Saturday, April 19, 2008
Screw Christmas, mid April through June is the most wonderful time of the year. Between the NHL's and NBA's second season and the MLB season being in its first throes such that everyone thinks that their teams (Royal fans) and fantasy teams (Devo's Dumbasses) have a chance to do legitimate damage this year. Quite simply, there's a lot of intriguing sports on television, enabling you to finely tune that ass groove you cultivated during football season.
Some thoughts from a day of watching Caps/Flyers, Suns/Spurs, Mavs/Hornets, Yanks/O's, and B's/Habs.
-Now that Federov isn't on the Wings anymore and is playing the Jake Taylor role of "Grizzled veteran who wants one more chance at playoff glory," he's pretty likable. Of course Federov has roughly 3 more championships than Taylor, but just sayin.
-If the 1st game is any indication, Suns/Spurs is going to be one of the better playoff series of my lifetime. I mean, come on, a Tim Duncan game-tying 3? Really? That's only slightly less improbable than David Robinson coming off the bench and suiting up after Kurt Thomas fouling out. And it's about time that the Spurs got the Wes Mantooth Treatment: I hate you San Antonio, but goddamn do I respect you.
-The shame of the Suns/Spurs series-whoever wins is probably going to be too beat up to win next round.
-But along those same lines, if the winner ends up playing New Orleans next round, I'm ok with that. It took about 4 minutes of watching CP3 for me to decide on him as my new favorite player in the NBA. And the best part of Chris Paul has to be the fact that he's a bowling aficionado. Who knew?
-To all Knick fans who are made sick by the fact that Eddy Curry is eating a 32 oz. porterhouse while Tyson Chandler thrives, it could be worse: you could be Bulls fans watching this spectacle.
-The only thing more enjoyable than watching Jason Kidd lose is watching Byron Scott oversee the beatdown. In other news, Lawrence Frank missed the Dallas/New Orleans game, spending 3 hours trying to put two left shoes on.
-Switching back to hockey, the third period of the Habs/B's game is why playoff hockey is the greatest spectacle in sports. An intense TD BankNorth Garden saw 2 goals in 11 seconds and the winning goal 2 minutes later.
-But if the Bruins come back from 3-1 to beat the Habs, then the Capitals have to do the same against Philly. I refuse to live in a world where 3 of the 4 eastern conference teams include Philly, Rangers and the Bruins.
-And last and most certainly least, the Yankees. I know it's early, and they've probably begun this season better than most of their recent seasons, but I have a bad feeling. It seems like Mussina, Hughes, and Kennedy suck each time out, and when our pitching decides to crap the bed, the offense tends to take the night off as well. Again, it's early, but it sure smells like 82 wins up in this bitch.
In the second part of this “give me a reason to cheer again this team” entry, I bring you the Western Conference of the NHL and a reason to cheer against each one.
Reason: Todd Bertuzzi
Remember about five years ago when it was all over the news how one hockey player assaulted another on ice, hitting him from behind, driving his head into the ice and breaking his neck? Well that was Todd Bertuzzi who did that and he now plays for the Ducks. A man like that never deserves to win the cup.
Reason: They Butchered their Uniforms
The Flames had some sweet uniforms, but their redesign is just a mess. As Mahatma said when he first saw it “it looks like a ram drowning in a pool of its own blood.” It has lines and colors going everywhere and it just plain sucks. Plus their socks look like the German flag which is quite odd. But if you don’t want to cheer against a team because of their awful uniform, they do have Mike Keenan behind the bench.
Reason: They’re from Dallas
And no one likes teams from Dallas. Do you want people who cheer for the Cowboys to also have something to cheer about for hockey? No, you don’t.
Detroit Red Wings
Reason: Self Endowed Titles are Bullshit
During the 90’s when the Wings were winning a bunch of cups they decided to anoint themselves with the title of “Hockey Town USA.” This came after a decade of futility where a half empty arena and a tie game was a good night for them. You don’t just throw a title on yourself, it’s a bullshit move. And if you don’t like that reason, there is always Chris Chelios…
Reason: They Screwed Quebec
The Nordiques are one of the more fond vintage teams in hockey. The poor fans suffered through years of basement dwelling in the standings, and when they finally get a good team they move out. And they win the cup the first year they are in Colorado. What a shitty feeling.
Reason: They’re the Western Conference Devils
As in all they do is play defense and bore the hell out of everyone. They also field former Devils coach Jaques Lemaire who brought the uber boring style to Minnesota. And let’s face it, a boring team winning it all isn’t good for increasing the leagues profile.
Reason: No One knows they Exist
I just got back from Chattanooga Tennessee and let me tell you something: I was hard pressed to find a bar that carried the Pred games in my area. Though Chattanooga isn’t the home of the team it is the closest thing them have, and they don’t bother with them. That would pretty much make you that guy standing in the corner by himself waving a Predators banner.
San Jose Sharks
Reason: Jeremy Roenick
The Douchebag King himself, like I’ve said other times, there is really too much to go over in one small quip. But the good news is that he has never won a Stanley Cup, his only appearance in 1992 where the Penguins swept the Blackhawks and embarrassed his ass. So let’s keep this DB championship-less for all eternity.
Avery won the battle. He got the entire Devil team chasing him and going after him; leaving the likes of Jagr, Gomez, Henrik to do their thing. Even more irritating, Sean Avery had 3 goals and 2 assists in a series where he got the high holy hell kicked out of him. Not once did he retaliate, not once did he spear Brodeur BACK after one of several times Brodeur slashed and prodded him. The Devils, a lot like the Thrashers last year, seemed a lot more concerned with crosschecking, punching, and disgustingly, horse collaring people as opposed to actually playing hockey, and it cost them. I don't think this can be in dispute. Anyway, back to Avery.
Some of you may be wondering who is this guy and why has he become a focal point of this site?
Avery has taken so-so talent and good speed and pretty much made himself the most talked about player in the league. It's the Muhammad Ali school of celebrity, that whether you love him or you hate him, you sure as hell are going to watch him. He's redefining his career through this rivalry with perhaps the best goalie in history. It's almost like you can't talk about one without talking about the other. The thing with Avery is that it's not an act for him. He's not just doing it to play this way for this series, and then, at the end of it, he'll show some respect for an opponent that gave his team a hard fought series. Maybe.
