Sunday, December 28, 2014

A look at the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot (Part 2)

Early this morning, I finished Part 1 of looking at the 2015 HOF Ballot. This post will look at the next 10 on the list. There will be a Part 3 sometime early in the work week to finish up the series. That will allow for people to mock my choices. Especially when I say that Pedro Martinez is an Expo and that the Hall of Fame bust should reflect that.

A look at the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot (Part 1)

I must be getting old. When I first saw the list of potential Hall of Famers for 2015, I immediately picked out 10 players that would have been on my ballot. After doing some research on their playing days, looking at numbers and comparing them against people in the Hall of Fame and each other, only 6 of those 10 stayed on what would be my ballot. My memory elevated some of those players above where they should have been. Here's looking at you, Aaron *&@#in Boone!

You will see that I did not disqualify those players that have been linked to performance enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are #1 and #2 on my list respectively.  At the end of the Part 1 post, you will see my Top 10 list that has the players that I have talked about listed on what would be my Hall of Fame ballot. There are 4 people on there after Part 1. In the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th slot. The remaining 6 slots will be filled during the 2nd and 3rd part of this series. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hope everybody has a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday or whatever you call this time of year. May one of your gifts be your favorite sports team winning a championship this coming year.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Found On Twitter: Baseball Humor

The concert is October 13th, 2015 at Minute Maid Park, in case you were wondering.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

My Picks For The NCAA FBS Playoffs

That is how I would have them ranked. And for all of you Florida State whiners that are whimpering that they were undefeated. I do not care. The Seminoles are not in the Top 10 of any of the 5 computer rankings that have been used to determine placements in the polls in the past.  Also, it does not matter if Florida State has won 28 straight or that they are the defending National Champions. This is about this year, and if you are looking for the 4 best teams, the Seminoles are not what I believe is a Top 5 team in the nation.

As for TCU, you lose to Baylor, they win the last spot because of the head-to-head. Simple as that. And if "Game Control" is used as a criteria, how can you say that the Horned Frogs had the game under control when it is only 17-3 in the 3rd Quarter against a 2 win Iowa State?

Saturday, December 06, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 15

It is Saturday morning and 1 team is secure in the National playoffs. Oregon goes to the San Francisco area and destroys the Arizona Wildcats by 30 points. The defense looked great and the offense while not stunning in the rain, did more than enough to convince me that going into the playoffs, they should be the #1 seed overall. With wins this weekend, I would also put in Alabama and Ohio State. Alabama because they have proven almost every week that they are a very good team. For Ohio State, you have a pre-season Heisman candidate go down with a season ending injury. Then in Ohio State's last game, you have a current Heisman hopeful go down to a season ending injury. Both are quarterbacks. If Ohio State beats Wisconsin with their third-string QB, then you have a team (hint, hint) that deserves to continue their quest to a possible national championship.

That leaves the 4th spot. Florida State, Baylor, and TCU. That is how I would have them ranked at the outset of the day. I would have to see the three games before rendering a final verdict, but a less than a convincing win by the Seminoles would allow me to entertain Baylor or even TCU making the field. Baylor has to beat K-State and not just a last -second win either. If both Baylor and FSU look less than real good, then TCU would come into the discussion, but for my tastes, TCU is a long shot.

I had already picked the Oregon-Arizona game on the Bite Me Message Board before the pre-game even started.  I give myself props for picking the Ducks at (-10) over the Wildcats.  The rest of my picks are as follows:

Iowa State (+35) at #3 TCU
#1 Alabama (-16.5) vs. #16 Missouri
#9 Kansas State at #6 Baylor (-7)
#4 Florida State vs. #11 Georgia Tech (+4)
#13 Wisconsin vs. #5 Ohio State (+4)
Fresno State vs. #23 Boise State (-23)
Oklahoma State at #20 Oklahoma (-21)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 14

This weekend is more exciting than last weekend. There are some major games and everybody is looking at the playoff committee to see if they are giving any clues about who they are leaning towards. And everybody is asking what the committee means when they assert game control. At the end of this year, I might want the computer back and it's analytical results instead of the feeling model that the selection committee seems it is tilting towards.

#5 TCU (-6.5) at Texas
Stanford at #8 UCLA (-5.5)
#16 Georgia Tech at #9 Georgia (-12.5)
Michigan at #6 Ohio State (-21)
Florida (+7.5) at #3 Florida State
#10 Michigan State (-13) at Penn State
#7 Baylor (-25) at Texas Tech
#4 Mississippi State at #19 Mississippi (+2.5)
#15 Auburn at #1 Alabama (-8.5)
#2 Oregon (-19.5) at Oregon State

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 13

This week had a few major games, but was headlined by SEC teams playing cupcake teams that they scoff at when anybody else plays them. Florida State escaped by the skin of their teeth yet again and we found out that a player can push an official out of the way and the ACC says that the player was in the right. And we found out that even though Marshall is undefeated, they aren't even the highest ranked Group of Five team in the land. That belongs to the 2 loss Boise State Broncos. And in the SEC, Missouri is close to repeating as SEC East Champions. If that happens, you just shake your head.

A 6-3 record last week. I am now 11 games under .500. Probably not going to make it, but I am going to try to get as close as I can before my bowl bonanza picks.

My Top 10: 1) Oregon 2) Alabama 3) Baylor 4) Florida State
5) Ohio State 6) TCU 7) Mississippi State 8) Michigan State 9) Georgia 10) UCLA 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Posted On Twitter: I Give Up

I posted that on Twitter right after the Blackhawks scored their second goal – on their second shot of the game. The Oilers went on to lose 7-1, and thankfully I used my PS3 to play a video game rather than sit through the second and third periods.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 13

Everybody gets on the big conferences for scheduling cupcakes during the first month of the season. The SEC schedules them too, but in the middle of the season. Charleston Southern, Western Carolina, and Samford are battling Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn this week. Tough games, I am sure. Anyways, besides the USC/UCLA tilt, there aren't many intriguing games in the Top 10.

