Dec 29, 2007

Quick Picks

Happy holidays from 60 degree Atlanta Georgia. While it is apparently good news that the NFL is simulcasting the game tonight between the Pats and the Giants on CBS and NBC, I have but one question for Roger Goodell:

What the hell, man?

I showed my undying appreciation and love for your product, the Shield, by becoming one of dozens (maybe) who paid the extra 8 dollars a month for the package that happened to include the NFL Network. I remember clearly looking at the schedule and thinking how the package would pay for itself just for this game. And now this. Needless to say, Roger, I am not pleased.
On to picks; home team in bold.

Terminators (-13) over Eli Manning

Yeah, the Pats might sit some players, focusing on the postseason over making history. And I might sprout wings and fly out this window. The latter is more likely.



Miami (-2.5) over Cincy

The Phins have something to prove to Parcells, namely that the entire team need not be fired. In that spirit, losing to the Dolphins may be the answer to the immortal question, "What does Marvin Lewis have to do to be fired?"

Buffalo (-8) over Philly

A young, up and coming team versus an underachieving team? Week 17? I bet Kolb gets some time, just to 'see what he can do'. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Tampa (-3) over Carolina

I'll be starting this weekend for the Panthers, as a winner of a radio call in contest. I'm so proud to be caller number 8!! Oh, and to be starting over David Carr.

Jacksonville (+6.5) over Houston

Vegas apparently thinks the Jags won't play their starters all game, but I contend that their seconds are at least 6.5 points within the injury ravaged Texans.

Seattle (pick) over Atlanta

At least I don't have to watch this game, which is a mortal lock to be blacked out in my area.

Nawlins (-1.5) over Chicago

Donovan McNabb, they're already drawing up the contract.

Cleveland (-12) over San Francisco

If the Browns win and Tennessee loses, the Browns are in the playoffs. Well, at least the Browns are going to win...

Detroit (+5) over Aaron Rodgers

Favre will start to maintain the streak, but with nothing at all to play for, look for a preview of the post-Favre Pack.

Minnesota (-3) over Denver

Adrian Peterson is allegedly taking a number of offensive teammates with him to the Pro Bowl. Mr. Jackson, you will not be making the trip. This year, or ever.

Washington (-9) over Dallas

One team fighting to make the playoffs, one team with nothing to play for.

Pittsburgh (-3) over Baltimore

This game was supposed to matter.

St. Louis (+6) over Arizona

No one cares. No one playing, no one watching.

Oakland (+9) over San Diego

See above.

Kansas City (+6) over NYJ

The 'Herm Edwards ruined our team' Bowl! Clemens!! Huard!!

Tenn (-5) over Indy

While Fantasy Football players everywhere activate Jim Sorgi, the Titans have to win to get in, against a team that has nothing to play for. Marvin Harrison is allegedly coming back though, so this could go either way.

Dec 25, 2007


Hope you're having a better day than Scott Skiles...what, too soon?

Merry Christmas.

Yeah, even you Steve.

Dec 22, 2007

My-Mom-Says-We're Super Group

Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and Pharrell are coming together to form a rap group called CRS, and they have already released a few songs on various mixtapes. If this group comes together, I will gladly buy the album, but until then, unofficial videos and singles are all I have. Unofficial videos like this one!

For more music news and whatnot, visit my little brother's blog right here.

Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this.

Except Steve.

Dec 20, 2007

Fantasy Fallout ...and PICKS!!!

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to the Sports Watchers radio show on Monday; I’ll keep ya’ll posted on the next time I’m on. NCAA Bowl Season starts tonight, with Utah playing Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl, while going head to head with Pittsburgh at St. Louis on NFL Network. Since I’m apparently one of 8 people in America who got this channel, looks like I have a decision to make.

Quick fantasy update before this weeks picks; apparently, the fantasy gods have a sense of humor.

Steve went on to tie Cheese in the first round of the playoffs with his cheater team, and because Cheese had accumulated more total points over the course of the season, he was awarded the win, and the honor of being vanquished by me in the finals. Below are some of the reactions I got to this story of sportsmanship gone bad, and I’m glad to see that most people are upstanding, honorable people. Except for you Steve.

“Just read the blog about the Laney League. Awesome. You are the man. Finish him.”

“Wow. Can he be considered an evil genius or a criminal mastermind? Has he reached that level yet?”
– Mike

“The story about your fantasy league is one of the most devious things i have ever heard. This could trump the Mitchell report as a bigger sports scandal. I’m sorry you have to go through that. Obviously sportsmanship isn't in the vocabulary of your ‘friend’.”

Not to mention this comment from an obviously upset Matt Barsamian.

“If you need any help (I doubt that you do) in hunting down any one of these "people" that have done their best to ruin what is the SPORT of fantasy football, you let me know and I'll be on the next flight.”

Rest easy my friend, good has triumphed,

Still, this was all worth it to see the tie score on Wednesday morning, and a tiny asterisk denoting the tie-break.

Now, picks. Keep in mind, I have proven to have no idea what I am talking about all season. That said, home teams are in bold.

St. Louis (-7.5) over Pittsburgh

Flip flopped a couple of times with this one; the Steelers lost a tough, physical game last week in bad conditions, and now they’re expected to thrive in a track meet setting against a healthier Stephen Jackson just four days later? Nahhhhhhh.

Dallas (-10.5) over Carolina

The last time the Panthers won at home, I was in high school. Couple their futility with the fact that Dallas has something to play for (home field) and no matter how bad that thumb hurts, Romo will pull through. Huh. Never thought I’d say that.

Jax (-13) over Oakland

Oakland is one of those quietly frisky teams in the AFC” – Some talking head. That may be true, but Jacksonville has been playing lights out, and that’s BEFORE their whole team got snubbed in the Pro Bowl.

Buffalo (+2.5) over NYGiants

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: snow falling, Christmas trees up, the annual Tom Coughlin collapse. Ah, winter.

Green Bay (-8.5) over Chicago

When is the last time that this game mattered? Seriously, it seems like if one of these teams is even DECENT, the other is awful. I need a secretary to look this kind of stuff up.

Cleveland (-3) over Cincy

Remember way back in week 2 when these teams combined to score 96 points, and it was such a huge upset that the Browns beat the Bengals? Well, now that the Bengals are trying to get Marvin Lewis fired (more on that later) and the Browns can legitimately win the AFC North, that really wasn’t much of an upset, huh?

KC (+4.5) over Detroit

The Meltdown in Motown continues. Hey, I could work for ESPN!!!

Saints (-3) over Philly

I don’t care how good the Eagles looked last Sunday; the Saints are 3 months away from a signed, sealed confession that Reggie Bush is just not an every down back. He’s a gimmick, like he was in college. Which I’ve been saying since his last year on the USC payroll. But, I digress…

Indy (-7) over Texans

The Colts have literally nothing to play for, as they are locked into the 2nd position in the AFC, so Houston could have a chance. But, Dungy saw what happened when he rested his players the year the Steelers won it all, so look to see Peyton in the 4th quarter these next two weeks.

Tampa (-6) over San Fran

Exactly one year after finishing in the cellar of the NFC South, the Bucs have locked up the division with two weeks left this year. In a division that sent exactly ZERO players to the Pro Bowl this year.

Atlanta (+10) over Arizona

Something’s gotta give. It just has to.

Seattle (pick) over Baltimore

Wait a second, there is no line because we don’t know if Kyle Boller is going to play? We’re really awaiting this news? In a game pitting a division winner against the team that stopped the Phins’ run towards ‘greatness’? Really?

Snitches (+8.5) over Tennessee

Listen very closely. Even when they win, the Titans do not blow people out. Do not ever forget that.

Terminators (-22) over Dolphins

Could have been historic. No nor’easter this week…so…



Washington (+6.5) over Minnesota

Todd Collins!!! Tavaris Jackson!!! The NFL Sunday Night on NBC!!!

Denver (-8.5) over San Diego

Not even Norv can screw this one up right?

Okay, things throughout the league are getting ridiculous; we’re in week 16, and no coach has been fired yet. Lovie Smith and Marvin Lewis don’t deserve to be on the hot seat? No one is calling for Scott Linehan or Cam Cameron’s heads? Brian Billick (loser of 8 straight) and Rod Marinelli (loser of 6 straight) aren’t packing bags??? What is going on here???

Way Too Excited

The unequivocally best show on television returns soon. If you haven't watched the previous four seasons, find a way to watch them before this one. The best thing to happen to American television ever is amazing, and you should get on board.

