Thursday, October 30, 2008

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 9

As usual, we're using the Vegas odds to determine the six closest games to choose from. The Rooster and I are deadlocked once again, both with semi-pitiful 23-25 marks.

Houston Texans @ Minnesota Vikings -Vikings
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns - Ravens
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills - Bills
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams - Cardinals
Miami Dolphins @ Denver Broncos - Broncos
Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders - Falcons

The Vikings have improved since Gus Frerrotte took over the helm... Ravens-Browns is always a hard-fought matchup, but I'll take the Ravens because of their defense... If Favre threw 3 picks against the Chiefs defense, just imagine what he'll do against the Bills... The Rams are playing better as of late but I'll still take the ol' vet Kurt Warner and the Cards... Broncos, simply because they are at home... Falcons, because it's the Raiders.

The Rooster will have his picks posted sometime soon, and feel free to join us for fun and see how you do.

Knicks fans are fickle

During Wednesday night's Knicks-Heat season opener at Madison Square Garden, Knicks fans could be heard chanting, "We want Steph! We want Steph!" Marbury didn't play a second in the game.

These are the same fans who booed him out of the Garden all of last season. Some even booed him last night during the pregame introductions.

Ay carumba.

On the Tube: Popovich employs "Hack-A-Shaq" in the opening minutes

A few weeks ago, Shaq called the Spurs' use of the "Hack-A-Shaq" in the '07 playoffs, "cowardly." The Spurs and Suns met in their respective season openers last night and San Antonio coach Greg Popovich showed that he both heard the comments and has a sense of humor.

Great stuff. It's nice to see all the guys having a little fun with it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TONY BLOGS, looking all fresh and new

In case you haven't noticed, there have been some changes here at the blog over the last week or so.

First, the new layout, which should format a little better on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. The post column is wider, which helps that cause, and also gives the site a sleeker look.

The second, and biggest, item is the new URL, Be sure to update your bookmarks and tell all your friends. (It's a lot easier than the old address, although that one still will direct you to the right place.)

As always, thanks for visiting and reading, and be sure to come back for more of the same good fun you're used to.

On the Tube: Mike Breen plays 20 Questions with Shaq

Here's a look at the newest NBA on ESPN commercial, starring Shaquille O'Neal and Mike Breen.

As much as I (and the rest of the sports blogosphere) bash ESPN, they have the best commercials.

Josh's Corner: Dear Knicks, please win at least 35 games

With the New York Knicks season getting underway tonight against Miami, our Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia gives us another column asking his (and my) beloved Knicks to step it up this year.

The worst franchise in sports is preparing for the upcoming season and I’m excited about it. I mean how can you not be, it can only be uphill from here right? I mean the Knicks have had the highest payroll and no outstanding players for far too long. So I’m going to put on my GM or VP of operations hat for this one.

First off the new coach, Mike D’Antoni, is a great replacement for the other guy that I won’t bash right now due to the circumstances. I mean how can you go wrong with this guy? D’Antoni comes from a worldly knowledge of basketball having played in the NBA, ABA and in Europe. He was Kobe Bryant’s idol growing up in Italy when he was on Olimpio Milano. Kobe even wore number 8 for a while because it was D’Antoni’s number. If you’ve watched any Phoenix Suns game in the last couple years then you know his system is full throttle, exciting and fun to watch... but that’s if you have the proper players, and the Knicks right now don’t.

Lets start with the 3 big men - Zack Randolph, Eddy Curry and Jerome James - or you might refer to them as the bad guys from Space Jam, only they can’t dunk from half court. They are big and slow and like to post up and use their strength. That is all fine but when you bring in a coach that runs and guns you need guys like Luis Scola, Joakim Noah and Mikki Moore. I could be wrong but I am looking forward to see how that works. Indications are it won’t with Curry, who might not even be in D'Antoni's 9-man rotation.

There is no easy way to say this, so get rid of Stephon Marbury, please. Starbury has only been on one winning team ever and that was way back in Minnesota. He’s made stops in New Jersey and Phoenix since. Either he is cursed by the stars or just really unlucky. If you ever get some free time at work, look up his team’s record and then look at what they did when he left. I would spit out the numbers but seeing is believing. I say the Knicks could trade him to Golden State but I don’t think they would give the Knicks anything in return. I say during these hard economic times when the market and jobs are in their current state we just give Steph to the Warriors. We just say “remember this around Christmas,” wink wink.

