Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fredo Picks: Week 12



Records
Gandhi/Moses (19-14)
Mr. Ohio State (this weekend anyways) 16-13

Houston (+3) at Cleveland
Devo: The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame vs. NASA. Either way, it's a bunch of old white men. But the white men in the Hall have better stories. Pick: Cleveland
Mahatma: Cleveland's claim to fame is Drew Carey. Pathetic. Pick: Houston
BH: Mistake by the Lake is a cooler nickname than Space City. Pick: The Cleve

Tampa (-9) at Detroit
Devo: Detroit will not get bailed out by this group of mostly white and powerful men. Pick: Tampa
Mahatma: Detroit is the best team...in HOCKEY. Pick: Tampa
BH: Nothing goes right for Michigan this week. Pick: Tampa

Buffalo (-3) at Kansas City
Devo: If you were told you were going on a business trip to either of these cities, wouldn't you start looking for a new job? Tie goes to the not-so-awful weather. Pick: KC
Mahatma: Buffalo is really fucking cold but it's better than middle of no where. Pick: Buffalo
BH: When driving through Kansas you can tie a rope to the steering wheel of your car to keep it straight, put on cruise control and go to sleep for a few hours with very little consequence. Pick: Buffalo

Chicago (-8) at St. Louis
Devo: The Cards are no match for the Cubs, especially if Big Z doesn't challenge Pujols. Pick: Cubs
Mahatma: When Jake Peavy comes to town, all the hoochies come around: Chicago
BH: St. Louis produces non-union beer. Chicago produces Presidents. Pick: Chicago

New England (+1.5) at Miami
Devo: In a battle between Whitey Bulger and Scarface, one was 20 years ago, one is now. Also, one is real. Pick: New England
Mahatma: Will Smith vs. Tessie. I hate them both but at least I didn't mind I am Legend. Pick: Miami
BH: Party in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach til the break of dawn.....Pick: Miami (no, I didnt have to reasearch those lyrics)

Minnesota (+2) at Jacksonville
Devo: The Minnesota owner, Zigy Wilf, owns my building. (True story) In related news, my room has no air conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter. Pick: Jacksonville
Mahatma: Both places blow but atleast Minnesota has hockey. Oh wait, no one likes hockey. Pick: Jagoffs
BH: Minnesota cant even elect a Senator for fucks sake. They know how to steal elections properly in Florida. Pick: Jax

Green Bay (+3) at New Orleans
Devo: You can't even begin to comprehend the difference in nightlife options between these two cities. Pick: N'awlins
Mahatma: After having a couple shots with some Packerites, I will never pick against them. Not to mention the cheese. Pick: Packers
BH: That was a fun night Mahatma. Wish I could remember anything past ordering Natty Ice. Pick: Green Bay

Friday, November 21, 2008

We interrupt this regularly scheduled picks post with the following:


Amsterdam moves to close a fifth of 'coffee shops'

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – Amsterdam will close almost a fifth of its marijuana cafes to comply with a national ban on having them near schools, the mayor said Friday.

Another city, Eindhoven, said it would start issuing permits to marijuana growers in order to better regulate the trade — if the national government approves.

The plans were announced as 33 major Dutch cities held a "weed summit" to discuss the nation's long-standing policy of tolerating marijuana use while routinely arresting growers.


I hate shit like this. WAH WAH Let's think of the children. You know what fuck the children and their little schools. You know some little bullshit parent's association is just yucking it up right now. The sad thing is it's probably pissing off their children more. Look now they can't get high anymore nor have sex with the dumb stoned stupide americans anymore. Way to fuck it all up. The parents should have been smart enough to send their kids to schools not near coffee shops if it was such a big deal.

I would now tell a story about my trip to Amsterdam but I don't remember half of it. Devo help me out here.

SHMUCKS PICKS (do you care really? 101-2)



TENNESSEE TITANS (-5.5) vs. NEW YORK JETS

There are a lot of big games going on this weekend and this one could be considered the biggest. Titans are still undefeated and face probably their toughest overall opponent yet, the Jets. Titans are a smash mouth, up the gut running football team. Take away their running game and Kerry Collins will pick you apart through the air. A lot of critics aren’t giving them the credit they deserve at 10-0. They aren’t like the Patriots of last year, blowing out every opponent. They know how to win and do so effectively with a lot of guy’s names you’ve never heard. With the exception of Collins, Haynesworth, Finnegan, Bullock, L White, there really aren’t big name players on their team (Unlike the Jets who went out crazy this off-season snatching all of them up).
The Jets played a sloppy but a good game overall against the Patriots last week. They still are not a complete team yet, not as complete as the Titans. They’re still looking to find their identity. As much as it may be considered a team effort, it also has to point to coaching. Mangini has to coach better and make the necessary adjustments at half time. He’s been outcoached many times this season and that’s surprising with a 7-3 record.
Both teams are stellar against stopping the run so I anticipate a lot of passing to take place. The game will be decided by both team’s offensive and defensive lines. Anchored by the giants in the middle, Kris Jenkins and Albert Haynesworth, quarterback pressure is a must for either defense to be successful. Titans offensive line is better than the Jets because they’ve played as a unit longer. They’ve only given up 6 sacks all season, which is flat out amazing. Favre needs to have a perfect game like he did against the Patriots. He can’t make any mistakes or try to do too much with little that he’s got. But I’m taking the Jets with the extra days of rest. After that, their identity could easily be considered “AFC Champions.”

