Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quickies on NFL Week 12

- How I still love CBS regional coverage. Everyone in Pittsburgh got to see the Brownies/Bungals snoozer instead of Peyton Manning displaying brilliance against the Texans.
- Speaking of Houston, wha-ha-happened to the Texans? Not just today in their seemingly inevitable collapse, but last week in a brutal loss to Vince Young and Tennessee. If they had beaten the Titans last week, they'd be 6-5 (even with this weeks' loss) and still in the playoff picture.
- Who's Chris Redman?
- Josh Freeman looks pretty good as a pro quarterback.
- There are quite a few bad teams in the league this year, and they seem to always play each other. Seattle/St. Louis was the headlining U.G.H. (Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible) game of the week. And it was just that, a bad game. In other news, I was playing Justin Forsett in two fantasy leagues this week, which is AWESOME.
- I'll be the first to tell you I wasn't pulling for Vince Young when he first came out of college. I just wasn't a fan, mostly because in his extremely mediocre rookie season he got all the credit for winning games (when in reality, Vince had a completion percentage around 50% and his defense single-handedly won a few games without the offense even scoring a TD). But now, I've whole-heartedly jumped on the VY bandwagon. He's learned the ways of NFL quarterbacks and is playing at a level we'd only seen from him while he was at Texas. His "Comeback Player of the Year" story peaked with a tremendous 99-yard drive to beat Arizona on the final play. Way to go, Vince.
- Are the Eagles good? Or are they bad? I have no idea. The same goes for you, San Francisco, and you, Jacksonville.
- Ricky Williams is back...seriously.
- Someone needs to make a t-shirt that says "Aaron Rodgers is My Homeboy."
- Still no reason to believe in Dallas, Denver, or Cincinnati.

Send Me to the Vancouver Winter Games!
On a side note, there are less than five hours remaining in the voting period of the Olympic blogging contest. YOU can help me go to Vancouver to blog about the Olympics! ends TONIGHT at 11:59 PST (2:59 EST). Thank you so much for your support. I love all of you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NCAA Big Game Pick 'Em - Week 12

I'm thankful for my great family, wonderful friends, Thursday football, college basketball, Allen Iverson and Tyronn Lue, Simply Orange, boxes of chocolate ice cream, turkey, tryptophan, Thanksgiving naps, Aaron Rodgers, Walrusmen, Jay Cutler's interceptions, waking up to a bunch of "Happy Thanksgiving!" text messages, the Jake Delhomme after-interception face, having people tell me they're "voting for you every day!", Tyler Thigpen circa 2008, Olympic curling, and whoever invented the Turkey Bowl.
After my personal bye week (due to finals and a lack of sleep), I'm back at the grind...let's start with some Turkey Day NFL picks and a few important college picks.

NFL (gobble, gobble):

Green Bay (-11.5) over Detroit

I hope they never change these games, no matter how bad the Lions get. Seriously, what other time during the season can's headline be about Detroit and no one thinks twice? Plus, you don't want to be watching a barnburner shortly after you've eaten six-to-eight pounds of turkey. A nice, easy, simple win by Green Bay will help your stomach digest all that Thanksgiving has to offer. On a side note: last week, as the Steelers were busy losing to the Chiefs, I got the pleasure of watching the Lions/Browns game (thank you very much, CBS regional coverage). And let me tell you, that game ended up being the best game I've seen all year, and it was made even better because we were watching with a Browns fan.

Oakland over Dallas (-13.5)

Probably a stupid pick, but after Dallas almost got goose-egged by the Redskins (of all teams), I think 13.5 might be a little bit on the high side. And now I suddenly remember why the Raiders are so, so bad. But I remember it conveniently after already making my pick. Great.

N.Y. Giants (-5) over Denver

I want the Broncos to win this game, I really do. And I can't believe I'm picking against The Winner. But I am, only because Eli and Company looked like they were semi-back last week, and because I don't want ANY team to gain an AFC Wild Card spot if my sleeper Texans aren't going to make it. Can't we take a year off from the W.C.?


Ohio Bobcats - 27 Temple Owls - 21 (OT)

First, if you're wondering "WHY THIS GAME?" I'll enlighten you. I'm a Bobcat, through and through (even if I've called for Frank Solich's old-fashioned style of football to be canned). And second, the ramifications are huge. The winner wins the MAC East and moves on to the MAC Championship game early next month. For Ohio, two wins in the next three (including a bowl game, assuming they're chosen) means a TEN win season, and that would be an incredible turnaround after the 4-8 stink-bomb they put up last year. O-H...I-O, in a great one.

