Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No NFL in 2011?

Adam Schefter speculated, I refuse to use the word "report" when it comes to him, that there is a very good chance the NFL will not have a 2011 season. His reasoning was not that the players and owners would struggle to settle their differences once the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires, but the owners of big market teams and small market teams would be fighting it out.

Apparently the big guns like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder don't want a salary cap and want to spend as much as they want on players. Of course, this is the greatest fear of all small market teams.

I really shouldn't justify this rumor with a post, though. Schefter did not name a single source or owner who told him that the 2011 NFL season was looking bleak. He just said he thinks there is a good chance there won't be football that year because the owners will not be able to agree to a new CBA.

I hate that kind of reporting. Really, anytime there are anonymous sources, I question the story. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare. How do we know it's not just a small market owner trying to get leverage and fans on his side before the future CBA talks? Why remain anonymous. The other owners are going to find out eventually when the talks begin and you pick a side. I just don't understand why you bring this story up if you don't have any sources who are man enough to put their name with it.

Now, if this were true, how much would Fall and Winter of 2011 stink? We'll still have the NHL, NCAA football and basketball, but it won't be the same. I don't care about the NBA until May and when teams actually start playing defense. Not only will we have to find things to do on Sundays, but think of the bigger ramifications. How much money will Vegas lose out on? What will us fantasy football fanatics do? Go outside or read a book on the weekend? The thought is sending shivers down my spine.

Then there is the even worse scenario, which is an NFL with no salary cap. I could deal with it for one season, but I would bang my head against the wall repeatedly if it was like baseball and had no cap until the end of time. It's not even the idea of a few teams spending boatloads more than the rest of the league, it's the overpaying of mediocre players that will anger me the most. Long snappers will be demanding $6 million a year like relieving specialists who come in to pitch to one to two batters in the later innings.

Seriously, from a fan's perspective, what good comes from a league with no salary cap? What next, the AFC being forced to go for a two-point conversion after every score, while the NFC will still have a choice?

The Clash - Rudy Can't Fail

Monday, December 28, 2009

Stupid Colts

The Steelers would need a little less help next Sunday if the Indianapolis Colts didn't sit their top players for the second half of their game against the New York Jets on Monday. But instead, coach Jim Caldwell decided that perfection means nothing, allowing the Jets to rally and win.

Granted, the Steelers wouldn't be in this mess if they beat Chicago, Cincinnati (either time), Cleveland, Oakland, Baltimore or Kansas City. If they miss the playoffs, it's not the Colts' fault, it's their own.

But I can still be upset. Aside from the homer mentality, I'm peeved that a coach backed away from a chance at history. This might be a stretch, but how many great things would our society be missing if people were afraid to get hurt? Or if they didn't aspire for greatness and perfection? Would we have the light bulb, skyscrapers or individually wrapped cheese slices? Hell no!

I realize that the examples above are a lot bigger to the world, but it's still a valid point. We can find examples in sports. Look at Ted Williams. Going into the final two games of the season in 1941, he was batting .39955, which would have been rounded up to .400 at the time. His coach offered, the key word here is offered, to hold Teddy Ballgame out of the lineup to preserve his .400 season. Williams said no, went 4-for-5 in the first game and 2-for-3 in the second game of the double header. He finished the season with an average of .406.

Once again, I picked an example that is somewhat different. The coach was offering for Williams' chance at history, not because he wanted him to rest for a playoff run. But still! How many Colts players wanted to sit out the second half? I doubt any of them did, and they should have been given the choice. Your team has a bye in the first round, rest then!

From another perspective; how would you feel if you were a Colts fan who bought tickets to that game for Christmas, or any reason? You think you're going to see the best team in the league, and instead you get a preseason game. Would you feel cheated? I think I would.

There is no doubt the Colts earned the right to rest, but there is no guarantee Peyton Manning would get hurt if he played the second half. He's started almost 200 consecutive games, so I think there is very good chance he would have been fine had he stayed in.

Enough ranting. I just don't understand why you wouldn't strive for perfection if it was in your grasp. I was a few seconds away from reciting some Eminem rhymes to emphasize my point, but I held back.

Al Pacino - Peace With Inches (Not a song, but I love it!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Halladay

Is that a brilliant headline or what? I didn't steal it or anything. Pretty sure my old editors would laugh at me for it, but it would be out of jealousy.

My boy, Roy Halladay, is off to greener pastures in Philadelphia. He goes from a team that had little to no shot at the playoffs, to the favorite for the National League pennant. They grow up so fast.

Halladay has been one of the top five pitchers in baseball for the past four or five years. Unfortunately for him, he's been stuck in a division with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox for his entire career. Despite facing these consistently stacked lineups several times each year, Halladay has had an ERA below four in eight of the past nine seasons. Now he is pitching in the National League, and in a division with the likes of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. I'm getting goosebumps.

I expect some will have concerns with how Halladay will adjust to the bigger and more passionate market. Let's be honest, baseball is not the big sport in Toronto and never will be. If he stunk up there, which he didn't, no one would have really known or taken note. If he struggles in Philly, people are probably going to call for his demotion, egg his house and send death threats to his children. The sad part is, I don't think I'm even exaggerating with that last statement.

To put more pressure on Halladay, the Phillies shipped their postseason hero, Cliff Lee, to the Seattle Mariners to make room for Halladay. Lee was practically perfect last year for the Phillies, and their fans won't forget. In fact, many are upset and questioning the move after all that Lee did for their team.

They shouldn't be.

As a big Blue Jays fan and someone who has actually been following Halladay for years, (be honest Phillie fans, you hardly paid any attention to him until last summer when there were rumors you would trade for him) let me assure you that Halladay will be lights out. And he will do so for next four to five years you keep him. No pitcher in the league has the work ethic of Halladay. He is the first player to the field and never whines. Despite years where his team was terrible and gave him no support, he never came out and demanded a trade or threw anyone under the bus. Even if people paid attention to baseball in Toronto, you would have never heard him complaining about not being one of the highest paid players in the game, because he understands that the team is bigger than he was.

I'm very excited that Halladay will finally get a chance to pitch in the postseason and show how great he really can be. It saddens me a little bit that he went to Philly. Just like Donovan McNabb, you guys don't deserve him. But at least he's not a Yank or a Sock (should it still be Sox when singular?).

I could try to analyze all the other players involved in this deal, but I have never seen them play. It sounds like every team made out well, but who knows with minor league players?

Simon and Garfunkel - The Boxer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Packers, Steelers; The tale of two teams

The Green Bay Packers - Pittsburgh Steelers matchup Sunday pits two teams against each other, who were once in the same boat this season, but now are headed in opposite directions.

Green Bay looked down and out in Week 9 after they suffered an embarrassing defeat the otherwise winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They weren't in the playoffs and looked as if the playoffs were practically impossible. Most people, including myself and my family in Wisconsin, had given up on the Pack. Oh, how wrong we all were.

The Packers didn't pack it in, they took the loss as a wake-up call and have gone 5-0 since that game.

Meanwhile, in Week 11, the Steelers suffered a humiliating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Unlike the Packers though, the Steelers sunk into a deep hole in the following weeks. Rather than looking in the mirror and recognizing their problems, and fixing them, they made excuses, like the defensive players claiming to not know the play calls.

The Pittsburgh media and a lot of Steelers fans have been too hard on the black and gold, but how can you not question the team's effort and passion if they are losing to the likes of Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland? Cleveland?!? If you had asked me before this year, heck, if you had asked me before any season, that we would not score a touchdown against the Browns, I would have laughed at you for a good five minutes. I would have found out your place of business, and called relentlessly to remind you of how dumb you were. Now I'm the dumb one!

Quick unrelated note. Sidney Crosby just scored a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in Philly, his fifth point in the past two games against the Flyers, and yet the fans are chanting "Crosby Sucks." I understand they hate him, but the chant just doesn't make sense at that point. Maybe a "Go Home Crosby" chant, or a "Screw You Crosby."

Sorry, back to football.

That is why I am interested in the game this weekend. Maybe the Steelers will look at the Packers and come to realize that maybe they handled the past couples weeks the wrong way. Or maybe they will crawl deeper in a hole and hope for a higher draft pick.

One more thing. To all the Steelers fans; our team is not yet eliminated from the playoffs. Our chances are slim, but as long as their is a chance, you need to cheer for them to win. Don't tell me you want to lose out and get the higher draft pick. I want them to win every game, and you should too, especially when playoffs are a possibility. Tanking and hoping for losses is something I have never understood in sports.

Of course, you are entitled to your own opinion, I just think it's wrong.

Indianapolis Colts 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 17: If I were coaching an undefeated team, I would go for perfection. The Colts have a shot at being thought of as the greatest team of all time if they pull off the 19-0 year. You have to take that chance.

Van Morrison - Caravan

Monday, December 14, 2009

Panthers players need to shut up

This blog is certainly not friendly toward the New England Patriots, or any Boston team for that matter, but I hate stupid people even more.

A couple of Carolina Panthers came out after their game with Patriots this weekend and said they knew Randy Moss would give up if they jammed him early. While Moss did have a lousy game (one reception for 16 yards and a fumble), The Patriots won the game. Chris Gamble and Chris Harris might want to worry a little more about winning a game next time and not shutting down one player.

Maybe instead of bragging about how you forced Moss to shut it down, you should worry about stopping Wes Welker from catching 10 balls for 105 yards. Or maybe, you should think about how your own offense stunk it up for all but one play.

To be fair, I haven't seen a story that says what the journalist asked Gamble and his teammates. The member of the media could have asked what they did to shut down one of the top receivers in the league, and Gamble thought it was the only positive thing his team could take from the game.

Of course, there are no moral victories in professional sports. You can't lose a game and then come to the media and brag about shutting down one player. It's just stupid. Maybe the team didn't lose because of you. Maybe you played your butt off and did well, but your team still lost. There is nothing wrong with taking positives from a defeat and growing for the next game. But calling out a player on the other team who didn't play well is immature and shows that Gamble is more about himself than his team.

The Pogues - Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 14 picks

Normally I would be excited for a 10-6 week, but then the Steelers lost to the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns in less than a week. It will be hard to get excited for the last three weeks of the season. All I got going for me is the hope of beating the Baltimore Ravens next week. Wishful thinking the way we're playing, but the Ravens have been sucking lately too!

On with the picks.

The St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will lose again this week. I learned my lesson last week when I picked the Bucs for an upset.

