Umm... Michael Vick is still a bad guy

>> Tuesday

Received this in an e-mail. Unfortunately, I have no idea who wrote it so I can't give credit. Obviously, I'm not taking it either...

I don’t understand why everyone is patting Michael Vick on the ass and calling it an amazing success story.

The dude killed and tortured a bunch of dogs for his own leisure.

If you’re not a star quarterback in the NFL, they call people like that “fucking psychopaths.”

Sorry, but it just annoys me that anyone would buy into Vick’s PR campaign or his “amazing comeback” and would now laud him as someone to look up to for inspiration.

The dude executed dogs because they didn’t kill other dogs and lost him money. He personally killed defenseless animals. What a fucking asshole.

Am I the only human being alive who seems to think that performing well at competitive sports isn’t that important compared to, say, being compassionate to other living things and not raping college chicks?

Ben Rothelwhatever and Michael Vick shouldn’t be allowed to be put on a pedestal where young children can look up to them and call them heroes, solely because they can throw a football well.

All professional sports leagues should take a closer look at their moral standards as to who they allow to work for them. If these leagues want to sell themselves based on heroes and role models, they shouldn’t allow people with such tainted pasts to put themselves in a position to become such.

Also, I’d like to point out that while I am most certainly not a vegetarian, there is certainly a difference between killing animals for the hell of it, and killing animals for food.

Mike Vick can donate as much money as he wants to animal shelters. He gets paid enough, and by the way, most of his charitable work is court ordered. He’s still an asshole.


Week 10 Picks

>> Sunday

(Home team in CAPS)

INDIANAPOLIS (-7) over Cincinnati- Not at Indy do I think the Bengals stay close.
Houstion (+1) over JACKSONVILLE- Both teams frustrate, so the Texans naturally win.
Tennessee (PK) over MIAMI- Titans are better and Chad Pennington won't help.
Minnesota (-1.5) over CHICAGO- Bears aren't that good. Vikings aren't that bad.
BUFFALO (-1.5) over Detroit- Best chance for the Bills to finally get a win.
CLEVELAND (+3) over Jets- Have bought into the Colt McCoy Era.
TAMPA BAY (-7) over Carolina- The Panthers are really bad.
Kansas City (-1.5) over DENVER- Dangerous for the Chiefs if they don't win.
St. Louis (+6) over SAN FRANCISCO- Can't give that much with the Niners, and Rams are good.
ARIZONA (-4) over Seattle- Road game for Seahawks. Another pathetic NFC West game.
Dallas (+14) over GIANTS- Don't think it's a blowout. Cowboys will play hard.
New England (+4.5) over PITTSBURGH- Winner is team to beat in AFC.
WASHINGTON (+3) over Philadelphia- Sneaky feeling that McNabb plays well tomorrow.

This week: 1-0
Last Week: 8-4-1
Season: 75-51-5


On the NFL's illegal hit problem

>> Thursday

Day after day another NFL defensive player is fined for what the league’s new mantra has deemed an “illegal hit.” Growing frustration is mounting among writers, fans and players as it’s becoming clearer that there is no definitive line between a clean hit and a dangerous one.

The NFL wants you to believe that safety is its top priority and that these radical rule changes and dozens of fines will make a difference in the wellbeing of the players. While the absurd player comments (See: Harrison, James) and media lashings are plentiful, we’re missing the underlying reason of the new rules: the all-mighty dollar.

Defensive players come and go throughout the league. The skill positions are where the money is made. With increased awareness on concussion recovery, the NFL loses its marquee players for games at a time. We’ve seen concussions cut prolific careers short, including Hall of Famer Troy Aikman.

There is obviously nothing wrong with greater concern and treatment for post-concussion symptoms, but changing the way the game is played is not the way out of this mess. Athletes are getting bigger, faster and stronger every season. As the ability to inflict pain increases, our spinal structure and tolerance for hits doesn’t grow. This is the reason for more concussions and injuries, not dirty hits.

What the NFL is doing wrong however is placing the blame on players for their unique physical gifts. These are the same guys who have been taught their entire lives to ‘jack someone up.’ Now it’s time to reprogram their brains to play a new way?

Roger Goodell is not protecting the safety of his players as much as he’s protecting his prize investments. Major injuries to star quarterbacks, running backs or receivers are a financial blow to both the teams they play for and the league. Outside of the Jackson residence, no one in Minnesota is wearing a No. 7 jersey on Sundays. Local fans don’t buy tickets and casual fans don’t turn on Monday Night Football to watch Tavaris Jackson.

Go on YouTube and Marlon Pryor’s hit on Brett Favre last Sunday. Until the moment he struck Favre, he is being blocked – then held – by Steve Hutchinson. At no time did he have time to stop, think about the direction his helmet would land on Favre and put a “legal hit” on the ol’ gunslinger. Regardless if the hit was legal or not by the new standards, Pryor was simply doing his job like he would on any other play.

Therein lays the problem with the new system. We’re penalizing players for playing hard, for playing the way they’ve been taught since they were 12 years old.

That’s not going to fix the problem, Mr. Goodell. It’s only going to make them hit harder next time.


Hey, the Knicks are good again...

>> Monday

There is legitimacy in New York basketball again. I can’t even hide the thesis. I am just so excited for this season. It has been almost a decade since New York fans can be excited about their New York Knickerbockers. The media is buying into this team and people actually care. It’s only been a week and a half into the season and the change is so immense.

I wish basketball cities like Boston, Chicago, LA, and the entire state of Texas could see what a difference has been made. I understand people question Donnie Walsh’s moves and draft picks, but for the first time in years, there is harmony in the basketball capital of the world. Isiah Thomas is gone, even though Jimmy effin Dolan is trying to bring him back (I will get to this later), but his reign and terrible collaboration of players is over.

This past Thursday was the first time the Knicks have been on TNT since November 29, 2007 where they were embarrassed in Boston by a score of 104-59, but the Knicks shot the lights out to beat a good Chicago team in enemy territory. Let’s look at this further though.

