Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The Fickle Field Goal of Fate With the collapse of the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, the San Diego Chargers controlled their own future. Beat the Chiefs, make the playoffs, lose and the 8-8 Steelers get in. Oh yeah, the Chiefs were also sitting many of their starters. But that might have actually worked against San Diego, as motivated KC backups, Chase Daniel and Knile Davis, led the Chiefs to a 24-14 4th quarter lead. The Chargers bounced back from that to tie the game but Daniel led a great drive to get KC into position for a 41-yard field goal attempt from Ryan Succop. A very makeable field goal, with two teams' playoffs hopes on the line. And he missed.
Monday, December 30, 2013
We've been chronicling gruesome sports injuries (that's your hint squeamish Poopheads) for many years here at the Poop and nothing may ever top the Kevin Ware injury in terms of national scope because it occurred in the NCAA Tournament with millions of people watching. But, in terms of stature of athlete, Anderson Silva, unquestionably the greatest fighter in UFC history, is the biggest star we've ever cataloged in this space. In his rematch fight with Chris Weidman, in an effort to regain the middleweight title he gave away in March by hot-dogging, Silva, lost the first round, and then early in the second round threw a leg kick. Weidman, who ate several leg kicks in the first fight, check the kick with his shin, and Silva's leg fractured. Here's the moment of impact: Corey Hill injury because it happened in exactly the same way, but in that fight, Hill was hopping around and Joe Rogan was screaming "STOP THE FIGHT!!!" And again, this happened to a huge star in a title fight on a PPV bought by a million people. Silva broke his fibula and tibia and immediately had them both surgically repaired. He's 38 and will be 39 (April 14) by the time he'll be healthy enough to fight again. I fully expect him to come back, fight once more next summer/fall and rematch Weidman about a year from now. But I wouldn't be shocked if the last image of this great champion is him lying on the mat screaming in agony as his lower leg hung loosely inside his skin. But it would be very sad.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
My hot streak continues, 14-6 in the last 4 weeks, unfortunately missed the last two best bets. Some interesting games here, as I am always suspicious of the team that needs the win vs. the team that has nothing to play for. Desire doesn't always translate. carolina -6 1/2 ATLANTA The Panthers should be motivated to try here and even if they don't they should still beat the Falcons by a TD. jacksonville +11 1/2 INDIANAPOLIS Colts can potentially improve their playoff position with a win here, but the Jags have been frisky and I think this spread should be pretty easy to cover. NEW ORLEANS -12 1/2 tampa bay The Saints lost last week in a tough one to the Panthers and now they are coming home. Also they need to win to keep the Cardinals out of the playoffs and I just know that is going to happen. kansas city +9 1/2 SAN DIEGO The Chiefs are the only team that is locked into its seed right now. They have nothing to play for and the Chargers do have an outside shot. But the Chiefs don't want to limp in the playoffs after two straight blowouts and Andy Reid is just stupid enough to play his best players for a good portion of the game. BEST BET TENNESSEE -6 houston Not sure why I am doing this except that I actually think the most predictable games are the ones with two teams that have nothing to play for. I figure it should be also easy to predict how Houston will play since they've been horrible even when they have been trying. Last Week: 4-1 (3 points) Season: 41-39 (32 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (5-11) Home Favorites: 1-0 (18-17) Home Underdogs: 1-0 (2-1) Road Favorites: 1-1 (11-10) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (10-11)
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
WestJet Airlines decided to do something really nice for some of their passengers this holiday season. They set up a booth in the Toronto and Hamilton airports, and when their passengers checked in, they told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. While the flights were in the air, WestJet employees went shopping and bought the presents that were requested, and when the passengers arrived in Calgary their gifts were on the conveyor belt. Believe it or not some people are actually complaining about this video saying that this was all a publicity stunt by the airline, or that this just feeds into the naked consumerism that has overtaken the holiday. If this video brought either one of those thoughts to your head, before it brought a smile to your face or a tear to your eye, then you are way more cynical, and much more in need of holiday spirit than the people at WestJet.
"Jesus" - Kem featuring Patti LaBelle and Ron Isley Three of my favorite singers singing about one of my favorite guys. Occasionally I struggle with gospel music because I don't know whether the song is about a cute boy, or about Jesus. I think this one is pretty clear.
