Thursday, December 15, 2011

Don't call it a comeback

By Jeff

OK, I have been neglecting this blog for about a month now. I have been running around wedding planning, house hunting and working. There is no excuse for leaving the blog unmanned, as this truly is something I love.

The one positive about not really having a post for a month is that there is are a ton of things on my mind. I don't even know where to start!
  • A lot of people don't like Ben Roethlisberger. I think it might have to do with that whole he might have raped a woman in a bathroom. It might also have to do with the stories that he is a bit of a jerk off the field. But you can't deny that he is the toughest quarterback in the league. Most people can't even bear weight on a grade 2 ankle sprain. He went out and played two quarters and led his team to a needed win.
  • Antonio Brown is having an incredible season. Did anyone else see him having 55 receptions and 925 yards at this point in the season? And it's not just the total stats, it's how he seems to make clutch catches when the Steelers need one.
  • Has anyone seen Emmanuel Sanders lately?
  • Sidney Crosby's return was incredible. I didn't even see the game live, but it boosted my morale. On the flip side, the fact he is out again with concussion-like symptoms has crushed my soul a little bit.
  • Evgeni Malkin is looking like the Malkin of old. He is taking over games and showing the drive that seemed to be missing for about two seasons.
  • Why won't blogger let me put an extra return between bullets!? Now I'm stuck putting bullets inbetween other bullets. It's annoying!
  • Pascal Dupuis is THE MAN. The amazing thing is he is on pace for a career year despite playing the majority of the season without Sydney Crosby.
  • The Pirates are making huge moves. OK, they are making moves. Not sure if they are good or not. I love that they picked up Erik Bedard. If the team gets 150 innings from the injury prone pitcher they will be getting a bargain. As for Clint Barmes, Rod Barajas and Nate McLouth, meh. None of these guys are going to do much for this team. They are hardly upgrades to the people they are replacing.
  • Albert Pujols is a freak. A 10-year deal worth more than $250 for a guy older than 30 is a bit of a stretch. Of course, he could transition to DH in a few years and save his body a little bit.
  • So some Eagles fans think the team is going to make the playoffs this year. That or they call into radio stations every day screaming for Andy Reid's head. As an outsider, I don't think Reid should be fired. The team has a ton of talent and can gel over the offseason. If the Steelers bailed on Bill Cowher after a few rough years, they might still be looking for that one for the thumb.
  • Glee sucks.
  • Blog contributor Greg and I have been sending e-mails back an forth for the past month regarding Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. He makes a strong point that JoePa may have been prematurely fired. If you read the grand jury report, then you'd think Paterno didn't do enough. And that was my thinking after reading it. But now we have man close to Mike McQuery saying that McQuery told the man that he never saw Jerry Sandusky raping a child. Rather, McQuery said he just heard noises in the showers and saw a boy's head peak around the corner and later saw Sandusky leaving the shower. This is a complete contradiction to what McQuery told the grand jury. So maybe Paterno wasn't told about the alleged rape that night in 2002. However, why didn't this new source come out weeks ago to note McQuery's inconsistencies. And the fact that Sandusky was told not to bring children on campus tells you that administrators were at least suspicious he was up to terrible acts. I still think Paterno and others should have been asking why the hell Sandusky was still allowed around campus up until his arrest. Maybe Paterno did ask, but I think he would have said something to the media about it if he had. I'm just saying a man does not say "I should have done more" if he really thinks he went to the proper lengths to resolve the situation. Others may say Paterno's statement "could mean anything", but I think that is more avoiding the situation.
  • Anyone see the leaked trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises"? They better get Thomas Hardy in the editing room and redo the audio. You can't friggin understand a word Bane says.
  • Saw "The Muppets" last month. It was awesome.
  • Does anyone care that the NBA is back?
  • I also don't care about the NCAA football National Championship game. I saw this game already.
  • Remember last year when we had a guy doing college football posts every week? He said he'd do that again this year. You remember that, Mike!? Not like I can talk much. This is only the second post this month.
Jimmy Eat World - Futures

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 13 Picks

You know what sucks about this time of year. Your football team sucks, but doesn't suck enough to get the number 1 draft pick. Thus, you are left in this quagmire towards the end of the season were you sort of root against your own team so that you get a higher draft pick. That is until the 4th quarter when your awful/sometimes good team makes a comeback and you throw the future out the window for a win right now. In the end, if your team doesn't win the superbowl, you should want the highest draft pick possible, there is no sense in rooting for a 3-10 team to get to 6-10. It's silly. So if you aren't a Green Bay Packers fan, you should probably just go ahead and root for you team to lose out. Let's get to the picks.

BUFFALO -1 vs Tennessee

This team is a wounded animal! They are playing at home in December and I can assume this means snow. Matt Hasselbeck can't wear enough headgear to keep his bald spot warm. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a big day handing off to....uhhh....Brad Smith? Yikes.

Chiefs +7 vs CHICAGO
Both of these teams are just awful on offense right now. Caleb Hanie I suppose manages this game well enough to win, but I foresee a score of something like 12-10. So many field goals!

Oakland +3.5 vs MIAMI
I'm a Dolphins fan and I know how this team operates. They only win when you have lost all hope that can function as an NFL team. Their run D is great, so expect nothing from Michael Bush. But expect Carson Palmer to have a field day as he throws to his 6th string WR.

PITTSBURGH -6.5 vs Cincy
I don't even know anymore. This Steelers team could barely beat Tyler Palko but somehow I think they will come out and crush Cincy. I think they need this win to ensure this division race doesn't become muddled.

CLEVELAND +7 vs Baltimore
See above. Baltimore wins this but the score won't be Ravens 300 - Cleveland 0 like it should be. Although Cleveland does have this great new WR named Greg Little. He gets a ton of targets a game and only catches half of them. He's a star!!!! (Sorry, I just had a convulsion where I had to do some Fantasy Football taunting.)

One team is good, one team is awful? Not sure what else to say here. Rex Grossman won't finish this game.

HOUSTON + 1.5 vs Atlanta

If I were in Las Vegas I would totally bet this game - and probably bet the money line for Houston. I realize they are starting a rookie who has 12 National Football League pass attempts, but let's be real they are a team built on running and defense. Atlanta is awful against the run and Matty Ice on the road doesn't inspire confidence.

Carolina PK vs TAMPA
Cam Newton most likely throws for 300 yards and runs for 50 more against a really beat up Tampa D-line. This is one of those division games where it just doesn't seem to matter, the worse team could win out.

Denver -1.5 vs MINNESOTA
This Denver team sure has a lot of heart. I think they have all rallied around Willis McGahee and rookie Von Miller. I like them to lead their way to the light...uhhh, lead their way to victory.

St. Louis +14 vs SAN FRANCISCO
There is no way an offense lead by Alex Smith beats a team by 14 points right. Did you see him on Thanksgiving? Yikes.

Dallas -4.5 vs ARIZONA

Dallas is on a role now, they have the division basically wrapped up and I dont think they start playing poorly until the playoffs. Anyone know why Tony Romo still holds kicks 5 years later? He's a starting NFL QB, no one else on the Cowboys can be the holder?

Green Bay -6.5 vs NEW YORK GIANTS

I actually waffled on this game. Doesn't this seem like the week where everyone hates on the Giants and claims they have given up and then the Giants come out of nowhere and rip off 4 in a row? Unfortunately I can't see that happening against Aaron Rodgers.

NEW ENGLAND -20.5 vs Colts

I can't believe I'm taking a team giving 21 points essentially, but knowing how much of a jerk Bill Belichick is, I can see him running up this score. Didn't the Colts lose 63-7 versus the Saints on Sunday Night Football earlier this year?

JACKSONVILLE +3 vs San Diego

I have no faith in this San Diego team and Jacksonville maybe plays their hearts out now that they lost Jack Del Rio.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 12 picks

By Jeff

All hail Tim Tebow. Who needs to complete more than 50 percent of their passes to win in this league? Well, every one but Tebow.

What the hell is going on in the NFL the past four weeks? Why is Tebow succeeding? He takes what seems like eternity to wind up and deliver a ball. Even Byron Leftwich thinks he takes too much time winding up.

I would be a lot closer to .500 if this Tebow thing wasn't happening. That's like three picks I thought were locks only to be smited by Tebow.

Whatever. The miss of last week was taking Buffalo (+2.5) against Miami. And now Fred Jackson is done for the season. It's safe to say the Buffalo Bills 180 has become a 360, as they are back to sucking big time.

I went 6-7-1 last week and am 65-70-7 for the season. But there is still hope. I am off to a 3-0 this week. Wooooo!

Arizona (+2.5) over ST. LOUIS - NFC West games are so friggin boring.

NEW YORK JETS (-9.5) over Buffalo - See above.

CINCINNATI (-7) over Cleveland - Andy Dalton has to be so excited not to be facing the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens this week. Having A.J. Green back helps too.

Houston (-6) over JACKSONVILLE - Let the Matt Leinart Era begin anew!

Carolina (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - I'm not sure any player on the Colts cares anymore and are just going through the motions for the rest of the season. Has anyone seen Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Austin Collie or Pierre Garcon recently? Their families are worried.

Tampa Bay (+3.5) over TENNESSEE - Only because one of my fantasy teams is on the decline and I need Josh Freeman to be the man he was last season if I want to defend my title.

ATLANTA (-9.5) over Minnesota - Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has been playing OK, but he hasn't had to play a game without the safety net that is Adrian Peterson before. He is in for a long day. Clearly I don't have much faith in Toby Gerhart.

OAKLAND (-3) over Chicago - Unless the Raiders decide to punt to Devin Hester in the middle of the field every time.

SEATTE (-3) over Washington - Marshawn Lynch might be one of the ugliest men alive, but you have to respect how hard he has been running this season for a very bad team. He could have easily packed it in and tried to save his body a little bit, but he keeps breaking tackles and playing tough.

