At Section 123

Two More days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween!  Two more days ‘til Halloween…Silver Shamrock!

Yea, it’s costume weekend!  I did the ‘No Shit’ costume last weekend, but will not dress up this weekend!  Unless it’s of a Badgers and Packers fan…

And starting the blog next week will be the start of four absolutely terrifying years in this country.  We get to vote for one of two buffoons to be our next President.  My vote?  Well, the Saturday Night Live debates are helping me determine which way to lean.  What a cluster we are witnessing.

  • Before the World Series started,  I picked Cleveland winning in 7 games as I feel the Indians will get the Cubs in a game of small ball more times and not during the series.  They will get the lead and then turn it over to that nasty bullpen.

    Why 7 games?  Because during the season, I have seen the Chubs kick their offense into high gear extremely fast.  The Chubs are just flat out better across the board, but that doesn’t necessarily matter.   I do think the Chubs struggle a bit against teams that like to run and ironically, you can point to their games vs. the Brewers this year as a way to win.  Milwaukee was the team that gave Chicago some fits and Cleveland has a similar make-up – with better talent.   That is ultimately how I see this series playing out.

  • Can we start a drinking game on how many times we hear about Kyle Schwarbers’ comeback?  I’m pretty sure I’d be passed out by the third inning of each game.
  • Fans going to Wrigley  are apparently paying $250-500 just to enter a bar around the stadium?!?  Come on, I understand this is a once in a forever deal and to experience such an atmosphere for the Lovable Losers, but that’s just ridiculous!!
  • I can say this about Packer fans, but I most certainly say this about Cubs fans.  Quick – name me 15 players from teams when they weren’t any good.  Even when they had their mini-run in the early 2000s!  No cheating using Google or another search engine!
  • Stay classy, Philly fan!  Video.. I can’t wait to see how pleasant these Cheese Steak Clowns will be next month when we visit!
  • Jon Taylor of Sports Illustrated, you are just wrong here on saying it’s time to remove Chief Wahoo as the Cleveland Indian mascot.  Why?  Because one person is complaining about the nickname and a ‘smiling’ logo?   It’s time for this society to stop being whiny, over-sensitive children that cry foul the second someone gets butt hurt over a sports logo that is designed to CELEBRATE the history of a culture, event, or something that fits a city.   The mascot is not racist for crying out loud, it’s a cartoon, smiling Indian that celebrates the heritage of Native Americans for crying out loud.

    In reality though, I would love to sit down with a Native American and help me understand why that nickname is so offensive.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or scream every time something, well, anything is written that they get so offended they need to make some big stink over a nickname?   The wussification of the United States of America continues on.

    A link to the story:  Story

  • #7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin – good news for the Cornhuskers, they appear to be turning the corner back to being relevant.  That’s a good thing for College Football, and the Big Ten.  Bad news for Nebraska?  Since joining the Big Ten, they are 1-4 vs. Wisconsin, including getting their lunches handed to them in both trips to Madison.

    It will be closer this year, and here’s why.  Nebraskas’ defense is better.    No, it’s not Michigan or Ohio State good, but it’s better.  QB Tommy Armstrong appears to be taking care of the football, but it’s not against competition like they will see tonight. If Wisconsin had a little more on offense, I think they would hammer Nebraska again.  I think UW will force some turnovers on the Nebraska side of the field and capitalize.  It will be close for 3 quarters before Bucky pulls away.  Badgers 34, Cornhuskers 17.

  • Other undefeated teams in College Football will fall today.  Watch for #3 Washington at #19 Utah; #13 Boise State at Wyoming; #8 Baylor at Texas; and #10 West Virginia at Oklahoma State
  • Green Bay at Atlanta

    Let’s get this straight.  The Packers will not have anything for Julio Jones Sunday.  He will get his, but slow /stop the rest of the team, specifically Muhammad Sanu and Devonta Freeman and I like the Packers chances on the road.  Quinton Rollins is out again for the Packers, so it will be up to Ladarius Gunter, Dmitri Goodson and company to slow the Atlanta passing attack down.  Yikes.

    For the Packers, forget about the running game.  The short dink-and-dunk offense is now the running game.   Green Bay again needs huge games from Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Randall Cobb….and Jordy Nelson will need to pitch in.  The Falcons defense isn’t exactly a world beater, either so I am guessing a lot of points in this one!
    I think Sunday will be similar to what we saw the Falcons do last week vs. the Chargers.  Atlanta jumps out, but can’t hold on, further adding to their typical swoon.  The pick:  Packers 35, Falcons 27

  • NFL Picks
  • Had Tennessee winning vs. Jacksonville. The Gus Bradley watch is officially on with the Jags.  They looked like they quit in the little time I actually watched this game last night.  That is a HORRIBLE sign if you’re only 7 weeks into the season.  Again, someone remind me why Jacksonville isn’t a serious candidate for a team to relocate to another city.  Then again, who would want them?  Perhaps towns like Nashua, NH; Fargo, ND;  Intercourse, PA; Bozeman, MT would be interested?
  • Philadelphia at Dallas – this will be fun. Two rookie quarterbacks on Sunday night.  The difference?  Zeke Elliott – he goes off in this game and it’ll be Cowboys 27, Eagles 20
  • Washington vs. Cincinnati (at London) – I like the Redskins here. Why?  Not sure, I guess I’m not really sold on the Bengals defense? Or the Bengals in general?  Redskins 31, Bengals 22
  • New England at Buffalo – yea, pump your chest Buffalo, you beat the Deflator-less Patriots a few weeks back. Now, the Deflator is back and he will look to take it out on the Bills this week.  Not having LeSean McCoy playing also hurts the Bills.  Patriots 34, Bills 16
  • Minnesota at Chicago – The Purple came crashing back to earth last week at Philadelphia. It won’t matter this week in Chicago.  Purple 24, Bears 9
  • Kansas City at Indianapolis – this seems like it should be an easy pick, but Andy Luck actually showed something last week. I still like the Chiefs on the road in this one with the defense and Spencer Ware carving up the Colts defense.  Chiefs 23, Colts 21
  • Oakland at Tampa Bay – I see a beating here. Oakland is 4-0 on the road, which is unheard of in the NFL.  Latavius Murray and Derek Carr have field days against the Bucs D.  Raiders 35, Buccaneers 14
  • Seattle at New Orleans – upset #1. Yes, the Saints give up 32.5 points per game, but they can also score with anyone.  Seattles’ offensive has been rather offensive half the season.   They score this week, but the Saints score more.  Saints 33, Seahawks 30
  • San Diego at Denver – upset #2. I like how the Chargers are playing.  The Broncos losing C.J. Anderson will hurt that offense.  Chargers 24, Broncos 17
  • Detroit at Houston – Deee-troit is playing well. So, why am I picking Houston?  Because they’re better at home, and they should be embarrassed (deservedly so) on how they lost at Denver.  Texans 25, Lions 17
  • NY Jets at Cleveland – IF the Browns are going to win a game, this is their best opportunity. Personally, I want them to go 0-16, but I don’t think they will.  Actually, I think they win this game with their best quarterback – Josh McCown (welp)  Browns 23, Jets 17
  • Arizona at Carolina – upset #3. didn’t you used to be the Carolina Panthers?  They will be this week as the Cardinals suck ass on the road.    Panthers 28, Cardinals 17

 It’s too bad the Dolphins are off this week.  I think South Florida fan better send some of their recent winning ways up to Jacksonville and tell them their promotions on how to sell drugs, er, tickets!