New Orleans Saints 27, Atlanta Falcons 10: It's looking like Matt Ryan and Michael Turner won't play, so the Falcons have very little chance in this one.

Green Bay Packers 30, Chicago Bears 17: Watching Jay Cutler fail in Chicago has been one of the bright spots of this season. Nevermind that there are two 12-0 teams for the first time in NFL history, this is the type of stuff that makes me happy. Last time these two teams squared off was in Week 1 and Cutler threw a bunch of picks. It's going to happen again, and I'm stoked.

Indianapolis Colts 27, Denver Broncos 17: If this game were in Denver, it would be closer, but I just can't see Kyle Orton coming into Indy and walking away with a win. Maybe if it were Week 16 or 17 and Jim Sorgi was leading the Colts.

Kansas City Chiefs 16, Buffalo Bills 10: Snore.

Minnesota Vikings 24, Cincinnati Bengals 10: You shut down Cedric Benson and the Bengals' running game, and you are in good shape to beat them. The Vikings can stuff the run, and Vikings' offense is well-balanced. I also despite the Bengals and wish them the worst every week.

New England Patriots 21, Carolina Panthers 6: Just my luck that the Patriots play a soft team like the Panthers when Brady is dealing with all kinds of hurt.

Jacksonville Jaguars 24, Miami Dolphins 23: If you can tell me how to predict how either of these teams will play week-to-week, I would greatly appreciate it.

Baltimore Ravens 34, Detroit Lions 10: Is it sad that my first thought about this game was "Even the Steelers beat the Lions,"?

Houston Texans 24, Seattle Seahawks 21: Texans' coach Gary Kubiak is probably canned after this season if the Texans don't finish better than 8-8. I don't think they will, but I do think they win this game.

Washington Redskins 27, Oakland Raiders 13: I love meaningless games in December. The Redskins have been playing well lately and the Raiders are coming off their biggest win in years. It might actually be a good game.

San Diego Chargers 31, Dallas Cowboys 24: Early in the season I am quoted in this blog as saying the Chargers were not a quality team. I think another apology blog post is on the horizon.

Philadelphia Eagles 27, New York Giants 24: Predicting what the Giants will do this season if almost as tough as picking Jags games. The Eagles won the first meeting 40-17 and will win this one too.

Arizona Cardinals 34, San Francisco 49ers 17: Dear Mike Singletary, thank you for changing to a pass-heavy, spread offense for the final weeks of the season. Now I have no running backs on my fantasy team with potential for 20+ points. What are my chances you give Frank Gore more than 15 touches this week. No? Damn you.

Elvis Costello - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What the hell?!?

4:16 left in the first half and the Steelers have 0 points against the Browns.

I'm going to go puke.

Time for panic in Steel Town?

Don't let the title of the post fool you. I'm picking the Steelers to crush the pathetic Cleveland Browns 38-13. However, ever since the second half of last year's Super Bowl, I have not been liking what I have been seeing on the defensive side of the ball.

The Steelers have always had a history of shutting down an opposing offense when they needed a stop. When the Steelers lost a lead late, it was an exception to the rule. This year, I'm terrified when the Steelers have a leader in the last two minutes, let alone the entire fourth quarter.

What's also scary is that they can't win the close ones this season. Out of their six losses, five are by three points. The other was a six-point loss where it was actually the offense that choked. That is a scary stat for a team that is supposed to be hard-nosed grinders.

With all this considered, along with the fact Troy Polamalu still isn't practicing, should the Steelers and their fans around the globe be worried? It pains me to say it, but absolutely.

Considering they have lost to lousy Chicago Bears team, a lousy Kansas City Chiefs team and a lousy Oakland Raider s squad, you can't look at anyone on the Steelers' schedule and think they have an easy game. They are going to have to work for every win, and other than a great stand against the Minnesota Vikings, they haven't been working hard enough to win important games.

Their defensive backs are getting confused and not knowing the play, or they are getting burned/embarrassed. Quick note: The media and fans have really been laying into Ike Taylor (and rightfully so) for his poor play against Louis Murphy last week. Especially the jump ball he let Murphy catch. What I want to know is how Deshea Townsend is getting off the hook for that play? Look at the replay and Townsend is just standing behind Murphy, watching him go up and make the reception. Why the heck was Townsend not spearing the crap out of Murphy? Or at least jumping up and trying to bat the ball away. He just stood their with his hands out wide like he was calling for a ball in center field.

Brain farts like this are why the Steelers are losing games, and why I'm scared it's going to keep happening this season.

With all that being said; the four games left on the schedule are all winnable. The Browns are the Browns; the Green Bay Packers are playing well, but I'm not sold on their O-line and James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are playing well right now; The Baltimore Ravens' offense is struggling mightily; and the Miami Dolphins have no real weapons. Of course, the Steelers have been playing poorly lately too, so they could also lose every game.

I have faith (some may call it homer faith) that the Steelers will right the ship, make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl ala 2005. The road will just be harder and longer than originally expected.

George Michael - Faith

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

College coaches

Whether it's basketball or football, I can't stand college coaches. Well, it's mostly the system I can't stand. A coach can sign multi-year deals with a program, and then hightail it out of there when he gets a better opportunity.

Look at this whole Notre Dame-Brian Kelly situation. It seems to happen every year. A team in a major bowl is on the verge of their coach leaving them before their season is even over. If an athlete does this, he has to sit out a year.

It's crap. Especially when you consider the biggest reason a player chooses a school is the coach. Yet the coach is free to leave and the player can't follow for a year. I know some coaches have contracts that call for buyouts, but their are always tricky devils like the Rich Rodriguez that can get out paying complete buyouts.

I feel like I would just be repeating myself if I continued. It sucks and I don't like it. College coaches should not be able to interview for jobs if their season isn't over.

Sorry, I'm uninspired lately.

The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Week 13 picks

Look out people! I'm rolling! 11-5 last week, 12-4 the week prior, there is no stoppiong this train I'm on! Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what videogame I got that phrase from. What will these bonus points do for you? The glory of being as big of a nerd as me!

Let's rock.

St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns will be stomped this week, but the Tampa Bay Buccanneers will get their second win of the season. Imagine how bad Matt Moore must be if he is BEHIND Jake Delhomme, Scary thought, right?

Philadelphia Eagles 27, Atlanta Falcons 13: Michael Turner is not playing and the Falcons have been struggling this week. I never know which Eagles team is going to show up, but I'm feeling good about them this week.

Cincinnati Bengals 30, Detroit Lions 7: The Lions are about to be included in the original three group. Other than that win against the Browns, their games are just sad to watch.

Indianapolis Colts 33, Tennessee Titans 17: How does Vince Young do what he does. I don't understand it, but it obviously works and he should never be counted out. Peyton Manning is rolling this year, though. And let's be honest, he's one person you never want to bet against.

Denver Broncos 24, Kansas City Chiefs 13: What's more disturbing, me dreaming that Kyle Orton throws for 600 yards in a win today, or the fact I am dreaming about the Denver Broncos?

New England Patriots 35, Miami Dolphins 13: The Patriots haven't lost two games in a row in like five years. Bill Belichick will run this score up to make himself feel better about last week. The Dolphins also don't have the weapons to keep pace.

Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Oakland Raiders 3: Unleash hell, baby!

New Orleans Saints 28, Washington Redskins 10: The Redskins D is really good this year. Their offense really isn't. The Saints are great on both sides. One a side note, I really hate Alexander Ovechkin. And for all of you people (only Caps fans) who think his knee-on-knee hits are not dirty, and the other players' fault, you are clueless homers.

Houston Texans 30, Jacksonville Jaguars 17: Shut down MJD, shut down the Jaguars. I think the Texans accomplish this goal and get back in the Wild Card hunt, but they will still finish 8-8.

Dallas Cowboys 27, New York Giants 21: What happened to the Giants?

San Francisco 49ers 24, Seattle Seahawks 17: The 49ers are switching to a pass-heavy offense, and with the emergence of Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis as a receiver, they can make it work. Even with Alex Smith at QB. Frank Gore is also still a threat to score and will keep the defense on their toes. I'm looking for a positive for the Seahawks, but I'm struggling.

Arizona Cardinals 27, Minnesota Vikings 20: I'm putting my roll on a risk with this pick. Kurt Warner should play (once again, this pick reverses if he's out) and the Vikings haven't had to face this kind of offense this year. The Cardinals are not the Bears, or the Lions, they are a solid team that could shut down Adrian Peterson.

Green Bay Packers 27, Baltimore Ravens 17: The Packers got a wake-up call after that loss to the Bucs. They have been playing solid football since that game and they are gonig to continue this week. Then, they will take Joe Flacco, shave his unibrow and restore balance to the world.

U2 - I Will Follow

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What to do with Vick

Coming into the 2009-2010 NFL season, there was a lot of buzz about Michael Vick. A lot of analysts/media people seemed to think he would greatly help a team because of the Wildcat craze that we can thank the Miami Dolphins for.

Vick then signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, and some of these same analysts and media people thought this was the beginning of the end of Donovan McNabb with the Eagles. Those people have to be feeling pretty ridiculous right now.

Rather than gradually taking more and more snaps away from McNabb, Vick has thrown for... wait for it... prepare yourself... six yards! He is 3-for-9 and has run for a whopping 65 yards. So much for Vick going crazy with the Wildcat and making the Eagles' offense impossible to gameplan for.

I don't have a stat in front of me to prove this, but I'm pretty sure rookie running back LeSean McCoy has more snaps at quarterback under the Wildcat formation than Vick. If McCoy doesn't, then it's certainly close.

The big question now is, what is Vick's future? Will he be a backup for the rest of his career, or will a team in need of a quarterback (Oakland, Buffalo, St. Louis, Carolina to name a few) go out and take a risk? I don't think he will be a starter again.

It is good that he was allowed back in the league without further punishment, and I fully supported the decision, but his career might be over after this year. Maybe someone takes a chance on him after and injury, but I think the two years off really hurt him. And let's be honest, he was a mediocre quarterback completing around 53 percent of passes before the two years off. He never threw for more than 3,000 yards and he never had 20 tocuhdown passes. That is OK if you manage a game well, but he didn't do that either.

Anyone still think McNabb is feeling threatened?

By the way, all of you Philadelphia fans that don't liuke McNabb and boo him, you don't know much about football. Despite only having a star receiver for a season and a half, McNabb consistently puts up solid numbers and is a top 5 quarterback. You are lucky to have him and are going to miss him when he leaves. I guarantee it.