New England (-3) over PHILADELPHIA - Maybe the two most annoying fan bases in the league. There are no winners here. Only losers, as one of these fan bases will be happy and we'll have to hear endless excuses from the loser's fan base.

SAN DIEGO (-5.5) over Denver - Clearly I'm going to hell for picking against the chosen one.

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over KANSAS CITY - You only need to know two words in regards to this game; Tyler Palko.

NEW ORLEANS (-7.5) over New York Giants - This is just a guess as I have no idea what Giants team will show up. Ever.

Starship - We Built This City (Worst song in the history of music?)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving picks

By Jeff

Sorry I am a little late. Had a really fun drive last night (sigh).

Green Bay (-4.5) over DETROIT

Miami (+7) over DALLAS

BALTIMORE (-3.5) over San Francisco

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fantasy Addiction

I have a severe addiction. I get angry for no tangible reason, I have mood swings that rival any princess from My Super Sweet Sixteen and just recently, I have started staying up at night thinking about my addiction. I am addicted to fantasy football. I have a problem.

I have been playing fantasy football for over 15 years - my first team consisted entirely of Miami Dolphins, I was a homer, but the game was simple and I could just root for my favorite team and my fantasy team in one easy stroke. Fast forward to yesterday, where I sat down at a bar with my friends to watch the Dolphins vs Bills game. My friend, a rabid Bills fan, remembered that I had Fred Jackson, the Bills starting running back on my fantasy team, and I noted that I would be okay with him scoring against my own Miami Dolphins. I have now accepted that part of my universe revolves around a fictional team (The White Devil, named after what NFL players think of the commissioner, Roger Goodell) and that I can root against my lifelong favorite team as long as overpaid members of my fictional team inflict the damage.
I am not entirely addicted to fantasy, although perhaps this is a sentiment that would set me back in my 12 step process. I am (only) in two leagues, which compared to some friends is downright frugal. I only bet $50 combined between the two leagues, and in one league I already made my money back this year. So theoretically, I will only lose $20 this year - or in Sweet Sixteen terms, the price per minute of renting an elephant. Financially and league commitment wise I probably only invest an hour or so a week, not including Sundays.
Which brings us back to yesterday. Yesterday, my girlfriend and I met up with another couple (the bills fan and his girlfriend) and later on two more of my friends came. There were six of us and 3 of us played fantasy football, although not in the same league. This way, there was some understanding of the irrational lapses when one player drops a ball or doesn’t even get to touch the ball. We arrived 30 minutes before kick off of the early games and left as the whistle blew on the late games. Total hours spent at the bar: 6:30. My girlfriend, a pretty big football fan, was beyond bored by the 2nd quarter of the afternoon games, the other couple left halfway through the first game, and thus there were only 3 of us remotely interested in the TVs. This is my Sunday, every Sunday.
The lethargic feeling that comes from sitting stagnant all day, refreshing your phone every minute and forcing your eyes from one TV to the next, is overwhelming. After a day at the bar, I fight the urge not to binge eat myself to death. Somehow binge eating seems to make up for the fact that I did nothing all day long, like eating that extra slice of pizza will trick my brain into saying, “Hey, at least you ate 6 slices of pizza today.” On a day like yesterday, it wasn’t my own self hatred to draw attention to my addiction. It was the looks on my friends faces.
Example 1: The Bills fan was repeatedly surprised about how much I knew about the Bills roster. I noted that I only spend about an hour per week on Fantasy Football, but that does not include the weekly routine of reading MMQB, TMQ, Grantland and every single Miami Dolphins article I can get my hands on. If you count those and the amount of hours that my TV is stuck on ESPN, perhaps the hours per week multiplies to 10. My friend was nearly incredulous that I would know that his team’s back up center got injured last week, and that’s why the Bills mishandled several snaps. This was an early indicator yesterday.
Example 2: As I was watching the Chargers/Bears game I had 3 players involved in the game - Bears’ Matt Forte and Jay Cutler and Chargers’ WR Vincent Brown. My friends were all cheering for the Bears with no higher purpose, they just LIKED the Bears. Meanwhile, I was rooting for Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to score. On an early touchdown opportunity Matt Forte, arguably a top 5 running back in the league, was nowhere to be found on 5 straight plays. Here lies the problem - not only did I rage when his backup got the TD after fumbling on the previous play, I had to explain to my friends why I was so upset. (My given reason was that I had both the Bears’ running and passing options for an offensive TD - I was almost guaranteed to get points somehow). The fact that I even had to explain this to compensate for my actions shows that maybe I’m too wrapped up in football. As the game progressed it only got worse, I yelled at the TV when the Chargers’ QB didn’t even bother to look at my open receiver, I got down and prayed for the first time since high school that Matt Forte would score (he didn’t) and it was then that I saw the looks of horror in my friend’s face. He looked at me as if I had lost my mind, my response was to tell him he didn’t understand because he doesn’t play.
Example 3: The culmination of this weekend and my awakening was my actual fantasy matchup. It’s one thing to get mad at players and condescend the TV as if it were a human, as if your words could change anything, but to get mad at a fictional game, that’s legitimately insane. In my main league, I had reeled off 7 wins to start the season, my team looked great. I proceeded to lose the next 3 games - including one week by one point. This might have been slowly building. So as I look to stop my losing streak and clinch a playoff spot, I play a team that scored a measly 58 points the week before (if I had played him last week, I would’ve won). I will not win this week. The team that could only muster 58 last week will double that this week. To make matters worse the team that I lost to last week, only managed 59 points this week (I would’ve have beaten him this week). This is part of the game of fantasy football, you get different matchups and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. My immediate reaction to this unfairness was to spend an inordinate amount of time going over the leagues records this year to see who would beat who each week. In fact, writing this entire paragraph, trying to justify my fantasy record is crazy. If you lose in fantasy, move on. Now, I have lost my mind.
After watching ¼ of the night game last night, I realized I needed to stop checking scores and thinking of scenarios that I needed to happen to make a win possible. We turned off the game and watched Elf. I checked the scores after Elf and realized I would not be winning thanks to an amazing game from a 3rd string WR for the opposing team (sense the hatred here?). This drove me crazy, I couldn’t fall asleep for hours and when I woke up I realized that this was way too much effort over an intangible fantasy game. Fantasy Football is a celebration of two great things - men beating each other savagely and men getting together to celebrate men beating each other savagely. Yesterday, I enjoyed neither. I painstakingly sat through 6 hours of games, only to leave disappointed (even though my Miami Dolphins won for the third week in a row) and then complained externally(and perhaps more so, internally) about how those games would reflect on my fantasy team. When the joy in those two things are gone, it’s time to move on. Perhaps now, I can finally save up my money and time for the more important things in life, like renting an elephant.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dear NHL...

You're on notice.

Go Pens.

Week 11 picks

By Jeff

Another lightning round. Weekend has been full of house hunting. Let me take a few moments to tell you how much realtors suck.

In the past 3 weeks I have looked at 15 houses. Of these 15, I was very excited about three of them and was ready to place offers. When I went to make an offer, I was told that the homes were already under contract, meaning they should not have been active more me to see. Not only was it a waste of time, but it has been soul crushing. Thinking you might have a home only to be bitch-slapped.

I'm done bitching. Well, in regards to houses.

Last week was ugly. I was too late with the Thursday night game, but I went 6-9. I'm 59-63-6 for the season and this week is looking bad as well.

ATLANTA (-6.5) over Tennessee
Buffalo (+2.5) over MIAMI
Cincinnatii (+7) over BALTIMORE
CLEVELAND (-1.5) over Jacksonville
Oakland (+1) over MINNESOTA
DETROIT (-7) over Carolin
GREEN BAY (-13.5) over Tampa Bay
Dallas (-7) over WASHINGTON
SAN FRANCISCO (-10) over Arizona
ST. LOUIS (-3) over Arizona
CHICAGO (-4.5) over San Diego
NEW YORK GIANTS (-6) over Philadelphia
NEW ENGLAND (-15) over Kansas City

Bob Seeger - Against the Wind

Friday, November 18, 2011

Save "Community"!

By Jeff

When you work in a division of Comcast, you pay a lot of attention to ratings of television shows. The past three months I have been following my favorite show, "Community", which is on Thursday at 8 p.m. on NBC. Well, my favorite show is in danger, as it has been since it first aired two years ago.

Granted, the ratings I have been looking at are only in the Philadelphia area, but that is a very big area and the numbers are not pretty. "Community" hovers in the 1.5-1.9 zone. That's not good. In comparison, ABC's "Modern Family" pulls in 9.0-12.0. "Modern Family" is a great show and deserves it's ratings, but then there are terrible shows like ABC's "Revenge". This piece of crap has terrible acting and the storyline is incredibly boring. Yet "Revenge" pulls off ratings in the 4's. What?

"Community" is the smartest comedy on television. The writing and acting is great and almost every episode is a bold move. What I mean by this is they are not common and proven plots. They are mostly original ideas that we haven't seen on television before. When they are not unique, it's because the show copies a previous episode that was very successful and popular.

That has been the only fault with "Community" so far. They had one of the greatest television episodes I've ever seen in Season 1's "Modern Warfare". It was phenomenal. But then they made a two-part episode in Season 2 that was a sequel. It was OK, but it wasn't what the first one was.

They did a similar thing with this past week's episode, as it was a rehash of another one they did in Season 2 (They're on Season 3).

Even with these hiccups, the show is levels above almost everything else on TV, yet it's probably going to be canceled. That is why I am asking you to write to NBC and tell them not to do it. Or at least watch the damn show. You won't regret it.

Queen - Save Me

MLB making smart moves

By Jeff

I'd like to dedicate this space to Major League Baseball for slowly making their way into the 21st century. I'm proud of them.