Under IT’s (Isiah Thomas) control, here is the starting lineup on that horrible TNT night:

1.Stephon Marbury
2.Jamal Crawford
3.Quentin Richardson
4.Zach Randolph
5.Eddy Curry

Quite the team of winners…

Here is the starting lineup, Donnie Walsh set up this past Thursday:

1.Raymond Felton
2.Landry Fields
3.Danilo Galinari
4.Amare Stoudemire
5.Timofey Mozgov

Now, I understand the argument that these guys haven’t been tested and proven yet, and everyone is absolutely right, but no one can dispute the difference of the lineup setup, attitude, and perspective of this team is. Amare loves the spotlight, I couldn’t stand this signing went it first happened. How could I? A 6′ 10” Power Forward who could only dunk and play little to no defense. A guy who played with arguably the best point guard in the league for his entire career. There was little to like about it. However, he has embraced it, making New York his home and loving every second of it. The people here live on that , that’s why we loved Ewing, Starks, and Oakley They loved playing in the greatest sports arena in the world. They fed off of it. Amare is no different. You can feel it, even watching through the television, and I have not felt this since I was in high school. It’s a superb feeling.

Raymond Felton looks to be in shape and ready to lead New York on a game-to-game basis. Galinari, Fields, and Mozgov illustrate the potential to be great support players and developing into trustworthy teammates. Toney Douglas is a real threat coming of the bench. Anthony Randolph will impact the boards and defense once he is healthy. The team is set to improve in all of the right areas and Mike D’Antoni has finally something to work with. The pieces are set and then… Jimmy Dolan wants to bring back Isiah Thomas.

Let’s place the positives for this…there are none. Dolan is a respected owner and loves to keep his word. He didn’t want to fire IT before, he had to or New York would have burned down MSG out of disgust. Dolan likes IT, in fact, he loves him. He honestly believes he is the right man for the job. 5 million people think otherwise, but that’s not stopping him from considering bringing the destruction of Knickerbocker basketball back to the President of Operations. It breaks my heart, but according to Isiah in an interview conducted by Michael Kay of ESPN Radio, he does not want to come back. Thank God. I am starting to enjoy watching MSG again.

Only time will tell though…


Picking Week 9

>> Friday

Buffalo (+3) over Chicago- Game in Toronto. Still see Cutler throwing INT's. It's like breathing.

HOUSTON (+3) over San Diego- Close pick, but with no Gates and Johnson playing, go Texans.

New Orleans (-7) over CAROLINA- Probably at my peril, but I hope the Saints play consistent.

MINNESOTA (-8) over Arizona- I know I shouldn't take them, but I don't trust the Cards, go with Peterson to run.

Tampa Bay (+10) over ATLANTA- Falcons might win, but the Bucs will keep it close. Don't give Josh Freeman a chance to win late.

DETROIT (+6) over Jets- Have to go with the Lions when Gus Johnson is announcing.
Miami (+5) over BALTIMORE- Don't trust the Ravens and love the Dolphins on the road.

CLEVELAND (+5.5) over New England- Trap game for the Pats and the Browns have covered a lot this year.

Giants (-7.5) over SEATTLE- The Seahawks have no O-line against the Giants pass rush. Don't make me regret this G-Men.

Kansas City (-1) over OAKLAND- Show me you can show up in a big game Raiders and then I'll take you seriously.

Indianapolis (+3) over PHILADELPHIA- I'm sure Andy Reid's 11-0 record after byes is a great stat, but you lost me when I saw I was getting three with Peyton Manning.

GREEN BAY (-7.5) over Dallas- The final nail in the Dallas coffin, if not here, the Giants will have the chance.

Pittsburgh (-5) over CINCINNATI- I'd be shocked if Carson Palmer plays mediocre. This game will push Palmer to his exit since everyone will watch him stink the joint.


Dan's NFL Power Rankings Week 9

>> Wednesday

1. New England (6-1)
2. NY Jets (5-2)
3. Pittsburgh (5-2)
4. Baltimore (5-2)
5. Indianapolis (5-2)
6. NY Giants (5-2)
7. New Orleans (5-3)
8. Green Bay (5-3)
9. Atlanta (5-2)
10. Kansas City (5-2)
11. Miami (4-3)
12. Houston (4-3)
13. Tennessee (5-3)
14. Tampa Bay (5-2)
15. Philadelphia (4-3)
16. San Diego (3-5)
17. St. Louis (4-4)
18. Jacksonville (4-4)
19. Washington (4-4)
20. Seattle (4-3)
21. Chicago (4-3)
22. Oakland (4-4)
23. Minnesota (2-5)
24. Detroit (2-5)
25. Cincinnati (2-5)
26. Cleveland (2-5)
27. San Francisco (2-6)
28. Arizona (3-4)
29. Denver (2-6)
30. Dallas (1-6)
31. Carolina (1-6)
32. Buffalo (0-7)


NFL football had better ratings than World Series in most American markets

>> Saturday

It appears that baseball may be losing its grip as America’s favourite pastime to NFL football. According to the television ratings over the past weekend (Oct. 30-31) the NFL beat out a World Series baseball game in America for the very first time. Even NFL betting is improving in almost all areas.

While NFL games usually draw more viewers than baseball and anything else on TV on a regular basis over the past several years, the league has never had higher rankings when going head to head with a World Series game in prime time before. It seems the times are changing though as the last time an NFL game was broadcast at the same time as the Fall Classic on a Sunday was way back in 1992 and the World Series game beat the football contest by a ratings margin of just over 8 to 1.

But this past Sunday the tables were turned as the NFL game featured the past two Super Bowl champions in the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The baseball matchup was the fourth game of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers in Texas. The football game ended up attracting more viewers as the famous Nielsen ratings reported that 10.7 per cent of all American homes that have a TV were tuned into the NFL clash which was broadcast by NBC. The baseball game which was shown by FOX attracted 9 per cent of the viewers.

