Monday, October 30, 2006

Moon Over...Kansas City?!?!

The Kansas City Chiefs retired Warren Moon's jersey yesterday. Moon, a 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, is without question one of the all-time football greats. He completed 3,988 passes for 49,325 yards (4th best in NFL history) and 291 TDs - and that's not even counting his great CFL days with Edmonton. So what's the problem?

He played only 3 games over 2 seasons for the Chiefs before announcing his retirement. In other words, my Chiefs career lasted nearly as long as Moon's did.

Warren Moon deserves accolades and recognition for his phenomenal on-field accomplishments - but not from Kansas City. For the Chiefs to retire Moon's jersey cheapens the honor for those players who truly made a difference for that team.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

MMBSD: Conventional Wisdom

Conventional Wisdom is neither conventional nor wisdom. Discuss among yourselves.

MLB

Conventional wisdom had the Detroit Tigers as the Red Wings…an unstoppable force that had mashed its way through the giants of New York and Oakland. Conventional wisdom had the American League as the bully that kicked sand in the face of the National League (not a single win in the World Series in over two years). Conventional Wisdom had the Cardinals limping into the World Series with 83 wins and a long seven game series. How’d things work out pundits? The one piece of conventional wisdom everyone over looked was experience. The Cardinals players had been in competitive playoff series. The Cardinals had the bright lights of the World Series only two years before. The young Detroit players seemed to shrink in the limelight. Eight errors really were the difference between a Cardinals victory and a competitive series. Whenever the Cards needed a play, it was Detroit that would gift wrap, hand deliver a play in the form a sailing throw to first or third. Sorry if your more accurate throwing the ball throwing to the plate than you are to first base you don’t deserve to win. The only place were conventional wisdoms on the importance of experience fell short was for Adam Wainwright. Wainwright handled the big situations with bigger pitches and his performance frankly defied any conventional wisdom, prediction or guesstimate.

College Football
A USC victory in the PAC-10 is pretty standard wisdom. USC went through West Coast teams like Matt Leinart went through girlfriends (pregnancies not withstanding). However the USC loss at lowest of the OSU teams (Beavers) has opened up the BCS championship game. Short of a collapse on par with lets say Rome circa 400, the winner of Ohio State and the team up North (currently 1 and 2 in the BCS by a huge margin) is going to the Championship game. The Big East has the remaining three undefeated teams (from major conferences) with Rutgers, Louisville and West Virginia slated to play a round robin tournament alongside the original Mustache (Dave Wannstedt’s University of Pittsburgh). If Louisville or West Virginia makes it through untouched (Rutgers is too far back) then they will play in the championship game too. Assuming both fall that leaves a bunch of other teams. Given how USC has played getting through Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame and UCLA without another loss seems like a tough bid which would eliminate Peter Carroll. That Fat Fuck (TFF) known as Charlie Weis can complain all he wants but he’s not leap frogging into the championship game. That leaves the loser of the Big 10 battle and the SEC champion as the other champion contender. Florida has the easiest road to the SEC Championship while Auburn requires an Arkansas loss (with Arkansas at South Carolina, Tennessee and LSU remaining) to even get the SEC Championship. So in conclusion TFF and Boise State (the blue ball bandits on the blue turf) will hold two of the 10 BCS game slots but the rest are very much up in the air and well don’t even try to with BCS championship game.

NBA

Of all the conventional wisdom’s I’ve mentioned the one that probably is true is that the NBA runs on star power. David Stern warms his dark heart with the fires of Lebron, Wade, Dirk Kobes, etc megawattage. The refs give stars special protection and in turn the stars are the ones that win playoff series. A dark thought tickles the back of my mind, though. Basketball players, no matter how in shape, are not built for year round competition and nearly all of the best and brightest stars (or at least most likeable) played in the World Basketball Championships over the summer. What if those stars go down injured or at minimum don’t have the seasons that their respective teams need? Any prediction about the NBA season goes out the window if Dirk and Wade go down injured. I’m pretty sure David Stern is praying to Odin (I’m pretty sure he follows Norse mythology) that that scenario doesn’t come to pass.

NFL
On a random note, I have to tip my sombrero to Chad Johnson. While TO’s antics are tiresome and blatantly selfish, Chad entertains as few NFL players do. Johnson, repeatedly referred to himself as “Ocho-Cinco” during the week in honor of the NFL’s Spainish month (for our non-Spanish speaking readers literally 8-5 or his jersey number). During pre-game Johnson had “Ocho-Cinco” on his jersey before Carson Palmer ripped off the back to reveal his true identity. While I’m sure the NFL will step in to keep the fans from entertained in the meantime, keep up the work, Chad.

Monday Thoughts… (Sunday Night)… Toilet Bowl Addition


I’m reporting live from Columbus watching Mighty live and die (mainly die) watching the Cleveland Steamers. This is a small glimpse into the pain that Cleveland fans feel each weekend (See Hans Moleman in the Morning Simpson’s Radio Show). I find the experience odd… like Bob Evans without pork. For example, he watched the 1st half but now (in the 4th), it’s close and he changes the channel. I’m confused.

The toilet bowl addition is monument to a successful weekend here in Columbus meaning Mighty’s liver underwent punishment including: my fists, the bar, 330pm OSU game, and Sunday football.

Onto my thoughts…

BCS and the Countdown to the November 18th National Championship Game:
The amazing Beavers defeated the USC Trojans (I’m a Durex man myself) knocking them into the Roman forum style orgy that are the one loss teams. Mighty will conclude statistical combinations and permutations but the road to the BCS championship goes into Morgantown, WV. Can they defeat Louisville and Rutgers? Florida gets my shocker for the best of the one-loss teams assuming they survive Auburn. Maybe a Jan game between Michigan/OSU losing team vs. Florida?

For part 10 of why I hate ND and enjoy watching them suffer, the USC loss means ND stays out of the top 8. I still hope USC knocks them into the two-loss club. Each loss by Michigan State means the ND win mean less and less. Is next week the game versus the Coast Guard Academy?

I should have gone to a state school. At the bar this weekend, I saw Pippy Long stockings… the state school legs addition. Enough said. I also witnessed the best stomach since New York City.

The Cardinals:
Congrats. My last thought on the baseball season = parody. The Cardinals World Series victory means a new World Series champion each year since the end of the Yankees dynasty in 2000. A team must spend money, but money is necessary but not sufficient to win the World Series.

NFC teams???
The Chargers are routing the Rams, Cobra Commander put a hurt on New Orleans, and Jax manhandled the Eagles (they look worse each week). Atlanta was the lone bright spot in the NFC vs. AFC winning in Cincy. Tonight the AFC addition continues when New England looks to stay on track nailing the Vikings.

Jon Stewart:
We also hit up Jon Stewart here in Columbus. Next week he will tape live from Ohio with guests such as King James. Enjoy it. We enjoyed his humor even with The Ohio State administration (Government) minder. She “moderated” meaning she attempted to control his humor. She failed. A student yelled, “You suck! Get off the stage.”

NBA Preview 2006-2007– One More Running of the Spurs

After being one of the few people to keep track of the NBA Europe exhibition, I feel like I’m ready to start watching some meaningful basketball games! Quick note: I was originally going to have Phoenix over Miami as my NBA finals pick, but Sports Illustrated came out last week with that exact pick. I don’t want to be completely jinxed before the season begins, so I had to change things a bit. Here are my list of contenders (in a random order): New Jersey, Miami, San Antonio, Dallas, and the entire Central Division. Every team in the Central Division has the horses and the depth to make a title run, the main problem is surviving the regular season.

Editor’s Note: The new playoff seeding allows the 3 division winners and the next best team to be seeded based on record. Example: This means that Dallas and San Antonio can grab the top 2 seeds out West. The “number” next to each team represents their playoff seeding.

Eastern Conference
Atlantic – Another crappy year
4-New Jersey
– Another year in the crappy division, only this time, it yields them a 4-seed.
Toronto - Their new GM Colangelo, former GM of the Suns, was the architect of the Suns’ fast-paced style, based on speed, shooting, and excellent point guards who can analyze all of the off-ball movement. Colangelo is intent on bringing the same system to Toronto, and I thought he changed over half the team. I was wrong, he dumped 9 players, and got 9 new ones! The Raptors should be an interesting team to watch, but its obviously a complete unknown how quickly everyone will mesh. They certainly have talent with Bosh, TJ Ford, #1 pick Bargiani, backup PG Calderon, Joey Graham from Oklahoma state, and highly regarded newcomers, Euroleaguer Anthony Parker (played at Bradley, 2-time reigning Euroleague MVP) and fellow Euroleaguer Spaniard Jorge Garbajosa. I haven’t seen the 2 Euro pick-ups or the #1 pick, but I’m certainly intrigued to see how this experiment works. It could be a monumental failure, or they could be a big surprise.
Philly – they still have Allen Iverson, and I really like Andre Iguodala. I just don’t see them pushing through to the playoffs. Also, Kevin Ollie is their starting PG, according to NBA.com. Wow, now that’s bad! For those who don’t know, Kevin Ollie has a porn moustache, and makes 4 turnovers per game.
New York – I don’t expect the Knicks, coached by Isiah Thomas to do particularly well, just slightly better than Boston. I’m expecting this year to be a “farewell” tour for Isiah, who I’m assuming, will never be allowed near a professional basketball team again. Also, I must say, what is the deal with Isiah Thomas actually reading and watching the media and then criticizing the media for criticizing Isiah??? Last year, it was Bill Simmons, this year, it was Greg Anthony. If only Isiah understood that: 1) the media’s job is to criticize ; 2) a GM/coach’s job is to not pay attention to them because you increase the risk having more criticism; 3) Isiah Thomas is the laughing stock of the league.
Boston – I just don’t trust the PGs, Telfair and Rondo (rookie from Kentucky). Danny Ainge has given enough grief to Bill Simmons, though Bill Simmons even admits he’s always optimistic, and even has vowed to kill Geogre Lopez for choosing Rajon Rondo in the NBA Celebrity Fantasy league.

