Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Picks: Rock, Prop, Seahawk?


Yep, the "big game" is finally here. Much to the delight of all the local establishments offering "big game" deals. How funny is that shit? And it gets me every year. Freakin' NFL. Won't even freely license a name that was thought of by a little girl whilst playing with her Super Ball. But, whatever. Rampant capitalism aside, I'm extremely excited for this game. Hell, I've even found myself forgetting about Syracuse and Duke on Saturday night, from time to time. I've always remembered, which is what's great about memories. But there's just something about actually having the league's two best teams battle it out, with the world's greatest city serving as the backdrop, that's got me unusually pumped. That, and all the money that I'm going to make on all these prop bets! And it's mostly that. So, yeah. Let's get to those...


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (1/28)

So, have you been watching Rick and Morty? The new animated comedy on Adult Swim? No? Well, it's like Back to the Future on Meth, so you should totally give it a look. New episodes Monday night at 1030 and available all over the place on various Interweb viewers and digital recording boxes. And no, I don't work for this show or have a personal financial stake in it's existence. I just want people to watch so it doesn't get cancelled like Unsupervised, another animated show I thought was the best thing since sliced Ted...

So watch it, Morty. It'll cure what ails ya. And to get you in the mood, I'll even sprinkle in a reference or two throughout this week's Top 25. So there's that. Oh, and make sure to check back on Friday, because I'll have all sorts of Super Bowl prop bet goodness for ya. And you're gonna wanna check all that out, Morty. It's gonna be good...

Now enjoy, Morty. And feel confident in knowing that if you follow my advice, you'll soon realize why I'm saying 'Morty' so much, Morty...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (1/21)

(Insert polarizing generalizations and commentary of Bill Belichick and Richard Sherman here. Oh, and make sure the Sherman comments are racially charged.)

OK, good. We got all of that out of the way. Now, let's check out the latest College Hoops Top 25...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Michigan St. (17-1) 1

2. Syracuse (18-0) 2

Thanks to his performance being the major reason the Orange were able to fight off Pittsburgh, the Tyler Ennis bandwagon is now fully loaded and operating without brakes. That, and the fact that the game occurred just outside of prime time on ESPN. Ennis is the real deal, though. And if you still haven't had a chance to watch this cool customer operate, well then I'd consider removing the tag "college basketball fan" from your resume. Because, yeah. They've played 18 games already with about half a dozen in prime time on major networks...

3. Arizona (18-0) 3

4. Kansas (14-4) 5

I told you they were going to sweep their games this week, didn't I? And BAM! They done did it. They'll keep winning, too. Especially if Andrew Wiggins continues to realize that he can get to the rim at will, and stops settling for so many jumpers. Those 12 free throw attempts he was able to garner by attacking the rim against Baylor are a good start...

Chevon Troutman: #NEVERFORGET...?
5. Pittsburgh (16-2) 14

Even though they lost, the fact that the Panthers were able to hang with the Orange in the Dome went a long way towards telling me how good this team really is. Granted, Pittsburgh bucks the trend by usually doing well in the Dome. But that's not what this was. Sure, Jamie Dixon having Jimmy B's number goes a long way. But this was more about the Panthers flashing their defensive toughness, and Lamar Patterson proving that he's one of the best players in the nation...

Oh, and I'm not sure why, exactly. But it seems that former Pitt forward, Chevy Troutman, gets mentioned every time Pittsburgh plays Pitt. Usually when talking about Pitt's traditionally crisp interior passing game. Actually, I do know why. It's because Troutman was the best at it. Still odd that his name always comes up, though. Especially since I once sat in his seats for a Pitt/Cuse game at the Dome. It's a long story. OK, not so much. But it's not very interesting. But still. CHEVY TROUTMAN! Dude could have been a great tight end. Even if it apparently decided to become a Samoan. Or whatever it is that's goin' on there...

6. Wisconsin (16-2) 4

The Badgers seem to be struggling a bit with that target on their backs, giving up 76 points per game this week in their two losses. But I'm guessing that's something that Bo Ryan's crew won't do again at any point this season. Of course, if becomes a trend. Then I'll have to adjust my thinking. It's just that I have a tough time believing that will be the case...

