Saturday, October 30, 2010

Horrible Hockey Halloween Costume Ideas: P.K. Subban

IMG_4932When I saw the opening segment for Scotiabank Hockey Tonight on NHL Network this evening I was shocked to see this image on my television set as a startled Ron McLean told viewers the Montreal Canadiens were hosting the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre.

It’s not shocking that a white Habs fan holding an overpriced cup of beer “honored” defenseman P.K. Subban, who is black. It’s that a couple of Habs fans were given sh*t on both sides of the border for doing it last season, and yet someone in Montreal rolled out of the rack this morning and still thought it was a brilliant idea to don black face for Halloween.

Stay classy, Habs fans.

That's a ridiculous and pointless debate

Apparently on the NFL Network they're having a countdown of the 100 greatest NFL players of all time.  I know the NFL still has some sensitivity to the fact that its sport does not and never will have that love of stats and history that baseball does, and it's ridiculous to try to create it in this way with a very phony and frankly illogical list like this.  There just aren't enough things in common from position to position to be able to fairly and accurately rate players against each other, say nothing about the fact that the game has changed so much over the years that even comparing Tom Brady to Johnny Unitas is futile but at least it's not completely illogical. 
The NFL is the most popular game in the country right now but the league just won't be satisfied with that; they want to prop it up as the National Pastime.  Sorry, NFL, you can't have everything.
This particular video has the talking heads discussing whether Peyton Manning deserves to be in the top 10 all time.
The NFL also has a thing against embedded videos and putting the list up on their site.  Why can't the list at least as far as it's been disclosed on TV be up on the site?

Friday, October 29, 2010

NFL Picks Week 8

Carolina at St. Louis (-3):  The Rams are better than the Panthers so far this year.

Jacksonville (+7) at Dallas:  The Kitna experiment in Dallas scares me.

Buffalo (+9) at Kansas City:  KC overlooks Buffalo in a real tight game.

Denver (E) at San Francisco (played in London):  Does Mike Singletary keep his job after this game?

Miami at Cincinnati (E):  The Bungles are underachieving, but I expect some fight out of them here.

Washington at Detroit (-1.5):  Imagine after Week 8 that the Lions could possibly have the same record as the Vikings.  That is a big morale booster for the Motor City Kitties.

Green Bay at NY Jets (-6):  Packers injuries are too much to overcome with the Jets playing the way that they are.

Tennessee (+3) at San Diego:  Special Teams and turnover woes will haunt the Chargers here.

Tampa Bay (+3) at Arizona:  The Bucs could already have 5 wins if they beat the Cards.  A surprise playoff team?

Seattle (+1) at Oakland:  I think that the euphoria of the thrashing of Denver will end with a close loss to the Seahawks.

Minnesota at New England (+5.5):  If Farve plays, the Patriots will cruise to victory.  If T-Jack plays, it will be real close.

Pittsburgh (E) at New Orleans:  Pittsburgh is the best team in the NFL currently.  The Saints aren't playing well.

Houston (+7) at Indianapolis:  Look for a sweep by the Texans over their arch nemisis in the AFC South.

What I Like About The Boston Bruins

Bruins LogoDisclaimer: I am a die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan and this post is my punishment for the Bruins 2-0 victory over the Leafs. It could be a lot worse. If Zeb were still here in the San Diego area then I would probably have a picture of me wearing a Bruins jersey plastered all over the Internet. – R.J.

Where do I begin? There are a number of nice things I could say about the Boston Bruins. Here’s a list:

TRADITION: They are one of the Original Six teams, meaning they and the Leafs will continue their heated rivalry well past the time Zeb and I check out of here. Like the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins jerseys have had very few changes in the past forty years. A Bobby Orr jersey from yesteryear would not look out of place next to a Zdeno Chara jersey.

MILT SCHMIDT: I was shocked that his jersey number wasn’t retired before Ray Bourque’s but better late than never. It was a nice, simple pregame ceremony and I enjoyed it.

TYLER SEGUIN: I don’t think Brian Burke made a mistake trading for Phil Kessel because the Leafs needed a top three forward to rebuild the team around but if that other first round pick we gave the Bruins turns out as good as Tyler Seguin then this trade is a lopsided win for the Bruins. Kind of like how a lot of Leafs-Bruins games have been in the Garden the past few seasons.