Dumb ass(es) of the week:

Josh Brown – two weeks in a row.  In your letter, you apologize to the New York Giants and the NFL, but only ONE mention to your ex-wife, who is the victim in all of your mess?  You condescending douchebag.

Quoted letter from Brown:

“I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way,” Brown said in a statement released to ESPN.

“I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would.

“Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man.

“In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”

You are such an ass, Josh.  I hope to never see you in the NFL again, and I hope someone just kicks your teeth in once just so you know how it feels to abuse someone the way you did your ex-wife.

Big 12 – these clowns spend an exuberant amount of cash on trying to find viable schools to expand their conference from 10 to 12 teams in order to have a football championship game.  Then, they listen to proposals of several schools including Houston, Colorado State, BYU, South Florida, Memphis and Cincinnati.  Ultimately, they decide to stay at 10 once they learn they can do a championship game.  But, expansion is ‘not out of the question’.  Did Brett Favre in his late 2000s wavering years become the Big 12 Commissioner??   On top of that, the championship game will take the top two teams in the league instead of splitting into divisions.  Yep, that makes sense….let’s take ourselves out of the 4-team playoff by having a 12-0 West Virginia play a 10-2 Oklahoma, with the Sooners winning.   At least have a chance to play a 7-5 Kansas State??  Dumb asses.

-see you next week

-n

At Section 123

OK – I’m doing something that I haven’t done in several years….dressing up for Halloween and it should be fun.  I’m going as ‘No Shit’ – yes, there’s a costume for that.  You can Google what that would represent….onto the sports.

  • I am warming up, ever so slowly to an all-Midwest World Series between the Chubs and the Cleveland Indians.  Somewhere, Ricky Vaughn, Roger Dorn, Harry Doyle, Jake Taylor and Pedro Cerrano are smiling.  Harry Doyle would be saying ‘One God Damn Hit’ over the airwaves and Monty would be passed out drunk from a bottle of Jack.   Don’t get me wrong, I want Steve Bartman to make an appearance, or someone in Cleveland should bring a billy goat to Cleveland Stadium.

    Before that, I do think the Dodgers get Game 6 behind Clayton Kershaw.

  • The NBA starts this week.  Does it have to?   The only thing I want to see happen this year is that ‘Super Team’ in Golden State NOT win the NBA Championship.
  • Today was the typical slugfest between Wisconsin and Iowa, with the Badgers gutting out a 17-9 victory.  Watching that game, I thought UW would win 26-14, but I didn’t see the couple series with Bart Houston coming.  For those wondering, here’s why Houston was in the game….

    Apparently, Coach Paul Chryst has set up a couple of offensive packages that will utilize Bart (Starr) Houston to try and maximize the offense.  Um, OK.  I don’t want to see that again, even if the Badgers scored a touchdown in the first time that was rolled out.   They have another tough task against Nebraska next week, which UW has absolutely had their way with since the Huskers joined the B1G, and a resurgent Northwestern team.  Yea, another group of purple clowns.

    I think the Badgers win out and are part of that New Years Six group (against Boise State) in the Cotton Bowl.  Or they get to the Citrus Bowl vs. Florida.

  • I read in my Twitter feed last night that my old high school, Kimberly was leading their playoff game against Milwaukee Vincent 72-0….AT HALFTIME.  WTF???  Someone with knowledge please tell me they took the foot off the gas and the Milwaukee team was just that shitty??
  • The Green Bay Packers offense woke up a bit in the second half during their 26-10 win over the hapless Chicago Bears Thursday night.  It was good for them to get into the rhythm, and that style of short pass game will need to be utilized the remainder of the season.  The short pass game is now their run game and I think you will see Ty Montgomery have a huge second half of the season.

    Is anyone else growing more concerned with Jordy Nelsons’ knee?

    I am majorly concerned with how beat up the secondary is heading to Atlanta next week and Julio Jones.  Another 300-yard performance from Jones is entirely possible.

  • NFL Picks:
  • I did have the Packers winning…having 31-23 in my head because I thought Brian Hoyer was going to hit Alshon Jeffrey a few times.  Had the Packers blew it against Matt Barkley after Hoyer broke his arm, heads would have rolled at 1265 Lombardi.
  • Minnesota at Philadelphia – Bradford returns to Philly for the purple.  I am interested in this game because I think Philly fan will do more then their share of cussing at him.  I smell an upset in this game for whatever reason, even though the Purple has the better team.  Iggles 23, Purple 21
  • NY Giants at LA Rams (in London) – I’m going to be hungover for this game, so you’re giving us this?  Please be a shootout….merely for fantasy points alone.  Rams 27, Giants 21
  • New Orleans at Kansas City – Paging Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin??  If there’s a week to have a huge game, this is it.  The Saints love shootouts and this looks like another one.  Chiefs 35, Saints 30
  • Washington at Detroit – which Detroit teams shows up??  Hell, which Redskins team shows up?  I like the Lions at home, and we continue to see Golden Tate go off.  Lions 28, Redskins 20. 
  • Cleveland at Cincinnati  – battle of Ohio, round 1.  Blah.  For all the good going on in Cleveland with titles and playoff runs (NBA, World Series, minor league hockey), I really want to see the Browns go 0-16.  Tyler Eifert should be returning for Cincinnati this week and I think that will help them add to the Browns woes.  Bengals 28, Browns 13.
  • Oakland at Jacksonville – Wait, is that the Jaguars pulling one out of their ass last week at Chicago?  Have fun with Oakland this week.  I think they outscore the Jags – Raiders 33, Jaguars 28. 
  • Indianapolis at Tennessee – I honestly don’t like anything about Indianapolis right now.  Andrew Luck is going to get hurt sooner than later with that crappy line the Colts have.  Tennessee looks to be improving.  Titans 23, Colts 14.
  • Baltimore at NY Jets – ick.  Seriously, ick.  Geno Smith is going to be the quarterback this week.  They had to make that move, though.  You can’t have your starting quarterback have 10 second half interceptions and expect to win.  Ravens 17, Jets 14.
  • San Diego at Atlanta – San Diego looks to be improving and I think they keep this game close vs. the Falcons.  Keep an eye on Hunter Henry for the Chargers and he is rapidly improving.  Atlanta wins in that shithole of a stadium…  Falcons 31, Chargers 28. 
  • Buffalo at Miami – if my friends in South Florida paid more than $10 for these tickets, I need to have a talk with them.   Dolphins take this one, halting the Bills streak.  Dolphins 27, Bills 23
  • Tampa Bay at San Francisco – can someone on Tampa please knock the hell out of Colin Kaepernick???  Bucs win ugly – 16, 49ers 13. 
  • New England at Pittsburgh – this game would have been fun if Big Ben didn’t rip up his meniscus.  Landry Jones vs. Tom Brady?  Hardly a fair fight.  Patriots 34, Steelers 17. 
  • Seattle at Arizona – upset # 2 this week.  The Seahawks look good enough thus far, but seem to struggle with Arizona.  Cards pick up an important home division win.  Cardinals 24, Seahawks 17.
  • Houston at Denver – Monday night, are you ready Broncos fans?  Brock Osweiler returns!!  Wait, you didn’t want to pay him $18 million per season?  Good call, I wouldn’t have, either!  The Broncos defense will harass Osweiler early and often…and kick the Texans’ ass.   Broncos 31, Texans 13. 
  • Dumb ass of the week.  
  • This one is easy……New York Giants kicker John Brown, the New York Giants and the NFL.   This may be more directed at the NFL, though.  IF you think it’s OK to hit a woman, you are a piece of shit, period.   Brown admitted to basically calling ex-wife Molly Brown ‘his slave’ and hitting her several times, even explaining detailed events from 2014 and 2015.  Molly had called the police on multiple occasions, and was even so scared of Brown that she had the Giants take her and her kids to a hotel where she had to change her name so the abuser wouldn’t find them.  This guy should not have a job in the NFL!

