Saturday, November 27, 2010

5 for Sunday

A pretty ugly Week 12 on hand, with only two games this Sunday (Atlanta-Green Bay and San Diego-Indy) that are actually worth watching without something riding on it. Home teams in CAPS.

Jacksonville (+7) over NY GIANTS
Maybe the Jaguars don't get enough credit, or maybe they enjoy relative obscurity. We'll find out at 1:00 at the New Meadowlands, where the Giants are now without their top two receivers (Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks) as well as possibly three starters on the offensive line. Jacksonville has won 3 in a row while the Giants' two-game losing streak has people mentioning last year's second half nose-dive. I think the home team finds a way to end the skid but the Jags' chances of keeping this close are pretty good.

ATLANTA (-2) over Green Bay
Let's please put the Packers love fest on hold until they play a team that isn't dead in the water, unlike either of their past two games. The critical matchup in this game is the Atlanta rushing attack vs. Green Bay's surging defense, as the Falcons would do well to pound it with Michael Turner and Chris Snelling to eat up clock and keep Greg Jennings and annoying new media darling Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines. Tony Gonzalez might have to have a big day when Atlanta does pass, if Charles Woodson sticks on Roddy White as expected. The Falcons are 5-0 at home this year and something like 18-1 at the Georgia Dome in games started by Matt Ryan.

Carolina (+9.5) over CLEVELAND
My new "just go against Carolina" rule was not instituted with Jake Delhomme in mind. With Delhomme getting the start for the Browns against his old team, 9.5 is just entirely too many points to give, even with the Browns having put together a few respectable weeks. The Panthers themselves have actually been more competitive over the past two games than the scores would suggest, and may be getting Jonathan Stewart back this week. I'll take a flier on the 9.5 points here.

OAKLAND (-2.5) over Miami
I'm going to the well with the Raiders one more time. Miami comes into the Black Hole down to their third quarterback and playing with about half of an offensive line. Considering that Oakland is 4-1 at home this year I'm a bit surprised that the line is just 2.5, but that may be in light of the 35-3 beating they took in Pittsburgh last week. I think Miami's best football is behind them this year unless they find a way to run the ball well again.

St. Louis (+3.5) over DENVER
The Broncos' defense looked miserable in San Diego last Monday night, and they won't have a ton of fun having to tackle Steven Jackson, who continues to run like a cannonball and must be breathing some really fresh air now that his team is a respectable 4-6. The Broncos have lost 5 out of 6 and padded their offensive stats immensely two weeks ago vs. the Chiefs. This has a chance to be a moment of arrival for Steve Spagnuolo's team, as it's been a while since the Rams have gone into a traditionally tough place to play like Denver and put up a great effort. Give me the 3.5 in what has a good chance to be a field goal game either way.

Last Week: 3-2-0
Season: 28-25-2

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cinq Pour Samedi

Insert over-used "Thanksgiving Football Feast" cliché here. In all truthfulness, however, this pretty much the week we've all been waiting for when it comes to college football. Fortunately, the best games of the bunch are split between Friday and Saturday for our ease in consumption. Home teams in CAPS.

West Virginia (+3) over PITTSBURGH (Friday)
The Mountaineers actually come into this year's Backyard Brawl with a better record than the Panthers (7-3 to 6-4), but thanks to their in-conference record it is Pitt with the chance to take the Big East and the undeserved BCS bowl bid to go with it. It's not quite a role reversal from the infamous 2007 Backyard Brawl, which saw a below-.500 Pitt team go into Morgantown as 28.5-point dogs and dash West Virginia's title game hopes, but Pitt does enter this game with a lot more to lose than West Virginia does. One of the only remaining players from that 2007 game is Noel Devine (aka the guy whose 40 you're going to hear about for two straight weeks this winter when the NFL Combine rolls around), and I think (and hope) he'll turn enough corners to spoil the party at the big ketchup bottle.

Auburn (+4) over ALABAMA (Friday)
It doesn't get much better than this. Auburn has its spot in the SEC Championship locked up but can't be caught napping if it wants to play for a national title. Alabama, with two losses, might see a big difference in their caliber of bowl game depending on the outcome of this one. If his performance against Georgia two weeks ago is any indication, Cam Newton isn't bringing his off-field issues onto the field with him. You have to like the four points here as this one figures to be a dandy.

Michigan (+17) over OHIO STATE
If you haven't read it yet, check out the piece that Kevin wrote in regards to what this game means in the course of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry. If you are really, really a big-time fan of any team in any sport, it will strike a chord with you (I'll even forgive his use of "we"). Rich Rod has the Wolverines bowl-eligible for the first time in his tenure but needs his team to at least keep things close in Columbus for his doubters to get off his back for a minute. Usually you'd love the chances of a team that can score like Michigan getting 17 points, but the Wolverines defense is painful to watch. I'll cross my fingers that Kevin comes back in one piece and that the entire state of Ohio gets Denard'ed.

LSU (+3.5) over ARKANSAS
The Tigers somehow are only playing their third true road game of the year and have not been overly impressive since beating Alabama three weeks ago. Last week's squeaker against notwithstanding, LSU's meal ticket has been its defense, which provides quite the interesting matchup with Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks. Arkansas averages 340 passing yards per game while LSU only gives up 151. The lower the scoring stays, the better chance LSU has, and vice versa. The hook on this 3.5 line is tougher to pass up than that second piece of pumpkin pie (come on, I wasn't getting through this without at least one lame Thanksgiving reference).

OKLAHOMA STATE (-2.5) over Oklahoma
The Sooners haven't lost to the Cowboys since seemingly the beginning of time (ok, 2002), but I love Mike Gundy's team's chances at home on Saturday night. Oklahoma has appeared to right the ship after A&M snuck up on them a few weeks ago, but Oklahoma State is averaging nearly 51 points a game at home. Like I've said before in this space, this year has a special feeling for Oklahoma State and what better way to go into the Big 12 Championship than by beating the in
-state rival who has played the Marcia Brady to Oklahoma State's Jan for so many years.

Last Week: 2-2-1
Season: 32-24-4

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5 for Thanksgiving Weekend

31-27-2 on the Season as we go into the final two weeks.  Slight hope remains to catch Lou after two weeks of gaining ground. 

Texas A&M (-3.5) @ Texas  8 PM Thursday ESPN

I find myself ruining for A&M for reasons I can't really explain except that I like some of their traditions.  The 12th man, the bonfires, yelling practices, kissing coeds, and a huge ROTC program.  Texas needs a win to go bowling which is unthinkable for a team coming off a National Title Game appearance.  A&M has been playing well on defense lately and I think that will see them through here.

