Tuesday, December 29, 2009

tonyblogs.net is honored

Bob Mantz recently compiled his Bob's Blitz Sports Blogs of the Year awards and coming in at No. 6 is the blog you're reading right now.

It's truly an honor to be recognized by Bob, a great sports blogger himself and one of the more prolific authors on the internet. It's also nice to be in the company of such other respected and well-read blogs as Fang's Bites, Glauber's NFL Hot Reads, The Big Lead and The Sports Hernia.

I thank Mantz and all of you for reading and continuing to check out the blog, even with the recent downturn in activity. Do yourself a favor and check out Bob's Blitz for great insight and lots of laughs.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 edition


Even though the Colts and Saints both lost, I couldn’t move them out of their respective number one and two positions. Indy coach Jim Caldwell took his starters out in the third quarter. The Saints did look bad in an overtime loss to the lowly Bucs, but we’ve got to go on a whole body of work. Even though I think the Chargers and Eagles might be the two best teams right now, it’s hard to argue with what the Saints and Colts have done throughout 2009.

TOP TIER
1. Colts (14-1) [1]
2. Saints (13-2) [2]
3. Chargers (12-3) [3]
4. Eagles (11-4) [4]
5. Cardinals (10-5) [6]
6. Vikings (11-4) [5]
7. Patriots (10-5) [7]
8. Packers (10-5) [8]
9. Cowboys (10-5) [9]
10. Bengals (10-5) [10]
11. Steelers (8-7) [17]
12. Ravens (8-7) [11]
13. Texans (8-7) [19]
14. Jets (8-7) [20]
15. Broncos (8-7) [13]

The Vikings drop after a tough overtime loss to the Bears in Chicago. I don’t think it’s another December swoon for Brett Favre, just mistakes plaguing Minnesota. The one knock on Adrian Peterson is his likelihood to fumble and that was what hurt the Vikings last night... The Patriots are reverting into their old form and no one was asking if Randy Moss was dogging it this week... The Packers are another dangerous team to watch for as we head into the playoffs. It’s a surprise considering how bad they looked earlier in the year. Could we see a Green Bay-Minnesot playoff matchup?… The Bengals snuck out another win against a bad team, making me wonder how far they will be able to go in the tournament... The Steelers are right back in the hunt after a very bad stretch... The Jets got handed a victory thanks to Caldwell’s decision to go for a Super Bowl win and not a perfect season. If they win this Sunday night against the Bengals, who will probably rest their starters for a portion of the game as well, the Airplanes will be in the playoffs, a few weeks after their own coach thought they were out of it... We round out the Top Tier this week with the Broncos, who have completely fallen apart and might miss the playoffs after starting 6-0... All the teams will playoff potential are included in this week’s Top Tier.

SECOND TIER
16. Falcons (8-7) [14]
17. Titans (7-8) [15]
18. Panthers (7-8) [21]
19. Giants (8-7) [12]
20. Dolphins (7-8) [16]
21. Jaguars (7-8) [18]
22. 49ers (7-8) [22]
23. Bears (6-9) [25]
24. Raiders (5-10) [23]
25. Bills (5-10) [24]

The Falcons and Panthers are two teams that have warmed up as of late... Carolina is coming off two impressive wins, although the victory against the Giants looked more like a scrimmage... The Titans will now turn their attention to helping Chris Johnson pass the 2,000 yard rushing mark on the season. They’ve won seven of their last nine, but it’s hard to overcome a 0-6 start in the NFL... The Giants put on one of the most pitiful performances since Tom Green in Freddie Got Fingered. Their only two good wins on the season came against the Cowboys, while they beat the Falcons and a bunch of bottom-feeders for the other six. The defense is garbage and Brandon Jacobs has suddenly become one of the worst running backs in the NFL. As you can probably tell by my disdain, I’m a Giants fan... Speaking of teams that put on pathetic displays with their playoff lives on the line, the Jags and Dolphins did just the same as the Giants last week.

BOTTOM TIER
26. Browns (4-11) [27]
27. Seahawks (5-10) [26]
28. Buccaneers (3-12) [30]
29. Redskins (4-11) [28]
30. Chiefs (3-12) [29]
31. Lions (2-13) [31]
32. Rams (1-14) [32]

The Browns have incredibly won three in a row with lots of shakeups looming in the offseason. The latest rumors have Matt Hasselbeck coming to Cleveland to rejoin Mike Holmgren... The only problem with that is Matt Hasselbeck isn’t very good anymore. He tossed four picks in Sunday’s loss... The Bucs pulled out an overtime victory against the mighty Saints for what will be the highlight of their 2009 season. They seem to have something in rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. The only question is if Raheem Morris will be around next year to continue in his developmental process... The Redskins played like the Redskins Sunday night against the Cowboys. Jim Zorn’s final game as head coach of Washington will almost undoubtedly be this week.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Sixteen results


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Stuart, who basically led from the moment the proverbial horses left the gates, has clinched first place after another impressive 5-1 week. The Rooster needed some help this week and, while he posted a nice 4-2 mark, it won't be enough to unseat the king of our Six Picks for Sunday competition, Stuart Millstein.

As for me, well, let's just say my back is sore from holding everyone up from the bottom all year long. Let's take a closer look at this week's results.

Tony's Picks
CLE, MIA, BAL, IND, PHI, DAL

The Rooster's Picks
CLE, HOU, PIT, IND, PHI, WSH

Stuart's Picks
OAK, HOU, PIT, NYJ, PHI, DAL

Overall Standings
Stuart (61-29)
The Rooster (50-40)
Tony (41-49)

Even though it's all locked up, we'll be back next week with our final edition of the contest.

Dropping Links: Monday, December 28, 2009

In the words of LL Cool J, don't call it a comeback. Dropping Links used to be a weekday fixture here on the blog but a new job and other interests have pulled me away from my daily blogging ferocity. Tonight, though, we've got some links from my blogging friends to keep you occupied and hopefully I'll be dropping links a little more often in the future.

- The Hall of Very Good is continuing to break down the potential 2010 baseball Hall of Fame class and the latest article profiles Mark McGwire. Be sure to check out HOVG for a rundown of Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin and more.

- Pam Ward had little remorse for an injured Marshall player during the Little Caesars Bowl on ESPN. She thought they were cutting to the studio but, unfortunately for her, the cameras and microphones stayed on the field. Our friend Bob Mantz has the clip.

- Fang's Bites has all the info you need to get ready for the NHL Winter Classic, taking place this year at Fenway Park between the Bruins and Flyers.

- Luca Esposito at Club Seat Sports disagrees with my earlier take on Jim Caldwell's decision to rest his starters and give up the chance at a perfect season. As the saying goes, I guess history will be the judge of whether or not the move was right or wrong.

The Curious Case of Jim Caldwell's Colts


Many media pundits, bloggers and fans are upset today that Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell decided to pull Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai from Sunday’s game against the Jets with a slim lead in the 3rd quarter. With that move, Caldwell made it clear that he didn’t care about going undefeated, only about winning a Super Bowl. That is, after all, what it’s all about.

I can see why people would be upset. There’s a supposed “sanctity of the game” to be followed and it really isn’t fair to a lot of the other 8-7 teams that might get knocked out of playoff contention thanks to the Colts’ charitable gift to the Jets.

But winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal. Ensuring Peyton Manning and Co. are healthy and well-rested likely helps in that respect. We can all point the finger now but had Manning broken his leg, all of the opinions would be just the opposite. Everyone would be saying how Jim Caldwell is an idiot for not taking the three-time MVP out of what was a meaningless game for the Colts, with the number one seed in the AFC wrapped up.

Besides, does anyone really care that the 2007 Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season? Of course not, because they didn’t win it all.