Jets 20, Titans 10


MIAMI DOLPHINS (-1) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

This game is probably this biggest game of the weekend. Both teams are 6-4 and are 1 game behind the Jets in the AFC East. A loss by the Jets and one of these teams is tied for first and another game closer to the playoffs.
I am amazed that the Wildcat offense is still as effective as it was back earlier in the season. If you don’t remember it was against the Patriots that Ronnie Brown had 5 total touchdowns and the wildcat offense looked unstoppable. Something tells me though the Patriots will be ready this time. They also had the extra rest and could have some of their starters back on defense.
I get tired of hearing Joey Porter shoot his mouth off. Seriously he is a huge douchebag. I was glad Brandon Marshall called him out, it’s about time someone did. So Porter leads the league in sacks, big deal. Just when people thought he was buying into the system and it wasn’t all about “me, me, me”, your typical egotistical dick starts calling people out and declaring victories. Now I have no problem with it being towards the Patriots, I too have much hatred for them as well. My point is usually when players of his caliber declare victory or speak on behalf of the team (when only he really is) it never turns out positive in the end. Take last year Pittsburghs safety Smith? (he’s not important anymore) declaring victory over the unbeaten Pats. Well we all recall the spanking Steeltown got that evening (sorry Mahatma).
Point is the Patriots are still a dangerous team. Don’t help them out in anyway because it only adds fuel to the fire. Miami is playing great football right now and I don’t seem them slowing down anytime soon. As long as they stay healthy and keep running the ball effectively they certainly could be a surprise wildcard team come January, hell, possibly a division champion. I think the Patriots will win the game and will win by more than 1 point



Patriots 27, Miami 23

Like the Knicks, I'm regressing towards the mean: White Boys picks (12-10) preceeded by a New York Knicks Special Comment


I will start this little sports popuri with a Keith Olberman style special comment on the Knicks. Today, the Jamal Crawford era ended in New York. Perhaps if he was traded at this time last season I might have written this headline as "end of an error" but I like Jamal. I am sad to see him go. He was having his best season of his career to date averaging a tick under 20 points per contest and nailing an impressive 45.5% of his three pointers. He has even managed to make 43% of his field goals; the latter two percentages are the finest he has put up in those categories in his career. However there is one statistic that I am quite glad Jamal is leaving behind....his career winning percentage is a pitiful 30.6%. While I think part of the reason for this is that he has played all but 1 year of his career with the horrid, out of shape, and weak minded Eddy Curry, he surely shoulders some of the blame for his teams always being awful. He does hog the ball at times and often takes circus shots. Still, there have been many nights the last few seasons where his scoring sprees have kept us truly die-hard Knick fans interested in the games. I will miss his exciting albeit erratic play. Okay now New York just traded Randolph for the immortal Tim Thomas and the role player Cuttino Mobley. Damn.... as Devo has told me now twice today, 150 games till Lebron.

Sorry, now the real reason you guys read this blog, because you want to know what games to lose money on this weekend...

Gold Miners at Evil Football (-10)- I truly loathe Dallas fans. They are, by far, the most front running, least authentic and most arrogant fan base in professional sports. How a New Yorker could associate himself or herself with a team in Texas is beyond my comprehension. If you are a New Yorker who loves New York, how you don't root for one of your own teams is also beyond my comprehension. This is before I even delve into how obnoxious the Cowboy's owner is. The worst part about Cowboy fans though is that if there is any hope at all for them, they act like they should automatically be assumed to be amongst the NFL's elite because they are the Cowboys. The Giants, Titans, Steelers and maybe the Jets are the big 4 right now in the NFL, your team is not in the same planet as any of these teams. Shut the fuck up! All of this being said, your team is playing the horrid 49ers at home so a big win is in the cards. THE PICK: DALLAS (31-13)

Washington the City (-3) at Washington the State - The Skins are predictably (by me, a rare correct midyear prediction) fading as the competition gets tougher and the teams it plays get better. 2 of its 4 losses are to lock playoff teams (Giants, Steelers) and its other loss is to wildcard contender Dallas. The Skins had a nice run but it’s over. It might even lose this week when playing at the suddenly not so loud Questec field (something like that right?). However my guess is skins hold on to win by 5-7 points and therefore cover the number. However expect it to finish with 9 wins or less. THE PICK: WASHINGTON THE CITY (16-10)

Mahatma's Half-Assed Pick (16-8)

Carolina Panthers (+1) @ Atlanta Falcons


It’s about that time when the rookie QB starts to struggle and this be that week. Matt Ryan has played like a 10 year vet or atleast so says ESPN. Gee thanks. That is just like the kiss of death right there. You know you hit it big when ESPN starts slurping your syrup up. I think this is the beginning of the end for that.

Julius Peppers is back (in a contract year no less) to his dominating self and the Panthers have the best cornerbacks top to bottom in football. Atlanta also has injuries to the offense line so young Ryan might get served. These teams played already in Carolina where the Panthers stuffed Burner and won in uninspiring 24-9 game.

That's Carolina in a nutshell. They almost choke against the Gaiders and Lions but they find ways to win and not blow it which is what good teams do. I see this continuing this week as the Panthers have the personel to shut down the Falcons offense. The running back tandem of Stewart and Williams has also been ramping up and Atlanta will need to bring its a game. Joke Delhomme looks like shit one week but at any moment that switch to go on and Steve Smith fantasy owners will rejoice again.

BTW, Carolina has gotten no love from the media. They are 8-2 and right there with the Gints for homefield. Being the huge media outlet that we are I'm hopping on the Panther bandwagon. Uh oh, I think that's the real kiss of death right there.