KATHRYN TAPPEN & MIKE MILBURY: I affectionately call them Beauty and the Beast and whenever I get the NESN feed for the Leafs-Bruins I look forward to their intermission show. They don’t have the drama of RSN’s Crazy Uncle Nick (aka Nick Kypreos) but they spend almost the entire period talking puck with a live shot of the TD Garden as the background. How could you not love that?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Results Of NFL Picks: Week 7

Cleveland at New Orleans (-14.5):  30-17.  Loss.  How does Drew Brees throw 4 INT to the Browns, including a pair of pick-6s?

Philadelphia (+2.5) at Tennessee:  19-37.  Loss.  Kolb crashed and who in the world thought that Kenny friggin' Britt would become a world beater in this game?

Buffalo (+14.5) at Baltimore:  34-37 OT  Win.  Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking good for the Bills.  And the Ravens defense had a bad game.

Washington at Chicago (-2.5):  17-14.  Loss.  Jay Cutler needs to meet Dr. Sigmund Freud.  Mike Martz needs to figure out how to keep his QBs upright.

Pittsburgh (-3) at Miami:  23-22.  Loss.  Dolphins had this game stolen from them.  Phins are an underrated team by most people.

St Louis at Tampa Bay (-1.5):  17-18.  Loss.  Both offenses were ugly in this game.  Raheem Morris is talking way out there smack.  The Bucs aren't the best team in the NFC.

Cincinnati at Atlanta (-3):  32-39.  Win.  Roddy White had over 200 yards receiving.  Matt Ryan had 299 yards passing.  Guess what the major hookup was.

San Francisco at Carolina (+2.5):  20-23.  Win.  A lost season for the 49ers.  Most intrigue is who will the Panthers bring in as their new head coach.

Jacksonville at Kansas City (NL):  20-42.  Win.  The Chiefs have bought into Todd Haley's vision for the team.

Arizona (+7) at Seattle:  10-22.  Loss.  Ken Whisenhunt needs to find a QB.  That is the big thing holding back the Cards.

Oakland at Denver (-9):  59-14.  Loss.  This is what I said:  I think they are gelling and will take the Raiders out behind the woodshed.  Oops, I said the wrong team getting taken out behind the woodshed.

New England (+1) at San Diego:  23-20.  Win.  If I were a Pats fan, I would be nervous about all the close wins and the fine line that they are walking right now.

Minnesota at Green Bay (-1):  24-28.  Win.  All I have heard this week is the crying coming from Vikings fans.  Buck up, the better team won here.

NY Giants (+3) at Dallas:  41-35.  Win.  The Giants shook off the INTs from Eli to come back and destroy the Cowboys.

Week 7 Results:

Overall:  7-7  Win Pct:  50.0%  Favorites:  3-5.  Road Favorites:  0-1.  Home Favorites:  3-4.  Underdogs:  4-2.  Road Underdogs:  3-2  Home Underdogs:  1-0.

Overall Record:  55-45-2.  Winning Percentage:  53.9%  Favorites:  35-37-2.  Road Favorites:  21-10-2.  Home Favorites:  14-27.  Underdogs:  22-8.  Road Underdogs:  10-7.  Home Underdogs:  12-1.   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A little ambience? Maybe some trash talk?

I'll bring up the trash talk first.  Go Maine Black Bear hockey; way to push around those Fighting Sioux this weekend.  (I'm sure this will come back to bite me)  But I bring up the trash talk just because it would be fun leading up to some of our challenge matchups.
Coming up we have my Portland Pirates against Jim's Norfolk Admirals in an AHL doubleheader this weekend, a matchup of first and second place teams in their respective divisions.  Thursday night RJ's Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Boston to get the snot knocked out of them by my big bad Bruins.  It looks like Rick is betting that his Wisconsin Badgers will make Brent's Fighting Sioux look bad again later next month.  Then we have my Patriots against Rick's Packers coming up late in the season.  So this is the place to trash talk about those matchups.  Any other challenges?
Next, I just want to mention to anyone who doesn't know about it that we have a little daily trivia game you can find linked on the left side bar but I'll link it here as well, BoSox Tavern Daily Trivia.  Trash talk is allowed regarding that as well.
Anybody care about the World Series which starts tomorrow; planning on watching it; care to make a prediction?  It's an interesting matchup between the Giants' great pitching and timely hitting against the Rangers' excellent offense and emerging young pitching.  So I think it comes down to whether the Giants hit better than the Rangers pitch.  Going against conventional wisdom but also because Texas beat 2 of the 3 best teams in baseball to get here, I'll take the Rangers in 6.
Finally, the ambience part.  Since this is a pub, the occasional music and food posts are allowed here and I've had this little gem stuck in my head since I started hearing it as part of a new Volkswagen commercial.

