Friday, September 19, 2008

Fredo Picks of the Week: Week 3 edition

Welcome to SUS's newest weekly literary feature, The Fredo Picks. Named after the ultimate forgotten brother in film history, we will strive to bring the laser-like analysis that has made SUS famous worldwide to some of the less illustrious NFL matchups every week. And in these troubled financial times, you can rely on our picks to keep you out of the poor house, as always. On to the picks!
KC at Atlanta (-6)

Have you ever been to the coke factory in Atlanta? You get to sample 60 varieties of soda, all of which suck, and when it's all said and done, you feel drunk. But not the good kind of drunk; the kind where you skip six stages of happy and go straight to puking Pick: KC
Have you ever been to Kansas City? It's like surrounded by 4 hours of nothing. Give me Atlanta and those southern lasses. Pick: ATL
In the land of the strip club, Michael Turner is king. Pick: ATL

New England (-12) vs. Miami

Miami women believe in underwear like Kansans believe in evolution-an interesting theory worthy of debate and further study. Pick: Miami
Miami was voted to be the best looking city in the US. Quite the difference in Foxboro where the 3 eyed Leper is one of the better looking folk. Pick: Miami
Hello 2001 Patriots! Oh how we missed you so! One can only hope this means a return of Drew Bledsoe as well. Pick: Fins

Oakland at Buffalo (-9.5)

Buffalo has wings, which is a great way to catch up on my bathroom reading. Pick: Buffalo
Do you guys even know a Bill? Isn't he a big pussy? Now imagine a team of them. Pick: Oakland
I wonder if there is some way to correlate the inherent shittiness of a city with its football team. This will require further research. Pick: Buffalo

Detroit at SF (-4)

What's good about Detroit? Absolutely nothing. But at least when my ass is getting pinched there, it's the chicks who are doing it. Pick: Detroit
SF is QB'd by an Irish guy. I'll take the guy who drinks whiskey anytime. Pick: San Francisco
The "likelihood of getting stabbed"/"ability to win on the road" ratio is inversely proportional. At least in Detroit's case, that means you field a better team than the world's biggest gay bar. Pick: Detroit

Brooklyn Hillbilly Cordially Invites You Read His Week 3 NFL Picks

What happens when you have no o-line

Indianapolis (-5.5, 42) at Jacksonville
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This was primed to be a marquee matchup, but now looks to be a street fight between two crippled guys packing box cutters. It ain't gonna be pretty. Jacksonville's plan to run over the Colts while David Garrard guided the team to victory was foiled by injuries to the o-line and the fact that Garrard has finally been exposed as a top-20 QB at best. Mo-Jo Drew will have to use his admittedly excellent moves to get the yards needed this week instead of you know, blocking.

As for the Colts, these guys look older every week. Not a 100% bad thing, as being older and wiser allowed them to come from behind last week. That being said, this team will look a lot younger and better once the o-line returns, center Jeff Saturday and tight end Dallas Clark may return this week. But the biggest injury affecting this game is Bob Sanders'. Without him, the Colts run D disappears(wasn't much of one to begin with this year, sure, but things can always get worse). That along with the fact that the Colts running game is non-existent puts all the weight on Peyton Manning's shoulders. He can handle it, but I see the Jags finally getting some yards on the ground this week, which coupled with the fact that they HAVE to win to stay relevant, means they are going to be hard for a bruised Colts team to beat. Its a shame, what we thought was going to be a great game at the beginning of the year will likely end up being a clunker. Jacksonville covers and wins 20-17.

Ferocious D, ferocious dog.

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia(-3.5, 44.5)
Well, apparently, I'm the only person in the Western Hemisphere that didn’t watch the Cowboys/Eagles game. Yeah, I know, I'm a loser. So what, wanna fight about it? From what I gather, the Eagles put on an impressive effort in the loss, premature spikes not withstanding. I think this is gonna be a great game, the best of the week(sorry Boys/Pack). Two great teams, firing on all cylinders(even the Steeler o-line!), but there are some mismatches to point out:

1. Philly Can’t Run- They are averaging 93yds/game, compared to 150 for the Steelers. Now, what did we all learn in Football 101? Its hard to beat good teams without a running game. Philly needs to keep Big Ben, Fast Willie and Homerun Holmes(Like it? Hate it? Tell me at off the field for at least half the game by getting some yards from Brian Westbrook. That is going to be hard, as the Steelers are playing as well as last year against the run(64ypg).

2. No Hail Mary’s- All due respect to the Cowpokes D, but McNabb is only gonna get 1 big play from this Steeler defense and nobody is gonna break 30 in this one. Polamalu and company are playing the pass pretty well and have improved over the last few years into a secondary that only gives me nightmares 3 nights a week. Time of possession and turnovers will decide this game.

3. Ben The Wise- Roethlisberger and O-coordinator Bruce Arians must be smart about the game plan this week, as the Steelers must run to exist, just as a Terminator must kill, but Philly plays tough run D. Ben has many weapons at his disposal and is savvy enough to mix it up with play action and some long tosses to keep Philly on their heels. As a Steeler fan, I’d love to see some passes to the running backs in this game. Along with less screen passes. And less draws on 3rd and 9. I could go on for hours like this, but my point is that Arians doesn’t have the greatest play calling ability, so lets hope Ben will overrule him when needs be.

