Dec 31, 2008

Becoming Resolute

These will be my New Year's Resolutions. Feel free to hold me to one, or any of these, at any time. Please note that throwing such things in my face will leave you susceptible to being struck about the head and face at a very high speed. You've been warned.
  • Hate 20% less player, 20% more game
  • Keep up with Daniel In Real Life
  • Attend at least 5 Braves games this summer
  • Be as honest with everyone around me as I try to be with myself
  • Get Matt a kickass graduation present
  • Not go back to Vegas this year
  • Volunteer
  • Continue my drive to take back the glorious Chuck Taylor All*Stars back from stupid hipsters
  • Work on plans to leave Atlanta...for the time being
  • Go on a much needed relaxing vacation (see Vegas resolution)
  • Re-learn to trust
  • Spend more time with family
  • Be more of a narcissist
  • In accordance with the resolution that preceded this one...continue being freaking awesome
  • Read more
  • Write WAY more...finish book 1 by 2010
  • Convince Nez to post on the blog as an author
Well, that's about it. Have fun navigating amateur hour all night, and I'll be back Friday with a complete NFL Playoff Forecast. Go out and knock down some shots.



I'm witty.

21-10?

Pretty good so far...but the bullseye remains on the Celtics. 12/17/08. Never forgive. Never forget.

Dec 29, 2008

YES I CAN!!!

Recreate this without killing myself. Maybe. We'll find out in about 6 months. Stay tuned!

Dec 25, 2008

Nez.

So, I try to do a lot of things on this blog. Mostly get sports stuff off my chest, and be funny about it. I was bored at home and going through some old posts, and realized that I fail in both those endeavors more often than I'd like to admit. Reading these posts made me realize that not only is what I write not that informative, but that I'm not even the funniest contributor to this blog.

Enter Daniel Neczypor.

Even his name is funny-looking. I mean, a "czyp" combo? Why not throw in a "q" for good measure? Anyway, here are some of the highlights of having funny friends comment on what you write.

On the Rockies using Josh Beckett's ex-girlfriend to sing the National Anthem:
Though moderately funny, I must say that is a severe hit below the belt. Next season when Jon Lester gets the start are they going to have Large Cell Lymphoma Appreciation Day?

It's cool though, the Sox already hired Bill Belichick to steal Cleveland's signs for tonight's game anyways.
On my hatred of "Title Town USA":
Digging my car out of a snow bank is clearly easier than having to say "Go Hawks/Falcons" every weekend.

But I mean the Thrashers are sweet, right?
On a discussion about college football:
A couple points:

First, Pete Carroll is the Rick Petino of NCAAFB. he has great head of hair, is reasonably handsome, flamed out while coaching a Boston sports program, and wins on strength of talent, not strength of strategy - i.e. give Reggie Bush the rock and let him run dive plays. I'll leave it at that before I start to get worked up about how lucky the Patriots are to be rid of him and turned themselves into the most dominant sports franchise in the history of sport.

Next, don't sell yourself so short Palmer. The South has a lot more to offer than the 3 you mentioned - for example: relaxed assault rifle laws, the concept of secession, lack of general dentistry, the blues, and mosquitoes the size of kitty hawks. I think I just made Mark Richt's recruiting pitch for next season.
On my appreciation for Bob "The General" Knight:
Ok, listen. Coach Knight integrity winning character moral fiber blah blah blah.

Can't somebody please just step up to the plate and admit that Bobby Knight is a huge dickhead?
On my Mid-Season report on the NBA:
The "death valley" of sports between the Super Bowl and the NCAA tournament has given me some time to reflect on things.

I've realized that there are some things and life that are more important than the Patriots. Namely, the Celtics.

HA! PUT THAT IN YOUR CIGAR AND SMOKE IT ATLANTA!

Being from Massachusetts is so awesome it's almost difficult.
On someone ELSE on my blog reminding him the Pats lost the Super Bowl:
You are clearly outclassed, out informed, and outdated. While you had an amazing observation that the Patriots got beat in the Super Bowl, you bring little else to the table...

...I heard there are some division 3 teams looking for analysts, go ahead and forward your resume.

Not only were the 72 dolphins a product of another era of sports history, I can only assume that you are the product of our own: the type when wide out's run 4.3's, linebackers can close the gaps on 4-backs that run 5-10-5's in 3 flat, and linemen that have a vertical of 38+.

Jonathan, not only are you ignorant, you are outdated. I'm sure your old-man made his high school hall-of-fame passing 450+ yards, but in today's reality, 450 is a freshman year statistic.

Buy a clue, and attend a NE prep school, where kids with nuts that drop beyond their ovaries compete.

Neczypor Over and Out.
Later that day:
Yeah I was hammered when I wrote that. Sorry Jonathan I'm sure you're an alright guy.
On the Olympic basketball roster:
Scalabrine didn't make the cut so I'm going to pull for Iran.
On the Olympics in general, and my assertion that baseball is a silent movie villan:
I figured it's been too long since I posted on here, so I compiled a list:
The Best Things About The Olympics You Haven't Noticed:

1) The truly blue chip announcing during women's handball.

2) The fact that NBC is playing along with China's "17 year-old" female gymnasts.

3) USA basketball vs. Angola. Kind of like having Conan the Barbarian fight Woody Allen.

4) Did I mention how air-tight the color guy was during women's handball?

5) The cheerleader/cowgirl hybrids lining the track during the opening ceremonies.

6) George W. Bush mispronouncing the president of Russia's name while interviewing with Bob Costas.

7) Come to think of it, all of GWB's interview with Bob Costas.

8) Powerlifting being scheduled to perfectly coincide with Sunday Brunch.

9)The combined shock and awe advertising campaigns by Nike, Gatorade and Under Armour.

10) The Chinese "Weather Alteration Bureau" taking full credit for favorable weather on 8/8/08.

On a completely unrelated topic, baseball isn't a sinister silent movie villain, I picture baseball as the uncle who gets too drunk on Thanksgiving and passes out on the couch, inevitably over staying his welcome, but you can't really get too mad at him because you won't see him again for a long time.
An email regarding his attack on another commenter on the blog:
Haha that kid had it coming... I GOTTA DEFEND THE COMMONWEALTH!
I love my friends. I really do. Merry Christmas, and may Santa bring friends as funny into your life.



God Bless.

Dec 23, 2008

NBA Trimester Report

Most NBA teams have played 21 games, and you know what that means? Pointless predictions by yours truly. Annnnnnnnnnd we're off!

East MVP of 1st Trimester: We'll start with an easy one, as there should be no debate that the award rests in the Forest City...Mr. LeBron James. I could go on and on about how he has led this team to the second best record in the East. I could point to his stats, even though he isn't playing as many minutes per game as usual, because he's been able to sit fourth quarters. I could even just play some game tape to show how he has evolved into a terrific on the ball defender. But, all I'll point at is the fact that his impending free agency TWO SUMMERS FROM NOW remains not only a hot topic in basketball circles, but gains heat as the legend grows.

West MVP of 1st Trimester: Our first marking period has seen Kobe greatly influence his teams defense, Chris Paul cemented himself in the NBA record book a couple of times, Brandon Roy announced his arrival, but the most outstanding, valuable player over the 1st Trimester is Mr. Fundamental Tim Duncan. I think that he's been so good, for so long that we forget just how great what he does is. Playing most of the 1st Trimester without Ginobli and Parker-Longoria, he hoisted the Spurs to 17-10, and still in the thick of things in the murderous Western Conference.

Coach of the 1st Trimester: Mike Brown. I can see you shaking your head from here. "But Daniel, how can someone you compared to a coat rack in the Cavs-Spurs series evolve into a Coach of the Year candidate?" Look, I hear you, and just know that my runner up was Doc Rivers. See how weird this season has been? But, (channeling Hubie Brown here...) you can't ignore how well the Cavs have played this season so far. Offense, defense, the whole nine yards, they have been SO impressive. (And don't think I'm done calling for Mike Woodson's head. I need more than a Trimester to be convinced.)

Rookie of the 1st Trimester: Derrick Rose, come on down. OJ Mayo has looked really good early, but Derrick Rose gave me this.



Sixth Man of the 1st Trimester: Ginobli has been hurt, AK-47 has looked good early, but far and away the 6th man so far has been Jason "The Jet" Terry. He's looked great coming off the bench, his chemistry with Herr Dirk has never been better, and he seems to be responding to Coach Carslile that in a way that he never did with Avery - at least in recent memory.

Dec 18, 2008

Week 16 Pickage

Another week of games, another chance for me to be COMPLETELY WRONG. Home teams, as always, in bold.

Indy (-6) over Jacksonville

Yeah. Well. I know Indy barely beat Detroit, and the Jags looked decent last week, and Marvin Harrison isn't playing...I dunno. I just think Manning is going to continue to find a way to win. Now I feel dirty.