The Wire is a work of art, in the objective sense (as opposed to, "that's so good it's like a work of art"). It is an artist's viewpoint and his statement on our society. At least in my opinion, it is poignant because of its honesty and accuracy, in both its portrayal of what is, and its portrayal of what could be.

That's the season 5 trailer. If you're a fan, and it doesn't get you hyped, just pop those cyanide pills and take a good, long nap.

Pretty Funny

Got sent this link today by an old friend...

Some Garfield comic strips. Minus the Garfield. An excelle
nt study of the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.

Dec 18, 2007

Mid-Range Jumpers

I must interrupt your regularly scheduled blog with a special announcement...

In case you missed last nights The Sports Watchers radio show, the entire thing is available for easy listening at where you can hear me bemoan the current state of the Falcons future. I haven't heard it yet, so if I sound stupid, tell me so

...And now back to America's favorite long-running and rarely updated column format, the truly lost art of the Mid-Range Jumper!!

- The Mitchell Report has 'shockingly' outed Roger Clemens as a long time HGH and steroid user. Now, I don't really care about steroids in MLB anymore (attempting restraint) so I won't say any more (aw, to hell with it) I TOLD YOU SO!!!

- Sorry about that. Apparently A-Rod and his agent aren't talking; you ask me, Mr. Boras fell on the PR grenade for his client, a move that will pay off when he signs the next big thing in regards to the depth of his loyalty.

- The Suns handed the Spurs their first home loss last night, showing that Grant Hill really is a good fit for this team, having led Phoenix scorers with 22.

- Roy Williams was suspended today by the NFL for his horse collar tackle of Donovan F. McNabb, who might have saved his job by winning in Big D. Roy, if they make a rule to stop a tackle because you hurt someone with it, you might not want to keep doing it. Just my two cents.

- Florida State athletics is apparently embroiled in a cheating scandel that may touch many programs including (gasp) the football team. In other news, the sky is still blue.

- Dick Vitale will be undergoing vocal cord surgery. Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

- It doesn't matter who Tony Romo is or isn't dating come the playoffs: if they stumble down the stretch, and have to play at Green Bay, just go ahead and get ready for the battle of legendary seasons that will be Packers/Patriots.

- I am not cheering for the Terminators, but I have to admit this past Sunday was impressive. They basically shut up every talking head that said this team was the pre-Super Bowl winning Colts, because when they have to, they can be tough, physical and jam it down the other teams throats. Plus, the linebacking corps get to be paid less, as the balance of their game checks is covered in Social Security.

As we all wait anxiously for Bowl Season to begin December 20th, I for one am looking mostly forward to next season. Why am I so excited?

Knowshon Knows Football.

Great video of Moreno's performance against the evil Florida Gators. Hawaii doesn't stand a chance.

Dec 16, 2007

I Blame Him

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Other times, words are worth a thousand...nevermind. I agree with Lawyer Malloy's edit of Petrino's letter, but to hear more about what I think on Week 15, and all things NFL, tune in to at 6:45 EST tomorrow, December 17, where I'll be guesting a 5 minute NFL segment, and generally make a fool of myself.

Oh, and the fantasy league we're going to be at least mentioning is my Columbia Football alumni one, not the league that was discussed here. Just to clarify.

See you there. Not really, I mean, it's a radio show, but I'll hear you there.

But I won't be hearing you either, will I? I guess you can hear me know what I'm trying to say.

Dec 14, 2007

Unhealthy Competition

I am a competitive person, almost to a fault. This trait comes naturally to me, like breathing, and during any competition, I find myself willing to do almost anything to win. I mean, I wouldn’t throw dirt in the third baseman’s face during an old-man beer league softball game, but we all can’t be Vinny Marino, now can we? I grew up under the Palmer family rules of learning: get beat until you figure out how to something about it. This was applied in cards, dominoes, board games of all shape and size, basketball, and most recently, video games.

My parents own a Wii, as does my little brother at college. Over Thanksgiving, we thought that it would be a fun, family activity to get in a little post-dinner Wii bowling. Being the only person not armed with a Wii at home, I came into what would later be known as Armageddon with only my wits, and my indomitable will. We played a few games, some I won (resulting in me gloating mercilessly) some I lost (resulting in my sulking, and demanding we play again), but the last game will stick with me forever. 10 frames later, my little brother had hung a 299 on the rest of our unsuspecting family. I could have cried. Needless to say, I am determined to throw up a 300 come Christmas break. Or beat him up. Either will do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Now, I tell you that story, to tell you this story, but I must warn you: this is a tale of betrayal of the highest order, and if you are a fan of decency and fair play, this will only anger you, and you should turn back now.

Knowing most of you fairly well, I assume you’re still here.

One of my Fantasy Football Leagues is comprised of a bunch of guys I used to work with, whom I happen to stay in touch with fairly well. From the jump, this league was off to a shady start, as our League Manager, one Jordan Hammond, told NO ONE when the draft was going to happen. Fortunately, I was dealt a decently good hand, as I had pre-ranked my players to match another draft I was having. Through shrewd free agent pick-ups, I developed a juggernaut team that steam rolled the regular season, finishing 12-1, averaging well over 120 points a game. The playoffs started last weekend, and I was facing down the owner who had handed me my only defeat in the regular season, so naturally all my efforts were focused on destroying him.

My rage blinded me to the world around me.

On the other side of the bracket, one of my good friends Cheese was set to face off against my sworn enemy, Steve “Satan” Martin. The details of our long standing rivalry will be shared in the Martin/Palmer Chronicles coming in the New Year, but the bottom line is that this has gone on for way too long. Steve backed into the playoffs, and was in line to get beaten by Cheese, setting the table for a final that I would win, but would enjoy, because of the 2 weeks of good natured trash talk that would ensue. Unbeknownst to me, Steve was putting into motion plans to derail everything.

I was enjoying a nice, home cooked meal at my parents house (one of the benefits of moving back to Atlanta), when I checked my email on my phone, noticing a lot of new messages from this Laney League regarding trades. Knowing that the trade deadline had passed, I was a bit confused, and after dinner hopped on my parents 1998 Gateway to (slowly) figure out was going on. Steve had pressured Jordan, under the pretense of beating me, to change the rules of the league and allow trades at such a late date. Further, he had traded to Jordan the pu-pu platter of Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and the Texans Defense for the trio of Chad Johnson, Adrian Peterson (the good one) and the Chargers Defense. Further, I saw that he had also traded with another of my supposed friends, Skip, and acquired Reggie Wayne for Shaun McDonald.

Needless to say, I was not amused.

A 25 minute phone call later, I had called Steve every name in the book, and a few I made up. He was unswayed by my display of anger at his underhandedness, but did let one thing slip: he was in talks with a certain other member of our league to attain LDT. As I hung up, I was already calling the others who had helped him do this to me.

Jordan: Still ducking my calls a week later. I understand you’re scared, and you have every reason to be. Still, I am currently no where near Oxford, the least you could do is answer. Coward.

Skip: How dare you. For so long, we stood in defiance against this evil, and in one move, you undid all the good. It is for the best that you didn’t call me after the Atlanta game on Monday night, because I most likely would have hunted you down in a fury before unseen on this Earth. Benedict.

Luke: The man who would trade LDT. I have always said that you are my most virtuous of friends, and our conversation proved it. VERBATIM: “The ongoing battle between good and evil, you and Steve, needs no outside influence. The scales must be balanced and I will not be one to tip them.” Hero.

Steve: Being competitive is one thing. Changing the rules of the game to fit you is a line not even I would cross. But then again, I am a person who believes in values and fair-play, while you are Satan himself. You will rue the day you restoked the fires of war between us. The kid gloves are off. Target.

As a show of “good faith” or something, Steve pulled some of his ringers for the first week of his playoff match-up against Cheese, and almost lost. He claims that I have brought down the thunder, by stating that I am not afraid of him, and that he will unleash the dogs of hell on me in the championship. My reply? Bring it.

Dec 13, 2007

A Bad 48...and PICKS!

I guess, in response to this e-mail from the desk of one Matthew David Barsamian:

We're all dying to know if there is going to be any "blogging" done on your end with regards to the worst (read: best) day in the history of Atlanta sports? Maybe an exclusive one-on-one with Vick via webcam in the slammer? Audio of a phone call with Petrino from his new penthouse in Fayetteville? Personally I'm looking forward to you breaking the "Marty Schottenheimer isn't dead, he's the new coach of the Falcons" story.

