Friday, December 30, 2011

Bowl games, 1st week of the NBA, Tebow the Bears and Vegas picks

I gotta admit these 'filler bowl' games are a nice way to pass time during the days of the holiday season. Thursday night, 2 days before New Years Eve, sure I want to see a team barely escape with victory even though they scored 67 points. RGIII, this year's heisman winner is definitely going to the NFL next year. I really can't see him not excelling immediately. Andrew Luck may be a can't miss #1 draft pick but RGIII will be the better player and you know I'm right about things like this boo!

The NBA is picking up right where it left off and Kevin Durant is headed toward the MVP 30+ points at a time. Kevin Durant is everything Tracy McGrady was supposed to be. Lebron James dominance means absolutely nothing until june and if the Dallas Mavericks don't make the playoffs this year I can go back to telling everyone that Dirk Nowitzki is overrated who just happened to have a magical june '11 that made us forget his previous diappointments. Kobe Bryant can't drop 40 whenever he wants to these days but he is still the most skilled player in the NBA. I told ya'll last week that Portland and it's killer depth will be a dark horse this year and now you can add the 76ers to that list. If you are gambler bet against the Utah Jazz before Vegas figures out that they are 1 of the worst teams EVER!

Nice recovery Boston Red Sox for getting Andrew Bailey at a fraction of the cost of what you would have to had paid to keep Jonathan Papelbon. Nice work Chicago White Sox for re-upping with lefty John Danks, he's a stud who just had an off year. Nothing sounds more right than Alex Rodriguez getting radical procedures done on his body... in Germany...after being recommended by KOBE BRYANT! Their probably are only a few athletes that Germany would do this procedure for, Kobe, A-Rod, Jay Cutler, Barry Bonds... Tim Tebow you say?...(Genius alert)KEINE MOGLICHKEIT (That's no way in Germany)

Speaking of Tim Tebow I think his legacy takes a big hit if he loses at home to a crappy KC Chief team with Kyle Orton, the guy he replaced, at the helm. It's the equivalent of dumping somebody for someone else and then later that dumped someone turns out to be way better than the person you're with. This is just a game that special players win, period.

This Bears season hurts me more than other seasons, cause I believe that this was their best team they had in years, better than last years conference runner-up and yes better than their '06 Super Bowl team. They had special teams, a solid defense and very good QB play which has happened maybe 5 times in the last 40 years for the Bears, but thats the way the cookie crumbles.

BTW Tom Brady will probably finish 3rd in MVP balloting, but he's slowly making a legitimate claim to being the best player in the history of the NFL.

After going 6-9 last week on my football games, it appears that I indeed do not have a grasp on the NFL but I shall not be deterred.

Best Bets:
New Orleans o 54

Good Bets:
Denver under 37
Cleveland +7
San Fran -11

If you have a gambling Problem:
Bears +1
Green Bay +3
Buffalo +11
Miami over 41


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NBA preview, Shout-out to Dan Marino and Vegas Picks, Lots of Vegas Picks

Here's to Drew Brees, on pace to shatter Dan Marino's single season NFL passing yards of 5,084 set in 1984.

Football on Saturday and NBA basketball jumping off on Sunday - this really is Christmas. I'm super stoked for the start of the NBA season, not just to see if LeBron makes an assault up the legacy ladder or falls into a worse version of Karl Malone, not just to see the demise of the LA Lakers, which I thoroughly look forward to, or to see if the addition of Rip Hamilton and a healthy Carlos Boozer is enough to aid D-Rose to a Bulls title. The best thing about the NBA may very well be the addition of one Shaq Diesel, a.k.a. "The Big AARP" to TNT's NBA show. I have always thought that by far, the two most entertaining people in sports were Shaq and Charles Barkley, and now they are together. That, my friend, is must-see TV.

Here's to Tom Brady, on pace to crush Dan Marino's NFL single season record for passing yards set in 1984.

With a 66-game schedule crammed in, this will give teams with young legs and/or great depth a huge advantage over most other teams. In the East, will the Knicks run-and-gun style be a hindrance or help to Carmelo and Amare as they try and crack the upper echelon of the eastern conference? With Baron Davis likely missing the first 2 months of the season and no real pg help, I see them struggling, and the Celtics will have to sacrifice games with an aging group to keep their legs fresh for the postseason. The Magic will not be able to add enough help for Dwight Howard and may end up trading him, so they are also rans. Which leads us to the Bulls and Heat: I think the Bulls are ready, but not Heat-ready, as the Heat take out my beloved Bulls in 7 games. My dark horse is the Pacers because of their youth and depth.

Here's to Eli Manning, with an outside chance of passing Dan Marino's NFL single season record for passing yards set in 1984.

The Lakers with Lamar Odom were done for, and now without him, you can still a fork in them. I have to believe that they will try hard for the services of Dwight Howard, and that may change things, but if not, it will be fun watching weekly Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant melt downs. I still can't believe the Mavs won last year, and with the subtraction of Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea (yes, that's huge), it will not be enough to overcome one of the most overrated players in the history of sports...Vince Carter. The fade away 3-pointer is not what championships are built on.

The Clippers are for real, but I'm not buying them; they have 3 point guards and no shooting guard, so as they are constituted now they will be a solid tough out in the playoffs, and that's it. Plus, can anyone see head coach Vinny del Negro cutting down championship nets? The Blazers will have one of the best records in hoops this year with the great depth that they have, but I don't accept LaMarcus Aldridge as the go-to player that can take his team to the next level. I do believe in Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. This guy reminds me of Magic Johnson, not with his style of play, but because he comes across as a guy who just loves to play. If there's a game, lace 'em up. I bet that him and Russell Westbrook will take their game to new heights this year and, most importantly, take them to the finals.

Here's to Aaron Rodgers, with a slim chance to pass Dan Marino's NFL single season record for passing yards set in 1984.

Heat vs. Thunder: I wanna pick the Heat, but I'm gun shy. A few blogs, ago I blasted the Chosen One as the worst kind of superstar to have - you know, the one that says, "Come on guys, put your eggs in my basket. I'll carry them" - but when you really need him to carry them, he's like, "Who the f**k keeps putting these eggs in my basket? I can't carry my eggs, but I'm going to make it seem like your eggs are the the reason why I can't carry my eggs." Yeah, that dude. Here's the deal: there is a blueprint to guarding Lebron. You gotta have the right personnel for it, and the Thunder have it. The problem is that the Thunder don't have enough scorers (3 total on the entire team: Durant, Westbrook and Harden. Maybe 4 if you count Nate Robinson. I don't.) That is just not enough to win against a solid defensive team like the Heat, so I reluctantly will climb on the bandwagon yet again and pick the Heat in 7.

Yeah, yeah, so everyone is on pace to break Dan Marino's record, and that's great for the game of football, but let's keep it real. Dan Marino's season is way more impressive than what anyone does this season. Rule changes have affected the way the game is being played. The NFL has made it tougher for defenses to defend the pass, and as a result record numbers are being put up. Think Kobe 35 a game, A.I. 33 a game and Arenas 30 points a game when the league changed their rules dramatically in '06 to increase scoring. Defenses will make adjustments as the season goes on, and the numbers will come down a bit.

After a spectacular 3-0 week against the spread and the NFL heading into week 16, I feel that I should have a good read on all 32 teams, so here you go.

Locks of the week:
Phi/Dallas over 50.5: has anyone seen these teams play all year? This game will have 60 pts. scored easily.
San Diego/Lions over 52.5: Philip Rivers has hit his stride, and they will put up big points. So will Detroit.
Pittsburgh/St.Louis under 43: Both offenses have been woeful of late, and that will stay the course.

I feel reasonably good about these picks:
Redskins -6.5 over Vikings: The Skins have been playing solid lately, and the Vikes have not.
Panthers-7.5 over Tampa: Tampa Bay has all but mailed in the season.
Atlanta +7 over the Saints: These teams know each other too well for there to be more than a td difference.

These games I pick with scientific knowledge:
Broncos-3 over the Bills: When referring to the Bills, please reference my thoughts on Tampa Bay.
Titans-7 over Jags: When the Jags are down they have to turn to Blaine Gabbert, and he's awful.
Ravens -13 over Cleveland: The Ravens always bounce back after a horrible loss.

