Friday, August 29, 2008
So this is how I do my predictions each year. I put the entire schedule down on a piece of paper and I pick every single game until the end of the year and then I tally up the totals. Some of the teams end up with surprising totals and many end up skewing further away from the middle than if I was to generically pick a record. But this is how I do it so, if you care to check them out scroll down.
Click on any of the images to blow up so you can see the schedule and the picks.
5. Appalachian State Mountaineers at Lousiana State Tigers
Not like a miracle is going to strike twice for the Mountaineers, but wouldn't it be cool? The defending champion knocked off by a 1-AA team? Either way the fact that the 1A and 1-AA champions are playing their opening games the next season against each other is pretty cool. The Pick: LSU by 17.
4. Southern California Trojans at Virginia Cavaliers
Not that I think the Trojans really have any chance of losing to Al Groh, but the cross country flight plus a semi hobbled Dirty Sanchez means that this game could end up being closer than it should. Additionally this game is paramount to getting USC on the right foot for their showdown against the Buckeyes in two weeks. The Pick: USC by 10.
3. Virginia Tech Hokies at East Carolina Pirates
This game will fly under the radar a bit, but it pits one of the ACC front runners against the Conference USA front runner in Carolina. The Hokies almost stumbled last year in Blacksburg to start the season against the Pirates. This year in the land of the purple the Hokies have a big test in front of them. The Pick: Hokies by 6.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide at Clemson Tigers
For Clemson this is the year that they have a chance. They have a talented team and they have a possibly the easiest ACC schedule they could ask for in not playing UNC, Miami or VaTech in the regular season. The Tigers should knock off Saban in this one but they are always prone to the choke. The Pick: Clemson by 6.
1. Illinois Illini vs. Missouri Tigers
The only other team with National Title hopes with a serious test this weekend is the Missouri Tigers. Last year the game went down to the wire but the Illini didn't get enough Juice to put them over the top. This year its all on Chase Daniel and Juice Williams shoulders, a win and you could potentially start off a National Title run, a loss and kiss those hopes goodbye. The Pick: Mizzou by 14.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Fabrice Santoro got upset over the fact that Andy Roddick, 'Tried to hit him with his serve'. First of all its a tennis ball, those things are soft. Second of all you're like 120 feet away, its called move. What a little women.
Here's the video I was talking about, on the next segment Lou Predicts that East Carolina is going to win 15 games this year.
College Football starts tonight... Yes tonight, fall is almost upon us so here goes a full out conference by conference & BCS by BCS prediction. And then in January I can pretend like I was a genius or not mention how bad my picks were.
Conferences I Don't Care About Winners
Sun Belt: Louisiana Lafayette, cause their Ragin Cajuns.
CUSA East: Southern Miss, Home of Favre.
CUSA West: Houston, Cougars are fun
CUSA Winner: Southern Miss, It's the year of the Favre
MAC East: Bowling Green, ESPN is all about bowling in the fall
MAC West: Central Michigan, Directional Michigan Powerhouse
MAC Winner: Central Michigan, Continued Directional Dominance
Mountain West: TCU, Horned Frog Domination
WAC: Boise St., Smurf Turf Power
Important Conference Winners
ACC Atlantic: Clemson Somehow the Tigers missed out on playing VaTech & Miami and given the status of FSU this offseason and the departure of Matt Ryan they should run away with the ACC Atlantic.
ACC Coastal: VaTech The Hokies are flying a bit under the radar this year. They might stumble with out of conference games at Eastern Carolina, the Conference USA favorite and at Nebraska, but those tests should be enough training for to fight through a brutal road schedule (@FSU, @Miami, @BC, & @UNC) to hold on for the Coastal crown.
ACC Winner: VaTech 20 Clemson 13, Come on you know Clemson is going to have to choke at some point in the year. They do every single season. If not in the ACC title game it will be when they wear those hideous purple jerseys.
Big East Winner: How Louisville has plummeted since the departure of Bobby 'Suitcase' Patrino. They went from prohibitive favorite to not even talked about. And well, I'm not picking them either. I'm going with the South Florida Bulls because they own West Virginia and they hurt Pat White in every game.
Big 10 Winner: tOSU, Picking anybody but Ohio St. is foolish and even my hate can't overcome and pick a different winner. The Buckeyes will dominate the Big 10 again with Beanie Wells and a little bit of Terrelle 'I Hope You Break Your Legs' Pryor.
Big 12 North: Mizzou, Uh, I hate the Big 12 North because I always get it so damn wrong. I'm going to go with the defending North champs Missouri over conference BCS representative Kansas for the title.
Big 12 South: Oklahoma, For Oklahoma the season comes down to back to back games against Texas and Kansas. If they get through those they should be able to fight through the rest of the year undefeated.
Big 12 Title Game: Oklahoma 33 Missouri 20, a rematch of last years Big 12 title game ends with the same outcome, Oklahoma being crowned Big 12 champion.
Pac 10 Winner: USC, The Trojans have question marks at quarterback with the injury to Dirty Sanchez but chances are that will be resolved well before the Pac 10 season begins. The Trojans are legitimate National title contenders once again this year but will need to A) Beat Ohio St. and B) avoid the Pac 10 let down that has plagues them in recent years. One things for sure, they ain't losing to UCLA.