Pittsburgh Panthers - 23 West Virginia Mountaineers - 20

WHOOPS! Forgot to pick this game, but I'm doing it now (three hours before game time, just so you know it's legitimate). I live in Pittsburgh, yes, but I'm not a huge Pitt football fan. However, when Shady McCoy and the Panthers ended West Virginia's national title hopes in 2007, I rejoiced alone in my basement. Now Pitt has a chance to get to a BCS game if they win the next two, so the Mountaineers have a chance at redemption. Does Pat White still play at WVU? No? Ok, I'll take Pitt, thank you very much.

South Carolina Gamecocks - 23 Clemson Tigers - 14

Simple: SEC > ACC. That's all. Although C.J. Spiller is a stud.

Oklahoma State Cowboys - 30 Oklahoma Sooners - 23

With the victory, Oklahoma State stays alive for a BCS at-large bid (which they don't deserve, even though I picked them to get there in the preseason - there's a chance the Pokes would get in over unbeaten Boise State, and that's just shenanigans). I really want Boise to get to the BCS, but I want my picks to be right. Oh, how torn I am. Tie, please?

BYU Cougars - 33 Utah Utes - 14

Too much offense for the Utes to handle, as Max Hall runs it up in the second half after Utah keeps it close in the first. Talk about your underachieving mid-majors, huh? Utah lost a lot of players after last season, so their drop-off is almost understandable, but BYU just TANKED after a program-defining win over the Sooners in week one. Ouchtown, population B.Y.(YOU)., bro.

Stanford Cardinal - 30 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 27

Toby Gerhart, meet Swiss cheese (ND rush D). Toby likes Swiss Cheese. Toby eats Swiss cheese at all three meals. And on a side note, how hysterical was it that Jimmy Clausen got sucker-punched? I'll tell you. My decidedly anti-ND family and I will undoubtedly laugh about it over turkey in a few hours.

Have a marvelous holiday. Remember to vote for me for the Olympics!!! Thanks for readin'.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shower Thoughts - NBA Salvation

"Because whose mind doesn't work better in the shower?"

This is republished from a few months ago. Enjoy!

My summer has been full of great stories, wonderful walk-off moments, and loads of Pirates losses, but I couldn't help but remember one bay-side encounter that reinforced what I love about sports: for the most part, they are pure and full of emotion.
Even the NBA.
Now, even if you've only spent a few hours in my presence, I've probably ranted about how much I dislike the Association (yes, I talk about it that much). I've never seen the excitement in professional basketball and its' loose traveling rules, lackluster defense, and scores combining to equal 500. It has honestly never interested me. Ever. Until this past June, when a fateful cab ride brought ESPN's favorite sport and me together for the first time.
My family and I took a vacation to San Francisco a few months ago (the first time I've been anywhere near California), and I loved every minute of it. From the actual city to nearby Pebble Beach and Napa Valley, the trip was a total success. On our first day in the city, we got in a taxi with a driver named Shane. Shane was quite the character - diehard San Francisco Giants fan (claims to have denied Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson access to his cab because they were members of the Dodgers), extremely talkative, and outrageously hysterical. He explained to us how he makes a living outside of driving people around; he is a sports bookie for people around the city. And he sure does talk like (or maybe simply act like) he knows what he's doing.
He continues to explain his philosophy on that nights' huge NBA Finals game 5: the Lakers, up three games to one, were, according to Shane, going to intentionally lose the clinching game of the series in order to prolong the series.
Shane believed there was too much money to be made by having a game six for L.A. to win the title that night. He was convinced that Kobe Bryant was going to throw a game in the Finals. Can you process that? I could not, and still cannot. I was curious, so I asked, "How can you be so sure?"
Shane replied quickly, "It happens in every sport. Take baseball for example, all managers bet on their teams. You can always tell if they've bet on their team to lose or win depending on which reliever they put in the game. He puts his recent call-up right hander in to face Pujols with a lead? He's bet on his team to lose. Torre puts in Mo' in the 8th to pitch six outs for the save? He's bet on the Yanks to win. Simple as that."
That couldn't possibly be the way sports worked. I just shrugged it off and went about my business for the rest of the day. But it lingered. I was still horrified that sports may be inherently corrupt. "Nah, impossible."
"But what if he's right?"
There was only one way to find out, I had to (shudder) watch the Lakers/Magic game that night. Caring about an NBA game was a small price to pay for redeeming my hope in humanity.
Unfortunately, we were out being tourists for the day, so I had no way of knowing what the score was. We didn't get back to our hotel until later that night, and those questions had been bugging me so much all day that I raced into the lobby and asked the first person at the bar what happened in the Lakers game.
He replied, "Lakers won! 99-86! Kobe did it!"
Sporting integrity challenged, sporting integrity restored.
Thank you, Kobe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This story, about an incredible announcer from Parkersburg High School in West Virginia, has taken a TON of hours, but was absolutely worth every minute that it took. Take a look, the story is absolutely 'unbelievable'.