Carolina - 24
Atlanta - 17


Devo's Picks (10-12)


ARIZONA (+3) over Giants

Will the Arizona passing attack exploit the only (alleged) weakness on the Giants team, their secondary? Will the Giants pass rush, clearly capable but quiet the last few weeks, return to its midseason form against a quarterback who moves slower than White Boy?

I don't know, but the fact is, the Giants are crossing the country for a game that means MUCH more to the Cardinals than the Giants. If the Cards win, they have the inside track on the #2 seed in the NFC, assuming Carolina loses a few more games, as they are definitely capable of doing. If the Giants win this game, it really doesn't do much for them; they already have the NFC East won. They can further their claim for the #1 seed, but can't lock it up until Carolina loses a few more games, including to the Giants next month.

Look, the arrogant hometown bias in me thinks that this Giants secondary will finally get its due this week, as Kurt Warner busts out a 2 fumble, 3 interception game. I'm sorry, but nothing about Kurt Warner makes me think he's anything but a fluke. (I also thought the same thing about '08 Mike Mussina, even up to and including the 7th inning of his 20th win.) The Cardinals have two all-pro wide receivers, but this team lost to the Jets back when the Jets were awful earlier this season, so clearly they are beatable. Sure, the Giants are traveling cross country, but if you play this game in Omaha, the Giants win by 10.

And still, something about this game doesn't sit right. The truth is that nothing would surprise me short of an Arizona win by more than 20 points. The Giants have been crowned as NFC Champions by most of the media, including yours truly. When a team gets crowned, by Dennis Miller or the media, said crowned teams usually lose the following week. (See Giants/Browns.) Plus, as if that's not bad enough, I'm dealing a death blow to the Giants: for selfish travel reasons, I'm not only not watching the game at Blondie's, but I'm watching the game in Jersey with my boy Chris. Last time I watched the game with Chris? Giants/Browns.

Final Score:
Arizona: 27
Giants: 24


Final score on January 18, 2009, live from the Meadowlands:

Giants: 38

Arizona: 17


Philly (+1) over BALTIMORE

Philly has a helluva tendency to play to the level of their opponents. Whether it's taking down the best in the AFC (Steelers) or trying but failing to lose to the worst in the AFC (Bengals), the Eagles have a ton of talent and occasionally like to bring it all out.

So is Baltimore the team that went 6-3 against a relatively soft schedule? Or are they the team that is 1-4 against the only decent teams they've faced this year (Pitt, Indy, Giants, Titans, 'Fins). The problem with Baltimore is that they are a tale of two different teams: their offense, with Flacco, and RU Legend Ray Rice is built for a year or two from now, especially if they can bring in wide receivers sooner than later. But their defense is built for now, as Ray Lewis is in decline, Ed Reed at 30 is about ready to start his decline, and Terrell Suggs is the only very good young guy on this defense. All of this is to say that Baltimore will end up no better than 9-7 this year, poised (at least on offense) to have a big '09 season.

Look for the Eagles to bust out with an offensive explosion in a Palin-as-VP type last gasp before they fade away into McCain-like irrelevance.

Final Score:
Philadelphia 34
Baltimore 20

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VICTOORRRY!!!!

First off, I appreciate some of the feedback I got on which JETS jersey I should purchase. My first ever Jets jersey was Hugh Douglass (and that didn’t last that long…f’n Eagles). Since then it’s been all Wayne Chrebet (and damn proud of it). I can’t even believe someone actually chose Favre (You want to know how I know you’re gay: You cry after a football game. There’s no crying in football!)So I’ve narrowed it down to these three:







These last 2 weeks Keller has been a beast for the offense. I like many other Jet fans questioned the move to trade up and draft him late in the 1st round but he’s certainly starting to earn some respect. All that mismatch talk experts talked about in the spring is finally starting to come true and it couldn’t come at a better time.

RECAP

The excitement from the Jets win over the Patriots is just starting to level off for me. It’s been awhile since I can recall the Jets being atop the AFC east in 1st place (November 19th, 2001 to be exact). Overall the game wasn’t pretty (especially the 2nd half) but it’s definitely a psychological boost in the right direction. In the end it was too painful to be pretty. There were enough mistakes, blown calls and heartaches to fill all the cardiac hospitals in New England and some in New York.

On a personal note, I will now watch all Jet games at BIG SHOTS! The ladies are quite attractive and the fan-base, along with me, is very amusing. I also come to a realization; I don’t have many friends that are Jet fans. I actually have more Giant fan friends than I do Jets. Any Jet fans out there that actually read my blog want to be my friend? (You know how I know I’m gay? Read last sentence)

YOUNG GUNS LEAD THE WAY

The first half of football was exciting to watch (well for Jet fans at least). It showed how dangerous the Jets can be when they are clicking on all cylinders. The Jets started the game off great, moving down the field and scoring a touchdown on the opening drive. I can’t recall the last time they were able to do that against the Patriots so you could imagine my excitement. Dustin Keller is a Golden God. Finally Schottenheimer is utilizing his best weapons by spreading Keller in the slot and Leon Washington in the backfield. When LW took that kickoff and ran it back 92 yards I was in a state of pandemonium. Devo and I were high-fiving anyone who put their hands up. At this moment I really thought, “Oh Sh!t, they could do it.”
Now it was no David Tyree catch-in-the-hat but damn, Cotchery deserves a lot of credit for that grab he made. With Cotchery well-covered and much interfered with Favre threw a 55 yard toss up in the air. Falling down Jericho reached out his left arm and caught the ball behind his back while falling over. It was remarkable, I had no idea he had even caught it, I was glad that the Patriots got a penalty on the play. But he wasn’t done there, no sir. My man went ahead on the next play scored a touchdown reaching across the goaline while being tackled at the 4. It was a truly superb effort on his part to help give the Jets a 24-6 lead going into halftime.