SEC East: Florida The SEC East pretty much comes down to the Cocktail party this year as we all know Tennessee will choke at some point in time to not be a factor. Unlike last years showing, I believe Tebow with the added help at running back wins the game.
SEC West: LSU The SEC West comes down to Auburn or LSU and for some reason I just think that LSU will find a way to come together around an unproven QB and take the crown again.
SEC Winner: Florida 17 LSU 13, A matchup between the last two national championships and the edge goes to Tebow and the gang.
The Heisman trophy always comes from a dominant player on one of the best teams in the country. So look at the list above, add Georgia to the mix and figure out which players on those teams might be dominant enough to take home the Heisman. The obvious answer is Tim Tebow, he won it last year, Florida should be diesel again and he's the odds on favorite. But picking him is boring. Mr. Moreno for UGA also will make a charge and if they win the cocktail party he will be in the mix. Perhaps quarterbacks Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford, or Dirty Sanchez will lead their team to a great record and make a serious push for the Heisman.
So who am I picking to win? Stiff arming Beanie Wells. Why? He ran for an easy 1600 yards last year as a Sophomore. He obliterated Michigan's defense and the rest of the Big 10. The same will happen this year, and if he has a huge game against USC he will jump to the front of the competition right away.
BCS Title Game Predictions
Fiesta Bowl: Boise St. vs. Missouri - Hoorah for the Fiesta Bowl being another Smurf Turf vs. Big 12 matchup. This time their are no statues of liberty and Mizzou takes the crown.
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia - The Neers lose one game to South Florida which costs them the conference crown but allows them to renew the cross state rivalry. Which they lose.
Rose Bowl: USC vs. LSU - The what could have been National Championship matchup of the 2007 ends up with another USC Rose Bowl domination.
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. South Florida- Thanks to one in conference slip up the Gators miss out on the National Title game and enter the BCS ranked #3 in the Nation. To which Tebow and the gang pummel their in state rival.
National Title Game: Oklahoma vs. tOSU
Everyones worst nightmare will happen if USC can't knock off Ohio St. The Buckeyes will cruise through the Big 10 and wind up in the National Title game for the 3rd season in a row. The difference this year in comparison to years prior is that they will avoid a showdown with an SEC team and that they have Terrelle Pryor. Because of this the Buckeyes will wind up winning the National Title which equals Tears of Infinite Sadness for me.
So let us all cheer for the Trojans as they must beat tOSU in order to thwart their return trip to the National title. I really don't want to see that stupid sweater vest grinning like that again.
When Victor Martinez went down months ago all of his fantasy owners starting weeping into their shirts. They wasted a top pick on a catcher that up to that point in the season had hit zero home runs and now was going on the DL for a lengthy period. So you go out to the waiver wire and try to find a serviceable catcher that's starting for a team but you can't. So eventually you say what the hell I'll just pick up Shoppach and wait until V-Mart comes off the DL. If you did just that you are probably thinking, gold mine.
In 281 at bats this season Kelly Shoppach has 17 home runs. This puts Shoppach 23rd in major league baseball* in At bats per homer at just over 16. The next catcher on the list is Brian McCann who hits a home run ever 20+ at bats, followed by Soto at one every 21.2 at bats**. What is this telling you? That Shoppach has been amongst the best bang for the buck in fantasy leagues this year. He's only been the starter since V-Mart when down and yet he only trails Soto and McCann in homers by a catcher this season and has certainly given you more during the time period he's been on your team than has Soto or McCann.
Fantasy sports foundations are built on draft day but leagues are one by pick ups like Kelly Shoppach.
*Amongst those in the top 100 in homers hit
**Technically Mike Napoli is first in at bats per homer for a catcher as he has 14 in less than 200 at bats
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Instead of going through analysis of given teams, for which I would probably just be guessing, I rather am going to assess each conferences schedules. In particular each conference Out of Conference schedules to see if they like the cupcakes or an actual challenge.
The SEC doesn't need to play out of conference games because they win the National Championship every year thus they are the best conference by default. If you care to argue ask Ohio St. which conference is number 1. Most of the conference squads simply play an out of conference BCS rival and leave it at that. But other than the rivalry game the most interesting will be Auburn vs. West Virgina as the Mountaineers finally decided to step up and play a good out fo conference team. Which they will probably be rewarded with a loss.
1 Team Out of Conference Sum Up: Florida
If the theme of the SEC is to play out of conference rivals than Florida epitomizes that with two games against in state ACC classic squads Miami and of course the season ender against FSU. Both should wind up being easy victories for the Gators who shall be in contention for the National Title game.
Again the SEC has absolutely nothing to prove. Every year they dominate the BCS so its futile to point out just how many 1-AA teams they play over the course of a season.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
As my buddy Joe and I always joke, if Notre Dame was suiting up against an all Jesus team, aka a team made up of 55 Sons of God, Lou Holtz would probably still pick Notre Dame to win by a touchdown.
So of course this weekend when I'm watching Sportscenter and they have him and fellow old man Corso making predictions, Lou picks ND to beat Michigan. Not that big of a deal, Michigan is a big question mark this year, but of course than Lou says that Notre Dame will win 11 games this year. This is the same Notre Dame that lost to a service academy last year. And just when you thought the douchy homerism was going to end ESPN asks which BCS school is going to be the biggest surprise team in the country. Any guesses to whom it was? I'll give you a clue it was another team he coached. If you guessed South Carolina you would be a winner.
