Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Week 4 - The Game That Piques Everyone's Interest

Manwich Matchup of the Week
Jets @ Saints - Can a rookie QB hang around in a shootout? Probably not, but it should be a fun game between 2 UNDEFEATED TEAMS.
Pick: Saints

Upset of the Week
San Diego @ Pittsburgh - I know the Steelers are 1-2... but things really aren't right with the team. Why the Steelers are 7 point favorites at the moment is just shocking. I don't see them being able to slow down the Chargers offense.
Pick: San Diego

Opening Round Playoff Game #4
Buffalo @ Miami - Sadly, the Bills are 1-2, the Dolphins are 0-3 and lost their QB. That panic switch will be hit by the team that loses this game... no doubt. It should be a pretty exciting atmosphere with both teams feeling pretty desperate.
Pick: Buffalo

Fantasy Football Game of Interest
Green Bay @ Minnesota - I've avoided watching the highlight of Favre winning last week's game. He's so lucky. I hope for the entire state of Wisconsin that the Packers teach Favre a lesson about going to your rivals... in that traitors never win! This game is seriously interesting because of Adrian Peterson and Green Bay's super offense.
Pick: Green Bay

Other Games
Oakland @ Houston- Pick: Houston
Tennessee @ Jacksonville - Pick: Tennessee
Baltimore @ New England - Pick: New England
Cincy @ Cleveland - Pick: Cincy by 24
Giants @ KC - Pick: Giants
Detroit @ Chicago - Pick: Chicago
Tampa @ Washington - Pick: Washington
Seattle @ Indy - Pick: Indy
St. Louis @ San Fran - Pick: San Fran
Dallas @ Denver - Pick: Dallas

Last Week:10-6 (sadly, had I not just kept picking road teams, I could have easily been 13-3)
Season: 33-15
Manwich: 1-2 (The Patriots found a running game!)
Upset of the Week: 1-2 (Well, the Panthers stunk up the joint against the Cowboys)

Let the Healing Begin

It's no surprise that I have disliked Eric Wedge for the last five years. I was happy to see him mount a successful year and take them to the playoffs in 2007. However, I believed he was unable to utilize players correctly, was not aggressive, and was not an adequately leader for the team. I think a new manager can only help the ballclub recover. I look forward to the search.

Week 4: College Football Trend Watching

Another big week (aren't they all?) in college football were teams on the rise (ahem Cal, Oregon, Ole Miss) were put in their place. Other teams that that were expected to dominate (ahem Penn State) were run over. Here's a few teams that stand out for me....

Mid-Majors - While last week a few of the previous BCS busters were bounced (say that ten times fast) a few new ones were added to the mix, TCU and Houston. TCU went on the road and beat Clemson while Houston added Texas Tech's scalp (they've already beaten Ok State). While its unclear if either can over take Boise State for the automatic bid it could be an interesting race (and remember there's not necessarily a winner)

At the start of the year, there was simply no favorite in the Big East. However with a crushing win over Rutgers, followed up by impressive wins over Oregon State and Fresno State Cincinnati has now clearly established itself as the favorite in the Big East. There are no remaining big games left so I don't see the team leaping into Mythical Championship land but a team that might start being in the conversation.

LSU might be the most over-rated team in the polls at the moment. THey've barely escaped with wins at Washington and barely won against Mississippi State. When you need a goal line stand to beat MSU you know your team is struggling. This week the team takes on Georgia. LSU better fix their defense or LSU will go the way of Ole Miss.

As seen below I want to explain why I have USC back in the Rose's really default. Each of the heavyweight Pac 10 teams (Cal, Oregon, USC) now have laid eggs. While normally I'd be confident in USC recovering from its early choke job, I'm not as convinced this year. They were literally booed at their home stadium over another bad offensive performance. Combined with the scary freak accident of their running back (who thank goodness seems to be ok) and the offense can't seem to get on track. Yes, I have USC winning the Pac 10 but that's only because I need a name to put for the Rose Bowl - not for any rational reason.

Games of the Week
Oklahoma at Miami
LSU at Georgia
USC at Cal

BCS Picks as of 9/30

BCS Championship: Alabama over Texas
Orange Bowl : OSU Over Virginia Tech
Sugar Bowl: Florida over Boise State
Fiesta: Oklahoma over Cincinnati
Rose Bowl: USC over Penn State

Monday, September 28, 2009

MMBSD: Foodless Blogging

Well it's repenting a few quick thoughts while I count down the hours/minutes/seconds until I can start eating again.


After a year of the rookie QBs last, could it be that we see history repeating itself? Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez seem to have immediately improved their teams. While I'm still skeptical either will achieve the fortune that Baltimore or Atlanta did last year it's still a remarkable feat (quick note: has anyone checked to make sure Jim Zorn is still alive following Washington's loss?)

I'm uncertain if they are under the radar or not but the Colts offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders. Manning and a stable of fast skilled position players makes the Colts scoring threat as potent as I can remember. However the run defense (which Arizona refused to attack) still seems porous without oft-injured Bob Sanders. This achilles heel is precisely something that Baltimore could exploit. All signs after game 3 point to the Ravens being the AFC favorite....

As always the NFC keeps its wide open ways with hard to predict outcomes. The Eagles, Giants, Vikings, Bears, and Saints have all their pluses and minuses. One team that might have been exposed this week was Atlanta. Before the Patriots game they seemed on the verge of being front runners but a pounding by the Pats makes Atlanta look mortal and more in line with a wildcard spot.

College Football
Probably the most impressive display this weekend was by Alabama. They simply dismantled a Bobby Petrino offense that had been previously clicking away. Ryan Mallet went from 5 touchdowns last week to being road kill. Alabama's status was further bolstered by V-Tech's thrashing of The U. While bragging and swagger were back leading up to game (signified by Colonel Ray Lewis's choice of bulletproof sweatervest) V-Tech showed that all roads to the ACC crown still run through Blacksberg. V-Tech's defense, which Alabama had previously shredded, was too much for Miami.

