Friday, December 23, 2005

NFL News, Notes and Week 16 Picks

*Well I wasn't able to crack the 50 win mark last week, but hopefully the Christmas season will bring me the luck I need to get over that hump. Since the holiday season is a busy one, all I got is my picks for this week. I know there is a lot going on in the world of sports, and hopefully I can get to some of that in a few weeks, but for now this will have to do! Good luck to everyone this week and happy holidays.*

Week 16 Picks
Jacksonville Jaguars (-6) over Houston Texans
Cincinatti Bengals (-13) over Buffalo Bills
Denver Broncos (-12) over Oakland Raiders
Minnesota Vikings (+3) over Baltimore Ravens
New York Giants (+3) over Washington Redskins

Monday Night
New England Patriots (-5.5) over New York Jets

Record: 49-25-3
Monday Night: 9-7-0

Saturday, December 17, 2005

NFL News, Notes and Week 15 Picks

*Looking to pass the 50 win mark this week. The past 3 weeks I have taken the Patriots in one way or another, and I hope continuing to take them will help keep my good streak going. Not to mention, this week include the much anticipated return of one of my favorite topics, the Vikings sex cruise! So here is to hopin that my good fortune continues and I can close out the regular season on a nice run.*

Week 15 Picks
New England Patriots (-4.5) over Tampa Bay Bucs
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Giants over 46
Seattle Seahawks (-7) over Tennessee Titans
Cincinatti Bengals (-7) over Detroit Lions
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) over Minnesota Vikings

Monday Night
Green Bay (+3.5) over Baltimore

Record: 46-23-3
Monday Night: 9-6-0

San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts
*So many factors contribute to what could be one of the better games of the season. While the Colts have basically cruised out to 13-0 and secured home field in the playoffs, thye still have a statement to make in this game. This is probably the last full game that the Colt starters will play, and they will want to make a great final statement before the playoffs. Then you have the Chargers, who are in a dog fight for a wild card spot in the AFC. Kansas City and Pittsburgh are both 8-5 like San Diego, and the Jags sit a game ahead at 9-4. Only two of those teams can get a wild card spot, so every game is crucial for the Chargers. With all that being said, its clear we could be in for a shootout here. Not only that, but should the Chargers really click on offense, we could be in for a close contest. I don't really see the Colts losing if they stay with their starters for the whole game, but this one could easily turn into one of the better games all year.

NFL News and Notes
*I would like to welcome back the Vikings sex cruise. Just when everyone was trying to talk about how great the Vikings had been playing lately, the Sexcapades return. Daunte Culpepper, Bryant McKinnie, Moe Williams and Fred Smoot were charged with several misdemeanors for their involvement in the team sex cruise earlier this year. I'm so glad that this story is back in the news, and I'm happy for the members of the Vikings that were not involved finally have some sort of justice. Players that wern't there were being lumped in with the offenders, and now we can clearly see that it was only a select few. But more importantly, this is one of the funnier stories in years so it needs as much press as possible. And the best could be to come! Fred Smoot has promised to sue whoever it was that leaked his name to the district attorney, saying he was the one who rented and paid for one of the boats. None of the players have been dealt with by the team yet, but owner Ziggy Wilf says that the teams playoff chances will have no impact on how the players will be reprimanded. Stay tuned, this should be pretty interesting for a while.

*The Saints have been told by NFLPA rep Gene upshaw that the team will be returning to New Orleans. In the meeting, Upshaw told them team they would be returning to their training facility outside of New Orleans when the season was over. This is such a tough situation for the Saints, their fans and even their owner. Tom Benson wanted to move the team before hurricane Katrina, but now its virtually impossible. Both the league and the state of Louisiana want the team to stay and help bring the community back. Problem is, there were problems with the Saints long before this tragic disaster. Now with the Superdome badly damaged, and thousands of residents still homeless and jobless, it is going to be hard for the team to make any kind of money, let alone help the struggling community. So, if they are headed back, it may not be for long. Its a tough situation, and for times like these there are no blue prints on how to handle them. At least this a positive step for the team, and they have an idea of where they are going to be in the next few months, as opposed to this season where they have been shuffled all over the place.

*Apparently there are fans in Philly that think Donovan McNabb shouls run the ball more because he is black QB. This is another great example of Philly fans being idiots. I mean I'm not a big McNabb fan, but even he souldn't be subject to such morons. These people just need to shut up and stop whining for once in their lives. That city has the worst fans on earth, and they just keep getting worse as time goes on. Got Smarty Jones?