UPDATE:  I know it's just the first game of the season but obviously the Celtics could care less that Miami has been ordained as the best team in the east.  Celtics-88 Heat-80

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Monday Review

This is my take on what everybody is talking about after the Sunday games in Week 7.

1.  Brad Childress throwing Brett Farve under the bus after the 28-24 loss at Green Bay.  I understand it.  I really do.  When you have a QB that throws 3 INT and one of those is a pick-6, I understand that frustration.  Add to that the undermining of authority that Farve did to Childress last year and the coach finally blew up.  I understand but it is not something you do right now. The Vikes are 2-4.  They are sitting in 3rd place in the NFC North.  However, they are the most talented team in the North.  The Bears are nosediving.  The Packers have the look of 3 MASH hospitals in the Korean War.  And the Lions, while improving, don't have the guns yet to make a run at a division title.  Chili should have bit his tongue and waited until Farve decided that he had enough of losing and took himself off the field for the season which by my calculations will be November 14th.  That way, Farve could have left without trying to prove the coach wrong to the world and Chili could go to management and tell them that he has proven that he knows how to coach and what people will work in the scheme of things, instead of trying to shoehorn a player that doesn't fit.

2.  The Big Ben fumble and the chaos after that debacle.  How in the world does the official in that situation actually decide that is a touchdown?  Another bad call in a weekend full of them.  And then the officials decide not to follow the bouncing ball and see who actually recovers the ball.  Ugh.  The correct call was made according to the rules, but it is just like Megatron's TD catch vs. the Bears.  A flawed rule.  Every time there is a fumble outside of the end zone, the dog pile is unpacked and one team or the other is awarded possession even when it is reviewed.  So why not here?

3.  What is with Bill Belichick and his going for 4th downs in close games in the 4th Quarter?  He did it again and again the offense proved that they were not up to the challenge.  However, this time it did not cost Mr. Bill the win.  The Chargers offense sputtered, had a false start penalty and Kris Brown could not connect from 50 yards away.  I used to think that Bill was the best coach in the NFL, now I don't think that.

4.  The Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler.  When the Bears got Jay Cutler, I thought that the Bears would surge back into being a playoff team.  Well, I was wrong on that thought.  The Bears offense looks horrible.  4 INTs last game including a pick-6 for Cutler.  The offensive line play looks like High Schoolers trying to play NFL Defensive Linemen and the playcalling of Mike Martz hasn't impressed.  When defensive players say that they can rattle your QB easily, that they can get pressure on the QB at almost anytime without blitzing and can figure out the calls of the offense pre-snap, you know that the offensive system isn't very good.  And the thing is that the entire coaching staff will be fired, not just on the offensive side of the ball.  Bill Cowher as Chicago Bears head coach, anyone?

5.  Thank You For Your Services, Mike Singletary.  There are reports coming out of the Bay area that 49ers Head Coach Mike Singletary might not have a job on Monday if he loses to the Denver Broncos in London on Sunday. (Denver just got run over by the Oakland Raiders 59-14 on Sunday.)  And while the coach will be sacked unless he gets to the Super Bowl according to people in the Bay area, I would keep Singletary on until after the season.  Because there isn't anything to play for if the 49ers do indeed release him after a loss to Denver.  The 49ers would be 1-7 and at the very least 4 games back in the division.  You have Alex Smith who might be lost for the season, you have the offensive scheme that isn't working.  You cannot change those things in one week.  No matter how optimistic you are.  Instead of trying to hotshot change like you did with Singletary, have a quiet but intensive search for a new head coach and hire him around the Super Bowl.  Because there are a couple of things you do have going forward with the 49ers.  On offense, you have Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree.  You have a very good defense that is holding you in games.  So with the right coach, possibly a new QB and an offensive philosophy that matches what you have for talent, the NFC West could be yours for the taking in 2011.

I Took A Sucker Bet Against The Maine Black Bears

As the old saying goes, Pride Goes Before The Fall.  My pride in the Fighting Sioux made me to make a bet with Zeb about the weekend's games between the #2 Fighting Sioux and the #11 Maine Black Bears.
Well, needless to say the Black Bears are a very good team and are deadly at home, but I figured that the Sioux could pull through this past weekend.  Well, it looks like North Dakota needs to go back to the drawing board when going onto the ice at another highly ranked place.