Um, a tad bit of guess work:
Chiefs-2.5 over the Raiders: Yes, I believe in Kyle Orton.
Bears/Packers under 44: No way the bears score more than 14, which means the Pack can't score more than 30. They won't.
Houston-6 over the Colts: Arian Foster was on my FF team, and now my team is out so naturally Foster will run wild.
Seattle-2 over 49ers: Seattle is playing lights-out, and 49ers will have a MNF hangover.
Bengals-4 over Arizona: Cincy will win. The question is will it be by 3 or 6? I say 6.
Miami/NE over 48: The Pats will score, and the Fins will keep it close so the Pats will score some more.
Giants +3 over Jets: this is where the Giants do well, underdogs and on the road, even if they are playing at home...wait, what?
Merry Christmas to all and to all happy wagering!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Enigma that is Tim Tebow

Dead Men Walking! That's the proverbial term that best describes the Chicago Bears last week. They lost to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos before they even suited up. It was just a matter of playing the game and letting it unfold, typical late-game Tebow magic. I know everyone says that if Marion Barber would have just stayed in bounds, the Bears would've never lost that game, but that's my point. In all of my years of watching football, I can only think of maybe one other time when someone's sole purpose is to run out the clock, and instead they run out of bounds, stopping the clock to give the team the ball back with time to efficiently drive down the field to score points.

It didn't matter that Barber didn't stay in bounds. This just happens to be one of the more improbable ways the Bears would have lost. If Barber stayed in bounds, the Bears would have punted, and you know what? The punt would have been blocked. If the Bears pinned the Broncos deep in their own territory with less than 20 seconds left, Tebow would have completed a 30-yard pass, and then there would have been a roughing the passer penalty for 15 extra yards, and the kicker would have made a 65-yard fg to tie the game.

"If only Barber didn't fumble in overtime!" Irrelevant, I say! Incredibly accurate kicker Robbie Gould (who had earlier made a 57-yard fg) would have missed a 37-yard chip shot. Mike Martz would have called a pass play for no apparent reason, and it would have resulted in an interception. I have figured this out: it's just meant to be. The Bears were doomed right from the get-go. The only problem is that they were gonna lose in the most heartbreaking fashion, and it is the worst loss I have ever experienced as a diehard Bears fan, surpassing the 38-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins back in 1985, which prevented them from going undefeated that year.

The frustrating thing is that everything I know about the way to win football games gets thrown out the window when it comes to Tebow. He's as unconventional as they come. Awful for 58 minutes, and the best there ever was for the last 2 minutes. It doesn't matter that his 7 wins have come against 4 scrubs at the opposing QB position (Moore, Palko, Ponder and Hanie), a QB who just came out of retirement (Palmer), another QB who leads the league in interceptions (Rivers), and another QB who is mediocre until the month of December and then plays really well (Sanchez). This guy still gets it done, even when you say, "No f**kin way they win this week." Does he gets too much credit? I think so...but I can't be so sure anymore. Does Marion Barber run out of bounds for any QB not named Tebow? I doubt it. The Broncos defense was horrid when Kyle Orton was QB. Enter Tebow, and now they limit every team to under 20 points, and when they don't, they make sure to score a defensive TD so that the Holy One has a chance to create his magic.

I don't believe this will continue. Is this a magical year? Unquestionably, but this can't be what Tim Tebow's whole career will be like. Why teams play a preventative defense against Tebow when he can't hit the side of a barn is a question I can't answer.

This week, the Broncos play the New England Patriots. They will have to score points this week. Tom Brady is the QB he's going against, an all time great. He will not be held to under 17 points. As a matter of fact, he will score at least 24 points, which means Tebow will have to score points the other 3 quarters. Of course, The Pats have one of the worst defenses in football, so perhaps the stars will continue to align for Tebow. In the end, I only know that every week something improbable has to happen for the Broncos to win, and something improbable does happen. This has made me consider the option of going to church, at the very least to have God Tebow-tize my picks for the week.

Detroit/Oakland over 47.5: This game has shootout written all over, as two undisciplined defenses will give up a ton of points.

Eagles/Jets over 44: The Jets are playing with incredible desperation, and Vick and the boys are playing for pride...shootout!

Bears/Seahawks over 36: There will be points scored in this game, even if it means 4 defensive touchdowns and 3 field goals. For those of you who don't know basic math, that's 37 points.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Baseball free agency, Stern oversteps his boundaries and Vegas Picks - I'm covering it all, Boo!

Congratulations to the Anaheim Angels for the best free agent pickup of the year. No, not Albert Pujols - C.J. Wilson. Getting C.J. means that they take the best pitcher from their top division rival, the Texas Rangers, and add a solid pitcher to an already solid pitching staff. To me, the Anaheim Angels are the front runner for the World Series title, but let's not put too much stock in this because I had the Red Sox last year at this time.

Kudos to the St. Louis Cardinals for not breaking the bank on the best player of this generation. Yes, Albert is a stud among studs, but paying someone 22 mil when he is 41 years old is just bad business. The Cardinals are a well-run, medium market organization that will survive this.

Mark Buerhle will continue to do what he did for the White Sox over the past 11 years - eat innings and be a model of consistency - but now that he's in the National League, he will do it a little bit better. A year ago, Hanley Ramirez was considered the best shortstop in the game, and now the Florida Marlins just traded for Jose Reyes to play shortstop. New manager Ozzie Guillen will have to earn his keep early and often.

Message to NBA commissioner David Stern: blockbuster trades are good for all sports! The NBA trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets, and Lamar Odom along with a gang of Rocket players to New Orleans was rescinded, and my initial reaction was, "Ooooh, I can't wait to see that episode on Keeping up with the Kardashians." My second reaction was, "The Lakers are better off for it." I think Chris Paul is great, but the Lakers were giving up waayyy too much for him. He's had durability issues, and the Lakers would've become incredibly thin in the front court, having not nearly enough talent left to trade for Dwight Howard. Another thing is that the Hornets would have been a better team with the trade. To me, this a clear attempt to protect small market teams from losing star players to big market teams, but isn't that one of the main reasons there was a lockout to begin with? I smell a clusterf**k!

I hear that it is inevitable that College Football is headed for a Final Four format, and that would be the smartest move in all of sports since the NFL expanded to 12 playoff teams. I already put my wager on Oklahoma at -15 over Iowa in the I-don't-know-what-Bowl, but I'm gonna make money. They will win by 40.

As I'm typing this blog, I'm watching a TV commercial promoting a movie that comes out on Christmas Day, The Darkest Hour, which is about the annihilation of the human race. Ironically, Christmas Day is the celebration of a dude who stopped the annihilation of the human race. That truly is a random thought!

I had big money on the Packers/Giants game last week, but I still kept turning back to see how Tiger Woods was doing. He's still the most captivating athlete on the planet.

Last week was a really tough week for me. I had several games in the bag, and they somehow fell apart for me in the 4th quarter. I look to bounce back this week. In my defense, I am just now recovering from my Thanksgiving weekend eating/drinking debacle. Thanksgiving Eve is the new New Year's Eve, but waaayyyy cheaper and without false promises of ridiculous resolutions like no more coke binges and only sleeping with 8's or better. (BTW, those clearly are not my resolutions.)

Jets/Chiefs under 37 - The Chiefs, excluding a BS hail Mary, haven't scored an offensive TD in ages. I expect that to stay the same against a stingy Jets defense, unless KC runs a whole lot of hail Mary plays.

Titans +4 over New Orleans - The titans are playing solid football, and the Saints are not the same football team on the road.

Dallas/Giants under 49 - This game is huge for both teams, and these offenses will sputter under the Sunday night spotlight.

49ers-4 over Arizona - The 49ers will wear down an underwhelming Cardinal team.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kobe Bryant's Golden Opportunity, LSU-Bama and Picks of the Week

My shorties will get the best-ever Christmas presents. Why, you ask? If my kids get great gifts, they will be occupied for the day. If they're occupied for the day, then daddy gets to watch the return of the NBA season, which starts on this glorious day (better known for the birth of Christ), all the while drinking vast amounts of spiced eggnog and eating x-mas cookies.

Hooray, hooray. I was in serious doubt that this was going to happen this season, but the players put their pride aside and took a lesser deal, which in the long term will benefit them - now they are getting paid money they were never going to make back. I wasn't sure if this was just a rumor, so I did a little research, and all of the major malls where NBA teams play have acknowledged that giant hoop earrings, tight dresses and condoms with holes in them are flying off the shelves, which means those gold digging groupies are preparing for something.

This benefits me because not only do I get the satisfaction of not having to settle for the watered-down product which is college basketball, but I also do some of my best odds-making on NBA games, having once hit a 7-team parlay and several 5-teamers for sure.

The only person that benefits from the return of the NBA more than me is Kobe Bryant. A 66-game season is perfect for the Black Mamba. This is exactly what a 14-year veteran with playoff grind after playoff grind needs...a break. A non-season would not have nearly affected any other stars in the NBA. Lebron hasn't even reached his prime yet. Kobe is now playing for his legacy and that's it. If Kobe can sneak in another championship, it will put him in top 5 consideration - he's already firmly top 10. (I got him at #9 for those who want to know). Plus, he gets to do something that MJ never did - win a title without Phil Jackson.