Meanwhile no team looked worse than Cal. After a week of hype and USC looking to be on the ropes, Cal decided to take the road only alcoholics usually take...face planting in front of tons of people. Oregon put on some wonderfully horrendous throw back unis and then made Cal look even worse. I don't think this means USC is now a lock for the Pac 10 title (as they need to still travel to Cal and Oregon) but their chances look a lot better.

I know it seems crazy but NBA training camps start up today. YEAH! There are two storylines I think to follow this preseason...Garnett and Artest. Is KG healthy? I haven't heard any reports that say he is...and the Celtics Championship hopes rest on his gimpy knees. As I'm sure Gutsy in his forthcoming preview will note one of the keys to the Lakers season is if Phil/Kobe can somehow convince Artest not to be a ball hog.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheers and Jeers: AllSpiced Cider Edition

Apple Cider
Orange Juice

Cheers: To Old Hanging Judge Goodell Fining Eric The Mangina. Yes, Yes I jeered it last week but that was before it came out that Mangini has been throwing around maximum allowable fines for parking space infractions, not paying for water bottles, and not blinking in unison. It's not surprising given Randy Lerner's background that he surrounds himself with assholes, douchebags and baffoons but Mangini manages to combine all 3 of these attributes into one. Mangini manages to combine Mumbles radiant personality disorders with Romeo Crennel's head coaching skills. So fine away NFL. Fine Mangini for sock wearing infractions or using too many Rs in a sentence or whatever. Mangini will be doing the same to all his subordinates so doesn't he deserve the same?

Cheers: To the Illibuck. The Illibuck is awarded to the winner of the Illinois-Ohio State game every year. What's the Illibuck you ask? It's a wooden replica of a snapping turtle that died 82 years ago in the bathtub of an Illinois fraternity house. True story....

Jeers: To Mikhail Prokhorov conditionally buying the NJ Nets. I don't think C&J is lapsing into jingoism but saying a Russian Oligarch might have some shady connections (and by shady I mean Putin) and probably shouldn't be owning a professional basketball team. And by might I mean there's a better chance that C&J's will be opening an office on Mars than Prokhorov is clean.

Jeers: To Rep. Steve King (R-Crazy) for linking same sex marriage to socialism. For the record C&Js is not communist. It may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but it is not a gay porn star.

And your C&J gal of the week....Wonder Woman. She helps protect C&J headquarters from various arch-villains and provides free lasso lessons. Thanks Wonder Woman....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's That Time of the Month

As October nears, it's time to open the floor for nominations for the Ozzie Guillen Go Fuck Yourself Award for September 2009. Remember, nominations must be for something someone did in the month of September, rather than general douchebaggery.

I'll kick this off with two nominations:

1. Milton Bradley: Baseball's worst malcontent struck again this past weekend, with nasty comments about the Cubs and his need for a "stable" working environment. Funny how everywhere that the Gamer goes - and leaves - there's a "negative" environment that is everyone's fault but his. Is there a more disturbed person playing pro sports today than Meltdown Bradley?

2. Lane Kiffin: We all know about his verbal war with Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators. We also know that, not surprisingly, Florida beat Kiffin's Vols this past Saturday. Does Kiffin take it like a man? Is he gracious in defeat? Nope. Kiffin is still running his mouth about Florida. Now he's throwing former coach Phil Fulmer under the bus, too. Guess what, Lois Lane? Meyer and Fulmer have BCS titles. You have done JACK in your career. Give us a break.

Consider this an open rant thread....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 3 - I like Road Teams

Manwich Matchup of the Week
Atlanta @ New England - The stakes seem rather high for the Patriots at this point after their disappointing showing last week against the Jets. Plus, the Falcons have already beaten two playoff teams from last year (Miami, CAR). So, the Falcons seem pretty solid so far. Let's also not forget, the Patriots could have easily been 0-2 at this point.
Pick: Atlanta

Manwich Mini-Slider of the Week
San Fran @ Minnesota - This game is immensely interesting to me. The Vikings have beaten up on two of the weakest teams in the league thus far (Browns, Lions). This is their first test... and in a way, it's the 49ers first test, or at least their first test outside of the NFC West. The winner of this game will be 3-0 and honestly... they will have a great start towards qualifying for the playoffs. I actually think the 49ers have been tested more than the Vikings and this game should be where the INTs start to fall for Favre, since he'll actually have to throw. I'm picking with my heart here...
Pick: San Fran

Upset of the Week
CAR @ Dallas - I just realized from watching the Giants game, that the Cowboys actually have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. I think they're going to make Jake Delhomme look good. In addition, the Panthers will be pulling out all the stops since they are already 0-2.
Pick: CAR

Opening Round Playoff Game #3
Washington @ Detroit - The Redskins barely survived last week's play-in game (vs. the Rams). Now they get the Lions. I'm not even sure that the Redskins can pull this one out.
Pick: Detroit

Fantasy Football Game of Interest
Indy @ Arizona - Sunday Night. This will certainly decide a lot of fantasy matchups this weekend. I wonder if they'd let Edgerrin James suit up for old time's sake?
Pick: Indy

Other Games
Tennessee @ Jets - Pick: Titans
Jacksonville @ Houston - Pick: Houston
KC @ Philly - Pick: Philly
Cleveland @ Baltimore - Pick: Baltimore by 35
Giants @ Tampa - Pick: Giants
GB @ St. Louis - Pick: GB
Chicago @ Seattle - Pick: Chicago
New Orleans @ Buffalo - Pick: New Orleans
Miami @ San Diego - Pick: San Diego (note: Dolphins schedule has been brutal! - Falcons, Colts, Chargers)
Pitt @ Cincy - Pick: Pitt
Denver @ Oakland - Pick: Denver

Last Week: 9-7 (back to normal)
Season: 23-9
Manwich: 1-1 (The Chargers fell short)
Upset of the Week: 1-1 (Well, I don't think I'll be picking the Browns again for a very, very long time)

Just Because

For no particular reason, I just wanted to post this story about Mickey Mantle. It always cracks me up. I suppose you would really have to know a bit about the Mickey-Billy dynamic to fully appreciate it, but here it is anyway:

Mickey Mantle took teammate Billy Martin hunting one day in Oklahoma and told him to wait in the car while he went and asked a friend of his who was a farmer for permission to hunt on his land.