video



3RD QUARTER BLUNDERS

Why do the Jets struggle so much in the 3rd quarter? After the quick Jabar Gaffney touchdown the Jets needed to strike back to put the game almost out of reach. Instead, the spark that they had going into halftime was now gone. They punted on the next possession and all of a sudden the game was in reach by merely a field goal. It’s been the same story for the Jets all season, Arizona was trailing 34-0 in the 3rd but rallied with a 21 point 3rd quarter to make the game just a little bit more interesting.
Why do we call Eric Mangini “Mangenius?” He must think that the opposing team won’t make any second half adjustments, so, nor should he. But we’re talking about Bill Belicheat here. Regardless of the Spygate accusations he is still a very smart coach. After the Ben Watson gift-fumble the Patriots began running a no-huddle offense. This would keep the Jets defense on their heels (especially the weak secondary) and it would also tire out the defensive line, mainly Kris Jenkins. And it worked. Jenkins was getting tired and Mangini had no way to counteract and stop the Patriots through the air.

BIG PLAYERS MAKE BIG PLAYS

The 2nd to last New York drive in the 4th quarter is why the Jets brought in Favre. He took the ball and drove it expertly down the field and gave the Jets a 31-24 lead, managing the game using all but 3 minutes of the clock. Its times like these were you’re no longer sitting at the bar, you’re standing.
Now it was the defense’s turn to respond. If they could force the Pats to punt here the game would be a wrap! And MVP Kris Jenkins responded with a burst up the middle and a big sack to force 4th and long.
But even without Tom Brady, these are still the New England Patriots and they know how to win. With less than 2 minutes left the Patriots stopped the Jets and forced them to punt. At this point I am kicking myself and have become a nervous wreck. I know it’s not Brady under the huddle but every time the Patriots touch the ball I become apprehensive. Slowly but surely the Patriots moved the ball downfield. This was it, 4th and one with 8 seconds left. This is where leaders come up and make big plays. This is where the Jets defense has to be clutch and hold their ground. This is when the Jee………


My heart dropped. For 59 minutes and 52 seconds of this game the Jets were consistently bumping and shoving Moss at the line of scrimmage. So what does Law do? He decides to fall back and play 8 yards deep. WHY!!!!!!! You can argue that it almost looked like Moss’ foot was coming off the ground before he had possession of the ball but you can’t overturn a call like that, it’s just way too close. Now the game is tied and a demoralized Jets team has to go back out on the field for overtime
Had the Jets lost the coin toss I think it’s safe to say they would have lost the game. The defense was tired; they just gave up that last second touchdown to send the game into overtime, there was no way they were physically and mentally ready to go out and try and stop that offense. After the first incomplete pass and then the sack I knew this game was all but over. Still, all that money spent on free agent signings and they’re still the same god damn Jets. Favre, facing 3rd and 15 found a wide open Dustin Keller for 16 yards. I’m not used to seeing the Pats defense and a blown coverage, especially against the Jets but this certainly was the case. Now it was all on Favre’s shoulders. Pass after pass he moved the chains and the ball closer to a suitable range for my cousin Jay Feely. And low and behold we all know the outcome, JETS 34, PATS 31!

MOVING ON

It was a fantastic game to watch (and drink a lot of $2 Sam Adams too). I knew it would be a close contest but I never would have guessed that it would have been so dramatic. The Jets still have some work to do. They gave up a total 511 yards to the Patriots offense and over 400 of those yards were threw the air. If the Jets want any chance on staying atop the division and securing a possible playoff bye they need to play better and coach better. Maybe now they too have learned how to win.

The Bastardization of Pro Football: A Rant among other things.


Let me say that I'm an elitist. You can best be assured to find me in the trendiest bars, fanciest restaurants and with the finest of company (like much of this site for instance) but my snob appeal expands to unprecedented levels when it comes to football.

Whether it be educating the lemmings on the Palmer, Cowhard chokeage or so and so sucking, I do my civic duty in educated those who weren't so fortunate to be educated by Western PA's finest but alas you make do. Football has definetely caught on within the last 10 years. Fantasy football, odds, spread and over/under have crept into our Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday lexicons. Bars are now filled to the brim on Sunday with loads of people dressed in various jerseys and laptops and even notebooks.

The altruist in me likes the fact that I could literally talk football to anyone now days. It sure beats the dullness of hey, how are you, what do you do, etc. But the cynic in me loathes the fact that our once exclusive game has reached the far masses, i.e) douchebags.

Sunday bar fests now include the token jabs from not only the hometown/rival fans but now from Joe E. Douchebag who happens to be rooting against your team because he has Ahman Green. Heck there are even "fans" of ones own team who are excited over TJ Doucheman's touchdown than the very same touchdown of the team whose jersey this douche proudly displays.

I guess this bothers me for whatever reason. Growing up it was always one team you could root for and everyone else was shit. Sure you'd have a few oddballs who have allegiances to other teams but I'm from the school of thought you can only have one team per sport. Too many people in my daily encounters seem to teeter on the brink of Jets/Giants, Isles/Rags or even Yankees/Mets which to me are ALL retarded. I guess I can see the Jets/Giants argument but Isles/Rags or Mets/Yankees? Really?

As a non-native New Yorker, I guess this puzzles me. This was unheard of in Pittsburgh. It was always Buccos, Stillers and Guins. No more no less. Sure they sucked at various points but you'd still root for em. Whatever I can live with this overall but when some fucking douche in a Kansas City jersey starts cheering for LT because he scores a td against my team, I get a little offended.

