Quick Notes: A Weeks Review (2/26)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Because someone decided it was a good idea for me to actually work hard at my real job the pace has fallen off a bit here and thus we rely on quicknotes to discuss topics I didn't get to this week.

Olympics

~The Russia vs. Canada hockey game was something I was looking forward to all day and well it sucked. What a disappointment. The Russians were completely outworked and outclassed and frankly they are lucky the Canadians didn't score ten goals. Apparently the Americans woke up the Candians on the weekend.

~How huge was the US win over Canada for their likelihood at a medal? If they had lost to Canada and had to face the Russians with no night off I guarantee they would have been crushed. Instead they just need to beat either the Fins or the Slovaks to secure a medal of any color. That seems pretty doable.

~Ice Dancing has officially topped Cricket in my view of worst sport ever created. Even cross country skiing is more exciting.

~Why are Asians really really good at short track speed skating? Even the two solid Americans are of Asian decent. (Celski is 1/2 Filipino, Ohno is Japanese)

~Athletes that participate in Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, and Aerials are part psycho.

~If there was a place to play Curling in my area of Connecticut, I'd join a once a week beer league. In an ideal curling arena, I'd imagine circular cutouts in the back end of the ice that holds a beer for all 8 team members.

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Blogging the Offseason: Pittsburgh Steelers

Blogging the Offseason worked so well for the MLB that I'm bringing it back for the NFL. You can find all the posts under the label Offseason or just go here.

Today's blogger is Michael Tunison, aka Christmas, made famous by both writing for KSK and getting fired due to this picture (dumbass Washington Post). He now gets paid to work in his underwear at the Sporting Blog.

1. When LaMarr Woodley busted out and said that everyone was going to lose to keep the Steelers out of the playoffs what did you think?
I thought it was a lame ploy on Woodley's part to try to pressure teams that didn't need to try into playing hard. Then again, Woodley was one of the few defensive starters who played better in the second half of the year, so I was willing to give him some leeway.

2. Was this season more or less frustrating than the 2006 season?
Less. The team, as much as they screwed up, didn't start 2-6. And they had some significant injuries to account for some of the screwups, which wasn't as much the case in '06.

3. What do you think the biggest problem with the Steelers this season? Is it simple enough to say Polamalu was out and without him the defense went down hill?
Polamalu is a significant absence. A lot of the blitz packages are predicated on what he can do. At the same time, James Farrior looked old playing with added weight and William Gay struggled in his first year as a starter. There were obviously deficiencies that had little to do with Troy.

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Chasing Lines: MLB Divisional Odds

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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The MLB season is just around the corner and its time to take a look at how Vegas sees the Divisions playing out and how much they'd be willing to pay you if you are a reader of the future.

Of all 30 teams the Phillies and the Yanks are the only two whom Vegas sees as a better than 50/50 proposition. Both seem like a terrible bet. The Rays and Red Sox should both be very good and challenge the Yanks. The Phillies odds are not even close to worth the price of admission. I'd also avoid the really huge longshots like the Jays, Nats, Pirates and especially the Padres. The Padres are going to be BRUTAL.

Now to the three teams I'd most contemplate taking the risk reward. 1) The Mets. Please do a cursory comparison between the New York Mets roster and the Philadelphia Phillies roster, the Phillies roster isn't leaps and bounds better it just has way less question marks. The Mets are +600 which gives a nice payout if their question marks (health and pitching depth) can be answered and the Phillies suffer an injury or two. 2) The Tigers. The Tigers should have won the division last year and their roster isn't remarkably worse this year but you are getting +500 odds. 3) The Giants. I don't like this nearly as much as the other two, mostly because I think the risk is equal to the other two but the payout is less. But... they do have the best pitcher in baseball and Matt Cain isn't too far behind. Perhaps Aubrey Huff will have a resurgence and DeRosa will add much needed life to their terrible offense. They certainly need it.

Image Courtesy of Vegas Watch

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Map of the 2010 US Mens Olympic Hockey Team

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


View 2010 US Mens Hockey Olympic Team in a larger map

So to sum up the composition of the US Men's Olympic team it is unsurprisingly northern based. The Big Ten Country dominates the composition with the highest concentration coming from Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Connecticut surprisingly has more players (2) than Massachusetts (1). The rest of New England has zero players where as Canada and San Francisco both have 1. Yes we have a dual citizen Canadian-American on our hockey team. And yes, spies are the reason we defeated Canada.

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Blogging the Offseason: Washington Redskins

Blogging the Offseason worked so well for the MLB that I'm bringing it back for the NFL. You can find all the posts under the label Offseason or just go here.

Today's blogger is Jack Kogod, aka Unsilent Majority, made famous by stints with KSK, Deadspin and others.

1. Be honest, how big a part of you is going to miss Jim Zorn. (And can you really blame Zorn for failing? He wasn't even hired to be head coach)
I definitely won't miss Jim Zorn. Yes, he was put in a position to fail, and fail he did.

2. Alright with Zorn out of the way, what are your expectations for Shanahan? What should his first line of business be this offseason?
Shanahan has always been one of my least favorite coaches in the league, so I'm not quite as thrilled as some seem to be. I expect the offense to improve, but I'm concerned that the defense will regress. The first thing he needs to do is to sure up depth on both lines. Oh, and find a way to ground Redskins One.

3. Is anybody in the world more excited for an Uncapped season than Dan Snyder? He just might sign every free agent out there.
I just hope Shanahan and Allen can keep him from doing anything too preposterous.

