Monday, August 27, 2007

The Anti-Trojan Man

I have to take a break from football previews to bring you this breaking news. Travis Henry has nine, i repeat nine children by nine different women!!!!!!!! Use condoms young man. If the ridiculous amount of child support you pay isn't enough to make you use them Mr. Henry, maybe you should read this.

In other news, Mike Vick plead guilty and apologized for all the things he's done. It was a good move on his part, especially speaking without notes and asking kids to use him as an example of what not to do. See you in 2009/2010. (My thoughts on the Vick situation).

Lesson for today: If you don't use condoms, you might have children and if you fund a dogfighting enterprise, you're probably going to lose a lot of money.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Football Preview Pt. 2 (College Edition)

It’s almost time for College Football to rescue us from the boredom that is August. Forget NFL preseason, the NCAA’s playoffs essentially begin a week from tomorrow. That’s what I love about NCAA football the most, every single game counts. That said, you almost certainly have to go undefeated to guarantee yourself a shot at the national title. And if you aren’t in a major conference, no losses probably won’t be enough to get you a title shot. (see Boise St. – 06, Utah – 04)

That said, you shouldn’t judge College Football by who the best team is, but who has the best chance to go undefeated. Without further ado, here’s my NCAA top 15, based on who has the best chance to win the title.

15. Florida State – Bobby Bowden has been somewhat down in recent years, but he’s far from out. This year, he could be 9-0 headed into a match up with Virginia Tech. The tough part about that game is that it’s in Blacksburg. The good thing is Tech always struggles against FSU. Their final game of the season is against Florida in the Swamp, which will also be a very tough game. The Seminoles are more experienced than the Gators, which will help them. Unfortunately, I expect them to finish the season 10-2.

14. Penn State – The Nittany Lions had a decent season last year, following their surprise 2005 run to a BCS game. This year, they are poised for another great season. Their biggest challenges seem to be Michigan on the road and Wisconsin at home. If they can somehow knock of the Wolverines, they should have an inside track to the title game.

13. Rutgers – Rutgers is actually ranked this year, which is a major benefit for the Scarlet Knights. It’s hard to get the poll points needed to have a good BCS average if you begin the season unranked. The voters don’t usually pay attention to everyone, and a team like Rutgers off 2006 can get lost in the shuffle until it is 8-0. However, just like last year, they still have to beat West Virginia and Louisville to have a chance. I don’t think they can defeat either.

12. Cal – Cal is slightly overrated to me, as they are quarterbacked by the very overrated Nate Longshore. That said, they still have DeSean Jackson, Justin Forsett, and a very talented secondary on the other side of the ball. Too bad they have to play UCLA on the road.

11. UCLA – Karl Dorrell has rebuilt the Bruins program. They are also energized after knocking off USC and preventing the Trojans from once again making it to the National Championship. This year, the Trojans may be the only team standing between them and a shot at the title. UCLA is poised to have a sleeper/breakout season. If they can get past pesky Oregon State and Arizona and topple overrated Cal at home, their Dec 1 showdown with USC should be one for the ages.

10. Louisville – Louisville did a good job replacing Michael Bush last year. This year they have to replace Bobby Petrino as well. As long as the new coach doesn’t stop throwing the ball, they should remain a very formidable team. They’re also aided by a creampuff schedule. If they knock of West Virginia, they’ll have a great chance, but the computer (and games against Murray State and Middle Tennessee) may ultimately seal their fate.

9. Arkansas – Once again, the Razorbacks are a major sleeper. Mitch Mustain and his band of merry men are gone, and the Hogs can concentrate on playing the best players on their team. Fortunately for them, those players include Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Casey Dick. Another positive for Arkansas is the fact that they only have 4 road games: Alabama on Sept 15, Mississippi on Oct 20, Tennessee (overrated) on Nov 10, and LSU (slightly overrated) on Nov 24.

8. Florida – Right now, Florida has 5 ranked teams on their schedule, in addition to a road games at South Carolina and Kentucky. Couple that with all their loses from last year’s title team and it will be very tough for the Gators to repeat. However, Tim Tebow is the best quarterback for Urban Myer’s offense and Percy Harvin’s 2008 Heisman campaign will begin this year.

7. Virginia Tech – The highest ranked ACC team (#9) has a tough road ahead for a chance at the title. After a warm up against East Carolina, they essentially start the season on the road against LSU. They also have a road game against Clemson who’s always tough at home and could potentially face Florida State twice this season. The Hokies do have a top 3 defense and a decent offense, and they will have the nation behind them as they will put Virginia Tech in the national spotlight for the first time since the Cho Massacre.

