Monday, August 31, 2009

Better Know a Conference: SEC

Well after a much need bloggievacation I’m recharged and ready for a year of college football which luckily starts this week. So I’ll be finishing the college previews with the SEC, Big 10 and then the grand Finale of BCS predictions. So without further ado…SEC time.

Mighty Spent His Bloggievacation battling the Couch Cat (Australian cousin to the Basement Horse)


1.Florida – As I’m sure the entire world knows at this point its Year 4 of the Tebow Child. The College Football Messiah was born 6’4 240 lbs throwing spirals and immediately helped Florida win a national championship. 3 years later the Tebow Child and his super defense looks to be the first to repeat as champions since Nebraska and Congressman Osborne in 1994/1995 . At this point I think the main questions around Florida will the Tebow Child prefer to turn air to gold or water to wine? Will he ascend to the NFL in a chariot pulled by unicorns or on a cloud surrounded by angels? Will ESPN’s college football crew commit mass suicide once Tebow ascends as there’s no reason to go on without Tebow - who will be anointed by December as the greatest college football player evaaah? In any event I'm picking Florida to win the East and the SEC.

2. Georgia – While last year it’s easy to remember that UGA face planted from its’ preseason #1 ranking it’s less remembered that both lines were decimated before week 1 by injuries. Those players are back and healthily. Furthermore a 5th year senior takes over for the over-rated Stafford. So Georgia should regain respectability but not much more.

3. Tennessee – Has anyone incurred more recruiting red flags and controversy before Game 1 than Lane Kiffin? Despite all the hubbub Kiffin was successful in pilfering recruits from other schools to give UT it’s best recruiting class in years. However attrition on defense should keep UT from being anything other than average.

4. South Carolina

5. Vanderbilt

6. Kentucky


1.Alabama/2. Ole Miss – Oddly enough the big question in the SEC is who will face Florida and its easy schedule in the SEC Championship game. 4 years ago Javon Snead lost the QB derby in Texas against Colt McCoy and transferred to Ole Miss. He’s now considered one of the top two pro QB prospects in the country and combined with a great D was able to beat Florida and Texas Tech last year and almost beating Alabama. They certainly have the potential to beat Alabama as Ole Miss has the home field advantage this year. So why pick Bama? 3 reasons. One is Houston Nutt’s teams have a history of underperforming with expectations, Nick Saban has better recruits, and line play. The one area Ole Miss lost talent in was at o-line and that’s Alabama’s strength. That said Alabama has a new QB so don’t be surprised if Ole Miss surprises.

Megan Fox spies another Saban v. Urban SEC title game

3. LSU – Last year LSU crashed hard behind shoddy QB play and an egregiously bad defense. By the end of the year LSU had found their QB in Jefferson Davis Beauregard Forrest (pronounced Jordan Jefferson). However LSU probably has the hardest schedule in the country with trips to Bama, Ole Miss and UGA and Florida visiting them in Death Valley. That’s not a formula for a BCS team or division champion….

4. Arkansas – Just a quick note that Ryan Mallet (formerly of Meechigan) resurfaces this year for the Razorbacks.

5. Auburn

6. Miss State

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Polls Are Open

Thanks to Gutsy for working his technological magic - the polls are open for voting for the August 2009 Ozzie Guillen Go Fuck Yourself Award. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2009 NBA Offseason Champion

I want to start out by saying, that I was debating waiting the summer out until PG Ramon Sessions and PF David Lee ended up on new teams. However, my patience has worn thin, so, we will just analyze the offseason thus far, without these two major transactions. This has been one of the craziest offseasons in NBA history and it's now time to analyze the top movers and shakers!

I want to start out by anointing my NBA offseason champion, and then explaining in an exhaustive analysis why the Orlando Magic are #2 (aside from the fact that none of us like Vince Carter).

1) San Antonio Spurs

Just like last season when the Cavs provided cap relief to the Bucks to acquire a high-quality player (Mo Williams), this season, the Spurs dumped out a bunch of old players and expiring contracts (Bowen, K. Thomas, Oberto) to get SF Richard Jefferson.

To make up for the loss of big men, they signed Antonio McDyess and then got 2nd round stud Dejuan Blair. Blair will be awesome assuming his lack of any ACLs doesn't get him sidelined before the season ends. To top it off, they also got Marcus Haislip, who is a 6'10" 29-year old former NBA player, who tore up the Euroleague last year.