    Giants owner John Mara stated he knew of this behavior.  Then why in the hell didn’t you do anything about it?  Apparently, you believe that type of crap is OK?

    And here is my problem with the NFL.  The league destroyed former RB Ray Rice for knocking out his wife, and deservedly so.  Teams finally wised up on Greg Hardy, who should also be in jail.  Then, why in the hell are they basically turning a blind eye to Browns’ admitted description of what he did to his then-wife?   In a league of alpha males, how in the hell do you take OWIs, weed, and other drugs more seriously than domestic abuse?  I’m basing this on the punishments handed down to players.  You see suspensions for 4 or more games with this stuff, and with domestic abuse, you see less or even no penalties.  Someone please explain how is that even possible??

    But, a couple days ago, the league announced they have re-opened the investigation.  Well, that’s mighty fricking white of you, Roger Goodell.  Why wasn’t this done a few months ago??  Where was this a couple years ago when you wanted to make statements of players doing this stuff?    Nice job saying the 6 games handed to Ray Rice would be a starting point.  Isn’t that the only suspension you’ve handed out?    But, again, the league ‘claims’ you support women with the pink breast cancer material.  Hypocrites.

    NFL…if you want to show you are serious about domestic violence.  Kick John Brown, Greg Hardy and now anyone else going forward OUT of the league if they are caught.

  • That’s it this week….I’ll get this going in the morning next week. -n

At Section 123

Another week, and we have now entered October.  The peak fall color season, where we get to really watch out for deer crossing the road, etc.  Ha. Lots of sports to discuss this week.

I will say this for non-sports – I am so tired of the political people slinging insults at their opponents to sway us to vote one way or another.  Here’s a thought.  How about laying out DETAILED plans on what you can do to get the best country in the world back on track?   We seriously are screwed with either Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton as President.  Yikes, I fear for this country.  I have asked my boss if I can work in Jamaica for the next four years and the funny part is, she didn’t necessarily say no!

  • If you saw the Giants at Mets game, you were treated to two of the best pitchers in baseball in Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner. I know, I know…most like base hits and double plays (insert bad pun), but if you understand pitching with the mechanics, location and situations on how to manipulate the hitter – that was awesome.

 

  • NL Division Picks
  • San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs – Giants in 5….are you seriously going against Madison Bumgarner twice and Johnny Cueto 4 times? They got Cueto in the first game, but I still think the Giants are the one team the Cubs did not want to see.
  • LA Dodgers vs. Washington – I think the Nats will get through the games that are not started by Clayton Kershaw. And even he didn’t look that great last night.  Nationals in 5
  • I was cheering for Baltimore, but it was a great game with the Orioles and Blue Jays. Think of this Brewer fan, both will be making appearances at Miller Park in 2017…as will Boston.
  • AL Division Picks
  • Toronto vs. Texas – Rangers in 5 – um, yea. This was not one of my good picks as I made this right after the Wild Card game.
  • Boston vs. Cleveland – Indians in 5. This was the one I was somewhat sure of.   Time for Big Papi to ride into the sunset.
  • Raise your hand if you thought the Wisconsin Badgers would be 4-1 at this point of the season?

Here’s what I liked about the Badgers thus far:

  • Defense – wow, this defense may be the best I’ve seen come through Madison in a long time. They get after the opposing team, and have smacked the opponents in the mouth.  J. Watt has been playing linebacker all of 14 months and he looks like a natural at the position.   He has helped taken the defense to a new level as he led the Badger defense hold Michigan to its lowest point total by far this season.
  • Youth movement – we are seeing a lot of freshmen taking the field which will be a good thing later in the year and going forward.
  • Beating two teams they were not expected to.  Beating LSU at Lambeau was sweet, and thumping Michigan State in East Lansing was amazing to see for this young group.  This will be a team to watch in 2017 – their schedule sets up nicely for them.  If they make the Outback Bowl or better this year, I would honestly recommend Paul Chryst for Coach of the Year.

What I haven’t liked:

  • Offense – this team still looks like they need to get some receivers to step up. Hence, why we’re seeing more freshmen on the field a little earlier than normal.  Alex Hornibrook should be the quarterback, and we’ll see if he can weather the remaining storm with Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska and a resurgent Northwestern on the docket.  The UW receivers not name Troy Fumagelli need to step up and help the passing game!
  • Run game – it’s been nearly non-existent except for the Akron game. I still don’t think Corey Clement is right, and I do feel like their best back right now is their third string guy – Bradrick Shaw.  The run game gets a nice jolt next season when the O-line is more seasoned, and Pitt transfer Chris James will be available to play.
  • Punting – I realize it’s a freshman punting, but 35 yard punts unless you’re trying to pin the opposition inside the 20 is not going to get it done. Norti has done a good job of pinning teams, but the next thing he needs to do is if UW is inside their own 20 is blast a 55-yard punt to flip the field position.

 

  • I hope you can stomach this picture….Yummy … from Jared Cook Tuesday.  I nearly threw up in my mouth seeing this, and it makes me not want to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings!

NY Giants at Green Bay

  • Coming off a bye week during Mike McCarthys’ regime, the Packers are 8-2. Prime Time and the Packers hasn’t been kind of late, and this trend needs to change.   Things I notice, the Giants will not be intimidated coming into Lambeau, and with how beat up the Packers secondary is they will fare better than they did Monday night at the Purple.

    The Giants have the fifth best run defense in the NFL, but the Packers still need to get Eddie Lacy involved early and often.  If there is a secondary more beat up than Green Bay, it’s New York.  That will open up the passing game and expect a high scoring affair.
    Translation – start BOTH quarterbacks and any/all receivers on both teams.