October 22nd - Maine came out and dominated the Sioux by scoring 5 goals in the 1st period en route to a 7-2 win.  Of course having 6 Power Plays in the 1st Period doesn't hurt when trying to get out to an early lead.   Then the Black Bears played good defensive hockey and rode the 5-1 lead after one to a victory.

October 23rd - If you talked to Fighting Sioux fans, you would get something like we played two games where we might not have played our best and maybe Maine would have won both, but the officiating was horrible.  I can see that argument.  In Game 2 of the weekend, North Dakota was called for 4 consecutive penalties twice.  The Black Bears scored 2 Power Play goals and won the game 4-2.  The Black Bears had 9 Power Plays compared to 4 for the Sioux.

Overall, the Black Bears after going winless when visiting Michigan State came back home and won two big home games.  They could lead to a great season or might not mean much because of Boston U and BC games coming up on their schedule rather quickly.  We will see if Maine can keep the momentum going.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I hate the prevent defense (and other observations)

I hate the prevent defense...absolutely detest it.  The Patriots are up by 17 points with about 11 minutes to go in the game.  Playing tight defense all game, giving up a few first downs here and there but repeatedly stopping San Diego on 3rd and 5s when it mattered, had resulted in a game where they'd only given up a few points.  Yes, San Diego self destructed a few times but they also offensively hadn't really gotten into a rhythm.   Then all of a sudden they go into a prevent, allowing San Diego to march down the field in about 2 minutes and a half dozen plays.  And, you guessed it, they found their rhythm on offense.  Then with a successful onside kick recovery, they have the ball again.  But then -- yes, you guessed it again -- the Pats going into another soft prevent defense and San Diego marches down the feel with quick, relative ease.
So the Pats get the ball back with just a 3 point lead and about 4 minutes to go in the game.  They get to mid field, where San Diego stops them.  It's right at the two-minute warning.  Are you even thinking about going for it on 4th and 1?  Well, the Pats did and the Chargers stuffed it for a loss.  San Diego gets the ball back with about 1:50 on the clock.  Luckily for the Pats their defense stiffened a bit, an offside penalty on San Diego and a missed 50 yard field goal gives them a win they tried very hard to give away.  Bill's worst coached game in a long time.

On a brighter note:  How about that Maine Black Bear hockey team, #11 in the country coming into the weekend home two game series against #2 North Dakota, where they promptly dominated them 7-3 and   4-2.

I had planned to write about how pissed I am at my driver Kasey Kahne but watching the Patriots game detoured my focus.  Suffice to say I'm probably looking for a new favorite driver after that pussy stunt last weekend.  AJ has looked good in the 43 and that'll always be the car I follow but it's not the same thing as a favorite driver.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NFL Picks Week 7

Cleveland at New Orleans (-14.5):  Game 2 of the Colt McCoy era.  Browns go from playing possibly the best defense in the NFL to possibly the most explosive offense.

Philadelphia (+2.5) at Tennessee:  Eagles defense should be able to keep the Titans under control.

Buffalo (+14.5) at Baltimore:  I'm feeling the Bills this week.  Not to win, I'm not crazy, but to keep it close.

Washington at Chicago (-2.5):  I think that the Chicago offense can figure out how to block defenders this week.

Pittsburgh (-3) at Miami:  Steelers are on a roll right now.  Look for the offense to start picking up the slack making Pittsburgh a very dangerous team.

St Louis at Tampa Bay (-1.5):  Bucs should have enough offense and slow down the Rams running game to pull this one out.

Cincinnati at Atlanta (-3):  Falcons laid an egg in Philly.  They should beat the Bengals with ease.

San Francisco at Carolina (+2.5):  Take the Panthers here against the underwhelming San Francisco team that is not performing up to their talent level.

Jacksonville at Kansas City (NL):  2 running teams.  Take the Chiefs and the No Line from Vegas at home.

Arizona (+7) at Seattle:  I'm going against conventional wisdom here.  I think that Hall will have a big game for the Cards.

Oakland at Denver (-9):  Big number for the Broncos to cover.  However, I think they are gelling and will take the Raiders out behind the woodshed.

New England (+1) at San Diego:  Toughest choice of the week.  The Chargers look bad and are banged up. But this is the time of year they start playing well historically.

Minnesota at Green Bay (-1):  The Packers are starting to get people back that will help defend against the Vikings.  Rodgers will have a big game.

NY Giants (+3) at Dallas:  The Cowboys are favored on what information?  Take the Giants and their offense to win this game outright.

