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...