I’ve gotta go get my college football picks in, but here’s some tunes to get your Saturday (or Saturday night) started. Legend has it this was made by a friend of a friend, but no favortism here. It’s got cool camera angles and a lot of other stuff I like: the song, better yet the Wayman Tisdale verson of the song, bart, head-bobbing, and the always popular surveillance cam shot.
Monthly Archives: October 2010
I finally had a good week, going 4-2. I didn’t think it was ever going to happen, but I knew the odds had to even out a little eventually. Sad part is I’m not sure what I did right last week, so it might be impossible to duplicate. Either way, I kind of hope I do bad this week to get all the bad luck out of my system, because I’m heading to Vegas next weekend, so I should save all that luck for when I’m there. Here’s to going 0-5 this week, ohh yeaaa!!
I can’t complain much about a .500 weekend in picks, I’ve definitely fared worse. Coming into this week, it still baffles me how the 49ers are considered favorites almost every week. It’s like the odd makers are just giggling in a back room somewhere, saying, “Could we actually get away with this, again?” Fool me once odd makers, and shame on you, but fool me four times! Well, as far as this week is concerned, I’m unsure where to find an edge when making a selection, as the slate of games on tap are tough to say the least. So I’m going straight to the belly, and doing gut feeling picks. Here goes nothing.
Week 7 (Chap 4-2, By 2-2) Overall (Chap 16-22-3, By 14-18-3)
Carolina (+3) @ St. Louis
Chappy picks St Louis (-3). You never really know what you’re going to get from week to week from the Rams. They play well and beat teams like the Chargers and Redskins, but then get blown out by a team like Detroit. Carolina on the other hand just doesn’t show up, and if I played for them, I’d question playing hard too. Why beat yourself up when you know you’re going to lose? The Panthers just make it impossible for me to pick them under any circumstance. The Rams will go into their bye week on a positive note with convincing win!
By picks St. Louis (-3): David Gettis looked like Randy Moss circa 1998 against the 49ers last week, enough so that I swooped him up in one of my fantasy leagues. What I failed to remember is, the 49ers suck. Matt Moore is a decent QB, but I don’t see a repeat performance against the Rams this week. St. Louis isn’t exactly the team to beat in the “NFC Weak” division, but then again, who is? A win here, coupled with a Seattle Seahawks’ loss, and the Rams are in good position. Steven Jackson looks like he’s back, and he’ll be the difference maker in this game. Rams by 10.
Green Bay @ NY Jets (-6)
By picks Green Bay (+6): Continue reading
#1 Seattle SuperSonics – This will most likely be the year of the “Durantula”. Winning Gold over the Summer in which the ball was placed squarely in Durant’s hands has me believing that he’s prime to take that next step towards league dominance. It’s like when Neo finally “got it” in the first (and only good) Matrix. I can talk about Durant forever, but it’s not like he’s alone out there in OKC. The maturation of Russell Westbrook has me thinking, Rajon Rondo? Yes, Westbrook can be that good. Plus in order to beat LA, you have to dominate the PG position, and Westbrook had his way with Fisher for the most part. Expect even more improvement from him, as he too benefited from the World Championships’. The pool of young talent doesn’t end there for OKC, as Jeff Green, James Harden and Serge Ibaka round out their core. Each of these players will contribute substantially to the team, with Harden being the most intriguing piece. Harden has looked good in the pre-season, and if he continues to play well, watch out! It’s refreshing to see a team like this built from the ground up. No huge free agent signings, no big trades. Aside from my beloved Warriors, I’ll be rooting for this team to succeed!
#2 LA Lakers – The Lakers may finish second in standings out West by season’s end, but they’re still the best team coming out of the conference. In fact, as much as it pains me to say it, they’re still the best team, period. Only question surrounding the Lakers is health. I’ve said this all Summer long, everyone’s worried about Kobe’s knee, but what they should be worried about is that finger he fractured last season. I don’t think he’s ever fully recovered from it, nor will he ever. Andrew Bynum’s timing on electing to have his knee surgery didn’t please anyone in the Lakers organization, but they’ll hold the fort down without him. Now, can he stay healthy once he returns? They’ll need Bynum out there come money time. This might be the season in which Pau Gasol gets the credit he deserves as being the Lakers’ best player. I still can’t believe the voters robbed him of the Finals MVP last season. Kobe went 6-24 in the biggest game of his career. Just saying. Nothing else to touch upon with this team, it’s Phil’s last ride, will it be off into the sunset? Hope not. Probably will.
