Saturday, October 11, 2008

Week 6 prognostication by The Brooklyn Hillbilly(6-4)

Broncos kick it old school.

Jacksonville at Denver(-3.5, 48)
First off, I have to say last weeks Jags-Steelers game was awesome. I'm sure for Jags fans it sucked, but just getting the opportunity to see Ben Roethlisberger put on a display like that should make them at least appreciative. No, probably not but whatever, my team won, suck it. Needless to say, those were not the same Jags that pantsed the Steelers twice last year. This team has only had 2 acceptable rushing performances this year, and they were A)in both wins, B)vs Indy(29 vs run) and Houston(21). Luckily for Coach Del Rio, Denver is bringing a Texans/Colts type intensity on run D to the game on Sunday. That should allow Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor to rack up some yards. The problem is that Jacksonville is just as bad, if not worse than Denver on defense. Now, with two equally shitty defenses giving up points, the edge goes to the better offense.

Speaking of Denver...This game and next week against the Patriots should be good tests for the Broncos. Not that they are particularly great teams, but this should give the Donkeys a chance to put their defensive house in order and get ready for a long stretch of easy games. I don't know if they can do that, but they can certainly outscore both the Jags and the Pats. That may be enough to position this team for a great, exciting run at the playoffs and a second round exit. In the meantime, I think they throw all over the Jags while taking punishment of their own. I wish I could say "Its gonna be an awesome game!", but more than likely its gonna be one of those shootouts that's almost painful to watch as the teams trade 45-yd passes to receivers that are wide open due to botched coverage. That being said, I think the Broncos are built to win those types of games. Jay Cutler gunslings to victory, 34-30.

Dan Snyder, Theton-free since meeting Tom Cruise.

St. Louis at Washington(-13.5, 44)

The Rams suck. No, they really fucking suck. Worse than you think. They currently have a -104 point differential(-26/g). Adding to that, the Rams are: 32nd in total offense(28th passing, 30th rushing), 32nd in total defense, 16th in pass D(good job!), 26th in run D and have a -3 turnover differential. I never played organized football, but from what I understand, you wont win many games with those kinds of stats. They have been blown out in every game. Now, the statistician in you may be saying, wow, there is no way in hell these guys have a chance to beat the Redskins. I just spent 30m trying to find something with which I can refute that statement. I cant. The Rams are gonna get killed Sunday.

They are going up against a rolling team that is showing itself to be one of the toughest teams in the league. The Skins are beginning a stretch of some real softee games, St. Louis this week, then Cleveland, then Detroit. Theres no reason Washington shouldn't be 7-1 going into Week 9's matchup at home against Pittsburgh. One thing the Skins do right, which all successful teams do right, is to limit turnovers. ONE turnover on the year so far. Oh, and every division game they have left is at home, that might be a benefit. Watch out Giants fans, Washington continues to gain steam this week, 38-10.

ALCS is already 25% over

If I had posted this prediction before yesterdays game, I would have said: "Dice-K will dominate an unsophisticated Rays lineup in Game 1." And he did, so I will stick by that statement. Dice was putting pitches where hitters aren't comfortable seeing them, thru the strike zone and into Tek's mitt. I will say, the Rays have a great team who can get extra base hits, but only a few guys on that team really have a mature hitting eye, so they are susceptible to finesse pitchers like Matsuzaka. Look for Dice to repeat his performance in Game 5. And there will be at least a Game 5, if not 6. In the next few games, here is what you will see: Beckett will re-gain his impeccable form and Lester will continue to earn a reputation as an elite starter.

To come back to win this series, the Rays have to beat Dice, Beckett and Lester in three of five potential remaining games(two at Fenway), assuming they beat Wakefield in Game 4. I don't think they can do the first task, and the second task is 50/50. You cant like those odds if you are a Rays fan. Wake is obviously the weak link in that rotation, but better teams than the Rays have taken Wakefield for granted and seen him have an unhittable night(or 5 innings).

But really, the biggest game of this series is tonight. If Josh Beckett recaptures his postseason magic, the Rays might as well not even bother getting on the plane to Boston. If they can somehow get into his head and put some runs of the board to keep this competitive going into the later innings, they have a chance to exploit a nausea-inducing bullpen on the Red Sox side. I cant breathe when Justin Masterson pitches its so goddamn scary. Papelbon is the only one I trust, I just wish the Sox starters could make it 8 innings every game. And that's really what it comes down to, every pitch thrown by a relief pitcher not named Papelbon gives the Rays that much more of a chance to win this series.

I cant lie, I don't have a lot of respect for the Rays starting pitching. None of those guys really has a track record to make me scared but the bullpen is great. The Sox will need to hit early and often in the first 6-7 innings of the game to stake a lead that (hopefully) Paps and the boys can hold. As good as the Rays pen is, Boston's pitching is better in the aggregate, and as I said in the ALDS preview, pitching is all that matters. The Rays are good enough to take a few in this series, but White Boy is right, this series is destined to end in six games with the Sox headed back to the World Series in Philly to try and claim the mantle of dynasty.


Friday, October 10, 2008

White Boy Also Does Baseball

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were put on this earth for 1 reason and 1 reason only, to piss off Yankee fans. They beat up on our team and can't beat the team we hate the most. As such us bitter Yankee fans have no choice but to hitch our wagon to Joe Madden's managerial star. The problem is I just can't see this ending well.

Boston has not lost a playoff series as the Pedroia Youk Redsox. Francona is perfefct in LCS and WS play. Boston has a sick big 3 rotation of Beckett, Dice K and Lester. Boston has all of the intanginles. Tampa is truly mlbs feel good story of the year. Any Met fan and/or Yankee hater who hates our team because of its big spending ways is a complete hypocrite if they root for the 120 million dollar Sox over the 40 million dollar D-rays.