I almost forgot there was a football game tonight. Thursday NFL games are stupid. Teams have three days of rest and are expected to play at the top of their games. It doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway, New York Jets 17, Buffalo Bills 10: So I missed last week when I thought Mark Sanchez would play worse than Jake Delhomme and cost the Jets the game. More proof that you should never, ever, pick Delhomme to win a game. I think Sanchez only turns the ball over twice, rather than five times, giving the Jets the wins.

When in Rome - The Promise

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


What golf cliche would you use to descrive Tiger Woods' current predicament? Tiger needs a mulligan. Tiger chunked it. What the eff was he thinking considering his wife is smokin' hot?!

OK, the last one is not a popular golf cliche, but it could be after a Us Weekly report released today said Tiger was having a 31-month affair with a cocktail waitress. He didn't admit to the affair, but Tiger confessed to "transgressions" and is apologzing the pain he is causing his family.

In the same story, Tiger said, "Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means."

I'm sorry, but how could he not know the extent of tabloid media in this day and age? Atheletes as big as Tiger can't take a pee without atleast five people knowing if the urine has a darker shade of yellow to it or not. Today, if you are an athlete, movie star or politician, you can;t do anything wrong without people finding out. It's a sucky truth for you guys, but it's a fact.

Also, did Tiger not see what happened with Steve McNair and his mistress? I realize that Tiger's alleged affair has been gonig on for a lot longer than the McNair story, but he still has to realize that information is going to leak out.

Other than a rascist fan or golfer killing Tiger, this is probably the worst thing that could happen to golf. The sport's golden child, the man every one comes to see, could be a cheating SOB. How many fans will turn on him now?

I just would have thought athletes and other similar celebrities would have learned by now that if you cheat on your spouse, it's going to bite you in the ass harder than it would any private citizen. When will they learn?

The Eagles - Lyin' Eyes

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Henry to be punished?

France's star striker Thierry Henry might be punished by Fifa for his handball last month in a World Cup qualifying game agianst Ireland.

If you missed it, Henry blatantly used his hand to keep a ball in play, then passed it to a wide open teammate who scored the game-winning goal. The goal led to France qualifying for the World Cup, and the whole country of Ireland falling into a state of depression the nation hasn't seen since the potato famine.

OK, so maybe they're not that depressed over it, but they were pretty pissed. They petitioned Fifa to replay the game. When that didn't work, they had the stones to ask France to replay the game. Once that failed, they asked Fifa to make an exception and put Ireland in the World Cup.

Well, now I see the Bottom Line on ESPN 2 reads "Fifa considering punishing Henry for the handball."


Is he really the man who should be punished for this incident? Well, he did committ the handball, but come on! The referees blew the call. I have never heard of a player being punished for a handball after a game. Henry didn't headbutt anyone, he didn't kick anyone in the junk. He hit the ball with his hand and contributed to Ireland having one more reason to drink heavily.

The man and his family have faced death threats. A whole country is probaby thinking up ways to cause him pain and citizens of his own country are calling him a blemish on the country. That's enough.

I still can't wrap my head around Fifa actually punishing a man for a handball. Just award Ireland a free kick next time the two teams play.

Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster

Monday, November 30, 2009

Some reviews

Unless food is involved, I'm a fairly cheap person. I don't go to movies unless my girlfriend or I really want to see. I don't buy videogames anymore, I just mooch off friends, er, friend for that fix. Music is pretty crummy today as well, so I haven't been buying a lot of music.

Well, I actually bought a CD on iTunes , saw a couple movies and played a new videogame in the past month, so here are some reviews.

2012: I have a man-crush on John Cusack, and you probably do too but are afraid to admit it. That was pretty much my reasoning for seeing this one, especially because I find disaster films to be boring and predictable.

To say I was pleasantly surprised with 2012 is an understatement.

The action is pretty much nonstop for almost three hours. The special effects are fun and there is a good amount of humor to balance with the thought of the world pretty much falling apart. There won't be any Oscar buzz, but I found it a lot more fun to watch this than award winning movies like "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood". Let's be honest, both those movies were bores and "There Will Be Blood" would have been unbearable if not for Daniel Day Lewis.


A Christmas Carol: Nothing special here. The animation was cool, but it's the same story that we've seen in about 20 movies over the years and didn't do anything to stand out. Animated movies need to take a lesson from "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". Awesome animation can only take you so far.


Weezer - Raditude: For those of you (Greg) who wonder where the name came from, Rivers Cuomo asked Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) to come up with a title for CD, and that's what he came up with.

As for the music, it's very poppy and fun. Rivers and the rest of the band are happily married and living the good life, so there is no angst and or emotionally stirring songs that filled Pinkerton. Instead we get catchy pop tunes that are fun to listen and sing along to.

I enjoy it, especially some of the bonus tracks, but a lot of old school Weezer fans hate the album. Everyone wants to hear Blue or Pinkerton again, but those days are long gone. The band is making music they want to and not just trying to please old fans, which is admirable. I recently had a friend who said they were one step away from being a boy band, but he's an idiot.


Left 4 Dead 2: I love killing zombies with guns, chainsaws and frying pans, and L4D2 delivers. The much anticipated sequel is awesome. The new special infected are challenging and fun to chop with a katana. The new guns and use of melee weapons keep it killing zombies fresh and it's just a lot of fun.

Imagine running along a building ledge when a freaky character jumps on your back and tries to pull you off the ledge, all the while, a fat blob of a zombie is puking on you to get more zombies to attack you. It's spectacular. Unless you fall or are beaten to death.

Mike has not yet invited me over to play online, but we'll get there eventually. I'm sure it's awesome and frustrating all at the same time.


Bruce Springsteen - Where the Bands Are

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 12 picks

Wooo! Double-digit wins baby! After a rough patch of 7-6 records, I went 13-3 last week and feel wonderful. Except the Steelers lost to a crummy Kansas City team and have to start Dennis Dixon this week. Whatever, let's do this!

I'm sticking with me guns and reminding all of my loyal readers that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns will all lose and are not worth my time.

Miami Dolphins 23, Buffalo Bills 10: The Bills lost to the Browns this year. I am never picking them to win another game. I don't care who they are playing.

Carolina Panthers 20, New York Jets 17: The question here is which quarterback will play worse? In one corner we have Jake Delhomme, who has years of experience killing his team with interceptions in key moments. In the other, we have rookie Mark Sanchez, who has been pretty terrible since his 3-0 start. I'm going with the rookie to throw three to four picks and lose this one.

Philadelphia Eagles 23, Washington Redskins 10: The Redskins' offense is terrible and the Eagles are balanced on most days. I'm never picking the Redskins this season unless they play The Browns, Bucs or Bills.

Indianapolis Colts 27, Houston Texans 17: The Texans are destined to finish 8-8.

San Diego Chargers 28, Kansas City Chiefs 20: I'm still very upset about the Steelers losing to the Chiefs last year. I still don't understand how it happened. They won't get lucky two weeks in a row.

San Francisco 49ers 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 17: The Jags are a sneaky 6-4 this year. They have looked terrible at times and very good at others. Which Jags team will we get this week? I have no idea, but the 49ers are due to win one.

Arizona Cardinals 35, Tennessee Titans 17: Vince Young is going to need to pass for the Titans to win this game, something he hasn't had to do yet in his four starts. I'm thinking it doesn't work out and the Cardinals roll. Of course, this pick reverses if Kurt Warner doesn't play.

Minnesota Vikings 30, Chicago Bears 14: Brett Favre vs. cry baby wannabe Brett Favre. I'm going with the real thing.

Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Baltimore Ravens 20: The Dennis Dixon era begins! The man was great in Oregon before he tore his ACL, but hasn't played a regular season snap. I'm terrified of a five-turnover game; however, I expect the defense to come out on fire after playing their worst game of the season last week.

New England Patriots 34, New Orleans Saints 20: The Patriots are playing a lot better than the Saints recently. I just see Tom Brady going nuts and throwing a lot of touchdowns to Randy Moss and Drew Brees won't keep up.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day picks

Why the heck are the Detroit Lions still playing on Thanksgiving? Some traditions need to be stopped for humanity's sake. Think about it. Rome had its traditions of putting men in the Coliseum and having them fight to the death. This has stopped because it's not humane. The same should happen with the Lions and the Thanksgiving game.

Green Bay Packers 26, Detroit Lions 0: When I was looking at my fantasy team on Yahoo last night, it said the Lions already lost this game 26-0. Who am I to question Yahoo?

Dallas Cowboys 27, Oakland Raiders 7: The Cowboys' offense has been pitiful the past two weeks and the Raiders are coming off a large upset win. But the Raiders are terrible and can't do it two weeks in a row.

New York Giants 30, Denver Broncos 10: If only the Broncos started the season on a four-game losing streak, then I wouldn't look so stupid for saying they would be the worst team in the league and Josh McDaniels would be fired before the end of the season. Stupid Bronocos.

Boston - More Than A Feeling

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 11 picks

Another week goes by, and once again I barely finish above .500. Last week's picks went 8-7, mostly because my girlfriend had me take the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts. I would have gone the other way, but she talked me into those selections and it worked out.

Biggest miss: Carolina Panthers 28, Atlanta Falcons 19. I hate to make excuses, but Michael Turner was running all over the Panthers before his spraining his ankle. He had nine carries for 111 yards. Maybe the Panthers are not as terrible as I thought, but I'm still never putting a cent on Jake Delhomme.

On with the picks!

I forgot about the Thursday night game. I probably would have picked Carolina because of the Ronnie Brown injury. Shame on me for doubting Ricky Williams.

Dallas Cowboys 21, Washington Redskins 10: The Redskins only beat the Denver Broncos last week because Kyle Orton went down with an ankle injury and Chris Simms took over. Tony Romo is going to stay healthy this week and the Redskins will fall.

Detroit Lions 24, Cleveland Browns 15: How is it that every week we have one of these games that no one in their right minds would want to watch for football value. Sure, there could be entertainment value, but you're not going to watch it because you think it will be a well-played football game. You just want to see if Mangini gets stabbed by one of his players. I hope I didn't give them any ideas.

Green Bay Packers 27, San Francisco 49ers 20: I honestly have no idea what the Packers are going to do week in and week out. The 49ers made a joke out of Jay Cutler last week, but I don't think they do it to Aaron Rodgers this week. He's not a whiny, little girl.

Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10: After an embarrassing offensive performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the Steelers are going to come out and light up a lousy Chiefs team. Quick, name five starters on the Chiefs offense this week. You couldn't do it, could you?

Minnesota Vikings 24, Seattle Seahawks 13: To be honest, I haven't seen a Seahawks game this season. I have seen the Vikings though, and I don't see them having any problem with the Seahawks.

New York Giants 27, Atlanta Falcons 17: These teams are in a funk right now. The Giants have lost four consecutive games, while the Falcons' are probably going to be without Michael Turner and Matt Ryan has been struggling. The Giants will right the ship this week. After all, they can't lose five in a row, can they?

New Orleans Saints 27, Tampa Bay Bucs 14: The Saints have not been playing very well lately. The perfect example is last week's game, which the St. Louis Rams were close to winning. Fortunately for the Saints, the Bucs are a pretty lousy team and won't be able to take advantage of the Saints' slump.

Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Buffalo Bills 9: I haven't picked a Jacksonville game right this year.

Indianapolis Colts 27, Baltimore Ravens 10: The Ravens struggled to put 16 points up on the Browns. They are quarterbacked by Brady Quinn. The Colts have Peyton Manning. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Arizona Cardinals 45, St. Louis Rams 13: I feel so bad for Steven Jackson. The man is having an incredible season but is stuck on an awful team. Despite going up against a sturdy Cardinals run defense, I think he goes for more than 100 yards. Too bad for him the Cardinals might not punt the ball this game.

San Diego Chargers 24, Denver Broncos 10: It was fun while it lasted for the Broncos. Expect the Chargers to take over the division after this game and not look back. On a side note; I can't stand Phillip Rivers. He seems to talk so much crap, yet he has never been to the Super Bowl, let alone won a championship. He is a very good quarterback, but until he wins, he needs to stop being such a tool.

Cincinnati Bengals 27, Oakland Raiders 6: Bruce Gradkowski will get the start for the Raiders. That's not a good thing. You think the Raiders are wishing they still had Jeff Garcia around? I seem to be asking a lot of questions this entry. My bad.

New England Patriots 42, New York Jets 10: For those of you who think the 4th-and-2 end of the world play last week is going to have a negative effect on the Patriots, you are wrong. Bill Belichick wants revenge for Week 2 and to say eff you to all of those who started questioning him after last week.

Quick rant. Belichick is a great coach and will go into the Hall of Fame. There is no questioning that. But I hear people, I'm talking to you Greg, who say he has revolutionized coaching. How so? Look in a dictionary and revolutionize is to overthrow the established government (the NFL) or to change fundamentally or completely. How has Belichick done this? Bill Walsh revolutionized coaching with the West Coast Offense. Ever since he used it, countless other coaches have adopted the strategy. Belichick makes good coaching decisions, takes risks when necessary, drafts well and gets the most out of his players. He does these things better than any other coach in football today. But none of those things are groundbreaking. Don't tell me having a linebacker line up at tight end and catching 1-yard touchdown passes is revolutionary.

Philadelphia Eagles 24, Chicago Bears 10: Jay Cutler is going to be rushed all day and probably cry several times throughout the game.

Houston Texans 28, Tennessee Titans 17: When did the Texans become so good at stopping the run. I am too lazy to look up the stat right now, but I don't think they've allowed a 100-yard rusher in the past six games. They also have one of the most explosive passing attacks in the league, which is the Titans weakness.

Grand Funk Railroad - Some Kind of Wonderful

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two overblown stories

After listening to national and local radio stations for the past three days, there are few stories I think the media needs to drop.

First, and this is just the local Pittsburgh media, is the Jeff Reed not making a tackle on special teams again. Reed is a kicker, he is not supposed to make tackles. Why are fans and radio hosts focusing on the one guy on the field that does not practice tackling players in the open field?

Reed's effort on Sunday to take down the Cincinnati Bengals' return man looked pretty weak. He just cut in front of the guy to force the returner back to the middle of the field. That is a kicker's job. Force the return man away from the sidelines and try to slow him down. Now, Reed didn't do a very good job of slowing the runner down, but neither did the other 10 Steelers on the field.

To focus on Reed is ridiculous and Steeler fans need to stop calling radio stations and ask what hosts think of his tackling skills.

The second story is the whole Bill Belichick going for it on 4-and-2 from his own 28-yard line with a about 2 minutes left in the Sunday night game against the Indianapolis Colts. If you missed it, the Patriots didn't get the first down and the Colts capitalized with the game winning touchdown with less than 20 seconds left.

Since that play, every coach in the league, and in college or in a studio, have been asked if they agree with the decision. Would this story last more than a day if it was Ken Whisenhunt or Lovie Smith?

How many of us have been in this same situation in Madden and done the same thing? Belichick trusted his offense of Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Randy Moss to get the first down. It's just Brady made a bad read and hit the wrong guy. Look at the replay and you'll see Welker was wide open over the middle and well past the first down.

The most bothersome thing about all the coverage is that the attention the call is getting is overshadowing a great game. A 35-34, down to the wire New England-Indianapolis game is taking a backseat to one play. It's a shame.

On a side note, I love that the Patriots lost. Mostly because it upsets B ill Simmons, who still had to drop in that the refs were giving the Colts all the calls.

Tenacious D - Wonderboy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 10 picks

Just call me 7-6, because once again that was my record in picks last week. I'm not bragging about games I get right until I get 10 wins. You are not going to hear me bragging again this season.

Biggest miss: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers, making all three of my winless team predictions for this season wrong. I'm embarassed. I really thought the Bucs, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns had a chance to be a part of history. Oh well, there is always next year, and I'm not sure any of these teams have much promise next year. But they did prove me wrong this year, so I will flatter them by actually including some sort of analysis in the picks.

New Orleans Saints 38, St. Louis Rams 3: The Rams suck and the Saints are undefeated. I never said I would give in-depth analysis.

Miami Dolphins 23, Tampa Bay Bucs 13: The Dolphins run the ball very well. They kind of have to because they have no real weapons in the pass game. The Bucs give up the most rushing yards in the league. These trends will continue this week. On a side note, I owe Ronnie Brown and apology. I thought he would be OK this year, and he has been explosive. My bad, Ronnie.

Minnesota Vikings 31, Detroit Lions 10: Lions' QB Matt Stafford threw five picks against a soft Seattle defense. Seriously, there is potential for eight Stafford turnovers this game.

New York Jets 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 20: I hate the Jags this year. First, they let go of my boy, Freddy Taylor. Second, they are unpredictable. When I pick them, they lose. When I pick against them they win. I have no idea what to expect from them. Alan Faneca is a beast though, so I'm going with the Jets.

Tennessee Titans 17, Buffalo Bills 5: The Titans have won two in a row and the Bills' offense is ridiculously bad. One of the Titans' two touchdowns will be defensive.

Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Cincinnatti Bengals 21: Last time these teams played, Troy Polamalu didn't. He's back and playing great, so I think the Steelers hold on to the lead this time around. The Steelers will also hold Cedric Benson in check. I'm saying less than 70 yards and no scores for the Comeback Player of Year candidate.

Denver Broncos 24, Washington Redskins 7: The Redskins offense is in shambles, their coach is a puppet and the Broncos are looking to stop a two-game skid. Also, the Broncos have won a game this season, so there goes any chance for the Skins to come away with a win.

Atlanta Falcons 24, Carolina Panthers 10: I am never picking Jake Delhomme to win a game the rest of the season.

Oakland Raiders 17, Kansas City Chiefs 14: It's games like these I have been messing up. I have picked the Chiefs the past couple weeks and look what they did for me. Nothing.

Arizona Cardinals 34, Seattle Seahawks 17: Kurt Warner was just getting that bad game out of the way early. I think he is back and ready to light up the Seahawks' secondary. The Cardinals also have a tough defense that will be putting a lot of pressure on Matt Hasselbeck and his sore shoulder.

Green Bay Packers 28, Dallas Cowboys 17: The Packers are going to do one of two things this week after last week's stink bomb. Get fired up and whoop some ass. Or they are going to crawl deeper into their holes and give up on the season. I'm going with option A, even though they have a paper mache offensive line.

Philadelphia Eagles 27, San Diego Chargers 24: I'm still not sold on the Chargers. They can't run the ball effectively and their defense is not very strong. I like Donovan McNabb to bounce back from a medicore performance and let it rain on the Chargers' secondary. I smell at least one big touchdown play to DeSean Jackson.

Indianapolis Colts 34, New England Patriots 30: I would reverse this if it was at New England, but it's at Indy. Really, I just flipped a coin.

Baltimore Ravens 50, Cleveland Browns 6: Welcome back, Brady Quinn. He will pass for 105 yards, be sacked a lot and wish Derek Anderson was still the starter.

Queen - We Will Rock You

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Agassi's book

Andre Agassi was an amazing tennis player. And apparently he wasn't trying a lot of the time.

Agassi is releasing a tell-all book where he admits to tanking tennis matches, hating other tour players and being hooked on crystal meth for a little while. It has the makings to be a great read.

You have one of the best tennis players ever to play the game, and apparently he hated the sports for the majoirty of his career and lost matches on purpose. He took drugs because he was so pissed off about playing tennis and marrying Brooke Shields. Seriously, the stuff that is in this book could make an excellent movie with Seth Rogen playing Agassi. There is no question I'll read it, but I have to ask one question of Mr. Agassi. Why now?

He has told journalists that he is releasing the book because he was sick of holding it in for so long. I love Agassi, but I'm not buying that story.

If he just wanted to get it off his chest, why not hold a press conference? Why not schedule an interview on a major network and do it there? And the answer is a book could make a whole lot of money.

I have no problem with Agassi releasing a book to make some extra cash. I just don't like when athletes or movie stars release these types of books and say it's because they wanted to raise awareness or come clean. It doesn't mean what's in the book isn't true or entertaining, but don't try and tell us you wanted to take the moral high ground.

It's like Jose Canseco's "Juiced". He said he wanted to get all the information to the public so baseball would change. No, he released it because he wanted the money that would come with a controversial book. We've learned since that a lot of what Canseco said had merit, or was true, but don't believe for a second he did it because he wanted to help anyone.

Now Agassi is a better person than Canseco. Just look at the school Agassi runs to help educate kids who would probably not graduate high school if Agassi's school did not exist. But don't tell me he is doing it because he wanted to admit his wrongs and set things right.