I hate my friends.

What a rough 48 hours. I had been meaning to write sooner, but I was rendered catatonic as the Atlanta Falcons’ world threatened to collapse upon itself. As far as the Vick verdict goes, America, are we happy now? You’ve given a man 23 months in jail and 3 years of probation for killing some dogs? Congratulations. Anyone who knows me realizes what a dog person I am, but this is ridiculous. 1st time offender, no where near the scene of the operation, and agreeing to work with the feds. People are going to have opinions, but the fact remains in the end; he killed some dogs. He didn’t harm people, he didn’t threaten anyone, he engaged in an archaic and barbaric practice, and he’s losing three years of his life and career for it. Those of you who think that I am being not harsh enough, I must go back to my Leonard Little defense. The St. Louis Rams defensive end was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being found guilty of killing a woman while driving drunk. Someone made the counterpoint


Now, I get to switch form defense to offense; Bobby “Lil’ Nicky Saban” Petrino. This is the utmost form of cowardice; this man (and I use that term in only the most scientific of senses) sent the players who bought into his philosophies and ways of playing a 50 word letter as he was attending a late-night news conference in Fayettesville. Congrats Hogs, you got a turncoat quitter for your team. How can these kids of U of A respect him now? When he tells them to fight through the bad, to finish what you start? His credibility is shot forever.

Lawyer Malloy said it best when he scratched out Petrino’s name at the bottom of the letter that was sent ot all the players, and wrote in red ink: COWARD

Since Roger Clemens was one of the names named in today’s Mitchell Report, it was interesting to watch the MAWSM (middle-aged white sports media) backpedal in the face of evidence that one of the biggest obvious steroid users in the game. Their complaints about the report? The sources were ‘dubious’ at best, and there are no failed tests to back up the story. Where was this requirement of proof when Bonds was being crucified the last few years? They sure aren’t calling for astricks on Clemens’ stuff in the Hall, now are they?

Picks below, home teams in bold

Houston (-2.5) over Denver

Sage Rosefals!!

Cincy (-8) over San Fran

Shaun Hill!!

Tampa (-13.5) over Atlanta

Chris Redman!!

Seattle (-7.5) over Carolina

Vinny Testaverde!!

Pit (-3.5) over Jacksonville

Okay, these are two pretty good qbs.

Packers (-8.5) over Rams

Brock Berlin!!

B’More (-3.5) over Phins

Cleo Lemon!!

(-24.5) over Snitches

Doesn't matter...the Jets started all this nonsense.



With extreme prejudice.

Nawlins (-3.5) over 'Zona

Kurt Warner!!

Buffalo (+5.5) over Cleveland

Derek Anderson!! (I don't care how well he's playing, he's still Derek Anderson)

Tenn (-3.5) over KC

Damon Huard!!

Indy (-10) over Oak

Josh McCown!!

Dallas (-10) over Philly

Soon-to-be traded Donovan McNabb

Detroit (+10) over San Diego

Phillip Rivers!! (How bad as he looked this year?)

Giants (-4.5) over Washington

Todd Collins!!

Chicago (+10) over Minnesota

Tavaris Jackson!!

Dec 6, 2007

It's a Thin Line...

There exists a fine line between being cocky and being confident.

And the fact that the Celtics wore the below warm-ups before a road game, against their natural rivals, the Sixers, shatters that line, and has bought a timeshare in the realm of conciet. The fact that Philly felt the need to wear their championships on their backs, all three of them, just magnified the fact that the Celts had 16 banners ontheir backs.

I hate the entire city of Boston and the New England region. I hate the Bill Beli-Cheats. I hate the fact that the Sox will most likely land Johan beacuse Hal Steinbrenner is destined to outshine his dad as certifibly insane. I am learning to hate the PGA Tour. More than anything, I hate the happiness all this is undoubtedly giving Ward and Nez. I can only take solace in the fact that it is 60 degrees here in Atlanta, and both of them are most likely caught in a snow drift.

Dec 5, 2007

Hatton/Mayweather...and PICKS!!!

I want it to die. We all hate it when a legendary athlete holds on too long, or tries to recapture former glory. We cringed seeing Michael Jordan in Wizards blue, I die a little inside every time I watch film of ‘Nique on the Magic, and don’t get me started on Jerry Rice as a Seahawk. If we feel so strongly about our athletes, why don’t we let our sports go quietly into that good night?

Why won’t boxing just die?

Gone are the days of Sugar Ray, Jack Dempsey and Billy Conn. We are much departed from the years of Forman, Frazier, and Ali. No one in a ten-block radius can name the current heavy weight champion, and why would they be able to? Boxing isn’t relevant anymore, and, frankly, no one cares. Well, we wouldn’t. Except for…


Damn you HBO. Damn you for sticking by what worked in making people care about PBF vs. De La Hoya earlier this year. Damn you for tricking me into watching again, and again caring about a fight. Do I know who is going to win Mayweather vs. Hatton? No. But I do know that I have watched these guys train, live, and prep for over a month now, and I am actually interested in the outcome. I don’t know if I’ll spring the money to pay for the fight, but at least now I’m thinking about it. Well met, HBO.

Now for week 14 picks, with home teams in bold.

Chicago (+3) over Washington

After the AMAZING coaching of Joe Gibbs last week (back to back time outs to freeze the kicker, essentially handing Buffalo 15 yards, and an invitation to win the game) I can only assume he will be kicking to Devin Hester as much as possible in some sort of encore.

Jax (-10) over Carolina

I would say that next year will be better for the Panthers, but historically, the team that was last in the NFC South one year is the first the next. A weird trend, yes, but weirder still that the Falcons futility this year could keep Carolina from being any good next year either.

Dallas (-11.5) over Detroit

Free…duh-duh-duh…Free fallin’…I hate Tom Petty, and I hate this team.

Packers (-10) over Oakland

Favre is healthy and back and against a moderate weather team in Lambeau in December. Sounds like the makings of a blow out. Especially when a McCown brother will be intimately involved. Don’t let last week fool you!

San Diego (pick) over Tenn

How is there no line on this game? Is the Vince Young that just wins games back? Will LT driving this team propel me to win my fantasy league?

G-Men (+3) over Philly

I love the Illadelph. The week they finally fire the worst GM in the history of sports (Billy King - Isaiah is making a push, but he needs to be there longer, and destroy more), but they welcome to town the division rival who spanked them earlier this year. Hopefully that poor boy won’t be starting at left tackle again, or it could be another very long night.

Tampa (pick) over Houston

Another pick-em. Grrrrrrr. Well, I think that whoever is the back up in Tampa is better than his counterpart in Houston, but I’ve been wrong before. Like, most of the time. So I went with the road team, because, as we all know, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Buffalo (-7) over Miami

Chasing history…and gaining on it quickly. There are reports of dissention within the Dolphins locker room. Can anyone guess why?

Cincy (pick) over St. Louis

This is getting ridiculous. Looks like a fun match-up on paper, only because so many of these players are big fantasy guys. But, the Rams let Chris Redman throw the Falcons back into the game last week, so I don’t know how much faith I have in them. Expect a shootout, with Cincinattica pulling out the win.

Niners (+8.5) over Minnesota

I know, the Vikings looked like gang-busters last week, but I remain unconvinced by Jackson, and this one dimensional offense has to stop at some time. Well they are playing a team that has zero dimensional offense, so who knows.

Seattle (-7) over Arizona


Terminators (-10) over Steelers

Okay, two straight weeks of not covering spreads, and barely beating teams. One week of listening to how this is the squad to knock them off. Didn’t we say the same thing about the Cowboys?



Cleveland (-3) over the Snitches

The only hope the Jets have is if the team somehow gains superhuman powers before next week. I was kind of joking when I told my dad that the Pats shouldn’t even bring the punter next week, but on second thought, I think it would send the right message.

Denver (-6.5) over Kansas City

The triumphant return of Damon Huard. Wait…

Indy (-9.5) over Baltimore

Ravens fans, you’re looking at a big let down after that Pats game. Emotionally, performance wise, the whole nine.

Nawlins (pick) over Atlanta

How are we subjected to this after the great game we had last week? How is there no line? I would literally give 20 points if they were asking; this is my Stone Cold Stunner, Hollywood Hogan, running leg drop pick of the season. Which means the Falcons will most likely win. I hate myself.

