Monthly Archives: December 2011

Doin Eastern Conference Predictions

Well, we’re a week into the season, and like I said during our Western Conference predictions, we probably wouldn’t get these ones up until a few games in. None of us follow the Eastern Conference like we follow the Pacific Division, but it’s still fun to shed some of our expertise on the OTHER conference.

Chappy

1) Miami Heat – Much has been made of Lebron’s newly found post game. Sure, that might help, but what is really going to help is having a better cast around the big 3 and a full season under their belt together. Battier might not be what he was a few years ago, but he’s going to be a great glue guy and help get everyone get on the same page. Udonis Haslem wasn’t an addition, but having him healthy will be a HUGE help. I actually think not having Dampier and Big Z slowing them down on the fast break is an advantage even if they are very thin up front with only Curry’s carcass and Joel Anthony.

2) Chicago Bulls – The Bulls pretty much stood pat during the offseason, and rightfully so. The reigning MVP should get even better than he was, because he seems to do that every year. I see Boozer playing better now that he knows the team philosophies and is more comfortable with his teammates.

3) New York Knicks – I’m not sure why I believe in the Knicks after going through a crap west coast run losing to the Lakers and Warriors, but they have a possibly great player in Baron if he’s in shape. When you can get him excited about basketball in front of a good crowd, he plays well. He sucked it up on the Clippers, and when he realized how good Blake Griffin was, he started getting in shape and playing hard (which pissed Sterling off to the point he exiled him to Cleveland when Baron was playing his best ball as a Clipper). Playing with Melo and Amare in MSG will motivate Baron to be good again, and he doesn’t even need to be great, just better than Tony Douglas, which shouldn’t be hard…

4) Boston Celtics – I’m not sure I believe they’ll be the 4th best team, so that’s two picks in a row I’m not sure I should’ve made, but at the same time this team is too talented to not be in the mix in one way or another with four all-stars on the team. I really liked the addition of Brandon Bass to the roster, dude’s going to be great at keeping KG’s minutes down this year. Their biggest question always seems to be Rondo. The emotional guy who is an amazing point guard, but has no offensive game. I hope all that negative energy towards him made him work on his jumper this off-season. I don’t think the 0-3 start is anything to worry too much about.

5) Atlanta Hawks – Feels about right for the Hawks. They didn’t improve the roster with the additions of McGrady and Pargo over re-signing Crawford, but they didn’t really regress that much either. Joe Johnson’s ridiculous contract is in year two. Josh Smith is a beast, but will they move him for some idiotic reason?!?

6) Orlando Magic – Remember last year how the whole Melo trade swirling around Denver hurt them? I see something like that happening this year, but they’re still a good enough team to make the playoffs with or without Dwight for half the season.

7) Indiana Pacers – There’s a lot of people on the Pacers bandwagon. I guess I can see why since they seem to fit well together. Collison left a lot to be desired at the point last year, but with West, Granger, and Paul George breaking onto the scene they should be a stout defensive team that can also score with the best of them.

8) Philadelphia 76ers – Not completely confident in why I’m picking them, but I feel like their pieces fit pretty well like Indiana’s. They have a solid mix of veterans and youngsters, that should mesh well as the season goes along. Everyone seems high on Jrue Holiday (rightfully so), but what I like most about this team is their team defense. They have scrappy guys all over the court, and on a given night it’s a good offensive game to score 90+ on them.

MCeezy

1) Miami Heat – They sure look pissed. I have no reason to believe they’ll go further in this year’s playoffs than they did last, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 61-5 in the regular season. They’re out the gates at 3-0.

2) Chicago Bulls – They pretty much return the same team that went 62-20 last year. Derrick Rose is one year deeper into his prime. The guy’s still 23. If he follows his career season trends, he ought to average 30 and 8 this year.

3) Boston Celtics – I guess I have to go Atlantic Division team if we’re predicting playoff seeds. If these are just power rankings, move them down. The Celtics clearly need Paul Pierce back, but I think they’ll be more consistent than the Knicks and beat them out by a few games.

4) Indiana Pacers – David West’s addition makes them a playoff team. I’m going out on a limb putting them at 4th, but I may as well go all the way out on that limb. They really need to improve their backcourt, but maybe this is the year Darren Collison breaks out.

5) New York Knicks – Carmelo and Amare will be playing some motivated ball this year, but their success will depend on if they can get anyone to play with them. They don’t leave a whole lot of shots for other guys. They’re pretty thin as you go down the roster. They just added Jeremy Lin, for what that’s worth.

6) Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks can’t seem to get over the hump. They’re not old, but it feels like the window is closing for some reason.

7) Milwaukee Bucks – I’m pretty much just rolling the dice on everyone staying healthy. It won’t happen, but Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, with a dialed-in Stephen Jackson would be a playoff team.

8) Orlando Magic – They’ll float around .500 for the first 2/3 of the year, then they’ll trade Dwight Howard and starting piling up the losses. They’ll back into the playoffs and get destroyed in the first round of the playoffs against Miami.

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Doin Lines Week 17

We missed the lines for the first time in its three year existence last weekend. There was just too much going on with life to get a post up. Fortunately for me, I now can’t finish the regular season below .500 this year, so I’m playing with house money this final weekend of the season! And as a tribute to me winning, may as well put Charlie Sheen atop the post.