Before this weekend, the NFL went toe-to-toe with the World Series nine times on a Sunday or Monday night and had come out on the losing end in every single matchup. However, there were some areas in America where the baseball game produced better ratings than the NFL contest. For instance, in St. Louis, Missouri, the World Series game had the highest rating across the country other than the five Texas and California cities which had regional interest in the baseball series. St. Louis was only tied for 33rd place when it came to football ratings.

The local St. Louis station that carried baseball, (KTVI, Channel 2), came in with a 12.5 rating for baseball and the station that showed the football game, (KSDK, Channel 5) had a 11.3 rating. Besides St. Louis and the local Texas and California cities, there were only six other cities out of 56 major markets across America where the ratings were higher for baseball than football.


2010/11 NBA Predictions

>> Wednesday


1. Miami Heat, 64 wins
Yes, they will be hurt by big men, but how many teams actually have the talent to exploit that? Maybe a couple. They'll run around everyone during the regular season. Nobody will be able to come close to matching their wings. LeBron will be supremely motivated after an offseason in which everyone suddenly decided he was no longer the best player in the NBA. He might still have something to say about that.

2. Orlando Magic, 57 wins
The best chance that the East has to knock off Miami. If Dwight Howard asserts himself and takes his offensive game to the next level, nobody has the talent to stop him.

3. Chicago Bulls, 52 wins
Rose and Boozer seems like a perfect fit together, and Noah does all of the little things very well. I think Rose takes a leap to be one of the top 10 players in the NBA and the Bulls move up to a 3 seed.

4. Boston Celtics, 51 wins
Basically, we know what we have with them. They're a solid team that will be a tough out in the postseason. However, a year older for all of the big 3 players means 4th place.

5. Atlanta Hawks, 48 wins
They won 53 games when most things went right for them... hard to see them going anywhere except a little bit backwards after the only real change was to the head coach.

6. Milwaukee Bucks, 46 wins
I thought they played a little above their heads last year at times, but they are a very solid team that could have won a playoff series if Andrew Bogut had been healthy. Things depend on if Brandon Jennings is ready to take another step.

7. New York Knicks, 40 wins
Finally, some excitement in MSG! Amare has plenty of limitations, but he should put up big number under the bright lights and under Mike D'Antoni. Raymond Felton was a nice pickup.

8. Philadelphia 76ers, 38 wins
They do have a bunch of young talent (Young, Speights, Iguodala, Williams, Turner, Holiday), it's just completely mismatched and there is no logic to the roster assembly. Still, Doug Collins can mold an 8 seed out of this group.

9. Indiana Pacers, 37 wins
The pickup of Darren Collison solved some PG woes (he was very good in relief last season), but opened up a hole down low. Granger is a stud but there is still not enough help to make the postseason.

10. Charlotte Bobcats, 35 wins
I think last season was the peak for this group.

11. Detroit Pistons, 35 wins
Another team that has talented players but no logic to the roster assembly. They will be able to put points on the board, but I'm not sure if they can stop anyone.

12. Cleveland Cavaliers, 31 wins
Not a lot positive to say, the Cavs will stink and it will obviously be a terrible season without LeBron. They have the talent to avoid last place in the conference, and they should be highly motivated to prove they aren't a bunch of nobodies, but they don't have too much of a chance here.

13. Washington Wizards, 30 wins
John Wall is here, and that means there is hope for the future of the franchise. However, the present still doesn't look that promising.

14. New Jersey Nets, 27 wins
The good news is that not many teams will be able to double their win total. The bad news is that they are still a big-name aquisition away from being a threat to make the playoffs. Still, a core with Brook Lopez, Derrick Favors, and Devin Harris is exciting.

15. Toronto Raptors, 24 wins


1. Los Angeles Lakers, 57 wins
Still easily the best in the West, as long as Kobe is healthy. I believe they are the only team that has the horses to challenge the Heat in the postseason.

2. San Antonio Spurs, 53 wins
Parker should be healthier, Ginobili should be healthy (stop me if you have heard that before), and Duncan is still there. The addition of Tiago Splitter should help in the wide open race for the 2 seed.

3. Portland Trailblazers, 52 wins
Greg Oden being healthy would be a big boost, as he is sneakily one of the best rebounders in the NBA. However, that doesn't seem likely to happen for a full season.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder, 51 wins
Everything went right health wise for the Thunder last season. I predict things won't go quite as well this year. However, their core should keep improving as Kevin Durant wins the MVP award.

5. Dallas Mavericks, 51 wins
It seems like they never go away... another 50 win season awaits.

6. Houston Rockets, 49 wins
One of my favorite teams. Will everyone be happy with their minutes? They have a lot of good players, and it will be tough to keep to a rotation. Having Yao back will be a big boost.

7. Utah Jazz, 49 wins
If Al Jefferson is healthy, the Jazz shouldn't miss a beat. However, I'm assuming there will be a little transition.

8. Phoenix Suns, 46 wins
The feel good story of last season, they won't be quite as good, but Nash can still navigate them to the playoffs, maybe for the last time.

9. Denver Nuggets, 44 wins
No depth up front, drama around Carmelo, not a lot of defense... smells like just missing the postseason for the Nugs.

10. New Orleans Hornets, 41 wins
If Chris Paul is healthy, he could easily lead them to the postseason even with a mediocre roster. Remember, the guy had one of the best seasons we have ever seen from a PG... New Orleans will be doing everything possible to convince Paul to want to stay in the Big Easy.

11. Los Angeles Clippers, 38 wins
On paper, they should challenge for a playoff spot, especially with Blake Griffin. However, we know that these games aren't played on paper, but by the little men in our TV sets, which usually means things don't go well for the Clips.

12. Memphis Grizzlies, 36 wins
They have a solid pieces, but no depth. Still, they should be able to semi-maintain the feel good play of last season. Still not enough to get back to the postseason, but it will be fun to watch Grizz games.

13. Sacramento Kings, 31 wins
Tyreke Evans was very good as a rookie last season, and he will have DeMarcus Cousins down low with him. They are starting to build some young talent, but they are still a year at least away from competing.