Tampa has a great young big 3 of its own boisting a triumverate of Garza, Mr. Met and James Shield. Its lineup is not scary on paper but has a knack for the big hit. The problem is, Tampa is going up against the late 90s Yankees with a better starting staff (if also having a slightly worse closer). I am rooting like crazy for the small market Rays against the Goliath Sox but its not gonna happen.

THE PICK: Boston in 6

White Boy's Pick (7-3)

Philadelphia (-4) at San Fransisco

Whiteboy Sr. thought that SF was for real when it took an early 14-7 lead over last year's AFC but not superbowl champs. Then reality began to set in. The 49ers are still trying to reach some level of respectability after it won some playoff games with the potent if not ultimately dysfunctional duo of TO and Garcia. It has some good players like CB Nate Clements and Frank Gore and not much else.

Philly suffered a devestating loss at home to the surging Skins after jumping out to an early 14-0 lead. The Eagles this year seem to do just barely enough to lose each and every week. It has a well rounded and exciting team but has lacked that intangible that the Titans and Champs have shown early on in the season. Still Philly has far too many weapons, even with a banged up Westbrook, to lose at San Fran.


Random Friday Post cuz i'm the only asshole in america still at work...

305-315 million people live in America.

Give every citizen $1 million.

That's $315 million.
That beats the $700 billion being handed to banks.

A stipulation of the $1 million is that you would have to pay off
any outstanding debts you may have.

And if you're $1 million in debt right now, shoot yourself.

Anyway, the leftover money after paying off debts would be infused back into the economy.

People buying up stupid shit.

Some people may quit their jobs after they are given $1 million.

No one will be around to build the stupid shit for us to buy.

But this whole plan would never work.

This entire country is built on people living in debt.

People buying shit they don't need with money they don't have is the American Dream,
so said George Carlin.

This plan may not make any sense at all.
But $1 million will be solid.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Devo's Picks (5-5)

Dallas (-4.5) over ARIZONA

Everyone keeps talking about Dallas like they're an 8-8 team. Not to be confused with the same 'everyone' who thought they'd be a threat to go 19-0 a few weeks ago. Dallas may not be playing better than the Giants right now, but they have more talent, certainly on the offense side of the ball. Who will win when the Giants and Dallas play? I don't know. But if both of these teams bring their "A" game, then I'm going to side with Dallas. Eli is great, but Romo throws for a LOT of touchdowns, and Barber can be a royal pain in the ass to bring down when he has a full head of steam. Oh, and T.O.? Yeah, he can play. And to everyone who is religiously offended that Dallas barely beat Cincy last week, remember that the Giants needed OT to beat Cincy a few weeks before. Dallas finds their A game this week.
Dallas wins, 34-10

Chicago (-3) over ATLANTA

Two things that the football gods (or at least me) hate:
1. Teams that repeatedly make a point in forsaking the quarterback position in favor of every other spot on the team.
2. Rookie quarterbacks having a huge amount of success.

Looks like we have a battle of teams who are in the process of really pissing off the football gods. And if the football gods aren't pissed, well I still am. That said, the difference in this game will be the fact that Chicago's defense will turn Matt Ryan's mistakes into a defensive touchdown, while Atlanta will turn Kyle Orton's mistakes into 3-and-outs.

Chicago wins, 16-10.

G's Up Ho's Down: A NJ Devils Preview

G's up: Brian Rolston. I'll be the first to say that I don't know nearly as much about hockey as Yinzer and Mahatma. That said, this is the move I've wanted them to make since Easter. And apparently, Lou agreed. Rolston, along with Langenbrunner, provides the Devils with two power play lines of four forwards. He also gives them another forward to compliment the consistent Madden/Pandolfo penalty killing duo.

Ho's down: Rolston's age.
He's 35 right now, and still has another four years to go on his contract. If there's been one downside to Lou Lamoriello's tenure with the Devils, it's been his recent tendency to spend on free agents who suck. I don't think this will be the case with Rolston, but it will be intriguing to see if Rolston is worth the contract during his 38th and 39th year of life.

G's Up: Marty Brodeur, regular season goalie. Marty is 14 wins away from breaking one of the two most important records in the NHL-Patrick Roy's wins record. Marty has showed no signs of slowing down in the season. In fact, the new NHL rules have allowed Brodeur to showcase just how great a goalie he is over the past few years. His stats over this time are nothing special, but if you watch enough of his games day in and day out, you realize that yeah, he is that good. Even at the age of 36.

Ho's Down: Marty Brodeur, playoff goalie. And as great as Marty has been in the regular season the last few years, he's been awful during the playoffs. It's not that Marty sucks when the pressure is on; 3 stanley cup rings say hi. But for whatever reason, every Devils coach has one thing in common-a hard on for starting Marty roughly 75 games each year. This inevitably leads to a decline in his performance in the first or second round of the playoffs. If Sutter would only learn to play Brodeur 65 games each year, Marty would be able to shine come the post season. And oh by the way, Kevin Weekes is one of the better backup goalies in the league, even if Sutter insists on using him as a glorified paperweight.

G's Up: A solid group of defenders. Just because there's no Rafalski, Stevens, or Niedermayer doesn't mean that this unit sucks. The top six for this unit are led by Colin White and Paul Martin, hardly Stevens and Niedermayer, but still a very credible #1 defensive pairing. Mike Mottau, Johnny Oduya, Andy Greene, and newcomer Anssi Salmela should make up the next two units on what should be a solid, if not unspectacular defense corps. Will they scare anyone? Not necessarily. But it should get the job done.

Ho's down: Still no Stevens, Niedermayer, or Rafalski. The first two were on all 3 Stanley Cup Championship teams, and Rafalski was an integral piece of the last two. More importantly, Colin White is the only member of the defense with a ring. The D isn't bad, but this defense is a lot better when complemented by a powerful offense. Which leads me too...

G's up: Elias and Gionta ARE walking through that door. For the first time in the post-lockout NHL, the Devils did not lose anyone important to free agency in the offseason. Thus, the Devils bring back Elias, Gionta, and Langenbrunner, all of whom will be keys to their offense this season. Throw in Rolston, and this is the first year that the Devils have actually improved their offensive potential from the previous season.

