Tag Archives: championship

Doin Championship Lines

This football season sure has flow by. Maybe it’s because the Raiders were relevant for so long I kind of forgot what it meant to care about the regular season. I ended the year making good picks with three straight winning weeks, as soon as the playoffs started, I went down faster than a Charlie Sheen threesome culminating with last weeks 0-4 performance. What does this tell me about making picks in the playoffs, don’t listen to any of the hype. Pick the opposite of your instincts, and you’ll be okay. Maybe that’s not the best strategy, but I have to change it up since nothing I’ve done the first two weeks is working.

.500 in the playoffs, I’ll take it.  The bonus here is I successfully picked the biggest upsets in the playoffs thus far, Seattle over New Orleans and the Jets over the Pats, so I’m some what satisfied with my overall performance in terms of picking winners this post season.  Only problem is, I have no winnings to show for it.  Maybe I should stick to two spot parlays over four.  Well, there’s only two games this weekend …

Green Bay (-3.5) @ Chicago

Chappy picks Chicago (+3.5). I really don’t want to pick Chicago, and would much rather see Aaron Rodgers make his first Super Bowl appearance, but it’s opposite day with the picks, so I guess I’m rolling with Obama’s favorite team. In two games during the regular season the Bears held Rodgers to 27 total points. This looks like a different QB than the last time they played though as he tore through Philly and Atlanta, but I’m confident the Bears D can stifle him enough to keep the score close. The Bears are a much better defensive unit than those first two teams Rodgers faced. Even though the lowly Seahawks put up 24 points on the Beard D, that game wasn’t as close as it looked in the final score. I’m far from a Cutler fan, but his season has been pretty good, and whether I like to admit it or not, he is a franchise QB. He’s made the best from what he had, which isn’t much outside of Matt Forte on offense. He’s definitely prone to make some ill advised throws here and there, but overall Cutler has grown a lot since last year’s abysmal season. I can’t remember a home team that was the #2 seed, and won their division, and was still a dog. That point alone sold me on this pick.

I like the Packers defense and offense better than Chicago’s, but that doesn’t always win you games. I think a few turnovers, and some solid returns from Hester set the Bears up for a win. These divisional games are usually very close, so it’s impossible to not take the points.

By picks Green Bay (-3.5). Normally I’d be shocked to find that a team that barely made the playoffs (albeit through no fault of their own, 2010 Seattle Seahawks) would be the favorite on the road against a team who finished second in the conference.  But not if said team had Aaron Rodgers as their QB.  I was high on Atlanta all season, and despite the fact that they weren’t the Pittsburgh Steelers on defense, the Falcons still did enough to hold off opponents for wins.  But Aaron Rodgers absolutely destroyed them.  He’s been picking apart most of the defenses he’s seen for a minute now, and is easily the hottest QB heading into the conference championships.  Combine that with the opportunistic defense of Green Bay, and the Packers have a winning combination.  If “loosey goosey” Jay Cutler rears his ugly head at all this weekend, the Pack will get a few picks and send the Bears into hibernation.

NY Jets @ Pittsburgh (-3.5)

Chappy picks NY Jets (+3.5). Should we start calling him the Sanchize again? He’s already graduated from my nickname earlier in the year the SanCheckdown. I may have fallen prey to the media surrounding Sanchez, because he never can do enough to get love from the writers, me being one of them. He has had a good year, but this weekend against the league’s best rush defense he is going to have to step up. I don’t see him going for over 300 yards or anything, but his ability to pick up third downs will be the difference in the game. We know the Jets will run whether they gain yards or not, so it’s going to be up to Sanchez to find ways to convert those third and longs. I think the Steelers will win, but since it’s opposite day I have to stick with the Jets. Plus, I don’t really like that everyone calls the Steelers Americas team. It’s better than Dallas being called Americas team, but nobody outside of the Saints last year should have that label, because is America really rooting for the Steelers? Laughable if you ask me…

By picks N.Y. Jets (+3.5). As much as I think Alex Smith could easily be Mark Sanchez if it were he riding the coat tails of that tremendous Jets’ defense, I must admit, that scoring drive to answer New England’s, culminating in a beautiful touchdown grab by Santonio Holmes was quite impressive.  Impressive considering what was at stake.  If they don’t score, I truly believe New England’s momentum carries them to a come back victory.  But Sanchez nipped that in the bud.  The Steelers are a wholenother monster.  Sanchez will not perform so eloquently against the best defense in the business.  But he won’t have to.  I think Sanchez has developed a comfort level in being the game manager/clutch timely passing QB.  His 4-1 playoff record would back that statement up.  As good as a defense is, you need someone who can make the plays when it counts on offense.  If Sanchez could be the equivalent to the 2000 Trent Dilfer, then by all means Jets fans, take it.  I think he’s almost there.  When everything’s said and done, I believe the Steelers are by far the better team.  But if I have to go with my gut instinct, I think the Jets pull this out.

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Feelin the FIBA Championship More Than I Thought

I really didn’t think I’d get into the FIBA championship this year, but surprisingly I’ve caught at least a little bit of each game. Either when they decided televise them 12 hours after they happened on NBATV, or on ESPN3 when I’m at work, and not so busy. As much as I was unimpressed with the names on the squad we put together, I was very impressed with how well they’ve come together over the past month. If you watched their first game and last game, you’d see a dramatic improvement. They finally looked comfortable together against Angola, and sent them back to their country. I was surprised to find that the U.S. was not the favorite to win the title. I guess not winning the tourney since 1994 is a good reason for them to be ranked lower, but still, shouldn’t the country that invented the game be the favorite even with the rules being much different than the NBA? I’d think so, and even with the B squad they should beat down the competition. Continue reading


Delusional Thoughts on The NBA Finals

Kobe's game face isn't nearly as intimidating as his game has been the last two rounds.

In reality, I don’t like either of the teams in the Finals. Maybe it’s more their arrogant fans than the players, but either way it’s a great match up that I’m sure the NBA couldn’t have drawn up any better if it was planned. Well, maybe they could’ve had the refs force a couple game sevens, but the teams they wanted were winning, so they couldn’t pull a reverse Sacramento 2002 to give the underdogs a chance! I guess we did see it coming though, so we may as well enjoy what we can from it. The best part for me in this series, is how much the main guys want that title. Kobe and Garnett are as good as Jordan at getting their teammates motivated and focused. Kobe is truly reminding me of MJ this playoff run, and this is probably the first time I’ve ever openly admitted that those two could be on the same level. Since the infamous knee draining, I’ve never seen him playing out of his mind like this. Everything he puts up is going in, there’s no defense against him that really works. Ok, hopefully that’s the most I’ll talk about Kobe for awhile, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little while writing those last couple sentences. Anyways, Lebron taught us one thing this year, and that was you need the Championship type heart throughout your team, and both the Lakers and Celtics have that heart. Continue reading


Luring Lebron

 

So I was thinking about this a little bit more and thought it makes a whole lot of sense.  Sure, there are about a half-dozen teams that will offer James the max salary, probably something close to 30M/yr for 6 years.  But is that enough to get Lebron?  I don’t think it is, because he can get a team to the Eastern Conference Finals 5 years in a row whether you have a supporting cast in place already or if you build one around him progressively.  He proved that in Cleveland, and he’ll do it anywhere in the East.  I think ownership will have to be included to really lure Lebron, and of course it will be another first in the NBA (if it’s legal in the NBA… is it?). 

Anyways, here’s my theory:  Let’s say the Bulls and Jerry Reinsdorf are desperate to get back to where they were in the 90’s with Jordan.  And let’s say that the Bulls are worth, oh, about $600M estimated (quick search found this value as of 2008).  And let’s say the value of ANY franchise, even the Bulls, will grow at least 50% over his 6 year contract.  That’s a net worth of $900M after 6 years.  And let’s say the Bulls gave Lebron a 10% stake in the team to lure him in, just enough to get his attention but not too much to where you as the owner still have total control.  With the proper valuation figures in place for the negotiation(not just my mba-quality guestimation), Lebron’s net worth can possibly grow an extra $60M in year 1 to $90M in year 6.  So, along with the contract value approaching $180-200M over 6 years, he would in fact be netting closer to $275-300M over that time frame, or an average net-worth of $45-50M a year on the higher end of my valuation theory.

Same should be said about the Knicks, whose value was actually a little bit more in 2008.  They would easily grow 50% over 6 years in their market after a string of playoff appearances, and you could argue they might actually grow way more than 50%.  Those higher end figures could be more on the lower end at that point.

Anyways, again I don’t think it’s legal for a player to own a team while he’s playing, but if it is, and you want the greatest player of his generation for his entire prime and possibly more, this is what I would do if I was an owner.


Phillin the Love at Augusta

It was quite a fun weekend of golf, even if you aren’t that into the sport. There were plenty of memorable players and shots that made it interesting and fun to watch. The whole time I was waiting for the wheels to fall off for Phil, instead I was pleasantly surprised it was Tiger falling apart on Sunday. There were a lot of fun story lines that kept me from changing the channel, including 50 year old Freddy making a push, Anthony Kim coming out of nowhere, Lee Westwood playing solid, but not quite pulling it out in a major once again, and a lot of great golf shots in between. Continue reading