The main reason that this was such an awesome summer was that they used their older, more useless parts to get a great SF (Jefferson), and then added all sorts of weapons up front. Assuming Ginobili and Parker are healthy, and Duncan is ready for one last run, this team should be meeting the Lakers in the conference finals.

2) Nothing pains me more than having to give an award to one of the teams I despise, but in 2nd place: the ORLANDO MAGIC. Apparently, they had more money to spend than any of us even realized.

Backstory: Going into the offseason, everyone knew that Orlando was most likely not going to keep Hedo Turkoglu at $10 million per year. Also, I was anticipating that they would also lose C Marcin Gortat after his fantastic playoff performance (in the one game he started).

Instead, here's what GM Otis Smith did (in chronological order), which honestly, was simply genius, given the situation they were in:

1) On 6/25/09, he traded for Vince Carter. This is the most questionable part of Orlando's offseason, hell, I hated this trade in my instant analysis in the offseason. He gave up promising SG Courtney Lee, PF Tony Battie (who was old and worthless), and PG Rafer Alston (who was expendable), but he got back 6'10" promising rookie Ryan Anderson (who shoots 3s). But just keep reading, we'll get back to this whole Vince Carter thing...
2) He let Gortat get wooed by a plurality of teams, and they let him sign an offer sheet with Dallas. Then...
3a) He signed PF Brandon Bass from Dallas on 7/10. Dallas let him go because they were going to get Gortat...
3b) Meanwhile, he orchestrated a three-way trade of Turkoglu to give the Magic an absurd 7 million trade exception.
4) but then the Magic on 7/13 matched the offer sheet to get Gortat. If there was ever a time to talk some smack in the history of NBA GMs, I think this would be the time! It was like pulling a check-all-in on the grandest of all scares - people's livelihoods in the world of NBA free agency! Granted, just to be clear, this is only smart because the Magic have an unlimited amount of money to work with now.
5) On 7/22 he signed Matt Barnes, a fantastic swingman
6) On 8/19 he signed PG Jason Williams. Okay, that move is stupid, because you'd probably be better with just about any 23-year old.

In the end, the reason this active summer was so smart by the Magic was that they still received the trade exception for Turkoglu, they got another big-man who can shoot 3s (Ryan Anderson), they kept Gortat, they got Brandon Bass, and they even got Matt Barnes. It was much better than the "lose Turkoglu, Lee, Gortat" summer that I was forecasting! It's entirely possible that the Magic add YET ANOTHER PLAYER, since it appears they have no budget this year and will do whatever it takes to win. If they add Ramon Sessions or David Lee this would put them far out in front of anyone. Hell, they could even acquire a player like Gerald Wallace during the season.

However, we will evaluate the Magic on who they have now. With all these moving pieces, it's hard to keep track of it all. So... I took the time to do an interesting analysis, comparing the "Win-Shares", as computed on basketball reference for the top 3 players that changed. But, to compare apples to apples, I'm comparing win-shares PER MINUTE.

So, last year Orlando had:
1) SF Turkoglu = 0.202416 (2815 minutes)
2) SG C. Lee = 0.174729 (1939 minutes)
3) PF Battie = 0.185774 (1202 minutes)

This year they have the following players:
1) SF V. Carter = 0.20095
2) SG M. Barnes = 0.114649376
3) PF Bass = 0.210991105

Now, if you multiply the new players by the minutes they will play based off of the people they are replacing, it turns out that the Magic are worse off by -1.17 win-shares! Ha! Take that Otis Smith! It's only for this reason that I knocked the Magic to 2nd place - because of the unpredictability of all of these new pieces. On the Spurs, the superstars will still dominate, they just acquired all sorts of big-man help to do all the heavy lifting and dirty work. On the Magic, they changed so many things. Of course, Otis Smith will tell you that Pietrus will log more minutes than Barnes, but Pietrus, during the season, only had 0.121896 win-shares/minute. Otis Smith will probably also tell you that Bass will get more minutes, and Vince Carter less (to play a more traditional lineup) and so that Rashard Lewis doesn't play as much PF. Otis Smith will also tell you that Ryan Anderson is perfect because he's another 3-point shooter to drive the Cavs crazy (this is true). We could go round-and-round all day, but I'm just happy to report that the numbers don't lie, and this is a slightly WORSE group than last year, hence they are runners-up in my NBA offseason.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Coaches vs Cancer Tournament... and Isiah Thomas!

Check this out, Isiah is the new basketball coach at FIU, and he & FIU are already in a contract war with the organizers of the "Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament" because "Coaches vs. Cancer" says FIU is playing UNC... but FIU wants to play Ohio State. Honestly, I don't think it makes a difference because FIU is losing either way.