Where were YOU???

Saw this on Simmons' article today, had to post it because it's so true. Picks and other stuff coming later today. His number 1 undeniable sports fact:

The most agonizing baseball moment since Bill Buckner's gaffe was Francisco Cabrera's series-winning single for Atlanta that killed Pittsburgh in the 1992 playoffs. Not only did the Pirates blow a ninth-inning lead, not only did Cabrera, a no-name, deliver the final blow, not only did comically slow Sid Bream somehow beat a Barry Bonds throw home, not only was it the Pirates' third straight October defeat ... but Bonds signed with the Giants a couple of months later, banishing the Pirates to small-market hell. They haven't been heard from since. The franchise was effectively murdered by one play.

It's funny because it's oh-so-true. And because I live in Atlanta. Not Pittsburgh.

Dec 3, 2007

What a Pile of BcS

Another regular season in the books, another BCS controversy on our hand, right on time. You could set your calendar by this flawed system screwing up an entire Bowl Season, and be all right for a year. For what it’s worth, this has been the nuttiest NCAA Football season in memory, a season which saw Mizzou somehow attain the number 1 overall ranking, and yet not get selected to play in any BCS games when the time came. Some call this an injustice, but I would rather take solace in the words of a lifelong Mizzou supporter:

"The natural order of college football has been restored." -- Todd Abrams

And, by God, he’s right. Remember earlier this year, with all the talking heads prognosticating about what could happen if USF, Kansas, or Hawaii were to play in the BCS National Title game? Well, all of that worked itself out in the end, as there are two apparently deserving teams in the National Title game. Apparently. Maybe.

*Allow me to preface this whole next section by admitting that I am a Georgia fan, but I also realize we were in no way going to the National Title game, so the call for reform stems not from that*

It is this lack of certainty that has everyone carrying pitchforks and torches, clamoring for a playoff system, or at least a plus-one game to decide the National Champion. Color me one of these teeming masses. This is a fundamentally flawed system that in 10 years of existence has undergone 7 changes in calculation, and seriously screwed up no less than 3 times. College football elicits the most passion nationally out of any sport, yet it is the only one with no definitive method of naming a champion. How does the #4 BCS team get leapfrogged on a weekend they did not play? Does that make any logical sense to anyone else? I understand that it is a mathematical equation, and that the win in a conference title game adds to the quality win total, but doesn’t it also go to say that if you were to win your conference title game by 2 touchdowns, when your opponent was the number 1 team in the nation, that it would be a more quality win than another conference title win? Or is that just too nuts for everybody?

The main arguments against the proposed playoff system is that it would extend an already long season, it would be hard for fan bases to travel, and of course, the money issue. The answer is the same to all three questions – drop all conference title games, drop the 12th game, take the 6 BCS conference champions, and 2 at-large bids, and play out the playoffs. The finale can still have a month of build up, as the semis would fall on what is now Heisman night…push that back a week and we’re all set. You can still populate your bowls with the other teams, or better yet, name the playoff rounds after big-bowl games. It’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than what we got now.

And even if you don’t change the system, at least change some of the match-ups we’re stuck with this. Most of these BCS match-ups are going to be blowouts, and not at all interesting. I know that much was said about the tradition of certain bowls, but what if USC played Georgia in the Rose Bowl, while Hawaii face Illinois in the Sugar Bowl? You get two wide-open offenses clashing in Nawlins, while two historical football powerhouses battle it out in one of the most historic venues in sport, all the while giving me an excuse to go to LA. Out of the other three BCS games, Oklahoma/West Virginia actually looks interesting, while Virginia Tech will roll over Kansas. We’ll discuss the National Title Game (Snuff Film) at a later date. And as for last weeks number 1 team in the nation, those Mizzou Tigers? They’ll be slumming it in the Cotton Bowl with the Arkansas Razorbacks, and the look that will be on their faces when Darren McFadden comes barreling over, around, and through that ‘defense’? Priceless.

There is something to be said about the BCS: it gives us something to talk (read: complain) about each year around this time. Without it, how would we spend this stretch until Bowl Season is truly upon us? I bet Pat Forde’s head would explode if we ever do get to see a playoff system; that’ll be the newest pro-BCS argument, they’re sparing his life. This is all just idle talk anyway…

The BCS is still under contract until 2010.

Nov 29, 2007

Q Richardson...SHHHHHHHH

Okay, I've been flipping between the Knicks-Celtics game and the Packers-Cowboys, and I just caught the final score of the NBA game, since the Pack had forced their way back into the game. You may recall Quentin Richardson openly questioning if the Celtics were as good as their record earlier this week.

Final score: Kincks 59, Celtics 104

Hence the title of this post. Wow.

And now for the end of the Packers comeback, and the beginning of Nuggets-Lakers. I love Thursdays.

Nov 28, 2007

NCAA Thanksgiving, BCS nonsense, plus PICKS!!!

Big post today, been working on something on the side that will be a big joy to the NBA heads out there. Pretty much me and Olson, but it will still be a fun read. RIP Sean Taylor.

God I love Thanksgiving. Great food, some family time, the Falcons looked like a real football team for a quarter. All and all, not a bad four days. I was, however, discouraged by listening to the talking heads spew on and on about how the SEC is down, and teams like Kansas and Missouri have risen to the top of the college football world. Amused by this assertion, I celebrated Georgia’s win and Kentucky’s loss (I’ll explain that later) and I sat back and watched the Big 12 North’s best slug it out. The end result?

I’m still waiting for the first hit.

Somewhere, the competitiveness of this game proved to someone that the SEC is overrated, that there are other elite conferences besides it and that whoever won this game is better than whatever comes out of the SEC. This is not that place, and I am not that person. All day, there were no hits that made you wince, no running backs going down the midline of safeties (McFadden, Tebow, Hester), there was no dominant defensive presence (Dorsey, Joiner, Johnson), there were no super-athletic playmakers (Harvin, Doucet, Bailey), and only pale imitations of strong armed game altering quarterbacks (Tebow AGAIN, Woodson, Stafford). People are pointing to the triple overtime loss to a team that lost the first three SEC games as to a reason why LSU is no longer the best team in the nation. How about mentioning the fact that they play in the most physical place in football and haven't been full strength in months? How about mentioning the fact that the only conferences with any depth this year (and I cannot believe I’m typing this) are the SEC and the Pac-10? No, these things don’t matter. At least we might get UGA vs. USC in the Rose Bowl. Or as I call it, Mr. Olson, a perfect storm. I just can’t wait to watch the tremendously talented Sooners destroy this upstart Tigers team for the second time this year.

Oh, and as for why I didn’t want Georgia to play in the SEC title game? Well, they’re going to get a BCS at-large bid as it is, and if they win that, they are a mortal lock to be a top 5 team preseason next year, and no matter how much they shouldn’t, preseason rankings matter. Don’t think this is really the best thing for the Dawgs? Call me Saturday, after they medivac Tenessee out of the Georgia Dome after running into the machine that is an angry, super-talented LSU squad.

On to the picks, home teams in bold.

Green Bay (+7) over Dallas
Houston (+4) over Titans
J’Ville (+7) over Indy
KC (+5.5) over SD
Atl (pick) over STL
Snitches(+1) over Miami
Min (-3.5) over Det
Philly (-3) over Seattle
Wash (-5.5) over Buffalo
San Fran (+3) over Carolina
Cleveland (pick) over Arizona
Denver (-3.5) over Oakland
Giants (-2) over Chicago
Tampa (+3) over Nawlins
Pitt (-7) over Cincy
Terminators (-20) over Ravens

Nov 21, 2007

Turkey Quick Picks

Today, Tom Brady announced that the Patriots are out to kill poeple, beat them into submission. In other news, the sky is still blue, and gravity still plays a pivitol role in everyday life. Everyone reading this, travel safe, and have a great, fun Thanksgiving.

Unless you're Canadian. In which case, your Thanksgiving was a month or so ago. And no one cares.

Home teams in bold.

Packers (-3) over Lions

Do you believe in magic? Bret Favre does, and after Thursday, the Lions will. This game could be close, but the Detroit secondary has been picked on by quarterbacks who don't have the dark magics on their side.

Falcons (+12) over Indy

Blow out...if everyone on the Colts sideline was healthy. Unfortunatly, Marvin most likely won't play, Clark isn't 100%, and Freeney is done for the year. Hopefully, the Leftwich experiment is over.