6. Wisconsin – Wisconsin is a sleeper program. They are normally good, they have a ton of NFL players and a ton of players on their team that will play on Sundays soon. Yet, besides P.J. Hill, they field a team of unknowns. If they are able to knock off their major Big Ten rivals (Penn and Ohio St, and Michigan) it will be hard to deny them a chance at the title.

5. LSU – A lot is riding on the arm of Matt Flynn as he leads the #2 Tigers this season and has to follow in JaMarcus Russell’s footsteps. I think LSU is overrated, but they do have a somewhat favorable schedule in their favor. All of their games against ranked opponents come at home. Yet, four ranked opponents will be hard to beat anywhere, and they also have to travel to Kentucky and Alabama. I expect at least one, if not two losses for LSU this year.

4. West Virginia – WVU is the most electric team in college football. Pat White and Steve Slaton always put on a show in Rich Rodriguez’s fastbreak offense. Just like last year, the only thing that seems to be in their way is themselves. That and a creampuff schedule. They should run the table in the Big East this year, but could also end up as the 3rd wheel, like Auburn a few years back.

3. Michigan – Michigan is this year’s Ohio State; a tough Big Ten team with everyone coming back following a great season. This year, they get Ohio State at home, who should be down anyway. Also at home, they face Penn State, and they must travel to Wisconsin towards the end of the year. They tool, have a good chance of going undefeated, and a better chance of making it to the title game than the Mountaineers because of their conference affiliation.

2. Texas – Texas is stacked. They also play in the suspect Big 12. Oklahoma and Nebraska are very overrated, and Texas shouldn’t have any problems with them. The team they should have problems with, a team they always struggle against, is Texas A&M, which will have the 12th man in their favor for this season’s match up. If they get past the Aggies, it could be UCS/Texas pt. 2.

1. USC – USC has the most talented team in the nation. They always have a crazy recruiting class, their defense will be immaculate, and John David Booty is an excellent QB. The ball is in their court, and they should go all the away unless they have a mental lapse somewhere down the road.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Football Preview Pt. 1 (Fantasy Edition)

Its that time of year again. I figure since everyone else is doing it, why not? That is making bold and probably stupid predictions. Except, I'm going to try to be smarter than everyone else.

That said, I'm going to start of with a fantasy football preview which is sure to turn some heads. Luckily for me, nobody reads this stuff, including my opponents.

Top 5 QB's
1. Peyton Manning – He’s been the best QB over the past four or five years, statistically at least. In the past 3 years, he’s thrown for 108 TD’s, which is almost 650 points in TD’s alone. He should be everyone’s number one pick each year. This year, his numbers should be better than last year’s with the addition of rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez and a healthy Dallas Clark at TE.
2. Tom Brady – Brady is the most successful QB of this era. Yet, he never really puts up big numbers. Part of this is the Pat’s offense, but most of it is because his receivers suck. This year he has Randy Moss, Dante Stallworth, and Wes Welker to play along side the ex-Florida Gators and 49-year-old Troy Brown. That said, putting perhaps the game’s most accurate passer with a top 3 receiving corp should lead to Brady having a career year.
3. Carson PalmerCP9 bounced back from his playoff knee injury to have a solid year. However, there were times that he didn’t seem comfortable with his knee or with Ocho Cinco y Ochenta y Cuatro (T.J. Houshmandzedah – yes I looked up the spelling of that). This year, he’s knee is fine and reports say Chad and T.J. are looking better than ever.
4. Drew Brees – In my theory of NFL QB’s there were only four dudes that could be successful on any offense with any set of players in any scheme. After leading the freakin’ Saints to the NFC Championship game, Brees made that list grow to five. He should thrive in his second year in the offense, and the addition of Robert Meachem should be a plus.
5. Donovan McNabb – The heat is on Donovan this year. He’s coming off a bad knee injury and the Birds drafted his replacement in the 2nd round this year. The year before last, he also failed to finish the season due to an injury. The year before that, he failed to close the Super Bowl due to _____ (somehow, he and the Eagles got away with not having to address that). And the three year’s before that he failed to lead the Eagles out of the NFC title game. For all those failures, the past three year’s have been the best of his career. While the knee injury should slow him down and could keep him out of the first few games of the season, look for him to continue to play better than he’s ever played, for the most part.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Vince Young – I love Vince Young. He was my favorite player while he was in college and was well on his way to becoming my favorite in the NFL. Yet, he decided it would be a good idea to appear on the cover of Madden, which of course is always a bad idea. Unfortunately, something bad is going to happen to VY this year, injury, legal trouble, struggles, etc. In addition, his receivers suck really bad.
2. Trent Green – Trent Green is washed up, and he will continue to disappoint Dolphin’s fans, as they have yet to replace Dan Marino with somebody decent.
3. Matt Schaub – If he was that good, the Falcons probably would’ve kept him. Although, they could probably use him, he might be a little better than Joey Harrington. Unfortunately for Texans fans, he won’t be that much better.