7. Wichita St. (19-0) 6

8. Florida (15-2) 8

9. San Diego St. (16-1) 7

10. Iowa (15-3) 15

11. St. Louis (17-2) NR

I'm back on the Billiken bandwagon, launching the boys from the 'Lou from just outside my top 25 to the cusp of my top 10. Winners of 11 straight, they're only losses on the year are to Wisconsin on a neutral floor and a 5 point loss at home to still undefeated Wichita St. Granted, they don't have any wins that are nearly as impressive as those losses. But they rebound well, play great defense, and return a lot of key players (mostly Rob Loe, because obviously...) from last year's team that many had pegged as a potential Cinderella...

12. Oklahoma St. (15-3) 11

13. Duke (14-4) 10

14. Kentucky (13-4) 12

15. Memphis (13-4) 13

16. Louisville (16-3) 17

17. Villanova (16-2) 16

Did you see how many 3's Creighton's crew of Caucasians rained down on Nova, last night? I know I sure did. It was 21. They made 21 freaking 3 pointers, and hit them at a clip of 60% as a team. Sucks for them that they did it in a regular season game, though. Because they'll never be able to do it again, and in the grand scheme last night's game didn't mean shit...

18. Kansas St. (14-4) 23

19. Gonzaga (16-3) 24

20. UMASS (16-1) 20

21. Michigan (13-4) NR

22. Minnesota (14-5) NR

23. Ohio St. (15-3) 9

The B1G10 is a crazy place, man. Lots of really good teams that are going to look really shitty, from time to time, because they're constantly playing against other really good teams within their own conference. And likewise, others will look a lot better than they actually are on any given night, given the right match up. That'll make these teams tough outs, come March. Although that'll be such a trendy sentiment, that I'll probably bail and have only Michigan St. and Wisconsin advancing through the round of 32. Mostly because I'm a rat bastard that's also a glutton for punishment...

24. Iowa St. (14-3) 21

25. Creighton (16-3) 19

just missed: Oklahoma; Cincinnati; Harvard; UCONN; New Mexico; UCLA; Utah

dropped: (18) Baylor; (22) Colorado; (25) UCLA

And here's a look at this week's big games. And another picture of Nina Agdal. Even though that Danish bitch couldn't stop me from going 0-4 in last weekend's conference championship picks. Oh, well. I guess it's not all her fault. And I'm not one to hold a grudge. At least not against someone who has so passionately dedicated their life to proving just how classy and elegant the sideboob can be. At least I'm pretty sure that's what her goal is...

What To Watch This Week
Indiana @ Michigan St.
Texas A&M @ Kentucky
Clemson @ Pittsburgh
Kansas St. @ Texas

Iowa @ Michigan
Wisconsin @ Minnesota
UMASS @ Richmond

Colorado @ Arizona
Illinois @ Ohio St.

Michigan @ Michigan St.
Villanova @ Marquette
Wisconsin @ Purdue
Kansas St. @ Iowa St.
Florida St. @ Duke
Pittsburgh @ Maryland
BYU @ Gonzaga

Utah @ Arizona
Clemson @ UNC
Cal @ UCLA

Villanova @ Georgetown
Oklahoma St. @ Oklahoma
Duke @ Pittsburgh


Friday, January 17, 2014

Conference Championship Picks: You've Probably Never Heard of Them...

If a fan base could be compared to an area of the country other than the one from which it actually hails, I think there's no doubt that the New England Patriots' fans would be the borough of Brooklyn, New York. They're entitled, arrogant, have a penchant for pea coats and woolen scarves. Just like the elite strain of thick rimmed hipsters that have become so synonymous with Brooklyn, and helped turn it into a place that would make Biggie Smalls turn over in his grave. Ya know, if he were actually dead...

So, in part because of that, but mostly because the good folks over at Kissing Suzy Kolber posted hipster versions of every NFL team's logo and got me off on this tangent, I decided to go with a somewhat hipster theme with this week's picks. I won't try too hard with the theme, because I don't want to give the illusion that I actually care. But in reality, I care more than you do and I'd tell you all about it if given the just the slightest opportunity. I'd also frequently use the phrase "you've probably never heard of..." just to make sure you knew, as if there were any doubt, that I have a far superior and more worldly intellect...

But, yeah. I just like the logos. And mostly, I like PBR. So here we are. Now let's get to these games. Ya know, before zombie Biggie shows up. And speaking of Biggie. You don't even know Biggie until you've listened to his underground vinyl stuff that he recorded in the bathroom of Grandmaster Flash's sister's friends apartment. Oh, but right. You've probably never heard of that...

OK, enjoy the picks. You local produce eating bastards...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (1/14)

Just a bare bones Top 25 this week, friends. Enjoy...