4. As an outsider I actually think Jason Campbell has the look of a QB who is capable enough to lead several playoff teams. Why does he seemingly incur so much venom from the front office? Will he be the QB next year? If not whom takes over?
I've always been a Campbell fan, and I don't think he gets nearly enough respect from the front office or fans. He does need to improve in many areas, especially his play in the fourth quarter.

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ESPN With a Lil False Advertising

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I was perusing ESPN's main page and came across this overly confusing ad for their tv broadcast tonight. Illinois vs. #5 Michigan? As a Michigan fan I sure as hell know that the Wolverines are not ranked 5th in the Nation in basketball nor in hockey. So what could this ad be for? Are the Wolverines ranked 5th in Womens hoops? Nah, and that wouldn't be played on ESPN. Is Illinois actually playing Purdue and they just botched it? Nope. Apparently they just gave Michigan the #5 rank despite their .500 record. Not really sure how they made that slip up, but if you tune into ESPN tonight and are looking for the 5th best team in the country well I can guarantee you that you will be heavily disappointed.

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Taking a Look At the Remaining MLB Free Agents

The MLB season is just around the corner, thank god, and now is as good as any to look at the remaining free agents so here's one sentence for each of the remaining 35+.

Felipe Lopez, 2B - Lopez was actually pretty excellent last season, too bad his agent was a greedy bastard and couldn't get him a contract.

Pedro Martinez, SP -I doubt he wants or could pitch an entire year, he'll get signed mid-May.

Carlos Delgado, 1B - Delgado just seems like he wants to be lazy and only play half a season, why the Mets didn't resign him is anyones idea.

Jarrod Washburn, SP - Basically one of the few left over starters worth a look, he should get a contract within the week.

John Smoltz, SP - The Old man still wants to go, but nobody seems to want him.

Gary Sheffield, LF - Sheffield asshole-ish attitude is finally catching up with him.

Russ Springer, RP - Not exactly sure who Russ Springer is.

Alan Embree, RP - The fact that Alan Embree is still in this league is pretty amazing.

Troy Percival, RP - He looked DONE last year.

David Weathers, RP -David Weathers, always pitching, always pitching not so well.

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People You Probably Don't Want to Be Around Right Now: Vince Wilfork

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vince Wilfork is a very very very large man. I don't think I would want to run into Wilfork in a dark alley when he is at his most pleasant mood so today is not a day you want to say something to piss off Wilfork. See today the Patriots decided to give Wilfork the franchise tag and judging by what he said a month ago, I doubt that's done anything but made him very very angry.

[The franchise tag] is decent money for most people out there. What I do, it's OK. But I don't look at myself as an OK player. ... It's just basically a slap in my face and an insult to me to basically tell me I'm an OK player."

"I want a long-term deal or I want to be free. Point blank." ESPN


The Patriots pretty much did what they had to do. Wilfork is an invaluable asset on defense that they really shouldn't gamble on losing. In all likelihood he had to know this was coming but even with that expectation, I doubt Vince Wilfork is a man you want to piss off right now.

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Curtis Granderson vs. Johnny Damon and the Battle Of Home/Road Splits

Now that the offseason outfield moves have concluded and Curtis Granderson and Johnny Damon have flip flopped places it's time to take a look at which squad was the winner and which was the loser.

Age
The biggest Granderson advantage is the fact that he is 7 1/2 years younger than Damon and much less likely to see a steep decline in production over the next few seasons.

Contract
Granderson is set to make 23.75$ million over the next three seasons with an option of $13 million in year 4 or a 2$ million buyout. Damon is set to make 8$ million over one season. Both of these contracts are extremely manageable for the production that the two are expected to produce.

Fielding
Damon has become a poor fielder. His speed is no longer what made him a solid centerfielder and his arm strength is as embarrassing as ever. Granderson's fielding isn't the greatest in the league but he is certainly an upgrade over Damon.

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Welcome To Detroit Johnny

Now not only is Curtis Granderson replacing Johnny Damon in New York, but Johnny Damon is replacing Curtis Granderson in Detroit, it's almost as if the Yanks threw the Damon keys over to Detroit in the deal. It's nice to see this saga finally concluded but I definitively think the Damon-Boras camp botched this entire signing process. They went into the offseason chirping about multiple year deals and apparently refusing the Yankees 2 year 14$ million dollar offer and by the end of the offseason he was forced to accept a 1 year 8$ million dollar deal for a team in a less desirable market with less chance of winning the world series or accomplishing any baseball related goals.

Oh and I'm pretty sure Damon won't like the new 330 foot distance from batters box to the right field wall. Here's expecting Damon's power numbers to go down down down.

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Who's Ready For Another Meaningless Press Conference Apology?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Yesterday, I made light of the fact that you can now bet on what Tiger Woods will say. Today, I'm saying who the hell really cares what he says?

First off, what Tiger Woods did has absolutely no effect on you or I or anybody outside his family. He's not Donte Stallworth or Jim Leyritz who killed someone. I'm not his child who will grow up wealthy but with parents that want to swing a golf club at each other. I'm not a woman whose handler hooked me up with him. I'm a sports fan that likes watching Woods play golf. For all I care, he could spend every single minute of his days outside of tournament play screwing a different broad until he came down with every STD on the face of the earth. I don't care, as long as he stays on the golf course. The only thing he can do today that effects me, is say that he won't play in the Masters, this would piss me off.

Now to the real point, who is actually going to believe his apology today? I don't care if he cries throughout the entire thing. You don't cheat on your wife with a different woman in every city and feel that sorry about it. You feel sorry about getting caught. His apology is just one of the many sports apologies that come out of necessity to save public image rather than actually being sorry about what he did. It's is going to be proofread by 37 different PR reps to make sure it's the best of the best. His apology is going to be completely meaningless and fake and yet I guarantee it's on every front page of newspapers around the country simply because we are American and this is the kind of shit people like.