The best part of the article is this quote:
"I would be stunned if Isiah Thomas' first act as a head coach was to break a contract."
Granted, the tournament organizers admitted that the contract was signed in November 2008, before Isiah agreed to be the coach of FIU.

Here are the questions I have:
1) Instead of focusing on UNC or Ohio State, shouldn't the focus be on fighting cancer?
2) Doesn't pulling out of the tournament mean that you are letting cancer win?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nominations Are Open

With a week to go before the end of the month, it's time to nominate candidates for the Ozzie Guillen Go Fuck Yourself Award for August 2009. Remember, nominations must be for something someone did in the month of August, rather than general douchebaggery. Consider this an open rant thread....and does anyone know how to work the official poll in Mikey's absence?

The Rarest Play You'll Ever See

If you thought Mark Buerhle's perfect game last month was something special...he ain't got nothing on Eric Bruntlett. Buerhle threw the 18th perfect game in history - but even rarer than that feat is the unassisted triple play. If you missed the highlights, here's a clip:

Seems like it's pretty routine, no? Consider that this was only the 15th time that this play has ever happened! This was also only the second time that a game has ended on an unassisted triple play.

Good stuff...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cheers and Jeers: A Little Dick’ll Do Edition

2 oz. George Dickel® Tennessee whiskey
3-5 splashes citrus soda

Since Mighty – actually his official name is now Dr. Mighty – is on hiatus, I figured I’d pick up the slack for him and post a Cheers and Jeers. Hopefully it’s something our favorite physician political scientist would be proud of. In honor of the title, this week I’ll be celebrating notable sports dicks...

Jeers: To John Calipari for screwing over yet another NCAA program. Just like at UMASS, the Memphis Tigers will now have to vacate their season records and their Final Four appearance. Only a dick like John Calipari could become the first coach in NCAA history to have two schools he coached vacate their Final Four appearances.

Cheers: To Stephen Strasburg for being a big swinging dick. He is now not only a badass for throwing 101mph but he’s now the wealthiest rookie in baseball history. Life is pretty good right now if you’re Mr. Strasburg. All he needs now is a catchy nickname like “The Rocket”, “The Big Unit” or “The Ryan Express.”

Jeers: To Tim Tebow. Why? Not for anything he did, per se, but merely for being such a pansy. And since the topic of this week’s C&J is “dicks”, there’s no doubt in my mind that Tebow has eaten his fair share of them. I give Timmay credit though; at least he’s comfortable being a homoerotic pinup boy.

Happy Friday everybody!

Ocho Cinco: Wide Reciever and Kicker

If you didn't like Ocho Cinco before, you should now... because he is able to play Kicker if need be. He nailed an extra point and did one kickoff in a preseason game yesterday.

Even better than that feat, is this quote:

"Everyone has to remember, I've always said that soccer is my No. 1 sport. I think Ronaldinho would be proud of me right now"

I am proud as well!

I also like this quote:

"I can kick them from 50, 60 yards, left or right hash mark. ... I kicked all through high school."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ranking The Four Trades of Quentin Richardson from Summer 2009

For those who don't know, Quentin Richarson, and his $9 million expiring contract, were traded FOUR times this summer. He was on the Knicks, and was traded to 1) the Grizzlies, 2) the Clippers, 3) the Timberwolves, and finally? (we hope?) to 4) the Heat.

You can click on the above link to check out SI's interview with Q about how he only took a physical in Memphis (and had yet to bother with the Clippers and the Timberwolves). I assume he's still waiting to see if the Heat trade him!

Anyway, I thought it would be more fun to rank who got the best amount of assets in return for Quentin Richardson. Here we go:

1) Clippers
Received PG Sebastian Telfair ($2.5 mill, player option for $2.7 in 2010), F Mark Madsen (expiring $2.8 million), and F Craig Smith (expiring $2.5 million)
Telfair - 9.8ppg, 4.6 assits, in 27 min/game; Craig Smith - 10.1 ppg, 3.8 rebs in only 20 min/game.
The Clippers actually got players they can use. Telfair is probably an above-average backup PG, and Smith has actually shown some promise, though he is an expiring contract. I think this is the best of the Quentin Richardson trades.
2) Knicks
Received the $7.5 million expiring contract of Darko Milicic.
Maybe Darko is ready to turn the corner still? This is better than trading for Mark Blount, if only because Darko was drafted ahead of Carmelo. And Wade. And Bosh. And many others.
3) Timberwolves
Received C Mark Blount (expiring $8 million contract)
An even trade of expiring contracts. I have no idea why the Timberwolves even bothered with this trade, other than to make Quentin Richardson's summer more interesting.
4) Grizzlies
Received F Zach Randolph (2 years remaining at $16 and $17 million)
The Grizzlies actually plan on using Zach Randolph... but what is mind-boggling is how the Grizzlies actually had cap space BEFORE the deal was done, and then used most of it to acquire... Zach Randolph?!?!? Are you serious? Did their GM do any diligence before the trade aside from pulling up his PPG? Did their GM call Isiah Thomas to ask him how his Zach Randolph trade turned out? Did their GM even think about how they screwed themselves out of free agents in 2010, in order to get Zach Randolph? If the Memphis owner is going to let you spend money, why would it be on Zach Randolph?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


As the Fall approaches and the 5th year of the BSD kicks off I think its sinking in how much posting has gone on here. This will be the 1,889th post. Over the years I've taken a lot of pride in the good columns, thoughts, and ideas that have percolated up here. I certainly have attempted to keep a pretty professional schedule of blogging - at least one a week for 5 years. As I've begun to do football previews I realized that for the first time I simply am not that excited for the new year. In fact the reason why I started blogging and writing in the first place - a strong passionate interest in sports more generally just isn't there. This lack of passion I think is affecting the quality of the columns and unfortunately my temper in responding to others passions - which isn't good for the blog or this blogger. I have a few ideas why but like any good scientist I have to ask questions and eliminate causes. I don't think humans were built surrounding themselves in the hyper information age or at least I wasn't and it seems only logical that burnout and fatigue after 5 years might be creeping up from overuse. As such I'll be unplugging from the internet for awhile to try to regain some of the old passion and perspective that led me to blogging and gave me such joy. I'm hopeful in my absence that the blog can help others enjoy sports as there are great topics to delve into in the near future from baseball playoff races, to Florida uber hype, to the NFL. But in the meantime enjoy your summers and I'll see you soon....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shut Your Piehole! Double Play Edition

Today's special Shut Your Piehole! features two moronic statements about baseball:

1. On today's home page, the tagline for the article about last night's Yankees win over the Red Sox reads:

"In one swing Sunday, Mark Teixeira proved he's worth his $180M deal as he catapulted the Yankees into completing a four-game sweep of the Red Sox."

Um, no. Big Teix is having a terrific season and certainly has justified his big contract to date. But the only time that "one swing" justifies an entire contract, if ever, is when that one swing scores the winning run in the last game of the World Series. Yanks-BoSox is always a big deal - but hey, it's only August. There's plenty of time (and 6 more regular season games) for overhyping and overanalyzing every little aspect of a Yankees-Red Sox contest. Let's celebrate the moment and the terrific show by the Bombers - but please, Bristol, for once can we not get ahead of ourselves? If you need some help with that, may I suggest that you SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE!

2. Indians team president Paul Dolan had this to say as a partial explanation for his team's pathetic salary-dumping:

"The larger market teams have managed to take their money and, in fact, manipulate the amateur draft situation."

Damn those larger market teams for drafting well - and at the bottom of the draft order, no less! If you want someone to blame, Paul, take a look in the mirror: since your daddy bought the Tribe in 2000, only four of your team's 19 first-round picks have even made the bigs - the most notable of which are Jeremy Guthrie and Jeremy Sowers. Quit your whining and finger-pointing, and take some fucking responsibility for your train wreck - and in the meantime, please SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE!

Better Know a Conference: The ACC

It wasn't too long ago that the ACC was top heavy. Florida State ruled the ACC and college football more generally. However with the demise of FSU as a power house the ACC has sunk into second tier parity filled status. The conference is 1-8 in BCS bowls this decade with no team finishing in the top 5. As mentioned earlier, the ACC appears poised to breakthrough into the top tier conferences. How do I see the ACC breaking down?

Atlantic Division
1. Florida State - Bobby Bowden helms what hopefully will be his last year. Scandals, debates over win totals (why should I care that Bowden doesn't get a chance to be all time winningst coach? why this a worthy cause again) seemed to have marred the growing hype over the return of FSU to the ACC elite. Little known fact: Bobby Bowden died 3 years ago.

2. Clemson - Finally the younger Bowden and his schizo reign in Clemson are over. Clemson has three things going for it 1) running back CJ Spiller (arguably one of the best backs in the country), 2) no pressure and 3) A coach with the first name of Dabo. How can you not root for Coach Dabo? Little known facts: As Clemson is still located in South Carolina there are a lot of reasons not to root for Coach Dabo.

