Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Awards

Photo from clintsalter.com
Ah, we've reached the end of 2013. Finally. After 12 long months. 365 grueling days of failure and triumph, winning and losing. It's been quite the ride in the world of sports this year, and it's time to look back on the best, and the worst moments and performances over the past calendar year in the world of sports.

Let's begin with some of the smaller awards.

Worst Team
  • Houston Texans. Everything just fell apart for this team which looked like a Super Bowl contender in the preseason. Matt Schaub regressed mightily, and the team had to eventually bench him for undrafted Case Keenum. After starting 2-0, they lost 14 straight, even having to fire their coach, Gary Kubiak after their Week 14 loss. 
  • Charlotte Bobcats. They didn't have the worst record in the 2012-13 NBA season, but they certainly were less talented than the Orlando Magic. They were just bad; there wasn't much talent, at least before Al Jefferson showed up, and the pieces didn't fit well at all. Fun times. 
  • Florida Panthers. Awful goaltending and defense and, outside of Kris Versteeg, Tomas Kopecky, and Jonathan Huberdeau, inept offense led to the Panthers having the fewest points in last year's lockout shortened NHL season. 
  • Houston Astros. Wow, tough year for Houston! Not only did their football team fall apart at the seams, their baseball team was far and away the worst. But at least there's a direction for this franchise...
And the winner is...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 17

Receivers Brandon Marshall (FANTASY TEAM ALERT!) and Alshon Jeffery (FANTASY TEAM ALERT!) will help the Bears surprise the returning Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Chicago this week, propelling them into the playoffs. Photo from philadelphiaeagles.com 
So, I picked the Dolphins last week in Buffalo. I had a bit of trepidation as I was writing that, but, I felt better about them than taking the Bills to cover. So what do you know? They decided to score 0 points. Thanks.

In usual Cowboys fashion, they won, but figured out a way not to cover against an awful Washington team.

I came out with a one point win in Carolina, which also propelled them to the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Once again, rolling with the Jaguars had great results for me, as they got me a one point victory as well.

I'm so incredibly done with the 2013 Lions. At least the Cowboys have a chance to salvage their season, and they didn't benefit from having the starting quarterbacks of both the Giants and Eagles get hurt for a good amount of the stretch run (well, Eli Manning may as well be hurt the way he's playing). Jim Schwartz should never get another head coaching job in the NFL. It's a disgrace that this Lions team, with all of its offensive talent, and one of the best defensive lines in football, should be 7-8. With their playoff hopes on the line, they lost in the Giants. Wow.

I'm not saying I called the Cardinals beating the Seahawks in Seattle last week, but I did say that they should keep it close. And that deserves some credit, right?

Speaking of keeping it close, the Ravens didn't against the Patriots. Unfortunately, I picked the Ravens in that contest. But, to balance it out, I picked the Eagles in what turned out to be a complete blowout.

I went 8-8 last week, putting me at 123-112-5 on the season. Let's end the year on a high note, and send it into the playoffs with some momentum!

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Week 17 Preview: Jets at Dolphins, Second of Many, Eh This Team is Fine Articles

Geno Smith will have a good day for the Jets, but in the end, they will fall to the Dolphins. Photo from fancloud.com
Jets: None.

Dolphins: None.

Jets: None.

Dolphins: None.

Jets: DB Ellis Lankster (jaw)

Dolphins: RB Daniel Thomas (ankle)

Jets: One final time this year, the Jets have listed an ungodly number of players as probable. They're all playing. Whatever.

Dolphins: S Chris Clemons (knee/hamstring), WR Brian Hartline (knee), S Don Jones (elbow/abdomen), LB Koa Misi (triceps), WR Marlon Moore (wrist), DT Jared Odrick (wrist), DT Paul Soliai (ankle), QB Ryan Tannehill (knee), CB Jamar Taylor (hamstring)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Potential Trades for the Mets

Now that the free agency period has certainly died down a bit, it's time for fans to sit around and hope that their team makes a splash with a trade. As for the Mets, they have a very weird roster construction. There are a lot of changes that can be made, but it will take a lot of savvy for Sandy Alderson to pull them off. Here are some of the rumored possibilities, along with my own suggestions that I feel can help the team, and of course, my thoughts on all of these potential moves.