As I said before, this will be the best game of the week, theres no reason it shouldn’t be a hard fought game with 2-3 big plays and some great D. And it really could go either way, but seeing how Bill Simmons picked against the Steelers, I'm gonna say Pittsburgh pulls off the upset 24-23.

White Boy South Bronx's Picks (3-1)

Just a quick disclaimer. Yes, I picked the Eagles to defeat the Cowboys this past Monday night 21-17. I was way off both in terms of the total points scored and on predicting which team would win the game. However, in spite of my best efforts to completely blow that pick, thanks to the spread being Dallas (-6) I actually get credit for the win as I pick based on spread not based on who wins or loses. Without further adieu….

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2!) at New York Giants (2-0) (-13.5)

That exclamation point is not a typo folks. That is how horrible the Bengals have looked so far this season. They have earned the moniker that Mahatma has bestowed upon them of the “Bungles.” I don’t want to be a Jet fan about this and say that this game scares me because it does not, but the 13.5 spread does scare me from a betting/picking standpoint. I can see 1 of these 2 scenarios unfolding: (1) The Giants take a gigantic first half lead, say 21-3, and kind of put it on cruise control the rest of the way and allow a meaning less touchdown and play ball control on offense (2) The Giants come out flat and the game is close until the 4th when they pull away by scoring a touchdown or two. Either way, I fully expect the Giants to win but I am going to say they won’t cover the number. Also, take the over as the Giants offense should have a field day against a horrid defense. In addition, I could see Palmer, given that scenario (1) above goes down, accruing some meaningless yards and TDS (my fantasy team is counting on that).

THE PICK: BUNGLES to cover, but Giants win 31-21

Dallas Cowboys (2-0) (-3) at Green Bay Packer (2-0)

I almost wish I was not going to the Giants game this Sunday because I want to watch the 4 and 8 pm games uninterrupted. At 4pm you have Mahatma and BH’s Stillers taking on the Giant’s arch rival Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 8pm you have a rematch of what many thought would be a preview of last year’s NFC title game. That game in November was exciting and kind of showed everyone that Rodgers could be okay if Farve left the Pack. Rodgers has not disappointed so far this year, looking incredible thus far. He is showing great poise, arm strength and accuracy in his first two starts against the talented defense of Minnesota and the completely inept defense of the Lions. It's defense was great in week 1 but was mediocre at best against the Lions in week 2. Dallas has been downright explosive on offense but showed lots of defensive holes in that thrilling Monday night wins over the Eagles. In addition Tony Romo continues to be the most exciting QB in the NFL because every play he makes is either remarkable or remarkably dumb. His several td passes to TO illustrate the former while his fumble in the end zone illustrates the latter. Dallas is a better team and is a great road team. I expect them to win by 5-10 points. As Al Harris showed in the NFC title game last January, a really good and explosive WR will burn him badly. TO certainly fits that description

THE PICK: DALLAS to win and cover, 27-21


First off I would like to apologize to my readers (all 4 of you). I didn’t write a Jets review because simply I was too disgusted with what I saw from the offense last week. They looked exactly the same as last season! All that money spent has made no difference so far at all. 1st and goal inside the 4yd line and 3 running plays later they still couldn’t pound it into the endzone. Now I know I’m being pessimistic and I should show solace that it’s only week 2 but screw that. There are many reasons why my name is “SHMUCK” and being reasonable is not one of them. Faneca got destroyed not once but twice by Richard Seymour on those running plays. Great investment that seems to be so far….eat me!

I think last week I got like 4 right in my weekly football pool at work. If anyone does read this, please, just pick the opposite, at least you can probably break even. (Home teams in italics)


Last week (after the Jets queefed all over themselves) I saw the end of that Bronco/Charger game and I couldn’t believe how badly they blew that call. Chargers have lost their last 2 games in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. They really must have a bitter taste in their mouths. I turned to my roommate and said “Man I wouldn’t want to be playing them next week; they’re going to light shit up.” Than the color commentator, we’ll call him Dan Doochebag, tries to be all ominous about what could happen for each teams schedule before their bye weeks. Of course it had to be the Jets and it’s on Monday night, figures. My roommate turns to me and says “Isn’t that your team?” I respond, “F*** you.”

Chargers are banged up on both sides of the ball. L.T. is battling a toe injury and has had little impact so far this season. Shawn Merriman is done for the year and Jamal Williams is listed on the injury report as well. All but Merriman will play but will they be 100%? Without their star running back Rivers has still performed at a Probowl level throwing 6 TD’s in 2 games. The Jets have been great against the run ranked 6th in the league. Rivers has some good targets to throw too (Chambers, Gates, Jackson, L.T., Sproles) and I think it will be really hard for the Jets to cover all of them.

Jets defense was good last week but they were anything short of that when they were needed most. Down by 6 coming off a nice scoring drive by the offense they needed to force a 3 and out. But they couldn’t even do that. Instead New England drove the ball 70 yards chewing up 6 minutes off the clock and kicking a field, goal pretty much putting the game out of reach. Defensively the Jets don’t match well against San Diego. Gates should have a field day matching up against Bryan Thomas and Eric Smith. Revis is a great corner and he should have success covering Chambers.

Last week the Jets lost the field position battle and had a hard time moving the ball into Patriot territory. The Jets need to win that battle this week if they want any chance in this one. Favre and the offense have to be flawless. The Chargers are giving up over 400yds a game to their opponents. But I think San Diego is just too good of a football team. Jets might have a chance early on but I think they’ll choke….they usually do.