The Boys (-14) over New Jersey Snitches

The Jets aren't gonna sneak up on anyone after unseating the Steelers last week, and as long as Dallas can keep from looking ahead to the match-up with the Packers in a week, they should roll. So, the bottom line is, there is one watchable game and two snoozers on Turkey day. After a meal of turkey, dressing, yams, my mom's macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato pie, sounds about right.

Nov 15, 2007

Week 11 Picks

Well, I was wrong about a lot of things, which comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. I was wrong that the Saints weren’t going to turn on me last week. I was wrong that the porous run defense of the Broncos would lead to a win in Kansas City. I was wrong that the Browns aren’t that good yet. I was wrong that Arizona is dead in the water. I was right that the Monday Night Game was terrible, and I was right to get NBA season pass so I could watch Denver vs. Cleveland. Home teams still in bold.

Minnesota (-5) over Oakland

No Adrian Peterson, no Josh McCown, no problem in this game. In the Metrodome, Dante will be inspired to show his improvement to the team that gave up on him. Too bad he has nothing around him to help show anything. That’s right: Tavaris Jackson over Dante Culpepper.

Miami (+10) over Philly
Still not sure about the McNabb resurgence, but I do know that Miami tried to play hard last week. Their defense is old, and the Phins always play badly in cold weather, but they gotta cover. Ricky Williams is back!

San Diego (+2.5) over Jacksonville

David Garrard is coming back…and it still won’t matter. San Diego is (sadly) in the driver’s seat of a bad division, and it isn’t because of all the offensive weapons: the emergence of the defense has been startling. Whenever the next package comes in for Merriman (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), the front seven might keep up with the awakened secondary.

New Browns (-3) over Really Old Browns

Picking on old people is never nice, but when they bring it on themselves so often by running off at the mouth, sometimes you’ve got to pick up their walker, kick out a hip, and bludgeon the elderly into a coma. This is one of those times. Quick question: Ozzie Newsome has been regarded as the top exec in the game, but he let this defense get old SO FAST, without bringing in any pieces to replace them.

Nawlins (-1) over Houston

The wheels are off the Saints again, but I think they’ve got enough to beat the Texans. What? You really want more insight into the Saints and the Texans? Too bad.

Atlanta (+3) over Tampa

Two straight wins, two straight covers. Root, root, root for the home team…What a deluge of awful games this week.

Arizona (+3) over Cincy

Just another terrible game. I still can’t believe how thoroughly the Cardinals blasted the Lions last week, but this Cincy team had to settle for a record 7 field goals against the OLD Baltimore defense. I think this D is better than the Ravens.

NYG (+3) over Detroit

Two 6-2 teams that are going to the playoffs. But, one of these teams are good, one is not so good. Here’s a hint: the better team is favored.

Green Bay (-9.5) over Carolina

This makes no sense what so ever. Wasn’t it two years ago we were claiming that Favre was done, that the Aaron Rogers era needed to start in cheese land? And now I'm scared to pick against them? What the hell has happened? Ugh.

Kansas City (+14.5) over Indy

Tony Dungy will not lose 3 in a row. Even if Freeney is out for the season. Even if Clark isn’t playing. Even if Harrison isn’t playing. Uh oh. At least they’re in the dome?

Pittsburgh (-9.5) over New Jersey Snitches

The football gods hate snitches.

St. Louis (-3) over San Fran

The Niners are terrible, worse than I ever thought possible. St. Louis finally won a game, and might have remembered how to win. We’ll see. That Niners game was the worst thing I have ever seen in NFL football.

Seattle (-6) over Chicago

See my second bullet point from this week’s jumpers.

Washington (+10.5) over Dallas

Dallas is the class of the NFC, except for the magical Packers from Green Bay. Washington is struggling to stay relevant in the playoff picture, and if they lost and Philly wins, we could see a late McNabb push to the playoffs. Just kidding, but this defense is good enough to keep it close.

Terminators (-16) over Buffalo

Wait a minute, no Lynch? J.P. Losman? Buffalo. Terminated.

Tennessee (+2) over Denver

Remember when Denver had a great home field advantage? I mean, before this season started? What a great defense in Tennessee, routinely crushing people will continue...despite Vince Young.

George Carlin's Rules for 2007

Found this digging through my inbox from the turn of the New Year. Funny then, still funny now.

New Rule 1: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: mowing my lawn.

New Rule 2: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?

New Rule 3: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

New Rule 4: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.

New Rule 5: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

New Rule 6: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket... water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That should be your flavored water.

New Rule 7: Stop messing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule 8: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.

New Rule 9: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, "No, I don't want cash back", and pressing "Enter" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

New Rule 10: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule 11: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule 12: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule 13: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

New Rule 14: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

New Rule 15: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint, as if I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule 16: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 Months?" "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place. I was attempting to be nice.

Mid-Range Jumpers

How dare O.J. Simpson, with all these people watching him, and still mad he got away the first time, put himself in the situation of being involved involving something ELSE illegal. Let me guess, he was looking for the real robbers.

- Ricky Williams has been reinstated by the NFL. It’s almost too easy to make jokes at this point. I think I had an aneurysm thinking about the possibilities.


- What the hell was Columbia doing on ESPN Tuesday night? Shouldn’t the alumni be informed when something like this happens? On that note…

- Joe Jones…Joe Jones…Joe Jones…Joe Jones…

- Anyone in the market for an impossible to please, shoot-first point guard who is due 42 million dollars over the next two years? Anyone? Isaiah, put your hand down, you’re trying to get rid of him.

- Happy trails Dwight Freeney, you will be missed.

- A-Rod watch continues…when he ends up with the Yankees again, boy will that be an awkward press conference.

- Shaun Alexander, the car taking you out of Seattle is waiting out front.

- Joe Johnson is allegedly asking for veteran help in Atlanta. Um, Joe, you left STEVE
NASH two years ago!!!

- Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford… Al Horford…

- The Celtics are still really good. Really. Really. Good.

- If Eli’s last name was ‘Jones’, would we be waiting for him to make the leap to superstardom? Have you seen anything to suggest he’s just that good? I haven't.
- Can the Raiders afford not to play JaMarcus Russell at this point?

- If Tennessee loses in the next two weeks, we could be headed for LSU-UGA in the SEC title game. If UGA were to knock off LSU, then we could head to a big BCS bowl, and should be pre-season #1. BTW, this may be the most acronyms used in only 3 sentences ever.

- Wake me when the NHL playoffs start, I can’t find Versus on Comcast.

Extra details of the Starbury situation: apparently, he and Isaiah threw hands on the plane, an altercation which ended with Steph threatening to drop dime on Zeke for stuff that would somehow FURTHER damage his reputation. Then, last night, Starbury apparently flew to LA to play off the bench against the Clippers. I love that in all the sports negativity, the Knicks have cornered the market in embarrassing in-house news. Someone needs to step up before they get complacent…Portland, we’re looking at you.

Rap As A Mathematical Expression

Like Rap? Like Graphs? Love This.

Nov 9, 2007

Week 10 Picks

In case you didn’t know, Adam “Pacman” Jones’ suspension by the Shield has been upheld until the end of his current team’s season. Which, at this point, looks to include the playoffs, unless that cover jinx strikes again…Reaction has been varied throughout the country, with club owners bracing themselves for the coming cold months, where Jones will undoubtedly make his presence known, and wrestling promoters breathing a sigh of relief, as they hope to goad him back into the ring to damage his reputation even more.

Interesting match-ups this week, but no easy picks, since New England has a bye week. I suspect they will be using it to decide how best to implement SkyNet, and infect all technology, ending in Judgment Day. The end times are here. Embrace our new cybernetic masters. Home teams in bold.

Pittsburgh (-9.5) over Cleveland

Did you know Derek Anderson was almost cut during training camp? How improbable of a season is he having? You watch Tyrone Willingham’s golden boy come to your team, you barely make the squad, the guy ahead of you gets benched and traded, and you become the hero of an expansion franchise. What?

Washington (-3) over Philly

Philly is better on the road, because the crowd is supposed to boo, and it doesn’t seem as weird. I thought the Skins would be hungrier against the Jets, but they still got the win. All I’m going to say about Andy Reid is that I don’t know anything about his family, or his house. I do know that at this age, his boys are MEN and responsible for their own actions.

Atlanta (+4) over Carolina

Why can’t this game get blacked out too?