DUDE you are cheering for your divisional rival? I'd puke if I rooted anything Bungle or Rat
and yet these Johnny come latelys are. Pathetic. It gets worse with money involved which takes me to last Sunday.

The sad state of reality is that people were only talking about the the last play in this game. I can see that to an extent really because: a) shitty game, b) disappointing teams (yes a 7-3 team can be that) but still. This was a marquee matchup but instead of saying anything Steelers/Chargers it was about the refs. I have my beef with this too but more so the (13-1) calls against Steelers vs. Chargers) Anyway, here's the play in question:




Why is this such a big deal? Because too many people had people in the Steeler/Charger game in either fantasy or for simple gambling rules. Look I tend to agree that the NFL is somewhat fixed in the sense that the league but this new game within the game in football and its rapid ascension to the dregs of society makes me angry and the fact that every douchebag now has other things to root for on Sunday makes me angrier. Most like it because it gives them the opportunitity to watch all games and have some interest. Bullshit. Your team should give you all that no matter. This coming from a supporter of the Pittsburgh Butt Pirates.


You know what it is? I guess it just bothers me that people who normally don't even care if their team wins or loses now have this other vehicle to show their lack of true diehardism.

Here's some other things to look at:

The Wildcat Formation and How to Defend It, by Bill Cowher

I like articles like this and is interesting to see how Cowhard would defend this. Shockingly, his response wasn't 'kick the field goal' and 'let's go.'

Hog Index: Cold, Hard Football Facts is one of the best sites around and publish a weekly HOG index correlating offensive lines through various statistics. Naturally these aren't meant to be the be all and end all but it's interesting to see who their #1 rated O-Line is.Granted this metric doesn't take account of strength of schedule or injuries or anything like that it's still a neat little conversation starter.

Oh right, here's the pick for tonight's game: (I'm 16-7 btw so if you listen to anyone on this site, it might as well be me).

Cincinnati Bengals (+10.5) OVER Pittsburgh Steelers.

Bungles are banged up and bad. Steelers are good right? This should be easy. Not so fast eager beaver.

It's going to be cold, snowy and shitty out. The Bungs are playing well enough to keep this close and the Steelers are also playing shitty enough to keep this close. Steelers probably win but this is going to be close. For whatever reason, the Bungles also play the Steelers much better away from their cornholing Jungle and in reality, 10.5 points is WAY too much in this random of random seasons. Not to mention, it's a division game and this is probably the Bungles superbowl.

Oh btw, No Chode tonight so you really have no reason to watch this game unless this is one of your teams. So have fun watching the Office or the next installment of Grey's Anatomy.

Pittsburgh - 17
Cincy - 14

The Brooklyn Hillbilly(10-10) Knows What You Did Last Season- Week 12 Edition

Oakland at Denver(-9.5, 42.5)
Broncos win 34-10.


Indianapolis at San Diego(-2.5, 49.5)
Peyton guts it out 21-20.


Time to drink.

The Unluckiest $144 Million Man: A Few Words about Mike Mussina



A few examples why some would consider Mike Mussina a born loser, and others would consider him simply an unlucky man:

  • The man has 4 career one hitters. 4! Normally, one would think that Mussina should receive props for pitching that many near perfect games. But let's look at each of these four games, copied from the SUS Bible, Wikipedia:
    • July 17, 1992, Mussina retired the first 12 Rangers.
    • May 30, 1997, he retired the first 25 Indians.
    • August 4, 1998, he retired the first 23 Tigers.
    • September 2, 2001, he retired the first 26 Red Sox before pinch hitter Carl Everett singled with two out in the 9th.
      • Special note about this game: White Boy went, and I almost went with he and some of his friends back when I only knew one of White Boy's friends, but not White Boy. I stayed behind because the apartment I recently moved into had no keys yet and I was house sitting. I hated my new roomates at the time for making me stay behind, but looking back, this was one of the nicer things they have ever done for me
  • So given that 1 of his perfect games was broken up in the 8th and two were broken up in the 9th, shouldn't Mussina get some of the blame for not being able to close this out? Shouldn't every pitcher be given the benefit of the doubt for no more than one near perfect game?
  • Mussina came to the team in 2001. Nice timing Muss. You arrived in time to see us lose a heartbreaking World Series followed by a Series in '03 where the team forgot that there was a series after defeating the Red Sox. Are you a more important Yankee than Shane Spencer? Absolutely. But guess which steroid user has 3 rings? And guess which Stanford graduate has 0?
  • Looking back at Mussina's career, 3 stretches of Yankee greatness come to mind, and they all show why he was great at the wrong time:
    • In '03, Mussina faced Pedro two or three games in a row, and more than held his own back when Pedro was still the best pitcher of my lifetime. I'm pretty sure the Yankees won one or two of these games, a remarkable feat when one remembers how unbeatable Pedro was at the time. What's the problem with this? Mussina's best games of the season came in July '03, not October '03
    • '03 ALCS, Game 7. Mussina pitched 3 great scoreless innings to keep the game close. I remember being very surprised that Mussina pitched 3 scoreless innings. This means two things:
      • He was bad enough, at this point in the season to be stuck in relief.
      • My surprise at him throwing 3 scoreless innings means my expectations must have been amazingly low. I don't remember why, but I'm guessing said expectations were well deserved.
      • Was Mussina the reason we lost the '03 World Series? No. That honor falls to, in no particular order: Josh Beckett, Jason Giambi, Alfonso Soriano, and even Aaron Boone, who touched the ball once during the '03 playoffs. But it's not Mussina-like for his great effort to be wasted.
    • This season was the most forgettable Yankee season since George H.W. Bush was in the White House. The team looked bloated-A-Rod and Jeter were not earning their salaries, Andy Pettite had was awful in every key spot, and Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy almost won games. So what better year, when the rest of the team craps out, for Muss to achieve his first 20-win season? Just think, if he won 30, the Yankees could have played in the post season.