14. Golden State Warriors, 31 wins
They will at least be fun to watch with Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and David Lee. Unfortunately, with their defense, they will also be fun to play against.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves, 20 wins
They have some nice young pieces (Kevin Love could win a rebounding title sooner rather than later), but there is not enough to avoid the cellar.

Heat over 76ers in 4
Magic over Knicks in 6
Bucks over Bulls in 7
Celtics over Hawks in 6

Heat over Celtics in 6
Magic over Bucks in 5

Heat over Magic in 6

Lakers over Suns in 5
Spurs over Jazz in 7
Rockets over Blazers in 7
Thunder over Mavs in 5

Lakers over Thunder in 7
Spurs over Rockets in 6

Lakers over Spurs in 5

Heat over Lakers in 7


Week 7 Picks

>> Friday

These picks come in from one of our favorite sports bloggers. A guy who has been doing it before blogging was cool. I'm sure the picks suck, but it's nice to add a fresh voice.

Pittsburgh (-3) over Miami
I think Pittsburgh is the best team in the NFL, especially with Ben Roethlisberger back, making their offense balanced again. Miami has some nice wins this season, but I'm not sure Chad Henne is going to be very effective against this defense. I like Pittsburgh to win a low-scoring game in Miami, with Roethlisberger making the difference.

Cincinnati (+3.5) over Atlanta
Atlanta looked like it might have a chance to be the class of the NFC, and then they got beat easily by Philly. Cincy started off well before tailing off, but they know they need a win to try and salvage their season. Look for a good gameplan from Mike Zimmer, and just enough plays out of the Cincy offense to pull off an upset.

St. Louis (+2.5) over Tampa Bay
After last week's win over the Chargers, I believe in the Rams in the NFC West. The defensive front is getting after people just like Spagnulo's Giants' teams used to do. The offense, thanks to Sam Bradford, is showing more signs of life than they have in years. Something is brewing in St. Louis, and I think it will be enough to beat the Bucs.

San Francisco (-3) over Carolina
2-5 an the Niners will start to believe. The musical chairs of Carolina quarterback goes back to Matt Moore. Won't make a difference for this punchless offense, as teams will just load the box. Carolina's receivers aren't good enough to beat anyone.

Washington (+3) over Chicago
The Bears correction continues, as the Redskins are showing signs of being solid. Donovan McNabb is playing better than Jay Cutler right now, which is why I will take the Skins. The Bears need to get Matt Forte the ball in the running game, because teams will be going after Cutler with the way the offensive line has performed this season.

New Orleans (-13.5) over Cleveland
The Saints appear to have some of their mojo back, particularly if they can continue a strong rushing attack. Colt McCoy looked surprisingly good in his first game starting in his career, but there is not enough firepower in Cleveland to compete with the Saints.

Buffalo (+13) over Baltimore
Baltimore should win the game easily, but I think the Bills will be able to make the final score respectable. Fred Jackson should get more touches after the trade of Marshawn Lynch, and that could be a good thing. It will also be interesting to see if they have anything new for CJ Spiller. Ryan Fitzgerald is not anyone's answer to a long-term solution at QB, but he is serviceable, which is more than you could say about Trent Edwards.

Philadelphia (+2.5) over Tennessee
I believe in Kevin Kolb. He looked great against Atlanta, and he appears to have the timing of the offense down. The only thing that concerns me is that Desean Jackson will be out of the game, which is a big blow to the offense. Still, I have more faith in Philly's run game than Tennessee's pass game, which is why I will take the Eagles here.

Seattle (-5.5) over Arizona
Nice win by Seattle last week, showing that they could win a road game, which was in question for me before that game. At home, I think they will overwhelm Arizona, who is better with Max Hall than they were with Derek Anderson (or Matt Leinart), but not good enough to be a serious contender.

Denver (-7) over Oakland
The Broncos have played well, just are struggling to get over the hump. The Raiders, meanwhile, looked awful last week, and Kyle Boller could be getting the start this week. I think Denver's offense is a lot more explosive than the Raiders, even with the lack of a running game.

New England (+3) over San Diego
New England looks like the Patriots of old... a bunch of scrappy guys just going out there and playing. I can't put my finger on what is different after essentially trading Randy Moss for Deion Branch, but SOMETHING is. And it's clear that as great as Moss is, things were not working out this season. The Patriots look like a force the rest of the way to me.

Minnesota (+3) over Green Bay
The game that is full of storylines. Favre comes back to Lambeau again, and this time the Packers are reeling. The Packers know that if they lose this game, the Vikings have all of the momentum in the division. Still, I like the Vikings D (which has quietly been excellent) to get after Aaron Rodgers like they did last year, and for Favre to hit Moss on a deep ball that will make the difference.

Dallas (-3) over New York
The NFC East seems to always have these types of games... one team is struggling, the other team is playing well... but talent-wise, they are close to even, and there is one team that really needs the game more than the other team. Dallas will be in desperation mode. At home in Big D, I'll take Dallas to prolong the death of their season for another week.


Alabama and Auburn take it to court

>> Saturday

I anticipate filling a similar motion in 20 years the next time Marquette makes it to the Final Four.


Weekly NFL Thoughts

>> Thursday

Here's a copy of Dan's notes from the site he writes for. He's a dickbag who doesn't know how to set up a blogger account, so he e-mails them to me. I'll have my picks and a story about my terrible week tomorrow. - Bobby

It is convenient for Pats fans to remember Deion Branch as the former Super Bowl MVP who was one of Tom Brady’s favorite receivers during the early part of the last decade, but let’s make one thing perfectly clear: He’s not, nor has he ever been, Randy Moss.

The 31 year old was a nice fit on a more balanced team five seasons ago, but stepping into Moss’ shoes is like Brian Hoyer taking over for Brady. There will be a huge drop off, which means we’re likely be see a trickledown effect on the entire offense. If that is the case, the Pats’ promising start could quickly fade into a disappointing season.

The team comes off its bye week entering a grueling portion of the schedule that features five games with serious playoff contenders over the next six weeks. It starts Sunday against Baltimore, a team many consider to be the best in the league, and is followed by road trips to San Diego, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and two home games against Minnesota and Indianapolis. With Moss, a 4-2 or even 5-1 stretch was not out of the question. But with Branch, everything is up in the air.