Week 15: Chap (2-3)

Overall: Chap (46-33-4), By (27-20)

San Francisco @ St. Louis (+10.5)

Chappy picks San Francisco (-10.5). It might take awhile for the Niners to get four field goals on the board, but once they do it’s a lock to cover. I don’t see the Rams scoring really at all against this stout D without Bradford behind center. Steven Jackson is no Marshawn Lynch these days as dinged up as he’s been. The Niners should be motivated for this game since they want a bye week, and that can only happen with a win, and with the tie-breaker over New Orleans that’s all they really have to do, which sounds like plenty of motivation to me.

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (-3.5)

Chappy picks Indy (+3.5). If there’s one thing the Colts have shown us this year it’s that they don’t care to tank a season for Andrew Luck. Not sure I entirely agree with this strategy, but in this crapfest of a game, I’m taking the points. Jacksonville doesn’t confuse opposing defenses much on offense giving the ball to MJD on half their plays, so I feel like Indy stays close enough to cover in what will be the least watchable game on the Sunday slate.

New York Jets @ Miami (-2)

Chappy picks Miami (-2). The Dolphins have proven to be a solid team this second half of the season. Too bad they wasted away their first six games or they could be in contention for a playoff spot. Reggie has proved he’s an every down back much to the surprise of well, everyone… It’s a shame this might be Jason Taylor’s last game. It looks like the guy has more in the tank, but I can’t see them letting him end his career with a loss. He’s going to pound Sanchez into a couple of interceptions.

Carolina @ New Orleans (-8)

Chappy picks New Orleans (-8). The Saints don’t have to play their starters, but since they still have a shot at the #2 seed if SF loses, they do have something to play for. They’re at home against a so-so Carolina defense, so there are plenty of points to be had for Brees and Co. I see him stacking on another 300+ yards to his passer record, and what’s even more amazing about Brees season is he might not even win the MVP. Cam might have another 3-5 TD game, but that won’t be enough against a team that usually puts up 40 at home.

San Diego @ Oakland (-3)

Chappy picks Oakland (-3). Probably a hopeful homer pick here, but I do see them beating SD, and the Broncos winning as well keeping Oakland out of the playoffs once again. Jacoby Ford has made his way to the practice field this week for the first time since Carson’s second game. Have I been overly excited about Palmer’s play lately? Not really, but having all of his receivers healthy is going to help him this weekend. They’ve played really well at home this season, and I think that will continue with a lot on the line. After they win, hopefully Orton can upset god and beat the Denver Tebows. There will be a post about it if that does indeed happen, but I’m not holding my breathe.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-11.5)

Chappy picks Atlanta (-11.5). A pissed off Atlanta team playing against a doormat of a team in Tampa feels like the perfect storm for a blowout, and letting some of the key Falcons sit for the final couple quarters. The Falcons already clinched a playoff spot, but it doesn’t take much to beat the Bucs these days as the team seems to have given up on Raheem whether he fires himself or the team fires him.


Kobe’s Divorce Meltdown

This wasn’t quite as funny as the first one this guy did on Kobe’s post game interview after being swept by the Mavs last year, but it was still pretty entertaining. You have to love that Stern steps in at the end and vetoes the divorce for basketball reasons! With the Lakers on the brink of pissing Kobe off to 2007 levels, we could have a great year of soundbites from him. I can’t wait to keep up with fake funnyordie Kobe all season long!


The A’s Re-Rebuild

Oh the holiday’s brought up a few sports topics especially the Raiders since they played, but a lot of my hometown friends seemed to be talking about the A’s once again being in rebuild mode after the division rival Angels and Rangers made an array of championship caliber moves. I can’t completely blame the A’s for thinking about rebuilding after they saw what their divisional opponents did, but at the same time it feels like they aren’t even going to try AT ALL for a few years. They kinda half-assed the rebuild the first time around when they sort of rebuilt by trading pitchers, but then traded away a kings ransom (Cargo) for a crappy Matt Holiday. This time it’s really full on rebuild mode, and they are trading away any and all assets they have which should include Andrew Bailey in the near future (he was the only piece I honestly didn’t mind seeing go). They’ll probably ship off Brett Anderson as well when he comes back from his Tommy John surgery next season. The most perplexing part of these trades to us fans is that they had control over these pitchers for a long time before they even hit their arbitration years. Not signing Willingham or Matsui also put the writing on the wall that this team isn’t going to compete for awhile because they have zero offense outside Jemile Weeks now. Hell they aren’t even keeping around the beloved backup catcher who doesn’t even cost much to keep.

Sure they got some nice prospects back for Cahill and Gio, but the growing sentiment with my A’s friends is that this team has completely given up, and they won’t be following anything they do next year or possibly ever. I can’t blame them at all. It’s going to be painful watching this team, even more so than last seasons error filled crap fest. I’ve heard numerous times that it might be better to just root for a new team, like say, the Giants. This statement pretty much crushed me every time I heard someone say it over the past couple months, especially when my Uncle said it who is one of the main reasons I’m an A’s fan at all. Some of the most loyal A’s fans over the years jumping ship to a team that I didn’t necessarily hate, but am starting to hate them more and more. Honestly, the best part about the Cahill trade is that he’s going to the Giants rival the Diamondbacks. I can see him getting numerous 4-6-3 double plays against their weak hitting lineup, but even that will only bring me minimal enjoyment.