Central – Everyone is capable of making the playoffs
2-Cleveland – I’ve gone back and forth a million times on this. But, I see the Cavs taking the 2-spot based on the ever-improving defense of Lebron, and the fact that the Pistons are not as good as last year. Side note: the Cavs were 13-2 last year when Varejao played more than 20 minutes. Granted, he tends to foul out, so if he can work on that, the Cavs should be able to take the division.
3-Detroit – They lost Ben Wallace, which, as I said during the summer, “I believe this hurts their team a lot more than it helps Chicago. Especially since Flip Saunders was coaching last season, player rotations were key to their 60+ win season last year. Granted, Detroit did just sign Nazr Mohammed, who is certainly a good defensive center, but I’m not sure if he’s quick enough to allow the Pistons to use the same defensive schemes as last season.” http://thedawggs.blogspot.com/2006/07/nba-movers-shakers.html However, it’s been announced that Coach Flip Saunders is changing the offense and defense because Ben Wallace is not there, and suppposedly, is installing something similar to what they had in Minnesota (at least offensively). Should be interesting, but I just don’t see another 60-win season.
5-Chicago – The Hitman might get angry about this lower-than-expected seeding, but the Eastern Conference has a lot more depth this year. Anyways, the 5-spot could be very desirable, with a playoff date against New Jersey.
7-Milwaukee – Another really great team. They ditched TJ Ford in favor of their backup PG Mo Williams (he’s also pretty fast), and acquired Charlie Villaneuva. This is an extremely talented team, but their coach last season wasn’t that smart, and I’m expecting him to once again not get as much out of this team as he should.
Indiana – I can’t believe I don’t have Indiana in the playoffs. They added Al Harrington for essentially nothing, and got promising F Shawne Williams from Memphis in the draft. Their PG position is problematic though, and I’m expecting them to be using Marquis Daniels as the starter at some point. In addition, according to nba.com, the Pacers are switching to a “fast-break offense” which is another good move (as it seems like that’s the trend right now). It’s just really difficult for me to see them make the playoffs over any of the other teams, assuming that this really is the year of Darko’s Revenge.

Southeast – Don’t mess with the Twin Towers of a new generation
1-Miami
– yes they are good, yes, I never should have doubted Wade.
6-Washington – Another year, another valuable player lost by the Wizards. This time, Jared Jeffries has left (gone to New York). Jeffries was an impressive defensive force who could play 4 different positions. The Wizards got Deshawn Stevenson and Darius Songalia, but its hard for me to see that pushing them into the elite status.
8-Orlando - I really like Darko’s progress in the 2nd half of last season. I’m expecting Orlando to make the leap to the playoffs because of 1) the relative weakness of the rest of the centers in the league, meaning Darko should excel, 2) given that Orlando also has Dwight Howard, which creates an amazing “Twin Tower” scenario, and 3) they finished last season red-hot once they got Darko, and I don’t see why the momentum can’t carry over to tis year.
Atlanta – this year, they will have Speedy Claxton at the point, and Marvin Williams playing more minutes. At some point they have to improve, right? It’s just always next year.
Charlotte – they added the Moustache, Adam Morrison. I still don’t see them competing for a playoff spot, though they have assembled a nice college all-star roster (Okafor, May, Felton, Morrison).

Western Conference
Northwest – somebody has to win this division
4-Minnesota – Every team in this division is flawed in some way. So, I’m going out on a limb and expecting Minnesota to take the division because 1) No one messes with KG, 2) KG will break your legs if you don’t listen to him, 3) Minnesota picked up PG Mike James and super-rookie Randy ‘Nova Foye (I’m putting the ‘Nova in there because I keep mixing him up with Roy from UWashington).
Denver- They somehow got JR Smith, the troubled shooting guard who was a “throw-in” in the Tyson Chandler trade (the Bulls waited only 6 days to ship JR Smith out for two 2nd-round picks http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=nuggetsmoves&prov=st&type=lgns). Now, JR Smith is supposed to start in Denver. Honestly, Denver has a very volatile situation, what with Kenyon Martin being a complete waste of money (and the 1st round picks they gave up to get him). George Karl has had a pretty rough ride with these guys for the last year, and I don’t know if it will get much better.
Utah- This could be a better team, but I didn’t like Deron Williams (Illinois) last year as the PG, and I can’t expect much more from him this year.
Seattle- Another year, another chance for mediocrity.
Portland- Many changes. Just for fun, I looked up their starting 5: PG-Jarrett Jack, SG-Brandon UW Roy, C-Magloire, SF-?, PF-Z. Randolph. I'm not sure what else to say about them, so here’s a Naked Gun quote:
Frank: Well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in front of a full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy.
Mayor: That was a Shakesphere In The Park Production of Julius Caesar, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!

Southwest – Division of Doom!
2-Dallas
- They came so close to pulling it off. I’m curious whether this will make them hungrier than ever. The only problem once again, is that their division is just brutal, where every team could make the playoffs.
3-San Antonio- I’m very tempted to say that the Spurs looked old, the torch has passed, etc., etc., however, they still were the top team in the West last year, and almost took Dallas out in the 2nd round. I find it would only be bittersweet irony for them to have to play in the 2nd round AGAIN this year, despite the rule change on playoff seeding!
6-Houston- If they only stay healthy, they should be able to make the playoffs. Interesting note, the Rockets acquired one of the Greeks that beat the US in the world championships, as well as the combustible Bonzi Wells.
8-NO/Okl. City- Chris Paul, Stojakovic, and D. West should be able to power the Hornets to the playoffs, just 2 years removed from an utter debacle.
Memphis- I feel bad not including the Grizzlies in the playoffs. I still fully support their move to actually gamble a bit, as they picked up Rudy Gay in the draft for the price of Shane Battier. It just won’t pay off this year, especially w/ Pau Gasol missing the first few months.

Pacific – Could be a very competitive division, if it weren’t for Don Nelson
1-Phoenix- Even if Stoudemire only plays half the season, that should be enough to pick up the #1 spot. On a side note, Shawn Marion claims he is “the Matrix” and that Trix are for kids. http://www.nba.com/europelive/marion_060930.html I think if I were in the NBA, I’d call myself “the Gadget” and I’d yell out during the game “Go-go gadget defense!”
5-Sacramento- I fully believe that Ron Artest is going to have an All-star year. It remains to be seen whether anyone else would vote him into the game, but once he got traded to the Kings, he started playing like the ‘baller I used to remember (pre-Brawl).
7-Lakers- Kobe can always take the Lakers to the playoffs, but I don’t believe that adding Radmonivic is enough to take them very far.
Clippers- Cassell tends to have a great first year, and then become suddenly unhappy. In addition, the Clippers are the sucker team that paid for Tim Thomas, who literally played hard for only the playoffs and part of the regular season to get a large contract. Last year, he was so lazy that the Bulls didn’t even play him! Luckily for the Clippers, PG Shaun Livingston can fill in for Cassell when Cassell goes crazy.
Golden State – The return of retired Don Nelson! I still can’t believe he wants to coach again. He’s out of his mind, but you really have to blame the guy who hired him, GM Chris Mullin.

Playoffs – 1st round

1-Miami over 8-Orlando – I was hoping to set up a “Revenge of Darko” contest between the Pistons and the Magic. But the numbers just don’t work.
5-Chicago over 4-New Jersey – Captain Kirk Hinrich finally gets his first playoff series victory. I didn’t come up with that name, I saw it on ESPN.
3-Detroit over 6-Washington – I want to pick Washington, but I think the Pistons can still make the 2nd round, even with the limited depth that they have.
2-Cleveland over 7-Milwaukee – This will be a hard-fought series. Trying to stop the frontcourt of Villaneuva and Bogut, plus the shooting of Redd can be dangerous. I believe in Lebron though.

1 – Phoenix over 8-NO/Ok City – no chance for the Hornets.
5- Sacramento over 4- Minnesota – Ron Artest! Ron Artest!
2-Dallas over 7-Lakers – should be a great series.
3- San Antonio over 6-Houston – another great series.

2nd round
1-Miami over 5-Chicago – Many people forget, but the Bulls actually took Miami to 6 games last year. This year should be another hard fought Miami victory, so long as Wade stays healthy.
2-Cleveland over 3-Detroit – Yes, this could be considered the passing of the torch, the coming of Lebron, etc. More likely, it will be considered the end of the Pistons.

1-Phoenix over 5-Sacramento – The Ron Artest show comes to a screeching halt.
3-San Antonio over 2-Dallas – Tim Duncan rested most of the summer, and if Duncan’s back on top of his game, there’s no reason why Ginobilli, Parker, and Duncan can’t find a way to make one more run.

