Thursday, October 29, 2009

Craplacticos 3: Power of the World Cup

In the third episode out of six for the season, the video takes a look at why FIFA is such a powerful and influential organization.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 7, Confidence Pool Style



So since way back in 2001, my friends and I have been doing a weekly confidence pool. That's the old office pool style picks that start with picking the winner of the game you are least confident in and putting 1 point on it, all the way up to putting the most points on the game you are most confident in. When the smoke clears each week, it's interesting to look back on the results and either pat yourself on the back for being a genius, or do the facepalm and wonder what the hell you were thinking. This week was definitely the latter for me. Patrick has been kind enough to point out how good my picks have been this year, but in Week 7 they were terrible. Let's run them down.

13-COLTS 42, RAMS 6

There was a time in this thing where if the Rams were at home you automatically laid a whole bunch of points on them. That time was a long long time ago. Now the Rams are the kind of team prognosticators love because you can count on them to get drilled every week. The Colts are the best team in the league right now, so that made this really, really easy. Everyone in my pool put at least 10 points on the Colts here, and they didn't disappoint. The Colts blow out the Rams, although Pierre Garcon's troubling disappearing act continues. Troubling for my fantasy team, not for the Colts. One bright spot for the Rams, Steven Jackson got in the Halloween spirit by returning from the dead to rush for 134 yards. Why you would be running the ball when you are losing by 36 points is beyond me though.




12-PATRIOTS 35, BUCS 7

Only 3 TD's against the Yucks, Captain Terrific? And 2 INTs to drop 4 points off your fantasy total to boot, so really its like 2 1/2 TDs. I feel disappointment. I'm looking at the Bucs schedule, and I think you can go ahead and put them down for 0-16. I don't see any wins here for them. They may have a chance in Week 13 at Carolina, maybe the next week at home against the Jets, but I really have to suspend disbelief to see them winning those games. Other than that they all pretty much look like automatic losses to me. 0-16. Write it down.



CARDINALS 24, 11- GIANTS 17

Wellity, wellity, wellity, welcome to big boy table for real Arizona Cardinals. Somehow, this team made the Super Bowl last year despite completely crapping their pants on pretty much every visit to the East Coast. Who can forget when they gave up 56 points to the Jets at the very same Meadowlands they played in this past weekend? Or the 48 the Eagles hung on them in Philly, or their 47-7 loss when they went up against the Patriots and their Super Snow Powers in Foxboro last year? Surely they would go East and get clobbered again? That's what I thought, that's what everyone else in my pool thought (we placed an average of 10 1/2 points on them). Everyone thought wrong. The Cardinals got Eli Manning to throw 3 picks, and won despite the Giants getting a very fortunate Football Follies TD on a tipped pass to Hakeem Nicks. Take that out and this was complete domination. As a cherry on top, Beanie Wells looks like he might actually give the Cards a viable running threat. I have to say, the Cardinals are surprising me by not going away this year.





BILLS 20, 10-PANTHERS 9

We've seen this movie before with the Rams and the Bengals, already bad team loses their starting quarterback for the year, plan B is Ryan FitzHarvard, team quits on inept quarterback, runs the table in the opposite direction losing by 30 every week. I think that's what we all expected to happen when the Bills found themselves in that situation. Instead, they've won 2 games in a row on the road, against teams which fancy themselves playoff contenders. The Panthers may fancy themselves that, but after this debacle it's obvious this thing has gone off the rails. Jake Delhomme should not throw the ball 44 times in a game, not when you've got 2 running backs like DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. If he does, he's going to get picked off 3 times, like he did in this one. The Panthers outgained the Bills 425-167 in this game and it was still a double digit loss. How is that even possible? I guess it's because the Bills won the turnover stat 4-0, but my God. Buffalo is 3-4 now by the way. Dick Jauron can be a dangerous coach when he doesn't have to have his team pretend to play 21st century football. This is how he likes it, horrible quarterback necessitating ridiculously conservative gameplan, let other team that makes things harder than they need to be for themselves turn it over 4 times, win game and leave everyone confused.





9 PACKERS 31, BROWNS 3
In retrospect, it was really stupid of me to put only 9 points against the Browns. The other 6 guys in the pool all put 11. On the plus side, check out this song I wrote...
(to tune of "Magnificent" by u2..
"MANGENNNNNIUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! MANGENNNNIUSSSSSSSSSSSSS!! I was bornnnn...I was bornnn..to coach your team for you....MANNNNGENNNIUSSSS!!....oooooh opportunity period for youuu...no shoulderpads for youu...MANGEEENNNIUSSS!!"





8 STEELERS 27, VIKINGS 17


I knew that the Vikings were not long for being undefeated, so credit to me for picking them to lose this one. Really, this should have been their 3rd loss of the season. The Favre to Greg Lewis pass against the Niners should have been loss #1, and the 4th quarter collapse against the Ravens last week would have been #2 if Steven Hauschka didn't blow what should have been the game winning field goal. Minnesota's 6-1, but they should be better than they are, if that makes any sense. I don't see how a defense with that much talent gives up that many points, and I don't like the path they are going down with making this Brett Favre's offense rather than Adrian Peterson's offense. This isn't going to end well for them. Meanwhile, the Steelers score 2 defensive touchdowns and are now back on top of the AFC North at 5-2. The funny thing about them is they seem to play close games every week whether they are facing the Lions and Browns or the undefeated Vikings. They're not going to get anywhere near the Super Bowl this year, but I admire their moxie.




7 EAGLES 27, REDSKINS 17

Although I picked the Eagles here and a goodly number of points on them, I also needed Clinton Portis to have a decent game to win in Fantasy. Thus violating one of my 10 life axioms, that if ever you find yourself rooting for the Redskins, something has gone horribly wrong. Unfortunately for me Sherm Lewis' bingo card was filled with plays that called for Portis to line up in front of the quarterback and hip bump a pass rusher like he's Alfonso Soriano after a Cubs win. And when Portis did get the ball he stumbled around like Larry Johnson on payday. Not good. The Eagles, meanwhile, get the taste of losing to the Raiders out of their moufs. Not very impressively though, they were still outgained by the Deadskins, and won only because the Dan Snyder All Stars turned it over 4 times.




