Sunday, November 4, 2007

NFL '07: The Week Nine Conundrum (By Robert Ludlum)

Very quietly I will state that with last week’s 7-6 the season record crept a little closer to the .500 mark at 47-62-7. This has been accomplished without a lot of smarty-pants remarks about the Bengals having their own police blotter in the paper, or players who get suspended because they didn’t realize cocaine isn’t a steroid, etc.

So shhh, here are the picks:

Was - 3.5 at NYJ

KC -2.5 vs. GB

TB -3.5 vs. AZ

Ten -4 vs. Car

Atl -3 vs. SF

NO -3.5 vs. Jax

Det -3 vs. Den

Buf +1 vs. Cin

SD -7 at Min

Cle -1 vs. Sea

Ind +6 vs. NE

Oak -3 vs. Hou

Phi +3 vs. Dal

Bal +9 at Pit (Monday night)

Shameless Commercial Dept.

Why fool around with the department store dreck this holiday season when you can get yourself or your loved one outfitted in classic style at Brooks Brothers?

For slightly less than the cost of a decent used car ol' Fred or Barney can look like a million bucks in a suit from the Bros. Well, maybe that's pushing it, but the BB silhouette, whether in an updated, darted version or the classic sack cut, is good for the bulky American type who does not spend his every spare waking hour in the gym.

I'll put in a plug for the Brooks Brothers non-iron shirt, too. Most of their RTW shirtings are in this Teflon-coated fabric, a development purists regard with scorn and contempt.

And I wouldn't buy one in the buttondown collar configuration. BDs are supposed to look frumpy.

But in other, dressier collar styles the Brooks non-iron solids are hard to beat. I have half a dozen in white and blue; they can be shoved in a suitcase and shaken out; they stay reasonably fresh-looking all day, and if you follow the laundering directions and don't leave them in the dryer for a long time on maximum heat they come out of same ready to go.

So don't waste your time and heard-earned shekels pawing through over-priced crap at the department stores. (You might as well scour Marshall's or TJ Maxx for an actual bargain.) Go to your local Brooks Brothers store and do it right - and if you buy a suit or jacket for someone else, make sure the recipient takes it in to be altered, and make sure the jacket sleeves are tweaked to show half an inch or so of shirt cuff. This modest maneuver will instantly mark the wearer as a cut above 98 percent of American men.

Also don't buy their socks. They stink.

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