He reads Vogue magazine. He goes to fashion shows. He paints his finger nails. He wears lame hats. He walks around like a hard ass. He spends $300 on t shirts. I'd bet I'll see him at Tonic East on Saturday Night wearing a pink popped collar shirt once the season ends. He probably cuts off little old ladies flying down the Henry Hudson in his convertible. He typifies everything there is to hate about the stereotypical New Yorker and he hit this: (rumors circulating of a little thing with MICHELLE TANNER also)
No man outside of Sidney Crosby is as universally loved/loathed to the extent of Sean Avery. Heck a ton of Non Rag fans like him too. Most "traditional" hockey fans hate personality, and that's what Avery brings. The league needs MORE personality. Like it or hate it, we need this prick in the league. That is until he faces your team in the playoffs.
Friday, April 18, 2008
This guy just won't take a hint. First he loses his status as team president/gm and now he has been informed he will not be retained as the head coach either. But Isiah still says he wants to stay in the organization in some capacity. He reminds me of the way I acted at the conclusion of a date I had with this girl a few weeks ago. I said to her after the date; "so I had a really nice time I'd like to meet up with you again soon" and she says after pausing, "lets talk this week.' I should have realized she was blowing me off but then I still called her once 2 nights later. Then, I supplemented this call, which was never returned, with a text just to give her one final shot to touch base with me. This girl did not want a second date and Donnie Walsh does not want Isiah in the organization in any capacity either. So Isiah, please, for the sake of all parties involved, including yourself, just go away.
As for his replacement, word is that New York's own Mark Jackson has the inside track on this job. Jackson did himself no favors, if he wanted to stay mum on this, when he publicly resigned from the YES broadcast booth during the final Nets game this past Wednesday. However, Jackson is the right man at the right time for this club. He is a brilliant basketball mind and he was a great on the floor leader as a player for the Knicks and Pacers. His New York roots will only benefit him as he deals with the intense media scrutiny he will undoubtedly endure. Although he has no head coaching experience, he is, by all accounts, a great communicator and a savvy basketball strategist. However, most importantly, His name is not ISIAH THOMAS! Welcome back to the big apple Mark
I don't like watching basketball, but I LOVE talking and reading about it. I'm not totally sure why I dislike to watch it, but it probably has something to do with the fact that it fails my "Piss Test." That is to say, if I take a piss, is there a chance that I miss the entire game? And no matter how nice a play LBJ makes, beating 3 guys off the dribble and jumping over two like they're Knicks draft busts, it's still 2 of 90-110 points that are going to be scored all game.
And I still love talking about it. Why? Probably because after reading a few Simmons NBA columns (it's trendy to bash him for selling out, but he's still as good a writer as anyone else out there) I've got enough knowledge to be able to hold my own in an NBA conversation. So these may not be the most educated picks, but spend some time in a DC public school and tell me what exactly "educated" means. Let's do it!
Series #1 San Antonio (3) vs. Phoenix (6)
Because the city of Boston shed its loveable losers title and fathers still don't completely trust Kobe with their daughter, Phoenix has to be America's team this postseason right? Well, either way, I'm rooting for Phoenix the whole way through, even though I have the utmost respect for San Antonio, who employs a Devils-like efficiency in winning NBA titles without dazzling anyone with style.
But the issue here is karma: Does it exist? We all remember last year's series, how the Suns probably would've won in 6 or 7 until they lost Amare Stoudamire and others for coming ever so slightly off the bench to go after Robert "Douchebag" Horry, who elbowed/shoved Nash into the scorer's table last year. Had the Suns won, they probably would've won the whole thing, defeating the Jazz and then the Cavs in 4 easy games.
I could give you an analysis of why Amare's new and improved game will be too much for the Spurs to handle, or why the Spurs still have the advantage inside with Duncan over a 50 y/o Shaq and Stoudamire, who almost plays defense. But the truth is that karma has to be on the Suns' side. So let's go Suns in 6.
Cleveland (4) vs. Washington (5)
Weird year for the Wizards. They lost their best and most extroverted player in Arenas for most of the year, and they improved. Way to kick ass on a contract year, Gilbert. In spite of it all, however, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler have proven themselves to be pretty damn close to franchise players.
But then you have the ultimate franchise player, Lebron James, all of 23 years of age. One thing I've learned is that with some exceptions, the NBA team with the best player, especially when he's a superstar like now, doesn't usually in the first round, regardless of how much Sczerbiak sucks. This is no exception. Cavs in 5.
Detroit (2) vs. Philly (7)
Between White Boy, BH, and I, guess who got the last pick of series previews? Detroit is basically where the Nets were in 2004; sure, they're good, and they're going to win a few series, but the Celtics are standing in their way. And Detroit should make it a solid series vs. the C's, but they're not going to beat 'em. And as for this series? Philly is much improved with Iggy (does anyone else call him that? If not, they should.) and Seton Hall's own Sam Dalembert. But Detroit still has too much Chauncey, 'Sheed, and Rip to win this handily. Detroit in 5.
My quick picks for the rest of the playoffs:
1st round: C's over Hawks in 4. Orlando over Raptors in 6. Lakers over Nuggets in 6. Hornets over Mavs in 7. Jazz over Rockets in 7.
2nd round: C's over Cavs in 6. Pistons over Magic in 5. Lakers over Jazz in 6. Suns over Hornets in 7.
Semifinals: C's over the Pistons in 5. Suns over Lakers in 6
Finals: Suns over C's in 6.
Thinking about the Phoenix/San Antonio series reminds me of a discussion I was having with my dad, most recently about J-Kidd being traded, though we've had it probably 20 times over the last 15 years. The issue: Should we care about guys who have given their all to a franchise and want to be traded so that they can complete their mission of winning a title? For what it's worth, we're both in agreement that this is complete BS. Ok Marino, you don't have your Super Bowl Title, (You should've listened to Wade Boggs) but let's compare you with my dad, a fairly successful man in his own right.
-Played in the NFL for 15 seasons.
-Worshipped by the drug dealers, Cubans, and Jews of South Florida.