#3 Houston Rockets – I’m finishing up these predictions today, which means I got a chance to watch the Rockets in action last night against the Lakers, and I must say, I’m impressed. Primarily by that explosive back court! Aaron Brooks and Kevin “Drake” Martin can light it up in an instance! I still like the combination of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis a little better, but the Brooks/Martin duo can do some serious damage. Of course the concern for Houston is if Martin can stay healthy. Over the past few seasons, he’s battled Andrew Bynum neck and neck for the title of “Most Fragile”. I’d put Greg Oden in that conversation too, but I feel sorry for the guy. Speaking of injuries, Yao Ming looked solid in his first regular season action in quite some time. He moved around fairly well, and once he shakes off some of that rust, he should be able to resemble his old self. Hopefully he’s healthier than what he’s letting off, and those “set” minutes slowly increase during the course of the season, because he’s a huge asset to the Rockets. Having Luis Scola makes up for a lot though. Ultimately, good coaching, solid role players, and big upside is why I’m high on the Rockets, but I know having them atop the South West division might be a bit of a stretch.
#4 Utah Jazz – Continue reading
During yesterday’s football Sunday all I could think about was the hoops season that is right around the corner. This years Warriors team is completely different than last year. Aside from Curry, Ellis, Biendris, Reggie Williams, and Branden Wright everyone else is new. Change isn’t a bad thing for us, which started this off season with the arrival of new ownership group, and a sort of new coach (sort of is because he’s been the W’s assistant for seven years). I was a little surprised that the Warriors made this many changes from last years team that we never really saw on the court together. The 2009 unit broke the record for games missed due to injuries, and half of our 9 man roster ended up being D-League call ups. Oh well, maybe management knew something, and this new crop of players can put up huge numbers in the games played column! I guess if you’re a new management team coming in, you’d want to get as far away from the Chris Cohan era as possible, so I don’t blame them for blowing up the team a little. I’m not expecting them to make the playoffs this year. I mean I could see that happening, but that would take a perfect transition with a lot of moving/new parts involved. I’m really just looking for improvement over the season. By had a much more optimistic expectations of them, putting them as the sixth seed in the west. I hope he’s right, but I’ll temper my expectations for the time being! Here’s the Warriors story lines I’m most intrigued with for the year.
Lee was our big long term acquisition this off season. I can’t lie, I haven’t seen him play very much. He seems to be a great blue collar type player that will give you Brian Cardinal type effort when he’s out there. In the limited time I’ve seen him play I can’t say he’s great at any one single thing, but very good at everything. It’s refreshing to have Lee and Curry as the franchise face after having quite a few slackers as our stars over the years. I do have one big question for Lee. Is going against true power forwards every night instead of going against centers going to hurt his productivity? While in NY, he was their center, going against opposing centers nightly, which he could out quick 90% of the time. I think that was a reason why he was able to put up such big numbers in scoring and rebounding. Now he will be guarded by quicker and more talented power forwards while also having to contain them on the other end of the floor. I’m not saying centers aren’t athletic, but forwards seem to be a lot more polished presently in today’s NBA. I’m also wondering how the roll on the pick and roll will go with Biens out on the floor. Center’s don’t really need to cover Biens because he has very limited offensive abilities. Will the sagging/cheating center leave Biens to clog up the lane making it tough on Lee to finish? We shall see.
Defense Continue reading
It wasn’t quite as exciting as the home win over San Diego two weeks ago, but it sure was nice to see the Raiders hang 59 points of the Broncos at Mile High. They’re lucky to get 59 points in four games, let alone four quarters. The Raiders got on the board quick with a 43 yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell to a wide open Zach Miller. Right about at that point I realized, WE HAVE A GAME. It’s a great feeling that a Raider fan only gets to experience three or four times a year. You never know when they’re going to show up. Even if you try to guess when they will, they definitely won’t. So today when I saw Campbell and Miller connect on their opening drive touchdown, I decided I’d better knock out my weekly Sunday chores now rather than wait till the second half when the Raiders are long out of it. I bounced out to the garage for what seemed like 5 minutes to vacuum my car, and when I came back in, it was 21-0! Fortunately, they weren’t done, so I got to see the next 38 points that followed. It was bittersweet that Darren McFadden’s four touchdowns went to my fantasy opponent, but for a win like this, I’ll take it. At least he had Kyle Orton… Anyway, now that the Raiders sit firmly in second place, just 1.5 games back of division leader Kansas City, it’s time for one of those can the Raiders be a playoff contender? Let’s predict their win-loss record game by game for the rest of the season and see where they end up deals…
Wk 7: @Denver. 59-14 Win. (3-4) The best Raiders performance of the last 7 seasons gives them a 2-0 record in the division.