Next up on Lou's prediction watch, the Jets win the Superbowl, NC St. wins the ACC, Arkansas dominates the SEC West, Minnesota wins the Big 10, and William and Mary wins the Football Championship Subdivision. Oh wait no I got it, his son Skip Holtz will be the first coach to lead a non BCS conference squad to the BCS title game.
Lesson one to teach children in Connecticut is that if someone is better than you at something than you must find a way to get around them and find some kind of loophole. For a New Haven Youth league the solution was to simply ban a 9 year old kid from pitching in the league. Why? Because he could break the 40 mile per hour barrier and was 'too good' for his competition. So when his coach decided to pitch him anyway, the opposing team left the field and forfeited and the league attempted to disband the team. What a great lesson to teach your children, why try to compete against the best when you can get them not to play?
Just to make it evident that this life lesson is in effect for adults, I play in a Co-Ed softball league on sundays and our playoffs are currently going on. This league, like many others, allows only a certain number of people who live out of town. Our team has basically been the same for several years but in that time period some of the players have moved out of town so now we eclipse that limit. So when we beat a team 17-4 this weekend in the playoffs they decided that they were going to protest our 'illegal' roster so that they could pick up the win.
Monday, August 25, 2008
"It would do good for baseball, like every sport, to have the stars," Rogge said while watching the United States beat Japan, 8-4, in the bronze medal game. "We have LeBron James in basketball. We had Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Magic Johnson on the Dream Team. That trend has continued in basketball, and we have all the stars of the NHL. So we would love to have as many stars of the major leagues as possible. I'd love to see Rodriguez." AP
That's good ole Jacques Rogue the president of the IOC on the topic of canning baseball for the next Olympics and the potential for it coming back to the games. I could go on about why baseball is a better game than 10 out of 10 olympic events but lets just skip all that and go straight to the topic of how big a hypocrite Rogge is. If his policy is the best of the best must be there, than he isn't getting the job doen.
He went on in to say that the 'Olympics' have Ronaldinho as evidence that the soccer games bring stars. Oh really? First of all the Olympic soccer teams can only have 3 players above the age of 23, which means that none of the true national teams play. Secondly, each franchise has the right to refuse entry of their player to the tournament. So when Lionel Messi, one of the best players in the world, said he wanted to play for Argentina his club team Barcelona initially refused. Then knowing that they didn't want to piss off their best player they let him play. So because Barcelona let him play they obviously struggled to start the season right? Or they're first Spanish League game is next Sunday. The best soccer players are not in attendance, and if it was the heart of the club season than most certainly players like Messi and Ronaldinho would not be allowed to play.
The second obvious showing of a sport without their best athletes are the fighting sports with Boxing in particular. In order to box in the Olympics you must be an amateur. The professionals do not participate in the Olympics, they are the best of the best, they are the stars yet Boxing stays.
Rogge is just making stupid for what really is a moronic decision. If Chicago gets the Olympics in 2016 and baseball is not returned to the games it will be a disgrace.
Now that the Olympics are over its time to break down the medal counts and take a view at just which nation the US or China had a more impressive showing. We shall take away all controversy (ie using underage girls) and take away whether or not an event one is a leisure game or any actual sport ie Badminton and simply play with the numbers.
Here is fact #1 the US won 10 more overall medals in Olympic events while the Chinese won 15 more gold medals. Putting together my own simple mathematical equation where a country is awarded 3 'points' for a gold, 2 'points' for a silver and 1 'point' for a bronze China wins by a total of 3 points as seen below. So by that generic equation I would typically say that the Chinese had a better Olympics than the US.
But now let us take a different view on things and think of how many medals a nation actually took home and not how many events a nation won. When the basketball team wins a gold medal twelve different athletes come home with a gold medal, not just one. So what would the totals look like when you take the list of American Athletes with medals compared to the Chinese athletes with medals? The answer, is a lot different. Of the large team sports China won medals in only women's field hockey (silver) and women's volleyball (bronze). Meanwhile the US won bronze in baseball, silver in softball, women's volleyball men's and women's water polo and gold in women's soccer, men's volleyball, men's and women's basketball. Thus we took home a lot more medals than did the Chinese, 51 to be exact.
So I dub it America wins.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
So I kick you in your face.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Coming from a completely unknowledgable position, I would have to imagine that the greatest all around swimmer in the world would be crowned in the Individual Medleys. They're good enough to win a competition that has all the major strokes. So if that's the case, than if Stephanie Rice the winner of both the 200 and 400 Womens' Individual Medleys ever followed up last nights makeout session and made babies Michael Phelps the winner of the 200 and 400 Mens' Individual Medleys you would have to imagine that they would create human dolphins that perhaps would come with gills.
I bet nothing is more enjoyable than getting kicked in the face during your Olympics. For more pics of Olympians getting kicked in the face go here.
How many times does it take you to figure out what Joe Pa is saying? It took me 3 attempts. Obviously he is a historic coach and Penn St. has always been a solid program, but you'd seriously want to play for that man right now? I'd imagine in Pre-Game Pep talks Penn St. players need a translation from Old People Speak to actual English.
Courtesy of EDSBS via LSUFreek
Instead of going through analysis of given teams, for which I would probably just be guessing, I rather am going to assess each conferences schedules. In particular each conference Out of Conference schedules to see if they like the cupcakes or an actual challenge.