College Basketball Top Ten
1. Duke (10-0) 1
2. UCONN (8-0) 2
3. Villanova (7-0) 4
4. Memphis (8-1) 6
5. Louisville (6-1) 3
6. Florida (10-0) 7
7. Oklahoma (6-1) 8
8. Illinois(11-0) 10
9. Gonzaga (7-2) NR
10. Texas (8-2) 5

just missed: Washington, UCLA, Indiana
dropped: (9) Boston College

**Now I am not a huge NBA fan as many of you know, but I just have to pat myself on the back. Larry Brown has been AWFUL as coach of the Knicks, just like I knew he would. And I don't want to hear how he is rebuilding. It's the Eastern Conference! Not even that, its the Atlantic Division! Boston won the division last year with a 45-37 record for crying out loud, and Larry's boys can't compete. So, after essentially making himself the focal point in Detroit, and making his exit a big deal, Larry and his Knicks are 6-16. And oh, the Pistons that depended on Brown for leadership? They are off to a franchise best 17-3 start. I hope the Knicks keep losing, and force Larry to claim he's tired or sick and can't coach out the rest of his contract. That would just prove once and for all Larry is all about the drama.**

Sunday, December 11, 2005

NFL News, Notes and Week 14 Picks

*That's 12 wins in a row and counting. After going 7-0 the week of Thanksgiving, I followed that up with another perfect 5-0 last week. Coincidence? I think not. I never usually chose the Patriots, but since they did well by me last week, I'm sticking with them again. As for the rest of the games? I won't lie when I say I have trouble justifying my picks. But they are what they are, and that's been working for me lately! Is it possible to stretch my streak to 17 in a row? We will have to wait and watch.*

Week 14 Picks
New England Patriots (-3.5) over Buffalo Bills
Kansas City Cheifs (+3.5) over Dallas Cowboys
Carolina Panthers (-5.5) over Tampa Bay Bucs
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals under 40
Denver Broncos (-14) over Baltimore Ravens

Monday Night
Atlanta Falcons (-10) over New Orleans Saints

Record: 43-21-3
Monday Night: 8-6-0

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
*Not to say that the Indianapolis Colts have had an easy schedule up until now, but it's only going to get tougher from here on out, starting with this week's tilt with the Jaguars. Indy came out on top earlier in the season 10-3 in a defensive struggle, but now the Jags are riding a 5 game winning streak despite the loss of QB Byron Leftwich a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago I looked at the stretch of games that the Colts have to finish their season. After this game they still have to play Seattle and San Diego. When I looked at these games earlier in the year when the Colts were cruising along and figured they would have to lose one of them. But, much like this week, as each game actually comes up, I find myself chosing Indy. So as much as I would like to think that the Jaguars can pacify the '72 Dolphins and hang a loss on the Colts record, I just don't see it happening this week.

NFL News and Notes
*Eric Moulds has been suspended by the Buffalo Bills for aparently talking back to an assistant coach during the team's come-from-ahead loss last week. Mould's will not receive a check for the game either. Oh wait, aren't the Bills in the AFC East? It seems as though they are. So seeing as nobody besides the Patriots are even going to come close to making the playoffs in the East, I DO NOT CARE.

*Jim Mora made a switch in the secondary for the Falcon's Monday Night game against the New Orleans 'Aints. Bryan Scott, who had started all the games so far this season, is being benched in favor of Ronnie Heard. Atlanta currently is 9th in the NFC with 13 INTs, of which Scott only had 1. More of the problem may be that they also rank in the lower half of the conference in passing yards allowed per game at about 200. The move can't hurt for two reasons. One, it can motivate Scott, and the rest of the defense. After an embarassing loss last week to Carolina, the defense needs to step up if the team has any hope of advancing in the playoffs. Two, Mora could be letting his team know that just because they are playin the hapless Saints, doesn't mean that how they have been playing lately will be good enough to get the job done.

