December 13, 2008

Black President, White Heisman Finalists?

The last time all the Heisman finalists were white was in 2001, with the stellar crop of Eric Crouch, Joey Harrington, Rex Grossman and Ken Dorsey. All good college players, but none have performed well in the pros. That might be a good lesson for Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford should they be eyeing up a nice $200K Aston-Martin around draft day.

December 12, 2008

Who Deserves a Bailout - The Lions or The Big Three?

As the auto bailout debate rages in Washington, it has come to our attention that Detroit has another bailout candidate - the Lions. Who is more deserving of taxpayer largesse? Let's break it down, Nick Bakay style. The advantage goes to the party most in need of a bailout.

Big Three
Needs a bailout because...
They make sucky cars
Big Three
Embarrassing Fans

Big Three
Needs this to be competitive

Needs oversight from
"Car Czar"

Big Three
Idiocy at the top

Terrible decision

Big Three
What happens if the bailout works?
Competitive with Toyota
Competitive with the rest of the NFL
What happens if they don't get a bailout?
These guys get company:

These guys get company:

Big Three

Big Three: 5
Lions: 2
Push: 1

So there you have it, the numbers never lie. I guess Congress is right to give the bailout to the auto companies rather than a football team. Sorry Lions fans.

December 11, 2008

Week 15 NFL Picks

Brien (39-30-1)

CHICAGO (-3) over New Orleans - The Saints suck away from the Superdome, and it's going to be 17 degrees in Chicago tonight.

Washington (-7) over CINCINNATI - The Redskins have lost 4 of their last 5 games, and they'll be desperate for a big win over the awful Bengals.

Tennessee (-3) over HOUSTON - The Titans are 11-2 against the spread, and yet from this line it looks like Vegas is still underestimating them.

ARIZONA (pk) over Minnesota - Don't be fooled by the fact that they have the same record. The Cardinals are a much better team, especially at home.

NY Giants (+3) over DALLAS - The Giants have been the most dominant team in the league all season (they're also 10-3 ATS). There is no reason that team should be getting points in any game.

Jason (30-29-1)
Since I was away for two weeks, I am picking 15 of the 16 games on the slate to catch up.

CHICAGO (-3) over New Orleans - The Saints suck on the road and the Bears are still alive to win a weak division.

JACKSONVILLE (+2) over Green Bay - I'll take the disappointing home team that can run the ball.

INDIANAPOLIS (-17.5) over Detroit - Detroit is probably looking ahead to someone they could beat.

CINCINNATI (+7) over Washington - This feels like a 3-point game.

Tampa Bay (+3) over ATLANTA - Just a hunch that TB is making a run.

MIAMI (-6.5) over San Francisco - Mediocre West Coast team coming east.

ST. LOUIS (+3) over Seattle - Feels like a pick 'em.

Buffalo (+7.5) over NEW YORK JETS - Just a hunch.

HOUSTON (+3) over Tennessee - Houston is coming on strong and Tennessee is looking at the calendar for the next meaningful game.

BALTIMORE (-1.5) over Pittsburgh - I think they'll get to Ben often.

Denver (+7.5) over CAROLINA - Carolina has too many QB questions to survive a shootout.

San Diego (-5) over KANSAS CITY - KC will cure what ails thee.

ARIZONA (-3) over Minnesota - Arizona plays well at home and beats mediocre teams.

New England (-7) over OAKLAND - With or without Cassel.

New York Giants (+3) over DALLAS - The Giants backed in, but they want to reestablish momentum after Plax and last week.

Jeremy (38-31-1)
"I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords." Sorry for the random Simpsons Kent Brockman quote, it's been a while since they've put out a funny episode. 3 weeks left for me to make up one game on Brien...

New York Giants (+3) over DALLAS
- The old rule that anytime a team with only two losses on the season is getting points, it's tough to not take the points. Vegas loves suckers like me who adopt this theory.

Seattle (-3) over ST. LOUIS - The Seahawks aren't great, but the Rams are god awful.

Pittsburgh (+1) over BALTIMORE - First to 10 wins. Insane over/under on this game.

KANSAS CITY (+5) over San Diego - Not so easy to play on the road at Arrowhead this time of year, especially coming from San Diego.

Detroit (+17) over INDIANAPOLIS - Partially because I'm going up against Brien this weekend in fantasy football playoffs who is starting Peyton Manning, this pick is with my heart and not my head. Although 17 points is about as big a spread to cover as you can find.