The Pac 10, which I have called the Pac 9+1 on many occasions, admittedly puts up a solid out of conference schedule each year. Because they have arguably the best conference system (aka everybody plays everybody once) they have 9 conference games and wind up with typically only 3 out of conference games. But that doesn't stop the conference from setting up quality opponents. Nope, for the most part the Pac-10 only schedules out of conference games against the BCS or the WAC or the Mountain West.
1 Team Out of Conference Sum Up: USC
It will be very very difficult for anybody this year to convince me to drink any Trojan haterade. I dare you to find me another BCS team that plays three big time schools as their out of conference game. Starting off the season in Charlottesville is a test, then they have the biggest out of conference game of the year against the Buckeyes and finally they get to pummel Notre Dame at home.
For all the past hate I've dowsed on the Pac 10 in the past, they really have great out of conference schedules. So at the end of the year if theirs the typical 3 teams vying for 2 spots and one of them happens to be a Pac 10 school, then chances are they are going to get the benefit of the doubt from me.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Pavano is slated to start again on Saturday. So what could he possibly injure in the next 48 hours.
Let's put some Vegas odds on it
Torn Ass Cheek: 60:1
Strained Neck: 30:1
Blown out Elbow: 20:1
Bruised Rotator Cuff: 15:1
Pavano Pitches: 4:3 (Come on even Pavano can't get hurt in 48 hours right?)
Pavano Pitches Well: 30:1 (But you can't possibly imagine he's going to pitch well)
Ask yourself one quick question. Taking only the time this season that a pitcher has been on that team, which pitcher has been the most valuable. With that criteria I think the answer is pretty simple. CC Sabathia has been more valuable during his time in Brewers uniform than any other pitcher has been during theres. He is 8-0 in 9 starts. He has a sub 2 ERA and he's thrown 73 innings in those 9 starts. Ya that's right he's currently pitching over 8 innings a game for the Brewers. I'd like to know what decade that last happened.
Now you can do one of three things with CC regarding the Cy Young:
A) You could take Sabathia's season as a whole including his stats with the Indians into consideration. This usually isn't the way things are looked regarding the Cy Young award, but if you do so you conceivably eliminate Sabathia on the basis of his miserable April.
B) You could say that while CC has been incredibly productive with the Brewers being that he won't even make 20 starts for the team this year he shouldn't be in contention.
C)You could say that no pitcher in the Big Leagues has had more of an impact for a team than CC Sabathia has with the Brewers. Nobody is undefeated for his team. Nobody has a Win in over 80% of his starts. Nobody is saving his teams bullpen at the rate Sabathia is.
Obviously the only chance Sabathia has of winning the award is if 1) He continues his ridiculous current pace and 2) The Voters choose to take option C figuring that no pitcher has been more valuable than CC for his current team.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Is It Ok To Think This is Hilarious? Look at all the exercise he gets. Lean to the left lean to the right. Wobble Wobble.
Can you find every word in the the All Things Pavano Word Search?
Here Are your Words to Find: ARMPAIN, PAININTHEASS, VAGINA, PAVANO, SOREBUTTOX, TENDINITIS, ASSHAT, BITCH, SADSACK, DISABLEDLIST, HATE, INJURY, SURGERY, LOSER, WOMAN, SORENECK, TOMMYJOHN, OVERRATED, REHABSTART
Go Here for the Answers
Hi I'm Ian Kinsler, I've been great this year so I've managed to get myself on the Yahoo Can't Cut List. That means that Yahoo thinks so highly of me that if you just outright dropped me you would be a disgrace to your league and thus they don't allow it. The only problem is that I just hurt myself (Hernia) and there's a good chance that I will miss the rest of the year. So, looks like I'm stuck on your bench doing absolutely nothing.
Carl Pavano missed his bullpen last night due to neck stiffness and is now doubtful to make the start on Saturday. What a loser.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Well that was pretty deep and the pass looked like a slow arcing softball pitch.
Video Courtesy of The Offside
Dong Dong (aka Double Cock) won the bronze in the trampoline. If only he had popped a cap in Canada's Jason Burnett prior to the competition than the jackass wouldn't have been able to stop China from a 1, 2 sweep. It's ok though cause Dong Dong's gonna take him out after the event.
Carl Pavano Could Start Saturday for Yankees in Baltimore
That's an actual headline from the Daily News and its not in the comics section. And what makes it funnier is the jokes that Cashman busts out (dude must be a comedian on the side):
"He's not the villain he's cast as," Cashman, who signed Pavano to the contract, said Monday. "Carl Pavano has worked his butt off. He's always tried. He just hasn't stayed healthy. No one is trying to avoid him. When he's healthy, he can pitch. He's one of the hardest workers we've got. People don't want to realize it or look at it, but that's true.
"He hasn't laid down on us, he just hasn't been healthy. People lose their objectivity and make it things it's not. The bottom line is, he's had every intention of helping us, but between all the injuries, we've had a lot of stuff that hasn't worked physically. When he's healthy, he can do what few can do."
Wow, Cashman the 'He's one of the hardest workers we've got' is perhaps the best joke I will see all year. And 'he can do what few can do' is right up there as well. You are just one human body size ball of humor. You should at minimum hold a comedy show somewhere.