Conf. Finals
1-Miami over 2-Cleveland – I can’t stop going back and forth about this. It’s tough for me to envision my own Cavs making the Finals, especially considering the team isn’t that much improved over last year. I still don’t exactly trust the Miami supporting cast, and this would mean that they still are hungry and contributing. ESPN will be touting this series all day every day (Wade vs. Lebron).
3-San Antonio over 1-Phoenix – If Amare Stoudemire actually is healthy all season, this outcome may not happen. Like I said though, I think the Spurs can muster one more run (I hope).

NBA Finals
3-San Antonio over 1-Miami – As long as Duncan is healthy and Ginobilli somewhat stays on Wade, San Antonio is going to take home another championship! I'm also expecting Antoine Walker to put on a performance like John Starks in Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals.

All-Gutsy Team
PF- D. Howard, Orlando
SF- James, Cleveland
C- Yao, Houston
SG- Wade, Miami
PG- C. Paul, NO/Ok. City Hornets

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Congrats Cards!


Saint Louis has a World Champion again. While one of the more improbable of evantual winners (83 wins in regular season) , it counts just the same. Congrats Cards on bringing home #10......

Friday, October 27, 2006

Update from the Periphery

As Co-editor, I just wanted to update on a few happenings here at BSD

1. Gutsy will shortly be releasing his super action packed NBA Preview. A few updates are needed as Sports Illustrated broke in and stole a number of his ideas.

2. Stay tuned for MJ's angry rant of the day and Colonel's Tips on Crushing the Rebellion.

3. Finally and most importantly a super happy congratulations to our international reporter....Mark A. (pictured below). For those that don't remember, Mark helped bring us World Cup Coverage. Right now he is in India trying to uncover exactly what is cricket as well as which spicy foods one should not eat in India. While there Mark got engaged to a very wonderful woman. Congrats Mark! Although marriage does not get you out of your contract of covering international sports.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin' Picks For All Degenerate Gamblers Out There - Week 8

A special snow day edition of the finger lickin picks. When it snows outside (we got about 7 inches in the Denver metro area, with about a foot and a half in the mountains), all good gamblers just stay at home and mull over the stats and lines. All I wish is that I could have an AT-AT at my disposal with Snowtroopers making lanes in the roads. I guess I could just put a turret on the top of my truck instead of a ski rack.



Ok onto the picks:

ARI (+3.5) at GB: GB, If a team can not even beat the Raiders they deserve to be replaced by the Buckeyes of THE Ohio State University or the Wolverines of Michigan

ATL (+4.5) at CIN: CIN, ARGH...Boo No!! Gotta go with hometown love for CJ and the boys. I am sure they will disappoint but always go with the home team in case of a tie.

BAL (+2) at NO: NO, I hate the Ravens and because of the fact that those in the DC metro area don't have the ticket I will bet against them throughout the year

HOU (+3) at TENN: HOU, I have gone with Houston the past couple of weeks. They pulled out an upset last week, gotta do it again. David Carr isn't as bad as people make him out to be

JAC (+6) at PHI: PHI If you can beat the Texans, you can't beat the Jake and the Fat Man (if McNabb's name was Jake)

SEA (+7) at KC: KC, yeah there is no such thing as the Madden Curse or the loser of the Super Bowl Curse...you latte drinking, grunge rock loving liberals keep telling yourself that

SF (+16) at CHI: CHI, can the Bears ever play anybody good...have them come up the field of mile high and see how they do.

TB (+9.5) at NYG: TB, Something tell me this will be below a TD win for the G-men. They blew out Drew Bledsoe, they wont be able to blow out a man from the MAC.

STL (+8.5) at SD: STL, Although this goes against my notion that SD covers every week, I see this as being a somewhat close game

INDY (+3) at DEN: DEN, Denver hasn't lost at Invesco since it has been Mile High (or at least it feels like that). Unfortunately the snow storm of today didn't come a couple of days from now. I would have liked to see Peyton Manning turn into Craig Krenzel with a drop of snow hits his helmet.

NYJ (+1) at CLE: NYJ, Sorry Clevelanders, the Browns still blow...when do the Cavs start to play?

PITT (-9) at OAK: PITT, yeah the Raiders scored on Cardinals, not going to happen against the Steelers

DAL (+5) at CAR: CAR, Tony Romo is not the answer to the problem in Dallas...getting rid of Jerry Jones, Bill Parcells and all of the stupid star players is

NE (-2.5) at MINN: MINN, I think Minnesota is alot better than some people


Last Week: 7-5-1
Total: 54-36-10

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cheers and Jeers: Scarlet Fever

Ingredients:

For those that are unaware the Great Publius, master of rhetoric, debater, thespian, albeit probably not of his domain is visiting Cheers and Jeers in Scarlet and Grey territory. This can only result in one thing, permanent and irrecoverable damage to my liver. Actually at the pace Ben Roethlisberger is on for injuries I fully expect him to be listed next week with a case of hemorrhagic fever and liver failure due to dengue. Anyway it should be good fun having him around so a big cheer for his arrival and a big jeer for the problems he will cause here.

Cheers: To the Cowbitches current infighting. Perhaps it’s a bit of schadenfreude but did anyone bring on more internal problem on their organization than Jerry Jones? When you are repeatedly undermining a coach publicly, whether it's excusing away Owens behavior or second guessing a coach's decision on a quarterback controversy, you are just asking for problems. Many in the pundacracy (is there a better word for the class of pundits that shower us with there conventional wisdoms?) are already jumping ship (well maybe not Pete King but after Danny Wuerfuel does the man have creditability on QBs?) and you know what they have good reason.

Jeers: To rain. Game 4 was rained out as baseball takes a mulligan. There is a huge difference between the Cards being up 3-1 and the series tied at 2-2 so Game 4 is big. As I am not a professional pitcher or belly-itcher I really can't comment on how a delay affects the game but given the quality of arms out there I will be shocked if there are a lot of earned runs to be had.

Jeers: To the end of "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" Georgia and Florida have put on their no fun suits and joined together to end the term that has been used to describe one of the best college football rivalries around. Between the schools heavy hand and the media's acquiescence (wow do tv networks jump at the wishes of organized sports these days) you probably won't hear the term used on tv to describe Georgia v. Florida. Which is a shame because while the schools might put on a Potemkin Village for TV viewers, I assure you they won't be white washing the actual partying.

Jeers: To bad political campaigning. As a student of politics, history and Kabuki theater I expect things to get ugly the final 2 weeks before an election however I really am torn as to which I find more offensive the Tennessee ads that are subtly and not so subtly racist (Congo drums playing whenever Tennessee Senate hopeful Harold Ford's name is mentioned. I mean that tops Macaca any day) or Rush Limbaughs attack on Parkinson sufferer and stem cell advocate Michael J Fox . Hmm it’s a toughie.

Jeers: To blogger. I was hoping to get Cheers and Jeers posted but blogger is being well bloggy. Google better get its act together and fast because the increased traffic come Election Day is going to shut everything down. Wait its back up. Yeah!

Cheers: The Sandwich has just received a video from Berea (Cleveland Browns headquarters) and has given the approval for its publishing. As you can tell from the video Romeo Crennel explains that matters are well in hand and for fans to remain calm. (Note the video has a brief moment at the 28th second that is not suitable for Work (NSW))

Week 8 - The Week of Scarlett

Manwich Matchup of the Week
Indianapolis at Denver- Easy choice for Manwich this week. Undefeated team against a team that’s given up 3 touchdowns all season. Granted, Denver hasn’t played anything even close to the Indy offense (they played St. Louis, KC, New England, Balt, Oak, Clev). I’m guessing the floodgates will open this weekend, and Denver will face turmoil for the first time in a while. Pick: Indy

Upset of the Week
Atlanta at Cincinnati – I’m so baffled as to both these teams. I still don’t know how Cincy’s makeshift o-line survived last week. The line for this game is 3.5 points, and I’m going to just roll with that as an “upset.” Pick: Atlanta

Arizona at Green Bay – Do you think they would just play Aaron Rodgers against Matt Leinart for the more interesting matchup? Pick: Green Bay

Baltimore at New Orleans – America’s team had a week off to prepare for the Cobras. The Cobras also took a bye week to prepare, and instead of working on the gameplan, Cobra Commander cleaned and waxed his visor every single day. Pick: New Orleans

Houston at Tennessee- These teams are both red-hot! Houston stomped all over Jacksonville, and Tennessee beat down Washington in their last game. I’ll go w/ the home team. Pick: Tennessee

Jacksonville at Philadelphia- I don’t know why the Jags have hit the wall, and can’t stop anyone or anything anymore. All I know is, Philly better be motivated after yet another improbable loss. Pick: Philly

Seattle at Kansas City- wow. I almost feel partially responsible for the Seahawks most recent twist of fate. After claiming they wouldn’t make the playoffs because of the 1) Madden curse (Alexander), 2) the Super Bowl curse, the 3) Chunky soup curse (Hasselbeck), I realized last week they still have a really easy schedule, so I conceded they would make the playoffs. However, I obviously underestimated the power of all the curses, when COMBINED. Together, the curses are stronger than Voltron. Pick: Kansas City

San Francisco at Chicago- I’m guessing Rex Grossman will be okay now, because enough time has passed from the 6-turnover game. Pick: Chicago

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants- Don’t ever doubt a MAC QB. This decade, any MAC QB that takes the reigns ends up going to the playoffs. I’m hoping to jinx the Browns into the playoffs by this statement. Pick: Giants

St. Louis at San Diego- Not sure what to expect from this game. Pick: San Diego

N.Y. Jets at Cleveland –Mangina’s due for a period. Pick: Cleveland

Pittsburgh at Oakland- Now that Oakland got a victory, they will certainly be satisfied, tired, groggy, and drunk from celebration. Pick: Pittsburgh

Dallas at Carolina- Tony Romo-cop finally takes over. Too bad the Cowboys are a bit behind and have to deal with the carniverous CAR D-line. Pick: CAR

NE @ Minnesota- Another intriguing game… and on Monday night no less. I think New England should be able to take care of business. Pick: NE

Last Week: 4-9 (yowsers! Not a misprint)
Season: 60-40
Manwich: 5-3 (CAR could not stop the Bengals)
Upset of the Week: 1-6 (I picked the Brownies, and I knew it wasn’t too smart)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We Did It!