ESPN Monday Night Football: Are you ready for some hyperbole?


Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings will be playing on Monday Night Football tonight, so hopefully you’re ready for a boatload of hyperbole and exaggeration about how great Favre is. As is now commonplace during any game broadcast that features Brett Favre – or, as I like to call it, a “Favre-cast” – the announcers will rave about how much fun he has, what a warrior he is and how nobody in the game does it like him.

But tonight we get an extra bonus. As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Brett and Vikings head coach Brad Childress got into a little spat last week when Childress wanted the 40-year-old Favre to come out of the game to avoid injury since the Vikings had already clinched the division. But Favre, the enthusiastic and childlike leader that he is, refused his coach’s orders. What for other players would be considered blasphemy was deemed totally acceptable for Favre-us Maximus.

So aside from the neverending gushing over Brett Favre, we’ll also get the Childress v. Favre sidebar pounded into our heads tonight by ESPN’s cavalcade of broadcasters.

I’m sure you’re familiar by now. It starts with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic anchoring the evening SportsCenter, even though Golic is not an anchor by any means. Then we get the Monday Night Countdown crew, featuring Chris “Incoherent Rambling” Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Tom Jackson, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. And don’t forget the live updates from Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber, providing us with useless information every 20 minutes.

But wait, there’s more! Live, on-site, will be Stuart Scott, Matt Millen and Steve Young, as usual.

Then, after much anticipation, Brett Favre and the Vikings will storm the field being serenaded by the sweet nothings of Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden. Mike Tirico will try to moderate but he, too, will eventually be overcome by the Favre Love-train and join in.

Be sure you don’t miss it, another edition of Monday Night Favre-ball on ESPN!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Sixteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns - Browns
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins - Dolphins
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Ravens
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts - Colts
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles - Eagles
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins - Cowboys

I've been picking the Raiders often, but the Browns have been hot lately and they're the home team in this battle of bottom-feeders... Give me the Dolphins, thanks to home field... The Steelers had a great win last week, but I don't know if they can stop the Ravens, even if it is at Heinz Field... The only logic behind the Jets-Colts game being so close according to the spread is that the Colts may not play their starters for the whole game. Even if they don't, I'll still take the Colts over the Airplanes... The Broncos were 6-0 and have gone 2-6 since then, so I'll take the Eagles, who are perhaps the best team in the NFC... As bad as Washington played last Monday against the Giants, I just can't pick them, even though I could see the Redskins pulling an upset.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 16 edition


TOP TIER
1. Colts (14-0) [2]
2. Saints (13-1) [1]
3. Chargers (11-3) [3]
4. Eagles (10-4) [5]
5. Vikings (11-3) [4]
6. Cardinals (9-5) [8]
7. Patriots (9-5) [10]
8. Packers (9-5) [6]
9. Cowboys (9-5) [11]
10. Bengals (9-5) [7]
11. Ravens (8-6) [13]
12. Giants (8-6) [14]
13. Broncos (8-6) [9]

After weeks of holding the number one spot, the Saints finally fall out after a loss to the Cowboys. They stay ahead of the Chargers, though, by virtue of their record.

SECOND TIER
14. Falcons (7-7) [16]
15. Titans (7-7) [17]
16. Dolphins (7-7) [12]
17. Steelers (7-7) [19]
18. Jaguars (7-7) [15]
19. Texans (7-7) [21]
20. Jets (7-7) [18]
21. Panthers (6-8) [25]
22. 49ers (6-8) [20]
23. Raiders (5-9) [27]

That jumble of 7-7 AFC teams is going to make things very interesting as we head down the stretch towards the playoffs... The Steelers are suddenly back in the mix after a terrible stretch, following their incredible last-second win against the Packers... It was more of the same for the Jets, as Mark Sanchez threw three picks, one at the very end of the game. A win would have put the Airplanes in prime position for the playoffs, but instead they're stuck in the middle of the pack... The Raiders move into the Second Tier after a crazy win in which they used three different quarterbacks, all of whom are basically terrible.

BOTTOM TIER
24. Bills (5-9) [22]
25. Bears (5-9) [23]
26. Seahawks (5-9) [24]
27. Browns (3-11) [29]
28. Redskins (4-10) [26]
29. Chiefs (3-11) [28]
30. Buccaneers (2-12) [31]
31. Lions (2-12) [30]
32. Rams (1-13) [32]

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fifteen results


It wasn't a great week for any of the three competitors in our weekly Six Picks for Sunday competition and it was the first bad week for our current leader, Stuart. Let's take a look at the results from this week.

Tony's Picks
GB, TEN, NYJ, KC, SD, SEA

Stuart's Picks
GB, TEN, NYJ, KC, SD, SEA

The Rooster's Picks
PIT, MIA, ATL, KC, SD, SEA

The Rooster leads the way at 3-3 while Stu and I both go 2-4.

Overall Standings
Stuart (56-28)
The Rooster (46-38)
Tony (38-46)

Stuart has a 10-game lead with 12 picks remaining on the season. Can Stu wrap it up this coming week? That remains to be seen. One thing we know for sure is that I definitely won't be finishing first.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fifteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Packers
Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans - Titans
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets - Jets
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers - Chargers
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks

The Steelers lost to the Browns last week. The Browns. So I have to take the hot Packers, even going into Heinz Field... The Dolphins-Titans matchup will be a treat, especially with the sidebar of Chris Johnson and Ted Ginn apparently wanting to race each other. I'll take Tennessee and Chris Johnson... It's been a rough year for the Falcons and as bad as it has been for the Jets, they are still 7-6, right in the hunt. I'll take the Airplanes today, counting on Thomas Jones to carry the load... Chiefs, since they're at home. I mean, both teams are garbage, so what else is there to go on?... Although the Bengals will certainly be playing for a lot this Sunday following the death of Chris Henry, I think the Chargers take it at home. San Diego could very well be headed for a Super Bowl this year... I'll take the Seahawks, for the same reason as the KC-CLE game.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 15 edition


No movement in the top four and the Eagles and Packers jump up after keeping their momentum going.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (13-0) [1]
2. Colts (13-0) [2]
3. Chargers (10-3) [3]
4. Vikings (11-2) [4]
5. Eagles (9-4) [7]
6. Packers (9-4) [9]
7. Bengals (9-4) [5]
8. Cardinals (8-5) [6]
9. Broncos (8-5) [8]
10. Patriots (8-5) [11]
11. Cowboys (8-5) [10]

Can't drop the Broncos or Bengals too far after losing to the Colts and Vikings, respectively.

SECOND TIER
12. Dolphins (7-6) [15]
13. Ravens (7-6) [16]
14. Giants (7-6) [12]
15. Jaguars (7-6) [13]
16. Falcons (6-7) [14]
17. Titans (6-7) [18]
18. Jets (7-6) [19]
19. Steelers (6-7) [17]
20. 49ers (6-7) [20]
21. Texans (6-7) [22]

The Second Tier doesn't feature a lot of potential playoff teams, but I had to keep all the 6+ win teams out of the Bottom Tier.

BOTTOM TIER
22. Bills (5-8) [27]
23. Bears (5-8) [21]
24. Seahawks (5-8) [23]
25. Panthers (5-8) [24]
26. Redskins (4-9) [26]
27. Raiders (4-9) [25]
28. Chiefs (3-10) [28]
29. Browns (2-11) [32]
30. Lions (2-11) [29]
31. Buccaneers (1-12) [30]
32. Rams (1-12) [31]

Reports: Bret Hart signs contract with WWE

From time to time I like to drop in with a post about my guilty pleasure, professional wrestling. There is some potentially huge news circulating through the interwebs this evening.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Bret "The Hitman" Hart will not only host the January 4 episode of WWE Raw that will go head-to-head with TNA's special edition of Impact but he will also sign a short-term contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As fans of wrestling know, Bret Hart has had limited involvement with the WWE since the infamous "Montreal Screw Job." Hart worked with the company to produce the retrospective DVD on his career and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, where he refused to appear unless Shawn Michaels was not in the building. Michaels, as you likely know, was also an integral part of Bret's departure as was Triple H.