College Hoops Top 25

1. Michigan St. (15-1) 1

2. Syracuse (17-0) 2

I know it's not a signature win, or anything. Being against a team that's 5-12, and whatnot. But sometimes it's just the way that you win that can make a game more important than the box score may suggest. The Orange win over BC was one of those wins. They could have easily folded when BC started the 2nd half like a house on fire and opened up an 8 point lead, but they didn't. Instead they actually won by 10. It wouldn't have been the worst loss in the world, but they won going away. And it's those types of performances that will help keep Syracuse among the country's elite...

3. Arizona (17-0) 3

4. Wisconsin (16-0) 4

5. Kansas (12-4) 7

The bandwagon will be fully loaded again WHEN Kansas lands back to back home wins against Oklahoma St. and Baylor. Mark my words...

6. Wichita St. (17-0) 8

7. San Diego St. (14-1) 9

8. Florida (12-2) 10

9. Ohio St. (15-2) 5

10. Duke (13-4) 6

Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood have been as advertised, averaging nearly 40 combined points per game. But if the Blue Devils expect to make it deep into March, they'll need to rebound, too. And right now, at 232nd in the country, that's just not happening. I have faith that Coach K and friends will address the issue and right the ship. But if they don't, that lack of presence on the glass is sure to be their downfall. Even in a tournament structure that tends to favor guard play...

11. Oklahoma St. (14-2) 12

12. Kentucky (12-3) 14

13. Memphis (12-3) 22

14. Pittsburgh (15-1) NR

Between weeks 1 and 2 are usually when my rankings experience the most fluctuation. Embodied in this instance, by the Pittsburgh Panthers. They jump 12 spots despite only beating Wake Forest, mostly because I finally had a chance to watch them play. The major takeaway from that experience being the continued development of senior Lamar Patterson. The 5th year man has nearly doubled his scoring output from a year ago, up to nearly 18 per game. And his size (6'5 225) should make him a tough match up on a nightly basis for whichever ACC squad happens to get in his way...

15. Iowa (14-3) 18

The Hawkeyes have depth, with 9 guys averaging more than 5 points per game. And they're efficient as all Hell, ranking in the top 3 nationally in scoring, rebounding and assists. Makes it all the more confusing as to why everyone only seems to want to talk about their crazy coach, and not so much their recent 10 point win AT Ohio St...

16. Villanova (15-1) 20

Nova sports wins over both Iowa and Kansas, whom I have ranked higher. But I'm just not quite convinced that the Wildcats beat those two teams as we will eventually come to know them. Mostly, I just wasn't impressed with their 16 point loss @ the Carrier Dome. So until they do a little more, like beating Creighton on Monday, I'll still be hesitant to move them any higher in my pecking order...

17. Louisville (14-3) 19

18. Baylor (13-2) 13

19. Creighton (14-2) NR

20. UMASS (14-1) 21

21. Iowa St. (14-2) 11

I was ready to be extremely bullish on the Hawkeyes, following their win over Baylor. But I'm not convinced 2nd leading scorer DeAndre Kane can be the same player with his now dinged up ankle. Not to mention consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Kansas aren't helping their cause...

22. Colorado (14-3) 15

23. Kansas St. (12-4) 16

24. Gonzaga (14-4) 17

25. UCLA (13-3) NR

just missed: St. Louis; Cincinnati; Oregon; Harvard; New Mexico

dropped: (23) Oregon; (24) Missouri; (25) North Carolina

What To Watch This Week
Wisconsin @ Indiana
Oklahoma @ Kansas St.

Purdue @ Illinois
Notre Dame @ Maryland
Missouri St. @ Indiana St.
Washington @ Cal

Arizona St. @ Arizona
Ohio St. @ Minnesota
UCONN @ Memphis

Pitt @ Syracuse
Michigan @ Wisconsin
Michigan St. @ Illinois
Indiana St. @ Wichita St.
Oklahoma @ Baylor
Iowa St. @ Texas
Oklahoma St. @ Kansas
Louisville @ UCONN
NC St. @ Duke

Oregon @ Oregon St.

Baylor @ Kansas
Creighton @ Villanova


Friday, January 10, 2014

Divisional Picks: Wicked LeBetahded...

You know what would be hilariously appropriate? If, amid all the various problems this country is having, Congress launched an investigation into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame voting process. Because that's how ludicrous this whole process has become. I mean, at it's core, it's merely a chance for a voter to create a platform from which to espouse their own particular agenda. An agenda that's controversial by design, and does nothing but weaken the voting process and diminish the meaning of being voted into the Hall. It's a shame, too. Because this should always be about celebrating the players that were voted in, rather than the Teds whose purely selfish motives have tried to keep them out...