Anyways, the A’s are in a real life version of Major League the movie as the owner is desperate to move, and seems to be fielding the least competitive team possible. There also seems to be a growing dissent for the A’s moving to San Jose among fans, and I’ll be the first to say I’d love to see them stay in Oakland by Jack London Square, but at the moment that isn’t a realistic option if we want them to be competitive again (aka get corporate sponsors to push them into the $80-$100M range in salary). Can they draw people at the coliseum if they are good? Sure, but they’ll never have a large payroll that exceeds $70M, and teams have caught up to them on all the sabermetrics stuff that helped keep Billy ahead of the competition during the early 2000’s. On an even playing field, there’s noway to compete with such little salary to work with.

It feels like the odds are against them whether it’s moving to San Jose and being blocked by the Giants. And seriously, how many fans would the Giants really lose?!? They are in SF, a HUGE city, and can take all the fairweather east bay A’s fans if they haven’t jumped teams already. Whether it’s Oakland coming up with a viable option to build a new park for this team or San Jose. It doesn’t matter what’s being proposed or done for them, it almost feels like they’re inevitably going to have to move out of the Bay Area just like the Kings will probably have to move from Sacramento. I’m not sure what my A’s friends think of them moving out of California, but as lame as they think people in San Jose are, I’d much rather have the A’s there instead of some other state. Recently it sounds like the Giants aren’t going to give up their gold mine of sponsorships (SJ) without a fight, and Selig is too stupid to make a ruling on anything, so they probably won’t know what they can or can’t do until he’s retired or dead. Once again the A’s will go into another season with no direction for the future, and most likely losing more fans in the process. They need new facilities. They need more sponsors. They need a fresh start, and now I’m just hoping it’s going to be in the greater bay area or in California. No plans have been discussed outside the bay area, but I’m sure those talks will start soon if something doesn’t give. Mark my words!


Best Fails of 2011

We haven’t been good about posting on the blog the last couple of weeks, and that may continue on until the new year rolls around, but what can you do… Hell, we even missed out on doin lines for the first time in the blog’s existence that I can remember. I guess the fantasy playoffs (Mceezy beat me in the semis, bastard!!), Christmas, and hanging out with family got in the way of giving our readers tips on who to pick. It’s unfortunate, because I’ve been on a roll all season long with only three losing weeks all season long. Anyways, you may have seen the video above already, but if you haven’t it’s always fun to watch the best fails of the year!


Doin Western Conference Predictions

As always we love to predict the top 8 seeds in each conference, and today we picked the West’s top eight. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be predicting the Eastern Conference top 8 until after the season starts because of Christmas gatherings getting in the way, but sometimes holiday obligations trump the blog!

MCeezy

1. Dallas Mavericks – It may be cliche, but the Mavs are the defending champs, so they’re the team to beat. They’ve always been strong in the regular season, so I see them cruising to the #1 seed. They lost Tyson Chandler and the league’s whitest Latino, Jose Juan Barea, but they also added Delonte West and the second best rebounding Kardashian, Lamar Odom. They got Vince Carter too, but I’m not too sure he’s an “addition.”

2. Los Angeles Lakers – Everyone expects them to regress a bit after losing Odom, and missing out on Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, presumably. But they still have Kobe Bryant. I’m not sure why they never address the point guard position, but I guess it’s not hard to pass the ball to Bean. I have my doubts about new head coach Mike Brown, but I think they’ll still be dominant in the regular season.

3. Seattle Supersonics – The team formerly known as the Sonics has got to be the best example of a team building through the draft ever. Durant, Westbrook, Harden, and co made tremendous strides last year, and there’s no signs of them slowing down. I expect to see Cole Aldrich in particular emerge this year.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizz were a surprise in the playoffs last year, all without top scorer Rudy Gay. They’ve lost Darrell Arthur for the year, but this team is deep. I expect breakout seasons from many of the Grizzlies’ players, including Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, Sam Young, and MCeezy lookalike, Greivis Vasquez.

5. San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs’ window is closing in many people’s eyes, due to the aging of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. But I believe that will be offset by the improvement of Dejuan Blair and Gary Neal. Gani Lawal and Kawhi Leonard are the wild cards here. If they perform, this team will be right back in the thick of things.

6. Utah Jazz – I’m going out on a limb here, but no matter who’s on the roster, the Jazz always seem to come correct. Al Jefferson and Devin Harris are an underrated duo, and Paul Millsap is a solid third option. We’re most likely going to see a breakout season from either Derrick Favors, Gordon Heyward, or Enes Kanter (if a breakout season for a rookie is even possible). I also expect a resurgence from Mehmet Okur.

7. Los Angeles Clippers – How can you not expect a successful season from the Clips, who’ve added former MVP, Chris Paul. The term “Lob City” is gaining popularity, because Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan are high flyers around the rim. They have three starting PGs in Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Eric Bledsoe. Caron Butler is the wild card here. If he can come back and regain his old form, this team could be even more successful.

8. Sacramento Kings – Call it a homer pick, but I think the Kings have a higher ceiling than the Warriors. Tyreke Evans, Demarcus Cousins, and Jimmer Fredette are a potentially lethal trio. They may take a while to gel together, but the last time there was a lockout shortened season, the Kings came out of it a playoff team, and the sky’s the limit for this young team. I’m not sure that there are enough basketballs to go around for guys like John Salmons and Marcus Thornton though. The failed physical and subsequent voided contract of Chuck Hayes hurts a bit, but they have more cap room than any other team, so I expect them to bring in another quality big man, perhaps re-signing center Samuel Dalembert.

By

1.  OKC Thunder – Perhaps this team isn’t quite ready to finish the season with their conference’s best record, but when I saw that clip of KD playing flag football with some local frat boys during the lockout, it catapulted my love for him to the top.  Basically, I’m really rooting for this guy and the team he plays for.  But it’s not like the Thunder finishing as the West’s top seed is very far-fetched.  This is a team that’s improved on a yearly basis, and was one Dirk Nowitzki away from a trip to the Finals.  With an explosive, athletic array of talent, and a lean, toned Kendrick Perkins, it seems to me the Thunder have all the ingredients to make a serious run at it this year.

2.  Dallas Mavericks – Losing Tyson Chandler was big, there’s no denying that.  He was the one piece missing from the Mavs during all their previous failed attempts at winning a title.  When they got him, they won.  But, picking up Lamar Odom is definitely going to take some sting off the loss of TC.  While not as long as Chandler, Odom is long enough, and everyone knows he’s a character guy who excels on the defensive end.  Basically, he’s their new Tyson Chandler.  Plus, imagine how good Dirk, Kidd and “The Jet” are going to be when they go out there with the monkey off their backs?  Dallas is playing with house money which makes them dangerous.

3.  LA Clippers – Next year, this team might be #1.  In just two pre-season games, this team showed a glimpse of how difficult it will be to defend them, and score on them.  Their starting back court might be the best defensive back court in the NBA already, and if DeAndre Jordan improves defensively, watch out!  He’s already a great shot blocker.  Chauncey might fit the 2 perfectly on this squad, and his efficiency will skyrocket with CP3 diming to him.  Speaking of CP3, he now has TWO guys who he can throw 14 feet high lobs to, and he’s already the best passer in the game.  Not fair!  Let’s just hope Blake Griffin is still suspect defensively, or else we can make it official now, we’ll see this team come late June.  I think I drooled a little just writing about the Clips.

4.  LA Lakers – I know Lakers fans are saying they’re still the toast of the town, but when you’re star seems to be entering this season at age 45 (in basketball years), your starting Power Forward has been deemed soft (again), and your young future star Center can’t stay on the floor for a season, putting them at #4 might even be a stretch.  Plus do we really believe Mike Brown can coach this team?  I haven’t even mentioned Kobe’s divorce.  Well maybe the divorce helps Kobe, as he ends up being really mad and goes ape shit on the league.  But the way he got turned back by DeAndre Jordan on an attempted dunk in the pre-season, I doubt that scenario is on the horizon.

5.  Memphis Grizzlies – Don’t know how this team will survive long term as it seems everyone was handed out huge contracts, but for the time being, the nucleus of this squad was kept intact with the re-signing of the better Gasol, Marc.  Memphis made their great playoff run last season without Rudy Gay, so naturally I would assume they’d be a better team with him, plus the gained confidence and experience from crashing last year’s post season.  With all that said, I don’t think the Grizzlies have that “guy” who can take them to the next level.  Finishing 5th in this conference is a great accomplishment for this team.

6.  San Antonio Spurs – I admire a franchise that displays loyalty to the studs that gave them glory.  So keeping perhaps the original “Big 3” of the 2000’s TD, TP & Ginobili together is a class move by them.  Too bad class does not reverse the effects of Father Time and Mother Nature.  This team is old and their glory days are long behind them.  This team is the Lakers of two years from now.

7.  Golden State Warriors – Pending the severity of Steph Curry’s injury, I (again) really like our team this season.  The Warriors have a ton of talent on the offensive end, our Achilles’ Heel has always been defending and rebounding.  But there’s something in Mark Jackson that has me believing that will finally change this season.  Hell, Andris Biedrins had 4 blocks against Sac in their final pre-season tune-up, but more importantly, he looked active and confident on both ends.  He’s been quick to a lot of offensive rebounds this pre-season.  What sets the Warriors apart this year from teams of the past, is our bench looks solid all around, and this is prior to the addition of Brandon Rush.  Once again though, this is all pending the status of Steph.

8.  Portland Trailblazers – The retiring of Brandon Roy puts a dampen feeling to not only Blazer fans, but NBA fans in general.  He is a class guy off the court, and a silky, smooth assassin on.  Luckily for the Blazers, in instances where they’ve drafted bad, or unlucky, they also drafted good and made solid off season acquisitions.  LaMarcus Aldridge has blossomed in Roy’s absence and is an All-Star in my opinion.  Who would of thunk Wes Matthews was worth every cent he got of that huge contract (thus far)?  With young studs like Nicolas Batum and the addition of veteran Point Guard Raymond Felton, the Blazers have enough fire power to finish in the Top 8 this season.  Where they go from there, is anyone’s guess.

Chappy

1. Seattle Supersonics – There’s no such thing as sneaking up on anyone this year. KD, Westbrook, and Harden will continue to grow offensively, but I think the real tipping point will be the way Ibaka and Perkins can protect the rim. Ibaka showed tons of promise, and Perk was too injured to make a difference last year but will this season. I think the biggest question for these youngsters is can they handle being the target and whether their two superstars can co-exist.

2. Los Angeles Clippers – Remember when CP3 led the Hornets to the #2 seed a few years ago? Well, he won the MVP that season, and his team wasn’t nearly as talented as the Clippers team he’s currently on. I actually think with this cast, he will win the MVP this year if he can stay healthy, and will be one of the most entertaining teams in recent memory. They might need another big man to give Blake and Deandre a blow, but at every other position they’re deep, which is great in a shortened season. I just hope there’s no blown ACL for CP3 like nearly every Clippers PG goes down with.

3. Dallas Mavericks – It was interesting to watch them let Chandler walk. I’m sure they knew he wasn’t worth $60M, which is why I was kinda happy the Warriors didn’t end up with him. Odom going to Dallas was a pretty solid move for them. They also picked up Delonte West to help cope with the loss of Barea. I don’t understand why they only have one so-so center on the roster in Haywood, but this team always seems to be in the top 4 teams out west with or without a competent center.

4. Los Angeles Lakers – Another team that looks in flux. Can Andrew Bynum finally live up to his hype and stay healthy for a full season making him the second best center in the game? Doubt it, because he hasn’t ever done it. The worrysome part for the Lakers is their bench. They lost Odom in one of the worst trades ever, and didn’t find anyone that is worthy of replacing what he does. This team has almost declined enough to bump them out of the top 4, but not quite yet.

5. San Antonio Spurs – This might be a bad pick putting them this low since they were the #1 seed in the West last year. That being said, they didn’t really inject much youth into this aging roster. Tim Duncan might be healthier than he was last year, but we’ve seen him on the decline for quite some time. Will Tony Parker ever get traded? Seems strange they got rid of George Hill, and kept the older, more expensive declining Parker.

6. Memphis Grizzlies – There seems to be an uproar on Rudy Gay coming back and actually hurting this team. How can getting an All-Star back in the lineup hurt your team?!? Do Grizzly fans actually think Tony Allen is better option than Gay? There’s noway I understand that logic. I see Conley and Gasol taking steps forward, and this team is pretty young so that will help in those triple headers during the season.

7. Denver Nuggets – There’s only one reason I’m taking the Nuggets to make the playoffs and that’s because they are so deep even with some guys still hanging out in China. They played really good down the stretch last year after they sent Melo packing, and also dealt with Coach Karl’s medical conditions. That shows me there really is a team feeling going on in the locker room. Nobody really plays a lot more than 20-25 minutes on a given night, which is going to be a good thing with the upcoming compacted schedule.

8. Portland Trailblazers – There’s tons of bad news out of Blazers camp with Brandon Roy retiring, Oden missing nearly all their games (shocking), and Lamarcus Aldridge suffering some strange heart problem. That being said, this team always seems to overcome and sqeak their way into the playoffs. Felton and Crawford seem like solid additions to Wallace, Aldridge, and Matthews trio.


Barkley’s Back! Watch Out Pac-12, BCS

Man, today is probably the most excited I’ve been about USC football in years. It’s hard to get excited about a team when the games don’t count for anything. Next year, the Trojans are off probation, and I certainly know how good it feels to be off probation! I’ve been a USC fan since 1995 when my sister enrolled there.  Since I chose to go to school at a mid-major conference school, I didn’t have a football team. Well, we did in the past – a damn good one at that – but we had too many black people. In 1951, the USF Dons went undefeated, but were uninvited to any bowl game because they had, gasp, three black guys! That team is still the only college team in history to have three future NFL hall of famers (Bob St. Clair, Ollie Matson, and Geno Marchetti). They surely would’ve had a fourth, if it weren’t for a devestating, career-ending injury sustained by Burl Toler. Still, he went on to become the first black referee in the NFL, so that’s still pretty notable. Add to that, the team’s information director, a guy by the name of Pete Rozelle, went on to play a small part in the NFL’s history, serving as commissioner from 1960 to 1989.

Those days are long gone though, so I’ve adopted USC as my college football team. It’s been a rough few years, but as I mentioned, the Trojans are off probation and back in the thick of things next year. Not many people realize this, but they finished the season as the 5th ranked team in the nation in the AP poll. I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t watched them much in the last 2-3 years since they weren’t bowl-eligible. The exception being the big win over Oregon this year. I can’t imagine I would have watched in on an average Saturday night, but I was in Utah that weekend for my grandfather’s funeral. It was a great game, and I was excited for what could be next year, but I assumed it was a foregone conclusion that quarterback Matt Barkley wouldn’t be there. Even leading up to today, I didn’t really hold out much hope that Barkley would return for his senior season. He would have been a consensus top 10 pick in this year’s NFL draft, and I still can’t really see any kid wanting to play for Lane Kiffin. But Barkley is different. He’s one of those once in a decade players who had dreamed of playing at USC his entire life. Following in the footsteps of Matt Leinart from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA, Barkley also chose to return for his senior season. What makes it special, though, is this year it’ll count.

The Trojans finished 2011 with a 10-2 record, that of course went largely unnoticed. Their two losses came against an Arizona State team that was a LOT better than the one playing in tonight’s Las Vegas Bowl, and a triple-overtime thriller against an elite Stanford team. Not only is Barkley coming back, but he’ll have his two best receivers returning as well. Sophomore Robert Woods and Freshman Marqise Lee combined for 184 receptions, 2,435 yards, and 26 touchdowns. Running back Marc Tyler graduates, but Curtis McNeal was the team’s leading rusher. With probation behind them, I’ve got to believe they’ll have one or two future Heisman candidates coming in next year to take handoffs. They are expected to lose junior left tackle Matt Kalil to the NFL Draft, but you can’t win them all. Next year, though, the Trojans just very well may. I hope Oregon and Stanford enjoyed the run they had, because next year the Pac-12 goes, once again, through Southern California.


Best Plays of 2011

I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of these types of videos as New Year’s approaches, but this one was the first that I deemed post worthy. Sure, they missed some highlights here and there, but overall it showed us a lot of our favorite moments from this past year of sports. The one’s I would’ve like to see added to it you ask? At least one Jimmer from another area code shot, and something from that final day of the MLB regular season, Dan Johnson’s homer perhaps!?!


Kobe in Taiwanimation

Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. First, I was depressed by the Raiders loss to the Lions, then caught a cold, then last night I thought I’d take in the W’s final preseason game, then BAM just before halftime Curry rolls his often injured right ankle, and Monta has some sexual harassment charges against him to boot. All this has added up to me not being excited about writing or my teams at present. Anyways, the whole Kobe saga brought me a little joy, and I love the end of the Taiwanimation where CP3 is standing over him “taking LA”.


Doin Lines Week 15

Chappy: I feel like there’s a lull in every football season where most of the games you watch seem to blend together in a I don’t give a f**k what’s happening except if my fantasy player is doing good, which is why I never understood why people thought they should extend the season any longer than it currently is. Do I need two extra week’s of football added onto the season? Not for me. I think I mentally check out from what the analysts and writers say for a solid four to five week period aside from injury updates. By won’t be joining me again this weekend, as once again life has gotten in the way. Sam Hurd took Doin Lines to a new level, so he was the obvious choice for the picture up top of this post. Now it’s onto Tebow time with the picks!

Last Week: Chap (3-2)

Overall: Chap (41-28-4), By (27-20)

Dallas @ Tampa Bay (+7)

Chappy picks Dallas (-7). We’ll if the Tampa resident Sportschump isn’t picking Tampa Bay, I don’t see how I could. Dallas has looked good at times this year, but then they have a no show every now and then, and even though they usually collapse in December I think they should handle the Bucs who have regressed a ton this year on their way to seven straight losses. I’d be shocked if Tampa covered the spread or won this game.

Green Bay @ Kansas City (+13.5).

Chappy picks Green Bay (-13.5). This feels like the no brainer of the week since NOBODY beats the Pack, which scares me to an extent since two TD’s are a big spread in the NFL. That’s not the case here though, because the Packers can put up by 14 before all the fans are even in their seats. Kansas City usually plays well at home, but with the coaching change and a less than healthy roster with Palko leading the way, I don’t see them scoring more than 10 points, and the Pack can put up 30 in their sleep.

New Orleans @ Minnesota (+6.5).

Chappy picks New Orleans (-6.5). New Orleans in a dome, how can you bet against them!?! These two teams couldn’t be on more opposite ends of the spectrum. The Saints are on a 5 game win streak, the Vikings are on a 5 game losing streak, and are looking to lose more. I hear Adrian Peterson is going to be back for this one to help out people’s fantasy teams, but I don’t feel like that will keep them within a TD after they get down by two or three scores. Plus I’d rather just see him sit out so I win my bet.

New England @ Denver (+6.5)

Chappy picks Denver (+6.5). There’s noway God lets the Broncos lose by more than a touchdown. Actually is there anyway God lets the Broncos lose period? As much as I want to see the Pats win to help my Raiders out, I just don’t see it happening. Tebow might even look like a good throwing QB this weekend playing against such a crappy defense that even made Dan Orklovsky and Rex Grossman look good. If the Broncos can shorten the game, ie not give Brady a ton of possessions by running all game, I don’t see it being that high scoring which works in the Broncos favor. I feel like Von Miller will spend a lot of his time covering Gronk, and if there’s anyone that can do it, it’s him. I feel the same way Steve Smith does, the Broncos D doesn’t get nearly enough credit.

Detroit @ Oakland (+1)

Chappy picks Detroit (-1). I don’t feel good about this game one bit. Why didn’t Goodell suspend Suh for three games instead of two? Oh yeah, he probably heard from God’s messenger Tim Tesus that he needs the Raiders to continue to fade, so even if Suh is the anti-christ he still should get to play in this game. Both these teams playoff hopes are riding on this weekend. Right now the Raiders just don’t have enough offense to keep up with the opposing teams scoring on their so-so defense. Denarius Moore is expected to be back, so at least with a deep threat in the lineup they can get the ground game going again, but that won’t be enough as the Raiders season ends this weekend.


Goodbye Josh

Although Josh Willingham only donned the green and gold for a season, he was one of my favorite A’s players in recent memory, and it appears he’s heading to the Twins. Even if he doesn’t end up going there it doesn’t look like he’s going to be with the A’s either way. Whoever ends up with him, they got one of the most underrated guys in the league. Sure, Josh might miss a game here and there, he doesn’t play the best defense in the world, but he does give you consistency whether you have someone good hitting in front/behind of him or not at all he puts up production. He might be the first guys that came to Oakland, and didn’t bitch once about the hitting in the spacious coliseum. He didn’t bitch about switching to the AL for the first time in his career after being in the NL for five years (looking at you Holliday). He even wanted to stay in Oakland for one of those “hometown discounts” us A’s fans hear other players willing to take to stay with other franchises. While 29 homers and 98 RBI’s isn’t a monster season, in this Oakland offense, it was. I honestly can’t understand why more teams weren’t interested in him or making a push for him when he’s putting up solid numbers in the worst hitting park in baseball. I mean, didn’t Jayson Werth get a kings ransom last year for doing less than what Willingham did this past season? Why aren’t teams trying to offer him what he’s worth? There’s tons of defensive deficient outfielders out there that produce far less (see the entire overpaid Anaheim outfield). At least the A’s will get a couple compensation picks out of it or some money to bid on Yu Darvish with, since that’s all we really seem to value these days…


Keep The Change Ya Filthy Animal

Christmas season is in full swing now, so you have no excuse to have not watched Home Alone recently. Quite frankly, there have been a lot of Angels with Filthy Souls (coincidentally, two of them now play for team of that very name) over the course of the last week. Each day there’s been a new story, and each has a greedy bastard behind it. Allow me to run down the list….

Albert Pujols – Did anyone really ever doubt he would bolt St Louis for the biggest paycheck? Players can say what they want, but at the end of the day, they’re people like us. If we had to choose between a handful of companies, assuming the job was the same, we’d all pick the highest salary. We might take a couple bucks less to be in a city more to our liking, but that’s it. It’s an ego thing. You want the highest number you can get. Say what you want, Dierdre Pujols, but that’s what happened here. You can say you were insulted by St Louis’s offer, but at the end of the day, the reason is still because they didn’t offer as much money. Same thing. Pujols in an Angel uniform will enhance my disdain for them, but not nearly as much as…

CJ Wilson – He and the Angels are a match made in douchebag heaven. I started out liking Wilson because he made the transition from closer to starter effectively, and that’s admirable. But once you go and say Oakland fans suck, that’s where it ends. The reason the stands aren’t full is because the owners are selling us a AAA team with the clear understanding that they’re making no efforts to win any time soon. Texas fans wouldn’t show up for that, neither would Angel fans. Anyway, Wilson is coming off a career year, and Anaheim is always willing to pay. Wilson is a Southern California native, but far more of an Orange County guy, not Dodger material. I look forward to seeing how this contract plays out. He carries a 1-5 postseason record, with a 4.82 ERA.

David Stern – I really like what Stern is doing with this whole Chris Paul debacle. I like it because I don’t like it. Anything the commissioner does to draw more scrutiny in his direction is a welcomed move in my book. I’m so sick of this guy ruining my favorite sport that it’s gotten to the point where I just have to sit back until he runs it all the way into the ground. It reminds me of former A’s manager, Bob Geren. Ultimately, you just had to root for failure in hopes that it will bring change.

 

 


Boardwalk Empire State of Mind

Not sure how many of you out there watch the Sunday’s HBO series Boardwalk Empire, but even if you don’t, you will still enjoy this music video. If you do watch the show, it’s pretty awesome how they incorporated a lot of the characters and themes from the show into the lyrics, and the song is pretty catchy to boot. Either way, it’s probably better than most of the stuff you’ll hear on the radio today…


Doin Lines Week 14

Chappy: Let’s just not talk about last weekend and leave it at that since it wasn’t a good week for either of us. Unfortunately By won’t be joining me with the picks this week, because work has gotten in the way again.

Last Week: Chappy (2-3) By (1-3)

Overall: Chappy (38-26-4) By (27-20)

Oakland @ Green Bay (-11)

New Orleans @ Tennessee (+3.5)

Chappy picks New Orleans (-3.5). I’ve rarely bet on the Titans games, because they’re a very hard team to figure out. I’ve heard all about how the Saints struggle on the road, but this offense is clicking on a level they haven’t seen since their 2009 Super Bowl run. It hasn’t just been through the air either. Regardless of who’s been running the ball  or catching out of the backfield they’ve been gobbling up the yardage. I know Chris Johnson is tearing it up lately, but the rest of the Titans offense just doesn’t convince me they’ll be able to keep up on the scoreboard. Maybe they’re 7-5 for a reason, but I honestly can’t put my finger on why they are.

New England @ Washington (+8)

Chappy picks New England (-8). Is this the same New England team that was favored by 20 last weekend against a Colts team that was put to sleep with Peyton’s neck surgery anesthesia? I think so, and I’m sure they know that last weekends game was way too close for comfort. I expect to see a huge game from Brady and Co with their defense stepping up more than it has in a few weeks. I’m sure the Grossman-Helu option play will get the Pats prepared perfectly for their match up with the Denver Tebows in week 15.

Oakland @ Green Bay (-11)

Chappy picks Green Bay (-11). I wish one of the three injured guys between McFadden, Ford, and Moore was healthy enough to play. If ONE of them was playing I’d feel comfortable that the Raiders would be able to cover the spread. I’m getting annoyed with how Hue has been our defacto GM this year, and trying to wear too many hats in the organization. I didn’t mind the Palmer trade, and still don’t, but the second time he was put into a GM type ruling with McClain, he showed us why he can’t do both jobs. While worrying about trading for Palmer, we ended up getting thumped by KC. While worrying about whether or not to play McClain last weekend ended with them getting destroyed by Miami. Hue didn’t have the team prepared the two times he was playing GM instead of concentrating on winning that week’s game like a HC should be doing. I look for the Raiders to play better than last week, but let’s face it, they’re playing the Packers in Lambeau… Oh a sad note, my condolences go out to Chris Johnson, and the sister he lost to a senseless shooting, maybe Rolando will learn something from this.

Chicago @ Denver (-3.5)

Chappy picks Denver (-3.5). As if it couldn’t look more hopeless for the Raiders supposed resurgent season. Now the healthy Von Miller led Broncos D gets to feast on Caleb Hanie and his Forteless offense. Maybe Urlacher or Briggs can do us a favor and knock a snot bubble out of Tebow. I’m actually predicting there will be no Tebow magic in this one, because the Bears will never really be in this game long enough for that Tebow magic to actually happen. They could probably win with Eric Decker starting at QB this weekend. I think God has one of those stickers on his truck with a Broncos fan peeing on a Raiders logo.

St. Louis @ Seattle (-9.5) 

Chappy picks Seattle (-9.5). I usually try to avoid these games, but this one was an easy choice. Seattle actually looks like a solid team recently. You could even say they’re the Dolphins of the NFC as hot as they’ve been. If you haven’t been enjoying Marshawn going all beast mode the past four weeks, then he must’ve scorned you in a fantasy league in years past. Seattle is really tough to beat at home, and St. Louis forgot how to score points a few weeks ago when they gave up on their season. Not even Steven Jackson can get interested in their games. If the Rams score more than 10 points, I’d call that a mini-win for them at this point.


Winter Meetings Bringing Some Winter Depression

As I heard the Miami Marlins making it rain with their signings of Reyes, Buerhle, and Bell simply because they’re moving into a new stadium and now have more money. It couldn’t help make me wonder if the A’s could do the same thing if they were moving into a new stadium as well. Maybe they won’t spend on that same level, but it does give me some hope that they will be able to spend like the big boys one day. Unfortunately that we won’t really know if that day exists anytime soon because the MLB still hasn’t made any rulings on the A’s stadium situation and possible move to San Jose after three very long and frustrating years of waiting. All the 1,000 A’s fans have had to look forward to is if Andew Bailey or Gio Gonzalez gets traded for a bunch of minor league guys this off-season. At least last year they were throwing offers out there to Beltre and other free agents. This off-season it’s back to standard operating procedure. Our spending has gone down for three straight years, and even when we are in the free agent market nobody wants to come to Oakland unless they’re a semi-washed up pitcher or reliever. Even guys that want to stay in Oakland like Josh Willingham for a discount nonetheless, which is unheard of, since no hitter ever wants to stay in the spacious Coliseum can’t sign with the team because we’re waiting on the MLB’s ruling. I don’t fault Billy Beane like some have in recent years, because it’s impossible to build a team or plan for the future when you don’t know where you’ll even be.

Then the news broke that CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols will be joining the division rival LAAAAAAA for about $325M. No big deal for Moreno, just a couple additions to get more people in LA waving those game changing rally monkeys. I do hope whoever runs the CJ Wilson is a douche site keeps it going. It makes a ton of sense for the Angels to do this to try and take over the LA market while the Dodgers are in a rough downtime, and while doing so they also stole the division rival Rangers #1 starter. Weaver, Haren, Santana, and Wilson is a ridiculous rotation that was already good last year. Trumbo and Pujols makes for a solid heart of the order. The A’s haven’t spent as much as Moreno did in one day on payroll for the last four years combined made me even more depressed. While I’m not overly worried that Pujols will live up to his humongous contract, it will suck to see him playing against Oakland for 18 games a season. Another thing for A’s fans to be depressed about is the fact the Astros are joining their division which means we have more even competition to get that 3rd place finish next year. Fortunately you need 25 guys to play well to win, so there’s a little hope, but a more likely scenario is having to hitch more of my rooting interest on the Warriors and Raiders for the next couple years…