Baltimore (+4) over Dallas

This is more my heart than my brain, since the Falcons need Dallas to lose. But I will say this; I think this Baltimore offensive line is playing WAY better than the Giants one Ware and company victimized last week on Sunday night.

Cleveland (-2.5) over Cincy

Fitzpatrick! Dorsey! I thought the Seattle/St. Louis game was the worst match up of the year. I was mistaken.

Detroit (-7) over New Orleans

Don't get me wrong, Detroit loses this game. They won't win at all this year...but they have been feisty, and who on the Saints covers Calvin "Megatron" Johnson? Exactly.

Pittsburgh (+2) over Tennessee

Tennessee is beat up, they look to be taking their foot off the throttle, and the Steelers only have one speed. Knocking people over/out.

Miami (-4) over Kansas City

This line could not be high enough.

San Francisco (-5.5) over St. Louis

One of these interim coaches needs to be held on to after the season. It is not Scott Linnehan.

New England (-7.5) over Arizona

The 'nothing to play for' Cardinals coming east to play in what looks to be sloppy conditions in Foxboro. Hm.

San Diego (+3.5) over Tampa Bay

So, apparently the Chargers are REALLY going to try to force this showdown next week to see which 8-8 team will be representing the AFC West. Ugh.

Seattle (+5) over Jets

Wait, wait, wait. The Jets haven't come close to looking like a decent team on the West Coast all year, and they're GIVING 5 points to a kinda feisty Seahawks team, on the day of Mike Holmgren's last home game?

Houston (-7) over Oakland

Natural tease...that's all I'm sayin...

Buffalo (+6.5) over Denver

And the only thing standing in the way of my AFC West perfect storm is the Buffalo Bills? I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Philly (-5) over Washington

If Jim Zorn can stop looking over his shoulder for a knife wielding Dan Snyder, they might have a chance.

Atlanta (+3) over Minnesota

Memories of 1998. 10 years!

Carolina (-3) over Giants

How am I taking this many road teams? File that under obvious foreshadowing.

Chicago (-4) over Green Bay

One of these teams has something to play for. The other wishes they hadn't let Bret Favre go.

From Me and Mine...

My little brother. Killing it.



Happy Holidays.

Tune back in on Christmas Day, as I have a pretty good treat lined up for my readers/friends.

On Confidence

I make no secret about loving certain sites on the internet. Most of them, I enjoy because they are funny, smart, or escapist, but a select few can be all three. I can see the most depraved new internet video, I can see people write 4 paragraphs on the latest episode of Entourage, and occasionally I come across things like this.

You haven't yet been challenged and succeeded. If I had to guess, I'd say 80% of the Western world falls into this category. It is possible, in our comfortable, egalitarian, bourgeois, soft society to live a life entirely devoid of struggle and real accomplishment. Go to school, get decent grades, land a decent job, then punch the clock until the age of sixty-five. The worst thing that happens to many people is when the cable TV goes out during Dancing With The Stars. Their greatest triumph and feeling of accomplishment is when a professional sports team of some dubious geographical association with them wins a championship game in some city they'll never visit. The only battle they ever fight is with whatever disease eventually kills them.

A wise man I correspond with told me "The way you get confident is to actually watch yourself deliver when it counts."

That's a great line to think about in your idle moments. Roll it around in your noodle for awhile. Figure out what "when it counts" means to you, then figure out what delivering is. You'll probably realize it applies differently to lots of different things. It's a very elegant concept, worthy of remembering.

Or this.

Confidence is a funny thing. There are aspects of it that are so real and so important that you're lost without them, and there are others that are a complete farce.

Here's a really broken down simple example of the "watch yourself deliver when it counts" thing that Savage Henry mentioned: think of hitting a baseball. Think all the way back - remember when you stood at the plate, scared and unsure, wondering what was going to happen when you swung the bat? Before you learned to watch the ball, or anticipate the pitcher's release, when to start your swing, all the tiny little elements of connecting bat to ball?

Well, then you did it. And then you did it again. And again. And before long, you stopped thinking about the mechanics of it, and just let your muscles do their job. And you stood at the plate, ready for the pitch. Sure, you felt the butterflies in your stomach, but you weren't scared, you didn't feel like the possibility of hitting the ball was completely out of your hands, pure chance.

That's confidence. You aren't actually aware of it when it's happening, because if you are, you've blown it. You can't think about the mechanics of it while it's happening - whenever a basketball player is off his game, Walt Frazier always says, "he's aiming the ball instead of shooting it." You have to do it enough times that your body or your mind will do it without you getting in the way - once you're thinking too much, aiming the ball, you've blown it.

The other side of confidence is total facade. It's bullshit, and the sooner you learn this, the better.

I've been fortunate enough in a couple of pursuits that the people who were once my heroes became my friends and my peers. (It's funny how lucky you get when you work your ass off.) And getting to know those people, spending time with guys I was once in awe of, I've learned something really important.

They're just as fucked up as I am. And late at night when they're laying in the dark, the four walls talk to them, and tell them they're full of shit, and that they're not nearly as good as everyone thinks they are, and that everyone else has it all figured out and they're just flying by the seat of their pants.

Just like me.

It turns out we're all a bunch of bailing-wired and duct-taped jalopies, loping and bounding our way clumsily through the world, and praying no one finds us out. Every one of us. And anyone who tells you different is lying to you or to themselves, or both.

Here's a quote that I always liked, that struck me pretty profoundly when I first read it:

"It seems to me that you need a lot of courage, or a lot of something, to enter into others, into other people. We all think that everyone else lives in fortresses, in fastnesses: behind moats, behind sheer walls studded with spikes and broken glass. But in fact we inhabit much punier structures. We are, it turns out, all jerry-built. Or not even. You can just stick your head under the flap of the tent and crawl right in. If you get the okay."
- Martin Amis

I've met my heroes. I've beat them out for jobs and awards, I've won attention from them, I've surpassed the skills of some of them even in my own mind. They ask for my advice now. Not all of them, of course, but enough that it's clear I'm supposed to be one of them.

And I'm completely fucked up and full of shit, and I very rarely know what I'm doing, and I'm totally making this shit up as I go along.

But I've learned that I can, and that that's how it's done.

That's what confidence is.

Dec 17, 2008

Standing Pat

On Monday, I wrote the following about the Hawks ending the Cavs' winning streak over the weekend:
Boom. BOOM. Who else wants some? Come to the A with a record winning streak? We will END that for you, no problem. LeBron James goes for 33 points, 6 boards, and 8 assists? No problem; we GOT that. We only get 13 points out of our bench? We only play 8 players? No problem; we GOT that. I'm gonna say it again...come to the A with a record winning streak, and we will END that for you. I see you Boston. No problem.
And after the game tonight...I feel the SAME WAY. We lost because Joe Johnson missed a free throw? A free throw? Please. Am I supposed to be intimidated by the big, bad champs? If anything, this reaffirms my thought that this Hawks team is playing top-level basketball, and are easily the 3rd best team in the East. And if that's not enough, we got something to make us hungrier down the stretch.

"....feels good to come in here and spoil their dreams." - Kendrick Perkins

12/17/08. Never forgive. Never forget.

Irresponsible and Dangerous

Occasionally I listen to sports talk radio when I'm driving. The ipod can get stale on me, and I apparently punish myself by listening to this drivel. This morning, someone attempted to 'call out' Charles Barkley for playing the 'race card' regarding Auburn's overlooking of Tuner Gill. Chuck said that race was the number one deciding factor in their decision, and the radio host (who was filling in for Colin Cowherd) said that a claim like that is irresponsible and dangerous.

Really?

Some would say that ignoring the dearth of African American coaches in the DI-A ranks is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say that ignoring Charles Barkley, who so often dealt with institutional racism during his time at the university, is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say that your assertion that Chizik belongs because they 'know him', that he's part of some secret old boys network is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say the fact that Barkley was on the committee to look for Auburn's last basketball coach would give him insight into how the athletic department works, and that ignoring his input would be, you guessed it, irresponsible and dangerous.

This really got on my nerves, and I don't even know why.

Pretty Cool

Hip hop + Legos = This right here.



Dec 15, 2008

Great Sports Weekend

Wow. Just wow. What a great all around sports weekend. Excluding my picks, of course. But, that's to be expected by now. Let's take it from the top:

Friday

- Auburn hires Jeff Chizik as it's new head football coach. You might remember Mr. Chizik from his role as defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2004, and co-defensive coordinator at Texas in 2005. Still not ringing any bells? Well, you definitely remember him as the man who recently went 5-19 in two seasons as head coach at Iowa State. Forget the fact that Tommy Tuberville averaged 8.5 wins a season over 10 years at Auburn. Forget the fact that Chizik was a favorite to get fired this off season by the Cyclones. Forget the fact that they didn't even INTERVIEW Mike Leach, who works in the same conference as Chizik, but was world's more successful. Forget that this might be the first time someone got a better job on the heels of a 10 game losing streak. The main point we should take from this is that Auburn is going to be very bad, for a very long time. Excellent.