Kobe should have fresher legs than he's had in some time, and you know he wants to win without Phil almost as much as he wanted to win without Shaq, He is keenly aware that he needs one more victory to tie MJ in titles, and this is his best year to do it. The downside is that Kobe Bryant is crazy, and without Buddhism to tame him and Ron Artest, it will be a tall order to bring back the hardware.

I don't think there is anyone better than Alabama other than LSU, but if they didn't play in the BCS championship, I would accept it without much complaint because often the two best teams in the country don't play each other for the title. Look at the Super Bowl, when sometimes the two best teams are in the same conference, and they don't get the chance to play each, well that's because they have a playoff system, and the losing team lost the right to play in the Super Bowl, while the college system doesn't have a playoff. It IS designed for the two best teams to play in the title game, not the two hottest teams, which is why they have a highly complex voting system to ensure that. I just talked myself out of that one. LSU and Bama SHOULD play each other for the title.

Last week I went 4-3. Still hovering over the .500 mark, so I'm not exactly losing anybody money unless you only play parlay cards. If so... stop it!

Bears-7 over KC - This is the kind of game where the Bears win by 21, trust me!

Green Bay-6.5 over - The Giants can't get out of the way of themselves and don't expect the Packers to stumble here.

Jets-3 over the 'Skins - Rex Grossman's Kryptonite is really good cornerbacks, and guess who has those?

Patriots-20 over Indy - This spread can't be high enough for me to not take this one.

Cincy-9.5 over UConn
LSU-13.5 over Georgia


Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm on Vacation..Well Sorta: Short but Sweet

Due to the vast amount of food and beverages consumed this week, it would be in all our best interests that I don't share any random thoughts or opinions, however gambling is something that is very natural to me, therefore:

Purdue-7.5 over Indiana ****
Cincy-2 over Syracuse **
Carolina-3 over the Colts ***
Bengals-7 over Cleveland***
Seattle-3.5 over Washington****
Atlanta-9.5 over Vikings**
Steelers-10.5 over Chiefs***

Enjoy this like mac and cheese and sweet potato pie and, to my white readers, cauliflower casserole and pumpkin pie! See you next week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Florida St. Makes Me Ignore my Son, and the Jets Are Not Good People

Florida St. (aka Party Pooper)
Last Saturday was my son's 9th birthday, and I didn't get a chance to enjoy it because Florida St. was busy blowing a 16-point lead to not cover the substantial bet that I made, as I took them to beat the University of Miami by more than 11 points.

It seemed in hand, 11 minutes left in the game, up by 16 points, Miami's offense seemingly inept. But I knew, deep down I knew, though the score said 23-7, FSU had settled for a short fg when they shoulda had 7 and then missed a chip shot fg just before halftime...too many points left on the field. I knew these things because I stalled taking my son extreme trampolining to watch the 1st half. I knew that they were ahead but playing sloppy cause I drained my battery on my phone constantly checking ESPN Gamecast while missing photo opportunities of my kid looking like Spider-Man as he hopped across the multi-plex. Then it happened - Miami scored meaningless points as Florida St., who should have won by 20, wins 23-19. What do i get out of it? A thinner wallet, lousy parenting, as I continued to buy my shorties juice and snacks to subsidize my lack of attention (you know, like most parents do). To top it off, I couldn't even call ahead to make dinner reservations at the local pizzeria cause some dipshit's phone died.

I'm done gambling...until tomorrow.

NY Jets (aka Liver Killer)
Sometimes you just gotta let logic take over. The New England Patriots are a deeply flawed team. Yes, they have Tom Brady, but they have a passing game with no deep threat, a mediocre rushing attack and a sub par defense. The Jets, on the other hand, are playing at home, are playing like gang busters, have a superior defense and have already played the Pats this year, so they know what to expect. After being in the AFC championship game the last 2 years, this is the proverbial next step.

It's a no-brainer. They are favored by a measly 1.5 points, and after eliminating my Florida St. debacle with some deft wagering earlier in the day, it's time to go BIG, so that I do. The game is played at a sluggish pace, which is exactly what I expect, and at the end of the half the Jets are about to strike, but inexplicably, NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez (aka Tony Romo of the AFC) calls a time out, giving Tom Brady enough time to do something before halftime. Let me tell you something - you don't give the NFL version of Doc Holliday time to kill you. He strikes for a TD, takes a 13-9 halftime lead and steals all the momentum. After a ho-hum 2nd half thumping, you guessed it...drinking binge!

Bears-3.5 over San Diego
Let me tell you something, Peeps, I don't quit easily. Actually I do - I do quit easily on lots of things, but not gambling. I dusted off my IOUs and the credit card with the extremely high interest rate and got right back in. And (I know I'm not supposed to start a sentence with "and") no better way to do it than with my beloved Bears. This is the 3rd straight time I'm down with the shufflin' crew. The Chargers are turnover prone, they can't stop the run and have shaky special teams. Guess what the Bears do well? Create to's and run the ball well. They have the best special teams in the NFL...Bears by 10!

Bengals +7 vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Bengals are legit, and the Ravens don't beat legit teams by more than 7. It's really that simple. The Ravens offense is way too inconsistent to put a team with a solid defense like the Bengals away. On a side note, kudos to Marvin Lewis, who I thought was going to be fired several times over the years. Now that they have gotten rid of the head cases, that man can coach.

Packers -13.5 over Tampa
Whenever teams start to flirt with going 16-0 in the middle of the season, they start to dominate to fuel the undefeated chatter by the media. Well, we are smack dab in the middle of the season, and the Pack just rolled the Vikes by 40. They will roll Tampa by 20+.

Patriots -14 over Kansas City
The best thing about taking the Patriots when they are a double digit fav is that head coach Bill Belichek never calls off his dogs. If they've eaten your leg to the bone, he just says, "Have the bones too, boys." The Kansas City Chiefs are super awful, and their anemic offense will keep giving the Pats the ball waaayyy too much to keep this game close. Pats by however many Brady wants to win by.

Cowboys -7 over Washington
Did you know that since John Elway retired, I believe Mike Shanahan has one playoff victory? He's about as overrated as a coach can get. He's been deemed some offensive guru, but his teams has been awful. Yes, the Cowboys are unpredictable, but the Redskins are not. Plus, I can't trust a coach who tans that much. The Boys will have more than 20; the Skins won't have more than 10.

Badgers -14 over Illini - No way the Illini can score to keep this close.
Arkansas -13.5 over Miss. St. - I'm in ARK right now, and they assured me they would cover.

I demand better of myself, and so should you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Penn St. and Vegas Picks

I just read the 23-page report on the Penn St. scandal and damnnnnn…this is jacked up no matter how you look at it. There are, however, three people who stand out on this matter.

Mike McQueary
At the time, the 28-year-old grad assistant allegedly caught the one that shall remain nameless raping a 10-year-old in the shower. He told his dad and then went through the proper channels of reporting what he had seen. This is not the issue. The issue is this: why did he not stop the rape while it was in progress?

McQueary is getting blasted by the media, perhaps rightly so, and now he is getting death threats. I, however, am a bit more realistic about the situation. Without question, he should have stopped, ensured the safety of the kid, and called the police immediately. That being said, his actions were a product of our society. How many times have we as a society looked the other way, whether it’s watching a group of people kick the crap out of one guy, or knowing that domestic abuse occurs with a neighbor or friend and ignoring it? I mean, in da hood snitching is taught to be wrong. It's a survivor mentality. I know everyone will say, “But it’s different cause there were kids involved.” It’s not. Keep in mind, a janitor was sobbing after watching the nameless one raping a child and he did NOTHING.

I get it. We as a society are judgers. We blast pro athletes when they don't give 110% effort all the time while we ourselves rarely give 100%, especially at work. One of the few things I learned in college was in my interpersonal communications class. Our professor said that it is impossible to be objective about yourself, and I believe that is 100% accurate. This is not me saying that every individual in our society would have acted as McQueary did, but a lot more of us would have done the same thing (or less) if put in his shoes. I think McQueary should have taken action, and I would like to believe I would have as well.

This inevitably falls on Paterno. He is, after all, Pennsylvania State University. Yes, I know that he told the athletic director and president, yada yada yada. But the nameless one was his guy, HIS right hand man, and he did this on Paterno's watch. Lest not people forget that 8 years ago, the athletic director and president of Penn St. tried to fire Paterno, and he said no. The same thing happened to Bobby Bowden, the legendary coach of Florida St., and he said no, but they said, “Um, yes, you're done.” Can you imagine if your boss comes to tell you that you're fired, and your response is “Naw, I’m good,” and you then keep your job?