Ho's down: But are Elias and Gionta any good anymore? Remember when Elias was one of the top left wings in the NHL? Ah, those were the good ol' days. From the 99-00 season through the 03-04 season, Elias had annual goal totals of 35, 40, 29, 28, 38. After a near-deadly battle with hepatitis A during the lockout, Elias' post-lockout totals have been 16, 20, and 21, respectively. Now, the 16 came in a half season in which he looked dominant at times, but that's the problem with Elias; even at his best, he hasn't been his old self for more than a few weeks at a time. And you can't have that from one of your only best scorers.

Oh, and Gionta? Well, since he set the Devil single season record with 48 goals in 05-06, he scored 25 goals in 06-07 (while playing in 62 games) and then scored 22 last year in his first season without Gomez. Gionta might be the Devils' best scorer, but it's clear that he needs a center who can feed him the puck. And as solid as Elias or Rolston could be playing center, it's going to be very difficult for them to match Gomez' passing skill. Or put simply, Elias and Gionta could continue to be shells of their former selves.

G's Up- Lou Lamoriello. The greatest General Manager in sports still resides in New Jersey. Say what you want about the man, but he turned a Mickey Mouse organization into one of the most well run, efficient organizations in sports. Other than Detroit and their unlimited payroll, the Devils have been the most successful organization in the NHL over the last 15 years. And Sweet Lou, the GM/President/Any-other-position-of-power has been the man who has been running it all.

Ho's Down- The Farm System Still Sucks.
-Yeah, Lou's great and all, but um, the farm system sucks. Hockey's Future, my source for all things minor league hockey, ranks the Devils' farm system as 28th of 30. The only credible prospect coming through the pipeline is Nicklas Bergfors, and he's been a year away now for the last 2-3 seasons. Has Lou lost it? Maybe, maybe not. Can they find a way to transform these no-names into prospects? Again, maybe, maybe not. But right now, the future's not looking too promising.

G's Up- The Rangers got a little weaker, and the Islanders still suck. So the Devils might still be the best NHL team in the tri-state area. Ignoring the Islanders, the Rangers lost Sean Avery and Jaromir Jagr, while only adding Wade Redden, Markus Naslund and a few others, moves that would have been phenomenal if made in 2004. There's a good chance that the Devils will surpass the Rangers again this year.

Ho's Down- The Penguins lost some, and the Flyers didn't lose anyone of importance. Yes, the Pens lost a lot, in Marian Hossa, Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, and George Laraque. And they're going to be without Gonchar and Whitney to start the season. But simply having the big 3 of Crosby Malkin and Fleury healthy and ready to go should be enough to keep this team at a high level. And if that's not true, they'll still be better than the Devils. And the Flyers, with the young core of Richards, Carter, Briere, and others should be a pain in the ass for the Devils, and will probably be too much for them to overcome.

G's Up-A gut feeling. For no good reason whatsoever, I always thought that Marty Brodeur had four Stanley Cup Championships in him. As great as it was to win in '95, '00, and '03, Marty never had to will those teams to victory like Roy with the Canadiens in the 80's. For Marty to be unarguably the greatest goalie of all time, he'll have to win one more Stanley Cup, this time with a fairly inferior team in comparison to those of Devil Championships' past. So based on nothing more than a gut feeling, I think that Marty, in the next 3 years will take this team to one more Stanley Cup Championship.

Ho's Down- Other gut feelings I've had in the past, including but not limited to:
  • Yankees would win in '01.
  • Giants would win in '02.
  • John Kerry would win in '04.
  • My prom date would bang me in '00.
  • The Giants would lose to Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay, and New England last year
Clearly my gut feelings leave something to be desired.

But for an actual prediction: Let's give the Devils a 5th place finish in the East, 3rd in the Atlantic, and a loss to Philadelphia in the 1st round.



Why do I have a funny feeling that Ocho Cinco is going to shine this weekend? And it only seems fitting that it has to be against the Jets. The Bengals have big issues on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line can’t protect or open up any holes for the running game and the lack of protection has also led to the poor numbers in their passing game. They need a bye week badly but even that won’t save their season. This will most likely be Marvin Lewis’ last because he has lost control of this team.

The Jets need to play their game. I’m not even sure what game that is. They need to keep the Bengals defense on the field and churn minutes off the clock. They also have to bring a consistent pass rush which has been non-existent for most of the season (wake up Vernon Ghoulston that means you!). Jericho Cotchery should have no problem finding holes in their secondary. A little less Thomas Jones and a little more Leon Washington should also be one of their strategies as the Bengals don’t have lots of speed on defense.

The Jets should be extremely worried playing against the Bengals this week. Cincinnati is winless so far this season and is itching for a victory. Normally in these situations, Jet teams from the past would have faltered, but I’m hoping the bye week has them healthy, rested, and more in sync on offense.

Jets 31, Bengals 20


Carolina is always considered the favorite to win the South division and also represent the NFC in the superbowl. Well now finally they’re starting to play like it. Jake Delhomme is back after Tommy John surgery and is heading them in the right direction. Jonathan Stewart hasn’t been extremely productive but has shown flashes of a franchise running back for the Panthers in the future.

Tampa Bay has a lot of injuries on offense. Most importantly is the quarterback position. Brian Griese is most likely not playing this week which means Jeff Garcia would get the start (paging Mr. Plummer?). Joey Galloway has been sidelined with an ankle injury and opposing defense are playing 8 in the box stuffing the run game because so. Once he gets back to full health he is still a quality #1 wide receiver that can spread the field with his speed. Even with age their defense always seems to get better and keep them in ball games.

This game is going to be a defensive battle and really close. But I think Carolina gets the edge because they’re healthier and coming off a win. Tampa had a tough loss against a good Denver team so they will be looking for retribution at home. But they’re just too overmatched
Carolina 17, Tampa 13

Mahatma's Picks (7-3)

Ray Lewis getting ready for his eventual prison sentence.