Top 5 RB's
1. Stephen Jackson – Over the past few years, there has been a different running back to shine brighter than his peers. Last year, it was LDT, year before that LJ, before that it was Shaun Alexander. This year, it will be Stephen Jackson, who could become the second running back to catch 100 passes in a season this year.
2. LaDainian Tomlinson – Either two things are going to happen with this dude’s career. 1 – They will give him the ball less, to keep him healthier longer. 2 – They will continue to give him the ball like crazy, which will unfortunately shorten his career/end his reign as the most dangerous player in the league. Either way, his numbers will go down.
3. Brian Westbrook – The Eagles will need this dude more than ever this year. Andy Reid’s seat is probably getting a little warmer, so he’ll need to ride this dude more often this year while Donovan gets himself back up to speed.
4. Willie Parker – The Steelers will probably throw the ball more. That said, Parker is about to have a true breakout season. Last year, he had a lot of yards without the touchdowns to match. This year, he should see an increase in both receiving yards and overall touchdowns.
5. Travis Henry – He’s the best back Mike Shannahan has had since Clinton Portis. Therefore, he should put up close 1,500 yards this year, if not more.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Larry Johnson
– Potentially ugly holdout + generally poor disposition + too many carries = Not a good luck for your fantasy team.
2. Shaun Alexander – This is my biased pick of the year so far. I just don’t like this dude.
3. Joseph Addai – Joseph Addai is a good back. However, so is Dominic Rhodes. You wouldn’t draft D.Rhodes with an early round pick, so why would you waste one on this dude?

Top 5 WR's
1. Chad Johnson
– He’s led the AFC in receiving yards for the last four years. Carson Palmer is 100% healthy again. This dude is back to being flamboyant and fun loving, and he even beat a horse in a race. Be prepared for anything, especially production.
2. Torry Holt – He is like the forgotten man of receivers. But he’s also usually one of the most productive, and his hands are amazing. I expect the Rams offense to resemble the 99-01 Rams this year, and this dude will help put them back in the playoffs.
3. Steve Smith – He’s a bad man. Dwyane Jarrett will help, but he’s still pretty much all they have at WR in Carolina.
4. Terrell Owens – Terry Glenn was Drew Bledsoe’s dude. T.O. is Tony Romo’s boy. Romo is trying to get paid after this year, and T.O. is all about numbers – money and stats.
5. Roy Williams – I saw highlights of a Lions preseason game where the defense was already shifting over to Calvin Johnson’s side. In the words of another Roy, “Y’all must’ve forgot” that Roy Williams is nasty. Career year for this dude.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Wes Welker – For some reason, people seem to like him as a fantasy sleeper. He can catch, but he’s not really as fast as people think. While Moss and Stallworth (when healthy) will thrive, I think Welker will be caught in the shuffle.
2. Terry Glenn - Terry Glenn was Drew Bledsoe’s dude. T.O. is Tony Romo’s boy. Glenn’s numbers will probably decrease, while T.O.’s and Jason Whitten’s will increase.
3. Donald Driver – His success is tied to the success of Brett Favre. Ouch.

Top Five TE's
1. Antonio Gates – Tight Ends have been down recently, but this should be an up year for Gates, since him and Phillip Rivers have had time to gel.
2. Kellen Winslow – Often the butt of many jokes, including mine, is Kellen. Yet, this dude can ball, and he’ll finally get to show what he can do. Maybe.
3. Vernon Davis – He was hurt last year, but this dude is a freak. As Alex Smith continues to improve as a QB, he’ll look to Davis.
4. Randy McMichael – Randy McMichael is the best TE that Marc Bulger has ever had, and the Dolphins will regret cutting him. Additionally, Isaac Bruce is slowing down, so Randy should pick up his slack.
5. Tony Gonzalez – He’s also slowing down. Additionally, he might be playing with essentially a rookie at QB. His numbers should be down, but still better than most.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Alge Crumpler – He was Vick’s go to guy. Now we get to see how good he really is. He’s also very slow. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, just wanted to put that out there.
2. Jeremy Shockey – Overrated, usually a disappointment, has Eli Manning at QB.
3. Greg Olsen – There is a lot of talk of him being a freak of nature. That’s cool, but he probably won’t even start for half of the season.