*Coming into week 14, there are 6 teams that have winning streaks of 5 games or more. On top of course are the Colts with 12 and the Bears and Seahawks with 8, and they are joined by Jacksonville, San Diego and the surprising Vikings all with 5. Now I don't have a stat to back this up, but this is the first time I can recall so many teams on such long winning streaks. Conversely, only three teams (Texans, Jets, 49ers) are currently on losing streaks of at least 5 games, the highest of which is the Jets with 7. What does this all mean? I'm not really sure. Everyone always talks about parity being what makes the NFL so great. The ability for any team to go on a run keeps fans all around the country hoping that this season may be the one for their team. So do these winning streaks mean that there are only a frw dominant teams? I don't think so. I think its just a quirky stat that will work itself out once some of these teams start to cool off, and others start to make their push for the playoffs.

*Kerry Collins has officially been demoted as the Radiers QB, and the job has been given (at least for the rest of the season) to Marques Tuiasosopo. Collins has a record of 8-17 as the starter for the Raiders the past two seasons, and the franchise figures its time to call this season a wash and start searching for the right guy for next year. Don't be surprised to see 3rd Rd pick from Arizona St., Andrew Walter start getting some snaps also in maybe a mop-up role, or if Tuiasosopo should get injured. Many view Walter as the QB of the future in Oakland and are anxious to see if his success in college can translate into the pros.

*Ricky Williams, as a former Heisman trophy winner, has the right to vote for the winner of the award every year. Earlier this week he said that instead he gives the vote to his mother. Some people have criticized Sticky Icky Ricky, saying what does his mother know about football? Or that she didn't earn the right to vote and therefore shouldn't be allowed. All I have to say is, Ricky was probably high anyway, so I think he was better off having a sober person cast his vote for him. Note: Ricky thinks his mom voted for Cedric Benson last year (Matt Leinhart won).

College Basketball Top 10
1. Duke (9-0) 1
2. UCONN (7-0) 2
3. Louisville (5-0) 3
4. Villanova (6-0) 5
5. Texas (8-1) 4
6. Memphis (7-1) 8
7. Florida (9-0) 9
8. Oklahoma (5-1) 10
9. Boston College (6-1) 5
10. Illinois (10-0) NR

just missed: Washington, Gonzaga, Indiana, UCLA
dropped: (7) Indiana

**A man in Cranston, RI opted to put a tribute to Paris Hilton on his front lawn this holiday season instead of traditional ornaments. Now, its his right to put a skank wall on his property, as much as its the right of some of his neighbors to complain about its inappropriateness. However, one man, Ron Raffonelli may want to get his facts straight before commenting. After saying he would rather his kids associate Christmas with Santa Claus rather than naked women, he then added in regards to St. Nick: "After all, he's been around longer." Now I don't claim to be a historian, but I'm fairly sure that nude women out date the jolly gift carrier by quite some time. But again, I'm not a historian.**

Saturday, December 03, 2005

NFL News, Notes, and Week 13 Picks

*Last week I managed to pull off the rare 7 win week including Thanksgiving and I look to keep the momentum going. Also last week, I opted for 4 favorites, while this week I'm taking all 5, including two that are a touchdown or more. Well I figure I deserve to take a few chances after such a successful week. If it doesn't work, then so be it. But here's to hopin'!*

Week 13 Picks
Chicago Bears (-6) over Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots (-10) over New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
Washington Redskins (-3.0) over St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Bucs (-3.5) over New Orleans Saints

Monday Night
Seattle Seahawks (-4) over Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 38-21-3
Monday Night: 7-6-0

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
*This is a premier battle in one of the best conferences in the NFL. Carolina is coming off of two shaky outings, a close win over Buffalo and a loss to the Chicago Bears. Atlanta on the other hand, is fresh off a blowout of the Lions on Thanksgiving, but still is surrounded by questions on whether or not they are properly using their star, Michael Vick. I've been surprised at the lack of talk this week about this game, with people choosing instead to focus on the Giants/Cowboys, Steelers/Bengals or even the Broncos/Chiefs game. While all of those games are equally important to their respective divisions, I think the winner of this game has the best chance this side of Seattle to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. If Jake Delhomme can find another WR he can depend on, or Mike Vick can find the right combination of pocket presence/elusiveness, one of these NFC South powers will be dancing in Detroit come February.