Tony Romo, American Hero?



Nope. Because sure, Romo took a homeless guy to a movie, but did Romo actually feed the guy? Are we sure that this guy didn't die a few hours later from starvation? Though in Romo's defense, if the dude starved to death, at least Romo made sure that his last memory was that of Paul Rudd and Stiffler coming of age and becoming mature adults.

Why I'm A Sports Douchebag: Part 4 Mahatma Edition


There is a simple fact in life: all hardcore sports fans are douchebags when they watch their teams. With that said, it's now time for the writers of your 10th most favorite website to tell about the little and not so little things that they do that qualify them as Sports Douchebags

Click here to see why MissMet is a Tool.
Click here to see why White Boy South Bronx is a Douchebag
Click here to see why Devo is a Douchebag

I Support the Pirates.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with me. THey are the worst team in all of sports with no hope in sight. Every year it's the same thing. Can we please stop these Derek Bell-type signings of guys who were good 4 years ago? Bullshit. I go home once in a blue moon and when I do, I usually try to catch a Pirate game. I wear my dumb Pirate hat to support the team despite some idiot giving me crap for it.

I have a couple player t-shirts hidden in the depths of my dresser.
WHYYYYY?

I watch them when they are on TV and even go to a handfull of games here in NY.
WHYYYYY?

I waste time on message boards and blogs getting updates.
WHYYYYY?

I buy the hype that they will improve.
WHYYYYY?

I don't know why I do these things but they gave me my first sports memories (and my first sports heartbreak) so I'll always have a soft spot in my heart. But on the other hand, they haven't been .500 in 16 years!

Enough is enough, you Indian douchebag.

I hate 90% of the players on my teams.
I'm an asshole because I loathe 90% of the players on the Penguins and the Steelers. (and probably about 99% of the Pirates) Whether it be Rob Suckderi's lack of anything, Tyrone Carter's lack of speed, Kendoll Simmons' lack of talent, Larry Foote's missed tackkles, I'm the 'I want this mofo off my team' guy. When a player continues to display scrubdom, I point it out. Sure, I know they are better than me and more athletic but I can still hate them and voice my displeasure.

I even hate my teams' legends.
Jerome Bettis?
Choker.

Bill Cowhard?
Stubborn, predictable, and lacking strategy in every walk of life.

Michel Therrien?
Hockey version of Bill Cowhard.

Joey Porter?
Overrated.

Alan Faneca?
Bum.

Call me an elitist, but I like to hype the players that deserve it. (See Joey Porter '01-03/Faneca '00-'04). I extend this crap to other teams when I hear about Carson "3rd best QB in the NFL" Palmer or Tony "Young Favre" Romo. I'm all for giving players their props when they deserve it, but not when they luck into crap. Nor when their skills decline to horrendous levels. Granted, there are some exceptions that even I can't attempt to defecate upon: Mario, Bradshaw (Terry or Ahmad?) Jagr, Woodson, Lloyd, etc..

I wish injuries upon MY OWN TEAM'S players.
Look, have you seen Ian Moran, Rico Fata, Kendoll Simmons, Sean Mahan, Larry Foote, Burnt Alexander, Tyrone Carter, Lee Mays, or Michel Ouellette play for more than two years? They were/are awful. But for whatever reason, they saw/see playing time. So sometimes even I have to root for my team's players to get injured, but only for the team's greater good. And yes, I know I have no soul.


Superstitions

I'm easily the most superstitious person around to an almost douchebaggy degree. If we win in whatever outfit I am wearing, you can rest assured that said outfit is being worn no matter how much it smells like whiskey, cigarette, and nachos. Sure, there are some limitations to this, mostly relating to socks and boxers, but everything else is fair game. And when we lose, you better believe that those clothes are the first thing going into the laundry bin. But I do even dumber things, including but not limited to:

-standing in the same place we scored the last point (See Stanley Cup Game 5) without moving
-sitting at the same chair/table
-routinely alternating my hat between backwards, sideways, front, rally, as if I control the universe.
-ordering the same meal if we win, even if it makes me sick (kielbasa)
-banning friends from watching games because we lose in their presence (Ask Devo if he's allowed to watch Steeler games with BH, me, and the rest of Steeler nation)
-I can't DVR my teams' games anymore because we lose every game I DVR-basically I'm spending $10/month recording Criminal Minds.

Who does all that? This sports douchebag, that's who.

Blowing off the non-sports friends.
Um, yeah, sorry, but if my team is playing when you have an event or want to hang out, I will likely decline or show up fashionably drunk. Sorry, but my team is on! It's not that bad I guess, it's not like I'm blowing off people for Counterstrike practice...

I'm physically bothered by losses.
We've had talks about this amongst ourselves behind the blogging scenes, but a majority of the writers here take losses very hard. Some have different outlets, including

-hitting things (see Boy, White)
-throwing things (see Boy, White)
-punching things (see Boy, White)
-pointing out that Eric Lindros was a failure during Eagles games (see Dev0)
-offending the bartender after a loss by confusing their gender (a certain outer borough from the Confederate territory)

I fall into the "hey, let's go to the 5 shots for $10 place" after some big losses. There was a time when I didn't even drink during sporting evenst. I guess it all changed for thee worse during Steelers/Ravens, '06. 9 Ratbird sacks and a 27-0 loss later, I began my Sunday whiskey consumption.