Thanks for reading watching.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vote to Send Me to the Olympics!

A couple weeks ago, I entered a contest, sponsored by Microsoft Office, to send one student blogger to the Olympic Games in Vancouver this February. A few days ago, I received a call from a lady named Ashley. Ashley told me that I had been selected as one of FIVE semi-finalists for the Vancouver trip. How cool is THAT?

The semi-finalists are listed at for fans to vote on. The top three vote-getters will be named Finalists, with one entry receiving an all-expenses paid trip to Vancouver to blog about the Olympics for a week.

The following is the essay I sent in to the contest.

I could write this essay about me. I could write this essay about the fact that I like sports. A lot. But instead, I’m going to write this essay about why I like sports.

A unique characteristic accompanies sports. Sports have the inherent ability to inspire people. From the 1980 United States Olympic hockey miracle to the Central Washington University softball heroes to Jason McElwain, wonderful sports moments make athletes and fans believe they can do what they otherwise wouldn’t even think to attempt.

Millions of people watch sporting events every day. Why? Sports are uplifting. Sports are genuine. In a world where seemingly every channel is showing another homicide, arson or car crash, sports give the average person hope.

Sports give me hope.

Sports give me hope in the goodness of mankind and the ability for people to inspire others to be better than they currently are.

The Olympics are the best illustration of the pure goodness of humanity. The Olympics are the quintessential example of sports because they bring humanity together. Sure, it’s only for a few weeks every few years, but the Olympics give the entire world a chance to believe in the same cause.

The Olympics give the world a chance to be united and be inspired together.

And that is magical.

The Day Ended With a Kiss

This post first ran this past summer, when I was an intern for FSN-Pittsburgh. Enjoy!

