Friday, October 30, 2009

Make no mistake, Game Two of this 2009 World Series was a must win game for the New York Yankees.

After the defending champs, led by a miraculous and composed Cliff Lee disposed of the Yankees and their ace C.C. Sabathia with ease in Game One they were on the brink of the point of no return already.

Instead, A.J. Burnett and his mascot catcher Jose Molina went out for the Yankees and threw seven innings of gems allowing only a few scattered hits, a lone run and striking out 9. Molina justified his mascot presence not only by Burnett's performance but additionally by picking off Jason Werth in the 4th inning which, other than a foolish failure to have their two base runners going with a full count, down by two in the 8th and hitting into a double play instead, was one of the critical turning points of the game.

Although he didn't win, he didn't disappoint...5 2-3 innings, vintage Pedro was on display — minus the overpowering fastball of his heyday. He didn't need it. Martinez baffled the Yankees with offspeed pitches and sneaky fastballs.

Joe Girardi answered critics of his perceived overmanagement by using only one arm out of the bullpen. Two innings of relentless Mariano Rivera was sufficient to nail it down.

"They're the best team we've played all year," New York's Derek Jeter said. "They're champs for a reason, and we need to play well if we're going to beat them."


Giants at Eagles for first place in the NFC East followed by Brett Favre's return to Lambeau Field in a Vikings uniform, a titanic match up, followed by Game 4 of the World Series in Philly which will also be a must-win game for whomever loses Game 3 on Halloween Night. Philly is nearly ground sporting zero.

Yes, yes, missed another week of predictions - it was essentially an uninspirational week but this week, here we go:


DEN @ BAL: Undefeated pretenders against what once and intimidating team but now an O for October Baltimore Ravens team who have little choice but to end Denver's season-long win streak. Both teams are coming off a bye week. Baltimore 24 Denver 21

NYG @ PHI; The Giants are reeling on a diet of NFL-level competition after wiping up a bunch of muppets and looking good. The pattern is the Giants can't beat teams that are any good. The Eagles aren't great, nor are they pretty. Will Michael Vick finally factor? What you've got to figure is how often the Giants seem to have their number. Giants 27 Iggles 21

MIA @ NYJ: Rooting with heart rather than head. Despite their wobbles, the Jets simply have to revenge that hideous loss a few Monday nights ago on national telly. Jets 24 Dolphins 17.

SF @ IND: Can anyone beat these Colts? Well surely the 49ers could be inspired but logically, these teams are simply uneven on paper. Colts 33 49ers 17

STL @ DET: A great WHO CARES game featured in this week's Anti-Football League match. Lions had the week off and time to get their rookie QB back to reasonable health. No chance. Lions 38 Rams 23.

SEA @ DAL: Which Cowboys team? Which Seahawks team? Who knows? Tony Romo has a habit of sucking most of the time and occasionally playing over his head. He's just had an over-the-head game last week so we aren't expecting consecutive ones. Seahawks 24 Cowboys 21.

HOU @ BUF: Oh god how these Texans are everybody's darlings this season. Buffalo have won two in a row. Which charade stops first? Texans 28 Bills 23

CLE @ CHI: These games, mismatches highlighting the distinct lack of parity in the NFL this season, have traditionally been blowouts. Cutler is due to bounce back from a row of mediocrity but not the Browns. Bears 37 Browns 13

OAK @ SD: The Raiders have had their moment in the sun beating Philly like that. The Chargers won't want that kind of humiliation. Chargers 31 Raiders 13.

JAC @ TEN: The Who Fucking Cares Bowl of the Anti-Football League. I'm tempted not even to bother putting a score up here but what the hell, let's root for those poor, miserable Titans, eh? Titans 23 Jags 20.

MIN @ GB: It's about time Favre goes down, innit? The swift decline may have begun already in Pittsburgh last week. You hate to bet against this guy where pride is on the line but somehow the Packers must feel like they will be humiliated forever if they lose this. Packers 26 Vikings 23.