Chargers 34, Jets 20


I can’t say enough good things about Kurt Warner (he might do better as a Jet). With the exception of McNabb and Romo he’s probably the best QB in the NFC right now. Granted they did beat some of the lousier teams, 49ers and Dolphins. But still, they could definitely be a playoff contender come December. But the momentum has to be in the Redskins favor. With the home crowd cheering them on they came back from behind to beat (my superbowl pick) the New Orleans Saints. This was surprising because the game before last, against the Giants, they looked dismal and quite possibly one of the worst teams in the league. But the Redskins have always been a sketchy team. Sometimes they look perfect, almost unbeatable and then next week they lay an egg and look worse than the Detroit Lions. Last week may not have been a fluke but I’m leaning towards to say that yes it was. I’m going to take Arizona. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are just way too much for the Redskins defense to handle.

Arizona 26, Washington 13

Mahatma's Picks (3-1)

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (-5)

The Titans are leading their division after 2 games. What?! Yep bring out the Titans. These is a team that always plays defense well and now has a gamebreaker on offense (Chris Johnson). Problem is they still have no one else to help out offensively so they got to keep relying on the defense to carry them. The Texans are fresh off their bye week (in week 2?) and now have to go on the road. This is a team that was out of synch of week 1 and will likely continue to be out of synch because of their bye. It’s shame because this was a team with the outside shot at the playoffs and now are left playing catch-up. I see Tennessee winning ugly as they always do but cover.

Tennessee – 18
Houston – 10

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-2)

The Browns are a league-wide disappointment and now have to go on the road to STD infested Baltimore and try to salvage the season. The Ravens are also fresh off a bye week (in Week 2) which is really is retarded but alas mother nature has the last laugh. The Ravens beat on a BAD Bungle team in week 1 and came out victorious thanks to their rookie QB. Flacco performed admirably and is already drawing parallels to Ben Roethlisberger? Really? Flacco?

University of Delaware’s Flacco had little trouble with the Bungles Division I-AA defense but will now actually face an NFL caliber front 7. Flacco I don’t think can make the throws to beat this secondary no matter how pathetic they are.

The Browns offense looked like it got into rhythm in the 2nd half of the Steeler/Browns game and make actually have the Browns on your fantasy team get some points. They are too talented to have no wins right?

Cleveland – 24
Baltimore – 21

Devo's Picks (2-1)

Tampa Bay (+ 3) over CHICAGO

An Open Letter to the Chicago Bears:

Dear Chicago Bears,

Please get a legitimate quarterback, for you are starting to anger the football Gods. It has been proven throughout history that a team without a quarterback can win a Super Bowl only if they have great special teams, a great defense, and a great running game. And even then, these teams can win no more than 1. (See the '00 Ravens and '85 Bears.) Chicago, you had all of this lined up in 2006. And you lost to the Colts. Stop trying to prove you can win with a hack behind center. Just stop. It's not going to happen. You have had plenty of opportunities to draft a quarterback and you have passed each time. For that, the football gods must now smite you, especially with Devin Hester hurt.

Final Score:
Tampa Bay 12
Chicago 10

Carolina (+3.5) over MINNESOTA

See above for my beef for Super Bowl contenders without quarterbacks. Throw in the fact that Carolina isn't an overrated sleeper for the first time in years and I'm going with Carolina. Oh, and Steve Smith coming back should be good for at least a touchdown. Can Gus Frerotte do what the mighty Tavaris could not? (See 1:50ish of the above video) Maybe, but not enough to cover.

Final Score:
Minnesota: 13
Carolina: 10

New Orleans (+5.5) over DENVER
Newsflash from SUS: Shockey is a douche. Has anyone seen the most recent ESPN magazine interview with him? For a Shockey interview, it's not highly controversial, but it still bothers me. Shockey looks back on the end of his time in Blue as if his separation from the Giants was inevitable. It's as if he HAD to leave because that's simply what happens when you get hurt and your team does well: they leave you behind, you sulk, and you get traded. Inevitable, right?

Not exactly. Contrary to the Shockey school of thought, it is possible to get hurt and NOT feel snubbed by your team. Why? Because EVERY TEAM SNUBS THEIR INJURED PLAYERS! Hey douchebag, rehab, come back, and try an earn a second Super Bowl ring after one was already given to you. At least, that's what people with an IQ higher than the average 10 year old would do. But hey, I aint bitter.

That said, Denver is very good, but the Saints have enough weapons on offense to force Denver to win this on a last minute field goal.

Final Score
Denver: 31
New Orleans: 27

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Morning Mahatma

Work decided to get the best of me but don’t worry faithful readers as I have returned from the depths of client meetings and banner campaigns to provide some quick thoughts on the last week’s action.

Before I get into those I must say that I really hate ESPN. I try to stay away from all things Sportscenter, NFL Live and the like. All we see are knee jerk reactions, hype-building and an obvious agenda. You can say the same things for all networks but for whatever reason ESPN just brings the hate out more. Whether it be Stuart Scott and his incessant Booyah’ing to just the random conclusions that come from witnessing two games, how anyone can even try to make a statement on whose done and whose out of the playoffs already?