New Orleans (-11.5) over St. Louis

Does everyone believe in this Saints resurgence? I want to, I really want to, but there’s no confidence here. I’m waiting for this NO team to turn on me, and go back into the toilet, but I don’t think they turn this week.

Buffalo (-3) over Miami

This line could not be high enough.

Kansas City (-3) over Denver

Ugh. Denver can’t stop anyone from running, but Kansas City lost their running back. The question becomes, how much do I trust Preist Holmes at home? I trust him more than three points, I guess.

Titans (-4) over J’Ville

Did thee loss of Pacman inspire this team to their 6-2 start? Nah. But, it hasn’t been VY’s passing that has gotten them so good so fast, and the improved play of LenDale White isn’t it either. This defense, led by veteran Keith Bullock has just been beastly, and Jacksonville presents no problem they can’t solve. Go Titans.

Green Bay (-6) over Minnesota

I really think that Adrian Peterson and his back up band are going to cover this week, but I can’t in good faith take the Vikes when they dock wide receiever Troy Williamson a game check for missing Sunday’s game to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who pretty much raised him his whole life. He had to organize the funeral, set up travel arrangements for siblings and family, and consequently missed the romp over San Diego. About the fine (which the NFLPA is going to rightfully appeal), Williamson said, “I don't care if they would have [taken] my pay for the rest of the year, I was going home.” Good for him, bad for the Vikings, because the football gods tend to punish heartless organizations.

Cincy (+4) over Old Browns

Chris Henry plays his first game after his suspension by the Shield. Odds are, this is also going to be his last game before the next suspension.

Dallas (-1.5) over New Jersey A

Should be the best game of the day; the Giants pass rush has been impressive, but their secondary is still suspect. Tony Romo, armed with his new contract, should tear this team apart. And I still have no faith in Eli.

Detroit (-1) over Arizona

Wait a minute. A 6-2 team is visiting a 3-5 team, and only giving up one point? Wow. I love that everyone has adopted the Lions as a good football team, and keeps thinking that the Cardinals are about to turn the whole history of the franchise around. Oh, and you know that one bad team that sneaks into the playoffs every year, and gets blown out in the wild card weekend? Let’s just say I can’t WAIT to bet against the Lions. If gambling were legal. Or something.

Chicago (-3.5) over Oakland

I have no legitimate reason for picking this way, except for the fact that Teenage Coach Lane Kiffen has decided to announce that they will kick to Devin Hester. Hmm…he’s their only scoring threat, so you decide to put the ball in his hands. Kids these days.

Indy (-3.5) over San Deigo

Cue another postgame LDT breakdown after getting embarrassed by a far superior team on Sunday night in front of a national audience. I can’t wait to hear the Marty chants long into the night.

Seattle (-10) over San Fran

Ew. Yuck. Yawn. I hope there’s a good NBA game on Monday night.

Nov 7, 2007

Mid-Range Jumpers

A week into the NBA season, and I’m already getting sucked into what promises to be a terrible cycle of disappointment regarding the 2007-2008 Atlanta Hawks. Watching them beat the Mavs in the opener, and give away the game at the end in Detroit, I can’t help but see a whole lot of promise in this young team. Our major shortcoming so far has to do with Tyron Lue handling the majority of the PG responsibilities. He’s competent on the offensive end, but a serious defensive liability, as he was abused late in Rock City for two easy field goals. As Acie Law IV matures on the team, he will be taking more and more responsibility on the team. Why do I set myself up for such a fall every year with every Atlanta sports team? Ugh.

- Adrian Peterson rushed for 296 on Sunday, cementing his place in NFL history in his first season. He’s in the record books as the all time single game rusher in his eighth NFL game ever, supported by no passing game, on 30 carries. There’s nothing funny about this at all. It’s just amazing.

- Celtics are what we thought they were. Very. Very. Good.

- Greg Maddux collected his record 17th Gold Glove…and if he doesn’t go to the Hall as a Brave, I may kill someone. Same goes for you Mr. Glavine.

- Either LSU or Oregon will beat the pants off of a very so-so Ohio State come National Title time.

- Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno… Knowshon Moreno…

- Brian Billick or Ray Lewis: Baltimore front office: who ya wit?

- ARod/Kobe watch…yeah right.

- Josh Smith dropped 18 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks. When his contract runs out, and he bolts to a contender, we’ll always have the memories.

- USC is struggling to remain mediocre. Notre Dame is terrible. In a related note, birds are singing more, the sun seems to be brighter, and all in all life is on an upswing.

- Don Shula…shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

- The Senators are off to the best start in NHL history. Remember the NHL? With the ice, and the sticks…

Darren McFadden dropped 321 on Spurrier last weekend, running through, around, and over the South Carolina defense. Add on the passing touchdown, and we can only pray that he doesn’t end up on the Patriots. “Didn’t Goodall take away their first rounder for Spygate?” you may be thinking. Yes, he did. But, the Terminators have San Francisco’s first rounder, which is looking to be a high one.

Oh, and about Armageddon?

"Now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
- Spaceballs (1987)

Nov 6, 2007

The Big Three

“Not so fast, my friend.”
- Lee Corso, every fall Saturday I can remember in my life

Bet you’re wondering why I lead an NBA story with a quote from the most annoying man in college football. Well, since this summer started, we have been inundated with stories of how the Boston Celtics had bounced back from their cursed 2006-2007 season. Don’t believe there was a curse? Franchise patriarch Red Auerbach died just days before the season tipped off, just after the Celtics announced that for the first time in history, they would have cheerleaders (dancers, whatever gyrating females are called in the NBA) at home games. I’m not saying that’s why they were bad (Doc Rivers) I’m just saying it’s suspicious.

All summer, stories have run about the resurgence in ESPN the Mag, Sports Illustrated, Slam, Home and Garden, you name it. And throughout all these publications, someone has green-lit (haha) the use of the phrase “The Big Three.” Now, those of us who know anything about basketball know that The Big Three were Bird, McHale and Parrish, the nucleus of the 80’s Boston Celtics that collected 2 titles in three years. So far, this three of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen have looked good: Allen leads the team in scoring at 25 ppg, with Pierce chipping in 20. Garnett is doing his part, leading the team in rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. But, there is a serious road block in the way of anointing them the “New Big Three”:

They’ve played two games.

I’ve heard two other, more appropriate names, and want to break down the two.

Perfect GPA: I like the message it sends to the kids, emphasizing scholastic excellence.
Instilling good values and morals in children…that’s what the NBA does, because the NBA Cares. But, I think it detracts from the REAL message here: that nothing matters more than the show, and people all over the country will sell out arenas to see them play…bringing me to my favorite of the nicknames.

The PGA Tour: It’s got everything: the obvious money draw, the promise of entertainment, the basketball tradition of updating something old into something new (Run-TMC, etc.). plus, they can even refer to road trips as golfing events: a tough West coast run through the three Texas teams might be the Masters, while a trip including, I don’t know, Milwaukee, Minnesota, and Portland would be akin to the Chrysler Open. Or something.


Nov 1, 2007

Week 9 Picks

Another week, another picks column. Some downright intriguing match-ups this week, with Jacksonville visiting the surging Saints, Dallas going to Philly, and Green Bay playing on a short week in one of the toughest stadiums in the League. Still, it feels like I’m forgetting something.

Oh yeah.



Who ya wit???

Gonna save that pick for last. Home teams still in bold, kiddies.

Washington (-3.5) over New Jersey Snitches

After that embarrassing loss to the Terminators last week, the Redskins need someone to take it out on. And who else to punish than the team and coach who got the Terminators mad in the first place. Blow OUT.

Green Bay (+2.5) over Kansas City

Oh, I don’t feel good about that. But, this kind of feels like one of those seasons where Favre wins about 5 extra games he shouldn’t for no real reason, right? Has he used all those games yet? Did Monday night count as 2?

Tampa Bay (-3.5) over Arizona

Everyone is saying that the Cardinals are going to turn it around down the stretch, but that makes no sense to me. Is it the overpowering (3.8 ypc) running game? Is it the 1-3 road record? What? What am I missing?

Tennesee (-4) over Carolina

Old man Vinny is going to be involved again this week. G’night Vinny.

Atlanta (-3) over San Francisco

Actual text message between me and my friend Chip Gold:

Me: You aren’t going to believe this, the Falcons are actually favored this week.

Chip: That’s impossible; we already had our bye week.