The farmer agreed, but asked Mickey for a favor. He had an old cow that needed putting down and asked Mickey to do it for him because he didn’t have the heart to. So Mickey decided to play a trick on Billy.

Mickey came back to the car, pretended he was mad and got his rifle. “That son of a gun won’t let us hunt,” he said. “I’m going to shoot his cow.”

So Mantle when into the barn with Billy trailing behind. Bang! He shot the cow dead.

Suddenly he heard two more shots. Bang! Bang!

He turned around and there was Billy with a smoking rifle. “I got two of his horses, Mick,” he said. “That’ll show him.”

Week 3 : College Football Trend Watching

A new feature here at BSD. Trend watching for the BCS Bowls, who's up, who's down, who deserves ridicule, etc. Also included is my weekly completely random and made up BCS picks as of today

Cal has long and majestic history of choking, sucking, being stoned, etc. I don't believe they've been to the Rose Bowl since the 1960s. And yet I will make the case for Cal finally getting back and ending USC's string of Pac 10 dominance. First and foremost USC's shield generator is down. After massive losses to draft, new jobs, and injuries the team looks sluggish. The bigger deal is that Aaron Corp looks awful and post Wash State the team is on the road for 4 of the 5 next games. Cal meanwhile finally won a big non-conference game and simply put has the best running back in the college football. Jahvid Best scored 5 TDs last week. That's not a fluke. So in 2 weeks Cal hosts USC, a win and its a 2 game lead over USC. Certainly not unreasonable. USC right the ship? Will Cal choke? History says yes to both but I'm starting to come around to the idea that USC Death Star might take a hit this year.

Left for dead after their loss to BYU OU picked up the pieces and routed Tulsa. They know have 2 weeks to prepare for the U. Given the Big 12 hype machine , OU's teflon status (when's the last time they won a bowl game?) and Ok State's less than stellar play and a BCS bid might OU's for the taking.

I've already mentioned BYU and Utah. However G-Tech's mega throttling by Miami means that this team that was slated by some to be in the BCS is finished. Also up there is West Virginia. Not only do they squander a golden opportunity against Auburn but also their starting QB gets injured.

Games of the Week
Miami at V-Tech
Iowa at Penn State (5)
Cal at Oregon

BCS Picks as of 9/23

BCS Championship: Florida over Texas
Orange Bowl : USC Over Miami
Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Boise State
Fiesta: Oklahoma over Cincinnati
Rose Bowl: Cal over Penn State

Monday, September 21, 2009

MMBSD: Hello My Friend

Musings on the weekend in Sports....

In recent years if there is one constant in the NFL it's uncertainty...which losses or wins are meaningful and which should be taken with grains of salt. Does Pittsburgh's loss to the Bears portend a tail spin? Does the Jets win over the Patriots signal an end to the Brady era? Do the Titans 0-2 start mean they're doomed to close losses and missing the playoffs? I'm unwilling to make any grand statements at this point save for a few.

1) San Francisco - While only two wins - The 49ers have already defeated their top 2 rivals for the NFC West crown - so basically double points there for the 49ers. The defense seems focused and remember all Shaun Hill does is win games.

2) Minnesota - Its unfortunately looking like the Vikings are going to be very good this year. With the hate factor already high on Favre its only a matter of time before the media changes course and begins the Favre worship for his "impact" or "leadership" or whatever. By the time the playoffs roll around Minnesota might be the most hated team of the decade.

3) The Chiefs - Yes, yes it's too early to bury the great rebuilding program out in Chiefsdom but how bad does the team have to be to lose to Oakland and a QB that goes 7-24 and 109 yards. Its looking like a long year for KC fans.....

College Football

1. USC - In the least shocking upset possibly of the year USC follows course and lost to an unranked Pac 10 team. That's 4 straight years for those keeping score at home. Another turnover inflicted loss at the hands of a formerly pathetic Pac 10 doormat. It will be interesting if this year the loss portends something more. Injuries to Mays and Barkley have left the team short on impact players for all of USCs recruiting prowess. Heisman candidate Best and Cal might have the perfect opportunity to strike and win the Pac 10 with USC looking as vulnerable as it ever has this decade.

2. The U - And it's once again being popular to love/hate the U. The program of the 1990s seems to be back. Miami is halfway through the toughest early schedule in the country and swagger, offense, and prime time coverage is there. This week Miami will be playing for the rights to be considered best in the ACC as they play V-Tech. A win there and they're off to play Oklahoma for rights to be considered a national championship contender.

3. FSU Drubs BYU - Coupled with Utah's loss it appears now that the Mid-Major standard bearer is only Boise State. While TCU and Houston also remain as potential non-BCS BCS entrants its looking like short of a staggering upset Boise State will be mid-major of choice this year....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Its deja vu all over again

They say those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Well, Delonte West is doomed to be a dumbass.

With all the ridiculous athlete arrests in the last two years, youve gotta be kidding me.

Gee, Thanks

Wow. A signed bat from the great Jonny Gomes.

What do you get for not retiring?

Cheers and Jeers: Root Beer Float Edition

  • Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Love

Cheers: To the Redskins being taken to the Supreme Court. This is less on comment on the cases validity or using the Supreme Court over naming rights but 1) it does highlight an ongoing issue that always rankles my cockles (and not in a good way) that any team can exist with a racist namesake and 2) anything that annoys Dan Snyder.

Cheers: For recognition. At Stewart Mandel points out the Pac 10 to date really has been the most impressive conference. Not that I think it matters as the random perceptions of the Big 12 and SEC will probably continue (let alone dubious voting habits at times of some southern voters) but hopefully a few more wins might influence things this year.