Incredbile Peyton Manning broke one of the most important single-season records for a quarterback by hitting Julius Thomas for his 51st touchdown of the year. This week he can, if he plays enough, pass Drew Brees for the single-season yardage record as well, he only needs 267 yards. I know Manning is a product of his system, they let him throw, a lot. But he isn't David Klingler at the University of Houston. Manning is leading a great NFL team, a leading Super Bowl contender, winning games first, and putting up gaudy passing numbers while doing it. The fact that he is 37, after a major injury and a team change, makes what he is doing even more remarkable. I've often criticized him for his frequent failures in the playoffs, but no matter what happens this year we all have to be in awe of how great a quarterback he is this year, and for all the seasons before.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
2013 was a great year in the life of The Poop especially as it regards all the awesome sporting events I went to. There was the Rangers game in the amazing seats, the Jon Jones title fight, the Home Run Derby, the field passes at CitiField, Chase's first Knicks game, the last appearance by Syracuse in the Big East Tournament, and of course the Final Four in Atlanta, which I went to with my best friend Billy. A fitting way to end the year was enjoying a game in style. Since Billy is a bigwig at a company with a suite he asked for the tickets to the Bears game. He donned his Walter Payton jersey, and I wore a Bears shirt to support my buddy and we entered into enemy territory. old DMX song, with a line I had never quite understood. It refers to a very popular line of Reeboks, which I later learned had been commonly referred to by the price they cost, after tax. The shoes sold for 49.99, when you added New York's old 8.25% tax rate ($4.12) you got...54-11.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
A garbage touchdown by the Jets cost me a perfect 6 and a winning record for the season. Look how close to .500 I am all across the board, all types of bets. indianapolis +7 1/2 KANSAS CITY The Chiefs have been on fire. The Colts are very questionable but they have performed much better against good teams than bad ones. denver -10 1/2 HOUSTON The Broncos still need this game for homefield so they will come out guns blazing, except Welker. CINCINNATI -7 1/2 minnesota The Bengals look horrible in losing to Pittsburgh on Sunday Night. The Vikings looked great in scoring 48 points against the Eagles. JACKSONVILLE +5 tennessee The Jags are actually playing much better lately. And I have only picked 2 home dogs all season. BEST BET dallas -2 1/2 WASHINGTON I hate doing this but Dallas has been embarrassed all week, and they need this game and the Redskins are just sooooooo bad, the spread is so small and Shanahan doesn't even seem like he wants to win. The only wild card here is Kirk Cousins. If he has a great game against a shitty defense, that's the only way the Redskins can win. Last Week: 4-1 (3 points) Season: 37-38 (32 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (5-10) Home Favorites: 1-1 (17-17) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 2-0 (10-9) Road Underdogs: 1-0 (9-11)
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The Poop is poker's newest thousandaire.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Who Wants It? After an entire season of Denver and New England going back and forth at the top of the AFC, both teams have hit the skids recently. The Broncos turned in a prime time stinker against the Chargers and the Patriots needed a miracle to beat the Browns but lost Rob Gronkowski which proved to be a huge loss when the Patriots followed that up by losing to the Dolphins. That loss opened the door for the Bengals...who got smoked by the Steelers. The Colts are 9-5 but maddeningly inconsistent, so it would be hard to pick them to win the AFC. That leaves one team, with the best record in the conference, the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes they had a 3 game losing streak, but two of those losses were to Denver, and they have rebounded nicely by scoring 101 points in two games. They went from sleeper, to pretender, to serious threat, in the span of a month. Home is Where the Heart Is Meanwhile in the NFC, there are two top contenders, Seattle and New Orleans, that are completely different teams. They share one thing in common, they are both dominant at home and iffy on the road. I can't believe New Orleans dropped that stinker in St. Louis, and though the Seahawks dominated the Giants, I'm not sure how much that tells us. At this point it would be very har to pick anyone else to win the NFC besides Seattle. Game of the Week Green Bay Packers 37 Dallas Cowboys 36 An epic collapse has sent the entire franchise into disarray. Jerry Jones blaming Jason Garrett. Jason Garrett blaming Bill Callahan and Tony Romo. And everyone pointing the finger at Dez Bryant. But I want to talk about Tony Romo. This is the second game this season (the 51-48 loss to Denver was the first), when he had an amazing game, but made one big mistake late that hurt the team. But we shouldn't let it overshadow the amazing comeback by the Packers, with Matt Flynn leading them to 5 touchdowns in the second half. Flynn is another mystery/enigma we can deal with another time. Crybaby? More like Lie-Baby Dez Bryant walked off the field late in that game, but before time had officially run out. I don't buy that it sends the message that he is walking out on his team, but I also don't buy his excuse that he went inside the locker room to cry where no one could see him. What it does tell me, is that he a selfish guy who cares very little about anyone but himself. He didn't care about anyone or anything when he took improper benefits from Deion Sanders, or when he lied to the NCAA investigators about it or when he screamed at his teammates on the sidelines. Randy Moss had similar attitude problems, and even did the same walk off early thing, and had similar tremendous physical gifts and he had a very successful career. Bryant is so good, and so troublesome, his career will likely trace a similar arc. A Brief Rant About the Redskins This team is in a pickle. It's not just the injury, Robert Griffin III played horribly. At his best RGIII is miles ahead of Cousins at his best. But what if RGIII is never at his best again? I don't think you can trade Cousins in the offseason because you need some insurance, and even if he plays 3 good games, you won't get much back for him. Better to just keep him. But definitely fire Mike Shanahan. He should have played for overtime. Game of Next Week Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs. There are a few good ones this week including New England at Baltimore, but I am anxious to see if one of these teams assert themselves as a real contender in the AFC. This is also a possible first round preview. If the Super Bowl Were Played Today Seattle Seahawks 21 Kansas City Chiefs 17 We've spent most of the column addressing this already, but I have doubts about Denver and New England, and Kansas City has looked amazing in the past two weeks. No way anyone goes into Seattle and beats the Seahawks. I just don't see it happening.