The pick:  Packers 31, Giants 27

  • NFL Picks
  • Arizona at San Francisco – so, who was jacked for that Blaine Gabbert vs. Drew Stanton matchup Thursday night??  No?  It still is better than anything in the political world.   It was a little better than I thought it would be once Arizona woke up.  I did pick the Cardinals.
  • Philadelphia at Detroit – This game almost feels like an upset waiting to happen with the Lions looking so ridiculously hapless last week.  Can’t do it as the Lions will find a way to go Detroit (meaning mess up)…Eagles 28, Lions 24
  • Houston at Minnesota – How in holy hell do you not get DeAndre Hopkins the ball last week???  Yes, I’m speaking selfishly for fantasy football.  If Hopkins didn’t do squat vs. the Titans, then what is going to happen against a real defense?  Purple 24, Texans 12
  • New England at Cleveland – I want to say the Patriots will throw up 50+ in King Deflators’ return, but he will be rusty at first, so expect enough LaGarrette Blount in this game.  Patriots 31, Browns 17
  • Washington at Baltimore – Ah, the riveting Maryland / DC battle.  Ravens 23, Redskins 21.
  • Chicago at Indianapolis – Two teams playing football.  Two shitty teams playing football.  Have fun!!!   Colts 23, Bears 14
  • Tennessee at Miami – I realize the hurricane will be gone Saturday morning, but it’s still kind of gutsy to have this game in South Florida with the cleanup happening. Dolphins 16, Titans 10
  • NY Jets at Pittsburgh – If Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown NINE picks in the past two weeks, I’d think he would have been benched anywhere else aside of a few teams.  The Jets being one of them.  They’re going to struggle this week.  Steelers 31, Jets 18
  • Atlanta at Denver – Game of the week – or it should be.  Julio Jones will not go for 300 yards this week, not against that defense.  Broncos 23, Falcons 20
  • Cincinnati at Dallas – tough to pick this one.  I don’t like how Cincinnatis’ offense is struggling, so I’ll say Dallas, close.  Cowboys 21, Bengals 17
  • Buffalo at LA Rams – The Bills did what they were supposed to do last week, beating New England with their third string QB…now it’s a trip to LA and a tougher than thought LA squad.  Rams 16, Bills 9
  • San Diego at Oakland – If you have anyone on these teams, start them.   Raiders 38, Chargers 31
  • Tampa Bay at Carolina – Something is really off with the Panthers.  That said, they should still beat Tampa at home.  Panthers 27, Buccaneers 17

Dumb ass(es) of the week:

  • Odell Beckham – I was ripping on Dez Bryant recently for being a diva, but this clown is worse. I get you’re an emotional player, but if you’re going to play football players need to find a way to control that anger and aggression and translate that into their play.  Not take cheap shots when the opposition gets into your head and gets you out of your game.  That’s their job!!  If they get you out of your game, that’s one less weapon they can utilize.  Your antics have seemingly grown tired on the NY Giants team.   Even your own quarterback is saying you ‘bring things on yourself’.   See that last word??  It’s not all about you, Odell.  I hope the fines you have accumulated recently keep piling up and they team benches your ass.  You on a team and you should be a professional.   Act like it, dumb ass.
  • Buck Showalter – dude, you’re in a tie game in an American League Wild Card game with the Toronto Blue Jays and you have your closer Zach Britton warming up on three different occasions…he’s ready to roll.  Britton is 47-47 on saves this season breaking a record!!  He’s good.  What do you do?  In the 11th inning, you bring in starter Ubaldo Jimenez?  The guy could give up home runs to high school kids he hangs so many pitches.  What does he do?  Single, single and a 3-run bomb to Edwin Encarnoncion – ball game.  Season over.  Nice move!

    Why wasn’t he used?  Dumb ass.

  • Toronto Blue Jays fan – the Blue Jays fans are starting to enter the conversation with South Florida Fan and Philly fan. Some idiot threw a beer can at Adam Jones in the 7th inning during their Wild Card game Tuesday night so he wouldn’t catch a fly ball.  The best part was this idiot was a Journalist from the Toronto area!  I struggle with most social media as you may know, but this was one time I am glad it was available….the dumb ass was found and all this clown will spend some time in the clink and lost his job.  Dumb ass.

 

That’s it this week.  Huge showdown for Bucky next week with Ohio State calling. Talk then

-n

 

View from the Uprights

Another week, another round of sports.  My apologies for missing last week as I had an interesting week.   This weather is cramping my style a bit….would love to be on the golf course!  But I did see a kick ass concert last night, so that makes up for it.  Onto sports stuff….

  • Ryder Cup action this weekend is a nice little diversion from not having a Packer game.   Some of the shots I have seen this weekend and the emotion from the players is welcoming to see.  I cannot imagine how hard it will be to get tickets when it comes to Whistling Straits in 2020.  If you are reading this, hook me up!!
  • This is awesome.  Some fan heckling the Eurpoean golfers during practice leading up to the Ryder Cup.  Henrik Stenson asks the fan to make the putt from the same spot – roughly 12 feet, and to sweeten the deal.  Justin Rose bet $100 and…. BOOM

  • The NBA started training camps this week.  Sweet….let me know in April when I may need to watch A GAME.
  • I will finally give some credit where it is definitely due.  Congratulations to my high school alma mater on a record.  Kimberly has broken the state record of 49 consecutive wins in football.  An absolutely insane accomplishment with no signs of slowing down.
  • Meaningful baseball starts this week…..or, the Postseason.  It looks like the St. Louis Cardinals will miss out….darn, I’m just heartbroken.  The next goal is I want the Goat to keep riding though Chicago and watch the Chub fans whine another season!!  I’m still on the Texas vs. Washington World Series.  I had thought Cleveland could make a run in the AL, but they’re getting banged up at the wrong time.  I don’t want to see Boston there, either.
  • Wisconsin at Michigan – There are STILL enough national ‘experts’ that think little of Wisconsin.  I keep hearing crap that LSU now has lost to Auburn so that win doesn’t mean much.  Michigan State is down and Wisconsin got some incredibly lucky breaks.  Assholes, did it ever occur to you that UW’s defense is just that good and was the reason LSU and Sparty could not muster much in the way of offense??

    That said, Michigan has better players than Michigan State.  Being at the Big House and two physical games back to back may be a little much for UW to overtake this week.  Wisconsin keeps this thing close, but…