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No Amount Of Beautiful Women Will Get Me To Watch Ice Dancing

Tanith Belbin is a very attractive woman. She just might be the most attractive US Olympian in these games. If she was a snowboarder, skier, hockey player, etc. I would likely be interested in watching her compete in these 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Unfortunately, Tanith Belbin performs in some cockamamee non-sport Ice Dancing a sport in which they could prance around every single SI Swimsuit Model (including Jessica Gomes) and I would still have no interest.

And when did Ice Dancing actually become some big sport that NBC feels the need to parade on primetime? Last night while showing the girls half pipe and other events they kept on advertising how tomorrow night featured Ice Dancing. Do you ever remember seeing Ice Dancing in the Olympics once, nevermind during primetime. Now NBC, likely looking to hook female viewers who love Dancing With the Stars and could care less about actual sports, will once again shit all over their primetime broadcast by showing something most actual sport fans could absolutely care less about. Thanks NBC and thank you America for somehow liking Ice Dancing more than any worthwhile sport, like say Curling.

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Chasing Lines: Ridiculous Tiger Wood Prop Bets

Thursday, February 18, 2010

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Are you bored of betting on the Olympics or on NBA basketball and eager to find yourself a juicy ludicrous prop bet in which you have little to no chance of winning? Well I have just the thing for you, the Tiger Woods press conference prop bet. Not only do you need to read the mind of Tiger Woods but you need to get his exact wording. Here's the bet:

"WHAT WILL BE THE EXACT PHRASE THAT TIGER WOODS WILL SAY FIRST ON HIS OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19TH 2010 - MUST BE EXACT PHRASE FOR ACTION "

And if you think that's ridiculous, you should see some of the lines. 125:1 "I'm Silly With My Willy". 50:1 "Thank God for John Terry". 125:1 "I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman". 100:1 "My Tiger is back in its cage". Etc. So even if you are bored and want a little changeup, this problem is the best way to get ahead.

Check out all of the lines after the jump

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An Assortment of Downhill Skiing Crashes

NBC's broadcast of yesterday's Women's Downhill race was actually entertaining and NBC actually did something right. NBC showed the races that fit one of two criteria: 1) Superstar or American Skiier or 2)Epic Crash. While watching the races you could tell that if it was a nobody and they were 2 seconds off the pace that eventually they were going to be sliding down the mountain after clipping a gate and having their skis explode off. So since I was entertained by yesterday's distruction I figured today would be a good day to just throw up a bunch of videos of epic downhill crashes.

Yesterday's Crashes in Picture Form


Plenty more crashes after the jump...

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Knicks Might Make Good On A Trade Idea I Pushed in December

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back on December 29th I had a semi original and decently well thought out post* surrounding a potential Knicks Rockets deal surrounding a combination of T-Mac going to the Knicks and a package going to the Rockets. Who knew that just a few months later the deal just might actually go through. See it's not that hard to be a GM.

The current puported deal is Larry Hughes, Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries and a some 1st round pick swapping for T-Mac, Brian Cook and Joey Dorsey. The deal would free up just enough cap space for the Knicks to divy out two max contracts this offseason which is unquestionably the New York Knickerbocker's desire. The Rockets want to rid themselves of T-Mac, likely understand that they won;t be able to sign anyone this offseason and this deal gives them better draft picks as well as a rookie lottery pick and maybe a semi-small improvement for this season.

I'm sure every Knick fan would have liked to somehow include Eddy Curry and I'm sure every Rocket fan would have enjoyed David Lee but you can't get that greedy when organizing a trade. This deal is a deal that benefits the objectives of both franchises and should get done by the deadline.

*A Rarity

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Looking Back At Some of My Favorite Final4 Teams: Maryland 2002

With the recent news of Juan Dixon somehow testing positive for steroids and Steve Blake's recent trade to the Clippers now is as good a time as any to revisit the greatest Maryland Basketball team ever, the 2002 championship squad.

In 2001 Maryland led by Lonny Baxter (fat man), Juan Dixon and Steve Blake were amongst the best teams in the country, the problem was Duke. In 2001 Duke defeated Maryland in the regular season, via their miracle minute (aka the most annoying regular season Duke moment in history) as well as in the Final Four.

In 2002 the Terps brought back their 2001 core and got maturity from rising Sophomore star Chris Wilcox. Their run through the 2002 NCAA tournaments was one of the smoothest to date. In the 6 games in the tournament that they won they never had a margin closer than 8 points. This in part was helped by Jared Jeffries whom if you remember led the Indiana Hoosiers to both a shocking upset of Duke as well as a run to the NCAA Finals. In the finals it was obvious that Jeffries was neither Carmelo Anthony nor was his supporting cast worthy of a title.

Check out a few YouTube Clips after the jump...

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Oh NBC, Just 1 1/2 Years Later And Yet You Still Get It Horribly Wrong

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Beijing Olympic Games were just 19 months ago and yet NBC has apparently already forgotten what everyone bitched about or they frankly just don't give a shit. The year is currently 2010 and even more so than 2008 we have information at our finger tips at every second of the day. Many of spend hours at work surfing the internet where there is no possible way to avoid any "breaking news". Knowing the results of a sporting event kills the enjoyment of it all, and yet NBC continues in it's jackassery ways of Tape Delaying.