Baltimore Ravens (+4) @ Indianapolis Colts

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the league's suprises. Pick for dead with a rookie QB, the defense has stayed healthy and it's allowed for the whole team to benefit. From having to score 20 points a game to win or having to score 10 points a game is quite the difference and the Ravens have used that to some success. Of course playing worthless Cleveland and Cincinnati also helps.

The Colts are a team that is in trouble but has dug their way out of the grave. Injuries of hit them but they've battled through them and come back in two games to be 2-2. Scoring 17 points in the final 4 minutes is impressive and perhaps maybe the light has come back on on the Indy offense. They might be able to now look like a team many people predicted to win the AFC South. Or they might be exposed as the team that still can't stop the run. I'm expect this to be a lot closer but the Colts struggle with teams that beat em up. The Ravens can do that but I don't Flacco has it in him to make the necessary plays without collapsing on the road. I still see a close game with Manning having that Gosh darnit Look on his face for a half before finally waking up in the 2nd half.

Indianapolis - 23
Baltimore - 17

New England Patriots (+5.5) @ San Diego Chargers

Something about this game doesn't feel right like the odds for example. San Diego has played like utter filth outside of a Monday nighter with the Jets. Why are they favored here? Tomlinson is still hurt as is Gates and their defense is getting exposed. Sure the media will proclaim this is without the "GREAT PASS RUSHING GOD" aka Roidboy -- is hurt. Bullshit. It's not the main reason. The main reason is that Jamal Williams is no longer a dominant nose tackle in the league, Shaun Phillips has extra attention rushing the passer and the secondary is still awful despite "pro bowl" Antonio Cromartie.

The Pats, on the other hand, got back off the shnide against the 49ers. ESPN is jerking off to the 66 yard td bomb from Cassell to Moss but really that's a throw an NFL QB should make and especially someone who backed up the Great Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart! Regardless, they are still a solid team and still should be the top dogs to emerge out of the AFC East. Despite not having some of the prettiest wins around, they still are 3-1.

This was supposed to be one of the AFC championship preview games before the season but a lot of that luster has dimmed with San Diego imploding and No Tawm Brady but this is still a good measure to see if both of these teams should be considered for the AFC elite.

The Pats hanging out in California

I don't know if this game will necessarily make me skip watching Dexter but this should be a war with the Chargers having their season on the brink already..

New England - 28
San Diego - 27

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Athletes We Wouldn't Piss On If They Were On Fire Part 6: The Yinzer Edition

Every child grows up worshiping athletes as their heroes only rivaled by their love of the Ninja Turtles. But you know what? Most of these children grow up to be bitter and jaded, learning to hate their opponents as much as they loved their childhood heroes. And thus, SUS brings you the sixth of a seven part series, "Athletes We Wouldn't Piss On If They Were On Fire."

Click here for Mahatma's picks.
Click here for Brooklyn Hillbilly's picks.
Click here for Devo's picks.
Click here for White Boy South Bronx's picks.
Click here for MissMet's picks.

5. David Ortiz
You know, it's not really Ortiz himself I hate. I can live with him. It's just that when I think of everything that annoys me about baseball (see my "Why I Hate Baseball" article if you're curious) somehow it coalesces into one image that ends up being David Ortiz. I cant even tell you what his personality is like to be honest. But somehow when I think of the bad things of baseball, I see him as the symbol for them all. Humans are weird.

4. Todd Bertuzzi
You might remember about five years ago when one hockey player jumped another during play, slammed his head into the ice and broke his neck. The guy who did that was Todd Bertuzzi (and for the record, the guy he assaulted Steve Moore, pictured above, still hasn't fully recovered from his injuries). This was the only time in my life I was ever actually embarrassed to be a hockey fan so despicable was this act. The only decent thing to come out of this is that it's basically ruined Bertuzzi's career in his prime, and the fans wont ever let him forget what he did. He should have never been allowed back into the league, but at least he will never be allowed to forget because the fans boo him at every arena.

3. Tiger Woods

(Editor's note:
Tiger Woods is an asshole. Not necessarily for the reasons that Yinzer is about to go off on, but simply because all of his pictures are classy. Not one drunk photo. In honor of that asshole's classiness, the Chappelle Show racial draft is provided below.)

I hate people with egos, and Woods thinks he shits gold bricks. Yeah, you are arguably the best golfer ever, but you're also one of the least likable. But most amazing is how much of an utter pansy he has shown himself to be recently. After messing his knee up a few months back, he said it would be about six months before he could swing a club. Are you freaking kidding me? You may remember the name Daniel Alfredsson. He plays hockey for the Ottawa Senators, and someone who I rated as one of the biggest douchebags in the league. Last playoffs he played with a torn ACL and MCL. A sport where he is constantly required to PUSH OFF on his knee to STAY IN MOTION while a 6'7", 250 lb. defenseman tries to smash him. He disregarded the pain and threat of more serious injury and played. Christ, even Mahatma didn't act like such a bitch when he jacked his knee up. And here Tiger says it will be half a year until he can stand still and swing again. It's bad enough you're an egotistical prick Tiger, but you're also one of the biggest pansies ever.

2. Jeremy Roenick

I've never hid my disdain for this man. A loudmouth, hypocritical coward Roenick (who addresses himself as "JR") is many things I despise. He talks a tough game and tells others to shut up when they say something, but when he's the one things happen to he whines more than the French. And if someone confronts him? He runs away pretending he doesn't hear you or hides behind his teammates. He'll never back up his words and the only time he plays tough is when your back is turned.