Top Five K's
1. Adam Vinatieri – Best kicker in the game.
2. Jeff Wilkins – One of the game’s best, plays a lot of games indoors, and will be kicking for a potent offense.
3. Olindo Mare – Moves indoors after playing in Miami. Accuracy and distance should improve, plus his offense will put him in position to score lots of points.
4. Jason Elam – Always consistent.
5. David Akers – Always consistent.

Avoid These Dudes
1. Nate Kaeding – Don’t like him in the clutch.
2. Mike Nugent – He’s beginning to look like a bust.
3. Lawrence TynesDidn’t like him in KC, definitely don’t like him with the NY Giants.

Top Five Defenses
1. Baltimore – One of the two defenses you could pick early and not feel bad about it.
2. Chicago – The second of the two defenses you could pick early and not feel bad about it.
3. San Diego – A young defense gets a little older, which means they’ll be smarter and better, though the loss of Donnie Edwards should hurt.
4. New England – Added Adalius Thomas to an already dangerous defense. If they can get Asante Samuel back on the field look out. Either way, the quest to go 16-0 should be in full effect.
5. Oakland – If they were good under Art Shell, they should be good under anybody. Stranger things have happened.

Avoid These Groups of Dudes
1. Pittsburgh
– I’m not really feeling that Mike Tomlin dude. This will likely be a down year for the ‘Burgh.
2. Dallas – I have a bad feeling about Dallas this year, for some reason.
3. NY Giants – I really expect these guys to self destruct this season. They’re also suspect at linebacker and corner.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

For Every July, There's an August.

Here's my latest and greatest. Like the title says, no matter how much July sucks as a sports month (this July was the worst month ever), August is always there with pennant races, NBA trades, and most importantly the return of football.

Add to that Rick Ankiel hitting a homerun in his first game with the Cardinals as an outfielder.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What Else Is He Supposed To Do?

PacMan Jones is not very smart.

Dude doesn't even know how many times he's been arrested. Unfortunately, his stupidity and propensity to attend strip clubs seemed to be the root of his problems, and probably go hand in hand. (Although, he's also a police target, and one of the cases brought against him wrongfully was dismissed.)

Dude is dumb enough to go to the strip club for a meal in the middle of the night, on the eve of his meeting with the NFL commissioner. Now I know most people think he's lying about going to the strip club to eat, and no girls being there, but I really think he's that stupid to go to the strip club to eat.

"Yo, yall tryin to get somethin to eat?"

"Yeah, i'm starvin like Marvin."

"Aight, lets go to Shakers, I like they ribs"

"Yo, Pac, you sure you want to go to the strip club dog? Ain't you gonna get in more trouble?"

"Naw man, it's cool, ain't no bitches there on Wednesday night. Plus I know the owner, its straight."

"Forreal fam?"

"Yea dog. Trust yah boy, I got everything under control."

In his mind, the best thing he could do to keep himself out of trouble is wrestling. Adam joined TNA wrestling, and was set to make his debut on Sunday, until the Titans took a restraining order out on him to stop it. Yup, they won't let the man wrestle. Apparently wrestling is dangerous, which violates his contract. Therefore, Tennessee is making him sit out.

To that I say, what else is he supposed to do? Get a regular job? He's obviously not bright, so I don't think an office job is for him. A blue collar gig would also be potentially dangerous.

My friend Steve used to have a job as a manager of a FedEx facility during the night shift. It was a running gig of ours, that washed up celebrities and athletes would end up working for Steve, who was 21 at the time. Steve's quit since then, so PacMan can't even do that.

Well Pac, if you're looking for work, you can come work for me as an Intramural official. We start at 6.75 an hr, and you'll be the first football player at Drexel in a long time.

Or the Titans can let him wrestle. I mean, wrestling is fake! Its not like he's dumb enough to do something dangerous like jump 10 feet on to a concrete floor, or have an elaborate entrance that incorporates sliding down a cable into the ring from the rafters during a fireworks show. I mean he's not that dumb is he? O yea, it is PacMan Jones we're talking about.