CAR @ ARI: This is the kind of game you might expect an upset. Cards rolling, Panthers spitting out the bile of a home loss to Buffalo of all teams. Short week for the Cards as well. Are they motivated? Are they hungry? They've yet to beat anyone good but they can be a good running team. Controlled atmo, I'm going with the upset because I still hate the Cards and don't want to root for them so long as their Johnny Come Lately Jesus Freak of a QB is still there. Panthers 28 Cardinals 27.

ATL @ NO: Great Monday night match up in the Superdome. Big stage, the Saints look indomitable. Although they might be ripe for upset and the Falcons are coming off a stunning loss, this might be another half-shoot out where the Saints do all the shooting. Saints 38 Falcons 24.

What's my record now on this half-hearted season of two weeks of picks out of 7? 21-9, that's what. But that's on the back of a 14-2 opening record, that's what. So the stock is tumbling.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


World Series matchups.

Even without the World Series, this was destined to be a busy weekend in South Philadelphia. On Saturday night — opposite Game 3 — Pearl Jam is playing a concert for the final event at the 42-year-old Spectrum. On Sunday afternoon — before Game 4 — the Eagles are playing the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. Both stadiums sit across Pattison Avenue from Citizens Bank Park.

Looking forward to Game Two already:

Pedro's Pitching...

His playoff history against the Yankees goes back a decade, to Game 3 of the 1999 American League Championship Series, when, while pitching for Boston, he threw seven shutout innings. In the 2003 and 2004 postseasons, Martinez faced the Yankees five times, insinuating himself in the middle of some of the rivalry’s most memorable moments: pushing Don Zimmer, then a 72-year-old Yankees coach, in a skirmish during the 2003 A.L.C.S.; staying in too long, as it turned out, in Game 7 of the 2003 A.L.C.S.; and calling the Yankees “my daddy.”

Game 1: Phillies at Yankees
7:57 p.m. Wednesday
Game 2: Phillies at Yankees
7:57 p.m. Thursday
Game 3: Yankees at Phillies
7:57 p.m. Saturday
Game 4: Yankees at Phillies
8:20 p.m. Sunday
Game 5: Yankees at Phillies*
7:57 p.m. Monday
Game 6: Phillies at Yankees*
7:57 p.m. Nov. 4
Game 7: Phillies at Yankees*


As always, Bill Conlin weighs in:

Howard meditates:


Game One: Phillies in extra innings 4-3.
Game Two: Yankees 9-4
Game Three: Yankees 5-4
Game Four:Phillies 3-2
Game Five: Yankees 9-8
Game Six: Phillies 7-5
Game Seven: Yankees 4-3

7:57 p.m. Nov. 5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


First of all, a shitty NFL weekend, or Monday night really, watching the Jets once-miraculous defence suddenly mystified but the Dolphins and their gimmick offence. Rex Ryan? What happened to this defensive genius? Is this the beginning of the end? Two good things; Sanchez looked reasonable in bouncing back from that rookie-like performance against the Saints last week and Braylon Edwards, whom the Jets got for a steal trade last week, proved that he was only suffering from Brownsitis; in fact, he's still a great receiver. Good for the Jets. We'll stomp this piss out of the Dolphins in a few weeks when they've got to go to Jersey.

Secondly, yeah Donovan McNabb, inexplicably the most under-appreciated QB in football. What a bold and brilliant comeback from QB controversy, injury and worry. Granted, beating up on the Bucs is no big feat these days but still, nothing's guaranteed in the NFL.

Except for the Raiders absolutely sucking. If ever a team deserved demotion, it's these Raiders, even moreso than the winless Lions of last season. Everything about this team sucks, their horrifically clueless QB, their old and hideous senile owner, their criminally incompetent and soon-to-face-assault-charges-against-his-own-assistant coach Coach and as Pat reject Richard Seymour said about what it was like playing in Oakland; well, the weather's good.