1. Tom Brady

Where to start with this one? He cheats on the field, he fully embraces a cheating team and organization that on a regular basis shows a complete lack of class, and, oh yeah, that whole dumping your pregnant girlfriend thing. Brady, despite the media hype that he is a great person, is really just a piece of shit. If he wasn't on a team ESPN and other media outlets weren't trying to make everyone like than all we would hear about is how shitty he is. Instead we hear how Chris Henry gets traffic violation, Pacman Jones gets into bar fights and Tank Johnson had a gun in his car. Nothing about the man who abandoned two lives he was supposed to take care of. Seriously, Brady is a terrible human being. (Note to Gisele: if you marry Tom and want to stay with him, don't get pregnant).

From 4/7 of SUS to all of our fellow chosen people, Merry Yom Kippur

Devo, his soapbox, and a side of analysis: The Philly/LA NLCS Preview

Everyone who says the Yankees should have kept Joe Torre needs to stop it. Right now. Joe Torre was a great, GREAT Yankee manager who should (and probably will) have his number retired and placed in Monument Park. He is responsible for the greatest run of sports dominance in my lifetime, and he should be treated as such. But that does not change the fact that his time had passed with the Yankees. Each of the previous three years, the Yankee playoff journey has ended in Cub-like fashion before Yankee fans had time to blink. Since 2003, when the Yankees lost to Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, and some scrubs, the Yankees have been knocked out earlier and earlier each year. Now, any time a coach's record slips for five consecutive years, the sad truth is that he needs to be let go to find some other work.

But Devo, couldn't Torre have gotten the Yankees a few more wins? Wouldn't that ensure that they would make the playoffs?

Yup. And had the Yankees made the playoffs, they would face the exact same fate that they had to suffer the last few years: a first round loss.

A more-true-than-funny riddle for Yankee fans: When is a Yankee playoff series not in doubt?
When they're playing the Angels.

And playing the Angels is what would have happened had the Yankees made the playoffs. Assuming the Yankees would have been the wild card, t hey would have been stuck playing said Angels. And remember how it seemed that the Red Sox did everything right against the Angels while the Angels self-destructed whenever possible? Well that's EXACTLY what would have happened, except that the roles would have been reversed. The Torre Yankees would have been the '08 Angels and the '08 Angels would have been the '08 Red Sox.

So, am I happy for Torre? Absolutely. Even as a Yankee fan (albeit an angry, spiteful, and bitter one) I get as much happiness out of seeing Hank Steinbrenner angry as Joe Masshole. But with that said, let's get to a quick LCS preview, shall we?

These are the facts heading into this series: Manny Ramirez at any point in the season is arguably the best player in this series. A hot and motivated Manny is clearly the best player in this series. Unfortunately, if LA has the best player in this series, then Philly clearly has #2-7 in Howard, Utley, Lidge, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels. But you know what? I've seen enough of Manny to know not to mess with him or bet against him when he's on fire.

Dodgers in 6.

Wednesday Morning Mahatma Week 5

One more week has passed with the same conclusions as last week: we still don't know anything. Everything is random. The only given is that New York Giants are head and shoulders above every team in the NFL and it's not close. No team can do the same things they do as well. They can burn you through the air or ground offensively.

The Tennessee Titan Defense is special right now also. They have a legitimate chance to be like the Ravens in 2000 but there offense can barely score 10+ points a game at the moment. The question is if they can keep it up. Tennessee also has had the luxury of playing some one dimensional teams. They have yet to face off against a truly balanced offense. Moreover, this team can barely put up 2 touchdowns a game. There will be times when the defense will allow 20 points and I don't think this offense is diverse enough to do that not to mention, they will struggle as they did on Sunday, when Chris Johnson gets stuffed.

For the record both the Giants and the Titans have benefited from ridiculously easy schedules.
Both have beaten the 0-5 Bungs, and played another winless team (NYG - STL, TEN - HOU).
Granted neither team has any choice of who they play but neither team has been on the struggle. Furthermore, both teams have benefited from 3 home games. Tennessee's five opponents thus far are a combined 6-17 with only Only Baltimore had a winning mark (2-1) at the time it faced Fisher's team. New York's four opponents are currently 5-13, with four of those wins belonging to Washington (4-1). But the Redskins lost to the Giants 16-7 in the NFL's season-opener, meaning New York has yet to beat a winning team. The Rams, Bengals and Seahawks are a combined 1-12. This is not to say that neither team has looked good. The Giants and to a lesser extent, the Titans, both beat teams they are supposed to beat (granted Giants moreso to the fact they actually have a top offensive unit) but the further goes to show us that there will no longer be a truly dominant team in this day and age and what makes the Patriots string together last year all more impressive with or without spy cameras. Anyway power rankings!

Lucky 13 Power Rankings for Week 5:

1. New York Giants (4-0). The best team in the league by a wide margin despite not playing the toughest teams. First test will be in 3 weeks @ Pittsburgh.

2. Tennessee (5-0). I don't want to say they are the class of the AFC yet.

3. Washington (4-1). Questions remain but taking 2/3 from divisional teams away is a tremendous feat for any team.

4. Carolina (4-1). Beat the crap out of a bad team.

5. Dallas (4-1). Look unbeatable one week than horrendous the following. Romo is on pace for 23 horrendous turnovers this season.

6. Buffalo (4-1). Defense didn't look so hot against Arizona.

7. Pittsburgh (4-1). Beat up but bye week comes at a perfect time. Schedule only gets harder from here out.

8. Denver (4-1). Big Tilt with Jaguars Sunday will show the world how good they really are.

9. Chicago (3-2). Beat the crap out of a bad team part II. Everyone pick up Kyle Orton for fantasy!!

10. New England (3-1). Really struggled versus 49ers and are looking extremely vulnerable.

11. Tampa Bay (3-2). The definition of an average team.

12. Baltimore (2-2). Should be 4-0 right now.

13. .Indianapolis (2-2). Should be 0-4 right now.

Weekly Complaint from Media of the week:

Peter King:
Does every Cubs fan dissolve into an emotionless blob at the first sign of adversity? Talk about a couple of woe-is-me crowds at Wrigley. And six runs in 27 innings is not going to win an April series in Pittsburgh or an October series in the playoffs.