Meltzer reports that the contract would begin in January and run until April 10th, which is two weeks after WrestleMania XXVI.

It is unlikely that Hart would wrestle, although a Michaels-Hitman WrestleMania match would be huge for the pay-per-view's buy rate. And if there is anyone that could carry Hart, who hasn't wrestled in ten years, to a decent match it's "The Heartbreak Kid." Or perhaps the less athletic but far more desired match would be Hart v. Vince McMahon.

We don't know for sure if the reports are true, but the tension between Hart and Michaels, Triple H and McMahon would make for incredible television. I'm hoping it is true... and that WWE's creative team doesn't ruin it if it is.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fourteen results


It wasn't a very good week for your esteemed bloghost, which has sadly become the norm in our Six Picks for Sunday competition. Here are the Week Fourteen results.

Tony's Picks
TB, KC, MIA, OAK, SD, NYG

The Rooster's Picks
TB, KC, MIA, OAK, SD, PHI

Stuart's Picks
NYJ, KC, JAX, WSH, SD, PHI

Stuart once again leads the way, going 4-2, while The Rooster breaks even and I pull up the rear with a sad 2-4 performance. Let's see where that puts us for the year.

Overall Standings
Stuart (54-24)
The Rooster (43-35)
Tony (36-42)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Fourteen


We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Bucs
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Dolphins
Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders - Raiders
San Diego Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys - Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants - Giants

Even though Mark Sanchez has been less than spectacular lately, Kellen Clemens is probably even worse, mostly since he has seen very little game action in his NFL career. I'll take the Bucs at home to knock off the Airplanes... You never know which Bills team will show up, but I'll assume this week it will be the one that looked horrible against the Jets, and they'll lose in Kansas City... Miami is coming off that big win against the Patriots and if they can play with the same intensity, the Dolphins should be able to take care of the Jags in Jacksonville... The Redskins are better than their record shows but the Raiders have also been playing better with Bruce Gradkowski under center. I'll take the Raiders in Oakland... The Chargers are the hottest team in football and play great in December while the Cowboys, well, we all know about the Cowboys in December... The Eagles have such an explosive offense but I'll take the Giants with my heart and, if Brandon Jacobs can run, with my head too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

World Cup 2010: Volume 1 - Can the USA have a strong showing in South Africa?


Our old friend and tonyblogs.net Senior Soccer Analyst Josh Garcia is back with the first of a continuing series examining the 2010 World Cup. For more of Josh's articles, click here.

In a short 183 days South Africa will be host to the world’s biggest party and sporting event, the 2010 World Cup. The United States has a draw that could see them advancing into the elimination round. The U.S. is in a group with Algeria, Slovenia, and one of the favorites England. The U.S. will start off against international powerhouse England on June 12th. This will be an enormous test in determining not only if the Americans can advance but in taking control of Group C.

Algeria and Slovenia are not well known but each could pose a problem for the U.S. Slovenia especially. Algeria was one of the last teams to make it into the World Cup by beating Egypt in a playoff. The “Desert Foxes” have not been to the World Cup since 1986 and are looking to be a Cinderella story in June. Already wearing a glass slipper in many people’s eyes, Slovenia will try to continue to stun and dazzle the world. Slovenia has merely a few million people and they have managed to upset such countries as Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Their defense is their strength and we all know that proverb, the World Cup is no different. I’ll say it anyway... defense wins World Cups.

The Slovenians could be a surprise coming out of Group C.

England has the most pressure of any team in Group C. Their roster is full of some of the best footballers in the world. They have immense talent at every position and are considered one of the favorites to win the 2010 World Cup. But after fizzling out of the Euros in '04, World Cup of '06 and not even qualifying for the Euros '08, England will attempt to get the gorilla off its back. England is expected to win the group and, in my eyes, make it at least to the semi-finals.

The United States has already won in South Africa in 2009's Confederations Cup and will hope to continue their success on African soil. The United States' draw in Group C could mean that they have their best showing in a World Cup in recent memory. Their biggest game will be their first game against England and if they can pull the upset, they will be in firm control to win the group and most likely avoid playing another European powerhouse, Germany, in the next round (Assuming Germany wins their group).

Landon Donavan will be the key. The U.S.’ most touted soccer player, fresh off his penalty kick miss in the MLS Cup final (with teammate, England’s own David Beckham, looking on) will lead the Red, White and Blue. He has the reputation of not showing up in big games but much like A-Rod proved in October, it only takes one to change their mind. It takes one goal, one big win and one advancement to the knockout round to make people forget.

It will not be easy for them, losing Charlie Davies to his near-death car accident. He was arguably their fastest player. They have one of the most talented goalkeepers in the world with Tim Howard. The Americans have a lot of talent, it's just a matter of putting it all together like they did against Spain in the Confederations cup final last year.

In the coming weeks, I will be previewing and posting more group breakdowns and predictions.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 14 edition


Slight movement at the top this week as the Chargers slide ahead of the Vikings, while the Saints and Colts keep their strongholds on the one and two spots, respectively.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (12-0) [1]
2. Colts (12-0) [2]
3. Chargers (9-3) [4]
4. Vikings (10-2) [3]
5. Bengals (9-3) [5]
6. Cardinals (8-4) [8]
7. Eagles (8-4) [9]
8. Broncos (8-4) [10]
9. Packers (8-4) [11]
10. Cowboys (8-4) [6]

Although the Saints barely beat the Redskins in overtime, I can't take them out of the top spot... The Chargers are red hot right now and have the Colts in their sights... The Cowboys slip after a poor showing against the Giants but stay in the Top Tier, thanks to their 8-win record.

SECOND TIER
11. Patriots (7-5) [7]
12. Giants (7-5) [16]
13. Jaguars (7-5) [17]
14. Falcons (6-6) [12]
15. Dolphins (6-6) [19]
16. Ravens (6-6) [13]
17. Steelers (6-6) [14]
18. Titans (5-7) [15]
19. Jets (6-6) [22]
20. 49ers (5-7) [18]
21. Bears (5-7) [25]
22. Texans (5-7) [20]

A rough week for both the Ravens and the Steelers has them sliding... The Patriots are in trouble but still hold a one game lead in the AFC West.

BOTTOM TIER
23. Seahawks (5-7) [23]
24. Panthers (5-7) [24]
25. Raiders (4-8) [29]
26. Redskins (3-9) [27]
27. Bills (4-8) [21]
28. Chiefs (3-9) [26]
29. Lions (2-10) [28]
30. Buccaneers (1-11) [30]
31. Rams (1-11) [31]
32. Browns (1-11) [32]

The Raiders jump up after knocking off another AFC North team. Bruce Gradkowski has probably ended JaMarcus Russell's career as a starter... The Redskins move up a spot, even though they lost, because they've played well for three straight weeks and almost defeated the Saints this weekend.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Thirteen results

Stuart and I each go 3-3 while The Rooster pulls up the back end with a 1-5 week. Let's take a closer look at the results.

Tony's Picks
DEN, JAX, SEA, MIN, DAL, NE

Stuart's Picks
DEN, HOU, SEA, MIN, DAL, MIA

The Rooster's Picks
DEN, HOU, SF, MIN, DAL, NE

Stu holds his grip on first place and no matter what I do, I can't get above .500!

