Some thoughts on last week:
Put $5 on the Niners, -3, last night; they still found a way to give me a heart attack at the end of the game. Thank you, Jay Cutler, for sucking (he threw his 9th Red Zone INT yesterday!). My friend Rahul said it best about this abortion of a game: “First thing I do when I get home to to make sure this game video never gets played in my DVR, again.” Talk about two terrible efforts by two mediocre bad teams setting HD football back 10 years, geesh!
Good blow-by-blow commentary from DCSports Bog on the DeAngelo Hall vs the entire Falcons sideline Royal Rumble from last Sunday’s game. The best part of all of this is the post game comments by Hall (who may sue Falcons staffers for harrassment, lol). Talk about one paranoid athlete who still holds grudges.
Apparently, only in the NFL, you can fine Chad Ochocinco $20K for having a little fun (granted, a bit inappropriate, but still hilarious) at the referees expense, but yet when you take a cheap shot at a lineman’s face, causing potential career and life threatening injury while he can’t defend himself, you ONLY get fined $7,500 dollars. WTF?
Granted it was entertaining, but the Final Table of the 2009 WSOP sure won’t help the “poker is a game of skill” cause! What a monkey-poo flinging contest!
Here is one of my favorite articles: The Not-SO Madden A 2010 Team. Great line on WR Yamon Figurs, an overall 39 in the game:
Most embarrassing stat: 40 rating for Awareness. With that kind of Awareness rating, I’m surprised Yamon even remembers to bring his helmet to the game.
Wow, I didn’t know women’s soccer could be so chippy. Watching that video reminded me of the Celtics/Sixers-Piston-Lakers brawls of the late 80’s. Maybe DeAngelo Hall could get some tackling tips from the New Mexico defender.
Onto the picks:
I am contemplating taking the first half under of South Carolina vs Florida game (22). It still may be too low for my tastes, but the Gamecocks are good at keeping things close at the half, and then imploding like Steve Spurrier trying to get out of the sand bunker on 15.
TB@MIA Over 43
I think the Ronnie and Ricky show could beat this by themselves with Tampa’s piss poor defense. Miami is also prone to giving up a big play or 3.
NO -14 @ St. Louis
Simmons convinced me here. Plus I also had a nice big win putting 45 on Indy -13.5 earlier in the year vs the Rams, who lost 42-3. Yeah, I’ll take the motivated favorite here who didn’t play their best vs Carolina last week.
6 Point Teaser of the Week:
Arizona vs Seattle –2.5
Cincinnati @ PIT +13
Currently watching the Bears getting called for not one, but TWO delay of game penalties on their 2-minute drill. They actually got called for a delay of game when lining up for a field goal with 6 seconds in the half while they still had a timeout remaining. Someone needs to be fired at half time.
EDIT: Cutler is up to 4 interceptions on the day, one away from completing the Dirty Sanchez. Meanwhile, San Francisco just punted into the end zone from Chicago’s 34 yard line, up 10-6 with 3 minutes to play. Both of these teams deserve to lose.
EDIT2: He did it! INT #5 in the end zone to end the game. As Nick said, “Set a goal and reach it.”
More from the annals of how not to manage a team: We’ve already discussed Allen Iverson, who’s not currently with the team. Thankfully, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, “expects him to come back.”
German Soccer giants Bayern Munich were ripped by their fullback Philip Lahm this week:
“Top teams in the Champions League have first-class players in seven, eight positions – we don’t,” Lahm said. “Other clubs have a system, a philosophy, and buy the players accordingly. We don’t. It’s not enough to buy good players, one has to develop a team,” he added. He specifically mentioned the lack of creative guile in midfield, an oversupply of centre-forwards and absence of a second decent full-back. It’s a squad full of big names and even bigger holes. A 13-year-old Football Manager aficionado in deepest Nepal could tell you as much….
What was the club’s response? In a word: predictable.
Lahm was disciplined after he launched an astonishing attack on the club, coach Louis van Gaal and his fellow players in Sueddeutche Zeitung, his words earning him a fine of around £26,000, while a Bayern statement asserted that Lahm had broken an “absolute taboo” in voicing his views publicly.
Also predictable is the official Spanish soccer team of Miracle Covers, Atletico Madrid, who lost to Real Madrid 3-2 last weekend.