Joe Pa is the most powerful man on that campus, and when this situation came to his attention he should have spearheaded the investigation instead of passing it off. And, yes, he should’ve been fired immediately. It is, after all, the house that Joe built!

Make no mistake about it, this is a disgusting, disturbed individual, but what he did is, above all else, a mental disease. To prey on young children you have to be sick in the head, and the only way to have a fighting chance is to admit you have a problem and seek immediate help. He did not. He succumbed, and now he has ruined his life and his family's life, and he has sent Penn St. down a terrible path.

Michael Jordan is allegedly leading the charge against the players getting a fair deal. Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback as well as anyone I have seen play the position. Two of my fantasy football teams are incredibly bad, and someone just beat my high score on Tri-towers at Buffalo Wild Wings. This would have been an incredible shitty week if I did not nail LSU winning out right against Alabama Saturday night. Speaking of which:

Atlanta +1: New Orleans is not a good road team, and Atlanta is in a groove – lock of the week.
Jets -1.5: New England is not playing well, and the Jets to me are the best team in the AFC – 4 stars
Bears-3: The Bears will not get swept by the Lions. Trust me – 3 stars.
Florida St. -9.5: Florida St. is back to playing like a top 10 team. Miami is not – 4 stars.
Arkansas-14: Tennessee can’t match the Razorbacks offense – 3 stars.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NBA lockout, LaRussa and Vegas Picks

Lately I don't like the person that I'm becoming on a social level. I've spent these last few days reading about Lindsay Lohan going to jail for 30 days, watching Kim Kardashian realize after 72 days that just because you play in the NBA doesn't mean you're black and watching episodes of Whitney on Hulu. These are not in my normal routine for early November.

What I should be doing is salivating over my team I just drafted in my fantasy hoops league. Blogging about how unimportant the regular season is for Lebron James. Hoping whoever the Bulls picked up as their 2 guard would be the final piece to the puzzle for a championship run. Laughing at Charles and Kenny. Depositing my Vegas wagers in a safe box waiting to collect at the end of the season. I should be riding the wave of the most entertaining season in the NBA since Jordan and Pippen, but nooooooo - I have to suffer through an NBA lockout.

This lockout is maddening cause it's just so simple to see the problem. The owners are clearly in the wrong, but they have all the leverage, and the players know that the owners are wrong so egotistically speaking, they are trying to stand their ground, even though there is no ground for them to stand on. I get it - when I'm in the right, I'm in the right, consequences be damned! It's a fault, because it's an ability on my part to put my ego in check, and that's what the players union is going through right now. They can't win, so holding out is only taking money (not the money they want) out of their pockets. I admit a slightly bigger-than-small part wants them to hold out and say, "F**K you, this deal is fair, and we will hold our ground." As a matter of fact, Derek Fisher should channel his inner William Wallace and attend the next meeting in war paint.

The question is this: why are the owners in the wrong? Let's assume that everything we hear is true, that they have come to a mutual agreement on all principles of the contract except for the revenue generated through basketball. They are fighting over roughly 2.5% of the income, which doesn't seem like a lot, but considering the length of the contract and other mathematical equations, it's about 1 to 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS. (Picture David Stern holding his pinkie up to his lip when he says that, hilarious!)

Okay, the players have willingly come down already 4.5% - that's a lot of Kardashian. (Money is sometimes called loot, and loot is sometimes called booty, ergo Kardashian. I know, I'm genius.) When you consider that and the fact that the owners are paying outlandish contracts to mediocre players, they have only themselves to blame. I knew Michael Redd wasn't worth $105 million, and I know that Joe Johnson shouldn't get paid as much as Kobe Bryant - how the hell don't they know? The longer the lockout continues, the worse the situation will get because the owners will be losing money, and since they hold all the leverage it wouldn't surprise me if they lower their offer to the players to get that money back.

Kudos to Tony LaRussa for retiring and going down as the 3rd best manager/coach in my lifetime behind Phil Jackson and Scotty Bowman. Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball and led the Cards to a second WS title, but no way the Cards should give him 200 million dollars. If Cliff Lee stayed with the Rangers, they probably win the World Series, but he leaves to go to the Phillies and then his one playoff outing probably cost the Phillies a World Series - that's crazy, boo.

Last week I went 500 on my Vegas picks, but this week is a no-brainer.

Bears +8.5 on a bye week: Lovie and the Bears are tough, and they own Vick.
Falcons-7: Atlanta is hitting a nice little stride, and the Colts, well...they are not.
Chiefs -4: Confidence and home field advantage is enough for the winless Fins.
Jets +2: The Bills can throw it, but not against the Jets.
Chargers +6: All signs point to the Packers struggling against this seemingly winnable game.

LSU +5: That's a lot of points for a team that's going to win outright.
Arkansas -4: S. Carolina doesn't have the offense to keep up with the Razorbacks.
Nebraska-17: Northwestern will be overwhelmed in Lincoln.

If I go 8-0, I suspect that some of you will be able to go x-mas shopping - you're welcome!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cards/Rangers, Jerry Rice and Vegas Winners

It's hard for me to imagine that a baseball team that has been out-managed and has committed a ton of mental lapses in the 1st six games as the St. Louis Cardinals have done can win a World Series. It's even harder for me to imagine that a team that lost Game 6 the way the Texas Rangers did last night has any chance of winning the World Series.

If the Cards manage to win this thing (and personally I don't see how they can't), it will go down as the one of the most improbable championship runs in sports history. This is way more improbable than the Boston Red Sox coming back from down 3-0 against the Yankees in 2004. They only had to win 4 games in a row. The Cards have been in a basic must-win situation since the beginning of September when they were 8 games out of the playoffs, which now seems like an eternity ago. They have taken destiny and turned it into a comic book. It's hard not to root for the Rangers, though.

Speaking of improbability, the Badgers' loss to the Michigan St. Spartans on a last-second hail Mary should remind everyone why college football has the best regular season in sports, bar none. The Oklahoma Sooners' loss should only come as a surprise to newborn babies that know nothing of sports. Bob Stoops is slowly turning into Norv Turner: great on paper, but disappointing on the field. Alabama and LSU would be 10 pt. favorites over every other team in the BCS bowl, but I really like Stanford.

Here are some of the players that were drafted ahead of Carolina Panther WR Steve Smith in my fantasy football draft: Santana Moss, Johnny Knox, Chad Jonson, Brandon Lloyd and Julio Jones, to name a few. Guess who is leading the league in receiving yardage? Steve Smith. This reminds me of Randy Moss when he was basically given away to the Patriots because everyone thought he was washed up, and all he did was produce one of the greatest single seasons a wide receiver ever had. My point is, as long as you have a QB a wide receiver generally will produce, which leads me to this...

The enigma of the legacy of Jerry Rice
Here are the QB's that Jerry Rice played with: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Rich Gannon and Jeff Garcia. Only when Jeff Garcia was his QB did anyone think Jerry Rice had lost it. See what I'm getting at? There is no denying that Jerry Rice is the best receiver in the history of the NFL, and it's not even close. I also would argue that no one has had a better career in the NFL than Jerry Rice - with the personal records and 3 Superbowl trophies, his credentials speak for themselves. That being said, it's a really tough sell for me to accept Jerry Rice as the best football player in the HISTORY of the NFL.

Jerry Rice was in great shape, and his longevity is amazing, but he was fortunate to have played with some outstanding QBs. No other receiver can come close to boasting the group of QBs that Jerry Rice had. The big argument for Jerry Rice is that he was head and shoulders above every other WR that ever played. That's true, but he still is a wide receiver.

There's a reason why a wide receiver has never won a regular season MVP: their value is limited. If I'm trying to put together a championship team, a wide receiver is one of the last pieces to the puzzle, not the building block. If the discussion of Jerry Rice being head and shoulders above everyone else is enough justification, can I then throw Ray Guy who is widely considered the best punter in the NFL into the mix? Of course not, because his value is limited. I'm not saying Jerry Rice isn't an all time great, just not the greatest!

And of course, I have my all time top 10:
11. Ray Lewis (I know it's my top 10, but Ray is really good.)
10. Jerry Rice
9. Reggie White
8. Johnny Unitas
7. Lawrence Taylor
6. Jim Brown
5. Peyton Manning
4. John Elway
3. Walter Payton
2. Tom Brady
1. Joe Montana

I have no idea what happened to a section of my last week's blog. For some reason, my picks weren't posted, and sadly for you they were winners, but I'm still on top of my game so here you go:

The Cards/Rangers over 8: I don't believe in any of these pitchers, so expect a lot of runs.
Lions -3: I am not one of the f**ktards that believe in Tim Tebow.
Giants -10: They always seem to disappoint when they are heavy favs, but not this week.
Seattle/Cincy under 38.5: Expect field goals, not TDs.
San Fran/Cleveland under 38.5: Cleveland can't score more than 10, and San Fran won't score more than 28.

