Sep 27, 2007

Week 4 Picks

Week 4, and the beginning of bye weeks, which means I can’t just blanket pick the Titans, like I should have last week, or pick against the Ain’ts, like I should have last week. The lesson as always is I am an idiot. Home teams still in bold.

Green Bay (-2.5) over Minnesota

Tarvaris Jackson. Brooks Bollinger. Kelly Holcomb. Pick your poison Packers, because no matter who is under center, you will have to deal with an above average Vikings defense. They held that high-flying Lions offense to 20 points, and have shown a penchant for scoring off of turnovers all year. I don’t know if this Favre return to form is permanent, but for them to get a win in Minnesota, he’ll have to take care of the ball.

Miami (-4) over Oakland

I didn’t realize that the AFC East was still an actual division, since the Bills seemed to content to roll over and die last weekend for the team that would be king. I think that the Trent Green Concussion Pool pays out this week against this defense, and that means the Ray-Duhrs win, but don’t have enough firepower to cover.

New Jersey B-Team (-3.5) over Buffalo

Who wants to be runner up to the most dominating team of the past 10 years? With J.P. Losman getting injured last week, and attempting to come back off a sprained knee that did not look fun, I don’t think they have a snowball’s chance in hell. Plus, Losman is their second leading rusher. And their starting quarterback. Yep, a lot of problems with this team.

Houston (-3) over Atlanta

Did you know that Matt Schaub sat on the bench for years behind Michael Vick? Yep, and then right after they Falcons traded him, Vick went to jail for [redacted] charges. There. It’s been said, please announcers, let’s keep the game watchable for me by not harping on this all day. It doesn’t even matter if Andre Johnson plays or not, the Texans are far and away the better team in this match-up. Wow, haven’t been able to say that a whole lot over the years.

Chicago (-3) over Detroit

And the Grossman era in Chi-town is over. But why now? Why not after he threw away (literally) the Super Bowl? Ugh. By the way, this is the second most ridiculous line of the week (see favored by 3, Houston). Did Urlacher have a stroke we don’t know about?

Cleveland (+4) over Baltimore

I stand by my comments from last week regarding Brian Billick’s offense and covering spreads. Even against the fake Browns.

Dallas (-13) over St. Louis

Rams minus Stephen Jackson minus Orlando Pace minus any semblance of a defense equals big day by the boys from big D.

Tampa Bay (-2.5) over Carolina

The NFC South is like gambling hell. If gambling were legal. But, this still feels like such an easy pick. Joey Harrington made this once feared defense look pedestrian. Let me repeat: JOEY HARRINGTON…

Seattle (-2) over San Francisco

The war of attrition continues in the NFC West, with no team willing to step forward and take over the division. It seems the last man standing in this four-team train wreck will be the Seattle Starbucks, and that is pretty sad at this point.

San Diego (-11.5) over Kansas City

Who set this [redacted] line? What do they know about the Chargers offense that’s been such a well kept secret to date? Did Tomlinson mainline Merriman’s HGH all week? What, too soon?

Pittsburgh (-6) over Arizona

Matt Leinart or Kurt Warner? Doesn’t really matter this week, as Mike Tomlin’s Steelers look a lot like the squad that brought home the hardware a couple of years back. Strong running game, defiant defense, plus an added vertical dimension to the passing game. Sounds like 4-0 to me, and it also sounds like BLACK HEAD COACHES, SON!

Denver (+9.5) over Indy

This would be a good game…if Denver could muster even a shadow of their former dominance in the running game. That said, the Broncos are still a good football team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Bailey-Harrison battle alone will be worth the price of admission, but this is a Colts team that has squeaked by two mid-card teams the past two weeks, and while they will beat Denver, there’s no way they do it by 10.

Philly (-3) over New Jersey A-Team

After fighting to retain their A-Team status last week, a resurgent McNabb will resurrect all the calls for Tom Coughlin’s head against the walking dead that is the Giant secondary. Every time he thinks he’s out, they pull him back in, but he’ll still be the first coach fired.

New England (ONLY -7.5) over The Bungals

Yup, after dropping consecutive games to Cleveland and Seattle, they get to bring back the most deserved nickname ever. I would like to take this time to apologize to the entire Pats organization in general, and Randy Moss’ second touchdown catch specifically. I never would have thought that you could embarrass a division opponent, but I have learned my lesson: when a team fields a real-life fantasy football team, just go with it. Sorry.