The Broncos are 5-0 on the heels of everyone thinking they were absolutely fucked this season after being forced to trade Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton. Yes, it's always good to see the Patriots lose another and their invulnerable airs deflated yet again, yes, yes, yes, Tom Brady is human and Bellichick is no fucking genius any more and all those sanctimonious Pats fans can finally shut their fucking mouths but gawd, the Broncos?! With Orton??! C'mon. Let's have a more believable subplot. Nope, forget it, just wait til these pussies have to start playing someone good. I mean these last three victories? A gimme against the Raiders, at home against the Shitboys with the most overrated QB on earth and at home against the quickly fading Pats with a ghost of a QB leading them. Next two games at San Diego and at Baltimore. Let's see where things stand then before we go anointing them World Champions.


Thank you Buffalo and Cleveland for introducing ANTI-FOOTBALL to the NFL. They can join the Rams, Bucs and Chiefs and form the New AFL (Anti-Football League. And I reckon the Panthers can probably join them, even if they did beat the Redskins this weekend - maybe that's because the Redskins belong there too. What is this with incompetence? Raiders, Chiefs, Bucs and Rams a combined 0-20 for the season.


I like the 49ers. I knew I would just as soon as Crazy Face Singletary took them over and taught them to respect themselves to overachieve with the same ueberlevel of desire that got him through his NFL career despite the lack of clear physical tools. Desire and pride. Why is that so fucking hard to coach? Look at those winless sad sacks in the NFL and then look at the bloody 49ers. Winning games with Shaun Of The Dead Hill at QB no less. Ok, they got their heads handed to them by the Falcons, 45-10 at home no less, hardly impressive, but they'll bounce back and hard, even if they've got to go TO Houston and TO Indy the two weeks after their bye week. Ok, well, maybe not but at least their in a weak division.

Good Christ, are the Bungles really 4-1?! Why yes they are, just as I suspected they would be - a Marvin Lewis simply isn't going to suck forever. Still, impressive wins over the Steelers AND Ravens in three weeks. They must be for real. Which means the Steelers and Ravens will be fighting the Dolphins/Jets/Patriots for the two wild card this season what with the Broncos and Colts also having virtually clinched their division already five weeks into the season - how's THAT for anti-climatic?

Here's my week hand again trying to pick the wieners - anyone who knows about my collective 3-7 record in two Fantasy leagues knows I don't know fuck all or have no crystal ball -

Week 6

HOU @ CIN - The Texans keep almost reaching the dizzying heights everyone predicted for them this season, everyone's sleeper team which means in my mind, it's not a fucking sleeper team any more if everyone thought it. The Bengals on the other hand, at home and the REAL sleeper team, win this one, 31-17

DET @ GB - I like these Lions, they're much more exciting to watch than I thought they'd be even though I've watched them lose two weeks in a row to the Bears and Steelers (gruesome schedule gets no better at Lambeau Field this week...) Injuries are bound to keep them low and the Packers have had a week to think about getting embarrassed by their former Wonder Boy Brett. Pack take this one by double digits. 33-20.

STL @ JAC - one of the Who Fucking Cares Bowl games this weekend. And I mean it. Go Jacksonville. Beat the fuck out of these pathetic sad sacks. 42-10. The Rams suck and we hate them.

BAL @ MIN - Maybe these Ravens aren't as impressive as we thought, losing at home to the Bengals like that on the heels of losing to the Patriots. Here's what I think: Upset special. The Vikings and Glamour Cunt Favre finally get their kicking. Ravens 24 Vikes 13. Too good to be true? C'mon, it's gotta happen some time and what better than an unexpected home loss - you think they are going to be undefeated going into Lambeau? Nah, that'd be too rich.