- The Yankees signed Blue Jays free agent AJ Burnett for probably too much money, in another SHOCKING move. While I don't care about baseball that much, I can only assume that they paid him too much. What are the odds of that being wrong?

Saturday

- Boom. BOOM. Who else wants some? Come to the A with a record winning streak? We will END that for you, no problem. LeBron James goes for 33 points, 6 boards, and 8 assists? No problem; we GOT that. We only get 13 points out of our bench? We only play 8 players? No problem; we GOT that. I'm gonna say it again...come to the A with a record winning streak, and we will END that for you. I see you Boston. No problem.

- I have never been happier about being wrong, and let's face it, I'm wrong alot. But man oh man, sometimes futility pays off, and when it does it is SWEET. Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow (and Graham Harrell) all had great years, and Tebow ended up collecting the most first place votes. In a show of defiance that I would normally decry, the entire southwest voting bloc decided not only to vote the three Big 12 quarterbacks ahead of him, but to LEAVE HIM OFF THE BALLOT. How about a slow clap for collusion?

Sunday

- Mo Cheeks gets canned as head coach. What the hell is going on? Doesn't it feel like every NBA team has fired their coach already? Some of these teams had expectations a bit too high (Philly, Toronto, Washington), and some of them were bad, and everyone knew it (Seattle, Minnesota). The bottom line is that most of these guys deserved a longer rope than BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!! Good grief, I hope the Association isn't turning into the NHL.

Ahem. So, now for the good news Sunday.

*Monday Edit*
The Kings fired Reggie Theus. That's one fifth of the leagues coaches fired before 30 games are played. ONE FIFTH. I guess Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan and Greg Popvitch ought to start packing their bags now, huh? (For the record, the Kings fall in the 'bad and everyone knew it' camp.)

- All I can do is break down every game played in a few lines, and that should explain why Sunday was so much fun for me.

Green Bay @ Jacksonville
Bet you miss Favre NOW, don't you Ted Thompson.

Detroit @ Indy
No matter what, they find a way to keep the streak alive. I mean, Indy squeaks this one out, and Detroit WILL NOT win a game. What a weird year.

Washington @ Cincy
Coach Zorn, Mr. Snyder will be right with you after he takes this call from Bill Cowher.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta
9 wins? REALLY?

San Fran @ Miami
Apparently, Chad Pennington is a winner. Who knew.

Buffalo @ Jets
You can't let J.P. Losman beat you like that, Bills. You just can't.

Tennessee @ Houston
Kick the freaking field goal Jeff!

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore
Finding a way to win.

Denver @ Carolina
Broncos remain determined NOT to win the division.

Seattle @ St. Louis
In the name of decency and good will, all film of this 'game' has been destroyed. You're welcome.

Minnesota @ Arizona
Tavaris Jackson...really? Really? REALLY?

New England @ Oakland
Jamarcus Russell is ass. There. I said it.

San Diego @ Kansas City
Build on THAT Herm Edwards.

Giants @ Dallas
Hey, Romo. Win a game that matters.

Cleveland @ Philly
Yuck. Not a fun game to watch.

Dec 12, 2008

Gears. Ground.

You know what really grinds my gears?

The fact that Tim Teebow is going to win Heisman number two this weekend, when we all know he's a fullback playing under center. While I disagree with Harrell not being invited (not as much as his coach, apparently), I understand that they invite however the voting shakes out. Which means the Midwest vote probably split between McCoy and Bradford, which means I'll be pissed Saturday.

The fact that I am eliminated (essentially) from my big fantasy football league.

The fact that Terry Porter as good as fired himself this week, by admitting that defense first isn't going to work, bringing in Jason Richardson, and working to alienate Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire by a. trading Nash's best friends on the team and b. taking shots away for Amare. Good times!

The fact that Alabama lost by 11 somehow. It's a 10 point spread in a championship game!

The fact that I was right about the ceiling for the Hawks.

The fact that I was wrong about Matt Ryan...oh no, wait. That pretty much kicks ass.

The fact that a Division I A football team is running the triple option in 2008...and it's working!

The fact that the Celtics are 21-2, and everyone is claiming that they may be the best team ever. Look, I get that they are hot early, but I'll be damned if it's okay to forget about the great seasons that Cleveland and Los Angeles are having so far. Not to mention that San Antonio is getting healthy, and the rest of the middle class in the Association looks feisty.

The fact that I can't seem to pick an NFL game to save my life at this point.

The fact that Tony and Jason keep drawing up plays in the playground, and not including me in any of them. (Courtesy of Terrell Owens)

The fact that the current rules DEMAND that an AFC West team has to make the playoffs...if things break the right way, we could see a 8-7 Broncos team and a 7-8 Chargers team playing in week 17 for the AFC West title.

The fact that the Williams Wall won't be suspended when they face the Falcons in two weeks.

The fact that the Players Union probably forced CC Sabathia into taking the Yankees offer over the Brewers. It's one thing to leave a few million dollars on the table, but there's no way they would let him leave 60 million dollars.

The fact that Juwan Howard is still playing in the NBA.

The fact that I can't watch college basketball until February, but even I know that the two best players (Curry and Hansbrough) are both not locks to be solid NBA players.

The fact that Dwight Howard is younger than me.

The fact that Jerry Jones STILL doesn't know when to shut the hell up.

The fact that we've seen the last of the Mad Dog. You earned your retirement, Greg Maddox. Thanks for the memories.

The fact that I haven't updated this thing in a hot minute.

These picks. Home team in bold.

Chicago (-3) over New Orleans
Green Bay (-1.5) over Jacksonville
Indy (-17.5) over Detroit
Washington (-7) over Cincy
Atlanta (-2.5) over Tampa
Miami (-6.5) over San Fran
Jets (-8.5) over Buffalo/Toronto
Tennessee (-3) over Houston
Pittsburgh (+2 5) over B'More
Carolina (-7.5) over Denver
St. Louis (+2.5) over Seattle
Arizona (-3) over Minnesota
New England (-7) over Oakland
San Diego (-5.5) over Kansas City
Giants (+2.5) over Dallas
Philly (-14) over Cleveland

Nov 20, 2008

Thursday Night Pickage

Cincy (+10.5) over Pittsburgh

Yeah, I said it.

Nov 16, 2008

Sunday Picks

We're finally done with bye weeks! Home teams in bold.

Denver (+6) over Atlanta
Miami (-10.5) over Oakland
Giants (-7) over B'More
Indy (-8.5) over Houston
Chi-Town (+3.5) over Green Bay
Tennessee (-2.5) over Jax
Philly (-9) over Cincy
K.C. (+5.5) over N.O.
Detroit (+14.5) over Carolina
Pittsburgh (-5) over Chargers
San Fran (-6) over St. Louis
Zona (-3) over Seattle
Bucs (-4) over Minnesota
Dallas (-1) over Washington
Bills (-5) over Browns

Nov 13, 2008

Mid-Range Jumpers

That's right kids, we're back. America's favorite long-running, rarely updated, OLASB post format is back, and with a vengeance.


Is this Atlanta professional sports renaissance for real? Why won't the Colts go away? Did the NHL season really start? How much did Al Davis offer me to coach the Raiders? How bad do the Braves want Jake Peavy? When will the first Mike Singletary Coors Light commercial air? What did I go as this year for Halloween?

All this and more in the latest edition of the truly lost art of the Mid-Range Jumper!