You have teams like Cleveland who ESPN was fellating for the past 3 months as the defacto representative to come out of the AFC North are now dead and buried because obviously Superbowl trophies are doled out in SEPTEMBER right? Hey just ask last year’s 0-2 NY Giants. Ditto the Minnesota Vikings who with that defense and running game can beat anyone even with White Boy as QB. Anyway, I’m going to continue my ban of ESPN and stick to uh FOX SPORTS BABY!

Mahatma’s top 10 Power Rankings

1) Dallas Cowboys (2-0) – The Cowboys are 1-0 when Jessica Simpson predicts games.

2) New York Giants (2-0) – It's really weird not having Gint fans complaining about both Eli and Coughlin. Sign #487458955 of the apocalypse.

3) Green Bay Packers (2-0) – Hey that "not Brett Favre" QB guy isn’t half bad.

4) New England Patriots (2-0) – Hey do you know that the New England Patriots are just great and classy players, swell guys, heroes to our children, Matt Cassell is the next Tom Brady and everyone disrespects them?

5) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) – With Mike Tomlin returning to his House duties, it’s going to be interesting to see if they can keep it up.

6) Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) – TRADE MCNABB! KEVIN KOLB BABEE!

7) Buffalo Bills (2-0) – Scott Norwood has been banned from Buffalo practices.

8) Carolina Panthers (2-0) – Whoa! There still in the league?

9) Denver Broncos (2-0) – Has anyone pointed out Shanahan’s uncanny resemblance to this fellow Rodent:

I’m curious if that makes Jay Cutler Leonardo?

10) Tennessee Titans (2-0) – Vince Young needs a hug. (Editors Note: Or at least wrist guards. – Please send all hate mail to

Anyway, with that out of the way here are some reactionary thoughts through 2 weeks of Football:

Mike Shanahan has balls. That move alone secures his job for what another 5 years?

Do the Chargers miss Shawne Merriman or do they miss the roided out freakshow that was patrolling their defense 2 seasons ago?

That is a very explosive offense right now with weapons galore in the pass game but can you really trust a rag tag bunch of Selvin Young, Micheal Pittman, Andre Hall? I know Denver has made running backs look good in their system but no amount of cut blocking will make anyone in Denver forget Clinton or TD.

The NFL would be wise to do a complete overhaul of its current officiating system. There are missed calls frequently and that’s understood in the element but inconsistency for what constitutes what is in question. Example 1) Lamar Woodley gets flagged for tackling Derek Anderson 1 second after he throws the flag and gets a flag. Yet mere drives later, Shaun Rogers takes 3 steps forward and drills Ben Roethlisberger in the shoulder and doesn’t get called. While I know Shaun Rogers is 350 pounds of freight train even his fat ass can, you know, stop himself?

Carolina has hit it big with their two first round picks in Jeff Otah and Jonathan Stewart. Otah has been mauling people left and right for the Panthers while Stewart has been an effective change of pace back similar to Marion Barber last year with some incredible balance.

Did anyone really think Detroit was going to beat Green Bay even when they took the lead?

The Buffalo Bills defeated a banged up Seahawk team and a beat up Jacksonville team. Now they face the vaunted Gaiders and the St. Louis Rams. Will Buffalo win this year’s “Benefits of Scheduling” award? Objectively speaking they will have the best secondary in the league in about 2 years, even though matching up against the Seahawks without 4 receivers and the Jags with 3 banged up, they have yet to be tested.

As I mentioned to Devo lost in the Giants DE’s of death is the unspoken work of two DT’s that have been the two constants since last season. These two men, Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins continuously collapse the pocket and force QBs to be unable to step up – allowing easy access for the DEs to get the accolades. In 20+ games, the DEs continue to get the recognition while the others to do not. Robbins/Cofield are doing their jobs as well.

The same idiots that are saying New England made a statement game are the same idiots that wrote them off last week. Until a team in that division shows at least a moderate amount of overall talent to take advantage of their average secondary and slow linebackers, New England is still the team to beat.

The thing with the Jets/Browns and others having so many new faces, it takes time to form chemistry. You notice this trend with all these free agency frenzied teams. Until these guys play with each over for at least 8 games, you can’t put a gauge on their performance and usually, by that time, it’s too late for a playoff run.

Reason #47898457985 why the Probowl is a joke: Antonio Cromartie. Is he a pro-bowler? Really?

Aaron Rogers is one of the big stories this week for torching the Lions. Think about this for a second. THE LIONS. Let’s give him accolades next week if he does the same against the Cowboys.

The Monday Night Football game might have been one of the most exciting regular season games ever and thankfully all of America could see it. Luckily most of America didn’t see this though:

Kerry Collins makes the Titans a playoff team this year. With Jacksonville banged up and Houston still being the Houston, Tennessee should leap frog the Jagoffs and get in the playoffs. Remember they actually got in last season too before succumbing to The Norv Turner Chargers and Vince Young’s inability to lead a drive together.

I know the light is slowly waning throughout this site about the great Carson Palmer but this past Sunday, I saw Carson struggling the most of seemingly everyone on the field against the Titans. The O-Line, while nowhere near perfect, was at least playing a bit better and the skill players were doing their job for the most part better than last week. Sure you can say the wind hampered what they wanted to do but Kerry Collins did okay.