-Played in one Super Bowl, can attend any future Super Bowl with the snap of your fingers.
-His drug problem was the best thing to ever happen to him-it made the Jets pass on him.
-Has a lifelike bust in Canton, Ohio.
-O SUPER BOWL RINGS.
-Ran a fairly successful small business in Newark, NJ for about 20 years.
-Sometimes allowed to eat the last piece of chicken at home. But usually wife and son fight for it. Begrudging respect at best given by loved ones.
-If lucky, will attend one Super Bowl in his lifetime. With his luck, it'll be Cowboys vs. Patriots.
-Would put up a lifelike bust of self in Springfield, NJ home, except for wife and child would be more embarrassed than proud of said bust.
-O SUPER BOWL RINGS.
Sorry Marino, but no sympathy from here about your lack of rings. Now get back to your CBS studios and keep making jokes that even Carrot Top finds stupid.
(That said, I'm rooting for a Suns & Celtics final. More on this in a few hours)
So yea, I ‘d like my beloved Knickerbockers to not be the butt of every joke around the association. I would prefer to be writing an entire article about the Knicks playoff series and what the Orange and Blue need to do to advance to the next round; well that ship sailed when Zieke and company got off to an awe inspiring 2-9 start. As such, I will now breakdown three playoff series that sadly don’t involve the Knickerbockers.
Utah Jazz (54-28) vs. the Houston Rockets (55-27) -
The Rockets became the story of the sports world for about 6 weeks in the dead of winter. During this 6 week stretch spanning 22 games, the Rockets did not lose a single game. They rode the coattails of an aging superstar Tracy Mcgrady and a band of hardworking blue-collar (yes black athletes can be blue collar athletes too you Tyler Hansbrough/David Eckstein worshipping morons) guys like Shane Battier and Dikembe Mutombo. However, this is the time when the injury to all world center Yao Ming finally catches up with the Rockets. Without Yao, they will have nobody to stop the bestial Carlos Boozer on the inside when Dikembe is resting his 85 year old legs. Oh, and they lose about 20 plus points per game too with Yao relegated to cheerleader duties. The Rockets have nobody that can possibly stick Chris Paul light, a.k.a Deron Williams, either. Mcgrady has no lift in his legs anymore and has been reduced to a jump shooter, albeit an at times unstoppable one. Although Utah has the greatest home (37 wins) road (17 wins) split in the league, expect the Northwest champs to finish off the scrappy but injury plagued Rockets in 6 games.
Magic (52-30) vs. the Raptors (41-41)-
The Toronto Raptors might be the worst team to make the NBA playoffs or at least the most boring and uninspiring one. Chris Bosh is a legitimate superstar no doubt. However, as talented as Jason Kapono and Jose Calderon are at shooting the 3-ball, they can’t take anyone off the dribble. Toronto is a soft 41-41 as it never went on any kind of hot streak during the season that served notice to the rest of the conference that it was a realistic contender or even a potential sleeper in this year’s playoffs. The Magic, on the other hand, is an exciting and fun team. Led by the scariest mofo out there Dwight Howard; Orlando plays excellent team basketball and features a great coalescent attack of the inside dominance of Howard and the sharpshooting of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. The acquisition of Lewis in the off-season coupled with the maturation of Dwight Howard and the emergence of Turkoglu as a legitimate NBA scoring threat makes the Magic a really tough out in the East. Jameer Nelson and Carols Arroyo form a great point guard tandem and Pat Garrity provides yet another long ball threat off the pine. The biggest problem for the Raptors in this series is that its #1 weapon Bosch is neutralized by the great defense and rebounding of Howard. Therefore, I expect the Magic to wipe the floor with Toronto in 5 games.
New Orleans Hornets (56-26) vs. Dallas Mavericks (51-31)
I suppose it is not entirely fair to call this an upset pick. The Mavs are the 7 seed but they are far more talented and experienced than your typical 7 seed. Dirk Nowitzki is an NBA title away from becoming this generation’s Larry Bird and might be an even better pure shooter. (Though not quite the defender or rebounder that Larry Legend was) Although Jason Kidd comports himself like a selfish prick off the court, just ask the opposing coach in the series, he is a great floor leader on it and plays decent defense. Chris Paul is a phenomenal player and is a very real candidate for this year’s MVP award. He is a brilliant passer, an excellent scorer and an excellent defender. His leadership has the Hornets in secure hands for the next 10 years. However, no one on this roster, outside of Peja Stojakovic, has any appreciable playoff experience. David West is a legit scorer in the league and Tyson Chandler is a monster in the middle both on the boards and on defense. However, I like the playoff experience of Dirk, Howard and Kidd as opposed to the naiveté of Paul and West. The only caveat I will offer here is that if Dallas does not put a man on Peja, he will kill them from beyond the arc. If this happens, the balance of the power could change in this series. However, I don’t expect the Mavs to have another 1st round meltdown. I expect the Mavericks to win a competitive and thrilling 6 game series.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
"My Beautiful Mommy" is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael (a musclebound superhero type) and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.
The text doesn't mention the breast augmentation, but the illustrations intentionally show Mom's breasts to be fuller and higher. "I tried to skirt that issue in the text itself," says Salzhauer. "The tummy lends itself to an easy explanation to the children: extra skin and can't fit into your clothes. The breasts might be a stretch for a six-year-old."
The book doesn't explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won't just look "different, my dear—prettier!"
Now, let me say first off, and strenuously, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LOOKING GOOD. If there were, let me tell you, Id be in Attica doing 15-25 right now. But if you are going to look so different that you are afraid your child wont recognize you, you may be going a bit too far. My walk from the subway to class 3 days a week takes me past 2 botox clinics and a plastic surgeons office, and that's only a 1 avenue walk. Technology is amazing, and plastic surgery has produced some of my favorite movie and music stars of the last decade, so what I really want to know is, why has it taken the industry this long to get a book like this out there? When I was 5 I had my tonsils taken out, and I remember my parents prepping me before the surgery with a delightful cartoon book about how my tonsils were evil and Captain Tonsilectomy was there to save the day. And it worked, until I woke up and couldn't talk for a week. Children are so gullible.