the pick:  Michigan 27, Wisconsin 21

NFL Picks

  • Miami at Cincinnati – I did pick the Bengals.  But for crying out loud, what in the hell were the Dolphins wearing for their color rush?  Isn’t the Bengals supposed to be the orange team?  Miami looked like a bunch of orange push-ups or great pumpkins…you decide.   With the team Miami has put together, South Florida fan should be thrilled with the weed and cheap ticket promotions coming!!
  • Detroit at Chicago – blah.  They should switch this to Cleveland vs. Chicago for the two shittiest teams in the league.  The Bears are so beat up right now, that I think Detroit should have no trouble putting up points.  Lions 31, Bears 19
  • NY Giants at Minnesota – I really want to pick the Giants in an upset here.  Purples’ D is a little too strong and we’ll see more than a few Manning Faces Monday night.  Purple 24, Giants 20
  • Kansas City at Pittsburgh – this could be fun.  The returns of Le ‘veon Bell and Jamaal Charles should help both offenses.  If you have either defenses, do not start them.  The Steelers should be pissed after being humiliated by Philly last week.  Steelers 30, Chiefs 20
  • Buffalo at New England – does anyone REALLY think Buffalo will win this game?  Paging Rexy’s resume generation after this debacle.  Patriots 34, Bills 17
  • Tennessee at Houston – losing J.J. Watt for the season will really sting for the Texans.  He and Brian Cushing out?  Titans steal a road win.  Titans 16, Texans 13. 
  • Indianapolis at Jacksonville – will the real Indianapolis team show up?  Will the Jags show up at all?  An Indy-dominated Jacksonville Stadium propels the win.  Colts 27, Jaguars 23
  • Denver at Tampa Bay – Oy Bucs.  I don’t like you against that crazy good Denver defense.  Broncos 29, Buccaneers 20. 
  • LA Rams at Arizona – I expect the Old Man Cards to win this game at home, so why am I picking the Rams?  I like their defense better than Arizona.  Rams 24, Cardinals 22. 
  • Dallas at San Francisco – this feels like an upset.  Dallas losing Diva Dez for a few weeks could put a nice dent into their season.  Expect a ton of Carlos Hyde in this one.  49ers 21, Cowboys 16. 
  • Seattle at NY Jets – I don’t like how banged up Seahawks are right now.  Jets 23, Seahawks 20
  • Cleveland at Washington – in what was supposed to be an RG3 heckling homecoming, we get the second shittiest team in the NFL in the Nations Capital.  I think the Skins win comfortably.   Redskins 28, Browns 13
  • Carolina at Atlanta – Are the Panthers pissed?  Yep.  Is this a game where we can determine if the Falcons are for real?   I sense a Cam Newton beatdown of Atlanta.  Panthers 33, Falcons 17
  • Oakland at Baltimore – If you have quarterbacks and wide receivers in fantasy for these teams….start them.  A LOT of passing should take place here.  Ravens 37, Raiders 30.
  • New Orleans at San Diego – see comment of previous game.  Shootout #2 of the day between Philip Rivers and Drew Brees?  This will be fun.  Chargers 41, Saints 35. 

 

Dumb ass of the week:

  • Rex Ryan for calling participating in the Patriots press conference asking if WR Julian Edelman is playing quarterback.  Smooth, Einstein….way to silently piss off Bill Belichick.  The Patriots are going to use that, and probably start some Joe Dirt from the crowd and STILL beat the Bills by double digits.  Enjoy the last few weeks of being the Bills Coach and never being an NFL Head Coach again!
  • Dez Bryant for not appearing for an MRI to disclose that he has a fracture in his kneecap.  Idiot….you are a veteran playing on a professional sports team that has some of the best medical professionals in the business.  IF YOU GET INJURED, go in, get diagnosed and start the treatment plan so you can actually come back quicker.  Stop thinking you are above any team and just show up when you feel like it.  I actually thought Dallas had a punchers chance to catch the Giants and Philly at some point in the season.  Now?  Nope….not a chance in hell.  Have fun being 7-9.

 

Back at it next week…Happy Oktoberfest!!

-n

 

At Section 123

Good morning, kids.  Another weekend of football and other, well, interesting things are on tap.

  • In the attached video, from the lackluster Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and Rams, the call from Kevin Harlan may be the funniest call I have ever heard in a football game.  The game must have been so boring that when this ‘goofball’ ran onto the field, Harlan made it sound like we were at the Super Bowl!  Seriously, this call is going into the memory bank for a long time!  Video
  • This article from Wisconsin State Journals’ Tom Oates says the Wisconsin Badgers’ offense has regained its mojo.  EASY sunshine…..putting up 54 on Akron, and who knows what they are going to do to Georgia State today is a little different than what they will face in the conference gauntlet.
  • I will give the Milwaukee Brewers a ton of credit for still playing hard, even though it was evident they are in a clear rebuilding mode.  That is a testament to Craig Counsell and his hard-nosed style.
  • I am 100% on board of trading Ryan Braun in the off-season.  But for Yasiel Puig?  I understand there are other components the Dodgers would send to Milwaukee, but don’t the Brewers already have a ton of outfield prospects?  Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, and Trent Clark come to mind.  Unless there could be position switches?
  • My knee-jerk early World Series prediction:  Texas vs. Washington.  As long as the Yankees and Cardinals don’t make the playoffs, I’m good.
  • If you get the chance, watch some College Football this weekend.  Solid games include: Criminal U at the Louisville Sluggers; Meatchicken State at the ND Fighting Pukes, and Ocrio (Ohio) State at Choklahoma.  Alabammer at The Grove (Ole Miss) – fun games to day drink to.
  • Georgia State at Wisconsin.  One of the better running teams vs. the worst rushing defense in the country.  Yawn.  Wake me when it ends.  Badgers, 58-3
  • I am concerned for Sam Shields’ health.  Dude is on his fourth concussion already and I hope he starts to think about his long-term future, even if that does mean cutting his career short.
  • Green Bay at Minnesota.  Payback for the 2003 Lambeau Field dedication!!!  Going into Minneapolis on Sunday Night Football in that dumb purple-laced spaceship stadium and taking one from the Vikings is just what the doctor ordered.   Eddie Lacy seems to have good games against the solid Vikings defense, and we all know Aaron Rodgers rarely turns the ball over.  That’s what needs to happen Sunday night to take this divisional road tilt.  Packers 24, Vikings 20.

For the rest of the NFL Picks:

  • Tennessee at Detroit – may be closer than we think.  Lions win at home 31-27
  • Seattle at Los Angeles – if the Rams looked that shitty Monday night vs. the Niners, what in the hell will Seattle do, even with a banged up Russell Wilson??  Seahawks 24, Rams 6
  • New Orleans at NY Giants – shootout!!!  Start every possible fantasy football player you have on these teams (except the defenses).  Giants 38, Saints 31.
  • Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – this is the game I want to see Sunday before the night game.  This is one of the nastiest rivalries in the NFL right now, and it’s fun to watch these teams beat the crap out of each other.  I think Pittsburgh will have a little too much at home, and win 23-20. 
  • Baltimore at Cleveland – ….zzzz……zzzzzzzzzz….z.zzz..zzzz.  Oh, there’s a game played?  Ravens 21-10
  • Philadelphia at Chicago – Carson Wentz’ first road game will not go over as well as beating up the hapless Browns in the opener.  Bears 27, Eagles 16. 
  • Kansas City at Houston – this won’t be the 30-0 schellacking we saw in Wild Card Weekend last season, but the Chiefs have the better all-around team and should win this on the road.  Chiefs 30, Texans 17. 
  • Tampa Bay at Arizona – can the Cardinals rebound against what looks like an improved Tampa Bay team?  Yes, with a lot of David Johnson they can.  Cardinals 28, Buccaneers 20
  • San Francisco at Carolina – yea, the Niners beat up on the Rams (or was that UCLA??).  The Panthers are going to be pissed from last week.  Panthers 41, 49ers 14. 
  • NY Jets at Buffalo – Jets won this 37-31, and the Rex Ryan watch has definitely heated up.
  • Indianapolis at Denver – I just don’t see Andrew Luck having much luck against that Denver defense.  A lot of C.J. Anderson in this one as the Broncos win 20-13
  • Jacksonville at San Diego – cross country trips don’t typically go well.  I’m curious to see if the young Jags can continue building on their near-upset against Green Bay last week.  Hint – utilize Allen Robinson…a lot.  The Chargers 4th quarter collapse against the Chiefs was fantastic.  Jags win over the Chargers 30-21.
  • Atlanta at Oakland – Hard to pick this one, merely because I don’t know much about Atlanta.  Losing to Tampa at home wasn’t good, and the Raiders picked up a nice win at New Orleans last week.  I’ll say Raiders 34, Falcons 17. 
  • Miami at New England – the Dolphins surprised me with their defense and nearly pulling one out in Seattle last week.  New England really surprised me winning at Arizona without #12 and #87.  The Pats will take this one and get ready for a short week.  Patriots 23, Dolphins 9. 
  • Dallas at Washington – Dak Prescott on the road – he has a good offense to work with, but can he get it done on the road?  Not with the Dallas defense, they don’t.  I think Kirk Cousins and Washington will rebound from the ass-whipping they took from the Steelers and win.  Redskins 26, Cowboys 21.