New Orleans (-3.5) over J’Ville

Damn you Drew Brees for sabatoging my fantasy season. Sure, I’m doing okay without you, but I’d be doing a sight better if I hadn’t jettisoned you for ten cents on the dollar when you were stinking up my roster.

Detroit (-3) over Denver

Everyone (even the Packers) can run on Denver. Kevin Jones is a pretty good running back. Hmmmmmmmmmm….Oh, and just so you don’t think you’re dreaming, after this week, there could be a 6-2 team and a 7-1 team in the NFC North, and neither one would be the Chicago Bears.

Buffalo (-2) over Cincy

Why when people talk about great quarterbacks in the NFL today, the lists always goes: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer. What the hell? He hasn’t even sniffed the second round of the playoffs in his career, and the other two have rings. Am I taking crazy pills?

San Diego (-7) over Minnesota

Maybe the Chargers aren’t as bad as I originally thought. Maybe Brad Childress had a stroke, since that is the only reason that he wouldn’t give Peterson the ball more times per game.

Cleveland (-1) over Seattle

The Browns might actually be good. And this Seahawks team is awful. Any other division, they’d be playing for draft picks. In the NFC West, they’re leading by 2 games. Remarkable.

Oakland (-3) over Houston

I have no idea. Just feels right.

Dallas (-3) over Philly

Really want to believe that McNabb is back in fighting shape, but I just can’t. Not even in Philly. Not even at night. Sorry.

Pittsburgh (-9) over Baltimore
Divisional game, two allegedly good teams. And this spread should be much bigger.

Okay, as far as the Main Event goes, I’ll say this: The Colts have been running better than the Pats all year, and their defense has looked great from the get go. The return of Richard Seymour might have an effect, but both o-lines have been lights out so far. Marvin Harrison is questionable, and last week showed that the Pats defense is not so much old, as experienced, and ready to take every other team out of their game plan. It’s amazing that the undefeated, defending Super Bowl champs are getting 5.5 points at home. It’s even more amazing that I’m picking against them.

New England (-5.5) over Indianapolis

Colts. Terminated.

Guess Who's Back...

*Ringing phone*
(“Crank Dat Soulja Boy”, if you’re curious)

DP: Hello?

Annoying Friend: You realize that it’s like 2 days into the season, and you’ve had nothing to say about the NBA yet?

DP: What do you care, you said all my opinions are shit?

AF: They are, its just that how can I mock you down the line, if you don’t make your predictions that will undoubtedly be wrong?

Idiot that I am, I realized that he’s right; not only that everything I say will be wrong, but that I needed to bite the bullet and do this. Real life has gotten hectic, and each of the last two nights, I have thought that I would go to bed early, winding down by watching some of my first love, the Association, in action.

I had forgotten how worked up I tend to get.

Sure enough, I stayed up for the late game, both nights, and realized something already about this very young season. For everything that has remained the same (the Spurs are the best, Melo is a beast, Agent Zero hits buzzer beaters, Mavs look good…for now, the rest of the Cavs are still spectators), just as many things have changed. Some for the better (AI: 25 pts, 14 dimes, Rashad Lewis in the East, Jerry Sloan using AK-47), some for the worse (LBJ: 10 pts, 0 in the 1st half, Kobe booed at home, injury riddled Kings line-up) and some just befuddling (No more ‘The LeBrons’ commercials? C’mon Nike!).

Before getting to 2007-2008 season predictions, here are some logical, well thought out predictions that explain my rankings:

- If the Nuggets stay healthy, look for them to make some real noise at the top of the West. The added rebounding and defense of K-Mart along with the returning Defensive POY (Camby) gives the most dynamic scoring tandem in the Association a solid front line.

- Mark Cuban was right all along. Not so much a prediction as a fact, still fun to see in print.

- Kobe is going no where. Between what teams would have to sacrifice to get him, and his no-trade clause, where ever he would end up, would be turned into the Lakers East (there’s no way Buss would let him stay in the West).

- Penny Hardaway made the team in Miami. They will back into the playoffs, if at all.

- The LEast/West gap will shrink, since the East got better all over, and the West just got more top-heavy, with more bad teams cropping up.

- The Cavs will be nowhere near the Finals, since they upgraded nothing around Mr. James.

- Boston won’t make the Finals; through no fault of the Big Three, but because Doc Rivers still has to pilot this ship.

- The decline of the Mavs starts…NOW.

- Jim O’Brien will trick the Pacers into drinking the Kool-Aid, O’Neal will stay, and they will contend in the Central.

- The Hawks will be good. (Hey, they can’t all be right... )

Confernce by Conference Breakdown
Rankings based on total wins, not eventual playoff seeding.

LEastern Conference (until they prove otherwise)
15. Philly
14. Milwaukee
13. Charlotte
12. New York
11. Atlanta
10. Toronto
9. Miami
8. Indy
7. Cleveland
6. Orlando
5. Washington
4. Detroit
3. Boston
2. New Jersey
1. Chicago

Western Conference
15. Minnesota
14. Sacramento
13. Portland
12. Seattle
11. Clippers
10. Memphis
9. Golden State
8. Lakers
7. NO
6. Houston
5. Utah
4. Dallas
3. Phoenix
2. Denver
1. San Antonio

Conference Finals

Chicago over Boston

San Antonio over Denver


San Antonio over Chicago…or whoever else gets in their way.


Go Ahead and Crown Them!

Before I get to my NBA preview, NFL picks, and whatever else I want to do, I felt the need to post something I wrote about the Spurs during last year's finals in contrast to "King" James. I've been desperatly trying to find a reason to pick against them this year, but stumbling across this reminds me why they won last year. And why they are going to win again this year...

I haven’t written a single word about these ‘Finals’ since everyone went ahead and re-crowned Mr. James last week. In watching the final four games of the Leastern Conference Finals, I felt myself tempted to fall into the teeming masses, to sip the champagne and gold Kool-Aid the LeBrons were serving, wondering if Kal-El would stick as a nickname. Then, I remembered who they were to be playing in a little under a week’s time…and promptly dropped my cup. I sat back and watched the talking heads debate, and argue what chance this poor team actually had against the Spurs, the cream of the playoffs this year. I was wrong about the Pistons being the better team, as they fell apart at the seams, and sat back and watched while LeBron ascended into the sphere of NBA transcendent talent. I was wrong about Mr. James’ ability to dominate not only a game, but also a series. 25 straight points to end game 4? 29 of the last 30 of his team’s points? Really? No hard fouls? Couldn’t you at least get in his way? I was right, however, about the weakness of the Least, and the talent gap between the two conferences. I was right about LeBron still needing to understand when and where to take over a game (Games 1 and 2 of the Finals) and when to let the others carry the load (Game 6 of the Conference Finals). But most easily, I was right about the San Antonio Spurs. No matter who they’re playing, they remain unfazed, undeniable, and, most importantly, themselves. The Spurs just keep being the Spurs.

2-0 doesn’t begin to describe how one-sided this series has been thus far. LeBron has proven that the Conference Finals cannot truly define a player, something most of us knew, but had forgotten. The Finals are where legends are born, not the Semi-Finals. We are all again Witnesses, but not to the arrival of the boy that would be King, but more for the coronation of the dynasty that is the Spurs. Since Tim Duncan’s arrival, this franchise has been a consistent presence deep into the playoffs, year after year. Who else can you say that about in recent memory? Exactly. And the scariest part is, in the first two games, he hasn’t been his team’s most outstanding player. Sure, he continuously posts spectacularly solid stat lines, (last night: 23 pts, 9 rebs, 8 asts), but the single most impressive player through the first two games has been the little Frenchman that could, Tony Longoria. While I applaud the gratuitous shots of his future housewife, I’ve got to celebrate his on-court performance even more. At one point last night, he caught a pass, with a wide open top of the key jumper available to him. Instead of taking the easy shot, he chose to drive the traffic-filled lane, and drop in a running floater, which danced around the rim, eventually falling. Smart basketball play? Hell no. But, given the hot hand he’s shown thus far, who can really blame him?

Now, all you Cleveland fans, I want you to repeat after me, slowly. Ready?

The – Spurs – are – not – the – Pistons.