I can’t be mad at Coach D’Antoni for picking an Italian in the draft. He knew the kids father and I think he may be the only coach in the NBA that speaks Italian. Maybe Lawrence Frank speaks a little bit but they teach everyone in the 11th grade a language.

There were a few wacky front office decisions that I would not have made. Allan Houston would not have come to camp. Patrick Ewing Jr. would be on the team instead of Anthony Roberson. After all, why would you trade for Ewing Jr. only to cut him? Oh wait, the guy they traded him for was the guy who Vince Carter posterized in 2000. That’s the guy that got completely jumped over like VC was on a trampoline. Youtube it.

But at least having Ewing Jr. would make us reminisce about when the Knicks were good. Their last winning season was 2000-01 when they went 48-34. They have been last place 3 out of the last 4 seasons, and yeah, I remember they got in the playoffs when they were 39-43 but I’m not counting that because the East was terrible that year. So I’m hoping this year Coach D’Antoni can lead the Knicks to at least 35 wins, and at least be in the playoff race for some of the season. That may not seem like I’m shooting very high but when you’ve followed this team you know that prediction might be reaching for the Starburys.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vernon Davis takes the high road

You undoubtedly heard about 49ers new interim coach Mike Singletary ripping into TE Vernon Davis and pulling him from the game Sunday, only to follow it up with more ripping of the star player in the postgame press conference.

Vernon Davis wrote about the situation on his blog last night:
I spoke to Coach Singletary today. We talked briefly. I didn't really say much to him, I pretty much just listened to what he had to say. I saw the point he was trying to make as far as on the field. He pretty much told me I've got to be aware of what's going on, on the field. If someone says something to me, I can't let it bother me. I have got to be bigger than that. I agree. I shouldn't have retaliated after the guy said what he said. I should have just moved on and tried to be the bigger man."

One thing about me, when I get heated, I just want to be to myself. I didn't really hear Coach Singletary call me on sideline. I didn't really hear him calling me at the time. I was just in another world because I had everybody else saying something to me. I didn't really hear anybody else talking. I didn't say anything to coach. I pretty much just listened to Coach Singletary said when he approached me. He told me to sit down and I sat down, and he told me to go inside and I went inside.

I was asked today by the media if Coach Singletary and I could work together. Yeah, I believe we can make it work. Coach Singletary, he's a coach that really wants to win. He's excited and this is his first time having a big job like this so he has to get comfortable, and we have to get comfortable with each other, I think he's going to do a good job.

I know that I'm a team guy. My teammates know it. I love my teammates, I love the coaches. I think that they're doing a good job around here, and I would never do anything to hurt my teammates or put them in any kind of trouble. Coach Singletary always preaches we have to stay together and he's right, team first. It's about the team, it ain't about me, it ain't about the coaches, it ain't about individuals. It's about the team. When you're playing this game, especially where we're at right now. We're at a point right now where we need to come out of a hole. It's tough. We really have to be a team at this point and depend on each other.
It might have been a little much to blast the guy right in front of his teamates and the national TV audience, but Davis certainly comes out of this looking like he's learned a lesson from it. And he writes pretty well, too.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 8 results

A truly awful, horrendous performance by yours truly allowed The Rooster to climb back into a first place tie.

Tony Blogs: SD, BUF, TB, ARZ, NYG, SF
The Rooster: NO, MIA, TB, CAR, PIT, SF

Here are the updated standings:
Tony Blogs   (23-25)
The Rooster  (23-25)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cortland football rolls yet again

The SUNY Cortland football team continued its relative dominance today, defeating William Paterson, 38-0. Here's some more info from Cortland SID Fran Elia:
CORTLAND, N.Y. - Ray Miles completed 16-of-20 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns and Cory Russell scored twice as Cortland shut out William Paterson, 38-0. The Red Dragons (7-0, 7-0 NJAC) held the Pioneers to 103 yards of total offense to post their first shutout since a 42-0 win at William Paterson last year.

Cortland led 17-0 after one quarter and 31-0 at halftime. Jeffrey Lang and Eric Hajnos each caught touchdown passes, with Lang also kicking a field goal, and Andrew Giuliano ran for a score.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the Tube: FOX gives us goosebumps before Game One

As a former Communications:Media Production major, I really enjoy a good video intro package. (Nerd alert!!) Last night FOX gave us a great one, weaving the history of America and past presidents together with baseball.

