I was thinking about how to "preview" the NFL, i really didn't know how to go about it. I started writing a team by team bit, but my brain was so scattered with thoughts that i didn't make it trough one div, and it was already 4 pages. So that was out. So i thought, lets go game by game and just pick winners, not looking at what their overall record at the time would be, just picking winners game by game, and then tally them all at the end of the year and see where it lead me. So that's what I did. Here is the NFC, and what went down. Its not perfect, but it was fun, and really showed what I thought of certain teams without looking at the big picture. I truly don't think this is what will happen, but its a good starting point. The AFC can be found here
Dallas Cowboys 12-4 Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 New York Giants 8-8 Washington Redskins 7-9
Minnesota Vikings 10-6 Green Bay Packers 8-8 Detroit Lions 4-12 Chicago Bears 3-13
New Orleans Saints 13-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7 Carolina Panthers 9-7 Atlanta Falcons 4-12
Arizona Cardinals 8-8 San Francisco 49ers 7-9 St. Louis Rams 5-11 Seattle Seahawks 5-11
Thoughts: No surprise the East is the best division in the NFC, all four of those teams could end up in any order after Dallas.
I like the Rams better than the record shows. Bulger is coming back and S. Jax will be healthy again. Yet I still only have them winning 5 games. I don’t think San Fran is as good as their 7-9 record, but they do play in an easy div.
Speaking of the West, I truly think this year will be the letdown year for the Seahawks. I don’t think Hassellebeck is very good anymore, and they have no running game to speak of. (Juels Jones, Really?)
Team that has the best chance of failing:
Tampa Bay. While I see them having a nice year with 9 wins, they could easily drop off and win like 3. QB is older than dirt, Running game revolves around a broke down Caddy, and Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway is their best WR at 36 years of age. Yea, I think they might be in for a let down.
Team that can surprise some people:
Other than Minnesota, I think the “bad team” that could be good this year is St. Louis. Like I said above, they could pull off as many as 10 wins if they stay healthy and the D steps ups a bit.
Thing I want to see happen:
After starting the season 1-5, coach of the Seahawks, Mike Holmgrem turns the reigns of the team over to Senneca Wallace. When asked why he replies “Why the fuck do I care? If you don’t think I’m going to be in Hawaii this time next year, sipping mai tai’s that were brought to me by a samon named Fatu, you have got be kidding yourself.”
I would like to thank everybody for being here today. It is always good to see support and celebration among the fans and alumni, as well as the press. I would like to start by saying that I am very proud of our team this year. A record of 12 wins and 1 loss is nothing to be ashamed of. While we didn't accomplish our goal of winning the Pac 10 title, and competing in the Rose Bowl, I believe that our kids played a great season, and should hold their heads up high when thinking back to it.
I would like to congratulate some of our fine players that were key parts of our team's success this year. Congratulations to Strong Safety Patrick Chung on winning the Thorpe award for the nations best defensive back. He lead the team in tackles with 96 including 2 sacks and 4 INT's.
Tight End Greg Hall also needs to be commended for his award of nations best tight end. His nack for the first down marker and goal line helped us with the ushering in of a new QB.
Hall and Chung are joined on the All American team by CB Jairus Byrd, who lead the team in INT's and was 3rd overall in voting for the Thorpe Award.
We saw two of our most prolific offensive players leave us last year, in Dixon and Stewart, and we knew their shoes would be hard to fill. Despite a small controversy in the first two games of the year, Chad Hodges became this teams QB and leader, and even set a school record for TD passes in one season. The sophomore's transition into the starting role was made easy by the play of outstanding RB, Andrew Barber, and WR's Williams and Jones.
Its an exciting time for Oregon football. Our bowl win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl will have us finishing in the top 10, and ready for next year when most of our skill players will return.
Over the summer, the recruiting process will heat up and we have already signed a 4 star recruit to replace the graduating Chung. We have also been pursuing many WR's to supplement our spread offense, defensive line help, and are chasing a QB who ran the 40 in 4.3.