All that being said, I would bet it could be jarring for a 6 year old to come home from school and see Mommy laying in bed with bandages everywhere, looking like Daddy had fallen off the wagon again. Another mini-BH memory to illuminate my point: I remember when I was very young, my Mom had really long hair until she cut it one day and then came to pick me up after day-care or after school or some such activity and I wouldn't get in the car with her because I didn't believe it was her. My sister had to walk me to the car and promise me that was our mother. Truthfully, I'm still not sure.... But I digress. This is a solid step forward in getting the next generation to accept plastic surgery as a natural fact of life. So, plastic surgeons, lets get going on writing the book for pre-teens that convinces them they need to get boob-jobs and ass implants. Here's to a better looking future!
Baseball is finally here and I am already bored. I hate basketball and hope it ends real soon. The NHL playoffs have started and my Devils are already blowing it and soon I'll have nothing to look forward to until September. Sure, there’s the Summer Olympics (sponsored by HGH) but who still watches them? Some of the events are on during the day while most of us work and are also on pay channels that some of us don’t have. In my opinion the Olympic Games ended when steroids began. They ended when terrorists used them as weapons to put fear into the innocent. I’m only going to watch the Olympics for one reason and one reason only: to see which of the many attractive American (maybe European?) female athletes will pose nude for Playboy next. Actually, that should be our next poll. Next weekend I will be attending my first Red Bulls soccer game. I’ll let you know how that pans out but until then; it’s all football, all the time. So now that all pro-days, combines, and Free Agency are done it’s time I reevaluate my first round predictions. I’m shaking things up, especially in the top 10. Enjoy!
1. MIAMI DOLPHINS – JAKE LONG (OT, MICHIGAN)
Previous Pick: Chris Long
Well it’s clear that they aren’t high on Matt Ryan so the odds are very slim they are drafting him with this pick. So that leaves Beck and McCown to compete for the job. And they are going to need a lot of protection. Jake Long would fill a big hole at RT for years to come. He can transition to LT as well if needed.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS – CHRIS LONG (DE, VIRGINIA)
Previous Pick: Ken Dorsey (I’m an idiot….Glenn, Ken, Who gives a F*ck)
Either way, the Rams are looking to get bigger faster stronger on defense. They’ll take whoever is available of Long or Dorsey. Vernon Gholston is a possibility but not this high.
3. ATLANTA FALCONS – GLENN DORSEY (DT, LSU)
Previous Pick: Matt Ryan
Defensive line has to be their main concern to help stop the run. They’ll take either Long or Dorsey, whoever is available.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – VERNON GHOLSTON (OLB/DE, OHIO STATE)
Previous Pick: Darren McFadden
It’s going to be tough for Al Davis to pass on McFadden but it’s going to have to be done. They already have 4 running backs on their roster (Lamont Jordan, Justin Fargas, Dominic Rhodes, and Michael Bush) and McFadden’s character issues are the last thing they need in that locker room. Their run defense was pathetic last season and they have a huge hole at DT with Warren Sapp retiring. Sedric Ellis is a possibility but his draft stock has slipped. Only way he becomes a Raider is if they trade down to the ladder towards the bottom of the top 10.
5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – BRANDON ALBERT (G, VIRGINIA)
Previous Pick: Jake Long
Their biggest need is offensive line. Albert’s flexibility to play both guard and tackle makes him even more appealing. He is probably a reach this high but there are a lot of good O-linemen in this draft and the Chiefs can grab another early in the 2nd. With 11 picks total in this draft they certainly can get younger on defense as well, especially at the cornerback position.
6. CHICAGO BEARS (trade w/NYJ) – MATT RYAN (QB, BC)
Previous Pick: Limas Sweed
Outrageous! Certainly it is. I think the Jets would be crazy to draft a QB in the 1st round. If Matt Ryan falls past KC, the only other suitor for a QB before Chicago is Baltimore #8 or Carolina # 13. I’m sure the Bears front office are very skeptical of drafting another possible franchise QB in the 1st round but I believe they couldn’t resist.
7. NEW 18-1 MASSHOLE CHEATERS – DARREN MCFADDEN (RB, ARKANSAS)
Previous Pick: Agib Talib
Yea call me crazy, I know. The Patriots don’t really have that many holes to fill. They added some depth at cornerback thru free agency and have retained Randy Moss for another 3 seasons. ILB should be their primary concern but none of the top candidates are worth drafting this high. I still think they’ll quite possibly trade down, but if they don’t, Belichek isn’t stupid, he’ll take the best player available
8. BALTIMORE RAVENS – RYAN CLADY (OT, BOISE STATE)
Previous Pick: Mike Jenkins
Ravens GM should be kicking himself in the face he didn’t get Matt Ryan. The biggest problem this franchise has had was finding a QB to lead this team back to the superbowl. Greg Ogden is on the verge of retirement leaving a huge hole on the line. This draft is solid with OT as 6 or 7 could go in the 1st round. Clady is the 2nd highest prospect behind Long and he too can transition between RT and LT
9. CINCINATTI BENGALS – SEDRIC ELLIS (DT, USC)
Previous Pick: Same
This team is a complete mess. A new head coaching job will open up once the Bengals miss the playoffs again. Ellis can definitely help make an impact on stopping the run. Bengals did lose Justin Smith to free agency so pass rushing is also a big need.
10. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – LEODIS MCKELVIN (CB, TROY)
Previous Pick: Dominique Cromartie
They signed Jason David to be the #2 CB last season but he’s no better than a nickel if not just for Dime packages. McKelvin has great speed and would become an instant starter opposite McKenzie.
11. BUFFALO BILLS – KEITH RIVERS (OLB, USC)
Previous Pick: DeSean Jackson
Bills need playmakers in the front 7 and help at cornerback. Rivers can roam the field sideline to sideline with the best of them. Bills need a possession WR to help out Edwards and I don’t think Jackson is that player. Limas Sweed is a very good possibility too.
12. DENVER BRONCOS – LIMAS SWEED (WR, TEXAS)
Previous Pick: Same
Now that Javon Walker is gone and Brandon Marshall hurt himself, who is Cutler going to throw too? Rod Smith is a great football player but age finally caught up to him and they need young players to replace him.