Wow. That was pretty nice and with a little free pub for this year's candidates. With Michael Douglas on the voiceover, how could it not be good?
(Grazie, Awful Announcing for the vid.)

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 8

Right around the halfway point of the season, I have a slight, two-game advantage over The Rooster. After last week's triumph, I am now 22-20, which isn't really anything to brag about. Let's see if this week I can finally do better than 3-3.

San Diego Chargers v. New Orleans Saints (in London) - Chargers
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins - Bills
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Dallas Cowboys - Bucs
Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers - Cardinals
New York Giants @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Giants
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers - 49ers

Again using the Vegas line to choose the six closest matchups from Sunday's action... Don't know what to expect from both SD and NO, so I'll take the Bolts simply because Reggie Bush is out... Surprised the line has BUF -1.5 right now, which isn't giving nearly enough credit to the Bills... Dallas is without Romo and their defense couldn't have stopped a pee-wee team last week... Boldin should play for Arizona this Sunday... The Giants are "Road Warriors," and Pittsburgh will be without a few key defensive players... SEA-SF will be the least entertaining game in quite some time, with the 49ers playing a little less badly than the 'Hawks.

Palin to drop puck again

Sarah Palin will be in St. Louis tomorrow night to drop the ceremonial first puck for the Blues v. Kings game, as she did 12 days ago in Philadelphia.
The running mate of Republican John McCain, Palin will drop the ceremonial first puck when the St. Louis Blues host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday, the team announced Wednesday.

Palin, the current governor of Alaska, will be present at Scottrade Center following a visit to Springfield during her campaign trail in the state of Missouri.

A self-described "hockey mom," Palin also took part in a pregame ceremony in Philadelphia on October 11, when the Flyers hosted the New York Rangers in their season opener.
Palin is getting a lot of play out of this whole "hockey mom" thing. It's a great strategy to ingratiate her with the down-to-earth mothers out there who drive their kids to practice in their minivans.

It's just too bad no one really watches hockey.

Perhaps she would have been better off proclaiming herself a "baseball mom?" Then last night she could have been in Tampa and tossed out the first pitch, instead of Shippensburg native Bob Stewart. (Who?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick Pic: The celebratory mosh pit

They don't just jump into a giant pile after a big win in Japan. They toss their manager in the air, as evidenced by this photo of the Seibu Lions doing just that to manager Hisanobu Watanabe.

The Lions beat the Nippon Ham Fighters, 9-0, in Game 5 of the Pacific League Climax Series second stage Wednesday to advance to the Japan Series.

2008 World Series preview and prediction

The World Series begins tonight in Tampa Bay as the Phillies send Cole Hamels to the mound to duel with Scott Kazmir. This series might not be the ratings juggernaut that FOX would have hoped for but it should be an interesting series for serious fans of baseball.

When you think about it, the Rays play an NL style while the Phillies play more of an AL style. Tampa will steal, hit-and-run and try to make things happen, while the Phils are content with letting their guys hit home runs and move around the bases one hit at a time.

Granted, after my original postseason predictions had a Dodgers-Angels World Series, I'm in no position to prognosticate. But here I go again...

I'll take the Rays in 6.

They showed resiliency holding off the Red Sox after a monstrous collapse in Game 5 of the ALCS. They have power and speed on offense and play great defense, with BJ Upton emerging as one of MLB's premier center fielders. The Rays starting pitching has been tremendous all year long and they may have a new closer in David Price.

That's not to say the Phillies don't have a good pitching staff, with Hamels the ace and Lidge the closer. Their offense, too, has power in Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. But I think the Rays have it all together and the momentum is on their side. Let's not forget that the Phils haven't played in almost a week and Tampa Bay has home-field advantage.

This is an evenly matched series that should result in some entertaining baseball, something we haven't seen in the World Series the last few years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Brett Favre 'betrayal' thing keeps getting weirder

As you'll read here and here.

First the Gunslinging One gave the Lions some inside info on the Packers, then he denied it. Then ESPN - the network that usually goes ga-ga over anything Favre-related - wouldn't touch the story with a ten foot pole. Today Pro Football Talk revealed that an ESPN memo said not to report the story because they don't report inaccurate stories that they can't confirm.