I can, unfortunately, count on one hand the number of adjectives that I use to explain events on a daily basis. "That was amazing/incredible/unbelievable/phenomenal" get the picture. But none of those worn-out and over-used descriptors can do justice to the experience I had on a Tuesday in June when I spent the day with the greatest trophy in sports - The Stanley Cup. So, what I usually do with one word (the closest I've gotten is "special," but even that doesn't come close), I'm going to try to accomplish in, say, a thousand.
I was sure I fully realized the magnitude of the day until I crossed the Fort Pitt Bridge into downtown Pittsburgh around 6:35 a.m. My heart was finishing Stage 7 of the Tour de France and was simultaneously telling me that I had underestimated this moment. I walked through the doors of FSN-Pittsburgh and into the studio, where I was told the Cup would be displayed. There was nothing there yet, so my boss gave me an editing assignment right away: I was to create an hour-long loop tape of the final 3:17 of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals so we could play it all day on the TV's in the studio for the visiting families to watch as they got their picture taken with the Cup. Talk about suspenseful - I was reliving the moments where my Penguins were winning the Stanley Cup just minutes before I would see it in person. I couldn't help but remember Pens radio commentator Mike Lange's words after the clock hit triple zero:"Oh, Lord Stanley, scratch their names on your fabled cup." My sports brain took my real brain back to watching now-USSR-red-clad Marian Hossa catch his breath while the Soviets celebrated on Lady Mellon Arena's ice, and then slowly moved through the roller coaster 2009 season - listening to the opener in Sweden, hitting rock bottom after six unanswered goals against the Leafs, hearing about a coaching change that unfortunately needed to happen, watching TSN online as news broke about huge Pens moves at the trade deadline, listening to Lange announce the first of five straight road wins for a Pens team stuck in 10th place, and finally exhaling after Marc-Andre Fleury's breakaway robbery of Alexander Ovechkin and Rob Scuderi's desperation saves in Game 6 of the Finals. As any sports fan can attest, you feel like you take the journey right alongside your favorite teams, not from a couch hundreds of miles away.
When the video was done and I had come-to, the rest of the interns had arrived and we went to the studio to be briefed on the day's happenings. A blue box had appeared on the studio floor, and it looked more like a rolling coffin or a "suspicious package" that would warrant airport security's time than the traveling sanctuary for Lord Stanley's Cup, but nonetheless, I was already in awe. The history of the Cup is unbelievable - it's the oldest trophy in sports (dating all the way back to 1893, the first year engraved on the cup) - and so are its traditions - each person involved with a Cup-winning team gets a day with the trophy, and if you aren't a person directly involved in the team's success, you don't lift the Cup above your head (I really hope that if someone were to try this, the Cup would either sprout arms and smack the person in the head, or go on the Janet Jackson diet and become too heavy to lift).
As we left the room, a man with a Hockey Hall of Fame crest on his jacket pocket passed us. The man, Mike, who I called the "Cup Bearer" for lack of a better title, is part of a special fraternity of people who are with the trophy threehundredandsixtyfive days a year. These men are to the Stanley Cup what the Secret Service is to the President (I was afraid to ask if he would take a bullet for it, but I think I already knew the answer), and they are about as intense as the First Family's bodyguards, too. When we returned to the room after receiving more instructions, I think I stopped breathing for about the time it took me to write this paragraph.
There it was, resting on the table, light seemingly hitting it from all the magnificent angles,The Stanley Cup. I couldn't say so before that moment, but I am now a believer in love at first sight.
I took my position on the floor, not anywhere mentally close to ready to greet people who would be arriving shortly, but I semi-snapped out of it as I, for the fourth time in an hour, saw Fleury make the save on Nicklas Lidstrom that ensured that 375,000 people would get the chance to participate in a parade on the streets of Pittsburgh. I saw that play almost twenty times in eight hours, and got chills every single time. I'm sure I can expect the same emotion each time I see it for the rest of my life.
Back to reality, once again, where a closer look at Mike found him fully equipped with a scowl and a pair of dark sunglasses, but also with a great knowledge of his commander-in-chief. A visitor was perusing the names on the Cup, when, without hesitation, Mike stood up, walked to the Cup, barely looked at it, pointed in two spots and said "Mario Lemieux, Mario Lemieux."
Unspoken question, answered.
The next seven hours were a huge blur for me, with 1,100 people coming in and out of the studio, each one wanting group/individual/semi-individual/half-group/double-baby/half-body/hugging/kissing pictures with it. We had to remind a group of guys that, sure, they could make out with it, but they should remember that they were kissing a bunch of guy's names. They proceeded anyway, and why wouldn't they? More famous lips have kissed that trophy than maybe any other thing in the world, except maybe Donald Trump's keester.
But after my work was done, and everyone was starting to physically (not mentally) leave, I got a chance to move closer and get my picture taken with Lord Stanley's Cup. Can you believe it? Yes, I realize nearly a billion pictures were taken with the Cup in a matter of hours, but I was trying my best to not ruin the moment. Every "epic failure" scene in a movie was rolling through my head at one time: I'd trip over the platform and knock over the Cup into the back window, the glass and the thirty-five pound metal trophy would somehow shatter and I'd go to jail for life after Mike punched me continually in the esophagus.
As I got within inches, I could see the famous flaws - besides the Cup itself being dented, there was the 1981 misspelling of "Islanders" as "Ilanders" and an uninvolved man's name crossed out with a series of X's, and the lack of a rhyme or reason to the engraving (in 1991 - M. Lemieux, Capt - and in 1992 - Mario Lemieux, Capt.), among many others.
I guess that's part of the lure of the Stanley Cup, it is as imperfect as you expect a hundred-plus year trophy to be and it truly is the player's trophy. The players spend the most time with it (the Cup has been everywhere from strip clubs to the bottoms of swimming pools to the tops of mountains - the most uttered phrase that day was "If the Cup could write a book..."), and it is available for human contact, whereas if you were to go to the Steeler complex, you would see six Lombardi trophies enclosed behind protective glass. The Stanley Cup doesn't have its own private jet or bulletproof glass, it gets wheeled onto the plane with Mike and its cover is a ventriloquist's trunk with a few "Fragile" stickers attached to it.
I got my picture with it quickly, and then contrary to what my history has been with girls, I went in for the kiss. Dry and cool, but still, the best kiss of my life. Quite the spectacular aura surrounds The Stanley Cup. Despite the imperfections, I'll be surprised if I ever think another trophy is as beautiful as this one, all factors included.
My boss reminded me to pick my jaw up off the floor so I didn't trip and basically had to push me out the door so he could go home, but I left the studio feeling upliftingly odd, like something inspiring had flown to my car with me. And as I sat in horrible rush hour traffic that I didn't even bother to notice, I often wondered if the reason for my excitement was that I had actually stolen the Cup and was still in its presence.
I left checking my rear view to make sure the beautiful casket wasn't residing in my back seat; every time I looked I genuinely wondered if it was there.
I left having had the experience of a lifetime, one I wish every hockey fan could get the chance to have, and feeling as though Lord Stanley had scratched his name on my memory forever, and that I'd probably never actually leave that moment.
I left knowing that I desperately needed to find a new adjective.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 10