Just like the Pats’ season.

Is Green Bay in trouble?
Coming into the season, Vegas gave the Green Bay Packers 12-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl and they were among every pundit’s picks to at least reach the NFC Championship game. But this week, with the team facing numerous injuries, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King questioned whether or not the Packers have what it takes to be great.

Fantasy favorite Aaron Rodgers is questionable for Sunday’s game with Miami after suffering a concussion in last week’s loss to Washington. The team also lost top tight end Jermichael Finley for what looks to be the rest of the season. If you combine that with a banged up defense, a limited running game and a brutal upcoming schedule, the 3-2 Packers appear to be on the verge of a lost season.

Favre suffering from a hurt elbow, bruised ego.
While it’s unfair to question the injury status of Brett Favre, it is worth mentioning that he also has to be feeling the effects of the recent allegations against him. As the whole world now knows, Favre is accused of sending naked pictures via text message to a former New York Jets’ reporter.

Favre apologized to his team before Monday’s loss to the Jets, but you have to wonder how much of a distraction he is causing in the Vikings’ locker room and whether or not it might be best to call it quits during the season. Favre is the NFL’s versions of Cal Ripken Jr., so his pride might now allow him give up so easily. However, if a suspension is handed down, it is unlikely Favre, who has claimed this will be his final season, will return to the team.

The Giants are good again.
There isn’t a more week-to-week team in the NFL than the New York Giants. Following two blowout losses to Indy and Tennessee, the team rebounded with victories over Chicago and Houston and now is being considered by some the favorites in the NFC East.

It seems the reports of Tom Coughlin’s job being in jeopardy were premature and people are finally starting to respect the team’s receiving corps, which has quietly become one of the best in the league. The jury is still out on Eli Manning’s ability to get it done without the help of a great defense, but that might not matter in this division. With Dallas faltering, Philly limping and Washington being Washington, a return trip to the playoffs seems likely.

The league of parity
For the first time since 1979, there isn’t an unbeaten team left in the NFL after five weeks of play. It appears as though we have a handful of very good teams (Jets, Ravens, Steelers, Falcons), a handful of bad teams (Panthers, 49ers, Bills, Browns), but virtually every other team in the league seems pretty even on paper. It’s the old any given Sunday rule, a socialist’s dream.

But is it good for the league to not have a truly dominant team? The NFL was built on dynasties from the Packers and Steelers on to the more recent Cowboys and Patriots. Now every week is a tossup, which gives fans of traditionally weak teams the chance to taste success, but it also seems as though the product is a bit diluted.

If I had my choice, I’d take a couple great teams over a league filled with average teams any day. There hasn’t been a more exciting team in recent memory than that Patriots team in Moss’ first year, and it was because as they continued to pile it on their opponents, you kept wondering how long it could last. If that happened this year, the answer would probably be one week.


I'm Back, Baby: Week 4 Picks

I think it's safe to say, after four weeks, that we can officially tell which teams are for real, which teams are too week-to-week to gamble on, and which teams I can safely bet the rest of my student loan refund money against. I think I figured it out last week, when I had my first winning week of the season after a wretched start to the season that involved two "FML" weeks and a week of focusing on my fantasy team.

Here are my picks for the week and we'll reevaluate after the week.

Jacksonville -2 over Buffalo
I wouldn't touch this game, except that two points over any one as bad as the Bills is hard to pass up. Two shitass teams with high school-level quarterbacks and woeful offensive lines. If you need a third game in a parlay, the Jags might be your pick.

Tampa Bay +7 over Cincinnati
Bengals win this game, but probably by three.

Atlanta -3 over Cleveland
A must bet. I love the Falcons here.

St. Louis +3 over Detroit
Another avoid at all costs game. Why would you want to put yourself through the misery of watching these two teams?

Kansas City + 8 over Indy
I'm over Peyton Manning. I still think the Colts will make the playoffs and they'll probably win this game, but the Chiefs are well-coached and have a strong running game. This is one of those 27-21 games.

Green Bay -4 over Washington
A must bet. Washington coming off a high from last weekend is likely to crash. The Packers look like a Super Bowl favorite, even after a weak performance last week. I love them here.

Chicago -3 over Carolina
I'm certainly no where near the Bears' bandwagon. But Carolina is probably the worst team in the league. Them or the Bills.

Baltimore -7 over Denver
Ray Rice is on my fantasy team so maybe I'm biased here, but has any team ever wasted such a talent as much as the Ravens are this year? I know he was hurt last week, but it's beyond me how he was getting so few touches before the injury. Why change what clearly worked last season?

Houston -3 over New York Giants
Don't let the Giants fool you. Eli Manning is the most overpaid athlete in all of sports. And Texans look more and more like a juggernaut.

New Orleans -7 over Arizona
Why is New Orleans underachieving? I like the Saints here, but I'm not betting on them. They're one of the few teams that the jury is still out on.

Dallas -7 over Tennessee
I love Dallas here. After a week off, I think they roll to victory.

San Diego -7 over Oakland
Avoid this game. Inter-division, and the Chargers are similar to the Saints. We just don't know who they are yet.

Philly +4 over San Francisco
The sexy pick to reach the playoffs is already finished. The Eagles will cruise here and everyone will jump back on the Kevin Kolb bandwagon.

New York Jets -4 over Minnesota
I can't wait for this game. Seriously, there's no reason to even bet because it's going to be awesome just to watch. I'm definitely intrigued with Moss to the Vikings though. Think about how often Favre is going to force the ball to him. The biggest loser: Adrian Peterson fantasy owners.


NFL Week 3 Random Tidbits

>> Friday

Note: This post comes from Dan, who will occasionally be writing here at YCS. He's a bit more put together than I am, with less of a gambling habit and more friends. Consider him the angel of YCS to my devil. He'll provide stronger writing about more standard topics and I'll continue to accuse the NFL of trying to fuck my life up with its parity and bullshit two-running back systems. Good day, y'all.