NFL News and Notes
*A lot of people are starting to ask the question of whether or not Tony Dungy should rest some of his stars with home field virtually locked up for his Colts in the AFC. Well not to sound selfish, but it would really help my fantasy team if he didn't. More importantly, the Colts have a chance to do something that no team has done in 33 years, and that's go undefeated. Now granted, going 16-0 means nothing if the Colts fall short in the playoffs, but I think they can do both. And there's that old saying "you never know unless you try", and I think the Colts owe it to themselves to try and be the first team ever to go 19-0 in one season. Naturally Colt fans and pundits alike will scream bloody murder if Marvin, Reggie, Edge or Peyton should get injured in a meaningless game at the end of the season, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't play. I am all in favor of sitting them from here on out once the Colts have a big lead in a game, but to sit them all together, well that would just be selling this team and their season short.

*So apparently when Steve Mariucci was told he wasn't going to be fired, it meant he wasn't going to be fired....for a few more days. The funny thing is, everyone knows that the person that should have been fired was Matt Millen. Millen has done nothing but lose, make poor draft picks, and hire coaches who have failed to turn his team into a winner. And it still boggles my mind that the Ford family gave Millen a 5 year extension before the season began, even though he had failed to produce a winning season. Truth is, Millen's winning % was higher with Mariucci coaching than it had been any other time during his tenure as GM, so why was it Mooch's fault? I'm just happy I don't like the Lions. But with each passing season, it becomes more understandable why the great Barry Sanders became so disenchanted with football and decided to hang 'em up well before his time.

*So Mike Holmgren says he "messed up" when explaining what NFL officials told him following Seattle's OT win against the Giants this past weekend. Originally, Holmgren came out and said that the NFL had apologized to him for messing up the TD calls of both Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey's catches. Then the NFL came out and said they made no such apology to the Seahawks head coach. If that weren't weird enough, Holmgren then said he expected to be fined, while the NFL said they didn't expect to fine him. I don't see a need for a fine here. Its clear that Holmgren was told something by somebody. Should he had made those comments public, no. And should he know better, probably. But seeing as his team won the game anyway, both he and the NFL should just let this situation go by the wayside. Its not like he came out and said they got it wrong and they suck, so let's all just move on.

*This whole Michael Irvin situation just boggles my mind. ESPN essentially suspended Irvin this weekend, after the incident this past weekend when Plano, TX police found a pipe and bags with marijuana residue in his car after pulling him over for speeding. The thing I don't get, is why Stuart Scott, in an attempt to help clear his friend's name, said the police found a "crack pipe" in Irvin's car. Nowhere in the police report does it say crack pipe, so where did the One Eyed Wonder get his information? My only guess is that maybe Irvin was afraid of being tested by ESPN for marijuana, because if he were tested for crack, there would be a good chance he could clear it out of his system in time. Either way, nobody is buying his story that the pipe wasn't his, or that it was his brother/friend/cousin/"brother"s. I mean if he had to pat this guy down before letting him in his house, what was he doing letting him in to begin with? Well I'm just going to go ahead and state the obvious, the pipe belonged to Nate Newton!

*Don't even try to tell me that shit isn't really screwy in St. Louis right now. Not only did they have an Ivy League QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) lead them to a comeback win this past weekend, but the situation with Mike Martz is just plain weird. Fitzpatrick, whose dad is a rocket scientist (even though his dad went to Arizona St. and not an Ivy League school), is getting his first career start this weekend with both Marc Bulger and Jamie Martin on the shelf. Meanwhile, Mike Martz has made it known that he is healthy enough to return, but the Ram's front office is saying no way. First they said that he isn't healthy enough, but I think there is more to it. I said weeks ago that Martz had coached his last game in St. Louis, but apparently he doesn't read my blog. Still, I would be shocked if he returned to the sidelines in the Edward Jones Dome, let alone this season.

College Basketball Top 10
1. Duke (6-0) 1
2. UCONN (6-0) 2
3. Louisville (3-0) 3
4. Texas (7-0) 5
5. Boston College (6-0) 6
6. Villanova (4-0) 7
7. Indiana (4-1) 4
8. Memphis (6-1) 8
9. Florida (7-0) NR
10. Oklahoma (4-1) 9

just missed: Gonzaga, Iowa, Illinois
dropped: (10) Kentucky

**Hey Bruins fans, don't try to tell me this Joe Thornton trade was a huge deal. This just in, the Bruins suck, their management is awful, and any change has to be considered a good change. I'm not saying they got the better of this deal, or saying they got a raw deal. All I'm saying is things haven't been right in this organization in a while (see 30 coaches in 19 years), so why would we expect things to change? Just stop watching, I mean its hockey for crying out loud!**