Since October 1999, Al Nasr Saudi Club, Al-Ahly, Alavés, Alcorcón, Almería, Anderlecht, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Betis, Boca Juniors, Celta Vigo, Deportivo, Espanyol, Galatasaray, Getafe, Graz, Hannover, Internazionale, Juventus, Las Palmas, Levante, Liverpool, Lokomotiv Moscow, Málaga, Mallorca, Manchester United, Milan, Monaco, Murcia, Nastic, Numancia, Olympiakos, Lyon, Osasuna, PSV, Racing, Rayo Vallecano, Nexaca, Real Sociedad, Real Unión, Recreativo, Roma, Servette, Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Sporting Lisbon, Tokyo Verdy, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Villarreal, Werder Bremen and Zaragoza have all beaten Real Madrid. Atlético have not. Somehow, every time the big day arrives, they wake up at 6am in a freezing Pennsylvania town all too aware of how it’s going to end.
Switching to tackle football, Mike Singletary & his stopwatch was “upbeat” about Alex Smith’s performance.
Singletary said Monday that “Alex had only one play that was really on him.” He meant a fourth quarter pass intended for Josh Morgan that Smith telegraphed, allowing Titans safety Chris Hope to swoop in front of Morgan for the take-away.
The 49ers rolled out 358 yards of total offense, their second best total of the season. Smith’s 286 passing yards were the most by a San Francisco quarterback this season.
“It was, unfortunately, one of the better offensive performances that I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Singletary said. “Take away the turnovers, and we have a chance to really have a good offensive game and have some excitement and momentum going forward.”
Mike, the turnovers are what make the Alex Smith Experience so special. Smith literally just threw an interception as I’m typing this, negated by a Bears penalty for lining up offside.
Michael Lombardi wrote about the Giants this week:
Was the loss Coughlin’s fault? Not really, but right now he has a very fragile team lacking in confidence. He knows he needs his team to play at the level it played last Sunday in order to win. To ensure that same type of performance, he took the burden of losing off his players. He can walk into the meeting rooms and honestly tell his team that he was the reason they lost a game when they played so well. This kind of honesty from a leader is called “management of self,” which means that the leader is willing to accept blame and be honest with his team. It also allows him to be critical of his followers when the time is right, assuring that the criticism is heard.
This is a smart move on Coughlin’s part. This method of leadership doesn’t work unless the team plays well — because to accept the blame, Coughlin has to know (which is clear on the film) that his team played well. Walking into the meeting room and accepting blame for a poor effort makes the leader weak and worthless. We see this all the time. We hear a coach say, “This loss is on me. This loss is my fault,” when the team played poorly from the start. To exclude the players from criticism when the team plays poorly is not the kind of leadership that will enhance the leader’s profile with the players. He looks like a fool in the locker room, and the players get the sense that no matter how badly they play, the coach will shoulder the blame. This is not a culture he wants to create.
What better to follow that up with than Lady Gaga? Two awesome covers of Poker Face by Christopher Walken and Eric Cartman.
Where better to brush your teeth than at a soccer game?
A list of the top 100 movies of the decade. I imagine there will be a lot of best of the 00s lists in the next few months.
Really useful primer on the upcoming college hoops season.
Lastly, this preview of this weekend’s Chiefs-Raiders game will likely be more entertaining than the game itself.
“Mr. Steinbrenner deserves another championship.” – Joe Girardi
Halloween winners on the subway in Boston.
I love this headline: FAT footballers to receive free Big Macs in Thai sponsorship deal. Somehow, I’m not sure this is exactly the best idea…
Thailand’s top footballers will receive free burgers as part of their new three-year, £545,000 sponsorship deal with the fast food giant McDonald’s.
According to the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), McDonald’s will provide £450,000 in cash and the rest in products in exchange for shirt sponsorship for the next three years, starting this month.
And in case you were wondering, soccer from random countries is entertaining.
If I can read weird text correctly, I believe Botev pulled off a late 1-0 win, but it’s not the goals we’re interested in. No sir, it’s the rioting. Not only did players and backroom staff from both teams decamp to the pitch for some punching, shoving, and colourful language, but the fans in the stands got in on the act as well, setting fire to random bits of the stadium.
This is what I believe to be the first mention & link to a story about Larry Bird since this blog’s inception.
The Warriors fail at hazing.
Some thoughts on 2009’s best fielders in baseball. That Pujols guy is pretty good.