Unless they're from Chris Mortensen, apparently.

Jose Canseco regrets book, still wants to be reality star

Jose Canseco said during last night's A&E special, "Jose Canseco: The Last Shot," that he regrets naming names in his tell-all book, "Juiced," and regrets writing the book at all.
"If I could meet with Mark McGwire and these players, I definitely would apologize to them," Canseco said, according to the New York Daily News. "They were my friends. I admired them. I respected them."
Canseco claims that he wanted revenge at the time because he felt like Major League Baseball unfairly made him the focus of the steroid era and had blacklisted him. He also says he didn't realize it would hurt so many people.

Sure, it seems like the right thing to say, now that Canseco is a laughing stock who has been on every reality show you can think of, but let's look at it for what it is. Canseco is a joke and, unlike Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, would have had no talent at all if it wasn't for steroids. And it never crossed his mind while writing the book that it could hurt other people?

Jose is simply trying to get his name back out there in a more positive light, after being arrested just a few weeks ago while trying to smuggle fertility drugs across the border. He is set to fight Danny Bonaduce in a January Celebrity Boxing Federation bout.

I don't know what's funnier, that he will fight Bonaduce or that there is even a Celebrity Boxing Federation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanks Kimbo: EliteXC going out of business

Just weeks removed from the controversial Kimbo Slice knockout, EliteXC is no more.

EliteXC, a partnership between ProElite, Inc. and Showtime, will close shop effective immediately, mostly due to the poor ratings the company drew on CBS.
EliteXC's third card with CBS on Oct. 4 was also its last as a promoter. Headlined by the controversial Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, the event made headlines with discussion surrounding the legitimacy of the main event between Ferguson and Seth Petruzelli. The bout is currently under investigation by the Florida State Athletic Commission.

After debuting on May 31 to an audience of 6.5 million viewers, EliteXC's ratings on CBS fell significantly in its second effort drawing just 2.7 million in July. In its last event the numbers appeared to bounce back nicely, with an average audience of 4.5 million.
No one knows for certain how much the Kimbo defeat had to do with this move, but we can assume that promoters could sense it would bring them down. Without a face to present to the mainstream, ratings would inevitably get worse.

On the Tube: Farmar off the board to Ariza

It's a pretty risky play to toss an alley-oop off the backboard in transition, but this time it worked out pretty well for Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza.
(Grazie, Ball Don't Lie)

Just kidding: Nolan out now

Apparently the 49ers brass reads this blog. A short while after I posted an entry saying the Niners should just get rid of Mike Nolan right now, they did just that. (Of course they don't read the blog, but it's nice to think it's true.)

This is the right move, as I said earlier. Why have this dark, negative cloud hanging over the coach's head for the entire week? And besides, if San Francisco had beaten the Seahawks - and that was very likely to happen given how awful Seattle has looked - it would have been pretty bad to fire the coach after a victory.

Quick Pic: Rays campaigning for Obama?

Change We Need might as well be Fox's slogan for the World Series, as we'll have a matchup of two totally different teams than anyone expected. Today's pic features David Price addressing the crowd at a rally for Barack Obama at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, with Carl Crawford and Cliff Floyd flanking him in the background.

Nolan out as 49ers head coach?

According to ESPN's Michael Smith, the 49ers will fire head coach Mike Nolan after Sunday's game against the Seahawks. The Niners were 2-1 but have lost their last five games.

Here's what I don't understand: Why not just fire the guy now?

In the NFL, if you fire the coach during the season, you're basically giving up all hope of the playoffs, so why not toss the reigns to someone else right now? All this does is create an awful, awkward working environment for all involved.

One more question I have, How come all these coaches get fired but Herm Edwards continues to fly under the radar as one of the most overrated coaches ever?

Blog undergoing changes, stay tuned to see transformation

If everything looks a little screwy around here for a while, please bare with us. We're giving the whole thing a new look and it should be done by the end of the day.

Thanks, and stay tuned.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 7 results

After weeks of trailing, I've finally moved past The Rooster in the overall standings. Here's a closer look at the Sunday that was...

Tony Blogs: BUF, MIA, CHI, CAR, NYJ, IND
The Rooster: SD, MIA, MIN, NO, OAK, IND

Sure, I posted a merely adequate 3-3 mark this week, but was able to capitalize on The Rooster's 1-5 performance.