6 BENGALS 48, BEARS 10

I invited my dad over to watch this game with me to calm his nerves before he underwent invasive bladder surgery on Monday. Little did I know that invasive bladder surgery would be much more enjoyable than watching the Bears piss themselves in this game. My favorite part was Lovie Smith's interview with the sideline reporter on the way to the locker room after a Robbie Gould field goal pulled them to within 31-3, Lovie said, "We've got some momentum." This was probably the worst I've ever seen the Bears play since the late Wannstedt era, when they were rolling out Steve Stenstrom at QB. Possible exception is late in the year they played in Champaign, when Henry Burris and Corey Sauter were at QB. The difference here is that Bears are now paying Jay Cutler a bajillion dollars so that they don't ever get embarrassed like this, because in theory even if the defense sucks as bad as it did against the Bengals he can gunsling them back into the game. In theory. Didn't work out that way here. The magical Cutler has put up an 82.9 rating in 6 games, nestling him 0.3 points above Seneca Wallace..awesome!




SAINTS 46, 5 DOLPHINS 34



I was absolutely sure the Saints were going down this week. I loved the way the Dolphins had been playing, and it just seemed to make perfect sense that with the Saints having to go on the road to play them on grass that the Dolphins would hang an L on them. Nobody else in my pool picked Miami, in fact they all put at least 5 points on the Saints. Miami got out to a 24-3 lead, and I felt like I was Stephen Hawking. Just as I was proving the existence of the Higgs Bosom, the Dolphins started collapsing in the 4th quarter. Next thing I knew the Saints were up by 2 scores and my iron clad upset of the week had gone down the drain. Well, you can't have 2 INTs run back for touchdowns and expect to beat a team like the Saints that certainly does not need their defense to score for them to win. Chad Henne looked very un-Brady like in this game. Kudos to Ricky Williams for scoring 3 TDs here against his old team, he and Ced Benson were like cosmic twins this week.







COWBOYS 37, 4 FALCONS 21


Remember what I said about the Cardinals getting to sit at the big boy table after going on the road and beating the Giants? The Falcons could have sat at that table too with a win here, and I believed in them. The assignment shouldn't have been that hard, go down to Caligula's Palace and beat some of the little remaining life out of the wheezing carcass of the Cowboys. I mean, the Boys had to go to OT to beat the Chefs their last time out, so how hard could it be? They seemed to be following the script for most of the first quarter, unti Tony Romo found out the Falcons were completely unable to cover Miles Austin. Austin took over the game for the second time in a row (he did the same thing in the win over the Chiefs), and finished with 171 receiving yards and 2 TDs as the Cowboys cruised to their most impressive win of the year. They are right there in the NFC East, just a half game behind the Giants for the lead. The Falcons, meanwhile, are 2 games behind the Saints and going to have to duke it out with a bunch of other teams for the wildcard in all likelihood.



TEXANS 24, 3 49ERS 21
I think the Niners have failed me for the last time. I was on board with them after they got off to a 3-1 start, with the one loss being a game in the Metrodome they should have won, but they are going backwards now. They fell behind 21-0 in this game, before Mike Singletary finally pulled the plug on Shaun Hill and put in Alex "David Carr v 2.0" Smith. Miracle of miracles, Smith was completely effective, throwing 3 TD passes to Vernon Davis to bring the Niners within 24-21. Unfortunately, that's as close as they would get. The Texans now have a winning record, and have won 3 of their last 4 with the only blemish being a loss on the road against what is turning out to be a very good Cardinals team. For the 4th week in a row, they held their opponent to under 60 yards rushing, and Matt Schaub and the offense rank 4th in yards per pass attempt. The Texans finally seem to be putting it together, and if they can get Steve Slaton and the running game going, they are going to make the playoffs for the first time ever. And Liverpool beat Man U last week. Everything is coming up Oli.





Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 7 Picks and Preview

Sorry no 8 In the Box this week...meant to do it this weekend and never got around to it. I'll try and give you a bonus sized Picks column though to compensate.
Only 13 games this week? Do I get credited for this on my Sunday Ticket bill? This is weak. Let's start with the early games.

(3-2) PACKERS AT (1-5) BROWNS
The Packers beat up on the Lions last week, shutting out a team that is awful with their 2 best players, who were missing those 2 best players. Now they get the Browns, who have traded all of their best players, and start a quarterback who completes about 5 passes a game. And half their team has swine flu. The Browns, if you've been paying attention, and I don't see why you would be, have been pretty competitive the last 3 weeks, with a win sandwiched by a couple of games against the Bengals and Steelers where they didn't get blown out.  They're still very horrible though, so I can't pick them to win.
PACKERS 20, BROWNS 10

(2-3) CHARGERS AT (1-5) CHIEFS
San Diego's loss at home to the Broncos on Monday Night dropped them 3 1/2 games out of first place in a division that pretty much everyone was handing them by default going into the season. This team is a mess. And they're soft, by the admission of their own GM.  KC is clearly a team that is getting better, they finally broke thru with a win against the Deadskins last week after playing the Giants and Cowboys tough the previous two weeks. Two ships passing in the night here.
CHIEFS 23, CHARGERS 20

(5-0) COLTS AT (0-6) RAMS
The Rams 23-20 loss to the Jaguars last week was their 16th in a row. Here comes 17!
COLTS 31, RAMS 16

(6-0) VIKINGS AT (4-2) STEELERS
Thanks to Steven Hauschka blowing a 44 yard field goal as time expired last week, the Vikings are still undefeated despite their defense getting worse and worse every week.  I think Ben Roethlisberger goes Roethlisbonkers today against what's been a pretty bad pass defense the last few weeks, and the Steelers authoritatively besoil the Vikings record.
STEELERS 33, VIKINGS 20

(4-2) PATRIOTS AT (0-6) BUCS
Cheerio England! Here's the Tampa Bay Bucs! Enjoy! 
PATRIOTS 37, BUCS 13