Week 16 Preview: Browns at Jets, Second of Many, The Carnage!!! Articles

Will Antonio Cromartie step it up and slow down standout receiver Josh Gordon today? Photo from ocnnreport.com
Browns: WR Davone Bess (not injury related), TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), OL John Greco (knee), TE Andre Smith (calf)

Jets: None

Browns: None

Jets: None

Browns: CB Joe Haden (hip)

Jets: None

Browns: LB Tank Carder (shoulder), P Spencer Lanning (knee), LB Eric Martin (illness), RB Willis McGahee (concussion/knee), DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf), OL Mitchell Schwartz (toe), T Joe Thomas (back), DB T.J. Ward (shoulder)

Jets: Everyone. The Jets are fighting to the end on this injury report nonsense

NFL Picks: Week 16

After beating the Bears tonight, Eagles coach Chip Kelly can let his team snack on some well deserved cookies. Photo from fishduck.com
I went 9-7 last week, which may have been one of the weirdest that I have experienced in terms of my picks.

First of all, the Broncos losing outright to the Chargers in Denver is pretty weird, and impossible to predict. Then, in what I thought was a pretty easy game to call, the Patriots lost to the Dolphins. I understood why the Dolphins were favored, because, the Pats aren't as great without Rob Gronkowski, but at the same time, I didn't expect the Patriots to lose. By the way, how 'bout them Dolphins possibly making the playoffs?

Of course, one of the weirdest results ever took place in Minnesota, with Matt Cassel throwing for 382 yards, while third string running back Matt Asiata scored thrice, despite averaging only 1.7 yards per carry. Now, tell me, what the hell was this? The Vikings, whose quarterback situation has been about as stable as 2011 Charlie Sheen, and were missing their top two running backs, one of whom being reigning MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and someone who is in the discussion for the most unstoppable force in the history of the league, and literally the only player on the offense that scares other teams: Adrian Peterson. And somehow they 48 on, albeit a bad Eagles defense. I don't understand that, and there's not much more I can say about that game other than the fact that apparently logic was too lazy to make its way to Minnesota on Sunday.

The Saints game wasn't shocking, but certainly unexpected. The Rams are one of the most inconsistent teams in the league, and the Saints are simply a worse team when they play away from New Orleans. Then, Andy Dalton turned into Bad Andy Dalton and the Bengals were down big early on Sunday night against the Steelers. That was another pretty unexpected loss, but again, not shocking.

Geno Smith played horribly, and the Jets somehow pulled out a nonsensical backdoor cover. It still doesn't make sense to me how they put up 20 points in Carolina with Geno playing so poorly. But whatever, I'll take it, especially after what happened in Dallas...

This was a disgraceful performance by the Cowboys in the second half. I know you've heard it all week, but there's no reason why, with star running back Demarco Murray averaging 7.4 yards per carry, and a 23 point lead on Matt Flynn and the Packers, the Cowboys stopped running the ball. This isn't an issue of trusting Tony Romo or not, but rather, common sense and clock management. Then there's Monte Kiffin's defense. What a joke that has been this year, culminating in allowing Matt Flynn to put up 34 points in the second half. That may have been the most disappointing 30 minutes in recent football history, and Dallas should be embarrassed by that display. The team is too talented to be so mediocre, and the only person to thank for that is Jerry Jones. Jason Garrett is done after this season. That is, if Jones were smart enough to get rid of his guy. But don't put anything past Jerry.

There was so Thursday night game this week, so I'll jump straight into the Week 16 slate. Currently, I stand at 115-104-5 on the season. I'm well on my way to a +.500 year, which is pretty good. Shall we?