I'm calling bullshit. Does he even watch baseball? Has he ever seen the Pirates play? If we score 6 runs in 27 innings that's cause for a Fireworks display and a bobblehead.

Random Yahoo Sports Blog
Now, Eli is not only his own Manning after winning his own Super Bowl ring last season. Baby Brother is also – buckle up for this one – the Best Manning.

See this is why I can't listen to sports talk radio or ESPN during the week. The wild claims that are spewed forth from the media is downright embarassing. I don't even know how many Giant homers would even take Eli over Peyton. The reality here is bonehead is comparing 4 games for both and using that as a base. Why on earth do we have to rely on stats to tell a story. The reality these stats are meaningless without understanding the context of the game or the situation. Peyton was also missing half of his offensive line and weapons during 2 games into the season. Eli had the luxury of playing some really bad teams. Let's not get ahead of ourselves people.

Douchebag of the week:
Sage Rosenfelds.

Bravo jackass. Bravo. To quote Devo, I've seen John Elway and you Sage are no John Elway. It's funny how the Texans are the team that makes losing an art form.
Moreover, that's a loss that teams don't recover from. I'm surprised Gary Kubiak didn't pull a Dennis Green following that one.

Fraud of the Week:
Is Atlanta for real? No. They can't be. Matt Ryan is about to enter that stretch that all successful rookie qbs do. The dreaded 2nd half. Much like pitchers and QBs in general, the book isn't out on him but it's coming and for the record, they haven't played some of the tougher teams in the league either. I mean look you got Detroit who is the worst team in a league of bad teams in week 1. Lose to a decent Tampa Bay team in Week 2. Beat horrendous Chiefs in week 3. Lose to Panthers before beating the Packers in Green Bay with their one armed QB on Sunday. Is this enough to make this team the darlings of the league? There is no question that Mike Turner has been the free agent acquisition of the season so far but is this enough to make a big deal about them? That defense is also one John Abraham injury away (and you know its coming) from becoming horrid once again. That being said, Atlanta needs to add some depth

Coaching Complaint of the Week:
Defenses opposing the Eagles and getting shredded will not need to make (half-time) adjustments, Andy Reid will adjust the offense for you.

For the Skins / Iggle game: LJ Smith was killing the Skins early on (much like Cooley did to the Eagles). And then Andy Reid decides to quit calling his number after the 1st quarter. And this is not the first time this has happened (one game, the Eagles were running/or passing all over the opponent. Suddenly Reid stops calling these plays for no apparent reason, and in the end the Eagles lose. Reid's explanation: "Well I was afraid they would eventually stop what was working so well." Until Reid himself stopped what was working so well, there was not a shred of evidence the opposing defense would ever be successful at stopping the Eagles

Random Clip of the week:
I'm not a politico like some of the other ones here but I got a kick out of this. Which is random because I haven't seen the Simpsons in about 4 years and I don't think I'm the only one.

College Football games that I'm interested in:

Texas@ Oklahoma - Finally get a chance to see the Oklahoma offense which is the best in the nation from all accounts.

Oklahoma State @ Missouri - eh still not convinced in Missouri but watch Jeremy Maclin at WR.

3) LSU @ Florida - Being an SEC fiend, I love when two powerhouses like this go at it. I still see LSU winning despite the entire nation being sick of them.

It's too soon of the week

Hockey season -- really, didn't we just have the Stanley Cup finals? Look I love hockey as much as anyone around but seriously it's too soon!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The End of the RU "dynasty"

(Fast forward to 3:30 for the signature call)

Let me take you, dear SUS reader, back to a wonderful time. November 9, 2006 was a typical Thursday night in November, except for one oddity: the Empire State Building was glowing Scarlet and Red. Why did the Empire State Building have such a glow? The Scarlet Knights of course! The Scarlet Knights came in to the game 9-0, their greatest start in the long, not-so-illustrious history of the program. RU was about to play its most important game in my lifetime: a Thursday night ESPN showdown in Piscataway against Brian Brohm, Bobby "Classy" Petrino, and the undefeated Louisville Cardinals.

And the damndest thing happened: Rutgers won! RU took down a Big East powerhouse and was suddenly a win against WV away from contending for the National Title! As The Continent exclaimed above, there was pandemonium in Piscataway! RU, the only D-1 NCAA football program in the Tri-State area, had arrived! Greg Schiano was on his way to becoming the biggest face associated with local football since Bill Parcells!

And then the rest of the season happened.

A loss to Cincinnati, the alma mater of Kenyon Martin and no other important athlete, followed by a heartbreaking loss to West Virginia set the stage for Rutgers to attend the not-so-glorious Texas Bowl. But it was ok, because RU had arrived, and they'd be back next year. Let's remember that this RU team had success with almost entirely underclassmen-Sophmore RB Ray Rice, Freshman QB Mike Teel, and Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood, a freshman and sophmore, respectively. Not only was this team good, but they were young. New coach Greg Schiano had finally done what no other Rutgers coach could do: he successfully recruited from the New York area. And using his Miami ties to bring up some South Florida talent didn't hurt either.

And then 2007 happened. The team returned everyone but beloved (see: White) fullback, Brian Leonard. With Ray Rice and the passing game having another year under their belt, they should be poised to compete for a BCS game, no? The NJ/NY area certainly thought so, as RU was no longer advertising for season tickets, but advertised for the season ticket waitlist. My, haven't we become cocky?

How would RU respond to the new expectations? With a 5 loss season of course! But hey, maybe Maryland and Cincinnati improved? Nope. And maybe the WVU 31-3 beatdown wasn't as lopsided as the score suggested? Bullshit. And maybe Louisville and UCONN were good? Seriously, stop making excuses. And Rutgers was rewarded accordingly, with a bowl game in TORONTO! Yup, that hotbed of football in CANADA.

Well ok, so 2007 was a disappointment, but this is 2008. This is Mike Teel's time to shine right? This is when the local Jersey kid steps up to the big time along with his possible NFL prospect WR's, Underwood and Britt.