There is chatter that the coaches and the school administrations of the Power 5 conferences favor the playoffs expand to 8 teams. If you do that, then have the conference champions of the Power 5 get in, have the Top 2 schools from the rest of college football get in and then have 1 final spot for a deserving Power 5 team. So you have two underdogs from outside the Power 5 conferences and 1 at large team if you do this. 

Charleston Southern at #10 Georgia (NL)
Indiana (+35.5) at #6 Ohio State
Boston College at #3 Florida State (-17)
#8 Mississippi at Arkansas (+3.5)
Western Carolina at #1 Alabama (NL)
Colorado at #2 Oregon (-32.5)
Oklahoma State at #7 Baylor (-29.5)
Vanderbilt at #4 Mississippi State (-30.5)
#19 USC (+4) at #9 UCLA

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Found On Twitter: Sad Children

This sums up how last night’s game against the Nashville Predators turned out for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I still haven’t watched the game “highlights” on NHL Gamecenter – and I probably won’t either.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking A Long Walk Off A Short Plank

At 3-7, it is going to be another losing season for the Washington D.C. Football franchise
For the 2nd time this NFL season, I have been challenged because my team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have played the favorite team of another member of the message board. And I am 2-0 in those challenges. The Bucs went into Pittsburgh and proved that the Steelers were just a rusted curtain. Then this past week, we go into Washington and show that the feathers on the logo should be painted pure yellow because there was no fight back coming from Daniel Snyder's favorite team.

The sad thing about this game is that the Buccaneers didn't even use their best QB. We played Josh McCown who should be the backup with the way that he has played this year. But Lovie is being stubborn again. Mike Evans went off for over 200 yards in receiving against Washington. McCown threw for less than 300 yards, so you would think that sometime after half, the Washington team would figure out that #13 of the Buccaneers might need to be covered more closely. Apparently that was a foreign concept.

The Bucs defense caused many problems for the Washington offense. 6 sacks. 2 Interceptions and a defensive TD. Man, if we played this game 10 times, the Bucs would win 8 or 9 of those games. We are starting to see Tampa starting to come together as a team. The offensive line isn't great, isn't even good, but the team did a good enough job against an average Washington defense.

I say good luck to the Washington team because your QB is way overrated. The receivers don't do enough to help the QB. The offensive line looks bad. And let's not talk about the defense. The owner is a putz who likes picking fights over some things that are so stupid. The nickname being the most talked about one. Change the nickname and go after making as much money as you can.

As for the Bucs, we are 2 games out of 1st place in the NFC South. We can still win the division. We have the building blocks of a great defense. The offense needs a QB to guide it (Glennon, anyone). I am still not sold on Lovie being the coach that will get us to the promised land.

We proved on Fed Ex field, that the team that has pewter in their color scheme was the better team. Any true Bucs fan does not like the Washington franchise and there is lots of partying for the victory. Now it is time to stop hoping that we can beat the dregs of the NFL and move up to possible playoff teams and start beating them. Beat us while we are down. We showed that we can beat the bad teams and teams that overlook us. Now it is time to start beating others and take our rightful place on top of the NFC South for years to come.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 12

Well, another one of the Top 4 has gone down to defeat. This time it is Mississippi State. They should have been joined by Florida State. Can I have an investigation into the officials of the ACC, please? I swear, the Seminoles get the best calls from the officials on the field that I have ever seen. Anyways, out in PAC land, we have the resurrection of UCLA and USC as possible South division champions along with Utah and Arizona.

My Top 10: 1) Oregon 2) Alabama 3) Baylor 4) Florida State
5) Ohio State 6) TCU 7) Mississippi State 8) Mississippi
9) Michigan State 10) Georgia

Yes, playing bad against a weak team is held against you in what I think and Florida State needing help in a couple of games this year to stay undefeated does play into where I put them. When you have a bye and get rewarded for it, the field is becoming very weak. The last 3 are very flawed teams, but who else do you put there? UCLA? Utah? Kansas State? Arizona? Wisconsin? This is the problem. All the two loss teams have looked for lack of a better term unremarkable. Michigan State is probably the best out of those teams, but they didn't prove in the Ohio State game that they were on par with the Buckeyes.

Picking the two underdogs at home was a good thing. Oregon State and Arkansas pulled through. And brought me a modest 2 week winning streak. I am 14 games under .500. It is still achievable. But when I pick teams that lay eggs like Auburn did vs. Georgia, it makes it tough.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Here Come The Raiders!

This King Stahlman Bail Bonds commercial has played on local television every year since the mid-80s. To this day, I still get a laugh out of it every time the Oakland Raiders visit San Diego.

Hoping For A Ryan Newman Championship

At least one member of this message board wants to see a Ryan Newman Championship this Sunday in Homestead.

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 12

I figured that I would give you some analysis into the muddled Big 10 West standings where 4 teams still have a shot at that division title. Just Kidding. It doesn't matter who wins that division. The national scene is where everybody is looking. The TCU/Baylor decision out of the Big 12 is a topic right now. So is the SEC West and the possibility that every team there will have 2 losses now. The PAC-12 South is a jumbled mess still. In the ACC, we have Florida State and then the smurf schools because they look so small on a national scale. Lots of teams still have everything to play for (are you listening Kirk Ferentz). So let's get to my picks and get the winning percentage higher than the 41% that I am currently at.