Penn st. - 5: The fighting Illini have lost their fight.
Georgia +3: This ain't yo father's Gators. Georgia wins outright.
Clemson-4: Yeah, it's a trap game, I get it. But speed outruns traps. Go Tigers!
Stanford -7: I said earlier I really like Stanford, and here's my proof.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lebron James

Recently, ESPN had a poll about the top 100 players in the NBA. Here's the top 10:

10. Blake Griffin
9. Deron Williams
8. Derrick Rose
7. Kobe Bryant
6. Kevin Durant
5. Dirk Nowitzki
4. Chris Paul
3. Dwayne Wade
2. Dwight Howard
1. LeBron James

The Enigma that is Lebron James

I get it. Lebron's production is off the charts, and he is the ultimate stat stuffer. I predicted that last year the Heat would challenge the Bulls for the all-time best record and that the King would average close to, if not, a triple double. Which of course was before I saw how flawed a team the Heat were. That being said, by the time the playoffs started I thought they had righted the ship, and they were my favorite to win the championship. I had given Lebron a pass for his previous playoff failures simply because I knew that his previous Cleveland Cavalier teams weren't very good and that the Orlando Magic led by Dwight Howard and the Boston Celtics defensively led by Kevin Garnett made perimeter players mortal. Even the likes of Kobe Bryant, who almost shot the Lakers out of winning a championship until Pau Gasol saved them with gutsy play (that we haven't seen from him since), was limited by the Celtics' incredible team defense. But not this year, no sir. With Dwayne Wade on his side and Chris bosh, no way they can clog the lanes and keep LeBron down. He's just too talented to not bring home the title. THE BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE playing with the 3rd best player - no way.

I was dead wrong. Not only have I jumped off the bandwagon, I'm running along the side of it, throwing burning bottles of booze at it. Not only do I not think Lebron James is the best player in the NBA, I would argue that he is the WORST kind of superstar to have.

In basketball, you build your team around the superstars. You find out what they do incredibly well, and then you plug in the pieces. Consider this: in the NBA finals, everyone on both teams played near or surpassed what they did in the regular season except one player - Lebron James. He was the only one that didn't come close to putting up the numbers that he normally does, and that's fine to a point, but you still gotta get your numbers, even if it means shooting more at a lower field goal percentage. A team will average between 92-108 pts scored per game. When a guy throughout the year averages 26-28 of those points and then it starts to trickle down, we now have to come up with an additional 65-81 pts. When someone averages over 25% of your points scored, that means that the ball is in their hands a lot, which means that other players don't get many touches. Offense in sports is all about finding a rhythm, and if a player does not get the ball much, it's harder for him to establish that rhythm.

LeBron every season averages between 26-30 pts a game. When he has been eliminated in the playoffs, he performs woefully under his playoff production. Last year he averaged 27 points in the reg season and in the finals, 14.3...ouch. I know that he played great in the 1st three rounds in the playoffs, but he hit 17-41 from 3-point range, which is nowhere near what he normally did, and after Game 1 where he hit 4-5 against Dallas from 3-point-land, he was effectively exposed. He has no real mid-range game and no post moves, so teams know that if they don't let him drive the lane, he will shoot threes and that doesn't get it done in the playoffs. LBJ, I still believe you have a lot of time left to stake claim as one of the 10 best players to ever play the game, but greatness is all about winning championships.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Random Thoughts about Sports

I feel the need to give a little bit of a back story before I go into the heart of my blog. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, the youngest of 10 (7 boys, 3 girls). Back then, there was no cable television, definitely no world wide web, and our video games consisted of Atari 2600, which is not the kind of gaming system to keep you in the house all day. What we had back then was good old-fashioned fun: kickball, baseball, hide and go seek, basketball and of course, football.

We played football at recess, after school and on weekends. When we played, everyone I knew wanted to be Walter Payton, the greatest running back in the history of professional football. From the age of 7, I took part of the family tradition of watching Chicago Bears games. Breakfast of frozen waffles and bacon, fighting for some quality time in our 1 1/2 bathrooms and the words from Brent Musberger, "You are looking live at ...," was how our Sunday mornings were spent. Sure, I liked other sports, but they were just holdovers until football season.

The Bears weren't particularly good back then. They had a decent defense, but their offense consisted of Walter Payton left, Walter Payton right. In the 80s when they became really good, I couldn't have been happier. I loved the Bears more than anything right up until I realized that vaginas were real and attainable (but not easily), and then I loved them both equally.

In the 90s I went to college at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Wisconsin has a torrid love affair with the Green Bay Packers. They hated the Chicago Bears, and I in turn hated the Packers, but not because I saw them as a threat. It was because in 1986, then Packer defensive end Charles Martin had a hit-list of Bear players they were trying to hurt, and he succeeded by slamming our QB Jim McMahon to the turf, ending his season and severely crippling our hopes of repeating as Super Bowl champs. The Pack were a competitive footnote to me as the Bears dominated the division in the 80s with only the Minnesota Vikings putting up a small resistance at the end of the decade.

Along came Brett Farve. This f**king hillbilly gunslinger came out of seemingly nowhere and started whooping the Bears. At first I thought it was a fad. I was still living in the 80s, and I knew that this young kid was not going to continue this dominance. I would've bet my 4 pair of Cross Colour jeans and my Z. Cavaricci slacks that it wouldn't happen. But the Pack also had Mike Holmgren, and he reigned Brett Farve in, making him the best player in the NFL during the 90s. So not only were the Packers good, but they were kicking the crap out of my Bears, and they even won a Super Bowl. To make matters worse, my roommate, a diehard Packer fan, decorated the living room with Packer newspaper clippings. It was like seeing pictures of my girlfriend getting trained by Sterling Sharpe, Mark Chumara and F**king Farve. Even when the Bears were decent, they were no match for the Pack. It was heartbreaking. It got to the point that I was equally as excited with a Bear win as I was a Packer loss.

The next decade was met with highs and lows. Lovie Smith was hired and made it a point that the Pack would no longer run roughshod over the Bears. He was exactly what we needed to regain respectability. We started beating the Pack, and it felt good like a comfort food; a Bears victory over the Packers was like fried chicken and creamed corn...

And then came Aaron Muthaf**kin Rodgers. This guy is Brett F**king Farve without the stupid game-costing interceptions. I feel like the 90s are about to start all over again, which is why I had to explain myself. I picked the Eagles to win the SB at the beginning of the year even though I knew they weren't the best team because I couldn't say the Packers. It physically hurts me to say it - it's an admission that I have a drinking problem, it's a confession of watching gay porn, and it's a receipt to a donation to the tea-party. IT'S JUST WRONG.

Here's the thing: the NFL has just gone through another philosophical change in the way that they game plan. With the NFL already protecting the QB from getting hit and now protecting wide receivers from getting annihilated as they catch passes across the middle, it's now a passing league, which means that the team with the best QBs and wide receivers have a distinct advantage over the other teams. Those teams are the Packers, Saints, Patriots, Chargers and Eagles, Baltimore being the lone exception by being a contender while not having a superior passing game. (I would have considered the Texans, but injuries have taken them out of the picture.) Now out of those teams, the Packers and Patriots have the 2 best QBs in MFing Rodgers and Tom Brady, which give them a slight advantage over everyone else.

In the end, the team that shows who can defensively match up best with this style of play will win the SB (which is why I still hold out a little bit of hope for my other SB pick, the Jets). The Patriots defense is awful, and unless they somehow magically figure out a way to rush the QB, they won't win. However, the Green Bay Packers can defend. You can tell already as you watch them they are getting better and better defensively with each passing game. We also have to remember the Packers won last year despite having numerous players injured, and now they are all healthy. In other words, Bear fans, we are f**ked.

The Pack will win the SB, and that sucks.

Ron Washington makes me feel indifferent about cocaine. If not for bad hamstrings, Nelson Cruz would be talked about as one of the top 5 players in baseball. Since when are two World Series wins in the last 7 years (when you haven't won any in like 80 years prior) considered a failure? Congrats, Cubs, on a great hire of Theo Epstein. Jimmy Johnson is yawning right now. Why hasn't Michael Jordan, who led the players union in the last NBA lockout, been heard from in this lockout? The Big Ten football conference is awful, and that will unfortunately keep an undefeated Wisconsin team from playing in the BCS bowl championship game. I would not be upset if people take my football picks and bet the opposite...I've been that bad.

Packers- 15: I can't write almost an entire blog on how awesome the Pack are and not have them, right?
Tampa Bay +4.5: They may lose to the Saints, but it will be by a fg or less.
Giants/Bills under 50: That number does not seem right at all.