Let's take yesterday for instance. I was home on my ass with the day off watching NBC's Olympic coverage. NBC showed two sports during their entire multiple hour long show. They showed Men's Snowboard Cross Qualifying / Time Trials and a Men's Cross Country Race. This is it and laughably only the Cross Country Race was shown live. Just in case you were not privied to watching these events, they are extremely dull and boring. Snowboard Cross is incredibly exciting, it's time trials are not. The time trials feature one racer at a time and essentially no crashes, it's basically downhill skiing minus 30 mph of velocity.

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I Miss The Johnson Curlers

In 2006 I became overly enthused about Olympic Curling. Part of the reason was because it always seemed to be on when I got home from work and part of the reason was the fact that the US team featured 4 twenty somethings, three of whom were attractive most notably the 'skip', Cassie Johnson and her sister Jamie Johnson. You really couldn't help but pull for the two cute blonds that looked like they had never seen the sun once in their life.

So with Curling getting underway today I figured I'd take a look at whom is representing the US and disappointment. The US Curling team looks like mid 30 year olds of the non-cougar variety. It appears as if Team Johnson is now Team Potter/Haskell, as both have been married in the past 4 years, and the Team was eliminated in Olympic Qualifying. Looks like Curling just might get dropped from pedestal 2 on my Olympic Interest Rankings.

Take a trip down memory curling lane after the jump

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Would You Rather Sign John Smoltz or Pedro Martinez?

The Free Agent Signings are beginning to wind down this offseason and just a few names remain, two of these names are future Hall of Famers looking for one more chance. So of the two if you had to choose one are you putting your eggs in the Pedro Martinez or John Smoltz basket?

In 2009 Pedro Martinez spent the first few months of the season chilling on the bench getting ready for his phone to ring. When his phone did ring Pedro was up to the task. In 9 starts last year Pedro pitched to a 3.63 ERA with a few stellar starts. Pedro even pitched pretty well in his three playoff starts. The problem with Pedro is the fact that he's still very fragile. The Phillies made sure last season to give him ample time off in between starts to alleviate the risk of the injuries that made his Mets career a very short one. So if you sign Pedro, how many starts do you think you can possibly get?

In 2009 John Smoltz was coming off major surgery and clearly was not ready at the start of the season. With the Red Sox Smoltz was downright terrible. He pitched to a 8.32 ERA and left the Red Sox no choice but to cut him. With the Cardinals Smoltz was improved, but still not dominant. His ERA with the was 4.26 but he went just 1-3. So if you sign Smoltz you are banking on him improving back to his old form with another offseason of recovery, will the return to form happen?

So who you got? Two Hall of Famers looking for one last hoorah, you can only sign one, whom is it?

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Blogging the Offseason: Jacksonville Jaguars

Blogging the Offseason worked so well for the MLB that I'm bringing it back for the NFL. You can find all the posts under the label Offseason or just go here.

Today's blogger is Terry from the Jacksonville Jaguars blog, Black & Teal.

1. David Garrard "made" the Pro Bowl this season, despite only throwing for 15 tds. What do you think his absolute best season could be? Will he ever throw for 25+ tds?
David threw for 2,500 yards and 18 TD’s for a QB rating of 102 in 2007. That earned him a big contract. Since then, his receivers changed and his offensive line deteriorated. He is not good at getting away from pressure and the line play and his play combine for 125 QB hits. That means his skills will deteriorate with the accumulation of punishment. These are the big Ifs for David, if the line can establish the run so that play action passes are available, David could throw for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. His QB rating could be 100+ again since he is adverse to throwing interceptions. He doesn’t have the receivers to accumulate the yards and the team is returning to a running focus. He has 2 good years left and the Jaguars need a replacement groomed soon.

2. Mike Sims-Walker emerged as the Jaguars go to receiver in 2009, where did he come from? What do you expect from him in 2010 and are there any hidden gems on your roster that we should expect to see bloom in 2010?
Marcedes Lewis had a great 2009 campaign and is both a force for blocking and catching. I think he is a great candidate to surprise this year, his progression points to that. Jarret Dillard is a very exciting wide receiver that broke his ankle early in the year, but his highlight catch was a 25 yarder over the middle going up so high to grab it. Mike Thomas is a slippery receiver that follows his blocking well. Those are the only gem potential on the roster.

As for Mike Sims-Walker, he came from central Florida with a knee injury. He didn’t have a good senior season because of that injury and was passed over in the draft until the third round when the Jaguars took him. He tried to come back too early and injured it again for his rookie year. His second year showed new health problems as well. Finally everything landed well for him last year and he returned to his junior year in college form. He was a risky draft bet that healed well. We called him Mike “I Need a” Walker.

As for 2010, the team will have a mix of running and passing. The run sets up the pass. Maurice Jones Drew has a 2,000 yard season in him and just needed 5 or 6 more blocks to make that happen. MSW will be the featured WR.

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Happy Presidents' Day

Monday, February 15, 2010


Hooray for random made up US Holidays! I'm off from the real job today and need to get a bunch of crap done. Tomorrow there shall be posts.

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The NBA All Star Game Has All the Potential And Zero The Intensity

Friday, February 12, 2010

To me all All Star games have morphed into events that are never "Must See". They all have major issues that make the games relative jokes and if I have anything better to do than the games shall be bypassed. The NFL and NHL are sports that are built too solidly around contact for any of the athletes to want to play full speed. The NFL additionally suffers from a mass pullout from some of their Superstars that frankly don't give a damn about the game as well as a list of plays so simple a 3rd grade pop warner player could learn them in a week. Major League baseball teams would never agree to the All Star game using just one ace starter for more than 2 innings and no All Star manager would ever just utilize his 9 starting fielders throughout the entirety of the game thus insulting the remainder of the huge roster he has at his hands..