#8 Ohio State (-14) at #25 Minnesota
#4 TCU (-28.5) at Kansas
#1 Mississippi State (+10) at #5 Alabama
#9 Auburn (+2.5) at #15 Georgia
#3 Florida State (-2.5) at Miami
#6 Arizona State at Oregon State (+7)
And Finally I am going with a Bret Bielema special
#17 LSU at Arkansas (+1)

2 Home Underdogs and the rest road teams for picks. Could spell disaster or it could be a big success.

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 11

The playoff race was sure shaken up when Auburn went down in flames to an unranked Texas A&M team.  Florida State looks like they are playing down to their competition. Only a 14 point win vs. Virginia?! And TCU could lose their Top 4 ranking and not lose another game if Baylor runs the table. Oregon looked like zombies during the first part of their game and The Big 10 hopes took a hit when the Buckeyes beat up on Sparty. The 4 team playoff has people politicking all throughout the land. And I would laugh if the SEC West champion lose in Atlanta to the SEC East champion because then I could point and say that the SEC is just like the rest of the conferences. They cannibalize each other. And then I would also point out that the SEC doesn't like scheduling their teams to head north when the weather might be below 60 to 70 degrees.

A 6-2 week put the winning percentage north of 41 this week. And if I have a winning week next week when I pick underdogs, I will be at 50% at the very least. Told ya I was going to rebound after a horrible start to the season.

My Top 10: 1) Oregon, 2) Florida State, 3) Mississippi State, 4) Alabama, 5) TCU, 6) Baylor, 7) Arizona State, 8) Ohio State, 9) Nebraska, 10) Auburn  

Saturday, November 08, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 11

The football season is winding down and there are major games to be played from here on out. I was reading about the thing that the SEC is worried about right now. That Alabama, Auburn, and Mississippi State all lose one game from now to the SEC championship game and then a 1 loss Mississippi State team loses in the SEC title game to an SEC East team that already has 2 losses. If that happens and Florida State has 0 losses, Oregon only has 1 loss, TCU or Kansas State only has one loss and Michigan State end with 1 loss, who do you boot out to put in a 2 loss Georgia or Mississippi State team? Or does the selection committee really go off the board and put in Alabama or Auburn? And where does that leave Notre Dame if they finish with one loss? How about Baylor? They have a real good shot at being a one loss team when their season ends. So for SEC fans to be dreaming about two or possibly three teams in the playoff seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Texas A&M (+23.5) at #3 Auburn
#10 Notre Dame at #9 Arizona State (-2.5)
UTM at #1 Mississippi State (NL)
Virginia (+20.5) at #2 Florida State
#7 Kansas State (+6) at #6 TCU
#14 Ohio State at #8 Michigan State (-3.5)
#5 Alabama (-6.5) at #16 LSU
#4 Oregon (-8) at #17 Utah

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 10

This week was ugly. 2 wins out of 7 will do that. The big thing that I learned coming out of the weekend is that Florida State, when they are motivated, is the best team out there that I have seen. The major problem for them is that the off the field distractions continue and that might cause them to stumble. As For #1 Mississippi State, I am still not completely sold on them. #3 Auburn still has major lifting to do in order to qualify for the playoffs. And finally, my choice to be the 1st playoff winner in history, Oregon is looking good at the current moment. They have had their yearly stumble and look like they are starting to peak.

My Top 10: 1) Florida State, 2) Oregon, 3) Mississippi State, 4) Michigan State, 5) Alabama, 6) TCU, 7) Auburn, 8) Kansas State, 9) Arizona State, 10) Baylor 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Found On Twitter: Dating Service?

What can I say? Twitter is the gift that keeps on giving, and this morning I learned through this tweet and others Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is looking for a date. Well, more than one and he even tried to get porn star Lisa Ann to help him out.

I can’t wait to see how hard he gets trolled on Twitter, plus there’s the fact you’ll probably see signs in the crowd the next time the Flyers are on the road.

Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 World Series

While it was fun to have a true underdog to pull for in the KC Royals, and you had a fabulous and historic pitcher performance by Madison Bumgarner (I mean truly historic in an era of never-ending hyperbole), did you really think you were watching good baseball?  Did you not feel a little cheated, as I did, to not be watching the best teams compete for a championship?  Yeah, yeah, to the winner go the spoils but don't kid yourself that the best team won.
We're in an era where getting hot at the right time is paramount, because all of these teams are mediocre, even the ones that I would say were the best teams this year.  But at least you wouldn't be watching hitters who don't know the strike zone make it unbelievably easy for a very good pitcher to dominate like never before.  Side note:  I heard today that KC isn't planning on resigning four or five of the most integral players in this playoff run.  So how good are they then? 
My own beloved Red Sox won the World Series last year with a team as flawed as they come.  Were it not for a shutdown closer, the greatest clutch hitter of all time and an ace pitcher, we would've lost to arguably a better team.  And my Red Sox seem to be content to keep building teams that way because we're seeing you can win it all with the best mediocre team.
Don't get me wrong, I like the kind of players that both the Giants and Royals displayed in this series, mostly hard-playing grinders (and I'd rather have a team full of those than a team full of Puigs) but where was even a modicum of star power?  Where were the five-tool players?  San Francisco's leader and best player was basically a no-show in this series and they still won.
And remember, this is the third time in five years the Giants have won this way -- with a team no one thought could go all the way (and again, kudos to them) -- add to that last year's Sox win and it's getting to be a real bad habit.
So while I understand that having more teams in the playoffs is good for those markets that seemingly can't get there without a crutch, I disagree that it's good for the game overall.  What's good for the game is being able to watch a World Series where it at least kinda feels like you're watching the best baseball possible.
This never happened when there were no divisions and the best record (best team) in each league played each other in the World Series; this never happened when there were two divisions in each league, so you had League Championship series to determine who went to the Series -- and remember how great those series were through the years -- and I don't remember it really happening when they added the wild card to the mix.  But it seems to be happening every year now that we have two wild card teams.
I dunno, maybe something else is to blame but the end result is that we're watching World Series that are well below par, well below what we deserve as diehard fans.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 10

The college football world is buzzing about the inaugural 4 teams that a selection committee spit out on Tuesday. All that I am going to say that it just affirms the SEC bias that people have. LSU has lost two games and all we hear is how tough the Tigers are. Bull(cough). And Arkansas is always a tough game. They haven't won an SEC game within the past 2 years. But there is lots of time for the committee to fix their bias.