A lil bonus
LSU-18: They are a juggernaut, and Tenn is not. Juggernauts cover 18 point spreads.
Mich St.-2: Michigan got lucky against Notre Dame, and Mich st. was unlucky against Notre Dame. Luck will have nothing to do with this one.
Oklahoma St. -8: The longhorns can't match the Cowboys' firepower.

Overall record: 6-8-1

Now, grasshoppers, go live your lives 'til next week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Thoughts about Sports

Hey NBA, hopefully someone peeked his head out of the conference room to see how awesome baseball is with a best-of-5 series format for the 1st round. If you're going to potentially cancel the NBA season, you may as well try to fix everything instead of just lining your wallets and losing momentum from the best season you've had since the Jordan years.

For starters, let's get rid of the NBA lottery. For now on, the teams with the best record instead of the teams with the worst record that DIDN'T make the playoffs should get the first pick in the draft. With this rule there would be no need for the lottery. The lottery was installed to encourage teams to not lose on purpose to get a high draft pick. It clearly hasn't worked, as teams throw in the towel at the end of the year positioning themselves for a high lottery pick. Allowing the 'best of the rest' format would prevent teams from trading away their best players and ensure teams will play hard to the very end instead of trying to lose games on purpose.

By the way, I'm rooting for the players in the lockout. It's not their fault that NBA general managers are the worst in sports. Overpaying for mid-level talent is a big reason why the NBA is in a hole. That being said, there is no way the players win this one. The owners hold all the trump cards, and the players say they will hold firm and keep solidarity...I know. I don't believe it, either.

Kudos to Jim Leyland for believing in his team and out managing Joe Girardi and the New York Yankees. Not being tempted to pitch Justin Verlander on short rest in Game 5 will benefit the Tigers in a big way because now you get him 2, maybe even 3 times, against the the Texas Rangers. No way Brett Gardener shouldn't have been batting leadoff for the Yanks, especially when they played in Detroit where small ball plays way better than trying to hit home runs.

With two more Game 5s tonight, MLB has clearly showed that it may no longer be America's game, but it is definitely Must See TV. If the Phillies lose tonight, they will be worse than the Miami Heat. At least the Heat GOT to the finals. I still like them and the Brewers to take care of business.

This is the most college football I've watched in a long time. The 5 most impressive teams have been LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Clemson, but Boise St. and Stanford look really good. I hope that 6 of them go undefeated, and the BCS admits that they are clusterf**ked. Whoever loses between Alabama and LSU are my 1st pick to lay an egg in whatever consolation bowl they play in.

Russell Wilson is what everyone thought Terrell Pryor would be in college. Tiger Woods is David Duvall until he shows otherwise. Herman Cain will be the Joe Frazier to President Barack's Muhammed Ali. Shaquille O'Neal is the only athlete besides Babe Ruth (who played in a era where maxing out was uncommon) to be one of the top 10 athletes in his prospective sport to not reach his full potential.

Let's get down to business:
NY Giants-10: Seattle has to fly across country and play a noon game. They are gonna get smoked.
Green Bay 0ver 52: The pack can score at will - I know this cause Aaron Rodgers scored 53 f**king pts. against me last week in fantasy football.
Lions-6: I love my Bears, but they just aren't very good right now.
Lions over 47.5: I love my Bears, but they just aren't very good right now.

I fully expect to go 4-0. Deuces!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Sports Thoughts

Okay, last night was amazing.

Not only did the Boston Red Sox/Atlanta Braves meltdown lift the game of baseball to new heights, but I would argue that the game of sports got a much-needed boost from what I would consider the best day in the history of baseball. For those of you who can give 2 cents about baseball and have no idea about the monumental collapse of the Red Sox/Braves, they both had gigantic leads for the final playoff spot, and somehow both let them slip away. The Red Sox blew the largest lead in the history of baseball so late in the season, a record which would have gone to the Braves, who nearly blew an equally large lead. As Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over, 'til it's over."

The 1st benefit for sports:
Fans of all sports can now look back on Sept. '11 and recall how two down and out teams made historic comebacks and never gave up hope. Momentum, positive or negative, should never be underestimated by the fan. In turn, this should remind the teams themselves that they should always play hard 'til the very end. As Chris Rock elegantly put it, "'Cuz you never know!"

Finally, I'm sure the agonization of blowing such big leads will haunt each and every player on the losing teams, and they will no doubt look back on what they could have done differently. No one will ever admit this unless years from now they squander all their money away and decide to write a tell-all book, but I believe that it is highly possible at least one player on the Braves/Red Sox played in a game this season unprepared or hungover from a night of partying and cost their team at least a chance of winning, be it a defensive mishap, not knowing what a pitcher likes to throw in a certain count, or just not being as sharp as they normally are due to poor preparation or anything short of giving it there all. Maybe that athlete will vow to never let anything like that happen again, and in turn, a better product will take the field for the family of four that was able to come out one time this year and shell out 250 bucks to see a game played at the highest level. A bit farfetched, maybe, or maybe not.

The real winners in this have been unquestionably the Tampa Bay Rays. Last off-season, they lost their best player in Carl Crawford to the Boston Red Sox, traded away a quality starter in Matt Garza, and let proven home run threat Carlos Pena go, giving the appearance that they were looking to rebuild, especially in the division including the Red Sox and Yankees. With maybe half the payroll as those two powerhouses, the Rays showed that they were indeed the hidden hottie. (Everyone has come across that girl whose daily attire consist of sweatpants, crappy sneakers, a ponytail, and no makeup, and then out of nowhere, she shows up with her hair down wearing a sun dress from Target with just a little bit of makeup, and you try to act like you knew she was attractive all along. Yep, that chick.)

The Rays have shown that they are the never ending underdog and have one of the best front offices in all of sports. Even though I believe they should be contracted or moved due to an awful fan base in Tampa, every year they contend I find myself rooting for them...HARD!

The Atlanta Braves were probably a year ahead of themselves, and injuries depleted their pitching staff. They could no longer cover up for a mediocre offense, so they get somewhat of a pass. The real losers are obviously the Boston Red Sox, who have become the team that they most despised: the NY Yankees, who were once referred to as the evil empire, trying to buy championships with an inflated payroll. I believe in karma. No way the Boston Bruins win a Stanley Cup Championship and the city not give up something; in this case it was the Red Sox. The fans are even screaming for the heads of the manager and GM of the team that led them to 2 World Series Championships in the last 7 years, which is insane.

On a side note, the Cardinals may appear to be winners, but it may turn out that they are the biggest losers of them all. Unless they go on to win the WS, they will be under intense pressure to resign Albert Pujols, the best player in the game, to an ungodly salary and pay him well beyond the prime of his career (which is not good for a small market team). If not, then they will feel the wrath of a very loyal fan base.

Adam Dunn's inept play arguably cost Ozzie Guillen his job with the Chicago White Sox, and now Carl Crawford may cost GM Theo Epstein and or manager Terry Francona his job with the Red Sox. Ozzie Guillen has almost exactly the same credentials as Mike Sciosa of the Anaheim Angels. One WS win apiece, almost identical winning pct., and yet Sciosa is beloved and Guillen is now exiled. The difference...EGO. Not Ozzie's, but GM Kenny Williams'. They knew what they were getting with Ozzie from the get-go, but in my opinion, Kenny Williams let his ego get in the way of Ozzie taking too much credit for being the face of the franchise.

Let's get down to biz: the Tigers are going to prove way too much for the Yanks, who will find that Verlander is more than a match for Sabathia, and the Tigers offense will be hard to tame. Tigers in 5, where they will meet and defeat the Texas Rangers, who will overpower the feisty but less talented Devil Rays. The Phils toughest matchup in the playoffs will be their 1st round opponent, the Cardinals, where a nothing-to-lose approach and 3-4-5 hitting of Pujols, Berkman and Holliday will give the Phils all they can handle, but the Cardinals will eventually lose in 6 games. The Phils will then easily dispatch of the Brewers, and likewise the Tigers, as the City of Brotherly Love will all stick their penises in cheesesteaks and try to pick a fight with everyone who is not from Philly.

The NBA needs to get down to business because I cant rely on the mediocrity of college basketball being my only hoops outlet. An autobiography about an athlete who apparently was unfaithful to his wife and abused pain killers could be written about a ton of athletes. Walter Payton deserves better - I'll pass. I said it once, and I will say it again: the NFL is so competitively balanced that special teams play is now way more important than it used to be, and it used to be pretty important.

After going a dismal 2-3 last week, I stood naked eating a grilled cheese to gain balance back with my gambling intuition.
Houston/Pittsburgh 0ver 45: Pittsburgh defense will not be able to slow down the Texans.
Atlanta -5: Falcons are way too talented for an inept Seattle offense.
New Orleans-7: Jacksonville will have to score 24 points to stay within 7 points of Drew Brees, but they can't.

