Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men...

...couldn't sew that filthy sweatervest back together again.

If Jimbo is gone...what are you going to do, F*ckeyes, when Hokeamania runs wild on you?!?!

Cue the entrance music, baby!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mock Draft 2011: It's mocktastic

1. CAR - DT Marcell Dareus - Alabama - I'm going with an upset here... because I don't believe in Cam Newton. #1 pick money should be on more of a sure thing. I'm still in shock and awe over Newton's meteoric rise to the top. Honestly, I feel like he's more unpolished and represents more risk than a lot of other players. He only played one year and his mechanics are just strange. I think the Panthers aren't giving up yet on Clausen. Also, Dareus seems less risky just because of his size and speed, and since he's not a QB, it's not like he has to learn how to read a defense and how to throw different types of balls (like Newton does).

2. Denver - LB Von Miller, Texas A&M - Isn't this guy a professional skier? Oh wait, that's Lindsey Vonn. But seriously, I guess Denver just takes the best available pick. They will be very upset if Dareus is taken #1, since they have a need for Defensive linemen.

3. Buffalo - QB Cam Newton - The Bill suddenly find themselves being able to take Cam Newton, and gladly take the high-risk high-reward gamble, but at #3, not at #1.

4. Cincy - WR AJ Green, Georgia - The Bungles get a WR, as TO is leaving and Ocho Cinco is old. Seems pretty easy. Granted, the Bengals usually find a way to get the most messed up person in the draft and shocking everyone. So, if they shock everyone, I think it would be to grab the next QB, Blaine Gabbert out of Missouri.

5. Arizona - CB Patrick Peterson, LSU - This guy is supposed to be a stud, an immediate starter. The Cardinals just do it.

6. Tennessee (trade with Cleveland) - QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri - The Titans outbid Washington, San Fran, and Minnesota to get Blaine Gabbert...

7. San Fran -CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska - He actually is a Prince. Or at least that's what this article claims - that he is the "first son of a chief."

8. Cleveland - DE Robert Quinn, UNC - The Browns have a much bigger need in the front 7 than they do at WR. Oh wait, they are all needs in Cleveland! However, I think finding some big bodies up front will be more important to them at this point and they will find offensive weapons later on (I hope?).

9. Dallas - T Tyron Smith, USC -The Cowboys continually work on their offense.

10. Washington - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn - Of course the guy with more character issues goes to Washington, because that's where questionable people would get picked!

11. Houston - DE Da'quan Bowers, Clemson - There are questions about his knee, which have made his draft status fall, but I think Houston will realize that this is a great value at this pick and gladly take him (and they wait until later to grab a QB).

12. Minnesota -QB Jake Locker, Washington - Sometimes... need trumps everything else. The Vikings QB situation has been volatile, because they had the man-who-should-not-be-named-who-"allegedly"-sends-pictures-of-his-genatalia-via-his-cell-phone, so the Vikings reach way down, and grab Locker.

13. Detroit -WR Julio Jones, Alabama - To honor the long-standing tradition, Detroit decides to kick it old school and draft another WR in the 1st round! No, I'm just kidding. The Lions take Anthony Coastonzo, OT Boston College. That way we can make Costanzo! jokes all season long when he screws up or pretends to sleep underneath his desk during a film session.

14. St. Louis - WR Julio Jones, Alabama - The Rams made do last year on 4th and 5th string WRs, but I'm sure they'd rather prefer to get some more talent around Sam Bradford. Interestingly, NFL.com says the Rams are interested in trading up for Julio Jones, but draftcountdown.com says that the Rams hate Julio Jones, his workout, and his entire family. I have no idea what the truth is. As the X-files says, "trust no one."

15. Miami - DE Aldon Smith, Missouri - This guy is supposedly shooting up the board!

16. Jacksonville -DE Cameron Jordan, California - I don't know why, but it sounds like this guy belongs in some kind of boy band.

17. New England - DE JJ Watt, Wisconsin - The Patriots just beef up the line... or they trade the pick away as they typically do to gather more 3rd rounders.

Other interesting picks...