As for my picks, let's rock them this week and get to over 40% wins this season. After a 6-1 week, I know that I can achieve that goal. And at least one of the Selection Committee's Top 4 will fall this week. And for me looking at this, it is another week of underdogs primarily.

Monday, October 27, 2014

They’re At It Again

My alma mater’s baseball team had their annual Halloween Costume game. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Found On Twitter: Leafs Game Summary

You get one guess who won the Bruins-Leafs game last night… and who escaped the CBC censors at the end of the game too!

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 9

I have finally broke through with a winning week. 6-1-0 for this week. Picked the LSU upset, and was on the right side of those 1 point lines. Kentucky was a 14.5 point dog. Lost by 14. Oregon was a 17 favorite. Won by 18. It does feel nice to actually feel like I know what I am talking about. You couldn't tell that from the first 8 week of picks.

The stupidest thing this week that I saw was a Michigan Wolverine bringing a stake out to Michigan State's stadium and planting in the field pre-game. Why would you do that? You bring ridicule onto your team, you really pissed off the Spartans, just listen to coach D'Antonio in the post-game press conference, and it looks like you can't visualize what it is like to win on a rivals stadium. Hey Big Brother, little brother just kicked your ass again. And no, Mike Hart isn't there to eat those words.

After this week, my Top 10:
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
3. Oregon
4. Michigan State
5. Alabama
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
10. TCU

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 9

After this week, we are going to be 3/4 of the way through the regular season. I am hoping that I can have a great last 3 weeks and get close to the .500 mark for the season. Who could have guessed that both Mississippi schools would be in the Top 3 of the polls right now and it is funny that the politicing has already begun. Marshall has hired a PR firm to try and get into the playoffs because they believe that they will go undefeated this year. Of course if you look at their schedule, there is not very tough teams there. So I don't think that Marshall has a snowballs chance in hell of making it, but it is an example of how crazy this year has been.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 8

This year has been a disaster in doing this. I am struggling along at a 33% Winning Percentage. The problem is that most people have no idea which team will show up on a Saturday. Either the world beaters, or the one that just does enough to get by. Alabama scoring 59 points? OK, but Texas A&M scoring 0? You think that cannot happen.

And I am going to argue that the SEC gets a pro-bias from the media and coaches. And I am not going to argue it by looking at the top teams in the conference this year, but at the last SEC ranked in both polls, the LSU Tigers. You are telling me that the LSU Tigers are near the 20th best team in the nation? Have you watched them? They haven't impressed anybody, but yet they are put into the Top 25. Ugh. I hope that the selection committee quashes this nonsense.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 8

With #1 Mississippi State and #6 Auburn off this week, I figured that I would lick my wounds from last week and only pick the 7 games that feature Top 10 teams. Last week was mostly favorites, this week has only 2 favorites that I am picking. With my record this year, every favorite will win. That is just my luck.

If things play out according to Vegas, then the only game that will have an effect on the playoff race is the Notre Dame/Florida State game. And if it goes according to plan, then Notre Dame's playoff chances will be practically nil after the game. If I were to pick a true upset (besides Arkansas over Georgia), I would pick Texas A&M over Alabama. Alabama is showing lots of chinks in their armor. I believe that they will have another loss before the season is over.

2014 College Football Odds Picks Results - Week 7

Well, another week, another flop. I had most of the winners, just not the right spread. So I need a couple of big weeks to come back and possibly get to even for the year.  This season has been a topsy-turvy one and the unexpected has happened. There is parity in the college ranks. If you ask me, the class of college football is Florida State, but they don't show it most of the time.

To all of those people writing off the Big 10 after week two when some MAC teams beat the Big 10, you might want to look again. The vaunted PAC-12 isn't looking elite. They all have at least 1 loss and most of the losses have looked bad. The ACC is Florida State and the little 13. The Big 12 is looking better than what the experts said that it would be. And the SEC is the SEC. The best conference in the land. However, look at the Big 10. 6 teams with only one loss. and you can make the argument that it is the most competitive conference behind the SEC.

My Final Four at the current time: Mississippi State, Florida State, Baylor, Mississippi
On The Outside Looking In: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Alabama, Oregon

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Found On Twitter: Throwback Thursday

On that note, enjoy tonight’s game!

Monday, October 13, 2014

14 Games Is Way Too Little For Trevor Gillies

Trevor Gillies Acting Like A Goon!
The AHL had a chance to make a statement for player safety with Trevor Gillies here. And the AHL has failed. You have concussion research that shows that hockey players face the same problems that football players have in later life and yet you let this Gorilla slam a kid's head into the ice after the kid has no desire to fight. I am sure that since this is the first game for the kid as a pro, that it is an attention getter, but it isn't the attention that hockey wants or needs. And if you look at Gillies history, this is a minor goon move for a person of his stature.

The Adirondack Flames have a chance here to correct their mistake of signing Gillies. They should cut his ass after he serves his 14 game suspension. I know that won't happen. Hell, you will probably have Brian Burke promote his ass up to Calgary just because Burke likes tough guys. This guy has had suspensions all throughout his career and it doesn't deter him. And his apology isn't worth the breath wasted on it.

If I am the Senior VP of Player Safety, Stephane Quintal, I am calling Calgary and telling them that Trevor Gillies will not make it to Calgary to play for the Flames. I would have him suspended indefinitely from the league and have a show-cause hearing for any team that wants to bring him in to their roster.  And then if the team doesn't take the hint and actually goes through with the hearing, then ensure that if Gillies decides to go goon again, it isn't only his ass in a sling, but the Coach, GM, and owner. Suspensions and fines would be spelled out.

Hockey has evolved from the Blood and Guts days of the 70's and early 80's. Gillies is a throwback to those times and doesn't fit into what hockey needs to be today. The NHL needs to keep him out of the top league in North America and work with the AHL and the minor leagues to ensure that they understand what the NHL is looking for in on-ice conduct.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 7

Week 7 picks will have sort of an edge to them. Just got done reading the NY Times and Fox Sports reports on Jameis Winston and the way that the prosecutor's office in Tallahassee were stymied in their investigation of Winston allegedly raping another student. Right now, I wish that Seminole Nation would rise up against the Administrators of the school and the Athletic Department. Because they didn't protect the University, they brought it shame.