Wk 8: Seattle. 13-24 Loss. (3-5) Seattle realizes it’s suddenly 4-2 and in the driver’s seat in the NFC West and decides to make a run at it.
Wk 9: Kansas City. 10-35 Loss. (3-6) The Chiefs continue with an easy schedule by cruising through Buffalo and have the division in their back pocket.
Wk 10: BYE (3-6) A tough matchup, but it’s usually the one week the Raiders never lose.
Wk 11: @Pittsburgh. 3-35 Loss. (3-7) Not sure how you manage to draw the Steelers in Pittsburgh two years in a row, but probably not gonna win two in a row.
Wk 12: Miami. 24-28 Loss. (3-8) Oakland’s had a tough time with Miami, only winning once this decade in the regular season. There was a shutout playoff victory in there.
Wk 13: @San Diego. 6-27 Loss. (3-9) I should’ve known they weren’t gonna be able to pull it off twice in a row.
Wk 14: @Jacksonville. 30-13 Win. (4-9) Ah, finally a game against a bad team. That always helps remind the Raiders they can be good.
Wk 15: Denver. 34-42 Loss. (4-10) The Broncos avenge their week 7 massacre behind three rushing TDs for Tim Tebow.
Wk 16: Indianapolis. 9-38 Loss. (4-11) The Colts are fighting for a playoff spot and the Raiders are downward spiraling into draft position. This can’t end well.
Wk 17: @Kansas City. 17-13 Win. (5-11) With the division sewn up, the Chiefs rest their starters and Oakland withstands a late game drive by Brodie Croyle to lock up another 5-11 season for Tom Cable.
Call me a pessimist if you must, just call me right when the season is over.
A so-so week for me. My picks have felt like Gary Busey looks. I swear at halftime of every game this weekend I thought I was a lock to win each pick, but unfortunately a lot of my teams were outscored in the second half just to disappoint me. At least I pulled out a .500 week for the first time in a few weeks, and am moving in the right direction. Maybe I should just be betting on the first half scores!
I had a “whatever” type weekend finishing 2-3-1. Any momentum or confidence I had from busting out the whooping sticks two weeks ago has faded. For some reason, all I can think about after writing that, is a line from Eminem’s Lose Yourself track, “Snap back to reality, OH, there goes gravity …” Anyway, Chappy and I both picked Baltimore over New England last week, and of course, both of us ended up on the short end of the stick with that selection. I’ll try not to peek over at who Chaps got this week for fear of an automatic loss. On a side note, picking teams this year has been terrible for me, I feel like a jester trying to entertain a King, only to fail and hear him say, “FEED HIM TO THE LINES!“
(Was that funny?)
Week 7 (Chappy 2-2-2, By 1-3-2) Overall (Chappy 12-20-3, By 12-16-3)
Pittsburgh (-3) @ Miami
Chappy picks Pittsburgh (-3), Will the Steelers defense be as good with James Harrison pulling up on hits because he’s scared of a fine? I doubt it! The Steelers stop teams that are good at running holding opposing offenses to only 63 yards a game on the ground. If the Dolphins have a shot in this one it will be because Bess and Marshall have big games. This is the first time in a couple of years that the whole Steelers defense is healthy, and they’ve shown what they can do when they are healthy. They usually fare well in these physical match ups. I think Ben shook off all the rust he may or may not have had against the lowly Browns last week, and could have a big game if they keep Cameron Wake out of his face. The Dolphins were blown out at home against the Jets and Patriots, making me think the Steelers should do the same…
By picks Pittsburgh (-3). What’s one way to steer controversy away from Ben Roethlisberger? How about steering it towards James Harrison? That’ll work. Ben Roethlisberger, in his return from suspension, wasn’t even mentioned last week! All the attention went to the league officials and James Harrison. Everybody saw the steep fine the league struck Harrison with for his “illegal” hit, then everybody witnessed Harrison “contemplate” retirement after, which resulted in everybody NOT believing in him , which followed by Harrison coming back to no one’s surprise, after his day off. Back to the games. As good as Pittsburgh has been these past few weeks, it’s pretty scary to see how they’ll look once Big Ben gets back into rhythm. Pittsburgh may be my favorite to win the Super Bowl as of now. I know Miami is coming off a big win against Green Bay, but nothing can prepare them for the beating they’re going to get from Team USA. The United Steelers of America. I wouldn’t be surprised if Harrison responds by trying to hit someone even harder than he did Masshisname? Or his boy, Cribbs. Pittsburgh big.