13. CAROLINA PANTHERS – CHRIS WILLIAMS (OT, VANDERBILT)
Previous Pick: Jeff Otah
Panthers might have their eyes on Harvey and probably won’t make the trade. But their offensive line is a more pressing need. They retained Jordan Gross to play RT, now they just need a LT to protect Delhomme’s blindside and Williams could be that guy.
14. NEW YORK JETS (trade w/CHI) – DERRICK HARVEY (OLB/DE, FLORIDA)
Previous Pick: Vernon Gholston
Jets only have 2 picks for the first day and trading down should possibly grab them another in which case they’ll use it and give to CAR most likely. Harvey’s stock might not be as high as Ghoulston but he’s definitely more solid as the typical 3-4 pass rusher. He also has a great motor and can stay back and cover as a LB too. At 6’5, 255 lbs he is certainly a monster. Jets would be getting a steal here and could gain some picks in the process.
15. DETROIT LIONS – JEFF OTAH (OT, PITTSBURGH)
Previous Pick: Chris Williams
Damien Woody departed to the Jets leaving a big hole on the right side of their O-line. Matt Millen would be wise to use this pick accordingly. Going with a pass rusher here too is another possibility but first things first.
16. ARIZONA CARDINALS – DOMINIQUE CROMARTIE (CB, TENN ST.)
Previous Pick: Leodis McKelvin
I don’t think the Cardinals will take a running back here. They still need some help on the offensive line to make holes for Edge. They also need depth at CB. Antrel Rolle and Cromartie would be a great cornerback tandem.
17. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – QUENTIN GROVES (DE, AUBURN)
Previous Pick: Derrick Harvey
Every year the Vikings are drafting either a WR or a DE. They have yet to find their replacement for Randy Moss and probably won’t find one for a long time. Troy Williamson is pretty much a deep threat. The purple helmets need a solid possession receiver to help Tavaris Jackson develop into the starting QB Childress hopes, but which we all know will never will happen.
18. HOUSTON TEXANS – RASHARD MENDENHALL (RB, ILLINOIS)
Previous Pick: Same
Ahman Green is practically done. I will never draft that man in fantasy football ever again.
19. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – DESEAN JACKSON (WR, CALIFORNIA)
Previous Pick: Malcolm Kelly
I don’t think McNabb will be traded this season, next off-season a stronger possibility. But for now I think the Eagles will keep looking for target for him to throw too.
20. TAMPA-BAY BUCCANEERS – DEVIN THOMAS (WR, MICHIGAN ST.)
Previous Pick: Mario Manningham
Unless Mendenhall is on the board I don’t think they’ll take a running back. Earnest Graham certainly was handling most of the load last season and with the addition of Warrick Dunn that should help take away some of the carries. Bucs need WR help.
21. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – MALCOLM KELLY (WR, OKLAHOMA)
Previous Pick: Early Doucet
For once the Redskins are taking a practical approach and are going to hold on to their picks and for once what a smart move. I’m just glad they didn’t take any more Jet players this offseason. It’s been hard these last 5 or so years.
22. DALLAS COWBOYS – MIKE JENKINS (CB, SOUTH FLORIDA)
Previous Pick: Jonathan Stewart
Jerry Jones has confirmed that his team is not going to go after Darren McFadden. Currently they are trying to trade for Pacman Jones. It’d be wise if they stayed away from him. And if they don’t trade for him they should certainly look at the draft for a possible suitor instead.
23. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – AQIB TALIB (CB, KANSAS)
Previous Pick: Brandon Albert
Getting younger and faster at cornerback is a need for the defense. Rotissere wants a tall WR to throw too but so does every other QB in the league (Hello, it’s Chad Pennington? Yea I need at least 2). After a great comeback to take the lead last year in the playoffs their defense crumbled when they needed them most and the secondary should be to blame (stop making guarantees!)
24. TENNESSEE TITANS – LAWRENCE JACKSON (DE, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA)
Previous Pick: Philip Merling
Titans certainly need some receiving targets for Vince Young to throw too. James Hardy is a possibility but he could slip into the 2nd round.
25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – KENTWAN BALMER (DT, NORTH CAROLINA)
Previous Pick: GOSIDER CHERILUS
Balmer is slipping on all draft-boards and he could possibly fall out the 1st round. Seahawks need some help at defensive tackle and Balmer is the only best option left after Dorsey and Ellis
26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – PHILIP MERLING (OLB/DE, CLEMSON)
Previous Pick: Quentin Groves
Jags needed help at WR and they did that thru free agency. So the next step is to improve the passrush, enter Merling.
27. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – JEROD MAYO (LB, TENNESSEE)
Previous Pick: Kentwan Balmer
Chargers are pretty much set on both sides of the ball. They should draft the next best prospect.
28. DALLAS COWBOYS – FELIX JONES (RB, ARKANSAS)
Previous Pick: Justin King
Cowboys opted not to sign Julius Jones or trade up to get Darren McFadden. Marion Barber is a physically up and down runner. They need another back to help split the carries. Felix Jones is definitely the 3rd best RB available in this draft and the cowboys would be fortunate he’s still available this late in the 1st.
29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – DAN CONNOR (LB, PENN ST)
Previous Pick: James Hardy
Connor can line up in the middle next to tackling machine Patrik Willis. San Fran would have a solid linebacking core for the next 5 years easily.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – GOSDER CHERILUS (OT, BOSTON COLLEGE)
Previous Pick: Tracy Porter
Packers need to get younger along the offensive line. They also need cornerback help and they could lean towards selecting Justin King. But best player available is Gosder. What a weird name
31. NEW YORK GIANTS – KENNY PHILLIPS (S, MIAMI)
Previous Pick: Keith Rivers
With Wilson’s departure leaves a big hole at safety. They did sign Sammy Knight to fill that position but he’s getting up there in age. Phillips is young and raw and would be a solid addition for the secondary.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Reason: It’s Boston
Like I said this is primarily a New York site, and Boston is the mortal enemy. I mean, these are the same people who cheer for the Red $ox and the Patriots, who finished 18-1 last season. Can you really cheer for them?