Back to the games. Georgia looked like they could be the savior of the SEC East. Well, that isn't going to happen with Todd Gurley sitting on the sidelines, suspended indefinitely. And as for the SEC lobbying for two teams in the playoffs right now. Just shut the pie hole and let the games play out. Y'all might have 2 losses for each and every team. Then come and say that you have the best teams. You can't.

Finally, I am picking more than 10 games this week. There are some games that I have strong thoughts about, so let's pick them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Found On Twitter: Barry Trotz

I think Barry looks pretty badass with the wings placed where they are.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Posted On Twitter

You could say I don’t have high expectations this season. The truculence era is officially over now that Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren are gone. In their place, we have fourth-liners that not only don’t fight, but we’re not sure whether or not they’re NHL-caliber players.

Realistically, I’ll be rooting for a team that will finish on the outside looking in when April rolls around. They Leafs just don’t have enough to get in the top eight. But if they stay away from major injuries, if King Joffrey Lupul regains his form, if Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly continue to improve, if Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer give us stellar goaltending… oh, who am I kidding?

Regardless, a new season awaits and game time is less than six hours away.

Sunday, October 05, 2014


This will be a relatively short post since I plan on writing a bigger one on All Things Zebster regarding my whole weekend trip to Dayton to see my daughter and her beau.
I had bought tickets to fly from Portland to Atlanta to Dayton but the fire at O'Hare pushed our departure from Portland back 45 minutes, which was the exact amount of my layover in Atlanta.  Shelly was able to reschedule a connector for her from Atlanta to Raleigh to see her daughter but I couldn't get another flight into Dayton.  Luckily I was able to get a flight into Cincy, and since we were planning on seeing a game there on Saturday anyway, I just got us a hotel room and problem solved.
I got into the Cincy airport on time, where my daughter was waiting for me.  We went back to the hotel, had a cocktail at the bar and then had pizza and beer in the room.  The next morning we drove across the Ohio to park in Newport, KY to then walk across the bridge to the ballpark and see the Reds take on the Pirates in the next to last game of the season.
Crossing from KY to Cincy looking NE up the Ohio.

Some Cincy skyline and Reds history banners outside the park

Directly across the ballpark
We planned to get something to eat outside the ballpark but I was surprised, being downtown, how few choices there were at the ballpark.  We ate at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, where the food was good and service bad.  It's now a corporate chain.  So despite the fact there was a big Hudepohl Beer sign hanging inside (just like you can see on the outfield wall of old Crosley Field, they didn't have any to offer.  They are definitely missing out on opportunity down there.
The Reds really had nothing to play for but the Pirates still had a chance to win the division.  Unfortunately the ballpark was half full and frankly rather lifeless.  I ordered tix that would give us a view of the game but also of the riverfront behind the ballpark.  I guess I should've consulted a sun chart because the bright sun that day was directly in our faces. 
Dad and daughter

And Wes using the '14 Reds team photo as a visor

From our seats, right above home plate

From the top of our section in the shade, which made for a better photo

So we watched a few innings from our seats but then retreated to the overhang and concourse to walk around, see the park and game from different angles.  In the end the Reds dashed the Pirates' hopes of a division title.

I did like the ballpark and how it was built in a steamboat motif, with smoke stacks in right center and the centerfield deck looking like the captain's deck of a steamboat.
We subsequently walked across the bridge, taking pictures of the Roebling Bridge and back at the skyline and stadiums lining the river.
Roebling Bridge

Statue of a fullsize paddle wheel in the park along the river behind the ballpark

The bridge we walked across with paddlewheel boats

Back at the skyline at from L to R football, baseball and arena

Roebling Bridge

Even better skyline shot and sporting venues

On the concourse of the arena was a statue of a pig wearing a hockey helmet and carrying a stick, despite the fact that the ECHL franchise that plays there is called the Cyclones.  RJ, do you know of an earlier franchise there that would explain the pig?
Once across the bridge went to the Hofbrauhaus, an authentic German bierhaus, where we had arguably the best time of the weekend.  The atmosphere, food and especially beer were outstanding.
I would like to go again sometime and spend more time downtown, including WKRP.

2014 College Football Spread Picks Results - Week 6

I thought that Texas would be the favorite team in New Mexico!
I should give myself a double win for calling out the Utah upset over #8 UCLA. Of course that is the lone upset that I chose on a weekend that was full of upsets. If Stanford could have made a play on a forth and 11 and if the Spartan defense would have played in the 4th Quarter, this prediction thing would have looked good for me this weekend. But alas, it did not happen.We still did improve on the yearly winning percentage.

Outside the Top 10 - The BYU crashing the playoff scene stopped after their loss to Utah State. Really? Utah State? Wisconsin shows that without a Quarterback, that a top tier Running Back isn't enough. Michigan falls again, this time to Rutgers. The Pirates of East Carolina continue to win. They are the best team in college football for the state of North Carolina. And the SEC Least continues to wallow in mediocrity except for possibly Georgia. South Carolina 3-3? A pre-season Top 10 ranking for the Gamecocks looks even more foolish now.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Not Found On Twitter: Defense

I want to laugh at this picture, but I’ve seen this before. By my team. About sixty times a season.

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 6

This week is a great week to be an SEC West fan. The teams play each other and the rankings will certainly be shaken up after the fallout occurs. All 6 teams are ranked in the Top 15 of the nation. How far will Michigan continue to fall? And will the Administration at Michigan put Brady Hoke out to pasture before the end of the season if the Wolverines continue to lose?  Nebraska gets their shot at Michigan State this weekend. The Spartans look like one of the best teams in the nation. Oregon gets a chance at revenge against an Arizona team that blew them out last year. And finally, Stanford travels to Notre Dame and are favored to beat the Irish.