Let that sink in. Seriously, get a glass of water, take a deep breath, say a little prayer. Just let it get all the way to your core, so that any visions of the run ya’ll put up against Detroit can be quietly put to bed before Robert Horry and co. force you back to Earth. Flip Saunders is not on the opposing bench, Rasheed Wallace is not patrolling the lane, and Chauncy Billups is not running point. You’re facing down an all-world coach in Greg Popovich, a legitimate candidate for Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) at his position in Tim Duncan, and a point guard who is lightning out of a bottle, Tony Parker. Well, what should Cleveland fans do now? Exactly what your team appears to be doing so far; be happy to be there. Bottle your hopes of a win, or even an overly competitive series, and enjoy the ride. Be glad you’re in the Finals, and hope that no one gets hurt too badly. Shake off the memories of Miami’s miracle 3 in a row at home from last year, Tim Duncan is most certainly not Dirk Nowitzki, and Big Z is no Shaq. Denny Green told us months ago that, “If you want to crown ‘em, crown ‘em.” He meant the Bears, but I’m crowning the Spurs, and maybe doing something I never thought I would: I’m not making any predictions (because we’ve all seen how that turns out), but if things continue as they are, we might be seeing our first French Finals MVP.

I will now Phil Leotardo myself under a car.

Halloween Reflections

Halloween is the holiday that best exemplifies the old saying about wine, 'it gets better with age'. Unlike most holidays, where as you get older, you are exposed to more and more of the work that goes along with it, Halloween changes for the better as you age.

As a child, it means dressing up all scary and getting candy. Great but short, the candy lasts for days.

As a teen, it means a night full of mischief, smashing pumpkins, scaring little kids. Not that I would ever partake in such activities. Ahem.

As an adult, it means dressing funny, while females use it as an excuse to dress slutty with no repurcussions. Add in the social lubricant of alcohol, it makes the perfect holiday.

Oh and as far as Mike Vick goes?

I guess it's still funny...

Oct 30, 2007

All Hallow's Eve...Eve

Okay, we get it. Michael Vick is funny. Can we move on now?

Oct 29, 2007

Well, Duh...

Overshadowing the Boston Red Sox’s utter domination of the Colorado Rockies to capture their 2nd World Series crown in four years was news Sunday night out of New York that Alex Rodriguez and his agent Scott Boras have decided to leave 150 million on the table, and opt out of his contract. A lot of people seem shocked that A-Rod would choose this time to make his announcement, claiming that it took away from the focus on Boston. Seriously, this is surprising? From Scott “Mo Money, No Problems” Boras and Alex “My calendar only goes to September” Rodriguez? This reminds me of an old story I once heard:

A woman, walking through the forest during winter, happenend upon a near frozen snake in the snow. Leaning down, she picked up the snake, and said, “I want to save you, but I’m afraid you’ll bite me.” The snake replied, “I promise I won’t, I’ll be too grateful for you saving me.” The woman took the snake into her home, fed him, and nursed him to health. As she bent down to put him in bed, he bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the rescued snake why he had bitten her.

“Lady, you knew I was a snake.”

Alabama fans, you can go ahead and apply this tale to when Saban stabs you in the back in a few months.

Oct 25, 2007

Hasta La Vista, Part 2

Pumping Iron Division
Lifting weights, trying to become a contender.

15. Houston
Sage Rosenfels is not the answer, but Schaub is trying to come back as soon as possible. Good too, because I have a sneaking suspicion that if they can get healthy, this might be a pretty good team. The AFC South has been a literal battleground all season, with all four teams checking in the top 15 of my power rankings.

14. Cleveland
Will someone in the NFC North please stand up as a great team? Occasionally, the Browns look like a football team. Usually though, they look like the Browns. Aside from their remaining divisional games, they have a fairly weak schedule down the stretch, and have a chance to be a decent team. Thought I probably have them ranked too high, since I never know what the hell I’m talking about (See 2007 NFL Predictions/Weekly Picks).

13. Tampa
Jeff Garcia cannot carry this show all alone. He has looked great thus far (133-189, 7 tds, 0 picks), but the injuries to this team leave them on the outside of the elites. No running back and a banged up offensive line? Tough stuff to overcome. Still might win the weird NFC South.

12. Ravens
Bad offense, stellar defense, great at home, so-so on the road. Sound familiar? Like every other Ravens team for 10 years? Well, there is a difference this year. The established starter is being outplayed by the back-up; McNair or Boller?

11. Chicago
HOPE THEY KICK TO DEVIN HESTER!!! Actual excerpt from the weekly Bears offensive scouting report. The running game has been underwhelming with Cedric Benson carrying the load all alone this year, and they needed a 97-yard, no timeouts, touchdown drive out of Brian Griese to win last week. Wouldn’t count on it every week, though.

10. Washington
Curious to see how the leagues top secondary is going to fare against the Pats prolific passing attack (This blog brought to you by Jason Campbell is progressing as an NFL quarterback nicely, but they are in a power division in the NFC. They would be walking away with the West.

True Lies Division
Looking like legit team, but really a pretender.

9. Jacksonville
Should probably fall MUCH further after the loss of David Garrard on Monday night. You could tell Quinn had no plans on playing that night. His tentative schedule was looking cool on the sideline with the blacked-out visor for the duration of the game, followed by trolling for girls in downtown Jacksonville, and maybe showing up for film the next day. He hadn’t planned on getting picked on by Bob Sanders and co. all night.

8. Chargers
Dateline: Week 4. LDT finishes up the post-game press conference in tears, admitting that he didn’t know what could be done to turn the season around. While this Bolts team will win the AFC West (big deal), they won’t make any noise in the postseason…again. At least this time, they can’t blame Marty.

7. Titans
Kerry Collins actually looked good in relief duty for the injured Vince Young; if the Madden Curse holds, he better stay lose. Keith Bullock is having a career year, the rushing attack has looked good and consistent, and the quarterback has found a way to lead his team without doing too much through the air. Definite potential to move up the list with their upcoming schedule.

6. Green Bay
Did you know that Bret Favre has thrown more touchdowns than anyone in history? Did ya? Did ya? Too bad he can’t rush for them, they’re only real shortcoming. Eventually, someone is going to shutdown the passing attack, and they’re done. Or Bret Favre will remember that he’s 65, and they’re done. One of the two.

Predator Division
In the hunt to be considered the best

5. Giants
I am so confused by this team. I was ready to write them off when Tiki threw Eli under the bus, but they’ve bounced back nicely. Maybe Tom Coughlin has been replaced by a robot that actually cares for his players, maybe Plaxico not practicing is the only way he’s any good, maybe the G-Men just rallied around Eli. Okay, the third one is a stretch. Have fun across the pond picking on the Phins. Hey, they send us washed up David Beckham, we send them a bottom tier Week 8 game. Fair is fair.

4. ‘Boys
Similar team to Green Bay, but with an actual viable running game. Their main problem has been on the other side of the ball, where Roy Williams continues his career of playing more like a linebacker than a safety, and getting picked on by opposing QBs. If there was a highlight reel at the end of every season of pass plays over 30 yards, what percentage of them would include Roy Williams? 40? 45?

3. Steelers
I’m not as shaken on Tomlin’s guys after the Sunday night game as many others were. It may have been a really bad loss, with poor play calling, but the defense is still good, the running game is still out of control, and the passing attack still is able to throw up 3 or 4 touchdowns a game.

Conan the Barbarian Division
A step away from becoming king...

2. Colts
Defending champs with a dominant running game, resurgent defense, one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and the best receiving corps in the NFL. What’s keeping them from number one? Sadly, it has nothing to do with them, because they have been lights out all season.

Terminator Division
C'mon, we all knew how this was going to end.

1. Patriots
They’re the Colts on steroids. That one thing that the Colts were missing to keep them out of number one that I mentioned? Belichick and his boys have been on a mission since the whole Camera-Gate thing, and have found a better way to send a message to the League than a mass email with the team giving the middle finger. They have resolved to remove any modicum of doubt in the ability of their team by beating the collective pants off of everyone they play. They could play a high school team, and would only pull Brady once he broke 300-yards and 5 touchdowns. They are sending a message. Hope everyone else has been paying attention.


Indy (-7) over Panthers
Cleveland (-3) over Rams
Chicago (-5) over Detroit
Giants (-9.5) over Miami
Oakland (+7.5) over Tennessee
Minnesota (-1) over Philly
Pitt (-3.5) over Cincy
Buffalo (+3) over Jets
San Diego (-9.5) over Houston
Tampa Bay (-4) over Jacksonville
Nawlins (-3) over San Fran
(-16.5) over Washington
Green Bay (+3) over Denver