Tim Richmond: To The Limit

I would have published this post a few hours earlier but right in the middle of Lea Michele’s “Sandy” performance for Finn on Glee the power went out in my neighborhood for about an hour and a half. When I got home from work I replayed ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary Tim Richmond: To The Limit and the only knock I had on it was I wish it was ninety minutes long rather than one hour.

I especially liked how half of the documentary focused on his brief battle with AIDS as well as accurately depict the homophobia that surrounded the sport and this country during the mid-80s. ESPN also gets bonus points for having Greg Louganis lend his expertise on when he contracted HIV and its incubation period to show viewers that not only did Richmond not know about his condition until three years before his death but also to educate viewers he could have been HIV positive for several years before he started showing symptoms of full blown AIDS during the second half of the 1986 season.

This is a clip called “Cosmopolitan Man”. Tim Richmond wasn’t your ordinary stock car driver from the South. He was born in Ashland, Ohio, dressed in designer suits and rode a Harley well before middle-aged baby boomers made them fashionable. He had a boat in Florida, an apartment in New York City and a home on Lake Norman well before other stock car drivers made it the place to settle down. He was very good looking man that had no shortage of women flocking to him and was the forerunner to Jeff Gordon and all the other handsome stock car drivers that ran with the Hollywood crowd.

To this day I miss Tim and wonder how many Sprint Cup championships he would have won if he was able to fulfill his destiny – and how many championships he would have prevented Dale Earnhardt from winning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sorry, Mr. Commissioner

I said before the MLB playoffs started that the Phillies were the best team and that, because I'm a Red Sox fan, I want the best team in each match-up (other than the Yankees) to advance, so that the Yankees had the most difficult road to winning the World Series as possible.  So when the Yankees swept the Twins easily and then the Rays got upset by the Rangers, I'm sitting here thinking "Well, there's still the Phillies."
As things sit currently with the Yankees down 3 games to 1, I care much less about who wins the NLCS.  Good for the fans of San Francisco.  But can you imagine the thoughts of Bud Selig and the rest of the MLB and TV network brass right now?  "We're looking at a World Series between the Giants and the Rangers, and not the Yankees vs Phillies?!"
I personally find it much more enjoyable watching a World Series without the Yankees in it.  I don't care who wins and I just get to enjoy the baseball.  Now here's hoping the Yankees don't pull it out of their ass.

Week 6: NFL Picks Results

New Orleans (-4) at Tampa Bay.  31-6.  Win.  Saints starting to look like 2009.

Miami (+3) at Green Bay.  23-20.  Win.  Packers injuries could derail this season.

Baltimore (+1) at New England.  20-23.  Loss.  Ravens go 2-1 in road games at Patriots, Jets, and Steelers.

Atlanta (+1) at Philadelphia.  17-31.  Loss.  Kevin Kolb is making Andy Reid look prophetic with his stats.

San Diego at St. Louis (+9).  17-20.  Win.  The Bell is tolling for thee, Norv Turner.  

Seattle at Chicago (-7).  23-20.  Loss.  Figures, the Seahawks actually look like a team on the road when they are big underdogs. 

Kansas City at Houston (-4.5).  31-35.  Loss.  Texans defense needs to start showing up.

Detroit (+12) at NY Giants.  20-28.  Win.  I told you that the Lions were a decent football team.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-15).  10-28.  Win.  Colt McCoy looked good.  I have a feeling that James Harrison will get suspended before too long because of helmet-to helmet contact.

Oakland at San Francisco (-7).  9-17.  Win.  Finally, the 49ers get a win.  Shouldn't have been this close.

NY Jets (-3) at Denver.  24-20.  Win.  I am starting to see the Broncos gel in the weak AFC West.

Dallas (E) at Minnesota.  21-24.  Loss.  Ugh.  This game sucked.  The calls went the Vikings way.

Indianapolis (-3) at Washington.  27-24.  Tie.  The Colts are vulnerable this year.  This game proved that again.

Tennessee (-2.5) at Jacksonville.  30-3.  Win.  It just looked like the Titans wanted it more.

Week 6 Results:

Overall:  8-5-1  Win Pct:  60.7%  Favorites:  5-3-1.  Road Favorites:  3-0-1.  
Home Favorites:  2-3.  Underdogs:  3-2.  Road Underdogs:  2-2  Home Underdogs:  1-0.

Overall Record:  50-38-2.  Winning Percentage:  56.7%  Favorites:  32-32-2.  Road Favorites:  21-9-2.  Home Favorites:  11-23.  Underdogs:  18-6.  Road Underdogs:  7-5.  Home Underdogs:  11-1.   