Week 3: 9-4-3

To date: 15-13-4

Sep 25, 2007


News out of the City of Angels is that KB24 is still standing his demand for a trade out of the purple and gold. This has turned into Barbaro 07; will he, won’t he, what happened, I stepped away What we all don’t get, is that it isn’t his choice that matters. His ‘decision’ isn’t really his to begin with. Asking why he wants to do this is like asking the puppet why it’s dancing, paying no attention to ‘the man behind the curtain’ pulling all the strings. But, then who is this faceless, nameless manipulator?

Who else?

Phil ‘The Zenmaster’ Jackson. The same man who successfully juggled the egos of KB8 and Raise Your Stack Shaq to the tune of 3 titles. The same man who turned the Chicago Bulls into the nineties dynasty by harboring the borderline sociopathically competitive nature of Michael Jordan into a team system. Where do you think Kobe got this idea that the Lakers front office was working not exactly in his best, current interests? Who told him that Buss had essentially thrown his waning prime years under the bus? Which party stands to gain the most from this discord between owner and star? Mr. Jackson, you can put your hand down, it was a rhetorical question.

Let me paint you a picture: You’re an NBA head coach, albeit a widely successful and respected one, but as you watch the puzzle pieces move around you, there is the undeniable sense around the Association that all coaches are expendable. Stan Van Gundy is stuffed in Pat Riley’s trophy room, his brother is announcing playoff games, and you have felt how expendable you are in the ouster from Chicago all those years ago. What would the best way to gain leverage over the ownership, aside from sleeping with the owner’s daughter? Turn their biggest draw, their biggest star, arguably the best player in the game, against them, using him as a pawn to get what you want, a contending team for the next year.

In my opinion, Kobe has in some way caught wind of all this, seen behind the curtain, recognized the master pulling the strings, and has been backpedaling all the while, realizing that the goals they both had will most likely not be realized. Will KB24 sit out? NO WAY. But as soon as he can, will he get the hell out of LA-LA Land? If all these rumors prove untrue, you can bet your khakis with a cuff and a crease on it.

Oh, and for those who don't understand the picture, I direct you to Mr. Bill Simmons' analysis to Kobe's self-given nickname over the summer of 2005. Here's the link to the whole article, and below is the Kobe excerpt...

Kobe's new nickname

An actual excerpt from Ric Bucher's ESPN The Mag cover story about Kobe and Phil (and no, I'm not making this up):

"Granted, there's still a dark side that Bryant embraces. He's known in his inner circle as Mamba, which, he is happy to explain, is a kind of snake that can grow to 13 feet and is one of the world's quickest, and one of the most venomous, serpents. He referred to this summer as the 'blackout,' in which the snake grew a new skin through a seven-days-a-week conditioning program."

Wait, there's more!

Here's Kobe explaining his new nickname: "The mamba can strike with 99 percent accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession. That's the kind of basketball precision I want to have. Not being able to train the last two summers, I was in a gunfight with a rusty butter knife. I did my share of killing, but I was just fighting to survive."

All right ...

First of all, I love when any celebrity gives himself a new nickname to change his identity. It's funny when wrestlers change gimmicks and end up with a new nickname, it's funny when Diddy changes nicknames, and it's downright hysterical when an NBA star once accused of sexual assault decides it would be a fantastic idea to embrace the identity of a 13-foot serpent. Second, when they explain the choice of the nickname with a beauty like, "The mamba can strike with 99% accuracy at maximum speed, in rapid succession," and refuse to credit "Kill Bill," it reminds me why I still love writing this column. And third, I
don't think this nickname is catching on, since I have been delightedly telling everyone I know about the Mamba story, and nobody has heard of it, so I'm calling Kobe "Mamba" in this space from this point forward. Long live Mamba.

Miss Me Yet???


Matthew David Barsamian…I salute you. Not only your ability to demonstrate your e-passion through ‘selective’ use of the caps lock button, but also on your ability to read a blog, forget what you have read, and send an angry email to me. I picked the Pack to cover, since I wasn’t convinced that the Super Chargers would be able to answer the call in Green Bay. And, for once, I was right. I expect an immediate and public apology. My phone is on.

Once upon a time, certain of my blog posts were posted at another website called and among the postings were my week 3 picks where, you may recall, I whined about the outcomes of my week 2 picks. Upon the picks being posted, I received a call from my oh-so-helpful The Sports Watchers editor, requesting that I make my record available for the readers, so they can see just how right (wrong) I am.

I told him to count it himself, and hung up the phone.

But, since week 3 went markedly better for me, I have compiled my results to date, seeing how I did with the spread on the day of the picks. Remember, I didn’t pick week 1, since it is nothing more than a glorified preseason game. And I forgot to pick.