Jeers: To Old Hanging Judge Roger Goodell's random and capricious fine of the Jets and Mangini. Nothing says trying to show off how tough a CEO is than by making up reasons to fine some people (not to say that either didn't doctor their injury list and that the process should be stopped but does anyone buy that the fines will continue or will change the Belichek disciples mode of maximum information lockdown) I wonder how Stern over in NBA land will respond to show that he's even tougher....
Fake injury report, yep that's a paddling

Cheers: To the new season of Ultimate Fighter. For 10 years now Spike has been broadcasting Real World meets Lionheart. I'll be fighting this year under the moniker Kimbo Slice.
C&J's alter ego

Cheers: To This Handy Guide to surving zombie attacks. Contrary to popular opinions you should not go to a gun store in the event of a zombie attack.

And the C&J gal of the week.....Alex Curran who finds the water way too cold

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 2 - Redemption

Manwich Matchup of the Week
Baltimore @ San Diego- The Ravens actually displayed a lot of offensive firepower last weekend, though it was against Kansas City. I don't think their offense is that good, mainly because Cobra Commander isn't the coach anymore. Zing! The Chargers supposedly had a close game against the Raiders late Monday night. I think this game will give us a better idea of where things are at. And yes, LT is on the downward slide, though the national media is having a hard time dealing with this.
Pick: Chargers

Upset of the Week
Cleveland @ Denver - I truly believe the Browns can win 4 games this year... and this is one of them! Plus, Brady Quinn played well against the Broncos last year in a close loss. This year? I think it will be lower scoring, but with the Browns new and improved defense helping them get a surprise victory... and a little REDEMPTION!
Pick: Cleveland

Opening Round Playoff Game #2
St. Louis @ Washington - Honestly, could the Rams survive an 0-2 start and make the playoffs? Could the Redskins survive an 0-2 start in the NFC East? Didn't think so!
Pick: Washington

Fantasy Football Game of Interest
CAR @ Atlanta - I think this game is going to freak out a lot of fantasy owners. Delhomme's awful play has affected everyone, even the numbers for DeAngelo Williams and WR Steve Smith. The Falcons didn't really put up great numbers in week 1 either with Michael Turner and WR Roddy White putting up disappointing stats. If anything, this game will just put up more doubt in someone's mind. Sadly, I just learned that Panther backup QB Josh McCown got placed on IR after injuring his knee & foot in week 1... so if Delhomme gets benched get ready to pickup... Matt Moore? AJ Feeley?
Pick: ATL

Game That Would Have Been a Manwich if I Knew McNabb or Vick was Playing
Saints @ Eagles - Easily would have been a manwich matchup... but it doesn't seem as exciting if McNabb is playing hurt, Vick is suspended, and the Eagles are forced to use Kevin Kolb. I think Vick should be given the option to play this week and be suspended for Week 17.
Pick: Saints

Other Games
Oak @ KC - Pick: KC
Houston @ Tenn - Pick: Tenn
New England @ Jets - Pick: New England
Cincy @ Green Bay - Pick: GB
Minny @ Detroit - Pick: Minny
Arizona @ Jacksonville - Pick: Arizona
Seattle @ San Fran - Pick: San Fran
Tampa @ Buffalo - Pick: Buffalo
Pitt @ Chicago - Pick: Pitt
Giants @ Dallas - Pick: Giants
Indy @ Miami - Pick: Indy

Last Week: 14-2 (jalapeno!)
Season: 14-2
Manwich: 1-0 (The Steelers won over the Titans... barely)
Upset of the Week: 1-0 (The 49ers actually did win! I have already equaled the number of upsets I got correct all of last season (1 for 17 last year))

Monday, September 14, 2009

MMBSD: Football Again

Early season football is hard to judge. Until enough data is gathered its impossible to determine how much is meaningful, how much is random, and how much was simply preseason misjudgments. In any event a few key games I want to point out....

Steelers over Titans - I think a lot of us concluded that the Titans would take a step back. However the Titans D (sans Haynesworth) and Titans O (with Collins) looked as solid as they were last year. Whether the Titans can equal last year's success, the Titans at minimum look to be playoff contender's again.

49ers over Cardinals - While early, inter divisional games are always important as they inherintly represent really 2 games in the standings. Apparently the Tecmo playing calling scheme of the Cardinals left some to be desired while Hill led profeciently led the 49ers to victory (as predicted by Gutsy). With Seattle also improved with Hasselbeck healthy and with Fitzgerald about to be mauled by a circus lion due to the Madden curse the Cardinals are going be yet another Super Bowl loser flopping the next year

Packers over Bears - Similiary a big win for the State of Wisconsin. While Cutler righted himself from a fairly atrocious first half, it was Rodgers that had to last say in the matter. Its a long season but the Bears now have a number of injuries to overcome.

Oklahoma State Flopping - Of all the games in college football the most surprising was Ok State's loss to Houston. Now if we were in the pros announcers will immediately say let down again after the Cowboys beat the snot of UGa. However in college football there's no time or place for let down games certainly not against over-matched foes. I'm uncertain how they'll be able to come back and make a national title run and coupled with Oklahoma's loss earlier might even drag Texas' strength of schedule down far more than expected.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cheers and Jeers: Arnold Palmer Edition

- 1/2 Lemonade
-1/2 Ice Tea

Cheers: To the Start of the NFL Season. Seems a pretty wide open Super Bowl hunt which could lead to lots of unforeseen and exciting outcomes. Or it could lead to Gutsy suffering a breakdown as he tries to pick to the manwhich matchups

Gutsy's crack research staff might be in trouble this year....

Jeers: To the Madden Curse. Already Troy Polamalu has suffered its wrath. Is there no stopping its powers? As of writing this Larry Fitzgerald was last seen entering the witness relocation program

Jeers: To the looming NBA ref lockout. Personally I'd be fine with getting rid of all the crappy old NBA refs but somehow I don't think David Stern has improved quality in mind over these latest maneuvers.

Jeers: To the latest research which seems to point to the fact that velociraptors used their claws to climb trees and then jump on their victims . This is precisely why I don't go camping in the Rocky Mountains as well as carry around the book "Surviving Raptor Attacks for Dummies" at all times.

and the C&J gal of the Week.... goes to the unknown hottie. who has sacrificed so much so we might enjoy life a little more....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NFL Hypocrisy

People criticize baseball’s “unwritten rules” and, to an extent, I can understand the criticism and acknowledge that a portion of that critique is valid. What I find amusing annoying as shit is how football has its own set of unwritten rules yet is never criticized. Just as with the steroids issue, the NFL manages to skate by with nary a peep of condemnation or chastisement.