West Virginia (+2) @ Pittsburgh Noon ABC Friday

See this is why I check the times.  I wrote this game off as a night game then bam it changes Sunday without me knowing it.  My brother and I are now contemplating attending this game.  I know its at Heinz but if any readers think we should still go on our way to more important things let me know.  If Pitt wins they are in great shape to go to a BCS bowl, if not the door opens for ...UConn?  Yes, UConn.  UConn has tie breakers over Pitt and West Fuckin Virginia and would control their own destiny with all teams 4-2 in the Big East.

Auburn (+4) @ Alabama 2:30 CBS Friday

The Iron Bowl has never been bigger for Auburn.  This will be their toughest test of the season and I'm not sure they will survive.  I don't know which way this one will go or even who to root for. Can Auburn really run the table?  I'm thinking no but damn does that spread seem high?  I know that if you are able to watch this game you should because the Iron Bowl takes center stage this year nationally which isn't always the case.

Michigan (+18) @ Ohio State  Noon ABC Saturday

See my article on the rivalry here.  Well it does mean everything.  My brother and I attended our first Michigan Ohio State game last year at the Big House, this year we follow up with going to the Shoe.  Last year didn't go so well but the Wolverines played valiant, and even covered a 12.5 spread losing 21-10.  This year the offense is better and the defense is worse.  Injuries are in full force for a second year in a row but what do you expect when you play Wisconsin the week before.  It's football, It's a rivalry game so anything can happen but Michigan appears over matched.  However, as I said last week I don't think OSU is the best team in the conference.  Who is the best team they beat all year?  Miami? Iowa?  Yes they have more talent than Michigan, especially on defense.  1 player on Michigan's defense would start at Ohio State, and NT Mike Martin has been battling injury most of the season.  The hope for Michigan is their offense where they are going to put up a fight in any game.  It will be a hard fought football game and I'm thankful I will be there listening to Buckeye fans yelling at me instead of the commentators talking about if Rich Rod will be back next year. Denard, please end our suffering and establish yourself as a Michigan Legend.

Florida @ Florida State (-2.5) 3:30 ABC Saturday

Florida State will finally get the job done this year.  The pain and suffering has been long and brutal for Noles fans. What do you know its also been since 2003.  Lift Jimbo up on your shoulders, your suffering is over. 

It's unfair to pick just 5 games for this weekend when so many other ranked teams play each other.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Barely Legal

Creepers, old men, and college students today is your lucky day.  Miley Cyrus turns 18!  You officially have a legal chance at Hannah Montanna.  Your odds are squarely in line with Lloyd Christmas going after Mary Swanson. 

Just think her parents are going through a divorce and shes confused, you can take advantage.  Also the window is closing before she goes completely off the deep end so time is running thinner than you think.  Good luck, the clock starts now.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sh*t I Don't Understand: Black Friday

About 8 months ago, I delved into the topic of shopping and originally intended to include the unofficial American holiday of Black Friday, but decided to hold off until this time of year because it really warrants its own post. Someone please explain to me what the hell is so great about Black Friday shopping. I've been to malls on my share of Black Fridays and never really bought into the whole ordeal. And now that this thing has exploded to the point that people are essentially heading immediately out to the stores once the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is finished, it's really starting to get on my nerves.

Before you say, "but Lou you idiot, don't you realize the huge sales and discounts that are out there to be had on Black Friday?" - I do realize. How can't I? Every piece of advertising anyone sees or hears during the week of Thanksgiving somehow involves a huge Black Friday blowout, as if the day after Thanksgiving is the last day that anyone will ever be able to buy holiday gifts without going bankrupt. I especially love the stores that have the descending discounts as time goes by during the morning, i.e. before 6am you get 40% off, between 6-8 you get 25%, between 8-10 you get 10%, etc. What a joke. You know where I like to be at 6am on Black Friday? Asleep in bed. The last place I'd ever want to be is standing in 30-degree weather waiting for the doors to open at Kohl's or some other dumpy store so I can stampede in with the rest of the herd and jockey for position to save an ultimately inconsequential amount of money. On that note, let's also not forget the 2008 trampling incident at a Long Island Wal-Mart that resulted in an employee's death.

The root of it is that some people place such little value on their time or have no concept of valuing their time altogether. I don't care if I'm apparently a sucker for paying slightly higher prices for gifts because I miss out on these supposedly phenomenal Black Friday deals. Avoiding the throngs of frantic people, the long lines, the traffic, and any other aggravating thing you can think of is well worth it. Of course, there are exceptions - I have a friend who spent 10 hours or so overnight between Thanksgiving and Black Friday in front of a Target last year but got in as soon as they opened and saved something like $250 on an HD TV. If you break it down, that's essentially valuing your time and relative comfort at $25 an hour, which is pretty fair if you ask me. But how many people actually get the kind of deal (on a worthwhile product, mind you) that really computes into a figure that justifies their time and effort?

Another thing we're assured of on Black Friday is the mind-numbing local news coverage that night. You always see some overweight and inarticulate mongo yelping at the camera, bragging about whatever deals they got, and how "I gots all ma shoppin' done ta-day!" Oh really, Lennie, did you? You're telling me you got all your Christmas shopping done today? I'm here to dispute that fact. No matter how much stuff they do buy, no one gets all their shopping done on Black Friday. You know why? Because there's still a month or so left before Christmas; and as December goes on, our consciousness becomes dominated by Christmas songs, cookies, Ralphie Parker, Rudolph, Santa, etc. That, in turn, compels many people to get back out there for "just a few more things here and there," because they want to immerse themselves in the onslaught of holiday cheer - no one wants to feel uninvited to the party. So even if you end up "getting all your shopping done on Black Friday," chances are you will end up spending even more money in the subsequent weeks.

In conclusion, I don't want to come off like a grinch, but I do believe that Black Friday in Western culture is one of the things about life on our planet that causes the aliens to never really stick around when they visit Earth. I'm not telling anyone not to go out and shop to their heart's content this Friday (after all, what do I care, I'll be at work). But just take it with a grain of salt and maybe, just maybe, think to yourself - is voluntarily subjecting myself to all these unsavory people and uncomfortable situations really worth it?

5 for Sunday

Week #11 and all we know about the NFL is that 75% of the teams flat-out stink. Home teams in CAPS.

TENNESSEE (-7) over Washington
In all honesty, how could anyone put money on the Redskins right now? The team is a train wreck, still hasn't won a game on their own this year, is coming off a game in which they gave up 59 points at home, and now has to deal with an offense that boasts Chris Johnson and Randy Moss. Maybe Albert Haynesworth won't take a mid-play nap in his Nashville homecoming like he did against the Eagles, but I still don't think it will matter. Titans by double digits.

Baltimore (-10) over CAROLINA
This one is a layup. Brian St. Pierre starts at quarterback for the Panthers, who are in utter disrepair and are down to their 4th running back as well. The Ravens are coming off 10 days of rest and should throw the kitchen sink at Carolina's offense. On a side note, as easy a target as the Panthers are to bet against these days, you have to feel for Steve Smith as he gets ball after ball thrown at his feet or airmailed over his head.