It would be a mistake to refer to Michael Vick’s latest performance as vintage Michael Vick. We’ve never seen this from the embattled quarterback. Not even when he was at the height of his popularity, leading the Atlanta Falcons to that famous road victory in the playoffs at Lambeau Field eight years ago. Vick now has the head to go with the raw talent that made him the face of the NFL and he’s sending a clear message to fans and the rest of the league: I’m back and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The new and improved Vick had arguably the best game of entire career on Sunday, throwing for 291 yards and three touchdowns and running for another score in Philadelphia’s 28-3 victory at Jacksonville. The 30 year old has now firmly implanted himself as the Eagle’s starter and is, without question, the biggest story of the three-week old season.

So can Vick lead a team to the Super Bowl? Previously, most pundits thought the answer was no. Vick was too reckless. He wasn’t consistent. He was still just as likely to throw a game-changing interception as he was a game-changing touchdown. But he also never played on a team as good as this Philadelphia team. He makes the Eagles already-solid offense elite and the team has always had a strong defense.

For the first time in his career, Vick doesn’t have to go at it alone. And with this supporting cast, a Super Bowl ring isn’t out of the question.

Vick’s jersey a hot commodity again
Vick will never again capture the popularity he had prior to his dog-fighting conviction, but that’s not stopping Eagles fans from purchasing his jersey. CNBC’s Darren Rovell is reporting that Vick’s number seven jersey will crack the top 15 best selling jerseys in the NFL by December.

Three years ago, Vick, who once had the NFL’s best selling jersey, became the first player to have his merchandise suspended by the league.

Coughlin on the hot seat?
Eli Manning was responsible for one of the ugliest throws a by a quarterback all weekend when he tried to left-hand it into the end zone in the first half of Sunday’s Giants/Titans game. New York wound up losing 29-10 at home and left head coach Tom Coughlin scratching his head over his quarterback’s poor play. If Manning’s woes continue, Coughlin might also be checking the classifieds for a new job.

The Giants are just 4-10 in their 14 games and many of those losses have come in blowout fashion. The team collapsed following a hot start last year and now looks like it could be in the cellar of the NFC East this season. Of course, Coughlin has one reason to be optimistic: The last time there were rumors about his dismissal, the Giants won the Super Bowl.

Chiefs have the winning look
New England-Midwest, also known as the Kansas City Chiefs, suddenly appear to be the favorite in the dismal AFC West. At 3-0, the team sits two games atop the division and now that the San Diego Chargers appear to be in turmoil, there is no reason why the Chiefs sneak into the playoffs.

And their doing it the same way the Patriots did it at the early part of this century. By drafting well, playing great defense and outcoaching their opponents. There are still questions about Matt Cassell at quarterback, but how quickly we forget that Tom Brady was also only supposed to manage games at the beginning.

You know how that turned out.

Cowboys look good; Vikings not so much
Facing must-win situations in week 3, both Dallas and Minnesota came out victorious. But while the Cowboys got an incredible performance from their defense to go with a balanced offensive attack, the Vikings had to leave wondering whether Brett Favre can still play quarterback at a high level.

Adrian Peterson carried the Minnesota offense as Favre had yet another awful week. Favre still hasn’t quite found a comfortable replacement for Sidney Rice, who went down in the preseason. You have to wonder just how long it will take for Favre to figure it out, especially considering that the every NFC North game will probably be a battle this season.

Pats should be concerned
When the Buffalo Bills offense puts up 30 points on your defense, you have to be worried. But what the New England Patriots should be more concerned about is what took place in the Sunday night game. That’s when Mark Sanchez suddenly became Joe Namath and the Jets offense looked every bit as talented as its defense. If Sanchez is becoming the franchise quarterback New York thought he would be, the Patriots can expect to be replaced atop the AFC East.

Still, it’s hard to count out a team with Tom Brady and Randy Moss. There is no question that the Patriots can score enough to make the playoffs. But the defense is as poor as any defense in the league and that’s not conducive to championship football.


Minnesota vs. Dallas – Which Team is in Better Shape?

With the Vikings and Cowboys, two of the preseason favorites for an NFC Championship, boasting a combined two wins heading into the sixth week of the NFL season, things are looking rather bleak for both football squads.

In Minnesota, you have an ever-aging Favre, still with a strong arm, but still up to his old tricks in more ways than one. Not only is Brett still throwing game-clinching interceptions, but turmoil seems to be a-brewing in the Vikings' locker room due to some risqué photos Favre allegedly sent females while with the Jets.

Add to the fact that AP is yet unable to establish himself as the back he was two years ago, and Sidney Rice still out due to a knee injury, and that Jared Allen is DOA on the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings were missing any real thump and thunder in their three games—two losses—leading up to their last game with the Jets, where, with some vintage Favre and a still athletic recently acquired Randy Moss, Minnesota was able to hang around late before losing.

In Dallas, the proverbial foot shooting has left most of these Cowboys without any toes. Dumb penalties, Romo's impression of a hyper Favre, and a complete defensive breakdown allowing teams like Chicago and Tennessee to run up the score has left the 'Boys with a Vikings mirroring 1-3 record heading into their matchup this Sunday.

You don't need to be able to break the internet blackjack to recognize that Dallas is seriously lacking in the chemistry department. Even though Roy Williams is finally coming along and Miles Austin is proving to be a top-flight WR in the league, nothing seems to meld quite well with Dallas, and it perhaps starts with Jerry Jones and trickles down to the field.

These teams are talented. Although their records state, basically, that they're abysmal, we all know that isn't the case. But which team has a better chance of going on a tear and making the playoffs – the Vikings or the Cowboys?

Checking out online casino reviews and sports books summaries will clue you in that even the so-called experts out there don't know how to call these two teams. That's why you'll find Minnesota barely favored over Dallas, giving a point and a half (- 1 ½).

That's how close these teams are but, if you had to look at what they've both done and what they're both capable of doing, Minnesota seems to be in the better position.

