Archive for the Sports Category

College Football Bowl Sponsor Rankings

Posted by Matt on Monday, January 6th, 2014

potato[Hi Everyone]

Arise from your holiday bourbon and ham stupor. Put away the Tostitos and the Bell Helicopter catalog and pay attention for a minute. There’s still a bowl game to be played and I’m pretty sure you’re going to watch it. You watched East Carolina vs. Ohio.

On the one hand, there is no worse postseason than college football’s. It’s not even close.

‘Hey I have an idea: Let’s wait a few weeks (we’ll say it’s because of scholastics haha) and then play 30 meaningless exhibition games with a bunch of rusty teams in random locations. Finally, we’ll have one title game between possibly not the two best teams in the country. That game will be on a Monday.’

On the other hand, we love football. So do we abstain from viewing? Pfft. Of course not.

That being said, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain interest through a 4.5 hour bowl game. Thus, as the sponsorships to these bowl games morphed into unrecognizable labeling over recent years, I found myself passing the time by searching the products, services and nefarious business practices of some of the more obscure corporate sponsors. Yes, I have to take all the fun out of things.

Anyway, there are 34 named sponsors. 34! And I ranked them. Because like weird conference loyalty and Spread Option Quarterbacks, college football fans love rankings.

[Note: These rankings are based on the whims and biases of the author and no particular statistical formula. If I insulted your employer, you probably agree with me.]

34. Gildan (New Mexico Bowl): This Montreal-based Textile Company makes cheap t-shirts and underwear. It also helps overthrow democratically elected governments in Latin American so it can operate its sweatshops with impunity. Prior to the excruciatingly long Washington State/Colorado State New Mexico Bowl, I had never heard of them, though everyone probably owns a dozen articles of cheap Gildan gear. This is what bowl season is all about for me: finding another gross company to avoid. Gildan – stop being terrible.

33. Valero (Alamo Bowl) – Refinin’ aint easy and Valero proves the rule. A top polluter, they are almost an oil company cliché. Saddam or no Saddam, legally or illegally, they’re dipping into that Iraqi oil and getting paid. Get some! Most of their malfeasance is pretty predictable –unsafe working conditions, money to PACs and candidates who fight energy regulation, pollution controls, etc. A terrible logo. It’s almost boring if it weren’t so awful. Like Oregon/Texas Alamo Bowl awful.

32. Bell Helicopter (Armed Forces Bowl) – Can some slick MBA explain the need for a helicopter company’s brand recognition among the average college football fan? “Honey, this reminds me. We still need to decide between the AH-1 Cobra and the UH-1 Iroquois.”

Dressed in typical jingoistic football fervor, the Bell Bowl self-importantly proclaims to be “more than just your typical bowl game,” by using the American military to benefit its corporate image.

I have an idea. Instead of slapping on your logo and “honoring” brave veterans at halftime of a meaningless football game, maybe lend your gigantic lobbying influence and financial support to elected officials who are a little more reluctant to send American teenagers to die in B.S. wars.

[Read the rest here]

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Sorry Big 10 Fans. You’re Stuck With Rutgers

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

“While we remain interested in the outcome of Rutgers’ review, and will continue to monitor the situation as appropriate, it will have no impact on Rutgers’ transition to, or membership in, the Big Ten Conference,”   Jim Delany, Big 10 Commissioner, Most Powerful Man In College Athletics, 4/5/13

Everyone understands why the Big 10 reached out to Rutgers and Maryland.  These are two state schools  adjacent to huge markets untapped by the Big 10 Network.  However, since Rutger’s addition back in November, its administration has fumbled and bumbled its way into mess after mess. The clown-college results have been entertaining and a particularly striking behind-the-curtain example of why Big Time college athletics are (a) ridiculous and (b) disproportionately important to institutions of higher learning.  [read more @projectshanks.com]

 

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Any Given Meatball – The Bears Retire Another Number

Posted by Matt on Monday, May 27th, 2013

ditkaOn Friday, the Chicago Bears announced Mike Ditka’s number will be retired during halftime of the Bears’ Monday Night Football game against the Cowboys on Dec. 9.

Ditka’s “89” will be the 14th number retired by the Bears’ organization, the most in the league.  In light of this, Bears CEO George McCaskey indicated, “after this, we do not intend to retire any more but we thought if there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89.”

In a city that has plenty of blind Ditka-supporters, I don’t necessarily disagree with McCaskey’s point.  There has never been the mass realization that Ditka was a terrible coach or that his entire manufactured mystique is really all about him  – the orange tinted icon that will slap his name on any product and never miss an opportunity to proclaim himself representative of the city.

My bias against Ditka as a coach and human being is evident.  But if we’re leaving Ditka’s coaching career out of it, does he deserve that final spot?  And if not, is there someone who’s more deserving?

Let’s take a look.