This column is borne out of this story about the Jets who might be in trouble with the NFL for not listing Brett Favre on their injury report for the final five games of last season. As is well documented at this point, Favre had torn tendons in his throwing arm near the end of the ’08 season.

Apparently, because he did not receive daily treatment and there was no talk of him missing any starts, the Jets decided that there was no point to listing Favre on the weekly injury report. This line of reasoning makes sense to me but the NFL sees it otherwise. According to the league, the Jets should’ve listed Favre because they knew he had an injury that could affect his performance, even if his presence on the injury list had him labeled as “probable.”

Contrast the Jets’ apparent injury list faux-pas with the Patriots’ well-known act of gamesmanship, where they list nearly one-third of their active roster on the injury report, irrespective of those players’ conditions or likelihood of playing in games. In their adherence to the letter of the law (but clearly not the spirit of it), the Patriots manage to water down the value of the injury list to the point that no observer can actually look at New England’s list of players and assign it any value.

As we all know, the entire discussion of the injury list revolves around that “unwritten rule” in football called gambling. As much as the NFL pretends that it doesn’t cater to the legal bookmakers in Las Vegas (or the illegal ones found in the backs of pubs and betting parlors), there is no question that the NFL derives an ancillary level of revenue from the actions of those who participate in sports betting.

Most recently, the NFL fought a measure by Delaware which would’ve legalized parlay bets on NFL games in that state. Due to its incredible financial might and its connections with the federal government, the NFL was able to slow down Delaware’s betting initiative.

I find the NFL’s hypocrisy both insulting and infuriating. If you truly don’t want to be associated with sports betting then cut the charade with the injury list. The Patriots already make a mockery of it and yet are above reproach. But when the Jets use a degree of thoughtfulness and honesty with the injury list, they are “under investigation.” This isn’t a plea to stop the seeming persecution of the Jets to the benefit of their tormentors the Patriots. This is a plea for the NFL to get off its high horse and just admit that gambling and the injury list are part of it’s “unwritten rules.”

You Suck LA Times!

It's not often that a major (or formerly major) newspaper has worse editing than the BSD but LA Times has out done itself. Yesterday the LA Times stated

“(Pryor's) tall and long, like a pterodactyl,” Mays said, referring to the prehistoric winged bird.
This has any number of things wrong with it. First, the correct clade (group) is pterosaur not pterodactyl (unless Mays, a renowned paleobotanist, was using the ancient greek term for the clade). However the bigger issue with all of this was how the LA Times attempted to explain the term. Pterosaurs were flying reptile not birds as anyone knows (and I'm not even going to start with the winged bird phrase - umm what birds don't have wings?) This is frankly a breach of the public trust and much more damning a slap at the paleontological community. Dear LA Times please hire some editors and stop sucking. Also please hire reporters that can ask decent follow up questions to what kind of pterosaur does Pryor resemble...rhamphorrhynchus or quetzalcoatlus?

(h/t Doc Sat)

Just to clarify. Dinosaurs and more specifically avian dinosaurs (better known as birds) are not pterosaurs. While pterosaurs are closely related to dinosaurs and existed at the same time they are not dinosaurs. Secondly, dinosaurs are not extinct as avian dinosaurs (birds) still exist today. The cladogram above I think should clarify the relationships and would recommend to the LA Times to publish this and possibly a 12 part series on why they were wrong.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Week 1 - A New Year, A New Format

For those dedicated readers of the blog, you probably are aware that during the NFL season, I supply picks for all of the games, with some amount of analysis/humor/obnoxious comments. Things have gotten a bit stale for me, so to freshen things up, I'm going to experiment with some different styles... and avoiding speaking about a lot of games where I have nothing to contribute.

So, with that in mind, let's jump right in!

Manwich Matchup of the Week
Titans @ Steelers- I guess this is the best game on tap this week. Though honestly, I still don't believe in the Titans. I didn't believe in 2007, 2008, and I don't believe in them this year either. My reason this year: the loss of Haynesworth and the fact that I don't see how Kerry Collins can have another great season. Of course, they still have a solid running game and defense, but I really think last season was their "perfect" season - a 13-3 season w/ a playoff loss.
Pick: Steelers

Upset of the Week
San Fran @ Arizona- Let's not forget that the Cardinals have the Super Bowl loser curse and Larry Fitzgerald on the cover of Madden. I also really like the 49ers and the insane intensity of coach Mike Singletary. I'm expecting big things, especially from QB Shaun Hill who finished last season 5-2 with losses to only Dallas and a narrow loss to Miami.
Pick: 49ers

Opening Round Playoff Game #1
Denver @ Cincy- Yes, the pressure starts early this season. I really don't see the loser of this game being able to recover. I also have no idea who will win, but Mr. McFlurry (i.e. Josh McDaniels) really rubs me the wrong way. He's going to be an ineffective Belichick disciple.
Pick: Cincy

Fantasy Football Games of Interest
Dallas @ Tampa- This game is very interesting because no one knows how many carries Cowboys RB Felix Jones is going to get, and no one has any clue if Tampa is serious about running three RBs - where they rotate every two series. Seriously, that's what the coach claims he's going to do. So good luck to the Derrick Ward, Cadillac Williams, and Earnest Graham owners.
Pick: Dallas

Chicago @ Green Bay- This game is very interesting mainly because we'll see if the Bears are actually going to utilize Jay Cutler... or if they are running some kind of ball control offense. I hope they let Cutler air it out. We can also see in this game if Cutler actually targets his former college teammate, Earl Bennett.
Pick: Green Bay

Game Where 90% of America Should Root for the Same Team
Minnesota @ Cleveland- Everyone should root for the Browns, if only to root against Brett Favre. I'm thinking of making a billboard like the Ghostbusters except w/ Favre's face on it.
Pick: Minnesota