Cincinnati (+3.5) @ Atlanta
Chappy picks Atlanta (-3.5), Carson Palmer has been good at one thing this year, and that’s turning it over at the worst possible times, like in the redzone. Matt Ryan has been just as up and down, but his team is pulling out victories. For Palmer it doesn’t really matter who his receivers are when he’s throwing it to the opposing team. We might see Michael Turner re-emerge against the leagues 19th ranked rush defense. If Atlanta is for real, they need to beat this Bengals team convincingly, especially since they can’t really find their footing so far this year.
By picks Atlanta (-3). Atlanta ran into a road block last week in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t stop me from believing the Falcons are the top team in the NFC South. I think we know what we’re getting from Matt Ryan, a star that’s just on the brink of stardom, but the inconsistencies of Michael Turner and the Falcons running game has to improve for Atlanta to be truly considered a threat to dethrone the Saints as champs. The Bengals’ season has been filled with ups and downs, but surprisingly, there isn’t much controversy coming out Cincinnati considering who their star receivers are. But, with that said, both Chad OchoCinco and Carson Palmer have performed mediocre at best, and for the Bengals to be competitive, their two main stays must step up their game. I don’t see that happening at Atlanta this week, and I feel a three-point spread is too little. Falcons by 13.
Washington (+3) @ Chicago
Chappy picks Washington (+3), I can’t really stand watching either of these teams play. I guess I kinda like McNabb, but after that not a whole lot of love for anyone else. The Bears are piling up the injuries on defense, and it looks like McNabb could take advantage of that in this one. After starting 3-0 the Bears are starting to look like who we originally thought they were, a crappy team. I sort of feel bad for Cutler these past few weeks. He gets pounded every time he drops back. The Bears gave up 35 sacks in 2009. So far they’ve given up 27 sacks in six games for 2010. With the defense struggling, and the offense moving backwards half the time, I’ll take the points and Washington in this one. Besides McNabb is from Chicago, so I’m sure he’ll get some home-made chunky soup to enhance his superpowers.
Buffalo (+13) @ Baltimore
Chappy picks Baltimore (-13), the Bills are probably the worst team in the league. They could threaten the Lions 0-16 record, and looking at their schedule they really only have three more chances to win playing Cleveland, Detroit, and I’ll throw in the Jets since they play them week 17 when they will likely be resting their starters. I wonder if there’s a reverse of the 72 Dolphins, where the Lions would pop the champagne when someone matches their record so they aren’t alone in being remembered as the worst teams of all time?
San Francisco @ Carolina +3
By picks San Francisco (-3). San Francisco is coming off their biggest win of the season, their only win. I’m normally hard on the 49ers, and if it were any other opponent they were facing this weak aside from Carolina, I’d probably go with them. But Carolina might be one of the worst teams in the NFL, if not “the” worse. Not sure why John Fox elected to go back with Matt Moore at QB, he has shown he isn’t capable of driving a team down field. I would have stuck with Jimmy Clausen and start his development process early. Regardless of who Carolina throws behind center, they’re incapable of getting the job done, similar to the 49ers. At least the 49ers have Frank Gore and a tremendous defense. 49ers cover, and go on a winning streak of two.
Oakland (+8.5) @ Denver
Chappy picks Oakland (+8.5), The Raiders have no passing game, the Broncos have no running game. Which one wins? Campbell threw for 87 yards and two interceptions last week against SF, and showed shades Jamarcus all game long. I’m not sure why I’m picking the Raiders when I’m certain Gradkowski isn’t going to be back in the lineup. As it is right now his shoulder is still too hurt to go. I think we’ll probably lose this week, but since we beat the Broncos last year in Denver with Jamarcus as our QB I feel like they can at least cover. Orton is somehow a top QB in the league right now, and with no running game hopefully the Raiders can get some pressure on him. This is my least confident pick of the week, but that being said, it’s probably the only game I’ll pick correct!
New York Giants (+3) @ Dallas
Chappy picks NYG (+3), How is a 1-4 team a three-point favorite over a 4-2 team? Tough question to answer… Wade Phillips might be coaching for his job, but that doesn’t mean they should be laying points? I think this is an easy pick the way the Giants have looked over the last few weeks. I thought they’d be a solid team this year, and they are finally showing that they are. I like their pass rush to disrupt anything that Romo gets going. When you’re pretty confident of a team winning outright, they you should definitely take the points!
Minnesota @ Green Bay -2.5
By picks Green Bay (-2.5). Brett Favre has had the worse luck in terms of the NFL probing on his “inappropriate s ext messages” going public. He gets to go back to Green Bay now, where the Packers’ faithful should and will be heckling the crap out of him. I expect some great signs at Lambeau. With that said, the Vikings are not the same team they were last season, and despite Green Bay struggling as of late, the Packers should be more than capable of finally winning one in the Favre vs. Rodgers era. I am concerned with one thing in this match up … Randy Moss. It’s definitely going to be fun to watch Charles Woodson and Randy Moss go at it for four quarters, but Moss tends to have huge, huge games at Lambeau. I still think the Packers have enough to win, and being that the spread is 2.5, I think the Pack by a field goal is fitting.
Chappy: So what do you guys think of the NFL putting down its foot on helmet to helmet hits? Honestly, I don’t agree with it. It’s a league that thrives on huge hits and contact, and although I’m fully for protecting guys I think it’s just part of the game. In those milliseconds before contact they aren’t thinking about if a hit is legal or not. They are trying to separate the ball from the receiver or get the ball carrier to the ground, so if that’s an objective of the game why is it so illegal because some guys are getting concussions? Is it really even that much more of a problem than years past?
Cali4Dre: I totally agree, and overreaction for sure. These guys are grown men, let them make their own decisions. They can easily hurt themselves just as bad or worse than the person they are hitting (Dunta Robinson, Kevin Everett). Wide Receivers and TE’s don’t have to play football if they don’t want to, there’s plenty of other guys willing to take their shot at glory, which is why they are out there in the first place. And I believe the NFL has turned itself into the biggest hypocrisy imaginable, profiting from players while trying to mandate the way they hit to protect their own liability. The best argument I heard was this morning on ESPN, Mark Schlereth absolutely went off on the NFL and they’re double standards, the fact that they don’t even offer medical benefits to a guy like him after he retired with 19 surgeries due to injuries, yet they make billions off of the players and their image as a tough sport.
Chappy: Oh nice! I wasn’t completely sure how the players felt, but after hearing Harrison pondering retirement because of his fine, it’s great to hear that Schlereth ripped the NFL. It totally feels like a double standard. The league was built on tough guys and contact. I agree that the players know the risk/reward of playing or they wouldn’t be out there. It’s sad they say that they are trying to make it safer, when they don’t even support their own after they retire. I like TMQ’s idea of hiring some scientists to design better helmets that protect more. I never really liked how they baby QB’s, and we’ve seen how it changed the league to a pass happy one. If they make more rules like this are guys even going to be able to defend at all? I guess it might be good for gambling in that you can always pick the over!
Cali4Dre: I agree with how ridiculous babying the QB has gotten… I mean the whole “blow to the head” thing kinda sucked, but whatever, and then came the “diving into the knees” rule because of Palmer and Brady’s injuries. Lame lame lame. Neither was on purpose, both were because the defender was being blocked into the ground and they hustled to get that close to the QB. Maybe they should force the defenses to count to 5 alligators before they are allowed to rush the QB as well… Continue reading
Rangers and Giants World Series
Is it really going to happen? The two teams I wanted to win could be squaring off in the World Series. I’m always a fan of the underdog, so usually my teams get knocked out just after I decide to root for them. Naturally, it makes me not care much who wins the championship when the teams I don’t care about are in the final series. This year has been different though, and the teams that I’m rooting for, for some reason, are actually winning. It’s like when I get excited seeing one of my bets at halftime correct, only to see said team fail to cover. Maybe, because neither series is over, especially the Giants and Phillies because it’s only a 2-1 series lead, and the Phillies have the pitching and hitting to come back. Plus the Giants seem to have a hard time closing out their opponent, (see the regular season against the Padres). The only reason I feel like that series is a done deal is because my 80 year old grandpa said to me over the phone last night that the Giants would win the WS. Sure, he’s been a big Giants fan his whole life, but MCeezy will vouch for him that if he says it, it will come true! It’s one heart attack win after another for the Giants all season long, so I hope grandpa didn’t jinx them. In the other league, my ALCS prediction was spot on. It’s been awhile since I was able to gloat about a prediction, so here it goes with the things I was right about! The Rangers made the Yankees look old, check. They scored every way imaginable while running all over Posada, check. Ron Washington out coached Joe Girardi by not over managing and getting his players motivated, check. The only thing I didn’t predict was how good the Rangers pitchers would be, and honestly aside from the bullpen meltdown in game 1, they dominated the best hitting lineup in the league. Now that the Rangers are up 3-1 I feel comfortable saying they will be in the World Series. Even if the Yankees somehow shake it off, and win the next two games they will have to face Cliff Lee in game 7. I’d say that means series over anyway you look at it.
Kirk Gibson Still Grinds My Gears
It’s been 22 years since Kirk broke my heart as a young baseball fan with his gimp pinch hit home run off the A’s unstoppable Eckersly. At seven years old, I didn’t think I’d hate his name still 22 years later, but reading about him selling off that historic pinch hit bat making me relive that experience yet again filled me with that same hatred. It’s bad enough they show his fist pumps around the bases every month or two during the season, but having to read about the intricacies of the bat and jersey made me throw up in my mouth a little. Here’s what Gibson said that made me relive one of my worst childhood sports moments,
If you look at the handle on the end of that bat, there’s an ‘x’ because it was a reject. I really only got it because it was so light, I was hurt, so I started to get that ready,” he said. “The cleat marks at the head of the bat where I hit my shoes, there’s indentations at the beginning of the bat. At the end of the bat, it was so deep, there’s really deep indentations, the red ink from the foul balls I hit is on it. You can actually see the spot where I made contact with the ball. It’s preserved very well.”
I can take a little solace in the fact that he is a dick, and many people don’t like him, but it just reminds me that some things you never really get over. I guess holding grudges is part of being a fan. Devastating moment #2 was probably the “Tuck Rule.”
No, this isn’t the CFL, but HS football in Canada is pretty much the same thing. This is kind of what I pictured the XFL ending up like with the side storylines that had nothing to do with the game, and being more important than who won or lost. There was so much going on I had to watch it a couple of times, and I still don’t think I saw it all. Those must’ve been some experienced sh** talkers in the stands, because I’ve never seen a whole team get that pissed. Did those guys do some research and have a list of one liners to offend all their dead relatives?!? That’s the only explanation I can think of. This makes Artest-SJax’s rampage look like a Justin Beiber-Zac Effron slapping fight.
Wow, the NBA season already starts next week! I’m always overly optimistic about my Warriors, and think they will be better than people think, but I always think that so I’ll spare you the preview. I don’t really expect it to be a playoff year for them, but am hoping that we at least find out what our strengths and weaknesses are with this newly formed squadron. I guess my hope is that we don’t have to sign five or six D-League players because the rest of our squad is on the injury report. If you didn’t know I love Curry starting at the point, but he’s been making a lot of turnovers this preseason. Maybe he’s trying to get too fancy with those passes or just isn’t used to his new teammates yet, but it did make this question pop up in my head. Do we even need him to be that great of a passer? David Lee and Ellis are fairly good at passing, so maybe we shouldn’t have the ball in his hands as much as we have been. I guess if Curry’s not worried about it, I shouldn’t be either. Anyways, the real reason for this post wasn’t to figure out how Curry, Lee, and Ellis fit together, it’s about the story lines for this season that I’m excited about that are non-Warriors related.
Too Many Technical Fouls
I wrote awhile back when the new rules for technical fouls came out that it would would ruin and take the emotion out of a game that really needs it. So far this preseason it’s already stirring some controversy. Some players feel that they will adjust to the new rules, while others feel that it’s going too far. I’ll lean towards the going to far side. Stern says that through the NBA’s research, fans want to see less complaining to the officials. This might be somewhat true, but was there a follow up question on that survey that asked if they wanted all emotion taken out of the game? They probably forgot to include that one. Just looking at some of the ejections, you know that this rule is already getting out of hand. I understand if they want to keep guys like Rasheed and Stephen Jackson in check since they constantly bicker with the refs, but when stand up character guys like Grant Hill are getting ejected for a slap on the butt or KG for doing nothing, it’s just bad for the league. I never minded ejections or giving a player a technical if they gave overly emotional reactions, but now are they going to kick guys out for reacting period? Won’t this make the players more passive, and eventually soften the competitive fire? I think so, and I hope some of the true stars in the league push this to the limit. Imagine Kobe, Durant, and Lebron stepping up their arguing this year in a “boycott” of sorts, daring the NBA to throw them out of every game. Does the league want to keep kicking its best athletes out of games? You wouldn’t think so, because that’s bad for everyone from the fans to the players. This feels like worst imaginable way to show that the refs are doing a good job. Now were supposed to believe that if guys aren’t complaining, then the refs aren’t making bad calls? Yeah right, with super slo mo from ten angles we aren’t going to see less crappy calls. As much as they try to convince us that we will like this league better with these rules, they should’ve instead spent that marketing money on training the refs to get the calls right so there’s less complaining. Maybe next year they’ll make a new rule that you aren’t allowed to play defense with your arms!
Melo Continue reading
Bill (but he looks more like a Jeff) Simmons wrote about the teams he was looking forward to seeing in person this season a few days ago. Since big games don’t really come into play as a Clippers fan, it’s all about the other team. What players are you excited to see in new uniforms. What rookies are you looking forward to seeing in their first visit to your city. Which ticking time bomb situations are you hoping to see come to a head, for example last season I was unfortunate enough to see two of three games Allen Iverson would play in his career as a Memphis Grizzly. You can never know when you’ll witness greatness at an NBA game (though the refs always come to play), but you can pick out the games that have the most potential for greatness. That’s what I’m attempting to do here, except I’ve got an extra factor to consider. Alright guys, I’m not gonna lie to you. This is gonna get kinda weird… TWO home teams. Due to extended stints in both Sacramento and San Francisco, the 10-15 games I’ll probably catch this year will be split between Oracle and Arco. Here’s who I’d be most interested to see, though I’m sure I’ll just be happy take what comes my way. Maybe all the more reason to try and build interest….
Ed. note – please keep in mind I was the kid who wasn’t trying to go see Jordan and the Bulls or Magic and the Lakers (though I’d make a point to at least once). So don’t expect to see Miami atop my list
1. Seattle Sonics – Man, I can’t remember there ever being two players who juiced up their floor cred, let alone on the same team, more than Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook this season. They’re already coming off an impressive season, and I can’t think of a more exciting team to see this upcoming season. What’s that you say? They left Seattle? They moved where? They’re called the what? Nevermind, I don’t wanna go to that game.
2. New York Knicks – I’ve never been this excited to see the Knicks. I guess they’ve been for long enough that I’m kinda ready for them to be good again. I really like that Amare had the balls to go try and be the man in NYC. I hope he succeeds, but I just don’t think he has enough help yet. I think I’ll try to catch them in Oakland, because there’s the added bonus of seeing Anthony Randolph come back to the Bay and try to show up his old team that traded him. Maybe he’ll succeed, and maybe he’ll embarrass himself, but he’ll damn sure try. That’s what made watching him fun: he might dunk on someone or swat a shot into the 5th row, or he might throw a pass into the 5th row. Either way, he definitely tries. (Except the other 90% of the time when he’s not trying at all). It’ll also be good to see Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike, two of the most liked Warriors, return. Not that Randolph wasn’t liked, but I see him eventually work his way into a villain’s role.
Yikes, this season isn’t going so well for me on these picks, but at least I didn’t get skunked two weeks in a row in the win column. If my picks were a team right now, I’d probably be the Bills. Unlike the Bills, I still have hope for this season, because it only takes a couple weeks to drastically turn it around. The Bills might need at least two years to turn things around in Buffalo…
Big week for me last week, as I finally showed some life, going 4/5 on my picks! But of course, the better news was the San Francisco Giants reaching the NLCS for the first time in eight years! Oh, and taking Troy Glaus out in the process! Aside from watching the Giants on Saturday, then a whole bunch of football on Sunday, I also have my fantasy basketball draft on Sunday, so needless to say, I’m a tad bit excited for the weekend to come! Until then, let’s do some lines, shall we!?!?
Week 5 (Chappy 2-4, By 4-1) Overall (Chappy 10-18-1, By 10-14-2)
Kansas City @ Houston (-5)
Chappy picks Kansas City +5, last Sunday morning I was handed the Chiefs and Colts game on TV, so I watched. It was a lot closer than the 19-9 final score indicated. The Chiefs played Manning tough at Lucas Oil, and seemed to frustrate him most of the game. Seeing how well they did against Peyton and Co. makes me feel like they could do the same against Houston with their third ranked defense. The Chiefs were a couple of Bowe drops away from winning or being in the game in the fourth quarter, unfortunately he forgot how to catch the ball even when he was wide open. The biggest question in my mind is can Cassel actually get over 200 yards passing? I think he can against one of the leagues worst pass defenses. They made Gradkowski look like a top QB when they played the Raiders so why not Cassel? The Texans only put up 10 points against the Giants, and looked pretty bad, so they should be fired up and ready. Problem is they aren’t usually that good at home going 4-5 in their last 9, so I think the Chiefs will be close enough to cover.
By picks Houston (-5): It’s hard to choose between these two teams, I like them both, but if it’s one thing I know about picking games, it’s not to have an emotional investment involved with it. With that said, a good 73% of my picks come with emotional attachments, so if I can’t take my own advice, then I deserve the record I have. Before I drown you all with self pity and sorrow, let me tell you why I chose Houston. Simply put, they’re better than their 3-2 record. They’re definitely better than what they put forth last Sunday versus the Giants, and you have to feel confident they won’t put up back to back stinkers at home. I need Matt Schaub to show up this week, or else my fantasy season is over in football. Kansas City hung with the Colts in Indy last week, but primarily based on their defense and Peyton Manning just having one of those games. Their offense isn’t putting up consistent points, which they’ll need this week against Houston. I have a feeling Houston’s offense will finally break out this week and turn this thing into a track meet.
Baltimore @ New England (-3) Continue reading
Even though I had my doubts when the Rangers drew the Rays in the first round, they still came through. For some reason I like the Rangers chances even more against the all mighty Yankees than I did against the Rays. Back in September when the Rangers swept the Yankees, I started to believe in them, and wrote a little about why. In that series they were without Josh Hamilton, and the Yankees were without A-Rod, so I figure those two injuries evened each other out lineup wise. What they got from that series more than anything was some extra confidence that they belong with the best. The Rangers have a swagger to them, there’s no way around it, and they’ve been that way all year. I know I brought this up in an older post, but I remember one game back in June when Ian Kinsler was yelling at the Angels players after the game in Arlington to get off their field. I thought it was kind of stupid since they played each other the next day, but it speaks volumes about this team’s mentality, and how together they are. I mean, how many teams would do a separate ginger ale celebration because one of their players is an addict? How many teams survive a manager’s dirty drug test? How many teams would have survived a bankruptcy during a season seeing guys that played in Texas eight years ago, still not being paid what was owed to them? Not many can go through that much turmoil in the workplace, but I think all those outside distractions just made them closer. They don’t roll over like the Twins did when things went wrong, they just move on to the next pitch. Continue reading
Well, at least none of the players went into the stands, that would’ve been much more tragic. This was supposed to be a friendly exhibition game between China and Brazil yesterday, but there were no friends to be made on this night. It was slightly disturbing to see the fight fire back up by a cheap shot, but then again, that made the clip just that much better! I guess I’d be pretty pissed too if the refs blew a call in a meaningless game. I’m wondering if this is why Allen Iverson seems to be leaning towards playing in Turkey instead of China. Maybe he has gone soft from his gangster ways…