O well, I'm off to the strip club for a nice, quiet dinner.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Class (Act) of 2007

Michael Irvin's Hall of Fame speech was definately one for the ages.

The best thing about a guy like Michael Irvin is the fact that he's completely human. The same Michael Irvin on the field is the same Michael Irvin off the field and in front of the camera.

Alot of guys today (probably due to the insane media scruitiny they face, the prevelance of personal and team PR, etc.) are strictly corporate line players.

Mike Irvin always shoots from the hip. He talks first and thinks about it later. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad, but at least its real. Sometimes athletes are judged more by what happens off the field than what happens on the field.

On the field he was clearly one of the best players in the history of the game. Yet, it might've been some of his off the field problems that kept him out of the Hall last year. Not only is it wrong to judge his play by his off the field problems, he's clearly learned from his mistake and has become a role model and a hero for anybody who's ever hit rock bottom.

The full video of his speech can be found here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Leastern Conference Champs?????

Ok, so the big KG to Boston trade is done. After the smoke cleared, Minnesota received Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff’s expiring contract, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, and two 1st round draft picks for their trouble.

Now, they are apparently the favorite to win the east. I say, not so fast, for several reasons. Ok, let me put myself out there by saying that my love for Bill Simmons’ work has made me a hater of all Boston teams. Paul Pierce, who was one of my favorite players when he first entered the league, is now one of my least favorites.

Now, for the unbiased part of the program I shall examine Boston’s flaws, and all the positives of the other Eastern Conference teams.

First, all the Celtics have on their team is KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. Their projected starting five is Rajon Rondo, a decent point guard prospect, Ray at the 2, Pierce at the 3, KG at the 4 and Kendrick Perkins at center, who pretty much sucks.

The bench, according to Yahoo! Sports is Allan Ray (trash), Tony Allen (good, but kinda psycho), “Big Baby” Glen Davis (decent, but short rookie prospect), Leon Powe (serviceable big man), Gabe Pruitt (mysterious guy from USC), Brian Scalabrine (sucks), and Brandon Wallace (I have no idea who this man is).

Now that Troy Hudson has been released, maybe they can convince him to sign for the minimum and be their point guard. Not that he’s much better than Rondo.

God forbid that any of their big three get hurt, their season will be done. What makes matters worse, Allen and Pierce have been somewhat injury prone the past two seasons and KG has a billion miles on him, which makes him vulnerable for an injury.

Out of those bench guys, I only really like Allen, Davis, and Powe. An eight man rotation, relying on five guys with no more than one year of experience, besides Tony Allen is awful.

Chemistry wise, I think the trio will work fine. Well that’s if Doc Rivers doesn’t try to coach the team. Offensively, they can run the offense through KG or Pierce, depending on who’s hot. Allen is a jump shooter; he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. In fact, Pierce is probably the only one of the trio that does need the ball to be effective. KG would still average a double-double without any plays run for him, like Shawn Marion.

Defense is another story. I’m not so sure that Ray Allen can be an effective defender. Rondo, from what I understand, is supposed to be a good defender. KG and Pierce are decent, and Perkins is decent I think as well.

Another thing to consider, they’re not the only team in the East. My current favorite in the East, the Bulls, haven’t done much to their roster. I like them because of maturity of their young players. Joakim Noah will also be a solid rookie. Even though they don’t have a low post scorer, their offense will be good and their defense is solid.

Many analysts think the Pistons will challenge, but I think they’re done. Dumars should’ve blown up the team; he still has time to do this.

I like the Nets a lot. They’ll be getting Krstic back, and Jamaal Magloire will basically replace Collins in their rotation. Add that with their big three and a young, athletic bench. I also believe this will be their last season as a threat.

Miami is also dangerous, solely because of Dwayne Wade.

My sleeper team in the East this year is Charlotte, who will contend for a playoff spot. (Well, they’re my August 1 sleeper, so this of course is subject to change)

And of course, you can’t count out Agent Zero and his gang. Plus, expect Cleveland to make a panic trade for Mike Bibby to play point guard. (I hope they trade Varajeo for Bibby instead of Gooden, for their sake).

The point is this; the East was bad last year, especially in the playoffs. However, at least within the conference, the games will be competitive. Even if the Celtics win the conference, with the team they have, I doubt they can be called a true title contender. I don’t know how much money they have to spend, but with that roster, there is still much work to do.