Thanks to your efforts and in no small part...mine.....The Browns fired Maurice Carthon late last night.

Waking up to that news frankly can only be topped by waking up next to Scarlett Johansson. Hmm thats a good idea. If I can help get Mo Carthon fired, my next campaign should obviously be targetted at waking up to next to Scarlett. She would love my dark persona and would warm up to my hard luck story of being raised on the mean streets of Buenos Aires. At least thats what the pink elephant told me.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday Thoughts...

Did Kenny Rodgers cheat? I don’t think so. First, it’s amazing the scrutiny players face today and the power of the camera. We all remember Major League!!!

Eddie Harris: Of course if the umps are watching me real close I'll rub a little jalapeƱo up my nose, get it runnin', and if I need to load the ball up I just... wipe my nose.
Rick Vaughn: You put snot on the ball?
Eddie Harris: I haven't got an arm like you, kid. I have to put anything on it I can find. Someday you will too.

In all seriousness, Kenny Rodgers pitched a gem with or without that stuff on his hand. The Cards looked baffled (except Rolen) all night.

The Series goes back to STL 1-1. Quite an accomplishment for the Cardinals… since they now send their 2 best pitchers against the Tigers. The Cards pitching staff is clearly inferior to the Tigers so they need their 2-5 hitters to produce runs. Let’s face it, Weaver pitched a fine game but the bats need to support him. The pitching staff has pitched good enough to give the bats a chance to make this a real series.

What’s going in the NFL?

The Eagles lost on a 62 yard FG!?!?!?! A 62 yarder? He might as well have toe kicked ala Jack Dempsey. The Chargers lost on a 53 yard FG, the Raiders won a game, the Texans totally bagged the Jaguars, and the Seahawks took a major blow losing their QB. What does this all mean?

The Vikings have solidified the 2nd spot behind Da Bears and could sneak into a wild card spot. The Rams have a tough upcoming schedule but could leapfrog the Seahawks. The Eagles are still in charge of the NFC East. Their 3 loses (collapse vs. the GMen, 62 yard FG, and last second FG in New Orleans) are all tough luck loses. They will recover.

The BCS vaulted Michigan above USC.
FINALLY!!

The National Championship game is on November 18th.

Unfortunately, UCLA forgot how to cover receivers and forgot how to tackle allowing ND an escape on Saturday. I’m reduced to cheering for USC to eliminate ND from the BCS. This is very sad. I also am cheering for Cal to knock USC out of the unbeaten ranks so the BCS championship game = rematch of Nov 18th.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

MMBSD: Airing of Grievances

According to Gutsy this is the week of Festivus so what better way to celebrate than my airing of Grievances. Maybe it's because I watched the Cleveland Browns offense sink to level of existence below Dante's inferno. Maybe it's because my television experience here in the state of Ohio is currently filled with enough political ads to make you bleed from the ears (For the record re: that new Chevy ad with John Cougar Mellencamp; I can't decide if it's racist, jingoistic or racist and jingoistic. For those that haven't seen it, suffice to say I would be offended if it was just Katrina photos helping sell cars but then I heard that the final version of the ad didn't feature a picture of the atomic bomb over Nagasaki as originally planned - after that bit of information I realized the person that created the ad and the team of people who green lighted it must just be completely insane). Anyway I have lots of problems with the sports world so here are some of them:

NFL OT: After tuning in to the waning moments of the Falcons OT victory over Pittsburgh I was struck by a few thoughts: 1) When does Roethlisberger not seem like he's suffering from a concussion? 2) Wait, Michael Vick is a quarterback you say? 3) The NFL OT rules just seem anti-climatic. 40% of the time the team with the ball scores every time. Wait, that doesn't make sense....The point, is that a winner of a coin flip is vastly more likely to win in OT. The NFL needs to adopt some sort of rule that necessitates both teams possessing the ball on offense. That or instead of a coin flip have a rock, paper, scissors contest.

Paging Offensive Lines: It has recently been documented that there has been a rash of offensive lines in fluctuation. The toll of injuries and free agency has left a position that needs good teamwork at the mercy of defenses that are instituting exotic packages. Quarterbacks this season have been on their back more than Lyndsey Lohan (albeit in the QB case this means lower amounts of scoring). Something needs to be done. Without scoring I get bored and then I write these airing of grievances. Maybe make it easier for teams to retain their offensive linemen in free agency thereby increasing the likelihood of continuity. Maybe allow for exceptions in terms of number of offensive lineman a team can have on their roster. Or at minimum give them all air bags to protect themselves from collisions.

Note Dame Escapes (Again): Another improbable comeback for Notre Dame. They marched 80 yards in 4.6 seconds (which rounded up is 30 seconds) to defeat UCLA. Yes, I'm a registered Notre Dame basher but yet another escape by Charlie Weis' squad frankly reminds me of a David Blaine routine. It's pretty impressive but no human should be in that position in the first place (also I find it extremely annoying). Coming from behind against UCLA (and earlier Michigan State) isn't the calling card of a quality team. Luckily voters or computers weren't fooled as Notre Dame dropped a spot in the AP and BCS polls.

Kenny Rogers - I'm watching Kenny Rogers toss another gem tonight and it bothers me. This is Kenny "Anger Management" Rogers. Am I the only one that remembered that this guy attacked a reporter, a camera, possibly a puppy and may have taken campaign contribution from Jack Abramoff? How is it possible he is doing well now? Are the forces of Karma suspended for this guy? Is Karma saving it all up and Rogers will accidentally end up stranded on a deserted island with the only thing to do is watch episodes of Lost? In the mean time as Wubya would say "this is unacceptable." Of course Wubya's full quote was:

For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it."

Maybe that's what Karma has in store for Rogers...

Random Thoughts from behind the soon to be flaming barricades in Columbus
Apparently the NFL has a steroid policy that works. Why do players think that it doesn't? It's a little perplexing. Dennis Green, if you weren't a part of the Cardinals organization, you would have officially entered the Dead Men Walking Club (aka Coaches to be fired at the end of the season) with an implosion followed by a loss to Oakland. However a few more losses and you'll be in the club. This is the first week that Indianapolis seemed to be a possible Super Bowl team. The acquisition of Anthony Mcfarland or infusion of radioactive Spider bites helped with the run defense…so did a 20 point 3rd quarter. After viewing Denver's offense up close it stinks even more than I thought it did. When did Denver morph into Baltimore (outstanding defense, awful awful offense)?

Friday, October 20, 2006

World Series Preview: Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

We all know how this will be a rematch of the 1934 and 1968 World Series, two of the more memorable Fall Classics in baseball history. We all know that the Tigers are heavy favorites to win their first World Series trophy since 1984. We all know why the Tigers are going to win. But do we, really? Buster Olney’s blog has a list of five and a half reasons why he believes the Cardinals can’t win the World Series. I’ve paraphrased them in this way:

1. Detroit’s starting rotation is better, and more rested, than that of the Cardinals;
2. The Tigers have had time to deal with minor injuries while the Cards are playing with pain;
3. Detroit’s bullpen is fully rested while the Cardinals bullpen has pitched seven times in eight days;
4. There has been more time for the Tigers to deal with the ancillary distractions that go with being in a championship series (ticket requests, travel plans, etc.);
5. The Tigers are a better team and have homefield advantage; and
5.5. The Tigers have had a chance to see their opposition while the Cards have not had the same opportunity.


Now, I’m not saying the Cardinals will win. I just don’t think it’ll be the blowout everyone’s predicting. Here are my responses to Buster’s list:

1. Detroit’s rotation was better than St. Louis’s in the regular season and there’s just no disputing that. Detroit’s team ERA was 3.84, the lowest in baseball. By contrast, the Cardinals had a team ERA of 4.54, 16th overall in the big leagues and the highest ERA of any team to qualify for October.

But a funny thing happened in October – Cardinal pitching got better as the stakes increased. For the postseason, St. Louis starting pitching has pitched 11 games and allowed only 20 ER, good for a 2.80 ERA. They have allowed 79 baserunners in 64 1/3 IP for a respectable WHIP of 1.23. Toss in their bullpen, which has thrown 32 2/3 IP with an ERA/WHIP of 3.31/1.35 and over one strikeout per inning, and you get a composite Cardinal pitching staff line of 97 IP, 2.97 ERA, 1.27 WHIP.

Detroit’s postseason pitching breakdown is as follows: starters – 51 1/3 IP, 3.33 ERA, 1.27 WHIP; bullpen – 19 2/3 IP, 1.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP; composite: 71 IP, 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP.

As far as I’m concerned, Olney’s first point seems based entirely on the regular season. He’s obviously not well-versed in the stats since October 2nd.

2. No question about it, Detroit will have had six days off. The Cards beat the Mets last night, drank some beers and champagne, and then boarded a late-night charter to arrive in Detroit. Olney’s got this one right.

3. Again, Olney’s right. Detroit’s bullpen only pitched 19 2/3 IP. St. Louis’s logged one and a half times the workload and won’t have the benefit of rest.

4. I don’t see how this is a factor at all and I find the point utterly irrelevant.

5. The Tigers had a better regular season, as was established in point #1 above. They finished with the fourth-best record in baseball and played in the most competitive division in the game. But I’m not so sure the Tigers are categorically the better team. After all, this is a team that, just like St. Louis, finished under .500 after the All-Star Break.

The Tigers are probably a little bit better than St. Louis in terms of personnel but I’m not convinced that it’s a landslide sort of victory for Detroit. Further, how much of this is being viewed through the prism of the past two weeks? Going into October, everyone was convinced that the Tigers were Yankee cannon-fodder and it was generally agreed that the Tigers-A’s series would be a dogfight between two teams that pitched well. No one predicted the Tigers to go 7-1 through two rounds of the playoffs. Similarly, everyone figured the Cards for dead, as they were even lucky to qualify for the playoffs. Instead, they dispatched the Padres with relative ease and, with the exception of one lopsided loss in Game 4 of the NLCS, fought the Mets (the NL’s best team from April 4th) with intensity.

As to the question of homefield advantage, this is a myth in the baseball world. Homefield matters in football, and probably in basketball and hockey as well (I don’t know and I don’t care). But in baseball, and especially in the World Series, having the “advantage” of a Game 7 at home has produced the following results: 16 victories for the home team in 31 World Series Game 7’s. That’s a 16-15 record for those scoring at home. What homefield advantage, I say?

5.5. Scouting and game-planning is an important part of any sport. But I can assure Mr. Olney that the Cardinals had their scouts at every single game played at an AL ballpark thus far in October. So while Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, and the pitchers may not have been watching much TV these days, there’s more than enough video and paper reporting for these guys to be ready to face the Tigers on Saturday. After all, no matter how much information you might have, it’s still about execution. And if Nathan Robertson or Justin Verlander pitch as poorly against St. Louis as they did against the Yankees or Oakland, then any scouting reports those two guys may have read wouldn’t have amounted to anything anyway. See the ball, hit the ball. That’s what it’s always been about.

As I said before, it’s not that I think the Cards will win. But the Tigers shouldn’t go nuts buying into their own hype. Tigers in 6.

Special Thanks To a Special Reporter

Rather than include a cheers to Bob Dolgan I wanted to make a special post. For those that are unaware the website URL of Back Seat Drivers is the dawggs in honor of the Cleveland Browns legendary 1980s secondary of Hanford "The Top Dawg" Dixon and Frank "Mighty" Minnifield (the dimunitive yet powerful Mighty Minni being a personal inspiration). However the part of the story that many may not be aware of was that Cleveland Plain Dealer's Bob Dolgan was the one that noticed the barking antics of the duo and wrote about it which evantually led to the Dawg Pound. Dolgan, is retiring today, after 45 years as a sports writer. Reading through his goodbye piece I think it captures the old school ideal of a reporter racing around to local haunts to get a scoop, having the thrill of a good interview and following it with late night drinking, smoking and gambling.
Anyway check out his goodbye piece here

Thanks Bob for all your great work and for helping create the term "The Dawgs"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cheers and Jeers: Great Pumpkin Edition

Ingredients
-Pumpkin Pie
-Real Whip Cream
-Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard

If the gods of Olympus dined on Earth it would by definition need to include Ted Drewe's mixture of pumpkin pie, whip cream, frozen custard and bliss. After many of Saint Louis Cardinals game, a sea of red would descend to the hallowed area in front of the magical concrete (the functional equivalent of a Dairy Queen Blizzard) machine. Few things in this world can equal the joys of eating a Great Pumpkin Concrete after a Cards victory. One of those things is being buried in a hot naked girl avalanche. The other is an exciting Game 7 victory. If one could sum up the Cardinals v. Mets series in one word, it would be redemption. Jeff Suppan a Boston castoff pitched his heart out and won the MVP for the NL side of the playoff bracket (I can already hear Bill Simmons feverishly typing away why Suppan sucks, his stream of concious broken only by bitter curse words of why didn't Suppan pitch this way for the Red Sox). Yadier Molina who had batted somewhere near the Mendoza line delivered several clutch hits during the series including the series winner. The bullpen which had struggled so mightily during the regular season came through. When Carlos "the Card Killer" Beltran stepped up to the plate with the bases juiced facing a rookie closer you could almost hear the anguished cry that escaped from the lips of the king of Saint Louis, Nelly the First. However the youngster gave Beltran more than he could handle and finished a three pitch at bat with a knee buckling breaking ball. However the redemption really was shared by the entire squad. A team that never fully lived up to its potential, came within a whisker of experiencing one of the greatest collapses in baseball history. That same team somehow turned things around to defy all logic and reason to make it the World Series. Awaiting the Cards is the seemingly unbeatable Detroit Tigers. Also, awaiting the Cards is a date with history as this will be the World Series rubber match between the Tigers and Saint Louis. The Cards won the first series in 1934 while Detroit took the second in classic fashion in 1968. The Cards face an uphill battle but at this point I'm just thrilled about an all-Midwest World Series for the first time since 1987, another pennant up in the new Busch stadium and dreams of eating Ted Drewe's frozen custard before being buried in a hot naked girl avalanche.

A few quick cheers and jeers;
Cheers: To Tiki Barber. I'm a huge fan of Tiki and I really do support his decision to retire at the end of the season. Running backs tend to have short shelf lives and if Tiki has stored enough money away then I say please leave the sport before you lose the ability to have a functional life later on. One just needs to watch current videos of Earl Campbell to know its best to leave while your still healthy.

Jeers: To ESPN. ESPN is using is monopolistic position to generate rents via bludgeoning its consumers by only showing the OSU v. Indiana game on ESPNU. Yes the wonderful world of Disney is basically blackmailing fans into pressuring various cable outlets to include ESPNU in its standard package. Controlling the product and message may work in the short term but over the long term, most products become substituable and such actions by ESPN only further its image as a force that is in many ways rotting football.

Jeers: Cobra Commander. Kissing Suzy Kolber (apparently my new favorite blog to link to) sums up my feelings of what must have been going through Billick's mind when he canned Jim Fassel

Cheers: To Kitties with Guns. I think the second amendment protects their rights. Also frankly I'm a little scared of them. Especially this one, I think it has shifty eyes and you know that means trouble.....

Notes From The 5th Inning

Three things happening here that make me want to talk baseball:

1. Preston Wilson’s baseball career is absolutely over. His bat speed is so non-existent it’s become a joke at this point. I’m not sure I understand why Wilson is hitting second anyway. And, jeez, Preston, you’ve only got an eight-time Gold Glove winner playing centerfield. How about you let him make the catches when he calls for them? Dumbass.

2. What a catch by Endy Chavez. That was just a tremendous play right there. What more can be said? The Cards don’t seem to be getting the one or two lucky breaks a team needs to make it past a depleted yet feisty Mets team.

3. Albert Pujols is just not impressing me at all. And you know what? It gives me comfort knowing that Pujols, the best hitter in baseball, has looked ARod-esque this week. It means that ARod is not alone in his failures and if he’s watching (or reading this), he should feel better. Look past the .350 average or the great OPS, Pujols has one stinking RBI. Toss in the silly remarks he made about Tom Glavine after Game 1 and one could say that this has not been the best week of this guy’s career.

Why Bronco Fans are So Rabid



I figured I would lighten up the mood a little bit and give a few observations on the Western plains where the deer and the antelope play. Now I have told you a couple of times that they sell Rocky Mountain Oysters at Colorado Rockies games. Well I think i figure out what keeps Bronco fans warm and crazy throughout the games. Here are a couple of recipes that I would like to share with you, straight from Mike Shanahan.

Battered Balls

Cut the testes (your choice) into broad, thin slices
Marinate for 1 hour in oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
Dip them in light batter
Fry
Serve with ketchup or chili sauce

AND

Penis Stew
1 pound of penis, ram's or bull's
3 tbls. oil
1 large chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Scald the penis, then drain and clean (doesn't say how you clean a penis. Not sure a guy would know since this penis is, well . . . never mind). Place the penis in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Remove any scum, then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and slice.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and coriander and fry until the onion is golden. Add the penis slices and fry on both sides for a few minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients with a good grinding of pepper, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until tender. Add a little water from time to time if necessary to prevent burning.

Ah gotta love the crisp clean lack of oxygen.