Reason: They don’t spell “Canadians” right
I don’t care if it’s because of the French culture, hell, that’s even more reason. Spell the damn name right! And spell things “er” and not “re” you look like a bunch of retards.
New Jersey Devils
Reason: They’re boring
I mean honestly, did you really expect a different reason to be here?
New York Rangers
Reason: Sean Avery
Like Devo’s letter said, die. No one can stand this guy, not even hotty Elisha Cuthbert. The guy is embarrassing to Hockey at times and frankly no one, probably not even his teammates, can even stand him.
Reason: They’re a bunch of Douchebags.
No exaggeration, all they do is hit from behind and spazz out on people. Chris Niel is always looking for a flying elbow, Spezza is a complete spaz, Schubert is yellow, Emery idolizes Mike Tyson for some god forsaken reason, and the coach is a cry baby. The list goes on and on. And if this isn’t enough, I refer you to their intro in my last post that angered the Hockey Gods greatly who were swift to mark their retribution upon the team.
Reason: They’re even bigger bunch of douchebags than the Senators
Listen, I’m all for physical play and having a team that can grind down the opponent a la the Anaheim Ducks. What I’m not for is a team playing more to injure the opposing players than they do to score, which is exactly what the Flyers do. It’s pretty ridiculous that a team cares more about hurting the other team than winning.
Reason: Sidney Crosby
You hate him and you know it. It’s not because he is good, and you know you don’t believe the whole whiner and diver bit. You hate him because your team, like every other team, could have won the draft lottery after the lockout and had him for yourself. For that you will always be bitter and loath him. That and he’s a whiner who dives.
Reason: Who Cares
No really, who cares about this team? Obviously not Washington as thirty years later they’re still using the same excuse they don’t have a big following: DC is a bunch of transplanted people from all over the country who didn’t grow up here and have no attachment to the team. Seriously, it’s been thirty years, if you don’t have a following at this point you’re not going to. Why cheer for them when no one even cares if they win?
I hate the fact that the devils didn't get a shot until 8 minutes in.
I hate the fact that Petr Sykora is involved in nearly Pens goal, Jason Arnott is the Preds captain, Patrik Elias is afraid to get hit.
I hate the fact that the only way Bryce Salvador is effective is when he's cross checking.
I hate the fact that Bryce Salvador gets actual ice time.
I hate the fact that we have no power play.
I hate the fact that every time Vs. shows a graphic about special teams play, it covers half the tv screen.
I hate the fact that it says in the U.S. Constitution that Scott Gomez must figure in every Ranger goal against the Devils.
I hate the fact that our best player, Brian Gionta is on the checking line.
I hate the fact that we have no heart.
I hate the fact that our GM finally got a coach that he loves, yet the coaching has sucked since late February.
I hate the fact that we have no farm system.
I hate the fact that we have no cap space thanks to Elias' $7 million dollar contract.
I hate the fact that it's not yet football season.
The deepest class of tackles in a decade, the 2008 class is extremely top heavy with players that can protect QBs for the next 15+ seasons. Long and Clady are the headliners with both likely to be top 10 picks. Otah and Williams are the next in line and will likely be mid first round picks also. Baker/Cherilus offer late first round grades while Nicks, Collins, Cousins, Greco and Barton are other quality day one selections. Even some of the later picks would likely be day one picks in most other drafts.
1) Jake Long /
2) Ryan Clady /
2) Jeff Otah /
3) Carl Williams / Vanderbilt / 1st
4) Gosder Cherilus / BC / 1st – 2nd
5) Anthony Collins /
6) Sam Baker / USC / 1st – 2nd
7) Carl Nix /
8) John Greco /
9) Duane Brown / VTech / 3rd – 4th
10) Oneil Cousins / UTEP / 3rd – 4th
11) Kirk Barton /
13) Barry Richardson / Clemson / 4th – 5th
14) King Dunlap /
The guards available in 2008 are somewhat lacking overall but there is talent available in the early to mid rounds. Albert is the best guard in the draft since maybe Shawn Andrews in 2004 and will likely be a top 15 pick. Rachal and Young are both solid prospects. Scheuning had a bad senior week but still plays with a mean streak.
1) Branden Albert / UVA / 1st
2) Chilo Rachal / USC / 2nd
2) Eric Young /
3) Roy Scheuning /
4) Jeremy Zuttah /
6) Mike McGlynn / Pitt / 4th – 5th
7) Andrew Radovich / USC / 5th
8) Donald Thomas / UConn / 5th - 6th
9) Pedro Sosa /
A truly weak collection talent is available for teams looking for centers. Pollack is the best one but really the FA scrap heap might offer better solutions. Sullivan was supposed to be the best one coming out this year but had a horrendous year. A lot more zone blocking types are available this year as opposed to the kind of center that can handle the big NTs and DTs of the league. Velasco and Lichtensteiger are the best at that but that’s like putting a band aid over a knife wound.