You really want to fix the voting process? Then create a committee and have them meet and vote IN PERSON at a yearly meeting. THEN we'll see if those same computer tough guys will actually have the stones to say "Yeah, I'm voting for JT Snow and Jacque Jones" to a room full of their peers. Because they won't. And while maybe all the "right" guys still won't get in, at least the process will have regained some dignity and respect. Because that's what the inductees should be getting. Respect for what they did for the game. And with each writer that decides to use their ballot to create their own straw man argument, a little bit of that shine is taken off the bust...

That goes for Dan LeBeTard, too. I'll admit, I liked the fact that someone gave their vote to Deadspin in an attempt to mock the process. But when that someone had their own platforms (radio/TV shows) from which they could have attempted to take the process to task, but instead just passed the buck? Well, then that I just can't get behind. Either use your power, give it up, or just keep your mouth shut. Otherwise, you're more contributing to the chaos you claim to loathe than you are actually bringing to light what is a very flawed process. And that's one of the major issues. Even guys trying to "fix" this thing, like LeBeTard was, can't do it without doing other outlandish things that destroy their credibility. It's just a clusterfuck, is what it is. And frankly I've already wasTed too much time writing about it...

Props to the the 3 that were voted in, though. Three of the best in my lifetime, and all deserving of being voted in on their first trip. Kind of like Robbie Alomar. Oh, wait. He spit on a guy and had to wait a year. Yeah, the Hall of Fame is a sham. Fix the voting process already, you rat bastards. So we can actually go back to enjoying this thing, again. But you won't, because you're headline seeking rat bastards. And until that philosophy changes, this type of luke warm reaction to what should be an historic event will remain the status quo. And it won't change. So, yeah. Spoiler alert...

Now let's see if I can spoil these playoff games for ya with some spot on predictions. SPOILER ALERT: I wont'. But let's do this, anyway. It'll be fun. SPOILER ALERT: Meh. Maybe...

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

College Hoops Top 25 (1/7)

OK, so college football is finally over. Not that I really needed to wait until after the instant classic of a National Championship to post my first poll. But I did. And here we are. So, without further dudes, let's check this thing out...

Oh, and congrats to be brohan from another mohan, Kevin Tomasso, and his Florida St. Seminoles. He's a rat bastard, but even rat bastards deserve a championship run now and again. So there ya go, ya rat bastard...

And yes, I realize that was a "further dude". But, whatever. Basketball is back, friends. And it's time to celebrate. Or at least time to make a list of which teams I think have the best chance of cutting down the nets. Which is kind of like a celebration, right? No? Well at least I'm not reintroducing the Rodeo Cheeseburger without the cheese and pretending like nothing happened. Freakin' Burger King. Hey, just because we're hungry doesn't MAKE US SAPS!!..

Great, now I'm just pissed. Whatever. All the more reason to get to some hoop talk. Enjoy... (is there a Ralph's around here?)

Friday, January 03, 2014

Wild Card Weekend: Let's All Go To The Playoffs...

So I've seen a few new movies. Which means I'll need to tell you about them. So here you go...

The Wolf of Wall St.

You know how people try to sync up songs to movies? Like Pink Floyd and The Wizrad of Oz, or whatever that was? Well, yeah. This latest from Leo and Marty is like someone tried doing that with Goodfellas and a Charlie Sheen homemade porno. Some great scenes, including one particularly epic one. And a lot of hot naked chicks. But the thing was just way too long to really be all that good. Every scene seemed to go on a least 10% too long, and that really dragged down what should have been a fast paced flick...

Translation: Don't go see it. Watch it when it comes out on HBO, if you must. But even if you don't, you really won't be missing much. That's just the unfortunate truth. And while I'd stop short of saying that Leo and Marty should never work together again, I think it's become apparent that whatever magic they had is at least beginning to wane...

American Hustle

Wasn't planning on seeing this, but thanks to a free ticket I decided to give it a go. Result? Meh. probably a little better than I thought it would be. But it was more run of the mill than the hyped cast and flashy costumes would tend to suggest. For instance, Christian Bale's character looks like a really crazy guy who's probably really eccentric and bizarre, right? Yeah, not so much. His acting was great, don't get me wrong. But again, the characters just weren't as interesting as you are led to believe...