I'm only 25 years old, so when you say something lasted 19 years long that means that it filled up essentially any moment where I have a memory. And that what Mike and the Mad Dog has done, they have been on the airwaves for 19 years. I remember listening to them coming home from summer camps year after year in the car with my father. I remember tuning them in on afternoon days when I was in high school. And for three years with my miserable hour long commute, they have held the majority of my airwaves. And now, whether it be due to irreconcilable differences between Francessa and Russo or whether it be due to the $15.5 million dollar bank that Russo is rumored to be about to make, it is all over. The Mike and the Mad Dog program is done and the afternoon commute shall never be the same.
Here's the tearful departure turned Remix version from last Friday.
Courtesy of Tirico Suave
Apparently if you want to know how large Michael Phelps' Cock is, this here is the site to get that information. So says google.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I present you with quote from MMQB by Peter King, aka Brett Favre's Ball Buffer:
4. I think I don’t want to hear what great fans the Jets have. Not for a long time. That crowd Saturday night was a disgrace. At least half the stadium was empty for Favre’s debut in a Jets’ uniform. I expressed my amazement to a few fellow scribes Saturday night — emphasizing that N.Y. traded for an all-time-great quarterback, not a broken-down one — and they gave varying reasons for the poor turnout. Like it’s the middle of vacation month for New Yorkers, and it’s a preseason game. Horsefeathers. If you really love your team, and you have season tickets, you should have been at that game unless you were in Tibet. Ridiculous.
First off I would like you raise your hand if you've ever heard mass cry from Jet fans or the media on how the Jets have a great fan base. I'm a huge Jet fan and I've stated how pathetic my fellow fan base can be multiple times and have never said we have a great fan base nor one of the best around. So perhaps Peter is hanging out with vastly different crowds than I am, but I don't think that's very prevalent.
Next, Jet fans are obviously pumped and they've been turning out in record numbers to watch Favre practice. And guess what, if you turned out for a practice you would have seen more of Favre in action than you did during the game. Favre played two series. Two. He scored a touchdown on the 2nd and he was done for the game. I live in lower CT about an hour and a half to the stadium and chances are I would have to be paid the equivalent of my gas + food expenses to go to a preseason game. Sure it was probably the most notable preseason game in Jets history, but its just that a meaningless game where the player you want to watch only plays 10 minutes. I think that is well viewed from the comfort of your living room, local sports bar or local restaurant (where I watched the 1st quarter).
Hat tip to S2N for the notice of King's Douchery
|Its the Olympic games and there are a ton of events to determine the strongest pound per pound man, the best fighter, the best swimmer, the fastest man, etc. But which sport really is the fruitiest? Which sport do you think you would most likely see the contestants partying it up at the local All Man Night Club.|
Field Hockey - Maybe its the complete US bias talking but Field Hockey is a girls sport. No man I have ever met has played field hockey and no man I have ever met has ever shown a desire to play field hockey.
Equestrian - Prancing around the infield on a horse seems pretty fruity to me. Its not racing the horse its prancing around a ridiculously decorated field and making the horse do all the work while wearing some odd suit helmet combination.
Diving - They comfortably walk around in bathing suits that is probably smaller than the typical bandanna. And their goal is to jump around in circles and make as little splash as possible. Most men opt for the Cannon Ball approach to making the absolute biggest splash as possible. (Perhaps that should be a diving event, flips and turns and stuff into cannonballs).
Gymnastics - These guys are arguably the pound for pound strongest individuals in the Olympics. And yet they compete it tight jump suits and often times give off that not so straight vibe.
If you eat that kind of breakfast and consume 8,000-12,000 calories a day then obviously Restaurant owners will love you.
Courtesy of NESW
Had the ole draft last night. It's only an 8 team league so all teams are stacked. Feel free to make fun of me and tell me that the ole squad is going to suck or that it would be a sweet team if it was 2005, or that Chad Johnson already got hurt since my draft was held.
Click on the picture if you need it larger.
|Its the Olympic games and there are a ton of events to determine the strongest pound per pound man, the best fighter, the best swimmer, the fastest man, etc. But which sport really is the manliest?|
Weight Lifting - Really whats more than lifting a shit load of weight directly over your head? The actual attempt takes about 5 seconds and all you do in training is make yourself stronger and stronger and more durable. It's tough to think of something more testosterone driven than weight lifting.
Shooting - Screw testosterone driven, the manliest sport in the Olympics is shooting. What kind of man really works that hard to get himself in shape? Getting in shape isn't that manly. No shooting shot guns and rifles now thats manly. You pack your gun up head to the range and shoot at stuff. That's your training. Simplistic and manly.
Wrestling - Any of the fighting events (Boxing, Judo, etc.) could have been used here as well, but Wrestling is used because its the oldest Olympic fighting sport. No punching and no kicking just take downs, throwing your opponent around and beating the crap out of them. And whats more manly than pummeling another man into submission?
Water Polo - You may not thinking of Water Polo as particularly a manly sport on face value and then you need to listen to what actually goes on in the pool. It's basically a brawl in the water where refs can't see nut punches and punches to the face are disguised as swim strokes. It's a non stop battle of fighting and attempting to drown your opponents.
At first when you're reading ESPN's bottom line and the phrase a Shooter was disqualified from the Olympics due to doping you immediately think how the hell could steroids help out a shooter? And without looking into exactly what 'doping' meant, I actually had conversations about how maybe steroids builds strength up and could potentially leave your hand more steady. And then I decided to look up exactly what 'doping' meant and well it all makes sense.