1) Mike Pollak /
2) Steve Justice / Wake / 3rd – 4th
2) John Sullivan / Notre Dame / 4th – 5th
3) Kory Lichtensteiger /
4) Fernando Velasco /
6) Matt Spanos / USC / 6th
7) Drew Miller / UF / 6th
8) Cody Wallace /
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Got a look at the New Nationals Park last week and thought I would write a review. But I realized just before sitting down to write that I really didn't see enough of the park to write an ESPN-Rob-Neyer-style review. He usually reviews things like the concession stands and the sightlines from all angles. Turns out that in order to write that kind of review you have to have ESPN footing the bill (in order to buy all of those overpriced concessions) and you have to be willing to basically miss the game, as you wander from one deck to the other. I wasn't willing to do that, so frankly, all I have to go by is my view from twenty rows back in left field and my $7 Budweiser. The Budweiser came in one of those red metal bottles that, for some reason, you can only get at the ballpark. It tasted like Budweiser. The seats (which cost $3 more than the beer) were likewise generic. In retrospect, I should have gone with the $5 bleacher tickets and then just moved down to the arguably better left field seats. It wouldn't have been hard. Even though it was Game Three at the new park, there was no shortage of empty seats. I think part of it was because the Nats were hosting the Marlins, but let's face it - part of it was also because the Nats are pretty horrible. The early returns suggest to me that they actually might be a little worse than they were last season. The teams, and the game (a 10-4 Marlins blowout) weren't pretty. And the park? It was... (thinking of an adjective)... nice. Yeah, I think that's the best I can do. Getting off the Metro, I was greeted by the lights of the park immediately. The walk to the stadium is certainly a lot more pleasant - and a lot shorter - than the walk to RFK. And I like that when you walk in from the Metro you wind up in right in leftfield. But once I walked in and got my bearings, I felt - well not exactly indifferent, but like something was missing maybe. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing really the matter with the stadium. It just lacks that extra something. By my count, this is the sixteenth major league baseball stadium I've been to (including a few now defunct parks like The Vet and three Rivers). With the exception of those two, every park I've seen has had something unique to offer. Fenway, Wrigley and Yankee Stadium have obvious character, as do some of the new ones I've seen, like Orioles Park and The Jake. (Incidentally, I'm watching the Sox play at The Jake as we speak. Did you know it was called Progressive Field now? You have my personal permission never to call it that.) Even the less well known parks have something going for them. KC has those fountains in the outfield. The new Phillies park is beautiful and has that goofy liberty bell out in center. Even Shea (which is probably the current worst park in the NL and, along with Oakland, Minnesota and Tampa Bay the worst in the majors) has the home run apple in center. Nationals Park has a sign in center field that says Nationals and a clock with stars where the numbers should be. Fireworks shoot off behind the scoreboard when a National hits a home run. The view over the centerfield fence is of the watefront. It's nice, but it's not like seeing the Capitol Building or the Washington Monument or, I don't know, anything that might remind you that you are in DC. And again, it's a nice park. And it's really clean, and the views are good, and it's certainly better than RFK. But really, it's just a ballpark. And, after my first visit there anyway, I'm not sure there's much else to say about it.
The Sox are coming off three consecutive good games. I spent Friday evening at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill watching them get two hits and lose to Chien-Ming Wang. Close game but I just had a bad feeling early. Wang just looked too good - I think he finished the game at under 100 pitches - and we really getting any good at-bats. Most people in the bar were glued to the Capitals game (which was a really great game), but there were two Yankee fans standing next to me. With two outs in the ninth, and the Sox down by four, Coco got a bunt single and I cheered wildly. Apparently my humor was a little too subtle for them. "Scoreboard!" one of them said, high-fiving his friend. It seemed pointless to explain my joke to the Yankee fans. So I left immediately after the next (and final) out.
I wished I had been at the bar on Saturday. Becket pitched well, Delcarmen rebounded with a big strikeout of Jose Molina (who is inexplicably hitting .364 at the moment), and Manny hit the longest home run I've seen so far this year. In the bottom of the eighth, with two outs and two on, and the Yankees down by one, the Sox brought in Papelbon. And then there was a long rain delay. I had dinner plans so I missed the end of the game. I guess it says something that that's what I'm choosing to complain about from this game.
Sunday night was long and slow an tedious. Dice-K looked all out of whack and everyone in Boston looked cold. Fortunately, Philip Hughes looked more out of whack. Everyone says that baseball is slow, and usually I try to defend it. But no, on Sunday night it was just slow. We won though, thanks to the pen. David Aardsma and Javier Lopez, of all people, looked pretty good.
And then there was Monday night's game, which I took in at Lucky Strike, the weird trendy bowling alley across from the Verizon Center. Good place to watch a game actually. There's nothing like watching Manny hit a game-winning home run on a giant screen right above the pins. It also helps to be watching that game while you happen to be bowling with several diehard Indian fan friends from college. And it helps even more if you happen to be schooling said friends in bowling. Not to gloat or anything.
A few hot/nots:
- Clay Buchholz's girlfriend - Have ya seen her??
- Jed Lowrie (3 RBI's so far in his first game!)
- This Korean Drummer
- Papi (but he's coming back...)
- Schilling's possibly fabricated threat to go to the Yankees
This is the latest one for the Ottawa Senators:
1975 - New York Islanders overcome 3-0 deficit to win the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins
2008 - Ottawa Senators face elimination 3-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
1975 minus 1942 = 33
2008 minus 1975 = 33
I feel like I'm in a crappy Jim Carey "thriller".
The number 33 starring Mahatma. Coming straight to video Spring 2008.
Monday, April 14, 2008
13 games in to the season, there's two ways to measure Yankees: Wangs (good) or Mussinas. (not so good)
Wangs- Chien-Ming Wang= If he pitches this way for the rest of the season, there is no reason he can't go 30-0 with a 1.15 era. And more importantly, he will make my 60 dollar purchase of his autograph photo a wise if not prophetic one. Wang has finally learned how to throw his non-sinker pitches for strikes consistently and has been able to get guys to whiff at his changeups and sliders on 2 strike counts. His complete game, 1 run (nice catch bobby) effort in Boston was his finest pitching performance to date. He looks like he will finally be able to become a 20 game winner this season and should contend for the Cy Young in a Santana-less AL.
Mussinas- Mike Mussina= I know he has not pitched horribly so far. He had a strong 6 inning 1 run outing last week against the Tampa "don't call us devil" Rays. Still, his performance in the 6th inning this Saturday at Fenway is a perfect example of why Yankee fans can't stand this guy. He pitches an excellent first 5 innings in which he allows only 1 run. Then, as soon as the Yanks grab the lead on the real (real according to me) 2007 Al Cy Young winner Josh Beckett, he gives it right back. After getting a dramatic if not improbable strikeout of the slumping but clutch David Ortiz with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out, Muss proceeds to give up a first pitch double to Manny Ramirez allowing Boston to get the lead back for good. Yea, Girardi screwed up big time by not intentionally walking Manny to get to Youkilis but that does not excuse Mussina for once again failing to protect a small lead.
Wangs-Bobby Abreu-Bobby has played great offensively so far this season. He is drawing walks, hitting the ball hard to all fields, and has been right in the middle of the few rallies the Yankees have put together this season. My only beef with him is that he needs to steal more bases because he is the fastest guy on the team.