NYG @ NO: FINALLY the fucking Giants have to play an NFL team instead of these amateur outfits they've been scheduled against the last several weeks. You'd be hard-pressed to go against the Saints, sky-high at home after a week of rest. I'd like to see the Giants get exposed Massively this week by a ridiculous margin, let's say 45-3 or something but the truth is, this will be less of a mismatch than the Saints-Jets were two weekends ago. Why are the Saints getting both of these teams at home with a week off in between? Do you smell conspiracy? Saints 23 Giants 21 if only because the Giants are going to be taken by surprise by a team that actually belongs in the NFL.

CLE @ PIT: Common sense sez with the Browns in such clear disarray and Eric Mangini proven for his second owner he never deserved a second chance after falling on his face with the Jets, the Browns are a fucking mess, even if they beat the Bills in Buffalo by a baseball score last week. NONE of their QBs are any good. Look what Leaving Cleveland, the new NFL docudrama about Braylon Edwards career-changing trade to the Jets. And if you think that's bad, think about what a player must feel like getting traded to Cleveland. I mean it's CLEVELAND for fucks sake, forget about their lousy team. Steelers 30 Browns 10.

CAR @ TB: Yes, scheduling parity, that's what I like to see. One shit-hideous franchise against another in a Mediocrity Bowl of losers. Well listen, the Bucs have to win sometime, why not against these sad sacks who are going to be euphoric about somehow stealing that game against the Redskins and will suffer an emotional let down hereafter? Bucs 13 Carolina 7.

KC @ WAS: Another exciting AFL (Anti-Football League) game nobody but those in the immediate vicinity and far-away masochists care about. Redskins 28 Chiefs 27.

PHI @ OAK: Oh c'mon. Even travelling to the other coast should be worth the trip for the Iggles. First the Bucs, now the Raiders. Is McNabb living large or what? Iggles 38 Raiders 6.

ARI @ SEA: Matt Hasselbeck is back and the Seahawks are 2-0 and have outscored their opponantry (yes, I know that's not a fucking word but it bloody well should be...)69-0 in those two games. If that isn't an MVP candidate, I don't know who the fuck is. If he can stay on the field for more than a half without getting injured, the Cards will get fed their lunch. Seahawks 26 Cardinals 17.

TEN @ NE: Pre season this looked like it would be a monster mash up. Now it's one wounded, close your eyes ugly limping 0-5 team against another team that has to finally face up to its averageness. Not easy for Boy Wonder and the Genius but the momentum is simply anti-gravity for those sad sack Titans. Patriots 33 Titans 16.

BUF @ NYJ: Ok, the Jets have a day's less rest but look, you think they aren't going to be pissed off and the Defence isn't going to be out to prove something after getting humiliated on National TV, out-witted even by those fucking Dolphins? You bet. And at home. With another week of practice for Edwards. Sanchez has the best game of his career. Jets 30 Bills 14.

CHI @ ATL; The Bears are rested, the Falcons are playing in their home dome. The Falcons just beat the shit out of the 49ers after travelling that dreaded cross-country trip. But now they've had to fly back again. Are these Falcons inconsistent or is that just my imagination? This should be a good game. Bears Defence is hurting and struggling bleeding linebackers like they've been so in theory, Matt Ryan will carve them up with those Hillbillies whooping it up in the background. This will be very close methinks only because the Bears had a week to prepare, the Falcons are coming down from a glorious high, hmmm, can't decide by anything other than imaginary coin flip. Aw, fuck it. I'm playing Matt Ryan AND Cutler on my two fantasy teams this week so let's root for a high-scoring affair, say 38-35, Falcons.