Monday, October 18, 2010

A few questions

Not that we think Texas will win the ALCS against the Yankees, but do they have any chance at all if they don't win tonight with their ace, Cliff Lee, on the bump?  If they do win tonight, what chance do you give them to win the series?  Do you still feel it's the Phillies championship to lose?
Early NHL season:  Who's the best team you've seen so far this season?  Is their a surprise team so far, either positive or negative?
Did I misunderstand something late in Saturday night's Nascar race or did Jimmy Johnson, with no new tires, outrun Kyle Busch with two new tires, Busch who'd been the dominant car to that point in the race?  What the hell's going on with the 9 car?
The radio and TV experts keep coming up with stats regarding how many times an NFL team that's started 1-3 and 1-4 have made the playoffs, which is all well and good regarding the Cowboys; but the stat I'd like to have added to that is:  Has it ever happened that a team has started 1-4 and made the playoffs with so many teams in their conference starting 4-1 or 4-2 AND when one division is going to be won by a .500 team?  Sorry Cowboy fans, I thought you were done before the loss this weekend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

NFL Picks Week 6

New Orleans (-4) at Tampa Bay.  I still believe that the Bucs are a year away from contention.

Miami (+3) at Green Bay.  Take the Phins with Rodgers coming back from a concussion and looking ahead to Minnesota next week.

Baltimore (+1) at New England.  Baltimore is one of the 2 best teams in the AFC.  New England isn't.

Atlanta (+1) at Philadelphia.  Vick's revenge game marred by him not starting.

San Diego at St. Louis (+9).  Rams are better than they have been for the past 3 years.

Seattle at Chicago (-7).  Bears defense looks like they are getting back to Monsters of the Midway moniker.

Kansas City at Houston (-4.5).  Inadequate pash rush in this game isn't much of a factor for Texans defense in this game.

Detroit (+12) at NY Giants.  Giants have been playing well, but so have the Lions.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-15).  Colt McCoy flapping his gums doesn't speak well for the Browns chances.

Oakland at San Francisco (-7).  Do you go with the annually bad team or the one that has been finding ways to lose this year?

NY Jets (-3) at Denver.  Jets are the best team in AFC currently.  They will win here.

Dallas (E) at Minnesota.  Until Farve proves that he wants to be in the game, I will pick against the purple.

Indianapolis (-3) at Washington.  Peyton Manning needs to put this team on his back.

Tennessee (-2.5) at Jacksonville.  Titans go as far as Vince Young will take them.  He will take them to the victory in this game.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week 5 NFL Picks Results

Atlanta (-2.5) at Cleveland:  20-10.  Win.  I cannot figure out the Falcons offense.  They should be better than what they have shown.

NY Giants at Houston (-2.5):  34-10.  Loss.  Memo to Texans:  Just because you beat Indy doesn't mean that you have done lots this year.

Green Bay (-2.5) at Washington:  13-16.  Loss.  Barnett being out didn't hurt, but Finley, Lee, and Matthews among others did.

Jacksonville at Buffalo (E):  36-26.  Loss.  This Bills Defense leaks like a sieve.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has played well so far.

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (-7):  24-21.  Loss.  Carson Palmer looks awful passing the ball.  Bucs defense is starting to mature.

St. Louis at Detroit (-2.5):  6-44.  Win.  Shaun Hill looks like he is getting the most out of the offense.

Kansas City (+8) at Indianapolis:  9-19.  Loss.  KC played the Colts even for about 3 1/2 quarters.  

Denver at Baltimore (-8):  17-31.  Win.  Ray Rice is the reason that the Ravens are Super Bowl contenders.

Chicago (E) at Carolina:  23-6.  Win.  Todd Collins had 10 passes that didn't hit the ground for Chicago.  4 of those didn't get caught by his team.  Bears defense looks good.

New Orleans (-7.5) at Arizona:  20-30.  Loss.  Pffffftttt!  Maybe the magic is gone for the Saints.  Losing to a Free agent Rookie Quarterback.  Unseemly for a defending Super Bowl Champion.

Tennessee (+8) at Dallas:  34-27.  Win.  Vince Young didn't make many mistakes in this game.  Cowpokes at 1-3.  Overhyped so far this year.

San Diego (-7) at Oakland:  27-35.  Loss.  Special teams is a part of the game there, Norv Turner.

Philadelphia at San Francisco (-3):  27-24.  Loss.  49ers still have a shot at the NFC West.  And even if they do pull it out, probably won't save Mike Singletary.