  • Ok. The A.I. trade. I think it makes sense for both teams, as the Pistons get one of the 50 greatest of all time for a year, and gives them cap room come 2009-2010. Plus, they have someone who can create their own shot, which could open things up for a more drive and kick game, saving Rip and Rasheed's legs through the season, since they won't be running around as much. Denver gets a proven facilitator who won't attack Melo's confidence by being the clearly more clutch player...and Melo can grow back his cornrows without feeling like he's copying his smaller, older, better brother.
  • That much basketball analysis wore me out.
  • Baseball is still boring as sin. There, that's better.
  • BCS Title game looks like Big 12 Champ versus SEC Champ...at least both these leagues have title games. Unlike the Big 10.
  • Speaking of leagues full of fake football, if Oregon State wins out, they go to the Rose Bowl, while USC goes to some lesser bowl. Let's go Beavers!
  • David Ortiz admitted on the radio that even he knew that Manny had to go, that he was actively trying to get out of Boston. In other news, Mr. Ortiz also spoke out about the sky being blue, and water being wet.
  • Somewhere, Scott Boras is reading about the $45 million the Dodgers are offering, and cackling evilly into the night.
  • I have loved watching the Hawks thus far, and might have to get sucked into what looks like something special. Still, I feel like I'm going back to an obviously abusive relationship.
  • The Chicago game was something special. Not just because Horford went for 27-17-6, but because it confirmed that Vinny Del Negro is an NBA head coach. VINNY DEL FREAKING NEGRO!!! (I took way too much time trying to figure out where to put the freaking. I think I made the right decision)
  • Millicent Olawale...Millicent Olawale....Millicent Olawale...Millicent Olawale...
  • The Bears are counting on Kyle Orton to bounce back from injury for the rest of their season. I'll let THAT sink in.
  • Hockey is happening. I think. It has to, it's this time of year, right?
  • Dwight Howard had his first career triple-double last night...30 points, 19 rebounds, 10 BLOCKS. Wow.
  • CP3 opened the season with 6 straight 20-10 games...are we in a new golden age of basketball? Signs are pointing to yes.
  • The Braves claimed they weren't going to morgatge their future to get Peavy, but now that it looks like they might get him, EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!
  • Should I start Tyler Thigpin or Big Ben this week in my fantasy league? Why is this even a debate? What a weird year.
  • Greg Oden has already missed 2 weeks of games. Chances he finishes the rest of the season healthy? Slim and none.
  • Tony Romo is coming back to save the Cowboys season. Once he makes his guaranteed blunder of the week, and sinks the team, who will save them next?
Finally, I was wrong about Matt Ryan. I admit it. He is putting together one of the greatest seasons we've ever seen from a rookie quarterback. 11 tds versus only 5 ints? Who saw this coming? Really?

Political junkies like me will love this...a great article contributed to by Columbia Grad Nick Summers.

Oh, and to answer the questions that came before the bullets: yes (I hope), alligator blood, I think, more than Lane Kiffen is making on his paper route, not bad enough, the Super Bowl, and Santa Claus.

Thursday Night Pick: Jets (+3.5) over Pats

Nov 9, 2008

Week 10 Picks

This post is short, sweet, and to the point. Unlike the Georgia game yesterday, that tried to give me approxmiently 5 different heart attacks. Home teams, as always, in bold.

J'ville (-7) over Detroit
Tennessee(-3) over The Chi
Buffalo (+4) over Pats
N.O. (+1) over Falcons
Jets (-8.5) over St. Louis
Miami (-8.5) over Seattle
Green Bay (+2.5) over Minnesota
Carolina (-9.5) over Oakland
K.C. (+15.5) over San Diego
Pittsburgh (+3.5) over Indy
Giants (+3) over Philly
B'More (PK) over Houston
Zona (-9.5) over Niners

Keep your eye on the blog next week, as I FINALLY give my thoughts on the AI trade...

Nov 5, 2008

America

I don't care who you voted for, I don't care what you believe in, I don't care your reaction to the results of the election.

I am legitimately thrilled at the numbers of people who came out, and the involvement of a sector of people who would have not been engaged otherwise. I am saddened by the attitudes of some of the people I consider friends (on BOTH sides) as expressed through our new various forms of constant e-communication.

Obama's speech after getting the win.

If that doesn't inspire you...if that doesn't touch something inside you, then I got nothing for you.

Except maybe this.

At 2 AM, in the streets of Harlem, NY, this scene was captured of something that could not be explained or contained by anyone:



Alot of people have said that his campaign was smoke and mirrors, alot of talk, that talk means nothing.

And they're right.

They are absolutely right, words with nothing behind them are, like Sophocles said, "castles in the air."

But these detractors are overlooking something. He has ALREADY backed up his words.

I have no idea what he will do as a President, but you cannot deny that he has been an amazing leader as a candidate. He created, from NOTHING, a whole new coalition of voters, all across America.

He did it without taking PAC money, without taking Federal matching funds, without taking corporate donations. He did it his way. He did it by inspiring people, lots of people that are very different, to stand behind him. They kept talking about this on MSNBC, but its true--he didn't cobble together a majority. He created a new block of voters, who have never voted as a group before.

To inspire that many people, in that major of a way--that is leadership . This is no comment on his politics, only on his ability to inspire and lead people, and the evidence he can do that is in front of your face. He became President, and he did by leading America.

More detractors have said that his policies are bad, or faulty. I don't agree with Barak Obama on all of his stated policy positions. Hell, if I agreed with any politician on all their stances, I'd check myself into an asylum. But, great Presidents aren't defined by policy decision alone.

There are definitely Presidential policies that do impact the nation, but a lot of it is just arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What DOES matter is how to President LEADS, and this man can flat out lead. Think about it--who are the great leaders in American history? Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy? Now go examine their policy positions. Do you agree with all of them? Did they even do everything right? Of course not. But does that mean they were poor leaders? No.

They inspired something that this country has been bereft of for a while now: actual, genuine hope for tomorrow. My thoughts on the campaigns and the historic nature of this election will be shared later this week, when all this sinks in...I just wanted to get this all out now.

Oct 31, 2008

Knee Jerk Reactions + Week 9 Picks

Did you catch Oden last night? - Stretch

I would hope that by now, my friends would realize that if there is an NBA Basketball game on the television, I will be in front of it. Unless there's something else on. Anyway, here are a few of my knee jerk reactions to week 1 of NBA action.

- Maybe the Hawks aren't terrible. Maybe that bench can hold up for 82 games. Maybe we didn't win because it was a Magic team with no one to back up Jameer Nelson. Maybe Duncan is right. NAHHHHHHHHHHH.

- "You gotta be careful overreacting to one game" - Rick Carlisle, new coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Um, if your team goes 6-24 in the fourth quarter, when their problem since they MADE the finals has been closing out games/season, you may want to react.

- The Celtics are as good as advertised.

- Greg Oden (and by extension, the Trailblazers) are in trouble.

- The Rockets looked really good. REALLY GOOD, even with McGrady injured and watching alot of the game. They hung with a high scoring Mavs team, with Yao dropping 30, and Mr. Ron Artest dropping 29. He stays happy, they stay winning.

- The Lakers reupped with Bynum. They're convinced he's 100%. Looking at another young center with knee problems who they played opening night, I'm not convinced this was the best idea.

Finally, the List. The List is the teams that, when they come to town, I will do anything to acquire tickets to see these teams in person. ANYTHING.

1. Cavaliers - Duh. Look, if this is LeBron's big coming out year, I demand to see a game in person.

2. Hornets - Oh, what could have been...I read somewhere that the Human Ally-Oop Machine that is Chris Paul should have to play one exhibition game a year with Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, just so Atlanta fans have something more to cry about. I hate this.

3. Nuggets - Until they trade AI, my all-time favorite player.

4. New AI Team - Barring it is not Minnesota or Indiana, we're all good.

5. Memphis - They're young and look entertaining on paper.

6. Lakers - I want to see the Kobe show live. I admit it.

7. Celtics - Their first trip to Phillips this year is Wednesday, December 17. I already have a ticket. You should get one too, and see if Zaza bucks on KG again.

Those are my 7, with Miami as an alternate if AI doesn't get traded (he will). Without further ado, the hopefully triumphant return of the picks...home team, as always in bold.

Toronto/Buffalo (-5.5) over Jets

The Bills were exposed last week, look for them to bounce back at home.

Chicago (-12) over Detroit

I don't like this line, it feels way too high, but the Lions have been awful. And does ANYONE know how to spell that quarterback's name?

Cincy (+7.5) over Jacksonville

Have the Jags beat anyone this year by more than 7?

Cleveland (-1.5) over Baltimore

Joe Flacco on the road? Yes please.

Tennessee (-4.5) over Green Bay

The Titans have to lose eventually. Just not this week.

Tampa Bay (-9) over Kansas City

The Bucs should be ashamed at the meltdown against Dallas last week, and should get right against an awful Kansas City team. Sidenote: at this point, what do Marvin Lewis and Herm Edwards have to do to get fired? Admit to betting against their teams? Moon the owners box? I mean, I never wanna see a man lose his job, but when you are begging for it like these two...

Arizona (-3) over St. Louis

I dunno. I really don't. Why does someone have to win the NFC West? Weren't we all agreeing that the Rams were the worst team in football a few weeks back? Could one of these teams really win the West? Ugh.

Houston (+4.5) over Minnesota

Three straight road picks, and these games aren't even moderately interesting. One more week of byes, and then we're back to a full slate. Looking back on this, the only game I want to see so far is the Titans/Packers.

Miami (+3) over Denver

The bye week isn't going to help their defensive woes, as they lost their best corner Champ Bailey for some time in the Patriots game. Woah. Was that actual football talk and not just stupid jokes? Better keep moving.

Atlanta (-3) over Oakland

ALL THESE GAMES ARE AWFUL!!! And I just know I'm going to be sitting down, watching this nonsense.