Of the 4 Major Sports All Star games just one truly has the potential to truly show off the best of the best in a showdown without any limitations. The NBA All Star game has all the chance in the world to show off the best of the best playing in a serious game, if only the stars actually cared and actually tried. Just think about the limitations of the other games. The NBA is a physical game, but it's not centered around physicality and eliminating cheap shots and blatant hard fouls would not take away from the play. The NBA game is mid-season so unlike the NFL Pro Bowl players are still in mid-season mind set and not ready to enjoy the offseason. The NBA game is built on constant substitution, an All-Star game coach can easily utilize every player on his roster for at least some minutes and not decrease the level of his squads play.

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Looking Back At Some of My Favorite Final Four Teams: UMass 1996

1996 was a glorious time for college basketball as a young fan in the Northeast. UConn had Ray Allen. Georgetown had Allen Iverson. Hell Villanova had Kerry Kittles and John Wallace strapped Syracuse on his back all the way to the Final Four. The Big East games were as beautiful as ever. Future NBA stars were staying for multiple years in college and the games were epic. In addition, UMass basketball under John Calipari was relevant, for the first and only time in my life.

The 1996 UMass team that made the Final Four had a lot of nice pieces, including Padilla and Travieso, but the only true star they had was Marcus Camby. Camby was essentially Gumby in college, tall, felxible, fast and move in ways 6-11 men aren't supposed to move. So what if he didn't have a jump shot (and he was getting paid) he didn't need it back then to dominate a game. He even dominated Mr. Tim Duncan back in December of 1995.

All around the UMass team was fun to watch up until their defeat by the 75 man deep Rick Pitino Kentucky National Championship squad.


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How Do You End Up In The Winter Olympics When You Are From...

1. Ghana - Fanhouse has a terrific article about Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong a man from Ghana that while studying in England got a job as a receptionist at an indoor entertainment center that just so happened to have a mini ski slope. In his off time he took up skiing and managed to do well enough in the qualifying stages this year to participate in Vancouver.

2. Peru - This is quite an odd story about Roberto Carcelen. A Peruvian Man gets entangled in online love with a woman from Seattle. They fall head over heals for each other and he moves to Seattle to be her husband. He picks up one of her hobbies, Cross Country Skiing. He qualifies for the Olympics.

3. Senegal - I guess when you are 1/2 Austrian like Leyti Seck is, no one should be surprised to see you in the Olympics even if your country of origin is Senegal.

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Chasing Lines: Winter Olympic Medal Count

Thursday, February 11, 2010

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As you can the favorites are Germany, USA, and Canada in that order. The Germans, in case you didn't know, have led the Winter Olympic medal count three Olympics running. The USA looked for a big push from Ms. Vonn to move into the lead but with her ankle questionable that looks to take the Americans out of the running for several medals. The Canadians as the host nation come in third but they really haven't come close to winning the medal count in any of the past three Olympics. Just because they are the host nation does not mean that they will morph into Winter Gods.

After these three Nations you are looking at long odds and high payouts, or essentially you are looking to throw away your money. If anybody may be worth while to gamble on it could be the Norwegians as they did invent skiing and they do place consistently well in the Biathlon, Cross Country and Alpine Skiing. Problem is they don't get much done outside the skiing venue.

If you're going to put money down on this I think I'm going to say go with the Germans. They have the history on their side. The US might lose it's best athlete. The Canadians aren't proven. And the long shots are just too long.

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Ranking the Winter Olympic Events According to My Interest Levels

According to NBC there are 15 types of Winter Olympic Sports in 2010. Here's a quick run down of the 15, where I rank them, and how much interest I will have in them.

15. Cross Country Skiing - Nobody watches the marathon in the summer games and nobody watches cross country skiing in the winter games.

14. Figure Skating - The Men's are complete fruity nut jobs and really I don't care about the women at all either. For whatever reason I enjoy some of the gymnastics in the summer games but none of the figure skating.

13. Biathlon - Introducing a gun into cross country skiing is interesting, just not interesting enough for me to watch.

12. Speed Skating - Speed Skating #1 is on the big track where it's two at a time and nobody is ever next to you. This to me is pretty damn boring. It's like watching the 400 meters on ice. Not really that exciting.

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Coach K and Jackass, A Great Combo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Oh Coach K how well you have acquainted yourself with Jackass. There was Danny Ferry and Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner. You can't forget Wojo or Jason Williams or Greg Paulus. Duke is essentially synonymous with Jackass.

Been a busy few days at the ole actual job so unfortunately I haven't gotten to much posting.

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Ranking the 2010 SI Swimsuit Rookies

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The SI Swimsuit Edition is out today so for one of the few times all year we dedicate a few posts to scantily clad women in the name of Sports. Here's a quick look and take on this years 6 rookies

6. Sonia Dara, a beautiful Indian Woman


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What the Hell Are the Hornets Wearing?

I know New Orleans is getting ready for Mardi Gras and is in Super Bowl celebration mode, but how can anyone explain these? Purple on the front, yellow on the sides and green in the back with maybe a little rhinestone trimming? Paul Lukas must be rolling in his grave... wait he loves it? I'm confused. At least David West looks disgusted by it.

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Jim Caldwell Could Have Used a Pair of Sean Payton's Stones

Monday, February 08, 2010

This photo is the closest Jim Caldwell will get to the Super Bowl trophy in at least one calendar year and he can point to the difference between his gusto and that of Sean Payton. While Payton will be applauded for his aggressiveness and mostly his successful onside kick call, part of me thinks the bigger story is how when given the opportunity to throw in the dagger Caldwell passed.