(3-2) 49ERS AT (3-3) TEXANS
An interesting matchup of two teams who are trying to be taken seriously. The Texans are coming off a big win on the road over the Bengals where Matt Schaub and company completely butchered the Bengals defense. San Francisco got embarrassed at home their last time out, against the Falcons.  It's completely bizarre how the Texans were just getting gashed by opposing running backs the first 3 weeks, and now they have allowed less than 50 rushing yards each of the last 3 weeks. If the Niners can't run the ball, which judging purely by the way the notoriously inconsistent Texans have played lately, they won't be able to, then they have no chance.
TEXANS 27, NINERS 13


Friday, October 23, 2009

Craplacticos 3: EPL Hate

In episode 2, the video explores why Sepp Blatter hates the EPL so much.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

3 Points- French Teams Retaliate Angrily to Patrick's Making Fun of Them

1. A day after Lyon became only the second French team ever to win at Anfield, another team from Ligue 1 got a huge Champions League win. Bordeaux got a 2-1 home win over Bayern Munich, and with the group stage half over they lead Group A by 2 points over Juventus, who they have already gotten a draw from on the road, and are 3 points clear of Bayern for advancement into the next round. Bordeaux got some help in this match though, as Bayern was playing with 10 men most of the game, and missed two PK's.




2. AC Milan has bumbled its way thru this season, currently in 8th place in Serie A and coming off a 1-0 loss to Swiss side FC Zurich in their last Champions League match. None of that mattered yesterday though as Milan went to the Bernabeu and stunned Real Madrid with a 3-2 win. Alexandre Pato had a pair of goals including the game winnner in the 88th minute. Milan moves into a first place tie in their group with Real, and both are 3 points clear of elimination with 3 matches to play.

3. After Liverpool barfed all over their shoes against a French Team on Tuesday, the Premier League needed someone to defend its honor. Thankfully they still have Manchester United and Chelsea in the tournament. Chelsea, who looks very much like the best team in the world right now, melted down Atletico Madrid 4-0, getting two goals from Saloman Kalou. Chelsea remains unbeaten, untied and unscored upon in Champions League play this year. Man U dominated action in Moscow against CSKA, and finally broke thru in the 86th minute with a goal from Antonio Valencia to get a 1-0 win and now have 9 out of 9 possible points in Champions League play.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3 Points- Champions League Upsets Abound

1. It's been a riveting round of Champions League action so far. And neatly enough, we had 3 pretty shocking results. The first one I don't know if given their current form you can classify as surprising. But still, Liverpool coming in had only lost at home once to a French team ever. Now they've lost twice. Lyon beat the decimated Reds 2-1 on an injury time goal by Caesar Delgado, and they didn't even have to utilize a beach ball to do it. The loss puts Liverpool in serious danger of not advancing out of the group stage, as they are now 3 points behind 2nd place Fiorentina in Group E as the Violarossi won in Hungary against Debrecen 4-3. Oli is very very upset.

2. Inter Milan may be leading Serie A, but they are sucking big time in the Champions League. They sank into the bottom spot in Group F with their 3rd draw in 3 matches, this time a 2-2 stalemate against Dynamo Kiev. Jose Mourinho's boys were down 2-1 to the Ukranians at the half, then got an early 2nd half goal from Walter Samuel to even it up and avert total disaster. But there was an even more surprising result in this group that turns it into a complete free for all...

3. Russian champs Rubin Kazan absolutely stunned defending UEFA Champions Barcelona at Camp Nou when Karadeniz Gokdeniz scored in the 73rd minute to put Rubin ahead 2-1, and they held on for a landmark victory despite being outshot 24-3. Barcelona, Rubin, and Dynamo Kiev are now in a 3 way tie atop Group F with 4 points apiece. So what looked like a cupcake trip to the Round of 16 for Barca and Inter could become a nightmare that sees them both get eliminated. Probably not, but it's been a lot more difficult than anyone expected.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

3 Points

I'm not living up to the title of this site lately, so I'm going to try and post one of these futbol updates daily..

1. Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez is feeling the heat after a beach-ball aided (see video below if you don't know what I'm talking about) 1-0 loss to Sunderland this past weekend dropped the mega-club into 8th place in the Premier League. The Reds have been without Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, and have a lackluster 5-4-0 record in the Premiership, and suffered an ugly 2-0 loss to Fiorentina in their last Champions League match.




2. In case you are keeping score at home..here are the countries that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup

CONCACAF
United States
Mexico
Honduras
Costa Rica- Must defeat Uruguay in 2 leg qualifier

UEFA
Denmark
Switzerland
Slovakia
Germany
Spain
England
Serbia
Italy
Netherlands

These 8 teams will be squaring off against each other with the winners of these 4 two leg matches qualifying..

Greece v. Ukraine
Ireland v. France
Portugal v. Bosnia-Herzegovina
Russia v. Slovenia

CONMEBOL
Brazil
Chile
Paraguay
Argentina

Uruguay plays Costa Rica in a 2 leg qualifier, winner moves on.

CAF
We don't know, they're not done yet, but teams that currently stand to move on are:
Cameroon
Tunisia
Algeria
Ghana

AFC
South Korea
North Korea
Australia
Japan

Saudi Arabia and New Zealand playoff for qualifying spot.

Host Nation- South Africa

So there you go. Most notable thing here is that France is in danger of not qualifying after reaching the finals in 2 out of the last 3 World Cups, and Portugal might not qualify even though they have the magical, enchanted Cristiano Ronaldo. Don't worry though, you'll still get to see North Korea. That's guaranteed.