Overall Standings
Tony Blogs   (22-20)
The Rooster  (20-22)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cortland football continues to lay the smack down

The SUNY Cortland Red Dragons improved to 6-0 after their 41-14 victory over Western Connecticut State Saturday in Danbury, Connecticut.

Per Cortland SID Fran Elia's release:
DANBURY, CONN. – Senior tailback Andrew Giuliano (Thornwood/Westlake) rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns as Cortland (6-0, 6-0 NJAC) stayed unbeaten with a 41-14 win at Western Connecticut State. The Red Dragons, ranked ninth in Division III by the AFCA and 13th by, scored the final 21 points after the host Colonials (2-4, 2-3) had closed a 20-0 deficit to 20-14 midway through the third quarter.

Cortland senior quarterback Ray Miles (Port Byron) completed 18-of-26 passes for 209 yards and rushed for a touchdown. Sophomore cornerback Joe Lopez (Port Jefferson Station/Comsewogue) returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown and sophomore Cory Russell (La Fayette) scored on a 3-yard run. Senior Zacc Guaragno (Lansing) made seven catches for 85 yards and senior Eric Hajnos (Grand Island)
Click here for a full game recap.

TBS is having a hard time this October

Chip Caray has taken the brunt of the criticism (not just from me, I might add) but the entire TBS playoff package has not been running smoothly.

Aside from having the overdramatizing Caray in the booth, the network's pre- and post-game shows have been incredibly bland, thanks to the boring duo of Dennis Eckersley and Cal Ripken. Ernie Johnson is one of the best in the business and Harold Reynolds is one of the few analysts that actually analyzes the games anymore, but it's been hard for them to carry the other two.

And tonight technical difficulties experienced by TBS kept fans in the dark for the first inning of play at Tropicana Field.

As our friend Bob Glauber of Newsday would say, "Oy."

I wonder who Chip Caray is rooting for in tonight's ALCS Game 6?

Caray was screaming like a banshee as Kevin Youkilis' solo homer sailed over the wall to tie the game 1-1... in the second inning.

I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to listen to Joe Buck instead of this clown.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 7

A little late this week, but in time, nonetheless. Here are this Sunday's Six Picks:

San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills - Bills
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins - Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears - Bears
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers - Panthers
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders - Jets
Indianapolis Colts @ Green Bay Packers - Colts

Using the Vegas odds to determine the six closest games... It's a tough cross-country trip for the Bolts, and the Bills will be rested and with Trent Edwards back at the helm... Maybe I'm too high on the Wildcat offense, but the Ravens 'D' got torn apart last week and their offense is putrid... Bears, at home, coming out with a vengeance after last week's last-second loss to Atlanta... Can the Saints get it together two weeks in a row?.. Even the Jets can beat the Raiders... Colts, on the road, because GB just isn't that good.

Keep your eyes peeled for The Rooster's picks in the comments section and feel free to toss your own in there. We'll have the results up Monday morning.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama working all angles on the campaign trail

If you're a Madden 09 gamer with an internet connection, you've noticed how ads in the game rotate and change. You'll see a new one if you live in one of the Presidential election "swing states."

The campaign for Barack Obama has purchased ad space in Madden 09, as well as other EA titles.

It's a great way to gain some exposure for the younger crowd, one that doesn't vote in the same numbers as older demographics. There is no word on whether John McCain will use this same strategy, or if he even knows what an XBox 360 is.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On the Tube: Dan Orlovsky isn't quite aware of his surroundings

I don't mean to pile on. The Lions are awful and everyone knows it. But why not toss in some video evidence?


Tony Romo injured, but still alive

As you probably already heard, Tony Romo injured his pinkie finger during yesterday's loss to the Cardinals and could be out up to four weeks.

But why is everyone acting like he's dead?

Michael Smith was on ESPN earlier, eyes red, acting as though the funeral was about to begin. other analysts seem truly sad. I know this is a big blow to the Cowboys, but let's get some perspective here.

He broke his pinkie finger. I know that's got to hurt, but you get slammed to the ground 30 times a game and you can't play with your least important finger hurt? Ronnie Lott only needed half a pinkie to do his thing!

And he still gets to go home to Jessica Simpson. Sure, she's an airhead who I'm sure would be impossible to carry on a conversation with. But aside from that and the whole "creepy father thing," just look at her.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 6 results

Sunday's slate of NFL games brought with it a lot of surprises and as a result, a tie atop the SPfS leaderboard.