Dallas has a decent dual-headed running game, but their O-line is habitually absent. Whereas, with the Vikings, Peterson can instantly become the AP we all know and love now that there's a legitimate offensive threat for Favre to play with.

The acquisition of Randy Moss, even if he doesn't catch passes, simply opens up Minnesota's offense by forcing defenses to thin out the box. Who's brave enough to play 8 to quell AP when you have Percy Harvin and the freak that is Randy Moss going deep?

The Vikings showed a few flashes of brilliance against the Jets last Monday night. And for the Cowboys, they've yet to play a team even close to the Jets' level, and yet they've still managed to get beaten up.

Look for the Vikings to overtake Green Bay in that division and vie for a Wild Card. Dallas, on the other hand, is in danger of finishing 8-8.


NFL's preseason screws everyone

>> Monday

Look, I know everyone hates preseason football. It’s about as interesting as public access television and for most of the games, features even less talent. But anyone who thinks the NFL should cut its exhibition schedule from four to two games (or abolish it completely) clearly doesn’t give a shit about those of us who like place a few wagers every Sunday each fall.

In fact, if it were up to me, there would be more preseason games. Or I would force teams to play their first team more. I mean I still would rather drop acid and watch music videos than watch games that A)don’t mean anything and B) I can’t bet on (my douche bookie doesn’t take preseason wagers) but at least teams would be prepared when the actual season started.

Every year this shit happens. You might as well flip a coin for the first two weeks of the actual season because no one knows what the fuck is going on. This week, 10 teams didn’t cover the spread and I wouldn’t be surprised if New Orleans made It 11 tonight. I’ve lost more of my parents’ money already this season than I spent all summer on booze, drugs and fast food combined. Now I have to charge idiot freshman $10 to drink cheap jungle juice instead of $5 to make up for my losses. See what you’ve done, NFL? You treat weeks 1 and 2 like the preseason and I’m forced to rip off kids who think I’m cool because my apartment has a beer pong table and a “fuck room.”

But this isn’t even about my problems. I mean it kind of is. But it goes deeper than that. The Dallas Cowboys decided to take the preseason off and look at what happened. They’re 0-2 and as every writer in America will point out this week, being 0-2 means you’re more likely to miss the playoffs than those who are 2-0. Obviousfuckingly.

Dallas isn’t the only team that did this. Minnesota let Brett Favre dick them around for far too long and now they’re suffering too. That’s not to say that some of the 2-0 teams are being rewarded for taking the preseason seriously. It’s just that early in the season, when no one quite has their offensive or defensive game plans figured out, anything can happen. And anything has. I mean Tampa Bay and Kansas City are 2-0. Combined I can name about four players on those teams. Maybe that’s why I’m broke.

Or maybe it’s because the NFL preseason system is broken. But the solution isn’t just to get rid of it completely. There is no reason for teams to be treating the early part of the season as a tune-up. This doesn’t happen in baseball. I guess it does happen in basketball, but that’s only because the entire regular season is like an exhibition before half the league reaches the playoffs. The answer is to take the preseason more seriously and actually play your top guys for more than four series in four games.

As a gambler, I’m furious right now. But as a fan, I’m downright disappointed.


An Intro/Week 1 Picks

>> Wednesday

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bob and as mentioned earlier, I’m the Yankee son of a bitch that will be taking over Yellow Chair Sports (see what I did there). I can’t promise you much about the new blog, except that I will be sharing plenty of my gambling adventures, fantasy football stories and sexual exploits (RE: favorite porn sites) while trying to provide a little bit of insight, an attempt at humor and the occasional well-written piece over the course of the next few months.

It seems only fitting to start my writing here with a post on my favorite thing of all – betting football. I don’t buy into that bullshit that football has replaced baseball at the national pastime; mainly because I don’t believe baseball was ever the national pastime in the first place. Old drunks that we’ve turned into poets like Granny Rice came up with this idea that baseball could reflect life, but, and I say this as a huge baseball fan, nothing in life is slower than fucking baseball. Maybe child birth. As long as it’s not Sox/Yankees game.

I came to the conclusion long ago that no sport is the national pastime. Gambling is. Andrew Jackson was betting on how many Indians he could whack off long before Walter Johnson ever threw a pitch. Betting on everything has been a part of the fabric of this country since its founding, so fuck all this sports-as-poetry nonsense.

With that rant out of the way, here are my picks for the week. In bold is the four team parlay I will be playing with my bookie. Thanks Mom and Dad, for contributing to my habit and paying for a spoiled brat who will likely end up living at the track to go to an overpriced college. 

(Home team in caps)

NEW ORLEANS -6 over Minnesota
I’m not the best guy in the world; I fully admit that. But I try to avoid rooting for injuries even if it would help my gambling habit. But I have to say, I hope Brett Favre breaks his leg on the opening drive. No one is more douche than that guy. As far as the games goes, it’s hard to imagine the Super Bowl champs losing their opener (except that it happens every other year).

Detroit +6.5 over CHICAGO
The Lions are sleepers this year. I can’t see how Chicago deserves to be a huge favorite over anybody, much less a team on the rise like Detroit. Plus the Bears and their fans are stuck in the ‘80s doing that retarded truffle shuffle they all do. Fuck them. Calvin Johnson is my top fantasy wideout so I’m picking the Lions in what isn’t really an upset.

Oakland +6.5 over TENNESSEE
This is a stretch. The Raiders won’t win outright, but I think it will be a 3 point game. I don’t trust Vince Young to win any game by more than a field goal all year.

NEW ENGLAND -4.5 over Cincinnati
The Pats won’t ever get back to the offense they had a few years ago, but this is a team that should run it up a Bengals team who is vastly overrated this season.

NEW YORK 7 over Carolina
Eli Manning has somehow gone from the most overrated quarterback in the league to one of the most underrated. It’s true that he’s paid like AROD, but no one wants him in fantasy and I can’t figure it out. More importantly in this game, the Panthers will be among the worst teams in the league and I they haven’t got a shot against the Giants opening a new stadium.