Last week could be summed up in one word...dismal. I had another awful week, and this weeks games aren't getting any easier to pick.

San Francisco (-3.5) over Chicago
One of many "U.G.H." (Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible.) games this week, including loads of talented, but mediocre NFL players. Leading that list are the two quarterbacks, Jay Cutler and Alex Smith. Cutler's been awful at times this season, to say the least. But both defenses are good and I think we'll see a battle of two up-and-coming tight ends: Vernon Davis and Greg Olsen. I think both will catch touchdowns.

Jacksonville over N.Y. Jets (-7)

I haven't even heard much of anything about the Jets recently, which means that Sanchez is playing poorly enough to get himself dropped out of the media spotlight. On the other hand, Maurice Jones-Drew is putting up crazy numbers, and is helping one of my fantasy teams immensely. Jags for the upset.

Denver (-3.5) over Washington

This would be another "U.G.H." game if Washington weren't so awful. I mean, if it weren't for the Browns, I'd say the Redskins were the worst team in football. But, fortunately for Washington, the Browns exist as an NFL franchise. Denver needs to get back on the right track. Playing a pushover game never hurt anyone.

Pittsburgh (-7) over Cincinnati

The Bengals are much improved, as I thought they'd be, but I still don't think they're on the level of a healthy Steelers team. I do see this game being quite competitive, and I probably shouldn't pick the Steelers with the line as high as it is, but I have faith in Ben and the offense. But it sure will be weird with a November game at Heinz Field being played in 70 degree weather.

Tennessee (-7) over Buffalo

I watch a lot of television, especially ESPN. So when T.O. got put in Buffalo, I rejoiced wholeheartedly. That meant I wouldn't have to hear his constant whining from the spotlight in Dallas or Philly. And doesn't that make the world a slightly better place? Sports feel less pure with all his complaining.

Detroit over Minnesota (-17)

Don't get me wrong, the Vikings are going to win, but I just don't think they'll win by more than 17. Maybe 16. Or 15. But not 17 or more.

New Orleans (-14) over St. Louis

Is it me or have the Saints been a little flat ever since the game at Miami a few weeks ago? They haven't won a game convincingly since then, but getting the Rams on the schedule is a sight for sore eyes. Another noteworthy item: Reggie Bush is finding the end zone all of a sudden? That's even more surprising with Pierre Thomas in the same backfield.

Atlanta (-1.5) over Carolina

I just refuse to take Jake Delhomme until he shows me any sign of him being an NFL quarterback. First, and best way to do that? Throw the ball to Steve Smith, please. But for now, the Falcons are going to ride Michael Turner's broad shoulders to another W.

Tampa Bay over Miami (-10)

A team with a rookie quarterback, a rookie coach, and coming off their first win of the season gets 10 points? That's easy money (if I was actually a gambler, which I'm not).

Kansas City over Oakland (-2)

The "U.G.H." Game of the Year! I don't. even. care.

Arizona (-8.5) over Seattle

To begin the year, I saw this match-up as the decider in the NFC West, but now, it's only a stepping stone for the Cards on their way to another division title. What happened to Seattle's defense? A few years ago, I could always rely on the 'Hawks D to score reliable amounts of fantasy points every week, but now they're just horrid. Larry Fitzgerald...Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Philadelphia over San Diego (-1)

This is a toss up. On one side, I like what I've seen from McNabb and all his receivers, but on the other side, I think the Chargers are about due for an offensively charged (pun totally intended) game. I just don't think it'll happen this week.