  • Dumb ass of the week.  The kid who ran on the field in the Monday night game?   Nah, that is hilarious merely because of the call.
  • Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan.  For firing Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, when it is his brother, Rob Ryan who has implemented such a shitty defense over and over again wherever he goes.  When Rex gets fired (and he will), would anyone ever consider this guy for a head coach?  Way to continue winning the off-season, Rex.  Dumb ass.
  • Winner?  Rex.

That’s it for the week – enjoy the football!

-n

At Section 123

Football is upon us, boys and girls.  And what a great game we had Thursday night between Carolina and Denver.  I did not see the Broncos beating the Panthers.  I wasn’t surprised to see Cam Newton take the pounding he did.  The Broncos D is scary good already.  What impressed me more, was how in the heck did Newton not have a concussion after the numerous head shots he took?

  • The Milwaukee Brewers are trying to play a little spoiler role in September.  It would be nice if they put a dent into the St. Louis Cardinals playoff hopes – even though the Birds seem to own the Crew.
  • Yes, this is real.  Rice football player solves a Rubik’s Cube behind his back in 25 seconds – Video
  • College Football nuggets –
    • it looks like it could be Alabama and everyone else this year.  Huge statement blowing out USC and making them look like a junior high team.
    • I like all of these top teams lost last weekend:  LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame
    • 6 SEC teams have lost in the opening weekend for the first time in, what seems like forever.  Good – now the rest of the country can catch up.
    • Get ready to see nearly 160,000 fans at Bristol, TN for Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee tonight.  That will shatter records for a football attendance.
  • What an unbelievable atmosphere last weekend at Lambeau Field.  All but one LSU fan were awesome to hang out with and have a couple pops.  The tailgating was fun, watching the game nearby was a blast as well.  All of the fans were into the game, and the bands afterwards were such a fun crowd to be around.  There were some, oh, let’s say interesting stories with friends from that evening.  Ha.

    Think of this – ever since that ass-clown Gary Andersen bolted for Oregon State, the Badgers have beaten Auburn, USC and LSU.  In that same timeframe, Oregon State has gone 2-12.  Thanks for leaving, Gary!!

    Anyway – a little birdie tells me that there will be another ‘neutral site’ series with Wisconsin and…….Notre Dame in the next few years.  One game at Lambeau, and the other at Soldiers Field in Chicago.

  • Akron at Wisconsin – after upsetting LSU last week, the Wisconsin Badgers have jumped into the national polls, and national spotlight.  An AP rank of #10 is high, though.  They should be closer to the coaches’ number, #16.

    Going into this game, this is a game they will overpower Akron using the traditional Wisconsin style of football – pound the smaller team into submission.  Akron can score, but it won’t be enough to overtake UW in the home opener.  Badgers 45, Zips 17

  • I was as shocked as everyone of the Packers’ release of Josh Sitton over the weekend.  Something happened, there.  I have heard rumors around town, but I’m not going to speculate much, unless we chat in person.  The only thing I will say it this was NOT performance related.

 

  • Green Bay at Jacksonville – finally, real Packers football back on the tube!   Some keys for the Packers.  Jordy Nelsons’ return.  How long does he go?  Eddie Lacy looked good in pre-season, in a contract year, we need to see that translate to the regular season.  How does the new look offensive line perform after the untimely release of Josh Sitton?  Can the defense tame a young and high-scoring offense of Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and TJ Yeldon?

    They do, especially if the Packers attack the left side of the Jaguars offensive line (all new starters).   I think Jordy Nelson has a huge game – 6 catches 100+ yards and a TD.    Packers 31-20

  • Other NFL picks:
  • Chicago at Houston – too much D by the Texans.  Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins should have a huge start for Houston.  And Jay Cutler is still in Chicago (AKA he’s the 4th best quarterback in Packers history)!!  Texans 26-14
  • Detroit at Indianapolis – I’m curious how healthy Andrew Luck will be and can he rebound from his injury-plagued season?   I am also curious if the Lions offense could actually be better now they aren’t forcing things to now-retired Calvin Johnson?   Close, but Colts at home.  31-24
  • Minnesota at Tennessee – thanks for wasting your draft picks, Vikings!!  A first AND a conditional pick for Sam Bradford?  That makes me wonder how long they think Teddy Bridgewater will be out.  Anyway, the purple clowns defense is still good, and they still have Beat Your Son.  Tennessee will be improved and put up a fight.   Blah 14, Titans 9.
  • Oakland at New Orleans – if you want to see a shootout in Week 1, watch this game.  Drew Brees and Derek Carr will light up the scoreboard, early and often.  Raiders steal one on the road as the Saints defense continues their ‘drug problem’ up and down the field.  Raiders 37-31.
  • San Diego at Kansas City – fun rivalry game to start the season.   If the Chargers want to start taking that next step, they must have some production out of their running game.  Looking at you, Melvin Gordon!   Kansas City should take this one at home as their defense should give Phillip Rivers and co. fits.  Chefs, er, Chiefs take it 30-21.
  • Cincinnati at NY Jets – here’s my upset.  The Bengals are better on paper, but the Jets with the receiving tandem of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker should make enough plays outside that may be enough to offset the Bengals.  Jets in an upset 21-16.
  • Cleveland at Philadelphia – cheap tickets already!!  Griffin and Wentz eras begin for the Browns and Iggles.  Unfortunately, someone has to win.   I wonder if there is a pool of how many things Philly fans will be throwing at Robert Griffin or Terrelle Pryor?!  Give me the home team. 23-14.
  • NY Giants at Dallas – Dak Prescott is going to find out in a hurry that the success he had in the pre-season means squat.  The speed picks up, the intensity will be much different.  The only thing that makes me hesitate a Giants blowout is the boneheaded mistakes Eli Manning can make.  Giants win 24-17, but this feels like it should be more with that crappy Dallas defense.
  • Buffalo at Baltimore – Can someone explain anything exciting about the Buffalo Bills this year to me?  I can’t….really.  I’m not keen on the Ravens, either, but they should take the game at home.  Ravens 21-13.
  • Tampa Bay at Atlanta – sleeper team in this game?  I’m not sold on the Falcons at all, and it sounds like fans are finally wary of Matt Ryan.  What took them so long?   Buccaneers 19-16.
  • Miami at Seattle – oy.  Poor Dolphins.  Cross country trip and they will get slaughtered.  Here, fishy, fishy…..   Seahawks in a rout 38-14.
  • New England at Arizona – if Brady was playing, this would be awesome for Sunday night.   Since the king of deflating balls is not, here is one of the first four games the Patriots do trip up.  Add Gronk not making the trip (he’s hurt, shocking)   Cardinals 27-17.
  • Pittsburgh at Washington – this could be a shootout.   Two explosive offenses, and it will depend on which defense can make a play.  I tend to lean towards the more experience, and the Steelers – 31-27.
  • LA Rams at San Francisco – on a Monday Night?  Thankfully, this is the 9:15 game for this snooze fest.  Rams 20-10.