Now I am going to digress a little bit and ask another question. Why does the media glorify athletes who get hooked on drugs at one point, but get clean and find success again?

Don't get me wrong. It's great that the Josh Hamiltons, Brett Favres and Andre Agassis rallied from drug abuse and returned to the spotlight as stand up athletes. But why don't we focus more on the guys who stayed clean for their whole careers? Aren't these the better role models we should be telling children and upcoming athletes about?

This might be a stretch, but what if a young athlete hears about Agassi's or Hamilton's comeback and thinks, "Well, if he could beat drugs, I could give them a try and quit them later?"

Great. Now I sound like a middle school guidance counselor.

There is an NFL game tonight! So I will give my pick and get the rest up by Sunday.

Chicago Bears 27, San Francisco 49ers 17: I would have liked the 49ers if Vernon Davis didn't start talking. Seriously, Vernon? You are finally having a good season and think you have room to talk? You've also lost four games in a row. I think Cutler takes advantage of a weak 49ers secondary (Nate Clement is out) and Alex Smith can;t rally the 49ers for a late score.

Steve Winwood - Valerie

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 9 picks

I should really stop these. It's getting embarrassing. It was another 7-6 week for me, and none of those seven correct picks were anything to brag about. What is worse, I lost another of my no-win teams. It's all up to you, Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

Biggest misses: It's impossible to pick between the six. Seriously, they were all really, really wrong.

Redemption time.

Disclaimer: The Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams are on bye, but the Bucs are back and they are going to get steamrolled by the Green Bay Packers. The Bucs, Browns and Rams will finish a combined 2-46.

Atlanta Falcons 24, Washington Redskins 17: The Falcons secondary is playing pretty poor and Jason Campbell threw the ball more than 40 times a few weeks ago. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but it and the Redskins' solid defense should keep the game close for awhile.

Chicago Bears 28, Arizona Cardinals 20: It was nice of Kurt Warner to pull his best Jake Delhomme impression last week. While I don't think he turns the ball over SIX times against the Bears, I think three is very possible. Matt Forte will keep struggling, but Jay Cutler will be enough for the Bears to get the win.

Cincinnati Bengals 17, Baltimore Ravens 10: A lot of the Pittsburgh media has been saying they don't think the Bengals are for real, and they believe in the Ravens. I'm not so sure. The Ravens secondary, with Ed Reed being the exception, is pretty bad this year. And unlike the Denver Broncos, the Bengals can stretch the field and have a quarterback with a decent arm. I'm not dissing Kyle Orton, but it's a fact he has one of the weakest arms in the league. I smell a long touchdown for Chad Ochocinco or Chris Henry.

Indianapolis Colts 31, Houston Texans 17: Matt Schaub won't have tight end Owen Daniels and will struggle. It might be the most underestimated injury of the year. Daniels was having a Pro Bowl season with 40 catches for 519 yards and five touchdowns, and he was Schaub's second option. If he was playing, I would have picked the Texans, especially with Colts' Bob Sanders being out.

New England Patriots 38, Miami Dolphins 13: Not a fan of the Dolphins secondary, and the Patriots shut down the Wildcat the second time around last season. Expect the Patriots to go up early and the Dolphins to flounder when trying to play catch up.

Kansas City Chiefs 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 14: How are we supposed to know what happens in this game considering it will be blacked out?

Seattle Seahawks 31, Detroit Lions 9: The Redskins should really be embarrassed they lost to the Lions.

New Orleans Saints 27, Carolina Panthers 10: Drew Brees will not turn the ball over six times and the Saints will crush the Panthers. Jake Delhomme will probably throw for less than 150 yards and at least two picks.

New York Giants 30, San Diego Chargers 28: The Giants can't lose four in a row, can they? As bad as the Giants secondary is, and as good as Phillip Rivers can be, I'm thinking the Giants' run game takes over. OK, OK. I know I've said that for three weeks now and it keeps blowing up in my face. But I really believe it this time!

San Francisco 49ers 27, Tennessee Titans 10: Talk about a battle of disappointments. Alex Smith vs. Vince Young, both of them in their second stints as starters after being replaced by wily veterans. The 49ers almost beat the Colts last week, but stalled in the second half. I think they play three good quarters this week and pull off the win.

Philadelphia Eagles 24, Dallas Cowboys 14: That Oakland game was the wake-up call the Eagles needed. Just like the tie to the Bengals was what they needed last year. They're getting to the NFC title game again.

Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Denver Broncos 13: Look what happens when you get pressure on Kyle Orton. He struggles to break 100 yards. Despite several injuries on the defensive side, expect the Steelers to blitz the crap out of Orton and force some turnovers.

Good Lovin' - The Rascals

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yankees' win

I am not a Yankees fan. Far from it. I dislike them very much. I also think basbeall should have a salary cap. With that being said, people complaining about the Yankees buying a championship need to be quiet.

The Yankees have a payroll of more than $200 million, it's true. But the rules allow it. Boston, that other New York team, and a few others could spend that kind of money. They just don't.

I hear a lot of people say that the Yankees represent what is wrong in baseball, but that's just not true. How is doing whatever it takes, in a legal manner (steroid use aside), representing what is wrong with a sport? They spend more than $200 million to put the best team they can pn the field. They could pocket $50 millon of that and still have the highest payroll, but they choose to spend more in hopes of winning championships.

Also, the players, on all the teams in the league, are to blame for the disparity in payrolls and the fact there is no salary cap. If the players from other teams were sick of the Yankees winning because of their payroll, they would come together in the union and lobby to impose a salary cap. But they are happy with the way things are in baseball. They like it that mediocre players can be paid $5 million a year. If there was a salary cap, teams would never pay the likes of Kip Wells a seven-figure salary. So until your team's players start asking for a salary cap, I don't want to hear you complain about the Yankees outspending your team by $120 million.

And this is coming from a Pirates fan.

And hey, the Yankees had the highest payroll in the league for as long as I can remember, but they hadn't won a title in eight years. That just shows that spending doesn't guarantee titles if you don't spend it on the right guys.

It can be argued that, although spending big doesn't guarantee rings, it does guarantee constant contention. And I can't argue against that. But, think of how much pleasure so many of have taken when seeing the Yankees and their big payroll fail to win a title. They are the antagonist all sports fans need.

I'm not happy the Yankees won. I'll be a happy man if I never see them win again. But until the players step up and admit the league needs a salary cap, I can't blame the Yankees for doing whatever they need to do to win.

Faster - Third Eye Blind

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some random thoughts

If you haven't picked up on it yet, I like making lists. I just have a bunch of random thoughts going through my head right now, but not enough to make write up individual blogs. So you get a list.

  • Eric Mangini, Dick Jauron, Jim Zorn, Norv Turner, Jack Del Rio and Tom Cable will all be fired during, or after this NFL season. Jeff Fisher, John Fox and Wade Phillips could be gone too.
  • I have to admit, I took this stat from Bill Simmons, but Jeff Fisher has just six winning seasons in his 16 years as the Tennessee Titans'/Houston Oilers' head coach. Why is he still considered one of the best in the business? Don't give me the old, "he does well for the talent he has." He has a say in the guys he gets, so isn't it partially his fault if his players aren't that talented?
  • There are not a lot of good coaches in the NFL. Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin and Tom Coughlin are the only active coaches with Super Bowl wins.
  • Steelers safety Ryan Clark should NOT play this weekend in Denver. Last time he played there, his sickle cell trait caused his body to attack his spleen and gall bladder, which resulted in them both being removed and him missing the rest of the 2007 season. Doctors have cleared him, saying he is safe now that his spleen is gone, but why risk it? What if his body attacks an organ you can't live without? Sit and live to play another day, Ryan.
  • The Cleveland Browns just fired their GM and want to bring in "veteran consultants" to help the team produce. The Browns might be the worst run organization in the league. A league that includes the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. Think about that for a minute.
  • The DDT is the greatest professional wrestling move ever. It's simplicity and the ease that anyone could use it are one of a kind. Honestly, every time I go out I am tempted to DDT every other person I walk by.
  • The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers had certain needs they had to fill this offseason to compete for a Stanley Cup. The Caps needed defense and the Flyers needed a real goalie. Well, the Caps went and signed more offense, while the Flyers signed Ray Emery. Neither is making the Stanley Cup Finals this season.
  • Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer suspended his linebacker Brandon Spikes for a half next week against Vanderbilt. Spikes raked at Georgia Bulldogs' Washaun Ealey's eyes during a play. If you look at the video, it wasn't like he just tried to poke Ealey's eyes, but really went after them. Meyer should have suspended him for at least a game. Oregon's LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the season by his school when he punched a Boise State player. Is that really that much worse than trying to rip someone's eyes out? One more reason I strongly dislike Urban Meyer.
  • Just got the new Weezer album, Raditude. It's pretty poppy like all of their recent efforts, but I'm bobbing my head and enjoying it. Listen, most of the band is happily married and have kids now, including lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo. He is not miserable and filled with angst like he was early in Weezer's career. There will not be another Blue Album or Pinkerton. To expect it every time and then hate the band for not reproducing those two classic albums is unfair. I'm not saying you have to like it, that's your choice, but give them a break and stop comparing everything they do to those two albums.
  • Speaking of the new album, the song "Can't Stop Partying" was way better without Lil' Wayne's part. Please YouTube it and watch the version with Rivers and Jermaine Dupri. It's awesome.
  • One more note on the new album. Listen to "Put Me Back Together." It has an older feel to it and is not as poppy. Really, I'm listening to the album as I write this, so there might be a lot of updates about the album.
  • Ryan Howard might of had one too many big philly cheesesteaks. All it takes is one hit to break out of this slump, but come on, multiple K's in every game is pretty embarrassing.
  • I miss Greg, Mike and TheBoss commenting on a regular basis.
  • Chase Utley is a freak. I mean that in the best possible way.
  • Third Eye Blind suffered from a similar problem Weezer did. Their debut album was just too good and left everyone expecting greatness from there on out. Their next two albums were really good, just not quite as good as their first one. I still need to get the new album.
  • Steve Phillips is a dirty and despicable fellow. Don't believe me? Read this http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/exclusive_espn_steve_phillips_in_bLw9UoSAQJwJLU4ZDXvvDO
  • David Letterman is no better.
  • I'd put something here about the NBA, but I don't really have any interest in that league until the playoffs. Even then, I don't really care until the second round.
  • Just listened to "Love is the Answer" on Weezer's new album. It might be the worst Weezer song ever.
  • I'm 24 and I still love video games. Go on, make fun of me. It won't change the fact I'm prettier than you.
  • Left 4 Dead is awesome and I'm pumped for the sequel. Anyone want to buy me an XBox 360? Please?
  • There are not enough headbutts in society today. Try and tell me you're never tempted to crunch someone who is pissing you off?
The Gauntlet - Dropkick Murphys

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Replay and baseball

Major League Baseball needs to have replay for questionable calls. It is obvious after watching all the missed calls that could have easily and quickly be overturned by watching the replay.

