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.


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

Dec 29, 2008


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

Dec 25, 2008


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.


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.


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:


- 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?


- 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?


- 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