Minnesota at NY Jets (-3):  20-29.  Win.  Turnovers yet again for the Vikings #4.  If they lose to Cowboys and go 1-4, will Farve all of a sudden have a major injury to his elbow?

Overall for week 5:   6-8  Win Pct:  42.9%  Favorites:  5-7.  Road Favorites:  2-3.  
Home Favorites:  3-4.  Underdogs:  1-1.  Road Underdogs:  1-1  Home Underdogs:  0-0.

Overall Record:  42-33-1.  Winning Percentage:  55.9%  Favorites:  27-29-1.  Road Favorites:  18-9-1.  Home Favorites:  9-20.  Underdogs:  15-4.  Road Underdogs:  5-3.  Home Underdogs:  10-1.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brent's NHL Season Prognostigations - Western Conference


Detroit Red Wings - I can see them getting the ship righted for the regular season.  Jimmy Howard will have a great season in net.

Nashville Predators - I believe that everybody is underestimating their offense.  Could be the surprise of the season.

Chicago Blackhawks - No Cup hangover but they lost too many players from last year.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Rick Nash signed an extension.  The major question in my mind is why?  They will be mired in the bottom half of the conference again.

St. Louis Blues - A nice story last year, I just don't see the talent that will let them crash the playoff party again.


San Jose Sharks - Great in the regular season.  The true test of this team will come playoff time.

Los Angeles Kings - Call me crazy, but I think that the Kings will beat lots of teams that will take them a little bit too lightly.

Phoenix Coyotes - Ilya Bryzgalov is the reason that the Yotes made the postseason last year.  He can do it again.

Anaheim Ducks - They had Teemu Selanne come back but that won't be enough with the retirement of Scott Neidermayer to push the Ducks into the playoffs.

Dallas Stars - Life without Marty Turco and Mike Modano starts.  Marc Crawford will get the most out of his squad, but they are young and Crawford must be patient.


Vancouver Canucks - Rumblings out of the Northwest are saying that the Canucks can win the cup.  That is up to Luongo and if he can play lights out anymore.

Colorado Avalanche - Craig Anderson proved last year that he is a very good goalie.  This year he makes people say a great goalie.

Calgary Flames - The great enigma of the NHL.  You have Kiprusoff, Iginla, Boumeester.  You bring in Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen.  And you still don't know if they can win or not.

Minnesota Wild - New system without playing defense first will make the team more watchable.  But it won't help in the standings.

Edmonton Oilers - Edmonton is lucky.  Buffalo could have had 3 or 4 of the best prospects for compensation  for an Edmonton signing.  Can you imagine Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as Sabres?

Western Conference Finals :

Vancouver Canucks over Detroit Red Wings

Stanley Cup Finals:

Buffalo Sabres over Vancouver Canucks

Friday, October 08, 2010

Brent's NHL Season Prognostigations - Eastern Conference

The NHL Season is upon us and with the blessing of Zeb, I am going to start the predictions here.

Atlantic Division

1.  Pittsburgh Penguins - Crosby, Malkin, and Company are still the class of the Atlantic.

2.  Philadelphia Flyers - The tandem of Leighton and Boucher in goal doesn't look like a Stanley Cup winning recipe.

3.  New Jersey Devils - Kovalchuk will make the Devils a good bet to score more than past years.  Martin Brodeur is starting to show his age.

4.  New York Islanders - I picked what I believe the best of the 2 bad New York teams here.  Tavares and Okposo look like very very good players and hopefully DiPietro stays healthy.

5.  New York Rangers - The Blueshirts now have Boogaard patrolling for runners towards Gaborik and Lundqvist.  But that trio doesn't make a team.


1.  Boston Bruins - I believe that the depth of the Bruins will trump Ryan Miller standing on his head in Buffalo.  Nolan Schafer is looking good in net.  The only thing I worry about is injuries.

2.  Buffalo Sabres - Ryan Miller is the man of the NHL.  The team will be in the top 10 in scoring as well.

3.  Ottawa Senators - I expect Pascal LeClaire to play like a #1 goalie should.  I am a little worried about the offense.

4.  Montreal Canadiens - Bad decision in keeping Carey Price instead of Halak.  I don't see Price as a #1 goalie right now.  Will Canadiens fans be patient for Price to continue growing through his growing pains.

5.  Toronto Maple Leafs - I am impressed with what the Leafs are doing in building this team.  However, I look at the roster and don't see the scoring needed to make a serious effort of getting to the playoffs.


