Not many people outside of Massachusetts know the story of Chris Herren. I never knew who he was until he came out to California. After things failed to work out for him at Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State. At the time, I was fully enthralled with Jerry Tarkanian’s ability to recruit NBA talent to little Fresno State. Now, what many people don’t know is that Fresno is a fairly large city. At 400,000+ residents, it’s about the same size as Oakland or Sacramento, just without suburbs. So, as one of the largest cities in the nation without a major league sports team, it’s a pretty rabid fanbase to have such a popular figure like Tark running the basketball program. He was bringing in guys like Rafer Alston, Tremaine Fowlkes, Terrence Roberson, and Herren, followed by guys like Melvin Ely, Courtney Alexander, and Chris Jefferies. Some went on to succeed in the NBA, some didn’t. But few suffered as far a fall from grace and promise as Chris Herren did. Most people don’t even know who the guy was. I can’t wait to see the full story tomorrow night…
Monthly Archives: October 2011
It looks like Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, and 50 Cent made a new energy drink. They made the video above in Hangover-esque style to promote it. I guess each one purchased feeds an impoverished kid in Africa, so that’s pretty cool. I’ve never been huge on the energy drinks, but this video was worth a watch. I thought I was over Tyson in the whole comedy role, but this video proved to me he’s still funny when he’s not getting ripped on in a Comedy Central roast. Maybe Jamarcus should’ve got down on this purple drank investment… Anyways, have a Happy Halloween and slip some Street Kings in someones drink if you have the chance!
Chappy: Uh oh two bad weeks in a row. One more and it’s a streak. This is not good, I don’t have any excuses since there’s no basketball to distract me during the week from making good picks. Who really saw Baltimore and Oakland crapping the bed as much as they did, not I.
By: 2-2 I’ll take it, but more importantly 3-0 on my parlay card which means I cashed in for the first time this year. Hopefully the good times will keep rolling as I could use the spare cash these days. Anyway, on to the lines!
Last Week: Chap (2-4) By (2-2)
Overall: Chap (18-14-3) By (15-13)
Minnesota @ Carolina (-3.5)
Chappy picks Carolina (-3.5). I find it amazing how much I’ve picked Carolina this year. At the onset of the season I didn’t see any way I’d actually pick them, but Cam has made me and everyone else a believer. I can’t wait to see Jarrod Allen try to bring down this beast of a QB, because he probably won’t be able to! Last week Minnesota actually made their game against Green Bay a good one letting AP off his leash finally. Maybe they’ll actually use him like he should be used (as the most complete back in football) Looks like they answered the big question on whether Ponder is a better fit to start than McNabb. Poor Donnovan’s fallen off faster than Culpepper did. Maybe he can join him in the CFL or Jamarcus on the retirement list.
Detroit (-2.5) @ Denver
Chappy picks Detroit (-2.5). I thought Tebow was impressive last weekend, but that was against the Dolphins, and only for six minutes. There’s noway Suh and Co will let Tebow dissect them, and send this team to three straight losses. Suh would rather knock the Jesus out of him in a dirty play than let Tebow run them up and down the field. Detroit is reeling after two straight losses, and while some have lost confidence in this team, I haven’t. I think the biggest blow to them was losing Javid Best, but since Stafford only had a small ankle injury and sounds like he’s going to play I have confidence in the Mega-Staff connection to beat a Denver that is all of a sudden over-rated. Detroit gets back to their winning ways convincingly.
By picks Detroit (-2.5). And hell shall freeze over. By is going against Timmy Tebow. I can’t believe it myself, but despite orchestrating a remarkable comeback at Miami last week, there’s no way to disguise the fact that he did it against, well, Miami. The Dolphins suck. Detroit is not Miami. Now the Lions haven’t exactly been looking like world beaters themselves, losing two straight at home despite a raucous crowd that forces a hundred false starts every week, but they’re not as bad as this losing streak suggests either. Both the 49ers and Falcons are admirable opponents, and missing Jahvid Best hurt the Lions versus Atlanta, hopefully he’s back this week. But really, this game hinges on the availability of Matthew Stafford, who is day-to-day and should be good to go, and that being the case, I think Detroit pulls through in a close game, winning by a touchdown.
New Orleans (-13) @ St. Louis
Chappy picks New Orleans (-13). It seems like New Orleans usually has a letdown after a huge scoring output like last weeks college football score, but the Rams haven’t shown as much life as the Jags this year, which is saying something. The Rams struggle at stopping the run as they rank dead last in stopping it, so I see a big game from Sproles, Ingram, and Thomas. Especially after they get up by a couple of scores. Atleast the Rams can look forward to week 9, when their schedule finally gets easier, and they play some teams that they might be able to work themselves into the win column.
Cincinnati (-3) @ Seattle
Chappy picks Cincinnati (-3). Did the Seahawks really play a 6-3 game last weekend against the Browns and lose?!? There weren’t weather issues, it was just straight ugly. Cincy had a bye week, and actually looks like a good team, and even with this game being in Seattle I would think this line would be little higher. I’m taking AJ Green to score more than the 9 total points that Seattle and Cleveland put up last weekend. Cedric Benson is serving his one game suspension, but then again that might be a good thing to get the old man out of the lineup, and put some guys in who can actually break away.
By picks Cincinnati (-3). The Bengals have been one of the surprise teams this season, but they’ve done so flying under the radar. Andy Dalton has proven to be a serviceable quarterback with solid upside, but to compose himself the way he has as a rookie is quite impressive. He reminds me of a young Matt Ryan in terms of his calm state of being on the field. Cincy’s offense doesn’t exactly jump off the page in terms of explosiveness, but with AJ Green running their routes, the Bengals are a threat to score on any given play. But it’s their defense that’s been so impressive this season, yielding one of the best overall units. Combine all the above, along with the fact that Seattle isn’t very good, and I predict a Cincy win by at least 7.
Dallas @ Philadelphia (-3.5).
Chappy picks Philadelphia (-3.5). There’s only one reason I’m taking Philly, and it’s because Andy Reid is 12-0 after his teams’ bye week. Yeah, it’s been a rocky year for Philly, but I feel like they are probably healthier and their defense has to be better than it was in the first six games getting some extra practice in. They added a lot of new pieces, and I think they’ll start to gel more this weekend. Nnamdi, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Samuel will be able to pick off Romo at least a couple of times. Plus, Vick with some extra rest is never a good thing for opposing defenses.
By picks Philadelphia (-3.5). I can’t stress enough how big of a win it was for Philly, when they beat the Redskins two weeks ago, as it reignited their confidence heading to their bye. Now they play host to the vulnerable Dallas Cowboys, who in my opinion are one of the most overrated teams in the league, and are actually worse than what their record indicates. Yes DeMarco Murray went off last week, and yes he set a new Cowboys rushing record, but he did so against the St. Louis Rams. While still impressive, it takes away some of the pop, just like how Tebow’s comeback win wasn’t as great because of who he beat. Ultimately it boils down to this, until Tony Romo can make the right decisions consistently, I will not trust the Cowboys, especially against a Eagles team that’s about to peak. Eagles big.
San Diego @ Kansas City (+4)
By picks San Diego (-4). This is tough. Kansas City is coming off a big win against the best team in their division, at their home. Plus whenever the Chargers and Chiefs meet up, it’s usually an all out battle. But Matt Cassel barely scratched 150 yards passing, had no touchdowns and two interceptions last week. If not for such a weird set of circumstances surrounding the Chiefs/Raiders game last week, Matt Cassel would have probably cost Kansas the game. That won’t fly against San Diego, even if they’re at home. Plus, you know the Chargers want to make amends for not only blowing the game at New York, but choking on the two-minute drill to end it. Chargers by 10.
No posts on the lockout for two months, then BAM, two in a row! Pretty solid video showing how most people feel about the lockout. As in, who cares what the deal is in the end just get out of our face with the media BS, and make the damn deal. I don’t want to pay to see charity games, I want to see the Warriors take on the best of the Western Conference.
I haven’t written a word about the NBA lockout. This poster was a good timeline of the events that have gone down so far. I keep hoping they come to an agreement, yet deep down don’t really believe they will. If only the NBA owners could’ve done something as stupid as the NFL owners did with signing TV deals that got them paid whether the games were played or not, but no such luck. They seem to be in a strong position, and the players seem to just have to take the deal their offered if they want to play ball this year. Anyways, I find it ridiculous that the players think they’ll be happy overseas. I’ve done my fair share of travelling, and think it’s funny they would consider overseas a legitamate option. First off, if you go to a game in China, there’s smoking allowed in the arena. That factor alone would make it harder to play. Second, they won’t get paid as much even if they are stars, and donning the Shanghai Sharks jersey won’t exactly give the players as much pride as wearing their NBA teams jersey. Honestly, I have no idea when or if this season will ever start/happen, but I know the players and owners are retarded for waiting so long to step up the urgency of these meetings. It’s like they didn’t really even start caring and meeting eachother until October started, which is pathetic. When they did meet they were only there for 6 hours!?! Yeah, they must be trying hard if they can’t even put in an 8 hour workday… If you haven’t read Bill Simmons two articles on the lockout, I recommend them if you have some time to kill and want to understand it better, because he’s quite long winded, but very on point… Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2. Oh and this was a great piece by Whitlock as well.
With a football resurgance going on in the Bay Area – the Raiders and 49ers are both off the great starts in the NFL season – Northern California baseball fans are wondering what it would be like if their MLB teams returned to contention next year. Sure, the Giants are, for a few more days, the reigning World Series champions, but they took a step back this year. But, if you know us, you know Doin Work is more about the A’s anyway. Over the second half of the season, it became clear that Oakland is not too far off from being competitive again. The pitching was clearly there, they just needed to find the offense to go with it, which has been a problem since the A’s went to the ALCS in 2006. But after we finally got rid of manager Bob Geren, the hitting finally came around. Problem is, the pitching suffered. Injuries were a factor, losing guys like Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson certainly hurt, but even ace Trevor Cahill had a down year. While I’m not so sure pitching coach Ron Romanick was the problem, there’s no denying the fact that the A’s pitching staff had much success under his predecessor, Curt Young. Young was let go last year to take the Boston Red Sox position, but we all know what happened there last year. With the Epstein-Francona regime ousted from power, Curt was left looking for a new team. Fortunately, the A’s wereright here waiting (as Richard Marx once sang in 1989 when Young helped pitch the A’s to a World Series pennant). Before he left to coach the Red Sox beer-drinking, fried chicken eating, video game playing bums, Young led the A’s staff to a 3.47 ERA, the lowest for an AL team in 20 years. It’s pretty much the same staff he left, with Braden and Anderson set to rejoin Cahill, and perhaps the new ace of the staff, all-star Gio Gonzalez. So, if Curt Young can help return the rotation to top form, it will allow the A’s front office and coaching staff to focus all of their attention on the offense, where it absolutely belongs.
Chappy: It took six weeks, but I finally had a crappy one. Hopefully this dream start to the season with my picks isn’t just a footnote on the way to an average year. It was nice to have my one win be the Raiders game. I’ll take a 1-3-1 every week if the Raiders are the sole win!
By: Feels good to be back on the winning side after going 3-1 last week. I feel the last two or three weeks have had the toughest lines I can remember. After finally seeing this week’s lines, I can breathe a sigh of relief. These seem doable. With that said, I only pick the locks baby … on to the lines ~
Last week: By (3-1) Chap (1-3-1)
Overall: By (13-11) Chap (16-10-3)
Chicago vs. Tampa Bay (+1)
Chappy picks Tampa Bay (+1). It’s tough to feel good about picking a game in London, especially with two erractic teams that seem hard to figure out where exactly they are through six weeks of the season. The Tampa win over New Orleans impressed me to the point that I’m going to pick them. Even without Blount in the lineup they amassed 117 yards rushing. If Freeman can stay patient and dink and dunk his way down the field without making any interceptions this is a lock. Well, unless they for some strange reason decide to kick to Hester.
Washington @ Carolina (-2.5)
By picks Camolina (-2.5). Carolina ran into a determined Atlanta team last week, but still kept it close late until the Falcons pulled away by 14. Amazingly, that’s exactly how much I said the Dirty Birds would win by. The return of Bystradamus? Before I get carried away, let’s look at this week’s match up for the Panthers, and why this is a lock for them to cover. First and foremost, Cam Newton. Second, Mike Shanahan, or in the fantasy world, Lucifer, has been carouseling running backs in the lineup all season for the Skins. It’s a disaster back there. Now, albeit inevitably, it’s the quarterbacks’ turn. John Beck won’t throw as many picks as Rex “Gross, Man” but he’ll win the same amount of games for you this season. Which is close to nothing moving forward. I know Washington got off to a good start, but unlike the Bills, we knew it would fall apart for them. Camolina at home against a team in full disarray, I got to like my chances with the Panthers.
Chappy picks Carolina (-2.5). I expected more from Carolina last weekend against the Falcons, but I think the Falcons were out to prove that they are still contenders, so Cam alone wouldn’t be enough stop them. This weekend he takes on a very solid Washington defense, the only problem for Washington is they’re starting John Beck. Not that I liked Grossman or anything, but he seemed like a better option to me even with his ugly 4 int performance. At the beginning of the year I didn’t think I’d be picking Carolina in any games, but they truly are a different team than last year…
Denver @ Miami (-1)
Chappy picks Miami (-1). This game wouldn’t be hyped at all if it wasn’t Tebow’s first start of the season and his return to Florida, but both those things are happening so it’s all of a sudden a big game. I actually thought the Dolphins looked good for a half against the Jets, and you know Marshall is going to get fired up to play his old team trying to go into monster mode as often as possible. If there’s one weakness in Denver’s defense, it’s their ability to stop the run. Consequently that’s one of the only things Miami does well. Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas should have big games on their way to a win. Tebow might do well, but I don’t see them winning.
By picks Tebow (+1). I’m waiting for Brandon Marshall to say he’s trying to get thrown out of this game during warm ups in attempt to show how much passion he has playing for a winless team. If that happens, Denver’s the sexy pick all the way. Wait, Timmy Tebow’s starting!?!? Then Denver is already the sexy pick! All jokes aside, I’ve been a huge Tebow fan for two reasons: One, he’s a great leader, and his actions speak louder than his words. Two, he’s the second sports legend to come out of the Philippines! (Yeah, I claim him as Filipino). But, when it’s all said and done, Tebow knows how to win. Screw the mechanics, screw the intangibles, this guy gets the job done. Check his track record. Denver can afford him this opportunity, and he will stand and deliver. At least this week. Against a winless team.
Atlanta @ Detroit (-4)
By picks Detroit (-4). I think I’m the only one who thinks the Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz fiasco was entirely blown out of proportion. And I’m probably the only San Francisco fan that thinks Harbaugh gave a douche of a handshake. Yeah Schwartz acted like a little sissy brat, but there’s a lot of pride involved in football, and you don’t let another man belittle you like that. With all that said, Harbaugh in the 3rd. Now back to Detroit. They must be pissed, not only to get their first loss last week, but in the matter in which they received it. I’m weary of picking them here with the status of Jahvid Best still in the air, but I think the spread offense, as well as Stafford to Megatron is still enough to propel the Lions at home versus the Falcons. It’s hard to make a read on this Atlanta team this season, the verdict is still out on them. But I don’t trust them on the road this season one bit. Detroit by 6.
Pittsburgh @ Arizona (+4)
Chappy picks Pittsburgh (-4). The Steelers are getting a little old, but their not old to the point where they’ll lose to the Cardinals. Missing Jerome Harrison due to a tumor might hurt their defense a little, but then again you don’t need a lot to beat this team. The Steelers either blow a team out or play down to their competition. I feel like they’ll blow out AZ the same way they did in the Super Bowl two years back. Mike Wallace is a little dinged up, but with Pittsburgh finally getting the running game going, it probably doesn’t matter.
By picks Oakland (-4.5). Oakland’s a team on the rise, and their about to get better with the addition of Carson Palmer. Can you imagine Palmer clicking with all his weapons with the speed and talent this Raiders offense has? I really think San Diego’s reign over the AFC West is in jeopardy, like right now. Hue Jackson has proven why the Raiders looked no further than within when hiring a replacement for Tom Cable. His play calling has been spot on this season, and his attitude is refreshing. It’s nice to see both Bay Area teams succeeding this year. As far as this week’s match up, what’s not to like with the Silver & Black? They’re home, they’re hot, they’ve got a real threat at quarterback, an excellent coach, game breakers on offense and they’re playing the Chiefs. To me, -5 sounds like a trap game line, but I’m confident Oakland won’t disappoint.
Chappy picks Oakland (-4.5). I think I’m already a little tired of hearing about whether Palmer should or shouldn’t start. Who gives us a better chance to win? I’d say Carson after one week of practice over Boller playing backup for the season. We always waste our timeouts anyways, so if he isn’t sure on a play use one! And really how hard is it going to be for him to turn around and hand off the ball to McFadden and Bush? Seems like an easy game plan to me without putting a ton of pressure on him. On the other side, the Chiefs have rattled off two straight wins, but they were against the Colts and Vikings, who we all know are about as bad as it gets in opponents. I’m somewhat worried about this Chiefs squad, mainly because they’re coming off the bye week. Then again the Raiders will probably give them a lot of new looks with their new QB at the helm.
Baltimore @ Jacksonville (+8)
Chappy picks Baltimore (-8). I think I’d still pick Baltimore if the spread was 14. Baltimore is possibly the team to beat in the AFC, and have put up 33 per game during their 3 game win streak. Conversely Jacksonville has only scored 11 points per game during their five game losing streak. This is probably THE easiest pick of the week. Ride with it to some money!!
With the first pitch of the World Series only minutes away, I ran across the story about Dallas Mavericks finals MVP, Dirk Nowitzki’s bid to throw out a first pitch at one of the games in Arlington Texas was denied by Bud Selig. Apparently he’s an avid Rangers fan that goes to the games, and has thrown out a first pitch before. The decision apparently wasn’t because of the lockout or anything like that, but more so because he’s not a recognizable enough of a figure. I’m sure the country singer they decide to put in there every sports fan will know…
Well, let’s start with the girlfriend test. Could my girlfriend (who doesn’t know much about sports) tell you who he is? Yes, she could pick him out of a group of awkward looking tall white guys. Maybe there’s more recognizable players in the NBA you could put out there, but where are most of the people that will be watching one of the lowest rated WS in recent history? People in Texas, where Dirk is a god. To top it off saying Dirk doesn’t have national appeal is very shortsighted. Didn’t he just give every white boy with hoop dreams hope after winning the finals MVP during the highest (TV) rated finals ever? It’s funny how the NBA finals will easily outproduce the MLB World Series in the ratings. Maybe that’s how much Selig hates Cuban. He doesn’t even want his employees around baseball even if they aren’t a threat to buy a team.
Even if Dirk did throw out the first pitch, how many times do we even see the unofficial “first pitch” televised? The only times I actually see that celebrity “first pitch” is on youtube clips when the person throws the ball 20 feet short of the plate or into the backstop over the catchers head. When I go to games I can’t even remember a time that I ever saw the first pitch, let alone cared that much who it was throwing it. It might be a 15 second event at most. Seems like if the Rangers wanted Dirk, they should’ve gotten to put Dirk out there. Maybe Selig is making some of his last attempts to keep baseball’s pre-historic thinking in tact. Man I hope he retires and we have a new MLB commish in 2012. Maybe then we’ll actually hear what the verdict is on the A’s territorial rights…
So, today MCeezy and I got our wish of landing Carson Palmer on the Raiders. You never can tell what you’re getting until you see him play, but overall it’s hard to dislike the move as a Raiders fan. I’ve already heard some say he might flop because his last few years weren’t all that great, but then again when he was in Cincy, and his RB’s to help shoulder the offensive load there were Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry, and Cedric Benson (Not exactly an All-Pro list). I’m sure DMac will help him get some easy one on one situations on the outside, and he can’t throw the deep ball any worse than Campbell did, so all signs point to it being a good acquisition. I had to write a little about it even if it doesn’t have to do with the video, since obviously it’s the Raiders.
Anyways, I found this awesome Tebow tribute today, and think that Broncos fans might just be completely nuts to think Tebow is going to lead them to a super bowl anytime soon. They have many more question marks than at the QB position. Orton might be more hated man in Denver than Melo was leading up to the trade deadline, without even really doing anything that wrong besides sucking… Even if Tebow does lead them to a win this weekend over a pathetic Dolphins squad, is that even impressive? I’m sure we’ll hear plenty out of Denver regardless of the results…
Now that I’ve accepted Kyle Boller as the Raiders’ starting QB in Week 7, it’s a bit easier for me to take a less hasty look at the search for a replacement for Jason Campbell. I, for one, am not sold on Kyle Boller as a long-term solution. Fortunately, the Raiders face a 2-3 Kansas City team that’s scoring just 15 points a game this season. After that, the Bye week. So, it looks like if we can just survive one “should-win” game at home with Boller, we can focus more of our attention on getting the best possible guy for the job, instead of just whoever we can get now. If I’m Al Davis, I go straight to the best guy available. Though Carson Palmer and available aren’t words that have been mentioned together all year, my gut says Al would MAKE him available. The main arguments against it are that Bengals ownership is stubbornly set on not rewarding a player’s demands, and the Raiders don’t have any attractive draft picks next year anyway. But they do still have their number one pick. Trading a first round pick is probably foolish, but the Raiders are winning now, and they’re built for the future as well. I don’t see anyone on the roster who’ll need to be replaced in the next three years. I’ve got to believe it’s worth it to get a bonafide starting NFL quarterback. Most owners wouldn’t pull the trigger merely on the prospect of the criticism they’d receive, but Al Davis never cared about that. He’d just say something like, “We wanted Carson Palmer so we GOT Carson Palmer,” and that’d be the end of it. And ultimately, if he was unable to succesfully pry Palmer from the Bengals, he’d at least leak the offer to the media so Cincinnati owner, Paul Brown, would have to face criticism from his fans for turning down a first round pick on stubborn principle.
Chappy: The dream season continues as I had another good weekend of picks. As I said in my post Wednesday, I didn’t get to see much football over the weekend, but did hear and read plenty of analysis to know what happened to help me with this weeks picks. Let the good times keep on rolling!
By: Got my ass kicked last week. Time to exact some revenge! To the lines ~
Last week: Chappy (3-1-1) By (1-3)
Overall: Chappy (15-7-2 By (10-10)
Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (-12)
Chappy picks Pittsburgh (-12). Pittsburgh has been an iffy pick on some weeks this year, but aside from the game against the Colts, they’ve beat teams they are supposed to convincingly. I’m not sure I believe in Blaine Gabbert much at all, especially with the limited amount of weapons he has outside of MJD. The Steelers will knock him over a lot forcing him into some turnovers. I read somewhere Mendenhall is supposed to be back, so that should only help the blowout cause.
Philadelphia @ Washington (+1)
By picks Philadelphia (-1). I thought last week would be when the Eagles finally showed what their capable of, and to a certain extent they did, nearly coming back against the Bills on the road. Unfortunately it’s been like Groundhog’s Day for Philly, as they seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I know Mike Vick has shed the “Dream Team” label, but they do share resemblance to another “Dream Team” in a way, the Miami Heat, and not all was smooth sailing for that team. But, the Heat did eventually get it right. I assume the Eagles will get it going now, as they’ve wasted their life lines already. Throwing records aside, if the Eagles can’t beat this suspect Redskins team this week, they can kiss the playoffs goodbye. I don’t see Philly missing the playoffs, quite yet.
Carolina @ Atlanta (-4)
Chappy picks Carolina (+4). Cam returns to his homeland of Atlanta. If there’s one thing I’ve taken from this Panthers team is that they don’t get blown out. The one time they lost by more than three points it was by seven to the defending Super Bowl champs. The Falcons are saying all the right things, but don’t seem to be executing them well enough to get them put into the upper echelon of teams that they were in last season. My question for this team is has their window already closed? Seems like they’re pretty old at some of the skill positions like Turner, Gonzalez, Babineaux, and Abraham all over 30. I still think Atlanta wins, but Cam and the Panthers hang tough like they have every week this year.
By picks Atlanta (-4). I’ve been a huge supporter of Cam Newton and Carolina when making my picks this season, and they haven’t let me down yet. But, I’ve been an even bigger supporter of Matty Ice over the past few seasons, especially at home. Obviously, the Falcons have not looked good coming out of the gates this season, considering they held the best record in the NFC last year, but this is still the same dynamic team as a season ago. A team like this is due for a breakout game, a game that will remind the census that they are still a legitimate championship contender, and this will be that game. Cam has been remarkable thus far, and is running away with the ROY votes, perhaps even swaying some MVP ones, but there’s only so much one guy can do to keep his team close in every game. I sense he slows down a little this week, hits a small speed bump on the road against a division rival. Atlanta wins this game by 14.
Buffalo @ New York Giants (-3)
Chappy picks Buffalo (+3). I think everyone is wondering when this Buffalo team will fall back to earth. I feel like they will eventually, but for the time being they believe in themselves, which is nearly always the most important part of a team. The Bills always seem to come through in the clutch, and well, the Giants seem to find ways to fall apart in the clutch over the past year and a half. The Giants haven’t really played anyone I deem a good team this year, and the Bills have plenty of quality wins, so it’s an easy choice to take the points even for the road team.
Cleveland @ Oakland (-6.5)
Chappy picks Oakland (-6.5). Obviously I’ve been ecstatic about how well my Raiders have been playing, and the schedule is getting a bit easier over the next few games than it was to start the season. Not to say Cleveland can’t beat Oakland, but the line says what we should expect, a win. I am slightly concerned the players will be a little too pumped up costing us some stupid penalties, which could help the Browns stay close. One of the most encouraging things this season is the Raiders seem to have found a way to not have a let down that effects their next game. Where are all those haters that thought DHB would never be as good a receiver as Crabtree on draft day in 09? Crickets out there, that’s what I thought! I don’t feel entirely comfortable picking them to win by a touchdown, but with all the issues in Cleveland with Peyton Hillis, I don’t see how that wouldn’t be a big distraction. Colt McCoy has been impressive imo, but he’s going to have a tough time throwing over the Oakland D-line that is the best he’s faced this year. Cleveland gets swallowed by the Black Hole.
By picks Oakland (-6.5). Shout out to Chappy & Matt, I’m really feeling this Raider team. Jason Campbell is playing a well controlled, well-disciplined game this season, and he’s utilizing the talent he has on the edges. Oakland’s receivers are a threat to break on every single play. Toss in the league’s best running back in DMac, and the Raiders have an exciting brand of offensive football this year. But you can’t overlook the Raiders D. Along with my Niners and the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders have one of the most physical and intimidating defensive units in all of football, add to that Sea Bass kicking 50 + yarders with a hot dog in his hand, and I’d say the Silver & Black have a good thing going for them all around. Plus Cleveland’s coming in already terrible, and with a disgruntled star in Peyton Hillis. That doesn’t add up well for the Browns. Oh and by the way, the “Madden Curse” still lives.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (+4.5)
Chappy picks New Orleans (-4.5). I’ve picked New Orleans to cover the past four weeks, and they’ve come through for me in all but one. Seeing how the 49ers and Alex Smith completely dismantled the Bucs defense last week, it has to have Drew Brees salivating for this match up. Sure the Bucs will change a couple things, but how much can you really change in a cover-2 scheme in one week? Not enough to stop Drew Brees from putting up 40+ points. Do I think the Bucs can keep up on the scoreboard? Maybe if they have a huge game from Earnest Graham controlling the clock, but I don’t really see that happening, so I feel pretty confident in picking the Saints.
By picks New Orleans (-4.5). I feel that lost in this season thus far, is how good the Saints are. They lost a nail biter on the road in the season opener against the defending champs, and best team in football, Green Bay Packers. Since then, they’ve reeled off four straight wins and are pulling away from the division. Drew Brees might be the MVP if Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady didn’t exist, he’s turning Jimmy Graham into a house hold name! Anyway, long story short, the Saints are too explosive offensively, and the Bucs seem anemic on their end. No LaGarrette Blount and -4.5 seems like a bargain here. Saints big.
As I was watching the Tigers put up some runs on CJ Wilson today, it hit me, I genuinely hate the Rangers. I hope anyone BUT them wins the World Series. I guess I had so much respect for my favorite A’s coach over the past two decades, Ron Washington, that I was blinded that they were in the same division as my favorite team and was inexplicably rooting for them to succeed. I can comfortably say the A’s are now under the Curse of the Wash, and I’m no longer rooting for the Rangers to do anything good ever again. Under Nolan Ryan, they’ve been a well run organization that makes solid decisions with trades, signings, and draft picks (sucks, sucks, and sucks). I’m guessing there’s a little jealousy mixed in there. My disdain for CJ mostly came from his comments in August about how A’s fans suck, and that was the tipping point. Since then I’ve been rooting for injuries to the guy, and I can’t say that about many. Especially since he’s one of the main guys helping keep Hamilton off the junk.
All hatred aside, I honestly don’t see the Tigers being able to win the next two in Texas to take this series. They have a ton of injuries, and even home run swings are painful at times. They seem to be hanging on by a thread every inning as the Rangers constantly have men in scoring position, but one can only hope that Texas collapses and they slowly get labeled playoff chokers. If the Tigers can get to Fister for a game 7, you never know what can happen. He shut them down the Rangers offense in game 3, but I’m not entirely sure he can duplicate that in Arlington’s launching pad of a park even though he’s a ground ball pitcher.
The bottom of the 6th was the most enjoyable inning of game 5, which started with a single by Raburn. Then Miguel Cabrera bounced one off third base which went over Beltre’s head (who used Oakland’s offer as a bargaining chip this off-season) gave me a little feeling of vindication for shunning us. V-Mart’s triple was pretty solid, but the one that really got me going was Delmon Young’s second homer of the game. Maybe it’s also a little because I said the Tigers wouldn’t be where they are without Delmon about a month ago, but watching the Rangers miserable inning made me happiest I’d been all playoffs. I wasn’t sure what my point was when I started this post, but if it gave you any reasons to root against the Rangers, I think I did my job!
A little while back I expressed my disdain over the Denver sentiment that Tim Tebow should be their starting quarterback. I understood their desire to see their entertaining young player make some plays on the field, but at the same time, I knew Kyle Orton was the safe bet to run the Broncos’ offense. This past weekend, since the 49ers were blowing out the Buccaneers, I caught a good majority of the Denver-San Diego game, and in the second half, it was clear that it was Tebow time. Down 16, Tebow made an immediate impact when called upon. All would agree that Tebow can make plays with his feet, but most would argue that that’s not a recipe for success in the NFL. I too knew Tebow could scramble with the best of em, but his arm actually impressed me in the extended time I got to see him play. After he scored a TD on his first drive with his legs, Tebow made an amazing throw on the two-point conversion attempt to Brandon Lloyd. Even though commentator Rich Gannon was able to pick Tebow’s fundamentals apart, I thought it was a perfect throw. Lloyd was nearly able to pull it in, and much credit has to be given to the defender for breaking it up. Even though Knowshon Moreno was primarily responsible for the Broncos’ next score, Timmy T led another solid drive downfield. Tebow also made some solid throws on the failed attempt to tie the game though time expired on Denver’s final drive. The bottom line is, Tim Tebow gives the Broncos just as much of a chance to win as Kyle Orton did, but brings a lot more potential for amazingness. So for that, I eat my words. I warned Denver fans to be careful what they wished for, but now I’m on board. It’s kind of like Occupy Wall Street. At first I was skeptical, but now that I see the possibilities, I’m on board. Consider me a part of Occupy Mile High.
The last four days I haven’t been in tune with the sports world or anything for that matter. My world is getting a pleasant change. I moved from LA up to the Bay Area, which is probably where I belong, and while driving up you know I bumped this E-40 song a couple times. Anyways I didn’t catch any football, baseball, or anything on TV for that matter Saturday through Tuesday. It feels like a rarity in this day in age.
I never remember having too many problems with Comcast when I lived in Monterey, but MCeezy warned us all of how deceitful and retarded they can be at any given moment. First, they schedule an appointment on Sunday (the day I was moving in) which was perfect, because you want internet and TV the day you start living somewhere. Oh yeah, and that landline too, who can live without one of those! I never understood how a service could be $10 cheaper a month with adding a landline opposed to not having one. Anyways, a rep came out, but couldn’t seem to get the job done for one reason or another. Two days later they finally sent out a competent rep leaving me with a missed weekend of football and MLB playoff games. How did they apologize? A free movie rental on demand. Yipee… Anyways, this is not a good start to my Comcast experience, so hopefully I don’t have to write some rants like Mceezy did (Even though I wasn’t expecting a good experience).
To hear Al Davis died was somewhat shocking, and I think I got about 10 texts about it that Saturday morning. It was an odd way to start packing the moving truck to say the least. I mean he was old, but who would’ve thought the Grim Reaper could really die!?! Al meant so much to football as a whole, and I can’t add too much that hasn’t already been said in tributes everywhere, but he meant even more to Raiders fans than I can even put into words. He will be missed. It’s strange how sports can rally people, and naturally I hope the players dedicate the rest of their games to him this year. I got to catch the abbreviated version of the game against Houston on NFL Network this morning, so hopefully they play with that kind of emotion for the remainder of the year.
I don’t have much else to say except, I’m glad I have the internet to find clips like the two below. Sorry if you’re tired of the whole Moneyball story as we keep bringing it up on here, but here’s a SNL spoof for “Tinyballs” that was funny. The second clip needs no introduction except for lucky popsicle!