 

  • Topic of the week.  Not standing during the National Anthem.

    Let me get this out of the way first, I’m all for standing up for what you believe in.  So, the people who choose not to stand during our National Anthem has the freedom to do so – it says so in our Constitution.  One, Colin Kaepernick has even gone as far as trying to do more such as donating money and time to help inner cities.   That’s a good action to take.

    What I’m NOT OK with is you’re making the stance during our National song and flag flying before the game you are paid (or overpaid) to play.  To me, not standing during the National Anthem is disrespecting and a complete disregard to all of the men and women who have given up the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  There are soldiers who have fought, and are still fighting for us every day, so we should give them our ultimate respect and gratitude by standing up every time OUR National Anthem is played.

    How is not standing up for the anthem saying a message that racial tensions and police brutality are not OK?  The ONLY way I can justify not standing up is if you are handicapped.  Otherwise, common courtesy / respect or any other aspect of a nations’ song, STAND THE HELL UP!!

    If you really want to make a difference, in addition to the money that has been donated by Kaepernick, retire from your professional sport and join the police force.

  • Dumb ass of the week:
    Anyone who kneels or sits during the national anthem.  Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe, Brandon Marshall (DEN), and I hear this is going to pick up steam. Ugh – keep the flag out of this protest!!

That’s it for this week – back at it next week!

-n

At Section 123 –

It’s back, bitches!!!  I’m back!  After a long, intoxicating summer of grilling, golfing and tunes – it’s time to get back to writing.

  • Training Camp in Green Bay – Family Night (aka. glorified practice) – I like what I’ve seen thus far from the Packers.   Lacy looks strong, the defense has caused some turnovers.  I need to see Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson on the field in a pre-season game.  Not long, but to get some game speed before their opener at Jacksonville.
  • I have the Packers going 13-3 this year and the top seed in the NFC.  They’ll lose twice in the division, and to an AFC team they don’t normally see.  I’m guessing Houston.
  • NFL Predictions
    • NFC East
      • Dallas 10-6 – if healthy, the Cowboys are the best team in the division.  If healthy is the key.  Tony Romo could be brittle now from 2 collar bone injuries a year ago.  Ezekiel Elliott was a steal of a draft pick and should have a great rookie season behind a strong offensive line.
      • Washington 9-7 – could flip them and the Giants around.  I think it was a mistake letting Alfred Morris go.  The Redskins should still put up a lot of points here.
      • NY Giants 8-8 – We should do a drinking game with how many ‘Manning Faces’ are shown per game.  If you don’t know what a Manning Face is – here you go.  ManningFace  — yes, there is really a web site for this.
      • Philadelphia 5-11 – the key question here is how long will it take for an object to be thrown at any players from their outstanding fan base.  Our annual Packer away trip there in November will be, let’s say interesting.
    • NFC North
      • Green Bay 13-3 – the Packers offense should rebound after last year.  Jordy Nelson back from an ACL tear will be a little slow out of the gates, but will continue to get stronger as the year goes on.  Eddie Lacy looks strong again, which also opens things up for #12.  The biggest get is new TE Jared Cook – this will open up the middle of the field and get more opportunities outside.  The schedule sets up nicely, as well getting the NFC East and AFC South as cross-division opponents.
      • Minnesota 11-5 – I hate putting these clowns here.  Beat-your-son is 30 now, and that’s usually the line where running backs start to decline.  It will be interesting to see if that happens here.  The time is now for Teddy Bridgewater to show if he can be a top level quarterback.  Defense will be solid.
      • Chicago 8-8 – I think they may win a game or two they shouldn’t.  And lose a game or two they shouldn’t.  What else would you expect from the Packers 4th best quarterback in history?
      • Detroit 4-12 – Oy. Vey.  Tickets will be plentiful this year.
    • NFC South
      • Carolina 12-4 – If the WRs emerge, this team will be scary good again.  Kelvin Benjamin returns from an ACL and Devin Funchess should anchor that group.
      • Tampa Bay 8-8 – Does this team take the next step?
      • New Orleans 7-9 – this defense will have a huge drug problem.  Getting drug down the field, then drug down to the other side of the field.  Another wasted season for Drew Brees.
      • Atlanta 5-11 – Remind me why Atlanta is building a new stadium again?  Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones will be good for the Falcons….after that?  Oy.
    • NFC West
      • Arizona 11-5 – the Cardinals’ window is now.  They don’t win the whole thing this year, I think the door will slam shut…in a hurry.
      • Seattle 11-5 – Post Beast Mode era begins in Seattle.  The defense should be good as ever.  I’ll be curious to see how much more Russell Wilson has developed as a pocket passer.  Will Jimmy Graham be a factor?
      • LA Rams 7-9 – the team that not many will want to see later in the year.
      • San Francisco 4-12 – this train wreck will be funny to watch.
    • AFC East
      • New England 11-5 – they go 2-2 with PSI Brady out.  Any worse than that, and it could be interesting.
      • NY Jets 9-7. This is to Ryan Fitzpatrick…you’re NOT a $20 million quarterback.  And shave that damn beard – Duck Dynasty you are not.  However, there is enough here to make a run at the Wild Card.
      • Buffalo 7-9.  If anyone has any duct tape, send it to Buffalo and shut Rex Ryan up.  Glad you ‘won the offseason’, but that hasn’t exactly translated into the regular season.  Your job is on the line this year.
      • Miami 5-11 – Tickets will be real easy to come by before the 5th week of the season.  Time to inherit the help of Marlins Man tp draw people there!!!!  If you like fights, weed, and over half the people couldn’t speak a lick of English – the upper levels at SunLife Stadium is for you.
    • AFC North
      • Pittsburgh 12-4 – this team could be scary.  Even with the Bryant and Bell suspensions.
      • Cincinnati 11-5 – How many lives does Coach Marvin Lewis get before he actually WINS a playoff game?   Watching them vs. the Steelers this year will be fun.
      • Baltimore 7-9 – don’t see enough here to have them taking the next step.
      • Cleveland 3-13 – yep, you’re basing your season on Bobby Griffin the third.  Good luck with that.
    • AFC South
      • Houston 9-7 – I’m not sold on this choice, as this division is a crap shoot.  I do think Brock Osweiler will get the job done for the Texans.  I also think Lamar Miller needs to be huge for the Texans to repeat as division champs.
      • Indianapolis 8-8 – The Colts gave a boatload of cash to QB Andrew Luck during the offseason.  He’ll need to earn that cash as the Colts are going to need to win shootouts.
      • Jacksonville 7-9 – sorry, they’re still a year away.  They will be a tough out towards the end of the year.
      • Tennessee 4-12 – SLOW rebuild…..
    • AFC West
      • Kansas City 11-5 – should win this division…..should.
      • Oakland 8-8 – they should continue to improve as they have a good young core on this team.
      • Denver 8-8 – the defense is starting to get beat up, and they did lose a couple key components from free agency.  That, and if you think you need to rely on Mark Sanchez to win?  Well, if you do believe that, I have a bottle of 10-year-old ketchup I can sell you.
      • San Diego 6-10 – you have Philip Rivers.  And, you have Philip Rivers.  I’ll say this, Melvin Gordon needs to be huge for the Chargers this year, or this record could be worse.
  • Big Ten Predictions
    • West Division
      • Iowa – 10-2; 7-2.  This is by default due to an average division.  Count me in the group that would laugh if they got clipped by North Dakota State (like Minnesota, Kansas State, others in the past).
      • Nebraska – 8-4; 6-3.  I’m probably overstating them a bit, but the West Division isn’t exactly a murderers’ row this year.   Nice out of conference game with Oregon this year.
      • Northwestern – 8-4; 5-4.  See above.  I cringe putting them ahead of Wisconsin…but UW hasn’t won in Evanston since 1999.
      • Wisconsin – 7-5; 5-4.  I think the Badgers will be good, but that schedule…wow.  Whomever the Badgers pissed off in the scheduling department, let me know.   After LSU at Lambeau, they OPEN with at Michigan, at Michigan State, Ohio State, at Iowa, Nebraska and at Northwestern.  Ouch.  See you in Nashville, Dec. 30th.
      • Minnesota – 6-6; 4-5.  Highlight of their season?  See if they can actually fill TCF Bank Stadium.  They’ll also lose the Axe for the 13th year in a row.   Thanks for the free bottle of vodka!
      • Purdue – 4-8; 2-7.  I sense a coaching change coming here.
      • Illinois – 2-10; 1-9.  Rebuilding with Lovie!  Start by redoing your damn uniforms.  You’re orange and blue.  NOT gray!
    • East Division
      • Ohio State – they lose a lot, but they just reload every year.  Tough non-conference game at Oklahoma before the B1G season gets going.
      • Michigan – I wonder how long it will take for Harbaugh to sulk on the sidelines and make some accusations to piss off half the country.
      • Pedophile State – the Sanduskys may have enough to get past Sparty in the standings, but not enough to overtake the top two.
      • Michigan State – MSU should have a solid defense, but enough questions on offense.  I am dropping them a spot this year, and am curious how they are ‘pre-season’ ranked so high?   Games at Notre Dame and vs. BYU will get them ready for the conference.
      • Indiana – get rid of those dumb helmets.  They will put teams in shootouts all year, but again have a swiss cheese defense.
      • Maryland – don’t know much, or pretend to.  I keep reading they should be a little better this year.  We’ll see…  I still think they shouldn’t be in the Big Ten.
      • Rutgers – see Maryland.
  • Bowl Predictions – first, I think the Big Ten will be left out of the playoff.  So….
    • Rose Bowl – Ohio State vs. Stanford
    • Cotton Bowl – Michigan vs. Houston
    • Citrus Bowl – Iowa vs. Ole Miss
    • Outback Bowl – Michigan State vs. Tennessee
    • Holiday Bowl – Penn State vs. Utah
    • Music City Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Auburn (again)
    • Pinstripe Bowl – Nebraska vs. Louisville
    • Foster Farms Bowl – Northwestern vs. UCLA
    • Heart of Dallas Bowl – Indiana vs. Marshall
    • Detroit Bowl – Minnesota vs. Toledo
  • Playoffs:  1. Alabama vs. 4. Houston; 2. Clemson vs. 3. Oklahoma  – others to watch:  Georgia, LSU, TCU, Stanford, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Houston

 

  • How I’d speed up baseball.  The #1 complaint I hear from people is baseball is so boring to watch on TV.  I enjoy this game, it’s a good time to get to the ballpark, watch a game with friends and drink a couple beers.  For a casual fan, I can understand the frustration as there may be a lack of action.

    Personally, I love the chess matches pitchers have with hitters, trying to pick up the spin of the ball and deciding whether to swing the bat in a really fast time (within a second sometimes).  When to set up a hit-and-run, or try to move a runner into scoring position.  The thought process into each situation makes the game fun.  That said, here’s what I would do to speed up the game and help improve overall.

    • 1. No readjusting your batting gloves / walking around the batters box between pitches.  You can look at the coach for signs, but we don’t need 2 minutes between pitches as you don’t think you’re warmed up enough.   That’s what the on deck circle is for.  One of the worst at this is Gummy (Ryan Braun).
    • 2. Time between pitches.  I’ve noticed some pitchers who take their sweet time between pitches – and that’s not counting the signs they shake off from the catcher.  20-30 seconds from when they get the ball back from the catcher.  Otherwise, it’s a ball.  This should test a pitchers’ conditioning as well.
    • 3. Instead of taking 2-3 minutes for an intentional walk, just send a signal to the hitter / umpire.
    • 4. Add umpires on the outfield lines as well.  This is true in the post-season.  Why not add them in the regular season.
    • 5. Get rid of the dumb home field advantage for the All-Star Game.   Have it played, but at the end of the season as well.
    • 6. Reduce the regular season to 154 games.
    • 7. Expand the ‘play-in’ game to a Best-of-3. and tighten the days between post-season games.
    • 8. Have more double-headers.
    • 9. Everyone has the day off on Opening Day  – make it a U.S. Holiday (hey, a guy can dream)
    • 10.  Add 2 teams.  I’d add franchises to Montreal and either Portland or Nashville.
  • Overall, I like the Olympics, but it seems like it’s gone on too long already.  Also – why isn’t basketball in the Winter Olympics?  Isn’t that a winter sport, technically?
  • Dumb ass of the week (summer, actually)
    • Any player who gets suspended for weed.  They know it’s illegal and get tested for that all the time.  I’m looking at you Marcell Dareus, Josh Gordon, Leveon Bell, Karlos Williams, etc.
    • Ryan Lochte – way to get hammered with your swimming buddies, break the door and high tail it.  Then you make up some story about being robbed?   Then get caught in the lie for covering up you were drunk idiots?   Jackass, the only thing you were robbed of is any dignity you may have had left.  Then on top of that, you bail the country so quickly and leave your ‘friends’ to deal with the aftermath.  Wow – I’ve read this cat is not exactly smart, but this nearly takes the cake!  Lochte is a piece of garbage that I would not want as a friend.

      We’ve all had drunk moments, well at least I know I have!  But at least own your mistakes!!
      If I’m the US Olympic Committee, I’m saying – ‘you’re done….no Tokyo (or any) Olympics for you going forward’

-That’s it for this week.  I’ll start this up weekly once football gets into full gear.  Happy Fantasy Football drafting and Labor Day!

-n