Giants (-9) over Dallas

Brad Johnson. Giants pass rush. Brad Johnson. Giants pass rush. Brooks Bollinger!

Philly (-7) over Seattle

Dare I tease Giants/Eagles? I know that both teams are going to win, but my teases have been so bad I'm so gun shy...ah screw it. The OLASB, TEASE OF THE WEEK: Giants/Eagles. You're welcome, and I will accept 10% of your winnings.

Indy (-6) over New England

It's get right time in Indianapolis. They lose this one, kiss the playoffs goodbye, and get planning for next year.

Washington (-1.5) over Pittsburgh

I'm pretty torn here, since the Zorn era has gone fairly smoothly thus far, Campbell has looked good, and so has Portis. The Steelers have no running attack, and I like the Skins' passing defense. But the Steelers have been winning games weird all year...avoid at all costs. At least I will be.

Oct 28, 2008

NBA Season Preview


My NFL picks have been awful, and subsequently pulled down. Sorry. I don't want to think about how bad it's been for me. Though, someone has been enjoying my recent bout of bad luck; let's just say their name starts with a 'B' and ends in an 'ookie'. Ugh. Anyway, my favorite time of the year is here, and no, it's not the inevitable Bud Selig meltdown that reminds us that mental patients shouldn't run professional sports - it's basketball season!

Looking back at my predictions from last year, I didn't do TOO badly, so hopefully this short team by team breakdown holds up a little too.

Atlantic Division

Boston - The champs are back. They reloaded, kept KG and Pierce happy, and Ray Allen is too OCD not to be ready. They lose the pre-game Posey hugs, and held on to Cassell, but I still look for good things as they hang #17 tonight.

Philly - Ignore the fact that Elton Brand has looked slow in the preseason, that they can't run with him on the floor, and that he is coming off of a torn Achilles tendon. Focus on the Andres and Lou Williams to be the most exciting show in town, until the play in...

Toronto - Love the addition of Jermaine O'Neal, if indeed he has anything left in the tank. Will free up Bosh from playing in the middle, which he isn't that great at, and with Calderon at the point, they will be the 7-Seconds or less Raptors...or maybe 10-Turnover Toronto. We'll see.

New Jersey - Devin Harris will be an All Star in a few years, despite video evidence to the contrary. His supporting cast isn't terrible, and I'd put the over-under of games Vince tanks at 30 (take the over).

New York - Mike D'Antoni claims he loves the 'challenge' this Knicks roster presents to his style of coaching. If by 'challenge' he means that they couldn't possibly fit his system any worse, than this is a hell of a 'challenge'. At least he'll have comfortable evenings on his bed of money.

*Breaking News* - Eddy Curry is stunned not to be in rotation. Rest of the world is stunned he is stunned.

Central

Cleveland - What do you mean they signed Mo Williams? What do you mean this might mean LeBron will stop outside shooting? What do mean they are still the second best defensive team in the East?

Detroit - It hurts me to say it. We're officially on the downside of the 'cockiest guys who only won 1 ring' era. Billups seemed more than a little off as the season wore on, and Rasheed Wallace + new coach = lot's of great television.

Chicago - Derrick Rose looks good. Really good. That said, there is a logjam at the guard position, and if cooler heads prevail, it could be a decent running team. Why didn't D'Antoni take this job again? (Glances at aforementioned piles of money) Right...

Milwalkee - Richard Jefferson, come on down! Still don't like the guy, but I enjoy the addition of Scott Skiles on the bench for the defense, and Andrew Bogut might convince me he's not terrible.

Indiana - I was wrong about them last year, so maybe I'll be wrong this year. But, if I'm not, this team should play 0 nationally televised games. ZERO.

Southeast

Orlando - Dwight Howard has been found after vanishing in the medal rounds of the Olympics, we can all rest easy. I love their front court of DHow, Rashad "Wait, how big is my contract" Lewis and Hedo Turkaglu, and their big reserves ain't bad either. Too bad no one is backing up Jameer Nelson adequately. Huh. There's something I never thought I'd say.

Miami - Dwayne Wade effectively ruined the best thing I was ever going to write. I have been working on a DWade - Penny Hardaway piece since I started this stupid blog last year, and in one Olympics, he rendered it all moot. Their coach looks like Steve Pizzi.

Atlanta - Maybe the best starting 5 in the division. I mean that. They can play fast (Bibby, Smith), they can play half court (Johnson, Horford) and they can play adequately (Williams). The problem is you can't play just 5 players over 48 minutes.

Washington - Injury bug. I think the preseason stuff is going to put them in a hole that will be insurmountable once Caron and Agent Zero make it back.

Charlotte - Larry Brown baby. He hates young players and excels with vets who play defense. What about that roster made him think this was a good fit?

Eastern Conference Playoff Seeds

1. Boston
2. Cleveland
3. Orlando
4. Detroit
5. Philly
6. Toronto
7. Miami
8. Atlanta

Northwest

Utah - Williams getting hurt early won't matter as much as one would think; this is a veteran team that played lights out last year after getting Korver from the Sixers. If they can hold on to Boozer, and keep him happy, look for another deep run out of the most inappropriately nicknamed team in the NBA.

Portland - Holy crap. I guess the Tampa Bay Rays model of success can work in other sports (if you're really bad long enough, you will stockpile enough picks to be good). Without Greg Oden, the flirted with the playoffs, with him, they're on the third date with the playoffs. Count them in.

Denver - Count them out. Look, their defense wasn't as bad as everyone tried to make it seem (fastest pace in basketball = everyone is going to score, check their per-possession numbers), but moving your best two defensive pieces in Camby and Najara won't help things. AI might get moved this year again.

Seattle - I don't want to hear it. They never moved, they never adopted that ridiculous moniker, and they never robbed a historic NBA city of their team. My only regret is that I can't pick them last in this division because of...

Minnesota - Good God. I was right about them last year, and I'll be right again this year. ZERO times on my TV this year, God willing. In a related story, Kevin will not be able to make it to the ring ceremony in Boston tonight, but rest assured, his ring is in the mail.

Pacific

Lakers - Well, speaking of GMs on other teams deserving of playoff bonuses, Chris Wallace come on down! If you can convince Lamar into being happy coming off the bench (and you know Phil can), then this scary team just got scarier. By the way, Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world. There. I said it. Don't believe me? Look at how everyone else deferred to him during crunch time in the Gold Medal game this summer. Even Bron-Bron.

Pheonix - Old. Old old old. We buried the 'seven seconds or less' Suns last year, could this be the year we bury them altogether? Motivated Shaq, healthier Amare and Steve Nash bring this crew to the playoffs, but not much further. Oh, and Terry Porter's 'new, defensive minded approach'? I give it a month.

Clippers - I like the size inside with Kamen and Camby, but I don't like Baron Davis on the injured list. They don't play enough D as a team to make the playoffs, but maybe Baron getting hurt early will serve them down the stretch.

Golden State - Who's left? Baron bolted, Monta is suspended for 30 games, and Corey Maggette is their number 1 guy to start the year. I'll let that sink in for a while.

Sacremento - You can bet on NBA games in the Palms now!!! Except for Kings games. Which means you'll have to go elsewhere to bet against Kevin Martin and his team.

Southwest

New Orleans - Chris Paul might be my favorite player in the world right now, and not just because he's amazing in NBA 2K9. They lost some point guard depth with Pargo leaving, but things that keep Chris Paul on the floor aren't a bad thing. They're a good thing.

San Antonio - They are only here because I can't put the Rockets higher than 3rd. No Manu early means the Spurs will be leaning on Duncan a lot sooner than usual, and that adds to his opportunity to get burned out sooner. Plus, I still hate Tony Parker.

Houston - McGrady! Yao! Artest! Now there's three players you can win a lot of games with... too bad they've won a combined 1 playoff series...and that's from when Artest was with the Pacers. Plus, all the health issues between McGrady and Yao, I just don't like them to advance past round 1.

Dallas - Wait, did this division send 4 teams to the dance last year? Look for Mark Cuban to look more and more disheveled as he realizes he gave away a future All Star for a Hall of Famer past his prime, who's style of play is diametrically opposed to Dirk Nowitzki's.

Memphis - O.J. Mayo! Marc Gasol! Mike Conley Jr.! Maybe in a few years fellas, until then, enjoy getting to see most of the U.S. on the company dime.

Western Conference Playoff Seeds

1. Lakers
2. Hornets
3. Utah
4. Spurs
5. Pheonix
6. Houston
7. Portland
8. Clippers

Hardware Picks

ROY - Michael Beasley; runner-up - O.J. Mayo
Defensive Player of the Year - Kevin Garnett; runner-up - Marcus Camby
Coach of the Year - Nate McMilllian; runner-up - Jerry Sloan
MVP - LeBron James; runner-up - Chris Paul

Really, Really Cool


Remember when MTV stood for Music Television, and not, 'Soulless, talentless wanna-be whore of the month showcase'? Well, so do they. At least, on the interwebs.