Week 3: 9-4-3

To date: 15-13-4

Yeah, some remedial math will let you know just how bad week 2 was.

Sep 20, 2007

Week 3 Picks

Week 2 went terribly for me. Seriously though, did anyone in America pick the Cleveland-Cincinnati to end up with 96 points scored? I didn’t think the fake Browns had it in them to score that many points. The lesson is as always: no one really knows what’s going to happen, that’s why they play the games. Here we go, anyway.

Indy (-6) over Houston

No Andre Johnson means no deep threat, which means no need for the Colts not to blitz that ridiculously bad O-line, which means the Colts are going to win by more than six. This isn’t the end of last year, Houston being 2-0 means they aren’t going to sneak up on anybody, and the defending champs need to send a message after almost blowing the Titans game last week.

Green Bay (+5) over San Diego

I’m not counting out LDT’s return to prominence this year, but he traditionally starts very slow, and this is a feisty Packers defense at Lambeau. Not sure how I feel about Favre, as his great game last week was against an awful defense, but I think the cheese heads will cover.

Minnesota (+3) over Kansas City

I really don’t even care. Both teams are atrocious; with the Vikes only win thus far coming against my Falcons. Neither team has a good offense, but at least Minnesota has a D.

Philidelphia (-6) over Detroit

The perfect game for McNabb to return to form in, as he’s going up against an abysmal Lions secondary. I don’t care who Kitna ascribes his miraculous return to last week, this Eagles defense has looked good for two straight weeks, with a healthy (looking) Javon Kearse, and Takeo Spikes playing for a decent team for once.

Buffalo (+16.5) over New England

We all know who is going to win this game, but c’mon. There is no way that a third week in a row some team is going to let Randy Moss just run roughshod through their secondary. The idea that an NFL team would not have learned even a little from Weeks one and two is almost offensive. Still, this is J.P. Losman and the Buffalo Bills we’re talking about…maybe 16.5 is about right.

New Jersey B-Team (-3) over Miami

We’re inching closer to the Trent Green’s season coming to a close, and then who’s going to take over in MI-Yayo? Cleo Lemon? Really?

Pittsburgh (-9) over San Fran

I feel the worst about this pick this week. There. I said it. If gambling were legal, I would be avoiding this game like Kanye West avoids humility. Both are 2-0, but San Fran has won by a combined 4 points, and we haven’t seen the Steelers match up with a running back of Gore’s caliber. Screw it, I stand by the pick.

Arizona (+7.5) over Baltimore

I don’t trust Brian Billick to cover games anymore. I’ve been burned by his “offense” way too many times. To date, they’ve mustered 3 offensive touchdowns, and two of those were thrown Kyle Boller. Fool me once, shame on you…

Tampa Bay
(-4) over St. Louis

Hey Bucs, figure out what the hell you are, so that I can make an intelligent decision regarding your team. Speaking of intelligent decisions, the next time a team loses their Pro-Bowl left tackle for the season, and I pick them to win the subsequent football game, just shoot me in the head.

Denver (-3) over Jacksonville

Does Vegas know something we don’t? Are we all really sold on David Garrard as an NFL Starter? Hasn’t Jay Cutler proven something in back to back last second wins?

Cinncinattica (+3.5) over Seattle

I don’t care how good Seattle thinks they are, their defense has ranged from bad to abysmal, and this jailbird offense scores tons of points. Sure, they don’t have a defense, but they don’t need one this week…can you name 2 Seahawk receivers? Me neither.

Cleveland (+3) over Oakland

Never underestimate the effects of an improbable win on a moribund franchise. And never underestimate that teams ability to pick on a more miserable team.

Carolina (-4) over Atlanta

This really used to be a good game. Now, we get to see D’Angelo Hall provoke more ‘tugging on Superman’s cape’ analogies, when he inevitably trash talks Steve Smith, who responds with 150 yards, and at least two touchdowns. At least we brought back Morten Anderson, who can actually make field goals. Ugh. The highlight of the Falcons season so far is the re-signing of a kicker who came into the league three years before I was born. I hate this.

Washington (-3) over New Jersey A-Team

The Giants are awful, just awful. Thinking about leaving the Jets as New Jersey B-Team, and demoting the soon to be new-coach having Giants to the C-Team. Just something I’ve been thinking about.

Dallas (+3) over The Chica-Gorillas

Is anyone scared of the Dallas defense? I mean, besides Rex Grossman. The biggest problem for the Cowboys so far has been defending the pass, but since the Bears still have whatshisname under center, I’ll take the points, thank you very much.