Kim Jong-Su tested positive for Beta Blockers which could be defined as so:
"A class of drugs that block beta-adrenergic substances such as adrenaline (epinephrine) in the "sympathetic" portion of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. By blocking the action of the sympathetic nervous system on the heart, beta blockers relieve stress on the heart; they slow the heart beat, lessen the force with which the heart muscle contracts, and reduce blood vessel contraction in the heart, brain, and throughout the body. Beta blockers may be used to treat abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias) and prevent abnormally fast heart rates (tachycardias) or irregular heart rhythms such as premature ventricular beats." Medterms
Beta blockers are essentially the clutch time drug. They are meant to keep your heart beat from getting out of whack. They are meant to relax you during the pressure moments. Obviously for a shooter the harder his heart is beating the less likely he will be able to keep his hand steady and hit whatever target they need to hit. So it all makes much more sense than if he had taken steroids.
On another note, can we get Arod some of these?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Coming into the Olympics I really was unsure in how much desire I was going to have to watch. I mean if there was ever a swimming competition on television or a weight lifting competition on television, it would take me approximately 3 seconds to change the station and move on. But since the opening ceremony I've watched a ludicrous amount of Olympics. Every night this week I watched NBC's coverage until the depth of the night and am completely running on caffeine right now.
But why have I been a major boost to NBC's ratings? Its because prior to the Olympics I didn't count on one thing, I apparently have a ton of American pride inside me. I vastly enjoy America having the status of the most athletic country in the world, and with that threatened by the dominance that has been China this opening week, I get very very into the Olympics. And thus I put on the Olympics and root heavily for every single American, even people like the Williams sisters who in any other scenario I'd be pulling against and I root heavily against the Chinese. They are currently the rival, they are the enemy.
So for the next week I will be completely locked in. I'm pumped, lets get it done America and everyone competing against China.
(Hell even while writing this post I headed into the break room to watch the US defeat China in the 5th set in Volleyball and gave my typical semi awkward fist pump)
Yesterday James Blake was on top of the world. Yesterday James Blake knocked off Roger Federer in straight sets. Yesterday James Blake looked like he could finally break through and win a big tournament. Yesterday it looked like James Blake would finally get over that hump, get over the hurdle of not being able to win on the big stage. But that was yesterday.
After the first set James Blake was still on top of the world, he still looked like he was getting over the hump he looked like he could make the Olympic final. But that was quickly turned around when he threw away his service game at 5-5 in the 2nd and thusly threw away the 2nd set. The third set turned into an epic battle until the dark mental shadows of Blake kicked in. Up a service game in the third with Gonzalez serving to stay in the match Blake returned a ball that clearly changed directions in the air to land out. The official said out, and after some futile arguing by Blake and the cowardness of Gonzalez to not admit the mistake of the official Blake was clearly rattled. After Gonzalez blew him away to even the match, Blake, still rattled, once again threw away his service game.
With Gonzalez serving for the match with three match points it looked like hope was completely lost. But if Blake is one thing, its a fighter. And after he pummeled three backhand winners to move the game to deuce there was again hope. But alas, it was again false hope as Gonzalez soon closed out the match only points later.
This tournament sums up Blake's career in a nut shell. There's just a hump that he can't get over on the Big stage. Here's hoping that the Bronze medal match will finally be the one.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Jackie Robinson is Americas best historical athlete, in both significance and ability. Everybody knows about what Jackie Robinson endured as the first African American baseball player, but if you strip out all of the hardships and his cultural significance completely and simply take a look at Jackie Robinson the athlete he still arguably ranks as Americas best athlete. Why? Because he did everything, and everything really well.
Obviously Jackie Robinson was a terrific baseball player. He broke into the Major Leagues when he was 28 and went on to play 10 years in the big leagues. He won the rookie of the year and an MVP award. He finished with career average of .311, 197 steals and 137 home runs while mostly playing 2nd base.
Now lets get into all of this stuff you possibly didn't know.
Did you know that Robinson won the junior boys Pacific Coast Tennis Tournament?
Did you know that Jackie Robinson is the first and only UCLA athlete to letter in 4 sports?
Did you know that Robinson lead the Pacific Coast Conference (the pre-cursor to the Pac-10) in scoring in hoops during his two seasons with the Bruins?
Did you know that Jackie Robinson reached the semifinal in a National Negro Tennis Tournament?
Did you know that he also won Swimming Competitions?
Did you know that Robinson one the Pacific Coast Conference title in the Broad Jump (aka the Long Jump)?
Did you know that as a senior Robinson lead UCLA in rushing, passing, and scoring?
Did you know that he lead the Pacific Coast Conference in punt returning his two seasons?
Did you know that he played for the Honolulu Bears and integrated professional Football Team?
Did you know that he played for the Los Angeles Devils an integrated professional team in the National Basketball League?
Did you know that Jackie Robinson was offered a spot on the Harlem Globetrotters?