This is one of the weekends that you are thankful to be a college football fan. Big game after big game gets played and after the weekend is done, you have conversations about who you believe is better.

My four playoff teams right now: Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State, and Oregon.
Knocking On The Door: Michigan State and Baylor

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 College Football Spread Picks Results - Week 5

After 5 weeks, college football is starting to look like it is going to be a wild ride to qualify for the 1st playoff held to determine a national champion. Teams are making wild comebacks and holding on by the skin of their teeth (looking at you Florida State). Each and every contender has a flaw that can be exploited. The next two months will be crazy as everybody tries to come out on top.

If you look at the 5 power conferences, there are 6 teams that have losing records after this weekend. Vanderbilt, Michigan, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Washington State, and Colorado. The SEC East looks like it is a disaster after South Carolina lost to Missouri. The Pac-12 doesn't look powerful and the ACC outside of Florida State might not have a true Top 25 team.

And finally, I hit .500 for the week. Each and every week, I have improved my win total. Now that needs to continue to happen so I can bring up my 37% winning percentage for the year. It is starting to look like my underdog picks might be the strongest subsection of my picks yet again.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 5

We are getting closer each and every week to having a winning week. This has to be the week that I break through. I am not loving the underdogs this weekend. As a matter of fact, I don't believe that any of the Top 10 teams playing this week are in serious danger of losing their game.

This is the bad time for college football. It is starting major conference play and the big conferences hate to have their top teams playing each other right now. Can you imagine Alabama and Auburn playing in Week 5 of the season? In just a few weeks, the heavyweights of each conference start knocking heads with each other. This week is just an appetizer for those games.

The Buccaneers will roll on Sunday

There will be no celebrating in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The overrated Steelers will fall to the Buccaneers. The Rusted Curtain will fall once again! I challenge anyone to a blog challenge on this game.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 College Football Spread Picks Results - Week 4

Another week, another losing week. I picked 3 out of 7 games correctly using the point spread.  A 42.9% Win percentage for this week. That is disappointing to me. I just shows that if you don't spend hours upon hours of studying each team and conference, that playing the betting game might not be for you. It clearly isn't for me. I would have lost lots of money this past month.

Conference Thoughts:
ACC - Florida State is the only hope for this conference to make the playoff. If they are losing to the Big 10 and East Carolina, the conference isn't strong at all.
Big 10 - Wisconsin and Michigan State still have a chance. Michigan is a terrible mess.
Big 12 - It is Oklahoma and the weak sisters. Maybe Texas should have went to the PAC-12.
PAC 12 - If the conference is a clear #2, as for being the toughest, it says that college football is weak.
SEC - The toughest conference. However, the East is weak. It is the West that might determine if they are a clear favorite in the playoff.

Who was the better team?

This is an unexpected tone for this blog post.  RJ was even more certain than I that his Raiders stood no chance against my Patriots today.  So I agreed to the rare point spread blog challenge.  I can tell you that even if we didn't agree to the point spread, I'd still feel the need to post as the loser of our bet.
Given the level of expectations and talent, the Vegas spread of 14 points should have easily been overcome by the Patriots.  Well honestly, the Raiders played up to and above their talent level, and the Patriots did not.  The Patriots were luck to survive this game as the winner, say nothing about covering the spread.
I really have nothing positive to say about my Patriots and unfortunately this is becoming a theme of reality...they're not as good as anyone expected.  On a brighter note, I bought a new bottle of Macallan 12 year old single malt and enjoyed it with Blair.  This was the most enjoyable part of my early Saturday afternoon.
Hail to the Raiders.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 4

Close this week, but not winning
Football is under siege on the pro level. It seems that people have finally said enough is enough when forgiving bad conduct by players when involves violence against their families. It is about time. And on the college level, it seems like Florida State is getting tires of the Infamous Jameis character. They have suspended the Heisman Trophy winner a half for shouting a vulgarity in the college cafeteria. What is this world coming to? Expecting athletes to act civil. The world is upside down right now.

This is the week I get over 50%. It has to be. Each and every week, I have improved on my winning percentage. There isn't much improvement that I can make and still get over half of my picks wrong. So, here we go.

2014 College Football Spread Picks Results - Week 3

Week 3 is done and I keep on improving on my winning percentage. If you ranked my winning percentage on NFL teams, I would be ahead of the Raiders and behind the Chargers. (Percentage based upon the past 5 years, sort of). I did win the game outside of the Top 10 ranked teams that I picked last week (Oh how I know those Hawkeyes).

Outside The Top 10 - Big, Bad Louisville was supposed to roll in the ACC. They fall at Virginia. East Carolina is a good little team. They showed that in Blacksburg. And finally, let's stop the talk of BYU running the table and if they might get into the playoff until the end of October, please. They still have almost 10 games left to play.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Found On Twitter: Supporting Your Favorite Player

And I thought the women wearing Ray Rice jerseys earlier this week were the crazy ones…

Repurposing Baltimore Ravens Jerseys

One family came up with a way to still wear the #27 Jerseys of the Baltimore Ravens. Maybe a little bit hokey, but I do believe it does wear well.

This came from the Baltimore Sun twitter page. It is a way to get small kids to keep their jerseys and do a little craft project with them. And it might allow you to talk to them about current events.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Posted on Twitter: Keeping Promises

This morning, I bought a Leafs key chain and hair scrunchie. I still need to pick up a t-shirt and hat for the upcoming season. I might even pick up NHL ‘15, too.

These could have been Raiders products, but the NFL blew it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 College Football Odds Picks - Week 3

After a wild week of pro news that might make you want to stop watching sports (NFL and domestic violence, NBA and racism just to name two), it is time not to worry about the moral and business issues in sports for a couple of minutes. (For more on Ray Rice and what some people on the blog think about the NFL and that entire situation go to previous posts). We are back with Week 3 of the college picks. Right now, I am at a .250 Winning Percentage. Time to bring it up a bit.  Here we go with the Top 10 in the AP and 1 additional pick.