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 15 Preview: Jets at Panthers, The First and Probably Last, "Yes, Encouragement!" Articles

I expected the Jets to control the game last week, and the fact that they did was a great sign for the rest of the year and their future. Geno Smith still made some horrible throws, but at the same time looked like not only an NFL quarterback, but a pretty good one, for most of the game. It was great to see him shake off whatever had been plaguing him the last few weeks and pull out a performance like that. He showcased all of his skills: his deep throw ability, his accuracy, and his mobility. That doesn't necessarily mean that he won't fall into another slump this week, but rather that he has the bounce back ability that an NFL quarterback requires. He regained his confidence, and it showed.

Geno leads his Jets into a very tough matchup in Carolina this week, against the second best run defense in the league, and a team that forces a lot of turnovers. That doesn't bode well for the Jets, because that means that Geno Smith will have to play great to have a chance in this one.

As for the Panthers side of the ball, the Jets have the best run defense in the league and it's not very close. Credit Rex Ryan for putting together such a dominant defensive line to give his team a major strength. They do at least one thing at an elite level, which is more than can be said about most teams. Luckily, that strength will be in full force today because the Panthers are better when they are running the ball. Cam Newton is great at both passing and running, but outside of Greg Olsen and Steve Smith, who has been pretty inconsistent this year, he doesn't have much by way of weapons. Certainly, he has big play ability, and as I've said, the Jets are vulnerable in that area, but there's no guarantee.

Overall, the Panthers are one of the best teams in the NFL. But, as for today, the Jets have the ability to stop the run better than anyone else, creating a bad matchup for the Panthers. This will be closer than you think, but still a Carolina victory.

Jets (+10.5) over PANTHERS.

Panthers 24, Jets 17

NFL Picks: Week 15

I have a lot of work to get done before Winter Break, so, Super-Duper Quick Picks this week, starting with Thursday night:
Naturally, I start off the week with an outright loss. that puts me at 10-7 on Thursdays, and 106-98-5 on the season. Let's get on with it.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 14 Preview: Raiders at Jets, The First of Many, The Carnage!!! Articles

Can Geno Smith get the ship righted today against the Raiders? Photo from nydailynews.com
Raiders: G Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), LB Kaluka Maivia (ribs/calf), RB Darren McFadden (ankle), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), FS Usama Young (neck)

Jets: None.

Raiders: None.

Jets: None.

Raiders: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), LB Miles Burris (toe), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion)

Jets: WR Stephen Hill (knee)

Raiders: DE Jason Hunter (foot), T Menelik Watson (illness)

Jets: I'm not falling for your shenanigans Rex Ryan.

NFL Picks: Week 14

In what should be a great game, Colin Kaepernick and the home team Niners should pull out the tough victory. Photo from king5.com
Before I start, let me just gloat for a little bit. Like any normal football fan, I play fantasy football. I'm in a 10 team league with some guys from my school. Last year I came in third, and I'm the third seed in the playoffs again this year. Had I lost last week, I would have been the fourth seed, and looking at a first round exit thanks to league champion, and juggernaut, my friend Dave. But I won, and it's because of this:
Just wanted to tell the world (at least the .00000000001% that is reading this) that I got 97 points from two players last week. It's a PPR league, so that inflates the numbers, but still. Keep looking at that. Feast your eyes on the glory.

As you can see, despite the performances of Gordon and Jeffery, their teams lost. I got the Browns game right, because I knew to avoid the Stench of Wheeds. As for the Bears...I don't know what to do with them.

Speaking of not knowing what the do, my Jets are disgusting right now, and have a quarterback controversy. Again.

I got a bit too cute picking the Rams to cover in San Francisco. Oh well, they're so inconsistent that it was certainly possible.

On Thursday night, I made my pick for what may be the worst game of the season. I didn't bother to turn of my TV to watch two of the worst teams in the league have at each other on a Thursday, which has been notorious over the last two years of producing lower quality games. Count me out. Yet, I still had my make my pick:

Turns out, I was right. With some help from the Case Keenum-Matt Schaub combo,  the Jags won. Unfortunately, that win seemed to take them out of the running for the first pick in the draft, having swept Houston this season. They're too bad to not go all out tank mode for Teddy Bridgewater.