My Rant on the Cardinals

Okay, I watched the game last night for 3 innings (1,2 and 9th). The Cardinals were utterly hopeless. The ESPN write up is total BS... the Mets pitching staff was decent. Carpenter was fine (6 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER), but with the bases loaded in the 1st and runners at 1st and 3rd in the 2nd inning, the Cards totally f#cked up. They should have knocked that rookie out of the game in the 2nd. Instead, Rolen and Edmonds cannot get it done at the plate.

The Cardinals were 1-for-8 overall with runners in scoring position, dropping to 9-for-46 (.196) in the series. How is So Taguchi the best hitter in the series for the Cards???? Total bollocks.

The Mets should walk Spezio and Pujois, and pitch with RISP to Rolen and Edmonds.

Bye Week

I am imposing a one-week suspension on myself from this blog, coincidentally coinciding with the Bears' week off. There is no need to fully air my grievances here, except to say that too many times in the last week alone, contributors to this website have shifted from the substance of my commentary to attacks, explicit or implicit, of a more personal nature, for which I have neither the stomach nor the time to continually respond.

In my absence, enjoy Week 7 and the first few games of the World Series. I hope to return next Thursday to find again the intelligent, funny, and entertaining website that I so enthusiastically joined 19 months ago.

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin' Picks For All Degenerate Gamblers Out There - Week 7

Ok this is why I am not ruling Vegas. The people in vegas pull you with a couple of good weeks and then rip your heart and wallet out. There is a reason why Steve Wynn doesn't bat an eye when he elbows a 135 million dollar painting. It is because there is no winning when it comes to betting. I will be watching the games from the dialysis center (who doesn't get the Sunday Ticket) because I am having to sell my other kidney (lost the first one to the Duke in the summer of 95) Onto the picks:

CAR (+3) at CIN: CAR Hard line for a Cincy fan, but they don't look good. Their o-line is gone, CP and CJ are looking to play in other sports, they need to find themselves and this is not the game.

DET (+3.5) at NYJ: NJY, "Will the real Mangina, please stand up" will be what Detroit native Slim Shady is saying and he will.

GB (+5) at MIA: MIA, gotta go with the fact that Mississippi native Favre doesn't do well in the warm weather

JAC (-10) at HOU: HOU, this is another one of those home underdog games that I hate betting on, so gotta go with the home dog

NE (-5) at BUF: NE, gotta love the maize and blue going into the land of the Sabres

PHI (-5) at TB: PHI, Gruden did well against the heartless Bungals but Philly actually has o-line

PITT (-2.5) at ATL: ATL, I am not a true believer in Sgt Slaughter just yet, I think that ATL will grind down his jawline

SD (-5) at KC: SD, God another home dog game, but the Chargers seem to have the ability to cover just about every week

DEN (-4.5) at CLE: DEN, Not sure if it is supposed to snow in CLE but DEN is used to cold weather, ugly looking dawgs, possible radioactivity and a river catching on fire so they should be fine

ARI (-3) at OAK: ARI, I don't think that Denny Green has another head explosion left in him, especially after meeting up with the people of Oakland

MINN (+7) at SEA: For some reason, I think that this might be a push game. UM alumni Hutchinson (who has a good last name by the way) will wreck havoc and open the holes for Tim Biakabutuka

WAS (+7) at Indy: IND I feel the pain for the residents of WAS who are forced to watch their games without the ticket. If you can't beat TENN, you can beat Indy at home

NYG (+3) at DAL: DAL, another one of those toss up games.

Last Week: 6-5-2
Total: 47-31-9

Lucky Number Week 7 -

Last week was just a preposterous week in the NFL, as we all know. Close games, three winless teams getting desperate and winning games, a collossal collapse, and a press conference for the ages by Dennis Green. Looking at this week’s set of games, it seems like teams of similar records are meeting each other in just about every game, meaning it should be another week of amazing games, heartbreak, and coaches just losing it.

Manwich Matchup of the Week-
Carolina at Cincinnati – This game is pivotal in both conference playoff races, and comes at a time when both teams are feeling pressure to keep up with other divisional foes. Unfortunately for Cincy, their offensive line is a mess, and I don’t believe the CAR D-linemen are going to be very nice to Carson. Pick: CAR

Upset of the Week-
Denver at Cleveland- Coming off a bye, I’m just hoping and praying that the Browns can find a way to put some points. I don’t think Denver is putting up more than 13, unless their Defense starts scoring. Honestly, the only teams that are favored by more than 7 this week are Indy and Jacksonville. There really aren’t many options for me to pick a “true” upset, so here it is. Pick: Cleveland

Detroit at N.Y. Jets – The Lions got their win last week, now its time for a siesta. Pick: NYJets

Green Bay at Miami - Did anyone else realize that 2 weeks ago, Green Bay cut their CB on Tuesday for performing poorly on Monday? Not many teams do this. Hell, its probably not good for team morale. But I think Green Bay should just start releasing 1 player every week, and even let the fans vote, to comprise 30% of the vote. Talk about an exciting Tuesday conference. You could even have the other votes be the captains of the team, the GM, the president, the coach, the owner, and one sports columnist. Now that would draw ratings! Pick: Miami

Jacksonville at Houston – A small news item this week was that Houston waived DB Phillip Buchannon. The important part about the story is that just less than 18 months ago, Houston gave up a 2nd round AND a 3rd round pick to acquire him from the Raiders. I really can’t remember a more rapid depreciation of an NFL talent acquired in a trade. Now, that’s a bad trade! Pick: Jacksonville

New England at Buffalo – They played close in Week 1, but the Bills seem messed up of late. Pick: New England

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay – Just like Detroit, I think they’ll be satisfied from last week’s win. Plus, Philly’s going to be extra motivated after last week’s tough loss. Pick: Philly

Pittsburgh at Atlanta – This is another AFC North – NFC South pivotal game. I really want to pick Atlanta, but I just don’t think they have it in them. Pick: Pittsburgh

San Diego at Kansas City – Marty the Party. Pick: San Diego

Arizona at Oakland- Once Dennis Green calms down he will come to this stunning conclusion: there actually were a lot of positives to take away from Monday night’s debacle! (Leinart’s passing against Chicago, Arizona defense). Pick: Arizona

Minnesota at Seattle – interesting rivalry game, between two organizations which created a bit of a stir by Minnesota inserting a “poison pill” provision into OL Steve Hutchinson’s contract. Seattle responded by inserting a “poison pill” provision into WR Nate Burleson’s contract, which isn’t as impressive considering he’s already just the 4th WR on the team. In addition, I’d like to retract my earlier statement about Seattle not making the playoffs. Their schedule is actually pretty easy, and they could pretty much sleep walk through the schedule and still finish at 10-6. In contrast, the NFC East teams have dogfigts every week, so 10-6 should be enough for at least a wild card, if not the division title. Pick: Seattle

Washington at Indianapolis – I love Indy’s pickup of DT Macfarland from Tampa Bay, especially considering they already lost DT simon for the year. (The price of a 2nd-rounder was a bit steep though, but the Colts are playing to win this year). Pick: Indy

NYG @ Dallas – Another intriguing game that can go either way. I’m feeling the NYG, despite the inconsistent play. Pick: NYG

Last Week: 10-3
Season: 56-31
Manwich: 5-2 (Thank you Seahawks miracle)
Upset of the Week: 1-5 (The streak has ended! I’ve broken through! I’d like to thank the refs at the Tampa-Cincy game)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Playoffs?!?!

On the heels of Dennis Green's instant classic, here's one of my all-time favorite coaching rants:

I Wish I Knew How To Quit [Baseball]...

I amaze even myself with my inability to demonstrate willpower in the face of baseball. I guess that makes me the Jake Gyllenhaal to baseball’s Heath Ledger. Without further ado, and before I nauseate myself, here are my latest baseball-related thoughts:

1. Sweet Lou Chicago. Fortunately, the Yanks didn’t fire Joe Torre in favor of Lou Piniella. Without rehashing my feelings on Piniella, who I thought would wallow in, and contribute to, the negativity surrounding baseball coverage in New York, I can say that I think the Cubs made an intriguing managerial choice.

In Piniella, the Cubs got the requisite butt-kicker they need after spending three years in Dusty Baker’s accountability-free zone. For PR purposes, they also got a “championship” manager, although I’d argue that the 1990 Reds World Series victory says less about Piniella’s managerial skills in the face of his Seattle teams’ bad playoff defeats in 2000 and especially in 2001.

For now, Cubs fans should consider taking out insurance policies on the shoulders of Carlos Zambrano and anyone else left among the scraps of a once-solid pitching rotation. Unless the Cubs find a way to improve the caliber of their rotation, bullpen, middle infield, and outfield, there’s nothing Lou can realistically do to change the reality that the Astros, Cardinals, and perhaps Reds and Brewers have more on-field talent. That being said, Lou has a special way of getting some of his players to overachieve through intimidation and fear. In my opinion, Piniella is baseball’s version of Bill Parcells. And while this approach yields results in the short-term, a scorched-earth policy always ends badly for the team after this kind of manager moves on.

I think the Cubs will be better than expected in 2007 but beyond that, this relationship could end up in divorce court shortly thereafter.