#89.  There’s no doubt that Mike Ditka’s greatest contribution to the game of football came on the field.  He was a badass tight end in an era that was still coming to terms with the forward pass.

He played 6 seasons with the Bears before George Halas traded him to the Eagles.  He earned Rookie of the Year, 5 Pro Bowl selections, and a ring on the 1963 NFL Championship team.

He helped evolve the position, similar to what we’re seeing with Gronk and Jimmy Graham, etc. (and Sharpe and Gonzalez before that).  Before Ditka, the TE was almost exclusively a blocking position.  While he’s generally not revered to the extent of John Mackey, he’s an all-time great tight end.  A deserved Hall of Famer, Ditka ended his Bears’ career with 316 receptions for 4503 yards and 34 TDs.  He’s 4th on the Bears’ all-time receiving list (which might say more about the historic ineptitude of the team’s passing game.)

Regardless, that’s a very solid 6 seasons.  However, it’s only 6 years. Ditka spent 2 years with the Eagles and 4 more with the Cowboys, where he won a Super Bowl, before retiring in 1972.

Should the fact that he only spent 6 years with the Bears be taken into consideration?  Supporters would say Gale Sayers’ number (40) was retired despite playing only 7 injury-riddled seasons with the team.  However, Sayers spent his entire career with the Bears’ and though he flashed brightly before burning out, he a Bear through and through.  It’s not the same.

So if not Ditka, then who?

One Point:  There are Bears’ numbers currently retired who are less-deserving than Ditka.  For instance, I might be a callous prick, but I would not have retired numbers of guys like Brian Piccolo (41) and Bill Hewitt (56) – players whose numbers were retired following tragic deaths, but whose on-the-field accomplishments wouldn’t rate as legendary. (Where’s Gaines Adams’ love?) However, assuming the franchise won’t “unretire” these numbers, we’ll leave these guys out of it.

#54 – An argument can be made that Brian Urlacher is the 2nd best linebacker of his era.  In 13 seasons, he anchored a defense that had a lot of great years.  Statistically he’s hard to assess because he played so many years as the Cover-2 Mike whose primary job was calling the defense before sprinting backwards 10-20 yards in coverage.  Still, he was an athletic freak who probably could’ve played any LB position.  I would’ve loved to watch him play a season as a 3-4 OLB.  While he stuck to blockers on occasion, it’s hard to say anyone was better in coverage and only Ray Lewis was better in pursuit.

Listening to the quotes of his peers, especially Rodgers and Favre (I guess), I think it’s clear the recognition of Urlacher’s greatness is not just centered in Chicago, and resonates throughout the league.

Ditka supporters may argue that the passage of time dictates that Urlacher should “wait his turn.” Personally, I don’t understand why teams take so long to retire numbers.  For instance, Sayers and Butkis (51) didn’t have their numbers retired until 1994.  To me, if Butkis retired on a Monday morning, his number should be retired before the sun goes down.

54 v. 89?  Verdict:  54.

 

#99 – When it comes to Chicago sports, few are more underappreciated than Dan Hampton. That he had to bide his time and watch Mike Singletary get to the Hall 4 years ahead of him is an absolute travesty.  He was the best player on one of the best defenses in league history.  He played every position on the line, and was routinely double– and triple-teamed at a rate that only Julius Peppers can appreciate.  He made Mike Singletary.

Yes, he doesn’t have huge sack numbers (57), but he was a ruthless run stuffer, even at DE.  Plus he definitely gets bonus points since Mark May thinks he’s overrated.

Hampton’s teammates all recognized his greatness.  On no knees he anchored one of the most iconic defenses in league history.  4 Pro Bowls. 1 All-Pro selection.  11 seasons vs. Ditka’s 6.

99 v. 89?  Verdict: 99

 

#95 – Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent finally received his call to the Hall in 2011.  His 1985 numbers are absolutely ridiculous: 17 sacks, 2 Int, 7 FF, 2FR, and his 1985 postseason domination is the stuff of Bears’ legend.  While we can’t ignore that he benefited from playing opposite of Hampton, Dent was an insanely gifted and productive pass rusher.

The “Sackman” ended his career with 137.5 career sacks, including the most in Bears’ history – 124.5 in 12 seasons (with 34 forced fumbles).  Like Hampton, he had 4 Pro Bowl selections and was All-Pro once.

But Ditka went to 5 of 6 Pro Bowls?!?! Yes. There were also like 14 teams back then.

He also gets plus points for his astute (albeit bitter and hindsight) analysis of Ditka’s ridiculous coaching decisions:

Bringing Doug Flutie in and thinking that he’s gonna come in and be on a team for three weeks and start him in a playoff game? Hell, I mean you’re trying to change the name on the Super Bowl trophy to Mike Ditka (from) Vince Lombardi when you do something like that.”

And…

And we came back three years in a row and had home-field advantage,” Dent said. “Our coach couldn’t figure out the right quarterback to play. The disappointing part to me is that we only got one out of it. We should have been the first team ever to win three Super Bowls in a row. It was there for the taking, but we didn’t manage that one position right.”

I know I said I was going to leave Ditka’s coaching out of it, but Amen, Sackman. Amen.

95 v. 89?  Verdict: 95

 

#74 – I chastise fellow Bears-fans for living in the past and romanticizing an era of Bears’ team that ultimately disappointed (see Dent’s comments above).  Still, the concentration of individual greatness occurred during this era.

Often overlooked in comparison to Ditka’s Buddy Ryan’s dominating defense, the mid-80s Bears’ had a great offensive line.  Not good. Great.

Left tackle Jimbo Covert was the best of the bunch.  Drafted with the 6th pick in the legendary 1983 draft, Covert received 2 All-Pro selections, was 1986 Offensive Lineman of the Year and was selected to the “All-Decade Team” by the Hall of Fame Board.  From 1983-1986, the Bears led the league in rushing a record-setting four consecutive seasons.  The Bears finished second in rushing twice, 1989 and 1990, and third in 1988.

Following back surgery, Covert retired after the 1990 season.  He is not in the Hall of Fame, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that call came somewhere down the line.

When I woke to the Bears’ announcement on Friday, my indignation and Ditka-prejudice led me to get out over my skis in some early twitter proclamations. I think I had Curtis Conway (80) and Ted Washington (92) in line in front of Ditka. (Not really)

Anyway, this is a real tough call.  The franchise’s best TE versus their best O-Lineman.

74 v. 89? Verdict: Too close to call. (Cop out)

 

#50 – The most irritating part about Ray Lewis’ and Urlacher’s retirements is having to read “all time great MLB lists” that include Mike Singletary’s name with the likes of Lewis, Urlacher, Butkis, Nitschke, etc.  Mike Singletary was a very good MLB.  His accolades are off-the-charts:  2 DPOY awards (1985, 1988), 10 Pro Bowls, Hall of Fame and a shitload of tackles.

However, is Singletary the product of greatness, or the cause?  As mentioned, the Bears’ DLine was relentless.  For much of his career, the terrifying Wilbur Marshall (3 Pro Bowls) and Otis Wilson (1 PB) flanked him.  But since he was the vocal leader of Buddy Ryan’s defense, he was the easiest to assign all the credit.

(Though numbers don’t tell the full story, Urlacher:  41.5 sacks / 22 INTs;  Singletary: 19 sacks / 7 INTs)

The funny thing is that “Samurai Mike” Singletary and “Iron Mike” Ditka are incredibly similar.  They’re essentially caricatures. They evoke blind devotion from the Meatball-fan contingent:  Singletary has his crazy eyes. Ditka is fowl-mouth screamer immortalized by classic late night television.  They were both terrible head coaches.

When it comes to Bears’ LBs:  (1) Butkis; (2) Urlacher;  (3) Lance Briggs (Yep!); (4) Singletary

50 v. 89?  Verdict: 89.

So do I get why Mike Ditka is receiving this honor?  Yes.  Do I agree with it? Not really. Will I put my dislike aside, stand up and give him his proper due for his on-field accomplishments when 12/9 comes around?  Absolutely.

After all, I’ll be in a good mood because the Bears will be up 17-6 at the half on the hapless Cowboys…

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Vinny Del Negro Receives Exciting New Opportunity To Get Fired By Spring Grove High School

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Spring Grove, IN – New Spring Grove High School basketball coach Vinny Del Negro is ecstatic about his upcoming opportunity to get fired by the Indiana school. Meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Del Negro said, “I’m expecting big things out of this program. We’re going to put forth nearly maximum effort for the next 2 to 3 years before everyone realizes I’m in over my head and I move on to the next opening.”

The school officially hired Del Negro on Tuesday, hours after the Los Angeles Clippers declined to renew his contact.  Del Negro replaces former head coach Teddy Blake, who retired after 20 years and over 300 wins with the Blazers.

Coming off of an 18-8 season, SGHS returns 4 starters who should languish in Del Negro’s system that deemphasizes offensive movement and defensive discipline.vinny

“To take over a successful team with strong community support is very exciting,” Del Negro said. ”I expect Spring Grove to stand behind this team until the second time I burn our last time out with seven minutes left.”

Spring Grove Athletic Director Ben Simpson spoke to the press about the hire. “Well, it’ll be great for these kids to learn from a coach who has failed so spectacularly at such a high level.  By consistently getting so little out of talented players, he’ll be a great example to these kids not only on the court, but off the court as well.”

Added Simpson, “If a guy like Vinny can get to the big time, that’s a great confidence boost for these kids as they move forward in their academic and athletic pursuits.”

The Blazers open the season with 4A Champion Carmel on November 17th. Del Negro promises to play all 12 players and at least 57 different lineup combinations in the opener.

Read the rest of this post →

{1 comment


Where I Talk About Being A Cubs’ Fan

Posted by Matt on Thursday, May 16th, 2013

April 29th marked the 30th anniversary of former Cubs’ Manager Lee Elia’s epic locker room rant. It seems like an opportune time to reflect on an excruciating character flaw – my Chicago Cubs’ fandom.

Of the minor missteps my mom took, influencing me to be a Cubs’ fan might be the most egregious.  In general, red wine has treated me better and fostered slightly smarter decision-making.  Let me take you back.

It didn’t have to be this way.  Having recently moved from Kansas City where I was a four-year old George Brett fanatic, pictures from Halloween 1983 show a child in a Carlton Fisk White Sox jersey, complete with a Big League Chew habit that was the gateway to junior high escalations. But a tacit White Sox endorsement from my city-raised Pops was not long for this youngster, whose farm-raised mother was ready to pull the South Side weed and plant the seed of pain and broken dreams.  A Cubs fan was born.

To put it into context, my mom is from central Illinois, where the accents are thick and they use the word  ”feed” as a noun.  I can sense conflict in her upbringing as well.  Mom talks about her grandfather taking her to Cardinals’ games.  My Uncle and her cousins are psychotic, plan-vacations-around-baseball type Cardinals fans.  Yet due to my grandfather, and for what it’s worth, Mom evolved as a Cubs’ fan, but without the passive-aggressive racism that was standard issue for populist farmers of my grandpa’s ilk.  (He used to call Lee Smith “Big Ugly,” which isn’t necessarily racist on its face, but…)

Mom loves baseball (and college basketball), so Dad conceded and that was that. But it was so close. I could’ve been a Cardinals’ fan – which would’ve meant timely hitting and championships (the reason why sports nerds love sports).  But, still – Cardinals’ fans.  I could’ve been a White Sox fan and been bred to be a low rent, excuse-making fusspot. But fusspots with a ring.  Still…Sox fans.

But enough about me.

Back in 1983 then manger Lee Elia ripped into Cubs fans following a loss that dropped the team to 5-14.  It is an epic rant.  Elia demonstrates the moxie of Earl Weaver without any of the managerial chops.  Take a listen.

1983 was a shitshow. That’s a theme. 1984 was heartbreak. That’s another theme.  For all the grief heaped upon Bill Buckner for his infamous 1986 error, Leon Durham was the original Buckner.  The Cubs’ had the NLCS. Had it. Then right through the Bull’s wickets went the season and Steve Garvey celebrated by impregnating a stranger.

I remember Game 5. Remember it well.  Holding onto my initial Royals’ fandom, I was able to celebrate their ’85 title.  I remember both these postseasons vividly – which is weird considering I was 6 years old and I can’t remember the last time I got the oil changed in my car.

On and on it has gone.  Years of spectacular ineptitude interspersed with heartbreak (2003) and disappointment (1989, 2008).

However, is it possible that the eternal optimism of Cubs’ fans may finally be warranted?  We’ve entered a new era – new ownership, and more importantly, 21st Century Management.

Full disclosure:  I’ve been to maybe 2 game in the last 4 years (down fr. a height of about 20/yr).  I can’t bring myself to watch them on television.  So how can I finally be optimistic?  It seems like grownups are in charge and the organization is evolving.  Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are astute and have a track record of building champions.  Tom Ricketts, though he has made some missteps, is interested in updating the garbage ballpark and bringing in new revenue so that, pending a new tv deal, the Cubs will be able to financially sustain success without having to throw huge money and no-trade clauses at overrated free agents.

Here’s the problem.  As Wrigley renovations creep forward, some of my fellow Cubs fans are bucking, reluctant to give up a “tradition” that has ruthlessly and repeatedly stomped on them before annually kicking them to the curb.  Honestly, forget tradition. The Cubs’ laughable and losing tradition is so ubiquitous that it’s the butt of jokes for late night talk shows and people who don’t even know how many innings are in a game.

They don’t want the electronic scoreboard. No elevated seating.  No more night games.  Don’t build a hotel. Please don’t block the rooftop leeches!  They want to retain all the  urine-soaked mystique of 1983, the ”playground for the cocksuckers.”

These people – who include the grown men who wait on Waveland Ave. for a home run to exit the park 81 days a year so they can run after it with their gloves like the stupidest chickens in the henhouse – these people are who Lee Elia is talking about (“the motherfuckers don’t even work!”)  and they persist to this day.

They talk about how it can be done without change. How it can be done without touching one men’s room trough.  They talk about how the Red Sox won championships in Fenway Park. You know what? Fuck Fenway Park. Fenway is one of the most overrated venues I’ve ever attended, but it’s great if you want your seat to face the right fielder instead of home plate.

When I read op-eds like this one bemoaning the addition of a video scoreboard and increased signage (revenue streams), I get pissed.  When I hear about the “poor roof top owners,” I boil with rage. Have you ever watched a game from up there? Trick question. You can’t. And they’re already a ripoff so seriously fuck them and fuck the homeowners.  Quite frankly, I like having the stadium in the middle of Doucheville, but you can knock it down and build it next door (like the Yankees) or move it to another part of town.  Wrigley is a shithole with shitty facilities, shitty scoreboards, and garbage food. US Cellular is a better place to watch baseball.  I’ve always maintained that people who argue “the Cell” is in a bad neighborhood are more likely to get in an altercation with some drunk meathead around Wrigley.  But that’s a red herring. Sox fans will look for any excuse not to come out to the ballpark.

The point is: forget tradition. The Cubs’ tradition is losing, and doing it in spectacular fashion.

From a baseball perspective, Theo and Jed have already turned one of the worst farm systems in baseball into an average one.  That’s no small feat. Savvy signings like Pat Maholm and Travis Wood are not the future of your rotation. They’re trade bait to build internally.  Rizzo and Castro signed long term deals that are extremely beneficial to the organization. I’m not sure people understand the extent of the damage that the Tribune Co. and Jim Hendry and his No-Trade-Clause dispenser did to the organization.  Piece by piece, build from within and then you have money to timely throw at free agents when you’re ready to contend.

In conclusion: Burn. It. Down. As it rises from the ashes, Theo and Jed will cultivate the most overdue of championships. Print it!

Happy anniversary, Mr. Elia. Hit the ball. catch the ball. and get the fucking job done.

Read the rest of this post →

{2 comments


Reporter Posts Instagram Actually Worth Viewing

Posted by Matt on Monday, April 29th, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays’ reporter Kelly Nash on assignment in Boston:  Easy on the the eyes. Lucky is her dome.

Sun Sports Rays reporter Kelly Nash was at Fenway Park in Boston watching batting practice.

Nash wanted to take a picture of her experience for her family, who is from Massachusetts.

reporter-ball-pic

According to FoxSports.com, Nash’s producer warned her several times to watch out for baseballs flying into their area.

However, Nash decided to turn her back to the field and snap a photo.

 

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Mark It. 4/29/13 – Release Of Backup Quarterback Might Facemelt ESPN

Posted by Matt on Monday, April 29th, 2013

From @trettbang on twitter.

tebow

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


GW 2013 NFL Mock Draft

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

American Sports’ most over-analyzed and unnecssarily lengthy event is coming to a long weekend near you.  The internet needs another mock draft, so here ya go…

Chiefs' new coach Andy Reid is known for unorthodox techniques...

Chiefs’ new coach Andy Reid is known for unorthodox motivational techniques…

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT – Texas A&M:  This draft is full of giant men who will prevent opposing defenders from hitting the next mediocre Chiefs’ QB.  Joeckel is the safest bet.

Other possibilities:  OT Eric Fischer

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE/OLB – Oregon:  Like a deranged pop star, the Jaguars have a lot of needs.  Let’s just leave it there.

Other possibilities:  QB Tim Tebow (pronounced “TEE-boe”);  1 Season-ticket purchaser – Though he currently plagues the Jets*, Tebow always seems to be a terrible possibility for Jacksonville – a terrible town with terrible fans.

3. Oakland Raiders – Star Lotulelei, DT – Utah:  Lotulelei has been dropping, probably due to recent anti-Tongan sentiment.  But we’re holding tight on the talented DT.  Anyway, it’s the Raiders, so they’re probably going to fuck it up and draft Geno Smith.  Aren’t they?

Other possibilities:  QB Geno Smith;  This Guy:

raider-face-tattoo4.  Philadelphia Eagles – Sharrif Floyd, DT – Florida:  The Eagles go for Philly-native Floyd, which will definitely work out well for the Floyd family in this notoriously warm-hearted metropolis.

Other possibilities:  Smith, Fischer

5.  Detroit Lions – Eric Fischer, OT – Central Michigan:   The Lions will be the first organization to circumnavigate the globe by going 1-step forward / 2-steps back, all the while embarrassing themselves.  This offseason they added a much-needed safety and scatback, yet somehow managed to lose 2 DEs and 2 OTs.  Last year’s 1st rd pick Riley Reiff might be moved inside – to Guard, not inside the office.  Luckily, Martin Mayhew will trip into this pick.  Fischer is a great call – even though I’ve never seen him play. can’t miss?

Other possibilities:  CB Dee Milner, DE Ezekial Anzah – Someone might snatch Fischer before the Lions pick, so their next logical move for the Lions’ franchise will be to draft Anzah, who screams, ‘bust.’

6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner, CB – Alabama:  Dare I say it – the Browns made some smart moves this offseason.  So look for new owner Jimmy Haslam to start appraising his assets.  He might as well go out on a high note and return to the more glamourous world of convenience stores and rest stop showers.  Milliner should be solid opposite Joe Haden as long as his shoulder doesn’t fall off, though it might take him a while to adjust to the NFL as he’ll get to yawn through Brandon Weeden reps in training camp.

Other possibilities:  Anzah, A damn good lawyer

7. Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson, OT – Oklahoma:  This guy used to be a QB, so who knows?  He might start the season at LT but end it behind center.

Other possibilities: Smith (you know you want to…!),  G Chance Warmack – Someone made a joke that the Cardinals were going to trade for Carson Palmer.  hilarious.  anyway, Larry Fitz is destined to waste the remaining years of his prime in this godforsaken QB Desert of the Waiting to Die.

8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith, QB – West Virginia:  Gotcha.

Other possibilities:  QB Ryan Nassib, Warmack – Warmack is the obvious pick to replace Adma Levitre – so obvious it’s almost assured the Bills take 3rd round talents Geno Smith or Nassib.

9. New York Jets – Ezekiel Anzah, DE – BYU:  Sorry Jets’ fans. You’re stuck with the Combine Hero. This guy can run to the gas station and be back home with a pack of Doublemint in the blink of an eye.  But how fast can he cover 8 feet to the Quarterback? Nobody really knows. At least he had 4 sacks at BYU last year.

Other possibilities:  Warmack, WR Tavon Austin, Some Class

10. Tennessee Titans – Jonathan Cooper, OG – North Carolina:  When Chris Johnson runs into the backs of his linemen this year, these backs will be seriously upgraded.  I love Warmack, but people think Cooper is the fit here.  I don’t really care. ya know, Titans…

Other possibilities:  Warmack, DE Bjoern Werner

Warmack's primary negative: on scouting reports "Excessive sweating."  seriously.

Warmack’s primary negative: on scouting reports “Excessive sweating.” seriously.

11.  San Diego Chargers – Chance Warmack, OG – Alabama:  Run on Gurards! Not a common Rd. 1 occurrence. I thought the beastly Bama line had 2 standouts among the bunch – Warmack and Barrett Jones.  This should help bolster the Chargers’ line before the move to LA.

Other possibilities: CB Xavier Rhodes, Norv Turner – Can they quit Norv?

12. Miami Dolphins – Xavier Rhodes, CB – Florida State:  The Dolphins also need an OT and could trade up. or down. or merely abstain like the Vikings did a few years back.

Other possibilities: OT DJ Fluker, Austin

**13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sheldon Richardson, DT – Tennessee:  Conventional wisdom says this pick might be traded for Darrelle Revis (Revis Peninsula), but for the sake of argument let’s say Greg Schiano + company holds on to this pick.  We could also pretend Schiano isn’t rapidly climbing the list of Biggest NFL Pudwhacks, but that would be a lie. Don’t lie, kids.

Rhodes would be a great pick here, but we have him going to the Dolphins. Richardson is a big man. He will fill a big hole. If the Jets snag this pick, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Austin selected.

Other possibilities: CB Desmond Troufant, Bag of d*cks (sent certified mail to Coach Schiano)

14. Carolina Panthers – Tavon Austin, WR – West Virginia:  He may have scored a Lucky ’7′ on the Wonderlic, but count me as a fan.  While undersized, Austin’s combination of speed and strength would give the Panthers the perfect weapon for Cam Newton to wildly overthrow in 2013.

Other possibilities: WR Keenan Allen, Troufant – Remember when they drafted Jimmy Clausen? I do. “Jimmy’s under center.  Jimmy drops back.  Jimmy throws a deep out.  Jimmy is pummeled by a linebacker during the interception return.”  Man, what an era…

15. New Orleans Saints – Jarvis Jones, OLB – Georgia:  My favorite player to watch last year, and GW’s #1 rated prospect.  Only freak 14-year old Jadaveon Clowney flashed dominance like Jones last year.  He’s dropping because of a neck injury that pretty much every NFL veteran will have to live with following their playing careers.  Football players have it so easy!  If he gets to the Saints, this will be the steal of the draft. I love you #29.

Other possiblities: None should be considered. Don’t fuck it up.

16. St. Louis Rams – Keenan Allen, WR – California:  Remember the Greatest Show On Turf?  Yeah, that was a long time ago.  Allen will be overdrafted, but should be a productive #2 receiver on a roster of #3 receivers.

Other possibilities:  TE Tyler Eifert, WR Tree:

big target

big target

17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Barkevious Mingo, OLB – LSU:   This guy has shot up draft boards about 8 spots since I started writing this.  He could go top-10 but I’m supposed to adjust the whole thing with all those priceless analytical gems I’ve thrown out there?  No. We’re not playing that way.  I actually did watch tape on Mingo. Beast.  He won’t get past a team that rarely makes mistakes on Draft Day.