Oakland (+7.5) over PITTSBURGH
I'm continuing to ride the Raiders, and with good reason. They get after the quarterback, and Pittsburgh's offensive line looked like a set of turnstiles last week against New England. If the Raiders have watched their share of film, they should be able to use the short passing game against the Steelers' over-aggressive safeties and linebackers to create mismatches with their playmakers like Darren McFadden, Michael Bush, and the out-of-nowhere Jacoby Ford. If tight end Zach Miller suits up, the Steelers will have even more to deal with. You have to like the Raiders' chances of at least keeping this a one-score game and maybe even winning outright.

Buffalo (+5.5) over CINCINNATI
The Bills stink but are getting better. The Bengals stink but are possibly getting worse. Losers of six in a row, the Bungles have won only one game this year by more than 5 points, and that was against the Panthers. At the very least, you have to respect Buffalo's ability to keep games close (last four games decided by a total of 11 points), which is much easier said than done when your team is going nowhere. The Bengals play just well enough to lose every week - why should anyone expect them to win this game by a touchdown?

SAN DIEGO (-9.5) over Denver (Monday Night)
Now that Daylight Savings Time has ended, you are now free to lay the lumber with the Chargers. Despite lacking a healthy and/or effective running back all season and possibly being without Antonio Gates for a second straight game, Philip Rivers continues to make stars out of whoever is on the receiving end of his throws. Kyle Orton and co. aren't likely to light things up in San Diego the way they did against Kansas City, a defense who had been playing above its head for most of the season.

Last Week: 3-2-0
Season: 25-23-2

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cinq Pour Samedi

We're closing in on Rivalry Week (or some semblance of what used to be Rivalry Week), and this Saturday's matchups provide a decent mix of games that have meaning for the present and inspire some nice looks to the past. Home teams in CAPS.

Stanford (-6.5) over CALIFORNIA
Call this a bit of an overreaction to Cal's tempering of Oregon last week, especially considering that this line opened at 8.5 and enough Cal money has come in to bring it down two points. I just think Stanford is flat-out better and when you can lay less than a touchdown with a 9-1 team against a 5-5 team, you take that chance. Andrew Luck is going to have to do much of the work for the Cardinal, as Cal allows only 67 rushing yards per game at home. And I'd be remiss not to link to The Play, especially on its 28-year anniversary.

Ohio State (-3) over IOWA
Iowa is coming off two straight clunkers and Ohio State is on a tear. Is either one of these teams all that good? I'm not sure, considering how many Penn State mistakes were needed by Ohio State to put last week's game to bed. A win here likely puts the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl, and while I don't necessarily want to see it, I just don't think they come up lame against a team whose best football this year is quite possibly behind it.

NORTHWESTERN (+7.5) over Illinois (@ Wrigley Field)
By now you've heard that this tilt will take place at the Friendly Confines, and that the one end zone encroaches so closely upon Wrigley's right field wall that it has been deemed unsafe to run offensive plays or field goal attempts in its direction (here's a look). All offensive possessions will be run in the direction of the end zone on the third base line, no matter the quarter or the possessing team. Some people call it an abomination but I find it pretty interesting. What really disappoints me is that they didn't orient the gridiron from the first base line toward left field as they did at Wrigley in the old days, but the seating configuration doesn't allow for it. As far as the game goes, this is a battle of Big Ten teams that have made a living sneaking up on people this year, with Northwestern breaking through against Iowa last week to show for it. The Wildcats are without QB Dan Persa, but I still think they have enough as a team to at least be close here. I find it funny that Illinois fans are chirping mightily about this game even though they lost to sad-sack Minnesota last week.

CINCINNATI (-13.5) over Rutgers
This is for no other reason than I haven't picked a Rutgers game yet this year, and I really don't like their bogus fandom and program that wants to be treated like it matters but plays a JV schedule. I must be out of my mind laying two touchdowns with a 3-6 Cincy team, but Rutgers does have a big injury list so what the heck.

Army (+8.5) over NOTRE DAME (@ Yankee Stadium)
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium." It would have been nice to have Bob Sheppard doing the PA for this game, but I like to think he'll be at the mic on high with Mel Allen and Phil Rizzuto. I kind of wish I could have experienced the era during which the Army-Notre Dame matchup was the biggest game of the year, but at least we have the new Yankee Stadium all decked out for football, complete with the diagonal lines in the end zones to simulate a Notre Dame home field. Both teams are playing to seal their bowl bids, but Army has a lot more to gain in this game than Notre Dame does. A win for the Black Knights would be a watershed moment on a big stage, and since their only double-digit loss this year was to a legit 8-4 Air Force team, I'll give them a puncher's chance here. Notre Dame is still likely to win, but 8.5 is a bit too many to cover. Longtime blog follower Tony is attending this game, so if you're reading this, don't forget to send me a picture from your seat.

Last Week: 2-3-0
Season: 30-22-3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NFL Injury Report

Mark Simoneau, Chiefs.  Presummed Dead for 3 years, resurfaced to be placed on Injured Reserved.  Out.

Chad Henne, Dolphins.  Frayed wires in knee, Doubtful. (No one will get this joke)

Chad Pennington, Dolphins.  Missing Shoulder, Career Over....Again.

Brett Farve, Vikings.  Shoulder, ankle, knee, blue balls.  Will play anyways but demanded to be listed on injury report.

Fred Taylor, Patriots.  Missing cartiledge in knee yet bothered by toes.  We question what this means.  Expect more white NFL running back.

Reggie Bush, Saints.  Questionable depends on if Karma really is a bitch.

Osi Umenyiora, Giants.  Probable knee. Questionable whether or not he finds female to defecate on.

Darrelle Rivas, Jets. Playing with a fat contract. Will play if he feels like it.

Donovan McNabb, Redskins.  Probable.  undisclosed Air Guitar injury

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

5 for Saturday

4-1 Last Week puts me back over .500. 28-26-1 on the season. 

Fresno State (+30.5) @ Boise State ESPN 8PM Friday

Yes this game has almost no chance to be interesting because Fresno State is having a down year, but I'm up for some Boise hate on a Friday night.  Boise State has to come out firing and will have the pressure on to score a point a minute to impress the voters.  If Fresno is in it at half I like my chances for them to hold on against the number.

Wisconsin (-5) @ Michigan ESPN Noon Saturday

You have two options here, lay the points and bet Wisconsin or take Michigan against the moneyline.  Michigan could win this game because they can light up any defense in the country, especially one that won't stack the box.  It's at home on a fast track where Wisconsin hasn't won since 1994.  They even surrendered a 19-0 lead as the #9 team in the country losing to an eventual 3-9 Michigan team the last time they played in Michigan Stadium.  The smart money still seems to be on Wisconsin here.  At the begining of the year you would have said they were at least the 2nd best team in the conference if not the best.  You are saying the same thing now.  It seems likely that Wisconsin will be able to pound the ball down Michigan's throat and execute cutbacks and play actions at will.  If there is hope for Michigan it is because for the first time under Rich Rod they will have virtually no pressure on them and can turn it loose. That and well a killer offense that is capable of scoring 30 points against the Badgers.