3. Champions League action today! Liverpool has a huge match at home against Lyon. They are currently in 3rd place in their group, and another loss would put them in serious jeopardy of not getting out of the group stage. Inter Milan is another team that has disappointed in the group stage so far, getting only 2 points out of 2 matches. They host Dynamo Kiev today, and it's imperative they get 3 points out of that match. Barca faces Russia's FC Rubin, and Arsenal goes to Holland to face AZ Alkmaar.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nicky P = Money

I been keeping track of Nicky P's picks and scores. I only have Weeks 1, 4, and 5, but here are the final numbers:

30-11, 73% correct

Getting rid of the outliners, in other words, taking away the 5 most accurate differentials (0, 0, 0, 0, 1) and 5 most inaccurate differentials (37, 31, 19, 19, 19) yields the following truncated mean:

215 points difference/31 games,
6.9 points difference of actual point differential

Untouched:

341 point difference/41 games,
8.3 points difference of actual point differential

This means that almost 3 out of 4 Nicky P picks are right, and his score guesses are within a touchdown. Follow this motherfucker's scores and picks.

Here's the raw data if you want to stat check me:

Week 1

NICKY'S PICKY- FALCONS 27, DOLPHINS 14; 19-7, ATL

13, 12 = 1
NICKY'S PICKY- RAVENS 30, CHIEFS 10; 38-24, BAL

20, 14 = 6
NICKY'S PICKY- EAGLES 30, PANTHERS 17; 38-10, PHI

13, 28 = 15
NICKY'S PICKY- BENGALS 27, BRONCOS 17; 12-7, DEN

10, 5 = 5
NICKY'S PICKY- VIKINGS 30, BROWNS 13; 34-20, MIN

17, 14 = 3
NICKY'S PICKY- TEXANS 24, JETS 20; 24-7, NYJ

4, 20 = 16
NICKY'S PICKY- COLTS 23, JAGS 13; 14-12, IND

10, 2 = 8
NICKY'S PICKY- SAINTS 38, LIONS 20; 45-27, NO

18, 18 = 0
NICKY'S PICKY- COWBOYS 27, BUCS 10; 34-21, DAL

17, 13 = 4
NICKY'S PICKY- 49ERS 27, CARDINALS 24; 20-16, SF

3, 4 = 1
NICKY'S PICKY- GIANTS 17, REDSKINS 14; 23-17 NYG

3, 6 = 3
NICKY'S PICKY- SEAHAWKS 27, RAMS 17; 28-0, SEA

10, 28 = 18
NICKY'S PICKY- PACKERS 27, BEARS 20; 21-15, GB

7, 6 = 1
NICKY'S PICKY- PATRIOTS 33, BILLS 13; 25-24, NE

20, 1 = 19
RAIDERS 27, CHARGERS 17; 24-20, SD

10, 4 = 6

12-3

Week 4

BEARS 34, LIONS 16; 48-24, CHI

18, 14 = 4

BENGALS 20, BROWNS 10; 23-20, CIN

10, 3 = 7

TEXANS 20, RAIDERS 13; 29-6, HOU

7, 23 = 19
COLTS 30, SEAHAWKS 13; 34-17, IND

17, 17 = 0
TITANS 17, JAGS 16; 37-17, JAC

1, 20 = 19
GIANTS 37, CHIEFS 10; 27-16, NYG

27, 11 = 16
PATRIOTS 24, RAVENS 20; 27-21, NE

4, 6 = 2
REDSKINS 19, BUCS 10; 16-13, WAS

9, 3 = 6
BILLS 27, DOLPHINS 17; 38-10, MIA

10, 18 = 8
STEELERS 20, CHARGERS 17; 38-28, PIT

3, 10 = 7
BRONCOS 23, COWBOYS 17; 17-10, DEN

6, 7 = 1
SAINTS 30, JETS 17; 24-10, NO

13, 14 = 1
49ERS 27, RAMS 3; 35-0, SF

24, 35 = 11

11-2

Week 5

RAVENS 27, BENGALS 13; 17-14, CIN

14, 3 = 11

BILLS 23, BROWNS 17; 6-3, CLE

6, 3 = 3

REDSKINS 20, PANTHERS 17; 20-17, CAR

3, 3 = 0

STEELERS 33, LIONS 13; 28-20, PIT

20, 8 = 12

COWBOYS 27, CHIEFS 17; 26-20, DAL

10, 6 = 4

GIANTS 27, RAIDERS 3; 44-7, NYG

24, 37 = 16

EAGLES 34, BUCS 13; 33-14, PHI

21, 19 = 2

VIKINGS 30, RAMS 7; 38-10, MIN

23, 28 = 5

49ERS 20, FALCONS 16; 45-10, ATL

4, 35 = 31

CARDINALS 30, TEXANS 27; 28-21, ARI

3, 7 = 4

PATRIOTS 23, BRONCOS 20; 20-17, DEN

3, 3 = 0

JAGUARS 31, SEAHAWKS 27; 41-0, SEA

4, 41 = 37

COLTS 30, TITANS 17; 31-9, IND

13, 22 = 9

7-6

Week 6 Picks

(2-3) TEXANS AT (4-1) BENGALS
The Texans proved to me last week that they still are a team that finds ways to lose. Like getting picked off for a TD to fall behind and then not finding a way not to be able to pick up 1 yard in 4 plays. It felt like that game where Sage Rosenfels kept fumbling. Meanwhile all the Bengals do is beat good teams every week.
BENGALS 23, TEXANS 20

(1-4) LIONS AT (2-2) PACKERS
They're saying Matt Stafford is out for the season now, and Calvin Johnson is hurt too. See Lions, that's what you get for winning a game. They've lost 18 in a row on the road against the Packers. 18 years of losing on the road to the Packers every year.
PACKERS 33, LIONS 17

(3-2) RAVENS AT (5-0) VIKINGS
Adrian Peterson hasn't been running very well, the Vikings defense has been giving up 400 yards every week, and that miracle win at home over the Niners a couple of weeks ago all of a sudden doesn't look very good on the resume after the clock cleaning Singletary's boys got from the Falcons last week.
RAVENS 20, VIKINGS 17

(0-5) RAMS AT (2-3)JAGUARS
I deem this the most jejune game of the week. 30,000 good seats available.
JAGUARS 30, RAMS 13

(1-4) BROWNS AT (3-2) STEELERS
Mangenius may make the Browns play without pads in the 4th quarter. It will be an "opportunity period".
STEELERS 30, BROWNS 6