28. New England - RB Mark Ingram, Alabama - The Pats stop the free-fall, and grab the Heisman winner.
2nd round, Carolina- QB Dalton, TCU - He has red hair. I can't think of any other red-headed QBs.
2nd round, Cincy - QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas - He is immobile. I think it's really difficult to succeed in the NFL as a QB without some marginal amount of mobility.
2nd round, Washington - QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada - I don't know who he is, but the Redskins need a QB, and this guy is 6'5", and rated right behind Dalton, so I guess it's this guy!
2nd round, San Francisco - QB Christian Ponder, Florida St - I guess it's the best available QB????

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Thoughts: Readying for the Draft

Well it's been awhile since I've wrote anything but I shall endeavor to get back to the routine. damn you working world.....So without further ado....

NFL Draft
I don't remember a draft as uncertain as this one. Is anyone really certain about who anyone is taking? Partially this a function that nearly all of the players have serious question marks. I couldn't say if this is a deep draft but it certainly seems to be one lacking bonafide clear cut stars at the top. This isn't to say some boom/bust picks will turn out to be booms, but a priori.... very unclear..

Speaking of unprecedented.....um what the hell is going on with the Dodgers? I'm hoping that MLB is filming a faux documentary and just needed extra tension because otherwise it seems like a debacle of the highest order in one of baseball's more precious markets. How does this turn out? No seriously, I'm asking.....no clue

Big 10 Football
I'm still trying to avoid mocking the leaders and legends nomenclature and it's going to be especially hard given the Big 10 having so many questions at QB. Despite Spring games coming and going all of the major programs in the Big 10 have uncertainty at football's most important spot. This does not portend well for the Big 10 this season.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gutsy's Biased 2011 NBA Playoff Preview

The time has come... for the NBA Playoffs! There's not much excitement (on paper anyways) in the 1st round outside of a couple of Western Conference series. So... let's start out there:

Western Conference
1-Spurs vs. 8-Memphis - Yawn. Spurs will win. However, the Grizzlies will win their first playoff game in franchise history. Don't ask me how they got swept every other time.
Pick: Spurs in 5 (but huge Memphis moral victory)

4-Ok City vs. 5-Denver - This is the most exciting first round matchup in the entire playoffs. Ok City's record since acquiring Kendrick Perkins: 19-6. Denver's record since dumping Carmelo and picking up Felton, Galinari, Chandler, and that Center, T. Mozgov: 17-7. These have been the two hottest teams in the league the 2nd half. The teams most likely to spring a major upset and make noise in the playoffs... and unfortunately playing each other. The best part about Perkins for Ok City? Not only do they get a bona fide center, they get to slide Serge Ibaka to PF (a more natural fit). The best part about Denver's trade? They get insane, active minutes from super fast PGs (Felton and Ty Lawson, though Lawson just got injured in the season finale), and they upgraded depth at SG (Chandler) and now can run the entire damn game. Look, this should be a very fun series to watch no matter what happens, but I will just assume Kevin Durant begins his ascent to super-duper-stardom and wins this series.
Pick: Ok City in 6

3-Dallas vs. 6-Portland - A lot of analysts believe Dallas is ripe for another 1st-round letdown. I don't see it. Brandon Roy's knees still aren't great. Portland did get Gerald Wallace at the deadline, and he has been playing out of his mind, but Dallas has to seize the moment while they still have Tyson Chandler and B. Haywood (because Chandler's a free agent after the season). This series isn't as interesting as Denver-Ok City, but could prove to just be another sad moment for Dallas fans.
Pick: Dallas in 6

2-Lakers vs. 7-Hornets - The Hornets lost PF D. West to injury. They have no chance, even with PG Chris Paul.
Pick: Lakers in 5

Eastern Conference
1-Chicago vs. 8-Pacers - Pacers have no shot.
Pick: Bulls in 4

4-Magic vs 5-Hawks- The Hawks have been awful, the Magic have been inconsistent. Yuck. Magic should still pull this out, if for no other reason than because the Hawks still have no one who can guard Dwight Howard
Pick: Magic in 6

3-Bos vs. 6-Knicks - The Knicks don't play any defense and have holes all over the place after giving up most of their regulars to get Carmelo this season. Rondo will run circles around Billups.
Pick: Bos in 5

2-Miami vs. 7-76ers - The 76ers are certainly the biggest surprise for playoff teams this year. They GAVE UP their starting center (Dalembert) for nothing... and because of a healthy season of Brand, and better play from just about everyone else, here they are in the playoffs. The 76ers have Igoudala and T. Young to guard LeBron (which is better than most teams). Ah.. who am I kidding.
Pick: Miami in 5

I have to keep predicting... there's no way around it (especially this year, when the 1st round matchups are so uninteresting). It's tradition for me to pick... and pick incorrectly!