Nawlins (-3) over Tennessee

The Saints are really good at home. Just like they’re really good against the Bucs, and just like the season opening game was really entertaining. Seriously though, is Vince Young capable of winning a game by more than 3 points? Since he earned the starting nod in Nash-Vegas last year, he has won exactly three games by more than a field goal! And one of those was in overtime, when he scored a touchdown! That’s exactly three wins of more than three points in 15 opportunities. Make that 16.

American Models of Excellence

America’s symbols of football excellence have crumbled greatly in the wake of unseemly events surrounding these beloved programs. Within the NCAA, we have born witness to a national crisis that is the mighty Irish of Notre Dame limping to a 0-3 start, while in the NFL, national sweetheart the New England Patriots have been subject to much questioning following Week 1’s CameraGate. This is not the time to bemoan the problems, and make further mockery of these two great and storied football institutions, but more a time to step back, and ask ourselves, what we can do, as fans of sport, to restore the luster that is so deserved for both teams.

Just kidding, I’m totally going to pile on.

The only thing that could possibly make the entire Pats situation better is if they weren’t winning. In one move, they have not only crushed all credibility of past successes with apparently overmatched teams, but have shaken the core of one of the most annoying fan bases in recent memory. Everyone who says that this is not a major competitive advantage, give me a break; I played football for years, and figuring out what the defense was going to do before it happened helped tremendously. Now, my teammates and I figured these things out through studying film of opposing players, and noticing tendencies. If only we had thought to just record the opposing defensive coordinator, we could have cut film study down a ton. This has so far proven a minor distraction, as the Patriots are a real-life fantasy football team, and can do no wrong. Some ‘experts’ claim that San Diego is the most talented team in the NFL, but these same people forget to note all the considerable talent is being (mis)managed by Norv Turner.

3 games played. 0 offensive touchdowns, -.1 yards a carry, 4.72 yards per passing attempt, 1 quarterback who left the school, and legions of Golden Domer fans wondering why the Savior (Charlie Weiss) is letting this happen. The karma gods could be punishing Notre Dame for the years of hubris, for allowing NBC to force this team on the nation every Saturday, or for the cocky, holier-than way they get themselves ranked high every preseason without ever doing anything. But, I’d like to think that this is finally karmic payback for the horrendous treatment of Ty Willingham (who has led the University of Washington Huskies to a 2-1 start). Now, I’m not willing to claim that the Notre Dame as an institution is inherently racist; I haven’t done the appropriate leg work. I will concede that whoever is making decisions for the football team is making a very good show of looking racist.

Let’s recap: Ty Willingham wins 10 games in his first year, defeating 4 ranked teams along the way. No head coach in Irish history had, or has, ever won 10 games in their first year, that also saw Mr. Willingham take home two Coach of the Year awards.

In Charlie Weis’s first year, he beat 0 ranked teams, went 9-3, and was rewarded with not only a spot in a BCS bowl, but also a 10-year extension at mid-season worth a reported 40 million dollars.

Ty Willingham’s second year was much more difficult, mustering a 5-7 record, while facing one of the toughest schedueles in the country. Losing three games to top five teams, and beating only one top twenty-five team, much was made of the blow out losses to Michigan, FSU, and USC.

Charlie Weis’s second year, he was able to secure a 10-3 record, beating one ranked team, and made another BCS bowl game. However, he fell victim to the same problem that sank Willingham, as all 3 losses were blowouts, including a second straight BCS bowl loss by two touchdowns or more.

The final year of Ty Willingham’s Notre Dame career was marked with dramatic highs and lows. Besting two top-fifteen teams over the season, the Irish limped to a 6-5 record, which saw Willingham fired before their bowl game against Oregon State, ending the season 6-6.

As we head into week 4 of the third year of Charlie Weis’s reign, the numbers speak for themselves. 0-3. And I’m not even happy because of the aforementioned perceived racism. I’m happy because this overly cocky, big-headed windbag is getting his comeuppance. This coach who announced that his team would have a distinct tactical advantage over every team they played. So much for that, because with 0 offensive touchdowns, how secure are these Notre Dame higher-ups with the state of their football team?

Sep 19, 2007

Ranking the SEC

The best conference in college football has been awash with upsets, controversy, and in a few cases, utter domination. Heading into Week 4 of the NCAA season, here’s a team-by-team look at how the conference breaks down, not based on pre-season rankings (*cough* Top 25 *cough*), but based on how each team has performed to this point.