The cause of this praise is that it was reported yesterday that MLB will work to expand the playoffs one additional wild card team per league, as well as moving the Houston Astros over to the AL and finally have six divisions of five teams. Not like it mattered for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but it never seemed fair that the NL Central had six team, while the AL West had four.

What's even more exciting about this move is that interleague play will become a weekly thing. This is the way it should be. Every other sport has teams from the other conference or league play a few times throughout the year, it's about time baseball made the switch.

Baseball enthusiasts (I'm looking at you, Greg) will probably not like this. Granted, they don't like any changes in baseball.

OK, I'm picking on Greg too much. I'm sure, or at least I hope, there are some changes he would or has supported.

Now if you're a Pirates fan, you get to see the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees more often. If you're just a baseball fan, you get to see more teams and great players in person. You're no longer limited to seeing them once every few years.

Now the big question is whether or not the DH will stay or go with this change. No stories have come out saying one way or another, so one would have to assume the DH will stay as long as an AL team is home.

Baby steps.

David Bowie - Changes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jets over Broncos

By Jeff

I'm a doubter of Tim Tebow facing a touch defense, even if that defense just got lit up Sunday and has little time to prepare for the unique offense that the Denver Broncos run.

On the flip side, The New York Jets are not the team they were supposed to be. Their defense doesn't get much pressure on the quarterback and Mark Sanchez has regressed. So this could be a tough game for the Jets.

As much as I think Sanchez is close to watching his team move in another direction at quarterback, at least if they have the guts to swallow their pride and admit they made a mistake in trading up in the draft to get him, he is better than Tebow. The Jets defense might not pressure the QB, but they are fast and won't let Tebow run wild. And we all know he won't light it up through the air.

New York Jets (-6) over DENVER

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 10 picks

By Jeff

Having a winning record was fun while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end. Last week was brutal and I clearly didn't see a lot of the results coming.

First, if you told me Joe Flacco would lead a 92-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes t beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at any pointin his career, I would have laughed at you and told you his uni-brow does not allow for such sustained drives after gathering so much moisture for 58 minutes. It just weighs him down. Buthe did it and I was angry for the next three days.

Second, I thought the Kansas City Chiefs were over their early season suckiness. Then they go and put up a whole three points against the previously winless Miami Dolphins.

Third, Tim Tebow actually did carry his team to a win using the an option offense in the NFL. I think it will be like the Wildcat and be successful for about one game before he gets killed. Ask Ronnie Brown how his career path has gone since teams adjusted to his trick-play offense.

I would say all of these games, along with Buffalo's offense being manhandled, count as my misses of the week. I went 6-8 and am now 53-54-6 on the year. Week 10 is below with the home teams in caps. I forgot to post the Chargers-Raiders pick. My bad.

Pittsburgh (-4) over CINCINNATI - Yes, the Bengals are currently sitting atop the AFC with a 6-2 record. This is despite starting rookies at quarterback and receiver. And those rookies have played very well in the first eight games of the season. But here's the catch. They have only played two teams with winning records, and of those teams, only the San Francisco 49ers have a really stout defense like the Steelers. Ginger Dalton is going to have a tough day.

Denver (+3) over KANSAS CITY - I don't know which Kansas City team is going to show up.

INDIANAPLOIS (+3) over Jacksonville - For the first time this season, the Colts might have the edge at quarterback.

Buffalo (+5.5) over DALLAS - The New York Jets confused Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. They also have really good corners that makes confusing opponents' offenses a lot easier. Dallas doesn't have that luxury. They just have one of the most overrated defensive coordinators in football.

TAMPA BAY (+3.5) over Houston - Not sure why I keep picking Houston not to cover and the Bucs to cover. You'd think I'd learn. But then you'd look at my season record and realize it all makes sense.

Tennessee (+3.5) over CAROLINA - Hmmm. I'm picking a lot of dogs. This could get ugly.

Washington (+4) over MIAMI - You can't go from winless to four point favorites in one week. You just can't!

New Orleans (PK) over ATLANTA - When did Roddy White go to suck?

Detroit (+2.5) over CHICAGO - The Lions have the defensive front to make Jay Cutler's life miserable.

CLEVELAND (-2.5) over St. Louis - Madden Curse lives on. Peyton Hillis is not only having a terrible season, but he's turned into a bitch. For a man that is seen as a punishing runner who hits defensive players as much as they hit him, you'd think he'd be a little less of a whiner.

PHILADELPHIA (-14) ovr Arizona - That's a lot of points, but the Cardinals really suck. I give Ken Whisenhunt until about Week 8 next season to turn it around before he is canned.

Baltimore (-6.5) over SEATTLE - This is actully a tricky game. It's exactly the type of game the Ravens have struggled with this year. They play down to their competition. They got crushed by Jacksonville and Tennessee, and almost got stunned by Arizona. This could be close.

New York Giants (+3.5) over SAN FRANCISCO - OK, this game screams setback for the Giants. I mean, they are coming off a huge win where Eli Manning showed he can be an elite quarterback, and their defense just shut down Tom Brady. It only makes sense that Eli would suck in this one and Alex Smith would look like Tom Brady supposed to look. But for some reason I think only a field goal will decide this one.

New England (+2) over NEW YORK JETS - Has Brady ever lost three games in a row? Yes, but it was back in 2002. It hasn't happened since, and I don't think it will happen this week.

GREEN BAY (-13) over Minnesota - If I didn't love the Steelers and think they have a legit shot of winning the Supe Bowl this year, I would be cheering like crazy for the Packers to go 19-0 this season. I can still cheer for them to go 16-0.

Kenny Loggins - Footloose

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not very Happy in the Valley

By Greg

I didn’t know who Jerry Sandusky was until this story broke on ESPN back in March. I skimmed the article and thought to myself, “Wow, that’s horrible. I’m glad he’s been gone for 12 years.” Little did I know that while I was partying with friends and enjoying some of the best years of my life, he was assaulting vulnerable children on Penn State University premises.

The way that Penn State University has handled this situation is embarrassing to say the least. The question that everyone is asking is, “how much did Joe know?” Well, he knew enough to regret not doing more and that’s about all you need to know. The answer that I’m seeking for is why didn’t he contact the police? Was this a cover up for his friend that he had worked with for 30 years? It’s possible and if that’s true I will have lost a lot of respect for him. But what would Joe have to gain by doing that? It wouldn’t have tarnished the football program if he went to the police as soon as he became aware of the crime, but it sure has now.

I truly believe that this was not a cover up of Jerry Sandusky. It was swept under the rug because no one wanted to acknowledge the horrifying things that were happening. This is the problem with sexual abuse. No one wants to talk about it.

I have read every single article that I have been able to get my hands on in the past few days, including the disgusting 23 page grand jury indictment. However, I get the feeling that most people haven’t read that grand jury report. The general population is asking, “why didn’t Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary do anything except contact their superiors?” I came away thinking, “why didn’t anyone do anything?” Shouldn’t the parents, teachers, and principals have done more?

This is a brief summary of missed opportunities for people to report the sexual abuse that was inevitably occurring.

Victim 1, as well as several other students, was routinely taken out of school by Sandusky with no questions asked. They would pull him out of whatever class or study hall he was in and allow Sandusky to meet with the victim in an unmonitored conference room. The victim’s mother called the principal and asked her to check into it. The principal called back in tears, “you need to come down here right away.” Sandusky was barred from the school district and the matter was reported to authorities.

Victim 1 was also involved in an incident one night in the weight room after hours. As Sandusky was lying on him, the school’s wrestling coach walked in to check why the lights were on. Sandusky quickly jumped up and explained that they were wrestling. Since Sandusky was not a wrestling coach and they were just lying on the ground next to each other, the coach was very suspicious. This incident was not reported.

Victim 6 was forced to shower with Sandusky and was sexually assaulted in the shower. When the child was dropped off at home, his mother immediately questioned why his hair was wet. She learned that her son had showered with Sandusky and reported the incident to University Police, who investigated it. This investigation included a second child, who was subjected to identical treatment in the shower as Victim 6. Furthermore, the detective, with the consent of Victim 6’s mother, eavesdropped on two conversations between Sandusky and Victim 6’s mother. Sandusky admitted that he had showered with other boys and he refused to promise to Victim 6’s mother that we would stop showering with Victim 6. When the mother asked Sandusky if he touched Victim 6’s private parts, he replied, “I don’t think so…maybe.” When Sandusky was told that he could no longer see Victim 6 anymore, he responded, “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” Two weeks later the detective interviewed Sandusky directly. Sandusky admitted to showering naked with Victim 6, hugging Victim 6 in the shower, and that it was wrong. The detective advised Sandusky not to shower with any child again and they decided there would be no criminal charges.

How is this not what we’re talking about right now?!?! I’ve been hearing over the past few days that Joe Paterno should have contacted the police. The police investigated a case in 1998 involving Sandusky with two identical cases. He admitted to showering with children and they ignored it. In my mind, those detectives were the real enablers and they should be serving jail time right beside Sandusky.

I am not trying to justify the actions of Joe Paterno or Mike McQueary. They obviously could have prevented more incidents from occurring. But as Rick Reilly wrote, “it’s about everybody not taking more steps that might have stopped it.” This is truly a sad story that does not have any heroes. Children’s lives have been destroyed and it is disgusting that these types of crimes occur. According to a 1998 study on child sexual abuse by Boston University Medical School, one in six boys in America will be abused by age 16. For girls, it's one in four by the age of 14. Read that again and think about it. My only hope is that people now have a better understanding of how serious this issue is. We need to educate our children about the initial warning signs to look for before it is too late.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Penn State officials failed humanity test

By Jeff

Penn State University messed up in so many ways with this controversy regarding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of multiple underage boys.