DEN @ SD: I sooooo want to see this ridiculous infatuation with the Broncos come crashing to the ground. I can't explain why I hate the Broncos so much this season. Maybe because I pish-poshed their chances, mocked their stupidity in the off season and didn't listen to the johnny-come-latelies who moaned this team is "for real". Inevitably when you see a team getting gushed on like a naked bird on a buffet table at a Horny Men Convention, you have to wonder when the music stops and everyone catches themselves in mid-act. It's not pretty. But is THIS the week? Against THESE Chargers? They lost by 5 at home to the Ravens so they're capable of anything. They got the piss beat out of them by the Steelers in Pittsburgh. This proves physical teams scare them. Are the Broncos a physical team? Well, their defence is good allegedly. They give up hardly any points. That means the Chargers will play El Foldo this weekend. Streak continues, Broncos 23 Chargers 20.

Last week's record: none. 14-2 on the season for flat out victors. Big effin deal.


And yes, as all the applause die down, I shout above to confirm my opinions about the BASEBALL PLAYOFFS.

First of all let me say congratulations Baseball for making sure that every team I fucking hate still has a chance. Ok, the Red Sox and Cards are out, somebody had to go but can I really root for any of these teams?

I HATE the Yankees and Phillies as a Mets fan so logically they'd be the likely World Series finalists just because that's how it works. If I hate a team they will win, almost guaranteed. It's as if I can smell it.

Now the funny logic is that by that logic, I'd have to root for a Freeway Series but jesus christ, I just can't bring myself to do that. I might as well stop watching baseball until next year. The combination of listening to Vince Scully broadcast the Dodgers and the Angels and Southern California perfect sleeping weather and the entire WHO THE FUCK CARES element (I mean not even people in LA will give a shit at least the Yankees, people can hate, jerk up a little fucking emotion about but the Dodgers and Angels? Fuck that. Keep baseball on the East coast.

I wouldn't MIND Dodgers Yankees because of the Manny and Torre element but the more exciting World Series would be the Phillies-Yankees so fuck it, I'm going to root for that even though I hate both teams simply because it would be a more exciting World Series, ok? Which means watch out for that Fucking Freeway Series Finale. Ugh.

Dodgers bullpen beats Phillies. Yankees are just superior and hot, fuck the Angels.

Prediction: Dodgers-Yankees.
A Gigantic Weekend of Sports

Friday: ALDS, two games: First we see the tense, extra-inning demise of the Twins in Yankee Stadium following a wildly blown call by an ump right on the spot completely missing a fair ball ground rule double by Joe Mauer.

Is ump Phil Cuzzi a closet Yankees fan, an ump on the take or do they have standing orders by the Commish to make sure a high market Yankees team makes it into the World Series this season?

Who knows which it is, but there's no way that call can be missed unintentionally. Instead of a lead off double, man-on-second, no outs, the Twins have to try and knickle and dime their way to a run. Sure, Mauer singles up the middle anyway but that means Jason Kubel's single that followed would likely have given the Twins a one run lead going into the bottom of the 12th, etc. etc.

Sure, Teixeira hit his lead-off homer in the the Yankees half of the inning but does closer Joe Nathan pitch the same way with a one-run lead? Perhaps a wee bit more confidently?

You could piss and moan about this but let's face it, now that A-Rod has shook that post-season funk he's been in his entire career, Derek Jeter is playing as if this is the last swan song of his career and the Yankees seem destined to come back from any deficit, falling 2-0 to them in a best-of-5 series didn't bode well for the Twins. That and the natural ump bias and Selig wanting the big market Yankees to return to the big stage because well, they paid for it...

And then to add to the sour taste in the mouth, the BOOOOOORING Anaheim Angels and their BOOOOORING pre-scripted, let's-win-one-for-the-dead-kid run win a second game in So Co because the Red Sox batters have fallen into a collective coma and can't seem to even hit mediocrity any more.


First of all, a slew of key World Cup qualifying games, most of important which in Europe was probably the Portugal-Hungary game which ended up 3-0 in favour of the team no one can believe has already nearly failed to qualify for the World Cup - Ronaldo's team. Helping Portugal's cause was Denmark's 2-0 stomping of the Swedes which means the Danes went ahead to qualify and helped Portugal at Sweden's expense - no better result.