1. LSU
Best team in the conference, and in my humble opinion, the best team in the nation. This is a squad that knocked off a surprisingly stout Mississippi State team that beat the flailing Auburn Tigers last weekend, and utterly dismantled the then-#7 team in college football when Virginia Tech came calling. Going into the season, the big question was about the Tiger’s offense, and how it would rebound after the departure of JaMarcus Russell. The answer? Quite nicely.

2. Florida
Defending national champs, but like LSU, many wondered how ravaged they would be by the draft. After their showing in the Swamp against Tennessee last weekend, I think the question has been answered. In a few weeks, we get to prove why this is the best conference in the nation, as we get two serious national title contenders playing each other in October. What other conference has such a high stakes game so early in the schedule? I know USC is a great team, but they receive the number one ranking perennially without really earning it, and it is damn hard to knock off a number one team that doesn’t lose. Who cares if there isn’t another serious contender for thousands of miles, as long as they don’t lose in their terrible schedule, they walk into another national title game. I know preseason rankings are important, but who has legitimately been the most impressive team over the first few weeks?

3. Alabama
I really do hate Nick Saban, but his renewed contract with Satan, the devourer of souls, seems to be paying off for him. Oh, and all you Alabama faithful, who so have conveniently forgotten his turncoat ways in coming to you? The major rumor in college football (since last May!) is that when Llyod Carr retires at the end of the year for a job in the Michigan Athletic Department (the reason the AD said he will never be fired), Les Miles is slated to take over at his alma mater, and good ole backstabbing Nick is slated to…return to Baton Rouge. Keep celebrating while you’ve got him, because by dealing with Saban, you’ve only set yourself up for a fall. It’s like a wise man once told me: if a girl cheats on her boyfriend with you, and eventually leaves him to be with you, why on Earth would you be surprised when she leaves you for another guy? Tigers don’t change their stripes, and don’t you forget it.

4. Arkansas
Here’s where things get muddy, and it becomes clearer that we are dealing with the upper echelon of competition within college football; any of these next few teams (and probably Alabama, come to think of it), are interchangeable from week to week, so the rankings are based on performance thus far. I hung on every second of the Razorbacks game Saturday, and was mystified by McFadden’s ability to will what seemed to be a lost game back in Arkansas’ favor. I understand why Coach Houston Nutt didn’t put his best player in the game in the waning seconds; he was hurt, and had carried the ball over 30 times already, but the competitor in me wanted to see the kid finish what he had started. It was a gutsy performance, the stuff Heisman’s are made of.

5. South Carolina
The Ole’ Ball Coach has returned, and while beating the Dawgs in Athens, has put the rest of the SEC on notice. As much as I hate his visor throwing, egotistical, maniacal actions, I have to respect the coaching ability. And always s remind myself that Georgia earned his hatred way back when…

Dateline:1966The Gators entered the game 7-0 on the season and vying for their first ever SEC title. The Gators' quarterback, Steve Spurrier, had just locked up the Heisman trophy the previous week after a stellar performance vs Auburn and now had a chance to beat the Bulldogs for the first time in his playing career. But it was not to be. The outcome was never in doubt, as Spurrier threw three interceptions in a 27-10 Gator loss

6. Georgia
For the first time since coming to Athens, Mark Richt has closed practice, leading into this weekends showdown in Tuscaloosa. Some say its paranoid, some say it is a result of Camera-Gate, but I think it’s just rallying the troops after an underwhelming offensive performance to date. There have been bright spots (Knowshon Moreno, the returns of Sean Bailey and Thomas Brown) but the fact remains that more consistent play is needed from the strong armed Texan.

7. Miss State
Losing to LSU is no shame; it’s going to happen to a lot more teams this year before all is said and done. Knocking off traditional SEC powerhouse Auburn might be a great feat, or a sign that it’s a rebuilding year at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Either way, I can finally say, about an SEC team…BLACK HEAD COACHES, SON!

8. Kentucky
Probably should be higher, given the size of the upset in Lexington last weekend, but there are too many mitigating factors. Rivalry games are always really toss-ups, how will Woodson do against SEC defenses, did Louisville have all 11 players on that last touchdown? Just too many questions.

9. Tennessee
God, it feels good that they’re legitimately this low. Losing to a top team on the road? No big deal. Letting said team hang damn near sixty points on you, dispelling any sense of pride on your part? Kind of a big deal.

10. Vanderbilt
Looked really good against Ole Miss, but looked like Vandy against Alabama and the Satan, I mean Saban, nation.

11. Auburn
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Tommy, you may want start packing after losing at home to the OTHER Bulldogs. Things should get easier though, as they only still have to go play on the road at Arkansas, LSU, and UGA. At least the Bama game is on neutral ground.