Overall record: 5-5-1

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Sport Thoughts

Maybe because I picked them at the beginning of the year, or maybe I'm downplaying the importance of momentum in baseball, but I still like the Red Sox. They are on a free fall, but I like the core of this team. If they make the playoffs, I like Jon Lester and Josh Beckett better than any other 1-2 pitchers in the American League. A buddy of mine calls them J and J dyno-mite. Why is it that most of the black sitcoms in the 70s and 80s always had some crazy catch phrase that defined the show? "Dyno-mite!" "What you talkin bout, Willis?" "Elizabeth! This is the Big One!" It wasn't until The Cosby Show that black sitcoms got credibility for being something other than shuck and jive.

Before you write them off, I would like to remind you that my beloved Chicago White Sox almost blew a double digit lead to the Cleveland Indians in 2005, who got within 1.5 games of the Sox before Chicago righted the ship and turned in one of the most dominant performances in playoff history IN ANY SPORT! Speaking of the Sox, Adam Dunn is having one of the worst seasons IN ANY SPORT for a professional athlete. Not only is his batting average at a historically low (.166), but his strikeout total is actually higher than his batting average. That's like losing your job, leaving early and then coming home to find out that your bf is boning your wife: things can't get any worse.

I have to admit, the Atlanta Braves/Boston Red Sox meltdown has made September baseball Must See TV. Every time I go on Facebook, there is some status update about how the Braves/Red Sox (I would call them Red Braves for short, but that sounds kinda offensive.) are ruining lives. I get it - there are few things worse than having your team a statistical shoo-in for the playoffs only to have them piss it away in the final weeks...gut wrenching.

I have a sneaky feeling that this is the year of the cheesesteak. I think the Phillies will win it all, I think the Eagles will win it all, and no, I don't think the 76ers will win it all. They may not even play a single game, which means watch out for the Flyers, my friends.

Justin Verlander has a great chance to win MVP, but since every team in their division is under .500, he shouldn't. If a pitcher were to win MVP, in my opinion that would mean everyone of his starts were so needed that if he didn't pitch, they would not only stand a great chance to lose, but making the playoffs would be nearly impossible. He's hands down the Cy Young winner. Jose Bautista has been the best player in baseball for the last two years, even with his team hovering around .500 in the AL East, which is an accomplishment in itself, so he's my MVP choice.

The National League MVP looked like a lock for Ryan Braun, but if the St. louis Cardinals make the playoffs with the way Albert Pujols is playing, Pujols may sneak up, take it away and assure that the Cardinals will be overpaying for him. Clayton Kershaw, your name is already being etched on the Cy Young trophy, which you can then hock to a pawn shop to cover your lifestyle when the Los Angeles Dodgers can no longer pay you because they filed for bankruptcy. I'm sure that he's fine, but that would be a hilarious story.

In 16 out of the last 17 years, the NY Yankees were in the playoffs, but no way a staff with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia GOES to the World Series. That will not take away from their excellence as they put their stamp on the greatest professional team in the history of ANY SPORT!

If Cam Newton continues to play this way and leads his team to an 8-8 record, he's my runner-up MVP behind Tom Brady. If the Colts continue to play this poorly, Peyton Manning is 3rd on my MVP list. The only thing holding the Detroit Lions back from great things is their youth, but next year they will be Super Bowl ready. The NFC West has only 2 wins this year, and one came against a team from the West. Take Larry Fitzgerald from that division, and I would be perfectly comfortable with it dismembering like a Big 12 conference

NCAA, shame on you for making it so easy to jump conferences. Syracuse and Pitt in the ACC? Tragic. Once again, just a little reminder that the only thing amateurish about college sports is the way they conduct business.

Jay Cutler will miss 3 games this season, and that's on Mike Martz. Speaking of which, the Bears and Packers go at it again on Sunday. I love the Bears with a passion, and of course, that means I hate the Packers. I am also realistic about things, and offensively the Bears don't match up well with the Pack; specifically. the offensive line is in shambles, and the Pack have a dominant pass rushing attack. The Bears will need to create turnovers and dominate on special teams to pull this one out. I hope my genius is taking a break on this prediction: Pack 20, Bears 10.

With no basketball season in sight, should I take up hockey or jerking off? Why is no one talking about Diana Taurasi for getting kicked out of a European professional women's hoop league for testing positive for PEDs as she leads her team into the WNBA playoffs? Mariano Rivera is a better Yankee than Derek Jeter. I'm a Ryan Gosling fan after watching his movies Crazy, Stupid, Love! and Drive, and because of him now being able to see Eva Mendes naked on a regular basis. That's a pretty good 2011, Ryan.

Last week, I went 1-1-1 after the Cowboys failed me miserably at the 1 yard line for a push.
Patriots -9: Did you know the Pats have covered 8 straight times over the Bills, and the Bills gave up 31 points to the Raiders?
Eagles-7.5: The Eagles own the Giants, and they play the Giants this week.
Saints -3.5: Houston is coming on as a legit playoff team, but they will not beat Drew Brees in his house.
Steelers -11: The Colts are sooooo bad.

Until next week...deuces.

Overall record: 3-2-1

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random Sports Thoughts (Football Edition)

Okay we get it - it's a passing league!

I have become increasingly disinterested in pre-season football games with each passing year, which means my gauge on accurately assessing the 32 football teams is slightly off kilter. This is why I wait until after week 1 to give you a glimpse of what to expect for the 2011 football season. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are the 2 best players in the game of football right now, and I don't care who you have ranked 1st, as long as it's those 2 on top.

The Packers are a tour de force team that should be better offensively with JerMichael Finley healthy and an easy choice to consider making a return trip to the Super Bowl. But I do not like the Patriots as they are constituted right now. They rely waaayyy too much on the pass, and their defense is shaky at best. When I see them, I see the Phoenix Suns: built for the regular season, but not for the playoffs.

It's easy to write off the humiliating loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but the Pittsburgh Steelers did lose the Super Bowl last year. Unless you play in the putrid NFC West, then making a return trip to the playoffs is extremely difficult. Expect a 9-7 record. Anyone that believes in Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers are either from San Diego or mildly retarded and think the thunderbolts on their helmets are really cool. The Ravens have a super stud in Ray Rice, an aging but effective defense and a solid QB - all things needed to make a Super Bowl run - except I believe the Jets have the same thing. And since they are younger, they will represent the AFC. You didn't think I was going to say Houston, did you?

The Saints are a bit like the Patriots; they are too good offensively to be kept out of the playoffs, but Sean Peyton play-calling scares me, and the defense has given me no reason to think they can make consistent stops. Atlanta losing to Green Bay the way they did last year in the playoffs is a real eye opener, and seeing the way they started off week 1, their eyes are still closed. Tony Romo cost the Cowboys game 1, and Tony Romo will cost them any real chance of going deep into the playoffs. The QBs are just too good in the NFC.

My beloved Bears are the real deal. If Jay Cutler plays well or average, the Bears win, so I look for him to play average or better at least 11 times. The Eagles look really good on paper, but the Miami Heat have made me a bit squeamish on dream teams. They have home run hitters, but can they effectively move the ball when the playoffs will be in cold weather stadiums? Who is their go-to guy when it's 3rd and 7? If the answer is a Vick scramble, then no. If Andy Reid figures that out, then a SB appearance will be in the cards for them. I say yes. So a Jets/Eagles SB will play out, and although the Jets will scheme well, Vick will make enough plays to pull it out.

What's going to happen if Boise state goes undefeated (They will.), Oklahoma goes undefeated (They might.), Alabama or LSU have just one loss (That's still better than any undefeated team in any other conference.) and Wisconsin goes undefeated (They have a fucked up schedule with basically 6 straight home games, 5 road games and then back at home to finish the season, but that offense is a cheesy explosion.)? I'll tell you: a clusterfuck, and hopefully enough for the BCS to have a final four format to settle this once and for all.

I went 2-1 last week only cuz Adam Vinateri missed a fg, and the Colts kept going for touchdowns when they were down by 30 points. All I needed was 3 lousy points. This time, I will fix that.
Lions-9: Did you see how bad the Chiefs are?
Ravens-6: Did you see how bad the Titans are?
Cowboys -3: I'm not big on cross country traveling, but the season is long, and the Cowboys are already in must-win mode.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 1...Nuttin' but Straight Winners, Homie

Bears -3: They are at home and getting points. No-brainer.
Texans/Colts over 43: Colts will lose, but it won't be cuz of Kerry Collins. Fireworks.
New England-7: This should be covered easily by halftime.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Super (Bowl) Journey

My schedule for the week before the Super Bowl:

Depart Chi Midway Airport 9:40am, arrive in Manchester, NH 12:10pm
Depart Manchester, NH 2:20pm, arrive in Philadelphia, PA 3:30pm
Show at Kutztown University, 8pm

Depart Philadelphia 7:10am, arrive in Chicago 8:40am
Depart Chi 11:05am, arrive in Detroit 1:05pm
Rent car, drive 350 miles to Sault Ste Marie
Show at Lake Superior State College, 8pm

Drive 350 miles to Detroit to catch 9:10am to Dallas, arrive at 1:15pm
Shows at the Addison Improv, Thu-Sat.