2. Alex Wrigley-Bound? That will certainly be the talk of this off-season. With Lou Piniella being the only manager to not only coax performance but comfort and serenity out of Alex Rodriguez’s body, all signs would seem to point that Lou will lobby Cubs management to bring ARod to Chicago as the team’s cleanup hitter. Quite honestly, the Cubs simply don’t have the assets the Yanks would need to make such a deal possible. Chicago is short on top-flight minor league prospects above the Single-A level and, with the exception of the aforementioned Zambrano, has nothing resembling league-average starting pitching (2006 Cubs ERA+ 98).

The Yanks, unlike the 2003 Rangers, are in the enviable position of having the luxury of choosing whether or not to trade ARod at all. Certainly the Yankees might entertain offers but it’ll be a seller’s market this time around and there are other teams – the Angels, Astros, Padres, Dodgers, and White Sox – that match up better with what the Yankees are after.

One interesting note: there is a rumor that the Yankees would move ARod in a three-team deal where the Royals would send uber-prospect Alex Gordon to New York. That’s the one I’m rooting for.

3. Possible Historic Rematch? With one more victory, the Cardinals can clinch their second National League Pennant in three seasons and, in so doing, would set up a historic rubber-game rematch of two of the most famous World Series ever played. The first, played in 1934, featured the “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals beating the Tigers in seven games and featured 11 future Hall of Fame inductees between the two teams. The second, played in 1968, was memorialized in an exceptional HBO Sports documentary about how the Tigers’ seven-game victory over the Bob Gibson/Lou Brock-led Cardinals saved the riot-weary city of Detroit from a winter of further angst and isolation.

Hopefully Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals are in the mood to make some history tonight. Giving the Tigers and Cardinals a chance to match up in the World Series would be great for baseball historians and mid-market fans alike.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

“...he looked like an absurd hillbilly...”

One of the very few things ESPN.com has done right was finding a way to get Chuck Klosterman on board. His zany observations about sports are just fantastic. This time, he tackles the topic of barefoot kickers.

* * * * *

Contributor’s note: I had no idea there was already a column about barefoot kickers when I wrote this. I guess we all have Rich Karlis on the brain today...

Bare Feet and the Unibar


Last night, during one of Rex Grossman’s four interceptions (six total turnovers and 3 points on offense is offensive), I sat back and enjoyed Scott Player’s old school unibar. Take a look.

This unibar is not only old school it’s pointed downward. What good does this do? We discussed four possibilities: a) gum rest, b) chin protection, c) it’s the coolest thing since the leather helmet or d) it can stop all oncoming cars outside a strip club at 3am. Does it give a happy ending?

This morning, as part of a co-publication that will bolster the authority and the vigor of the BSD, Mighty Mike and I discussed and chronicled the best of the unibar and the bare footed kicker. Authors note: many of these kickers were born outside the USA (Denmark, South Africa, and Germany). Growing up kicking a ball must help.

1) The Royal Anderson and Andersen: Gary and Morton

No two kickers better showcase the power of the unibar. Gary remains the NFL points leader and was the first to register “the perfect season” meaning he hit all PATs and FGs attempted in 1998. Amazing. Gary’s unibar is unstoppable. He played 24 seasons in the NFL registering 2434 points.

Close behind (but still playing!) is the Royal Andersen, Morton. He holds the record for the most NFL games played (356), has kicked the most 50-yard FG (40), and is closing in on the before mentioned NFL total points record.

2) Sean Landeta

Although initially the picture was Landeta in his Eagles costume, the authors had to find one of him modeling his Giants blue to avoid the wrath of MJ. He spent the majority of his career with the G-Men and definitely makes the all unibar list.





3) Nick Lowery

Mr. Lowery has his own website... and it chronicles his own statistics. He also had a solid mustache. Enough said.







4) Reggie Roby

Unfortunately, Reggie Roby passed away in 2005. He had a remarkable career and pioneered the two-step method (whatever that means). Roby finished his 16 NFL seasons with 992 punts for 42,951 yards, with 298 punts in the 20 and 112 touchbacks. His career yard per punt average was 43.3, with a net average of 34.0. His career long punt was 77 yards.

He also demonstrates the strength associated with combining the bare foot kicker with the unibar. There was considerable debate between the authors on which bare footed, unibar kicker would earn the title of Voltron!! The fact that Roby kicked on the warm turf of Miami gives Voltron to the cold weather warrior Rich Karlis of the Denver Broncos.

5) Rich Karlis: Voltron

Karlis wins the Voltron award for bare footed kicker combined with the unibar. There was no stopping him.

According to Mighty Mike
A) Nobody beats Voltron. It was the best.
B) nobody beats the unibar. It is the best.
C) I think Voltron would beat the unibar

Sunday, October 15, 2006

MMBSD: Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo

As my dad always said "Never doubt Clint Eastwood" followed quickly "Never get Clint mad". So with those two thoughts in mind here's a little weekend analysis using the tried and true method, the good, the bad and the ugly....

NFL
The Good
If there were any doubts if the Saints were for real they answered it this week with a spell binding victory over the Eagles. What has led New Orleans to nearly double last year's win total? It could be the addition of Sean Payton who seems to utilize his talent so as to maximize it. Or maybe the return of hard running Deuce. Or maybe Reggie (Texans as KC Royals dumb) Bush opens everything up for everyone. Or maybe best free agent acquisition of the year Drew Brees is the real deal. Or that their homefield isn't underwater or worse in Texas. I'll settle for a great defensive line that hits the QB in the mouth.

Bill Cowher (pictured below) does not allow his teams to fall apart. If they had lost to KC that would have meant implosion. As such Sgt. Slaughter and his team got tough. The AFC North is back up for grabs boys and girls. Just be wary Cobra Commander, Cowher is working out again.

The Bad

The Washington defense. Greg Williams was supposed to be using this year to finish polishing his resume before a return to head coachdom. Instead Washington has been sliced and diced by every QB including first year Vince Young. I'm sure (and deservedly so) a lot of blame goes to Brunnell (didn't I see him on the Today Show with Willard Scott for his 100th b-day?) but a 28th ranked pass defense isn't getting the job done.

The Other goes to the Rams impersonation of Martz offense. I suppose this goes into the good and bad. The good is the 28 points and three Holt TDs (did you see the last one...wow). The bad was the turnovers. You can't win with turnovers. Bulger threw his first INT and the fumble on the punt return really killed the Rams.

The Ugly
If your a betting man, the Giants are about as ugly as you can get. I'd have a better chance at dunking a basketball or figuring out the secret of frozen pizza (I still can't get it right as you can see with the picutre on the right of my last attempt) then guessing if the Giants will lay a goose egg or put up 21 in any given quarter. I don't think there is any rhyme or reason for the inconsistent play.

The Bengals were a preseason choice for making it to the Super Bowl but the latest lost to Tampa should bring that into question. Well for one it should bring the officiating back under the microscope (the roughing the passer call on Tampa's last drive was as bad as I've seen) but the Bengals offense hasn't been nearly as effective as it was last year. A lot of the problems comes from the offensive line which is banged up. The most recent injury is to left tackle Levi Jones (possibly by Colonel Mustard with the leadpipe in the kitchen but the police are still investigating). The injuries have hurt both the pass blocking and run blocking and if you have neither you're not winning.

Injuries for QBs seem to be piling up with McNair being the latest organ damage (concussion) case. Here's a quick list from kisssing Suzy Kolber on other probable NFL injuries

Quick Thoughts I think before bed that can be legally shared....
The SEC continued practice of ritual suicide continued with the last of the unbeatens from the South fell before the Auburn Tigers (is it just my imagination or does like 4 different SEC teams claim the Tiger as its mascot. This is just weird. There has never been a tiger in North America. There were lions, cougars, pumas, jaugars and bobcats but no Tigers. Pick something that actually belongs to your state. Jeez!) There are now 6 undefeated teams left (OSU, Michigan, USC, Rutgers, W.V., and Louisville). At max there will be 3 at the end of the season. USC has struggled the past few weeks but they continue to win. Bet that game against Cal is looking pretty big these days. As much as I've bad mouthed the Big East its probably better than at least the ACC, maybe the Big 12 this year so I'm fairl intrigued how the 3 undefeated Big East teams do come Bowl season.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cheers and Jeers: Vulcan Mind Probe Edition

Ingredients:

For those that haven't been following the new NBA rules there has been a change in regards to High School players. No longer will they go directly from the Senior Prom to the hardwood floors. No Kevin Garnett's implicit skills, no more Tracey McGrady's sleeping 14 hour a day, no Lebron soaring magestically, in essence the bowl has been cashed. Players must wait until the age of 19 now meaning they either have to sit around a year, play overseas or go to college. Of course going overseas means they are free agents which has its own risk (let alone playing in Europe I mean the taxes alone). This will fundmentally alter college basketball as well. For one, the Carmello Anthony phenomenon of the wunderkid for one year will be far more common. Fortunately or unfortunately UNC and OSU top the lists of those that would have turned pro. Greg Oden, the next David Robinson, is as dominating big man as advertised (I've seen him in person). OSU's super-freshman class, the so called "Thad 5" could be even better than the "Fab 4" and win a title. Of course UNC's fab 5 freshman catch could rival OSU's class. Add in Tyler Hansborough freshman of the year performance last year and UNC is a deep team. That said, Florida's championship team returns nearly its entire squad. The point, Dear Watson, is college basketball this year will be at a high of a skill level as we have seen in a long long time.

Cheers: To www.deadspin.com. Deadspin is the number one trafficked sports blog on the internet. Check it out. Very interesting. Although I think our posts as of recent are just as good.

Jeers: To injuries. Nothing really as big of a bummer as injuries to highly skilled college players that will be drafted. Mario Manningham, star receiver went down with some arthroscopic surgery this week. Mike Hart of that team up North will have to handle the slack. OSU's defensive tackle David Patterson, proving super string theories idea of symmetry, also went down this with a similiar knee injury. Here's to wishing they get well and soon.

Cheers: To Garrett Wolfe. The 5'7 running back from Northern Illinois is making a push for the Heisman. While the heisman is typically out of the reach of mid-majors, Wolfe's staggering 223.5 rushing average per game is garnering him plenty of attention. The little guy from the little school in the little conference now thats something to cheer about.

Cheers: To Borat the Movie. Sasha Baron Cohen, namesake of cheers and jeers, upcoming movie I predict will be a smash hit. Sasha Cohen's Borat character is some combination of Colbert meets JackAss meets Kazhakstan. If you like parody as humor go see the movie.

In honor of silly and frankly juvenile humor...

BJ Watch: Columbus' very own hockey team, The Blue Jacks (aka BJs), has raced out, grabbed their opponent's hair and forced their way into a the lead in the Western Central Division. The perennial receivers have become the givers. Hopefully more BJ success to shine down on Columbus.

Colonel Sanders Finger Lickin' Picks For All Degenerate Gamblers Out There - Week 6

Well it seems that the power of Snow Job has overcome Cobra Commander and those of us in Denver are happy now with the Broncos. Now here are the picks for this week of fun and excitement.

BUF (-1) at DET: DET Boring game, and I dont care so go with the home dog

CAR (+3) at BAL: CAR The Cobras will be stopped by the Cars.

CIN (-5.5) at TB: CIN, TB might be desparate but CIN doesn't like to look bad. Plus, I see CJ jumping down the sails of the pirate ship as his celebration ala Sloth in the Goonies

HOU (+13) at DAL: HOU, something tells me that they will be able to cover this

NYG (+3) at ATL: ATL, something tells me they won't cover this

PHI (-3) at NO: PHI, Philly keeps on truckin'
SEA (-3) at STL: STL, Madden curse keeps on truckin'
TENN (-10) at WAS: WAS, Brunell throws 5 TD passes to Santana Moss and my fantasy team wins its first game
KC (+7) at PITT: PITT, this is a very hard line but when in doubt take the home team
MIA (+3) at NYJ: NYJ, this will be a game I will not be watching on Sunday Ticket
SD (-10) at SF: SD, I wonder what the stats are of how many times SD has covered in the past two seasons...it is ALOT
OAK (+15) at DEN: OAK This is a high line and I think that Oakland might take Jay Cutler and use him as their QB for this game
CHI (-11) at ARI: Uhrlacher will eat JC's kids and his mullet wife

Last week: 7-4-3
Total: 41-26-7

Thanks A Million, Buck

Some time ago, Mighty Mike named me as one of the 2006 Baseball Fellows for the Buck O’Neil Institute for Baseball Excellence. Certainly, this was a facetious honorarium but it nevertheless appealed to me because of how much I think Buck O’Neil did for the wonderful game of baseball.

Anyway, I’ve decided to donate a small amount to this charity in Buck’s memory. The National Baseball Hall of Fame missed a wonderful opportunity to enshrine Buck O’Neil this past summer. Regardless of if he makes it into Cooperstown or not, I’d like to think that I can help make sure that Buck gets his own Hall of Fame.

I am not shilling here. If you can’t give, no problem. But I do ask for this much: if you ever liked baseball, at least keep Buck around in your memory. He’s one of the game’s great underappreciated treasures.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

R.I.P. Cory Lidle

Cory Lidle, 3/22/72 - 10/11/06

The Yankee family lost one of its own. Honestly I'm speechless and very, very sad. I hope everyone keeps Cory Lidle's wife and young son in their thoughts tonight.

Week 6 – Flawed Fantasy Football Scoring Systems

I have a deep, dark secret I have to share. I haven’t been a monogamous man. I’m not in just one fantasy football league. I’m not in two. I decided, as part of my celebration of my last year of law school, to accept every fantasy football invitation I received. So, I am in… SIX Fantasy Football leagues this year!!!

The few times that this awful truth has come out, it always creates some initial friction. Some people say “who do you root for? How do you even know who’s who in which league?” The answer: Rooting is difficult, but it's easier when you get similar players across the board (R.Moss, Droughns, Indy Defense). Even stranger is how each of the two other times I’ve been discovered as being in 6 leagues, I am forced to reassure the person, “don’t worry, your league is still #1 in my book!” I finally understood the inner-struggles of what it was like to be a polygamist. It takes a lot of work to keep everyone happy, because you don’t want to be a dead-beat owner, so you still have to make efforts to keep all 6 happy.

By being in all of these fantasy football leagues, you see some very interesting things, such as: 1) some of the features (and weaknesses) of the different websites and 2) the utterly insane, flawed, and awful scoring systems that exist. FoxSports.com has a neat feature where you get to post a “league story” that is in a large font, with pictures, on the front and center of the league page! It’s like having your own blog space, right on your fantasy football page. No longer can people claim, like we all do on Yahoo, “I forgot to check if there were any posts.”

The problem with FoxSports? When you attempt to acquire any player, the application usually crashes. For some reason, it has to load EVERY PLAYER IN THE NFL UNIVERSE before you can pick anyone up. So, I can’t really recommend the site, because this phenomenon completely discourages people from picking up players (I was able to still get Colston last Thursday, after 3 failed attempts earlier in the previous week).

In an ESPN league that I’m in, I suddenly realized on Monday Night that I was gaining 1 point for every 5 tackles the Broncos made. This created the most baffling incentive I could think of. Now, I wanted Jamal Lewis to continually get 3.34 yards, stay in-bounds, and rack up first downs, all so that I could maximize “tackle points!”. Does this scoring system make any sense? None, whatsoever, which is why I’m sharing it with the world. Anyways, on to the games.

Manwich Matchup of the Week-
Seattle at St. Louis- St. Louis did beat Denver in week 1, when Denver looked like they completely took the Rams for granted. The Rams really haven’t been tested since, and have somehow gained 4 wins. Seattle should be able to benefit from the bye week, and with or without Shaun Alexander, Seattle shouldn’t have many problems. Pick: Seattle

Upset of the Week –
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay – I think this could be a tricky game for Cincy. I can’t really think of any other plausible shocking upsets for the week, so I’m going with the more desperate team here. Pick: Tampa

Buffalo at Detroit- Now here is an interesting game. Actually, if not for 2 defensive touchdowns created by the Lions last week, they could have beaten the Vikings. I’ve got to go with the more desperate team here. Pick: Detroit

Carolina at Baltimore- Not even Cobra Commander could fight off the curse of the Upset Special last week. Pick: CAR

Houston at Dallas- The battle for Texas! I’ll never forget how the Texans started their franchise with a Win against Dallas, and how I thought they would quickly ascend to the elite in the NFL, like Jacksonville or Carolina. I was wrong. Pick: Dallas

N.Y. Giants at Atlanta – Everyone is baffled how the Giants suddenly played a good defensive game. Maybe it was more of a reflection on Mark Brunell? My theory is that it’s because typically-conservative Giants coach Tom Coughlin took his team out to a karaoke bar the night before the game, and Coach Coughlin performed an energetic version of “Moneymaker”, by Ludacris. As Coach Coughlin belted out “shake what your momma gave ya!”, all of the defensive players were inspired by what Coughlin is capable of, an inspiration that made them believe they could beat the Redskins and hold them to 3 points. Pick: Atlanta

Philadelphia at New Orleans- Obviously, New Orleans barely got by last week against a desperate Tampa team, and after the last 2 weeks, it seems as if teams are starting to figure out how to slow down the Saints offense. Pick: Philly

Tennessee at Washington- No one knows what to expect from the Redskins in any given week. They shredded the unstoppable the Jaguars, and got stuffed by the Giants. My only advice to the Redskins this week is to listen to what Frank Drebin once said in Naked Gun 3: “Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.”
Pick: Redskins

Kansas City at Pittsburgh- Eeeesh. Pittsburgh’s season could seriously come down to this game. They still have to get to 10-6 to make the playoffs, meaning there is not much room for error. I say, start Omar Jacobs. Pick: Pittsburgh

Miami at N.Y. Jets – I didn’t realize that Mike Mularkey, former head coach of Buffalo and insane offensive coordinator during the Kordell years, is the offensive coordinator at Miami. Now it all makes so much sense why they stink! Pick: NY Jets

San Diego at San Francisco- If only the Chargers released a schedule of when they will wear the power blue uniforms… Pick: San Diego

Oakland at Denver - This is a nationally televised game! Pick: Denver

Chi @ Arizona – This is also a nationally televised game! Final note: does anyone else find it amazing that YouTube.com just got bought for $1.6 billion, or the equivalent of approximately two to three NFL football teams? Pick: Chicago

Last Week: 12-2
Season: 46-28
Manwich: 4-2 (The Steelers just can’t get on track)
Upset of the Week: 0-5 (Not even Cobra Commander can stop the jinx power of the Upset Special)