Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cereal Offender

Kevin Garnett is a well-known trash talker who will say anything to get under an opponent's skin. His tactics worked on Carmelo Anthony who completely lost his cool because of Garnett's physical and verbal assault.
Melo tried to confront Garnett after the game, waiting in the tunnel for him to board the Celtics team bus.

Why was Melo so angry? KG reportedly told him that his wife, LaLa tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios. Melo got a one-game suspension for this which I felt was totally unjustified. Melo didn't actually do anything. He may have contemplated something, or attempted something, but like attempted murder, it's unfair to punish someone for a crime they didn't commit. If anything, for infractions actually committed, Garnett should have been whacked.

But at least LaLa has a good sense of humor about it, suggesting on Twitter that they all deserve a check from Honey Nut Cheerios for all the free advertising.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekly Picks

Another week, another ill-fated best bet. What else is new?

baltimore +9 DENVER
I think Denver will win. I think they are the eventual Super Bowl champions, I just think this game could be a little more difficult than we expect.

SAN FRANCISCO -3 green bay
This is probably the toughest game of the weekend to call but I'll go with the home team and the better defense.

seattle +2 1/2 ATLANTA
The Seahawks might be a team of destiny. They're really good and Atlanta seems to be one of those teams we've seen recently, really hot start to the season, coast down the stretch and never reach that level of play in the playoffs. Plus, they may not have been that good to begin with.

NEW ENGLAND -9 1/2 houston

The Patriots killed the Texans when they played in the regular season and that was only 1 month ago. It's been proven that blowouts in the regular season don't have a correlation to the playoffs but everything about this game says New England blowout to me.

Last Week: 2-2 (1 point)
Season: 38-51 (28 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (4-14)
Home Favorites: 1-0 (13-22)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (6-4)
Road Favorites: 1-0 (11-15)
Road Underdogs: 0-2 (8-10)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Wanted to Punch Him Too

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a professional shit-stirrer. Redskins lineman Trent Williams had enough of his shit by the end of the playoff game last week. Sherman was miked up for NFL Films, you can see him throughout the game being a dick to opposing players, the referees, and even the fans.

I'm surprised that Sherman didn't retaliate, and that a punch from a guy as big and strong as Williams didn't hurt more.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Song of the Week

"My Ship is Comin' In" - Jimmy Radcliffe
"You can throw away that shabby dress
Buy yourself the finest things in town girl.
Dry your eyes, we're celebratin'
Oh there's so much happiness waitin'
Baby, my ship is coming in"

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A Few Things On Which Murray Chass and I Agree

My dislike for baseball writer Murray Chass is now well-known. It started in 1997, when I asked him if steroids were a big part of baseball and he dismissed me with a sneer. Now Chass is taking my position (a position I have grown into) steroids users should not be in the Hall of Fame. He also agrees that he shouldn’t have a vote, he’s giving his up. But not before he casts one – or two – defiant votes in favor of Jack Morris.
Let’s start with the steroid users. I’ve made a minor adjustment in my position and I would seek to ban all steroid users from the Hall of Fame. I admit that’s is hard-line, and my strict adherence to this principle may end up being capricious and unfair but it’s better than any other way of voting.
Some voters just say let everyone in, forget steroids, just judge based on performance whether it was steroid-aided or not. I can’t stomach that.
Others say vote in the guys who would have been Hall of Famers based on their pre-steroid performance.
Others want to punish anyone linked to steroids but not cast aspersions on those whose names (if not their bodies) have remained clean.
Here’s why I feel so absolute: It’s impossible to know when players started taking steroids. They’re liars, we can’t believe them. It’s impossible to know how their careers would have turned out fir not for steroids keeping them healthy and prolonging their primes.
It’s not fair to allow those who didn’t get caught or admit it while other better players who did the same thing got left out. If anything, we should let in the admitted users, in hopes to smoke everyone out and to get a better understanding of what exactly went on.
Please don’t tell me: players in the 50s and 60s were using amphetamines. It’s not even close to being the same thing in terms of effect on performance.
Steroids weren’t against the rules. Yes they were. They were against the law. Using illicit drugs was against baseball’s rules. Failure to enforce those rules is shameful, but it doesn’t absolve the rule breakers.

So here’s what I’ve got: Bonds and Clemens are out because they’re known steroids users.

Palmeiro and Manny are out because they failed tests.
Sosa, Bagwell and Piazza are out because of serious suspicions about them. I put Craig Biggio in that group too.
So that could result in an entire era of players, stars from the 90s and 00s, pretty much wiped out of the Hall. I’m ok with that. Hopefully a new breed of stars like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Buster Posey will fill those vacancies in the Hall and in our hearts.

Now, if I had a ballot for this year I would cast one vote: for Tim Raines. He was one of the greatest players at his position during his time period. No he wasn’t Rickey Henderson but he was close enough that he warrants induction as well. I would never vote for Jack Morris. His 3.90 ERA would be one of the worst of any pitcher in the Hall. His career ERA+ (adjusted for park and run-scoring environment) of 105 means he was barely an above-average pitcher. Yes he had a few great postseason games which is nice, but not enough to elevate an above-average pitcher to greatness.