There was also the other-side-of-dawn Argentina victory over Peru which meant that they face a winner-take-it-all bunny boiler against Uruguay on Wednesday.

Not only that but both American AND Mexico qualified officially for the World Cup.

On Saturday, non-stop, virtually, because due to the time differences, the Red Sox game blurs into dawn. Up ahead, a big Gators-LSU NCAA football game marking the return of Superhero Tim Tebow. That turns out to be a 13-3 disappointment, defensive slug-fest which has importance in the rankings but as a game, not what you want to see at college football's highest levels. Without the requisite infatuation/man crush for Tebow, I simply can't garner the same enthusiasm for this game, Florida's impressive and oppressive Defence notwithstanding.

Back in baseball, a return to the National League where the first game gets SNOWED OUT in Colorado. October, mind. Frosty.

Then the Dodgers just shut down the utterly gutted Cardinals who suffered that horrific defeat with two outs in the 9th on a dropped fly ball by Matt Holiday who blew the game and the series for the Cards.

Wanna see it again?


On Sunday, well the World Cup qualifiers in the western hemisphere bled into the wee hours but the flip coin would be the ALDS games, the Red Sox trying to redeem themselves at home despite a whimpish offense and the Twins trying desperately to reclaim the series in a Metrodome finale versus the NFL games.

Well, the NFL games made it somewhat easy to want to watch the Red Sox blow a massive lead and the ALDS with a bullpen melt down of catastrophic and season-ending proportions. Papelbon finally choked it down and Hillbilly Wagner might have escaped the Mets but he isn't going to have a heart warming World Series story to tell his grand kids.

First of all, because the only 1 pm kickoff merit, the Bengals-Ravens game was BLACKED OUT so I was stuck trying to find interest in the Steelers-Lions game instead with the Lions trying to make it without Stafford, their heroic rookie QB and Duante Culpepper in his place. Culpepper, as it turned out, looked alot better than expected and instead of being held scoreless, the Lions actually required some lucky Steelers defending to be prevented from upsetting the Steelers, not impressive for the Steelers and the Lions are maybe the best one-win team in the NFL.

Yes, Broncos upset the Pats at home to go 5-0 and prove EVERYBODY wrong. I'm already hating the Broncos which undoubtedly means they'll make it to the Super Bowl this season with Kyle Orton leading them unless of course this game meant a happier thing; that the Patriots demise, much like the Red Sox demise, is only a matter of time away and all those annoying fucking Boston fans can finally climb back into the hole they were inexplicably released from several years ago when the Sox finally broke the curse and that mumbling genius first led the Pats to their inexplicable string of Super Bowl victories.

The Jets game wasn't until Monday which meant another Sunday night of the fucking Colts - you just watch - a hideous Colts-Broncos Super Bowl, is that even possible? Let's see, why no it isn't, thank christ!

Then you see the Yankees finishing off the Twins without barely breaking a sweat whilst the Phucking Phillies take Game 3 in freezing cold Colorado with a come-from-behind abomination that saw Shitty Brad Lidge survive two 9th inning walks to save the game. TWO fucking walks at home, bottom of the 9th and these loser Rockies couldn't score the tying fucking run in their choke artist uniforms. Fuck, that would have made let's see, every team I find boring or hate in the NLCS and ALCS. Thanks sports gods for fucking my weekend!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Holy Shit, What A Finish To The Regular Season!

Wow, you can't imagine a more exciting finish to the 2009 regular season for baseball: a one game, do-or-die playoff to determine the winner of the AL Central and the first victim of the formidable New York Yankees in the 2009 Playoffs, played in one of the loudest, most exciting venues in baseball (yes, believe it or not, the Metrodome) which was facing its final game ever as the Twins are moving to a new stadium next season, and the game itself, an amazing see-saw battle which saw the Twins overcome a 3 run deficit, lose a lead before finally winning it all in the 12th inning.