And then Fresno State, North Carolina and Navy played the great RU, and all served RU like the State University of New Jersey was the Angels to their Red Sox. Even Navy, a school whose offensive and defensive lines are limited in size due to the fact that they need to be in shape to defend America took RU to the proverbial woodshed. But hey, at least the offense finally came together against Morgan State!

Hey Devo, where did it all go wrong?

Well, let's see. Teel sucks. The running game and offensive line suck. The defense? Yeah, that sucks too. And our kicker seems to injure himself every game. So we could blame the 6 different areas of the team. Or we could blame Schiano, the man responsible for recruiting these players and preparing them for Saturday. When one area of the football team is to blame, you can blame those players. But when there's one collective 3 game mindfart by the whole team? That's on you, Schiano.

And every year, it's mentioned that Schiano recruited one or two big names from New Jersey, like LT Anthony Davis, a sophmore. But the fact remains that while one or two guys come to Rutgers, it leaves that many other guys going elsewhere, either in the Big East to WVU or UConn, or to greener pastures in Baton Rouge or Gainesville. Apparently, RU has one of the best classes in the country coming in 2009. But I'm calling bullshit.

Well hey, at least RU can just fire him, right?

In a word, no. Well, they can, but he still has $10.5 million coming his way over the next 7 years. And the worst part is that while Rutgers is raising tuition and student fees while cutting other sports, this fraud is still getting paid much more than any head coach in RU history. Hell, since Rutgers is a state school, there's even an argument that my tax dollars (if i had a job and actually paid taxes on it) are going to finance this fraud. (Note: This can probably be disproven very easily by some quick research.)

But this fact remains: since the Louisville game, RU is 11-11. Greg Schiano, go to Miami, you fraud.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The team I have been waiting for my whole life: The 2008 (Calendar Year) New York Giants

2007 was not a good year for the Giants. Oh, the 2007 season itself was spectacular. The 2007 calender year was not all that kind to Big Blue. It began with a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles in the NFC Wildcard playoffs and began with 2 straight losses to start the 2007 regular season. Although the 2007 regular season was fairly successful, 10-6 with a wild card birth into the playoffs. 2008 however may prove to be the greatest calender year in the history of the franchise. Not only has Big blue won its third Superbowl title in historic fashion by wining 4 straight road playoff games capped off by ripping the guts out of Patriot nation by handing the Pats its only loss of the season; New York is 4-0 in the 2008 regular season as well.

Although the 2nd half against the Skins and the entire game against the Bengals were not awe inspiring, the 4-0 record including an NFL best +78 net points certainly has been. Although a week 4 win against a mediocre Seattle team is not nearly as meaningful as any win in January, it is noteworthy because it had its biggest margin of victory in 32 years and did so without its best football player on the field. Also noteworthy is the defense's continued dominance without its two all world Defensive ends from a year ago.

The Defense- A+: Although I would have liked Spags to have made this adjustment at halftime against the Bungles, he made a smart change in his usual blitz-happy scheme prior to the Seattle game it appears. He, instead of blitzing from the secondary, stayed in medium zone coverages so as to not allow the short passing game to flourish the way it did for Carson and company 2 weeks ago. The result was a Seattle team that was clearly flummoxed. Sure Hassleback was not sacked at all in the first half nor was he picked; but he had no open guys to throw to and not enough of a running game to force New York to sell out for the running game. Amazingly this dominant defense has only 2 turnovers all season. As my buddy "Islanders" told me, "just think what would happen if we got turnovers". I'm fine with the way its going thank you very much.

The Offense-A+: I guess I have come to expect sheer dominance from this elite NFL defense. However, the offensive explosion that the G-men put forth Sunday warmed the heart of Big Blue nation the way few other games have. Eli was dominant in the first half when the game was still somewhat in doubt and Dominick Hixon looks like he might become a great 2 man behind Plax. Brandon continues to embarrass smaller and weaker defense players by running either over them or by them and the offensive line has to be considered the game's finest. What can I say Gilbride, you did a hell of a job yesterday.

Special Teams: B: If there was 1 infinitesimally small negative Sunday it was special teams. Carney's kickoff out of bounds allowed Seattle to drive deep into Big Blue territory for its second field goal and final points of the contest. Carney's kickoffs were also fairly short. Who cares!!!

Coaching A+: Perfect game plan on both sides of the ball. The Reason why I go for the A+ is because of the way Coughlin got his team to respond without its best player. He has gotten his other stars like Pierce and Tuck to buy into the team concept and tell Plax, "we love you but we love this team even more." This is a wonderful message by a wonderful coach to a wonderful team. I sound like a hallmark card but I don't care this rocks.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Brooklyn Hillbilly (5-3) Presents "The Better Late Than Never Week 5 Picks", Part II

No, Im just here to get sacked.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars(-5.5, 37)
When one thinks of the storied history of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack, the name Mewelde Moore doesn't seem to fit in. Neither does Najeh Davenport for that matter. But that's who will be toting the rock for the Steelers tonight against the Jags. With the state of the offensive line and the man calling plays being a borderline retard, I'm not feeling too hot about this game. Frankly, the Steelers only hope is to start the game running a no-huddle, throw the Jags off base and hope to score some early points off screen passes and liberal use of dumpouts to Moore. Ben can throw his way to a victory and the defense has the ability to bottle up this Jags offense, even with 3 D-lineman out. But this might be a hurdle that just cant be overcome.

Not that I think the Jags are that great. Frankly, they are overrated even when no one likes them. Their D is soft, unlike years past, and Maurice Jones-Drew just doesn't seem as scary anymore. I think a healthy Steelers team takes it to Jacksonville and pulls the upset on the road. HOWEVER, with little to no chance of being able to use the run as anything other than a distraction, an obviously hurting QB who will get the shit blitzed out of him and an offensive coordinator who cant wrap his head around the concept of "adjustment", Pittsburgh looks like an easy target for any halfway decent defensive gameplan. I think the Jags take care of business and win a tough one, allowing the Steelers to limp into a much needed bye week. Jags squeak by 20-17.