First, the alleged abuse began as far back as 15 years ago, and we're just hearing about it now. These are children we're talking about. If there was any chance this story was true, it needed to be addressed back then.

Second, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz clearly did something wrong. They are being charged with perjury and failed to inform authorities of what they knew regarding the controversy. They could have easily stopped this from the beginning but were apparently too busy with damage control.

Third, if it is true that the graduate assistant saw Sandusky with a 10-year-old in the shower, he should have done more than just go to coach Joe Paterno. I know it's hard to put ourselves in his position, but I'd like to think that if I were in his position, I would either stop the abuse myself by any means necessary, or I would call the police immediately. I would not go running and ask someone else to do so.

Fourth, Joe Paterno may have legally done all he was required to do to not be implicated in this controversy when he told his superiors of what the graduate assistant told him. He didn't see anything himself. I get that defense. But I also think the man had an obligation to not just pass it off and put it out of his mind. A man who worked under him and was allowed access to campus facilities as recently as LAST WEEK, may have been sexually abusing children. Paterno should have inquired the incident further.

The biggest failure of all the people above, especially Sandusky, is that of human decency and morality. You don't just brush off an alleged sex scandal of children because it would give the university a bad name if it made it to the press. Not if you consider yourself a good person. You leave no stone unturned and you do whatever it takes to figure out if the man actually did it or not. If he did, you better make damn sure he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and is never allowed on campus again. You don't just ban him from bringing more children to campus.

Let's look at that part of the story for a moment. If Paterno, the grad assistant, Curley or Schultz went to the police back in 2002 when they first heard about the issue, other children would have been spared alleged abuse from Sandusky. Banning a sexual predator from bringing his prey to a specific place does not protect potential victims. Not in any way, shape or form. It just takes away one place for him to assault children.

Imagine if you're a parent and one of your sons went to one of Sandusky's camps. You know what, I can't imagine that situation. And their anger and distrust should not be limited to Sandusky. They should be pissed at all of the above individuals. Paterno, Curley and Schultz endangered countless children. All it would have taken to protect these children was a simple phone call. All they needed to was dial three digits and report what they knew or suspected.

Instead they took the easy road and completely failed as humans.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 9 picks

By Jeff

OK, so last week I said my fiancee was making my picks. She made about three before she got bored and said she was going to go downstairs eat. She was very excited at first, but then she didn't like having to pick the points. It's not that she didn't understand the spread, she just thought it was stupid.

Together we went 7-5-1 for the week and improved my season record to 47-46-6. Woooo! Over .500 halfay through the season! But will I have a Pittsburgh Pirates-like collapse? It's very possible looking at some of the picks I made. I'm specifically talking about the Dallas (+3) over Philadelphia. Definitely the miss of the week.

Week 9 is below and the home teams are in caps.

Atlanta (-6.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - Countless people have said it, but I need to repeat that this season has shown just how good Peyton Manning is, and he hasn't played a snap. This team is almost identical to last year's division champonship squad, yet they are 0-8. The one missing piece is Manning.

TampaBay (+8.5) over NEW ORLEANS - I just have no idea what the Saints or the Bucs are going to do.

Cleveland (+10.5) over HOUSTON - The Texans are going to win, but the Browns actually have a real defense this year. They should keep it close.

BUFFALO (-2.5) over New York Jets - The Ryan brothers are really annoying. Has there ever been such an obnoxious duo of people who haven't really won anything in this league? Rob Ryan has never even been a head coach, and Rex talks Super Bowl every year yet they have never been there. And Rex is single-handedly responsible for every one overusing the word swagger. I hope they never win again.

KANSAS CITY (-5) over Miami - The Chiefs are a completely different team than they were the first two weeks of the season. I guess some teams just took longer to get back into shape following the lockout.

San Francisco (-5) over WASHINGTON - Can we please admit that Mike Shannahan is not a very good coach. He had John Elway and Terrell Davis. When he didn't have those stars in Denver he didn't succeed. And he is not succeeding in Washington. His rotating running back strategy doesn't work, and he was OK with Rex Grossman and John Beck as his quarterbacks. Other than awesome teeth, the man doesn't bring anything to the table.

DALLAS (-11) over Seattle - Blah.

OAKLAND (-7) over Denver - Why is kneeling in prayer now known as "Tebowing"? Countless professional athletes pray when they score or win. Tebow shouldn't be singled out. On the flip side, he is really bad and gets more attention than some good to very good quarterbacks. It's really strange.

Cincinnati (+2.5) over TENNESSEE - Who would have thought the AFC North would be one of best divisions in footbll this year? The Steelers and Ravens are usually good, but no one expected the Browns and the Bengals to compete much this year. Yet here are the Bengals, winners of four straight. The Titans started hot, but I think they're going to start tailing off with Chris Johnson playing like crap.

St. Louis (+2.5) over ARIZONA - Is there a bigger "who cares" game this week?

New York Giants (+9.5) over NEW ENGLAND - The Pats don't lose at home in the regular season, but the Giants have the front seven to really annoy and bother Tom Brady.

Green Bay (-5.5) over SAN DIEGO - The Chargers are doing whatever they can to lose. That continues this week.

PITTSBURGH (-3.5) over Baltimore - Is there a quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers playing better than Ben Roethlisberger right now? I would say no. And Joe Flacco is playing pretty terrible.

Chicago (+7.5) over PHILADELPHIA - I think the Bears are fast enough to keep Michael Vick under control. Jay Cutler is still a bitch.

Frightened Rabbit - Backwards Walk

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 8 picks

By Jeff

Sorry the delay. The power was out here until 11 this morning. I'll make this quick.

Last week I somehow forgot the New Orleans-Indianapolis game last week, which sucks as I would have picks New Orleans. Oh well, I went 5-6-1 as a result of that brain fart and move to 40-41-5 on the year. The big miss was taking Oakland to cover against Kansas City. How was I supposed to know Kyler Boller and Carson Palmer would combine for four picks? Actually, that sounds a lot more probable than them leading the team to victory.

So once again my picks are mediocre. We'll see what happens when my fiancee does the picking this week, as she usually crushed me.

The home teams are in caps.
  • TENNESSEE (-8) over Indianapolis
  • Jacksonville (+10) over HOUSTON
  • CAROLINA (-3) over Minnesota
  • New Orleans (-13.5) over ST. LOUIS
  • Arizona (+12) over BALTIMORE
  • NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Miami
  • BUFFALO (-4.5) over Washington
  • Detroit (-3) over DENVER
  • PITTSBURGH (+2.5) over New England
  • SAN FRANCISCO (-9) over Cleveland
  • Cincinnati (-1.5) over SEATTLE
  • Dallas (+3) over PHILADELPHIA
  • San Diego (-3) over KANSAS CITY

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baseball trivia

By Jeff

Greg sent out a baseball question last week, which inspired this post. Test your baseball knowledge! Please try to resist the urge to Google or use other search engines, Web sites, baseball almanacs, other blogs or friends.
  1. What active pitcher(s) has the most postseason wins?
  2. Albert Pujols has the fourth most postseason hits among active players. Who are the other top 3 (No order)?
  3. What player had the most hits in the 1990s?
The following questions are all regarding 2000-2010
  1. Who hit the most home runs in the decade?
  2. What year did Barry Bonds hit 72 home runs?
  3. Who was the only player to collect 2,000 hits in the decade?
  4. What team used a rally monkey on their way to a World Series win?
  5. What team only dropped one game en route to the championship?
  6. Who did the Red Sox beat in 2007 World Series?
  7. Jake Westbrook had the most wins for the Indians in 2006. Who had the second and third most wins for the team that season?
  8. Who did Roger Clemens throw a broken bat at in the 2000 "Subway Series"?
  9. Which team won 116 games in 2001, but didn't get to the World Series?
  10. Who was the 2004 World Series MVP?
Got more? share them.

Don Henley - Boys of Summer

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thoughts on Tebow's comeback

By Jeff

Has there ever been an NFL game between two terrible teams so hyped before last Sunday's Denver-Miami contest? The teams came in boasting a combined 1-9 record. Yet all the analysts and sports shows were watching for one reason. That reason was Tim Tebow was starting.

And what a start it was. For three and a half quarters, Tebow was dreadful. I've had the pleasure to watch the game earlier this week on replay. It was painful and made me hate football for three hours.

Of course, the Tebow lovers out there will point out that it was the first time in NFL history a team came back from a 15-point deficit with five minutes left to win. This is true, but come on. We're talking about the Miami Dolphins. The 0-6 Miami Dolphins who have lost nine straight games if you go back to last year. The Miami Dolphins who were starting Matt Moore at quarterback.

Tebow was 13-for-27 with two touchdowns and less than 170 yards through the air. He did well with some runs and ended up ith more than 60, but it was not a good start.

He absolutely had a great throw to tight end Daniel Fells to set up the touchdown. Fells also made a great catch. And on that second touchdown, go back and look at how at least one offensive lineman was illegally down the field. Just something to keep in mind before we declare this one of the greatest wins in the history of the sports world.

There was also a great story on Grantland that pointed out how the rest of the Broncos team was more responsible for the win than Tebow. They got onside kick, and they recovered the fumble that set up the winning field goal.

This is really turning into more of a hatefest than I intended, so I apologize. You can't deny that Tebow is a born leader. His team rallies around him wherever he plays. He is charismatic and you can tell he lives for the game. He is the type of player you want in the locker room and to have your back.

Right now there seems to be a trend with all of these teams (I'm looking at you Ravens, Dolphins, Colts and Jets) having players call out coaches and fellow players. Tebow will never do that. Look back to his press conference after he and the Florida Gators lost to Ole Miss. He took responsibility, promised he'd do what it took to ensure the team never lost again that season, and then he delivered. There is no question he has the heart and attitude to succeed in the NFL. I just don't think he has the skill set.