The Best Part of the BCS Title Game

If you watched the BCS National Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame you probably turned it off at some point as Alabama kicked Notre Dame's ass. But I hope you stuck around long enough to see this:

The ESPN crew shows AJ McCarron's incredibly hot beauty queen, model girlfriend, Katherine Webb in the stands. No problem there. The problem came when Brent Musburger who is legit 50 years older than Webb started fawning all over her.

"When you're the quarterback at Alabama, you see that lovely lady there. She does go to Auburn, don't admit that but she's also Miss Alabama and that's AJ McCarron's girlfriend. "You quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women. What a beautiful woman."
"Wow!" Herbstreit said.
"Whoa!" Musburger chimed in.
"AJ's doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa," Herbstreit said.
"If you're a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop," Musburger said.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The NFL is Poop - Wild Card Playoffs

Good Enough, But Not Good
I don't think the Houston Texans proved anything to anyone with this performance. They put together plenty of drives but could not finish, kicking four field goals instead of touchdowns. And that almost cost them the game. The Bengals had that one final drive that stalled late, after which Houston ran out the clock.
I actually think the Bengals should have gone for it. 4th and 11 is very unlikely. I like their chances better had they kicked a 54-yarder (no gimme) and with 3 minutes left tried to stop them and get the ball back for a final drive for a game-tying field goal.

Over Before It's Begun
You knew the Vikings had no chance to win this game once we found out Christian Ponder wasn't playing. It wasn't just the Joe Webb was bad (which he was) but that any real threat of the passing game was taken away and the Packers were able to key on Peterson, even more than they normally would have. I have been saying this about backup/young quarterbacks for a while now, their offensive coordinators are often their worst enemies. They go to incredibly conservative game plans which force the inexperienced QB to pass only in obvious passing situations, making it harder, because the defense knows he's going to pass.
With the way Aaron Rodgers played it was very possible the Packers would win this game no matter whom the Vikings started, but it seemed right from the outset the Vikings had no chance.

A Tangled Webb
I hate comparing all black quarterbacks to Michael Vick but in this case the comparison is incredibly apt. Webb is fast, and had some great runs. He has a wonderfully strong arm. Did you see the pass to Jerome Simpson over the middle, overthrown by ten yards? Or the one down the sidelines intercepted by Sam Shields, which was only overthrown by 5? It wasn't just the strong arm that was completely inaccurate, it was his uncertainty in the pocket, waiting, waiting, waiting for a receiver to come open, and taking sacks. And at least two ridiculous passes where Webb flung the ball up in the air, in the middle of the field, instead of taking a sack. Neither was picked off, but both could have been. In all it was a positively Vick-ian performance from a QB who like Vick has all the physical tools but not of the intangibles needed to be a winning quarterback, especially in the playoffs.

Someone Cover Anquan Boldin
Despite some terrible offense and many failures in the red zone the Indianapolis Colts were actually in this game until they let Anquan Boldin run wild in the second half.
Here were his catches:
50 yards on 3rd and 19 (when it was still 10-6)
10 yards on 1st and 10 (to start a drive)
46 yards (to set up the TD that put the Ravens up 17-6)
21 yards (keying another promising drive that was short circuited by a Ray Rice fumble on the next play)
18 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory
5 catches, 145 yards, all in the second half, many of them incredible catches.
Andrew Luck wasn't good and he didn't make the plays that needed to be made the way Joe Flacco and especially Anquan Boldin did.

It Can't End Like This
Ray Lewis is one of the greatest players in NFL history and his career is almost over. He missed a big chunk of the season with a triceps injury but made a comeback for the playoffs, one final hurrah in front of the home crowd. But this wasn’t Willie Mays limping around during the 1973 World Series. Lewis though diminished, (2000 Ray never would have dropped that interception) still had 13 tackles and was a major force on defense, and I suppose more of an inspirational leader for his defense than I thought he could be.

In fact, they love him so much in Baltimore they gave him one last chance to perform his dance, even at the risk of being bad sports. On the final play, the kneeldown, Lewis took the position as deep back behind the quarterback. And after Flacco took a knee, Lewis launched into his famous dance, wowing the home crowd for one final time. If he decides to stick to his retirement promise.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Why must my teams not only lose, but do so in the most painful fashion possible? Not just a loss, a playoff loss at home. And not just a playoff loss at home, a playoff loss at home, after blowing a 14-0 lead. And not just a playoff loss at home after blowing a 14-0 lead, the star quarterback also got hurt, who knows how seriously.
Let’s start with the game. There is no question Mike Shanahan should have taken RG3 out. There were plenty of chances to do it. The first time he got hurt, after that run when he limped to the sidelines, after the offense became ineffective because Seattle knew he couldn’t scramble, after he got sacked because he couldn’t run through the wide-open lane. If Shanahan has some balls he takes RG3 out then and Cousins at least gives the Redskins a chance to win.
I don’t blame RG3 for wanting to stay in, I blame Shanahan for not doing what was best for the team.
And now not only did we lose that game, there’s a possibility he could have suffered an even more serious injury that could affect him next year and perhaps beyond.
Maybe this is the downside of having a quarterback who plays this style, he’s going to get hurt, and we just have to live with it. But where there was once so much promise, now there is just a lot of worry.