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.

Dropping Links: Friday, October 16, 2009

As you've noticed, I've been slacking when it comes to updating the site on a regular basis. I sound like a broken record but, again, my apologies for the situation. Other duties have called but I'll be continuing with the Six Picks for Sunday and the weekly Power Rankings and sprinkle in some other great stuff while I can. Thanks for checking back!

NEWS
Phillies take NLCS Game 1 from Dodgers in Los Angeles |MLB.com|
Joe Reyes expects to be ready for Spring Training |CBS Sports.com|
Redskins players want a vote of confidence for Jim Zorn |ESPN.com|
Rush Limbaugh is angry about the whole Rams debacle |FOX Sports.com|
Albert Pujols is in no hurry to accept contract extension |SI.com|

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dropping Links: Thursday, October 15, 2009


NEWS
Rush Limbaugh dropped from group trying to buy St. Louis Rams |CBS Sports.com|
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 for Dodgers in NLCS |ESPN.com|
Pro wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano dies at age 76 |FOX Sports.com|
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield will meet again on Oprah |SI.com|

BLOGS
UFL tickets now cheaper than 24oz Heineken at Yankee Stadium |Tirico Suave|
Who will be the better pro: Sam Bradford or Colt McCoy? |The Scores Report|
If Billy Wagner does retire, is he a Hall of Famer? |Hall of Very Good|
Favre's Lambeau Field return will be FOX national game at 4:15pm |Shutdown Corner|

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dropping Links: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


NEWS
Joe Torre says he expects 2010 to be last year with Dodgers |FOX Sports.com|
Junior Seau comes out of retirement AGAIN to join Patriots |CBS Sports.com|
Yankees leaning toward using three-man rotation in ALCS |ESPN.com|

BLOGS
Ron Darling apparently doesn't care for paying his taxes |Bob's Blitz|
Is Brady Quinn the next to be traded out of Cleveland? |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
NCAA Basketball 10 PS3 and Xbox 360 demo release dates announced |PastaPadre.com|
Jeremy Shockey seeks revenge against the Giants on Sunday |The Scores Report|

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 6 edition


No movement at all in the top five as all of those teams stayed in place. The Bengals hopped into the Top Tier for the first time this season while the Ravens, Patriots and Jets saw significant drops.

TOP TIER
1. Giants (5-0) [1]
2. Colts (5-0) [2]
3. Vikings (5-0) [3]
4. Saints (4-0) [4]
5. Broncos (5-0) [5]
6. Falcons (3-1) [8]
7. Eagles (3-1) [9]
8. Bengals (4-1) [13]
9. Bears (3-1) [10]

The Broncos are turning a lot of people into believers after a big win in overtime against the Patriots... With Donovan McNabb back the Eagles will be an offensive force... The Falcons absolutely drubbed the 49ers and their much-raved-about defense... The Bengals pulled out a huge win in another late situation, beating the Ravens.

SECOND TIER
10. Ravens (3-2) [6]
11. Patriots (3-2) [7]
12. Steelers (3-2) [14]
13. Cowboys (3-2) [16]
14. Jets (3-2) [11]
15. Chargers (2-2) [15]
16. Cardinals (2-2) [17]
17. 49ers (3-2) [12]
18. Dolphins (2-3) [21]
19. Packers (2-2) [20]
20. Seahawks (2-3) [26]
21. Jaguars (2-3) [19]
22. Texans (2-3) [18]

The Second Tier expands this week... While the Cowboys beat the Chiefs, they had to go to overtime to do it and I'm not sure if that's a good sign for a struggling team... The Jets suffered a disappointing loss to the Dolphins and their vaunted defense looked pretty awful all game... The 49ers saw a five spot drop thanks to their terrible performance against the Falcons... The return of Matt Hasselback looks like a very good thing for the Seahawks.

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

A lot more movement than you would expect in the Third Tier this week... The Panthers move up after getting a win against the lowly Redskins... The Titans have to be one of the most disappointing teams in recent memory... The Browns finally got a win, albeit one of the ugliest in NFL history... As for those Redskins, how are they really this bad?.. The Bills can't even win when they hold the opposing quarterback to only two completions... The Chiefs put up a good fight against the Cowboys but couldn't hold on in crunch time... After watching a full Raiders game this Sunday, I'm convinced they are the worst team in the league.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, October 13, 2009


NEWS
Dolphins beat Jets on late TD from Ronnie Brown in MNF thriller |ESPN.com|
Phillies rally in 9th, take ALDS from Rockies in Colorado |CBS Sports.com|
Al Sharpton does not want Rush Limbaugh to own a football team |FOX Sports.com|
Colts say Peyton Manning's knee is sore, not injured |SI.com|

BLOGS
The Titans will stick with Kerry Collins at quarterback |The Scores Report|
TBS put up some very good LDS television ratings |Fang's Bites|
Video of Ray Lewis' illegal hit on Chad Ochocinco |Bob's Blitz|
Twitter Tuesday at the Hall of Very Good |HOVG|

Monday, October 12, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Five results

Stuart was really having a good season, leading in the overall standings of our Six Picks for Sunday competition. This week he went a very impressive 6-0 to widen that gap a little further. Let's take a look at this week's results.

Tony's Picks
CAR, SF, NE, ARZ, JAX, IND

Stuart's Picks
CAR, ATL, DEN, ARZ, SEA, IND

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

The Rooster posted a very good week as well, going 4-2, and I can't complain with a 3-3 mark. But Stu was clearly the man this week. Here are the overall standings.

Stuart (21-9)
The Rooster (17-13)
Tony (12-18)

Dropping Links: Monday, October 12, 2009


Yankees complete sweep of Twins in Minnesota, move to ALCS |ESPN.com|
Papelbon blows it in 9th inning, Angels sweep Sox at Fenway |FOX Sports.com|
Broncos pull out overtime win against Patriots, improve to 5-0 |CBS Sports.com|
Bengals beat Ravens with late touchdown, improve to 4-1 |SI.com|
Miles Austin went absolutely nuts in Cowboys' OT win over Chiefs |The Scores Report|

Friday, October 9, 2009

A few Friday afternoon links: Michael Crabtree, Olympic additions, ESPN

- Michael Crabtree already has a lot of work to do after missing all of camp, the preseason and San Francisco's first four games. But he has even more work to do because, according to 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, he only ran two routes in his collegiate career. It will be a little harder than that in the NFL, Michael.

- Golf and rugby have been added to the slate of Olympic games for 2016 and 2020. Rugby hasn't been played in the Oympics since 1924. The rugby setup will feature a 12-team tournament for both men and women, while golf will see a 72-hole stroke-play event with a field of 60 players each for men and women.

- I hate to continually rag on ESPN, especially after I was featured on their "Blog Buzz" segment on this morning's SportsCenter, but The Onion really grilled them today in this article entitled, "ESPN Completely Misses Brett Favre Vs. Green Bay Packers Storyline". The link comes via our friend Bob Mantz of Bob's Blitz.

Video: Top ten moves of the 2008-2009 NBA season

The NBA season is right around the corner so we continue our tradition of showing you the NBA's "Top Ten" collection with the top ten moves of last season.


That move by Andrea Bargnani at number one may not look like much, but that's old school post play at its finest. Besides, any time you leave two guys on the ground, you probably did something special.

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Five

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.

Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers - Panthers
Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers - 49ers
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos - Patriots
Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals - Cardinals
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Seattle Seahawks - Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans - Colts

Carolina is bound to get it going sometime and this week seems like the right moment. The Redskins have been brutal this year, even when they win, so I think this week the Panthers get back to the run game and win at home... The 49ers offense is really not very good but their defense is absolutely crushing teams right now. They may have trouble scoring but they should be able to contain a Falcons offense with a very disappointing Michael Turner... The Broncos are coming off of a huge win against the Cowboys but Dallas really isn't that good. The Patriots should be able to take this one in Denver... I'll take Arizona's high powered passing attack against Houston... Jacksonville is getting some momentum going, so I'll take them against a struggling Seattle team... Not sure why the spread on this one is so close, but it's a pretty easy decision for me to take the Colts on the road against the Titans.

Dropping Links: Friday, October 9, 2009


NEWS
Lackey shuts down Red Sox as Angels take 1-0 series lead |SI.com|
Dodgers win in dramatic fashion, take 2-0 lead to St. Louis |ESPN.com|
Colorado evens NLDS with 5-4 win in Philadelphia |CBS Sports.com|
Patriots RB Fred Taylor will likely need ankle surgery FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Pittsburgh named best sports city by Sporting News |Bob's Blitz|
Cortland Gridiron Report: Week 5 |The Cooch's Rant|
Brandon Marshall is suddenly thrilled to be a Bronco |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
Everyone except Browns players think trading Edwards was smart |No Guts, No Glory|
NCAA Basketball 10 will have BOTH CBS and ESPN presentation |PastaPadre.com|
Shawne Merriman is more than just a steroid abuser... he's a whiner |Shutdown Corner|
TSR scores another big interview, this time with Bernard Berrian |The Scores Report|
A detailed comparison of Matt Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger |Tirico Suave|
A Jon Gosselin - Johnny Damon lookalike for you |Perez Solomon|

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The moment you've all waited for... the UFL is here!

Okay, so I only found it by flipping through the channels in between the Dodgers-Cardinals thriller and the start of the Red Sox-Angels game but the UFL is on Versus right now.

It's actually not terrible. Football is always fun to watch and I contend that if you're willing to watch two no-name college teams play football or, worse yet, a high school game on TV, then why not watch some UFL? There are familiar names -- like J.P. Losman, B.J. Sams and DeDe Dorsey -- in this Las Vegas Locomotives v. California Redwoods matchup.

One of the main problems with this game, though, is the uniforms. Las Vegas is wearing bright blue pants and gray tops, while California is dressed in white pants with white tops. The colors are way too similar and even in high definition it's hard to tell the teams apart in the open field.

The referees, however, are very stylishly outfitted. Not zebras, instead they're dressed in black pants with red tops.

Enough of the fashion breakdown... check out the UFL if you like, it's really not as bad as you might think. Versus and HDNet will be carrying the league all season long. Here is the full schedule.

Dropping Links: Thursday, October 8, 2009


NEWS
Sabathia strong, A-Rod chips in as Yankees take game one from Twins |ESPN.com|
Cliff Lee pitches a complete game as Phillies top Rockies in game one |CBS Sports.com|
Michael Crabtree finally signs with 49ers, gets six-year deal |FOX Sports.com|
Allen Iverson will miss three weeks and perhaps season opener |SI.com|

BLOGS
Video of Chip Caray's horrible "base hit - out" call from Tuesday |Bob's Blitz|
Rex Ryan is running his mouth again since Jets are playing Dolphins |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
NCAA Basketball 10 will have CBS presentation |PastaPadre.com|
Michael Vick will be subject of BET documentary series |Shutdown Corner|
You can win the Tim McCarver CD! |Hall of Very Good|
The guys at TSR scored an interview with Phil Simms |The Scores Report|
Week Five NFL television distribution maps |the506.com|

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 5 edition


The Giants and Colts stay at the top after Week 4 victories, with the Broncos and 49ers making big gains in this week's NFL Power Rankings.

TOP TIER
1. Giants (4-0) [1]
2. Colts (4-0) [2]
3. Vikings (4-0) [4]
4. Saints (4-0) [5]
5. Broncos (4-0) [10]
6. Ravens (3-1) [3]
7. Patriots (3-1) [7]
8. Falcons (2-1) [8]
9. Eagles (2-1) [9]
10. Bears (3-1) [12]
11. Jets (3-1) [6]
12. 49ers (3-1) [18]
13. Bengals (3-1) [14]

The Broncos moved up five spots after beating the Cowboys, proving to many non-believers (like me) that they are much better than we thought... The Jets fall five spots after Mark Sanchez looked like the rookie that he is in New Orleans... The Niners move back up six spots after their heartbreaking loss to the Minnesota Favre's in Week 3. Their defense is absolutely dominating right now.

SECOND TIER
14. Steelers (2-2) [17]
15. Chargers (2-2) [13]
16. Cowboys (2-2) [11]
17. Cardinals (1-2) [16]
18. Texans (2-2) [21]
19. Jaguars (2-2) [22]
20. Packers (2-2) [15]
21. Dolphins (1-3) [23]

The Steelers held off the Chargers just long enough to get a win on Sunday night... The Cowboys drop after another sloppy game. This time they weren't lucky enough to be playing the Panthers.

THIRD TIER
22. Bills (1-3) [20]
23. Titans (0-4) [19]
24. Lions (1-3) [24]
25. Redskins (2-2) [26]
26. Seahawks (1-3) [25]
27. Panthers (0-3) [27]
28. Raiders (1-3) [28]
29. Chiefs (0-4) [29]
30. Rams (0-4) [30]
31. Buccaneers (0-4) [31]
32. Browns (0-4) [32]

It looks like it's going to be just another miserable season for the Buffalo Bills... The Titans are officially in the Third Tier after coming out of the gate 4-0. Might they want to throw Vince Young out there and get him some playing time?

MLB 2009 postseason predictions

Now that we've looked at how my original regular season predictions fared this year, it's time to take a shot at prognosticating the results of the 2009 postseason.

ALDS: Yankees over Twins in 4
ALDS: Angels over Red Sox in 5
NLDS: Rockies over Phillies in 4
NLDS: Cardinals over Dodgers in 5


The Twins are the hottest team in baseball right now but also have the unenviable task of quickly turning around after an extra inning defeat and facing the team with the best record in baseball. I think the Twinkies will steal one game in Minnesota but the Yanks take it in four games... The Red Sox have historically had the Angels' number in the postseason but this could be the year that ends. Either way it goes down to the wire... The Phillies have a whole bunch of question marks, like with their closing situation and Cliff Lee... The Dodgers stumbled into the postseason, struggling down the stretch run. The Cardinals have the pitching to get by Los Angeles.

ALCS: Yankees over Angels in 7
NLCS: Cardinals over Rockies in 6


The Yankees always struggle against the Angels, especially in Anaheim. That's why I think this one goes all seven games, but the Yankees take it thanks to home field advantage... The Cardinals, with that pitching staff and Albert Pujols, take it from the Rocks in six games.

World Series: Yankees over Cardinals in 6

Call the Homer Police, but I feel like this is the year for the Yankees. (And I'm hoping right now I'm not jinxing them.) This is the first time in a long, long time where I haven't been nervous about the Yankees heading into the playoffs. There aren't many weaknesses on this team and while you're busy whining about payroll, the Yankees will be winning their 27th World Series over the Cardinals--their closest nemesis with 10 championships--in six games.

A look at how my MLB preseason predictions held up

Before this year's MLB season started I made my predictions regarding which teams would win each division and wild card. I also took a shot at the playoff winners, but I'll have another set of playoff predictions up later based on the actual matchups. So let's take a look at how my prognostications fared.

PREDICTED DIVISION AND WILD CARD WINNERS
AL East - Yankees
AL Central - Twins
AL West - Angels
AL Wild Card - Red Sox

NL East - Phillies
NL Central - Cubs
NL West - Diamondbacks
NL Wild Card - Mets

Wow, I was right on the money with my American League predictions thanks to a one-game playoff win by the Twins over the Tigers last night.

As for the National League, that was a whole different ballgame. I reluctantly drank the Mets kool aid and that came back to bite me. The Cubs were a huge disappointment and the Diamondbacks finished in last in the NL West, instead of my predicted first.

Oh well, I'll take the small victory of sweeping in the AL.

Jets trade two players, two picks to Browns for Braylon Edwards

The Jets today traded wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, special teamer Jason Trusnick and two draft picks to the Cleveland Browns for Braylon Edwards.

Edwards, as you may know, is notorious for dropping passes. He is having a better season this year, though, already with ten catches and 139 yards receiving but no touchdowns. He improves the Jets questionable receiving corps.

At the same time, Edwards is currently under an NFL investigation for a recent nightclub fight where Edwards reportedly punched a friend of LeBron James'. Presumably that would result in Edwards falling out of favor with the Cleveland fans, since that is the Land of LeBron.

But the move makes sense for a number of reasons. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez struggled mightily last week against the Saints' defense and adding a receiver will help. Rex Ryan and Co. also need to back up all that bravado and cockiness they have exuded or else risk suffering the same fat as Eric "Mangenius" Mangini, going from hero to goat.

Since the draft the Jets have traded five players and four draft picks to their old head coach in Cleveland.

Dropping Links: Wednesday, October 7, 2009


NEWS
Twins beat Tigers to win Central, take on Yankees in ALDS |ESPN.com|
Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the Rams |SI.com|
Giants are confident Eli Manning will play through injury |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
All the best from Twitter Tuesday at The Hall of Very Good |HOVG|
2009 League Division Series schedules |Fang's Bites|
Now everyone can get an endorsement deal with Nike |Sports Biz|
Take a look at our friend Bob Glauber's NFL power rankings |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
The Brett Favre love fest was the highest rated cable show ever |Shutdown Corner|
NBA 2K10 had a bunch of release day problems |PastaPadre.com|

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thoughts after four weeks of NFL football

Four weeks are in the books and while it isn't the exact quarter point, it's a good enough time to take a look at the state of the NFL.

- The Titans have to be the most disappointing team in the league. Expectations were high and they are 0-4 to begin the season. Tennessee only improved their offense and their only defensive loss was Albert Haynesworth. Albeit a big loss, the rest of the defense was very good last year as well. Chris Johnson has not put up the monster numbers he did last season and the Titans' receivers can't catch the ball.

- The Cowboys just aren't as good as the mainstream media wants them to be. That is especially true for Tony Romo. The quarterback has not looked sharp in any of Dallas' games this season. During Sunday's loss to the Broncos, Romo was consistently missing wide open receivers and again failed to come through in the clutch.

- While I was one who certainly doubted the Broncos, they might be for real. Their defense has improved by leaps and bounds since last season and Kyle Orton has been managing the offense well. At 4-0 in the very weak AFC West, Denver could easily be a playoff team.

- The Giants' receiving corps, which was ridiculed by many in the offseason, has been one of the best in the NFL. Steve Smith leads the league in catches, yards and touchdowns. The Giants' secondary, riddled with injuries and question marks, has been the strong point of their defense. Now the only question for New York is the health of Eli Manning.

- Mark Sanchez was looking like this year's Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan. Then he had a horrible game against the Saints. It's part of the rookie learning curve but maybe, once again, the New York media jumped the gun a little bit with their remarks about the "Sanchise."

- ESPN was absolutely ridiculous in their coverage of the Vikings-Packers game last night. You would think that Jesus Christ was wearing No. 4 for Minnesota. The hyperbole was through the roof during the Monday Night Football broadcast and Jon Gruden, whom I originally liked, is really starting to get on my nerves.

Dropping Links: Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NEWS
Donovan McNabb practices, expected to start on Sunday |CBS Sports.com|
Braylon Edwards got in a fight with LeBron James' friend |ESPN.com|
49ers may re-open talks with Michael Crabtree |FOX Sports.com|
Miguel Cabrera was drunk, fighting with wife morning of Tigers' finale |SI.com|

BLOGS
Hopefully you played the Jon Gruden MNF drinking game |Kissing Suzy Kolber|
Jonathan Vilma isn't happy about Mark Sanchez's dirty hit |Shutdown Corner|

Monday, October 5, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Four results

Another Sunday of football came and went, so let's see where we all stand four weeks into the Six Picks for Sunday competition.

Tony's Picks
TEN, BAL, CIN, BUF, DAL, PIT

Stuart's Picks
JAX, BAL, CIN, MIA, DAL, PIT

The Rooster's Picks
TEN, NE, CIN, MIA, DEN, SD

An impressive week for The Rooster, going 4-2 and picking the Denver upset. He and I both thought the Titans would break out of their funk but they dropped to a depressing 0-4 on the year. Stuart did his usual thing with another good week and remains in the overall lead. Let's take a look at the year-to-date standings.

Stuart (15-9)
The Rooster (13-11)
Tony (9-15)

Ouch. I don't look like much of a prognosticator with a 9-15 record but the season is still young.

Dropping Links: Monday, October 5, 2009


NEWS
Tigers and Twins headed for one game playoff on Tuesday |ESPN.com|
A-Rod hits 2 HRs, drives in 7 in one inning to reach 30 HR, 100 RBI |FOX Sports.com|
Auburn leads four new teams into AP College Football Top 25 |CBS Sports.com|
Marlins considering managerial change, after Bobby Valentine? |SI.com|

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Six Picks for Sunday - Week Four

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.

Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars - Titans
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots - Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns - Bengals
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins - Bills
Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos - Cowboys
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers

I'm going with five away teams this week, which is always a scary idea... I have to believe the Titans will pick up a win, they're due. The Jags played a good game last week but the Titans have been playing way below their expectations... Going out on a bit of a limb perhaps by picking Baltimore, but if the Jets defense could shut down Tom Brady, I think the Ravens can do it... The Bengals should keep their momentum rolling against the lowly Browns. Remember when Eric was the ManGenius?.. The Bills should pick up a 'W' with Chad Pennington out for the Fins... The Cowboys have been playing about as sloppy as a winning team can, but they should be able to handle the Broncos, who are lucky to be 3-0... The Steelers bounce back on Sunday night to get a win against the Chargers.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dropping Links: Friday, October 2, 2009


NEWS
I blame Oprah for Chicago being first city eliminated in Olympic voting |ESPN.com|
Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount could be reinstated this season |CBS Sports.com|
Frozen head of Ted Williams apparently mistreated in lab |FOX Sports.com|

BLOGS
Mitch Williams joins Sirius radio beginning Saturday |Bob's Blitz|
TBS announces broadcast teams for MLB Division Series' |Fang's Bites|
Jim Brown says Michael Crabtree should report to camp |Glauber's NFL Hot Reads|
NBA Live 10 full player ratings revealed |PastaPadre.com|
Questioning Brett Favre's motives to come back |The Scores Report|

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dropping Links: Thursday, October 1, 2009


NEWS
Nike says they haven't signed Vick to endorsement deal |ESPN.com|
Phillies clinch National League East |FOX Sports.com|
Flozell Adams is a dirty player, as evidenced by third straight fine |CBS Sports.com|
Tiger Woods is first athlete to make a billion dollars |SI.com|

BLOGS
Cortland Gridiron Report: Week 4 |The Cooch's Rant|
The top selling sports books of 2009 |Sports Biz|
A look at Gotham's "Dynamic Duo" |The Hall of Very Good|
NFL players that look like they need a career change |Club Seat|