You can have an awkward throwing motion in the NFL and get away with it. Phillip Rivers is the perfect example. The difference between Rivers and Tebow, though, is that Rivers' motion allows him to get rid of the ball quick. Tebow's takes a lot of time. In the NFL, that usually translates to problems.

Tebow also doesn't see the field well right now. This is something he should improve on, but it's not happening right now. If his man isn't open when he looks at him, Tebow isn't throwing it that way. The guy could be open in another step, but Tebow is already looking elsewhere or tucking it. I think that should change as he gets more comfortable with his receivers and they with him. He did just lose his best option in Brandon Lloyd, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt there.

So now that I've made nice, I want to get back to all the hype surrounding that game. It was so overblown and ridiculous. It overshadowed so many other, more interesting storylines (This seems to be a running theme with Tebow coverage). Let's look at a few that were hardly covered, if at all, by the media.
  • The Texans destroying Tennessee and maybe on their way to a first-ever playoff appearance
  • The Chiefs shutting out the Raiders and improving to 3-3. They've won three in a row and the AFC West is wide open
  • The Chargers' atrocious clock management, strategy and execution in the second half
  • Can analysts finally admit they may have been wrong when they gushed about Joe Flacco?
  • What are the Dolphins waiting for in firing Tony Sparano? The team has given up on him and life
  • Here are some players with a higher passer rating than Kevin Kolb: Alex Smith, Curtis Painter, Andy Dalton, Mark Sanchez, Donovan McNabb, Cam Newton, Tavaris Jackson, Matt Cassel and Chad Henne
  • Other than Jackson, Cassel and Henne, all of the above names also have higher passer ratings than Rivers as well
  • Other than his 10-catch, 172-yard performance against New England, Vincent Jackson has 14 catches for 251 yards in the other five games combined this season. Thhis is a year after he held out for more than half the season and tried to hold up CBA negotiations this summer because he didn't want to be franchised. I drafted him in three fantasy leagues. Balls
Kenny Loggins ft. Michael McDonald - This is It

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Week 7 picks

By Jeff

No time to really get into detail this week. I'm bidding on house and am nervous.

After a 6-6-1 Week 6, I'm 35-35-4 on the season. The biggest miss was picking the Dallas Cowboys to cover against the New England Patriots and then switching. Cowardly move on my part.

Week 7 is below and the home teams are in caps.

Tampa Bay (+1.5) over Chicago - I have no idea what will happen in the London game. Jay Cutler will probably be sacked a lot.

Washington (+2.5) over CAROLINA - I get that John Beck is not great, but neither was Rex Grossman.

San Diego (+1) over NEW YORK JETS - The Jets have a terrible offense.

CLEVELAND (-3) over Seattle - Pretty sure I just saw an injury report that both of Seattle's quarterbacks are doubtful.

Houston (+3) over TENNESSEE - This is a huge game. The two fantasy MVPs from the past two years with their big receivers hurt. Going with the points.

Denver (PK) over MIAMI - The Dolphins are so bad I'm picking Tebow.

Atlanta (+4) over DETROIT - Not sure how the Lions are going to rebound from last week's tough loss.

OAKLAND (-4) over Kansas City - I can't name five offensive starters for the Chiefs.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over ARIZONA - Poor Larry Fitzgerald. The man could be one of the best to play thegame, yet he is having seasons wasted away because of poor quarterback play.

DALLAS (-14) over St. Louis - The Rams really suck.

Green Bay (-9.5) over MINNESOTA - I understand why the Vikings are starting Christian Ponder. Donovan McNabb was not getting it done. Of course, having your first NFL start against a great defense led by Charles Woodson is rough. Ponder will struggle a lot and the Packers will roll.

Baltimore (-9) over JACKSONVILLE - Jack Del Rio's seat has to be burning right now.

Tom Petty - You Wreck Me

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Losing faith in humanity

By Jeff

Moammar Qaddafi, the former tyrannical leader of Libya was killed today. He was an evil man and I'm not sad one bit about his death. But that doesn't mean I enjoyed the video on Yahoo of his corpse being paraded around.

I'm not proud to say I watched it. But I did. I wish I didn't. It was gruesome. No matter how many video games or movies you've seen where there are corpses, it really doesn't desensitize you to a real dead body. Well, at least not me.

I'm sure there are people out there who saw the video and nodded approval or just didn't give it much of a thought. The fact major news outlets are showing the video is proof of that.

There was a time that kind of footage would never be shown. My instinct would be to not run it, just as I would not have released photos of Osama Bin Laden despite many cries to do so. Maybe I sound lame, but with as much violence, fake and real, in the world, do we really need to see a corpse of a fallen enemy? Does it bring us more closure than just knowing an evil person is gone?

It's not as if seeing video would make those who would doubt Qaddafi (or Bin Laden) are actually dead change their minds and be convinced. So once again, what is the point of releasing this video? I understand that it was Al Jazeera who released the footage, but Yahoo and other US outlets didn't have to follow suit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Philly radio whining

By Jeff

When the Philadelphia Phillies lost, the town of Philadelphia was pretty crushed. Their radio stations jumped all over this and asked their callers to call in the week following to share how sad they were about the loss.

This week is something new. Now some of their popular radio hosts and the callers are crying about the Major League Baseball playoff format.

What are they crying about? The best-of-five series in the Divisional Round. Apparently it's not fair that a team that won more than 100 games only gets one more home game than the wild card team with 90 wins.

My favorite complaint of a radio host here, Mike Missanelli, is that the five-game series doesn' let the No. 1 seed comeback if they lose Game 2. His example was Cliff Lee not getting an opportunity to pitch two games, especially after blowing Game 2 this year.

You have to be kidding me. The advantage the Phillies had was they were playing the team with the worst record in the playoffs. They had one more home game and a better team. What more of an advantage do you need? To blame the format for the loss is a joke. The offense couldn't score a run in their biggest game of the season. That's why they lost.

Also, even if it is a seven-game series, the higher seed would still only have one more home game. You have more time to come back, but if they played to the level they should have and were capable of, it would have never got to Game 5.

As annoying as it is to hear these excuses, and I'm finding there is always an excuse for Philly sports teams, it's fun hearing these members of the sports media and the fans talk up their teams so much, only to watch them choke.

Bad Company - Shooting Star

Monday, October 17, 2011

Schwartz and Harbaugh tussle overblown

By Jeff

The little pushing contest between Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and San Francisco 49ers head coach John Harbaugh was entertaining. It's not often coaches get in each others' faces. Usually we just hear them trading barbs back and forth through the media.

With that being said, should it really be the biggest story coming out of Week 6? It wasn't even much of a scrum. One guy shook a hand too hard and gave too hard of a pat on the back. The other then chased him down the field. That's it.

And lost in that was a game that saw five or six lead changes throughout. That is the story. The 49ers and Lions are 5-1 this season. One of them will probably have a first-round bye in the playoffs if they keep this up. Yet what most people are talking about is a over enthusiastic handshake.

As I'm watching Sportscenter right now they are calling it Handshake gate. Seriously? It has it's own name?

This type of thing really annoys me, as you can tell. There are probably 10 better, more interesting storylines from the weekend's games. Did the Dallas Cowboys give a blue print to stall the New England offense? Should we really worry about the Cincinnati Bengals? Are the Oakland Raiders the favorite to win the AFC West? Will the New York Giants ever be consistent? Will the Tampa Bay Bucs ever be consistent? Are the Philadelphia Eagles back?

All of these deserve more time than a handshake that ended in shoving.

Velvet Underground - Heroin

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 6 NFL picks

By Jeff

Who would have thought that the biggest game in Week 6 this season would be the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers? Prior to the start of this season, their own fans probably thought this would be a terrible game.

That is the beauty of the NFL. There are surprise teams every year. Even if you thought Detroit was going to improve, I doubt you thought the 49ers, who still have Alex Smith at quarterback, would be 4-1 at this point. Hell, I doubt you thought they'd win four games this entire season. I know I didn't expect it.

As for the season results, I'm at .500 baby! I'm 29-29-3 after going 7-6 this week. The miss of Week 5 was Tampa Bay to cover when they lost by more than 40 points. I did not see that coming. I should have seen the Chicago Bears' offensive line getting destroyed by the Lions. It pains me to admit it, but Jay Cutler is showing he's a pretty tough individual. He has no protection and is getthing killed back there, yet still manages to stay in the game and play pretty well.

Enough about Cutler. It's time for Week 6. The home teams are in caps.

GREEN BAY (-14) over St. Louis - After last season, the Rams looked like they were on the verge of not sucking anymore. It's safe to say they are back on track.

PITTSBURGH (-12.5) over Jacksonville - Even if this defense's age was hindering them, and it's not, the Steelers would still make Blaine Gabbert's life miserable.

Philadelphia (-3) over WASHINGTON - Rex Grossman is due for an atrocious day where he throws four picks and looks terrified in the pocket.

San Francisco (+4) over DETROIT - Why do I keep picking agains Detroit? In all honesty, I think Calvin Johnson should have even more touchdowns than he does. Seriously, just throw the ball up to him any time you're in the red zone and there is an 80 percent chance he comes down with it.

Carolina (+3.5) over ATLANTA - The Falcons look lost right now.

Indianapolis (+6.5) over CINCINNATI - I don't think the Bengals are good enough to beat anyone by this much.

Buffalo (+3) over NEW YORK GIANTS - Eli Manning is the worst "good" quarterback in the league. You can't take away his tremendous performance in the team's Super Bowl victory, but you can look at his numbers since then and he is a turnover machine. Sometimes he can be really good, but more often he is mediocre or downright bad.

BALTIMORE (-7) over Houston - The Texans don't have their best defensive player in Mario Williams, so they won't get much pressue on Joe Flacco.