Atlanta +2.5 over PITTSBURGH
A Dennis Dixon-led offense should never be a favorite.

Cleveland +3 over TAMPA BAY
I won’t watch a single second of this game and to be honest, I couldn’t name six players combined on either team. But I fucking hate pirates and I feel bad for you people in Cleveland. The least I could do is pretend to bet on you.

JACKSONVILLE -3 over Denver
Pretty much the same as the above game. I’m just going with the home team here.

HOUSTON +2.5 over Indianapolis
I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I think this is the year the Texans finally win the division and I love them at home to open the season. This is one of the best games of the weekend and I’m proud to have a financial stake in it.

ST. LOUIS +4 over Arizona
I’m only realizing as I write this how many horrible teams are in the NFL. This is another can’t watch, won’t watch game. That’s why I refused to take Steven Jackson in fantasy. And how the fuck are the Cardinals a 4 point favorite over anyone?

Green Bay +3 over PHILADELPHIA
Everyone is picking the Packers to go to the Super Bowl, but they're dogs this week. We’re giving Kevin Kolb too much credit. Aaron Rodgers is going to light the Eagles up.

San Francisco +3 over SEATTLE
Seattle is another team that should never allowed to be favorite, even if they’re at home. I’m not fully on board with the 49ers this season, but they’re going to win this one.

Dallas -3.5 over WASHINGTON
Dallas is my pick for the Super Bowl champion this year. In that shitass division, I honestly think the Cowboys will go 14-2. And it starts by pissing all over the Redskins.

NEW YORK -2.5 over Baltimore
A possible preview of the AFC Championship. It’s hard to imagine the Ravens having the second best defense in any game, but that’s true here. This will be one of those 16-13 games.

San Diego -4.5 over KANSAS CITY
I’ve got Ryan Mathews in fantasy and I’m betting he has a huge start to his career. Plus, the Chiefs, like Denver, Seattle, Cleveland, Buffalo, Tampa, Jacksonville, Arizona, St. Louis and Chicago are a disaster.

Lock of the Week (I’m betting college book money on this one)
Miami -3 over BUFFALO
I’ve got the Dolphins and Cowboys in the Super Bowl. I love the Chad Henne-Brandon Marshall combo and think that they get off to a nice start by blowing out Buffalo.

Leave your picks in the comments!


That toy in the attic

Greetings, People Who Don't Clean Up Your RSS Feeds!

No, you're not (necessarily) tripping or still asleep--it's really a post on YCS. And for you former / current / future(?) devotees who may or may not be reading this, I have an exciting announcement:

YCS is back, bay-beeee!

No, really! Or, at least, it will be very soon.

Why, were we struck by a newfound wave of ESPN-hating ambition, you ask?

Ha! Not a chance. I haven't known ambition since at least aught-seven, and besides, I don't have cable anymore.

Even better, two awesome dudes named Bob and Dan [or is it one guy named Bob who sometimes signs his emails as "Dan"? Observe:

I guess we'll all know soon...] have offered to take over YCS.

By incredible coincidence, Bob / Dan / BobDan wanted to start a blog of the exact same name, only to realize we already had it. Seeing that we'd let the blog rot for the last nine months, he / they asked to take it over, rather than starting a new one and creating a confusing Cleveland Browns or Washington Senators situation. And realizing that we'd let the blog rot for nine months, Matt and I we were all like, "Knock yourselves out, fellas."

So here I am tonight, passing the YCS name and all its associated shame over to our new friends to let them make it great, as we never could. I can't promise they'll share our fondness for terrible MS Paint sketches and dated Seinfeld references (see paragraph three), but at least they'll never post a profanity-laden tirade purportedly written by the Westminster Dog Show winner (no link necessary).

And yes, if you're wondering, us old authors might even drop by occasionally to Leno the spotlight away from the new crew until they realize why no one liked us the first time around and strip away our posting permissions.

So to Bones, "Stephen," "Phil Nevin" (who was probably the same guy as "Stephen"), my mom, anonymous dude who commented a lot, and any of you other old fans that might still be out there: I hope you show the same love and support (but hopefully not vulgarity) to the new YCS curators as you showed us.

And with that, a new era of YCS begins!


Bet365 offers new and exciting Money Drop game

>> Saturday

Fans of the new British television game show called the Million Pound Drop will be interested to know they can play an online version of it now at sportsbook site, your top site for sports with everything from Darts and Horses to Football and Golf betting. This week contestants can play the game alongside host Davina McColl on the internet version of the game which is called Money Drop Live online.

Bet365 is a popular site also for other products whether it's online casino, real money bingo or online poker. The bet365 version of the Money Drop game is a brand spanking new online contest with fixed odds in which players need to avoid the drop in order to win the cash prizes that are on offer. The exciting new game is based on the popular new Million Pound Drop television game in which the contestants try to hold on to their nerve in order to scoop up some tremendous cash prizes on the live TV show.

The Money Drop game is the newest addition to bet365's impressive and extensive line up of online TV show games such as the X Factor, Deal or No Deal, Millionaire, and Big Brother, and is bound to be another in the site’s long line of hits with visitors due to the game’s five rounds of edge-of-the-seat exciting action. The Money Drop is quite a tense game as you receive the prize money before the game starts. You then have several trapdoors to choose from to place your money on. Trapdoors will open at the end of each round and you keep the money which you placed on the doors that didn’t open. Each player has to decide how to divide their prize money and which doors to place it on. For example, you could place it all on one trapdoor or split it up and place it on several of them. The eligible prize money grows with each round and the amount of doors you play.

The sportsbook site, which is licensed and regulated by the government of Gibraltar, is one of the leading sites in the world for betting on sports. It provides a wide variety of entertaining online games as well as live sports betting. The site offers online gambling with things such as sports betting, games, an online casino, financials, bingo and poker, etc. It also features live streaming for members of some of the world’s top sporting events. If you’d like to test your nerves, just head over to the site to check out the Money Drop game and see how you do. The game has a jackpot feature and the bet365 offers a 150 pound bonus on the initial deposit of new players to the site.

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