It's been a good year and next year we have not only USC and Oregon St. coming to Eugene, but the upstart Baylor Bears, who finished in the top 25 this year, as a non con game of note.
What can I say? I love the guy. Artest talked yesterday about his newest teammate, the great Wall of China, Yao Ming.
I understand what Yao said, but I'm still ghetto. That's not going to change. I'm never going to change my culture. Yao has played with a lot of black players, but I don't think he's ever played with a black player that really represents his culture as much as I represent my culture. Once Yao Ming gets to know me, he'll understand what I'm about. Sometimes it's hard to get to know Ron Artest because I'm so down to earth to a fault. ... I can't wait to be putting on that jersey and be standing next to Yao Ming. I can't wait. I guess once Yao Ming approves it, I'll be a Houston Rocket.
So lets see, the Rockets gave up Bobby Jackson(old bench guy), Donté Greene(young "prospect" player), Patrick Ewing Jr. and Sean Singletary(rookies)(bad ones), and a first round pick.
Its said that the Kings were excited to get Greene, a player they think can develop into a starting player, and a vet bench guy like Jackson. The first round pick only signifies as an insurance policy should Greene not pan out. The Kings are most def in rebuild mode right now, with young guys and picks galore.
The Rockets get a superstar to with the other 2 superstars they already have, and have to be considered one of the best teams in the west right now.
I have 2 problems with this trade.
1- How in the hell can the Mav's let this happen? We have a young player with more potential and bigger upside(Howard), and vet players with expiring contracts(Stackhouse) that could have helped out the Kings just as much, maybe even more, and yet they weren't willing to deal Howard. Its time like these that I question Cuban, and if this might not be another example of other teams owners/gm's not liking the Maverick Owner.
2. I understand the idea that Artest brings another top tier level guy to your team, but did the Rockets really need a player like Artest? They already have one of the best defensive 2/3's in Shane Battier, and while Artest brings more scoring, are they planing on reducing Battier's minutes/role? I don't know if that's a good idea.
Crazy thought here, what if this is a set up trade to an even bigger one? Its no secret that the Rockets need a PG, and there have been rumors of the Rockets flirting with a T-Mac for Chauncy idea. Now if that happens, this trade makes much more since. Billups,Battier, Artest, Scola, Yao. That's a nice starting five.
As I kiss goodbye to my hopes of a Kidd/Artest/Dirk trifecta, i turn you all to our friends at the Dream Shake.
Unlike Big, I still watch ESPN with the hopes that one day it will return to it's mid-90's glory and I'll be there to witness it. (For those of you who didn't know, Big has been able to quit watching ESPN, but he can't quit smoking. Go figure.)
Here are three stories that, quite frankly, I'm fucking tired of and would rather they focused on a different story.
What I'm tired of - Brett Favre I don't think you're surprised by this at all, are you? Who isn't tired of hearing about this? It's become like the Mellencamp "This is Our Country" commercial. You just want to ram your head into the wall over and over to make it stop.
What I'd rather know - The Seahawks running backs Will they go back committee? Are they actually going to pick a certain guy to be "they guy"? Do they really think that either Maurice Morris or Julius Jones can do anything behind Walter Jones and a bunch of spares?
What I'm tired of - Manny being Manny I think this phrase has officially become anthrax to my ears. Never mind that I hate Boston with a vehemence that rivals cities like Houston or Raleigh. I'm just tired of hearing about what might or might not happen. If he gets traded, then sure, it's huge, spend time on it and interview Theo. Otherwise?
What I'd rather know - CC Sabathia's major competition for the NL Cy Young is his own teammate How do the Brewers not get more headlines? How can ESPN spend more time on Yankees/Red Sox and ignore Cubs/Brewers which is ten times more important right now. Since the trade, Sabathia has been on fire, and could be the "Kevin Garnett" move of the season to net a title. Oh yeah, did anyone mention that Ben Sheets was ALREADY kicking ass before Sabathia got there?
What I'm tired of - Michelle Wie I can't even fathom why she should be a news story at all, let alone why PGA tournaments still think there is any fire behind the bit of letting her play. Go away, Michelle Wie. Keep getting plugged by one or both of the Lopez twins and go play college golf. Let Ochoa and Creamer dominate women's golf now that Annika is gone, and the media can focus more on Gulbis.
What I'd rather know - Phil lost his boobs Phil Mickelson has trimmed down quite a bit since being a tour favorite buxom sex pot. No, you're not misreading that, and I didn't mean Amy Mickelson. Lefty had the most bodacious set of man boobs since Mabel was wrestling, and now they're gone. Isn't that a workout that should be as widely followed as Atkins or whatever people are using these days?
I was thinking about how to "preview" the NFL, i really didn't know how to go about it. I started writing a team by team bit, but my brain was so scattered with thoughts that i didn't make it trough one div, and it was already 4 pages. So that was out. So i thought, lets go game by game and just pick winners, not looking at what their overall record at the time would be, just picking winners game by game, and then tally them all at the end of the year and see where it lead me. So that's what I did. Here is the AFC, and what went down. Its not perfect, but it was fun, and really showed what I thought of certain teams without looking at the big picture. I truly don't think this is what will happen, but its a good starting point.
New England Patriots 14-2 Buffalo Bills 8-8 Miami Dolphins 6-10 New York Jets 5-11
San Diego Chargers 13-3 Denver Broncos 7-9 Kansas City Chiefs 6-10 Oakland Raiders 2-14
Like I said, I didn’t really look at the overall record till the end of the picking of games. Here are some thoughts on what will go wrong with what I did above.
Houston will not win 11 games. I have thought over the past 3 or 4 years that this team was on the verge of becoming a legit team in the AFC, but they never do, and I don’t truly expect them to do it this year. 8 wins? Maybe. 11? Almost impossible.
In fact I don’t really like how the whole AFC South played out. I think Indy is the best team in that div, yet I don’t even have them making the playoffs. I think Jacksonville is good, but not 12 wins good. And how can you count out the Titian's? They always seem to make a late push and make the playoffs.
Oakland has such a potently strong defense with what might be the best non pacman secondary, that they should win more than 2 games. I’m not talking playoffs, but somewhere in the 5-6 range sounds about right. Denver could be much better or much worse than 7-9, they have so many “if this guy pans out…” guys that its about a 4 game swing with them in my book.
Same thing with Baltimore. If Flaco can be a solid QB, or they get Favre, then they could swing 6 games up and be a contender for the playoffs, but as constructed I just don’t see them winning more than 6 games.
Miami will be better with some of the “Parcels guys” that big Bill brought in, and the return of Ronnie Brown, but don’t expect playoffs this year. That team is still a few years away.
New England is the tits, as is San Diego, and those two teams, I believe, will be facing each other in the playoffs again this year.
Team that has the biggest chance to surprise people:
New York Jets – They have a good coaching staff, and if they can get some good RB play this year, don’t count out Chad Pennington and the Jets to have a bounce back season.
Team Most Likely to Disappoint:
Cleveland Browns. Last year was a “hey this team is pretty good” year. How will they be this year when they are expected to win? They could either be the 2006 Chargers, or 2007 Saints.
Something that should happen by week 8.
Carson Palmer QB Cinn – I totally expect him to snap at some point this year, going on a Lattimer like rampage, whither it be because his defense can’t stop a third grade pick up game offense, or one of his receivers doing something stupid, like I don’t know, pulling their dingus out on TV after a TD and getting suspended for the rest of the season.
I don't know if this is going to become a staple around here, but I did catch the MMA fights this weekend, and wanted to share a bit with you.
It looks like we now have 3 promotions that are really trying to take over the MMA world. There is the big dog, the UFC, who has probably 95% of the best fighters in the sport. Big stars such as Anderson Silva, George St. Perrie, Chuck Lidell and BJ Penn are what make this promotion great. Every PPV is a much watch for the most part, and they put on free shows on Spike TV that really help keep them in the forefront of the sport. They aren't going anywhere.
Then you have the newest Affliction promotion, who is trying to go the same rout as UFC and is offering big named fighters, who are either fed up with the UFC, or not even signed by them, big contracts to fight for them. The biggest example is heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, who is regarded as by far the best heavyweight in MMA.
Then you have the little Elite XC. These guys are the only MMA that is on prime time network TV, they have a deal with CBS to show a card once every couple of months on Saturday evening, and they have some legit fighters, Robbie Lawler and Jake Sheilds, who are among the best in Elite, but would be middle of the pack guys in UFC. What separates Elite from the other is two things; First they have Kimbo Slice, the oft talked about former homeless guy/porno strongman, as their biggest draw, and while not a pure MMA guy, and he would probably get demolished by any good fighter, he is fun to watch and worth the price of admission. Second they have the best women fighters in MMA.
The first go around on CBS a few months ago featured all of these elements on the first CBS show for Elite. We were introduced to Kimbo Slice and watched him explode an ear, we saw a great stand up MMA fight between Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith that ended in controversy, and we were introduced to the face of women MMA, Gina Carano, and were pleased.
Last Saturday was round 2 for the upstart Elite XC on CBS. This card introduced us to a few more of the promotions better fighters, and gave us the rematch of Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith.
The show started with what once was thought of as a gimmick, but now what might be the most legit thing XC has, the women's division. The last fight a smoking hot Gina Carano beat the shit of some chick, and it wasn't disgusting, like i thought it would be, and it wasn't "cat fight" esque like other thought it would be, but it was just a good fight, with two professional fighters, and it doesn't hurt at all that the hot one turned out to be the better fighter. So that brings us to this last sat, where 2 of the top women in MMA went at it, the winner to probably face Gina at the next show in October. The two fighters were Brazil's Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos and American Shayna Baszler. Here's a pic of Cyborg(and yes they called her cyborg the whole night)
Her opponent was no sloth either, Shayna Baszler was 12-0 going into the fight will all 12 wins coming from submission I think. It was even mentioned that she tapped someone out using the STF. A move i thought only worked in pro wrestling.
The Fight jumped off with Baszler shooting for Cyborgs legs, almost getting her in some sort of knee lock, that must have just made Cyborg angry, as she then started to beat the shit out of Baszler. At one point, Cyborg landed a clean hit that knocked Blaszler down, the fight should have been stopped as a KO, at least so thought Cyborg who started to celebrate and even jumped up on the cage top to cheer, the ref stood there like "uhh miss Cyborg, would you like to finish the match?" She finally understood and walked over to a glass eyed Baszler and pummeled her till the ref said stop.
A fun fight to watch, and sets up nice for the Sexy, everybody favorite Carano vs the freakish, Brazilian Cyborg. That's going to be fun.
The rest of the fight card was good, we got to see the best welterweight outside of the UFC, Jake Sheilds, choke out Nick Thompson, and then Nick Diaz show the world what it ment to be a patent fighter as he just played defense and conserved energy for a whole round against his opponent, Thomas Denny , only to explode on him in the second when he was tired.
The main event was a rematch from the last shows best fight, Robbie Lawler defending his 185lbs strap vs Scott Smith. The last fight was fun because it was mostly a stand up fight, with the guys exchanging blows on a regular basis. This one was no different, but you could see that Robbie Lawler, who may be the best true fighter in EliteXC, didn't want to leave any doubt he was the better man in this one.
Lawler was cut early and the blood seamed to fuel him to start a powerful barrage on Smith's mid section that stoped the fight after a few big knees and pops to the face.
The fight was good, not as good as the first one, but with Gus Johnson calling the fight, you thought it was Ali-Frazer. I don't believe there is anyone outside of pro wrestling who gets excited like Gus. There is lots of "IF the world collided into a thousand pieces and every piece spawned great fighters, you still wouldn't see a fight like this!!!!!" You gotta love him.
All in all a nice MMA night for EliteXC. They have a long way to go to catch up to the UFC, but they are trying. And they have now put up two very entertaining shows, and I'm looking forward to October when they will be on prime time again, and this time they will bring both Carano and Kimbo, so stay tuned.