I have often criticized Sean Keeley, author of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician (the blog of record for Syracuse University sports) as having gotten too big for his britches. And I still may be correct on that one, but I have to give him credit for an awesome idea of his that really took off. Keeley posted that since many SU fans would not be able to get to the Texas Bowl in Houston to see the Orange play Minnesota, they should donate some money, and if he could raise $10,000, the money could send roughly 200 kids from local youth organizations to the game to cheer in our stead. Like I said, the idea really took off, donations are close to $20,000 and Texas Bowl organizers lowered the ticket price to $20 from $50, meaning sending 1,000 kids, giving them SU shirts, and hot dogs and drinks, is now a reasonable goal. The only problem is finding enough kids.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The producers of "Girl Meets World" posted this picture, the "Boy Meets World" cast then (1996) and now, 17 years later.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Hockey can be a dangerous game. There are angry guys with sticks shooting frozen rubber discs at up to 100 miles an hour. And oh yeah, they are wearing very sharp skates on their feet. Every once in a while one of those skates cuts someone. That's what happened to Sebastian Courcelles during a Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey (LNAH) game in Quebec. Warning: if you have a vagina you will probably not want to see this picture.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
One year ago today a lunatic went into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut shot 26 people, 20 of them small children, before killing himself. I'm sure all or most of you remember his name. But I remember a different name. I remember Chase Kowalski. He shares the same name as my son. And every day I thank God, the Universe, Jesus, Mohammed and several idols, that it wasn't my Chase's school, his kindergarten class that became the site of one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history. And every time I call him by his name, I think about the poor Kowalskis who don't have their Chase anymore. When someone sings "all the other boys, try to chaaaaaase me" they don't laugh, they cry. So I will always remember Chase Kowalski.
Two best bets in a row, it's a Christmas miracle. arizona -2 1/2 TENNESSEE I can't help it, I love the Cardinals. seattle -6 1/2 NEW YORK GIANTS Although I have major doubts about Seattle on the road, I am confident that they will bounce back strong after losing a tough one last week. INDIANAPOLIS -5 1/2 houston The Texans might be the second worst team in the league, but the Colts can't get their shit together. baltimore +5 1/2 DETROIT I don't trust the Lions and I think the Ravens are going to go down fighting. They are in playoff position right now, but have 3 very tough games left. If they can beat the Lions though they still have a good chance to make the playoffs. BEST BEST CAROLINA -11 new york jets Carolina coming off a bad loss. The Jets coming off a win, this one could get ugly. Last Week: 3-2 (4 points) Season: 33-37 (29 points) Best Bets: 1-0 (5-9) Home Favorites: 2-1 (16-16) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (1-1) Road Favorites: 1-0 (8-9) Road Underdogs: 0-1 (8-11)
Friday, December 13, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
"The One" - Tamar Braxton There's three things I'm a sucker for in music: a male/female duet, a clear story in the lyrics, and excellent use of a sample. There's no man here, the lyrics are scattered but it's one of the best samples ever. "It was all a dream!"
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Let It Snow A beautiful to cuddle up someplace warm and watch NFL football on a high-definition screen. Snow falling all over the east coast as game in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington and especially Philadelphia provided a beautiful winter tableau. But far from what you would expect, we had a scoring outburst, that helped set an NFL single-day record for touchdowns with 88. Those 4 games featured 30 touchdowns, and the overall point totals were 54, 55, 55 and 62.
Monday, December 09, 2013
During the amazing run of Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16, the only person more caught up in the excitement than I, was Billy. He loved the style of play, Dunk City hot wife, Amanda Marcum Enfield