Lastly, this just about ruined my day.
“The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid.” – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Wenger may not have been referring to the Snuggie specifically in the quote above, but it certainly applies. Fewer products have been loved, mocked, and the subject of pub crawls as much as the Snuggie. And as much as I appreciate being able to answer a corded phone without removing my blanket or attending a sporting event dressed like a monk, I was not about to pay $20 for the privilege of doing so (free book light excluded).
But now, for a limited time only, the Snuggie is free. No, I’m not making that up. Get one here.
These are all excellent questions: Why teach a bear to ice skate? Can a bear do a triple salchow? How does the bear skate–four legs or two? And why, given that it already has sharp claws and teeth, would anyone strap blades on a bear?
A happy ending for the week’s most infamous Phillies fan.
Antoine Walker – Money Manager
(718): what happened last night?
(917): u kept telling him to fuck u optimus prime style
(718): that explains why his roommate kept saying autobots roll out this morning as i left
Many more of those here.
It’s not every day that I get to start off a post talking about whale penis. Apparently, someone thinks it’s comfortable.
Some analysis of the unheralded Saints offensive line.
Brett Favre – Tecmo Bowl Hero
It turns out that yes, NBA players gamble during games. And some of them don’t want to pay up.
How The Roots became Jimmy Fallon’s house band:
We called him back, but it was a crazy Mexican stand off. We said, “OK, we’ll consider it,” but he thought we were bluffing, then of course we thought he was bluffing. It took about three weeks for everyone to put their guns down and take each other seriously because time was ticking. He needed to get a band, and we had three weeks to convince each other we were serious and finally put our guns down and be serious about it.
Matt Taibbi is one of my favorite writers. This is too funny to be made up:
…apologize for the long absence, have been on some other stuff. Among other things dealing with a lot of disgruntled Cleveland Browns fans who are pissed that I compared Eric Mangini to Augustus Gloop, the pudgy kid who was drinking from the chocolate river without permission in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I thought Browns fans would find this funny, but apparently not. I got one letter from someone who expressed the feeling that if I were ever to have kids, he hoped “they would be born with Achondroplasia.” So I’m sitting there scratching my head, wondering what Achondroplasia is, and right on cue, two minutes later, he sends me a link to an X-ray picture of someone with the disease. I have to admit, I burst out laughing when I saw the picture — not because the disease is funny (it isn’t, not at all), but just because someone was feeling so crappy about their football team that they felt compelled to dig that horrifying thing up to send to some writer bashing their team. I mean, I totally understand the guy.
Wade Phillips – Overcommunicator
Patrick Crayton is willing to say what the Dallas Cowboys coaches wouldn’t: He’s been replaced in the starting lineup by Miles Austin.
Crayton just wishes somebody would have told him that. He figured it out Monday, when Austin worked opposite Roy Williams in two-wide receiver sets.
Awesomeness from Chuck Klosterman. Think about this the next time Ron Jaworski starts bashing the wildcat. Read the whole thing:
Whenever an innovation fails to result in a title, its unorthodoxy takes the hit; every time a football coach tries something unorthodox, he is blasted for not playing “the right way.” But all that “not playing the right way” means is that a coach is ignoring the eternal lie of football: the myth that everything done in the past is better than anything that could be invented in the present. As a result, the public arm of football — the conservative arm — bashes innovation immediately, even while adopting the principles it attacks. The innovators are ridiculed. And that kind of reaction is reassuring to fans, because it makes us feel like football is still the same game we always want to remember. It has a continuity of purpose. It symbolizes the same ideals and appeals to the same kind of person. It feels conservative, but it acts liberal. Everything changes, but not really.
The 2009 Dodgers NLCS. Epic Fail in words and pictures.
Instructions for replicating the best burger ever.
This makes the Troy/FIU game look completely legitimate. There’s a video too.:
Here’s the setup — Going into the last day of the Maranhão State League second division season in Brazil yesterday, two clubs sat atop the league with the same number of points: Viana and Moto Club. On this decisive day, Viana hosted Chapadinha, a club they had a scoreless draw with the last time they played, and Moto Club took on Santa Quiteria. Both games were scheduled to take place at exactly the same time and both Viana and Moto needed a win to take the league title.