Dallas (-3) over Green Bay

Every once in a while, I go with the reverse psychology pick, and this is my once in a while. Green Bay was one of my Super Bowl teams, and I really want to see the Pack start to play well, especially on defense. So I'm going to take the Cowboys, which I really (really) (really) don't want to do, but if it gets Aaron Rodgers to stay upright in the pocket for the rest of the year, I'll bite the bullet.

Indy (-3) over New England

Hopefully, and most likely, this will be a wonderful game to watch. In this rivalry, it always is. I've got faith in Peyton in this thriller. Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to the most underrated receiver in the entire league, Reggie Wayne. Seriously, what is it with Colts receivers getting overlooked in the "Best WR" discussion? First, Marvin Harrison and now Wayne. The guy's a machine.

Baltimore (-11) over Cleveland
Here's the deal. This line isn't nearly close enough to reality. So I've set my own. Baltimore minus 23.5 sounds better. Baltimore 31, Cleveland 7. The seven points for the Brownies is generous, too.

Last week: 6-7
Overall: 72-56-1

Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NCAA Big Game Pick 'Em - Week 10

What do you think? Can we please get some separation in college football? Can anyone win convincingly? On the brighter side (as is the title of my blog), I've been sneakily good picking the college game in 2009, and I'll keep it going in week 10.

#20 Wisconsin Badgers - 31 Michigan Wolverines - 23

I can't believe I'm picking against the Forcier's (I haven't done it all season), but RichRod's team is simply struggling, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And not to mention Wisconsin's nearly unbeatable at home.

#11 Ohio State Buckeyes - 23 Iowa Hawkeyes - 14

With Stanzi out, the Hawkeyes lose more than their quarterback. They lose their offensive leadership. From what I saw of Vandenburg against Northwestern in limited time, I can't see Iowa scoring with ease against a Buckeyes defense just hitting their stride.

#17 Arizona Wildcats - 27 California Golden Bears - 10

I guess there's potential for a "team that's extra motivated wins with pure heart" victory for Cal after Jahvid Best's injury, and I haven't seen much of the Wildcats, but I don't think Cal will be able to move the ball very well without Best helping to move the ball with his electric feet.

#4 TCU Horned Frogs - 30 #16 Utah Utes - 14

The biggest game of the week won't even be close. Utah isn't anywhere near where they've been in the past, and TCU isn't about to let the Utes beat them twice in a row. I'm tellin' you, TCU for the National Championship. And on another note...without a clear-cut number-one contender for the Heisman, I think Kellen Moore deserves more credit than he's getting. Sure, I still think Mark Ingram should win it, but Moore's been terrific in 2009 and he needs to get a ton of votes.

#8 Pittsburgh Panthers - 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 14

Sure, I'm from Pittsburgh, but I've never been a die-hard Panthers football fan (I'm more of a basketball guy), but I've seen my fair share of Pitt games this year, and they seriously look good. I covered a bunch of Panthers when they played high school ball (Jonathan Baldwin, Anthony Taglianetti), and I know the kind of athletic talent they possess. Baldwin, especially, has tremendous speed and leaping ability. Pitt and Cincinnati for the Big East title? That has best game of the year in the Big East written all over it.

Georgia Bulldogs - 17 Auburn Tigers - 13

I always love picking these games. You know, the "two mediocre, but evenly matched teams playing in a semi-meaningless conference game." In this thriller, Georgia's defense prevails.

Last week: 3-3
Overall: 36-19

Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 9

After my first under-.500 week of the season, here comes the rebound week.

Jacksonville (-6.5)
over Kansas City

But the question is: Will anyone see this game? Or, better yet, will anyone care? Both answers: No (emphatically).

Baltimore over Cincinnati (-3)

And now the Bengals begin their descent to the 8-8 mark that they deserve. Cincy has been the overachiever of the season until now, and Baltimore needs to continue to get back into the AFC North picture. Joe Flacco is a great start on fantasy teams this week, trust me.