Here's a closer look:

The Rooster: BAL, CAR, ATL, HOU, DEN, SEA
Tony Blogs: IND, TB, CHI, MIA, DEN, GB

For the second straight week, I went 3-3 while The Rooster was 2-4, pulling me into a tie for the overall lead.

Overall Standings
The Rooster   (19-17)
Tony Blogs    (19-17)

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Rays might be getting ahead of themselves

I see what they're going for here. They won the division, ahead of the Red Sox and the Yankees.

But what if they lose the ALCS to Boston? Then they really won't have "taken down Red Sox Nation," right?

(Grazie, Peter Abraham)

On the Tube: Baron Davis doesn't always look where he's passing

I'll admit it: I have a thing for Baron Davis, in a totally heterosexual kind of way. During last night's preseason tilt against the Lakers, he pulled a special pass out of his bag of tricks.

Top that, David Blaine!
(Grazie, Ball Don't Lie)

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 6

Here we go with another week of predictions from The Rooster and I. Last week, I gained a game in the standings. Here are this week's games:

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts - Colts
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Bucs - Bucs
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons - Bears
Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans - Dolphins
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Denver Broncos - Broncos
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks - Packers

Three road teams, three home teams... Colts look to use the momentum from last week's comeback win... Bucs over Panthers, although that's one of the toughest picks in my mind... Falcons have looked good, but I'm going with Da Bears... Will the Texans overcome last week's horrible loss? No... Does anyone know who the 'real' Jaguars are?... I don't care if Seattle is at home, they are garbage.

Look out for The Rooster's picks in the comments section and feel free to add your own.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Undefeated Cortland getting no respect from this blogger... until now

How have I gone this long without talking about my beloved Cortland Red Dragons football team, the one that represents my alma mater?

The Dragons, ranked 10th in the nation among Division III schools, will host #21 Montclair State University on Saturday in a battle for first place in the NJAC. Both teams are unbeaten.

Cortland averages 37.6 PPG while the Montclair Red Hawks average 13.8. My money is on Cortland in this one, but of course I have a little bias.

To listen to the live broadcast Saturday at 1pm, visit the homepage.

November Yankee Stadium sendoff scratched

The Yankee Stadium "closing ceremonies" that had been planned for November 9th have been canceled.
"The Yankees were considering having a charitable event at Yankee Stadium," Jason Zillo, the team's media relations director, said in a statement Tuesday. "However, the Yankees realize that the final event at Yankee Stadium should be a baseball game, which in fact took place on Sept. 21, 2008."
Many people, including myself, thought that sendoff on Sunday Night Baseball was the perfect ending and the tribute was great (except for not mentioning Joe Torre) and the Yanks got it right this time.

Let baseball be the final memory.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 5 Results

I gained a game on The Rooster this week, after he went 2-4, while I posted an adequate 3-3. Here's a closer look:

The Rooster: BAL, ATL, PHI, DEN, BUF, JAX
Tony Blogs: TEN, GB, WSH, TB, ARZ, JAX

Overall Standings
The Rooster   (17-13)
Tony Blogs    (16-14)

As you can see, things are tightening up a bit. Check back in a few days for predictions for Week 6.

Josh's Corner: Don't blame Kimbo Slice

Our Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia is back with an excellent column on Kimbo Slice's recent defeat. For more of Josh's posts, click here.

We live in the age of "TMI," too much information. There is a hype machine that uses buzz, spin and bias to create the household name. For MMA fans, and some casual sports fans, it was Kimbo Slice.

We’ve all seen the Internet videos of him fighting in the backyard, or by boats, or in a gym, or even in the cage. I think everyone can agree on one thing; we wouldn’t want to fight Kimbo or be around when he’s mad. But the hype that was created by CBS and Elite XC for Kimbo was making it seem like he’s the best fighter in the world. This 3-0 fighter who has fought a 45 yr old Tank Abbott, and a guy who had floppy ear-itis.

Now I hate to use a pro wrestling analogy but it was sort of like Kimbo Slice was being put up against - dare I say - “jobbers.” Someone that the execs knew Kimbo could beat. In wrestling they usually had regular names like Rusty Brooks, Kevin Reno or Jim Starr, and they were usually already waiting in the ring and didn’t get any entrance music. I remember lots of mullets too but that was just the times. It was a mullet era in the WWE. That’s sort of how they picked Kimbo’s opponents.