Other Games
Miami @ Atl -
Pick: Atl

Jacksonville @ Indy-
Pick: Indy

Detroit @ New Orleans-
Pick: New Orleans

Philly @ CAR-
Pick: Philly

KC @ Baltimore-
Pick: Baltimore

Jets @ Texans-
Pick: Texans

Washington @ Giants-
Pick: Giants

St. Louis @ Seattle-
Pick: Seattle

Buffalo @ New England-
Pick: New England

San Diego @ Raiders-
Pick: San Diego

Past Years - I'm good in the odd years, just like the San Antonio Spurs
2004 – 150-106
Manwich Matchup: 7-11
Upset Special: 7-9

2005 – 160-96
Manwich Matchup: 10-7
Upset Special: 3-14 (That’s not a misprint)

2006: 148-108
Manwich Matchup: 12-7
Upset Special: 5-12

2007 - 166-90
Manwich Matchup: 13-4
Upset Special: 8-9

2008 - 149-106-1
Manwich Matchup: 11-8
Upset Special: 1-16

Mighty's College Football Trend Watching

Well after Week 1 in College Football a few things jump out. Here's my list of Trends

1) The biggest storyline I think out of week 1 was the pair of BCS busters with major wins. Boise State drove Oregon to the point of insanity and BYU crushed Oklahoma/Bradford's shoulder. BYU stil has a game against Florida State which should propel them well over Boise State or end there hopes. Mid-Majors can't get two bids, can they?

2) The other big story hidden away in Bradford's shoulder watch was Oklahoma State's crushing win over Georgia. Yes Georgia wasn't expected to be much but OSU killed UGA as it appears T Boone Picken's 250 million investment into the Sooners athletic department seems to be paying dividends. With Bradford injured it appears Ok State now appears to be Texas' big road block to the BCS Championship Game.

3) In the teams falling flat count two Big 10 teams in Iowa and Illinois. Both were predicted to be at the top of the Big 10 and both looked as bad as humanly imaginable. Illinois got annilihated by Mizzou and Iowa required two blocked field goals to defeat Northern Iowa (which apparently is still a school)

4) Not watched by many but one that bears paying attention to was the very close game between University of Washington and LSU. Yes, Yes a new coach and a healthy QB but a winless team from last year lit up LSU's defense. Hardily a good sign if the Tigers want to compete with Alabama or Ole Miss.

Things Coming Up: The Big 10 takes center stage this week as probably the two biggest games are tOSU v. USC and Notre Dame v. Meechigan. Watch for Mark May to demand if both loses that the Big 10 be drummed out of the BCS, existance, etc. A good win bye Meechigan might be DickRod's program is ahead of schedule, a win by Notre Dame will put them into BCS talk. I don't want to consider what a USC blow out means.....

Friday, September 04, 2009

The NFL Truly IS A Copycat League

Anyone that follows the NFL knows the old saying about how it’s a copycat league. When the Bears unleashed their ferocious 46 defense in the mid-80’s, several teams copied it. When Bill Walsh and his coaching protégés unveiled the West Coast Offense, it took the league by storm and everyone had to follow suit. Ditto Dick LeBeau’s zone blitz scheme, the Parcells-Belichick 3-4 defense, and even the ill-fated Run-n’-Shoot experiment of the early 1990’s.

Why do I bring this up? Because in the span of one week, three NFL teams – Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Buffalo – have fired their offensive coordinators. Think about that for a second. With less than two weeks to go until the 2009 NFL season gets underway, three separate NFL teams thought it would be a good idea to seismically and dramatically change the constitution of their coaching staffs.

We’re not talking about the assistant strength and conditioning coach or the defensive quality control intern here, we’re talking about one-half of the brain trust that a head coach must lean on in order to survive an NFL season. Apart from the head coach, the two coordinators (offensive and defensive) are indispensable to a team’s success. Poor coordination on their part and the season goes down the tubes.

What the hell are the Chiefs*, Bucs and Bills thinking? Who’s next on the chopping block? How many more teams will copy-cat these three rudderless franchises?

*As an aside, I’m most surprised by the Chiefs firing of their o-coordinator. Considering new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli comes from New England and was part of the most stable and well-run franchise in the NFL, I am seriously shocked that he thinks this is the best way to go into the ’09 season. I’m fairly certain we’ll find out that Belichick was the brains of the operation after all…

Legarrette Blount Goes Crazy

In case anyone missed Oregon's running back absolutely going all Ron Artest in Boise

Unsportsmanlike? Oh, certainly. Dirty? Completely, yes, but shit, would you so much as step on Blount’s shadow without his permission now? Somewhere he and Ron Artest are walking through a suburban mall right now punching people in the face randomly and talking about how awesome smoothies are.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

NFL Preview 2009: A Space Odyssey

If anyone wants to check out my past previews, I promised you will laugh at how incorrect they are. There's 2008 [where I picked Dallas over New England, and neither made the playoffs] There's 2007 [New England over New Orleans - the Pats at least went undefeated], 2006 [Indy over Giants - I actually hit the Colts!], 2005 [CAR over Indy], and 2004 [??? - apparently no longer on the internet] all waiting to be laughed at.

On to the preview...

AFC East
3-New England - The Pats will be back, angrier than ever, cockier than ever, and willing to show no mercy. In the words of the Cobra Kai from Karate Kid - "No mercy!"
5-Buffalo - Buffalo was my team to watch last season, and then they didn't do all that well. This year they have TO though, which I think should make a big difference. QB Trent Edwards seems ready to make the leap. Or he may just be average. I have no idea. I'm just excited because the Bills are seriously going to be running the no-huddle this season! No joke.... or then again maybe the joke is that they ran it during the preseason and it was a complete failure. Either way, I'm intrigued!
Miami - I think the Dolphins and their fans should just keep watching highlights of their epic 38-13 thrashing of the Pats last season when they a) ended the Pats regular season winning streak, b) unveiled the Wildcat offense, and c) got a victory that literally was the difference in making the playoffs. I just don't see the Dolphins being as lucky as last season... though I do love that they drdafted QB Pat White to also run the Wildcat. They finished at 11-5, but their "expected" W-L on football was only 8.8 wins. Eesh.
NY Jets - They have a rookie QB starting. I don't care that Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco made the playoffs last year as rookie QBs. Those were anomalies and exceptions.