The major take away for me, though. Aside from that fact that I think Amy Adam's cleavage should be nominated for an Oscar based on it's prominent role (she's extremely sexy in this, despite her oft putting British accent). Was that I just can't wrap me head around the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence. She's obviously pretty enough, being a professional actress and whatnot. But I've yet to see anything that can convince me that she could actually act her way out of a wet paper bag. maybe I'm
just missing it, I don't know. But this was yet another underwhelming performance from Hollywood's flavor of the month. I'll just chalk it up to different strokes for different folks, and whatnot. But if you can't shine as a member of such a stellar cast, I can't say I love your chances of ever bringing me over to your side...

Ultimately, I'd recommend going to see this. It's funny enough, interesting enough, and it has enough gratuitous side boob to make up for any other shortcomings. No, seriously. EVERY outfit Amy Adams wears is bra free with a neck line that plunges to just inches from her hoo-ha, and she and Bradley Cooper engage in some very aggressive grouping and/or petting. So if that's your thing, you'll be pumped. I know it was certainly working for me. Even if it was grinding my gears a little knowing that, much like Cooper in the film, I'd never be able to bed that vixen myself. Which I'll get over once I see her in another one of her more homely roles. Then, I'll be back on Kate Upton and the more usual suspects...

Oh, and Shea Whigam of Boardwalk Empire fame had a small, shady role in each of this movies, too. So there's that. Thankfully, you don't see his side boob. Although it wouldn't surprise me if it made a cameo appearance as Leo's coke mirror in the Wolf of Wall St. director's cut. Damn yo, your titty!...

Now, on to the picks!

Wild Card Picks

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) vs Kansas City Chiefs + OVER 46

(speaking of side boobs) Andy Reid's 10-9 playoff record is such a mixed bag. On the one hand, it means he's led his 10th team to the playoffs. On the other hand, he's only averaging 1 win per trip. Mostly with teams that have been expected to win many more. But that really didn't factor into my taking Indianapolis. I just wanted to make sure I pointed out that the future star of every Missouri area diabetes commercial and his teams don't tend to live up to the hype. In reality, I see these as two teams trending in opposite directions. Therefore, the nod goes to the Colts, and NOT Fatty McChokeStashe and his band of less than merry men...

Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) vs New Orleans Saints

Over in Reid's old stomping grounds, I'll again ride the hot hand and take Philly outdoors over a arguably more talented Saints team that often seems inept on the road. And that's more or less my entire thinking. Summed it up quite nicely, didn't I? See, Marty? Leo? Sometimes something doesn't need to be 3 hours long just to be helpful and/or entertaining. Then again, you're both getting millions and I'm getting milk money. Matter of fact, if I can't figure out what shady things are going on between Google and GoDaddy then I might even lose my domain in 3 days! Ahhhhh! Freakin' Interweb. Teacher! Lover! Secret lover...

Cincinnati Bengals (-7) vs San Diego Chargers + OVER 46

I was torn on this one, but only for a second. Mostly because I said before the playoffs started that the team that got in the shadiest way was definitely going to win at least one game. And there's no doubt that the Chargers got in via the shadiest shit. But the Bengals have just been too dominantly consistent in their own joint. That, and I predicted that they would play the Sehawks in the Super Bowl. You know, right before they got blown out by the Steelers...

San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) @ Green Bay Packers

And in the final game, I actually was torn for quite some time. Not because I really like Green Bay to win, or that I think the cold will actually play a significant role. But mostly because this one figures to be close. The Niners are definitely the better team, but especially after last week's performance, I can't expect Rodgers and company to go quietly in to the brisk Wisconsin night. I'm just guessing they won't be loud enough to win their way to within 2 points...

Last Week: 9-9-1

Overall: 143-124-10 (.534)

And since I'm not quite ready to post my first college hoops 25 of the new year (ext week), here are some BCS picks to help stem the tide. Full disclosure, I'm only 4-3 in picking 10+ point favorites to win STRAIGHT UP in my bowl pool (yes, you read that right). But you can take solace in the fact that I would have had Duke, Oklahoma and UCF against the number. Which is meaningless, because I'm saying it in hindsight. But it's definitely as true as it is a thing I just said. Oh, and I threw in a picture of Nina Agdal because she's Ms. January in my 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar. She's also a 21 year old Danish, which means you can make crude pastry and breakfast jokes about what you'd like to do to her. Really a win/win, if you ask me...

BCS Picks
(2) Auburn (+8) vs (1) Florida St.

(12) Clemson (+3) vs (7) Ohio St.

(9) Missouri (-1) vs (13) Oklahoma St.

2013 Season: 70-60-4 (.537)