Ken Shamrock, who was supposed to fight him on Saturday, used to be one of the wrestlers. He wasn’t quite a jobber but he wasn’t that far from it during most of his career. But most people know Ken from his other career, MMA. The “World’s Most Dangerous Man” had been knocked out in his last 5 MMA fights spanning from 2005 to 2008. So to clarify: he hadn’t lost these five previous fights by decision, they were all by knock out. That seems like a perfect opponent for Kimbo who loves to brawl and deliver knock outs, almost too perfect. So perfect that it’s a little bit fishy.

Only Shamrock got cut practicing and couldn’t fight. Uh oh, CBS’ big night is not looking so hot. At least people had heard of Ken Shamrock, whether it was through UFC, Pride or WWE, he was a known fighter. So when he went down and CBS had to scramble to find a fighter. It was almost Ken’s brother Frank who had to step in but he was announcing the fight as the analyst along with Gus Johnson. So who fights Kimbo? Which unlucky fool is going to get that call. You want to come down here and fight Kimbo Slice? It happened to be a pink haired nobody named Seth Petruzelli. Yeah I said the same thing you’re thinking, who? It gets worse, the fight is over in 15 seconds and your left with a hallucinogenic feeling afterwards. I didn’t believe what I just saw and it was in HD so I knew it was real. That really just happened, so unfulfilling.

Kimbo Slice got knocked out in 15 seconds, didn’t throw a punch, and worst of all to a guy that isn’t known and has pink hair?

Is Kimbo just going to vanish as a flash in the pan? The hype machine is a snow balling effect on someone’s name. It’s the folk tale that gets bigger with every telling in a different town. It’s not just in sports, it's in everything. The whole world of information, right or wrong, is a Google-second away. We still have the 15 minutes of fame only to build them up for 8 minutes and watch them fail for the last 7. People love to see people make it but they love to see them fall and fail just as much.

We were all misled, supposed to think that Kimbo was this unbeatable. I remember seeing him, he was just standing there in the middle of the sidewalk and as I passed him I flinched. OK, to be honest I quivered like a Chihuahua in the rain. It’s not that he’s scary its just I’ve seen what he did to that one guy’s eye. It looked like a grenade went off inside. I guess I never thought that he could just be a cool guy with a family just trying to make money to support them.

Don’t be mad at Kimbo Slice for making $500,000 for 14 seconds of work. Don’t be mad at Kimbo Slice for being knocked out by a guy you’ve never heard of. Be mad at CBS and Elite XC for their hype machine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NBA Live 365 codes not working, EA is on the case

If you're like me and you bought NBA Live today, only to have the 365 code you enter say it is already in use, fear not.

According to an EA rep I spoke with on the phone, the problem is with the EA servers and will be fixed soon. The code you entered is "married" to your gamertag, so when the servers are fixed users will be able to access the new 365 feature.

Jeopardy contestants aren't fond of the NBA

I can say, with confidence, that I would have answered this question correctly on Jeopardy last night. The category was "Sports Nicknames" and this was the $1,000 clue.

Original Video- More videos at TinyPic

The one guy at least looks like he's trying to think of it but you can tell the other two don't even know what the NBA is. Gilbert Arenas: Baller, blogger, Jeopardy maven.
(Grazie, DC Sports Bog, for the video.)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quick Pic: A-Rod is filthy, filthy rich

Here's the metrosexual Yankees slugger, apparently wiping his face with a hundred dollar bill.

My guess is he was just itching his face and wasn't about to wipe his mouth with it, crumple it up, then throw it on the ground. Either way, the guy is loaded, as if we needed more evidence.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

OJ Simpson, this is the last straw!

Oh, OJ Simpson. You used to be the man. You were an incredible running back. You were a pretty good actor. Everything was looking up.

Then you killed a couple people. But, you know what? We were able to move past that. You scammed DirecTV. Again, forgiven. Who hasn't tried to get free TV? Even after you wrote a book titled, "If I Did It," we all just looked away.

But this time we've got you. Sure, you may have been set up and you probably should already be in jail for that minor crime you were acquitted of in the '90s, but now you're really in trouble. You were found guilty of kidnapping and robbery, and you could face life in prison.