Indianapolis (6.5) over Houston

This is one of those picks I'm going to regret in an hour's time (2:00 p.m.). I haven't picked against the Texans all season, and I shouldn't start now, but I will. Want to know why? I would argue for Peyton Manning as the greatest quarterback of all-time. And I think I'd win. Watch a home Colts game and this is what you hear when Peyton is changing things up at the line. ................. You hear no sound whatsoever from the crowd, who seems like they're trying to hear every word of a beautiful theatre production instead of distracting the defense.

Atlanta (-9) over Washington

God, the Redskins are bad. And Roddy White is single-handedly saving me in fantasy this season.

Green Bay (-10) over Tampa Bay

Here's to you, Aaron Rodgers, you are the 'Pimp of the 2009 Fantasy Season'. Now if only you could get some pass protection. Or if only my fantasy team could find a ground game.

Arizona over Chicago (-3)

This is one of those horrible lines you see every week. You know, the "Horribly Underachieving getting points at the Horribly Overrated, and you still can't figure out if either defense is really any good" game.

Miami over New England (10.5)

Might be closer than we think, but this just doesn't seem like a game the Patriots will lose, does it? I really don't think that, after last years' blowout in Foxborough, that the Dolphins will EVER beat Belichick again. He might put the "Curse of the Cut-Off Hoodie" on them. It's possible. New England by nine.

New Orleans (-13) over Carolina

Jake Delhomme against a top-five NFL team? That's all. Also, I'm thinking Carolina is that team most likely to reach and take Tim Tebow in next years' NFL draft, and regret it immediately.

Detroit over Seattle (-10)

Detroit's finally healthy (somewhat) and the Seahawks have looked awful lately. For the record, I think the 'Hawks will win, but it'll be close.

San Francisco (-4) over Tennessee

I'm really pulling for Vince Young, I swear, but this isn't the time for him to win. Maybe next year, Vince.

San Diego over N.Y. Giants (-5)

Another horrible spread to pick. Rivers should have a field day against the awful Giants secondary. I'd say Chargers by seven or eight. On a side-note, LT FINALLY SCORED A TOUCHDOWN! But wait, I bet he notches less than double-digit fantasy points this week. One of those Willie Parker patented "17-for59" days.

Dallas over Philadelphia (-3)

Not buying into the Eagles yet, but then again, I don't like the Cowboys either. I smell an upset, however, and I think the Cowboys will run the ball effectively against Philly to get the win.

Pittsburgh (-3) over Denver

I like this matchup for the Steelers, but the fact that it's in Denver worries me slightly. Oh yeah, and we're playing Kyle Orton's Neck Beard. Oh crap, maybe I don't like this matchup anymore.

Last week: 6-7
Overall: 66-49-1

Thanks for readin'.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NCAA Big Game Pick 'Em - Week 9


Looking back at my preseason picks, I'm pretty proud of the way they're turning out. We'll see after this week, however.

LSU Tigers - 23 Alabama Crimson Tide - 13

Ok, I picked LSU for all the wrong reasons. Mainly because I want every team in the top three to lose so we end up having Cincinnati, TCU, and Boise State sitting there undefeated with a bunch of one-loss BCS-conference teams. If Boise and TCU were to play in the National Championship, that would completely overthrow the system (I'd hope) and cause a real discussion about a playoff in college football. But it'll never happen.

Penn State Nittany Lions - 27 Ohio State Buckeyes - 21

Only because the game is in Happy Valley. Is it just me or do even the "big games" in the Big Ten seem anti-climactic? The best thing about this game will be the PSU White Out. And seeing JoePa get angry. (see above)

UCLA Bruins - 24 Washington Huskies - 10

Too bad for Jake Locker that the Huskies couldn't keep rolling with the momentum of that win over USC. The Huskies were such a great story, and honestly, they still are. A year after going oh-fer, Washington is back on the map, but they won't be able to win much more down the stretch. Neuheisel gets his first Pac 10 win.

UNC Tarheels - 20 Duke Blue Devils - 17

Did you know that Duke still has a chance to make the BCS? I don't want to think about that possibility anymore. Heels win.

Oregon State Beavers - 33 California Golden Bears - 24

Cal's been falling since their great start, and I don't think they'll right the ship in time to finish strong in the Pac 10. But Jahvid Best is a stud. So there's hope for the Bears.

Oklahoma Sooners - 23 Nebraska Huskers - 10

Just one of those games that makes you go..."ugh." The walking wounded against the horribly boring. I'll take Formerly-Big-Game-Bob.

Last week: 4-2
Overall: 33-16