Growing up, I didn't care THAT much. I was up and down with losses, but I'm pretty fuckin far away from that level now. Maybe it's that I want a Super Bowl and/or a Stanley Cup every season, except that it only happens in video games. Perhaps my Madden mastery has spoiled me?

I talked to an old school Stiller fan one day at a bar in Pittsburgh during a bad losing streak during '05. He kept telling me to keep the games and seasons in perspective. He said something along the lines of this: 'A story is being told, and that story isn't over after the game or after the season. It carries on each year throughout your lifetime. In the end, you should just want to be entertained for a few hours per week."

Imagine if we HADN'T won the Super Bowl that year? My god I'm one big bag of douche.

-Mahatma

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Angry White Yankee Fan



Why the hell haven't we signed C.C. "Fat Toad" Sabathia? For a guy who wanted to get his free agency issues out of the way as early and quickly as possible, he sure is taking his time, no? Well here's Angry White Yankee Fan's not-so-original and not-so-source-based opinion on why it's going down like this:

C.C. doesn't want to sign with the Yankees. He, like most players in the Santino Steinbrenner Era, is simply using the Yankees to get a better deal out of a different organization; an organization he respects and wants to play for. But no team is going to offer what the Yankees will and so he's stuck reluctantly going to a team he doesn't want to play for.

So where does that leave the Yankees? They pay a bailout-sized contract to a player who doesn't want to play for them, who also hasn't proven that he can pitch in October, and who probably is going to get defecated on by the entire New York Media that he clearly doesn't want to play in front of. Angry White Yankee fan has said it before and he'll say it again, thank god the Yankees didn't do anything crazy, like trade a 5th starter, the new Mark Prior, and a 4th outfielder to Minnesota for Johan but instead waited around to sign a fat pitcher who can't pitch in October and will only pitch for the Yankees because his players union is pressuring him to sign.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yinzer's Football Thoughts

Yes, I know. You must be amazed at the fact that the Yinzer isnt posting something on hockey. Which I of course will continue to do, possibly to your dismay. But I would like to take the time to just run down some thoughts I have been having recently.


Brett Favre Needs to Retire
This has absolutely nothing to do with his play. I'm just so freakin sick of hearing about him. I hate Jet's highlights because all they are is Brett Favre. Farve threw this, Farve said that. We're not going to show you the actual touchdown, just Favre on the sidelines as it happens. It's becoming unbearable.



Speaking of the Jets, that Reminds Me
I keep hearing from Jets fans, and fans of other teams (not trying to single the Jets out), asking "are we really this good?" Well I've got the answer: no. If you have to think about whether or not you're good, you arent. Now, this isnt a black or white ordeal. Just because you're not good doesnt mean you're bad. And it's not the same as being cautiously optimistic on the matter. If you really have to contemplate if your team is good, they really arent, because if they are, there is no argument.



Is Anyone Else Unimpressed by the "Elite" Teams?
Outside of that Giants (no, that isnt just an attempt to appease the majority readers of this board), I have yet to be impressed by the other "elite" teams. The Titans are 10-0, but does anyone really think they're that good? Steelers are apparently a major power in the AFC. The defense is good, but outside of James Harrison, Lamar Woodley and Troy Palamalu there isnt much impressive beyond that. The 7-3 Cardinals. The Cardinals. I'm just going to stop there with them. I dont think I can remember there being so many crappy teams in the league at once.



I Hate Bruce Arians
You didnt think you'd get out of this without a Pittsburgh reference did you? For those that don't know (which is everyone but Mahatma or those on the receiving end of his tirades), Arians is the offensive coordinator of the Steelers. He has roughly the same gameplan every week: do something that works on the first drive an gets you points, playing to your team's strengths, then completely abandon it the remainder of the game and hope you squeak out a win. Really, the man is clueless. It just makes no sense. How do you look so good on the first drive, then refuse to do it the rest of the game? If it doesnt work, you can bet he'll try it three more times to try and get it to. The only reason he gets over looked is because the offensive line is even more hideous than he is.



Betters are Pissed
WTF was that call by the refs at the end of the Steelers-Chargers game? Outside of the initial pass, I didnt see anything close to a forward pass. Terrible. Of course this still isnt as bad as when the refs got the coin toss wrong...



I'm Enjoying the Raiders Losing
After how Al Davis tried to make Lane Kiffin look bad (yet is too senile to realize it had the exact opposite effect), I have to say I'm enjoying watching this team embarrass itself every week. They seem to be getting more and more pitiful, and their cutting of Deangelo Hall after trading for him just goes to show how inept Davis really is. I have a feeling the Raiders are going to be like the Chicago Blackhawks- once the inept and egotistical owner is out of the way, they will instantly get better.



The Bengals Tied, and it's a Vast Improvement
I dont really have to add to that. They're nicknamed the "Bungles" for a reason. Having a tie be a big improvement in football is sad. Even sadder: Detroit would kill for a tie right now.