That win brings me to 10-6 on Thursdays, and 99-89-5 on the season. At least I'm not losing ground, but it's time to make a run.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Best Met of All-Time

The greatest position player in Mets history, next to the greatest pitcher in Mets history. Photo from zimbio.com
Now, this is a loaded question that I'm grappling with in this article. The best Met of all time... What exactly does that mean? Is the best player ever to have played for the Mets? I don't think so, but that answer would be Willie Mays. Is it the most talented player to don a Mets uniform? In which case, despite going downhill so quickly, you could say it's Doc Gooden. Should the player have spent all of their career with the Mets? Because, well, then that takes away most options, leaving us with David Wright and Ed Kranepool.

So my definition that I'm working with, is, a player who played a significant amount of time with the Mets (seven years sounds about right), and had a great impact on the team's success.  So, that rules out the late great Gary Carter, as well as Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, and of course, Bartolome Fortunato. But it does leave Bill Buckner, as he was the single most important part of the Mets second championship. Thanks Billy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 13 Preview: Dolphins at Jets, Second of Many I Don't Know Anymore Articles

Photo from nbcnewyork.com
Dolphins: T Jonathan Martin (illness), CB Dimitri Patterson (groin), CB Jamar Taylor (hamstring), RB Daniel Thomas (ankle)

Jets: None.

Dolphins: None.

Jets: None.

Dolphins: S Chris Clemons (knee/hamstring)

Jets: DB Antonio Allen (illness),DB Antonio Cromartie (hip, WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring), WR Jeremy Kerley, LB Garrett McIntyre (knee)

Dolphins: G Sam Brenner (knee), WR Rishard Matthews (back), LB Koa Misi (knee) practiced in full
WR Marlon Moore (hamstring), DL Jared Odrick (knee), RB Marcus Thigpen (wrist), S Jimmy Wilson (abdomen)

Jets: OL Willie Colon (calf), DL Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Stephen Hill (knee), RB Chris Ivory (ankle), OL Nick Mangold (wrist), CB Dee Milliner (wrist), WR Greg Salas (finger), DE Mo Wilkerson (wrist), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

NFL Picks: Week 13

What the hell is he thinking with that mustache? Hopefully he's shaved that thing off since last week, but either way, I say that he leads his Cardinals to an upset victory in Philadelphia today. Oh my God Carson. Movember is over as of today, so you have no excuse. Scroll down immediately. Ew. Photo from cbssports.com

So, I started off pretty poorly last week, whiffing on my Bears, Jets, and Browns picks. But, to be fair, Brandon Weeden played for the Browns. In fact, I posted that on the facebook page, the Return of the Wheeds shouldn't count against me. Why should I be penalized because no matter what the Browns do, the Stench of Wheeds always comes back to infect their games?

He's so bad. But you know what isn't bad? My Thanksgiving picks! As I do with all Thursday games, I tweeted my picks. I even made tiny little comments for each one, my little treat. Here they are:

They surely showed that inconsistency on Thursday. They were down early, but ripped off 37 straight points to win the game, and more importantly, give me the victory.

A legendary backdoor cover here. They started off great, and held a 21-7 lead until the last 10 seconds of the first half. From there, Oakland fell apart, and fell behind by 10, with 1:56 left, which would have been a heartbreaking defeat. But then, Sea Bass saved the day with a 45 yard field goal. They needed a touchdown, an onside kick, and a field goal to tie, and while they only got one of those three things, the Raiders will live on in my hearts for that incredibly clutch cover. All hail the kicker taken in the first round!

Flacco played pretty well, but of course, I lost. By half a point. Come on, back in Week 7, the Ravens lost by 3 to the Steelers, failing to cover the spread by.....half a point. So in two Ravens-Steelers games this year, I'm 0-2 because of a combined 1 point. Awesome.

This puts me at 9-6 is Thursday games, and 93-82-4 on the year after a .500 Week 12, in which I went 7-7. I'm now safely over .500 for the year, but don't get too confident, there's still a way I can mess it up.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS