Archive for the ‘Sports’ category

Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

October 27, 2009

We’re kicking things off with the first edition of my weekly NFL power rankings. Hopefully, this will run every Tuesday or so. These were harder to make than I expected due to the ridiculous number of terrible teams this year.  It may be a few more weeks before we know who’s for real and who’s not.

These rankings are based solely on my opinions and mean absolutely nothing. The way I see it, there are 5 tiers of teams right now, starting with:

Legit Contenders

  1. Colts 6-0 – I hate the Colts but damn do they look good right now. The Pats trip to Indy in mid November should be a show.
  2. Saints 6-0 – They got a scare in Miami, but came out unscathed. That was a character building win and should help them down the road. The Superdome will be a tough place to play in the playoffs.
  3. Broncos 6-0 – Denver is only this high because they haven’t lost. Once they do, I’m dropping them down a tier. I refuse to believe they’re really this good.
  4. Patriots 5-2 – Maybe a bit high, but if Brady returns to form (and it seems like he has) then the Pats will be hard to beat.
  5. Steelers 5-2 – A big win over the Vikings proves that the Steelers are for real.
  6. Vikings 6-1 – Vikings fans got their first glimpse of the REAL Favre last week. If they really want to contend, they need to limit his chances to blow it.
  7. Giants 5-2 – I’m surprised to see them this low, but 2 straight losses have Giants fans worried. With only 1 quality win (@Dallas), the G-Men have a lot to prove next week in Philly.
  8. Bengals 5-2 – Too high you say? Child pleeez. The numbers don’t lie (wins against GB, Pit, Bal, and Chi).

Potentially Frisky in the Playoffs

  1. Cardinals 4-2 – The Cards looked good in that win over NY, but don’t expect another miracle run in the playoffs.
  2. Falcons 4-2 – Another team thats hard to figure out. They’ve looked good in their 4 wins but terrible in both losses.
  3. Packers 4-2 – Aaron Rodgers looks great and they’ve taken care of business against bad teams. Favre’s return to Lambeau should be entertaining.
  4. Eagles 4-2 – The Eagles bounced back after an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, but how good are they? They haven’t beaten a quality opponent yet. That could change next week when the Giants come to town.
  5. Ravens 3-3 – Another potential paper tiger, they’ve beaten bad teams and lost to good ones. The schedule isn’t kind in the 2 weeks (Den, @Cincy).

Fighting to lose in round 1

  1. Cowboys 4-2 – The win against Atlanta was a shocker, but I’m still convinced that the Cowboys suck. Unfortunately the NFC is so bad that they might be able to sneak into the playoffs.
  2. Jets 4-3 – The Sanchize bounced back after a few bad weeks, but I don’t see them making any noise in the postseason.
  3. Chargers 3-3 – Everyone expected them to cruise to a division title, but now they find themselves 3 games out. Making the playoffs might be difficult with Baltimore, NY and Houston chasing the final wild card.
  4. Texans 4-3 – Is this the year they finally break 8-8? I say no.
  5. Bears 3-3 – So much for Jay Cutler turning them into contenders.
  6. 49ers 3-3 – I drank the Mike Singletary Kool-Aid after a 3-1 start, but this team screams 7-9.

Teams with serious issues

  1. Jaguars 3-3 – Any team that goes to overtime against the Rams isn’t for real.
  2. Dolphins 2-4 – The Dolphins went up 24-3 against an unusually turnover prone Saints team, only to blow the game in the final minutes. The Wildcat has been working but it doesn’t help in a 2 minute drill.
  3. Bills 3-4 – Ryan Fitzpatrick leads Buffalo to 2 straight wins? I don’t get it. I think its safe to say that the T.O. experiment was a failure.
  4. Seahawks 2-4 – Have these guys ever been healthy? I can’t remember. Luckily for Seattle they play in the NFC West.

Just plain awful

  1. Panthers 2-4 – How is Jake Delhomme still employed? Carolina’s only wins are against Washington and @Tampa Bay.
  2. Chiefs 1-6 – The Chiefs have been frisky, and they’ve played a harder schedule than most teams in this tier. Don’t be surprised if they win a few more.
  3. Lions 1-5 – See above. Expect Detroit to get win #2 next week against St. Louis.
  4. Redskins 2-5 – I’m convinced the Skins are awful. They’ve lost to Detroit, KC and Carolina, while only beating the winless Bucs and Rams. Jim Zorn’s days are numbered.
  5. Raiders 2-5 – Oakland is the only bad team with a quality win (Phi), but I can’t move them up when they average under 9 points a game and JaMarcus Russell is their QB.
  6. Browns 1-6 -Another team with an inept offense. How bad must Brady Quinn be if Derek Anderson is still the starter?
  7. Bucs 0-7 – With a decent QB and a competent coach the Bucs could win a few. Unfortunately they have neither. Who’s ready for the Josh Freeman era?
  8. Titans 0-6 – Wow, what happened to these guys? The 59-0 loss to the Patriots was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen. Jeff Fisher should be fired for that game alone.
  9. Rams 0-7 – The worst scoring offense(8.6 ppg) and defense(30.1 ppg) in the NFL. The ’08 Lions might have company.
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Red Sox Midseason Power Rankings

July 8, 2009

I thought I’d combine my love for power rankings with my love of the Red Sox.  These rankings are based on 1st half performance, pre-season expectations, and other random criteria that just pulled out of my ass.  Without further adieu, here’s my 2009 Midseason Red Sox Roster Power Rankings:

jason bay
becket
kevin youkilis
jacoby ellsbury
wakefield
ram ram
oki
nick green
paps
jason varitek
lester
dustin pedroia
bard
drew
penny
delcarmen
masterson
saito
ortiz
lowell
rocco
kotsay
dice k/smoltz
kottaras
lugo
  1. Jason Bay LF– JBay is leading the team in home runs/RBI but is mired in a month long slump.  He still anchors the lineup, but unless he starts bringing that average up, expect him to slide in these rankings
  2. Josh Becket P – after a slow start Beckett looks like the guy who carried us in 2007.  With the offense currently struggling, we need him to remain nasty now more than ever.
  3. Kevin Youkilis 1B – YOOOOOUUUUUKK!!!!  Like Bay, Youk had a hot start but has been struggling recently.  If the Sox offense is ever going to get going it will probably start with Youk.
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury CF – The kid can do it all, it seems.  Jacobs is playing gold glove center field, and since his drop in the order has found some unexpected power.  His steal of home against the Yankees might be the highlight of the season so far.
  5. Tim Wakefield P – Wake has given us everything we could ask for this year.  His 10 wins are tied for the lead in the AL, and at 42, he’s making his first All Star appearance.  He has a history of breaking down in the second half, so Tito will have to manage him carefully.
  6. Ramon Ramirez P – The first member of the bullpen to make the list, Ram Ram has been a pleasant surprise so far.  His 1.03 WHIP leads the team and he’s been a key part of the best pen in the league.
  7. Hideki Okajima P – See above. Ram and Oki have been solid all year in the setup role.
  8. Nick Green SS – I’m putting Green here because of how much he has exceeded expectations.  For a guy that was supposed to be in Pawtucket, Green has filled in nicely in Lowrie’s absence.  His bat is steady and his glove has been improving all year.  Not a week goes by without a web gem worthy play from this guy.  Julio who?
  9. Jonathan Papelbon P – Paps is sure making it interesting this year, but the numbers don’t lie: 24 saves and a 1.70 ERA.  I’ll take that any day.
  10. Jon Lester P – Expect him to rise on these rankings if he continues his June numbers.  After early struggles, Lester looks back to normal.
  11. Dustin Pedroia 2B – Pedey hasn’t been the MVP this year and he struggled mightily as the leadoff hitter.  Now that he’s back in the 2 hole, expect his numbers to return to normal.
  12. Jason Varitek C – Another player who’s quietly exceeding expectations.  With Tek, any offense is a plus, and so far he’s hitting .240 with 12 home runs.  I’ll take it.
  13. Daniel Bard P – Finally the Sox have a fireballer in the pen.  I love watching this kid pitch.  If Paps breaks down or leaves in the next few years, expect Bard to get the call.
  14. J.D Drew RF – Drew annoys the crap outta me, but his numbers aren’t terrible and he plays decent D.   If he can stop watching strike 3 go by, I’d be a lot happier.
  15. Brad Penny P – No longer trade bait, Penny looks more like a 3/4 starter.  Another pleasant surprise.
  16. Mike Lowell 3B – Decent numbers, but his hip is a major concern.  Don’t be surprised is the Sox go after a 1B/3B type player at the deadline just in case.
  17. Justin Masterson P – Not quite the lights out setup man from last year, but he’s still the most versatile pitcher on the roster, and an invaluable part of the pen.
  18. Manny Delcarmen P – The last 2 bullpen guys are almost interchangeable.  Both have been solid, but don’t get much action and could get decent value in a trade.
  19. Takashi Saito P – Decent fill in closer, when the Sox actually decide to use him.  The most likely to be traded.
  20. David Ortiz DH – Overall, Big Papi has been a disappointment this year, but he had a good June, so the critics have backed off.
  21. Rocco Baldelli OF – Nice story, good bad off the bench.  Still not sure if he can be a full time injury replacement.
  22. Mark Kotsay 1B/OF – Too early to tell, but seems decent enough as a backup.
  23. Diasuke Matsuzaka / John Smoltz P – I’m lumping these two together because they’ve split time and been equally ineffective.  Smoltz shows some promise, but keeps giving up big innings.  Dice-K’s future is in serious jeopardy, lets hope they find out what’s wrong.
  24. George Kottaras C – No wonder the Sox wanted Teagarden/Salty/Montero.  This guy can’t hit for shit, but he handles Wake ok.
  25. Julio Lugo SS/Waste of Money – Who else? The $36 million pile of dog shit has quitely been hitting well in limited action.  But his defense is still a disaster and he’s been thoroughly outshined by a minor leaguer 2 seasons in a row.  He’s the only player I’ve seen in a long time getting consistently booed by the home crowd at Fenway.  Just a train wreck.

Until next time…

Currently listening to: Franz Ferdinand – Ulysses

Tourney Update

March 29, 2009

So my live blog ended abruptly last week.  My bad.  The endless boring games started to take its toll and once The Office started, I was done.

Regardless… I did ok on day 1, shitty on day 2, but came back strong heading into the sweet 16, only losing 1 game (ignoring the 2 teams I picked to lose in the 1st round).  A strong sweet 16 lead to an even stronger elite 8, of which I picked 7 correctly (Fuck you Memphis!). Now I stand only a few days away from victory in my pool, thanks to my lame strategy of picking the chalk in the later rounds.  As it stands now, If Louisville and UNC win, I’m basically a lock (OK, not really, but its close).

Here’s hoping this won’t be a repeat of last year when I nailed 3 of the final 4, but totally fucked the championship game.  Granted, I can only correctly pick 2 of the final 4, but at least no one in my final has been eliminated (L’ville and UNC).  Luckily, almost everyone else in my pool picked Pitt or Memphis in the championship, so I’m looking good.

With the final 4 coming and Red Sox season about to begin, you should expect more blog posts.  I’m hoping once the Sox start playing every day and the B’s and C’s are playing playoff games, I’ll have much more to say.  

 

Until next time…

Currently listening to:  The Killers – Spaceman

Up next: Unboxing of my new Macbook Pro.

NCAA Tournament round 1 live blog part 4

March 19, 2009

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Recap: A mediocre game between Washington and Mississippi St.  No upset here, Huskies move on.

Games covered in part 4 (my picks in italics):

7 Clemson vs 10 Michigan

7 Texas vs 10 Minnesota

3 Villanova vs 14 American

4 Gonzaga vs 13 Akron

 

7:12 The next batch of games are just tipping off.  I’ve got Clemson/Michigan on TV and Texas/Minnesota on MMOD.  I really need the horns to win this one, I’ve got them beating the Dukies in round 2 (altho I’m already regretting it).

7:14 I just realized that I picked 2 teams that I hate: Clemson and Nova (former BC rival and current BC rival). Its not going to be easy to root for them.  Gophers are out to a fast start 9-2

7:18 Jim Nantz says this has been a “zippy start for the Gophers.” Minn up 13-5.

7:22 I nominate Clemson for having the douchiest fanbase in the country.  I’m not even sure who the other candidates are right now. If you’ve ever been to a Clemson game, you’d understand.  I’ve never seen so many orange polos and purple pairs of pants.  I didn’t even know you could buy purple pants.

7:35 Slow start for my teams.  Clemson down by 4, Texas down by 2.  Need more booze.

7:45 Texas takes the lead.  Clemson still down by 2.  I suddenly got busy, but I’ll try to update more soon.

7:49 Zips/Zags just got started.  I hope the announcers are taking advantage of the nickname matchup here.  I’m still not sold on this Gonzaga team, but I’m not sure why.

Score update:

Minn 29 Texas 28

Mich 22 Clem 22

American 27 Nova 24 (WTF!?)

Zips 8 Zags 7

8:06 Scores at the half:

Michigan 27 Clemson 24

Texas 39 Minnesota 35

American 41 Nova 31

8:10 We need to officially start the Villanova upset watch.  Down by 10 to American at the half is not good.

Sorry for the boring updates, things got busy here and I have less time for comments.

8:17 Watching the Zips/Zags game now.  (Are we going with Zips/Zags or Zags/Zips?, I vote the first).  I’m starting to get worried about my picks this round.  After going 6-2 in the early games, I’m losing in 3 of the 4 7PM games.  Michigan-Clemson should be back soon.

8:19 CBS switches to the Clemson-Michigan game just in time to show a 9-2 run by the Wolverines.  Great.  I shoulda known not to trust a bunch of douches to win a game.

8:27 Fucking Clemson.  Maybe some Pizza will help.

8:38 Thank you Longhorns.  At least something is going right. Texas by 9.  Clemson, Nova and Gonzaga are still down.

8:44 Pizza has brightened my mood a bit.  Nova is within 7, and Texas is pulling away.  If Clemson and Gonzaga can get their act together, this might not turn out so bad.

8:48 The two 7-10 games are mirroring each other right now, but with opposite results for me.  Texas keeps increasing its lead but Clemson can’t get anything going.  Meanwhile, Nova is down by 6.

8:51 They should probably move the Clemson game to the ER at the rate players are going down.

The Office is starting in 10 minutes.  The live blog will probably suffer.

8:58 The good news: Things are starting to go my way. The Bad news: The Office is starting to I’m going to go watch that.

9:08 First Office commercial break, and the games are looking good.  Texas is up big, Nova came back and took the lead, Gonzaga is winning and Clemson has cut it to 6.  Lets go tigers! I wanna go 4 for 4!

9:21 Holy shit this Clemson-Michigan game got crazy.  61-59 Wolverines.

9:25 Wow! What a game.  I almost don’t care that I lost. Michigan survives 62-59. In other news Texas won 76-62, Nova is up by 11 with under a minute left, and the Zags lead the Zips by 5 with 8 minutes left.

9:30 Ok, I’m leaving to go watch 30 Rock.  Nova is about to win and Gonzaga is up by 9.  See you for the last group of games.

NCAA Tournament round 1 live blog part 3

March 19, 2009

Part 1Part 2

Recap: After struggling in the early games, I came back strong, getting all my picks correct in the 3pm games.  North Carolina blew away Radford without Ty Lawson, which was a good sign for me (UNC is my champ).  Purdue gave me a scare, but survived.

Games covered in part 3 (my picks in italics):

4 Washington vs 13 Mississippi St.

 

5:20 Here we go with part 3.  Hopefully, I’ll be more entertaining this time.  I’ll try to keep this one going thru the 7pm games.

5:34 Huskies playing well early, up 25-17 with 5:45 to go in the 1st.  CBS switched to the local news so I’m stuck on MMOD and its constant buffering.

Beer time.

5:40 My beer is very drinkable.  No more drinkable than most other beverages, but certainly more drinkable than Keystone Light.  That shit is gross.

5:48 I feel a lot better about my Washington pick after realizing that their best player is named Quincy Pondexter.  If I had done my research (and I didn’t), I would have known this, and picked them to go farther.  You can’t lose with a name like that.  Its the same reason I picked Alabama St. (Chief Kickingstallionsims) in the play in game, and Temple (Dionte Christmas) in a 1st round upset.

5:58 Washington 38 Miss St. 27 at halftime.  More often than not, the upset everyone picks doesn’t happen.

6:21 Woops, I got distracted during halftime.  We’re already 5 minutes in, Huskies by 13.

6:28 One of those damn hypnotizing Comcast commercials is on.  I think they’re trying to trick us into forgetting how shitty their service is.

I hate the 5PM game, its always so boring.

6:30 Cody Augustus just “inhaled a rebound.”  I might need to inhale something to keep watching this game.  Wash 50-35 with 10:38 left.  The announcers are desperately trying to convince us that this game is interesting.

More evidence that this game sucks:

2nd half points (10 minutes left): Wash: 17, Miss St. 10.

Miss St. is shooting 27%, Washington 45%

6:41 I took a break with the score 57-41. 10 minutes later, its 59-44.  Awseome.  I need another beer.

6:45 I’m glad we got the full story on Washington’s Isaiah Thomas.  Apparently, he was named after the real Isiah Thomas, but with a different spelling.  Thank god we cleared that up.  

I can’t wait for Gus Johnson tomorrow

7:06 Washington wins in a barn-burner 71-58.  The final score doesn’t represent how boring this game was.  Maybe its just that there wasn’t anything else on, but I hated it.  

Either way, I’m 6-2 today.

The 7PM games should be starting up soon.  A few interesting matchups there.

NCAA Tournament round 1 live blog part 2

March 19, 2009

Part 1

Recap: I got off to a bad start in part 1, losing 2/3.  Only Memphis saved me by skeaking by lowly CS Northridge.  BYU sucked ass, and Butler lost a close one.  Hopefully, this part will be better.

Games covered (my picks in italics):

5 Purdue vs 12 Northern Iowa

1 UNC vs 16 Radford

7 California vs 10 Maryland

1 UConn vs 16 Chattanooga

 

2:40 Rather than have 1 huge post, i figured I’d break this up. The 3PM games are just getting started. 

I’d like to see a strong showing from UNC without Ty Lawson. They’re my champ, and after the Memphis scare, I need some reassurance.

2:44 Purdue jumps out to an early lead. The 12/5 games always scare me, but the Boilermakers are looking good early.

2:51 Taking a break from the games to re-watch last night’s South Park. The Coon!

3:01 After taking a big lead early, Purdue can’t seem to hit a shot.

Side note: who is the coon?

3:17 Getting back to the games now.  I’ve  got UConn on TV and Cal-Terps on MMOD.  So far so good in the second batch.  All my teams are winning or tied.

3:20 Purdue up 32-20 at the half.  Its about time one of my teams took care of business.  Here’s the scores:

Purdue 32 N Iowa 20 Half

UNC 26 Radford 16 11:25 1st

Maryland 17 Cal 15 11:35 1st

UConn 10 Chatt 8 13:46 1st

3:27 These Mocs look fiesty.  UConn needs to wake up.

3:39 On cue, UConn woke up.  The Huskies, Tar Heels and Boilermakers have comfortable leads, while Maryland is holding on.

4:05 I knew that I’d get lazy with this live blog, and its finally happening.  If you care, I spent the last few mintues getting some work done, but now I’m back!  Maryland is up 3 at the half and Purdue is watching the lead slip away.  The #1’s are cruising.

4:10 Purdue is hanging on, barely.  My brother is watching the game upstairs, and he has North Iowa.  If this comeback keeps up, he might fall thru the floor.

4:18 The Purdue game is still too close for comfort with 2 minutes left.  I’m glad I didn’t pick them to take down UConn.

4:32 Purdue escapes. Thank god. Now if Maryland can get it done, i can go 4-4.

4:45 I’m getting lazier by the second.  I think its the lack of interesting games.  Cal/Maryland is the only one thats even remotely close.  Terps by 10.  Washington/Miss St. is coming up at 5.  Big upset potential there.

4:47 Holy shit, someone tell the Mocs and Highlanders that there’s a basketball game going on.  UNC and UConn are both up 40+. Tar Heels without Lawson, Huskies without coach Calhoun.

Terps 66, Cal 56 7:00 remaining

5:00 Maryland looks strong, and so does my bracket.  After a rough start, i should get to 5-7 overall. 

Terps 76 Cal 63 3:00 left

Its about time to crack the day’s first beer.

5:07 Terps win.  Jorge Gutierrez of Cal is openly crying.

5:14 UNC and UConn are winners.  I’m 4-4 in this batch of games.  

Now we enter the boring part of the day where there’s only 1 game on.  Luckily, Wash/Miss St should be a good one.

5:17 Just switched to Washington/Miss St. The game is tied with 12 to go in the 1st half.  I’ve got Washington, but I’m not that confident in the Huskies.  I have them losing to Purdue in the next round so this one is low risk for me.

NCAA Tournament round 1 live blog part 1

March 19, 2009

11:24AM Lets see how long this lasts. My attention span is normally like 15 seconds so three’s little chance I’ll keep updating the blog as the games unfold.

12:00 games (my picks in italics):

8 LSU vs 9 Butler

2 Memphis vs 15 CS Northridge

8 BYU vs 9 Texas A&M

11:58 Just changed a bunch of my picks at the last second. Probably not a good sign.

12:21 LSU/Butler about to tip off. I see mostly chalk today with lots of upsets tomorrow.

12:23 LSU takes a 9-0 lead. Not a great start for me.

12:29 Watching 2 games at once. I’m losing both.

12:34 Now losing all my games.  11-3, 11-3, 11-8.  This seems like a bad omen.

12:39 Just turned on BYU/A&M.  The cougars are rolling with the white wash.  Maybe I shouldn’t have picked them.

1:00 Memphis finally got their shit together, but Butler and BYU are still struggling.  I hate those 8/9 games, i always get them wrong.

Memphis 29 CS Northridge 24

LSU 27 Butler 19

A&M 32 BYU 24

1:06 Whats with all the games mirroring each other?

A&M 32-24

LSU 31-24

Mem 31-25

1:11 LSU 35 Butler 29 at the half.  I just heard that BYU hasn’t won a tournament game since ’93.  Why did I pick them again?

On an unrelated note, one of my friends just introducde the idea of heading to his place and getting wasted off the Magic Hat in his kegerator.  This may affect the live blog.

1:18 BYU down by 12 at halftime.  The cougars are playing like a team with 5 white guys on the floor, except they can’t hit jump shots.  Memphis is too close for comfort.  Will this be the year I lose a final 4 team in the first round? Lets hope not.

1:44 Butler takes the lead!  Its about time.  

March Madness On Demand is fucking up.  Its buffering every few seconds now.

Also, just opened first red bull of the day.  How long before I switch to booze?

1:49 Had to bump down the quality of MMOD to lower than low def.  Meanwhile, BYU is taking a shit on the court.  If I can go 2/3 in these first games, I’ll be satisfied.  Right now none are winning.

1:58 I had to switch from BYU to Memphis.  Matedors up by 2 with 13 minutes left. I’m not ready for a 15-2 upset.

2:03 Not sure if I should mix Streak for the Cash and my bracket.  That feels like betting on your favorite team.  If they lose, you lose double.  Butler needs to get going.

2:07 Memphis down by 6 with 10 to go.  My brother will be home in a few minutes and he picked Memphis for the championship.  This could be bad.  Side note: Rico came down to join me, but he’s a little annoyed that I’m watching 2 games at once.

2:11 All 3 of my picks are losing.  BYU is a lost cause, but Butler and Memphis still have a shot.  I can’t really go 0-3 in the first games can I?

2:18 LSU is pulling away from Butler.  My only hope is Memphis.

5 Purdue and 12 Northern Iowa tip off at 2:30. I have Purdue.

2:27 Memphis finally woke the fuck up and took care of business.  Butler still needs a last second miracle. Looks like I’m headed for 1-3.

2:29 Butler just lost.  Memphis just won.  BYU is down by 11 with 1:30 to go. Up next (my pics in italics):

5 Purdue/12 Northern Iowa

1 UNC/16 Radford

7 Cal/10 Maryland

1 UConn/16 Chattanooga

2:32 MMOD is fucking up again.  I just switched to Purdue/N Iowa and got audio for a baseball game.  

2:37 BYU offially lost.  MMOD is buffering again.  Its been a frustrating first set of games.