OAKLAND (+6.5) over Cleveland - For the first time in about 10 years it's actually fun to watch Raiders games. Weird.

Dallas (+6.5) over NEW ENGLAND - Wait, it's the Patriots at home. Please switch that. Tom Brady does not lose in Foxborough during the regular season. And other than Sean Lee, it's not like Dallas has much going for it on defense.

New Orleans (-5.5) over TAMPA BAY - Is it me, or are all the young quarterbacks that were all supposed to make big strides this season sucking a whole lot? Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford were all very good players last year. This year, they all have been pretty bad. This is especially weird because offenses are putting up ridiculous numbers this year.

Minnesota (+2.5) over CHICAGO - What I really mean is Adrian Peterson (+2.5) over CHICAGO.

NEW YORK JETS (-6.5) over Miami - The Dolphins are going to be starting their 16th quarterback since Dan Marino retired following the 1999 season. They really need to lose and get Andrew Luck.

Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness

Pens looking good after first week

By Jeff

The Pittsburgh Penguins tallied eight of 10 possible point in the first week of the NHL season. One loss came in overtime to the Washington Capitals and one came in a shootout on the road in a game Evgni Malkin didn't play in. That's a great start to the season.

In the long seasons of the NBA, NHL and MLB, you tend to hear people say the first few months don't matter that much. I understand that line of thought. Winning games late in the season and getting hot at the right time is better than starting great and fading down the stretch when the playoffs come.

But stockpiling points in the beginning of the season can ease the pressure and can make the difference between a playoff team and one that just misses. Just ask the Boston Red Sox. They started 2-10. If they had won one of those games, they probably would have avoided the biggest collapse in MLB history.

The same goes for hockey. Points early in the season on the road, like the five the Pens got in the first three games of the season in Western Canada, can make all the difference come playoff time. While I think the team would easily make the playoffs even if they lost those games, it those five points could get them home ice when they get there.

I get that I'm looking way too far ahead and too into this, but hot starts are important in any sport. Every win counts the same, so it's kind of silly to me when I hear people saying the early going doesn;t matter.

What's also encouraging from the first week is the return of James Neal. In more than 20 games with the Pens last year, Neal had two goals. In five games this season, he has four. The man is the goal-scoring winger the team has needed for a few years now.

To complement Neal is Steve Sullivan and Evgeni Malkin. When they are on a line together good things happen. Malkin's knee was a little sore, but the man is definitely back. Just watch him bust his ass up and down the ice. There's some rust, as expected, but it's fading and I'm just waiting for the game where he takes over. It's going to happen soon.

The power play seems to be doing pretty well. I don't want to jinx it, but it's certainly better than it was in the postseason last year.

Oh, and Sidney Crosby has been cleared for full contact. Pens fans have a lot to be excited about.

Karmin - Super Bass

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Philly sports radio is sad

By Jeff

Pittsburgh sports radio is not great. Some hosts are good, some are unbearable. I'm pretty sure that's how every city in the country with sports radio is.

But holy crap is Philadelphia sports radio bad. First, Ron Jaworski has a weekly show. Do I have to say more. It's like he can't say "NFL". He has to say "National Football League" every time.

Second, with the Philadelphia Phillies failing in the first round of the playoffs, and the Eagles 1-4, 97.5 FM has resorted to promoting the suckiness of Philly sports. How so? Their promos ask you to call in and share your sadness, anger, disappointment regarding the failures of the Eagles and Phillies.

Third, it's like they don't care about the Flyers. Well, I guess it's a good thing we don't have to hear about it.

Fourth, the callers are ridiculous. OK, all radio callers are fairly stupid. Pittsburgh is no different. But there were several calls in an hour complaining about Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NLDS. Yeah, he gave up one run in the first inning, but shut out the St. Louis Cardinals over the next seven innings. Oh, and the team lost 1-0. There is no way a team could possibly win without scoring runs.

It almost makes me miss Andrew Filipponi. I wonder if he still wants to trade Fluery?

Autograph - Turn Up the Radio

Crosby cleared for contact

By Jeff

I wanted to say something about this all day but that stupid work thing got in the way.

Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact. There is still no word about when he'll make his return, but this is great news.

November seems like a real possibility for a Crosby return. The rest of the league just shit themselves a little bit.

Foo Fighters - Last Song

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 5 picks

By Jeff

Almost back to .500. It took me about 10 or 12 weeks to get this close to .500 last season. I went 9-7 last week and am 22-23-3. Two winning weeks in a row? I'm as shocked as you are.

Before we get to the picks, let's just take a moment to recognize how ridiculous passing has become in the NFL. Throwing for 400 yards in a game used to be rare for even the best quarterbacks in the league. Now guys like Chad Henne are doing it. It's absolutely crazy.

So what's the cause of this offensive explosion? Were defenses more affected by the lockout than offenses? Probably. I also think the league has made it easier to pass. A lot of cornerbacks seem to be afraid of making a big hit because they fear getting flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver. I'm glad if helmet-to-helmet hits get wiped out, but I've seen a few penalties where the receiver has caught the ball, landed, started to move forward and then get tackled hard and the defensive player is hit with a 15-yard penalty. Let them play football, refs!

OK, rant over. The miss of the Week 4 was saying the Green Bay Packers wouldn't cover against the Denver Broncos. I really don't know what I was thinking. Don't ask me to explain myself.

Home teams are in caps.

Kansas City (+2) over INDIANAPOLIS: The Chiefs burned me pretty bad I took them, but I believe in second chances. Except when it comes to mustard. When I was at the beach at age 3, my dad had a pretzel and what looked to be a cheese sauce. So I had some of the pretzel and sauce. It was mustard. Have you ever thought you were eating cheese and it turned out to be mustard? There is quite a difference. So I have never eaten mustard again. I can't do it.

Arizona (+3) over MINNESOTA: It's kind of ridiculous how much the city of Philadelphia hates Donovan McNabb. They want to see him fail in every aspect of life. He took them to he only Super Bowl they've been to that most can remember (Have they been to another? Somebody do some research, damnit!). He led them to multiple NFC title games and was a great player for them. Yet they dwell on the negative. It's weird.

Philadelphia (-3) over BUFFALO: Fred Jackson is going to have a fun day for the Bills, but it won't be enough. The Eagles have so much talent and just haven't been able to find any consistency on offense. I think they find it Sunday.

Oakland (+5) over HOUSTON: Do you believe in the idea that the Raiders will be motivated to win for their late owner, Al Davis? Or do you believe that heart and motivation means nothing in sports (I'm looking at all you sabremeticians.)? I believe in the former.

New Orleans (-6.5) over CAROLINA: R.J., do you still think Cam Newton was the wrong choice? By the way, I apologize for not responding to comments. Every time I try to comment it tells me I'm not signed in. And if you're not signed in, you can't comment. It sucks and I'm sorry.

Cincinnati (-1) over JACKSONVILLE: It's so sad no one in the country will be able to watch this awesome game on TV. So sad.

PITTSBURGH (-3) over Tennessee: I love how ESPN analysts and Mike Golic (Not the same thing.) keep saying the Steelers' defense is showing their age. It wasn't the defense that cost them the game last week. The offense only put up 10 points and the offensive line nearly got Ben Roethlisberger killed. The defense is still strong. It's the offense that is screwing this team up.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Seattle: The Seahawks are terrible in 1 p.m. games on the east coast.

Tampa Bay (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO: The Bucsdon't win pretty, but they win.

NEW ENGLAND (-7.5) over New York Jets: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady don't like to lose. So when they lose to a team, especially in the playoffs the year before, they tend to seek to embarrass said team. That's what's going to happen in this one. Look for Brady to throw for 450 yards (411 of them going to Wes Welker) and the Pats to win by at least two scores.

San Diego (-3.5) over DENVER: The Chargers haven't been hyped much this year. Maybe that's what they need to actually do something come January.

Green Bay (-5.5) over ATLANTA: Aaron Rodgers' touchdown celebration is so annoying. Mostly because I wish I had come up with it during my flag football days.

Chicago (+5) over DETROIT: The Lions have barely escaped two horrible starts the last two weeks. Their comebacks have been insane. I think they pull this one out, but it's by another field goal.

Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh!!!

By Jeff

OK, the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing in Vancouver against the Canucks, and I'm in Philadelphia, but you get my point. Hockey is back!

While every year since Sidney Crosby was drafted has been big, this season feels like it has the potential to be the most intense and exciting. Word from the media and the team is the Evgeni Malkin revved up his workout routine and wants to carry this team to another Stanley Cup.

Sidney Crosby is going to come back, my guess is late November, but will he be the same player he was before his concussion last year. I wonder if other teams and their fans have forgotten that he was head and shoulders above the rest of the league last year before he got hurt? They'll remember soon enough.

The defense that was one the best in the league last year has had another year to come together. Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin have had a full year of playing together and learning the team's system. They are going to be sick.

Marc-Andre Fleury will be hated upon by my brother, father and half of Pittsburgh. Then Fleury will tear shit up and cause these haters to go hide in holes for months at a time.

Dan Bylsma has the most to prove. He went from the golden child who won a cup in his first half season, to premature playoff exits the past two years. He won the Jack Adams last season, but even I have to admit he seemed too stubborn to adjust at times. Will he be more willing this year? He's going to need to be.

Will the power play not suck all season? Some fans like to cling to the hope that one player can make a difference each year. Last year it was Alexei Kovalev. This year it's Steve Sullivan. It takes more than one guy to make the power play effective. They need to stop being fancy, move around and get the puck to the net, damnit!

It's going to be a fun, thrilling, sometimes frustrating, intense season. I can't wait.

Go Pens.

Warren Zevon - Hit Somebody

Handing out MLB hardware

By Jeff

I made predictons on the MLB awards in an earlier post, but here are my picks now that we've actually seen them play this season.