With that said, the media needs to stop making missed calls and the demand for replay the lead for every postseason game.

I am currently watching Sportscenter, and while there were a lot of good stories to emphasize, they said the replay of A-Rod's home run was what everyone was talking about. It was a big hit, and the decision was questionable. If you haven't seen it, A-Rod his a camera in right field that was protruding onto the field of play. The umps said they agreed before the game that if the ball were to hit the camera, it would be ruled a home run. They just forgot to mention that to the teams playing.

But why not focus on Andy Pettitte getting his 17th postseason win? Sure he already broke the record when he got No. 16, but it's still impressive. Why not push that Nick Swisher broke out of a horrible postseason slump with a home run and double? Or that Hideki Matsui crushed a pinch-hit homer despite having no knees to speak of?

All of these plays/storylines were mentioned, but not were not the focus of coverage. The games have been pretty good this year. No series has gone the distance, but there were still some great games that did not need to be overshadowed by the replay debate.

Hit Somebody - Warren Zevon

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 8 picks

Once again, I had a pretty ugly week at 7-6. If I missed, I missed big. I am so embarrassed with some of those picks, I'm not even going to pat myself on the back this week for the one I got really right.

Biggest misses from Week 7 are as follows: New Yorks Jets 38, Oakland Raiders 0, San Diego Chargers 37, Kansas City Chiefs 7, Cincinnati Bengals 45, Chicago Bears 10. Yes, I picked the Raiders, Chiefs and Bears to win last week, and they lost by a collective score of 120-17. I don't feel too bad about the Bengals game. No one expected that kind of smack down. But I'm deeply regretting the Chiefs and Raiders picks.

Not only did I say the Chiefs would win, I said Larry Johnson would get his first 100-yard game. Instead, he had 49 yards and went on to bash his coach and gays via twitter. He probably won't play another snap for the Chiefs.

Meanwhile, JaMarcus Russell was busy turning the ball over like crazy and getting benched in Oakland. But if you ask him, none of it is his fault. And really, how can you disagree with him? He's only turned the ball over 13 times this year.

On with Week 8!

Disclaimer: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on bye, so they don't have a chance to lose this week, but the St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns are playing this week and they will lose. I was almost tempted to try and give some insight on the Detroit Lions-St. Louis Rams game, but I made a commitment to these teams and I'm not going to go back on it.

Houston Texans 24, Buffalo Bills 9: Ryan Fitzpatrick should not have a job in the NFL. He got lucky last week when Jake Delhomme did his best Jake Delhomme impression and handed the game away. Matt Schaub is not Jake Delhomme. In fact, he is leading the league in passing and touchdowns. Also, Andre Johnson plans on playing despite a bruised lung. All of this is bad news for the Bills. Only potentially bad weather is going to hold the Texans' offense back.

Dallas Cowboys 27, Seattle Seahawks 20: While the Cowboys' secondary has been this year, the Seahawks offensive line has been pretty terrible. Walter Jones is on the IR, and Matt Hasselbeck is going to be under constant pressure. Seattle will also be without linebacker Lofa Tatupu (sweet name), so expect Tony Romo to have another strong outing.

Indianapolis Colts 35, San Francisco 49ers 13: Welcome back to the lineup Alex Smith! You get to play an undefeated Colts team led by one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Oh, and Dwight Freeney plans on playing. I wish you luck, Alex, but I'm pretty sure you're going to get crushed.

Miami Dolphins 24, New York Jets 13: Miami's defense is among the best in the league at stopping the run. Mark Sanchez is playing like a rookie that had not started 20 career college games before entering the draft. Expect Miami to dominate the clock with that Wildcat of there's and force Sanchez to beat them. He will fail to do so.

OK, quick interruption. I can't stand the Wildcat. What I despise even more is other teams renaming it to fit their team name. You have the Denver Broncos calling it the Wild Horses and the TCU Frogs calling it the Wild Frogs. Stop it. This job falls on the announcers. Just call it the Wildcat and don't make such a big deal out of it.

One more side note. Does anyone else find it funny that other teams continue to try and run it, even though it's pretty obvious Miami is the only team that really knows what they're doing in that formation?

Sorry, I just have one more thing on my mind. Why the heck are the Jets continuing to wear those ugly throwbacks? I think they've already worn them three times this season. The point of throwbacks is to do it rarely so that those occasions are more special and make us look back to a different generation. Wearing them every other week is ridiculous. Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if they weren't so heinously ugly.

New York Giants 24, Philadelphia Eagles 14: The Eagles have not looked good the past two weeks. But neither have the Giants. Both teams have looked great this season, though, so it's any team's ball game. Brian Westbrook won't play, but mini-Westbrook (LeSean McCoy) is. In the end I think Brandon Jacobs is the difference maker. I know I said he would breakout last week, and he kind of did (13 carries, 76 yards and a touchdown), but I think the Giants commit to the run and wear down the Eagles.

Denver Broncos 20, Baltimore Ravens 13: Every week it seems people are saying this is the week the Broncos come down to earth. I don't think this is the week. The Ravens have been struggling to get pressure on quarterbacks and look at their schedule so far. They have yet to step up and beat a quality team. No, the Chargers are not a quality team this year. Meanwhile, the Broncos have wins against the New England Patriots and the Bengals. Oh, and they have only given up 10 points in the second half this SEASON. That might be the most overlooked statistic in the NFL this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars 27, Tennessee Titans 10: Let the Vince Young Part Deux Era begin. This would be a fun game, if I had any confidence that Young could take advantage of the Jaguars' joke of a secondary. But I don't so I think it's another one-side affair, with Jacksonville passing all over the crummy Titans' secondary.

San Diego Chargers 30, Oakland Raiders 3: I wish I could play in the AFC West.

Arizona Cardinals 24, Carolina Panthers 10: Jake Delhomme is still the starter in Carolina. Until that changes, they are not beating any decent teams. Wait, Matt Moore is their backup. They aren't going to beat a decent team this year. Period.

Green Bay Packers 24, Minnesota Vikings 17: You may not have heard, but Brett Favre is returning to Lambeau Field for the first time since leaving the Packers. Apparently it's a big deal. And I'll be honest, I want to watch this game. As annoyed as I was with Favre this summer, I enjoy watching him play. It's fun. Anything can happen with him back there. He might make a throw no one else in their right mind would thik of throwing, or he could try and throw a pass behind his back as he is being sacked and it ends up being intercepted and returned for a touchdown. You just never know. It will be a good game, but the Packers will be too determined not to be 2-0 against Favre.

New Orleans Saints 30, Atlanta Falcons 14: The key to beating the Falcons is jumping out to an early lead and forcing them to abandon the run. I know, that seems pretty obvious to beating any team, but I think it is really obvious against the Falcons. In their losses to the Patriots and Cowboys, the Falcons had to rely on Matt Ryan to bring them back, and he couldn't do it. Expect that to happen again this week.

Happy Halloween everyone. Be safe. And ladies, the trampy cop costume is so 10 years ago.

Down by the River - Neil Young

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yigo's near escape

I am not the greatest map maker, as you can see from the above sketch. The lines and arrows are the route Yigo took through my neighborhood a little while ago when he broke off his leash and embarrassed me and my family. I'll give a play-by-play, because you probably can't interpret my beautifully created powerpoint map.

So it was a pretty evening and I decided I would take my dog, Yigo, and my parents' dog, Sydney, for a stroll around the neighborhood. We had done so countless times before, but this walk turned into a chase worthy of the movies.

The problem began with me hooking the leash to Yigo's identification tag instead of the ring on his collar. For those of you without dogs, the metal ring on an id tag is very weak, so a 40-pound dog tugging is going to break it, and Yigo did. Free from his chains, Yigo bolted to the yard across the street. I didn't want to lose sight of him, so I didn't take Sydney inside, but took him running across the yard to try and bring back Yigo.

Well, because I was afraid to let Sydney's leash go, I was very limited in my chances to catch Yigo. Sydney is the craziest dog I know and I was terrified of him running loose in the neighborhood. He'd probably try and jump into a moving car if given the chance.

Faced with this dilemma, I called my house to get reinforcements. My mother and father quickly came outside and started calling to Yigo, but he was free and having a blast. He wasn't coming back without a fight. Once my parents crossed the street, Yigo stopped running circles around me and bolted farther down the street. My mom tried telling me to let her handle Sydney, but he is almost 70 pounds and would drag her across several lawns with ease. That's when my brother showed up to help with Sydney and more problems arose.

He and my dad took turns tugging very hard on Sydney's leash to try and get him back to the house. But Sydney saw how happy Yigo was running around that he wanted to join in. So while me and my mom chased Yigo through the mean neighbors' lawn, Sydney was slowly maneuvering his way out of his collar.

In the mean neighbors' lawn, who would have come out yelling had they seen a dog running in their yard, I had position on Yigo and would have tackled him, but my mom had caught up to us and as I moved to grabbed Yigo, she set a pick and ruined my plan. Yigo then took off toward the street again where Sydney and the rest of my family were waiting.

It was at that moment that Sydney escaped his leash and went chasing after Yigo. My dad and brother just stood in the road with confused looks on their faces.

So now I am sprinting down the street while our neighbor in house B is trying to have a conversation with me about my time in Guam. I didn't mean to be rude, but I had to catch my dogs!

After a quick run, I thought I had Yigo trapped in a backyard (A), but the little bugger is way more agile than me, and he had no problem running another circle around me.

That's when the humans finally caught a break. Sydney is not in the best of shape. He is probably 10-15 pounds overweight to be exact. So he was getting tired and wasn't quick enough to get away from my lunge. One down, one to go.

By the time I had Sydney's collar and leash back on, Yigo was now running freely through Neighbor C's yard. There are a lot of trees on the edge of their lawn, so Yigo was easily ducking in between them while I clumsily chased. After a few minutes of this, I lured an exhausted Yigo into the car with promises of treats.