Want to here some ridiculous quotes? Here you go:
"I played against Jackie every day in practice," (Dr. John) Johnson told a student reporter at Cal State. "And I haven't tackled him yet. He was the greatest athlete I ever saw. At UCLA, the baseball field used to be next to the track. I threw the discus, and during meets Jackie would come to the track between innings, take one jump - in his baseball uniform you understand - win it and then go back to the ball game." CSTV
Called by a rival coach "the best basketball player in the U.S.," ESPN
“The first player who I ever saw dunking as part of his game was Jackie Robinson,” says former Rens player John Isaacs. Black Fives Blog
“But scoring is the least of the dusky marvel’s accomplishments,” noted the Chicago Defender. “A lightning dribbler and glue-fingered ball handler, his terrific speed makes it impossible for one man to hold him in check.”Black Fives Blog
Jackie Robinson did everything well. He played professional Basketball, Football and is a Hall of Fame baseball player. He ran track, he excelled at tennis the man was a machine. So please, anytime you discuss an athlete the 'greatest of all time' bring up Robinson to start the discussion.
Yesterday I wrote about how Michael Phelps is not a better athlete than Lebron James after he was voted as so on ESPN. And while that voting seemed ridiculous, NBC likes to take it one step further and continuously describing Phelps as the American greatest athlete of all time. Can we please not get carried away and say things that are wee bit ridiculous.
First of all if it wasn't for the Olympics having a ludicrous amount of swimming events (17) Phelps could potentially be just another one of the great gold medalists in the US. Sure there's a ton of differences in each stroke but in reality he only competes in events in 2 of them plus the medleys. He has the best butterfly stroke of all time and thus he wins two gold medals right there. And then he obviously is the best overall swimmer in the world so he wins two more golds in the Medley. Next he has 3 relays, one of which it was his teammate who won the race. And finally he has 200 meter free style which is what diversifies him from other swimmers who typically focus on an individual stroke. But its not as if he dominates all things swimming, he will finish the Olympics with zero medals in the Breast Stroke and Back Stroke competitions.
The guy is an American hero and an American icon, he should rightfully be proclaimed the best swimmer of all time and perhaps the best Olympian of all time. But please please please can we stop calling him the greatest Athlete in American history.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
First somehow someway a family in Green Bay bought a Favre Jets jersey six years ago. Apparently the guy got the jersey for his wife and didn't notice the fact that there was no yellow in jersey and that the green was the wrong color and that there's a big Jets logo on the sleeve (Midwestern Intelligence at its finest). The family has season tickets and the woman even wore the jersey to several home games which basically tells the story that Midwesterners are nicer than New Yorkers cause if someone wore a Packer Pennington jersey to the Meadowlands they would be made fun of the entire game.
I guess the bigger question is how the hell did this jersey actually get made? I mean there was never really any Favre to the Jets rumors a long way back. Was someone at the ole NFL Jersey factory really just not paying attention for a couple of hours? And if so, wouldn't you think that a jersey like this would not find its way to a retail store but rather to some lucky Jet fan in Nicaragua?
And this is your downloadable Madden cover with Favre on the Jets. For some reason I think a lot of people (and by a lot I mean almost everyone) are just gonna be ok with the Packer Favre on the front of their Madden box.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
ESPN.com in all of its poll wisdom decided that during Phelps Olympic destruction that they would have a poll consisting of 23 year old 'athletes' (NASCAR drivers are not athletes) to decide whom was the best of the bunch. And well, America is blinded by the glare of the gold medals and the massive eating abilities.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that Phelps isn't a great athlete or what he is accomplishing in the pool isn't phenomenal, it's just that theres no person on this planet who could convince me that he is in fact a better athlete than Lebron James (or Peterson for that matter). It's not Lebron's fault that he plays a team sport that only allows a single gold medal and not 4 variations of the same thing at 4 different distances a piece plus relay races.
Realistically if you want to find the best athlete in the world you would have to take them out of their element and have them perform in a bunch of random sports, and since the Olympics is one whole bag of random sports let's predict whom would win a heads up competition in each sport.
To be fair we shall throw out any swimming event or basketball event as we know whom would win those contests.
Team Sports (Lebron 2-1)
Water Polo (Phelps): Obviously something that involves swimming gives Phelps the edge. Although I wouldn't put it past Lebron to be the #1 nut punching defender in all of Water Polo.
Handball (Lebron): He can dribble, he's fast, he can pass, he's strong as hell, and he can throw. Nobody would be able to stop Lebron outside the arc.
Volleyball / Beach Volleyball (Lebron): Would anybody want to attempt to block 6 foot 8 Lebron James 4 feet above the net? Ya don't think so. Chances are he'd be better than most players in the Olympics. I mean how many of them would be able to block Tim Duncan?
Soccer (Wash): Phelps might have more powerful quicker legs but Lebron would be an absolute beast on free kicks or as a goalie.
Baseball (Wash): I have no idea if either would be able to remotely touch a fastball.
Field Hockey (Wash): I wouldn't care to find out which was better at Field Hockey.
Individual Events (Lebron 6-5)
Diving (Phelps): It's in a pool and Phelps is thinner which is typically the key for victory.
Canoe/Kayak (Phelps): Phelps would probably be better at reading the water and where to take his boat.
Cycling (Phelps): I'm giving Phelps the edge in most endurance based events which may not be fair to Lebron given that his swims end typically within 2 minutes.
Gymnastics (Phelps): The smaller and lighter frame gives Phelps a body a little easier to throw around in a Gymnastics competition.
Taekwondo (Phelps): Quicker legs would probably get Phelps ahead on points.