MTV Music

Their whole music video archive on the internet. Thank you very much. And now, some De La Soul.

Oct 21, 2008

Straight Cash Homey

Are the Pats back?

Oct 15, 2008

Hustle

Devin Harris. NBA Starter. Racer X. Some European dude. Game to 2.



In a completely related story, I cannot WAIT for the NBA season to tip off.

Oct 14, 2008

Make a Grown Man Cry...

I was pretty upset when they fired Tommy Bowden...I mean, not as upset as this guy, but upset.

Oct 6, 2008

Aftermath

"Damn Palmer, you look beat the f*** up."

Me:0 New York: 1

Well played rotten apple. Well played.

Oct 3, 2008

Homecoming + Week 4 & Week 5 Picks

First things first: last week was such a weird sports week, I actually wrote 4 different lead ins to last week's picks. The first one was about USC losing to the Beavers, and the last one was me depressingly mashing keys after Georgia pooped the bed against Alabama. In my zeal to capture EXACTLY what was going on around me, I forgot to list my picks. Whoops. Here they are. Or were. Or whatever.

Broncos (-9) over Kansas City
Browns (+3.5) over Bengals
Texans (+7.5) over Jags
Jets (-1) over Cards
49ers (+6) over Saints
Carolina (-7.5) over Falcons
Titans (-3) over Vikings
Packers (+1.5) over Bucs
Bills (-8) over Rams
Chargers (-7) over Raiders
Redskins (+11) over Cowboys
Eagles (-3) over Bears
Ravens (+5.5) over Steelers

So, last week I went 9-4, putting me at 28-15-1 for the season. Not horrible, by any stretch.

This week, I'm writing amidst homecoming activities at Columbia University in the City of New York. Once upon a time, I asked some adult why everyday wasn't Christmas, and I was given some dismissive answer that adults give little kids they want to go away. But, as I sit here cursing all major and minor deities, I can honestly say I know why every day isn't homecoming. Good. God.

Oh, and as for reflections on the current sports world? A picture is worth 3 words. And those words are, "The Cubs Suck."


Anyway, here be this week's picks. As always, home teams are in bold.

Texans (+3.5) over Indy
Titans(-3) over B'More
Skins (+6) over Eagles
Chargers (-6.5) over Fins
Falcons (+7) over Packers (I know, I know, just bear with me)
Chi-Town (-3.5) over Former Matt Millen employers
Giants (-7.5) over Seahawks
Panthers (-9.5) over Chiefs
Broncos (-3) over Bucs
Niners (+3.5) over Pats
Cowboys (-1,000) over Bengals (Obviously, I'm kidding, the line is only 17. But, wouldn't you at least think about the thousand? BTW, two-team-tease of the week: Cowboys/Chargers. You're welcome)
Bills (+1) over Cards
Jags (-4.5) over Steelers
Vikes (+3.5) over Saints

Last Week: 9-4
Season: 28-15-1


Oh, and GO LIONS!

Sep 19, 2008

The Power of FU Money + Monster.com + Week 3 Picks

Before you read this, I hope you have heard what Josh Howard was captured saying about the national anthem. My feelings aside, the response in the media has been hilarious, to say the least. Please, take the time to read some of the emails sent to Mark Cuban, which HE POSTED on his wonderful blog. I warn you, it gets pretty awful.

http://blogmaverick.com/2008/09/18/thanks-for-the-advice-on-josh/

Defending one of your employees/players? Free. Keeping your email address public so that your fans can get in touch with you? Free. Posting the email addresses of the people who sent some of the most vile things I have ever read in my life? THAT my friends, is FU Money.

Ahem.

Welcome to this week's edition of the picks, brought to you by Monster.com, one of the world's largest job finding websites. And, it's soon to be the homepage for a select number of NFL coaches. Here's a list of the hottest seat coaches, in the order I thought about them. Apologies to Mike Nolan, Romeo Crennell, and Rod Marinelli...you'll be on the list before all is said and done, I just know it!

Lane Kiffen (1-1) : As I mentioned in the NFL preview thing, Al Davis tried to fire the young Mr. Kiffen after last season. What I didn't mention is that Lane tried, in turn, to fire Davis favorite defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, only he failed too. Which means these three men, attempted firings and all, have been working together. He may be the only coach trying to get fired, and look for him to succeed soon.

Marvin Lewis (0-2) : 1 season over .500 in his tenure. All control taken away from him in the off season. Repeated public spats with biggest star. Chris Henry again. If Marvin has a favorite sandwich shop in Cincy, he shouldn't pick up a new punch card for a free sub, that's all I'm sayin.

Herm Edwards: (0-2) : See, carbonite, frozen in or Shell, Art.

Scott Linehan: (0-2) : Lame duck. The team was able to be bad last year because of lots of serious injuries. No easy excuse this year. Reports out of St. Louis have Chip Rosenbloom ready to go against his mother's death bed wishes of granting Linehan another year to figure it out. Time appears to be up and not in Linehan's favor. Blantent ignoring of a dead womans last wishes? Now that's what I call a 'hot seat'.

On to picks. Home teams, as always, in bold.

Atlanta (-5.5) over KC

I believe in Tyler Thigpen. I believe he will be awful. Just awful.

Bills (-9.5) over Oakland

Just fire him already! Look, all week we heard about how Al Davis was ready to get rid of Lane Kiffen sometime soon...just do it, so he can focus on getting his Eagle Scout. Geez.

Titans (-5) over Texans

I thought the Texans were supposed to be good this year. Did the hurricane give them the ability to stay within 5 of the best defensive team in the League? I don't think so.

Fins (+13) over Pats

Oh my god, I just picked against the Pats...I think I'm going to be sick. Welcome back to Earth, Terminators. Look for a team more like the '01 Pats, not the "Kill everyone" Pats of '07. Besides, I think Joey Porter means business this time!

Tampa (+3) over Chi-Town

I like Tampas D, and Chicago isn't a home field advantage unless it's cold. Which it ain't.

Rams (+9.5) over Seahawks

Seattle signed 2 recievers off the street this week, and they will be starting Sunday. Avoid gambling on this at all costs. If gambling were legal.

Panthers (+3.5) over Vikes

The Gus Ferrotte era runs into an apparent team of destiny in Carolina. Who really cares how Gus Ferrotte's name is spelled?

Niners (-4) over Lions

The Lions run defense against Frank Gore? Yes please.

Giants (-13) over Bengals

Two. Team. Tease.

Eagles (-3) over Steelers

Wait a second. This is a late afternoon game, and I get Jets/Chargers on Monday night? Good Grief. (It's a Peanuts joke...)

Cards (+3) over Skins

I'm taking Kurt Warner for the win.

Colts (-5) over Jags

Jags can't run, and their best reciever keeps trying to snort the 50 yard line.

Ravens (-2.5) over "Browns"

Romeo Crennel officially hands in his resignation, falling back to Earth after last year's miracle season...when they almost made the playoffs.

Broncos (-5.5) over Saints

Jay Cutler is the NFL leader in touchdowns and passing yards. Vanderbilt grad Jay Cutler.

Packers (+3) over Cowboys

The 'Boys' defense looked terrible on Monday night, and actually looked happy to get that win. The Iggles defense was furious, even though they held TO to 2 catches in the second half. Which team do you think is built to win later in the year?

Jets (+10) over Chargers

LDT is apparently not going to be playing in REGULAR season games this year, so that he will be healthy for the playoffs. There seems to be a hole in that logic...and on my fantasy team.

Last Week: 11-3-1
Season: 19-11-1

Sep 11, 2008

Fantasy Thoughts + Week 2 Picks

Wow. Tom Brady. Done for the season. I feel just awful for Rashad Biggers, CC '05, who unwisely took the fallen Pats quarterback with the first overall pick in our fantasy league. Ignoring the fact that passing TDs are only 4 points in our league, against 6 points per rushing TD. Laughing at the notion that LDT will continue to be the best fantasy player. Braving great ridicule from, well everyone, Rashad Biggers stuck by his guns and picked his team, and he should be applauded for his conviction.

Bravo.

Bravo on making the single dumbest move in fantasy history (even BEFORE the injury), allowing LDT to fall to 2, allowing me to trade for him, allowing me to post a league-best 126.6 last week. Rome wasn't built in a day...but I haven't figured out what to call my empire. And it looks like it was built on a pick.

Back to real life, and real picks.

After week 1, I'm 8-8. It could be worse. Home teams, as always, in bold.

