night game for either team.
— Falcons-Panthers play in weeks 8-10.
— Weeks 2-3 they’ll be on west coast, visiting Rams/Seattle.
— Bye is in Week 14
— NFL isn’t expecting much from them; 16 games at 1:00 local time.

Carolina
— Week 1 vs Cleveland; which team will Baker Mayfield be on?
— Four of their first five games are at home.
— Bye is in Week 13.
— Week 10 Thursday game vs Carolina is only night game for either team.
— They’re on road three weeks in row (Weeks 3-5).

Chicago
— Have three night games in first seven weeks (Wks 2-6-7)
— Visit New Jersey twice (Week 4 vs Giants, Week 12 vs Jets)
— Bye is in Week 14
— Weeks 13-16, they’ve got three home games and a bye.
— Play four road games in domed stadiums. 

Dallas
— Mike McCarthy visits his old team/Lambeau Field in Week 10
— Three of their last four games are on road.
— Dallas is at home three of first four games.
— They’re also at home in Weeks 12-14.
— Bye week is Week 9

Detroit
— 17 games scheduled at 1:00; not a lot of faith there.
— Thanksgiving game is against Buffalo.
— Bye week is Week 6, pretty early.
— Have cold weather games at Jets (Week 15), Packers (Week 18)
— Are at home Weeks 12-14.

Green Bay
— Play Giants in London in Week 5
— Don’t have bye the next week; they host Jets instead.
— After Jet game, they’re on road more three weeks in row.
— Have five primetime games, only five 1:00 games.
— Their bye week is Week 14.

Rams
— Open season against Buffalo at home on a Thursday.
— Have 10 games at SoFi; Charger game January 1 is an away game.
— Have only one 1;00 game, Week 11 in New Orleans.
— Bye week is Week 7, earlier than you’d expect.
— December 19 Monday night game in Green Bay is genius scheduling. 

Minnesota
— Close with two cold weather games, at Green Bay, at Chicago.
— Play four of their first five games at home.
— Week 9 at Washington; Kirk Cousins against his old team.
— Bye week is Week 7.
— Week 5, they play Saints in England, then host Chicago in Week 6. In past, almost all the teams that played overseas had bye week the next week.

NJ Giants
— Open season at Tennessee; their next true road game is Week 7 at Jaguars.
— Week 5 they play Green Bay in London.
— All four games vs Washington/Philly are after December 1st.
— Both games vs Dallas are on national TV, as usual.
— Bye week is Week 9.

New Orleans
— Weeks 1-3, they play their three NFC South rivals.
— Week 4, they play the Vikings in London.
— Bye week isn’t Week 14.
— Week 8 they play Raiders, the team Dennis Allen used to coach.
— Have cold weather games in Cleveland (Week 16), Philly (Week 17)

Philadelphia
— They’re on road three weeks in row, Weeks 14-16
— Visit Indianapolis in Week 11, Nick Sirianni’s old stomping grounds.
— Play old friend Carson Wentz/Commanders in Week 3-10.
— Bye week is in Week 7.
— Have five road games in domed stadiums. 

San Francisco
— Visit Rams October 30; their next true road game is December 15.
— Play the Cardinals in Mexico City November 21.
— Weeks 5-6, they visit Carolina/Atlanta, will probably stay east the whole time.
— Bye week is in Week 9.
— Play five primetime games, one vs each NFC West rival.

Seattle
— Old friend Russell Wilson visits Seattle on Monday night in Week 1.
— Play four of their last five games at home.
— Play Buccaneers in Germany in Week 10.
— Their bye week is in Week 11.
— Travel 29,125 miles this season, most of any team.

Tampa Bay
— Open with dome games (Cowboys/Saints) in Weeks 1-2.
— Play at home in Weeks 3-5.
— Play five primetime games, three at home.
— Bye week is Week 11, after the game in Germany.
— November 27 in Cleveland could be a cold weather game.

Washington
— Both primetime games are on road, at Bears/Eagles.
— Three of their last four games are at home.
— Their bye week is in Week 14.
— Carson Wentz plays Eagles twice (weeks 3-10), visits Colts in Week 8.
— Play four road games in domed stadiums.

I’ll have thoughts on the AFC schedules tomorrow.