Atlantic Division Preview

The time is coming once more for hockey season to take hold. With free agency over and teams rosters set, they’re gearing up for another long and grueling season that each team hopes will end in lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup. And while I could do a nice, in depth report on each team in the league, I shall spare you a twenty page entry and focus on the teams the readers of this blog really care about: the Atlantic Division.

New Jersey Devils
Key Additions: Brian Rolston (F), Bobby Holik (F)
Key Losses: Sergei Brylin (F)
I swear every time the Devils address their need to score they give a big contract to an aging player. But to their credit the way Rolston has played the past few years he doesn’t appear to be slowing down, and he’ll give the Devils some much needed scoring. He’s also a good leader and two way player. Long time player Holik was brought back for a year at the cost of Brylin, and defensemen Karel Rachunek and Vitaly Vishnevsky were jettisoned to Europe. I do question giving bottom pairing defenseman Bryce Salvador nearly $3mm a year though. The Devils more than anything need to take their heads out of their ass and stop playing Brodeur for seventy games. The past two years he’s looked worn out in the playoffs, and he has let in soft goals he never used to because of it. They have a capable backup so there is no reason to keep doing this.
Why to Cheer them: You don’t like either team from New York
Why to Jeer them: They’re still going to be boring

New York Islanders
Key Additions: Doug Weight (F), Mark Streit (D)
Key Losses: Miroslav Satan (F), Ruslan Fedotenko (F)
Ah the Isles, what a sadly dysfunctional bunch they are. You kind of feel bad for their fans as Owner Charles Wang has made the franchise a laughing stock with his decisions. They lost forwards Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko, who though weren’t significant (partially due to them not having anyone to play with) were better than their replacement: an aging and fading by the year Doug Weight. The only address they made on defense was adding Mark Streit, who has had one good year on the leagues best powerplay from Montreal. In fact, he wasn’t even a commonly known name before last year. The Isles are going to struggle, again, and until their young players like Kyle Okposo (note: do not look directly at his face, you may turn to stone) can fully develop, or they actually add a significant free agent, this team will be battling for the first overall pick in the coming draft.
Why to Cheer them: The front office, with its constant head scratching moves is probably more entertaining than the team on the ice will be.
Why to Jeer them: The front office, with its constant head scratching moves is probably more entertaining than the team on the ice will be.

New York Rangers
Key Additions: Markus Naslund (F), Nikolai Zherdev (F), Wade Redden (D), Dmitri Kalinin (D)
Key Losses: Jaromir Jagr (F), Brendan Shanahan (F), Martin Straka (F), Sean Avery (F), Fedor Tyutin (D), Christian Backman (D)
The Rangers had a busy off season changing over quite a bit fo their roster. Gone are scoring forwards Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka and young blueliners Tyutin and Backman. Uber pest Sean Avery took off for a big deal from Dallas, and like him or not, he was a major driving force of the Rangers. They’re replacements though don’t add up to what they lost. Naslund has been declining the past three years and cant begin to dominate like Jagr could. Zherdev, obtained in the Tyutin and Backman deal, is an enigma. He has all the talent to be great but his work ethic is always in questions, not to mention he is maddeningly inconsistent. He could be great, or he could bomb. Kalinan adds depth to the defense and Redden, well, it’s tough to say. If he returns to the Redden of three plus years ago, he will be a big addition and anchor the Rangers blue line. If he’s the Redden of the past two years, they’ve got a $6.5mm albatross on their hands for six years. Regardless, I don’t think the forward corps can keep up what last year’s did and it’s going to hurt them. But hey, at least they still have “King” Henrik Lunqvist.

Why to Cheer them: Well one team from New York has to be good right?
Why to Jeer them: They’re the Rangers, do you need any other reason?

Philadelphia Flyers
Key Additions: Ossi Vannanen (D)
Key Losses: RJ Umberger (F), Jason Smith (D), Derian Hatcher (D)
The Flyers went apeshit in free agency last season, but left themselves with no room for anything but resigning their players this summer, meaning their roster was practically set for the coming season. They were forced to deal away Umberger in order to keep other players who were getting hefty raises like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. How much better this team does is solely dependent on how well the younger players continue to develop with the likes of Carter, Richards and defensemen Randy Jones and Braydon Coburn. Still, Philadelphia’s main weakness is goalie Martin Biron. Despite Flyer fans and media trying to hype him, he is a decent starter and doesn’t really steal many games. And when compared to the other goalies in the Atlantic: Lundqvist, Brodeur, Fleury and DiPietro, he’s just downright average in comparison.
Why to Cheer them: They hit a lot.
Why to Jeer them: They’re still a bunch of cheap shotting douchebags

Pittsburgh Penguins
Key Additions: Miroslav Satan (F), Ruslan Fedtenko (F), Matt Cooke (F)
Key Losses: Marian Hossa (F), Jarkko Ruutu (F), Ryan Malone (F), Gary Roberts (F), Georges Laraque (F)
The Pens came within two wins of the Stanley Cup after an unexpected run. Of course one thing that comes with that territory is that other teams want all your free agents, and the Pens lost quite a bit with the likes of Hossa, Malone and Roberts. They’re replacements in Satan (pronounced sha-tan for those that don’t know) and Fedotenko are one year deals and they are meant to basically leech off all stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The good news for the Pens is that they’re defense stayed intact (except for Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar being hurt to start the year) and goalie Marc Andre Fleury is back after a stellar playoff run. The forwards leaving will hurt, but they’ve still got their core intact which is more important.
Why to Cheer them: They’re one of the most exciting teams in hockey to watch with their talent level.
Why to Jeer them: They robbed everyone of fulfilling the dream of a guy named Satan playing for the Devils. That and you probably hate Crosby too.