With 1:49 seconds left in the 2nd quarter the Colts had the ball at their own goal line up by 7 points and coming off what could have been the biggest play of the game, stuffing the Saints on 4th and goal. Instead of trusting in his quarterback, possibly the best of all time, and letting him try to put additional points on the board, Caldwell got passive. Jim Caldwell decided a 7 point lead was enough and that the Colts should head into the locker room with that lead and move onto the 2nd half.

Jim Caldwell's decision completely back fired. The Colts went 3 and out. The Saints were able to get the ball back and get the field goal that eluded them on 4th and goal. The Saints instead were the team to head into half time with momentum. The Saints were the team feeling good about themselves despite the deficit, all because Jim Caldwell got passive. Caldwell and the Colts will always look back at that decision and wonder what if. What if he let loose? With 2 timeouts left and 1:49 on the clock, what if Peyton Manning drove the field and made the game 13-3? Unfortunately for the Colts and their fans, they will never know, they just know that Sean Payton set of stones helped New Orleans claim their first Super Bowl while their coaches lack of aggressiveness leave them with a large "what if".

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SI Swimsuit Trivia: Athlete Addition

With the SI Swimsuit edition coming out tomorrow, why not test your knowledge on some of the Athletes featured in former SI Editions. When you are done or have given up, check out the answers and give last years trivia "How Well Do You Know Your Swimsuit Models" a crack.


Maria Sharapova was featured in what years Swimsuit Edition?

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Faces of Fail: Super Manning Face

I think we can all agree that somewhere deep down we've all been waiting for this moment, the moment when we get to view the joy that is the "Super Bowl Loss Manning Face". So here goes...


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Goodbye and Good Riddance To Giants Stadium

Friday, February 05, 2010

Giants Stadium, the piece of garbage that it is, is now being torn down limb by limb. Unfortunately due to the proximity of the new stadium, they can't just blow the shit hole up and even more unfortunately the new stadium is still in Jersey.

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Can You Guess Which NFL Star This Woman is Married To?

Maybe you are smarter than me, but I figure I watch a lot of football and if I saw this woman on TV or in person I would have no idea who she was. Do you?

Answer after the jump...

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Jonathan Vilma is a Big Reason I Will Pull for the Saints

In 2005 under Herman Edwards Jonathan Vilma was an absolute destroyer for the New York Jets. He tackled anything that moved. He looked like a young Ray Lewis. He was an unstoppable force. He quickly became my favorite New York Jet and it wasn't even really close. I though Vilma would be a Jet for life. I thought he would be a perennial representative for the Jets in the Pro Bowl. I was wrong. All of this changed as soon as Herm went cross country to Kansas City and Eric Mangini walked in the door.

With Mangini Vilma quickly became out of place. Out was the old 4-3 system designed for speed linebackers to grab anything that moved and in was a 3-4 system designed for bigger more powerful linebackers who could shed blockers with ease. Vilma's 2006 season was a disappointment. His 2007 season opened the door for him to be traded. When Vilma went down with an injury midseason, in walked David Harris to slide directly into his spot and make Vilma no longer needed. Just months later the Jets traded Vilma to the Saints for draft picks to be determined. I obviously took the trade in stride, or not.

So while the majority of the neutral fans will be pulling for the Saints to win the Super Bowl as a lift to the city of New Orleans or because they hate Peyton Manning (Pats fans), I will be pulling for the Saints because of Jonathan Vilma, an old Jet favorite and a player that deserves a title in his career.

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Taking a Look at the Saints and Colts 1st Round Draft Picks

If you plan on being a team that is going to compete for the Super Bowl than you're going to need to build up the team by taking advantage of the best assets you are giving yearly, your 1st round draft picks. Thus let us take a look at the Saints and Colts draft picks over the past decade plus.

Indianapolis Colts

First and foremost, the Colts more so than any team in the league have been built through the draft. Can you name a single big name free agent that the Colts have ever signed? Didn't think so. Instead the Colts make solid picks and this obviously started in 1998 with Peyton Manning but it has continued for nearly a decade. Every 1st round pick the Colts have made since 2001 have been major contributors on this roster when healthy (Marlin Jackson and Anthony Gonzalez were both lost due to injury). The Colts dynamic pass attack was built in the first round with Peyton, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark all first round picks. Donald Brown and Joseph Addai have formed a complementary backfield that hasn't needed to be utilized much thanks to the brilliance of the passing attack. And of course last but not least the Colts took Dwight Freeney in the 1st round, he made the All-Decade team, and his health might be the difference between a W and an L this weekend.

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Chasing Lines: Super Bowl Prop Bets

Thursday, February 04, 2010

This post is brought to you by SPORTSBETTING.com. Get best online sports betting bonuses at this sportsbook.

With the Super Bowl just 4 days away let us look at some of the more ridiculous prop bets that you can wager on.

The Coin Toss
The Coin Toss is probably the most ridiculous thing to bet on because it's a 50/50 proposition and is straight luck, yet the lines say that it isn't straight 50/50? Someohow the Colts are favored to win the coin toss and the coin is favored to come up Tails. Hmm...

What Color Will the Gatorade Bath Be
This good ole prop is multiple choice... The odds on favorite is clear/water but that just seems boring. Something tells me the Colts use blue gatorade and the saints go classic lime green. So whomever you think wins the game go with that... Or you can just ask the trainers of the Colts and Saints and figure out what color they choose and then you're 50/50. Oh and you can also bet on whether it will be an offensive or defensive contingent that performs the bath... my guess is a combo so the bet is off.