Other Possibilities:  S Kenny Vaccaro, Eifert:  Either of these guys would fill needs, but wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers moved up to the 12-15 range to snag Vaccaro.  In other news, remember this? Hope the guy is alright.

18. Dallas Cowboys – DJ Fluker, LT – Alabama:  If there’s an early run on tackles (3 could go in first 4 picks),  Fluker probably moves up. The one-time #1 rated high school player is a mammoth with some possible character concerns.  But these are the Cowboys.     Also, fuck the Cowboys.

Other possibilities:  Jerry Jones purchases a Samoan tribe and removes their tattoos with sandpaper because he gets off on that kind of shit.

19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner, DE – Florida State:  Osi Umenyiora is gone and Coughlin needs to have he stable of badass D-Linemen.  I’m not sure the Berlin-native fits the bill, but he’s probably the best on the board at the position.

Other possibilities:  LB – Alec Ogletree,  OT Menelik Watson:

20. Chicago Bears – Alec Ogletree, LB – Georgia:  Character concerns may be a ‘red flag’ for some teams.  But not Phil Emery’s Bears! Bring ‘em on! Green Flag! Ogletree is an insane athlete at a position of need (with only a couple of arrests!).  [GW is a big Bears' Fan and while I like Ogletree, I would love if the Bears could trade down and snag Arthur Brown + a pick]

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Kenny Vaccaro, S – Texas:  The Bengals are a weird franchise so this pick might make too much sense for them.

Other possiblities:  Watson, DE Datone Jones, A General Manger

22. St. Louis Rams – Tyler Eifert, TE – Notre Dame:  I was torn between Eifert and RB Eddie Lacy, but it’s 2013 so I’ll take the impact guy in the passing game.  However, Lacy is much more likely to be around at 22 as Eifert is rising like a Notre Dame grad’s opinion of himself after 1.5 cocktails.

Other possibilities:  Lacy, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, S Eric Reid

23. Minnesota Vikings – Desmond Trufant, CB – Washington:  A young man brimming with confidence will have his spirit  broken after playing 6 weeks with the Vikings.  This pick addresses one of many needs for a team that must have forget-me-now’d the entire NFL to make the playoffs last year.  Seriously, how did that happen?  (AP, we know…)

Other possibilities:  Patterson, LB Manti Te’o:  we’ll get to you soon…

24.  Indianapolis Colts – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR – Tennessee:  This will fill a need for Colts’ fans.  That need is for every team to have a guy who flashes brilliance on occasion, but runs the wrong route resulting in a Pick-6 with 9 minutes left in the 4th Quarter.  Enjoy this guy Colts’ fans.

Other possibilites:  Lacy, D. Jones:  The Colts’ have been a pretty solid drafting team for a while, so they could go a different direction and probably be a lot happier. I wouldn’t be surprised if they picked someone who gave the franchise more cause to pump crowd noise through the Lucas Oil stadium speakers.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Manti Te’o, LB – Notre Dame:  In general, the Vikings like 2 things: (1) Adult Men dressed up in Nordic gear, wigs, and purple face paint; (2) Slow players from Notre Dame.  Poor Leslie Frasier. Get rid of talented distraction Percy Harvin and give his roster spot to Te’o, who will similarly be a gigantic distraction.  And while I wouldn’t necessarily classify him as a certain bust, he’s going to have a hard time making a difference outside of his patented sideline cheering.  Also, good luck with pass coverage in a very pass-happy division.

Other possibilities:  Not Manti Te’o.

26. Green Bay Packers – Eric Reid, S – LSU:  The Packers (and maybe the Steelers) have been the best drafting team in recent history, so while RB Eddie Lacy seems like a logical pick, I’m not sure Ted Thompson sees a guy like Lacy as the best value or biggest need at #26. (Because he’s a RB who’s a suspect pass blocker. And it’s 2013.) Reid hits like a freight train on meth, which is a good thing (fyi).

Other possibilities: Lacy, DT Sylvester Williams:

I think Reid or Williams would be a solid pick here. BJ Raji + that other DT dude are free agents next year, so a hard decision (typical of good-drafting teams) might be a-comin’ for the Pack on the D-Line.

27. Houston Texans – Justin Hunter, WR – Tennessee:  Andre Johnson is almost an old man. He’s still pretty great but the Texans need another WR. Or 3.

Other possibilities: Best Player Available, S Matt Elam

28. Denver Broncos - Datone Jones, DE – UCLA:  oooh. I would like this pick.  I think he’s ideally 5-technique.  But I also thought Mike Williams (USC) was going to be a Hall of Fame receiver.  So there’s that.

Other possibilities: CB Jamar Taylor, A championship parade postponement: Slow your roll, Broncos fans.

WWRK do?

WWRK do?

29. New England Patriots – Sylvester Williams, DT – North Carolina:  Williams + Wilfork could be trouble for opponents and take some pressure off of a thin secondary.