Mussinas= Johnny Damon- Feel free to hit the ball hard somewhere before the end of the month, Johnny. His few hits this year have come on broken bat bloopers and the occasional misplayed single into an extra-base hit. I'd rather see Melky hit leadoff. He is a switch hitter, a stronger hitter right now, and is almost as disciplined as Damon despite his youth.
Wangs- Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera- These two have simply dominated the opposition in their appearances so far this season. Joba is dazzling opposing hitters with his obscene sliders and his triple digit heat. He is simply the most talented Yankee to come up through the farm at any position in my lifetime. Rivera continues to be incredibly effective despite losing some zip on his cutter and losing much of his hair. White Boy Senior and I agree that he has the best control of any pitcher we have ever seen.
Mussinas- EVERY OTHER RELIEF PITCHER- Girardi has to find someone that can be a consistent third reliever. Lord knows it isn't the human white flag Kyle Farnsworth or Letroy Hawkins. My only hope is that young fireballer Ross Ohlendorf or Brian Bruney can take on this role so that Girardi does not burn out one of his two superstars at the top of the pen pecking order.
Mussinas that I assume will turn into Wangs= Phillip Hughes and Robinson Cano- Cano is a .314 hitter over his first 3 major league seasons and has struggled mightily in each of the last two Aprils. Although it is frustrating to see Robby struggle so much in the cold weather, there is no reason to believe he won't be near .315-.330 by the end of the season. Hughes pitched great in his first start against Toronto but has gotten blitzed by the Royals and Sox in his two subsequent outings. Last night against Boston he kept getting into trouble by walking hitters in front of Manny and by getting behind nearly every hitter. Unless you are facing a very young team like the D-rays, if you are consistently 3-1 and 3-2 on hitters they will walk and get hits more often than they will chase a ball out of the zone. Young Phillip learned this lesson the hard way last night as he got shelled for 6 earned runs in only 2 + innings. However, he still featured a 93 mph fastball and a beautiful 12-6 breaking ball. He needs to work on his control a great deal if he wants to come close to winning the 15 games my fellow Yankee fanatics and I had hoped he would.
Mussinas that I don't expect to improve too much= Jason Giambi- 8 years. That's right this is Giambi's 8th and hopefully final season with the Bombers. He is fun to watch at times when he hits his prodigious upper deck shots at the stadium. However, I am sick of watching him run the bases. I am sick of him making me nervous every time a ground ball comes his way. Most of all, I am sick of waiting for him to live up to the mega contract he signed before the 2002 season. He has missed almost 2 full seasons with injuries and illness and he has hit over 40 home runs only twice as a Yankee. Although he is a lock for an over 350 On Base Percentage almost every year, walks don't help all that much when you can't score from 1st on a double. I'm just glad this is his last year in the Bronx. BRING ON MARK TEIXEIRA.
Sure the Fullback is going the way of the Dodo but maybe this is a year that we see the fullback rise from the depths of obscurity to lead a team to championships glory? Eh Probably not. Here’s some guys that everyone that will forget about once they are drafted. Hillis, Hester and Schmitt lead the way but really even my nerd self could barely contain my care face.
1) Peyton Hillis /
2) Jacob Hester /
4) Jerome Felton / Furman / 5th – 6t
5) Carl Stewart /
Tight ends overall this year are a deep and extremely talented group of guys that will likely become factors on Sunday. There is no Shockey, Gates or Winslow out of the bunch but they all have potential. Teams are showing way more TE sets because of the various mismatches they create by being on the field. As the fullback system becomes extinct, the two tight end scheme has never been more widespread so teams will continue to load up. Of the class here, Fred Davis might be the most athletic of the bunch and is extremely raw overall but the talent is there. Finley, Rucker and Bennett are also extremely talented but just less polished. Cottam is the best “tackle eligible” in the draft. Carlson/Tamme are your average run-of-the-mill white tight ends meaning they can catch well but lack the game breaking ability relative to this position but are good targets to attack the short and intermediate passing zones.
1) Fred Davis / USC / 2nd
2) John Carlson / Notre Dame/ 2nd – 3rd
4) Kellen Davis /
5) Martellus Bennett /
6) JerMicheal Finley /
7) Brad Cottam /
8) Jacob Tamme /
9) Darrell Strong / Pitt / 6th
10) Martin Rucker /
The 2008 WR class is also among one of the deepest in the drafts. Like the tight ends, it’s not really top heavy by any means but teams are able to find talent in the mid rounds with not much drop off from the early picks. There’s no clear cut stud in all of this either. Each prospect has things they can do well but also share one fatal flaw. Sweed was supposed to have a crappy speed but ran well in shorts. Whether that can translate on the field is another story. Ditto James Hardy as well but he’s 6’ 6’’ and appears slower on film. Devin Thomas has the top measurables and likely be the first wideout taken but only one year of solid production. Kelly, on a bum leg, ran a horrendous 4.68 at his pro day (he missed the combine and will likely fall) but has great hands (think Anquan Boldin).
1) Limas Sweed /
2) Devin Thomas /
2) Malcolm Kelly /
3) James Hardy /
4) Desean Jackson /
5) Early Doucet / LSU / 2nd
6) Mario Mannigham /
7) Eddie Royal / VT / 3rd
8) Donnie Avery /
9) Dexter Jackson / Appalachian State / 3rd – 4th
10) Keenan Burton /
11) Adarius Bowman / OK. State / 4th
12) Earl Bennett / Vanderbilt / 4th
13) Adrian Arrington /
14) Jordy Nelson /
15) Andre Caldwell / UF / 4th – 5th
16) Harry Douglas /
16) Marcus Monk /
17) Mario Urrutia /
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Pol Pot and the deadly Khmer Rouge.
Rangers eventual 2008 playoff victory over the Devils.
Omar getting 'got' on The Wire by a midget.
These are just a few examples of the forces of evil defeating the forces of good. And now? Congrats to the Chestnut Hill University Superfags, for beating the field, and taking home the NCAA College Hockey Championship, their first title since April 2001. To this day, the debate rages: Was it our troop presence in Saudi Arabia or a BC National Title that inspired OBL to preside over 9/11. I'll leave it for you, dear SUS reader to decide.
ps-All those in SUS Nation awaiting a Rangers/Devils discussion, it'll come when I'm ready to talk about this Hindenberg of a series.