While the dogs were captured and unharmed, it still was an embarrassing day for the whole Rickel clan.

Band on the Run - Wings

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fantasy football trades: to veto or not to veto

Anyone that hates fantasy sports should stop reading now. I feel that is an important disclaimer, as those of you who do not enjoy fantasy (despite never trying it) REALLY don't like it and are kind of mean when sharing your opinions about us fantasy football players.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about whether fantasy football trades, and any fantasy sports trades for that matter, should be ruled upon by the league. Now I have to admit, I used to be a poor sport in fantasy leagues. If I thought a trade made one team a lot better than the other, I would try and get the trade vetoed. It wasn't even that the deal was unfair. I was in first place and the guy in second got Miguel Cabrera. There was more to the deal, but I definitely thought the Miguel Cabrera team got the better of the deal and really didn't want my adversary to get better.

That was wrong of me and I have since changed. My stance now is that as long as the two teams involved in a trade are not working together to make one super team, then let the trade go through. Just because one player gets the better end of the deal, doesn't mean league owners should rally to shoot the trade down.

I am in an ESPN league where this situation arose. Two brothers made a deal where one owner gave up Marion Barber, Kenny Britt and Mike Sims-Walker for Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. The league was pretty much split on the situation with half calling it unfair and the other saying let it go through. In the end, the commissioner viewed it as unfair and vetoed it.

Was this the right decision? I wouldn't have done it. Like I said, unless it's obvious one team is tanking to the other, then it should go through. Now, the brother getting White and Gonzo is tied for 10th, and the other is playoff bound, so perhaps one was trying to help his bro makes the playoffs. But I don't know them well enough to make that call.

I like that the commish took control, I just would have gone the other way.

So that brings up the question as to whether fantasy trades should be voted upon by the league? You know how I feel, now it's time for you to share your opinion. Specifically you, Greg. You haven't been on the boards in quite some time. The MBA can wait, Sports, Dogs and Everything Else needs you!

Don't Stop - Rolling Stones

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy belated birthday, JCVD

Let us take a moment to thank the big man upstairs for giving us the gift of Jean Claude Van Damme a little more than 49 years ago.

Born Oct. 18, 1960, JCVD rose to become the greatest Belgian action star of all time. If you disagree, you have no idea what you are talking about and deserve a jumping spin kick to your face.

Try and tell me you've never imagined yourself in a sports arena/stadium that has been overrun by terrorists and you're the only hope for the innocent lives trapped in the building. While all of us were dreaming it, JCVD was living it in "Sudden Death". Any other year and that movie takes home the Oscar. Unfortunately for JCVD, that was the year "Braveheart" came out.

Of course, there is no excuse for Nick Cage stealing the Best Actor award for his role in "Leaving Las Vegas". I guarantee more saw and enjoyed JCVD's powerful performance as the security guard who takes matters into who own hands.

We need a sequel this year. They can actually blow up Mellon Arena!

Somehow "Blood Sport" also went without any Oscar nominations, only furthering the belief that the Oscars are all about politics. And let's face it, JCVD does movies that will change lives, not just what some suits think has nice cinematography and big stars. The man was practically blinded and still managed to defeat the baddest bad guy of all time and avenge his pummeled friend. He even got the bandanna back. There are rumors floating around that the end of "Blood Sport" was actually the inspiration for the concept of bromance.

I could gone on for hours about the greatness of JCVD (Lionheart, Hard Target, Kickboxer, Cyborg, Nowhere to Run etc...) but I have a job now and don't have the time. But I have to bring up "Double Impact". JCVD played two characters in this classic. As a pair of twin brothers separated at 1-year-old, he kicks the crap out of so many people. Hell, he even fights himself. It was "The One" 20 years before "The One" was even thought about. And "Double Impact" was actually good, whereas "The One" was pretty lame.

So thank you, JCVD. You were my favorite actor growing up and deserve a chance to shine again.

St. Elmo's Fire - John Parr

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 7 picks

Last week was ugly. While I finished 8-6, most of those 6 were horribly off. And let's be honest, when you don't factor in the spread, you should finish above .500 every week. I blame the Philadelphia Eagles. Those bums lost to an Oakland Raiders team that didn't attempt 20 passes the week prior, even though they were down at least 20 points for most of the game. How did the Eagles not manage a touchdown? Mind boggling. Well, let's get on with it.

Biggest hit: I'm going to say it was a tie between the Arizona Cardinals 27, Seattle Seahawks 3; and the New England Patriots 59, Tennessee Titans 0 - The Cardinals were on top of Hasselbeck all game, preventing the Seahawks' offense from clicking. The man was 10-for-29 for less than 120 yards and two turnovers. The shootout that many analysts and reporters expected never showed. Considering how poorly I did with some of the other picks, I just want to relish this one for a bit.... Thank you.

I had the Titans scoring some points, but other than that I was pretty much spot on. Tom Brady lit up their secondary (is there a bigger understatement). What I didn't expect was the Titans literally quitting. Would you have been surprised if the team literally hit the showers during halftime and didn't bother coming out for the second half?

Biggest miss: Oakland Raiders 13, Philadelphia Eagles 9 - Ummm, what the hell!?! When I predicted a 50-6 Eagles' romp, I was only partially joking. What I was really thinking was 42-6. When JaMarcus Russell has the most touchdown passes in a game, something has to be wrong. Seriously, that whole 2012 apocalypse might be sooner.

An honorable mention would be New Orleans Saints 48, New York Giants 27: In my defense, I said I had no justification for predicting the Giants to hold the Saints to 17 points. But to miss it by 31 points is pretty ridiculous. These Saints are Super Bowl contenders. Drew Brees is great and the defense is for real. That was the last time I pick against them. Time for Week 7.

Disclaimer: The Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers games will not be mentioned beyond this point because two of them are finishing 0-16 and the Browns are finishing 1-15 (way to go, Buffalo).

Houston Texans 31, San Francisco Giants 21: The only reason this one is within 10 is because Frank Gore is back and practicing without limitations. But it won't be enough for a Texans offense that has realized that their best chance at winning is throwing the ball around 40 times a game. Expect another 300-yard three-touchdown game from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.

Kansas City Chiefs 24, San Diego Chargers 21: Upset special, baby! This Chargers defense is a mere shadow of its former self. Shawn Merriman hasn't been the same since his steroid use. Coincidence? Probably not. I see Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel hooking up all day and Larry Johnson rushing for his first 100-yard game this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Minnesota Vikings 21: Jeff Reed will hit a winning field goal, down a beer and then punch a security guard in the face. Meanwhile, Matt Spaeth will urinate on Brett Favre's leg, causing mass hysteria and laughter in the stadium. Also, with Antoine Winfield out, Big Ben is going to rain death upon the Vikings' secondary. Quick question for all of you out there. Who has the most receiving yards this season? Not Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne or Larry. It's Hines word with 599. He doesn't even have ACLs!

Oakland Raiders 13, New York Jets 12: The Sanchise has hit quite a rut. After getting picked off five times by the Buffalo secondary last week, expect the Jets rookie qb to continue to struggle. I feel like this pick is an apology to the Raiders last week for disrespecting them as much as I did.

Carolina Panthers 10, Buffalo Bills 2: I feel sorry for anyone planning on attending or watching this snorefest.

Chicago Bears 17, Cincinnati Bengals 10: Matt Forte will not fumble this game away. He will bounce back for 100 yards on the ground and the game-winning score. If the Bengals never won another game, I would be a happy man.

Atlanta Falcons 27, Dallas Cowboys 13: The Dallas offense is mediocre this year. They are not slow out of the gate, or just slumping, they just are not that good. Meanwhile, the Falcons are looking great since their loss to the Patriots. Michael Turner has four TDs in in his past two games and Roddy White is has broken for long touchdowns the past two weeks. Combine those two with Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan playing well, and you have a NFC title contender.

New Orleans Saints 38, Miami Dolphins 13: The Wildcat is not going to save the Dolphins here. They are going to have to pass the ball, and do so effectively, if they are going to have any chance at keeping up with the Saints. Then there is the mediocre Dolphins secondary that Drew Brees will shred. How much do you think the Dolphins are regretting signing Daunte Culpepper a few years ago instead of Brees?

New York Giants 24, Arizona Cardinals 14: The Giants are going to get a lot more pressure on Kurt Warner than they did on Brees, and Kurt tends to turn the ball over when he fears for his life. This will also be the game where Brandon Jacobs breaks out of the funk he has been in all season long. He's due.

Philadelphia Eagles 28, Washington Redskins 7: There are very few teams in the NFL I would pick the Eagles to beat this week after the stink bomb they laid against the Raiders. It just so happens the Redskins are one of them. Jim Zorn will probably be coaching high school football at this time next year.

Going Underground - The Jam

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear WWE, please bring back real tag teams

The 1980s were awesome for professional wrestling. It was the rise of Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man Randy Savage. If you include the Ultimate Warrior, I will slap you. But something they had back then that is sorely missed today is real tag teams.

Anyone else remember Demolition, Legion of Doom, the Rockers, Orient Express, Power and Glory, the Bushwackers and many more? These were all tag teams first, and it was surprising when members of these teams competed in singles matches. Now, and for years now, the tag team division has been dominated by big-name singles competitors that just so happen to team up one night and win the titles.

Well I'm sick of it. Bring back the real tag teams with sick finishers. Does the Doomsday Device ring a bell?

Not only do the lack of cool finishers bother me, but it's just not surprising when they super teams break up. Half the time, the partners hate each other but are forced to team up by whoever is in charge. Then they somehow coexist for a match and win the belts. Two weeks later, that team has a mess up that costs them the belts, they get into a brawl and then fight each other at the next pay-per-view. Boring!

Remember when Shawn Michaels ended the Rockers by giving Marty Jannetty a nasty Sweet Chin Music in the Barbershop? And as if that wasn't enough, Michaels then through Jannetty's face through a window. They were my favorite tag team and I still can't believe they ended like that! You don't get those kinds of moments any more.

Younger fans are being robbed of what was once a very prestigious part of the sport. Instead they just get John Cena and Randy Orton constantly feuding with HHH thrown in there every now and again, while the tag team division is ignored.

There was hope for a time. The Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian were putting on classic matches every month back at the start of the decade. But then the Dudleyz left, while the Hardyz and Edge and Christian all went solo.