Other possibilities:  Taylor, CB DJ Hayden:  Or they could just strengthen the secondary itself, eh buddy?

30. Atlanta Falcons – DJ Hayden, CB Houston:  A lot of names on the Falcons’ roster, so it should be Super Bowl or Bust for Mike Smith this year. They are thin on the outside, so take Hayden as the best available according to people who can pick him out of a lineup with his college jersey on. That’s not me…

Other possibilities: Watson, DE Tank Carradine

31. San Francisco – Matt Elam, S Florida:  The 49ers have about 27 picks so they are probably the team most likely to trade up in round 1.  Safety is clearly the need for this loaded team.

Other possibilities: Trade up to get a better safety, Harbaugh Ball-Gag.

32. Baltimore Ravens – Arthur Brown, LB Kansas State:  Let me tell ya about this guy.  He has speed. He tackles. He covers. He can conceivably play different LB positions (though prob ILB in 3-4). Bonus:  He won’t invoke God when ordering lunch or stopping at a red light like old #52.  In other words, he’s not an insufferable Hall of Famer.  But expect big things.

Other possibilities:  tapped out…

Good luck teams!  looking forward to see who will be crowned Super Bowl champions on Monday!

Note:  Look at all that Big 10 Talent!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

* Jets’ 7 Plagues:  Ryan Fatigue, General Manengitis, Butt fumbles, Namath-breath, Tebow, Santonio Holmeslessness, Rich Kotite.

** There has been a trade. I get it. Will ignore.

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Jackass Sues Derrick Rose For Making Him Stress Eat

Posted by Matt on Saturday, April 20th, 2013

but seriously, anytime is cool...

but seriously, anytime is cool…

Almost a year ago, Derrick Rose crumpled to the United Center floor with a torn ACL.  The road back has been rocky.  While players like Ricky Rubio and Iman Shumpert have returned from the same injury, Rose remains sidelined as the Bulls’ opening playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets rapidly approaches.

It has been frustrating, but not because the Bulls really have a chance to get by the Heat and win a title with or without Rose.  It’s frustrating because the Bulls are a ‘hard watch’ without him, as they struggle to put-leather-ball-in-peach-basket.  It’s frustrating because he has been cleared by doctors, is reportedly killing it in practice, but doesn’t yet feel comfortable to return to game action.  It’s frustrating because Rose is the Franchise, the Future, and if I have to watch Nate Fucking Robinson play more crucial minutes I’m going to stuff my gaunt face with Little Caesers’ breadsticks, then chain smoke until my tar lungs make my eyes water and I no longer have watch Nate shit on my basketball sensibilities.

So it’s not that I can’t relate to this tool’s frustration…

CHICAGO – A 25 year old Peoria Illinois man filed a lawsuit Thursday against Chicago Bulls Superstar Derrick Rose. Matthew Thompson, a self-described long-time Bulls fan, and electrician claims Rose missing the entire 2012-2013 NBA regular season has caused him to have mental breakdowns and emotional distress, which ultimately led to obesity issues.

 

Let’s put it into perspective. If this guy is a longtime Bulls’ fan but only 25, I assume he paid attention to the abysmal Tim Floyd/Kornel David Era of the early 2000s. That can make any man turn to vice.

So grab a carrot and grow a pair, Thompson. Don’t be the way you are. (Also, turn away from the TV if there’s a Vlad Rad-sighting or else you’ll be breaking chairs at family dinner.)

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Mickael Pietrus Can Do 2 Things

Posted by Matt on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

1.  Stand in the corner and hoist 3s.

2.

Read the rest of this post →

{no comments


Gratuitous World Blog

    • College Football Players, Awaken…
      January 29, 2014

      [Former NCAA President Myles Brand:] They can’t be paid. [Q:] Why? [Brand:] Because they’re amateurs. [Q:] What makes them amateurs? [Brand:] Well, they can’t be paid. [Q:] Why not? [Brand:] Because they’re amateurs. [Q:] Who decided they are amateurs? [Brand:] We did. [Q:] Why? [Brand:] Because we don’t pay them. – Michael Rosenberg’s 2010 Sports Illustrated interview of former NCAA president Myles Brand Yesterday, quarterback Kain Colter led a group […]

    • GW: Favorite Albums Of 2013
      January 11, 2014

      On time as always! Happy New Year. 20.  Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City:  Ok kids, we get it. Good work. 19.  Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Any Port In A Storm 18.  Charlie Parr – Barnswallow 17. My Bloody Valentine – MBV:  Per usual, I can’t understand a fucking word, but still pretty […]

    • REPOST!…SNOW MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE…
      January 7, 2014

      (originally posted 2/10/10) then again (7/9/10) now one more time before retirement. for love. UPDATE: So it’s as hot as fuck out east because, you know, it’s July. Anyway, I’m just checking in because although You Know and I Know daily mid-Atlantic microtrends in weather do not offer any proof or disproof with regard to […]