AFC North
1-Pittsburgh - They should destroy everyone in the division (6 wins), then get another 3 wins out west (Oakland, KC, Denver), then get at least another 2 wins from the NFC (Detroit, Chicago/Green Bay), and get a win over Miami in their last game. That's 12-4, and it certainly could be even better.
Baltimore - I still can't believe the Ravens made the AFC Championship game last season. This team still annoys me more than any other team. I'm pulling for a sophomore slump from Captain Flacco... or for Cobra Commander to come back and find new ways to mess things up.
Cincy - How does Marvin Lewis still have a job? Seriously?
Cleveland - The Browns have a 4-win ceiling I think. Is it bad that all I want is for them is to build some momentum for 2010? Oy.

AFC South
4-Indy- I don't know what's up with these guys. I'm wondering if they are going to be sleepwalking through this season with the new coach, who we know nothing about. I also just read that Bob Sanders is on the PUP-list. Sounds like a great start, but I don't have a good feeling about any one in this division this year, so I'll just stick w/ Manning doing well for one more year.
6 - Houston - I'm doing the unthinkable and just putting Houston in the playoffs. Matt Schaub just needs to stay healthy and then this perennial 8-8 team can go to the next level... a first round playoff exit!
Tennessee - They lost DT Haynesworth. The big question is whether this will take them from a top defense to an average defense... which would result in them losing a lot of victories. They certainly overachieved to 13 wins last season, so don't expect it again. I also don't remember many old QBs coming out of nowhere and doing well for more than one season, so good luck w/ that whole Kerry Collins experiment.
Jacksonville - Why in the world everyone is drafting Maurice Jones-Drew in the top-5 (or top 3?) of every fantasy league is beyond me. 1) The Jags lost all of their offensive linemen at one point or another, and as of the end of August, reports were released that they "did not know 4 of the starters on their offensive line." 2) Maurice Jones-Drew is very talented, but his little frame is not capable of taking on 300-carries. Someone else will pick up the carries that Fred Taylor used to get.

AFC West
2- San Diego - I think this is the year that Rivers will win it all. There, I said it. Actually, I said this last year in 2008! Merriman is back and should be fine and should help anchor an improved defense this year. The offense will be fine so long as Sproles gets enough touches.
KC - Being in 2nd place in this division doesn't mean much.
Oakland - I think the Raiders have enough to edge out the pathetic Broncos...
Denver - Learning from Bill Belichick is great... except when the guy learning (the Denver coach) doesn't realize that he doesn't have good Plan B options for when QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall are no longer on the team.

NFC East
2- Philly - I hope they win some games for their old defensive coordinator who sadly passed away in the offseason.
5-NY Giants - I think the Giants can still win some games, even w/ a weakened WR corps.
Dallas - The Cowboys may actually play better w/o all those "character" players being there.
Washington -Zorn!!!! I feel bad for the Redskins, but Jason Campbell has not impressed and it's hard to believe he can turn it around.

NFC North
1- Green Bay - The 2008 Packers were one of the unluckiest, finishing at 6-10, but having an expected W-L of 8.9 wins. This means they are better than people realize, and it will only bring joy to Green Bay fans to smackdown Brett Favre. Early articles also said they somehow had a smooth transition in their defense. Their offense is almost unstoppable... especially if Ryan Grant stays healthy this year.
6-Chicago - I'm expecting big things from Jay Cutler in Chicago... and another run from their once great defense.
Minnesota - Brett Favre will mess this up. I don't want to give him the joy of spending any more words on him.
Detroit - They will win against Brett Favre I hope.

NFC South
3- New Orleans - The Saints are back! Again!... from last place!
CAR - I have no idea.
ATL - This division is hard to predict... but it's hard to imagine the Falcons overachieving as much as last year.
TB - Let's see: Young coach, Byron Leftwich at QB, and firing the offensive coordinator the week before the season begins... it all adds up to a last place finish!

NFC West
4-San Fran - I'm rooting for the 49ers to surprise some people. QB Shaun Hill really was good at the end of last year.
Arizona - Check this out: they have the Super Bowl loser curse, an old QB, AND the Madden curse on Larry Fitzgerald. I don't think anyone can overcome that.
Seattle - I just don't believe Hasselbeck is healthy again. I hope for his sake I'm wrong.
St. Louis - The Rams should make some progress... which shouldn't be hard considering how awful they were last year.


3-New England over 6-Houston
4-Indy over 5-Buffalo

2-San Diego over 3-New England (revenge game!)
1-Pittsburgh over 4-Indy

2-San Diego over 1-Pittsburgh (revenge for last year's playoff game)

3-New Orleans over 6-Chicago (revenge from a few years ago)
5-Giants over 4-San Fran (just like old times?!?)

1-Green Bay over 5-Giants
2-Philly over 3-New Orleans

1-Green Bay over 2-Philly (sorry Mr. Vick)

Super Bowl: 2- San Diego over 1-Green Bay

Better Know the College Football 2009: Predictions

Well today marks the first day of the 2009 College Football season. Huzzah. With the help of the BSD bus, I've criss-crossed the country analyzing the various conferences and coming up with various predictions that should be used only when betting Colonel's money. At the end of all the travels I've come to the conclusion that any monkey with a pencil (read College Football Poll) could come up with ...the mythical BCS Championship Game will be Florida over Texas. I know anti-climatic. But championships are won by schedule and perceptions as much as on talent and Texas and Florida have talent, a favorable schedule, and perceived as hailing from the best two conferences. Factor in negative info out of V-Tech (lost star running back) and USC (freshmen QB, numerous lost starters) and the path seems clear for the Big 12 and SEC to go head to head again. That said there's still lot's of interesting storylines to play out.....

Mighty (pictured above) was ever vigiliant to his surroundings. Mmm cupcakes

1) Fall of Troy? USC has won the Pac 10 for 7 straight years. However this might be the year that string ends. First, USC has now a pattern of inexplicably dropping easy games. Second, it lost 8 starters on defense and a QB (nearly all selected in the first 2 rounds) ...even for USC that's a bit much. Add in a true freshman QB (Matt Barkley) and losing 6 projected starters for multiple weeks to injuries and academics this Summer and things look ugly. Finish off with a tough schedule ( trips to tOSU, Cal, Notre Dame, and Oregon) and this might be the year USC trips up.