At least you'll always have Naked Gun 2 1/2 and whether you're a murderer, burglar, kidnapper or not, we can still appreciate your comic timing. Maybe they'll let you watch it in the Big House?

2008-2009 NHL Network live game schedule unveiled

The 2008-2009 NHL campaign drops puck today with two games being played in Europe. I know you're all big hockey fans here, so I've included some of the press release from the NHL.
NEW YORK – With more live game coverage than ever before, NHL Network™ today unveiled its U.S. broadcast schedule for the 2008-09 regular season.  It includes 75 regular-season games, all in HD.  

Highlighting the schedule is the inclusion of CBC's award-winning Hockey Night In Canada, now available to U.S. fans through NHL Network for the first time.  Every Saturday night, NHL Network will not only broadcast the live Hockey Night In Canada double-header, but also the CBC pre-game show Scotiabank Hockey Tonight and post-game show After Hours.

Regular-season coverage on NHL Network gets underway in the U.S. on Saturday, Oct. 4 when the New York Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague, Czech Republic and the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins meet in Stockholm, Sweden, in the Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008™.
Click here for the entire schedule of games. Personally, I kind of like to watch hockey in HD even though I know very little about it, simply because the ice is so shiny. I joke, I joke... a little.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 5

Back at it again, with another week of predictions. The Rooster will be adding his picks in the comments section, so feel free to join him.

Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens - Titans
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers - Packers
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles - Redskins
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Denver Broncos - Bucs
Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals - Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Jags

Sabathia picks up right where he left off

...from last year's playoffs, I mean.

Year   Round Tm  Opp WLser  G   GS   ERA   W  L SV CG   IP   H   ER  BB  SO
2007   ALDS  CLE NYY     W   1   1   5.40  1  0  0  0   5     4   3   6   5 
       ALCS  CLE BOS     L   2   2  10.45  0  2  0  0  10.1  17  12   7   9 
2008   NLDS  MIL PHI         1   1  12.27  0  1  0  0   3.2   6   5   4   5 

Does this mean Sabathia isn't a good playoff pitcher? Or has he just been overworked the last few years?

(Stats courtesy Baseball Reference)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quick Pic: Rays in the playoffs

Why is this 'Quick Pic' worthy? Two reasons.

It's the first playoff game in the history of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, number one.

Second, I think there might be more fans in this one section pictured than the entire crowd at a regular season Rays game this year.

The Bandwagon has arrived, people of Tampa. Please watch your step as you get on.
(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Barnaby replaces Melrose at ESPN Oct. 8th

You already knew this, but it wasn't official until today. Here's the release from ESPN:
Matthew Barnaby, who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League before retiring in 2007, has joined ESPN as a studio analyst.  He will appear on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and, as well as other ESPN platforms.  Barnaby will make his debut during the 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter on Wednesday, Oct. 8.  He will generally work Wednesdays and Thursdays during the season and every game night during the playoffs. 

"I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to work for ESPN,” said Barnaby.  “I've only been out of the game for a short time and I look forward to bringing cutting-edge insight to ESPN's viewers."
I'm actually a little sad we won't get to see Barry Melrose's slicked-up mullet on ESPN anymore, but maybe we'll be able to catch it in a highlight or two.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week 4 Results

I just realized I hadn't done this yet, so sorry for the delay.

Not a lot changed this week. The Rooster and I each went 3-3, keeping me two games behind for the lead. Here's a recap:

The Rooster: PHI, ARZ, TB, TEN, CIN, NO
Tony Blogs: PHI, ARZ, GB, TEN, CLE, NO

Overall Standings
The Rooster    (15-9)
Tony Blogs    (13-11)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2008 MLB playoff predictions

Ahh, the playoffs are upon us. The White Sox earned the final berth after last night's 1-0 victory over the Twins and will face Tampa in the Rays' first postseason in their history. I'll make these brief, mostly because I'm crunched for time. (Stupid real job getting in the way again!)

ALDS: Boston Red Sox v. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Angels in five

ALDS: Chicago White Sox v. Tampa Bay Rays
Rays in four

NLDS: Milwaukee Brewers v. Philadelphia Phillies
Phillies in five

NLDS: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Chicago Cubs
Dodgers in five

ALCS: Rays v. Angels
Angels in six

NLCS: Dodgers v. Phillies
Dodgers in seven

World Series: Dodgers v. Angels
Angels in six