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Race for the Nerf: Celebrity/Media NFL Picks Week 9

Hypnotist Marc, ‘Fantasy’ subject Lorena inching toward the top

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Rehearsals at Fantasy featuring new lead singer Lorena Peril at the Luxor on July 29, 2010.
Photo: Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com
Sal DeFilippo

Every play from scrimmage in every NFL game begins the same way: With the center snapping the ball.

Most of the time, the player receiving the snap is the quarterback. Teams execute the center-quarterback exchange more than 1,000 times a season, and that doesn’t include the countless thousands of times during practice. Occasionally, snaps will go awry, usually when the quarterback is in the shotgun formation and the center is sending the ball several yards into the backfield.

But when the quarterback is under center, it’s as easy as someone passing a ball through his legs into the quarterback’s hands.

When this routine function is botched, it’s rare—and when the other team recovers the fumble, it’s embarrassing. When it happens on what should be the last play of a game before you kick an easy field-goal to win —it’s “the worst day ever.”

That’s how San Diego’s Philip Rivers described it from the sidelines as he watched the Kansas City Chiefs steal a victory from the Chargers on Monday Night, following Rivers’ inability to receive the ball cleanly on a play where all he had to do was take the ball and fall to the ground.

San Diego was running out the clock and Kansas City was helpless to do anything but watch. That is, until Rivers dropped the snap, sending 80,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium into a frenzy—and sending the game into overtime. The Chiefs drove downfield and did what San Diego wasn’t able to do—set up the field-goal tr. They made the kick for a 23-20 win.

Not sure how the Chiefs or their fans described it, but I’m guessing it wasn’t “the worst day ever” for them. The result: The always entertaining AFC West gets even more entertaining with the three Tebow-less teams tied for first at 4-3.

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Fantasy lead singer Lorena Peril made the biggest move among our celebrity cast this week, posting a 3-0 mark against the spread to move into a tie for third with Planet Hollywood comedy hypnotist Marc Savard in our contest to see who will take home the Golden Nerf.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond continue to set the pace with impressive marks of 14-9-1. Peril and Savard are 13-10-1, with several others still in the hunt.

Mirage headliner Terry Fator is committed to having his puppets pick for him (they’ve won four games in two weeks, and he won six in six weeks “on his own”). This week’s choices and reasons:

“Vikki the Cougar wants the Titans. Does she need to explain? Duggie the stoner likes the Steelers because he can identify with shoplifting and Walter the Cowboy wants the Broncos for obvious reasons,’” Fator said.

Sal’s picks:I fell one point shy of a 3-0 week, but 2-1 suits me just fine and moves the season record to 15-8-1. This week, I’ll take Saints-Buccaneers over 51, the Raiders -8 vs. the Broncos and the Jets +1½ at the Bills.

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The media/celebrity picks:

Anthony Crivello, star of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular (9-12-3)

Patriots-Giants under 52½

Packers -5½ at Chargers

Steelers -3 vs. Ravens

****

Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (10-13-1)

Raiders -8 vs. Broncos

Chiefs -5½ vs. Dolphins

Packers -5½ at Chargers

****

Terry Fator, Mirage headliner (10-13-1)

Titans -3 vs. Bengals

Steelers -3 vs. Ravens

Broncos +8 at Raiders

****

Carolyn Goodman, Mayor of Las Vegas (14-9-1)

Chiefs -5½ vs. Dolphins

Packers -5½ at Chargers

Raiders -8 vs. Broncos

****

Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas ambassador (10-14)

Falcons -7 at Colts

Bills -1½ vs. Jets

Steelers -3 vs. Ravens

****

Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (7-15-2)

Giants +8½ at Patriots

Raiders -8 vs. Broncos

Falcons-Colts under 45

****

Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (7-16-1)

Redskins +3 ½ vs. 49ers

Cardinals -3 vs. Rams

Browns +11 at Titans

****

Donny Osmond, Flamingo Las Vegas headliner (14-9-1)

Saints -8 vs Buccaneers

Chiefs -5½ vs. Dolphins

Cowboys -12 vs. Seahawks

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Lorena Peril, Vocalist, Fantasy at Luxor (13-10-1)

49ers -3½ at Redskins

Chiefs -5½ vs. Dolphins

Packers -5½ at Chargers

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Tara Palsha, principal dancer, Vegas! The Show at V Theater (12-11-1)

Steelers -3 vs. Ravens

Falcons -7 at Colts

Cowboys -12 vs. Seahawks

****

Marc Savard, Comedy Hypnotist, V Theater at Planet Hollywood (13-10-1)

Packers -5½ at Chargers

Chiefs -5½ vs. Dolphins

49ers -3½ at Redskins

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