12. Ole Miss
Got stomped by Vandy, and only barely squeaked by Memphis. Should look great this weekend at home against Florida. No, seriously, this is where everything gets turned around.

Games to Watch

…Besides, of course the powerhouse clash of Ole Miss and Florida, there are three other games that should catch your attention this weekend.

3. South Carolina at LSU
Let’s see just how real this Gamecocks team is, as they head to Death Valley, and visit one of the best teams in the nation. Though LSU should (will) win, I’m interested to see just if Spurrier’s revamped defense matches up against the LSU track meet. Blake Mitchell will be getting Glenn Dorsey flashbacks for years to come.

2. Kentucky at Arkansas
One team coming off of an emotional last second win, another coming off a crushing last second defeat. The rushing attack of McFadden and Jones should be too much for the Kentucky “defense” to handle, but the real match up is this secondary versus Andre Woodson, who announced his Heisman candidacy last weekend. Too bad Mr. McFadden already won it.

1. UGA at Alabama
The Jedi vs. the Sith. Autobots vs. Decepticons. Joes vs. Cobra. The story of good battling evil is as old as time itself, and it continues Saturday in T-town. Can the valiant Dawgs purge the Sabanic cult of Alabama? That’s why we watch.

SEC Questions

My dad knows how much I love SEC football, and how feverently I defend it. Therefore, he feels the need to periodically send me emails with jokes about the aforementioned conference. Here is one such email, that's actually pretty funny, though I am wondering about the lack of any Ole Miss jokes. I guess some things are just too easy.

Here is the traditional collegiate football quiz to begin the season. Even though you may know most of the answers, it is still fun to reminisce the halcyon days of yore.

(1) What does the average Alabama player get on his SATs? .........Drool.

(2) What do you get when you put thirty-two Arkansas cheerleaders in one room? .........A full set of teeth.

(3) How do you get a South Carolina cheerleader into your dorm room? .........Grease her hips and push.

(4) How do you get a Georgia graduate off your porch? .........Pay him for the pizza.

(5) How do you know if a Mississippi State football player has a girlfriend? ........There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup.

(6) Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum? .........Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.

(7) What are the longest three years of an Auburn football player's life? .......Freshman year

(8) How many Florida Freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?............None -- that's a sophomore course.

(9) Where was O. J. headed in the white Bronco?........Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He knew that the police would never look at LSU for a Heisman Trophy winner.

AND FINALLY (drum roll and cymbal crash.....)

(10) Why did Tennessee choose orange as their team color?.........You can wear it to the game on Saturday, hunting on Sunday, and picking up trash along the highways the rest of the week.

Sep 17, 2007

By the Hammer of Thor!!!

Can't sleep due to...outside forces. Yeah, that's the best way to put it. Anywho, just walked downstairs because above pictured puppy, named Thor, was crying to be let out.

I asked a married friend what having a child was like, after roughly 20 min. of picking up puppy poop. I figured, it is probably MUCH harder than trying to raise a puppy, and I wanted some perspective. He thought for a minute, shrugged, and said:

"It's like raising a puppy that slowly learns how to talk. Oh, and not nearly as much biting."

My only response, noting my lack of desire to have any sort of mini-me for the forseeable (read:10-20 years) future:


Sep 14, 2007

What Rivalry?

*I wrote this April 25th about the unreal amount of vitriol being spewed by both Boston and New York fans in the midst of their first series this year. Even now, there is no real positioning battle going on, as the Yanks seem to have accepted the Wild Card spot, while conceding the division to Boston. That makes everything I say still pertinent.*

Living in New York City the past four years has left me indoctrinated in the generation spanning rivalry that is Yankees v. Red Sox. It seems that come spring, I am surrounded by navy hats, sporting either a white NY or a red B, and nothing else. To some people, these divisional games mean more than anything other event in the sporting universe. Just this weekend, I stopped into a local sports bar to say hi to a friend who was working his first shift, and as I entered the door, I was met with shouts of, “Sox or Yankees!!!”

Um, how bout neither?