2nd round
1-Spurs vs. 4-Thundercats - I don't know what to make of the Spurs. They started out hotter than any NBA team in history... rested a lot of people, stumbled around a bit. I just honestly don't understand how they can guard Durant and Westbrook in the playoffs. In a bit of irony, the last game the Thunder played with Jeff Green was against the Spurs (which the Spurs won). The Spurs have yet to play the Thunder with Kendrick Perkins... and I think that could make a huge difference for them.
Pick: Thunder in 7

3-Mavs vs. 2-Lakers - The Lakers will beat whoever survives the Mavs-Blazers
Pick: Lakers in 5

1-Bulls vs. 4-Magic - This is a very important series... I think the Bulls need to win because they have enough bigs to dominate the Heat. Seriously though, it should be a great series and anything can happen. Howard should be able to do whatever he wants, and Derrick Rose will most likely be able to do whatever he wants. The Magic have just looked so out-of-sync since making all the acquisitions, and I just can't trust them this year.
Pick: Bulls in 6

2-Heat vs. 3-Celtics - It's so damn annoying that the Celtics don't have any healthy centers (Shaq injured, Kendrick traded, old men J. O'Neal and N. Krstic are all that's left. The Heat's biggest weakness, as shown again and again this season, is the fact that Chris Bosh is a terrible defender, and the center position is a huge weakness. Can KG, Big Baby, and whoever is healthy enough to play center cause enough trouble for the Heat??? Not the way the Celtics have looked of late. They really need someone to get healthy fast at center.
Pick: Heat in 6

Conference Finals
1-Bulls vs. 2-Heat - The Bulls should be able to smash the Heat. Between Noah and Boozer (and Asik and K. Thomas off the bench), the Bulls will own the glass, control the paint, and vanquish my personal nightmare of the Heat winning the NBA crown.
Pick: Bulls in 7

4-Thundercats vs. 2-Lakers - Let's read the latest on A. Bynum: Bone bruise in his knee (where else?) No one has any idea what kind of shape he'll be in (or what kind of shape he'll be in a month from now during the heart of the playoffs). The Lakers success depends on him, but I tend to think the Lakers will make this last run before yielding (plus, Ok City in the finals would be my emotional side going too far. They could just as easily lose to Denver in the 1st round!)
Pick: Lakers in 6

NBA Finals
1-Bulls over 1-Lakers. I'm just picking the Bulls... Bynum or not. The Bulls will win because the Lakers certainly don't have anyone to guard D. Rose.
Pick: Bulls in 7

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week in Review: April

Well it's been awhile since I wrote anything but here's a few thoughts on the week that ways

Yes Schwartzel is the newest Master champion but I think a lot of the story is Rory Mcilroy's absolute collapse. A plus 8 after a 4 hole lead? Triple bogeys? Wow. Can he recover? I don't know. But this is a pretty historic collapse.

It's a very long season so anything that happens April will soon be forgotten by August....However Boston's slow start seems important. Boston was expected to dominate after winning the off-season or whatever. But so far a very slow start.

Manny ended his career the only way it could have ...mindnumbling stupid....Manny, an idiot savant of hitting, left a wreckage of stupid moves. So I'd say it was a shame but it's not...just Manny exiting stage right as only he could....

Playoffs have started. Fill in any comments as you see fit...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

NBA Notes 2010-2011: Surprises and Disappointments

With the NCAA Tournament finished, it's time to turn attention to the NBA...

Let's first look at some individual surprise performances for the season:

Biggest Surprises

1) Derrick Rose, Chicago - The offseason workouts of him, Kevin Love, and Westbrook were not only legendary for being grueling... but proved to have instant results for all three! Derrick Rose (25.2 ppg, 7.9 assists, improved to 33% on 3-pointers (was averaging 24% previously)). Was pre-ranked at 42, currently ranked 9th).
2) Kevin Love, Minnesota - Pre-ranked 41, currently ranked 5th. 20.2 ppg, 15.2 rebs, 41% 3-point shooting (previously 33%). He put up huge numbers on a bad team. Granted, these weren't just big numbers, they were mind-blowing numbers! 15.2 rebs! Damn! I love the 3-point shot he's developed too. My guess is no other leading rebounder has made that many 3-pointers... or lost this many games.
3) Elton Brand, Philly - Pre-ranked 82, currently ranked 20th. 14.9 ppg, 8.4 rebs, 51% FG%, career-low 1.3 TOs, career-high 77% FT%. Amazing. I never thought Brand would return to do anything... and instead he's been very efficient in all aspects of his game in helping the 76ers make a surprising return to the playoffs.
4) Dorell Wright, Golden State - Pre-ranked 140, currently ranked 17th. 16.4 ppg (last year 7.1!), 5.3 rebs, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 38.6% 3-pointers. I actually couldn't remember this guy. He was on the Heat last year, but his rights were renounced... he then signed with Golden State for $3.5 million. That is one of the steals of the off-season!
5) Al Jefferson, Utah - His team may have gone in the tank, but his numbers (19.9 ppg, 9.7 rebs, 1.9 blocks) still were better than expected (pre-ranked 25, currently 8th).

Biggest Disappointments
1) Joe Johnson, ATL - As almost expected, Joe Johnson signed his max-contract... and then promptly had large declines in his production this year. Pre-ranked 27, he is currently ranked 97. His numbers 18.5 ppg, which is his first non-20ppg season since 2005, 0.7 steals (lowest since his rookie year), and... a despicable 30.1% 3-point shooting percentage! Ouch.
2) Aaron Brooks, HOU/Phoenix - This just makes me sad. Just two years ago, he was creating havoc in the playoffs for the Rockets and almost helped them take down the Lakers. Now... he played himself out of the starting job and into a backup job on Phoenix. Pre-ranked 55, ranked 220 (based on his average stats). 11ppg, 3.8 assists, 30% 3-point land, 37% FG%. Last year, he was at 19.6 ppg, 5.3 assists, 39.8% 3-point land, 43% FG%. Damn. What a lousy year!
3) OJ Mayo, Memphis - Pre-ranked 70, ranked 154 now. Almost got traded at the deadline, but paperwork filed incorrectly. Not even joking. His scoring dipped from 17.5 ppg to 11.3 ppg, assists from 3.0 to 2.0, FG% from 45.8 to 41.3.
4) Corey Maggette, Milwaukee - Talk about a bad acquisition... his scoring has dipped from 19.8 to 12.5; rebs from 5.3 to 3.8; assists from 2.5 to 1.3; FG% from 51 to 45%. Minutes have decreased, but turnovers almost the same! Ouch. Pre-rank 93, now ranked 252.
5) Mo Williams, CLE/Clippers - It pains me to raise his name, but it's true. His production wasn't as good and then he got injured for most of the year (which severely impacted his shot %). Pre-raniked 43, now ranked 157. 14.1 ppg, 30.4% 3point% (career 38.5% shooter).

Tarrence Kinsey Award
Back in the 2006-2007 season, my fantasy basketball team was in trouble, and it was the end of the season. I ended up picking up a guy I never heard of but who had been playing well. His name? Tarence Kinsey from the Minnesota T-wolves. The 6'6" SG Kinsey ended up averaging 18.9 ppg, 4.1 rebs, and 2.23 steals per game between March 24th and April 18th of that season. This amazingly unexpected production powered my team to the finals of my fantasy basketball season. Thus, when any person I've never heard of before goes ballistic during the last month of the season, I decide to give them the "Tarence Kinsey award."

This year, the award goes to someone I've heard of... but many other people probably haven't heard of him... Congratulations to Kris Humphries!

From Feb. 26 to March 30, Kris Humphries, a PF on the NJ Nets, has been averaging 14.3 ppg, 14.6 rebs, and 1.7 blocks! Congratulations!

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Journalist Running for Fifa President

For those who don't know, FIFA, the governing body of soccer, has elections to see who will be president. How does it work? Anyone in the world can be president... but one of the member countries have to PUBLICLY nominate you, then the same member countries (over 200 of them) choose the President by SECRET BALLOT.

Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl is not a fan of the lack of transparency... so he decided to make a run at getting nominated for FIFA President!

I highly recommend checking out his article here recounting what happened.

Some highlights:

-due to political pressure within FIFA, Chile decided it wouldn't even nominate a former soccer superstar from their own country
-Grant Wahl being told other countries would vote for him... but none could NOMINATE him for fear of the political reprecussions
-Grant Wahl running around the globe trying to convince one of the member countries to nominate him!