A Slightly Different Take on Ray Rice's Suspension

I won't be surprised if Ray Rice's current indefinite suspension is overturned. Whatever injustices there are in the less than a slap on the wrist he received from the judicial system is not the point. You have to remember that Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games and $500k. After all the howling of how lenient he had been, Goodell then issued his proclamation that in the future, a first strike offender will receive a six-game suspension; and for a second-time offense, a life-time ban.

Then on Monday, the second video is released by TMZ, which by this time Ray Rice had technically served over half of that punishment; and as everyone knows Goodell then levies the indefinite ban on Rice. My point is that Ray Rice has now received the two-game suspension, skipped the six-game suspension, and was escalated and quite possibly has the ultimate punishment the NFL can impose on him without any additional offenses.

I'm not coming to the defense of Ray Rice for what he did was truly despicable and heinous. What I'm surprised is why Ray Rice hasn't gone to the NFL Players Association and filed a grievance for this escalated punishment and fairness. Why has Greg Hardy, DE of the Carolina Panthers, who was found guilty of domestic violence in July of this year, been allowed to continue to play and has yet to be punished by the NFL. Why has Ray MacDonald, DE of the 49ers, been allowed to continue to play while his domestic violence case, which occurred last month, is being adjudicated?  (I'm sure the NFLPA is just hoping he doesn't.)  What separates Rice from the other two? Is it because Hardy is appealing his conviction and MacDonald has yet to be adjudicated or is it "The Video." Frankly, I don't see how an arbitrator could rule in favor of the NFL, and I think Goodell still wins if that happens. He gets to say how he has gotten tough on domestic violence, but the evil arbitrator ruled against him and not because the punishment was arbitrary, capricious, and unfair.

This is not to say that Ray Rice will ever play in the NFL again. I doubt it but maybe. (Just look at Michael Vick.) Rice is a 27-year old running back with a lot of miles on him and now this. For the 5-year contract Rice signed in 2012, the Baltimore Ravens have already paid him $25 million. ( If he gets his suspension overruled, he might sign for less with another team. But then again, who would sign him because he's probably already persona non grata.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Boycott the NFL?

Let me start out by saying that I'm the type of person who believes your employer has no business being involved in your personal life and taking action against you for something that took place outside the workplace.  For instance, I'm against the now-all-too-common piss test -- and background checks for that matter -- with the exception of people who drive for a living.  Unless you're a public person, your personal life has nothing to do with your employer.
I also want to say that we should at least recognize that our prying eyes in to Ray Rice's fiancĂ©'s private life is an unfortunate side effect of all this and she really is entitled to her privacy.  This is why I have not and will not watch that video.
Now with that out of the way, let's remember that the NFL is very much a public industry and that we, the fans, pay the bills; and therefore, we have every right to want to spend money on a league with integrity (let's not forget that word) and who oversees a product and administers that product in a way that we can feel good about.
Domestic violence is still out of control in this country.  I use the word still because no one should fool themselves into thinking that it hasn't always been there.  Fortunately, at least, these days it is something that the public cares more about than in the past.  I know I'm not the only fan of American sports who would like to see these leagues make an enormous effort to get out front of this issue and try to help eliminate (too much to ask, I know) it from our society.
So while I'm not fond of big brother (read American businesses) knowing everything I do and judging everything I do, I am very much for the NFL and other leagues taking the stance that they will not support its employees in any way, shape or form who commit domestic violence. 
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting what the NFL has done thus far in the Ray Rice case.  All they've done, everything they've done, has been PR.  The league office knew full well this much if nothing else:  That if Ray Rice pulled his unconscious fiancĂ© out of an elevator by her hair  -- and they knew from testimony that he hit her to create her unconsciousness -- then they knew without seeing the video that he knocked her out.  What the hell comes to your mind when you hear that a woman was hit and became unconscious, and you've seen video of her assailant pulling her unconscious body out of an elevator by her hair with seemingly no emotion at all?  You don't need to see the act to know what it was -- it was a very violent punch to the face.
So now the NFL is finding itself having to backstep, tread water, cover up messes from its bullshit stance that they didn't see, couldn't see, didn't and couldn't have access to see this video.  So fucking what, frankly?!
I want to see this country wake up regarding this epidemic and how lightly we still take it.  I have a personal history in this subject and I'll leave it at that.  So I think I will join my friend RJ and boycott the NFL this weekend and I ask you to do the same.  Maybe, just maybe, we can make them feel it where it hurts (in the wallet) just enough to take a much stronger stance on this issue going forward.  And oh yeah, my team's owner has publicly been out supporting Goodell's actions to this point and Bob Kraft should know better.  Being a human being sometimes has to take precedence over being a business owner.  The bottom line doesn't always have to equal the financial bottom line.
I apologize for the rambling nature of this piece and I'm sure there's holes in it because I tend to write a stream of consciousness.   And to RJ, I wrote this post before I read yours, so that my thoughts were entirely my own.  Now off to read yours.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Giving The NFL The Ray Rice Treatment

Let’s get a few things thing clear. What Ray Rice did to his now-wife was horrible. Janay Rice marrying her abuser, and then defending him by blaming the media is inexplicable. What the authorities did in “sentencing” Rice was shocking. But I’m not here to discuss that. This time I’m here to call out the NFL for its cowardice.

How can Commissioner Roger Goodell say with a straight face to CBS’s Norah O’Donnell that the NFL investigators could not get a copy of the same videotape TMZ released on Monday? The same videotape sources told the likes of Adam Scheffler and Peter King existed two months earlier?

What Ray Rice did should be punishable to the fullest extent of the law, but what the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens did is just as bad. By covering their asses and offering lame excuses for their “investigation” into the matter, they have irreparably tarnished The Shield.

To me, the NFL’s actions tell women that they don’t matter. That the league’s ability to generate revenue trumps their safety. That anything can be swept under the rug unless there’s unimpeachable evidence to the contrary. What a crock of shit. No one should ever be made to feel that way.