Ohio State (-3) @ Iowa 3:30 ABC

Last year's game was epic, even after Ricky Stanzi went down.  Iowa has the chance to play spoiler here and salvage what to Hawkeye fans (read delusional) has been a disapointing season.  I don't see it happening though.  A Ricky Stanzi pick six lets Iowa down one more time.

Virginia Tech (-2.5) @ Miami ESPN 3:30

Pam Ward is calling this game so mute your TV or be prepared do your best Vincent van Gogh impression.  As stated previously, in the land of the ACC roulette you always bet on Va Tech.  Even though they will still win the division whether they win or lose here, the play in Va Tech

Nebraska  @ Texas A&M (+3) 8 PM ABC/Gameplan

I'm not sure where to go here.  Texas A&M has been playing really well since changing QBs.  Nebraska is solid as a rock if not playing Texas.  Coin flip, ok A&M it is.  It's safe to say I wouldn't be picking this game unless I had too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Contract Negotiations Between McNabb and Synder

NAGAYT has obtained the transcript of the conversation between Donovan McNabb and Daniel Snyder regarding his McNabb's contract extension with the Washington Redskins

McNabb:  You wanted to see me Mr.Snyder? 

Snyder: Yes, please sit down.

McNabb: Please do not fire me.  I promise I will lay off the fast food and go to the gym more often. 

Snyder: Fire you?  No way that's absurd.  I was hoping you would consider extending your contract with us.

McNabb:  Are you serious? I don't like practical jokes.

Snyder:  I'm super serial.

McNabb:  I'll sign.

Snyder: Don"t you want to hear the terms?

McNabb: O yes of course

Snyder: $78 million

McNabb: Done

Snyder: Don't you want to know the length of the deal?

McNabb: It doesn't matter, I assume its a lifetime deal and I will be doing everything from making shirts to tearing tickets eventually. Right?

Snyder: Hahaha, no.  It's five years and all you have to do is play football.

McNabb: You can't be serious.

Snyder: Wait there are incentives too. You can earn up to $88 million!

McNabb: Hahahaha. Where can I sign?

Snyder: Don't you want to read the fine print or call your agent?

McNabb: No, I'm not going to let you change your mind.

Snyder: Great that was the easiest negotiation since Albert Haynesworth!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Singular Sensations

Winning a championship is the ultimate achievement, no matter what level of what sport you're talking about. In professional and big-time college sports, players and coaches are exorbitantly compensated in the hopes that their ability and expertise can lead to the smorgasbord of confetti, trophy presentations from the commissioner, Queen songs being played on loop, and of course, the ring. If you get there, you're a king, a hero, a winner for all eternity. If you don't, well....not so much. What's interesting is that you can name a good deal of high-profile players and coaches who have gotten a ton of mileage out of one championship. If not for that championship, pretty much all of these guys would likely have a much different legacy.

1. Brett Favre - I hate to do it, but this list has to begin here. Brett Favre conquered some already-existing postseason demons when he led the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI in January of 1997. Since then, he's been known as a World Champion. It was great for him, but not great for the rest of us, since the media uses that Super Bowl as an excuse to give him a pass for all the huge losses over which he has presided in the 13 years since. Just the following year, his 11.5-point favorite Packers were upended by Denver in Super Bowl XXXVII. "Brett" would go on to be, if not responsible for, then at least part of, the following moments:
-Green Bay's first ever playoff loss at Lambeau Field on a frigid Saturday night to a young Michael Vick and the Falcons in the 2002 Wild Card round
-A six-INT playoff loss to the Rams
-The worst interception ever thrown (in overtime, mind you) in the 2003 Divisional Playoffs in Philly, aka the "4th-and-26" game
-His last pass as a Green Bay Packer, which sent the Giants to Super Bowl XLII
-A 1-4 finish that cost the 2008 Jets a playoff spot
-The interception at the end of regulation in last year's NFC Championship Game

I rest my case.

2. Bill Cowher - He gets a ton of notoriety for his scowl, his facial expressions, and his impressively long 14-year tenure as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since he won Super Bowl XL (with the gigantic help from the zebras), the legend of Cowher has morphed way out of control. Of course, he can do no wrong from the comfort of the CBS studios, so his name comes up immediately with every NFL coaching vacancy. Conventional wisdom says he'd be the answer to a floundering franchise's problems. I say he lost four AFC Championship games at home in 11 seasons, and came within a Jim Harbaugh Hail Mary (skip to the 7:30 mark of the video) of losing five. In at least two of those games, he clearly had the better team ('94 vs. San Diego and '01 vs. an upstart New England team that had to bring Drew Bledsoe off the bench to finish the game). Let me be clear - I'm not saying Bill Cowher isn't and wasn't a very good coach, I'm just saying the common perception of him would be totally different if not for Super Bowl XL.

3. Joe Namath - Was he a magnificent thrower of the football? Yes. Did he change the landscape of the NFL forever when he guaranteed the biggest upset in football history to that point when the Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III? Yes. Did he win another playoff game after that Super Bowl? No. Did he throw 47 more interceptions than touchdowns in his career? Yes. And finally, did he want to kiss Suzy Kolber? Yes.

4. Mike Ditka - Let me first say that Ditka had arguably the best combination of a playing career and coaching career in NFL history. But similar to Favre, Mike Ditka won a title fairly early in his coaching career and seemingly got a pass for everything after that. Not only do many people give Buddy Ryan an equal amount of credit for the dominance of the 1985 Bears, but Ditka had a 2-5 playoff record in his subsequent years with Chicago, followed by a brutal 15-33 record in three seasons with the Saints where he doubled down on a 9 and got a 2 with Ricky Williams in the 1999 Draft. You wonder how even the Superfans would feel about him if it weren't for 1985.

5. Bobby Cox - He would probably be higher on the list if he managed in a more intense sports city, but I have a feeling Atlanta would still have all the love for Bobby Cox even if his Braves didn't capture the 1995 World Series. The 14 straight division titles are maybe the safest record of its kind, but only one championship in that span is rather underwhelming, especially when you consider how good some of those Braves teams were. A few of those losses you could live with - the 1991 Series vs. Minnesota was as good a matchup as you could find, and they ran into a buzzsaw against the Yankees in 1999. But if you're a Braves fan you really have to shake your head at the 1992 loss to Toronto, the 1996 loss to the Yankees, the 1997 and 1998 NLCS losses to Florida and San Diego, and the 2003 NLDS loss to the Cubs.