Aside from my disdain for both fan bases, these series of games are simply not a rivalry, especially this time of year. I know this for three legitimate reasons. Firstly, there’s nothing tangible on the line; quite frankly, the games don’t matter. There’s no playoff spot on the line, no division title, not even a draft pick for tanking purposes. The only thing up for grabs is who gets marginally more coverage by ESPN, since they seem determined to shove the ‘rivalry’ down our collective throats. Secondly, for any battle between two parties, both have to win some of the time. BoSox fans will readily point to the recent World Series title of their team, but does that really make up for over 100 years of being owned by New York. The only reason this ‘rivalry’ exists is the inferiority complex felt by New Englanders who opt not to cheer for the Yankees. The World Series win was, in reality, just a little brother luckily besting his big brother, one time. Those 26 titles held by the Yankees tell a story of utter domination, not only of the divisional opponents, but also of the sport as a whole. Finally, there is the undeniable fact that rivalries cannot exist in professional sports, there’s too much money on the line. There can be individual rivalries between players who sometimes just don’t like each other (Jordan/Isaiah, Clemens/Pizza, etc.), but not whole organizations, not really. If that were the case, there would have been no way Johnny Damon could have left the Sox to go to the Yankees. That would be like Bobby Hurley leaving Duke in the early nineties to go play for UNC. He would have been killed on campus, and the perpetrator would have walked, the judge ruling the killing as a justifiable homicide.

Professional sports are all about money and entertainment. Building up bad blood between regional teams is a good way to keep people entertained and spending money. These people shoot Sportscenter commercials together! If you can unite to support the evil, wretched Disney Corporation, then you don’t really hate one another. But, money is thicker than blood, and this ‘feud’ is just the latest proof.

Sep 13, 2007

Buy Miller Lite Stock NOW

For those of you who have somehow avoided television since football started, the title of this post is the sagest advice you've ever gotten from a blog. John C. McGinley, better known as Dr. Perry Cox from Scrubs, is headlining their new ad campaign as the commissioner of the More Taste League (MTL). This can only lead to one thing: dramatic upswing in Miller Stock. Get on board now.

Or get left behind Miranda, Betty Ann, get the picture.

*This stock tip brought to you by the firm of T. Abraham*

Dear Mama,

"You know Reagan is talking tonight...I mean Bush. I know you want to see that."

- My mom.

Sometimes the jokes write themselves. I love you mom.

Week 2 Picks

Week one picks are so overdone, so I just avoided them. Plus, I had real work that had to get done, and I was too depressed over the Falcons ‘game’ to write any reflections. But here’s week 2? That’s actually twice as good as week one. So there. Home teams in bold, picking with Wednesday spreads…as if gambling were legal in America. Ha.

Steelers (-9.5) over Bills

Pittsburgh looked really good last week, but then again, they were playing the Browns. With Big Ben producing like he did pre-old lady hitting him with a car, the Bills will continue their march to miss the playoffs for the entire century. Losing a close game to the Broncos and losing a player like

Bengals (-7) over Browns

Ocho Cinco and that other Mr. Palmer will try to outdo what the Big Ben did last week. They’ll match the touchdowns, with more passing yards, and probably give up more points. Though this game won’t be within the spread.

Colts (-7) over Titans

Lots of favorites winning so far huh? Colts look to continue the trend, as the running game of the former Oilers won’t be nearly as effective against a much improved Colts defense. And I don’t like the fact that the only member of the Tennessee secondary I can name is a tag team champ.

Texans (+6.5) over Panthers

Don’t ask me why, because I just don’t know. I got this feeling that Schaub is so happy to be quarterbacking for real that they won’t lose by a touch or better, even on the road. The Carolina D is a year older, and the Texans receivers have a real quarterback.

Rams (-3) over Niners

This could get ugly.

Packers (+1) over New Jersey A

Let’s see. Bret Favre against a suspect secondary, in decent weather, with a hungry Packers defense verses a (never thought I’d say this) Jarad Lorenzen-led Giants team? This wins our stupidest line of the week award.

Jax (-10.5) over Falcons

2nd biggest line of the week? Seems about right. Here is where I want to put an addendum on my ‘cautiously non-negative’ stance on the season; I thought that the Dirty Birds could play decent enough defense, maintain the running game, and that Joe Horn would be a stabilizing influence on our receivers. We still can’t catch, and that handcuffs all other facets of what I still think is an amazing Bobby Petrino offense. It’s sad really.

Saints (-4) over Bucs

Angry Drew Brees and co. at a very bad Tampa Bay team. After getting embarrassed on opening night, you’d think that the spread would be bigger, given the revenge factor. I guess not.

Vikes (+3) over Lions

Every year, people get seduced by the Mike Martz offense, going as far to say that this is the year that the offense really breaks out. Too bad that is every year, and even worse that they’re playing an amazing defense that will compensate for the fact that Tavaris Jackson is the quarterback.

Cowboys (-4) over Mia

Enough with picks, I take week 5 and the under for the inevitable Trent Green season-ending concussion. C’mon, the Chiefs passed on him for the lights out combo of Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle! It has to happen, he must fall!