Super Bowl. I'm going. 'Nuff said.

That's a pretty hectic schedule, but that's not how it went down...

Tuesday Headline: Chicago Braces for Record Snowstorm

...oh snap, I gotta get the f*#k out of town. Standing in line at the airport, bout to check my bag, I get a frantic text and call from my agent. Kutztown U just cancelled the show due to the weather: "DONT GET ON THAT PLANE."

"Well what about Lake Superior State? Are they cancelling, too?"

"Nope, they have sunny skies."

"WTF! It's on the border of Canada, and no snow?"

Hop in the Toyota Camry. Time to drive 450 miles. On my way there, my phone receives a text saying that the connecting flight to PHL from NH is canceled...whew, I coulda been stuck in NH. Apparently, this could get worse.

I get to Sault Ste Marie the night before, and Chicago gets dumped on. Got out just in time. I try to decide between a casino or a strip club with at best, average-looking chicks. Instead, I opt for Applebee's and the Wisconsin-Purdue game. The Badgers cover the spread. :)

Wednesday, I knock out another show on the Tour of Mediocrity, which has been a little bit better than mediocre. Grab some subway and chocolate chip cookies. Time to drive through the night.

Thursday, a treacherous drive, but I roll up in Chi at 4:30am. Time to get a little nap in before my 9:10 flight. I get to Dallas at 12:30, and the whole town has gone apeshit over a little bit of snow. I get a ride from a taxi. The driver is shaky behind the wheel. I ask him if he wants me to drive. He considers it, but declines. 45 minutes later (to cover a 10 mile drive), we arrive at my hotel.

Friday, I spend the day watching the news as they explain how to drive in the snow...hilarious! I spend the first 5 minutes of my set ripping on Dallas and their inability to function in snow.

Saturday, the snow melts. All that's left is the sand that they put on the roads instead of salt. I make a castle. I sell out of my DVDs before the last show. I shoulda packed more. I can't sleep at all, which means I know that I will get really tired at around 5am and oversleep free breakfast.

Sunday, 11am, and I oversleep breakfast... bummer! I head to the SB at about 12:30. I stop for coffee and buy a size of coffee that I didn't realize was legal to sell. John Caparulo's GPS snaps and starts making up directions. We finally make it at 1:30. We find parking for only $80, and it's only 4 blocks away. That's a good deal.

I'm jittery! On the walk over, we shake hands with Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski.

Superbowl XLV.

We get our seats 3 hours ahead of game time. The coffee kicks in, and I try to figure out how I can run on the field.

Time to review my wagers. I picked the Steelers to win it all in the middle of the season. I gotta stick with it, and plus, I hate the Packers. I feel good that the Big Ben is getting points. He's the most clutch dude in the game up until this point. So I took the Steelers +2.5, Steelers moneyline. I also prop bets Aaron Rodgers over 2 td's at +240, Rodgers over 281 passing yds, Mendenhall longest run over 15.5 yds, and the most important bet, which is Mendenhall over 75 yds because in order for Pitt to win, they have to control the ground game. I bet that they can.

Blah, blah, they interview a few stars, and the fans start to file in. I used to live in Wisconsin, so I know how well the Pack travel, but there are considerably more Steeler fans at the game. The dude from roadhouse introduces both teams, and pandemonium starts to set in. Christina Aguilera botches the National Anthem. Somewhere, Carl Lewis smiles!

1st Quarter, Aaron Rodgers is throwing lasers and darts, and they take an early 14-0 lead. I'm sitting next to a Steelers fan, and he complains about everything as if he designed the game plans and they are not executing them...oh boy!

2nd Quarter, turnovers are huge as the Pack leads 21-10. I'm not worried cuz Big Ben and Mike Tomlin are good at making halftime adjustments.

Halftime. It was aiiight. They give us glow sticks to break during the show. Um no, I'm keeping mine.

3rd Quarter, just as I predicted, the Steelers adjust and get back in the game 21-17. Steelers are smashing them in the mouth with the run and have driven to the Pack 35. Oh no, 3 straight pass plays and now a missed 52-yarder. That's gonna hurt. I point out two things to my friend Cap: if Mendenhall gets over 75 yds, then the Steelers have a great chance to win, and every time he runs, he comes really close to fumbling. If he gets hit straight on, Mendenhall will fumble.

4th Quarter, Mendenhall fumbles on the 1st play. Sometimes I hate being this good. Rodgers catches fire again and starts dismantling the Steelers. Pittsburgh is no longer running. There goes my Mendenhall bet. The game is close, just as I thought it would be. All Pitt needs is a stop. Rodgers makes the throw of the game, a dart to Jennings, adds a fg. Big Ben has a chance to make Brady and Manning uncomfortable. Instead, he goes meekly. Game, set, match.

After party? Nah, Cap is sick, and my jug of coffee has worn off. Time to get some Wendy's and check on my fantasy basketball team!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Random Sports thought vol. XVII

If Ben Rothlisberger wins his 3rd superbowl to some he will be considered the best QB in the game today. That would be wrong. I think Big Ben is a stud and super clutch but I can't put him ahead of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning until he has to carry the football team. Thats just the reality of it. I say this all the time and I will say it again when you are deciding the best of the best you have to nitpick the nuances and details of the of the player and the game in which they are playing and to say Ben is the best cause he has 3 superbowl rings is just too blanket of a statement. The Steelers has a great defense and a solid running game and that's not a knock on Ben it's a reality. I thought that Peyton was better than Brady cause the Colts relied on him way more than the Patriots relied on Brady but then the Pats got Randy Moss and Wes Welker and he put up historic numbers. So maybe at some point Ben will be summoned to carry his team and he will ascend to the top QB mantle but until that point comes he can keep racking up superbowl rings and that's all not bad. By the way here are my top 5. Brady, Manning, Rothlisberger, Brees, Rodgers.

Superbowl XLV will be a high scoring game. Playing in a dome will help the Packers a lot more than the Steelers as it always does with the faster team. Aaron Rodgers and Big Ben will make plays throughout the game and the key will be whether or not the Steelers can control the game with there running attack. This super bowl will go down as one of the all time greats and I picked the Steelers to win it all in the middle of this season and I see no reason to change that now Steelers 28-27.

Barring injury which is highly possible with this team. The Boston Celtics are going to win the NBA championship rather easily this year. If you really think about it, it makes sense that a team like the Celts win more than one championship. The best all star game in sports is the NBA all star game and it's just 2 weeks away and there's a chance that the 21pt, 15 reb averaging Kevin Love won't make it unless he' goes in as the replacement for Yao Ming. Look Love has stupid numbers and I llike his game but his team is 11-37 which is awful so lets give the nod to LaMarcus Aldridge who has carried an injury riddled Blazers team into playoff contention.

The Lakers are struggling they need to run there offense more thru Pau Gasol and less thru Kobe. Andrew Bynum should play more and Ron Artest should play less. The best thing they have going for them is Phil Jackson, the master of psychology has a way of figuring things out. He will have them ready for his final swan song and a 6 game loss to the Celts in the finals.

The MVP race is as follows
5. Chris Paul- New Orleans is just incredibly efficient with tis cat running the show
4. Kevin Durant-He's getting into a nice little scoring groove
3.LeBron James-The chosen one is starting to dominate all phases of the game
2.Dwight Howard -is putting up monster numbers and he's still the best defender in the league
1.Derrick Rose-Right now it's not even close, The Bulls has had there 2nd and 3rd best blayer on the floor together for a total of 9 games and yet the Bulls has the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference.

The 5 best players in the next 5 years
5.Blake Griffin
4.Derrick Rose
3.Kevin Durant
2.Dwight Howard
1.Lebron James

Pitchers report to training camp in less than 2 weeks, wtf...already!? Dwight Howard mocked Lebron James before his Magic faced the Heat and then LBJ dropped 51 on them and that is Jordanesque. Deion Sanders should be inducted into the pro football hof and in my books go down as the best cornerback of all time. Now that I think about it, the Bengals keeping Marv Lewis as there head coach says that the Bengals 2 playoff appearance in the last 8 years is more of an indictment on the front office than the coaching and that's a good thing. Aaron Rodgers will end up better than Brett Farve but he's not right now. Im going to the Superbowl and you are probably not ha ha!