Weight Lifting (Lebron): I think this would be closer than most think given that Lebron's 4 extra inches would create more exertion. But the 55+ more pounds of muscle would lead him to the victory.
Boxing (Lebron): As big a reach as Phelps has, Lebron's is bigger plus he's a lot stronger. Lebron would knock pummel him in 4 rounds.
Judo (Lebron): 55+ pounds is a lot of extra weight to throw around.
Wrestling (Lebron): Again too much Strength advantage for James.
Fencing (Lebron): This would probably be a close matchup as I doubt Lebron would be very good in fencing, but again like boxing going with the extra reach.
Tennis (Lebron): Giving the advantage to Lebron based on more strength and more height and the perception that he would be able to fire a bullet serve.
The Greatest Athlete Competition (Lebron 7-3)
Every Olympics the so called greatest athlete in the world is crowned when they step foot on the podium with the gold medal in the decathlon. So whom would win this event?
100 Meters (Lebron): The shortness of the 100 gives the advantage to Lebron.
Long Jump (Lebron): Ya, Lebron would wipe the floor with Phelps in the Long Jump.
Shot Put (Lebron): Strength.
High Jump (Lebron): Again jumping high sounds like a tough competition for Lebron.
400 Meters (Phelps): Phelps pulls away the last 100 meters.
110 Meter Hurdles (Lebron): Running and jumping somes like something Lebron would be very very good at.
Discus (Lebron): Strength.
Pole Vault (Phelps): Give the edge to Phelps based on the ligher frame.
Javelin (Lebron): Strength.
1500 Meters (Phelps): Again endurance to Phelps.
Lebron is much bigger and much stronger than Phelps. While most of us have never actually seen Phelps run we can only imagine that Lebron James would be faster in a sprint. This isn't to demean Phelps' accomplishments at all but as Max Kellerman would say "If an alien came down to this planet and said present me with your best athlete to compete in a series of athletic events. If you win you can keep your planet, if you lose we shall destroy your planet." Would you pick Lebron or Phelps as our representative? I know Gilbert Arenas would choose Lebron.
Thrown Out Events that Are More Based on Skill Than on Athleticism: Archery, Shooting, Equestrian, Sync. Swimming, Table Tennis, Badminton, Sailing
In a matter of days Pennington went from a sympathetic figure in my mind to an enemy. I felt bad that he was the one to get his head lopped off on thursday, but now that he's moved on to quarterback a rival franchise I shall be rooting for his often defeat.
One thing Jets fans can not claim with a straight face is that Pennington is a traitor. They cut him at a time when finding a job isn't exactly easy. His options to become a starting quarterback in the NFL were obviously limited and even more so than originally thought with teams like the Vikings showing no interest. So Pennington went a place where he knew he would get PT, a place that wanted him, and a place that paid him (11.5$ million seems a bit much). To restrict him from going to an team in the AFC East would be completely unfair.
As for the Dolphins, other than the price tag, I think it makes logical sense. Henne is obviously their quarterback of the future, but to throw him into the fire both does not make sense for the 08 squad and does not make sense for Henne's development. So by getting Pennington they are getting a great mentor to show Henne the ropes, potentially make the team competitive in 2008, and only locked into a single season. In reality the Dolphin's offense this season is mostly going to be turn and hand the ball off to Ronny and Ricky so Pennington's job is going to be much easier than it was last year with the completely ineffective Jets running attack. I actually think the Dolphins could surprise teams this year, I'm not saying they're going to make the playoffs but I think 7 wins could be within reason.
To sum it up, I'm glad Pennington so quickly landed a job but come week 1 I hope I see a lot of Jets smashing his face into the turf.
Lost in all the Olympic fun of yesterday was the power of the waiver wire and the Diamondbacks acquiring a large Donkey. Now it's not uncommon for a player to get through waivers and for a deal to be made, but usually it doesn't involve the moving of the MLB home run leader.
So how exactly did a division leader wind up acquiring a premium power hitter through the waiver wire? Well there are several factors involved. The first and most important being Dunn's impending free agency. If you are not in a pennant race then there is no point in picking up a rental player and spending the extra money. Next, because he will probably be a Type A free agent, Cincy was only interested in listening to trade offers for Dunn and not a straight contract dump. Thus again if you are not in the race then there would be no point in bringing in the contract. Finally and most importantly for the Diamondbacks is that despite leading their division only the Dodgers sit below them in the standings with legitimate playoff aspirations. The Dodgers could and perhaps should have put in a claim for Dunn simply to block the DBacks, but with the addition of Manny to an already overcrowded outfield they probably didn't want to take the risk of actually getting stuck with Dunn.
Now that all those factors lined up we shall see if the big swinging, oft walking and more often King will actually be a factor in the pennant race.
Monday, August 11, 2008
If you watched the little special NBC had on 'America's Best Athlete' Michael Phelps this evening (probably one of hundreds they run) you learned that Phelps is not only a swimming machine but an eating machine. By order he is supposed to consume between 8000 and 10,000 calories a day (which makes him the best friend of Ann Arbor Restaurant owners). Take that Dr. Atkins. After the segment was over Bob Costas ran through what his typical breakfast is.
"...Three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayonnaise, add one omelet, a bowl of grits, and three slices of french toast with powdered sugar, then wash down with three chocolate chip pancakes." Costas
If this whole swimming thing doesn't work out he just might have a future giving Kobayashi a run for his money.