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Map of the Super Bowl XLIV

With Super Bowl XLIV just around the corner, what better time than now to look at the composition of both the Colts and Saints rosters to see where everyone calls home.


View Map of Super Bowl XLIV in a larger map

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Let Us Look at the Nets, Point, Then Laugh

The New Jersey Nets are currently on pace to post the WORST RECORD IN NBA HISTORY. Currently the Nets are on pace for 7 wins, yes this means less than double digit wins on the season, yes this is 1/10th the win total of the great Bulls Jordan-Rodman-Pippen squad, yes 7 wins in the playoffs won't even get you out of the 2nd round.

So what the hell happenned? Why has this team gone from Eastern Conference Champs at the start of the decade to one of the worst teams in the history of the NBA? Well first they sold off their "Big 3" for youth and hope of the future. They traded Jason Kidd for Devin Harris, a move that seemed great to me at the time but Harris has been injured and regressed this year. They traded Richard Jefferson for Yi, who also was injured for much of this season and really isn't more than an average player at this point of his career. Finally they traded Vince Carter for Courtney Lee, who also hasn't really emrged as anything more than a role player. Brook Lopez is the Nets best player and at this juncture in his career he certainly shouldn't be shouldering that load.

Not one player on the Nets is anywhere near a positive +/-. Of all the players on their roster Chris Quinn is closest to breaking even, but that's simply because he's been on the team for just 12 games. Not one player on the Nets sniffs the NBA scoring lead.

If you're a Net fan (for whatever reason) and are looking for some kind of positive, over the past week the Nets have shown some remote heart beat buried within. The Nets lost three straight games by 4 points or less before last nights loss to the Raptors. Their roster seems like it might be healthy for the first time of this year and maybe they'll surpass the 9 win 76ers team. The team won't even have to tank in the months of March in April in order to make sure they have the highest percentage chance of landing John Wall. The team is full of youth rather than old veterans so there's nowhere to go but up. And finally, you no longer need to watch the last 34 games of the season, so you have valuable free time added to your life.

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O Wang, Wang! Wherefore Art Thou Wang?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

All the talk in Yankee land has been about how Johnny Damon will no longer be a Yankee next year and whether or not that's a good thing. Somehow completely lost in the media shuffle is Chien-Ming Wang, how quickly Yankee land has forgotten it's former ace.

From his rookie year in 2005 to his injury in 2008, Wang amounted 54 wins to just 20 losses. He never posted a season ERA above 4.07 and his WHIP and BAA against were all average to better than average.

Unfortunately, Wang's comeback bid in 2009 can only be characterized as a complete and total disaster which has lead to the Yankees basically expressing no interest at all this offseason. As of right now Wang's best option just might be the Washington Nationals, weeee that sounds fun. What a precipitous fall for the one time Cy Young runner up and former ace of the New York Yankees.

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Map of the 2009 Saints

The Super Bowl is days away so what time is better than now to check out where in the US the rosters of the Saints and Colts call home.

In order to keep the home page load time down a bit, I've pushed the Map of the Saints to after the jump.

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Breaking Down the Super Bowl

If this isn't the simplest chart to read of all time. The moral of this story is that the Offenses of both of these teams carried them into the Super Bowl (that and a little handy turnover trickeration for the Saints). Both offenses this weekend are vastly superior to their opposing defenses.

Colts Pass O vs. Saints Pass D
The Colts ranked second in the league in passing offense (yards per game) and the reality of it is that they truly have the #1 passing attack in the league. Meanwhile the Saints Pass D is pretty much poor, at best. The Saints Pass D ranked in the bottom 25% of the NFL. So on one side you have Peyton Manning, who just absolutely torched the #1 Passing D in the league, and on the other side you have a defense that gives up a ton of yardage. Obviously a major advantage to the Colts.

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Map of the 2009 Colts

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Super Bowl is days away so what time is better than now to check out where in the US the rosters of the Saints and Colts call home.

In order to keep the home page load time down a bit, I've pushed the Map of the Colts to after the jump.

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Connecticut and UNC Just Might Be NIT Bound

In 2009 UConn and UNC battled for the #1 rank in the country. They battled for the nation's collective spot as NCAA Tournament Favorite. They eventually both found their way into the Final Four and North Carolina eventually took home the crown. In 2009 these two Elite NCAA Programs were the cream of the crop. In 2010, however, things are quite different.

With just over a month before we start sorting out the bubble teams to NCAA Tournament fringe members to NIT favorites, both North Carolina and UConn find themselves squarely on this bubble with momentum pulling them towards the NIT.

North Carolina started off the season strong. In their out of conference play they knocked off both Michigan St. and Ohio State while they were highly ranked. Sure they lost to Texas, Kentucky and Syracuse but those are all Top 5 teams and they all were on the road. No big deal right? Well then they lost to the College of Charleston. Just a bump in the road something easily moved on from. Since that College of Charleston loss the Tarheels have lost 4 of their their next 6 games (all ACC games) and sit just 1/2 game out of the ACC basement.

To UConn's credit this year they scheduled some big heavy hitters. The Huskies played Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas this season. The problem? They lost to Michigan (whose terrible), Duke and Kentucky and while the win against Texas was huge, it isn't making up for their conference woes. The Huskies are 3-6 in Big East play (good for 13th in the conference) with several close losses and a few unacceptable ones. This poor conference record could get significantly worse as the Huskies are still slated to play # Nova, #3 Cuse and #6 WVU. And with the illness of Coach Calhoun this ship isn't showing any sign of turning around.