KC (-3.5) over Oakland

Well, that was a flop. No, not my attempts to procure a Bernard Pollard jersey (sold out), but the Jamarcus Russell experiment. Maybe man was not meant to hold out for a good part of his rookie season, be given no playmakers on the offense except for ANOTHER running back, and open his second season on Monday Night Football. Maybe man was destined to have to work for success, not have it handed to him. Dubya, I'm looking at you. Damn, broke my politics referendum.

Tenn (+1) over Cincy

Are you freaking kidding me? The Titans injure a bunch of Jaguars, get a huge week one win, but the second they throw a drunk under center, they are underdogs to a team that was embarrassing, at best? Really? I'll be taking the Titans, and laughing all the way to 4 sacks of Carson Palmer.

Indy (-2) over Minnesota

Peyton looked about 4 steps slow. Marvin looked still hurt. Dallas Clark might not play. Addai got shook up on Sunday Night. The defense couldn't close down a rookie running back. Meanwhile, on Monday...Peterson fought for 100 yards, proving to me just how hard it is going to be on him every game this year. The defense looked strong against a resilient Green Bay offense. But Tavaris Jackson is STILL the quarterback.

N.O. (PK) over Washington

Wow. Look, I'm not going to start listing the reasons that Washington looked awful, and N.O. looked good last week. I will say, if gambling were legal, nothing could stop me from betting the house on the Saints. Huh. Never thought I'd say that.

Green Bay (-3) over Detroit

Detroit got mutilated by a very average Falcons team (no matter how much I want to believe otherwise, I can't. Not yet.) Green Bay looks better than the Atlanta team, and Detroit can't seem to decide what they are. Do they want to run the ball first, do they want to throw to Roy and Megatron (Best. Nickname. Ever.)? I don't know what they want, but I do know they will be 0-2 after this week.

Carolina (-3) over Chicago

I think? Both these defenses looked really good, and the Panthers are supremely better on offense. Unless this Forte kid is really that good. Unless Jake Delhomme isn't as back as he looked. Unless Kyle Orton is REALLY the answer? Ugh. Avoid this game for gambling possibilities at all costs.

NYGiants (-8.5) over St. Louis

Pick the defense that plays the Rams every week. There it is, your fantasy football advice of the week. In a related story, Stephen Jackson is an AWFUL fantasy back to have, because his team will be down alot every game, and he won't be running.

Buffalo (+5.5) over Jacksonville

It's tough treading when you lose both starting guards in the first week. Especially since David Garrard seems to be coming back to Earth from his amazing year last year. On the other hand, the Titans defense has the power to make most teams look mortal. Maybe I should be taking J'ville here, but if you are winning a game, and build on your lead using a fake field goal, then I'm picking you the next week. I don't have many rules, but that's one of them.

Tampa Bay (-7) over Atlanta

Rookie quarterbacks on the road against Monte Kiffen? G'night "Matty Ice". What a God-awful nickname.

San Fran (+7) over Seattle

Name 1 receiver still healthy in Seattle. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Zona (-6.5) over Miami

Mehhh....I don't feel good about that. Miami was one drive away from toppling the Jets, who have to be the favorites in division right now, and Warner is no Bret Favre. I guess I'm thinking that the supporting cast and defense is better out in the desert, and they show it this week.

New England (+1.5) over NYJets

Matt Cassel era starts...now! Seriously, he's surrounded by enough talent that if the Pats revert to 2001 form (step up on D, crossing patterns and quick outs, more running game) they would be fine even if I were under center. Especially playing a quarterback who is still learning the offense in Bret Favre.

Houston (-4.5) over B'More

Time to find out just how back the Ravens defense really is. I think this Houston squad has the potential to knock off Indy in the Best Division in Football, but they need a defining win, and not just over their division foes. A message could be sent if they can hang some points on this D, and keep Joe Flacco under wraps. Okay, just the 1st thing.

Denver (+1.5) over San Diego

SD got off to a slow start last year, and it looks the same way now. Only, there's no way to tell if Denver is any good, since Eddie Royal was basically running routes on air last Monday, and all the starters were chillin by the middle of the third. I like Denver at home, and I like Jake Cutler, now that he's got his diabetes under control, and I like Mike Shannahan over Norv.

Pittsburgh (-6) over Cleveland

One hit wonder, the Cleveland Browns!!!

Philly (+ 7) over Dallas

The Illadelph looked great last week, as Donovan F. lead his squad to victory over Dartmouth, I mean St. Louis. While I don't think they'll romp as badly this week, I do think that McNabb and co. have traditionally looked great in the early goings, and faded late. That could mean that this is the game that serves as a wake up call for the Romos, that this league is theirs for the taking if they can win a couple of playoff games. Or, McNabb gets hurt, and the entire city of Philadelphia takes a collective cyanide pill.

Last Week: 8-8
Season: 8-8

9/11




Still goosebumps.

Sep 4, 2008

2008 NFL Preview + Week 1 Picks

It's hard to believe that a just over a year ago, I typed numerous predictions that were horribly, horribly wrong. Continuing my lifetime of not learning from my mistakes, I return, to make more awful predictions.

AFC East
1. Pats
2. Jets
3. Buffalo
4. Fins

Hm. Well, the Pats got younger at their most crucial position on the defensive side of the ball, with Rosey Colvin being replaced by Mayo. Plus, they don't have exactly the most daunting schedule this year, and while 16-0 is too much to hope for, I think 14-2 is well within reach.

The former Jersey-B team got way more respectable with the off season additions of Alan Faneca and Damien Woody helping out the running game. Plus, I heard that they had a slight upgrade at quarterback...Look for the Jets to fight for a wild card spot this year.

Buffalo/Toronto is an interesting case this year, as Marshawn Lynch looks to be poised to break out, but the uncertainty on the offensive line might hold him back. They've got a proven NFL starter under center, but I don't see them playing in January. I'm pretty down on the Fins...as is every NFL prognosticator, commentator, and I'd venture to guess most Miami players. But, look for exciting things out of the Ricky Williams show, provided he doesn't get TOO high.

AFC North
1. B'More
2. Pitt
3. "Browns"
4. Cincy

Maybe I've been watching too much "The Wire"(no such thing as too much). Maybe watching Ray Lewis' kid brother on Hard Knocks got to me. Maybe I believe in Joe Flacco...I mean Kyle Boller...I mean Troy Smith...I mean Joe Flacco again. Quarterback carousel aside, I have to think that the defense bounces back from the embarrassment of last season to continue carrying this team to greatness. Maybe.

Pittsburgh was impressive at times last year, but Willie Parker needs to get in the end zone more, and Limas Sweed needs to live up to the hype. If your offense is dependent on a starter returning from a big injury, and in the injection of a talented rookie, you most likely aren't ending up1st in the division. The "Browns" might be one hit wonders, and even if they aren't, preseason injuries to Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards makes me question this potent offense.

I think Cincy is irreparably broken, and needs a coaching change immediately. I really like Marvin Lewis, but this stuff is getting out of hand. Negative press at every turn, and now with a big(ger than reported) injury to Chad Johnson, I don't see them breaking .500. Again.

AFC South
1. Colts
2. J'Ville
3. Texans
4. Tennessee

Here goes the division I feel the worst about. I have no idea how this is going to finish. I'm ignoring the growing rumors that Peyton had a second knee surgery, and that the knee swells up at the slightest movement. I'm also going to ignore the Marvin Harrison gun story, as did every news outlet across the country this off season.

No one should want to play the Jags this year. This is an angry team, with a dangerous quarterback, and a dominant defense. The Texans got derailed last year by fluky injuries, so I look for former Falcon Matt Schaub to have a great year. Tennessee is not this low because I'm down on them, but because I'm frankly dumbfounded. How did this division get this good? Can we annex one of these teams to the AFC West, so that we can have three of them in the play offs? Speaking of...

AFC West
1. Super-Chargers
2. Broncos
3. Raiders
4. KC

Well, duh. Since LDT has revealed himself only to vanish during meaningful playoff games, San Diego should be pretty set throughout the regular season. The fact that the rest of the of the division happens to be the anti-AFC South helps alot too.

I'm tired of reading about how Jay Cutler is going to turn the corner this year. You mean with his best receiver benched for the first game...that just HAPPENS to be a division game? Right. The Raiders actually intrigue me, but when it comes down to it, I choose the proven commodity of Mike Shannhan over some kid who has to knock out a paper route before coming to the office everyday. I just think those hours are going to eat at his teenage mind and body. How is the fact that Al Davis tried to force Lane Kiffen into quitting after last year not being mentioned at all? The owner trying to get rid of the coach, and failing, would be a pretty big deal heading into a new season, if you ask me. The only thing worse than that, is if you're picked to finish behind that team.

Hi Herm Edwards.

NFC East
1. Dallas
2. Philly
3. Skins
4. Super Bowl Hangovers

In light of last night's Fantasy Draft, Dallas has to put up points, or I'm done. The only thing working against them is the fact that they have been remarkably healthy/lucky for the past three years, and something has to give...right?