The Pats/Jets game told me more about the Jets than the Pats. Specifically to son of Schittenheimer following his father’s footsteps with 3 straight runs inside the 5. I understand if you have someone that can move the pile but Thomas Jones? Really? At the best front 3 in all of Football? Play action was no where to be found. To make matters worse the tv viewing audience
had to bear witness to the Nantz and Simms in all their Patriot loving glory.

Romeo Crennel. Why in the world did he kick the field goal? Crennel got a reprieve because of the surprise success Cleveland had last year, and was rewarded with a slew of free agent pickups in the offseason. But, he's simply a poor in-game coach and a complete lack of knowledge of the flow of the game. As a Pittsburgh fan, this was entirely too similar to Bill Cowhard's field goal in 2004 AFC Championship game. The Steeler defense was tired, crowd was in it and you've been driving on them. GO FOR IT! Especially with Anderson sucking and the weather. You might not know how many times you'll have left to go. Sure, you got to stick up for your defense but it was too late.

Yeti, Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Matt Millen being employed: the mysterious of life

Random Link of the week:

Second random link of the week: (BUY A BERNARD POLLARD FANCLUB TSHIRT):

What I’m watching in College Football this weekend

Some duds this weekend but some tasty matchups:

1) LSU @ Auburn – solid SEC matchup and the best game on paper

2) Georgia @ Arizona State – Lost some luster last week but I’m a Knowshon Guy

3) Wake Forest @ Florida State – Is FSU back?

4) Florida @ Tennessee – Great rivalry with Florida likely to pour it on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Really Grinds My Gears: Empathy Edition (warning: guy next to Peter Griffin is not actually me, I swear)

Empathy (n)- The experiencing as one's own the feelings of another

Although my trusty electronic dictionary (for students grades 9 and up which I will give my favorite tutoring student today) lists "sympathy" as a synonym; rest assured that it is not. Sympathy involves feeling bad because of someone else's emotion but NOT experiencing those emotions as if they were in fact your own. So empathy then is a much stronger experience than sympathy. Now I will do my regular (as of last week) weekly post titled "What Grinds my Gears" but by directly experiencing the emotions of other fans.

(1) Brewers fans as told by White Boy South Madison- I always smile when I type, read or hear "Milwaukee" because I remember the great scene in Wayne's World when Alice Cooper shocks Wayne and Garth by bestowing upon them the knowledge that this city is named for the Algonquin (Native American tribe) word for "The Good Land". However, it is anything but a good land these days for me these days. If we finish again like we did last year, it would be an utter sports atrocity. This is because my main reason for waking up in the morning this season, Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia, are free agents this off season. This cheapskate ownership does not have the guts or desire to fork over the schekels, pounds or Yen, let alone dollars, to resign these two guys. We have to at least make the playoffs this year because our piece of crap owners won't give us another shot for a while. With sweeps at the hands of the plummeting Mets (more on them soon) and the surging Phils, we find ourselves without possession of a coveted spot in the Fall tournament for the first time in a while. I am still dealing with the devastating loss to the Giants last January and the frost bite I got from sitting in the stands with no shirt on that night. I can't deal with another devastating sports moment with the wounds from that night still so fresh.

(2) Browns fans, as told by White Boy South Columbus-Its bad enough that I have to drive 3 freaking hours just to go to Cleveland Browns stadium (what a great name though!) just to go to the games and sit amongst drunken idiots wearing dog suits. However, nothing is more gut wrenching then the continuous beatings we take at the hands of the Evil Steelers. I hate those fucking Black and Gold douchebags. First they hand us the most devastating loss since the fumble game in the 2003 playoffs. Then they go on a 10 game winning streak against us. With this in mind, it has been rare that we have ever gone deep into a game with a real chance of beating them, especially when facing those fuckers at home. WHY ROMEO, WHY!! Why on earth did you kick a field goal down 7 with under 4 minutes to go? You know you have a shitty defense. You know that you were moving the ball on the Stillers for the first time all game. You know that if you have any real shot at winning this game, you need to score a TD on this drive. It was 4th and 7 for goodness sakes! If it was 4th and 25 I would be more sympathetic (but not empathetic cause your a shitty coach and I can't stand you). If you don't trust your recently wealthy QB and superstar receiver to get you 7 yards in a big spot, what is the point of even showing up! Uggggh. Whatever, at least we have Lebron until he goes for the money with the Knicks.

(3) Jets Fans, as told by White Boy South Hampton- As SCHMUCK will tell you, we Jet fans are sick of always losing to the freaking Pats. So you could imagine my delight when, over lox and Bagels Monday Morning before jumping on the Merrick train to Penn Station en route to my big office at the law firm/big financial corporation/hospital, I read that Tom Brady was going to miss the entire season with a Torn ACL. My yamaka nearly flew right off my head I was so vaklempt!! I knew now that we were finally going to beat these guys Sunday at the Meadowlands. See I have to call it that because it makes me too sad when I call it "Giants stadium." However, with one errant Farve pass in the third quarter, the entire tone of the 2008 season changed. This was our chance to step up and take hold of the division for first time since the 2002 season. When Farve threw that absurd pass into the waiting arms of Brandon Meriweather, memories of last seasons 38-14 drubbing and the 9 previous consecutive home losses to Hoody and his band of cheaters flooded my brain like the words to the Melodic Ashrei prayer in the Torah do on Shabbat. Shortly after that pick, Cassel and company marched into the endzone and completely demoralized me and my fellow "-et's" fans. See, I call us -ET fans because we all root for the Mets and Jets instead of the Yankee and Giants. I guess that their great defense and our overrated and over-hyped QB made for another brutal day to be a fan of this historically losing team. Ugh!! At least we have the Mets' guaranteed playoff birth to look forward to?