1.  Washington Capitals - The Caps know how to win in the Regular season.  Now can they take the next step and win in the playoffs?

2.  Carolina Hurricanes - I am taking the experience of Staal and Ward to put the Canes in this slot.  Some of the kids will benefit from the experience they got from last year.

3.  Tampa Bay Lightning - Mike Smith and Dan Ellis are the question marks in net.  Stamkos won't score 50 goals again.  I don't see many contributions from the 3rd and 4th lines.

4.  Atlanta Thrashers - Chris Mason as your savior in goal?  I don't see it.  Blackhawks South won't make the playoffs this year.

5.  Florida Panthers - Tomas Vokoun will keep the Panthers in a majority of games.  However, the offense needs an upgrade.

Eastern Conference Finals:

Buffalo Sabres over Washington Capitals


Bold = Teams In Playoffs

Thursday, October 07, 2010

NFL Picks Week 5

Let's see if I can do better than break even this week.

Atlanta (-2.5) at Cleveland:  Look for a double digit win for the Falcons.

NY Giants at Houston (-2.5):  Houston defense gets Cushing back.  Will elevate the play of that Texans defense.

Green Bay (-2.5) at Washington:  Don't think that Barnett being out for the Packers hurts this week.

Jacksonville at Buffalo (E):  Bills have to win sometime.  Maybe against the Jags.

Tampa Bay at Cincinnati (-7):  Think the Bengals will try to overcome the embarrassment of losing to the Browns by waxing the Bucs.

St. Louis at Detroit (-2.5):  Lions are the better team, even though the records don't show it.

Kansas City (+8) at Indianapolis:  Indy defense doesn't play the run well.  Guess what Kansas City can do.

Denver at Baltimore (-8):  Ravens are feeling good after winning at Pittsburgh.

Chicago (E) at Carolina:  Cutler isn't starting for the Bears.  They won't need him.

New Orleans (-7.5) at Arizona:  This isn't an endorsement of the Saints.  The Cardinals look like a team in shambles.

Tennessee (+8) at Dallas:  I can see Tennessee making this one real close.

San Diego (-7) at Oakland:  Chargers scored 41 last week, maybe the offense has found it's groove.

Philadelphia at San Francisco (-3):  I can see the 49ers giving the ball to Frank Gore again and again.

Minnesota at NY Jets (-3):  Moss is in Minnesota and they still lose to the Jets by at least 7 points.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Week 4: NFL Picks Results

San Francisco at Atlanta (-7.5):  14-16.  Loss.  Atlanta seems up and down week to week.

Cincinnati at Cleveland (+3):  20-23.  Win.  Will either head coach be around these teams next year?

Carolina at New Orleans (-15):  14-16.  Loss.  Um, would the real Saints show up anytime soon, please.

Seattle at St. Louis (E):  3-20.  Win.  Rams are in 1st place.  What a messed up NFL season so far.

NY Jets (-5) at Buffalo:  38-14.  Win.  The first selection of the NFL draft to the Buffalo Bills is...

Detroit (+16) at Green Bay:  26-28.  Win.  Detroit plays St. Louis next week.  Maybe a win?

Baltimore (E) at Pittsburgh:  17-14.  Win.  Flacco still doesn't impress me.

Denver at Tennessee (-7):  26-20.  Loss.  Is Vince Young a good enough QB to be a starter?

Houston (-3) at Oakland:  31-24.  Win.  Texans 3-1, lead the rugged AFC South.

Indianapolis (-8.5) at Jacksonville:  28-31.  Loss.  Colts defense cannot stop the run.

Arizona at San Diego (-9):  10-41.  Win.  Now this is what I expected from the Chargers.

Washington at Philadelphia (-7):  12-17.  Loss.  2 wildly inconsistent teams in the NFC East.

Chicago (+4) at NY Giants:  3-17.  Loss.  Ugly game from the Bears offense.  9 sacks of Cutler?  Mike Martz is the coordinator, isn't he.

New England at Miami (E):  41-14.  Loss.  Pats win games in blowouts.

Week 4 Breakdown:  Record:  7-7.  Favorites:  5-6.  Road Favorites:  3-1.  Home Favorites:  2-5.  Underdogs:  2-1.  Home Underdogs:  1-0.  Road Underdogs:  1-1.

Overall Record:  36-25-1.  Winning Percentage:  58.9%  Favorites:  22-22-1.  Road Favorites:  16-6-1.  Home Favorites:  6-16.  Underdogs:  14-3.  Road Underdogs:  4-2.  Home Underdogs:  10-1.