National League
  • Rookie of the Year - Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves may have blown Game 162, but he still had a great season. He finished the year with 46 saves and a 2.10 ERA. He is a big reason the Braves were in the hunt in the first place. He wore down at the end, but he should be good for a long time.
  • Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw deserves this award. He played on a bad team, yet won the triple crown of pitchers. He led the NL in wins (21), strikeouts (248) and ERA (2.28). There is no way the Los Angeles Dodgers would have finished above 70 wins without Kershaw. I don't care if his WAR is under 7, this team does not come close to 76 wins (they had 82) without Kershaw. Try and argue that point, Mike! Ian Kennedy is my runner-up. This is no knock on my boy Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee. They just weren't as good as these two this year. There was also less pressure on the Phillies aces. They never had to be the stopper, because if Halladay faltered, Lee and Hamels were coming up next.
  • Comeback Player - I never thought I'd ever give Ryan Vogelsong an award. Never. But here I am telling you he deserves this award. It's not that Vogelsong had a bad year and then was really good this year. Until 2011, the man hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2006! And when he did pitch in the majors, he sucked. A lot. But all was forgotten in 2011 with his 13 wins, 2.71 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.
  • Manager - Kirk Gibson has the Arizona Diamondbacks one win away from the NLCS without any real stars outside Justin Upton. No one saw that coming and Gibson did an amazing job.
  • MVP - This one was tough. Matt Kemp had the stats for it, but he wasn't even the most valuable player on his team. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are both deserving, but they could split votes. So who's left? Justin Upton. That's who I'm saying today. I might change tomorrow. His stats might not be as impressive as the three above (31 HR, .289 AVG, 88 RBIs, 21 SB and 105 runs. The Diamondbacks' lineup would struggle without this man. With him, they are dangerous. Without him they are bunch of OK players that wouldn't scare many teams. It's called Most Valuable Player, not the guy who has the best stats.
American League
  • Rookie of the Year - I want to go against the grain and say Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is going to take this award, but the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson really stepped up. The most impressive of Helickson's stats is he pitched 189 innings. That's not common in today's game where rookie pitchers are usually on strict pitch counts. Oh, he also had an ERA of 2.95.
  • Cy Young - Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers is one of the most obvious choices for this award I can remember. More on him late (Spoiler alert!)
  • Comeback Player - There is no great story in the AL like Vogelsong. No player coming back from an extended abscence or anything like that. Instead I'll go with the Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury. He had an incredible year (32 HR, .321 AVG, 105 RBIs, 39 SB and 119 runs). Now, his numbers are certainly deserving of MVP consideration, but just consider this: His home run total in his first 349 games was 20. Hmmm. When Jose Bautista had his big power jump there were a lot of steriod rumors. Where are they for Ellsbury?
  • Manager - I want to be a homer and give it to Jim Leyland (He's from Pittsburgh.), but I can't deny Joe Maddon's great run with the Rays. The team cut their payroll by around $30 million this year to a little over $40 million. That's about $120 million less than the Red Sox. Sure, the players should get most of the credit, but you have to give Maddon some love too.
  • MVP - Pitchers have the Cy Young, so they rarely win the MVP, but Verlander deserves it. There is no way the Tigers even sniff the playoffs without Verlander. He had 24 wins, 250 strikeouts, 251 innings pitched and was just incredible. The numbers can't tell you how effective Verlander was. I can't imagine what hitters were thinking going up against him. One pitch he's throwing 100 mph fastballs, the next he is tossing a breaking ball in the 80s. And he will throw any pitch at any time. I love Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays, but they didn't make the playoffs with him. Verlander led the Tigers to the playoffs, and is the only candidate you can say is the one reason his team is in the playoffs.
Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band - My Love Will Not Let You Down

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NFL picks: Week 4

By Jeff

This will be quick as I've been kinda swamped.

Last week I went 8-7-1 and am 13-16-3 on the season (I didn't do picks in Week 1). My miss of the week was the Steelers -10.5 over Indy. The Colts' defensive line destroyed the Steelers' O-line. It was ridiculous how many times Dwight Freeney sped past the tackle and slammed Ben Roethlisberger. I know the Steelers went to the Super Bowl last year and won another one with a terrible line, but shouldn't it be a little better by now?

As always, the home team is in caps.

Detroit (+2.5) over DALLAS: Why is Dallas favored after not scoring a touchdown last week and needing a coaching blunder and overtime to win in Week 2?

New Orleans (-7) over JACKSONVILLE: Do I get bonus points for predicting before Week 2 that Blaine Gabbert would be starting by Week 3?

San Francisco (+9.5) over PHILADELPHIA: Did you know that the 49ers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in about two years?

Washington (-3) over ST. LOUIS: Four picks in and I have the home team losing in all of them. Can't be good.

Tennessee (PK) over CLEVELAND: Make it five!

Buffalo (-3) over CINCINATTI: This is beginning to scare me. In all fairness, I could have just switched up the order and then it wouldn't look so strange with all the home teams losing.

Minnesota (-3) over KANSAS CITY: The Vikings are going to hold a lead at some point during this season. Why not tomorrow?

CHICAGO (-6.5) over Carolina: The Bears can't block anyone, but they still have a dangerous defense.

Pittsburgh (+3.5) over HOUSTON: I wish I had an awesome research team to tell me if Houston has ever been favored against the Steelers before. Oh well, I'm just going to guess they haven't and choke under the pressure.

Atlanta (-4.5) over SEATTLE: So all offseason the Falcons were played up, then on some ESPN show this week analysts were debating whether they are a sleeper in he NFC. How is it possible to be a favorite in the NFC to sleeper in three weeks?

New York Giants (-1) over ARIZONA: The Cardinals just lost to Seattle, while the Giants are coming off an impressive win against the Eagles. Who is making these lines? Of course, I'll still go 8-8 at best.

SAN DIEGO (-7) over Miami: Tony Sparano needs to go for his own well-being.

Denver (+12.5) over GREEN BAY: Green Bay hasn't been that dominant yet.

OAKLAND (+6) over New England: Just because I wanted to take the Bills last week and wussed out.

New York Jets (+4) over BALTIMORE: The Jets are a proud bunch of ego maniacs that need to redeem themselves after last week.

Indianapolis (+10) over TAMPA BAY: I believe in Curtis Painter! Not really, but Tampa doesn't blow teams out.

Chicago - Glory of Love

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Looking back at some bold Pirates predictions...

By Jeff

Back in April I made some predictions for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their players for the 2011. Let's just say my prognosticating skills are not limited to NFL games. What I said is in bold. What really happened isn't. Ouch.
  • James McDonald wins 14 games and has an ERA below 3.50 - McDonald had some control issues. OK, he had a lot of control issues and only made it past the 6th inning about two times all season. He finished with nine wins and a 4.21 ERA.
  • Pedro Alvarez hits 30 home runs and strikes out 180 times - Pedro had all of four homers, which was three less than Brandon Wood. And he didn't even strike out 180 times!
  • Andrew McCutchen hits 20 bombs and steals 30 bases - Cutch hit 23 dingers, but only swiped 23 bags
  • Jose Tabata bats .315 with 10+ homers and 30 steals - Tabata had a terrible two months, hit .266, mashed four home runs and stole 16 bases. Yeah... I did not do well on this one.
  • Lyle Overbay will hit .275 - Ummm. He batted .226 and was released. Wooo!
  • Ross Ohlendorf will win nine games and have a sub 4.00 ERA
  • Ryan Doumit will... nevermind. There is nothing positive to say about him - He batted .303, so there was something positive to his season. He still got hurt and missed more than half the season, so I'm calling this one a push.
  • Joel Hanrahan will save 35 games - He had 40. This is a win for me!
  • The team will finish with 71 wins - Almost nailed it. They had 72. What's sadder, that this is an improvement on last season by 15 games, or that it was a bold prediction to say they'd only get 71 wins.
Queen - Gimme the Prize

Red Sox demise was awesome

By Jeff

The only thing that makes me happier than teams I like winning championships is Boston area teams losing.

I was screaming at the television when the New York Giants spoiled the New England Patriots' perfect season. I jumped for joy when Ron Artest drained the 3-pointer that clinched the Boston Celtics' loss in the NBA Finals a few years back.

Now I have the Red Sox collapse of 2011.

Seriously, they were nine games up in the Wild Card at the beginning of September. Even the New York Mets were shaking their heads at the embarrassment that was the Boston choke job. It was beautiful.

Hearing Boston fans bitch about the New York Yankees tanking the last game is like sweet music the the rest of the nation's ears.

This was the team that was the hands down favorite to win the World Series. The majority of analysts at least had them in the big game. Their slow start was followed by a great three months of baseball where all you heard was how good they were and how the Yankees didn't have the pitching to keep up.

Then came the skid of September. It was glorious watching the crawler on ESPN tell me almost every night that the Red Sox had lost again. It was great to hear ther fans make excuse after excuse. Yes, a lot of players were hurt this year, but I thought almost $200 million bought you some depth? Apparently not.

The loss made me so happy, I could even stand to read Bill Simmons' column on Grantland today. You know, the one where he said fans should have seen this coming and how hard it was to watch the Red Sox this year? Really? It's hard to watch a team in playoff contention all season? Try following a team that is out by July when they are having a good year. OK, maybe his attitude in the column still got under my skin a little bit.

The Atlanta Braves had a pretty terrible collapse too. But at least they can say someone did worse.

Dropkick Murphys - The Gauntlet

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why the hate on jerseys?

By Jeff

Rick Reilly recently wrote this column ripping on men who wear sports jerseys. It's not the first column of its kind and it won't be the last one. But that doesn't mean I agree with Reilly and others like him who hate jersey owners everywhere.