6. Peyton Manning - I was reluctant to put Manning on this list because he's still active, but you can't deny how many question marks would still surround him if not for the Super Bowl XLI win four years back. While he's possibly my favorite athlete out of anyone that doesn't play for a team I root for, Manning has a lot of postseason woes to his name. Granted, two losses were the direct fault of Mike Vanderjagt, but that doesn't erase the 41-0 Wild Card rout by the 2002 Jets, the consecutive drubbings in Foxboro the two years after that, the 2007 Divisional Round home loss to a Billy Volek-led Chargers team, and the pick-six to Tracy Porter in last year's Super Bowl. How much of any of that was his fault is debatable, but fortunately in this case the one Super Bowl rightfully puts to bed any doubt of Peyton Manning.

7. Lou Piniella - Sweet Lou was a clutch contributor to back-to-back World Series champions with the 1977 and 1978 Yankees. After becoming one of George Steinbrenner's many managerial victims in the 1980s, Piniella guided the 1990 Reds to a wire-to-wire first place finish and a sweep of Oakland in the World Series. After moving on to Seattle, Piniella's teams boasted one of the top lineups in baseball for nearly a decade but never made it past the ALCS, including the 116-win team in 2001 that got bounced by the Yankees in 5 games. By the end of Sweet Lou's run, which consisted of three woeful years in Tampa and two Division Series exits with the Cubs, his legacy was built just as much upon epic ejections as it was on being a good baseball man.

8. Steve Young - Given the task of replacing Joe Montana, Steve Young was in an almost impossible spot. What made it even worse was that Montana remained on the 49ers for two seasons while Young held the starting spot. Whenever he threw a pick or a bad incompletion, 49ers fans would begin the calls for Joe. Even after Montana was sent to Kansas City, it didn't get any better for Young, especially in the wake of consecutive NFC Championship losses to Dallas. When January of 1995 rolled around and Young finally got the 49ers past the Cowboys and delivered a record 6 TD passes against San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX, there was no more vindicated man in America. Winning that championship of his own allowed people to remember Steve Young as an MVP-type player and not merely the guy who came in for Joe Montana.

9. Eli Manning - This was a toss-up between Eli, A-Rod, and Albert Pujols, but there's too big a faction of people who will never give A-Rod a break and Albert Pujols doesn't really have doubters, so Eli Manning gets this spot due to the sheer size of his stage and his brother's shadow. During the Giants' 2007 regular season, Manning had a few terrible games that caused people to ask whether or not he was adopted. So to do what he did in winning three straight road playoff games and punctuate it with a victory over an 18-0 team in one of the three best Super Bowls ever played is nothing short of remarkable. And while he may never fully escape the identity of "Peyton's little brother," the venom from New York fans and media is likely gone forever.

10. Rick Pitino - This list has been limited to pro football and baseball partially because they are my two areas of expertise, but also because college sports create a different dynamic due to coaches constantly losing their top players to graduation and the pros. Rick Pitino has been all over the map, spending 6 seasons coaching the Knicks and Celtics in between taking three different NCAA programs to a total of five Final Fours. Ever since he was the Providence wonderboy in 1987, Pitino has been one of the most consistent winners at the college level, culminating in his 1996 National Championship with Kentucky. But there were some monumental losses with Kentucky along the way, followed by four horrendous seasons as Celtics coach that are most remembered for this tirade. It's easily conceivable that if 1996 didn't happen, Pitino would be labeled as a guy with a ton of talent at his disposal and relatively little to show for it. The debate should go deeper than that, but I promised myself I'd keep the Pitino section short enough that it could be read in 15 seconds.

In conclusion, I'll admit the list was put together rather hastily and off the top of my head, so if there are any people I omitted or included wrongfully, the floor is yours.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

5 for Sunday

What's this...I can breathe! Last week pushed me over .500 for the first time all year. The broken clock is now 8-2 in the past two weeks. Home teams in CAPS.

Tennessee (-1) over MIAMI
The Dolphins are holding the donut at home thus far this year (0-3) and are now turning to Chad Pennington to take the reins from Chad Henne. The Titans had trouble after losing Kenny Britt to injury so they went out and replaced him with...Randy Moss. Not a bad move for a team now in a dogfight with the Colts for its division. In what amounts to a pick-em game, give me the team that appears to be the better one.

NY Jets (-3) over CLEVELAND
Everyone is on the Browns right now and with good reason after they shellacked New England last week. However, this Jets defense was designed to stop runners like Peyton Hillis as well as put a ton of pressure on the still-honeymooning Colt McCoy. As a rule I'm very leery of laying an even 3 with a road team, but if anyone saw the Jets play Detroit last week it was clear they were giving the Lions every break in the first 3 quarters to try to put them away but the Jet defense kept holding its ground. On the other side of the ball, Santonio Holmes is close to being fully ingrained in the offense and is playing like a Super Bowl MVP again. After Rex Ryan put on a wig and dressed up like his twin brother Rob (the Browns' defensive coordinator) this week, I can't not take the Jets.

INDIANAPOLIS (-7) over Cincinnati
When the NFL is running short on bet-worthy teams, go with as close to a sure thing as possible. The Colts' injury report is about as long as a college thesis, but Peyton Manning continues to elevate the game of his motley crew around him. The Colts are giving up just 13 points a game at home this year, and if they can cover T.O. (which the Steelers forgot to do last week) they'll keep the Bengals point total in the teens.

St. Louis (+6) over SAN FRANCISCO
So let me get this straight - a 4-4 team is a six-point dog to a 2-6 team that hasn't gotten out of its own way all season? Thank you sir, may I have another? In what figures to be a close, ugly, 17-14 type of affair, I will gladly take 6 points. I wonder how many people will even notice that this game features a Heisman-winning quarterback matchup with Sam Bradford and Troy Smith. The 49ers (along with the Vikings) should send Christmas cards to Arlington, TX and thank Dallas for keeping them out of the "biggest disappointment of 2010" conversation.

New England (-4.5) over PITTSBURGH
I was originally going to stay away from this and follow my new "just pick against Carolina" rule, but I have a good feeling about the Patriots' chances at Heinz Field this Sunday night. The Steelers had a chance to blow the Bengals out last Monday night but let them hang around and needed a 4-down stop inside their own 10 in the final minute to hold on. The extra 1.5 in this line is a big-time overreaction to the egg that the Patriots laid last week in Cleveland, especially considering the Steelers just put left tackle Max Starks on IR and have two other offensive linemen plus James Harrison questionable.

Last Week: 4-1-0
Season: 22-21-2

Friday, November 12, 2010

NFL Injury Report

This is inspired by 

Brett Farve,Vikings: Glassed over ankles, tendonitis in throwing arm, slightly separated shoulder, cut jaw, blue balls : Questionable

Percy Harvin, Vikings: Migraine. Questionable.