Magic 8 Ball (34-35-1)
For the first time ever, Magic 8 Ball likes all the home teams.

DALLAS (-3) over New York Giants - "Signs point to yes." (Cowboys will beat the spread)

ST. LOUIS (+3) over Seattle - "Yes." (Rams will beat the spread)

BALTIMORE (-1) over Pittsburgh - "Yes." (Ravens will beat the spread)

KANSAS CITY (+5) over San Diego - "Signs point to yes." (Chiefs will beat the spread)

INDIANAPOLIS (-17) over Detroit - "My sources say yes." (Colts will beat the spread)

Russell (33-36-1)
Hoping I can end the pro season as dominantly as I did the college season.

ARIZONA (-3) over Minnesota - I have taken Arizona at home almost every time this year. It's worked well.

San Diego (-5) over KANSAS CITY - The Chiefs still suck.

CHICAGO (-3) over New Orleans - Bears at home in nasty weather vs. a Southern team.

Washington (-7) over CINCINNATI
- The Skins have actually been better on the road this year, and I think they pull it together for at least one more week.

Tennessee (-3) over HOUSTON - The Texans haven't beaten a tough team in a while.

Jeremy - NYG, SEA, PIT, KAN, DET
Russell - ARI, CHI, SD, TEN, WAS

December 10, 2008

Nats, Lerner Offer Teixeira Fortune and Anonymity

According to and the Washington Times, the Washington Nationals have offered free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira an eight-year, $160M contract. The story also says the deal would pay Teixeira an average of $22.5M per year, which means I apparently need to go back to elementary school and relearn the definition of "average".

blablblah Also, no risk of celebration related injuries (i.e. Gramaticatitis)

Coming in the wake of C.C. Sabathia's big deal from the Yankees, the Nationals can only be counting on one thing: Mark Teixeira is not looking for fame and fortune. Basically, Ted Lerner has told Scott Boras and Teixeira that he can come to Washington and retire in virtual anonymity amongst the 2,000 or so Nationals fans who actually care about the team. Maybe if the shadows don't suit him the 28-year-old can emerge at age 36 and have a Julio Franconian resurgence with an actual contender.

Some would argue that the proximity to Teixeira's home, near Annapolis, Maryland, may make him willing to forgo fame. Perhaps his Mommy makes some mean mac and cheese. Maybe Teix wants his Q rating somewhere between those of Chi Chi Rodriguez and Sean Landeta. It's hard to read the minds of these athletes, really.

As an Orioles fan, I can only hope Baltimore doesn't get spotlight envy, causing them to top the Nats' offer. Neither team is close to contention, and the eggs-in-one-basket approach has stung quite a few teams in recent history (See: Albert Belle, Orioles; Alex Rodriguez, Rangers).

J-Red welcomes himself back from a two-week private retreat for bloggers.

December 8, 2008

Terps Finally Topple George Washington

I saw something last night from the Terps that has been missing for a few years: killer instinct.  Instead of playing by the normal Maryland BB&T script (show up expecting another pushover home non-conference game, look surprised that there are tons of GW fans there, come out flat, shoot poorly because the Verizon Center rims hate you, etc.) the Terps came out fired up, totally demoralized the Colonials in the first few minutes, never let up until the outcome was decided, and cruised to an easy victory.

After losing two straight to the Colonials, it was nice to finally get the best of them.  

I'm not going to overreact to a win over a bad non-conference opponent, no matter how dominant the performance.  But the Terps this year look a little different than in the past few years.  That win over Michigan looks even better than it did last week, now that the Wolverines beat Duke.  That gives the Terps victories over two of the best teams in the Big Ten (Michigan and MSU).  Maryland's only two losses came against Gonzaga and Georgetown.  

The Terps will struggle all year against teams with good big men, but this team is definitely good enough to make the tournament.  

More thoughts on last night's game:
  • Huge breakout game for Landon Milbourne (20 pts).  If Gary can get that kind of production out of him every game, the Terps will be in good shape.
  • The bench still struggled to put up points, but I thought Mosley and Gregory in particular looked really good.
  • Looks like Braxton Dupree is going to have to earn his way back into some playing time.
  • I can never decide if I like John Feinstein as a color annourncer.  He tells some interesting stories, but he's also kind of annoying.  If he did more than one Terps game a year I'd probably hate him.  
  • I guess I need to go back to listening to Johnny Holiday while watching the Terps on TV.