Beware of Oregonians bearing gifts

2) The Return of Irish Mania? For several years now the Charlie Weis internship has produced all sorts of laughs and joy for Notre Dame haters. However this might, just might be the year they return to the national spotlight instead of national punchline. There's a favorable schedule , easy opponents, and experienced talent stockpiled. Frankly its do or die for Weis at Notre Dame - without any minimum contention for a BCS berth and Weis will get towed out of South Bend.

Sarcasm and Billboards - Things that should go together more often

3) BCS Buster?
I'm not sure if anyone tuned in but once again a mid-major not only busted into the BCS but beat a heavy weight (so much for SEC invicibility). This year there are number of contenders again for mid-major automatic births with top 25 rankings already bestowed on Boise State, TCU, Utah and BYU . In other words it's going to happen's just a question of who

Umm different Buster


BCS Championship: Florida over Texas
Orange Bowl : V-Tech Over Notre Dame
Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss over Boise State
Fiesta: Oklahoma over West Virginia
Rose Bowl: USC over Penn State

Anyway send away your predictions and/or story lines you'll be following.....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Congratulations Are In Order

Here's to our co-winners of the Ozzie Guillen Go Fuck Yourself Award for August 2009: Brett Favre and Isiah Thomas!

Thomas wins for his threat to pull out of a charitable tournament because his Florida International team prefers to get their asses kicked by Ohio State instead of North Carolina. Favre gets the nod for his lo-and-behold-I-want-to-play-after-all revelation - and the 2-year contract that followed. As the New York Daily News writes, his act is getting tired.

Open rant: Why else do these buffoons suck tail?

Better Know a Conference: The Big 10

Finally we come to the end of the great Conference exploration of 2009 in Big 10 country...the conference nearest and dearest to BSD (according to Gallup Polling). Over the past 4 years only Boise State has had conference winning percentage than (the) Ohio State. tOSU hasn't lost more than one conference game in anyone year in that span for a whopping 90% winning. The one team that has caused problems for the Scarlet and Grey has been OSU's arch-rival Penn State. Penn State has posted the second best winning percentage over the time frame and managed to snag a few conference titles for Old Man Paterno during this time frame.

However both OSU and Penn State suffered serious attrition this off-season. Penn State lost 4 of 5 o-linemen, top 3 DEs, top 4 WRs, and the entire secondary. Meanwhile OSU lost top 2 LBs, first round RB and CB, 2 OL, and a semi-starter QB. That's a lot of talent to replace for both. While I do see PSU and OSU remaining at the top, the Big 10 could be in for a parity filled ACC/Big East type year with the eventual champion having multiple in conference losses - which means at the national stage the Big 10s perception will continue to take a beating (I'm not sure how much lower it could get). So how do I see this playing out? In true Michael Wilbon (Northwestern alumn) spirit....push...with a 3 way tie for first

1a. Penn State -
Despite all of the turnover in Happy Valley land the Nittany Lions still have reigning player of the year/senior QB Daryll Clark and probably the best running back in the conference in Evan Royster. They also boast the best linebacker corp. IF their o-line can somehow gell then Royster will have holes and Clark time which should be enough to put them over the edge as they host OSU this year. However with one of the most inexperienced o-lines in all of college football there will be slip ups along the way.

1b. OSU - With all of the losses (24 in all from last year's squad) this year represents the youngest squad in Jim Tressel's tenure at OSU. Sophmores start at all the key offensive positions (QB, C, RB, WR and probably LT). The strength of team will be it's defensive line and safeties. There are two big questions about OSU this year 1) the development of Pryor and 2) the USC game. Pryor looked like a true freshman with flashes of greatness and putridity last year. The question is how much can he improve?

The USC game is important for not only the Buckeyes but the Big 10 more generally. It's really the only major non-conference game played by the Big 10 this year so the inseason perception of the Big 10 (and hence BCS bowl placement) will really and truly be determined in Week 2 of the season. I'm more than willing to bet Colonel's house that another OSU failure against a top 5 team will mean not only no Big 10 in the mythical championship but only 1 BCS spot.

1c Iowa - In my big surprise pick I'm going with the Hawkeyes to tie for best record. They return tons of experience (98 starts at o-line) , a veteran QB, and 8 of 11 defensive starters. Remember this is the team that beat Penn State last year. The big thing it needs to replace is in the running game. Shonn Greene and his 100 yard games along with their 2 DT. Hampton should replace Greene and I think as a result Iowa will surprise a lot of people.

4. Illinois - Illinois and Ron Zook looked like they were about to make a breakthrough after going to the Rose Bowl 2 years ago. Last year they posted the worst record of a Rose Bowl participant the following year ever times infinity (or so). The main culprit were turnovers and the rule of thumb is that means a turnaround the following year. So if there is a dark horse in the Big 10, it's Illinois, but losing 8 starters on D , tons of experience on the o-line, and it's still 8 year starter Juice Williams back there will hold them back me thinks.

5. Michigan State - Last year's surprise team seems to be the consesus number 3 in the conference along with the slotted defensive player of the year (Greg Jones). However Michigan State lost about 90% of their offense last with the graduation of running back Javon Ringer and QB Hoyer. There's still a lot of uncertainty over who will QB, who will start at RB and how can they continue to get turnovers. This looks like a step back year for the Fighting Spartans.

6. Wisconsin - I end up following quit a bit of college football but I don't begin to understand what happened to Wisconsin last year. Slotted to contend for a Big 10 title the team never seemed to recover by back to back heart breakers against Michigan and OSU. Whether it was bad QB play or shoddy defense or a crappy coach or the position of Mars and Jupitor I can't figure it out. I'm guessing Wisconsin will return to being decent for no other reason than I can think of no other reason.

7. Michigan
8. Northwestern
9. Minnesota
10. Purdue
11. Indiana