Tom Zbikowski, Ravens: Suffered a gash over right eye in sparring match preparing for his Friday night fight.  Vision is blurred. Probable

Shawn Merriman, Bills:  Missing ACL, MCL, HGH.  Out indefinitely OR until new shipment comes in

Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Browns:  Murdered by the City of Cleveland.  Buried under statue of Colt McCoy.  Out.

Everyone, Dallas Cowboys: Shattered Super Bowl dreams, fear of tackling.  Questionable.

Everyone, Dallas Cowboys: Wade Phillips fired.  Upgraded to Probable. 

Charles Woodson, Packers: Turf Toe, Probable.

Tom Brady, Patriots: Foot Sprain, Douchebag haircut.  Questionable.

Donovan McNabb, Redskins: Conditioning.  Probable until the game is on the line.

Kevin Kolb, Eagles:  Andy Reid. Doubtful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cinq Pour Samedi

This week isn't nearly as appealing on paper as last week was, but let's hope my record continues to be quite attractive. I'm going with all favorites this week in an odd turn that I'm not crazy about, but who knows. Home teams in CAPS.

Utah (-5.5) over NOTRE DAME
There's not much I can say about this, really. Notre Dame is in shambles right now amidst tragedy and successive embarrassing losses to Navy and Tulsa. In case anyone hasn't heard yet, there was a piece in the ND student newspaper a few weeks ago calling for students to rush the field if Utah wins this game, thus giving the current group of students the honor of having witnessed the most Irish losses in a 4-year period among any class to come through the school. The Utes kissed their BCS hopes goodbye last week but should still be playing on New Year's Day if they can continue to take care of business.

OHIO STATE (-18) over Penn State
Ok, let's see how the former walk-on QB Matt McGloin does for Penn State with no variables working in his favor. He's on the road against a team that is giving up only 11 points a game at home and won't stop playing in the 3rd quarter the way Northwestern did. If Ohio State refrains from the type of mistakes that cost them the Wisconsin game and lets Terrelle Pryor and their offense play with a lead early on, I don't think Penn State will have an answer.

FLORIDA (-6.5) over South Carolina
I'm not sure where the South Carolina team that beat Alabama went, but the one I saw last week against Arkansas looked slow and out of position on defense. Florida would love to make them look just as bad in this latest Spurrier homecoming, and if the same Florida offense that beat Georgia and gave LSU all it could handle shows up, they may end up running circles around the Gamecocks' defenders. I'll take the Gators minus less than a TD at home.

Oregon (-19.5) over CALIFORNIA
This is a slight cop-out, but like Kevin said, Oregon gives you no reason to go against them. That offense just keeps coming at you and coming at you until the next thing you know there's a half a hundred points on the board. If someone picks Oregon off along the way, it's not going to be Cal.

Oklahoma State (-5.5) over TEXAS
I originally liked Texas plus the points in this game all week, but I'm having an 11th-hour change of heart. The Longhorns have lost 5 of 6 and look worse every week. Initially this game said to me "ok, let's see how good a coach Mack Brown really is now that his players are dealing with something other than prosperity." However, the other side of it got me thinking about how Mike Gundy has got to have his Cowboys smelling blood with a chance to get into the Top 10 and BCS conversation while beating Texas (for the first time in ages) along the way. I can't get the image out of my mind of Oklahoma State receivers streaking up the sidelines with the ball and running straight at Bevo. I'll take the bright orange over the burnt orange.

Last Week: 4-1-0
Season: 28-19-3

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chris Wheeler's Elite 8

I present to you Chris Wheeler's Elite 8 Rankings awkwardly presented by Steven Colbert.  Dr. Shapiro remains #1 for a record setting 128th week.

1. Dr. Shapiro
He's the best.  You wouldn't know unless I told you.  My hair is fake haha. Looks real though doesn't it.  Well now you know who I have to thank.

2. Roy Halladay 
Halladay like me has trouble sleeping.  People think he's such a tireless worker during spring training because he starts working out in the wee hours of the morning.  Take one guess to who peers over him until he wakes up? That's right me.  Roy and I have breakfast every morning because we are the only two people who are up.  You should see how fast Roy can eat an omelet.

3. Clearwater, FL
I love this place and can't wait to go back in February.  Bill's Crabshack sounds pretty good right now.

4. Dockers Stain Defender
I love Khaki pants and these are my favorite.  With the amount of Jello I eat these come in handy.  If I spill on my pants no problem I'm covered.

5. Vitality Clinic
Another reason I can't wait to get back down to Florida.  Talk about a place the revitalized my happy zone.  My wife JILL has never been happier.

6. McFadden's at the Ballpark
This is my favorite place to party before and after Phillies games.  I don't drink the firewater there but I love the Pepsi.  I will have 3 or 4 before games, free refills!  $3 buys you all the drinks you can handle after the games.

7. Pokey Reese
What a fun ball player to watch.  He was two time gold glove winner and was just a solid baseball player.  Ok honestly,  I love his name.  Pokey Resse, it doesn't get much better than that.

8. Ryan Madson
Can you imagine a better guy in the 8th spot.  Did you think this wasn't going to have Wheeler humor?

Hating the Past: Foreign Language

If you are apart of the we are in America, speak English crowd like me, you probably loathed forced language classes in middle school and high school.  It's always more challenging to learn things you have no interest in, but foreign languages are nearly impossible to learn when you not only don't care but are fundamentally against the course itself.

In middle school I took two years of Spanish for the first time and hated it.  Year one was rather basic and my teacher was moderately attractive so blow ups were few and far between.  Year two Spanish was rather annoying because my Spanish teacher doubled as my homeroom teacher.  You can imagine how annoying this might be.  I didn't really care for her and I put up with alot less shit then.  It was obviously bad seeing her twice a day especially when Spanish class seemed to overlap into homeroom. We had it out a few times.

On the first day of class we were told that we would be picking Spanish names to replace our real names for class.  The teacher would call us our Spanish names and it would be fun!  At least that's what I now suppose the idea was.  This did not go over well with me.  My name is Kevin.  Not Carlos. I'm American and not Spanish.  I'm also not Chinese and named John that would be weird.  So the teacher hands out a list of names and tells me to pick one off the list.  Per usual I suggest something off the list.  "Can I be Magglio?"  "No please pick a name off the list."  It would have been cool to be Magglio Ordonez, but I'll settle for Carlos Lee I thought.  This was well and good for a couple weeks until we had to start writing our Spanish names on our tests.  So after the first test didn't go so well, I didn't want to play her games anymore. 
"Carlos, can you write this sentence on the board?  Carlos doesn't answer.  Carlos, can you write this on the board?
"My name is Kevin.  I don't want to be called Carlos anymore." 
"Everyone in my class goes but a Spanish name."
"Why?  This isn't Spain, this is America and I'm an American and I want to be called by my real name" 
"These are the rules of my classroom, and everyone seems to follow them but you.  Now please write this sentence on the board."

This is paraphrased because my memory isn't quite that sharp but stay tuned for Part 2 of the story know as the Pete Rose incident.

5 for Saturday

24-25-1 on the season after 3-2 last week.  It was the first winning week in over a month.  Lets keep it rolling.

Penn State @ Ohio State (-17) 3:30 ABC

I do not think Penn State will be able to run the football and McFarve's luck has run out.  Penn State will need a great performance from their defense to have a chance in this one.  A blowout seems to beckon though.

Georgia @ Auburn (-8)  3:30 CBS

Distractions are possible in this game after a week of shoddy reporting by the New York Times and ESPN.  Allegations, true or not, ESPN had failed to get adeqaute sourcing until late yesterday to run a story like this.  They ran it anyways with a third handed source, and I feel bad Newton and Auburn.  I have just the slightest idea of what shoddy reporting, even if it turns out to be false can do to a person and a program. 

Georgia has a pulse now but are still not a great football team.  I'll take Auburn at home hear to outscore Georgia.  A victory over Georgia would put Auburn in the SEC Title game.

Virgina Tech (-4) @ UNC 3:30 ESPN

This should be a pretty good game by ACC standards.  In the roulette that is the ACC conference, you always bet on Tech though.  Butch Davis has done a solid job of keeping the Tarheels moving forward depsite the scandal surrounding his program.  If they manage to win this one, they will have a chance to go to the ACC title game.

South Carolina (+6.5) @ Florida  7:15 ESPN

Spurrier has done well against Florida in the past so I'll take the points here. It's unclear if Florida has truly turned the corner.  I picked South Carolina to win this division at the begining of the year and despite 3 losses they can still go to the SEC Championship.

Oregon (-19.5) @ Cal 7:30 Versus

Cal may come out and surprise here.  They are consistently inconsistent.  Sometimes they look great, other times they look awful.  Cal usually plays well at home, but does anyone really stand a chance against Oregon right now.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

5 for Sunday

Ready, set, go. Home teams in CAPS.

New Orleans (-6.5) over CAROLINA
The Saints got their aggressive defense going for them again in last week's win over Pittsburgh, and if they play half as well as they did against the Steelers I can only imagine what that would mean for Matt Moore and the Panthers offense that is already without DeAngelo Williams. The Panthers are so bad that they're taking the "when in doubt, just bet against (insert team here)" status away from the Bills.

New England (-4) over CLEVELAND
The "trap game" argument is valid here, except for the fact that well-coached teams don't have trap games. Cleveland is coming off a bye, but I'm not sure if that's really helpful considering they would have liked to keep the momentum going from their Week 7 win in New Orleans. Unless they can somehow manage another 68-yard fake punt run by their punter, I don't think the Browns sneak up on the Patriots, who for the first time since the Corey Dillon days look like they have a legitimate running back in BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Tampa Bay (+9) over ATLANTA
The Bucs are 3-0 on the road and the Falcons are 3-0 at home, so something will give here. Tampa, seemingly out of nowhere, has an offense that is young, fast, and opportunistic and I like Josh Freeman's chances of keeping them in this NFC South tilt, especially considering the Falcons don't light up the scoreboard and only have one real downfield threat. I'm not on the Buc bandwagon just yet, but this line seems 3 points too high.

Indianapolis (+3) over PHILADELPHIA
Meaningless fact pertaining this game #1: Andy Reid is 11-0 coming off a bye as coach of the Eagles. Meaningless fact pertaining to this game #2: the Eagles have never beaten Peyton Manning. Meaningful fact pertaining to this game #1: Dwight Freeney will be going up against Jason Peters. Meaningful fact pertaining to this game #2: Ellis Hobbs is out for the Eagles, leaving Dimitri Patterson to make his first NFL start against Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne.

Pittsburgh (-4.5) over CINCINNATI (Monday Night)
The Bengals are bad. The Steelers aren't bad. There's not much more to it than that. If the Pittsburgh defense forces Carson Palmer into a few mistakes, the Monday Night crowd may have to resort to booing the hell out of Ben Roethlisberger as its sole source of entertainment.

Last Week: 4-1-0
Season: 18-20-2

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cinq Pour Samedi

Through no intention of my own, my quest for an above-.500 NCAA season has entered ultra-conservative "run out the clock" mode where all I do is teeter around .500 every week just to protect my early-season cushion. Anyway, this week features five meetings between ranked teams, so finding five games to take a stance on was fairly easy. Home teams in CAPS.

OKLAHOMA STATE (-8.5) over Baylor
If you looked at this game back in September and tried to guess the line (although I can't begin to imagine how much of a degenerate you'd have to be to do so), this game would have looked like a 10.5-12 point job. All of a sudden, Baylor has crept into the Top 25 with consecutive wins over Kansas State and a napping Texas team. Oklahoma State gets receiver Justin Blackmon back, needs this game to keep their Big 12 chances alive, and is coming off maybe their best defensive effort of the year. Not that they exactly value defense in the Big 12, but I say the Cowboys make the few stops that the Bears don't and win it by 10-13 points, maybe 38-27.

LSU (+6.5) over Alabama
I'm going to eat my words about LSU from earlier this year and say they have a pretty good chance to end Alabama's repeat hopes this Saturday. Both teams are coming off a bye so the matchup will pretty much be at full strength, and if LSU's secondary can keep Julio Jones & Co. in front of them they should find that Greg McElroy isn't quite as tough to defend as Cameron Newton. Alabama figures to earn its keep by running the ball in this game, and 6.5 points in a run-heavy game at home is enough to make me go with my first instinct. Despite the game being in Death Valley, LSU is going to have to make the ticking clock its 12th man, as their chances of winning go down mightily if it becomes necessary to score more than 21 points.

Texas Christian (-5) over UTAH
Call this the battle of the non-Boises. I'm looking forward to seeing these teams play each other and the winner make their case as the non-AQ that deserves to go to the dance. Each team has taken turns pounding the hell out of their conference up to this point, with the exception being Utah's 28-23 squeaker where they were outgained by Air Force last week. The points at home for Utah are tempting here, but TCU rushes for 270 yards a game - I don't care who you play, that is impressive. The Horned Frogs should be able to hold the ball and take the Utah crowd out of the game as time goes by. The Utes have a very good defense in their own right (267 ypg), but as long as football has been played, a team that can run the ball can do almost anything it wants. I think TCU puts it away with a late, clock-eating TD drive.

Arkansas (+4.5) over SOUTH CAROLINA
Not sure why this line is more than 3, unless people are comparing these teams to each other by looking at how each team played Auburn (a 65-43 loss for Arkansas and a 35-27 loss for South Carolina). However, they're not playing Auburn, they're playing each other. In that case, the fact that the Gamecocks give up 260 yards passing a game (286 ypg at home to boot) while Arkansas throws for 360 a game (#2 in the country) is more than enough to convince me to take the 4.5 here.