The Twins overcame a seven-game gap in the final month, went 17-4 to pull even on the final weekend and won their fifth division title in eight years.

Now even the Mets didn't choke as badly as the Tigers, or at least the argument can finally be made. No longer the biggest laughingstocks.

And the Twins go on to their fate: the NY Yankees, the best team in baseball.

Monday, October 05, 2009

After 4 full weeks have (nearly) been completed is it now time for everyone to jump of the Broncos Bandwagon already?

Sensible people do not get excited about teams QB'd by Kyle Orton. Yes, they're 4-0 but that's against the Bungles, the Browns, the Raiders and Cowboys. Their next 4 games are against New England, at San Diego, at Baltimore and against Pittsburgh. If they escape better than .500 after that run, I'll be shocked. Pretenders.

The Patriots won the battle against the Ravens on Sunday but only just. Don't expect them to win the war. One less dropped pass and the Ravens probably would have won this. A few less rubbish calls by the refs saving Tom Brady's career, again, the Ravens probably would have won. Of course winning is worth more than what could have been but the Patriots are not a better team than the Ravens and if and when they meet post-season, this game will stick with those Ravens and fuel a nasty feeding frenzy...

Ditto the Saints over the Jets yesterday. Sanchez won't always be a stuttering rookie and yes, the Saints Defence is much improved but if these teams were to play each other again (when, right? The Super Bowl?) the Jets would win most every other time. And for the record, that bit about Is Sanchez Spanish for Turnover? Cheap, lads, cheap. He'll be back.

Blackout Luck of the Draw had me watching the Bears-Lions game this week - I'd have loved watching the Pats-Ravens but frankly, this game was quite surprisingly exciting for a Black and Blue Division match up. Lions receivers were running free, particularly Calvin Johnson against a Bears defence that looked less-than-ferocious. Had rookie Matthew Stafford been a little more accurate the Lions could have blown this game out early but regardless, the Bears looked very vulnerable - a team like the Packers or Vikings might make mince meat of that defence still stumbling around missing its two best linebackers. Regardless, Jay Cutler's crazy flip dive into the end zone, completely giving up his body to the defenders is the kind of crazy shet that either gets you killed or inspires teammates.

Rankings won't come out, if at all until after tonight's game. After watching the Vikings just barely take out the 49ers last week (and don't get me wrong, the 49ers are easily one of the best (and unlike the Broncos) real surprises of the 2009 season so far.) you'd have to wonder if the Pack will be as flexible. The guess here is Aaron Rodgers is going to far outshine Favre this week - it's still early days but I can't help remembering how quickly Favre peetered out last season and one can only imagine it happening even earlier this season. Of course if they just feed Adrian Peterson over and over again, eventually it probably won't matter. I've got him on one of my fantasy teams but am playing against him on another so I'm torn as to how I'd like to see him perform. Still, I'll be rooting for the Vikes.

Perhaps more interesting than trying to guess how low the Raiders will sink before the season is over is wondering if they'll be the first team EVER to have their head coach arrested in mid-season. That'd be too easy for Al Davis, saving him from having to sack yet another coach after yet another bad decision. If it's possible, this is a franchise, albeit in a different sport, probably run even worse than the New York Mets.


I'm still sick from the Mets season but reading that they're making ceremonial sacking of a few meaningless coaches (still even keeping them in the system) and NOT sacking the pitching coach Dan Warthen just points out early and significantly that the Mets are not serious about turning the franchise around.

Looks like next year will suck as much as this one did. Wake up you fecking eedjits.


Isn't it nice the Twins, who seem to have made a franchise history out of fighting back and overcoming the odds, came back from 7 games back to force a playoff? And even nicer that it is postponed by a day because of the Packers-Vikings game and then the Minneapolis fans will, if they're lucky, host the Yankees that same week in the playoffs?

Yes, the Tigers are probably the better team on paper but this time of year it's so much about momentum. That or which team has the fewer drunks.