The most common thing I hear critics of jersey-wearing fans is that it's disturbing for grown men to wear shirts with another man's name on them. Really? Sounds a bit homophobic to me. I own Hine Ward, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kevin Stevens jerseys. Other than Stevens, these are my favorite players on my favorite teams. It's how I choose to display my support of the team. There is nothing disturbing about me, or anyone else, wearing another man's name on our backs.

Another common insult to us jersey wearers is that we think we're a part of the team. That's stupid. I can't hockey stop or block a strong safety. I could never make the Pens or Steelers. And 99.9 percent of the fans at sporting events never entertain the thought that they are a part of the team. They wear the jersey to support the team. Are you seeing a recurring theme here?

Reilly also inferred that those of us who wear jerseys think we dream of being confused for the player on our back. He got me there. When I go out in my Ward jersey, I honestly think people will think I'm a professional football player who happens to be of African and Asian decent. I've actually been told I look like Ward when I shave my head, wear huge diamond earrings and get really tan. I can't confirm or deny if the autograph I gave out was later sold on E-Bay.

Usually I think Reilly makes solid points in his columns, but he missed here. People express their fandom differently. If Reilly wants to just wear a hat to support his teams, I won't give him crap. He can even wear it backward. I only ask that he leave alone those of us who enjoy wearing jerseys.

Cake - Going The Distance

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 3 Picks: Rebound week?

By Jeff

Can I have a redo on Week 2? Not only did I miss on nine games, but I missed badly on about six of them. It's weeks like these that make me question why I put picks up on the Internet. Why embarrass myself further? But then I think, why not? C'mon, woo!

Let's start with the Miss of the Week. Here is what I said about the Kansas City - Detroit game. "That's too many points (8) for me to give Detroit in Week 2. They had a great win in Week 1, but I'm not sure they can do it again." Well, Detroit won by 45 points. They covered the spread almost six times over. At least I'll have a hard time missing a pick by that much again this season.

Well, let's stop living in the past and move on to Week 3. As always, the home teams are in caps.

San Francisco (+2.5) over CINCINNATI - Andy Dalton certainly looks like the real deal, and it's not like the 49ers have a great defense. But I'm thinking thisone stays close and Frank Gore has his first big game of the season.

New England (-7) over BUFFALO - The Bills gave up 35 points to the Oakland Raiders and 10 to the Kansas City Chiefs. I think the 10 to the Chiefs is more embarrassing than the 35 to the Raiders. Tom Brady is going to have a lot of fun.

NEW ORLEANS (-4) over Houston - Of the 2-0 teams, the Texans have the least impressive wins. They crushed a Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts that then got smoked by the Cleveland Browns, and they beat the Miami Dolphins, who haven't won a home game in quite some time. The Texans have yet to face a productive offense, and the Saints have one of the best.

New York Giants (+8.5) over PHILADELPHIA - I get that the Giants have a depleted defense, but they still get to the quarterback. All it takes is one hit to Michael Vick's head and the Eagles are in trouble. And he is going to get hit. That offensive line stinks. I don't care what Ron Jaworski says on his Eagles radio show every week. I actually try my best to never listen to any Jaws says.

CLEVELAND (-2.5) over Miami - Games like these shouldn't count against me. There is nothing exciting about this one. Tell me an interesting storyline or something to watch for in this game. Take your time. It's not easy.

TENNESSEE (-7) over Denver - Matt Hasselbeck is alive! Alive!

Detroit (-3) over MINNESOTA - I've learned my lesson. Never will I doubt the Lions again if they are playing a crappy opponent.

CAROLINA (-3) over Jacksonville - Jack Del Rio is definitely trying to sabotage this team. He was only going to keep his job if they made the playoffs, so he cut his starter the week before the season began. Then in Week 2, Luke McCown had one of the worst performances by a quarterback I can remember. Yeah, I'm thinking Jack saw the writing on the wall and is trying to see how much damage he can do before he's shown the door.

SAN DIEGO (-14.5) over Kansas City - The Chiefs might not have 20 points combined after three weeks.

OAKLAND (+3) over New York Jets - No logic here. I was just sick of picking the favorites.

Baltimore (-4) over ST. LOUIS - The Rams are lucky there are teams like the Chiefs and the Jags, or else everyone would be talking about how this is the worst offense in the NFL.

Atlanta (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY - Do you believe in the theory that the Falcons will have a hard time getting up for a big divisional game after such an emotional win last week? Or do you believe in the theory that it was a stepping stone for the team and proved to them they can overcome the odds? I'm going with theory 2.

Arizona (-3.5) over SEATTLE - How did I forget to include Seattle when I was talking about the worst offenses in football? My apologies.

Green Bay (-4) over CHICAGO - Maybe I've been too hard on Jay Cutler. If my offensive line was routinely letting me get destroyed by 300-pound men, I'd probably walk around with a pouty face all day too.

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - Kerry Collins is probably wishing he stayed retired at this point.

Washington (+5) over DALLAS - Maybe Grossman is more than who we thought he was. Granted, most people never thought much of anything of him, so that's not saying all that much.

Weezer - Simple Pages

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NCAA follows money

By Jeff

Can we all agree to break into hysterical laughter when college officials and administrators try and tell us they are doing something because they have the well-being of student athletes in mind?


After all the talk of super conferences beginning to form last year, and only one major school (Nebraska) making a major change, I was hoping this crap was over. Then this past week comes along and the Big 12 is in big trouble while the Big East will definitely be losing Pitt and Syracuse to the ACC.

Why all the shuffling? Schools see a lot of money to be made in other conferences and want their share. It's as simple as that. You can't tell me the athletes on the Pitt football team will have a better college experience because the team will be in the ACC and not the Big East. Really, it's going to increase travel time, which is more time out of the classroom. So how exactly can any school official say this move, and others like it, have anything to do with their institution's athletes?

This is all about money. And for all the schools involved with the move and the soon-to-be super conferences, it's an excellent business move. These schools are going to see more money come through their doors thanks to bigger television contracts. Money that will trickle down to the athletes that make these contracts possible, right?

Well, last I read, there was some talk to pay college athletes some kind of stipend. But I doubt it's near the money they deserve or that it will actually go through. The NCAA suspends players for talking to agents, selling jerseys or really making money in any way for their athletic talents while they are at school.

So next time you hear a school president or athletic director emphasize their concern for "student athletes" laugh at them. If they look confused, slap them.

Queen - Fat-Bottomed Girls

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 2 NFL picks

By Jeff

It's a good thing I didn't post my picks last week. They were bad! And I'd like to find people who did well with them. It was a crazy week. The Steelers got crushed, the Buffalo Bills crushed the Kansas City Chiefs, Jay Cutler outplayed Matt Ryan, Tony Romo choked a game away (OK, that one was predictable.) and there were actually highlights of Ted Ginn Jr.

This week, I still don't know what's going on. It could be ugly, but that's no excuse not to put the picks out there and see how awesome or terrible I am. The home teams are in Caps.

Chicago (+6.5) over NEW ORLEANS: The Bears don't have the offense that the Green Bay Packers do. I'm pretty sure nobody in the NFL does, and that includes New England. But the Saints' defense was terrible last Thursday. The Bears will be able to keep this close because that Saints D won't make stops.

Kansas City (+8) over DETROIT: That's too many point or me to give Detroit in Week 2. They had a great win in Week 1, but I'm not sure they can do it again.

NEW YORK JETS (-9) over Jacksonville: Luke McCown versus one of the bets defenses in the league. Blaine Gabbert could be starting in Week 3 for the Jags.

Oakland (+3) over BUFFALO: One of these teams is going to start 0-2. Scary.

WASHINGTON (-3.5) over Arizona: The Arizona secondary is terrble. Even Rex Grossman is going to be able to pick them apart. I can't believe I just typed that last sentence. Any chance we can get Dennis Green to coach the Cardinals again for this one for old time's sake? Please?

Baltimore (-6) over TENNESSEE: Matt Hasselbeck is going to be killed. Glad I just picked him up in a fantasy league. Balls.

PITTSBURGH (-14) over Seattle: The Steelers are going to take all their frustrations from last week's game, and the proceeding week's media coverage asking if they are too old, on Tavaris Jackson and the Seahawks. Seattle will be lucky to get 150 yards of total offense.

Green Bay (-10) over CAROLINA: Let's see what happens when Cam Newton faces a secondary with talent and speed.

Tampa Bay (+3) over MINNESOTA: Maybe the most confusing line of the week. The Vikings' offense was atrocious last week against the Chargers. It pains me to say it, but Donovan McNabb could be done as a viable starting quarterback in the NFL.

INDIANAPLOIS (+2) over Cleveland: The Browns lost to the Bengals. I can't pick them.

Dallas (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO: Unless Romo plays special teams for the Cowboys, Dallas won't have any problems winning this game.

Houston (-3) over MIAMI: What are the chances Chad Henne has two solid weeks in a row?

San Diego (+7) over NEW ENGLAND: Chad Henne put up big numbers against the tiny Pats secondary. As good as Tom Brady was, the Dolphins could have won this game if they made clutch plays. Phillip Rivers and his receivers are going to have monster days.

DENVER (-3.5) over Cincinnati: Who cares?

Philadelphia (-2.5) over ATLANTA: Teams should be absolutely terrified to play the Eagles on turf. When their offense is on the field, they probably have the fastest four players on the field. It doesn't matter that the offensive line blows because there are so many options for Michael Vick. By the way, Philly fans over here have been saying all week how well they thought the offensive line played last week. They must have watched a different game than I did. The game I saw featured an offensive line that was consistently beat and then bailed out by Vick's legs. There is no way he survives 16 games with the line playing the way it is.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-6) over St. Louis: I'm going to be honest, I probably won't even bother watching this game. It just won't be fun.

The Who - Can't Explain