I’m here to tell the NFL and anyone else reading this blog that I’ll to do my part in doing to the NFL what Ray Rice did to his wife. I’m boycotting the league. I will not spend another dime on NFL merchandise. I will not wear clothing or accessories bearing an NFL team’s name. I won’t even acknowledge I’m a fan of any NFL team until Commissioner Goodell resigns.

Is this extreme? Not as extreme as what Ray Rice did. The NFL needs to get their house in order, and they can start by making the person in charge of the league held accountable for this culture of greed over all else that they created.

Week 1 Pick 'Em Results

I promise not to defile this blog site with discussion or news about that team from the City of Washington, DC, but since I'm a "homer" born and raised in DC (thus "DC Homer"), you're gonna have to listen to a smidge of my grousing.  So, for me, Week 1 was a total disaster, but not totally unexpected.  RGIII ain't it; and if the Houston game is any indication, The Team, and our rookie coach, are facing a pretty typically horrible season.   Here's my summary of the game:
  - "...and Griffin throws it away..."
  - "...and Griffin is sacked!"
  - "...and Griffin throws it away..."
  - "...and the point after touchdown is....BLOCKED!!"
  - "...Morris runs up the middle to the 30, the 20, the 10, the...FUMBLE!"
  - "...and the punt is BLOCKED....picked up for a score!"
  - "...and Griffin is sacked!"
  - "...and Griffin throws it away..."
( least we ain't Dallas!)
I'm officially on the Curt Cousins bandwagon!!!!

Here are the Week 1 results of our Pick 'Em Challenge:

1.  Overall winner:  Jim Randall with 12 wins.  Jim wins in the tie breaker (48 pts) with Ellery (56 pts).

2.  Results:

JIM:  12 wins (75%)
ELLERY: 12 wins (75%)
BLAIR:  11 wins (69%)
ZEB:  10 wins (63%)
AARON:  10 wins (63%)
GEORGE:  9 wins (56%)
RICK:  9 wins (56%)
BRENT:  9 wins (56%)
MIKE:  9 wins (56%)
TOM:  7 wins (44%)
ROBBIE:  5 wins (31%)

3.  Overall group performance:  103 correct picks (59%)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

2014 College Football Spread Picks Results - Week 2

The tale of this season looks like a Rocky movie. Let's go with Rocky 3. I get blitzed in the early parts of the movie, weeks 1 and 2. Work at improving during the middle of the season and then in the end overcome long odds and end on top. I am above the Mendoza line after this week. However, the win percentage is still embarrassing.

Thoughts outside the Top 10: The PAC-12 needs to suspend Pat Hayden for his actions on Saturday on the sidelines. The AD of a team should not come down and argue with on the field officials. UCLA is struggling against inferior opponents. Right now, I vote for Vanderbilt to be the worst team in FBS. Finally, lots of ranked teams scraped by the skin of their teeth last week, Nebraska and North Carolina just to name two. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

2014 College Football Spread Picks - Week 2

OK, Week 1 is usually bad for me and this year was no exception. A .143 winning percentage won't get me my own late night show promising winners and earning you money online from Vegas. But what it does do is allow me to say that it can't get any worse and not have much pressure on me. Come on now, am I going to worry that I might go below a .100 Winning percentage? No. And 4 of the Top 10 teams I cannot pick because three have no lines and Georgia doesn't play this weekend. I want to be above the Mendoza Line after this weekend, so here we go picking winners.

Monday, September 01, 2014

2014 College Football Picks Results - Week 1

Recalibration is required here. 1 win out of 7 is not acceptable. The SEC is appearing to be not so tough at the bottom. The Big 12 looked decent outside of Iowa State and the PAC-12 appears to be overrated with their close calls. Thank goodness I am not betting real money on these picks.

Quick Thoughts Outside The Top 10: Ole Miss is not a Top 20 team. Wisconsin is still trying to get over the Bret Bielema choking problem with expectations. The rebuild job in Washington for Chris Peterson appears to be a larger one than first expected. Finally, the Swamp really was a swamp with the monsoons that fell on the highly anticipated Vandals-Gators game that was not played.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Up to 25 Straight

Another game, another win against a Big 12 team. The North Dakota State Bison went into Ames, Iowa and thumped the Iowa State Cyclones 34-14. (Why the Iowa Hawkeyes cannot do that, I will never be able to figure out.) The win is the 25th straight for the Bison and sets a FCS record for a winning streak. It also makes up for the 2009 loss to the Cyclones. Iowa State joins Kansas and Kansas State as Big 12 teams that have lost to the Bison.

The Cyclones jumped out to a 14-0 lead and then the Bison received an 80-yard run by John Crockett and the Bison imposed their will for the rest of the game, scoring 34 unanswered points in front of a sellout crowd of 54,800. ND State rushed for 299 yards with an entirely new offensive line and racked up over 500 yards total. The surprising thing here is that 12 starters from the Bison championship team last year are gone as well as most of the coaching staff that went to Wyoming.

Next up is Weber State in Ogden, Utah next Saturday. The reigning kings of the FCS look strong out of the gate. It is possible for a 4-peat if things fall right.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 College Football Spread Picks - Week 1

Back after some time off is Brent's College Football Points Spread Picks. This is the 2014 Edition. This year we are going to pick the games that the Top 10 in the nation according to the Associated Press. Plus any other games that I feel strongly about. This is for entertainment purposes only. No money is being bet by myself on these games. And if you decide to bet on these games because of my predictions, then the risk is yours and please make sure that you do not know me because I will call you an idiot with some descriptive words before that. All odds are from unless otherwise specified. Well, here are the picks for Week 1 of the college football season:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

401 Home Runs in a Red Sox uniform

And 459 overall.  Say what you will about the rumors and the grandstanding, there's arguably not been a more clutch hitter ever.

And an opposite field double to drive in two runs for a six RBI game.