Everything went like normal until word reached Viana — who were up 2-0 on Chapadinha 35 minutes in the second half — heard that Moto Club were winning their match, too. Then things got a little fishy. And by that I mean Chapadinha players began to WALK OFF THE PITCH and as Viana proceeded to score nine goals in the final nine minutes of the match to win 11-0. A bit odd, no? I mean, watch the video above. It’s like watching someone play FIFA with the difficulty set to “special needs”.
Lastly, Mrs. Jose Lima is also better at the internet than you.
Why the Twins lost:
It comes down to this: As a franchise, what do you aspire to be? If “world champion” is your answer, you cannot tolerate or coddle role players who botch bunts, run the bases poorly and miss signs or cutoff men — brainless mistakes that cost you runs, and games, especially against the monsters of the American League East.
Really cool old story on/by Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Grown ups screwing things up.
Fantastic breakdown of Ed Reed’s interception of Carson Palmer last week.
Antonio Pierce on playing the Raiders:
There was no vibe of trying or effort from the Raiders at all from a defensive standpoint against their offense. We’re getting three-and-outs. You don’t hear nobody [saying], ‘Hey, let’s go!’ trying to pick the guys up, rallying them, getting guys fired up. There was nothing. It was quiet. A guy gets sacked or somebody gets beat, they just get up. It’s not like there’s yelling or no kind of [emotion] about the way they were playing.
It was shocking to be out there in that game and get that kind of feeling.
Oakland is only getting two touchdowns at home to Philly on Sunday. There’s an argument that the bottom teams this year aren’t that bad. Try explaining that to this guy.
How smart bettors are identified. “It’s not the amount that usually moves a line, but rather the ‘face’ behind the action.”
Spanish soccer, fun for everyone:
This week, UEFA are reported to be investigating [Rayo Vallecano], along with Las Palmas, as their Round 41 league tie from the previous season is on the governing body’s 40 game, match-fixing dodgy list.
UEFA are basing their suspicions on these ties on irregular betting patterns….
The match itself came at the tail end of the Spanish season and gave the Canary Islanders the point needed to survive in the Segunda A division and the Rayo goalkeeper the top stopper award.
Wednesday’s edition of Mundo Deportivo explains exactly what happened by reporting that “the game ended 0-0 with barely two shots on target and shouts of “friends forever” from the Las Palmas stands.”
If the investigation shows that match-fixing was involved in the affair then the punishment could be severe – in the “both squads spending the weekend with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team” sense of the word.
Mundo Deportivo reports that any guilty party would receive no more than a three point deduction as a slap on the wrists.
And this is because sporting fraud isn’t a actually a crime in Spain.
Also fun is qualifying for the World Cup. The US scored with only 10-men in stoppage time to tie Costa Rica 2-2 last night and sent Honduras through in the process. The video has Honduran fans celebrating the miracle cover. Johnathan Bornstein – Honduran Hero.
Most entertaining coach ever
But certain people who have not supported me, and you know who you are, can keep sucking.
IGN is counting down the top 100 Nintendo games of all time.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit of all about Duck Hunt, however, was the stand-alone product’s incredibly small size. The entire game fit on an infinitesimally small cartridge sized at 192 kilobits.
That’s smaller than the average excel files I deal with at work. You can play what’s sure to be ranked #1 (and the best video game ever) here.
Lastly, always remember that Chris Bosh is better at the internet than you.
Real Madrid’s economic model looks unsustainable. Well, no shit. They don’t factor in bribing the government for hundreds of millions of dollars though. That usually doesn’t show up on the financial statements.
At least they haven’t been caught betting on their own games yet.
Anyone ever go to prison for the basketball games?
As the inaugural opponents for San Quentin’s over-40 squad, an element of the prison’s outreach program, we had received the following warnings before our first visit: stay bunched together at all times, give only first names and run only when on the court because, as hoops coordinator Stephen Irwin, told us, “Otherwise the guards will think you’re a prisoner making a break for it, and trust me, you don’t want that.”
Best prediction ever.
Michael Crabtree’s contract explained in detail.
Rotoworld has a running player page for the Raiders offense.
And there are new details in the Cable-Hanson case.
Cable called the meeting to address Hanson’s dealings with the defensive backs. “The players are confused by you, Randy,” Cable allegedly told Hanson. He also reportedly told Hanson that he was being relegated to film work and would no longer be allowed to work directly with the defensive backs. “John Marshall says he has talked to you about this,” Cable told Hanson.
According to the Hanson’s statement, he turned to Marshall and said, ‘That’s a lie, John!” and Hanson insisted that Marshall had not previously mentioned anything about a communication problem with the defensive backs.
At that point, Hanson told police he was blindly body slammed by Cable into the wall behind Marshall with such force that he was thrown out of his chair and into a small table next to the wall. The table had a small lamp on it and both were overturned and broken in the scuffle.
According to Hanson’s account, the other coaches in the room began yelling, “Tom, what are you doing?” as Cable put his right hand against Hanson’s face and shoved his left cheek against the wall. Hanson told police he could feel his upper jaw being crushed into the wall.
The other coaches pulled Cable from Hanson, but an enraged Cable broke their grasp and attacked Hanson a second time, allegedly screaming, “I’m going to kill you!” over and over as he kept a hand around Hanson’s throat.
Hey there Trent Edwards!
Lastly, anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice.
Some Injuries May Hurt More Than Others. No, this isn’t about a guy getting kicked in the balls.
More on Atletico Madrid, the most entertaining team the other side of the Atlantic.
The original mission the FourFourTwo bosses gave La Liga Loca was to deliver a careful, detailed and thoroughly thoughtful thesis of what Porto needed to do against Atlético Madrid to win Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
The initial two-word response – “Turn up” – was deemed somewhat lacking in depth by the prissy, picky editors.
Fascinating profile on my new favorite head coach.
How to build a blog audience quickly.
Jimmy Fallon’s first highlight. It’s legitimately worth watching, I promise.
Making fun of books written in the 70s is fun.
Advice to aspiring professional athletes: Never, EVER bring your girlfriend to a press conference.
Thinking of going to Delaware to gamble on NFL? Read this.
Delaware Park is just what I thought it would be, only worse. I expected the joyless casino floors, filled with lonely senior citizens dropping quarters into slot machines. I expected overpriced drinks and a measure of surliness from the staff. But I also expected a damn buffalo wing, or a horse race, or a waitress with a fighting chance of serving her clientèle. Football gambling is new to Delaware, but the whole casino seemed caught off guard, as if no one expected thirsty football fans on a Sunday afternoon. The whole affair was inconvenient, mismanaged, planned on a whim and financed on a dime. In short, it was uniquely Delaware.
Lastly, the headline of the week.
Now on Twitter: Miraclecovers
“We only get one chance at this, with no do-overs. Life is, in effect, a non-repeatable experiment with no control.” – Tim Kreider
The NFL and Nature
The NFL has become so fast and efficient that last season, teams each scored 22.03 points per game, the highest since 1967, while all the league’s 32 teams combined for 11,279 points—the most in NFL history.
The game has become less cluttered. Offenses averaged just 3.09 turnovers (interceptions and fumbles) per game, the lowest of all time by more than 10%, and offensive lines allowed just 4.04 sacks per game—also the lowest ever. Even place kickers set a new mark: They made a record-high 84.5% of their field-goal attempts.
Some football thinkers believe these numbers speak to a temporary period of offensive dominance in the NFL—just one more high point in an endlessly fluctuating historical curve. But if you venture a bit beyond the particulars of football, to the principles of science, there’s another argument to be made: that the NFL’s high-speed, high-scoring offenses are a reflection of one of the laws of nature—the tendency of all things to evolve toward efficiency.
From this week’s TMQ: “Stats of the Week No. 7: Cleveland has one offensive touchdown in its past eight games.” I wonder if the Cleveland announcers will be like Oakland’s last year? Touchdown Raiders Offense!
Gus Johnson again had the best game of the day in week two. Last year I changed my fantasy team name to “Going with Gus” for a week, but it was because I was starting this guy. I could be convinced to put the stopwatch away. Gus & Steve Tasker have Cleveland (+13) at Baltimore this week. Just saying…
49ers fans are wondering about Mike’s stopwatch too.
Nice to see Tom Brady back on the Patriots injury report.
If this is a sport, how can we set lines and bet on it?
Note to all coaches: If your team is underperforming, paying off disgruntled fans is always an option.
Lastly, this is the coolest bookstore ever.
If you are a fan of the show Mad Men, or a fan of the Sox,you’ll love this video parody via The Bostonist.
The language used is the same I used towards the TV on Sunday as Tom Brady was on his ass….again. How about some two tight end shotgun, or a halfback/middle screen, Bill!