4) Members of the liberal elite; as told by White Boy South Tribeca- As a gay/black/atheist man who went to Harvard undergrad and Yale Law school, I am offended by the strategy of Palin and Mccain of appealing to the apparently disenfranchised white working class. It is appalling that Mccain and Palin would try to appeal to the same group that the KKK has consistently reached its collective arm towards by conjuring up images of farmers from the plains, in the form of hockey moms of Alaska. This is clearly praying upon the fears of these Americans of the "other". As someone who fits into nearly every minority category in this country, I empathize (not sympathize) with fellow "others". It is clear to me, given my vast intelligence and flair for the cosmopolitan, that the world needs more cultured, learned and frankly bi-racial people in the Oval Office than that of Palin and Mccain. It is the view of this sophisticated and urbane man that being worldly and more scholarly than "average" Americans is not something to scorn but rather something to celebrate. We should expect more from our leaders than ourselves, not the same amount. After all, would you want your president to be someone who you could grab a beer with or someone you could have a glass of wine with while making fun of those who believe in some theory as utterly unfalsifiable as "Intelligent Design." I scoff at thee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Was the 2008 Yankee Season a waste? Of course not, because...

Let the Yankee naysayers have their day in the sun-

The 2008 Season was an embarrassing way to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium.

Every player on the Yankees except for Rivera, Damon, and Nady had down years and contributed to the lousy season.

Cashman wouldn't trade a 4th outfielder, a 5th starter, and the new Mark Prior for Johan Santana.

The Yankees are old, and have too many has been hitters who can't field under contract.

Jeter, the clutch-hitting captain, hit into a double play every time Damon got on first.

The only player with more double plays than Jeter was A-Rod.

While the Yankees are missing the playoffs for the first time since I was in 5th grade, the Red Sox, Mets, and Joe Torre's Dodgers, and even the Goddamn Tampa Devil Rays all look to contend for a World Series ring.

Speaking of Torre, he never missed the playoffs in his 12 Yankee seasons. It took Girardi 1 season to send the Yankees home early.

The naysayers can talk smack about the Yankees all they want, but you know what they can't take from us? I'll give you 3 guesses:

The all-time hit leader?
No, dumbass. That's Pete Rose.

The all-time Yankee career hit leader?
No, that's Lou Gehrig.

The Yankee single season hit leader?
No, that's Don Mattingly.

Fuck, I don't know, tell us Devo.

Yes, that's right ladies and Gentlemen, praying to Mecca 5 times/day since the holy month of April has finally paid off! Tonight, September 16, 2008 at approximately 7:15pm, Derek Jeter became the all time leader for career hits at Yankee Stadium! Boston, you can have your October baseball, because I get to say that I was listening to John Sterling and Mrs. John Sterling when Derek Jeter, Mr. November himself, made history. (At least in a Yankee-Records-Matter-More-Than-Normal-Sports-Records-Because-We're-The-Motherfuckin- Yankees kind of way.)

Yes, I'm Worried (Just in Case You're Wondering)

Last night, as I flipped between a (fabulous) episode of Gossip Girl and the Mets game v. the Nationals, I started feeling that awful sense of doom that I felt for the last two weeks of last season. After losing 2 of 3 to the lowly Braves,- they led late in both of those losses, by the way- I saw Pedro pitch a mediocre game. I saw the offense disappear. I saw Duaner Sanchez make a surmountable deficit insurmountable. I saw David Wright (et tu, David?) hit into an inning-ending double play with a bases-loaded threat and the team down by 5 runs. That's when I put on The Closer. Hmm, maybe Brenda Lee Johnson should suit up for the boys from Queens and end games for them. They sure could use her because Schoenewies, Ayala and Sanchez have all screwed things up in the last 3 games.
Did I mention that this all happened at the same time as a Phillies 4-game sweep of the Brewers? This sweep has put those two teams in a tie for the Wild Card, but even worse, it has brought the Phillies to a half game behind the Mets. Here we go again? Maybe yes and maybe no, but I'm definitely worried. If the Mets don't make the playoffs this year, I will (kinda, sorta, not really) be able to take comfort in the fact that it was kind of a struggle all season long and their lead was not nearly as big. However, before this weekend's series, the Mets had a 3.5 game lead over the Phillies, their biggest all season.
So here we are: There are 13 games left in the regular season, 9 of which are against non-contending teams from the NL East and there are 4 huge games against the Cubs in a possible (hopeful) playoff preview. The Phillies have 12 games left, all of which are against the non-contending teams in the NL East. The schedule on paper favors the Phillies, but last year the Mets had an 'easy' schedule down the stretch too.
Tonight, Mike Pelfrey will try to save the day (the season?) by having a solid outing, hoping that the hitters back him up and that he can pitch the whole game. This is still against the Nationals, remember, the worst team in baseball.
Good God, please don't let them screw this up...

A few more week 2 NFL thoughts

-Apparently there was a Brandon Lloyd sighting in Chicago. As an ex-DC resident, I can only imagine how much they're laughing that Lloyd's only contributions are on SPECIAL TEAMS. What a hack.