Overall standings
Stuart (50-22)
The Rooster (40-32)
Tony (34-38)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly looks like an idiot right now

If you're a longtime reader of the blog, you know about my "Fraternal Society of Hypocrites," a group of coaches who have vehemently denied leaving their current job to coach somewhere else only to leave their current job and coach somewhere else. Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino are a few members of the infamous group.

It looks like they might soon be joined by current Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly.

Kelly first snapped at reporters about a week ago when asked if he would be interested in coaching at Notre Dame, saying he wouldn't leave and only wanted to focus on the upcoming Cincinnati v. Pittsburgh Big East title game.

Before that very game he told reporters that if Notre Dame wanted to talk, he would entertain that. Then following the game he again snapped at reporters saying that they have a habit of reporting things that aren't backed up by facts.

While Kelly may be right about the media, he just now tweeted that he will, in fact, be interviewing for the Notre Dame vacancy on Tuesday. So Kelly got all angry, all "you guys are idiots and I'm noble" with reporters on Saturday because they said he would interview with Notre Dame and then he'll interview with Notre Dame.

What makes this all even more funny is that Kelly is acting as though no one has reason to believe he might leave Cincinnati for the bigger spotlight that the Fighting Irish head coaching position can offer. But really, we have every reason to believe he will leave the Bearcats and head to the Irish, since he abandoned Central Michigan University before their season was even finished to head to Cincinnati.

He won't be in the Fraternal Society of Hypocrites until he actually jumps ship to ND, but for now he's certainly a hypocrite-in-training.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Golf Digest probably wants to take a mulligan on January 2010 mag cover


I received the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest in my mailbox this afternoon and had to chuckle at the cover. Reading, "10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger," the editors of the magazine undoubtedly have been cringing for about a week knowing that it was too late to change the issue.

I hate to hop on the "Bash Tiger" bandwagon but this is a little too funny to pass up.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Thirteen

We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs - Broncos
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Jaguars
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals - Vikings
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants - Cowboys
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins - Patriots

The Broncos seemed to have figured our their defensive struggles a little bit against the Giants Thanksgiving night and I see them being able to contain a not-very-good Chiefs offense and being able to put up a few TDs... I'll take the Jaguars simply because they are the home team in this contest. Both of these teams have disappointed this year. They've each shown signs of being great and then fallen flat the following week... Seahawks, again, because of home field... Vikings on the road, especially if Kurt Warner isn't 100%... I have to go with the Cowboys, even though it hurts my Giants-loving heart. New York simply can't play defense and Dallas should be able to finally straighten out their offense in the Meadowlands... After last week's weak performances by each team, I'll take the Patriots because at least they lost to the undefeated Saints, not the Bills.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 13 edition


TOP TIER
1. Saints (11-0) [1]
2. Colts (11-0) [2]
3. Vikings (10-1) [3]
4. Chargers (8-3) [6]
5. Bengals (8-3) [7]
6. Cowboys (8-3) [8]
7. Patriots (7-4) [4]
8. Cardinals (7-4) [5]
9. Eagles (7-4) [10]
10. Broncos (7-4) [13]
11. Packers (7-4) [15]

The Saints are proving to be everything we thought they were and more, and they showed it once again in a mighty win over the Patriots... I can't drop the Cardinals too far since they lost to the red hot Titans and did it without their starting quarterback, Kurt Warner... The Broncos make their way back into the Top Tier after a dominant performance against the Giants. While that may not be saying much, the Denver defense showed up once again, which is a great sign.

SECOND TIER
12. Falcons (6-5) [16]
13. Ravens (6-5) [17]
14. Steelers (6-5) [9]
15. Titans (5-6) [19]
16. Giants (6-5) [11]
17. Jaguars (6-5) [12]
18. 49ers (5-6) [20]
19. Dolphins (5-6) [14]
20. Texans (5-6) [18]
21. Bills (4-7) [26]
22. Jets (5-6) [25]

It was a tough decision to slide the Steelers down five spots after they lost in OT without Ben Roethlisberger. But they weren't playing that great with "Big Ben" healthy anyway... The Titans keep rolling and now I'm wondering if they have a shot at the playoffs... Giants = horrible... The Jets slide up three spots after winning one of the least impressive games you'll ever see, against the hapless Panthers.

BOTTOM TIER
23. Seahawks (4-7) [27]
24. Panthers (4-7) [21]
25. Bears (4-7) [22]
26. Chiefs (3-8) [23]
27. Redskins (3-8) [28]
28. Lions (2-9) [29]
29. Raiders (3-8) [24]
30. Buccaneers (1-10) [30]
31. Rams (1-10) [31]
32. Browns (1-10) [32]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Twelve results

Another strong week for our competitors, with Stuart once again leading the way. Let's take a look at the results.

Tony's Picks
IND, MIA, TEN, SEA, NYJ, JAX

Stuart's Picks
IND, BUF, TEN, SEA, NYJ, JAX

The Rooster's Picks
IND, MIA, ARZ, SEA, CAR, SF

Another 5-1 week for Stu and a 4-2 for myself, with The Rooster coming in at 3-3. Here are the overall standings.

Stuart (47-19)
The Rooster (39-27)
Tony (31-35)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Twelve

We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans - Colts
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills - Dolphins
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans - Titans
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams - Seahawks
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets - Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Francisco 49ers - Jaguars

It's never a smart bet to go against the Colts, so I won't... Give me the Dolphins on the road. Ricky Williams is having one of the best years of his career and the Bills are, well, the Bills... This one's a tough one, but I'll take the hot Titans at home... The Seahawks aren't any good but the Rams are even worse... I'll take the Jets to bounce back at home... Jags on the road, although I could see the Niners sneaking out with a win.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 12 edition


Apologies for posting these a bit late. Here's wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours while you enjoy turkey and the Power Rankings.

The Top Tier keeps shrinking, mostly because elite teams continue to lose to teams they shouldn't and in disappointing fashion.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (10-0) [1]
2. Colts (10-0) [2]
3. Vikings (9-1) [3]
4. Patriots (7-3) [5]
5. Cardinals (7-3) [7]
6. Chargers (7-3) [8]
7. Bengals (7-3) [4]
8. Cowboys (7-3) [9]

SECOND TIER
9. Steelers (6-4) [6]
10. Eagles (6-4) [14]
11. Giants (6-4) [15]
12. Jaguars (6-4) [16]
13. Broncos (6-4) [10]
14. Dolphins (5-5) [17]
15. Packers (6-4) [18]
16. Falcons (5-5) [11]
17. Ravens (5-5) [12]
18. Texans (5-5) [13]
19. Titans (4-6) [22]

BOTTOM TIER
20. 49ers (4-6) [19]
21. Panthers (4-6) [20]
22. Bears (4-6) [21]
23. Chiefs (3-7) [27]
24. Raiders (3-7) [28]
25. Jets (4-6) [23]
26. Bills (3-7) [24]
27. Seahawks (3-7) [25]
28. Redskins (3-7) [26]
29. Lions (2-8) [31]
30. Buccaneers (1-9) [29]
31. Rams (1-9) [30]
32. Browns (1-9) [32]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Eleven results

It was a good week for all of the Six Picks for Sunday competitors but The Rooster went 6-0 this week. I finally bounced back with a 5-1 performance and Stu pulled up the rear, albeit with a very good 4-2 showing. Here are the pick-by-pick results:

Tony's Picks
DET, IND, NYG, GB, SD, CHI

The Rooster's Picks
DET, IND, NYG, GB, SD, PHI

Stuart's Picks
DET, IND, ATL, GB, SD, CHI

And now for the current overall standings:

Stuart (42-18)
The Rooster (36-24)
Tony (27-33)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Eleven

We're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions - Lions
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens - Colts
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants - Giants
San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers - Packers
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos - Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears - Bears

Take what I'm writing here with a grain of salt because, as you can see from the results, I'm having a horrible year... I'll take the Lions, simply because they are the home team, in this battle of awful teams... While many see this as a letdown game for the Colts, I like them over the Ravens in Baltimore... The Giants can't lose five straight, can they? Michael Turner won't play for the Falcons, so I'll say the Giants take this one... The 49ers picked off Jay Cutler five times and still only won 10-6, so I don't think they'll beat the Packers, even if they sack Aaron Rodgers ten times... The Broncos are in a real slide and with Kyle Orton likely out, the red-hot Chargers take this one in Denver... I think Jay Cutler bounces back and the Bears take care of the Eagles at Soldier Field.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why signing Allen Iverson is the worst move the Knicks could make


The New York Knicks, one of the most pathetic franchises in recent professional sports, are about to sign Allen Iverson, according to multiple reports. Yes, the same Allen Iverson who left the Memphis Grizzlies after playing one game with the team because he thinks he should be a starter.

Let's not forget that the Knicks are a putrid 2-9, even though they did win in come-from-behind fashion in Indiana last night and have a matchup with the winless Nets on Saturday. So what better way to improve a team made up of overpaid underperformers and wide-eyed youngsters than to bring in Allen Iverson, the King of the Ballhogs?

All I've heard is how AI will score 40+ in coach Mike D'Antoni's system. While this may be true it will be at the cost of the development of Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas. As a bad team looking ahead to the "Summer of 2010," the Knicks should only be concerned about the future.

Sure, winning a few games now would ensure that the Jazz don't get the number one overall pick, since Isiah Thomas traded it away in one of his many idiotic deals. But what does it really matter? Why not just toss out all your youngsters and let them learn by doing?

If Iverson is signed, he won't be a part of the post-2010 plan. Nor will Al Harrington, Larry Hughes, Chris Duhon or anyone else that Donnie Walsh will be able to let free or trade. So what, then, is the point of bringing Iverson in now, to the detriment of everyone but Iverson?

I'm not discrediting Iverson's talent. The guy can play, no doubt. But he needs the ball all the time, needs everything to be done his way, and will almost certainly cause problems wherever he goes, a la Terrell Owens. Knowing all of that, why even bother with the guy when your team has zero chance of winning anything this season?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 11 edition


TOP TIER
1. Saints (9-0) [1]
2. Colts (9-0) [2]
3. Vikings (8-1) [3]
4. Bengals (7-2) [7]
5. Patriots (6-3) [4]
6. Steelers (6-3) [5]
7. Cardinals (6-3) [9]
8. Chargers (6-3) [11]
9. Cowboys (6-3) [6]
10. Broncos (6-3) [8]

I thought about sliding the Colts up to the number one spot after that great comeback win against the Patriots but I can't discount what the Saints have been doing... The Bengals leap up to number four after a nice (if boring) win against the Steelers. Cincinnati is in the driver's seat for the AFC North crown... The Chargers crack the Top Tier for the first time in a while and have a huge matchup against the Broncos next week.

SECOND TIER
11. Falcons (5-4) [10]
12. Ravens (5-4) [14]
13. Texans (5-4) [13]
14. Eagles (5-4) [12]
15. Giants (5-4) [15]
16. Jaguars (5-4) [16]
17. Dolphins (4-5) [17]
18. Packers (5-4) [19]
19. 49ers (4-5) [20]
20. Panthers (4-5) [21]
21. Bears (4-5) [18]
22. Titans (3-6) [25]

The Falcons and Giants will battle this coming week in a matchup that could be make-or-break for both teams. Each is 5-4, each has struggled lately... A big win for the Jaguars as they came from behind and beat the Jets after a smart play by Maurice Jones-Drew, who knelt at the one yard line to preserve the clock and seal the deal... Jay Cutler, a few short months ago thought of as the future of the Bears, now looks like the December '08 Brett Favre. Maybe for Chicago that could turn out to be a good thing next season... The Titans continue to roll after replacing Kerry Collins with Vince Young at starting quarterback. It helps that Chris Johnson is having an incredible season.

BOTTOM TIER
23. Jets (4-5) [22]
24. Bills (3-6) [23]
25. Seahawks (3-6) [24]
26. Redskins (3-6) [30]
27. Chiefs (2-7) [28]
28. Raiders (2-7) [26]
29. Buccaneers (1-8) [27]
30. Rams (1-8) [29]
31. Lions (1-8) [31]
32. Browns (1-8) [32]

The Jets have gone from Kings of New York with a tough guy coach full of bravado to a huge disappointment behind their crybaby coach Rex Ryan. Not that we should have expected more out of a rookie quarterback but once the New York media dubbed him Mark "Sanchise," the expectations grew way beyond what they should have been... The Bills are truly awful and Terrell Owens is in the running for Least Valuable Player, along with Michael Vick.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Ten results

It was more of the same during Week Ten, which means another putrid performance by yours truly. Let's take a look at the results.

Tony's Picks
DEN, ATL, OAK, SD, DAL, NE

The Rooster's Picks
DEN, ATL, KC, SD, GB, NE

Stuart's Picks
DEN, ATL, KC, SD, DAL, IND

Both Stuart and The Rooster went 3-3 while I was a disgusting, despicable, disheartening 1-5. Perhaps, like the Tennessee Titans, I can make a nice run here after an awful start. Probably not. Let's look at the full results from the year.

Stuart (38-16)
The Rooster (30-24)
Tony (22-32)

Video: Ric Flair "bloodies" Hulk Hogan at Australian press conference

Hulk Hogan is embarking on his newest Hulkamania tour, which takes place in Australia. The tour features several other wrestling has-beens, but the main event pits "The Hulkster" against Ric Flair. Tuesday night the two squared off at a press event to promote the fight. Watch as the two old, old, old dogs exchange words and then Flair gives Hogan the weakest looking slap.


Apparently many in the Australian media thought this was real. I can't hide my love for professional wrestling but we all know it's set up. If that wasn't enough, that slap couldn't have busted open a tomato.

This match will be all sorts of bad when the two actually get it on. Hogan was one of the worst wrestlers in terms of ring work when he was in his prime so just imagine how bad he'll be at the age he is and against another geriatric in "The Nature Boy."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Video: Brandon Jennings scores 55 points on the Warriors

Coming into this year's NBA Draft, Brandon Jennings was the guy everyone was scared of. You may remember him as the high school kid that went to Italy to play instead of college because his test scores weren't high enough. His numbers overseas left a little to be desired and many pundits didn't think he would amount to anything in the pros.

It's early, surely, but Jennings is doing his best to prove them wrong. Last night the Bucks rookie went off for 55 points against Golden State. Clearly on this night the Warriors did not come out to play. (See... see what I did there?)

Take a look at the highlights below.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Ten

After what we'll call a "bye week," we're back with another edition of the Six Picks for Sunday. As you know, these are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Denver Broncos @ Washington Redskins - Broncos
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers - Falcons
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders - Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles @ San Diego Chargers - Chargers
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers - Cowboys
New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts - Patriots

The Redskins are about as bad as a two-win team can be. While the Broncos are coming off two straight losses, they were to very good teams. And the Redskins certainly are not a very good team... The Falcons seem to be getting in a groove and while the Panthers are playing better than they were earlier in the year, they still have a long way to go... The last time the Chiefs and Raiders met, Oakland squeaked out a 13-10 victory in Kansas City. This time the teams battle in the bay, so I'll take the Raiders... The Chargers are on fire right and coming off a huge last minute win at Giants Stadium. The Eagles are coming off a tough loss and have a lot of question marks surrounding their team. I'll take the Bolts in San Diego... The Packers just aren't very good. While Aaron Rodgers is doing his part, the rest of the team isn't helping. After losing to the winless Bucs, Green Bay should be fired up but the Cowboys are hitting their annual "make everyone think we're really good" stretch and should win at Lambeau... While the Colts are undefeated and at home, I'll take the Pats. New England's offense is finally gelling and Tom Brady seems to have shaken off all the rust from missing a year. Add in the fact that the Colts are banged up on defense and that's a recipe for Indianapolis' first loss of 2009.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 10 edition


TOP TIER
1. Saints (8-0) [1]
2. Colts (8-0) [2]
3. Vikings (7-1) [3]
4. Patriots (6-2) [5]
5. Steelers (5-2) [6]
6. Cowboys (6-2) [7]
7. Bengals (6-2) [8]
8. Broncos (6-2) [4]
9. Cardinals (5-3) [12]
10. Falcons (5-3) [13]
11. Chargers (5-3) [15]

Not a lot of change at the top, other than the Broncos falling a bit. As much as I'd like to jump off their bandwagon, they did lose to the defending Super Bowl champions. Denver plays Washington this weekend, which should help them straighten everything out... The Cowboys are starting to hit a stride and that's bad news for the rest of the NFC East... The Bengals just might be for real and have a huge contest against Pittsburgh coming up in Week 10.

SECOND TIER
12. Eagles (5-3) [9]
13. Texans (5-4) [11]
14. Ravens (4-4) [10]
15. Giants (5-4) [14]
16. Jaguars (4-4) [21]
17. Dolphins (3-5) [16]
18. Bears (4-4) [17]
19. Packers (4-4) [18]
20. 49ers (3-5) [19]

I wanted to drop the Giants, Bears and Packers down the ladder more, but there is really nowhere for them to go. That's how bad the bottom tier is... The G-Men are in an absolute freefall, having lost four straight... The Ravens just aren't the team they were last year and their defense is starting to show its age... Not to take anything away from the Bucs but the Packers just can't lose to them, especially in those ugly throwback uniforms. Then again, Green Bay has one of the worst offensive lines in the game.

BOTTOM TIER
21. Panthers (3-5) [20]
22. Jets (4-4) [22]
23. Bills (3-5) [23]
24. Seahawks (3-5) [24]
25. Titans (2-6) [27]
26. Raiders (2-6) [25]
27. Buccaneers (1-7) [32]
28. Chiefs (1-7) [26]
29. Rams (1-7) [28]
30. Redskins (2-6) [29]
31. Lions (1-7) [30]
32. Browns (1-7) [31]

What can I really say here? Tampa Bay moves up five spots with their win and for just showing signs of life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hey, where were the Six Picks for Sunday this week?

I have to be honest with you. I totally forgot about it.

I moved into a new apartment this weekend and, in the midst of that frenzy, the weekly Six Picks for Sunday competition completely slipped my mind. Don't worry, I'm sure Stu would have gone 6-0 and I would have gone 1-5, with The Rooster somewhere in between.

We'll be back next week with the contest and I apologize if any of you were on the edge of your seat waiting. Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 9 edition


The Saints and Colts remained undefeated and kept hold of their top spots in the NFL Power Rankings.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (7-0) [1]
2. Colts (7-0) [2]
3. Vikings (7-1) [4]
4. Broncos (6-1) [3]
5. Patriots (5-2) [5]
6. Steelers (5-2) [6]
7. Cowboys (5-2) [7]
8. Bengals (5-2) [9]
9. Eagles (5-2) [12]
10. Ravens (4-3) [13]
11. Texans (5-3) [15]

The Texans are the most noticeable change, sliding into the Top Tier after going two games over .500 for the first time in their history... The Ravens knocked off the undefeated Broncos to move up three spots.

SECOND TIER
12. Cardinals (4-3) [8]
13. Falcons (4-3) [10]
14. Giants (5-3) [11]
15. Chargers (4-3) [16]
16. Dolphins (3-4) [18]
17. Bears (4-3) [20]
18. Packers (4-3) [14]
19. 49ers (3-4) [17]
20. Panthers (3-4) [24]
21. Jaguars (3-4) [19]
22. Jets (4-4) [21]
23. Bills (3-5) [22]

The Falcons and Giants continue to slide after both started the year high in the Power Rankings... I thought long and hard about putting the Jags, Jets and Bills in the Bottom Tier but I don't know if I'm ready to commit to that yet.

BOTTOM TIER
24. Seahawks (2-5) [23]
25. Raiders (2-6) [25]
26. Chiefs (1-6) [26]
27. Titans (1-6) [30]
28. Rams (1-7) [31]
29. Redskins (2-5) [29]
30. Lions (1-6) [27]
31. Browns (1-7) [28]
32. Buccaneers (0-7) [32]

The New York Yankees are World Champions for the 27th time


I've been very slow on the blogging lately, but you know I had to drop in for this one. The Yankees took Game 6 tonight and captured their 27th World Series title.

I'll be back tomorrow with more thoughts on the World Series victory and my weekly NFL Power Rankings, but until then I leave you with this celebratory photo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Eight results

Let's just say this wasn't my week when it came to predicting games. In fact, it hasn't been my season. Let's take a look at this week's results.

Tony's Picks
DEN, HOU, GB, NYJ, JAX, NYG

Stuart's Picks
BAL, HOU, GB, NYJ, TEN, PHI

The Rooster's Picks
BAL, HOU, GB, NYJ, JAX, PHI

Not surprisingly, Stu went 4-2 and again won the week. The Rooster was right there with a 3-3 performance and then... me. A pathetic 1-5 week to keep me firmly locked in the basement. Here are the overall standings.

Stuart (35-13)
The Rooster (27-21)
Tony (21-27)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Video: Manu Ginobili is the new Batman

So I'm sure you've seen this by now since it's been all over the interwebs, but I'm just getting around to some blogging and I had to post it. A bat got inside the AT&T Center during the Spurs-Kings game on Saturday night. Manu Ginobili was able to swat down the bat. Best part, he didn't even do that stupid Christian Bale voice!


I'm surprised no "bat rights" groups have come out of the woodwork after this one. Then again, it's only been a few days.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Eight

Here we go again, time for another week of prognostications. These are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens - Broncos
Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills - Texans
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers - Packers
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets - Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans - Jaguars
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles - Giants

The Ravens have a strong reputation but it hasn't been earning them much on the field this year. I like the Broncos to stay undefeated in Baltimore... The Bills are likely the worst team with more than two wins and the Texans are playing some really good football right now... Brett Favre used to play in Green Bay?! Get ready to get beaten over the head for the majority of each pregame show this Sunday about that storyline. I'll take the Packers at home even though their offensive line can't block anybody. As much as people say Favre doesn't care, I think the crowd may be a big factor... Something about this Jets-Dolphins game tells me playing at the Meadowlands will be an advantage for the Airplanes and the crushing loss to the Saints may still be lingering on the minds of the Fins... I have no idea why the spread is so close on this Titans-Jaguars game... The Eagles lost to the lowly Raiders and then beat the pathetic Redskins while the Giants lost to the Saints and Cardinals, two top teams in the league. This will, as usual, be a huge game for both teams but I see the Giants coming out on top in a nailbiter.

Congratulations! You're Dwight Howard's one millionth follower on Twitter!

So Dwight Howard reached the hallowed ground that is one million Twitter followers. Instead of just letting this go by without any celebration, he flew in the lucky one millionth follower to attend a game in Orlando. Check out the video for reaction from Howard and the winner.


Speaking of Twitter, you can follow me (@tonyblogs) and if I reach a million followers, I will probably not give anyone a prize, but I will be very happy with all of you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 8 edition


The Saints hold steady at number one while the Falcons and Giants both fall five spots and into the second tier. Take a look at the entire Power Rankings for this week.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (6-0) [1]
2. Colts (6-0) [3]
3. Broncos (6-0) [4]
4. Vikings (6-1) [2]
5. Patriots (5-2) [7]
6. Steelers (5-2) [8]
7. Cowboys (4-2) [9]
8. Cardinals (4-2) [10]
9. Bengals (5-2) [11]

It looked like the Carson Palmer you always hear about finally showed up and the Bengals cruised to a big win over the Bears... The Steelers and Patriots both seem to be gaining big heads of steam... The Cowboys are looking more like the team everyone wants them to be.

SECOND TIER
10. Falcons (4-2) [5]
11. Giants (5-2) [6]
12. Eagles (4-2) [13]
13. Ravens (3-3) [12]
14. Packers (4-2) [16]
15. Texans (4-3) [18]
16. Chargers (3-3) [21]
17. 49ers (3-3) [15]
18. Dolphins (2-4) [17]
19. Jaguars (3-3) [19]
20. Bears (3-3) [14]
21. Jets (4-3) [22]

The Falcons and Giants both lost and while they weren't to terrible terms, they were games each team should have won... The Eagles move up just a bit after beating the lifeless Redskins and can make up big ground this weekend if they take down the G-Men in Philly... The Texans fended off a late comeback attempt by Alex Smith and the 49ers and Matt Schaub is having a hell of a season... The Dolphins only drop one spot after almost beating the top ranked Saints.

THIRD TIER
22. Bills (3-4) [24]
23. Seahawks (2-4) [23]
24. Panthers (2-4) [20]
25. Raiders (2-5) [25]
26. Chiefs (1-6) [26]
27. Lions (1-5) [27]
28. Browns (1-6) [28]
29. Redskins (2-5) [29]
30. Titans (0-6) [30]
31. Rams (0-7) [31]
32. Buccaneers (0-7) [32]

Only three spots are different in this week's bottom tier... The bottom nine teams are all really, really bad.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, October 28, 2009


NEWS
Celtics beat Cavaliers in Shaq's Cleveland debut |CBS Sports.com|
Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills will be next Astros skipper |ESPN.com|
Chiefs send Larry Johnson away indefinitely |FOX Sports.com|
Rollins predicts Phillies will win World Series in five |SI.com|

BLOGS
Mark McGwire's five step approach to hitting |Club Seat Sports|
The ultimate tale of the tape: Yankees v. Phillies |No Guts, No Glory|

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Seven results

We're already seven weeks and 42 selections into out Six Picks for Sunday competition. Let's take a look at last week's results and see how we all stack up at this point.

Tony's Picks
SD, CIN, PIT, HOU, NYJ, ATL

Stuart's Picks
SD, CIN, PIT, HOU, NYJ, DAL

The Rooster's Picks
SD, CIN, PIT, HOU, NYJ, ATL

Even less variation than the previous week and, once again, Stu comes in with a perfect 6-0 mark, followed by The Rooster and I with 5-1 records. And now, the overall standings.

Stuart (31-11)
The Rooster (24-18)
Tony (20-22)

Stuart is absolutely killing it right now and has a nice seven game lead over The Rooster. I pulled a lot closer to the .500 mark this week, but still look pretty foolish with my two-games-under record. As they say, though, it's a long season.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, October 27, 2009


NEWS
DeMarcus Ware signs big six year contract extension with Cowboys |CBS Sports.com|
Alex Smith named starting quarterback in San Francisco |ESPN.com|
Larry Johnson is in hot water over gay slurs via Twitter |FOX Sports.com|
Braylon Edwards facing misdemeanor assault charge from Cleveland fight |SI.com|

BLOGS
MLB Network and ESPN Radio plans for the World Series |Fang's Bites|
What we learned from college football's Week 8 |No Guts, No Glory|
Full details on the NBA Live 10 patch, out now for Xbox 360 |PastaPadre.com|
Talkin' Baseball with Seth Swirsky |The Hall of Very Good|
FX's fantasy football sitcom debuts this Thursday night |The Scores Report|

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009-2010 NBA season preview and predictions

The NBA season tips off Tuesday with four games, two of them broadcast nationally. The Celtics head to Cleveland to battle the Cavs at 7:30, followed by a Clippers-Lakers showdown at 10:30, both on TNT. The Wizards also take on the Mavericks in Dallas at 8:30 EST while the Rockets and Blazers go at it in Portland at 10:00 EST.

There were a lot of shake-ups this offseason, mostly involving the power teams in the Association. The Cavs added Shaquille O'Neal, Boston brought in Rasheed Wallace, the Spurs got Richard Jefferson, the defending-champion Lakers added Ron Artest and the Eastern conference champion Magic traded for Vince Carter. Meanwhile Detroit tried to return to its previous prominence by acquiring former UConn standouts Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. It should be interesting to see if the gap between the elite teams and those below widens even further.

Without further ado, let's get to the predictions. Playoff teams are indicated by an asterisk (*).

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics*
Toronto Raptors*
Philadelphia 76ers*
New York Knicks
New Jersey Nets

Central Division
Cleveland Cavaliers*
Detroit Pistons*
Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers

Southeast Division
Orlando Magic*
Miami Heat*
Atlanta Hawks*
Charlotte Bobcats
Washington Wizards

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Northwest Division
Denver Nuggets*
Utah Jazz*
Portland Trail Blazers*
Oklahoma City Thunder
Minnesota Timberwolves

Pacific Division
Los Angeles Lakers*
Phoenix Suns*
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings

Southwest Division
San Antonio Spurs*
New Orleans Hornets*
Dallas Mavericks*
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies

2010 NBA FINALS
LA Lakers defeat Boston Celtics

I think we see a rematch of the 2008 Finals. The Lakers are undoubtedly the best team in the league with the addition of Ron Artest, if he can keep his head on his shoulders. The same could be said of Rasheed Wallace, who brings a lot to the table for the Celtics if he can keep his act in check. If Kevin Garnett is healthy all season, Boston will be poised for one more (perhaps final) serious run.

Videos: Get ready for the NBA season with their "Anticipation" series

The '09-'10 NBA season tips off with a slate of games tomorrow night so to get ready the NBA has been releasing their collection of "Anticipation" videos on YouTube. They are voiced by Kobe Bryant and, as always, the NBA does a great job with their video work. Take a look at a few of them below.



Lookalikes: Jorge Posada and Ratatouille


As you know, I'm a Yankees fan, so this one is good old fashioned fun. It comes to us from new blog friend Perez Solomon, who has some great stuff on his blog so be sure to check it out.

Dropping Links: Monday, October 26, 2009


NEWS
Yankees headed to 40th World Series after 5-2 win over Angels |Yahoo.com|
Sam Bradford will have season-ending surgery, enter 2010 NFL Draft |CBS Sports.com|
Indians pick former Nats manager Manny Acta as new skipper |ESPN.com|
LaRussa will be back as Cardinals' manager, McGwire will be hitting coach |FOX Sports.com|
Giants lose second straight after Manning's 3 INT night |SI.com|

BLOGS
Saints beat Dolphins after wild comeback in Miami |The Scores Report|
NBA Live 10 patch expected some time this week |PastaPadre.com|
Mark Sanchez ate a hot dog during the Jets-Raiders game |Bob's Blitz|

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Steve Phillips fired by ESPN following affair with production assistant

From ESPN's Mike Soltys, via Fang's Bites, comes word that ESPN has fired Steve Phillips following his much publicized tryst with a 22-year-old production assistant. The affair became public this week when the New York Post and Deadspin, both basically one step above the Enquirer in terms of class, broke the news.

Here is the official tweet from Soltys:
Steve Phillips is no longer working for ESPN. His ability to be an effective rep of ESPN has been significantly & irreparably damaged.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Video: Lakers' bench finds a great way to get around "No Standing" rule

This clip comes to us from Ball Don't Lie. As you may know, the NBA instituted a new rule that restricts players from standing while they are on the bench since it blocks the view of the people in the heftily priced front row seats. Maybe the NBA should switch to the "raised court" setup that the NCAA has used in the past few years for big games, but I digress. The Lakers had to find a new ritual instead of the usual one of standing until your team makes a basket. What they came up with is great and, as BDL's J.E. Skeets points out, right out of Major League.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Seven

It's time for another week of prognostications, so let's get at it. These are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.


San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs - Chargers
Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals
Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers
San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans - Texans
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders - Jets
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys - Falcons

The Chargers have looked less-than-stellar this season but I'll take them at Arrowhead... Bears-Bengals is quite the toss-up, so I'll take Cincinnati at home... I'm taking the Steelers mostly because of their strong run defense. If they shut down Adrian Peterson and force Brett Favre to start "gunslinging" all over the place, it could be a good day for Pittsburgh's defense... I'll take the Texans to keep their momentum going. The addition of Michael Crabtree to the 49ers' offense will be a nice fit, but probably not right away... So much of me wants to take the Raiders at home, coming off their win against the Eagles, and right after the Jets looked like a UFL team against the Bills, but I just can't. I doubt Mark Sanchez will have a game as bad as he had last week and I've been burned too many times by the Jets to pick against them again... Give me the Falcons since I've been saying all along that the Cowpokes are overrated.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Video: Top Ten plays of the 2008-2009 NBA preseason

Continuing our collection of NBA-related Top Ten videos, this is the top ten plays of this year's preseason. Take a look and enjoy the feast.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 7 edition


A lot of movement going on as we head into Week 7 after a Week 6 that saw the Giants get stomped by the Saints, the Vikings hold on against the Ravens, the Patriots return to their old form and the Jets fall mightily.

TOP TIER
1. Saints (5-0) [4]
2. Vikings (6-0) [3]
3. Colts (5-0) [2]
4. Broncos (6-0) [5]
5. Falcons (4-1) [6]
6. Giants (5-1) [1]
7. Patriots (4-2) [11]
8. Steelers (4-2) [12]
9. Cowboys (3-2) [13]
10. Cardinals (3-2) [16]

Hard to penalize the Colts because of their bye week but the Saints looked very impressive against the previously No. 1 ranked Giants... The Vikings held on, thanks to a missed field goal at the end of the game, and slid up to No. 2... The Cowboys moved way up during their bye simply because all the middle of the pack teams struggled this week.

SECOND TIER
11. Bengals (4-2) [8]
12. Ravens (3-3) [10]
13. Eagles (3-2) [7]
14. Bears (3-2) [9]
15. 49ers (3-2) [17]
16. Packers (3-2) [19]
17. Dolphins (2-3) [18]
18. Texans (3-3) [22]
19. Jaguars (3-3) [21]
20. Panthers (2-3) [23]
21. Chargers (2-3) [15]

The Eagles lost to the Raiders, widely considered by many as the worst team in football, dropping them six spots... Not a whole lot going on here, but soon it gets interesting.

THIRD TIER
22. Jets (3-3) [14]
23. Seahawks (2-4) [20]
24. Bills (2-4) [28]
25. Raiders (2-4) [32]
26. Chiefs (1-5) [29]
27. Lions (1-5) [25]
28. Browns (1-5) [26]
29. Redskins (2-4) [27]
30. Titans (0-6) [24]
31. Rams (0-6) [30]
32. Buccaneers (0-6) [31]

The Jets drop eight spots after playing one of the worst games I've ever seen. Mark Sanchez looked like the rookie he is while throwing five interceptions and they almost tied with the Bills before losing in overtime... The Titans drop six spots and have to be the most disappointing team in recent memory... You can't blame the Titans' lack of success on the loss of Albert Haynesworth since he isn't doing too much for his new team. The Redskins are an absolute mess right now.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, October 20, 2009


NEWS
Angels beat Yanks in extras after Girardi makes questionable moves |CBS Sports.com|
Jets DT Kris Jenkins tears ACL, out for rest of season |ESPN.com|
Lawyers say arrests are coming in UConn stabbing |FOX Sports.com|
Mariners C Kenji Johjima will opt out of contract, return to Japan |SI.com|

BLOGS
The season that was... April |The Hall of Very Good|
Titans owner wants Vince Young to be playing |The Scores Report|

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Six results

Stuart continues his impressive run in our Six Picks for Sunday competition and maintains his first place position.

Tony's Picks
CIN, MIN, NYG, CAR, SEA, ATL

Stuart's Picks
CIN, MIN, NO, CAR, SEA, ATL

The Rooster's Picks
CIN, BAL, NYG, CAR, SEA, ATL

Not a whole lot of variation there as we all drank the Seattle Kool Aid and also chose the Panthers and Falcons. Stu goes 4-2 this week, while I pull in second at 3-3 and The Rooster comes in at 2-4. The Vikings holding on to beat the Ravens thanks to a missed field goal proved to be a vital game in the scheme of things.

Let's take a look at the overall standings.

Stuart (25-11)
The Rooster (19-17)
Tony (15-21)

Dropping Links: Monday, October 19, 2009


NEWS
Tom Brady throws for six TDs, five in one quarter against Titans |CBS Sports.com|
Drew Brees throws four TDs as Saints torch Giants, improve to 5-0 |ESPN.com|
Jim Zorn stripped of playcalling duties after 'Skins lose to Chiefs |FOX Sports.com|
Eagles are first team in three years to not score TD against Raiders |SI.com|
Mark Sanchez throws five picks as Bills beat Jets in OT |Yahoo.com|

BLOGS
UConn starting cornerback Jasper Howard fatally stabbed |Sox and Dawgs|
Is ESPNU's Jenn Brown the new Erin Andrews? |Busted Coverage|
Preliminary details on the second patch for Madden 10 |Inside EA Blog|
Chargers fans are certainly not the most passionate |Tirico Suave|

Friday, October 16, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Six

It's time for another week of prognostications, so let's get at it. These are determined by the six games with the closest spreads, although the games will be predicted straight up. Feel free to post your own picks in the comments section, and I'll keep you updated with the results throughout the season.

For the up-to-date results and standings, click here.

Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals
Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings - Vikings
New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints - Giants
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Panthers
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons - Falcons

I'm not sure how "for real" the Bengals are yet but the Texans have been way too inconsistent to take them on the road against a team that is as hot as Cincinnati... Baltimore-Minnesota is going to be a very good game and will be shown in a lot of the country on CBS. If Cedric Benson was able to rush for over 100 yards against the Ravens' defense, imagine what Adrian Peterson might be able to do... This might be the homer in me coming out but I'll take the G-Men in Louisiana. New York's secondary has surprisingly been one of their great strengths and I don't think Eli Manning will make the mistakes that other quarterbacks have made against the Saints' defense... I hate to use the transitive property but the Panthers just (barely) beat the Redskins, and the 'Skins (barely) beat the Bucs, so there you go... The Seahawks went crazy on the Jaguars last week and the Cardinals haven't look very good this year... Falcons-Bears is another good Sunday night matchup. I'll take the Falcons but this one will be very, very close.