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. (http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-rice-contract-ravens-millions-2014-9) 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..."
 
 
(...sigh...at 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.