So here we sit just one year removed from UConn and UNC being #1 seeds and tournament favorites and both may not be present in your Bracket. Quite an amazing regression from two of the most storied universities in College Basketball.

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A Decade of 1st Round Quarterbacks

Today's Super Bowl's seem like they are always headlined by top quarterbacks. This year we have Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. Last year Roethlisberger and Warner, in 06 Manning and Brady, etc. etc. Each of these featured at least one 1st round draft pick. In fact a 1st round drafted Quarterback has been featured in each of the last 6 Super Bowls.

With that being said I figured now was a good time to look at a decades worth of first round picks.

~There were 26 quarterbacks drafted in the first round from 2000-2009. Of these 26, 7 were drafted with the #1 pick overall.

~Of the QBs drafted in the first round, Michael Vick of all people leads the way in Pro Bowl births with three.

~Not surprisingly every QB drafted in the first round has gotten the opportunity to start this decade. Of these 1st rounders the least successful were Patrick Ramsey, Matt Leinart, Joey Harrington, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn and the Sex Cannon.

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Blogging the Offseason: San Francisco 49ers

Monday, February 01, 2010

Blogging the Offseason worked so well for the MLB that I'm bringing it back for the NFL. You can find all the posts under the label Offseason or just go here.

Today's blogger is Fooch from the San Francisco 49ers blog, Niners Nation.

1. Do you think the bust label on Alex Smith has been dropped too early? Do you think he is the Niners 2010 quarterback? Will he succeed?
Smith will be the 49ers QB to start 2010 and I think he'll last the entire season. If the 49ers can put him in a position to succeed (basically meaning a better offensive line in front of him), I think Alex Smith could very well be a successful quarterback. I don't think he'll ever be a superstar in the NFL, but he could be good enough to not take away from a potential championship team. As far as the bust label is considered, it's really hard to even say he was a bust up until now. He struggled his rookie year and showed solid improvement (from awful to not so awful) his second season. Then he went down with a shoulder injury in his third season and missed all of what would have been his fourth season, before coming back midway through what was his 5th season in 2009. I would not say he was a bust to that point, but he definitely has to take major strides in 2010.

2. The 49ers draft slot is subject to a coin flip. What lucky charms will you be wearing that day, and don't you think whomever calls tails will win?
Tails never fails. I'm working on some Niners Nation merchandise, so I think it's safe to say we'll go with that, and maybe my Joe Montana jersey.

3. Regardless of what selection you get (16 or 17) whom should the 49ers target in the first round? What is their biggest need?
The 49ers need an offensive lineman or two. People are questioning whether it would be a reach to go right tackle that high, but if you really like a guy, you might as well get him while you can. Or conceivably trade down so you're not overpaying, if that's a concern. C.J. Spiller has caused a ton of discussion at Niners Nation because of his dynamic abilities as a kick returner, and the fact that he could be an intriguing option in the rushing game behind Gore. But I also think a safety is necessary. Michael Lewis suffered 3 concussions last season and is probably on the wrong side of his career. He's been very solid, but the time might have arrived to find his replacement.

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Random Quick Notes (2/1)

~So who watched the Pro Bowl last night? Anybody? I'm sure it was great fun what with the guys not wanting to tackle each other or hit each other at all and the fact that the AFC was playing its "7th" best quarterback at times.

~One thing that I did find quite ridiculous was the fact the NFL forced the Super Bowl Pro Bowlers to be in attendance simply to get introduced and interviewed. Was there really any added bonus that Peyton Manning was on the sidelines of the game? Why force him to be there?

~Just in case you live under a shell or not in England, this whole John Terry scandal is quite amazing. The scandal would be quite enough if it was just the fact that he cheated on his wife with the girlfriend of his purported best friend both on his domestic team (Chelsea) and teammate of the English National team but when you throw in the "got here pregnant" and "paid for the abortion" details it ramps it up a few notched. Than just to make everything a wee bit more humorous, Terry won an award for Dad of the Year last year. Just my take on "Dad's of the Year", I don't think Dad's that pay for abortions are very good for their child to be in that the child never existed because Daddy said no.

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SI Swimsuit Trivia: Athlete Addition (answers)

So you want the answers? Good for you.

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Rex Ryan Gave Someone the Finger... Who Cares?

This really is the dumbest non-news of all time. He was at an MMA fight in Miami, I guarantee there was a lot worse shit going on in the arena than someone flipping another person the bird. He didn't get into a fight. He didn't get a DUI. He told a few Dolphin fans to fuck off and he flipped them the bird. Why is this news at all?

The humorous part of all of this is the fact that someone on the news sites will likely yell about how he's not being a good role model for kids and how kids shouldn't know about giving the finger or be inspired to do so, but then of course they'll post the picture on the front cover of their paper and their website. And Rex is somehow the moron...

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Which Conference Dominates the Super Bowl?

It's the final hurrah for the postseason. With just two teams remaining, let's take a look at which conference has the mild bragging rights.

Conference Leaders
The Big 10 holds on for the narrow victory over the SEC by just 1 player. The Colts lead the way with 11 Big Tenners while the Saints have 9.

1. Big Ten - 20
2. SEC - 19
3. Big 12 - 18
4. ACC - 15
5. Pac 10 - 12
6. Big East - 9
7. Mountain West - 6
7. MAC - 6

Non-FBS - 21

Team Leaders
The Buckeyes are still in lead position but were caught by both Tennessee and USC.

1. Ohio State, Tennessee, USC - 4
2. Michigan, Miami, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Kansas St., Nebraska, LSU, Georgia - 3

Check out the spreadsheet with every conference broken down after the jump...

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