-Woah, woah, woah. You mean Matt Ryan isn't going to consistently win games as a rookie? Who knew? A Matt Ryan fall to earth was more predictable than a Yankee double play.

-Is Green Bay that good without Favre? Or is Detroit that bad with Jon Kitna? As long as the answer to one of those questions is 'yes,' I'm happy.

-Um, apparently Herm Edwards is a strong believer of the 'burning this village down in order to save it' school of coaching. Unfortunately for him, when the village gets rebuilt, someone else will be COACHING THE CHIEFS TO WIN THE GAME.

-Minnesota has an unstoppable running back and a 15 point lead. I don't care how good Peyton Manning may be, a team with a great running game should not lose this game. You know who else wouldn't blow this game? A Super Bowl contender. I don't care if it's only Week 2; I ain't buying what Minny's selling.

-I'm not ready for a second go-round of Chicago having everything but a passing game. It was cute the first time when they got to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman. Now, seeing them try to do it with Kyle Orton, I'm slightly offended as a football fan. For the love of Allah, get yourself a quarterback!

-Norv Turner needs to shut the hell up. Yes, Ed Hochuli screwed up the call. But Mike Shanahan gave you a chance to win the game by making a reckless decision to go for 2 down 1. And you blew it. Next issue.

-Great game last night between the Eagles and Cowboys. I never realized how much, as a Giants fan, I hated the Cowboys. And then I was jumping for joy when Romo screwed up the handoff in his end zone, doing everything but chanting, "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!" The one thing I took out of this game: as a Giants fan, I'm scared of both these teams. And only the Cowboys can stop the Cowboys; and maybe Justin Tuck.

A Giants Recap Part 2: Justin Tuck Might Be Good and Other Controversial Thoughts

So, if the Madden franchise mode has taught us anything, it's that two sacks, an interception, and a defensive touchdown will give you defensive player of the week honors. So here's to you, Justin Tuck, NFL Defensive Player of the Week.

And what can you say about this defense that hasn't already been said? They were fantastic. They gave up one long run/screen to Stephen Jackson and the long TD to Torry Holt. Against a Rams team that still has some offensive weapons, even if they have nothing else, that's an impressive performance.

And I'm sure the referee had a better view than those of us at home on that Torry Holt TD, but it sure looked like Kenny Phillips had the INT. And while here, let's talk about 1st round pick, Kenny Phillips. Yesterday I mentioned that if a team doesn't miss tackles, it's going to win a majority of its games. So far this year, this Giants team has been fantastic at making open field tackles. And it seems that more of them have been made by #21, Kenny Phillips, than any other Giant. This kid has a helluva future with this team-with Brian Dawkins getting older, Roy Williams still unable to defend the pass, and Reed Dougherty not being very good (RIP Sean Taylor), it looks like the Giants will have the best safety in the NFC East within two years. Another solid pick by Jerry Reese. (Note: Mahatma correctly points out that Kenny Phillips is a free safety while the other players are strong safeties. Mahatma can also go fuck himself. Next issue!)

One of the big questions heading into the season was whether Corey Webster was going to return to his sucktacular form of '05 and '06 or whether he was going to continue kicking ass and taking names like he did in the stretch run last year. Granted, it's early, and the Giants still have not played any quality teams yet, but it seems as though the quality Corey Webster is here to stay. Good to see.

By the way, with Orange New Jersey's own Jay Alford's sack of Marc Bulger, the Giants are 3-0 in games where Alford gets a sack. (He sacked McNabb in the Giants' win in Philly last December. I'm not going to bother telling you when his second sack occurred.)

And as great as Justin Tuck has been so far this year, let's not forget the prime beneficiaries of Tuck's success, Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield. These unsung DT's, along with Mathias Kiwanuka should see their stats increase as Tuck begins to get Osi-like respect from offensive coordinators.

As someone who is a professional cynic, this is more praise than I'm comfortable with. Let's go to the Negatives:

1. As great a game as Tuck had, Kiwanuka was fairly invisible. Was it because he had to go against former all-pro Orlando Pace? Was he hurt more than he was letting on by Chris Samuels' cheap shot at the end of the Washington game? I don't know, but I wouldn't mind seeing him making more of an impression in Cincy's backfield next week.

2. Look, the defense has been very good so far, and they've missed no more than a few tackles thus far this season. But some turnovers would be nice. I suppose the interceptions will come soon enough from the secondary, especially with Carson Palmer coming to town next week. But it would still be nice to see more big plays from this unit. Am I writing this as a Giants fan or an owner of the Giants D/ST in two fantasy leagues? Well, let's just say a little from column A, a little from Column B.

All that said, good win by the Giants, and let's keep it goin, Big Blue!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Death, Taxes, and Belichick hating on the Jets

Did anyone catch Belichick's postgame press conference? He was his usual self: boring and uninteresting to the average NFL fan, but speaking in a code that still pissed off the Jets organization and fans. Two quotes:

What was said: I thought we played a very good Jets team, who were riding high off of last week's win over Miami.

What that means: Can you believe the Jets? They beat the worst team in football by 7 points and were celebrating like it was the Super Bowl. This allegedly rebuilt defense was beaten by a glorified high school quarterback today! If the Deadbeat Dad had both his knees, this game would have been over 10 minutes in. But hey, good for the Jets-they beat the Dolphins. I guess it could've been worse. They could BE the Dolphins. Yeah, that fat f#@k Parcells is working wonders down there, ain't he?