I don't have any post-season predictions perse other than to think about how funny it'd be if the Yankees get knocked out in the first round by the Twins given the massive disparity in payrolls.

Realistically, I guess I'd have to root for a Yankees-Dodgers World Series for the Irony Factor alone; Manny and Joe Torre facing the Yankees, wow.

But in the first round, we get two of the best managers in the business going head to head when the Dodgers play the Cardinals and La Russa. That's gotta go the full five and down to the last nail-biting out.

Am I the only one finding it sick funny that the Dodgers' most consistent and perhaps best pitcher all year has been Randy Wolf, the pitcher Omar Minaya didn't think more of than the useless headcase Oliver Perez he ended up WAAAAY overpaying a free agent contract to? I'm rooting for The Dodgers in Five.

No matter what, I'm rooting against the Phillies. Period. I have to. They did it in 2007, no reason they can't do it in 2009 with their very deep bench, their momentum and the Phillies rather rubbish bullpen. Rockies in 4.

In the AL, you've got to wonder if the Angels really are capable of being eliminated three seasons in a row by the Red Sox. Their biggest worry has to be their bullpen, the Red Sox strength. On the other than, the Angels are a better hitting team than the Red Sox and are fast on the basepaths which plays to the Red Sox weakness. Homefield advantage and depth in the rotation gives the slightest of edges to the Angels in five.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

NFL preview and predictions
TOP 6 (inclusive WC) AFC:
1 Pittsburgh
2 New England
3 San Diego
4 Indianapolis
5 Cincinnati
6 Baltimore

San Diego over Baltimore
Indianapolis over Cincinnati
San Diego over New England
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis
Pittsburgh over San Diego

TOP6 (inclusive WC) NFC
1. Chicago
2 Dallas
3 New Orleans
4 Seattle
5 Green Bay
6 Atlanta

New Orleans over Atlanta
Green Bay over Seattle
Chicago over Green Bay
Dallas over New Orleans
Chicago over Dallas

Pittsburgh 27 Chicago 13


Week One Predictions:

hu, Sep 10
TEN @ PIT 13-31
Sun, Sep 13
JAC @ IND 10-24
DET @ NO 13-34
PHI @ CAR 24-17
DAL @ TB 31-20
NYJ @ HOU 24-20
KC @ BAL 3-26
DEN @ CIN 6-33
MIN @ CLE 26-14
MIA @ ATL 20-31
WAS @ NYG 13-21
SF @ ARI 20-17
STL @ SEA 14-23
CHI @ GB 17-20
Mon, Sep 14
BUF @ NE 3-34
SD @ OAK 35-13

Monday, September 07, 2009

Mr Mandell Reminds us

Mini-previews for three of this week's big games:
• USC at Ohio State (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET):
My, how things change in a week. Back when USC named Matt Barkley its starting quarterback and lost starting WR Ronald Johnson and CB Shareece Wright, many felt the Trojans would be vulnerable heading to Columbus. Now, after watching USC thump San Jose Sate and the Buckeyes barely escape against Navy, many may wonder whether this year's game will be any closer than last year's 35-3 Trojans wipeout.
• Notre Dame at Michigan (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET):
Boy, did this one get more interesting in a hurry. The Wolverines looked light years better in their 31-7 rout of Western Michigan, but how will young QB Tate Forcier fare against an ND defense that shut out Nevada? For that matter, can Irish QB Jimmy Clausen continue his recent dominance (37-of-44, 716 yards and nine TDs in his past two games) against the Greg Robinson-led Wolverines defense? I know one thing: I'm intrigued.
• UCLA at Tennessee (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET):
The Vols racked up an impressive 657 yards against Western Kentucky, but I'm not sure that tells us anything. The Bruins only scored three offensive touchdowns against San Diego State, but I'm not sure that tells us anything, either. The only thing we'll know for sure going in is there are going to be a whole lot of freshmen on that field.

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