3. NC State - QB Russel Wilson is the best QB at NC State since Phillip Rivers and probably the best in the entire ACC. That's enough to give them a chance. However with an average defense it's the only reason. Little known fact: NC State Coach Tom O'Brien is the only the coach in the ACC to coach while wearing a judge's robe.

4. Wake Forest -
5. BC - As is the normal tradition I don't bother with analysis of the bad teams. However for those that are unaware I want to discuss the story Mark Herzlich. Herzlich was the best defensive player in the ACC and a future first round draft pick. Herzlich in truly a tragic situation was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. While it appears that both Herzlich's life and leg will be spared its doubtful he will play football again. Anyway cheers all around for Herzlich and BC this year.
6. Maryland

Coastal Division

1. Virginia Tech (and Conference winner) - If an ACC will breakthrough into the mythical championship hunt its the Hokies. They have basically their entire defense back, Darren Evans (crusher of linebackers), a favorable schedule. They have two big question marks - 1) QB Tyrod Taylor who has the athletic tools but hasn't progressed throwing the ball and 2) opening game against Alabama in Atlanta. If both turn favorably in V-Tech's favor look for the Hokies not only to win the entire ACC but maybe play in the BCS Championship game. Little known fact: The Hokie was initially a cheer for the mascot (who was a turkey).

2. Georgia Tech - G-Tech and its triple option burst onto the scene when it soundly trashed its arch-rival Georgia for the first time in forever. Jonathan Dwyer (running back) might get some heisman votes if the entire Big 12 and SEC become ineligible. That said the team should improve and with a semi-favorable schedule look to be in good shape. Little known fact: G-Tech was the top running team in the country last year.

3. North Carolina - Actually positions 2-4 in the Coastal Division will be very taught and there's no logical reason for the order here. I like UNC over Miami mainly on schedule (see below). Butch Davis can build college teams (and only college teams) and his deal with Satan clearly specifies. Little known fact: Coaching the Browns caused Butch Davis to be institutionalized due to anxiety for several months.

4. Miami - Young, athletic, hungry. Could the U be back? Potentially but check out there first four games at FSU, G-Tech, at V-Tech, Oklahoma. For a young team that's a ball buster and for a young team to overcome a 1-3 or 0-4 start might be too much. Statistically and talent wise Miami could easily challenge for the ACC title but inexperience, unproven coach and brutal schedule I'm guessing will be too much. Little known fact: Not even Miami fans root for Miami.
5. Virgina
6. Duke

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Meet Your 2009 NFL Rookie Coaching Class

Nothing is more informative than looking at the new head coaches in the NFL! The 2008, 2007, and 2006 editions of the NFL Rookie Coaching Classes are also fun reads, if you are curious.

1. Denver Broncos - Josh McDaniels
Proposed nickname: Mr. McFlurry

Honestly, has any new coach ever gotten off to a worse start before the season than Josh McDaniels? Basically, he arrived in Denver, immediately started courting his old QB (Matt Cassel), failed to acquire him, pissed off his current QB, and ended up downgrading from QB Jay Cutler to QB Kyle Orton... and ended up pissing off his WRs too! McDaniels, who is only 33, was previously the offensive coordinator (2006-2008, during the 50-TD season of 2007 for Tom Brady) and QBs coach for the Patriots. McDaniels looks young and sweet, like a McFlurry. However, McDaniels is also just like a McFlurry- which has approximately 23 fat grams (or 76% of your saturated fat daily allowance!), as he is actually unhealthy for your football organization.

2. Detroit Lions - Jim Schwartz
Proposed nickname: Yogurt!

The Lions were winless in 2008. 2009 will be different because this time the Lions have the Schwartz! A fun fact: Jim Schwartz is yet another Belichick disciple, getting his start as a scout in the 1990s on the Cleveland Browns! Schwartz has been the defensive coordinator from 2001-2008 for the Titans.

3. Indianapolis Colts - Jim Caldwell
Proposed nickname: Jimmy
Interestingly, Caldwell was the head coach at Wake Forest from 1993 to 2000... and compiled a ghastly record of 26-63. Eesh. He is the hand-picked successor to Tony Dungy and was named as the coach before the 2008 season (for the 2009 season). I don't have a good feeling about this... I wonder what the Colts fans think?

4. KC Chiefs - Todd Haley
Proposed nickname: The Todd
He was the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals in 2007 and 2008. Haley is very demanding, is fiery and blunt, and learned these things while under Bill Parcells while on the Jets and the Cowboys. He's also worked with Pioli before - back on the Jets in the late 1990s. I'm proposing we call Haley the Todd, after the character from Scrubs who relentlessly gives high-fives. Like The Todd, such an insane, over-the-top energy gets old after a while. But it certainly will be fresh and enjoyable at first for the Chief players.

5. NY Jets - Rex Ryan
Proposed nickname: Zan (Wonder Twin)
Rex Ryan is indeed a son Buddy Ryan, and the twin brother of the Browns' defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan was the defensive coordinator from 2005-2008 on the Baltimore Ravens. Is it the players or was it the coaching? Marvin Lewis has showed us it was the players. I'm curious what Rex Ryan will show us? His bio on the official Jets website says that he "participated in Maryland State Police's Polar Bear Plunge in 2006 and '07." This event entails jumping in the freezing water of the Chesapeake Bay, but doing it for charity. I assume this means when he meets up with his brother Rob, he yells out "Form of... a glacier!"

6. St. Louis Rams - Steve Spagnuolo
Proposed nickname: Mr. Spasmodic
He was the Giants defensive coordinator the last 2 seasons, and has never been a head coach. By far, his greatest accomplishment was game-planning a way to defeat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the 2007 season's Super Bowl. I absolutely love this silly picture that the Rams have on their website. Yes, one day, you could be #1! I also love this quote, from the Rams official bio: "Steve is married to wife, Maria." Yes, he is indeed married to his wife.

7. Tampa Bay - Raheem Morris
Proposed nickname: Theo
He is only 32 years old. He was the defensive coordinator at K-State for one season, and was the defensive backs coach for the Buccaneers... and now he is head coach! Wow. I did find one article explaining a bit of his background, and how he grew up in a tough neighborhood, and how he likes the Cosby Show, but then again, who doesn't like the Cosby show?!? I think we'll call him Theo, because everyone loves Theo, and this guy must be a real smooth-talker like Theo to be a head coach at the age of 32.

Coaches who took over as Interim Coaches, and Stayed on
8. San Fran 49ers - Mike Singletary*
Proposed nickname: Captain Intensity
Coach Singletary took over the 49ers last year and went 5-4 with a soft schedule. As widely reported, Singletary dropped his pants last year during a halftime speech last year to illustrate what he thought of his players' performance. I wouldn't want to mess with Singletary. He's a throwback and is full of intensity!

9. Oakland Raiders - Tom Cable*
Proposed nickname: T-Pain
Cable has only been the offensive line coach, and only was a head coach at Idaho for 3 years. He took over head coaching duties last season and went 4-8. There really isn't much known about this guy.

NOTE: Cleveland and Seattle brought back coaches who have already coached elsewhere in the past (Eric Mangini and Jim Mora Jr.). They are technically not freshman coaches who are new to the NFL so I have omitted them from this article.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cheers and Jeers: Maker's Mark Edition

Some days you just need the brownest of the brown liquors. Whether your defending yourself against hordes of zombies or just professors. In any event I recommend Maker's Mark...occasionally with ice cubes.

And now for some Cheering and Jeering....

Cheers: To Lou Holtz not running for Congress. Not to say mentally deranged, incoherent, nut jobs don't belong in Congress. But I think at the moment we are at maximum capacity.

A Hot Dog deep fried with french fries has more intelligence than Lou Holtz according to the latest scientific data

Jeers: To Rashard Lewis getting caught using PEDs. I really really don't want to start up the great steriods debate on basketball. I will say it's just more reason to hate Orlando this year. Lewis' 10 game suspension will hopefully hurt their regular season record.

Cheers: To the first college poll of the new year. The coaches. As the coaches poll doesn't rely on facts or information its pretty easy to get it out there. Nonetheless it does mean the countdown to college football is getting pretty close to zero.

Cheers: To grumpy old men. Frank Deford went all John McCain and yelled at ESPN to get off his sports journalism grass this week. Not that anything is factually incorrect in anything he said or shouldn't have been said. Heck I say it every day. But I just have this image of Deford saying this and then having another rant about the quality of cloud cover these days.

Jeers: To Mike Lupica. Because he's a dick.... I don't think I've said that enough this year....

and our C&J gal of the week.....Sophie Turner

UPDATE: A special cheers and C&J gal of the week....(umm whoever Stafford is with. ) Matt is quickly becoming a favorite for the various women he brings to our attention here at C&J headquarters....

Return to your airing of Cheers and Jeers for the week.....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Eli Manning: Highest Paid Player in the NFL

It's true. 6 years, $97 million. An average of $15.3 million. Peyton only makes $14.17 annually. "Only" $35 million is guaranteed, and I'm guessing that's 35 million reasons that MJ won't like this deal. Why in the world this contract was given is beyond my understanding.

For The Good Of The Game: Honor Your Agreement

I generally have no tolerance for opinionated old codgers that played baseball in an era I’ll sarcastically refer to as “yesteryear”. I question their motivation every time they talk about the steroids issue and what they’d suggest as a solution.

This time, it’s Hank Aaron doing the talking. While I agree completely that Pete Rose should be reinstated and made eligible for the Hall of Fame (but not eligible for a job in baseball as a coach or manager), I think releasing the list of names is irresponsible and illegal.

The Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to the 2003 survey drug testing on the grounds that any and all test results would remain confidential. It is unfortunate that leaks have exposed Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and a handful of other, less prominent players but there’s nothing that can be done to remedy that situation. However, just because 5% of the list has been leaked, it doesn’t mean that the remaining 95% of the players appearing on that list should have their rights trampled under the pretense that this will be “for the good of the game.”

The game of baseball has survived many other trials and tribulations and seems to be surviving the tremors and aftershocks of the so-called “Steroids Era” just fine. The game doesn’t need to violate an agreement between the union and management to save itself. The game – meaning, in this case, baseball’s management – should respect its agreement with the MLBPA in the same manner that it would expect the MLBPA to respect its agreement with management.

The list was supposed to be confidential. One or more individuals seem to be taking pleasure (and perhaps accepting payment or other quid pro quo favors) in exposing the 103 names on the 2003 survey one by one. This is not only wrong, it is also illegal. Instead of state and federal monies being spent on hearings and trials on individuals like Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada and Roger Clemens, our state and federal government should go after those individuals that are leaking the names. Last I checked, it was not illegal to use steroids but it was most certainly illegal to leak grand jury testimony or evidence that was seized in a federal raid.

Enough is enough. I sincerely hope that Bud Selig, in his infinite foolishness, does not decide to name the remaining 98 or so names. That would be a flagrant breach of trust (not to mention a signed contract) and would be unforgivable.

All Too Easy

There are now Cleveland Browns themed lottery tickets. Let the jokes begin, ill start:

1. The jackpot is that you get to play Linebacker for the Browns, its their best recruiting tool in the last twenty years.

2. Ernest Byner scratched off a $50,000 winning ticket, but lost the ticket when he dropped it on the goalline.

3. The tickets are in high demand, Romeo Crennel has already eaten 50 of them.

4. Every fourth ticket comes with a Staph infection

5. Shaun Rogers is mad at the lottery ticket for not saying hi to him

6. The tickets are scratch and sniff, it smells like the old stadium.

Anyone else?

2009 Football Preview: NFC Risers

Finally the dog days of summer are almost behind us and while everyone likes the sun, fall is where the sports world comes alive anew as its slumbered during the dog days of July. As such here begins my futile attempt at NFL previewing. Last year a number of teams surprisingly missed the playoffs. So of those that missed out on the NFC turkeyshoot - who has the best shot at making it to the playoffs this year. Remember all predictions should be used for gambling with Colonel's money only.

1. Chicago - Last year Da Bears barely missed the playoffs. This year with a potentially weakened Vikings (Williams maybe suspended for Steriods) plus Jay Cutler there should be improvements to get them over the hump. An aging defense and missing WRs give me some pause.

2. Dallas - The team is talented and it should have less destractions without Pacman Jones and TO. Is it addition by subtraction? Can Wade Phillips keep the team focused? More importantly is playing the NFC West mean the team gets a few more easy wins?

3. Green Bay - Here's my first team that I have up in shock town. The NFC North is wide open and Aaron Rodgers will a full year starting should be better. The question is the transition from the 4-3 to the 3-4 D. Usual it takes a few years to get it right but I keep repeating NFC North.

4. New Orleans - It's almost a dead horse at this point but New Orleans will become a Super Bowl contender (let alone playoff lock) if they can field a decent/average defense. I doubt it will happen. I am willing to say that they should have stable and healthy RBs - which might be enough to squeek into the playoffs.

5. Seattle - Hasselbeck, Hasselbeck, Hasselbeck. A healthy QB in crappiest division in football certainly means a chance and I'm expecting a Super Bowl loser curse on Arizona. Who else would you bet on in the NFC West to take Arizona's place?