Arizona (+9.5) over STANFORD
The winner of this game emerges as a Rose Bowl frontrunner, assuming Oregon stays on track. The Wildcats enter this game giving up only 88 yards rushing per game and 2.6 yards per carry, and if that isn't enough to make you think they can stay within 9 of Stanford, then consider that this line opened at 7, so a bet for Arizona is a bet against the public.

Last Week: 2-3-0
Season: 24-18-3

C'Mon Man!

Every now and then you have to give ESPN its due, and I'll gladly say the "C'Mon Man!" segments during Monday Night Countdown are pretty funny. For those who did not watch the video I linked to, "C'mon Man!" is something of a blooper reel from the previous day's NFL games, in which each studio guy points out someone who did something stupid, goofy, annoying, or all of the above. Every time I see the segment, I feel obligated to relate it to recent people and happenings from my life and all of our lives. So, here goes:

-The Princeton Junction NJ Transit station, for giving me a $60 parking ticket for parking in the farthest stretch of their lot, in off-peak hours while all the permit holders already had a spot and there were about 100 empty spots left over. C'mon man!
-Jason Garrett and his "I went to Princeton and I want to remind you guys every chance I get how smart I am" approach to playcalling. C'mon man!
-Whoever the decision-makers are behind 75% of this year's especially terrible political commercials leading up to Election Day. C'mon man!
-Roger Goodell and the NFL's higher-ups, who in one breath tell you the game has gotten too dangerous, and in the next breath tell you the regular season should be 18 games long. C'mon man!
-Anyone I've been stuck behind on a golf course in the past 5 months. C'mon man!
-The guy who eats tuna from the can at work and stinks up the whole floor. C'mon man!
-The AL and NL Central, whose champions each got swept out of the Division Series (even though I wasn't rooting for either of them). C'mon man!
-Dudes who do curls while standing in a squat rack. C'mon man!
-Javier Vazquez, AJ Burnett, and pretty much every Yankee pitcher not named Andy, CC, Phil, Kerry, or Mariano. C'mon man!
-Dallas area sports fans and Cowboys season ticket holders, for allowing the Cowboys-Bears game in Week 2 to be played in front of 35-40% Bears fans. C'mon man!
-Anyone who plays softball and yells "left foot!" when a left handed batter comes to the plate. What the hell is "left foot?" That's the stupidest goddamn thing I've heard in my life. C'mon man!
-People who change lanes in a tight spot without signaling. C'mon man!
-Vinny from Jersey Shore acting like a total sucker for that Ramona girl in Miami. She had a body like a 10 but a face like a Yogi Berra 1953 game-used catcher's mitt. C'mon man!
-Anyone who buys jewelry from a store such as Jared, Kay, or anywhere else that makes those putrid commercials that will be consistently polluting my TV for the next 8 weeks. Buying jewelry is fine. Buying from one of those stores? Not fine. You are not only indirectly supporting those commercials, but you are also potentially contributing to more of this utter garbage down the road. C'mon man!
-Those who have lived in the Northeast their whole lives yet still react as if the next Ice Age is imminent once November hits and we see highs of less than 60. Not only does this happen every year, but two months from now you'll be killing for this kind of weather. C'mon man!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5 for Saturday

1-4 last week and I am in a tailspin as bad as Michigan football.  21-23-1 on the season now. 

Georgia Tech (+13.5) @ Virginia Tech 7:30 Thursday ESPN

I would guess this game is close based on the run game of Georiga Tech and a chained up offense of Va Tech.

Baylor (+7.5) @ Oklahoma St. 12:30 FSN Saturday

Maybe Baylor isn't ready for prime time but Oklahoma State isn't exactly a dominating team either.  Robert Griffin III will keep this close.

TCU (-5) @ Utah 3:30 CSTV

One team will finally lose all the hype in the polls they have gotten.  For the record, both these teams have had better programs than Boise St and would be far more deserving than Boise St. in the event a mid major goes to the title game.  Having said that, come year end no mid major will have done enough to deserve a title game appearance.

Alabama (-6) @ LSU 3:30 CBS

Bama still has Mythical National Championship hopes in mind.  LSU has come along on offense a little bit but they should struggle to get to 17 points in this game.  An LSU win would leave Auburn as the only hope for another SEC MNC.

Arizona @ Stanford (-9.5) 8 ABC/ Gameplan

There is public overeaction to this line but I still like Stanford here.  They are the better team by a touchdown and are playing at home.  That should make up 10 points.

Transgender to Play Women's Basketball

Which one, is not like the other?


A female-to-male transgender member of the George Washington women's basketball team wants to be identified as a man this season.

Junior Kye Allums -- who used to be known as Kay-Kay -- is referred to on the school's website as a "male member of George Washington's women's basketball team."

"GW has been supportive during this transition. This means a lot. I didn't choose to be born in this body and feel the way I do. I decided to transition -- that is, change my name and pronouns -- because it bothered me to hide who I am, and I am trying to help myself and others to be who they are," Allums said in a statement posted Tuesday on the website.

"I told my teammates first, and they, including my coaches, have supported me. My teammates have embraced me as the big brother of the team," continued Allums, who turned 21 last month. "They have been my family, and I love them all."

A story posted Monday on reported that "Allums will be the first publicly transgender person" to play NCAA Division I college basketball. NCAA spokesman Rick Nixon did not immediately reply to a request for comment Tuesday from the AP.

Not to worry, NAGAYT has tracked down the story and has received comment from NCAA Spokesman Rick Nixon. Nixon was surprised to learn of the story yesterday and when asked what the NCAA intends to do he was candid.

 "How the hell should I know? I mean what do you do with something like that? This Shim seems to be using an unfair advantage playing on the women's team.  The good thing is that with this being women's basketball, no one cares.  This story will pass in a few days and everyone can go back to ignoring the sport. 

George Washington has throw their support behind Kyle, formerly know as Kye.  Nixon believes GW is at a loss for what has taken place.  "I mean in this day in age you can't ask someone to drop their pants before they play.  You can't check the equipment down there, coaches have gotten in trouble for that in the past.  GW is being PC and is taking the high road.  Its the female sport with possibly the lowest form of entertainment so what do they care? 

Allums started 20 games for George Washington last season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in 24.9 minutes. Allums scored a career-high 21 points in a 58-50 victory over La Salle on Jan. 24.

La Salle's coach last season has since been fired.  Some believe it was in large part to the embarrassing defeat to GW.  Tom Locker disagreed with the fact that Kye impact made a big difference.  "I could have used our whole men's team and we still would have lost the game.  I mean have you seen how awful Giannini's team is?"

A side note, there is a former Cherry Hill East player on this team.