What was said: It's good to come down here and win at Giants Stadium.

What that means:
What sort of half-assed franchise a) shares a stadium with another team and b) plays in a stadium named for another team? Christ, even the AHL team masquerading as the Islanders have their own building. But hey, good for the Jets, maybe they can get another win when Miami comes back to GIANTS Stadium later in the season.

A Giants Recap Part I: The Giants might have some good running backs and other controversial thoughts

In a day where there were many exciting finishes and close games, it was comforting to know that the Giants win was not one of them.

Location of viewing:

Blondie's a bar on 2nd Ave btw 92nd and 93rd st, with White Boy, White Boy Sr, and anywhere from 3-10 others, depending on the time of the game. The bar was recommended to me by my friend Julie, who said that she watched the Giants playoff run there. That kind of logic works for me.

The place itself is ok-lots of tv's, but no flat screens. Not to be a snob, but when a big part of your business is Saturday and Sunday football games, is it asking too much to keep up with the technology of the last 3 years and rock out with a full arsenal of HDtvs? As for food/drink specials, $12 pitchers of domestics, and allegedly good wings, but no food specials. (On a personal note, I'm trying to make this a wingless NFL season because as much as I enjoy football Sunday afternoons, Sunday Nite on the Shitter is not as much fun as advertised.) Anyways, let's give Blondie's a 7.5 out of 10.

Hey Devo, was there actually a game to recap?


-Consider this a Bizarro Eli day- When Eli was at his finest in the playoffs last year, he was applauded for "managing the game" and completing slightly more than 50% of his passes. Yesterday? He was 20 of 29, completing nearly 70% of his passes. Had he taken advantage of some lousy pass coverage by the Rams, he could have been 24 or 25 of 29 for 350 yards and 4-5 tds. That said, it's hard to argue with 3 touchdown passes, especially when they include 1 bomb, 1 traditional red zone td, and 1 18 yard screen. Diversity- not just for the work place anymore.

-Oh, and Eli needs to stop letting the play clock run down to 1 or 2 seconds. I know he's a Super Bowl MVP, but he needs at least 1 more ring before I can have faith in him avoiding a delay of game.

-The Giants have an obscene amount of depth at the running back and wide receiver slots. Let's start with the running backs, aka Earth, Wind, and Fire. There is only so many ways to say that these guys are amazingly f'in talented, but as a screwed-out-of-a-Pulitzer blogger, I'll try. The best thing I can say about each of these guys is that they all make the other two running backs seem expendable. Derrick Ward, who everyone wants to bury in place of Bradshaw, had another solid game, averaging roughly 7 ypc and remaining a solid screen option. At one point Ward and Jacobs were running so well that White Boy and I were joking that Bradshaw phoned the Virginia Department of Corrections at halftime and offered to start serving his offseason prison sentence in October.

-And then Bradshaw made his impression felt. After getting pounded by Ward and Jacobs for 3 quarters, the last thing teams want to face is a lil' bastard like Bradshaw who is as fast as any running back in the league and nearly breaks tackles as well as Ward and Jacobs.

-Oh, and the receivers? They're, uh, decent too. Toomer and Plax were getting consistently open all day. Not to be confused with Steve Smith and Domenic Hixon, who were also open all day. And seemingly everything thrown to Hixon was caught. Remember Sinorice Moss? He had a pretty decent week 1 and he should still be cut in the near future. Remember their 3rd round steal-of-a-pick Mario Manningham? Um, he'll get some playing time eventually. Maybe.

-And lest we forget, massive credit to the guys who make it all happen: the O-Line. Everyone talks about the Giants' D-Line as being one of the best in the game, but certainly the O-Line has to be pretty close to its equal. It just shows how important it is to have guys who are a) healthy and b) have played together for a few years at a time. White Boy and I agreed that on some of those longer runs, we could have each gotten 8 or 9 yards. That said, I think I would have taken a knee after 8 or 9 yards because I don't want someone to pull a Charlie Weis on me.

-Negatives? Sure, we got a few, even if it's nitpicking at this point.

1. To all those who said that the team would be better without Jeremy Shockey: Maybe the rest of the team is more productive and united and blah blah blah, but the fact is that Kevin "Great White Hype" Boss has no receptions through two games. This would be a problem but for 7 good to very good to great playmakers on offense.

2. The offensive play calling left a bit to be desired for the first 3 quarters. Is shotgun necessary? When you have two power backs in Ward and Jacobs, why not line up under center? And what was the Giants' beef against throwing under 15 yards in the first half? Did they need to consistently throw deep on every pass? The final score looks great but is deceiving; as late as the 4th quarter, the Giants were only up by 7 points despite outgaining the Rams 3-1. Instead of 13-6 the score should have been 24-6.

But screw it. One thing the Giants proved last year was in the NFL, it's important to get wins early in the season by any means necessary and style points only matter towards the end of the season. The fact of the matter is that most teams in the NFL can get 8 wins by simply not making stupid mistakes, including penalties, dropped passes, and most importantly, missed tackles. This team has done all that and then some so far. With their schedule and talent, the Giants should automatically get 10 wins if they avoid stupid mistakes and missed tackles. More on that in Part 2: Justin Tuck might be good and other controversial thoughts