(5-0) GIANTS AT (4-0) SAINTS
Some teams play winless teams every week, the Saints have been playing undefeated teams every week. The Giants are 1st in the league Y/A against the pass, and 32nd in Y/A against the run. Pierre Thomas has a big game and the Saints stay unbeaten.
SAINTS 24, GIANTS 20

(1-3) PANTHERS AT (0-5) BUCS
I would love to see the Panthers run it 45 times today. They should run it 45 times. They won't though. Some teams just like to make it hard for themselves.
PANTHERS 23, BUCS 13

(0-5) CHIEFS AT (2-3) REDSKINS
God this league is awful this year.
REDSKINS 23, CHIEFS 17

(3-1) EAGLES AT (1-4) RAIDERS
I'm complaining about how bad the NFL is this year and I haven't even gotten to the Raiders yet.
EAGLES 34, RAIDERS 6

(2-2) CARDINALS AT (2-3) SEAHAWKS
A
must win game for two teams hoping to stay in the race in worst division in football. I'm guessing someone looks at Hasselbeck funny today, fracturing his shoulder and causing him to miss the next 5 weeks.
CARDINALS 27, SEAHAWKS 17

(0-5) TITANS AT (3-2) PATRIOTS
Brady has sucked all year and finally he gets a matchup that can't possibly produce less than 30 points for him, and it's pouring rain with 40 mph wind. It's just that kind of year for him. That's what happens when you sell your soul to Satan.
PATRIOTS 24, TITANS 10

(1-4) BILLS AT (3-2) JETS
Let's count up all the ridiculously bad teams this year. Bills, Titans, Raiders, Browns, Rams, Chiefs, Lions. The league is so bad this year that there are 6 teams worse than the Lions.
JETS 30, BILLS 10

(3-1) BEARS AT (3-1) FALCONS
Now this game makes it almost all worthwhile. I really worry for the Bears here. Their defense just is not very good. They're going to have to get a good night out of Cutler and some of their patented game changing special teams plays to keep this one close. I'm not picking them.
FALCONS 31, BEARS 27





Saturday, October 17, 2009

8 In the Box- NFC




1. Not a whole lot unexpected going down in the NFC in Week 5. Pretty much everyone who was expected to win did, convincingly. Included in that group are the 5-0 Giants, who took advantage of the woeful Raiders for a 44-7 win. Interesting fact about the Giants, in each of their last 3 games they have held their opponent under 100 yards passing. Of course, those opponents have been the Raiders, Chiefs, and Bucs, so actually they probably should have held those teams to 100 yards passing total.


"We're Down 38-10, It's Dancin' Time!!"

2. The other 5-0 team in the NFC is the Vikings. They slapped around the winless Rams 38-10, but even though they won by 4 TDs there may be a few reasons for concern. First, the Vikings haven't run for over 100 yards in any of their last 3 games, which is weird considering they have Adrian Peterson. Maybe even more concerning, they gave up 400 yards of total offense to a Rams team that has scored 34 points all year. That defense has a lot of big name guys, but the last two weeks they've given up over 400 yards in each game (other one was against the Packers). Their next 3 games see them facing the Ravens, Steelers, and the Packers on the road, so if they keep playing defense like that, the 5-0 could turn into 5-3.



3. The Falcons seemingly fixed everything that was wrong with them during their bye week. Although they were off to a 2-1 start, the offense had struggled, particularly Michael Turner and Roddy White. This led Dook!e and me to keep Roddy White on our bench in Week 5, and he rewarded us by going off for 210 receiving yards and 2 TDs, as we lost by 1 point, with Pierre Garcon and Derrick Mason, 2 guys we started ahead of White, combining for 1 catch for 9 yards. Turner scored 3 TDs as the Falcons ripped the heads off of a Niners team that had been playing very well this year, 45-10.


Andy Reid Spots a Cheeseburger Across A Crowded Room

4. Another team that looked strong coming off the bye week, the Eagles, smacked around the terrible Bucs 33-14. Donovan McNabb returned at QB and had a pretty nice game, throwing 3 TD passes. Rookie Jeremy Maclin had a breakout game, catching 6 passes for 142 yards and 2 TDs. The Eagles have had a pretty nice schedule lately. Chiefs, then bye week, then Bucs, now the Raiders this week. The animal rights people are going to be out protesting Michael Vick, and may also have words with Al Davis about all the goat blood drinking.



5. The breakout star of week 5 was Cowboys WR Miles Austin. Of course, he was facing the Chiefs, which helps, but he did have..250 receiving yards? Miles Austin? Included in that huge total was a 60 yard walkoff TD reception, in which a few Chiefs looked like they were wearing handcuffs trying to tackle him. The Cowboys win 26-20, in OT. When you need overtime to beat the Chiefs, I think that qualifies as a "moral defeat". Still, the Cowboys absolutely had to have that game. To be 2-3 going into the bye week riding a loss to the Chiefs would have absolutely killed their season. As it stands, they are 3-2 and Jerry Jones has assured us all that Wade Phillips will not be fired this season. As recent Cowboys head coaches go, he is way better than Dave Campo.



6. The defending NFC Champion Cardinals pretty much saved their season with a late 4th quarter goal line stand against the Texans. They blew a 21-0 lead, but got a 49 yard INT for TD by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to take the lead, then stonewalled the Texans on the 1 yard line late in the game to hold on and avoid falling to 1-3. Here's a cooky stat you didn't see coming, the Cardinals are 5th in the league in yards per rushing attempt against, and they've faced Gore, MJD, Brown/Addai, and Steve Slaton.



7. Carolina picked up their first win of the season, coming back from a 17-9 4th quarter deficit to nip a Redskins team that is 2-3 despite playing a winless team every single week of the season so far. And they play another winless team this week, the Chiefs. Meanwhile Dan Snyder refuses to give Jim Zorn the stay of execution that Jerry Jones gave Wade Phillips.


8. And finally, here's my 2 cents on Rush Limbaugh. I find the man a reprehensible asshole. A chickenhawk who has helped cheerlead lots of soldiers into unnecessary harm, a race baiting douchebag who speaks to millions of losers who want to feel they are persecuted because they are white. His politics are his politics, and if he prefers the "Republican" side of the insatiable blood sucking machine that runs this country to the "Democrat" side, which 95% of the time are just two heads of the same monster, that's fine. The only real problem I have with him are the war mongering and the race baiting, because my country can do without both of those things. That said, I'm a firm believer in giving assholes like this enough rope to hang themselves with. He should have been allowed to own the Rams. It would have been a great opportunity for him to embarrass himself and maybe finally irrevocably have this guy be discredited once and for all. Won't happen now though, now he has more fuel to bitch and moan about how he is a poor persecuted white man.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Craplacticos 3: Child Trafficking

Episode 1 of Craplacticos 3 going over Sepp Blatter's reign as FIFA President. This episode talks about what Sepp Blatter calls "child trafficking."



Episode 2: EPL is next week.

8 In the Box- AFC




1. If you were mesmerized into a catatonic state by the Broncos' brown acid trip striped socks, you may have missed a riveting 4th quarter of action last week between the still unbeaten Broncos and the now twice beaten Patriots. For the second week in a row, Brandon Marshall willed himself into the end zone late in the game for a critical touchdown. I think it's safe to say he's now fully up to speed in the Broncos offense and back among one of the best receivers in the league. I think it's also time to start giving credit to Kyle Orton as being one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Yes really.



2. In Chicago the Orton vs. Cutler debate rages every day on the sports talk airwaves, and the thing you hear most about Orton is "all he does his win", like he is playing in a motorized wheelchair that he controls with a straw in his mouth or something, handing the ball off all day. Kyle Orton threw the ball 48 times in this game, folks. He was only picked off once and had 330 passing yards. There's more to playing QB than throwing the ball hard and running fast. In fact, I dare say the MOST important skill a QB can have is the ability to get the ball out of his own hands by throwing it forward and into the hands of one of the guys that get paid to run around with it as fast as possible. Kyle Orton does that very, very well. He never gets sacked, and he very rarely turns it over. So yeah he may not make the one throw a month where he threads the needle and makes everyone ooh and ahh, but there's a difference between what looks cool and what wins you games. Kyle Orton does the things that win you games.



3. So what exactly do we have in the team that lost that game, the Patriots. They clearly are not the 2007 vintage juggernaut people thought they might be. In fact, they are mediocre in pretty much every phase of the game. 16th in yards per pass attempt on offense, 25th in yards per rushing attempt. On defense they are 14th in yards per pass attempt against, 21st in yards per rushing attempt against. The one thing they have done well is move the chains (2nd in the league in first downs), but what that tells me is that they're not generating big plays on offense, and they're having to methodically dink and dunk it downfield all game long. Hard to believe but I can easily see this team missing the playoffs this year.



4. Usually, if you start 0-3, you spend the next 14 weeks in a completely useless, "Keep Fucking That Chicken" mode. Not so for the Miami Dolphins. They've swum valiantly to two consecutive wins to put themselves back in the AFC East race. On Monday Night, they embarrassed the vaunted Rex Ryan and his vaunted Jets defense, using liberal doses of the Wildcat formation and a surgical 20 of 24 performance by Chad Henne to get a 31-27 win. The Dolphins are a good team. They outgained the now 5-0 Colts when they played them, and played the Falcons and Chargers tough in their other 2 losses. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the schedule remains tough in the immediate future. After this week's bye they have the Saints, then on the road against the Patriots and Jets.



5. The schedule's been kind of soft, but the 5-0 Colts have my vote as best team in the league until someone proves otherwise. Last week they did what they've been doing lately, which is just putting the hurt on their unfortunate opponent, this time 31-9 on the road against the Titans, who the adjective "unfortunate" is very applicable to. Only thing that bothered me about this game was that Pierre Garcon had only 1 catch for 9 yards, despite waving his arms frantically at the line of scrimmage before every snap. If he could have just had like 30 yards me and Dook!e would be 4-1 now instead of 3-2. Of course, there was another thing that was kind of our fault that is probably more responsible, more on that in the NFC column.



6. Before there was Rex Ryan, before there was Mike Nolan, the defensive guru in Baltimore was Marvin Lewis. Lewis is now the head coach of the Bengals, and has been for a while. Up until now his success in building a defense in Baltimore has not translated in Cincinnati. Until now? The Bengals are now 4-1, and of those 4 wins, they've beaten heavyweights like the Steelers, Packers, and last week the Ravens. They beat the Ravens with their defense. They shut down both the running and passing game, and rolled up 400+ yards on the Ravens D. There's nothing smoke and mirrors about this team right now. They are running it down the oppositions' throats, able to disrupt opposing offenses, and are beating good teams.



7. It seems like the Houston Texans just are never going to get over that hump. Last week they come back from 21-0 deficit to tie the Cardinals on the road, only to give up the go ahead TD on an INT, then fail to score on 1st and goal from the 1 yard line late in the game to send it into OT. So much talent on that team and they just don't know how to win. If any of the coaching pantheon of currently inactive greats (Cowher, Gruden, Holmgren, Shanahan) is looking for a great situation to step into, I would think Houston would be at the top of the list. All of the pieces are there, they just need a change in organizational aura that results in an expectation of victory rather than an expectation of finding a way to lose.



8. Finally, we saw what possibly was the worst NFL game ever played this past weekend. The Browns "won" against the Bills, 6-3. This despite their quarterback completing 2 passes. The whole game. They also remain steadfastly committed to rolling out said QB, Derek Anderson, every week, to the point that they are trying feverishly to deal his backup, former 1st round pick Brady Quinn. This a week after they dealt Braylon Edwards, their most talented offensive player, and while they are issuing denials that their second most talented offensive player, Joshua Cribbs, is also going to be traded. That and Mangenius is having running backs play without shouldpads in "Opportunity Periods", where you apparently have the "opportunity" to receive a compound fracture. The last time I saw a Cleveland team this messed up, their owner was trying to lose on purpose so she could move the team to Miami.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rush Limbaugh

Warning: Politics involved. If you don't want to be bothered by some political talk, just skip this article. I try to keep the politics at a minimum, but it's Rush.

Now that this is over (yeah right), here are my opinions about the Rush situation. If you don't know, Rush Limbaugh was to be a minority owner if the bid for St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts won his bid (which hasn't even started yet, really), to own the St. Louis Rams. Checketts is popular in St. Louis because he turned around the Blues. The problem is Rush Limbaugh to where a bunch of players and NFL team owners are saying fuck Rush.

If you don't know Rush, he's the guy who said, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." I thought McNabb was overrated and while I disagreed with the part of Rush's argument where it should be a social concern that people want Black quarterbacks to do well, he talked shit on McNabb which tickles me a bit.

Rush has gone on to say that the NFL resembles Bloods and Crips and other suggestively racist shit that the Museum of Tolerance warns about, which is why all Black people hate this motherfucker.

Rush also hates liberals (i.e. Democrats), which is funny because he's fat.

Here's the few common arguments that have been made on the radio in defense of Rush being part owner:

Like the Black athletes wouldn't take the paycheck Rush gives them.

This is hard to say. I think they would actually boycott, but if I were Black I think I'd take the check because I'd get the satisfaction of knowing he's paying into a group of people he hates.

Howard Stern and Rush are the same shit, shock jock, and if Stern applied for a team he'd get it.

Stern exploits women. Rush talks shit on liberals and Blacks. I think most people would be alright with the cheerleaders boycotting games and not accepting paychecks. You can't own a team where you talk shit on your employees on your radio show. Besides, Stern works with a woman. When Rush gets a Black co-host, then I'll retract my position.

Colin Cowherd: Actions are more devastating than words. 35 athletes have done bad shit and they all got a second chance. Rush is just a blowhard who says bad stuff but isn't as dangerous to society as the 35 athletes who committed actual crimes. As a result, Rush should get a second chance.

There are two arguments here.

1) Actions are more devastating than words.
2) Rush should get a second chance like the athletes did.

1) Watch the movie "Thank You For Smoking" or read the book "1984." Words drive groups of people. Rush affects millions to think fallacious arguments having the poor cheer for tax breaks for the top 1%. That's rhetoric. Honestly, I think his skill is bad ass, but that's because I'm a trained rhetorician. Point being: words drive others into action, which is more dangerous than just actions caused by individual stupidity.

2) When Rush got fired from ESPN for his racially insensitive remarks, he didn't really use his second chance on his radio show to improve his standing with Black people. I don't think owning the Rams gives Rush the right forum to all of a sudden turn over a leaf that is his whole radio show. At the very least, I would hope that most would concede that he is not going to own the Rams and then all of a sudden say Black people are awesome, liberals aren't so bad, the president is pretty cool, he's actually sad USA didn't get the Olympic bid, and whatever else he's supposed to get a second chance at according to Colin.

Here's the bottom line I want to make:

I don't really care if Rush got co-ownership. 63% of St. Louis didn't care either. If they start winning, NO ONE GIVES A DONKEY DICK. Really. If the grand master of the KKK buys the Raiders, and he runs the organization like the Patriots, NO ONE IS GOING TO GIVE A SHIT. I know. It's painful for you to read this. You're getting mad. But there was unreasonable hate towards Muslims and Arabs because of the whole 911 thing. It was so fucked up, England was pissed. Spain was pissed. Italy was pissed. Lots of racism on Muslims and Arabs. Then some of them started buying EPL teams and FUCK THAT LET'S DO THIS SHIT. WE GOTS MONEY NOW MOTHERFUCKER. I'm telling you, if Satan bought your fucking team, and they started winning titles, you would start cheering. Are you going to cheer the owner? Maybe. Maybe not. But you're not going to give a fuck who it is as long as you're winning.

So, am I sad Rush got dropped? Nah. Am I happy he got dropped because Rush blamed liberals for why he didn't get the Rams? Nah. See, that shit's just funny. 60% of the American population does not believe in evolution. 100% of Europe does. Rush makes bank here but wouldn't make shit in Europe. So the humor is that that kinda comment is comical anywhere else but the United States, where in the USA we take his comment serious.

End this debate. Now. I won't talk about my politics because I usually hate people imposing ideas on me (I made a Jehovah's Witness cry because he wouldn't leave my door after an hour; don't feel bad for him, he deserved it). This article becomes political because Rush is a political figure. I never say sorry, but I will say sorry that you had to read a bunch of my politics to get to the fact that you're an idiot for giving a fucking shit about Rush getting St. Louis a championship.

Mental group hug?

Craplacticos 3 starts this Friday. Want to use all that pent up frustration about Rush? Watch this series. Then you will not be an idiot anymore, but the smartest person ever. But only you. Nobody else.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 5 Picks



I've been red hot lately. How long will this astonishing run of competence continue? Probably not very.

(3-1) BENGALS AT (3-1) RAVENS
I played this game on Madden yesterday with 12 minute quarters. It ended in a tie. I feel confident in predicting that Madden will be inaccurate on this projection.
RAVENS 27, BENGALS 13

(0-4) BROWNS AT (1-3) BILLS
I expect this game to have roughly the same entertainment value as the 10 minutes of the Orlando Tuskers vs. NY Sentinels UFL game I caught last night. Only with less Paul Maguire and FUBU looking uniforms.
BILLS 23, BROWNS 17

(2-2) REDSKINS AT (0-3) PANTHERS
The Panthers are giving up close to 200 rushing yards a game. I don't see how you can beat anybody that way. Even the Redskins.
REDSKINS 20, PANTHERS 17

(2-2) STEELERS AT (1-3) LIONS
I think now that the Steelers have finally put Willie Parker out of his misery as their feature back, they start to get back to being the Steelers we know and love. Daunte Culpepper is starting for the Lions, so..
STEELERS 33, LIONS 13

(2-2) COWBOYS AT (0-4) CHIEFS
The Cowboys are kind of completely lost right now. I don't know what their identity is anymore and neither do they. The Chiefs, however, are wearing a map of Texas on their helmets and obviously don't know what state they play in, and lost at home to the Raiders. So their identity, to me, seems to be horrible team who thinks they are from Texas but isn't.
COWBOYS 27, CHIEFS 17

(1-3) RAIDERS AT (4-0) GIANTS
Eli has plantar fascitis but he should be able to hop around on one foot and do fine against the Raiders.
GIANTS 27, RAIDERS 3

(0-4) BUCS AT (2-1) EAGLES
We could have 3 or 4 teams go 0-16 this year. The Bucs are one of them. Donovan McNabb is back this week, what a warrior!
EAGLES 34, BUCS 13

(4-0) VIKINGS AT (0-4) RAMS
The Rams are wearing their 1999 throwbacks today, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Super Bowl win. They also had those uniforms in 1998, when they were awful, like they are now.
VIKINGS 30, RAMS 7

LATE GAMES
(2-1) FALCONS AT (3-1) 49ERS
The Falcons are really getting the Joan Collins Special from the schedule makers this year. Their last game they had to go to Foxboro, now after a bye week they go to the other coast and play a 3-1 Niners team that would be 4-0 if it wasn't for a laser thrown with childlike joy in the waning seconds of their loss to the Vikings. The Falcons have been having some problems running the ball, and the SF defense isn't going to help them get over those problems. I like the Niners.
49ERS 20, FALCONS 16

(2-2) TEXANS AT (1-2) CARDINALS
So many Fantasy Points will be scored in this game, you may see a Donkey Kong Kill Screen.
CARDINALS 30, TEXANS 27

(3-1) PATRIOTS AT (4-0) BRONCOS
Aside from the combined 7-1 record of these teams, this game has tremendous comic value in one coach being dressed up exactly like the other coach.
PATRIOTS 23, BRONCOS 20

(2-2) JAGUARS AT (1-3) SEAHAWKS
Very quietly the Jaguars have taken on the look of a team that is getting its shit together. The Seahawks are a neon green train wreck.
JAGUARS 31, SEAHAWKS 27

SUNDAY NIGHT
(4-0) COLTS AT (0-4) TITANS
Peyton Manning should go bonkers against a very very bad Titans pass defense.
COLTS 30, TITANS 17





8 In the Box- AFC

1. Without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the first quarter of the NFL season (and I'm talking good surprises, not horrifying Tennessee Titans type surprises) is the 4-0 start by the Denver Broncos.  Week 4's 17-10 win over the Cowboys is the first semi-impressive feather in their cap, and it marked the return to effectiveness of Brandon Marshall, who put the Broncos ahead late in the 4th quarter with an insanely athletic catch and run to the end zone.

2. While the Broncos are the best story, the best team in the AFC continues to be the Colts. They destroyed a bad Seahawks team to move to 4-0. Peyton Manning looks better than he ever has, and the Colts appear to be getting the year after Tony Dungy leaves performance bump that the Bucs got in 2002 when they won the Super Bowl.  Dungy has a way of shackling a team by playing sooo conservatively on offense and defense that it kind of limits what they can achieve. Peyton Manning looks completely unstoppable now that things have opened up a little, and so do the Colts.

3. The Jets failed to be the 3rd undefeated team in the AFC. They went down to the Superdome and were dominated by the Saints in a 24-10 loss. Mark Sanchez threw 3 INTs, got sacked 4 times, and fumbled in the end zone once.  Sanchez' numbers thru the first quarter of the season, 71.2 passer rating, 57.3 completion percentage, 6.8 yards per attempt. Matt Leinart's numbers in his 2006 rookie season: 74.0 passer rating, 56.8 completion percentage, 6.8 yards per attempt. So there you go, so far Mark Sanchez is pretty much an exact clone of Matt Leinart, except he throws a few more interceptions. Isn't that exciting?

4. The game of the week in the AFC was the unbeaten Ravens in Foxboro to take on the somewhat wobbly Patriots. The Ravens controlled seemingly every statistical category, but still suffered their first loss of the season thanks to too many penalties, a couple of turnovers, and a very crucial drop by Mark Clayton late in the game.  Still, this is one of those losses that kind of look good on the resume. I'm more impressed with the Ravens now then before this game, they went on the road to face the Patriots and looked at least as good as them.

5. Just as losses like the Ravens had kind of increase their esteem level in my mind, you can have wins that make me lower my opinion of you. The Bengals' excruciating 23-20 super OT win over the Browns falls into that category. Yes, the Bengals are 3-1, but the shitty Browns played them pretty much to a standstill. I was talking some crazy talk about Carson Palmer being an MVP candidate last week, but he was terrible in this game. None of his wide receivers caught more than 2 passes, in a game that went on forever and had plenty of time for them to catch more than that. It's not that he doesn't have talent at wideout. He's got Ochocinco, Laveraenues Coles, and Chris Henry. He's just not getting them the ball.

6. The 1-2 Steelers faced a MUST WIN on Sunday Night against the Chargers, and very predictably, they won. Rashard Mendenhall got the start at running back in place of injured Willie Parker, and shredded the Chargers for 165 yards and 2 TDs. Thus ends the Willie Parker Era in Pittsburgh.  The vaunted Steelers defense was a little less than impressive though, the Chargers were down 28-7, but then it started raining 30 yard passes from Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates, and the Chargers got back in the game.  I guess the best thing you can say about the defending champs right now is that they are 2-2 and averted a disastrous first quarter of the season.

7. Meanwhile, the Chargers are also 2-2, and the presumed default AFC West Champs are 2 games behind the Broncos. They can't run the ball (16 rushing yards against the Steelers), and their defense was just embarrassing in that game. I know they pull it together every year after a slow start, but other than Philip Rivers and the passing game there just isn't anything to like about them right now.

8. Finally, we had an honest to God TRADE this week. Braylon Edwards gets sent to the Jets to hasten the development of the great Matt Sanchez and his legendary 71.2 passer rating (tying him with the benched Byron Leftwich btw) for Chansi Stuckey. Go get that #1 pick Mangenius!!