6. Washington - Washington is a hard team to pin down as they are constantly bringing in prized free agents but those free agents rarely perform as expected. IF Alfred Haynesworth plays like the player he was in Tennessee Washington has a great defense and just needs Jason Campbell to avoid turning over the ball. It's possible just not sure how likely.

7. Tampa Bay - Tampa for those that forget finished last year 9-7. I'm still not sure how. Smoke? Mirrors? Mind Control? Nonetheless three man QB competitions (Luke McNown, Josh Freeman, Byron Leftwhich) means that in reality nobody on the team is decent.

8. Not a chance - San Fran, St. Louis, Detroit

Let the debate flow on teams that didn't make the playoffs last year in the NFC and their chances this year....

Monday, August 03, 2009

Better Know a Conference: Big 12

As we move slowly West in our college preview we hit the Big 12 (note we will not be stopping to analyze the Big East cause it sucks). The Big 12 was founded in 1432 by Christopher Columbus in attempt to bolster his popularity as governor of Cuba. Or something like that. In any event the Big 12 is divided between the North and South division with the North being cut off from Texas recruits has fallen farther than Big 10 (and that's saying something). Nonetheless here's a little analysis on the Big 12.

North Division
1. Nebraska - Bo Pellini took over Nebraska in attempt to return the school to glory. He improved their defense (plus) but also returned the tradition of blackshirts (which sounds a little fascist so I'm going with a negative). Nonetheless a string of wins at the end and an easy schedule (No Texas) make them the favorites. Little known fact: Pellini was though to be dead for awhile, hell he thought he was dead, turned out he was just in Nebraska.

2. Kansas - Not too long ago Todd Reesing and The Fat Coach had Kansas nearing an undefeated regular season. However it turns out KU can't play D. Fast forward 2 years...and KU still can't play any D. They also have have a murder's row of at Texas, at Tech, OU. That's too much for them. Little known fact: Kansas in fact STILL has a football program.

3. Mizzou - For the past few years Missouri has been big fish in the small pound that is the North. However Chase Daniels and Jeremy Macklin have gone onto the NFL leaving Missouri in the hands of young Blaine Gabbert. It might be too much for true sophmore. Little known facts : It's still illegal to play hopscotch on Sundays in Missouri.

4. Colorado
5. K-State
6. Iowa State

South Division

1. Texas/2. Oklahoma - It's hard not to talk about Texas or OU except together. One of the 2 has one of the conference every year since the Huskers fell apart and with Heisman candidates leading both of the respective teams there's no reason to think it won't continue. The difference between the two is where attrition struck. For Texas they need replace their entire D Line but otherwise are the same team that nearly got the opportunity to lose to Florida. OU on the other hand lost 4 of their 5 O-Lineman (3 of whom were all Big 12). I tend to side with o-line experience produces more consistency so I'm siding with Texas here. Obviously whoever wins the South will the Big 12. Little known fact: Bob Stoops owns Mack Browns testicles following a recent appellate court decision.

3. Ok State - If there's one team to challenge Texas/OU hegemony its Ok State. The Cowboys boast one of the nation's best offensive attacks with Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant boasting the best 3 letter first name QB-WR tandems in the nation. That said as, Dr. Saturday points out, Gundy's team is 0-8 v. Texas/OU. That's a big bagel to overcome. Little known fact- bagels helped defeat a Turkish army in 1683 or so the legend goes. This is unrelated to Ok State.

4. Texas Tech - Mike Leach is absolutely insane. I'm not sure what else to say about them other than they came as close as humanly possibly to dethroning UT/OU and still fail. There's going to be drop off given their attrition. Little known fact: Mike Leach attempt at being a pirate are continually thwarted by the fact that there are no ships in Lubbock.

5. Baylor- Normally I'd stop the analysis and not include Baylor (like I'm ignoring A&M) but I do want to point out sophmore QB Robert Griffith. In his freshman year he ran/threw for 3,000 yards. Let me type that again a freshamn at Baylor ran/threw for nearly 3,000 yards. THATS INSANE AND REQUIRES ALL CAPS. Not to say Baylor will win that many games but don't be surprised if they have competitive games and even upset one or two teams.

6. Texas A&M - SUCKS.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

And the July 2009 "Ozzie Guillen Go...

Fuck Yourself Award" goes to TJ Houshandzadeh for his weird boycott of Madden 2010 because "they didn't get his rating right". Consider this an open thread as to why TJ sucks.