Seattle (-3) over Zona

Arizona choked away their best shot to gain a foothold in the NFC West late, late, LATE Monday night. Coupling the facts that Arizona is the team version of the Mike Martz seduction phenomenon I already discussed, and Shaun Alexander appears to be kind of back, and that’s enough to ground the Cardinals.

NJB (+10) over Ravens

No filming needed. I know the old Browns are going to win, its just that I have negative faith in the offense to score 10. Maybe a few defense scores?

Broncs (-10) over Oak-town

One of the few true rivalries left in football, mainly because Shanahan actually hates Al Davis. Now, Mr. Davis’ feelings for the Broncos are unknown, mostly because Al has been a stuffed automaton since 2001.

Chi (-12.5) over KC

Larry Johnson continues his quest to become the first back to carry over 500 times in a season, simply because both quarterbacks they have to choose from are awful. Just as I know that LJ will have a bunch of carries, I also know that Gross-man will continue his hot/cold start alternation with a good showing against a bad team.

NE (-4) over San Diego

The obligatory “I have no idea” pick of the week. On the one hand, there’s tons of revenge factor with San Diego looking to avenge the playoff loss, there’s Norv Turner trying to prove he’s a coach, and New England doesn’t have the sideline film crew anymore. On the other hand, Randy Moss has a real quarterback again.

Philly (-7) over Wash

Donovan F. Baby, please say the Baby. Beatin’ up on Washington like crack in the 80s. With that amateur flow behind us, and major apologies to Lil’ Wayne, the Eagles will redeem themselves after such an abysmal showing last week in Cheese Land against a division rival.

Sep 4, 2007

Opening Thoughts on Opening Weekend

Wow. What a great way to kick off a return to football with an AMAZING series of games over this Labor Day weekend. My full thoughts will come later this week, but I would be remiss if I didn't, in some way, the App State game. For now, I'm just going to copy and paste what I wrote on a messageboard I post at in refrence to the Greatest Upset of All Time:

Me: I played DI-AA ball, and I can't seem to stop smiling at the whole situation. Forgetting that I played left guard, and my left tackle was an insufferable Michigan fan, this is a MASSIVE blow to the entire stability of college football like what already has been said.

If I were the AD of App State, I would scrap the football recruiting budget to next to nothing, and send every kid I wanted to come here a tape of the game. Now, a kid who might get a partial or perferred walk-on spot at say a Michigan will be giving a second look at upper tier DI-AA teams. A LOT of luster has just been knocked off of DI-A, whether they admit it or not. Most of what people have always said is the difference is the two, is size, but mostly speed. When I was recruited, I got offers at DI-AA schools, but good DI schools all told me I was too short to play either D or O line. The gap is closed as far as speed goes, and the size gap is falling as well.

I just love the utter stupidity of Michigan's scheduling, thinking that if they were going to play a 'lesser division team' that they might as well get the best. Look, these kids are back to back national champions in a PLAYOFF format. They know big games, they know how to win, and they were probably insulted by being the opening day game in the Big House. Don't piss off Southern boys, a lesson I thought Ohio State had taken back to the Big 10 a year ago. I guess not .

Then, I felt the need to post again...

Me: Red dotter who said my claim that the luster has been knocked off of I-A schools, pay attention to what I say next. I'll even use NCAA 200whatever language so you can grasp what I mean.

For your blue chippers, your 5 and 4 star prospects, there probably won't be a huge shift in recruiting numbers. But, the low 4 stars to three star players will be thinking that I can either take a partial scholarship, and go to Big State U, and constantly compete with full ride players who WILL get more attention from coaches and support staff because the school has more money tied up in their success, OR I can go to an App State, not a bad football school, but smaller, and not only get ALL of my ed paid for, but fully develop as a football player, because I am the equivalent of a blue chip here.
College football is a business, and players are quite dispensable assets, and every coach/player/AD in the nation knows it. If you think that Rudy happens every day, you're nuts. People, in the past, would opt for the Big State U for the chance to make it on the field, and be part of great tradition. Putting into words the actions of App State...F Tradition.
Kids who saw that game will take another look at that letter from App State, from Montana, from New Hampshire. This has proven that this IS high level football, in the face of whatever tradition you hold dear. (Name Redacted) is right, this is someone spitting in the face of established norms, and it could potentially change everything. This would effect not only I-AA teams, but the vaunted depth of I-A teams would take a major hit, as All-State kids won't be satisfied standing on the sidelines of Big State U, waiting in the wings for an opportunity that may never come, all for the privilege of wearing the jersey as the greats who came before.