I want Philly to win this division. I think the people of Philadelphia need their team to win this division. And if Donovan F. doesn't win this division, he could be job hunting come next season. They have the defense. They have the QB. They just have to get it done. The Redskins are breaking in a first year coach, they have an aging defense, and I just don't see them going on the miracle run of last season.

Up in New York, no matter what they tell you, it is REALLY HARD to replace the starting defensive ends off of a Super Bowl winning team. Especially when they are the reason for your past success.

NFC North
1. Green Bay
2. Minnesota
3. Lions
4. Bears

You asked for it, you got it. The Aaron Rodgers era is underway. At least he's got a dominant defense, a decent running game, and some talented skill players to help he along. And since each of the other three teams is missing a major part of a successful football team, they win by default. Minnesota has the D, but is starting Tavaris Jackson, and Adrian Peterson hasn't played a full season since his freshman year in college. The Lions have the talent, but no running game or defense. The Bears allegedly still have a defense, but they don't have anything else.

NFC South
1. Carolina
2. Saints
3. Bucs
4. Falcons

Carolina wins this. I mean, the Saints. I mean Tampa Bay. Look, all I know is Atlanta finishes fourth. After stabbing their fans in the face by not drafting Dorsey, they twisted the knife by starting the new 'franchise quarterback' behind an offensive offensive line. Ok, enough about them, or I'm going to shoot myself.

If Delhomme is back 100%, and Peppers and the defense can rebound from the abysmal showing last year, look for them to make some noise. The Saints look to be poised to come back after starting really slow last year. Every time a team wins this division, the next year their in the basement. Unfortunately, the Falcons are parked in the basement for the foreseeable future, so Tampa will be sharing the space with them.

NFC West
1. Seahawks
2. Niners
3. St. Louis
4. Arizona

How is the West in both conferences freaking embarrassing? The Seahawks are perennially good, mostly because their division is garbage. The departure (and subsequent unemployment) of Shaun Alexander means running back by committee here, which appears to be the way most of the L is moving. Hasselbeck is always a consistent QB, and his receivers looked to be developing into something special at the end of last year.

The Niners are going to continue to be awful, even with Mike Martz running the show. With Patrick Willis holding down the defense, they should bottle up the other two teams in the league, who have their own problems. The Rams should be interesting this year, in the sense that they are going to be imploding before week 8. Good times. Is Matt Leinart officially a bust, since he has gotten beaten out by a 55 year old man in Kurt Warner? The Arizona defense stars Carlos Dansby...and no one else.

AFC Playoff Teams:
1. Pats
2. Chargers
3. Baltimore
4. Indy
5. Jax
6. Jets

NFC Playoff Teams:
1. Dallas
2. Carolina
3. Green Bay
4. Seahawks
5. Philly
6. Saints

Super Bowl:
Pats over Philly...again. Sorry Philadelphia phans, but they will not be denied this time, especially since now Belichick is cheating in HD.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Week 1 Picks:
I'm tired of writing, so nothing witty about these games. Home teams, as always, in bold.

Washington (+4.5) over Giants

Baltimore (+1.5) over Cincy

Jets (-3) over Miami

Pats (-15.5) over KC

Houston (+6.5) over Pitt

J'ville (-3) over Tenn

Detroit (-3) over Atl

Seattle (+1) over Buffalo

N.O. (-3) over Tampa Bay

Philly (-7.5) over St. Louis

Dallas (-5.5) over Cleveland

Carolina (+9.5) over San Diego

Zona (-2.5) over San Fran

Indy (-9.5) over Chi-Town

Minnesota (+2.5) over Green Bay

Denver (-3) over Oakland

Fantasy Football is Real Life

Thanks to Gene Edwards for the soundbite/title. I had both of my final fantasy drafts last night, and I gotta say, I think I came out pretty good. In both leagues, I'm using the chick magnet team name Heath Ledger's NyQuil, so I'll designate my teams by where the league is hosted.

Yahoo Sports! - Okay, I had the 9th pick, and there was no trading of picks beforehand. I think I came out like a freaking bandit, but you be the judge.

QB- Ben Roethlisberger, David Garrard
RB- Clinton Portis, Willie Parker, Felix Jones, Deuce McAllister
WR- Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Patrick Crayton, Deion Branch
TE- Dallas Clark, Donald Lee
K- Robbie Gould
Def- Arizona, Tampa Bay

ESPN - This is my super-competitive league with a bunch of old teammates from college. I had the 10th, but made moves to get 3 picks in the first 15 picks. It wound up a little Dallas-Centric, but hopefully they can still be as healthy as they have been.

QB- Donovan McNabb, David Garrard
RB- Marion Barber, Willie Parker, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Deuce McAllister
WR- Terrell Owens, Jericho Cotchery, Patrick Crayton, Amani Toomer, Antwaan Randel El
TE- Chris Cooley, Alge Crumpler
K- Rob Bironas
Def- Arizona, Tampa Bay

*Breaking News Edit*

In a monster move, I have traded Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Terrell Owens for LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles, and Roy Williams. The rich get richer...

Sep 3, 2008

iSuck

It's been a while since I posted, mainly because I've been moving all weekend, but that's no excuse. Actually, that's exactly what it is. Oh well. Pending getting internet at the new place today, I will be posting my Fantasy Football Team as soon as I am done drafting tonight, and the NFL Preview will be up, along with Week 1 Picks before kick off tomorrow night. I guarantee. Kinda.

The Thursday night kick off is dumb anyway.

Until all that stuff gets posted, support your friendly neighborhood blogger by going to my Zazzle page, and picking out a spiffy t-shirt. Here be the link:

Cool and funny shirts!

Plus, I'm here to bring you one of the biggest collabs of the year. Kanye, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, T.I.

You're welcome.



SWAGGER LIKE US


I'll be back tomorrow.

Aug 28, 2008

Welcome Back...

To the same old place that we've laughed about. Welcome back...




He's back!

Aug 23, 2008

However Many Down...


And *yawn* one to go. Is there any doubt in how this story ends? Jose Calderon isn't even going to show up for this beatdown, which will likely eclipse the whipping we hung on Spain during pool play. I don't even think I'm excited for this.

Aug 22, 2008

Kiss the Ring


Some people were worried about our ability to run the world like we have. As I type, we're in the middle of merking Argentina, and on the fast track to meeting Spain in the Gold Medal game. As the title of the blog implies, I don't ask for much from the rest of the world.

Just kiss the ring. Bitches.

Aug 21, 2008

RIP Gene Upshaw

We may not yet have guaranteed salaries, but without one of the most influential men in NFL history, we wouldn't have free agency. Rest In Peace to the Hall of Fame head of the NFLPA.

A full bio and remembrance can be found at the the Pro Football Hall of Fame homepage.

I Can't Prove It Didn't Happen

What is the likelihood this conversation took place? 85%? 90%?


Aug 20, 2008

Throwback-ish

I wrote the following a year ago, the first thing that ever appeared on this stupid blog...it's still true now. Good luck to the Columbia Lions who started camp today.

For the first time in ten-odd years, my end of summer will not be punctuated by the coming of football training camp. For the first time, my August will not be defined by two-a-days, the odor of mildewed socks, and post-practice dips in the ice bath. For the first time, I won’t be surrounded by my friends, my teammates, my brothers, as we work towards the goals we set forth for ourselves.

On the one hand, I’m not under the punishing August sun, which beats down the same from New York City to College Station, Texas to Cocoa Beach, Florida. I’m not driving a sled across a field, or taking on rushing defensive tackles in one-on-one drills, or running sprints after practice. I’ll never ride a bus to Florida again, never spend all my time away from the field in a meeting room, or start fast and finish faster. I’ll never again wake up scared. On the one hand, I don’t have to do these things ever again.

On the other hand, I never get to.

We all miss playing (winning) games, clean out blocks, great throws and catches, amazing picks, and knock out hits. That’s universal; everyone mentions this stuff in what they miss from the game. But, I think it is more than just the good times former players miss. Gone is the grind of the weight room, the tedium of the meeting room, but a part of everyone who has ever put on pads, or laced up cleats, or picked up a ball misses the part of the game that goes unseen. In some sort of masochistic way, we all enjoyed the grind, the hardness, the sacrifice. It is one of those unique things in life that you detest as you are in the midst of it, but the second it’s gone, you feel like almost a part of yourself is missing. Today, I’ve traded my life as a student athlete for something else; something that, to be honest, doesn’t even feel like me. My cleats for dress shoes, my playbook for a laptop, I’m reminded of this shift every time I walk into my new apartment, as my helmet stares back at me. Some people call this growing up, entering the next phase of my life. I don’t yet know what to call it, all I have known is what came before. And I miss it.