Maybe when the WWE brings back some real and entertaining tag teams, I'll start watching again. Either that or Jake the Snake comes back and DDTs everyone.

Sister Disco - The Who

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 6 picks

Thank you Buffalo Bills for ruining history. Your embarrassing display against the Cleveland Browns allowed the Browns to win a game this season, destroying my dream of three 0-16 teams this season. How do you only score 3 points against a defense that bad? How do you lose a game against a team whose quarterback completed only two passes? Start updating that resume, Dick Jauron. You are so not going to be a head coach next season.

As for last week:

Biggest hit: Atlanta Falcons 45, San Francisco 49ers 10 - OK, so the Falcons were even better than I thought, but I did say they would shut down the 49ers offense and Michael Turner (97 yards, 3 TDS) would get it going.

Biggest miss: Seattle Seahawks 41, Jacksonville Jaguars 0: Not only did I have the Jags scoring a point, I also had them winning the game. Let's move on.

Time for this week's picks! Remember, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and St. Louis Rams are not winning a game this year, so I'm not going to waste time analyzing their games. And I will also say the Browns don't win another game this year.
  • Cincinnati Bengals 27, Houston Texans 21: Where was this Cedric Benson four years ago? Heck, where was he last year? Benson is the NFL's leading rusher this season with 487 yards. That's six more than Adrian Peterson. The Texans' run defense, well all of their defense, is pretty poor, so expect the Bengals' balanced attack to pull through.
  • Green Bay Packers 33, Detroit Lions 17: Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford didn't practice Thursday and it doesn't look like they'll play this week. Even if they do, The Packers have too much firepower.
  • Baltimore Ravens 17, Minnesota Vikings 14: This is the week that Brett Favre doesn't get the job done for the Vikings. I think the Ravens will bring everything at Favre and sack him a few times. Also, look for the Ravens to come out angry after losing two games in a row.
  • New York Giants 28, New Orleans Saints 17: I really have no justification for the Saints only scoring 17 points at home. While I like New Orleans' defense, Eli Manning and Giants have proved that missing Plaxico Burress is no problem. The Giants and their balanced attack will give the improved Saints defense fits and will get to 6-0.
  • Kansas City Chiefs 14, Washington Redskins 10: Holy cow, this is going to be a boring game. Does anyone really care about this game? Both teams are so bad, how could either fan base get excited about a win?
  • Arizona Cardinals 30, Seattle Seahawks 13: A lot of talk show/radio hosts are predicting this will be a high scoring shootout. I'm thinking the Cardinals run away with it. Larry and Kurt Warner are back in sync and every secondary has to be terrified of that matchup. The Seahawks' O-line is beat up and unlike the Jags, the Cardinals are going to get to Matt Hasselbeck and force some turnovers.
  • Philadelphia Eagles 50, Oakland Raiders 6: The Raiders will be down by 28 by halftime, then come out of halftime and try to establish the run. They don't play to win, or even be competitive. It's times like these I wish I had some Eagles on my fantasy team.
  • New England Patriots 42, Tennessee Titans 13: The Patriots' offense has not been the scoring machine everyone thought it would be with Tom "Butt Chin" Brady back at the helm. But the Titans are one of the worst teams in the league against the pass. Expect Brady to have a field day tearing a part the Titans' secondary.
  • New York Jets 24, Buffalo Bills 0: So last week I said that Braylon Edwards would not really contribute this year as a Jet. My bad. He had more than 60 yards and a TD last week in his first game. Now that doesn't mean he won't drop a goose egg this week, but I think he keeps rolling. I will never predict the Bills to win again after their turd of a game last week.
  • Atlanta Falcons 28, Chicago Bears 24: I found myself writing Broncos their instead of the Bears, thankfully I caught it. This is a great game with two young qbs full of potential. I picked the Falcons because Matt Ryan doesn't look like he's about to cry every time the camera cuts to him on the sideline.
  • San Diego Chargers 24, Denver Broncos 20: I really don't like Phillip Rivers. He's talks way too much for a guy who has never played in a Super Bowl, let alone win one. But he and this offense can put up a lot of points fast. The Chargers are coming off a bye and probably have a great plan to give Rivers the time he needs to pick apart the Broncos' secondary. On a side note, you'd think that I would have learned by now to stop picking against the Broncos. Nope. I'm stubborn like that.
Sugar High - Sweet

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Questions about final scene of the Sandlot

After yesterday's post, a few of my friends and I were discussing the situation at the end of "The Sandlot." Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez is brought in to pinch run at third base. He then stole home for the win.

First, is Benny a bench player or a star? He wasn't brought in until the final inning, and it wasn't even to hit, so did they really value his bat that much? If he were a star, I'd bring him in to pinch hit.

But then he stole home. You don't let a bench player do that. I don't care if he has the speed of a young Ricky Henderson. Scrubs don't risk the game by stealing home. If they do, they will be placed on waivers the next day. Benny must have been an important player for the Dodgers. He looked kind of old, so maybe he was an aging star making a last great run, but he was definitely a starter and a star.

Benny also has a nickname, so he has to be good, right?

Second, what the heck was the coach thinking putting on a steal of home? I haven't watched the movie in a while, so I don't know if they say how many outs there are. But baseball common sense tells us that you never make the first or last out stealing home. It just doesn't make sense. Also, even if there is one out, why on earth would you steal home? Benny obviously has tons of speed, so he can score on even a shallow fly ball. In conclusion, if this coach made the call, he might have been fired at the end of the year.

The call to steal helps support the idea that Benny is a star. If the call was not made, and he did it himself, he has to carry a lot of weight in the franchise. Like I said earlier, if a scrub gives himself the green light there, he is done playing that year. If a star does it, he gets away with it.

Third, the batter at the plate must be terrible. Whether Benny gave himself the green light, or the coach did, they obviously had no confidence in the guy at the plate. But once again, if that guy was so terrible, why not have Benny pinch hit for him?

Which then brings us back to the coach. Nothing he does in those two minutes makes any baseball sense, but it works.

In conclusion, Benny is a star and the film's director obviously didn't know much about baseball.

Boys of Summer - Don Henley

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What if they were real?

Haven't you ever wondered if Roy Hobbs really could destroy a ballpark? Or if Shane Falco really could rally a group of nobodies to defeat a team full of pro football players. That's what I'm here for. To let you know if these fictional athletes really could dominate a sport like they did in their respected movies.

Shane Falco: No way. His mechanics are lousy and the deaf tight end was the real story in "The Replacements." Falco reminds me of a poor man's Jake Plummer. He can scramble some and look great at times, but he's not a quarterback that can take you to a championship.

Roy Hobbs: Robert Redford's movie version of the ace pitcher turned amazing slugger in "The Natural" is plausible, just ask Rick Ankiel. But I don't think he is that clutch or powerful in real life. I'm thinking a 2008 Josh Hamilton-esque season for Roy. And for those of you interested or hate spoilers, Roy strikes out in the book. Quite different than destroying the stadium with a moonshot.

Jimmy Chitwood: Holy cow he has a dream of a shot. If he didn't come like a decade after Larry Bird, I would think Chitwood inspired Bird. He would definitely be a star SG on an NBA roster. Not only is he clutch from downtown, but he can drive to the hoop, rebound and pass. Heck, I don't think he's ever missed a free throw. Honestly, he's probably a high-round draft pick in any standard fantasy basketball draft.

Paul Blake: OK, he was a 40-year-old freshman quarterback for the Texas State University Fightin' Armadillos in "Necessary Roughness." His record was something like 1-8-1, but he beat the No. 1 team in the country in his last game. He was also on a team that had 18 players, so he wasn't exactly working with the talent surrounding today's babied QBs. Despite taking brutal hits, just about every snap, Blake has a rocket for an arm and has surprising accuracy. Look what Brett Favre is doing with the Minnesota Vikings. Blake could definitely lead a team to the playoffs.

Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez: In "The Sandlot," Benny had all kinds of tools. He hit for power, stole bases, played defense at just about every position and was a mentor to the younger players of his team. We flashed forward in the movie and he was pinch runner. Was he a bust, or was he just taking the day off. As long as he continued to improve throughout the high school and college days, I'm sure he would be a first round pick with tons of upside. He definitely would be a 20-20 guy with potential for 30-30. The one question is, what position would he play? He might be like Pujols early in his career, just playing wherever to get him in the lineup.

Charlie Conway: Definitely didn't make it to the pros. He was a wimp that couldn't even make the varsity team at his college in his freshman year. For those of you who think Goldberg would be a star, you obviously didn't see "D3." He didn't have what it took to be a goalie and he's way too fat to play the ice. Adam Banks was the only player on that team with NHL potential. Well, Fulton Reed could have been a goon, but that's stretching it.

Captain Robert Hatch: He was the goalie in "Victory," where Allies POWs played the German National team in a game of soccer. He would start for any national team in the world. Why? Because he CAUGHT a friggin' penalty kick. And he helped a team compete with the German National Team. He might be the biggest lock of this list.

The Jamaican bobsled team: Why am I even bothering? They don't have snow in the island nation and there is no way they can go from no practice on the real stuff, to medal contenders. I'm sure they could be great sprinters and be medal contenders in the proper sport. Bobsledding though, they are toast.

Kevin Costner: I'll mention his characters later, but he played a pitcher with perfect game stuff and a crazy golfer that goes big or goes home. As a golfer, I give him a punchers chance. Look at who won majors this year. A guy named Yang and another one named Glover, no relation to Danny. While he won't sniff the top of the money list, Roy McAvoy could definitely win a major and maybe a few other tour events.

Billy Chapel probably makes it too. He threw a knee buckling breaking ball in the first inning of his first game that would freeze Ichiro on a good day.

Now the tough one is Crash Davis. Catchers with pop are hard to come by. He calls games well, but sometimes goes too far. You don't, under any circumstances, give the pitch away to a batter. Sure, he wanted to teach the young hurler a lesson, but there are better ways to go about it! Until he matures and learns to handle pitchers in a proper way, he's stuck in AAA ball.

Reno Hightower and Jack Dundee: They were the quarterback/receiver combo that hooked up late in "The Best of Times." Hightower had the arm, but Dundee is undersized for today's NFL. He was jammed at the line just about every play except the last one where he pulled a nice spin move. That will work maybe once a game. Hightower was tough and played by Kurt Russell. As we know, Russell fails at nothing and would rock the NFL.

There are millions of movie athletes, but that's what I have for now. Please share your own thoughts.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar