Thursday, September 30, 2010

Judging Undefeated NFL Teams: Did I Miss Something?

There are currently three undefeated teams in professional football. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, have all managed to somehow weather the storm that is the first three weeks in the NFL. It’s pretty amazing. Out of all 32 teams, these three are probably the most unlikely to start off undefeated, right? I mean, who saw this coming? But looking back, perhaps we ignored certain aspects of the teams while making predictions. Maybe this is not so surprising after all. Let’s see what everyone neglected while putting out their predictions on these teams:

Chicago Bears:

Ability to Win Close Games: This is something the Bears have done all season. They have won games by 5, 7, and 3, respectively, including last night’s last second win over Green Bay (who I thought would have won easily). For anyone who says that those games were won by luck, think again. Do you know how hard it is to win close games, in any professional sport, imaginary person? The Yankees have 46 come-from-behind wins, the most in baseball this season. Is it a coincidence that they are also considered one of the favorites to win the World Series? The ability to; a) come from behind and b) win close games, is one of the most important things any playoff contender can do. It is absurd to say they won these games by luck. You may not want to agree with that last statement, since every one of Jay Cutler’s completed passes practically screams “LUCK”, but it is true.

Mike Martz?: Yes, everyone’s least favorite offensive coordinator is making a huge difference in Chicago. In his last few stops, his “Everyone Go Deep” offense has been tamed by poor quarterbacks and average receivers. Now Jay Cutler may not be a great quarterback, but he is the perfect quarterback for Martz’s system. What other quarterback would be willing to throw 60 yard bombs, 20 times a game? Jay Cutler lives for reckless abandonment. And so does Martz. Now, this may come back to harm them, when they play a team with a great pass defense. But for now, Martz and Cutler will continue to go wild.

Martz has one of the worst examples out of any coach in the league. For example, when I searched his name on Google Images, an atomic bomb explosion was one of the first things to appear. But now, Martz finally has those speedy receivers he thrives with, like those early 2000’s St. Louis Rams teams had. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester are considered two of the fastest players in football, and there is nothing they love more than going deep. Now, I did not ask them if they loved going deep, but I can only assume it is true. When you play backyard football, what is the one route everyone loves more than all. No, it is not a curl route. Everyone wants to go deep and raise hell. That is what Martz and his gang of rap-scallions is doing. For now at least.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Weak Competition: I wish I could play teams with a combined record of 1-8. But not all by myself. Anyway, the Chiefs have caught all the right teams at all the right times. They killed the Chargers in Week 1 in a Category 4 hurricane (The Chargers are 1-2). They faced an awful Cleveland Browns team who had Seneca Wallace playing quarterback, by only 2 points. Last weekend, they destroyed San Francisco who is very, very bad this year (I am not looking too hot right now with my prediction on the Niners season. They would have to go 12-1 the rest of the season to get to where I predicted. It can happen! They just fired their offensive coordinator who looked like a skinny James Earl Jones. That has to be good, right!). They have played awful, awful competition this season, and they will make it into the playoffs this season just due to the fact that they play in the AFC West.

Romeo & Charlie: Weighing in at a combined 3 tons, this mega-combo has managed to make a difference in Kansas City. They seem more explosive, and now they have a clue of what to do on defense. The whole Weis issue really frustrates me. I would watch most of Notre Dame’s game, and Weis is one of the worst play-callers in sports. But he is genius when he is just an offensive coordinator, and not a head coach. This is the same with Crennel. Now he probably has a better excuse, since he was the coach of awful Browns teams. But when these two are assigned to do just a specific job, they are some of the best out there.

Insane Running Game: When your quarterback is only averaged 164 passing yards a game, you better have a damn good running attack. The Chiefs have the best statistical running game in football, at just over 160 per game. Although they do not use Jamaal Charles as much as they should (He is the most explosive back in football not named Chris Johnson. Also, his lack of carries is carries is killing my fantasy team. Once again, I care more about myself.), Thomas Jones is still an excellent number 2 or 1 back, depending on how they use him.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Troy Polamalu & Aaron Smith: The two most important players on the defensive side of the ball, were hurt the majority of last season. That would kill most teams, yet the Steelers still managed to go 9-7 and almost make the playoffs. Polamalu is arguably the best defensive player in football. Wait, is that even an argument? Now that Ed Reed has the hip of a 75-year-old man, is there even any competition? No player makes more difference and impact on Sunday than Polamalu. Aaron Smith has long been one of the most underrated players in the league. This is likely because he does not put up the absurd sack totals of other defensive ends, like Dwight Freeney or DeMarcus Ware. This is not Smith’s fault, because in the Steelers style of defensive, the outside linebackers are the ones who are required to put the most pressure on the quarterback. Smith still does put pressure on, but he does it the way the defense is designed. Without these two players last year, the Steelers really lost their identity as a hard-nosed football team.

Somebody Woke Up Rashard Mendenhall: Not only has Mendenhall gotten rid of his awful case of fumblitis (It got so bad at one point, I thought Mike Tomlin was considering sending Rashard to the Mayo Clinic), put Rashard is now getting more out of his carries. Last year he only averaged 4.6 yards per carry. That is still respectable, but to any avid Steelers viewer, Mendenhall would be infuriating to watch since that is as far as he would ever run. He would rarely bust off even moderate gains. It was surprising to see him run for more than 7 yards at a time, unless it was side-to-side, which would happen as well. This year, Rashard is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and is breaking off those long runs. He averaged 7.5 YPC against the Bucs, and won the first game of the season with a 50-yard dash in overtime.

Out of these three teams at the beginning of the season, it is highly unlikely you would have predicted them to be the only teams left that are undefeated. Jay Cutler was coming off of one of the most miserable quarterback seasons of all time for the Bears, the Chiefs were supposed to be contended by the Chargers and the Niners in their first three games, and the loss of Roethlisberger was supposed to make a tremendous difference. The thing is, none of these things carried over into the season. Everyone ignored what these teams had going for them, myself included.

Random Thoughts from Week 3:

  1. Really, Roy Williams had two touchdowns on Sunday? Did he threaten Tony Romo, because Williams was M.I.A. the first two weeks.
  2. The Seattle Seahawks are 2-1, with both wins coming at home. That crowd is making more of a difference than ever, the infamous “12th man” at Qwest Field. I wonder if the Seahawks know they spelt Quest wrong.
  3. The New York Giants and Green Bay Packers screamed undisciplined this week. The Giants had personal foul penalties flying out left and right, and the Packers almost set the record for penalties on Monday Night Football. Both teams looked out-of-control, and the Packers should have won that game. The Giants just do not look good all around, and their immaturity is only making things worse.
  4. This week in the picks: 9-7 (26-22). Against the Spread: 8-8 (27-21). I started off 6-0 in the early games, but the damn AFC & NFC West’s bit me in the ass yet again. There is no tougher assignment than selecting who is going to win a West game. The teams are so equally bad and unpredictable, I am probably better off guessing. When two West teams play each other, it is pandemonium. Against the spread this year, I am 2-5. Just ignore me when I pick games involving two teams from the crappy, crappy West.
  5. Speaking of sports gambling, I am starting to get into the whole spread thing. The problem is, whenever I tell my dad about odds and whatnot, he has no idea what I am talking about. On Sunday, I told him the Steelers were only 3 point favorites against the Bucs, and that I was real surprised. He gave me one of these dead-eyed looks like Homer Simpson gives when somebody asks him what he does at his job.
  6. The 49ers look great.
  7. Wade Phillips will be allowed to see the rest of the week! Congrats!
  8. Why does Mark Sanchez look like he knows what he is doing? I am so confused.

Brendan O’Hare writes two to three columns a week for his website at www.theatticfan.blogspot.com. You can follow him at twitter, www.twitter.com/theatticfan.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stream Of Consciousness I

I could not decide whether I wanted to write an article about George Steinbrenner’s immense memorial in Monument Park, or something about the pennant race in baseball. I also had a bunch of other things I wanted to talk about, but they seemed too random to fit into a column about baseball. That's why I am just going to rattle off whatever comes into my brain today. Before you say, "hey, he's taking the easy way out! He just doesn't have a good enough idea for a full-on topic!" Well, you're probably right.


I've determined that the George Steinbrenner memorial in Yankee Stadium is the equivalent of 6 normal monuments…That means that Steinbrenner is as good as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson combined…That is, in the eyes of the Steinbrenner family at least, and who could blame them!…Do you think Curtis Granderson gets creeped out knowing that, even though Steinbrenner is dead, he is still watching him and judging him from the centerfield monument…Who would blame him if sometime next season, he turns around and whips a ball at it…Imagine if Steinbrenner was alive today to see this…He would say it's too small, and demand that Monument Park be renamed the George M. Steinbrenner Memorial Park…I was watching the Steinbrenner 30 for 30 documentary, and I noticed something really weird about the Steinbrenner family…This may sound clich├ęd, but they have an uncanny resemblance to the Corleone Crime Family…Vito is obviously George…Michael is Hal (the young up-and-comer who no one expects to take on the responsibilties of the Family business)…Sonny is Hal (the hothead who has vanished off the face of the Earth)…and Jessica Steinbrenner would be Fredo (a gladhander who doesn't get involved in the dirty work; don't betray the Family, Jessica.)…I am not really sure where Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal falls into all this…I guess she is Connie…And Steve Swindal (her ex-husband) is Carlo…Allegedly they got divorced over Steve AKA Carlo’s extra-marital affairs…I’m confused…How did this get past Howie Spira?…I wonder if Steinbrenner had this monument made while he was alive…Would you really be all that surprised if that happened?…


The pennant race in baseball is in full swing…Get it? Full swing?…Good, I am glad you got that joke….I was just thinking about this the other day…Is Jose Bautista the first person to ever hit 50 home runs, and not be mentioned once in any kind of MVP race whatsoever?…To me, Bautista’s fifty is more surprising than Brady Anderson or Luis Gonzalez hitting fifty…Why?…Because this is supposed to be the era where random players do not hit an absurd number of ball out of the park…How can 2010 even be mentioned in the “Best Pitching Season of All-Time” category, if a guy who has not hit a ball to right field in 3 months, has 50 home runs?…I just do not get it…I am sorry, I am still a little rattled after a Madden loss…I take them very, very hard…It is nice that the players no longer run like crippled penguins, but was it necessary to add the impossibility of scoring a touchdown off of a kickoff?…I rarely get to the 15 yard line before my blockers decide “Hey, I’ve done my work for the day!” and allow the entire opposing team and section 7G of the stadium to ambush my returner as if he ran onto the field as a streaker…My guess is that they added this because in Madden 2010, players would regularly average 50.5 yards per return…I cannot decide which was worse…


Where have the Minnesota Twins come from?….I honestly thought they were in last place up until September 1st…They have Justin Morneau out for a majority of the season, and Joe Mauer is about as likely to hit a home run as (Insert Awful Baseball Movie Performance Here)…That team is really all Minnesota has going for it now…The Vikings are in shambles, utter shambles…I was watching Sportscenter today, and they said that Greg Camarillo, a white guy, is Minnesota’s most viable wide receiver option…Now, I am not discriminating against white receivers, but unless your name is Wes Welker or Fred Biletnikoff, then the list of viable white wide receivers is extremely slim…It is kind of like the scene in Airplane! where an elderly woman asks for some “light reading material”…and the stewardess hands her a 4 by 5 inch leaflet entitled “Greatest Jewish Baseball Players”…Back to Minnesota…The T’Wolves are just not very good, and their oldest player is (by my estimation) 21…Apparently they also have a NHL team called the “Wild”…Were they running out of team names when they came up with this?…That is probably the second worst NHL nickname in history, next to only the brief decade where there was a professional sports franchise called “The Mighty Ducks”…How is it that only Kenan Thompson and the main character from Fringe were the only actors to make it “big” (If you call Fat Albert and a low-rated show on network TV “big”)…I could have sworn Goldberg the Goalie would be the biggest star out of that epic franchise…


Should I see The Social Network?…I mean, so far it has had overwhelmingly positive reviews, but I already spend way too much time on Facebook as it is…I do like the idea of putting Justin Timberlake in a role in a movie for once…It only took 100 genius performances on Saturday Night Live for some Hollywood schmos to realize that he might translate to the movies…Why did Shia LaBeouf get to mail in performances and ruin childhood memories (Transformers, Indiana Jones), while JT sat at home plotting SNL Digital Short ideas with (ugh) Andy Samberg…That was some delicious pie I just had…Mmmm….I have spent the whole day thinking about this next idea, but I am not sure if I should reveal it to the public…It involves politics, which I am sure everyone who tunes into a sports column will be juiced up to see…But this is my conscious, and I (for now) can think whatever I want…America’s biggest complain about the government is that the government does not really know what the people want right?…If that was not true, then why does the power in Congress switch over as often as it does?…Anyway, I have an idea that should solve this problem for the time being…Why don’t we have America vote on certain issues in America, American Idol style?…Stop laughing…Stop!…I do not mean have them vote on topics that will A) Affect America’s economy/world standing or B) Have anything to do with national security…Why not have people vote on hot-button issues like stem cell research and the like?…This way, you get to see America’s morality represented as a whole, and not just represented by Bill Right-wing and Mark Left-wing…Doesn’t this seem like a half-way decent idea?…This way, people feel more involved, and I do not have to hear uninformed people talk about why they hate the government… “Well, uh, I do not like it because, uh, they are raising our taxes way too high!”… I heard this from a 16-year-old the other day…


This Weeks NFL Picks…Winners are in Caps…TEN v Nyg…CIN v Car…PIT v. Tb…Buf v NE…Cle v. BAL…Sf v KC…Dal v HOU…DET v Min…ATL v No…WAS v Stl…PHI v Jac…IND v Den…OAK v Ari…SD v Sea…Nyj v MIA…GB v Chi…Season Record: 17-15…Go to Pigskin Pick Em to see my picks against the spread…I am 19-13 there…Follow me on Twitter!…www.twitter.com/theatticfan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Freaking Out Over Week 2

Tampa Bay is 2-0. Let me say that again. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who has one Josh Freeman has a quarterback, is 2-0. What? They are not the only thing that should be surprising NFL fans. This article is kind of a crazy one. My thoughts on the past week have been all over the place. Like I have some huge, in-depth feelings on a few subjects, but on others, I may only have two or three sentences. But I feel strongly no matter what, whether it is 12 words or 120 words. I am going to divide this article into three or four sections. Yeah, I am not really sure yet on how many. Good thing I barely get paid for this. First, we will start off with the teams that need to panic. Like sound the alarm, take cover panic. Second, I will examine why LaDanian Tomlinson has suddenly become a bigger jackass than Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco combined. Finally, I will offer random thoughts about this weekend, which has had me all over the place.

I. To Panic or Not to Panic

New England Patriots- Panic Level: 3

The Patriots, after a great game last week where they dismantled the Bengals, looked awful on Sunday. Disregard Randy Moss’ absurd one-handed catch, and it was an extremely dull game for Pats fans. They had trouble passing, trouble running, and they could not stop the Jets pass rush. On defense, they made Mark Sanchez look better than Akili Smith, which is extremely hard to do. I wonder if Pats fans knew that Sanchez threw for 74 yards in Week 1. When a team has trouble stopping Sanchez through the air, this should be a red flag as far as a secondary is concerned. Plus, I have to hear how great the Jets are for the next week on sports radio and from snarky Jets fans. That is the worst thing of all.

Minnesota Vikings- Panic Level: 5

The Vikings should be in full-on crisis mode. This means sound the alarms and reinforce Sidney Rice’s knee with titanium. The Vikings have looked, at best, dreadful on offense. They have scored 9 and ten points, respectively this season. Or irrespectively, if you are a Vikings fan. Honestly, Sidney Rice’s return in Week 8 means almost nothing in this point. By then, the Vikings will be so far out of any playoff race to even care. They need action, and fast. Whether that is relieving Brad Childress of playcalling duties (Vikings fans might want to relieve him of much worse) or signing Vincent Jackson in the next few weeks, they need to do something. I have had the misfortune of having the Vikings in two featured network games in a row, and it has been extremely painful. If I have to see another game in which there are more Brett Favre commercials than actual points, I may cancel my subscription to network TV. I do not need to see Brett Favre look more out-of-sync than a 70-year-old man listening to gangsta rap for the first time (Maybe mini-camp was necessary). The Vikings are beyond doomed at this point.

Dallas Cowboys- Panic Level: 4

I am not sure if the Cowboys are in as bad as a position as the Vikings (The Cowboys at least showed forms of life sometimes during Sunday’s game), but they still look awful. They let Jay Cutler tear them to shreds like Jeffery Ross at a Comedy Central Roast. Cutler is usually just Lisa Lampenelli (She sucks). If the Cowboys were to not have a fire start under their asses next week, and were to somehow lose, Wade Phillips will be gone. They are wasting such talent on offense and defense by not deciding what type of team they want to be. They have a really good running game, but they only rushed for a little more than 30 yards against the Bears, and never made any real attempt to establish a running attack. Instead, they threw the ball around insanely. Actually, reading those last two sentences back, it seems like they should try to identify themselves differently really. Oh, and by the way, Roy Williams should really stop complaining about not getting the ball enough. If you are going to cough the ball up/drop passes every time the ball comes within 20 yards of you, you have no business even playing professional football.

Cleveland Browns- Panic Level: 2

For any other team, this would be higher. But if you are Brown fan, you knew this year was going to be horrific coming into the season. I would say the only reason it is a 2 and not a 1 is because Seneca Wallace is your quarterback, and he should probably be playing wide receiver for an Arena Football League team. Good God.

Baltimore Ravens- Panic Level: 3

The Ravens barely beat the Jets, and could not beat a Cincinnati team who has not impressed me once this season. They are definitely not as dominate as I thought they would be, and they are no way “The Team that Scares me the Most”. In other news, this is fantastic news for the Steelers! Baltimore barely seems to function offensively, although their defense still has looked solid. Joe Flacco is also having a bust season in what was supposed to be his breakout year.

Carolina Panthers- Panic Level: 4

This team was supposed to be a contender this year (Although a quick search in my archives in my NFL preview shows I never believed the hype. Aren’t I awesome?) and was picked by some to win ten games. They just finished being dismantled by the Buccaneers who, although are 2-0 (See beginning of column) are probably going to fade away after they face teams that are not projected to finish with 4 wins or less (Browns, Carolina). Matt Moore has been nothing short of fantastically awful and now Jimmy Clausen is set to start on Sunday. Who knows, maybe this will help? Probably not.

San Francisco 49ers- Panic Level: 3

They are 0-2, but Alex Smith played surprisingly well last night against a really good Saints team. He was able to institute a pretty solid 4th quarter comeback, that while it did not resemble Montana or Young, it came close to Jeff Garcia’s finest moments. I thought that first loss against the Seahawks was going to kill them. But the division is still very weak and they played inspired football last night. The Niners should not be happy with 0 and 2, but they will have better times to come.

Detroit Lions- Panic Level: 2

Detroit could easily be 2-0, but a serious of dumb decisions and falling behind too early, has dropped them down to 0-2. They need Stafford back, but Detroit really should be kind of happy with the start. Honestly, did Detroit fans really expect a playoff season this year? They have looked decent so far, and far better than I think anyone thought they would be.

Kromartie’s Kidz- Panic Level: 6

Abandon ship! Run for your lives! Call the American Embassy! My second fantasy team has done nothing short of spontaneously combust at this point. I am almost considering taking them out of their misery.

II. This Week’s Bad Role Model: LaDanian Tomlinson?

Yes, LaDanian Tomlinson, one of the NFL’s model citizens, has disgusted me with his play on the field. The only thing LaDainian Tomlinson's 76 yards helped the Jets to their first W of '10. (Getty Images)is, he is not disgusting me the way I thought he would. I assumed that LT would play this year washed-up and maybe get on the field a handful of times. He had other ideas, and is now getting the majority of the carries for the New York Jets. Good for him. My problem with him is, that he goes mentally insane after he has any rush longer than 6 yards. He slaps his head, jitterbugs down the side, and does everything short of Ray Lewis’s introductory dance. He is embodying the art of showing up an opponent better than anyone since Mark Gastineau. Tomlinson is making a fool of himself. Now can somebody go tell LT I feel this way?

Look, I know he wants to prove to a league and fanbase that has written him off, that he still has an extra step. But a guy who reminded us all of his uncanny politeness on the football field, the way a guy like Erik Dickerson or Barry Sanders would, is now embarrassing himself. It is almost kind of sad to see, him losing his grace on the football field showboating menial runs. Good for you, you made it 2nd and 4. Can you just go take a seat, or something?

III. Random Thoughts from Week 2

  1. What is going on Chicago? Mike Martz has brain activity again as the Bears offensive coordinator, and Jay Cutler no longer worries fans that he is drunk while playing Quarterback.
  2. Since when did America officially change Matt Ryan’s nickname to “Matty Ice”? Did I miss something? He now sounds like a type of crappy beer rather than an NFL quarterback.
  3. The Dolphins are 2-0, and leading the AFC East. Just like I predicted. Compliments can be emailed to me, thank you.
  4. Michael Turner put out another poor game, and left early because he “tweaked” his groin. Worst fake 53 dollars I have ever spent.
  5. On Mike Vick: I know Eagles fans will be calling for Vick to start every game from now on. But don’t you think Andy Reid knows this too, and wants this to happen? In the back of his mind, he knows Vick is better than Kevin Kolb, and if he doesn’t he should be fired. But he has to at least give Kolb 2 or 3 more starts. Kolb wilted away on the bench for the past few years, waiting for his cAnswer: He's Nothance. Now, you are not going to start a guy who has patiently waited because he played one bad quarter, and the backup quarterback was able to light up the Detroit Lions. You promised this guy a fair chance. Now this may not seem relevant, and may even seem 5th grade. If you do believe this, you are probably some immoral bozo who has no idea who he is talking about. (Deion Sanders tried to say that the promise meant nothing, last night on NFL Gameday. Can we please reassign Deion Sanders to somewhere where he does not have to embarrass any network he is at with his stupid and uneducated comments? I do not think the NFL Network has a weatherperson.)
  6. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0. Not to be a cocky homer, but we are awesome. They have just finished their toughest two game stretch of the year, and have dominated on defense. We could put Antwaan Randle El in at quarterback, and still win. The Steelers allowed 9 points against Atlanta their first game. Atlanta would score 41 in their next game. The Steelers only allowed 11 (?) points to the Titans on Sunday, who had scored 38 the previous week. Enough said.
  7. Now, if you have not stopped reading because of my unabashed homerism, allow me to briefly comment on Vince Young. Jeff Fisher is an absolute idiot for taking Young out. The Titans did not do much better with Kerry Collins at quarterback. Young was facing one of the best defenses in football. Without Young saving your season last year, Fisher, you do not have a job. You owe it to him to at least let him stay in a 10 point game in Week 2, for God’s sake. Young already has one of the worst psyches in football, you are just ruining his confidence. A pure boneheaded move from Jeff Fisher.
  8. In my NFL Picks: I went 8-7 in my column picks (which had to be moved to Twitter). I somehow, again, went 10-5 in my Pigskin Pick ‘Em. You know what, here is the link for that: Pigskin Pick 'Em. Ah, the wonders of not knowing what you are doing.

Brendan O’Hare writes two to three columns a week for his website: www.theatticfan.blogspot.com. You can also find him on the popular sports website: www.yardbarker.com. Follow Brendan on twitter: www.twitter.com/theatticfan

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Heisman Trust v. Reggie Bush

The Reggie Bush situation is one of the most intriguing things to happen to sports in years. But I am having a lot of trouble deciding on where I stand on this. I do feel like his taking of money does not affect his play at all, but at the same time, a rule is a rule, and he severely broke it. I knew I wanted to write an article on Bush, since this is the biggest current sports story. But I really have no definite feeling one way or the other, but I definitely have feelings about this, if that makes any sense. Okay, that sounded better in my head, but that is the best way to describe it. I am going to attempt to achieve some sort of definite feeling on this topic by the end of this article, so I’ll ask myself some hypothetical questions relating to the subject. But first, a preamble:

PREAMBLE:

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious and meaningful award there is. There is no debate about this. What other sports ceremony, or any ceremony for that matter, can get most of its previous winners to attend. What other ceremony demands an over-the-top hour long special on ESPN. Not even the Noble Peace Prize can pull this off (Why would the Noble Peace Prize be on ESPN anyway?). This award is usually correct too, and not just given to the best player or second-best player on a playoff or championship contender. Actually, usually the Heisman winner is from the best schools, but that is because those schools (The USC’s, the Texas’s of the world), have the resources to go out and recruit the definite best players out of high school. That can never happen in the pro leagues, due to the parity and the fact that top draft picks (The professional equivalents of high recruits), always end up on the worst teams coming into the league. If you win the Heisman Trophy in college, you are remembered forever, and are held within the pantheon of great college players. Ask any NFL fan, and they’ll have no idea who Brian Sipe is. Yes, he won the MVP in 1980, but he is never mention with the all-time pro greats. A Heisman win automatically enters you into the select few in college, and that is why it matters so much.

Does Reggie Bush Truly Believe that He Did Wrong?

I do not really believe he does. The thinking I have with Bush, is the same way most thought when Michael Vick issued his apology for dog fighting right after he was accused and charged of doing so. Like most cynical people, I believed that Vick was sorry he got caught, and I feel the same way with Bush. People’s opinions do not change overnight. Maybe Vick’s 2 year prison stay hardened him into believing he was sorry, but Bush cannot go to prison for what he did. I am not sure if The Heisman Trust or whatever the hell the are called, can really believe that Bush wanted to give back the award. He just did not want the bad press, in my opinion. He did not feel like “Hey, I did something wrong and unfair and I violated the rules. I do not deserve this anymore”. He is just sorry he got caught, so I do not feel like anyone can really accept his “apology”

Should the Heisman Trust Re-Do the Voting?

No. Well, I guess if they were to, this would be the ideal year. 2005 runner-up Vince Young (and presumable winner) has one of the worst psyche’s and self-esteem of any professional athlete of the past ten years. Stepping aside from Young, the Trust made the right choice. There is no point on dwelling on the past. With that said, let’s move on. And continue talking about 2005.

Should Lane Kiffin (USC Head Coach) Be More Upset?

To me, this is the most surprising point of the whole situation. Wouldn’t anybody who has followed sports remotely the past three years believe that Kiffin would chastise Bush until Bush used the Heisman to stab Kiffin in the throat? Oh, that’s just me. Anyway, I though Kiffin would go off on Bush way more than he has. The most he has said is that talking about Bush is pointless, to paraphrase. Has Kiffin even talked to Bush on this? This wouldn’t really be necessary, but Kiffin is the coach that would do something like this. Here is how I imagine the exchange would go:

Bush: Hey Lane-

Kiffin: Mr. Kiffin.

Bush: You’re how old? Anyway, I am here to apologize to you and the university and the players, and really everyone who I-

Kiffin: You’re damn right you are apologizing! (Jumps over table in between them, begins to strangle Bush with telephone cord) You sick son-of-a-

Couldn’t you see this happening? I mean other then fact that Lane Kiffin is using a non-wireless phone in 2010, this is pretty believable right? It’s just me again? Zero for two today. But anyway, Kiffin is one of the most outspoken and feverish coaches in any sport. At the least, you would expect that he demands that Bush apologizes to each and every one of the juniors and seniors, for robbing them of playing in a bowl game. Which Bush should have done anyway, no matter how insane that sounds.

Why Does the NCAA Give Out Seemingly the Same Punishment for Everything?

I bring this up because the NCAA seems to only have one answer to college scandals. You take money and you are done. Look at the Unfortunate Example of Jeremy Bloom (Which sounds like a movie starring Johnny Depp). He took sponsorship money while in college from his lucrative skiing career. Except he was also playing wide receiver for the Colorado Buffalo football team. Apparently, trying to further your career is just as bad as falling into a seedy agent’s trap, which Bush did. This really is the same punishment. You took away Bloom’s football career, and you took the most meaningful sporting award there is out there away from Bush. They have the same degree of consequence. This does not seem right. If you take any money while a collegiate athlete, you are basically screwed. But what Bloom and Bush did are not the same, and the NCAA only has one (wrong) standard.

Did Taking Money Affect His Play on the Field?

Unless that money was directed towards steroids and human growth hormone, then no. This is a pretty big question. If what push did really did not affect his play on the field, then why should his award be taken away in the first place? I know he broke the rules and shattered his ineligibility, but doesn’t this seem a bit harsh? I asked my dad about it, and he said Bush deserved this. I am not sure if I necessarily agree with him. I know that the NCAA’s eligibility rules are stiff. But it seems kind of, well, stupid, for Bush to lose the Heisman for doing something that does not directly influence his play on the field. You cannot inject money, and it wasn’t like Bush was using this to make him a better player. He just bought a nice car and home for his family. He did break the rules, but I do not know if the NCAA should be prosecuting him for something that he did 5 years ago, and as punishment have Bush be pressured into giving away the award. And he was pressured. It just seems like a waste of time at this point, since Bush isn’t even in college anymore.

It almost seems like our justice system trying to prosecute somebody for murder, and that person is dead. So as punishment, they take that person’s Noble Prize away from his family. Now I know the fact that a murderer winning the Noble Prize seems pretty illogical, but this is the best example there is.

Does Taking the Award Away Matter at This Point?

As I said in the last paragraph, I do not think it does. It seems like the NCAA is spending too much time on something like this, and ignoring the issues of illegal recruitment they face everyday. The NCAA is kind of like the anti-MLB, at this point. Major League Baseball, sure they looked into the steroids. But they did not penalize the San Francisco Giants by taking away 2 first round draft picks and having McCovey Cove flood into their ballpark. Major League Baseball did not take Bonds’ name out of the record book. They did not take his 4 MVP awards that he won while on steroids. The NCAA did much more than MLB to combat their most pressing issue. For that, I have to give them credit. But I think that dwelling on the past and penalizing the players and taking the award away from Reggie, just does not matter at this point.

In sum, I think Reggie should keep the award. It took 1,500 words, but I think I figured it out my the end. Basically, the NCAA has better things to do. And same with Reggie, although he deserves the award. I am not sure the Heisman Trust does, however.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Random Awards for Week 1

Week one of football, was in a word, glorious. Except for the fact that the Steelers looked offensively inept, one of my fantasy teams got dumped on (Thanks to Arian Foster, an award winner by the way), and I went 8-8 in my Attic Fan Friday Week 1 picks, making me look like an arrogant jackass for even having the gall to pick teams (I will explain myself in these awards, I hope.) I somehow managed to go 9-7 in a ESPN’s Pigskin Pick ‘Em, even though I have no idea what a spread is. I thought it had to do with food.

Here are the awards:

The Batman Forever Award for Worst Batman:

Winner: Obviously Terrell Owens, who looks to be a repeat winner for the rest of the season. Owens did not live uNothing Says Robin like a Sombrerop to his “Batman” billing, only having 7 catches for 53 yards. If anything, the Robin of the two, Chad Ochocinco, should be looking for a promotion in the twin billing, after he had 12 catches for 159 yards. Note to the two of them for calling Carson Palmer “Alfred”: Absolute genius. Just like in Batman, the “heroes” would not be able to properly function without the guidance of Alfred. Do you think Batman would know how to start the Batmobile without Alfred? Not a chance. Without Palmer, the Terrell Ochocinco show would be a disaster. And Palmer is not even that good. Basically, as long as Trent Edwards is not your quarterback (Like he was for Owens last year), you should be able to keep these two pre-occupied for a few weeks. But after that…

The Oh, Crap Award for Team that I Thought Was Going to Be Awesome:

Winner: The Miami Dolphins. Although San Francisco can make a strong argument, they were the consesus favorite in the NFC West. I went on a limb for Tony Sporano and his band of bumbling, stumbling idiots. I thought Miami had a legitimate chance to win the AFC East, beating out media-darlings New England and (especially) New York. Now I look like a fool, because I thought the Chad Henne era would be in full effect right now. Instead, they beat the worst team in football, the Buffalo Bills, by 5 points. 5 points! They could only drop 15 on a team that is widely considered to be the worst in football this year.

The Dan Fouts Award:

Winner: Peyton Manning. Although Carson Palmer (34-50, 345 yards, 2 TD’s in a loss to New England) is a close runner-up for this award, Manning deserves this award. Not only did he lose to his biggest division rival, he threw the ball 57 times for 433 yards. To qualify for the Dan Fouts Award, you must throw the ball 50 or more times, and you must lose. Easy criteria right? Manning threw the ball 40 more times than his opponent, Matt Schaub. That is ridiculous, especially since Schaub is one of the NFL’s most notorious chuckers, and may have won the Dan Fouts Yearly Award last season.

The Thank God for the Bench in Fantasy Award:

Winner: Michael Turner. A guy who I spent 53 points on in a Saturday fantasy draft, was put on the bench for Sunday’s game against the run-stuffing Steelers. This is the only time I would ever put a high-caliber running back on the bench, is against the Steelers. Turner “dropped” 42 yards on 19 rushes for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Genius move by me. And yes, I would go on to lose that fantasy game. (For my eight readers, it was loss for Kromartie’s Kidz, not the 3 Seahawk reciever disaster that is Little River Band. I hate fantasy football.)

The Guy Who Does Everything But His Main Job Well Award:

Winner: Matt Forte. Forte, the running back for the Bears, had 7 catches for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. He does not play receiver, he plays running back, where he rushed for 50 yards on 17 carries. Unfortunately for the Bears, he is their best receiver, but a crappy running back. In an unrelated story, he also happens to be their best running back. Forte is world-class coming out of the backfield for passes, but if he does not have a monster receiving game like he did Sunday, which will rarely happen, he is useless for the Bears.

The Jackass Award:

Winner: Me. I picked against my favorite team, the Steelers, in the Week 1 Picks column on Friday. I feel like Benedict Arnold, only if Arnold shot George Washington. I know I am a horrible person, let’s move on.

The Most Surprising Injury Award:

Winner: Bob Sanders. Wow, I did not expect Sanders to get hurt. Well, in Week 1 at least. On last night’s Football Night in America on NBC, Peter King said this absolutely absurd statistic: Sanders has missed more games (49) than he has played (48) in his career. Now their are rumors that Sanders may miss the entire season. You cannot help but feel bad for Sanders, who is one of the NFL’s best defensive players.

The Everybody Panic Award:

Winner: The San Francisco 49ers. They say don’t panic after Week 1. Well I am here to tell you that this theory is completely wrong, especially when you lose to the NFL’s team with the least talent, the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers were not just defeated, they were beaten into submission. A 31-6 loss is no way to start the season. Frank Gore played horrifically, and the Niners made Matt Hasslebeck look like 2006 Matt Hasslebeck. But of course, my three-headed mutant combination of Mike Williams, Golden Tate, and John Carlson starting on my fantasy team had performances ranging from mediocre to just plain awful. Is it possible that Pete Carroll will work this time around in the NFL, and not just use it as a hide-out from the NCAA investigations at USC? Well, he is using it for that, but the fact that Carroll led his atrocious team to victory somehow against the division favorites, show that maybe Carroll’s NFL mind has improved since that showing in the mid-90’s.

The Maybe We Should Have Kept the Best Quarterback in Franchise History Award:

Winner: The Philadelphia Eagles. The Oakland Raiders definitely do not win this award. If JaMarcus Russell was starting Sunday, the Raiders would have scored 14 fewer points. And yes, I know they only scored 13. The awful showing from KeviI just saw myself throw!n Kolb on Sunday has to worry Eagles fans and Eagles management. Kolb went 5 for 10 for 24 yards, and threw the ball like Anthony Perkins in Fear Strikes Out. Mike Vick played surprisingly well, which will lead to a situation on Sunday where a quarterback who has been imprisoned for 2 years has a chance to start an NFL game. There has not been this kind of chance since Art Schlichter returned from prison at age 46.

The Eagles probably made the right decision in trading McNabb. He is always going to be a starter for two or three more years, and Kolb has looked good whenever he has started in the past. It was kind of like a more advanced situation of the one that the Arizona Cardinals had. The Cardinals spent such a high draft choice on Leinart, they had to give him (somewhat) of a chance. The Eagles are forced into giving Kolb a chance, since he has been on the bench for years and a 2nd round draft choice was used on him. But the Eagles have to be feeling anxious right about now.

The Least Exciting Debut Award:

Winner: Tim Tebow. Two rushes for two yards.

So give a cheer for the orange and blue
Waving Forever
Forever Pride of old Florida
May She droop never
We'll sing a song for the flag today
Cheer for the team at play
On to the goal we'll fight our way
For Florida!

Woo!Twins!

The Most Spot-On Comparison Award:

Winner: Dan Patrick. Patrick said Oakland Raiders coach Tom Gable “Still looks like John Goodman” on NBC’s Sunday Night in America. Look at the two pictures on the right, and tell me that Patrick is not dead-on.

The Worst Kept Field Award:

Winner: Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field looks like my backyard during the summer. It was spotty, and looked like it could be set on fire if a match were to be dropped on it. Add some foreign orange blobs in both end zones, and you have yourself a barbecue! (Zing!)

The Most Underrated Team Award:

Winner: New England Patriots. Weird to say, huh? The team that won three Super Bowls in the ‘00s (Equally weird to try and say). But did anyone have them winning more than nine games, much less making the playoffs? But the Patriots came to straight-up play. Wes Welker looked like he grew a second ACL. The twin tight end combination of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski look devastating. And the most unproven and worrisome part of their team, the defense, played really well. Tom Brady does look like he is in pissed-off, Mel Gibson in The Patriot after his first son dies, vengeance mode.

(Quick note: I am making a nationwide appeal to make Mel Gibson in The Patriot the standard for supreme vengeance. I just saw it last weekend, and it was an eye-opener. I can’t say enough about the insane, mentally unstable look he gets into his eyes after he breaks down when his second son dies. I have not seen a movie in a while that can mix awful, brutal, gratuitous violence with tear-jerking moments the way The Patriot does. Just that look in his eyes outdoes Tupac’s “Hit ‘em Up” (RIP) rap towards Biggie Smalls and Michael Corleone ordering Fredo’s (RIP) death.)(Writers note: I retract this last statement. Nothing outdoes the death of Fredo.)

The Dennis Green “They are Who we Thought they Were” Award”

Winner: New York Jets. Well, at least this who I thought they would be. I knew that their defense would be absolutely dominating. I also knew that Mark Sanchez would struggle to throw for more than 80 yards a game, just as he did Monday night. It was really a typical game, as I see it, for the Jets this season. They will score few points but they will also allow few points. I know this, and yet I go 8-8 in my picks. I love football.

The Random Player of the Week Award:

Winner: Arian Foster. 231 yards, 3 touchdowns, and contributed to the death of Kromartie’s Kidz in Week 1 fantasy football. Just sayin.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Attic Fan's Week 1 NFL Picks sponsored by Nothing

This is a one-week only column, but since it is Week 1 of the NFL season, I had to give out my picks in complete column form. Otherwise, my picks will be delegated to a quick end-of-column handout. For me, I have picking games since the fourth grade. And yes, I am know that might be illegal.

It all started in said fourth grade, when I entered a random pool as a one-time thing. I won the overall prize, which was 100 dollars. I promptly spent that money on an iPod mini, which broke after a year and may have been intended for women. I digress. The pool then folded, never to be seen again. So now, my 7 year football picking sabbatical is over. The expert is back. Unless I go 2-14 this week and have to give all my picks with lowercase letters and a sense of shame.

The NFL games in Week 1 can be organized into four categories, getting better as you go down the line. Let's start with the worst level:

NFC West:

Arizona v. St. Louis

As I said in a previous column, I am not sure if the removal of Matt Leinart exactly makes the Cardinals a better football team. I lived for the day as a Steeler fan when Derek Anderson would start for the Browns. That being said, the Rams would be better off signing Leinart as a receiver. This should be an awful game, is what I am basically saying. You'd be better off watching Paid Programming.

San Francsisco v. Seattle

San Fran should dominate this game, but if Alex Smith struggles at QB, I would worry about this team. If Smith can't light up the awful Seahawks defense, the Niners should be very, very concerned. Seattle has no weapons on either side of the ball. And yes, I have two receivers and one tight end from the Seahawks starting on my 20-man Fantasy League. It's going to be a long year.

Stinkers:

Cleveland v. Tampa Bay

All right, this one probably could have been in the NFC West category too. Two teams with mediocre quarterbacks and mediocre teams really sounds like a classic NFC West matchup. Instead, this game will settle for being the worst of the Stinkers. I do feel like Cleveland is a little bit more talented (Which is not saying much. That is like saying Nick Cannon is more talented than Bow Wow). Tampa Bay has two quarterbacks named Josh, and zero quarterbacks who will be anywhere near decent this season.

Denver v. Jacksonville

Quick! Ask an average sports fan to name 5 players combined from both teams. I would say you maybe find one person who can name four. Denver has no explosive power from any of the skill positions (Knowshon Moreno? Come on. You're telling me you would rather have him than Jacksonville's running back? Don't kid yourself Denver's imaginary fans I am talking to). Maurice Jones-Drew should have a field day, which is good because David Garrard lost the ability to throw a spiral in 2007.

Detroit v. Chicago

Although I kind of like Detroit, they have to put in the stinkers category because they are playing the Bears. Maybe if the Colts were playing the Bears, it would move up to the next category. But they are not, and the Lions are not the Colts. I am expecting Jay Cutler to have an average game at best, which for him means he'll only throw 3 interceptions on 45 pass attempts. I think Stafford has a good opening day, and the Lions will get some buzz from this game.

San Diego v. Kansas City

Probably the best stinker game, and is really only down here because I ran out of room on the next level. But when you have two AFC West teams "going" at it, it is a pretty easy choice to remove that game. This game should be pretty close, with Kansas City running everywhere and San Diego passing everywhere. Look for no defense and a lot of offense.


Question Marks:

Miami v. Buffalo

An almost stinker, but Miami's talent really intrigues me, as I had them picked to win the AFC East (A pick that I feel I might regret by October). I want to see if Miami can live up to the (my) hype. The only question Buffalo has this season is that if they will win more than two games. They won't win one of them here.

Cincinnati v. New England

Big game for both teams, as both have playoff aspirations. These are the two teams I feel, out of those with playoff hopes, that are most likely to go 8-8. The defining trend for both teams is that they are filled with young and old guys, but no guys in between who are ready to breakout. Come on, is Terrell Owens really that big of an improvement for Cincy? Owens has not been relevant in 3 years, in football or in pop culture. You have no idea what is going on with Carson Palmer, and Cedric Benson became my sworn enemy after the end of last season's fantasy football year. New England has a pissed off Brady and Moss, and a resurgent Welker should make that passing attack flow.

Oakland v. Tennessee

We are going to get a good idea from their first four games. We will determine whether win as underdogs (Tennessee, Houston), and see if they can win as favorites (St. Louis, Arizona). Now this sounds like an obvious statement, and it is. But Oakland had trouble last year winning as a favorite, while beating teams they had no business playing with. I don't think Oakland wins this game, as Tennessee is way too strong for them, but if Oakland can hang in there and win those games against St. Louis and Arizona, they should be a team to look out for.

Carolina v. New York

I have Carolina only winning 4 games in my original NFC preview. But the more I think about it, the better I think they will be. Now, I don't think they'll win anymore than 7, but they will not be the doormats I expected them to be. I am not even certain New York is a better team. But New York remembers that 41-9 thrashing Carolina handed them last year, and it is the opening game in the New Giants Meadowland Stadium sponsored by Metlife. The Giants will be playing pissed off (Eli may not look it, but he will be. I think. Damn it, Eli, show some emotion!), and I think New York wins a close one.

Dallas v. Washington

Dallas should win this game, and pretty easily too. And that is because it is being played in September. Washington is not really sure what kind of team it wants to be, and the whole Haynesworth situation is really putting a damper of Mike Shanahan's first year as Head Coach. The Cowboys are way more talented than the Redskins, and that alone puts them over the hump in this game.


Games You Should Care About:

Indianapolis v. Houston

Huge 1 o'clock game right here. It is time for Houston to decide what it wants to be, because they have been perennial 8-8's and 9-7's each year. It kind of looks like they will be doing that again this year, but a win against Indy would definitely change everyone's perceptions. That won't happen. To me, Houston's last few seasons have been like the Austin Powers trilogy. All of them have had so much hype and people saying how awesome they will be. In reality, they end up being average movies. But they are just average enough so that they give people hope for the next movie. I don't like Austin Powers.

Atlanta v. Pittsburgh

Atlanta will win this. Let's move on. Thanks a lot Big Ben. (Although I do feel like Pitt has a good chance to go 3-1 in his 4 game absence. You have to figure they probably split their two difficult games with Tennessee and Atlanta, so this game could go either way. Although I have a sicking feeling that it will go Atlanta's way.)

Green Bay v. Philadelphia

Bigger game for Green Bay than Philly. Green Bay is everyone's hot pick to win this NFC, due to their unbelievable play in the preseason. If they can put up big numbers against the good Philly D, I will feel a lot better about my Super Bowl (Non-Homer) pick. This should be a high scoring game, as Green Bay and Philly have 2 of the 5 best receiving corps in the NFL. I think Green Bay wins this, as teams are going to have trouble outscoring Green Bay.

Baltimore v. New York

I am hating Jets right now. You guys went 9-7 last season! Your quarterback had a TD-INT ratio of 12-20! You "upgraded" your defense by picking up a washed-up defensive end who has bashed your team and city in the past, and you picked up a cornerback who is more concerned with picking fights with HBO then he is with not getting burnt deep three times a game. Shut up! I think this game quites the Jets fans and the team, as Baltimore will deliver some harsh reality for the Jets.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Schwartz Fall Entertainment Preview

Every once in a while I'll get texts or various other forms of electronic communication from friends asking me if there is anything good on TV or coming out in movies. Why? Because, I, for some reason, give two craps about this stuff. I am not sure why, I probably watch way too much TV and see too many movies. I also have this uncanny ability to remember when stuff premieres. Even if I see a commercial for some God-awful TV show, I remember it. That reminds me, the series premiere of Nikita is on the CW tomorrow. Yeah that's right, the CW is still in business and going strong!

Anyway, why the sudden change from sports to entertainment for a column? Well, that is a simple answer, reader who does not exist. It is the Fall entertainment season, when Hollywood mass-produces pilots and Oscar bait for the anticipating viewers. In the Fall, shows new and old return back to TV, coinciding with the student's return to school. It is always good to have something distract you. On the movie side, studios begin pumping out Oscar-bait and dramatic snoozers, much to everyone's pleasure. I needed to give my Attic Fan approved preview (trademark) for this season, so you can semi-consciously coast through the fall season.

We are going to call these previews "The Schwartz Entertainment Preview" from now on. It is called that because one of my friends, Billy, is the one who probably asks me the most for future viewing advice. He also has seen every episode of Scrubs twelve times. The problem with Billy is that he says his favorite movie of all time is Friday Night Lights, and the funniest movie of all-time is Talladega Nights. That's wrong. So that is why this preview was created, to help viewers out there like Billy stray away from mind-numbing crap. (I like Talladega Nights, but come on, funniest movie of all-time? Let's show some cultural sophistication, Billy. My favorite comedy is Anchorman.)

Let's Start with the Fall Movies.

Sept. 17- The Town

This is given my Attic Fan stamp of approval for most anticipated movie of the Fall. Pretty depressing that it is in the first three weeks of the fall entertainment season, though. This movie is directed by Ben Affleck and stars Affleck, the guy from The Hurt Locker, Don Draper, and Blake Lively. The trailers and now omnipresent commercials look great, and this story about a bank robbery in Boston seems riveting. There, I said it, riveting.

Back to Affleck for a moment. Is there any other movie star out who begs to be loved and thinks he is loved more than Affleck? I mean, Matt Damon has moved on since Good Will Hunting, he would have done The Departed had it been set in North Dakota since he got to work with Martin Scorsese. Affleck seems to make these incessant Boston movies, and appears constantly at Red Sox games, and appears to begs for the love and admiration of his hometown more than any other movie star out there.

Sept. 24- Wall Street 2, Buried

I am not really interested in Wall Street 2. It is the not-so-highly demanded sequel to 1987's original Wall Street, something people weren't exactly begging to see again. I've seen its trailer about seventeen times this summer, since it appears before every movie. I also know that Shia LeBeouf is in it, and he is a jackass.

Buried, on the other hand, looks really good. It is Ryan Reynolds of all people, stuck underground, buried alive. All he has is a few random objects with him, and that is it. I am not sure how the producers will be able to stretch it out for a full 90 minutes, though. Maybe it will only be an hour long, like Dumbo. Or Jonah Hex. (Jonah Hex was a movie that premiered this summer starring Megan Fox and Josh Brolin, which was 82 minutes long and 45 people saw.)

Oct. 1- The Social Network

The trailer for this looks dark and more interesting than the movie will actually be. Let's be honest, how good can this movie about Facebook possibly be? Also, there is the reality that this story may have never actually happened, and was all just fabricated. But I love a movie where Justin Timberlake is it. Timberlake is one of the funniest non-comedians out there, just look up his "Bring it On Down to Omleteville" sketch on Saturday Night Live, where he dresses up as a giant omelet. The Social Network is getting a lot of buzz, although I feel as if it will be a colossal letdown.

October 15- Jackass 3D

This movie won't be winning any awards, but it will win my heart. The thing about Jackass movies, is that they make a buttload of money. And the good one about this one is, it was shot with actual 3D cameras, instead of the 3D being digitally added at the last second, like in Clash of the Titans. I am sure James Cameron will be stoked to see his technology used for stuff like this. He was beyond furious when Piranha 3D was in 3D, so I am sure he'll feel the same way for Jackass.

Also, do you think Steve-O will be as good now that he is no longer drinking 12 beers a day and doing coke in between each stunt? Judging from the stunt in the trailer where he is slingshotted while in a port-a-potty, I think the answer is yes.

October 22- Paranormal Activity 2, Hereafter

I loved the original Paranormal. People were crying in the theater at the end of the movie, they were so scared. But I feel like this one has a Blair Witch 2 vibe going for it. The script was probably written in about 2 hours, and you have one of the Saw directors directing it. This does not sound good.

Is it smart for Paranormal Activity 2: Electric Bugaloo to be going up against what is being called Clint Eastwood's version of The Sixth Sense? A movie that stars Matt Damon? This movie is about three different people coping with deaths and Damon can communicate with the dead. One will be in Oscar contention, the other in Razzie contention.

November 5- Due Date

Todd Phillips, director of Old School and The Hangover (and probably the best comedy director not named Judd Apatow out there), directs another cross-country adventure with Robert Downey and Zach Galifianakis trying to get Downey in time for the birth of his child. Looks pretty funny, and the audience reaction to the trailer at Inception was full of people barrelling over into the aisles with laughter. My only concern is that people will feel that Galifianakis is over-exposed, and grow tired of his shtick. Kind of the way Will Ferrell was over-exposed from 2006-2009, only to make a comeback with this year's The Other Guys. But Phillips is one of the great comedic directors, and should be able to get something other than the usual out of Galifianakis.

Nov. 12- Megamind

A movie starring Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell? Holla! The only problem is that it is an animated kids movie, and no self-respecting adult can really go there without bringing a child. Will Ferrell is "Megamind" a villain who is the main character. Sounds like Despicable Me, a movie I am sure all my 12 readers saw.

Nov. 19- Harry Potter 7 Part I

I've read all the Harry Potter books (Fun fact about me #76) but I have only seen about 3 of the movies. Why? They take two and a half hours telling a story that I already know the ending to. That being said, I am excited for this one just because it is the final chapter in the Harry Potter epic. I am surprised that this has not been getting Oscar buzz. Usual the Harry Potter films are well-told and well-acted and get good reviews. Usually when a classic saga drawing to a close (Think Lord of the Rings, heck, even Godfather 3 got a Best Picture nod somehow), they are given respect.

Dec. 10- The Fighter

A movie that has Mark Wahlberg playing a boxer whose nickname is just "Irish". That alone makes me want to see it.

Dec. 17- Tron, How Do You Know?, Yogi Bear

This day has three movies coming out. Tron is yet another 80's movie being remade with no real demand for it. How Do You Know is written and directed by James L. Brooks and focuses on a love triangle between Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson (Who plays a relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals. Will he throw like a girl or a guy is probably the biggest question of the film.) And they made a movie version of Yogi Bear, for some reason.

Winter begins on December 21st this year, so all movies afterwards are eliminated.

*******

TV Preview

We are going to break this TV Preview down into two sections. New and returning shows, and we'll start with the returning shows. Hooray! (Keep in mind that these are just shows I care about. I don't know or care when CSI is returning, you'll have to look that up for yourself).

Sept. 15- Survivor Nicaragua

Jimmie Johnson is on the show. My guess is that Johnson will be like Piggy in Lord of the Flies, in that he will be made fun of and almost eaten a few times. But he won't have anything of meaning to say.

Sept. 16- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

My vote for funniest current show on TV, just ahead of Modern Family and 30 Rock.

Sept. 22- Modern Family

Emmy winner for Best Comedy, but that does not matter since the Golden Globes said Glee was. (Spoiler Alert: No one cares about the Emmys) Damn you Golden Globes!

Sept. 23- 30 Rock

This show seems to be losing steam in the public eye, which is not good for a show that barely gets anyone to watch it in the first place. Me, I still love it, and love whenever Tracy Morgan is on screen. "Interesting. And I've got to win an Oscar somehow. It's either this or submit that animated film I drew about the Holocaust." Ha! Classic.

Sept. 25- Saturday Night Live

Let's be honest, if this show went off the air, would anyone notice? This cast now is subpar at best, and it relies on guests hosts way too much. I still watch it, but only if there is a decent guest host, because I know that they will appear in 90% of the sketches.

Sept. 26- The Simpsons, Eastbound & Down

That's right, I still watch The Simpsons! At least the first couple episodes of every new season, anyway. Then I get caught up in some episode that may or may not have aired during Season 4 and realize the new episodes are all crap.

Eastbound and Down is funny. Not that funny, but it's funny enough to keep my attention for 26 minutes.

New Shows.

The new shows can always be categorized into seven sections.

1) Shows that will be award winners- (Boardwalk Empire, HBO)

2) Shows that will be good, but will be cancelled within 5 weeks (Lone Star, FOX)

3) Remakes or Spin-Offs (Hawaii Five-O, CBS. Law & Order: Los Angeles, NBC)

4) Moderately Entertaining Shows, but nothing special (No Ordinary Family, ABC)

5) Lost Rip-Offs (The Event, NBC)

6) Crime Dramas that Everyone Likes But Me (Detroit 1-8-7, ABC)

7) Are they Making this Show Just to Piss Me Off? (S$%! My Dad Says, The Defenders, CBS)

*******
Oh yeah! There is a football game tomorrow! I have the Saints defeating the Vikings. Come back Friday for my full list of NFL picks. Please.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A.J. Burnett and Why "The Year of the Pitcher" is Not for Everyone

I. Brutal Burnett Starts on Baseball's Best Team

Watching A.J. Burnett pitch is one of the most difficult things I do in my daily routine. It takes supreme effort and concentration not to drive to Yankee Stadium myself and physically remove him from the ballgame. Whether it is the fact that he kills the bullpen in his starts, or the fact that only time he ever throws a strike is on pitches right down the heart of the plate, Burnett is the Yankees most infuriating everyday player (Well, either him, Joba Chamberlain or Javier Vazquez. Hey they're all pitchers!). Burnett has somehow managed to go 10-12 on a baseball team that has the best record his baseball. He leads the majors in hit by pitches and has an ugly 5.15 ERA. Out of 27 starts, only 13 can be considered "quality starts" (6 innings of 3 runs or less). The Yankees are 12-15 when he pitches. When Sports Illustrated had their July 5th issue first bring about the topic of "The Year of the Pitcher", Burnett was nowhere to be found. If the "Year of the Pitcher" was the Godfather 2, Burnett would be Talia Shire. God, I am getting mean right now, so I will stop while I am ahead. Maybe Burnett will pitch halfway decent in this year's playoffs. But then again, he was awful in the 2009 playoffs, his only postseason experience. So maybe not.

You may say, "Burnett is just one guy, in the grand scheme of things, the Year of the Pitcher is still alive and well and flourishing and kicking ass". Well that may be the case, but just for some. Burnett is the starting pitcher on the most high-profile sports team in North America. He gets run support almost everytime out there. But the fact that he struggles means that the Year of the Pitcher is not a universal title, and that is what this article will try to prove.

II. Where's the Team Success in All This?

The one big misnomer in all this "Best-Pitching-Season-Since-1967" talk is the lack of team success that the seemingly elite pitchers are having. Disregarding C.C. Sabathia (the Yankees good pitcher with initials as their first name), team success has been down for baseball's elite pitchers.

Josh Johnson: 11-6, 2.30 ERA. Team is 15-13 in his starts.

Ubaldo Jiminez: 17-6, 2.69 ERA. Team is 19-8 in his starts

Roy Halladay: 17-10, 2.36 ERA. Team is 18-11 in his starts

Tim Lincecum: 12-9, 3.68 ERA. Team is 17-11 in his starts.

Felix Hernandez: 10-10, 2.38 ERA. Team is 14-15 in his starts.

Obviously the two big ones there are Johnson and Hernandez. Even though the two of them have two of the best ERA's in baseball, their team records in their starts combined is 29-28, which is not very good. Ultimately, their phenomenal ERA and strikeouts mean nothing in the total team picture. It's kind of like Johnny Depp in those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He does all he can to make those movies decent, and they are still mediocre at best. He puts up great numbers, but the overall product is "eh". I like to akin Depp to Felix Hernandez this season. ESPN's Buster Olney said Hernandez should be this season's AL Cy Young Winner. A guy whose team is sub-.500 in his starts should not win the Cy Young. He should be mentioned, sure, make him feel special. But he should not win if the overall product is not somewhat decent. It is like when Depp was nominated for Best Actor in 2003 for the first Pirates of the Caribbean. He had no chance of winning, but it was nice to mentioned.

Isn't the point of being a good pitcher is to help your team win? Isn't that the point of baseball. You are not paid to have a nice WHIP, you are paid to help your team win. The object of baseball is to score more runs than the opponent. If you are a pitcher with a record like Felix's, in my opinion, you have no business being in the discussion for Cy Young. How can you be considered the best pitcher in baseball if you only have 10 wins?

If the team is not succeeding even if you are doing well, it means nothing. Absolutely nothing. Ask of either of the two I just mentioned, and they would rather be in Burnett's position. Okay, maybe do a little better than Burnett, but I digress.

III. High Caliber Struggling

This has definitely not been the Year of the Pitcher (You know what I am sick of writing that out, it will be now known as "Y.O.P."), for one Tim Lincecum. The 2-time reigning Cy Young winner is having the worst season of his professional career in a season where many are having their best. Lincecum is 12-9 with an astronomical 3.68 ERA. In August, Lincecum had a month pitchers have nightmares about. His starts went like this:

Aug 5: (2-3 L v. ATL) 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 SO, 104 pitches

Aug 10: (6-8 L v. CHC) 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 SO, 89 pitches
Aug 15: (2-8 L v. SD) 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 SO, 93 pitches

Aug 21: (1-5 L v. STL) 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 SO, 91 pitches

Aug 27: (0-6 L v. ARI) 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 so, 105 pitches

Lincecum saw his ERA jump up .65 points, and he went 0-5 in the month of August. Now, Lincecum was able to rebound from this horrid month with a decent first start in September, pitching 8 innings of 1 run ball in a win over the Rockies, but Lincecum has had a subpar year all-around. As one of the elite pitchers in baseball, Lincecum is faltering. But why? One of the main reasons people bring up is his strange throwing motion may finally be coming back to haunt him, but I am not sure that is the case. He throws over 90 pitches almost everytime he throws, but he throws them all in a short amount of innings, putting up Phil Hughes-esque pitches to innings ratios. My guess is that maybe hitters have figured him out. It is his fourth season in the league, maybe hitters are catching on to him. That has to seem like the most logical explanation, right?

You may say that Tim Lincecum is the only example you give, what are you trying to pull. The point is I do not need anymore examples other than Lincecum, considered the best pitcher in the National League two seasons in a row. If you really want another example, look at John Lackey and Josh Beckett in Boston, doing their best to kill Red Sox fans souls everytime they pitch. Johan Santana is only 11-9 this season, and while that is due to lack of run support, he does not generate that "Ace" pitching buzz anymore when he steps on the hill. That role may have been relegated to, God forbid, R.A. Dickey. (There is a disturbing trend in this article today that includes pitchers with initials for first names.)

IV. Faltering Since the All-Star Break

Well maybe not the All-Star break, but since the Sports Illustrated July 5th issue came out. But All-Star Break sounded better. Let's use the three "cover boys" from that issue as examples.

Ubaldo Jiminez has gone 7-5 and has seen his ERA go up 1.91 points.
Josh Johnson has gone 5-4 and has seen his ERA go up .20 points.

Roy Halladay has gone 9-7 and has seen his ERA go up .33 points.

The three have gone a combined 21-16 since the issue came out and all three have seen an increase in ERA. The reason? The hitters are getting back in the swing of things. Get it? The swing? Nevermind. Let's use the NL as an example. Since July 1, the NL has seen a sharp increase in Home runs, OBP, Slugging percentage, and total bases per month. The NL is where most of the dominant pitchers hail from, and where all 3 of the July 5 cover boys play. It looks like the majority of hitters were having Mark Teixeria like starts to the season, where they could not hit anything. Now, it looks like balance has been restored back in the game.

V. Conclusion

Calling this the Y.O.P. was wrong from the start, as there is only one Y.O.P., and that is 1968. Look at the batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage splits from the two.

2010: .259/.327/.405

1968: .237/.299/.340

1968 looks like Yuniskey Betancourt, while 2010 is just Raul Ibanez. But there is no doubt about it, this is one of the best pitching seasons in years, due to the lack of performance-enhancing drugs. Or maybe the players aren't trying hard enough, I'm not sure. I am just saying the Y.O.P. may just be overhyped. When you look at a guy like A.J. Burnett, no way is he having his best ever year. Some guys may have good numbers, but that does not necessarily translate to team success. Tim Lincecum is having one of his worst professional seasons. And since that SI issue, the numbers of the three cover boys have all decreased dramatically. I am just trying to say that it hasn't been no-hitters and perfect games for everybody.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Attic Fan's Colossal NFL Preview: Part II: The NFC

It's Byong Sun time! In case you missed Monday's column (The link is http://theatticfan.blogspot.com/2010/08/attic-fans-colossal-nfl-preview-part-i.htmleview-part-i.html), I compared the AFC-NFC conference combo to the mega-person created in Kicking and Screaming. The AFC was the much larger Ambrose, while the NFC was the smaller Byong-Sun. That does not mean Byong-Sun does not lack some punch. The NFC won the Super Bowl last year, and according to my Attic Fan projections, it will so again this season.

The NFC is extremely top-heavy. Take a division like the NFC West, where the projected winner is supposed to be 12-4, while all the other teams are sub-.500. There are six projected teams with 5 wins or less, but 3 with 12 wins. This is the Eastern Conference of the NFL. Just like the NBA's East, the top 4 teams are loaded with talent and will get over 50+ wins. But the bottom teams are putrid, and are widely considered the worst in the entire league. Whereas the AFC would have divisions with 3 above .500 teams, that is never found once in the NFC. That either means the teams are so good they just beat up on each other for the entire the entire season, or they are all just extremely bad. The latter is probably more likely.

Without further ado...

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

Lately I have been worrying a little bit about Kevin Kolb. I am not entirely sold on the fact that he can lead this team to a division title, as they were so reliant on the pass last year. Kolb is going to throw the ball a hell of a lot, but I worry due to the fact that he has never done anything close to what he is going to have to do this season. For some reassurance, I contacted my friend KD to see what he had to say on the Eagles. Like most Eagles fans, KD likes to talk about the Eagles. And talk and talk:

"I think they will be decent but nothing amazing.Look at a year they had last year...its gonna be around the same record just with a new QB. Kolb just has to get the ball to playmakers like Jackson and they'll score points...They're still gonna pass 90% of the time, McCoy can only be so good...They are gonna throw a lot of screens...And make sure you aren't nice to McNabb in your article".

The problem I have with the Eagles is this "pass 90% of the time" and "score in 4 plays or less" mantra they seemed to have last year. They probably will not be able to that again. But I feel if Kolb plays good, and their always stellar defense shows up, this should be a team to look out for.

2. Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

The bandwagon for this team left the station in about May, but I did not board with everyone else. This team will score points, there is no doubt about that. But they are one Felix Jones or Marion Barber injury away from relying solely on the pass, and I am not sure the Cowboys receivers other than Miles Austin are ready for that. Their defense is average at best. I do think if this team should stay healthy, they will be good. Tony Romo is far better than people give him credit for. It just falls back on the injury issue.

3. New York Giants (8-8)

This team could be a lot worse. Why do I even have them winning 8 wins, if I am not sure they can even get there? Other than Ahmad Bradshaw, they have no discernible game-breakers on offense. Their receiving CORPS is really reliant on a bunch of second-year guys. The defense does not really seem to have an identity, which sums up the Giants. There is no identity for this team. You are not really sure if they are a passing team, a running team, or a defense team, which is not necessarily a good thing. A team that does not know what it is or what it should be usually has trouble winning games.

4. Washington Redskins (5-11)

If the Raiders are considered to be better off with Jason Campbell as their quarterback, and the Redskins are considered to be better off with Donavan McNabb as their quarterback, shouldn't the Redskins be better than the (supposedly) 7-9 Raiders? Not really. For starters, the Redskins do not have the luxury of playing in the AFC West. They also will have some kind of ugly, mutant running back combo which will include either Larry Johnson, Willie Parker and Clinton Portis, all three who are past their prime. It would be like filming a movie today with Ralph Macchio and Tara Reid. Guys who had lots of potential previously, but just lost it due to overexposure and just being plain annoying. And the movie would probably go straight-to-DVD. So I do not like the Redskins, is what I'm basically saying.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (12-4)

I love this team. Really, I do. It was not just their 59 point outburst they had this preseason against the Colts, but a collection of things. They can score probably better than anybody in this league. They provide the most formidable receiving corps since New England's 2007 explosion. Their defense is "eh" at best but the offense will keep them in every single game. If you want to beat the Packers, you are going to have to score at least 30, and that is something Packers fans have not heard in about ten years. I also like their running back Ryan Grant a lot, and he gives the Packers a lot of depth on the offense side of the ball. It will be a huge year for the Packers in a division that seems to be getting worse and worse every single day.

2. Minnesota Vikings (9-7)

Can't you see Brett Favre pulling a GOB Bluth after he heard that Sidney Rice would be out eight weeks? "I've made a huge mistake". Not only that, but Percy Harvin cannot think clearly, and now Javon Walker has been brought in to save the franchise. That last part was not a joke. Their defense is getting old, including the 74 year old Williams brothers anchoring the defensive line. Depending on where you stand, that anchor reference could be good or bad. But still, when you have Adrian Peterson, you will still win football games. Even if Brett Favre plays the season on one good foot and one disgusting foot with his ankle the size of LeBron James' ego, that should still be good for a couple of wins. The injuries kill this team, probably worse than any one in the NFL.

3. Chicago Bears (7-9)

Another team where I say to my self, "Maybe 7 wins is too much for them." Jay Cutler is the M. Night Shamaylan of the NFL, where he gets worse and worse every season. Their receiving core is basically a list of "Sleeper" fantasy picks, which is not necessarily a good thing (I've seen Johnny Knox and Devin Amoshadodudodo on every list, to the point of extreme annoyance). The defense is no longer considered The Monsters of the Midway. This team will get into a lot of shootouts and with Jay Cutler, that only increases the likelihood that he will average four interceptions a game and make a run at George Blanda's record setting 42 interceptions in 1962. That last part was not a joke.

4. Detroit Lions (5-11)

I like the Lions! That sounds like a strange statement saying that just a line above, I have them only winning 5 games. But this is definitely a team on the uprise. Let me give you the 4 reasons why the Detroit Lions will be a Super Bowl contender within 5 years.

1) Defensive Line: Kyle Vanden Bosch has looked like a force this preseason, and Suh will be a pro bowler within 3 years. Suh may be a nice guy off the field, but did you see his absurd manhandling of Browns QB Jake Delhomme last week? I thought Delhomme had suffered a career-ending injury. Suh possesses that instinct which is to just flat-out destroy.

2) The Emerging Matthew Stafford: Stafford showed guts last season, playing with a bum shoulder. He also showed skill, including that game where he had 422 passing yards and 5 TD's. Sure it was against the Browns, but he still looked phenomenal.

3) Skill Players: Calvin Johnson is a athletic freak at wide receiver and Jahvid Best is a budding superstar at running back. If they use Best wisely this year (which means avoiding his constant injuries), that should set them up nicely for the future

4) Jim Schwartz: The defensive coordinator of the Titans for 8 years, Schwartz is one of the better defensive minds out there. The players seem to like him and his football mind. Which is good, I guess. You also get the feeling that he knows what he is doing, and that is something the Lions organization has not had since the Clinton administration. And they barely had it there.

After all those reason, you may ask, why are the Lions projected to go 5-11? They are still a few years away. But when they get there, they will be good.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints (12-4)

The biggest worry in the media today seems to be the infamous "Super Bowl Hangover", which is starting to turn into "The Madden Curse" by how much it is referenced. I decided to do some research to see if the "Hangover" was real. It is not really all that really. Unless you are the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Hangover is basically non-existent. This makes sense, because up until now I too believed in this "hangover", largely because the Steelers always faltered the year after they won. Maybe this "Hangover" is true for Pittsburgh, but not for other franchises. Not including Pittsburgh, only one team in the past ten years has not won over nine games, and that was the horrible 2003 Tampa Bay team, that won the forgotten 2002 Super Bowl. The Saints should and will be fine. Their offense will outweigh their average defense, and Drew Brees will put up absurd numbers again. There is nothing to worry about.

2. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)

If Matt Ryan can take the famous "jump", where a quarterback becomes great, Atlanta should be a great team. If Michael Turner can stay healthy, Atlanta should be a great team. The problem with Atlanta is that it relies heavily on those two "ifs", both of which are currently 50-50 at this point. But you have to believe that if both "ifs" can come true, they will give New Orleans hell. I am not crazy about their young defense, but if that can be somewhat decent, Atlanta should be a great team. Jesus, that is a lot of "ifs". I think their should be a rule that if you have over two "ifs" on your team, you are in a little trouble. I might be reconsidering those 10 wins.

3. Carolina Panthers (4-12)

What a drop from 2 to 3. Do I really trust Matt Moore at quarterback? The correct answer to that question is no. Steve Smith seems to have entered this weird state of limbo where he really is not relevant around the NFL anymore, and only good for doing weird things. I worry that Steve Smith is becoming the Clinton Portis of wide receivers, and will become him this year with a strange quarterback situation. You have to love the running backs they have, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Those two alone win them a few games. But the no-name defense really kills them here. I do buy John Fox as a coach, he is one of the few great coaches remaining. If Moore can play the way he did at the end of last season, then maybe they'll win more than 4. But I cannot see that happening.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13)

It appears that Josh Freeman's fractured thumb should be ready in time for the season opener, but does that really matter? Honestly? Their running attack is weak, their best passing option is Kellen Winslow (Gah!). They have an above-average secondary led by Ronde Barber, but they have one of the worst defensive lines in the game and put no pressure on the quarterback whatsoever. Maybe they'll wear those orange jerseys this year, those are always fan favorites.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)


12 wins? What? Believe it. But I hate myself for this pick. They will live off of going 6-0 in the horrible division that is the NFC West. They get the Rams, Rams and Seahawks six times this season. Six! They have one of the best defenses in football led by non-human Patrick Willis at linebacker. The problem is really Alex Smith, who is really trying his hardest to be considered a bust in the NFL. If he even has at least an average season this year, the 49ers should be a difficult team to beat. Plus they have Frank Gore at running, who without injuries is one of the best in the game.

2. Arizona Cardinals (7-9)

I am not sure if the recent news of Matt Leinart's possible trade status is good or bad for this team. On the good side, Matt Leinart sucks. On the bad side, so does Derek Anderson. At least Anderson has experience. His 2007 29 touchdown Pro Bowl season is the NFL's last decade version of Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs in 1996. Maybe Anderson has some magic left, but I am not sure. As a Steelers fan, I love Whisenhut as a coach. His leaving the Steelers kills me everytime I see a close-up shot of Bruce Arians on the sideline. The Cards still have Larry Fitzgerald, and Beanie Wells should have a decent season. But the quarterback situation is just ugly. Like really, really ugly.

3. St. Louis Rams (5-11)


Once again, maybe I am too high on this team. That is weird to say for a team that I project to only win 5 games, but it is true. Their number one receiver is out for the season, and that kills Sam Bradford's first season right there. Not that it was going to be all that great anyway, with the horrific offensive line and what not. I do think Bradford was the clear choice at number one, and the Rams needed a franchise player, due to the inevitable fact that running back Steven Jackson's legs will eventually fall off. Now all they need is a receiver, an offensive line, a defensive line, linebackers, a secondary, a kicker, a coach, some fans, a better stadium, and hope. But we're getting somewhere.

4. Seattle Seahawks (3-13)

I feel like starting a game show where contestants have to name three players who play for the Seahawks. I guess this would work for the Rams too, but the Seahawks do not seem to have any discernible talent whatsoever. The fact that Pete Carroll would leave USC to go to this team with seemingly no future kind of clinches the fact that maybe Carroll participated in shady activities while being head coach of USC. Carroll brings his woo-hoo attitude up to Seattle, and will try to rejuvenate a lost franchise. They have some good receivers, but Matt Hasselbeck is nowhere near the way he used to be. This team is the worst in the worst division in football.

Playoffs:


Wildcard:


Falcons v. 49ers

Cowboys v. Eagles


Divisional


49ers v. Saints

Cowboys v. Packers

Conference

Packers v. Saints


SUPER BOWL

(non-homer edition)

Colts v. Packers

(homer edition)

Steelers v. Packers

There you have it. According to me, the Packers will win the Super Bowl. Or the Steelers, depending on which edition you find the most trustworthy. Peter King totally stole my thunder on the Homer Pick by the way. Damn it!