Bill Belichick is Still a Genius
No, you @&%$ers, he isnt. He's a cheater. I'm so sick of hearing this. It's amazing how this man gets a free pass from the media on everything, including when he got caught cheating. All they do is compliment him on a job well done. And what happens when they lose? Well, cant be his fault! If a risky play works, he's touted for a great call, and not chastised when it fails. The man is never at fault. Plus, who have the Pats actually beat this year? Well, after getting handed the NFL's easiest schedule after a perfect regular season that ended in a loss in Super Bowl 42 to the Giants (yes, I'm too lazy to do the Roman numerals), they have gone on to beat one team that can even be considered halfway decent in the Jets (honestly, does anyone think the Dolphins or Bronco's are that good?) But of course that doesnt matter. The Pats are winning and it's all because of the genius that Belichick.


Seriously, stop giving this guy credit for everything. Belichick has only ever proven two things as a coach. 1) he's a dick and 2) he wins when he cheats. How either is worthy of praise is beyond me.



Great Things Come In Small Packages


MVP!

BTW, Im carrying this blog today.

Karma

karma- n.- the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation.



ESPN.com- "It's amazing some of the things that people would say [on a message board] or yell at you of a personal nature," Rodriguez said Monday. "You almost want to tell them, 'Get a life.'

"There's a whole lot bigger problems. Look at the economy."

College football's winningest team has tumbled like the stock market, losing a school-record eight games and getting beat a Michigan Stadium-record five times at home.

For the first time since 1974, the Wolverines will be relegated to watching bowl games.


In Good Company

It warms my heart to see the biggest douchebag in college sports(now that is saying something) squirm like a little bitch. Its good to see the people of Michigan have started to turn on thier ass-spelunking head football coach. Hey dickless wonder! If you cant handle taking abuse from college football fans maybe you should go back to your old job cleaning up the peep show booths in truck stops on I-79. But this really does go to show you there is karma. After murdering WVUs chances of playing in the National Championship game, stealing a WVU cellphone to recruit players for Michigan, talking the recruits he HAD gotten into following him to the most god-forsaken place on Earth, he then tried to de-fraud WVU of the money he had promised to pay them if he ever tried to pull such brazen stunts. And now his bad deeds are catching up to him in the form of the first bowl-less season in Michigan since 1974. Bad things happen to bad people. Watch out Michigan, guys like this prick will stab you and your fans in the back at the drop of a hat, you have to keep your eye on them. They even have a name for them, Republicans. I hope this asshat gets run over by a recently laid-off autoworker. Fuck BitchRod.

Can The Giants Please Face A Challenge: A Giants/Ravens Recap


Free SUS stock options to anyone who can find Jacobs, Ward or Bradshaw in this video.

First a few thoughts from this game before Angry White Arrogant Giants Fan makes his impression felt:
  • The fact that Earth, Wind & Fire destroyed the Ravens was especially sweet because there isn't a cockier unit than that Ravens defense. That said, I don't know what I enjoyed more, 1) Earth escaping Ed Reed's headlock on his run to the 2 on the opening drive or 2) Fire breaking Ray Lewis' tackle on the way to his 78 yard run. Though in the Ravens defense, they didn't pull a '07 Cowboys-they admitted that the better team won.
    • In related news, Wade Phillips is wondering why it's taking so long for his Super Bowl XLII ring to arrive.
  • This site is Paris-Hilton-Famous (famous for being terrible at life?) for bashing Kevin Gilbride's play calling in the midst of one of the most successful Giants regular seasons ever. That said, time to give credit where credit's due: the wind was swirling at the Stadium, and Gilbride knew that the only way to win was to run the ball and throw safe short passes. Granted, the offense was never really challenged, but on a day when the Giants should have played it safe, they did just that.
  • Taking away the Browns game, when the hell was the last time that a team ran successfully against the Giants? Are McGahee/McClain/Rice Earth Wind & Fire? No, but they're all fairly talented, and they did nothing against this front 7. Granted, the front seven will be tested in a few weeks when they face the Landover Redskins and Jerome from Southeast come to town, but so far, this rushing D is at the top of its game.
  • Lawrence Tynes still sucks. Sorry, but it needed to be said.
  • Bob Papa was on the record as saying that as good as this team is, they still haven't shown everything they can do. What he meant was basically that every week a different part of their attack is successful, while other parts are less successful. For example, this week the rushing game was solid, and the Giants made key interceptions, but Eli wasn't in top form and the pass rush got only one sack. Now, I love Bob Papa, but his analysis was faulty at best. What makes this Giants team as great as it is, they can beat you in the following ways:
    • 1. Earth Wind & Fire
    • 2. Eli throwing to Plax, Toomer, Smith, Hixon, Moss, & Manningham, especially in the 4th quarter.
    • 3. An O-Line that makes it possible for 1 & 2 to succeed.
    • 4. A defense that doesn't allow running backs to beat them.
    • 5. A pass rush that is among the best in the game even without a 1st ballot hall of famer and its best pass rusher last year.
    • 6. A secondary that makes plays when they are presented with the opportunity. (And #6 is the weak link of the team.)
  • Last week #1, #4, and #6 made it happen. Pick your poison for next week.
Finally, I, Devo, am taking up too much space where I promised to let my boy, Angry White Arrogant Giants Fan provide his two cents.

Fine, the Giants are 9-1, but I, a season ticket holder am pissed. I love going to games and mixing it up with opposing fans, and lately, this has not been possible. When I say "Team X sucks" I'm sick and tired of having their teams say "Yeah, you're right, we do." What the hell kind of fight is that? Can someone please make these games interesting? Can someone please give me a reason to stay beyond the first drive or two of the 4th quarter? I'm sick and tired of being bored by halftime of every game. The beauty of sports is that it's like theater, except that you don't know who's going to win. Well Giant games have become a cheesy B-movie where you know that the good guys are going to win and it's not even going to be close! Can someone please step forward and challenge this team? Anyone?